Ode to a Dying Youth

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I read an article today, in some British paper with a very tenuous connection to right-wing politics, about the rising number of children referred to gender reassignment therapy. It’s painful for me to even write those words, gender reassignment therapy. They remind me of Maoist euphemisms one might read over a “reeducation” camp door or in a little red book that a man with a gun forces his captives to read. Not only can gender not be reassigned, any attempt to do so could hardly be called therapy. But we all know how the left likes to mangle everyday language.

The article itself is nothing special. Anyone who turns on a television or listens to iTunes knows about the Western trend toward buggery. Transgenderism is a new frontier for Marxists, who are eager for a cause célèbre ever since gay marriage was successfully imposed on America a few years ago. What stood out to me was one comment at the bottom of the article. To be fair to the paper’s readers, it was not highly rated, but the comment stood out to me because of how obnoxiously libertarian it was.

“If the parents are paying for this with their own money, then what business is it of others?”

The old adage is true. It’s not hard to spot a vegan or a libertarian. He’ll usually do the job of announcing himself by contorting every issue to be about the one versus the many, the individual against the collective. It’s especially easy for me to spot one because in my younger, more innocent years, I too was a radical individualist with perhaps some symptoms that could properly be placed on the autism spectrum.

The logic is surly and insistent. If I want to do something, and it isn’t hurting others, then others shouldn’t be able to stop me. It’s clear why a lot of people, especially young men who resent authority, are tempted to define their political beliefs in such simple terms. It’s easy. It’s liberating. It’s also very fallacious.

No one is a pure, unalloyed individual. We share our ideas, our language, our cuisine, and even our genes with others. Society is an oceanic web of interlinking threads where it is impossible to pull on one of those threads without having innumerable others move as a result. Our value as individuals stems directly from our value in society: our words have no meaning without others around to interpret them; our ideas are fantasies without others to help debate them, reject them, or make them real; our DNA is just a droplet of water sizzling on a hot pan, destined to dry out forever, without the opposite sex around. The phrase no man is an island is just as true now as it was in 1624.

I’m not going to say anything as radical as children are the property of the state; nor will I go so far as to say that children are the property of their parents. The problem occurs here because both the Marxist and the libertarian are obsessed with dollars and cents. Ultimately, to a materialist, people are always property and life is about living to accumulate pleasures and to reduce one’s pains before they are all buried in the great void of death. It’s a grim view. Materialism seems joyous and hopeful at first, but the emptiness of its ideas eventually point back at nothing, like a mirror reflecting nothing in the dark. It’s telling that the Marxist who encourages children to revolt against their own bodies, and the libertarian who condones the act in the name of freedom, each care nothing about the children and their welfare. The two care more about upholding an ideological principle.

It’s a situation that deserves some thought. Let’s rule out the youngest kids. Children under the age of twelve are so impressionable that any firm conviction they claim to have about belonging to the other sex was undoubtedly planted there by their parents. (Or perhaps, these days, planted by their school teachers and general practitioners.) There’s no subtlety in a predicament that can be blamed squarely on the child’s upbringing. The teens who haven’t grown up indoctrinated in Marxist gulags are the ones that are the most interesting.

Being a teenager is awkward. There’s an unwelcome surge of hormones that cause mood swings and squeaky voices, a restless sexuality with youthful prudishness. Couple this with the fact that teenagers don’t have enough know-how to be able to handle these challenges gracefully, and it’s clear that few people enjoy their teenage years, except in retrospect. Being a transitional stage in life, it’s uncomfortable by necessity, because if it were too enjoyable we’d never want to grow out of it. It’s where children become adults. It’s the bud before the bloom.

We all devise coping mechanisms to make it through those years. I read Romantic poetry and decided that, like Keats and Byron, I wouldn’t live to see the age of forty. Strangely enough, this comforted me. I felt that all of the humdrum awkwardness of my daily life didn’t matter; all that mattered was my writing. In a hundred years no one would remember my shaggy hair or how my face turned tomato red when I spoke to girls — but they’d remember my odes to a Grecian urn.

