Saturday, February 20, 2016

So through witchcraft life must be: a review of "The Witch"

The Witch is about an evolved family, brutally ruptured by an evil so powerful there was nothing they were going to be able to do to master it. Evolved? This absurdly Puritan family? This nutso sin-obssessed family—evolved? Yes. Historically, the Puritans themselves had better parent-child relations than their English kin... they were less intrusive parents, less punishing, and seemed to others like families "stepped out of time." They fled England for Plymouth so to not be swamped by their regressive countrymen. And this particular family flew their Plymouth colony, it would look like, for the same reason—they were prepared to balk authority; everyone else in town stays components of a collective. Yes, they instruct their children how sinful everyone is—what we moderns recognize as a significant kind of abuse—but when we see the family before it gets half-crazed by visible signs of the actual Devil preying upon them, we see no hitting, no sexual abuse; we see instead a good deal of the father talking to his children, listening to them, being soothing but not false—especially notable in his discussion with his son over the limits of human awareness, when their unbaptized child is taken and killed—even if it's only his weaknesses that his mostly grown-up child, the budding, teenage Thomasin, focusses on later in the film. 

And about that, about the daughter scolding her father with the truth of his weakness, his many lies and acts of cowardice, boldly enumerating every single instance: how many of you would ever dare the same with your own parents, right to their faces (the director Robert Eggers says he was influenced by Bergman's Cries and Whispers, one wonders if he wasn't as well by Bergman's Autumn Sonata, where the audience is both alarmed and quietly thrilled by the extent to which the daughter shreds through her mother's lies, defying all the unvoiced threats that commanded she never dare air but flattering reinforcements of her preferred self-image.), even if you were in a situation like hers where there was nothing to be lost in doing so. The last film I saw which featured the possibility of such a confrontation—last year's The Intern—had a feminist daughter at the helm of a large company she created about ready to suicide herself if her mother found out what a bitch she actually thought she was. So, yes, the correct perception of them is as actually evolved—products, each one, of considerable allowance, not as the repressed religious nuts that sixty years later (the film takes place sometime near 1630) would be responsible for the New England Witch Trialsthose ostensible worst of American peoples

Indeed, through what happens with Thomasin, there is a sense that the family's destruction and her "moving on" is about using the elements of what they're bound to—the narrative of a folk tale—to do the best impression of a family moving so far forward its lone remaining constituent knows a kind of liberation that can only be represented in the wilds of devilry—an eternity of licentious play and self-discovery, through willing subservience to the Devil. But before getting to Thomasin and how the film binds "witchery" to her own acts of impressive umbrage, almost in a sense forcing her to go perhaps truly pruriently bad in order for her to explore what is most exciting about her, it is important to note that this isn't a film where you simply cheer at the end for the girl being released from family ties and other harsh bonds, ready, instead, to flock about a beckoning undiscovered world. 

In particular, you care for the young boy as he bravely seeks down the horrors in the forest, and are abashed that this truly brave young man doesn't meet something he could feasibly handle, something that would give him feedback on how he himself is becoming someone to be reckoned with, as he makes his own moral choices and fights for those he loves (not just to kill the wolf, but his lying to his mother to rescue his father from sustained humiliation), but instead faces an instant great over-pour of a taste—lust—that he had only the slightest previous experience in getting a handle on (previously, his looking away when it dawned on him his sister might be aware that he was aroused at his catching sight of her partly exposed breasts). He was prepared to think he might master a wolf in a brawl (and he might well have), but had no handle on the consideration that lust wasn't something that could only come to rightly own you if it arose in full bloom on your own apparent knocking at its door (hasn't this as much been on your mind, young man? haven't you also been hoping more knowledge of this might be lurking deep in the proximate tangles of the woods?). We also feel tremendous empathy for all the kids as they, in a different register, quietly ask one another if the other is actually in truth with the Devil... there's the sense of the world siblings have constructed for one another, an understanding they have that parents aren't party to, that is touching and inspires our wanting to see kept protected. 

So it's not like when the family gets so torn apart, loyalties irrevocably shamed and broken—as they accuse one another of being the like of either failed patriarchs, wanton whores, and of course, witches and devils—amidst a farmed land that has likewise collapsed as an edifice outside of failure, that there is nothing but rightful allure that awaits her as Thomasin steps into a wild that instead knows self-command, the company of witches. She knows that in addition to being done right by by living unconstrained, loose, and free—"seeing the world," as the Devil says—she'll be dispensing trauma upon families of as just as much worth as her own has been many times to her. But still, it is every time she does what should objectively count most right about a person—their own self-exploration/development—that she becomes bound to witchcraft—so through witchcraft, life must be

It is when she is fiddling with a game of peek-a-boo, extending the duration she keeps her eyes hidden so that both she and the infant can be surprised with the infant's reaction to something outside of pattern, that the infant gets snatched away. Her brother is raped by the witch just after he gets manipulated (an act of creativity and self-activation) by Thomasin into letting her journey with him on his nighttime "adventure"—itself, an impressive act of self-activation on his part—into the forest. She manages the problem of the twins hounding her, calling her a witch, by stopping her repeated denial that it was in fact a wolf that snatched away the child and instead embracing the concept, unfolding in a moment into a lively, embellished persona ostensibly ready to boil and bake the twins if they should ever reveal her "true" identity. Through all of this, she reveals the kind of personality that would later flourish in New England Puritan communities, as it was from exactly these that America got its first impressive artistic and literary community. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:

1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely nakedno nipples shownin this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fateone the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of womennot as worthy, not as human.   

2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are exchanging info on their past lives, the only one who admits to anything really incriminating is Vanessa. She was and is a prostitute. We are ostensibly meant to see this as something that could empower her, or that she could engage in in an empowered way. But the fact that Wade didn't pay her for sex but rather to join him in a ball-tossing carnival game, suggests that if she had taken the money for sex, something about their relationship would have been degraded. She had to first be granted a cleansesex apart from money, and only after a normal period of datingto become more of an acceptable love interest, to be worthy of dignity. 

If the movie meant to really show her prostitution as something that didn't degrade/potentially define her they'd have let their relationship arise after he paid her for sex... the sense would have been he didn't spare her from something, something averse and degrading. She was liftedperhaps a bit unearned?into a dignified, "acceptable," situationwhat a guy! The way it is, if she should ever turn on him, humiliate him, spurn him, he could just throw another hundred her way and tell her it will be the normal "ball games" this time—even though she wouldn't go for it, it'd be a presage of the base life she'd be back to after himand she'd be denied the ability to take no disadvantage from it that would have remained hers if she hadn't been so graciously spared his "courtesy."  

3) What happens to Wade's face and body is not nearly as bad as we all are meant to pretend that it is. Using him as a proxy, we savour the fact that this guy gets superhuman strength and reflexes, as well as pretty much full immunity to being killed, gets to keep his superior physique and handsome facial structure, but is permitted the allowance of being as ruthless as he pleases to his enemy—and perhaps to the humanity that scorns him—because the cost of his transformation is so high. If it really was, we wouldn't make that trade in a heartbeat... and all of us would. We ostensibly made a lousy trade, but we really didn't: "more square footage...": we gloat on how well we scored on this deal. 

If the movie really wanted to make him so ugly Wade couldn't presume to ever be appealing to women again, and to ensure that we would desist in readily identifying with him, in using him in this film world as our "second skin," they could just have made him a third-degree burn victima pretty common, unexceptional fate, which looks this much worse: (actually, I can't show you picturesthey can be that terrible; you know what I mean.)

4) Wade endures a lot of torture (so to shock his genes into producing a mutation). If you really mean for those of us using him as our proxy to experience this as something nasty to sit through, you needed to exclude one thing in particular. Don't show him as one of two guys being tortured, and show the other guy, a regular guy, built out of beer and nachos not constant strenuous exercise, as enduring it particularly poorly (cowardly?), despite his easy-to-see-through tough-talk. What happens then is that the torture becomes something to bulwark/cement your own macho, and the other guy becomes someone we can project all our fears, all our humiliating experiences of childhood terror and subservience into, to disown. At the end of the torture, with the other guy perishing passively and "our" fate suggesting our remaining degree of fightour inherent difference"we" come out actually in a position where we ought properly to thank the villain: he helped cleft us from the Mr. Pathetic we fear could be our core.  

5) If the X-Men start courting our proxy, Deadpool, please don't pretend this doesn't send thrills down our spines. If "we" don't immediately accept, it's not because we like going solo. It's because, since Wade represents someone supposed to be akin to us, a "second self," who (according to film critic, Mike Lasalle) in being distinguished mostly for being shameless and endlessly self-forgiving is really not much like the standard brand of heroes and more like plain old everyone of us—notable, simply for possessing a "selfie"we kind of have to be eased in so we feel like we actually belong in the first rank... there needs to be some tweaking.

With Ant-Man, this was accomplished by elevating his heroism; by some restraint on his part. Here, we're seeing the other option in play: by representing the X-men with previously unrepresented characters, including a simple, code-following man-child, Colossus, and a withholding, pouty teenager... hell, even in his unadulterated, much-more-just-a-huge-asshole-than-just-bawdy state, he's already on Charles Xavier's coattails before even arriving at the entrance to his mansion. This movie is the red carpet in, if he chooses to use it. 

Why otherwise wouldn't he? Well, well there is something about a patient transferring upon his doctor a withholding part-object identity, that strikes me as relevant in this case. As well as perhaps just using a connection to an institution to stabilize psychic identity. But that diagnosis for another time, where owing to his "lowering," it'll probably have to applied to more of the hero class than just him.   

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dead potential, in "Deadpool"

According to the psychiatrist I pay most attention to, James F. Masterson, children who grow up under mothers who require their children to meet their own unmet needs for attention have a very difficult time nurturing what he calls their "real self." What happens is that the mother's strongly averse reaction to the child's first sign of autonomy, which occurs when as an infant s/he first started walking, and which kicks in hard once again at adolescence, scares the child away from full (or even partial) self-realization. In the way of the path ahead to ever becoming his or her real self are fears and pains arising owing to feeling abandoned, which are so paralyzing they're akin to what reliably blocked Truman from just driving across the bridge and leaving Seahaven in The Truman Show. He calls them the Six Horsemen of the Psychic Apocalypse: Depression, Panic, Rage, Guilt, Helplessness, and Emptiness. What happens to such children? They never really grow up, never really individuate. Ryan Reynold's Wade shows signs of being exactly this sort of person. At first, he's the kind of guy who seems mostly motivated to deny parts of himself he is concerned actually best represent him by bullying those in overt possession of these traits—geeky guys who wear their vulnerability on their faces and who rage powerfully at women. So it's not him, it's the guys he bullies. He becomes someone however who actually enters a real relationship with a woman, one with promise. But as soon as he gets past the period of mutual-gaze infatuation and enters that period where his relationship might challenge and mature him, take him adrift from his past life of being just another member of a homosocial gang, a calamity happens (here his developing cancer) which leaves him essentially living with his mother, fretful of women rejecting him (my god! my acne!), wantonly acting out his aggressions, and associating with those without the sophistication to see through him (here the simple-minded proletarian X-Men, Colossus, as well as the petulant sorta one, Negasonic Teenage Warhead). 

This is the first R-rated comic book film, but in truth what's on display in terms of characters relating to one another is mightily regressed from the adult relationship we saw on display between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts in Josh Whedon's the Avengers. It's too bad it's doing such good business, because it puts the pressure on recognizable adult characters in other superhero films (like McAvoy's Charles Xavier) not to make him wiltand not making him wilt, is the other reason why the X-men's mansion is always empty when Deadpool visits it, one he wasn't actually going to admit to (or indeed even allow himself to remain for long cognizant of) when he breached the fourth wall, wink, wink: Storm, Cyclops, Wolverine, as they've been depicted thus far, would have no truck with him. May they never be forced to pretend to be willing partners in his sort of retrograde.   

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hailing the 1950s, in "Hail , Caesar!"

The critic Richard Brody has written that in Hail, Caesar the Coen brothers are exploring their own 1950s origins. So that would be two men of 2016 looking back on a very patriarchal society where father knows best and where the majority of families were still raised in a conservative fashion (this wasn't a time where you were supposed to float free and discover your own calling, but still mostly follow through with what your ostensibly "did it all for you," "self-sacrificing" parents expected of you). And so we might presume there would be some criticism of this previous social order—the women we see confined to supplementary roles would show the capacity to actually lead companies if only they were in the 21st; those we see shepherded into accomplishing what others expect of them would betray something rote about their efforts that would be absent if they'd had the freedom and encouragement to discover what they themselves wanted in life. Yet we do not find this. Rather, with wifely sustaining of the work-pressured husband and employee' willing full accommodation to bosses, the thing, the brothers here come across as presenting what others now only harshly deconstruct, as an ideal. 

In the 1950s the thinking was that the basis of the entire success of the social structure would be found in the mass replication of the sort of responsible, nuclear family home that Josh Brolin's Eddie Mannix possesses. Here's "Father Knows Best," with the wife the one who attends to the children and the home, and gives sustenance and support for her faithful, hard-working husband; and the husband the one who brings home the income and who is first in the household, but who has a profound respect for his wife's deeply felt needs—which are for him to stay healthy, and perhaps send more time at home—even if she is so respectful of him, of the load and stress he already has to bear, to only ever whisper them so despite their impact on her they semblance an aside. She knows he works so hard and is so good she would never want to haunt him, even as her goodness ensures that—ultimately benevolently—she can't help but do so: her request that he attend to his health and not smoke afflicts him throughout the day... he is tempted to escape it.  

But nevertheless the harpies—or rather, the harpies that succeed in encouraging our own negative judgment of a protagonist—of the Coen brothers' last two films are gone in this one. Eddie isn't hoorawed by a little girl, and diminished a bit in our eyes for it, as is Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, nor does he have to bear a torrent of ridicule by a caustic sister and a furious former lovermostly in our eyes deservinglyas does Llewyn Davis in Inside Llewyn Davis. He does have to abate for a time two crowing gossip columnists who believe they have the permanent edge on him, but he deflates them soundly by the end. But then he isn't someone who "lies in filth and bemoans his station," nor someone who besmirches everyday working people as those who just "exist." Instead he's so commendably performing his company role as a problem-solving film producer, his societal role as a hard-working stiff, those who'd tempt him towards an easier, less troubling life might appear to have the moral edge over those who'd encourage him to stick to his chosen occupation and persist. In the 1950s, you were supposed to work hard and keep faith with your chosen occupation, but this wasn't going to mean not earning a significant bounty for it. 

