Our celebrities call democracy tyranny, then don’t recognize real tyranny when it hands them a check.
How can we call them a tyranny or immoral when we can’t even define what a man or woman is? If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything, and Western civ. doesn’t seem to have much to stand for beyond hedonism and a feel good “you-do-you” mentality.
Excellent article. There is so much I cannot understand about American progressives’ attitude towards Islam and the Middle East. Somehow hosting a speaker who once said something objectionable is platforming them, but being pampered at an elite hotel with trafficked maids is … an act of protest? Enlightenment?
Relatedly, I have never been able to understand how the extremes of the #MeToo crowd, who often dogged American who expressed any disbelief of Kavanaugh’s accusers, don’t seem to mind when entire countries force women to wear Burkas, insist on total subservience to husbands, etc.
Nor can I understand how someone can absolutely hate JK Rowling for pointing out that the extremities of the trans movement can occasionally harm women, but the same person is totally okay with Middle Eastern regimes that refuse to recognize trans people or punish them as criminals.
Or people who think a conservative Christian who refuses to decorate a cake for a gay wedding is a monstrous bigot, but a conservative Muslim who kills a gay person is just…different?
I really can’t understand it. Arabic cultures in general couldn’t be further, values-wise, from American progressives. But somehow the bigotry and occasional horrifying violence that comes from some of those places is the one thing in the entire world that American progressives have a palate for. Truly can’t comprehend it.
(Maybe if the ghost of Hannah Arendt were here, she would point out that the Left and the Saudi Right appear to be on polar opposite extremes substantively, but that they believe in the same political means, or share a same underlying belief in the abolition of the distinction between public and private spheres, or something more insightful and creative that probably on she could recognize.)
Celebrities and tyranny relationships are all-to-common. The NBA and China’s cozy relationship is sickening, considering that China still employs “re-education” camps that most people never leave. It’s convenient for the celebs to tell us working class stiffs, the ills of this country (United States), and then do whatever puts cash in their account. Frauds!
Entertainers were always court jesters, lowlifes living on the court's crumbs. Only that nowadays they've been raised to the status of demi-gods so they can bray and babble from our ever smaller altars, the screens and help keeping the plebs in check.
Integrity was once much more important than any amount of money. Not anymore.
Selling out for money is the norm in today’s world. Look at the NBA. Look at today’s politicians as they stuff their pockets. Entertainers. Corporations. The almighty dollar rules.
There is no real world downside for Beyoncé, Rebel Wilson, Lionel Messi, LIV golfers, et.al. for taking the blood money. Why should there be when western governments continue to eagerly do business with the tyrannical regimes? How many once great universities are deeply involved/financially yoked to horrific countries. Moral indignation is never an issue when there is money to be made. So do not expect any change in behavior, the modern ethos is “ get mine” no matter the ethical cost.
“This collusion between Western celebrities and Middle Eastern despots is enabled by idiotic elements on the left: People who don’t seem to know what fascism, Stalinism, or Nazism is, since they insist upon confusing it with things they don’t much like. They hate their own rotting democracies so much, they cannot accept that other places are worse. Call a democracy tyranny and you won’t recognize tyranny when it hands you a check. “
Pretty much sums it up.
Sadly, we're all complicit in upholding tyrannies because of our desire for cheap goods and the power of big business to limit workers' wages and benefits, while maximizing profits. The two go hand in hand. Most of us can't afford to be very picky about where the stuff we buy comes from while wages stagnate and the cost of living rises. And so we look askance or just ignore, for example, China's brutal repression of first the Tibetans and now Uyghurs when buying all kinds of goods from China. We aren't given much choice. That said, to see someone like Beyonce, who is already fabulously wealthy, put all her principles aside to make even more money is sickening. She should at least shut up once and for all about caring for the oppressed if she's going to continue cashing in like this.
Amazing that these people are fabulously wealthy and still willing to SELL THEIR SOULS!! The late great Jesus said it best “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul?”
Dear me, trotting out all the stereotypes on the World Cup. You do realise that the anti-gay laws about which you are so superior were exactly the same in the UK when we last hosted the World Cup? And there is still considerable homophobic violence here (but not in Qatar).
Also the idea that countless people died buidling the stadia is based on a poorly researched article in the Guardian. Out of 2 million migrant workers over 10 years, 6500 died, around 17 in the stadia.
"In December 2022 in the UK, there were 49,339 deaths registered in England, 5,871 deaths (13.5%) above the December five-year average (2016 to 2019, and 2021). That's in one month.
And the essence of slavery is that you are captured and put to work. All the migrant workers chose to work there as they were earning considerably more than they would have earned at home.
Surely you can see the argument that for western celebrities to be feted there is going to make it more rather than less likely that they will examine their laws, and move to a more liberal worldview? In Saudi, MBS has made great strides in opening up the country. Yes, they have a long way to go, but refusing to engage helps nobody.
What a great article !! Right on every point,and in particular this one: "Call a democracy tyranny and you won’t recognize tyranny when it hands you a check."
But what good will it do? History shows that sport heroes are not the only fellow travellers of tyranny: one could site a great number od Western (and in particular British and French) intellectuals that demonstrated in their declarations that they were blind to tyranny, in particular Soviet or more precisely Stalinist tyranny. And they did not even get paid for their services. So it's an old story, alas.
Lebron James defends China but excoriates America for its racial problems. China kills and jails and subjugates its citizens. That tells you all you need to know about our racial problems. America is a bad country....and the rest of the world is ignored. Ignorance and as such it is easily dismissible.
I’ve never been one to pay much attention to Beyoncé beyond marveling at how her massive boobs are glued into her costumes so they don’t fall out. She’s always been a wonder at the confluence of marketing and sleaze. I wouldn’t recognize any of her songs if they bit me. Why is she a gay icon? Her husband most likely beat up gays as a banger. Certainly he’s a misogynist and a racist.
So true. I went to Dubai once and that was enough for me. Never so bored in my life. And I only spent 3 days there. It’s all made up like Disneyland. One memory. I was swimming at the hotel pool. The husband and kids were splashing around and Mom was dressed head to toe in black , couldn’t even see her face. Nothing there. Will never go back.
People are not "good". Human history is littered with those who will happily sell their morals, friends and/or family for a payoff. Dubai just has more money to spend.