Random Charlottesville stuff

I am not a news reporter, and I am assuming readers are already familiar with the general course of events.

You may have heard that Donald Trump failed to condemn Nazis in his speech on Saturday. I saw on Last Week Tonight that it was worse than that.

Reporters were actively shouting at him to make a statement condemning White supremacists. He goes to the podium as if to respond, but then says something unrelated.

This morning Donald Trump finally gave a speech which explicitly condemned White supremacists. However, it is too late. It comes across as if over the weekend, Trump hear the bad press and realized that his attempted dog whistle was so obvious everyone heard it.

I’ll believe Trump’s condemnations when the White supremacists themselves believe they are working in opposition to Trump.

HJ Hornbeck highlights a few White supremacist responses to the murder of Heather Heyer. Many of them are predictably disgusting, but there’s some great schadenfreude watching 4channers worry that “normies” will turn against them. I like this quote:

larpers seem to be what caused some of the issue going on. We need to quit Nazi and KKK symbolism. It’s outdated and it’s sure as hell not going to be able to be re-branded in a positive light.

I very much liked Mother Night a black comedy by Kurt Vonnegut. (I do not recommend the movie.) It’s about a man who becomes a Nazi propagandist during WWII. But he’s really an American spy. This does not make him innocent, but rather makes him all the more guilty, as he understands that what he did was wrong.

The moral of the story (stated explicitly on the first page) is that you are who you pretend to be. I recommend this book to the internet.

In local news, someone was fired from a local hot dog stand because he was spotted participating in the Charlottesville protests. I think I’ve bought a hot dog from them once or twice.

This is in Berkeley, California. Apparently he traveled a long way.

If you read the linked article you’ll find that the hot dog stand has some explicitly libertarian views. Among other things, their website has a blog post taking a both-sides view in response to Charlottesville. And another blog post defending the anti-diversity memo at Google. (I don’t recommend looking for their blog as they do not believe in paragraph breaks.) Kudos to Top Dog for firing the guy but I think they might have some unresolved issues remaining.

Speaking of the Google anti-diversity memo, I know this is last week’s news, but among all the editorials on the subject, I’d like to highlight this line:

It is striking to me that the manifesto author repeatedly lists race alongside gender when listing programs and preferences he thinks should be done away with, but, unlike gender, he never purports to have any scientific backing for this. The omission is telling. Would defenders of the memo still be comfortable if the author had casually summarized race and IQ studies to argue that purported biological differences — not discrimination or unequal access to education — explained Google’s shortage of African-American programmers?

Perhaps the memo defenders would be comfortable with that after all.


  1. says

    I wasn’t sure in Mother Night if the protagonist really was a spy, or if he was a dupe. It’s never entirely clear. Which, of course, is the point: you can’t tell them apart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *