Sponsored Post: Never Write A Christian Novel

A couple of weeks ago, at the request of reader ZJ, I reviewed the first chapter of John C. Wright’s Catholic-inspired scifi anthology novel The Book of Feasts and Seasons. Having left off there, I promised to come back ASAP and review the remainder of the book, a promise which I am now here to fulfill.

The bottom line on The Book of Feasts and Seasons is that it wasn’t very good. That said, I am left with two options regarding how to proceed in reviewing it: either by doing a micro-review or a meta-review. The first would go into small detail about precisely the things I didn’t like in it, while the second would look at the overall reason why this book didn’t work. I’ve opted for the meta-review, as I believe it has more of general interest in it, especially to those who have not read Wright’s novel.

In the end, Wright’s Christian novel fails because it is a Christian novel. It isn’t a very good novel for the same reason that Kirk Cameron’s Christian movies aren’t very good movies. But (let us not seem here to be singling out Christianity too much) it is also for the same reason that the Communist ballet The Red Detachment of Women isn’t a very good ballet. It falls flat – they all do – because art that has being didactic as its primary purpose is inordinately prone to being boring, preachy, predictable, simplistic, stilted, ham-fisted, and dreadful. Almost all didactic art, Christian or otherwise, falls into these artistic offenses. Very rare is the work that avoids them, and Wright’s is not among the elect few.

The issue is a basic, conceptual one. A novelist who starts out by saying merely: “I am going to write a Christian novel” is like a chef who starts out by saying merely: “I am going to make spicy food”. It is the wrong place to start. When working on any problem – be it artistic, scientific, engineering, or even culinary – it is always necessary to start by asking: “Exactly which variable am I solving for?”. In creative endeavors, this is critical, because every other variable must give way to the primary one being solved for; all of the other other aspects of the work will necessarily be minimized in order to maximize that one variable. Thus, while one certainly can start by consciously deciding to make a novel Christian, or make food spicy, that provides no guarantee that you’ll wind up with a good read or a tasty meal.

This is particularly true when the variable being solved for is how to effectively deliver a didactic message. Both ideology and (especially) religion are heady, powerful stuff; like spice in a delicate dish, it is easy to ruin everything by adding too much. The right amount is recognizable and distinct, yet is subtle enough that it blends with all other ingredients. Too much overpowers everything else – it robs all subtlety from the end product, and its overly strong flavor makes the results unpalatable. Someone with a limitless taste for that particular ingredient may not mind, but everyone else will. Most people like a little bite of heat in their food; few will eat hot peppers straight out of a jar.

In other words, there’s a reason why Sam Goldwyn used to say: “If you want to send a message, try Western Union”.

Does this mean that it is futile to try to write a novel with Christian themes? No, but it is important to remember that basically all good Christian novels are not self-consciously Christian; that being didactic is not the variable they primarily exist to solve for. So what should that variable be? To tell a story. As E. M. Forster noted in Aspects of the Novel, “Yes — oh, dear, yes — the novel tells a story. That is the fundamental aspect without which it could not exist”. Forster wished that the essential heart of the novel could be something other than telling a story (he was, after all, a Modernist), but had to acknowledge the inescapable fact that telling a story is what novels fundamentally exist to do.

It is here that we hit something of a paradox. Even if you approach writing a novel as a Christian who wants to spread a Christian message, you need your novel to be a good one. If it isn’t good, then nobody outside of the relatively small number of people who primarily want a didactic message (i.e., those who make up a metaphorical choir that you can preach to) will ever read it. In order to be a good novel, its primary focus – the primary value that it solves for – must be telling a good story, not spreading a message.

And thus the paradox: if you want to write a good Christian novel, you can’t write a “Christian novel”.

I am reminded of the Christian libertarian writer Chris Bechtloff’s statement that, although they are by no means cinematic masterpieces, there is more interesting theology – more to think about regarding the nature of temptation and sin – in the Hellraiser series of horror movies than there in a thousand explicitly Christian movies like Fireproof. Similarly, I have long said that anyone who can look past the violent, foul-mouthed surface of Pulp Fiction will find there a far more powerful exploration of Christian themes than can be found in The Passion of the Christ. For all its popularity in the Christian community, at its core The Passion of the Christ is a story about someone being tortured to death by the Romans, whereas the story told in Pulp Fiction is at its core a complex meditation on wrath, pride, repentance, mercy, and redemption.

It is this insight that leads us to a way out of our paradox. It is true that in order to write a good Christian novel, you can’t write a “Christian novel” – but neither do you have to. All you have to do is to tell the truth: the moral truth, the emotional truth, the philosophical truth, the historical truth, and the cosmological truth. Since Christianity is true, the truth will always lead back to Christ. Once an author understands this, it becomes unnecessary to commit the artistic offense of being overly explicit or heavy-handed in presenting Christian themes in their work. Of this heady, powerful stuff, a little dash will do – just enough to remind the readers that it is Christianity, and not any of the innumerable heresies that it has spawned, that is being pointed to.

If Wright had remembered that, he could have written a good novel that was very Christian. Instead, he wrote a Christian novel that wasn’t very good.

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Many thanks to ZJ for sponsoring this post – I hope my ramblings ended up somewhat resembling what he asked for. My next post will be a follow-up to Psycho Dish’s sponsored post, for which he has sent me a second donation, but so as to not be too repetitive here, I will probably give it to him to publish in his own web space. I will, however, be sure to link to it from here when it goes live for those of you who may wish to read it.

Sponsored Post: A Poor Player’s Hour On The Stage

Part I: Introibo

This post is sponsored by none other than Psycho Dish himself, who is making some good money driving the camera car, and made a request for something a bit unusual by this site’s standards – a work of short fiction. He made some specific requests as to the nature of what should be written, and I must admit that at first I had a bit of trouble understanding exactly what he was looking for. I think I’ve finally managed to find a way to seamlessly blend all of the themes he had in mind together, though, so without further ado, I present my first fiction piece, written to the specifications of this website’s old friend, Psycho Dish:

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Part II: A Witching-Hour’s Tale

“Chlamydia!!!

Chlamydia! That’s what they call it! So listen… okay, I can tell you’re not ready to believe any of this, but… but look, I heard this on Pacifica Radio, okay? And those are the guys who were telling the truth about… about fucking Vietnam, about fucking Nixon and Kissinger and Watergate… about everything, man! Now they’ve got the scoop on this story! And I’ve been doing my own research on it too, ever since I heard about it! You’d be shocked how much you can find out at the library, in newspapers… how much shit they let slip by because they think nobody’s paying attention… that nobody’s connecting the dots! But that’s what I’ve been doing, man, so check this shit out…

Okay, so you’ve heard of chlamydia, right? I mean, it’s… y’know… that’s the fucking clap, man! You’ve probably met someone who’s had the clap before, haven’t you? So they’ve got this plan to make the clap airborne, so you don’t even have to have sex to get it! Not even a blowjob! You’ll just be walking down the street, and somebody coughs, and – BAM!!! – you’ve got the clap! Then you take it home, and by the next morning, everybody in your whole house has it! Which means it’s gonna spread like fire, man – like fire! Pretty soon, the whole fucking country will have it!

