BREAKING: Rachel's tease, after Brian's confession!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2018

What chance mutation hath wrought:
She was stuck in the middle of two waves of clowning, one of them vile, when viewers were handed her tease.

She wanted viewers to stick around for the full hour this evening. This improves ratings, builds her prestige, and puts millions of dollars into her pants.

For that reason, she offered a tease she knew was untrue. The horrible star of corporate liberal "cable news" proceeded to tell viewers this:
MADDOW (8/16/18): Boy, has there been a lot of news today! The jury in the Paul Manafort case met for just over seven hours today before they ultimately broke off deliberations.

And they passed a note to the judge overseeing the case. There were four questions for the judge on that note.

We're going to get some expert advice in just a moment from somebody who used to be the lead federal prosecutor in that district—the former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. We're going to talk to that expert, the person who has had that experience, because seasoned prosecutors who know the district, who know the judge, they can sometimes look at moments like that with the jury asking questions, with those specific kinds of questions being asked, they can sometimes tell you what that might mean for how the trial is likely to turn out.

So we're going to have that coming up in just a few minutes. I am super-curious as to what somebody who might know would think about that development today with the jury today. So I'm looking forward to that.
That ardent tease was Grade A bullshit. But then, what else is new?

The segment Maddow teased that way wasn't scheduled to come up "in a minute," or even "in a few minutes." The corporate con man told us that to get us to stick around.

More significantly, Rachel knew that her expert guest, the sober and serious Chuck Rosenberg, wasn't going to "tell you what [those four questions] might mean for how the trial is likely to turn out." Even as Rachel convincingly told us that, she knew it wasn't true.

In fact, Rosenberg was going to tell "Rache" that you can't tell anything from the questions the jury had sent to the judge. Rachel knew that because Rosenberg had already said that, on Deadline: White House, at 4 o'clock that very same afternoon.

Duh. Rachel Maddow was conning us rubes in search of self-advancement. She'd already engaged in a slimy exchange in which she claimed that she'd been "just weeping at my desk all day long" over the death of Aretha Franklin.

She would proceed from there to her tease, then on to some time-wasting nonsense in which she staged one of her trademark dramatic readings of utter trivia from the transcript of the Manafort trial. Chuckling and grinning and playing the fool, she then moved in for the kill:
MADDOW: The judge in this case is like watching a parking lot where one person in the parking lot is trying to play bumper cars even though everybody is actually in a regular car. Like, what is he talking about?

"I have a boring dinner tonight. It's not even at a restaurant. You jurors might show up." What is he talking about?

I mean, I love court transcripts no matter what because I'm a dork. But I am honestly going to miss these Judge Ellis transcripts more than the rest when this is all over.
As usual, Rachel was talking about herself, her long-time favorite topic. (In fairness, someone finally got her to stop playing old videotape of herself.) But why did Rachel say what she did about her pitifully dorky self?

Applying the obvious bit of translation, "I love court transcripts no matter what because I'm a dork" was this con man's way of saying this:

"I engage in this stupid offbeat behavior because I'm more fey, and much smarter, than you are." In the language of humblebrag, that's what it means when players like Maddow say they're a dork, a geek or or a nerd.

In these ways, this disordered person was engaged in selling the car this past Thursday night. Before her hour was done, she would stage another pointless transcript reading, concluding, as always, with this:
MADDOW: By the way, here's something to look forward to. Today, Judge Ellis said he's actually going to make the jury's physical note a part of the public record. So we will get to see their note as well, which probably means I will act it out.
She'll probably act it out! As she has specifically told us, Rachel simply can't help herself. That said, this pose is all part of selling the car. It's also part of the ugly corporate process by which the world keeps getting dumbed down.

It's all about entertainment now. The next afternoon, near the start of Deadline: White House, a budding comedian entertained us like this:
WALLACE (8/17/18): John, I want to talk about a few of the names on that list, because—

HEILEMANN: Did you just call me, did you just call me "John?"

