I don’t think people are nihilists. I think they are infected with nihilism. And I think the reason this election went they way it did is because the top thinkers who suckle at the Satanic teat of these noxious teams are contaminated with this virus.
Earlier I had a long conversation about the state of things with an old friend. Me made our way through all the off the shelf analyses and quickly went into the forest of weirdness. After an hour or so of exchanging deeply strange ideas, we got to the spot where everyone who takes a deep dive into this mess ends up: what the fuck are we supposed to do now?
I can’t remember what I said at the time because it wasn’t that good, but on the walk home an idea popped into my ahead: Honor the Gods.
This raises obvious questions. Whose gods? Why multiple gods? What about atheists?
It doesn’t matter which gods. They’re essentially metaphors for human excellence. The old gods are probably more interesting for aesthetic reasons, but there’s no reason you couldn’t approach this monotheistically. If you’re an atheist, I don’t know, I guess you could think about the wonder of the universe or whatever.
Thanks to poetry, we know what the gods like. They dig boldness. They reward consistency. They like loyalty. They enjoy pretending to be weak animals and humans to see how you show your strength. They prefer action to words.
Boldness, consistency, loyalty, and kindness are traits worth developing. To develop them you have to chase nihilism away. To do that you have to be careful about what you consume physically and mentally. It’s garbage in, garbage out, for keeps.
On to your questions.
How do I prepare for the Trumpocalypse?
I don’t think anyone knows. I’ve been thinking about what it would take to be a version of myself that can outcompete all previous versions of myself. Do the same and you’re probably going to be ready for whatever comes.
What’s the best way to react when someone is shouting at you in anger?
It depends on how you got there. If this is just a regular argument and you want to get their goat, total silence is a great tactic. It’s absolutely infuriating and will cause the other person to make a mistake in their argument.
If you’ve found yourself in a dangerous situation, leave immediately.
What is the saddest color?
I think this is fairly subjective. I always remember reading that kitchens shouldn’t be painted yellow because it’s a depressing color. That seems like bullshit to me. Sad people tend to wear black. That’s probably the one.
What are some good sources if I want to understand the Right?
My top two choices are podcasts: The Ben Shapiro Show and The Federalist. Shapiro is very smart and is about as conservative as it gets. He was vehemently anti-Trump and made the best case for his inadequateness for the office of any I heard (no folks, “he’s not a woman and he’s literally Hitler” are not good arguments).
Shapiro is also at odds with most of the Alt-Right. In fact, the ADL named him as the most trolled public person on social media. But don’t be taken in if you think the enemy of your enemy is your friend.
Personally, I like the logic of his thought, this consistency of his values, and his transparency in explaining why his opinions change when they do. His “Good Trump, Bad Trump” segment would’ve given the HRC campaign all the material it needed to fight Trump if anyone had bothered to listen.
The Federalist is more of a Constitutional wonk site. It reminds me of the pre-Evangelical Right. They do a lot of entertaining culture analysis and their take on things is often very smart. They have diverse guests and it never becomes an awful shouting match. It can be a bit of a snooze if you aren’t up on a lot of political news.
If you want to have all of your fears and anxieties about the Alt-Right confirmed, listen to Proud Boy Magazine‘s podcast, Hollywood Liberal.
Where these people make common cause is on free speech issues. Listen to this stuff. Study the arguments made. Not one thing that happened this year wasn’t discussed openly on these three shows. Talk it out with smart friends who don’t get easily butt hurt.
What are some good sources if I want to understand the Left?
NPR will do just fine.
A stranger says to you, “Hey, I need a hug right now.” What would you do? Why?
First, I assess whether or not they are covered in anything I don’t want to get on me. If their hygiene is acceptable, I’d want to know if they are making a shitty viral video. If that’s the case, I tell them to fuck off and that I do not consent to being in their video.
If this is simply a fellow human who needs a real deal, non-sexual hug, I would hug them.
When did you find out that you were not young anymore?
Thanks to genetics and a solid health regimen, it hasn’t happened yet.