Saturday, July 23, 2022

The mediocrity of John Ganz—again—the failed painter in Bushwick. His highlighting

Peter Thiel is a fascist. There’s really no better word for what he is. For some reason, people have a lot of trouble grasping this or just coming out and saying it. 

In his biography of Thiel, The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power, Max Chafkin writes, “The Thiel ideology is complicated and, in parts, self-contradictory, and will take many of the pages that follow to explore, but it combines an obsession with technological progress with nationalist politics—a politics that at times has seemingly flirted with white supremacy.” Let’s see, we’ve go some futurism, nationalism, maybe a little bit of racism here and there…hmm, what does that all add up to? What a mystery this guy is!

...But being anti-democratic is one thing, but how could the libertarian, the defender of individual freedom, the believer in the market ever really be a fascist, an ideology that celebrates the collective masses and the state? I think part of the problem is that there is still a very cartoonish notion of what actually-existing fascism looked like.

Back to Bacharach: "I was a Gay Jewish Teenage Nazi"; also Milo Yiannopoulos, and Jörg Haider,
Michael Kühnen et al.

"For Kuhnen, there was something supermacho about being a Nazi, as well as being a homosexual, both of which enforced his sense of living on the edge, of belonging to an elite that was destined to make an impact. He told a West German journalist that homosexuals were 'especially well-suited for our task, because they do not want ties to wife, children and family.'" 

"Should a homosexual be a good citizen?" Leo Bersani asked in Homos in 1995, expressing a gay skepticism that has dogged every upsurge of gay politics. Bersani's doubt results from his diagnosis of "the rage for respectability ... in gay life today." He locates that rage in postmodern dissolutions of gay identity, in clamors for gay marriage and gay parenting, in queer antisepticizings of gay sex. "Useful thought," Homos suggests, might result from "questioning the compatibility of homosexuality with civic service." And from questioning more: Bersani makes a claim about social being itself. He hypothesizes "that homo-ness ... necessitates a massive redefining of relationality," that it instances "a potentially revolutionary inaptitude perhaps inherent in gay desire for sociality as it is known." If there is anything "politically indispensable" in homosexuality, it is its "politically unacceptable" opposition to community. Thus Homos paradoxically formulates what might be called "the antisocial thesis" in contemporary queer theory.

The contradictions are the point. Conservatism is anti-individualist but not destructive of the individual as such. Fascism is the cult of individualism and the destruction of individuality. The destruction of the self. 

"Self-hated is the foundation of fascism. Self-hatred directed outward: the Catholic Integralists and faggots disgusted by the fact that most people don't know enough to hate themselves." 

Bersani: "No one wants to be called a homosexual."
Yiannopoulos:  "If I could choose, I wouldn't be a homosexual."  
On the other side of Brooklyn, a hipster lesbian discovers the pleasures of pleasure.
Initially, Fishman’s narrator is herself an aspiring ascetic. A young barista adrift in Brooklyn, Eve is concerned by the various evils of modern life – capitalism, sexism, environmental degradation – but remains unsure what, if anything, she can do about them. “My friends and I were raised without real religion and without a comparable ethics of living through which to filter our beliefs and ambitions,” she reports. “We were encouraged to care deeply about the state of our world but our ability to affect it personally was very much in doubt.” What Eve can control is her own wayward desire, or so she is committed to believing. She belongs to a set “to whom queerness meant a specific type of ethical awareness”, and lesbianism arises in her life “like a faith”. Her girlfriend, Romi, represents her ideal. A doctor of withering virtuousness, Romi is “so preoccupied with her vocation that she [is] immune to beauty. The concept [hasn’t] occurred to her outside an introductory art-history course.”

Review by Becca Rothfeld.  It's all so silly, or just sad. 

I'm not sure why people are surprised and even upset that some teenagers don't know who the hell bin Laden is.
...The kids are fine. It's our elite overlords that are all screwed up.

The kids are idiots, and so are their overlords. 

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