So by now I’ll just bet you’re asking: who exactly is ‘they’? Well, of course it’s the CIA, mostly – I mean, they’re behind every last one of these sneaky, lousy plots. But they aren’t doing it themselves, like firsthand or anything, because they can’t afford to take the risk of getting caught. So they’re just bankrolling the whole thing, and providing some background research on the sly. But no, they’re not doing the heavy lifting here. That isn’t even being done in this country! It’s all being done overseas for maximum plausible deniability, because that’s the way these fucks operate! Like when they paid a bunch of mercenaries and Cubans to invade the Bay of Pigs! Yeah, well I’ll tell you who the real pigs are!

But anyhow, like I was saying, the main research base for all of this is in Taiwan. Figures, right? The next plague to devastate mankind: Made in Taiwan, right along with all the TV sets and microwave ovens. And they’ve got an CIA asset from way back handling the whole operation. And get this shit: it’s actually a woman! How’s that for your women’ lib? Okay, so who is she, right? Well, she’s got a whole bunch of different names, and nobody knows for sure what her real name is – maybe not even the CIA. But people in the know call her the Dragon Lady. Now, like I said, she and the CIA go way back, but she and Nixon go way back personally, too. Like, back even before ’68, when Nixon was running – you know North Vietnam was, like, just about to give in then, doncha? I mean, that’s why LBJ called the bombing halt! We were already negotiating a peace deal with them in Paris, and the bombing halt was a show of good will! But ol’ Tricky Dick, he didn’t want the war to end, because he still needed it as a campaign issue. So he calls the Dragon Lady, see, ‘cause she knows everybody in Asia. There’s nobody important over there who doesn’t owe her a few favors, and if they still don’t feel like helping, then she’s got the dirt on all of them! She knows who dresses up in womens’ clothes, who likes diddling little boys… all that sick shit. So she makes some phone calls, and all of a sudden the South Vietnamese just walk away from the negotiations! The peace talks get called off, and Nixon gets himself elected. That’s how these things work behind the scenes, man… the fix is in with, like, everything!

But this Dragon Lady, okay, so how did she get to be such a big deal? Well, they say she’s the daughter of a Taiwanese general, right? And, y’know, over there, the military, the mafia, and the government are all basically the same thing. So he owned all these casinos, bars, opium dens, whorehouses and stuff there in Taiwan. I mean, any pleasure you want, he had it. And everyone in Asia went there. And that’s how they got dirt on people… ‘cause of all the two-way mirrors and secret cameras that they have everywhere in those joints. And when daddy retired, the Dragon Lady got all of it – the whole empire of, like, vice and crime and dirty dealing. And she made it even bigger… running guns, making connections, getting involved in covert ops, blackmailing all of the CIA’s enemies… I mean, real heavy shit. Stuff that made her rich and powerful like most people can’t even dream of.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well the whole biological fucking lab is right there in the basement of one of her casinos! So you’ve got people playing blackjack and roulette and shit, and two floors below them, they’re engineering the goddamn chlamydia apocalypse! She’s got scientists working on it 24/7, sitting down there in the lab, with beakers and test tubes full of experimental germs, and they’re just a few months away from giving all of America the clap! And once they’ve got the perfect germ, which is definitely happening before the end of the year, then they have to deliver it. So get this: the Dragon Lady married this guy from New Jersey – she’s had, like, a couple of dozen husbands, all of them just disposable patsies, and all of them think they’re her first – and he’s gonna be the carrier. This guy’s a total washout: he taught English for a while in Japan, and then in Hong Kong, and finally Taiwan, drifting around, getting in trouble, only staying in any one place until he wore out his welcome or some disaster hit him. So when he walked into her casino with his last dime in his pocket, he was totally primed and ready to get caught in the Dragon Lady’s web.

Now, the poor patsy, he has a mom back in America who’s in a nursing home with dementia, who he hasn’t seen in a few years now because he’s been too broke to visit home. But the Dragon Lady, she’s rich, and he knows it. And she knows he knows it. So it was always going to be only a matter of time until he hit her up for the cash to go visit his mom in the nursing home, right? But she’s been putting him off until the germ is done, being all lovey-dovey and like ‘No, honey, stay here with me and enjoy this pussy!’. Well once it’s ready, she’s sending him home to see mama, and he’s not gonna be enjoying much of anything ever again! She’s planning to infect him just before he gets on the plane, so he won’t even start coughing until he’s back in America. But once he walks into the nursing home and starts sniffling, it’s all over for the old folks there. They’re gonna get the clap, and he’s the thing – nobody’s going to be able to do anything about it because nobody will be expecting it. I mean, like, it’ll be total confusion! Who would ever think that a bunch of oldsters would all get the clap at the same time? Or that you could get it from them just by them sneezing around you? Nobody will realize what’s going on until all the old codgers have spread it to all the kids and grandkids who come to visit them! From there, it gets into the schools, and pretty soon it’s in every home in America! And then we’re screwed, man! All of us!

Alright, so there’s one last big question I know you’re ready to ask, and that’s: Why? Why do this at all? Well, there’s, like, two big main reasons. The first is that they want to reduce the global population by, like, 95%, so that they’re the only ones left around to enjoy all the planet’s resources! No more overpopulation, man – the Nixons and the Kissingers and the Dragon Ladies of the world will have the whole place to themselves, with just a few trusted servants around so they don’t have to get their hands dirty doing any of the real work! And here’s the second thing, which is the best part for them: they get to pin the whole thing on the hippies! Because that’s what they’ll do, man, they’ll blame it all on free love! They’ll say that it spread because of all the premarital sex, and then, like, mutated and went airborne! So all those people, who are, like, dying of the airborne clap are going to be rioting and beating up hippies and burning places like Pacifica Radio! I mean, imagine ol’ Tricky Dick watching that on TV! That’ll really be the last laugh for him, and Kissinger, and the Dragon Lady, and the CIA!

So that’s why you gotta listen to me, man! I mean, the more people who know about this, the better chance we have of stopping it! We have to get the word out before it’s too late! You gotta tell people – everybody you meet!

Hey, are you even listening to me, man?”

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Part III: Breakfast at Oscar’s

Several hours later, as the long shadows of early morning yawned across Shattuck Avenue, the young cabbie sat looking down with tired eyes at a plate of scrambled eggs, toast, and sausages. He had finished his shift unsure whether he was more tired than hungry or more hungry than tired, but in the end, hunger won the battle, and so he’d stopped to eat before crashing out for the day. The previous night was a blur to him, as all of them were. Customers, streets, calls from dispatchers… they all blended together, and nothing of it ever stayed with him for long.

