The following is an attempt to analyze two popular Christmas movies, A Christmas Story  and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation , using the Myers-Briggs personality traits. One can take the test at 16personalities.com  and receive a four-letter acronym which represents parts of one’s personality. For example, many Counter-Currents readers are reputed to have INTJ personalities, which means they possess Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging characteristics. The opposite of INTJ is ENFP, or Extroverted, Feeling, and Perceiving. These two are not the only possible types. In total, there are sixteen possible combinations of these traits, and thus sixteen possible personalities under the Myers-Briggs system.
To provide a bit more background, the following summary is adopted from changingminds.org .
Extroverts are energized by human interaction and Introverts by solitary reflection.
Thinkers tend to make decisions using logic, and Feelers by considering how their decisions impact other people.
Sensors experience meaning more lucidly from observing their immediate surroundings, and Intuitives through deep personal thought.
Judgers prefer life to be structured, and Perceivers want it to be open and flexible.
A Christmas Story is an INTP film. For those who don’t know it by name, it’s about a boy named Ralphie who wants “an official Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun” in spite of many of the adults he knows telling him that he’ll “’shoot [his] eye out!” This article attempts to prove that the protagonist Ralphie has an INTP personality and worldview. Later, we’ll see that National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is more of an ISFJ film, with the protagonist, Cark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase), being an ISFJ.
A Christmas Story is told from a very introverted perspective. The narrator is an adult reflecting on his childhood, specifically his memories of a particular Christmas in the 1940s. He simultaneously conveys his perspective as a child and as an adult reflecting on the eccentricities of his parents and the bygone era of his youth. Certainly, dialogue plays an important role in the story (“you’ll shoot your eye out”), but the protagonist’s narration is what really gives us the meaning of what’s going on. The film’s reflective perspective highlights the analytic, or NT nature of the INTP. Finally, INTPs are constantly thinking, and their internal world trumps the external. This is the case in the film, and it isn’t a stretch to say that if it were not for the narration, it may have never become a cult classic.
Several other traits conveyed in the film scream INTP. For one, when it comes to how INTPs deal with interpersonal conflict, they either “blow it off or blow up.” When Ralphie is cornered by a neighborhood bully who taunts him to the point of crying, he “blows up” and give the bully a bloody nose. This comes after a series of events which suggest that Ralphie is blowing off conflict. For one, he is a quiet boy who endures mild mockery at the hands of his peers after he is caught in an apparent stupor while standing at his teacher’s desk in the front of the class. Little do they know that he is fantasizing (a very INTP behavior) about getting an A+ on his paper. (The paper is about what he wants for Christmas, which of course is a BB gun.) Not only does he shrug off their mockery, but he avoids confronting the threats he receives from the neighborhood bullies, that is until he finally blows up in response to one. One also gets the impression that his various trials in life, such as having to put a bar of soap in his mouth for swearing in imitation of his father, may have been simmering below the surface.
Ralphie’s overall outlook of the surrounding world, which he views as being completely alien, shouts INTP. For instance, his father is presented as a somewhat comical figure who angrily wrestles with a continuously malfunctioning furnace, delights in changing a flat tire, and rambles on about sports in a trance-like state. For an INTP, who is typically interested more in abstract theories, this sort of character would seem to be very strange.
Ralphie’s father is a Judger. According to changingminds.org:
Judgers approach life in a structured way, creating plans and organizing their world to achieve their goals and desired results in a predictable way . . . They enjoy being experts. At work, they decide quickly and clearly and work to get the job done.
This couldn’t better describe the father. He creates a plan to deal with blown fuses by keeping a ridiculous number of spare fuses. He also keeps track of how long it takes him to change a tire, delighting in becoming an expert at doing it quickly. He is presented as an expert at fixing furnaces too. This is all presented as a kind of eccentricity in the film.
Conversely, Ralphie is a Perceiver.
They [perceivers] get their sense of control by keeping their options open and making choices only when they are necessary. They are generally curious and like to expand their knowledge . . .
Unlike his father, Ralphie is not used to being decisive. He freezes up when the scary Santa at the mall asks him what he wants for Christmas. He also displays intense curiosity, and uses his Little Orphan Annie decoder with great anticipation to find the secret code.
Both of Ralphie’s parents seem to be concerned more with feeling than thinking:
Feelers make decisions based primarily on social considerations, listening to their heart and considering the feelings of others. They see . . . material things as being subservient to this. They value harmony and use tact in their interactions with others.
After making Ralphie put soap in his mouth for saying “f**k,” his mother tries putting the soap in her own mouth. This is a way of empathizing with him, putting herself in his shoes. She is also sensitive to Ralphie’s tears after his fight. To distract his father from punishing him, she mentions a football game, which induces the father to enter a trance-like state discussing sports and forget about his son’s fight. Ralphie’s father likewise spares the boy the embarrassment of wearing the oversized childish bunny pajamas from his Aunt Clara. He furthermore grants Ralphie’s wish to own a BB gun, remembering how he once had one himself as a boy. In all of these cases, the parent cares more for the child’s feelings than for mechanically doling out punishment, forcing the child to wear a pink bunny suit, or adhering to a strict level of safety mutually exclusive with a weapon that could “shoot one’s eye out.”
In a future article, I will discuss the fact that Whites average higher on the Feeling spectrum than do other races. Because the film focuses a lot on these elements, it would be reasonable to conclude that it would be difficult to find something like A Christmas Story being produced in a non-White society. The film is also incredibly heteronormative given that the mother protects her son from the father’s potentially harsh punishment, and the father in turn protects his son from the overprotectiveness of women and their taste for girly, babyish clothing. In short, the woman compensates for the weakness of the male and vice versa. Separately, their respective eccentricities would go unopposed, but together they cancel each other out.
The one trait which is somewhat in question is whether Ralphie himself is a Thinker or a Feeler. Regarding Thinkers:
Interacting with them [thinkers] tends to brief and business-like. Perhaps because people are so variable, they focus on tangible things, seeking truth and use of clear rules.
The driving plot of the film is whether or not Ralphie gets a BB gun, a tangible object, and he tells everyone he can, including Santa, about his wish in a brief, business-like manner, and believes that he deserves getting it because of the rules of Christmas, as he understands them.
Consider that Feelers “…are sociable and people-oriented.” Ralphie is not Mr. Popular at school, nor does he show signs of being terribly social. The Feeling aspects of his parents seem foreign and yet funny to his mature self as the narrator, worthy of a comedic nostalgia and a little fondness.
Clark Griswold of the Christmas Vacation movie is also introverted.
The energy of introverts is inward toward concepts and ideas. They need little external stimulation – and in fact they can easily be over-stimulated. It is possible that they focus more on their inner worlds because they suffer from sensory overload if they spend too much time outside and focusing on other people. They thus bottle up their own emotions, which can explode if pushed too far.
This is applicable in two ways. First, after disaster upon disaster piles up by the end of the film, Clark “explodes” in the same way Ralphie does when confronted by the bully. Second, at one point Clark accidentally becomes trapped alone in his attic. While there, he watches films of Christmases he enjoyed as a child, and finds an inner peace as a result, as introverts are wont to do when alone. Out of this peace, he realizes his SFJ goals and gains new resolve in his plans to have the perfect family Christmas. Of course, planning is very much a Judging activity.
Judgers approach life in a structured way, creating plans and organizing their world to achieve their goals and desired results in a predictable way. They get their sense of control by taking charge of their environment and making choices early.
The whole point of the film is to subvert the perfect holiday plan. It may be somewhat of an attempt to lampoon judgers, since many of Clark’s plans, such as having an over-exuberant Christmas display and applying oil to the skids of sleds in order to make them run so fast that they set things on fire from the friction, go horribly wrong. However, in spite of these failures, we are still asked to sympathize primarily with Clark, who is the protagonist as well as a Judger.
The quasi-antagonist of the film, Cousin Eddie, is not a planner, and shows up for Christmas unannounced. The whole point of the film is to depict a subversion of the Judging ideal, as the Judger’s plans for the holiday disintegrate. This could also be said of A Christmas Story, as demonstrated when the family’s Christmas Turkey is eaten by a pack of the neighbor’s dogs which have broken into their home. Similarly, in Christmas Vacation, the turkey is overcooked to the point of near inedibility. The important difference is that one protagonist, Griswold is a Judger, while the other protagonist, Ralphie, is a Perceiver. Ralphie’s father, a Judger, is made the butt of humor, whereas in Christmas Vacation it is Cousin Eddie’s Perceiving ways that are the subject of jest.
Griswold is also a Feeler:
Feelers decide based primarily through social considerations, listening to their heart and considering the feelings of others. They see life as a human existence and material things as being subservient to this. They value harmony and use tact in their interactions with others.
Griswold wants to please everyone in his home. Primarily, he cares about their feelings. One could say that Clark has a streak of the Thinking trait since he engages in a near-Faustian quest to set up ridiculously bright Christmas lights, which are tangible things. However, its meaning is entirely social, whereas Ralphie’s quest is for a gun, the only practical use of which is to shoot at things.
Feelers often view thinkers as “cold and heartless.” Griswold’s neighbors are presented as elitist yuppies who do not delight in pleasing anyone other than themselves. Moreover, his boss is presented as an evil figure for not caring about the feelings of his employees and not giving them a holiday bonus.
Griswold also appears to be a Sensor rather than an Intuitive. Sensors “happily dig into the fine detail of the situation.” Clark works as a food scientist whose job it is to create preservatives. This seems like a comically dismal occupation, but one which nevertheless requires parsing out a lot of fine details. Of course, it also involves Intiutives’ “focus on the future” as new preservatives must be created. However, if one looks at common careers for ISFJs on truity.com , one will see that one of them is Food Scientist.
Sensors often view Intuitives as lacking determination. This may be useful in describing the Griswolds’ male yuppie neighbor, who is not manly enough to confront them about the disturbance they are causing, and hence his wife has to do it instead. Thus, a member of an out-group in the film could be construed as an Intuitive.
If Christmas Vacation pokes fun at the NTP personality combo, it is not the first to do so. Aristophanes’ The Clouds lampooned Socrates, an ENTP according to celebritytypes.com , for being overly concerned with things great and small – in other words, the macrocosm and minute particulars of the human experience. This lack of focus on the present would seem to be “impractical” and overly “theoretical” to a Sensor, who is concerned with what is “immediate, practical, and real.” Socrates is presented as a charlatan and sophist, bereft of the sorts of values-based thinking to which Feelers are said to gravitate. Finally, in The Clouds, Socrates’ character is maligned for teaching a pupil methods for rebelling against the traditional life of discipline which the gods favor. Judgers are said to be “self-disciplined,” and probably would put more emphasis on discipline in general.
Aristophanes was a conservative. It could be said that SFJ comedies like his and Christmas Vacation lampoon deviations from the norm, and that comedies such as A Christmas Story poke fun at the norm itself, in search of higher truth.
In summary, the Myers-Briggs system is not perfect, and works in terms of gradations rather than absolutes. It has many critics, and certainly cannot be said to measure the sum total of one’s psychology. This essay is not meant to be taken with scientific seriousness, and was written more for the fun of applying Myers-Briggs to fiction than anything else. If anything can be taken from this analysis, it is that SFJ comedies like Christmas Vacation and The Clouds, and NTP comedies like A Christmas Story will always be with us so long as the White race continues to have a societal dialogue with itself.
1. Changingminds.org  is authored by David Straker, who has a M.Sc. in Psychology, according to the site. I discovered the site through a search engine and have never had any interaction with him. His political sentiments, whatever they may be, should not be confused with ours.
2. All bracketed and parenthesized quotes referring to the personality types are taken from changingminds.org.
Elitist movie, elitist attitude of calling movies “film”, elitist review, elitist reviewer (who else beside an elitist would write an elitist-word-packed elitist review such as this?) When I read this review I felt as if the reviewer, the f… movie’s director, both were conspiring to …
Co-hosts Fróði Midjord and Jonas De Geer were joined by Counter-Currents Book Editor John Morgan for today’s broadcast, which commemorated two recent anniversaries: Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood ” speech opposing mass immigration into the United Kingdom, which was given fifty years ago on April 20, and the release of Stanley Kubrick’s film, A Clockwork Orange , in Europe in April 1971. We discussed the importance of Powell’s speech, and the “Old Right” more generally, and then discussed the differences between Anthony Burgess’ novel and the film, and in particular their views of human nature and neoliberal attempts to modify and control it, as well as other recent films which have dealt with related themes.
Directed by Michael Winner
Screenplay by Wendell Mayes
Starring Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Stuart Margolin
By the early 1970s, Americans had begun to notice a change in their big cities. After the Civil Rights movement and the 1965 Immigration Act, the multiracial rot – the inevitable by-product of the Left’s ascendancy in the West – began to set in. Cities that were once clean, safe, and orderly became much less so in fairly short order. Americans were not complaining about muggings, rapes, and murders as much in 1960 as they were a decade and a half later. They also didn’t feel as if they were entering another country every time they walked three blocks to buy groceries.
The original Death Wish film, released in 1974, was, on one hand, a way to capitalize on these newfound feelings of insecurity and alienation which were perplexing the lives of millions of white Americans at the time. On the other, it did give legitimate, if somewhat oblique, expression to these feelings, so much so that the film quickly became iconic despite mostly poor reviews, and spawned four sequels over the following twenty years, as well as a big-budget remake that was recently released. The plot is straightforward: A solid citizen discovers that thugs have murdered his wife and raped his daughter in his New York apartment, and he then acquires a gun to take revenge on the streets as a vigilante. Given the film’s success at the box office, it is safe to conclude that many Americans, especially the white ones who fondly remembered a better past, strongly identified with such a character.
Forty-five years after its release, the film’s flaws have become almost embarrassingly apparent. Death Wish is by no means a great film. Charles Bronson, who plays the main character, Paul Kersey, does the tough, sullen hero routine well. But when required to act alongside real thespians, his lack of range becomes as painfully apparent as the Fu Manchu mustache which stretches across his ruggedly handsome face. The dialogue, which is clunkily written, goes from cheap and clichéd (“Beautiful place, Tucson. They can breathe out there.”) to Right-wing agitprop (“What about the old American social custom of self-defense? If the police don’t defend us, maybe we ought to do it ourselves.”), but otherwise doesn’t distinguish itself (with one exception, discussed below). And the over-the-top, modernist score by Herbie Hancock intrudes upon the narrative far too often, and does the most to date the film.
Still, director Michael Winner has a decent sense of where to put the camera and how to move it. At around ninety minutes, the film is rarely boring, and takes us from the beginning through to the end competently enough. But the suspense it creates through the editing, performances, and direction rarely rises above the ordinary. When compared to Taxi Driver, a similar urban drama from the period, Death Wish lacks inspired cinematic vision and a virtuosic lead performance. Also unlike Taxi Driver, however, Death Wish does not focus on gore, and instead attempts to present life as it really is. People remember Death Wish not for the craft that went into it, but for its meta-narrative – that is, its gritty, brutal, and ultimately ironic take on vigilantism in a world growing more dangerous and unfamiliar by the day.
When presented with a story as mired in realism as Death Wish, we first want to determine how real it is. If verisimilitude is one of the story’s selling points, then it is fair game for any sober assessment of the film. For example, we might give The French Connection, another urban drama of the period, a bit more leeway, since that film identifies as an action-thriller and contains recognizable, if unrealistic, tropes belonging to its genre – for example, daredevil cops and edge-of-your-seat car chases. Death Wish, on the other hand, is about one guy who sees his family destroyed and then turns into a killer. Within such limited parameters, most everything in Death Wish lives up to the mundane, low-grade terror that denizens of big cities were learning to live with in 1974. And this is to Michael Winner’s great credit. Whether we are on the streets, in cafés, police stations, subways, offices, apartments, or hospitals, Death Wish succeeds in producing the honest feel of a disturbing news documentary. Most importantly, Bronson, with his hard, pitiless stare, easily convinces us that he could kill – you. Me. Whoever. And he won’t lose too much sleep over it as long as he knows you’re a criminal.
One minor quibble: Kersey has a suspiciously easy time getting mugged. Whenever he goes out alone at night, hunting for thugs, it seems there are teams of them just waiting to pounce. It’s as if the prime targets of muggers back then were burly, tough-looking men wearing long jackets in which they could pack all manner of heat. Don’t muggers usually hit the easy targets? Still, it’s a film, so some disbelief has to be suspended.
My biggest quibble, however, has to do with race. Just about half the muggers Kersey encounters are white. In two cases we have interracial gangs reminiscent of The Warriors, a much more fanciful urban drama which came out a few years after Death Wish. Most tellingly, however, the three men who attacked the Kersey women at the beginning of the film are all white. The credits refer to them as “freaks,” and indeed, they behave like horny hooligans once they break into the Kersey household. The rape and murder scene, while not handled as deftly as its counterpart in A Clockwork Orange, meets the film’s high standard of realism well enough. (Although casting a young and dweeby Jeff Goldblum as one of the perps was a dodgy call, in my opinion.) But the fact that a crime typically committed by blacks (gang rape) is portrayed as being committed by whites stinks of Hollywood social manipulation. That’s not how it is. It’s how they want it to be or how they want you to believe it to be. And that usually ends up with big, bad whitey pulling the strings for everything evil under the Sun.
It was at this point that I paused the film and checked the filmmakers’ bios online. Of course, Bronson was all gentile, and so was producer Dino De Laurentiis. The Wiki pages of co-producer Bobby Roberts, screenwriter Wendell Hayes, and novelist Brian Garfield remain inconclusive (which usually means not Jewish), while co-producer Hal Landers doesn’t even have a Wiki page. It seems the only chosen one behind the scenes with major clout is Winner himself. Then again, Winner, a British Jew, was a big fan of Margaret Thatcher, and once claimed that as Prime Minister he would be “to the Right of Hitler.”
Whatever on that.
With at least some faith restored, I persevered and kept track of all the bad guys Kersey met for the remainder of the film. About half were black, and of the remaining whites, a couple of them appeared to be strung-out junkies rather than cruel and exploitive villains like Goldblum’s gang early in the film. It dawned on me fairly quickly that, despite the questionably high number of white muggers, this film is not anti-white at all. Yes, it places blacks conspicuously among authority figures (cops, mostly) as well as among the victims. But this, I believe, remains within the bounds of 1974 reality. At one point in the film, as New Yorkers are becoming emboldened by Kersey’s vigilantism, one elderly black woman (and perfectly innocent soul) fends off a pair of black muggers with a hatpin. In an amusing news interview, she goes off on a rant so ebonically loaded that I’m sure it charmed mainstream audiences back then as much as it would race realists today. Such a speech, of course, would be well beyond the limits of modern political correctness, and would likely end up on the cutting room floor, if it could be filmed today at all.
An interlude about midway through the film convinced me that Death Wish was not just anti-anti-white, but indeed pro-white. A still-grieving Kersey goes on a business trip to Tucson, Arizona to meet with a landowner named Aimes Jainchill (played impeccably by Stuart Margolin). Kersey is an architect and needs to come to terms with Jainchill about how he’ll develop his land into a proper neighborhood. As soon as Kersey arrives, Jainchill takes him to the hilly desert to give him a feel for the land before beginning his sketches at the office. Like many a country gentleman, he’s tall and he’s got the drawl. He’s got a tan suit, big cowboy hat, cowboy boots, two big pairs of steer horns on his big station wagon, and cowhide upholstery. Amid mooing cows and cowboys riding on horseback, Jainchill tells Kersey he wants to keep the hills – despite the New Yorker’s worry about “wasted space” – and is keenly interested in developing quality homes that “won’t turn into slums in twenty years.” He clearly loves the land and aims to protect it.
Keep in mind, this is a white thing. Typically, it’s been European whites – not blacks, Hispanics, or Indians – who identify with the countryside through agriculture and by raising livestock. Aimes Jainchill serves as the perfect avatar of the white soul, a throwback to the days of the American frontier, where hard men had to defend their families and communities from wild animals and the elements, as well as from criminals. Yet Jainchill is no hillbilly or redneck. He’s friendly, confident, intelligent, and articulate. Moreover, he takes a liking to Kersey and brings him to the gun range, where he spouts NRA talking points about Second Amendment rights. He does this so eloquently and idiosyncratically that it rises above mere dogmatism. I don’t know if this is due to inspired screenwriting, first-rate acting, or both, but the dialogue coming out of Jainchill’s mouth sparkles. When inviting Kersey to come to his club, he says, “It might amuse you, though. Being from New York, maybe you never seen a club like this. It’s a gun club. We shoot guns.”
For once, Hancock’s score is subtle: an eerie tone, just north of our ability to hear it, to underscore our foreboding and excitement. You see, after what happened to Kersey’s family, the audience is craving for revenge. And Aimes Jainchill, God bless him, is just the man to remind our hero how to take it.
So goddamn much hoopla from the gun control people. Half the nation’s scared to even hold a gun! You know, like it was a snake that was gonna bite you or something. Hell, a gun is just a tool, like a hammer or an axe. Wasn’t long ago it used to put food on the table, keep foxes out of the chicken coop, rustlers off the range, bandits out of the bank. Paul, how long since you held a pistol in your hand?
That Jainchill gives Kersey the very pistol he uses to clean the streets of scum later in the film supports this theme of Kersey getting back to his white roots. The sympathetic treatment all the other white characters in Death Wish receive also reinforces this notion. Kersey works in a fashionable office, and his boss is perfectly nice. So is Sam, one of his more urbane and aristocratic colleagues. Yet Sam is as disgusted with crime as Kersey is, and proposes radical solutions at which I’m sure even Aimes Jainchill would balk. Police inspector Ochoa (in an inspired performance by Vincent Gardenia) might resemble the tubby, hard-nosed detective stereotype a little too closely. Still, he is forced to tackle the tricky dilemma of fighting vigilantism when vigilantism is actually reducing crime on the streets. In this case, he handles it like a thinking, feeling human being, and not as a stereotype. Even Ochoa’s subordinate, a tall, ugly white guy with an even uglier mustache, gets treated fairly. All the signs are there for this person to be a brute, but he’s not. He’s just gruff and irritable. And who isn’t gruff and irritable sometimes, right?
As if this weren’t enough, at a party we overhear the following bit of dialogue between a white man, a white woman, and Sam:
Man: I’ll tell you one thing—the guy’s a racist. You notice he kills more blacks than whites.
Woman: Oh, for Pete’s sake, Harry, more blacks are muggers than whites. What do you want us to do? Increase the proportion of white muggers so we’ll have racial equality among muggers?
Sam: Racial equality among muggers? Ha, ha! I love it!
You know what? I love it, too. The filmmakers did not have to include this little snippet, but they did. In doing so, they were signaling to white people that they understand. Crime is not something whites bring to the table, certainly not in great civilizational hubs like New York City. No, this rot has been perpetrated mostly by intruders, by blacks and Hispanics especially, and it will be up to whites alone to deal with it.
When stripped to its essence, Death Wish and the Paul Kersey character personify 1970s white resistance to the multiracialism foisted upon them in the 1960s. There could be no black or Hispanic Paul Kersey, since such a man would spend most of his time killing his own. It’s a fact of life that minorities with a predilection towards crime must downplay the negative effects of crime in order to protect their standing in the nation at large. The biblical justice meted out by Kersey would have no place in their communities. Remember, Kersey doesn’t leave bad guys tied up with a note for the police, like Spider-Man. No, no. He just executes them. If they’re running away, he shoots them in the back. If they’re writhing on the pavement, he pumps an extra bullet into their bellies for their trouble. He doesn’t care. And if the ironic ending of Death Wish tells us anything, it’s that the filmmakers and audiences don’t care either. If you prey on people, then you deserve to die. The end.
Such primeval retribution represents the heart of Death Wish. Throughout the film, and the near half-century since its initial release, it pumps hard and it pumps fast. And not once does it bleed.
Spencer J. Quinn is a contributor to Counter-Currents and the author of the novel White Like You .
Amazon Kindle, $2.99
“The world today is nothing more than a world built on lies, illusions, and false narratives. The so-called masters of governance and economics feed the masses events based off their own narratives seeking to have them believe whatever it is they want them to believe.”
De-World is Jeff Frankas’s first novel, and it’s self-published. Ordinarily, these would be signals to run for the hills. Like most stereotypes, there’s some solid truth behind that, but it’s my job as your Trusted Reviewer to let you know when exceptions should be made, and this is one of those times.
De-World takes place some years after a mini-sub in the Potomac takes out Washington with a mini-nuke. The reconstruction of the government in Denver gives The Movement their chance to s**t-can the moldy old Constitution and let the creepy old America of Hate just die, replaced by a new America of love and equality, whose rules are embodied in a new document, The Sanct. It’s kinda like you woke up to find Amy Goodman is absolute ruler.
The new reality is constantly delivered and promoted by the latest communications technologies, networked or implanted. “People need to hear what they want to hear.” The foolish oldsters who cling to their guns and God and still think elections matter are sneeringly known as “derelicans.” Our boy Geroy is an ambitious Federal Teacher who thinks his new job at De-World, the company that manufactures the new reality and massages the messages into the masses is the next step in his advancing career. But things, as they say, are not what they seem. Truth really is Hate.
Frankas claims to be “a part of the group of emerging New Right authors” and that his book is “an expression of the emerging New Right pop literature style, displaying a unique glimpse into the next America,” but don’t let all that frighten you. There’s no heavy-handed symbolism or didacticism — none at all, in fact — nor does the author have the Answer or a Plan. And the writing makes no attempt to emulate Trollope or some other model from the Good Old Days. These two points — New Right sensibility and New Right style — are connected with the two hurdles a “futuristic” novel must overcome, and Frankas clears both.
First, the language problem. The author has to suggest, with more or less subtlety, that this is, of course, the Future. Languages evolve, slang goes in and out of fashion, and new developments in technology and elsewhere in culture lead to plenty of new vocab. The lazy way is some variation of “space X.” Anthony Burgess is the gold standard here, A Clockwork Orange going almost but not quite too far in its Joycean game, using barbarous adaptations of Russian to suggest a post-Cold War world where the economic and cultural differences have been drowned rather than overcome.
Frankas succeeds by crafting a believable mashup of entertainment jargon, Techno-hip babble, and the frankly infantile. HOM (home online monitor, government issued and controlled, of course) where you can watch “sodies” (although I might have preferred “sods”) of your favorite shows, perhaps augmented by pulse screamers (legal amphetamine) and then polishing off the night with Luciax (prescription lucid dreams). Rivetheads are the new wave of state bureaucrats — “know the rivethead” as Frank Herbert might say, “by his glossy black Mohawk.” The learning curve is a bit steep but not imposingly so, and Frankas has even provided a little YouTube tutorial  to get you up to speed.
