• The Failure of Reality

    October 15, 2022

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy

    Spotify once took a run at Joe Rogan. YouTube banned Dan Bongino. Twitter permanently suspended Marjorie Taylor Greene. Twitter also famously canceled Donald Trump, and me.

    As with the suspension of Trump (and on a much, much lesser scale, me) progressives cheered the deplatformings the way public lynchings used to attract a picnicking crowd. Progressives control social media (as well as most MSM) and so day-by-day their unreal world becomes ethically more cleansed, more free of things they do not like, and with all the bad news (Hunter Biden) made to go away. The world online is the way they want it to be, with the real world held at bay behind the screen. Like living in The Villages in Florida, or maybe in the Matrix.

    It is very much the same for what we’ll call social media 3-D, things like renaming high schools or tearing down statues. Those acts are the equivalent of tweets. Nothing changes because of them, but everyone feels more righteous. Might as well send the 45 cents a day to one of those TV charities and think you are solving hunger in Africa. Or posting on Facebook something saying everyone should get vaccinated, or when gays were still performing well as victims, changing your photo to a rainbow flag.

    You see it also in the blurred lines between fiction and reality. A touchpoint for understanding Trump was the dismal novel Handmaiden’s Tale. Black empowerment? Wakanda. Economic equality is fictionalized by replacing every white person in a TV commercial with a black actor, and every other Hallmark romance with a same-sex couple. Same thing when our society over-celebrates the first transgender Jeopardy! winner, or another children’s book where the cuddly caterpillar who does good deeds is nonbinary. NYC’s Shakespeare in the Park this year featured Richard III with the lead played by a black woman, no doubt as some imagine the Bard secretly intended.

    But this detachment from reality, the appearance of action instead of action, is why progressives continue to have to “raise awareness” for the same old things over and over. In the end, nothing that happens online matters. Online is just propaganda of unknown real-world effectiveness. The left celebrates the deplatforming as ending Marjorie Taylor Greene, forgetting she is still a sitting Congresswoman. Votes count, “likes” do not. Joe Rogan talks to 11 million people a week; Neil Young, his one-time media nemesis, not so many.

    The danger of all this, as each purple haired undergrad eventually bumps into the real world and realizes they/them have been played, is it creates learned helplessness at a time when America indeed faces real problems. But I tweeted about that! I posted “I stand with ____” memes for a week! I liked Dr. Fauci’s Insta! And yet you still got the Covid, huh, bro? It’s why we regularly end up with “cosmetically diverse” institutions, rather than anything real that leads to broad social progress.

    How does learned helplessness manifest itself? We might ask why with all the emphasis on change and democracy hanging by a thread, even the most contested elections are lucky to lure half the electorate away from their screens long enough to vote. Behind the smokescreen of claims Republicans are trying to disenfranchise black voters lies the reality that the Democrats have never found a way to get their favored voters off the couch to do the one thing that might still matter. I have voted in every election I was eligible for over the last 55 years. I even voted from inside an actual war, writing off for an absentee ballot. I show my ID (and until recently, vax card) to enter a restaurant; it’s not a big hurdle at the voting booth. If the whole voting thing is not yet clear, think on the difference between the purposeless extremism of pink pussy hat cosplay versus sending three judges to the Supreme Court.

    Disreality and learned helplessness are at the heart of progressivism, an oddly self-defeating stance. If one accepts the teachings of the 1619 Project and its armed wing, BLM, blacks have been the passive victims of white racism for over 400 years, a racism which has successfully resisted the Civil War and the end of slavery, Constitutional amendments, the Civil Rights Acts, and Barack Obama. The message is pretty clear: black people can’t win. That’s supposed to inspire something? What would happen with less virtue signaling inside a closed loop and more helping people who actually need help?

    Same for the Democratic election strategy of pre-declaring all upcoming elections unfair if the other side wins. Pick your channel: the Repubs will miscount the votes, or America’s proportional representation system means one man’s vote does not count because Wyoming has two senators, or the electoral college negates the make-believe victory standard of popular vote. The end result is why bother to vote when some outside thing means your vote will not count anyway. It seems an odd way to drive a party.

