Numbers and God in David Fincher’s ‘Seven’

Numbers and God in David Fincher’s ‘Seven’

By Joe

“The trick is to find one item, one detail, and focus on it.”

                                -Detective Somerset to Detective Mills

Originally, I planned on writing about the various symbols seen throughout David Fincher’s 1997 movie Seven, but when I heard the line quoted above, I decided to focus only on the role that numbers play in the film as both symbols and signifiers, helping in foreshadowing.  I will, however, acknowledge one other symbol in the movie, namely, rain, and how we can interpret it as God’s approval of the killings.

Numbers and rain play a symbolic role throughout the whole movie as is apparent from the very beginning.  After Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is shown getting ready for work, he is then shown at a crime scene – a homicide.  There, the new detective in town, David Mills (Brad Pitt) meets Somerset for the first time.  As the two go down to street level, they walk beneath a row of awnings as rain pours down.  The addresses on the doors behind them all begin with the number 7: 744, 742 and 740.

Seven - rain and address

Note that all of these numbers are separated by two.  This can be interpreted as the separation and distance between our two main characters, Somerset and Mills.  I think there is a strong case for this interpretation since later, when Mills moves into Somerset’s office, we notice that the number on the door is 714.  Both of them are in the same room when we see this: 2×7=14 (or two sevens together make fourteen).  Aside from the obvious seven deadly sins expressed by the movie’s title, there are also the seven virtues (7+7=14).  In this scene, the two detectives who are compliments of one another (Mills being wrathful, Somerset being meek) are in one room, signifying a completeness, a whole.  Wholeness is often expressed by the number 4, as is death.  This interpretation of the detectives becoming closer and being expressed by the number 14 is further supported towards the end of the movie.  Right before John Doe (Kevin Spacey) turns himself in, we see Mills and Somerset enter the 14th Precinct building.  While in the same building, the detectives watch John Doe in an interrogation room and Somerset says to Mills: “For the first time ever, you and I are in total agreement.”

The most obvious number symbol in the movie is 7.  In A Dictionary of Symbols, J.E. Cirlot says that the number seven is a symbol of “perfect order, a complete period or cycle” (p. 233).  Thus, the seven murders representing the seven deadly sins can be interpreted as establishing order, a purge of sorts.  In addition to the seven deadly sins, there are their seven opposing virtues, there are the main seven musical notes and, of course, seven days in a week.  Let’s remember that the movie takes place in span of the seven days leading up to Detective Somerset’s retirement.  Cirlot also writes that seven “is the symbol of pain” (p. 233).

Seven - Rain gun mills

There is pain throughout the movie: John Doe tortures his victims, breaks Mills’ face and routinely cuts off the skin from his own fingertips.  It is also a very spiritually trying – and painful – week for both of the detectives, especially on the last day, Sunday.  Cirlot seems to support my theory about the number 14 detailed above when describing the symbolism of it: “[14] stands for fusion and organization, and also for justice and temperance” (p. 234).

Another important number in Seven is the number 5.  The police chief’s office is 705.  Brad Pitt’s character has a name with five letters in each name (D-a-v-i-d M-i-l-l-s).  In fact, the number five is a symbol for the character of detective Mills.  If even foreshadows his death in at least two ways that I noticed.  There is a scene in the movie when Mills and Somerset are looking at all of the seven deadly sins listed on a chalkboard.  Number five is wrath – the sin that John Doe uses to effectively end Mills’ life by sending him to jail for murder.

Seven - chalkboard

Also, after John Doe has turned himself in, Mills and Somerset watch him play with a tea bag on the other side of a two-way mirror.  John Doe is sitting in room number 5.  It is painted on the glass of the door of the interrogation room.  At one point, Detective Mills’ head completely covers up the glass and the number.  The number five comes up with relation to Mills again with money in the film.  When Somerset asks Mills how much money he has to pay the FBI agent for information, Mills says “about 50 bucks.”  Also, the delivery man at the end of the movie was paid $500 to deliver the package at 7:00.

