Signing the Confession

Perhaps the most prominent of this week’s batch of progressive public executions in America is that of Cincinnati Reds’ broadcaster Thom Brennaman, essentially for the crime of using jock language to say a jock type of thing, while not realizing his voice was still on air. 

Here is an account of the crime from the New York Daily News:

On Thursday, Fox Sports announced that the veteran announcer had been suspended indefinitely for the “abhorrent, unacceptable” language he used during a Wednesday broadcast of a Reds game against the Kansas City Royals — when he was unknowingly recorded describing an undisclosed place as “one of the f-g capitals of the world.”

Reaction against his language exploded as soon as the hot mic incident was shared on social media platforms. Some sports fans demanded his immediate dismissal, while a number of Reds players expressed outrage at the remark.

His employer describes this very banal example of guy talk as “abhorrent” and “unacceptable.” What I find abhorrent and unacceptable is the immediate explosion of mock outrage from “sports fans” and Reds players. In this climate of public shaming and the politics of life-destruction, anyone who would leap on such a bandwagon, let alone over something so trivial as Brennaman’s silly joke, truly deserves exactly the kind of character assassination and socio-economic ostracism with which they themselves are all too happy to destroy another man’s life and livelihood.

But of course this little incident, in itself, is nothing but a minor sign of the times. The key to the universal significance of this local story lies in the aftermath.

During an on-air apology, Brennaman said he was “deeply ashamed” for the remark, and he wanted to apologize to the “people who sign my paycheck,” to the Reds, to Fox Sports Ohio and to “anybody that I’ve offended here tonight.”

LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD called the apology “incredibly weak and not enough.” 

As usual, the victim of progressive public shaming is brought to his knees in a desperate attempt to salvage his name, his career, his life. As usual, his accusers assert the right to demand that he humiliate himself more for them, before they will consider forgiving him — which in truth, of course, they never will. What we are seeing in all these microcosmic instances of “cancel culture” and “social justice” is nothing but history’s latest wave of one of the stock, telltale strategies of all exertions of revolutionary totalitarian control.

The first rule of such social manipulation is that the outlier or misfit must never be granted the dignity of being disagreed with or refuted. He must be summarily and unhesitatingly beaten down, ostracized, excommunicated from his professional guild, subjected to public hatred and ridicule, until he finally crumbles under the strain of isolation, the helplessness of infamy, and the fear (practical and moral) of living as a social exile forever.

It is never enough, that is, that the man merely be humiliated and ruined before his peers, his family, and Society. It is not genuine, successful totalitarianism until the man is prodded through shame and fear into signing the confession. He must publicly admit to his crimes — that is, vindicate his accusers by joining them — and self-abasingly apologize for these crimes to the State and the People. Then, and only then, may he be publicly executed, literally or figuratively. He must, in true Kafkaesque form, be reduced to serving as the chief witness against himself, before Society can punish him with full force and without mercy, as an example to all.

In case I have neglected to mention this during the past twenty-four hours, humans are despicable.

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