Fun fact: while I was working at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, I would occasionally pitch in and edit a few pieces in the features section. One of them was a video-game review by this guy named Vox Day. Another fun fact: when I was writing for AOL in the late 90s, John Scalzi was my editor. So I've had tangential connections to both people on the absolute ends of the GamerGate spectrum. I've followed both as the years went on. The best thing about criticizing either is that neither cares a whit.

Heatstreet published an conversation between Vox and Louise Mensch about the alt-right. Vox had attacked Cathy Young for saying something; Mensch thought it was a regrettable flaming of an ally.

Vox Day: First of all, let me point out that, in terms of feminism, Cathy Young committed something that is, in the eyes of the alt-right a … A significant error of the sort that removes any right to avoid criticism. She, very very publicly, and very very vehemently, attacked . . .

Does it matter who, or why, or what? If you don't fall in line, and accept the unassailable quality of a person or thing or idea, nothing you did before matters at all, and it's into the shredder head-first. But just out of curiousity, who did she attack?

. . . Ann Coulter.

Oh. Note that well: disagreeing with Ann Coulter publicly and vehemently is disqualifying. Presumably you are allowed to disagree with 2012 Ann Coulter, who was an enthusiastic Mitt Romney supporter, but not the modern iteration.

Louise Mensch: Well Ann Coulter’s been … I mean, you know, please, she attacks herself. She’s been attacked by me and others. She’s said some rabidly anti-Semitic things, about the Jews etc. So …

Vox Day: I don’t think Ann Coulter’s reasonably said anything that can be considered anti-Semitic.

Louise Mensch: How many goddamn Jews do they think there are in America, that kind of thing.

Vox Day: There’s a difference between … Anti-Semitism, in its historic form, means hatred of Jews.

Louise Mensch: Yes.

Vox Day: And there’s a huge difference between hating Jews and wondering why the hell everyone is babbling about them, again, when the subject really has nothing to do with them.

Louise Mensch: Well in this case Ann Coulter used the words “Jews.” “How many goddamn Jews does he think there are in America,” quote unquote.

Vox Day: Well yeah, because ..polls show Americans think that 33% of Americans are gay.

We seem to have drifted far afield from "Goddamn Jews," no?

Louise Mensch: … because you said basically you owe no loyalty to Cathy Young despite an extraordinarily long time defending Gamergate in general, or Gamergate in particular I should say and men in general from the false persecution of the bating fauxminist movement.

Now she insulted your girl Coulter – by the way, I consider Coulter as something lower than the stuff I find to scrape off my shoes – and all of a sudden, you more or less said that she deserves all the anti-Semitism that she gets.

Vox Day: No, what I’m saying is that Cathy Young has made it necessary for people to choose between her and Ann Coulter, and people like Milo and I made it very clear that we choose Ann. That’s all.

It's one or the other, and the detection of ideological impurity means you have to choose and cast out the apostate, all antecedents thrown to the wind like chaff. Cathy was wrongthink and hence nonperson; CHOOSE. That is all.

This is useful for making sure that everyone's on the same page, but eventually you end up with a cadre where dissent is self-suppressed, because no one wants to speak up and say "hey, no, that's not right." Because then you're out. And where would you go after that?

Louise Mensch: So basically, I’m looking at it here now, so this is the tweet, it’s 17th of September 2015. And Coulter says, “How many fucking Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” That’s on her. There’s really nobody who’s brought it up except her, that’s her.

Vox Day: But that sounds like a response to something, to me, and I don’t know what it’s a response to.

Louise Mensch: The debate.

Vox Day: Yeah, I didn’t watch the debate. (Laughs)

I guess what I don’t understand is … I don’t think that using the term “fucking Jews” indicates that you hate them. I think that it sounds to me very exasperated, like why are we … For example, you read the New York Times, right?

Fucking blacks. Fucking Hispanics. Fucking gays. Fucking Muslims. Do I sound exasperated? He continues:

Vox Day: Every time I forget that your background being British, you wouldn’t have grown up reading it. Anyhow, the thing is that for the average American, who doesn’t live in New York City, we simply do not understand why the media is constantly discussing Jews. It makes no sense to us. When I was growing up in Minnesota, I did not know a single Jewish person.

