The Homo and the Negro, a provocatively-titled collection of essays recently published by Counter-Currents, reveals one of the more interestingly idiosyncratic, and thus far largely unsung, writers of the far right.
James J. O’Meara has called his own writing style “psychedelic,” and while I don’t know if this is meant to imply the actual influence of LSD in this Detroit-born, Canadian-educated baby boomer’s life, one can indeed sense quite a bit more of a Phillip K. Dick-vibe in his work than anything Evolian or Spenglerian. But maybe that’s just a roundabout way of saying that, while O’Meara has a profound interest in matters of intellectual substance, his writing is at the same time entertaining to read, and not in any way stuffy or stultifyingly academic-sounding.
In The Homo and the Negro, we see this pop-culture polyglot really go to town on various matters, from movies to music to fashion, making frequent reference to masculinity and the current, degraded state of the Männerbund. His guiding thesis—regarding both homosexuality and negritude (hence the book’s title)—is sure to be controversial, even among much of its intended audience. Yet O’Meara’s accessible and witty prose has an undeniable insouciant charm. At times he even reads a bit like an alt-right version of humor columnist Dave Barry, particularly in one amusing essay in which he conducts a running, and increasingly scathing, meta-critique of another writer’s analysis of John Carpenter’s cheesy sci-fi cinema classic They Live.
I got together with James to run a few questions by him to ask, in the words of the late Gary Coleman, just what he’s talkin’ about in The Homo and the Negro, now available on Amazon and from www.counter-currents.com.
Like Jack Donovan in “The Way of Men,” you are very keen on a restoration of a masculine ethos in an age of overweening feminism… Yet while Jack (who wrote a blurb for your book) very much favors a return to what could be called the “hardened” traditional manly-man male, you seem to pine for a time when men could be swanky, well-dressed, bookish, and even temperamentally effeminate, without immediately being tarred and feathered by certain know-nothing right-wingers as nancy-boy faggots. Could you elaborate on your view of this matter, as well as Jack’s, so far as you know it?
O’Meara: I was thrilled to get a blurb from Jack, as his book Androphlia was the first quasi-mainstream (an actual printed book!) work I found, after discovering the online writings of Alisdair Clarke, that dealt with the same issues, which might be summed up as the non-Leftist or non-gay (hmmm, sounds like they’re synonyms?) sexual deviant. While on the subject of books and blurbs, let me add that I think his comment that reading my essays is “a psychedelic experience” shows a remarkable grasp of what’s going on in them. As I mention briefly in the interview with Greg Johnson at the end of the book, I’ve been very influenced by the work of Michael Hoffman (egodeath.com) on the roots of religion and culture in experiences induced by visionary plants. (As another interesting coincidence, I’ve also been influenced by the work of another Michael Hoffman, the historical revisionist, which the other Hoffman is in a sense as well). Hoffman locates artistic and scientific creativity in moments of what he calls “loose cognition,” in which cognitive networks are loosened and allowed to recombine freely. Rather than drug use as such, however, I’ve adapted—or weaponized for our struggle, as Trevor Lynch would say—Danny Drennan’s online next-day re-caps of episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 (the original, of course) with their run-on sentences and Valley Girl-esque idiom as well as their obsession with pop culture trash that by its very intensity becomes poetry (a notion I owe to England’s greatest living poet, Jeremy Reed)—Hunter Thompson’s Gonzo journalism updated for the 21st century—my essays on The Gilmore Girls and They Live are exemplars of this, the first in subject, the second in style.
But back to Jack. His more recent work, like “The Way of Men,” focuses on the question of ‘how to be good at being a man’ (rather than ‘how to be a good man’) and he acknowledges the need for a variety of skills and interests, even for what he calls ’the runt’ who can often make contributions in lieu of brute strength—the blind Homer is one of Jack’s examples.
O’Meara: The ancient Männerbund is very much a key concept in the work of both of us (as it was for Alisdair) and there the issue is ‘what can this person bring to the group’ rather than abstract, media-driven images of ‘what’s manly.’ If you think of the Norse gods, there is Thor, but of course there is also Loki, and even, for that matter, their ruler, the one-eyed Odin. In my essay on De Palma’s The Untouchables, I discuss how the eponymous crime fighters form a modern Männerbund which brings together not just the historical White nationalities, but also a wide variety of types of men, where, as Gurdjieff said about ‘work with groups’, one man helps another, while one man alone can do nothing—eager but naïve Ness is balanced by weary but wise Malone, while Wallace, the runt, not only contributes the way to get Capone—tax evasion, not gun battles—but also, inspired by his affection for Stone, becomes an effective killing machine, as Plato had predicted an army of lovers would be. In the book I also discuss masculine types as different as Noel Coward, Humphrey Bogart, and British war hero “Bunny” Roger, who said “Now that I’ve killed so many Nazis Daddy will have to buy me a sable coat.”
Perhaps this is a good place to point out that I have no particular interest in the ’plight of the homosexual,’ which I argue is a Leftist myth anyway. “Gay” is a fake identity, like “the closet,” to enable homosexuals to join in the rainbow wrecking crew—perfected in the last election, a winning coalition of Negroes, Hispanics, Gay Marriage fetishists and Urban Sluts. This is not Leftist identity politics. This is the Rightist notion of how to create a great culture, and historically this has been done by Aryans in the form of male groups held together by bonds of affection. The Judaic notion of “family values” impedes that, by making all male ties suspect. It’s the effect of that on society in general—as we see in today’s thuggish, “no homo” culture—that is important, not taking pity on some sniveling queen in a closet demanding “my rights!” The Judeo-Christianity of the American Right not only prevents them from fixing society, it even gradually converts them into admiring it themselves. I’m waiting for the first rappin’ Randian to make his appearance.
One of the more arresting comparisons you draw is the transformation that has taken place in American conservatism, as signified in the fact that William F. Buckley used to be the iconic man in charge of the conservative movement back in the 50s and 60s, whereas today Rush Limbaugh fills that role. What does this transformation signify to you?
O’Meara: Buckley, of course, is not a perfect example. If you read Baron Evola’s discussion, in Men among the Ruins, of the differences between the virile Roman racial type and the almost effeminate Mediterranean type, and then watch the famous slap-fight between Buckley and Gore Vidal—I saw it as a kid, but it’s on YouTube now of course—it’s clear that Buckley is exhibiting the traits of hysteria, melodrama and theatricality, while Vidal, sitting back and smirking, is the calm, reticent Aryan. It’s clear that Vidal is the real American patrician, Buckley the jumped-up Irishman whose father paid for the right schools. Yet Vidal achieves his effect by mere words—the typical runt. Ironically, but significantly, although Vidal called Buckley a ‘crypto-fascist’ his Judeo-Christian family values “conservatism” became more and more neo-conned, while it became clear to many of us, such as Bill Kauffman, that it was the pagan Vidal who represented the real American conservative or man of the right.
More generally, the same thing has happened in political culture in general. Buckley’s momentary freak-out is now the de rigueur style of political “debate”: shouting over each other’s sound bites, which are meaningless anyhow. Limbaugh’s been at it so long that even he looks and sounds almost Buckley-esque compared to the more recent crop. And not just on the Right! I’ve noticed everywhere there’s a real type that I remember from the Irish wakes of my childhood, uncles and cousins, boozed up and telling one another to “straighten up and fly right” or “git wise to yerself” etc. It’s all blotchy-faced, thick-necked Micks screaming at each other, O’Reilly and Hannity on Fox, that Ed guy and Chris Matthews on MSNBC, and check out the neck on Maddow! The decline of physical standards and intellectual standards goes hand in hand (how ‘gay’ is that?) and also tracks the increasing dominance of the most decadent, passed-their-shelf-date Judeo-Christian notions—the last election was basically gay marriage versus sister marriage.
Yours is probably the only right-wing book anywhere with a section on the importance of fashion… Some will smirk at the inclusion of this subject. Why is it important to you?
O’Meara: Calling it ‘fashion’ kind of builds in the idea of transient and ephemeral. It’s also one of the ways I discuss of how the Left neuters homosexuality while supposedly “liberating” it, by channeling homoerotic interests from culture to “fabulous” things like fashion and decorating. However, viewing clothing and style as smirk-able is the flip side of the same coin. The first generation of Traditionalists included many who, unlike the more abstract and mathematical Guenon, directed their attention to every detail of Traditional culture, including clothing. I’m thinking of Coomaraswamy and Danielou, also Marco Pallis, and especially the not-quite kosher Traditionalist Alan Watts, who devoted a whole book to food and clothing called Does It Matter?, where he diagnoses our (already in the 1950s!) culture of ugly clothes and tasteless food as a “pseudo-materialism” that is actually an airy, disembodied abstraction-ism, rooted in Judeo-Christian body-hate, and contrasts it with “a thorough-going spiritual materialism.” But all of them recognized, to one degree of “seriousness” or another, that “clothes make the man.” Watts pointed out that Japan became mechanized and militaristic after adopting “modern” dress, and answered someone who said “How can I run for the bus wearing a kimono? with the reply “No real gentleman runs for anything, much less a bus.” Both he and Coomaraswamy recognized that Islam, positing the dignity of all men as vice-regents of Allah on Earth, had designed the most dignified of male attire, as homoerotic travelers from Gide to T. E. Lawrence to William Burroughs have discovered. And I would add, that one look at the pasty-faced, red-haired Hasids in their beaver hats and long black frock coats—the secular Israelis call them “the black coats”—tells you all you need to know about who really belongs in Jerusalem.
For a brief moment in the 60s male attire blossomed, but as Watts was already noting, it largely succumbed to a cult of griminess under the influence of Judaic notions of “real” and “authentic”—the fat, hairy Jewish “therapist” in the hot tub as the emblem of “letting it all hang out”—and musical culture moved from White musicians in tight denim or spandex pants to rappers “keeping it real” in baggy pants belted around the knees to exposed flowery boxers—surely the ugliest and stupidest attire ever worn, and the sure symbol of the “no homo” culture endorsed by the Left and Right. By contrast, as I discuss in the book, the real “hard men” of the American West, cowboys and gold miners, cheered Oscar Wilde on his lecture tour and welcomed him as one of their own, recognizing his long hair and velvet breeches as symbols of their shared casual, free lifestyle outside the “family values” world of Victorian labor.
