James Hodgkinson and the zeitgeist of faux heroism

So earlier today, a man from Illinois marched his way to the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where several Republican congressman were something called the Congressional Baseball Game. He opened fire and shot five Republicans, including the house majority whip Steve Scalise, who was shot in the hip, but thankfully is still alive. Eventually the gunman was identified as one James T. Hodgkinson, who was revealed to be a hardcore progressive who supported Bernie Sanders’ campaign, vindicating anyone who guessed that he had a political motive for trying to kill them. As a matter of fact, he was a member of a number of left-wing Facebook groups, including the far-left “Terminate the Republican Party”, a partisan Democrat group whose members will undoubtedly deny condoning violence against conservatives.

Of course, some of us on the right have learned to expect this sort of thing to happen at some point or another. The media has spent nearly two years casting Donald Trump as the cream of evil, the next Lord Voldemort if you will, and his Republican cabinet as a shadowy cabal of assorted villains. No doubt many leftists young and old have swallowed this narrative wholesale, and now see themselves as #TheResistance. The new Dumbledore’s Army, the last hope in the mythical battle of love versus hate. Such delusions inevitably give these leftists power fantasies of rising up against the government and hopefully killing Donald Trump, or at least as many Republican politicians as possible. So it’s no wonder why you have a number of Democrat supporters going violent, or at least calling for it, and yet it’s the Republicans who are supposed to be hateful.

Consider for instance Kathy Griffin’s recent stunt, in which she posted an edgy photo of herself holding the bloodied, decapitated head of an effigy of Donald Trump. People were naturally outraged, and when people found out that Trump’s youngest son Barron thought it was really him, not even CNN wanted anything to do with her, and she was promptly barred from appearing in their annual New Year’s Eve program. Some have said that Mr. Hodgkinson may have been inspired or at leased incensed by Kathy Griffin’s stunt, but because he’s now dead, there’s no way we can ever know for certain, and so it’s basically a coincidence. I only brought it up because she has become a prime example of the hatefulness of the left today. They are so fixated on Donald Trump, and how they’d like to kill him. It reminds me eerily of how the British left during the 1980’s treated Margaret Thatcher, and then someone tried to kill her in 1984.

We live in a time where many of us grew up with a black and white view of the world, as reinforced by pop cultural artefacts such as the Harry Potter films, along with the tribalism of contemporary politics as interpreted by the mainstream left-wing media. In such a culture, the leftie college student may consider himself a hero simply by joining the campus branch of Antifa. After all, through their pop culture-addled leftist lens, Donald Trump is the ultimate bad guy now, and anyone who opposes him is a friend in the “fight against evil” (evidently they’ve never known true evil). It used to be that said tribalism was confined to heated arguments and the odd filibuster. Now you have Democrats calling for bloodshed out in the open, and people honestly wonder where people like James Hodgkinson came from? They came from the anti-Trump frenzy that the neoliberal establishment has created.

When the US media spends nearly two years painting Donald Trump as the next Lord Voldemort, it’s only a matter of time before the lunatic left casts themselves as Dumbledore’s army, and forget that this isn’t Hogwarts. This fake sense of “heroism” is merely a guise for the left’s rampant narcissism, and 2017 has so far has been the year in which such narcissism is leading to terrible consequences. I know Hodgkinson was a man in his 60’s, but he clearly inculcated himself into the worldview of a child. Usually people abandon the notion that the people you disagree with politically are automatically the villains when they get older, but this is what far-left ideology does to people. It turns you into an adult toddler, at least in the mental sense.

So it should be no surprise that America now has progressive assassins potentially waiting in the wings. They’re delusional worldview has been validated by the establishment media and Hollywood celebrities who are telling them it’s okay to wish for the death of conservatives. After all, we’re the new Little Eichmanns aren’t we? Those willing accomplices in the transformation of the republic into a fascist dictatorship by the hands of a Cheetoh man in collusion with the Russians. That’s how they want people to see us, and in their minds, that justifies people wanting to kill Republican politicians.

I take two things away from this. Firstly that we need to a better job at raising the next generation, so that they don’t succumb to the fatal narcissism that the left prescribes as it loses its way. Secondly, assuming progressive ideology was Mr. Hodgkinson’s prime motive for the attempted attack, we must now come to the conclusion that progressivism has become a thing of pure malevolence – an ideology that requires its adherents to kill in order to preserve its existence. At least we know for sure that the progressive apple doesn’t fall very far from the Marxist tree.