Writer Michael Hoffman notes in his book Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare that the number 5 is associated with protection and therefore the police.  This is why it is common for a five-pointed star to be on their badges, cars, hats, etc.  “The symbol (or, alchemically, sigil) of the armed enforcers of the empire of Babylon, the successor to Sumer, was the five-pointed star, or pentagram” (Hoffman p. 30).  “This star also happens to be the symbol of the armed enforcers of modern America’s laws, and it was also a symbol of the enforcers of the Communist regime in Russia” (Hoffman p. 30).  Granted, there are many police badges that have six points instead of five, but five points are still rather common and the classic police badge of the western sheriff has five points.  If the badge is not star-shaped, it is still common for there to be a five-pointed star on the badge itself.  Five is also related to the police because it is representative of protection.

Going back to the number seven, we can also link this number to another important symbol seen throughout the film: rain.  At some point each day in Seven, it rains.  The story of Noah and the flood occurs in Genesis 7.  And Noah is given a warning that the flood will start in seven days: “For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen 7:4).  Genesis 7 is also when the waters and rain come: “Then it came to pass that after seven days, the waters of the flood came upon the earth.  In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the floodgates of heaven were opened” (Gen 7:11).

seven - rain

Let’s consider the symbol of rain for a moment and how we may interpret it.  On rain, Cirlot writes in his Dictionary: “[Rain] signifies purification, not only because of the value of water as the ‘universal substance’ – as the mediating agent between the non-formal or gaseous and the formal or solid, an aspect which is common to all symbolic traditions – but also because of the fact that rainwater falls from heaven.  Hence it is also cognate with light.  This explains why, in many mythologies, rain is regarded as a symbol of the ‘spiritual influences’ of heaven descending upon earth” (Cirlot p. 272) (Italics added for emphasis).  Each day in the film as the murders are being discovered or committed, it is raining: the earth is being purified.  God agrees with John Doe’s work.  Thus, on the last day, when all is finished with John Doe dying for Envy and Mills’ life being effectively ended because of Wrath, the rain stops: God rests (Gen 2:2). (Although it did rain earlier that day. We can tell because when John Doe exits the taxi in front of the 14th Precinct building, the street is wet and there is still water on the taxi.)

seven - no rain

Before anyone objects saying that this is a rash interpretation and that God would not agree with the work of John Doe, I’d first remind them that these are the seven deadly sins that are being punished.  Next, I would encourage them to read the book of Job.

References Cited

-The Orthodox Study Bible

-Cirlot, J. E., “A Dictionary of Symbols”, 1971.

-Hoffman II, Michael A., “Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare”, 2001.

Full Metal Jacket: A Viewing

Full Metal Jacket: A Viewing

I watched Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket recently for the second time.  The first time I watched it was more than a decade ago at least, so my second viewing was almost like seeing it for the first time.  I did, of course, have vague memories of the training sequences and I remembered Private Pyle shooting himself, but I didn’t remember much of the rest.  This apparently is very common among those who have seen this movie.  Most people say that they like the first part of the movie (the boot camp and training) but either forget or don’t like the rest.  After my second viewing, I found myself reflecting more on things that happened in the second half than the first.  There are also very interesting bits of foreshadowing that happen in the first half that we see play out in the second that are worth looking into.  Here, however, I just want to point out a few things that I noticed this time around without too much theorizing.

Two of my favorite movies, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut, are also Kubrick movies.  After delving into hidden meanings, symbolism, staging, etc. present in both of these movies, I wanted to watch another one of his films that I hadn’t seen; so I chose Full Metal Jacket since it would seem fresh to me.  Full Metal Jacket was made between these two movies (something that I think is relevant) in 1987.  I went into the movie with Eyes Wide Shut on the brain.

The most striking similarity between Eyes Wide Shut and Full Metal Jacket is the theme of sex, but Satanism can also be seen in both.  The first hint of Satanism that we get is very hard to notice since it’s written in Vietnamese, but Rob Ager has shown that a certain phrase written on what looks like some type of water tower translates to the following strange phrase: ”to continually serve the devil, your excellency.”

IMG_3618

Later, when Joker sneaks up behind the sniper, we see a Viet Cong flag draped over a railing, the star pointing downwards like an inverted pentagram, fire burning below it (there are also inverted pentagrams in Eyes Wide Shut).

IMG_3615

The sporadic fire burning here and there in this scene is also reminiscent of hell in a way.  Hints of Eyes Wide Shut come through in this scene as the five soldiers (five points of the pentagram) almost circle around the dying woman (the upside down star is blocked by the soldier on the right in the picture below but can be seen in this scene).  It almost feels like a human sacrifice.  The woman also breathes in a way that could be heard as a woman having sex.  Eyes Wide Shut has the famous scene of women encircling a man performing a satanic ritual before an orgy erupts.  Eyes Wide Shut is about a satanic elite who is made up of the most powerful people in the world.  If you knew who they were, you wouldn’t sleep so well at night.  Could this satanic elite be creating wars such as the war in Vietnam?

