Barack Obama: Dreams From An Absentee Father

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This article was originally published at Return of Kings before Trump’s election. 

For most of the last decade after the onset of Obamamania, I was gas-lighted by the man. Don’t get me wrong: I was always skeptical of the limits of soaring elocution and of the capacity of a pastor-in-chief to effect positive transformation in America. But following George W. Bush’s neocon adventure in Iraq—which continues to make all our lives worse—I was not entirely opposed to Obama’s rise.

Gradually, with the deadlock in Washington and the general mediocrity and legislative malaise of the Obama administration, I developed an apathy to him. I watched as he dug deeper into the moral trenches, grandiloquently casting everyone who disagreed with him as “on the wrong side of history.” I saw that he was highly left-brained, unimaginative and predictable. It became clear that he didn’t care what the average American thought about him, so long as the editors of TheNew Yorker or fellow Harvard Law alumni recognized his genius.

On matters of basic liberal policy, he was content with not getting his hands too dirty after the healthcare debacle, so long as historians recognized his unrealized potential. But it was only in the last year that I was jolted awake not just to Obama’s operational failings, but also to his ideological ones. Through his catatonic auto-responses to terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, Orlando and Nice, he didn’t leave me any choice but to replace years of apathy with real suspicion. It was impossible not to notice that the script he followed after the attacks was always the same:

  1. Express condolences and solidarity to the victims.
  2. Offer a comforting anecdote (e.g. “France is America’s oldest ally”).
  3. Express a resolve to take the battle against ISIS to another level, with more intelligence-sharing and airstrikes, while downplaying any link to Islamic terror.
  4. Expend great effort defending diversity and saying that if we turn on each other, the terrorists win.

This last step, in which Obama’s passions show most conspicuously, is where he overplays his hand. He insists, “We must keep doing what we’re doing or else the terrorists win” (translation: “Let’s uphold the cycle of Wahhabi–Zionist violence while inviting all peoples and ideologies to America”). But humans, though causelessly searching for new obstacles for themselves, need the veneer of progress and forward momentum. So telling Americans to simply carry on is a psychological dead-end. But that’s the least of Obama’s flaws, for his prescription for us to do nothing (as if more intelligence-sharing and airstrikes constitutes something) betrays his deeper motives at the core of his character.

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Obama Debates a Shitlord

At this point, if you, a perceptive Westerner, could debate Obama, you might tell him that America should stop trying to be all things to all people.

“A country that strictly controls its borders and alienates major populations will be full of hatred and will be a prime ISIS target,” Obama might retort.

“But what about Japan and Poland?” you ask.

“Those countries are on the wrong side of history!” Obama says.

“Why can’t we be more like them? We’ll stop meddling in the Middle East and we’ll have a stronger identity at home.”

“No way,” says Obama.

“Why?” you say.

“Because reasons™.”

“But I need something more from this country, Obama. I feel no civic engagement. I feel like our identity’s been hollowed out and outsourced. This place is one big strip mall. I can’t even talk to my neighbors because we have nothing in common and they hardly speak English. Something needs to change.”

“What you propose is nothing short of dismantling the American dream.”

“What is the American dream in 2016?” you ask.

“My dream.”

The Distillation Of Obama’s American Dream

In speech after speech, Obama spends the lion’s share of time exhorting the world not to discriminate between peoples and ideologies, insisting that violent extremists are unrepresentative of the mainstream—a mainstream that he and his fellow liberals get to define and massage the parameters of. This Soros-like conniption at a selective society is the germ of Obama’s political impulses. By comparison, he cares little about healthcare, poverty, job creation, inner-city violence, the environment, or Wall Street.

Obama’s American dream, it can hardly be debated, is a society of mixed-race knowledge workers who retweet John Oliver videos and spiral out in virtue-signalling and quota-filling as the national religion—all while partaking of the cult of economic growth and projecting American military power abroad to spread the seeds of globalism. Contra popular wisdom, Obama isn’t the martyr of a liberated, selfless, post-tribal world. Rather, he’s the step-child of a new globalist tribe of bankers, armchair moralists, and hordes of ressentiment whose mandate is to shred history and turn the debris into money.

