17 January 2023

In a postmodern generation that believes truth can be mine or yours, telling the truth and restating old wisdoms can be a revolutionary act.

"The prince across the water is now the world’s most famous truth bender, but he is far from alone. Last Friday, Trevor Noah, the South African comedian and US television presenter, defended the notorious skit in which he asserted there had been a “racist backlash” in Britain when Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister.

Rather than present proof of his claims, or apologise for his error, Noah argued that a joke can only be judged by its intended audience. “I wouldn’t tell a joke about South Africa the same way in South Africa as I would outside South Africa,” he explained. In other words, it mattered not that British people knew his joke to be untrue: he was making the joke for a liberal American audience, who believed it was true....

The intellectual origins of this nonsense go back to the postmodernism of thinkers like Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Discourse is oppressive. Language, custom and tradition exploit the weak and sustain the powerful in their privilege. Victims of the powerful participate in their own oppression through their assumed social roles.

These concepts have been taken further by thinkers and radicals in America, and the arising critical theories are not only commonplace there but increasingly a matter of consensus among academics and politicians here as well.

And so truth is reduced to a battle between discourses. Whatever the evidence, the truth might be said to be merely “your truth”: a story that exploits one group and perpetuates the power of another....

The crime is always exploitation, and the currency is always victimhood because that is what the theories say. The truth must be bent to fit the template, and, handily enough, the theory tells us the truth is malleable anyway."

by Nick Timothy, Theresa May's former Chief of Staff, with an insight he couldn't get his boss to do the foggiest thing about addressing.. in The destruction of truth is at the heart of Western cultural decline  (Daily Telegraph)

Identify for yourself where and how this is seen across academia, the media and in education across NZ... and in the utterances of so many politicians

15 January 2023

All I care to say about the Royal nonsense

We should be pleased that the Harry/Meghan show has appeared over our Christmas/New Year period, as it leaves space for real news to be covered in due course.  The enthusiastic coverage of this absolutely zero news story tells you all you need to know about how much most of the media cares about important information and news, vs. entertainment.  

Personally, I couldn't care less what happens to Harry and Meghan, they mean absolutely nothing to my life, nor the life of 7 billion others.  Last year three people I knew passed away, two unexpectedly, so I don't see any sense in exercising more than a sliver of intellectual (!) or emotional energy on two people I don't know, who if it weren't for Harry's father, would be ignored for being two mediocre, dull and underachieving whingers.

Not PC posted a link to an excellent piece by Michael Hurd "Harry & Meghan: A Couple About Nothing"

Take this:

You’d have to be a morally hollow, mentally dense and frankly pretty depraved person to be fascinated by the cultural zeros we refer to as Harry & Meghan.

Yet here we are: living in a culture where we’re supposed to pretend that two parasites who DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING are the epitome of achievement.

Now I think this is slightly unfair, it is not depraved to be vaguely curious about a man who actually thinks he can reconcile with his family by throwing them under the bus, then denying that's what he did, and I doubt anyone thinks they are the epitome of achievement BUT the cultural and media response implies that these two people are important, when they are not. 

Yet there is one piece of supreme value in this whole show - it is a case study in the post-modernist philosophical sewer that infects academia, media and mainstream discourse.


The reality evasion of both of them is palpable. They are two of the most privileged, least-disadvantaged people on the planet, both could choose to live a quiet life, raise their children and travel and live in luxury but choose to tell the world how absolutely awfully they claim to have been treated by the family that GRANTS them this privilege, and then complain about how AWFUL the media are towards them by calling them out on the inconsistencies, contradictions and interpretation of their narratives, THEN they claim they just want a quiet life.  

They paint the story of a world and a media who threaten them, at the same time as they court and demand attention and want public validation, on their terms, to tell their story of pathetic, manufactured woe.

The reality evasion is added by the apparent complete falsehoods in Harry's ghost written book, from being given a gift that hadn't been invented yet to buying an airline ticket on Air NZ on a route it has never operated, for a class of travel it doesn't have.  

This is all easily explained by being "their" truth, an anti-concept if ever there was one, because it denies that there is an objective reality.  "Their" truth is just "their" feelings, not facts, but post-modernism today is all about feelings.

The two of them are so emotionally incontinent. Anecdotes and feelings substitute for evidence and facts, perceptions of oppression and privilege are much more important than actual facts.  Caring about people's feelings is a substitute for caring about actual outcomes and events.  

Finally, denying the inferences you actually make - in particular making claims of issues around the colour of Archie's skin, and now pretending that this wasn't a claim of racism at all.  It's 1+1 = whatever we say it is stuff, and don't you dare say anything else, or you're just one of the bad people"

So THERE is a merit in what they are doing - they are the poster-children of so much that is wrong today.

So if your children ask what you think of this story tell them that these are two people who have achieved next to nothing, who have untold levels of wealth and privilege, complaining about how unfair their lives are.  Tell them that they will learn nothing of value from them, and that the attention they get from media is the opposite of what they deserve.