Total eclipse of the brain

This being the day of the solar eclipse …

… and general stupidity of opinions …

… here are two that — warning! — could reduce your IQ by reading them.

The Daily Caller read The Atlantic so you didn’t have to:

The Atlantic, a once-great magazine, has determined that the total eclipse of the sun due to occur on Monday will fail to affect enough black people.

The Atlantic’s very lengthy essay on the failure of the eclipse to occur where a sufficient number of black people reside is entitled “American Blackout.” It clocks in at a remarkable 4,544 words and does not appear to be satire.

Concerning “the Great American Eclipse,” Brooklyn Law School professor Alice Ristroph writes in the rapidly deteriorating magazine, “there live almost no black people” “along most of its path.”

The Atlantic’s longwinded law professor assures readers that “implicit bias of the solar system” is “presumably” not the cause of eclipse’s failure to affect enough black people.

“Still, an eclipse chaser is always tempted to believe that the skies are relaying a message.”

Oregon, where the eclipse will first appear in the continental United States, “is almost entirely white.” “There are very few black Oregonians, and this is not an accident.” It’s totally on purpose in 2017, The Atlantic claims, because the Pacific Northwest state had a “racial exclusion” clause in its original 1857 constitution.

The Atlantic notes that the eclipse will then move toward Wyoming and Idaho, which also have very low populations of black people. …

After an extensive discourse criticizing the U.S. Census, The Atlantic tells readers that the eclipse will travel through Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. In this section of its essay, The Atlantic manages to drop the names of Bruce Springsteen, Jesse James, Eminem, Chelsea Manning, Michael Brown and Howard Zinn (a shallow socialist writer panned even by most serious socialists).

“There are too many damn facts,” The Atlantic also complains.

After considerable whining about the Electoral College and the way Congress is organized, The Atlantic moves on to southern Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. There’s substantial discussion of the Ku Klux Klan in this section — and, of course, slavery. …

Here, The Atlantic criticizes Abraham Lincoln for being too cautious with the Emancipation Proclamation.

Next, The Atlantic traces the path of the eclipse to “overwhelmingly white rural areas” in the Deep South. There’s much discussion of the Civil War and much talk about “the glib view” America’s commoners have concerning Civil War history. Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people in the name of white supremacy, rates a mention.

In its final paragraph, The Atlantic concludes that the United States is “still segregated” and has “debts that no honest man can pay.” Cryptically, the magazine suggests, “the strange path of the eclipse suggests a need for reorganization” of the entire American political system.

The Atlantic classifies its article about the path of the eclipse in the category of “science” even though nothing remotely approaching science appears in any of the 4,544 words.

Interestingly, in trying to read this, the piece failed to load on two different browsers, as if The Atlantic is blocking people from reading this idiocy.

Next, GQ, even though I’ve warned you before you should never read GQ for anything but fashion advice (bad though it sometimes is):

When the Ku Klux Klan rebooted itself as a largely white supremacist outfit, starting in 1915, it took on the now-signature white robes for two reasons: to intimidate, but also to hide. They were cowards, afraid recognition would upend their lives, so they went to great lengths to obscure their faces and bodies. “They had no desire to be exposed in any kind of way,” explains Patricia A. Turner, the dean and vice provost of undergraduate education at UCLA, who has written several books on African-American culture.

But when demonstrators assembled in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, those white robes were few and far between. To be sure: Markers of white supremacy such as Nazi and Confederate flags were on display. But on the march, it looked as if an army of JC Penney mannequins had become sentient. Scores of white men dressed in crisp polos and khakis, turning the uniform of business-casual blasé into a white-hot statement. “What we see in a lot of images coming out of Charlottesville are these very clean-cut-looking young men,” says Susan Campbell Bartoletti, the author of They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Groupand Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow. “They’re putting the face of a gentleman on values that are, in my opinion, anything but gentlemanly.”

A weekend that exposed the seams and rot of American life in so many other ways revealed this, too: That the work of white supremacy is no longer performed by cloak-and-dagger vigilantes. It’s done in broad daylight. And it’s done by people (mostly young, white men) wearing the most all-American clothes they can imagine: polos and khakis. The uniform of white hate is now average, mundane, the stuff of everyday American life. It is haunting. …

Last year, New York magazine’s style site The Cut wrote an excellent storyabout the ways the alt-right uses style as a propaganda tool, with alt-right figures like Richard Spencer adopting so-called “dapper” style to add a veneer of respectability to deeply racist arguments. But the khaki-wearing demonstrators in Charlottesville weren’t trying to be fashionable—they were trying to blend in. And in doing so, they’ve turned the blandest items in our closets into a dog whistle. Is your neighbor wearing a polo and khakis because he’s a style-agnostic dad? Or is he just actively supporting the creation of a white ethno-state? …

It’s also worth pointing out that the new white supremacist uniform bears an uncanny resemblance to President Trump’s off-duty style. There’s not much visible difference between a demonstrator in a Make America Great Again hat, a white polo, and khakis and what the president bulges out of when he’s hitting the links.

Or maybe a shirt and pants is only a shirt and pants.

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