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Flanked by Merkel and Clinton, Barack Obama is the modern face of liberalism, wherein so long as he waves the rainbow flag and self-righteously balkanizes the West through worship of Otherness (“it’s who we are!”) and aggressive equality policing, he has impunity from bankers, media masters and the r-selected electorate to accomplish nothing. Only the age of Obama could afflict us with Justin Trudeau, an airheaded drama teacher who’d rather lead a gay-pride parade or deliver a historic apology than do anything else in the world.

The Rise Of Obama

Obama’s rise is often explained as an inevitability of history, an everyday miracle in America’s march towards fairness and openness to the world. And yet Obama is more of a unicorn than that, is more a one-off event whose mutations are being disseminated in the American (and global) genome. Despite insistences that Everyone Is The Same,™ Obama has little in common, culturally or intellectually, with many of his high-profile minority hires, such as Susan Rice, Jeh Johnson, Loretta Lynch and Katherine Archuleta. These are hardly state-of-the-art thinkers whose contributions would have been tragically denied us if not for Obama. (Witness former Attorney General Eric Holder, whose post-Administration job involves helping Airbnb craft a better “anti-discrimination policy.”)

Obama’s backstory is both completely different from those of his peers, and completely explanatory of his political mores. He was born to a Kenyan father who’d made the intergalactic leap from goat-herder brushing up against British colonial authorities to Harvard student. Obama Sr. must have been absurdly intelligent, which he combined with an unsurprising resentment towards colonialism: a heady combo that might explain his conversion to Islam and his abusive, alcoholic, pilfering behaviour.

The man had at least five wives and had children with most of them, including with a Lithuanian Jew and various Kenyans, one of whom was pregnant with his child when he met Stanley Dunham, the white American woman he married, impregnated, and abandoned. Indeed, the most striking thread of Obama’s origins is his sprawling, globe-trotting, well-educated, and well-connected yet highly broken extended family, for Obama Sr. was not alone in trashing the traditional family unit: Stanley Dunham, ditched by Obama Sr., later married, bred with and divorced an Indonesian man, Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo, who also later married and bred with another woman.

Barack Obama, living fatherless with his mother in Hawaii and Indonesia, had no first-hand experience of the American nuclear family, and probably little concept of the American mainland. In Dreams from My Father, he recollects his first trips to Europe and Africa, giving two paragraphs to Europe and 140 pages to Africa. About Europe, he says:

By the end of the first week or so, I realized that I’d made a mistake. It wasn’t that Europe wasn’t beautiful; everything was just as I’d imagined it. It just wasn’t mine. I felt as if I were living out someone else’s romance; the incompleteness of my own history stood between me and the sites I saw like a hard pane of glass. I began to suspect that my European stop was just one more means of delay, one more attempt to avoid coming to terms with the Old Man. Stripped of language, stripped of work and routine – stripped even of the racial obsessions to which I’d become so accustomed and which I had taken (perversely) as a sign of my own maturation – I had been forced to look inside myself and had found only a great emptiness there.

Contradicting the narrative in which Obama is post-racial, he rejected his 50% European ancestry in favor of the lineage of his father—a father who’d abandoned him to a white mother and grandparents. Under no illusion, however, that he was a full-blooded or cultural Kenyan, Obama settled on his identity as a black American global citizen who loved America insofar as it was a vehicle of racial and socioeconomic levelling. No wonder, then, that he took up Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and got to community organizing in Chicago.

How Did Obama Change The World?

The changes wrought during the presidency of this former community organizer, who no doubt had little prior managerial experience and will never develop a marginally functional relationship with Congress, are drastic and manifold. The full-scale colonization of Europe, previously a steady drip, is now a torrent under this Europhobe, who, despite allegedly clashing with Angela Merkel in the early days, now considers that continent-wrecker his “favorite ally.”

In America itself, Soros-funded Black Lives Matters protesters extort and disrupt taxpaying citizens while trumpeting violence against cops, at whose funerals Obama uses the eulogy to lecture the bereaved about white supremacy, leading to more blue deaths. (Never mind that in many Western cities, these bastions of white supremacy, a stroll downtown often reveals more bi-racial than mono-racial couples—an outcome that Obama surely rubs his hands over.)

