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Is Jane Austen Next on the Diversity Chopping Block?

Baroness P.D. James’ murder mystery sequel to “Pride and Prejudice”

Among the classic novelists, Jane Austen (1775-1817) has been the most reliable moneymaker over the last generation. IMDB lists 72 movie or TV adaptations, with a huge acceleration starting in the mid-1990s. And that doesn’t include more free-form adaptations like Clueless and Bridget Jones’ Diary, which explains that when looking for your Mr Darcy, you should pass up alpha sexy bad boy Hugh Grants in favor of beta husbandly Colin Firths (who played Mr Darcy in the famous 1995 BBC miniseries).

From the New York Times:

Jane Austen Has Alt-Right Fans? Heavens to Darcy!
By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER MARCH 20, 2017

… But in an article published March 12 in The Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Alt-Right Jane Austen” (and illustrated with a drawing of the beloved British novelist in a Make America Great Again hat), Nicole M. Wright, an assistant professor of English at the University of Colorado, describes finding a surprising Austen fan base.

It started, she writes, when she noticed the provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos riffing on the famous first line of “Pride and Prejudice,” turning it into a dig at “ugly” feminists. …

But it has prompted the most sustained chatter among Austen scholars, a more reliably liberal bunch who, like Ms. Wright, emphatically reject white nationalist readings of her novels.

“No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,” Elaine Bander, a retired professor and a former officer of the Jane Austen Society of North America, said in an email.

“All the Janeites I know,” she added, “are rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people.” …

But, now that you mention it, will Jane Austen have to go?

In the 1993 book “Culture and Imperialism,” the Palestinian-American literary critic Edward W. Said argued that Austen’s novel “Mansfield Park” glorifies the grand estates of England but is silent about the West Indian slave plantations that supported many of them. …

You know, it’s almost as if in husband-hunting, inequality is a feature not a bug in a beau …

In recent years, scholars have tried to find diversity in the seemingly all-white world of Austen, digging into subjects like Miss Lambe, a character in her unfinished final novel, “Sanditon,” described as a “half mulatto” heiress from the West Indies. (Yes, there is a scholarly paper with the title “The Silence of Miss Lambe.”)

But Ms. Wells said scholars teaching Austen at schools with “substantially multicultural students” still wrestled with a truth that must, perhaps, be uncomfortably acknowledged.

“Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”

You know, Lin-Manuel Miranda might have some ideas on how to fix that …

Commenter Mark Caplan suggests:

Opening in 2019: Transfield Park.

 
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  1. All the Janeites I know are rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people.

    The term “Janites” was invented by Rudyard Kipling in his short story by that name. So I suppose it’s a good thing that progressives are embracing Kipling instead of ejecting him from the canon.

    Maybe Rudyard has some “new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.”

    http://www.uwyo.edu/numimage/texts/kipling%201924janeites.pdf

    Read More
    • Agree: syonredux
    • Replies: @syonredux
    Damn. You beat me to Kipling's "The Janeites".....


    The SJW reaction to Alt-Right enthusiasm for Jane Austen is quite revealing. My SJW colleagues are perfectly willing to excoriate conservative writers who possess the wrong optics (i.e., White Males like Kipling), but then there are conservative writers who are, by virtue of biology, supposed to be on "right side of history": Jane Austen, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton,.....
    , @syonredux
    "Jane lies in Winchester—blessed be her shade!
    Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made!
    And while the stones of Winchester, or Milsom Street, remain,
    Glory, love, and honour unto England’s Jane!"
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  2. Communists always try to make art ugly, brutal, and dessicated. This is done to dishearten the people, make them more open to communist ideology, and also because if something is beautiful, it causes comparisons to uglier thing, which leads to social striving for the beautiful things, which leads to the failures of communism. Or something like that; communist logic is never that clear.

    I’m not surprised they’re trying it with Austen, and will probably end up banning her at communist-controlled universities in the next 10 years. Either that, or they will try to “deconstruct” her writings to make them uglier, and sponsor Austen-based movies where the cast is black/brown/fat/gay/ugly.

    The funny part will be watching how much of the Left blindly accepts this and how much of it gets angry at the fact that their favorite author is now a Hate Thinker. The Left never thinks that their Leftist friends will turn on them, but, as sociopaths, it is inevitable that they will turn on each other.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    ... sponsor Austen-based movies where the cast is black/brown...
     
    https://youtu.be/nFYwqts1_TI
    , @inertial
    You got it backwards. Communist art (after 1927 or so) always strove to be beautiful and uplifting. Look at Moscow Metro stations for examples of high Communist art.

    Ugly art was anti-Communist art. That's why CIA secretly supported abstractionism.
  3. “No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,” Elaine Bander, a retired professor and a former officer of the Jane Austen Society of North America, said in an email.

    What does she think the alt-right is? A bunch of jack-booted, foaming-at-the-mouth caricature Nazis? Hilarious.

    “Nobody in the alt-right is smart enough to enjoy literature.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @NOTA
    Yep, I suppose that is exactly what she thinks.
  4. Sigh, I am going to hide my complete collection of the writings of Mark Twain, but upon further reflection, didn’t we kick ass in the last election. I am also going to offer Ms. Wright a copy of the Koran and let her espouse about the leanings of that book.

    Read More
  5. Interesting, the Chronicle of Higher Education also had a hit piece:

    http://www.chronicle.com/article/Alt-Right-Jane-Austen/239435

    Was that a co-ordinated hit?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    The media seems to be a hive mind lately.

    I noticed this when they started with the whole 'Fake News' meme. The concept didn't exist on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon - virtually every media outlet had some sort of article about it, and and all the TV programs were doing segments on the phenomenon.

    It's almost like some guy is sitting at a desk deciding what the world should be thinking and discussing at any given moment....he just makes a few calls and - poof - it appears everywhere.

  6. A popular video game YouTube personality agrees with Sailer on this:

    It’s funny to see a popular YouTube personality, who happens to be a young Iranian American son of immigrants from Iran, basically publicly endorse the alt-right viewpoint.

    Here he calmly explains his views trying to express sympathy and common ground with the left, but his viewpoint is clearly way too far out of the narrow left bubble of tolerance:

    Read More
  7. “Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”

    You could assign more contemporary novels. When I was in a mostly-black high school, the English class assigned Richard Wright and Chinua Achebe, but today there are more young African and Asian writers getting international exposure. The FT just reviewed a book of Thai short stories over the weekend. Some of the contemporary stuff is probably high quality too. There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    The point of great literature is that it gets to what is most important in the (shared) human experience and casts it in a new light that adds to understanding. Not shared in the universalist sense, but in the most mundane (i.e. we all have a mother, we all breathe air).

    What do you do with that? Discover why your ancestors could relate to it despite being a world and a color away.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    I would love to see what school would consider of the bestseller Chinese sci-fi novel Three-Body Problem.

    Eight years later in 1979, Ye Wenjie received the first response by a concerned pacifist Trisolaran Information Receptionist, warning her not to reply, as the alien Trisolaran civilization was hostile and invasive. By this time, Ye had observed the environmental destruction caused by humans in the name of progress. This reinforced her belief that humanity is not to be trusted, and it would be desirable for an alien race to come to Earth and purify the human race. Ye replied to Trisolaris.

    Ye and Mike Evans, the heir of a rich American oil tycoon and a "pan-species communist", then established the Earth-Trisolaris Organization (ETO), calling upon people who have lost faith in human society to prepare and welcome the arrival of their new Trisolaran overlords on Earth.

     

    This organization later promotes anti-speciesism in order to better prepare the host population.
    , @GSR
    Africans and Asians are not Western, Caucasian, English speaking peoples. These classes are in English Literature.

    Lesson for life: everything isn't for everyone.
    , @Anonymous
    We were assigned Achebe and Wright in my mostly white high school.
    , @Old fogey
    If a class is entitled English literature, it should be based on the classics of English literature. Should students wish to read books written in English by non-English writers, or modern novels and poetry, that's wonderful - and they will have the rest of their lives in which to do so.
    , @pyrrhus
    "There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail."

    Literature is about imagination and language, not geekiness....
  8. I think, were she writing today, Miss Austen would have plenty of material to work with. One of her signature moves is contrasting inflated self-perception with reality. There are few SJWs who don’t have a very high opinion of themselves along with a poor understanding of reality, and that would dovetail with certain alt-right sensibilities.

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she’d be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She’d probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

    Come to think of it, twitter would be another happy hunting ground for Jane. She’d probably do an epistolary project with it.

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she’d be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She’d probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

     

    Yes, just so. Most of the precious Janeites in the academy assume that if Austen were working today she'd be TOTALLY DESTROYING Trump and flyover hicks and those hypocrite Christofacists, but I'd like to believe a genius of Austen's caliber would go after the far more legitimate targets you've mentioned.
    , @Jake
    You are misreading Austen. She made light fun of some types of people in mid-level English society of her time, but she never dared approach the throne, so to speak. Austen never showed that she was willing or perhaps even able to discern and then strike at the rot at its source. Austen is tender and soft, gentle, with nary a hint she could attempt to hunt big game. That's why girls and gays have always lauded her.

    What we need is Flannery O'Connor to unleash her tough-minded sense of humor on these SJWs and the corporate billionaires who back them.
    , @Clyde
    "postmodern codswallop" gets its first google recognition 1996/7...... But I use Bing and it has diff hits for your cod piece.
  9. Get that damn racist Bugs Bunny on the chopping block too.

    There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop.
    Indeed!

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  10. I guess they’ll have to turn Mr. Darcy into a transgendered African Muslim.

    Read More
  11. “The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron — they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be.”

    - Syme, in 1984

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abe

    Syme, in 1984
     
    And remember Syme was unpersoned (shot, his remains vaporized, presumably) well before Winston was. Not because of disloyalty to IngSoc/Big Brother, but because he was smart enough to understand their methods, but not smart (wise) enough to utilize CrimeStop to prevent himself from talking too loudly about them. Ransacking my brain for good recent "Syme" who got fried for too honestly explaining Democratic Party strategy, but it eludes me even though I know it's there...
  12. I’m sure there are many, many quotes from academics talking about “what can you do?” with all the black characters in black novels.

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  13. You did not just refer to Hugh Grant as an “alpha bad boy.”

    We don’t know or care what roles he may have played, but an Alpha Male is one thing Hugh Grant will never be.

    In other news, Canadians are becoming apoplectic at the surge of “hundreds” of African and Middle Eastern “refugees” streaming across their border. Must be awful.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN16R0SK

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Kyle, But I thought they all had received invitations from man-child Trudeau.
    , @40 Acres and A Kardashian
    We don’t know or care what roles he may have played, but an Alpha Male is one thing Hugh Grant will never be.

    I think you've misunderstood the meaning of "alpha male."

    Hugh seems to have a pretty good grasp of it, though.

    https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/an-alpha-male-and-his-women/
  14. Does any real person actually keep up with all this SJW nonsense? Or is it just us?

    Or is this SJW nonsense diffusing into our lives slowly like lava?

    Read More
    • Replies: @CK
    The latter.
    Television has gone total SJW.
    Sports talk and ESPN ...
    Movies
    Sci-Fi
    Cartoons.
    , @Frau Katze
    The latter. Without a doubt.
  15. I wish Richard Spencer would stop purporting to speak for the Alt Right. “The Alt Right believes….” “Tron is almost Alt Right.” Can any one think of another example where a unelected, isolated individual tried to speak in the name of such a large and diverse group of people? It is ridiculous.

    It also destroys one of the movement’s strengths. A new book out talks about how movements like Occupy drew their strength in part from a slightly amorphous, versatile message. Hard to pin down and yet open to more people joining the ranks.

    Spencer should just be his own man and focus on his own ideas and analysis, let the chips fall where they may.

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  16. when looking for your Mr Darcy, you should pass up alpha sexy bad boy Hugh Grants in favor of beta husbandly Colin Firths

    Darcy isn’t beta in any sense. He’d be Vox Day’s sigma, but nothing like today’s betas. Mr. Collins is the beta.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That's part of the joke.
    , @Desiderius
    Ok, haven't seen Bridget Jones, but Paul Ruud in Clueless wasn't exactly beta either.

    Clueless was Emma, right? Maybe I'm remembering the Austen instead of the movie.

    Wasn't there an actual Firth Darcy somewhere along the way as well?

    Of course Austen's übermensch was Capt. Wentworth.

    , @NOTA
    Me Collins would make a truly perfect SJW.
  17. Lin-Manuel Miranda might have some ideas on how to fix that …

    Opening in 2019: Transfield Park.

    Read More
  18. @Dave Pinsen

    “Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”
     
    You could assign more contemporary novels. When I was in a mostly-black high school, the English class assigned Richard Wright and Chinua Achebe, but today there are more young African and Asian writers getting international exposure. The FT just reviewed a book of Thai short stories over the weekend. Some of the contemporary stuff is probably high quality too. There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.

    The point of great literature is that it gets to what is most important in the (shared) human experience and casts it in a new light that adds to understanding. Not shared in the universalist sense, but in the most mundane (i.e. we all have a mother, we all breathe air).