Other coinages suggest the mentality of the new, post-Hate America. The homeless are now “vagwalkers,” free to roam the walled-off “post-funct zones”; immigrants are “improve settlers”; both types might be qualified as “wayward,” meaning what we might call “criminal.”
These words suggest the smarmy, warm and snuggly nature of post-Hate America, which gets us to the second hurdle, constructing a believable development of our current situation. The great problem here is imagining the Left’s tyranny as some kind of “liberal fascism” — i.e., buying right into the Left’s basic mind control device: fascism as the greatest imaginable evil. Neocons and talk radio “conservatives” always fall into this: “jackbooted” Feds, “barbed wire FEMA camps,” “Mussolini would call bailing out GM just his kind of fascism,” etc. Baby Neocon Joshua Goldberg even wrote a whole treatise on the subject — liberals are so evil, they’re nothing but . . . fascists!
Frankas gets it right: the liberal future is endless bureaucracy, endless red tape, and of course endless control. Not Nietzsche’s Superman, however distorted, but his Last Man, seeking nothing but comfort and pleasure, and actually welcoming anyone willing to take charge and make things better.
This is perhaps best illustrated by an early scene that at first might seem a bit unnecessary; getting to an event in Denver, Geroy needs to take a plane. Anyone familiar with post-9/11 hassles can imagine what air travel would be like after Washington is nuked, and that leads to us to a low-key but hilarious airport interrogation at the hands of a barely functionally literate Third World female FSA goon. It perfectly encapsulates the mind-bendingly irritating and banal nature of life in Good America.
This is how Frankas’s New Right — I would prefer to say, alt-Right — sensibility helps him craft a dystopian future that’s more believable than the usual Right-wing fantasies. Now, to get back to New Right style, it’s future oriented pop rather than backward glancing establishment. Style and sensibility come together when this boring, over-controlled future seems to lead out protagonist to space out periodically, represented by interludes in which a kind of computer mini-program or script takes over the narration. I thought this was an interesting reiteration of the “Penny Arcade Peepshow” routines that are interspersed throughout Burrough’s The Wild Boys, serving, I think, the same function — suggesting ways in which the script, as both authors would call it, can be subverted from within, challenging the illusion of Total Control.
If I have any real problem with the book, it is, at the risk of sounding rather PC myself, the lack of female characters. There are really only two, admittedly playing major roles, but definitely coming out of the Emma Peel/Trinity/Agent Scully realm of adolescent fantasy, right down to the preference for wardrobe of the leather, catsuit and high heeled boots variety. Even “in black camo. It makes her a little scruffier, more in command of the task at hand. The rugged pin-up, solution can-do woman on the offensive.”
Not that I have any problem with that myself — like the jackbooted Feds, it’s more evidence that, as Jonathan Bowen has observed, the Right retains its hold on the unconscious — but it seems out of place in the overly maternal world of the Left. If Amy Goodman were President, would the Veep travel around with his own squad of Solid Gold Dancers, as the grotesque Samoan Veep does here?
On the other hand, Geroy is an interesting, though ultimately repulsive, character, rather than the dull ciphers they usually are (hello, Neo?). For one thing, he has an odd sense of fashion and design, that crops up in his thoughts, habitually turning to the question of his re-worked backsplash, or whether visitors find his new prints banal. He knows precisely what kind of chair he’s in at any time.
He’s not so much metro-sexual — Frankas makes his interest in women clear (“I see determination. I see honesty. I see cleavage.”) but rather an interesting mutation resulting from several generations of exposure to DIY design and home improvement cable shows. For Geroy and the other TV-mutated Leftists of our time, it’s all about Me, as he frankly admits over and over. It makes him the ideal candidate for Operation Mirror Image — like Manhunter’s Tooth Fairy, what feeds his fantasy is what he sees reflected in the eyes around him, despite his frequent attacks of scopophobia– which is also his fitting punishment.
It also makes him far more effective as a first person narrator; as he says, “I notice things.” But then, “Everyone notices something. The real art is getting them to notice forever, to stay with it, coming away awestruck with a lasting impression.”
I’d say Frankas has succeeded at that, too, crafting a kind of fusion of Brave New World, Neuromancer, and The Man in the High Castle. He deserves your notice.
1. “The Great Forest of the Overman: Dismantling the Illusion from Within” by Conor Wrigley at Aristokratia, here .
2. Duly noted on MST3k, “Manhunt in Space” : Joel: “Movies like this are always trying to show how futuristic they are by putting the word ‘space’ in front of everything.” For an exhaustive listing of the “Space X” trope, see TVTropes, here .
3. Close attention to Kubrick’s film shows he gets it too — the Top Ten chart Alex views (or viddies) lacks the cliché “Space Disco” or “Gas Music from Jupiter” nonsense, instead featuring Mungo Jerry’s recent hit “In the Summertime”; Alex’s droogs turned cops wear “E[lizabeth] R[egina] II” badges. Kubrick clearly intends the film to take place a few years, not decades or centuries, after 1972; though even he likely didn’t think Elizabeth would still be around in 2014.
4. Identifying an approaching thug’s suit as “probably Versace” is so odd that it must link him, I think, to that other post-modern airhead, the protagonist of Showgirls whose name — Nomi, get it? — suggests that there is less to Geroy’s “Me” than he thinks.
The following text is a transcription by V. S. of a lecture entitled “Léon Degrelle and the Real Tintin,” delivered at the 21st meeting of the New Right, London, June 13, 2009. The lecture can be viewed on YouTube here . (Please post any corrections as comments below.)
I have given it a new title because it serves as the perfect introduction to a collection of Bowden’s essays, lectures, and interviews entitled Pulp Fascism: Right-Wing Themes in Comics, Graphic Novels, and Popular Literature, which is forthcoming from Counter-Currents.
I proposed this collection and title to Bowden in 2011, and although he wrote a number of pieces especially for it, the project was unfinished at his death. We are bringing out this book in honor of the first anniversary of Bowden’s death on March 29, 2012.
I would like to talk about something that has always interested me. The title of the talk is “Léon Degrelle and the Real Tintin,” but what I really want to talk about is the heroic in mass and in popular culture. It’s interesting to note that heroic ideas and ideals have been disprivileged by pacifism, by liberalism tending to the Left, and by feminism particularly since the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. Yet the heroic, as an imprimatur in Western society, has gone down into the depths, into mass popular culture. Often into trashy forms of culture where the critical insight of various intellectuals doesn’t particularly gaze upon it.
One of the forms that interests me about the continuation of the heroic in Western life as an idea is the graphic novel, a despised form, particularly in Western Europe outside France and Italy and outside Japan further east. It’s regarded as a form primarily for children and for adolescents. Yet forms such as this: these are two volumes of Tintin which almost everyone has come across some time or other. These books/graphic novels/cartoons/comic books have been translated into 50 languages other than the original French. They sold 200 million copies, which is almost scarcely believable. It basically means that a significant proportion of the globe’s population has got one of these volumes somewhere.
Now, before he died, Léon Degrelle said that the character of Tintin created by Hergé was based upon his example. Other people rushed to say that this wasn’t true and that this was self-publicity by a notorious man and so on and so forth. Probably like all artistic and semi-artistic things there’s an element of truth to it. Because a character like this that’s eponymous and archetypal will be a synthesis of all sorts of things. Hergé got out of these dilemmas by saying that it was based upon a member of his family and so on. That’s probably as true as not.
The idea of the masculine and the heroic and the Homeric in modern guise sounds absurd when it’s put in tights and appears in a superhero comic and that sort of thing. But the interesting thing is because these forms of culture are so “low” they’re off the radar of that which is acceptable and therefore certain values can come back. It’s interesting to note that the pulp novels in America in the 1920s and ’30s, which preceded the so-called golden age of comics in the United States in the ’30s and ’40s and the silver age in the 1960s, dealt with quite illicit themes.
One of the reasons that even today Tintin is mildly controversial and regarded as politically incorrect in certain circles is they span much of the 20th century. Everyone who is alive now realizes that there was a social and cultural revolution in the Western world in the 1960s, where almost all the values of the relatively traditional European society, whatever side you fought on in the Second World War, were overturned and reversed in a mass reversion or re-evaluation of values from a New Leftist perspective.
Before 1960, many things which are now legal and so legal that to criticize them has become illegal were themselves illicit and outside of the pedigree and patent of Western law, custom, practice, and social tradition. We’ve seen a complete reversal of nearly all of the ideals that prevailed then. This is why many items of quite popular culture are illicit.
If one just thinks of a silent film like D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation in 1915. There was a prize awarded by the American Motion Picture Academy up until about 1994 in Griffith’s name. For those who don’t know, the second part of Birth of a Nation is neo-Confederate in orientation and depicts the Ku Klux Klan as heroic. Heroic! The Ku Klux Klan regarded as the hero, saving the White South from perdition, from the carpet-baggers, some of whom bear an extraordinary resemblance to the present President of the United States of America. Of course, they were called carpet-baggers because they were mulatto politicians who arrived in the South primarily from the North with certain Abolitionist sponsorship and they arrived with everything they owned in a carpet bag to take over. And that’s why they were called that.
That film, which you can get in any DVD store and buy off Amazon for ten pounds or so, is extraordinarily notorious, but in actual fact, in terms of its iconography, it’s a heroic, dualist film where there’s a force of darkness and a force of light. There’s a masculine individual. There’s people who believe that they’ll sort out problems with a gun. The Bible, in an ultra-Protestant way, is their text. It’s what they base metaphysical objectivism and absolute value upon, and that film is perceived retrospectively as an extreme White Right-wing film although Griffith himself is later to do a film called Intolerance and actually, like a lot of film makers, had quite a diverse range of views irrespective of his own Southern and Texan background.
The thing one has to remember is that the methodology of the heroic can survive even if people fight against various forces in Western life. One of the great tricks of the heroic in the last 40 to 50 years is the heroic films involving icons like Clint Eastwood, for example, as a successor to this sort of archetype of John Wayne and the sort of Western stylized masculinity that he represented. Eastwood often plays individualistic, survivalist, and authoritarian figures; Right-wing existentialist figures. But they’re always at war with bureaucracies and values that are perceived as conservative. One of the ways it tricks, which has occurred since the 1960s, is to reorient the nature of the heroic so that the eternal radical Right within a society such as the United States or elsewhere is the enemy, per se.
There’s a comic strip in the United States called Captain America which began in the 1940s. Captain America is a weedy young man who almost walks with a stick and has arms like branches, and of course a friendly American scientist introduces him to a new secret program where he’s injected with some steroids and this sort of thing and immediately becomes this enormous blond hulking superman with blue eyes. Of course, he must dress himself in the American flag so that he can call himself Captain America. So you get the idea! He has a big shield which has the star of the United States on it and has a sidekick who dies in one of the 1940s comics, but of course these figures never die. They’re endlessly brought back. But there’s a problem here because the position that Captain America and a lesser Marvel Comics equivalent called Captain Britain and all these other people represent is a little bit suspect in an increasingly liberal society, even then. So, his enemy, his nemesis, his sort of dualist alternative has to be a “Nazi,” and of course Captain America has a Nazi enemy who’s called the Red Skull.
The Red Skull is a man with a hideous face who, to hide this hideousness, wears a hideous mask over his hideous face as a double take. The mirror cracks so why not wear a mask, but it’s not a mask of beauty. It’s a skull that’s painted red, and he’s called the Red Skull. He always wears green. So, it’s red and green. He always appears and there’s always a swastika somewhere in the background and that sort of thing. He’s always building robots or cyborgs or new biological sorts of creatures to take over the world. Captain America always succeeds in vanquishing him in the last panel. Just in the last panel. The Red Skull’s always about to triumph until the fist of Captain America for the American way and the American dream comes in at the end.
This mantle of the heroic whereby Right-wing existentialists like Captain America fight against the extreme Right in accordance with democratic values is one of the interesting tricks that’s played with the nature of the heroic. Because the heroic is a dangerous idea. Whether or not Tintin was based on Léon Degrelle there is of course a fascistic element to the nature of the heroic which many writers of fantasy and science fiction, which began as a despised genre but is now, because it’s so commercially viable, one of the major European book genres.
They’ve always known this. Michael Moorcock, amongst others, speaks of the danger of subliminal Rightism in much fantasy writing where you can slip into an unknowing, uncritical ultra-Right and uncritical attitude towards the masculine, towards the heroic, towards the vanquishing of forces you don’t like, towards self-transcendence, for example.
There’s a well-known novel called The Iron Dream and this novel is in a sense depicting Hitler’s rise to power and everything that occurred in the war that resulted thereafter as a science fiction discourse, as a sort of semiotic by a mad creator. This book was actually banned in Germany because although it’s an extreme satire, which is technically very anti-fascistic, it can be read in a literal-minded way with the satire semi-detached. This novel by Norman Spinrad was banned for about 20 to 30 years in West Germany as it then was. Because fantasy enables certain people to have an irony bypass.
Although comics are quite humorous, particularly to adults, children and adolescents read them, scan them because they sort of just look at the images and take in the balloons as they go across because these are films on paper. They essentially just scan them in an uncritical way. If you ever look at a child, particularly a child that’s got very little interest in formal literature of a sort that’s taught in many European and American schools, they sit absorbed before comics, they’re absolutely enthralled by the nature of them, by the absolute villainy of the transgressor, by the total heroicism and absence of irony and sarcasm of the heroic figure with a scantily clad maiden on the front that the hero always addresses himself to but usually in a dismissive way because he’s got heroic things to accomplish. She’s always on his arm or on his leg or being dragged down.
Indeed, the pulp depiction of women which, of course, is deeply politically incorrect and vampish is a sort of great amusement in these genres. If you ever look at comics like Conan the Barbarian or Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk and these sorts of things the hero will always be there in the middle! Never to the side. Always in the middle foursquare facing the future. The villain will always be off to one side, often on the left; the side of villainy, the side of the sinister, that which wants to drag down and destroy.
As the Hulk is about to hit The Leader, which is his nemesis, or Captain America is about to hit the Red Skull, which is his nemesis, or Batman is about to hit the psychiatric clown called The Joker, who is his nemesis, there’s always a scantily clad woman who’s around his leg on the front cover looking up in a pleading sort of way as the fist is back here. It’s quite clear that these are archetypal male attitudes of amusement and play which, of course, have their danger to many of the assumptions that took over in the 1960s and ’70s.
It’s interesting to notice that in the 1930s quite a lot of popular culture expressed openly vigilante notions about crime. There was a pulp magazine called The Shadow that Orson Welles played on the radio. Orson Welles didn’t believe in learning the part, in New York radio Welles, usually the worse for wear for drink and that sort of thing, would steam up to the microphone, he would take the script, and just launch into The Shadow straight away. The Shadow used to torment criminals. Depending on how nasty they were the more he’d torment them. When he used to kill them, or garrote them, or throttle them, or hang them (these pulps were quite violent and unashamedly so) he used to laugh uproariously like a psychopath. And indeed, if you didn’t get the message, there would be lines in the book saying “HA HA HA HA HA!” for several lines as he actually did people in.
The Shadow is in some ways the prototype for Batman who comes along later. Certain Marxian cultural critics in a discourse called cultural studies have pointed out that Batman is a man who dresses himself up in leathers to torment criminals at night and looks for them when the police, namely the state, the authority in a fictional New York called Gotham City, put a big light in the sky saying come and torment the criminal class. They put this big bat symbol up in the sky, and he drives out in the Batmobile looking for villains to torment. As most people are aware, comics morphed into more adult forms in the 1980s and ’90s and the graphic novel emerged called Dark Knight which explored in quite a sadistic and ferocious way Batman’s desire to punish criminality in a very extreme way.
There was also a pulp in the 1930s called Doc Savage. Most people are vaguely aware of these things because Hollywood films have been made on and off about all these characters. Doc Savage was an enormous blond who was 7 feet. He was bronzed with the sun and covered in rippling muscles. Indeed, to accentuate his musculature he wore steel bands around his wrists and ankles, as you do. He was a scientific genius, a poetic genius, and a musical genius. In fact, there was nothing that he wasn’t a genius at. He was totally uninterested in women. He also had a research institute that operated on the brains of criminals in order to reform them. This is quite extraordinary and deeply politically incorrect! He would not only defeat the villain but at the end of the story he would drag them off to this hospital/institute for them to be operated on so that they could be redeemed for the nature of society. In other words, he was a eugenicist!
Of course, those sorts of ideas in the 1930s were quite culturally acceptable because we are bridging different cultural perceptions even at the level of mass entertainment within the Western world. That which is regarded, even by the time A Clockwork Orange was made by Kubrick from Burgess’ novel in the 1970s, as appalling, 40 years before was regarded as quite acceptable. So, the shifting sands of what is permissible, who can enact it, and how they are seen is part and parcel of how Western people define themselves.
Don’t forget, 40% of the people in Western societies don’t own a book. Therefore, these popular, mass forms which in one way are intellectually trivial is in some respects how they perceive reality.
Comics, like films, have been heavily censored. In the United States in the 1950s, there was an enormous campaign against various sorts of quasi-adult comics that were very gory and were called horror comics and were produced by a very obscure forum called Entertainment Comics (EC). And there was a surrogate for the Un-American Activities Committee in the US Senate looking at un-American comics that are getting at our kids, and they had a large purge of these comics. Indeed, mountains of them were burnt. Indeed, enormous sort of semi-book burnings occurred. Pyramids of comics as big as this room would be burnt by US and federal marshals on judges’ orders because they contained material that the young shouldn’t be looking at.
The material they shouldn’t be looking at was grotesque, gory, beyond Roald Dahl sort of explicit material which, of course, children love. They adore all that sort of thing because it’s exciting, because it’s imaginative, because it’s brutal, because it takes you out of the space of normalcy, and that’s why the young with their instincts and their passion and glory love this sort of completely unmediated amoral fare. That’s why there’s always been this tension between what their parents would like them to like and what many, particularly late childish boys and adolescents, really want to devour. I remember Evelyn Waugh was once asked, “What was your favorite book when you were growing up?” And just like a flash he said, “Captain Blood!” Captain Blood! Imagine any silent pirate film from the 1920s and early ’30s.
Now, the heroic in Western society takes many forms. When I grew up, there were these tiny little comics in A5 format. Everyone must have seen them. Certainly any boys from the 1960s and ’70s. They were called Battle. Battle and Commando and War comics, and these sorts of thing. They were done by D. C. Thomson, which is the biggest comics manufacturer in Britain, up in Dundee. These comics were very unusual because they allowed extremely racialist and nationalist attitudes, but the enemies were always Germans and they were always Japanese.
Indeed, long after the passing of the Race Act in the late 1960s and its follow-up which was more codified and definitive and legally binding in the 1970s, statements about Germans and Japanese could be made in these sorts of comics, which were not just illicit but illegal. You know what I mean, the Green Berets, the commandos, would give it to “Jerry” in a sort of arcane British way and were allowed to. This was permitted, even this liberal transgression, because the enemy was of such a sort.
But, of course, what’s being celebrated is British fury and ferocity and the nature of British warriors and the Irish Guards not taking prisoners and this sort of thing. This is what’s being celebrated in these sorts of comics. It’s noticeable that D. C. Thomson, who has no connection to the DC group in the United States by the way, toned down this element in the comics as they went along. Only Commando survives, but they still produce four of them a month.
In the 1970s, Thomson, who also did The Beano and utterly childish material for children for about five and six as well as part of the great spectrum of their group, decided on some riskier, more transgressive, more punkish, more adult material. So, they created a comic called Attack. Attack! It’s this large shark that used to come and devour people. It was quite good. The editor would disapprove of something and they would be eaten by the shark. There was the marvelous balloons they have in comics, something like, “This shark is amoral. It eats.” And there would be a human leg sticking out of the mouth of the shark. Some individual the editor disapproved of was going down the gullet.
Now, Attack was attacked in Parliament. A Labour MP got up and said he didn’t like Attack. It was rather dubious. It was tending in all sorts of unwholesome directions, and Attack had a story that did outrage a lot of people in the middle 1970s, because there was a story where a German officer from the Second World War was treated sympathetically, in Attack. Because it was transgressive, you see. What’s going to get angry Methodists writing to their local paper? A comic that treats some Wehrmacht officer in a sympathetic light. So, there was a real ruckus under Wilson’s government in about ’75 about this, and so they removed that.
Various writers like Pat Mills and John Wagner were told to come up with something else. So, they came up with the comic that became Judge Dredd. Judge Dredd is a very interesting comic in various ways because all sorts of Left-wing people don’t like Judge Dredd at all, even as a satire. If there are people who don’t know this, Dredd drives around in a sort of motorcycle helmet with a slab-sided face which is just human meat really, and he’s an ultra-American. It’s set in a dystopian future where New York is extended to such a degree that it covers about a quarter of the landmass of the United States. You just live in a city, in a burg, and you go and you go and you go. There’s total collapse. There’s no law and order, and there’s complete unemployment, and everyone’s bored out of their mind.
The comic is based on the interesting notion that crime is partly triggered by boredom and a sort of wantonness in the masses. Therefore, in order to keep any sort of order, the police and the judiciary have combined into one figure called a Judge. So, the jury, the trial, the police investigation, and the investigative and forensic elements are all combined in the figure of the Judge. So, if Judge Dredd is driving along the street and he sees some youths of indeterminate ethnicity breaking into a store he says, “Hold, citizens! This is the law! I am the law! Obey me! Obey the law!” And if they don’t, he shoots them dead, because the trial’s syncopated into about 20 seconds. He’s given them the warning. That’s why he’s called Judge Dredd, you see. D-R-E-D-D. He just kills automatically those who transgress.
There’s great early comic strips where he roars around on this bike that has this sort of skull-like front, and he appears and there’s a chap parking his car and he says, “Citizen! Traffic violation! Nine years!” and roars off somewhere else. Somebody’s thieving or this sort of thing and he gets them and bangs their head into the street. There’s no question of a commission afterwards. “Twelve years in the Cube!” which is an isolation cell. It’s got its own slang because comics, of course, create their own world which children and adolescents love so you can totally escape into a world that’s got a semi-alternative reality of its own that’s closed to outsiders. If some adult picks it up and looks at it he says, “What is this about?” Because it’s designed to exclude you in a way.
Dredd has numerous adventures in other dimensions and so on, but Dredd never changes, never becomes more complicated, remains the same. He has no friends. “I have no need of human attachments,” he once says in a slightly marvelous line. He has a robot for company who provides most of his meals and needs and that sort of thing. For the rest, he’s engaged in purposeful and pitiless implementation of law and order. One of his famous phrases was when somebody asked him what is happiness, and he says in one of those bubbles, “Happiness is law and order.” Pleasure is obeying the law. And there are various people groveling in chains in front of him or something.
Now, there’ve been worried Left-wing cat-calls, although it’s a satire, and it’s quite clearly meant to be one. For example, very old people, because people in this fantasy world live so long that they want to die at the end, and they go to be euthanized. So, they all queue up for euthanasia. There’s one story where somebody blows up the people waiting for euthanasia to quicken the thing, but also to protest against it. And Judge says, “Killing euthanized is terrorism!” War on terror, where have we heard that before? Don’t forget, these are people that want to die. But Dredd says, “They’re being finished off too early. You’ve got to wait, citizen!” Wait to be killed later by the syringe that’s coming. And then people are reprocessed as medicines, because everything can be used. It’s a utilitarian society. Therefore, everything is used from birth to death, because the state arranges everything for you, even though socialism is condemned completely.
There’s another bloc, it’s based on the Cold War idea, there’s a Soviet bloc off on the other side of the world that is identical to the West, but ideologically they’re at war with each other, even though they’re absolutely interchangeable with each other. But the Western metaphysic is completely free market, completely capitalist, but in actual fact no one works, and everyone’s a slave to an authoritarian state.
There’s also an interesting parallel with more advanced forms of literature here. A Clockwork Orange: many people think that’s about Western youth rebellion and gangs of the Rockers and Mods that emerged in the 1960s at the time. Burgess wrote his linguistically sort of over-extended work in many ways. In actual fact, Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange after a visit to the Soviet Union where he was amazed to find that, unlike the totalitarian control of the masses which he expected at every moment, there was quite a degree of chaos, particularly amongst the Lumpenproletariat in the Soviet Union.
George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four has an interesting idea, and that is that the proles are so beneath ideology, right at the bottom of society, the bottom 3% not even the bottom 10%, that they can be left to their own devices. They can be left to take drugs. They can be left to drink to excess. They can be left to destroy themselves. Orwell says “the future is the proles” at one point. Remember when Winston Smith looks out across the tenements and sees the enormous washerwoman putting some shirts, putting some sheets on a line? And she sings about her lost love, “Oh, he was a helpless fancy . . .” and all this. And Winston looks out on her across the back yards and lots and says, “If there’s a future, it lies with the proles!” And then he sings to himself, “But looking at them, he had to wonder.”
The party degrades the proletariat to such a degree that it ceases to be concerned about their amusements because they’re beneath the level of ideology and therefore you don’t need to control them. The people you control are the Outer Party, those who can think, those who wear the blue boiler suits, not the black ones from the Inner Party.
This interconnection between mass popular culture, often of a very trivial sort, and elitist culture, whereby philosophically the same ideas are expressed, is actually interesting. You sometimes get these lightning flashes that occur between absolutely sort of “trash culture,” if you like, and quite advanced forms of culture like A Clockwork Orange, like Darkness at Noon, like Nineteen Eighty-Four, like The Iron Heel, like The Iron Dream. And these sorts of extraordinary dystopian and catatopian novels, which are in some respects the high political literature (as literature, literature qua literature) of the 20th century.
Now, one of the reasons for the intellectual independence of elements in some comics is because no one’s concerned about it except when the baleful eye of censorship falls upon them. A particular American academic wrote a book in the early 1950s called Seduction of the Innocent which is about how children were being depraved by these comics which were giving them violent and racialist and elitist and masculinist stereotypes, which shouldn’t be allowed.
Of course, a vogue for Left wing comics grew up in the 1970s because culture in the United States, particularly men’s culture, is racially segregated in a way which is never admitted. African-Americans have always had their own versions of these things. There are Black American comics. Marvel did two called The Black Panther, and the Black Panther only ever preys on villains who are Black.
There’s another one called Power Man who’s in prison loaded down with chains and a White scientist, who might be Jewish, experiments on him. He’s called Luke Cage and he’s experimented on so he becomes a behemoth. A titan of max strength he’s called, and he bats down the wall and takes all sorts of people on. And yet, of course, all of the villains he takes on, very like the Shaft films which are both about James Bond films which are very similar, all of this material is segregated. It occurs within its own zone.
