Romance, Political Correctness and Power Hunger
I was recently reading the following passage from THE CITY OF THE CHASCH by Jack Vance. In this scene, Adam Reith pursues an abducted space princess Ylin Ylan the Flower of Cath, who has been taken for sacrifice by the Priestesses of the Female Mystery:
The Seminary of the Female Mystery occupied an irregular flat area surrounded by crags and cliffs. A massive four-story edifice of stone was built in a ravine, to straddle a pair of crags. Elsewhere were sheds of timber and wattle, animal pens and hutches, outbuildings, cribs and racks. Directly below Adam Reith a platform projected from the hill, with a two-story building to the sides and the rear.
Gala events were in progress. Flames from dozens of flambeaux cast red, vermilion and orange light upon two hundred women who moved back and forth, half-dancing, half-lurching, in a state of entranced frenzy. They wore black pantaloons, black boots and were elsewhere naked, with even the hair shaved from their heads. Many were without breasts, displaying a pair of angry red scars: these women, the most active, marched and trooped, bodies glistening with sweat and oil. Others sat on benches slack and dull, resting, or exalted beyond mere frenzy. Below the platform, in a row of low cages, a dozen naked men stood crouched. These men produced the harsh chant Reith had heard from the hills.
When one faltered, jets of flame spurted up from the floor beneath him, and he once more screamed his loudest. The flames were controlled from a keyboard in the front; here sat a woman dressed completely in black, and it was she who orchestrated the demoniac uproar.
A singer collapsed. Jets of flame only caused him to twitch. He was dragged forth; a bag of transparent membrane was pulled over his head and tied at the neck; he was tossed into a rack at the side. Into the cage was thrust another singer: a strong young man, glaring in hatred. He refused to sing, and suffered the jets in furious silence. A priestess came forward, blew a waft of smoke into his face; presently he sang with the rest.
How they hated men! thought Reith. A troupe of entertainers appeared on the stage-tall emaciated clown-men with skins bleached white, eyebrows painted high and black. In horrified fascination Reith watched them cavort and caper and with earnest zest defile themselves, while the priestesses called out in delight.
When the clown-men retired a mime appeared: he wore a wig of long blonde hair, a mask with wide eyes and a smiling red mouth, to simulate a beautiful woman.
Reith thought, They hate not only men, but love and youth and beauty!
As the mime expatiated his shocking message, a curtain to the back of the platform drew back revealing a huge naked cretin, hairy of body and limb, in a state of intense erotic excitement. He worked to gain entry into a cage of thin glass rods, but could not puzzle out the working of the latch. In the cage cowered a girl wearing a gown of thin gauze.
Adam Reith does rescue the girl, and they become lovers, but, in typical Jack Vance fashion, the oddness of her peculiar cult and culture is an insurmountable barrier: indeed, finding herself unintentionally humiliated, the Flower of Cath suffers a ritualized form of manic insanity called awaile and goes on a killing spree, only to fall to her death at sea from the rigging.
I was reminded of the ritualized insanity of the Caths when I read this passage, not from a fiction book:
It would be many years before I would understand that femininity, the practice of femininity, and the fetishization of femininity degrades all women. That femininity is not a “choice” when the alternative is derision, ridicule, workplace sanctions, or ostracization. That femininity is a set of degrading behaviors that communicates one’s level of commitment to male authority and women’s oppression. That femininity is coerced appeasement, regardless of how successfully it is now marketed to young women as feminism.
That femininity is a set of degrading behaviors that communicates one’s level of commitment to male authority and women’s oppression. That femininity is coerced appeasement, regardless of how successfully it is now marketed to young women as feminism.
And her ‘About’ page states:
Patriarchy, which invisibly persists as the world’s most popular social order, is a really bad scene based on an oppressive paradigm fetishizing dominance and submission. Benefits in this culture of domination are accrued according to a rigid hierarchy at the top of which are rich honky adult males and at the bottom of which are poor female children of color. Within this hierarchy, women, regardless of race or any other status markers, constitute a sub-human sex class.
