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Thus Saith Twitter

As I sit from afar in my safe and quiet space that I've carved out in La Ceiba, watching the latest conflagration in urban America, I can't help but feel that all the world is afire. Nothing seems safe or sacrosanct, free from our culture's myopic and suicidal drive to topple, destroy and deconstruct. Cities burn, institutions crumble, terms are redefined and then redefined again, people in positions of authority are not only suspect but ruined if they have the wrong opinion. We the people, living in the freest, most diverse and most plural of societies to have ever graced history have opted to self-segregate into increasingly smaller and more narrowly defined "communities" of like-minded or like-experienced individuals; choosing to define ourselves by a string of letters, labels, physical features or psychological and biological drives rather than any sense of shared human dignity, tradition or mutual necessity. The vanguard assault always seems to come via social media, and while the platform and actual discussion may have an air of the silly, infantile and lazy: that self-serious, self-referencing, mock outrage that is so easy and so tempting to flaunt in the social media, is very rapidly becoming codified and grafted into our very real and tangible workaday lives. We've learned to self-censor, to offer trigger warnings, to check privilege, to self-silence instead of engage in dialogue, to police micro-aggressions, to unthinkingly and uncritically ally with any group of people that claim a grievance against the system. Dissent is shouted down, drowned out and mitigated because thinking or even questioning in any way that runs contrary to the platitudinous, shrieking majority is not just wrong but out-and-out hateful and unfit for public hearing. Thinking, that seemingly yesterday, was considered normal and good is now declared bigoted, regressive and mean. People's lives, livelihoods and reputations are ruined and seen as justifiable collateral damage in the near orgasmic quest to destroy thousands of years of cumulative wisdom and usher in the imminent eschaton of a category-less, sanitized and mechanistic "change".

I wrote those words last year as I was watched the catastrophe within Baltimore unfold as people were "given space to destroy" and an already devastated and shelled-out city slipped further toward Detroit. It's been 14 months since Baltimore opted to push the self-destruct button and in this, the year of marriage redefinition, gay wedding cakes, jailed county clerks, Melissa Click and her Mizzou muscle, Ivy League Halloween costumes, CSU-LA students rioting to stop the transmission of ideas, and transgendered bathrooms, I can't help but think that we as a culture have opted to do the same. We've let go of logic and reason and truth in the name of something far more ethereal and fickle: people's feelings. How people feel about themselves, about the society, about you; that's what matters and it is to those feelings that we ought to bend the arc of history and more importantly, public policy. It doesn't matter that biologically a person with a penis is considered a man, his feelings about himself tell him otherwise and so against all logic and scientific truth we must all engage in the mass delusion of calling a man "She" and allowing him to pee next to a woman. It does not matter that you as a person, either in your speech or in your actions, have committed no racist act; the feelings of Black Lives Matter intuit racism within you simply because of your white skin color and they intuit racism within "the system" simply because there exists "a system". Thus we must all ally with the BLM movement, chant meaningless and categorically wrong slogans, remain silent about our own experiences and dutifully ignore the astronomically high number of incidents of black-on-black violent crime in such utopias as Baltimore and Camden. It doesn't matter that you personally oppose the redefinition of marriage and want to avoid supporting it through your actions; if you happen to own a wedding-related business the government ought to be able to force you to offer your services over and against your conscience lest you do emotional damage to the couple-to-be. And it does not matter that you've never been a violent criminal or that higher gun ownership levels don't cause higher crime rates or that in places where gun ownership has draconian restrictions, places like Baltimore or Washington D.C., the violent crime rate is through the roof. None of that matters, what matters is that many people don't like guns or gun owners or even the idea of the 2nd Amendment and so as a result we should severely restrict the ability to purchase and own a gun and we should blame the deaths of innocent victims on anyone that disagrees with us.

Quin Hillyer, writing in the National Review, says that he feels adrift, "at sea in an alien culture...a stranger in a strange land":
"Nothing looks the same. The values, the culture, the standards, the frames of reference: All are skewed, tumped over, deconstructed, disorienting. We feel like we’re in a phantasmagoria, a Moody Blues lament in which “red is gray and yellow, white” — except that, unlike in the song, we are actually powerless “to decide which is right,” and the new cultural construct, unfortunately, is no illusion. This isn’t only modernization we’re experiencing; it’s a veritable inversion of values and decency, and of the very nature of truth."

Our own self-loathing will lead to our demise - we all want to be victims and very soon we will be; the last thing anyone wants to be is a hetero, white-male, cis-gendered, Christian, white-bread, middle-American...or someone that doesn't understand those labels - we hate ourselves.


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