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Television versus Joe Rogan, and other topics

Spotify's dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech? | National Post

 

This past week I spent a few days with friends at their cottage. They have a complete spectrum of broadcast television available, whereas I have not subscribed to cable for at least five years. During that time, I have cultivated my news and opinion sources by selecting twitter feeds, facebook friends, and youtube videos. I am not living in an outrage bubble. I see more of Joe Rogan and Douglas Murray, for instance, than talking heads. Even my favourite broadcaster, Tucker Carlson, is watched solely through the Intertubes. I have become accustomed to conversations on Triggernometry and other interview shows where questions are asked sincerely and answered comprehensively, where issues are engaged, and answers are open to debate rather than assumed to be false or true according to the Narrative – the tale the media are making up today for our consumption.

It was thus something of a shock to the system to watch reaction to the Speech From the Throne on CTV this week. I simply could not believe the rudeness of the chief Talking Head, Lisa Laflamme. Every question was a gotcha or a “when did you stop beating your wife?”. She made the current Finance Minister look good in that Chrystia Freeland answered hysterical questions with factual responses, and kept her cool throughout.

So naturally as Joe Rogan enters the world of broadcasting, he becomes the target of the hysterics and witch hunters of the MSM. The case in point this morning was a hit piece by Sadaf Ahsan, “Spotify’s dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech?”

She writes:

“But here’s the thing: Rogan has long had a habit of spreading misinformation, sharing his own personal feelings and thoughts as facts, and he’s also a very big fan of conspiracy theories. It’s partly why he’s so popular for a very specific brand of fanboy, which Slate once generously described as “freethinkers who hate the left.”

Oh my goodness, how shocking! An opinion journalist who is sometimes wrong! And add to this the phony dilemma of whether Spotify’s staff has some role in censoring Joe Rogan, or Douglas Murray, or amy of the other thinkers who appear in Youtube. Apart from factual errors he is also accused of “transphobia” – the thought crime of insufficiently accepting that biological males are fmals when they declare themselves to be so.

Joe Rogan now draws viewership that competes seriously with entire cable TV networks.

This is from the article hyperlinked above.

  • “Joe probably gets 5-7 million views of full podcasts a day, which makes him far larger than any TV host.

  • Joe gets 200 million podcast views a month. CNN gets 330 million views a month, NBC and Fox are way bigger.

  • Factoring in Rogan clips, and media website views. Joe gets 400 million views a month. CNN 800 million, Fox 1.2 billion, 700 million for NBC. So Rogan is gigantic, but not bigger than the big media corporations. 1/2 of CNN though, and 2/3 of NBC. That’s insane.”

Other sources show cable networks drawing about 2-3 million viewers a month.( https://www.statista.com/statistics/373814/cable-news-network-viewership-usa/)

Our busy little thought controller Sadaf Ahsan writes:

“Relatively politically liberal, Rogan has supported Bernie Sanders (though recently shifted his support to President Donald Trump), is pro-choice and believes in more social spending for the working class, but he also regularly gives right-wing commentators the space to share their ideas and often questions issues of LGBT equality. So it’s not all that surprising Rogan is loved by so many and that, as a figure who perpetuates a kind of toxic masculinity – what with his penchant for hunting, MMA fighting, and heteronormative views – he has become a beloved figure particularly in conservative circles that largely thrive online.”

 

Joe Rogan is a centrist Democrat, a male, a focused martial arts combattant, and a political liberal who likes Trump (sort of). He sounds like a quite typical American male of his generation, and he and millions more like him will secure Trump’s next term as President.

Rebel Yell rightly chides me for my naivety, in that I still think there might be some truth occasionally permitted in the MSM. Maybe there is, but the economics of slime hurling obviously provide more eyeballs than sobriety. The economic incentives of the MSM are skewed towards lies and outrage. Stay away from them.

 

 

confessions of a student marxist

Tobias Fibbs, a Cambridge graduate, dissects expertly the emotional and moral atmosphere of the modern university. 

 

Social theorist Mark Fisher described from first-hand experience the manipulation of this scene as a Vampire Castle which “feeds on the energy and anxieties and vulnerabilities of young students, but most of all it lives by converting the suffering of particular groups — the more marginal, the better — into academic capital. The most lauded figures in the Vampire Castle are those who have spotted a new market in suffering — those who can find a group more oppressed and subjugated than any previously exploited will find themselves promoted through the ranks very quickly.” The Vampire Castle recruits on the promise of community and self-healing. The reality is an ouroboros of emotional manipulation, stripped of the political and of all that makes life interesting and worthwhile…..

We would have laughed at the idea we formed an elite and we certainly didn’t act like one. But we were the vanguard for a movement that has swept the English-speaking world in the subsequent decade. We still professed to be fighting the old powers — patriarchy, white supremacism, the nuclear family, colonialism, the university itself. But in truth we represented what Christopher Lasch called psychological man, “the final product of bourgeois individualism,” and were being trained in elite formation for the therapeutic age just as surely as our forerunners had been for the previous, paternal age….

