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Tangentially Speaking

467 – ROMA 45 (SJWs, Fear of Death, Madness of Crowds)

By March 24, 2021April 8th, 20216 Comments

This is one of those “flush the pipes” ROMAs, where I talk about a slew of things that seemed unrelated until I started talking about them. By the end, I realized that they’re all aspects of the same issue. Anyway, it goes from a defense of Dan Savage to the demise of organized religion to the necessary irrationality of group identity to institutional momentum to whether sex and gender are biological or merely cultural phenomena.

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Intro music: “Brightside of the Sun,” by Basin and Range;It’s Different for Girls,” by Joe Jackson.


  • Omar says:

    Question the premise.

    At least that’s what I’ve been told by you on countless occasions. But in this particular instance, not so much. The entire foundation of the book you cite throughout this ROMA episode is built on the premise that the “Revolution is over” for people of color, women, gay and trans folks, etc.

    Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth. Do you stop in the little backwaters towns as you road trip in your van? Do you talk to the people there? Have you actually spent time in small town, rural Americana recently? I really do wonder, as these places still harbor all the animosity and vile hatred in the world for the aforementioned groups.

    I’m not writing this out of seething anger or to “cancel” you online, more or less, I’m just dumbfounded that someone as smart as you could divulge in such sloppy thinking. I have just as much disdain for the over-the-top “SJWs” that you do, in terms of attacking people that are potential allies like Dan Savage, but to do a complete 180 and turn to someone like Murray who’s heralded as a champion among neo-conservatives is just ridiculous. This all-out attack on the pendulum swinging too far to the left isn’t the answer, and in doing so, you risk losing all progress made for the maligned groups that need our help the most. Just my 2 cents.

    • Have you read Murray’s book? Doubtful.

      Have I been in small town America? Yes. I live there. I’m here right now.

      • Raul Garcia says:

        Mention that you are gay while you are there and/or carry a rainbow flag on your ban or shirt. As a visible member of the LGBT community (just my face, no weird color hair or clothing or “militant” attitude not even twitter bio, all normal looking except what I have been told / yell at countless times is an incredible “cara de puto” – fagg*t looking face – ) that literally can’t walk the street for 5 minutes without been threaten, insulted or laugh at, I think that it will be an enlightening experience for you to suffer been a hatred minority for a while.

        You mentioned that you have seen this first hand in Vietnam with your color girlfriend that was attacked on the street, be prepared for that to happen to you. The world in general and USA in particular is like that for minorities to this day, not just Vietnam. You’ll understand why a few loud and aggressive people on twitter are not a relevant problem in the bigger picture and why Murray is a perfect example of what its called “white male privilege”. He can even imagine that the world is like that and that common people (low status insecure people that want to establish a pecking order were they are not in the bottom by placing some vulnerable groups below them) behave like that with minorities on a daily basis on the street, on the bus, on the shop, on work, everywhere every day all days. That is my life, does it sound that we “won” the revolution to you?

        • Murray is gay.

          But I get your point, and of course you are right that the battle is not won and that there’s lots of hate, confusion, and bigotry in the world. I don’t think his point was that everything’s cool. I think his point is that the heated debates over how many genders there are take attention away from the kinds of injustices you mention. Getting someone fired because she joked that she “woke up with Asian eyes” ten years ago isn’t a meaningful response to anti-Asian violence in the streets. It’s a more subtle argument Murray makes, and I’m sorry if I didn’t convey those subtleties.

  • Todd Adams says:

    Thanks for your podcasts, journeys into many different worlds (and also the humility to recommend life relevant podcasts by others – listening to Andre3000&RickRubin right now). Making a contribution to your podcast – not monthly out of limited budget like lots of people these days- out of appreciation of practical, quality and fascinating topics and discussions. Did get a hardcover of “Civilized To Death”, one of few deep dive subjects that has profoundly added to my understanding of approaching life. Fascinating observation to that: I have watched in unrelated footage of indigenous people the ‘mysterious pervasiveness of happiness’ written about in encounters centuries ago: having nothing while acting like having everything in the midst of acute challenges they know they can face, and face within a confident place of well being. Any countries or cities one can think of as a visitor in the civilized world where one’s first impressions would be a pervasive sense of happiness?? Ran across this doc ‘A Blank On The Map’ by accident in the internet archives which leads to a first encounter experience with then uncontacted peoples: a sublime and ultimately poignant ending. Love how things ‘of value’ like paper and glass beads are offered in trading and responses are like ‘ok, um, thanks, but, wtf?’ And that pervasive sense of happiness. [ link here ] Cheers and onwards.

  • Josh says:

    Identity politics has replaced religion in terms of meaning and as you’ve said, belonging to a group. The biggest problem is that most are guided through propaganda and social engineering, which both political parties employ, but the modern left has gone completely overboard with to the point of severely dividing society. All of these political movements and the obsession with “fighting oppression” and “standing up for the voiceless,” are misguided attempts at fitting in. BLM is a prime example of something that may have had good intentions but was actually a shell and mostly a political stunt and money grab for many involved.

    Of course the madness of crowds and the situation surrounding covid is another interesting topic. We see what constant repetitive fear-mongering and anti science does to many. It debilitates them and forces them to hand over individual authority to those that DO NOT have their best interest in mind. Just look at Canada and Australia….

    Anyway, good episode. Always look to what’s censored or “controversial” to know what to talk about. ; )

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