Monday, July 25, 2011
uh, about Norway...
BARBARIANS.4.1-17. There seems to be some doubt here in the early going under new management about what constitutes "political incorrectness," which has always been InstaPunk's signature attribute. I'm leaping in today to make an object demonstration. For purposes of education only.
Here's one hint.
Here's a longer one.
Risk offending people with truth, not clever turnabouts or sniping at the targets everyone has come to expect as expected and therefore safe.
I know we're all supposed to hang our heads in grief about the tremendous human loss suffered by Norwegians in recent days. But it's possible to feel sorrow about the dead while still highlighting some fundamental truths that are habitually overlooked in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.
Though not all residents of Cloud-Cuckoo-Land are Norwegian. We have our own card-carrying citizens of that province of human existence. Whatever you choose to ignore will simply go away. Unless it inevitably comes home to roost. Reality, I mean. (I suspect InstaPunk has been trying to withdraw from these pages because his own brand of political incorrectness was becoming expected and therefore safe. I think he was hoping for better than allegiances to philosophers as rigid as they are dead and manifestoes so dogmatic they can't help reminding one of the UnaBomber: 'Everything went wrong here, and all we have to do is repeal all the time and events that transpired between then and now.' You know. Fresh start in utter denial of history. On the right path at last. Riiiiiiiiight... Libertarians. The brilliant ones. Say again? Oh, never mind. Cuckoo. Cuckoo. Cuckoo.)
In this context, Norway is simply an example of the kind of wishful thinking that destroys otherwise intelligent minds and advanced civilizations the world over.
All right. Norway. Home of the quintessential barbarians, the marauding, murderous Vikings. Utterly transformed since, well, the advent of the Nobel Prize and the end of World War II. Nobel, father of dynamite, thought his redemption lay in a posthumous funding of laurels like the Peace Prize. Which might have worked, to some degree at least, until the Pax Americana, which convinced all of Europe that their life under an American nuclear umbrella meant that they (after centuries of unending warfare) had somehow attained ultimate virtue. They paid next to nothing toward their own national defense, i.e., the making of war, and could spend as much as they wanted on pretending that everyone could be saved by taking care of their material wants from cradle to grave.
Which led them where? To complacency, smugness, a commitment to "tolerance" that bordered on the self-destructive, and prodigious fiscal irresponsibility. They forgot that they were responsible for anything pertaining to actual survival, including the physical protection of their own hyper-civilized citizens or anyone else's.
Unlike many of you, I've known actual Norwegians. They are in many ways awe-inspiring. Handsome, long-lived in their handsomeness to the point of seeming the elves of Tolkien's LOTR. Even tempered. Hard working. Outstanding companions (though subtly sad somehow). It's impossible not to like them. But you can't get close to them. They are above you, above everything, however humble their demeanor. How they have managed to give their vaunted Nobel Peace Prize to one of the world's great monsters, Yassir Arafat. Their above-it-all-ness, born of complacency, also accounts for their great errors -- Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. They just don't know any better anymore. Life in Loth Lorien doesn't permit of recognizing imminent evil. Immersed in all their natural and physical beauty, they can simply wish it away. It's all us non-elves who have to contend with mere human ugliness.
Why the killer who slew ninety and wounded ninety more was allowed to rampage for ninety minutes before he was not gunned down but peacefully apprehended to lobby for his own agenda in uniform. The alarm didn't go out. When it did, they could find no boats, and when push came to shove they no longer had the balls to pull the trigger. And now, of course, the sentence facing the mass murderer from their own perfect haven is 21 years. Imagine. It just couldn't be their own fault, could it?
Why the search for blame is already beginning to focus on the same bete noire our own home-grown utopians have repeatedly identified: Us.
Islamophobia and Mass Murder
By Mark Steyn
Posted on July 25, 2011 1:25 AM
I have been away from the Internet for the weekend, and return to find myself being fitted out for a supporting role in Friday’s evil slaughter in Norway. The mass murderer Breivik published a 1,500-page “manifesto.” It quotes me, as well as several friends of NR — Theodore Dalrymple, Daniel Pipes, Roger Scruton, Melanie Phillips, Daniel Hannan (plus various pieces from NR by Rod Dreher and others) — and many other people, including Churchill, Gandhi, Orwell, Jefferson, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, not to mention the U.S. Declaration of Independence.* Those new “hate speech” codes the Left is already clamoring for might find it easier just to list the authors Europeans will still be allowed to read.
It is unclear how seriously this “manifesto” should be taken. Parts of it simply cut and paste chunks of the last big killer “manifesto” by Ted Kaczynski, with the occasional [insert-your-cause-here] word substitute replacing the Unabomber’s obsessions with Breivik’s. This would seem an odd technique to use for a sincerely meant political statement. The entire document is strangely anglocentric – in among the citations of NR and The Washington Times, there’s not a lot about Norway...
Any of us who write are obliged to weigh our words, and accept the consequences of them. But, when a Norwegian man is citing Locke and Burke as a prelude to gunning down dozens of Norwegian teenagers, he is lost in his own psychoses. Free societies can survive the occasional Breivik. If Norway responds to this as the Left appears to wish, by shriveling even further the bounds of public discourse, freedom will have a tougher time.
So I'll demonstrate the meaning of real political incorrectness. The children who were gunned down didn't deserve it. But Norway earned this moment of national identity crisis all by itself. It's called hubris. And I'm not afraid to say it. And if what you hear in the background of my prose sounds like a bitter laugh, observe that it is bitter first and a laugh second. Unless I'm as big a sonofabitch as I've always been seen to be.