Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Book Review: The Turner Diaries--by William Pierce

I remember years ago working behind a bar in an attempt to cobble together some money and move on. The dreary work had few appealing aspects but the number of wackos you ran into was always good for the entertainment value.

One day, a freakish acquaintance of one of the stiffs who worked there bounced in, eager to relay the details of his intriguing life. He started speaking to his mate and I shamelessly listened in from a few metres away. He started off with a breathless flurry of recent developments, including praise for a recent book he had begun reading. He had spoken barely a few words on the subject when I knew without any doubt to which book he was referring. His sparse initial comments would have been barely enough for most to register a guess but somehow I knew beyond any doubt.

It was his mannerisms and desultory banter together with touching on what he would claim was a life-changing "literary" experience. I groaned to myself and muttered, "not another cunt on about The Celestine Prophecy." You may remember this title from a few years back and may have even read the bland prose yourself.

Take The Celestine Prophecy with its conspiracy laced yet ostensibly benign, new-age horseshit and infuse it with an insane dose of paranoid fear and hatred and the sinister mirror-image result is The Turner Diaries, an underground novel that has been the favourite of inbred, white-trash gun loving yanks for years. The kind of fools who are genuinely frightened that their right to own guns is at risk, that the hordes of immigrants flooding their country is part of a sinister plot orchestrated by "the Jews" to take over the world.

The popularity of such novels is not surprising. Their underlying premise is one which appeals to those unwilling or unable to explore issues and seek real and genuine knowledge on any given subject. They pander to every fear and desperate anxiety that exists in society and draw in countless wide-eyed, awe-struck individuals because of the fact that, of course, there are numerous instances where governments do lie, and undertake duplicitous, murderous acts and some things do always remain unexplained. Buying into such books and the surrounding subculture allows those people to bypass any effort necessary to acquire objective knowledge from a wide variety of sources and makes them feel they are in possession of the truth. At the same time they gain sense of belonging and feel part of a group who are hip to what's really going down.

I first heard of The Turner Diaries quite a few years ago, the name uttered with smug satisfaction by members of various hate groups, white supremacist organizations and fanatical gun owners on talk shows or internet discussion forums. There was always the cachet of secrecy; the fact that it was never available by usual means such as at book-stores, instead sold at gun shows and traded at clandestine meetings by breathless oafs bristling with the anticipation of an armed showdown with government forces al a Waco, Texas.

With the ease of obtaining such books via the internet, any mystery surrounding shit like this has been washed away. It was never widely available simply because it is such an all round terrible piece of work. If this is the best these clowns have to offer then the powers that be truly having nothing to be worried about regarding armed revolt.

Told in the 1st person in a chronological way loosely adhering to a diary format, it tells the story of a future revolution spearheaded by those truly intelligent gun-loving wackos who knew it was coming all along. Telegraphed in the most straightforward way, there is absolutely no evidence of any skill or technique that contributes to good storytelling. Obviously no one ever told this fool about the most basic premise in fiction writing; show don’t tell. Of course, just as previous crap such as The Celestine Prophecy could barely be referred to as a novel, this is nothing more than a rabid right wing tract.

Ham-fisted, laughable symbolism delivered in the most obvious way so as not to miss the studious glare of the intended audience is rife throughout. Every targeted person is warranted to have attained their position or success by underhanded means and of course sports an obviously Jewish name.

There were no bricks handy so we equipped ourselves with blackjacks consisting of good-sized bars of Ivory soap inside long, strong ski socks...

We parked about a block and a half from Berman's liquors, around the corner.

The causation fallacy is in wide use throughout this poorly written load of tripe. Non–sequiturs abound in which some social ill is mentioned and then a phrase that encapsulates one of the fears that motivate these fools is casually tacked on, the simplistic association enough to stoke the rage of the brainless cunts most likely to be rocked by such stunning revelations.

To ensure that no one misses any of the connections here, the government and any type of officialdom is referred to as the System while the pure crusaders are part of the Organization.

The paucity of imagination is further evidenced in the passages where violence is wreaked on those who are supposedly responsible for the plight of the honourable, hard done by working class caucasians. Their rights and sense of morals have been destroyed by the menace of liberal ideas as delivered by the sinister Jews:

Someone walked up to him while he was waiting for an elevator in the lobby of his office building, pulled a hatchet from under his coat, cleaved the good Jew’s head from crown to shoulder blades, then disappeared into the rush hour crowd.