What’s clear in 2016 is that we’re not living in the age of facts, but of hysterical and hollow prostrations to a secular god. The liberal media and aspirational middle class, in contrast to much of the electorate, remains in thrall to Obama’s moral imperialism, fawning over his words as the gospel of liberal egalitarianism, the dominant Western religion (and worldreligion, alongside Islam), whose main tenet might as well be, “If someone does a good deed and there’s no one there to see it, then it doesn’t exist,” or, more commonly, “If someone has the right elite-ordained opinion and there’s no one there to retweet it, then it doesn’t exist.”

In the thought dictatorship of the modern West, where the edgiest dissidents hide behind Twitter handles, Obama is free to issue transgender bathroom directives and Section 8 housing orders with no fucks given about the very certain fracturing of society or the metamorphosis of the Democratic Party from the workers’ party to the party of big business and vice versa—no fucks given as he watches this landfill-sized dumpster fire that used to be American cohesion burn, because it was the type of damage he wanted all along: making us out in his image as people vibrantly broken and in no position to judge him.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The results of the election in the United States will change the world. The neo-liberal empire will either further entrench itself under Hillary Clinton, perhaps leading closer to a one-world government, or it will halt its expansion under Trump and try to retreat back to some fragile and palsied form of its republican roots.

The results of the former scenario are easy to envision (because we’re living this reality now): unprecedented cultural strife, with America like a doctor strapping its nation-state patients (France, Germany, etc.) to the operating table and anesthetizing them in hopes that the seizures stop, that everyone just gets with the program of international culture and “The End of History.”

One patient, however, is too big and too cohesive to subdue—China—meaning the result of the Obama-Clinton-Soros doctrine, a generation or two down the line, could very well be a world split between a godless, consumeristic, terror-infested Gay-Muslim-Globalist federation (the West) and a powerful Chinese ethno-state (possibly allied with Russia and Iran). The result of a Trump presidency, on the other hand, might be a mere slowing and protracting of the latter dynamic, or it could be a splitting of the world into more spheres of influence—something Western power brokers absolutely do not want.

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Learning From Obama

Whatever the outcome, men of influence would do well to recognize and internalize aspects of what made Obama so capable of universalizing his narrative: his statesmanlike eloquence, his seeming rationality, his seemingly encyclopedic knowledge, his camera-readiness. Influential dissidents like HAarlem Venison, Richard Spencer, Roosh, and Stefan Molyneux show some of these qualities as they go beyond simple statistics, essays and memes.

They know that in the cathedral of taboos and no-go thoughts that is the modern West, there’s an unmet black-market demand for people willing to tell the truth, a truth that is antithetical to Obama’s reason for getting up every morning. But whereas Obama, an offshore American, could fly in from Hawaii and ride the waves of decades of mass immigration, family disintegration, social programming and cat-lady liberationism to preach a feel-good (if naïve and insidious) narrative that even his opponents had to recognize and smile at, men willing to tell the truth in today’s world will be reviled and their livelihoods and safety will be threatened, no matter how well they present themselves. This is the conclusion of Obama’s age of hope: the age of heretics.

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Glossary of Globalist Terms

American dream: Escaping beggarly origins and play-acting nobility in a “Consumption-based economy.”

“A past that never existed”: A past that existed 20 years ago.

“Because we’re Americans”: “Because we’re controlled by identity politics.”

“Betray our values”: Invoked when Westerners dissent from globalist plan.

China: A 1.3 billion-person repudiation of “Diversity is our strength.”

Christianity: a) religion of self-abolishment of white people; b) evil culture of Scots-Irish “White working class.”

Colonialism: Western elites’ transfer of population to third world in 18th/19th centuries, as opposed to Western elites’ transfer of third world to West in 20th/21st centuries.

Consumption-based economy: Economic model in which people buy and rapidly discard plastic objects.

Cosmopolitan: Having well-dressed non-Westerners and a high GINI coefficient.

Credit rating agency: Globalist hitman who enforces “Diversity is our strength” and “Economic growth.”