The parenting of the 1950s has been described by the psychohistorian Lloyd DeMause as "socializing," meaning, so long as you did as your parents wished—pursed the interests they wanted you to pursue, chose the job they wanted for you, whether in order to blandly replicate or boldly enhance themselves—you would have their approval, their largesse. The film suggests this version of "good things come" as natural law. The "good children" of the film being the film stars Hobie Doyle and DeeAnna Moran, who do whatever Eddie and the studio requires of them. Hobie, the former rodeo employee, agrees to star in a production that rightly requires someone educated and whip-smart, not a yokel. But no matter how much the director's instructions for him pound down the fact of his near illiteracy—be "rueful," try a "mirthless chuckle"—and how right his fellow actors are to instantly regret his being on set, for good-naturedly doing as his superiors requested, he's protected: the director doesn't dare go as far as to fully undermine him, or it'll be his project lost, his career broken. He also agrees to date whomever the studio wishes. And apparently for this, ends up well matched, and gets to engage in playful, relaxed, totally savoury flirtations with his new partner, spared any sense that it can't all be deeply let in and enjoyed (a swath of earthly paradise for this still innocent and loyal "Adam"). With DeeAnna,  there is no questioning on her part the studio's further request for how she handle the upcoming birth of her child, whose father is a bit uncertain and whom DeeAnn adamantly can't stand as a potential husband. And seemingly for leaving the decision of what to do to the studio and to accede to their decision, she is distilled better than she could ever have expected, the (ironic) gift of free choice, actually: she gets to keep as "father" and husband someone of her choosing—another longterm, dutiful, "it comes with the job, ma'am," willingly wound-sustaining employee, who likewise is rewarded for his fidelity.

The "bad children" in the film are Baird Whitlock and Thora and Thessaly Thacker, who either knowingly or unknowingly forget their place. Thora and Thessaly perform an approved role in giving the studio the press it wants. They get access nobody else gets, but only through their servility, however as much—with their promiscuous estimation of their rectitude and importance—they might like to construe the nature of their relationship with the studios. But not this time: they've acquired information (Thora knows about Baird's homosexual experience; Thessaly knows about Baird's disappearance) that by no means the studio can afford to have spread, and with this hope to gain leverage, essentially dictate terms. And seemingly for forgetting their place in the natural order—other industries, other "battleships in the sea," might displace the power of the movie industry, but not once-dependent mere individual subjects—one of them, Thora, ends up on the receiving end of a humiliating reversal: the very source of her empowerment is turned into something that guarantees her compliance. The punishment isn't Old Testament. The dispensation is provided with some shoring up, not only because the studio still has need of her but because she has served the 1950s approved lesson that unbound children are wanton children, and that women... just can't help themselves (Frances McDormand's C.C.Calhoun getting her scarf caught in the moviola—women and their vanity!—had something of this feel as well, however otherwise she is meant to be seen as fluent at her job)—i.e., the fault might even mostly be with the studio for not keeping sufficient tabs.

Eddie breaches natural order by joyously recounting before his boss the explosive revelations of Communist philosophy, inadvertently thereby parading what might well be a worst form of torture before this loyal, Catholic, American subject as something he might be expected to have to suffer without complaint. He gets the tar beaten out of him for this trespass, but here too, even, there is at the finish some rescue, some genuine encouragement for him to go out and be the star he is and act his ass off: what Baird did not do was show himself someone who couldn't learn his lesson after receiving the "proper" 50s feedback for badly errant behaviour, corporeal punishment. After the shock of this kind of feedback, he'd would reset and go back to performing as expected. 

If the Coen brothers wanted to distance themselves from 50s moral codes, they had ample opportunity to do so in the subsequent scene where Eddie acts the penultimate scene of the studio's big film project, "Hail, Caesar." This scene involves Baird as a Roman tribune who desists in claiming a full serving of water before the slaves get theirs, owing to the inspiring, life-changing example of this great man before him on the cross—Jesus—whom he witnessed sacrificing his own needs for others' gain just days before. That is, it's a replay of what Baird himself just experienced, his having been buoyed and inspired by the new ways of imagining the world by the genial, mostly respectful comradeship of those he just met (in his case, the Communists—Hollywood writers, as well as the scholar Herbert Marcuse—who abducted him). It was a chance to contrast performance incontrovertibly owing to inspiration—how Baird thrilled in describing this revolution in thought to Eddie—with performance that might for an expert just be rote, and the spotlight wasn't placed on what the bullying studio system, what 1950s authoritarian society, shortchanged itself. Instead, we are directed to how affected the audience is by his performance, how powerfully moved. Baird could be beaten back into remembering his place, and in every respect, not miss a beat... a great dispensing machine that could be counted on to dispense again and again and again, and we all would never know him as other than someone who drew true inspiration from every role he took. 

Eddie refuses an offer to grab for himself the easy life as an executive in an industry outside of being humbled as fluff (the airline industry, specifically), and the feeling is, what other industry other than his own allows one to execute as akin to a mob boss who can tap other people everyone else hold as akin to gods to perform as his subjects? Even if you're a loyal Catholic subject yourself—in a sense, just one other before God—there’s a high afforded here that can't be matched if you moved to a perhaps more relevant industry. It's kind of gross, this mastery; and I think it's up to us as audience members to wonder why the Coen brothers have provided a film here that would make a kind of Trump-style societal regression seem something that might give opulent pleasures to the man who orchestrated it, but which could well be for our own good.

Do we need someone archaic to stay behind to hammer us back into a rule-enforced society that might still afford us, as Richard Brody articulates, "delight [and] unexpectedly free expression within […] strictures and hermetic confines"? Have we psychologically devolved back to the point where we feel most relaxed and free only once we’ve sacrificed enough of our future potential that an overlord could experience us as reset, as not so much a problem anymore, and therefore, grant us some guarantee of latitude? 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Recent postings at (I am Emporium)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016 10:22 PM
NotARepublican Emporium Hillary represents as an ideal the educated professional, feminist and cosmopolitan in outlook--liberal individualism: something that tasks the mind to achieve. Sanders may be more each of us as brothers and sisters, common identity, where it's easy to imagine it being about mental slippage. 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016 9:41 PM
This article doesn't seem so much concerned about the hyper-patriots as liberals who might potentially be slipping. It shores up and warns. The (German) Left's response to the recent episode in Cologne was that the sexism you saw on display there was no different than it is amongst non-migrants. "Cologne" shouldn't direct you so much to target migrants' "culture," but sexism in general in society. And hearing this, the outrageous silliness of it, the German middle class got that much closer to desisting in their enjoyment in being deemed worthy for their cosmopolitan, progressive outlook, for beginning to want someone to take a closer look at the ostensible facts behind the Leftists' case for equivalence. 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016 8:20 PM
It is possible that after a great sacrificial war (WW2) and a debilitating Depression, we're still only going to allow ourselves so much permission. Following that, it is not a matter of savvy compromise but a reflection of how much many of us liberals are still uncomfortable with ongoing growth, that we needed to ensure some groups got a beating (1980 and after) while genuine progress did persist ahead. These groups "contain" projections of our weak, vulnerable childhood selves, and by giving them the beating we increasingly felt we deserved for our increasing autonomy, our self-attendance, our ostensible sinful narcissism, we're okay with growth continuing. Then and only then. This is projection; this is using people as poison containers--carriers of our ostensible sins. The Clintons were under this hold just as much as everyone else. They're certainly not evil, and collectively this all were going to be able to handle. 

The thought is that Sanders reflects a young generation's ability to tolerate growth less conflictedly/ambiguously. They were raised by boomers who spared the rod, unlike their own parents. They weren't only socialized into an order, but allowed to go their own way. They didn't feel as much at an inherent level that they were terribly spoiled and bad every time they reached for the cookie jar. So a victory for Sanders means greater benevolence, an end to some-prosper-but-most-fall Clinton/Obama era, and back to society that raises all boats. Maybe. But it is possible that a Sanders victory would mean people wanting to surrender that sense of themselves as particular, as highly individuated and richly developed individuals, for the clouding and obfuscation involved in become part of a populist miasma.

Taking that into consideration--that Sanders victory is akin to one by Trump, in that it means a kind of collective devolution into a hive-mind, the folk, the Volk--it might actually be the more progressive win if Hillary gets in. Sanders is the embodiment of our desires; he sways at our bequest. Hillary is apart from us, prizing her own distinction and autonomy.  

