Arnold S 2

The Plague-Ground – Stupid White Men

Remember the shirtless, horned rioter who carried his 6-foot spear into the US Senate chamber last Wednesday?

Jake Angeli is 32-years old and lives in Phoenix. He’s an unsuccessful actor and voice-over artist who’s now an entrepreneur, selling online courses on how to combat “dark forces” for $44.44. He believes the pandemic is a hoax, claims he was in the navy and lives with his mom.

On Saturday, he was arrested by the FBI who didn’t have to use facial recognition technology to find him. He was the most prominent Viking at the riot and never shed his Viking clothes.

Yesterday, it was revealed that Jake is refusing to eat anything in jail in Phoenix. He’s on a hunger strike because he only eats organic food.

Did Jake claim this? No. His lawyer? No. It was his mom who told the media that “He gets very sick if he doesn’t eat organic food…. He needs to eat.”

What surprised me is what happened next:

The court said the U.S. Marshal’s office would need to make accommodations for Angeli.


The U.S. Marshal for Phoenix told The Arizona Republic on Monday that the Marshals Service would comply. Said David Gonzalez: “For religious or health reasons, if (inmates) need a special diet, we are required to accommodate them.”


It’s tempting to think Jake Angeli is just one of those dumb white guys whom Hillary Clinton branded “deplorables” in 2016. But Jake won his ‘right’ to organic food and Hillary lost the election.

The fact is, the insurrection was not populated by Poor White Trash. For the most part, they were solidly middle class. While many Americans think of them as domestic terrorists, they thought of themselves as either tourists or man-boys who could get away with it. Their leaders were smart, white and rich, yet filled with grievances: Like Senator Ted Cruz (Princeton, Harvard Law), Josh Hawley (Stanford, Yale Law), and of course Donald Trump (Wharton).

It’s easy for educated people to look down on those who aren’t well-educated. It’s not that the two groups cross paths much. 94% of Americans do not know and have never met anyone who’s gone to an Ivy League University.

Malcolm Gladwell once set out to learn if where you went to law school determined your success as a lawyer. Surely someone from Harvard would do better than someone from Fordham Night School. It seems not.

Gladwell interviewed the chief recruiter from one of the world’s largest law firms, who told him that the correlation between law school and success was zero. Not 0.1. Zero. In other words, how well you did as a lawyer – partnerships, bonuses, prestige, etc. – had absolutely nothing to do with where you went to law school. There were two things that did: if you had a summer job involving hard physical labor and if your parents were immigrants to America.

It may surprise you to know that the most educated people in the world are Canadians. Yes, us. So we, of all people, need to be very careful not to confuse education with intelligence, brains with school. It’s easy to be fooled, especially when we’re dealing with Americans wearing horns.

But the wisest words I’ve heard about how truly dreadful last Wednesday’s attack on Congress was – and this is with thousands of pundits and reporters giving us their view – comes from a man who’s neither. He’s a first-generation immigrant who came over from Europe and spoke little English. He made his way in his new country entirely via physical labour.

Last June 18th, he posted his views on this video which wasn’t viewed by many people because no one really cared.  But on the weekend, a second video was posted by the same former two-term Republican Governor of California, who is pictured above.

It’s worth watching, especially to learn who’s smart and who’s just educated.

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12 thoughts on “The Plague-Ground – Stupid White Men”

  1. I watch AS yesterday. Compelling listening. During this (on-going and relentless) time I am trying to focus on ANYTHING positive.

  2. Agreed —This was one of the most brilliant things I’ve come across since the storming of the capital. Emotionally moving to say the least.

    1. Yes, it is. I just didn’t want to find myself diverted by the cheating story at Wharton ! the great thing is, all these stories will soon come out.

  3. Yup Arnold was great! That said…a reminder about the other, nasty part of being American: the early American settlers left Europe to escape the tyranny of monarchy. In the process of making that work, they also set up defence mechanisms – the right to bear arms, the militia, etc. Later, those factors were used to ‘subdue’ the indigenous people, Mexicans and so on. This never went away. And, it keeps coming back. Sadly those types cannot hear a word Arnold is saying.

  4. Bob, although I completely agree with you about the lethal stupidity of the hordes of white males who stormed the U.S. Capitol, I find it dismaying and even dangerous to make what too readily comes across as blanket condemnation of an entire gender. And it’s not the first time you’ve appeared in your writing to do so.

    Just try on the phrase “stupid white women”, of which, as we know, there were also large numbers in that riot, to get a taste of how quickly the culture properly condemns such description. Now I’m not arguing for mere “fairness”, or denying that men are by far the more egregiously violent offenders, but as the father of three conspicuously peaceable teenage sons, I get to witness close up the harrowing effects on their psyche of being written off simply because they are male. Imagine how much worse it is for them when that assault comes from older men such as you and I, with powerful pens in our hands.

    It is absolutely right for us to apologize to the women in our lives for many of the things we’ve done, but it’s even more vital, I feel, that we stop doing so on account of the coin toss of our birth, and that we keep aiming, even this late in the day, to be sterling examples of the kind of men we’d like our boys to be. Here endeth the epistle.

    1. Tim — Interesting point and something I may use as the subject of a blog — though, you’re right, the careless slagging of men because they are men coneinutes unabated. Cheers and thanks for checking in on this — and for being my conscience!

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