Saturday, December 16, 2017

Culture: support, extend, transform

I get Jordan B. Peterson’s point here but not his larger point:

"When someone is proud of his culture despite having done nothing to support it, extend it or transform it." I suppose everyone I know could write a novella, a short story, a poem, or a comic book, but not one in a thousand could write one that others would willingly read. Still, I have frequented fanfic communities (to pick a random group), and will testify that, yes, Sturgeon's Iron Law is still valid, but some people do manage to bang out readable, enjoyable fiction, and, further, a few people in those communities can write fiction that one reads, keeps, and adopts, whether as a favorite story or a model for one’s own writing.

To write something that other people adopt, even a few people, even in a transient fan community, is truly an achievement that extends one’s culture, at any scale. But not one in ten thousand can achieve this, and many who can never do: too busy, too discouraged, too, too … gainfully employed.

And to transform one’s culture, I think perhaps no nation on Earth has ever had more than ten of those creatures alive any given instant, even including science and engineering, where a few Newtons and Maxwells are followed by diligent craftsmen working out the obscure, but life-changing, derivations of the giants’ ideas.

Finally, we come down to support. I wonder what Mr Peterson means here, since most of the neo-Reactionary/Alternative Right pay income taxes to the kinds of schools that hire Mr Petersons, and to Government Art Agencies that use their glorious, tax-funded largess to shove crucifixes into bottles of piss.

Does he refer to the support from men accomplished at working in the heavy, frictious world of things, where piles of lumber stubbornly refuse to become houses without large inputs of thought and work, where “cleanliness is next to Godliness” fights the Second Law of thermodynamics, where the wrong kind of dirt changes building plans, causing us to mutter, as we have since time out of mind, “The Devil is in the details”?

Does he refer to the ad hoc funding Joshua Bell famously failed to receive in the D.C. Metro? Or the education that relegated classical music to “dead, white male” status?

Does he refer to the paying audiences that gave American television, movies and music a global reach?

Call me “curious red.”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Roy Moore loss

Everyone starts with the primary, but that is too late.

Luther Strange lost the Alabama Lt. Governor election to a Democrat, then later won Attorney General, a much lower profile. He won one AG incumbency, but incumbents are a different beast so I do not count them.

So, a candidate with a 50% loss rate is run for a U.S. Senate seat. Like George H. W. Bush, he had little electability.

Strange took 33% in primary, while Moore got only 39% (Also like Akin, who got 35% in primary, with two opponents each with 32%.) Moore took the run-off 55-45. The bottom line:

  1. The loss begins with the governor nominating his AG, a move supported by Karl Rove.
  2. It continues with Moore failing to defend himself effectively. He can't even stop his wife from babbling "some of our best friends are Jews." (My God, it's CURRENT_YEAR!)

As we saw with Akin, good Christian credentials are important in the South, and elsewhere. But "too much Jesus" does really exist.

Now: candidates like Moore and Akin are fundamentally unavoidable. So long as we have primaries, we will have them, but the Party is expected to head them off without calling its own voters bigots or religious nuts.

The National GOP should have been at the governor's door, asking his price for a solid Senate candidate, as opposed to a buddy.

You can also lay a little blame at Trump's door. He should have asked about the possible replacement for Sessions. I am sure he won't make that mistake again. I feel bad for him, he must be seeing US CEO as a completely thankless job.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Blinded by a nostalgic glow: Three times Acculturated magazine doesn't get parenting

Not unlike Robert Conquest’s Three Laws, I have my own rule: any group of social conservatives, unless radicalized, substitute mindless nostalgia for socio-economic repair or innovation, and brainless speculation for close observation. Three examples:
If parents didn’t give their children chores and make them participate in housekeeping, lawn care, and home repairs, or if they outsourced those things altogether, why should they point and laugh at millennials who need tutorials on doing laundry, using lawn mowers, and fixing faucets?

… In their defense, older generations probably tried to do their children a favor by shielding them from the kind of challenging childhoods many of them endured … source
No. This is a result both of divorced parents, and of intact but two income families. You have a fixed amount of time for the kids, and you must spend it on working, cooking, cleaning, home and auto maintenance, and all the rest. Teaching children how to do any of these increases the time to do them significantly, and cuts the time you could spend supervising homework. Also, teaching kids is best started young, when they are more pliable and obedient. Any long interruption of the learning habit may kill parental teaching permanently.

Consider two divorced parents: Mom lives in a home partly (perhaps fully) funded by child support. Dad lives in an apartment. Both are working. Dad knows how to fix homes and cars, but has no home and no garage space to work on the car. Mom hires it all out. Results: children unable to read a tape measure. Or consider reading a paper map: with one parent driving, one can teach map reading. It is always harder to do it alone.

No fictional “shielding” involved.
There have never been more advantages to relationships with older men, precisely because Tinder and its ilk have made dating feel impossible to those of us who don’t want to participate in the battle of who-cares-less. Reach back two decades and you are more likely to find a man who can’t fathom swiping through a series of pictures to find a mate for the night. source
Red Pill? Sexual market value? No radical, shocking truth, please, we’re innocuous. Bonus: note how Jessica regards the problems of same-age males as completely beyond her scope. Judgy Bitch was right: women find it very hard to care about men.
Could a Return to Old-Fashioned Dating Help Solve Our Sexual Harassment Problem?
No, damn it.

Friday, April 14, 2017

“It takes a heart of stone to read the social media death of Little Joss without laughing.”