WALLACE: "Heilemann."

HEILEMANN: OK! Jesus, that was so weird. I was like looking around, wondering who is on remote called "John." It can't be me!

WALLACE: It's Friday in August. We've got 6-year-olds here.

HEILEMANN: I know. Can I point out, how do I know your child is here?

[SHOUT IS HEARD OFF-CAMERA]

I can hear Liam over there.

[HOLDS UP TOOTSIE ROLLS]

We've got Tootsie Rolls, it's TGIF. Just to be clear, that's how we're rollin' today.
For what it's worth, Heilemann has even begun to dress like Shecky Greene. Whether it's Morning Joe or Deadline: White House, he rarely appears on cable without some display of the comedy stylings on which he seems to be working.

His initial question to Wallace—Did you just call me John?—didn't exactly make obvious sense, except as a gateway to all the hilarity. As for Wallace, she laughed and laughed as she constantly does was on this group chorale program.

To appearances, Wallace hasn't had this much fun since her beloved Bush Admin was forced to stop torturing everyone it managed to capture. Her happy hour/propaganda show is constantly built around gales of laughter—laughter and lots of group fun with the folk she describes as "our friends."

(In fairness to Heilemann, he'd never heard that his partner, Halperin, was engaged in all that sexual conduct. Mika hadn't heard it either! We want to make these points clear!)

This is the swill we liberals are sold on "cable news" in this, the era which has followed our 25 years of group silence. The suits who run our own corporate channel make sure that we're endlessly entertained and amused by our very best cable news friends.

We hear nothing on our shows except standard reactions to only one topic, The Chase. This is the channel we've chosen.

Maddow is so deep in the weeds of the Manafort trial that you can't see the boondocks from there. She keeps staging her pointless dramatic readings, then says she just can't help it.

Occasionally, glimmers of life outside the cave manage to slip through the cracks. On the evening before Rachel claimed that she'd been weeping all day long, Brian took sixty seconds near the end of his hour to let us know what we're being shielded from as this profit-based gong show rolls on.

In one brief moment, Brian pulled the curtain back from the corporate swill all around:
WILLIAMS (8/15/18): Before we get to a break, the Trump administration has corrected a number we brought to you on last night`s broadcast. We mentioned it during the course of our update about the 559 migrant children still separated from their families because of the Trump administration's so-called zero tolerance policy at the border.

We further told you that federal officials have been unable to connect five of those children to any known parents. That figure came from the Trump administration and today, they issued a correction of their own math. It turns out there are 26 migrant children in U.S. custody for whom the government has been unable to connect in any way with the parents or family members who might have brought them here.

Now, another break.
Brian devoted a handful of seconds to this astounding misconduct by the federal government. That said, you don't hear about this astounding misconduct on Maddow's show. She's too busy saying that she was weeping all day, followed by pointless public readings which she stupidly says she can't stop.

She only does it because she's a dork—and because she and her owners correctly assume that we're just a bunch of marks.

These are repulsive corporate players, engaged in repulsive behavior. It's hard to list the many topics they skip so they can entertain us full-time with The Chase, a winning topic from the standpoint of propaganda, entertainment and ratings.

The Chase is a winning topic! For that reason, you won't heard about those 559 children from Maddow, who long ago went out of control. She's too busy entertaining us and, most important, helping us learn the best ways to adore her most fully.

Those children don't count on this cable channel. Neither do the school kids of L.A., who we'll discuss next week.

We don't hear, on our cable channel, that many whole states have higher readings of lead exposure than Flint ever did. You won't hear about kids in Appalachia whose parents can't afford to take them to the dentist.

You won't see the data on the costs of American health care. You won't hear about any of these topics because these corporate con men don't care, and because their corporate owners want these topics suppressed.

All such topics are disappeared. They talk about the tweets of Trump, along with endlessly pointless piddle from Manafort's trial.

The past performance of people like Maddow and Williams helps explain why Donald J. Trump currently sits in the White House. The same is true pf Lawrence, who topped Rachel Thursday night on the subject of Aretha, letting us know that he saved the napkin from one of her birthday parties.

The analysts choked and gagged, flashing back to his recollections concerning his friend, "Greg Peck." More appallingly, Lawrence pandered to tribal pities last Thursday night with a long recollection of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The gruesome con man who helped elect Trump started out like this:
O'DONNELL (8/9/18): On this very day, August 9th, exactly four years ago at 12:01 p.m., 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot six times and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer. Michael Brown was unarmed, at least 100 feet away from the police officer, and incapable of harming the police officer when the officer began firing at Michael Brown.

As the bullets hit Michael Brown, rendering him completely helpless, the officer decided to continue to fire. Michael Brown was hit with six bullets, including one in the head, to stop what was obviously a nonexistent threat, especially after the first bullet hit Michael Brown.

Ferguson, Missouri police left Michael Brown's body on the street where he fell for four hours on this day four years ago and the people in Ferguson rose up in protest...
Before he was done, Lawrence even cited Eric Holder by name. He failed to report the fact that Holder's Justice Department published a formal report saying that every shot fired that day had been justified.

We have no particular view on that finding, but we do know it occurred. Holder specifically said he agreed with that formal report. Lawrence didn't want to tell you that on this propagandistic occasion.

(Holder's report also addressed the delay in body removal.)

These are terrible corporate players. Chance mutations, long ago, may help explain why they behave as they do.

They serve us the bullshit they know we'll swallow. As they pleasure us in these ways, those 559 children rate maybe a minute near the end of Brian's program.

Next week: Some things we won't hear on cable, not even from our best cable news friends!

ROCKMAKERS: Professors engaged in the making of rocks!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018

Part 5—Potent heuristic holds:
A growing consensus has been reinforced in today's Washington Post.

The growing consensus concerns Bally's 1967 pinball machine, RockMakers, which has sometimes been described as "Wittgenstein's pinball machine."

The iconography of the machine portrayed a group of primitive humanoids whose lives were wholly devoted to the making of rocks. The later Wittgenstein began his puzzling magnum opus, Philosophical Investigations, with an otherwise puzzling passage which is now widely believed to have served as a prediction that Bally would produce some such machine:
WITTGENSTEIN (1953): Let us imagine a language for which the description given by Augustine is right. The language is meant to serve for communication between a builder A and an assistant B. A is building with building-stones: there are blocks, pillars, slabs and beams. B has to pass the stones, and that in the order in which A needs them. For this purpose they use a language consisting of the words "block", "pillar","slab", "beam". A calls them out;—B brings the stone which he has learnt to bring at such-and-such a call.——Conceive this as a complete primitive language.
Conceive this as a complete primitive language? Or should we conceive it as a harbinger of an instructive pinball machine?

"It's fairly clear what Wittgenstein was imaginably predicting," one unnamed international expert has recently thoughtfully said. According to a growing consensus to which the international expert referred, Bally produced its RockMakers machine in an attempt to advance the ideas which comprise the "Harari heuristic," a powerful portrait of "human" nature which has emerged from Professor Harari's 2011 best-seller, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

The heuristic is now widely seen as an attack on the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who is widely said to have said that humans are "the rational animal." Aristotle also claimed that all matter was made of five elements, including "the heavenly aether."

The latter claim has been widely disputed in high school chemistry classes. But so what? Aristotle's reputation just keeps rolling along!

According to the growing consensus, the Harari heuristic upends the paradigmatic view according to which we humans keep viewing and describing ourselves as fundamentally "rational."

Instead, Professor Harari has said, our species came to dominated the globe due to chance mutations which gave us two new abilities: the ability to "gossip," and the ability to invent and affirm sweeping, absurd group "fictions." Harari's attack on the primacy of rationality has been powerfully reinforced in this morning's Post.