But you notice the same heroic archetypes return. Yet again there’s a villain in the corner, usually on the left side, Luke Cage has an enormous fist, there’s a sort of half-caste beauty on his leg looking up, staring at him. This sort of thing. It’s the same main methodology. It’s the same thing coming around again.
Although there have been attempts at the Left-wing comic, it’s actually quite difficult to draw upon with any effect. Because, in a way you can criticize comics that are metapolitically Right-wing, but to create a Left-wing one is actually slightly difficult. The way you get around it is to have a comic that’s subliminally Rightist and have the villain who’s the extreme Right. There are two American comics called Sgt. Fury and Sgt. Rock and another one’s called Our Army at War. Sgt. Rock, you know, and this sort of thing. And you know who the villain is because they’re all sort in the Second World War.
The attitude towards Communism in comics is very complicated. Nuclear destruction was thought too controversial. When formal censorship of comics began in America in the 1950s something called the Approved Comics Code Authority, very like the British Board of Film Classification, emerged. They would have a seal on the front of a comic. Like American films in the 1930s, men and women could kiss but only in certain panels and only for a certain duration on the page as the child or adolescent looked at it, and it had to be, it was understood so explicitly it didn’t even need to be mentioned that of course it didn’t even need to be mentioned that it was totally heterosexual. Similarly, violence had to be kept to a minimum, but a certain allowed element of cruelty was permitted if the villain was on the receiving end of it.
Also, the comics had to be radically dualist. There has to be a force for light and a force for darkness. There has to be Spiderman and his nemesis who’s Dr. Octopus who has eight arms. But certain complications can be allowed, and as comics grow, if you like, non-dualist characters emerge.
There’s a character in The Fantastic Four called Doctor Doom who’s a tragic figure with a ruined face who is shunned by man who wants to revenge himself on society because he’s shut out, who ends as the ruler of a tiny little made-up European country which he rules with an iron hand, and he does have hands of iron. So he rules his little Latvia substitute with an iron hand. But he’s an outsider, you see, because in the comic he’s a gypsy, a sort of White Roma. But he gets his own back through dreams of power.
There’s these marvelous lines in comics which when you ventilate them become absurd. But on the page, if you’re sucked into the world, particularly as an adolescent boy, they live and thrive for you. Doom says to Reed Richards, who’s his nemesis on the other side, “I am Doom! I will take the world!” Because the way the hero gets back at the villain is to escape, because they’re usually tied up somewhere with a heroine looking on expectantly. The hero is tied up, but because the villain talks so much about what they’re going to do and the cruelty and appalling suffering they’re going to inflict all the time the hero is getting free. Because you have to create a lacuna, a space for the hero to escape so that he can drag the villain off to the asylum or to the gibbet or to the prison at the end. Do you remember that line from Lear on the heath? “I shall do such things, but what they are I know not! But they will be the terror of the earth!” All these villains repeat that sort of line in the course of their discourse, because in a sense they have to provide the opening or the space for the hero to emerge.
One of the icons of American cinema in the 20th century was John Wayne. John Wayne was once interviewed about his political views by, of all things, Playboy magazine. This is the sort of level of culture we’re dealing with. They said, “What are your political views?” and Wayne said, “Well, I’m a white supremacist.” And there was utter silence when he said this! He was a member of the John Birch Society at the time. Whether or not he gave money to the Klan no one really knows.
There’s always been a dissident strand in Hollywood, going back to Errol Flynn and before, of people who, if you like, started, even at the level of fantasy, living out some of these heroic parts in their own lives. Wayne quite clearly blurred the distinction between fantasy on the film set and in real life on many occasions. There are many famous incidents of Wayne, when robberies were going on, rushing out of hotels with guns in hand saying, “Stick’em up!” He was always playing that part, because every part’s John Wayne isn’t it, slightly differently? Except for a few comedy pieces. And he played that part again and again and again.
Don’t forget, The Alamo is now a politically incorrect film. Very politically incorrect. There’s an enormous women’s organization in Texas called the Daughters of the Alamo, and they had to change their name because the White Supremacist celebration of the Alamo was offensive to Latinos who are, or who will be very shortly, a Texan majority don’t forget. So, the sands are shifting in relation to what is permitted even within popular forms of culture.
When Wayne said he was a supremacist in that way he said, “I have nothing against other people, but we shouldn’t hand the country over to them.” That’s what he said. “We shouldn’t hand the country over to them.”
And don’t forget, I was born in ’62. Obama in many of the deep Southern states wouldn’t have had the vote then. Now he’s President. This is how the West is changing on all fronts and on every front. American Whites will certainly be in the minority throughout the federation in 40 or 50 years. Certainly. Indeed, Clinton (the male Clinton, the male of the species) once justified political correctness by saying, “Well, in 50 years we’ll be the minority. We’ll need political correctness to fight that game.”
The creator of Tintin, Hergé, always said that his dreams and his nightmares were in white. But we know that the politically correct games of the future will be Whites putting their hands up in the air complaining because somebody’s made a remark, complaining because they haven’t got a quota, complaining because this form is biased against them, and this sort of thing. They’ll be playing the game that minorities in the West play at the moment, because that’s all that’s left to them. You give them a slice of the ghetto, you predefine the culture (mass, middling, and elite), in the past but not into the future, elements of the culture which are too much reverent of your past don’t serve for the future and are therefore dammed off and not permitted. This is what, in a sense, White people face in America and elsewhere.
One of the great mysteries of the United States that has produced an enormous amount of this mass culture, some of which I have been at times rather glibly describing, is why has there never been a mass serious Right-wing movement of the real Right in the United States. The whole history of the 20th century and before would be different if that had occurred. Just think of it. Not some sort of trivial group, but a genuine group.
Don’t forget, the real position of the American ultras is isolationism. They don’t want to go out into the rest of the world and impose American neo-colonialism on everyone else. They’re the descendants of people who left the European dominion in order to create a new world. Hence, the paradox that the further Right you go in the United States, the more, not pacifist, but non-interventionist you become.
Before the Confederacy, there was a movement called the Know Nothings, and this is often why very Right-wing people in the United States are described as Know Nothings. Because when you’re asked about slavery, which of course is a very loaded and partial question, you said, “Well, I don’t know anything about it.” And that was a deliberate tactic to avoid being sucked in to an abolitionist agenda or a way of speaking that was biased in the political correctness of its own era.
But it is remarkable that although the Confederacy didn’t have the strength to win, if they had won the history of the whole world would be different. The 20th century would have never taken the course that it did.
One of the interesting things about the American psyche, of course, is that many unfortunate incidents, the war that we fought with the United States in 1812, for example, have been completely elided from history. It’s gone! It’s gone! We almost went to war with them in 1896 over Venezuela. That still has slightly interesting intonations even now a century or more on when Joseph Chamberlain was Colonial Secretary. This is again [elided] rather like the Suez incident 1956. There are certain incidents that are played up. And there are anniversaries that are every day on the television, and that you can’t escape from. But there are other anniversaries and other events which have been completely air-brushed from the spectrum and from the historical continuum as if they never occurred.
One episode is the extraordinarily bad treatment of prisoners of war by Americans going way, way back. The Confederates and the Unionists treated each other that way in the Civil War, but the Mexicans certainly got the boot in the 1840s as did the Spanish-Cubans at the turn of the 20th century. Americans beat up every German on principle, including members of Adenauer’s future cabinet when they occupied part of Germany. They just regard that as de rigeur. This frontier element that is there, crude and virile and ferocious, not always wrong, but ultimately fighting in ways which are not in the West’s interests, certainly for much of the 20th century, just gone, is part and parcel of the heroic American sense of themselves.
Where do all of these archetypes ultimately come from? That American popular culture which has gone universal because the deal is that what America thinks today, the world thinks tomorrow. When we allegedly ruled the world, or part of it, in the 19th century, Gladstone once stood in Manchester in the Free Trade Hall and said, “What Manchester thinks today, the world thinks tomorrow.” But now it’s what’s on MTV or CNN today, that the world would like to think is the ruling discourse of tomorrow.
American self-conceptuality is, to my mind, deeply, deeply Protestant in every sense. Even at the lowest level of their popular culture the idea of the heroic man, often a dissident police officer or a rancher or a hero of certain supernatural powers and so forth, but a man alone, a man outside the system, a man whose anti-Establishment, but he fights for order, a man who believes that everything’s settled with a weapon (which is why they always carry large numbers of weapons, these sort of survivalist type heroes). All of these heroes, the ones created by Robert E. Howard, the ones such as Doc Savage and Justice Inc., the Shadow, and all of the super-heroes like Batman.
Superman is interesting. Superman is Nietzschean ideas reduced to a thousand levels of sub-intellectuality, isn’t it? That’s what’s going on. He has a girlfriend who never ages called Lois Lane, who looks 22 now even though she’s about 88 in the trajectory of the script. There’s a villain who’s bald called Lex Luthor who’s always there, always the nemesis, always plotting. Luthor’s reinvented later in the strip as a politician who takes over the city. Superman’s clean and wholesome, you see, whereas the villain becomes a politician. You can see the sort of rhetoric.
Luthor and Superman in the stories are outsiders. They’re both extraterrestrials. Luthor, however, has anti-humanist values, which means he’s “evil,” whereas Superman, who’s partly human, has “humanist” values. Luthor comes up with amazing things, particularly in the 1930s comics, which are quite interesting, particularly given the ethnicity of the people who created Superman. Now, about half of American comics are very similar to the film industry, and a similar ethnicity is in the film industry as in the comics industry. Part of the notions of what is right and what is wrong, what is American and what is not, is defined by that particular grid.
Luthor’s an anti-humanite. Luthor always has these thuggish villains who have several teeth missing and are sort of Lombrosian, and they’re ugly, have broken noses and slanted hats. This is the 1930s. And Luthor says, “I’m sick of the human. We’ve got to transcend the human.” They don’t have words like “transcend” in comics. They say, “go beyond” or something, you know. “We’ve got to go beyond the human. Humans have got to go! I’ve got to replace them with a new species.” And one of his thugs will say, “Way to go, Luthor! This is what we want!” If you notice, you have a comic called Superman, but Superman has liberal values and fights for democracy and the American way, and Luthor, although no one ever says he’s “fascistic,” is harsh, is elitist, is inegalitarian.
You know that the villains have a tendency to punish their own men? You remember Blofeld in the Bond films? One of his own minions will fail him, and he’ll sit in a chair and you know what’s going to happen. A hand strokes the cat with the diamonds around its neck. The villain likes cats, and the cat’s eyes stare on. The finger quivers over the button. And Blofeld, or Luthor, or Dr. Doom, or the Red Skull, or the Joker, or whoever it is, because it’s the same force really, says, “You failed me. There is only one punishment in this organization . . .” Click! The button goes, and there’s an explosion, the bloke screams, goes down in the chair.
There’s a great scene in Thunderball at the beginning where the chair comes up again. It’s empty and steaming, and all the other cronies are readjusting their ties. Blofeld’s sat there, and the camera always pans to his hands, the hands of power. You know, the hands of death, the hands of Zeus, the hands of Henry VIII. The closet would meet, and they’d all be disarmed by guards, but he would have a double-headed axe down by the chair.
It’s said, by American propaganda, that Saddam Hussein once shot his Minister of Health during a revolutionary command council meeting, and the same script had to be continued in the meeting by the Deputy Minister of Health. Just think of how the Deputy Minister felt! Let’s hope he wasn’t wearing gray flannels, because they might have been brown by the end of the cabinet session.
This idea of dualism, moral dualism (ultimately a deeply Christian idea in many ways as well as a Zoroastrian idea) is cardinal for the morality of these comics and the popular films and TV serials and all the internet spin-offs and all of these computer games. Because even when the hero is a woman like Lara Croft and so on, it’s the same methodology coming round and round again. Because adolescent boys want to look at somebody who looks like Lara Croft as she runs around with guns in both hands with virtually nothing on. That’s the sort of dissident archetype in these American pulps going back a long way. It’s just the feminization of heroic masculinity actually, which is what these sort of Valkyries are in popular terms.
Now, the dualist idea is that there’s a force for evil and a force for good, and we know who they are (they are the ones out there!). In The Hulk, the Hulk is green because he’s been affected by gamma rays. The Hulk alternates with a brilliant scientist, but when he’s in his monstrous incarnation—because of course it’s a simplification of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Robert Louis Stevenson’s myth—the Hulk, particularly early on in the comics, is incredibly stupid. If he saw this table in front of him he’d say, “Table. Don’t like table.” And he’d smash it, because Hulk smashes. That’s what he does! He smashes!
The villain in The Hulk is called the Leader. The Leader is the villain. The Leader is all brain. Indeed, the Leader has such a long head that he’s almost in danger of falling over because of the size of his brain. So, like children have to wear a steel brace on their teeth, the Leader wears a steel brace on his head because he’s “too bright.” So, the Leader—notice the Leader is a slightly proto-fascistic, Right-wing, elitist figure, isn’t he? The man who wants to dominate through his mind—is counter-posed by just brute force: the Hulk!
This idea that there’s a force for good and a force for evil and the one always supplants the other, but the one can never defeat the other, because the Leader in The Hulk, the Owl in Daredevil, the Joker in Batman, Dr. Doom in The Fantastic Four, Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin (another green one) in Spiderman . . . They’re never destroyed. If one of them is destroyed, their son finds their mask in a trunk and puts it on and knows that he wants to dominate the world! And comes back again. They can never be destroyed because they’re archetypes.
The comics hint at a sort of pagan non-dualism partly because they insist upon this good and evil trajectory so much. That’s in some ways when they become quite morally complicated and quite dangerous.
In Greek tragedy, a moral system exists, and it’s preordained that you have a fate partly in your own hands even though it’s decided by the gods. In The Oresteia by Aeschylus, you have a tragedy in a family (cannibalism, destruction, self-devouring) which is revenged and passed through into future generations. So that the Greek fleet can get to Troy, a girl is sacrificed. Clytemnestra avenges herself as a Medusa, as a gorgon against her husband who has killed her own daughter. Then, of course, there’s a cycle of revenge and pity and the absence of pity when the son, Orestes, who identifies with the father, comes back.
In this type of culture, and obviously a much higher level conceptually, it’s noticeable that the good character and the evil character align, are differentiated, merging, replace one another, and separate over the three plays in that particular trilogy.
If you look at real life and you consider any conflict between men, Northern Ireland in the 1970s (we’re British here and many people here are British nationalists). But if you notice the IRA guerrilla/terrorist/paramilitary, the Loyalist guerilla/terrorist/paramilitary . . . One of my grandfathers was in the Ulster Volunteer Force at the beginning of the 20th century, but I went to a Catholic school.
Nietzsche has a concept called perspectivism whereby certain sides choose you in life, certain things are prior ordained. When the U.S. Marine fights the Islamist radical in Fallujah, the iconography of an American comic begins to collapse, because which is the good one and which is the evil one? The average Middle American as he sat reading Captain America zapping the channels thinks that the Marine is the good one, with a sort of 30-second attention span.
But at the same time, the Marine isn’t an incarnation of evil. He’s a man fighting for what he’s been told to fight for. He’s a warrior. There’re flies in his eyes. He’s covered in sweat. He’s gonna kill someone who opposes him. But the radical on the other side is the same, and he sees that he’s fighting for his people and the destiny of his faith. And when warriors fight each other, often there’s little hatred left afterwards, because it’s expended in the extraordinary ferocity of the moment.
This is when this type of mass culture, amusing and interesting and entertaining though it is, begins to fall away. Because whenever we’ve gone to war, and we’ve gone to war quite a lot over the last 10 to 12 years. Blair’s wars: Kosovo. There’s the bombing of the Serbs. Milošević is depicted as evil! Remember those slogans in the sun? Bomb Milošević’s bed! Bomb his bed! Bomb his house! And this sort of thing. Saddam! We’re gonna string him up! The man’s a war criminal! The fact he’d been a client to the West for years didn’t seem to come into it. Hanged. Showed extreme bravery in a way, even though if you weren’t a Sunni in Iraq, definitely, he wasn’t exactly your man.
There’s a degree to which the extraordinary demonization of the Other works. That’s why it’s used. The British National Party won two seats in that election but there was a campaign against it for 12 to 15 days before in almost every item of media irrespective of ideological profile saying, “Don’t vote for these people!” to get rid of the softer protest votes and you’re only left with the hard core. That’s why that type of ideology is used. Maybe humans are hardwired to see absolute malevolence as on the other side, when in actual fact it’s just a person who may or may not be fighting against them.
But what this type of mass or popular culture does is it retains the instinct of the heroic: to transcend, to fight, to struggle, to not know fear, to if one has fear to overcome it in the moment, to be part of the group but retain individual consciousness within it, to be male, to be biologically defined, to not be frightened of death, whatever religious or spiritual views and values that one incarnates in order to face that. These are, in a crude way, what these forms are suggesting. Morality is often instinctual, as is largely true with humans.
I knew somebody who fought in Korea. When they were captured, the Koreans debated amongst themselves whether they should kill all the prisoners. There were savage disputes between men. This always happens in war.
I remember, as I near the close of this speech, that one of Sir Oswald Mosley’s sons wrote a very interesting book both about his father and about his experiences in the Second World War. This is Nicholas Mosley, the novelist and biographer. He was in a parachute regiment, and there’s two stories that impinge upon the nature of the heroic that often appears in popular forms and which I’ll close with.
One is when he was with his other members. He was with his other parachutists, and they were in a room. There was The Daily Mirror, still going, the organ of Left-wing hate which is The Daily Mirror, and on the front it said, “Oswald Mosley: The Most Hated Man in Britain.” The most hated man in Britain. And a chap looked up from his desk and looked at Mosley who was leading a fighting brigade and said, “Mosley, you’re not related to this bastard, are you?” And he said, “I’m one of his sons.” And there was total silence in the room. Total silence in the room, and they stared each other out, and the bloke’s hands gripped The Mirror, and all the other paratroopers were looking at this incident. And after about four minutes it broke and the other one tore up The Mirror and put it in a bin at the back of the desk and said, “Sorry, mate. Didn’t mean anything. Really.” Mosley said, “Well, that’s alright then, old chap.” And left.
The other story is very, very interesting. This was they were advancing through France, and the Germans are falling back. And I believe I’ve told this story before at one of these meetings, but never waste a good story. A senior officer comes down the track and says, “Mosley! Mosley, you’re taking too many prisoners. You’re taking too many prisoners. It’s slowing the advance. Do you understand what I’m saying, Mosley?” And he said, “Sir, yes, I totally understand what you’re saying.” He says, “Do you really understand what I’m saying? You’re slowing the advance. Everyone’s noticing it. Do something about it. Do you understand?” “Sir!”
And he’s off, I guess to another spot of business further down. Mosley turns to his Welsh sergeant-major and says, “What do you think about that? We’re taking too many prisoners.” Because what the officer has told him in a very English and a very British way is to shoot German soldiers and to shoot German prisoners and to shoot them in ditches. What else does it mean? “You’re slowing the advance! You’re taking too many prisoners! You’re not soft on these people, are you, Mosley? Speed the advance of your column!” That’s what he’s saying, but it’s not written down. It’s not given as a formal and codified order. But everyone shoots prisoners in war! It’s a fact! When your friend’s had his head blown off next to you, you’d want revenge!
I know people who fought in the Falklands. And some of the Argentinian Special Forces and some of the conscripts together used dum-dum bullets. Hits a man, his spine explodes. So, when certain conscripts were found by British troops they finished them pretty quickly at Goose Green and elsewhere. This will occur! In all wars! Amongst all men! Of all races and of all kinds! Because it’s part of the fury that battle involves.
One of my views is that is that we can’t as a species, or even as groups, really face the fact that in situations of extremity this is what we’re like. And this is why, in some ways, we create for our entertainment these striated forms of heroic culture where there’s absolutely good and absolutely malevolent and the two never cross over. When the Joker is dragged off, justice is done and Inspector Gordon rings Batman up (because it is he) and says, “Well done! You’ve cleansed the city of a menace.” All of the villains go to an asylum called Arkham Asylum. They’re all taken to an asylum where they jibber insanely and wait for revenge against the nature of society.
I personally think that a great shadow has been cast for 60 years on people who want to manifest the most radical forms of political identity that relate to their own group, their own inheritance, their own nationality, their own civilizational construct in relation to that nationality, the spiritual systems from the past and in the present and into the future that are germane to them and not necessarily to the others, to their own racial and biological configuration. No other tendency of opinion is more demonized in the entire West. No other tendency of opinion is under pressure.
Two things can’t be integrated into the situationist spectacle based upon the right to shop. They’re religious fundamentalism and the radical Right, and they’re tied together in various ways. It’s why the two out-groups in Western society are radical Right-wing militants and Islamists. They’re the two groups that are Other, that are totally outside. The way in which they’re viewed by The Mirror and others is almost the level of a Marvel Comics villain.
I seem to remember a picture from the Sunday Telegraph years ago of our second speaker [David Irving], and I’m quite sure that it’d been re-tinted, at least this is my visual memory of it, to appear darker, to appear more sinister. I remember once GQ did a photo of me years ago when I was in a group called Revolutionary Conservative. That photo was taken in Parliament Square. You know, the square that has Churchill and Mandela in it, that square near our parliament, with Oliver Cromwell over there hiding, [unintelligible] over there hiding further on. That photo was taken at 12:30, and it was a brighter day than this. But in GQ magazine it was darkened to make it look as though it was shot at nine o’clock, and everything was dark, and because it involved so much re-tinting it slightly distorted and reconfigured everything. That’s because these people are dark, you see! They’re the force from outside! They’re that which shouldn’t be permitted!
Whereas I believe that the force which is for light and the force which is for darkness (because I’m a pagan) can come together and used creatively and based upon identity and can lead on to new vistas. But that’s a rather dangerous notion, and you won’t find it in The Fantastic Four when Reed Richards and Dr. Doom do battle, and you won’t find it in Spiderman when Peter Parker and Dr. Octopus (Dr. Otto Octavius) do battle with one another. You won’t see it when the Aryan Captain America is taking on his National Socialist nemesis, the Red Skull. You won’t see it with the Hulk taking on the Leader. You won’t see it in any of these forms. But these forms have a real use, and that is that they build courage.
Nietzsche says at the end of Zarathrustra that there are two things you need in this life. You need courage and knowledge. That’s why Zarathrustra has two friends. He has an eagle, which stands for courage, and he has a snake, which stands for knowledge. And if you can combine those things, and synthesize them, you have a new type of man and a new type of future. And Nietzsche chose the great Persian sage as the explicator of his particular truth, because in the past he represented extreme dualism, but in the future Nietzsche wished to portray that he brought those dualities together and combined them as one heroic force.
Thank you very much!
Translated by Adam D. Smith
“With usura hath no man a house of good stone,” wrote Ezra Pound in Canto XLV. “Usura” is symbolic of the culture destroying, hostile, and inhumane reign of interest, capital, and the banks. Pound also said: “A man can inhabit one house, also another, but a third is capital with which he wants to earn money.”
“Contro ogni Usura,” “against all forms of usury,” is hand painted in large letters on the banner that was unfurled on the façade of a vacant six-story house in Via Napoleone III, No. 8 in the center of Rome. Next to a half dozen Tricolore flags was a flag with a stylized tortoise on a black background. Another banner declared the building baptized “Casa Pound.” The house was occupied by a group of young men in a blitz maneuver. Shortly afterwards, in the city quarter, a flyer with the following declaration was distributed: “We have occupied a building that stood vacant for years. We have given the house to twenty families. We are Italians. We are not social outcasts. We are workers, students, mothers, and fathers.”
Social pathos, anti-capitalist rhetoric, national symbolism – the occupiers come out of Rome’s militant radical Right scene, and make no secret of their convictions: they are “neither Left nor Right,” but simply “Fascista.” (A variation is the ironic amalgam “Estremocentroalto” – “extreme high center.”.) The exposed heads of Casa Pound belong to mentor and co-founder Gabriele Adinolfi, who in the 1970s was an active member of the group Terza Posizione which was closely linked to the “black terror,” and man of action Gianluca Iannone, born in 1973, a bearded tattooed giant who cultivates an image of a rough biker and additionally holds cult status as head of the hard-core band Zetazeroalfa. Casa Pound’s network also includes the bookstore “Testa di Ferro” (Head of Iron), “Cutty Sark,” the “most hated pub in Italy,” and “Area 19,” an abandoned train station concourse in Monte Mario behind the Foro Italico Olympic complex built under Mussolini.
Within the ambit of Casa Poundism a political style has developed which has brought a fresh wind into the extreme Right. This success owes itself not in the least to adept self-marketing. The memorable logo of Casa Pound, a tortoise, has become a brand mark just as notorious as the Celtic cross or the fasces. For a dedicated fascist movement the choice of a peaceful, defensive and torpid animal is at first surprising. However, the symbolism exhibits a poetic soundness. The tortoise carries her house on her back, she cannot be pulled out, and at the same time she is mobile and strong. A second look reveals that the symbol has a concealed warrior connotation: it plays on the ancient Roman military formation “Testudo” (tortoise), in which the closely aligned shields transformed the troop into a human tank: the precise octagon of the stylised tank and the inwardly directed arrows point to an intellectual organising principle and spiritual concentration. Consequently, those in charge of Casa Pound, despite their anarchic gestures, sharply differentiate themselves from the style of Left-wing occupied houses: order, cleanliness, and aesthetics play just as an important role as the strict ban on weapons, drugs, and prostitution.
In the meantime, there are corresponding Casas, among others, in Milan, Bologna and Naples, all cities where the Black Shirts sometimes meet violent resistance. The anger of the Left probably arises from the indignation that the Right are now fishing in their waters. This includes active solidarity with the socially underprivileged and the expression of sympathy for oppressed peoples such as the Tibetans, as well as the fight against privatization of education and health care and radical demands for government-guaranteed housing rights for all Italian families. In April 2009, after the large earthquake in the Abruzzo region, volunteer assistance was rallied under the slogan “Let’s rebuild Italy.” In line with this, political recruitment takes a back seat: the twenty resident families of Casa Pound indeed come, for the most part, from the environment of the Right, but there exists, according to the organizers, no required profession of ideological commitment.
