Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Emperor's New Dog-Whistle

Yesterday's discussion has gotten very "interesting" from the standpoint of our pugnacious new friend Alfredo, but my understanding of what's interesting is different from his, and I'm bowing out of it after one last word, suggested this morning at Roy's place: the last word being "n****r-lover".

The progress from “n****r-lover” to “woke” as the favored pejorative of bigots could make for a book-length study; but I will say the earlier, cruder version had this much going for it: It didn’t come with a bunch of alleged intellectuals trying to explain it.

Except I don't think it needs a book. Rather, the progress involved is pretty simple: "woke" means "n****r-lover" with deniability. That is, it is "n****r-lover" for those who would like to deny that they're the kind of person who uses "n****r-lover". With the scent of Black English Vernacular (as I noted somewhere in the comments) giving it a Trumpy kind of pungency (like Trump's use of "nationalist"—"but I'm not supposed to use that word"—when he wants to confess, with deniability, that he's a Nazi). Much more satisfyingly vulgar than the whiny old standby "politically correct".

The weird thing about the political dog-whistle is that, unlike an actual dog-whistle, everybody can hear it; we're just obliged to pretend we don't. It's like the Emperor's new dog-whistle; if you can hear it you're just proving you're a dog ("uncivil", "divisive", "cancelcultural") and Jonathan Chait will denounce you accordingly, so you'd better just shut up about it.


Speaking of cancel culture, one outtake from that New York Post column where Bethany Mandel and Karol Markowicz were promoting their book, with a long story about how uncivil and divisive it was, such that nobody but Ben Shapiro was brave enough to publish it: it's just a continual marvel to me how much pride rightwingers take in being these things, while the gatekeepers only ever call out Democrats for it.

We were talking to an editor at a major conservative publishing house about the book that would eventually become “Stolen Youth,” a book we hoped to write that would trace just how early leftist indoctrination targets children from every direction.

We felt like we had clicked with the editor, that she understood the project, and so, we sat there stunned as she told us that our book, about how parents should fight back against that indoctrination should feature a little less fighting back....

“Unless your name is Tucker Carlson, no one is taking a chance with a conservative book right now,” another editor told us. 

They're comfortable publishing Tucker because he's such a suckup to the libs.

We have large platforms, and we both write for a variety of outlets, yet we were a risky proposition for conservative publishers.

I mean there's no silencing like the kind of silencing you get when you have a large platform and lots of outlets and still have to go all the way to Nashville to get your book deal.

This is how the mob is most effective: they shut down dissenting voices through force. Our agent told us he’d never seen anything like it before.

Sorry, I should have warned you there was some violence coming. Aspiring authors getting a rejection on their book proposal, oh the humanity. A thing that never happens, goes without saying, to "the left", where it's raining six-figure advances—I practically have to fight them off. 

If it's really what the mob regularly does, though, I wonder why the agent is noticing it for the first time. Wait, what mob? They have a picket line surrounding the Regnery offices so the latest Bill O'Reilly can't get out? Or is the mob the New York Times Book Review pumping the market for Prince Harry and Michelle Obama so every conservative voice (other than Tucker Carlson's) is drowned out? What on earth are these ladies talking about?

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