November 14, 2015

In empty signals of solidarity with France, really a grab for status points by claiming quasi-French identity

In the wake of the Islamic attacks on Paris, the status strivers are seizing the opportunity to boost their coolness points by "identifying with" the French victims, as though they themselves were quasi-French in identity. They are changing their Facebook profile pictures to show the colors of the French flag, or a mash-up image of the Eiffel Tower and a peace sign, or posting #JeSuisParis on Twitter, or whatever fleeting empty gesture it will be later in the day.

Notice the baldfaced striver pretensions of using the French language in #JeSuisParis -- you wouldn't want to show your solidarity for terrorist victims like one of those bumpkin tourists who doesn't even speak French. So much more cultured than the #PrayForParis hashtag, which is also embarrassing for bringing religion into the coping process.

By portraying themselves as vicarious victims, the strivers hope to add a bit of coveted French cultural cachet to their identity. Naturally this appeals more to persona strivers than to lifestyle strivers, although the latter certainly want to be seen as someone who has vacationed in Paris, shopped for authentic French bread at a boulangerie, and generally lived the lifestyle of the locals. Former Parisians-for-a-week also feel the pain of the attacks.

Some are taking extra measures to make the link clear. A Millennial girl among my Facebook friends initially posted a generic expression or image like everyone else was doing. Then she saw the chance to assert her higher level of quasi-French-ness by mentioning that she had been a foreign exchange student in Paris (and so, she felt even sadder than those less cultured folks who had not studied abroad in Paris), as well as changing her profile picture to one of her and her boyfriend in Paris, with the French flag color filter over it. Nothing to do with sympathy for terrorist victims -- just a rare opportunity to cement in her peers' minds that she is more quasi-French than they are.

Contrast this case with the Russian civilian airplane blown up by ISIS not even two weeks ago, which killed nearly twice as many people as the Paris attacks. Nobody changed their Facebook picture to show the colors of the Russian flag (the same colors as the French flag, incidentally), nor did they rush to Twitter to say #МыВсеРоссияне ("We are all Russians").

But then, what status boost would you receive from staking out a claim for quasi-Russian identity? Zero. Not because of Cold War hatred of the Soviet Union, or of the Slavic people. Simply because historically Russia has been more culturally backward than France. Identifying with Russia would make you seem more provincial than cosmopolitan, so status strivers want no part of Russian identity.

You won't see this level of faux affiliation if Madrid is attacked again either. Aside from showing up on the foodie radar for tapas and sangria, Spanish culture is largely outside the target of SWPL striving.

However, if Stockholm gets attacked, it'll be a whole different story -- strivers can't get enough of pretending to be Swedish. And with as many Muslim immigrants as there are flooding into the ripest of naive Nordic targets, it may only be a matter of time. Expect all of the internet to turn blue and yellow forever.

It's the same with the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, DC. Identifying with Ground Zero gave a lot of strivers a way to get their foot in the door for the coveted New York City identity. Sympathy would have been far less if the hijackers had crashed into a high-rise apartment building in Astoria. Sad, but who would want to identify with Queens over downtown Manhattan? There was never any display of solidarity with the Pentagon, DC, or its northern Virginia location. I mean, the Pentagon... isn't that part of the military? Not very fashionable. Neither is DC. And just the thought of sympathy for Virginia -- like, seriously?

You can bet that if the main target on 9/11 had been in a culturally backward flyover state like Kansas, none of the strivers would have tried to carve out a role as vicarious victims.

This state of affairs does not bode well for fellow Westerners helping the French people to close their borders and deport Muslims already there, which is the only effective and humane solution to their terrorist problem. (Bombing the Muslim homelands even further back into the Stone Age would do nothing to drain the swamp within France, would put French soldiers' lives at risk, and would kill innocents through collateral damage.)

For, if the whole appeal of "supporting the French" is for status strivers to claim quasi-French identity, it would utterly devastate their worldview to hear the French people proclaim "France for the French," or "Keep France French". The strivers wouldn't care so much about the plight of the Arabs being deported -- they don't care when France shows a little backbone and deports the Gypsies. Rather, they would fear that the next step in the process would be that Americans (or whoever else) would also be branded as non-French foreigners who may be welcome to visit the country, but who must not be allowed to melt into the French population and adulterate its pure Frenchiness.

"First, the French came to culturally exile the Muslims, and I did nothing... Then they came to culturally exile the former study-abroaders, and there were no strivers left to speak for me."

It's one thing to point out how empty and ineffective these displays of "solidarity" are, compared to real action like securing the French borders. However, it would neuter the social media hype even further if we pointed out that their displays are not only weak but insincere opportunistic grabs at quasi-French cultural identity to boost their status in front of their peers.