In the background, a voice from a flickering black-and-white television that sat on a counter near the register droned on. “President Reagan is reported to be in good spirits today as he recovers at George Washington University Hospital, a week after an assailant armed with a .22 caliber pistol…”

The voice set off a train of thought that connected him back to the fare he’d picked up somewhere in the middle of the night. He had been listening, even though he hadn’t wanted to. And now he reflected on what he had heard.

So the President got himself shot – well, maybe some conspiracies really are true.

But then he reflected on the fact that chlamydia can’t really go airborne and anyway is easily cured with antibiotics, that Dragon Lady stereotypes went out with Anna May Wong, and that Pacifica Radio is staffed by pot-addled ex-hippie cranks who never met a conspiracy theory they didn’t like. He reflected on the fact that the world is full of crazy people who believe crazy things – just like that dude in Washington believing that shooting the President would get him a piece of ass from some Hollywood starlet.

He reflected on the fact that he really needed a policy for the customers who rode in his cab. How about this: “Shut Up and Pay Me”?

And finally, as these thoughts passed, he reflected on the fact that his breakfast was getting cold, and that sleep was calling to him. With his belly full, he’d be off to dreamland – but then again, maybe that’s where he’d just come from.

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Part IV: Outroibo

Many thanks to Psycho Dish for sponsoring this post (and many apologies to the rest of you, who probably had a lot of this go right over your heads because it’s filled with the kind of personal in-jokes that make sense to people who’ve known each other for a couple of decades, but not to anybody else).

Psycho Dish’s own website can be found here. Please do stop by and give him a visit.

Sponsored Post: The Feast of St. Cuckold

This post will be the first part of a two-parter sponsored by ZJ, a reader who asked me to write a review of John C. Wright’s recent novel The Book of Feasts and Seasons. Wright is, as I am, an observant Catholic, and this work, an anthology of science fiction tales based on the Catholic liturgical calendar, is precisely the sort of thing to which I am by nature likely to be favorably disposed. Wright is also an avowed conservative whose views have run afoul of the Social Justice Warrior left, and to his credit he has stood firmly by those views despite their signature attempts to destroy or make grovel anyone who dares to not think as they do.

That, however, does not prevent him from being something of a “cuckservative”, and sadly I must report that the first chapter of his work is in fact so deeply cuckservative in its content that I felt the need to write a separate review of it all by itself. (Do not fear, dear sponsor – a review of the full work is still forthcoming).

The chapter, entitled “The Queen of the Tyrant Lizards”, is set in the deep south during what appears to be the 1950s or early 1960s (if you can already see where this is headed, congratulations – you’ve recognized the pattern flowing through virtually every piece of media that has been produced in the United States during the last sixty years). It is narrated firsthand by Sorainya, a white female (much is made of this, and early on) interdimensional time traveler who has come from a distant future to settle in mid-20th century America, apparently (no, I’m not making this up) because she lost her ID and it’s easier to live one’s life in time-exile than to go down to the interdimensional DMV and get a replacement. (This actually does make some sense – as everyone well knows, the DMV is a zone outside of normal physical laws, where time inevitably slows to a near stop. It seems that not even a time traveler with advanced future technology can overcome that.) Having arrived at her destination time-wise, she settles in an unnamed town that appears to be some manner of stand-in for Selma or Montgomery, Alabama. With apologies to my southern friends, I must admit to being rather baffled by this choice of physical locations to accompany her choice of temporal location. If someone with a time machine gave me a one-way ticket to, say, 1959, I would, once arrived, quickly make my way to Mad Men-era New York, or to Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood, or to Cape Canaveral to witness the early days of the Space Race firsthand. Selma would not rank high on my list of places to live in (then or now).

But the real reason why Sorainya ends up in the deep south during the dreaded, awful, unspeakably evil pre-Civil Rights Act era is the same reason that any white fictional character does – to show what a good person they are by white knighting for black people (and, by extension, to show what a good person the author is by writing about their characters’ struggle in doing so).

So Sorainya ends up on a city bus in this segregated southern town when she spots a black man riding in the bus’s rear half. Being an enlightened person from the distant future (or, alternately, being an utter dolt who didn’t do a lick of research on the time and place in which she decided to settle before she showed up in it), she of course has no idea what he’s doing there. She talks to him, and he turns out to be an aspiring paleontologist, which were apparently common in the backs of buses in the deep south during the age of Jim Crow. Perhaps even still – I cannot tell you how many times I have, when crammed into a city bus with a crowd of black people, thought to myself “I’ll bet this is a group of aspiring paleontologists”. I suppose that when you all reading this have been in a similar situation, you ignoramuses thought that the black people surrounding you were simply shouting in profanity-laced ebonics. Shows how much you know – it turns out they were actually perfecting their imitation of the mating cry of the Triceratops.

This is all told in flashback, as the opening scene takes place during the wedding of Sorainya and our budding dinosaur expert. The Ku Klux Klan has apparently somehow heard that the ceremony was taking place (How? Did somebody send them an invitation?) and the story opens in media res as the Klan is storming the church, weapons in hand. Once again, Sorainya is undone by her oddly limited skill set of being able to to move around in time, but not in space. One might think that if there was the slightest chance that something like this might happen, that it would be wise to load up a car and take a day’s drive to Ohio or Illinois to get married instead of doing so in a place where it tended to attract angry mobs. (Speaking of which, did anything like this ever actually happen? I’m going to guess not.) Again, one must question our advanced time traveler’s judgment in, with all of space-time and its collected wisdom at her disposal, moving to a backwater with a climate that half the year is like living in a dog’s mouth, and then instantly setting out to do the most offensive thing possible in the eyes of the locals in the riskiest and showiest manner that she could.

It was here that Wright came closest to succeeding in the aim of his work, and did actually make me feel bad for our padawan paleontologist. Men – of any race – do a lot of stupid things for nookie. We incessantly let women talk us into colossally dumb ideas. We can’t help it; we’re biologically programmed to. Our caveman programming tells us that when our woman says that she’s hungry and we should go fight a saber-toothed tiger so she can cook it up for dinner, we go ahead and do it. It was a useful survival strategy in those days – the physiologically weaker female was kept alive and healthy so that she could bear and raise offspring. Sadly for our dinosaur enthusiast, Sorainya’s bright idea of having an interracial wedding right in front of the Ku Klux Klan does not prove to be a very good survival strategy for him at all. How unfortunate that he lived in an age before The Artist Formerly And Once Again Known As Prince could enlighten him on the virtue and necessity of proper Pussy Control. Sometimes a man exercising better judgment and putting his foot down about it really is best for everyone.

