- Pope Francis Derangement Syndrome IV: A counterblast to Rush Limbaugh on Evangelii Gaudium 54.
- Pope Francis Derangement Syndrome II: Wherein Bishop Bernard Fellay giveth a homily.
- Pope St. Pius X vs. Pope Francis Derangement Syndrome.
- The Prince of Egypt – Hans Zimmer & Stephen Schwartz
- Why I’m Not A Conservative
An interesting analysis of The Prince of Egypt‘s soundtrack.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, when he was working as chairman of Walt Disney Studios, had long desired an animated adaptation of the 1956 film The Ten Commandments, which tells the story of Moses in the biblical chapter of Exodus: his raising in the palace of the Egyptian Pharaohs, his powerful encounter with God, his quest to free the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt and his eventual communion with God and receiving of the Ten Commandments. Katzenberg decided to put the idea into production after founding DreamWorks in 1995. The task must have been daunting -The Ten Commandments was one of the most successful biblical films of all time, produced by the legendary Cecil B. DeMille, and starring one of the greatest personalities of Hollywood, Charlton Heston.
But Katzenberg was not deterred – he gathered together 350 animators from Walt Disney Feature Animation and the recently disbanded company Amblimation…
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Although social liberals tend to support abortion and gay marriage this doesn’t mean anyone opposing these should write a blank check to conservatives. All too often they conserve what ought to change and fail to conserve what ought to be conserved. It has been said that ”Conservatives believe in an imaginary past and the liberals an impossible future” and by GK Chesterton ”The liberals make new mistakes and the conservatives prevent the old ones from being corrected” and I see plenty reason to agree. In my other post I had criticised both social and economic liberalism and here I will criticise both social and economic conservatism (both economic liberalism as in negative liberty and fiscal conservatism as in being against spending money are both aspects of capitalism so to divide the world into people being liberal OR conservative ultimately doesn’t make sense).
Poor Handling Of Change
You don’t need to remind me of the French Revolution or the Irish general election of 2011 to show that change is not inherently a good thing that will make things better, I do reject the liberal progress narrative. The problem of course is that, as happens all too often in politics, just because one side gets things wrong it doesn’t mean that the other side is better. On conservatism ”If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it” becomes ”Don’t fix it even if it is broke” and had things stayed the same we’d still die before 50 having lived in poverty with little hope of things being any better for the next generation and women would be seen as inferior to men. The education system in a number of countries is badly in need of a change but the people who would most benefit from it being reformed are the ones least likely to be listened to, the environment is badly in need of a change for the better and the list goes on.
Conservatism doesn’t have to mean no change at all though, it can mean change does happen but more gradually than the social liberals would like but this only postpones the inevitable and the result is the same anyway. Gay marriage in the UK was legalised under the Conservative Party (most of them were opposed to it I gather but it happened anyway) with David Cameron justifying it using small c conservative language but the fact remains it’s a liberal policy and in Ireland the supposedly conservative Fine Gael (who are members of the conservative EPP group in the European Parliament), led by supposedly conservative Catholic from Mayo Enda Kenny and then Leo Varadkar, a gay man from Dublin, legalised abortion where the mother’s life is at risk, successfully campaigned for gay marriage to be legalised and abortion legalised during the first trimester for any reason, repealed the ban on blasphemy which nobody was prosecuted for anyway, reduced the waiting time for divorce from 5 years to 2 and just recently the government of which they’re a part are handing out free contraception to 17-25 year olds. Sure, the Conservatives and Fine Gael had been in coalition with the Liberal Democrats and Labour respectively but these latter were the junior partners. If social conservatism is expendable but fiscal conservatism non-negotiable then really conservatism is libertarianism which would explain why Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan made such far reaching libertarian changes to their countries’ economies in the 1980s.
Although conservatives in different places and times may have had little doubt that conservatism was libertarian or authoritarian I’m not sure how anyone can say that conservatism is or ought to be one or the other. American conservatives have a dogmatic hatred of government while in South Korea conservatives were authoritarian like Syngman Ree and General Park. Conservatives from western Europe and the US may recoil in horror at the notion that the Nazis were conservative but they promoted the traditional family, patriotism, a staunch hatred of communism and a near worship of the military, all things conservatives often espouse. While American conservatives have a hands off approach to the economy they are fine with the government banning abortion, gay marriage and drugs and took a very hands on approach to warfare. If libertarian conservatism is just libertarianism and authoritarian conservatism is just authoritarian (authoritarian leaders whether conservative or not often act as the pater of the national familias) I see little point to saying that conservatism is some political philosophy of its own.
