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Jim Goad’s The New Church Ladies

[1]1,769 words

Jim Goad
The New Church Ladies: The Extremely Uptight World of “Social Justice” [2]
Stone Mountain, Georgia: Obnoxious Books, 2017

I’ve been enjoying Jim Goad’s work for years, and would even say that he has been an influence on my writing style. I laughed (and sometimes barfed) my way through ANSWER Me! Then, of course, there was The Redneck Manifesto [3], which may be Goad’s best writing, and Shit Magnet. And I always look forward to Goad’s regular column in Takimag [4]. If you are a fan then you will certainly enjoy Goad’s latest book, The New Church Ladies, in which he skewers exactly what the subtitle describes: “The Extremely Uptight World of Social Justice.”

Here one will find collected some fifty essays or vignettes in which Goad targets virtually every aspect of political correctness, with special emphasis on the intolerance of our modern apostles of tolerance. In other words, the totalitarianism and fanaticism of the current Left. This differs from the totalitarianism and fanaticism of the old Left, which was a lot cleaner. In days gone by, if you crossed certain lines in Left-wing regimes several physically imposing and very masculine secret policemen would arrest you, throw you in a cell, and electrocute your genitals, or send you off to the gulag.

There was no ambiguity there. No bad faith, no weasel words, and no tears (except from the guy getting his balls fried). No one talked about their feelings. The authorities messed you up, without first needing counseling and safe spaces to deal with the trauma of hearing your hurtful ideas. That system may have been evil, but at least it wasn’t gay. Now, by contrast . . . well, need I even draw the contrast? Now we deal with the tyranny of contemptible, androgynous, low testosterone weaklings who mainly attack us by trying to get us in trouble with our employers, or demonetizing our shoestring videos, or something like that. Now and then they screw up enough courage to physically attack us, but not before putting on masks and loading up on bear mace.

Goad does not, of course, just go after the tactics of the Left, or their hypocrisy. He also fearlessly refutes their absurd, and now almost thoroughly discredited ideology (so effectively it almost makes you think he is one of us — a point to which I will return later). In particular, he targets the pernicious myth of human equality [5]. Writes Goad:

If they sound like religious fanatics, it’s because that’s precisely what they are. There is no rational — and definitely no scientific — basis or evidence for a belief that all humans, either as individuals or in terms of average group abilities, are equal. All of the evidence suggests precisely the opposite. Since there is not the slightest evidence for human equality, it is nothing more than a belief in a myth that sounds nice and appeals to juvenile emotions.

More Goad heresies:

It’s one thing to be unwittingly brainwashed, yet quite another to assent to one’s brainwashing once it’s been made clear. These hateful little fuckers are defiantly brainwashed, and whether it’s cognitive dissonance or doublethink or pathological lying, they’ve made it impossible to rationally engage with them. Believe me, I’ve tried. For decades. Honestly. Foolishly.

I like learning about other religions, other languages, other music, other philosophies, and other traditions. But cramming them all together into smaller and smaller spaces isn’t going to create diversity. It’ll create conflict, endless hierarchical bitching about “rights” and who wins the Gold Medal for oppression, and worst of all — if anyone survives the conflict — it’ll create uniformity. It’ll actually destroy diversity. . . . It is, in fact, only a new form of colonialism. And if it gets its way, it will be the final form of colonialism.

To blindly chant “celebrate diversity” is akin to chanting “celebrate conflict.”

[The] term “racist” has come to mean “any white person who’s OK with being white” . . .

I believe that the term “rights” is a dubious concept . . . but the right to think differently should at least be as valuable as the right to engage in butt-sex without some mob of closeted jerkoffs clobbering you with baseball bats.

Is trying to destroy someone’s life because they think differently somehow better than not hiring them for being gay or black? If so, I’m not seeing it.

. . . Such are the delusions of “liberal creationism,” which posits that evolution is real, yet it somehow magically stopped the moment all the world’s diverse social groups arrived at the finish line simultaneously.

I also wonder what amount of black rage about slavery — and the subsequent never-ending campaign to shame white people about it — involves a deep-rooted shame over the fact that it was so easy to enslave them.

Pretty good, huh? Of course, there’s not a point here that would be news to any really seasoned Right winger, but this book will appeal even to those eldritch old ones just for its pithy way of putting forth truth. And this actually makes the book ideal for newcomers to the dissident underground — an ideal red pill. Especially the young ones. But it is also here that we run smack dab into one of the book’s biggest flaws: Goad’s prose wavers between magisterial brilliance and smirking, adolescent, self-conscious “cleverness.”