    We’re in a world now where being a survivor of something and telling strangers about your trauma is a way of life. I confess a naughty pleasure in reading Huffington Post Personal stories. Most of these are anecdotal tales of victimhood, the conclusion of which is usually that life is unfair and there is not much you can do about it besides make crap on Etsy to “honor” other victims. One recent story was about how moving to Britain for free medical care turned out to be unfair because the writer’s transpartner could not get testosterone shots simply based on his declared identity. Lousy NHS! Another was about how Dry January was unfair to people in forever recovery. Lousy non-drinkers! One about a progressive woman who infiltrates a right-wing mom’s group manages to cover both personal victimhood (she felt unsafe there with her, ‘natch, self-diagnosed special needs child) and the end of democracy. The scale changes but the endpoint remains the same: all victims of unfair systems and the best we can do is whine about it on our segregated social media. It is like getting stuck in a elevator with Greta Thunberg.

    I’m not sure how you fix a country being distorted by learned helplessness, with victimhood as a virtue, and which is steadily ever more convinced the real stuff of democracy, voting, doesn’t matter. If that described a football team the game would be over before the other side even showed up. Oh, hey, sorry about the sports reference; I should have cited progressive Olympic heroes, celebrated for quitting as victims of stress instead of for their athletic accomplishments.


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  • Recent Comments

    • jpb said...


      You really nail it Van Buren. I want to say that the helpless ultimately choose to be helpless. But hey, I follow the news fairly closely and I didn’t discover you until several months ago. That few have the time (or the mental freedom) to really dive into the details of big national party-rhetoric-driving issues (never mind local ones where a person’s vote out to count far more) makes a de-facto matrix analogy fairly apt. Thanks for the articles!

      10/16/22 6:10 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      If you want to stay in touch with reality, lay off the booze when you write. “Lousy non-drinkers.” Such unawareness. Boozers are the loudest in claiming victimhood, as well as having grandiose delusions.

      So you think youare famous like Trump for getting banned from Twitter?

      10/16/22 7:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      So Progressives are the problem “The world online is the way they want it to be, with the real world held at bay behind the screen.”

      Your memory may be foggy with all the booze destroying your brain cells, kid. Did you forget the “Con-servatives” were the ones pushing the Big Lies about WMDs in Iraq, the Big Lies about rigged elections? The THEY who are the real problem are the opportunuts who are making money off these lies…like Fox, like people who made money serving on nice government contracts in Iraq knowing they were in service of the Big Lie. These shitbags don’t really care who gets killed because of these lies as long as they get rich.

      10/16/22 10:22 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      What would indeed be an effective intervention for those hooked on victimhood as a virtue? Does one go after the pushers? Nah. They’ll just up the dosage and continue over prescribing the “woe is me” medication. They too are stuck in a feel good virtue loop. There must be a cure- a treatment- but I can’t think of one now.

      10/16/22 11:09 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Do advertisers today feel a moral need to rectify historical miscegenation unfairness? I’m bombarded by matter of fact ads featuring a white babe paired with a black stud but none with a black babe paired with a white stud. It’s laughable but then not really.

      10/16/22 10:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “You see it also in the blurred lines between fiction and reality.”

      You should add, “Blurred by grifters who seek to make money off the alienated, racists, and all the millions who believe Trump’s lies who need someone to blame for their unsatisfied lives.

      There is a clear line between fiction and reality. Millions of sheeple choose their reality to fit their prejudice, to ease their cognitive dissonance. Fox populies have brainwashed 30 million Trumpists who want to believe the lies they are under the rule of a leader who has cheated his way into the White House.

      How do you fix the country, you ask? You don’t. This is America. People here have swallowed fast food, smoked cigs, drank booze and believed obvious lies all their lives. They don’t stop until it kills them.

      10/17/22 11:28 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The touchpoint to understand Trump’s victimhood is “Dr. Strangelove”,…and we all know the ending of Jack D Ripper.

      Trump on his Social Media today: “It was during the Trump Administration that the ‘Deep State’ corruption, and pure hatred of our Country, was fully EXPOSED – No longer just a nasty myth, concept, or idea. This is yet another great achievement, but something must now be done to rid us of this Cancer that is purposely destroying our Nation. There is far more danger from within than anything coming from the outside.”

      Or “The Caine Mutiny”….or “Apocalypse Now” or The Dead Zone or………..”

      10/18/22 2:17 PM | Comment Link

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