Ed Driscoll

The Rise of the Megalothymiamanical Memories Pizza Truthers

In the old days, the left railed against the eeeevils of Big Business, whether it was Upton Sinclair versus the meatpackers, or demonizing the men who built America’s network of railroads with the folk Marxist twang of “Robber Barons.” But these days, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks with Starbucks’ Howard Schultz and Apple’s Tim Cook, American business is almost totally onboard with the left’s social agenda. Comcast’s MSNBC channel and Viacom’s Daily Show and all three of the broadcast network’s news programs are effectively daily in-kind contributions to the Democrat Party.

But individual small businesses are a lot more random in their thinking, which is why the left hates them, unless they obediently conform to the Gleichschaltung. Millionaire filmmaker Michael Moore, who poses as a big lovable stubbly-faced friend of the working man, gave the game away in 2002:

You know in my town the small businesses that everyone wanted to protect? They were the people that supported all the right-wing groups. They were the Republicans in the town, they were in the Kiwanas, the Chamber of Commerce – people that kept the town all white. The small hardware salesman, the small clothing store salespersons, Jesse the Barber who signed his name three different times on three different petitions to recall me from the school board. F**k all these small businesses – f**k ’em all! Bring in the chains. The small businesspeople are the rednecks that run the town and suppress the people. F**k ’em all. That’s how I feel.

Flash-forward to today, and that’s how Moore’s fellow leftists feel about a a small-town family-owned business, a pizza parlor in a town with a population of about 2,300 people. At the moment, the collective left is currently losing its collective mind when their attempt to destroy it backfired. To put a balm over any twinges of guilt, they’re paraphrasing the infamous cri de coeur of legendary Washington mayor and crack addict Marion Barry: the pizzeria set us up! At Hot Air, Allahpundit explores the “reasoning” that creates a Memories Pizza Truther:

It adds up. ABC57 reporter Alyssa Marino walks through the door of the pizzeria during a Category Five news-storm over RFRA and asks, “Anyone here got a problem with catering gay weddings?” The pizzeria employees slink away, knowing what a “yes” would mean for their careers. But not Memories CEO Crystal O’Connor. As usual, she’s one step ahead of the game. Instantly she recognizes that if she says yes to Marino, the left will go apesh*t, flooding her business with crank calls, death threats, and nasty online reviews. The business will close temporarily. And then enraged conservatives will rally to her side, showering her with solidarity cash beyond her wildest small-town dreams. The GoFundMe take as I write this: $528,000 and counting. It’s a scam, engineered by an unassuming but quietly brilliant pizza-shop owner whose ability to anticipate partisan strikes and counterstrikes really should have her in charge of a Fortune 500 PR company. Coming soon: The Barbara Walters interview and then a bestselling book. She’ll retire by 40. Watch the clip below and you’ll see what I mean. No one as slick and comfortable on camera as O’Connor is could have possibly stumbled innocently into this culture-war clusterfark. She’s the “Gone Girl” of religious liberty.

Heh. In reality of course, her family’s business was the random victim of an Alinsky-style demolition by the leftwing mob, as Drew M. writes at Ace of Spades, praising PJTV alumnus Dana Loesch of The Blaze for setting the pushback against their tactics into motion:

The old model of the Outrage Brigades was to pick a target, call in the mob and hound the target out of polite company. Think of Justine Sacco. Well, a new model may develop from the Memories Pizza fiasco….the left still tries to destroy an innocent person who has the temerity to express an unapproved thought but instead of being destroyed by the lynch mob, the target is supported and literally enriched by the experience.

This isn’t the way it’s supposed to go and now the hatemongers are upset. Naturally they aren’t reexamining their tactics or beliefs, they are doing what insane people always do…delve into deeper and deeper into comforting fantasies about how their victims are really powerful oppressors engaged in a complex conspiracy.

Check out this tweet and the responses to it. They really believe that the people at Memories Pizza organized this whole thing to scam people out of money.

This is fantastic news.

Right now the the Go Fund Me campaign is well north of half a million dollars. Here’s the thing, I don’t care if the family takes all the money and spends in on hookers and blow. The point is the left thought they could destroy someone and make an example of them to quiet future Thought Crimes. It didn’t work. In fact, it backfired spectacularly.

We need to do this EVERY TIME these bastards do this to someone. Yes, it will get old, a little expensive and real grifters will show up and have to be avoided. But this is how you defeat the left. Make their tactics backfire. Show them that far from silencing people, every time they try to knock one person down, thousands will be there to lift them back up.

As Jonah Goldberg writes in his latest G-File, the left is suffering from a massive combined overdose of Selma Envy (QED: the National Journal’s hapless Ron Fornier) and “Megalothymia:”

Megalothymia is a term coined by Francis Fukuyama. It’s a common mistake to think Fukuyama simply took Plato’s concept of “thumos” or “thymos” and put a “mega” in front of it because we all know from the Transformers and Toho Productions that “mega” makes everything more cool.

But that’s not the case. Megalothymia is a neologism of megalomania (an obsession with power and the ability to dominate others) and thymos, which Plato defined as the part of the soul concerned with spiritedness, passion, and a desire for recognition and respect.