    What do you do with that? Discover why your ancestors could relate to it despite being a world and a color away.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    A current idea is about the importance of "representation", that if someone doesn't see inspiring examples of people who look like them, they won't be successful. I happen to think it's backwards.

    I don't think Barack Obama needed to see portrayals of black presidents for him to become one, but I think those portrayals (by Morgan Freeman and Dennis Haysbert, in particular) may have helped him become president by making white voters more comfortable with the idea.

    The representation theory applies to real world roles too, and is used as an argument for affirmative action. I think it's backwards there too, and that W's elevation of Rice and Powell to top cabinet positions helped in the same way fictional POTUS portrayals by dignified black actors did.
  19. @Dave Pinsen

    “Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”
     
    You could assign more contemporary novels. When I was in a mostly-black high school, the English class assigned Richard Wright and Chinua Achebe, but today there are more young African and Asian writers getting international exposure. The FT just reviewed a book of Thai short stories over the weekend. Some of the contemporary stuff is probably high quality too. There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.

    I would love to see what school would consider of the bestseller Chinese sci-fi novel Three-Body Problem.

    Eight years later in 1979, Ye Wenjie received the first response by a concerned pacifist Trisolaran Information Receptionist, warning her not to reply, as the alien Trisolaran civilization was hostile and invasive. By this time, Ye had observed the environmental destruction caused by humans in the name of progress. This reinforced her belief that humanity is not to be trusted, and it would be desirable for an alien race to come to Earth and purify the human race. Ye replied to Trisolaris.

    Ye and Mike Evans, the heir of a rich American oil tycoon and a “pan-species communist”, then established the Earth-Trisolaris Organization (ETO), calling upon people who have lost faith in human society to prepare and welcome the arrival of their new Trisolaran overlords on Earth.

    This organization later promotes anti-speciesism in order to better prepare the host population.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Having environmental radicals collude with genocidal (or xenocidal, I guess) aliens was a nice touch, as was having Ye radicalized in part by reading Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. I liked the Three-Body trilogy and recommended it to the Derb here, but he was skeptical given the weak track record of Chinese literature.

    I think you could make a case that some of the best writing today in any genre is by top sci-fi writers.
    , @Seth Largo
    That sounds like a Landian wet dream.
    , @NOTA
    I probably missed a lot of subtleties in the story for lack of knowledge of Chinese history and culture, but I assumed he was drawing a parallel between the in-book intellectuals becoming converts to the trisolarians because they hated the existing human civilization, and Chinese intellectuals becoming converts to the foreign ideology of communism because they hated the existing Chinese civilization.
  20. @Desiderius

    when looking for your Mr Darcy, you should pass up alpha sexy bad boy Hugh Grants in favor of beta husbandly Colin Firths
     
    Darcy isn't beta in any sense. He'd be Vox Day's sigma, but nothing like today's betas. Mr. Collins is the beta.

    That’s part of the joke.

    Read More
  21. @Boomstick

    All the Janeites I know are rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people.
     
    The term "Janites" was invented by Rudyard Kipling in his short story by that name. So I suppose it's a good thing that progressives are embracing Kipling instead of ejecting him from the canon.

    Maybe Rudyard has some "new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child."

    http://www.uwyo.edu/numimage/texts/kipling%201924janeites.pdf

    Damn. You beat me to Kipling’s “The Janeites”…..

    The SJW reaction to Alt-Right enthusiasm for Jane Austen is quite revealing. My SJW colleagues are perfectly willing to excoriate conservative writers who possess the wrong optics (i.e., White Males like Kipling), but then there are conservative writers who are, by virtue of biology, supposed to be on “right side of history”: Jane Austen, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton,…..

    Read More
  22. @Boomstick

    All the Janeites I know are rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people.
     
    The term "Janites" was invented by Rudyard Kipling in his short story by that name. So I suppose it's a good thing that progressives are embracing Kipling instead of ejecting him from the canon.

    Maybe Rudyard has some "new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child."

    http://www.uwyo.edu/numimage/texts/kipling%201924janeites.pdf

    “Jane lies in Winchester—blessed be her shade!
    Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made!
    And while the stones of Winchester, or Milsom Street, remain,
    Glory, love, and honour unto England’s Jane!”

    Read More
  23. Why are white liberals so fixated on race to the exclusion of all else? Jane Austen is hugely popular with female English readers in Pakistan especially since the world of wealth, class, inequality and arranged marriages is a very familiar one.

    http://www.oddnaari.in/life/story/pakistan-jane-austen-mr-darcy-islamabad-karachi-lahore-124465-2016-12-28

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  24. Is Jane Austen Next on the Diversity Chopping Block?

    Well, they’re tearing down statues of Ghandi in Ghana, so why not?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/06/ghana-academics-petition-removal-mahatma-gandhi-statue-african-heroes

    Just a couple of years ago, Austen was a hero of feminists looking for the earliest possible historical prototype of themselves. As much as the left tries to portray the past as fundamentally evil, they still seek historical validation. Several decades ago, Susan B. Anthony was held up as the preeminent forward thinking woman of the 19th century, but then reality (or Anthony’s connection to reality) got in the way, so that didn’t work out either.

    The truth is, they can’t find anyone from the past who’s essentially like themselves, because there probably aren’t any. Most people had to kill their own chickens back then. They had to care more about their own family than they did strangers. Today, people get divorced and the Ann Dunhams of the world leave their children to be raised by somebody else….but, boy, do they care about people they’ve never met!

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    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    Jane Austen was fostered out from ages 0-2 or 3. She was "reared by someone else" who wasn't her mother for most of her childhood, which was the norm for English society.
  25. Among the classic novelists, Jane Austen (1775-1817) has been the most reliable moneymaker over the last generation.

    I was disappointed that Jane Austen’s Mafia! was not included in the list at IMDB.

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  26. @Yak-15
    Does any real person actually keep up with all this SJW nonsense? Or is it just us?

    Or is this SJW nonsense diffusing into our lives slowly like lava?

    The latter.
    Television has gone total SJW.
    Sports talk and ESPN …
    Movies
    Sci-Fi
    Cartoons.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yak-15
    I think, sadly, you may be correct. I was in France recently and met a Haitian student studying law. He was bemused and a bit annoyed that the French would not call him black. They would say "person of color" (the SJW virus has infected the French) and he found this hilarious. He was also confused by the attitude of American blacks flooded with opportunity but insistent upon grievance mongering. I almost told him that it was easier to become wealthy by milking the SJW industry in the US. Surely he will learn soon enough.
  27. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Merkel the Jerkel took in so many from the Muslim world and Germany has done so much for Turks… but this is the thanks the Germans get. Beyond ROTFL.

    When you’re fat, rich, and weak, everyone sees you as a beached whale to feast on.
    They see it as a right. If you complain just a little… you are a ‘nazi’.

    Read More
  28. The amazing thing is that when this professor sees some “alt-right” folks appreciating her author, it makes her reject the appreciation rather than looking again/further at the “alt-right”. Really, this is who Scott Adams decries as a “word thinker”. I think it’s the reason Clinton held that rally/speech where she pointed fingers and named the “alt right”: the left needed a label.

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  29. @Kyle McKenna
    You did not just refer to Hugh Grant as an "alpha bad boy."

    We don't know or care what roles he may have played, but an Alpha Male is one thing Hugh Grant will never be.

    In other news, Canadians are becoming apoplectic at the surge of "hundreds" of African and Middle Eastern "refugees" streaming across their border. Must be awful.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN16R0SK

    Kyle, But I thought they all had received invitations from man-child Trudeau.

    Read More
  30. We’re talking about English literature after all: written by, for, and until recently mostly about English people. To say that’s a problem marks a new low in America’s anti-cultural intercourse.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    We’re talking about English literature after all: written by, for, and until recently mostly about English people. To say that’s a problem marks a new low in America’s anti-cultural intercourse.
     
    It's hardly a "new low." SJWs have been talking for years about how the canon will have to be "adjusted" to fit the needs of Mestizos and Blacks. How can Mestizos possibly relate to Anglos like Isabel Archer and Huck Finn?
  31. OT:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/19/immigrant-high-school-student-on-deport-list-charged-in-rape-girl-14.html

    Coupla illegal aliens, one 17 and one 18, raped a fourteen-year-old girl in a high school’s bathroom in Maryland.

    One of these scum was already being processed for deportation.

    Naturally, the superintendent avers commitment to the safety of students blah blah blah, yet the county is reported to have recently neglected to comply with orders to cooperate with deporting some sixty-four illegal aliens.

    Somebody’s doing the raping….

    Read More
  32. Somebody’s doing the raping….

    Well, they only stepped in and did the raping because most white Americans refuse to do it!

    Read More
  33. @Luke Lea
    We're talking about English literature after all: written by, for, and until recently mostly about English people. To say that's a problem marks a new low in America's anti-cultural intercourse.

    We’re talking about English literature after all: written by, for, and until recently mostly about English people. To say that’s a problem marks a new low in America’s anti-cultural intercourse.

    It’s hardly a “new low.” SJWs have been talking for years about how the canon will have to be “adjusted” to fit the needs of Mestizos and Blacks. How can Mestizos possibly relate to Anglos like Isabel Archer and Huck Finn?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Mestizos can probably relate better to someone like Huck Finn these days than others can because they tend to have earthier backgrounds and life experiences:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huck_Finn#Characterization

    Huckleberry "Huck" Finn is the son of the town's vagrant drunkard, "Pap" Finn. Sleeping on doorsteps when the weather is fair, in empty hogsheads during storms, and living off of what he receives from others, Huck lives the life of a destitute vagabond. The author metaphorically names him "the juvenile pariah of the village" and describes Huck as "idle, and lawless, and vulgar, and bad," qualities for which he was admired by all the children in the village, although their mothers "cordially hated and dreaded" him.
     
    , @Njguy73

    How can Mestizos possibly relate to Anglos like Isabel Archer and Huck Finn?
     
    Mestizos and Huck Finn...

    ...something about rivers...
  34. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Doctor is one of those jobs Americans just won't do.
    , @Old fogey
    Reading this kind of garbage about how much we "need" foreign doctors reminds me of a New Yorker story from about 50 years ago (when the magazine was still good) about a family dealing with a schizophrenic daughter who went in and out of Pilgrim State Hospital on Long Island [now closed up tight]. At one stage of her "treatment" she was told the hospital psychiatrist, an Indian, about her on-and-off-again love affair with Frank Sinatra. The author spoke to the doctor about this and learned that the psychiatrist believed everything the patient had said, as not only was his English weak, but he had never heard of Sinatra.
  35. @Daniel Chieh
    I would love to see what school would consider of the bestseller Chinese sci-fi novel Three-Body Problem.

    Eight years later in 1979, Ye Wenjie received the first response by a concerned pacifist Trisolaran Information Receptionist, warning her not to reply, as the alien Trisolaran civilization was hostile and invasive. By this time, Ye had observed the environmental destruction caused by humans in the name of progress. This reinforced her belief that humanity is not to be trusted, and it would be desirable for an alien race to come to Earth and purify the human race. Ye replied to Trisolaris.

    Ye and Mike Evans, the heir of a rich American oil tycoon and a "pan-species communist", then established the Earth-Trisolaris Organization (ETO), calling upon people who have lost faith in human society to prepare and welcome the arrival of their new Trisolaran overlords on Earth.

     

    This organization later promotes anti-speciesism in order to better prepare the host population.

    Having environmental radicals collude with genocidal (or xenocidal, I guess) aliens was a nice touch, as was having Ye radicalized in part by reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. I liked the Three-Body trilogy and recommended it to the Derb here, but he was skeptical given the weak track record of Chinese literature.

    I think you could make a case that some of the best writing today in any genre is by top sci-fi writers.

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  36. Since no-one else has dared combine the Janeite and Kiplingesque themes:

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that lesser breeds without the law, unable to produce art of enduring worth, will do all they can to disparage and denounce the art of their cultural superiors.

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  37. @Anonymous
    OT:

    Foreign doctors help mitigate, via H1B visa program, shortage of U.S. doctors

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/us/doctor-shortage-visa-policy.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=5&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F03%2F18%2Fus%2Fdoctor-shortage-visa-policy.html&eventName=Watching-article-click

    Doctor is one of those jobs Americans just won’t do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    What's the US disciplinary/fitness to practice body for doctors, or don't they have one? I pointed out here the other day that non-Brits are hugely over-represented in UK medical tribunals.

    (In other UK news - London has had nearly 1500 acid attacks between 2011-2015. Used to be a subcontinental practice aimed at errant wives, but 70% of London victims are male. Top areas are all East London.)

  38. @Desiderius
    The point of great literature is that it gets to what is most important in the (shared) human experience and casts it in a new light that adds to understanding. Not shared in the universalist sense, but in the most mundane (i.e. we all have a mother, we all breathe air).

    What do you do with that? Discover why your ancestors could relate to it despite being a world and a color away.

    A current idea is about the importance of “representation”, that if someone doesn’t see inspiring examples of people who look like them, they won’t be successful. I happen to think it’s backwards.

    I don’t think Barack Obama needed to see portrayals of black presidents for him to become one, but I think those portrayals (by Morgan Freeman and Dennis Haysbert, in particular) may have helped him become president by making white voters more comfortable with the idea.

