More on Attention-Deficit Narcissism: Clemson’s Racist Anti-Racism

I keep running across exhibitionist behaviors that model what I’ve called Attention-Deficit Narcissism. The sufferer of ADN is so consumed with his own image that the rest of the world might as well not exist–or it only exists, we might say, to the extent that he can project himself into it, always in the very favorable light of a merciful, compassionate, enlightened person or the very poignant light of a cruelly martyred victim. Yet our wretch has such a shifting, sketchy sense of self (probably thanks in large part to social media) that he must be forever projecting new images on top of old ones, often without any regard whatever for the coherence of the whole package. Such walking insanity renders the afflicted wholly inept as students, writers, scholars, leaders, lovers, or friends. They are emotional powderkegs that ignite without rhyme or reason.

The chase after the golden mantle of cultural diversity, of which I wrote last time, has turned the Western world upside-down. Without the slightest real understanding of the group which they effusively (and briefly) patronize, the ADN-delirious rush in like the crazed followers of Dionysus, sporting sombreros or turbans or headdresses, and eat chili peppers or dolmades or toasted locusts for fifteen minutes. They create an image and move on. The elite strata of society, especially, teem with restless waifs who are thus inebriated, both because the pampered class is most immersed in technology’s toxic artifice and because it is most insulated from the real-life consequences of misjudging a particularly dangerous group (and, one might hazard, because its lives of fantasy are the most meaningless among our species).

I can’t think of any other way to explain how the elite brain trust at Clemson University could agree upon publishing a horribly, despicably, and genuinely racist announcement that students of African descent may not be penalized for showing up late to class. Supposedly, punctuality nestles in Caucasian DNA, but not in theirs. Did the pompous idiots who issued this decree stop to reflect upon the centuries of racial stereotyping that projected black people to be just such helplessly, hopelessly tardy dolts? Did they trouble themselves, for instance, to ponder the character of Lightnin’ on the old Amos ’n Andy TV show (originally created for radio)? Shuffling along and pushing his janitorial mop none too urgently, the brim of his baseball cap flipped up in the opposite of a “bear down” position, this unambitious young man couldn’t deliver the simplest message to Andy or the Kingfish without drawling a single sentence into half a minute, usually forgetting its beginning by the time he reached its end.

If you’re black, this is the kind of “consideration” you get at Clemson. I wonder if any student of African genes has come to a sufficient boil to wave aside all the freebies the ADN crowd wants to lavish upon him theatrically… and to file a lawsuit?

The Ruling Elite Take Another Tiny Step into the Sporting World

The trend is so new that I consumed fifteen minutes in finding a single photo to illustrate it. Just this spring, Major League Baseball has decided to start throwing accents liberally over Spanish names, both on the backs of uniforms and on televised graphics.

At first I thought that the move was “hypertrophic”–that MLB’s politically correct elite wanted so much to show sensitivity to diverse cultures that accents were ordered to appear where they had no grammatical business. Then I discovered that my Spanish isn’t quite as reliable on this score as I’d thought. The general rule is that the penultimate syllable of a word tends to be stressed, and that an accent appears whenever that tendency is violated. Beltrán goes against the tendency: Vargas does not. Ramos and Navarro are good to go as they stand: Céspedes and Rincón require an accentual alert. Yet a little research informed me that proper names seem to involve an unusual number of anomalous cases. Why does Márquez have an accent–or González, or Martínez? I don’t know… but, okay, I guess the MLB did its homework for a change.

Then again, upon still further thought, my old misgivings returned to me. Yeah, so all of those names ought to have accents in their original tongue… but who is going to maul the handle of someone named Gonzalez or Martinez? Where do we see a similar concern over the butchery of Italian names with the -ng or -gl consonantal clusters? The pronunciation is “Tony Co-nil-YER-o”, you dopes, not “Co-nig-lee-ER-o”! (And when the lovely Jen Carfagno of the Weather Channel pronounces her surname “Car-FAG-no”, I want to hide in a hole and cover my ears. So, Jen… do you order la-SAG-na at a restaurant?)

What about Gaelic names? Shouldn’t a guy named Toole demand Tuathal on the back of his jersey? Can a guy named Rowe insist upon Ruadh? There’s a lot more than a mere accent missing from these!

