October 9, 2011

The People of the Mud


They knew all the right people, they took all the right pills.
They threw outrageous parties, they paid heavenly bills.
There were lines on the mirror, lines on her face.
She pretended not to notice, she was caught up in the race.

-- Life in the Fast Lane

The French have an idiomatic phrase -- “nostalgie pour la boue” --which means, roughly, "the yearning for the mud." This compulsive “yearning” is something that seems to invariably come over people whose lives have veered into the fast lane of the secular life; a life without spirit, or, at best, a phony “spiritualism” such as yoga or transcendental meditation. In France they play with “nostalgie pour la boue” as a kind of minor amateur dabbling in the degrading. In America, where anything worth doing is worth overdoing, many who yearn to emulate the French have gone pro.

"Yearning for the mud" in America is a compulsion that comes over people when they have, for complex reasons, a need to immerse themselves in self-degradation. It's usually a mix of drink, drugs, and weird sex until the soul is obliterated by the abused flesh. Why? Hard to say but it is often the case that, when they look at themselves, they can't stand what they see.

This obliteration of the soul and the abuse of the flesh is one of the central tenets in many of our post-modern, secular lifestyle religions. For them the “signo” of “In hoc signo vinces” is the full body tattoo project, an earlobe plug, and the multiple facial piercings with a coke nail as an accessory.

Most people try some of these things for a time in their youth, but soon grow out of it when age and experience get the upper hand. Others grow out of it via deep psychoanalysis and a few trips to the rehab clinic. Still others are simply killed by it, their lives bracketed by dates that are far too close together.

Many, however, never kick this yearning for the mud and were, in the past, thought of as "perverts" but are now more kindly seen as "differently minded." Seeking the safety of number they now live in those urban sinkholes of the soul they laud as "enclaves of Alternative Lifestyles."

Once ensconced there they busy themselves in making bad design projects, bad art, bad fashion statements, bad life decisions and bad politics. Because we are rich and kindly as a culture so we generally let them be despite their endless moaning that they are "oppressed." Once comfortable in their redoubts, however, they think it their duty to sally forth from time to time and infest the rest of the nation. Not content to live their stunted lives among others of similar stature, they think it is incumbent upon them to get all other Americans “down in the hole that they’re in.”

A minority of the last group make a career and money out of nostalgie pour la boue, and are generally known as "pundits," "media personalities, or "celebrities." In reality they’re just perverts with positive cash flow.

An example might be the too often seen Janeane Garofalo whose mind and body bear all the markers of a mud person except for a bone through the nose, and that’s probably on her “To-Do” list for this winter. The fact that this creature is a “go-to” person for comment from her fellow blobfish Bill Maher tells you all you need to know about both them and the audience that tunes them in.

This week if you would see this demographic of spiritual dwarfism in action you have only to tune in to the current cluster of parasites and perverts inhabiting parks in lower Manhattan in search of a free lunch between bouts of free non-love and mutual masturbation.

Down in the mud of the All-American perverts' daisy chain there's a lot of cross-over between celebrity culture and media culture. Indeed, at a lot of levels, it is becoming hard to tell them apart. Both factions live, for the most part, in an insulated bubble of blather that is impervious to personal moral, psychological, spiritual, or political change; one that ruthlessly exacts the penalty of shunning and expulsion from the bubble in the event of any sudden shifts and heresies from any accepted inhabitant. Like junkies in all ages, once the ideological needle goes in, it never comes out.

Alas, this nostalgie pour la boue is starting to bore these creatures and they will, when bored, like junkies in all ages, feel the need to “increase the dose;” to move on to another, more powerful, and more deadly socio-political drug. And this is exactly what they are doing. I'd like to suggest that there's another kind nostalgie going around in this hybrid culture that glories in the mud: nostalgie pour la defaite -- "yearning for defeat." Given the war record of the French in the 20th century, this nouveau nostalgie is also tres Francais.

Nostalgie pour la defaite is that state of the flattened soul when an American, who either came of age in the Vietnam era, or who was taught and mentored by many leftists or liberals of that vintage, yearns for the defeat of America, and acts accordingly in word and deed.