These thoughts were silly, of course. But they allowed me to reach twenty without ending my life or running away to join the foreign legion, with nothing more than a few notebooks of dreadful poetry. Now just imagine the mindset of teenagers today.

Imagine that you’re awkward, like all teenagers are. You have lopsided hair, a voice that doesn’t quite inspire, maybe you’re a little too short or a little too tall for others, and most importantly you’re terrified of women because now, unlike before, you’re interested in them. Imagine that your local witch doctor comes along and says in a soothing voice, “It’s not your fault you’re ungainly and unpolished. It’s not your fault that you feel helpless and frustrated. There’s nothing you can do because you were born with incorrect genes. You’re a woman in a boy’s body.”

It clicks suddenly in your teenage mind, “Ah, that explains it.” And like all witch doctors, there must be a cure-all, a panacea known as gender reassignment therapy. The witch doctor then writes a prescription for some pills, all covered by insurance, of course, recommends a few councilor friends who will echo the same diagnosis and recommend the same pills, and finally the doctor hands you a paper with some YouTube links that tell you what a brave person you are for admitting that you’re transgender, that there are meetups and support groups, there’s even a flag for you to wave. And don’t forget that Google, Apple, Delta Airlines, and Harvard are all on your side.

Thus, at a young, impressionable age, you were inducted into a new religion that does irreversible damage to your endocrine system. It stymies your social development and bulldozes your mental health. In one generation, we’ve gone from poetry to buggery.

Conservatives, and especially libertarians, need to recognize the implications of this LGBTQRXYZ religion. It’s comparable to the crack epidemic, but instead of being condemned, it’s roundly encouraged by the upper echelons of our society. It won’t get you arrested, it’ll get you applauded.

Sadly, it’s not enough to raise your kids right anymore. Teenagers are inherently vulnerable, as all good Marxists know, and it’s because of this that they’re being targeted. Now parents have to try to counteract the poison that society is injecting into their children. We have to learn to let teenagers be awkward and ungainly. We have to let them cope and self-medicate. The alternative is unthinkable.

I’ll end this piece with a hat tip to one of my own teenage heroes, John Keats. It’s not a particularly memorable line that I’m providing, certainly nothing as quotable as, “Beauty is truth,” but given the context of this article, it seems oddly relevant today.

Blissfully haven’d both from joy and pain;

Clasp’d like a missal where swart Paynims pray;

Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,

As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

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“Yellow” Journalism

Narrative Control BBC

Sarah Jeong is a Korean-American, thirty-something social media socialite with black-rimmed glasses and short, pink hair. She is the latest model Marxist pulled straight off of the progressive assembly line — a graduate of Berkeley and Harvard Law. She has written nothing of any significance; nothing of any particular wit or insight. Based on her Twitter statements it becomes abundantly clear that despite her imposing educational credentials, she not only looks like a Starbucks barista, she almost certainly has the IQ of one, too. With that in mind, it’s not too hard to see why the New York Times hired her recently.

If we were to define the term Europhobic as an irrational fear of European people and their culture, then it is beyond all doubt that Jeong is a Europhobe. She attended universities founded by dead white men, she works for a newspaper founded by dead white men, her mother country is free today because of dead white men, and yet she spends seemingly half her life on Twitter deriding white men. One of her rants included a fake graph showing how white people give off a mysterious doggy smell when it rains, which is especially rich when you consider that she comes from a country that still eats dogs. Remember that the key word in our definition is irrational.

Perhaps the only thing more disappointing than a once reputable newspaper hiring this pink-haired harpy is how conservatives have so terribly missed the mark with this one. The right-wing parts of Twitter and Gab are trying to fan the flames of outrage. They desperately want to get Jeong fired. I can’t blame them, of course, because nothing would make me feel better than to see Jeong lose her job for racist remarks: a full-fledged progressive, anti-racist losing her job because of racism.