It is also interesting to note the meaning of the title “Eyes Wide Shut,” meaning that we don’t see what is really going on around us.  This idea shows up also in The Shining in the name of the hotel: The Overlook Hotel.  “Overlook” can mean to miss something as well as to see all of something.  This also comes through in the way that the public sees the movies.  Both Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut are known for certain parts only and people overlook or forget about the rest of the film.  The boot camp part of Full Metal Jacket and the orgy scene of Eyes Wide Shut are what most people remember about these movies, and Jack Nicholson’s axe through the door has become the definitive scene of The Shining.  This is also shown in Full Metal Jacket when the troops are doing burpees while Private Pyle sucks his thumb on a table.  While the troops count out reps, two troops stop doing reps, but most of us don’t notice.  (I didn’t notice this all on my own but it helps with this point.)

Also, the way the first hooker we see in Vietnam behaves is very similar to the way in which the two models act at the first party in Eyes Wide Shut while they attempt to seduce Tom Cruise’s character.  They never stop moving their bodies around and almost seem like snakes.  There are some interesting differences though in these two scenes.  First, the Vietnamese hooker is very vulgar and explicit while the two upper-class white women seducing Tom Cruise rely heavily on innuendo.  She also moves less gracefully than the two women in Eyes Wide Shut, almost jerking around, speaking poor English and eventually coughing.  Second, in Full Metal Jacket, we see one woman trying to seduce two men, while in Eyes Wide Shut, we see two women trying to seduce one man (similar to the flipping of the sexes described in the murder of the sniper and the satanic ritual described above).

Finally, money is needed with the hooker while money is not even mentioned with the two aristocratic ladies.  I’m not sure what this could mean but I’m sure that it is something worth making mention of since it is often noted that Kubrick’s films seem to interlock and he likes to make use of mirrors and reflections, doubles and pairings.

One pairing seen in Full Metal Jacket is that of Joker and Cowboy.  They are shown in the same frame often throughout the movie, sometimes in a way that makes them look very similar.

 

They also are they only people who wear glasses.  Both of these facts seem to link them in some way.  They are also shown divided at times.  Pyle was standing between them when he was caught with his donut, and the Drill Instructor stands between them when they are marching with their rifle while grabbing their crotch (Joker’s head is blocked in the picture below by the DI’s hat, but he is visible in this scene).  Here we have two friends who appear to be copies of one another at times and yet something divides them.  What is it?  Perhaps the death of Cowboy by the sniper at the end.

 

The death of the female sniper at the end, the last Vietnamese woman we see, also relates to the first Vietnamese woman we see, the hooker.  When we see the hooker, we hear the Nancy Sinatra song “These Boots Are Made for Walking.”  Many people have pointed out how the lyrics of this song can be interpreted as Vietnam addressing America.  The first woman we see has the potential to kill the American soldiers by either being an undercover Viet Cong or with a disease.  The last woman we see also has the potential to kill the American soldiers with her gun and she does kill some of them.  The first lyrics to the song that we hear, before the song fades a bit, are:

“You keep sayin’ you’ve got somethin’ for me,

Somethin’ you call ‘love’ but confess

You’ve been messin’ where you shouldn’t’ve been messin’

And now someone else is getting’ all your best.

These boots were made for walkin’

And that’s just what they’ll do,

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you”

It seems that this song is foreshadowing of what’s to come (the female sniper killing male soldiers), but we see that the Vietnamese hooker isn’t wearing boots – the American soldiers are (see picture above).  In the end, their boots do the walking, and they walk all over the female sniper.  This almost seems to show how pathetic women’s empowerment can be.  Imagine a woman pumping herself up with Nancy Sinatra’s song and imagining some sort of retribution, singing that last line cited above to herself.  But what can she really do?  She can “empower” herself with slogans and protests at one end of the spectrum; the extreme option would be to do what the female sniper did and kill men, but even that didn’t seem to work out for her in the end as she lay on the ground repeating “Shoot me.”  Was Kubrick trying to show that Feminism can be silly, unthreatening, and futile in the real world?  It may seem like there is no connection between Full Metal Jacket and feminism, but keep in mind that the sixties were the time of sexual liberation, assassinations, feminism, and the Vietnam War.

female future

One last thing I noticed, but don’t know what to make of, is the toothbrush ads seen in the movie.  There are some Vietnamese signs in the background that translate to “plaque” and there are pictures of a smiling Oriental man on buildings.  Also, in one of the propaganda news room scenes, the public affairs officer says that he wants stories about “grunts who give half their pay to buy gooks toothbrushes and deodorants….”  Now this could be nothing at all, but I don’t believe that there are any accidents or incidental things in a Kubrick movie, especially one of his last three movies.  Perhaps this has something to do with an actual event or practice that was going on at the time (i.e. maybe dentistry was rapidly growing in Vietnam).  Maybe it is meant to show that the Vietnamese were dirty in the eyes of the Americans – although they likely were, especially in the rural areas.  Maybe it has a connection to oral sex, something referenced many times in the movie, from the Drill Instructor in America to the hookers in Vietnam (sex is a running theme in this and other Kubrick movies).  If anyone has any ideas or information, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Classroom Anecdote 3: White Privilege Narrative as Religion

Classroom Anecdote 3: White Privilege Narrative as Religion

In one of the earlier discussions of my Cultural Marxism 101 class (euphemistically named “Intercultural Communications”), the chubby Latina teacher was telling us about how ‘white privilege’ can make one “at best, thoughtless and at worst, murderous.”  To accomplish this, she went over the findings of a study which apparently showed that black people and Hispanic children were given less pain medication by doctors.  When I asked if the doctors were all white, she said it doesn’t matter if they were or not since these doctors have internalized the hegemonic white supremacy that is all around us.  (Sounds kinda unfalsifiable….)  She didn’t bother providing any further details for the poor minorities being denied paid medication – no mention if, for example, the Hispanic children were illegal aliens.  If they were, what right do they have to top tier healthcare in a foreign land anyway?  This would of course be paid for by us, their gracious host.  Much like Classroom Anecdote 1, we are again seeing someone looking at some phenomenon and deciding racism is the answer for an outcome.  (Come to think of it, this is also apparent in Classroom Anecdote 2.)

She buttressed the supposed racist finding of this study with another obnoxious interpretation of another phenomenon – again, without providing the college students that make up her class a copy of the study.  She described how some researchers showed to a subject a photo of a black person and a white person and asked which one they thought would feel less pain.  Both white and black subjects faced with this question would pick the black person, saying that blacks would feel less pain.  Again, racist white people apparently don’t care about others or empathize with them (then why do we open our countries to hordes of third-worlders?) and again, black people have internalized white supremacy, leading to them devaluing themselves.

I don’t think anybody would find such an outcome from such a study to be surprising.  Let’s run a quick analogical thought experiment: let’s switch out blacks and whites and replace them with men and women.  Who do you, dear reader, think would feel less pain?  Presumably men would feel less pain.  Does this mean we don’t value men?  Does this mean we think they are animals?  Not at all.  And as we learned earlier in this class, men are oppressive and all of society benefits them.  Hmmm, kind of a wrench in the gears here….

I pushed back in class and said that there are perfectly understandable reasons for why people would think that blacks would feel less pain.  For the white subjects, we could assume that they feel closer to the white people in the photos.  Even babies identify with and prefer people of their own race more than others, so why shouldn’t an adult feel more compassion for someone more similar to them?  As for the blacks, well, black people in general have more testosterone than whites and higher testosterone levels are related to a higher pain threshold.  This second point alone would explain why both blacks and whites would think that black people would feel less pain than whites.  If anything, this study shows that people generally think that white people are weaker than blacks, not that blacks don’t feel pain – the implication being that therefore, they are less than whites and perhaps should be used as slaves, I guess.  (Has there been an experiment asking Arabs if they think blacks or Arabs feel less pain?)

But alas, in the classroom, I was only able to make it to “also, blacks have higher levels of testosterone” before being cut off.  “Or maybe it’s systemic racism…” my neighbor interjected with a snotty upspeak so typical of a college feminist.  “Ah yes,” I said, “that’s the ‘correct’ answer.”