Dr King spoke of capitalism for the rich and socialism for the poor but as bad as that would be it’s often worse; we get state capitalism for the rich but anarchocapitalism for the poor. On the one hand under capitalism the government is supposed to stay out of things but in Ireland there was the infamous bailout of Anglo-Irish bank which bankrupted the country and led to the country itself being bailed out by the IMF, EU and ECB. A failed bank was bailed out while the many, including people not doing too well as it was, were hit with years of austerity. How awful to expect fiscal rectitude from everybody else when Anglo clearly had none and the Irish government wrote it a blank cheque. George W Bush’s TARP was more successful but still a remarkably statist thing for a capitalist to do. Some say the government should operate like a business but that is what the government does; it borrows money now to invest hoping to make more money and not only pay off what it owes but to be in a better position long term. Whereas business investing in new technology is apparently an investment wages are treated as a cost with no benefit and exposes what sort of behaviour capitalism produces; people are supposed to be allowed to get as much money for themselves as they want but when labour tries to do this the capitalists will try to thwart this. The conservatives like to think of themselves as fiscally responsible but I see nothing fiscally responsible about the high unemployment Margaret Thatcher caused or the Irish government’s austerity in the early 2010s which just made the economy even worse until the IMF finally left. Improving the worst neighborhoods in the country would surely generate more money in the long run than it would cost; less money would be spent on policing and more people would be off of the welfare roll and on the payment roll and of course less mental health issues and the list goes on but this goes against the conservative outlook; the private sector won’t do this as it isn’t profitable in the short term and the government doing things (other than sucking up to the rich) is seen as heresy. On the conservative worldview poverty is a moral failing; people deserve to be poor since it’s their own fault anyway and spending money on them would be a waste that fosters dependency but the rich get tax cuts and other benefits, even the ones who only inherited their wealth. If the conservatives really do value hard work and individual initiative let’s see them raise inheritance taxes and cut income taxes. Conservatives say they value family but they also often support capitalism which is individualistic and this circle cannot be squared. If they want to prevent abortion and reduce contraception usage it’s high time they adjust the workplace to be more family friendly so as few people as possible have to choose between children and career.
Treatment Of Minorities
Although the social liberals are too quick to label people not agreeing with their particular solutions racist, homophobic etc. the reality is there is still a degree of these around and while not all conservatives are racist etc. it seems to me a safe bet that most of the racists etc. are conservative. The slavery in the southern US, apartheid in South Africa, anti-immigrant sentiment in the US as a whole whether against Irish and Italians in the 1800s or Hispanics now, insults and even violence against LGBTetc. people and of course the alt right’s puerile ”humour” about the misadventures of Daryl, a stereotypical black man who has big lips and tries to commit crime and the alt right’s ignorant labelling of anything they don’t like as autistic and anything opposing their ideology as autistic screeching (the ignorance never ends from the alt right). In both Japan and the US the far-right think that foreigners do more crime but they actually commit less and in Japan’s case an ageing population means either encourage people to have more children (hasn’t worked), raise the retirement age (Japan’s a democracy so this would cost the government votes) or reduce pensions (same problem) or encourage immigration (to a jingoistic country whose language is not widely spoke outside of it). As someone in minorities myself (I’m aspie and asexual) there’s no place in conservatism for me. The conservatives say time and again ”People wouldn’t get away with saying x or y about insert name of minority group” well no they wouldn’t; the minority groups (apart from the rich) haven’t got the power. It isn’t the same.
Shortcomings On Religion
Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m a very religious guy myself who can’t stand the new atheists but I can kind of see where they’re coming from and as with any group it’s best not give them ammunition. Ireland prior to the 1990s was on the surface a very Catholic and conservative country (it still is compared to most other European countries) and yet we had an attitude to sexuality that was stifling and bear in mind I’m certainly no supporter of the sexual revolution, divorce etc. and the treatment of single mothers in the mother and baby homes was a national disgrace which isn’t to say that these were unique to Ireland or Catholicism but as believers in a religion that teaches that works are important (but not enough by themselves) for one’s salvation then we are called to set a better example than non-Catholics and clearly this didn’t happen. The clerical sex abuse and coverup I hardly need to remind people of and this as well as the other wrongdoings I’ve mentioned caused an enormous backlash against the Church and resulting ultraliberalism in social policy. As for the American religious right it gained a lot of influence in the 1980s which is still around but not as much as it used to be as there were scandals in it. In a religion whose sacred text has many verses about helping the poor the religious right certainly did little if anything to reduce the growing gap between rich and poor in 1980s America and its militaristic stance on foreign policy has caused a lot of death and suffering, even the propping up of far right regimes during the 1980s. Meanwhile in American conservative Catholicism one finds the traditionalists who never seem to tire of bashing Vatican II or Pope Francis and complaining about the ”Novus Ordo” mass and branding defenders of these things modernists which is dishonest; there used to be a heresy known as modernism in the Catholic church but this was squashed and they conveniently forget there was also a heresy known as traditionalism which said that tradition was more important than reason. I they can resurrect a term for a heresy already gone to bash their opponents with then they themselves shouldn’t call themselves after a heresy that’s already gone. In US politics the religious right for the most part wrote a blank cheque to Trump with (white) evangelicals going from the group most likely to least likely to say a candidate’s personal integrity was important and this isn’t good enough. Yes the American political system is a 2 party system but this ought to be fixed instead of people being stuck writing a blank cheque to any Republican who gets the nomination. I think to myself a lot of Americans don’t actually like the political party they support but are stuck with them anyway given the winner-take-all nature of the electoral college.
