Author Sarah A Hoyt is having a small difficulty writing about friendship.
The difficulty is in the tendency of all too many folks to Werthamize everything. There’s no such thing as text, only subtext, and that subtext needs must be sexual. Oh, but not openly… never openly, because the author is secretly a repressed homophobe of some sort who won’t give the fictional friends their proper due. It’s crypto-closeted.
CS Lewis dealt with this sort of unfalsifiable non-argument with the scorn it deserved in The Four Loves, saying that it was akin to stating, “If an invisible cat was sitting in that chair, it would look empty; it looks empty; therefore an invisible cat is sitting there.” He’s right, but of course the debunkers and scoffers don’t care. The argument HAS to be impossible to prove or disprove. That’s a feature, not a bug.
The Four Loves was published in book form in 1960, and as Ms. Hoyt’s difficulty shows, things haven’t gotten any easier for an author… or, for that matter, a friend. It’s part of the systematic campaign to dehumanize all of us and turn us into insects in a hive: all alike, all interchangeable, and above all, easily controlled and herded. There’s only one queen in a hive, easily overwhelmed by sheer numbers if it came to that. It never does. An ant or a bee that starts to behave erratically and out of concert with the others will be set upon by its fellows and destroyed.
That is the method by which the machine runs. Once social engineering and politic correctness take a deep-enough root, our community gets to the point where any deviation from the common doesn’t have to be dealt with by the leaders or tone setters, but by one’s own neighbors and coworkers.
At first it was just the political sphere. (You see it in how reporting devolved over time to favor narrative over fact, with heroes and villains and plot twists instead of events and consequences.) Then, after the second world war, it was entertainment’s turn – Hollywood and TV had to become Socially Conscious, and while exploring those themes certainly led to some incredible art, soon the themes took over, and trifles like plot and characters were ingored, so long as the Approved Message was sent. What had been a means to retreat and simply enjoy something for its own sake was taken over and largely ruined for that purpose.
They got their claws into education and turned it away from the means of instilling facts and rigorous habits of thought and study; they called that “propaganda” and called grades “unfair,” and replaced it with activism, social engineering, and self-esteem instead of honest accomplishment. Another shelter gone, as generations are raised unable to critically examine a proposal or a theory to determine if it’s true or useful or likely to serve it’s intended purpose. They just try it, and if it fails (or makes things worse), it must not have been done enough! Opposing the solution must be a form of moral or intellectual deficiency!
The campaign has been systematic and thorough, moving against families, churches, civic organizations, and businesses – all must run themselves according to the correct values, politicized and homogenized, under committees and expert oversight. (The family is the main target, organized as it is around something that works quite differently than a committee or a body politic.) Their prior victories in education and entertainment cripple our ability to either think about any of it (and risk coming to a forbidden conclusion) or imagine that it might be different.
Some tried to retreat into things like sports. Heh. The broadcasters and news outlets spend all their time moralizing about the team nicknames and sniffing haughtily at athlete’s normal behavior, even suggesting that the sports themselves are mere gladitorial substitutes catering to our thinly-veiled prejudices. We’re horrible people for enjoying a hockey scuffle or a huge open-field tackle or a prizefight. NASCAR is for hicks and rubes, football is for thugs, hockey is privileged and non-diverse… only soccer is really enlightened. (Again – nothing against the beautiful game, but I’m supposed to like it because it’s European, NOT because it’s amazingly graceful and skilled? How Screwtapian.)
Meanwhile, science fiction was getting gutted, kids’ leisure time was being sucked up into “organized” activities that were all organized around the principle that competition and team-building were nonsense, if not outright forbidden… ever-expanding circles of thought control and conformity, about smaller and smaller areas of our spare time. Kids rarely just play in sandlots and learn to mediate their own disputes and handle their own triumphs and failures with grace. Safer to play a video game and mash the reset button if you don’t win, because the game must have cheated.
A funny thing happened, though. They went after gamers. I observed at the time that one of the SJW’s main tools – social blackmail – wouldn’t work on gamers because they’re already exiles and misfits, who give not a tinker’s damn about all the bullying and mockery they’ve always gotten. They built their own like-minded community as a result. (In fact, they all became friends.) And this band of friends pushed back, and with a considerable supply of technical know-how and social media savvy.
I also thought at the time that this alone wouldn’t suffice without some sort of moral and spiritual support, but I underestimated how quickly so many would come to their defense. And in fairness, it seemed like an unlikely hill upon which to build a rampart, much less launch a counterattack against the machine… but perhaps that was its hidden strength. “Video games?” people seemed to say. “They can’t even leave those dumb things out of their grasp? We’re to have nothing to ourselves?” And it has been a rout.
The recent news about North Korean threats causing Sony Pictures and several theater chains to shelve The Interview may seem like a setback in this counteroffensive. Last night I was upset enough to say so:
Scroll up from there and you get an idea about why I find this is so upsetting… but it is also very revealing. The industry that has been lecturing us nonstop and congratulating itself for its “courage” and self-importance has revealed itself to be a complete fraud who doesn’t care at all about its own first principles, who won’t even defend their own work. They call mere criticism “an attack” but when an actual threatened attack shows up, they’re fleeing for the hills. And those in charge of protecting us from threats – we who hold as one of our dearest freedoms the right to speak and think according to our own lights – have revealed themselves as unwilling to do so, in precisely the arena that is so vital to us as a free people. We trust them with our common defense on this point, and they have played us for chumps. Responding to words with violence is uncivilized, but that’s precisely the threat, and those who purport to cherish civilization are showing the white feather the moment barbarians and savages hint at it. We’re supposed to be relying on them? They’ve sold us out.
This dumb movie that was likely to tank at the box office has suddenly become as unlikely a rallying point as video games. These are opportunities at last to be heard on a point that we have shouted until we are both hoarse and tiresome – all this PC bunkum is dangerous. Bad enough that it turns so many into drones and ciphers, but it betrays its roots as a means of thought control and mental enslavement. If it was really about true freedom of thought as the SJWs have insisted, then they would be standing on that principle when it was threatened. “I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!” What a crock. The instant that became a possibility, they soiled their armor and dropped their weapons. This capitulation is completely in keeping with the supposedly-enlightened humbugs and quislings who have the temerity to tell US that WE’RE the closed-minded bigots and fools.
This has been exposed as the lie it always was. Concealment is no longer plausible. So yes, I am still hopping mad about it, but we are vindicated at last, in a way that cannot be concealed or hand-waved. No doubt the liars will try to recover their footing and deflect this outrage, but it must not happen. The counterattack must be pressed and the enemies of humanity – the anti-imaginative, unthinking, immoral, egotistical control-freaks who want final say over our thoughts and our behavior – must be put to flight, driven from the field, divested of their power over us. No longer can we indulge these bozos. Give them no influence over you, show no quarter to their whining and browbeating. They despise us, they always have, and this is proof.
What does this have to do with our starting point – friendship? Everything. Insects, you see, can’t be friends. Only humans can be friends. Reclaiming our humanity means finding friends in unexpected ways and surprising places – and finding friends you never could have pictured for oneself destroys a poisonous, anti-human lie at the core of all the PC preachifying. One finds oneself surprised at getting along with folks who like beer instead of wine, or enjoy classical instead of country-western, who think differently in a hundred ways; and one discovers that it isn’t necessary to be carbon-copies of each other in order to like each other or work together. We don’t have to insist that everyone have all the correct opinions and behaviors before we deign to keep their company. That’s how we fight them, and that’s how we win.