You have two tasks on entering an Internet flame war. First you must defend your thesis with logic, wit and grace. Then comes the second-order exchange in which you defend your rep.
Once those tasks are complete, you have won.
“The game is done, I’ve won! I’ve won!
Quoth she, and whistles thrice” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
I thoroughly refuted John Derbyshire’s Talk:
1. The stated purpose can be accomplished in a color-blind fashion by replacing “blacks” by “ruffians”.
2. Since black on white violence is not enabled (quite the opposite) by continuing discrimination but the reverse is and for this reason is far more savage and pointless than instrumental black violence committed in the course of robberies by the poor, the fact is that black parents should give their Talk but Derbyshire may not give his pompous fucking little stem-winder.
A difference in behavior that goes against the previous grain, with blacks perhaps a bit more aggressive and whites less, is in fact what Martin Luther King died for. Whites should feel guilty for in American society, uniquely, whites continue to benefit from white skin privilege.
I then exhibited rather than argued for the thesis that I was simply smarter on the topic than anyone else. Indeed, a paradoxical situation emerged, one characteristic of America.
It was actually admitted that I was smart and creative, yet, in the “Jacksonian Turn” in American politics this was dismissed as somehow, in some way, not pertinent given the universal feeling that Derbyshire was Authentic, oh so Authentic, and was doing a blessed thing in using his classy accent and British mannerisms in the service of the sons of soil and toil.
The “Jacksonian Turn” in American politics may be usefully compared to the era, in Britain, of that drunken sprat Pitt the Younger, for it was in that era, too, that poets and essayists like Byron and the forgotten Hazlitt called upon England to be finer than she was, vote for Charles James Fox, and accommodate the Frogs of all people. They were justly celebrated yet unlike the earlier generations of poets lost their leadership of society. This is because of what a Marxist would call the increase in productive power.
A British first rate ship of the line such as made mincemeat of the French, or a Yankee clipper ship, were elaborate technical devices. Almost overnight, men had to be part of something vastly more powerful than they.
The speed and maneuverability of a ship of the line paradoxically relied absolutely on individual men doing far more exacting tasks far better than their forefathers on some lumbering caravel, lashing things up any old way, devising ways to save steps and have some serious time to quaff.
The “story” of Regency England is, in a striking way, one of the talented individual who is bullied and brutalized at sea or on land (like Sharpey by Peter Postlethwaite’s character in the Bernard Cornwall series) but who recognized and culled out by a higher officer…the last part the comforting fiction for most of the lads just died screaming, didn’t they. The same story, which is a proto-industrial story and not a time out of mind story at all, is repeated on Yankee clipper ships which, unlike say Pirate ships (which had as their goal the enrichment of all), had as their goal the “more rational” enrichment of landlubber investors, and on those ships men had to exercise an equally high degree of skill.
I’ve sailed on an old fashioned ship and they generate tasks not essentially different from operating a cruise missile. You must self-abnegate. You must “read the fucking manual”. And your reward is exclusively a pay packet no more. This is the way things are, and in this world, the poet is not by any means the legislator, unacknowledged or not, no matter what that damned fool Shelley said. At precisely the moment he said it it stopped being the case. Milton expressed precisely what most men felt in 1649, Shakespeare did the same in 1599.
But in 1801 in Britain and 1826 in America, Keats and Emerson expressed precisely what most men did not feel, damme their eyes, unless they were in love, and modern marriage takes care of that.
Inner direction or direction from poets has become the exception, AND on the Net, white males seek the approval of self-appointed alpha whites.
Interestingly, where Taki Theodoracopulos is the main cheese ball at the site where Derbyshire posted the Talk, a poster whose ID was taki247 posted a unique stream of foul abuse that in my experience was characterized of mobbed-up rich one per centers in New York when their income is threatened.
I replied asking if this was “the” Taki, a God come to earth out of concern that this Daemon with this weird name, this Nilges, was soiling the Temple of Taki.