You spend a good deal of time discussing the future of “white music,” and you diss (to use a non-white word) Alternative Right writer and music enthusiast Alex Kurtagic’s taste in orchestral heavy metal, saying that overall you dig the “futurist” vibe, which sounds cool (puts me to mind of Gary Numan’s “Cars”), but what do you mean by it?
O’Meara: Mad props to Alex, of course, for his fine work, both in music and print, but as Nietzsche says in discussing his “untimely meditations,” one should confine one’s criticism to otherwise worthy targets. Here I am influenced by Baron Evola, whose Traditionalism was flavored with an uncompromising anti-bourgeois animus. He opposed the kind of “conservatism” which, like the Buckleys of the world, simply wants to preserve the ways Traditional principles happened to be embodied in their childhood, no matter how decadent or just imperfect, rather than seek new ways to present them for us today; “archeo-futurism” if you will. Let the opera houses burn! Thus, he agreed with the instincts of the “younger generation” that sought more authentic forms of music than Western, equal tempered music, as did Danielou. Unlike Danielou, he opposed the mania for jazz and later “beat” music. Rather than searching for their own roots, as Bartok did, they turned to the alien, dissolute, demonic culture of the Africans. Needless to say, this “turn” was made all the easier for them by Judaics—think, Adorno, and the aforesaid cult of dirty “authenticity.”
It’s a perfect example what I’m talking about throughout the book: a justifiable dissatisfaction with what passes for White culture is met with incomprehension on the Right, leaving the Left to offer the only alternative. It’s the Stupid Party versus the Crazy Party, and the Judaic is always there, blocking the way on the Right, offering the false alternative on the Left.
If one must have “soaring harmonies” etc. then I suggest in the book that we take a look at so-called New Age music, which I analyze as an “implicitly White” format, de-emphasizing Negroid rhythm and exploring new technologies, new instruments and new sound, in the Faustian Spirit of the Aryan race. Varg Vikernes, than whom there is no one more Metal, is the pioneer here, producing from his Norwegian prison what I call Aryan New Age Music; another suggestion is the work of Scott Walker, from wall-of-sound teenybopper hits to his more recent avant-garde productions.
You are strongly opposed to what you call “Judeo-Christianity,” and at one point in your book you state a preference for Mithra-worship. I am a practicing Roman Catholic who overall sees the influence of Christianity in the West in a positive, not a negative light. Yet we, and others like us, find ourselves united, comrades in arms, in opposition to the Zeitgeist of our day… What do you make of this “big tent”? How did so many people with such disperate systems of belief get thrown together like this?
O’Meara: A thorny question! Here again, I take my inspiration from Baron Evola rather than Guenon, who had a much higher opinion of Christianity, or at least Roman Catholicism (but perhaps only because he had a loathing of Classical culture, due perhaps to his French schooldays, and on the other hand, thought there were still valid Traditional forms available, though apparently well hidden even from himself, in the 1930s Church). For Evola, just as every nation was a mixture of two or more racial types—like the Roman and Mediterranean types mentioned before—so the Roman Church was the remains of the Roman culture—the “Roman”—with the more primitive and alien Christianity—hence ‘Church’. The history of the West for Evola is the rise and fall of each influence‘s dominance; Catholicism, Empire, Authority on the one side, Protestantism, Nationalism, Free Thought on the other. I’ve simply extended that analysis into the contemporary scene, and address popular culture and even sexuality from that perspective; something not done since Coomaraswamy and Danielou in the first generation of Traditionalists, while the later ones have tended to follow, say, Frithjof Schuon into a haughty isolation involving vague mysticism, Native American-idolatry and dancing naked with little girls. I’ll let my readers decide which path is more productive—and less perverse!
As for Christianity, or Roman Catholicism, Evola eventually decided it was not just decadent but had never even been an authentic tradition in the first place—unlike the cult of Mithras. As Hoffman would say, they switched the authentic entheogenic sacrament of the Mystery cults with a phony “symbolic” substitute for general consumption, hence outgrowing their rival. It’s unlikely the actual Church today would change his mind. On the other hand, and in practical terms of “well, what next?”, the best strategy for Traditionalists, or archeo-futurists, or even pagans, might be something like political “entryism” where we reverse the Church’s infiltration of the Roman Empire and instead infiltrate the Church, gradually taking over and using its powerful existing structure—which olde tymey Protestants say is just paganism anyway—to rebuild the Heathen Imperium. The use of “Anglo-Catholicism” as a “public closet” for Catholics and Anglicans of a homoerotic persuasion—such as the great American architect Ralph Adams Cram and his Boston Bohemian circle, whom I wrote about recently on Counter-Currents—would be the model here. The Church was, in the late 19th century and early 20th, a “more respectable” identity, or refuge, for a whole host, as it were, of social deviants; there’s no reason it couldn’t be the same for today’s Radical Traditionalists, as long as we are aware that our enemies—equalitarianism, feminism, etc.—are rooted there as well.