I was reading about the woke’s latest modern form of book burning; i.e. expurgating but not eliminating texts. And it struck me. You know what’s strange? What’s really puzzling? The dearth—even the absence—of state torturings and murders.
Using history as a guide, when the left has gained as much power as it has now, and when it has clearly lusted for more to cement its position, when it has seen its ultimate goal “sail up” on the horizon, we always got back room beatings, disappearances of troublemakers, shots in the back of the neck, frivolous arrests, woundings or killings in trying to escape, real systematic tortures.
There’s some of this now, of course, but now, right now, we’re not even close to the level of Woodrow Wilson’s goons rearranging the faces of his anti-war foes. We joke about the the FBI being the new Stasi, and even though they are clear soldiers of the woke state, they are Girl Scouts aiming for their Diversity patches next to pitiless Stasi butchers.
Yes, many of the Jan 6 trespassers were thrown into dungeons and kept incommunicado, but none of them were killed. When they are set free, they do not show us their scars. And they are, some of them, set free. True, their lives might be ruined, but they were allowed to keep those lives.
This should amaze us.
We can, and many do, predict a return to the usual norm of state-sponsored brutalities. But, for now, at least, FEMA camps remain a jest, and not a reality.
What do we have in place of rubber hoses, blackjacks, and “accidental” falls down stairs? Why don’t we still use the old sure and tried fingernail pullings? Why do we now have “cancellings”—mere shunning from polite company—instead of disappearances? What is the key difference between then and now?
Our culture is now matriarchal, or matriarchy in the ascendant. Women, abetted by weak men, invented the cult of Safety First! Women insist on protection (remember Julia?). Women demand niceness. Some call it the longhouse, an apt term.
The most important feature of the Longhouse, and why it makes such a resonant (and controversial) symbol of our current circumstances, is the ubiquitous rule of the Den Mother. More than anything, the Longhouse refers to the remarkable overcorrection of the last two generations toward social norms centering feminine needs and feminine methods for controlling, directing, and modeling behavior…
From early childhood onwards, girls compete using strategies that minimize the risk of retaliation and reduce the strength of other girls. Girls’ competitive strategies include avoiding direct interference with another girl’s goals, disguising competition, competing overtly only from a position of high status in the community, enforcing equality within the female community and socially excluding other girls.
The reason for these strategies, and for our current deficit of violence, is simple: women are the weaker sex. They don’t have the muscle and must rely on wiles. And women are increasingly in charge; if not in name and title, then de facto.
Men burn books: burning is a manly. Burning is definite. It is violent. In violence there is no ambiguity. A pile of books on fire delivers a plain and simple message: thou shalt not read this book!
Women bowdlerize books: sensitivity editing is hersterical (there is no misspelling). Sensitivity editing is weak. It is nice. In niceness there is ambiguity. A pile of books in which “harmful” and “hurtful” material has been purged or transformed into “caring” passages delivers a watery and loose message: be nice.
Women have already lustrated Roald Dahl. They say he is “harmful“. Men say “sticks and stones”: women say “I’m calling HR.”
Nervous females have scrubbed clean Agatha Christie and Ian Fleming. And now they have taken their talons to the best of them all, PG Wodehouse. Women have decided his words are “unacceptable”.
It cannot be a coincidence the bulk, or even all, of these modern-day selective passage burnings have been in England. For reasons that have, so far, escaped me, the rapidly disappearing denizens of that island nation have taken 1984 as more a guidebook than a warning. Winston Smith, you recall, was a kind of state sensitivity reader.
And no, dear reader, removing a book from a children’s school library with vivid and complete illustrations of the proper way to deliver oral sex is not equivalent to bowdlerizing adult books. Why would you think it was?
It’s funny, though. The same people who purge classic texts also have their lusts satisfied by placing those sexual instruction manuals in school. How are the two related?
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The givers of pain and delight
Thank you for discussing these issues.
Sometimes I wonder what the U.S. would be like if the old voting requirements were still in place: male and land owner. I might not be able to vote, but people who care about the realities of production and profit would be in charge. I doubt the U.S. would have a $31 trillion dollar debt plus more debt in unfunded liabilities.
Today we worry about non-citizens voting, requiring ID, and so on. Looking at world history, there is a danger when a majority of people are living free using public funds while paying no net taxes themselves.
