Plus: Journalists stand up for journalism
I was thrilled by the NYT having guts finally. I wrote about it in my stack:
‘Sincere American Writing’
Musk is silly and pathetic and needs to be given a time out by America - And, can’t wait to attend Principles First this weekend in Washington - bringing my wife to share the experience of supporting American democracy - feel like I’ll be surrounded by friends and partners in our necessary project to save America
If you built your career around cheerleading the Iraq War, and then in 2023 still defended that support and offered no apology for or reappraisal of what caused you to think it was a good idea, I don't want to hear what you have to say going forward on US foreign policy, which is the focus of his writing. Has there been a bigger, longer misstep in US history?
A few years ago, the great Rick Wilson was on MSNBC and referred to the CPAC charade as "rumspringa for the Hillsdale crowd." If you don't know what rumspringa is, google it - I think Rick had it dead on. However, in looking at the list of this year's line-up, I would say they managed to drag the entire basket of deplorables into one weekend. If I lived closer, I would certainly attend the Principles First event. That would be worthwhile!
Wow. You know, one of the worst things about our modern era is the way we all have to learn way more than we ever wanted to about the public figures who shape our culture. And then agonize over what to do when they publicly disgrace themselves.
One of the most disheartening transformations (or perhaps revelations) I've had to witness has been that of Scott Adams. I was (am?) a *huge* fan of Dilbert. Bigly. I used to be one of those guys who always had the Dilbert daily calendar on his desk. I had so many discarded pages from it I used them for scrap paper when I needed to write something down. If you work in any kind of technical STEM field, Dilbert cartoons are ubiquitous — taped onto walls, pinned onto cubicle partitions, and most people can probably recite the punchline from a couple of their favorites.
And to be sure, I generally abhor cancellation for things people say. I am willing to give people every benefit of the doubt, and I accept all sincere apologies for irresponsible comments. But this was just indefensibly stupid of him — and the comments he made in his defense were even more idiotic:
“Everyone should be treated as an individual” (yeah, OK ...) and "you should absolutely be racist whenever it’s to your advantage." (eh ... come again ??) 🤨
"But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine ...” (que el f*ck?!?) 😳
The best I can tell is that he's fallen down the rabbit hole of "OK, progressives have diluted the term 'racism' (which we have), and condone a form of racism from left-wing extremists (which we sort of do, even though it's not quite the same as white-on-black racism) so I'm just going to think of racism as a no big deal thing that everyone's entitled to when it makes sense from a group perspective." People who fall victim to this line of thinking see a perverse egalitarianism in all of it: "See, I'm even saying it's OK for the blacks to be racist, too, when it makes sense for them! It's all good!"
Of course, how the hell Adams squares judging people as individuals yet avoiding an entire group even when some of them "are fine" is beyond me and probably anyone with an ounce of sense. What he's talking about here is the very essence of plain old fashioned racism, not the "racism lite" that gets Twitter's social justice brigade marching in lockstep. Whatever progressives may have done to abuse a term once reserved for the foulest of sentiments, doesn't justify embracing its original meaning as a good thing.
I absolutely believe in separating the art from the artist, and I don't think anyone should be judged for maintaining an affinity or appreciation for his past work. Admittedly, I haven't read it in years, since before his Trumpophile phase began, so I have no idea how much of his recent perspective has seeped into the comic as of late. But the Dilbert that I and millions of others once read, outside of the occasional jab at a progressive piety here or there, was offensive only if you were a corporate manager.
The problem is, I'm just not sure how easy it will be for me, personally, to separate them. It's going to be a while before I can look at Dilbert, and not see the sad spectacle of Scott Adams. The guy who always entertained me with his smart, incisive wit, yet has now become, inexplicably, a reactionary imbecile, and frankly just an asshole.
Elon Musk could be creating so much good in the world and bask in the renown of glory. Yet, he seeks every opportunity to be 'popular' by being mean. What a tragic loss of humanity.
Late to the party today, but just one question: Who the hell is this Acyn character?
You're absolutely right, Trump and the Trumpistas are not "conservative" in any sense of the word as it has been understood and used in the U.S. for decades. Unfortunately, that's what they've often called themselves; it's what the Leftist media has been happy to call them, to discredit all conservative thought: and worst of all, some truly conservative media including Never Trump outlets such as the Bulwark have tragically been complicit in the destruction of the word as a useful term. "Right Wing", I'll grant you, but only when qualified as Altar and Throne or Blood and Soil right wing.
Yes, I did read the letters. However, the complaints about the Bazelon article are just nitpicking, in my view. I actually feel it’s the opposite of what you claim; that the extreme trans folks are throwing the NYT under the bus because it won’t advocate for them. That’s not the job of a news organization, and just because right wing media thinks it is their job doesn’t mean that the NYT should change it’s policy.
This is not the most important issue brought up in today's Morning Shots, but watch the video snippet of Carlson's rant linked to in this article and see him shout "stop lying to us". It takes a special kind of shamelessness to say that given that it was all of a few weeks ago that the released text messages showed that Carlson (and the other Foxers) was knowingly lying to his audience about the election that he now calls "sketchy". I would say that Carlson's credibility is "sketchy", but it's not nearly that good.
I was surprised after reading one of Scott Adams’s books that he was a Trumplicant. Then shortly before the 2020 election, he posted that he was tired of Trump and wasn’t going to vote for him. Then followed an avalanche of “why now”-kind of responses which apparently was too much for Adams to take because he shortly posted that he was reverting back to Trump. So Adams made what would seem to be a pretty serious decision based on his belief that “people were mean to him”. How very mature.
Come on, Man!
In regards to the ChatGPT kerfuffle, why bother investing emotion and time into a tragedy no one is going to do anything about? Offloading mindless, useless thoughts and prayers to an AI seems like an apt response tbh.
I am flabbergasted by the fact we still do not get Elon Musk. He was raised in a rich White household in South Africa and he grew up durig the end of Apartheid in that country. Like many "Afrikans" his family fled South Africa in the late 1980's. Do you really believe he was raised in a family that was against Apartheid? Do you really believe he was raised in an environment that saw the releasing of Nelson Mandela and his rise in politics in that country a positive change in South Africa? Elon Musk is who he has always been. He is just free--like many Americans have decided--to remove the chains of common decency and respect to tell us what they really believe.