Sunday, February 28, 2021

February 28, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

My Friend Susan, Abraham Lincoln, and the Pod People


Friends,

Every now and then something happens, something you catch on TV or read in a magazine, or hear in a conversation which signals just how disjunctive—how unbridgeable—the division is today between the different groups of people we call “Americans.”  That division is growing greater, more irreparable and sharper by the day…and there is not much that can be done to heal it, barring some form of Divine intervention.

Talk of unity around commonly-held principles, indeed a common comprehension of what is actually real and what is not, no longer holds. Talk of “unity” in the America of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is not only useless, it is, in essence, counter-productive and destructive to our understanding of what really has occurred and is occurring in society.

Thirty-five years ago a Ronald Reagan and a Tip O’Neill could differ considerably in their views, but then they could sit down over a beer and communicate using the same language and, significantly, invest it with the same meaning that they both agreed on.  Forty years ago most Americans were, arguably, able not only to communicate with but, more importantly, to be understood by other members within society.

That no longer holds.

And it became radically and very personally apparent to me the other day.

I have a very dear friend, an old girlfriend whom I have known since we were small children. For years I considered her home like my home-away-from-home. I would spend a lot of time on weekends there. Her mother was a piano teacher, an old-school Southern Democrat, educated and even elegant in the sense of those “grande dames” that you sometimes read about in romantic Southern novels. Growing up my friend—let us call her Susan—shared most all the same views as I. We grew up when to be a conservative Democrat in North Carolina was not uncommon. True, times were changing, but that didn’t seem to affect us.

We graduated high school together and then went separate ways for college.

While I went away to the University of Virginia, finishing my MA in history there (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and then on to Spain for a PhD, Susan went to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (as did her future husband). Back then it was still possible to get a good education at this state’s premiere university without the contagion of political correctness or Critical Race Theory warping your education.

When I was overseas in Spain, and then in Switzerland and Argentina, I didn’t see as much of Susan as before. But when I finally returned permanently to North Carolina in 1981, we rekindled our friendship as if nothing had ever happened. Every major holiday and for birthdays we would gather to celebrate and remember times past.

This past year I did not talk with Susan much at all. This COVID madness seemed to have curtailed normal social interaction even between the closest of friends. But recently I telephoned her concerning a mutual friend who had entered Hospice. And the conversation turned to politics, the 2020 election, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden.

In a way our conversation stunned me…It probably shouldn’t have…I probably should have anticipated it. But given our past history and our close friendship, it still left me wondering—seriously—if this creaky old American republic could survive, if the extreme and radical differences that now are so ingrown and deep-seated could ever be overcome.

My realization now—my belief—is that they cannot, that there is no practical way to, as it were, “put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.”

Susan asked me what I thought of the January 6 “riot” in Washington. I responded in so many words that for the most part it may have been pre-planned in advance, that it had begun before President Trump had even finished his speech at the other end of the Mall some distance from the Capitol, and that he had specifically cautioned his supporters to be peaceful. I mentioned also that from what I had read some Antifa-types had intermingled with the relatively few folks who actually invaded the Capitol. While I condemned any destructive behavior on the part of those few dozen who were guilty, for the most part the news reports about the “riot” were overblown and were being used politically by the political Left.

Susan exploded as I had never heard her do before:

“Boyd, how can you spout such lies and false news? Haven’t you seen the news reports of how Trump encouraged the mob to invade the Capitol? It was an insurrection, an attempt to overthrow the government by force!”

Her anger and outrage took me by surprise. And after her initial outburst, I tried to respond:

“President Trump specifically cautioned his supporters at the rally to be peaceful and let their voices be heard, but to do it in an orderly and lawful fashion….” But before I could continue, Susan interrupted me:

“How can you say that? Trump didn’t say anything about being ‘peaceful’. He didn’t say that. He urged the mob to go in and take over the Capitol and overthrow the government by force! Where are you getting your news from—Fox or Newsmax? They are rightwing extremist media that make up all sorts of things…like the claim that Trump told his supporters to be peaceful. They probably just edited that in their reporting. It never happened.”

Literally, my mouth dropped open.

“Susan,” I responded, “I watched the speech live…and he did say that! He told his supporters to peacefully walk down to the other end of the Mall…and even before he finished saying that, there were some people in the Capitol… a long walk from where he was speaking. Didn’t you see that or know that?!”

