Triggered by Neanderthal Man

triggered-by-neanderthal-man-1953Yesterday I was asked by a friend if I planned to write anything about the ongoing saga over Halloween costumes at Yale. I said probably not because what would be the point? The whole affair is so bizarre that parody is redundant. Besides, plenty of other people have ably commented on it, and if you really wanted to indulge in masochism you could always go straight to the source and watch a video of those hysterical freaks haranguing the hapless Master of Silliman College for having the gall and temerity to be “committed to an ideal of free speech.”

How dare he privilege the First Amendment over safe spaces? The irony of these students demanding that adults dictate their Halloween fashion choices – a blatant exercise of authority that would have enraged their activist forebears in the 1960s – was entirely lost on them, in the unlikely event that they even considered it in the first place.

Until the early 2010s, campus leftism seems to have mainly consisted of Obama enthusiasts and a radical fringe of Bob Avakian cultists. I didn’t move in those circles, which is why for a long time I perceived the SJW phenomenon to be a highly fringe phenomenon largely confined to the Internet: Completely insane, to be sure, but amusing, entertaining, and ultimately harmless. WaPo opinion columnist Catherine Rampell agrees:

It just so happens that I left university just as the party was getting started.

Tellingly, my only significant encounter with SJW activism on campus occured during my last term at UCB, in which I was taking a class on hominin evolution to satisfy the biology part of the breadth requirements needed to graduate.

The professor showed the class the following clip from The Neanderthal Man, a bad 1953 scifi movie in which a mad scientist injects himself with a serum that regresses animals to their “primitive” states, which for humans is the Neanderthal. Or rather, the black, hirsute apeman that 1950s folks apparently imagined Neanderthals to be. This Neanderthal man proceeded to terrorize picnicking couples, bashing in the mens’ heads and taking away the women to the accompaniment of campy music.

Overall, this is pretty tame stuff – no blood, no nudity, and an overly slapstick tenor to it all – as was typical of Hollywood movies during the MPPC era. No normal person, I am sure, would take exception to showing this clip to a class of adult students for the purposes of illustrating the popular outlook on Neanderthals in the middle of the 20th century.

However, at least one member of the class did take very strong exception to it.

“Excuse me, professor,” piped up a dark-haired girl in Ben Folds glasses. “Showing rape scenes can be deeply traumatic to survivors of rape and sexual assault. This class is supposed to be a space safe, and you should have either refrained from showing this clip, or at least accompanied it with a trigger warning.”

Wow, just wow, I can’t even! I am not even exaggerating. While I hardly have perfect recollection, and her precise wording would have been different, this is in fact more or less the gist of what she said, down to the stilted speaking style as if she was reading from an SJW glossary.

After a long silence, the class burst out laughing, and the professor, maintaining decorum but obviously struggling to battle down his mirth, told her that her that while he appreciated her concerns, the content he presented was appropriate for mature adult viewers and justified in view of the learning goals of the class. He added that he was not a qualified psychologist, so he lacked the competence to conduct any further discussions on the topic. In the event that she had any lingering concerns, he offered to refer her to a professional psychologist, or to the university department responsible for dealing with student complains (safe in the knowledge that it would chucked out with a chuckle). Her classmates were rather less polite in their responses, telling her to Reddit and Tumblr all about it after class. Very soon she realized just how weird her outburst must have looked from the sidelines, and resolved to work on her social skills and stop being an attention whore.

Of course that last part is a total fiction.

As opposed to what would happen in any normal society, the professor, who didn’t have tenure, apologized to her profusely. He thanked her for pointing out that the clip was problematic and promised that he wouldn’t show it again in his class. He invited her to further discuss her concerns with him after class or during office hours. The other students sat quietly in what I assumed was dumbfounded silence, though I might well have been overly optimistic considering that the latest polls show that an absolute majority of American students are opposed to free speech on campus.

Either way, everyone remained silent as Ben Folds glasses girl denounced prof to his face, and that of course included myself.

