About Hacks

One of the real pleasures I had while living at Free Market Towers a couple of years back was going out to the mailbox very early in the morning, retrieving the fresh edition of the Daily Telegraph, then reading the thing cover to cover while drinking my morning coffee, trying to finish it before the Free Markets woke up for breakfast.

If we had a decent daily newspaper Over Here, I’d subscribe to its print version in a heartbeat, but of course we don’t:  they’re all total shit, and of course infested with socialist hacks.

This isn’t, by the way, the modern-day meaning of the word, where “hacking” means breaking into someone else’s computer coding program, and “hacks” mean “shortcuts” or “gimmicks”.

In The Oldie days (explanation to follow), the word “hack” usually meant “journalist” — more specifically, a bad  journalist.  And in perusing the pages of a magazine I’d never heard of before (thankee, BritReader Jeff W), I found a lovely article about journalism, and journalists.

Of course, nowadays journalists are despised, and mostly deservedly so, for being hacks:  opinionated assholes who reveal their ignorance with every sentence they write (e.g. when talking about guns), and moreover, who write badly, unsupervised by editors who used to be a moderating influence, but who are now best described as “last week’s journalists” — i.e. no better than the journalists they’re supposed to be supervising.

But it wasn’t always like that.  Here’s an excerpt from the article I linked above:

It’s easy to maintain a simplistic stance if you never leave your desk. Google will reaffirm what you already know – or think you know. However if you take the time and trouble to go out and meet the people who are living through the things you’re reporting, and ask them what they think, you’ll soon find your opinions are tempered by reality. Real life is complex and contradictory. Successful columnists are often dogmatists, but good reporters are pragmatists. Regular contact with the folk they write about has taught them that life, and news, is rarely black and white.

It’s also easy to forget that journalists once had to follow an apprenticeship path before they could land a job with a prestigious — or at least popular — newspaper or magazine, that path being:  learning how to write proper journalese and prose in a small-town newspaper, and simple things such as interviewing subjects, collecting background material and in short, learning about the topics before committing them to print — all before graduating to a larger, or national publication.

It’s also worth remembering that this path seldom if ever required a university degree which, I think, stopped journalists back then from becoming part of the story:  as perpetual outsiders to the system they were reporting about, their job was to be skeptical about the topic — indeed, learning about the topic meant looking at it from all sides so that they could see through the spin being put on it by the interviewees.

Contrast that with today’s J-school poseurs, who graduate thinking that they’re qualified to write about everything, whereas in fact they’re unqualified to write about anything.  Nowadays, of course, they just parrot the spin because they literally don’t know any better.

Read the entire article:  like all good pieces of writing, it will educate you about the topic.  It will also increase your loathing for today’s so-called journalists, if that’s indeed possible.

And en passant, read a few more articles in The Oldie.  It’ll be worth your time.

Appearances Matter

Despite the “we’re all equal” trope that seems to be all the rage today, !Science! tells us that it just ain’t so (emphasis added):

People perceive a person’s competence partly based on subtle economic cues emanating from the person’s clothing, according to a study published in Nature Human Behaviour by Princeton University. These judgments are made in a matter of milliseconds, and are very hard to avoid.
In nine studies conducted by the researchers, people rated the competence of faces wearing different upper-body clothing. Clothing perceived as “richer” by an observer—whether it was a T-shirt, sweater, or other top—led to higher competence ratings of the person pictured than similar clothes judged as “poorer,” the researchers found.
Given that competence is often associated with social status, the findings suggest that low-income individuals may face hurdles in relation to how others perceive their abilities—simply from looking at their clothing.

I’ve banged on about this topic several times before, but now that I have !Science! to back me up, I’m going to say it again, with feeling:

Appearances matter.

Dress like a slob, get treated like one.  Even worse, if the above study is to be believed, is that if you dress like a slob your competence  is going to be dismissed, especially when compared with someone who doesn’t look (as I’ve said before) as though he’s just come from a beach party by way of working on his friend’s car.

