Kind of a short week, what with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and my son being sick the last few days. He’s fine now, more or less; I attribute this to watching hundreds of episodes of The Amazing World of Gumball during something called Gumball and Darwin’s Couch Party. I enjoyed the show for a while, but I’m kind of Gumballed out for pretty much the next couple years. I do like Banana Joe, though. And Hot Dog Guy.
As a lifelong fan of both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, I was thrilled to find that A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 was on sale. The rather lengthy subtitle describes the contents adequately, though the book shouldn’t be read as a biography of either Tolkien or Lewis. The author, Joseph Loconte, did exhaustive research into these two men’s lives, their writings, and the terrible years of World War One, and it shows in the text. One of the most riveting aspects of the book is its description of the horrors of WWI, and what such horrors did to the very soul of Europe (yes, I know Lewis was Irish). We can handwave it and say, “Yes yes, it was horrible,” but that doesn’t scratch the surface of the loss of humanity that war caused, and how we’re still feeling its echoes a hundred years hence. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
It’s a bit strange for a Jewish man to be so interested in this stuff, but I watched the movie Risen not long ago. Part detective story, part gospel adaptation, it tells the story of Clavius, a Roman Tribune tasked by Pontius Pilate to discover what happened to the body of Jesus Christ after His resurrection. Joseph Fiennes as Clavius and Peter Firth as Pilate put in fine performances, though I’ll admit to liking Peter Firth in everything since his turn as Colonel Caine in Lifeforce. The movie was strongest in the beginning, with the plotting of the Sanhedrin and the interrogation of witnesses, but fell apart a little when Clavius began traveling with the Apostles, looking for the post-resurrection Jesus. What saved it from going completely off the cinematic rails was the Apostles’ sheer joy: they had found the Messiah, and despite what lay in store for them, had nothing to fear. Cliff Curtis as Jesus also helped, making Him a cheerful, human figure who you wanted to like. Overall, it’s an entertaining film.
I recently read an article in The Federalist titled It’s Time to Call a Truce. It’s similar to my piece Endless War in that it describes the destructiveness of the Culture/Outrage War, and how the faux-outrage tactics being used to fight it are not good for either side. The writer, Nathanael Blake, expresses something we’ve all been saying for some time:
However, many on the Right only reluctantly decided to use such methods. They made a deliberate choice to try to force the Left to live by its own rules, such as the precept that those arousing the wrath of Internet mobs should be fired. The level-headed Jim Geraghty of National Review recently argued that conservatives can live with toleration or with outrage mobs, but that “what we won’t accept is a world where the rules only apply to one side.”
All in all, Blake’s article is reasonable, except for its call for a truce. You can’t call a truce in war until one side is utterly defeated. One side has to win, and the other side has to lose. Then the victor calls a truce. Insofar as there are no clear victory conditions in the Culture War, my original premise still stands: it can’t end. It’ll never end. Calling for a truce is foolish. Social media companies deliberately silencing conservatives and dimwits excluding science fiction convention participants over political differences show that this kind of ugliness is baked into left-wing ideology. As long as you make politics the barrier for entry to everything that’s not political, the war must go on. It’s happened to me. It’ll probably happen to you. Which side are you on: the instigators or the defenders? Does it have to happen to you before you stand up and fight?
I say this often, but it’s so important: the Social Justice Warriors may be in control of the news media, entertainment, and education, but believe it or not, they’re in the minority. They’ve controlled so much because we, as normal people, let them. We’re the tolerant ones: we tolerated their silliness for years as an unpleasant but necessary side-effect of supporting the inalienable right to free speech. It’s only now that we’re realizing our forbearance was a mistake. This notion of 47 genders is a fringe idea, not a mainstream concept. Socialism is a destructive, anti-human ideology, and claiming that it’s “cool” is a notion entertained only on the fringe, not the mainstream. Politicizing every aspect of daily life is something fringe elements on the left popularized. Western civilization is not advanced by these ideas, but is instead dismantled by them. We’re bigger than they are. We just have to sack up and fight the good fight.