Though I’m taking a break from membership because the idiots are having a non-ironic exhibit on how great Cuba is and her “complex” politics (there’s nothing complex about feudal servitude, which is what the Castros have installed in the island) I love the Denver Museum of Nature And Science.
Most of all I love the “hall of life” which starts with the formation of the Earth and ends with proto-humans.
To begin with, some of the exhibits are aesthetically pleasing and stimulate the imagination (none of these are the large plastic models of the creatures while alive which need a make over/upgrade horribly bad. They look — and probably are — of seventies vintage.) But more importantly, they give me the… length and breadth of the struggles of life on Earth, and a sense for how many times everything came near to being lost.
This is particularly good for me in the times we live in, because it reminds me that despair is a sin, or as someone or other told his followers, impatient for him to come back and put everything right for them “Do not fall into despair.”
Lately despair is everywhere. As the magnitude of the — I don’t like the term, but it’s the most apt — deep state’s hold on our civil life, and their reckless disregard for the wishes of Americans become obvious, there are any number of Agony Annies wanting to turn in all their chips and cower in despondence and despair under their desks. As it becomes obvious that not just our government but our culture is corrupt all the way down, they scream they’re being de-platformed and sit down for a good cry.
I’m often accused of being an optimist and out of touch with reality. This usually provokes gales of laughter to those who know me well. I’m a depressive with a tendency to spiraling fits of depression that make me unable to function sometimes for months, beyond the strict necessities of life. ALL of my friends, and my family members know that, and also how many times they have to talk me out of the fetal position so I can, you know, bathe and dress. ( I do usually manage that, though eating varies between not at all and a lot. I do manage to function to put a post up, or go to the store, or vacuum. It’s just that there’s effort involved. And fiction writing is sometimes quite beyond my energy.)
Now do I inflict that on readers of my blog? No.
You know why not? Because sometime in my thirties, I realized that I was going to end up heavily medicated and unable to tell which parts of my thoughts were me or the meds, or I was going to have to learn to tell reality apart from the whispers of the black dog. Which I manage. Most of the time. Oh, I don’t manage to control the feelings, which is why everything is done with immense effort, but I can control the thoughts and reason through things.
In other words, I’m not an optimist. I’m an individual who — for genetic reasons, I’m sure, though a lot of the depression is auto-immune related and might be part of the inflammation — unable to trust her feelings has learned to reason through to reality and to the real odds on things.
I think most normal people get their feeling of how things are going out of the air, which is to say, once one of the herd panics, the others stomp off in the same direction.
Look, I never told you things were wonderful, did I? The left is in a raging panic, like any aristocrat who feels his power base tremble. Their bizarre behavior and even more bizarre ideas that they’re not ashamed to put in public are a sight to see. One none of us would have believed if we hadn’t seen it. Hell, I grew up amid leftists, worked almost twenty years for an industry filled with them, and I see it and don’t quite believe it.
This wouldn’t precisely be a problem, if over the last almost century they hadn’t wormed into the positions of power in our culture, our society, and honestly at this point, most of our scientific institutions. Because they have, though, this makes the institutional backbone of our society sick nigh onto death, which yes, does affect all of us.
The good news, though, is that they’re truly terrible managers, and sh*tty at running anything.
Good news? you say. Yes, good news, because it leaves openings for other ways to do things. I’ve told you before, publishing would never have met a real challenge from indie, if they hadn’t happened to decide that their job was NOT to sell books to the masses but to “educate” the masses, thereby rendering their product well night unconsumable, and leaving an opening for competition.
Let’s say they’re doing the same in other institutions too. I can’t tell you of them because the stories I hear are from commenters and friends who are, for good and sufficient reason, deeply under cover. But let’s say almost everywhere from the would-be hard sciences to retail, the story is more or less the same. “The business is being run in the interests of Marxist ‘wokedness’ not of keeping the business going, and the wheels are starting to come off.”
The fact that they’re such terrible managers, and that the wheels started coming off 20 years ago are good things, because men are adaptable animals. We’ve gotten used to working around these things to a great extent, often without noticing.
The fact that they’re going completely bat guano nuts is good too. Why? Because before this there was some doubt of ideological bias, even where it was plain as the nose on your face (well MY nose is VERY plain, guys.) I remember having an argument with a fellow righty about why there were so few conservatives/libertarians in publishing. He completely bought their version, hook, line and yeah sinker, and maintained it was because conservatives “being the status quo” were less creative. Note that this involved someone who was (and is) here in the trenches with us, knowing exactly how established the left is everywhere, believing that the right is “the establishment” instead of the club of the damned who managed to think themselves outside of polite society.
Now? Now the left has gone so enraged, so in-your-face demanding of utter conformity and has so glaringly threatened job loss or worse for those who don’t march in goosestep with them, that these polite fictions that kept dissidents quiescent are gone.
Sure, you can believe them, but you have to be crazy to keep believing them when challenged, because frankly we have proof otherwise daily.
So why are so many people wanting to give up now?
