‘When you see the genuine, you don’t deal with the fakes anymore.’ ―
I want to be as open as possible with this short barrage against Jacobite. I am inspired by BAP who gives me the confidence to come forth with this. Nothing following is particularly incisiveness, though it is indicative of what we are dealing with. My sincerest request echoes BAP: do not submit to Jacobite.
My experience has been lackluster. I submitted two article ideas, one on dystopias and one on UBI. Mariani was more interested in the dystopian piece which was good since that is more in my wheelhouse. I got to reading and researching, including four novels and a very long non-fiction title so I had my head around the topic. You can see the blog article here. I’ve edited and added to it for the blog, but it is essentially the same piece. I made sure not to be biased in any way and cut anything that seemed a little too pro-right, as I had already sniffed out that Jacobite would be a hard sell on anything that veered too close to reaction. With that in mind I sent my first draft.
Now, Marinara is a competent editor, no doubt. He bashed my first draft quickly into place and made some astute editorial decisions. I listened and adapted. But given I was trying to avoid my own bias, I want to address what I see as a clear bias coming from the editorial process. Mariana took issue with my writing being too ‘spittle-flecked’ and too ‘wearing-a-cape-ish’ [sic]. Fine, but it would pay for a little consistency. If the issue is that too much opinion is coming through then I’d like to see the same standards across published articles. This article on NPCs essentially reads as follows: Personal anecdote; diatribe against right wingers; quotes from the Frankfurt school. That’s it. The point I’m making is that middle bit where the writer just goes off, completely opinionated, and yet here I am being told to remove an adjective. An interesting data point to note.
To call my use of the adjective ‘obnoxious’ spittle-flecked is, well, obnoxious. And OK, my opening allegory comparing modern publishing to dystopias is a little whimsical and I agreed to cut it, but it’s hardly worse than a lame, drawn-out story about some guy playing World of Warcraft. I get Mariani wants to come across as a legitimate journalist, but this is also the guy who hired Milo to write an opinion column. And we all know Milo ain’t right-wing.
I reject these rude comments, and I can confirm with confidence that there was no spittle around my mouth as I typed, nor did I laugh manically while twirling a shitty mustache (*cough*). What’s even worse is the professionalism around this editing as Mariani decided to subtweet my writing.
Hyperbole sure does get a lot of Likes. Clearly he is not a fan of my writing, and clearly I did not try hard enough to remove the bias. What he seems to like is very simply worded, straightforward articles. There is also this crutch for the articles to pick a philosophical/political text or two and quote bits and pieces to form an ‘argument’. These two pieces are good examples, and while I do not want to take away from the writers (both of whom are fine) they showcase the very narrow space that Jacobite articles want to inhibit (that is, shallow exegesis of possibly right-wing thinkers you might have heard of). To be blunt, I used plenty of quotes and examples to back up my own conclusions and it is frustrating to be told that it is editorialized while other articles published on Jacobite lay on the opinion. It is quite rich to be told that my own conclusions are merely ‘bare assertion’ after I’ve spent a paragraph backing up the claim.
Even Kantbot will side with me, and below he’s talking about The Handmaid’s Tale while my example was as rip-off of that. Bare assertion my ass, Mariani.
While I do think Mariani is quite a good editor, at times it seemed he had trouble following my line of thinking (open to it being my fault, but as the process went on my doubts grew). If you look at the changes made below, the repetition of the word ‘state’ is a pretty obvious blunder, and the cliche to open the article is unimaginative to say the least.
I fully expect to be reprimanded in some way as a result of this exposé and I will no doubt be accused of ressentiment for not being published. I reject that claim; I am merely airing some dirty laundry. If you want to talk about ressentiment let us look no further than Mariani himself. That is, the WQ.
This piece by a mutual was published quickly, no discussion and little editing. Again, not to say it isn’t good, but notice what the subject matter is: women. More on women. Mariani’s piece on Kavanaugh, which was followed by another piece on the event.
Is it all a joke? Or an obsession? Well, there’s a little truth in every joke. And while you can find some truth on Jacobite, do not believe the gag that it is part of the dissident right.
Jacobite is really nothing more than a egotistical prank, a publication that purports to be above it all (the clue is in the nonsensical ‘post-political’ which implies they are better than mere politics) while wanting to feign its allegiance to the right. The whole project probably came from the whole Daily Caller incident and when Marianne discovered that Jacobites weren’t Jacobins (imagine the lightbulb moment). And like how Jacobin is just milquetoast articles from the left, Jacobite does the same for the right. Regarding Jacobin, the origin of its name ‘derives from the book The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C. L. R. James in which James ascribes the Black Haitian revolutionists a greater purity in regards to their attachment to the ideals of the French Revolution than the French Jacobins.’ That is to say, more left than left. That is hardly the case as there are plenty of extreme leftist ideas they avoid publishing, much punching left (which might be a little to the right?) and even some articles that are downright reactionary.
Jacobite does the same for the right. It wants to coddle up, but can’t go too far, such as the aforementioned article on NPCs and the ‘review’ of BAP’s book. The excuse of overlapping ideas is weak, a ready-made escape pod should anything get too heated. Heck, even Quillette has more teeth than Jacobite (plus, they got an interview with Camille Paglia and Jacobite got another Logo review). Jacobite used Nick Land to get some early cred, but since then it’s been an constant litany of libertarian types and edgy communists. It’s unfathomable how anyone can read a McCrumplar piece without an aneurysm, yet I’m unintelligible? Fundamentally I think what Jacobite lacks is a sense of purpose. For example, Palladium Magazine appears to have purpose and it might do what Jacobite started out to do, but far better. If we look at Jacobite’s birth, it said that it wanted to feature articles on ‘…culture, politics and philosophy with a focus on “exit” — that is, building alternatives to systems rather than trying to lobby within them.’ Jacobite has lost its bearing. It isn’t rigorous with its science like Quillette. It does not care for the right like Social Matter. It does not fill any particular niche, and as such is little more than an outlet for various egos.
Do not be like me and follow your ego. It would be nice to have a byline somewhere, especially somewhere with considerable reach like Jacobite. But that’s just it. In order to have reach, it has settled somewhere towards the middle. Continue to blog and share and read fellow rightists work. Just don’t succumb to the lure of any false gatekeepers. There is something to be said of false prophets, and as BAP says we do not need outsider curators.
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