Reverence of the Irreverent
A little over two weeks have passed since the devastating attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people, the youngest victim just 8-years-old. The singer herself is holding a benefit concert in Manchester for the victims and free for the people attending her first concert. However, as I write this, I am watching a Leader's Debate on the BBC and between the various vagueries shot back and forth by self-serving politicians, one of the greatest is the disavowals of the problem of Islam. Politics has drifted farther left from the right over recent decades and with this pilgrimage to higher tolerance is a liberal acceptance of other people, championing a live and let live ethic. Much of the spread of this has been at the helm of satire. Comedic swipes at the establishment resulted in finding numerous chinks in the ruler's armour, often in ways revolution never could, weakening narratives of the traditional power of lords over serfs. It is through being irreverent that jokes allowed the untouchable veneer of authority to crumble, for autocratic, immutable power structures to seem just that little less out of reach.
However, as with all of the ways of the world: "Everything in moderation." Moreover, Marx's favourite adage: "de omnibus dubitandum (question everything)," while seeming sound - no idea deserves special treatment - mainstream consensus offers up a strange imbalance when it comes to condemning some ideals while condoning others that is at best bizarre, at worst, dangerous. Because when a notion becomes pushed to the limit, those that follow it are under the mistaken illusion that their actions are infallible, this permits them with scant excuses to tow the line. Not only is such irreverence evident when applied to the plethora of Islamic terrorism committed globally, but also among the "progressives" across campuses, glimpsed by Antifa antics and recent "non-white days" in US campuses. Evergreen State College, based in Washington State host an annual "Day of Absence," an almost ascetic sounding practice that is anything but holy. The day consists of non-white students and faculty leaving campus to highlight their usefulness while whites take anti-racism seminars. However, this year the roles were reversed, with white people removed from school, and some professors took exception to being forced out. Under the illusion that they had a choice in the matter, teachers were shocked at encountering angry lynch mobs descended on them, especially Biology Professor Ben Weinstein, who told Evergreen State's diversity office that he planned on going nowhere:
"You may take this letter as a formal protest of this year’s structure, and you may assume I will be on campus during the Day of Absence. … On a college campus, one’s right to speak – or to be – must never be based on skin color." Weinstein said. More than 50 students accosted Weinstein, protesting his presence on campus, a video of their behaviour went viral, demonstrating their lack of respect for the Professor and their openly hostile attitude. Campus police were called to diffuse the situation, and students even blocked police entry, it appears the syllabus of Social Justice is heavily laden with threats and intimidation, instead of learning and rational discourse. Similar disrespect demonstrated itself entirely when teacher Eric Clanton attacked a protestor against Antifa with a bike lock, an assault that could easily be fatal to the victim, embodied this extreme level of dehumanisation with which the regressive left regard their detractors. The most recent of such loathing came in the form of comedian Kathy Griffin posing for photos, which included her holding up a model of a blood-drenched Donald Trump's decapitated head. Griffin's stunt - one that could be deemed almost treasonous - even drew the condemnation of Chelsea Clinton and lost Griffin her CNN job and other endorsements. The ostensible love for free speech that blossomed under the red rose of the left (or blue in America), now has poisoned roots that infect their judgment, quick to lambast "the enemy," while defending their real enemies, and your safety is at risk if you dare resist.