Archive for January 9th, 2014

Horrified

There’s a post on H. P. Lovecraft’s extreme racism on the way, and given the abundance of stimulating material on the topic, a small taster is irresistible. This highly representative essay by Nicole Cushing serves as an occasion. She writes:

Broaching this subject is also difficult because it has to be handled with some nuance (which is difficult to achieve in a discussion of a topic as justifiably emotionally-charged as American racism). It would be too easy to point to Lovecraft’s racism (and some of his other failings as an author), and dismiss him as an undistinguished crackpot who deserved nothing better than publication in the pulps. I’m not going to do that here. My stance is that Lovecraft made an important contribution to horror and science fiction by focusing (in a persistent and compellingly imaginative way) on the terror induced by the revelation of human non-significance in the cosmos. […] Lovecraft has had a meaningful influence over horror fiction (in particular) for many years, an influence that transcends his racism. … All of this is just a long-winded way of explaining that Lovecraft’s racism doesn’t negate his accomplishments.

But his accomplishments don’t negate his racism. (Enter, cognitive dissonance).

Among the most fascinating aspects of this commentary is its blatant misdirection, since — of course — the phenomenon indicated has nothing whatsoever to do with cognitive dissonance. There is an encounter here with an abnormal species of literary genius, associated with profound metaphysical truth, which at the same time — and for inextricably tangled reasons — triggers a reaction of moral panic, tilting over into deep somatic revulsion. In other words, and perhaps even quite simply, what is being related by Nicole Cushing is — horror.

Continue Reading

January 9, 2014admin 48 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Horror
TAGGED WITH : , , , ,

Quote notes (#55)

A comment by Stirner, responding to this spirited Aurini post, speculates insightfully about the media environment ahead:

… the insights of the DE are clear and obvious, so targeting and spotlighting is only going to bring the DE to new eyeballs. It’s one thing for them to say “racist” or “sexist”, but it is quite another thing for the DE to answer: “I believe that competitive selection worked on humans over the last 50,000 years – isn’t that what you believe too? Aren’t the only people who disagree with that the Creationist types?” To attack the DE is only to publicize it further.

Second point. They are not going to be able to resist attacking. God help us, but Buzzfeed is the future, not Newspapers. People want their controversy of the day, and websites need their clicks and traffic. For internet media, the DE is a giant source of potential click bait. Even if they would be smart to ignore the DE, they are not going to resist the temptation.

Third point. The mainstream media is withering on the vine, and turning into the vanity press operations of plutocrats. Academia is about to be disintermediated by MOOCs, online learning, and low-cost alternatives to credentials. Major organs of the Cathedral will be growing weaker, and weaker, while the DE adapts to the new environment seamlessly. The DE was birthed on the internet and in the blogosphere: you can’t starve it of money, or attack it’s institutions, and the control of media channels for outreach and influence is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

As confirmation, note this story, or this oxyacetalene-torch-to-the-eyeballs media site.

January 9, 2014admin 25 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
TAGGED WITH :