Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mark Steyn: The Two Faces of Facebook

I read this late last night and it kind of took my breath away. 

The first part of this magnificent post is an indictment of social media totalitarianism, which is further proof of Kathy Shaidle's position that we conservatives don't need any more bloody web sites. We don't need any more stupid 'conservative' news sites or news aggregators. We need our own set of tools, so that we are not vulnerable to censorship.

Without our own social media tools, we will lose every cultural battle that we attempt to participate in.

This is exactly how conservatives have been losing the culture battle in the mainstream media and in pop culture and the arts, in the judiciary, in academia and in public education and public service. Conservatives let liberals have their monopoly on pop culture and all its vehicles. Leftists also held a monopoly on media positions until the advent of the internet.

Steyn notes;

"The very small cartel that run "social media" worldwide are increasingly hostile to free speech outside of a limited and largely trivial number of subjects. Ours will be the first civilization to slide off the cliff while watching cat videos."

The current battle for dissemination of information is based on securing freedom of expression and freedom of speech on the Internet.  Without carving out our own piece of real estate on the Internet, conservatives will continue to be shut down, a la Facebook-Merkel, all the time. Conservatives cannot trust the current social media vehicles to enable a truly "free" dissemination of information. We must expect the exact opposite, all the time.

Steyn calls it a "cartel", and it does act very much like the Soviet KGB censors of Pravda or Orwell's Ministry of Truth.

Their tools, their leftist rules. 

The truly sick and perverse collusion between a leftist American Jewish liberal social media innovator and the German leader leading her nation to suicide via Islamic invasion is almost too abhorrent to articulate but I did have to try to express how disgusting this spectacle really is.

Even just a few decades ago, who could have possibly envisioned that German-Jewish "reconciliation" would involve the censorship and silencing of dissenting voices on the Muslim invasion of Europe on a communications vehicle founded and run by a extremist liberal of Jewish descent (because there's NOTHING Jewish about enabling your own murder). You can't make this stuff up.

Then the post went dark and Jewish.

The latter half of this very cerebral and emotive post contained the following, moving reveal:

"Speaking of the last days of Europe, when visiting foreign cities, I've lately made a habit of visiting their old Jewish cemeteries. For one thing, a community in such steep decline that it can no longer tend its graves is a sobering preview of the demographic eclipse Catholics and Protestants will shortly be confronting across the Continent. I also like to visit, if any are to hand, Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries. And oddly enough in Malmö, Sweden the CWGC is responsible for two graves that happen to lie within the city's Jewish cemetery."

As soon as I read that, I paused and thought to myself: What a mensch. Mark Steyn is a such a thoughtful, emotionally and intellectually honourable man. In my opinion, he is the greatest English-language writer alive today, and one of my favourite writers period-from any time period and in any language. He is one of a kind. 

And as always, he seemingly effortlessly weaves in threads of the present with the haunting notes from the past. We sense the physical setting. We feel who he is speaking to. We picture ourselves there.  He shares with us how he looks at the Jewish military graves in Europe, and asks us to consider: 

"What were two Jews doing in the skies over Europe in 1944?"

"Because of the language requirement, many of the SOs were Jews of German extraction, for whom being shot down and captured in the Third Reich meant not a PoW camp but certain torture and death. Yet they, like all the other SOs, cheerfully volunteered for the job."

In my own research, I have found the stories of many other young Jewish men and women who managed to find safe haven from Hitler's Europe in Canada, and then promptly enlisted in the Canadian armed forces to go back to Europe and fight the Nazis. 

And then, after the facts, comes the poignant, uniquely Steynian, literary knockout punch: 
" I headed back to the gate, my eye fell on another headstone: Julius Popper, Esq (1892-1957) and Dr Eugenie Popper (1894-1974). They were the parents of Henry George Popper and they lived in Barking, Essex. Yet they too wound up in Malmö. Eugenie Popper's words on her husband's death hint at the depths of pain with which they lived after the war:

"He came the long way to rest in a Jewish spot with our only child."
Even as I re-read the paragraph, I am moved to tears.

That Mark Steyn cares about the "Jewish spot", and the Popper's only child is a humbling testimony to his deep philosemitic core, the breadth of his sense and understanding of history and destiny and what I see as his increasingly solitary position of knowing in heart and soul that what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. It's a large and heavy cross to bear.

Of course, I have no real authority to thank him on behalf of my people, but I must attempt to do so. I find it hard to express how deeply moved I am by his seemingly simple trips to the cemeteries, which are actually extremely personal statements, pregnant with meaning and purpose. There is a certain intimacy to these reflections that I find unforgettable and haunting.

Ironically, moments before reading this post, I was looking over my own photographs from my trip to Poland with my father in June, 2010. When I was in Poland I read about Steyn's reflections on Jewish cemeteries, and it was a very overwhelming convergence for me personally. I've never forgotten that either.

To be sure, where there is no "Jewish spot" there is no freedom spot.

Where the "Jewish spots" are filled by Islam (or in the past, with other totalitarian movements such as communism and fascism), there are not only fewer Jews but fewer liberties and freedom, fewer jokes, fewer songs. There is less respect for the individual, there is less respect for the sanctity of human life. Less dancing, fewer choices.

There is more of some things.

There is more gloom, increased nihilism, more death, more repression, more barbarism and more estrangement from the G-d of Israel and his infinite goodness and kindness.

Going back to the gravestone:

"He came the long way to rest in a Jewish spot with our only child."

What we are actually seeing when we see a "Jewish spot" laid waste, what is happening now, what we are witnessing personally is how formerly free humans fumble along in a narcotic state, anaesthetized into freely acquiescing to tyranny.

For so cheap was the freedom that they inherited from those braver and stronger than they, those "who cheerfully volunteered for the job", so minuscule and laughable (if any) the "price" that they ever personally had to bear, that absolutely nothing will shake them out of their slow, personal, morally repugnant and freely-chosen death march into the darkness, to the ever-expanding spot with no Jews.