Monday, 26 September 2016

THE 'SPORTSBALL' SNEER


To make an allusion to a certain hairy-fairy poet of celebratory bombast and glorified deviancy (no, not Milo), every mass movement can be said to “contain multitudes.” Such a circumstance is inevitable, when one considers the fact that “mass” invariably equates to “massive”; when more people are added to a group, that which could be called the group’s essential core is in some way diluted by the result.

Thus, the would-be leaders of any burgeoning movement inevitably wind up imposing, or at least prescribing, with a heavy dollop of “extreme prejudice,” a certain top-down set of precepts or attitudes, to which those in the general herd (that is, the would-be underlings under these would-be leaders) feel a need to conform, lest they be ridiculed for the ridiculous gesture of standing alone with their hideously contrary views and looking like a bunch of uncool, uncouth, autistic fedora-clad goofballs who most assuredly never get laid. 

The social impetus to fit in is particularly effective when the leaders are at least somewhat charismatic; such a circumstance inspires in the lowly and insecure a need to prove themselves to be worthy by showing themselves to be dutiful regurgitators of the party line, as promoted by their perceived betters. Among men, charisma manifests itself most markedly in the form of quick-wittedness mingled with brashness, bravado, and arrogance; such manifestations have an undeniable appeal to young men, even when the ostensibly charismatic possess significant character flaws and generally mediocre minds.

Would-be Alt-Right shepherds of the (predominantly male) Alt-Right-oriented flock have seen fit to mandate a direction for the movement, and have largely succeeded, with largely baleful results. I have already held forth on the “cuck" linguistic phenomenon, wherein a certain slur, having been adopted by those wishing to be known as the “management,” has caught on among those lower-status men eager to display their in-group bona fides.
What "random" was to early 90s collegiate artfags, "cuck" is to mid 2010s alt-right fags. That is to say, its sudden overuse signifies both a lack of imagination and a conspicuous compulsion towards conformity on the part of its smitten adherents. The "catching on" of this term, to the point where it has now attracted attention and provoked consternation from various quasi-mainstream sources, confirms its newfound notoriety. However, the discerning observer detects that the explosion of "cuck" is generally due to the desire of some to "be like the cool kids," the better to signal their legitimate badassedness and thus feel that they truly "belong" as edgy rebels.

Unlike the valley girl-esque "random," "cuck" is a harsh-sounding term, with the rancid backwash flavor of a schoolyard taunt. Still, there is something ironically effeminate about those who most relish slinging this slur, alleging the emasculation of their foes. Hearing them carry on puts one in mind of a pack of lads who cluster around a core group of "alpha" leaders, like pledges to a fraternity; by duly expressing themselves in the prescribed manner, they carry out a ritual of self-abasement, in which they display fealty to their ostensible superiors. One might even say it's how the Fuhrerprinzip tends to play itself out among the non-Fuhrer caste.
A few months later, I noted the tendency in Alt-Right circles suddenly to be hostile to, and to sneer at, anti-statism, as a form of (you guessed it), "cuckedness." Somehow not loving Big Brother was made to equate to wanting to watch your girlfriend get gang-banged by Spike Lee, Flava Flav, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Cosby, "Webster," and "Urkel" while being a "real man" supposedly meant worshiping a brusque-mannered, socially-liberal, serially-adulterous New York casino magnate with really bad hair. It was clear at this point that the ad hominem level surrounding "cuck" had reached past the "11" mark; slinging the "cuck" slur really was just another instance of silly name-calling, with no proper rationale beyond the attempted shaming and embarrassment of a perceived enemy, much like terms like "racist," "misogynist," and "homophobe" function on the totalitarian Left.

I didn’t opt to defend anti-statism as any sort of principled or doctrinaire libertarian. Still, I found it hard not to notice a certain strain of the "It's the Current Year" syndrome manifesting itself here, whereby one could support Ron Paul-esque policies in 2012, but now (it being 2016, after all!), Paul-ian decentralization has become hopelessly outre, something that simply isn’t done, like wearing white after Labor Day or calling an African-American a spade, or recognizing flaws in Donald Trump's candidacy.
                    
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The latest sneer-fest on the Alt-Right is being directed against those benighted folks who are into “sportsball.” It is being said that rooting on your college or pro team, whatever the sport may be, just amounts to being a (yep, you guessed it yet again) “cuck.” Here, the critique—if indeed the orgy of sneerage can legitimately be granted such a descriptor—amounts to little more than the kind of silly insults one generally hears from macho-baiting lower-tier feminists: “Har har, you guys sure love watching a bunch of sweaty men in tight trousers run around and tackle each other! Are you sure you aren’t queer?” Of course, lower-tier Alt-Righters are sure to creatively mix in some race-baiting: “Har har, you guys sure love watching a bunch of sweaty niggers in tight trousers run around and tackle each other! Are you sure you aren’t queer?”

There is, to be sure, something legitimate in calling attention to improperly-placed priorities. But it’s important to note that the “sportsball” critique doesn’t amount to “You care too much about sports spectatorship, and not enough about what’s really important.” Instead, it instantly devolves into vulgar and lame caricaturing (see “watching sweaty niggers… you’re queer” above). Moreover, it blithely evades a point that must be pressed if we are ever to understand anything: between sports and politics, it is the latter which is truly bread and circuses on a vast scale, not the former.


(to be continued: "Politics as the True Sportsball")


Andy Nowicki, assistant editor of Alternative Right, is the author of eight books, including Under the NihilThe Columbine PilgrimConsidering Suicide, and Beauty and the Least. He occasionally updates his blog when the spirit moves him to do so. Visit his Soundcloud page.

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