Discover more from Default Wisdom
no good 15 lbs overweight.
thought digest, 04.05.2023
Here’s what’s been on my mind this week—three Substack posts from three writers who couldn’t be more different.
notes on a vibe shift
I love Rayne Fisher-Quann’s commentary and have been recommending her work so often and for so long (even before she blew up!) that it’s a little embarrassing. I feel like I crossed the rubicon into “annoying fan” a long time ago.
Fisher-Quann’s writing is good on its own merits, but what’s interesting about it is that her perspective is the “dissident centrist” or “de facto right-wing” one dressed up in more politically sensitive (or Marxist, depending on your vantage) language. She isn’t saying anything that all of us who’ve been writing for publications like UnHerd, The Free Press, The Spectator, et al. haven’t already said—she just figured out how to do so without alienating the mainstream.
For me, Fisher-Quann has always been the canary in the coal mine that the mainstream is ready to critique its excesses, that publications are loosening up, and that the days of perfunctory disclaimers are behind us. This new crop of culture commenters, exemplified by Fisher-Quann, is softer than the now-obsolete Dirtbag Left; less sardonic than its imitators. They’re candid but not corny—radically open but not the way Millennials were. They’re sincere. They’re also hostile to the right and even more hostile to people who are probably not on the right but pander to them to look edgy.
On hot-button issues like medical transition, people in this milieu (though not Fisher-Quann specifically, as far as I know) might argue, “SRS isn’t for everyone and may even, in some cases, be dangerous,” or “the experiences of trans women and cis women are different,” while precluding what is ordinarily seen on the left as bigotry. They don’t come off as wishy-washy. In many ways, they’re moderates.
They’re critics but they don’t read as bitter or cynical.
The growing number of successful commenters in this style makes me think that those who pivoted right because they had no home on the left are in trouble. I suspect many have to choose: quit the game or quit the fence-sitting. No more winking at the audience.
Twitter user “Yockey Slut” has answered a question I’ve been trying to worm into the conversation for like 9 months: why do Internet racists love anorexic women? I don’t mean “thinner.” I don’t even mean “naturally 98 lbs.” I mean anorexic: girls who subsist on 300 calories a day and the nearest available Adderall generic. They seem to lust after the behavior even more than the physical presentation of it, though that is part of it too.
Reading Yockey’s piece makes me think that maybe it’s not about anorexia per se: it’s just that the edtwt biddy (who i-D mistakenly named as a ‘femcel’) is the natural analog to the anime Nazi.
They exist on edtwt (“eating-disorder twitter”) and post physique in a similar vein to that of RWBBs: to celebrate excellence and beauty, and to fight back against the stifling mediocrity of egalitarianism.
They are their own sub-culture, and express their discontent and hatred towards the modern world by turning their bodies into works of art in marked opposition to the fat black retards that now occupy catwalks. They want to be thin, in control of their own fate, understanding that distinction comes from struggle.
Anyway, I don’t endorse the views espoused by this writer, but I do think he’s sketching out a real subculture here. Take it with a grain of salt, content warning for all the usual reasons, but really, it is an accurate (if not… it’s not woke, let’s put it that way) piece of trend reporting. Not just in the phenomenon being described but its underlying motivations.
Like I said a few years ago: pro-anorexia is the nexus of all virtual communities.
ETA: JUST IN CASE this blurb gets into the wrong hands, I understand that many in this sphere and adjacent ones have criticism of this article and believe that it is pandering to women, betrays a depraved preoccupation with sex, (so on and so forth). That doesn’t mean that the subculture being described doesn’t exist and that your peers don’t share these preferences in their personal lives—even if they don’t express them in quite this way.
Twitter: powered by journalists
Journalists are the lifeblood of Twitter. They are what keep Twitter relevant as much as Twitter keeps them relevant. It’s a feedback loop, but my instinct is that journos have the upper hand. In response to legacy media falling out of favor, we built an alternative media ecosystem. It’s still powered by Twitter, though.
So, what’s the solution? Every journalist needs to use the same discovery tool, and they need to scrape content from the new environment like they’ve been doing on Twitter.
That’s how you make a new platform. Works every time.
Me around the web:
The White Girl Speed-Party Crashes | Compact
The first of two Adderall tomes I’ve written in the past couple of weeks is now out. This one is paywalled, but you can get a discount with the code DEE.
We need to talk about extreme anti-natalism | UnHerd
I wrote about pro-mortalism, which is exactly what it sounds like, over at UnHerd. Stay tuned for a deep dive on this world with Alex Kaschuta. Subscribe here.