Jane Austen and the White Supreeemists

Our colleague over at mmetroland.wordpress.com has a draft critique of the ongoing Jane Austen/Alt Right controversy, which should shortly be published elsewhere. While the article is exhaustive, not to say tiresome, I’ve noticed that a few press references from March 20-26 escaped MMetroland’s eye.

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Jane Austen fans denounce leftist hacks

Most of these are little more than copypastas of what appeared in the New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education, but each has its own little quirk. The Huffington Post gives the kicker “She’s the Pepe of Regency-Era Fiction,” which is strangely witty for HuffPo, just as the writeup, by Claire Fallon, is unusually fair-and-balanced (though she sinks to using the 1950s Daily Worker/Civil Rights Congress expression, “white supremacist” to indicate anybody right-of-left-of-center).

Contrariwise, the formerly witty and balanced Independent (London) is now lost forever to the fever-swamp Left. “Jane Austen has alt-right fans who have clearly never read her work properly, scholar suggests,” goes the Indy’s hed, but the story describes no such scholar, nor in fact anyone else, making such a statement. The Daily Telegraph (London) isn’t much better, basing its writeup entirely on the original Chronicle story and its expansive endorsement by Jennifer Schuessler in the New York Times.

The Times’s (London) coverage, picked up in The Australian (Sydney), is even worse. Hack Ben Hoyle arranged his sensationalist bilge to showcase an old throwaway remark from Andrew Anglin that does not all pertain to the issue at hand. No doubt the fact that it’s a quote from America’s highly entertaining “top hater” made it irresistible:

In a post for The Daily Stormer, which has been called the “top hate site in America” by The Southern Poverty Law Centre, a white-supremacist ­approvingly described pop star Taylor Swift as “a secret Nazi”, whom he imagined “sitting at home with her cat reading Jane Austen”, while her contemporaries indulged in loose sexual ­behaviour “with coloured gentlemen”.

Following the local style-book to spell “Southern Poverty Law Centre,” though it’s a proper name, is also a funny touch, as is the respelling of “coloured” which should not be Briticized since it’s in a direct quote.

The Guardian’s Danuta Kean, despite her piece’s Commie jargon, is breathtakingly original by comparison. She actually did a little research on this one, and got some entertaining quotes:

Fellow Austen scholar Bharat Tandon, who edited the Harvard University Press edition of Emma, is sceptical that Austen’s fans on the far right have actually read her books. Citing Ayn Rand, another of the far right’s favourite female writers, he said: “[Austen] would have had Rand for breakfast. That rootsy post-Randian demagoguery that they all follow would have been completely alien to the society Austen chronicled.”

According to Tandon, the only character in Austen’s work who could possibly have voted for Donald Trump would be Mrs Norris, Fanny Price’s cruel and snobbish aunt in Mansfield Park. “She’s a nasty, greedy and abusive piece of work,” says Tandon. “Trump would speak to her.”

Claire Tomalin, whose biography, Jane Austen: A Life, revealed a woman more radical in her roots than her popular image allows, doubts the writer would find anything in common with white supremacists. “[Austen] loved the poetry of William Cowper, who was opposed to hunting and shooting,” she says.

Picture Post

Elizabeth Bishop was young once.

“Etymology time! I was in a meeting yesterday and the consultant must have used the word “boilerplate” 10 times in 10 minutes. It took me nearly 3 decades to get motivated enough to want to know the origin of the term, but that meeting yesterday did it. So here goes! In dem der olden deys, steam boilers were built from very heavy tough steel sheets. Similar sheets of steel were also used for engraving copy that was intended for widespread reproduction in multiple issues of newspapers—things like ads and syndicated columns. Regular, here today, gone tomorrow copy was set in much softer, durable lead.

“So the stuff that stuck around became known as the boilerplate. According to Wiki: “Until the 1950s, thousands of newspapers received and used this kind of boilerplate from the nation’s largest supplier, the Western Newspaper Union.” Today, of course, boilerplate is used to describe anything that’s standard language, say in a contract or even in computer code.”

— John Crowe Ransom

COLOGNE, GERMANY – JUNE 19: Taylor Swift performs during ‘The 1989 World Tour’ night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS)

ANTIFA NYC

Margot Darby says this is an ugly hat

I love Taylor Swift

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Inspiration for Cindy Sherman

House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia gestures while meeting with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 4, 1995. The Rangers were invited to Capitol Hill to entertain congressional children who attended the swearing-in ceremony for the 104th Congress. From left are, the Blue Ranger, Pink Ranger, White Ranger, Black Ranger, Gingrich, and the Red Ranger. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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“Can you make the Person of Color even uglier?”
“I’ll try!”

Actress Linda Christian alone at beach, dressed in bathing suit.


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All-American Family

Taylor Swift kehrt in ihr Apartment in Tribeca zurueck / 180714
*** returning home to her apartment in Tribeca, July 18, 2014 ***

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margot darby is back

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Neville Chamberlain as Chancellor of Exqr, 1936

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