Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
There’s an important and harrowing chapter of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN in which the author imagines a convention of serial killers, meeting at an out-of-the-way hotel to blow off steam, talk about their trade, and debate their place in the zeitgeist while sitting on lively panels.
For the sake of their anonymity, they refer to themselves as “collectors.”
The keynote speaker at this convention is The Corinthian, a legendary figure amongst these wretched souls, who is in fact a being crafted of purest nightmare–one who escaped the realm of Dream, took on corporeal flesh, and then spent decades hunting and murdering at his leisure.
During his speech to the attendees, The Corinthian proceeds to stir up the crowd by referring to them as “very special people.” He calls them “gladiators,” and “swashbucklers,” and “heroes and kings of the night.”
After his creator Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, emerges from the crowd to unmake him for being both disobedient and disappointing, he then turns to the assembled audience and issues forth a vicious edict: He takes their defining illusion away.
“And YOU, you that call yourselves collectors. Until now you have all sustained fantasies in which you are the maltreated heroes of your own stories. Comforting daydreams in which, ultimately, you are shown to be in the right. No more. For all of you, the dream is over. I have taken it away. For this is my judgment on you: that you shall know, at all times, and forever, exactly what you are. And you shall know just how LITTLE that means.”
All of that prelude is to say: When you call them the “alt-right” you are playing into their fantasy, one in which they consider themselves innovators of political thinking despite the fact that they’ve co-opted an 80-year old ethos. When Richard Spencer calls them conquerors and children of the sun, he is feeding them the necessary hallucinations to keep them from seeing how small, petty, and ugly they are.
The only reason they don’t refer to themselves as Nazis is because the brand has been irreparably damaged by the fact that the Nazis were genocidal monsters, and genocidal monsters don’t play as well to “middle America” as knights and superheroes do.
Call them what they are, often and loudly. They are Nazis. Take this dream away from them.