Skip to main content

The intellectual collapse of the left accelerates further...

As if the massive overwhelming body of evidence of left-wing intellectual collapse accumulating seemingly by the day under my 'democrats' and 'leftist losers' tags wasn't enough, we get this ("Unsafe" 1930s SF school mural to be destroyed).  This is "cutting edge San Francisco values," unchecked, undiluted.  (The school board voted 6-0; the diversity of viewpoint here . . . I don't know how to finish that sentence.)  To borrow wording from my previous post, I believe that, barring some unforeseen (ahem) and revolutionary turn of intellectual events, this collapse is inevitable and irreversible given the widely shared values, assumptions and episteme of left-wingers as they have "evolved" over recent history.  Where is the wisdom in any of this stuff?  My term for this "development": Slow-mo trainwreck. :(

This mural has been up for decades.  Questions: Why only now do the students and/or faculty get around to being "harmed" and "triggered" by the mural?  Would it have anything to do with overwrought "social justice" poison being pumped into their minds in recent years?  If they're "harmed" and "triggered" by this, how wimpy are these "educators" making the kids and/or themselves?  And what powers of "interpretation" are coming into play?  Are these powers becoming increasingly deranged and deluded without suitable external check/criticism?

I will quote in full from Wesley Yang (more images and links at the link):
Live tweet of meeting of SF school board where they voted 6-0 to paint over a mural painted during 1930’s by Communist depicting George Washington in his capacity as slave owner and Indian fighter. The mural was intended to portray the moral ambiguity of the founding. 
The council voted to paint over the mural at a cost of $600,000 because it threatens their “safety.”
SF Board member cites White Fragility theory as justification for disregarding intent of painting by Communist in the 1930’s that portrayed Washington as Indian fighter and slave owner
"Robin DiAngelo and other critical race scholars consistently cite the fact that intent does not mitigate impact. Because we are a product of our times and our socialization, we may do and say things that are horribly racist and not understand why."
But there's a new therapeutic doctrine that has merged with anti-racist progressivism which holds that violent images have the power to induce trauma and must therefore live in a sanitized, expurgated reality.
This is an anti-rational and anti-artistic doctrine that recasts a form of primitive superstition as progress and enlightenment.
But schools of education have trafficked in this form of thinking and it has become the baseline for a generation of educators and administrators.
They are fully immunized against any justification made with reference to the older worldview, and feel that they are acting righteously in eradicating any and all traces of the past that deviate from the new orthodoxy. They cannot be persuaded of the errors of their ways.
This ideology has been around for decades and the cause of countless purges in left-wing spaces.
The SF board of education is what happens when Portlandia or the Park Slope Food Co-op control hundreds of million in funding and the schooling of the next generation.
The basic asymmetry we now confront is that the "worst are filled with passionate intensity." Overwhelming majorities of the public find this ridiculous but passively, while the most energetic actors believe this.
Alongside the worst filled with passionate intensity are those who run interference on behalf of a rise of an anti-rationalist, anti-artistic philistinism by portraying those criticize it as alarmist or hysterical
Just because the tendencies latent within the movement and openly avowed have not fully expressed themselves does not mean we should not say what they are. The guardrails just came off.
You will endlessly encounter people who will acknowledge that every instance of this is stupid without recognizing that it's not mere stupidity: it is action organized by a coherent worldview seeking for hegemony that will not be stopped unless something stops it.
Black students expressed concerns about the murals in 1968, but according to this article from the time, did not seek to destroy the murals but balance them with more positive representations of black people, such as those that made contributions to science
This concern was at least partially addressed in 1974 with the addition of art by a contemporary black painter
Arnautoff was a major artist and the school is an important repository of WPA era art.
...
An English teacher described student who “almost universally don’t think the answer is to erase it.”
The board made clear their justification for acting in a statement