Again, unintentionally farcical. A person can't help but wonder if this was intended as pure satire. However, further reading makes it clear that this fool's brain nearly short circuits when he feels it is time to unload some more bilious hatred. The almost incoherent and nonsensical results are truly absurd:

She gained an understanding of the unique historical role of the Jews as the ferment of decomposition of races and civilizations. More importantly she began acquiring a sense of racial identity, overcoming a lifetime of brainwashing aimed at reducing her to an isolated atom in a cosmopolitan chaos.

The stock in trade of all raving conspiracy theorists is utilized throughout in which a shred of truth is taken and then wildly extrapolated to feed the paranoid nightmares that these clowns thrive on.

The bare semblance of a plot maunders along with various acts of terrorism as provoked by, what else, the US government decision to ban gun ownership as dictated by the appropriately named "Cohen Act." Interspersed with the rabid anti-Jew, anti-liberal, anti-immigrant mantras and platitudes that guide these wackos, it is amazing that this ponderous tale apparently helped to motivate Timothy McVeigh to bomb a US federal government building in Oklahoma in 1997.

What is interesting is the similar language and emotions regarding the indignant and long suffering common people and the need to strike back against governments as compared to the rationale spouted by the current brand of Islamic terrorists who are effectively fucking with yanks. If even a fraction of the injustices that the US government and its military have perpetrated on the world were experienced by the yanks whose lives are made easier by such actions, then perhaps these raving lunatics would actually gain enough adherents to see their twisted dreams come to fruition.

It must be assumed that those who go for this horseshit would be sympathetic to the cause of the Islamic terrorists who struck on 9/11. The rationale could be almost be taken word for word, albeit with different underlying motivations:

That is, can we justly blame what has happened to us entirely on deliberate subversion, carried out through the insidious propaganda of the controlled mass media, the schools, the churches and the government? Or must we place a large share of the blame on inadvertent decadence—on the spiritually debilitating lifestyle into which the Western people have allowed themselves to slip in the 20th century?

And another passage which should serve to demonstrate the admiration these individuals logically should have for bin Laden and his boys:

That is he didn't understand that one of the major purposes of political terror, always and everywhere, is to force the authorities to take reprisals and become more repressive, thus alienating a portion of the population and generating sympathy for the terrorists. And the other purpose is to create unrest by destroying the population's sense of security and their belief in the invincibility of the government.

They both hate the US government, Jews, liberalism and turn to thousands of years-old fairy tales for comfort. A closing portion of the book even foretells, in yet another awkward and almost orgasmic passage, the death that liberated Palestinians will eventually wreak on Israelis with the help of the enlightened geniuses depicted in the book. Though I'm guessing there is some appropriately specious reasoning which allows Muslims to be just another group they have included in their net of blame and hatred in recent years.

This rambling screed is not much more than a vast wet dream for what such paranoid lunatics hope will eventually transpire and in that sense they must be insanely jealous of what Al Qaeda has accomplished.

As if sensing that his wild tale is not hitting the mark, the author keeps inserting meaningless asides just so as to introduce more laughable predictions of what a dystopian future awaits a US that has been poisoned by liberal values. The old "large groups of Blacks roaming the streets" is ratcheted up to include a future where gang-rapes by Blacks in school classrooms is the norm. The simplistic ham-fisted rendering is the sign of a talentless fool and a likely indication of how he rates the lowlifes likely to lap up this garbage.

The hypocrisy is so complete it is laughable; evident in every claim made by the narrator against the tormentors of caucasians and then perpetrated times 10 by the supposed heroes of the tale. Most striking is the constant demonization and degradation of Jews and spluttering passages where they are casually slaughtered. Every frightened ignorant claim ever made against them is floated here, coming from every and all angles, never infused with even a shred of logic and all pointing to an invincible and superior group of people. A group of people this fool is obviously insanely jealous of and in fact would like to emulate, for the narrator seeks to be part of an elite group that rules the world, just as these scared fools are convinced Jews do at the present time.

Fraught with contradictions, fallacies, inconsistencies and obsessive and continual lies, all soaked in an invincible paranoid fear, it is not surprising that this absolute load of shit appeals to those 2 ignorant groups of yanks for whom these qualities are also the motivating forces: bible beaters and fanatical gun owners.