The most predictable people in the world are those desperate to be like no one else. They confuse separateness with originality. I was watching the hipsters gather at the coffee shop tonight. They were bringing their instruments and wearing vans, and t-shirts with ironic statements—I don’t think a one of them weighed over 180, thrift wear, tight pants, and tight jackets included sopping wet. One guy had a short hairstyle reminiscent of a sixties supermodel – you know… the silhouette of his head would look like a light bulb. Most of the hairstyles worn seemed to consider grooming too trendy.
I guess the whole idea of the hipster’s outfit and hair is to show solidarity with the homeless while paying $6.95 for a latte. It’s too mainstream to pay that much at Starbucks.
I’ve been haunting this downtown area for a while now. I’ve noticed a couple of retro looking SUV‘s. One has a Che Guevara bumper sticker; the other has a Darwin sticker—the one where the fish has legs. Wow, that is so avant-garde. Each of these hipster haulers has the assorted and very typical array of leftist bumper stickers—so original.
I pack up my laptop and I leave. As I walk out the door, I begin to connect the dots. There on the road are these two SUV’s with these skinny young men trying to haul pieces of their disassembled drum set into the coffee shop. I gazed at the stickers and gazed at the hipsters.
I gave a speech (more of a stand up routine) in McKinney, Texas at Collin County Conservative Republicans (CCCR) back in 2009. I loved doing it. It was my first captive live audience. I did not pick an easy topic. I mixed it with my style of humor to lighten things up. My talk was based on Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism, a great book!
I know my talk upset a woman in the front row. She interrupted me two or three times. She did not want to accept what I was presenting. It did not match her worldview. Years ago, I would not have been able to grasp it either.
Below is mini-version first part of that talk, which is a brief explanation of my awakening and breaking out of modes of thought handed to me by media, music, and art. I will break up the rest of the talk in bite size pieces in the near future. Let’s see if I offend you, too.
H. G. Wells, who has written some great books, was the first to utter the term. He did not mean it as an oxymoron or an indictment; he meant it as a rallying cry. In his speech at Oxford in 1932, he told the Young Liberals that progressives must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis”. Yes, you read that right. Look it up.
I’m not a master but a student of history. I’m not an armchair historian, I’m more like a barstool historian. I’m a lot like you; a regular person looking at my country and wondering what is happening and on a quest for the deep reasons why.
In the late 70s my mind was occupied with girls, I watched Happy Days and thought the Fonz was cool. I went to Rocky and Star Wars and I listened to Top 40 on KIKM, Kick ‘em. I thought John Lennon’s song “Imagine” was the real anthem. The biggest world event was the hostage crisis in Iran, the beginning of the modern Jihad, but it was far away from a teenage boy. I watched the news, ABC’s World News Tonight. It was about things happening in faraway places that I could not reach riding my bike. Even if I got the car I was dying for, I couldn’t get there. It was in a galaxy far far away. Closer to home, ABC caused me to be more worried over Ronald Reagan than Jihadist, because even in 70’s the media had a ‘liberal’ bias against ‘conservatives’. The media’s summation of Reagan said, if he could find the White House, he would stumble in, launch the Nukes at Russia, like Marvin the Martian, and blow up the earth in the process. Jimmy Carter had gone good-bye and Armageddon was obviously next, and it was all Reagan’s fault.
However, Reagan’s speeches did not match the hideous bias I heard on ABC World News Tonight and 60 Minutes. I wasn’t very discerning then. I watched Reagan’s soaring State of the Union addresses and his delightful banter with the press. He would have me pumping my fist as if I was at a Van Halen concert, then Peter Jennings, or whoever, would come on, and ruin it. I did not think Jennings had an agenda in those days. He pretended to be unbiased. I could not withstand it when they dissected Reagan speeches. No one stepped to enlighten me further on what Jennings & Co would say. Eventually Reagan won my heart and mind, anyway.