Culture: Food options.

Democracy: Manipulation of lower classes by 1% through “Diversity is our strength.”

“Diversity is our strength”: Marxist mantra to eradicate resistance to multicultural corporatocracy.

Eastern Europe: Fertile land for colonization by “Transgender” and “Muslim” people.

Economic growth: Process of consumers rapidly buying and discarding plastic objects as the state increases in size.

Europe: Continent with Baroque and Gothic architecture and an ever-increasing number of Starbucks and Muslims.

European solidarity: Invoked when Europeans want to declare independence from America.

European values: Demographic displacement; self-hatred.

“Europe’s history of war”: Invoked when Europeans want to declare independence from America.

“Europe won’t survive unless…”: Invoked when Europeans want to declare independence from America.

Expert: Person with PhD who advocates “Diversity is our strength” and “Economic growth.”

Facebook: Virtual reality corporatist methamphetamine; vehicle of alienation and “Economic growth.”

Far-right: Self-respecting, high-testosterone.

Foreign policy: How a nation’s international relations affect Israel.

Freedom: Ability to castrate self, sodomize self, choose new pronouns, and buy American products.

Genocide: Death of ethnic groups in America’s sphere of influence.

Google: NSA directory.

Global stability: Divide and conquer by globalists.

Gross domestic product: Measure of a country’s dildo production, Big Mac consumption, and immigrant intake.

Hate speech: Free speech.

Hipster: Oxycontin addict whose snowflake degeneracy is leveraged to evangelize “Diversity is our strength.”

Human rights: Ability to castrate self, sodomize self, choose new pronouns, and buy American products.

Immigrant: Nouveau noble savage; future liberal voter; vehicle of “Economic growth.”

International consensus: What the globalists want.

International norms: What the globalists want.

Integration: Debt slavery.

International organizations: Globalist organizations run by “Experts.”

Islamophobic: Having respect for human life.

Islamic extremist: Mainstream Muslim.

Israel: “The shining city on a hill” that Americans live to serve.

Journalist: Buzzfeed blogger who agitates for “Freedom.”

“Let’s talk about x”: “Let’s have a Marxist lecture about x.”

Market liberalization: Process of dropping resistance to domination by banking cartels.

Middle East: Pillar of petrodollar system of U.S. gunboat diplomacy.

Muslim: Partner of “Transgender” person in achieving multicultural corporatocracy and cultural subversion.

Nation of immigrants: Rhetorical device for dividing and conquering Westerners.

Neoconservative: Hillary Clinton backer.

Peace in Europe: Invoked when Europeans want to declare independence from America.

Protestor: Low-testosterone globalist-paid agent.

Progressive: Pervert.

Religion: System of societal control vetted by a “Progressive.”

Right-wing protestor: Self-respecting, high-testosterone person.

Savings culture: Germanic and East Asian economic behavior anathema to “Economic growth.”

Self-determination: Opportunity for America to bring “Freedom” to new denizens.

Structural reforms: Methods of dropping resistance to domination by banking cartels.

Transgender: Partner of “Muslim” in achieving multicultural corporatocracy and cultural subversion.

“The Irish/Polish/Italians were once…”: Rhetorical device to divide and conquer white people.

“They just want a better life”: Rhetorical device to divide and conquer white people.

White privilege: Foundational concept in slow-burning pogrom of whites.

White supremacist: A member of the “White working class” who advocates white survival.

White working class: White people who act in their self-interest.

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How New York Killed Literature (with UPDATE)

This article was originally published on Return of Kings.

Many men are aware of the backlashes to the depredations of cultural Marxists on video games (i.e. Gamergate) and science fiction (i.e. Sad Puppies). Yet literary fiction has already been so compromised that the prospects for change are about as good as those of a secular-humanist revolution sweeping through Saudi Arabia. One should not simply balk, understandable though the urge may be, that literary fiction is just flowery, solipsistic indulgence—for that would be dismissing some of our greatest thinkers, from Cervantes to Tolstoy to Beckett, due to our modern emasculated writers and the prattle of the social justice class.

