Category Archives: English

UPDATED: About An Inspiring Young Man Who Knows He Has Things To Learn

Education, English, Intelligence, Kids, Logic, Reason

The stories about youths ruined by the education system are legion. My own encounters over the years confirm that students are taught to never question the state of their knowledge; to work to a grade and to not doubt the value of that grade.

Students and parents mistakenly believe that grades correspond to the state of their knowledge. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Adoring parents enforce these misconceptions, enabling bad teachers, and giving pedagogues (mostly mediocre or sub-par minds) ample cover.

In this context, I seldom give interviews, because young interviewers, while genuinely interested, poor things, are unable to grapple with substance and content.

I feel for these promising young minds. They’ve been deprived. They most certainly have not been taught to distill, analyze and question information. Unable to grapple with content, young minds resort to process-oriented gibberish:

“How do you feel about… What made you … Who inspired you.” Sorry, old chap. That’s not going to cut it. It’s what you ask the traditional Agony Aunt.

See, your kids are taught by women and their house-trained boys. So they look at the world not in search of substance, data, insights; but by escaping into different states of feeling.

Having said that, I am so happy to report that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a young Millennial. He had “reached out”—scrap that phrase, please, use “contacted”—with a request for an interview.

After reading his questions to me, I replied somewhat curtly by saying that his were questions better addressed to a YouTube fresh face or some young social-media sensation.

I explained why and told my young interlocutor I’d be glad to look over his revised questions once he got his bearings.

I had expected that he’d huff and puff as ego-maniacal Millennials usually do, when criticized.

But what a pleasant surprise awaited.

The young conservative replied thus:

OK. That’s definitely right. I enjoy your writing very much. Will get back with different questions. Thank you very much

My reply to his:

I knew you could be pushed to grapple with material. You’re better than the previous questions you sent, smarter. Give me a week and I will get back to you with answers to new questions. Good for you for being a good sport.

 

Came his reply:

Thank you for encouraging me. I really appreciate it … [and other stuff I won’t share]

AND MY YOUNG INTERVIEWR’S REVISED QUESTIONS ARE SHARP. They’ll be shared when answered.

Pushing good minds in the right (and Right) direction, provided they don’t suffer hubris, can work.

UPDATE:

No. Traditional, teacher-centered learning is the only way to begin to reverse progressive, child-centered miseducation. Restoring hierarchy is essential.

UPDATED (10/16/018): Christine Blasey Ford Is A Hero, Says Professor Ho From University Of North Carolina

Cultural Marxism, Culture, English, Feminism, Gender, Human Accomplishment

Jennifer Ho is a professor of English (not the English I love and know, but a thing called “Critical Theory”) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s Department of English and Comparative Literature. Yes, the appropriately named Ho teaches your kids (and you, alas, allow her to have at them).

Ho instructs young people about literature—but also about who they should and should not hold up as heroes.

And a hero, to Prof. Ho, is an individual like Christine Blasey Ford, “the college professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s.”

Ho implored on Twitter:

PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING AND RE-TWEETING IF YOU ARE UNC AFFILIATED (alums/students/faculty/staff): Signatures supporting the nomination of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for a Distinguished Alumna Award at UNC Chapel Hill.”

Do these females even understand the meaning of heroism? Clearly not.

A self-styled victim who makes claims against others with little proof is no hero.

UPDATE (10/16/018):

UPDATE II (10/9/018): About ‘Sea Changes,’ A Magnificent Immigration Novel (And The Mercer ‘MeToo’ Moment)

Britain, Culture, English, Ethics, Europe, Ilana Mercer, IMMIGRATION, Intellectualism, Literature

My friend, British author Derek Turner, will have to forgive me. This discursive post, my second about his superb novel, Sea Changes (here’s the first), begins with … me. I guess women are having a reckoning of sorts. Mine is quite a bit different. But I, too, have had a “Me Too” moment, albeit intellectual, not sexual (true traditionalists consider the latter a private matter).

Part of an ancient “Me Too” aphorism by the great Rabbi Hillel says this:

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

So, here I go.

Over the 20 years in which I’ve out-written most weekly columnists of my philosophical stripe, only a handful of individuals on the Old Right have publicly expressed respect for- and intellectual honesty about my work. Mr. Turner, the gentleman under review, for one. Another is a younger newcomer, the wonderful Jack Kerwick, a man with a moral compass. Still another is Ron Unz, the first publisher (other than the ever fearless WND) on the hard right to feature my weekly column, without any censure or reservation. (Some of the old chaps won’t even follow me on Twitter, or pretend I don’t exist. Shame. Poor things. Reality bites.) The last, for now, is Tom DiLorenzo, a friend forever. Bill Scott, crusader against police brutality, is a gem of a friend, too. In this company is my friend, philosopher and author Chris Matthew Sciabarra, who is a different animal. As an Objectivist, he has a debt of gratitude to a woman.

Check the comments on the Unz Review. The same readers who prostrate themselves to the male writers (fluffy, wordy waffling from the old boys, notwithstanding) hate on Mercer, who happens to be the only featured female columnist on the Unz Review. As I surmised, this is Small Man syndrome.

Bring it.

Yes, the Mercer column is outré, but its quality, philosophical consistency and powers of prediction ought to have secured it a regular slot, given its fiercely anti-war stance, on prominent libertarian and paleoconservative sites.

On the bright side, the attitude to my work over 20 years from these quarters has been the best proof of its quality. In this context, I am reminded of another gifted Brit (Derek Turner is English), comedian Alexei Sayle. When asked what he does when he watches a really talented, young satirist performing, Sayle replied with brutal self-deprecation: “I go back stage and tell him he’ll never make it.”

On the other hand, the German Right doesn’t seem to have an intellectual-honesty issue when it comes to my work. They have generally sought me out (the Mercer column was a regular on Junge Freiheit). And in a justly glowing review of Derek’s book, Sea Changes, an Alt-Right reviewer says this:

“Ilana Mercer, author of a book on Trump and renowned conservative intellectual, praised Sea Changes for its analysis of the prospects for the West and the necessity of defence.”

The German writer quotes a section of my fabulous advance praise. I excerpt the rest, because amidst billowing verbiage from others, I believe I succinctly captured the novel’s essence best (alas, the Mercer blurb, predictably, didn’t make it onto Amazon):

“Well written, meticulously researched and thought out, Sea Changes, Derek Turner’s first novel, succeeds mightily in bringing to life the prototypical players in the Western tragedy that is mass migration. The reader becomes intimately au fait with the many, oft-unwitting actors in this doomed stand-off: small-town conservative folks vs. progressive city slickers; salt-of-the-earth countrymen against smug, self-satisfied left-liberals. Ever present are the ruthless traffickers in human misery: both media and smugglers. Like it or not, the dice are loaded. In this epic battle, the scrappy scofflaws and their stakeholders triumph; the locals lose.”

Back to the German reviewer:

“What Jean Raspail started with Camp of the Saints and Michel Houellebecq continued with Submission has now been carried forward. The latest novel to hit the German market borrows from both of these books and carries them forward. Sea Changes by Derek Turner is now available for purchase. The novel provides an overview of events and inside them the story of the long, slow suicide of a European nation. Whether England, France or Germany, the situation is the same. The problem is ‘refugees’ and their quite understandable search for a better life. The theme of the book is how a truly arrogant elite ignore reality because it is obsessed by ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’. The novel shows the reality of the unchallenged multiculturalist establishment. ….”

[SNIP]

Another aspect about Derek’s book that I liked a lot (it went unnoticed by other “male” reviewers): Sea Changes is manly in that Derek packed it with details about masonry, weaponry and history. The book is technically dense. I like that. Other nerds will enjoy that aspect, too.

Sea Changes by Derek Turner is available on Amazon.

UPDATE I (3/12/018): Lookie here. I found Mercer male hounding from 2006: “How Sexist Are Libertarian Men?

UPDATE II (10/9/018):

From my response to a set of interview questions from, presumably, a millennial, you can figure out the attitude toward me. Just plain ignorance? Who knows? However, I venture he would not have addressed a male he wished to interview in the same manner:

Your questions are better addressed to a YouTube fresh face or some young  (and fleeting) social-media sensation. There are v.  few paleolibertarians around today in the US. Most all began their work, for the most, over a decade after me.  Few can claim my philosophical consistency (have wavered on immigration, Israel, etc.). Glad to look at your revised questions when you get your bearings.

Related: “The Curious Case Of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian.”

Jennifer Rubin Is A Rubbishy Writer

Bush, Conservatism, English, Literature, Neoconservatism

This New York Review of Books reviewer suggests that the tedious neoconservative, Jennifer Rubin, made prominent for her banality, is reminiscent of the late Molly Ivins, who was an old-school, acerbic, liberal columnist.

Rubbish.

Ivins coined memorable monikers for George Bush such as “Shrub” and “Dubya.”

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was a neoconservative writer, organizer, and theorist for a quarter-century, at the barricades on controversies from health care reform to the Iraq War (he was also the most important promoter of Sarah Palin, who embodied Trumpism before Trump became Trump). Now he regularly issues withering tweets about Trump and is a fixture on the liberal-leaning MSNBC. The foreign policy writer Max Boot was a vocal and at times strident champion of the Bush Doctrine. These days he’s a ferocious and shrewd critic of the president. Washington Post blogger-columnist Jennifer Rubin was, among prominent conservative pundits, probably Mitt Romney’s most aggressive defender in 2012 and aside from that was known for her hard-line foreign policy views, particularly on matters relating to Israel. Now, her columns often read as if they could have been written by the late Molly Ivins. (Two recent Rubin headlines: “Trump Retreats on Iran, and He Will Need to Do So Again”; “The Enablers of the Racist President Are Back at It.”)

David Frum is also a much better writer than Israel Firster, Ms. Rubin.

MORE.