I would like progressives more if they stopped behaving like pure-minded zealots and admit what really matters is power. Wouldn’t a little honesty make us all better off?
Consider for example the current persecution of the heretofore unnoticed state of Indiana. If progressives would stop making ridiculous mouth noises to the effect that queers are somehow in danger, and instead admit that the real crime is that of lese-majeste:
I could read about sports without being subjected to dishonest haranguing. For example Charles Pierce began on the right foot in a recent Grantland article on the NCAA tourney:
We should pause here for a moment to congratulate Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who, on Thursday, demonstrated exactly why political writer Matthew Yglesias once called him a fool who deserves to be laughed at, and why the late, great Indiana political gadfly Doghouse Riley regularly referred to him as “The Choirboy.” Convening a private meeting for the purpose, Pence signed something popularly called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that essentially gives Indiana businesses the freedom to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Pence then went all over the local media demonstrating that a stupid man signing a stupid law can defend it even more stupidly.
But then Pierce lost the courage of his convictions by writing
What Pence did do, of course, is guarantee that next week’s Final Four is going to be a shit show of the very first order.
Even if you’re in favor of the law, and shame on you if you are, Pence couldn’t have waited two weeks before bringing the circus to town?
I mean, seriously? Hey Chuck, did you complain about how the Ferguson protests made it difficult for you or your journalistic brethren to cover Rams games? No? Why not a touch more honesty:
We should pause here for a moment to congratulate Indiana Governor Mike Pence who, on Thursday, revealed himself to be a “stupid worthless kulak [who] thinks he can fight back, which he can’t, for five minutes.” Grantland is owned by ESPN which is owned by Disney. We are therefore the ruling class. Gays are protected by the ruling class. Kulaks aren’t, and if you keep it up, the result will be a shit show of the very first order.
Two Minute Hates: organized without insulting my intelligence.
Within a few microseconds of the aforementioned law being signed, limited only by the speed of light through fiber, my prog friends on Facebook stopped complaining about other causes du jour and began moaning of the monstrous injustice taking place in Indiana.
I realize you can’t just show Emmanuel Goldstein on the big telescreeen and expect to trigger hysteria. You have to show Goldstein over a backdrop of something alarming: a horde of Eurasian soldiers. But surely you can come up with better propaganda than this extremely tortured line of reasoning:
1. A person leading an alternative lifestyle might visit the Hoosier State and become injured, perhaps by a large cornstalk falling on them.
2. Hospital administrators, who as we all know are recruited solely from Stormfront, and Putin’s propaganda organization Sputnik, would deny authority to someone of the same gender who claimed to be the injured’s significant other.
3. Those same hospital administrators would cut off the victim’s head and replace it with that of a frog. And then laugh. Ha ha ha! Suck it homo! You’re a frog now!
[I made up #3. It’s scarcely less believable than #1 or #2.]
Elite signalling: more honest
Marc Benioff made threatening noises towards the state: “Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination.”
(In related news, I have petitioned my employer to halt all plans for my business travel because “I might get a boo-boo” and “airport taxi drivers are meanies”.)
In a more honest world, Benioff could tell the truth:
“Somehow Salesforce.com became a major employer in Indiana. Which to be honest I did not even know was a state. Is it like east of Pakistana and west of Bangladesha? Whatever, I’m sick of Larry Page and Larry Ellison and that fruit from Apple getting all the headlines. I care a lot about disaster, fire, floods, and equalities, and when you change your laws in five minutes you’d damn well better tell everyone it was that Marc Benioff who made you do it.”