Friday, January 30, 2015

Stacey Dash, Jim's Blog, Same Difference

Jezebel is up in arms over some statements relating to campus rape hysterics by former Hollywood actress new Fox News personality, Stacey Dash. Their blurb on her statement with video has caught fire, leading to Twitter trending for Dash's name. The faux outrage from the Jezebel types is delicious. I wonder if black Twitter will call her a house nigger some more like in 2012 when Dash dared to say she supported Mitt Romney. What was so horrendous that Dash said that had them all in a tizzy?

The other bad girls–bad women–are the ones who like to be naughty, might go out and play and get hurt and then, you know...But the other thing about this is that it then blames the alcohol instead of the person who over-drinks. So it's like, the same thing with guns. Guns don't kill people; people kill people. Alcohol doesn't get you drunk; you get yourself drunk.

Ah yes, Dash decided to voice the idea that girls like to party and some put themselves in bad situations leading to bad things happening to them. This sounds more like talk from Jim's blog than on cable news, which is amazing. The dirty truth she is airing is how alcohol, regret rape and simple bad decisions might be the bigger problems on college campuses, not Romney voting frat boys at UVa. Dash stepped off the black reservation (or is it plantation) in 2012, so this was a much easier step.

Her real crime might be pushing 50 and still looking sexy enough that Fox News gave her a gig.

It's her green eyes

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Artifact of the '80s - Televised Aerobics Competitions

Youtube is a depository of recent cultural artifacts. It is a gem in our technodumpster Internet. Youtube is a library, and even if just a one other person likes something you liked or like, it can find a place amongst the mass media items like Katy Perry songs. I once saw a video of Tolstoy just hanging out on Youtube, which is cool just for the idea of a 19th century writer being on Youtube. One completely inane item my wife found was the full television broadcast for the 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobics Championships. The opening is below. It is fantastic, and better describes the '80s than I could ever write. It captures a nation gone, but it does have an echo today, proving that some things never quite die, they just go out of focus.

Somehow this national aerobics championship was on television for several years with Alan Thicke as the host. Interviewed contestants cite this as being the best one, so there were other aerobics competitions. It is pretty obvious watching the interview segments that a bunch of these male competitors are gay, but this was the '80s, so the default was all men unless absolutely obviously gay are straight, so there was no questioning things. The guys are fit but incredibly flexible, which is not going to be found at a gym today. The women also have that toned look. They are not muscled up, They are not soft looking though. They just look fit. Even sexy yoga ladies today look a bit softer than these women (still a good thing). The other thing weird about the introduction, besides announcing every single person, is the energy and speed. You might find this in a spinning class. Aerobics is down now. Yoga is in, which is low key. Weight lifting is the default guy work out regimen, which is high intensity but not a speed thing. Cross fit is a group thing but not as choreographed and speed focused as aerobics. Where did this go?

It went into cheer leading competitions. Check out a national cheerleading competition routine. It will look a lot like the aerobics routines. Quasi-dancing, fast movements, terrible music at cocaine enabled speeds, fit women who look sporty but not jacked or soft, and guys who are fit, coordinated and might be a bit questionable. The cheer leading enthusiasts are the sport descendants of these aerobics competitors. The only things missing are the Jackie Stallone headbands. Another change, and this is wider culturally is the sincere effort the old aerobics folks gave. Cheering is right there with them. This is part of the media scorn of Crossfit, too, where the group setting and energetic enthusiasm is a turn off to the media taste makers. You can work out, but not too hard. You should eat right, but not be a fanatic. Supplements are very bad and should be regulated more or you'll die taking them! These groups do not go away, the impulse remains and new channels are found. Try as they might with derisive comments, the media complex that mocks try hards will not beat the drive for status and success.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

USG's Greek Vassals Play a Victim Card

The Greek far left won the recent election. Really amazing accomplishment after jailing the opposition and smearing names of others over dead rappers. There is a promise to get tough with the troika, to not pay off any of the debt owed to supranational authorities or private groups, and to help Greeks out. Are these the old Greeks who retired at 58 on a pension or the young, unemployed and destitute Greeks? Unsure. My advice still stands (coup, drachma, China-Rus patronage). There will be good fun as the Greeks flail about, and these populist-leftists linked with a sliver of the far right in a coalition attempts to fix Greece. One thing that struck me more than others was the farce of the new Greek PM visiting the grave of 200 Greeks killed by German Nazis in WW2. This move is par for the course for 2015, and is another example of just how deep the progressive mind virus goes.