Women will never enjoy fully human status until patriarchy is dismantled.
The Twistolution envisions a post-patriarchal order free of male privilege, rape, misogyny, femininity, theocracy, corporatocracy, gender, race, deity worship, marriage, discrimination, prostitution, exploitation, godbags, the nuclear family, reproduction, caste, violence, the oppression of children, the oppression of animals, poverty, pornography, and government interference with: private uteruses, non-abusive domestic arrangements, drug habits, lives, and deaths.
Looking over the laundry list of things this Utopia would abolish, in addition to oppression, poverty and violence, is such things a femininity, deity worship, the nuclear family, and reproduction.
I was reminded of this ritual insanity again. Cracked, unfortunately living up to their name in this article, 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women, has one David Wong attempting to explain Rush Limbaugh’s contempt for Miss Flukes as misogyny in terms of a general and pervasive misogyny that afflicts all men. (Mr Wong does not, of course, take the contempt at face value: the idea that commanding Catholics to provide you contraception free of charge indicates moral corruption of the first order.)
The first reason David Wong gives is that we males are promised by society that men are owed a beautiful woman. To prove his point, he lists some stories where the men win the love of the beautiful woman by their heroism, charm, bravery, diligence, and so on.
We were told this by every movie, TV show, novel, comic book, video game and song we encountered. When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity. Marty McFly gets his dream girl, John McClane gets his ex-wife back, Keanu “Speed” Reeves gets Sandra Bullock, Shia LaBeouf gets Megan Fox in Transformers, Iron Man gets Pepper Potts, the hero in Avatar gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE … and so on.
Hell, at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman, Richard Gere walks into the lady’s workplace and just carries her out like he’s picking up a suit at the dry cleaner.
I note that Mr Wong blithely lists films where the protagonist is dating the girl at the beginning of the film (Back to the Future) and one where the girl is rescued from a dragon and turns out to be an ugly troll (Shrek).
Of the five reasons give why men hate women, oh, pardon me, of the five reasons why SOCIETY trains helpless man-slugs to hate women, the number one reason given is that men feel powerless. Mr Wong addresses his female audience thus:
Go look at a city skyline. All those skyscrapers? We built those to impress you, too. All those sports you see on TV? All of those guys learned to play purely because in school, playing sports gets you laid. All the music you hear on the radio? All of those guys learned to sing and play guitar because as a teenager, they figured out that absolutely nothing gets women out of their pants faster. It’s the same reason all of the actors got into acting.
All those wars we fight? Sure, at the upper levels, in the halls of political power, they have some complicated reasons for wanting some piece of land or access to some resource. But on the ground? Well, let me ask you this — historically, when an army takes over a city, what happens to the women there?
It’s all about you. All of it. All of civilization.
This is really the heart of it, right here. This is why no amount of male domination will ever be enough, why no level of control or privilege or female submission will ever satisfy us. We can put you under a burqa, we can force you out of the workplace — it won’t matter. You’re still all we think about, and that gives you power over us. And we resent you for it.
Notice that in neither of these feminist diatribes is there any mention of love or romance. The descriptions are all tin-eared, as distorted as something in a funhouse mirror.
Notice that both diatribes analyze everything in terms of a power struggle, even the relation between male and female. This is a Marxist conceit which is the core of Political Correctness: it is all about power. It is one of those simple, shallow, one-size fits all answers that answers everything by answering nothing. But I rather doubt all the writers here are aware of where their ideas come from. To the writer, they are merely in the atmosphere, and when he needs a quick answer without much thought, he has a one-answer-fits-all answer ready to hand. If you have actually read history, that topic the Politically Correctoids hate more than they hate philosophy, you know where their ideas are from and what they mean, and you are the one eyed man in the country of the blind.
(Where are the Cracked articles about the cruel jokes Bill Maher made against Palin? Where was the outcry about how men “hate” women? Ah, it is only misogyny if Republicans do it. When Bill Clinton fornicates or rapes, abusing, humiliating, and slandering the women involved in nationwide publicity, while lying under oath about it, feminists offer him oral sex in return for keeping infanticide legal. Like the PC idea that only whites can be racist, only Republicans can be misogynists.)
Notice how astronomically Mr Wong misses the point of the Richard Gere carrying away his girl in his arms as if she were already his bride, and jokes that this is like carrying laundry. I mean, come on, I am a guy, and a hetero guy at that, and even I think that is sexy. If all the ladies who saw that movie did not think likewise, the film would have bombed. Answer me truthfully, ladies: if a beau as handsome as Richard Gere came to your boring workplace and swept you off your feet to carry you away to a quick wedding and a lingering honeymoon, would you regard that as an insult, that he was treating you like laundry? Or would you think he cherished you?
Yes, I understand Cracked is telling a joke. But the joke is funny if and only if it is a joke, that is, if the jokester does not actually believe it. The kind of joke where you say something the opposite of the truth is also funny, but that is not what is going on here.
Mr Wong, if I may be blunt, is not fooling around. He is being Foolish. What would he prefer? Stories where the hero does not get the girl? He can read Jack Vance.
Would he prefer we read stories where nothing happens at all? I am reminded of the article by Dave Wolverton recently here on my blog, showing how and why socialists want to rob the world of drama.
You see, they think the enemy is all-present and all-powerful falsehood, which is passed along in books and stories. They think you are dumb wax molded by stories at a subconscious level, not that you are a rational animal with a conscious mind who seeks out and selects stories you like. Political Correctness is not concerned with your conscious mind, not concerned with the rational universe. Like witches, Political Correctness is a thing of the moonlight and shadows, a creature of the night.
For this same reason, the Political Correctors are intent on the idea that there is no truth, which you as a rational being have been convinced by your judgment is true. No, you are a slug, and the Powers That Be have a “narrative” which is “marketed” to you, or that you are “trained” to believe. This is why neither of the diatribes above attribute any agency to women or men. There is no talk of the vanity of women wearing lipstick or nylon stockings to attract a man, nor the utility or the glamor of lipstick and heels — for to speak either of the utility or the vanity would be to attribute purposeful action to the woman.
Instead, such things are regarded as a conspiracy of the Cosmetics Industry, or as a Yellow Star forced upon the ghetto-dwelling prisoners of the female species by the Patriarchs, or as some form of mind control or mental prison the poor helpless girl-slugs have been mesmerized into thinking they have volunteered to want by the all-powerful Illuminati. You see how romantic the world of the reality based community is? Everything is witches and wizards and magic spells casting illusions over the peasants, and only the Chosen One, the Messiah of the Prophecy, can slay the Dragon. Good grief. And in the fairy tale, the people are like those trapped in the castle of the Sleeping Beauty, helpless and mindless.
Speaking of robbing the world of drama, the place they want to start is with fairy tales, which are the distilled essence and sum of all drama. Witches don’t like fairy tales because witches don’t prosper in fairy tales.
Speaking of fairy tales, I am also reminded of this illustration, which, I think, sums up modern feminism nicely:
Time does not permit me to correct the various misinterpretations of the various Disney princesses one by one, so I will confine myself to noting that if Ariel the mermaid is condemned for learning to walk in order that she wed a surface-dweller on that grounds that she should have left her body in the condition nature and nature’s God imposed, well, by that logic, neither Ariel, nor any other woman, should indulge in artificial contraception, particularly oral contraceptives which are carcinogens, alter female psychology, and get into the ground water.
I won’t bother speaking to the idea that Ariel gives up her voice to win the Prince. Her voice was what he fell in love with. If the feminist is reduced to the argument that a fairytale about a diabolical deal with a witch is approving of witchcraft rather than disapproving, the argument is so weak a child in a nursery could refute it. The child could identify the bad guy in the tale. The argument here is akin to saying that Aesop approves of sloth because he has the hare sleeping while the turtle wins the race.
Finally, if one should not abandon your family, then, logically, the feminist principle commands that, even as Ariel should have been obedient to her father the sea-king Triton, all daughters should obey their fathers, who can use his parental authority to forbid miscegenation or interracial marriages. It is a sentiment I am sure Shariah Law supports, that bastion of feminist thinking.
