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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Diversity à la carte

Our Gang, racing the rich kid
Ayn Rand’s archvillain, Ellsworth Toohey, in The Fountainhead, promoted “diversity,” in Chapter XIV, as one means of acquiring power:  "Don't set out to raze all shrines—you'll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity—and the shrines are razed." This is true. If you’re taught, and believe that a thatched hut in Africa is as much of an achievement as  the Empire State Building, then the shrine has been razed.

Diversity means mixing apples and oranges and forbidding you to choose between them.

Diversity means equating a Rachmaninoff symphony or a Chopin etude with any instance of “rap” you care to name. God help you if you disagree. Rap is undiluted hatred, in performance of shouting obscenities and misogyny in your face, backed up by throbbing, deafening, mind-nullifying bass. Its purpose is to destroy.

Rap is “a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates ‘rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular’, which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways, usually over a backbeat or musical accompaniment….Rap differs from spoken-word poetry in that rap is usually performed in time to an instrumental track. Rap is often associated with, and is a primary ingredient of hip-hop music, but the origins of the phenomenon predate hip-hop culture. The earliest precursor to the modern rap is the West African griot tradition, in which ‘oral historians’, or ‘praise-singers’, or ‘critique individuals’ would disseminate oral traditions and genealogies, or use their formidable rhetorical techniques for gossip or to "praise or critique individuals….”

I beg to differ. It contains no music.  And it is usually performed by someone who can’t sing, or doesn’t seem to try. After all, melody is verboten. I stress the term chanted.

Diversity means Western culture is alleged to be on a par with primitive cultures. The Venus de Milo is the same as a voodoo doll. To make a distinction between them is to “confess” your innate “racism, “white privilege,” and even Nazism. Elevate the subjectivist in art, and raze the absolute. A subjectivist person is a coward who is afraid to have values, or is afraid to defend what values he may have if they are attacked.

Diversity means that the artwork of Lawrence Alma-Tadema is on a par with the non-art of the likes of Jackson Pollack, together with that of all his ilk’s smears, blobs, blank canvases, and parallel lines of modern art.

Diversity means that meaningless means that there are no absolutes, only one’s subjectivist feelings. Feelings replace reality. A subjectivist will assert with a straight face that, “The Dark Horse Nebula is just a spilled ink spot, that’s how I see it.” To say that an “artwork” is meaningless is not an acceptable or recognized critique of a canvas of blobs and smears. To a doctrinaire subjectivist it is an expletive. A box of randomly chosen junk is the equal of or superior than the Statue of Liberty. If you are faced with a jumble of colors, or by a canvas on which are glued swatches of fabrics, and insist on identifying it as such, you will have violated the modern cardinal rule of art appreciation to not identify rubbish is trash. You will have hurt the creator’s feelings, and invaded his “safe space.”

What is crucial to note is that the non-objective is always compared to the objective. The non-objective must be presented as relative to the objective. By itself, it means nothing. Standing alone, a canvas of blobs and smears is just that: a canvas of blobs and smears. It must have a standard to be “relative” to. A slice of toast with holes in it means nothing. It can be whatever its creator says it is. He can give it an arbitrary name or a number. He can call a pile of bricks the Venus de Milo or Number Six. So it doesn’t even need something to be opposite or relative to. It won’t need a reference at all.

Jackson Pollock once said, “Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is." Believe him or anyone else who makes the assertion. Believe anyone who claims that “his reality” differs from your reality. The automobile you see might be an orange pumpkin to the modern artist. What such a person confesses is that he is truly what he is, and puts on canvas, or welds together from a scrap pile: mad, and a fraudster.

I noted in my Rule of Reason column last January, “Own Truths vs. Reality,”, that a Pollockian subjectivist will claim:

“We don’t care about facts. We ignore them. It’s racist to cite facts. It’s our feelings that determine what is real or relevant, not facts. What we feel is the true reality. We have our own truths. Oprah said so.” However, as many “non-#Resistance” commentators have observed, there is no such thing as one’s “own” truth. There is just reality, or facts. An individual doesn’t own reality, nor is it true if he does assert he that does. To him, reality is malleable, changeable, clay putty to be turned into anything he wishes, because he “doubts.” He is the practicing icon of Descartes’ dictum, “I think, therefore I am.”  And they don’t care if they’re called hypocrites. Labels, after all, mean nothing to these doyens.  

At this point in time I would not grant a Pollockian even the dubious distinction of being a hypocrite. Pollock, from Pablo Picasso and his contemporaries onward, were basically scam artists; the mainstream critical establishment knew it and profited from sales of their works. Noël Coward wrote a comedy in 1958 about the fraud of modern art and the hubristic pretentiousness of its creators in Nude with Violin, in which a famous artist dies and leaves his oeuvre to the world, a collection “bad” art, all of it done by a variety of off-balanced people, and even a child. It commanded fabulous sums in art galleries and at prestigious auctions, paid by delusional millionaires.

