Beauty Queen Called Beautiful — PCists Panic

My mission as a science fiction writer is foredoomed if the creatures in real life continue to behave in a fashion more alien than any three-eyed Martian, more crazy than the ‘Crazy Years’ Heinlein’s future history predicted, more absurd than even the darkest of dystopian satires could possibly satirize.

I am referring, not to the sinister and meaningless ‘Kabuki Theater’ of the current hysteria over Victim Disarmament (formerly known as Gun Control) nor over the equally sinister absence of hysteria over the fact that a bankrupt nation ruled by a lawless criminal elite continues to go deeper into debts so astronomical that they can only be expressed in scientific notation, but a matter of far more wide-ranging significance and longer lasting impact.

Someone said a Beauty Pageant Queen was beautiful.

And our self-anointed Politically Correct conformists had a psychotic episode.

Obviously this is not the most important topic of the day, but it is the one which gives me the most plausible excuse to post pictures of beautiful women.

Brent Musburger, a sports announcer, during a dull game, fearful of dead air time, saw the cameraman pointing the camera at what, to any normal eye, would seem to be a drop-dead gorgeous brunette in the stands, called her “goodlooking” (which is an understatement) and “lovely” (which is an understatement). She happened to be the girlfriend of AJ McCarron, quarterback for the Alabama team, sitting next to his Mom.

Here is the football quarterback and his sweetheart the beauty queen.

Here is the clip, lest I be accused of exaggerating or understating the case:

One might think the young lady in question would not happen to be to my tastes, because she is not dressed like the Catwoman in a skintight leather costume. But keep in mind that as the founder of the Space Princess literary movement, I must approve of any young lady who looks good dressed in the classical fashion.

But tastes differ, and yet I am confident any reasonable judge of feminine pulchritude would find Miss Webb to be healthy, hale, comely, and appealing to the eye.

The young lady in question happens to be one of the most beautiful women in Alabama and has the credentials to prove it. That is, she is Miss Alabama of 2012 in the Miss USA pageant.

In other words, not only is she alluringly and alarmingly gorgeous, she is gorgeous as a matter of nature, nurture and vocation on a state and national level, that is, professionally gorgeous.

In response to calling a gorgeous woman goodlooking, many of the Politically Correctists objected. I kid you not.

And in response to the objection, ESPN issued in apology. Again, I kid you not.

Here is an image of the woman ESPN expressed sorrow and contrition that one of their employees called pretty (see below).

I would not make this up if I could, because I would not hope to be believed, and I could not make this up if I would, because frankly my imagination (whether that of a stalwart scientifictioneer or no) is simply not wide, wild, or warped enough to believe this. And I do not believe it.

Here is the apology: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2013/01/08/espn-bcs-championship-brent-musburger/1818455/

“We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test. However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that.”

Got that? His bosses are apologizing because a sportscaster called this woman attractive (see below).

Miss Webb, a voice of grace and sanity, said Mr Musburger had said nothing meriting apology. If anything, the comments were flattering.

Let us depart the areas of grace and sanity and look more closely at what the objection was.

Here below is from an entity named Travis Waldron, presumably an occupant of the same universe as the rest of us, albeit the presumption requires a bit of effort. I select him because he is convenient to hand, not knowing whether this is typical of the objections voiced which impelled ESPN to the apology. http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/01/08/1412861/brent-musberger-katherine-webb-and-footballs-culture-toward-women/?mobile=nc

Musburger’s reaction isn’t puzzling in the beer-wings-and-women culture of college football, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t troubling. There is a culture of domestic violence and sexual assault in football, and one need look no farther than the game Musburger was announcing to find evidence of it. At the NFL level, instances of domestic violence and sexual assault outpace the national average.

Painting Webb as merely a perk of the job, as nothing more than the Alabama beauty queen dating the quarterback of the Crimson Tide, only enables that culture. It’s a culture that views women as nothing more than chattel, a commodity to be won by the best player even if she isn’t a willing participant. It fosters a sense of entitlement to women and their bodies that only ingrains the rape and violence culture deeper into the game. Before the end of the game, for example, an NFL player had already tweeted his phone number to Webb’s account and offered to take her to a strip club.

That sense of entitlement contributes to, if it doesn’t cause, incidents like the Steubenville rape case, the murder of Kasandra Perkins, and the cover-up of a potential sexual assault on Notre Dame’s campus. It contributes to efforts to redefine rape…

That is the objection. Let us say what this is not before we say what it is.

The point being made here is not that Mr Musburger overstepped the bounds of gentlemanly propriety, and exposed a young woman to embarrassment by too fulsome a compliment broadcast too publicly.

I would respect, and even salute, any man man enough to have uttered that criticism in public. Gentleman do not express lust over the wives and sweethearts of other gentlemen, but may only express respectful admiration. This is because a true man, a man of nobility expressing the best of masculine character, is a paragon of self control, and a wary guardian of the virtue and the sensitive character of the weaker sex.

No doubt my last sentence sounds like a parody to you, does it not, dear reader? If so, you can understand why the objection to Mr Musburger’s comments were not criticized in these terms. My sentence comes from a chivalrous and indeed a Catholic worldview, which affirms both the greater strength and dominion and therefore the greater humility and duty placed on the male sex. For Christian gentlemen, men lead and rule, and leaders are servants who give all they have, body and soul, even unto death, like a shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. (We Christians are also much sexier in every way than the wimpy agnostics and their sad barbarian machismo, and our women are fertile, nubile, feminine, and cute, and make better mates and mothers and human beings than the neurotic unisex tramps from your world, heathen losers. Deal with it.)

Such a Christian worldview cannot be criticized or discussed in the modern world because it cannot even be understood, and more than speakers of Newspeak in Orwell’s NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR could understand criticism of Big Brother. The chivalrous objection is not cast in terms of rights and power-struggles. It is too selfless to be understood.

In this case, I will forgo my usual polite habits, so I will not be referring to Mr Waldron by the name Mr Waldron, because he did not call Miss Webb by the name Miss Webb. He merely called her ‘Webb.’ I merely call him ‘creature.’

Let us now turn to what the creature Waldron’s comment is. What it is, is illogical.

The logical error involved is irrelevance. The words here are strung together to form an emotion impressionistic mood, like a blurry cloud of passion, without sharp edges, definition, or necessity.

For example, the first sentence asserts that Mr Musburger’s comment that quarterbacks often attract an attractive girlfriend is said to be “not puzzling” in something identified as the “beer-wings-and-women culture” of college football.

What is the point of this particular string of terms?

Why, for example, are fans of football (some of whom, or so I am told, are indeed women) not described as a culture of “athletics, statistics, and team spirit” or something else related to the sport?

Why mention beer and wings, as opposed to, say, hot peanuts and hotdogs and crackerjacks and Coca Cola, which fans (or so I am told) also consume at games?

Why mention “women” in the same line, as if attraction to women is something only athletes or fans of athletics find themselves prone to suffer? (There are Muslims who have touched more pigskins than have I, but I assure you that even science fiction fans do indeed like women. We just like them dressed as Slave Leia brasskinis because we look more like Jabba the Hutt and less like AJ McCarron) There is nothing about football or sports which makes it a “women” culture, whatever that means.

No, the rhetorical point here is merely to sneer at the crude and loutish tastes of the hoi polloi.

The creature Waldron is not telling us any facts about the world or any deductions about ideas. He is telling us about himself. He is asserting his superiority over the rest of us.

Since the creature Waldron betrays the crudity and loutishness of a barbarian himself, one is perhaps permitted a supercilious smirk at the irony of his presumption of superiority.

Presumably, albeit I cannot fathom why, this superiority consists of being someone who avoids beer, wings, and women.

Now, I have as much respect for teetotalers, vegetarians, and celibates as can be, and indeed, I have considerably more respect for asceticism and self-discipline than does the culture, if it may be called that, surrounding me. So one would think me to be in sympathy with the creature Walloon or whatever his name is.

But no, for the thought, if it can be called that, the creature continues with is that Mr Musburger’s comment that a stalwart quarterback will often attract an attractive girlfriend is “troubling” on the grounds that “there is a culture of domestic violence and sexual assault in football.”

As an attorney, I am always delighted when the prosecution makes a vague rather than a specific claim, because it can be summarily dismissed by the defense. The claim is this case is not that Mr Musburger was aiding and abetting any acts of wifebeating and sexual assault, but merely that the average for such crimes is higher among someone or something associated with the National Football League than the national average.

The creature Waldron does not say specifically that NFL players or fans or sportsannouncers or owners have higher rates of conviction for wifebeating and rape than the national average: he merely makes a windy assertion that there is a nebulous something he calls a “culture” which, it is implied without being said, somehow applauds or enables such violent crimes.

The statement is a lie, and an outrageous lie, and, in a civilized nation or age, a football fan would challenge the creature to a duel with sword or pistol, as a warning to others to mind their words before they slander gentlemen of good character.

Now, I do not know if the statement is literally false. It may indeed be that, taken as a group, any random selection of healthy young men will have a higher incidence of violent crimes, including rape, than the national average, on the grounds that the national average includes old ladies who rarely beat their wives and never commit rape.

I am not a statistician, but I am given to understand that if the average rate of violent crime is higher among healthy young men, than among invalids, elders, and women, then any group which has a disproportionate number of healthy young men, such as stand-up comics, cowboys, midshipmen, firemen, lumberjacks, bridegrooms, blacksmiths or seminarians will have a higher average rate, without there being anything about the so called ‘culture’ of seminarians, etc, which encourages sexual assault and domestic violence.

So if one group consists of ten football players, and another group of the same size consists of nine football players and one grandmother from Peoria, then the average incidence of rape and wifebeating among the first group will exceed that of the second group. (As a point of logic, even this does not show a correlation between football and rape; instead it merely a correlation between grandmaternity and non-rape.)

The implication the creature means for us to draw is not that women rarely have, much less beat, their wives, nor that women rarely have the equipment needed to commit rape, but rather that there is something about football in general, including the consumption of beer and chicken, and something about what Mr Musburger’s observation that beauty queens are pretty, or that athletic heroes attract damsels, which causes or enables or applauds rape.

But please note that no cause and effect chain is posited by the creature, not even alleged, between the idea that jocks win the hearts of maidens fair and the idea that various horrid crimes mentioned here are permissible. The lack of logic is beyond astonishing, and well in the area of being transcendental and unearthly: it is almost like a Zen koan.

This is the accusation: If you compliment a women, you are a rapist. If you think girls find athletes attractive, you are a rapist. If you wish to attract the eye of the opposite sex with your virility at sports or your self discipline to excel at a sport, you are a rapist. If you drink beer, you are a rapist. If you eat fried chicken wings, you are a rapist. If you are a man, you are a rapist.

Obviously, no one in his right mind believes this accusation nor utters it expecting to be believed. That is why it is not uttered, only implied.

That is why the language used by the creature is both so gassy and vague and yet so pointed and accusatory. Someone, it is not clear who, is being accused of a crime beyond misdemeanor, beyond felony, beyond enormity, beyond abomination, and yet it is not clear what this crime is.

Is the crime the fact that Mr Musburger taught and encouraged AJ McCarron that quarterbacking gives one the right to rape beauty queens? That possessing a beauty queen as an unwilling harem slave was part of the wages offered by the Illuminati to successful quarterbacks?

But, on the one hand, Mr Musburger did not say anything remotely like that, and, on the other hand, the Illuminati do not exist, having been destroyed by the UFO people who live in energy pyramids beneath the Bermuda Triangle.

The remaining paragraphs quoted from the creature Waldron are self-parody. My powers of imagination are insufficient to mock them, because neither I nor the creature who wrote them have any intention of taking them seriously.

The words include emotional buzzwords referring to women as chattel, accusing someone (by design, it is not clear who) of regarding men as entitled to possess and rape the bodies of women, and to redefine rape in some way (by design, it is not clear in what way) that makes this capital crime more socially acceptable.

The words also include throw-away references to a case where no guilt has been found yet, which makes this gossip; a case of an allegation about a cover up where nothing has been found yet, which makes this airy gossip; and a case where a cuckolded man killed his lover and himself, making this a case that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything being discussed. Except the murderer there was a football player.

If football caused rape and wifebeating, one would think the cases of non-rape and non-beating would not be included. One would think  a comparison between crime rates among young men who play football, and, say, young men on welfare or young men who join labor unions, would be instructive.

We could then compare the “culture” (whatever that means) of those who practice the exacting discipline of sports to the “culture” of welfare or the “culture” of labor union thugs.  Who is more violent, again, exactly, between these several groups, on average?

Or (dare anyone say it?) young men who are urban blacks from broken homes, or the children of single mothers, or the broken flotsam of the shipwreck of the Sexual Revolution. Then we could compare the culture of civilization to the byproducts of Politically Correct social experimentation with human lives. That would be indeed most instructive.

One would think some sort of cause and effect aside from an entirely imaginary “culture of rape entitlement” would be alleged.  Ah, but to look at any real cause and effect would not serve the Cause.

But the fact that the accusation is entirely imaginary is a feature, not a bug.

Now, there would be no point for me further to dissect the rest of the article, or any others like it, any more than there would be a point in arguing rationally with a commercial advertisement.

No one actually thinks, Hostess bakers least of all, that Wonder Bread builds bodies in twelve ways. Therefore it would be pointless to demand a list of the twelve ways and ask for empirical evidence to support that assertion. The words in a commercial advertisement are emotive and manipulative, an attempt to influence human action without engaging human reason.

The words of the creature are likewise an attempt to influence human action without engaging the human reason.

Nor will I bother to find other like examples of such rhetoric and sophistry and ritual phrases floating about the internet or the media. They are Legion. (By that I mean not that they are countless, but that they are diabolical.) Instead I will direct the readers attention to three pressing questions here.

First, what is the meaning of the creature’s objection to calling a beauty queen beautiful? Why were the words written?

Second, what is the philosophy or worldview which leads, step by step, from relatively well intentioned concerns (for example, not wishing a young lady to be treated disrespectfully) to pure, stark, raving, pop-eyed, screaming, Lovecraftian insanity and pure and putrid evil (for example, equating compliments with rape)?

Third, during the step by step process which leads from relatively well-intentioned concerns to pure and putrid evil, why are there no brakes, no halts, no inhibitions, no sobriety, nothing to check the process before it dashes headlong over the brink of insanity into the yawning abyss of unfathomable dementia?

Let us address each question in order:

Why were words like the creature quoted above written? I believe I understand this perfectly, because I recognize it as if in a mirror reflection.

I am a Roman Catholic. We are often criticized, even by ourselves, for engaging in rote prayers and recitations. Such criticism mistakes the meaning and purpose of ritual words.

When I pray the Magnificat, I am not asking God to cast down the proud, nor does the infinite mind of the Creator need a reminder of the good deeds and mighty works He has done in the past for Abraham’s seed. I am not engaging in an argument meant to convince a skeptic. I am not describe a fact nor a deduction of facts to a curious juror. Nor am I exposing the products of my artistic imagination to the applause or otherwise of the world.

I am adoring. It us adoration. It is a love letter. The purpose of ritual is worship.

The creature Wubble (or whatever his name) and other creatures like him write the words like those seen above not to persuade, nor to describe, nor to express. They were words of worship, using the same rote phrases and ritual words his cult uses to glorify the empty world view of self regard they have in place of any divinity to worship. He was trumpeting his moral superiority by uttering gibberish.

It is detestation. It is a poisoned pen letter.

The paragraphs are ritual phrases used to express sneering hatred and contempt, and to express loyalty to the ideals of political correctness, not to convey a thought from one mind to another.

That the hatred and contempt are written in the lifeless, plodding, whining, wheezing, and insufferably boring style of an etiolated intellectual rather than with the fiery power and condemnation of a true demagogue is a sign of the inadequacy, not of the writer, but of his philosophy.

It is an essential part of the nihilist philosophy called Political Correctness that stupid people try to talk like smart people. Not being smart themselves, they do not know how we talk.

They imagine our talk to be something like that of Mr Spock on STAR TREK, using big words and dull language and making references to statistics so as to sound all scientificky and stuff.

The PCists are not really sure what science and statistics are, or what they prove. Listen to them discuss THE BELL CURVE by Herrnstein and Murray, or MORE GUNS LESS CRIME by Lott, or the reliability and medical side effects of contraception, and you will hear about anything but the statistics. But they crave the prestige being able to quote an authority.

But they cannot pull off sounding grave and sober, so they just sound dull.  Sometimes they make reference to imaginary statistics, but usually they just pretend that the statistics are out there somewhere, and pretend that the statistics support their case, and, while they are at it, they pretend that they have already made the case, so that all they need to write is the summation and concluding remarks to the universal applause of all right-thinking people.

Remember, Political Correctists are not thoughtful people, they are conformists. They are attempting to establish and maintain a uniformity of thought and outlook.

All this pretense of authority and faux-intellectual gravity would all be quite a pathetic tactic, except that, (1) it works, and (2) two entire generations have been indoctrinated in a set of reflexes (I will not call them beliefs) to ensure the pathetic tactic works on them better than on any previous generations of man.

No savage tribesman of Scythia nor Boeotian slave would believe something told him by a random and anonymous stranger. The average American, however, thanks to modern schooling, believes what he hears on television and radio, or the findings of committees and commissions whose loyalties and agendas and qualifications he could never begin to discern, and these so called experts, as long as they are anonymous, will be believed with an unbelievable gullibility.

There are still grown men with good education, for example, who believe DDT is somehow harmful, and who see nothing wrong with Rachel Carson’s house is still being a national monument. There are no monuments to the countless millions dead of malaria due to her junk science, however. This is the Age of the Gullible, one made insufferably hypocritical by pretending to be an Age of Reason.

Happily, or unhappily, to some degree and in some circles the pretense at being an Age of Reason has been dropped, and the brutal, empty reality of being an Age of Nothingness has been admitted. Few writers of this modern faction openly admit their loyalty to nonreason, but many, even most adopt some or all of the conclusions of the doctrine without identifying, perhaps without knowing, the foundations on which those conclusions are based.

This nicely introduces the second question. In any conversation with a Political Correctist, the same pattern is followed:

He seems to be a man of normal judgment at first, merely one who worries unduly about remote or unlikely or trivial dangers, and who is unduly nonchalant about immediate or likely or substantial dangers. He seem at first to be a trifle otherworldly or ill-informed, but ironically fancies himself well educated and current with the news.

He seems to be a man of normal reasoning power at first, merely one is somewhat distracted, or unable to concentrate, or unable to answer any question put to him directly, as if a toothache makes him unable to focus his thoughts, or some annoying noise inaudible to you.

He seems to be a man of ordinary moral compass at first, merely one slightly more forgiving in some areas where a reasonable man thinks the moral law is strict, and slightly more strict in areas where a reasonable man thinks the moral law should allow for some leniency, or admit of certain exceptions.

All these impressions are aided by the fact that Political Correctists do not ever admit their loyalties, and, in some odd way I cannot understand, seem not to be aware of them.

They do not think of themselves as conformists to an ideology, perhaps because it is one of the maxims of their ideology that they are all freethinkers who independently arrived at coincidentally uniform conclusions.

Or perhaps because another maxim of their ideology is that their conclusions are scientific, resting on the authority of nameless experts, whereas any rival point of view is not merely unreal but a sign of mental aberration, usually fear (as in homophobia, Islamophobia, Reactionary, etc.)

Whatever the case, even a brief attempt at a sober and rigorous conversation will dispel these first impressions and reveal the disorienting and alarming abyss which yawns between the rational man and the Political Correctist.

Rather than possessing a balanced and moderate judgment, the Political Correctists exists in a state of screaming hysteria about dangers that are utterly imaginary and harmless, such as Global Warming, and bovine, nay, a morbid indifference to clear and present dangers, such as enemies with the means and motive and announced intention to destroy us, communism in days not long past, jihadism today.

Rather than being well-informed, the Political Correctist is not only ignorant of matters of common knowledge, he is abysmally ignorant and, at times, apparently proud of that ignorance.

He prefers to believe conspiracy-theory styles of “secret” history to explain the world and the doings of his fellow men. These theories have an headsplittingly unimaginative, even boring, monotony to them. All human actions are reduced to power struggles between the oppressed and the oppressors, and the “secret” motive of the oppressors is a malign powerlust.

Often, however, the PCists are too lazy even to invent any motive for those not in their faction. Any disagreement is attributed to xenophobia, homophobia, Red Scare, Witchhunt-Mania, Islamophobia–it is like listening to a child too unimaginative to come up with a new or interesting lie, but instead merely insists on saying that smaller child he attacked hit him first “for no reason.”

And, when it comes to morality, the conversation always follows the same pattern again. Something will start off sounding like a reasonable, if unusual, concern for the justice or compassion for some group or another, and then end up in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of total moral inversion, where disgusting sexual perversion is laudable and worthy of fiercest defense, and normal sexual behaviors, customs, emotions and passions are condemned on the most frivolous reasons imaginable: as here, where complimenting a beauty queen on her beauty is seen as being a signal encouraging rape.

The moral inversion applies to all areas. Lies from Rachel Carson or Walter Duranty are applauded, truths uttered by Senator McCarthy (or, for that matter, Thucydides) are condemned. Violent riots are applauded, and peaceful protests are falsely accused of being violent, as with the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements.

And the impression that the Political Correctist is interested in a rigorous, or even a sober, conversation is soon dispelled. These creatures exist only to make the most extreme of accusations. To them, everything is a crisis, everything an emergency, everything a matter of absolute principle where no compromise is possible and any discussion on the matter is treasonous, if not insane, a sign of some phobia or another.

I remember a philosophical discussion with an editor, sane-sounding at first, about the need for self-control as a virtue, including self-control in the sexual areas. I was arguing that society needs formal and informal sanctions, including peer disapproval, to channel the sexual impulses in man into harmless and useful areas. His reply was that I intended, like Hitler, to march homosexuals into concentration camps and exterminate them.

This was not a bad man, nor an insane man, nor an unreasonable man, and yet after a few exchanges of point and counterpoint, he was soberly worried about the coming global anti-unchastity holocaust led by John C Wright, Master of the Spanish Nazi Inquisition of Mordor and my endless radioactive ape armies.

I remember an argument on this blog where a reader, sane-sounding at first, wrote in to object that showing the funnybook character Marvel Girl using her X-Man powers to do housework was demeaning to women, and, when asked why, the reply was that showing girls doing housework, or encouraging respect for motherhood, was the same as forbidding them by law from entering the professions.

Isaac Asimov likewise one said having distinctive dress or hairstyles for women had nothing to do with femininity, but was the attempt by men to pin the Nazi’s “Yellow Star” on them. No doubt this was because women were Jews, and men were Nazis, and we men dream night and day of nothing but humiliating and killing women, preferably after torture.

I have been in a conversation with a man who objected to my using the word “Chinaman” to refer to the people ruled by Mao, but was nonchalant, even innocently puzzled like a wide-eyed kitten, that I or anyone would think there was anything wrong with Mao’s genocide of countless Chinamen. (For the record, his numbers far exceed Stalin’s.) The first was a matter worth shrieking like a steam whistle about, whereas the second was a meaningless historical oddity having nothing in particular to do with the advantages or disadvantages of totalitarian socialism.

The pattern recurs again and again. Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, which no one whose heart was not stone could watch without being moved, could not be condemned for some simple or ordinary reason, some criticism of the craftsmanship of the film or the excessive bloodiness of the images. No, even though it was was nothing but a very faithful rendering of the Passion narrative, and the line were lifted directly from scripture, it had to be condemned as racist and antisemitic. A lesser accusation is not enough, is never enough.

Again, any attempt to deter voter fraud is caused by race-hatred. Any criticism of tax-policy is caused by race-hatred. Patriotism is race-hatred. Any desire to prosecute a war against a ruthless and fanatical aggressor is caused by Islamophobia, which is race-hatred, unless it is caused by McCarthyist Witch-Hunt Red Scare fears, in which case it is Reaction, or Class-Interest, or hatred of the poor.

Complimenting a pretty woman is rape. And misogyny. And race-hatred.

And these kind of lunatic accusations are made routinely.

Likewise any evil of any kind whatsoever, which ordinary moral codes would discourage, deter, or forbid, is assumed to be utterly innocent and natural, or, better yet, noble and brave. Of course, the act of making a moral judgment is condemned, as endless examples show, as being motivated by a desire for powerlust. The moral judgment is always assumed to be not only false, but contemptible, a mere figleaf for the true motive, which is fear and hatred and malice.

Surely a desire to see to the equality and fair treatment of women and blacks and the poor, a desire to alleviate the unneeded guilt of the wrongly-condemned and establish their self-esteem, a desire to conserve natural resource and live in peace and brotherhood with all men, are not only reasonable, but are the most noble and elevated of sentiments.

Why is it then, if these are the true motives of the Political Correctists, that their chains of reasoning (if they can be called that) end up opposing just wars and applauding unjust riots, opposing monogamy and applauding sodomy, praising individualism and enforcing conformity, expressing compassion for the poor while doing everything imaginable including open violence to grind their faces and keep them low, miserable, dependent, starved and weak? Why? Why do they see a man compliment a beauty queen and think the rape riots of the Nazi Patriarchy is about to start?

Why can’t they put on the brakes?

The Political Correctist cannot be content to accuse rivals and opponents of small misdeeds or evils of a human proportion; the evils must always be absolute evils, the motives must be utterly vile; and we who stand against the impious filth and nonsense of Political Correctness, well, we are not merely vermin and enemies of man, we are perfect devils to the core.

There are a number of rhetorical and psychological reasons which make an intemperate and unreasonable accusation easier and cleaner and more efficient than a carefully considered accusation, not the least of which is the continual astonishment of the accused at the reckless unfairness, even the insanity, of the accusation.

If you want the jurors to ponder the evidence, make an accusation that is based on evidence. If you want a mob to burn a witch, accuse her of every mishap and ill, real or imaginary, the spleen of man can invent, including stark absurdities like flying through the air or copulating with demons. In that way, the mob can congratulate itself on its degree of faith in you, by being willing to believe stark absurdities, and can turn on any mob member who feels pity, under the excuse that pity is weakness.

You make an insane accusation if you want to panic your mob into frenzy. And insane accusations need no brakes.

Is each an every member of the Politically Correct movement, including those who deny, even to themselves, that they are members, this extreme, this absurd, this lacking in judgment? Of course not. People are people. They vary. It is the philosophy I am discussing, not the people.

But when a moderate PCist attempts to check the frenzy of an extremist PCist, please note the amazing lack of conviction.

There is no logical reason to be given in that frame of mind to justify moderation.

An example: Many socialists of the Fabian type dislike the mass murders of socialists of the Communist type, but they can articulate no reason to distance themselves from their violent brethren, and their condemnation of Communist violence is weak to nonexistent.  The last socialist I asked about communism spent the rest of a dreary and predictable conversation accusing me of every sin he could invent, but not a single word of condemnation was spent on Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, or the socialist’s many brothers-in-spirit.

In addition to rhetorical and psychological reasons, there is one overwhelmingly logical reason. Once you agree in principle (for example) that the state has the right to ignore private property rights, no principle can be announced for any other rights to be honored. In effect, you have just announced that totalitarianism is right and just in principle. And once totalitarianism is right and just, there is no logical stopping point that can be held based on practicality or sentiment or something other than principle, because everything is weaker than principles. The slippery slope has no traction. There is nothing to grab. There are no brakes.

Likewise for everything else in the PCist worldview. Once you agree, in principle, that all human action is a Darwinian competition without quarter or mercy between helpless yet blameless victims and sadistic oppressors who lack both human compassion and any instinct of self preservation, who, in effect, have no rational motives at all,  in effect, you have announced that the oppressors are not human beings in any sense of the word, not even beasts who can be domesticated, not even vermin whose depredations can be tolerated.

Once you agree to the Darwinian analysis of history as announced by Marx, and see all human relationships (including courtship and marriage) as a pitiless power struggle between the exploited and the exploiters, there is no reason in principle to treat the pitiless enemy with pity.  Peace is not logically possible within the worldview: it would be like a lamb playing pattycake with a lioness. You have in effect agreed that courtesy or justice is impossible between human beings. Quarter is impossible. Retreat is impossible. Negotiation is impossible.