And once again, she replied denying that my account of events was even close to the truth.

“None of what you say is true, Boyd…it’s all made up by those extremist media sources you use.”

A little later our conversation turned to the real riots that did happen last summer in Raleigh. I asked Susan if she had been downtown recently and seen the shuttered and boarded-up storefronts of what had previously been a prosperous and active commercial part of North Carolina’s capital city. Further, I tried to pinpoint the difference between that rampant violence and destruction and what had happened on January 6 in Washington.

Again, how Susan answered me was beyond reality.

“It was those Proud Boys and rightwing extremists who did all that violence…the Black Lives Matter demonstrators were peaceful, just wanting justice.”

When I retorted that members of Proud Boys were nowhere to be seen in the riots in Raleigh, that even our state’s Democratic leftist governor got out and marched with the BLM rioters, once again I was met with a swift denial.

In other words: “who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”

At that, Susan applied what was apparently meant to be the coup de grace in our discussion.

“You do know, don’t you, that it is beyond debate that all those riots and Trump’s call for a rebellion—all of that came from Russia, with support from Putin. He wants to destroy our democracy [sic!]. Trump has been his agent all along!”

No matter the Mueller Report, even though it was confected by leftist Democrats who could find no substantial proof for that accusation. It still was true, and for me to question pervasive Russian influence was simply “en dehors de tout debat”—outside any legitimate debate. Logically, since I and seventy-four million Americans dared to cast a vote for Trump, we, too, had become useful idiots (at best) or knowing agents (at worst) for that evil puppeteer in the Kremlin!

By this time it was abruptly clear that Susan and I existed in different universes, in different realities, that no actual communication was possible, at least on the essential understanding and nature of what was occurring in present-day America. But, also for me, more profoundly, what had happened in this brief very personal and minor exchange (in the far greater scheme of things), was eerily illustrative of something which had happened all across the old republic created with such hope in 1787.

Back on December 2, 2020 in my blog, I authored a piece which was then printed by LewRockwell.com on December 4: “Triumph of the Pod People: What the 2020 Election Really Means.” In that piece, which was accessed by thousands of readers on my Web site, I made reference to the classic, campy 1956 horror movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” about extraterrestrial beings who were transported to earth as vegetable pods and who took over the bodies of sleeping, unaware human beings, and possessed them, turning them essentially into robotic creatures who continued to look like real humans but weren’t.

And I declared since the events of November and December 2020 that imagery had come back to me:

With all the increasing discussion of “two Americas,” of a country—our geographical entity—irreconcilably divided in which not only interests, values and beliefs radically and sharply differ, but inhabitants can no longer communicate, even though they supposedly speak the same language, that imagery of six decades ago becomes more a fulfilled prophecy than science fiction….

I was not suggesting that our progressivist fellow citizens had actually been possessed by aliens. No, rather,

…the virus of a highly contagious (post-)Marxist venom in our culture has infected millions of our fellow citizens and exacted a tremendous toll—that it has been percolating for many decades in our institutions, oftentimes just below the surface—that its initial target was our educational system (and media)—and that its major accomplishment has been to persuade us to accept as undeniable, dogmatic truth, the idea of irreversible and steadily-advancing Progress which its self-appointed heralds and standard-bearers continuously proclaim and update as they see fit.

A few years earlier I wrote in the traditionalist Catholic fortnightly, The Remnant (June 30, 2017), about what I termed the “triumph of lunacy” in Western society, that millions of our fellow inhabitants in the United States,

…live in a parallel universe, with its own set of foundational beliefs, its own standards of truth and narrative of facts. This universe in almost every respect represents the aggressive contrary, the negation, of the inherited, rooted principles on which our historic Western and Christian civilization is based. This “other” reality, this paradigm, did not all of a sudden just spring up or just appear, it has been cultivated and nurtured for centuries. Its creating philosophers understood that their operational premises and desired objectives ran up full force against the ingrained traditions and historic legacy of a culture and civilization that traced its origins not only to the beliefs of the ancient Hebrews, but also to the highest art and philosophy and statecraft of the Greeks and of Rome.