Speaking only for myself, I take it as right and proper that a man should abandon his family when he takes a wife, and the two become as one. If I were in love with Ariel, I would give up my feet to go live with her under the sea, or give up anything, because, unlike an economic exchange, in love you don’t give up what you give up: you receive it back, and tenfold.
But why this hatred of romance? Because romance, for men as well for women, is about surrender. Love slays the selfish ego. Why is Don Juan so hateful a character, and why is rape a crime as bad a murder? Because these are the selfish forms of love, the perversion called lust, the mere animal appetite.
So what does the Political Correctness do to denigrate love and romance? You see it above. First, PC dismisses romance as false consciousness, an opiate of the masses, an ideological superstructure. Like Gnostics of old, who alone deemed themselves wise enough to apprehend that God was a devil and that man is God, the Political Correctors by virtue of their mystical insight understand that romance is a fraud, that love does not exist, and that all sexual intercourse is rape, and that rape is not about sex, it is about power.
Why the continual claim that everything is about power, when it is so obvious that certain things, particularly acts of love and self sacrifice, are not?
Because if love exists, and everything is not always about power, then Political Correctness is false, root and branch. The only love they admire is fornication, or philanthropy.
Power, like money, is a good that is always in demand. A man can be anyone, anyone, up to and including the leader of the free world, adored and flattered by a fawning press, happily married, et cetera, and still crave power. The reason for this is the nature of reality: no one, not even Lucifer the Archangel, has enough power to do everything he wants to do.
The flattery of Political Correctness tells you that the reason why you lack power is because of an evil and oppressive establishment. This establishment can be anything and everything, ‘the man’, the military-industrial complex, the mainstream media, Wall Street, the Jews, the Capitalists, the 1%, the Church, the Phallocracy, the White Male, et cetera et ad nauseam. Political Correctness flatter then tells you to rebel against that establishment so that you will get all the power you need and want.
You can always be envious for more power. No matter how life has satisfied you in all other ways, even the Queen of England or the Empress of China could be a feminist, because she can always envy her stableboy for being male, on the grounds that masculinity grants a magic power she lacked. (One would think that since mothers have the power to bring forth new life, the envy would run the other way, but logic is not the point here: envy is the point.)
Because the hunger for power is never satisfied, the Political Correctness flattery never fails. It is as good in winter as in summer, as good when said to a the richest man in the world as the poorest beggar.
The more vague and the more sinister the ‘establishment’ is, the more failure-proof the Political Correctness flattery is. So, for example, if one thing standing between you and the utopia of power is “racism” then once race-based laws such as the Democrat party’s Jim Crow laws, are overturned, and once customs disapproving of such things as mixed marriages and Blacks in positions of power has basically vanished, then “racism” has to be expanded to include anything and everything, including racial stereotypes flattering the race involved (such as thinking of Jews a smart, or Chinese as hard-working) and has to be discovered in the trivial and innocent of remarks. In other words, “racism” has to move from the real world to the make-believe spirit world of Freud, the “subconscious” mind, where its non-existence cannot proved, ergo its existence cannot be disproved.
As mentioned above, Political Correctness lives in the twilight zone, the subconscious, the land of make believe, where half-misunderstood and half-glimpsed things can be interpreted to be anything. It is the world of Freud, where smoking a cigar is a sublimated Oedipus complex, or Zeus’ desire to castrate Chronos, a world of myth where nothing is as it seems. It is the postmodern world. In the world of sunlight and sanity, things are what they are. In the the postchristian world of arbitrary nonsense, things are what Political Correctness says they are, and anything can be anything: peace is war, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.
If you fight Jim Crow laws, the fight is over the moment the laws are struck down. But if you fight against a foes as subtle and all powerful and invisible as a subconscious yet somehow socially widespread conspiracy whose members do not even themselves know they are agents of evil, well, then, the fight is never-ending.
If the fight is never ending, then the Political Correctness flattery never fails.