Of Curmudgeonly Interest – 23 September 2017

Oops. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. In fact, I’ve been unforgivably slack with the blog, I know. I have been busy, writing regularly. I’ll update with some of my recent articles over the next few days.

Just two items for this week, and very long ones, but well worth your time.

Forbidden Knowledge: A Conversation with Charles Murray

A fantastic conversation. Sam Harris by turns intrigues and annoys me. At times, he writes and says some of the most interesting things around, at others, he makes some of the most frustratingly bone-headed arguments I’ve heard. What’s worst is that his fanbois seem to lap it all up indiscriminately.

Harris, as he says in his introduction, initially assumed that everything he had heard about Herrnstein and Murray’s book being “racist” must be true. But, having been subjected to the Left’s modern-day auto da fé: being publicly, falsely, branded a “racist”, he decided to actually read the book, talk to Murray and decide for himself.

Surprise, surprise, the accusation was completely untrue.

Beyond being worrisome, what became more apparent … is that the new upper-class holds ordinary Americans in contempt. Disdain. And they’re not even hiding it any more. I think Jonathan Haidt, the social psychologist who started the Heterodox Academy, was right where he said that the ‘Deplorables’ comment by Hillary Clinton changed the history of the world. He may very well be right. That one comment … it certainly was emblematic of the disdain with which the new upper-class looks at mainstream America. And mainstream America notices this.

The most brutal illustration I have heard of the contempt the new upper-class holds comes from Clive Crook … who brought a house in West Virginia for a weekend house … in George Town, when they heard that Clive had bought a house in West Virginia, it was like they expected them to be characters out of ‘Deliverance’, with missing teeth and can’t talk right, and are barely human, and they had no hesitation in using the most, not just condescending, but hateful language about these people. And they’d probably never met a West Virginian in their lives.

Murray also touches on an interesting point raised by Camille Paglia: they also have lost a sense of seemliness.

Why Don’t I Criticise the Right

As usual, Sargon bloviates for far too long, never using one word where he can use ten, but his basic argument is pretty sound:

Yes, there’s plenty to criticise about the right, but 1) I don’t have much to do with them, so I don’t care about them as much, and 2) as bad as some of their ideas are, they’re not nearly as cancerous as the ideas that are now mainstream on the left.

That’s the tl;dr. Sure, critics will screech about Charlottesville or something, but, as Eric July says, what? 200 white guys in polo shirts, in a town you can’t even find on the map, and you think the country is falling apart? Remember, Unite the Right was the big moment for the hard right in America, their Klanstock, and they managed to rally 200 actual white supremacists. Think about how pathetic that really is, and calm yer tits about the hard right.

3 thoughts on “Of Curmudgeonly Interest – 23 September 2017

  1. Your comments reflect my thoughts on both. While I have grown to like Sam Harris a lot, he does often have pre-conceived notions (though, tbf, I guess we all do) that need kicking out of him by his guests sometimes; Sargon sometimes has good points to make, but can be extremely irritating and is somewhat cocooned inside his own bubble squabbling on twitter with his chosen foes and somehow thinking he is fighting the ‘good fight’. Nowadays I just take what I can from both and ignore the rest.


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