For the benefit of any Americans who may be reading this I’m talking about liberal as in social liberalism (in the sense used in the anglosphere) and also classical liberalism (libertarianism). Why Americans made liberal mean egalitarian I can only guess. Emerging from the grim darkness of the pre-Enlightenment days liberalism must have seen a breath of fresh air well as with almost all politics what started as an understandable outlook and perhaps even a necessary one at the time has grown stale and isn’t being fixed no matter how broken it has got. I’ve dealt with postmodernism already so I won’t here.
In spite of all of our technology and (unevenly distributed) wealth (which is to a large degree based on nonsense I would think) there’s so much depression, anxiety and suicide in the west as well as South Korea and Japan. At first glance this may seem a paradox but really it isn’t; a tribalistic species now acting as islands unto themselves was bound to cause problems and people, especially the vulnerable, to suffer. The every man/woman/intersex person/child for themselves software just isn’t going to run well on the conformist hardware that is human nature. On an individualistic attitude to society if something is somebody else’s problem then ”Hard luck to them but it’s not my problem” as opposed to ”It’s a problem so let’s solve it”. Adam Smith may have been right to some extent about rational self interest but he could hardly have foreseen just how bad negative externalities could get as technology improved. Big industrial cities became places where people lived difficult lives in unsafe, dirty and noisy conditions and then came home to poor, overcrowded houses that lacked sanitation. Not that most factory owners cared much if at all, they were alright Jack. On social policy there’s this attitude of ”You can’t force your opinions on other people” (”forcing one’s opinions on” apparently means any time someone supports a ban or restriction on something liberals support) when it comes to abortion and gay marriage but sexism and the environment are (rightly) thought of as objective evils which can’t be a matter of choice. I submit that choice is not inherently a good thing; a choice is only as good as the option you’re likely to pick.
The Sexual Revolution
In the BBC documentary I Hate The Sixties it was pointed out that the contraceptive pill was used for what you would expect but then people had much more sex and more pregnancies happened anyway. In Ireland contraception was legal first, then abortion, then more abortion and now they’re giving out free contraception to 17-25 year olds. Any pro-choice people saying that contraception will reduce the number of abortions either has a short memory, doesn’t understand that ceterus paribus is only any use if ceterus really is paribus or is just using (the claimed achieving of) a lower abortion rate as a trojan horse for contraception. In a society obsessed with money then of course thievery will happen and people accept this instead of being less obsessed with money but people can’t seem to understand that a society obsessed with sex will have a certain amount of rape; they do want to have it both ways on that. Not only that but in a society obsessed with sex it’s not surprising that ignorant fratboy dudebros in America (of which there are an awful lot) use virgin as an insult, as if there weren’t enough prejudice against minorities as it is but wait, there’s more! (Our lives are like Colombo; there’s always one more thing.) Now teenagers, not the best people to raise children (no offense, teenagers) feel pressured into having sex even as young as 13 and anyone supporting any restriction on sex other than it must be consenting adults is branded sex critical or sex negative as if setting a limit on what food to eat and how much is food critical or food negative. The framing continues with prostitution; some now want to treat it as ”sex work” but what they’re working with is their bodies; the ”sex positive” people are literally commodifying women’s bodies which I thought would have been one of the last things liberals would want but this is liberalism; if there’s money in prostitution, condoms, pills, patches, shots, abortions, IUDs and advertising as well as slathering sex all over the TV programmes and movies well then nothing will thwart the purposes of the almighty dollar. Video after youtube video going into seemingly every gory detail is something I could have done without either and ladies please stop trying to make words like hoe and bitch compliments; they aren’t. Let them refer to a gardening tool and a female dog respectively and nothing more. The sexual revolution reduces men to animalistic barbarians with no self control and filthy mouths and women to objects for men to pleasure themselves with and slaves to chance rather than adjusting work to make it more family friendly so that nobody has to choose between a child and a career while on artificial contraception. On liberalism society also runs the risk of ”My body my choice” (that slogan repeated ad nauseam that ignores that the baby has a body too and that location doesn’t determine rights) becoming ”Her baby her problem, I’m not letting MY money go to support somebody else”. A society that truly values positive liberty will make it such that females don’t have to choose between murdering their own babies and being left to fend for themselves (especially of course if they didn’t consent to the sex in the first place).