Fukuyama defined megalothymia as a compulsive need to feel superior to others.

And boy howdy, do we have a problem with megalothymia in America today. Everywhere you look there are moral bullies utterly uninterested in conversation, introspection, or persuasion who are instead hell-bent on grinding down people they don’t like to make themselves feel good. If you took the megalothymia out of Twitter, millions of trolls would throw their smartphones into the ocean.

Make no mistake: This is a problem across the ideological spectrum, because it is a problem of human nature in general and modernity in particular. But in this context, it’s a special malady of elite liberalism.

At Ricochet, Jon Gabriel dubs the left “The Sore Winners of the Culture War.” “The Left started the culture war, won it, and now roams the countryside shooting the wounded.” Only figuratively for the moment, the Internet equivalent, as Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Free Beacon, of the riot that destroys the neighborhood pizza parlor at the end of Do the Right Thing* but that could just be a matter of time. Or as Rick Wilson writes at Federalist, “Someday, a Christian shopkeeper who becomes the focus of the 4chan or Reddit Rage Machine will be killed by some militant atheist or black bloc kid or some other flavor of crazy:”

If, following a breathless media report, it’s okay to destroy the business of someone who objects to you or your lifestyle on religious grounds, why not burn their home down? Does someone like that really deserve to have a place to live? Why not torch his cars? His kids are allowed in school? Hell, why not drag those hateful, homophobic bigots outside and hang them, pour encourager les autres? Of course, it couldn’t happen here, says America’s justice-warrior class, “We just want you to stop having Wrong Thoughts.”

The Rage Machine’s footsoldiers are unable to imagine consequence, or accountability–and it shows. They’ve been told what the Wrong Thoughts are and, by Tyson, they’re going to punish the people who hold them. You might think some vestigial moral center of the Left would rein in their vanguard, but as in so many cases before, they’re hiding behind the “it can’t happen here” argument. It resonates well in their minds–and with their media enablers.

I imagine that promise sits less comfortably with the uneasy ghosts of Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Armenia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and a hundred other less-known excursions into correcting the Wrong Thoughts of the Wrong People.

In the meantime, another journalist-turned SJW is acting out her own version of the megalothymiamanical Memories Pizza Truther, as we’ll see right after the page break.

A 30-something journalist named Alix Bryan of the Richmond, Virginia CBS affiliate WTVR has pulled the press pass out of her hat brim, and replaced it with one labeled “SJW” for her own form of Memories Pizza Trutherism:


Just in case. As Kristinn Taylor notes at Gateway Pundit, “When challenged for filing a fraud complaint based on no evidence, Bryan [tweeted] ‘that is totally acceptable to do’ and that had she looked in to the matter after she filed her complaint.”

As Ace writes, “this ‘Alix Bryan’ person is supposedly some kind of ‘reporter,’ and yet is plainly behaving like the very worst of the pack-hunting leftwing #hactivist lynch mobbers. She should not be working for the media — or she should be suspended, and forced to write an apology to her viewers:

Alix Bryan would not be disciplined for something that has nothing to do with her job. This has plenty to do with her job. She is a “reporter,” or what we call a “reporter” now, gleefully lodging false criminal complaints against people she has political disputes with, then bragging about it on their twitter feed.

This is also, obviously, a case of a reporter getting involved in the story, and Making Herself the Story. She lodged the complaint — if anything ever came of it (hypothetically), she herself would be a central part of the story.

She simply does not seem to care about the rules of journalism, nor of even being familiar with them.

She is an activist — and she should be working for a company whose mission goals are clearly activist in nation. As far as I know, her employer, @CBS6 in Richmond, still pretends to not be a leftist pressure/#hactivist group though, given their choice in staff, this pretense seems paper thin.

Now if she can write an essay explaining why people charged with reporting the news fairly and without favor or prejudice should not be taking an active role in leftwing #Hacktivism, and if it seemed that she really understood where she had erred and really comprehended that she must attempt to be something resembling professional in her conduct, then maybe she could go on working there.

Sadly, of course, she is in fact the typical reporter these days.

But you can’t be caught doing this. They all do this, but only some are so clumsy or carefree to get caught doing this.

By the way, she gets very upset when you include her employer, @CBS6, in tweets about this. She keeps insisting “My work has nothing to do with this.”

Pretty ironic. You know who else formerly thought their work was a separate issue from their political beliefs on gay marriage? The O’Connor family of Memories Pizza.

Finally, Moe Lane puts the week — the week leading up to Good Friday, Passover and Easter, for those who still observe or pay lip service to those pre-Brave New Obama World traditions — into perspective:

If your long-term goal is to reassure people that American society can calmly handle both gay marriage, and the resulting disagreement over it, you have had a very bad week.  I started this week being more in support of same-sex marriage than I am right now, and it’s all the fault of the Left’s Goon Squad. And the Left should worry a lot about whether or not I’m the only person who has had that reaction.

Exit question addressed to the mob from Allahpundit (the man who trademarked the exit question form): “How should we punish grandma and grandpa for opposing gay marriage?”

Related: Guy Walks Into a Muslim Bakery and Orders a Gay Wedding Cake… (Steven Crowder’s new video.)

* Whose auteur also apparently believes he crafted a how-to guide.