There was no need for violence America dumbstruck has stepped meekly into its
grave. In France there are wild riots when they try to raise the retirement age
from 62 t0 64 in America it went from 65 to 67 and no one noticed. America is
sound asleep. I think ‘the female did it’ thesis is a little weak 100 years of systematic
MSM programing by alien shapeshifting chameleons is more like it.
I’ve recently seen news that in several US cities, hundreds of teenagers vandalized city centers, while police was present and moderated them (they chased people who shot people, but didn’t prevent people from tearing up cars). My guess is that violence will be coming soon. You just have to be patient for them to boil the frog.
If the powers-that-be didn’t want teenagers to vandalize, they would have deployed riot police with tear gas. Maybe not the first time, but the second time they would. They didn’t, ergo they want the vandalization. I presume they’re slowly corrupting the youth, first by letting them taste power and destruction, letting them off the leash just a little bit, and then promising more if they follow their leaders. Mass programming for violence. It’s been done, repeteadly, all over the world, long before social media. 😉
In five years (or maybe even 1-2 years, after all the presidential election is next year), they’ll probably be roving gangs in the cities that go door-to-door and scream and possibly beat people into submission. The interesting part will be when the gangs leave the cities and start going homestead-to-homestead.
In addition, once you start pulling people’s fingernails, there’s no turning back. You’re now commited and the only way you could claim moral high ground is if people are already blinded by the conflict. Since the majority of the world isn’t blinded by the Woke conflict – and probably doesn’t care all that much – if the US started pulling people’s nails they would get themselves sanctioned and boycotted into oblivion. I mean, if they started doing that publicly. We know they do that in Abu Ghraib and in similar places, but there’s no Internet in Abu Ghraib.
It’s racist to defend yourself…
Re: the confusion and conflation of real censorship / bowdlerizing with the collection restrictions applied to children’s libraries & school shelves….
They are and never have been the same.
In fact we have ALWAYS, always restricted child-access to adult material.
That is not the issue. Everyone (well, every sane & rational everyone) recognizes that we should not fill library shelves, K-12, with Playboy or Hustler (are they both still out there?). We’re not putting Fanny Hill or Lady Chatterley’s Lover in the 6th grade classroom libraries. Joyce’s Ulysses, Updike’s Couples, EL James ’50 Shades’….John O’Hara…Jerzy Kosinski… Philip Jose Farmer’s ‘Blown’… Robert Silverberg’s ‘Son of Man’… Nicholson Baker’s ‘The Fermata’…. The Kinsey Reports….Masters & Johnson….The Joy of Sex… the world is filled by fiction and non-fiction works which will never and should never find their way to grade school libraries.
This is a given.
So the question is not, ‘Should we or should we not censor/restrict/ control a child’s degree of access to adult content in publicly funded spaces?’ That question’s been answered a million times: YES, we should. The question is where, exactly, do we draw the line (lines) and what is inside and outside each division.
As for who makes the call?
Definitely NOT the so-called Experts… not the Librarians… not the Administration… not the Teachers: NO. Rather the Parents. It’s not up to someone with a certificate to determine what my child may or may not see when they’re 10… it’s up to me. That’s what parenthood is all about.
[And yes, we all recognize that access to an unrestricted internet provides an avenue for the most inquisitive/adventurous 10 yr. old to chase material that any parent might prefer they ignore….but at the very least we will not subsidize and enable that access in environments (like 6th grade) that we can control.]
Norm Macdonald (God rest his soul) suggested a possible clever compromise to the current penchant for the deranged and effeminate to “bowdlerize” books. He pointed out that the handwringing over the use of racially charged language in Huck Finn, for instance, could be solve by simply making Huck and friends black. Problem solved.
As what might be described as a classic 60s feminist, when reading stuff like this I observe with interest an internal inclination to resist. Yet I agree with what you say. The pendulum has indeed swung too far.
Always having been an avid reader, I was horrified when I saw the first bowdlerized Huckleberry Finn. And now they’re coming for my beloved Agatha Christie. Isn’t there a word for judging historical figures by modern mores? It seems so wrong. Rather, something like Huckleberry Finn could be presented as a teachable moment: “See how poorly some other people were treated back then.”
I recently read about an author (can’t remember the name) who has put in his will that if his heirs try to change the words of his books, they will immediately become public domain. This should multiply.
I just hope that sensitivity edited books are required to be labeled as “abridged” or “altered”, so we can still seek out unbowdlerized editions. If not, there are always used books, published in pre-woke times.
