Is this supposed to be satire?

Maybe this article titled “My fling with a Proud Boy”, with the subhead “A young liberal reflects on what a far-right romance taught her about men, women, love, and life”, is supposed to be a joke, except that it got published in The American Conservative, which doesn’t have much of a reputation for humor. It’s usually more about racism.

Elias is a trim, intelligent man about my dad’s size.

My sarcasm sense is already tingling, confirmed later by frequent mentions of Freud and Jung. She’s got to be pulling everyone’s leg.

He seemed quiet, except for his clothes. He wore a jaunty plaid hat and his wool coat reminded me of a Confederate soldier’s. There were anti-PC pins on it.

“I’m fighting the establishment,” he said. (In my mind he added m’lady.)

Elias was on a Tinder spree. His heart was torn. His girlfriend broke up with him a year ago so she could explore the world.

It just gets more and more ridiculous.

Elias told me he didn’t like mainstream media. I referenced Paglia. He countered with Evola. We both read Robert Greene. We kept going until I pulled the trump card:

“I’m reading Jung.”

“Good stuff.”

He tilted the Pepe on his screensaver towards me.

“Have you heard of the Proud Boys?”

There’s a point in a girl’s life when she needs it. This was that point. In 2017 I almost got married. I failed. I’d only lived in New York for six months when I met him; I was definitely influenced by Sex and the City.

Come on. The editors at the American Conservative had to have caught on by now.

One night he brought Guinness and oranges. My place is small; I sat on my chair and he sat at the desk.

“You look dapper,” I said. His outfit was ASOS. He pulled a yellow compass-looking apparatus out of his canvas messenger bag.

“Here, give me your face.”

He held it at several angles across my cheekbone.

“You’re neotenous,” Elias said approvingly.

I raised a brow. He paused, taking a drink. Then he added “You’re cute.”

I smiled. “Come up with me.”

We climbed the wooden ladder to my loft.

“I’m scared,” I told him. “I’ve been watching Jordan Peterson videos.”

“Father Peterson is helping you through?”

“I watched the one about female heroism. How she knows her children will be in pain and she does it anyway.”

“Ah.” He said it knowingly and wisely, like a sage. “So you are paying attention.”

All right, enough. I can’t believe two human beings could be that insufferable, or that the American Conservative would publish it. Tucker Carlson is chairman of the board there, you know, and Rod Dreher is a senior editor, and it was founded by Pat Buchanan? I suspect this article was run simply to discombobulate everyone.


  1. raven says

    It reads well as a Halloween horror story.

    The guy seems scarier than a Zombie.
    At least you can spot the Zombies at a distance without too much trouble.

  2. IX-103, the ■■■■ing idiot says

    @1: No, he grabbed her face and pointed a sharp metal implement at it and then said she looked like a child.
    If pointing sharp metal implements (like a compass) at people’s faces is the height of romance, you can count me out.

  3. kome says

    Why did you subject us to this, PZ? Whatever we did to hurt you, I promise you we’re sorry.

  4. lotharloo says

    Actually, you didn’t quote one of the best parts:

    Elias has what I’ve found to be a not-uncommon conservative origin story. His parents are divorced. His father was married three times, to progressively younger women. His mother was the second wife.

    Ouch. So he’s Tiffany Trump. Yeah, that hurts.

    His father’s third wife, a girl in her twenties, left him. Now he’s old and alone, too.

    I guess that’s what we can expect to happen after the election. Bwhahahahaha.

  5. PaulBC says

    Jordan Peterson is apparently out of his medically induced coma and back to scam another day. (I just happened to check after reading this.)

  6. birgerjohansson says

    För awful fiction, read the deliberately horrible SF novel “The Iron Dream” by Norman Spinrad – it is a spoof of early science fiction, supposedly written by a German-American writer who emigrated west 1919 (the “original” title was “Lord of the Swastika”, an awful power fantasy by A. Hitler).

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Have you considered the possibility that she was infected by the same alien brain parasite that is affecting the proud boys? If she alters the pH value of her blood she should be back to normal (yes, I have seen the film).

  8. says

    @13: Agreed. The Iron Dream is an amazing piece of alternate history literature, in which Spinrad sets out to imagine what puerile nonsense might have been written by a failed watercolorist if the artist had turned to pulp sf. Particularly entertaining is the “scholarly analysis” appended at the end, in which a professor analyzes the novel, pronounces it trash, but notes that plenty of nerd-boys like going to science fiction conventions dressed up in the S&M black leather military outfits that the author imagined for his characters. Bizarrely engrossing.

  9. nomdeplume says

    Has to be satire, but our inability to be certain shows yet again how impossible satire is in the age of Trump.

  10. Ridana says

    I’ve never read any of Spinrad’s stuff, but I do remember his name applied to some particular description of time travel or something like that as “Spinradding” back when I was text rping (can’t remember what it was supposed to mean). While trying to see if my brain just conjured that up whole cloth, I found this 1969 story which seems to be the inspiration for the Q-Anon conspiracy theories (some of them anyhow).

    It’s called Bug Jack Barron (does that surname ring a bell?) and it “takes place in the near future where an exploitative talk-show host, Jack Barron, gradually uncovers a conspiracy concerning an immortality treatment and the methods used in that treatment.” The method is the transplantation of glands of abducted children, who are then killed with radiation. Oh, and Barron ends up running for President (I guess the book ends before the election? Dunno). I guess it’s not so hard for life to imitate art when you’re making everything up to begin with. Spinrad’s still alive – I wonder what he makes of the Q’s?

  11. brucej says

    OMG, I think I have that Spinrad story in a collection as one side of an old Ace Double. I think the other side is “Riding the Torch” by him. That’s ALL I can remember of it, though…