The material genesis of the radical cultural politics that has shown its strength in the last few months lies in the overexpansion of higher education, which produced a new middle class that is materially discontented and uncomfortable in its own skin. The globalisation of American pathologies has given this new urban class, present across the Western world, a politics that is carving through our institutions….

 

Our Orwell, who art in Heaven

The events of the past months – murders, riots, firings for writing that all lives matter, statue shattering – reveal that the Leftist war on the past is total. The Left seeks power for ever, by erasing the past. The coverage of Trump’s speech before the Mount Rushmore monument showed that patriotism is now considered by the New York Times, the Washington Post and their ilk to be white supremacy. White supremacy is touted when there has never been less chance of encountering even so much as white self-respect. White idiots are kneeling before black people seeking forgiveness. Useful idiots every one.

Faced with my incapacity to say anything sufficient to the occasion, I refer to George Orwell for relevant insights and quotations, This one is from “the Prevention of Literature”

 

“Literature has sometimes flourished under despotic regimes, but, as has
often been pointed out, the despotisms of the past were not totalitarian.
Their repressive apparatus was always inefficient, their ruling classes
were usually either corrupt or apathetic or half-liberal in outlook, and
the prevailing religious doctrines usually worked against perfectionism
and the notion of human infallibility. Even so it is broadly true that
prose literature has reached its highest levels in periods of democracy
and free speculation. What is new in totalitarianism is that its
doctrines are not only unchallengeable but also unstable. They have to be
accepted on pain of damnation, but on the other hand, they are always
liable to be altered on a moment’s notice. Consider, for example, the
various attitudes, completely incompatible with one another, which an
English Communist or “fellow-traveler” has had to adopt toward the war
between Britain and Germany. For years before September, 1939, he was
expected to be in a continuous stew about “the horrors of Nazism” and to
twist everything he wrote into a denunciation of Hitler: after September,
1939, for twenty months, he had to believe that Germany was more sinned
against than sinning, and the word “Nazi”, at least as far as print went,
had to drop right out of his vocabulary. Immediately after hearing the 8
o’clock news bulletin on the morning of June 22, 1941, he had to start
believing once again that Nazism was the most hideous evil the world had
ever seen. Now, it is easy for the politician to make such changes: for a
writer the case is somewhat different. If he is to switch his allegiance
at exactly the right moment, he must either tell lies about his
subjective feelings, or else suppress them altogether. In either case he
has destroyed his dynamo. Not only will ideas refuse to come to him, but
the very words he uses will seem to stiffen under his touch. Political
writing in our time consists almost entirely of prefabricated phrases
bolted together like the pieces of a child’s Meccano set. It is the
unavoidable result of self-censorship. To write in plain, vigorous
language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one
cannot be politically orthodox. It might be otherwise in an “age of
faith”, when the prevailing orthodoxy has long been established and is
not taken too seriously. In that case it would be possible, or might be
possible, for large areas of one’s mind to remain unaffected by what one
officially believed. Even so, it is worth noticing that prose literature
almost disappeared during the only age of faith that Europe has ever
enjoyed. Throughout the whole of the Middle Ages there was almost no
imaginative prose literature and very little in the way of historical
writing; and the intellectual leaders of society expressed their most
serious thoughts in a dead language which barley altered during a
thousand years.

Totalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an
age of schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structure
becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost
its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a
society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become
either tolerant or intellectually stable. It can never permit either the
truthful recording of facts or the emotional sincerity that literary
creation demands. But to be corrupted by totalitarianism one does not
have to live in a totalitarian country. The mere prevalence of certain
ideas can spread a kind of poison that makes one subject after another
impossible for literary purposes. Wherever there is an enforced orthodoxy
–or even two orthodoxies, as often happens–good writing stops. This
was well illustrated by the Spanish civil war. To many English
intellectuals the war was a deeply moving experience, but not an
experience about which they could write sincerely. There were only two
things that you were allowed to say, and both of them were palpable lies:
as a result, the war produced acres of print but almost nothing worth
reading.”

Berlin 1928

I have been reading the wonderful, and last, book of the late Philip Kerr, called Metropolis. Kerr died untimely at age 62 in 2018. Metropolis is set in Berlin, in 1928. The Nazis and the Commies are engaged in street fighting. The political order is delicate. The government can barely summon a majority of centrist parties. Jews, many of whom are in senior positions in government, carry pistols for self protection. Jew hatred is rife; it has become socially normal in broad sections of the public. In Berlin, homosexuality both male and female is broadly tolerated and almost normal. The nightclubs offer British and other foreign visitors the same kind of sex tourism we have heard about in Thailand. Veterans in tattered uniforms without legs or arms beg in the street. Gangs of young thugs prowl the city looking for people to beat or rob. The police are barely able to keep a lid on the chaos.

Into this mess steps the young Bernie Gunther, newly appointed to the murder section of the Kripo, the criminal police. Bernie is a veteran of the trenches, and has a drinking problem. He lives in a boarding house. He is a widower. A man is killing and scalping young whores, and leaving behind false clues that take up police time in wild goose chases. Another killer is putting bullets into the heads of veterans begging on the streets, and sending taunting letters to the police department mocking their inability to catch him.