In response, the posts from taki247 disappeared but then posts from Guest started to appear. All of them shared measurably the same homophobic and brutal literary style so perhaps yours truly got Taki’s thong bikini in a tangle.
[Note that if I'd only come out of the closet, I'd get more tolerance. Dang, but I'm not gay, and again, WWII destroyed something in western man. Perhaps gay men simply find relief in doing things like wearing tights, which DH Lawrence and I know are far more comfortable than trousers, and modest than kilts, and writing poems, whereas today, to be a real man you have to be a lout.]
But I care not. The original Derbyshire post has enabled and activated any number of disturbing characters, mostly pretentious young white guys with the cold eyes of men with at least the potential for mass murder, who cheer him on and Derbyshire’s soul will stand sore charged if one of these creeps opens up on blacks on some pretentious little Southern campus.
It has always puzzled me that fighting a flame war to win in a good cause is thought weird and disturbing, for the First Amendment surely values speech over the gun.
And Trayvon is only the latest in a series of well-publicized white on black confrontations which the media carefully stages to confuse and dazzle, and which the black man, owing to the lack of legal resources, always loses.
Derbyshire makes much of being a cultured man. But for me, the message of something like Al Capone crying at the opera in The Untouchables or the Nazi playing Bach is clear.
It is that aesthetic propositions (culture) are lexically subordinate to ethical propositions and that you cannot listen to the B minor mass if you’re a murderer or a racist. Period.
And quite as opposed to being the inheritor of a culture, men like Derbyshire and Taki vomited all over that culture in the 1960s and 1970s, spending Daddy’s money, whilst I was starting a family and doing my best to passionately engage, against the grain, a field I basically hated, that of mere computer programming.
These guys were screwing underage girls and snorting coke while my ex was pissing and moaning that I worked too hard, so it’s repulsive today that they pretend to be grave and wise.
Furthermore, Derbyshire is just a silly man, with his PayPal “give me money” button. I know he has cancer so perhaps the button is justified. But to actually post an extra role in a Bruce Lee? Give me a break. If he only got one offer here in Hong Kong, he probably had no talent even as an extra and had trouble showing up for work. I’ve had several extra film, TVC, extra and live theater roles since 2005.
The white male today feels himself, deep down, ineffectual and a loser, so of course a white male who posts with any old fashioned vigor, using metre and rhyme and quotations from Seneca is a rara avis and like the Albatross, like Carthago, delenda est.
It IS one thing to fight fair. But long ago, perhaps in WWII, that broke down because as Sean Penn says in The Thin Red Line, today a man means nothing…altho Penn’s character didn’t quite realize that an ordinary GI had to master an extraordinary number of tasks, from field stripping a carbine to taking out a Panzer without air support. This in fact is why parental precepts today are so very different than as recently as the 1950s; the only measure we have left isn’t accomplishment or decency it is survival and wealth.
Parents used to lay down simple moral rules. One of them was color-blind and another was to avoid ruffians, but another was to stand your ground if necessary, especially for boys.
But my generation of parents counsels in the Randroid register. Morality, even deferral of gratification, is instrumentalized and is concerned with the child’s self-preservation and flourishing at the expense of all others at all costs.
The result? The members of the Duke LaCrosse team! They didn’t rape the sex worker merely because they were already so drunk as is the fashion with louts they couldn’t get it up. They said “we wanted whites not n-rs”. Their Daddies destroyed a public prosecutor for doing his job, in an adversarial legal system, in a way that would have been praised had the defendants been black. And the louts were praised.
My father would have found this strange.
The result? Zimmerman. Irrespective of the facts in play, we know that Zimmerman as the son of a judge was morally and financially downwardly mobile, and instead of getting a law degree he got the gun as a shortcut to masculinity and Trayvon is dead.
My father would have called Zimmerman an “ape”, for when my father used that word, he meant it in the German way which was mostly color blind. My Dad had been raised in the Depression to work terribly hard and to repress impulse, and he was appalled by our TV-maddened greed for junk food and toys. Owing to his influence, in 1962, I made a vow, taken out of Love Labour’s Lost, to be monkish and studious only to fall victim of a Catholic OCD that was in turn healed by my encounter with Aeschylus.
During my Yuppie asshole phase I’d had a fight with my wife and sought counsel from my Dad, complaining that the black parking attendant had delivered my car late and this was why I missed an appointment with “that wretched Anne thy wife”. My Pop said, “you’re no better than a n-r if you treat her like that. Shape up and be a man.”
With my own kids I tried to inculcate equally grave saws despite my sense of futility and their smart remarks. For I did make an impression with my saying “men, women are people” and other wise saws and modern instances.
The Black Talk is only one Talk given in African American families. The rest of their talk is, perhaps these days to a greater extent than in the case of upper middle class whites for whom their Little Darlings can do no wrong, how to shape up.
We had to be careful, tutoring homeless kids in New York, not to criticize the kids’ performance to their parents, for the parents would savagely beat the kids if we said anything bad. It is a fantasy that poor people are lazy and selfish; that’s what rich people are. Poor people are generally highly judgmental and harsh but with little result.
George Bush gorged himself, George Bush bullied Jeb, George Bush flunked out, and somehow, tragically, his father never could be a true father for GHWB, simply to get rich, had betrayed New England and what it represents: a decency that does not discriminate between the personal and the political. As a result thousands of Americans are dead. The wind is beginning to howl from hell here.
Derbyshire’s talk is pathetic racism, and if I have to channel, as I channeled at the sites, William F Buckley and Rudyard Kipling, if I have to rip a new asshole in the clapped out culture of the weary white West, then hark, forward, you chaps.
Has it come to this? Self preservation a virtue alone? Well, it is at that juncture that empires fall, as did the British empire start to fall at Amritsar in 1919, where because of fears of Indian retail attacks on white women, Brigadier Dyer opened up on women and kids: to channel Kipling:
Reggie Dyer he said “fire” and the Ghurkas blazed away
For “better safe than sorry” was the order of the day!
Better a Lee Enfield round that splits a babe in two
Than we be at all discommoded, and the Union Jack, red white and blue
And I understand from beyond Life’s bitter strand that your elitist Troops
Are under orders to kill kids that witness their Special “Oops”!
‘E’s a kid but e’s a Wog, so Sergeant gun him down
You can always get acquitted for shootin’ the black or brown
Or failin’ to protect the wimmen fleein’ Sarajevo’s savaged downtown!
And over in America, that once was so fine and brave and free
The judge’s son is an executioner in downward mobility!
And a thin red line of bozos protect the rest who always flee.
It’s a strange and darkened world that from Valhalla I do see:
One that had some Glory once but now weeps in misery.
Now, Darby-shir knows this in some corner of his Being
He ain’t no dumb bastard, ‘e’s an educated cunt:
But I’d ask him to refrain both now and in the future
From invokin’ that head case Churchill, if I may be permitted to be blunt.
For like ‘Otspur said to Glendower, when upon these spirits you do call
They may not come in serried Rank your side to save the day
They may not come a-throngin’: they may not come at all.
Instead, “why did you call us from our eternal sleep?” those warriors they may say:
“We have no conception of your world in which you don’t mean ‘happy’ when you say gay:
And your ships no longer use wood or coal, they use a goo that’s runnin’ out:
And your Son is not a man ‘e is a lager lout.
We ‘ad a world of novelty which we ‘ad to figure out:
And the only thing that remains isn’t Knowledge and it isn’t run away:
It’s to do the right thing to your fellow man to prepare for judgement day!”
Edward G. Nilges 16 April 2012. Moral rights have been asserted, and apologies, to Kipling’s ghost, rendered.