The violent year


So far, the year 2016 has been a year marked by violent acts of terror across the world. The recent terrorist attack in Nice is just the latest a string of terrorist attacks against the West, and the third major attack in recent memory in which the terrorists attack France. As was the case with a majority of these attack, the culprit was an Islamic extremist, but apparently he wasn’t on France’s database of suspected Islamic militants. As the world watched in horror and grievance, the Nice attack was followed by another sign of our times – politicians and the media doing whatever they could to dance around the issue in the name of political correctness.

France’s prime minister Manuel Valls has actually said that France should “learn to live with terrorism”, as though he would rather take it lying down than fight the obvious problem. He’s not alone in dodging the issue, as various mainstream media outlets have turned to blaming the truck the terrorist was driving, in a move that is somehow more baffling than blaming the gun a mass shooter was firing. Trucks don’t kill people, their drivers do, and in this case, the driver deliberately drove into a truck into a crowd of Bastille day celebrators.

It’s not that hard to come to the conclusion that this was a terrorist attack, and yet the left-wing media doesn’t want you to point the finger at Islamic extremists because they’re afraid that it means vindicating right-wing populist politicians like Donald Trump or Marine le Pen. The leftist way of handling terrorism is to talk about the evils of Western foreign policy as if the Iraq War hadn’t ended yet, blaming anything other than ISIS and Islamic extremism for attacks that were obviously perpetrated by Islamic extremists, and replacing honest discussion with virtue-signalling hashtags. None of that is doing anything productive, and the people are getting tired of it.

This weak-kneed handling of terrorism is precisely what ISIS is exploiting. Why else do Islamic extremists keep attacking France? If the terrorist’s goal is to inspire fear and capitulation, then obviously they think it’s working. I’m getting very sick and tired of society’s inept handling of the situation, and I worry that the recent wave of terror attacks is, in part, making us as a society numb to the existential threat that ISIS poses to Western civilisation.

As I see it, people are afraid to have a frank and adult discussion on terrorism and extremism because they’re afraid of being called racists, despite the obvious fact that Islamism is not a race, and neither is Islam. Islam is a religion, and Islamism is an ideology based on the more extreme elements of Islam. The media has failed to make this distinction, and has instead created a paralysing climate of fear. Political correctness in the West has gotten so bad that the word “racist” has become the nuclear weapon with which all discussion is silenced. In the case of terrorism, people are afraid of being called Islamophobes for simply discussing Islamic terrorism, even though it should be pretty clear that the majority of people can tell the difference between an ordinary Muslim (who wouldn’t kill in the name of Islam) and a Muslim extremist (who takes the Koran literally, and would kill in the name of Islam). I guarantee that if the perpetrator was a Christian, the media would spend a whole week making Christians look like the bad guys.

I’m getting really sick of this attitude from the media. I’m not a racist, nor an Islamophobe, and nor do I associate with bigots. I’m also absolutely certain that most people aren’t racists or Islamophobes either, and in fact, from what I’ve heard, most people just want to live without fear or terrorism happening in their own country. This is why Donald Trump enjoys so much support in America, especially after what happened in Orlando. The reason right-wing populists have gained a surge of popularity is because right now they’re the only ones giving a platform to the people’s concerns about terrorism, while the media and the political establishment continue to ignore or silence their voice in the name of political correctness.

As the dust settles on Nice, I worry about what country will be the next target, and how long the media, in all its pusillanimous narcissism, can deny the obvious reality of our situation. ISIS wants to wage war against the West. That much is obvious, but for some, the danger is that fighting in the Middle East will only destabilise the region even further, and some in the media refuse to address the issue at all because it gives credence to right-wing politicians. I admit that I fervently believe that if we intervene recklessly it will inevitably cause more problems, but the risks of not intervening are currently too great. If we really want to see less terrorism in the world, then first we must do away with the climate of political correctness. Second, we need to stop sending drones over to the Middle East, because that isn’t working. All drone strikes do is kill innocent people, and thus potentially galvanise anyone who hates the West into joining ISIS. If the West wishes to fight ISIS, then, as much as I hate to say it, the only option is to send troops to fight on the ground.

Yes, this goes against my pacifist beliefs, but if what we have been witnessing over the past year tells us anything, it’s that the West has two options – it can either sit there bogging itself down in PC semantics as innocent people are killed, or it can stand up and fight to defend its values, and fight for the freedom to live without fear.

A new chapter in the cycle of fear and barbarism


Now that we live in a world of more sophisticated terrorism, ignorance is no longer an option.

