Once again I must stress that “Western Civilization” is a joke of a concept

The increasingly meaningless culture wars over the equally meaningless concept of “wokeness” are once again revealing their inherent absurdity, and with it the absurdity of the very civilization invoked as the patron of this “struggle”. M&Ms recently unveiled a new advert showcasing the new designs for their chocolate candy mascots. The difference between old and new is hardly visible, it’s just some slightly less suggestive new shoes for the “female” M&Ms. But apparently this is going too far.

There seems to be an entire faction of people who appear to have a serious problem with the fact that anthropomorphic, cartoon representations of M&Ms are not as sexualised as they might have been previously. This includes Tucker Carlson, one of the in-house white nationalists at Fox News, who complained that he was being “turned off” by the new M&M mascots. Apparently it never occurred to Tucker or any of the other conservatives who might be parroting the same line that such pronouncements might be taken as evidence of some kind of dysfunctional sexual obsession, even though that’s plainly obvious to many other people.

One of the pillars of modern conservatism is the belief in “Western Civilization” as a concrete political axis to be defended. This concept is an abstract entity that theoretically represents the sum of values that conservatives claim to defend and the historic legacy that supposedly defines these values and legitimates social and political order. Putting aside the possibility that all of this might just be a politically correct code for what might otherwise be an entirely racial construct (as in, “Western Civilization” meaning “white civilization”) to be juxtaposed against foreign cultures, it’s very hard to take the strength and moral value of such a concept seriously. “Western Civilization” is one of those ideological constructs that is necessarily both strong and weak in a way: “strong” because it represents a cultural and political legacy and indeed “majesty” that persists over the course of centuries to this day, but weak because apparently it can be undermined completely by the presence of new pronouns, a certain amount of non-Western people and constructs, and now, seemingly, an ever so slight revision of a corporate mascot. Incidentally, the “always strong but always weak” trope is also a classic pathological feature of anti-semitic conspiracy theories, in which Jews are consistently framed both as the most pernicious aggressor and as the weakest adversary.

There’s often the same exact refrain from traditionalist conservatives about “degeneracy” or “decadence”, and the need to fight those things for the sake of “Western Civilization”. But think about it, what is the culture of “Western Civilization”? A culture where its ardent defenders and ideologues can’t stop talking about how much they want to have sex with anthropomorphic M&Ms? This somehow is not “decadence”, but the existence of LGBT people supposedly is? This is the “Western Civilization” we are to defend? How is such a civilization not inherently weak and parasitic, since it can be undermined so easily by something so meager and yet depends on our compliance? The conservative is so insistent on the value of “Western Civilization”, and yet this “civilization” of theirs is worthless.

You’ve outdone yourself again, YouTube

Remember last month when I complained about YouTube shadowbanning Jeremy Crow’s videos, and in that post I pointed out how YouTube’s quest for censorship is nonsensical and serves no purpose other than to make YouTube look good to potential advertisers? Weeeeeelll, it appears YouTube has hit a major snag in that department.

For all the fuss that was generated over “extremist” video content, which mostly was just a way of saying they’re going to try to suppress politically incorrect content, YouTube didn’t count on what really fucked their brand this weekend: pedophiles. Or, more specifically, the presence of videos depicting real children appearing in suggestive situations for pedophiles to masturbate to, or the presence of pedophiles chortling to the comments sections of home videos featuring children in which they express their desire to have sex with them. According to an investigation from The Times this is being financially supported by ads from major corporations, including Amazon, eBay, BT and TalkTalk, appearing on those videos. This has resulted in overwhelming backlash from advertisers, who have been pulling their YouTube ads and expressing doubt over YouTube’s commercial viability.

So let’s just get this straight: YouTube, in a desperate bid to sanitize their platform by chasing the alt-right bogeymen away, left out the large numbers of pedophiles who are on their website, and searching for videos of scantily clad children so that they can leer at those children, and now that this has come to light it is hurting their brand, when they thought all they had to worry about was some Nazis ranting about Jews and the Holocaust. Good job YouTube. You’ve demonstrated once again how much of a farce your censorious policies are proving to be.

I’m sure YouTube are going to clean this up in the light of such a major boycott from advertisers – this is their bottom line we’re talking about – but, if you defended YouTube for removing content it doesn’t deem advertiser friendly before, are you now beginning to see a problem with this position? Apparently it’s not OK to shitpost or express opinions that the company deems offensive or disposable, but it is OK for pedophiles to lurk on your website for lord knows how long and leer at people’s prepubescent daughters. It is increasingly impossible defend YouTube, and by proxy its parent company Google, over its plans to regulate the content and information that appears on its platform when such scandals, and more, spread like wildfire so easily, and can be shown without much difficulty for the farce that they are. I sincerely hope that more people come to realize this as time goes by.

Hatred, intolerance, and mob mentality: the threats to freedom

On Friday I wrote about the threat to freedom of speech lingering over universities in my country at the ends of airheaded and comfort-obsessed student unions. But I have become aware that freedom in my country is being endangered, if not killed entirely, by a much bigger threat than student intolerance: hatred. Not specifically hate in itself, or even hateful speech, but hateful actions and extreme intolerance in political form. Our government is playing on the hatred and intolerance of mob-minded masses on the Internet and arresting people who, while they may have said hateful things, did not go out and commit crimes and violence based on that. If you say something hateful, everyone on Twitter practically tars and feathers you before you get investigated by the cops. If you say anything in the newspapers about certain groups of people, you’re reported to the police. If you put up an advertisement that makes you feel insecure, you can get people to sign petitions to get it pulled or banned.

1984 has long passed, forget about Big Brother as described by George Orwell. Welcome to the postmodern world of the 2010s, where anything can be censored and banned if enough people whine intolerantly. In this country, if people protest loud enough over any shit you say, they can shut down a writer, get an ad, art exhibition, or a TV pulled,  or get the cops to investigate someone for doing nothing more than making offensive statements. Speech is potentially a crime, and so is hash-tagging. Even so much as a cruel joke, which nearly all of us do, can get you investigated or arrested by the new Gestapo police.

And this is no longer the product of any cold and torrid fascism. In fact, I don’t mean to sound like some right-wing nut, but I think it’s the result of the failure of modern liberalism. More accurately, a direct result of both the hypocrisy of modern liberalism and the hatred and intolerance that modern liberalism has allowed to have its way. Think about it: liberalism is supposedly about tolerance and equality, yet in our supposedly liberal society we are continually appeasing the mob mentality of the masses and the foaming mouths of the intolerant and hateful few who want to silence freedom of speech. This applies to public places, printed media, television, and the internet, especially the last of those four considering the increase in regulation being applied to the Internet in this country.

Online mob mentality is, naturally, not limited to the UK. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere in this day and age, which means even America could be in danger from the tradition of liberty being violated not by the government, but by its own people, subject to hatred, intolerance, and ignorance of the true meaning of freedom. Indeed, how long before most of the rest of the world becomes coaxed into holding liberty hostage by the masses?

Liberty cannot thrive in a place where people of intolerant and ignorant minds can censor everyone else and coax the state to ban whatever they tell them. Such a land would be no different to a dictatorship run by one person and his or her iron hand. Both environments are unjust because they hold freedom hostage and oppress the individual, and the people as a whole by proxy. And in a land where freedom is not held as sacred, and where ignorance reigns supreme, this is all too easy. And as we’re in an age of democracy, whatever new age of oppression may yet come will be brought about not by government or officials, but the people themselves, for the people will demand censorship and oppression because they mistakenly believe it is the way to protect the insecure and the innocent.

Sexual hypocrisy

This is probably just me, but I swear modern people have some hypocrisy regarding their agenda or attitudes towards human sexuality. Whenever I hear someone complaining about sexual or sexy imagery in our culture and in advertising, it’s always directed at the female body, and images of the female body that are deemed unrealistic, but I have not heard anyone raise a voice of complaint against images of the male body that fall under the same category. I swear that in advertising the male body is more obviously flaunted than the female, and somehow it’s more acceptable for women to ogle men than man to ogle women, when both are natural and should be treated as such.

Also, I don’t mean to sound like I’m the wrong crowd, but I feel like we are defending everybody’s sexuality except that of men who like women. Men who like women are always made out to be pigs, and the idea of the attractive woman is treated as the representation of a victim because apparently all men are pigs and their sexual urges are evil. We think we’re protecting women by treating them as victims for being sexual beings and being seen through sexual eyes by other sexual beings, but all we’re doing is enforcing the idea that sex is ugly and exists only to be predatory.

All just another symptom of our detachment from our sexual nature, which is of course caused by the dominance of Christianity. But hey, that’s kind of another story.

Mother Nature the crone?

Call it picking on one insignificant thing, but these Tampax ads tend to present what I feel is a pretty piss poor view of Nature held by humans in the modern age. The main message is “outsmart mother nature”, which wearing tampons doesn’t really achieve anyway, and that Mother Nature is nothing but an annoying old bat who exists only to make her children’s lives miserable. This I feel can only lead to a self-destructive kind of hubris, or more or less the same one we’ve already been high on.

We should be seeking harmony with nature instead of following some hopeless quest to triumph above it. And I’m not talking about the concept of afterlife either, I’m talking about Man’s arrogant elevation of himself above Nature. Since the early days of civilization, Man has began to view himself as above Nature and in control of it even though he is not. Even today, our relationship towards the environment and our train of thought based on the premise that we run nature or that nature needs a home, where in fact Nature is the matrix in which we live in, far more than just Earth, and we the thing we’re responsible for damaging is our environment. You can’t fight, conquer or outsmart nature, nor should we bother.

I do not seek unity with Nature, just harmony with it. Spiritually, our individuated existence remains, but we would at least have that connect with nature and remember where we came from. That would be wonderful for people to have, to be reminded that we’re not lord over Nature and seek a more harmonious relationship with Nature instead. I think it might be very nourishing. May be then we can see Nature not as a crone, but as the beauty she truly is. Terrifying at times may be, but mainly beautiful.

Like that.