I know people older than him who had the same experience, or lack of, and they never miss an opportunity to point out that someone's Jewish, no matter how irrelevant it is. He's Jewish, you know. It means something. They're just not sure what, but it bears mentioning.

Here's the thing: if it doesn't seem to me as if "the media is constantly discussing Jews," it might be because it's not something I'm looking for.

If I was, I might. I might see Jews everywhere.

What follows is interesting, as Vox makes a case that he has been sufficiently vetted and found not anti-Semitic. But. It's one thing to say you don't care what people say and refuse to be tarred by association - I get that . It's another provide a vessel through which anti-Semitism courses, and I've read his site and its comments. The latter range from sarcastic sorta-mocking anti-Jew sneers to that wry, realistic tone of someone who knows what's really up in this world, and how you can't say it because of PC, which is fine, which is fine. All you sheeple enjoy your mudperson world. I'll be over here at this other site with the realists.

Now the thorny part:

Louise Mensch: So you’re saying that your re-tweeting of a guy who is racist is OK as long as you don’t re-tweet specifically racist things that he says?

Vox Day: I wouldn’t say OK, I would say that it is not racist to re-tweet non-racist things from a racist. Well I’ll go further ...

Because there's no one else in the wide world to give some oxygen, I guess.


Vox Day: But it’s not … First of all there’s two things: Number one, what I call Holocaustianity, is a secular religion in the United States, is preached by the media. And, we’ve all been … Every kid who’s grown up in the US has been subjected to it.

Ah. Subjected.

. . . And, what you’re seeing, with a lot of the various anti-Semitic themes and memes and all that sort of thing, is basically a rebellion against that.

You can judge a person by the things against which they rebel, and I think we all agree that in the big long list of grievances in this fallen world, growing up subjected to a three days in high school history about the Holocaust is top of the list.

The reason those wacky kids tweet hook-nose Jew pix and photos of a gas oven with a trail of dollar bills leading to the door? They don't care. Really?

Vox Day: I know they don’t. I know they don’t. I went around as asked a bunch of teenagers, and on a scale of one to ten, they rated the Holocaust a one.

What was the question? If you asked me how I feel personally affected by the Holocaust, it would be about a one. Because I am not personally affected. But I care, because it's a defining event of the 20th century. How important is it to remember it? Ten. Ten because it shows what the State can do. Ten because it shows where tribalism and race-hatred and Jew-hatred lead. Ten because it shows how a rational, cultured people can go off the rails entirely, except for the ones they build to the death camps. Ten because it shows how nationalism can curdle into the smelliest hatreds. Ten because it shows that technology does not bring enlightenment. Ten because it shows how smart guys with good degrees and a wife and kids at home are perfectly capable of designing the means to commit boundless atrocities.

War, invasion, territorial expansion, mass killings - nothing new in human history. But this was an example in recent memory of a country turning against its own, using mass media to dehumanize the victims and prep the national psyche for mass hatred, then not only choose to eliminate the subhuman population but invade other countries so it would be easier to finish the job.

It bears remembering.

But hey: if teens today don't think it matters, we'd best listen up. Because that's your go-to source for historical perspective.

He notes that the alt-right foot-soldiers are useful, because they're clearing the way.

Louise Mensch: Well how is somebody tweeting a picture of African-Americans being hung, as slaves, to a black person, or how is somebody tweeting to a Jew a picture of children being shoved into a gas oven, how is that clearing the way for anything? How do they help you? How are they your foot-soldiers?

Vox Day: Because it’s rhetoric.

What follows needs to be read, instead of summarized.

Start here.

Part two, where it really gets down to the nub of the pith of the gist, is here.

I would argue that the biggest single danger to the Jewish population in America, is actually insufficient anti-Semitism.

Because they intermarry. If they were hated more, they'd stick to their own kind.

That's one telling line. The other is Vox's distinction between Europeans and Jews.

Ponder that.