To an extent, I understand. I mean we knew that the left had control of everything, but now it’s being rubbed in our face EVERYDAY. It’s like knowing someone in your family hates you, versus actually catching them sinking a metaphorical knife in your back. As I’ve had occasion to know recently (not in my literal family) even though you knew it was coming, it still hurts a lot. (Hence “Curse your sudden and inevitable betrayal.”)
On the other hand, what exactly did we expect? Those in power, when their grip starts to slip, will fight back. How the hell else would you expect the story to go? Is this a Mary Sue novel?
Sure, I see them running by with their heads on fire going “Google, Amazon, facebook.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the reason those worked and became monopolistic is that they did their job better than others. Amazon’s platform for instance is way better than any other ebook seller. And yeah, I’m on Weme and Minds, and everything, but you know what, the flaws are obvious even compared to the current mess that is Facebook.
The counter-intuitive good news (yeah, I’m full of those today) is that they’ll fail and become vulnerable in the same measure as they become “woke” because “Wokeness” requires such a departure from reality at every level that it can’t function in the real world.
I’ll mention, on this, that Amazon is the least “politically involved” of these. Yeah, I know, they pulled confederate flags, but that’s no more than corporate dunderheadism. The screams that they’re censoring or deplatforming indie writers who are conservative are nonsense, and propagated by someone so far in the chamber that she can’t see outside it. The truth is that they’re randomly deplatforming writers of whatever stripe in a futile attempt to get past fake reviews and robots that “page read” things for KU. I don’t know what the solution to their problem is, I know what they’re doing is just pissing off random people. They honestly might have to go with a “per book” price, and then consign themselves to eat a certain number of “borrows” which are from bots. BUT I’m in enough writers’ groups with people of all stripes (in some of them I’m there because I’ve been quiet so many years they forgot I exist. Let’s put it that way) and TRUST ME ON THIS, there is no political motive to the loss or reviews or the loss of accounts. (And the later worries me more, as it’s more or less random, so scary.)
The others? Well, they’re squandering their monopolistic advantage by becoming “the least respected name in–” Which is how things get replaced, but yeah, not instantly. Even publishing had a decade to play with their push-model crazy before the competition arose. So some patience is indicated.
I have at least two friends of a technical bend working on ways to sell ebooks to the public that present a LIKELY possibility of competing with Amazon, despite Amazon’s entrenched advantages. I’ve been using duckduckgo for searches over google (yeah, I duckduckwent) and so far Facebook has failed to banish me to outer darkness (Not to mention not banishing Brad Torgersen who has turned FB into a powerful platform.) I checked my profile recently — ie. the things they think they know about me — and realized that they think I’m politically moderate. Which explains all those calls from OFA in 2012, right?
So, again, our advantage is that yeah, they have control of the institutions, but they’re not very efficient or good at it. Which means there’s room both for infiltration and competition.
Will this happen overnight? Snort, giggle. What are you, two?
The left took control of society before I was born. It is unlikely I’ll face a level playing field before my death. Possible, but unlikely. It’s likely it will remain easy to get ahead in my field and others by making woke noises. It’s likely that all we do is keep society functioning, and make small gains until… well… probably until my grandchildren are my age. It took the left 100 years to get where it is. We’re not going to reverse it overnight.
But we must try.
We must try because the left will destroy not just civilization but humanity, if left to play out its illusions uncontested.
We must try because we’re the people who don’t betray their principles for advancement.
And we must try because we are making gains. Things are shifting ever so slowly.
No one now tries to tell you that there are no conservatives in most traditional publishing because conservatives just aren’t creative. No one would believe them if they told you that.
No one in the general population is that worried about the left’s sacred cows, like anthropogenic global warming. We’ve chipped enough at that. If you go to Europe where we don’t have that kind of foothold, you’ll figure out how much really quickly.
More and more normal, every day people just scratch their heads at the leftists in their pulpits and say “Well, that’s a thing.” Then shrug and go about their every day business.
The wheel is turning. It’s slow but it is turning. You can see it in a hundred interactions, a million little lights glimmering in the darkness.
If you want to give up do it. The way ahead is still very hard. You can get better rewards by making noises like a leftist. (I’m afraid these days just keeping your lip buttoned is no longer an option. If you do that, you’ll be lumped in with us, outcasts.)
Besides, despair is cozy and comfortable. As Peterson says (and I said it before I heard him, btw) if nothing you do means anything, then you don’t have to do anything. There’s no moral duty to resist the crazy, no imperative to act. You can do nothing. Sure, despair and depression come with that, but they’re a small price to pay for not feeling like you have to do or risk anything. It’s a lot like all those writers who want to be writers but know no one would recognize their brilliance. They’re free to write only when the muse strikes, and not bother putting their work before the public, because, well, it wouldn’t make any difference, and they’re cozy in their despair. Hey, at least they don’t have to spend all their free time writing.
It’s an understandable choice. And some people are just tired of fighting. That’s even more understandable.
It’s not one I choose to take. And if you want to see the cause of liberty triumph, eventually, it’s not one you’ll choose, either.
Build under, build over, build around. Get ready to take the weight of each institution as it goes gibbering off into the night of leftism.
Be not afraid.
We got this.