To be clear, making it onto the NY Times bestseller list or getting published by Random House is brutally hard for anyone not writing crime, vampire or chick-lit novels. But the obstacles that non-leftist men face in an industry where 80% of executives are women are soul-crushing. This article will examine the current literary world—centered around New York publishing and MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs—the SJW stranglehold thereof, the literary men of today vs. yesterday, and a prognosis for modern literature.

New York, New York

First things first: New York is publishing. If you haven’t spent a year riding the N-train between Brooklyn and Manhattan attending readings and expos, sucking up to magazine editors and readers (i.e. those who read submissions), and building contacts, then you’re like a goldfish swimming with sharks. If you want to make it in literary publishing, which means signing a deal with a New York agent and publisher, then the only excuse you have for not living there is if you attend a respectable MFA program outside the city.

The recent mushrooming of these programs—where writers workshop their stories and study craft while escaping from the daily grind—has resulted in more perfectly cut gems of sentences, more aesthetic groupthink and conformity, and a literary class system, where an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop opens many doors and an MFA from a lesser program opens none.

Landing a book deal or finding an agent is far easier with a publication record, meaning having placed stories and essays in prestigious literary magazines. But a litmag might publish four issues per year, each with 10 poems, 5 stories, and 2 essays. Two of these story slots (of interest to would-be Ernest Hemingways) are reserved for contributing editors, 2 are given to established writers whose names will boost the magazine’s profile, and 1 will be given to a newish writer—maybe. And if the choice comes down to you, an unknown male with a possibly white-sounding name from the Midwest, and the painter girl with 2000 Twitter followers who the editors party with in Bushwick, who do you think they’ll choose?

An internship paradox exists in literary publishing, where in order to get a book deal, you need a reputation, and in order to get a reputation, you need publications, and in order to get publications, you need a reputation. Two factors explain the existence of the literary class system as a substitute for talent. First, it’s hard for a magazine or agent to make value judgments between two solid pieces of work based on reading them for 5 minutes. Whereas listening to two musicians for 5 minutes each could deliver in-your-face impressions, browsing two stories often won’t. With most agents and magazines inundated with submissions, there’s no time to read everything and so they choose the person with the top MFA, the New York connections, and the five-digit Twitter followers.

The second reason for the literary class system relates to the economics of literary fiction. Though agents want to find and sell the next Great American Novel, the reality is that most books, authors, editors, and agents make no money. While the literati gloat that the industry is unique in standing outside the profit motive—as if it purely serves the human imagination—this lack of market orientation can be disorienting.

Most small magazines have no expectation of a large readership and no real business model, surviving instead on local arts council handouts. As such, considering that almost no one reads literary magazines (besides The New Yorker or Harper’s) and that they’re not appealing (or readable) to anyone but a tiny in-group of museum-going, naval-gazing yuppies, a magazine will leverage the literary class system and throw in some high-profile Iowa MFA writers in order to justify itself as not completely disappearing up its own ass. It needs to lend legitimacy to its drivel, which was never designed to appeal to anyone but the Brooklyn literati — or wannabe Brooklyn literati (the border is porous).

Think of the literary class system as a sort of coupon system in a communist state.

The SJW Takeover

So far, my intention has been to disillusion anyone who hopes otherwise as to the patent falsehood that what you write is half as important as your membership in the New York literary class. While an outsider can’t count on agents and editors reading their work for more than two minutes upon submission (unless they’re a card-carrying Park Slope resident with an MFA), there is one other way you can try to jostle your way into the Communist Politburo of Books: leftist virtue signalling.

I am not joking when I say that one of the best possible investments in your writing career, as a straight male who wants to get published, would be to hire a fat transgender “woman” of color and simply ghostwrite for “her,” or else acquire pictures of one and add “agoraphobic” to your Twitter resume of socially appealing forms of oppression—so no one expects to ever meet you.

No occupational field has inhaled diversity quotas this much. Looking at lists of award winners, grant recipients and editorial board members, made up predominantly of women, one would think that men are half-way illiterate. But in truth, far-left badges are ravenously shared and traded by the NY literary establishment, with many magazines and agents expressing a preference for “underrepresented writers,” not to mention all the literary events based around LGBT youth, minorities, inner-city kids, etc.