The Greek PM's visit was supposedly to send a message to the EU elite, especially Germany, that he and his government are not messing around. They are defiant. They mean business. it struck as interesting that he chose a site where Greeks were victims and ultimately helpless until Allies came to liberate them, feed them, and use them as a puppet for decades. This act reinforces how our victim culture holds supreme in the public realm. Being a victim gives one the moral authority and superiority to win in a public debate. They were a victim, they must be heard, admired and rewarded. Greeks have a multitude of heroes to make a speech at the foot of whether ancient on 19th century. The Greeks have statues of Perseus, Theseus and other founder gods. The 19th century war for independence had figures that a modern man could use as a symbol for independence and defiance for the Greek people.

That was not the choice here. Rather than virile manliness, we see remembrance of victims of Nazi aggression. Hey, Greece, that ain't the Shoah, so it might not get mileage. Theseus literally killed a foreign beast to end the tribute of the Athenian young and claim freedom. That is the imagery that would resonate with wanting to rid the Greeks, especially the impoverished young, of foreign bankers demanding their tribute. Their choice of sniffling over Nazi aggression is siding with a weak image to get what you want. What exactly do they want? It is a laundry list of modern leftist goobledy-gook. These points slam home how the prog mindset is now their default mindset. Jim is right. European nations are vassals of the USG, created by Harvard. Forget strong, independent men claiming their nation for their people. Their minds are aligned with our progressive mandarins' desires. Forget the uncertainty of going it alone again. Just give us these nice distribution schemes. We laid a wreath for our victims of your former aggression. Please, we're the victims. You did this to us. We deserve our piece of the Ponzi pie.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Can Religion Still Answer Our Problems

Interesting link. they do not allow for you to see racial breakdowns for the answer, but with black claims to higher religious affiliation and audacious epigone's splits from other surveys on religion, it is safe to say the big change recently is in whites. the affirmative answer has a dramatic drop after the '60s, but stays steady around 60% since. the interesting change is the change within the negative or unsure answer split. whereas in the past it was an even split amongst a firm no and an i don't know, the recent trend up is in no. this could be a hardening of irreligious whites, atheist comfort in expressing their views or simply a modern view of the complexity of modern times being unique. it isn't unique. another change might be in modern misunderstanding of religion combined with a fear of truly admitting what prime mover problems are.

The general environmental dysfunction that children grow up in. Divorce. Religion can't fix it in itself, but people who want to engage in a religious marriage with the idea of death until you part could solve that. Illegitimate children. That'd be an easier fix. Religion is like a k-selection enforcing structure. Drug and alcohol addiction. Empty souls and lack of coping skills will push people to substitute with numbing the pain through chemicals. There are more, but these are some that are the core of other dysfunctional behavior. Similar to the debate about macroeconomics being only built up from microeconomics or not, many of larger society's problems stem first from personal choice at the intimate level. It's why progressives will never fix anything since they never assign agency to idiots.

The core of these problems lie in people. Humans are animals with a soul or animals with the potential to be lights upon the earth. We still have deep brain desires and reactions. The problem lies in being fed a steady diet of be yourself, individual freedom, unrestrained individualism and anti-institutional restraint. When pundits speak of the possible libertarian moment, it is silly because we do live in it already. Neoliberalism or Washington Consensus economics favors winner take all economics with access to the government helping out. Individuals have all the unrestrained freedom of children with their behavior. Every deviancy is encouraged. The state provides a safety net for all problems, and all consequences are socialized. The steady stream of anti-organized religion propaganda is just a piece of the anti-family and anti-private organization messaging. Anything that can unite the people outside of the state's control and guidance is a problem to the state mandarins.