But if the irony seems too thick and sweet to be true, then it almost definitely is. It’s important to keep in mind where the word originated. Racism was a term conjured up by Marxists to get ethnic minorities to help them tear down the power structure of the West; it’s a continuation of the class struggle dynamic, carried over to racial, rather than economic classes. The left created the word and as such they get to determine the parameters under which it gets used; and logical consistency is not one of those parameters. They are more than happy to use the term against their enemies while smugly dismissing any criticisms that they might meet the criteria for racism as much as their enemies. Reactionaries must etch this point into their skulls like they would the Lord’s Prayer or the maxims of Confucius: leftists are not concerned about logical consistency. They are concerned first and foremost with power, and they will use any means necessary to seize it.

Remember, dear reader, you’re just a prole from a fly-over state so you don’t have enough power to hold them accountable for their logical inconsistencies. They control Cornell and Harvard, they control the New York Times and the Washington Post, they control the NSA and the FBI — what do you control, silly altar boy?

In true Confucian fashion, we have to spend a moment to rectify names, or in more modern parlance, clarify our terms. Since we know that racism is the domain of ethnic minorities looking to undermine a European, hierarchical power structure, the term is wholly inadequate for right-wingers looking to criticize left-wingers. Jeong is an ethnic minority, living in a Western country, where European people are still currently the majority and Western culture is still the prevailing zeitgeist. Under these conditions, it doesn’t matter how much venom and acrimony she flings like a shit-slinging simian at passing white people, the word racist will never phase her. If anything, it becomes a term of endearment for her. This is why those Democrats-are-the-true-racists criticisms often made by baby boomers never persuade anyone: they accept the leftist ethic of racial equality as a desirable goal.

Reactionaries need a term that paints the line of division between the left and us much more starkly, much more distinctly than a leftist buzzword like racism can do. We on the right aren’t fighting for a world of racial equality, or for a melting pot, or for a multicultural globo-homo panoply of rainbow sexualities. We are fighting to preserve our heritage. We are fighting to preserve the West. This is why I prefer the previously-mentioned term, Europhobe. Whether or not Jeong hates the idea of racial equality is something we cannot, and should not bother to prove. All we have to prove is that she hates us, the white people of the world. And she has already admitted to that.

Once we have clarified things in this way, it’s obvious that the editors of the New York Times will never fire Jeong for Europhobia because they themselves are Europhobic. They want to tear down the power structure of the West and replace it with their egalitarian, fairy-dust-and-unicorns fantasy land. The morals underlying their ideal state are all just castles built in the sky and their end game is some intangible, far off speck in the human imagination, like Atlantis or El Dorado or Prester John. Don’t get suckered into defending leftist ethics by default. Don’t waste your time accusing leftists of racism.

Remember, ladies and gentlemen, we don’t want to beat progressives at their own game. We want to change the game entirely.

Sunday Thoughts (2018.07.22)

The other day, in a painfully white, fluorescent office, I listened to three doctors talk among themselves. They were chuckling over Trump’s recent visit to the United Kingdom, the royal snub by princes Charles and William, the rotund orange balloon, a petty likeness of Trump, floated over London to protest the visit. They smiled smugly and said that the Brits could keep him, each doctor quietly assured that every one in the room agreed with the idea wholeheartedly. Bear in mind that I work for a very prestigious organization; one that might be mentioned in the same breath as Harvard or Yale. I’ll leave the particulars to your imagination. Here, every one takes for granted that civilized, intelligent people must support things like equality, inclusion, and an impotent redistribution of wealth. I’m a silent reminder that no, not quite every one here feels that way. But, of course, I have to lock away my protests in the quiet iron cage of my mind — stating them openly would be the end of my career.

As I listened to them talk, I could see a candle-lit parlor filled with men and women speaking French in powdered wigs. Among polite society every one more or less agreed that reason was supreme, and that the enlightenment would usher in an era of fair government, gender equality, and freedom from the petty superstitions of the Catholic canon. The women fanned themselves and thought that kings were so silly and outdated; why can’t people govern themselves just as well as a tyrant? After all, look at America! The men chatted over glasses of port about their daydreams where women had as much education and power as a man. After all, look at Elizabeth and Maria Theresa! The few bishops there in that good company admitted, among confidants and drinking buddies only, that there were a lot of old, outmoded traditions that could be shaved away from the Christian core. After all, Christ himself said all people, Jew or Gentile, are one in him!