Folks like Susan—yes, my dear friend of sixty years—offer us a new inverted reality. They tell us that we are the ones who are outside the bounds of sanity, that we accept “fake” and false ideas and accounts of what is happening. They proclaim that they are striving to “defend our democracy” and further justice and liberty. But their template—their revolution—is a form of projection which turns rationality on its head and enslaves them in unrequited passions, unbound and unreasoned, cocooned in a pseudo-reality, at the service of what is essentially a satanic Revolution. It is, to paraphrase the great English Catholic essayist and poet G. K. Chesterton, the definition of real lunacy. 

In his volume, The Poet and the Lunatics (1929), Chesterton’s character Gale asks the question: “What exactly is liberty?” He responds, in partFirst and foremost, surely, it is the power of a thing to be itself [as God intended].… We are limited by our brains and bodies; and if we break out, we cease to be ourselves, and, perhaps, to be anything. The lunatic is he who loses his way and cannot return.”

The American revolutionaries who now dominate our government, our broadcasting media, and who indoctrinate gullible, nearly soul-less students in supposed “centers of higher education,” are, to use Chesterton’s parable, lunatics: men “already outside the world of reason.” They dwell in a virtual counter-reality, with a scarcely disguised rage to destroy our traditional civilization and our very way of thinking. And no dissent from that agenda will be tolerated in their new definition of what is real and what is not.

In short, they are modern “pod people.” In 2021 they have almost all the trump cards. They have recaptured much of the momentum they lost in November 2016 when an upstart billionaire from New York partially blocked their seemingly irreversible march toward a new reality and a progressivist utopia.

Sadly for me, my friend Susan has been swept up into that counter-reality, and nothing I can say, no proof I can put forward challenging her “facts” will change her.

For her—and for millions of modern “pod people” like her—I and those like me are the lunatics, psychologically part of the “Trump cult,” and not the reverse.

In a speech given in 1858 Abraham Lincoln, an individual I rarely quote and generally dislike, famously declared (plagiarizing St. Matthew 12:25): “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

We are there now. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

                                         February 17, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

The Curse of Canine Racism Threatens Dog Lovers Everywhere!



Friends,

Most Saturdays I drive in to the nearby town to do my weekly grocery shopping at the local Food Lion. As I go in I sometimes tune my radio to the local NPR station and catch a bit of the programming. It’s about the only time I listen to public radio—as a general rule I can only take NPR in bits and small doses. Its programs tend to be outrageously “woke” and condescending to those of us out in the hinterland, anyone mired in a traditional lifestyle who might have voted for Donald Trump and who doesn’t share the latest hip views spouted by the featured guests.

This past Saturday as I listened to “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me,” which advertises itself as a quiz program, the panelists began with an especially noxious and vicious attack not just on Trump, but also on anyone and everyone who possibly supported him. It wasn’t just the normal invective which I have come to expect from America’s taxpayer-supported public radio system; it conveyed a certain and real venom and dripping hatred that surpassed all previous times I had heard the program.

You would think that with the Donald now outside of government, and now impeached twice with even leading Republicans (e.g., Mitch McConnell) solemnly and dourly condemning him as if we needed somehow to reconvene the Nuremburg Trials, that the invective would lessen. But no; it was even worse this Saturday, on steroids, as it were.

It betrayed, I think, just how nervous and fearful our elites in entertainment, the media, politics, and in corporate America still are, not just of Trump, but of what was arguably his major accomplishment while at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Although not successful in some of his promised reforms, he actually, perhaps unwittingly, tore the mask off of the “deep state” managerial elite establishment which has increasingly exerted almost inexorable control over every aspect of our lives.  Their grimacing and barbaric faces were revealed, their foul activities and crass manipulation of nearly everything exposed as never before.

That was an unforgivable sin, and as such only a stake through the heart of the man responsible would suffice, and, likewise, that stake must also be driven into the hearts of all those who partake in what one CNN pundit called “the Trump cult.” Thus the calls from prominent Democrats and media personalities for something resembling a “ministry of truth” or massive “re-education” programs (i.e., modern Gulags?) for those who dissent from the new “reality” proclaimed—and enforced—by our elites.

Have those folks not read Orwell? Or, maybe they did…?

