Who are the oppressors? Who are the oppressed? The right caters to the reality-challenged MAGAs as the left does to the 'woke'
The final scene of George Orwell’s Animal Farm depicts the pigs, who have led the revolution against the oppressor farmers, sitting at a dinner table breaking bread with them. The farmers have arrived to form a new alliance with the former rebels. As the rest of the animals watch through the window, they note how much the pigs and humans have come to resemble each other.
Fox News is in serious legal trouble and the left is crowing with the sheer schadenfreude of its ‘day of reckoning’ for a ‘news’ channel that clearly possessed a differing idea of journalistic integrity from the moment it went on the air.
Watching the unfolding news detail how Fox fucked up by telling its audience a truth on Election Night, and got punished and ‘cancelled’ as the left would put it by aggravating them and Donald Trump, looks rather a lot like what happens on the left when they hear something that doesn’t fit their own reality resistance.
The ‘woke’ and the ‘MAGAs’ share much in common, including a penchant for censorship, rigid dogmatism, excessive fidelity, ‘purity tests’, cancellation, and a fondness for misinformation when it suits their ideological purposes.
It’s getting so I can’t tell the fascists apart.
Faux News: We Report, You Divide
Back in 1996, when we watched this mystifying new competitor to the ‘Big Four’ (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN) debut, Fox News’s primary objective clearly wasn’t to function as the ‘watchdog of the government’, as I’d learned in college. It served up much biased slant, despite its pretensions of ‘We report, you decide,’ along with Bill O’Reilly’s delusional claim to be the ‘no-spin zone’.
You could almost throw up from the dizziness.
But it might have looked like they were doing traditional journalism a little since they were highly critical of President Clinton.
Then George Bush took over and Fox News adored him with Nancy Reagan goo-goo eyes.
For the last twenty-six years, to the left’s great annoyance, Fox News has disseminated untruth, misinformation, disinformation, and, most recently, given a free mouthpiece to the most dangerously incompetent, scientifically illiterate and inarticulate President the U.S. has ever known, and the unfolding soap opera connects to an unsuccessful coup attempt.
Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, both of whom played a role in the integrity of the 2020 US federal election, are suing Fox News and other Trump sycophants for defamation over baseless claims their machines stole the election for Joe Biden. Fox News boosted Donald Trump’s insane claims of a stolen election for months and now we know they absolutely knew Biden had won fair and square.
Ironically, it all started when they began with an uncharacteristically honest and particularly ballsy move - telling the truth, being the first to correctly call Arizona, a key swing state, for Biden. The phone lines and social media lit up. Hell hath no fury like a MAGA fact-checked. Trump went ballistic, encouraging his audience to abandon Fox and move to their more Trump-submissive rivals.
Now it was Fox News’s turn to go ballistic, as the audience evaporated like the Colorado River. Texts, emails, phone calls, and words flew as the stock price dropped. Tucker Carlson called for the firing of a Fox news reporter who dared to twice fact-check Trump on Twitter. He demanded the channel go back to supporting Trump. The trail of documentation leads right up to Fox owner Rupert Murdoch, the guy who claimed he had ‘no idea’ several years ago of the phone hacking scandal through one of his other companies that cost him a over billion dollars.
He’s got no claim of cluelessness now. Murdoch’s testimony in court documents demonstrate his blessing over the willful misreporting and outright lies about the systems validating the elections, and the fact that he knew, approved, and directed all of it makes for an ugly twist for Fox’s lawyers.
Sure glad we on the left aren’t like those idiot authoritarians and their guileless audience on the far right, right?
Meanwhile, on Twitter…
A few weeks ago multi-partisan tweeters who loathe censorship the way Fox News loathes fact-checking tweeted their outrage about Vimeo, who’d taken down a documentary, up a little over a month, called Affirmation Generation in response to demands by angry transactivists. The documentary focuses on ‘detransitioners’, young people who undergo medical treatment to change gender and then change their minds, as they are wont to do 80% of the time when they experience gender dysphoria in adolescence. In other words, they outgrow it.
But until recently, they did so with their genitals, breasts, fertility, and future health intact.
Left-wing transactivists have long attempted to shut down attention for detransitioners. Famously allergic to facts that don’t fit their narrative, they successfully pressured Vimeo to remove the documentary, but pressure from anti-censorship and early medical-transitioning critics successfully pressured them to restore it.
Kinda reminds me of the time Trump threatened to shut down social media, supported by his faithful lackeys, because Twitter fact-checked a few of his tweets.
Anti-racists come for the black ‘anti-anti-blackness’ ‘racist’ professor
Oh the irony.
Vincent Lloyd is an associate professor, speaker, and author at Villanova University who led a special seminar last summer for high school students through the Telluride Association, a ‘transformative education’ non-profit. Lloyd, a fairly woke-friendly black antiracist who leads the Africana program at Villanova, found himself accused of promoting ‘anti-black racism’ when hostile students turned against him, led by a know-it-all snowflake he calls Keisha who attacked him throughout the seminar with claims of harm, ‘microaggressions’, and racism, drawing the others to her cause, resulting in an educational food fight which Lloyd ended two weeks early.
His race crime against his own? Not focusing enough on ‘anti-blackness’ as the source of all evil for the mouthy, opinionated narcissist.
No one could learn anything with a hyper-work antiracism-cult-leader-in-training interrupting, demanding her own viewpoints be discussed ad nauseum, and yelling insults like a spoiled child. [See: Marjorie Taylor Greene.]
The others meekly followed Keisha’s lead at the time, although several wrote to Lloyd later saying they wanted to finish the seminar with him online since they were genuinely interested in the original material. They hadn’t understood everything they’d read and discussed before Keisha made it all about her. Tragically, Lloyd himself had submitted to her too until he’d finally had enough.
Who says censorship and shutting down free speech is only by the right? [See: Jordan Peterson, Milos Yiannopoulos]
What frightened me most about this story is a) Lloyd’s meekness in deferring constantly to Keisha—who was the grownup here? b) How easily Keisha subdued and dominated her fellow students, ‘oppressing’ free thought c) What this bodes for America as the Keishas are more likely to become the future ‘leaders’ of social justice movements which are all beginning to look fairly culty.
Personal destruction: A multipartisan effort
The right loves to slam the left for ‘cancellation’, destroying someone’s life, reputation and career over some perceived slight or harm, however overstated. It’s censorship, they protest, the delicate little snowflakes can’t handle an alternative [read: Conservative-approved] opinion.
Anyone who knows the history of the American right recognizes its own version of cancellation: The boycott.
"It is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back — we have more people than they do — by far! Boycott Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck. Don't go back to their products until they relent. We can play the game better than them," said Donald Trump, in response to companies who refused to support a new Georgia voting law in 2021. He offered this response on his alternative Twitter-for-nazis social media platform, since he’d been kicked off the real one the year before. (Along with many feminists and gender ideology-critical women for ‘misgendering’ or pointing out a man in a dress who ‘identifies’ as a woman is still a man in a dress.)
Damn, I would love to have seen Trump’s response if KFC, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell had publicly refused to his fave law!
Christian fundamentalists, longtime supporters of the Republican Party, have famously boycotted groups and individuals who run afoul of their own ideologies. Like Walt Disney’s ‘Gay Days’, not an official park event but one they don’t discourage, as the alphabet-soup set annually converges on the park the first Saturday in June. The Southern Baptist Convention boycotted it for eight years straight. ‘Gay Days’ started in 1997 and now attracts 150,000 people every year which should give you some idea of how effective the SBC has been.
Boycotts don’t always work, so that’s where guns and rape/death threats come in handy.
We see the right’s ‘cancellation’ crazies - armed with weapons rather than Twitter accounts - whenever a Democratic president sits in the Oval Office. Barack Obama’s election birthed the Tea Party, the place for those who eschewed the Republicans for being too damn liberal. Armed right-wing militants began showing up in 2009 to intimidate town hall meetings and shouted down liberal speakers and opponents, exactly like ‘woke snowflakes’ do today on college campuses.
Now that a Democrat sits in the Oval Office, right-wing crazies are back, attacking town hall meetings with guns, and some plotted to kidnap Michigan’s governor.
A right-wing nutbag broke into Nancy Pelosi’s home last year and beat her octogenarian husband severely. Mass shooters lean largely right and far-right, citing neo-Nazi, racist ‘heroes’.
But it may soon no longer be a one-party violence-pa-looza.
An armed lefty went gunning for Brett Kavanaugh last year but lost his will to kill him. While some point to this as evidence the left isn’t as violent, it might also offer evidence it’s becoming emboldened, taking a cue from the right and embracing gun violence as political expression. Our side just isn’t very good at it. Yet.
The left destroys with social media. The right destroys, literally. Maybe soon, both.
J.K. Rowling has been a victim of heretic witch hunts from both sides, having received bomb, rape and death threats and harassment from Christian fundamentalists early in her career who thought Harry Potter indoctrinated children into witchcraft. Today she’s targeted for a similar ‘monstering’ campaign by transactivists, many of whom are trans-identified women, which should give you some idea of who, biologically, is under the veil trying, as always, to shut down female speech. Not to mention their own good little handmaids, just like the right has.
The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling (podcast series)
The Flynts vs the Falwells
If you’re old enough to remember the ‘80s, you might remember the famous First Amendment Supreme Court battle between Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and evangelical TV preacher Jerry Falwell. Or maybe you saw the 1996 movie starring Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love.
Watching the wokes and the MAGAs battle for popular supremacy, whether it’s in the classroom, the family, social media or in politics, reminds me of the Falwell vs. Flynt trial. Which side stinks very slightly less?
Each side will want their own side to win, of course. Because evil opponents.
Who will you vote for in 2024?
I may not vote Democrat next year.
As a feminist, I feel censored for the first time in my life, and not by the right.
Feminists get banned on Twitter for calling out the myths, lies and misogyny of the trans lobby. I don’t like how racist anti-racism has become, and I’m tired of political whackos from both sides pushing their toxic agendas into the schools. I don’t want either side to win.
I don’t care if I fail to cancel a Republican vote, whether it’s Trump or DeSantis. I don’t care if that pushes America even more to the far right - I won’t help push it to the far left, either. I will not vote against my own interests. The misogyny, racism, anti-intellectualism, censorship, anti-science, personal destruction, and growing extremism is what has pushed me from the left closer to the centre, where each side thinks I’m on the other because anyone who’s not fur ‘em is agin’ ‘em.
I won’t be party to my own destruction.
Had you offered me rule by either Hitler or Stalin, I would have opted for the bullet.
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