Should there be straight pride?

…as answered on Quora….

Probably not. But there should be no “straight shame,” either.

And, more importantly, most people should practice a bit of modesty, as part of humility and decorum, rather than “pride.”

The point of “gay pride” was, as near as I could make out, a reasonable and necessary push back against the anti-homosexual shaming that was once the norm. That the “pride” movement went overboard, as can be seen in too many of the gay pride parades I have noticed, is sad. By putting aside the question of being unashamed of one’s orientation and instead publicly glorying in indecency and immodesty, “gay pride” paraders have promoted shamelessness when shame be more apt.

You see, the original idea of not feeling shame for one’s desires is good. But the shameless public promotion of private, even lewd activities strikes me as bad, immoral, inconsiderate — what amounts to grand effrontery.

Why would straight people wish to emulate all that?

But straight people do need to defend their desires against the onslaught of anti-straight social forces.

I believe heteronormativity also needs to be defended.

Why? Because the norming of the activities that lead to procreation, to the maintenance of the species, is pro-life, humanistic, civilized. To opposeheteronormativity is to promote decadence.

Quite literally.

Of course, the reader will gather that I think heteronormativity need not be oppressive to the small population of sexual outliers. A society can norm heterosexuality without pride and overbearing condescension and exclusion. Heteronormativity can be humble, not proud.

It is a worse than a shame when it is, instead, shameless and tyrannical.

I believe it is imperative that straight people resist cultural decadence and re-learn modesty, responsibility and the blessing of human reproduction. Also, it might be helpful to relearn that sexual activity can be pleasurable within a context centered around the production of offspring and the raising of same.

But “straight pride” won’t do that. “Straight virtue” might.

twv

One should be able to point to a news story and call attention to its oddity, or recognize it as somehow pregnant with meaning, or suggest that it is indicative of an ominous element, without being called names. That time may come some day. But not today.

“The police are simply going to stop policing.”

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, on his Daily Wire show, often argues that the left’s concerted attacks upon policing over the past several years have led to the recent rise in murder rates in particular and crime rates generally. Partial defundings of police departments and policing programs, and misguided checks on policing, have directly contributed to the rises in crime, Shapiro says.

“As soon as you start loosening the restrictions with regard to criminal behavior,” Shapiro asserted on Tuesday, “you get an uptick in violence.”

True enough?

Well, what if assertions of racial injustice and police bias encourage black criminals to resist arrest?

Black Lives Matter rhetoric sure looks like a case for interpreting all searches, traffic stops, and warranted arrests as oppression. And since oppression is bad, resistance is good. Sure smacks of a dangerous excuse to resist arrest.

It is in situations where suspects resist arrest that most shootings by police occur. Then the results of resistance get pushed through the corporate media’s propaganda mill as yet more evidence of racist cops, decreasing respect for lawful standards and law enforcement, which in turn leads to

  • protests, which have led to
  • riots and
  • general mayhem and looting and
  • more robbery and, yes, murder.

These social forces are not utterly mysterious. Mr. Shapiro’s repeated focus on the simplest analysis (more police=less crime) may be regrettable, for the wider-angle view that the left’s “institutional racism” mantra could have deeper effects with broad consequences.

What we may be witnessing is a cycle of violence and misinterpretation: more crime along with more dangerous police-suspect encounters that feed mistaken impressions to bolster the initial charge of racism: rinse, wring, repeat.

twv

The latest episode of the LocoFoco Netcast features Professor James R. Otteson, author of Actual Ethics (2006) and the forthcoming Seven Deadly Economic Sins (2021). The video is up, now, on YouTube:

LocoFoco Netcast, April 6, 2021 (recorded a week earlier).

Professor James R. Otteson, the author of the terrific book Actual Ethics (2006), has a new book coming out at the end of the month, The Seven Deadly Economic Sins:

So he joined Lee Waaks and me for an interesting conversation on the topic of his book:

Nelson Bond, a bookseller who specialized in the work of James Branch Cabell — and from whom I may have purchased a Cabell volume back in the 1980s or ’90s — was also a writer. In 2002, a few years before he died, Arkham House published a collection of his stories, The Far Side of Nowhere. I just read its first story, “Command Performance,” first published in a pulp in 1951.

It is a tale of madness and psychological treatment. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this science fiction story is that the science which provides the backbone of it is “dianetics.” Which is a technique developed by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who would build on it to make a religion, Scientology.

Dianetics is treated most matter-of-factly. There is no gosh-wow or super-science, and though the author insists that the technique is not hypnosis, it sure seems like hypnosis.

The story is no masterwork, but it has its charms. And it ends with a twist. A very pulpy, science-fiction-y twist. A twist with the word “twist” in it, for “The Twisted Ones” is a key concept.

It would make a good hour-long episode of The Twilight Zone.

twv

My last podcast was a cross-over episode with Matt Asher’s The Filter. Check it out!