It would be easy to dismiss such calls as outliers or isolated demands, but they are uttered in all seriousness by significant and powerful voices on the Left. And the Harris-Biden administration, ever sensitive to the demands of its progressivist wing, now evokes the language of “equity,” which carries the ideologically-armed language of “racism” and “white privilege” much farther than anything envisaged even a few years ago, as my friend Dr. Paul Gottfried pointed out recently (January 26) in his essay “Multiracial Whiteness Is the Latest Leftist Branding Iron,” at American Greatness.

Whites are now informed that they are guilty of the sin of “white supremacy” and racism until they prove their innocence. Indeed, being white may mean that one can never really prove his innocence, that the sin may be ineradicable. Thus those multiple examples of white “woke” academics—mostly women—who have tried to actually change their race and pretend that they were black (e.g., Rachel Dolezal), and thus escape the horrible onus of whiteness.

This feverish anti-white hysteria pervades our educational institutions with a vengeance.  Nothing is sacred, nothing is off limits. Already we know that standard English is a “white construct” and therefore must be abandoned. Teachers can no longer grade a student for what once was considered bad or faulty English or grammar. We are told that the works of William Shakespeare are shot through with racist imagery and must be purged if employed in the classroom, if not banned outright. In England there are calls to purge Winston Churchill’s name from institutions and monuments—he was both a colonialist and a racist.

Two recent instances of this frenzied cultural barbarism—and eventual cultural genocide—should come as no surprise, but I must admit that I was not ready for them.

First, a new mathematics guide sent out to teachers in Oregon by the state Department of Education declares that traditional math, you know the kind that states unequivocally that “2 plus 2 = 4,” projects a form of white supremacy. Titled “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction,” the 82-page instructional guide lists the ways that this is perpetrated in the classroom:

“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions….Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics….”   

The guide offers a year-long framework for “deconstructing racism in mathematics,” and calls for “visibilizing [sic] the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math.” Examples of this racist toxicity “include asking students to show their work, focusing on getting the right answer, tracking student success, and grading students.” No longer should a teacher ask a student to show his work—no longer is an answer to be considered “right” or “wrong,” as such responses only reinforce “paternalism” and the “worship of the written word,” more signs of the oppressive white culture.

Well, math was never my best subject in school—I wish those guidelines had been around fifty years ago when I was taking algebra! I might have gotten an “A” instead of “C’s”—Oh, wait, under that system there would be no grades. Darn it!

The second example has to be read and reread carefully to be believed. It seems that loving your dog, protecting him and allowing him to sleep inside is an act of white privilege and racism. According to Katja Guenther,  Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside (where else?), in her new book The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals:

“…allowing dogs to sleep inside is a privilege reserved for the white and wealthy and that policies against keeping dogs chained up in backyards are intended to oppress people of color by imposing ‘middle-class norms of animal keeping in which companion animals are considered family and treated accordingly,’ which ignore the fact that people of color ‘are themselves trapped in poverty, may have few options for legitimate income generation and possibly rely on their dogs for … status’.

Additionally, the good professor argues that laws against canine mistreatment discriminate against “anyone in the US other than white, middle class and upper-class individuals.”

Take that! dog lovers everywhere!

And I can do Professor Guenther one better: not only does my cocker spaniel, Jasper, sleep inside—a clear indication that I am guilty of white privilege—but since reading that report I have noticed that little Jasper, who is white, also projects all the tell-tale signs of white supremacy; he insists on being the boss over all the neighborhood dogs (especially those of a darker hue) and has a patriarchal attitude towards them. Most egregiously, he only eats prepared Cesar Prime Rib and Filet Mignon, and barks ferociously if I don't provide it for him at the appointed dinner hour.  I must be at his beck-and-call at all times, or face unwanted and undesirable deposits in my hallway!  Alas, perhaps some "woke" researcher should do a government-financed study on "Canine racism"?

And what about cats? I would think they are even more stained by privilege and racism.

Where all this madness and insanity ends—most of it supported by taxpayers and government largesse—I won’t hazard a guess.

