I've been thinking that what we're dealing with is white trash racism, by which I mean racism against what's seen by liberals as white trash. Coming from Appalachia myself, where I've been fixing up my childhood home, there's a pervasive sense of being rejected by the degreed class, especially if you're white and male. Meanwhile in the liberal bastion I call home now, they're throwing the book at two young kids who drove over and left tire marks on a Black Lives Matter mural (consisting only of those words) that stretches on pavement in front of city hall. Prosecutors want damages over $100K plus five years in prison. Black residents say that it's traumatized them so much and made them feel so unsafe, they can't go to work somedays. The black population of my county is 1%. We're 33% Latino but they seem able to go to work. If these kids had felt that it was a statement their lives didn't matter, haven't we just proven them right? If it was a statue they felt demeaned their ancestors, we'd be celebrating them--if they were black. Instead, no one cares what led them to burn rubber on the city's most prominent declaration that they had no right to exist.

Expand full comment

Thank you Mr. Taibbi. I don’t have extra funds, but I subscribe to you because you do interviews like this. If we are brave with words now, maybe the children will not have to be brave with bullets later.

Expand full comment

That's what's so terribly sad about identity politics - it's driven by a desire to demonstrate compassion and understanding towards one particular subculture of disenfranchised people, while at the same time showing absolute scorn towards another disenfranchised group. The end result is a mad scramble for allies and a deepening of the divisions that are poisoning our society.

Expand full comment

First, they came for Alex Jones.

This was very shrewd and entirely intentional, since Alex Jones is someone that no respectable person wanted to be seen defending.

Expand full comment

I like her.

Every time Matt features an actual journalist I always feel like I just saw a Sasquatch in the wild.

I can't help wondering about the New Scientist piece on SSRIs. Millions of people are on them. They're found in the water supply and, consequently, in fish and other animals that comprise our food supply.

Yet the reason for their existence, managing serotonin in an effort to alleviate depression, has no real relationship to depression. So what do these powerful psychotropic drugs actually do to people?

I remember reading an article years ago that said the serotonin connection to depression was debunked almost immediately after it was made but that debunking was buried by pharmaceutical companies because they saw big profits in those pills.

Of course I'm completely sure that it's all innocent and healthy & above board just like mandated vaccines on demand, face masks and endless lockdowns.

Otherwise that would make me a (gasp) conspiracy theorist.

No, no, no, not me. I eat my Prozac with a nice Rexulti chaser, self vaccinate & live alone in a fucking closet, so no conspiracy theorizing here, no-sir-ee-bob..nah uh...

Expand full comment

Nourishment for starving souls. There’s more of that in a single Matt article/ interview than in a week of scheming manipulative propaganda BS heaped up in WaPo or NYT.

Expand full comment

This is brilliant, thanks for informing - I'm going to check out both of these documentaries. This is how hard the mainstream wants nuanced thought to cease to exist - if you talk about how mainstream society tries harder and harder to devalue and alienate men every year, you're a fascist. If you talk about the impact that (pick a thing: economy, loss of jobs to automation, addiction) has on men - Nazi. If you call attention to the male suicide rate and how it is a reflection of how society is failing us on a massive scale - you must love Trump and Hitler. Remember when Andrew Yang casually mentioned that some of these topics were a concern of his on the campaign trail? Welcome to headlines about Asian White Supremacist Runs for President. That and the populist message and not being bought by the usual oligarchs and donors, of course. And granted, nowadays the majority of discussion is like playing "Gotcha Last!" by shouting "Racist!" Yes, some men (just like some women) are potentially a danger to themselves and others - this is why countries need functioning mental healthcare systems, and economies that present options to have jobs and hope rather than meds-for-profit, crushing despair and faceless dystopia.

Expand full comment

If we don't honestly try to understand people, if we don't use empathy and compassion to try to reach them, how are we ever going to come together as a community?

We seem to be in a simplistic place that suggests that, if you try to communicate, try to talk, to the "wrong" kind of people, you're on their side and you're "platforming" them.

It's ridiculous and counterproductive, because so many of the "wrong" people are really just trying to reach out and to be understood. If we keep pushing them away and shoving them into the corner while making them wear dunce (or "incel") caps, should we be surprised when they act up and out?

Expand full comment

Matt, what happened to you !?

(sorry, had to do that, this comments section was missing that obligatory comment. Can we get the substack back end to just randomly add that comment in all Taibbi's reporting ?)

Expand full comment

Brilliant interview, brilliant insights. Like a fine cook who finds the most interesting ingredients, let’s them breathe, and stands out of the way, Taibbi’s style is such a relief from Times/Guardian showboating.

And the filmmaker shows herself to be an artist to watch, actually speaking clear sentences, expressing strong ideas.

What a nice way to start the day.

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022·edited Jul 28, 2022

Quel surprise that there are a slew of disaffected white boys and men. Let's see, society has, over the last 30 years:

- Drugged them

- Slandered them

- Passed them over to support every other group in school, work, government, etc.

- Made fun of them in Hollywood and modern culture.

- Devalued what men, generally and genetically, bring to the table

It a good thing that boys can now 'transition' into girls, to escape the societal torment.

Expand full comment

I love the comparison of woke journalism to Reefer Madness pearl-clutching.

Expand full comment

Her work sounds interesting, and I hope to see both movies. She was spot-on in terms of how white men are tossed aside.

Just before taking a break from work to read this piece, I came across a press release from Dicks Sporting Goods introducing a new policy that gives preferential treatment to "diverse" suppliers who fit the following criteria: "women, LGBTQ+, veterans, persons with disabilities and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Color." They could have saved themselves the effort and said "everyone but straight, white men." How is this okay?

Expand full comment

It’s about time we had an American Herzog

Expand full comment

Thanks, Matt, for promoting this journalist. We need more like her telling forbidden stories to a world struggling to avoid honest discussion of ugly truths.

Expand full comment

It's a lot more than incels; it's what Margaret Thatcher said and the unnatural un, no, anti social thing we've become. Remember "there's no such thing as society, there's only individuals and family". Only a very sick sociopath could believe that and she was PM of the UK. Most leaders have some degree of sociopathy and are clever enough not to reveal their mentality/sickness like she did or Hillary cackling because she killed someone or Obama "turns out I'm really good at killing people"! We, the acedemics primarily destroyed childhood, childhood, the ability to play with your friends independently and maybe get hurt. The don't talk to strangers movement, more acedemic sickness. Now, it's come to pass in a fearful easily controlled society, the fear porn is everywhere and the real human connections are rare. Read a little book by Sebastian Junger.."Tribe" which explains why soldiers that were no where near combat come home and get PTSD because they were exposed to tribal life, or I call it, normal human life and then they lost it in the anonymous non society called America and most of the rest of western non societies for that matter. The long tentacles of American popular culture and anti social media have reached around the world. "Lost connections" by Johan Hari explaining why depression and alienation are omnipresent today. I have no idea if or how this can be turned around or even if the ruling classes want it turned around.

Expand full comment