“Too Reflexively Ornery”: E. Michael Jones and “Culture Wars,” Part 1 of 2
In January, I wrote about E. Michael Jones and his book on usury, Barren Metal (Part one and Part two). In that review, I called Dr. Jones a “Catholic iconoclast” and “welcome maverick,” and I labeled his writing “little short of incendiary.” That seems to be the consensus about him. For instance, one of the most astute commenters to this TOO site recalled that Jones had been dismissed as “too reflexively ornery” to try to work with on Catholic or conservative goals, a charge I suppose is hard to escape. But in our vile times where lies predominate and viciously policed speech abounds, I positively love to read Jones’ ornery writing (though I think he’s actually having a darn good time while doing most of it).
Today I’d like to visit his monthly magazine Culture Wars as my focus. Over the years, I’ve subscribed to many periodicals that intelligently address the battles Western culture has experienced for over a century and I’ve also read specifically Jewish periodicals as well, hoping to get an inside perspective on many of these battles. From First Things, American Renaissance, and The American Conservative to The Jewish Daily Forward and Commentary, I used to receive a steady stream of print publications. Because I lost interest or because the print publication became unavailable, I stopped getting all five of these publications, but I continue to subscribe to Jones’ Culture Wars because Jones writes so courageously about Jews. What a rare commodity.
In this essay, I hope to cover twelve monthly issues of the magazine. For some reason, I have at home the first six months of 2016 followed by the last six months of 2017. Still, that should give us a fine sample of writing in this unique periodical.
I don’t know how many years ago it was, but I came close to abandoning Culture Wars after just a few issues. Quite frankly, I was dismayed by the lack of professional editing and crazy formatting in the magazine, something First Things or Commentary would never allow. For instance, quotes in the text would not be indented, italicized or be bracketed in quotations, so I wasn’t sure who was speaking. Or the index would have the wrong page number for an article. Perhaps it was God’s will, but after unsubscribing, I resumed my subscription because I was practically addicted to what Jones was writing about. Over time, I became used to these stylistic flaws, seeing them as quirks in a one-of-a-kind magazine. Today I am immensely grateful that I kept up my subscription.
Now let’s look at the twelve issues of Culture Wars. January 2016 began with only a mildly provocative story, “The Fifty Years War: The Battle Over Vatican II.” Characteristically, the title inside the magazine, “The Zombie State and its Enablers,” did not match the cover title. By February, however, Jones was back on his game and came up with one of his classic cover story titles, pairing it with this fitting photograph: “Catholic/Jewish Dialogue: Fifteen Years of Giving the Church the Finger.”
Jones begins his essay by asserting that “Catholic-Jewish dialogue is a failed experiment that has proven to be catastrophic for the Church, the world, and the Jews themselves.” Further, he argues that “in the years following Vatican II, dialogue became the main vehicle for bringing the Catholic mind under Jewish control.” Why is it that only Jones dares to say, then, that this “dialogue” has “led to no concessions on the part of the Jews or the Jewish-controlled press”?
Jones also rightly notes that “Jews too numerous to mention have claimed [that] Catholicism is responsible for the Holocaust, but to say that Jews were responsible for Bolshevism, abortion, gay marriage, or pornography is to commit the sin of anti-Semitism.” Harking back to his conclusion in his book The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History, Jones writes, “After years of failure, I have concluded that the only way to win the Culture Wars is to convert the Jews, who are responsible for so much cultural pathology, from abortion to gay marriage to pornography to wars in the Middle East.” Who knows? Maybe he’s right.
Come March, Jones featured a photo of a young White women injecting heroin, under which is the title “David Bowie Was: Berlin, the CIA, and Heroin Chic.” Jones rates Bowie’s musical ability as poor, but his style excellent. “All of his songs were overproduced studio creations, whose elaborate arrangements were calculated to disguise the fact that there was, musically speaking, nothing there. If melody is the soul of music, David Bowie’s tunes were musical zombies wandering around an elaborately produced MTV video in search of musical purpose.”
Jones traces Bowie’s travels from England to L.A. and on to Berlin, which soon became ground zero for the heroin epidemic. The CIA, Jones asserts, had a major role in the heroin business, and Bowie somehow encouraged young Germans to use the drug. “It was David Bowie, not Calvin Klein and Kate Moss, who made heroin addiction fashionable.”
Again showing his exceptional ability to tie one thing to another, creating a bow of beautiful cultural background, Jones tells us about Bowie’s declaration that Berlin during Bowie’s stay was the “heroin capital” of the world, creating “a new Berlin myth.” Jones continues:
Lou Reed knew this. The first Velvet Underground album is essentially a day in the life of a heroin addict in New York City, and a map of where he goes and what he sees and what he feels. And the music sounds like heroin, with its drones and impatient feedback and stuttering words. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the junkie life. There is a heroin psychogeography — where to find it, where to buy it, where you can smell it.
Whether you agree with his arguments about this or not, he’s showing his mastery of the culture and giving us an analysis of the real world that puts to shame the drivel we typically get from the culture gurus writing on university campuses. Jones is too good for the academic sphere, which drove him out when he was just starting.