“Accent-mania” reveals the political elite (and, believe me, that elite is very much ensconced at ESPN and among owners of professional sports teams) wanting to put its support of cultural diversity on display for all the world to see; and, as usual–as always–that support reeks of condescension. Only select minorities are eligible for the big-brotherly arm around the shoulder, as if the Enlightened Ones were saying, “There, there, now, you lovable but ignorant Latinos. We know that you’re having a lot of trouble with English, and we don’t think you should even have to learn it. See? We’re going to require that the accents be kept over your names–your nombres. Or, wait… is that the word for ‘number’? Whatever. We just want you to know that we have your back. Ha-ha-ha! Your back–get it? Un hoko bueno, no? Musgrave, go look up the word for ‘joke’.”

The children of Hispanic immigrants that appear in my classes have often been given Christian names like “Ashley” and “Melanie”, even though there are a million really beautiful Spanish names. Their parents want them to assimilate. Our political-economic elite don’t care if the masses they invite to the U.S. ever assimilate or not; in fact, they would prefer the negative, since disoriented and needy masses always opt for a greater presence of Big Brother in their lives. Now, patrón is a good example of a word whose final syllable is stressed. You should get to know that one. It names a kind of person who’s starting to play a really prominent role in all our lives.

Why “Gender Studies” Is the Enemy of Women

Without a guiding principle of common humanity, all of the “minority studies” prosecuted on campuses around the nation can only substitute one kind of bigotry for another. Unless we have a coherent, transcending, and immutable value—a moral idea—from which to moor our conviction that disparaging certain classes of people is wrong, the oppressed can only rise up to become the oppressors in a closed circle of insane activity.

This is my conclusion after wading through a semester’s worth of papers infected by feminist ideology. Have women been largely deprived of a voice in the past? They, among others, have tended to be silenced: yes. Should we therefore not study the literature of the past? How much of the tree should we cut away—because any well-trained feminist will tell you that the muted only began to raise their shouts volubly in the Seventies and Eighties of the last century. So no texts should be studied, then, which precede those decades? Or do we study eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts composed only by women? The pickings will be slim, if the feminist claim is correct that few women in the past were allowed to publish, or even to write. We could dig up personal artifacts like diaries and private letters; should we replace Racine, Swift, Goethe, Balzac, Hawthorne, and all the other males with volumes of retrieved billets doux and missives from sister to sister?

Or maybe we should rewrite the male classics so that they no longer offend our newly developed sensibilities… or maybe we should teach them with constant whistle-blowing and lecturing about infractions during lengthy time-outs. Of course, we must not assume that there is anything other than “the gender issue” in these or any other texts that is worth discussing. All the other “values” claptrap”… mere propaganda designed to dull young minds to the subjugation being worked upon the under-class: mere spin to secure the “patriarchy” in its position on top of the socio-political dog-pile.

But if it is wrong for human beings to behave like scavenging jackals, nipping and scratching for first bite at the carcass, then why is it wrong? Why shouldn’t the strong overpower the weak? Why should we be outraged that men have oppressed women, or the majority the minority? Isn’t that nature’s law? And when feminists try to make us trash our male authors and recreate a canon full of female authors, aren’t they just trumping with the guilt card to get what they want—aren’t they just playing the fox’s part rather than the wolf’s in the fable?

The only possible protest against such cynicism is that, no, human beings are not mere animals—that right and wrong do exist independently of cultural conditioning, and that using raw physical power to seal up a soul silently inside a frail body is culpable brutality. The acquisition and appreciation of such higher values would be excellent reasons for reading literature. But if three are no such values—if all literature is only propaganda—then there can also be no cause for any man to feel obligated to extend equal rights to women, or for any tyrant to care about the feelings of his miserable subjects.

The more college literature programs draw us away from seeking basic human values in time-honored texts, the more they condition us to a decadent world where might makes right. The more teachers of literature insist that combing through the pages of the past in search only of “gender relevancy” is what literary specialists do, the more they ensure that gender inequality will come roaring back with a vengeance—inequality, and every other kind of barbarism. To shout above the shouters is to promote a degenerate culture of mindless screaming.

True Forgiveness Isn’t Always for the Asking

I’m not going to look up the names, because they’re irrelevant to my intent, and I also don’t want to leave the impression that I am judging harshly any particular individual. I can’t slip myself into the soul of the daughter whose aged father was gunned down last week by the so-called Facebook killer. Within a day or so of the incident, she appeared on CNN and announced to the world that she forgave the murderer and would indeed give him a hug if he were captured. Somehow or other, maybe this was what she needed to say for her own inner peace—and when CNN comes bearing down on you with a mike and squinty, manipulative questions, you might very well want to say certain things just to tie the reporters’ tongues into pretzels. I sure would.

What really disturbed me, rather, was the second line of talking heads—those who jabber about other media jabberers—eager to purvey this blanket forgiveness as a splendid testimony for the Christian faith. Glenn Beck’s channel, The Blaze, was ablaze with such interpretation. With all due respect to the grieving daughter… no, I wouldn’t call her words a beautiful testimony at all. God places us on earth, we must believe, to find our way toward Him as well as we can during our allotted span. Anyone who interrupts another’s journey, deliberately and wantonly, is playing God with the most hideous arrogance. It’s a wicked act, that peremptory cutting of the cord called murder; and ultimate forgiveness for it can and must come only from God himself. For such creatures as we are, striking a beatific smile and warbling, “It’s okay, it’s okay! I forgive you!” is not an option. The benediction sounds a bit as though we have decided to play God in one of His other famous roles.

We must take the murderer at his word if he claims that he has indeed sought God’s pardon, and we must wish him well in that endeavor while also holding him accountable to the laws of men. We are not to enact cruel vengeance, which would corrupt our souls as the criminal has corrupted his; but we must take all legal steps to deny him chances at committing similar outrages in the future. To shrug off the deed of someone who has presumed to declare life meaningless and short-circuit whatever meaning or understanding might have been emerging for another is to participate in belittling the divine plan. I don’t like the smell of that.

If a narcissistic lunatic like the callous Facebook murderer had cut down someone dear to me, I think I would have said this: “You’ll be caught, and I hope you are safely in a cage before you interrupt someone else’s life. I hope you stay in that cage until you can do no harm to anyone, or else—if it’s the will of society—that you be legally executed so that your sad end may intimidate other self-obsessed lunatics. I don’t wish agony upon you: may your end be swift. If you want to see me, explain yourself, and beg forgiveness, then I will consider myself bound to hear you out… but I’m afraid I haven’t the power to absolve you of anything. Beg forgiveness of him whose life you took, and of Him who gave no man the right to end another’s life for amusement. As for me, I have nothing to forgive. We’re all mortal, and we all leave this world in one way or another. I pray that the soul of the one I’ve lost has found peace. If you want peace for yours, then ask it of Him who can give it. That’s in your power.

“I will warn you, last of all, that I’m inclined to regard your contacting me as another bit of grandstanding—and I’m not in the least interested in being one of your spellbound spectators. You’ve already committed murder to put yourself in people’s eyes. If I detect that this plea for forgiveness is Act II of the same sick drama, then I get up and walk out when I get the first hint.”

Evil exists. You can’t fight it by forgiving it—and what portion of a troubled man’s soul it may occupy is not for us to determine.

Not A Christian?

Voltaire wrote a short novel titled L’Ingénu about a stoical Huron who had been transported to Paris and proceeded to make one disturbingly sensible criticism after another of Europe’s most “advanced” culture. Imagine such an ingenuous, naïve reasoner engaged in a conversation with an exponent of rigid Christian orthodoxy. I shall dub the latter the Catechist: that is, one who corrects gullible young people endowed only with common sense about what they must believe to qualify as faithful.

Huron: I understand that Christ is the perfect man, such as none other of our kind ever was or ever will be. He is without sin, and his example is one that we can only approach but never reach. What I do not understand is your insistence that his blood was required to cleanse the rest of us of our sins.

Catechist: That is because of your heathen presumptions. Just as none of us could ever lead a life wholly without sin, so we could never break the cycle of sin and find redemption before God without the intercession of Christ.

Huron: Why? Why is God so vengeful that He demands a slaughter before He will forgive us for being as He made us?

Catechist: Hold thy tongue! God asked but one thing of us when He created Adam and Eve: to abstain from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It was a modest stricture, yet we broke it.

