Sunday, May 26, 2019

Holiday Special: Roasted Wolf

Here is an interesting little cautionary tale. That it involves the schadenfreude-y takedown of a feminist writer for getting a key fact - that supports the premise of her new book - not just wrong but completely wrong is just a holiday bonus. 

The writer, Dr. Naomi Wolf:

naomi wolf Liberal progressive feminist author, journalist, and former political advisor to Bill Clinton and Al Gore

The fact she got so wrong? This:

In her brand-new book, she claims that Victorians were executing men for sodomy for longer than previously believed. She bases this claim on having discovered in court records the phrase “death recorded” listed with sodomy convictions. But in this terrifying (for authors!) clip from BBC radio, she learns from an actual scholar that “death recorded” is a 19th century legal term that means “death sentence commuted.”-  How To Roast Naomi Wolf

In other words Dr. Wolf’s book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love, claims that these men were executed for sodomy based on the term used in court documents “death recorded” - which she took to mean executed. In fact, as painfully pointed out in the interview by BBC Radio’s Matthew Sweet, it actually means pardoned. How embarrassing; it’s like opposite day and nobody told her.

Image result for opposite day

But shoot, sometimes stuff you believe with your whole heart and soul to be true just…isn’t. Damn it. It’s called confirmation bias. As Alan Jacobs noted:

I wrote about the power of what C. S. Lewis called the Inner Ring: “Once we are drawn in, and allowed in, once we’re part of the Inner Ring, we maintain our status in part by coming up with those post hoc rationalizations that confirm our group identity and, equally important, confirm the nastiness of those who are Outside, who are Not Us.”

This sort of thing happens again and again. Take Global Warming for instance – which had to technically change its name to Climate Change in order to accommodate some Inconvenient Truths. When the Inner Ring becomes a religion certain truths are assumed to have been previously proven and can now just be accepted on faith.

If you don’t believe me just ask one of (Dr.) Naomi Wolf'’s very satisfied customers, Al Gore. Naomi is the genius that advised him during his Presidential campaign in 2000 to switch his wardrobe up to “earth colors.” That would have put him over the top but for the hanging chads.

Image result for naomi wolf al gore earth tones

Remember when Algore was just a political hack wearing green and brown suits? Boy, those were the days. Somehow that beta-boy morphed into a god-like global warming guru. Writing about him back in 2000, even Maureen Dowd didn’t see that coming:

Time magazine revealed that Al Gore hired Ms. Wolf, who has written extensively on women and sexual power, as a $15,000-a-month consultant to help him with everything from his shift to earth tones to his efforts to break with Bill Clinton.

"Wolf has argued internally that Gore is a 'beta male' who needs to take on the 'alpha male' in the Oval Office before the public will see him as the top dog," write Time's Michael Duffy and Karen Tumulty.

Of course, when a man has to pony up a fortune to a woman to teach him how to be a man, that definitely takes the edge off his top-dogginess. – NYT

I blame Naomi Wolf for his transformation. He was simply an annoying Superman wannabe…

Image result for al gore earth mother

before she decided to transform him into an Earth-Mama. Now he’s just another old, fat, pontificating ass in an earth-toned vest trying to make another billion dollars off his new religion.

Image result for al gore earth mother

But getting back to Dr. Wolf, another complete phony, I would like to pass along a little advice. Credited to Mark Twain, it is good advice for anyone but most especially writers claiming to be experts: “It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So.” Although in the case of progressives that might be a draw these days.

Next time you’re working on a book don’t follow the Michael Mann hockey stick approach to research. Unless of course your objective is to con the world into buying into a totally hypothetical man-made myth, like, say, global warming. In that case never mind. Just go ahead and make an ass out of yourself. It might be worth the money.