This compulsion is now not only required to keep their residency in their subcultures, but to keep their status in the same as well. The more virulent their articulations of hate of America, the more shrill their calls for the death of host that sustains their parasitic existences, the higher their regard by their peers. Neither children nor even infants are safe from their depravities.

Nostalgie pour la defaite is a perverted form of "confirmation bias." In a way, joining this group is like joining a gang -- once you're in, getting out is not an option unless you seek social and political death. Once articulated, this ideological state is then seen as confirmation that his or her world view -- and that of their social milieu -- is the correct view and correct milieu. To operate otherwise would throw not only all the progressive views, assertions, and actions of the last thirty years of diseased progressive politics and sham social theory into question, but the entire structure of the afflicted personality as well. It is not just life in the fast lane but life inside the lie.

An America that is ascendant rather than retiring, an America whose policies are aggressive and not apologetic, is an America the People of the Lie are simply unequipped to inhabit or report on. They have, quite frankly, an empty tool box when it comes to this task and no raw materials with which to build.

The only America they can support is one that supports them and their lies without question. They want one thing and one thing only -- a blank check for money and means, unceasing regard, and an endless opportunity to smear the lie on all comers.

Our current infestation of American media personalities and American celebrities with Nostalgie pour la defaite rises from decades of beliefs in an America that is best as a "pitiful, helpless Giant;" a kind of "Nostalgie pour la jeunesse perdue" -- nostalgia for lost youth. It is literally the only America they know and their entire professional and personal lives, from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, from the Hamptons to Beverly Hills are based on this grand assumption.

They've had Presidents and Presidential candidates that, commuting to and from these locales, have confirmed it to them. Their coworkers in their jobs confirm it to them. Their significant others, drawn from the same chitinous ranks, confirm it to them. The parties they attend, the awards they ceaselessly give and receive like the swapping of spit at orgies, the places they vacation, the books they read and the films they make and see, all confirm it to them over and over again. It is not only the only America they know, it is the only America they can know.

Anything that confirms the Nostalgie pour la defaite is news they can use. Anything that confirms American exceptionalism is not, by definition, news at all. Anything that actually represents American exceptionalism is bad news and must be crushed by any means necessary.

Now several generations of these diseased Americans have been raised and trained to desire that, in all things, America should always lose and become less of an important force in the world. The results of a weaker America do not concern them. It is only important that America become and remain weak and hamstrung. Only then will Europeans and others say nice things about them as they flit about the world.

If America is to become weak, what do they propose in its place? The short form for their vision of the future is "an empowered United Nations."

At which point they step from their Nostalgie pour la defaite back into nostalgie pour la boue -- the yearning for the mud. In the final analysis, it isn't that big a step. The mire is where they feel most at home.

Can they be saved from themselves? Not all. Not even most. The only thing that can save them from themselves would be themselves, and that is a rare transformation. It does happen, just as for some individual junkies the personal addiction can be brought under control “one day at a time”, but most of these bad Americans are stuck forever in their armed cultural hamlets and redoubts. They assure us of the truth of the motto, “Once a bear is hooked on garbage, there’s no cure.”

Posted by Vanderleun at October 9, 2011 10:54 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I always thought I was an insomniac because I worked at night when I should be sleeping. But it's essays like this, Gerard, that make me want to stay wide awake, even on my nights off.

Posted by: Jewel at October 9, 2011 11:57 PM

The affliction of these people of the mud is Sloth (besides envy).

These defeatists' words hide their true affliction - something they dare not utter: the fact that they produce nothing and have no desire to do such (Sloth). The words are a diversion from this truth. It is to keep us productive ones busy while they sit at teh coffe shops and wallow in their mud.

As we get weaker, there is less reason and responsibility to do anything - thus they get what they are looking for: Less work. less Responsibility. Trouble with that is that there will be less vittles to feed off of too, thus the entitilement programs and the concept of the racket("Occupy Wall Street") of retaking loot from those who 'stole' from them.


"We never failed to fail, Its was easiest thing to do."

Posted by: Cond0010 at October 10, 2011 12:40 AM

Amazing wordsmithing! I could read this ten times and still enjoy it!

Posted by: Captain Dave at October 10, 2011 3:17 AM

Marquis de Sade summed up their faux life in Juliette.

In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.--Marquis de Sade

Attirance pour des marde adds some stink to the morass.