  1. Status Strivers want to be French. In contrast, you will see SJWs bitch and whine about how no one has paid attention to the suicide bombings in Baghdad or Beirut, or they will post images that express solidarity with people who have died in all three suicide bombings.

    Status Strivers might pay lip service to leftist ideas, but in the end really don't care about the ideology too much. In contrast, SJWs really do believe that there is one humanity and everyone and every culture is equal, or at least constantly pressure themselves to think that way.

  2. This is an example of a SJW complaining about showing solidarity with the French:

  3. Random Dude on the Internet11/14/15, 11:21 PM

    My belief also is that they want to make #JeSuisParis theirs because if not, then the right wing capitalizes on it.

    It's also important to understand their motivations as more than a cosmopolitan show of solidarity. The left has a vested interest in making sure multiculturalism doesn't become too big or too bitter of a pill to swallow. They know deep down that there's a bubbling resentment of swarms of migrant hordes and their top priority to contain it and squash it. If they make #JeSuisParis theirs, then they can have more control in diverting the discussion away from questions like how Europeans can be willing to import millions of people who hate their very way of life.

    So many of the left are pinning their hopes of demographic changes that it's completely warped their mindset to where everything is discussed with a permanent left wing voting majority in mind. Politics are all about who is winning and more Muslims (in Europe) and Hispanics (in America) means they're winning.

  4. I'm avoiding attack related stuff right now. Yeah, we know it sucks that people died needlessly. What should we do about it? As multiculturalism and inequality grow, so does alienation and friction.

    What difference does it make, these ostentatious displays of "grief" or "solidarity"? If we were really in tune with our fellow man and our true nature (which we sure as hell aren't, that's why these horrible things our happening in the first place), decisive and effective action would be taken instead of Oprahfying to no end with no productive purpose.

    Also, in our current daze we see no professionalism (as usual) from the media. Whatever happened to reporting the news, not becoming it? Millennial female reporters are particularly grating, incapable of delivering any news (much less the most dramatic stuff) without injecting breathless mania (when not using a "check for pulse" monotone).

    The look-at-me-isms of reporting, sports announcing, editing (in film, commercials, music videos, etc.), whatever have become intolerable. For the most part, my exposure to modern media is limited to reading and some sports. How can people stand this crap? We need to wake up. At least we have YouTube for non infuriating media from the good old days (especially the 80's/very early 90's) when you didn't feel like punching someone in the mouth whenever you turned on the TV or radio.

  5. So many of the left are pinning their hopes of demographic changes

    This "left" of which you speak is a ragged horde now shambling in a zombie stupor. The biggest enthusiasts of the ongoing post 1970 disastrous diversity experiment remain Silents and The-twinkle-is-still-in-their-eyes early-mid Boomers. Yes, there are also Gen X and Millennial useful idiots to the cause, but the aging liberal elites have disguised the younger generations ambivalence by propping up the few young activists they can find.

    Yeah, there is a lot of clueless Millennial internet cheerleading, but how many of these Millennials are willing to really put that much effort into a cause?
    Some of it's youthful naivete as well; some Gen X-ers bought into PC crap in the 90's but eventually wised up. Meanwhile, Boomers bought into hyper individualism ("MY RIGHTS") in the 60's and have never looked back. It's pathetic, seeing 60 year old men still complaining about authority and following rules. "Dammit, the cops need to back off, the government is and always will be worthless, nobody should tell me what to do."

    There's a reason homicide peaked in 1980. Young Boomers had no regard for setting limits on one's behavior. Well, only to the extent that no one (especially aloof authority figures) has a "right" (that word) to ever tell them to behave themselves.

    Sailer just pointed out that today's allegedly combustible campuses have few men-on-the-street troublemakers. The reality is that the aging Silents and Boomers who dominate the power centers of business/government/media/academia are still nostalgic for the 60's. The only (regrettably brief) respite we had from suicidal social liberalism was the 80's. Even then, Gen X teens were lectured for not "caring more" (read: making PC approved trouble) by sanctimonious assholes born between 1930-1960.

  6. "The left has a vested interest in making sure multiculturalism doesn't become too big or too bitter of a pill to swallow."

    You're not talking about left vs. right, but about elite vs. masses.

    Republicans are just as bad as Democrats, and cuckservative think tanks are as bad as liberal academia. They are the ones pushing for population replacement, multiculturalism, diversion of attention from real problems, shutting up about your vibrant new neighbors, all while living far away from the chaos themselves.

    These people on Facebook and Twitter are generally not members of the elite, especially considering how young they are. They may be "college-educated," but who isn't in their generation? A degree no longer sets you apart from the masses. These non-elites don't want the population replaced, just as you don't. But they're wimps about it, almost to a nihilistic degree.