For now, that’s true. For how long? That’s another story.
Interesting theory, Professor B, but it’s not one I would have come up with based upon the women in my sphere of existence. Your mileage apparently varies.
A more plausible theory for me is that in the US, the ruling class is scared shatless of it’s citizens. (This is a good and necessary thing, btw.) The internal struggles on the left are not differing goals, but heated disagreements on speed of implementation. Hot-headed college students demand immediate change, while the older and more experienced lefties know that the only way they fail is impatience.
What’s the significant difference between the ruling class in China and the US? Both are existentially scared of their citizens. Yes, that’s correct, the difference is an armed citizenry.
An interesting experiment would be if Taiwan changed it laws to allow, and maybe even require to some extent, gun ownership. Would China’s posture toward Taiwan change significantly?
Once the old white guys die off everywhere will be Zimbabwe. It will be an entirely different social arrangement and the government will be able to excuse its incompetence by reference to the chaos started at the tail end of old white guys. Quite what they’ll do without any living old white men to blame is the question. Presumably they’ll be blamed in absentia and that’s a pretty bullet proof strategy I suppose.
The feminization aspect is a huge factor indeed.
Something else to consider is the absolute level of material comfort of current year.
Yes, people are still “poor” but in historical terms we sit atop a massive material bounty like never before. This bounty has risen quite rapidly. Lockstep with currency shenanigans and astronomical debt but that’s another issue. We have borrowed from future production, eating the seed corn sure enough but that still means average joe is fat and sedated with caloric surplus and the rest of his base needs met in spades.
All this suggests that both the necessity of TPTB to use direct physical violence and the corollary necessity of the proles to strike at the nanny hand that feeds them are locked in downward spiral where stasis is giving way to entropy but slow enough to mask the underlying dynamic.
Which is that the enslavement of the people is not by the heavy hand of physical force but by the soft hand of indulging the people’s own desires to avoid discomfort and pursue pleasure and to condition those comforts and discomfort avoidance according to her own “free choice” to submit, comply, stay with the herd.
In “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, this proposition was aptly illustrated as Orwell vs Huxley.
While it’s not binary, the abundance of physical necessities and ease at which the people can feed and distract is firmly within the continuum of Huxley.
This will not last, of course, and the physical, explicit violence will return in step with the coming scarcity. The only question I have is whether the tipping point is sudden or just a long slide into chaos.
I’n either case the feminized culture run by the feelies and massive manipulation of information, institutional convergence, propaganda, and social coercion will eventually give way to people being disappeared, beaten, rounded up etc.
the “cancel culture” and “Covid” social engineering was the Huxley version. Stay home and order food. Step out of line and Karen will ruin your life and make your wife upset that her Facebook friends think she is a “bad human”. The Orwell version is there too. All the architecture is done already. But has yet to supplant the door dash.
As a man I found the whole thing to be distasteful. Aside from the obvious crimes and lies. Every boy my age remembers when the whole of society told him girls are better and need to be in charge. Here we are. I hate the fake and gay feminized clown world more than anything. Careful what you wish for indeed. But I’d rather take a knife in the ribs than to see Adams rib perverted into a vindictive and passive aggressive petty queen of the satanic inversion. Humiliation rituals all around.
Let’s get it on. Draw swords already.
The standardebooks.org project de-bowlderizes any book they produce. Christie is entering the public domain now, amd there are several there already.
Correct me if I misunderstand this sticky subject, but books in the public domain may be published by anyone so interested–as most all classic literature is–so the sensitivity bowdlerizing is done at specific publishers, not by all. In other words, the original author’s work should remain available.
Now, in some instances (Ian Fleming?), the estate is making the changes to contemporize the language, under their copyright.
There does seem to be a hitch–changing authors’ words by bowdlerizing and selling under the author’s name appears to be a fraud, as it’s not the author’s work.
This moment brings to memory Ted Turner’s scheme to ‘colorize’ the films he acquired. Once the novelty wore off, no one appears interested to view the colorized films. I think they’re collecting dust in storage these days.
However one looks at it, changing the historic record is dishonest.
If one has funds to spare I highly recommend buying hard copies of media one enjoys before they are censored away.
Western Civilization requires abundant diesel fuel and competent White men. Remove either and it’s game over.
My hypothesis is – The Second Amendment.
I’m so confused. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Because if you change it, it’s no longer it.