Wholesomeness, Soviet Googling & The Wachowskis

An Inquiry Into The Process of Becoming a Legislator of the World

What is wholesome? The definition may be erratic yet, as time progresses, increasing numbers refer to it as the opposite of what progressivist thought is pitching. For Wittgenstein, meaning resided in use. In the later stage of his life, he spoke of investigating meaning by looking and seeing as if we were in front of a toolbox –and we see the functions of the tools within, coming to us, as diverse as the functions of words. We are, indeed, misled, by the uniform appearance of our words into theorizing about meaning. But that is not the case anymore with wholesomeness.

For every trend hailed by the mainstream –and massively followed– as trendy and chic (e.g. pole dancing for kids) there a as many voices who long for the (now antiquated) celebration of an era of spiritual wellbeing, prudence, safety, and morality. Of course, human nature contains in itself the seeds of evil, but it is undeniable that not long ago, human vices occurred in private and were not rubbed on everyone’s face as if they were a virtue. This is not an exaggeration. Recently, for example, the Vancouver Public Library came under attack for hosting a sold out event with gender critical feminist Meghan Murphy. Before, people usually protested someone after they said something. Today? Today, it is enough that some obscure apparatchik’s hit list has your name for the social media barrage to begin.

All this is the opposite of wholesomeness. Difficult as it is to provide an exhaustive definition of what wholesome means, it is easier to borrow from Wittgenstein’s toolbox and describe the carousel of images that come to mind when speaking about it. Mostly, we refer to mentally and physically healthy people doing things that are good for them, their loved ones, and the community at large: working hard and honestly, eating three times a day their greens and such, respecting authority, helping those in need, presenting themselves neatly in public, neither abusing substances nor boasting about it, respecting those around, having a constructive life plan and carrying it out, being polite and educated, building a family, etc. Does this sound like TV shows The Cosby Show or The Brady Bunch? Well, it does because, mind you, it is. On TV screens across the West, wholesomeness was portrayed and celebrated to everyone’s delight. It was an ideal that, as Bill Cosby showed years later, hardly anyone lives in the flesh but everyone with a sane mind seemed to aspire to. We can delve into the intricacies of human nature and whether meaningfulness and wisdom can be fully achieved at all, but the point remains: Today the exact same images of wholesomeness that spring to mind are mocked, targeted, devalued, or willfully hidden, be it by the media, academia, corporate business, or politics. At the very least, they are sidestepped via redefined ideological buzzwords such as diversity and inclusion, meant not to promote respect but to stifle free speech, then thrown even into your very breakfast table without discussion. As Dalrymple wrote in the introduction to Our Culture, What’s Left of It, the open destruction of Western values makes it extremely cheap for someone to be called an “intellectual” these days –for it is sufficient to be hostile towards anything that resembles tradition in order to be enshrined as a golden calf in the eyes of the progressive elites.

But what is a good rant without a case study? Cue in the drumroll!

Recently, I learned something by accidentally reading about the Wachowski brothers. These Midwest natives are best known for having directed The Matrix film, a massive business and cultural phenomenon. A friend and I were talking about films and remembered a few (now) iconic features of The Matrix, which made me realize that I hadn’t heard about the creators since the nineties. “What happened to those dudes?” I asked my friend, to which she replied, “they are sisters now.” I must have been silent for a solid minute but brushed off the comment. Later that night I did some research, though. I wish I hadn’t. You see, the Wachowskis have bombed since The Matrix according to the commonly accepted standards of what constitutes success or failure in Hollywood. Yet, when I checked them out online I found nothing but a shower of post-Matrix adulation and awards, particularly from progressive groups.

Mystified by it, I decided to enact the “Wikipedia Soviet Maneuver” (WSM), which consists in spotting what looks whitewashed by Wikipedia, a liberal stronghold, and then check exactly those parts but on alternative browsers and search engines. Try it. It never fails.

