Is confusion the aim? 🎯

Bright Morning - Issue #1

Good morning!

If you have received this first issue, you will likely know what you are in for. If not, this is not a “safe space,” so go ahead and smash that “unsubscribe” button if you are not fond of some good ole’-fashioned conservatism and fact-based discourse.

Today is a great day because it is the first issue of “Bright Morning.” It is even brighter if your name is Gavin Newsom, Steve Adler, Sheila Kuehl, or Sam Liccardo (to name a few) who love exercising Soviet-style control, but politely excuse themselves from their own regulations.

Unwinnable Games

There is a scene towards the beginning of the 2008 movie Rambo where Burmese SPCD soldiers sadistically murder innocent civilians. The soldiers bring prisoners to an abandoned village and throw landmines into a shallow marsh, creating an invisible minefield. The soldiers then fire their guns into the air, forcing the civilians to run through the marsh blindfolded, inevitably causing them to run over the bombs, killing them. The prisoners know that even if they somehow make it through the minefield, they will likely be shot. It is an unwinnable game, yet they are forced into playing it. 

In our own culture, we play equally unwinnable, albeit less deadly games. Every day, we are bombarded with news stories that are, to say the least, confusing. Yet, if we ask the wrong questions or offer the wrong opinion, we blow ourselves up.  But given the deliberately confusing nature of the issues of our time, I can only suspect that this is by design. This begs the following question: what if confusion is the point of the game? What if those who are setting up the rules do not want us to succeed, but instead want to watch us blow ourselves up as we try to work our way through their proverbial minefield?

Are movie credits now transphobic?

  • The nitty gritty: Actress(?) Ellen Page announced last week that he(?) is now a man named Elliot Page

Take for example the actor Elliot Page, formerly known up until this week as actress Ellen Page. Elliot recently made a statement claiming that he is a man, despite being born and living as a biological woman for 33 years. Within the hour, news outlets jumped on this story. CBC opened their report by stating that “the actor is known for his Oscar-nominated role in Juno, as well as Inception and most recently The Umbrella Academy.” But is he? The credits for Inception clearly list the name as “Ellen Page.” However, such an observation is now considered “dead-naming” or “hate speech,” simply because there is an acknowledgement that up until yesterday, this person lived as a woman and openly identified as a lesbian. Yet literally overnight, the past 33 years of history for this person are now taboo. How exactly are we supposed to work this out? Who is supposed to work it out? How are we supposed to act moving forward? What are the implications of how we discuss it? For example, is it possible that movie reviewers can now be retroactively canceled if someone decides to sift through their old articles and videos, see that a reviewer used the name “Ellen” and the pronoun “her” in a review, and decide that this is worthy of an offence? It might sound absurd, but based on everything else we have seen this year, would it really be a surprise? 

One Twitter user called Melanie Haley said that Elliot will “see a change, now [he] is a white male [...] people will now pay attention to [Elliot’s] opinion more easily,” insinuating that Elliot now has “white male privilege.” Haley then went on to say that “as a butch lesbian,” she felt “betrayed” by this transition. This is a perfect example of what author Douglas Murray describes as the deranging aspects of intersectionality. When intersectionality is implemented as a lens through which to view the world, it opens the door to endless competing grievances and victimhood claims. It does not unlock the so-called matrix of oppression, but it does make people hostile towards the most intimate aspects of one’s personhood. Is this helpful? Does it help us make better sense of the world? Does it unify us? Or is it yet another example of an otherwise pointless issue that can be hijacked by Social Justice activists to create an unwinnable game, simply because there are those enjoy watching people experience reputation destruction?

Wanting to work is white privilege

  • The nitty gritty: Adam Skelly, owner of Adamson Barbeque defied draconian lockdown measures put in place by the Canadian government last month by… opening his restaurant.