Egalitarianism is not new. It’s mankind’s oldest temptation. At least, it’s mankind’s oldest civilized temptation, and there have been many well-intentioned philosophers who have had to drink a bowl of hemlock for giving in to this temptation. From the powdered wigs of 1789 to the powder white coats of doctors at one of America’s most aristocratic institutions, every era has its well-intentioned idiots — and every era has its Jacobin ready to hack off a few heads to try to make mankind something purer than it can ever be.

Sunday Thoughts (2018.07.01)

It was hot today. The clouds were white and towering in the summer sky, the kind of clouds that no doubt hung over the very oldest, hottest civilizations of the Earth. Whenever I see these clouds, I imagine the towers of Babylon or the flood plains of the Nile. In an American context, I think of the sandy plains out west. I decided to watch a Western to be in keeping with the mood. The film I chose was a modern Western that was, by every metric, so dreadful that I won’t dignify it with a name.

The film made me realize, however, how humiliating the whole leftist narrative is concerning American Indians. We’re told that evil white men came and stole the land from peaceful Indians who were driven to violence by their extreme circumstances. Historically, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The Aztecs built mountains out of the skulls of those they sacrificed to their gods. The plains Indians wore feathers in their hair and collected scalps. These men were warriors by nature. They might not have been mankind’s finest warriors but they were certainly some of the bravest. There were times that they fought against terrible odds and died with a warrior’s unflinching dignity. They even managed to score a few points on the US army when the boys in blue got caught with their proverbial pants down.

In the end, the Indians lost. They had fought one tribe against another for tens of thousands of years until the biggest, baddest tribe of them all, the US government, came and put an end to their wars forever. This is not an issue of good versus evil. This is a case of one white man tribe being better equipped and better trained than the other red man tribes. But it was a good fight. At least the Indians were able to retire with the dignity of warriors who fought to the end.

The leftist narrative, however, strips the Indians of that honor. By turning the Indians into perpetual victims and “innocents,” they take from the red man his one redeeming feature, the one thing that elevated him above his material and spiritual poverty: his willingness to die with honor.

Sunday Thoughts (2018.06.24)

The West just isn’t what it used to be. Our culture is now veering away from liberal individualism, which was a problem from the start, and is now turning down the much rockier path of liberal exceptionalism. It’s not enough to be unique these days. It’s the twenty-first century and being unique isn’t unique anymore. A person must be unique and also persecuted: suffering some injustice at the hands of a cruel and overwhelmingly conformist society. In its essence, this attitude is nothing more than individualism being amplified by Marxism. It’s liberty meets conflict theory.

In order to bring down society, all of its norms must be met with counter-norms. If the norm is white, then the exceptionalist must be brown or black. If the norm is straight, then the exceptionalist must be gay. If the norm is hard-working and honest, then the exceptionalist must be a criminal. It should come as no surprise then that I define exceptionalism in politics as a violation of society’s norms, however reasonable they might be, for the sole purpose of being different.

This process is not really comparable to a few naysayers or curmudgeons who just don’t want to get along with their neighbors. This is much more pervasive. It’s a movement that begins as a subculture that spawns other, even more vicious subcultures, that are united in their hatred for the norms of the parent culture. It’s like a school of piranhas that individually could not harm a man in the water, but acting together could chew the flesh from his bones.

It’s not hard to tell that exceptionalism is being pushed by the powers that be. You can hardly go one day without reading an article in the New York Times or Washington Post about what it’s like to be a Muslim in Trump’s America; or watching footage of teary-eyed illegal immigrant children on CNN; or hearing on NPR about how pedophilia is just another sexuality in a broad spectrum. Christianity, whiteness, and marriage are all old, bourgeois norms that must have their Marxist counter-norms.

It signals just how deep the rot has grown in our culture; exceptionalism is not only tolerated, it’s considered chic. It’s a way to signal one’s allegiance to the Marxist cause and therefore an effective means to catapult one’s way to the very upper echelon of the Cathedral. If the American government still had a spine, if the West still smugly touted its cultural superiority, I can assure you we wouldn’t be reading in the papers about these delicate, persecuted snowflakes. In cultures where there are very real consequences for being an exception to the mainstream, ones where you might get carted off to a gulag or your neighbors might come over to tar and feather you, being an exceptionalist becomes very uncool. Being different is chic only if it seems like it’s dangerous but truly isn’t; it’s like the rollercoaster effect, where the illusion of danger enhances the experience but it’s the certainty that there is no real danger that allows the whole thing to be fun rather than frightening. In political terms, this means that most people don’t embrace counter-norms until a culture becomes too weak to stop people from embracing them.