So Sorainya’s ill-considered plan to get down with the swirl goes about as badly as one might expect, and the rest of the story is told from her perspective, starting at the moment when her brontosaurus-loving beau has taken a bullet through the chest and is headed towards the floor to expire. From here on, we enter Matrix-style bullet time, flash back and forward, and hear lots of internal monologue from the most unprepared time traveler ever to have moved between dimensions. It’s written in the literary Modernist style – anyone who has read James Joyce or Virginia Woolf should be familiar with it. It is also an exceptionally inappropriate style in which to write genre fiction. Science fiction, in particular, should always be written in a straightforward manner. By its nature, sci-fi is already taking the reader into unfamiliar territory that may be difficult to grasp. When that’s true, writing in an intentionally obscure style only serves to confuse the reader more than is necessary. Authors tend to write in Modernist style mostly because they think that it makes them look highbrow and avant-garde, and also because it seems easier to do than it actually is. But the thing about literary Modernism is that it’s like cooking scallops – it results in something delightful when done just right, but it is so very easy to end up with something that’s overdone and tough to swallow. Unless you really know what you’re doing, don’t try this at home.

One of the most common and expected of cuckservative memes raises its head in the course of the narrative: the notion that – say it along with me, kids – the Democrats are the real racists! There really is no statement in the whole world more cuckservative than this. Hey jabronis – even if it’s true, it doesn’t matter and nobody cares. The left doesn’t care. They don’t give a damn about your signaling and it’s not going to persuade them of anything because they aren’t even listening to it. They’re not going to stop calling you racists no matter how much you countersignal, and they’re not going to stop calling you racists no matter how much you bend over backwards (or forwards) to white knight for blacks. As has been noted elsewhere, in this matter, you’re going to do the time no matter what, so you might as well do the crime. As for blacks themselves, they don’t care either. The Republican Party spent a hundred years after the Civil War fighting for the rights of blacks, but as soon as the Democrats came along in 1965 and started bribing them with emoluments from the public fisk, blacks dropped the GOP like a hot rock, and now 95% of them vote for Democrats. Wright takes the time to accuse the Democrats of dastardly dealing by quoting LBJ’s remark that with his welfare programs, he’d “have those negroes voting Democratic for the next 200 years”. Perhaps this is so. And yet from the Democrats’ perspective, so far so good.

It’s hard to argue with success, especially if, as cuckservatives have, you’ve spent the last half century losing just about every battle you’ve had to face.

Rather less expected, especially in a book written by a conservative Catholic in the year 2014, is a cameo appearance by the “love is love” meme. This pops up a few times in the chapter. For example, as Sorainya considers her options, an alternate-universe version of herself from a reality in which humankind never rose above the level of tribal savages has occasion to tell our own Sorainya: “Either hate overcomes love, or love overcomes hate. That is the only decision to be made.” And there you have it: NO H8, shitlords! Was Wright just too tone-deaf to see the obvious way in which that sentiment could be applied to gay “marriage”, which, as a Catholic conservative, he opposes? Or worse, can he not see how once one accepts the frame represented by the sentiment that he is expressing, opposing gay “marriage” becomes indefensible? If the only decision to be made is indeed between love or hate (Two extremes! No nuance allowed! How Totalist!), and if the only factor involved in the decision to marry is the choice between the two (Are there no other considerations involved?), then by what justification do we tell gays – or anyone else – that they cannot marry? After all, whether or not they love each other is the only decision to be made. If there actually are other things worth factoring into the decision, Wright does not consider them important enough to be worth sharing.

This disappointing omission points to Wright’s most fundamental philosophical error, which is that he is unable to make the distinction between three concepts that are often conflated, yet are crucially different: a sin, a crime, and a bad idea. It is understandable that many do get them mixed up with each other, as the same act is often all three at once. For example, axe-murdering your wife and children is simultaneously a sin, a crime, and a bad idea. However, few individual acts achieve this trifecta. An act can be just one of these things, or any two of them. Adultery is a sin and a bad idea, but not a crime. Speeding is a crime and a bad idea, but not a sin. Engaging in the “Three S’es” (shoot, shovel, and shut up) if one finds a protected endangered species on one’s farmland is a crime, but neither a sin nor a bad idea. Smoking marijuana is a crime but not a sin, and whether it is a bad idea depends on whether or not one does it to excess. And so forth.

The upshot of all of this is that just because something isn’t a sin, that doesn’t require a Christian to believe that it isn’t a bad idea. Someone once said of Mao’s China that it was a place where “everything that’s not forbidden is mandatory”. Wright seems to be going for a derivation of that in which if an act – in this case, interracial marriage – is not specifically condemned as a sin in the Bible, then Christians must celebrate it and cheer it on (especially if the culture around us insists that we should). To say that I find no scriptural justification for this attitude is an understatement. Christianity is not a religion that relies primarily upon voluminous books of religious law to regulate all the various aspects of life. We are given a few such laws, certainly, but mostly we are taught a worldview and then are left to use it as a basis on which to exercise our own good judgment. I see no reason, therefore, why a Christian cannot come to the conclusion that, while degrees and exceptions exist and generalities may not apply in every single specific case, interracial marriage is generally a bad idea.

(As for Christian love extending to all people of faith, I am reminded of the statement, attributed to no less than Dr. King himself, that “You can be my brother, but not my brother-in-law”. It is a pithy way of expressing the idea that Christian fellowship does not, in fact, obligate one to find every request made by a fellow Christian to be wise or worthy.)

It is tempting here to accuse Mr. Wright of being a cuckold for not opposing interracial marriage, but that would be dishonest of me. In fact, I’m not calling him a “cuckservative” because he doesn’t find interracial marriage to be a sin (I agree with him that it isn’t), nor because he doesn’t find it to be a bad idea (I have my reservations on this point, but respect his right to disagree). No, I am calling him a “cuckservative” because Mr. Wright, obviously spooked by his encounter with the Social Justice vigilante squad no matter how defiant his public face may be when dealing with them, felt the need to include in his anthology this gratuitous bit of anti-racist countersignaling. What is any of this doing in what is ostensibly a book of Catholic-inspired science fiction? What is its relevance to such a work? Here’s an even better question: to whom is it directed, and for whose benefit did he write it? Certainly not leftists, who hate him, won’t read his book, and don’t care what he has to say in it. The other obvious answer is that he’s directing it towards fellow conservatives in the belief that they simply don’t get enough passive-aggressive tolerance lectures from the left, so he had best step in to do the left’s job for them by delivering one of his own.

But there is one other possible explanation: that he’s doing this for himself.

The story ends with Sorainya, after powering up with rage and summoning some ex machina particles, turning her almost-dead almost-husband into a prehistoric monster who tears the Klan members, some innocent bystanders, the choir that came to sing for her wedding, the National Guard soldiers who eventually show up to stop the massacre, and essentially everyone he can get his claws on to pieces, all told from Sorainya’s perspective and with a tone of absolute glee. It ends only when (as they had previously warned her that they would if things went this badly), all of the alternate-universe versions of her get together to erase her from the time stream completely, thus preventing the whole affair from ever having happened and saving everyone except her. There is some real psychology to be found between the lines here. Wright is willing to unleash an unthinking violent beast that will terrorize and brutally murder guilty and innocent alike, that will rip his own kind and even people who have come to help him to shreds, and to laugh over their bleeding bodies – anything, ANYTHING – if there is the even the slightest chance that it will get people who hate him to stop calling him a racist!