The professor had to get his tenure, and I had to satisfy my breadth requirement and quietly get the fuck out of a university system fast becoming a nursery school for coddled and aggressive manchildren. In the meantime, the SJW ideology and its Red Guard methods wracked up yet another Gramscian victory.

Yesterday, the Wikileaks Twitter account posted the following graph showing the growth of SJW terms such as “trigger warnings,” “microaggressions,” and “safe spaces” on the Internet in the past few years.  This pretty much confirms the impression that it was limited to a sort of “enclave of extremism” until 2014 or so, but – much like the metaphor traditionally used to explain the concept of exponential growth, that of pondweed spreading almost imperceptibly slowly at the start to filling in the rest of the pond extremely rapidly at the end – has recently come to play a very prominent role in the social discourse; and indeed, much in the manner of pondweed, in a way that stiffles better and more varied alternatives.

Though Nationalist, Alt Right, and even mainstream conservative hostility to SJWism is entirely predictable, it is curious to see that cryptoanarchists and cypherpunks have adopted essentially the same negative stance towards it. Why? Because “generation trauma fad is pro-censorship which impedes our work,” according to a further comment by Wikileaks. The intense SJW hostility to cypherpunks and free information activists, probably on account of the fact that they are overwhelmingly composed of free-spirited intelligent white men – a hostility displayed throughout the Western state-sponsored campaign to persecute Julian Assange, not to mention the entirety of Gamergate – must have also played their roles in significantly “immunizing” this class of people from SJW ideology.

Since indigenous nationalism may well be the greatest challenge to the power of the Atlanticist elites, and cypherpunks provide some of the most potent tools to actualize it, it is surely rather telling that SJWs have so viciously focused on precisely these groups, as opposed to, say, actual American oligarchs and their shitlord tendencies like having sex segregated trophy wives. I wonder to what extent SJWism might even be a creation of the American deep state, to be used as an icebreaker against opponents of the creeping surveillance/security state at home and increasingly, abroad. If this sounds like that’s too much of a conspiracy theory – not that being such makes it necessarily wrong – consider that it’s now common knowledge that the CIA promoted modern art to undermine the Soviet Union. And, incidentally – and so conveniently – to provide a new and convenient method for Western oligarchs to store and increase their wealth.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Mr Karlin, also relevant here is the fact that the CIA seems to have had a major hand in the feminist movement of ’60s and ’70s. That this is the case isn’t even a conspiracy but is an admitted fact. For example, check out this video of Gloria Steinem admitting that she was at one point and to put it in her own words a “central intelligence agent” (~3:05): . But this is just one, albeit very significant case. I won’t go into more detail here because the facts are widely available elsewhere, but it was in fact the case that considerable sums were dispensed in the form of grants by the CIA, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefellers, etc., to organizations pushing this junk. Seems to me that this SJW phenomenon is just the latest of their initiatives in this area.

  2. SJWs were and are completely silent over Rotherham.

  3. The SJW are like the fanatical followers during the cultural revolution in China, they were a scary bunch but they had no real power, the power was still with Mao and he could shut them down as soon as they started becoming a threat to his regime. In America the jews are the real power, the SJW movement is ultimately a jewish creation and should they start threatening things like Israel or noticing jewish domination in key institutions then the jews will shut down the SJWs in no time.

  4. Threecranes says

    Strangely enough, this scene reenacted the death of Timothy Treadwell and his female companion in Alaska where they were mauled by a grizzly bear, as seen in Herzog’s movie “Grizzly Man”. There too, the wild predator first killed the male and apparently, after having eaten part of him, left the body whilst hiding a little ways away. The woman, thinking the danger had passed, ran out to assist Treadwell and was in turn attacked and eaten by the bear.

    Is there a broader lesson to be learned here? Could it be that SJW’s are afraid of things that are just part of life? Using the bear or neanderthal man as metaphors for that which is elemental, unconquerable, ineradicable in our experience, then it may be that someone complaining about these types of events and things is just railing against the limitations inherent in the human condition i.e. pain, death, the threat of meaninglessness etc.

