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Revealing ‘The Great Amputation’ of Postmodernism’s Triumph

I Wanna Get Anagogical

The most important piece of writing of the past decade to me is an article written last year in Modern Age by Ewa Thompson, “The Great Amputation: Language in a Postmodern Era.” It is important because it identifies the key to our modern stupidity.

This stupidity is increasingly irksome in the way that it has seeped into political decisions that affect our lives. Thompson’s discovery is even more profound, however. She explains one of my great frustrations: when we have literally at our fingertips the entire record of the greatest thoughts of human history, why do we not use them to help solve our problems, understand each other better, or merely delight in the play of genius? Why, furthermore, do we in general not contribute to them? Why are we becoming sub-literate? As Thompson writes: “words are losing their power to convince, console, and elicit joy.” As someone who takes literally Faulkner’s injunction that man is immortal because he alone among animals has an inexhaustible voice, the disempowering of the word is a matter of grave significance.

Welcome to Hegel’s Apartment

A new series of essays on culture and philosophy from Liberty Island literary novelist Scott Seward Smith

Nietzsche mocked Hegel by saying that the latter thought Western civilization had reached its pinnacle in his Berlin apartment. Being forced to spend more time of late than usual in my New York apartment, I’m kind of with Hegel. My wife and I, regrettably, have no children. Our apartment is spacious enough for us. We are not only comfortable but happy in the space we have created. I am surrounded by my books, photographs, some works of art. A few months ago I bought a CD player in part to listen to a Great Courses set of CD’s on understanding classical music. Western civilization may not be at its pinnacle in my apartment but I get what Hegel felt and what Nietzsche mocked.

Taking Ramy Youssef to Task for His Depressing Hulu Sitcom

Most of my writing these days focuses on Islamist groups in Southern California and the country at large, however sometimes it intersects with popular culture, as it does with my newest piece, published yesterday at PJ Media, Golden Globe-Winner Ramy Youssef’s Muslim Family Sitcom More Tragedy than Comedy

Pulling Your Cosmic Trigger: Why July 23 Is Robert Anton Wilson Day

An Overview of the Unique Sci-Fi Novelist and Occult Explorer Who Made Contact With *Something* Today in 1973

If I had to pick a single author who has influenced me more than any other it would be the counterculture godfather Robert Anton Wilson whose books, speeches, and ideas have influenced generations of oddball individualists since the 1970s.

 

Exploring LeftTube, Part 2: BadMouse Productions

Why I like Extremists

In his brilliant column on the future of sex robots (trust me, it’s really good), Ross Douthat opens with a line that I think is often true: “Sometimes the extremists and the radicals and the weirdos see the world more clearly than the respectable and moderate and sane.” I say this in light of today’s leftist YouTuber, BadMouse Productions, the most radical YouTuber I’ll be covering on a series on the rise of the YouTube Left (otherwise known as “LeftTube”).

Compared to other leftist YouTubers, BadMouse may not have the most views or subscribers, but what marks him out from his comrades is just how much he embraces his leftism. He’s no champagne-sipping socialist. More like a, East Germany wasn’t so bad, maybe we should rethink Stalin’s legacy, it’s not so bad if protestors attack cops, blood of the bourgeoisie sipping socialist!

Exploring LeftTube, Part 1: PhilosophyTube

I watch a lot of YouTube. Like… a lot of YouTube… So much YouTube in fact, that I get a good bulk of my political commentary from watching YouTubers. Since about 2015, YouTube’s political content has exploded, with political views from Left, Right, and Center putting in their two cents on the culture wars that are polarizing our nation. As a conservative myself, I’ve been fascinated by the rise of “LeftTube,” a loosely connected group of leftist YouTubers that have formed in response to the rise of right-wing political content on YouTube. These content creators provide good insight into how the Left is responding to the Trump era, and more importantly, where it is going. Over the course of a series of shorter posts, I will be picking a certain prominent Leftist YouTuber, and I will uncover a central point they make that I think is worth exploring.