Women are also specifically addressed, for instance the “Time to be a Mother” initiative, which advocates for the rights of single mothers. Increasing mass immigration to Italy since the 1990s is, in the affinitive publications, primarily seen under the aspect of a “critique of globalization”: capitalism needs cheap labor and tries to conceal this exploitative strategy with multicultural rhetoric. Coloured activists also occasionally appear among the militants, the in-house legends include the story of a pizzeria, owned by an Egyptian, which was trashed by Antifa members who had their eye on Gianluca Iannone — who, as a consequence, supported the renovation of the restaurant through a benefit concert.
So, in the middle of the “multicultural” Esquilino district, in an almost exclusively Chinese inhabited street, tolerated by the police and the city council, an institution arose, which has had a practical as well as a symbolic impact. It stands for a philosophy of localization as well as for a social utopia and functions as a centre for political and cultural activities. Monthly lectures on a wide array of topics are held, for which regular guests are obtained through intelligent networking, people who are as far away from the scene as possible, such as Nicolai Lilin, author of the bestselling Siberian Education. A representative of the Left even came to a Che Guevara theme night, another time Valerio Morucci, former member of the Red Brigade and one of Aldo Moros’ kidnappers. They strive to do justice to the slogan, “Casa Pound – Where the discussion is free” without giving up the pronounced self-positioning. So the hallways and the round-the-clock occupied offices are decorated with slogans such as “Begin to believe! Start to fight!” and with paintings in the military style of the Mussolini era.
While the social revolutionary program can be seen to be in line with the early and late forms of Fascism (the “Social Republic” of Salò), the adoption of Left-wing procedures such as the self-authorized establishment of “centri sociali” (social centres) is a relatively recent phenomenon. Already in December 1990 members of “Fronte della Gioventù” occupied a house in the Roman district of Monteverde; in 1998 the “PortAperta” in San Giovanni was opened. When in July 2002, once again in Rome, “Casa Montag” was proclaimed, an unheard voice announced itself. “Montag,” the hero from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, is a “fireman” in a future city, where the possession and reading of any kind of book has been forbidden. The “fire department” is under duty to destroy all books, but Montag begins to secretly collect and read the banned goods, until he himself turns into a rebel. While totalitarian societies are usually covered with the term “fascism,” the “non-conforming” militants turn the tables: the rebels against the thought police, individual freedom is now on their side. From this time on, the cipher “451” has consistently appeared in Fascist demonstrations – occasionally, increasing the paradox even more, upon a white circle on a red background, visually bringing to mind the flag of the NSDAP.
Casa Montag follows Casa Pound in that their given names reveal a similar sophisticated base structure. The entrance hall of the house is designed as a kind of pop-art hall of fame, where the names of all those valued as inspiration are painted on the wall in colourful letters. The company of cited minds forms an astonishing array. Alongside obligatory icons of European fascism such as D’Annunzio, Evola, Codreanu, Mosley, and Degrelle you will find a wild jumble of names like Saint-Exupéry, Jünger, Majakowskij, Kerouac, Bukowski, Stirner, Tolkien, Orwell, or Leonidas. Ian Stuart, head of Skrewdriver, is represented just as much as Hölderlin, the Indian chief Geronimo, and the comic characters Corto Maltese and Captain Harlock. With the exception of Walter Darré you won’t find any National Socialists. However, Ernst Jünger enjoys a high status amongst the scene: In Autumn 2009, distributed posters that bid farewell to a deceased comrade with a Jünger quote were to be seen in Rome right across the Esquilino district and neighbouring areas all the way to the Colosseum.
The gallery of heroes continues in the stairwell, which is exclusively dedicated to distinguished women: visual artists such as Camille Claudel and Tamara de Lempicka, poets such as Ada Negri and Sibilla Aleramo, film diva Luisa Ferida (who was murdered by communist partisans), Leni Riefenstahl, as well as sportswomen and female pilots. You will also find a similar eclectic selection amongst the products of Testa di Ferro. There T-shirts and badges are offered for sale whose motifs range from Yukio Mishima to football legend George Best. And films such as Fight Club, 300, Clockwork Orange, and Pulp Fiction consistently come up as central references.
In the headquarters, the fostering of icons culminates in an annotated collection of rare photos from the life of Ezra Pound. The American avant-gardist belongs to the group of great minds who were drawn to Fascism. Pound had settled in 1924 in Rapallo and, during the Second World War, gave anti-Semitic tinged propaganda speeches against the Allies, who he regarded as stooges of “loan capital.” After the war he was charged with high treason and subjected to degrading treatment, culminating in a 12-year-long detention in a psychiatric hospital.
However, for the majority of scene adherents it probably suffices to know that Pound was “the poet against usury” and an admirer of Mussolini. The complicated esotericism of his Cantos is notorious even among literary-minded readers, and the same applies to Julius Evola, who has been made into a cult figure within the scene. The more decisive ideological sources might instead be the lyrics from Zetazeroalfa and other “Musica Alternativa” bands. The audience of the several day long festival celebrating 5 years of Casa Pound in Area 19 in June 2009 was dominated by the approximately 80 percent proletarian skinhead and hooligan types present, who are commonly associated with the extreme Right. Provocative tattoos and shaved heads are a must, as well as a very select array of T-shirt designs. This seems to be representative for the scene as a whole, even if a considerable proportion, via the student organisation Blocco Studentesco, comes from the middle-class. Here is, admittedly, another connection with historical Fascism: an emphasis on the physical, vitalism, male gangs [Männerbünde], the agon, and even violence. As an outlet, for example, the ritual of “Cinghiamattanza” (roughly, “going nuts with a belt”) is used, based loosely on DAF’s “Alle gegen Alle” in which one plunges shirtless into a wild brawl with belt straps (the buckle is prohibited).
Also the popular, to some extent amalgamated with rock romanticism (“liberi, belli, ribelli” – “free, beautiful, rebellious”), Squadristi iconography with its death-heads, black flags, and Decima MAS daggers and roses, underscores the ambiguous “Bad Boy” image, which is especially appealing to young men as well as women, and is a hindrance to them becoming part of the mainstream – because for the Left it is of course easy to categorically portray the scene as a group of thugs. Despite the considerable leeway in comparison to Germany that Rightists and even (the at least officially banned) Fascism in Italy can lay claim to, “Political Correctness” also has the upper hand here. The photographic book OltreNero from anti-fascist journalists Allessandro Cosmelli and Marco Mathieu, which initially resulted from a close collaboration with Gianluca Iannone, rendered the scene in stylish black and white photographs, in a light as much alluring as abysmally repellent and emphasised their sub-cultural character as well as an aura of violence. Iannone saw this representation as distortive and one-sided and, as a result, fell out with the authors.
The question concerning the actual ideology of the Fascism of the Third Millennium is not easy to answer. Despite all the assertions not to be pulling a nostalgic number, the emotional core of the movement is still just as focused on the heroic stories of yesteryear: D’Annunzio’s Fiume, the march on Rome, Futurism, the legend of the Squadristi, the Republic of Salò and the “black heart” of the “lead” ’70s, when in Italy a bloody, secret service-infiltrated war of terror flared up between Left and Right wing extremist groups. It is unclear what concrete form this envisioned “modern” fascism should have, the more so as dialogue with other milieus is actively sought out and “cross fronts” are not excluded. What remains is primarily the rhetoric of the act and the precedence of activism over ideological conformity, as well as the maintenance and creation of icons, and a non-conformist attitude to life.
Telling in this regard is the August 2009 editorial from the in-house magazine Occidentale. One of the most successful Casa Pound coups of the year was the widespread public posting of placards, which exhibited in pop-art style the 1980 deceased Left-wing songwriter Rino Gaetano, bearing only the infamous tortoise logo without any written commentary. In the editorial, the author explained, “Why it is just for Casa Pound to celebrate Rino Gaetano.” One must by no means be Left-wing to admire the free and vital spirit of Gaetano’s songs. In them you can find everything that Casa Pound stands for: “The love of everything that views the world with irony; poetry, provocation, freedom, justice.” One should not focus on the past, “D’Annunzio, Marinetti, Jünger, Evola, even Mussolini” were at the forefront of their times and believed: “No romantic escapism, no doomsday hysteria. Will, deeds, joy, freedom. That is what counts.”
1. It is also possible to translate this as being against all usurers. Mr. Lichtmesz’s original German takes this line.
2. The translator would like to thank Mark Dyal for providing the following summary of this concept:
Estremocentroalto takes its cue from the revolutionary socialist origins of Italian Fascism. As Estremo (extreme), it takes the radical counter-modernism of the true right and the popular sociality of the interwar left, while embracing what is extreme and Italian about both: aggression, passion, and total commitment. It seeks to be Centro (center) so as to be absolutely relevant and central to all aspects of Italian life. Casa Pound, as part of the contemporary social right, embraces politics, philosophy, and art from the perspective of Italian ways of life. Thus, it embraces the piazzas, cuisines, bars, and normalized forms of Italian social interaction, but always from an extreme position. Finally, Casa Pound seeks to be Alto (high) in consistently rejecting the banality of Americanized pop culture, seeking instead to remake the natural seriousness of Italian beauty, life, and creation.
German original: http://www.sezession.de/18102/casa-pound-2.html 
A Clockwork Orange 
New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1962
A Clockwork Orange is a short novella produced by Anthony Burgess in a very short period of time—yet the author had doubtless dwelt upon an entire zoology before producing it. One of the book’s characteristics, which even the most casual reader notices, is the experimental language or deliberate argot that Burgess develops for his retinue of juvenile delinquents. They speak, stutter, roll around in their own minds, and tend to use words like hammers, meat-hooks, or early-morning razor blades.
The story essentially revolves around the leadership principle or alpha dog mentality of Alex (the leader of this violent troupe of hoodlums) and its subjection to Skinnerian Behaviorism—a technique of which Burgess is highly critical. Paradoxically, Burgess is a highly moral and cross-grained man—a believing Catholic for most of his life—who worried extraordinarily about this novel’s reception. For—to be sure—a short work which appeared to endorse or celebrate gang violence was the last thing that Burgess, a socially conservative Catholic, meant to bring to the table.
Another provocative trope—irrespective of the furor about Kubrick’s later film and its withdrawal in Britain—was the Soviet influence on the entire production. Soviet, I hear you ask? Yes, that’s right; for the germ from which the novel springs was a trip Burgess and his wife made to the Soviet Union in which they discovered a great deal of gang violence. This surprised both of them, but it shouldn’t have really. Communist systems have a nuanced attitude towards criminality—for what they really fear, oppose, and act against, are political crimes or the ideas that give rise to them.
This was by no means an original precept. In Alexander Solzhenitysn’s The Gulag Archipelago, vol. 1, the world’s most famous anti-Soviet dissident noticed an indulgence by the guards towards the lags or general prisoners, a latitude that would not be extended towards other zeks.
As in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Soviets treated the proles as near-animals, and their antics—youth cults, transgressive dress, drug usage, relative disrespect for Soviet authority—were all given remarkable indulgence. Why was this, Burgess wondered?
It probably had to do with two factors: first, the fact that crime was always less important than politics; and, secondly, that the party really fed upon itself, in that the lives of inner and outer party members—as in Nineteen Eighty-Four—were held to be far more important than those of mere proles. They were literally left to go to the dogs in every imaginable way—itself completely contrary to the official proletarian discourse of love and inclusion for the down-trodden, etc.
Another factor which Burgess cleverly makes use of is the introduction of communist words, phrases, and tags (gobbets of agit-prop and so forth) in order to tease out and make more real the lingo of his various Youthies or violent adolescent pups.
Yet having said all of this, the real point of Burgess’ short and linguistically-charged work was an attack on the way in which Alex and his droogs (pals) are re-oriented or forced into well-adjusted behavior by the “system.” Much of this, in turn, related to radical (if largely conservative commentators at the time) who wished to break the juvenile delinquency of the ’50s by applying eugenic measures. (Note: Following Bowden , I would describe these behaviorist measures as dysgenic rather than the reverse, but there is no agreed definition here.)
What Burgess quite clearly objects to here is state-imposed morality. The way in which he dramatizes this is quite original—in that Alex, the Caesar of his gang, loves classical music, and the reconditioning causes him to loathe his former joy (Beethoven, etc.). Yet this is one of Burgess’ own mistakes—given that the Droogs bear a striking similarity to the British sub-culture known as the Mods. Can you imagine a Quadraphonic (sic) sub-culturalist who prefers Colin Ireland to, say, The Who?
Yet Burgess definitely has a point here, in that the destructive side of behaviorist intervention was in its infancy then—although Burgess, with much greater insight than more “progressive” commentators, realizes that much of the gang’s behavior is innate, biological, pre-social, or somatic in character.
But if the propensity to anti-social violence is innate, biological, pre-social, or somatic in character, this may lead us to conclude that some form of national service in Britain, France, Russia, etc. is vitally necessary for around at least 40% (and more) of the young male population. If you fold this proposition out a bit, then even Anthony Burgess would have to do it—along with all bourgeois and proletarian males who were not mentally impaired or physically ill. Heaven forbid!
Now many commentators might consider this to be just another form of invasive procedure—possibly less invasive but in no way less “demeaning” than the technique used in Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. This would certainly veer it into territory covered by Alan Sillitoe in the ’50s (say) or a grainy, black-and-white film called The Hill (about British military prison or the glass house) and that starred young versions of Stanley Baker and Sean Connery. Nonetheless, these procedures are mass oriented, somatic, physical, and work on the external trappings of young males—almost in a semi-anthropological way. They lack the internal craft, guile—or cruelty—of Burgess’ behaviorism and criminology in his short novel. The point here is that they limit Alex’s internal freedom of choice in relation to his passion for classical music. They are malefic in an intentional, a priori, or willed manner—partly due to the individualism of the punishment, the latter personally selected to match with the trainee’s particularities.
Ultimately then, Burgess’ fable revolves around the endless argument between free will and intentionality at the heart of Western thinking. (Note: even the Chorus in Aeschylus’Agamemnon debates whether Clytemnestra’s murder of her husband is entirely self-elected or an inevitable outcome of Zeus’ will.) It is always there. Burgess is a conservative and a pessimist—he is an Augustinian child. He believes that the punishment follows after the facts, is self-limiting and does not seek to change human nature. Man cannot change—he can just learn to endure better.
Here’s another flick I fondly recall from some late night broadcast in my teens or so, which has been made accessible again through the miracle of DVD. Needless to say, it has its ’net fans as well, one of which give this summary :
If you haven’t ever seen Psychomania it’s a unique British horror and is quite hilarious in terms of language and actual horror, but remains a classic all the same. The opening title with these Bikers from hell weaving in and out of a large stone circle has to be the most memorable you will see. Briefly it’s the story of a gang of Bikers called the Living Dead. The gang leader (Henson) has a weird mother (our Beryl) who is immortal, as is her sinister butler (Sanders). Henson finds the secret of his mother immortality (this involves a frog), then tells his gang members how they can comeback alive and wreak havoc. They then all commit suicide. It really is funny. They all get turned into stone at the end. There are some great scenes and some superb furniture along the way. Only the British could make such a daft movie.
OK, everyone set with the premise? That opening scene was really the only part I recalled, due to either falling asleep or being sent to bed, so I can attest to it really being memorable.
A group of motorcyclists — The Living Dead, we’ll soon learn — perform various maneuvers in and around a sort of mini-Stonehenge — as we’ll also soon learn, a local monument, the “Stone Witches,” a coven supposedly turned to stone for some devilish misdemeanor — all shrouded in fog, filmed in slo-mo, and above all, accompanied by some amazing creepy prog-music — not unlike to music being created at the same time in Germany that we now know as Krautrock — that instantly catapults this film into Suspiria (Goblin) or even Man Hunter (Shriekback) territory. Or not, actually.
It would be hard for any movie to keep up with that opening, and this one sure doesn’t. But there are some rewards here for readers of Counter-Currents.
First, this is not just a British film, but a very British film. That means, apart from a subdued, vaguely melancholy color palette of foggy grays and damp greens and blues — the whole film looks like it was filmed at the bottom of an aquarium, which is appropriate, given the unusually large role frogs play — it’s a very white film — in fact, I’d say it’s entirely white. Not even Sidney Poitier is in sight.
It’s quite a relief, in today’s culture and environment — when even our crypto-Traditionalist directors like Christopher Nolan feel the need to include not just Negro characters but even as heroes — to sink into this cooling British aquarium of a film, like a soothing ice mask after a hot day.
“British” also means we can expect the subtle pleasures consequent on a low-budget and a strangely reticent, almost downright shy approach to film making.
Take, for instance, a very early scene that presents us with one of the gang’s “outrages.” Now I for one will admit that having a motorcycle, to say nothing of half a dozen or so, zip right by you while out walking around the town shopping center would be a rather unpleasant, perhaps even scary, experience. But really, this is supposed to be a horror film, and the sight of the Living Dead, even with their home-made skull visors, zooming alongside shoppers at quite reasonable speeds, knocking over a few prop fruit stands and what not, doesn’t even bring to mind the rather sedate The Wild One but rather the Monty Python sketch, “Hells Grannies”; even a Benny Hill skit would have speeded things up. In fact, the gang’s suicides, as they follow Tom’s lead, are rendered in a quick sequence all played for laughs.
On the other hand, cheapness and restraint can produce remarkable effects themselves, as any connoisseur of B-films can attest. In a later scene, when — not give too much away — our now back from the dead gang dispatches two constables and an inspector who are waiting unsuspecting in the morgue, the camera simply shifts away from the three, slowly revolves full circle to reveal — hey presto! — our three new corpses laid out in their conveniently see-through drawers, with nary a sound, mark or drop of blood, leaving Martin Scorsese to ask, “how’d they do that?”
But the film’s greatest and most famous sequence occurs when Tom, having driven himself off a bridge and then buried by the gang — on his motorcycle — revs up from underground and explodes up and out of the burial mound, good as new and ready for some more of the old ultra-violence.
I defy anyone to watch this amazing sequence without screaming out:
“Like a bat out of Helllllllllllllllllllllllll!”
It’s when Tom learns the secret of immortality — or whatever it is; as we’ll see, it’s a little hard to pinpoint just what kind of state he achieves — that my Traditionalist spidey-sense started to tingle.
The secret turns out to be: kill yourself, but only if you can maintain constant, unwavering concentration on the belief that you will live again.
The secret, in fact, turns out to be a kinda suicidal version of Oprah’s beloved Secret, the dumbed down residuum of America’s 19th-century “New Thought” movement.
But where had I heard this before? Of course — Baron Evola!
As is well known, Evola was quite pessimistic about the possibilities of finding a true source of initiation in today’s world; ultimately passing from pessimism to nihilism. Unlike Guénon, who held out slender hopes, Evola simply denied the existence of a valid and effective initiatory stream, without contact with which no chance of enlightenment, or immortality, is possible.
What to do? Evola counseled the “differentiated man,” the man aware of some element of the transcendent within himself — which would be the requisite material to be acted on by initiation — to
Give ever more emphasis to the dimension of transcendence in oneself, more or less concealed as it may be. Study of traditional wisdom and knowledge of its doctrines may assist, but they will not be effective without a progressive change affecting the existential plane, and more particularly, the basic life force of oneself . . . that for most people is bound to the world and is simply the will to live.
One can, then, with some effort and luck, and of course a predisposition, effect a change of polarity, like “the induction of magnetism in a piece of iron” and thereby reverse the direction of one’s life force: from willing to live ordinary life to the urge to attain “the life which is more than life.”
When the orientation toward the transcendent no longer has a merely mental or emotional character, but has come to penetrate a person’s being, the most essential work is done, the seen has penetrated the earth, and the rest is in a way, secondary and consequential.
As I read this, the idea seems to be that one should concentrate as much of one’s consciousness as one can on the Transcendent, within oneself, so that a certain direction, and even force or momentum, is built up, allowing one to spring forward at death, into the Beyond, rather than passively submitting to the dispersal of the elements and return to the racial root that is the fate of the un-initiated.
Although Evola counsels against suicide in the same book, as an all-too-human failure of will — except for those who are already enlightened, who may well choose to take themselves off the scene — we might draw a parallel to Evola’s own ill-advised “testing of my fate” by walking about Vienna during Allied bombing runs, which ultimately resulted in the injuries that left him unable to walk.
And now the occult synchronicity of Tom’s burial becomes clear; buried upright, astride his motorcycle, no doubt facing East (the movie gives no clue), just as Evola, by his request, was wheeled over to a window so that he would die as his Aryan ancestors would wish, upright and facing the rising sun.
The Evola connection also solves the major puzzle critics have with the movie. The re-born cyclists are usually called “zombies” by critics but they bear no resemblance to the now canonical rotting, brain-eating ones. TV Tropes has cited the film under the trope “Our Zombies are Different” but observed :
Psychomania has gained some notoriety as “zombies on motorcycles ,” but are really zombies only in retrospect. More accurately, they’re willing participants in a ritual that grants eternal life. The ritual requires that they first die. On revival, they carry on as before; they are essentially their own creator.
“Their own creator.” This is a tremendously important point, which links the film’s formula of immortality with Evola’s discussion of the “magical heroes” who are a “kingless race” of “self-rulers” after having, unlike the contrary archetype of the “religious saint,” taken control of their own destiny and fate.
Here we also find the significance of the “turn to stone” motif, in which Tom and the gang are “punished” at the end of the film by being transformed into megaliths, presumably just as the Seven Witches were years before the film began.
The Stone, briefly, symbolizes The Center, the Axis Mundi along which transformation is accomplished (rising to a higher level); thus the stones are fittingly located on the lush green heath, which alludes to the equally central symbol of the Garden of Eden. The Stone also signifies the Transformed Man himself, solid, unmoved, upright; as well as the instrument of transformation, the alchemical Philosopher’s Stone or even perhaps The Grail (which Evola suggests was fashioned from the green gem — or stone– that fell from Lucifer’s crown. The color green ties in with the green frogs and the green frog medallion — the frog is the snake in the Garden which is also Satan — that are involved in the rituals conducted by Shadwell and Tom’s mom.
We’re already starting to find here elements of both repetition and the phenomenon I’ve called “passing the buck” — The Superior Man does not “work off” his own karma, as in so many crypto-protestant interpretations, but instead demonstrates his superiority precisely by offloading it onto some sucker or mark.
To explore the Stone some more, we need to look at some of these repetitions. The basic repetition occurs in the First Act, when Tom demands to be allowed into The Locked Room in order to learn The Secret, an ordeal that his father failed, fatally. As Evola explains, in the traditions of the “religious saint,” the quest for immorality or enlightenment or perfection is presented as a danger; as a result of our ancestor’s catastrophic failure — Adam and Eve, of course — the pursuit is not only forbidden, but we are subject to a sinful debt that will result in our own damnation unless we can obtain Jehovah’s forgiveness.
Tom, however, presents us with the Hero of the alchemical traditions, who dares — and succeeds.
Of course, we’ve seen that in the film, Tom and the gang are “punished,” but that’s just the cover story; “turning to stone” is the goal, or the reward, of their efforts. (We can assume that the Witches succeeded as well). This is also presented as a punishment because to the naïve, worldly man, the Enlightened Man seems more dead than alive; impassive as a stone, unmoved, not subject to the worldly man’s endless, unsatisfied desires that “make life worth living.”
It’s the usual “he tampered in God’s domain” cautionary tale, dating back from Frankenstein through Faust through Don Juan through Dante all the way back to the Eden myth — but we don’t care about that, nor whether the producers had any of this in mind. It may be the case, as Trevor Lynch suggests, that under contemporary conditions — and really, that would be the whole post-Constantine period — Traditional ideas can only appear in the mouths of villains and madmen. But even beyond this, this is how Traditional ideas have always been transmitted — embedded in “folk” tales that the folk grooved on but never really understood, hidden safely in plain sight until someone like Guenon or Evola could decode them for us once again.
On the purely cinematic level, Tom is channeling Alex from 1971’s A Clockwork Orange. Of course, Kubrick was an American and had a big budget, so although made and set in England, the film seemed startlingly brightly lit, violent and explicit at the time.
And yet, Tom, though admittedly a nice lad who lives with Mum — in a very groovy, all too British manor house with just the right swinging ’60s touches, unlike Alex’s futurist hellhole — is far more violent than Alex; just more reticent about it. No sooner do we meet him than he’s forced a car off the road and sent some British git through the windshield — I mean, windscreen. Of course, being British, we don’t see any exploding heads or even a slight cut, so it’s hard to tell if he’s unconscious or dead. No one in authority, at least, seems too concerned; whereas Alex’s one murder results in a very British “now you’ve done it lad” and straight to the Ludovico room.
On revival, though, all bets are off. Tom kills a couple of blokes just on general principle, then heads for a pub to chats up a couple birds. The scene looks like it will play out like Alex‘s teenage girl ménage a trois, but instead he winds up killing everyone else in the place — off camera of course.
We’ve already commented on the Pythonesque qualities of the shopping center attack. And of course, as we now expect, they return. But TV Tropes is wrong to say they “carry on as before.” No, this time they do it right, mate. Dozens of people are injured or worse as the gang invades a Sainsbury — Sainsbury’s! — on wheels; red leather girl even runs over a baby carriage, child inside — now when did you ever see that, outside of a Warhol film? But again, no blood, no flying limbs; no need to blow the special effects budget this late in the film.
Given the andro-centric nature of the Hermetic Tradition, we can anticipate that the sucker will be a woman. There’s Tom’s goody-goody girlfriend — unlike the rest of the gang, she wears a denim jacket, with her name cutely appliquéd to the front, not the back, in Holly Hobby font — who refuses to join him in the — overlife? — and will no doubt be psychologically scarred for life.
But mostly, it’s Tom’s mom, who resolves to stop his reign of genteel terror by reneging on her “oath” (of what? Who knows?) and, rather than petrifying, turns into a frog. Finally, the frog motif resolved, Chekhov-style!
The circular, literally “hermetic” structure of the film — like the Locked Room itself — is now clear. We begin with the Living Dead — ordinary men and women, but with some spark of the transcendent that renders them unable to tolerate the banality of “the whole Establishment” (as Tom describes the targets of his undead mischief). Dying to this world, they are reborn as Immortals subject to no authority but themselves; but ultimately, having thrown off karmic ties, they are fully transformed into Men — and the red leather chick — of Stone, no longer weaving among the stones but upright and unmoving.
Finally, as usual with horror flicks, the creepiest story is backstage. George Sanders is the star name here, but unlike later work by Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing, he doesn’t look like he’s having any late career fun in this two-bit Brit flick. He mumbles his lines throughout — unless that’s an artifact of the poor production or the DVD transfer — and looks bored — terminally so. As it happens, as soon as the picture wrapped, Sanders killed himself. Perhaps he was more inspired by the script in real life than he seems on film? Whether he came back is unknown,
1. Actually, there’s a Blu-ray that just came out, “packed” with special features, which I can’t afford at the moment, but dig it if you can. Like similar low-budget Brit horror films of the time — such as The Wicker Man — it seems to exist in various different versions with various cuts and runtimes. Oddly enough a version close to the Blu-ray can be had on an otherwise disgusting “Laugh Track” DVD — a “white rapper” version of MST3K that, mercifully, can be run without said rapping, and for only a couple of bucks on Amazon.
