Listen Up Normies, Your World is Ending
I’m still trying to understand the pussy hat. I’m familiar with Trump’s grab ’em by the pussy remark, and I understand that pussy might also refer to a cat. So, ok, a pink hat that vaguely suggests cat ears. But what the fuck does it mean to wear such a hat? Best I can figure it’s a way of showing membership in something like Team Pussy. Fair enough. Still, the symbolic logic hurts my head.
Even more so, the EW’s latest cover, which joins together in a single image the Ferguson protests (where the young Black man killed by police had supposedly put his hands up before being shot) and the protests in response to mass school shootings, most recently in Parkland. These things are only connected in what we might call the High Meta. In the high meta, the protest is really about not simply the existence of guns, but the way the force of arms has determined the very shape of the social world we live in.
As I began to realize some time ago, we tend to interpret the world as a validation of whatever we already believe, and dramatic/traumatic events particularly so. Thus, the distillation represented in the Weekly’s cover image, which joins together topics – excessive use of force by police on “black and brown” Americans, and mass school shootings – that are widely separated.
In this intersectional essence, as an image of some merging of motifs in the high meta, the cover suggests these latest protests aren’t really about “sensible restrictions on gun ownership”, but are instead one facet of an ongoing rejection of the structure of American society, whose inherent violence is expressed both in the murder of unarmed Black people by cops and the murder of students in schools. As these murders are both intimately connected with the legal reality of the 2nd Amendment, the problem is rooted in the fundamental social and legal structure of America itself.
Trump was widely criticized among the normies for asking, in response to protestors intent on tearing down Confederate statues, whether statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be next. If you can take your pussy hat off for a moment, you might be able to admit that this was a sensible question. Despite the lackadaisical haze that has long blanketed Normieville, the White hetero-normative patriarchy we know as “America” has long been deconstructed, with its component parts tagged for consignment to the dustbin of history.
These latest protests are not about something so limited as “sensible gun regulation”, as Cameron Kasky’s March For Our Lives speech makes clear, if not quite explicit. Kasky’s the kid who was fond, in the days after the shooting, of declaring that “you’re either with us or against us.” Even though he makes a couple specific references to sensible regulation, his overarching rhetoric points, in general and specific, to revolution. “Today,” he declares, “is a bad day for tyranny and corruption.” It is the beginning of “a bright new future.” It’s hard to imagine how sensible gun regulation such as the banning of large capacity magazines could bring this about.
This gets back to Jordan Peterson’s essential critique of what he might call post-modern, neo-marxist, social justice warriors. In short, young people are being taught to mistake the suffering inherent to existence with the failures of their particular society, and so come to fanatically believe that their youthful inability to accept reality is a revolutionary act in service to the truest good.