For example, let’s look at the identities and leftist credentials of the just-announced winners of the Whiting Awards:

Brian Blanchfield: white, LGBT

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs: African-American, BLM, ebonics

Madeleine George: lesbian, generalized SJW

Mitchell S. Jackson: African-American, BLM, former drug dealer

Alice Sola Kim: Korean-American, lives with editor of Buzzfeed Books

Catherine Lacey: white, pinned tweet: “Fiction is the practice of queering reality.”

Layli Long Soldier: Native-American, SJW

Safiya Sinclair: Jamaican-American, BLM

Ocean Vuong: Vietnamese-American, gay

D. Daniels: white, non-SJW?

In this group, I only see one person with no immediate SJW affiliation (or Twitter account). While I can’t comment on the skill of some of these writers, the selection, like other modern literary selections, reeks of a PR wet dream chosen by a Buzzfeed panel.

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You need Roxanne Gay’s approval to write

The identity-politic quota system, of course, hasn’t gone unnoticed by writers. Beyond the Sad Puppies episode in the more libertarian domain of science fiction, a recent incident in the Best American Poetry anthology was highly illustrative of the imposition of identity politics on literary publishing.

A writer, Michael Derrick Hudson, had his poem accepted into the anthology under the Chinese name Yi-Fen Chou, only to later reveal that he was a white man from Indiana who’d been perpetually rejected under his real name. There was a backlash, with Buzzfeed excoriating this talentless white patriarchal monster who should have “taken a hint” and stopped writing when he couldn’t get published. Some writers concede the vexed nature of getting published simply for being “exotic.” Ultimately though, they justify it based on the distinction between equality (equal treatment) and equity (equal access). That is, even if a white man is being discriminated against compared to a “translatina,” the white man faces fewer hurdles to publication (because his life is easier) and is still at an advantage despite the overt discrimination by publishing gatekeepers.

As in American life, identity politics will continue full-steam-ahead, powered by the unflappable nexus between writers of color and white women, whereby the former receive a platform from which to excoriate white people, so long as they trumpet the latter’s “rape culture” agenda. See, for example, one black writer’s response to the rape allegations facing Bill Cosby:

As far as Cosby’s alleged abuses, I was never conflicted. My only question was would this nation care if all, or most, of Cosby’s alleged victims were black women and girls. There wasn’t much intellectual or emotional reconciliation needed for me to understand that white Americans will go to all lengths to justify their terrorizing and pilfering of black folks, and most black men and boys, like most white men and boys, will go to all lengths to deny our active roles in sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual humiliation, and interpersonal violations of women and girls. The reality that white Americans are responsible for some of the most lasting, crazy-making violence on Earth does nothing to negate the reality that black men and boys, like white men and boys, are formally and informally educated by other men, boys, and patriarchal structures, to unrepentantly harm and sexually violate black women and girls.

What Kind Of Books Does This Produce?

The artistic goal of diversity quotas—if there could ever be a half-way acceptable one—might be to infuse lesser known narratives into the artistic zeitgeist through memorable but seldom heard characters and experiences. But we know this isn’t how it works in practice.

In novels from the Brooklyn intelligentsia, almost any African-American character is witty, pragmatic, agreeable, and surrounded by fools. But calling such a 2D cut-out a character is like calling a Pop-Tart baking. How such a character is supposed to elevate black people and nourish black artistic consciousness, let alone satisfy the average reader, is unclear. Rather than creating characters instead of identity-politics pets, establishment writers reach for the evermore rarefied tokenism.

Witness Garth Risk Hallberg, whose novel City on Fire recently received the possibly highest advance ever given to a novel: $2 million. Right from the first page, Hallberg introduces us to an interracial gay couple comprised of a wealthy but negligent white man who walks out on his long-suffering, paragon-of-virtue black boyfriend.

