I have started thinking lately that my outlook on the world has become too gloomy. It is not particularly difficult to see why this is so, considering the output of the average news source. From the atrocities that recently took place in Brussels and Paris to the resurgence of fascism in all kinds of places to the gross excesses of modern identity politics, the renewal of the death sentence on Rushdie and the successes of a madman in the GOP primary, it sure looks like those of us who believe in civilization and culture are in for a rough ride. Not all of the things I listed are currently equally dangerous, but they are all eventually going to mean trouble. In times like these I would like to remind my readers that no matter how bad things look, there is still resistance.
I have therefore decided to promote some of the sensible voices I have found in the media by compiling a simple list. The people in this list are opinion-mongers who have in common the simple fact that they relatively often say or write things I agree with. The list is split into three parts, three tiers if you will, that can roughly be categorized as the very good, the good and the slightly good. That being said, let’s proceed to the actual list.
This is the first tier, the people on the list who most often get it right. I of course don’t automatically endorse exactly everything they say, but these people are certainly worth listening to.
- Nick Cohen – A journalist from the UK, writing for among others the Guardian and the Spectator. I have previously written a whole article on Cohen, you can find it right here on this blog, so I’ll keep it short. Cohen is in theory a social democrat, and it often shows, but more than that he is a defender of freedom of speech and individual liberty, who has lately been drifting away from the modern left as it has drifted into obsolete identity-peddling. Here you can find a collection of his writings for the
- Sargon Of Akkad – The Briton behind the Mesopotamian mask has by now become an icon among people who oppose the regressive brand of leftism. He runs a weekly segment on his channel called This Week in Stupid, cataloging what usually is real stupidity. In addition to this he also releases longer, more detailed exposes on things that annoy him. I recommend that you check out his Youtube channel, which you can find here. His major flaw is perhaps that he focuses too much on feminism like were it some sort of leviathan organisation, while I myself claim the race-baiters to be more destructive, but I’ll forgive Sargon for that considering the rest of the good work he does.
- Kyle Kulinski – Kyle runs a one-man TYT-like operation, but without the bullshit. I like Kyle in general, though sometimes he is a bit simplistic and childish. Once, when talking about a transgender person who supported the GOP on economics, Kyle said that you can’t have a-la-carte liberalism and just pick and choose. This was moronic since gender politics and economics are two completely different fields, you don’t have to pick team liberal or team conservative, what you have to do is think hard about each distinct issue on it’s own. So this bothered me, and Kyle sometimes makes weird zoo-noises when trying to be funny, which he should stop with. But other than that he is great.
The second tier. It now starts getting a bit shaky. At this point it might be fitting to remind the reader who has not yet left that this list does not necessarily rank the intelligence of the people on it, rather the focus and to some extent the presentation.
- Sam Harris – This is in a way the ivory tower intellectual of the list, who’s main weakness is, I claim, that he is too theoretical and doesn’t deal enough with specific cases. This is the main reason why Hitchens and not Harris is my favorite among the four horsemen of the counter-apocalypse, but the scope of this list only covers the living, and Harris is in any case definitively worth listening to. He recently hosted a discussion on his podcast with someone called Michael Weiss, which I recommend everyone to listen to. It is probably the best single description of the situation in Syria in particular and the middle east in general that I have yet come across, check it out here.
- David Pakman – This guy is like a slightly less interesting Kyle with a sidekick. You can find his Youtube channel here.
Now we are reaching the “mixed bag”-portion of the list.
- TYT – Here, to borrow some lingo from Social Justice(TM), it gets problematic. TYT was the first Youtube channel I actually started following regularly, way back in 2010. They have since gone downhill by getting a bit mired in the extreme SJW-swamp and loosing any sense of nuance and proportions. The best among them are probably Ana Kasparian and, before he lost it, old school Cenk Uygur, and the worst of the lot is Jimmy Dore, the moron who claimed that Margaret Thatcher started the Falklands war. You’ve probably heard of them before, if not then check them out here and form your own opinion. Whatever else you think of TYT, Cenk, Ana et al also review Game of Thrones on their other channel, What the Flick. These reviews are starting again soon and they are awesome, so there’s always that.
- Dave Rubin – This man was supposed to be how classical liberalism untied the TYT knot. Dave left TYT when he got enough of the defamation of Sam Harris and, I suppose, the one-sided race-baiting and the constant blaming of the West for everything (Jimmy and the Falklands for example). This sounds good in theory, and you might be wondering what Dave is doing all the way down here in the third tier. He is here because he sort of got stuck. Kinda like a broken clock forever showing a quarter past two, Rubin keeps yelling “regressive left” over and over. I sympathize with this to some extent, regressives need calling out, but Dave seems to have forgotten that other problems exist and, though I understand where he is coming from, is risking turning into a grievance-ridden bore. Snap out of it Dave, please! His Youtube channel can as usual be found here.
This is by no means the end of the people who I want to draw attention to, but it will have to do for now. If there is anyone i particular that you feel I have missed, then let me know. In the meanwhile, you can follow me on twitter at @PromethiumWings.