The United States of California

California1950s

There’s something charming about old photos of California. I like to see those faded Polaroids of a balmy, 72-degree beach in the early half of the 1960s. The bodybuilders are out flexing, the women are in bikinis, everyone has on a pair of Ray-Ban glasses and parked a short distance from the shore are their loudly colored vans and station wagons topped with surfboards. Back then, the whole California aesthetic was cool. Being fit was in. Kids hung out at milkshake shops. Design was going West Coast as bright colors were balanced with sleek and skillful simplicity. There were problems, sure. Maybe this was the start of America’s obsession with casual dress. Flip-flops, tank-tops, and cut-off jeans are all unbearable when worn anywhere outside of the beach. But I’ll cut California a break on this issue. After all, the Beach Boys might have had shaggy hair but they sang in sweet and spotless harmony.

It’s a shame that heaven couldn’t last forever. It’s from this nostalgic vision of California that one can understand just how far from grace the state has fallen. Surf shops have turned into grimy taco stands. The Beach Boys have been replaced by rappers out of Compton. Rebellious teenage greasers are now drugged up, MS-13 jailbirds. The cities have become a Mecca for hobos and illegal aliens looking for a safe haven. San Francisco has so many bums shitting on the street that there’s now a smartphone app that will tell you where the latest dung heaps have been spotted. Date rapists, sex traffickers, and those who’ve committed assault with a deadly weapon are considered “non-violent” criminals thanks to Proposition 57; the state gets to save a few nickels as these criminals skip merrily out of jail and back onto the streets.

And speaking of the almighty dollar, the state’s finances are also a shambles. If you tally up both state and local debt, California is currently 1.3 trillion dollars in the red. It has $78 billion in deferred highway and bridge maintenance costs. This means that once you’ve honed your skills dodging feces and knife-wielding maniacs you can take things to the next level by bounding over sinkholes and gaping crevices. If you have ever fantasized about being a Hollywood action star, I have good news for you: you’ll have to become one to survive in California.

But it doesn’t end there. In addition to its everyday, humdrum debts, California also has a $1 trillion unfunded pension liability and $150 billion liability in retiree health benefits. A little outside cash might be helpful, but the state can forget about attracting fresh investors since California has one of America’s highest corporate income tax rates. And the highest personal income tax rate, too.

It’s a state engineered for failure. Beelzebub himself could not have a pieced together a more sinister perversion.

There are many theories about how the Bear Republic found itself in this sorry state. Baby boomers, judging from their suburban alcoves, distracted momentarily from remodeling their soulless kitchens and watching Netflix, will assure you that the Democrats ruined California. The tattooed barista at Starbucks with a thousand-cock stare and a degree in gender studies will tell you that California is floundering because it isn’t progressive enough. Bernie Sanders would have turned things around, she’d say.

For me, this mystery isn’t very hard to solve. We only need to compare two snapshots in time, two highly relevant statistics, provided to us by the ever-assiduous US Census Bureau. In 1960, during California’s era of tan lines and surfboard shops, the population of the state was 92% white. In 2010, during California’s era of crumbling roads and illegal safe havens, the population was 40% white. This statistic should ring like thunder in the ears of every American under the age of 45. The Hispanics are 40%, the blacks are 6%, and the Asians are 13% — this means that the minorities can work together to squeeze their common enemy, the white Californian, to the point of suffocation. And the future brings no promise of hope. Whites accounted for 27% of all live births in 2016 while Hispanics gave birth to 47% of the new babies in the state.

