The Left dropped the ball and the “far right” picked it up and ran with it. Now the Left is pissed. What did they expect? In the past, I have heard leftists (mostly the “anti-hater” types) talk about how the far right threatened to “take the game away from the left” (by actually talking about real issues like international conflict, class conflict, and state repression as opposed to nonsense like “microagressions”). Now, it’s happening.
By Jason Wilson
Despite Iraq the left has mounted no serious opposition to Syrian involvement – so why is the right now filling those shoes?
In 2002 and 2003, millions of left-leaning demonstrators crowded cities around the world to protest against the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. All the while, conservative media, along with large segments of the liberal press, beat the war drums, encouraging the Bush administration in its project of regime change.
But 15 years later, as the US edges towards a greater involvement in Syria, there is as yet no progressive, mass anti-war movement. For now, the most prominent opponents of Middle East intervention are all on the right, while leading Democrats are entirely on board with military intervention in the Middle East.
One thing about European New Right philosophy that I think is right is that America is a completely separate culture and civilization from Europe even if it is a derivitive in many ways. Interestingly, North American New Righters try to be more European culturally and intellectually even if many of them are Americans by birth and citizenship. That said, as the demographic change continues and whites become just another minority I don’t see how white nationalists will not become even weirder to most Americans or not be a right wing version of the creepy cross dressing homo plastic surgery freaks of leftist identity politics groups with their own bizarre subcultures and idiosyncracies. I am just not convinced that a high brow, intellectual, racialist counter culture is going to achieve intellectual hegemony in US cultural institutions and then trickle down from the Alternative Bourgeoisie to the white masses to forma zee Eudapean Amedikin Etno Homozexuelle State.
Ostensibly formed as a global peacekeeping organisation in the wake of World War II, the United Nations, or U.N., has, over time, made it clear that the peace it means to impose on the world resembles the pax Romana (or pax Islama), mandated and managed by way of a top-down global hegemon.
For all the criticisms levelled at desert pirates Daesh, their M.O. seems to resemble the U.N.’s in several key ways, with its fatwa-friendliness, universalist aspredations*, and a heralded, hypocritical hard-on for pious prohibitionandpenilepredation. If one didn’t know any better, it’d be easy to suspect the Muslim Männerbund of taking more than a few notes.
On Friday, heads of state — along with Nobel Prize winners, Pope Francis, and Beyoncé — convened at the United Nations in New York to inaugurate a grand new agenda to improve human welfare. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals (or, supposedly catchier, the “Global Goals”), the scheme consists of seventeen objectives — from “ending poverty in all its forms” to “conserving and sustainably using the oceans” — that are supposed to be achieved by 2030. As is de rigueur for grandiose United Nations summits, the formal festivities were accompanied by a bewildering array of over a hundred side events hosted by national governments, U.N. bodies, and NGOs large and small. If there’s a nerve center for the hive mind that is the international development industry, this was it.
Needless to say, this very serious industry has its very serious critics. But few are as creative (or as hilarious) as three young development professionals who, in the last few weeks, have chosen to express their discontent by self-publishing a satirical card game. JadedAid is modeled on the popular millennial game, Cards Against Humanity, in which players compete to select the funniest (or most vulgar) answers to a set of “fill-in-the-blank” questions. Just a week since its opening, the JadedAid KickStarter campaign has collected nearly twenty thousand dollars — far ahead of its creators’ targets — and the game is well on its way to completion. As an example of the kind of decidedly un-pc satire the game provides, here is one possible combination of cards:
Some of the card ideas were developed by the game’s inventors, who, all in their thirties, have extensive experience in the technology and communication side of the development industry. But the vast majority of the suggestions (nearly 800 at last count) were submitted by friends, colleagues, and anonymous development workers. One of the game’s co-founders, Jessica Heinzelman, 36, attributes the game’s immediate appeal to the need for development workers to “let off some steam” by subjecting their experiences in the field to mockery.
It’s been a long time since we talked about South Park as a TV show. As an institution, sure. Trey Parker and Matt Stone took Comedy Central mainstream in 1997, and they’ve outlasted all the network’s ensuing zeitgeists: Jon Stewart, Dave Chappelle, Stephen Colbert, Key & Peele, soon Amy Schumer, maybe Tosh someday. In 2013, the show downshifted to a 10-episode-yearly schedule: a shorter season, but also maybe just the new normal for cable. They’re contracted through 2019.
Why would they stop? Parker and Stone have time for extracurriculars — an Oscar nomination here, a videogame there, the occasional raft of Tony awards. In their public statements, they sound perfectly willing to keep the show going until Comedy Central cancels them. Comedy Central, in turn, seems perfectly willing to keep the show going until they quit. The show’s ratings aren’t what they used to be, but then again, our perspective on TV ratings isn’t what it used to be. Sure, South Park’s first season finale had 6.4 million viewers; sure, last week’s episode had just 1.2. But that first season finale was 17 years ago. Saying less people watch South Park is like saying someone invented Netflix.
Because South Park has lasted so long, because of its uniquely privileged position beyond the usual ratings race, and because it has been and always will be a relatively low-budget cartoon, starring lookalike soundalikes, we don’t think of it as a TV show because it’s not really like any other TV show. We treat it more like an animated op-ed column. And, to be fair, the timeliness of South Park was always one of its central virtues. As memorialized in the documentary Six Days to Air, the complete production schedule for a single episode is insanely rapid: Weeks shorter than the typical scripted show, months shorter than the typical animated series. “What does South Park think about this topical event?” became a thing right around the moment that the rise of social media demanded loud, frequent opinions about topical events.