A decade ago, the war on terror seemed to be all the news media talked about, with the narrative of the day casting al-Qaeda as the big bad wolf preying on Little Red Riding Hood. Of course, what we didn’t take into account was that al-Qaeda was in pretty bad shape before Osama bin Laden died. They had a terrible business model that relied on charitable donations, and by the time Osama bin Laden was killed, they were hampered by a cripplingly low budget, dwindling support, and a lack of new recruits. Suffice it to say, they had less chance of destroying Western democracy than the common cold. Today, the Islamic State (popularly known as “ISIS”) are the new villains of our day, working to sow chaos in the world, except this time, the threat from them is very real.

Nothing has served as a more important sign of this than Friday’s unquestionably horrible massacre in Paris. Following the events of that day, social media sites were awash with condolences and prayer, as much of the world stood in solidarity, and the fingers of the world point squarely at ISIS, who appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. Unsurprisingly, the French president, Francois Hollande, responded swiftly with a new round of air strikes against a series of ISIS sites in Raqqa, Syria. As unfortunate as it sounds, a new war in the Middle East might be inevitable, and Friday’s attacks in Paris may just be the tip of the iceberg.

If ISIS is the culprit behind the Paris attacks, as so many of us have suspected, then clearly we are no longer dealing with mindless religious fanatics. Yes, ISIS are principally driven by an insane, distorted interpretation of Islam, but to treat them as merely “violent extremists” is no longer appropriate, as that would be dangerously ignorant of what they have shown themselves to be capable of. We’re talking about a group of militant fanatics who wish to push the world back into the dark ages, and unlike al-Qaeda, they’ve actually planned their moves. They’ve destroyed historic sites that they’ve deemed “un-Islamic”, they’ve captured a significant portion of territory in Syria and beyond, and they’ve beheaded a number people from various countries in a series of graphic videos, and that’s only a brief summation of what they’ve done so far. Given this recent tapestry of atrocities, including the recent attacks in Paris, we can no longer live in ignorance of the threat posed by ISIS.

I think there is a very real possibility of another war in the Middle East, which leaves us in a very difficult position. On the one hand, force seems to be the only way we could stand up to ISIS, and we may be right to fight this war, but on the other hand, it’s still difficult to trust the integrity of any military intervention carried out by the West. Also, we tried bombing Syria earlier this year, and that resulted in the Syrian refugee crisis. That being said, it might be incredibly easy for the West to use both the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East and the recent tragedy in Paris to justify a new war in the Middle East, and thus the cycle of barbarism on both sides of the planet goes on.

Ultimately, the saddest part of the current geopolitical situation is that we may inevitably be thrust into another war that half of us don’t want, and that war will only benefit the undertakers and the terrorists. Worse still, given the response of Western governments, the complexity of the current Syrian situation, and the clear drive for war exhibited by Britain and America, it is painfully unlikely that we’ll see a peaceful solution to the conflict. At this point, let’s just hope that, in the event that we find ourselves involved in another war, we can all come to our senses sooner rather than later, unlike in the two previous conflicts. After all, the outlook for peace in the Middle East may look even more bleak than it has before, but there’s always hope for a better way. In the end, for us to descend into fear, ignorance and barbarism is the only way ISIS will ever really win.

“Angry mob justice” is no justice at all

shoreditch mob

Now what do you suppose that’s going to solve?

Last night, an angry mob of 200 people descended upon an East London cereal cafe, the much-maligned Cereal Killer Cafe, splashing paint and daubing the word “scum” on the shop windows and setting fire to an effigy of a police officer. The mob consisted of people wearing pig masks and carrying flaming torches. They claimed that the shop represented gentrification and inequality in the local area, while the self-declared “protesters” did little more than terrify the customers inside the shop. Ladies and gentlemen, the angry mob has struck once more.

Of course, anyone with even half a brain can tell that angry mobs have never done anything good. The Shoreditch mob was simply the latest in a long line of angry mobs flailing mindlessly in their vain attempt to dispense a hopeless interpretation of justice. They say they oppose gentrification and inequality, but if that were true, why attack a small cereal shop? You may as well be attacking a specialist cake shop, and it would be equally ineffectual. Furthermore, if they really believed in their case, then wouldn’t even be hiding behind their masks. Of course, only real reason you’d ever hide behind a mask is if you were committing a crime, and that’s all angry mobs really are – a band of petty thugs without cause.

Let’s take a moment to examine the kind of people who started the attack. They claim that their community is being ripped apart by foreign businessmen, using xenophobic language to point the finger at businessmen from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Texas, all while failing to clarify what they have to do with a small cereal shop. In fact, none of the rioters would clarify where they came from, so the East End mob comes across as little more than a gathering of angry morons who, rather than targeting large conglomerates, have elected to scapegoat a small business that does nothing more than sell cereal at an unusual price. The rioters probably thought of themselves as brave, but they weren’t. And by the way, setting up an Indiegogo page just to fund a “banging sound system” has nothing to do with fighting gentrification, and everything to do with shameless self-promotion, and the very kind of money-grabbing they claim to oppose.

If you ask me, so-called mob justice is a dangerous relic of the Dark Ages. It’s basically what happens when fear and impassioned hatred overcome the masses, and the end result is nothing more than pointless violence for its own sake, fuelled of course by demagoguery and self-righteous furor. I recognize that gentrification is an open-ended problem, but attacking a small business and terrifying the customers and staff inside can only do more harm than good. That’s the only thing that happens in an angry mob, and in this day and age, there’s no chance of it doing anything but spread fear and panic wherever the mob goes.

A necessary war?

war against isis

There has been much talk about the Islamic State, and their current campaign of fear and domination. All the while, there’s news about the West’s attempts to stop them. Despite a series of air bombings from coalition forces, the I.S. have gathered momentum and have demonstrated themselves to be a very serious threat in the Middle East. Today, they are notorious for an extreme wave of human atrocities, the likes of which have not been seen since the days of Nazi Germany. These include beheading innocent people (and uploading the footage to the Internet), committing mass murder, enslaving women and children, stoning people to death, flinging homosexuals from buildings, capturing the territories of other nations, destroying ancient monuments and cities, and they’ve even carried out crucifixions. If that doesn’t represent evil in the post-modern age, then I have no idea what does.

Mere air bombardments have failed to intimidate the I.S., and as long as they believe themselves to be a caliphate, politics will not work either. As grim as it may sound, I believe that the only way we can stop them is through full-blown war. This sounds grim given that I already outlined my anti-war leanings, but I’ve given this much thought, and I believe that war against I.S. is the only effective solution, as well as the only morally sound solution.

I think I should first start with why I think it’s an effective solution. Clearly the I.S. are fighting with carefully considered military strategy. They’re taking key cities in Iraq and Syria, and they also hold key ports in Libya, a nation that lies geographically close to Italy. If they wanted to, they could probably try and move into Europe, or other parts of the Mediterranean. Given America’s military might, it should stand to reason that America, in a coalition with Britain and other allied nations, should be able to defeat the I.S., but only if we start engaging them on the ground with our weapons. Perhaps the main reason why the I.S. has had such success is because the Middle East has been so thoroughly destabilized by the West’s previous invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. As ill-advised as it sounds, only the coalition forces have any chance at repelling the I.S., and the local governments are damn near powerless to act against them.

The second, and more difficult part of this, is the moral rationale. Critics would cite the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the example of why a military operation in the Middle East would be a bad idea. As immoral, unjustified, and ineffective as that war was, the current situation is entirely different. As I see it, not only is there a just cause for military action against the I.S. (the just cause would be intervening in the humanitarian crisis the I.S. created), but there’s also the opportunity for the West to clean up the mess they made in Iraq, and perhaps helping to undo the damage they did a decade ago. On top of that, there’s the far more serious issue of the I.S.’s mentality. We’re dealing with a group that sincerely believes that they’re in battle for the end times. People from here and abroad are joining I.S. because they believe they’re succeeding. Only if the West intervenes can we challenge that perception, and hopefully save the lives of those at the threshold of I.S.’s barbarism.

The only question is can the West fight this war ethically? I say this because I still find it difficult to trust that American forces can fight a war with pure integrity in mind, even in spite of the just cause for fighting the Islamic State. Unfortunately, I’m not able to answer that question, but in my opinion, whatever the ethics of fighting another war in the Middle East, I can say with absolutely certainty that this time, we’re the lesser the two evils. After all, it should be illegal to allow the I.S. to continue what they’re doing in the first place, and the sad reality is that force appears to be the only thing they understand, and thus the niceties of politics and diplomacy will be completely ineffective in bringing about justice.

A matter of violence

natural born killers

When watching graphic TV shows like Game of Thrones and Oz, and movies like Natural Born Killers, the violence certainly doesn’t get lost on me. Realistic depictions of torture and brutality also tend to make me think why it’s there (not that I’m particularly sensitive; in fact, I tend to like those violent action films of the 80’s). If think, I can see why some people would be upset, particularly parents who don’t want their children seeing it. Where there’s upset, you invariably hear cries for graphic violence in entertainment media to be banned, or at least more tightly controlled. The problem, however, is that we need to be able to see violence in fiction.