When I read about the Wachowskis on Wikipedia, there was a mysterious overlook regarding their box office flops plus the story of their “transition” was way too rosy, almost harmless. You see, over 40% of people who report themselves to be transgender have suicidal tendencies on top of substance abuse problems and, overall, a troubled psyche and life. Added to that, despite being a tiny percentage of the population, “trans issues” have become an swollen machinery churning out extremely heated politics: (a) more and more teens identify as trans in what seems like a social contagion, (b) it causes enormous anger and backlash to even dare to talk about “detransitioning”, (c) serious scientists, researchers and intellectuals who talk about transgenderism are deplatformed or outright expelled from public life if they don’t walk the official line, as Doctors Blanchard, Soh and Amitay, among others (like Ms. Murphy) have unfortunately experienced in their own flesh. In summary: it is a hot button subject with way too many layers of complexity for it to occur right under the spotlight without a single brush of the drama inherent to human existence. So, why were the Wikipedia overlords so obsequious and evasive?

The first salvo of the WSM led to the internet time machine and an incredibly well written Rolling Stone article about the Wachowskis. Reading their Wikipedia entry side by side was like night and day. What the Wiki-comrades had brushed off was a sordid story of sadomasochism and marital cheating; a true descent into psychological darkness alongside failing film artistry. My interest was piqued. I took the names of the dominatrix, abandoned wives, and disgruntled colleagues involved and tested them on google while using the chrome browser. This is, as you may have guessed, the second step of the WSM. For example, Larry Wachowski cheated on his wife with a gold digging dominatrix known in Hollywood as Ilsa Strix, born Karin Ingrid Winslow, who in turn cheated on her wife (or husband), the female-to-male, half-trans porn star known as Buck Angel. I searched for a photo of Mrs. Wachowski using 9 different combinations of browser and search engine, as follows:

Can you guess what happened? Yes, all the results differed. For starters, why is the Rolling Stone article archived? Whether you like the magazine or not, it is undeniable that it features gifted writers and the house style is impeccable, with the result that articles older than the one about the Wachowskis are available straight up with updates and amendments. But this one, mind you, was written in a different era, it seems. Now, only purposefully looking out for the article will lead you to it. Otherwise, it’s archived. And then, why is information about a public artist with a film that was a global phenomenon so different between engines and browsers?

You have to give it a try one day. Just pick a progressive sacred cow’s associates, particularly if sensitive, and you will experience the contrast of what someone, somewhere seems to want you to think about. Which, in turn, brings us back full circle to the issue of wholesomeness. Technically, this tongue in cheek buffoonery of the WSM I came up with may have an easy explanation. Otherwise, though, it reminisces of places, eras, and circumstances when a tiny few controlled the content of what was fed to the many –a token of the second law of thought, i.e. that something cannot be both A and not A. If someone that is not you determines what you get to hear about the world around you, your experience of reality has been kidnapped. You are either free or not.

Behind closed doors, it is undeniable that the intricacies of this particular drama have been present for a long time, if not forever –as Marquis de Sade and all the way back to Onan demonstrate. Moreover, if you have a hint of libertarian in you, the freedom to do as you damn please behind closed doors is as morally defensible as your own freedom. That, my dear, is not the issue. Clearly, nowadays it is not about freedom anymore for it has been lost. Instead, it is about parading vices as virtues, rubbing them on everyone’s faces as if they should be the norm, and even degrading anyone who chooses to voice their opinion that these conducts are not their preferred ones and they prefer (oh, the horror!) to live otherwise.

Look at this ad. Go ahead. Do it.

Did you look at the at?

What? What was that twitch of rejection on your face, bigot? Don’t you know that this is now considered wholesome and healthy for your children? Oh no, sorry, nobody has said that, ever. The plethora of differences that I have with Wittgenstein cannot stand the solidity of his toolbox analogy. One throws one of these things into a toolbox next to other images and, voilà, a twitch at gut level immediately makes you realize that something valuable of yore is not being preserved.

Sir Roger Scruton, perhaps the last conservative thinker who lived before Europe was intellectually taken to the cleaners, said it better than anyone could ever have, i.e. ”Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created.”