This is a story filled with fantastical elements of science fiction – time machines, parallel universes, alternate versions of ourselves – but the sad truth is that the idea that Wright ever could get those people to stop doing that, no matter what lengths he may go to in his attempts, is the must unrealistic of them all.

Many thanks to Zetjintsu for sponsoring this post. My review of the rest of The Book of Feasts and Seasons will be coming to this space shortly.

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that this chapter is, in fact, Wright’s attempt to rewrite (reWright?) a short story by some Social Justice leftist entitled “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love”. I skimmed the original – it’s short and unimpressive, but of course won enough awards to fill up the trunk of a ’62 Cadillac (which has more trunk space than any car made in the last thirty years) because it signaled the right things to the right people. I must emphasize, however, that what Wright has written is in no way a parody of the original – it is an attempt to show off by doing the same thing, only better. Thus, far from making me want to retract my charges against Wright, this discovery only adds to them. “I’ll do a better version of your leftist anti-racist story, but in this one, the Democrats are the real racists!” is about as cuckservative as it gets. But beyond that, it demonstrates a common bad habit of cuckservatives – an unhealthy obsession with what the left is doing and an irresistible drive to respond to it by topping them at their own game. This always ends badly – anyone remember the disastrous “The 1/2 Hour News Hour” that Fox News tried running as a conservative version of the Daily Show? It lasted seventeen episodes, and with good reason. Those on the right need to stop responding to what the left does – that only leaves the left leading the dance and setting the frame. Ignore what the left is saying; build your own ideas (including your own, distinct, unique arts) instead.

It also demonstrates a common bad habit of science fiction writers: assuming that everyone will get their industry in-jokes or care about their exceptionally nerdy versions of rap feuds with other authors or with industry organizations. I cannot speak for others, but I certainly do not, and I am again left wondering how this attempt at one-upsmanship directed against another author who won some awards that Wright thinks she shouldn’t have (and for the record, I agree) is relevant to a book of Catholic liturgy-themed science fiction. Add “indulgent” to my list of charges against “The Queen of the Tyrant Lizards”.

The Need For Thede

Hitler was wrong because he was a racist.

What’s that? Too pedestrian? Too commonplace? Too banal? You were expecting something more edgy and unusual out of me? Well, fear not – I don’t mean that the same way most people do.

What I mean is that Hitler’s myopic focus on racial purity was far too limited a vision to be truly useful. It left too many questions unanswered and too many issues unaddressed. It was, in fact, utopian in its own way, and the truth is that the conflict between Nazism and Communism was one of competing utopian visions. Communism believed that utopia could be brought about if we could just get everyone to believe the right set of ideas. Nazism believed that utopia could be brought about if only we could get the right people to build it. It has its own kind of logic to it: perfect people will naturally create a perfect world.

The only problem is that both visions are bollocks. Perfect people don’t and never can exist, and utopia is a fantasy that won’t ever come to pass in this world no matter who’s building it or what they believe. That doesn’t stop people from being utopians, however (hopeful delusion is one of those human flaws that we’ll never get rid of). There are lots of dead-ender Marxists still around (some of whom admit that thats what they are, and some of whom don’t). But there are also plenty of people around who believe in Hitler’s equally silly utopian scheme.

Here I do not mean to point an accusing finger at people who simply wish to exercise freedom of association in order to be around others who they perceive to be like themselves. The desire to do so is simply human nature, and after a couple of centuries worth of the disastrous failures of utopian schemes that have attempted to deny human nature, we have all hopefully had our fill of them. Neither do I wish to wage my own “war on noticing” by pretending that it is not true that certain racial groups seem to have naturally differing levels of average IQ, organizational skills, and propensity to criminality; nor by pretending to not understand why someone might want to live among a group that scores high in these areas. That is all understandable, and I have no criticisms to offer about any of it.

But myopic focus on ethnicity alone still too limited a worldview to be useful for our task of rebuilding the civilization that 250 years of leftist utopianism has utterly trashed. Consider, for example, the “Portland problem”. Portland is the whitest major city in America – but what are its politics like? And Portland is hardly an isolated outlier. There is a reason that leftism – and especially Cultural Marxism – has been referred to as “White Peoples’ Disease”. To those who fashion themselves “white nationalists” I say this: Fix white people first, then get back to me about white nationalism.

So we need something else – more than just the “Master Race”. We need to think more broadly – partly about people, partly about ideas, partly about technology (both social and scientific), partly about culture, partly about religious faith, and partly about history (both shared history, and the trajectory of future history). We need to take of these things into account as we consider how to survive what is to come, and how to begin to rebuild and create societies that recapture what was good, workable, and sustainable about the past, while adapting them so that they can continue to be robust in the future.

We need more than a Master Race; we need a Master Thede.

“A what?” you may ask. Well, to fully explain, first I must pull back a bit, so that we make take a realistic look at things the way they really currently are. So here is a no-bullshit assessment of the way things stand in the United States, and indeed virtually everywhere in the West at this point in history: If you are of the right or are even merely not a dedicated Cultural Marxist, if you are a serious Christian, if you value the traditions and culture of your people as they existed prior to World War II, and/or if you are a realist and not a fanatical utopian cultist, then the current system and every institution in it, from the government to the media to the corporate world, from the Supreme Court to the Boy Scouts to NASCAR, with only the possible exception of a handful of religious organizations, is lost to you – permanently and irreversibly. Nothing you can do will change this. There is no amount of protesting, or boycotting, or hashtag posting, or – especially – of voting that will do anything to alter this situation. Not ever. I know it, and – deep down, underneath any denials you may be tempted to offer – you know it, too.

So what do we do now?

To start, there is some good news. The current system and its institutions – everything that has been coopted by the left, and that we have lost to them – will collapse under their own weight anyway, and sooner than you might think. They are, to borrow a wonderful word that the environmentalist left taught me, unsustainable. There are many reasons for that, which include massive debt and other structural economic problems, imperial overreach, moral bankruptcy, resource depletion (and here I mean more than energy – look at California’s recent problems with not having enough water to go around), looming demographic crisis, loss of legitimacy and public trust… problems so numerous and complex that going into all of them in any detail would take me far beyond the scope of this essay. Suffice it to say that all of the institutions that make up the Establishment as it is presently constituted are living on borrowed time: they’re going to disintegrate, and it is probably for the best that the left will end up holding the bag when they do.

Well, great – but what do we do to survive in the meantime, and how do we put ourselves in a position to rebuild a decent and sustainable society when the time is right? The first step is that you must transfer your primary loyalty away from the current system. Among other things, you are allowed to ask of it: “What have you done for me lately?” Invade Iraq? Sue my neighbor into homelessness for politely declining to bake a gay wedding cake? Propagandize and promote all manner of sexual deviancy and unwarranted guilt to me and my children? Drive the faith of my fathers out of public life? Sneer at me on Comedy Central? To hell with all that, and to hell with them. You must stop believing in them, stop being sentimental about them, stop feeling any obligation to them, stop looking to them for moral guidance, stop protecting or serving them, stop singing their songs and waving their flags, stop being their fanboy, stop wearing their logos on your t-shirts, and stop acknowledging any power that they have over you which they do not impose at gunpoint. You must be willing to break all the programming given to you by years of public school and talk radio and television and advertisement and patriotic movies. Here I do not mean to adopt a survivalist lifestyle; you need not imitate the Unabomber by moving to a cabin in the woods and subsisting on wild berries. If you need an iPhone, go ahead and buy one – but do not feel any personal loyalty to Apple. If you need a professional certification from a university, go ahead and get it – but do not think of yourself as “a proud alum of the old alma mater”. Pay your taxes and register your car, because you must – but do not think of yourself as a loyal citizen who owes any allegiance to the government.

This last one will likely be the hardest for many people. Those on the right are by nature predisposed to patriotism; it comes easily to them, and abandoning it can be a bitter pill to swallow. Of course, it is perfectly possible to love one’s native land – its people, its history, its traditions – and to hate its government. But in an nation as gigantic as the United States, is loyalty on a national scale even possible or wise? Think: if you live in, say, rural Virginia, what real loyalty do you owe to Hollywood? On what do they base their claim to your loyalty? Hollywood is full of people who hate you – who do not share your faith or your cultural values and who actively work to see them eradicated; who laugh at you and think you a rube to be manipulated; who wouldn’t live in your “flyover” town if somebody paid them a million dollars to do it. What loyalty do you owe to New York or Washington or San Francisco, either – all places full of people who feel the same way about you? Why? Because they’re “fellow Americans”? Not good enough, say I. And what of the government? What has it done to deserve your loyalty? If you hold on to the Constitution, then you hold on to nothing – that scrap of paper has been DOA for ages now, and if it had ever possessed the ability to prevent what has happened from happening, then it would have. As for the rest of the machinery of government, it makes stupid ideas official policy, and consistently acts against your interests. This may speed up or slow down a bit depending on the results of this or that election, but it will never, ever stop. To willingly give loyalty to that beast is insanity; is suicide.

No, we’re never going to get through this by giving loyalty to people who hate us. We’re all going to need something better to transfer our primary loyalty to. What, then? Family? Friends? Church? Community? Like-minded people? Sure. But how about something that includes aspects of all of those? For that, we’re going to need to establish a thede.

So what is a thede, anyway? (Neal Stephenson explored a similar idea in his novel The Diamond Age, but used the term “phyle” to describe it). The most basic definition is that a thede is a group of humans who band together under a strong shared identity. This identity is usually based on a common trait or set of traits. These traits can vary depending on the nature and scale of the specific thede, and can include anything from blood relation to a common religion, class, language, philosophy or ideology, culture and history, IQ and education level, geographical location, shared experience, or any of a long list of other traits, or any combination of them. Ethnicity is, of course, one such possible trait, and is frequently a component of thede identities, but is neither necessarily nor always a component of them. No matter what set of traits they may be based on, thedes by nature must be exclusive – those who do not share the common traits that define the thede cannot be permitted to join it (and even possessing those traits may not be a guarantee of entry). Thedes can be large or small; there can be subthedes within larger thedes; there can be similarity and overlap between different thedes, such that two thedes which differ in some ways but are alike in others can be allied with each other. Thedes can be either formally or informally organized, and can be either localized in one geographical area or distributed. It is possible (maybe unwise, but possible) for a person to belong to more than one thede at once, but only one can have their primary loyalty.

Perhaps some examples can help to solidify the concept. One good example of a thede would be the Jews. “Jewish” is a strong shared identity that is fundamental to the individual identities of the people who are a part of it. It is, at least theoretically, centered around a religious faith, yet many who are strongly atheist in their religious beliefs still consider themselves Jewish, because Jewish identity is also partially based (and perhaps primarily so, in a de facto sense) upon aspects of culture, history, and ethnicity. The Jews have, at some points in their history, had a homeland – a common geographical location to call their own – and at other times have been a distributed thede. For many Jews, “Jewish” is the primary shared identity with which they identify themselves, and represents the thede to which they give their primary loyalty. The modern state of Israel, for example, was founded by Jews from many nations, who, justifiably or not, saw being “Jewish” as the identity to which they owed their primary loyalty, which is why they left the nations in which they were born in order to fight for, an become citizens of, a new nation based on that thede identity.

Another example of a thede would be the Freemasons. Wherever he may travel, if a Freemason wears his ring and does the secret handshake, other Freemasons will recognize him as one of their own even if they have never met before. Once they do recognize each other, Freemasons are expected to come to each others’ aid in whatever way they can, whenever such aid is needed. Many is a Freemason whose job interview was a mere formality, conducted with a wink and a nod by someone who was wearing the same ring that he was. Many others have received help in times of dire need as well. (When was the last time you heard of a homeless Freemason?) This aspect of mutual aid and obligation is not a feature of every thede, but is a vital part of any serious and robust one.

One more example would be the Mormons. Mormons take their moral guidance from the elders of their church, not from a court full of political appointees in Washington. If the elders find that marriage is something that only exists between people of opposite sexes, then that, not the opinions of a distant panel of lawyers in Hogwarts costumes, is the law by which they live. Similarly, the ladies of yet another thede, the Amish, wear long dresses because that is one of their thede’s customs. If they’d like to remain part of that thede, then those customs are, effectively, law to them. Here, a Marxist insight is useful: Whoever exercises authority over you is your de facto government. If you give your primary loyalty and grant the position of legitimate moral authority to your church elders, if the commandments of your faith or the customs of your thede are what you hold to be the legitimate laws by which you are bound, and if you see the de jure government as essentially an overgrown crew of corrupt gangsters, to be politely obeyed when their enforcers are watching and discreetly ignored when they aren’t, then your thede becomes both your people and your government, and the de jure government, along with all of its formally and informally associated institutions, becomes a burdensome but manageable annoyance.

If a thede is robust and resilient; if it is not just willing, but also able, to provide effective mutual defense and mutual aid to its members; if it is based on sound and enduring principles which resonate with high-quality people and attract them into the thede; if it can offer a space that encourages and rewards pro-social behavior; if it can help people to achieve the Good Life in a spiritual sense, a material sense, or both; in short, if it can be a worthy place for worthy people to direct their primary loyalty, then it will become a Master Thede. Once built, a Master Thede will serve (in the words of the Czech anticommunist dissident Vaclav Benda) as a parallel polis – a set of parallel institutions; a parallel culture with parallel art, philosophy, laws, customs, and manners; a parallel de facto government with instruments of defense, aid, education, and internal conflict resolution. It will not seek to replace the current government nor to declare independence in a “1776” sense – at least not for the foreseeable future. It is not intended to be an instrument of revolution under any common definition of that term, and it will as much as possible seek to avoid any engagement with the current government and current institutions altogether. A Master Thede forms a means of internal exit (especially for those unable or disinclined to move to a foreign country) – both a refuge from the current system and a basis on which to rebuild after it finally collapses. It is building just such a Master Thede (or thedes), and not trying to change the hopeless, doomed current system, that should be the focus of any practical action for reactionaries and traditionalists.