It is simply easier, and much more fun, just to call the accused a witch, and burn him. Besides, he is guilty in some abstract metaphysical way of participating in past injustices, because of some alleged privileged position all his race and nation and class and sex enjoy. Mr Musburger never actually counseled anyone to commit a rape, but Simon LeGree kept black slaves, so Mr Musburger is jointly and severally liable for these wrongdoings, as well as guilty for exterminating the Neanderthal.

Why does anyone believe a worldview that dispenses summarily with justice and moderation and prudence in this way? Who speeds away in a car with no brakes?

We can dispense with three theories about the lack of brakes right away.

First, these creatures are not stupid. They are the victims, in many cases of an abundance or superabundance of education. They can calculate sums, compose a grammatically correct sentence in English, and, in areas unrelated to their particular mental blocks or blindspots, can use a syllogism to draw a rational conclusion from a given set of premises. They only talk stupid. Really, really, really stupid.

Second, they are not insane. They are oriented as to time, place, and person, which is the medical definition, and they know the moral nature and moral consequences of their actions, which is the legal definition. They only talk neurotic or psychotic. Really psychotic.

Third, they are not evil. While they support and offer specious apologetic for and applaud the most sadistic regimes in history, and while they support and offer specious apologetic for and applaud the most depraved crimes and criminals imaginable, they themselves rarely or never commit genocide, thefts, abortions, infanticides, and acts of sexual perversion. But they talk like evil men, they rejoice in evil, and flatter evil, calling it good.

(They do, however, lie, and they are willing to lie about anything and everything, at any time, including at times when they know full well no one, not even them, believes their lie.)

There is the paradox: intelligent men who talk nonsense, sane men who talk madness, good men who worship evil. How is it possible?

How could any intelligent, sane, good man look at Miss Webb, see her beauty, and call it wrong to compliment her? Then, with an awe inspiring lack of any sense of proportion, call it not mere wrong, but a crime akin to aiding or abetting rape?

The paradox lies in the mystery of the will.

The PCists are intelligent but, in certain areas and on certain topics, they steadfastly refuse to think with a self discipline and stubbornness that is beyond belief, perhaps beyond estimation. I know many who would rather die than think, and many who would rather go to hell than think. They will not think to save life or soul.

They are sane but, in certain areas and on certain topics, they prefer insanity.

They are good men, despite how they talk. I am sure any one of them is no more likely to cheat on his wife or snub a beggar than your average Christian. Why do they applaud and adore disgusting, vile and absolute evil, men like Che and Castro and Mao, bullshit theories like Socialism, believe bullshit artists like Noam Chomsky and Peter Singer? Why do they give Father of the Year awards to crooked little adulterous weasels like President Clinton?

Again, the PCists are good men, but in the area of the blindspot, they chose to support evil. It relaxes and soothes and flatters them. They love evil. It makes them feel strong, enlightened, wise, and progressive.

The reason is a matter of metaphysics. The reason for anyone to surrender his will is always metaphysical, rather than, say, utilitarian, because surrendering the will surrenders the whole being. In this case, the Political Correctists surrender and pervert  each man his own conscience, his capacity for logic, and the exercise of his judgment.

One does not surrender this, which is the totality of one’s life, the totality of one’s worldview, except to a god, or the functional equivalent thereof.

Many Political Correctists are nominally Christian, even Catholic, despite the paradox and absurdity of claiming to be the member of a body you hate which serves a God you secretly fear and despise. However, with the surrender of the rational faculty, the Political Correctist avoid the logical implications of thinking merely by avoiding thought. They can be a nominally Catholic politically publicly committed to forcing Catholic employers to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, or can be a nominally Christian man who join a denomination that encourages gay marriage. In any case, they do not follow Christian tradition or Catholic teaching on the central matters of the Christian faith. They are “spiritual” rather than “religious”.

And that, my dear friends, is the first clue.

The word “spiritual” is a code word for someone who does not hold any one Church or any one creed in special esteem. Is it one who suspends his judgment in such matters in hope of avoiding debate, disagreement, tumult and bloodshed.

Likewise, to them, the word “religious” does not mean a man who devotes his life to Christ. It means someone who takes a fundamentally arbitrary and personal opinion, no more meaningful than which end of the egg, big end or little end, to crack open at breakfast, and for the only motivations which exist in the Political Correctist universe, namely, fear, hatred, and powerlust, seeks to exterminate any and all men of any contrary opinion.

The second clue is that real fanatics, either of the Communist or Jihadist strain, men who will lie, defraud, torture, kill and kill themselves and kill their children in order to exterminate capitalists and Jews, are, for the Political Correctist, either partially good guys who have an unfortunate bad habit of mass murder, or who are faultless victims of the oppressor, therefore thoroughly good guys.

Now put the two clues together, and we can discover the name of the god to which the Political Correctist devoutly yields his life and mind and soul.

The first clue points to the simple Devil’s bargain famously promised in the famously idiotic John Lenin song ‘Imagine.’ Rather than reciting the nauseating lyrics, I will sum up: If nothing is true, and nothing is false, then there is no basis whatsoever for disagreement or difference of opinion. If nothing is true, there is no truths which divide us, no property, no nations, no creeds, hence we can all live in perfect unity therefore perfect peace.

The absence of conviction is the presence of harmony.

By this theory, to make peace between two children quarreling over a toy is not to establish who owns the toy or whose turn it rightly is. The secret is not to get a second toy. The secret is not to teach the brats unselfishness.

No, the secret, by this logic, is to wish into existence creatures who look like children but who do not play with toys because they have no desire to play. They just sit in the corner with their eyes open, not blinking.

That is what they want for the children of men to be.

The technical name of the doctrine that there is no truth is nihilism. The appeal of nihilism is the promise that eliminating the various things worth living for, such as truth and virtue and beauty, the goods earned by one’s life’s work, the contents of one’s mental and spiritual growth, and passion of love of homeland and love of family, and most of all the all-consuming love of God — if we give all this up, then we can avoid messy debates, civil disturbances, political compromises, civil wars, world wars, and all unhappiness.

If we only give up everything that makes us happy, we can be happy.

But it does not work. If you give up your private property, all that happens is that the strongest and cruelest man among you, Stalin or Mao, enslaves you and takes your property. If you give up nations and patriotism and love of home, you do not achieve some ecumenical Christendom, all you get is that the group among you with the strongest sense of self identity, that is, the most ruthless nation, becomes your nation, and the world is Dar al-Islam. If you give up all religion, all that happens is that Political Correctness becomes your religion.

If we only give up everything that makes us happy, we can be happy.

It is the stupidest idea of all time. Because it is stupid, anyone who clings to it must decide to avoid being rational, at least rational when facing any politically correct topics. Reason can exist on other topics and chains of thought, which is why the Political Correctist only has selective blindspots in his thinking.

If we only give up everything that makes us happy, we can be happy.

It is the most ignorant idea of all time. No one with a twelfth grader’s knowledge of human nature and human history could possibly believe for a microsecond that such a bargain has even the smallest chance of working. Because it is ignorant, anyone who clings to it must decide to avoid knowing facts, at least knowing any politically incorrect facts of history or human nature.

History now becomes a simplistic myth about a long evolution out of the darkness of superstition to the enlightenment of political correctness. Human nature now becomes the endless oppression of the victims by the irrational and phobic authorities who could not imagine there was no heaven. Now that we are all brave enough (yes, this is how they phrase it) to imagine there is no heaven, all authority is debunked, and all oppression ceases.

Facts about history and human nature can exist on other topics and chains of thought, which is why the Political Correctist only has selective blindspots in his thinking. I have a friend work who, indeed, knows more about Byzantine history than anyone I have ever met. But when asked why the Hostess company when out of business, or what caused the Great Depression, he ascribed it to the self destructive or malign greed of the rich and powerful, no doubt dressed like Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Parker Brother Monopoly game in top hat and monocle. It is like listening to a witch doctor carefully diagnose the cause of inflammation as being due to the malevolence of wicked but invisible fairies.

If we only give up everything that makes us happy, we can be happy.

It is the most evil idea of all time. Because it is evil, anyone who clings to it must decide to avoid being morally straight. The conscience can be allowed to speak on other topics, which is why the Political Correctist only has selective blindspots in his conscience.

He is also plagued by guilt, and a gnawing inner knowledge of his own surrender to evil, which is both why he assumes the posture of moral superiority whenever possible, and why he accuses any honest men he encounters of the most repellent imaginable enormities of total evil imaginable.

That is another reason why is it not enough to say that giving a beauty a compliment is bad taste; the Political Correctist has to say it is rape. That is why it is not enough to say that urging girls to wear skirts is an imposition and an annoyance; the Political Correctist has to say it is pinning the Jewish Star on them, a prelude to slavery and torture and mass murder.

The second clue is their love of evildoers, their slobbering, unsightly, infatuated lust for sadism on a grand scale, a lust so unholy, it which would make even a catamite blush.

You see, the only thing the Islamics and the Soviets and the peace-loving vegetarian sodomites have in common is that they hate the Christ. In every other way, they are opposite and opposed fiercely to each other.

Please take a moment to wonder at the vehement apologetic poured out upon monsters like Stalin and Mao and Castro, or Saddam, or Che, or any other infatuation of the Political Correctists.

Please take a moment to recall the countless times you have heard the bleeding hearts weeping at the unfairness of the oppressions of the we Christian White Male oppressors. But no tears are shed over the kulaks, whom Stalin starved to death, or the Cambodians butchered by Pol Pot.

Please then take the final step, put the final jigsaw piece in place, an ask yourself when, if ever, any Russian or Arab was subjected to oppression in America. When did Mr Musburger ever oppress Miss Webb?

If Mr Musburger never oppressed Miss Webb, or even offended her, then what was the point of the apology?

To hear the accusations of the pious PCist creature, the offense and the oppression was part of a vague nebula of evil issuing from the culture of football, which tells athletes that they have a right to couple with nubile slavegirls, and rape and kill any toothsome trollop unwilling to submit to their inhuman demands. But this had no relation to reality and is not meant to. It is symbolism and ritual, an act of worship. What is being symbolized? What is being worshiped?

The symbolism is to identify some harmless act as a an act of oppression, and to identify some unharmed person or group as a victim of oppression. The ritual then demands an overthrow of authority, in order to end the oppression.

Who is the authority that all the Political Correctists fear and hate and seek to escape? It is not the Republican Party, or the White Man, or the West, or Big Business, or President Bush, or the Pope, or Christendom, or anyone else you can name or point to.

All these and many more will serve as stand-ins if need be, and any can be symbolically dressed in the pointed cap and rags of the symbolic Authority, but clearly no human person can concoct or organize all the evil of human history.

The Political Correctists do not fear political authority, since their every political act is made to increase the power of the state and erode any institutions or constitutions which might hinder the operation of that power, from private property to marriage to the Second Amendment. They are not anarchists, or, rather, not simply anarchists in a worldly sense. It is not legal authority they hate. Caesar they adore.

So what is the Authority?

There is an evasive quality at the very heart of all Political Correctist thinking, and this spills over to all their thinking, from the smallest things to the greatest, and even appears in the most casual and trivial of matters, such as the one we are discussing now.

The evasion is the unwillingness to admit, perhaps even to themselves, what is behind all this talk of rebellion.

The Authority they hate is Christ.

They are otherworldly anarchists, spiritual anarchists. While they will gleefully sell themselves and their children into slavery in return for the most specious promises of earthly happiness to Caesar, and trust Caesar despite infinite evidence of untrustworthy nature of world utopias and earthly paradises, they will never trust Christ. They are bomb-throwing anarchists of the spiritual and mental realm, mistrusting all laws and all logic, all thought and all discipline, and most of all, regarding all moral uprightness with horror and contempt.

Their motto: Non serviam.  I will not serve.

That is it. That is the final clue, the answer, the center of the puzzle, the home of the maze behind all their tortured reasoning, the explanation for their hysteria and their dullness, their arrogance, their ignorance, and everything else surrounding this odd phenomenon of good men who adore evil.

Of course they are good men. They are seeking social justice and other good things. And of course they worship evil. Once you turn away from the light, you walk in darkness. There is no other third option.

Of course they are learned men who make themselves ignorant; they evade the knowledge of their self-betrayal, their treason against all which is best inside them. Once you abandon wisdom, all that is left is folly and wind. There is no other third option.

Of course they are reasonable men who have lost all sense of judgment and proportion. The hungry heart longs for God; so our Creator created us. When a man denies himself the feast of divine love and peace, he has nothing but hellish hate and pandemonium inside him.

God is too rational and obvious a concept to deny, so those who deny Him (even nominal Christians who praise Him with their lips and deny Him in their politics) must abandon the faculty by which men see what is rational and obvious. They surrender their judgment.

Who, then, is their true god? What do they worship?

They worship nothing.

I do not meant that they lack the act and impulse to worship. I mean that they are devout, and in thought and word and deed, they pay their adoration to their idol.

Their idol is The Abyss, the nothingness, the emptiness of spirit and the void of meaning which is at the center of their lives. It is it the Pit to which they freely cosign themselves, now and hereafter.

For the Nothingness promises peace and ease. If nothing is true, you need not bother your head about the confusions and discipline of thought and reasoning.

The Nothingness promises can never be wrong in an argument again, only oppressed. And you get unoppressed not by correcting  a wrong (which is difficult) but by shaking off an oppressor (which, when you are not actually being oppressed at all in any way, is actually quite easy).

The Nothingness promises high self esteem. If there is no better and no worse, no one is above you, no saint merits your respect, no father merits your obedience.

The Nothingness promises liberty, endless liberty, infinite and indefinite liberty. If there is no truth, then there are no rules, save those we make ourselves, to suit ourselves, but only for so long as the rules suits us.

If there is no reality, we are the creators, we are gods. Gods can do anything they want whenever they want.

The Nothingness promises that there are no consequences, no comeuppance, no judgment, no costs. Eat your free lunch in the restaurant of life, and there is no reason to pay. Someone else will pick up the tab.

And the Nothingness flatters with soothing flattery, smooth and sweet as honey. You can be morally and mentally superior to your betters because, if there is no truth and no standards and no obligations and no duties, there are no betters. Anyone who does better or gets richer or wins more fame is obviously a cheater on whose hard work, now decreed illegitimate, it is lawful for you to rob and feast upon, or even an act of civic responsibility.

The flattery of the Nothingness, by abolishing all morality, reason, and judgment, at once appeals:

(1) to the pride, which is disguised as self esteem;

(2) to the envy,which is disguised as a concern for fairplay and even distribution of wealth, or the rectification of historic injustices;

(3) to the wrath, which is disguised at righteous indignation against authority on behalf of the oppressed;

(4) to the sloth, which is disguised as a desire for the unearned of both material goods and spiritual honors, which is why everyone gets a trophy in modern contests;

(5) to the avarice, which is disguised as a demand for one’s rightful due from the communal treasures. This demand for communal distribution one’s due includes not only material goods under a socialist scheme. More sinisterly, it includes  such imponderables as the language and history and ancestral honors, which is why the word “man” is now misinterpreted to mean only males, or why Cleopatra is now a Negro, or why NASA praises Arabic contributions to science, but not German;

(6) to the gluttony, which is disguised as a desire for self-expression or self-medication or a shortcut to so called higher states of consciousness. The drug culture, which is the leitmotif and hallmark of nihilism, is merely gluttony writ large;

(7) and to the lusts, which is disguised as so called sexual liberation, as if humiliating women from their once-high position, and removing all social and legal protections and inhibitions against male sexual predation were a freedom rather than a degrading slavery.

I hope, dear reader, you understand now why this wretched and rank nonsense both never admits its own motivation and yet rules our world and, absent divine intervention, will ruin our world? The Nothingness has these seven allies in every weak and frightened human heart, and the most natural and normal thing in the world is to bow down to them and accept their lovely, lovely chains and fetters.

But more than anything, and most of all, the Nothingness gives its worshipers the freedom, and license, and encouragement to hate. That is why hate is nearly the only thing they ever accuse their accusers of: it is the main motive they know.

They hate anything that reminds them of Christ in the same way and for the same reason the devils in Hell hate the Sons of Adam, who are made in the image and likeness of their great enemy, that authority against whom they rebelled, whose glory and beauty and majesty forever torments them, and their memory of lost bliss.

They hate beauty. Go into any modern art museum if you doubt me.

They hate virtue. Read any modern novel.

They hate reason. They hate, hate, hate the truth and regard claims to know to truth to be violent lies. Talk to them and see.

Why hate such delightful and salutary things, things man cannot live without? It is because God is the source and summit of reason, truth, virtue, and beauty. And they would rather die than think, would rather go to hell.

They hate masculinity. This is because God is masculine. They hate superiority and inferiority. This is because God is superior and we are inferior. They hate fatherhood because they hate the Father.

Hating fatherhood, they hate femininity. What else can the sweet and nurturing nature of the female be for them, aside from a Yellow Star of oppression?

Hating motherhood, they hate children. Go to an abortion mill and see. Listen to their absurd overpopulation fears, now in a day when we suffer underpopulation. Hear how they talk as if childbirth is punishment. Look at how they try to sexualize children as quickly as possible and keep grown men infants as long as possible.

They hate man, the idea of man. Look at how they rally to the rights of animals, all the while proclaiming man is nothing but an animal.

Do not be deceived, dear readers. The Leftist hate us with a deep and abiding hatred. They hate everything about us, from sunshine to pretty girls to brave boys to solid gold to warm firearms to truth, beauty, and virtue. Everything good, they call evil, and everything evil they call good.

They even hate calling a beautiful woman a beauty.

But it is not because they are evil, or illogical, or insane, or unwise. It is because they have lost their way. They have gouged out their eyes, and complain the noon is dark. They have locked themselves in a cage and thrown away the only key. They are lonely for divine love, and homesick for heavenly wonders.

The shepherd of heaven is seeking to for them with more craft and stealth and subtlety than you or I can imagine. Choirs of angels more numberless than the stars themselves, and older, will peal songs to shake the orbs of heaven when even the least of these lost is found.

That is precisely why they hate us and we dare not, despite all temptation and deserving, return their hate. That is why they condemn us and hold us in contempt, and we pray for them. We have the secret of infinite joy, the grail of endless life. All we need do is lure the lost close enough to scent the savor, the elfin fragrance of amaranth and ambrosia, and they will thirst for the wine of the Lord of Light, and hunger for the bread of life.

Condemnation is what the fools deserve. Prayer and charity and forgiveness is what they will get from us, and if we call them fools, we are in danger of the hellfire. I do not want what I deserve; let us wish the infinite justice of an infinitely just monarch on no man. We are finite beings. The justice would burn us up like trash.

Let us praise God that He placed such sublime examples of beauty and virtue in our midst as the Daughters of Eve, knowing we have done nothing to merit such an inexpressible gift.

When the lost fret over beauty queens, let us rejoice. Even to look at such loveliness is a reason for gratitude and a cause for devout reflection on the goodness of the world we Sons of Adam have marred.

 


87 Comments

  1. Comment by ProtegeAA:

    This reminds me of my college days when we were beaten over the head (Whoops!!! Can’t say “beaten”!) with the news that the Super Bowl is the worst day for domestic violence out of the year-the underlying message, of course, being that anybody who likes football is supporting violence against women.
    This is what passes for “higher learning” in our culture.
    /sigh

  2. Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

    I don’t know if cutting down your posting to once a week will do any good if you then post seven days’ worth of writing. I’m reminded of the old comic in which Scrooge McDuck is told by his doctor that he must cut down to one cup of coffee a day, for his health. “But I can’t work without my coffee, and if I don’t work I’ll be reduced to penury!” “Well, Mr McDuck, I can’t help that. One cup a day, or I won’t be answerable for your liver.” The last panel shows the aged duck drinking from a cup of coffee the size of his torso. :)

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Sadly, you have cut to the very heart of my character flaw. I am newspaper editor from way back: once bitten by the editorial bug, it is hard not to editorialize. It is a pitiable addiction. Luckily, I can harness a similar addiction for daydreaming about space princesses, and actually get paid for doing it. Ain’t the free market wonderful?

      But as an ardent pro-capitalist, who am I to question the wisdom of Scrooge McDuck?

  3. Comment by Mary:

    “His reply was that I intended, like Hitler, to march homosexuals into concentration camps and exterminate them.”

    One notes he would not say this to the souls who fight, tooth and nail, against having AIDS contained — since we know how to contain lethal, incurable STDs, having done it with syphilis.

    • Comment by Stephen J.:

      It occurs to me to wonder — is there a name for that particular logical fallacy? It’s a variation on reductio ad absurdum, except instead of taking an opponent’s argument to its most ludicrous extreme to imply an essential ludicrousness of the argument in any degree, it’s taking your own argument to its most ludicrous extreme in an absolutely straightfaced assertion of its correctness as applies to your opponent? Argumentum ad hominem extrapolatio infinitum, perhaps (apologies to the Latin-speakers.)

      Maybe one could call it monopolar obsessive malevolence paranoia. To borrow from Lewis and Screwtape, it is well known that the Devil sends errors into the world in opposed pairs; that every human impulse can lead to sin by being too stifled in some situations and too unrestrained in others, which is why no single impulse on its own can be set up as the lone infallible guide to what is “good”. Thus any movement away from one sinful extreme on the spectrum can always be seen as a movement towards the opposite sinful extreme; the disorder is the fear of one end of that spectrum, or the fear of movement along the spectrum in that direction, to such a degree that the possibility of sin at the other end is no longer seriously considered or believed.

      Thus, to argue for the merits of personal sexual self-control is a movement away from the sinful pole of sexual libertinism, and therefore by definition a move towards the sinful pole of anti-sexual tyranny, where even a woman who goes about in public with uncovered hair is denounced as a temptress and whipped, and people of same-sex orientation are stoned. It is, at bottom, a kind of reflex conviction that the only reason anyone would want to go along a road is to get to its furthest possible end; that anyone who wants even a little of something or believes it good must eventually want it all, and want that to be everything and nothing else to be anything.

      Argumentum ad hominem ultimus, perhaps: think of the worst and most extreme possible reason for your opponent to desire a proposed argument, then impute that motive to the proposer with only the vaguest possible connection between his actual argument and its worst hypothetical extreme, and people’s natural impulse to think the worst will do the rest. (And in all fairness, it is not a tactic used only by the Nothingists; they merely do so with the least irony and the most conviction that it actually represents the truth.)

  4. Comment by Stephen J.:

    “They hate beauty. Go into any modern art museum if you doubt me.They hate virtue. Read any modern novel. They hate reason. They hate, hate, hate the truth and regard claims to know to truth to be violent lies. Talk to them and see. This is because God is the source and summit of reason, truth, virtue, and beauty.”

    I can understand why someone would hate virtue: virtue means not only that you can’t inflict suffering yourself no matter how much you personally want to, but that you have to forgive someone else when they inflict suffering on you; it means you have to accept injustice from others if the only alternative is to commit injustice yourself to prevent or punish it. That’s one of the hardest and most unpleasant truths to grasp in Christian thought.

    But I think with regard to the other things, it’s not so much that they actively hate those things themselves as inherently repugnant, as that they don’t trust them, because they’ve been hurt by people who used, claimed, or represented those things. How can you be moved by beauty when you know every sterile, artificial, machine-honed technique used to create it? What use can you make of reason if the problem is not whether the conclusion proceeds from the premises, but whose premises are correct and true to begin with? How can you know what truth is, when men as apparently sane and decent as yourself suddenly reveal they neither see nor believe something so blindingly obvious to you that you can’t understand why they don’t? — and when it becomes apparent that something literally inconceivable to you is blindingly obvious and self-evident to them? That you not only don’t share the same premises but don’t even share a mindset that allows both of you to entertain the other’s?

    (There’s a clip from the movie A Guide for the Married Man which depicts this kind of clash comically, but I really think sums up that moment of utter, paralyzing doubt when somebody contradicts your entire worldview so totally that you begin doubting your own perceptions, simply by behaving as who they are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pmBC_CrQS4.)

    There’s hate that’s purely visceral, nonrational and inexplicable — my hate for the texture of Jello and marshmallows and the music known as reggae, for example — but I honestly think most Nothingists do have reasons to hate what they hate. They simply aren’t logically consistent reasons, but the hatreds have become too powerful for that awareness of illogic to make a difference — or too cherished, as a point of prideful self-definition, to abandon. (A failing, as above, that is not limited to the Nothingists.)

    • Comment by robertjwizard:

      But I think with regard to the other things, it’s not so much that they actively hate those things themselves as inherently repugnant, as that they don’t trust them,…

      I fear you may mistake, underestimate, the nature of the hatred. These values are not hated by the hater because they view the object as repugnant, as a non-good, a non-value. They are evaluated by the hater as a good, a value, and therefore hated.

      It is not as benevolent as one hearing the beauty in an aria and loving it for that – and another not hearing it and therefore hating it. If that were the case the most we could say is the haters (the particular value doesn’t matter) simply don’t see what another sees. It is a “misunderstanding”. Nor that the haters simply feel too much; for, having not grasped the beauty in the object, they react too strongly with hatred where indifference is called for.

      The beauty is perceived by both. The emotional mechanism in one is reversed: instead of responding with love for the good, their response is hatred.

      [Obvious point follows. If you show your friend an aria that you find beautiful, but he can’t stand it and hates it, it does not necessarily follow that the friend is a hater of the good!]

      English does not have a good word for this monstrosity. Envy is the closest but is used often to mean little more than jealousy, even sometimes, a friendly, benevolent jealousy. And even when used correctly (as in one of the deadly sins) does not fully express this phenomena.

      Germans (wouldn’t ya know) however have a much closer word. Schadenfreude. It is a combination, as German language allows, of harm and joy.

      The most accurate designation is the phrase hatred of the good for being the good and, if we were Germans, we could coin a term right now – hategood.

      • Comment by Stephen J.:

        “These values are not hated by the hater because they view the object as repugnant, as a non-good, a non-value. They are evaluated by the hater as a good, a value, and therefore hated.”

        I have to admit that I have a hard time grasping this; I had always thought that by definition the act of hatred was to define the hated object as a repugnant, non-good, non-value.

        The closest I can get to phrasing what I mean in the manner you suggest is that not the value itself, but what another person has claimed it to mean is rejected. “I don’t hate ‘truth'; I hate your definition of what the truth is,” someone might say, “because if everybody believes your definition it means some have to suffer undeservedly for no good reason I can see, except for that belief in that particular definition of ‘truth’.”

        Of course, it can be reasonably pointed out that an abstract conception that can only be practically grasped in the specific is always going to involve exclusion. But there’s a difference between saying “The true meaning of ‘tree’ lets us tell a tree from a lamppost, and is thus beautiful and useful and vital to life,” vs. “The true meaning of ‘tree’ lets us state that an oak is the right kind of tree and a birch is the wrong kind, and anyone who likes birches is objectively wrong and deserves punishment”. I think most Nothingists are reacting against too much experience of the latter kind of “truth”-proclamation.

        • Comment by Tom Simon:

          I have to admit that I have a hard time grasping this; I had always thought that by definition the act of hatred was to define the hated object as a repugnant, non-good, non-value.

          The act of hatred is emotional, not intellectual, and need not involve defining anything at all. And yes, it is perfectly possible to hate the very concept of truth. You see, if there is such a thing as truth, there can be such a thing as falsehood; and some people are so addicted to B.S. that they identify their very souls with the falsehoods they spew, and yet are so thin-skinned that it burns them to the marrow to have their falsehoods identified as such by others. So they reject the concept of truth, and deny anyone else’s right to say that they are lying.

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            What is funny is that hate is like love. When I am in love, my intellect invents reasons to see my beloved as more beloved, and all she does “seems wisest, virtuousest, discretest, best.”

            Likewise, when gripped by hate, there is an intellectual component which finds, or, actually invents, more reasons to hate more often and to hate more abundantly.

          • Comment by Foxfier:

            Pain is frequently involved, too.

            Right now may not be the best time to get a good read on why folks hate what they hate and do what they do– too many folks, if they accept simple biological truth, would then have to face that they had done– or promoted doing, or simply stood aside while it was done– unspeakable horror.