Liberal Progress Narrative
One of the complaints of social liberals when something doesn’t go their way is ”It’s (insert year name here)” as if things are destined to get more liberal and thus, in their view, better over time. This may be true for science but it certainly doesn’t hold true for everything. The environment keeps getting worse as does the divide between the east and west of Ireland and looking at health there used to be no HIV or COVID and now both of them are worldwide problems. It is not the case that the liberals are right on everything and that it was a historical inevitability that they get their way so often; it was missteps of conservatives and an increase in the number of people living in cities that let them get their way so often. Relying on other people’s mistakes, nastiness and lies as well as a trend continuing indefinitely is not a reliable way to go. With a notion like the liberal progress narrative in their heads it’s not surprising then that no matter how much they get their way it still isn’t enough for them (much like the rich and their wealth).
Can Becomes Have
People can (are allowed to, in society’s view) have sex outside of marriage and all manner of different kinds of sex decayed into people, especially female, being pressured into sex and virgin becoming an insult. Fanatics, especially fanatical atheists, can churn out content on an industrial scale so other people have to stomach it. I certainly didn’t choose to run into all of their demented rants on youtube, blog sites or Yahoo! Answers and their smug, simplistic memes but there’s just so many of them out there you’ll run into at least some of them eventually. The media can be owned by a small number of people so whether it’s Rupert Murdoch or Tony O’Reilly you have to stomach the fact that it is owned by a small number of people. The rich can dodge taxes so the rest of us have to pick up the slack; if the people best able to pay the taxes would pay them the rates of taxation could be lowered. If abortion can be taxpayer funded then if you’re pro-life you have to put up with the fact that your taxes are going toward something you don’t agree with. People can make short, near pointless IMDB reviews that are really comments, not reviews, that’ll say ”Best anime ever! 10/10” (yes, I really did see a review that said that and I’m not strawmanning) and the like when it was in no way 10/10 and certainly not the best anime ever so anyone looking for some insight into an anime have to put up with this fanboy/fangirl rubbish.
Stranglehold On Society
If each person who can vote gets one but of course some have more money than others and money can buy influence then it’s not surprising that the rich man’s ideology; libertarianism, is the dominant one. Economic decisions made in the anglosphere are nearly always rightwing ones while social liberalism is a hivemind among the music and film industries. In Ireland we had a government, led by Fine Gael of all parties, constantly passing liberal social policies either by act of parliament or referenda and compassion was the mantra. Compassion, from the most capitalist of the mainstream parties in the state. Compassion, said a party that implemented austerity. When gay marriage was legalised in 2015 the media went on until late 2017 touting it as if it were the best thing to ever happen in this country with only an upcoming referendum on further legalising abortion shutting them up. With all of this talk of equality and compassion where was the equality and compassion for working class people? What use is the Irish Labour party if when they get into power they only change social policy and not economics? In theory people are free to oppose the libertarian ideology but when freedom is treated as reason enough by itself to support something and anyone opposing a libertarian policy is accused of being a socialist or a theocrat and will be outspent by the rich and pounced on by the media that’s hard to do. Not every social liberal is a capitalist but the mediaworks out well for the capitalists; while people are consuming lowbrow prolefeed entertainment that’s time they’re spending not thinking about what harm capitalism does and what a better society would look like, not to mention advertising (which these days is often virtue signalling) being big business which the media emits.
The social liberals can’t seem to fathom that not agreeing with their particular solutions to problems doesn’t mean you hate the people they’re trying to help. The capitalists think that if you don’t agree with their policies you’re a socialist or a communist as opposed to every political ideology has its flaws that you can critique without supporting its opposite like you don’t have to be an anarchocapitalist to recognise the inefficiencies of communism. The weed legalisation supporters brand anything they don’t like fascism and prohibitionism and that anyone opposing it must be bribed by the FBI or something as opposed to drugs are harmful and the effects of alcohol don’t justify legalising other harmful substances which will then be as easily available. The pro-choice people think anyone opposing so-called abortion rights hates women which doesn’t make sense considering in my experience women are more pro-life than men (I’m not simply talking about raw numbers; I mean in percentage terms) and even some feminist, otherwise liberal groups like Rehumanise International and the New Wave Feminists are pro-life.
The social liberals being disproportionately wealthy and urban look down on people not agreeing with them as ignorant bigots from the bog as opposed to equally sincere and serious minded people with genuine concerns while the libertarians think the majority of people are sheep but they fail to realise that just because there tuned out to be some conspiracies that doesn’t mean that everything that goes wrong is a conspiracy. The social liberals seem not to realise that intelligence and level of education are 2 different things and with universities being overwhelmingly liberal already of course people will come out of there with liberal views; more education doesn’t necessarily mean people will make better political choices as they’re still vulnerable to the same factors that make everyone else tribalistic. As for the libertarians branding people sheep that are far left won’t persuade people to their view and will put them off of it and there also seems to be a fair overlap with edgy atheism; that people like this go against the grain just so bein in a minority opposed to people they perceive as sheep makes them superior somehow.