Ideally, everyone would already have a thede readily available that suits them and with which they can place their primary loyalty. In the midst of our highly atomized and individualistic Modern society, however, most people do not. In practice, any thede that will expand to a useful size will almost certainly either have to grow out of an existing institution (likely a church – no other civic institution capable of incubating a traditional thede really anymore exists) or organize through the internet. Much of it will be slow networking – finding trustworthy people, working out policies, and so on. Once a Master Thede is built, it will become successful, and when it becomes successful, it will attract others to it (especially as currently-existing institutions start to crumble and general prosperity declines even further). There will be challenges. Quality control will be primary among them: a Master Thede will have to reject many – entryists, freeloaders, insincere bandwagon-jumpers – who wish to become part of it. In terms of the people involved (and in terms of basically everything else), it must always place quality over quantity. Maintaining order and avoiding Conquest’s Second Law will also be difficult. Some within the thede may seek to change certain of its policies for reasons both good and bad. Good-faith discussion of how best to proceed should be encouraged as a tool by which the best decisions can be reached. But on core issues, the thede should follow a strict FIFO policy – “Fit In or Fuck Off”. Just as the nation-state’s ultimate enforcement mechanisms are imprisonment or execution, the Master Thede’s ultimate enforcement mechanism will be expulsion – i.e. those who won’t abide by the thede’s policies can go back to taking their chances with a government and a set of institutions that hate them and that with each passing day become simultaneously more oppressive and incompetent.

Much remains to be discussed about this topic (I do plan to return to it in the future), and doubtless many mistakes will be made, and hopefully learned from, during the creation of robust and resilient thedes. It won’t be easy. But creating them, transferring your primary loyalty to them, building them up, and defending them is your only choice. The currently-existing system and its institutions are your enemy – they will not help you, they will only seek to either bring you to heel or to destroy you – and anyway do not have all that very much life left in them. Circumstances are forcing you to look elsewhere. Let us take the first tentative steps toward creating an “elsewhere” to which we can look.

The Sponsoring Post

First, I’d like to start off by extending a heartfelt and very sincere thanks to everyone who is helping me through my current financial crisis. Every donation, large or small, is needed, is valuable, and is deeply appreciated. Under normal circumstances, I would take the time to publish a list of all of the people who have donated in order to thank them, but we do not live in normal circumstances, and I don’t want to get anyone Eiched, so I will simply say: If you have donated, you know who you are, and so do I, and I am touched and humbled by your generous actions.

That all said, I am unaccustomed to having to beg for help, and I would much rather do something productive and useful for the money I receive. So, inspired by the “Aurini’s Insight” series of sponsored videos that Davis Aurini has created, I have decided to offer to write reader-sponsored posts. For a minimum donation of $100 dollars (which is the same amount that Aurini charges for his videos), I will write at least 500 words (though that’s a minimum word count, and the finished product would likely be more) on any subject that the person donating may desire. Projected turnaround time will be one week from acceptance of the assignment, though if I do write a lot more than 500 words, receive the request at a particularly busy time, or end up having to do some heavy reading in preparation for writing the piece, it may end up taking just slightly longer. The default assumption would be that it would be published here in this space, though since you paid for it, you can publish it on your own website if you like, as long as my byline stays with it. I can also email it to the sponsor privately if they would prefer to keep it to themselves entirely for some reason.

It should be understood that these will be in addition to my regular writings here, not instead of them. My normal work will continue, and will always be free of charge. It will also be in addition to, not instead of, my Ask.FM account, which will remain open for anyone who wants to ask me a quick question. But Ask.FM is a format for short answers, both in terms of how long they are and the amount of time I spend on each answer. A sponsored post would be geared more towards someone who wants a deeper analysis of an issue or a more detailed answer to a question.

That all said, there will be a few ground rules for these posts:

1) I reserve the right to refuse any request, so email me to make sure that I’ll accept your assignment before sending me payment. In practice though, I’ll really only ever refuse if: a) the request is an obvious troll, b) I would have to doxx myself or others as part of writing it, or c) I honestly don’t know enough about the requested subject to feel comfortable taking money to write about it.

2) What you will get will be my honest opinion on the subject. No matter how bad my finances look, no amount of money is worth destroying my reputation over. I will not write anything that I do not actually believe.

3) Sponsored posts that are published here will be clearly marked as such. At the sponsor’s request, I will either share their name (real or pseudonym) or keep them anonymous.

I want to emphasize that sponsored posts can be about any subject, not just the sort of things that I normally cover here. If you want me to write about politics, history, or philosophy, that’s fine. But if you’d like me to write about brutalist architecture, or 80s pop music, or post-WWI literary Modernism, or Star Trek vs. Star Wars, or my favorite spaghetti sauce recipe, or any other matter that may strike your fancy, I’ll gladly accept that assignment as well. And, of course, I’ll be happy to do reviews of movies, television shows, anime, video games (I own an iPad and a Nintendo 3DS, and do not own, but have access to, a PS4 and an Xbox One), books, restaurants, albums, websites, podcasts, YouTube videos, prepackaged food, consumer electronics, toys, literary magazines, vacation destinations, or anything else you might like to hear my evaluation of. The only caveat is that if you’re making the minimum donation, and if I have to spend more than a couple of bucks on something in order to review it, the cost of whatever it is should be included over and above the amount of the donation.

So if you would like to sponsor a post, contact me by email at: antidemblog at gmail dot com with your request.

After this, I’m going to go back to writing normal blog posts, because that’s what people – especially the ones who have been donating – really come here to read. But please do keep donating if you can; it’s really helping a lot. And now that I take requests, don’t be shy about letting me know if you have one!

P.S. My Facebook page is now open! Feel free to come by and browse. Comments have been turned off here on the blog for ages, but I will link to every new blog post on Facebook, and anyone who wishes to can go there and comment as they see fit. See you there!

The Begging Post

In my two and a half years of writing as AntiDem, I have never had any intention of making any money off of the project. I’ve always meant for it to be a labor of love – love of the truth, love of what is good and just, and even sheer love of writing and contributing to something bigger than just me. Besides, in all this time, I’ve never really needed the money. The past few years, I’ve been living in what Fred Reed once called genteel, grad-student poverty. A little extra cash would have always been nice, but was never an absolute necessity, and I always considered it a little bit unseemly to put my hand out and beg for donations.

In fact, I still do consider it so, and I wouldn’t do it unless I absolutely had to. But some very desperate circumstances have appeared very suddenly, and the truth is that I have no one else to turn to than all of you. To give you all a short and oversimplified version of a long and complex story, I was expecting a rather large sum of money to come my way through family channels this summer, and based my finances around the idea that I would be receiving it. It now seems that the relative who was in charge of making sure that this would happen made some financial decisions such that the money I was expecting no longer exists to be given to me at all. This is a knockout blow to my finances, and changes the status of my poverty from “genteel” to “desperate”. Desperate as in: I don’t know how I’m going to be able to pay my rent or continue to make my student loan payments, much less eat or put gas in my car.

