Trampling out the vintage

Seeing the various posts on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, the outpourings of the press, and declarations from celebrities all contorted into spasms of self-righteous indignation demanding that ‘hate’ be everywhere exposed and rooted out makes for a wonderful teaching moment. Substitute ‘heresy’ or ‘witchcraft’ in place of ‘racism’ and the inquisitions of Torquemada or the sporadic witch hunts of early modernity (not, as commonly assumed, of the medieval period), must have felt much the same to those caught up in the urgent work of trampling out the vintage of the grapes of wrath. (As a certain Unitarian abolitionist might have put it.) The exhilarating sense of a cosmic evil being driven out. The conviction that no punishment could ever be too extreme, nor offence too small. The shrill, hysterical madness of the whole event.

Take it away, Spiked:

Today, too many people are so convinced that they are in the right, that they are fighting bigotry and hatred, that they fail to see how their response is truly intolerant and illiberal. It’s becoming almost automatic that, whenever something politically incorrect is uttered, a mob with pitchforks and torches rises up, seeking revenge and punishment. That response is unthinking, emotional and blind to the long-term consequences for a free society.

Rex tremendae

Since my teens, I have been blathering; and, according to one book reviewer, show no sign of abating. She wrote, and I treasure it, “When Rex Murphy dies, they’ll have to kill his mouth with a stick.”

Nor ever, have I been invited out to that lonely derrick on the edge of the fields where I am told the “oil companies” plot the future of the world and hunt down the last panda with a bullet made from the concentrated bones of the last grey whale.

(That should probably be “Rex tremendum”, shouldn’t it? Because without the “majestatis”, “tremendae” makes no sense.)

Outraged

So now we have some not-very-edifying recordings of an octogenarian billionaire arguing with his black/Mexican girlfriend less than half his age in semi-coherent phrases reminiscent of stupid and slightly drunk undergrads about whether she may publicly associate with blacks. So now the NAACP is no longer giving him a lifetime achievement award. At least not a second one; he still presumably has the one they gave him a few years ago.

This seems more like surrealist performance art than something illustrating the dark forces of racism supposedly still stalking the land.

Naturally, the internet outrage machine has been cranked up to 11, as millions, hitherto uninterested in the NBA or its owners, take to Facebook and Twitter to announce how “outraged” and “upset” they are. And by “outraged” and “upset” I of course mean “absolutely delighted to have a public foil against which their own strident declarations of anti-racism can shine forth in all their moral resplendence.”

Inevitably, some people are demanding the man be punished and forced to sell his team. Because that’s what we do now with people who have wrong opinions.

Russia

I suspect Taki is right. The western press really is clueless about Russia. Don’t any of these people read?

The love Russians have for their country is something arms-rattling neocons do not always take into account. It’s a mystic love, Mother Russia, and Mother Church, along with one thousand years of suffering, deprivations, and war.

Moreover:

As I wrote in another journal, the Ukraine choosing the EU over Russia was like a man kicking out Ava Gardner from his bed and inviting Hillary Clinton under the sheets.

Vivid image, that. Not sure I would go that far, but read the whole thing.

Everest

So the Sherpas are on strike and Mt. Everest is shut down. This is just as well. Everest was once a legitimate, if somewhat dangerous, challenge for experienced mountaineers. Now it’s become extreme tourism where people with more money than sense can risk their own lives and those of others by achieving some arbitrary goal. If people want to do that, I wouldn’t stop them, but on balance I think it would be a good thing if it stayed closed.

Stupid lawyers

The Law Society of Upper Canada has discovered a problem. Namely, the possibility that lawyers with un-progressive views about sex may be in danger of being admitted to the bar. And to their credit, they’ve taken steps to rectify the issue. By a vote of 28-21, they’ve denied accreditation to Trinity Western Law School.

But, what this suggests is an inability of a majority of the members of the LSUC board of directors, trained lawyers all, to think rationally and devise effective, proportionate solutions. Of course it seems to make sense that a lawyer from TWU might be more likely than average to have the wrong opinions about sex. The reasons are obvious. But how many lawyers can one school really produce? The far greater danger comes from those would-be laywers trained at institutions like Osgoode Hall or the University of Ottawa Law School or any number of public, secular universities. At least with the lawyers from TWU, you could attribute their retrograde opinions about sex to them being sheltered within evangelical institutions until, presumably, their mid to late twenties. They might be persuaded otherwise once they encounter more people who think the correct, acceptable thoughts. On the other hand, lawyers from secular institutions holding wrong opinions about sex have obviously been exposed to to good-think, and yet stubbornly persist with their un-good-think regardless. They may have though through the issues more deeply, and may ultimately be harder to persuade, harder to correct. Obviously the real danger is from them.

So here’s the problem. The LSUC has chosen a disproportionate and ineffective solution to the problem they’ve identified. If they want to stamp out un-progressive views of sex from the lawyerly profession, they need to go directly to the source. They need to investigate individuals before admitting them to the bar, not deny accreditation to particular law schools. Proper questioning and mandatory re-education classes perhaps need to be added before allowing lawyers to practice law. Which doesn’t address the problem of lawyers already admitted to the bar with the wrong opinions. I suspect there must be a few.

What they really need is an inquisition.

Stupid laws

Camille Paglia on American drinking age laws:

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed by Congress 30 years ago this July, is a gross violation of civil liberties and must be repealed. It is absurd and unjust that young Americans can vote, marry, enter contracts and serve in the military at 18 but cannot buy an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. The age-21 rule sets the U.S. apart from all advanced Western nations and lumps it with small or repressive countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

A drinking age of 19 differs in degree, not principle. Getting rid of the drinking age here would also have the advantage of undermining the desperate, hysterical, “think of the children” caterwauling from the foreign brewery cartel trying to maintain its monopoly on beer sales in this province.

More good advice: learn Latin

From spiked:

However, people’s reasoning for encouraging students to study Latin seems a little skewed: it gives you an understanding of grammar and syntax; it makes learning other languages easier; it gives you strong analytical skills… the list goes on. Yes, Latin gives you useful skills, but this is not why it should be taught widely. Subjects should not be on the curriculum with the sole aim of moulding children for future careers. If this were the case, then why not scrap English literature and replace it with Deciphering Management Jargon? An A* to anyone who can correctly define ‘benchmarking’.
Latin should be widely taught because it is intellectually stimulating…

Yup.