Posted by: Peccable at October 10, 2011 3:22 AM


"but it is often the case that, when they look at themselves, they can stand what they see."

Change "can stand" to "can't stand".

Also: "tells you all you need to know about both and the audience that tunes them in."

Insert "them" after "both".

[Done. Thank you for spotting them. -- GV]

Posted by: pst314 at October 10, 2011 6:36 AM

Peccable "Marquis de Sade summed up their faux life in Juliette...."

Yes. The main difference between de Sade and any random monster on death row is that de Sade had the vocabulary to dress up his evil in pretty words to please intellectuals: "Look! Shiny!"

Posted by: pst314 at October 10, 2011 6:42 AM

"...drawn from the same chitinous ranks..."

Gerard, you have a marvelous way with words.

The Name In The Stone was the first essay I read, and I've been coming back regularly ever since.

Posted by: pst314 at October 10, 2011 6:46 AM


Posted by: Chris muir at October 10, 2011 8:15 AM

Spot on Mr. V!

Posted by: monkeyfan at October 10, 2011 9:58 AM

"Hey, when's Vanderleun gonna to put his best stuff in a book and publish it? I think 'American digest' might be an okay title."

"I dunno. What's the hold up, anyways?"

"I figure he's too busy sauntering around Seattle, looking for love in all the wrong places."

"Oh, I'm bettin he knows all the right places."

"Howsomever, this dilly dallying re book has gone on long enough---with stress on the ee part."

"Yeah, his adoring fans...."

"I wouldn't go that far."

"Okay, his right-thinking and appreciative fans have waited long enough."

"I agree. Hey, Vanderleun! Get to it! Lay in a supply of mocha java and start typing!"

Posted by: at October 10, 2011 12:53 PM

Well, not so much an update as a further draft. Most of the long pieces here are actually just first drafts done on the fly and pushed out. Some, such as this one, continue to interest me and I then redraft them and move some elements around and add others. Sooner or later I'll get to what I'm driving at, but how can I know what I think until I see what I say.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 10, 2011 12:54 PM

Well, I am planning a book.... but only "planning." I'm also "planning to" move this over to Wordpress and a new format to improve the look and feel.

Alas I am not a technoguy and the process of moving about 12,000 items over to a new interface is so daunting I keep putting it off.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 10, 2011 12:59 PM

Good to know I suffer from "nostalgie pour la boue." I was worried I had a drinking problem or something...

Posted by: Velociman at October 10, 2011 2:25 PM

Velociman, it is well known that you do not have a "drinking problem." You have an "oh shit he's not drinking" problem.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 10, 2011 2:32 PM

Well written1 What a joy to read. I'm hooked on you now.

Can't wait to see you at Word Press! 12,000 items...
Just get started on WP and you can work on these items as you go. Besides, I like their emoticons~


Posted by: Sherry at October 10, 2011 4:36 PM

Having once moved about 4000 items from Movable Type to WordPress, I offer the following advice: Break up your export file into smaller chunks. The WP import filter chokes on anything much above 5 MB at a time. It took me five passes and several hours, but I lost nothing.

Posted by: CGHill at October 10, 2011 4:56 PM

I linked the drunkard article as it was the key to your keep having to edit your thoughts.

Same old song and dance; 80% of customers cause a mere 20% of Parento problems. In this case, you and the author agree on 70% of political topics, as I'm sure if you read it you noted the Commie hatred and liberal fascism aversion as well.

So read the article at the below link and think about how to get from 70% to 80% agreement with that (young) author and perhaps we all make peace someday.


Posted by: notquiteunBuckley at October 10, 2011 5:23 PM

"In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.--Marquis de Sade"

Acquaint or be aware of it? Just listening to my sister (or women friends) and their broken hearts is enough awareness for me, thankyouverymuch....

I looked up the book 'Juliette' written by the Marquis de Sade. Ugh. Lust of the flesh in the absence of Love with the death spiral of years of festering. I believe Andy Warhol has something to say about this where after 5 minutes of porn your ready to 'do' just about any woman, but after 30 minutes you never want to do it again? Sadly I simply can't find the quote...

Posted by: Cond0010 at October 11, 2011 3:52 AM


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