"All the world's a stage."
Synicon: "People used to love God, because God knew all things. He even knew you - everything about you. You could speak to him whenever you wished and were perfectly understood by him even when you didn't understand yourself. A necessary role for the well-being of man. Now, however, that function has been supplanted by our own methods. Knowledge of yourself - the most intimate personal details, relationships, biological urgings and genetic makeup - can be transmitted seamlessly to millions across the planet. The universal quest for God was nothing more than a quest to make oneself known and loved by all. But we need not a god to make known one's individuality. We now have methods for finding it even when you yourself don’t know."
Other: "This is all superficial understanding. A man can't be known by others in ---"
Synicon: "But they think they can, and who can tell them they are wrong? Who has the authority to deny them their reality? The mind - and the notions therein - is all that matters. We shape the world - all matter is malleable."
CC: The nods to 1980s pop songs were a neat touch, that I, as a Gen-Xer, particularly appreciate. What gave you the idea for that?
ED: Glad they pleased! I’m a millennial myself, though I do enjoy earlier music. The whole first issue - especially the villain - was a little observance on culture. We have some outlandish punk-pop baddie attempting to take revenge on his former girl, who herself can’t find her place. The whole city is sort of a throw-away culture, cheap and artificial (like superhero comics generally, really). The Rebel enters in opposition to the noise with his own voice.
As for the name “Rebel Yell,” both it and the first villain, Gunther Glitz, were inspired by a particular artist, so it only seemed fitting to fill the pages with song references from that era.
CC: What do you hope readers get from Rebel Yell?
ED: I foremostly want them to enjoy it. Then I hope they can see our symbols as something good. Let them know they have a voice and are themselves something unique.
CC: I see that the second issue is in development. Can you give us any hints about what to expect in this next installment?
ED: The second issue was actually supposed to be launched after four or five other issues, but I decided to step up the date because of the continued destruction of our monuments. The issue centres on such vandalism. It’s not as heavy on story as the other issues, but rather spotlights a big brawl between our hero and some modern urban redecorators. Expect some high energy.
CC: What are your long-term plans for the series?
ED: I have a dozen issues of Rebel Yell scripted, three or four of which I hope to launch a year (all total, over a hundred pages annually). I hope to get enough of a base that we can expand into some other minor areas as well. I have a pop-culture magazine, reminiscent of the old gem Nintendo Power, that I’ve been working on. It’s about halfway through. I don’t know if there’d be much interest in that, but it’s fun nonetheless.
You can find out more about Electric Dinosaur and purchase Rebel Yell on his website here. You can help fund the next issue here.
Despite many calls for his resignation, from members of the public, leaders in his own party, various talking heads and celebrities, Northam has so far refused to step down. However, he has apologized for the errors of his past, and has acquiesced to doing penance in order to redeem himself. Northam's advisers have given him reading assignments, such as Roots, and “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Among other things, Northam has also pledged to take a harder line on the removal of Confederate monuments, stating “if there are statues, if there are monuments out there that provoke this type of hatred and bigotry, they need to be in museums.”
This pledge is contemptible for many reasons. First, Northam readily concedes the Confederate monuments are symbols of "hate." Though Southerners are used to being accused of "hate" for celebrating their honorable ancestors and heroes, seeing an unprincipled and gutless fellow Southerner concede the point without dispute, for the sake of naked self-interest, is repugnant.
Second, what on earth do the monuments have to do with Northam's classless behaviour in his school years? Is he claiming that the supposed sins of his forefathers compelled him to wear unseemly costumes in college? Are the statues of great Confederate generals the proximate cause of his poor judgement? Furthermore, why should those who cherish and wish to preserve these monuments be expected to sacrifice to atone for the personal behaviour of Northam?
Of course, the assumption of the political class is that Virginia has yet to be cleansed of its historic sins. There is more work to do to fully eradicate the legacy of slavery and the poison of racism from the state. Purging reminders of its shameful past is an important step. The priestly class has so proclaimed, and to save his career, Northam is gladly genuflecting before them.
The the connection between Northam and the Confederacy is assumed by many to exist, however, those who honor the likes of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson bear no claim to Northam. If not for its growing population of Northerners and spillover from the DC swamp, the Democratic party would be irrelevant in the once lovely state. And I shudder to think how our devoutly religious forefathers would have dealt with anyone arguing the merits of late-term abortion. It is unfair to attribute the Northam fiasco to Southern history and culture, but it is being done nonetheless.
The photo of Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic School standing face to face with a leftist activist near the Lincoln Memorial was on every news and social media site last week. The pictures from the incident reminded me of another viral photo from not long ago - that of Allen Armentrout standing by the Charlottesville statue of General Lee with a hostile protester making an obscene gesture in his face. (Contributor Dissident Mama's three-part series based on her interview with Armentrout begins here).
Still, there are parallels to be drawn between the two situations. Both young men were behaving in a peaceful manner when accosted. In the case of Armentrout, his Confederate flag and uniform were perceived as threatening and offensive by observers who attributed their own meanings to those symbols - racism, hate, slavery, treason. The fact that the bearer of the symbols did not mean anything of the kind was irrelevant. Likewise, Sandmann was defined by his "MAGA" hat as privileged, racist, and a white supremacist. I don't know anything about Sandmann's political beliefs, but I think it is much likelier that he simply wore the hat to show support for his country and President rather than because of a belief in some nefarious ideology. Whatever the real reason, it was irrelevant to his many attackers. THEY interpreted the MAGA hat as a symbol of something evil, and reacted accordingly.
Another similarity is that both young men relied on their Christian faith in the midst of the tension. Armentrout stated that "restraint from the Holy Spirit" helped him remain composed when confronted by the vulgar, hostile crowd. Sandmann said that he silently prayed, when confronted by drum-banging Native American Nathan Phillips, that the situation would not escalate further.
Both young men also experienced tribulation at the hands of the national mainstream media. After his Charlottesville confrontation, Armentrout was subjected to a series of predictably nasty and biased hit pieces from "reporters" who had no interest in understanding or sharing his side of the story. Sandmann was similarly defamed by national media outlets and personalities, though his ordeal was even more cruel because of his youth, the fact that he did nothing that he expected would invite attention, and that many of the accusations against him were blatant lies.
Shortly after the now-famous confrontation, Sandmann agreed to a nationally televised interview with Savannah Guthrie, in which she implied that he had invited the hostility that was directed towards him. ("Do you think if you weren’t wearing that hat, this might not have happened?") She also said "...there’s something aggressive about standing there, standing your ground..."
Sandmann replied, "I would say Mr. Phillips had his right to come up to me. I had my right to stay there." This is an obviously true statement, but it is still remarkable that he said it. Sandmann is a high-schooler who one week before had been an unknown private citizen, when he was thrust into a spotlight as the MSM villian du jour, subjected to heinous threats, insulted by public figures, and thrown under the bus by cowardly adults who should have defended him, like those of his diocese. This young man displayed more bravery and strength of character than the many far more powerful and seasoned public figures who obediently self-flagellate at the slightest criticism from the left.
"I had my right to stay there."
Armentrout said that when he stood still amidst the jeering crowd, attempting to emulate Christ by refusing to retaliate against those attempting to provoke him, it "made those people yelling at me even madder."
The young men both became the objects of hate mobs even though there was nothing blameworthy in their behaviour. Because of the fact that they did nothing wrong, we know that they were the objects of acrimony only because of who they were, or maybe more precisely who they were perceived to be. This is instructive for observers who may not have fully appreciated the amount of hatred that is directed towards young, White, Christian, Southern men, even when they are guilty of nothing, simply because of WHO THEY ARE.
Armentrout and Sandmann were both "triggering" and dangerous to the psyche of the leftist media because they chose not to bow, run away, or apologize, but to STAND, in effect to say, "This is who I am, and I have a right to be here." That is all it took to cause alarm. This simple, silent statement, made by otherwise unimposing young men, was all it took to shake leftists across the nation.
How powerful would it be if we were all to stand?
Militant Normals: How Regular Americans are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim our Democracy by Kurt Schlicter, 2018 Hachette Book Group Inc.
Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson, 2018 Simon & Schuster
Schlicter begins by describing his experience of the 2016 campaign season during which he gradually changed from a Trump skeptic to a Trump supporter. He also explains the process by which "Normals," defined as regular, patriotic Americans who would prefer not to think about politics too much, were pushed to supporting Trump by the failures and malfeasance of the elite class as those elites have become more and more openly antagonistic towards everyone else.
Normals, Schlicter explains, are willing to let the elites have the perks of being the elites, as long as they hold up their end of the bargain by honoring their nobless oblige and allowing Normals to have a modicum of safety, opportunity, and respect. As elites have become increasingly disconnected from the rest of the country, they have ceased making even symbolic shows of respect towards the values and contributions of the Normals. Instead, they have begun to display open contempt and to expose their desire to completely dominate their supposed inferiors.
One point that Schlicter makes is that "elite" does not necessarily indicate wealth or high class. Many powerless and unaccomplished people can instantly be, or at least feel, "elite" by adopting the preferred views and pet issues of the powerful. Conversely, wealthy and powerful individuals such as Donald Trump, who champion the values and causes of the common man, may be considered Normals.
In one chapter, a fictional vignette takes you through the life of a "Normal" from a small town who serves in the military after leaving high school, then returns to the United States to find job opportunities gone and his hometown less safe because of illegal immigration. The frustration of this Normal who just wanted to live his life in peace grows as his country inexplicably changes around him. Another fictional vignette helps the reader understand the mindset of the elite in a parallel story told through the eyes of a young man from a wealthy Los Angeles suburb.
Schlicter expounds on the many channels which the elite have used to do injury to Normals: unaccountable "experts," the judiciary, the military, and Hollywood, among others. He reserves a particularly thorough and vicious routing for the pompous shills of "Conservative Inc," which alone is worth the price of the book. The phenomenal and unlikely Trump campaign of 2016 is recounted, quite enjoyably, and explained as the comeuppance of the elites from the once complacent, but now militant, Normals.
Relatable and humorous, Schlicter's book is best suited for an audience of Normals. It would be most enjoyable and informative for moderates and mainstream conservatives who are not usually immersed in politics, but would like to better understand the changes in the country over the past few years that led to the ascendancy of Trump and MAGA.
Tucker Carlson's Ship of Fools takes a different tack on a similar theme. Most people are familiar with Carlson from his highly-rated Fox News show which he uses to dole out as much truth as is allowed on network television - so much truth that he has been the target of left-wing boycott campaigns and even an Antifa mob attack on his home. The book touches on many themes he addresses in his show, but with more breadth and depth than would be allowed in that format.
Carlson grew up surrounded by hippies in California, and though he didn't like them, he explains how today's leftists are much worse. In decades past, their ideas may have been wrong, but they at least cared about others. Now more wealthy and powerful, and with an exaggerated sense of their own virtue and abilities, they lack empathy with the middle class. Chelsea Clinton, for example, is showered with money, praise, and attention despite being wholly unremarkable other than her pedigree. Big businesses, once the nemesis of liberals, now nod to liberal causes in ways that cost them nothing of significance while raking in profits at the expense of exploited workers.
A frequent topic on Carlson's show, immigration, is also discussed in depth. While old-school Democrats might have taken the side of American workers against cheap labor-seeking big business, today their never-ending quest for more "diversity" causes them to ally with big business against the American public in their desire to import a serf class of immigrants. For the insulated wealthy, there is no downside. In fact, because of the moral framing of the issue, the elites even get to pat themselves on the back for being enlightened and compassionate. The once peace-loving hippies abandoned their anti-war stance when they realized force could be used for the "good" of social engineering. Carlson gives a good drubbing to the pundit class who is constantly agitating for others' blood to be spilled in their overseas wars. Liberal institutions like Berkeley and the ACLU that once lauded the principle of free speech have begun to oppose "hate speech," and many leftists now feel justified in using violence to suppress it. Journalists that were meant to hold those in power accountable have now become the gatekeepers of information that protect the ruling class.
Unlike Schlicter, Carlson tackles the issues of race and diversity. He points out that a ruling class that cared about the welfare of the country would work to de-emphasize racial conflicts. Our elite institutions are instead emphasizing them to the point where they are the center of our public conversation. A tsunami of anti-white activism and press has been the result, with the ascension of white identity politics as the predictable response. Elites gain power from identity politics, while the public endures the resulting tensions and conflict. Numerous other examples of the elites' failures and hypocrisy are examined by Carlson.
Both books could serve as a word of caution to the ruling class. As long as you continue to disregard the needs of the population, expect revolt.
The Carolina Contrarian, Anne Wilson Smith, is the author of Charlottesville Untold: Inside Unite the Right. She is a soft-spoken Southern belle by day, opinionated writer by night. She loves Jesus, her family, and her hometown. She enjoys floral dresses and acoustic guitar music. You may contact Carolina Contrarian at CarolinaContrarian@protonmail.com.