Many  scenes are set in various night clubs where, if the shows are not sexual they involve cruelty and degradation of the performers or of the audience. As I read one particularly horrid passage, where the talentless were humiliated before a howling audience, I thought of the idea of a stand up comedian telling the audience, in 1928, just for laughs, what would happen to Berlin and Germany in the next thirty years. I wonder if such a comedian could make it sound funny. I bet you he could carry it off for a while.

  • within the next 5 years, Hitler would bring the Nazis to power (scattered boos, plenty of applause)
  • The night clubs of Berlin would be shut down immediately after the Nazi take-over (much booing, scattered applause)
  • Germany would absorb Austria, repudiate the Versailles treaty and re-arm (more applause)
  • Jews would be publicly humiliated, their wealth ripped off by the Nazi state, and they would be disbarred from public office (mixed applause, nervous laughter)
  • The Sudetenland would be absorbed into Germany, and Czechoslovakia would be dismembered (more applause)
  • The British and French reaction to the rearmament and these events would be supine passivity (wild applause)
  • Hitler and Stalin would make a non-aggression pact, as Great Britain dithered too long in its dealings with Stalin  (scattered shouts of disbelief) leaving Hitler a free hand in the East (strong applause)
  • In 1939, only eleven years into the future, Poland would be invaded and crushed in weeks, while 240 French divisions  do nothing on the German border. Some French troops march ten miles into Germany and then march out again. (cries in incredulity, scattered applause)
  • In 1940, Germany invades France through the Ardennes and conquers France in six weeks using a combination of tank and airpower to achieve paralysis of the French ability to combat the Germans effectively. (wild applause)
  • The English manage to get out of France by a massive sea lift from Dunkirk, leaving their equipment behind. (cheers, boos)
  • The German air force fails to suppress the British air force, and gradually calls off major air operations over England by 1941 (boos)
  • Winston Churchill is made British Prime Minister, and offers his people nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat”. (more booing)
  • Hitler invades the USSR in 1941 and nearly reaches Moscow. The Soviets reel and fall back, but do not give up. German casualties approach 1.5 million dead. (silence, some booing)
  • Having engaged Germany in a two front war, Hitler declares war on the United States after the Japanese neutralize the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, in December 1941. (Stunned silence)
  • Hitler launches an attack into the Caucasus, and sets the Sixth Army into Stalingrad on the Volga. In late 1942 the Sixth Army is surrounded and forced to surrender, with 600,000 prime German troops marched into captivity, from which maybe 15,000 would ever survive. (Boos, calls of “traitor”, and moves to get the comedian off the stage)
  • North Africa, Sicily, southern Italy reclaimed by the Allies in 1943. (more booing, hoots of derision)
  • Decisive defeat of the Germans at the battle of Kursk in 1943 (throwing of objects at the comedian)
  • Mass slaughter of Jews and Poles continues in captured Polish territory from 1942 onward. (silence)
  • Allies land in France in 1944 at the same time as German Army Group Centre collapses in Byelorussia in a military catastrophe so large it still does not have a place name assigned to it.
  • Russians conquer Berlin by May 1945 (gasps of horror, boos, calls to get the damn fool off the stage)
  • Communism imposed on eastern Germany, parliamentary government in the west  by late 1940s (boos).
  • Europe divided between communist east and capitalist west until 1989, when Russia throws in the towel and European Communism disappears as an effective force (the few communists in the audience boo, the rest give tepid applause)
  • Germany re-unites as a federated democratic republic. (tepid cheers, scattered boos)

At this point the Nazi sympathizers in the audience haul the comedian off the stage and beat him. Communists join in.

The point of this recitation of facts is that it would have been completely incredible to the louche and worldly audience in a Berlin nightclub in 1928, even as the chaos of Berlin was immediately before their eyes.

And I think that equivalent, and equally incredible, things are happening in western society today. The undermining of the host society by the termite forces of leftism is now revealing itself everywhere: abolition of the past, hatred for one’s own culture, anti-white racism, banning and exclusion of any thought that contradicts the Black Lives Matter narrative, total corruption of universities, firings, shamings, Maoist insurrections, the long horrid consequences of Jacques Derrida and the French nonsense machine, third rate Nietzscheans all. Prof. Gad Saad speaks of idea pathogens.

Where will it end? Either in revolution or in counter-revolution.

When will it come? The revolution is underway already.

The counter-revolution is not far behind.

Only those with impoverished imaginations fail to see it coming.

As Orwell said, sometimes it takes all our powers to see what is before our eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

The Wheel of Leftism

Hat tip to Oleg Atbashian, the former Soviet agitprop-painter whose cheerfully satirical website, the People’s Cube, reminds us of the Soviet nature of popular propaganda. Atbashian had recognized the Leftist nature of the media long before I realized that he was not kidding or exaggerating. Though I had long realized the leftist nature of CBC, the Globe or the Toronto Star, it took me several decades to realize the depth of their commitment to the “we are always wrong” interpretation of world events. Have you ever had one of those conversations where the words “campus rape culture” was used seriously? Atbashian has carefully summarized the tropes by which any conversation may be derailed. The point is never the point. It is always the Revolution.