    Behind their fears lies a deeper anxiety that can’t be legislated away because it’s just part of the human condition. That’s why their efforts to extirpate the source of their discomfort come across as so totalitarian. To comply with their demands means altering environmental circumstances so as to make the world completely tame and non-threatening, which is another way of saying complete dominance of all contingencies, which implies total control.

  5. Jeff Albertson says

    Great insight, musings. It works the other way, as well I think, right wing is most afraid of helplessness, but we know we’re not going to just run and scream. The bear might eat us but were going to (in our minds, at least) put at least five .44 hollow points into center mass first. This mindset, however unrealistic, is very calming. These chicks are afraid of everyday life, but its the primal fear of helplessness that makes them so wacky, dare I say hysterical.

    karlin should have used his European alpha juju to get the glasses girl to the range, tell her she looks hot in ear muffs, walk her through getting her ccl. deep inside glasses girl is laughing Maidan maiden helping fill Molotovs for their men. also evil and twisted, but not sad and pathetic. remember girls; use both hands!

  6. Reduced oxytocin and higher testosterone levels have been associated with under-developed social cognition, especially in autism. By contrast, some combination of oxytocin increased above normal levels, and lower testosterone, has been reported in a notable number of studies of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, and, in some cases, higher oxytocin involves maladaptively ‘hyper-developed’ social cognition in these conditions. This pattern of findings suggests that human social cognition and behaviour are structured, in part, by joint and opposing effects of oxytocin and testosterone, . A third, less-explored dimension for effects of oxytocin involves increases in social aggression, whereby this europeptide reduces thresholds for defence of one’s family, social relationships, or larger social group

  7. Are you sure she didn’t drive the grizzly away for a time? Women and SJW run on oxytocin (see above) and that gives them (in addition to tremendous powers of detecting social micro signals of dominance) courage to defend those they feel close to. Women are slower to attack, but they can stand more suffering than a man.

  8. Musings, I track closely with your observations and have made similar ones…also involving bears even though no back or high country bear ever did anything to me. I did, however, spend my first quarter-century in a 70% black Rust Belt city today known as the most dangerous one in my home state.

    The saviors of whatever sort cannot deliver on their promise of wombly safety (and for most of us, even the womb has dangers)–we know that. Thus they do in fact become dominating and controlling, trying to deliver that which they cannot, and know they cannot. Plus the profit and control temptations grow stronger as their reach extends, and so does the temptation not to lose face or their assumed savior role.

    I’m thinking of the Michael Bloomberg “anti-gun” crowd as I write that, but it’s a much larger phenomenon.

    What strikes me is that, in claiming and pretending to save us from the bear, they become it. They turn others into it. They proliferate bears, far worse than the original kind.

    A guy named Nietzsche warned about that. His bear was an Abyss. It did nothing but stare back, and he wasn’t prepared to laugh in its face.

  9. What I find somewhat amusing when I hear these contemporary agitators and troublemakers complain about the lack of “safe spaces” is recalling the tempestuous 60’s and one of the first agitators at the U. of California, Mario Savio, who made a name for himself by calling for a “Free Speech Movement.” And that was a mere 50 years ago. A night and day difference.

  10. Devil’s Advocate: The internet forces students to be exposed to opposing viewpoints and insults far more than at any other time. So maybe colleges don’t need to perform this function any longer.

  11. Replace the word “Jews” with “White men”, and “SJW” with “Oppressor”. Anti-Semites/Nazis and SJW’s are two sides of the same coin.

  12. Seamus Padraig says

    Amazing! Right at the same time, CounterPunch publishes a piece attacking campus PC:

    The author even mentions the rising white male mortality rate to boot.

  13. Is that so ? Can you point out the last politician that spoke out for white interests or acted in the interests for whites ? I can however very easily point out the endless pro jew speeches and pro jew actions that politicians did do. So no, you cannot simply exchange them. SJW are the 100% anti white, the German Reich was obviously not anti white, so its ridiculous to make them out as the same thing.

  14. camera phones + internet = media narrative breakdown

    shortly after this narrative breakdown starts to become clear along comes a movement whipping college students into a Red Guard to shut down freedom of speech and information instigated by ex student radicals who are now professors.