Clark on the Ace of Spades Podcast

I've been reading Ace of Spades since way back in the early days of the blogosphere, so it was a thrill to be invited on the podcast last night to talk about the blue, pink, red, and gray teams, about #GamerGate, about John Scalzi and Vox Day fighting for the heart of science fiction, about how the broader culture war is over, and about how that doesn't much matter because the current American government will be swept away by the tide of history within twenty five years.

Listen to the whole thing here.

Last 5 posts by Clark

Comments

  1. db says

    Ha. You didn't sound like what I thought. I don't know what I expected, maybe a little more a gravelly "burn it down" timber? Good show.

    I posted something similar at ace's place but I kept hoping you'd jump into the Mary Landrieu discussion (maybe that would have been considered podcast hijacking) because I think it's a great example of how blues play the long game. The crew seemed to think that her comments about Louisianans were nutty because it didn't help with the election. Certainly she ran to win, but if you can't win, the best thing to do is to discredit the winners. So she says her state is racist. The result may be to drive away white moderate voters and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. She gets big kudos from her blue pals for speaking truth to racists and can point to how courageous she was while applying for her cushy DC lobbying job. Meanwhile, Dems get to point to the racial split as evidence that repubs are racist. Pretty good play for tribalism even if they lose the seat short term.

  2. sinij says

    Clark, what have you done?! Now They can perform voice analysis. The Black Helicopters are on the way to your location!

    I scanned Ace of Spades site, and Clark's "Burn The Government" rants would be just Tuesday there.

  3. babaganusz says

    nice to be able to put a voice to the fake face and real words! (without engaging 'too much' imagination, whatever that is…)

  4. RB says

    the current American government will be swept away by the tide of history within twenty five years.

    Statements like the above really bother me. While I understand and agree with the sentiment, it's a tautology. In 25 years, every Senator will have to stand for elections 4 times, we will have had at least 3 more presidents and everyone in the house will have had to stand for election 12 times.

    So just in the normal course of events our government will be replaced in 25 years, likely more than once. And that's what really bothers me. It is very hard to accurately express what you are trying to say. You either have to say their will be a violent revolution, which I still think is highly unlikely at this point, or you end up saying nothing.

  5. King Squirrel says

    A well done podcast.

    Sometimes I think analysis based on tribes is an excellent simian territory enforcing brachiation to show membership in the cool-headed-rational-tribe.

    Then I think, the above sentence is picking insects and debris out of my ingroups fur in the correct manner to show disdain for the above mentioned tribe and support of my evolution provided tribal emotions.

    But perhaps in my last statement, I showed too much subservience to a primate based political persepctive, and am forgetting the pre-mammalian tribal aspects that are *TRULY* at the heart of it all, so I must shift to a more useful reptilian view.

    But if reptilian modes lead to too much use of emphasizing asterisks and CAPS then I cannot truly feel like a member. Maybe I should shift to outside evolutionary trees to gain the most objective perspective.

    Ants! Yes! Hive mentality may be just the answer. Pheromone signals unique to colonies… no politics beyond base drives… This could work!

    Now for my place in the world. Well I still feel and reason that I am not totally bound to the colony and queens existence, but I am still beholden to my ant sisters and brothers. If there is an ant that is fertile yet not reproducing and leading the tribe, that would fit the bill nicely. I'll go look that up to see what such an ant is called….

    *sound of typing with the non-sound of seach engine pauses*

    Then I curl into a fetal position and cry.

  6. jtf says

    Now for my place in the world. Well I still feel and reason that I am not totally bound to the colony and queens existence, but I am still beholden to my ant sisters and brothers. If there is an ant that is fertile yet not reproducing and leading the tribe, that would fit the bill nicely. I'll go look that up to see what such an ant is called….

    Lawl – well played good sir.

  7. KG says

    Clark, it's really difficult to take your stance on something seriously when you aren't willing to engage the facts. Facts are often messy and boring, yes, but if your shiny theory fails to account for them, it isn't worth a damn. All you seem to be doing here is zipping around the periphery, hoovering up facts that fit your preconceived narrative. Nothing worthwhile is going to come of that kind of analysis.

    In my experience, there's entirely too much of what you characterize as squinting to see the big picture, and not nearly enough scrutinizing the frustrating, contradictory details. Excluding data until the picture you see is simple enough to describe succinctly might be satisfying, but I've yet to see much good come of it. Karl Marx's try at a political theory of everything was no doubt the most comprehensive attempt yet, but we all know how well that turned out.

    Squint away, though, if that's what you enjoy. I think that may well be the common trait of anarchists of all stripes — a reluctance to take a hard look at difficult facts.

  8. says

    Outstanding! Clark's explanation of the larger cultural context of the GamerGate controversy is the best I've seen yet.

    It's also incredibly depressing.

  9. Arthur Kirkland says

    It has been tempting to mock this emerging end-timey/Second Amendment solutions/secessionist/militia talk among right-wingers as especially delusional, but I have concluded there is a substantial point of truth underlying it.

    Unless (1) one believes the Republican Party can win among an electorate that is becoming less white, less observant of organized religion, less rural, and more tolerant or (2) one expects conservatives to develop a machine that mass-produces old, white, rural, superstitious, selfish, gun-loving, intolerant males, it is difficult to envision how social conservatives and movement conservatives will have a relevant political home soon. The current Republican electoral coalition will expel them or (far less likely, in my judgment) wither and die. A return to a moderate, competence-based, tolerant, science-accepting, small-government Republican platform will marginalize the RedStaters, the Tea Partiers, the Freepers, the Ace of Spadesers, and the Family Research Councilors.

    So, for the hard-righters who have been appeased into relevance by the recent iteration of Republican Party, these probably genuinely appear to be the end times, and for good reason.

  10. says

    Not on board with your tribal taxonomy. Red and Blue, I get. Gray (consisting of libertarianish folks) I also get. But why do the Blue shock troops (SJWs) get treated as a separate tribe? If Amanda Marcotte is a Pink, what does that make Anne Coulter?

    There is a fourth tribe, but it isn't anything like the SJWs you classify as Pinks.

  11. Dan Weber says

    If Amanda Marcotte is a Pink, what does that make Anne Coulter?

    Completely ineffective. If Anne Coulter decided tomorrow that I sucked and needed to be forever unemployed, there would be almost no effect on me.

    I like this; some people think there should be a "balance" among the forces that can destroy our lives, but I'd rather there just be fewer gangs out there.

  12. Jenny says

    I think "squinting" makes some sense when you start looking at a different model. Certainly it won't explain everything, absolutely it will have holes and places of gross overgeneralization – but if that's borne in mind, the additional perspective can be valuable in its own right.

    Marxism brought a new way of looking at human history, compared to the classical/colonial models that came before. Marx might have been a parasitical malcontent, Marxism may be a path to utter ruin in a nation – but the Marxist model still provided a good counterpoint to the mindset of its day, and a decent additional perspective today.

    Freudian psychology – same thing. Freud may have been an odder duck than even he realized, the 1970's carried Freud to broken "woo" extremes – but in the Edwardian era picking at the parts of a human personality was a valuable innovation.

    I think the primate status games / socio-sexual heirarchy model the PUA guys informing the edge of neoreaction are in a similar space today.
    The PUA culture is broken, and many in that realm utter cads – but that doesn't make their observations on human nature wrong or their framing without value.

    Frankly, I find a LOT of "SJW" moral posturing (and for that matter most of the political realm) – makes a lot more sense in this model. As one of the podcast hosts perfectly put it – "politics is a socially acceptable way of saying 'I'm better than you.'"

  13. Docrailgun says

    Every gneration has someone making that "swept away by the tide of history "
    It didn't happen in the first waves of Libertarian thought, it isn't going to hapen now. The movement is full of faux-intellectuals who can spew word salad but have lost touch with reality.