I say this because the world is a pretty miserable place to live in. Conflict and drama are right in front of you wherever you can find it, and in the real world, violence is not a very pleasant thing. All too often, we’ve seen violence in the name of religion, profit, territory, and whatever else man can think of. What I’m trying to say is that we have to have violence in films, comic books, video games and TV shows because those outlets can teach us through entertainment why violence is a bad thing to begin with (or because it can often be a catharsis in itself).

Entertainment can offer a perspective of and reflection on the real world, and that’s why censoring violence is a bad thing. If you take away our freedom to depict acts of violence and torture, then it becomes much harder to learn the lessons such depictions would offer. I will readily admit that sometimes gratuitous violence is there just for the sake of gratuitous violence, but that’s why they’re called gore movies, or, in the case of video games, hack and slash action games.

The problem, as I see it, is that the amount of gratuitous violence in entertainment media has eclipsed the level of realistic violence, and whatever message violence may carry. In the case of Game of Thrones, I feel that the reason there’s a lot of violence, sex and other things is because it’s a fantasy setting that reflects of real life. In this context, Westeros is unpleasant and full of dishonourable characters because our world is unpleasant and full of nasty people who do terrible things. If writers and artists couldn’t accurately reflect on violence, brutality and torture, the only thing left is for people to try and experience it themselves, which will undoubtedly have terrible consequences.

Without fictional violence, or even pretend violence, we have only real violence, and that’s where the power of entertainment would truly be needed. If all we had was real violence, then we would all be killing each other for no real reason. I acknowledge that we can already see this happening around the world, but if we had nothing showing us why violence is a bad thing, then it would be even worse.

Violence is not an issue people like to confront, but at the same time, most people don’t like it being censored either. It could be the case that most people are wiser than I think when it comes to violence in entertainment, but we still need to be aware of the power entertainment has to make us aware of things, especially violence. Used responsibly, it can be a force that allows us to be aware of the morality (or immorality) of violence before we actually inflict it upon each other. Used irresponsibly, it can reduce violence to the level of being little more than gratuitous gore for the satisfaction of a baser desire that still lingers in us all.

Why video game violence is good

video game guns

Everyone, grab your guns. I declare virtual killing season officially open.

As the 21st century has progressed so far, video games are now more able to realistically depict often graphic levels of violence than ever before. Of course, this means that every now and again we’ll have more than a few conservative naysayers saying that video game violence warps people’s minds, but I’m here to explain why I think video game violence is not only a good thing, but absolutely necessary.

In life, there are plenty of things that can make us so angry, that we may think about wanting to unleash your frustration on the whole world, possibly not even thinking about the consequences. The problem is that we might eventually hurt the ones we love. Wouldn’t it be great it we could vent our frustrations in a virtual world? With realistic action games, we already can.

Nowadays, the video games industry is under the impression that audiences want action, and so they’re giving customers what they want. Though I don’t like too much gore, I do think that violence is a necessary part of action games. To not have it would be like having Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups without peanut butter.

I don’t know anyone who has a genuine problem with video game violence, but every year, there’s always somebody trying to link video games with violent crimes in the real world, usually with bogus studies and scaremongering headlines targeted towards old people. The way I see it is that the media clearly doesn’t like the fact that young people are paying more attention to video games than reality TV and 24-hour news, so news outlets look for whatever they can use against the video game industry. Politicians and ideologues also hate that video games are more popular then they are, so what do they do? They try and get video games banned or censored just so they can get some attention.

wayne lapierre

Don’t think I forgot about him.

If you hear anyone blaming real world violence on video games, ignore it. It’s probably just the mad ravings of an attention-starved moron with nothing better to do. While I’m there, don’t listen to any of those headlines which allege a link between violent video games and violent crime. It’s simply not true.

The idea that violent video games lead to gamers committing violent crimes is simply a venomous myth spread by conservative demagogues with nothing better to talk about. The truth is that that the rising popularity of video games has actually had the opposite effect. As violent video games became more popular, the number of violent crimes committed by young people has actually dropped, obviously because young people would much rather kill virtual soldiers than kill a real person.

In conclusion, I think violence in video games is simply inevitable. You can’t do anything about it, but why would you want to? A lot of gamers seem to enjoy violent action games, so we don’t any right to deprive the world of violent video games, especially if they lead to reduced crime rates in the real world.