Or consider the “masculine” baseball novel The Art of Fielding, which revolves around a college dean and his affair with a black male student. Or the brand new What Belongs to You, whose author markets his book by saying he’s been cruising public bathrooms since he was 14. While these Ivy-educated authors are skilled at craft, it’s impossible to know where the virtue-signalling impulse ends and the story-telling begins. Possibly, they are trying to avoid the fate of Jonathan Franzen, who, despite being a bespectacled, militantly Democratic bird-watcher who writes an excess of female characters, faces a wrathful literary establishment who can’t quite countenance a straight male writer who has opinions about things.

Stephen King doesn’t want you to vote for Trump

Dead or muted are the mainstream male literary writers of yesteryear—Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Philip Roth, John Updike—many of whom are now considered arch-misogynists. In their stead, we have a generation of soldiers of Clintonian globalism led by radical feminists who write about “MUH FEELINGZ” and getting abortions, not to mention race agitators who get front-page editorials in The New York Times for their screeds against the never-ending assault against the “black body.”

Conclusion

Artistic communities have often been marked by dilettante behaviour, in-group rituals, and urbanism. But whereas 1920s Paris gave us works of Joyce, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald that still live on (the ultimate test of quality), it’s hard to imagine longevity for any socially conscious work written in a rent-controlled Park Slope flat—or any pitch-perfect but insipidly conformist book cranked out of one of America’s writing factories. Rather than writing bravely about the issues that define our experience and have no easy answer, the modern writer has to kneel before and pay his dues to the shrine of social justice.

Not only must he gain a large flock of SJW Twitter followers and relocate to New York to win over gatekeepers, he must design stories that include grotesquely high representations of women, LGBT people, and minorities, lest his “privilege” be a noose around his neck.

To this generation, it doesn’t matter how anti-art this is. It doesn’t matter that diversity in literature can’t possibly be served by the industry’s domination by four Manhattan publishing houses. It doesn’t matter that Dostoevsky would have mangled Crime And Punishment had his goal been to write a suburban novel with a Tatar Raskolnikov, a lesbian Dunya, and a lower-class non-binary Razumikhin. None of that matters, because New York killed literature long ago.

UPDATE

I was happy to read that some found my article educational, and even happier to see that it gave solace to certain writers who’d been thrown under the bus by the pozzed Michiko Kakutani clique. However, I am going to counter-signal one line of response: that the answer to male writer tears is simply to go to Amazon, hit “Publish,” and rack up the dough.

In fairness, I agree that self-publishing and the Internet are a godsend in many ways for writers, as gatekeepers lose (some) power, freedom of speech is bolstered, and writers can run their own businesses. Indeed, no card-carrying cultural dissident is going to place their work with a traditional publisher. And if the choice boils down to a writer being a) fully unpublished and fully unpaid or b) self-published and paid a (very) modest passive income, then there’s no contest.

But remember that we’re talking about fiction here. While How to Offshore Dildo Manufacturing to Thailand or How to Make Millions on Call Options from Mom’s Basement might catch fire on Amazon, Hate Facts: The Novel will almost certainly not. Ask yourself:

How many self-published novels have actually seeped into the culture and rustled the jimmies of New York gatekeepers? Can you buy self-published novels at the airport? Will a girl sleep with you because you uploaded to Amazon? What percentage of self-published fiction is better than, say, excrement that sold 47 copies? Has anyone ever sold TV or film options for a work of self-published fiction? Has anyone gotten rich off of self-published novels (excluding shit-tier genre works)?

Please, don’t bother scraping together the exceptions. The point isn’t that the situation isn’t evolving, or that self-publishing is bad. The point is that—as anyone will tell you who’s spent years grinding out a novel only to sell 320 copies and not even get reviewed by the local rag after a desperate guerrilla marketing campaign—self-publishing fiction isn’t the same as music or non-fiction. You can’t passively attract an audience. The cultural and economic stranglehold runs deeper.

Self-publishing fiction is a bit like not qualifying for a competition, and then running your own event and declaring yourself the winner. It would be far better for male writers to shift the Overton window, to march a masculine Trojan Horse into the Avenue of the Americas. A red-pilled professional publisher of superior shitlord fiction that exists not merely in a manosphere silo but rather seeps directly into the culture—a literary Breitbart, if you will—now that would rustle the jimmies of the New York smart set.

 

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