Scrap note #4
Into the closing days of this Cambodian escape, I’m now in Kep, on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It’s an interesting place (which I’ll say something about in the Cambodia scrap log). Note the link there? There haven’t been any of those for a while. The reason it has now become possible is the Kep Lodge guest computer, which leaves my tablet in the dust. Links, cursor control, copy-and-paste … ecstasy. So I have to try and seize the opportunity …
Starting meta, there are two media-reaction compilation resources which everyone needs to know about (and I’m sure just about everyone already does). Both are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up. Handle’s (here) might by updating sluggishly for a few weeks, because the Hausmeister is taking a well-earned break. It might fall upon Amos & Gromar (here) to track developments, which are getting steadily more encouraging.
The American Thinker isn’t exactly MSM, but it’s still highly significant that Christopher Chantrill has written the first Dark Enlightenment commentary for a relatively mainstream conservative site that doesn’t engage in any skirt-clutching whatsoever. It’s a short, friendly piece that is best understood as a deliberate exercise in de-toxification. Prediction: this brewing media storm is going to start opening consequential fault-lines in the conservative movement, which as far as any DE strategic schedule is concerned, gets us to first base. It follows, of course, that establishment conservative responses will get even more hysterical (and that also counts as a win).
Some substantial engagement from beyond the reactosphere is also in prospect from Adam Gurri (who has some genuinely productive lines of criticism). There’s also Patri Friedman (link?– can’t get it to work from here), who commits to exploring “a more politically correct dark enlightenment” (via @MikeAnissimov twitter) which has to — at the very least — be extremely entertaining. Given the prevailing distribution of forces, confusion has to be our friend (right?).
Related developments of interest include a tendency within the HBD ‘community’ to seize the ‘Dark Enlightenment’ (brand) for themselves, chucking out all the awkward right-wingery (via rumorous twitter). I’ve no sense at all of the mechanism by which ‘they’ think they can achieve that, but the impulse is disorganizing, and therefore probably to be approved (although, of course, at the same time fiercely contested).
Accepting that chaos is ‘bad’, it seems to me that it is especially bad for our opponents, whose piecemeal suppression strategy requires social conditioning by a maximally-simple aversion response. Their stage-1 campaign is based on something like a “Neoreaction — yuk, Nazis!” reflex. Anything that leads instead to “What? Hang on a minute …” reaction counts (for them) as a major fail. There can be no serious doubt that we’re well into that (as the comment threads of all the hit-pieces so far attest). So, prediction-2: we’re going to see a second phase hostile media approach emerging really soon — over the next few months — adapted to important constituencies who are refusing the desired stimulus-response programming. I’ve no idea what this will look like, but it’s almost bound to be more intellectually engaging than anything we’ve seen so far.
Some straggly extras:
At the risk of getting Matt Sigl into trouble, it’s quite obvious that he’s a thoughtful guy who deserves better editors. Are we going to see another piece by him (stripped of the Cathedral tics) some time this year?
Tim Stanley is a pathetic tool, but there are some impressive Telegraph writers (
Ed West, James Dellingpole …), are they going to jump in at some point?
If the Telegraph can be cracked (still uncertain), how about the National Review? If Steyn has problems with us, they won’t be stupid, and he really doesn’t like witch hunters.
We’ll get so bored by this expression, if we aren’t already, but — interesting times.
ADDED: See this by Amos & Gromar. The people who seem to be getting front rank exposure in the current media wave are Mencius Moldbug (naturally), Michael Anissimov, and me. To make a very obvious point explicit, however, this is wildly disproportionate, and — I suspect — not long sustainable. Moldbug is a transcendental master, about whom enough can never be said, but Mike and I are both highly atypical representatives of (very different) neoreactionary extremes. If Amos & Gromar (for non-random instance) was shifted to center stage, the whole phenomenon would become vastly more sane. (In this particular case, I suspect that an A&G has a branding issue, because media get confused about ‘who’ exactly they’re pointing at — and frankly I think I’m pretty good at that stuff. MARKETING people!)
ADDED: Nicholas Pell has written a thoughtful piece on the DE for takimag that has garnered glowing responses from all corners so far. (I’m certainly highly appreciative.)
ADDED: John Derbyshire is in the house.
ADDED: The Daily Telegraph is done:
Shame to see James Delingpole leaving DT blogs. despite being a warmist I always find his writing amusing http://t.co/vHVhAyunpR
— Ed West (@edwestonline) February 12, 2014