Friday Ephemera
Empathy Test

Elsewhere (260)

Roger Kimball on “shitholes” and theatrical indignation: 

And here we come to a second curiosity in the preening and ecstatic outrage over the president’s comment. Everyone, near enough, knows that he was telling a home truth. It was outrageous not because he said something crude that was untrue. Quite the contrary: it was outrageous precisely because it was true but intolerable to progressive sensitivities. In other words, the potency of taboo is still strong in our superficially rational culture. There are some things — quite a few, actually, and the list keeps growing — about which one cannot speak the truth or, in many cases, even raise as a subject for discussion without violating the unspoken pact of liberal sanctimoniousness. Donald Trump, of course, does this regularly, delightedly.

Tim Newman on the same: 

Trump’s comments are pretty innocuous to anyone who is not a deranged anti-Trumper or a fully paid-up member of the media or political establishments. He’s asked the question millions of people across America and Europe have been asking for years, waiting in vain for their leaders to do so. And now he has, and the reason his opponents have gone apoplectic is because they know how much this will resonate with ordinary people they wish didn’t exist. That, and they wish to virtue-signal in order to keep their places in what they think is polite society.

And Mitchell Gunter on the posturing of Antifa - and sociopathy as a lifestyle choice: 

“How about #LawEnforcementIncinerationDay,” the group Autonomous Student Network (ASN) Austin tweeted on January 9, accompanied by a photo of a policeman engulfed in flames. “We see the state as integral to all forms of domination. We see police as an extension of this and refuse any negotiation with the cops.” According to Time, the unidentified 41-year-old officer depicted in the photo was patrolling the streets of Paris, France on May 1, 2017 — otherwise known as “May Day,” a date associated with violent protests — when he was struck by a Molotov cocktail that inflicted third-degree burns.

ASN Austin describes itself as “an organisation that seeks to promote student autonomy through direct action tactics.” “We are dedicated to the complete abolition of all systems of domination and hierarchy. We stand absolutely against white supremacy, settler colonialism, cisheteropatriarchy, ableism, the state, and capitalism as systems which organise violent and hierarchical relationships between social groups,” the group declares… ASN Austin disavows any specific “vision of what alternatives we want to build,” instead saying that it aims to “radicalise student activism on campus beyond the pathetic spectacle of chants and protests that are so non-disruptive to those in power.” The description concludes with a call to “Spread Anarchy, Live Communism!”

As a pile of language, it’s a little boggling. But apparently, autonomy is to be achieved via learned incoherence, dogmatic groupthink and subordination to a cult dynamic. And the way to “abolish systems of domination and hierarchy” is to exult in mob violence, so coyly implied, and thereby the domination of others. It’s also unclear how anarchy and communism might coexist, beyond a pretext for thuggery, as the students disavow any particulars to that effect. Perhaps answers will spontaneously emerge or be summoned into being, provided enough random women are surrounded and assaulted, and provided we learn to laugh at people who’ve been doused with accelerant and set on fire.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.