As things moved on, I couldn’t stop replaying the exchange in my head.  It was so weird to see the dogmatism on display like that.  Here I am questioning the narrative (something one would think is encouraged in a university setting) when I am cut off and essentially shut down by an unattractive, slightly overweight white girl parroting the talking points of the indoctrinator.  Very eerie indeed.  I felt like I was in a Koran study group and while someone is questioning how man came to be in his present form, they are shut down by someone yelling “It was Allah!  Allah is behind everything!  If you don’t believe it’s because he has made it that way!”  From the Koran: “Those who disbelieve – it being alike to them whether thou warn them or not – they will not believe.  Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing; and there is a covering on their eyes, and for them is a grievous chastisement” (2: 5-6).  Unfalsifiable.  Evil.  Creepy.

Minority-Majority

Minority-Majority

I have recently had a few discussions and arguments about the demographics of America.  When I have mentioned that whites are becoming a minority, I have been told that this is not true.  I find this surprising because it is very easy to find people of color gloating about this on the internet (especially here) and even ethno-masochistic whites “bravely” agreeing that this is a good thing.  (If you think things will be fine and dandy for whites when this happens, look at South Africa.)

Hopefully the trends leading to this phenomenon (low white birth rates, high minority birth rates and non-European immigration) can be halted and reversed by a Donald Trump presidency.  The point of this post is to give some quick statistics that show that the white population is indeed shrinking.  While this information can be used to shut down people of color who deny it happening, I think it is best to show it to whites who are unaware of the future that awaits them, their children and their grandchildren.

Research based on data from the Census Bureau and published by the Brookings Institution projects a long-term decline for America’s white population.  While it will increase steadily for some time, it is projected to drop to 49.7 percent of the population by 2044.  By 2060, factoring in growth of Asian, Hispanic and multiracial populations, the white population is projected to drop to 44 percent.

brookings-2044

The nation’s foreign-born population has grown from 9.6 million in 1965 to 45 million in 2015 according to the Pew Research Center.  If current trends continue, immigrants and their descendants are projected to represent 88 percent of the nation’s population increase, or about 103 million people, while the nation grows to a projected total of 441 million.

pew-line-graph

In 1965 the white population was 84 percent of the population.  After the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, not only did the racial and ethnic makeup change, but the white population shrank to 62 percent by 2015.  The Pew analysis shows that the white population would have been 75 percent in 2015 without the passing of this act.

pew-bar-chart-with-and-without-1965

To some extent, it is true to say that whites are not becoming a minority, but this is only true in the sense that even if whites were 49 percent of the population, they would still be the largest racial demographic.  However, the country would then be “minority-majority,” meaning that all the minorities added together would represent a majority.  And since they all are united as “people of color” while they wage this demographic war, there really are just two teams: whites and non-whites.

Classroom Anecdote 2: Noel Ignatiev

Classroom Anecdote 2: Noel Ignatiev

Last week, my Cultural Marxism 101 “professor” began class with an interview she had recently heard on NPR (Of course!).  The audio clip was of two women talking in soft, grave voices about “segregation.”  One woman was talking about how she had been sending her kid to a big, urban school that was very diverse – something she particularly liked.  (What is “very diverse,” by the way?  Two white kids in the whole school?)  While she was happy with the low-trust environment she had sent her child to, she did, however, notice a “new segregation.”  What is this “new segregation?”  Well, this astute woman noticed that at a certain time of day, when the students are meant to go to more difficult classes like honors or AP, it was mostly white students going upstairs to the honors classes and mostly black students going downstairs for the normal classes.  She was duly shocked – the “correct” reaction.

Amidst my eye rolling and heavy sighing, I heard one of the speakers (I’m pretty sure it was the parent) drop the name Noel Ignatiev, referencing something that he had written and which she had read like a good little libtard.  I didn’t listen to the rest of the interview.  I had to do some quick Googling beneath the desk to make sure I was right.  And indeed, I was.  Noel Ignatiev hates white people and has essentially called for their genocide.  In class, about a week prior to this session, I had made my case that the subject of this course, white privilege, is just a weapon to use against white people to shut them down and immobilize them, making them rethink every thought and wallow in guilt while no other people need do the same.  It is a false, shoddy narrative constructed on a foundation of anti-white hatred.  Of course, the class backed down when called out on this (like these people usually do) and hid behind their specter of “whiteness.”  “It’s not ‘white people,’ it’s the construct of ‘whiteness.’” Pffft.  Well, now I had a nice, direct statement of anti-white hatred to bring to the attention of the class.

ignatiev

When the audio had ended and after my “professor” pontificated a bit about how unfair white society is, I raised my hand.