Huron: Adam and Eve broke it—for I will not hold my tongue, an it please thee or please thee not. Nay, I will ask further, what just man punisheth a great-grandchild for his distant ancestor’s trespass? Is that not true heathenry, such as is practiced by the tribe I left behind?

Catechist: I see thou art a retrograde subject. Know, then, that all of us are Adam and Eve. As they two did, so we all most certainly would have done in their place.

Huron: I accept that—and I go farther. Theirs was an act of defiance, yet true sin lies in the mere thought, the intent. One of us who should crave and long to know the forbidden yet refrains from pulling back the veil in a coward’s fear of reprisal is just as guilty as Adam but without Adam’s courage.

Catechist: There is a perverse kind of truth in what you say. So do you accept, then, that we were all under sentence of death before Christ took our punishment upon his head?

Huron: I do, yet I do not. What I cannot accept is that an all-just God would condemn to death any man, much less all men, for drawing veils, when it is our self-destructive nature to probe beyond what we can understand. Even an ordinary, fallen man is likely to have enough goodness in his heart that he would not inflict the ultimate penalty on another for so pitiable a failure,

Catechist: But God does not think as you and I do, fool!

Huron: No—He is infinitely more understanding and compassionate! From Him do we draw whatever inklings of enlightenment and mercy we possess. Yet you ask—you demand—that I picture Him as requiring our life’s blood for a stumble.

Catechist: You forget that Christ is God, or you have not paid enough attention to learn so earlier. God is no bloodthirsty Moloch demanding that His altars run red. No; He is a father who sent His beloved son to be the needed sacrifice.

Huron: But a son who is also his father is not like a mortal son of a mortal father, so the words “son” and “father” are more hindrance than help to speak this truth. And a father who would sacrifice his son rather than himself—and that to his own wrath, not to some alien threat—is inconceivable and insane to me.

Catechist: I cannot abide your blasphemy any longer. You are stiff-necked and irredeemable. You seem to believe that our corrupt nature is but a child’s blunder that makes his parent smile, not an abomination that only supernatural grace can reconcile to God’s goodness.

Huron: And you, teacher, refuse to see that I agree with you so much about God’s goodness that I cannot embrace the notion of an abominable reconcilement. Why do you insist that our human blood-rites will set us straight with God for our human blood-letting—for we are, truly, a sanguinary tribe, and our overreach for knowledge always ends up closing its fingers around the handle of a knife. Our errancy is no minor lapse, and I erred when I made it seem so. We kill God in our world when we make ourselves the gods of our world. But all the more reason to ask: why must you put blood on God’s hands?

Catechist: True faith is a gift… and thou hast it not, thou damnèd wretch!

Many of the “people of faith” I have known would be horrified to see that I had penned such a dialogue as the one above… but then, few of them spent more time talking to me than was needed to confirm that I am a nobody in this life. You can’t desist from speaking to someone whom you haven’t spoken to in years.

Attention-Deficit Narcissism

A friend recently commented to me upon an office-memo (one which I’d never read, apparently: the easier communication becomes, the more garbage suffocates your mailbox) that exhorted us to wear denim “in solidarity”. Seems that an Italian court recently convicted a man of rape and then gave him a slap on the wrist because his victim had been wearing tight-fitting jeans—so tight that her cooperation would have been needed in removing them. Therefore… tomorrow, everybody wear jeans. Brilliant.

I immediately recalled Michelle Obama’s equally scintillant response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping of almost 300 Nigerian schoolgirls: use the hashtag, “Bring Back Our Girls”. Remember how well that worked?

And it did, you know: I mean, it worked as intended. It made the pompous, distracted fantasists who used the hashtag feel better about themselves. They were showing “solidarity” with the kidnapped girls. It didn’t keep the girls from being brutally raped, sold in to sexual slavery, and forcibly “married” to swine whose Satanic religious beliefs promote such practices… but the bored, desperate housewives of the Beltway could collect their morning Starbuck’s knowing that they had fulfilled some kind of lofty mission in Never Never Land.

My friend also reminded me of a recent “solidarity fad” that involved skipping lunch to commiserate with the poor. Apparently no one made the suggestion that the unspent lunch money be dedicated actually to buying canned foods for the Salvation Army. The objective wasn’t to do anything practical or useful: it was to make the participants feel good about themselves during the few minutes of their day when they impersonated someone a hell of a lot less fortunate than they.