Whereas Patrick Henry had said ”Give me liberty or give me death” and Thomas Jefferson had said ”Whoever would give up a lot of freedom for some temporary security deserves neither” (emphasis mine due to how often people butcher the quote) with the libertarians the outlook seems to be ”Give me liberty even if it might cause my death” and ”Whoever would give up even the slightest bit of freedom for any amount of even long term security deserves neither”. The conspiracy theorists don’t like x and they don’t like y so therefore x is y (oh but it’s the government who are the idiots of course, they’re stupid and they pull off conspiracy theories?). More could be done to fight global warming which would end up preserving land and save money in the long term as we wouldn’t have to put up with as many natural disasters and making do with ever diminishing fossil fuels but this would involve international cooperation and big business adjusting how it operates but the libertarians don’t want that so it must be a socialist conspiracy. They don’t like vaccines and mask mandates and they don’t like government so this must also be a conspiracy, for some reason. Sure, some conspiracies have been unearthed but that doesn’t give anybody license to think then that any conspiracy theory (that suits their own politics, not other people’s) is true; a broken clock may tell the right time for 2 minutes each day but it’s still wrong the other 1,438 and I wouldn’t go by it. Global warming and COVID are no respecters of borders or individual liberty and people’s actions don’t happen in a vacuum; we do need to act together.
”Bad enough to be in a culture war; worse yet to be in somebody else’s culture war” said an article in a British newspaper and I can certainly relate. In the late 2000s I started using the internet in earnest as our family got broadband and since then I spend a lot of time on it most days. I am an aspie you know. Anyway, imagine the awful shock I got living in what used to be a 95% Catholic country and then running into people constantly dogpiling websites and spewing furious tirades against religion constantly (but on both sides of the culture war people use religion as a byword for anything they find irrational and that people furiously disagree over; even religious people will brand things a religion in this way! Sickening. Users of youtube, Yahoo! Answers and websites about that stupid boardgame Diplomacy shame on ye. Admittedly I shouldn’t have responded in kind but that’s what people are either too stupid to know or too nasty to care about when it comes to the culture war; if you treat people badly then of course they’re not going to like it and you’ll just turn them AGAINST you.
Trying to have it both ways
On the painfully and arbitrarily binary mentality of the culture war people think if you don’t agree with them then you hate their value(s) as well. If someone’s pro-life it has to be because they hate women and not because there are actually are very good reasons to think abortion is murder and doesn’t help anybody, if someone’s against capitalism then that must mean they’re lazy and have some doctrinaire love of government as opposed to they are hardworking but are having a hard time in an economic system that its defenders say over and over again works and is the only option. If we’re patriotic the other side hates our country, if we’re for equality the other side are all racist, sexist, homophobes etc.
Since the other side are bad people anyway and our side MUST win (because the culture war HAS to happen, God forbid we citizens of the same country get along) then it’s OK to treat them badly and to engage in fallacies and dirty tricks.
- Responding to any criticism with ”You’re the REAL thing you accused me of” (a lazy, kneejerk reaction that means one’s own side never has to be good; we can just throw any accusation back at the other side).
- Nutpicking, to keep making one video after another about the nuttiest members of a group and not bother with the more moderate and sensible ones so everyone in the group is guilty by association (internet atheists and anti-sjws I’m looking at you and stop putting the same few women in your youtube video thumbnails) even though if the group had no nutty members the other side still wouldn’t join them.
- Repeating the same things over and over again hoping this will convince people.
- Asking gotcha questions, loaded questions, socratic method, asking questions just to take the heat off of you and asking questions just because they sound less confrontational than statements, constantly asking more questions when no amount of answers will satisfy you anyway (a humanist pulled this last one on me in a sort of impromptu IRC debate) and phrasing accusations as questions (one guy, again on a website about Diplomacy in the late 2000s asked me if I would be a different religion if I were born somewhere else when he could have just said that I’m only a Catholic because I’m Irish and on another website an atheist asked Christians if we didn’t go to Hell for not being Christian would we still be Christian when he could have just said that we’re only Christian because we’re afraid of going to Hell and not only that but these 2 questions were built on mistaken premises; I don’t mindlessly follow the Irish majority as hopefully you’ve seen from my thoughts on abortion and people are Christian because they believe in Christ’s message; we’re about what we have to gain and not avoiding punishment.) On the culture war ”People listen not with the intent to understand but with the intent to reply” as Stephen Covey said.
- Declaring someone’s entire argument invalid because they used one word incorrectly (an internet atheist pulled this one on me on a website about that awful boardgame Diplomacy wouldn’t you know. A moderator of the website too no less.)