    Welp, can't change the forces of history -- might as well squeeze out some status points by affiliating with the victims of Islamic terrorism who are highly cultured.

    So don't let me be misunderstood: the point of the post isn't to declare the #JeSuisParis crowd as one of the main enemies we face. They're useless in the fight, but they won't put up a fight against us where it counts (whining on Twitter does nothing). The main enemies are the political and economic elites of both parties and political persuasions who are united in trying to destroy our society's future for their own short-term benefit.

    Having said that, these annoying strivers still deserve to have their bubble burst about "standing with Paris".

  7. You have very interesting insights. I disagree with you slightly about the policy that France can pursue. I don't think the status strivers will give a damn what France does in a couple of weeks. Now, the political class in France would prefer that the dirty work is done a thousand miles away and they don't have to see it. So yes, some radical nut in the middle east is in more danger than his nutty cousin in France. Do the status strivers stand with the oppressed students in Missouri? Probably too low class for them.

  8. I don't know who are worse, the status strivers or the SJWs. I keep seeing on social media, what about those people who died in Beirut, or in Iraq? Why show more solidarity to the French just because they are white? That kind of stuff. My answer to them normally is that Beirut and Iraq are shitholes anyway, while Paris can justifiably be called one of the major centers of the civilized world.

    1. I would say that SJWs are worse. Status strivers might be shallow and annoying, but they at least know a good thing when they see it. In contrast, the SJWs don't want you to notice that suicide bombings are relatively commonplace in Beirut and especially Baghdad, but haven't happened in Paris until this year. As such, they're doing their part to ensure that the problems arising in Europe from Muslim immigration aren't resolved.

  9. You hit the nail on the head. Count how many times that Fox News reporter (Pokot??) mentions how long he's lived in Paris (9 years) and how many times he's frrquented the neighborhoods where the shootings occurred.

  10. Speaking of mash-up image of the Eiffel Tower and a peace sign, take a look on my spoof of that over at my site.


  11. I don't know if I agree with the analysis really. There's a strong sense the French are under siege themselves, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and how those were marketed. And this is people with guns and bombs, in France, in places where people are living their lives. It's not a plane full of Ruskis, flying over territory where ISIS might be expected to make a reprisal for what Putin is doing. And there is tension between the West and Russia. And of course France is of the West, very clearly so. So. Different reaction. Those are enough reasons without any mostly imaginary status striving contest. That is there, but it feel strange and unrealistically alienated the degree to which you're denying empathy here.

  12. You're in the UK, so perhaps the strivers closer to the scene of the crime are less insincere (although I suspect not). And I didn't say there was no empathy felt by the strivers -- but that their *displays* on Facebook, Twitter, etc., are naked grabs for quasi-French identity.

    Re-read that example I gave about a girl who changed her profile pic to she and her bf sharing a romantic moment in Paris some years ago, with the French flag filter over top. It's straight out of the "look at how awesomer I am than you, that I stayed in Paris" type of crap that you see during an ordinary day of striver contests on Facebook.

    France is Western, but so is London -- nobody here tried to grab English identity when they were attacked by Islamic terrorists. Americans don't look down on English or British culture, but we don't look up to it either. France is a whole 'nother ball game. It is by far the most popular target for cultural strivers here in America, and in fact around the world (not without reason).

    Nobody made a grab for Spanish identity either, however much you would rationalize that as Madrid not being part of the Northwest.

    So it's not Western vs. non-Western, but coveted cultural identity vs. ho-hum cultural identity (from our POV).

  13. And again think of the contrast between how Americans (and foreigners, for that matter) treated the 9/11 attacks on downtown Manhattan vs. a northern Virginia satellite of Washington DC.

    Last I checked, DC is still part of America and the West, but it's one of the least cultured, most boring, and overall lamest metro areas in all of America, certainly for one as big as it is. Nobody wants to grab a piece of quasi-Washingtonian or quasi-Virginian identity, so no displays of solidarity with the Pentagon attacks.

    But the World Trade Center was not only in New York City, but Manhattan, and downtown Manhattan -- the hippest and most happening place in all of America, and perhaps the world, in the minds of strivers (both Americans and foreigners). So, numerous displays of "We are all New Yorkers" -- grabbing a piece of one of the most coveted geographic identities.

  14. Persona striving and the Internet go hand in hand. Its something that didn't really start up until the early 2000s, when 'Net use exploded. What happened around that? Could it be related to some other statistic?

  15. Maybe that's the reason why Paris is becoming a popular terrorist destination..because so many people around the world have subscribed to the French cultural catchet that any attack in Paris creates a wave of fear and paranoia across the world.. Media gives endless coverage thus amplifying the message of fear.. And the perpetrators, whoever they may be, end up achieving their objective..


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