2. MST3K, “The Starfighters.”
3. It turns out to be the veddy British John Cameron who recently reminisced for the release of the soundtrack:
Jazz and session musicians playing pre-punk ‘trash-rock’ for a tale of supernatural gore and mayhem, on a Shepperton recording stage more suited to the LSO than a rock line-up, complete with ‘suit-and-tie’ recording engineer is one of my more unexpected memories. In a pre-synthesizer age every trick was used: Musser vibes through phase and wah-wah pedals, phased bowed bass, drumsticks inside a grand piano, electric harpsichord through a compressor, Hammond organ fed through a phase unit and Leslie speakers, and wordless solo voice. . . . Sorry my recollection is a little blurred, hell, it was the 1970s!
4. Imported a few years earlier to play the Magic Negro in To Sir With Love, a vile film redeemed only barely by the transcendental Lulu.
5. “In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now.” — Patrick Bateman, American Psycho.
6. One can only imagine there must have been some influence here on the cover of Mr. Loaf’s 1977 opus; I don’t know of any other previous use of this trope. One might also compare Mr. Loaf’s character, Eddie, in another Brit-horror film, 1975’s Rocky Horror Picture Show, who rides a motorcycle out when he escapes from the freezer prison-grave [?], only to also wind up dead again. There is also a very similar looking character (though still, as noted, very neat and clean) in the Living Dead named — Chopped Meat. Both Tom and Dr. Frankenfurter live in very British gothic mansions with all the latest mod cons, though Riff Raff is a sadly decayed Shadwell. The swaggering, always in leather Tom is sort of a combination of Eddie and Rocky, and thus would have made a more suitable companion for the Dr. than either.
7. Derived from colonial readings of Hegel and Emerson, and serious enough to warrant William James devoting a chapter — “The Religion of Healthy-Mindedness” — in his lectures on the Varieties of Religious Experience. For an alt-Historical account, see The Secret Source (Feral House) that traces it back to the Egyptian Hermetics — rightly so, as we shall soon see.
8. Ride the Tiger, pp. 216–17. See also the remarks on the very last page, p. 227.
9. Evola discusses these contrasting fates in many places, for example, Chapter 8 of Revolt Against the Modern World, “The Two Paths of the Afterlife.”
10. Evola himself discusses the incident in The Path of Cinnabar, pp. 183–4, where he disavows any “occult attack” interpretations. If it seems rude to speculate thus around Evola’s personal situation, there are distinguished precedents; no less than Eliade speculated in a letter that Evola had been wounded in the chakra that governed pride and arrogance — “and what do you think about that?”
11. See The Hermetic Tradition, especially the “Introduction to Part One: The Tree, the Serpent and the Titans.”
12. It’s a not too impressive time-lapse effect. Brit John Boorman, in 1974’s Zardoz, will subvert this trope, ending with a time-lapse disintegration of Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling, who have accepted mortality. This “self-creation” seems to correspond to the process Evola describes as the sage re-creating his body cell by cell, producing an immortal, indestructible “body of light” or, in Pauline terms, “resurrection body.” See The Hermetic Tradition but especially The Yoga of Power, Chapter 15, “The Diamond Thunderbolt Body.”
13. See Evola, op. cit. and also The Mysteries of the Grail, especially Chapter 15, “The Luciferian Stone.”
14. In fact, Christianity recognizes that the debt is so great as to require Jehovah to kill his own Son; a titanic example of “passing the buck.”
15. Towards the end of The Hermetic Tradition Evola devotes some pages to considering how the Realized Man may well appear as a broken down failure beset with worries, due to his desire not to stand out, as well as the results of “karmic repercussions” from his activities in the higher dimensions — hence our idea of the need to “pass the buck” to someone else. Guénon, at the end of his book, Man and His Becoming, has an interesting discussion of how the Realized Man, having climbed the World Axis, would literally pop out of view, like a three-dimensional being in Flatland
16. The verdict delivered in Bride of the Monster; see the collection of these tropes here .
17. In fact, the most British thing about Tom, as opposed to Alex, is that he’s more interested in the ultra-violence than the old in-out. He seems only to be interested in the red-leathered bad girl in the group as a partner in crime, while constantly hectoring his still-living goody-goody girlfriend to just off herself already, though what he intends to do with here is unclear. No sex please, we’re British!
18. The producers of the German version seem to have thrown up their hands and titled it “Der Frosh.”
19. Either by design or incompetence, it’s not clear until the very end that Tom’s mom is a mortal who’s made a deal with some occult power, perhaps an occultist in over her head, rather than being a witch or demon herself. Sanders’ character is never clear, right to the very last shot, when he drives up at the stone circle . . . what? Is he just a butler, a fellow initiate, perhaps of a higher level, like Crowley — whom Sanders seems to be channeling — a minion of Satan, or Satan himself? As the ’bots say, perhaps I should just relax.
Part 1 of 2
“Mister City Policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row . . .
Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna . . .”
–“I Am the Walrus,” Lennon/McCartney
“Even the perfect couple needs a little help.”
— Ad for Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects
For a Traditionalist living in the Kali Yuga, there’s no better example of “riding the tiger” than making use of this fancy new “moving-pictures” technology. By providing a sort-of living image of the past, they provide solace, instruction in how things went wrong, and even, perhaps, inspiration for the future.
Of course, not just any old film will do. You want to avoid anything where some smart-ass director or screenwriter tries to inject his phony, usually Leftist, notions of “uplift”– you know, that whole “Barton Fink feeling .”
Usually, you want a “B” picture, where the director had neither the time, nor the money, nor the talent or interest, to impose any kind of “vision.” You don’t want some Hollywood schmuck’s outdated and stupid “vision,” you want a window onto a better time, probably just what the “message” guy wanted to screw up, and in many ways has succeeded in doing so. Forget elaborate sets or FX; these guys didn’t even use the studio back lot!
But don’t worry; I’m not going to force you to slog through some forgotten B movie “gem” like some French cineaste or ironic hipster. The movie I caught a few weeks back on the aptly named Turner Movie Classics was somewhere in the middle, a modest but respectable little picture, based on a bestselling novel, and starring name actors, including one who would receive a Best Actor nomination to add to his two Best Supporting Actor nods. It’s Sitting Pretty, starring Robert Young and Maureen O’Hara, and featuring Clifton Webb.
You’ve probably never seen or heard of it, and Clifton Webb is probably unknown as well, though you might immediately recognize him, or his voice (he was the inspiration for Mr. Peabody on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, kids), in a “oh, that guy” way. But the picture was a hit, Webb already a big Hollywood star and would continue to be until his death in the early ’60s, and that suggests it illustrates some interesting changes in our culture. Plus, there are some rather rarified Traditionalist themes in it that add a special layer of interest.
As an example of cultural distance, consider this viewer’s reaction, on the Internet Movie Data Base:
I had never seen this movie before and was curious about it. What a disappointment – there is nothing to like about it — especially Clifton Webb’s annoying portrayal of an arrogant know-it-all jerk. There is nothing funny or humorous, all it had me thinking was why he didn’t get his ass kicked and thrown out. The way he treats the kids is mean and awful and the way the whole plot is written out is nothing more than showing how mean spirited and arrogant people can be in using and hurting others. From the rat faced neighbor to the snooty boss and secretaries – this movie is just plain mean and unpleasant. And then they made that awful sitcom with the equally annoying Christopher Hewett playing the 1980s version of Mr. Belvedere. 1/10
Well, admittedly he has a point about the sitcom. Still, it’s entirely possible this guy finds himself entertained, even edified, by the likes of Django or Basterds or Saw or Hostel. And yet the feel-good hit of 1948 nauseates him like he’s undergoing the Ludovico treatment from Clockwork Orange.
And then, I remembered an incident from literally 30 years ago, when I was in grad school in Canada. I was sitting around one afternoon with a very “progressive” folk-singing friend when Cheaper by the Dozen came on screen. And yes, that had starred Clifton Webb too! This being years before anyone had cable, we tended to watch whatever came on — itself an indication of an entirely different mode of culture-formation back then. In fact, if we hadn’t been in Windsor, with access to Detroit stations, there would only have been one, the CBC! — and this was indeed a bit of American TV slipping over the border. Again, having vaguely heard of the film, or at least the phrase, we watched. Many minutes of silence passed as we beheld this “vintage comedy.” As the lovingly, sentimentally portrayed father once more began to verbally abuse one of his many adoring children, my friend turned to me, sneered “Is this supposed to be funny?” and switched channels in disgust at this bourgeois American filth.
Same reaction, same actor, equally popular film, and even largely the same character.
Why such vastly different reactions, then and now – or even then and 30 years ago? I think it lies in almost equal parts with the movie as a token of the Way Things Were, the actor as embodying a unique kind of masculinity, and the underlying Traditionalist themes of the character and plot. The movie is an affront to Liberal notions of marriage and parenting, Liberal notions of the proper way to be “gay,” and Liberal notions that spirituality and especially religion are subjective whimsies and probably bunkum anyway. And thus it also demonstrates how Liberalism functions as a pseudo-opposition to Modernity, offering false alternatives while distracting from the One Thing Needful.
The Movie: Mr. Belvedere
Tacey King: Mr. Belvedere, is there anything you haven’t been?
Lynn Belvedere: Yes, Mrs. King — I’ve never been an idler or a parasite.
The action takes place in (or on?) Hummingbird Hill, and though there’s enough budget to shoot on a studio set, we are meant no doubt to see it as reflecting, humorously, on the problems of a newly prosperous post-War generation moving into the expanding suburbs. The opposite, then, of today, with a flat housing market and college graduates moving back to live with their parents.
These suburbs, at least at first, were not today’s empty concrete wastelands but more like the British pre-War suburb, or the planned or “garden” suburbs promoted by Lewis Mumford, such as Forest Hills or Sunnyside in Queens, or older, quasi-cities like Grosse Pointe. Relatively large, two storey, detached houses, some on actual hills, winding roads and plenty of space for gardening (the movie opens with a lost cab driver asking directions of a gardening denizen — who will later play a pivotal role in the plot).
We zero in on our main protagonists: Henry King (Robert Young), his wife Tacey (Maureen O‘Hara), and their three children. In this prosperous and patriarchal era, Harry is an up and coming lawyer, and can not only afford his house and car, but has no need to, and wouldn’t dream of, sending his wife out to work. And she apparently is just fine with being a “homemaker.” (Teeth are already starting to grind in the TV audience.) Except: she’s unable to handle the kids. Fortunately, Harry can also afford to hire some help.
Why she can’t handle them, since they seem to be perfectly normal, has puzzled viewers, but it’s the implausibility that is needed to set the plot in motion.
The cab, it transpires, was called by the maid or nanny, who also can’t stand living with the children any longer. A series of teenage babysitters have also given up, except for one with an obvious crush on Harry, which he tolerates with amusement, as well as his wife’s not entirely amused jealousy. Here again we see a different era; today, this would start a movie starring Drew Barrymore or Alicia Silverstone, in which she insinuates herself into the family and kills them all, or else, if on Lifetime, Tacey would start kickboxing classes and take out the kid or husband, or both, with much shattered glass. In real life, Harry too would be setting himself up for a long stay at the Crowbar Hotel. In any event, the babysitter throws a “wild” dance party, which is reported to Harry and Tacey by . . . hey, it’s that gardening guy again! Back to square one.
Tacey suggests hiring a responsible, older, live-in babysitter, and thinks the way to do this is to put an ad in the Saturday Review. Remember that bastion of middlebrow taste? And did they really take ads for nannies? Anyway, Harry is justifiably skeptical, but lo and behold, a letter arrives, announcing the imminent arrival — presumptuous, much? — of one Lynn Belvedere.
And now the fun starts! Here’s the IMDB summary :
Tacey and Harry King are a suburban couple with three sons and a serious need of a babysitter. Tacey puts an ad in the paper [sic] for a live-in babysitter, and the ad is answered by Lynn Belvedere. But when she arrives, she turns out to be a man. And not just any man, but a most eccentric, outrageously forthright genius with seemingly a million careers and experiences behind him. Mr. Belvedere works miracles with the children and the house but the Kings have no idea just what he’s doing with his evenings off. And when Harry has to go out of town on a business trip, a nosy parker starts a few ugly rumors. But everything comes out all right in the end thanks to Mr. Belvedere.
I’ve emphasized a few phrases that seem a little significant, and we’ll get to that in a bit. For now, enjoy this excerpt from YouTube that shows how Mr. Belvedere proves to the Kings that despite his gender, and self-confessed hatred of children, he’s just the man for the job.
This is the sort of thing that delighted audiences in 1948 and disgusted my folk-singing friend just a generation later. Today, it’s impossible to imagine this in a Hollywood film, and in real life the parents, rather than chuckling and deciding to hire the guy, would have called the police.
The Actor: Clifton Webb
“I have destroyed the formula completely. I’m not young. I don’t get the girl in the end and I don’t swallow her tonsils, but I have become a national figure.”
– Clifton Webb
I called Tacey’s inability to handle the children the implausibility needed to start the plot. But as John Braine told William F. Buckley, when the latter sought advice on novel-writing, a work of fiction must have at least one implausibility, but no more. That the Kings, and the 1948 audience, don’t think Belvedere is a child abuser and potential pedophile is due to their not having been exposed to decades of “listen to the children” nonsense, therapeutic Nanny State indoctrination, and spy on your neighbors propaganda — indeed, the “nosy parker“ is the main villain of the piece. (Of course, Harry’s earlier use of a “funny” foreign accent would have already marked him out as a vicious racist in need of sensitivity training.)
The other potential implausibility is Mr. Belvedere himself; why did audiences not consider him at least to be an insufferable jerkass , and on the contrary, demanded two more sequels (until Webb, like Sean Connery, put his foot down to prevent typecasting, only, like Connery, to be sucked into at least a couple of similar roles, such as Mr. Scoutmaster and Dreamboat — in the latter he’s a college professor whose old movies turn up on the new medium of TV, like old porn roles haunting a politician today, and concludes with him watching that same breakfast clip from Sitting Pretty).
One crucial reason is that Belvedere is not bragging or overcompensating. He is what he says he is. He says he can handle the children, and does so immediately. When he accidentally meets Tacey one night and invites her to dance, he doesn’t just say “I taught Arthur Murray” he proceeds, as Tacey exclaims, to “dance divinely.”
And that scene, at least, wouldn’t work unless the actor could indeed dance divinely. Indeed, the whole performance, portraying a man of Aryan rectitude and modest pride in real accomplishments, itself succeeds because it is barely a performance at all. Clifton Webb may not have raised anyone’s children, including any of his own (he lived with his mother, throwing legendary Hollywood parties, until her death in the early ’60s) but he was a divine dancer, and he embodied the virtues of the Aryan Man.
In fact, Webb had already had one career, an accomplished dancer and performer on Broadway (he introduced “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and also “Easter Parade ,” thus unknowingly launching the Judaic assault on Christian holidays) long before he came to Hollywood at the age of 54. (There were some screen tests in the ’30s; he may not have actually taught Arthur Murray but the studios thought he could replace Fred Astaire). He was brought to Hollywood by Otto Preminger to play Waldo Lydecker in Laura precisely because Webb reminded him of the real life model for Waldo, New York theatre critic Alexander Woollcott. No need to “act” but a good enough performance to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
At this point, similarities with Humphrey Bogart begin to arise, along the lines I explored in my review of the Bogie bio Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart by Stefan Kanfer.
Both were born in the late 19th century, providing them with a sense of being from an earlier, better, era. Both were raised in the New York of Edith Wharton – Webb remembers it being “completely settled only as far north as 72nd St.” — with artistic mothers; both came to prominence on Broadway before being brought to Hollywood relatively late in life by the demand of a director. There the similarity stalls a bit; Bogart was brought over to recreate his role as Duke Mantee for the film version of The Petrified Forest, not for his physical resemblance to a fussy critic. It’s interesting to note, though, that even then his co-workers remarked on how, while playing a vicious killer, his personal behavior continued to be polite, even courtly, especially to women. No Judaic “method” acting for Bogart. Bogart as a person was of Webb’s type, but also able to act against type. Indeed, his early career floundered as he played butlers and playboys (he is supposed to have been the first to utter on stage the phrase “Tennis, anyone?” — Bogart!) until the role of Mantee gave him the chance to show another side of himself.
Of course, this is why Bogart was the “better” actor, or rather, a major actor rather than a minor one, in the sense Colin Wilson gives the words in describing major and minor composers. Major composers, like Mozart, have more to say, but that doesn’t prevent a minor composer, like Delius, from being one’s favorite.
As Kanfer notes, the key to Bogart’s appeal was that his WASP background (or, as I would prefer to say, his Aryan nature) gave an interesting, straight from the headlines dimension to his villains; rather than the immigrant gangsters of Little Caesar or Scarface, Bogart suggested the new, angry Middle American Whites produced by the Depression, like Pretty Boy Floyd or Clyde Barrow. And yet, being White Guys, the audience, at least the Whites that comprised the overwhelming majority of American then, could assume they must be fundamentally honest, fundamentally Nice Guys. Thus, he was able to take unlikable characters, both murderous thugs and wise-cracking detectives, and make the audience root for them, as well as make it believable that that sophisticated women played by Mary Astor and Lauren Bacall would fall for them — in the latter case, even off screen.
And there was in fact some skilled acting involved in those roles of Webb’s. He was able to make audiences actually root for a manipulative psychopath like Waldo rather than the plodding detective, and believe that Gene Tierney would — almost — love him too. And he could make audiences take to the imperious Mr. Belvedere, and even believe that the children would come to love him, and that the neighbors would suspect Tacey was having an affair with him. That was the quality that Ayn Rand perceived even before Webb came to Hollywood, which led her to insist — unsuccessfully — that Webb play the role of Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead. The actor they used, she said later, “was too obviously evil.” Not subtle enough for Ayn Rand!
The studio overruled Rand, and almost overruled Preminger, for the same reason modern audiences probably don’t believe Webb in those roles: Aryan men, that is, “white guys” are all evil jerks, right? And isn’t he obviously, well, gay? The fact that creative artists as different as Rand and Preminger actually fought for him in those roles, while today’s audiences think like 1940s studio heads, suggests that moderns aren’t as “smart” or “progressive” as they think they are, that largely Judaic Hollywood studios have indeed shaped our culture, and that “gay liberation” has been a disaster for both our culture and for homosexuals themselves — as I argue throughout my book.
Bogart forged a new, different kind of masculinity, “his own brand of masculinity” whose outstanding characteristics, Kanfer says, are “integrity, stoicism, a sexual charisma accompanied by a cool indifference to women” (p. xi), “aloof, proud, unwilling to accede to the demands of fashion” (p. 234) and, describing Sam Spade, “wounded, cynical, romantic and incorrodible (sic) as a zinc bar” (p. 69). All of which are exemplified by Mr. Belvedere, and Clifton Webb.
Neither actor is a traditional Hollywood beefcake. Both seem slight of frame (Bogart would hardly do better than Webb in that famous bathtub scene with Dana Andrews), they share what Tom Shone has called Bogart’s “stiff, slightly old-fashioned patrician bearing,” and it’s Webb that’s clearly the handsomer, what with Bogie’s battered, scarred face — and it’s Bogart who has the lisp.
It’s when Kanfer contrasts Bogart’s masculine appeal to that of Hollywood’s crop of youthful stars like Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, and Tobey Maguire that their real similarity and appeal comes into focus. Both, in their different ways, are real men, middle-aged and with lives and accomplishments already behind them, not boys. That’s why Belvedere can excite gossip as a rival to Robert Young, a misnamed “King” who’s really just a struggling young husband under the thumb of a boorish boss. Belvedere, we recall, hates children — and that’s why then come to love him. Webb, as I said before about Bogart, embodies the Aryan character as delineated by Baron Evola:
The sober, austere, active style, free from exhibitionism, measured, endowed with a calm awareness of one’s dignity. To have the sense of what one is and of one’s value independently of any external reference, loving distance as well as actions and expressions reduced to the essential, devoid of any exhibition and cheap showmanship—all these are fundamental elements for the eventual formation of a superior type.
On a personal level, Bogart and Webb had known each other in their Broadway days, and kept in touch; Webb was even a charter member of Bogart’s original Rat Pack, that index of heterosexual cool (Kanfer, pp. 201-2). As I outlined in my essay on Bogie, Webb was the sort of homosexual Bogart could like and even admire, like Truman Capote (who impressed Bogart with his work ethic – doing re-writes for Beat the Devil from a hospital – and his arm wrestling) or, fictionally, dignified, erudite, but devilishly clever Casper Gutman. Not in your face flamboyant, but ironic and quietly competent – like Bogart, like the Roman ideal.
Gutman: [Pouring a stiff drink; Spade lets him pour] We begin well, sir. I distrust a man who says ‘when’. If he’s got to be careful not to drink too much it’s because he’s not to be trusted when he does. Well, sir, here’s to plain speaking and clear understanding. (They drink.) You’re a close-mouthed man.
Spade: No, I like to talk.
Gutman: Better and better. I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking’s something you can’t do judiciously unless you keep in practice. Now, sir, we’ll talk if you like. I’ll tell you right out I’m a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.
As wonderful example of how Webb’s Aryan professionalism and imperturbability underlie the Belvedere character, take another look at the breakfast table scene. After Belvedere delivers his line about how horrible the children are, the baby sneezes, and Webb, without missing a beat, adds “Gesundheit.” Needless to say, you can‘t get a baby to sneeze on cue; this was entirely an accident, but Webb was able to improvise a perfect response, saving the scene and even stealing it back from the kid.
Speaking of styles of homosexuality, another reason the film succeeds in presenting an agreeable Belvedere is the nosy neighboring gardener, Clarence, played by Richard Haydn. He serves not only as a plot foil for Belvedere but also as a kind of Doppelganger, presenting a different, more hateful image of effeminacy. By contrast, Belvedere seems, as the cliché goes, crusty but benign, or a jerk with a heart of gold .
In fact, when I first watched the film, I began from the first scene thinking Haydn was Webb, especially as he began snooping around the Kings during the whole babysitter fiasco, figuring that’s how he’d get hired, but wondering why they would take in such an obvious creep.
Note the almost split-screen effect, Haydn’s self-hugging suggesting weakness and narcissism while Webb carries what we will learn is a present for the family, and the subtle way light and dark characters are suggested in black and white film. In the next section, we’ll see how the Clarence/Belvedere couplet works on a higher, spiritual level.
I also thought Haydn’s performance, in looks and sound, closely resembled Michael Redgrave’s Crocker-Harris in the far classier vehicle The Browning Version (Rattigan’s play premiered in 1948 as well, but was not filmed with Redgrave until 1951, so perhaps the influence went the other way). Stiff upper lip, meek wispy voice, etc. Harris‘s tragedy (apart from being a closeted homosexual with an unfaithful wife and a bad heart) is that rather than succeeding as a teacher, his prissy and haughty demeanor has made him hated and despised; the discovery that his pupils refer to him as “the Himmler of the upper fifth” precipitates his agonizing reappraisal of his failed life.
Sitting Pretty effectively splits the archetype of the bitchy, closeted homosexual, assigning Haydn the role of “Himmler” that Harris wandered into and to Webb the beloved pedagogue the boys all cheer for at the end: “Hooray for the Old Croc!”
Needless to say, todays’ PC viewers implicitly run to Clarence’s defense, crying “homophobia” against the film makers. How dare they suggest “there’s something wrong with that” (to paraphrase Seinfeld) in living with your mother, obsessing about cross-pollinating orchids, and amusing yourself by opening other people’s letters and going through their trash cans in search of gossip. How camp! Why, it’s positively divine!
1. Even grumpy old Harry Haller, the eponymous Steppenwolf, admits that the bourgeoisie’s new toy, radio, is based on “a fact which every thinker has always known [though] put to better use than in this recent and very imperfect development.” and at the end is sentenced by Mozart “to learn to listen to the cursed radio music of life and to reverence the spirit behind it and to laugh at its distortions.” As for inspiration, in “Mad Männerbund ?” (reprinted in The Homo and the Negro [San Francisco: Counter Currents 2012]) I pointed out how even the modern actors themselves felt that period correct costumes helped create not only postures but attitudes appropriate to 60s characters. The example of the revolution in classical music brought about by “period performance” styles — overthrowing decades of hysterical, subjectivist Judaic “virtuosity”– which was decisively influenced in the beginning by Traditionalist Marco Pallis, and mentioned already by Hesse in the mock-historical Introduction to The Glass Bead Game, is too familiar to need discussion here. Needless to say this has nothing to do with prancing around in nerdy “Mediaeval Times” get-ups, which de Benoist rightly dismisses in On Being a Pagan, trans. Jon Graham, ed. Greg Johnson (Atlanta: Ultra, 2004).
Of course, one has to use discretion here. Even the blackest of the blacklisted Commie stooges did work that’s useful at least for their location shots and retro-tech: Sam Fuller’s Pickup on South Street, for example — where Manhattan is still so underdeveloped that Richard Widmark lives in a shack on a rickety pier projecting out onto the river! — or Abraham Polonsky’s Force of Evil, one of the last great noirs, where John Garfield wears great suits, and you know he’s mobbed up because he has a secret telephone . . . in his desk drawer!
3. A good example is The Dead Talk Back, a 1953 production so bad that no one bothered to pick it up at the lab, where it sat on a shelf until 1993, when it was released at the peak of the so-bad-it’s-good wave and became the first film to actually have its debut on MST3K the next year. Anyway, about midway through there’s a chase scene that apart from its inherent goofiness – imagine Lurch chasing Arnold Stang – was obviously filmed on the street without permits and gives us several minutes of live Hollywood Boulevard circa 60 years ago. For our purposes, the most interesting feature is that the whole plot revolves around the apparent fact that in the ’50s, aspiring DJ’s and models, as well as scientific cranks, came to LA and lived in boarding houses with kindly grandmothers cooking dinners, rather than today‘s tiny little individual rat-infested cells; how do you think that influences the “art” produced therein?
Of course, being a big-budget, “prestige” picture doesn’t disqualify it. Consider, obviously, Gone with the Wind; could anyone make a picture like that today, in a Hollywood that lionizes Django Unchained? At what point will things have “progressed” enough for it to be excoriated alongside Birth of a Nation?