- Ignoring the rest of someone’s argument and only concentrating on the weakest part (tis time a user on a different Diplomacy website. I had said that yes the Middle Ages were bad but not as bad as people think, that even out of the Crusades some good came like Europeans getting the idea to bathe once a week, a simpler system of numbers, 4 as opposed to IV etc. and oranges and what do you know someone made a sarcastic comment about oranges. What is it with internet atheists and sarcasm, and what was it with the late 2000s and smug neckbeards on the internet?)
The reality is if you treat people badly you’re going to put them off and if you have to engage in fallacies and dirty tricks your argument must be lacking. However good the arguments might be if a group of people are seen as dodgy bullies then people will be cynical about the arguments and will make people want to fight fire with fire. The incessant, furious polemics of the new atheists on the internet have just made me a fanatical opponent of theirs, which bad arguments alone wouldn’t have done. In trying to open the door and get as many people into the new atheist house they’ve just put 2 locks on it. With the feminists sure I agree that men and women are equal but if they’re going to smear blood on protest signs (which they did in the UK to protest tampons being taxed), act like a caricature of straight men (what is it with feminists’ obsession with having short hair and acting tough?) and assume anyone not agreeing with them is a sexist then, even though I technically am a feminist if you go by the most broad definition of feminism, I have severe reservations about supporting anything feminist other than Rehumanise International and New Wave Feminists etc. As well as bad behaviour there’s the tendency to make websites into hiveminds; Imgur an atheist leftwing hivemind, Imgflip an alt right hivemind to name 2 but this is self defeating; people will tend just stick to their own echo chambers and not see the other side’s arguments. The people already on your side don’t need further convincing; the people on the other side won’t be receptive to your arguments if they’re just going to get viciously dogpiled (websites about that stupid boardgame Diplomacy I’m looking at you).
You can’t think to yourself ”Ah well, we’re right so anything we do is fine. Our ideology is good so we’re good. We have to win and you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs anyway.” Our ideology is good and we have to win are both highly debatable by themselves and even if they were true then machiavellian scheming and a nietzschean mentality of uber v untermensch is just going to alienate the other side even further and put the people in between off of joining. I may be harping on this but it’s such a basic point and people still either don’t get it or don’t bother to apply it. The golden rule is not ”only” the morally right thing to do; it’s good diplomacy as well. Both sides treat each other so poorly with snide memes, vile polemics and ranty videos that when I come across a youtube channel from either one of them I tend to downvote a lot of their videos. The nastiness of both sides makes me clicktivise against both of them.
A Monopoly Posing As A Duopoly
“A New York leftist and an Alabama Pentecostal may not agree on much, but too often they share a dislike of Catholics”
If people were to take a step back and reevaluate the culture war (y’know if either side didn’t have an atrocious case of tunnel vision) they’d see how much of a false dichotomy it is. We’re told that it’s conservative Christians against (socially) liberal atheists and new age people but I don’t see why and on either side you’ll find anti-Catholic people so that’s plenty reason for at least the Catholic population to reject the binary.
If you look at what laws are actually passed you’ll see that America is a libertarian country; if someone fails economically they’re more or less on their own, I hardly need remind people of the greed and lack of oversight and regulation causing the 2008 recession which I doubt has gotten any better and abortion and gay marriage were legalised in all 50 states. The Republicans have religious conservatives among their ranks but capitalism is the party’s priority while the Democrats still have some working class leftwing supporters but social liberalism is its priority. The capitalist party v the social liberal party. The culture war is not egalitarian v traditionalist; it’s a civil war within libertarianism. The libertarians have the whip hand in either party; whoever’s in office they’re in power.
Both sides will complain about the other side’s supposed hypocrisy; that one side is pro-life about abortion but supports the death penalty and the other is pro-choice but opposed to the death penalty yet neither side will change its own stance to be more consistent. If a lack of consistency is the problem then both sides should either oppose both or support both. A number of people, myself included, hold to what’s known as a consistent life ethic or the seamless garment; an opposition to abortion and the death penalty as well as militarism and so on. The social liberals say about abortion ”Well I’m not pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice” but then do nothing to restrict access to abortion and think you can only be pro-woman if you’re pro-choice and the capitalists will say things like ”Capitalism is cruel but it works” and ”there is no alternative”. These ideologies that are supposedly about choice give people no choice; it’s either be pro-choice or you hate women or be pro-capitalist or the economy won’t work. One side says banning abortion won’t reduce the number of them but a ban on guns will while the other says banning abortion will reduce the number but banning guns won’t reduce the number of gun deaths and criminals don’t care about the law anyway. My angle is both of them are dangerous so ban both of them; there may still be illegal abortions and gun violence but not as much if abortion and guns are legal and we don’t have to send people to prison necessarily to punish them.
Even though one party is for social liberalism and the other for capitalism big business keeps churning out woke marketing and the sexual revolution was a gift to big business; sex is often used in advertising and the money for all of the condoms, pills, patches, shots and sex toys must make at least some industries a lot of money. Hollywood, the TV and the music industry obviously are big businesses and are full of social liberals.