Would it profit one to argue with a modern artist? No. I left this remark on a Gatestone column,

"Every day we hear on television, 'We need an honest discussion about race in this country.'" But the "discussion" would not be a real "discussion." It would be deliberately steered to a concession that whites are intrinsically bad, regardless of a white's sincere but obsequious bows to the Progressive spiel (or to Islamic dawah). The best "discussion" is to have no "discussion," for the dice would always be loaded to force whites to acknowledge their "guilt," for slavery, oppression, and wanting to retain their "privileges" to enslave others, and so on. “Shaming” reveals in an insightful essay the collectivist phenomenon now propagated by academics and the MSM.

In that same column, Nonie Darwish observed: “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer cited ‘skin color’ in voting against a white federal judge nominee. He justified the vote as, ‘Having a diversity of views and experience on the federal bench is necessary for the equal administration of justice.’”  Which brings me to diversity in “entertainment.”
Superior to the Empire State Building?

 The Atlantic on March 15 published a column, Can Inclusion Riders Change Hollywood?
Frances McDormand’s Oscar speech encouraging diverse hiring in the film industry has sparked a mini-trend.”

What is a Hollywood “inclusion rider”?

David Sims wrote: It is, “a contract stipulation that requires certain kinds of diversity in a film’s cast and crew, such as racial and gender balance. It’s not a foreign concept within Hollywood, but McDormand’s speech has inspired new efforts to implement inclusion riders in the industry.”

The concept of the inclusion rider was introduced in 2014 by Stacy L. Smith, the director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which conducts comprehensive studies on representation and diversity. Smith’s idea was specifically designed to address systemic inequality in Hollywood; some of her suggestions included balancing out background roles so more female actors can find work, and demanding that executives and studio heads at least consider women when hiring directors for their films. According to a sweeping industry study, only 31 percent of speaking roles in movies go to women (and 29 percent to actors of color), and only 4.2 percent of women get to sit in the director’s chair.

Annenberg writes under the heading: The Inclusion Rider: Legal language for ending Hollywood’s epidemic of invisibility:

The purpose of the inclusion rider is to counter bias in interviewing/auditioning and hiring/casting in specific employment positions in the entertainment industry. The rider is a template and living document, not something to be cut and pasted into a contract. The details of its implementation are crucial to its success. The rider is a flexible and adaptable framework that actors/content creators should consider together with counsel prior to signing on to their next project. The inclusion rider does not provide for quotas. It simply stipulates consideration of the deep bench of talented professionals from historically under-represented groups and strongly encourages hiring and casting of qualified individuals from under-represented backgrounds. We believe that this language is a necessary first step to eradicate inequality experienced for years on screen and behind the camera.

As a lifelong watcher of movies, and in the past, of television (which I am viewing less and less  anymore; today it seems to be targeted to PC brainwashed knuckleheads), I’ve never kept a check marked percentile count or have been conscious of a film or TV cast’s makeup in a production featuring stars and support cast: of men, women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, Indians, foreign-born of any category, etc. It was never my motive or purpose to count “group” noses, and I am certainly not going to develop a social justice warrior conscience and begin counting them now, either.
An early Our Gang: 1920s

“Inclusion” is not as new or radical a practice as McDormand professes. I remember the “noses” now from having watched TV in the 1950s, such as Our Gang, which was produced from the 1920s for movie theaters to the 1940s, while episodes of it were later rerun on TV. I can’t count the number of films I saw that fulfilled McDormand’s demands. They are too numerous to even mention in passing here. Over a century of films did fine without “inclusion riders,” and nearly seventy years of TV. I don’t think any studio went out of its way to meet the demands of ethnic or gender “diversity.” Not having “a proportional” group presence in any production is unjust, they say, and unfair to women and other minorities (including the LGBT bunch), and extremely dangerous to our “democracy.”

Diversity is all about showing the best “multicultural” face possible, in conformance to political correctness -- or else.

3 comments:

  1. Nicholas Dykes in Britain was unable to leave a comment. Here it is:

    Good one, Ed, keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a researcher and professor of global terrorism and intelligence, my experience has extended beyond those of 99% or more of the humans on this planet; most due to the contacts I have made and their life experiences. I've often wondered, "Why me? Who am I Lord God that you have selected me as the recipient of this knowledge for I am slow of tongue?" Sound familiar? Yet I have been blessed to become well known for these contacts and receive more information and sources.

    One such individual recently completed her Masters program with a detailed expose' on a 90 year program to establish the very multiculturalism hubris that is in existence today. Her work contains over 150 peer-reviewed, documented translations of Soviet instructions, formerly highly classified VENONA (a CIA/MI6/NSA interception program) documents, and other information easily obtainable yet ignored by the public.

    In my recently published book, The Coming War with China, available at https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookSearchResults.aspx?Search=The%20Coming%20War%20with%20China
    I include information previously unknown concerning such sources, fictionalized to protect identities and to make more readable.

    The point in the politically correct society is to limit the knowledge of the masses as a means of control identical to that used to maintain the control over the slave prior to the Civil War.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Nimon: I forwarded your comment to Diana West, author of "American Betrayal." She has written extensively about the VERONA intercepts.

      Delete