It doesn’t matter, by the way, how unfair  you think this prejudice is;  it’s simply the way of the world, and bleating about the unfairness of it won’t change a thing.

More Snowflakery

Hard on the heels of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales atrocity comes this blast of fetid air from the zeitgeist :

The youngest generation’s greater willingness to embrace nontraditional gender norms has opened up a new market within the beauty industry: men’s makeup.
One-third of young men said they would consider wearing makeup, according to Morning Consult polling, while 23 percent of all men said the same. Founders of men’s cosmetic brands credit the increased interest among young men not only to a wider acceptance of the idea that gender is fluid but also to the pressure to be picture perfect at any moment, thanks to social media.

In August 2018, Chanel debuted a line of men’s makeup, called Boy de Chanel, that includes a foundation and an eyebrow pencil.

Okay, you all may snigger at this, but even I am not immune to the siren call of male cosmetics:  a little dab of Hoppe’s No. 9 behind the ears does wonders for the self-esteem.

I even carry a small bottle in my gun bag purse for the occasional touch-up.  (And all you Kroil and CLP devotees can get knotted.  If Hoppe’s was good enough for my Dad, and his  dad, it’s damn well good enough for me.)


City Journal puts men’s magazines under the microscope, and doesn’t like what it sees:

In a tough media environment, men’s magazines are suffering more than most. Some—notably, Playboy and Esquire—appear to have decided that appealing primarily to men is no longer the best way forward.

Yeah, good luck with that, assholes, and watch your readership (and business) disappear.  Good-bye and good riddance.

Come to think of it, this humble website  offers more to men than any of the glossy so-called “men’s” magazines.  On these electronic pages can be found pictorials of topics wanted by men:  guns, cars, women, food, booze and articles including straightforward political discussion, cultural content — such as the occasional review of movies, music and fine art — and even historical analysis, all on a daily (not monthly or quarterly) basis.  Oh, and no ads.

And it’s free, except for voluntary contributions (thankee).


Oh, this is nice.

“Fair warning. Several community organizations are planning to shut down your showing of the Jordan Peterson propaganda film. While many of us aren’t Christian and some even flat-out condemn the religion, we do not want any harm to come to your place of worship or those within. However, we cannot allow fascism to continue to rise and will not tolerate its presence in our city, whether it is on the streets or on the waterfront or in a church. Read some history books, read about eugenics, read about sex and gender and then compare it to Peterson. Pray on it if you must. Do the right thing. As much as we joke about it, we really don’t want to have to bring out the guillotine to fix society.”

Way I see it, it’s a little difficult to guillotine people when they’re all holding loaded AK-47 rifles.  But hey, whatever floats their delusional boat.

Still, if these pricks can label Jordan Peterson — who must be one of the gentlest souls on the planet —  as a Nazi, you really have to ask yourself who, in fact, should be lining up for decapitation.


Can American exceptionalism be revived?  At City Journal, Alan C. Guelzo gives a cogent reasons why we can, after a look at our history and the three legs of its foundation:  political, economic and diplomatic.

I believe that the American experiment, based on the Declaration and embodied in the Constitution, belongs to an exceptional moment in human history, and remains exceptional. I believe that the U.S. economy is flexible enough to recover its mobility and astonish the world with its capacity to disrupt artificial barriers. And I believe that we can repair the deviations we have sustained from an overconfident mission-mentality without needing to accommodate ourselves to the mores of globalization.

Read it all (it’s long, but very worthwhile).  However, there’s a whole ‘nother essay brewing in his final analysis:

Can this, realistically, be done? Can we disentangle our public life from the grasp of the new hierarchy of bureaucrats and, overseas, pull back from foreign-policy crusades? Can we, in short, recur successfully to our first principles?
Well, we did it once before[emphasis added]

And it’s getting to the point, I think, where we may have to do it the same way as the Founders did it.  As the man said: