Thinking Outside the Daily Drama

by Brad Nelson10/20/17
As I get older I learn. Sometimes reality is a cruel teacher. There are real enemies in the world. There are bad people who can harm us. But often our worst enemy is ourselves. Sticking our face in a fan and keeping it there is not smart. Hitting your head against the wall just because it feels better when you stop is not kind.

The daily news (The Daily Drama) is full of all kinds of crud and lunacy. Someone awakening even from as recently as the 1950’s would see today’s culture as quite possibly insane. I won’t list all the reasons. You know them by heart.

I started this site with the naive idea that if you smashed enough right-minded brain-atoms together you could create a nuclear chain reaction — a catalyst for reform — even if the chain was quite small. I’ve been proven a dope on just about every single point. I can see Mr. Kung grinning. He was cynical and world-weary before I was even born.

But I’m catching up. My first real venture into popular culture found me very ill-suited for it. To think that some small, non-profit internet site could only ever be more than the rhetorical bug in front of the politico-entertainment steamroller was hubris. And it’s not that I wanted to be famous. I just had this quite logical thought that if in a room full of lies you spoke the truth that suddenly lights would come on.

It doesn’t work that way. (Mr. Kung, stop smirking. One has to learn to walk before one can run.) What we have is Trump and the Establishment GOP. This is what the hot-blood of American culture has given us for reform or for the opposition. The daily news is polluted with lies and irrelevancies. Our school systems are a sham. Religion has gone vapid. Even our one escape — sports — has now become yet another outgrowth of our political insanity.

But I smile and thank God above for all the good things that we have. And it’s time that this site moved on toward investigating, enumerating, articulating, and celebrating them. (I’ve got a great brownie recipe I’m dying to share.) I know I’ve put out many a mixed message myself in trying to guide this site, but can you blame me? It’s truly crazy out there.

Although the metaphor of the gathering of The Smart Conservative Sages was a good one, it’s time to put that away and look more toward a Middle Ages monastery set on a rocky cliff as a metaphor. Delightful, insightful, but most of all, well-tempered monks gather to bake their proverbial bread and take pleasure in the small miracles of this world. So let’s have fun. Let’s be spiritually and mentally rich. Let’s count our blessings. Let’s enjoy the day. Let’s not be dragged down by the insanity and vulgarity of a culture gone cuckoo.

So that’s my frame of mind. And that’s where I’ll be steering this site. Oh, not that we can’t have fun with and ridicule the latest ignoramuses in The Daily Drama. When mosquitos land on you, you have to occasionally swat them. But let’s remember that the best advice is to put up a fine-meshed net in the first place.

I will not likely be accepting very many more strictly political articles…unless you can equal (or nearly so) the wiseacre style of a Mark Twain. But if you just sound like a screeching, broken record, you need not apply. Keep it light. Keep it fun. Be creative. Think outside the box. In the words of Frank: Get Happy. And if you can’t be happy, give a good approximation of it. Life is too short to stay forever within The Daily Drama.


Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
About Author  Author Archive  Email • (458 views)

Share
Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
This entry was posted in Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Thinking Outside the Daily Drama

  1. David Davis says:

    Your new direction is admirable! (Wrestling pigs means you get muddy and smelly, but the pigs like it.) We are instructed to be ready to answer those who ask for the reason for the joy we have. Thus, we should be exhibiting the joy in us, as Anniel did, and Deanna does. So, being light in the darkness is the way to go.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      In essence I think, David, what I’m asking for is creative writing and not a thousand ways to bitch and complain often disguised behind lofty language and endless clever arguments. I’ve asked people to not give a laundry list of complaints about socialism, for example, but instead perhaps give a human interest story about someone running their own business…or even a story about happenings at their child’s summer lemonade stand.

      Write about your trip to the museum and what you’ve learned, not a laundry list of how Trump or Obama has failed us. Have a few laughs while civilization turns into this wimpy broken thing, but don’t pretend that getting online and complaining or analyzing it is doing anything but navel-gazing.

      Social media isn’t actually social media. It’s just a new method for humans to stew in their own juices. We live in a culture of two dozen brands of toothpaste on the shelves and we complain that there’s not three. We’ve become these pampered little princes and princesses. And I dare say no conservative is immune to it. Our central form of entertainment seems to be complaining. And at least starting in the 60’s (a rotten age from which we gained little), humans have been on the path to self-fulfillment as the be-all, end-all of existence. And “self-fulfillment,” in practice, means going to war with reality….a reality that never, ever fulfills our every desire. But, dammit, it should. We’ll call it “social justice” if we have to and sanctify our narcissism and self-involvement.

      Let’s have fun. Tell your stories if you feel compelled to write. But I’m out of the business of being part of the “conservative press.” That’s become little but a racket. It’s a circle-jerk of grievance whose only useful product is selling books to the aggrieved. It’s certainly not about reforming things.

  2. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    Here’s a two-pronged segue for you, Brad.

    The insanity and ugliness that is the leftist river of slime we’ve been paddling upstream within has yielded its neutron H bomb, a fitting last story of why your decision will help keep us sane. The raving lunatic Dem rep from Florida, whose name I’ll not write, just as Gen. Kelly would not speak it, has put the cherry on top of the leftist immorality.

    Now, go to this site, stay and play for a while, and marvel at the vast system of physical weather data literally at our fingertips. I’d rather spend time there than any political site, even if it happens to align with my principles.

    https://www.windy.com/?38.531,-98.833,5

    Cheers!

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      You know I’m no Trump apologist, Tom. But given how thoroughly deranged the Left and media are, one can’t help but be driven at least a little bit into his camp.

      Holy smokes. What a cool weather map. Do I need to wear a tinfoil hat? Are those little arrows the alien microwaves being sent to my brain? I mean, something must be causing this rash of insanity in our culture.

      But in Western Washington we’re having our usual: rain. No complaints, though. It was a very nice summer. But it’s still sad to see those many tomatoes on the vine who will never ripen and thus never be an ingredient in one of my soups. But those vines did give their all while it lasted. They never kneeled on a sunny day.

      • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

        Brad, I had tinfoil implanted under my scalp years ago. I never need to look for protection that way.

        I’ve spent hours on that interactive map; it has many non-obvious features.

        I’m just south of PDX, so it’s a tad damp here, too. Tomatoes are a gift from God. There is one water lily bloom in my Koi pond that has been floating in serenity for a couple of weeks now. It doesn’t know it’s time to give up. Think I’ll name him Churchill.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          That is a pretty cool map. For Western Washington state, in particular, you can see how that mass of warm (relatively speaking) water (the blob of ochre) helps to moderate temperatures. And because this part of the Pacific never (to my knowledge) creates hurricanes, and although this ocean itself is often a tempest, it perhaps earns its name of “Pacific.”

          Yes, I see you get all kinds of overlays, including clouds, rain, etc. Pretty neat. And when viewing by temperature, you can see the mass of cold blue up in British Columbia just waiting to throw snow our way soon when it mixes with the moist Pacific air. Usually, at least where I am, the Pacific air has domain. But Canada will have its say now and again.

          I don’t think I’ve found all (or even any) of the non-obvious features so far. Is there a button to show the Koi?

      • M Farrell says:

        Brad– as a spoof, a group of friends and I formed the “Tinfoil Hat Association of the United States” (TFHAUSA)– we got party favor hats, covered them with tinfoil and used tie-ties for antennae– mine was the deluxe version that featured pink diving goggles (rose colored glasses) to cheer things up– of course we don’t actually wear this parafenalia, but you should see the odd looks on some of my clients faces when they enter my office and see that thing sitting on my life size bust of Abe Lincoln– I wish I could sell tickets and popcorn– (some are actually tiffed)–our latest piece of equipment was issued after Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord– we issued Mae West life jackets (old beat-up used circa 1970 airline issue inflatable type bought on eBay) called “Trump Paris Accord Survival Gear” (decorated in the mandatory red, white, and blue) for all our members who cannot swim and will be in trouble when the oceans really get to rising– of course swimming lessons were our first recommendation– Honest Abe is truly a sight wearing his global warming survival gear Mae West around his neck and his shiny hat–

        Brad, I’m not sure if this is the kind of silly shenanigans story you had in mind, but it is an illustration that some of us have not lost our senses of humor even if the MSMedia world has none– most of the stuff out there is just too hard to resist not making fun of–

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, I do have a card attesting my membership in the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy in my wallet. It came in a book I read. Elizabeth would like one, too.

          • M Farrell says:

            Timothy– we issue such cards along with an authentic Clinton $3 bill to all members of the TFHAUSA — you should never leave home without theses essential forms of identification in you wallet–

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I have a lot of Clinton $3 bills that came in Slick Times, which I bought regularly for its anti-Clinton humor. I even thought of sending them my Clinton light-bulb change joke; How many Clintons does it take to change a light bulb? Three. One to make a public announcement of the change, one of hide all the documents, one to stonewall Congress, and one of lie about it.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          “Trump Paris Accord Survival Gear”

          Oh man, that’s funny. And should you have the time and the skill to fashion that into a “How I Stay Sane Behind the Liberal Lines” anecdotal story, that might indeed be a keeper. Weave it into a kind of narrative and tie it all together, and you might have a very fine essay.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          featured pink diving goggles

          As long as there is no pink-pussy hat. I have to admit I didn’t know what that was supposed to be when I first saw A. Judd wearing one.

          • M Farrell says:

            Dear Mr Kung Fu Zu– the pink goggles were a spoof on “rose colored glasses”, not that gawd awful ,vulgar, private parts hat business of A Judd–those gals managed to out-vulgar Trump with that nonsense–

      • Rosalys says:

        Yes! An awesome weather map! I added it to my husband’s (he is a weather nerd) favorites.

        Just one complaint, and that is, the temperature is given in centigrade. I’m a fahrenheit gal, 100%.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Rosalys: At the very top left there are three vertical parallel lines (which is now the new icon meaning “menus”). Click that and then click “Settings” and you can change the units of measure. It will then most likely tie you up in a dialogue box asking you to sign up. Just close that browser tab (if there seems no way out…and I could find none at the time) and open another one and your new settings should be applied.

          • Rosalys says:

            Done! Thanks Brad.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              You know, it’s funny, Rosalys. I was just thinking about how one of the last uncontroversial topics that people could talk about without getting all hot-and-bothered was the weather. And for reasons other than just planning outdoor activities, a lot of people like to watch things such as The Weather Channel or find it interesting to view data on various online weather maps and apps.

              And then I remembered “global warming.” Even the kooks on the Left have invested something as simple as the weather with their ideological insanity.

              Still…that is a cool map that Tom linked to. And as long as there is not a feature on the map that shows where the rising ocean shoreline will be in 2020 unless we stop cows from farting and begin running around in those death-trap electric golf carts masquerading as cars then all will be well with our meteorological meanderings.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Brad,

    I like to think of myself as cautious, perhaps mildly skeptical.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Don’t underestimate yourself, Mr. Kung. You are a flat-out believer in human nature. And we all know what that means. 😀

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Alas, we do!

      • Timothy Lane says:

        In other words, the sort of reality we face today (and the even worse one in the future, as the snowflakes nominally grow up and start to run everything without ever learning how to face reality).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Precisely.

          I don’t think Putin looks at what is going on in America college campuses and is afraid. Our naivety is an opportunity for him. I mean, look at how willingly the native populations have fallen for the Kumbaya-esque language of the politicians. It isn’t Winston Churchill or Ronald Reagan that Putin and others will have to face. It will be a population ready-made to believe absolute baloney.

          Not to mention Islam. Again…put yourself in their shoes. No matter how many of us they murder, and no matter how often they say they do it in the name of Allah and Islam, Westerners still say “It’s just a few extremists….Islam is a religion of peace.” Isn’t that like ringing the dinner bell? How does that not encourage more Jihad against us? I would certainly come to the conclusion that Westerners are weak and are easily toppled….or at least that one’s suicidal efforts are definitely not in vain.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Larry Alton has an article which basically confirms that The Daily Drama isn’t good for you.

    First off, when quoting someone, why insert a [sic] for errors of grammar without inserting one for your own?

    We may avoid listening to views not our own, or even avoid interacting with others who have different political beliefs all together.  And of course, we worry.  We lay [sic] awake at night with the what if’s scrolling across our brains.”

    We “lie” away at night, I guess. But it’s the “what-ifs” not “what if’s.” There should be hyphenation and no contraction. So if you’re going to play the grammar fairy, get it right. My advice is don’t be pedantic. It just annoys people and makes you look petty.

    But back to the topic at hand. His #1 suggestion to “Embrace Reality” is way too general to be of much help. But his #2 suggestion to “Limit News Intake” is spot on. As for #3, “See the Good in Other People,” doesn’t that somewhat conflict with suggestion #1?

    My suggestion regarding The Daily Drama is to get out and tangibly do something about your world instead of stewing in the juices of empty rhetoric.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I suppose he would use “sic” for quoted errors that he notices, but wouldn’t make errors deliberately. (Actually, I do if the correct version sounds too pedantic. It’s especially likely in certain cases with “who” and “whom”.) Thus, he could hardly use “sic” on himself because he wouln’t realize it. But oh, how embarrassing it can be when you’re pedantic enough to use “sic” and then make some errors of your own. Something like a pretentious student who mispronounced “superfluous” in class, was corrected (by the teacher, of course), and got laughed at by the other students, many of whom were probably previously unaware of the word. (This wasn’t me, though I doubt I would have pronounced it any differently. Indeed, I wasn’t there and just heard about it.)

      Actually there are situations in which, as best I can tell, you can use or not use an apostrophe before the “s” in a plural. I generally don’t bother with it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The humorous thing about the use of “sic” is that it inherently means that you don’t think your own reputation for accuracy amongst your readers is good enough not to have to point out that it’s not your typo but someone else’s. And the use of “sic” just ruins the flow of things. Plus, I’ve seen “sic” used many times when I hadn’t the slightest idea what was grammatically wrong with a sentence. Here was but another case of its uselessness.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One interesting use of it comes in the introductory portion of Fred Hoyle’s The Black Cloud (one of his two best fiction books, the other being Ossian’s Ride). A chap who turns out to be related to some important figures in the incident has written a book on the topic, and a doctor who knew the real story writes to him. In his letter, he mentions having read the official history, and includes “(sic!)” after that to indicate how inaccurate that history is. The rest of the book is basically the doctor telling what really happened — and a brief afterword by the first writer, who just learned for the first time how he’s connected to the Black Cloud.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I always thought that (sic) was to be used in more scholarly books, the types that have footnotes. In such books, accuracy is paramount and the theory would be that nothing should be added or taken away from what the person actually wrote.

          I find the use of (sic) a little overdone in internet blogs or short articles.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I find the use of (sic) a little overdone in internet blogs or short articles.

            I find the use of (sic) to be holy (sic) pretentious.

            One of the problems with being pedantic is that it puts accuracy above meaning, form above function. If I shoot a charging buffalo in the heart and drop him dead, it seems silly to worry that I missed the exact center of the heart.

            None of us are above the need for correction. And accuracy has its place. But I’ve never found much love for pedanticism. It tends to stifle conversation. And I’m very sure that we don’t get more people adding their two cents here because they figure they must be perfect. Devolving to playing “gotcha” instead of expressing an opinion, no matter how ineloquent (a word my braindead Mac dictionary doesn’t even acknowledge as existing), is boring and pointless.

            Here’s a fellow who thinks very much as I do: The pedantic, censorious quality of “sic”

            This “pedantic, censorious quality” is sometimes insinuated and sometimes unmistakeable. Sic – not an abbreviation but a Latin word meaning thus or so – can usefully clarify that a speaker said or wrote just as they are quoted to have done. But it can also serve as a sneer, an unseemly tool to mock a trivial error or an utterance of questionable pedigree.

            The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, echoing Mitford, says the use of sic “may be defensive, but its overuse is offensive”. Robert Burchfield in his revision of Fowler says it provides “reviewers and controversialists” with “a neat and compendious form of criticism”. Essentially, sic can be a snob’s delight.

            Sneers and snob’s delight indeed. NRO is full of “sics.” Another very fair point is:

            A “misspelling” may be a legitimate variant. “Incorrect grammar” is a grey area, not least because of the popular but mistaken belief that nonstandard means incorrect and that grammaticality is absolute. “Odd usage” (or “peculiar”, used elsewhere) is more subjective still.

            Finall…

            At The [Baltimore] Sun we have actively discouraged the use of sic in copy, because it is nearly impossible to use it without looking snotty.”

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I don’t think I ever used it myself. There are places (such as the use I mentioned earlier in The Black Cloud, which has nothing to do with pedanticism) where it’s appropriate, but those are rare. An interesting example of archaic grammar was concern over split infinitives, which reflected overfondness for Latin (in which, as in French or German, an infinitive is a single word that can’t be split — unless it’s a compound word in German, and even there I’m not sure it would ever actually be split).

              Of course, there’s the famous quote attributed to Churchill referring to some pedanticism as “something up with which I shall not put”. Or the anecdote of a child whose father brought the wrong book to read saying, “What did you bring the book I didn’t want to be read to out of up for?”

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Once again, Frank was way ahead of us.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Nice. In fact, I consider the right to be wrong important. To be precise, since no can set up an absolute test of correctness, one has the right to disagree with orthodox views no matter how right or wrong they are.

                Incidentally, an interesting grammatical question from Stephen Pinker: Is the proper past tense of “sneak” sneaked or snuck? The former used to be standard, but the latter came in a century or so ago, and irregular (strong) inflections tend to catch on (which is why there are so many), so now snuck is at least the most common.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    “The Daily Drama” is not just a rhetorical device. Here’s an interesting article (broad, but not very deep): The YouTube stars heading for burnout: ‘The most fun job imaginable became deeply bleak’

    A lot of money can be made if you can get into the hundreds of thousand or millions of views on YouTube. And far be it from me to put a wet blanket on someone’s ambition. But I think all this hand-wringing was summed up by a commenter to the article. Well, actually a couple:

    – Kiddo, what would you like to become when you grow up?
    – I’d like to become famous!
    I blame the Kardhashians, or whatever their name…

    And…

    This is what happens when your self-worth is tied up a little too much in seeking the validation of others.

    I don’t know much about the featured YouTuber in this article but one commenter writes:

    Matt Lees always prided himself on being aggressively unpleasant and combative, and for him to now blame that behaviour on his audience says so much about who he really is. Like so many of these internet personalities, he’s a man who constantly acts like a drunk in a pub spoiling for a punch-up, despite being built like a nine-year-old child and unable to look up from his own shoes in public. He’s a man to whom violence is alien; and yet everyone who used to disagree with him, even on the most trivial of subjects, “needs a war” to put their angst to bed.

    In other words, “The Daily Drama.” The article mentions that YouTube’s AlGoreithms (which can determine success) are heavily tilted toward quantity, not quality, as well as being tilted toward anything that will evoke drama, not intelligent discussion.

    None of this is a surprise to STers. You may not like this site’s emphasis on taking your “Likes” and sticking them where the sun don’t shine, but the master plan has always been to avoid the insanity of being driven by “Likes” and too much need for validation for the sake of validation.

    Another commenter writes:

    The vast majority of content produced by the most viewed youtubers is utter garbage and these people live on drama.

    I think this “burnout” could be called a situation of “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” If you hitch your star to the obnoxious and toxic world of “Likes” and rants, what do you expect?

    Another commenter has some astute remarks. Like I said, the article itself was broad but not deep:

    It seems to me that this type of work is particularly unstable due to passing fads which makes ‘talent’ less of a determinant to success than other attributes and a whole lot of luck.

    In other words, YouTube fame is a house built upon sand. Finally, one commenter showed some maturity:

    As you get older, you ought to realise that the most rewarding things to do are in the service of others, whether its your family, community, friends, old people, humanity. I’m not sure fretting about your subscribers is in that vein.

    Anyway, I can tell you sincerely it bothers me not that we don’t have a bazillion “Likes” or aren’t in the Top Ten of Must-Read Sites. That doesn’t mean we can’t improve. But my premise is that pop culture is toxic and so we must be selective. And we must always be on guard against being sucked into the maelstrom of the online drama, especially regarding an excessive need to be “Liked” or an excessive propensity toward bitching.

    The regulars here bring something to the table with interesting reviews and comments on the best of the culture, past and present. I like to think of myself not as a gatekeeper but as your willing slave. Write something generally outside of The Daily Drama that is literate and it will get published (or use the Forums to your heart’s content, no filter whatsoever). This is your site (especially those who have chipped in). I just pull the switches in the background. You should use it as such.

    My overall reaction to the burnt out YouTubers is that of “Snowflake.” As one commenter said, any regular job can tend to get monotonous. But I think the dominant issue is the dogs/fleas one. This stuff is now crazy. Judging yourself on the tastes of the masses is a recipe for dysfunction.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I enjoy getting likes on Disqus, but try not to base my responses solely on a desire for them. It helps that I have no idea what will gets lots of likes and what will get none at all. I have occasionally maintained long sequences of responses that go so long past the point where anyone other than the correspondent will likely ever see it, so there will probably never be any likes at all.

      But it’s probably true that I write with a bit more abandon here knowing that there are no likes to begin with. I do like to see the few articles I get around to writing to have a lot of readers, and preferably at least a fair number of responses. Why write what hardly anyone will ever read, after all?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I remember some of my time on Facebook and elsewhere consciously writing to get “Likes” and such. I didn’t go that far out of my way to do so, but it was usually in the back of my mind. I didn’t state anything but my real opinion, but you can shape things and I can see how people get sucked into this game.

        There are a lot of helpful YouTube channels. I’m subscribed to a couple how-to electronic ones. But I somewhat slowly came to the conclusion that I am neither P.T. Barnum nor Ann Coulter. And even now my distaste for the baloney of online communication increases.

        Indeed, I started this site in hopes of giving those brilliant commenters a chance to take it to another level. And some have. But mostly I found out (much to my chagrin) that The Daily Drama was not a vast and deep interchange of ideas. It was a battle. And it was an avenue to bitch and complain…basically to vent. And very often it was just people chasing “Likes.” A little sugar is okay. But living on it (as some of those pop YouTubers are finding out) isn’t very nourishing.

        Again, I think a bit of bitching, complaining, and venting is good and healthy, and can be very entertaining if spiced with humor and particularly articulate language. But it easily becomes too much.

        As for why write if not to be read? Journals and diaries are time-tested and widespread storage spaces for the written word. Real writers write because they need to express themselves. If the accolades (and readers) come, all the better. But think about probably every great novel ever written. Surely a few might have shown pages to wives or friends, but these were lone ventures only later shared with others. But the writing could have stayed hidden or been published, but mostly the same impulse exists behind the initial effort.

        These are just things to think about. Goodness knows we’ve seen how vacuous writing can become on NRO when you have to chase deadlines and fill word quotas. And YouTubers heads are exploding trying to ride the dragon of pop culture. These are all things to consider when considering populating a space in the cracks between these things.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Yes, self-expression is useful, and sometimes essential. Many years ago I read an article in Conservative Chronicle in which the columnist wondered what might have happened to him without the ability to articulate his views. But it surely helps at least to hope, or even know, that someone else will read what you write. But I have written in situations where I will never have any idea what anyone thinks of it. Fewer now as some venues no longer allow such comments.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            One of the exiting entertainment sports is watching people act like robots as they spout prefabricated sound bytes that they’ve heard on TV. I suppose any form of writing that dares to explore outside of the confines of prefabricated sound bytes is at least marginally useful, if not also a bit brave.

            Indeed, much like the cowardly Netflix that dispensed with user reviews (rumor is because their original content sucks…as I’ve noted), finding comments attached to an article is getting scarce. And when they do have them (like NRO) they are so painful to use, they might as well not have bothered.

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              Most comments come under one of four categories.

              1. Pro American to the point of unbelievability.
              2. Anti-American, more believable, at times, but still shrill and hateful.
              3. Pro Islamist, mostly propaganda and anti American and anti-Christian. Mostly untrue except to the Islamists.
              4. Anti-Jewish, shrill, hateful, and dangerous.

              All of them are not and never will be any attempt to engage in conversation. There are exceptions but they are few and far between.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                What I see on Disqus (mostly at Town Hall) is similar, but not so bad. Occasionally I’ve had fairly reasonable conversations. But there are a lot of trolls, who mostly just try to make everyone else spew hatred in order to justify their own.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                All of them are not and never will be any attempt to engage in conversation. There are exceptions but they are few and far between.

                That’s an interesting categorization, Steve. I get the distinct impression that people are just lashing out, trying to win a battle in their online lives to try to make up for a shortcoming in their personnel lives.

                And there’s also just ideological zealotry as well. Right or left, there’s no way that your political ideology ought to be so central to your life that you work up sweat over it online. But millions do.

                There are important things to be concerned about in life that need our direct involvement. But bitching online solves nothing, In fact, I’m very sure that the politicians (mostly on the Left, but there are plenty of a-holes on the right) who benefit from keeping everyone in an exited and extended state of grievance.

              • Steve Lancaster says:

                Hoffer said in, “The True Believer”, That change, particularly radical change can make people feel like misfits in their own lives and homes.

                This passionate state of mind that comes from this feeling of being misfit is extremely dangerous to conservative social order.

                Is it possible that the caterwauling on the net is actually a positive sign of a healthy social order giving expression to those misfits who would lash out violently? Or is it a sign of a diseased social order and the net provides justification for violence?

                I think the jury is still out

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Is it possible that the caterwauling on the net is actually a positive sign of a healthy social order giving expression to those misfits who would lash out violently?

    Steve, let’s take that answer as an assumed “yes.” To some extent, this must be true. The problem comes, in my opinion, when the time comes to go beyond venting and to take action, even if just the act of voting. They have been so rope-a-doped and programmed that they couldn’t recognize an actual solution if it bit them on the ass. And the reason is they don’t understand the problem.

    Another aspect of this I’m absolutely sure about, especially regarding those on the Left. It is my assumption the Leftism is a Religion in eery way that is important. That is, it’s deeply hooked into one’s psyche.

    If you revere Moses, you’re not likely going to be a radical nor a Utopianist. Sure, you’ll be a fighter, a man of deep faith, and one who is no shrinking violet. But you won’t be a lunatic. You’ll be a thoughtful man of law and order.

    Same with Jesus. If one truly follows Jesus (and it’s a complex mix of stuff, just as Mosaic Law is), you’re not going to be a simple-minded demagogue. You’re hopefully going to be a wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. But not a dumb ass.

    Both law/faith propositions bring order and depth to one’s life, and a distinct and tangible expectation that there is no Utopia on this earth. Some suffering will be thought of as inevitable and quite likely character-building. As they said about the Puritans in one of the books I’ve read, they were never shocked at man’s depravity, thus they weren’t ready to chuck it all in when something foul ran amongst them or around them.

    It is a very different situation with the Utopian cult of the Left. The expectation is happiness and every unpleasant emotion being eradicated. Diversity. Healing the planet. Granola bars. And the sweet buzz of always good intentions.

