The people love a populist, socialist fool. Intellectually, Pope Francis, the new Holy See, is no match to his predecessors. In fact, Jorge Bergoglio is shaping up to be a bit of a bumpkin. And the flock love him for it. Here he is with “a young lamb” on his shoulders. His face says it all. Well, almost. (The lamb, however, is lovely.)
The late Steve Jobs was not the only man who had no time for that excuse of a man, Bill Gates.
“[H]edge fund founder Robert W. Wilson, who [sadly] committed suicide over the weekend,” had nothing but contempt for the patronizing Gates (who is also a racist and a statist).
Mr. Wilson, “one of the most active philanthropists in the country”—”over the course of his career he donated an estimated $500 million to various causes”—refused to join what he termed Bill Gates’ “worthless Giving-Pledge” charity—as if Gates’ showy, sanctimonious, very public efforts are the way to give.
Quite the opposite:
The righteous give secretly. The pious give publicly. Accustomed to the hedonism of Hollywood and the exhibitionism of cable news anchors, it may surprise some to learn that the manner in which most Americans give satisfies the exacting standards of righteousness specified by Maimonides. The 12th century Jewish philosopher stipulated that the highest form of charity is practiced when “donor and recipient are unknown to each other.” This is self-explanatory.
Observe how in no time at all, Brangelina, Madonna, Clooney, Lady GaGa …, and Gisele Bundchen advertised the sums they gave. …
From: Robert W. Wilson
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 12:16 PM
To: Bill Gates
Subject: Re: Giving Pledge discussion
Mr. Gates, I decided more than ten years ago to try to give away 70% of my net worth and have already given away one-half billion dollars. (I’ve never been a Forbes 400) So I really don’t have to take the pledge.
Your “Giving Pledge” has a loophole that renders it practically worthless, namely permitting pledgees to simply name charities in their wills. I have found that most billionaires or near billionaires hate giving large sums of money away while alive and instead set up family-controlled foundations to do it for them after death. And these foundations become, more often than not, bureaucracy-ridden sluggards. These rich are delighted to toss off a few million a year in order to remain socially acceptable. But that’s it.
I’m going to stay far away from your effort. But thanks for thinking of me. Cordially
When the vapid Gates disgorged more empty words, the admirable Mr. Wilson put an end to the discussion. Decisively:
——- Original Message ——-
From: Robert W. Wilson
To: Bill Gates
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 4:15 PM
Subject: Re: Giving Pledge discussion
Mr. Gates, thanks much for your email. But as my previous email indicated, I wouldn’t have much fun or add much value to this group. You, being a liberal, think you can change people more than I think.
But let me make one comment. When I talk to young people who seem destined for great success, I tell them to forget about charities and giving. Concentrate on your family and getting rich—which I found very hard work. I personally and the world at large are very glad you were more interested in computer software than the underprivileged when you were young. And don’t forget that those who don’t make money never become philanthropists.
When rich people reach 50 and are beginning to slow down is the time to begin engaging them in philanthropy.
I’d greatly appreciate just leaving it at that. Cordially
What a shame that steely Randian men such as Robert W. Wilson are a dying breed, and creepy androgyny like Bill Gates are multiplying.
“‘Duck Dynasty’: A Decoy For Dummies” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:
“… there is nothing wrong with making a good living catering to the base, voyeuristic demand created by many millions of Americans, as do the Ducksters. But are capitalists compelled to like their product because it makes money? No. It is perfectly productive, if far from lucrative, for me to criticize all aspects of the puerile Duck production.
Then there is the matter of Duck-Dynasty religiosity.
“I think you’re missing an important point, Ilana,” said one perceptive Facebook Friend. “The [Ducksters] were selected for the show because they are how you describe them. Duck Dynasty was meant to be a redneck minstrel show. They were supposed to be objects of ridicule for cosmopolitan America. They are what blue-state America imagines religiosity to be.”
Arguably, this is precisely what being devout looks like in the USA.
Delve more deeply, and you’ll discover that Christianity in our country is a lot like what the Ducksters profess. No longer doctrinaire or demanding, the mishmash of pop-religion practiced in churches across America is an extension of the therapeutic culture: festooned with feelings, mostly misdirected. Untempered by intelligent interpretation of scripture.
As for the Ducksters’ occupation. I’ll leave you with Proverbs 12:10:
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. …
The complete column is “‘Duck Dynasty’: A Decoy For Dummies.” Read it on WND.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION:
• On my Facebook page.