And so, dear readers, I turn to you. If ever anything I have written has brought you joy, has encouraged you, or has given you cause to think, now is the time to show your thanks by donating whatever you can. If you are unable to give anything but good wishes, I understand and appreciate them sincerely. If you can donate only a small amount, please know that anything will help, no matter how small it is. If you can donate more, please do – I desperately need it.

Whatever happens, I will continue to write – as much as I can, from wherever I can, for as long as I can, until I am no longer needed. And whatever happens, I do appreciate all of you who come here and read my humble words. Thank you all.

A link by which you can donate is below, and another will remain at the top of the sidebar indefinitely. And I’ve just joined Patreon, as well. Please feel free to donate there if that method suits you better.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

I Don’t Care About Black People

In light of both recent events and long-simmering racial issues in this country, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to state my sincere and forthright position on race relations, specifically those involving the black population. So here it is: I don’t care about black people.

In our age of Totalism, this needs some clarification. Totalism means that there is no middle – one must either love something with all of one’s heart and be willing to work tirelessly for its benefit, or (clearly) one must hate it and wish to see it destroyed with maximum force. By no means can there be any in-between. This paradigm is a tool of control – one common in history, but particularly loved by Puritans, which means that it is now primarily in the hands of the puritanical left. Few want to be seen as so heartless or vicious as to hate something – or, commonly, some group of people – enough to wish destruction upon it. And so, accepting the Totalist frame, most people feel compelled to insist that they do love it, and would bear any burden for its betterment. They dare not take the risk of being painted as a villain (which these days usually means someone who doesn’t believe in the sacred dogma of equality). But there are some of us who know better, and who reject the frame given us. And that is what I mean to do here.

I don’t care about black people, which means by definition that I don’t hate them. In order to hate something or someone, you must care about them deeply. Hate is a serious, long-term emotional investment, and one must actually care very much about the object of one’s hatred in order to make it. As is often said, hate is not the opposite of love; indifference is. And I have come to be very indifferent about the fortunes of blacks.

I don’t care about black people. Their problems are not my problem. Their enemies are not my enemy. Their concerns are not my concern. I feel no need to understand them or their ways, and I don’t care whether or not they understand me or my ways. I wish them well – in fact, I know not a single white person, no matter how outwardly racist, who does not wish that blacks were doing better than they are, if for no other reason than that we must all live with the effects of their failures. I hope that the issues that seem to ceaselessly dog their community all get solved somehow. I have no desire to do them and theirs injury, except as punishment for injury done by them against me and mine. But I don’t care about them – there is nothing more I want from them other than to simply leave me alone, and in exchange, I will gladly leave them alone as well.

Lest one think that this is all motivated by sheer meanness and lack of charity, there is another reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the cause of helping black people. The truth is that I don’t know how to help them, and I don’t know anyone else who does. For at least fifty years (more like a hundred and fifty, really) whites have been trying to find a way to solve the problems of black people. We must now be realistic and admit that all of these attempts have failed miserably. Fifty years into the War on Poverty, drive around a black ghetto (if you dare) and note what you see. It is indeed certain to look like there has been a war there, but it is equally certain to not look like any victory over poverty has been won. What you’ll find there is the result of whites having tried everything they could possibly think of to uplift blacks, and of it all having either not worked at all or having actually made things worse. As evidenced by the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Americans are notoriously slow to understand that their plan hasn’t worked and to accept defeat, but at some point, reality asserts itself in a way that is undeniable.

So here is the undeniable reality: when it comes to whites trying to solve the problems of black people, none of our plans have worked, and we’re pretty much out of ideas. I, certainly, have nothing new to add on the issue – believe me, if I did, I would. I have no secret, sadistic desire to see blacks suffer, and I, too, must live with the results of their failures. But like everybody else, I don’t have any more solutions to offer.

And I am not alone in my sense of resignation on this topic. Some are angrier than I am, and frequent, horrific reports of interracial crime – statistically almost all black on white – give them reason to be. Among many others, what has been termed “negro fatigue” has set in – an exasperated feeling of just being sick and tired of constantly hearing about blacks and their seemingly endless problems. Even on the left, which instinctively senses that the excuses and rationalizations for the failures of the black community (most especially its disproportionate rates of criminality) are wearing thin, the effects of this can be seen. One aspect of the establishment left’s recent push for gay rights is that they are quietly but visibly dumping blacks as their most favored oppressed minority in favor of gays. This is largely a simple matter of political practicality. When nice white ladies of the sort who often vote for Democrats turn on the TV and see large groups of feral blacks burning down Baltimore, it makes an impression. Doubtless so too have the nice white ladies’ own previous encounters with lower-class blacks. Say what you will about gays, but they are, as a group, not greatly given to torching senior centers or stealing purses. It makes their cause an easier sell.

In addition, it seems obvious that the left is as out of ideas about how to help blacks as everyone else. The election of Barack Obama was supposed to make all of this better, but it plainly has not, and the only other idea that the left has been able to come up with is trying more of what has already spent half a century not working. There is no reason to believe that any of it will suddenly start working now, and the need to defend the absurd notion that it might is, even with the mainstream right being as feckless and cowardly as it is, a serious political liability. Best to simply move on to the next big thing without any further comment.

As for my own solutions to the state of race relations – which are bad, and getting worse – I have precious few. Voluntary separation based on freedom of association would seem a wise and humane way to handle things. But grown adults deciding for themselves who they want to be around is prohibited by federal law, and is harshly punished where discovered. Ethnonationalism, in which each race lives in its own territory, under its own system, and makes its own laws, which it is itself responsible for enforcing, also seems to be a decent and viable solution. But this will not happen without the breakup of the United States and/or a civil war, which, while inevitable, is not on the immediate horizon.

So it seems that neither I, nor anyone else, have any workable answers to offer. It is time then, I believe, to invoke the spirit of the Serenity Prayer, and to learn to accept that which I cannot change. Again, I wish blacks all the success in the world; I hope they can find a way to do better and that a solution to their problems makes itself apparent. But other than in a vague Christian sense of wanting the best for my fellow man, I can no longer bring myself to care about them.

Thus, to black people, my message is simply this: Good luck, but don’t call me for help.

 

P.S. There is a long list of other people who I similarly don’t care about, including but not limited to: homosexuals, transgenders, Jews, Latinos, and all manner of exotic peoples in faraway countries. I wish them well, I’ll never go out of my way to harm them without provocation, I hope they get right with the Lord, and I’ll be happy to say a prayer for their souls while I’m in church. But I’ve had my fill of hearing about their problems, and I’m done caring. Whatever plagues you, work it out yourselves. Leave me alone.