So while it’s true that perennial concerns about representation and sensitivity clothe themselves in the jargon of different eras, the jargon proceeds from ideological tendencies that push toward certain outcomes. Even the radicalism of 1968 didn’t call for destruction of art.
For that, we had to wait until 2019 and the coming to fruition of an ideology that holds that people can’t look at art with critical distance, historical perspective, or aesthetic judgment, and they can’t and shouldn’t be taught to do so.
They should instead be protected from “harm” and their “safety” ensured through the destruction of art that troubles them.
The strongest argument on their side was “this isn’t a museum where people choose to go to be artistically challenged, but a school where kids cannot avoid seeing a vivid mural depicting a dead Indian and black slaves. If we could move it, we would, but we can’t.”
But we should attend closely to the ideas that are being enacted here. The people quoted in the Times piece indicated that most students didn’t want to destroy the painting. A supporter of removal said “the art is not worth saving if even one native student is triggered by that.”
What would in any other setting be seen as a reduction as absurdum is being avowed in earnest as the actual standard. And the truth is that the reality on the ground is likely to be close to that.
The news here is not that some people in a progressive echo chamber have absurd beliefs. That has always been true. The news is that those people have institutional power and are exercising it, and they are just getting started.
The idea that a painting by a major artist from the 1930’s has inherent value that has to be balanced against “even one person triggered” has zero standing. Everyone’s claim to be harmed or endangered is indefeasible and overrides all other values.
The authoritarian potential with which such a belief is charged is obvious; we no longer have to speculate about what those who hold these beliefs are prepared to do: at minimum they will happily force people never to state certain truths and compel them to avow falsehoods
They will also do things like forbid anyone from taking algebra in 8th grade as an ostensible measure against "white supremacy" even though 75 percent of those who take algebra in eighth grade are Asian, as the SF board of ed did a few years back.
With the result that fewer black and Hispanics were able to take calculus in senior years -- producing the exact opposite result to those intended
The SF Chancellor of Schools who led the push to ban 8th grade algebra then went to NYC, where he has mandated implicit bias training as part of the "decolonizing education" push that emerges from the same body of doctrine: [trainwrecky image of "White Supremacy Culture" training]
In April, the board abruptly canceled its school lunch contract over "taste and equity concerns" without a back up plan.
The board was forced reinstate the contract after students addressed the council citing concerns their peers would go hungry.
I don't live in SF or NYC but I've begun following local school board news in both places because they provide a working model of actually-existing progressivism in action -- Portlandia in power. It will only get worse until people organize to put a stop to it.
I mean this quote by an SF board member -- what satirical writer would have the chutzpah to invent such a quote?

[1] WHERE'S THE DATA ON TASTE??!!
[2] "What I'm hearing from a lot of folks is that we should renew the contract because we need to feed kids, and that's not the conversation we should be having."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Make Presidents Great Again

or: What Would Marcus Aurelius Tweet?

The first four presidents of the United States - Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison - were philosophical people.  They loved, cherished, and pursued (and may even have attained to some extent) wisdom.  (The American Philosophical Society [APS] of which they were members was co-founded by Ben Franklin; let's call the aforementioned the Big Five of the American Founding.)  It's not a stretch to say that had America's founding generation not been of the intellectual and moral caliber that they were - had they not been the sort of people who would found or become members of a philosophical society - America probably wouldn't be the great nation it has been.

Unfortunately, their legacy has been squandered, to the point that we have the shitshow of today.  Having an uncouth, unread man as president - elected mainly on the promise of taking on the (intellectually bankrupt and therefore) corrupt swamp that is D.C. - is but a symptom of th…

#BlackLivesMatter, #EqualPay and the Anthem

The athletes disrespecting the flag and country during the National Anthem should do better than Trump.  Instead of sowing further division and sending all kinds of the wrong message (and Kaepernick and by extension Nike definitely crossed over the line with the Betsy Ross flag thing without even so much as a word of dialogue with flag- and country-lovers - roughly as shameful and disgraceful as Google's rebuttal-by-firing of James Damore[*]), they should use their creative powers to both respect the flag and send their message.

[*] - This particularly ugly episode in "woke social justice" history has me believing with at least 98% confidence that Rectenwald has these anti-dialogue cultists dead to rights.  I cannot abide these aspiring mini-Maos; disgusting creatures.  I won't even touch the trans issue with a ten foot pole given the rampant toxicity/radioactivity there I've seen just on surface inspection.  If an entity like Google fucks up as badly as it did wi…

Inn Video on Demand (VOD) Technology

As the name proposes, the innovation permits the visitors in lodgings to watch recordings on request which may incorporate motion pictures, music or more assortment of recordings, for example, narratives, travel recordings and so on. Right now will investigate the VOD innovation that sudden spikes in demand for Internet Protocols or IP in short. This is the most recent, productive and helpful innovation starting today.

How to assemble Hotel VOD framework?

A fundamental Hotel VOD framework running on IP convention involves five primary innovation parts -

Encoder

Streamer or gushing server

Decoder or Set top box

Supporter and Content administration framework/OSS

Encryption and DRM

How about we investigate elements of every one of these segments -

Encoder - The encoder basically convert the source content into fitting codec, for example, MPEG2 or H.264 and bundles it in suitable streamable organization like MPEG2 TS to make it work adequately as an "On request" content. The mo…