This demographic truth transcends all party lines. It smashes all other paradigms. It’s true that Democrats opened the human flood gates, but it’s just as true that the Republican party laid down and let the flood roll right over them. Boomer hero, Ronald Reagan, issued America’s first and most damning amnesty. It was aimed primarily at dealing with the staggering number of Mexicans living in California around 1986; instead of giving them the boot, he signed into law their eternal pardon. The Republicans got so caught up in their own conceit, so hypnotized by their own pipe-dream principles, that they forgot all about common sense. When you import the third world, you become the third world.

I focus on the racial, rather than the political factors, for one very simple reason. We see one man as our head of state, one as attorney general, one as governor; we, the voters, imagine ourselves as individuals casting ballots for other individuals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Peel back the hard rind of democracy and there is nothing but demographics at the core.

Put yourself in the place of a mestizo in San Joaquin County. You have black hair and brown skin like most of your neighbors. You speak Spanish with a smattering of English, one or two words you’ve picked up from watching television. You drive a jalopy with an out of date inspection sticker that is just one oil change away from the junkyard. There are three generations of your family living under your roof. You might fancy yourself as being a unique individual, but curiously enough, your individual interests just so happen to align with all the other brown-skinned, black-haired mestizos on your street who speak Spanish. It’s not something you choose consciously. But without a doubt, those neighbors also drive a run-down car and their grandmothers also live in the same home as their drug dealing grandsons. It’s only natural that their interests are more similar to your own than the interests of limousine liberals in Beverly Hills.

This explains the schizophrenic neoliberalism of modern California. The right-wing has become a non-entity due to broad demographic shifts, so now the left is looking for a new cause to rally the troops as its different agendas can’t find coherence together. The mestizos lobby for handouts as the Beverly Hills crowd pushes for more solar panels and easier abortions. The only thing propping up California’s left-wing is its love of spending other people’s money. Even though the left won California decisively, and the state will never again vote right-wing in the purest sense of the term, the demographic laws of democracy remain as true in the City of Angels as they did in ancient Athens.

In a democracy, all politics is identity politics. It just doesn’t become apparent until your demographic shrinks so small that it can never again win an election. It’s only after your voice becomes a whisper in a room full of bullhorns that you realize you’ll never again be heard. There is no civic duty, no melting pot, no greater good in a democracy: there is only the slow, suffocating numbers of the herd.

Juan from San Joaquin doesn’t care about the white working-class losing their jobs to his illegal labor, nor does he care very much about the dollars and cents he skims off the checks of the white middle-class for his WIC assistance and his emergency room visits. Juan most likely isn’t an evil man. He’s just someone following an instinct to satisfy his own self-interest, which if Juan were alone would be no problem at all, but when Juan has millions of other people like him to vote alongside him, he becomes a threat to all those people who aren’t like him, and who don’t vote the way he votes.

Americans could learn a lot from California. Its language complications, its ethnic tension, its sinkhole finances — these will all become more frequent over the coming years. Around 2040, whites will dip down to less than 50% of America’s total population, and of course, when that happens, California will no longer be a warning but a prophesy.

The Golden State in the 1960s had exemplified the American dream: a place focused on fun, freedom, and easy-living. But easy-living isn’t quite as simple as it might seem at first glance. Sometimes it demands more effort to keep out the bad than to keep in the good. After all, the better the jewels a man has the better his lock will have to be to keep out thieves. It’s too bad most Americans didn’t realize that this same principle applies to immigration. America’s future is mirrored darkly in the looking glass of present-day California: corrupt, brown, and bankrupt.

Ivy League Blues

Picture-704In old photographs, you might catch a glimpse of something great. They’d almost certainly have to be in black and white, or maybe sepia. Young men, uniformly white, mostly Anglo-Saxon or from monied, Germanic families, with oiled hair and if there is to be any facial hair found among them, it would be in the form of one or two well-trimmed mustaches. In some photographs, they might be wearing suits, in others, sports blazers. This was the era that gave America’s old institutions their gravitas, their ability to invoke a quiet sense of awe in everyday people. This was the era that made names like Yale, Cornell, and the Columbia School of Journalism glow with angelic light.