Speaking of D. W. Griffith and history, Woodrow Wilson was perhaps the Worst President Ever, since he’s served as the template for every Imperial President since: “idealistic” wars and meddling overseas, “progressive” legislation at home, such as imposing the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax, all bolstered by a vigorous program of domestic repression. He’s the model for Barack Obama, who I’m sure wishes he could someday put Ron Paul in jail, just like Wilson did Eugene Debs. (In the Liberal understanding of “democracy” there can be no “loyal opposition,” only cranks and stooges, so in the “progressive” state one is governed by judges, Ivy League grads and other “experts.”) Which is ironic, since the one thing Liberals despise Wilson for is the one thing he got right: inviting D. W. Griffith to the White House and praising Birth of a Nation as “history written with lightning.” That’s the aspect of the motion-picture we’re looking at here in general. As something of a Southerner, and a professional historian, Wilson knew the “story” of the movie was, as Aristotle would say, truer than mere history. Events since, wherever Negroes have come to power, have proven him right; see the work of Paul Kersey, such as Black Mecca Down (on the ultimate fate of the city of Gone with the Wind) and Escape from Detroit.
4. Stuff Black People Don’t Like includes Turner Classic Movies, “a channel devoted to lionizing Pre-Obama America and exalting it to heights that cause those in power to pause, albeit momentarily. Even DWLs [Disingenuous White Liberals] look at the actors in these films with a mixture of admiration and trepidation, recalling the time they first viewed the film and the emotions that came with it, yet realizing that the world in the 21st century resembles Falling Down more than it does Singing in the Rain — Stuff Black People Don’t Like #61 
5. Much later the same evil Americans remade the film with the very different Steve Martin, which I can’t imagine viewing, though it must have been pretty well sanitized to be acceptable today, even as what my friend would still think of a propaganda for middle class values. Even so, bothering to remake it at all is a way another indication of how popular Webb’s original character had been.
6. See “How Britain built Arcadia: The growth of the suburbs in the Thirties brought a better life to millions” by Juliet Gardiner, Daily Mail, 29 January 2010, here .
7. One of the ironic advantages of the pursuit of such unpopular material is that it’s cheap! Although it’s a cultural disgrace that there’s no DVD release of our film, it’s easy to find a copy burned from the VHS release online (mine was $5.00) and indeed, since no one bothered to renew the copyright, the whole film is available for viewing on YouTube. Additionally, some maniac has posted an almost shot by shot synopsis of the movie here .
8. Emblematic of the decline of interest in Webb is that there is only one biography, published just last year, entitled, inevitably, Sitting Pretty: The Life and Times of Clifton Webb, and published by relatively déclassé University Press of Mississippi. The first six chapters are actually written by Webb himself, part of an abortive autobiography begun at the behest of his friend Bennett Cerf of Random House. A few years ago, David L. Smith obtained the notes from the estate, and added on a standard “star” bio, for which we owe him much thanks. Webb’s own work only covers the period before his Hollywood days; the project was abandoned due to a combination of Aryan modesty and Aryan politeness; to go further would have involved talking about one’s friends and contemporaries: “Truth is a desirable quality in an autobiography,” he said, “though obviously not indispensable, and candor, I have found, compels me to put certain persons and events in a revealing, rather than a flattering light.”
9. Here , and now reprinted in The Homo and the Negro.
10. Colin Wilson, Chords and Discords: Purely Personal Opinions on Music (New York: Crown, 1966), p. 132. The 3-disc DVD of The Maltese Falcon includes “Becoming Attractions: The Trailers of Humphrey Bogart,” hosted by TCM’s Robert Osborne, which documents the changing ways Warners packaged Bogart, from gangster and outlaw to romantic lead and accomplished actor, illustrating his range but also, unintentionally, his evolving style of masculinity.
11. For an example of a private d**k deliberately rendered as an unlikable jerkass, consider Ralph Meeker’s take on Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly, where director Robert Aldrich wanted to make some point about fascism or something. No one likes him even in the film, and it’s hard to believe any woman would fall for his greasy smarm. And as for “who needs acting,” Mickey Spillane was so angered by the performance that he actually played the character himself in The Girl Hunters; while it’s another film priceless for its New York location shots, Hammer comes across, ironically, as even less likeable, despite everyone telling him what a great pal he is, and almost getting Shirley Eaton, right before her Goldfinger role.
12. “Constant Readers” (Waldo Lydecker, Alexander Woollcott, Dorothy Parker, get it?) will recall my discussion of Preminger’s further, less successful involvement with cinematic homosexuality in “Mad Men Jumps the Gefilte Fish Part Three: The Country of the Blind, Continued ,” where the making of Advise and Consent re-unites him with Gene Tierney but not, alas, Clifton Webb, who would have made a far better President than that jerkass Franchot Tone.
13. Anyone who finds such effortless effeminate multitasking implausible would do well to “contemplate” the career of Neil Munro (“Bunny”) Roger (1911–1997) was an English couturier (he ran the department at Fortnum, invested in House of Amies, and invented Capri pants), dandy (bought up to fifteen bespoke suits a year and four pairs of bespoke shoes or boots to go with each) and . . . war hero in the Italian and North African theatres. A “major-general and major queen in the same wasp-waisted body. (Birthday Bunny  by James Conway / June 9, 2011). Nicky Haslam claims to have witnessed a kilted Bunny beating his men up a Highland hill, pausing at the summit to adjust his makeup using a compact hidden in his sporran (Redeeming Features [New York: Knopf, 2009], p. 79).
He also shared Webb’s way with an ad lib:
Roger, like all proper dandies, rivaled Oscar Wilde in the one-liner department. When a gobby cab driver yelled from his window, “Watch out, you’ve dropped your diamond necklace, love,” Roger replied, in a flash, “Diamonds with tweed? Never!” [“All mouth and trousers” by Simon Mills; The Guardian, Friday 16 June 2006]
Once, when his sergeant asked him what should be done about the advancing enemy troops, Roger, who liked to wear rouge even with his khakis, replied, “When in doubt, powder heavily.” When he ran into an old friend in the hellish, bombed-out monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy he responded to his pal’s incredulous “What on earth are you doing here?” greeting with one word: “Shopping” [BUNNY ROGER | BRITISH STYLE ICON YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF; The Selvedge Yard, January 28, 2010, here .
Belvedere is actually a shade less violent, as fitting his Krishna-like role; his war experience was setting bones in Pershing’s army.
14. Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins: Post-war Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, trans. Guido Stucco, ed. Michael Moynihan (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2002),, p. 261.
15. Gutman would be even more impressed when Belvedere downs a whole tumbler of gin; we know the boys are using the bottle to hold cold water, but Belvedere succeeds in horrifying Clarence the snoop. By the way, Gutman’s openly effeminate associate, Joel Cairo, who impresses Spade with his determination if not his competence, announces several times he is staying at the Hotel Belvedere.
16. Just as modern audiences react differently to Belvedere than did his contemporaries, they may find an additional, unintentional level of creepiness in Haydn’s Appleton — a strong resemblance to Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates. In that opening scene, we find Appleton lives with his mother in a gingerbread Victorian house on a hill. We soon learn that he’s a snoop, just as Norman Bates has a peephole to spy on guests. Belvedere will suggest sending a flock of bees to “ruin his irises” referring to his flowers but also suggesting his visual fetish. Appleton’s obsession with cross-pollinating orchids suggests unhealthily artificial relation to sexuality, like Norman’s stuffed birds. Above all, the scene where Appleton finds his mother in her chair, having fainted from reading Belvedere’s tell-all book, is shot almost exactly like the famous “reveal” at the climax of Psycho.
Ironically, in “real life” it was Webb who lived with his mother until her death at age 91; he died a few years later, almost to the day. (His protracted grieving led his friend Noël Coward to comment, “It must be terrible to be orphaned at 71.” His grief was similar when paying his last visit to the dying Bogart, when he collapsed into Lauren Bacall’s arms (Kanfer, p. 225); “he was definitely more of a problem than Bogie ever was” (Smith, p. 218). But unlike the scene in which Belvedere dances divinely with Tacey while Appleton, wheeling his crippled mother around, looks on censoriously, Webb’s mother, always known as Maybelle, was an uninhibited “Auntie Mame” type who helped him host some of the most decorously wild parties in Hollywood history. However, according to Myrna Loy, she did look exactly like Clifton, sans moustache, in drag, which brings us back to Tony Perkins.
Jay Dyer discusses his book, Esoteric Hollywood: Sex, Cults and Symbols in Film and the now available sequel, Esoteric Hollywood 2 with Guns and Butter. We take an in-depth look...
By: Jay Dyer Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange was definitely due for a full treatment – a full Ludovico Treatment! I last watched the...
The first half is free, while the full interview can be had by subscribing at JaysAnalysis for 4.95 a month at the PayPal link. A Non-GMO Hybridization of Esoteric Hollywood...
by Brett Stevens on August 23, 2011
For this reason, we make excuses any time reality comes short of that entropian/Utopian notion.
In the same way people attack the wrong political targets because they are afraid of violating a sacred cow, we ignore that sacred cow and in fact lie consummately about it in order to avoid the issue.
Where there might be a rational explanation, or we might even be able to achieve resolution to the problem, people do not even want to see the problem — it challenges too many of the assumptions upon which they rest their oblivion hopeful that everything will turn out alright if they just keep doing what they want to.
Humanity: mentally lazy, more than physically so.
Our first contestant today is… the UK race riots and the USA race riots.
What colour is Mark Duggan? Mark Duggan is the man who was shot dead by the police on Thursday in Tottenham. The Tottenham riots last night were sparked when people protested his death. This morning, I first heard of the riots on the radio, then on the television. I read articles on the internet. But oddly, no one would say what colour Mark Duggan was. No one would say the unsayable, that the rioters were, I suspect on the whole, black. Then, finally, Toby Youngâ€™s Telegraph blog post on the riots was published. Is Toby Young the only journalist out there who will dare say that these riots are about race?
Still, one paper did carry a photo of Mr Duggan. When I saw the photo, it confirmed what I knew instinctively: black youths once again have set London alight.
Then [the police officer] told me that 80 per cent was black on black gun crime, and that of the remaining 20 per cent about 75 per cent involved at least one black person: black shooting white, or white shooting black. I pushed to know more. While he kept saying his stats were crude and he didnâ€™t have scientific numbers, on the whole the whites who were involved in these shootings tended to be from Eastern Europe.
Problems cannot be addressed unless people are willing to tell the truth. As with so many other things in this country, we stick our heads in the sand and refuse to speak out about it. – The Telegraph
These have been made complicated because, after the initial wave of riots, other people joined in giving the riots a truly multicultural character. This does not disguise their origin: a race riot based on a police action against a person of minority status.
But not so complicated as to justify the response, which has been to make excuses. By making excuses, I mean inventing alternate scenarios for what could be the response, as obvious to the obvious: diversity is not working, there is massive distrust and as a result, you have race riots.
I repeat: these are race riots.
However, our media does something clever — they take a contributing cause and try to make it the cause. This is like someone noticing that a your family got robbed and gang-rape and saying, “Oh, well, she had a Gucci purse. A GUCCI purse! He can’t resist Gucci.”
Many of London’s teenagers have been rioting because they “lack hope” and “feel let down by society”, according to youth group leaders.
“Young people are bored and feel they have nothing to lose,” said former gang member Kim Gardner, who now mentors young people in gangs to try to help them turn their lives around.
But young people BBC London spoke to warned other teenagers, who have been taking to London’s streets, that rioting is not the solution.
Nevil Fenton, 17, who witnessed looting taking place in his neighbourhood in Hackey, east London, on Monday night, said troublemakers were “putting a strain on their own communities”.
“If you’re angry at the police, why set fire to shops?” he asked. – BBC
That’s a good question, Nevil. The answer is that “lacking hope” and “angry at the police” are not reasons, but justifications.
They don’t know why they’re rioting. General upset is part of it; a trained helplessness that teaches them that only burning things gets the attention of their overlords, that’s certainly part of it. However, under that is a simpler reason: diversity doesn’t work, and so they’re miserable and angry.
Also, as pointed out above, for reasons unknown, minority groups both white (Eastern European) and non-white seem to have higher rates of crime than impoverished people of indigenous origins. We don’t need to figure out why, right now; a fact’s validity is not contingent upon its cause, but that it exists.
If these people simply lacked hope, they would do what people have done in every other generation: band together and start their own economy as best they can.
Something else is afoot. However, it’s worth mentioning that the media told you a partial truth — their emotional state may contribute to their unhinged, amoral, destructive, dysfunctional and self-defeating behavior.
Here’s another partial truth:
The blazing infernos which took hold in the UK’s biggest cities have shocked British society. It wasn’t a desire to protest that drove the brutal looters onto the streets, but pure consumer greed. Bankers, politicians and media moguls have made this greed socially acceptable.
It was pictures like these that disproved the theory that the riots were protests, or a youth rebellion like those that have taken place in other European countries against government austerity packages.
It was nothing of the sort. The events which unfolded on the streets of London and other English cities last week were brutal and full of an enthusiasm to inflict the greatest possible damage, even on mere passers-by who had the bad luck to get in the way. It was as if the gang from Stanley Kubrick’s classic film “A Clockwork Orange” had left the screen and become real, only this time armed with BlackBerrys. – Spiegel
We are desperate to blame anyone but the perpetrators.
It was Santa Claus; all those gifts he keeps waving around, like a red flag to a bull…
Definitely, the decline of our society into greed is a problem. But it’s not the problem here.
Our media will make any excuses to avoid seeing the obvious, because the obvious requires they sacrifice two sacred cows: (a) diversity — which doesn’t work — and (b) the equality of all human beings, which has been proven untrue. Not every impoverished person who wanted a Gucci went out and rioted.
We are all baffled: why is this so hard to discuss?
Moving on, weâ€™ve just had the England riots right in front of us. But whatâ€™s new? The 60s had plenty of â€œBurn Baby Burnâ€ moments, which got our attention and caused us to actâ€”to move the hell out of those neighborhoods. Weâ€™ve had our Seattles, our East Cincinnatis, our Wichitas, our Knoxvilles, our wildings, our flash mobs . . . This cannot be hidden.
And yet . . .
So I guess Iâ€™m left with the same question I started with: â€œWhat will it take before we wake up and DO something?â€ – TOO
What we’re fighting against here is the deepest principle of our civilization since the Enlightenment: that everyone is equal.
If that falls, diversity falls, and so does class warfare. Suddenly, some people are born to be servants and some to rule the manor, again.
Every single thing you read, hear or see in the media rebels against that.
It violates the spirit of the French revolution, of democracy itself, of liberalism, and even of what we think of as politeness. To turn to your neighbor and say, “Bill, I don’t mean to be a prick, but God gave me an IQ of 122 and you an IQ of 115, so I’m the boss and you fix the rotors.”
To finally admit that our professionals are the people clustered around 125 IQ points. And even to admit less tangible things as true: that character is mostly inborn, but made not through coddling but through challenge, and that some people — most people — are as thoughtless as animals and should never be given much choice about their destiny.
We have been hiding for so long from the fact that the average person, if given a chance, will run up his credit debt buying giant cars, huge homes, spending wastefully, etc. Not everyone can manage their own lives well.
And to admit all these things unravels most of what we’ve spent the last 200 years doing, casts doubt on several of our wars, and requires we restructure our society. It freaks people out.
The alternative should freak them out more: by insisting on paradoxical information, we slowly but surely destroy our civilization from within.
And that is why you never, ever make excuses.comments powered by Disqus.
When we encountered Boston band Scalpel, it was a breath of fresh air. While some of the frenetic post-‘core deathgrind influences were present, this band made it clear through their songwriting that their hearts were in the older traditions of the underground.
In fact, their sound resembles a cross between a Unique Leader West Coast-style blasting percussive death metal band, and an East Coast outfit, like some of the Suffocation material from their live album era before they fully modernized. Scalpel bash out the intricate textural descents of percussive death metal on Sorrow and Skin, their opus coming out this month.
We were able to snag the band for a few questions and enjoyed their laconic but incisive answers.
How did Scalpel form, and how did your style evolve after that point?
Scalpel formed when Taylor Brennan and Manny Egbert met each other at guitar summer camp like good little childs. We started as a goregrind band with lots of Carcass style riffs before developing a more technical and brutal sound.
What would you identify as your influences, musically and in literature, film and non-fiction writing?
Musically, our influences are bands like Creedence Clearwater, Black Sabbath, Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Carcass. We all enjoy films such as Ip Man, Rambo, The Reanimator, and Clockwork Orange. We also love authors such as J.R.R Tolkien, Kurt Vonnegut and Hunter S. Thompson.
Your style seems to approximate a mixture of East Coast and West Coast death metal influences. Are you the crest of a new wave?
Yes, although we do not try to align ourselves with any other contemporary death metal bands, we do feel that we have a unique sound.
Where did you record Sorrow and Skin?
Sorrow and Skin was recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts. No metronomes were used in the recording of the album in order to produce a more organic sound.
To what degree do you take influence from “modern” styles of metal, specifically the post-2000 ones?
Mostly, the extremely quick tempos and incessant blast beats. Other than that, we stick to our roots.
Where do you hold on to older styles, and why?
Slam riffs, fuzzy production, and shrieking bluesy guitar solos are all elements reminiscent of older styles. We think it is better to draw influence from older groups and expand upon the foundations of death metal than to keep up with modern standards.
Will you be gracing us with your presence with a tour?
Yes, we hope to tour Europe in the future. We look forward to bringing our brand of Death Metal to a new audience as well as making friends in new places.
How do you compose these songs?
The songwriting process sets in much like an attack of diarrhea; an idea will hit Manny or Taylor, and it goes from there. The song starts usually in the form of death metal scatting (fa na na flum flum) and we finish each other’s song ideas and hash out the rest at practice.
What, in your view, is the “soul” of death metal?
Death metal serves the purpose of being a lens into the darkest side of humanity, and making light of the most disturbing things that humans can achieve. Without the outlet of Death Metal, the world would seem deceivingly positive.
This is the transcript by V.S. of my interview on Dennis Fetcho’s Inside the Eye, which you can listen to here . I want to thank Dennis for having me on and V.S. for his transcription.
Dennis Fetcho: Coming up now, we have Dr. Greg Johnson. He’s the editor-in-chief of Counter-Currents Publishing at counter-currents.com. He’s written a couple of books out there: New Right vs. Old Right, North American New Right Vol. 1, and Confessions of a Reluctant Hater. I believe he’s joining us from California, but he’ll correct that. Greg, first, good morning!
Greg Johnson: Good morning, Dennis! Thanks for having me on your show!
DF: Hey, well, it’s nice to have you back! It’s been a while.
GJ: Yes, thanks again.
DF: One of the reasons I had to get you back is because you were on my show when I was on Oracle Broadcasting and all the archives from this era were lost and I’m going through my list of everybody I lost. OK, I’ve gotta get Greg back, I gotta get this guy back . . .
GJ: Oh, no! I didn’t know all that was lost. I wonder if I have a copy of it somewhere. I like to keep all these things for my own archive.
DF: Yes, equally, so do I and I just was stupid and didn’t pull it down. When they pulled the server everything left from this period, and I don’t have it, so I regret it. But I said, “OK, gotta invite you back.” Besides, people want you back, Greg. You’ve been kind of busy.
DF: You were on, I think, not Red Ice, but you were with Lana on Radio 3Fourteen recently. Is that true?
GJ: Yes, that was a really good interview. I really enjoyed doing that.
DF: Yes, how did that go? Lana seems to be doing some really good work lately over at Radio 3Fourteen. How did the interview go?
GJ: Well, I thought it went quite well. I think my brain was working well that day, and she’s a great host. I’m very impressed with Red Ice. I’m very impressed with their range of work and how really professional they are, and Lana and Henrik are a pair of really sharp people, so I think it’s going to do great things in the future.
DF: Yes, I’m impressed with them also. I had Henrik on last weekend. It’s just great to have them on. I think they do great work also. That’s Red Ice Radio, everybody.
Greg, tell us a little bit for those who don’t know you. Now we’re over here at Revolution Radio at Freedomslips.com. Tell us a little about Counter-Currents. What do you guys focus on at Counter-Currents?
GJ: Counter-Currents was founded in 2010 as a partnership venture between me and Michael Polignano. He’s left since then. He left in 2013, so it’s just me now. Counter-Currents is a publishing company; we put out an occasional book, and we also have a webzine which is called North American New Right. Everybody just calls it Counter-Currents, though.
The purpose of it, really, is to infuse some of the ideas and also just some of the intellectuality of the European New Right into North America, because we come out of the White Nationalist milieu, and we think that ideas are very important. We need to get our ideas straight. We think that politics doesn’t just pop up because people have money and guns. Politics, on a deeper level, is influenced by fundamental ideas about what’s right, about our identity, about who we are, and about what’s possible. We call those basic ideas metapolitics, or it’s a part of metapolitics at least. Another part of metapolitics is just creating a community of believers in a particular idea, and eventually those sorts of things can gel into effective political movements.
So, we are a group of White Nationalists, broadly defined. We fear that white people in North America and around the world are currently on the path to extinction. We’re disappearing as a race. Our birth rates are lower than our death rates at this point, and if that keeps up there will be a point where the last white person dies, and there will be nobody to carry on our genes, our civilization. The light that we bring to this world will go out. And we think that the best solution to that is to create our own homelands where we can be secure. That’s the purpose of White Nationalism.
DF: OK. Now, we have, of course, Europe. Europe is, of course, traditionally, because you know how it is nowadays politically, but traditionally the homelands of “white people.” But these areas especially, equally, are under stress, but when you talk about homelands you’re including the United States and Canada, aren’t you?
GJ: Yes, that’s right.
DF: And I think we talked last time about the metapolitics. Really metapolitics is what we’re all doing. We’re trying to create to the best of our abilities some type of what I call a political constituency, laying that groundwork to allow for the political discourse.
How is it working for you? I mean, do you guys have public speakers going out? Is it all done through the web? Is it done through radio outreach like this? What are some of the methods you’re using to go out there and create this constituency?
GJ: Primarily, it’s online. Publishing the word, either in books or on the web. We do the occasional podcast. Since Mike left I haven’t really had a person that I can use to engineer podcasts, and I’ve just got so many other things to juggle in terms of print publishing and online publishing that I just haven’t been able to work that back into my life yet.
I do the occasional talk, and I’ve been looking to people like you and Lana and Joshua Blakeney and others recently to get my voice out there. So, instead of doing my own podcasting, I’m going around and knocking on people’s doors and saying, “Hey, let’s do another interview.” Those are the primary means.
GJ: I do a bit of traveling. In the next few months, I’m going to be going around the United States, and then next spring I’m going to go back to Europe and speak in a couple places. So, that’s generally the way it works.
DF: [. . .] Where is Counter-Currents? How are you doing right now with the website, Greg? Are the numbers good? You rise, you fall? I mean, how are you doing right now with the website? How’s your reach?
GJ: Well, I hate to sound like one of these people who peaked in high school. Our peak really was at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013. There was a big wave of interest generated in our discussions by the 2012 presidential election, and a lot of discontented Republicans and people like that seemed to be tuning in. After a couple months, though, they went back to their old ways, basically, and started rooting for Rand Paul and things like that, and they tuned us out. So, things slipped back a bit.
I think we’ve been Googled. I’m trying to use that as a negative term. Google has screwed us a couple of times, I think. There have been two points in the last two years where, as if by an invisible hand, our search engine traffic has been turned way down. We fought our way back from that once, and then in February of this year again the invisible hand seemed to turn things down.
We have thousands of articles at Counter-Currents, and some of them are like encyclopedia articles, and one of the purposes of Counter-Currents is to basically claim the whole world for us. We have a worldview, and we have essays that put that worldview out there about practically every topic in the world. A lot of times these pieces, because they’re like encyclopedia articles, would be getting a thousand reads a month. Things I had published three or four years ago would be routinely getting read maybe by people doing research. They go to Google, they type it in, they get this thing and they read it.
Back in February, a lot of those pieces went from being read 1,000+ times a month to 40 times a month, and I thought that wasn’t an accident. Something was fishy there.
Anyway, to make a long story short, every time they do this to us we slowly fight our way back. Last month, we had about 85,000 unique visitors. We have about, I would say, 40,000 really hardcore readers at Counter-Currents and we do respectably well. That’s a good number of people. We did a fundraiser this year and we raised $40,000. Our books continue to sell, and I guess the best metric really as to how this is going is that I decided at a certain point that I wanted to be a full-time ideologue, a full-time metapolitical revolutionary, and Counter-Currents has been my bread and butter. I’ve been making a living doing this. Not a fabulous, opulent living, but I’ve been making a living doing what I think is the most important thing in the world, and that’s a level of freedom and a level of job fulfillment that a lot of people simply can’t claim.
So, on those terms, I think Counter-Currents is really a resounding success.
DF: How many titles do you have in your publishing house?
GJ: You know, I should know these things. I think it’s about 20 books have come out now over the last four-and-a-half years. I have a large backlog of things that I’m slowly getting through the printers. But, you know, I’m doing this on my own.
DF: Do you publish it yourself? I mean, does your company actually publish it? Is Counter-Currents a company?
DF: Is it incorporated? Is it LLC whatever? It’s an actual company then?
GJ: Oh yes. We pay taxes and file paperwork and do all that kind of stuff. And “we” means me. Me, and all my supporters and writers. But when it comes right down to it I’m the guy who signs things and writes checks and puts them in the mail. So, yes, I’m running a small business, really, and the business is metapolitics.
DF: Building that political constituency is metapolitics.
GJ: Right, right. Exactly.
DF: Creating the space to allow people to move politically.
GJ: Yes, exactly. Making certain things seem possible. People say that politics is the art of the possible. Well, what determines people’s view of possibility? It’s their basic ideas about how the world works and about who they are. So, if you change people’s ideas about identity, about morality, about the politically possible, you make new things possible in the political realm and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make White Nationalism conceivable for people that simply find it inconceivable and absurd at the present time, and I think that we’re making some inroads because I keep getting new people tuning in saying, “Hey, you’ve had a big influence on me. I’m beginning to see the world as you see it. Is there something I can do? I’d like to start writing for you.”
