Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
Lost In Translation
Saturdays, when fewer eyeballs see the paper, The New York Times likes to publish its most extreme ventures into social unreality. Last week’s prank was the story at the top of page one that declared:#WontBeErased: Transgender People and Allies Mobilize Against Trump Administration Proposal. (The accompanying photo featured a rainbow flag, of course, denoting that there was a pot-of-gold awaiting true believers.) This was a response to a Trump administration policy memo calling for “strict definition of gender based on a person’s genitalia at birth,” The Times said.
The dishonesty at work here ought to impress those observing the slow-motion collapse of culture in the USA. The political Left has taken its lessons in the abuse of language straight from the campus “post-structuralist” workshops, where novelties of narcissism get churned out by striving grad students in the ceaseless pursuit of cutting edge prestige (and academic career advancement). The game is to produce a never-ending chain of self-referential, status-enhancing world-views as a replacement for consensual reality. The more “marginalized” one can claim to be, the more deserving of high status (including tenure, grants for attending echo-chamber conferences and symposia, and a claque of attending assistants to actually teach those pain-in-the-ass classes). The goal is to get to feel special, and especially deserving of special privileges based on special grievances.
The net effect is to destroy whatever remains of an American common culture, to divide and conquer the polity in the hope that society might advance into a state with no rules and no boundaries – except for whatever capricious actions the “Progressive” authorities might choose, based on how they feel at any particular time. It must be obvious that this all comes down to a vicious sort of sentimentality. It’s exactly what turned the governments of the Bolsheviks and the Nazis into killing machines. It’s Kafka’s nightmare of the murderous bureaucratic state that disposes with the rule-of-law.
I suspect that neither The New York Times nor the Democratic Party actually cares about so-called transgender people, who are merely being used as stalking horses to provoke conflict. The Left’s main beef these days is that Mr. Trump is in the White House, signifying that Daddy’s in the House,an intolerable condition. The Left is desperate to get rid of that particular Daddy and Daddyism per se and altogether. Daddyism represents rules and boundaries. The Left prefers chaos. It’s clearly a juvenile disposition, since that point-of-view fails to apprehend that the universe is chaotic enough without additional help from them. And they are still in despair over the failure of “mommy” (HRC) and her disappearance into the darkling woods of political ignominy.
The rule at hand is that the word gender is not a substitute for the word sex, and that in the world of real things, you don’t actually get to declare what sex you are. You can engage in all kinds of behaviors, such as enjoying intimate relations with members of your same sex. You can pretend to be a member of the opposite sex. In statistically very rare instances, you can come into this world with genital abnormalities that present developmental problems, but most of the people currently pretending to some kind of “intersex” status do not fall into that category. The game of pretend can be very personally intense, I’m sure. But it’s still just a game of pretend.
I propose the perhaps novel idea that there is a place for everything and that the correct place for the marginal is… on the margins! The argument lately, especially on the Progressive side, has been that the marginal ought to occupy the center (of American life). That is surely the argument of The New York Times. It is a foolish and even dangerous argument, popular only with those determined that the center should not hold. In the process, they have come close to replacing the political center with a black hole. Now they want to drag the country across the event horizon into what they hope is a transhuman paradise of rainbows and unicorns. I wouldn’t be so sure that awaits us there.
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