• By clicking to “Like,” “Tweet” and “Share” this week’s “Return To Reason” column.
If you’d like to feature this column, WND’s longest-standing, exclusive paleolibertarian column, in or on your publication (paper or pixels), contact email@example.com.
UPDATED I (12/27): It should be mandatory for Myron my man to strike out for sanity and intelligence at WND Comments, when mouth-breathers get out of hand. Here he does it superbly:
• 4 hours ago
I have very little use for the 21st Century KulturKreig where every utterance has to be on one ‘side’ or other in some Culture-War conducted by people on both sides who are so insecure in their own beliefs that they apparently need to have everyone think exactly like they do. Additionally, I can’t be too optimistic for a country where Phil Robertson is elevated to our Thomas Aquinas and Sarah Palin is our Edmund Burke. Not surprisingly, those who do the elevation consider Ilana to be a “liberal … communist …” until, of course, the opposite side weighs in when she utters a criticism of Nelson Mandela and then she is magically transformed into a “racist-genocidal … Nazi” since in the dualistic Manichean world of 2013, thinking is an inconvenient freakish diversion from knee-jerk feelings.
Where are all the other brilliant pals and patrons of this site?
UPDATE II (12/27): ROBERTSON’S FANS NOT WORKING WITH MUCH. Wow. Not since I came out, on 9/19/2002, against Bush’s invasion of Iraq have I received so much hate mail. The country is in serious trouble if this is Red-State America. These people are not working with much. Their Hosannas belong not with Robertson—who, understandably, protects them from the gays who’re clearly gunning for them in a big way—but to Jehovah for seeing to it that breathing is involuntary, governed by the autonomic nervous system.
If not for G-d, they’d forget to breathe. Here’s Letter of the Week.
From: Lostboys Son [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, December 27, 2013 8:57 AM
Subject: Hey dumb bitch!!!
Are you mad because you are a half breed with no values or heritage? Are you pissed because you idol kim CRACKHOEAGAIN, got knocked up by your ex boyfriend? I bet your mad because any decent white man wouldn’t even touch you with a 10 foot poll. I wouldn’t even hit you with my car, I wouldn’t have sex with you with someone else’s dick!! You look like a troll. Go back to your lame overcrowded smog invested, std having, gang filled, slum hood, and don’t worry about duck dynasty or its viewers. You are not at all a trustworthy person, thats why you go from man to man your whole life, all while talking about other peoples lives, where in fact you should only worry about yourself!!
Write to Lostboys Son (email: email@example.com), to let him know you appreciate his contribution to civilization.
Gorgeous. Poetry. As for grammar and syntax: I’m ready to hang up my hat as a writer.
UPDATE III: To look on the bright side, quite a number of letters from high-IQ Christians have been received and were appreciated. Many thanks to those who’ve defended sanity, and chimed in @ Comments on WND.
Writes a lady editor:
The BEST of the Duck Dynasty articles that we read yet! I am really glad now that I haven’t wasted a second of my time watching it.
Another man of letters said:
A great column!
This really needed to be said.
My guess, though, is that columns like this will not be popular at WND!
And here’s another nice note:
I loved your column in regard to ‘Duck Dynasty’ and religiosity. And you are correct in your assessment that it is all for entertainment value and appeal to the “blue-American”. I used to watch A&E for concerts and performances; as it was known as Arts & Entertainment Network. Now, it is just an embarrass- ment. Keep up the good work.
So the off-putting stars of the reality show Duck Dynasty are the new wholesome in America? Apparently so. Anything these vulgar, immensely popular people say or do is deemed worthy of contemplating and commenting on.
I watched 10 torturous minutes of Duck Dynasty. The participants were unsharpened pencils all–dull, not particularly witty and rather crude.
For example, his abhorrence of homosexuality, the ostensibly devout and educated (because a college graduate) Phil Robertson phrased thus:
‘It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus.
‘That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying?
Yeah. both profound and refined. Yet 12 million Americans watch hours packed with dumb Duck-Dynasty vignettes.
These personalities are associated with religiosity in America! This is what being devout looks like in the USA??
From what I could see in ten minutes—which was way too much—the phoniest, most contrived character of all is Si Robertson. This lewd old man is of course a … preacher too. Lovely.
