Who buys tickets? Critics or audiences?
Major League Baseball games are played in these American cities—If they go woke and move the All Star Game out of Atlanta, they will likely find that a significant percentage in their fan base resides outside of those cities in flyover country. Local politics may not be good for a national pastime.
… everything you say may be used against you.
One might presume that Christopher L. Eisgruber, the President of Princeton University, would be aware of the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. After all, he has a law degree from the University of Chicago. It must be that wokeness overcame his legal training when he sent a letter admitting that Princeton engaged in “systemic racism” that injures “people of color.”
The U. S. Department of Education has responded with an investigation of Princeton, including whether the school defrauded the government when it made claims that it did not engage in racial discrimination in order to receive federal grant money.
Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, is a strong proponent of gun control, and he has spent millions of dollars of company funds pushing universal background checks. Now, creditors are taking control of the company, which has been losing money and was in danger of being unable to pay a $300-million loan due in 2020.
I took a look at the company’s website and found the image on the left. Maybe times have changed more than I realized, but I’m so old that I remember when men’s dress shoes were actually … well … dressy and suitable for wear with formal attire. If the company’s management has this sort of trouble understanding how to properly categorize their own products, I suppose it’s not surprising that they wouldn’t fail to see that sinking corporate funds into virtue signaling on a matter unrelated to the company’s business might not good for its bottom line.
Get woke. Go broke.
Over the past day or so, there have been rumblings on the Interwebz of financial distress at certain websites. It appears that the Weekly Standard is on the chopping block and that sites such as BuzzFeed and Vice are struggling. TWS was doing OK until it devolved into the premier Never Trump outlet on the web, alienating a significant portion of its readers. BuzzFeed, Vice, Vox Media, Group Nine Media, Refinery29, and the like have failed to find a way to build viable business models which target SJWs who believe that they are entitled to stuff for free.
Wokeness may feel good. It may even have merit in some virtue signaling sense. But it doesn’t seem to have value in the marketplace, and … what’s the socially just newspeak word for the sexist oldspeak word attaboys? Goodfeels? I’ll try that … and goodfeels can’t be used to pay the rent. Meanwhile, sites that develop are relationship with readers and work to provide them with content worth paying for are making a living for their operators. (See, eg., The Other McCain.) And while many of these successful sites have some sort of presence on social media, their main emphasis is a stand-alone entities in the manner of the early-21st-century blogosphere. They may use Facebook or Twitter to opportunistically promote themselves, but their focus is on creating content for themselves to bring readers to their own sites rather than letting main stream social media have it for free. It’s hard to make a living when you give everything away for free.
15 years ago, an independent blogosphere seemed to the be the future of the Internet. As people begin to understand what “free” social media costs, we may find ourselves going back to that future..
This had to happen sooner or later—
I think so, Brain … but I’d rather sleep in than be woke.
There’s a guest post over at Hollywood in Toto titled The Fatal Flaw in Today’s Woke Comedy that’s worth reading. Its thesis is that woke comedy tries to be didactic but fails because it has nothing to teach. Good comedy often succeeds because it does teach us something about ourselves. The Marx Brother’s Duck Soup, made during the rise of Mussolini and Hitler, teaches about the problems of authoritarian government. Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles teaches about the underlying absurdity of racism. And both are very funny movies.
I often hear that it would be impossible to make a movie like Blazing Saddles or The Life of Brian in today’s Hollywood. Instead, we are seeing woke attempts at humor, but wokeness has no firm principles to stand on. This often results in the comedy missing its intended target and becoming self-mockery. While conservatives can still slip on banana peels, their often a harder target for comedy.
Real conservatives have principles, and these principles are based in reality. This frees us to be able to laugh at almost anything that is genuinely funny, including ourselves. Having principles frees the ego from inflexibility. But the woke person is constantly evaluating whether something is “didactic” in the correct way. They have to pull out their intersectional checklist before allowing themselves to laugh.
In “Life of Brian,” the Pythons did not mock Jesus. When he appears, it’s in the background, he only speaks scripture, and his portrayal is markedly respectful. Nothing else in the film is respectful—everything else is treated like a huge hilarity.
John Cleese said the reason they didn’t try to make Jesus funny is that they didn’t think he would have been funny. According to Cleese, he didn’t have an ego to bruise or be inflexible.
Yet Jesus was a complete and humble person. If he slipped on a banana peel and fell, he would have found it just as funny as anyone else. That’s because Jesus was self-forgetful. You can’t mock someone who gets the joke. So you can’t turn Jesus into a joke, because he’s not threatened by jokes.
Conservatives are similar in the sense that our principles actually help us see what is and isn’t funny. We don’t have to worry about the fluctuating woke checklist. So it isn’t didactic comedy that is really at issue, it’s the insane politics of leftism that are ruining comedy.
Read the whole thing.
While I was reading the post, I was reminded of a point that Jordan Peterson has made about another difference between the Left and the Right. As a society, we know when the Right goes too far. There’s a reasonably well defined limit associated with racism. (Which is interesting because a form racism now seems to be popping up on the Left.) Peterson notes that society does understand that the Left can go too far (i.e., the Killing Fields in Cambodia), but there doesn’t seem to be an understanding of what a corresponding limit on the Left should be.
There’s a joke about Progressives having to have double standards in order to have any at all. It’s funny because it teaches us something about human nature, but its lesson is incomplete. Wokeness has many more standards that only two, and they’re in competition with one another. And the upshot of that is often not really funny at all.