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016 7:54 PM

Aunt Messy Emporium Her saying that she was dismayed that the progressive 1920s were followed by the conservative culture of the 30s/40s/50s, didn't strike me as especially Jerry Falwell-like. It stuck in mind. One decade of advancement; three of regression.  

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016 6:01 PM

One day perhaps this particular viewpoint will itself be seen as regressive, something a current generation of Leftists would need to hold onto to maintain their psychic equilibrium, regardless of the evidence that surfaces. They are comfortable with ambiguity, complexity, transgressions; the opposites need a polarized, complexity-spared view of everything. 

The counter is that this generation of Leftists were advanced in that they had less of a need to project their own unwanted characteristics--their "badness"-- onto other people, but weren't capable of doing it without romancing those they're protecting: that is, everyone subjected to the bigotry of the Right couldn't possibly be on their own a collection of regressed bigots, possessed of no culture really worth protecting--infused, as it all is, with aspects of racism--but always a valued people with cultural heritages that enrich the world. A more advanced Left wouldn't need to posit a Cinderella story--the oppressed one is actually the more beautiful--onto the world around them. They just stop the oppression, and look at the oppressed, square. Maybe they're better, maybe they're worse: doesn't matter: bigotry arises out of abuse--hurt people hurt people--and is no one's fault, just something to be eliminated from the world.

No group composed of progressives is just going to open their borders so that a gang of MRA bigots could join in. The progressiveness would get drastically watered down. America's problem may have been that those who settled in the North--those from intact families that fled European oppression for their more advanced Religious views--didn't find some quick way to foreclose the South to the single men, the later-born sons, and convicts who came there. If one's level of tolerance for societal changes that actually enrich and empower you is high, it tells you a lot about what kind of background you've come from.  For sure, you've had parents who didn't abandon you or brutally punish you as spoiled brats--your parents didn't project onto you--when you ventured outside prescriptions. Since you're talking parenting, not habits but dispositions towards children born out of a leakage of very little love through a generational chain, it's not something to be addressed quickly with the right kind of pamphlet information. 

If you let a lot of people like that in and the Republic continues to move along a progressive path, it may be just that you don't realize that it has already affected your Republic, and is why you could only get away with a punitive sort of neoliberal evolution which ensured huge groups would suffer while society made genuine advancements in its attitudes, rather than something more generally provisioning; and possibly that you're looking right now at the peak before the crash: Trump gets in, devolution sets in--union leaders who urge Democrat but can't, alas, control their base--because the truth of (parenting) heritage could not be balked forever.  

The author of this piece is what Dawkins, Maher et al. call a regressive liberal, that is, those who are irresponsibly projecting a particular, pleasing framework on the world, just at the time when the support columns for their advanced views are collapsing. In their view, people like this are going to need to start talking borders and making judgments that would make them sound like bigots, even to themselves... they've got to be this brave, even while knowing that the advanced psyche is always the one that isn't polarized, that is always ready to assimilate fluid complexity. They charge them as being unwilling to taint their preferred sense of themselves, and so cling to a world view that makes them feel virtuous even as the facts of reality--"you were all were supposed to vote Democrat, not Trump--only bigoted whites vote Trump!"--force them to detach themselves and go recluse.    

Progress, incremental attitude adjustment, is likely inevitable. But it's that when it goes downhill it can be so bad that it can look like it'll never get back up. This is the 1930s and 40s and even 50s, after the Jazz Age 1920s (Paglia wrote about this recently; how distressed she was at the extent of the fall.) And it could come pretty close to being smothered: there are a number of scholars who argue that Jews got targeted in Germany because Germans were jealous of their (the Jews') ability to handle Weimar-era, quick, progressive cultural change, when they were so threatened by it and desired quickly to reset to nativism, known roles, and shortchanged opportunity.  

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