the alt-right and the politics of humour

Humour can be a very effective political weapon. It is by its nature a weapon that is more useful to dissidents than to those who defend the status quo. For this reason political humour has for most of modern history been most effectively wielded by the Left.
Humour was used to devastating effect by the New Left in the 1960s and 1970s. They were able to use it to promote the idea of themselves as funny, clever, irreverent and cool and even more importantly to portray their enemies as humourless, stuffy and terminally uncool.
Humour may not have won the culture war for the cultural left but it did play its part.
Today the political landscape is very different. The Left is in complete control of the culture (although in fact leftists are merely useful idiots for the globalist capitalists and bureaucratic managerial types who really run things).
Those who were the glamorous rebels in the 60s and 70s are now the establishment. And being the establishment has crippled leftist humour. Just try sitting through ”progressive” comedy. It’s an ordeal. Being terrified of offending dozens of protected victim groups leaves no real scope for being funny.
In today’s world humour has become a weapon that can be most easily and most effectively wielded by the dissidents of the right. The alt-right in particular has discovered just how potent a weapon humour can be. Their humour might be vulgar and cruel and irreverent but those are exactly the qualities that made the leftist humour of half a century ago so devastating. 
The alt-right obsession with Pepe the Frog and similar memes might be somewhat childish  but the constant trolling of liberals (especially the undeniably amusing efforts of /pol/ to troll liberals with fake white supremacist memes) is having the effect of making liberal ideologist seem ridiculous. And one should never underestimate the potency of ridicule. The alt-right’s use of humour does seem to be having some effect in making liberalism seem ugly, oppressive and unattractive. It has to some extent wrong-footed the liberal establishment and that’s a positive thing.

polls, the media and controlling the narrative

The big story from the US election has been the catastrophic failures of opinion polls and political pundits. This has implications that go beyond the future of opinion polls.
The mainstream media has a lot less credibility than it had fifty years ago. What little credibility it still has is to some extent dependent on its ability to tell us stuff like who’s going to win the next election. They can tell us this stuff because they have Science on their side. Opinion polls are based on mathematics so that makes them Science doesn’t it?  And they have Experts. They know more than we do.
Except that it’s now obvious that their Experts know less than we do, and that their scientific opinion polls are little more than voodoo. People are likely to start thinking that if the media can be so wrong about election results then maybe they’re wrong about other things. Maybe they’re wrong about everything.
Even more shocking than the failure of the pre-election polls was the failure of the exit polls.
There is another very significant implication. If the pollsters were totally wrong about the election then perhaps their polls on various social issues are just as worthless. Maybe opinion polls have been dramatically underestimating the strength of opposition to quite a few aspects of the social justice agenda. We might be dealing not just with a Shy Tory or a Shy Trump Voter effect but possibly a Shy Social Conservative effect as well. Politicians who are anxious to advance causes like transgender bathroom rights and mass immigration might care to bear this in mind.
For politicians this is the beginning of a frightening new era. They have been accustomed to relying on opinion pollsters. Now they are going to be realising that they might as well consult an astrologer. 
For the media it could be the dawn of an even more frightening era – how can they keep control of the narrative if they have no way of knowing how the people are actually thinking?
It’s not as if it’s just Brexit and the US election that pollsters and pundits got wrong. Remember those opinion polls that told the Australian Labor Party that Kevin Rudd was unbelievably popular and could easily beat Tony Abbott at the next election? And the media got all excited about it and assured us that Abbott was absolutely unelectable. And so Labor replaced Julia Gillard with Rudd and Rudd went on to lead them to overwhelming defeat. The opinion pollsters are getting it wrong more and more often, in more and more countries.
It appears that Trump won because he put his faith in old-fashioned political instincts. He had a message that he knew he could sell and he knew how to sell it and he knew which demographics were likely to buy it. He knew that if he stuck to the plan he could win.
There are stories floating about that Bill Clinton had been telling the Clinton campaign for months that their strategy was going to fail and they were going to lose. Say what you like about Bill Clinton, he’s a clever politician and he understands politics on an instinctive level. Luckily no-one in the Clinton campaign listened to him – after all he’s just a stale pale male so what would he know?

why I stand with Jeremy Clarkson

It seems that the BBC is likely to achieve one of its most cherished aims, the silencing of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. The fact that Clarkson is the wildly popular host of the BBC’s most popular program means nothing to the humourless Stalinists who run the BBC. Clarkson does not toe the politically correct line so he must be eliminated.
Why should this matter to conservatives? For the very simple reason that Clarkson is virtually the only dissenting voice left on the BBC. He is just about the only person you’re going to see on BBC television not pushing the monolithic PC line. 
I was rather surprised by the hostility towards Clarkson displayed by Peter Hitchens (a man for whom I have enormous respect). Hitchens’ argument appears to come down to this – Clarkson is not a real conservative, or even if he is a conservative he’s not the right sort of conservative, therefore he doesn’t matter. It seems to me that Hitchens is missing the point. It doesn’t matter what Clarkson’s actual political views are. Any dissenting voice is valuable. And the stilling of any dissenting voice matters. It matters a great deal. If we cherish freedom of speech we must cherish the freedom of speech of others, even if their opinions do not coincide precisely with our own.
I hope the day does not come when conservatives have to say, “First they came for Jeremy Clarkson and I did not speak because he was the wrong sort of conservative.”

around the blogosphere

Interesting stuff I’ve been reading lately on other people’s blogs:
In The Tyranny of the Bookish at Taki’s Mag John Derbyshire points out that too much education can be as bad as too little. I agree completely. The obsession that extending the dubious benefits of “higher” education to a larger and larger proportion of the population who neither need nor want it is somehow going to advance civilisation seems to me to be pure wishful thinking. 
On the other hand Hal Colebatch’s Celebrity Culture and Literacy’s Decline at Quadrant 
shows what happens when you pretty much abolish education altogether, as has been done in Britain. You get a country well on the way to joining the Third World.
Patrick J. Buchanan in The Price of Papal Popularity (at Taki’s Mag) makes some excellent points on the catastrophe to which Pope Francis is leading the Catholic Church. Buchanan admits that Pope Francis is extremely popular although I personally suspect that this pope is popular mainly among people who hate Christianity.
Frank Pledge’s Indigenous Culture and Vile Crimes (at Quadrant) exposes the horrific truth behind traditional aboriginal culture. 
It’s nice to read a good news story for once. And More Australians switched off ABC politically correct propaganda in 2014 at JoNova is very good news indeed. Perhaps eventually Tony Abbott will do what he should have done as soon as he was elected and pulled the plug on our noxious dinosaur public broadcaster.
Nice Deb has an amusing hatchet job on the egregious hypocrite Michael Moore who wins the coveted Weasel of the Week award.
Stuart Schneiderman in his post Men Who Crave Amputation at his excellent Had Enough Therapy? blog points out the eerie similarities between a bizarre mental disorder and the transgender madness.

the Hollywood blacklist and the rewriting of history

The practice of rewriting history to give it the approved left-wing spin has been applied energetically to the early Cold War period. Not just to Senator McCarthy’s investigations but also to the investigations of Hollywood by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

In fact many liberals know so little of the real history of those times that they think McCarthy was responsible for the HUAC hearings in spite of the fact that as a senator he obviously had no connection with a House committee, and in spite of the fact that HUAC’s probing of left-wing influence in Hollywood began when McCarthy was still a newly-elected and completely unknown senator.

Just as McCarthy turned out to be right about Soviet spies in the State Department and the Defence Department, so too HUAC was entirely correct in its view that Hollywood was overrun by communists and communist fellow travellers. Most of the “innocent” victims of the Hollywood blacklist that liberals have elevated into martyrs for freedom really did hold extreme left-wing views and they really were consciously and deliberately using Hollywood to propagate those views. If they weren’t actually traitors they were very close to it. They were certainly actively working to subvert their own country (or in the case of the various émigrés their adopted country).

Of course the situation today is much worse and the state of modern Hollywood provides ample evidence that the threat perceived by HUAC was very real indeed.

Like the term “McCarthyism” the blacklist has been used by the Left as a stick with which to beat anyone who dares to disagree with them. And their rewriting of history has been so successful that today their version of events, a version that maintains that communist infiltration of Hollywood was merely a paranoid conspiracy theory, is accepted unquestioningly.

a good news story for once

It’s always a pleasure to find a good news story. The circulation of Australia’s most left-wing newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, has plummeted by 12% in the past year. Its equally left-wing Melbourne stablemate, The Age, also experienced a severe fall.

The more moderate Australian newspapers such as the Telegraph are holding their ground surprisingly well, and the circulation of The Australian has actually increased marginally.

So it’s reasonable to assume that the calamitous performance of the left-wing press is at least partially a reflection of the extent to which they are out of touch with the Australian people.

apologising will be seen as weakness

While I don’t condone the actions of US Marines in urinating on a dead Taliban, the problem is that if the US apologises or takes drastic action against the Marines concerned it will be seen within the Islsmic world as yet another sign of American weakness.

That’s what liberals fail to comprehend about Islam – that any willingness to negotiate or compromise or conciliate is interpreted as weakness.

And as Vietnam proved decisively, you’re defeated when you believe yourself to be defeated. The US was winning that war militarily but that meant nothing once the news media convinced a significant portion of the American people that they were actually losing. Walter Cronkite turned out to be a more dangerous enemy than Ho Chi Minh.