The pacifism/non-violence these icons used should not be a universal truth. The non-violence used by Gandhi and MLK was a method used in correct circumstances. I don’t know if MLK would have used it in all cases, I do know Gandhi would have. If MLK or Gandhi would have tried non-violence in Taliban Afghanistan or Nazi Germany they would’ve been beheaded or gassed and thus ending their great moral movements. Pacifism assumes everyone is good at heart and reasonable, that the oppressor or tyrant only need enlightenment brought about by the suffering of the oppressed. This is rarely true in human history and endangers civilization. The Gandhi quote below proves the naiveté his non-violent pacifistic stance. He directed these words of advice to the suffering of Jews in Germany during the Third Reich.
I shudder to think what the world might look like if Gandhi had been the leader of England and not the proponent of moral violence, Winston Churchill.
“I am as certain…the stoniest German heart will melt [if only the Jews] adopt active non-violence…I do not despair of his [Hitler’s] responding to human suffering even though caused by him.” Gandhi
Granted, civil disobedience works when the goodhearted and reasonable outnumber the evil and unreasonable. It works better than violence although not immediately when you’re dealing with a Winston Churchill or Lyndon B. Johnson because there is a chance to create opportunity for reasoning together when a culture values human life. MLK appealed to the founding fathers’ principle of liberty and pointed this out to the white majority. He used the Constitution against the decedents whose forefathers wrote it. That was simple and brilliant.
The British ruled India, but they were basically civilized people who finally listened. They ‘tolerated’ Gandhi’s active pacifism. They let him slide. But, they knew, based on their own moral standards, that Gandhi held the moral high ground as did King. The British realized, as did Americans with the Civil Rights movement, that they were contradicting what was supposed to be their own values. That’s why it worked.
The philosophy of non-violence or pacifism only works in atmosphere where people are willing to reason. Pacifism will not work against Islamo-fascist, Nazis, drug cartels, or terrorist. I think if you move to a universal stance of non-violence it’s an immoral position and will ultimately result in murder and tyranny.
Open-mindedness is, without question, considered a cardinal virtue of the new age. To deconstruct frameworks of understanding the world is ‘open-minded’. To tear constructs apart and leave scattered confusion is ‘unbiased’. To ignore the devastation wrought on a soul is ‘enlightenment’. To fill the void with the thin watery tasteless gruel of “the truth to you is not the truth to me” is ‘wholesome’.
I don’t consider the absolute open mind to be virtuous. Thankfully, some people are finally starting to think about it more although it is perhaps too late for our culture. Is anyone shocked that I said I don’t consider open-mindedness a virtue? Yes! Because many misunderstand the problem I have with the so-called ‘open mind’. Open-mindedness today means, “Judge not lest ye be judged” which is a biblical quote torn from context. That verse is better known than John 3:16 nowadays. Non-Christians seem to quote it more than anyone does. The quote is like Kryptonite for the well-meaning but un-thinking Christian. These days open-mindedness is, in effect, saying that making distinctions (judgments) is wrong. I think I’m morally obligated to judge. An open mind today is an ultra-hyper-tolerant mind that stands for very little because it fears being thought of as narrow-minded: fear of making distinction. The fifteen to twenty-five crowd typically desire distinction only in clothing or tattoos or hair, not in thought. They seem to crave adherence to groupthink under their various appearances of clothing and hair.
Paradoxically, the so-called ‘open mind’ today is the most pre-judgmental and intolerant of all. It wants to put everyone under an indistinguishable collective unity, the ‘correct’ – politically correct – system. It breaks down gender roles, melds all religions into one (thereby diminishing the distinctions), and insists all cultures are equal. Many, especially ‘liberals’, think that open-mindedness is one of the highest moral virtues one can have. I think open-mindedness, as it is known today, will cause your mind to be polluted.
Not all ideas are equal by virtue of mere existence. You must inspect (judge) the ideas at the gate of your mind or you will be slaughtered from the inside out. You cannot open up to everything. The old saying goes: You must stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. And wow, do we have multitudes imploding. Open-mindedness is discernment starving. Something will fill that vacuum. Unguarded minds are stuffed with uninspected cargo, weighted down but empty of understanding. Open-mindedness says nothing is objectionable. That is a lie.
What is the answer? Have an open VIEW and an ACTIVE mind.