I am delighted to have been invited to write for Urban Scoop. I comment on Tommy’s Telegram Feed as “D” and – to my astonishment – have gained some fame (infamy?). I also write for Granite Grok and am on Gab too. And while I will attempt to not self-reference too much in my linkage, I do have a substantial body of work out there already… at Granite Grok and a shortish stint at Liberty’s Torch… plus elsewhere… and it’s going to be a challenge keeping up with both Granite Grok and Urban Scoop! But as I tell my kids nothing worthwhile is easy.
So now, to my article’s title origin. I recently took my kids to Boston’s Museum of Science – a favorite childhood haunt of mine when I was growing up – and in the bathroom urinals were small fly images painted onto the urinals near the bottom.
It brought to mind an article from a couple of years ago that discussed public bathroom “clean-up issues” in the men’s room – wait, am I still allowed to say MEN’S room? – around the urinals. The article proposed that a target be put onto each urinal so that men would aim there and thus reduce spillage issues.
A small thing, to be sure, and while I agree with the yuck factor of having pee on the floor, and laud the desire to reduce it, it irked me. I dislike being nudged.
A STEP BEYOND ADS
Growing up watching TV I had to put up with commercials – as have we all. What are commercials if nothing but an attempt to get you to buy something you weren’t going to buy, or buy brand X when you normally buy brand Y? So the idea of influencing is not new. And, of course, prior to TV there were radio and print ads.
Now don’t get me wrong – companies want to increase their business and ads are a way to do that. TV, radio, print… even internet sites… need revenue. I mean, I too have tried to advertise my company to build my business. (Not much luck but that’s another matter.) But the key difference here is that ads are obvious. Nudges are not so.
This is done because the elites are smarter, more educated, more noble, and just plain better people than us hoi polloi. Just ask them, they’ll tell you. One of the world’s great economic minds, Ludwig von Mises, said:
He is correct. This is confirmed by the overweening arrogance that is well-exposed by Dr. Thomas Sowell in such works like Intellectuals and Society and The Vision of the Anointed. I’ve read both books and was amazed at how spot-on Sowell has the uber-elites pegged. I’m currently reading his A Conflict of Visions – not an easy read but enormously insightful. Ronald Reagan had them pegged too:
Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
This is the distrust of the common man writ large, a distrust that is as old as mankind itself. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. And not for nothing is vanity – at least per the movie – the Devil’s favourite sin:
Just consider the nudges to get people to stop smoking. Or to stop consuming too much sugar. Or to exercise more. Or any of innumerable other things. Now to be fair, smoking is bad for you. Too much sugar is bad for you. Too much drinking is bad for you. Being a couch potato is bad for you. Changing habits to improve your situation & health are all good things. Many things are bad for you, and on the flip side many things are good for you.
But this is not what is at stake here! It is, and it should be, up to the individual to decide what behaviours they indulge in, or do not indulge in. It should be up to society to declare, as the highest good, that people must be free to make their own decisions and then suffer the consequences of those decisions – not for that cabal of elites to decide for you.
Smoke for 30+ years and now have lung or throat cancer? Too bad; never mind how much money that could have gone to other things literally up in smoke. Obese because your favourite meal is a bacon double-cheeseburger with a large sugar-filled Coke and a pound of cheese fries? Liver shot because you drink a 12 pack every night? Sterile because you had unprotected one-night stands and got a silent case of chlamydia? And so on. These are all things you elected to do to yourself, and even the second-hand impact to others is not sufficient to rationalize the elites stepping in to police you.
When Covid first hit I was also afraid. A new virus, with videos from China showing people suddenly collapsing and dying. I wore N95 masks (prepper me already had them) having understood that viruses like Ebola were threats years before. I had goggles, and gloves, and sanitized my hands like crazy. And then, as the people collapsing didn’t materialize here in the US, I started to question things. Lots of things. For me one of the key tells was the mask pivot. We were told to wear masks to protect ourselves. It seemed to make sense. But then memes like this started to pop up.
I looked into the comparison of the virus size versus mask pore size and realized the meme was spot-on. But then, the “science” changed. Rather than admit error, it swapped from protect yourself to protect others. This shift, rather than admitting error, was one of the earthquakes in my mind that convinced me – even before Fauci’s 2005 paper on hydroxychloroquine made the rounds – that something was awry.
Empathy, a noble and good sentiment, had been weaponized to make people comply. The same with the Jab; it changed from protecting yourself to protecting your community. “Don’t kill grandma” and all. Do not forget C.S. Lewis’ stark warning about the tyranny of good intentions:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
CULTURAL ION THRUSTERS
On my old blog – defunct because “long story” – I coined a term: Cultural Ion Thrusters. Ion thrusters are exceedingly efficient & reliable engines for space travel but they generate very little thrust. Hold a single sheet of paper in your hand; that’s an ion thruster’s push. But over time – weeks, months, years – that small force adds up to significant effect on the item being pushed. The same effect happens in our popular culture. Over decades even cultures can be shifted.
So now consider sex ed summer camps… for eight-year-olds in Indiana… and the fact that the people organizing it haven’t had 3 AM social calls to discuss this (not advocating such mind you, just expressing my surprise that it hasn’t happened). Or the fact that Cuties on Netflix was not just distributed… but someone conceived it, someone approved it, someone funded it, actors chose to sign on having read the script, and parents decided to let their daughters act in it after reading the script, and someone viewed the final cut and released it for distribution to the public. Consider the decades-long push to normalize gay marriage, with the same arguments now being used to normalize group marriages. Transgenderism and paedophilia and abortion-on-demand-without-parental-consent – fought ably by MassResistance among many others – did not suddenly appear overnight but have been slowly-slowly drip-drip-dripped into the schools and modern entertainment. (There’s even a move for “interspecies love”.) Gag me.
None of these things could have happened 50+ years ago.
Now let me be clear: if a person is gay that’s not cause to discriminate, and I do – personally – believe that some legal provision needs to be made for legal ties for gay couples. But it’s not MARRIAGE. People who transition AS ADULTS should not be discriminated against; that’s their decision regardless of how I view it. But not kids – yet this is exactly what is being pushed. Gays and transgenders are unable to reproduce biologically, so they reproduce ideologically. As an aside, I remember reading how the author of an anti-circumcision “intactivist” comic book was revealed to be a gay man who liked his partners uncut. Thus, his comic book was intended to drive parents to not circumcise and thus creating a larger crop of potential partners that met his preferences. These people really do plan decades into the future!
Consider interracial marriage (look for pictures of “white couples” on google or Bing, versus “Black” or “Asian” or “Hispanic”; notice any differences?). Now, I have a dog in this hunt. I’m as visually white as can be. Absent my kippa I could walk into a KKK rally and not get a second glance. I’m married to a non-white woman. I cleave to Martin Luther King Jr’s noble statement of judging individuals by the content of their character. But while it’s a couple’s individual choice – it also shouldn’t be pushed. (Were you aware that it was, in America, Democrats who passed the laws against mixed-race marriages? And now cleverly misdirect to claim it was Republicans that did so?)
Or consider mass migration. As author and talk show host Michael Savage wrote: borders, language, and culture are what define a nation. Again, I am not opposed to immigration per se; my mother was an immigrant, and my wife is as well. But legal and controlled immigration should be done with the good of the nation in mind – not a Bertold Brecht style of migration done for electoral benefits to the power structure, nor “mere” immigration because we’re good and noble people, and they need help. Charity has limits. Never mind just pure profit as witnessed by a law firm’s secret seminars on getting around H1B restrictions – something I read about years ago which sent my blood pressure into orbit. And while diversity of thought and perspectives are often assets in most situations, race and national origin have been made into proxies for that – piss-poor proxies if you ask me. For decades now “Diversity is a strength” has been the mantra, yet what nations, regardless of race, are the strongest and have been so throughout human history? Ones with a dominant monoculture, a unifying language, and strong borders with strict immigration control.
But at the base of all of these is a fundamental issue: the unasked-for drip-drip-drip into the pop culture by those who would call themselves our rulers to intentionally shift the unconscious world views on multiple topics, thank you Andrew Breitbart, to make this not just the norm but seemingly desirable.
(Link to AZQUOTES per their policy)
Decade upon decade of almost-imperceptible forces on multiple axes push-push-pushing the traditional culture and morality to shift it towards evil. And worse, evil done believing it’s good.
AWARENESS IS THE CRITICAL FIRST STEP
I have suffered for some years with a medical problem that flares up from time to time – requiring massive & heavy antibiotic treatment. Fortunately, I seem to have identified the most significant trigger and can avoid it. But I remember one time, being on that heavy dosing of antibiotics, when I felt that death was imminent. I would call friends daily to inform them I hadn’t died during the night, revisited my will, made provisions for critical people to be informed of my passing, etc. Said a sincere goodbye to my wife every night convinced I would pass in my sleep only to awaken and trudge through the day under a black cloud until the next evening.
A day or so after the treatment stopped I was back to my chipper self and I realized that it was the antibiotics that did this. A year or so later I had to do the routine again. This time, prepared, I identified the mood shift and could handle it knowing it was coming, as I’ve been prepared ever since.
The same here in the culture wars and being nudged. Now that we’re aware of it, now that we’re aware that there are forces trying to undermine our culture, our nations, and even our personal behaviours and choices and freedoms, we can look around and question and see it everywhere – and resist. Be aware of the cultural ion thrusters and start pointing them out to others.
As to that fly? I told a friend about it after the trip; they though it was odd. Then I sent them the article about using it to nudge behaviours. They’re not red-pilled yet… but they’re weighing taking it when they weren’t before. They, like everyone, take strong exception to being manipulated.
That’s a win. A small win, but still – a planted seed can grow.