ReAwaken America, the fallibility of memory, Kim Il Sung's black daughter, and more
First of all, as many of you have probably noticed, there has been an increase in podcasts lately. I know some of you only like the articles and don’t want to receive them. The good news is you can subscribe to one but not the other. Just go to your Substack Settings page, scroll down to the Richard Hanania Newsletter, and click on it. Then, check or uncheck Narrative Control depending on whether you want to get the podcast. Depending on when you subscribed to the newsletter, you may or may not have been automatically subscribed to Narrative Control.
The big news this week is of course Elon Musk taking over Twitter. Yes, I’ve started posting again. I’m probably going to use the site with a kind of intermittent fasting thing, maybe only Monday, Wednesday, Friday, plus around major events like elections and the purchase itself. I’m not as big of a free speech absolutist as many people, as much of the right has unfortunately become mired in the stupidest kinds of misinformation – the liberals are right about that. But this is still on balance a great thing.
On to the links.
1. Tyler says he met Bryan when he was a high school student. Bryan says he was actually a college graduate! Nice demonstration of the unreliability of human memory.
2. Emil on whether you should think in terms of r or variance explained.
3. The president of Equatorial Guinea left his daughter with Kim Il Sung, and he was later overthrown and executed. She ended up being raised in North Korea and wrote a book on the experience. Here is an interview with her.
4. On how government has gotten worse since covid. Apparently, the Social Security Administration was closed for almost two years. One office in Manhattan still looks like this, closing one window between two others to facilitate social distancing.
Great article, with an explanation as to why the private sector adjusts much better to disruptions like covid, and is just better overall. While there are some sensible suggestions for improving governance, to me it seems that the main takeaway should be that the state should do fewer things.
5. The New Yorker on US support to Ukraine. The US is involved in pretty much every aspect of the war other than sending in infantry and firing the weapons itself.
6. A lot here on female bodybuilders being pressured to do soft core pornography. I suspect that there really isn’t much of a market for female bodybuilding that isn’t also a much more lucrative market for porn, so it’s not going to be financially viable for women who want to spend all their time and money on the former only. Women in the article complain about the bikini competition (again, this is bodybuilding). Levels of self-delusion that shouldn’t be possible.
7. Speaking of which, here’s Freddie on the “male gaze.” He’s correct in his critique of academic liberals, but the larger point is that pretty much all of female fashion is directed towards satisfying the male gaze. Women who complain about these things just wish they could be seen by the men they find attractive and blind the ones they don’t. But some women enjoy almost any attention, up to a point.
8. The ReAwaken America Tour combines an Evangelical road show with MAGA fandom. It includes speakers like Michael Flynn and Eric Trump. Highly recommended, especially if you’re a more intellectual conservative and want to see what things in “your movement” look like from the bottom.
For two days, the mostly white, middle-aged crowd at the Spooky Nook Sports complex cheered, prayed and danced, listening to speakers like the former president’s son Eric Trump, pillow company owner and election conspiracist Mike Lindell and Simone Gold, an anti-vaccine doctor recently released from jail after pleading guilty to trespassing during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. They blew ram’s horns. They donned sparkly Trump caps and T-shirts proclaiming “Jesus is my King, Trump is my President.”
Nearly every presenter had something to sell — a book (Flynn), a new health program (Gold), immune-boosting vitamins, blankets that promise to ward off radioactive waves, travel-sized vials of anointing oil, a glittery $500 handbag in the shape of a revolver. Roger Stone — Trump’s former adviser, pardoned after his 2019 conviction for witness tampering and lying to Congress — collected money for his legal fees in a trash bag.
It seems like this was written to prove some of the arguments in the article presenting my theory of the culture war. Not sure if it’s even wrong to scam these people, it seems that they prefer a world where they’re pandered to and robbed to one where they’re completely ignored. They love MAGA because it takes them as they are, all they need to do is empty their wallets. That’s more than liberals ever gave them. Not that I blame liberals, I surely don’t want to give them anything either. Some people just find themselves in tragic circumstances, and I don’t think there’s a fix.
9. Similarly, the NYT goes and finds that members of Congress from districts that objected to the result of the 2020 election are much poorer and less educated, even compared to other Republican districts.
Liberals say redistribute wealth, they won’t be so angry. They’re living in a fantasy world.
10. A report based on documents found at an overrun Russian base in Eastern Ukraine, constructing their last months in the area. Highly recommended.