The Confederate flag is a scandalous American icon that will never go away. For example, former South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, recently stated that the flag represented “service, sacrifice, and heritage.” Then, she added, mass-murderer Dylann Roof “hijacked” the flag when he killed nine parishioners in a historically black church in Charleston. As a result of Roof’s actions, racist hate groups now embrace the Confederate flag as a symbol of white supremacy. However, Haley’s analysis is wrong. White resentment connects the Confederate flag from its Civil War origins, to the era of white nationalism and Donald Trump.
In the Age of Donald Trump, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is everywhere. Thus, over the summer, I visited my old home area of northeastern Ohio/western Pennsylvania as reports circulated of ICE expanding their “containment” sites for refugees. When you visit the lily-white sections of “Real America,” you learn the real story of ICE and illegal immigrants. Republican business owners give immigrants crappy jobs that Republican voters won’t do themselves.
The public clash over Confederate monuments today underscores why so many right wingers embrace Rebel icons. For many on the Right, the Confederacy embodies conservatism’s core tenant that privilege for the minority rests on dominating the majority. Rights for me, but not for thee.
The Republicans are resorting to gold medal-level mental gymnastics to defend their Mafia boss. If you’re following the impeachment hearings, you can really see how Donald Trump’s rise is the logical fulfillment of the “Base Strategy” developed by former Bush consigliere, Karl Rove.
From this thread on the creature known as the Moderate Democrat.
Let’s talk “Moderate” Democrats. First off, today’s “Moderate” Democrats exist because the Far-Right defines political discourse in America. When people say they want “Moderate” Democrats, what they really mean is they want politicians who aren’t Republicans. By default, these non-Republican moderates cede all political rhetoric and policy development to the Republicans.
Hello readers who may still be out there! As you know, this site has been on hiatus for a while, as I’ve had to attend to other life issues.
I’m not quote ready to go back to writing full-blown essays on this site. HOWEVER. I have been somewhat active on Twitter of late, particularly by writing threads relating to political and cultural issues. So, as a means of posting some form of writing on this site, I thought I’d start posting my Twitter threads in paragraph form here.
Thus, content here with be short and to the point for a while, but hey, it’s a sign of life, right?! I’m going to start by posting threads I’ve already written, so they’ll be less “essay” and more “musing.” But at least they’ll be quicker to read, no? Stay tuned for the first new post on That Devil History in quite a while.
Soooooooooooooo. I posted this message on the blog’s Facebook page back at the end of January, but I (very) belatedly realized that I never actually put in on the blog itself. Because why would I do something like that…
Anyhoo, if you like reading this site, my apologies, but see explanation below.
Attention: I’m going on hiatus. Dear folks who read That Devil History. If you’re out there (and I know there’s a few of you!), you may have noticed that the posts on my site have been fewer and far between of late. This has largely been due to a general dearth of time on my part, not a lack of inspiration. Being in charge of a two-year old full-time is intensely rewarding but also rather time-consuming, and coupled with the other obligations of life, squeezing out the temporal space to write the kind of in-depth, long-form essays that I enjoy creating has become more and more difficult.
But there’s another reason I haven’t been writing as much. Frankly, I’ve grown rather weary of a lot of things that I’ve spent the better half of a decade pursuing, from the academic grind, to chasing after the ever-elusive ghost of monetarily compensated writing, to covering the increasingly mind-melting stupidity of modern American politics.
I’ve been writing at That Devil History fairly regularly since 2014, and I started this site specifically as an outlet to discuss intellectual and academic themes in a way that was unshackled from the constraints of academic writing. Basically, what you read on this site are my thoughts in my language, and it’s been a real joy to write for anyone out there who would listen.
Over the course of the last few years, however, I’ve undergone a series of personal changes that have led me to shift my interests elsewhere and away from regular writing, and with an already limited time schedule, pursuing these other interests means that I need to give writing a break. Moreover, I’ve become exhausted with American politics and culture in the age of the Great Orange Moron. As much as I enjoy writing about politics, the current American political situation has left me drained of much of my vitality and interest. Basically, life is too short to spend so much of your intellectual and emotional energy trying to understand the many facets of idiocy, and I just don’t want to bother with said task anymore, or at least for a while. I’m plain tired of it all.
So I’m taking a break from putting so much of my attention on the public sphere, and I’m going to purposefully retreat inwards for a while to focus on some things that I’ve neglected for years under the mistaken assumption that following insisted paths laid down by others is the best way to curry favor in this world. But let me make it clear: I’m NOT going to stop writing at this site forever, I’m merely going on hiatus. I may even write the odd new piece here and there if the time and the mood strikes, but it’s likely that you won’t see any new pieces on That Devil History for a while.
I really don’t know how many people out there have read my stuff. Sometimes it feels like I’m just screaming into the primordial internet void, one inconsequential drop of moisture in the vast cyber sea. Moreover, devoting hours of time and research to uncompensated writing doesn’t exactly help pay the bills, although I had no false illusions that it would. I know that I’ve had a few regular readers who enjoyed and shared my content, and for that I’m deeply grateful. Thanks so much for your attention, it truly means a lot.
For now, I’m signing off. I’m sure I’ll be back in time, but I’m not sure when. Stay positive out there, and, above all, resist.
In the fall of 2013, Americana artist Neko Case released her sixth studio record, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. The album’s lead single is a song called “Man,” in which the golden-voiced Case sings, “I’m a man, You’ll have to deal with me, My proxy is mine, You’ll deal with me directly.” Case is, of course, a woman, but she often writes songs from different viewpoints, and the aforementioned lines from “Man” perfectly encapsulate the cultural zeitgeist of the current Age of Trump, an age defined in large part by the resurgence of chauvinistic male dominance. This is an age when America elected president a man with small, pussy-grabbing hands and a gargantuan maw who stood as the proxy for a potent army known as the “Alt-Right:” a group of internet-sulking, white-supremacy touting, man-child dipshits with massive chips on their shoulders towards women. And the civilized world just had to deal with Trump directly.
Thankfully, at the start of 2017, women in the U.S. and throughout the world immediately began to contest the Age of Trump. In January, following the Orange One’s sparsely attended inauguration, an estimated 470,000 to 680,000 women descended on Washington D.C. in the Women’s March, part of a global phenomenon during which women of all backgrounds rallied in public spaces around the declaration that “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.” This was the first shout in what became the year’s defining cultural theme: the absurd-that-it’s-still-radical-notion that women need to be listened to. By October, the social dam had burst, and a simple Twitter hashtag, #MeToo, embodied the seismic cultural shift that finally cracked the heretofore inviolable temple of societal male privilege. 2017 really was the year during which we (finally) started listening to women.
In July 2016, streaming media service Netflix quietly unleashed an eight-episode period drama to little initial fanfare. The drama, a show titled Stranger Things, focuses on a group of ordinary kids living in the ordinary American Midwest (the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana) who experience some decidedly extraordinary events. The period is the early 1980s.
During the course of the first season of Stranger Things, the main cast of kids, including Dustin, Mike, Lucas, the mysterious girl known as “Eleven,” and teenagers Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler, investigate the disappearance of local kid Will Byers, who vanishes one night following a “Dungeons and Dragons” showdown with his pals. The quest to find Will steadily unveils a host of supernatural events that involve, among other things, an interdimensional monster, a shady government agency, and a creepy alternative universe dubbed “the Upside Down.” Oh, and lots of callbacks and Easter eggs to 1980s culture, from a synth-based soundtrack, to references to films like The Empire Strikes Back and E.T., to VHS tapes, to John Carpenter. Not to mention kids on bikes.
The effort by series creators/producers Sean and Matt Duffer paid off: Stranger Things became a word-of-mouth sensation and one of Netflix’s most successful shows ever. The show’s unabashed “love letter to the 80s” aesthetic was a massive part of its appeal. On October 27, 2017, the much-anticipated second season of Stranger Things only further piled on the 80s domination of contemporary culture, forwarded by an ad campaign that placed the show’s characters smack in the middle of classic 80s horror films. If Stranger Things demonstrated nothing else, it provided yet further evidence that the 1980s, a decade that ended twenty-eight years ago, will live forever. Continue Reading
Charlottesville’s Lara Rogers let’s pro-Confederate demonstrator Allen Armentrout know how she feels.It’s America, 2017, and white supremacy is all the rage once again. But it’s not like we didn’t see this coming. When a certain boorish Manhattan tycoon announced his run for the presidency back in June 2015 on a platform of pure white resentment, the internet’s copious population of pasty, man-child nematodes crawled out of their literal and digital basements to voice their support for a candidate who vowed to give a voice to America’s most oppressed group: white males.
From the dankest bowels of the internet, on sites such as 4chan, Occidental Dissent, and the Daily Stormer, white supremacists celebrated Donald Trump’s unlikely presidential victory. Now, well into the first year of his presidency, they continue to stand behind their orange führer. This support was on full display on August 11 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when various gobs of reactionary slime — including neo-Nazis, the Alt-Right, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederates, and gun-toting militia members — oozed together for a “Unite the Right” rally. While these various groups ostensibly gathered to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park, this event was actually a “coming out” party for a resurgent form of white-identity politics in America emboldened by Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency.
Plenty of historians have already written about the controversy surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces throughout the United States. But I’m going to emphasize another key element that fuels the white nationalist agenda: patriarchal gender oppression. Underlying all of the “pro-white” bluster and neo-Confederate ideology of the new crop of white supremacists is a deep contempt for female empowerment. The trifecta of patriarchy, misogyny, and gendered paternalism has been central to American whiteness for hundreds of years. Gender oppression is baked into the crust of white supremacy.