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EMT 09/27/15 [krakatoa] | Main | Football Sunday in America! - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
September 27, 2015

Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-27-2015: Sloganeering [OregonMuse]

Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany .jpg
The Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany

Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Also, assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.

I hate to read books but a friend said he read the dictionary and that the Zebra did it.
-Stanley Victor Paskavich

On The Chanting of Slogans

OK, so, last week when we were discussing Paul Ehrlich's Amazon review of Mark Steyn's book, I said it wasn't so much of a review as it was just Ehrlich shouting slogans at a protest rally. What's pathetic is not only do they do this, but they are specifically taught to do this by their own language and semantics gurus. Don't believe me? Then behold: The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic by George Lakoff. Ace mentioned this book in a 2012 thread, based on zombie's merciless shellacking of it earlier. It's a dumb book full of dumb crap, and if progs read it, they'll end up believing a bunch of dumb crap that bears no relationship to the real world (which is kind of what they do, anyway). It's also a mystifying book, mysterious because, why does Lakoff think that mindlessly chanting your own talking points to the exclusion of all else would be a good way to get your message out? Zombie pointed out that one of the chief practitioners of this mindless rhetorical style is DNC spokesthing Debbie Wassermsn Schultz. But look at her. Listen to her. She's the queen of buffoons (as zombie says). Does Lakoff really think that she's an effective communicator to anyone but Democrats? The idea is so preposterous that pretty much everyone has concluded that Lakoff's Little Blue Book is not so much an instruction manual for Democratic evangelism, but rather a book of procedures for reassuring and reinforcing the faithful progressive remnant. It's like they take comfort in sitting around smelling their own bad breath.

Not that there's anything new about this. In 1950, Theodore Adorno published the progressive classic book, The Authoritarian Personality (Studies in Prejudice) wherein he attempted to argue "scientifically" that conservative political beliefs are the result of some sort of psychological disorder. Because, you see, nobody could *possibly* believe that stuff. Nobody normal, that is. Which makes Adorno kind of the Pauline Kael of social psychologists.

I found this book recommendation in the comments:

A great backgrounder to Zombie's review is a book on political morality by Jonathan Haidt called "Righteous Mind." It is the most intellectually stimulating book I've read in a decade.

He has questioned almost a quarter a million people and finds that there are six aspects of morality. Liberals only uses two, maybe three moral aspects (caring for others and freedom from tyranny) while conservatives have to balance all six. Obviously, conservatives have a more complex worldview, one that has ensured our species' survival...

Posted by: Whitehall at July 10, 2012 07:24 PM (FmPSC)

Whitehall is referring to Haidt's book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, in which the author, the professor of "Ethical Leadership" (is that even a discipline?) at New York University's Stern School of Business, examines

the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim—that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.

The prog left is howling mad at Haidt for coming to conclusions they don't like. But he doesn't care which side wins, he just wants to know what the truth is. A quality conspicuously absent from Lakoff's book.

Haidt is also the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, and with a title like that, you know that any thoroughgoing prog is most likely going to hate it.

In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world’s philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims-like Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, or What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger-can enrich and even transform our lives.

Happiness is actually easier: do you know the 10 Commandments? Keep 'em. And if you fail, keep 'em again. Keep doing this. If you do, you'll be fine, more often then not.


In a morning thread of a few days ago, naturalfake opined thus:

In the 80's we hit the Freedom Trifecta-

Reagan, Thostaer, and JPII

an ass-kicking, take-no-prisoners trio of freedom-loving, free marketeers-

who brought down the Russian empire, made their respective countries as well as the world a freer, richer, more peaceful, happier place.

Naturalfake then went on to point out that the Trifecta of Freedom has since been replaced with the Sultans of Suck: Obama, Francis, and Corbyn (assuming the Brits are dumb enough to elect him). These three stooges are, in many ways, the evil-twin opposites of their illustrious predecessors who did so much to liberate the oppressed. I'm afraid the world will not see their like again. They brought the the Soviet Union to its knees.

And wouldn't you know, somebody wrote a book on this very thing.

The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World by John O'Sullivan, who was a senior policy advisor and speechwriter to Margaret Thostaer. A pretty good summary of this book is available on the Conservative Book Club which starts out:

Who brought down the Soviet Union? According to liberals, it collapsed of its own, with an assist from the reform-minded Mikhail Gorbachev. But this explanation not only scants the role of Western anti-communists – it implies they had exaggerated its dangers all along. Now, John O’Sullivan gives credit where it’s due. “The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister” is a sweeping, dramatic account of how President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thostaer together took on the most powerful and aggressive foe that liberty has ever known — and won.

Yes, they did. And I think history will eventually acknowledge what they did - but probably not in our lifetimes.

O'Sullivan, by the was, writes for National Review and is also known for "O'Sullivan's First Law", which is the observation that "all organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing."

Poetry Blowback

So ace covered this some days ago, but to recap: Michael Hudson, a white guy with an obvious "white" name, wrote a crap poem, but nobody wanted to publish it, so he submitted his crap poem using a Chinese name and, get this, not only did the crap poem get published, but it was selected to be in the 'Best American Crap Poems of 2015' anthology.

Shades of Alan Sokal!