Seems to me that there’s a genuine epidemic of this kind of thing—and it indicts a psychological pathology of some sort that we would do well to investigate. Are we not so immersed now in a virtual reality that it has become our default reality? Have we not so many ciphers and so much shorthand—avatars, selfies, Twitter names—to signal our fleeting electronic presence that a stable concept of self has grown a thing of the past? Why, we may not even be male or female for two days in a row! We may look Caucasian… but Caucasians are racists, so we “identify black”. It’s brutal and abusive (“it feels like rape,” in current parlance) to be forced into a group just because Mother Nature has put you there. Mother Nature, that great rapist, seems to have no regard for the purity of our hearts that wars with our disgraceful genes.

And so we are hunger victims for half an hour. We are not helpers of hunger victims—we are those victims. We are the rape victim in tight jeans for a day. We are the parents of kidnapped children. We don’t do any of the sufferers the least practical good, or even extend a shred of real moral support… but that isn’t our intent. We are not in search of solutions or means of offering comfort: we’re in search of drama and anguish that designate us as among the world’s wrongfully abused, its “owed-somethings”. We’re “owed something”. That’s the essence of our restless, protean, electronic self. We should be more noticed and more admired—and we’re just not getting that notice and admiration. The world, the great damned world, doesn’t see us in all our worthiness and high virtue.

If we were actually to help the suffering, that would mean that we had the power and resources to do so; and if we had power and resources, that would mean that we numbered among the privileged. No, no, no! We are not privileged! We are suffering! We’re not receiving our due! We cannot give, because we need!

I would modestly propose that our slippery, shifting sense of self is the precise cause of our feeling constantly disparaged and ignored. For how can something receive notice and admiration which is always turning into something else? We would be narcissists if we could only focus better on our own person… but with us, it’s as if Narcissus has been distracted from his handsome reflection in the pool by a dragonfly, a goldfish, a falling leaf that creates a ripple. Our all-exclusive image keeps fading from our view. Where did it go? Where are we now? Did you see where I went? I have to find me!

How can this be characterized as anything other than a mental illness?

More on Freedom of Speech

Continuing my last remarks about free speech… say that you write the very worst kind of blog post. Say that you ask your readers, “Where are the twenty-first century Harmodius and Aristogeiton who will assassinate Obama… or Trump… or Smith… or Jones?” My God, you’re encouraging the assassination of a U.S. president! You must be apprehended immediately and locked away until your teeth fall out!

Why? Is the assumption that someone will undertake an assassination through reading your words who would otherwise never have thought of it? What kind of condescending, intrusive, prurient, censorious, holier-than-thou Gestapo tyro believes that we average Joes function that way? “Me read stuff say to go shoot Trump. Unh. Where me go get gun? Unh.” If the only thing standing between any public figure and a bullet is the censor’s power to excise the word “bullet” from public discourse, then the public figure had better never remove his bullet-proof vest—because the word isn’t really needed to stir the thought.

What makes people go violent isn’t the suggestion that they do so. In fact, suggesting an extreme act to people who are already riled up may very well be a good way to make them cool down. “I said that I wanted to punch him in the face… not behead him in front of his children.” Forcing speakers and writers to shut up about certain ideas can confer martyr status upon them and mystique upon their idiot notions. It also makes the extreme seem like a distinct possibility. If you say before an audience, “Aliens landed in my back yard last night and told me that you are in their pay to betray the human race,” everyone around you would start laughing… unless, that is, I jumped up and roared, “Shut up! How dare you! You don’t know what you’re talking about!” Once I take an insane notion seriously, it no longer seems so insane to others.

Besides, if I were in law enforcement, I would want the wacko to keep writing so that I could see what bottom-feeders rose to the surface to make comments on his posts. I might even employ an agent to pose as the wacko. Once people start volunteering themselves to be assassins, my job of surveillance becomes much easier, and the world turns into a rather less dangerous place.

I’m far more worried, frankly, about the types who think that we consume and act upon suggestions the way a cow consumes grass and turns it to patties. They have a profound contempt for us as fellow citizens and as human beings, those speech-police. What would they not do to us in order to “protect” us?