Oh, feminism. Never change:
Xander, however? Xander is the poster-boy for white male entitlement.

In conclusion, Joss Whedon is often a good writer, except not always. He tries — he does — but he doesn’t really get it, not completely. And he never will until he surrounds himself with women… [emphases mine]

Pardonnez-moi? Would these be women like Marti Noxon, the woman (I presume, with only her pictures to judge) who wrote the Spike-Buffy assault scene these other women hate? Who wrote that scene based upon an attempted sexual assault from her own past? (With a huge twist I will not reveal here. And to be fair: most ByVS fans despised season six and that scene was a very big reason.)

Ecce feminist.

That’s it, Joss. Bathe the podium in F-rays. Activate those six social justice warriors I worked so hard on.

He’d have to be at full speed to dodge them all.

He isn’t. I watch as they kick him around for a few minutes.

I’ve had worse times.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Neither celibate nor prostituted: isn’t there a word for that? is wrong: Hitler traded extensively with the Soviet Union before Unternehmen BarbarossaWeimar’s Sozialdemokratische Partei and the Catholic Zentrum did the same. In fact, Imperial Germany’s secret war manufactures were moved to the brand-new Soviet Union before the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

Once, since time out of mind, all men acknowledged that economic union was impossible without political union.

Postwar America accepted “free” trade (in reality, heavily restricted on both sides) with Japan and Germany only because our troops occupied Okinawa and Mitteleuropa. We paid this price for the benefit of ensuring the next war would be fought on someone else’s dirt.

If free trade is great, why does China not just import everything from the U.S.? Why manipulate its currency to keep cheap exports moving? Why should we thank them for this? Do they get nothing out of it?

Outlawing trade 100% would obviously damage America: isn’t it also obvious that zero restrictions on trade could also damage a nation? A mindless trade policy is probably a bad one; one based on slogans is hardly better.

I am incapable of hearing economists mewling about how we “enjoy” cheap Asian cars without wondering how they would react to cheap Asian heroin in their children’s schools. Or free “A”’s, awarded to the children without any effort.

Obviously, “cheap” is not an automatic good when applied to drugs or grades: why are cars different? Our industrial base is a precious, irreplaceable good; so is our employment base. Yes, there is a cost to keeping a certain amount of manufacturing in the US; we may be better off paying it. The Defense Department had a strict policy of building all weapons on American soil (does it still?). During WWII, almost all domestic manufacturers became war manufacturers. Would the US have been better off without those civilian manufacturers? Are we necessarily better off now without them?

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Bloomberg: Donald Trump, Threat or Menace?

The impartiality of former New York mayor, former Republican, and full-time hoplophobe Michael Bloomberg is hard to impugn. Why, on their four-member Trump panel, he had:
  1. David “Axis of Evil” Frum (#NeverTrump, senior editor of The Atlantic),
  2. Michael Waldman (President, William J. “the Progressive Voice of SCOTUS” Brennan Center For Like Totally Nonpartisan Justice), and
  3. cross-eyed Clive Crook (see his avatar on Bloomberg), old-hand pro (…I mean, journalist), who once breathed, “Flies any angel more impartial than Ezra Klein?” and who despises WaPo’s Fact Checker for being unfair to Obama.

(Sample articles: “Obama’s Failing Was a Lack of Ambition”; “Beating Trump Won’t Mend America”; “Chavez Proves Democracy Isn’t Enough”; “Trump’s Corrosive Incompetence on Migrants”; and “Consider This: Trump Might Be a Good President.” The last conceded only given record low expectations.)

Crook simpers:

I took part in an Intelligence Squared debate last night, speaking for the motion, “Give Trump a Chance.” My partner, Gayle Trotter, and I were soundly beaten by David Frum and Michael Waldman. Here’s the link: I think you’ll enjoy it.

Our side, I’m afraid, was a house divided against itself -- an enthusiastic Trump supporter and me, who agrees with Frum and Waldman that Trump was a terrible choice and is shaping up to be a terrible president.

Gayle Trotter was, I am serious, the only Trumpista on the panel, and she only got national visibility about three years ago. Did I mention Crook was on her pro-Trump team? Really, given those advantages, how could she lose?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CNN, Lemony Sticket and “Talcum X”

In order:
  1. Accused of being white??? Did His Immaculate Hands actually make that a crime?
  2. Legally black?? What the hell is that??
  3. Sexism? Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King got lit up the same way at the same time.
  4. Dolezal resigned as NAACP branch president, probably at their polite request. King is merely a columnist at a general newspaper: had his employer been an organization dedicated to black Americans’ welfare, he would probably have been removed as well. Lemony Sticket’s accusation of sexism (in favor of King) here is plainly below-the-brainstem.
  5. Shaun King is clearly a liar but this is secondary to his white-hating ways (so odd to type that). This high school “hate crime” was completely dismissed by the police in 1995: the injuries were “minor” and he did not have “multiple spinal surgeries.” Six witnesses said the “attack” was a one-on-one fight.
No white people care if Rachel and Shaun run around pretending to be black. Yes, we think that’s bent, but prosecuting it would only publicize a bizarre behavior. Black people care, but that’s little of my business.

No, what we care about is Shaun and Rachel publishing their fantasies about hate crimes, directed at them, as true stories. (Talcum X’s fake attack, and “... at least eight documented hate crimes targeted Dolezal and her children.”) This is fomenting racial hatred, inciting a race war and in a real country, they would both be hanged for faking hate crimes.

Modern Grotesque

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