The attitude of the social liberals is ”If you don’t like abortion then don’t have one” (as if that’s how it works, I doubt they’d be impressed if you said to them ”If you don’t like racism don’t be a racist”) and the attitude of the capitalists is ”Well those other people that are struggling aren’t me so hard luck and it’s their own fault anyway”. A doublethink results then; things are personal choices and we’re all islands unto ourselves but society has to collectively embrace the one ideology.
Lack of ideological consistency
The supposed conservatives made big changes to the American economy in the 1980s (the whole point of conservatism is to be against change) and claim that ”the government that governs least governs best” unless they’re the ones running it. Reagan lowered taxes but then raised them again, Bush Senior broke his no new taxes pledge (admittedly he had a Democrat congress to deal with) and Bush Junior spent more money than one would expect from a Republican president (if you go by how the party is perceived and not how they actually are). While on social policy they believe there’s an objective right and wrong and believe in the family, church and community on economics it’s every man for himself which undermines the family etc. Truly being pro family is not abandoning poorer families to their fate. If one party is pro gay marriage full stop and the other only opposes it until someone they know comes out of the closet then the culture war, a supposed real, necessary and ferocious clash over morality is to a big degree pointless.
Meanwhile with the Democrats on abortion and gay marriage they treat them as personal choices as if moral relativism makes any sense and in any case they’re no relativists about racism, wealth inequality and the environment and rightly so but they should be consistent about deciding whether there is an objective morality or not.
Red In The Face, The White Heat Of The Degeneration And Feeling Blue
America’s culture war reminds me of how in the cartoons 2 children would fight over the same stuffed animal and with one pulling the head and the other the feet between them they tear the animal in 2 and then neither of them want it. Worse yet what was a national disgrace has been spewed all over the internet in countless memes, blog posts, forum posts, videos (X or Y DESTROYS mindless communist/theist with FACTS and LOGIC and other such overcapitalised, annoyingly hyperbolic titles), articles and these all of course will reference American TV shows, films and music which often take a side (usually the socially liberal one) and so the culture war is instead an international shouting match with little coherence. Both sides try to reframe it to gain some advantage but this only restates the existing positions in a way they wrongly think sounds more appealling. That France and Northern Ireland would be relatively tolerant and peaceful societies and what was once the vanguard of the enlightenment a divided, violent vast ocean of barbarism is quite a turnup for the books. When America once again becomes a sober, levelheaded and rationally minded country well might we celebrate that return of so prodigal a son but while the 2 parties start acting like the Capulets and Montagues ”A plague o’ both their houses!”
This has been adapted from a post I made a year ago.
Last year, some of my followers on Wattpad had a habit of attacking people who said ignorant things about autism. The situation often rapidly escalated into insults and bitterness. I found it greatly upsetting. I talked with them about it, and they showed a remarkable capacity to learn from their mistakes and build more effective habits.
Unfortunately, it’s a pattern I still see in the broader Autistic community, from Twitter to Tumblr to other sites. Maybe it’s a sign of our collective trauma. When you have been attacked again and again for years or decades, then you might launch a preemptive strike when you see what looks like an upcoming attack.
Unfortunately, this aggression is often counterproductive.
For my Wattpad followers, I explained it in terms of my characters from Silent Voice. In the story, there’s a terrible…
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For myself and for a lot of people watching anime was among the best memories of their childhoods. In my case Gundam Wing, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Beyblade, Medabots, Flint the Time Detective, Dinozaurs, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Outlaw Star and Shinzo. I don’t like any of these shows any more and with the internet has come contact with other people, often a bad thing in my life. As with any entertainment what is usually supposed to be a nice escape from the real world is too often an overrated offering with nasty fans fighting over stupid things and lowbrow, disposable, prolefeed bread and circuses distraction with endless prequels, sequels, reboots and remakes.
The amount of scare quotes used in the anime community is annoying as heck. I’ll refer you to this post I made if you don’t know what postmodern (philosophy) is.
When somebody likes an anime its fans treat this as being because the anime itself is well made. When somebody doesn’t like an anime however it’s somehow their fault; if it’s a lowbrow anime the fans’ attitude is ”You just need to switch off your brain” while if it’s a highbrow anime the fans say ”You just don’t get it” and then don’t bother to explain what it is you supposedly don’t get. Either way it’s your fault for not liking the anime. Can’t the fans consider the possibility that actually their anime isn’t that great and their standards are too low?
Sub v Dub
Anime fans go furious about the whole sub v dub debate but I don’t even see the point of it. The animation, plot (usually), character development etc. stay the same. It isn’t even a zero sum game either; DVDs or whatever people watch now have enough room for both of them. I really don’t understand the constant need of people to pit one thing against another.
Crummy Reviews on IMDB
Almost all of the reviews of anime on IMDB are just comments with a star rating. 2 line uninformative posts often saying ”BEST ANIME EVER 10/10!” Reviews this short and lacking insight aren’t worth the time it takes to type and post them.
These people are so annoying that even people who don’t mind yaoi (on a moral level) can’t stand them either. If they stuck to YAOI anime that wouldn’t be so bad but they don’t. They dogpile an anime fanbase, wreck it with their fanaticism and then move on to another fanbase. (Not just the first video in the playlist, please watch his whole playlist.)
For goodness sake, the majority of manga listed on anime planet were yaoi or shonen-ai. That a genre so full of mindless hedonism is so popular is sickening.
If a young male character so much as does one nice thing for another young male character then they’ll treat this as evidence that they’re gay in their fanfictions and images. Old men and women don’t get the same treatment because motivated reasoning.
This is kind of a dead horse by now with what a doing they get from elitists but I’ll go ahead anyway. A lot of anime are nothing more than hot women and action and so people watch it and go ”Yeah! Hot women and action!!111!!!!” and have a fanatical love of the anime although it has nothing else going for it, another disposable, forgettable anime that’s way overhyped.
The vast majority of anime is lowbrow fare for children; there are very few highbrow anime so really there’s nothing to be an elitist about. For all their criticising lowbrow anime for being bad, which it often is, I haven’t seen a good highbrow anime, not one. Shonen fans can be idiotic a lot of the time but that’s no excuse to bash them so much or brand anyone not agreeing with you a shonen fan. A lot of the time when elitists praise a highbrow anime they think that because it’s confusing it has depth when really it’s just confusing. The psychologising late in the Evangelion TV series was there because of a lack of money and no other reason. They needed to reuse footage so they got all psychological and the fanboys then think that it means Evangelion actually was a smart show so it makes them feel smart so it ended up being the most overhyped anime ever.
Roriconfan/That Anime Snob and his cronies
At some point you’ve seen so many trees that you just have to admit you’re in a forest. Roriconfan on the other hand, instead of just admitting he doesn’t like anime and finding something else to do, seems to feel the need to keep reviewing anime and giving a bad rating to most of them. His nastiness got him banned from myanimelist and youtube as well as comment banned from anime planet. Instead of accepting his well deserved punishment he started another youtube channel and had his attack dogs do his dirty work on anime planet. One of them asking me ”Can you tell who you mean by snobs?” (I had said on my anime panet profile* that I don’t like snobby anime fans and I wasn’t referring to him specifically but the fact that his crony thought I was is evidence of how many people don’t like roriconfan and rightly so with his smug atheism on top of anime snobbery) and another going ”Yeah snobs like you” the sort of lazy, tu quoque rubbish that doesn’t debunk the accusation I had made that I’d expect from fanatics in a political argument or new atheists (like roriconfan) in a religion argument, not from people on a website about escapist entertainment, man people take anime far too seriously**. He is the Chris-chan of anime fandom; he gets knocked down but he gets up again but he doesn’t fix what knocked him down in the first place (himself) so he just gets knocked down again. Someone give him the Todd speech from Bojack Horseman.
Whether it’s the alt right using anime memes to spread their vile outlook or pointless politicising by socially liberal types (like this article, ha! She says she tries to be objective but then uses the term sex-negativity which is a liberal framing term) politics helps to ruin yet another thing.
* Ow, I was even worse for complaining then than I am now.
** Speaking of being insulted I didn’t appreciate Bennett the Sage asking in I think it was a 2013 podcast of his ”Who’s the motherfucker that keeps saying Oh I hate this show?”. Sage, nobody was saying they didn’t like the show, I was saying it wasn’t as good as it used to be but I know now what hell so called Channel Awesome were going through at the time so it’s not so bad. Still, don’t call people that, especially when they never called you a name. As for Todd in the Shadows saying to somebody who was surprised that some song made it into a video of his about the best something or other that ”You suck!” well that was just nasty and do I think he was talking about me.
Man, the anime community. Y’all need stoicism.
Hmm, this rarely updated, rarely viewed blog is now 5 years old. Yay, I guess.
The anti theist who loves to claim that we need to end religion as a means to end problems in society, is kidding themselves. No doubt there’d be a range of evils that wouldn’t be perpetrated for religious reasons. But there would still remain a swathe of horrid influences on humanity that have little to do with religion. Some examples that come to mind are sexism, misogyny and racism just to name three.
“But, but, but religion justifies sexism, misogyny and racism!”, I can hear the antitheist say. It does in many instances. But of course sexism, misogyny and racism are alive and well outside of the influence of religion. As an example, think about the sexism and misogyny being called out in atheist circles by feminists and their allies. If ending religion was some magical solution to gender inequality, wouldn’t you expect to see this reflected in literally the…
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