April saw a long and insightful interview with conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who died later that year. Here, too, Jones forthrightly addresses the Jewish Question, recounting how Charles Lindbergh was vilified for having named the Jews (along with the British and the Roosevelt administration) as responsible for getting America into the war against Germany despite strident opposition from the American masses.
The following month, Jones first ruminates over how capitalists exert so much social control in America, then turns his analysis on how First World countries extract money from the Third World. Titling his essay “How the Oligarchs got their Power,” Jones here defines oligarchs as “the cabal of CEOs and homosexuals” who have so intruded on the law-making in states such as Indiana, North Carolina and Georgia. Once he considers Georgia, it is inevitable that he will return to the infamous Leo Frank case, where politician, attorney, newspaper editor and writer Tom Watson championed the cause of murdered Mary Phagan over the convicted murderer, Leo Frank who was a Jew. Watson claimed that “Jew money has debased us, bought us and sold us — and laughs at us,” and that wealthy Jews “have established the precedent in Georgia that no Jew shall suffer capital punishment for a crime committed on a Gentile.” Any reader of The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit will understand why this is.
In June 2016, Jones continued with the concept of social engineering oligarchs and used this to muse upon the rise of Donald Trump in the Midwest. A resident of South Bend, Indiana, Jones wrote that “it had become obvious to the majority of voters in Indiana that both the Republican and the Democratic Parties represent the interests of the oligarchs — the creditors, the CEOs, the homosexuals, the Wall Street one percent, and the Jews — and that no political party represented the people of the state of Indiana.”
Indiana had been prosperous, at least in comparison to Kentucky, which is why Jones wrote that “On visits to Kentucky we used to joke that breakfast was a cigarette and a bottle of Pepsi. Indiana has now become the new Kentucky.” People have become unhealthy and families have fallen apart. “These are the people whose children died for Israel in Iraq.” Of course these are the people Hillary Clinton later labelled as “deplorables.”
Echoing what he had written in his 2014 tome Barren Metal, Jones notes how the response to the 2008 loan crisis was engineered by heavily Jewish constituents. As a result, “Goldman Sachs got full face value for its worthless assets in a swindle of truly historic proportions.” (Compare that claim to what Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi wrote about Goldman Sachs following the 2008 sub-prime meltdown: “The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Our generation should memorize that classic quote.)
As always, Jones is fearless in stating what many pundits either don’t know or are too afraid to say. For instance, Jones tells us that Atlantic City casinos began to fail due to the “inexorable advance of casinos throughout the country, beginning with those erected on Indian reservations, run by Jewish Indians.” Later, Jones calls Bernie Sanders “one more Jewish revolutionary.” Such quips pop up regularly in the pages of Culture Wars.
Jumping ahead to the summer of 2017 (a combined July/August issue) Jones’ fertile imagination came up with the cover story “How Meyer Lansky took over the Cincinnati Ballet and what four ballerinas did about it.” Here Jones’ genius for commentary on American culture shines bright, and his ability to tie in otherwise disparate themes becomes apparent, as always.
Jones explains, for example, how Jewish mobsters, second in power only to the Jewish Lansky, gained control of gambling in Newport, Kentucky, which is just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, home now to the J.A.C.K. Casino. “The history of Jewish-run gambling in the United States runs from Arnold Rothstein to Moe Dalitz and Meyer Lansky, and from there to Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas casino owner who until the arrival of Donald Trump was the kingmaker in the Republican Party [update: Adelson has become a major Trump donor is reputed to be the reason Trump moved the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem], and Dan Gilbert, the Jewish usurer in charge of Quicken Loans who now owns J.A.C.K. Casino in downtown Cincinnati.”
This long essay is merely the first half of Jones’ contemplation on Lansky, Jews and casinos. Fittingly for Jones, he ends the first half of his essay by noting how Mathilde Krim, a convert to Judaism, was Lyndon Johnson’s mistress, and, on the night of the deliberate Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, was being entertained by Johnson at the White House. “In addition to distracting him sexually while the attack was in progress, Mathilde was instrumental in convincing Johnson to engage in a cover-up of Israel’s actions after the Israeli Air Force failed to sink the American intelligence ship.”
We now circle back to the beginning of this ballet essay, where Jones critiques the repertoire of the Cincinnati Ballet. A couple named Kitty and Dick Rosenthal funds “The New Kaplan Works,” which Jones attacks for its feminist offensive against men. These works are a “numbingly familiar combination of the emotive feminism of Isadora Duncan/Martha Graham and the robotic homosexual alienation of Merce Cunningham.” In one of his trademark analyses of America art, Jones continues:
Even if all of the choreographers were women, the dancers were going through the same dance of the sex robots that they had been doing for years. A cohort of women clad in flowing white gowns or skin tight leotards walks onto the starkly side-lit stage, right hand held aloft as if gazing off heroically into the distant future. A man appears. One of the ballerinas approaches him, caresses his cheek, and then knees him in the crotch. He falls to the ground and for the rest of the ballet the ballerinas dance around the stage wondering why their boyfriends are so mean to them. Dance is about male-female relationships. Modern dance is about how successful male-female relationships are no longer possible. Sorry, ladies. For years now the Kaplan New Works has been presenting one dance: it could be called: “My relationship with my boyfriend really sucks, and I don’t know why.”
End of Part 1 of 2.
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