Amusing, but not Surprising

Some of you, dear readers, may already be aware of this tidbit of non-news, but it did not receive much airplay.

Amina Arraf, the young vivacious Syrian lesbian activist whose inspiring blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus” had captured hearts around the world, was revealed to be, in humdrum reality, one Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old college student from Georgia. The following day, Paula Brooks, the lesbian activist and founder of the website LezGetReal, was revealed to be one Bill Graber, a 58-year-old construction worker from Ohio.

Mr. McMaster was also “Rania” the cousin of Amina, who reported on her arrest by Baathists. The Syrian dictator, hearing a public outcry against her arrest, ordered her release, only to discover she did not exist.

Amina, as a hajib-wearing lesbian, staunchly championed various fashionable Leftwing causes, and came to some media attention:

CNN interviewed “her” — by e-mail — for a story about gay rights and the Arab Spring. “She” said things were going great for gays. She said the feedback, even from Muslims, for her blog was “almost entirely positive.”

But the CNN story troubled her. The outlet encouraged the sin of “pink washing” — a term used by some anti-Israel critics to decry any attempt to compare Israel’s treatment of gays with that of Arab states. Israel is tolerant, even celebratory, of gay rights. (Israel recently launched a gay tourism campaign with the slogan “Tel Aviv Gay Vibe — Free; Fun; Fabulous.”) Syria punishes homosexual activity with three years in prison. (In Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran, the punishment is death).

Who cares, Amina angrily responds. In fact, how dare “advocates of war, occupation, dispossession and apartheid” use Arab and Muslim hostility to gays as “‘evidence’ that the primitive sand-people don’t deserve anything other than killing by the enlightened children of the West.”

Besides, “she” has never been harassed by Arabs for being gay. But in America, “she” has been “struck by strangers for being an Arab” and “had dung thrown at me” for wearing the hijab.

Of course, she never existed. She was a he. My attention is fascinated by one overlooked aspect of the farce:

The main decline in the intellectual life of the West can be traced to the Thirteenth Century, when classical modes of logic were beginning to be undermined, first by Nominalism, and in later centuries by the skeptical empiricism championed by writers from Descartes to Kant. This disloyalty or even disdain for logic is found written into the Marxist philosophy, and echoed in Nietzsche, in Existentialism, and to a lesser degree it appears in various forms of utilitarianism and moral relativism, and nihilism. These philosophies form the dominant leitmotif of postchristian culture, and the post-civilization post-family sub-barbarism which we see rising like the waters of the Deluge around us.

Logic is no longer fashionable, except, perhaps, as a tool to prove logic does not exist, and that not proofs can be trusted.

The loss of the general ability to reason in our modern culture requires that men rely not on argument, facts, and reasoning, but on personalities. As the general desire not to look at evidence, or to draw conclusions by rigorous reason from first principles, has grown, so too must grow the need to rely on hearsay.

In law, there are certain indicators which make hearsay more trustworthy. One of them is what is called ‘a statement against interest’. We tend naturally (as perhaps we should) to believe something a witness says if he suffers for saying it rather than if he gets rewarded.

Wisdom taken to extreme admitting no exception is folly. Among the dullards that pass for modern pundits and intellectuals, it is considered a final and irrefutable argument merely to point out that the speaker is get some benefit, real or imagined, fiscal or imponderable, for speaking. Whereupon nothing he says need be heeded: the Marxist conceit that all economists disagreeing with Marxism were programmed by the materialist circumstances of their world-era to erect an ideological superstructure or rationalization that favored their class interests was just such an argument, an ad hominem, and it was regarded (and, among the dull, still is) as final and unanswerable.

In a like matter, respected public figures, as Stephen Hawkings, denounce the truth of the Christian religion on the grounds that the good news of the Gospel is good, and is therefore welcome and it therefore someone the believer has an interest or benefit to believe, and therefore must be false. The argument suffers a formal logical error: such a simple mistake made in his scientific writings would diminish his reputation among his peers. (Let this serve as a warning for experts not to venture out of the field of their expertize except with humility and meekness.)

The vaporing of the otherwise respected physicist are newsworthy only because of who he is. What is said was no more rigorous or noteworthy than the utterance of a sophomore of median intelligence challenging the faith of his fathers before the avuncular eyes of his Philo 101 professor for the first time speaking up in class. Ad Verecumdiam is added to Ad Hominem. The authority uses his authority to make his personal attack against the persons more authoritative: the ideas themselves are never cross lances, nor even exchange salutes.

The reports above claim the main appeal of the fictional hajib-draped lesbian Islamomilitant was that the Left allowed the fiction to sooth a cognitive dissonance or intellectual self contradiction that jars their world view. According to orthodox Left dogma, the White Christian Hetero Males are bad, and four legs good. Hence both non-Christians, including Mohammedans of the new Wahhabi sect, terrorist fascist fanatics, must be good, and sexually disordered persons of various persuasions (provided only that they are not chaste nor decent) must be good. The problem is that the Mohammedans of this persuasion torture and kill sexual deviants of that persuasion, not to mention being the most cruelly misogynistic oppressors of women history has ever known. Hence, the Leftist either must betray one of his principles (anti-Christianity) or the other (anti-Decency).

If homosexual Islamofascists can be found, the paradox is avoided, because then the fact that the Islamic fascists stone homosexuals can be ‘unthinked’ in their Orwellian fashion of doublethink: the fact need not be acknowledged, and so it does not exist.

Better yet, a lesbian Islamofascist unthinks the misogyny of the Islamic fascists. Best of all, a Persian lesbian Islamofascist unthinks the racism of the Islamic fascists (the Left, being idiots about such matters, categorize Persians from the Caucasus Mountains as being non-Caucasian, and so call them non-White.)

And if this non-White, non-Hetero, non-Christian female is loyal to the cause of Islamic Fascism, and an enemy of hated George W Bush, all the contradictions and paradoxes of the Leftism worldview are assuaged, and she can be trusted on the ground that she speaks from the authority of her own person, and she makes a statement against interest.

Therefore what she says need not be analyzed, and cannot, without offending all right-thinking circles, be challenged.

I am curious whether any prominent spokesman for the Left has voiced public shame over holding such standards. One would expect a person of normal prudence, discovering himself to be gullible, would wonder why, would double check what standards or habits of thought lead him to this shame, and would vow not to be fooled again.

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