Consider this relatively mild example: “Take my friend ‘Joe,’ for example. His name may not really be ‘Joe,’ but to avoid potential lawsuits, let’s call him ‘Joe.’” A good editor would have taken up the red pen and whacked that down to “Take my friend ‘Joe,’ for example.” The rest is unfunny, kidlike self-indulgence. The trouble is that Goad doesn’t have a good editor. He doesn’t have anybody to tell him when his prose is too over-the-top, too self-consciously “clever.” This book, you see, is self-published. Hence not just the often flabby, straining-to-be-funny-and-outrageous prose, but the typos as well.

And what’s the deal with that title? “The Church Lady” was a character Dana Carvey created for Saturday Night Live in 1986. Very few people under forty will remember this. And Goad’s book is best enjoyed (whether he realizes this or not) by folks under forty. Even if “The Church Lady” character were a recent thing, this would still be a lousy title. Couldn’t Goad have come up with something better than this?

But it’s not his uneven writing style or his title that bother me the most. It’s Goad’s unpleasant and, quite frankly, immature nihilism and cynicism. Goad is very concerned in the present volume to make sure we understand that he is pretty much against everything and everyone. The pose here is that of an arch iconoclast who will not be labeled, coopted, or enlisted on anyone’s rolls. But I wonder if something a lot less admirable isn’t really going on here. You see, this book is full of (well-deserved) bile directed at black people, Muslims, gays, transgender oddballs, and other privileged groups of “victims.” In other words, Goad opens himself to being called a racist, and every other word in the book. But he has an out: when charged with being prejudiced against, say, blacks, he can respond that really he’s prejudiced against everyone.

Perhaps I’m being cynical myself, but I wonder if Goad’s tiresome, endlessly emphasized misanthropic nihilism isn’t somehow — at least subconsciously — a device (a very ineffective device) to shield himself from labels like “racist.” “Don’t group me with those Right-wing losers over there,” he seems to go saying. “I hate everyone, including the Nazis.” Ho hum.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

I’m fundamentally antisocial and never, ever, ever, ever, EVER go with the crowd, no matter what the crowd is.  (Translation: don’t identify me with those gnarly White Nationalists, with whom I am actually in complete agreement.)

I’m often portrayed as an impenitent and irredeemable “hater,” and it’s true that I hate many elements of human behavior — especially among groups rather than individuals — but I see such character flaws as somewhat equally distributed among all ethnicities and genders and sexual lifestyles. (Translation: please don’t label me as a racist, sexist, or homophobe and disrupt my peaceful life in Stone Mountain — because although, yes, I did say those bad things about blacks and women and gays, really that’s because I say bad things about EVERYONE.) 

[Goad addressing an anti-racist skinhead:] “That’s ludicrous!” I say, resentful that I even have to explain myself. “I’ll give you my books — you can see for yourself. I’ve never written anything remotely like that. My book The Redneck Manifesto is the most nonracist book in the world — it argues that class, not race, is what’s important.” (Methinks he doth protest too much — and what for? And why tell us the tale? Does he think this load of weasel-speak reflects well on him?) 

I believe all human beings, both individually and in groups, have a more or less equal potential to be assholes. If given the chance, they also have an equal potential to be noble. . . . Despite what you may wish, I honestly couldn’t give a fuck about your skin color, gender, or what you do with your genitals. (Zzzzzz . . . )

To whom are these protestations directed? Just who does Goad think his audience is? Who is he trying to convince? (Himself? The neighbors? Who?) What exactly is the psychology underlying this kind of “don’t pin me down and label me, I’m an equal opportunity hater” stuff? Goad himself may give us the answer on page 117, when he writes that “Among most humans, the need for social approval seems stronger than the desire to know the truth.”

One also senses that Goad’s “I hate everyone, so I don’t belong anywhere” pose is a way to forever avoid any real commitment to a cause. Such commitment would, of course, require that Goad drop the adolescent rebellion bit, grow up, and form real alliances with others who are trying to do some good by combating the evil that Goad often brilliantly savages. But everyone keeps telling me that he doesn’t play well with others. Too bad, because if Goad actually took stock of where he falls on almost every position he takes, he would be a real asset to the struggling, divided movement that is trying to save his people and his culture.

Despite these misgivings, which are obviously very serious, I can recommend The New Church Ladies. As I have said, it is an ideal introduction to many of our heresies, and will be a hoot for those who are already veteran heretics. What Brigitte Bardot said about sex is true of Jim Goad’s writing: when it’s good it’s really good, when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.