“Did they mention Noel Ignatiev in there?  The guy that wrote How the Irish Became White?”

“Uh yeah, I think so.  I can give you the link with the information,” she answered.

“Oh, no, I don’t need it.  I just wanted to note that this is a guy who said that the abolition of the white race is a desirable thing.”

“Oh yeah,” she said waving her hand and partially shrugging like it means nothing.

“Oh yeah, we’ll just shrug that off,” I quipped.

“Yeah but he’s also said other reputable things.  Malcolm X said that too,” she said before returning casually to her discourse.

So there you have it folks: a Latina teacher in a modern American university shrugging off calls for white genocide, dismissing the explicit desire of someone to have all white people disappear as nothing to take note of.  And yet we will spend two whole class periods talking about how some Latina feels uncomfortable that Americans would prefer it if she speaks English.

Well, since calls for genocide aren’t any big deal, I expect we’ll be moving on to Mein Kampf next week.  I’m sure Herr Hitler has said some reputable things as well.

Click here for Classroom Anecdote 1.

A Look Inside the Journalist Factory

A Look Inside the Journalist Factory

I am studying Journalism at an American university.  I’ve only begun chipping away at this major a few semesters ago, and it’s really rather frightening.  (Read this for a typical story from an introductory class.)  The professors really are in their own world.  This is the world of the Left filled with the ideologies of liberalism, socialism, egalitarianism, and ,of course, communism.

The longer I am in this environment, the more it becomes apparent that these people truly are unaware of any other way.  To illustrate how alienated they are from other ideas, consider my reading list for a class with the perfectly euphemistic name “Intercultural Communications.”  It’s a euphemism because, much in the way my teacher says racism only goes one way (meaning only whites can be racist), this “intercultural communication” only goes one way: it’s minorities complaining about the evils of white people.  This is the class I’ve only heard legends about, and let me tell you, the legends are true:  students in American universities are being told (and fooled into thinking that they are learning) that white people have “white privilege” (which is eerily similar to the narrative the Nazis used against the Jews), that English is an “oppressor’s language,” and that only white people can be racist.

Here are some of the writers on my reading list:

Ursula K. Le Guin: She is the daughter of anthropologist Alfred R. Kroeber who was once married to a Rothschild and studied Anthropology under Franz Boas.

Bell Hooks: (Her name is meant to be uncapitalized, but I can’t be bothered.)  Hooks is a black feminist and social activist who writes about intersectionality of race as well as subjects like gender, capitalism, oppression – the whole bag.

Audre Lorde:  Lorde was a black feminist and lesbian poet/writer.  She studied in America but spent considerable time at the Free University of Berlin.  This is the seal of the Free University of Berlin:

seal-of-free-university

Gloria Anzaldua: Anzaldua is a Latina supportive of the LGBT community who began menstruating when she was three months old.  She likes to complain about how people regard others who speak certain languages with an accent, viewing this as oppression.  (I plan to write about one of her writings in the future.)

Peggy McIntosh:  McIntosh is an American feminist and anti-racism activist known for coining the phrase “check your white privilege.”  In 1988, she wrote a list of things that count as “white privilege.”  Many are obnoxious and, if a larger context is provided, don’t really mean much.  I recommend Lawrence Murray’s stab at them here.

Adrian Piper:  Piper is an African-American who looks white and complains about it.  She was born in New York but now lives in Berlin.  She was influenced by the Jewish artist Sol LeWitt and the Jewish dancer Yvonne Rainer in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Karl Marx:  The Jewish philosopher and writer known for his writings on class struggle, The Communist Manifesto and more.

Antonio Gramsci:  Gramsci was a founding member and one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Mussolini’s fascist regime.  He broadened Marxist thinking on the role of intellectuals in the political process and had a great influence on social and cultural theory, sometimes pointed to as the beginning of Cultural Marxism.

Michel Foucault:  Foucault was a leftist and member of the Communist Party of France in the ‘50s.  He was eventually considered “anti-communist” but remained involved with leftist causes.  Foucault was a homosexual and died of AIDS in 1984.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Coates is an African-American writer from Baltimore, MD who writes about the black experience and racism.  He seems to employ some Marxist materialism by referring to blacks as “black bodies.”

