Saturday, April 22, 2017

- A Note of Appreciation

I've been ignoring the news for the most part (save a daily 4:30AM review of the previous night's Tucker Carlson show) and staying away from the blogs because they have a negative effect on my productivity. My dollar per hour productivity at the moment, when viewed in a 'probability of discounted cashflows' way, is very high value. So I've been cherishing it somewhat more than usual.

But I always make time on the weekends for RadioDerb, and I've gotten in the habit of absentmindedly browsing the web while I'm listening, in order to catch up on at least the headlines from some of my regular reading that the Derb might not have mentioned. In doing so, I've noticed an interesting trend.

Hither and yon I'm seeing a familiar name pop up more and more often. As the American popular media abandons reason and objectivity at an increasingly alarming rate, a counterculture based on data driven empiricism and objectivity seems to be growing rapidly. Not the alt-right per se, since it often only barely touches the political. But a rationalism that looks like a nice opposing force to the leftist dogmatism of academia.

And our man Derb, once defenestrated from popular media and thrust to the hinterland of opinion journalism, is developing a outsized influence in this counterculture. This doesn't seem particularly unlikely to me. His wit, intelligence and clarity of thought has been long known to me personally. But I have to admit, as a question of character and temperament, I cannot imagine a less likely messiah for the new right. He'll tell you this himself if you ask him. Though online, this seems to be increasingly how he's being viewed.

This soft spoken, genteel and bookishly cerebral geriatric english immigrant, leading his quiet life on Long Island with his lovely wife and dog, is hardly the hate filled and spittle flecked firebrand reactionary the left has made him out to be. His days are filled with pedestrian things like home improvement projects, crossword puzzles, and (dear god I hope Rosie doesn't read this) sneaking the occasional cigarette while out for a walk with the dog. His life is the suburban bourgeois ideal in may respects.

But I wish I had a dollar for every time I was reading something somewhere and was pleasantly surprised to find his name mentioned in glowing terms as an example of a 'right thinking' American. His fan base is truly legion in the new media and it continues to grow in spite of the traditional media's efforts to ignore him. And the more successful of those types like Gavin McInnes and Milo, in their more serious moments, refer to him constantly. This is unsurprising to me in every way but one.

With the exception of this blog, everything I've ever done has followed 'Tony Montana' model for influence building. "First you get the money, then you get the power" (then you get the women according to Tony, but that's somewhat off my point.) And I think most people in the private sector follow a similar plan. But the Derb is doing it the opposite way. More or less semi-retired from professional life, and his days as a cubicle dwelling corporatist long behind him, his power and influence seems to be increasing in spite of his best efforts to the contrary.

Even more surprising (and probably disappointing, especially to Mrs. Derb) is that his influence seems to be vastly outsized compared to the relatively modest sums he collects for stating his thoughts and opinions. and I'm pleased to say that it seems to be growing more rapidly than he and his modest ambitions ever imagined. Hopefully the pay will find it's way to him as well.

So I want to drop yet another quick note of appreciation down here for our man Derb. Guiding the new right in the path I, and a apparently many others, believe it needs to follow. It may not be as substantive a reward as a high paying speaking gig, or chair at a prosperous think tank. But it's sincere and from the heart.

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