Discover more from Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Who is Pulling the Strings?
And Other Short Takes on the News
I’m working on a longer piece that I will post either tonight or over the weekend but there are some things to say.
The Onion reveals just how unfunny they’ve become with their really un-funny fake interview with JK Rowling:
That is just one example of the dumb “jokes” on this piece. They’ve hired someone who doesn’t know how to be funny but only knows how to be pathetic and whiny, aka “not funny.” The Onion used to be so great. They used to be funny. What happened? Well, you know what happened.
While taking a political side isn’t usually that funny, puncturing sanctimony is funny. Mocking Gavin Newsom’s California is funny:
And that’s why they can’t be funny on the Left anymore. They can’t make fun of themselves. If there ever was a group of people - uptight, puritanical, hypocritical — who were in desperate need of being made fun of, it’s them.
Who’s Pulling the Strings?
First, from the mail bag, a letter from reader Todd:
In your article you stated. " The Democrats folded. The media pandered. Corporations surrendered." I am looking for answers to why all this is happening in our society the same as you are. I more closely believe that the corporations are actually in control of everything. Follow the money. If you believe that your statement is true, then who do you believe is pulling the strings? If it is not the democrats, media or corporations, that only leaves Republican politicians or entities such as the WHO, or WEF types? I appreciate any thoughts you may have on this matter.
I think Vivek Ramaswamy has offered up the clearest explanation to the bigger picture of how things changed and why they changed, at least from the top down. He calls it the Great Reset vs. the Great Uprising. His book, Woke, Inc explains how corporations have evolved since the Wall Street bailout of 2008. The idea is that, in order to take the heat off of themselves they began pivoting toward the identity-focused politics of the Left. Now, all they have to do is virtue signal and that gives them unlimited power.
This streamlines nicely with Neil Howe’s generational theory that 2008 was the crisis that sparked the Fourth Turning. That was the moment the growing disconnect between monopolies and banks that were too big to fail was challenged by the people. Occupy Wall Street was a problem, especially since President Obama was in power at the time.
The shift away from a populist revolt toward “identity politics” was something I lived through. I was one of the Hillary Clinton/Blue Check Democrats trying to suppress and eliminate the threat from the populists on the Left (Bernie Sanders and his movement) and on the Right (Trump and MAGA).
Ramaswamy’s focus is more on “Woke Capitalism,” the massive monopolies are using the new religion of the Left to amass more power by appealing to Generation Z and, in effect, taking us to global totalitarianism.
I see the “why” of it slightly differently. I do think at its core there were good intentions by the Left to create a utopian vision for American life. The problem was that we had essentially cut ourselves off completely from the other half of America. As a culture, wealth, and institutional power began shifting left, the polarization became more extreme.
Most on the Left would say that the Right also became more extreme. But I have not found that to be the case. They’re doing what Conservatives have always done throughout our history - trying to hold fast to the founding principles and traditionalism - yes, this is true even of the Proud Boys. The Democrats want everyone to think that the Trump Right, the populists are mouth-frothing, chest-beating “white supremacists,” but that is a delusion that drives their hysteria and sends them deeper into their isolated fear bunker.
Things didn’t get really bad until Trump won in 2016. That wasn’t in the script for the utopian Left. They believed they had changed America and it was never “going back.” They saw Trump's rise as a rejection of the first Black President and potentially, the first female President. (Although they now have to change that phrase to “first President who identifies as female.”)
They had expected to toss Trump around for a while like a cat playing with a mouse and then discard him in a humiliating fashion to “smash” the White Male Patriarchy at long last. But it didn’t work out that way. What we saw in the next four years was a slow-moving coup by extremely wealthy, powerful, privileged people who wanted this guy out of their country.
Like the scene in The Big Lebowski, “get out of Malibu, Lebowski.”
So who is pulling the strings? The same people who have always been pulling them it’s just that for much of our recent history, there was a healthy split between power, money, politics, and culture.
The anti-establishment became the establishment. Even Bernie Sanders has folded into the same establishment he once railed against. And all of this to stop Trump.
A baby hummingbird nest I watch, especially as it’s raining here in Los Angeles and I worry for them.
Megyn Kelly and Ben Shapiro on the Jury foreman in the Georgia Grand Jury case:
Ben Stiller stands up for Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey, Jr.’s character plays an actor in Black Face. He isn’t actually IN Black Face. That’s why it’s funny.
This scene is both verboten and epic:
They use the word “retarded” in multiple ways - some people would consider it offensive, but some the way people used the word back then. I certainly would never want anyone to feel badly about my use of words — so I don’t say that word anymore. At the same time, I can’t condemn people who use it because like so many other words - idiot, spaz, etc. - it has its roots in discrimination but was used as slang. I don’t have a problem NOT using it but I think we can survive the word being in a movie.
There isn’t any worth in trying to erase our past - or change words in books - or repaint murals. We should be teaching young people how to be resilient — not so fragile that they can be brought to their knees with one word.
When I heard about teachers removing books like To Kill a Mockingbird from reading lists out of fear they would “cause harm” I wondered, how will these children survive if, say, they travel outside the bubble of the Left? They’re on a train somewhere and they see someone reading that book. What then? Are they going to crumple into a puddle of jelly?
Shouldn’t they be taught instead that they can survive anything? Sticks and stones will break their bones but words? NAH, they can’t do much. I’ve been online for half my life. That means I have endured the worst verbal abuse you could even imagine - different people saying different things over the years. Yes, of course, it has depressed me on occasion. It hurts. There’s no denying it. But it can’t destroy you. It can’t make you unable to function in life.
Identity Harm Report
I have downloaded and read Mein Kampf in the past. I did it because I was curious about what Hitler said in the book so many years before he rose to power. Everyone knew what Hitler had written in that book yet many underestimated what he planned to do. Either way, is it Orwellian to send out a report of “harm” if someone was captured reading the book? I ask the question because I don’t know. Are we not ALLOWED to read the book? And why do I have to be in the position of asking the question at all? Now it sounds like I’m defending Hitler or Mein Kampf. I’m not. I’m defending someone’s right to read it and not be seen as dangerous for doing so. Is that wrong?
Don’t Be a Sucker
I found this video funny because it illustrates perfectly what the Left thinks about the Right. The concerns about the border or the criticism of the violence in the Summer of 2020 - whatever it is, on the Left they believe that on the Right it’s rooted in xenophobia, racism, and “white supremacy,” not to mention transphobia, homophobia, etc. That’s why they keep blurring the lines between people who have genuine concerns about “gender-affirming care” and, say, gay marriage.
To the new Left, class isn’t an issue anymore. Sometimes they still say it is, but most of their ideology revolves around putting people in categories and deciding their worth based on that.
Hopefully I’ll have a podcast up before the weekend is over. Until then, enjoy your Friday night. Until next time.