The following essay is a guest post from JAB, of the Double-Wide. We remind our readers that you are welcome to submit your thoughts either as an email or as a complete essay.
Since the Trailer-Park-at-the-Edge-of-Town is a bit southwest of the “Zone of Totality,” our humble domicile did not experience a complete, total 100% solar eclipse Monday afternoon, but it was close enough for me. Pretty cool to watch (through the goofy glasses natch!), and it was as a demonstration of nature’s power, especially when the birds stopped chirping in the midday darkness. Many multitudes gathered along the path of the “Zone of Totality” in places like Hopkinsville, KY and Carbondale, IL. So determined to get that bona fide 100% eclipse were the masses, that I know of farmers along the route who rented out pastures for pop-up camp sites. I was in the Atlanta airport Tuesday, and I lost count of the number of times I heard folks say that they “just flew in for the eclipse.” But even though most of us did not see maximum eclipse, events of the last couple weeks make it feel like we are all living in a “Zone of Totality.” Please permit me to elaborate and bloviate.
After weeks of publicity, with local permits secured thanks to the assistance of the ACLU (which I bet they just hated), a couple hundred morons with nothing better to do on a Friday night, marched around a statue of Robert E. Lee wearing Nazi garb and bearing tiki-torches. But that was about all that happened. The first amendment applies even to idiots venerating losers, right? Out of a nation of 300 million or so, they managed to gather only about a couple hundred “jungend-mit-tiki.” I call that pretty encouraging. As an aside, I do wonder how many of those “jungend-mit-tiki” might be the grandsons or great-grandsons of men who fought to eradicate the Nazi’s (actual, not the tiki-kind) in WWII? If Granddaddy, he of the Greatest Generation, is still around and kicking, here’s hoping he might lay a little education on his ignorant descendant(s).
But then came Saturday, when well-intentioned citizenry came out in great numbers to voice their disapproval of the “jungend-mit-tiki.” That was their right. However, I hope I can be forgiven for wondering why didn’t they simply ignore the moronic neo-Nazi’s? Well-intentioned though most of them were, they ignored the fact that the “jungend-mit-tiki” were seeking publicity. Which they were given in spades, because in addition to the well-intentioned majority, there was a substantial minority of anarcho-communist-black bloc members armed with staves and urine-filled balloons [what low-life does that???]. But in the “Zone of Totality,” there can be no recognition that a couple hundred “jungend-mit-tiki,” however ignorant, ridiculous and offensive, as a group poses no threat to the nation as a whole, or even to the groups (Jews, non-whites) they despise. There can be no room for disagreeable or offensive speech; instead it is labelled “hate speech” and must be purged from the public, by any means necessary according to the anarcho-communist-black bloc types. In the ZOT, speech is equated with actual violence, the better to justify its suppression, and all those who fail to sufficiently denounce such speech are labelled “racist.” The ZOT requires absolute allegiance to “tolerance” of everything, except intolerance, which is, of course, must not be tolerated.
Which brings us to last Saturday on Boston Common, where thousands showed up to protest a “free speech” event organized by a few dozen libertarians under the name “Boston Free Speech Coalition.” No one knows what was said or even if there were speeches, however, because the police prevented journalists from approaching the pavilion and loudspeakers were not allowed. Check out some of the video and you’ll see anarcho-communist-black bloc members, some with their faces masked, commit acts that ought to bring legal charges. One grabbed an American flag from a middle-aged woman, dragging her along the ground in the process. Punches were thrown. The cops had to escort and extract those who had tried to speak for their safety as mobs. In the ZOT, no one learned in kindergarten that “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” Now that’s intolerable.
In the “Zone of Totality” a new spasm of iconoclasm has taken hold. Medieval monastics debated whether venerating religious icons was akin to idolatry, and the Protestant reformation saw the destruction of religious art, statuary and altarpieces, which were viewed as violating the commandment against the making of graven images. But today’s “idol-breakers” judge images of our nation’s historical figures through the lens of modern mores and morals, and only one dimension of character or actions counts. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves? Off with his head…or at least pull down his statue. George Washington owned slaves? Ignore the anti-slavery sentiments expressed so eloquently in his will…ignore his role in founding our nation…ignore his wisdom and nobility in refusing hereditary office, and indeed his return to private life after two terms as president. Slaveowner. Racist. Off with his head…or at least pull down his statue. Today’s “idol-breakers” might want to consider that statues of those they venerate today might not stand up to scrutiny should another dimension of character or actions come into vogue in the future. Imagine if serial adultery were judged to be such a moral failing that it obliterates all other values and contributions. Might some future “idol-breakers” then train their disgust on statues of Martin Luther King, Jr.?
You know who else destroyed and suppressed art that failed to support their views? The Nazi’s (actual, not the tiki-kind). They burned books and banned ”degenerate art” (Entartete Kunst), mostly expressionist and modernist works that were deemed insufficiently Aryan. You can look it up. More recently, we’ve seen ISIS destroy centuries-old Greco-Roman works in Palmyra because they stood as silent proof that there was a signifiant and glorious civilization that came before Islam and most definitely did not conform to their Islamo-fascist notions. Seems to me that if something was/is practiced by both ISIS and Nazi’s (actual, not the tiki-kind), it might be a practice best avoided.
But don’t tell that to Bill de Blasio, who announced a “review” of a statue erected to commemorate Columbus’ voyage across the ocean-blue, way back in 1492. In today’s “Zone of Totality,” the fellow who figured out that you could sail waaaay far west into the Atlantic Ocean, that guy is now the personification of evil. He and those who followed from Europe to the Americas are guilty of subjugating, raping, exterminating the native inhabitants. I’d like to stipulate that no reasonably knowledgable person denies that there was a great deal of brutality and that European diseases decimated natives who lacked any immunity to small pox, for example, but the Europeans did not have a monopoly on violence and brutality. Anybody know about how the Aztec’s treated their prisoners-of-war? Can you say “Tower of Skulls”? And they didn’t just victimize rival warriors either. I suppose that the lefty-correct interpretation is that there were no barriers to entry for cis-gendered women in the Aztec “Tower of Skulls.”
Care to play a little thought experiment? If the Aztecs, rather than Columbus, had figured out how to cross the Atlantic, where in Europe would they have constructed a “Tower of Skulls”? Amsterdam, perhaps? France? If Columbus personifies the evils of colonialism, white power, slavery, rape,
total planetary destruction, destruction of “peaceful” native civilizations, would our lefty ruling class prefer that the Aztecs had “won”? Maybe then, instead of a statue of Columbus, we would have a “Tower of Skulls” in….San Francisco or NYC?
Yours from the Doublewide, JAB