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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Becoming the Strong Horse: Reviving Christian Europe


The bestselling French novel Soumission (Submission in translation), by the always-provocative nihilist Michel Houellebecq, features a literature professor at the Sorbonne named François who is the very embodiment of Europe’s secularized decadence. After an alliance between the Socialist Party and the Muslim Brotherhood Party results in a fundamental transformation of the country’s political landscape, François finds himself living in an Islamic patriarchy in which polygamy is legal, all teachers are required to be Muslim, and his university is renamed the Islamic University of Paris-Sorbonne.
“The facts were plain,” François observed. “Europe had reached a point of such putrid decomposition that it could not longer save itself, any more than fifth-century Rome could have done. This wave of new immigrants, with their traditional culture – of natural hierarchies, the submission of women, and respect for elders – offered a historic opportunity for the moral and familial rearmament of Europe.” The fight “to establish a new organic phase of civilization could no longer be waged in the name of Christianity. Islam, its sister faith… had taken up the torch.”
With no moral or spiritual center to ground him, François is easily seduced by the new order and converts to Islam in order to gain a more prestigious position at the university and to indulge in arranged marriages with sexually compliant young wives. He chooses the path of least resistance to the “foregone conclusion” of Muslim domination. His submission, symbolic of Europe’s ongoing capitulation to an ascendant Islamic fundamentalism, is every bit as chilling as Winston Smith’s embrace of Big Brother at the conclusion of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Many books have been written identifying the causes of Europe’s slow-motion cultural suicide, among them a tsunami of Muslim immigration, the corrosive effects of political correctness and multiculturalism, willfully blind political elites, and perhaps most significantly, the decline of Christianity. What Matthew Arnold called “the melancholy, long withdrawing roar” of Christianity’s retreat from the continent is leaving a vacuum of moral and spiritual conviction which a virile, unconflicted Islam is filling. Christianity, as François notes, “had renounced its temporal powers, and so had sealed its own doom.”
The result, as we are all painfully aware, is that an enervated Europe now is riddled with Muslim no-go zones and sharia courts. Calls to prayer are blasted publicly from loudspeakers and streets blocked by praying believers. Polygamy and female genital mutilation abound. Sexual assaults and anti-Semitic hate crimes are skyrocketing. The push for blasphemy laws is finding increasing support. And of course, the continent experiences periodic bursts of violent jihad ranging from “lone wolf” attacks to coordinated assaults on concert crowds and commuter trains.

Escaping the Hotel USSR



Despite the abundance of internet memes ridiculing New York Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s questionable grasp of economics, the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist’s rising star confirms what disturbing recent polls are showing: that socialism has a burgeoning appeal for millennial Americans. As historian Bruce Thornton has written for FrontPage Mag, trying to reason young people out of supporting socialist policies is likely a doomed strategy, so how can they be made to see the light about what many call “the gateway drug to communism”? The most effective way may be through the compelling personal experiences of those who have escaped its confinement, and there is arguably no better current record of that than Oleg Atbashian’s just-published memoir titled Hotel USSR.

A writer and graphic artist from Ukraine, disillusioned Soviet propagandist Atbashian emigrated to the United States in 1994 and created the hilarious The People’s Cube, a Communist-themed satirical website that brilliantly captures the tone and perspective of the totalitarian left. Rush Limbaugh has accurately called it “a Stalinist version of The Onion.” Atbashian is also the author of Shakedown Socialism, an illustrated study of why that economic system cannot work. David Horowitz has said of it, “I hope everyone reads this book.”

Hotel USSR, Atbashian’s second book, is the riveting, darkly comic, and poignant story of his coming of age in a totalitarian state, a real-life “Hotel California” (in homage to The Eagles song) that one could never leave – at least until it collapsed. The book follows his tragicomic adventures from childhood through his stages as a worker in Siberian oil fields, an army conscript, an inmate at a forensic psychiatry facility, a visual propaganda artist, a Soviet dissident, and finally an immigrant to America. It is illustrated with many examples of Atbashian’s own colorful, perceptive artwork which includes portraits of himself, loved ones and strangers, and landscapes both real and fantastical – all of which help immerse the reader in the artist’s own perspective of his world.

“People have often asked me what growing up in the USSR felt like,” Atbashian writes. “This book is my answer... Rather than debating Marxism directly, I demonstrate how it fails in practice and what absurdities ensue when the entire state lives in denial of its failures, forcing people not to trust their own eyes.”

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pics From My Talk With Kenneth Starr

On Wednesday at the Beverly Hills Hotel I interviewed former Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr about his new book Contempt, before a lunch crowd of the Wednesday Morning Club. A good time was had by all. Here are a few pics...





Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco


We are approaching the 40th anniversary of two shocking events that most people are unaware are linked: the assassinations of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mosconi by disgruntled Supervisor Dan White in November, 1978, and – ten days later – the ghastly, bizarre murders and suicides of 918 cult followers at Jonestown, which constituted the largest loss of civilian life in American history (until the terrorist attacks of the morning of Sept. 11, 2001) and the largest mass suicide of the modern era.
These dark episodes have been brought back into the light in an investigative new page-turner titled Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco by Daniel J. Flynn, also the author of The War on Football: Saving America’s Game, Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America, A Conservative History of the American Left, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas, and Why the Left Hates America.
I interviewed the author via email about his just-released book, recently reviewed at FrontPage Mag here.
Mark Tapson:           Your book dispels some widely-held myths about both the murder of Harvey Milk and the Jonestown mass suicide. For example, Milk swiftly became a martyr for the gay community after his assassination, and the media helped promote this. What is the truth about Milk and about why Dan White targeted him?
Daniel J. Flynn:       Looking to make sense of a senseless crime, gay activists immediately advanced a narrative that Dan White killed Harvey Milk because of his homosexuality. I interviewed White’s campaign manager, chief of staff, and business partner, a gay man, who rejects this thesis. As I detail in Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco, White occasionally supported liberal causes, including some gay-rights measures, and generally thought of Milk as a friend during his short time on the board —particularly in the first few months. Harvey Milk’s homosexuality had as much to do with his murder as George Moscone’s heterosexuality had to do with his death.
Dan White murdered Harvey Milk because he believed that Milk had aggressively lobbied San Francisco Mayor George Moscone to prevent the supervisor from reclaiming the seat he had resigned from on the board. Moscone initially refused, in a very public way, to accept White’s resignation. But after Milk and others persuaded him to go back on the words he had uttered to the media Moscone decided to appoint someone more inclined to vote his way on the board. In other words, a petty man nursing a petty grievance lashed out against the two men he believed most responsible for denying him the $9,500-a-year job back from which he had recently resigned. He should have blamed himself. Instead, he blamed others—and sought revenge.
White felt betrayed by Milk and Moscone. Perhaps more importantly, he came to feel that in abruptly resigning he had inadvertently betrayed allies—their identities, importance, and the nature of their dependence on White which I will leave for a fuller explanation in the book. That’s part of the untold story. Another untold part of the story involves White’s history of violence. Out of my interviews came several shocking revelations and accusations involving White on this front. As Dianne Feinstein, White’s mentor on the board of supervisors, reflected long after the fact, “This had nothing to do with anybody’s sexual orientation.”
MT:     Another myth stems from the favorable media coverage then and now about the Peoples Temple, which turned the Jonestown horror into a cautionary tale about the dangers of evangelical Christianity. What’s the truth about the Peoples Temple?

Why You Must See ‘Gosnell’


Masked by innocuous language like “pro-choice” and “reproductive care,” and protected by a media conspiracy of silence, the grim reality of abortion rarely surfaces in our cultural awareness. But a new movie, drawn from a real-life courtroom drama that exposed what is arguably the deepest, darkest episode in American abortion history, is poised to have a dramatic impact.
Directed by openly conservative Justified star Nick Searcy, who does double-duty playing the role of the defense attorney, and written by novelist and political pundit Andrew Klavan, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is based on the riveting book Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer, written by investigative journalists and filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. The husband-and-wife team are well-known for their controversial documentaries FrackNation and Not Evil Just Wrong, as well as for a play called Ferguson about the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer. To produce this controversial film that pro-abortion Hollywood studios wouldn’t touch, McAleer and McElhinney miraculously crowdfunded over $2 million from over 30,000 investors composed of “average” citizens – more money than any film project in the history of the Indiegogo crowdfunding site.
Former TV Superman Dean Cain stars in the film as the Philadelphia narcotics investigator without whose dedication Dr. Kermit Gosnell, played with chilling normality by character actor Earl Billings, might still be butchering babies today. Cain’s real life alter ego exposed not only the shockingly filthy state of the abortion doctor’s clinic, but also the grotesque evil being undertaken there. In addition to manipulating ultrasound readings to falsify fetal ages in order to perform late-term abortions well beyond the state’s legal limit, Gosnell’s practices included killing babies that were born alive by plunging scissors into the backs of their necks and snipping the spinal cords. In one powerful scene in the movie, the camera lingers on each face of the jury as the members peruse photographs of such examples of Gosnell’s victims. That scene alone is enough to drive home the undeniably evil nature of abortion.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Interviewing Clinton Prosecutor Ken Starr

I'll be interviewing Bill Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr onstage about his book Contempt at this lunch event next Wednesday in Beverly Hills. Check it out if you'll be in the area.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Chivalry, Masculinity, and Islam


I'll be speaking on chivalry, masculinity, and Islam this Saturday near Wilkes-Barre PA. It's free to the public although you have to pre-register for it. Check it out if you're in the area.

