Serious, Well-Respected Intellectual and highbrow racist Michael Medved has opened his mouth and written something so flabbergastingly stupid that a full-scale FJMing is required. Those of you who missed previous installments can learn about being FJMed here.
His masterpiece is entitled "Respecting – And Recognizing – American D.N.A." And…..go.
In today's ruthlessly competitive international economy, the United States may benefit from a potent but unheralded advantage: the aggressive edge sustained by the inherited power of American DNA.
Opening one's piece with an infomercial-grade platitude is a great way to prepare the reader for some hardcore eugenics.
The radical notion that our national character stems from genetics as well as culture has always inspired angry controversy; many observers scoff at the whole idea of a unifying hereditary component in our multi-racial, multi-cultural society.
Maybe people "scoff" at the argument because A) genetic determinism was dismissed as quackery a century ago and B) "American" is not a racial, ethnic, or genetic group. Calling Americans an ethnic group is like calling beef stew a food group.
Our stark differences in appearance, if nothing else, argue against the concept of common DNA connecting contemporary citizens of wildly divergent ancestry.
The fact that people look different is apparently the extent of what Michael Medved knows about the connection between genetics and human characteristics. This is gonna be good.
Nevertheless, two respected professors of psychiatry have recently come out with challenging books that contend that those who chose to settle this country in every generation possessed crucial common traits that they passed on to their descendents.
Hmmkay. So we're all different, but we share some crucial piece of DNA in common. And those of us who are American by virtue of the fact that this is where our parents fucked inhereted these traits. Boy I hope there's some evidence for this. This is coming from psychiatrists? Not, you know, biologists? Experts on the human genome? Genetic researchers? Interesting.
Compared to the Irish or Germans or Italians or Chinese or Mexicans who remained behind in the "Old Country," the newcomers to America would naturally display a propensity for risk-taking, for restlessness, for exuberance and self-confidence – traits readily passed down to subsequent generations. Whybrow explained to the New York Times Magazine that immigrants to the United States and their descendents seemed to possess a distinctive makeup of their "dopamine receptor system" the pathway in the brain that figures centrally in boldness and novelty seeking.
Holy shit, we all have the Indiana Jones gene! We're just fucking explorers to the bone marrow! What's really amazing is that only people who immigrated to AMERICA have it! People who immigrated to other countries somehow lack it. If they had it, they'd be in America! While his effort to cite a Respected Academic is laudable, I'm not aware of a whole lot of academic work coming to conclusions involving the phrase "seemed to." In a research setting, what the fuck does that mean? They "seem to" possess these traits.
John D. Gartner of Johns Hopkins University Medical School makes a similar case for an American-specific genotype in The Hypomanic Edge – celebrating the frenzied energy of American life that's impressed every visitor since Tocqueville.
Yep, our friends in Europe, Canada, Southeast Asia, and so on are practically on their knees willing to blow us when they see the way we live! The 55-hour workweeks, the people pulling two jobs just to afford a shitty life, the need to drive everyfuckingwhere, the traffic, the 40,000,000 people who can't see a doctor….it impresses the shit out of them. Maybe he cited Tocqueville because he was the most recent person to visit and walk away impressed. (PS: "That's" = "that is", not "that has")
The United States also benefited from our tradition of limited government, with only intermittent and ineffective efforts to suppress the competitive, entrepreneurial instincts of the populace.
What an interesting non-sequitur. So being Republicans is in our genes too? 50 years of New Deal government were a brief failure? Since we all share the Republican Indiana Jones DNA, why does so much of the population not fit his description in the slightest?
Professor Whybrow says: "Here you have the genes and the completely unrestricted marketplace. That's what gives us our peculiar edge." In other words, "anything goes capitalism" reflects and sustains the influence of immigrant genetics.
Ah, let's fondly recall the 1890s, the days of "anything goes" capitalism! Unregulated and unfettered, that's how the immigrants who came here and got worked to death, roasted alive in coke ovens, ground up into hamburger, or maimed in an unsafe Gilded Age Manufactory wanted it! They liked being powerless. They came here because they wanted to be exploited. Suck it, Upton Sinclair!
The idea of a distinctive, unifying, risk-taking American DNA might also help to explain our most persistent and painful racial divide
HOLY SWEET MERCIFUL FUCKBALLS, HERE IT COMES! FINALLY! I'M PUTTING ON A SECOND PAIR OF PANTS IN ANTICIPATION OF SHITTING THROUGH THE FIRST ONE!
Nothing in the horrific ordeal of African slaves, seized from their homes against their will, reflected a genetic predisposition to risk-taking, or any sort of self-selection based on personality traits.
Black people aren't good at business or being conservative or being AMERICAN, but it's not their fault! They were forcibly planted here without the Indiana Jones Gene to prepare them for our kick-ass way of life. So don't be mad at the simple negroes – pity them. Asking slave descendants to live the American Way is like asking a 1986 El Camino to win the Indy 500. Michael Medved is fucking AWESOME.
Among contemporary African-Americans, however, this very different historical background exerts a less decisive influence, because of vast waves of post-slavery black immigration. Some three million black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean arrived since 1980 alone and in big cities like New York, Boston and Miami close to half of the African-American population consists of immigrants, their children or grandchildren. The entrepreneurial energy of these newcomer communities indicates that their members display the same adventurous instincts associated with American DNA.
Don't worry though, some Good Blacks are coming to improve the breeding stock! (I copied that last sentence out of an 1647 textbook on the Natural Sciences and Phrenology written by Increase Mather).
If Whybrow, Gartner and other analysts are right about the role of inherited traits and tendencies in shaping our national character then the insight carries crucial political implications.
OMG MY FIRST PAIR OF PANTS IS COMPLETELY SHAT-THROUGH AT THIS POINT. I HAVE REACHED PANTULAR SATURATION. I don't think I can handle the conclusion about how this all ties into the presidential race.
Senators Obama, Clinton and other leaders who seek to enlarge the scope of government face more formidable obstacles than they realize.
More formidable than widespread stupidity and anti-intellectualism which fuel a relentless, unapologetic selfishness and child-like jingoism? Holy crap. That sounds scary. What is it? Antibiotic-resistant airborne bacteria? Nuclear winter? Rodan?
Their desire to impose a European-style welfare state and a command-and-control economy not only contradicts our proudest political and economic traditions, but the new revelations about American DNA suggest that such ill-starred schemes may go against our very nature.
You mean the European-style welfare state that Europeans are really happy with? The kind that raises their quality of life significantly? The 30 days of vacation annually? The 35-hour workweek?
When did Comrade Barack and Politburo Commissar Clinton propose a "command-and-control" economy? For fuck's sake, I don't think anyone who knows what the phrase "command and control economy" means would make an allegation this ridiculous. Bill Fucking Kristol wouldn't even make such a pants-shittingly stupid and patently false generalization. Fox News wouldn't even do it. They have too much shame to say something as nakedly stupid as to suggest that the Democratic candidates are going to nationalize industry and start setting production levels. Only Michael Medved could listen to Hillary Clinton ramble on about gas tax holidays and come to the conclusion that she is a hardcore Marxist.
Michael Medved, you are a very stupid person. I would print your column and use it to clean up the mess it caused, but nothing about your argument suggests that it is sturdy enough for me to wipe my ass with.