            Anything that gets close to that is thus a major attack, and responded to in that manner.

          • Comment by Stephen J.:

            Well, I was thinking of hatred as (strange as I’m sure this sounds) an act of principle, in this context: just as love is the deliberate, conscious willing of the good of the beloved (and the happiness, insofar as you understand that to be compatible with the good), so hatred is the deliberate, conscious willing towards the eradication, annihilation, rejection, banishment or powerlessness of the thing hated.

            Thus, it is logically impossible to simultaneously “hate” and “value” a thing in the same way God cannot make a rock so heavy He can’t lift it: the definition of each mutually precludes the other. This also means that it is possible for a good person to hate things, as long as it is not combined with the prideful and wrathful emotions of cruelty and malice which we normally connect to the word — but people have a very hard time doing this, especially after significant suffering has been received and dealt out, which is why so many people choose to err on the side of caution.

            And your own phrasing illuminates the distinction I’m trying to make: You say that if there is such a thing as truth there can be such a thing as falsehood (the abstract, singular Form) and then observe that some identify their very souls with falsehoods (specific, particular, plural Examples) — but not with Falsehood itself per se. They identify with those falsehoods because they think them true, or at the very least because they so badly want them to be true they refuse to consider alternatives — but the very act of thinking or wanting something True means you still value Truth, in itself. If a person really doesn’t care whether something is true or false they don’t get angry about the fact of people thinking otherwise.

            Again, it comes down to hating the idea of Truth vs. hating what someone else claims to be True — and, more specifically, of not trusting the reasons why someone makes the Truth-claims they do. You can be willing to concede that the idea of rules for a game is a good one, and still not think a particular proposed set of rules is fair, or be willing to trust the referees to enforce those rules impartially if you suspect they have a stake on the game’s outcome.

        • Comment by robertjwizard:

          I would have to agree with Mr. Simon that it is emotional. When I said evaluated I did not mean in an intellectual, reasoned way. We evaluate instantly on an emotional level all the time – so fast our minds can’t trace the steps. Instances of this would be first impressions of others, or our instant feeling about a work of art, love at first sight.

          Later, one can think: why did that person make me feel uneasy? Why does that painting piss me off (or inspire me)? What did I ever see in her? Or, why do I love her? Let me count the ways! What did I see in the first glance?

          I would suggest, speculate, that the nature of the emotion I name is so inhuman, so beastly, so insidious even to the conscience of the possessor that rarely is it named to themselves. That the instances you name are rationalizations.

          Only a complete psychopath can admit that values as such (when we speak in the widest sense because truth, beauty, money, art etc, etc are values) arouse hatred, an urge to destroy, that he has the lust of a metaphysical killer.

          A lot of times it is smeared over in humor which is why I am wary of modern humor.

          There is an excellent book on this subject that I recommend all the time. It is called Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour by sociologist Helmut Schoeck.

          Addendum: I just realized I read the first paragraph of your response, and then responded without reading the rest. Sorry, that is not a respectful practice.

          I agree that there exists what you stated. And many other subtypes to boot. My creature is a minority, growing, but a minority. And like I said in my first response: just because a friend of yours may dislike, or even hate, something that you find beautiful does not mean he is a hater, and enemy of man and values. Although if you want to get rid of all your friends, you could adopt that stance on every subject. “You don’t like strawberries because you hate man, values, God and anything that’s good! You’re an ape and a killer… get outa my house…”

      • Comment by Mary:

        I think there’s also a certain amount of snobbery among it. Once, good art was the preogative of the well-to-do; no one else could afford it. As the riff-raff started to climb, there arose fashion, to keep the riff-raff out by requiring more changes than they could afford, and for cheap knock-offs taking too long to knock out for the riff-raff to keep up. But nowadays, once something is elite, people can quickly enjoy it for themselves.

        The only way out, to keep the elite status, is to ”appreciate” only things that no sane man could appreciate it.

        Not to say that the more toxic views are not also part of it.

  5. Comment by KFJ:

    De gustibus non disputandum est … but to me, Miss Alabama is just “not bad.” I wouldn’t give her a second glance if I saw her in the Metro. But of course, I agree with you on the principle involved.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Being a science fiction fan and not a sports fan, I would say that, if dressed as a space princess, Miss Webbs is cuter than Space Princess Leia but not as cute as Space Princess Amidala, and, if painted green and forced to dance for my pleasure at a barbarian space-feast, she is cuter than Orion slavegirl Vina but not as cute as Orion slavegirl Marta.

      You can see why I did not find Mr Musburger’s comments out of line! Compared to what Sciffy Dudes say about spacebabes, a wolf-whistle from a sports commentator is the very paragon of normalcy.

    • Comment by Foxfier:

      Same here, though being a 30 year old house wife, I’m not exactly the target audience.

      Knowing my husband’s tastes, he’d need to either talk to her for an hour or see her do some serious damage to come to a conclusion, but her height is already against her. ;^)

  6. Comment by The OFloinn:

    In Defense of Wonder Bread
    Buffalo Bob told us that Wonder Bread helped build strong bodies in eight ways. This referred to the number of nutrients added to the bread. Later this was upped to 12. So unlike many, the Wonder Bread people actually can point to a scientific and measurable feature of their product to justify the ad.

    And to bring it back on topic: Wonder Bread is baked in Mexico by Bimbo Bakeries.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      You are a statistician and a gentleman, whereas I am a lawyer and scoundrel. We look at the matter differently. I heard about a case where Wonderbread was sued by a competitor for false advertising, claiming the bread build strong bodies in twelve ways. The defense raised was that, since no one in the audience actually believed the outrageous claim, it deceived no one and was therefore not false advertising. I have not read the case myself, but I believe Hostess prevailed on that defense.

    • Comment by JJ Brannon:

      When I was in second or third grade at Downing Elementary School in Runnemede, NJ, we had a class trip to the Wonder Bread Bakery in Philadelphia, PA.

      I still recall those huge vats of yeasty dough and planetary paddles with the enticing aroma of baked bread permeating the plant as the new loaves rolled from the ovens.

      JJB

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      Of note: even “fortifying” the bread doesn’t really bring it back up to the nutrition if one were to grind ones own wheat and bake ones own bread. Also, in fortifying the bread they are able to claim the entire amount of the nutrient in question, when in reality our body may only process a tiny fraction of the fortified nutrient.

      Do a test, smash your breakfast cereal into dust and place in water sometime then place a magnet in the goop, then do the same with egg yolks. The cereal should leave some nice filings, similar to if one were to gnaw on an iron pipe; the egg yolk, not so much. In this way one can see the difference between iron as fortification and organic iron, one is many times more digestible then the other.

  7. Comment by Boggy Man:

    I, I tried to read this all but I got distracted for some reason.

    Say a woman is beautiful, you are sexist. If you call her plain or ugly you are a misogynist. I don’t know about you guys but to me that female sure does appear to be made of matter and reflect light allowing her to be visible.

  8. Comment by meunke:

    Waldron’s screed reminds me of this crap:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_uRIMUBnvw

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      One reason why my faith in atheism failed, and my skepticism led me to Christianity, is that the Christian account of the world both makes sense and fit human nature.

      In this particular case, the antichristian worldview proposes, on the one hand, that males and females of Homo Sapiens were evolved from prehuman apelike ancestors, and that this biological reality is the complete and entire story of our nature, and defines our moral code and our expectations of behavior. We are just animals. The only scientific and rational moral code is based on survival of the fittest and the preservation of the human race. We cannot be expected to act other than according to these biological imperatives because there is no God, no Karma, no other source of moral imperatives.

      On the other hand, the antichristian worldview proposes that Darwinian evolution made us male and female, but that the biological reality of the difference of the sexes is a nonreality, merely a “narrative” or cheap excused used by the oppressors, men, to victimize the oppressed, women. All differences in behavior between male and female, including the choice of sexual partners for the mating act, are matters of arbitrary personal preference or self-expression. Hence any attempt to argue a relation between biological masculinity and masculine personality characteristics, morals, or expectations, or (more importantly) between biological femininity and feminine personality characteristics, morals, or expectations is not only false but sinister: an attempt, violent at its root, to impose a limiting or even crippling master-slave relationship. Biological reality establishes nothing whatever. Biology is optional. We can act any way we please. Hence: a woman may act feminine or not if she so chooses, and so might a man, and no one should criticize her sovereign decision. Her decision is inviolate and sacred–it is not merely wrong, but outrageous to tell a woman she should be feminine, or to imply it.

      This two points of the antichristian argument directly contradict each other. If biology is destiny then sexuality, which is defined by biology, is also destiny. Or if sexuality is optional, then biology is optional, hence an inviolate personal preference.

      A third point, which is that suffering the temptation to commit sodomy, so-called homosexuality, is both a biological reality and a sexual personal preference. Because it is a biological reality, it cann0t be changed, so to speak of chastity or self control for sodomites is wrong, another disguised form of violence. But because it is a personal preference, it must be honored as a matter of respecting the rights of man.

      Again, this third point directly contradicts the other two. If biology is destiny, then sterile sexual acts are non-Darwinian, and useless to the preservation of the race, in which case biological reality condemns homosexuality as useless. But on the other hand if biology is optional, then the genetic destiny forcing men to surrender to homosexual temptations is, logically, also optional, hence a personal preference.

      Similar paradoxes surround the idea that homosexuality is permitted, and sex between teens is permitted, but that homosexual sex with teens is completely and utterly unrelated to these two permissions; and the idea that children are a curse rather than a blessing; and the idea that sterile women are the best women, because they can be used a sex playthings without consequences; and killing children in the womb is a right and even a duty; and virginity is shameful and unchastity is admirable; and on and on.

      The antichristian worldview is starkly illogical and seems to take perverse pride is just how illogical and absurd and paradoxical it can be. It is a culture of death. Someone they can even make the desperate romantic adventure of sexual love into a boring and gross matter. The devils who came up with that trick should get a pay raise: I would have thought it impossible to make sex boring. But the guys who apologize to women for being men, and call compliments the same as rape, have managed to do so.

      The Christian worldview says God created Man in male and female, and established the differences and distinctions for His greater glory and lasting love and joy. Men are supposed to be manly and like it, and women be womanly and like it, and take more joy in each other for our differences and unique gifts, rather than having the sexes envy and hate each other and attempt to make ourselves into mocking copies of each other.

      The sheer ugliness of what the antichristians say would repel any healthy pagan, and if he did not laugh the notions to scorn, he might well vomit. The antichristian worldview can only arise as a reaction against and rejection of the Christian worldview, but Christianity is coherent, and so to reject it rejects fundamental logical coherence. A pre-Christian pagan can be a pagan without offending logic; but in order for a post-Christian to be an antichristian, he must reject everything about Christianity because it is a coherent and indissoluble whole, something that ties together myth and history, philosophy and morality, ritual and reason. The pagan can do reason with philosophers and do rituals in the agora and keep myth and history in separate sections of his mind, in airtight compartments. The postchristian does not have that luxury. An amoral religion is not possible, almost not imaginable, to the modern mind. The postchristian must reject all. He rejects life. That is why the culture praise and yearns for death.

      • Comment by robertjwizard:

        and that this biological reality is the complete and entire story of our nature, and defines our moral code and our expectations of behavior. We are just animals. The only scientific and rational moral code is based on survival of the fittest and the preservation of the human race.

        I’d like to note the irony of that worldview, that, if it were true, there would still be no reason to act according to that view. It is a view so bleak it can offer no reason, no incentive, to act thusly. While it can be said the Christian view calls for sacrifice and gives hope, the Darwinian view calls for sacrifice (of an opposite kind) and gloats an annihilating hopelessness.

        In a worldview where you are an uber-monkey that faces extinction at any moment, there is no reason to act for the preservation of the human race. Or, they offer a life of zero ending in a zero for zero. Or 0 + 0 = 0.

        Actually I have to question the purpose of any, so-called, natural code of morality that offers no personal incentive or goal for its justification. And, actually, no basis in human nature either. The Greeks had the notion of virtue (I can’t remember their word for it) that meant roughly man-ness in man, and Aristotle’s Eudemonia, the product of virtue.

        Even Christianity offers something (some would counter, nay, everything), a reason, a goal, a purpose for it moral code – the salvation of one’s soul.

        From that perspective Christianity is too individualistic and self-oriented a creed for the modern. Thus another irony of the modern age. The modern view offers the self nothing, paid in nothing, to terminate in nothing – all for the sake of nothing. For all its talk of self-esteem, self-expression and other virtues of the self, what they offer is self-annihilation in every meaningful way.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          “The Greeks had the notion of virtue (I can’t remember their word for it)…”

          Arete. (ἀρετή)

          • Comment by robertjwizard:

            Thanks. I forget what age I live in. I could have looked it up in the same amount of time it took to write that I can’t remember the name for it.

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              That is okay. If I may boast for a moment, I did not have to look it up, neither the word nor the spelling. Freshman year at my college, St John’s in Annapolis, we talked about ‘arete’ as much as we talked about ‘metanoia’ and ‘isonomia’ and ‘saphrosune’ and ‘logos’ and ‘eidos’ — all fundamental concepts in Greek philosophical thought.

              My best man at my wedding, Captain Wynn, also a St Johnnie, has “APETH’ as his license plate, which is both the Greek word for virtue in capital Greek letters, and (so he jokes) an Shakespearean word for mockery ‘Thou apeth me!’

              So, yeah, I know the word faster than you can look it up. Arete originally meant ‘superior vantage’ — meaning a high ground useful in battle.

              • Comment by Tom Simon:

                You have the advantage of me, Sir. I would have had to look the word up to remember the correct placement of the accent. (That is always my big trouble with polytonic Greek.)

              • Comment by robertjwizard:

                Boast away, sir. I am about to go to work with co-workers one of whom does not know what deduction means in any application or derivative or root. And another who thought England was a territory of the United States!

                I’d rather be looking up than down.

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  Since I am an idiot savant except without the savant, who cannot remember things like my phone number, my address, the names of my children, my age, their ages, or the date of my anniversary, boasting is a very dubious business for me.

                  I only remember useless things, like the description of a space-axe from GALACTIC PATROL, the Rule Against Perpetuities, the names of the major moons of Saturn, and the lyrics of the opening song to GILLIGAN’S ISLAND.