Zero Hour for Gen X


“America stands anxiously on the cusp of an unknown future,” writes Matthew Hennessey in a new book titled Zero Hour for Gen X: How the Last Adult Generation Can Save America From Millennials. “We are about to get swamped by a millennial wave that has already started crashing hard into the worlds of business, politics, entertainment, religion, dating, medicine, and education.” Considering that millennials are the generation that seems eager to embrace socialism, limits on freedom of speech, and Amazon’s “Big Brother” Alexa in every home, this generational passing of the torch will have dramatic and adverse implications for the future of America as we know it. Matthew Hennessey’s thesis is that Generation X – which emerged between the baby boomers and millennials – must get its act together swiftly if there is to be any hope of a collective national redemption from baby boomer destruction and to avert the Brave New World into which millennials will usher us.
The author defines the parameters of the three relevant generations for the purposes of his book: “Baby boomers are those born roughly between 1946 and 1964. Generation Xers are those born roughly between 1965 and 1980. The millennials are those born roughly between 1981 and 1997… [They] are already the largest American generation, and they’re still growing due to immigration.” They are tech-obsessed, coddled by political correctness, and indifferent to the advance of corporate and government intrusion into every aspect of our increasingly digital lives.
Hennessey is the Associate Editor of Editorial Features at The Wall Street Journal and former Associate Editor at City Journal and Managing Editor at the Manhattan Institute. I connected with him to ask a few questions about the book, which I’ve read and strongly recommend.
Mark Tapson:             In what ways has the baby boom generation “nearly destroyed America,” as you put it? You mention that baby boomers and millennials are “cut from the same cloth,” so what fresh hell, as Dorothy Parker would say, are we facing with the ascendancy of the millennial generation?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Springtime for Snowflakes


In the fall of 2016, New York University professor Michael Rectenwald created an anonymous Twitter account to critique the alarming spread across campuses of an “anti-education and anti-intellectual” social justice ideology. Before long he was outed as the man behind the controversial @antipcnyuprof account, and despite being a leftist himself, became the target of shunning and harassment from his colleagues and the NYU administration. But instead of caving in to the campus totalitarians as so many academics do, Rectenwald declared himself done with the Left, and though still not a conservative, began appearing often in right-wing media to defend free speech and academic freedom, and to expose the “bilious animosity and unrestrained cruelty” he endured from his former compatriots.
I previously interviewed Prof. Rectenwald for FrontPage Mag here back in January. At the close of that interview he mentioned a book he was working on about the experience, and it is now available in paperback and on Kindle: Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and its Postmodern Parentage. Short but dense with insights about postmodern theory, social justice ideology, and academic conformity, the book is a must-read for understanding the intellectual collapse of the American university under the weight of a totalitarian ideology.
Rectenwald begins the book by relating his experience of “becoming deplorable” and being pushed toward apostasy, which forced him to reexamine the political herd with which he had formerly run. “I didn’t leave the left,” he writes. “The left left me,” echoing Ronald Reagan’s famous declaration, “I didn't leave the Democratic party. The Democratic Party left me.” “In trying to correct me,” Rectenwald writes about his fellow academics, “they did indeed correct me – but not as they’d hoped. They corrected my vision by forcibly dislodging the scales of their ideology from my eyes.” He realized that the “institutions of North American higher education have taken a hairpin turn, and a wrong turn at that. They have surrendered moral and political authority to some of the most virulent, self-righteous, and authoritarian activists among the contemporary left.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Left's Beheading Obsession


This week a Portland art gallery chose to display in its front window, facing the sidewalk at a busy intersection, a large black-and-white painting depicting the grisly decapitation of President Donald Trump. The painting is more than just another example of what a grotesque travesty modern artists have made of art. It is also a window into the left’s bloodlust and why progressivism is the totalitarian soulmate of Islamic fundamentalism.
The image at One Grand Art Gallery shows a hunting knife being drawn across the president’s neck as the executioner’s other hand grips Trump’s hair. Blood gushes from POTUS’ throat and streams from his nose while his eyes roll back in his head. Flames rise symbolically from an American flag pin on the president’s lapel, and the image is captioned in large capital letters, “FUCK TRUMP.”
This execrable excuse for art is so vile and violent that it could have been produced by ISIS. It actually was produced by an “artist” apparently named Compton Creep, whose personal website displays extremely disturbing, gruesome samples of his literally satanic work. A local news reporter spoke with him about the Trump painting; art is meant to provoke thought, he said . Of course, this image is the opposite of thought-provoking; it is purely visceral agitprop, which is designed not to spark thought but to replace it with propagandized emotion.