Note: I wrote an article on white privilege in March 2018, and received a lot of vitriolic criticism from it. I had nice left-wing Christians telling me God would soon cut me down! Nevertheless, some of the criticism was valid in that it exposed some sloppy or incomplete writing – a perennial curse of blogging. So I have decided to update the piece, with additions and some further editing below.
Recently, I was told that as a white, straight, English-speaking, able-bodied, Christian man (it gets worse – I am Catholic to boot), my type has had its day, and now it is time to cede power to the ‘Other’. To our PC society, this may sound like a good plan, but in truth, it is a pre-cursor to social disaster.
The notion of white privilege is predicated on the idea that society is ultimately entirely about power, and class or demographic conflict, in which there can be only winners and losers. And that’s no way to build a society.
So let me be as clear as I can be – this type of identity politics will destroy our civilization. We need to cut it out before it’s too late.
“We have to stop expecting to be offended…”
Recently, I have been listening to some talks by Cassie Jaye, a feminist documentary-maker who decided to expose the ‘darkness’ of the men’s rights movements in 2013.
After a few years, she ended up making the opposite movie to the one she intended. ‘Red Pill’ demonstrated the story rather of a feminist ending up agreeing with the objects of her attack. See the trailer here.
South Africa is a fatherless nation.
As we try to patch together our economy and infrastructure, there is a far more basic fabric that lies in both serious disrepair and unconscionable neglect – the fabric of fatherhood, evolved over millennia of culture and religion which binds men and their offspring together.
Say what you want about the concept of fatherhood, but there is simply no getting around the fact that everybody’s lives are much better when fathers take their duties seriously. Continue reading
Or – how to be the Lion King, the Top Gun, or the rightful ruler of Denmark.
The animated classic, The Lion King, the Reagan-era air force blockbuster, Top Gun, and the essential Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, are all about the same thing: how do you make atonement for the absence of your father?
It’s a strange theme. Yet it is an idea so ubiquitous – from the Bible, to the Odyssey and the Aeneid, to the TV show Lost – that clearly it carries some residual vitality which requires our attention.
Why do so many of our most popular works of art have to do with losing one’s father and attempting thereafter to come to terms with his spirit?
Whenever something keeps coming up in story and myth, my literary instincts tell me that the idea is probably too primal or too close to our own experience to be expressed in any other way. So perhaps the best way of understanding this strange notion of wrestling with your father’s ghost is to look at the stories themselves. Continue reading
We all live on the road between two cities – the city of God and the city of Man – between reality and a hopeful vision.
There’s a reason the Dark Knight trilogy is the only set of superhero films worth watching – they are more than comics on film – they contain and allude to a real literary mythology.
The best of them from a pure storytelling point of view, is the final film, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. What happens during times of revolution? How can true peace be achieved?
The answer is – by means of a hero.
And to tell the story, to recount a Gotham completely destroyed, the screenwriter Jonathan Nolan turned to the fourth book I think we need to read to understand the modern world, Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’: Continue reading
‘Black Panther’ and the strange reason why young people are literally burning western civilization down.
Have you heard of the film ‘Black Panther’?
It recently became the most successful movie ever in the US domestic market. Apparently it’s not bad – probably much better than other serious money-spinners like ‘Avatar’ and any Star Wars film.
I haven’t seen it. I haven’t watched a single Marvel superhero film. Not my thing. But what has fascinated me, is the political outpouring of love for the film. The fact that the film celebrates a black hero (with a militant, more real-life Black Panther-esque villain to oppose him) has made it what young people call ‘woke’ – which is just a trendy way of saying ‘politically correct’. Finally, black kids can have a real hero on the silver screen.
But what struck me in the midst of all the hype is the fact that by no stretch of the imagination is this the first major film with a black lead. And it is thus a real mystery why everybody is pretending that it is. Continue reading
In the first part of the twentieth century, two very different men wrote parallel, yet divergent, predictions concerning the future of the western world.
In 1949, in the shadow of rampant totalitarianism, George Orwell wrote ‘1984’, in which he predicted the rise of Big Brother, the Ministry of Love, Newspeak, and thought crime – all instruments of a repressive future political order in which freedom is vanquished.
In 1932, at the outset of the consumer and permissive society, Aldous Huxley wrote the novel ‘Brave New World’, also a dystopian take on the future.
Yet ‘Brave New World’ imagines a vastly different kind of oppression coming our way. Continue reading
“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.”
Wars have started because of train timetables and poor grammar.
Every single life’s very existence is dependent on a billion little moments and decisions having gone a certain way for the past million years.
In the face of the unlimited, overwhelming importance of all the little things, the ephemeral ‘big things’ we spend time worrying about – the ANC, Trump, and your credit card – should tend to fade away just a little bit.
Probably the most important public intellectual of our time – anti-political correctness psychologist, Jordan Peterson – speaks about the advice he gives to young people about how to live their lives properly. Continue reading