Kids These Days and Their Crazy Music
Jordan Peterson's Wife Becomes Catholic

Ridiculous Headlines of Recent Days

This one actually appeared on the 15th, so is more than ten days old. But it didn't get any less ridiculous.  

Government Can't Solve the Loneliness Crisis

It appeared in National Review, and, as you might suppose, it's a government-skeptical response to an outlandish idea for a new government project.

I just can't think of anything much to say about the very idea that government could possibly do anything at all about loneliness. I think you have to be...well, I won't say crazy, but definitely somewhat off, to believe that it could. And as for the alleged "loneliness crisis," the term suggests that, as with inflation, there is some acceptable level of loneliness in society, that it can be measured, and that when it exceeds the acceptable level Somebody Ought To Do Something.

That widespread loneliness exists is surely true; that it's worse and more widespread than it used to be is probably true. That the government, which is to say politicians and bureaucrats, can or should try to do something about it is extremely doubtful. George W. Bush once said "When people are hurting, government has to act." In context, which was a natural disaster, the remark made more sense, but still, it struck me as odd.

Ok, that's all pretty goofy. But the NR story is responding to something that strikes me as being out-and-out crazy. It's a press release from the office of the governor of New York:

Governor Hochul Appoints Dr. Ruth Westheimer New York State's Honorary Ambassador to Loneliness

You remember "Dr. Ruth," right? An old bawd--that was always my impression of her--who ran a talk show giving sex advice? She's now 94 years old but is nevertheless ready to "work day and night to help New Yorkers feel less lonely!" Filling in the background, the press release defines the terms for us: "Loneliness is defined as the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social interaction, while social isolation refers to a lack of social connections." 

There's a great deal to mock in that press release, but it's more trouble than it's worth. (Why is it an ambassador to loneliness? How can you have an ambassador to an emotion? Why not to the lonely?) And anyway the word "honorary" suggests that it's only meant as a gesture. I'll just make one broader observation: Dr. Ruth's career (my impression confirmed by Wikipedia) was as a propagandist for the sexual revolution. Like essentially all of that stripe, she apparently has never considered the possibility that the success of that revolution may have contributed to the loneliness and other social ills that she does at least notice. No; the solution is always that the revolution has not gone far enough and must push ever onward. It's as if the successors of Robespierre and Company had concluded that the problem was that too few heads had been separated from bodies, and more must roll.

Some social progressives seem to be very close to proclaiming something which is strongly implied by things like this: that the enemy is the human condition, and that they intend to eliminate it. Which perhaps they are doing, but not exactly in the way they imagine. 

Here's a current ridiculous headline, from the Washington Post:

Antagonisms flare as red states try to dictate how blue cities are run

This is funny because "blue" America is constantly striving to dictate how "red" America is run, and has been doing so for many years. It's a major component of Democratic Party politics now, as well as of the work of many progressive institutions. And it's a major component of the forces dividing the country. (I haven't looked at the story; it's behind a pretty opaque paywall.)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Has the law that the Federal government can only interfere in states when the matter concerns interstate commerce been repealed? I am not sure where it was, but I think it was in the Constitution.


Yes, it's in the constitution, and it hasn't been repealed. Just as effectively, it's been interpreted so broadly that there's pretty much nothing that can't be regulated under its authority. That street you're driving on? If you follow it far enough you'll cross a state line, therefore it's involved in interstate commerce, and so are you by driving on it.

Exaggerated somewhat but that's the general idea and tendency.

~~~This is funny because "blue" America is constantly striving to dictate how "red" America is run, and has been doing so for many years.~~~

This is one big difference between "red" and "blue." The latter has an inherent itch to colonize while the former in a lot of cases just wants to be left alone. The right may try to change things from the top down, but you don't see conservatives moving to liberal enclaves and attempting to remake them in their own image.

Right. Serious progressives are very consciously on a mission to remake the world. If they move to a "red" place, they feel a moral duty to try to enlighten and change it. I see that happening here from time to time.

Aggressive Trumpian right-wingers are not doing the same thing--they're pushing back against a revolution that's either well under way or established. When that's gone far enough the term "conservative" becomes inapplicable.

The progressives aren't storming the Capitol and attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer, so they have time to consciously work on things I suppose. The Trumpian right wingers are too busy foaming at the mouth and losing their minds; and also electing people that do the same: Gaetz, Boebert, Greene. Then there is another fabulous Republican, George Santos, who appears to be an apolitical grifter. Things are going downhill pretty fast, but faster in the R party. If the orange guy gets back in office he'll be busy dismantling the government and enacting his revenge against anyone who has slighted him. Hooray USA! I may register to vote so I can cast a ballot for Nikki Haley.

Nikki Haley? Why not just write in Liz Cheney?

If Haley were to actually get the nomination, progressives would quickly discover that she is Literally A Fascist and Actually Worse Than Trump.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)