But I will admit that I exult in my blatant canine paternalism and, as the saying goes, if this be racism, I damn well will make the most of it!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

                                               February 13, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Two Significant Essays by Paul Gottfried

 

Friends,

Since I began this series of short commentaries (in early 2017) one of the authors I have quoted most frequently has been my friend and mentor, Dr. Paul Gottfried. Along with Pat Buchanan, Ilana Mercer, “The Dissident Mama,” Clyde Wilson, Jack Kerwick, and a few others, Professor Gottfried’s occasional pieces (and his always on-target commentary at Chronicles magazine where he is editor-in-chief) make him one of the most—if not the most—perceptive of writers currently defending the heritage of Western civilization against the cultural barbarians now inside the gates and now on the verge of ending our two millennia-old inheritance once and for all.

What is fascinating is that the observations he has made in early 2021 would have been generally considered unexceptional, completely within the standard canon of scholarship and discussion as late as thirty years ago. But how the times have changed! What was considered normative and reasonable back then is now dogmatically denounced by “woke” academia and the media—including much of “conservative” media—as “right wing extremist” or “white supremacist” or “racist.”  Increasingly we cannot, even with the utmost detachment and care, challenge the shibboleths of the Progressivists who now run rampant like crazed Banshees  in our culture, totally dominate our educational system, operate the media as a private fiefdom, and cajole practically all politicians to do their will, without bringing down upon ourselves the ire and severe punishment of the Establishment. And that “punishment” includes routinely banning from all social media, job firing, destruction of a person’s reputation, harassment at work and at home, and increasingly demands that anyone who dissents, anyone who openly supported Donald Trump, be considered a potential “domestic terrorist.”

Gottfried stands stoutly and fearlessly against that mindless “woke” hysteria and continues to write and publish commentaries that draw from the wellsprings of our Western culture.

I pass on today two recent essays which he published. The first one is a piece written immediately after the January 6 events at the Capitol in Washington DC. Unlike so many of our “conservative” leaders, Professor Gottfried does not wring his hands, do a “Jimmy Swaggart,” and get down on his knees and beg the DC Elites for forgiveness and apologize abjectly for everything that we “Deplorables” supposedly have done. Instead, he pinpoints the utter hypocrisy of not only the Left but also of establishment conservatives and the GOP, who in effect serve essentially as enablers for the always-advancing Left.

The words of the post-War Between the States Southern author Robert Lewis Dabney on the “conservatism” of his day, penned 140 years ago, are entirely apposite here:

“American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader…. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom.”

Professor Gottfried will have none of it.

The second essay examines the broadened use of the accusations of “racism” and “white supremacy” to explain how some non-whites (shall we call them “Uncle Toms?”) share in the guilt that the rest of us share. Some on the Left have begun to employ the concept of “multiracial whiteness” to explain this, indeed that “whiteness” as a societal evil goes beyond skin color. It signifies a supremacist attitude which “dehumanizes” and discriminates against others—the “oppressed”—in society. And is essentially a political tactic which uses race to its advantage.

Ashamed of What?

https://amgreatness.com/2021/01/08/ashamed-of-what/

Let’s stop fixating on Wednesday’s events. We can deplore them once the Left repents of its far, far greater sins.

By Paul Gottfried    January 8, 2021

People ask me if I feel “ashamed” about what Miranda Devine describes as “the clueless insurrection” in the Capitol on Wednesday. My response? I am about as ashamed as Joe Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Juan Williams of Fox News were about the riots and shootings that the Democratic Party subsidized and even justified last summer.

Unlike those violent riots, which the Democrats and national media attributed to white racism, and which came from Democratic voters, the turmoil in the Capitol on Wednesday did not result in burning and looting. There were no white or black policemen shot and the only shooting victim (which the media don’t seem to care about since white Republican lives don’t matter) was a female protestor, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, by a Capitol police officer.

I also heard our Democratic constitutional expert on Fox News, Jonathan Turley, telling us Wednesday evening that pro-Trump thugs had “lost their faith” in our constitutional system. It was for this reason that they “desecrated” our sacred space. I don’t recall similar talk about desecration when the “peaceful protesters” tried to burn down St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House last summer. 

Of course, there was a storm of media abuse afterwards when President Trump spoke before the historical site that had been saved from “peaceful protestors.” Nor do I remember anything more than whispered protest, even on Fox News, when the Democratic Party got howling banshees to invade the Senate chamber to protest the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice and to hassle his supporters. It seems that there are big-time desecrations, for example, when people with MAGA hats commit them, and then there are the entirely excusable ones that transpire when feminist Democrats invade the sacred precinct. 