DF: Honestly, I think the group of you guys, and it’s not just you but there’s quite a lot out there now . . . I’m like a supporter. I’m not one of the group. You know, I’ve got my Chinese ex-wife and my Chinese-American son and things like that. I’m not a perfect spokesperson for it. I’m still supporting the effort, being a big fan of Western esoteric thought, of course. But I think you guys are making a great stride. I think it’s becoming political now, it’s becoming palatable. You had the recent guy Ransdell, I think it is, the guy “with Jews we lose” running for the Senate in Kentucky. But these types of things have a cumulative effect and I think that’s part of what you’re talking about in the metapolitics, would you agree?
GJ: Yes, I would. So, yes, there are a lot of different ways that people are hitting this to raise awareness, and it’s happening. I do think that one of the most important things for us is to have followers, of course, to have people who are actually on board, but another important thing, and this is what you were addressing in a way, is to have people who aren’t White Nationalists who will still follow what we’re doing with some interest and some sympathy and publicly say so every once in a while.
So, for instance, I really love Craig Bodeker’s film A Conversation about Race. There’s a scene in there where there’s this older woman named Mary Ann—I think that’s her name—who’s being interviewed by Bodeker and he asks her what she thinks about White Nationalists. She says she really doesn’t appreciate White Nationalists; she doesn’t agree with them. And then she gets sort of thoughtful, and she says, “But, you know, I can sympathize with their sense of loss.” And I thought, “Wow, that actually was the most important moment in a very important documentary.” Because if we had more people like that who are going to say, “I understand where these people are coming from.” They’re not just Martians, right? “They’re intelligible. I can sympathize with them up to this point.” That is making it possible for our discourse to enter the mainstream.
There’s a really good article at the Counter-Currents site by one of our best writers, Andrew Hamilton. It’s called “Join the Dance .” I really recommend that everybody who’s seriously interested in politics. Read “Join the Dance.” It’s a commentary on a YouTube video filmed at the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington state. It was an open air music festival, and some band was playing, and off in the grass some guy was dancing alone. When you’re out there on your own dancing, you look like a fool, right? But, you know, everyone was drinking and having a good time, so why not go off and dance on your own? Anyway, what changed this guy from a lone nut to a leader of a trend was the first person who ran up and joined the dance. When a second person validated the first person socially . . .
DF: Yes, it’s like seconding the vote.
GJ: Seconding the motion. Yes, exactly! And then suddenly a crowd ran over, and they were all dancing. The lesson was that what changes a person from a lone nut to a leader is the first follower, right? The guy who seconds the motion. I really think that in terms of social dynamics more broadly than in politics that what you’re doing or what that woman Mary Ann was doing, what Jack Donovan is doing.
Jack Donovan says , “I’m not a White Nationalist, but I hang around with them, and they read my stuff, and they’re all cool people.” That validates us socially in a way that we cannot validate ourselves socially, and I think that is one of the signs that there is a groundswell, that the Zeitgeist is blowing in our direction finally, and I think that things are only going to get better.
DF: You know, I have a story kind of fitting what you’re thinking, and maybe it’s a strategy that can be thought about by people like yourself, not just yourself but others like you. I used to do a ton of business with the Japanese, and to do that you had to do two things. You had to golf, and you had to do karaoke. Those are the two things you must do back in the ’90s to do business with Japan. I couldn’t sing, Greg, I just couldn’t do it. So, I would go to this really grungy club in Gardena, California, and it would always be filled with some of the poorer Japanese businessmen, because it was a pretty grungy place, you know. She would always pay me to do one or two songs to get the night going. She wouldn’t pay me, but she’d let me sing for free, because you had to pay for the song. Once I started singing, it loosened up the crowd and everybody came.
GJ: Well, that’s really interesting and, of course, nobody can really sing well in karaoke, so don’t be so self-conscious, right? I mean, that’s half the fun I think.
DF: Yes, exactly. But I think people are afraid to move, so sometimes we just have to get people to break their fear of talking, break their fear of discussing the issues and that’s kind of what you’re about, that’s what this show’s about. We want to support the whole idea.
GJ: Yes, break the ice.
DF: Break the ice, yes. Make this politically palatable so we’re comfortable speaking about it, because at the end of the day why shouldn’t what we believe in be allowed . . . It’s almost like we’ve been socially conditioned to not allow ourselves to speak about our own rights, and I think that’s a shame and it’s a diabolical tactic.
GJ: I think it is, too. One of the best and most important essays on our website is Michael Polignano’s essay “Taking Our Own Side .” There’s this line from Robert Frost that a liberal is a man who won’t take his own side in an argument. The line that Mike says in there is really good. He says, “In a war to the death, not taking your own side is suicide.” And really whites are taught that it is simply, per se, immoral to take their own side in an ethnic conflict with another group. If you really fight under those rules, you will lose, and you will disappear, because the penalty for loss in this world, ultimately, is death.
I do think white extinction is a real possibility . There are many recognized causes of extinction, and unfortunately white people are suffering from all of them. We are suffering from habitat loss, we’re suffering from predation, we’re suffering from hybridization, and so forth. And really, the only way to stop that process is for us to have our own secure living and breeding spaces where we can just go about our business in the way that seems best for us.
I’m working on an essay now that’s been somewhat inspired by a friend of mine who’s going through marital difficulties. I’ve been listening to her talk about the situation, and it occurred to me that really the situation in her marriage is like the relationship of blacks and whites in America–or you could apply it to Jews and whites in America, too–which is that there is so much suspicion and bitterness now that it’s almost impossible for each party to hear the other party objectively anymore. Bitterness is a kind of neurosis where you carry around a whole lot of negative feelings towards a person, and every time they speak it just triggers all those negative feelings to flood back, and you can’t even hear them anymore, and you can’t even have a relationship with them in the present anymore, and really it’s impossible to envision that ever getting better. So, the solution when a relationship gets that poisoned is divorce, and in a way what I’m simply saying, “Enough is enough. Let’s start thinking about divorce in America.”
There are all these ethnic groups that are supposed to be living together, and diversity is a great strength and so forth, which of course no serious political thinker in human history has ever maintained the idea that you can make a society stronger by making it more diverse. But we’ve been sold that silly bill of goods in the past 100 years, and the truth of the matter is that the more diversity, the more conflict, and the more conflict you have over time, the more bitterness and the more bitterness, the less capable we are of actually dealing with one another in the present or having a future together.
You know, if I was a marriage counselor counseling blacks and whites in America and looking at Ferguson, for instance, and just seeing the level of deep aggrievement, I would just say this relationship cannot be repaired. It’s time for a divorce. That’s one of the ways I think we should think of this. Divorce is a perfectly legitimate way of dealing with a relationship that simply won’t go forward, and I think the relationship between the major racial groups in the United States is, unfortunately, that poisoned. So, White Nationalism in a way is simply saying, “Let’s have a divorce, and let’s see if we can live separately and have separate destinies from this point forward.”
DF: How hot is the immigration button right now with you at Counter-Currents? Is this something that’s being discussed or is it really not a big issue at Counter-Currents?
GJ: Oh, it’s a huge issue. You know, I try and let other websites carry some conversations so I don’t have to. So, for instance, VDare.com . They focus almost entirely on immigration, and they do great work. That said, I read VDare every day, and I’m completely in sync with their concerns, and we do publish things occasionally on immigration.
Immigration is a bad thing, it’s a destructive thing, and it needs to be stopped. But that’s not enough. Right now, if we cut off all immigration into the United States today, yesterday, we still have a huge problem, and that is that we have tens of millions, if not 100 million, non-whites in the United States, and those groups are actually reproducing themselves whereas whites are not. Whites have below replacement fertility, these groups have above replacement fertility. So, even if we cut off the influx from outside that only postpones the day when we become minorities in our own country, the country that we created, the system that we created and that other people find so attractive.
So, we need to stop immigration first, but that is not the final solution. (I hate to use words like that.) That’s not the solution to the problem demographically, because what we really need to do is address fertility differentials among the races, and ultimately that means that we’re going to have to use things like emigration. We’re going to have to cease immigration and commence emigration. We’re going to have to encourage some of these people to go home. Other peoples who are either indigenous to the Americas or long-settled here or whose ancestors were brought here involuntarily, like Black slaves, we’ll have to find other solutions for them. I think that the reservation system for American Indians is a good thing, and, of course, the entire North American continent south of the Rio Grande plus all of Central and South America is a vast, if you will, reservation for Amerindians, but we also have our own populations north of the Rio Grande, and they deserve a place, it was their continent. I think Blacks in America should have their own homeland.
We have to begin thinking in those terms. We have to think of moving populations, which has never been cheaper and easier than the present day, which is why we have such an immigration problem to begin with. It’s feasible for millions and millions of people to come here. Therefore, it’s feasible for tens of millions of people to leave, right?
DF: This idea of moving populations, let’s be honest, it happened with the American Indians. But what Americans don’t understand is that these mass immigrations are just really part of what have shaped Eastern Europe and Asia. It’s just part of the landscape with the Stalins. I know you approach this whole idea on an intellectual level. How do you think that you can do this in a way that will work?
We’re going to go into a break everybody. Greg Johnson from Counter-Currents is here on Inside the Eye Live: Intelligent Media for the Politically Aware. We’ll be right back after this.
DF: Alright. Welcome back, everybody. This is the Fetch live on Inside the Eye: Intelligent Media for the Politically Aware here on Revolution Radio at freedomslips.com.
[. . .]
Joining us from the West Coast, I believe, Greg Johnson. He is the editor-in-chief of Counter-Currents. Counter-currents.com.
Greg, welcome back.
GJ: Thanks. Thanks for having me on Dennis.
DF: Are you in southern California?
GJ: No, I am at an undisclosed location on the West Coast. Yes, I got tracked down by these peace and love mongers, the Antifa types, and they started harassing me in San Francisco.
GJ: I had ideas that they didn’t think fit in with the Bay Area community, so they started harassing me through a brick and a paint bomb through my neighbor’s window. They couldn’t get the right window.
DF: Oh, that’s no joke.
GJ: Oh no, it’s no joke. And anyway, I basically thought, “This is a sign from God that I need to find a different location.” So, I have moved, but I kind of want to keep where I’m located secret for obvious reasons.
DF: Security reasons, as they say.
Joining us from the 704 area code. Hi, welcome to Inside the Eye Live with Greg Johnson.
Guest: Hello, Fetch. I wanted to pose a question for your guest and, actually, really for the audience.
As time goes by and whites become a minority, who’s going to look out for white people? I mean, if white people don’t start looking out for themselves, exactly who do they think is going to do it?
GJ: Well, good question. That’s the question that I want a lot of people to think about. You know, white people have this attitude that we need to look out for everybody but ourselves and there’s a deep down assumption there that we’re always going to be in charge, we’re always going to be powerful, there’s no unhappy ending for white people.
That’s a phrase from Christian Lander, the guy who wrote Stuff White People Like. I went to a talk he gave in 2010 out in San Francisco. He had a new book out and he was talking about how Stormfront types, White Nationalist types would contact him and say, “You shouldn’t be making fun of white people!” or “How can you do this?” and Lander’s response was, “I don’t worry about that, because with white people no unhappy ending is possible.” I think that’s a very smug attitude. It’s the attitude that, first of all, we run things, which I think is dubious, and, second, that we’ll always be running things no matter what the demographic composition of society is. That’s a foolish assumption to make, and there will come a day when whites no longer control their destiny. Politically speaking, it’s already arriving in certain states of the United States. Well, it’s already arrived in towns like Detroit, right? Or Camden, New Jersey and Atlanta, Georgia. All these majority black cities. And we just see how livable that situation is. Whites flee those places, or if they stay there they are a little bit, how to say it nicely, they’re a little bit dug in, jumpy and paranoid. They live in highly segregated neighborhoods, although they would deplore that for poor white people. You know, if they have enough money, they live in segregated neighborhoods, though economically segregated neighborhoods.
But the point is we all believe that being a minority is a horrible thing, right? And yet we believe that morality requires it, and cosmic justice requires it, and it’s just inevitable anyway that whites will be a minority in their own homelands. Of course, we’re a minority, globally speaking, already and we’re a minority in America’s least livable cities. So, we really do need to wake up to the fact that we’re not always going to be in charge, and when we’re not in charge, and when we’ve handed over control of our lives to people who despise us, things are only going to get worse.
However, I think on a deeper level we need to awaken to the fact that it was a long time ago that whites lost control of their destiny to people who despise us. It’s just that these people seem to look white, and I’m really talking about Jews. I think that in the United States, and really throughout all the White world, there is a subtle and not so subtle Jewish hegemony that’s established itself, and that Jews despise whites, and that one of the reasons why every white country is being slated for mass immigration of non-whites is that Jews feel more comfortable in a kind of Middle Eastern souk environment where it’s all mixed up and there are all these different kinds of people moving back and forth, and they can be the middlemen who float to the top. They want the whole world to be like the Star Wars cantina, but they’re going to be the ones running things in that scenario.
Whites are not going to be running things in that kind of scenario. We’re not adapted for that kind of situation. We don’t reproduce well in diverse environments. That’s one of the clearest things about whites. These hip, young white people in San Francisco love the diversity, they love living in the Mission and going to their pie shops and hat shops and coffee bars and things like that. As soon as one of them gets pregnant, however, it’s amazing how fast they will be out in the majority white suburbs, where they feel comfortable having babies, because white reproduction is really, I think, depressed in subliminally unsafe environments and that the brain is wired to feel unsafe around diversity. I think the Jews, being a Middle Eastern people, are less uncomfortable around that kind of diversity than whites, and I think that it affects us very negatively to live in diverse environments. I do think that one of the major causes of collapsing white birthrates is a simple feeling of a lack of safety because of diversity and that’s one of the things that’s been driving the suburbanization and exurbanization in the United States and Canada for 50 years now, fleeing diversity into safe places where white people feel like they can raise their families.
Guest: I agree with everything you just said and I would reiterate that I think it is an illusion that white people run anything: the government, even the religion of Christianity in America. It’s run really by Jews. They are able to live and work and rule over us without anyone even knowing it.
I hear all these people call in to these so-called patriot and truther shows, and they don’t understand that these are not white people. They’re Jewish, that are in control and are the primary movers and shakers in all of this, and they don’t understand that. They think that Jewish people are just White people that have a different religion.
And I agree with you. I think that most Jews in their heart of hearts do resent white people, and they will do whatever they can to debase white people, to destroy the innocence of white people’s children. They love doing that. They relish destroying the innocence of white children.
DF: Starting with Santa Claus. That’s innocence at the end of the day, you know?
Guest: One other side note I wanted to make. I was watching a documentary recently. I think it was from the History Channel or something. I taped it many years ago. But I’m a veteran and I’m kind of into security and military and paramilitary stuff. This one piece in the documentary was about the Diplomatic Security Services, DSS, within the government and they provide security for diplomats overseas and what not. They were just showing all the problems and issues with the violence and brutality and infighting in Liberia. It’s a very, very dangerous place, and it’s pretty well-documented with video and what not. You can probably imagine it, but they said that where this really started, primarily, was when the freed slaves from America went back. I guess they chose, or maybe they were forced. I’m not an expert on that part of history. The freed slaves tried to enslave the Blacks that were already living there.
This is one point that I’ll finish up with that you’re obviously well aware of. But so many whites . . . We do have the numbers right now, but they’re diminishing. But they’re neutered! They’re neutralized because of white guilt. We’re taught white guilt from the time we enter the public education system in so many different ways and from the media. Even though we still have the numbers, we don’t use our numbers now because of white guilt. We’re taught to be ashamed of being white and the Blacks and Hispanics are told “Black Power,” “Hispanic Power,” “La Raza.” That’s OK. That’s healthy, because they should be a cohesive group to work for their rights. But if a white person is even just halfway proud of being white . . .
[. . .]
DF: OK, Greg. You’re back. Again, Greg, sorry about that. We added a caller to the line, and as soon as that caller was added everything just disappeared.
GJ: Ah, OK. I was wondering what was going on.
DF: I am not going to add that caller again, because maybe there’s a bug in it. You know what I mean? You accept that call, you disappear.
DF: But going back to what Frank, he’s a long-term supporter and caller to the show. Go back to what he said about the Liberian situation. Moving a lot of the Blacks back to Liberia. We talked about that before the break and we kind of got sidetracked. I want to get into that just a bit. Obviously, you’re still involved in the early foundation of metapolitics. You’re trying to get the foundation to support this idea of a divorce, which is something that you’ve discussed and it makes some sense on a political level.
How do you do that with something like America? How would you move, let’s say, a population out of New Orleans after Katrina? You create a lot of these disasters to move them out? How do you intellectually put something like this into play?
GJ: Well, that’s a good question. I wrote an essay, it’s on the Counter-Currents.com website, called “The Slow Cleanse .” Basically, that’s just an essay about how one could conceive of moving large populations around. I do think that the solution to the white demographic problem requires making white homelands and that’s going to require two things: drawing new borders and also moving populations.
A lot of people think, “Well, that’s just inconceivable. How could you do that?” But it’s totally conceivable. In fact, it’s happening all the time. Right now there are mass population movements going on in the world. It’s just always to our disadvantage, right? We just need to set the trends in motion so those mass movements of people are now accruing to the advantage of whites, that we get more and more homogenous homelands.
First of all, I say that we have to stop thinking about this in terms of quick fixes. There’s a lot of kind of revolutionary fantasy literature put out there by White Nationalists. I’m thinking about William Pierce and Harold Covington in particular where they envision this as a quick hot process of ethnic cleansing that’s violent. You know, something like that. I think that’s counter-productive.
White demographic decline is something that’s been engineered. I am completely convinced of that. But it was engineered to happen slowly over time, and I think that we can have a slow solution as well. A slow solution is a good idea, because we want to be humane, we want to be practical, and yet at the end we want to be left with our own homogenous homelands.
So, how do we do this? We just create incentives for people who are not white to move. A lot of people think, “Oh, that’s a terrible thing! It’s a terrible thing! Forcing somebody to move!” But really, when you think about it, people are forced to move all the time, primarily for economic reasons.
DF: Don’t pay your mortgage, see if you’re not forced to move.
GJ: Yes, exactly! When you go into the job market, you’ve got to go where the jobs are. Once you’ve got a job, you could be moved around by your employer. When you lose a job, you’ve got to go where the jobs are again. When the cost of living in your hometown skyrockets like it was in San Francisco, for instance, largely due to speculation or things that are happening in the market, people who have lower incomes and can’t keep up are forced to move to cheaper places. We are sleeping very well at night when people are being forced to move all the time for pure reasons of economic greed. It’s as simple as that. It’s economic greed.
DF: That’s a good argument you put there.
GJ: Yes. So, why not accept that people could be forced to move for better reasons than simply private interests, namely public interests?
DF: Greg, I think the word is wrong. It’s not forced, but coaxed.
GJ: Coaxed. Yes, and that’s what I really want to do. So, let’s just say, “All right. I’m going to draw new borders and this is going to be the white homeland in northern California.” First of all, we’re not concerned about people who are over 50, OK? Their parenting days are over. So, somebody say 50 and over, we’re not concerned with. If there’s a nice Asian or black family living there, and they’re retired, I have no quarrel with them. They are not going to be reproducing anymore, and eventually, like everybody, they’ll just die. We don’t want to disturb these people at all. They’re not a problem.
The problem is the younger people who are reproducing. What do you want to do with them? Well, you just give them incentives to move. If they’re working for a multinational corporation, we tell the corporation, “Look, there are all kinds of conditions for them doing business here and one is the next time this person moves because of their job, they move outside our borders.” Simple things like that. Over a 50 year period I think you could dramatically change the demographics of an area slowly and gradually.
Confessions of a Reluctant Hater is an accessible and challenging introduction to White Nationalism, written by one of the leading voices of the North American New Right.
Confessions of a Reluctant Hater contains 28 short essays, reviews, and opinion pieces that chronicle the author’s discovery of a white worldview and a white voice to defend it. Greg Johnson discusses multiculturalism, immigration, economic policy, the Tea Party, and the 2008 and 2010 elections, as well as Craig Bodeker’s A Conversation About Race films, Christian Lander’s Whiter Shades of Pale, and even the controversies surrounding the “Ground Zero” mosque and the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Greg Johnson also shows that White Nationalism is not a rigid, right-wing orthodoxy, by including searching and controversial essays on drug legalization, race-mixing, homosexuality, “West Coast White Nationalism,” and counter-culture guru Alan Watts. He also argues that White Nationalism will not triumph until white racial consciousness leaves its right-wing ghetto and becomes the common sense of the whole political spectrum.
Greg Johnson is a master of defending radical and uncompromising views with wit, clarity, seductive logic, and brutal frankness.
Advance Praise for Confessions of a Reluctant Hater:
Greg Johnson’s work is something rarely seen but badly needed on the so-called New Right. His learning is both wide and deep, but lightly worn. He is not afraid to challenge the orthodoxies of Left and Right. He brings a sensitivity both West Coast and Traditional to the cultural politics of today. The works collected here will, like his website, serve as a foundation for any serious attempt to regain control over our destiny.
—James J. O’Meara
Greg Johnson is a rare writer, in that he can combine lucid insights with humor and off-the-wall ideas, offering an analysis of contemporary Western man, culture, and society that transcends disciplinary barriers and highlights the subterranean processes that govern the grand panorama of history. This may sound grandiose and esoteric, but the reader need not fear having to push his way through a caliginous jungle of abstruse terminology and turgid, sludge-like argumentation: Johnson’s simple and easy prose makes reading about these weighty matters an effortless task, clearing the decks for the reader to rethink the world.
—Alex Kurtagic, author of Mister 
Preface · iii
Finding a White Voice
1. Confessions of a Reluctant Hater
2. A Nation of Immigrants?
3. Craig Bodeker’s A Conversation About Race
4. Craig Bodeker’s More of . . . A Conversation About Race
5. Christian Lander’s Whiter Shades of Pale
6. Tea Party: The Documentary Film
7. Separatism vs. Supremacism
8. To Cleanse America: A Modest Proposal
9. The “W” Word
10. The 2008 Presidential Election
11. A Tariff in Time . . . Saves Billions
12. The Gates Controversy
13. The Persecution of Kevin MacDonald
14. The Persecution of American Renaissance
15. The “Ground Zero” Mosque Controversy
16. The 2010 Midterm Elections
17. Implicit Whiteness & the Republicans
White Lifestyle Politics
18. West-Coast White Nationalism
19. Is Racial Purism Decadent?
20. Race-Mixing: Not Just for Losers Anymore?
21. Lawyers & Sex Crimes
22. Homosexuality & White Nationalism
23. Drug Legalization in the White Republic
24. Redneck Rousseau: Jim Goad’s S**t Magnet
25. It’s Time to STOP Shopping for Christmas
26. Merry Christmas, Infidels!
27. Remembering Alan Watts
28. The Spiritual Materialism of Alan Watts
Kindle E-Book: $5.99 
A Conversation about Race 
A Film by Craig Bodeker
Denver: New Century Productions, 2008
When a white person awakens to our race’s peril, the first impulse–and the first duty–is to try to awaken others. But where to begin? Becoming a white nationalist often takes years of experience, reflection, and reading. And one has to find one’s courage along the way too. How does one condense all that into talking points? Big books like Wilmot Robertson’s The Dispossessed Majority may well be the last word on these matters. But what is the first word? How do we begin the conversation? We live in an increasingly post-literate society, so for most people books are not the place to start, big books especially.
This is why I highly recommend Craig Bodeker’s masterful 58 minute documentary A Conversation about Race. It is an ideal first step on the road to racial awakening.
Bodeker posted an advertisement on Craigslist in Denver under the heading “Ending Racism Now,” then interviewed respondents on film. He also did “man on the street” interviews. The interviewees who made the final cut are a very diverse group. About half of them are black, including two blacks in inter-racial relationships. Most of the rest are white, with a couple of Hispanics or Amerindians thrown in.
The premise of Bodeker’s film is that he is responding to Barack Obama’s call for a national conversation about race.
His first question is about the pervasiveness of racism. His respondents all agree that racism is everywhere. He then focuses on the definition of racism, comparing what his sources say to definitions drawn from Wikipedia and standard dictionaries. Initially, I found this concern for definitions and piety towards dictionaries silly. But my objections vanished once I realized that Bodeker was merely trying to show just how astonishingly vague people’s understanding of racism is.
Some interviewees seemed to think that any form of distinction-making is racist, which probably explains why discrimination against women, homosexuals, and poor people was defined as racism, even when no racial distinctions were involved. Others regarded drawing generalizations about groups based on experience and using these generalizations to predict future experience as racism. Still others seemed to think that any judgment that one person or group is better than another is racist-although subsequent questioning yielded significant exceptions. When racism is defined at this level of generality, cognition itself-perception, generalization, induction, evaluation-becomes morally objectionable. On this account, to be a non-racist is to be brain-dead.
Because of the vagueness of the definitions, Bodeker asked for concrete examples of racism in day to day life. Again, the answers are astonishing. Whites excoriated themselves as racist for noticing the existence of blacks and drawing generalizations about them based on experience. In short, for whites, racism is simply race-consciousness.
For blacks, however, day to day racism seems largely to be a form of self-consciousness, i.e., feeling conspicuous and out of place in white society. Blacks complained about whites staring at them, being overly friendly and solicitous, giving them compliments, not laughing at their jokes (although some blacks would probably describe laughing at their jokes as racist too), and being afraid of them (because of black criminality). That’s it. No slurs, no lynchings, just feeling self-conscious.
I drew two lessons from this segment of the film.
First, if a large part of the black experience of racism amounts to feeling self-conscious in the presence of whites, how much of this is due to whites and how much is due to blacks themselves? Frankly, several of Bodeker’s black informants seem to have chips on their shoulders, i.e., pre-existing grievances against whites that cause them to view even innocuous white behavior in a jaundiced manner. One might even say they have prejudices against whites.
Second, who are these overly friendly and solicitous whites who make blacks feel so self-conscious? Do these whites think of themselves as racists or as anti-racists? I would lay odds that 99 percent are liberal anti-racists, who think that simply by going out of their way to be nice they can charm sullen blacks into acting like white people, absolve themselves of the sin of racism, and demonstrate their good faith and intentions. It is ironic that such liberal solicitousness is the primary example of day to day racism cited by Bodeker’s black informants. Presumably, whites who genuinely dislike blacks will not go out of their way to be nice to them, and so will not be perceived as racists.
Bodeker rightly dismisses his informants’ definitions of racism as vague and their concrete examples as trivial. From that point on, his focus is not the definition of racism, but the double standards that govern its use. Bodeker shows that all people are “racists,” to the extent the term has any meaning at all, but only white people are excoriated for it. The charge of “racism,” therefore, functions merely as a club to intimidate whites into not looking out for their own ethnic interests. Thus, although A Conversation about Race can be viewed with profit by people of all races, whites clearly have the most to gain from it, and Bodeker frankly takes our own side and does not pretend to be impartial.