I’ll stop here.  There are many more and they are all of the same stripe.  I’ve included writers whose writing we have already talked about in class and some others simply because everyone knows who they are and what they are about (Marx, Gramsci, and Foucault).  As I said, they are all of the same stripe, the same school of thought.  We are not offered any opposing opinions here.  We are not told of any writer or philosopher who challenges the narratives they put forth or is critical of them.  I don’t believe my professor is even aware of such writers and philosophers as Guillaume Faye, Alain de Benoist, Tomislav Sunic, Julius Evola, or Oswald Spengler.  I think that if I were to bring up these names, I would be met with the accusation that these are all European men and they are part of the intellectual hegemony that people like her are fighting against.  The irony is, however, that she is creating an intellectual hegemony in her very class by restricting what is allowed in discussion.  She never offers us a criticism of the writings we read, nor does she ever provide a broader context for anything.

To build up this narrative of white privilege is one giant mess of contradictions.  My professor must at once say that white males do not allow other cultures and parts of the world to be in their curriculum while she refuses to provide a broader, intercultural context for her narrative, only focusing on Europe and America.  One glaring example of this is how white men are condemned for slavery while slavery around the world is completely ignored – most glaringly, the Arab slave trade.  She must say this also while cherry-picking “white,” European men who happen to support her narrative.  She must claim that the English language is an “oppressor’s language,” insinuating that even using it as a non-white is oppressive, while using the European ideologies of liberalism and egalitarianism as the foundation for her arguments.  Shouldn’t this count as the oppressor’s ideology then?  In order for these sorts of contradictions to not become apparent, she must restrict the scope of study, not allowing in any critical writings or knowledge of the atrocities non-whites around the world have committed.

As I stated above, I am required to take this class as a Journalism student.  Now, if I were a journalist and had to cover a Trump protest, for example (which I did), I would be obliged to get both sides of the story.  I would have to interview someone for Trump and someone against Trump.  And yet, in this core class I am simply told what to think.

This is what has led to the state of our media today where people who don’t fall in line with the dominant liberal and increasingly anti-white narrative are nonexistent.  It is quite literally a factory of journalists.  We are sat in a room and told what to think.  From there we are shown and trained how to act like a reporter.  (I say “act” because, so far, journalism is being taught to me more as a physical activity that as something intellectual.)  The universities are training people to keep driving forth their narrative, making them hall monitors of the progressive status quo, and that goes against white interests.

Classroom Anecdote 1: Red-Lining

Classroom Anecdote 1: Red-Lining

Last semester, my professor (a white liberal woman who also works as a journalist) brought up “red-lining,” mentioning that she had done stories about it in the past.  After she mentioned the phrase, she asked if we were familiar with the it.  One student piped up in the back – a black girl from the East Coast who was majoring in “black diaspora studies” (gag me).  She pointed this out as she began to describe red-lining.  Basically, she has been told by her black diaspora studies teachers that companies don’t build in black neighborhoods because “muh racism.”  Whole Foods was used as an example, probably because it is a store frequented mostly by white people.  The white liberal teacher nodded in complete agreement as the black student described how horrible white people are ignoring black neighborhoods.  She spoke about how her hometown lacks certain stores and that she was surprised at the stores that are available around campus.

southside

Now, earlier that same class period (so basically within the hour), this same girl told us about her final paper for the class during a discussion.  She wrote about a friend of hers who was shot and killed in her hometown.  She told us he was a drug dealer but “everybody’s friend.” One day, he was shot by three people in a drive-by shooting.  It’s amazing that she is confused as to why Whole Foods isn’t rushing to build a new location in that neighborhood.  And it’s infuriating that instead of acknowledging the fact that crime may deter them from building there, she instead opted for “muh racism.”  Do they not build there because there’s black people or because these black people are driving around shooting drug dealers?

Red-lining is just another consequence of looking at a phenomenon and attributing racism to it – much like looking at prison demographics and inferring a racist criminal justice system and ignoring that blacks actually are committing the crimes that got them there.  It’s funny because they are using the same inductive style of thinking that they accuse racists of.  For example, not all blacks are bad just because you saw one on the news committing a crime.  Well, companies are not racist because they don’t benefit from setting up shop in a certain crime-ridden neighborhood ya dope.

This is what they are teaching in universities across the land, my friends: nothing is your fault if you’re black – it’s those damned white devils trying to keep you down! (Sigh)