    In my experience, much of the online distemper of those on the Left comes because they’re not happy. They voted for all the right people. The walked all the correct stations of the environmental and politically correct crosses. And, most importantly, they’ve eaten all of the thick shit sandwiches offered to them by the very thought police they’ve empowered. That is, they’ve sacrificed, their personal saviors always being their own self-esteem and sense of do-gooderism. And this last item makes is very offensive to them when deep down they know they’re still not happy.

    This is combined with a religious/political movement that intentionally instills a sense of unrest and grievance. It is completely true that those on the Left just can’t stand it when someone else is happy. They need to spread their misery.

    This is one very good reason to give these f-tards the heave-ho. Erase them from your life as much as you can. They are poison.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The idea that leftist ideology is part of their psyche goes back a long way. I’m sure that’s the basic point of the phrase “professional liberal”, which Allen Drury used extensively in the later books of his Advise and Consent series. Harry Truman used it even earlier, commenting that “No professional liberal is intellectually honest.”

      And Truman was pretty much a liberal, as were many of the major heroes of Drury’s series. (They were northern Democrats — from Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, and California in particular. So were most of the villains, such as the despicable Fred Van Ackerman of Wyoming. Perhaps the only good reporter in the series, Helen-Anne Carrew, was reportedly based on Georgie Anne Geyer.) Of course, today these 60s liberals would definitely qualify as conservatives.

      And the news media in the later books, starting with Capable of Honor and best represented by Walter Dobius and Frankly Unctuous, are every bit as bad as newsliars today. They do learn better in the end, but they learn it the hard way as their favorite leftist takes over and allows the more fascist elements in his alliance (violent street mobs and psychotic leftist political activists) to destroy the First Amendment.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      “This is combined with a religious/political movement that intentionally instills a sense of unrest and grievance. It is completely true that those on the Left just can’t stand it when someone else is happy. They need to spread their misery.”

      I agree that progressivism is a form of secular religion and that creates a potent enemy who will not/can not listen to logical arguments. Among all the wealth, power and technological magic we can perform; we can not make people believe in themselves. Even if they are part of the supposed elite who have never missed a meal, went to the most prestigious schools and never bounced a check.

      The true value of our culture is that we can take the toothless dregs of other cultures and within a generation make them businessmen, authors, painters, and deadly warriors. This is true of the American culture and it is also true of Israel. One of the many reasons that evangelicals bond with Israel so strongly. Self-confidence is a powerful force. Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Steve, I view The American Project as at least a three-legged stool: Judeo-Christianity, the American Dream, and John Wayne.

        We are to be ethical, compassionate, wise (including tough-love when needed), strong, and faithful to something beyond ourself (and I don’t mean the government). At the same time, this focus is leavened with the desire to make a better life (and make a buck). We are not to be religious zealots. Religious life flows through us. But we don’t make an idol of it. God made this world. We should be productive in it, not navel-gaze 24/7.

        Lastly, we are to be something more than the weaselly ass-wipes we so often see in life. We are to be men of integrity, strength, humility and courage. All three ingredients are interconnected, one feeding off and reinforcing the other. We could be religious up the ying-yang (which might be appropriate in a monastery), but to live inside ritual and not put it into practice is empty religion. And it’s not only not wrong to make a buck and improve your life, it’s the way to shine a light with your life and hold it up for others. And this creature would turn into an onerous little capitalist monster without being tempered by religion and John Wayne.

        Yes, a strong self. But combined with humility. And leavened with faithfulness to a Creator who is above us all. A strong self alone without the moderation of the other legs of the stool tends to make monsters out of people. But without a healthy self sufficiently independent of groupthink, we cannot have the best characteristics of John Wayne nor be faithful to the God who made us not as clones but as individuals. And we do no one a favor if we are so lazy or poor that we must mooch off of others. Jesus said that the poor will always be with us. But I didn’t hear him say it was a glorious or desired state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *