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The Confessions of St. Fred
Acknowledges Vertebrate Privilege
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I am done for, and damned. Yes, a poor sinner who has strayed from the path of righteousness, and now sits brooding over a bottle of Padre Kino, Mexican rust-remover marauding as red wine, for I have done the unpardonable: I have said–I cringe with shame–that some cultures are superior to others.

It gnaws my soul.

Please don’t misjudge me. I am in most respects a good American. I have nothing against brainless, passive-aggressive, narcissistic sanctimony, nor preening academic mediocrity, nor intellectual vacuity. No. I tell you, I love all of these things. I am devoted to our traditions. I believe to the roots of my teeth that bovine complacency is the bedrock of democracy. Indeed, the only criticism I can make of our national intellectual life is that it would embarrass a microcephalic box-turtle.

Oh god. Wait. I didn’t mean to imply that microcephalic box-turtles are in any way inferior. They are just otherly abled. I apologize, and acknowledge my Vertebrate Privilege.

Let me recount my fall from grace as a warning to those that will hear. Long ago, a callow youth, I was reading the Huffington Post (this column has no respect for chronology), which informed me that no culture is superior to any other: They are just different. To think otherwise, it huffed, was to concede oneself to be among the Fallen, and perhaps a Republican.

I read this and the scales fell from my eyes (though I had no interest in going to Damascus, where they were using nerve gas). I thought, Yes! It’s true! Hosanna! All cultures are equal! Jewish culture is not superior to Nazi, just different. Why hadn’t I seen it before? The culture of Switzerland is not better than that of North Korea, and the South of Bull Conner was in no way inferior to the most dappled, liquid-eyed liberalism of Massachusetts!

For years I believed this, enraptured, and prattled like a jaybird. I was among the Saved. Then…Woe! Woe!…Padre Kino got the best of me. Oh, Demon Rum! Drink has ever been my downfall (and uplift, and maybe side-straddle. After a couple of bottles, it’s hard to tell.)

Anyway, I was in my cups and, prompted by the Devil, thought: All cultures equal? Exactly how is a pack of nekkid savages in the rain forests of Papua-New Guinea, who eat weird pasty white grubs and each other, who speak a language consisting of seven word none of which means anything, who have never even heard of Carlos Santana—how could they possibly be the equals of Europeans who brush their teeth and wrote Hamlet’s soliloquy? Equal how? In the eyes of God, maybe. If so, I figured the Old Boy must need glasses.

So low had I sunk.

Floating in the vile effluvium of the corrupting grape, I engendered worse thoughts. Regarding Islam, for example. How equal was this medieval horror? Here is a faith that will not let its girl children learn to read, and indeed holds them down screaming and mutilates their genitals with a razor blade and no anesthetic. Equal? To what? If to anything at all, I decided to avoid both. I have daughters. I don’t care how dry a Moslem’s head may be, if he came near my kids, he would eat a baseball bat.

You see. Wine. Booze. The Great Purple Father was making me lose all devotion to equality. Shun strong liquor, I implore you, lest you start to favor the death penalty for such victims of intolerance as Ted Bundy, who was misunderstood by society.

But back to Islam. Before, alight with the equality of all cultures, I had thought clitoridectomy to be a minor surgery, not much different from sending girls to Wellesley. Actually, Wellesley had seemed worse, as on campus girls underwent forced exposure to oppressive dead white men like Plato, while Moslem girls faced nothing worse than gangrene. But suddenly I wasn’t sure. My Huffington-flavored faith wavered.

I even reflected at one point that European culture had invented everything that kept many of the rest from living in the animal shelter. Where they would probably eat the animals.

It is what drink does.

The seeds of heresy, once planted, grow like welfare budgets. Curious: Cultures that really were in a league with European—Japanese, Chinese, Korean—were too busy making Toyotas, smart phones, and money to worry about it. Cultures that obviously weren’t equal, that couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the sole, were making noise about Privilege, This Privilege and That Privilege. In this they were joined by delicate white sociologists, splashing pridefully in the cultural birdbaths of the universities.

Why was it, I wondered, that all cultures were equal, but that all cultures were superior to white European culture? This seemed illogical. In my earlier state of virtue, I had understood such considerations to be the result of Male Linear Thinking, which had earlier been called “thinking” until it was noticed who was best at it.

I reached bottom, moral Quisling that I am, when I found myself reflecting: If those who chatter about oppressive European culture had ever contributed anything to it, of to much of anything, instead of holding out their begging bowls, and expecting Euro-Americans to be their freaking mother—we would live in a better world. Or at least a quieter one.

My maternal instinct was reaching its limits.


The thing about Padre Kino is that it grows on you, first removing tartar from your teeth and then most of the fillings. Having decided that some cultures were superior to others, I fell deeper into error, and wondered whether maybe being smart was better than being stupid. Before, I had understood from the Washington Post that being illiterate and borderline retarded was a sign of Authenticity. Well, I certainly wanted to be Authentic, though I thought I would pass on eating the pasty white gurbs. (Authentic what was never mentioned, but it didn’t seem to matter. If Salon was for it, it must be good.)

I began dressing like the contents of a dumpster, with butt-hanger pants and a baseball cap on sideways so as to look like an idiot. I petitioned the Educational Testing Service to have my SATs lowered, and began Vocabulary Limitation Therapy. I considered lobotomy. Such was my desire for Authenticity.

It did not work. No. No amount of abasement, no embrace of degradation can overcome Vertebrate Privilege. But, like a sociologist, I could revel in being an earnest aspirant to degeneracy. Small compensation, but better than nothing.

But alas! Alack! I am ruined. Having lost one’s faith in the transparently absurd, one may never go back. I will never again believe the Iroquois the equals of the Finns. I am lost.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
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  1. KA says: • Website

    You are right. The culture that produced the industrial revolution and spread the literature and the religion to the farthest corners of the earth must be different from those that did not. The culture braggers don’t want to focus on the facts that the industrial revolution and the passage to modernity came on the back of the extermination and burning of the cultures and the societies of the rest of the world. Without later, they could not have achieved the former.

  2. Dave37 says:

    Seems like a fair enough statement though it flys in the face of the outraged mindset currently popular. I suspect if the less industrialized socities could have industrialized in response to western industrialization they would have killed them all on general principles but there wouldn’t have been any agonizing over it.

  3. MarkU says:

    “I even reflected at one point that European culture had invented everything that kept many of the rest from living in the animal shelter. Where they would probably eat the animals.”

    European culture is very much a Johnny-come-lately on the world stage. There were civilisations in China, the Middle East, India, South America and Africa when Fred Reeds ancesters (and mine) were still running around in animal skins and painting themselves blue. Islamic culture was in many regards ahead of European Christian culture ((technology included) until they were attacked by a bunch of hypocritical land-grabbers during the crusades.

    Oh, and turtles (even microcephalic box-turtles) are NOT invertebrates.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  4. Dave37 says:

    Though the Islamic culture is probably the equal of European 15th century culture it hasn’t done much since. Isalamic culture did convert everyone around them by coverting with the promise of death if they didn’t and sometimes if they did. Pre Columbian cultures in the America’s were still in the stone age. And of course India and Africa haven’t done much for some time. China has adopted western technology and is doing better than they have for several centuries. Seems to me western culture has acomplished something better to emulate than previous civilisations except for western culture’s peculiar self-loathing.

  5. Rod1963 says:

    Islam didn’t create squat, they merely invaded the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran and Syria. Prior to that the early Muslims(Arabs) were mostly no account nomads and rent-a-soldiers to the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires. They rode on the backs of those civilizations until they extinguished them by the 14th century when they became fully Islamic except for a Christian minority they treated like garbage.

    They spread through the rest of the Mediterranean and Spain by way of the sword – you either converted or became a third class citizen with no rights. North Africa, once a bread basket of the Roman Empire, under the Muslims became a desert once again and a base for Muslim pirates to raid France, Italy and far as Ireland for white slaves which they did for 800 years. Spain suffered under the brutal Muslim yoke for seven centuries.

    They invented nothing of note. Their few so-called scientists were at the margins of their society and not well liked – as Islam codified itself, it’s clerics found science even in it’s embryonic state a threat and forbade it as a innovation. This is why the Ottoman Empire ceased to be a military threat. They couldn’t innovate or adopt Western military science. Even to this day Muslim society contributes nothing of value to science or culture unless you count treating women like animals; minorities like sub-humans; murdering gays and unbelivers; keeping slaves; incapable of peacefully tolerating other Muslim sects; forbidding music and most forms of art.

    The Crusades were a response to Muslims killing, robbing and beating Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land and the pleas of the Byzantine Emperor for soldiers to help retake what is now Turkey from the Muslim invaders.

    Later Europe was at war with the Ottoman Turks from the 1300’s to the 1700’s who tried to take over and convert all of Europe. They conquered Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Crimea and parts of Austria. That’s your peaceful Muslims.

    Those people that are called Tartars, well before the Czarist Russians kicked their asses, their main business in the Crimea and Ukraine was taking the locals as slaves and selling to slavers in Istanbul and Baghdad. They took millions over the centuries. Nice bunch.

    In India the Muslims killed over 80 million Hindus over the centuries. They contributed nothing to Indian culture. Luckily the British stepped in and saved India from being digested by the Islamic plague.

    They remained a maritime threat in the Mediterranean until the late 1700’s when the American Navy punished the Muslim pirates. Yes they were the first people we went to war with. They just couldn’t stop taking white slaves.

    And they had the market on Black slaves. They were taking centuries before the Europeans got in the act. They still take slaves to this day.

    Were it not for oil, the Islamic states would still be backward pest holes, oh wait they still are, even the ones sitting on a ocean of dollars. They run on the back of Pakistani, African and Filipino coolies, since their own men feel that such work is beneath them.

    I’ll take Western Civ any day over these bloody, backward savages and their lunatic prophet.

    As for the claim that Western Civ created their science and technology on the backs of others. It’s simple nonsense. Greece’s intellectuals(mostly Ionians who were influenced by the earlier Minoan civilization) did most of the heavy lifting by 300 B.C. in their city states. Rome borrowed a lot of Greek thought and innovated a lot in terms engineering, making cities run, etc. Then came the European intellectuals during the Renaissance who took the Greek teaching and extended them. The big event came in 1776 when James Watt patented his steam engine. Around that same giants like Newton and Gauss came on the scene. You won’t find any tuber grubbing 3rd worlder that can compare to those 3 men either then or now.

    As far as for slavery, it was a function of a lack of technology. Everyone used them. Europe banished them in 800 A.D. or so. Watt’s steam engine drove the final nail in the slave coffin. The difference between the Whites and all the other races, is that we have tried very hard to make amends. Unlike the Muslims and Blacks who still practice it or the Chinese who are indifferent. It was the whites who came up with all men are equal and pour trillions into helping various 3rd worlders despite being hated by them in return.

    Whites have nothing to be ashamed of. As for the others who scream and spew hatred at the civilization that has fed, clothed and educated and more importantly tolerated their collective idiocy and self-loathing. They can go back hiding in their mom’s basement after graduating with a worthless college degree.

  6. Jim says:

    Turtles are vertebrates.

  7. Bliss says:


    I like Fred Reed, but his eurocentric megalomania is ignorant and annoying. As is his relentless bashing of africans and african-americans, born from his southern upbringing and riding around in cop cars in the ghettos of Washington D.C. as a reporter for the Washington Times (owned by that korean spiritual giant Reverend Moon).

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