The context is despair. The context is cultural civil war. The context is two thousand years of violent religious patriarchy, five centuries of brutal capitalist biopolitics, and a decade of punishing austerity that has left a great many young men quaking in the ruins of their own promised glory, drowning in unmet expectations. The context is a profoundly impoverished intellectual and political climate where the feeling of truth is more meaningful than truth itself. […]
If your audience is angry and lonely and you tell them that’s justifiable, you can take that muddle of meaning, blend it, and serve it through a candy-colored straw to those who are prepared to swallow anything and call it a juice cleanse. You can go quite far in the gig economy of modern entrepreneurial proto-fascism by talking to young men as if their feelings matter.
Laurie Penny on context.
Penny isn’t saying here that the feelings of young men don’t matter; she’s saying that they do, and that they’re valid (up to a point), but there’s an entire industry of predatory conmen out there who’re prepared to take advantage of them. By selling self-destructive, nihilistic fascism.
Which is kind of ironic, because I bet if you asked a roomful of your typical alt-right-leaning young dudes what their favourite films were, most would, at some point, mention Fight Club. Which, um, guys? I have some shocking news about what, exactly, the message of that story actually was…