(Of course, Sokal's prank was fake content, not fake identity, but the butt of the joke (pretentious leftist wankers) was the same)

And you won't believe what happened next.

What happened next was that an organization that calls itself the Asian American Writers' Workshop got all butthurt about it and went into full pout mode:

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop has responded to the controversy around “Chinese” poet “Yi-Fen Chou” (actually Michael Derrick Hudson, who is white) with satire. The organization started the #WhitePenName hashtag and encouraged fellow writers of color to imagine what benefits they could get if they used a stereotypically “white” pen name.

Well, good luck with that. If white guys have some kind of unfair advantage in the crap poem industry, then why did the white guy feel the need to publish his crap poem under a ruse? And, more importantly, why did the ruse succeed?

“Best American Poetry 2015” guest editor Sherman Alexie, who is Native American, explained that he was more amenable to the poem because he thought the author was Chinese. But even after he realized the true identity of the author, he ultimately decided to keep the poem in the collection, as he found it to be a good one.

So the editor basically admits that he excludes crap poems written by white guys so he can publish other crap poems from more acceptable (i.e. is a member of an ethnic minority) authors. Which pretty much confirms the white guy's point, doesn't it?

And then there's this guy who wants to get in on the butthurt before the Asians use it all up:

“Hudson had to have been aware of who the editor was,” writer and Louisiana State University professor Daniel Peña said via phone interview on Thursday. “He had to know that Alexie was trying to correct a years-long pattern of injustice of excluding writers of color. And he consciously tried to exploit it. I’m not sure what statement he thinks he’s making about contemporary poetry, but it’s coming from a really dark place.”

If Peña really doesn't see the point, let me help out: What happened here is that the white guy exposed your selection process for the shabby, racist fraud that it is. He basically pantsed affirmative action racism and put pics of its flabby, pimply butt up on YouTube. So I can understand why you'd be upset. If you were honest, you'd just hang up a "No White Guys Need Apply" sign. Or, publish what the exact quotas are, as percentages, so authors can see it and can make decisions accordingly.

And if you're wondering why I keep calling it a crap poem, go back to ace's link and read the excerpt for yourself. You will agree: it's pretty crappy.

Hard Luck Hank Is Back

Hey, there's a new Hard Luck Hank novel out, Suck My Cosmos. Here's a plot outline:

When the wife a City Councilman approaches him about spying on her husband, Hank worries he's flying too close to the flames for safety. When the husband is assassinated, he's sure of it.

Hank has to keep himself from getting framed for the murder while he finds himself increasingly manipulated by increasingly powerful people as the machinations of the City Council start to spill into his daily life.

This is a sequel to the earlier books in the series:

Screw the Galaxy
Basketful of Crap
Prince of Suck

I just love those titles. Author must be a moron.

Books By Morons

This week, I found a couple of letters in the book thread mailbag from morons I hadn't heard from in a while. Welcome back, boys, and it's good to know you've been busy.

Moron author Dave Dubrow has published a short story he wants you read. How to Fix a Broken World is

a tale of creeping insanity, news obsession, and an angel, of sorts...

It's hard to say much more without spoiling it, but the "hero" is a social justice warrior princess who really learns how to "think globally, act locally".

Dubrow is also the author of The Blessed Man and the Witch, a novel of the Apocalypse. By the way, did you morons knows that the word 'apocalypse' means, simply, 'revelation'? It was never supposed to be shorthand for 'the grand KABOOM at the end of history'. Although I suppose popular usage has made it such. Anyway, Dave's novel is the first of his 'Armageddon' series of which he is finishing up the second volume and it will be out soon.


Lurking across-the-Pond historian Markham Pyle (author of, among other books, an investigation of how progressive politics on both sides of the Atlantic corrupted the investigations of the 'Titanic' sinking) is back after suffering a heart attack and undergoing triple bypass surgery. He has written a small book about this experience, Tonight at the Morpheum: A Hospital Farce in Three Acts, which he described to me as

more a Long Essay than anything else...the account of years of missed diagnoses and misdiagnosis, survival, recovery, gratitude, and such hope as an old cynic can muster.

Having had open heart surgery myself (double bypass + valve replacement), I know something of which he speaks; one's humor gets rather "gallows" as you're forced to consider the inescapability of your own fragile mortality. As the Psalmist says, "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath." (Ps. 39:5)

Also available on Smashwords and B&N.

While I was looking at that book on Amazon, I noticed this other one that was written by Mr. Pyle's late father, Claymore: A Story of Texas, about which he tells me:

My late father had always intended to write once he retired...But he did finish Claymore and had some shorts on the hob; and after he died, I edited them - lightly, without too many fixes, pretty much as he'd left them...The titular novella is set in Reconstruction Texas, out around what is clearly Fort Davis just before the US Cav hands over to the Buffalo Soldiers thereof. Houston Chattan, a former Confederate cavalry captain, manages the Claymore Ranch with a rag-tag bunch of misfits, and does some half-compulsory scouting for the bluecoat pony soldiers. Then people start disappearing near the Mexican border.... Turns out that Houston, despite his past, can't help but see them all, when the chips are down, as fellow Americans. The partial shorts and one complete short have a similar setting, and are all pretty rawhide: including the sad fate of a petty criminal who thought he'd outsmarted everyone.


So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

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