As for the Ducksters’ occupation. I’ll leave you with this from Proverbs 12:10:
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
Of course I love capitalism. Once again, the reader makes the error of the “lite-libertarian” reductionism. If someone is a capitalist (good) and makes money off his fellow Americans’ uncouth stupidity (good) and voyeurism, lite libertarains think that one cannot criticize aspects of this production. Duck detritus should make money however they wish to, but do I have to like their product b/c they make money? You gotta be kidding. It’s crap.
UPDATE II: As for the claim, on Facebook, that Duck Detritus represents the best of America. I have nothing against this lot. They are, however, part of a debased culture. Duck Dynasty is the right-wing answer to Kim Kardashian—whose deformed figure, elephant man upside down—you can ogle here:
Southerners, to paraphrase H.L. Mencken, were drained of their best blood by the War of Northern Aggression. Although vestiges of good breeding, charm and civility remain in many a Southern man, the uncouth Duck hunters are not it.
UPDATE III: DUCK DYNASTY & RELIGIOSITY IN THE US. Steven LaTulippe writes:
I think you’re missing an important point, Ilana. They were selected for the show because they are how you describe them. Duck Dynasty was meant to be a redneck minstrel show. They were supposed to be objects of ridicule for cosmopolitan America. They are what blue state America imagines religiosity to be.
REPLY: Judging from my encounters with Christian America, with few exceptions, it is no longer doctrinaire or demanding. Christianity in the US is exactly what Duck Dynasty professES. This mishmash of pop-religion that is practiced in American churches is an extension of the therapeutic culture: big on feelings, mostly misdirected, light on Godly theology or knowledge of scriptures.
Now that America’s “unofficial but nonetheless genuine ruling class” has been destroyed, Joseph Epstein reminisces longingly about the lost and great benefits to society of this untitled aristocracy’s sense of noblesse oblige.
Epstein, however, wrongly suggests America’s “WASP establishment” has been replaced with a “meritocracy—presumably an aristocracy of sheer intelligence, men and women trained in the nation’s most prestigious schools.”
The WASPocracy was replaced by an Idiocracy.
The prevailing wisdom until now has been that the WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) “stood for all that was uptight and generally repressive in American culture.” But those who could not wait for their demise are suddenly bewailing it:
… the WASP elite had dignity and an impressive sense of social responsibility. In a 1990 book called “The Way of the Wasp,” Richard Brookhiser held that the chief WASP qualities were “success depending on industry; use giving industry its task; civic-mindedness placing obligations on success, and antisensuality setting limits to the enjoyment of it; conscience watching over everything.”
Under WASP hegemony, corruption, scandal and incompetence in high places weren’t, as now, regular features of public life. Under WASP rule, stability, solidity, gravity and a certain weight and aura of seriousness suffused public life. As a ruling class, today’s new meritocracy has failed to provide the positive qualities that older generations of WASPs provided.
I like this. I’ve always said that IQ is in the math-intense fields of inquiry and study:
Apart from mathematics, which demands a high IQ, and science, which requires a distinct aptitude, the only thing that normal undergraduate schooling prepares a person for is… more schooling. Having been a good student, in other words, means nothing more than that one was good at school: One had the discipline to do as one was told, learned the skill of quick response to oral and written questions, figured out what professors wanted and gave it to them.
This Washington-Post expose of Megyn Kelly, host of “The Kelly File,” is followed by awful comments from readers, mostly on the left. A lot of libertarians are like that–unwilling or incapable of applying objective analysis to material that isn’t aligned with their imbibed ideology. In a manner, this is a closing of the mind.
Kelly, whose TV program airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on the Fox News Channel, is providing a good news show. The Hannity and O’Reilly segments are intolerable, largely because of the pig-ignorant panelists and guests entertained. Hannity, especially, fills hours on end with shrill ciphers in short skirts, screaming their worthless opinions. A zero-information exercise.
So far, Kelly has not resorted to Fox News’ regular conga-line of cretins—”analysts,” party “strategists,” and other loudmouths, although the appearance of late of Jedediah Bila bodes badly for the File’s future.
Kelly, on the facts, is very quick, super smart and tough. Men will tune in for her elfin, cute looks. I like her voice. It’s hard not to admire a woman who commands a salary of $6 million a year!
Deeply corrupting, however, is the cult of personality in news and the cultivation of news celebrities. But that’s for another day.
UPDATE (12/14): Of course Santa, aka Saint Nicholas, is a western tradition, hence white. What a sub-intelligent argument to even have. Imagine if westerners carved out a white MLK or some other white version of a black icon! They’d be lynched. Fact: by default, whites are not allowed to cling to any cultural artifact.