The report in question was written by science reporter Carolyn Y. Johnson. In hard copy, it appears beneath an innocuous headline—an innocuous headline which disguises its true intention and import, according to several observers:
Study: Children can be swayed by robot peer pressure
Children can be swayed by robots? Hold on there! Not so fast!

On its face, Johnson's report concerns a study which holds that children will follow the advice of robots even when the robots are giving absurdly bad advice. The headline, and the accompanying photo, give the impression that Johnson is challenging the rational skills of the young.

Soon, though, the clever reporter switches her field of view. She does so with this naked rejection of everything the masterful Aristotle has ever been said to have said:
JOHNSON (8/17/18): “Children are known to suspend disbelief,” said Anna-Lisa Vollmer, a researcher at Bielefeld University in Germany, who led the study. “Rather than seeing a robot as a machine consisting of electronics and plastic, they see a social character. This might explain why they succumb to peer pressure by the robots.”

But that doesn't mean adults aren't susceptible to robot groupthink. Joanna Bryson, a computer scientist at the University of Bath, said she'd like to see the experiment repeated with a set of taller, more adultlike robots to assess whether adults were still able to withstand the social pressure from robots that looked more like peers. She also argued that while adults may not be tricked by the explicit answers of a robot, they might be more influenced by the robots' actions.

“Implicitly, if the robots all started going toward the exit in the theater, a bunch of humans would follow them without thinking about it,” Bryson said.
In that clever transition passage, Johnson switches her attention from the young and toward their equally pitiful elders. "To get such controversial material published, you pretty much have to play it that way," one leading scholar in the field of journalistic switchery said.

We adults are susceptible to robot groupthink too? Having skillfully floated that supposition, Johnson moves in for a deeply embarrassing kill. Prepare to wake from our tribal dream, to see idols turn to clay:
JOHNSON (continuing directly): Wagner's previous research suggests that's true—even if the robots are demonstrably incompetent. In an experiment testing robots in emergency evacuation scenarios, people were guided to a room by a robot that half the time bungled its navigation, getting lost on the way there. As the people completed a survey in the room, smoke filled the hallway outside and a smoke detector went off. The study subjects left the room and had to decide whether to follow the exit sign back the way they entered the building—or follow the robot.

The researchers were surprised to find that the people universally followed the robot, even if it had initially brought them to the wrong room and spun in circles.

In follow-up experiments, researchers went so far as to tell the participants that the robot was broken or program it to behave in ways that appeared to be clearly malfunctioning. Most participants still followed it in an emergency. In one trial, they even had the broken robot suggest that people evacuate by entering a dark room blocked by a piece of furniture, with no visible sign of an exit. Most stuck with the robot instead of following the exit signs to leave the way they entered.
Even if it spun in circles! How dumb do those kids look now?

At any rate, experts in journalistic code switching largely agree about Johnson's intention in conveying these awkward facts. According to these authority figures, Johnson's examples are actually meant to describe the way the modern liberal swallows the guff of propagandistic hosts on such corporate "cable news" channels as MSNBC and CNN.

("Did you watch the start of Rachel's program last night?" one weary scholar asked us this morning. "Did you catch the mugging and clowning about the haircuts last week?")

At any rate:

Through the use of Harari's heuristic, a growing number of scholars are asking American citizens to rethink the basic nature of our floundering nation's failing public discourse. But due to the angry reactions of gossip- and fiction-driven subscribers, they must perform their analyses samizdat-style, as Johnson has done today.

Meanwhile, how sub-rational are liberal and progressive elites at this point in time? "Force yourself to watch the professors!" one weary dissenter cried.

Reporting from deep inside a dank, moldy cave where she hides from true believers, this former professor called attention to this front-page news report from Tuesday's New York Times.

"Ignore the apparent ludicrous conduct of Professor Ronell," this scholar advised, her body language suggesting early-onset catatonia. "Focus instead on the behavior of the progressive professors who rushed to say that the rules don't count when it comes to one of Our Own."

Our correspondent compared this conduct to that which occurred in the recent flap about Sarah Jeong's three million tweets, which liberals instantly learned to describe as "satirical," "humorous," "parodic" and "plainly The Other Guy's fault."

Our correspondent stressed the fact that she wasn't criticizing Jeong herself, who was very young at the time and seemed to have been suffering from the stress which can be created by modern pseudo-progressive dogmatics. Instead, she pointed to the instant reactions of other liberals and progressives, in which the liberal/progressive tribe invented an instant group narrative according to which unfortunate conduct can only be attributed to Them, never to Us.

That was the Harari heuristic in action, this former professor alleged. The modern liberal is expert at pinning yellow stars on the blouses of Others while reflexively conferring glory on Us.

As a general matter, how well do modern progressive professors function? This correspondent suggested that we consider the recent case which produced this pair of headlines at New York magazine's Daily Intelligencer blog:
A Study Says That 24 Million Americans Have Alt-Right Beliefs. What Does that Number Mean?
A new study suggests that 12 percent of white Americans pass a test for adherence to white identity politics. That’s a lot of people.
The piece appeared last Friday afternoon. One week later, that headline remains, this scholar said, even though it was blatantly wrong even when it was posted, thanks to a correction by the author of the study.

We asked this scholar to flesh out her claims about the bungled study in question, and about the bungled way it was reported, first at Vox, then at New York magazine.

The matter involves a comedy of errors so lengthy that we've decided largely to skip it. It also involves a portrait of a deep desire within our endlessly war-like species—the endless desire to loathe The Others, to pin yellow stars on their shirts.

Professor Hawley, who's very young, made a large computational error in the course of producing his study. (Oof. Click here, see Editor's Note.) That said, before Hawley made his very large error, he'd designed a study which goes to the heart of the endless desire to stereotype and to loathe.

After Hawley's study appeared, a reporter at Vox made a large conceptual error in the course of reporting its findings. A reporter at New York noted Vox's conceptual error, but so what? He went ahead with Hawley's and Vox's bungled numbers, which remain uncorrected, for all to see, at New York's site today.

This is the way progressive professors and journalists play the game, our international expert said. All praise to the people at Bally, she said. They understood that we need a new way to understand who and what we rock-makers actually are.

Again, the basic chronology:

Hawley's study was crap from Day One. But thanks to an embarrassing mathematical error, he produced a thoroughly bogus number: 12 percent of non-Hispanic whites would soon be joining the Klan.

At Vox, they proceeded to make a second, conceptual error. This let them invent another bogus number: 24 million people ought to wear yellow stars!

That triply-bogus number survives today at New York. It's the product of two different mistakes, applied to a study which was conceptual crap from the start.

That bogus number—24 million people!—had been corrected at Vox before it ever appeared at New York. (Vox bumped it down to a still-bogus 11 million.) That said, no one actually cares about matters like this. For that reason, that triply-bogus number remains on-line at New York.

No one cares about matters like this! As the Harari heuristic helps us see, it's group "fictions" all the way down, thanks to some ancient chance mutations which didn't make us smarter or wiser.

Thanks to our species' investment in fictions, we liberals cling to our guns and our religion—our deeply held religious beliefs concerning Them, never Us.

Final point: Would Americans adults really defer to a malfunctioning robot?

We'll answer your question with one of our own: Did you catch Rachel last night?

Tomorrow: Rachel's "open"

BREAKING: Data from the Los Angeles schools!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2018

Is there a need for reform:
A column in yesterday's New York Times seemed to call for "reform" in the Los Angeles public schools.

The author complained about the role played by charter schools in L.A. In his column, he said that Los Angeles (the Los Angeles Unified School District) has "abandoned integration as the chief mechanism of school reform and embraced charter schools instead."

A boxed headline said this:
Charter schools make it possible to avoid the hard work of integration
According to the puzzling column, 154,000 students attend charter schools in Los Angeles. Total enrollment in the district seems to stand at something resembling 620,000. For official figures, click here.

Based upon his remarks, the author seems to feel that "integration," whatever that is supposed to mean in this context, should stand as "the chief mechanism of school reform" in L.A. This is the kind of lofty piddle the New York Times loves to publish.

Such columns signal the moral greatness of the great folk at the New York Times. Such columns reinforce Times readers in the silly belief that we are the good, caring people.

We don't quite see it that way. In our view, yesterday's column seems to show how little attention the New York Times has ever p[aid to the realities of low-income/minority public school education. The Times is extremely good at the con. The newspaper is an uncaring mess when it comes to everything else.

Is there room for reform in L.A.? Presumably, yes there is. Much more than that, there's a crying need for reform at the New York Times, and all across our self-impressed liberal world.

Is there a need for reform in L.A.? Just for once, we thought it might be interesting to examine some basic data when this louse-ridden newspaper swells itself up and peddles swill of this type to the base. Tomorrow, we'll show you recent data from the Los Angeles public schools—scores in Grade 8 math.

We'll also revisit the demographic figures we showed you in yesterday's post. At some point, we'll ask a basic question:

Why should anyone pay any attention to anything which appears in the New York Times? Beyond that, why should anyone have an ounce of respect for our larger sad pitiful tribe?

Please excuse us for now. We want to catch the rest of this afternoon's Dateline: Corporate Chorale.

ROCKMAKERS: Anguished "Whitey" seeks help from "the Sugars!"

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2018

Part 4—When tribal dogma attacks:
The inanity of the New York Times provides a daily anthropology lesson, though only for those who are willing to know who and what we humans are

The "Harari heuristic" lights the way toward what we can expect to find when our species records its deathless insights. According to the professor's now-famous heuristic, we probably shouldn't look for "rational" conduct from our kind.

Instead, we should look for "gossip," and for evidence of the invention and adoption of sweeping group "fictions." So this heuristic now says.

The gossip is offered in today's Washington Post, whose web site pimps a hard-copy front-page report with this deathless grabber:
WASHINGTON POST SYNOPSIS: The Conways, like the rest of the country, have been jolted by the [sic] President Trump. They love each other, exasperate each other and talk behind each other’s backs. Take a look inside the marriage of one of Trump’s most loyal advisers and her husband, an increasingly outspoken critic of the president.
A look inside Kellyanne's marriage! So cool! Also, so in line with the potent Harari heuristic!

The Post is providing the gossip. But if it's sheer inanity you want, we'll recommend the New York Times' hard-copy page A3, which features Jason Zinoman's take on a recent claim by Jerry Seinfeld—a claim which "is more radical than it appears, worth mulling over and also, on some level, deeply true."

Background:

At some point, the New York Times made a fateful decision. It decided to treat stand-up comedy as an "art form."

Inevitably, this meant that the paper would have to treat practitioners of this art form as "artists."

Personally, we'd recommend avoiding the term "artist" altogether, except in its most literal traditional sense, in which a sculptor is referred to as a "sculptor" and a painter is perhaps called an "artist."

(Under this restrictive regimen, singers would be referred to as "singers." Actors would be referred to as "actors.")

That said, the Times' decision to extend the term "artist" to stand-up comedians has created a wealth of unintentional humor. Zinoman is the fellow they chose to advance this brave new regime.

If you don't have today's hard-copy Times, you can go to Zinoman's Twitter account to ponder Seinfeld's idea, which is more radical than people think and also deeply true. Prepare to think of Harari's heuristic, which tends to undercut the old misstatement about members of our species being "rational animals."

(Seinfeld's radical idea, as quoted by Zinoman: "People assume that when you say something that you believe it. It’s purely comedic invention. You know, I do this whole bit about Pop-Tarts and how much I love them. I don’t love Pop-Tarts. It’s just funny. It’s funny to say it, so I say it." Presumably, you can see what we mean about unintentional humor, and about the obvious relevance of the Harari heuristic.)

The sheer inanity of the Times is a daily anthropology lesson. This afternoon, we'll flesh out the data behind our post about yesterday's op-ed column, the column which advanced a key, if unintelligible, aspect of current tribal dogma, a latter-day form of group fiction.

As our nation slides toward the sea, we liberals have been inventing, and clinging to, new sets of tribal dogma. (They represent our floundering tribe's version of "guns and religion.")

The pain such dogma can produce is joined, in today's New York Times, to a stunning example of the newspaper's world-class, relentless inanity. The pain is found in an alleged letter from an alleged reader who allegedly wrote under the pseudonym "Whitey."

If this alleged person really exists, he or she—we'll go with "she"—didn't write her letter as a "letter to the editor." Instead, she sent her letter to one of the Times' three million advice columns. Specifically, we refer to the column called The Sweet Spot, a weekly column in Thursday Styles written by a pair of clowns who fashion themselves as "the Sugars."

In our view, the Sugars should be ashamed of themselves with every breath they take. For today, though, let's start with "Whitey," the letter writer, who may or may not exist.

If Whitey exists, she's a college student—and a possible victim of new and intense tribal dogmas. In the grip of genuine anguish, she decided to turn to "the Sugars" for help.

Hard-copy headline included, her letter starts like this:
Shedding the Cloak of White Guilt

Dear Sugars,

I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color.
I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.

I consider myself an ally. I research proper etiquette, read writers of color, vote in a way that will not harm P.O.C. (and other vulnerable people). I engage in conversations about privilege with other white people. I take courses that will further educate me. I donated to Black Lives Matter. Yet I fear that nothing is enough. Part of my fear comes from the fact that privilege is invisible to itself. What if I’m doing or saying insensitive things without realizing it?
"Dear Sugars!" That's what it actually says!

Did some actual person actually write that letter? If so, the writer is a young person—a college student—who needs and deserves some actual help from some actual person, not from a couple of con men like the Sugars.

Her letter continues as shown below. In best advice column style, it's actually signed that way—"Whitey:"
Another part of it is that I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in. My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white. I know who I am, but I realize how people perceive me and this perception feels unfair.

I don’t talk about my feelings because it’s hard to justify doing so while people of color are dying due to systemic racism and making this conversation about me would be again centering whiteness. Yet bottling it up makes me feel an existential anger that I have a hard time channeling since I don’t know my place. Instead of harnessing my privilege for greater good, I’m curled up in a ball of shame. How can I be more than my heritage?

Whitey
If this alleged letter writer really exists, we'd say she deserves some actual help from someone who isn't a pseudo-journalistic clown.

Instead, she's handed large piles of steaming hot cant by the Sugars, who recite aspects of current tribal dogma, a form of "fiction" to which our liberal tribe currently clings.

(You can hear the dogmas recited all day all over anti-Trump cable. Quite routinely, this is done by people who never showed the slightest sign of racial involvement until it became a requirement starting a few years ago.)

If you can stomach their level of self-satisfaction and gross indifference, you can read the advice of the Sugars yourself. But this is a form of tribal cant which the New York Times currently traffics.

The op-ed column in yesterday's Times bowed low to one of our favorite tribal fictions—a fiction in which we pretend that we're invested in the search for racial justice. We've invented an amazing array of dogmas in this general area, which every establishment pundit has skillfully learned to recite.

Does Whitey really exist? If so, she seems to be one of the many people who are suffering under the strain of this sub-rational bit of performance art, in which people announce they belong to the tribe through their recitation of an array of mandated, facile group fictions.

This afternoon, we'll flesh out that topic a bit more fully. For now, you can read the appalling work of a shameless pair of Sugars. Is there anything we rational animals aren't willing to do to get hired by the glorious Times?

Tomorrow: Defending the professor