                  • Comment by robertjwizard:

                    Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale from Valeria, of mighty men who wield an axe, to cause mass hysteria, cause mass hysteria.

                    Alright, so I combined the first stanza’s lyric with the second stanza’s phrasing, but you get the idea. I used to write lyrics back in the 80’s when I thought I was going to do music. Luckily I kept my day job.

                    I have my own memory problems, just ask my wife. Not anniversaries or the like. But something she asked me to do 1 minute ago, forget it. I’m usually thinking about two things at once and forget the third.

      • Comment by Axiom1985:

        Just found your blog browsing through other catholic philosophy blogs and after reading some of your thoughts I thought I would pose a question to you I see with increasing frequency (and one which goes hand in hand with your non-fiction mindset) concerning the simulation argument. Catholic physicist and philosopher dfpolis provides a good video on it here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hfF_G4bbi8&feature=plcp&list=PLF140B323E5ACA2E6

        I think my question to you (as a former athiest and now catholic) and to any athiest is how would they could possibly reconcile (as Nick Bostrom – the athiest proposer of the argument does) their atheism with an argument that postulates a creator (or even many countless ones!). It is a mind-bending argument (great for sci-fi!) and I wonder if you had any philosophical postulations about it (and any other readers also).

        As for me, besides the theory being unfalsifiable and much like “brains in a vat” or “Descartes demon” I take both a rational and common-sense approach to the existence of the soul and don’t abide by the notion of physicalist and computational theories of mind (on these two points alone a tremendous amount of philosphical writings have been done – Edward Feser is a good starting place). So, I would hold computer consciousness to be logically impossible from the outset. Moreover, I would argue that the fundamental metaphysical principles that make ANY argument possible, have their source in God as evidenced by the great -and overlooked- writings of Aristole, Aquinas, et al. A lot could be written on this also, but given the constraints of time and length to a post, I’ll end it here.

        Would like to know your thoughts and will be looking into your books,

        Axiom (aka Chris)

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I am afraid I do not understand the question. You are asking how atheists reconcile atheism with an argument that postulates a creator? I am not aware of any atheist who postulates a creator. Even those who, for some reason, think the human race is artificial, or a simulation, or brains in a vat, would be constrained by their atheism to say that the artificer, or simulator, or vat-maker were himself a natural being constrained by natural laws, where he were a superhuman being or not.

          Atheists do not disbelief in Martians necessarily. They disbelieve in God.

          Some atheists even allow that pagan gods might theoretically exist, that is, more powerful beings than men. But atheists do not allow that the Christian God exists, on the grounds that the Christian God involves logically irreconcilable ideas (as an omnipotent being who performs actions, or a benevolent and omnipotent being who creates or permits evil).

      • Comment by Stephen J.:

        “If biology is destiny, then sterile sexual acts are non-Darwinian, and useless to the preservation of the race, in which case biological reality condemns homosexuality as useless.”

        Without disagreeing with the illogic you point out in other levels, I will toss in one caveat here and note that to call something “useless” is not necessarily a condemnation in and of itself. Much of what human beings do is useless, or at the very least has a profoundly entropic benefits-gained-to-time/energy-invested ratio, without being sinful; and there have been plausible evolutionary arguments constructed around the idea that traits which are directly anti-individual reproduction may still afford an indirect benefit in an essentially social species, and thus not necessarily be selected against. The ability of individuals to form sterile bonds allowing for sexual relief has been argued to be a stabilizing influence in pre-monogamous, explicitly polygamous or highly sex-segregated societies, for example, thus contributing to the society’s reproductive success as a whole by reducing violent conflict. (I do not say I buy these arguments myself, but they are plausible enough that they reduce the outright illogic required to believe them.)

        Ironically, however, it is precisely that same level of indirect social effect which I think justifies the general Christian prohibition against sexual decadence of any variety; when the personal gratification of individuals takes social priority over the maintenance of stable emotional bonds, and the reproduction and successful raising of the next generation, the accumulative effect of that attitude on the society’s reproductive success is so easy to anticipate that even a priest (/sarc) could do it.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          “I will toss in one caveat here and note that to call something “useless” is not necessarily a condemnation in and of itself…”

          Within my worldview, agreed. The entire creation of the universe, since it was done from a gratuitous outpouring of superabundant love, and not from need, as the only means to achieve a necessary goal, was indeed ‘useless.’ But the modern and postmodern world make a fetish of utility. Those who pretend to deduce moral maxims from the cruel law of survival of the fittest, such as Communists, Nazis, and the far Left, turn this fetish into an idol.

          By that logic, using sterile sexual practices, masturbation and abominations and abortion (which is, honestly, used as a type of post-facto contraceptive more than for any other purpose) to reduce violence is antidarwinian, since it both diverse the sexual impulse into useless channels, and reduces the violence needed to weed out the unfit.

          With all due respect, I would say it is a specious argument at best. No Leftist (as far as I know) proposes that some institution of which they disapprove (such as Middleeastern state-orchestrated gang-rapes of jewesses or negresses, or the Turkish kidnap and sale of concubines) to relieve sexual tension hence relieve violence serves the principle of Darwinian reproduction, and hence should be tolerated for the sake of the survival of the species.

          An argument which argues that preventing reproduction serves reproduction is not plausible. It is not disprovable. It is an ad-hoc explanation that could fit any set of facts whatsoever.

          • Comment by Stephen J.:

            Granted; like much evolutionary psychology these arguments have a substantial whiff of Just-So Story about them, which is why I treat them with skepticism myself.

            I do think you can make a utilitarian argument that preventing reproduction in specific instances can (depending on the instances) serve reproduction in general; you can certainly make a Christian argument that refraining from reproduction (via morally licit methods, of course), for certain individuals or contexts, can maximize the likelihood of optimal results from it for both individuals and communities. But like all arguments that rely, essentially, on making indirect statistical inferences over time rather than demonstrating direct causation, the accuracy and applicability of the conclusions depend vastly on the definition and manipulation of the underlying data set — two criteria that are often hidden or full of unexamined assumptions.

  9. Comment by Dystopia Max:

    Sadly, professional sportscasters are some of the loudest and most psychotic doublethinkers in the world today, mainly because they have to look at a field full of the greatest extremes of human differences every day and either not draw any attention to it or invent incidental non racial/sexual/sizeist/ableist/ commentary on the spot.
    And they have to keep a straight face when announcing names like these.

    ESPN is Duckspeak Central, proving that it’s possible to speak loudly and at length while communicating absolutely nothing other than the general hype feeling your paymasters want to get across. Even auctioneers are more informative.

  10. Comment by idontknowbut@gmail.com:

    I like the way Budziszewski describes how that hate grows. You’re probably already familiar with his work (http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/12/001-the-revenge-of-conscience-38, http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-07-027-f).
    And as Assistant Village Idiot notes (here and in other places), the pattern doesn’t usually start with a set of propositions but with admission into a tribe. A member has to show the right signals, profess the right doctrines, and often must cling to the right entertainments. But when those doctrines revolt the conscience, they can either discard the doctrines and lose their membership or they can dig the hole deeper.

    Many of them are, as the Master said, “like sheep without a shepherd.”

  11. Comment by Suburbanbanshee:

    If I am to comment as a woman (as opposed to as a sexless, bodiless brain in a jar, such as the Gharlane-of-Internet-memory), I must say that Mr. Musberger’s comments were flattering, amusing, cute, and pointed out the mother as well as the girlfriend, which is not generally the practice of a slavering lustslave jerk. Further, that the forces of anti-fun clearly hate and resent actual spontaneous fun.

    I will also comment that “gravid and sober” is a pregnant woman not drinking. :)

  12. Comment by wlinden:

    One curious feature you omitted to comment on is the condemnation of “Asian fetish”. If I do not find Asian women attractive, I am a racist. If, as is the case, I find petite women with black hair and oblique eyes attractive, I am… a racist.

    As Davy said, this will make more sense some day when the ocean is less wet.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I did not condemn it only because I have never heard of it. It sounds like sheer madness to me. In any case, since it is a scientific fact that Oriental women are cute beyond all reason, to call this racism is merely one more example of the Political Correctists calling it wrong to speak or think the truth.

      Science fiction fans, of course, adore any oriental beauties only once she is in outer space: Grace Park, Suzee Pai, Sung Hi Lee, Kristen Kruek, Linda Park — and honestly, there should be a lot more than this.

      (And if you are a foe of Political Correctness, please, I beg you, do not use or normalize their terminology. Say “oriental” not “Asian” unless you mean “Asian” — which means anyone from Northern Siberia to Southern India to Syria to Indochina to Tibet to Kamchatka, including Dravidians and Laplanders. An “Oriental” means a woman with the epicanthic eyefold, dark hair, yellow skin of the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and so on.)

      • Comment by Foxfier:

        In any case, since it is a scientific fact that Oriental women are cute beyond all reason,

        I suspect you may be slightly biased on behalf of your dear daughter. *grin*

        That said, I’m a girl and must agree with the tendency.

      • Comment by John Hutchins:

        Interestingly enough those that are Oriental are able to clearly distinguish whether someone is Chinese or Japanese or Korean fairly well just on looks. I don’t know if it is more accurate or less accurate then those Europeans that are able to tell the nationality of other Europeans by look, or Africans able to tell the tribe/clan of other Africans by look. Americans are a bunch of mongrels from all over meaning we tend not to see the subtle differences and to be distinguishable primarily because we are mongrels, in most cases mongrels regardless of skin color.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          We still need a name for the race, despite the best efforts of the Political Correctionists, like Cob of Paln in Earthsea, to remove all true names from things.

          And, contrary to your comment, I have heard of places in the Far East where the Han and the Hmoung and so on paint their houses and sidewalks by a different racial color, because they cannot tell each other apart by eyesight, and they wish to know who to trust and who to hate.

          In the West, the Roman Empire and Christianity were the great unifying forces. In the East, it was Confucius, and legalism, and the Mandarin system.

          • Comment by John Hutchins:

            I have heard of places in the Far East where the Han and the Hmoung and so on paint their houses and sidewalks by a different racial color, because they cannot tell each other apart by eyesight, and they wish to know who to trust and who to hate.

            I think both are probably true; there are a lot more subdivisions of love and hate then what can be seen based on common features and often the ones that are most hate-filled and bloodiest are between those that are virtually brothers.

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              Let me hasten to make it clear that when I said ‘contrary to your comment’ I did not mean ‘your comment is wrong because this comment is right’ rather, I meant, and I should have said clearly, ‘while not disputing the truth of your comment, here is evidence from the other side of the case; you have said on the one hand, I am saying on the other hand.’

        • Comment by Foxfier:

          Interestingly enough those that are Oriental are able to clearly distinguish whether someone is Chinese or Japanese or Korean fairly well just on looks.

          If you live around a large population of most-pure whatever, you’d learn to do it too– I had the joy of being stationed in Japan, and we visited Korea a few times. I’m fairly accurate.

          It’s kind of like telling someone who’s Irish from someone who’s English, and both from Scottish– but with a lot more bad blood, and recent. (This is coming from someone who got an earful of the…problems… between Ireland and England and Scotland from both sides of her family; it’s not to minimize those, but to emphasize the bloodiness and racial division involved.)

          I would guess that John’s example is an area that either had a lot more intermingling (which was probably involuntary– playing the historic odds) or where the stakes are higher.

  13. Comment by wlinden:

    Sorry, I already got into trouble on the Middle Eastern Dance list for objecting to the usage of “oriental dance” for their form, because I maintained that it would lead the audience to expect something East Asian.

    (Many practitioners are desparate to avoid the epithet “b*ll* dance, which they like about as much as we like “sc*-f*”. If you disagree, I invite YOU to take the matter up with Morocco…. once I make sure I am as far away from you confrontation with her as possible.)

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I like the term scifi just fine. Only faux elitist snobs object to it, which I am not.

      Oddly enough, in older days, the middle of the Nineteenth century, it was routine to refer to Asia Minor and the Middle East as ‘oriental’ — as best I know our term for oriental dance comes from those days, and nothing to do with political correctness.

      In any case, if you are afraid of criticism or confrontation for speaking the truth for fear of the anger of the dishonest, then don’t speak the truth. Of course, since honest men are willing to confront and criticize you for speaking falsely, and get just as angry, where can you go to be safe? At least if you stick with truthful men, we are forgiving.

  14. Comment by wlinden:

    P.S. Would an East Asian Freemason be a Grand Oriental?

  15. Comment by TheConductor:

    Interestingly, given your use of “Imagine” as a linchpin, in 1980 when John Lennon emerged from hibernation he made a point of denouncing his early-1970s political radicalism, and even appeared to be on his way to embracing Christ (it was Yoko, by this account, what held him back: she is the epitome of the kind of person who embraces evil in attempting to do good). Mark Chapman’s shooting of John Lennon, based on his own later description of his motives, can be seen as a form of execution for apostasy against the leftwing nihilist party line.

  16. Comment by fabulous_mrs_f:

    A fast of posting does lead you to a feast when you do post.
    I am not the only one who thought of the story, “Harrison Bergeron” by Vonnegut when I heard this, am I?

  17. Ping from Things I wish I’d written « romish internet graffiti:

    […] John C. Wright’s takedown of venom spat at football and beauty: I am a Roman Catholic. We are often criticized, even by ourselves, for engaging in rote prayers and recitations. Such criticism mistakes the meaning and purpose of ritual words. […]

  18. Ping from Lightning Round – 2013/01/16 « Free Northerner:

    […] boggles the mind; people upset because a professionally beautiful woman was called beautiful. The moral inversion of the political […]

  19. Comment by robertjwizard:

    And each was a mighty spacer bold
    Raised in high gravity,
    To hate the Boskone pirates
    And their depravity.

    You made my freaking day. Nothing better when someone joins in on a song started.

    I’m a banjolele player and I think I am going to make a song of the Lensmen set to the Gilligan’s Island theme. Hat Tip to Mr. Wright for mentioning Galactic Patrol and Gilligan’s Island in the same sentence. Or perhaps he’d want no acknowledgement for such a potential atrocity.

  20. Ping from On Beauty, Chivalry, Sex, and Fear « Do_While(True):

    […] up, and so he’s going to have to restrict himself to one post a week.  From the looks of his latest post, that doesn’t mean he’s going to curtail the content of his blog, just the frequency. […]

  21. Comment by Brad R. Torgersen:

    Coming in late to the dialogue. I look at it like this. To the progressive mind, it’s unfair to the orcs that Lady Galadriel exists, because Lady Galadriel is beautiful and eternal in all the ways the orcs are not, and never can be. So the answer is to cast down Lady Galadriel so that the orcs might feel better about themselves. To acknowledge beauty is to also acknowledge ugliness, just as you cannot acknowledge good without also acknowledging evil, nor can you acknowledge industry without also acknowledging sloth, and so forth. Progressivism is about erasing all such notions, as they are “constructs” invented by oppressors: white, monied, male, heteronormative, english-speaking people. The irony being that our beauty standards are largely dictated to us by media: television, movies, magazines, etc. Who controls the media? Progressives, of course. So the entire exercise might be seen as one of self-flagellation. They despise their own product?

    My personal opinion is that the progressives will never be able to un-wire the human creature enough for us to ignore genuine feminine beauty when it presents itself. Tastes and styles may come and go. But we (collective) know a beautiful woman when we see her. I was going on about this on Facebook just recently. There is a lovely plus-size model named Maria Zarring who is from Russia. According to the Western fashion model standard, Maria is “fat.” Which is a patently ridiculous assertion. Who runs the Western fashion industry? Who populates its roster of top designers? Who recruits starving androgynous waifs for the runways? Again, the progressives appear to hate their own product, while attempting to cast down that which is obviously and undeniably beautiful.

    I look at Miss Zarring and I see Helen of Troy: the face (and body) that launches a thousand ships.

    You can try to ban it, bar it, or brainwash it away, but somewhere deep in ourselves we know instinctively when a woman is truly above-the-bar. Dare I say, regal? Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Beautiful poise. Everything Andrea Dworkin was not. And never could be. And so progressives rail against and despise and try to destroy the very concept of the ‘beautiful woman,’ for the sake of all the Dworkins in the realm. So that the Dworkins might feel better about themselves.

  22. Comment by Dirigibletrance:

    I thought you were going to give up posting these ranting screeds for Lent?

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Advent ended at Christmas. Christmas ran from the feast of the Nativity until the feast of Epiphany. This is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Lent begins Ash Wednesday, February 13.

      Don’t you love how the Christian calendar gives all the days and weeks a liturgical meaning? It is like being in a vast, slow year-long waltz with the seasons and the stars.

  23. Comment by Dirigibletrance:

    She is indeed gorgeous. I miss the days when you would just post beautiful space-princess pictures every friday, without feeling the need to rave against whatever political event has happened in the news. Space Princess pics require no justification.

    I also miss the days when the majority of your posts were about science fiction, what you were writing or working on, recent nerdy goings-on, and so forth.

  24. Comment by Irenist:

    Mr. Wright, this post has been bothering me since it went up. It has brought to the surface a lingering worry I’ve had about your blog. I know I speak intemperately below. Please forgive me. I speak from respect for you, love of your work, and eagerness for your growth in Christ that your very great talents may serve Him better.

    Smug, self-righteous, secularist liberal atheists are wrong about many things. Most importantly, e.g., they are wrong about the murder of the unborn.

    Because this is so detestable, disdain for everything they say, do, and think can be tempting–as in a temptation from Screwtape; I use the term in its technical sense as used among those who know that vast alien intelligences (angels) are constantly at war among us (for eternal conquests like that of a single human soul, not ephemeral trifles like ruling Europe for a few decades or centuries). You are a science fiction author. The Church Militant is a key planetary part of a cosmic war. You know this. Now you know I speak from this, too. So we understand each other.

    The Enemy’s weapon, of course, is to tempt us to sin. One way to do this is to make sin look healthy, and to make opposition to sin look like prudery. In this battle, the PC police are, as their forebears were in the service of Stalin, “useful idiots.”

    To explain why, I will approach the point tangentially. The Philosopher taught the Angelic Doctor, e.g., that statecraft should aim to nudge men toward virtue. Not utopian virtue like the Stakhanovite follies of totalitarians or the theocratic follies of Savonarola or Khomeini. No. Men will always be men. But the state should at the very least not stand in the way of virtue.

    That said, consider Mayor Bloomberg and his nanny state rules on soft drinks and trans fats and cigarettes and whatever else. There is much to mock about them. Please ignore it. Focus instead on the following hypothetical. When hearing about crazy Yankee liberals doing crazy Yankee liberal things in their puritanical obsession with low calorie, low carb, fair trade, organic, vegan food, it is natural and manly for a Southern gentleman such as yourself to bridle at the very thought of the faraway New Yorker’s bit, to wordlessly think something like “I’ll show him!” followed by piling your plate so full of delicious, homemade, honest-to-God barbecue that you eat until you feel sick. I know this is a realistic hypothetical because gorging myself on brisket is what the company of vegan types tempts me to and I only live in the South rather than being from here. I speak from my own experience as a sinner. Because that’s the thing. Gluttony is a sin. And if the Enemy can use your manly scornful revolt against the idea of Bloombergism to get you to commit the sin of gluttony, then the Enemy still wins.

    Something similar happened when a manly, patriotic revulsion at communism led good men into a “conservative” economics that has ended in the celebration of a miser on his yacht as if he were virtuous for being greedy. Much of my distress, which I have discussed with you before and will not belabor today, with the economics on this blog is that in rejecting the Marx who wrote the Manifesto, it also seems to me to reject the good Christian Dickens who wrote “The Christmas Carol.” That communism is Satanic does not mean that greed is not still a sin and the celebration of it anything but conservative. Do not let the heresies of the Enemy bait and switch you like that.

    Which brings us to the topic at hand. I watched the BCS Bowl with my boss. We were chatting during the downtime in play, and didn’t notice the whole beauty queen business. Then I got a text from my wife (my good Catholic wife whom I will not suffer you to call some kind of PC liberal) who was horrified by it. We rewound the DVR, my deeply Republican, Southern Baptist boss and I, and agreed that it was vulgar. The media is vulgar. This is unsurprising. Television and the Internet are often Palantirs–we think we see the world through them, but more often, they are away for the Enemy to see into us, so he can use his hirelings to sell us greed, gluttony . . . and lust.

    Again and again you attempt to draw a distinction between the lecherous leering of some teenage atheist self-abuser at a sticky picture of Princess Leia dressed up like part of some Sarcen’s harem, and your supposedly more gentlemanly offering up of cheesecake for our delectation. As a fellow Catholic, and no doubt a far worse sinner, I feel called to rebuke you that the Enemy is whispering this in your ear. Otherwise you’ll just spend the rest of your blogging career picking at the splinters in Rolf’s atheism and liberals’ follies instead of attending to your own beam.

    I am a Yankee, privileged to live in the South. The South is in many ways the superior culture. However, one aspect that is not superior, is the culture of beauty pageants and cheerleaders–the culture of wink-nudge “gentlemanly” commentary on scantily clad women pretending to be something Christian. It is not. It is pagan. If you think it’s okay for your daughter to dress like a cheerleader of a swimsuit pageant contestant, I invite you to try having her wear that outfit at the Vatican. You will be informed by the Swiss Guards that in the only fragment left of the lost world of Christendom, it is literally illegal to dress like that. Perhaps, Mr. Wright, the Pope knows more about this than you do.

    When I was a boy, I looked up very much to Captain Jean-Luc Picard. His Stoic manhood meant so much to me growing up without a dad. Upon re-entering the Church, though, I have had to distance myself from the secular liberal worldview I osmosed watching ST:TNG as a boy. The economics of the show are communist; the sexual ethics is libertine; the spirituality is relativist New Age garbage; the idolatry of diversity plays into the show’s episodes lauding homosexual vice, euthanasia, and abortion as just diverse cultural choices we should affirm. Realizing that, and giving up my political commitments derived from those parts of the show, was not an easy part of submitting my intellect to the Church. It was wrenching.

    You grew up with Burroughs novels in which a supposed princess was dressed like a Saracen sultan dresses his slavish property–not how a Christian king dresses his daughter. Lucas took that, and added New Age garbage. The “Space Princess” genre you extol simply is not, so far anyway, the Christian genre you would like it to be. A prince of Christendom, did such still walk among the men of the future, would not take part in some pagan Klingon rite just to affirm Worf’s culture: Christians do not worship idols. A prince of Christendom, did he own a blog, would not post leering photos of Saracens’ concubines with which to tempt himself and worse, to tempt his weaker brothers. Custody of the eyes, Mr. Wright. Don’t make it harder for other men.

    There is more. You are a Christian husband. You are a Christian father of at least one Christian daughter, IIRC. If you wish to refer to “my beautiful bride” or “my lovely child,” I think that is beautiful. But many wives and daughters are pained to hear their husbands and fathers talking about other women’s beauty. It is unseemly. It is not gentlemanly. You may complement a woman to her face. That is courtly, in the best traditions of both Catholic Christendom and the agrarian South. But to complement a waitress out of her hearing, or a woman from some sportscaster’s booth, is vulgar and unworthy of a practical Catholic gentleman. If the woman is part of some bastion of down home Southern culture like Hooters or beauty pageants or cheerleading, then that means that she is fallen and in need of help. It is not license for you to encourage her.

    Before you entered the Church, you were a politically conservative atheist. I was a politically liberal atheist. I have had to give up lots of things, including uncritical acceptance of ST:TNG. You will, too. One of them is the knee-jerk sense that just because secular liberals abhor something for stupid PC reasons, it cannot be sinful. This is false as to gluttony, greed, and leering at women. Another thing is the idea that effete elite academic Yankeedom is often victim to feminist nonsense trying to turn men into milquetoasts–it is–so therefore the way Southern culture objectifies young women is Christian. It is not. Lastly, you are going to have to give up thinking that cheesecake photos of daughters of God tarted up in the outfits of harem girls–like the blonde and red-haired daughters kidnapped from Balkan Christian peasants to satisfy the lusts of corpulent Saracen fiends–are something a true Catholic knight and devotee of that perfect non-fictional Galadriel, Our Blessed Virgin Mother, would ever, ever, *ever* look at with anything other than sadness and scorn. Forgive a far, far, far worse sinner for saying so, Mr. Wright, but you, and your whole jocose “Space Princess” movement, seem to me to be in sin. It’s not funny. It’s not cute. It’s sin.

    You have the talent to restore the chivalry of Sir Walter Scott, so praised by Russell Kirk, to modern genre literature. Don’t pollute that with lustful Saracenism. Christ has given you a talent and a public platform from which to wield it. With your power comes the responsibility not to let the libertine culture of sci-fi, fantasy, comics, and movies turn your work and your blog to the Enemy. Leering at women is evil. Leering at women at sci-fi cons is evil. If liberal secular culture convinces women they should “empower” themselves by dressing up as slutty superheroines and slave girls, that does not give Christian gentleman the right to applaud them in what is, to be frank, often just sci-fi themed bondage wear.

    We follow Christ. Not de Sade. “Slavegirl” wear is not for us to leer at.

    Stop it. No more cheesecake. Time to become, not a nice guy, but a New Man. Be a Christian knight, not sultan over a pathetic harem of photos of women who aren’t your one and only Christian wife.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I will politely set aside your various comments ascribing to me motives I do not have. If you are a recovering atheist liberal, you are no doubt prone to such things. Let us deal instead with the central point of the comment: whether the level of lasciviousness in this blog, or in my personal life, is too high.

      As I said in the article, had the Left’s objection been that Mr Musburger’s comment was untoward because gentlemen may respect, but cannot express lust, for a lady, I would have respected the sentiment, as I respect yours. It is, however, a matter of a judgment call, where reasonable men can differ. My judgment, as well as the young lady most directly involved, was that the comment was flattering rather than lascivious.

      As for the so-called Space Princess movement, that is a jest, meant to poke fun at the overly solemn Mundane SF movement, which is a child of socialist realism. It is also meant with the more serious point of reminding would-be elitists and literati (if such a thing can be imagined) among science fictioneers that our roots rest in the pulps, the common man, the simple pleasures in life.

      A PRINCESS OF MARS was written one hundred years ago. It is, in fact, a Victorian novel. However, even the Victorians had their romantic side, and drew and sculpted their classic figures as nudes, and so on. In my judgment, the Victorian level of admiration for female beauty is sufficiently free from prurience to be acceptable.

      The other main source of images I post here are pulp covers from the 1940’s and 50’s, or cartoon characters like Catwoman, invented at about the same time. The general level of public decency in the 40’s and 50’s may be too lax for a good Christian, but it would nonetheless be an improvement on the current clime.

      I am a teetotaler, but I do not expect a workingman after his labor to be denied his pot of good brown beer. An argument can be made that total abstinence from alcohol is required by Christian virtue. Likewise, you can argue that total abstinence from delight in female beauty is required by Christian virtue. I respect those arguments, but am not convinced. Some are called to be monks, and abstain from women. Some, even, are called to be Prophets, and abstain from all drink. I am not one of those ones.

      Now, having said that, I do freely confess that both lust and wrath are besetting sins of mine, so any reminder that I should eschew them is welcome. At the same time, if you are asking me to live as gentlemen live, you cannot do it by being an example of ungentlemanly behavior. As for my personal life, by what right do you dare to criticize it in public? That is unwelcome. Why did you not write me privately?

      • Comment by Irenist:

        Mr. Wright,

        Thank you for your temperate reply. Your restraint is noble. Your point about us recovering liberals is made in good humor, and taken in same.

        I deeply regret not having written you privately: but having erred once, I shall now apologize for that publicly, as is only fair. FWIW, here was the thought process that led to my error:

        I think of a blog rather like a publication, and thought of a comment such as mine rather like a letter to the editor about content, and acted according to that understanding. Despite my admittedly intemperate language, the only sin I meant to remonstrate with you about was about the blog content: I don’t doubt that your private life with your family is beyond reproach. However, the Internet is what it is, and as the speaker, it is for me to make myself understood. If you read me to have criticized your private life, then for practical purposes I have said that and must own that. For it, I abjectly apologize. Further, since I ended up in your eyes as discussing your private life, a “letter to the editor” was woefully inappropriate. Again, I apologize.

