Nuance: A Love Story. My affair with the intellectual dark web
Meghan Daum Aug 24 https://medium.com/s/greatescape/nuance-a-love-story-ae6a14991059
the standard set of middle-class Democratic Party values: Public safety nets were a force for good, corporate greed was a real threat, civil and reproductive rights were paramount.
I remember how good it felt to stand with my friends in our matching college sweatshirts shouting “never again!” and “my body, my choice!”
(hey, why shouldn’t Sarah Palin call herself a feminist?) brought angry letters from liberals as well as conservatives.
We would all go to the mat for women’s rights, gay rights, or pretty much any rights other than gun rights. We lived, for the most part, in big cities in blue states.
When Barack Obama came into the picture, we loved him with the delirium of crushed-out teenagers, perhaps less for his policies than for being the kind of person who also listens to NPR. We loved Hillary Clinton with the fraught resignation of a daughter’s love for her mother. We loved her even if we didn’t like her. We were liberals, after all. We were family.
Words like “mansplaining” and “gaslighting” were suddenly in heavy rotation, often invoked with such elasticity as to render them nearly meaningless. Similarly, the term “woke,” which originated in black activism, was being now used to draw a bright line between those on the right side of things and those on the wrong side of things.
From the Black Guys on Bloggingheads, YouTube’s algorithms bounced me along a path of similarly unapologetic thought criminals: the neuroscientist Sam Harris and his Waking Up podcast; Christina Hoff Sommers, aka “The Factual Feminist”; the comedian turned YouTube interviewer Dave Rubin; the counter-extremist activist Maajid Nawaz; and a cantankerous and then little-known Canadian psychology professor named Jordan Peterson, who railed against authoritarianism on both the left and right but reserved special disdain for postmodernism, which he believed was eroding rational thought on campuses and elsewhere.
the sudden national obsession with female endangerment on college campuses struck me much the same way it had in the early 1990s: well-intended but ultimately infantilizing to women and essentially unfeminist.
Weinstein and his wife, the evolutionary biologist Heather Heying, who also taught at Evergreen, would eventually leave the school and go on to become core members of the “intellectual dark web.”
Weinstein talked about intellectual “feebleness” in academia and in the media, about the demise of nuance, about still considering himself a progressive despite his feeling that the far left was no better at offering practical solutions to the world’s problems than the far right.
an American Enterprise Institute video of Sommers, the Factual Feminist, in conversation with the scholar and social critic Camille Paglia — “My generation fought for the freedom for women to risk getting raped!” I watched yet another video in which Paglia sat by herself and expounded volcanically about the patriarchal history of art (she was all for it).
the brothers sat down together for a two-hour, 47-minute interview on theRubin Report,
James Baldwin’s line, “I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually
Jordan Peterson Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos, is a sort of New and Improved Testament for the purpose-lacking young person (often but not always male) for whom tough-love directives like “clean up your room!” go down a lot easier when dispensed with a Jungian, evo-psych panache.
Quillette, a new online magazine that billed itself as “a platform for free thought”
the more honest we are about what we think, the more we’re alone with our thoughts. Just as you can’t fight Trumpism with tribalism, you can’t fight tribalism with a tribe.