  • Adam was arrested on November 26th and released on $50,000 bail 30 hours later

In Canada, unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard of Adamson Barbecue. Not because you may have eaten there, but because Adam Skelly, the owner, has been the focal point of another confusing issue in the culture wars. About two weeks ago, Skelly decided to open the doors to his restaurant for indoor dining in defiance of the COVID-19 restrictions in Toronto, Ontario, which prohibits indoor and outdoor dining. On his third day of rebellion, Skelly was arrested. A Go Fund Me page was promptly set up to assist him and his family with legal funds. And with equal speed and ferocity, the attack articles from legacy media outlets began flooding the internet. BlogTO led the charge with what can only be described as an obsession with the so-called privilege of Adam Skelly. One of their articles even accused him of being a symbol of the “far right.” Elsewhere, a petition was created to have his Go Fund Me page shut down, claiming that Skelly is a “white-privileged, anti-masker, conspiracy theorist who comes from money,” successfully incorporating nearly every progressive buzzword into a single sentence. To the amazement of no one, the chatter on Twitter echoed these sentiments. 

What on earth is causing people to arrive at these conclusions? Upon watching Skelly’s videos and reading the comments of support on his Go Fund Me page, there is a noticeable absence of racism, conspiracy theories, and white supremacy (in fact, a substantial amount of those defending Skelly are “people of colour”). Instead, there is overwhelming support for Skelly’s defense of small businesses. Supporters believe that Skelly raises an important debate that our expert class continues to avoid: why, exactly, is it safe for citizens to be funneled into big box stores like Costco and Walmart, where they touch and breathe over nearly every square-inch of the store, while small businesses and restaurants cannot operate even with reduced capacity? Any time this question is raised, leaders and public health bureaucrats explain it away, often claiming that it’s “science.” But according to this same science, approximately one-third of COVID-19 infections in Ontario come from grocery stores, not small businesses or restaurants. 

Underneath this, there seems to be a class consciousness arising among small business owners. They are angry and becoming less understanding of the restrictions foisted upon them. When they rally in defense of their livelihoods, they are dismissed as conspiracy theorists and accused of exemplifying the religious mysticism that is white privilege. Even more dementing is that the people who are dismissing them are often those who are employed by taxpayer dollars. This begs another question that has yet to be addressed in the public debate surrounding lockdowns: why should citizens pay taxes to institutions and individuals who will not allow them to earn a living? Admittedly, this is a bigger problem in the United States, particularly in California where LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom have issued stay-at-home orders, despite both frequently violating their own “public health advice.”

This cannot go on forever. Something has to give. Elected leaders cannot keep smugly dismissing the legitimate grievances of working people, otherwise they should not be surprised if and when protests evolve into more aggressive tactics. It is also useful to acknowledge the glaring irony and hypocrisy of progressive activists who claim to be left-wing, yet are openly hostile towards the working class. It seems that in their intersectional view of the world, they conveniently left out the exploitation of workers by the taxpayer-funded expert class. Now why would that be the case?

Don’t play

Unwinnable games are confusing and deranging. The best solution is to ignore them altogether. The great philosopher-comedian Bill Burr once joked that in relationships, when women are arguing with men, they will stay on topic if they are right until their partner is begging for forgiveness. But when women are wrong, and they know they are wrong, they will go rogue and hurl the most egregious insults in an attempt to provoke men into committing an even greater offense. The solution, he says, is to dodge the provoking insults and stay on point. If this does not work, then take a knee and run out the clock, ignoring them entirely. It is time for those with legitimate questions and grievances to implement this strategy on a broader scale. Heed no attention to the woke activists who seek nothing but destabilization and confusion. Let them continue to write at each other, for each other, on Twitter. Anything more is wasting time and energy. Equally, do not be distracted by the detractions of smug, out-of-touch elitists who argue that wanting to earn a living is white privilege. Instead, collect your thoughts, understand your perspective, and bring your argument directly to the source: your elected leaders. We can only move forward if we are playing the same game, so it is up to individuals to stay focused and not allow themselves to be distracted by crying sideliners who seek provocation and confusion. If people want to set up unwinnable games, then let them set it up for each other. We have better and more important things to do.