This post is inspired by Boris, a subscriber with a few criticisms of The Reformers that sent me spiralling into avenues of related thought. Boris, who has clearly spent a lot of time thinking about the series, didn’t like aspects of my portrayal of the hoax artists.
Beautifully said. I find it both amusing and despair-inducing when people try to read Pete through their cynical, self-conscious, political agenda-driven Culture Wars Map. This requires the assumption that Pete is also cynical and self-conscious and politically agenda-driven. The reality is that he doesn’t even have the basics of these that would enable him to protect himself from those who do.
Being friends with Pete is equal parts asking in resigned despair “What the hell are you doing now and why did you think it was a good idea?” and just loving him for his huge heart.
I get closest to conveying this to people when I say to stop trying to locate him in a political framework and start seeing him in a humanistic philosophical one. The reason Pete is doing anything he is doing is because he is interested in it & wants to understand it. The reason Pete is doing anything in any particular place and with any particular people is because that’s where and who will allow him to do it. But that’s the intellectual thing & doesn’t get at the human side. There, I generally just think that I will listen to people bashing Pete for alleged bigotry when they show me that they have taken into their own homes even a fraction of the struggling humans of all identities that Pete has found on his travels due to his intense interest in and compassion for other individual humans.
(I have now been way too nice about the man so I shall add that he is also a crazy-making lunatic and if he is ever found dead with a teaspoon embedded in his jugular, it will be because he “edited” something I wrote or offered me life coaching advice).
"if you looked at the world in a dissociated ideological way, where identity markers and words mean more than character and deeds." There is no better indicator of this disease than the comments in the New York Times and Washington Post where any questioning of or dissent with the identarian orthodoxy provokes instant deluges of baseless accusations of fascism, bigotry or worse.
“I don’t joke about these things to be mean. I joke about them because they are *funny*.” -- Dave Chappell
The interview with Cindy is so touching. Someone finding validation in a natural way is more transformative and important than any application of some rule laid down by moral zealotry. You have proved your point in this post very well indeed!
This is fascinating and a very thoughtful and introspective piece. If only all people were willing to humbly consider the constructive criticism of others.
That said, I take issue with the substance, but not the sentiment of his comments. While yes, it is unkind and counterproductive to ridicule a human being for sincerely held identity beliefs or actions- like choosing to vax or not vax - ridiculing those who exploit others for their own selfish interests is not only appropriate but entirely effective.
This exercise satirizes the professors and social scientists who profit off the perceived victimhood of of intersectional groups just as politicians & race hustlers have for years preyed upon the basest instincts of the polity- greed, envy, lust & jealousy.
To these them, human beings aren’t precious individuals worthy of dignity and respect, they are simply commodities they exploit under the guise of “compassion and caring.”
In my opinion, there is no better use of satire and ridicule than to expose the utter hypocrisy of anyone who chooses to be a part of it and I truly applaud the efforts portrayed in The Reformers.
In the training video, the doctor asking "is it a he or a she?" is about biological sex which is important when providing medical care. Yet, the assistant decided to educate the doctor about "preferred pronouns", not to specify sex. Adorable.
“...Peter’s decision to make the fake identities over-the-top parodies of his coworkers was ...unnecessarily brash...”
At the risk of horrifying Boris et al., the biography he was laughing at was actually not “over the top” at all. I dearly wish it were!
Things are, in some cases, worse than people can imagine. Take a look at this unforgivable abuse of power scandal at a Canadian university, for example: https://quillette.com/2023/06/14/mcmasters-imaginary-sex-ring/
One of the key players: an acclaimed DEI administrator named Arig al Shaibah. A self-described “racialized queer woman [and] immigrant settler of Arab-Yemeni descent” with a “critical race feminist consciousness about issues of gender-based violence and other intersectional social inequities,” al Shaibah was named to head up the EIO in 2018 as McMaster’s inaugural associate vice-president, Equity, and Inclusion.
Another key player: Hagar Akua Prah, wife of the above DEI official, and acting director of the sexual violence prevention department at the university. The following is not a parody, although it sure sounds like one: her master’s thesis consisted of a partially autoethnographic work that recounted her childhood in a small village in Ghana, her upbringing in southeastern Ontario, and her experiences navigating the “eurocentric, colonial, racist, sexist, and elitist norms” that she believes govern Canadian education.
Really, is this substantially different from Peter’s “parody”? Sad to say, in our deeply, dysfunctionally partisan society, no matter how gently you treat the leftist elites, they will scream bloody murder. Anyone who disagrees with them “deserves it”. Like it or not (I frankly hate it) this is where we are.
"I have no free time because silence is complicity" is too funny not to crack up.
Now I am NOT saying Boris is a Progressive, But he may be Over Analysis the shot?
"the authors of the hoax are being shown in a bad light. They are being shown ridiculing the “victims” of woke ideology, laughing at the absurdity of their positions and scholarship."
IMO (freely given and worth ALMOST that much) People who buy into that Ideology NEED to be made fun of, ridiculed. Because their "Ideas"are in point of fact ridiculous.
Babylon Bee: Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record
The Racist Club Trilogy
Pete's a catalyst. Add him to any situation and wait for the chemical reaction.
So touching I love Pete out really well Mike
It is not a healthy society that is intolerant of satire and perhaps we should be worried by the suggestion that ideas should be put beyond the reach of parody. I do take the point that this can be misunderstood but the antidote to that can't be to condescend to that misunderstanding by refraining from humour. Also these are fake profiles and therefore part of the experiment to see how far credulity can be stretched by using the 'correct' terminology.
wow! i was feeling alot like Boris - -and maybe still am 🤔but.... reading theis piece (and seeing the clip) helped me really see much more clearly the game plan here. You forced me to rethink my own perspectives right arounf this paragraph "Identitarians reframe many of our natural instincts as culturally conditioned biases that ought to be consciously suppressed. ..." I still wonder what the point is of setting up this big gotcha -- and feels like you're just handing more ammo to the right that wants to deny altogether that we have problesm in our society etc.. BUT thx for helping me know that it's deeper than just that!
Beautiful❣️ Thank you. 🙏🏻
It maybe worth noting that Ambrose Beirce defined Bigotry as "One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain."
Conversations like this can only be spoken by and understood by Americans. In the meantime.... You'll never get that time back.