        You did carefully distinguish in your post between why the Left’s objection was silly, and what a respectable objection would look like. It was that very passage, with all its clear sense, that emboldened me to write to you on this matter. The cheesecake thing has been bothering me for ages, as it seems unworthy of your stern moral fiber and great talent, and your distinction seemed to hint at your openness to exactly the sort of plea I wanted to make.

        As to that, all your points about the common man and his non-monkish pleasures are well-taken. So is the bit about a return to the morality of the days of the pulp covers. As to the “Space Princess” thing, I will admit that I was taken in by your jest: I thought there was, however laughingly, a project afoot. I will leave you with the last word on all such substantive subjects: this is your blog.

        My last word on this will be only: I have overstepped, and I apologize from my marrow, sir. Although it may be hard to believe coming from the liberal likes of me, the whole missive was written from a place of deep admiration for you, and with friendly intent to build up a fellow on the Way. Nevertheless, all I have accomplished was to grievously offend, and perhaps, if you say right, to no purpose at all. If that be so, then, again, I apologize. Thank you again for your temperate reply, and for the continuing excellence of spirit that draws me here and to your books.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I am reading book by Dennis Prager called STILL THE LAST BEST HOPE which analyzes with admirable clarity the three world views in competition for the world’s soul these days: the Christian, the Islamic, and the Leftist. He correctly identifies Leftism as a religion, which gives its adherence a sense of purpose, a moral code, a myth to live by, and a filter to make sense of the universe. He correctly says that Leftism and Christianity are mutually incompatible. In a man or in a society, if a Christian idea grows, a Leftist idea shrinks, but if a Leftist idea grows a Christian idea shrinks. The two are locked in a zero-sum game, and, as yet, on the far Leftists seem to recognize that Leftism and Christianity cannot coexist: but even the toleration of moderate Leftists is inching ever closer to intolerance.

          All this to one side, Mr Prager says and emphasizes that Leftists are not bad evil people. To be sure, they apologize for evil, run interference for it, cause it, aid its growth and hinder attempts to fight it — one need only read the slanted news coverage of any Israeli-Paynim conflicts to see why, or contrast the way Conservatives are blamed for shootings done by Leftists like Lee Harvey Oswald, whereas Islamics are never blamed for shootings by Nadal Hasan.

          But their motives are usually good, but they do not care about the cost nor about the outcome. They act and talk like fiends from hell, and cheer for Mao and Stalin, and mock and scorn men who protect us from them.

          This is a long way of saying I am trying to fight the hate in my heart for the avowed and psychopathic enemies of logic and humanity, liberty, God, decency, truth, beauty, and virtue. I am frankly loosing the fight, but as a Christian I cannot surrender the fight. I tell myself, and ask Christ to help me believe, that the Leftists are people made in the image and likeness of God, brothers of mine, and worthy of love, for whom Christ died and for whom God made the universe. It is remarkable difficult for an ex-libertarian like I am, because we libertarians are drunk on arrogance.

          So if my reply was temperate, I thank whatever good angel checked my tongue. It is a temptation I must fight against.

          But I am still going to post cheesecake pictures of Catwoman. She’s pretty.

      • Comment by robertjwizard:

        Likewise, you can argue that total abstinence from delight in female beauty is required by Christian virtue.

        I ask this question outside of the context of your exchange with Irenist, as an abstract inquiry. And only if it does not interfere with your deadlines. Is there not a distinction to be made between taking delight in feminine beauty that is lascivious, and admiring feminine beauty for its own sake? While the latter can (obviously) turn into the former, it is not the case that feminine beauty is, of itself, “jack-off” material.

        Perhaps I am abnormal, but I can admire the beauty of a woman (her eyes, elegance of neck, perhaps her hourglass shape, and, yes, even her spirit) without feeling an urge to bend her over the kitchen sink like some horned devil. I have a wife, and I cannot think of a vice performed if I admire, and no more, a beautiful woman simply as something that is beautiful.

        I don’t think the mere admiration of feminine beauty necessarily entails a projection of copulation.

        An argument can be made that total abstinence from alcohol is required by Christian virtue.

        I have seen such arguments made, quite convincingly, from an Objectivist perspective. Perhaps I know too many Irish Catholics, I haven’t heard this from a Christian perspective.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          Let me answer the second question first:

          Catholics are allowed to drink. Muslims, Mormons, Christian Scientists and various other break-away sects, Puritans and Protestant groups forbid alcohol altogether. What their argument is, I cannot tell you. I am a teetotaler myself, but not from any religious motive. But there is evidently an argument to be made, since so many sects adopt this rigorous standard.

          Most breakaway groups in the past broke away from the Church because they found her too lax, not too strict. The Church acted as a check or a brake on religious enthusiasm. It is odd to hear so many moderns criticizing and hating the Church for the “severity” of the rather minimal standards she imposes on sexual morality — no perversion, no fornication, no adultery (roughly the same as all civilized men have imposed in all ages of history) — and also to hear her criticized and hated for stirring up religious zealotry, as if Carmelite Nuns and Franciscan Friars drove airplanes filled with passengers into the Twin Towers.

          First question next:

          As an abstract inquiry, your answer is not just yes, but hell, yes. An innocent man can look at a nude beauty queen without lust in his heart, and his admiration will be pure. To the pure, all things are pure. Likewise, a lascivious man can look at a woman heavily garbed from ankle to collar in drab and stiff clothing, and in his imagination already be using her as an object for his selfish pleasure. To the impure, all things are impure.

          If you have ever looked at the beauty of something like a classical statue of a nude, or seen a woman dancing and been awed by the joyful grace of motions, and then been jarred by a comment by another onlooker drooling over her rack or how she shakes her ass, and felt the same shock a churchgoing man feels upon hearing a blasphemy, you know of what I speak. A pure man can be uplifted by what he sees whereas an impure man degrades whom he sees.

          If you have ever wondered why so much pornography is cheap and sleazy and degrading to the eye, that is the reason. The degradation is the point. When a magazine like Playboy tries to make its porn look classy and pretty, there is something phony about attempt, almost sinister, like dressing a whore like a schoolgirl or a nun. There are hardly any women on earth who look less feminine, less sweet, than streetwalkers, and hardly any women who look more feminine than brides. Even an ugly girl good looks lovely in a bridal gown.

          The difference is that love is selfless and lust is selfish. An artistic admiration for beauty tends to be more like love, in that it draws one’s mind up and away from one’s self and one’s selfish world.

          Now, having said all that, a “cheesecake” picture occupies a different point entirely. It is mildly appealing to the lusts, but usually in such a goodnatured way, lighthearted and almost comical, that it is no more pornographic than a beauty contest is. The onlooker who wolf-whistles at a bathing beauty means well, in my opinion, whereas the onlooker of porn means to degrade the object of his lust.

          One can easily imagine that same wolf-whistling onlooker shyly falling in love or even imagining the marriage bower, complete with silver bells and white roses, where his desire for the fair maiden can be consummated.

          One imagines the audience of pornography wanting to bend her over the sink, or, better yet, the toilet, as the setting proper to his desires.

          Cheesecake pictures have something of innocence and glamor to them, the glamor of that great and dangerous adventure known as romantic love. Pornography is meant to be as unglamorous and as ugly on a spiritual level as possible, as if the young lady is a meat snack, something to be consumed and used and thrown away. There is no danger and no adventure and no reason to be shy.

          The Puritan fear, and I think it is a legitimate fear, is that the one leads to the other: that cheesecake pictures lead to porn. The two things are on the same road, but rest in opposite directions. One glamorizes the feminine appeal, and the other degrades it.

          Nowadays, we live in a culture that is so over-saturated with sex that sex has become boring. Whatever devil in hell was in charge of that project deserves a payraise: he has done his work well. Even glancing-eyed Venus yawns. So we do not have cheesecake pictures any more, not that I can see.

          However, we still have, at least in the science fiction field, plenty of pictures of vampire-slaying girls in leather miniskirts and woman warriors in chainmail bikinis.

          For those of you unfamiliar with cheesecake picture from the 50’s, I can draw an analogy. Most teen-girl warrior-babes are shown in tight clothing or bathingsuit-armor to show off her charms. It is innocent enough, and it satisfies the modern fantasy of pretending the sexes are interchangeable. In fact what it does, similar to how girls look cute dressed in coat and tie, is emphasize by the incongruity how feminine the girls are. Feminists are right to be offended with pictures of Red Sonya and Wonder Woman, because there are nothing but cheesecake picture of girls posing in ungirlish attire.

          There is, however, a perversion known among the Japanese. Whether it has come to America or not I do not know. It has its own name, but I cannot recall it. It is scenes in anime or manga of women, particularly when dressed as superheroines or warrior-babes, getting beaten up, hit in the face, scarred, bruised, battered. Now, if the warrior women were actually warriors, the audience reaction to seeing them get punched in the face or scarred with swords would be the same as seeing Mohamed Ali or Alexander the Great punched or stabbed. The normal reaction of a man seeing a woman punched is a protective rage against her attacker. The perverted reaction is sadistic glee. Despite what everyone says, men and women are different and are supposed to be different. When we see James Bond getting kidney punched by Oddjob, the nigh-indestructible and grinning henchman of Goldfinger, I doubt that protective rage is the natural reaction in any audience member, male or female.

          Likewise, illustrations of girls in flirtatious poses batting eyelashes at the camera will appear innocent to innocent eyes, but a perverse reaction is that lust which is akin to hate.

          • Comment by John Hutchins:

            “Mormons, What their argument is”
            Have modern revelation forbidding alcohol;

            Reasons given within the revelation include: ” temporal salvation”, ” principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints”, and “In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days”.

            A plausible explanation from within the Bible is that those called to serve as Priests in the Temple are forbidden from consuming alcohol during their time of service, under the gospel we are to be a nation of priests and all are called to serve in the temples. “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” However, while this explanation is attractive the real reason is the revelation.

            I know that some sects use the command to ” be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” as a command to be sober in the sense of not drinking instead of being sober in the sense of temperate, moderate, and serious.

          • Comment by Brad R. Torgersen:

            The LDS prohibition against imbibing alcohol and other “recreational” mind-altering substances can be found here. I’m a lifetime teetotaler myself, and am in fact rather phobic about the entire concept of “recreational” mind-altering. But that’s just my particular hang-up, informed by a lifetime in my particular religious community. Had I been born into a different community in a different time or place, I might feel differently? I am satisfied that sobriety is, for me, the best course. And I’ve not seen much reason to change that judgment.

            Now, to the question of “cheesecake,” the LDS leadership takes a rather hard line: any photographic or artistic display of the body which tempts the lusts of men (or women) is to be avoided and is, in fact, an instrument of the Adversary.

            I myself am much, much more liberal on this than even some of my “liberal” LDS friends. I fear I too may be stepping over the line with my occasional Facebook sharing of a lovely, buxom woman in cosplay corset, or the cavalier discussion of women and womens’ bodies, as utilized in some forms of media, like magazines.

            So much is in the eye of the beholder. A magazine like STUFF will place a bikini-clad vixen on its cover, and the image will be declared pornographic, or at least edging into pornographic territory. A magazine like SHAPE will place a bikini-clad vixen on its cover, and nobody seems to mind, there is no accusation of exploitation for pornographic purposes, and the public seems to just pass on by without having an episode.

            Is the difference simply that SHAPE magazine purports to encourage and foster womens fitness, therefore it is “clean,” whereas STUFF magazine is masturbatory fodder for adolescent young men, and is therefore “dirty?”

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      Not only is greed a sin but so is envy and covetousness. It is possible that a wealthy individual with a yacht, cabin the in mountains, nice house, nice cars, whatever is greedy and got to his position through greed, but not necessarily. It is possible that they are hoarding all their money and using it only on themselves, or it is possible that they are giving large portions of it away annually, or it is possible they are investing in wisely. Looking on a person with a yacht and envying them, ascribing greed to their motives, or coveting the yacht either to have or to deny others is itself very sinful. You do not know the heart or circumstances of the person with the yacht but are condemning and judging them for having it is certainly a sin regardless of the accuracy of the judgment.

      The celebration of those that are successful should and often does focus on those like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mr. Buffet, Carnegie, and others who became rich not by being greedy but by giving the world products, services, and investments that millions use everyday and depend on for work, pleasure, and security. Further the celebration should be and often is on those that spend large portions of their money on giving us libraries, music halls, vaccines for deadly illnesses, and other acts of charity that bless and save the lives of millions daily. Why should these individuals owning yachts or mansions or employing servants of all kinds be begrudged them?

      As for admiring beauty and having cheerleaders, while I can agree that there are certainly problems with how that is often done there is nothing wrong with it by itself. Here, I will point you to the 2012 national champions in college cheerleaders , and college Cheer and Dance squads, sorry I couldn’t find the Dance squad competition performance for last year, this is from 2010, but don’t worry they were the winners of nationals that year too. While I am at it, here are the continual US champions since 1982 and ten time world champions of Ballroom Dance (filled with lots of beautiful women). Please let me know what is inappropriate about these performances or how there dress, acts, and routines are not becoming of a Christian gentleman. I realize that if one looks at those that place second or third that things are quite drastically different but since the argument is that such things are wrong in themselves then a single counterexample suffices, made all the better for being those judged the very best in these sports.

      • Comment by Irenist:

        Mr. Hutchins:

        Envy is indeed a sin, and does indeed motivate far too much supposed concern for social justice. The generous man on his yacht is no enemy of mine. The miser, yacht or no, is. That was my (uninteresting, I fear) point there. Sorry for the confusion brought on by my phrasing.

        Lots of well-meaning parents and kids have taken to cheerleading as the athletically demanding pursuit it surely is. Many of the teams do, indeed, dress appropriately. It is not of them, I confess, that I was primarily thinking, but rather of the abuses one sees with alarming regularity, and with the way that pageants and cheerleading affect not the wholesome participants, but the frequently unwholesome young male of the species. Young men do not tend to linger over television programs about such events because of their admiration for female athleticism, discipline, or character. Nevertheless, in my jeremiad of this morning, my language swept up all and sundry participants, and for that I apologize.

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