His first demonstration of the double standard is quite entertaining. He asks if blacks are better than whites at basketball, on the average. His interviewees do not hesitate to answer yes. He then asks if whites are better at some things than blacks. (He asks one young white woman if white men are better at keeping jobs and paying bills than black men.) The reaction is very different. Not one of the respondents gives a simple yes. One white woman grants that it is conceivable that whites might be better than blacks at something, but claims she has no idea of what that would be. The double standard is breathtaking: the conventional wisdom on race has no problem with the idea of racial superiority, as long as it is not whites who are superior.
Presumably since none of his informants could come up with a single example of something whites do better than blacks, Bodeker suggests one: whites perform better than blacks on intelligence tests. It was surprising to see how many interviewees explained this away on the grounds that such tests are created by white people and thus culturally biased toward them. Whites, in short, do better only because they stack the deck. Clearly, our enemies are doing a very good job of propagating their ideas.
Bodeker’s follow-up question is brilliant: if white performance on intelligence tests is explained by cultural bias, then why do Asians outperform whites on the same tests? It is amusing to see the gibbering this elicits. Again, the double standard is remarkable: when whites outperform blacks on intelligence tests, this result needs to be explained away as cultural bias, not taken at face value; when Asians outperform whites, cultural bias is never suggested. Again, people have no problem with racial superiority, as long as it is not white superiority.
Another important segment of the film deals with black criminality. When asked whether whites are right to fear blacks, and whether blacks commit proportionately more crimes than whites, the white interviewees are reluctant to agree and tend to avoid the question by making excuses. The blacks, however, readily answered yes. I found this surprising and really rather admirable. Blacks also frankly admitted that other blacks intentionally intimidate whites. But they also made excuses for it, claiming that it is a response to white misdeeds.
Bodeker cites truly shocking interracial rape statistics: in the United States in 2005, 37,000 white women were raped by blacks, while in the same period “fewer than ten” black women were raped by whites. (The odd locution “fewer than ten” rather than a specific number leads me to think that the number could be zero, but that the statistical margin of error is ten.) Bodeker then makes another brilliant point: according to the conventional wisdom on racism, we are supposed to be worried if, on any given day, a white person somewhere in America is harboring racist attitudes towards blacks; but if one is concerned that, on the very same day, one hundred white women are being raped by blacks, that is racism most foul.
Bodeker also deals with the question of collective racial guilt. He shows handily that blacks and whites are willing to impute collective racial guilt to whites for enslaving blacks and ethnically cleansing American Indians, even through many white Americans, like Craig Bodeker, are descended from people who never held slaves or fought Indians. Yet none of his interviewees were willing to give collective credit to whites for the good things about the United States, even though this society was founded by whites and for whites. Moreover, Bodeker points out that the same people who assign collective guilt to whites for black slavery and the ethnic cleansing of American Indians, tend to ascribe collective innocence to their putative victims, even though blacks also practiced slavery and American Indians also slaughtered one another for land. Finally, Bodeker points out that Whites today are assigned collective guilt for what other whites did long ago, but if one suggested that blacks are collectively guilty of the crimes committed by blacks today, that would be branded racism.
Another double standard Bodeker explores concerns racial advocacy. In America today, Mexican mestizos, united under the banner of “La Raza,” advocate the ethnic cleansing of whites from vast areas of the United States. This is not condemned as racism. Instead, that epithet is reserved for whites who object to their ethnic displacement. Bodeker points out the existence of black advocates like Jesse Jackson, but none of his interviewees can name a white advocate. When Bodeker asks a white woman about white nationalists, she says she does not appreciate such groups, but pauses to say that she can relate to their sense of loss. Clearly any form of white advocacy would be branded racism.
Bodeker deals squarely with the long-term consequences of this double standard: white dispossession. If whites, and only whites, are intimidated by the charge of racism from protecting their own ethnic interests, while other ethnic groups are emboldened to pursue their interests at our expense, we will eventually lose what we have: our wealth, our power, our culture, our values, our country, and eventually our very existence, once we become a minority in the land our people created and scapegoats for the failures of the non-white majority.
When Bodeker asks his interviewees about the possibility of their own group being displaced by newcomers, the answers are remarkable. When a white woman is asked what she thinks about whites becoming a minority, the only alternative she can envision is outright white extinction through miscegenation, the creation of a completely homogeneous mongrel race. In short, if one wants to avoid the charge of being a racist, whites must meekly consent to subordination or extinction. Anything else would be immoral. From a biological point of view, such suicidal moralism is a sickness that might indeed doom our race to extinction. Do these people think that a warm feeling of moral superiority will survive their physical annihilation?
When Bodeker asked blacks about their displacement by immigrants from Mexico and Central America, however, their answers surprised me: “Send them back!” “Close the border, build a wall.” “They’re here bleeding our social services, using our hospitals, without contributing anything to our society.” “They come here and don’t even speak English. If we went to their country, we would have to adapt.” “Cinco Dos Adios. They’d be gone. No problem. They’d be gone. Oh Lawd!” Say what you like about black IQ, these attitudes indicate that blacks may be better adapted for survival than we are. As a friend who viewed the documentary with me quipped, “Maybe it won’t be so bad to have a black president after all!”
Clearly the prospects for a harmonious multicultural rainbow utopia are quite dim. More diversity just means more conflict and hatred.
Bodeker’s powerful conclusion is the story of how he himself became a believer in the toxic doctrine of white guilt. He does not describe how he freed himself from it, but I am confident that for many years to come, white people will point to A Conversation about Race and say that their awakening began here.
It is interesting to study the faces of Bodeker’s white interviewees, particularly a young woman named Tina and an older woman named Mary Ann: one can see their minds opening; one can see the cognitive dissonance between the facts and arguments offered by Bodeker and the conventional wisdom about racism.
A Conversation about Race is all the more impressive when one learns that this is Craig Bodeker’s first film–the first, I hope, of many. It was created on a shoestring budget and put together almost entirely on a home computer. It does not look expensive and slick, but neither does it look cheap and amateurish. It is well-edited, well-paced, and consistently engaging, with simple, hip-sounding music. It is proof that while money is no substitute for good taste, good taste can often substitute for money.
Bodeker also has an appealing onscreen persona. He looks like the recovering liberal that he is, which allows a large target audience to relate to him. He comes across as self-assured but laid-back and non-threatening, personable but not glad-handling, serious but not forbidding. He is proof that one can talk about uncomfortable facts and defend radical positions as long as one is soft-spoken and reasonable. It is encouraging to see people of this caliber openly questioning the racial dogmas of our time. This is a talent to be encouraged and emulated.
I have two suggestions. First, I hope Bodeker makes the raw interviews available online. Not only would they be entertaining and informative, but it would also deflect any charges that the interviews were cherry picked and edited to slant or change their meaning. This film is too important to allow anyone to sow doubts about its credibility. Second, how about A Conversation about Diversity?
You can order A Conversation about Race for $20, including postage in the United States, at http://www.aconversationaboutrace.com/ . The website also contains excerpts from the film, reviews, and interviews with Craig Bodeker.
 TOQ’s own J. B. Cash argues that this is not true, but that the college and professional basketball teams in the United States systematically discriminate against white players. See J. B. Cash, “The Racial Caste-System in Sports,” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 37-48. Also see his website, http://castefootball.us .
GJ: In A Conversation About Race, you explain how you came to be a believer in “white guilt.” How did you come to be a disbeliever? How did you become racially-conscious?
Craig Bodeker: By traveling. From my early experiences in the American South and in Hawaii. I was able to see firsthand the differences between racially homogeneous areas — like Minnesota in the 1970s, and these more racially diverse areas. In the South, I learned that many African-Americans call each other “n****r.” This amazed me. I was brought up to believe that this word was actually more offensive to blacks than ANY of those seven words one couldn’t say on television, yet here were American blacks calling one another that infamous epithet at will.
If I would have suggested, in my Minnesota classroom, that African-Americans freely call each other that offensive word, I would have been ridiculed and corrected. I was learning that there’s a large disconnect between the real world, and the classroom, on the subject of race.
In Hawaii, I learned that for all the blather about how “diversity is strength,” it’s still white men that carry most of the state’s financial burden. The State of Hawaii levies what’s called a General Excise Tax of 5% of one’s GROSS INCOME — (in addition to the already sky-high state and federal tax liabilities one incurs while living there). But this special tax is applied only to specific professions. Realtors, insurance reps, bankers, accountants, lawyers, and others are all subject to this “special-tax.” These are all arguably, areas where whites excel, and this is illustrated by the number of whites in Hawaii that work in these professions. But targeting positions where whites are a majority for special-taxation, according to Hawaii, is not a matter of “disparate impact” against whites. No, it’s just how it has to be, in order for Hawaii to survive financially . . .
GJ: Have you sent copies of A Conversation About Race to Mr. Lee and Mr. Dragland, the schoolteachers you mention whose brainwashing turned you into a believer in white guilt?
Craig Bodeker: No. I left Minnesota at 18, and have no wishes to return, or to try to educate Minnesotans. Mr. Lee and Mr. Dragland — (from the film), chose to emotionally abuse 5th graders in their charge, with their “lesson” on “racism.” I’ve learned that in the Religion of Multiculturalism, there are Believers and there are Priests. Although Mr. Lee was supportive of me in other ways during the 5th and 6th grades, both teachers must be considered Priests of the PC Church. And as such, cannot be responsive to reason or logic. Efforts at persuasion are wasted.
Minnesotans seem to enjoy the moral superiority so many of them preach, even as they’re politically represented by the likes of Keith Ellison and Al Franken, and Islamic Somalis fill their welfare rolls and their jails.
GJ: How did you decide to make A Conversation About Race?
Craig Bodeker: It was the disconnects in logic. Every day they seemed more obvious. Before Obama’s election, many American’s believed that we would never elect an African-American as our President, and that this “fact” was proof of America’s “racism.” Yet no one is saying now, that “racism” is dead, due to Obama’s election. Whites who vote for white candidates, as opposed to “diverse” candidates, are just more proof of our racial-bias. But when non-whites vote for fellow non-whites, it’s NOT proof of their racial-bias . . .?
When I first began posting short videos on Youtube, I learned that on the Internet, there is a verbal-war being waged right now, between those on the white side of issues, and those on the black, and “diverse” side of issues. For all the lip-service we hear about our desire for a post-racial society, there exists today a heated conflict between blacks and whites in cyberspace. If you have any doubts about this, just go to any Youtube video, and make a comment, either pro-white, pro-black or pro “diversity”, and wait for the responses. We can ignore this real and growing conflict by dismissing it as online hate-speech, but we do so at our own peril. Those big 20th century media companies that still want to influence our lives, say it’s not really happening, but that it’s simply a few bigots in their pajamas ruining it for everyone.
These disconnects between the media-world, and the real one we live in, were becoming so pronounced and obvious to me, I came to realize that if I didn’t make this film soon, someone else would . . . !
GJ: What are some of the more memorable reactions to A Conversation About Race?
Craig Bodeker: The single most memorable reaction was my wife’s face, when the truck pulled up to our home with the first ten, large crates of ACAR DVDs. I’ve never seen a better effort at blending a WTF, with loving support . . . ! She admits now that she didn’t know quite what to think, when I told her I wanted to use our savings to produce a controversial documentary film. Thankfully, she kept whatever doubts she had to to herself. I appreciate her quiet faith in me, and I’ll never forger that look.
Another memorable reaction occurred at a health-club. The subject of ACAR came up in a dry-sauna. One older, tall, actor-looking fellow said he’d be interested in seeing it, and I gave him a copy. A week or so later I saw him again and asked his opinion. He was a bit reluctant at first, but then he told me that he felt ACAR was dishonest. He said that in the film, I never declared my intentions as the filmmaker. I had to stop him there, and remind him that I clearly stated my intentions, in the first three minutes of the film. He then said that that I never stated my REAL intentions.
Next, he claimed I didn’t define my terms in the film. When I mentioned that the definitions also appear at the beginning of the film, he stammered, repeated his assertion that ACAR was dishonest, and then really let me have it. He called me a White Supremacist!
One conclusion I reach in A Conversation About Race, is that if a white person is not INDIFFERENT to the subject of his race, he MUST then be a White Supremacist! There can be no middle-ground for people with ancestors from Europe. All others are allowed, and encouraged, toward racial or ethnic advocacy, in today’s PC culture, but not whites.
This is memorable for me, because it reinforces the label I used in the film for people like the man in the sauna. That label was “Believer,” and this man was not going to let pesky facts interfere with his beliefs on “racism.” He was incapable of acknowledging any of the clear points the film made, and that fact made me realize that many Americans today are so thoroughly brainwashed by Political Correctness, they’ve become impervious to elementary logic and reason. This was a sobering realization.
GJ: Was A Conversation About Race influenced, in content or style, by any other documentaries?
Craig Bodeker: Sorry for the short answer, but no. It was completely self-inspired.
To be honest, I can’t really think of any documentary producers that have really impacted me. Growing up, I always enjoyed feature films.
I was impressed with much of Evan Coyne Maloneys’ Indoctrinate U. I just saw it in 2009. If I had to choose a feature filmmaker, I’d say Terry Gilliam has always been a favorite of mine and that his film Brazil would be an excellent candidate for a new CGI-enhanced remake. I also like a lot of the early David Lynch work.
As for newer films, I loved District 9 and Up.
GJ: Have you seen Errol Morris’s Mr. Death? If so, what do you think of it?
Craig Bodeker: I have not seen it, but have seen others on the topic. My opinion is that European “hate-speech” laws are counter-productive. American founding father; Thomas Jefferson, spoke eloquently about how truth needs no defenders.
GJ: What White Nationalist thinkers, writers, and websites have influenced you and how?
Craig Bodeker: The term White Nationalist itself is a bit vague to me, and I don’t necessarily consider myself one. Many WN’s tell me I’m not qualified for membership . . . I’ll say that Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance  has been influential. I am impressed with both their civility, and their use of humor. I also benefit from Peter Brimelow’s VDARE website. Both of these sites are courageous and unwavering in their positions, and yet they manage to exercise restraint and subtlety in their rhetoric. The Council of Conservative Citizens  also has a good site. And they bear the additional burden of coming from the South, so therefore must automatically be stereotyped as ”white racists.” I visit The Occidental Quarterly, and the National Policy Institute ’s websites often as well.
I’d also mention James Edwards’ The Political Cesspool blog and radio-show, which is broadcast from Memphis, Tennessee, as well as streamed online. There are those that will label these sites as “hate” websites. But just as we’re discovering the true motives behind those who support Global Warming legislation, we’re also discovering the true motives behind those that champion the cause of “eliminating hate . . .” It’s more about gaining political power and money, than it is about helping the oppressed.
GJ: You have traveled quite widely in other countries. Where have you gone, which ones were your favorites, and why?
Craig Bodeker: Wow. Big question. I remember when, as a boy, our family packed up the motor-home and took vacations all around the USA. I particularly remember one time, while driving the family toward California, when my Dad declared that “travel was the best education.” Even at eight years old, I was encouraged.
As I grew older, and began traveling on my own to Mexico and Canada, I discovered that my Dad was right. I can learn more watching how other people and cultures address their issues than I can sitting in a classroom, reading about them from textbooks.
While living in Hawaii, I discovered Asia. Flying to the US mainland from Hawaii for “getaways” had become somewhat tiresome. I wanted adventure, and when a friend told me that the flight to Tokyo lasted about as long as a flight to Las Vegas, I began considering travel to Asia.
I’ll always love the Kingdom of Thailand. I’ll admit that when I was a young, single man, I was curious about Thailand’s night-life-industry and it’s bar-girls. But after getting to know that part of Thailand, I started becoming aware of the real Thailand, The Land of Smiles, as it’s known, and of her proud, yet gentle people. From a practical standpoint, I like Thailand because it’s cheap! No nation on Earth has tastier traditional food, and If you like to stick to a budget, it’s hard to beat Thailand for first-world comforts, at second and third-world prices. You can stay in a jungle/beach-front resort, dine on giant prawns, and genuinely relax on an exotic, white-sand beach, for a fraction of what it costs elsewhere.
I’ll also say that the nation of Myanmar (Burma), made an impression on me. This is an outcast nation that was actually boycotted by the “International Community.” It’s the cheapest place I’ve ever visited, but it’s also, most definitely, the third-world. Most roads consist of dirt and craters, but some, newer roads are made by manually placing flat rocks over a graded section of Earth, then covering it all with hot-asphalt. It ends up being a fairly smooth ride. This back-breaking work is nearly always performed by women.
What impressed me about Myanmar though, was not their road-crews, but their desire to remain Burmese. The “International Community” demands that Myanmar open herself to outsiders, in order to exploit her rich natural resources. The Burmese know that their deep poverty would end the moment they did so, yet they choose isolation. They don’t see their neighbor to the west, Thailand, as positively as I have described. They acknowledge the blessings of Thailand’s wealth, but they also acknowledge the replacement of Thai culture, with the current culture of drugs and prostitution. The everyday Burmese I spoke with were not cringing in fear of their narco-trafficking dictators, as our Government and media would have us believe, but rather, were concerned about keeping their identity as a people. They would rather be poor and Burmese, than rich and International.
China is as fascinating as it is huge. One could spend a lifetime there and not see it all. They are a proud people, but don’t handle a “loss of face” well. If you ask a typical Chinese for directions to a place he is not familiar with, he would rather make-up fake directions, sending you to God-knows-where, than suffer the “loss of face” that accompanies any expression of ignorance. It is better to be wrong about a thing in China, than it is to say, “I don’t know.”
China has race-based admission policies to public parks and such. There are fees to enter, and I am normally charged ten times what my American-Chinese friends are charged. The official policy is a nationalist one, not a racial one, but every time I’ve entered with an American-Chinese, they’ve always seemed to know that he was from America, and yet charged him the Chinese price . . . ?
Of course, Europe holds a special place for me. Both of my grandparent families came to the USA from Germany in the 1870s and 1880s. I love to explore Europe, and hope to do so, in much more detail, in the future. One of my favorite photos is of my wife and I standing in front of Neuschwanstein Castle, outside Munich.
We normally avoid large cities, but Paris is a must-see destination. More examples western heritage and culture can be found there than anywhere (along with much that is non-western). And the best food in the world as well! But each year in France, more Churches close their doors, and more Mosques open theirs. Visit Paris, before it’s no longer Paris.
The Netherlands are also fascinating to me. Once the commerce-engine of the world, their recent experiments in liberalism have nearly bankrupted them. And as I wandered along the canals (and coffee-shops), of Amsterdam, I couldn’t help but notice the contrasts: family-owned business under the same roof for 400 years, situated next to a porno shop with gigantic dildos in the window. I makes me wonder, is there already a culture-war being waged? Which culture will prevail? Which one wants it more?
GJ: How did traveling in foreign countries, especially in the Far East, make you more aware of your own racial and cultural identity?
Craig Bodeker: I learned quickly in Asia, that to the extent that the term “racist” has any meaning at all, Asians are racists. And especially the Chinese! (See the previous answer about China). Skin-whiteners are the rage throughout Asia, and especially in the south, where people are darker-skinned. Many light-skinned Mandarin speakers–from China’s north, where Beijing is the center of Government, automatically look down upon Cantonese speakers from the south, even when said Cantonese speaker is a Hong Kong millionaire.
Caucasian whites in China are known as “White-Devils” and are not to be trusted.
In the Philippines, most Filipinos admire whites. Whether from Europe, Canada, America or Australia, we’re considered capable, ethical, and smart. Blacks and other dark-skinned peoples, including the blacker Filipinos, are considered less-capable and ethical, and are commonly looked down upon.
In Hawaii, the prevailing culture says that the best mate a successful white man living there can find, will be a Japanese woman. (White women are less frequent in Hawaii). And If you absolutely cannot find a willing Japanese girl, a Korean girl will make for an acceptable compromise, but not one of the myriad other, darker-skinned Asians that populate the islands.
A white man dating a white woman while living in Hawaii is considered gauche. Hawaiians place the Japanese on the top of the racial totem-pole and the Filipinos and darker-skinned Asians at the bottom. Whites belong somewhere in the middle.
I’ve never met a person in Asia concerned about racial-diversity. Most would say that diversity is their enemy, and that racial-homogeneity is the key to their own national success.
Somehow, all of these big media companies, in all of their “documentaries” and “specials” on “racism,” have managed to not once stumble-upon this attitude, which is common sense to most non-white races? I wonder why that is.
GJ: What is your next documentary going to be about?
Craig Bodeker: Still working on that. I’ll be part of a roundtable discussion on race at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina (an historically black college), in January. And I’ll proudly be speaking at the American Renaissance Conference in Washington DC in February. I’ll probably film my travels to each of these events from Denver, Colorado, in hopes of creating something with a bit more color, and music, than used in A Conversation About Race.
GJ: Thank you.
You can buy A Conversation About Race from Craig Bodeker’s website .
Read Greg Johnson’s review of A Conversation About Race here.
More of . . . A Conversation About Race
A Film by Craig Bodeker
Denver: New Century Productions, 2010
I can’t praise Craig Bodeker’s path-breaking 58 minute documentary A Conversation About Race too highly. As I explained in my TOQ review , it is an excellent tool for getting white people to begin thinking about the most important issue of our time: the preservation of the white race.
In my review of A Conversation About Race, I suggested that Craig Bodeker make more of the raw interviews available. Bodeker’s new DVD More of . . . A Conversation About Race is pretty much what I had in mind.
The original documentary is a stand-alone feature. The new DVD is not. It clocks in at 38 minutes and is one of those “bonus” discs containing deleted scenes, behind the scenes footage, and director interviews that are often packaged with movies.
Fans of A Conversation About Race need to see More of . . . A Conversation About Race. Bodeker left us wanting more, and now he has delivered.
But More of . . . is not essential for first-time viewers of A Conversation About Race, which can stand on its own and is probably more effective at only 58 minutes.
Film watchers tend to be naive and film-makers tend to be disingenuous about the power of editing to take people’s words and use them to advance the film-maker’s agenda. Craig Bodeker is refreshingly honest about this.
In making A Conversation About Race, he chose clips that illustrate the incoherence of the conventional wisdom about race. Here he shows some of the material he left out, which allows us to get a fuller and fairer impression of his interviewees.
A lot of the material simply could not be used for technical reasons. Sometimes the interviewees stutter or gibber. One time the camera man’s cell phone rang, and Bodeker rebuked him for it, for apparently this was the fourth time it had happened. Sometimes there were small problems with focus or sound.
The most regrettable glitch was the crying baby that interrupted an interview with a young woman who appeared to be an American Indian. (Craig tells me she is from the Philippines.) The baby in her lap was blonde-haired and blue-eyed. (I thought she might have been a nanny.) She began like many of the interviewees by claiming that she thought that racism was all pervasive, then the baby started crying and nothing after that point made it into the first film. In the More of . . . DVD, she goes on to reveal that she had lived around whites her entire life and had never experienced any racism, save for the time when someone asked her if she was Chinese! The baby turned out to be her adopted child, and she was in an inter-racial marriage. Quite a story!
We get glimpses of how Bodeker set up and conducted the interviews. There were two kinds of interviews: impromptu man-on-the-street interviews and studio interviews.
At the end of one of the street interviews, he engages in shameless flattery to get his subject to sign the release necessary to use his interview. The standard procedure is to have the release signed before the interview, to prevent people from backing out afterwards if they do not like their performances.
In the studio interviews, Bodeker warns the interviewees that he is going to ask them questions that might make them angry. He apparently allowed them to read over a list of sample questions. At least some of them were asked to prepare a statement of their views on race.
Two sequences stand out as my favorites.
The first is a segment of Bodeker’s interview with Ruben, a Mexican national who in A Conversation About Race appeals to his rights as an American citizen until Bodeker gets him to admit that he is not one. In More of . . ., Bodeker sets up the segment by telling us that Ruben got under his skin. In the segment, Bodeker is not just asking questions, he is pressing an argument. His passion is apparent, but I detect no anger, and to my surprise he manages to get Ruben to concede his point. Bodeker again demonstrates that one can persuade people of quite radical ideas as long as one is soft-spoken, reasonable, and does not allow oneself to be pigeonholed as a skinhead or one of “those people in Idaho.”
My other favorite segment is a montage near the end called “Words of Wisdom” in which the interviewees make some very sensible and admirably candid remarks. Bodeker sets this segment up by saying that it is easy to use editing to poke fun a the views of his subjects. But he reminds us that the incoherence of their views reflects the incoherence of the received wisdom on racism. I liked his tone and message here, but unfortunately he undermines it in the earlier part of the DVD with some snide, sniping comments, for example putting one person’s profession (actor) in “scare quotes” and making fun of the coinage “extinctuate” (it was a white person who came out with it, by the way).
The style of More of . . . differs from the original A Conversation About Race. The original is in black and white and has a minimalistic style. The new DVD is shot in color and includes flashier editing and special effects, including rewinds of clips from the original movie, that I found annoying and obtrusive.
As this video came to an end, two feelings were predominant.
First, I liked and respected Craig Bodeker and pretty much all of his interviewees. I particularly liked a couple of the blacks. It is refreshing to see people who are not burdened by “white guilt” speaking frankly and unapologetically about their racial interests. All the subjects had, of course, been well-catechized in the conventional wisdom about racism. But most of them had the potential to see beyond it with a little prodding.
Which leads me to the second feeling this DVD evoked, namely hope. Our system is based on lies: the lie of human equality, the lie of unique white depravity, the lie that diversity is a strength. These lies are so preposterous, so utterly contrary to human experience, that the system it has to create an unsleeping, all-pervasive regime of propaganda and brainwashing to prevent people from looking at reality and thinking for themselves.
But it did not stop Craig Bodeker from creating A Conversation About Race. It did not stop him from putting an ad on Craig’s List, interviewing people with an inexpensive camera, creating a documentary using inexpensive equipment, and promoting it with the internet. It did not stop him from opening the minds of his interviewees and countless viewers around the world.
As I said in my initial review, Craig Bodeker is a talent to be encouraged and emulated. Encourage him by buying his videos. Encourage him to do a new documentary. (I vote for A Conversation About Diversity.) As for emulating him, if there are any aspiring White Nationalist documentary film-makers out there, please contact me. Perhaps we can put together a workshop.
You can purchase More of . . . A Conversation About Race for $20, including first class postage in the US, directly from Craig Bodeker’s website, http://www.aconversationaboutrace.com/part_2.asp . You can purchase both DVDs together for $30.