Items of Interest, Brotherhood Edition
James Pogue, Inside the Dissident Fringe, Where the New Right Meets the Far Left, and Everyone’s Bracing for Apocalypse. “Ergo, Miami. Just after I got back from Montana, in September, I flew there for an event called Urbit Assembly. This was their second annual gathering, a strange mix between a tech convention and a degenerate art fair, for people associated with a project Yarvin had launched long ago. Srinivasan was the project’s first investor, and Peter Thiel had been the major funder behind Tlon, a company named after a mythical world in a Jorge Luis Borges story that Yarvin had founded and that was still Urbit’s parent company.”
Theodore Dalrymple, Bowdler’s Return. “I remember a time when we laughed at the Bowdlers, and the bowdlerizers, as being absurd, prissy, and prudish. We thought that, being fully mature for the first time in human history, we had overcome both the need and the impulse to bowdlerize. How wrong we were.”
Jeff Zymeri, Roald Dahl Publisher Relents after Backlash over Censorship: ‘Readers Will Be Free to Choose’. “After a barrage of criticism for making hundreds of changes to the works of Roald Dahl, the British publisher of his books has relented, agreeing to publish Dahl’s classic texts side by side with the new, edited versions.”
Justin Murphy, Thousands of Lovers Executed for AI Safety. “AI Safety is for quantitative types with a moralistic bent what Wokeism is for verbal types with a moralistic bent: just standard self-interest, but with an advanced, hyper-moralistic memeplex for cover.”
Glenn Ellmers, ‘Bring Me Some New Clichés’. “One of the legendary figures of pre-woke Hollywood was Samuel Goldwyn, who produced many of the best movies of the 1940s and ’50s. There is no evidence he ever heard of Leo Strauss; yet they were both Jewish immigrants to the United States and died within three months of each other. Goldwyn was famous for his malapropisms, and one of his best expressed a kind of Straussian insight in its own brilliant way. ‘I’m tired of these old clichés,’ Goldwyn once yelled to a screenwriter, ‘Bring me some new ones!’ In the same vein, Leo Strauss and his student Harry Jaffa understood that once philosophical insights and political principles ossify into clichés, they are no longer meaningful., Next time you travel bring a sketchbook. “When I look at my drawings from past trips, I have a sensory recall that is beyond just the view I was depicting. It’s a memory that is all encompassing, which brings back the place immediately, as well as where I was sitting, how I was feeling and even what I was thinking about.”
Merve Emre, Has Academia Ruined Literary Criticism? “Any kind of occupational training imparts to its recipients both a sense of mastery and a certain obliviousness to what this mastery costs—namely, the loss of other ways of perceiving the world. Related terms are ‘occupational psychosis’ (John Dewey), ‘trained incapacity’ (Thorstein Veblen), and, most recently, ‘nerdview’ (Geoffrey K. Pullum), all more openly pejorative than ‘deformation.’ Yet they get at the anxious and somewhat pitiable aspects of professional scholars (especially when one encounters them in herds) that Guillory, a model of courtesy and tact, sidesteps. A professional is not unlike a racehorse that has worn blinders long enough to have grown numb to the feel of them.”
Naomi Kanakia, The New, Weirdly Racist Guide to Writing Fiction. “Writers love to talk about how fiction can increase our empathy for others (a dubious proposition), but by making it acceptable in classrooms to caricature entire national literatures, they are actually reducing that empathy, and they are training a generation of culture professionals to be instinctively afraid of any fiction from outside their own culture.”
Clara Lieu (editor), Complete Guide to Selling Your Art.
Katherine Peterson, Off-Grid Tools You Need To Have On Your Property.
Newly released: Andrew Einspruch, The Magic of Last Resort.
Out in paperback: Eric Einspruch, An Introductory Guide to R: Easing the Learning Curve.
Open drawing will take place at Dissident Muse Studio on March 12 (and hopefully second Sundays henceforth).
Reached 100: Door.
On view: “Thornton Willis: Floating Lattices,” through April 8 at Elizabeth Harris Gallery.
h/t Sara Stites.
As for academia, it's ruined (or perverted) a lot of things, not least itself.
The impulse to bowdlerize is at best immature or small-minded and at worst totalitarian. Alas, all of those characteristics have always been with us, and they're not going anywhere. Appalling business.