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The Dreary Fanfic of Bari Weiss


Above: Bari Weiss says things that cannot be said in public, let alone in a high-profile forum.

James Bennet’s affirmative action hire has penned her “masterpiece”:

Here are some things that you will hear when you sit down to dinner with the vanguard of the Intellectual Dark Web: There are fundamental biological differences between men and women. Free speech is under siege. Identity politics is a toxic ideology that is tearing American society apart. And we’re in a dangerous place if these ideas are considered “dark.”

Look, you obviously believe all these things. So if you want to, make the case for them, rather than this passive-aggressive routine where you create a ludicrous narrative in which these all-too-common views are being suppressed, told through the lens of mostly famous people who continue to get access to major for, all told from your sinecure within the most valuable journalistic real estate in the country?

Also, given the “free speech is under siege” line, it seems worth noting that Weiss’s path to a lucrative career as a public intellectual started with a campaign to get professors fired because she disagreed with their political views.

I was meeting with Sam Harris, a neuroscientist; Eric Weinstein, a mathematician and managing director of Thiel Capital; the commentator and comedian Dave Rubin; and their spouses in a Los Angeles restaurant to talk about how they were turned into heretics. A decade ago, they argued, when Donald Trump was still hosting “The Apprentice,” none of these observations would have been considered taboo.

And, as this column proves, they aren’t now! (Unfortunately.)

It’s a pattern that has become common in our new era of That Which Cannot Be Said. And it is the reason the Intellectual Dark Web, a term coined half-jokingly by Mr. Weinstein, came to exist.

For Things That Cannot Be Said, they are Certainly Said With Great Frequency At Many High-Traffic Venues, not to mention by many public officials in the country’s governing party.

By the way, how exactly has Sam Harris being silenced?

After his talk, in which he disparaged the Taliban, a biologist who would go on to serve on President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues approached him. “I remember she said: ‘That’s just your opinion. How can you say that forcing women to wear burqas is wrong?’ But to me it’s just obvious that forcing women to live their lives inside bags is wrong. I gave her another example: What if we found a culture that was ritually blinding every third child? And she actually said, ‘It would depend on why they were doing it.’” His jaw, he said, “actually fell open.”

“The moral confusion that operates under the banner of ‘multiculturalism’ can blind even well-educated people to the problems of intolerance and cruelty in other communities,” Mr. Harris said. “This had never fully crystallized for me until that moment.”

It will not surprise you to know that the anecdote is almost certainly apocryphal, and Weiss didn’t bother to check it out. And it still doesn’t explain how Sam Harris is being silenced or his views are being hidden. Needless to say, Weiss tastefully omits any discussion of the most recent source of Harris’s discontent, when Harris was “silenced” by being given an extended interview by Ezra Klein. He was “silenced” in the sense that he was “completely pwned,” and also released correspondence that made him look like even more of a dipshit. But, anyway, I’m sorry that Harris’s inalienable right not to look bad by having someone argue five levels over his head was violated.

Who else has been “silenced”?

A year ago, Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying were respected tenured professors at Evergreen State College, where their Occupy Wall Street-sympathetic politics were well in tune with the school’s progressive ethos. Today they have left their jobs, lost many of their friends and endangered their reputations.

College kids today are SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES who demand TRIGGER WARNINGS rather than HAVING THEIR ASSUMPTIONS CHALLENGED. Also, people who quit their jobs and go on a World Whining Tour because people disagree with them are heroes !

These donations can add up. Mr. Rubin said his show makes at least $30,000 a month on Patreon. And Mr. Peterson says he pulls in some $80,000 in fan donations each month.

Mr. Peterson has endured no small amount of online hatred and some real-life physical threats: In March, during a lecture at Queen’s University in Ontario, a woman showed up with a garrote. But like many in the I.D.W., he also seems to relish the outrage he inspires.

“I’ve figured out how to monetize social justice warriors,” Mr. Peterson said in January on Joe Rogan’s podcast. On his Twitter feed, he called the writer Pankaj Mishra, who’d written an essay in The New York Review of Books attacking him, a “sanctimonious prick” and said he’d happily slap him.

Jordan Peterson has been so silenced and repressed that he has turned the most bog standard defenses of gender and racial hierarchies lacquered with Jugnian pseudo-scientific horseshit into am extremely lucrative side hustle to go along with a tenured faculty position. And Weiss is promoting it for him in the Paper of Record! I wish I could get silenced like this.

And now, the punchline to this master class in self-refutation:

I get the appeal of the I.D.W. I share the belief that our institutional gatekeepers need to crack the gates open much more. I don’t, however, want to live in a culture where there are no gatekeepers at all. Given how influential this group is becoming, I can’t be alone in hoping the I.D.W. finds a way to eschew the cranks, grifters and bigots and sticks to the truth-seeking.

Hahahahahahahaha sure. At least it produced lots of excellent tweets, with Krugman not even subtweeting:


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