No, I am not giving a stamp of approval to what occurred in the Capitol. On balance, the actions by pro-Trump forces were not particularly useful for our side, and the death of the lady veteran was nothing short of disastrous. But let’s not pretend, like Rod DreherJohn PodhoretzGeorge Will, Erick Erickson, and most of the usual suspects that Wednesday’s occupation of the Capitol after an impulsive speech by the president was a horrible black mark on the Right. 

According to these media celebrities, we should be impeaching Trump right now, less than two weeks before the presidency falls to a corrupt, senile political hack, on its way to being turned over to Kamala Harris. We have a duty to punish our side because unlike the other side, we should be especially virtuous and shun any conflict, except of course with the American Right. Erickson went so far as to call on the police to “shoot the protestors.”

I must also take exception with Miranda Devine, who asserts that Trump’s supporters and Trump himself have now given the Left “a free pass to persecute their ideological enemies while enacting their pet cultural Marxist projects and changing this country irrevocably for the worst.” This is inevitably just what the one-party Left will do, but not because of what happened Wednesday. 

Devine also provides the real reason—namely, that the Senate is now “in Democratic control, thanks to Tuesday’s runoff debacle.” Because of the vote counting in that race, which looked every bit as suspect as what occurred in the same state in November, our wacky cultural Marxist Left will soon be able to do what it wants with the federal government. The media will cover for any outrage this Left unleashes, and Conservatism, Inc. will predictably do its part as gatekeeper for the politically correct Right.

What happened Wednesday is comparable to the way other would-be totalitarians take over. They manufacture crises that justify their unchecked power. The Nazi regime used the attempted burning of the Reichstag in March 1933 to marginalize opposition. If a Reichstag fire had not come along, some other pretext would have been devised to justify the Third Reich’s tightening grip. The Left, once in charge of the federal government, will unroll with media cooperation multiple examples of “prejudice” and “discrimination” that it will then proceed to address—e.g., imposed gender roles at birth, distinctions between citizens and illegal aliens (read: future Democratic voters), and the unsettling effects of gender-specific pronouns. There will also be more lockdowns, probably long after the COVID-19 infection rate plummets because of the vaccine, and green deals in abundance. 

None of this will happen because of what overly combative Trump demonstrators did Wednesday. It will take place because the Left is maniacal and power-driven and those on the other side are led by wusses and nonstop apologists. But let’s stop fixating on Wednesday’s events. We can deplore them once the Left repents of its far, far greater sins.

=====================================================================================

‘Multiracial Whiteness’ Is the Latest Leftist Branding Iron

https://amgreatness.com/2021/01/26/multiracial-whiteness-is-the-latest-leftist-branding-iron/

“White nationalist” and “white supremacist” serve the same function in our denatured republic as “running dog of capitalism” did in Maoist China or “parasitic capitalist” did in the Third Reich.

By Paul Gottfried   January 26, 2021

Fraser Myers recently asked at Spiked how blacks and Latinos could vote for Donald Trump and in some cases enthusiastically join demonstrations for him, given the supposedly obvious fact that that Trump is a white supremacist. According to Myers, New York University professor Cristina Beltrán answered this troubling question in the Washington Post in a memorable gloss on “whiteness”:

Whiteness is the politics of aggression, exclusion, and domination. And multiracial whiteness reflects an understanding of whiteness as a political colour and not simply a racial identity. It is a ‘discriminatory worldview in which feelings of freedom and belonging are produced through the persecution and dehumanisation of others.’

And so now we understand. “Whiteness,” or what Beltrán elsewhere designates as “multiracial whiteness,” does not refer exclusively to Caucasians as opposed to black people or to some other race. It is holding a “discriminatory worldview” that causes someone to engage in the “dehumanization” of others. This may be what President Biden (or his speechwriter) had in mind when he went after “white nationalists” but conveniently forgot to mention Black Lives Matter and Antifa as persistent hellraisers. And white supremacists are people we should ostracize and strip of their rights because they practice dehumanization. Moreover, the disease of “whiteness” has befallen nonwhites as well as biological whites, and we would do well to reeducate these bigoted nonwhites, particularly the ones who wore MAGA hats and voted for Trump.