    The representation theory applies to real world roles too, and is used as an argument for affirmative action. I think it’s backwards there too, and that W’s elevation of Rice and Powell to top cabinet positions helped in the same way fictional POTUS portrayals by dignified black actors did.

    Read More
    • Replies: @GSR
    Barack Obama is not a "Black American" but bi-racial, of foreign and (White) American ancestry. He won two elections because he had nearly 100%, around the clock cheerleading from the media and show business worlds, who covered up his dubious personal history and laughable empty work resume.
    , @Desiderius
    Yeah, it's funny. In college I volunteered for an organization that went around to inner city Atlanta high schools and replaced Dick and Jane type readers with books with black kids. Now when I volunteer/sub in white suburban elementary schools all the books have non-white characters and animals, although sometimes a tomboyish white girl will sneak through.

    Exactly zero white boys though.
  39. @whorefinder
    Communists always try to make art ugly, brutal, and dessicated. This is done to dishearten the people, make them more open to communist ideology, and also because if something is beautiful, it causes comparisons to uglier thing, which leads to social striving for the beautiful things, which leads to the failures of communism. Or something like that; communist logic is never that clear.

    I'm not surprised they're trying it with Austen, and will probably end up banning her at communist-controlled universities in the next 10 years. Either that, or they will try to "deconstruct" her writings to make them uglier, and sponsor Austen-based movies where the cast is black/brown/fat/gay/ugly.

    The funny part will be watching how much of the Left blindly accepts this and how much of it gets angry at the fact that their favorite author is now a Hate Thinker. The Left never thinks that their Leftist friends will turn on them, but, as sociopaths, it is inevitable that they will turn on each other.

    … sponsor Austen-based movies where the cast is black/brown…

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    I give that one a pass, since the lead chicks were very hot and, despite some random throw away negative lines about America/the West, it's really about an Indian princess finally getting her dream white guy. The whole movie was beautifully shot and really a celebration of Austen, not an attack on her.
  40. “No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,”

    Hey I thought the MEANING of a work of art had nothing to do with the intention of the author and could be anything as long as you bullshitted about it cleverly enough?

    Guess now that avenue for political attack is being used by the wrong people, we’re not doing that anymore. Things means things again. Can I get apologies from all the pretentious art snobs who who got angry when I said that?

    PS Jane Austen sucks. Pride and Prejudice sucked for the same reason as Frankenstein: estrogen soaked weepy femininity for 300 pages. Someone look up what Mark Twain said about her.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boomstick
    Twain attempted a take-down of Austen in the manner of his James Fenimore Cooper takedown, but didn't publish it. You can watch him arguing himself out of his own position as he writes. He starts off with

    Whenever I take up “Pride and Prejudice” or “Sense and Sensibility,” I feel like a barkeeper entering the Kingdom of Heaven. I mean, I feel as he would probably feel, would almost certainly feel. I am quite sure I know what his sensations would be—and his private comments. He would be certain to curl his lip, as those ultra-good Presbyterians went filing self-complacently along.
     
    Wickham, Willoughby, Lady Catherine or Miss Lucy Steele may be many things, but being an ultra-good Presbyterian is not be among them.
    , @Thomas Fuller
    Someone look up what George Orwell said about Mark Twain.
  41. @Flinders Petrie

    “No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,” Elaine Bander, a retired professor and a former officer of the Jane Austen Society of North America, said in an email.

     

    What does she think the alt-right is? A bunch of jack-booted, foaming-at-the-mouth caricature Nazis? Hilarious.

    "Nobody in the alt-right is smart enough to enjoy literature."

    Yep, I suppose that is exactly what she thinks.

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  42. Austen-likers “can’t be” “alt-right”?

    Her main value for fathers of daughters is as a painstakingly fine limner of what scheming, petty, competitive, biologically driven, greedy/venal, emotionally piloted, socially disruptive bubbleheads the majority of women can be without firm fatherly guidance in improved directions.

    (Her pet heroines of fatherless or underfathered women are not, in real life, improved via Novel-Reading.)

    Also why marriages should be decided for certain of them. Early.

    Sounds pretty fashy to me.

    But now that women have been thrown under the bus for trannies and novel mixed race individuals and stuff, under the bus it is.

    Bub-bye, Jane Austen! Also your words and sentences are too long, and in aristocratic English, you racist!

    Whatever. Put it all on the Diversity Chopping Block. Sausage being made, and all that. In my view, second- and third-wave feminists have liked Austen because she shows them the world they really want to live in, but can’t admit. The left 8/10 of the bell curve comprises a lot of people. :D

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  43. @Dave Pinsen

    “Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”
     
    You could assign more contemporary novels. When I was in a mostly-black high school, the English class assigned Richard Wright and Chinua Achebe, but today there are more young African and Asian writers getting international exposure. The FT just reviewed a book of Thai short stories over the weekend. Some of the contemporary stuff is probably high quality too. There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.

    Africans and Asians are not Western, Caucasian, English speaking peoples. These classes are in English Literature.

    Lesson for life: everything isn’t for everyone.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Chinua Achebe and Richard Wright wrote in English.
  44. @Dave Pinsen
    A current idea is about the importance of "representation", that if someone doesn't see inspiring examples of people who look like them, they won't be successful. I happen to think it's backwards.

    I don't think Barack Obama needed to see portrayals of black presidents for him to become one, but I think those portrayals (by Morgan Freeman and Dennis Haysbert, in particular) may have helped him become president by making white voters more comfortable with the idea.

    The representation theory applies to real world roles too, and is used as an argument for affirmative action. I think it's backwards there too, and that W's elevation of Rice and Powell to top cabinet positions helped in the same way fictional POTUS portrayals by dignified black actors did.

    Barack Obama is not a “Black American” but bi-racial, of foreign and (White) American ancestry. He won two elections because he had nearly 100%, around the clock cheerleading from the media and show business worlds, who covered up his dubious personal history and laughable empty work resume.

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  45. @Daniel Chieh
    I would love to see what school would consider of the bestseller Chinese sci-fi novel Three-Body Problem.

    Eight years later in 1979, Ye Wenjie received the first response by a concerned pacifist Trisolaran Information Receptionist, warning her not to reply, as the alien Trisolaran civilization was hostile and invasive. By this time, Ye had observed the environmental destruction caused by humans in the name of progress. This reinforced her belief that humanity is not to be trusted, and it would be desirable for an alien race to come to Earth and purify the human race. Ye replied to Trisolaris.

    Ye and Mike Evans, the heir of a rich American oil tycoon and a "pan-species communist", then established the Earth-Trisolaris Organization (ETO), calling upon people who have lost faith in human society to prepare and welcome the arrival of their new Trisolaran overlords on Earth.

     

    This organization later promotes anti-speciesism in order to better prepare the host population.

    That sounds like a Landian wet dream.

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  46. @kihowi
    “No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,”

    Hey I thought the MEANING of a work of art had nothing to do with the intention of the author and could be anything as long as you bullshitted about it cleverly enough?

    Guess now that avenue for political attack is being used by the wrong people, we're not doing that anymore. Things means things again. Can I get apologies from all the pretentious art snobs who who got angry when I said that?

    PS Jane Austen sucks. Pride and Prejudice sucked for the same reason as Frankenstein: estrogen soaked weepy femininity for 300 pages. Someone look up what Mark Twain said about her.

    Twain attempted a take-down of Austen in the manner of his James Fenimore Cooper takedown, but didn’t publish it. You can watch him arguing himself out of his own position as he writes. He starts off with

    Whenever I take up “Pride and Prejudice” or “Sense and Sensibility,” I feel like a barkeeper entering the Kingdom of Heaven. I mean, I feel as he would probably feel, would almost certainly feel. I am quite sure I know what his sensations would be—and his private comments. He would be certain to curl his lip, as those ultra-good Presbyterians went filing self-complacently along.

    Wickham, Willoughby, Lady Catherine or Miss Lucy Steele may be many things, but being an ultra-good Presbyterian is not be among them.

    Read More
  47. Darcy a beta? He’s too much of an asshole for LB, initially.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    That's the joke - the remakes made him beta because Hollywood.
  48. @Kyle McKenna
    You did not just refer to Hugh Grant as an "alpha bad boy."

    We don't know or care what roles he may have played, but an Alpha Male is one thing Hugh Grant will never be.

    In other news, Canadians are becoming apoplectic at the surge of "hundreds" of African and Middle Eastern "refugees" streaming across their border. Must be awful.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN16R0SK

    We don’t know or care what roles he may have played, but an Alpha Male is one thing Hugh Grant will never be.

    I think you’ve misunderstood the meaning of “alpha male.”

    Hugh seems to have a pretty good grasp of it, though.

    https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/an-alpha-male-and-his-women/

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  49. Is Jane Austen Next on the Diversity Chopping Block?

    She may not be next, but she’s on the list. As are all white people.

    Racist means white. White means racist.

    Jane Austen could’ve made every single character in her novels a “person of color”, and she’d still be racist, because she’s white.

    And racists have to go. All of us.

    As the confused “arts community” of Boyle Heights recently discovered, white people who hate white people are still white people.

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Jane Austen will be rescued from the chopping block by any means necessary, including the currently fashionable method of discovering that she was probably/definitely the secret illegitimate child of an affair with an octoroon.
  50. @Desiderius

    when looking for your Mr Darcy, you should pass up alpha sexy bad boy Hugh Grants in favor of beta husbandly Colin Firths
     
    Darcy isn't beta in any sense. He'd be Vox Day's sigma, but nothing like today's betas. Mr. Collins is the beta.

    Ok, haven’t seen Bridget Jones, but Paul Ruud in Clueless wasn’t exactly beta either.

    Clueless was Emma, right? Maybe I’m remembering the Austen instead of the movie.

    Wasn’t there an actual Firth Darcy somewhere along the way as well?

    Of course Austen’s übermensch was Capt. Wentworth.

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  51. @SOL
    Darcy a beta? He's too much of an asshole for LB, initially.

    That’s the joke – the remakes made him beta because Hollywood.

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  52. @Dave Pinsen
    A current idea is about the importance of "representation", that if someone doesn't see inspiring examples of people who look like them, they won't be successful. I happen to think it's backwards.

    I don't think Barack Obama needed to see portrayals of black presidents for him to become one, but I think those portrayals (by Morgan Freeman and Dennis Haysbert, in particular) may have helped him become president by making white voters more comfortable with the idea.

    The representation theory applies to real world roles too, and is used as an argument for affirmative action. I think it's backwards there too, and that W's elevation of Rice and Powell to top cabinet positions helped in the same way fictional POTUS portrayals by dignified black actors did.

    Yeah, it’s funny. In college I volunteered for an organization that went around to inner city Atlanta high schools and replaced Dick and Jane type readers with books with black kids. Now when I volunteer/sub in white suburban elementary schools all the books have non-white characters and animals, although sometimes a tomboyish white girl will sneak through.

    Exactly zero white boys though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    That started a long time ago. I'm in my 40s and when I was in elementary school are math books had more Juans than Johns.
  53. @Desiderius

    when looking for your Mr Darcy, you should pass up alpha sexy bad boy Hugh Grants in favor of beta husbandly Colin Firths
     
    Darcy isn't beta in any sense. He'd be Vox Day's sigma, but nothing like today's betas. Mr. Collins is the beta.

    Me Collins would make a truly perfect SJW.

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  54. @Daniel Chieh
    I would love to see what school would consider of the bestseller Chinese sci-fi novel Three-Body Problem.

    Eight years later in 1979, Ye Wenjie received the first response by a concerned pacifist Trisolaran Information Receptionist, warning her not to reply, as the alien Trisolaran civilization was hostile and invasive. By this time, Ye had observed the environmental destruction caused by humans in the name of progress. This reinforced her belief that humanity is not to be trusted, and it would be desirable for an alien race to come to Earth and purify the human race. Ye replied to Trisolaris.

    Ye and Mike Evans, the heir of a rich American oil tycoon and a "pan-species communist", then established the Earth-Trisolaris Organization (ETO), calling upon people who have lost faith in human society to prepare and welcome the arrival of their new Trisolaran overlords on Earth.

     

    This organization later promotes anti-speciesism in order to better prepare the host population.

    I probably missed a lot of subtleties in the story for lack of knowledge of Chinese history and culture, but I assumed he was drawing a parallel between the in-book intellectuals becoming converts to the trisolarians because they hated the existing human civilization, and Chinese intellectuals becoming converts to the foreign ideology of communism because they hated the existing Chinese civilization.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    That sounds a bit meta, and is contradicted by the political officer character in the later books, who refers proudly to pre-commie Chinese heroes, and is dedicated to helping humanity survive the Trisolarans.

    The Ye character was radicalized partly by Rachel Carson, and the cadre member who gives the book to her, and partly by the brutality and stupidity of the Cultural Revolution, though she regrets her decision later on.

    And remember, the American Mike Evans is radicalized too. Like the Rockefeller heirs, he's drifted left and become anti-fossil fuel (in his case, seeing an oil spill as a kid was a formative experience), but Liu cleverly captures and exaggerates the misanthropy inherent in extreme environmentalism. Like Walter Berglund in Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, Evans cares more about some migratory birds than he does about people. When he sees that rural Chinese don't care about them any more than Westerners, that probably increases his misanthropy, as he sees the problem is people in general, rather than Western capitalism.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Liu is certainly not a fan of the Cultural Revolution, and in the Chinese version, does seem to imply that its excesses were brought about by radicals who were upset by the "caste-thinking" of before.

    I thought he captured the coalition of the fringes relatively well: mentally disturbed people creating alliances with rich, obsessed idealists.
  55. I love Jane Austen. Therefore, everyone who likes Jane Austen must possess the noble qualities I believe myself to possess. People who think differently from me can’t possibly possess any of those qualities. I hate them. Ergo, they can’t possibly like Jane Austen.

    If they say they do, they’re reading her the wrong way. Such as believing that Britain was all white.

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  56. @40 Acres and A Kardashian

    Is Jane Austen Next on the Diversity Chopping Block?
     
    She may not be next, but she's on the list. As are all white people.

    Racist means white. White means racist.

    Jane Austen could've made every single character in her novels a "person of color", and she'd still be racist, because she's white.

    And racists have to go. All of us.

    As the confused "arts community" of Boyle Heights recently discovered, white people who hate white people are still white people.

    Jane Austen will be rescued from the chopping block by any means necessary, including the currently fashionable method of discovering that she was probably/definitely the secret illegitimate child of an affair with an octoroon.

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    Jane Austen will be rescued from the chopping block by any means necessary, including the currently fashionable method of discovering that she was probably/definitely the secret illegitimate child of an affair with an octoroon.

     

    Do you think Austen will retain her place at the top of what's left of the English canon? I'm not so sure. Approved authors can change quickly among the Woke.

    An encouraging sign is that there seems to be little flagging in Shakespeare's popularity, in spite of decades of petit-ambitious lefty academics picking away at his work.

    We Calvinists just watched Season 2 of the BBC's Hollow Crown series of Shakespeare adaptations, comprising two episodes combining Henry VI 1-3, plus Richard III. They're pretty good, but one ahistorical note is struck when the supposedly 15-year-old Margaret of Anjou is revealed to be the rather leathery almost-50-year-old Sophie Okonedo. She of course fits in better age-wise as the story goes on, but there's no overlooking the fact that she's quite African in appearance. I guess she is supposed to be 'foreign', i.e. French, but of course at that time there would have been little distinction between the English and French aristocracy in terms of appearance.

    I empathize with serious non-white actors in western countries (Okonedo was raised in the UK, so far as I know). It would be harsh to be shut out of acting in a high-profile Shakespeare play because of one's race. In this area I think overlooking mere appearance is fair enough.

    But I admit it would somehow seem different if the cast of an Austen adaptation were 'diversified'. I'm not sure why that is -- is it easier to compromise historical verisimilitude for plays, since they're written to be acted anyway, as opposed to adaptations of novels? Maybe.

  57. @Boomstick
    I think, were she writing today, Miss Austen would have plenty of material to work with. One of her signature moves is contrasting inflated self-perception with reality. There are few SJWs who don't have a very high opinion of themselves along with a poor understanding of reality, and that would dovetail with certain alt-right sensibilities.

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she'd be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She'd probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

    Come to think of it, twitter would be another happy hunting ground for Jane. She'd probably do an epistolary project with it.

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she’d be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She’d probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

    Yes, just so. Most of the precious Janeites in the academy assume that if Austen were working today she’d be TOTALLY DESTROYING Trump and flyover hicks and those hypocrite Christofacists, but I’d like to believe a genius of Austen’s caliber would go after the far more legitimate targets you’ve mentioned.

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    • Replies: @Jack Highlands
    "I’d like to believe a genius of Austen’s caliber would go after the far more legitimate targets you’ve mentioned."

    The life of James Watson suggests you'd be wrong. Famous geniuses can be as spineless as anyone, and the current era prevents literally every single famous person of genius from thinking and saying as much as they ideally should (eg Charles Murray) and every single person of genius who could say more, from being famous (eg HBD Chick and our excellent host himself).

    I doubt this disconnect has been as bad at any time in the last two centuries. And if that's true it shows that political correctness is not just a joke, it's the end of the Enlightenment. What's different now?
    , @Boomstick
    All the more so because her subjects were the minor gentry: country baronets, gentlemen, clergymen, and would-be clergymen looking for a living, not (directly) the farmers or servants or businessmen. That's a great match for academics. She'd set it in a rural liberal arts college, and not spend all that much time sneering at the Trump-supporting townies.

    Lucy Steele = undergraduate SJW adventuress
    Mr Wickham = Haven Monahan
    Colonel Brandon = Tenured lit prof
    Elinor Dashwood = STEM professional
    Walter Elliot = Princeton legacy grad
    Sir John Middleton = Business/marketing prof
    Willougby = SJW with a lot of female admirers and a Coates-like gig

    The books practically write themselves.

    She'd happily do the same if conservatives ran universities--her interest is in human follies, not the politics per se. The same personality types would exist in the milieu if conservatives ran things.
  58. Has it never occurred to, say, Tyler Perry or Terry McMillan, to make movies/write novels based on Austen, but with Black characters? Have they never heard of The Wiz or Carmen Jones?

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  59. @J1234

    Is Jane Austen Next on the Diversity Chopping Block?
     
    Well, they're tearing down statues of Ghandi in Ghana, so why not?
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/06/ghana-academics-petition-removal-mahatma-gandhi-statue-african-heroes

    Just a couple of years ago, Austen was a hero of feminists looking for the earliest possible historical prototype of themselves. As much as the left tries to portray the past as fundamentally evil, they still seek historical validation. Several decades ago, Susan B. Anthony was held up as the preeminent forward thinking woman of the 19th century, but then reality (or Anthony's connection to reality) got in the way, so that didn't work out either.

    The truth is, they can't find anyone from the past who's essentially like themselves, because there probably aren't any. Most people had to kill their own chickens back then. They had to care more about their own family than they did strangers. Today, people get divorced and the Ann Dunhams of the world leave their children to be raised by somebody else....but, boy, do they care about people they've never met!

    Jane Austen was fostered out from ages 0-2 or 3. She was “reared by someone else” who wasn’t her mother for most of her childhood, which was the norm for English society.

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    • Replies: @J1234

    which was the norm for English society.
     
    I'm not really sure what your point is. It wasn't the norm for the American society of Ann Dunham.

    Many people attempted to escape the poverty, exploding population and social dysfunction of 18th century Britain by moving to America. Except among the rich, I doubt that fostering out was a result of self-indulgent, self-centered females.

  60. No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right

    You know the difference between a Jane Austen character and what Ms Bander has in mind as an alt rightist? One of them thinks it’s perfectly unobjectionable to live in a society composed entirely of English-speaking white people who share a common history and culture, and the other has suddenly become a hate fetish of the left despite being fictional.

    And vice versa.

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  61. @PiltdownMan
    Jane Austen will be rescued from the chopping block by any means necessary, including the currently fashionable method of discovering that she was probably/definitely the secret illegitimate child of an affair with an octoroon.

    Jane Austen will be rescued from the chopping block by any means necessary, including the currently fashionable method of discovering that she was probably/definitely the secret illegitimate child of an affair with an octoroon.

    Do you think Austen will retain her place at the top of what’s left of the English canon? I’m not so sure. Approved authors can change quickly among the Woke.

    An encouraging sign is that there seems to be little flagging in Shakespeare’s popularity, in spite of decades of petit-ambitious lefty academics picking away at his work.

    We Calvinists just watched Season 2 of the BBC’s Hollow Crown series of Shakespeare adaptations, comprising two episodes combining Henry VI 1-3, plus Richard III. They’re pretty good, but one ahistorical note is struck when the supposedly 15-year-old Margaret of Anjou is revealed to be the rather leathery almost-50-year-old Sophie Okonedo. She of course fits in better age-wise as the story goes on, but there’s no overlooking the fact that she’s quite African in appearance. I guess she is supposed to be ‘foreign’, i.e. French, but of course at that time there would have been little distinction between the English and French aristocracy in terms of appearance.

    I empathize with serious non-white actors in western countries (Okonedo was raised in the UK, so far as I know). It would be harsh to be shut out of acting in a high-profile Shakespeare play because of one’s race. In this area I think overlooking mere appearance is fair enough.

    But I admit it would somehow seem different if the cast of an Austen adaptation were ‘diversified’. I’m not sure why that is — is it easier to compromise historical verisimilitude for plays, since they’re written to be acted anyway, as opposed to adaptations of novels? Maybe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Thanks for the recommendation. I don't see it on Netflix but will keep an eye open. It must be nice to be in Hong Kong, where basically no-one gives a tinker's dam about pc or Woke.
  62. I seem to recall a couple of American, Jewish and probably lesbian, feminists, Gilbert and Gubar (no relation to Gilbert and George, two European, homosexual artists) proving in their book The Mad Woman in the Attic that Jane Austen was a ferocious feminist defying the patriarchy and who was possibly gay.

    Edward Said looked relatively sane just after that.

    I see your Transfield Park and raise it with (Gay) Pride and (Heteronormative) Prejuduce

    That was Austen’s original title.

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    I see your Transfield Park and raise it with (Gay) Pride and (Heteronormative) Prejuduce

     

    That's good, but your reference to Gilbert and Gubar, and your use of 'heteronormative', suggest to me you might be stuck back in the 90s. Are you sure you're Woke?

    Austen really meant the title to be (LBGT***) Pride and (Cishet) Prejudice.

    [Please note that the '***' are wildcard characters that must be filled in correctly to reflect one's minute-by-minute Wokeness status.]

  63. @celt darnell
    I seem to recall a couple of American, Jewish and probably lesbian, feminists, Gilbert and Gubar (no relation to Gilbert and George, two European, homosexual artists) proving in their book The Mad Woman in the Attic that Jane Austen was a ferocious feminist defying the patriarchy and who was possibly gay.

    Edward Said looked relatively sane just after that.

    I see your Transfield Park and raise it with (Gay) Pride and (Heteronormative) Prejuduce

    That was Austen's original title.

    I see your Transfield Park and raise it with (Gay) Pride and (Heteronormative) Prejuduce

    That’s good, but your reference to Gilbert and Gubar, and your use of ‘heteronormative’, suggest to me you might be stuck back in the 90s. Are you sure you’re Woke?

    Austen really meant the title to be (LBGT***) Pride and (Cishet) Prejudice.

    [Please note that the '***' are wildcard characters that must be filled in correctly to reflect one's minute-by-minute Wokeness status.]

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  64. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peripatetic commenter
    Interesting, the Chronicle of Higher Education also had a hit piece:

    http://www.chronicle.com/article/Alt-Right-Jane-Austen/239435

    Was that a co-ordinated hit?

    The media seems to be a hive mind lately.

    I noticed this when they started with the whole ‘Fake News’ meme. The concept didn’t exist on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon – virtually every media outlet had some sort of article about it, and and all the TV programs were doing segments on the phenomenon.

    It’s almost like some guy is sitting at a desk deciding what the world should be thinking and discussing at any given moment….he just makes a few calls and – poof – it appears everywhere.

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  65. @anonymous
    The media seems to be a hive mind lately.

    I noticed this when they started with the whole 'Fake News' meme. The concept didn't exist on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon - virtually every media outlet had some sort of article about it, and and all the TV programs were doing segments on the phenomenon.

    It's almost like some guy is sitting at a desk deciding what the world should be thinking and discussing at any given moment....he just makes a few calls and - poof - it appears everywhere.

    Twitter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Before twitter was Journolist.

    They're like a sixth-grade slumber party.
  66. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @GSR
    Africans and Asians are not Western, Caucasian, English speaking peoples. These classes are in English Literature.

    Lesson for life: everything isn't for everyone.

    Chinua Achebe and Richard Wright wrote in English.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
    But was their nationality English? NO. And the course in question is English Literature. Read for comprehension and context, please.
  67. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Dave Pinsen

    “Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”
     
    You could assign more contemporary novels. When I was in a mostly-black high school, the English class assigned Richard Wright and Chinua Achebe, but today there are more young African and Asian writers getting international exposure. The FT just reviewed a book of Thai short stories over the weekend. Some of the contemporary stuff is probably high quality too. There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.

    We were assigned Achebe and Wright in my mostly white high school.

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  68. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Jane Austen will be rescued from the chopping block by any means necessary, including the currently fashionable method of discovering that she was probably/definitely the secret illegitimate child of an affair with an octoroon.

     

    Do you think Austen will retain her place at the top of what's left of the English canon? I'm not so sure. Approved authors can change quickly among the Woke.

    An encouraging sign is that there seems to be little flagging in Shakespeare's popularity, in spite of decades of petit-ambitious lefty academics picking away at his work.

    We Calvinists just watched Season 2 of the BBC's Hollow Crown series of Shakespeare adaptations, comprising two episodes combining Henry VI 1-3, plus Richard III. They're pretty good, but one ahistorical note is struck when the supposedly 15-year-old Margaret of Anjou is revealed to be the rather leathery almost-50-year-old Sophie Okonedo. She of course fits in better age-wise as the story goes on, but there's no overlooking the fact that she's quite African in appearance. I guess she is supposed to be 'foreign', i.e. French, but of course at that time there would have been little distinction between the English and French aristocracy in terms of appearance.

    I empathize with serious non-white actors in western countries (Okonedo was raised in the UK, so far as I know). It would be harsh to be shut out of acting in a high-profile Shakespeare play because of one's race. In this area I think overlooking mere appearance is fair enough.

    But I admit it would somehow seem different if the cast of an Austen adaptation were 'diversified'. I'm not sure why that is -- is it easier to compromise historical verisimilitude for plays, since they're written to be acted anyway, as opposed to adaptations of novels? Maybe.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I don’t see it on Netflix but will keep an eye open. It must be nice to be in Hong Kong, where basically no-one gives a tinker’s dam about pc or Woke.

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    The Hollow Crown features, at one point or another, most every every famous English actor you can think of, plus of a lot of 'that guy' types. Jeremy Irons plays Henry IV, Tom Hiddleston is Henry V, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Richard III, and Hugh Bonneville (i.e. Lord Grantham from Downton Abbey) is in there as the Duke of Gloucester. Even Patrick Stewart and David Suchet (aka Hercule Poirot) show up for the first episode of season 1.

    It is nice in Hong Kong, on the whole (don't ask me about life here in August, though). Never the less, PC/leftism eats at the edges of HK culture, with lots of people educated overseas carrying back with them ideological spores that sprout into the rot of civilization-hate.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    A recent English article in a Hong Kong newspaper slammed stewardesses as "brothels in the air" because of the maintenance of appearance standards in Asia. HK tries very hard to be pozzed, but I'm hoping once the hammer of the Party crushes that stupidity, so will go all of the little NGO agitators.
  69. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @syonredux

    We’re talking about English literature after all: written by, for, and until recently mostly about English people. To say that’s a problem marks a new low in America’s anti-cultural intercourse.
     
    It's hardly a "new low." SJWs have been talking for years about how the canon will have to be "adjusted" to fit the needs of Mestizos and Blacks. How can Mestizos possibly relate to Anglos like Isabel Archer and Huck Finn?

    Mestizos can probably relate better to someone like Huck Finn these days than others can because they tend to have earthier backgrounds and life experiences:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huck_Finn#Characterization

    Huckleberry “Huck” Finn is the son of the town’s vagrant drunkard, “Pap” Finn. Sleeping on doorsteps when the weather is fair, in empty hogsheads during storms, and living off of what he receives from others, Huck lives the life of a destitute vagabond. The author metaphorically names him “the juvenile pariah of the village” and describes Huck as “idle, and lawless, and vulgar, and bad,” qualities for which he was admired by all the children in the village, although their mothers “cordially hated and dreaded” him.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Mestizos can probably relate better to someone like Huck Finn these days than others can because they tend to have earthier backgrounds and life experiences:
     
    Not based on the Mestizo students that I have had. They constantly moan about Huck's "white skin privilege."
  70. @Dave Pinsen

    “Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”
     
    You could assign more contemporary novels. When I was in a mostly-black high school, the English class assigned Richard Wright and Chinua Achebe, but today there are more young African and Asian writers getting international exposure. The FT just reviewed a book of Thai short stories over the weekend. Some of the contemporary stuff is probably high quality too. There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.

    If a class is entitled English literature, it should be based on the classics of English literature. Should students wish to read books written in English by non-English writers, or modern novels and poetry, that’s wonderful – and they will have the rest of their lives in which to do so.

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    It was just called English. I get your point, but I don't see the problem with trying to engage high school students with good books that are more likely to interest them. Maybe throw in some basic Shakespeare and have them act it out, and smattering of great poems from different centuries.
  71. @Anonymous
    Mestizos can probably relate better to someone like Huck Finn these days than others can because they tend to have earthier backgrounds and life experiences:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huck_Finn#Characterization

    Huckleberry "Huck" Finn is the son of the town's vagrant drunkard, "Pap" Finn. Sleeping on doorsteps when the weather is fair, in empty hogsheads during storms, and living off of what he receives from others, Huck lives the life of a destitute vagabond. The author metaphorically names him "the juvenile pariah of the village" and describes Huck as "idle, and lawless, and vulgar, and bad," qualities for which he was admired by all the children in the village, although their mothers "cordially hated and dreaded" him.
     

    Mestizos can probably relate better to someone like Huck Finn these days than others can because they tend to have earthier backgrounds and life experiences:

    Not based on the Mestizo students that I have had. They constantly moan about Huck’s “white skin privilege.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Moaning about "white skin privilege" is what contemporary English courses are about. It's not inconsistent with them having backgrounds more akin to Finn's than others do. Also, as Ron Unz himself has noted here, you make stuff up, so who knows what you say is true.
  72. @PiltdownMan

    ... sponsor Austen-based movies where the cast is black/brown...
     
    https://youtu.be/nFYwqts1_TI

    I give that one a pass, since the lead chicks were very hot and, despite some random throw away negative lines about America/the West, it’s really about an Indian princess finally getting her dream white guy. The whole movie was beautifully shot and really a celebration of Austen, not an attack on her.

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  73. @BenKenobi
    "The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron -- they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be."

    - Syme, in 1984

    Syme, in 1984

    And remember Syme was unpersoned (shot, his remains vaporized, presumably) well before Winston was. Not because of disloyalty to IngSoc/Big Brother, but because he was smart enough to understand their methods, but not smart (wise) enough to utilize CrimeStop to prevent himself from talking too loudly about them. Ransacking my brain for good recent “Syme” who got fried for too honestly explaining Democratic Party strategy, but it eludes me even though I know it’s there…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Richard

    Ransacking my brain for good recent “Syme” who got fried for too honestly explaining Democratic Party strategy, but it eludes me even though I know it’s there…
     
    Jonathan Gruber.
  74. @Anonymous
    OT:

    Foreign doctors help mitigate, via H1B visa program, shortage of U.S. doctors

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/us/doctor-shortage-visa-policy.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=5&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F03%2F18%2Fus%2Fdoctor-shortage-visa-policy.html&eventName=Watching-article-click

    Reading this kind of garbage about how much we “need” foreign doctors reminds me of a New Yorker story from about 50 years ago (when the magazine was still good) about a family dealing with a schizophrenic daughter who went in and out of Pilgrim State Hospital on Long Island [now closed up tight]. At one stage of her “treatment” she was told the hospital psychiatrist, an Indian, about her on-and-off-again love affair with Frank Sinatra. The author spoke to the doctor about this and learned that the psychiatrist believed everything the patient had said, as not only was his English weak, but he had never heard of Sinatra.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    At one stage of her “treatment” she was told the hospital psychiatrist, an Indian, about her on-and-off-again love affair with Frank Sinatra. The author spoke to the doctor about this and learned that the psychiatrist believed everything the patient had said, as not only was his English weak, but he had never heard of Sinatra.
     
    A bit hard to believe. Fifty years ago, the Indian upper classes, who were likely the types to produce a lone psychiatrist who had a consulting practice on Long Island, were quite thoroughly Westernized/Anglicized in a cultural sense. Not only is it unlikely that such a person, if he had existed, would have had weak English, it is also extremely unlikely that he would not have heard of Sinatra.

    The change from this guy (whom I once met), who seemed typical of that generation, to H-1B programmers, in terms of cultural nous, could not be more stark.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajit_Hutheesing

  75. @Abe

    Syme, in 1984
     
    And remember Syme was unpersoned (shot, his remains vaporized, presumably) well before Winston was. Not because of disloyalty to IngSoc/Big Brother, but because he was smart enough to understand their methods, but not smart (wise) enough to utilize CrimeStop to prevent himself from talking too loudly about them. Ransacking my brain for good recent "Syme" who got fried for too honestly explaining Democratic Party strategy, but it eludes me even though I know it's there...

    Ransacking my brain for good recent “Syme” who got fried for too honestly explaining Democratic Party strategy, but it eludes me even though I know it’s there…

    Jonathan Gruber.

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  76. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a movie version of a Jane Austen novel with the heroine reimagined as an assassin:

    Pride and Extreme Prejudice.

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  77. That suggests some ridiculous power righties have over lefties. A few tweets, an article on Breitbart . . . and there goes On the Road.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    That suggests some ridiculous power righties have over lefties. A few tweets, an article on Breitbart . . . and there goes On the Road.
     
    I understand that David Duke is a big fan of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  78. @whorefinder
    Communists always try to make art ugly, brutal, and dessicated. This is done to dishearten the people, make them more open to communist ideology, and also because if something is beautiful, it causes comparisons to uglier thing, which leads to social striving for the beautiful things, which leads to the failures of communism. Or something like that; communist logic is never that clear.

    I'm not surprised they're trying it with Austen, and will probably end up banning her at communist-controlled universities in the next 10 years. Either that, or they will try to "deconstruct" her writings to make them uglier, and sponsor Austen-based movies where the cast is black/brown/fat/gay/ugly.

    The funny part will be watching how much of the Left blindly accepts this and how much of it gets angry at the fact that their favorite author is now a Hate Thinker. The Left never thinks that their Leftist friends will turn on them, but, as sociopaths, it is inevitable that they will turn on each other.

    You got it backwards. Communist art (after 1927 or so) always strove to be beautiful and uplifting. Look at Moscow Metro stations for examples of high Communist art.

    Ugly art was anti-Communist art. That’s why CIA secretly supported abstractionism.

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    You got it backwards. Communist art (after 1927 or so) always strove to be beautiful and uplifting. Look at Moscow Metro stations for examples of high Communist art.
     
    Cultural marxists have certainly pushed ugly miserable art as a means of demoralising the population. And communists might well have pushed that kind of art in non-communist countries. But when communists have gained actual power they have been smart enough to realise that it's a good idea to promote beautiful uplifting art since they don't want to demoralise their own populations.

    Our current situation is bizarre since we most certainly have ugly miserable art being pushed as a means of demoralising the population. But the objective is not to demoralise the populace in order to prepare the ground for the Glorious Socialist Revolution - the objective is to serve the interests of globalist capitalists who just love the idea of a entirely demoralised population (which tends to indicate that they are much more cynical and vicious than the old school communists).
  79. It’s very unlikely that Jane Austen will be garbage-dumped any time soon. What will probably happen, and the quote from Elaine Bander shows this is already happening, is that she will be retconned into espousing ideas that the new multicultural establishment finds socially acceptable.

    I can’t speak to Austen specifically, but I know this has been happening for decades when it comes to 16th and 17th century English literature. Marxist, feminist and postcolonialist adherents are now the dominant forces in academia, and they tend to find themselves in the writers they study. At the extreme, even a play like William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” which would seem objectively to be one of the most politically incorrect works in the Western canon, is now often interpreted as satirical feminist attack on patriarchy, with Kate’s submission at the end being an insincere wink to the audience (and most modern stage productions run it that way).

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  80. @Richard
    It's very unlikely that Jane Austen will be garbage-dumped any time soon. What will probably happen, and the quote from Elaine Bander shows this is already happening, is that she will be retconned into espousing ideas that the new multicultural establishment finds socially acceptable.

    I can't speak to Austen specifically, but I know this has been happening for decades when it comes to 16th and 17th century English literature. Marxist, feminist and postcolonialist adherents are now the dominant forces in academia, and they tend to find themselves in the writers they study. At the extreme, even a play like William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," which would seem objectively to be one of the most politically incorrect works in the Western canon, is now often interpreted as satirical feminist attack on patriarchy, with Kate's submission at the end being an insincere wink to the audience (and most modern stage productions run it that way).

    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

     

    Since concern for the poor no longer counts as "progressive," I guess not:

    KING LEAR
    Prithee, go in thyself: seek thine own ease:
    This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
    On things would hurt me more. But I'll go in.
    To the Fool

    In, boy; go first. You houseless poverty,--
    Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.
    Fool goes in

    Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
    That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
    How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
    Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
    From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en
    Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp;
    Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
    That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
    And show the heavens more just.
    , @syonredux

    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?
     
    More seriously, my colleagues in Queer Theory love to dilate on "gender fluidity" in Shakespeare....You know, boys playing girls pretending to be boys.....
    , @Olorin
    Well, the women's parts were all written for transvestite men.

    Does that count?
    , @Richard

    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?
     
    I don't know. There's a pro-immigration/refugee speech in "Sir Thomas More," anti-war stuff in "Troilus and Cressida," some scathing attacks on ignorance and rejection of expertise in the Jack Cade scenes in "Henry VI, Part Two" that probably resonate with progressives today, although the first two would not have resonated with progressives 100 years ago.

    A liberal would be better able to identify what parts of Shakespeare he likes, but part of the problem is that how a 21st century person responds to a 400 year old play isn't necessarily how the play was meant to be received. Shylock's "Hath not a Jew eyes" speech is often interpreted today as a noble plea for Jews' shared humanity, but if you take the play as a whole I think Shakespeare meant it to be seen as hypocritical double-talk. None of the insults Shylock has received justify him manipulating a poorly written piece of legalese to kill a man, yet that's the context of the great speech.

    Progressive attitudes, as such, are better seen in plays of the 1630s. James Shirley wrote a brilliant comedy called "Hyde Park" that features a liberated woman who argues that marriage is a raw deal for women and they should revel it up in the single life:

    What is in your condition that makes you weary [of being single]?
    You are sick of plenty and command? You have
    Too, too much liberty, too many servants?
    Your jewels are your own, and you would see
    How they will show upon your husband's wagtail?
    You have a coach now, and a Christian livery
    To wait on you to church, and are not catechised
    When you come home; you have a waiting-woman,
    A monkey, squirrel, and a brace of islands,
    Which may be thought superfluous in your family
    When husbands come to rule. A pretty wardrobe,
    A tailor of your own, a doctor too,
    That knows your body, and can make you sick
    In the spring, or fall, or when you have a mind to't,
    Without control; you have the benefit
    Of talking loud and idle at your table,
    May sing a wanton ditty, and not be chid,
    Dance, and go late to bed, say your own prayers,
    Or go to heaven by your own chaplain.
    And will you lose all this, for
    "I, Cicely, take thee, John, to be my husband"?
    Keep him still to be your servant;
    Imitate me: a hundred suitors cannot
    Be half the trouble of one husband. I
    Dispose my frowns and favors like a princess;
    Deject, advance, undo, create again;
    It keeps the subjects in obedience,
    And teaches 'em to look at me with distance.

    Yet in the end she marries a suitor who refuses to jump through her hoops, so is Shirley espousing this attitude or merely expressing it as an attitude that's out there, not necessarily one that anybody should live by?

    John Ford, who also wrote in the 1630s, is probably the most "progressive" dramatist of the age. "Tis Pity She's a Whore" is about a brother and sister committing incest, yet the two characters are depicted favorably and the attitude seems to be that the sincere love between them partially excuses the sin. Likewise, in "Perkin Warbeck" the hero is a pretender to the English throne, yet he completely believes that he's the real king. Instead of writing it as a farce, as most previous writers would have done with that premise, Ford depicts Warbeck as a noble hero whose only fault is that he isn't actually who he thinks he is.

    If there is one 17th century writer who could be transplanted to 21st century America and would find current liberal orthodoxy about gay marriage and transgenderism easy to embrace, it's probably Ford.
  81. @Desiderius
    Yeah, it's funny. In college I volunteered for an organization that went around to inner city Atlanta high schools and replaced Dick and Jane type readers with books with black kids. Now when I volunteer/sub in white suburban elementary schools all the books have non-white characters and animals, although sometimes a tomboyish white girl will sneak through.

    Exactly zero white boys though.

    That started a long time ago. I’m in my 40s and when I was in elementary school are math books had more Juans than Johns.

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  82. @syonredux

    We’re talking about English literature after all: written by, for, and until recently mostly about English people. To say that’s a problem marks a new low in America’s anti-cultural intercourse.
     
    It's hardly a "new low." SJWs have been talking for years about how the canon will have to be "adjusted" to fit the needs of Mestizos and Blacks. How can Mestizos possibly relate to Anglos like Isabel Archer and Huck Finn?

    How can Mestizos possibly relate to Anglos like Isabel Archer and Huck Finn?

    Mestizos and Huck Finn…

    …something about rivers…

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  83. @NOTA
    I probably missed a lot of subtleties in the story for lack of knowledge of Chinese history and culture, but I assumed he was drawing a parallel between the in-book intellectuals becoming converts to the trisolarians because they hated the existing human civilization, and Chinese intellectuals becoming converts to the foreign ideology of communism because they hated the existing Chinese civilization.

    That sounds a bit meta, and is contradicted by the political officer character in the later books, who refers proudly to pre-commie Chinese heroes, and is dedicated to helping humanity survive the Trisolarans.

    The Ye character was radicalized partly by Rachel Carson, and the cadre member who gives the book to her, and partly by the brutality and stupidity of the Cultural Revolution, though she regrets her decision later on.

    And remember, the American Mike Evans is radicalized too. Like the Rockefeller heirs, he’s drifted left and become anti-fossil fuel (in his case, seeing an oil spill as a kid was a formative experience), but Liu cleverly captures and exaggerates the misanthropy inherent in extreme environmentalism. Like Walter Berglund in Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, Evans cares more about some migratory birds than he does about people. When he sees that rural Chinese don’t care about them any more than Westerners, that probably increases his misanthropy, as he sees the problem is people in general, rather than Western capitalism.

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  84. @Steve Sailer
    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

    Since concern for the poor no longer counts as “progressive,” I guess not:

    KING LEAR
    Prithee, go in thyself: seek thine own ease:
    This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
    On things would hurt me more. But I’ll go in.
    To the Fool

    In, boy; go first. You houseless poverty,–
    Nay, get thee in. I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.
    Fool goes in

    Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are,
    That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
    How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
    Your loop’d and window’d raggedness, defend you
    From seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en
    Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp;
    Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
    That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
    And show the heavens more just.

    Read More
  85. @Steve Sailer
    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

    More seriously, my colleagues in Queer Theory love to dilate on “gender fluidity” in Shakespeare….You know, boys playing girls pretending to be boys…..

    Read More
  86. @Old fogey
    Reading this kind of garbage about how much we "need" foreign doctors reminds me of a New Yorker story from about 50 years ago (when the magazine was still good) about a family dealing with a schizophrenic daughter who went in and out of Pilgrim State Hospital on Long Island [now closed up tight]. At one stage of her "treatment" she was told the hospital psychiatrist, an Indian, about her on-and-off-again love affair with Frank Sinatra. The author spoke to the doctor about this and learned that the psychiatrist believed everything the patient had said, as not only was his English weak, but he had never heard of Sinatra.

    At one stage of her “treatment” she was told the hospital psychiatrist, an Indian, about her on-and-off-again love affair with Frank Sinatra. The author spoke to the doctor about this and learned that the psychiatrist believed everything the patient had said, as not only was his English weak, but he had never heard of Sinatra.

    A bit hard to believe. Fifty years ago, the Indian upper classes, who were likely the types to produce a lone psychiatrist who had a consulting practice on Long Island, were quite thoroughly Westernized/Anglicized in a cultural sense. Not only is it unlikely that such a person, if he had existed, would have had weak English, it is also extremely unlikely that he would not have heard of Sinatra.

    The change from this guy (whom I once met), who seemed typical of that generation, to H-1B programmers, in terms of cultural nous, could not be more stark.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajit_Hutheesing

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  87. @PiltdownMan
    Thanks for the recommendation. I don't see it on Netflix but will keep an eye open. It must be nice to be in Hong Kong, where basically no-one gives a tinker's dam about pc or Woke.

    The Hollow Crown features, at one point or another, most every every famous English actor you can think of, plus of a lot of ‘that guy’ types. Jeremy Irons plays Henry IV, Tom Hiddleston is Henry V, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Richard III, and Hugh Bonneville (i.e. Lord Grantham from Downton Abbey) is in there as the Duke of Gloucester. Even Patrick Stewart and David Suchet (aka Hercule Poirot) show up for the first episode of season 1.

    It is nice in Hong Kong, on the whole (don’t ask me about life here in August, though). Never the less, PC/leftism eats at the edges of HK culture, with lots of people educated overseas carrying back with them ideological spores that sprout into the rot of civilization-hate.

    Read More
  88. @Steve Sailer
    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

    Well, the women’s parts were all written for transvestite men.

    Does that count?

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  89. @Steve Sailer
    Doctor is one of those jobs Americans just won't do.

    What’s the US disciplinary/fitness to practice body for doctors, or don’t they have one? I pointed out here the other day that non-Brits are hugely over-represented in UK medical tribunals.

    (In other UK news – London has had nearly 1500 acid attacks between 2011-2015. Used to be a subcontinental practice aimed at errant wives, but 70% of London victims are male. Top areas are all East London.)

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  90. @kihowi
    “No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,”

    Hey I thought the MEANING of a work of art had nothing to do with the intention of the author and could be anything as long as you bullshitted about it cleverly enough?

    Guess now that avenue for political attack is being used by the wrong people, we're not doing that anymore. Things means things again. Can I get apologies from all the pretentious art snobs who who got angry when I said that?

    PS Jane Austen sucks. Pride and Prejudice sucked for the same reason as Frankenstein: estrogen soaked weepy femininity for 300 pages. Someone look up what Mark Twain said about her.

    Someone look up what George Orwell said about Mark Twain.

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  91. @inertial
    You got it backwards. Communist art (after 1927 or so) always strove to be beautiful and uplifting. Look at Moscow Metro stations for examples of high Communist art.

    Ugly art was anti-Communist art. That's why CIA secretly supported abstractionism.

    You got it backwards. Communist art (after 1927 or so) always strove to be beautiful and uplifting. Look at Moscow Metro stations for examples of high Communist art.

    Cultural marxists have certainly pushed ugly miserable art as a means of demoralising the population. And communists might well have pushed that kind of art in non-communist countries. But when communists have gained actual power they have been smart enough to realise that it’s a good idea to promote beautiful uplifting art since they don’t want to demoralise their own populations.

    Our current situation is bizarre since we most certainly have ugly miserable art being pushed as a means of demoralising the population. But the objective is not to demoralise the populace in order to prepare the ground for the Glorious Socialist Revolution – the objective is to serve the interests of globalist capitalists who just love the idea of a entirely demoralised population (which tends to indicate that they are much more cynical and vicious than the old school communists).

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    • Replies: @inertial
    So called "cultural Marxism" is not related in any way to actual Marxism, calling it so is just old-fashioned Red-baiting.

    Connecting ugly modern art to Communism is bizarre because this kind of art is exactly opposed to the Communist ideal. It is, in the Marxist-speak, a bourgeois capitalist art. Why? Because it can only be supported by moneyed elite. You see, any dumb prole can recognize and like beautiful art, but only someone with a refined taste can appreciate ugliness. It's a status symbol.

    None of that would be tolerated in a Communist society. In the USSR, far more works were censored or denounced because "people wouldn't understand" than for any kind political message.

    (None of this is to say that Communist art is always good or the Modern Western art is always bad. We are talking about the intentions, not the output.)
  92. Cornel West is a huge fan of Jane Austen, and perhaps anticipating this, has been explaining for some time how Austen’s work speaks to minorities. He has even dressed up in period clothes and attended Austen balls. He is also an unabashed fan of Russian literature. Will he be the hero western literature needs? Or has his venomous disappointment in Obama left him on the outs forever?

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    • Replies: @NOTA
    That's the thing about great literature--you can enjoy it even from a great distance. Modern Americans living in an unrecognizeably different world than the writers can enjoy Pride and Prejudice or Don Quixote or A Tale of Two Cities or The Odyssey.
  93. Of course, this is just a small piece of the 21st century style Leftist mass purges of designated “irredeemable” oppressor class from the last century. In the 1930s in the Soviet Union it was the Kuluks, about 5 million Ukrainian farmers.

    Now its the “privileged” white folks (the basket of deplorables) with racism in their DNA that have to go.

    See;

    http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-exterminationist-left-happy-trails.html

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  94. @william munny
    Cornel West is a huge fan of Jane Austen, and perhaps anticipating this, has been explaining for some time how Austen's work speaks to minorities. He has even dressed up in period clothes and attended Austen balls. He is also an unabashed fan of Russian literature. Will he be the hero western literature needs? Or has his venomous disappointment in Obama left him on the outs forever?

    That’s the thing about great literature–you can enjoy it even from a great distance. Modern Americans living in an unrecognizeably different world than the writers can enjoy Pride and Prejudice or Don Quixote or A Tale of Two Cities or The Odyssey.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    The irony of the film version Gone With the Wind is how many black women envision themselves exactly as the black Plantation Queens with loads of slaves around to abuse and loads of bad-boy suitors vying for them. Heck, you even have Scarlett married three times in that film, much like how modern black women sleep around with impunity.
  95. Clearly, Jane Austen is guilty of discrimination. Any author writing about white women pursuing marriage to improve their social standing and economic security exclusively among wealthy upper-class white British males to the exclusion of other classes, other cultures, other races, other sexes, and other genders (why should the LGBTQxyz be left out?) is guilty of discriminating against those not considered.

    However, I understand Jane’s predicament. I received a classical British education at the university. We were taught to discriminate everything: Good vs. evil; truth vs. falsehood; the beautiful vs. the ugly; reality vs. illusion; the rational vs. the irrational. We were given excellent tools that included strident courses in logic, philosophy, literature, and history (especially the classics). We were taught how to discriminate the world that does exist from the infinite number possible worlds that could exist.

    The first principle: Everything is subject to discrimination. People, cultures, religions, governments, economic systems, systems of justice, scientific claims, art, etc. Discrimination is the essence of knowing; that is, recognizing and understanding the difference between one thing and another. No matter how fine the difference, that difference can be found, argued, and evaluated … the essence of Jane’s novels.

    One has to fear for the future of a society that outlaws discrimination. It would seem it would be outlawing, on a massive scale, the ability to distinguish between good and evil and truth and falsehood. Indeed, a person (or a society) that has lost the ability to discriminated is lost.

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  96. @LemmusLemmus
    That suggests some ridiculous power righties have over lefties. A few tweets, an article on Breitbart . . . and there goes On the Road.

    That suggests some ridiculous power righties have over lefties. A few tweets, an article on Breitbart . . . and there goes On the Road.

    I understand that David Duke is a big fan of To Kill a Mockingbird.

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    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    Hitler loved 'Mockingbird' too, someone needs to let the SPLC know.....
  97. @Dave Pinsen

    “Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”
     
    You could assign more contemporary novels. When I was in a mostly-black high school, the English class assigned Richard Wright and Chinua Achebe, but today there are more young African and Asian writers getting international exposure. The FT just reviewed a book of Thai short stories over the weekend. Some of the contemporary stuff is probably high quality too. There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.

    “There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail.”

    Literature is about imagination and language, not geekiness….

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Depends. There's a good bit of geekiness in Pynchon, Neal Stephenson, Kim Stanley Robinson.
  98. @Mr. Anon

    That suggests some ridiculous power righties have over lefties. A few tweets, an article on Breitbart . . . and there goes On the Road.
     
    I understand that David Duke is a big fan of To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Hitler loved ‘Mockingbird’ too, someone needs to let the SPLC know…..

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  99. My favorite part:

    “All the Janeites I know,” she added, “are rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people.”

    …as if she communicates with anyone at all who may have a conservative viewpoint. We all know the reaction of the left when confronted with opinions that do not match their own.

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  100. @Boomstick
    I think, were she writing today, Miss Austen would have plenty of material to work with. One of her signature moves is contrasting inflated self-perception with reality. There are few SJWs who don't have a very high opinion of themselves along with a poor understanding of reality, and that would dovetail with certain alt-right sensibilities.

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she'd be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She'd probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

    Come to think of it, twitter would be another happy hunting ground for Jane. She'd probably do an epistolary project with it.

    You are misreading Austen. She made light fun of some types of people in mid-level English society of her time, but she never dared approach the throne, so to speak. Austen never showed that she was willing or perhaps even able to discern and then strike at the rot at its source. Austen is tender and soft, gentle, with nary a hint she could attempt to hunt big game. That’s why girls and gays have always lauded her.

    What we need is Flannery O’Connor to unleash her tough-minded sense of humor on these SJWs and the corporate billionaires who back them.

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    • Replies: @Boomstick
    Austen was fine with moral instruction but would abhor anything so crude as "striking at the rot at its source." She's about human foibles, not political positions, and we're all fallen. Walter Elliot is vain and proud of his pedigree, like a third generation legacy Princeton grad, and a spendthrift. He could be left or right, and his politics are more or less immaterial. It's just that she wrote comedies of manners, manners are important in the academy, and the academy is left. Walter Elliot would probably be portrayed as left because the ironic contrasts would be too much fun to pass up. If the right ran the academy there would be plenty of people with the same character faults to poke fun at, but they don't.

    They NYT and Guardian don't grasp that Austen was engaging in stealthy moral instruction from a Christian perspective. If they did they'd probably refuse to admit her into their presence.


    I must not, however, neglect the duties of my station, or refrain from declaring my amazement at hearing that you received the young couple into your house as soon as they were married. It was an encouragement of vice; and had I been the rector of Longbourn, I should very strenuously have opposed it. You ought certainly to forgive them, as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing.'
     
    It's as if Lydia tweeted something someone found offensive.
  101. @NOTA
    I probably missed a lot of subtleties in the story for lack of knowledge of Chinese history and culture, but I assumed he was drawing a parallel between the in-book intellectuals becoming converts to the trisolarians because they hated the existing human civilization, and Chinese intellectuals becoming converts to the foreign ideology of communism because they hated the existing Chinese civilization.

    Liu is certainly not a fan of the Cultural Revolution, and in the Chinese version, does seem to imply that its excesses were brought about by radicals who were upset by the “caste-thinking” of before.

    I thought he captured the coalition of the fringes relatively well: mentally disturbed people creating alliances with rich, obsessed idealists.

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  102. @Steve Sailer
    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

    Is there anything progressive in Shakespeare?

    I don’t know. There’s a pro-immigration/refugee speech in “Sir Thomas More,” anti-war stuff in “Troilus and Cressida,” some scathing attacks on ignorance and rejection of expertise in the Jack Cade scenes in “Henry VI, Part Two” that probably resonate with progressives today, although the first two would not have resonated with progressives 100 years ago.

    A liberal would be better able to identify what parts of Shakespeare he likes, but part of the problem is that how a 21st century person responds to a 400 year old play isn’t necessarily how the play was meant to be received. Shylock’s “Hath not a Jew eyes” speech is often interpreted today as a noble plea for Jews’ shared humanity, but if you take the play as a whole I think Shakespeare meant it to be seen as hypocritical double-talk. None of the insults Shylock has received justify him manipulating a poorly written piece of legalese to kill a man, yet that’s the context of the great speech.

    Progressive attitudes, as such, are better seen in plays of the 1630s. James Shirley wrote a brilliant comedy called “Hyde Park” that features a liberated woman who argues that marriage is a raw deal for women and they should revel it up in the single life:

    What is in your condition that makes you weary [of being single]?
    You are sick of plenty and command? You have
    Too, too much liberty, too many servants?
    Your jewels are your own, and you would see
    How they will show upon your husband’s wagtail?
    You have a coach now, and a Christian livery
    To wait on you to church, and are not catechised
    When you come home; you have a waiting-woman,
    A monkey, squirrel, and a brace of islands,
    Which may be thought superfluous in your family
    When husbands come to rule. A pretty wardrobe,
    A tailor of your own, a doctor too,
    That knows your body, and can make you sick
    In the spring, or fall, or when you have a mind to’t,
    Without control; you have the benefit
    Of talking loud and idle at your table,
    May sing a wanton ditty, and not be chid,
    Dance, and go late to bed, say your own prayers,
    Or go to heaven by your own chaplain.
    And will you lose all this, for
    “I, Cicely, take thee, John, to be my husband”?
    Keep him still to be your servant;
    Imitate me: a hundred suitors cannot
    Be half the trouble of one husband. I
    Dispose my frowns and favors like a princess;
    Deject, advance, undo, create again;
    It keeps the subjects in obedience,
    And teaches ‘em to look at me with distance.

    Yet in the end she marries a suitor who refuses to jump through her hoops, so is Shirley espousing this attitude or merely expressing it as an attitude that’s out there, not necessarily one that anybody should live by?

    John Ford, who also wrote in the 1630s, is probably the most “progressive” dramatist of the age. “Tis Pity She’s a Whore” is about a brother and sister committing incest, yet the two characters are depicted favorably and the attitude seems to be that the sincere love between them partially excuses the sin. Likewise, in “Perkin Warbeck” the hero is a pretender to the English throne, yet he completely believes that he’s the real king. Instead of writing it as a farce, as most previous writers would have done with that premise, Ford depicts Warbeck as a noble hero whose only fault is that he isn’t actually who he thinks he is.

    If there is one 17th century writer who could be transplanted to 21st century America and would find current liberal orthodoxy about gay marriage and transgenderism easy to embrace, it’s probably Ford.

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  103. @dfordoom

    You got it backwards. Communist art (after 1927 or so) always strove to be beautiful and uplifting. Look at Moscow Metro stations for examples of high Communist art.
     
    Cultural marxists have certainly pushed ugly miserable art as a means of demoralising the population. And communists might well have pushed that kind of art in non-communist countries. But when communists have gained actual power they have been smart enough to realise that it's a good idea to promote beautiful uplifting art since they don't want to demoralise their own populations.

    Our current situation is bizarre since we most certainly have ugly miserable art being pushed as a means of demoralising the population. But the objective is not to demoralise the populace in order to prepare the ground for the Glorious Socialist Revolution - the objective is to serve the interests of globalist capitalists who just love the idea of a entirely demoralised population (which tends to indicate that they are much more cynical and vicious than the old school communists).

    So called “cultural Marxism” is not related in any way to actual Marxism, calling it so is just old-fashioned Red-baiting.

    Connecting ugly modern art to Communism is bizarre because this kind of art is exactly opposed to the Communist ideal. It is, in the Marxist-speak, a bourgeois capitalist art. Why? Because it can only be supported by moneyed elite. You see, any dumb prole can recognize and like beautiful art, but only someone with a refined taste can appreciate ugliness. It’s a status symbol.

    None of that would be tolerated in a Communist society. In the USSR, far more works were censored or denounced because “people wouldn’t understand” than for any kind political message.

    (None of this is to say that Communist art is always good or the Modern Western art is always bad. We are talking about the intentions, not the output.)

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    So called “cultural Marxism” is not related in any way to actual Marxism, calling it so is just old-fashioned Red-baiting.
     
    There was a vague connection at the beginning but basically I agree with you on that point. The cultural marxism that has been around since the late 50s has indeed been elitist and has served the interests of the plutocrats. I agree that cultural marxism is a misleading term but while the name is inaccurate it is still a real thing. It needs a better name.
  104. @Massimo Heitor
    A popular video game YouTube personality agrees with Sailer on this:

    https://twitter.com/JonTronShow/status/837755925490462720

    It's funny to see a popular YouTube personality, who happens to be a young Iranian American son of immigrants from Iran, basically publicly endorse the alt-right viewpoint.

    Here he calmly explains his views trying to express sympathy and common ground with the left, but his viewpoint is clearly way too far out of the narrow left bubble of tolerance:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIFf7qwlnSc

    Who is this?

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  105. @The Practical Conservative
    Jane Austen was fostered out from ages 0-2 or 3. She was "reared by someone else" who wasn't her mother for most of her childhood, which was the norm for English society.

    which was the norm for English society.

    I’m not really sure what your point is. It wasn’t the norm for the American society of Ann Dunham.

    Many people attempted to escape the poverty, exploding population and social dysfunction of 18th century Britain by moving to America. Except among the rich, I doubt that fostering out was a result of self-indulgent, self-centered females.

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  106. @Boomstick
    I think, were she writing today, Miss Austen would have plenty of material to work with. One of her signature moves is contrasting inflated self-perception with reality. There are few SJWs who don't have a very high opinion of themselves along with a poor understanding of reality, and that would dovetail with certain alt-right sensibilities.

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she'd be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She'd probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

    Come to think of it, twitter would be another happy hunting ground for Jane. She'd probably do an epistolary project with it.

    “postmodern codswallop” gets its first google recognition 1996/7…… But I use Bing and it has diff hits for your cod piece.

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  107. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @syonredux

    Mestizos can probably relate better to someone like Huck Finn these days than others can because they tend to have earthier backgrounds and life experiences:
     
    Not based on the Mestizo students that I have had. They constantly moan about Huck's "white skin privilege."

    Moaning about “white skin privilege” is what contemporary English courses are about. It’s not inconsistent with them having backgrounds more akin to Finn’s than others do. Also, as Ron Unz himself has noted here, you make stuff up, so who knows what you say is true.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Moaning about “white skin privilege” is what contemporary English courses are about.
     
    Not when I'm teaching....

    It’s not inconsistent with them having backgrounds more akin to Finn’s than others do.
     
    Hispanics refuse to recognize the similarities. To them, Huck is the enemy.

    Also, as Ron Unz himself has noted here, you make stuff up, so who knows what you say is true.
     
    What have I made up?Any examples?
  108. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she’d be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She’d probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

     

    Yes, just so. Most of the precious Janeites in the academy assume that if Austen were working today she'd be TOTALLY DESTROYING Trump and flyover hicks and those hypocrite Christofacists, but I'd like to believe a genius of Austen's caliber would go after the far more legitimate targets you've mentioned.

    “I’d like to believe a genius of Austen’s caliber would go after the far more legitimate targets you’ve mentioned.”

    The life of James Watson suggests you’d be wrong. Famous geniuses can be as spineless as anyone, and the current era prevents literally every single famous person of genius from thinking and saying as much as they ideally should (eg Charles Murray) and every single person of genius who could say more, from being famous (eg HBD Chick and our excellent host himself).

    I doubt this disconnect has been as bad at any time in the last two centuries. And if that’s true it shows that political correctness is not just a joke, it’s the end of the Enlightenment. What’s different now?

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  109. @Old fogey
    If a class is entitled English literature, it should be based on the classics of English literature. Should students wish to read books written in English by non-English writers, or modern novels and poetry, that's wonderful - and they will have the rest of their lives in which to do so.

    It was just called English. I get your point, but I don’t see the problem with trying to engage high school students with good books that are more likely to interest them. Maybe throw in some basic Shakespeare and have them act it out, and smattering of great poems from different centuries.

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  110. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    They won’t stop until every last drop of Eurowhite history and culture is destroyed.

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  111. Is Jane Austen Next on the Diversity Chopping Block?

    Finally, a good outcome from all this dangerous nonsense.

    That suggests some ridiculous power righties have over lefties. A few tweets, an article on Breitbart . . . and there goes On the Road.

    What would it take to get To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye banjaxed? It’s too late for me, but it could save millions in the future.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    What would it take to get To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye banjaxed?
     
    Agree. Both of those blew dead dogs. And the movie was even worse.
  112. @NOTA
    That's the thing about great literature--you can enjoy it even from a great distance. Modern Americans living in an unrecognizeably different world than the writers can enjoy Pride and Prejudice or Don Quixote or A Tale of Two Cities or The Odyssey.

    The irony of the film version Gone With the Wind is how many black women envision themselves exactly as the black Plantation Queens with loads of slaves around to abuse and loads of bad-boy suitors vying for them. Heck, you even have Scarlett married three times in that film, much like how modern black women sleep around with impunity.

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  113. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Let Jane loose in an academic environment? There are lot of Adjunct Professor Collinses about, sucking up to a tenured Dr Catherine De Bourgh, editor of the Journal of Unread Postmodern Codswallop. Jane would make fun of it all, and that would ensure she’d be the victim of a twitter mob, or at least some catty faculty politics. She’d probably work in some diversity adventuresses Miss Steeles as well.

     

    Yes, just so. Most of the precious Janeites in the academy assume that if Austen were working today she'd be TOTALLY DESTROYING Trump and flyover hicks and those hypocrite Christofacists, but I'd like to believe a genius of Austen's caliber would go after the far more legitimate targets you've mentioned.

    All the more so because her subjects were the minor gentry: country baronets, gentlemen, clergymen, and would-be clergymen looking for a living, not (directly) the farmers or servants or businessmen. That’s a great match for academics. She’d set it in a rural liberal arts college, and not spend all that much time sneering at the Trump-supporting townies.

    Lucy Steele = undergraduate SJW adventuress
    Mr Wickham = Haven Monahan
    Colonel Brandon = Tenured lit prof
    Elinor Dashwood = STEM professional
    Walter Elliot = Princeton legacy grad
    Sir John Middleton = Business/marketing prof
    Willougby = SJW with a lot of female admirers and a Coates-like gig

    The books practically write themselves.

    She’d happily do the same if conservatives ran universities–her interest is in human follies, not the politics per se. The same personality types would exist in the milieu if conservatives ran things.

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  114. @Anonymous
    Chinua Achebe and Richard Wright wrote in English.

    But was their nationality English? NO. And the course in question is English Literature. Read for comprehension and context, please.

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  115. OT re travel laptop ban. When will the media look at the overlap with the travel ban countries?

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  116. Read More
    • Replies: @Richard
    I laughed at this passage:

    Claire Tomalin, whose biography, Jane Austen: A Life, revealed a woman more radical in her roots than her popular image allows, doubts the writer would find anything in common with white supremacists. “[Austen] loved the poetry of William Cowper, who was opposed to hunting and shooting,” she says.
     
    But absurd as it is, it does indirectly get to the heart of the matter. If love of a writer equals acceptance of all social/political views held by that person, then what does it say about Claire Tomalin that she and a bunch of white supremacists both share a love for Jane Austen? That's why the Guardian quotes several liberal academics insisting these "white supremacists" must be lying ---- that they couldn't really like Jane Austen because they have never read her books.
  117. @Anonymous
    Moaning about "white skin privilege" is what contemporary English courses are about. It's not inconsistent with them having backgrounds more akin to Finn's than others do. Also, as Ron Unz himself has noted here, you make stuff up, so who knows what you say is true.

    Moaning about “white skin privilege” is what contemporary English courses are about.

    Not when I’m teaching….

    It’s not inconsistent with them having backgrounds more akin to Finn’s than others do.

    Hispanics refuse to recognize the similarities. To them, Huck is the enemy.

    Also, as Ron Unz himself has noted here, you make stuff up, so who knows what you say is true.

    What have I made up?Any examples?

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  118. @Yak-15
    Does any real person actually keep up with all this SJW nonsense? Or is it just us?

    Or is this SJW nonsense diffusing into our lives slowly like lava?

    The latter. Without a doubt.

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  119. @PiltdownMan
    The Guardian chimes in, on cue.


    https://www.theguardian.com/books/shortcuts/2017/mar/21/pride-and-racial-prejudice-why-the-far-right-loves-jane-austen

    I laughed at this passage:

    Claire Tomalin, whose biography, Jane Austen: A Life, revealed a woman more radical in her roots than her popular image allows, doubts the writer would find anything in common with white supremacists. “[Austen] loved the poetry of William Cowper, who was opposed to hunting and shooting,” she says.

    But absurd as it is, it does indirectly get to the heart of the matter. If love of a writer equals acceptance of all social/political views held by that person, then what does it say about Claire Tomalin that she and a bunch of white supremacists both share a love for Jane Austen? That’s why the Guardian quotes several liberal academics insisting these “white supremacists” must be lying —- that they couldn’t really like Jane Austen because they have never read her books.

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    That Guardian article is hilarious from end to end, as are most of the comments I read.

    You rarely see virtue-signalling being executed at such a furious pace. JA herself must be laughing somewhere.
  120. Jane Austen wrote what I call ‘revenge comedies’ in which the witty and goodhearted, but slightly less physically attractive girl without a dowry always gets the wealthy, good looking guy in the last chapter. I cannot possibly imagine where Austen, who never married, got this notion from.

    So Austen practically invented the romance novel, like it or not, but her books are devastatingly witty in a way that those of Barbara Cartland are not.

    For some reason best known to herself Austen did not write about the scourge of tuberculosis or cholera in her time, or the high rate of women dying in childbirth, or the problems of slums with insufficient sewage disposal. Probably not deemed to be commercial.

    Either people of ethnicities other than White are going to like her books, or they are not. Anyway, I prefer them to tosh like How Stella Got Her Groove Back, of which the story was really a roman de clef about author Terry McMillan’s marriage to a handsome Jamaican, who soon decided that his wife was so repulsive that he would rather have sex with men. As one does.

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  121. @Richard
    I laughed at this passage:

    Claire Tomalin, whose biography, Jane Austen: A Life, revealed a woman more radical in her roots than her popular image allows, doubts the writer would find anything in common with white supremacists. “[Austen] loved the poetry of William Cowper, who was opposed to hunting and shooting,” she says.
     
    But absurd as it is, it does indirectly get to the heart of the matter. If love of a writer equals acceptance of all social/political views held by that person, then what does it say about Claire Tomalin that she and a bunch of white supremacists both share a love for Jane Austen? That's why the Guardian quotes several liberal academics insisting these "white supremacists" must be lying ---- that they couldn't really like Jane Austen because they have never read her books.

    That Guardian article is hilarious from end to end, as are most of the comments I read.

    You rarely see virtue-signalling being executed at such a furious pace. JA herself must be laughing somewhere.

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  122. @Oleaginous Outrager

    Is Jane Austen Next on the Diversity Chopping Block?
     
    Finally, a good outcome from all this dangerous nonsense.

    That suggests some ridiculous power righties have over lefties. A few tweets, an article on Breitbart . . . and there goes On the Road.
     
    What would it take to get To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye banjaxed? It's too late for me, but it could save millions in the future.

    What would it take to get To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye banjaxed?

    Agree. Both of those blew dead dogs. And the movie was even worse.

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  123. @inertial
    So called "cultural Marxism" is not related in any way to actual Marxism, calling it so is just old-fashioned Red-baiting.

    Connecting ugly modern art to Communism is bizarre because this kind of art is exactly opposed to the Communist ideal. It is, in the Marxist-speak, a bourgeois capitalist art. Why? Because it can only be supported by moneyed elite. You see, any dumb prole can recognize and like beautiful art, but only someone with a refined taste can appreciate ugliness. It's a status symbol.

    None of that would be tolerated in a Communist society. In the USSR, far more works were censored or denounced because "people wouldn't understand" than for any kind political message.

    (None of this is to say that Communist art is always good or the Modern Western art is always bad. We are talking about the intentions, not the output.)

    So called “cultural Marxism” is not related in any way to actual Marxism, calling it so is just old-fashioned Red-baiting.

    There was a vague connection at the beginning but basically I agree with you on that point. The cultural marxism that has been around since the late 50s has indeed been elitist and has served the interests of the plutocrats. I agree that cultural marxism is a misleading term but while the name is inaccurate it is still a real thing. It needs a better name.

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  124. @Jake
    You are misreading Austen. She made light fun of some types of people in mid-level English society of her time, but she never dared approach the throne, so to speak. Austen never showed that she was willing or perhaps even able to discern and then strike at the rot at its source. Austen is tender and soft, gentle, with nary a hint she could attempt to hunt big game. That's why girls and gays have always lauded her.

    What we need is Flannery O'Connor to unleash her tough-minded sense of humor on these SJWs and the corporate billionaires who back them.

    Austen was fine with moral instruction but would abhor anything so crude as “striking at the rot at its source.” She’s about human foibles, not political positions, and we’re all fallen. Walter Elliot is vain and proud of his pedigree, like a third generation legacy Princeton grad, and a spendthrift. He could be left or right, and his politics are more or less immaterial. It’s just that she wrote comedies of manners, manners are important in the academy, and the academy is left. Walter Elliot would probably be portrayed as left because the ironic contrasts would be too much fun to pass up. If the right ran the academy there would be plenty of people with the same character faults to poke fun at, but they don’t.

    They NYT and Guardian don’t grasp that Austen was engaging in stealthy moral instruction from a Christian perspective. If they did they’d probably refuse to admit her into their presence.

    I must not, however, neglect the duties of my station, or refrain from declaring my amazement at hearing that you received the young couple into your house as soon as they were married. It was an encouragement of vice; and had I been the rector of Longbourn, I should very strenuously have opposed it. You ought certainly to forgive them, as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing.’

    It’s as if Lydia tweeted something someone found offensive.

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Exellent post.

    Austen's initial level of appeal is the way she embeds acute satire of fallen human nature in an appealingly orderly and beautiful setting, and then organizes it all around deeply human, played-in-earnest games of mating and succession. Yet underneath all of this lies a bedrock of Christian moral reasoning; her stories are True in a way many readers -- even men such as Kipling, Churchill, and C S Lewis -- have appreciated over the years.

    I think it's no coincidence that Mansfield Park, the novel in which Austen's Christian vision is most prominent, is the least popular of her works these days.
  125. @pyrrhus
    "There are enough Africans and Asians to produce a bit of quality literature at the right tail."

    Literature is about imagination and language, not geekiness....

    Depends. There’s a good bit of geekiness in Pynchon, Neal Stephenson, Kim Stanley Robinson.

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  126. @Boomstick
    Austen was fine with moral instruction but would abhor anything so crude as "striking at the rot at its source." She's about human foibles, not political positions, and we're all fallen. Walter Elliot is vain and proud of his pedigree, like a third generation legacy Princeton grad, and a spendthrift. He could be left or right, and his politics are more or less immaterial. It's just that she wrote comedies of manners, manners are important in the academy, and the academy is left. Walter Elliot would probably be portrayed as left because the ironic contrasts would be too much fun to pass up. If the right ran the academy there would be plenty of people with the same character faults to poke fun at, but they don't.

    They NYT and Guardian don't grasp that Austen was engaging in stealthy moral instruction from a Christian perspective. If they did they'd probably refuse to admit her into their presence.


    I must not, however, neglect the duties of my station, or refrain from declaring my amazement at hearing that you received the young couple into your house as soon as they were married. It was an encouragement of vice; and had I been the rector of Longbourn, I should very strenuously have opposed it. You ought certainly to forgive them, as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing.'
     
    It's as if Lydia tweeted something someone found offensive.

    Exellent post.

    Austen’s initial level of appeal is the way she embeds acute satire of fallen human nature in an appealingly orderly and beautiful setting, and then organizes it all around deeply human, played-in-earnest games of mating and succession. Yet underneath all of this lies a bedrock of Christian moral reasoning; her stories are True in a way many readers — even men such as Kipling, Churchill, and C S Lewis — have appreciated over the years.

    I think it’s no coincidence that Mansfield Park, the novel in which Austen’s Christian vision is most prominent, is the least popular of her works these days.

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  127. They NYT and Guardian don’t grasp that Austen was engaging in stealthy moral instruction from a Christian perspective.

    Mainly because they don’t want to. Otherwise, they would have to admit that much, indeed almost all, of the moral reasoning in 19th C. English literature, whether explicit or implicit, rested on a bedrock of Christian moral instruction. If they admitted that, it would be only a small step to having to concede that religious, rather coldly secular, moral reasoning was commonplace and perhaps near universal in society before our times. And that life proceeded quite normally.

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  128. @PiltdownMan
    Thanks for the recommendation. I don't see it on Netflix but will keep an eye open. It must be nice to be in Hong Kong, where basically no-one gives a tinker's dam about pc or Woke.

    A recent English article in a Hong Kong newspaper slammed stewardesses as “brothels in the air” because of the maintenance of appearance standards in Asia. HK tries very hard to be pozzed, but I’m hoping once the hammer of the Party crushes that stupidity, so will go all of the little NGO agitators.

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  129. @CK
    The latter.
    Television has gone total SJW.
    Sports talk and ESPN ...
    Movies
    Sci-Fi
    Cartoons.

    I think, sadly, you may be correct. I was in France recently and met a Haitian student studying law. He was bemused and a bit annoyed that the French would not call him black. They would say “person of color” (the SJW virus has infected the French) and he found this hilarious. He was also confused by the attitude of American blacks flooded with opportunity but insistent upon grievance mongering. I almost told him that it was easier to become wealthy by milking the SJW industry in the US. Surely he will learn soon enough.

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