Many thanks to everyone who participated in my shameless self-promotion experiment last night. Twitter exists for relentless self-promotion, by design. It always did. The people trying (and hilariously failing) to instill a sense of shame in me for the blue check are the ones getting Twitter completely, utterly wrong. They also use the word “grifter.” This is our new term of abuse for anyone who successfully monetizes an online platform of any kind to express an idea that has not been cleared with the hall monitors at Media Matters For America and the retired IC/LE professionals running our new censorious parastate.
From the first iteration of my online publishing I have maintained that whereas the 1990s were defined by The Truth Being Out There, in the 21st century the truth is outsourced.
David Frum can calmly, flatly deny that any Twitter censorship ever even took place, much less that it is bad for democracy, because his bread is buttered that way. The first rule of the Truman Show is that you never break the fourth wall to reveal that it is, in fact, a curated experience. We are not supposed to discuss the child-sterilizing cult in power, nor are we supposed to use those words when we discuss the child-sterilizing cult, for no one in power wants to think too hard about the children being sterilized on low- to no-quality evidence.
As I said in the space, the Truman Show doesn’t exactly tell us what to think. Rather, the media-industrial gender complex curates the conversation in a way that avoids putting any consequences under a spotlight. See recent detransitioner coverage in the New York Times for reference.
Fine, then, I shall grift away. And by “grift” I mean create income streams through this platform which, despite everything, remains a stalwart defender of free speech. Substack is a solid publishing platform, far easier than Wordpress, and easier to monetize. Stripe also seems immune to pressure from gender identitarians.
But if I learned anything from having a Twitter account with thousands of followers get suspended 448 days for tweeting a prize offer in exchange for a transgender gerbil, it is that the Truman Show exerts incredible powers to make sensible people enforce the most bizarre blasphemy rules, and that no single source of income is safe. Stripe payments are a solid way to receive reader support. I have turned on subscriber tweets, but who knows what will happen when Elon Musk puts the company in the hands of Euroglobaltrash zillionaires. I cannot rely on anything, so I must use every available channel.
Except Paypal. Eff Paypal. Paypal can eff off. In 2013, the Republican majority in Congress raised hell for months of hearings about the IRS slightly delaying the approval of some nonprofit applications. No one is holding hearings into what sort of nonprofit organizations get denied a Paypal account and which do not, enormously complicating their fundraising efforts. Even Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi have not covered this aspect of Truman Show and its ideological enforcement reach.
The truth has been outsourced and no one is even talking about it.
As I explained in the Twitter space last night, embedded here today, the “Truman Show” is a useful term for waving my hand at a thing that is complex and not even, strictly speaking, a unified organism. I roll my eyes when evolved human heuristics, such as sports fairness or the other forms of magical gender thinking discussed in the Twitter space, are ascribed to “left” or “right” for partisan purposes. SImilarly, I have to acknowledge that the two-party dynamic is both inescapable in American politics and also obscures more than it reveals, in terms of media. Only Tucker Carlson was brave enough to tackle gender identity on Fox News, and just look what has happened to him. “Truman Show” is an el;satic concept that has room for any media entity that engages in any part of it.
“The left” and “feminism” and “social justice” are also terms that conceal more than they reveal, sometimes. Consider that pacifism — that is, genuine antiwar agitation — has always emanated from the dipoles of Marxism and Christianity, with those influences achieving synthesis in liberation theology, for instance. It is the original gangsta social justice movement. I recognized this during my progressive poltiical sojourn and did not know how to describe it at the time, but I understand things in a much different way, today. Left wing authoritarianism has a consistent style that I now recognize, that I did not before. I don’t even need James Lindsay to do it.
I was pleased with the experiment last night. Hopefully these spaces result in a larger subscriber base that justifies paywalled content here at the Ink. I called the space “The future of ink” because that is my conundrum, being both steadfastly critical of “gender” as a harmful cult and able to discern cultic thinking across ephemeral partisan lines. I cannot be silent, I cannot un-see.
History comes from strange places. Fringe topics fascinate me. I am writing fiction with real passion for the first time in a long time, at the same time we are all living in a science fiction universe, that is somehow the dumbest universe we could have designed. Being old enough to remember the way “gender identity” happened, I am able to write its true history and the true history of the reaction to it. I cannot let it be the entire project, however, and escaping that trap is my newest project.
Errata: during the space I got British philologist Irving Finkel’s name wrong somehow.
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