In video, of course, it can be found on YouTube:

Meanwhile, every weekend I create a podcast with Paul Jacob. Here was last weekend’s:

Both are well worth your time.

twv

N.B. Image at top? A Gab post, January 28, 2021.

Not effective.

I have been thinking about masks for years.

It started when I began riding motorcycles in 1992. I felt claustrophobic under a full face mask, but I did not want to breathe dust, bugs, and agricultural poisons.

So I have been musing about masks for years — as a problem to be solved: could a good mask be made?

Now, I have not done a lot of research, but I have done some. I have even drawn up plans for effective mask/respiration technology. Fortunately, I live in the country, and the poisons of city life don’t make themselves obvious to my nostrils. And I don’t have heavy allergies. So I gave up on mask R&D.

Enter the current super-flu, COVID-19. And the mask mandates. People say they are concerned. But the masks people actually use range from plausible-but-ineffective to the wildly ineffective. And people routinely wear the masks they have in ineffective ways.

If anyone really thought that masking could work to prevent plague, and that the current contagion is as dangerous as they say it is, I would encounter at least a few people using their “masks” effectively and then going the next step, innovating to the gold standard of mask tech: full sealed head mask, separate filters for air intake and outgassing, and forced air with fans.

Though such tech is available, I have not seen anyone use it. Not one. Zip. Nada.

People “believe” in the pandemic like Christmas & Easter Christians “believe” in Christ.

Or else they are really, really stupid.

Suckers. Fools. Cowards. Such are Americans today.

I wear masks out of courtesy to cowards. And thus am implicated in cowardice, too.

We are not a serious people.

twv

President Joe Biden fell up the stairs, as if a metaphor for his career.

Last year, when President Donald Trump ultra-carefully walked down a ramp, corporate media “journalists” regaled us with much rumination on how old he looked. But last week, legacy media made little of Biden’s stumbling up the red carpet to Airforce One. It was opposition media that went all abuzz. The corporate halls of propaganda merely mouthed the White House’s official spin: Biden’s doing fine; he exited the plane with aplomb.

But at some point, Biden will fall down, not up.

Remember when members of the administrative state were outed as conspiring to marshal the 25th Amendment against Trump? Well, at some point that will likely happen to Biden. Is he not too old for a full term, much less two? His usefulness as a marionette will at some point cease, and the strings will be cut.

Or, as he himself suggested, he would merely resign.

But Amendment XXV may prove less important than Amendment XXII: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”

If Vice President Kamala Harris is being groomed to replace Biden, the plan may be to string out Biden’s term of incompetency to two years and a day — to allow nearly a decade in office.

But whether Joe can manage to soldier on for that long, or we will witness a Weekend At Bernie’s III, is anybody’s guess.

twv

Why do conservatives love Ayn Rand?

…as answered  on Quora….

Only some conservatives love Ayn Rand’s work. But why do they do so?

Since I am not a conservative or extremely enamored of Rand, I am going to try to answer this based on observation of others.

  1. Rand was a good writer. She did some literary things very well. Quite a few people who dislike her politics, or other aspects of her philosophy, often say she is not, but a former colleague of mine took passages from her novels around to his fellow literature professors in a ‘blind taste test,’ so to speak, and they rated those passages very highly, recognizing the genre and tradition which they exemplified and judged them as quite successful literarily. So one reason to like or even love an author is because the author wrote well.
  2. Rand extolled human industry, vision and responsibility. Conservatives tend to love that stuff, and since many political writers (especially on the left) sure seem to be opposed to these things, characterizing entrepreneurs and businessmen as thieves and the standards of individual responsibility as somehow compromised and/or oppressive, it is no wonder that conservatives find some comfort in her writings.
  3. Rand dramatically showed the tyrannical and exploitative nature of leftist ideologies and leftists’ beloved dirigiste state. Conservatives generally favor some limits on government, and are deeply opposed to totalitarian government, so understandably some are drawn to her work.
  4. Rand supported individual rights, including rights to person and property. Many strands of American conservatism do the same, and appreciate attempts to clarify such issues, which, right or wrong, Rand attempted to do, with bravura and persuasiveness.

I could go on and on in this vein. There is much in Rand for conservatives to hate, of course — her atheism, alien moralistic dogmatism, and surrounding cult (!) — but we tend to love writers for their merits and, if those merits speak to us, we ignore or downplay their demerits.

twv

N.B. Do a search on this site and you will discover many “anti-Randian” thoughts. Ayn Rand had no significant influence on my intellectual development, other than in the reverse. That is, dissecting a few of her errors helped me to hone my normative social philosophy. Of the handful of Rand’s major literary works, I’ve seen her most famous play in a local production and read the novel The Fountainhead. The latter I deemed a brilliant but imperfect work.