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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Joe Carter says:

    So McCain’s defense is essentially that he’s not a racist, just a racialist? Bizarre.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Help me out. I must be blind because I don’t see him really “defending” at all in the response. I read the post you’ve linked to and I see a number of references to faith (my nihilism resulted in me eye-rolling) and a number of pointers to others who have been attacked by CJ and the basic assumptions that everybody else who CJ has attacked is a good guy.

    In response to what seems to be a guilt-by-association attack, the defense seems to be “but I am also in good company!” (Innocence by association, as it were.)

    Even now, I don’t know that I have enough information to judge with anything but “who seems to be the nicer guy?”Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Could someone give me more info about Taki Magazine and VDare?Report

      • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

        Takimag has some writers I like and some that are…questionable. A paleo spot – Steve Sailer, John Derbyshire, Jack Hunter, Pat Buchanan, etc. etc. I don’t read VDare.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Ah, a paleo vs. neo fight.

          Yeah. Those are always good rubberneck material.Report

          • Avatar James says:

            Basically Jaybird, Takimag was founded & is still edited by Taki Theodoracopulos. Now that man’s a lovable old eccentric & possible anti-semite. But although that’s ambiguous (he claimed he thought soi-dissant meant “called by others”, not “self-styled” is what it boils down to) what everyone knows is that he fucking hates the neo-cons.

            Now, Taki also helped found The American Conservative, & if you know what they’re like then you basically know TM: in an interview he described it as basically an outlet to vent unserious paleo stuff, to keep TAC pure. It does a pretty good job of that, although like E.D. says, part of that is hiring writers of…dubious…opinion.

            Chief among them Steve Sailer, pioneering internet scientific racist. Which is where VDare comes in. Sailer is VDare’s star columnist, & he pretty much sets the tone. That place is basically for the nastier side of paleoconservatism, if Taki is for the fun part & TAC for the respectable part.

            TM has quite a bit of stuff that makes you go, “Hm, this might just be a bit racist”. VD just makes your jaw-drop. Sailer keeps his “empirical” bigotry very buttoned up on TM, on VD he just lets himself go & talks about black people running fast & the validity of IQ tests incessantly. His article on gypsies is an instructive example which I shan’t link to. He entitled his book on Barack Obama “The Half-Blood Prince”.

            VD is one of those websites you’re happier before you start reading. I suppose it serves a valuable enough function in containment of that kind of opinion.

            It certainly serves as a reminder that the Paleos weren’t merely a cuddly bunch of dinosaurs cruelly wiped out by the Neos.Report

            • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

              Good summary, James. A lot of people have dissed Takimag because of some of its more questionable content – but overall I like the site. Taki is lovable and I think he’s in it mostly for the shock value, not because he’s actually anti-semitic. He’s this enormously wealthy guy who was a world judo champion at 71. He’s married to a princess from somewhere or other. Others like Jack Hunter who I enjoy reading write there. Austin Bramwell and Daniel Larison have both been published there. Helen Rittelmeyer and Robert Stacy McCain as well, though McCain is neither paleo or neo as far as I can tell, with inclinations toward both camps.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Dude, great info.

              I’m aware of Sailer (though not on V-Dare) and found myself surprised that people were still saying such things in public. If he tones it down for “in public” and says even worse stuff in his own corner, I can see how associating with the guy could be seen as something that requires explanation.Report

              • Avatar James says:

                Oh, he gets even worse. On VDare he has a tendency to precede everything he says which is especially racist with “Oh, by the way if you disagree then you DENY SCIENCE”, which munches up some of his wordcount. On his own blog, iSteve, he just gets right to it.

                The comments section on that website are really something to behold…Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                The science thing is just absurd – Derbyshire loses everything he’s got going for himself for the exact same reason. This obsession with genetics (eugenics really) is just nonsense. They conveniently ignore most of the data on evolution and genetics in favor of some of the earliest works on the subject and then traipses it around as science. Derb’s “blood libel on science” post against Ben Stein was great, but he should think about how it applies to John Derbyshire.

                Disgraceful.Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                Which is to say that Derbyshire lines up in many ways with Sailer.Report

              • Avatar James says:

                I haven’t read much Derbyshire, perhaps I should have. I’m very interested in biological essentialism (for the most part as an opponent) so I’ve read quite a bit of Sailer. His approach seems to be more to stage a hugely vigorous defence against any alternatives to black/hispanic/gypsy/whoever inferiority. For example he’ll write treatise of many thousands of words talking about how great IQ tests are & are the greatest & best ways of assessing someone’s intelligence.

                Understandably he possesses an immense loathing for Malcolm Gladwell, possessing a similar obsession to the one RS McCain seems to have developed towards Charles Johnson but more of a slow-burner, which is actually how I came across him.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I confess to finding Derbyshire a guilty pleasure.

                When I encounter something that makes my eyes widen, the various versions of me in my head have a conference in the kitchen where the grownups explain to the little ones that they ought to never, ever say those words that they heard grandpa say today.

                If you know what I mean.Report

              • Avatar James says:

                It’s O.K. Jaybird: I’m still convincing myself that you don’t need to die once the Revolution rolls around. You can be one of the re-educated.

                All frivolity aside, here’s the best summary of the VDare situation I’ve found, from it’s editor:

                Peter Brimelow writes: We’ve said repeatedly that VDARE.COM is not a White Nationalist webzine—but that we do publish White Nationalists because we regard their focus on white interests as at least as legitimate as Black Nationalism, Hispanic Nationalism, Zionism, etc…and as an inevitable development in the Brave New America created by mass immigration.

                So there we go, that’s alright then.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m flattered, but it’ll take more than room 101 to convert me.

                For the record, I am terrified of boobs.Report

              • Avatar James says:

                Al Gore & Michael Moore are working on a film together as we speak. It will be shown constantly to the “students” while their eyes are taped open. Paul Krugman features prominently as a talking head.Report

  3. Avatar alainL says:

    Charles Johnson is not a paleo. It is hard to say what he is. He is generally credited with ending the career of Dan Rather, but now he is against the tea party movement, Creationists, and supports Van Jones. Some say he has morphed into a liberal, while others say he is crazy.Report

  4. Avatar Bob says:

    Lately Charles Johnson reminds me of John Cole at BalloonJuice.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      There are those for whom that is a devestating critique… and those for whom that is high praise indeed.

      Which probably ought to be read as you being spot on.Report