To some people, these names still mean something. But in the minds of many Americans, the light is getting dimmer, the glitter not sparkling quite as brightly as before. The Anglo-Saxons are out, and the Chinese are in. Patriotism is considered kitsch among today’s elite, unless of course it’s Chinese patriotism — the Chinese are free to take America’s research and technology back home with them, with no tangible gain to America, and the intelligentsia remain curiously silent about it. Indians are also in, and their patriotism is cheered from all corners because of their independence from Britain. Jews are in, too, and their holocaust narrative is spoon-fed to our children like a bitter tonic of guilt and caution. It’s a sad, slow realization that dawns on earnest thinkers: the institutions that were once quintessentially American are not American anymore.

The American aristocracy slit its own throat somewhere along the line. The bowtie, the cocktail party, and the Mid-Atlantic accent are gone and along with them went Harvard, the New York Times, and Detroit’s automobile industry.

Just look for one moment at that once vaunted prize, the Pulitzer, doled out each year by the Columbia School of Journalism. Its recipients have included figures like Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, John Updike, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway. Say what you will about these men, I’m personally not much of a fan of Williams and Sandburg, but at least they all had talent. At least they had style and wit and a certain knack for the written word. There’s a lesser known prize for music, one that still carries the name of Pulitzer, and it has been won by respected composers like Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber, and now, we can add to that list, the name of one stocky, excitable Negro, Kendrick Lamar. The album that won him the prize is very cogently named, DAMN.

I find the expletive very accurately sums up my thoughts on the album, much like how the expletive very accurately sums up my thoughts about stubbing my toe in the dark or banging my head against a cabinet door. There’s something awful about the sprawling lyrics, the disjointed samples of songs that others wrote, and the utter pretentiousness of the whole thing. It’s like a prolonged car wreck with none of the acute soul searching that comes after the collision. There’s so much art still being made in this world. None of it is to be found among Lamar’s work.

The lyrics don’t need to be presented at length.

I’ll prolly die anonymous, I’ll prolly die with promises
I’ll prolly die walkin’ back home from the candy house
I’ll prolly die because these colors are standin’ out
I’ll prolly die because I ain’t know Demarcus was snitchin’
I’ll prolly die at these house parties, fuckin’ with bitches
I’ll prolly die from witnesses leavin’ me falsed accused
I’ll prolly die from thinkin’ that me and your hood was cool
Or maybe die from pressin’ the line, actin’ too extra
Or maybe die because these smokers are more than desperate

The lyrics continue on like this for about 100,000 more lines. It’s like the Illiad of bad lyrics. There was a time when art was supposed to have some art to it. There was a time when cleverness counted for something. But I can’t criticize Lamar too much, because he’s just an angry Negro doing angry Negro things. Columbia, however, I can’t spare at all.

The institutions that once kept America’s upper echelons stocked with thinkers, innovators, and artists have done something bizarre. Instead of humbly accepting their role as the movers and shakers of America, they have decided that America, at least America as we know it, has to die. And so now they have brought in the Chinese, the Indians, the Jews, and the Negroes riding their coattails to the top, and in the process, they are tainting the glow of their own halos. The American mestizo, the Negro, and the working-class white couldn’t care less about the Ivy League. The Chinese and Indians are going to scuttle off back to their own mother countries. The Jews always have Israel as a backup plan. Without the adoration of middle-class whites, these institutes have nothing. America is starting to look more like a political dinosaur, a historical novelty like the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the USSR.

At this point, the inevitable question has to be asked — well, so what? A lot of Americans might be inclined to think that if the American aristocracy has died and now the Ivy League is joining it, so much the better. I can’t help but see this as a very shortsighted opinion. All nations need elites, and if there are no clear watering holes around which the elites can gather to wine and dine one another, then the nation is headed straight to its demise. It’s with a very heavy heart I admit that America needs the Ivy League more than the Ivy League needs America.

So as we watch Columbia make a fool of itself over Kendrick Lamar, as we watch the New York Times peddle in flagrant yellow journalism, as we watch Harvard look the other way over dubious Chinese credentials so that they can pocket the cash from Beijing’s nouveau riche, as we watch the warm glow of respect that once hung over the Ivy League get dimmer and colder, we must admit that inevitably the Ivy League is dying. And it’s taking America down with it.