Saturday, September 30, 2017

"Super Awesome Sylvia Was A Role Model For Girls In Science. Then He Realized That He Is A Boy"

That's title that was originally at the Post...but they seem to have adopted the CNN approach: put a more provocative headline on the front page for people to click on...then tone it down on the story.
   It's not so much that the Post prints fiction as fact without batting an's that it does it resolutely. The story is written as if Todd had actually transformed from a girl to a boy, with no hint of acknowledgement that this is an elaborate kabuki grounded in a certain cultural/political ideology. It's as if the Post were regularly writing, with a straight face, stories about Jesus actually talking to people, saving their souls, performing miracles, and so on. The same thing happens in the NYT and the rest of the left-leaning major media, of course. The options here are (a) write what's really happening, (b) write in a neutral mode, from slightly above or to the side, trying not to take a side (as between fact and fiction...but whatever...), or (c) enthusiastically dive into the politically correct kabuki and write as if it were true. The Post (along with the Times et al.) has chosen the latter option.
   This is the creepiest aspect of political correctness--the weird doxastic superposition of states that PCs seem to exist in--what Orwell called doublethink. Or, rather (as with any cultists): it's somewhat difficult to figure out what's really going on in their heads. Do they actually believe the unbelievable? Are they just mouthing the words? Or is it doublethink? Are they, in some sense, both believing and not believing? Or perhaps they're in a kind of unresolved doxastic state that is neither exactly belief nor exactly not?
  The care and precision with which such stories tread close to the facts while scrupulously avoiding them seems to me to be a kind of evidence of consciousness of epistemic guilt. Someone who was merely confused couldn't be so precise about skirting the truth while speaking falsehood.

   Truth matters. The major media, however, have chosen to become...well...I'm not sure what...over being reporters of the truth. Some kind of cheerleaders for feelings? (In addition to being propagandists, I mean.) These stories are often not even significant enough to report on...but they choose to report on them...but also choose to produce a kind of propaganda rather than to actually report on the facts. They could have reported the facts...they could have chosen not to write a story at all...instead they chose the worst option: write what's false as if it were true...and, in fact with no acknowledgement that there could even be controversy about the subject.
   As always: I've got no interest in making anybody's life harder. But facts are facts, and fiction is fiction. Todd is welcome to life her life however she wants--it's not my business or yours, really. But the left thinks that we must all descend into a a kind of mass, culture-wide delusion merely because Todd doesn't want to wear is her undeniable right. And there's a big part of the problem. The mere fact that none of this fantastical tale is true is ever going to sway the PC left. The PC left does not care a bit about the truth per se. Subordinating truth to politics is kind of their thing. But another aspect of all this is that it is actually just the flip side of the weird, repressive attitudes that old-school feminism helped overturn. This is--whatever else it is--also a return to the old attitude that skirts = female, pants = male. In the story, Todd laments: "I can't live with myself wearing a skirt every day"... Which is perfectly reasonable. So don't wear a skirt. We moved beyond that nonsense long ago. To think that not wearing skirts constitutes being male is the old craziness...but raised to the nth degree, hardened into some kind of bizarre definition rather than a mere empirical generalization or convention.
   I've got no inherent interest in this insanity...but it's such a pure distillation of the madness that the progressive left has unleashed that I just can't seem to look away from it. It's a social-epistemic train wreck. The fact that this bizarre fantasy has managed not only to survive, but to take over and become orthodoxy is the absolute creepiest, most insane cultural development of my lifetime. And that's saying something, let me tell you.


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