Everyone is allowed to be angry except Those People is the central thesis of Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation, which is a deep look into online culture and also the life of Mike Cernovich. Antisocial’s author, Andrew Marantz, spent hundreds of hours with me and I’m featured throughout the book, usually not favorably.

Marantz, who is a more nuanced thinker than he lets on in the book, plays to the conformist class of woke white liberals, leading him to release a one-dimensional book that will please the cable news audiences at MSNBC.

Despite it’s strongly left-wing point of view, Antisocial is a good read if only because of Marantz’s talent as a writer. He embedded with all of the Wrong People, and his storytelling, while no doubt inspiring chills in others, had me laughing out loud throughout.

Economic populism vs. woke culture.

One way to understand the rise of Trump is to look at the bailouts, foreign wars, and the sheer wrongness of the pundit class. But how could Marantz rise in his own career if he asked why people who were wrong about significant, life-altering issues (housing always goes up and there is no bubble; Iraq has WMD’s) are given a platform by very prestigious outlets?

Has anyone in media ever been seriously held to account for any story, including the more recent Covingtongate fuck-up?

A book honestly examining bad actors on the far left (include cable news commenters) and right wouldn’t sell well, however, and thus the trend (and this is also true of conservatives) is to firmly stake out a place on the Hegelian dialectic.

Either Brett Kavanaugh is 100% not guilty and his accuser is a liar or by supporting Kavanaugh, you are a rape apologist.

Either the Deplorables really are deplorable, or they are great American patriots.

Choose a side and fight!

Reductionism.

Despite the hundreds of mentions of me, you won’t find any references to my major journalistic achievements such as forcing a member of Congress (John Conyers) to resign from Congress.

In an entire career, most reporters will never break the kinds of stories I have, but to appease Marantz’s audience, I must be reduced to a caricature.

The New York Times reviewer describes me as “a hawker of nutritional supplements and self-published books about the irresistibility of simian dominance.”

I checked the reviewer’s resume, and she’s never broken any major story, let alone one leading to the National Security Adviser to the United States President holding meetings about why she has all of the good sources. Maybe she needs to take some Gorilla Mind Rush.

Her view is what you’d expect, as cognitive dissonance leads people to freak out rather than confront the complexity of the human condition.

  • Watch the TED talk about me.

MoralĀ ambiguity.

What if Kavanaugh’s accuser believed her story, either due to false memory or maybe mistaken identity, and Kavanaugh was sort of a drunken lout while also being innocent of the accused conduct?

My mental model of the world, much like quantum computing, allows for probabilities. Maybe seemingly contradictory claims can simultaneously be true.

Maybe Trump supporters aren’t racist (or are) and the media (including a recently fired NY Times columnist Sarah Jeong) are racist.

Marantz’s book is a game of chess where his side are the good guys, and the Trump side are the bad guys. He wants to move social media companies to clear the board of MAGA, while leaving members of his own social class to start more wars in Iraq and God knows anywhere else.

Toxic internet culture.

There were and are no doubt some very toxic “right wing” places online. Gas chamber memes are bad, we can all agree.

Yet it was recently AJ+, a “woke” media network, that published a Holocaust denial video. Is far left wing Al Jazeera playing into anti-Semitic tropes, too? That question is best not asked if you want booked on CNN.

For all their talk about internet culture, woke white liberals are careful to avoid troubling questions, which they dismiss as “Whataboutism.” The now-disbanded Reddit board Coontown was vile even by my standards. While I generally oppose censorship, it’s not hard to see why Reddit wanted it gone.

Does the left dare address videos of the Knockout Game going viral via World Star Hip Hop? Such questions are to them off-limits as it could put their bona fides at risk. What does it say about a culture where innocent people are attacked, camera phones are pulled out and you hear people scream, “Woooooooolrd Star!”

None dare ask that question, yet they be attacked by the toxic call-out culture from their own side.

However no serious discussion of online culture and its toxicity can avoid looking at the bad behavior by every group – not just bad behavior by MAGA types.

The most revealing scene.

After Trump had won the New Yorker held a meeting where they all agreed that Hillary Clinton should have won. The talk immediately turned to how everyone on deck would speak Truth to Power. By this they all understood, “We must attack Trump.”

Andrew, as he does, sets the stage: “We met in a thirty-eight-floor conference room with plate-glass windows overlooking the rooftop gardens of Goldman Sachs, and the Hudson River, and the skyline of New Jersey.”

The irony is lost on Marantz. Or maybe it isn’t, and his intent is Straussian, leading the reader to smile over a snifter of Yamazki 18 and aged Cohiba Siglo VI to observe –

Goldman Sachs wanted Hillary Clinton to win, too.

4 Replies to “Pro-Social – How the Internet Gave a Voice to the Forgotten”

  1. Mr. Cernovich,
    I’m late to your party mostly due to preconceived notions, but the last few weeks I’ve allowed myself to discover the deceptive effectiveness and condensed quality of your cultural writing.

    I’m at an age (and, sadly, general disposition) where it’s a daily mindset struggle to conjure the intellectual curiosity and healthy ambition to sustain a productive apetite for life.

    Lately I’ve been winning these little mental battles, and I suspect you’re helping in a way not entirely clear to me at this point – despite my actively ignoring all your dietary or exercise related material.

    For this spark of energy alone – thank you and best wishes for your future.

  2. How right you are, that Marantz could have bucked the norm and provided an insightful deep look at Social Media personality/culture instead of the typical hit on right-left paradigm that invaribly champions the same tired call to censor and eliminate voices from the world.

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