Allow me to make another point that may strike some readers as strange. The main struggle in which we are now engaged as a society and civilization has little to do with race. Blacks, like Muslims in Europe, have an assigned function that comes from those higher up in the food chain. Their job is to aid the cultural Left as an auxiliary force. They are there to help predominantly white elites crush and humiliate other whites, a.k.a. the Deplorables or les Ploucs in France. Therefore, minority members who misbehave should be severely disciplined, lest others in their ranks insist on their own thoughts.

This is not to say that those minority groups recruited by the Left don’t have issues, e.g., dysfunctional societies, unjustified or exaggerated resentments against police, or atavistic tribal prejudices. As the young West Indian economist Lipton Matthews points out on the Chronicles blog, a black upper class controls the black underclass by engaging shamelessly in race hustling. There is a gaping financial disparity between these race hustlers and those whom they manipulate, and so the attacks on whites launched by such notables as U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Reverend Al Sharpton may be intended to hide an otherwise embarrassing truth. 

But such problems are not the main causes for the upheaval in our society or the disintegration of civilizational norms. Even if all the radicalized minorities departed, we would still be faced with the challenge of affluent, and influential whites who are promoting and paying for the derailment in progress. The usual suspects would go on causing mischief, including the financing of rioters, unless we found some way of replacing them or drastically limiting their influence. 

The focus on critical race theory is not really meant to make blacks feel good about themselves. It is an enterprise pushed by those whites who run our cultural and educational institutions. It is designed to degrade other whites, whom our leaders profoundly despise. The same is true for the pulling down of monuments, starting with Confederate Memorial statues and then going on to those of Columbus, Washington, Lincoln, Jesus, and so on. This too is being done to humiliate ordinary, patriotic, God-fearing Americans, and white vandals are often on the forefront of the destruction. 

The cat is finally out of the bag about the identity of supposed “white supremacists.” We are not speaking here about white people who set out to do harm to nonwhites. We are describing those whom financially secure leftists are out to debase and ruin. And they don’t have to be white to become targets of these leftists, since “whiteness” is not primarily about skin color. It refers to those whom the powerful classify as “dehumanizers,” and therefore set out to dehumanize. Terms like “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” serve the same function in our denatured republic as “running dog of capitalism” did in Maoist China or “parasitic capitalist” did in the Third Reich. They are terms that the powerful apply to those whom they deem enemies of their “unified” regime. 

Presumably, Joe Biden in his newest incarnation opposes “whiteness” in the same way as Professor Beltrán and Spiked. This branding iron is reserved for the opponents of an advancing leftist agenda. And this new form of denigration couldn’t have come at a better time, or so our rulers might imagine. Since American whites have been beleaguered with talk about white privilege and systemic racism, it may be easy to frighten them into submission by condemning them as white supremacists. Members of other races will naturally avoid contact with carriers of the whiteness bacillus, which has now spread even to nonwhites. Beltrán’s “multiracial whiteness” will soon find a place in the rhetoric of our socially radical rulers.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

                                             February 6, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Christopher Plummer: In Memory of a Great Actor

 

Friends,

Friday, February 5, the noted actor Christopher Plummer passed away at the age of 91. His departure brought back to me memories of films he appeared in during an impressive career that spanned seven decades. The pallid and often insipid and undeserved fame of recent Hollywood stars and starlets pales in significance to Plummer’s achievements in film and on stage. Truly he was one of an older generation of actors who were far more talented than the cinematic midgets that infest Tinsel Town these days.  He understood the power of cinema and theater which could not only entertain an audience but also through choice of subjects and the art of conveyance had the ability to add something grand to our culture.

Like many viewers and fans of Plummer, the first film I remember seeing with him as a leading star was The Sound of Music (1965), with Julie Andrews and Eleanor Parker. My whole family motored into Raleigh to see it when it played at the old Ambassador Theater on Fayetteville Street, one of those special occasions that remain etched in my memory. Plummer assumed the role of the Austrian aristocrat and conservative opponent of the Nazis, Baron von Trapp.  Although he was not fond of the role, it will remain forever connected to him and serve to identify him for millions of viewers who otherwise may not know that much about his distinguished career.

A few later in college I was able to take a side trip into Charlotte to see him in The Night of the Generals (1967), with Omar Shariff and Peter O’Toole (Plummer played Field Marshall Rommel) and Battle of Britain (1969)—still in my opinion one of the greatest “war” movies ever made, with some fantastic air combat scenes. Then, in grad school at the University of Virginia, I took time out to see what would become my favorite historical film, Waterloo (1971). 

Waterloo is criticized by some film critics as “too static,” that it simply is two hours of fighting, cavalry and infantry charging back and forth, but lacking a momentum that would carry it forward.  I strongly disagree; if anything that criticism misses the intentions of director Sergei Bondarchuk. On a large screen canvas he attempts to actually re-create, to paint cinematically if you will, to the smallest detail an historical event—every uniform, every bit of action, everything said (quoted) by Plummer (Duke of Wellington) and Rod Steiger (Napoleon) brought to the screen. It’s more like an illustrated volume of history, unfolding visually before the audience, in some ways perhaps like a docudrama, but much more than that. Each time I view my Russian-made DVD I imagine myself on that field in Belgium back in 1815, and I can see and understand that momentous battle and what it meant to the future of Europe.

And Plummer as Wellington is priceless…an absolute joy to watch him actually become the Iron Duke. The screen writers went back and combed through the records.  Left behind and scribbled down by observant note-takers were numerous accounts of what Wellington said right before and during the battle. Bondarchuk integrates those sayings and quotes seamlessly into his production, and in speaking those lines Plummer excels in bringing his character alive—he truly is Lord Wellington.

Some of those quips and quotes remain with me now fifty years after I first saw Waterloo. Let me offer some memorable examples. 

In reviewing the somewhat disreputable moral state of his Welsh Guards on the eve of the battle, he turns to his adjutant and says: “I don’t know how these men will do against the enemy, but by God they scare the hell out of me.” On his preparation for battle he declares: “Always get over heavy ground as lightly as possible,” and concerning the request of a junior officer to take a shot at the Emperor Napoleon who has ridden too close to the English lines, Plummer laconically replies: “Certainly not! It is not the business of generals to shoot at each other.” And perhaps my favorite, spoken near the end of the film as he rides over the battlefield surveying the thousands of dead and horribly wounded: “Next to a battle lost, nothing is so tragic as a battle won.”

Plummer incarnates Wellington, his presentation totally believable…and certainly mirrors somewhat the two-volume biography that Lady Elizabeth Longford painstakingly wrote and published at roughly the same time (1969 and 1972). I don’t think any other actor could have done as well.

Although accomplished in many cinematic genres Plummer continued his mastery of historical film with such titles as The Assassination at Sarajevo (1975) as the doomed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, The Man Who Would Be King (1975) as Rudyard Kipling (co-starring with Michael Caine and Sean Connery), The Scarlet and the Black (1983), where he played the German commander of Rome against Gregory Peck’s Catholic monsignor who has been smuggling Allied prisoners and dissidents out of harm’s way, and then another favorite, Young Catherine (1991), on the early life of Tsarina Catherine the Great of Russia. Later he took roles in such historical on-screen dramas as Nuremburg (2000) and The Last Station (2009)—a memorable account of the last years of Russian novelist Count Leo Tolstoy (receiving his first, and long overdue, first Academy Award nomination).

He was nominated a second time for his portrayal of John Paul Getty in director Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World (2017), depicting the infamous kidnapping case of J. Paul Getty III. And  he finally received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the comedy, Beginners (2011), making him the oldest actor to ever receive an Academy Award.

Beyond his mastery of historical drama, Plummer excelled in other areas as well. He could be a believable character from an Agatha Christie mystery, such as in Ordeal by Innocence (1984), or in a Charles Dickens classic, such as Nicholas Nickleby (2002) as the evil Uncle Ralph Nickleby, or portraying Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw’s comedic Caesar and Cleopatra (2009). And his on stage Shakespeare roles were uniformly praised…Othello, Macbeth, Henry V, and King Lear

Lastly, modern and younger viewers may recall his iconic role as Chang in Star Trek VI.

Christopher Plummer worked tirelessly up until his death. He was one of the last remaining giants in a swirling sea of mediocrities who populate our film industry these days.  He will be missed.

What he said in Waterloo, reputedly words uttered by Wellington when the battle seemed lost to the English, may well apply to us and the bastardization and corruption of our culture: “May God have mercy on us…for no one else will.”

                                                June 11, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey     The Battle for the West is Also a Cult...