FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2022
The Washington Post plainly is: Apparently, Vladimir Putin believes in something called passionarity.
We're prepared to make an admission; we'd never heard of passionarity until this very morning. David Brooks describes the "crackpot" concept in this part of his latest column:
BROOKS (3/18/22): “I believe in passionarity, in the theory of passionarity,” Putin declared last year. He continued: “We have an infinite genetic code.” Passionarity is a theory created by the Russian ethnologist Lev Gumilyov that holds that each nation has its own level of mental and ideological energy, its own expansionary spirit. Putin seems to believe Russia is exceptional on front after front and “on the march.” This kind of crackpot nationalism deludes people into pursuing ambitions far beyond their capacity.
In fairness to the very smart Putin, that's a somewhat slender description of "the theory of passionarity." That said, Brooks refers to the theory as a type of "crackpot nationalism," and we'll guess that it probably is.
According to Brooks, passionarity is a type of crackpot theory which is capable of deluding people. That said, if we want to be perfectly honest for once, there's a lot of crackpot ideation floating around, at the present time, within our own badly flawed, flailing tribe.
According to Brooks, Putin is currently being deluded by one type of crackpot theoretics. We know of no particular reason to doubt that claim.
That said, our own liberal / progressive tribe has been building its own structure of crackpot ideation in recent years. One iconic example surfaced again just yesterday morning, receiving high visibility on the Washington Post's web site.
The report in question hasn't yet appeared in print editions of the Post. We'll guess that it will appear in print tomorrow, or in Sunday's editions.
We say that because the lengthy report in question is the fruit of a detailed project by the Post. It's part of the peculiar posture our tribe has adopted, in the past dozen years, regarding matters of race.
In a rational world, Manual Roig-Franzia's report would be hard to fathom. Once again, he and the Post have undertaken the sacralized project of reimagining the unfortunate shooting death of Trayvon Martin, who was just 17 at the time.
You can see why we use the term "sacralized" in Roig-Franza's opening paragraphs. For today, we'll merely note a few of the deeply disordered ways Roig-Franzia has shaped this sacred tribal text.
Is Vladimir Putin "a little bit nutty?" Frighteningly, it well may be that he is.
Journalistically, though, Roig-Franzia is almost totally out of his mind. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and our self-impressed liberal tribe is increasingly the home of crackpots when we deal with matters of race.
Roig-Franzia's account of Martin's death qualifies as borderline crazy.
He opens with the Skittles, with played no role in the unfortunate events which occurred. He then starts sacralizing the hoodie, which played no known role in the events of that night.
Incredibly, he misstates the reason why Martin, who lived in Miami, was in Sanford, Florida on the night in question. In doing so, he joins a parade of others, not excluding the hapless staffer who composed this copy for Oprah:
WINFREY (2/26/22): Trayvon’s story shook me. Along with the volumes of cases of police brutality and deaths of innocent Black women and men, the unjustified violence inflicted on a 17-year-old kid just walking down the street in his father’s neighborhood hit a particular chord within many of us.
Oprah was shaken by the story—but not so shaken that she was able to clearly state where Martin was that night.
As you can see below, Roif-Franzia bungles that basic fact too. Perhaps most astounding is the statement we highlight here:
ROIG-FRANZIA (3/17/22): Martin was shot to death on Feb. 26, 2012 while walking through a community called the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, a north-central Florida city where he’d gone from Miami for a few days to visit his father. He’d gone to a convenience store and was returning to a townhouse where he’d been that night with his father, Tracy Martin, and his father’s fiancee.
He was spotted by a neighborhood watch volunteer named George Zimmerman, who called 911.
“This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something,” Zimmerman said.
He also made note of what Trayvon Martin was wearing: a hoodie.
Zimmerman had a gun. A Kel-Tec PF9 9mm handgun. He gave chase. Later, Zimmerman would say there’d been a struggle. There was a single gunshot. Martin was dead.
Had Martin gone to Sanford "to visit his father?" Not really, no. For the record, he only mentioned the hoodie when the dispatcher asked him what Martin was wearing. The claim that the hoodie was a key player came from the Crump legal team.
Having said that, good grief! Zimmerman said there had been a struggle? Novelization that vast is an insult to every American, but also serves as a lasting tribute to human mental disorder.
(With respect to the fact that the Post would actually publish that statement, what can a sane person say?)
As he continues, Roig-Franzia says this incident came to be seen as "another example, among far too many, of a young Black man gunned down." As he says that, he has left open the possibility that no struggle ever occurred at all—that that was just Zimmerman's claim!
We're told that Zimmerman's mother was from Peru, but we're never told that there actually was a fight, or about what seems to have been happening when Martin was "gunned down." This is crackpot tribal novelization—cracked pottery all the way down.
We didn't expect to be knocked off course this week by this astounding report. That said, the near insanity of this report is highly instructive, and should be a point of concern.
Vladimir Putin may be a bit nutty. Because he controls an array of nuclear weapons, everyone should be concerned.
Roig-Franzia may be even crazier than Putin is. He has his hands on the levers of a powerful mainstream press corps. Because our tribe devours the novels which emerge from that guild, we should be deeply concerned.
When it comes to matters of race, ours is a tribe of frightened children. Every incident must be transformed into a childish cartoon.
All the experts say the same thing—there's no point trying to lay this out. But just for the record, few complaints will be left behind—and none will be left unembellished.
There's no point trying to lay this out. Our brains are wired to function this way. Few rational animals walk the Earth. According to major disconsolate experts, it's Storyline, and novelization, pretty much all the way down!