As long as the culture is attuned to non-religious answers and can smear religion at every turn, religion will not solve problems. Religion also needs the flock. Sure, the poz that has infested many Protestant churches has turned some people away but many people just do not want to go. What do they say, "It doesn't speak to me. It doesn't relate to me". Stop being a narcissus. Religion is not meant to speak to your petty 21st century, late Imperial American self. You either feel it or you won't. Our chattering class and punditocracy does not feel it any longer, and with that, our virtue is gone and religion does not stand a chance. It will not answer our problems because there is no environment in the current system that will give it a chance.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ceding the Responsibility of Being Role Models

The cry for role models is an abdication of responsibility. We hear it enough about the need for positive role models for our children, especially good role models for our girls doing non-girl things. This is not about black boys so the lack of a father in the home for an overwhelming majority of boys is not the issue. This is about all kids. Did the cry for role models in media start before the breakdown of the family? No. Was it before the breakdown of independent, social groups as discussed in Bowling Alone? No. This needed the help of television. Mass media was needed to sell the idea of role models. Many Americans were all too eager to give up that responsibility and power to another authority. Once we do that, we give up deciding what is a good outcome for our kids.

This is not just the horror show that is modern mass media pushing Kim Kardashian and Lena Dunham as representatives for their generation and younger women to follow. That is horrible enough. Who decides how to frame women on television? The horrible girls on Bad Girls Club are role models for our underclass, but the odd thing is allowing producers and approved thinkers to push the positive role models. The lady doctors on Grey's Anatomy, the CSIs and cops on whatever procedural drama, and the careerists on other dramas. These women are seen as positive examples of adult women. All work. You couldn't name the children of those characters if they have children. Hell, even the wives of males on those shows all work. They constantly choose their work stuff over relationships of all sorts, including their kids. The positive role model works, and usually is giving her all to her work by logging overtime or working so hard they sleep in a utility closet.

Who said those were good role models or great representations of women (even men)? I cannot think of anyone besides producers who share an ideological goal of destroying family life and pushing people to work, work, work. Drama needs a conflict of sorts. Art being a human expression needs human emotion, but here is another example of our anti-family culture. Much adow as made about Adele's great album that won Grammys and had emotional, pain filled songs. She is now a mom and plans a new album. People were like "someone better break her heart so we hear some good tunes again". No one making those jokes paused to consider the earth shattering moment of child birth and becoming a parent. Heart break can create great art and emotion filled songs, but so can the experience of pregnancy, child birth and having your first kid. There are reasons new moms cry, and not all are related to hormone imbalances. Our culture on the radio is geared towards heartbroken young women as the true expression of the human condition; they are another role model.

Those are awful role models to lead with as a societal fast ball because every elderly American I've met who has an adult child that works like that laments the modern state of work-life balance. They are always proud of accomplishments but then the "but" enters the dialogue. No one likes a moping heartbroken sap after the window for moping is gone. It is just mass media that loves that. People can choose to be the role model. "But it's so tough being a role model" is the complaint of people who do not want to grow up themselves. Your kids will watch you. Would you rather them take cues off of you or off of a Hollywood conception of what is good? You will let them down. You will stumble and even fail. It happens. How you handle that is key. A well adjusted kid who grows up watching well adjusted adults in his or her home is far more likely to grow up a well adjusted adult compared to the kids who watch superstar, amazing fictional characters on TV with indifferent or even bad parents.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Eastwood's Handling of Violence

Clint Eastwood has struck commercial and critical success once more with American Sniper. It is a gritty war movie that has Ezra Klein and Seth Rogen queasy. Rogen tweeted without irony that Eastwood's Sniper was like the fake film at the end of Inglourious Basterds. I assume Rogen did not watch the other hour long blood and guts routine that was Basterds. Those were murdered Nazis, so it was okay. With a Democrat in the Oval Office, it is acceptable to release pro-military and pro-empire films whether Seal movies, OBL raid movies, weird WW2 tank films or even the plethora of superhero movie films that support the USG empire. Good for Clint, like he needs it after a career spanning decades and multiple Oscars. The theme in Eastwood's directing career that is contra to his acting career is interesting and one that centers on violence. Eastwood is a director forever trying to explain the responsibility and burden that comes with being strong or violent that his acting roles may have downplayed.

Dirty Harry shoots thugs and psychopaths to death. It is not hard. They are criminals and bad. He is the police officer sworn to serve and protect. Shitlibs in San Francisco's political bureacracy were getting in his way of doing what was right; kill bad guys. His western films were fun and moody, but once again, he had a goal and was right. A duel settled things. The strong, and in some cases the strong and crafty, survive. Point, shoot and the job is done. He did that for multiple decades. Millions sat in seats, taking it in and feeling that he was delivering justice. In the unraveling post-68 era, he was delivering justice the elites were too weak to execute. Lights up, and the comment is, "Why don't we have more guys like that in real life".

That is what makes the movies he directed interesting. American Sniper is about how being good at your job at killing people in a war zone requires a lot of mental training and effort. There is a burden to pulling the trigger. Mystic River and Million Dollar baby show people weaving in and out of a violent environment, and a step outside the norms or in the grey zone can kill an innocent. Go back further. Play Misty for Me is about a stalker who Eastwood's lead does not properly handle and even enjoys the attention at first , but she eventually kills. His Western directorial debut is High Plains Drifter, which is about a man or a ghost avenging a horrible murder. That film even offers flashbacks to individuals for the murder, insinuating the weakness in many people when facing a Dirty Harry situation. Unforgiven is the peak of that idea where the glory and machismo is stripped naked by reality. Hackman's "Little Bill" jailhouse tales to the writer pokes holes at the Western mythology. Hackman was a villain in that film, but Eastwood does a good job or portraying the incredibly tough balance that small town sheriff's faced in the West.

The world is a grey place. Many people in their homes segregated far from our armed forces or in their suburban enclaves do not realize the blood and stress that goes with maintaining order. Watching Foxcatcher, I heard the crowd gasp at certain violent spots... at a movie about wrestling. Maybe Eastwood has felt some guilt over portraying the swaggering strong man armed with a six shooter and the will to pull the trigger. Perhaps he feared he was not telling the whole story and letting Hollywood tell too sanitized and clean a picture of what it takes to make it out of a gunfight. If his directing efforts are about the burden of those who perform violent acts, Eastwood is shouldering the burden he feels for glorifying violence throughout his acting career.  American Sniper is just the latest in his resume to receive accolades, but it is also his latest in exploring the mind and soul behind the finger that lays on the trigger.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Stuck in Boomer Mode, Pagalia Doesnt Get Gaga

It truly takes a weird world for lesbian feminist cultural critic Camille Paglia to sound a touch on the traditionalist side. Her mockery of 21st Century feminist activists and academics in the sexual realm has been fun to read or listen to online. She can call them out on their laziness or disconnect from reality. There is one thing in recent memory that she whiffed on. Paglia wrote a pretty critical essay on Lady Gaga a few years back. It is quite interesting to read. It also reveals a generational gap of sorts. It is not in attitudes towards sex, but in attitudes of the self. What Paglia does not understand is that the Gaga package is proper for our times. Everyone everywhere is on display for show as part of the act of living a modern life.

Paglia's approach comes from a base where there is the pop musician the person and then pop musician the artist with a clear split. One puts on the clothing and acts the act of pop hotness on stage, but then takes the clothing off to live their normal life. That is gone. Paglia complains, "
Going off to the gym in broad daylight, as Gaga recently did, dressed in a black bustier, fishnet stockings and stiletto heels isn’t sexy – it’s sexually dysfunctional". The artist is the product as well as the musician. The symbolism and everything they represent matters more. Paglia has a hard time grasping this greyness because of the former means of delivering pop culture messaging.

A perfect example of this split was Cyndi Lauper. Lauper, and her handlers, realized Lauper was not ta sexy woman. They went the "unusual" route and took advantage of the music video medium to push that image. Quick question: how old was Lauper when she sang "Girls Just Wanna have Fun"? She was thirty. This was a thirty year old woman singing a song geared towards teens and adolescents about being a young girl, living with her parents but wanting to have fun and be independent. In today's Logan's Run pop culture, no way could a thirty year old do that or be selected to release that song. The industry would send it off to Katy Perry in her mid-20s or whatever 16 year old they are pushing now. It was a different game thirty years ago, and Lauper could take the wacky clothes off and go on to win Grammys, Tonys and Emmys. Yes, Cyndi Lauper is an Oscar away from the famous EGOT.

Paglia does not get that Gaga going to a Yankees game in full Gaga bravado and inappropriate costuming is different than Madonna showing up to a baseball game in normal clothing because Madonna was going to have sex with Jose Canseco. Madonna went to the baseball game because as part of her getting into the A League of Their Own marketing, she banged a baseball star. Gaga shows up in costume this because she is Gaga 24/7. The artist is the product and must maintain the facade at all times. Madonna's act in the early '90s hinted at this. In the documentary Truth or Dare, Warren Beatty captures it, "She doesn't want to live off-camera, much less talk. There's nothing to say off-camera. Why would you say something if it's off-camera? What point is there existing?" Paglia even wrote as much how Madonna was used to push sexual boundaries. Product and artist merge, and what was not perfected at Madonna's peak was possible 20 years later.

At the time, America was still socially conservative enough and HIV-AIDS was still a concern that Madonna's Sex book-Erotica album-Truth or Dare Documentary era was a turn off. Madonna had to go on a massive image rehab for her Bedtime Stories album. Gaga plays the part and is absurd because of the growth in people playing the part and being more absurd. The actress  or musician moves from just playing the role to becoming a role that others can emulate. If you doubt me, check African and Asian adoptions by 40 something actresses. Jennifer Aniston has played the confused young women who doesn't know what to do with her life but always wants to commit but just quite can't and oh look, it's the same thing in tabloids. What is social media and the crafting of the digital self without subtly changing your real life self to merge with the digital portrayal? Many modern Americans are doing the same just not as flamboyant and as high profile as Gaga.

Lady Gaga is at what, minute 14 in her 15 minutes of fame? For my money, her performance of "Poker Face" on American Idol was the best guest spot they have ever had. She was a smart self-promoter and understood the game very well. She has singing talent, and made Madonna worried enough that the old skank showed up on Saturday Night Live when Gaga was on to appear in a skit with her. Her problems were bad singles, going too weird, going too pro-gay and the increasingly ADD nature of pop music. By being flamboyant, she caused other pop artists to ape her strange costuming and go meta in her joke on being a pop artist. We are talking about an industry that took Jewel and crafted ever faker origin backstories to fit in with the singer songwriter garbage. They published a book of Jewel's poetry to hit you over the head with it. She's a deep singer songwriter people. The industry did this rather than running with a guitar playing cutie with a rocking body. Maybe she can reinvent herself, anything is possible.

Your sister isn't an expert baker, but she says so on Faceborg, so it pressures her into faking baking in real life. Your college friend is pondering divorce, but Instagram is full of kissy face vacation pics, forcing an illusion to become real. Your friend cries in her oversized sunglasses on the weekend at brunch but on social media, she is living a fun life so she has to go out to fulfill that mirage. The lack of privacy that we have chosen to have has left no room for error. People want to keep up, people want status, and people will fulfill the check boxes to get that status. One must always be on, one must always play the part, and it is an elected duty. Just as people choose to engage in these silly displays, Gaga chooses to be Gaga all of the time. It ruins the joy of life, as life is not a play. A play by characteristic being a production and fake reality. Life is real and can have meaning with sincerity. We have just chosen to demean it. "All the world's a stage" wrote Shakespeare. He was right but just several centuries early.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Conspicuous Progressivism - Chicago Fire

How much progressive propaganda can you stuff into a one hour procedural show? Let us count the ways with Chicago Fire. A relative visited and took care of my son while I was working and my wife was away, and she would watch Chicago Fire. While reading, I'd notice ridiculous things in the first episode, so I decided to watch the second episode and count the Narrative stuffing.

1. Female paramedic who wants to be a firefighter on a ladder unit but GD the evil white guy doesn't want a chick in his unit. My God the patriarchy! 

2. Same female paramedic is of some mixed or non-white background has her white boyfriend in the ladder unit. Oh yeah the race mixing! 

3. Mixed race (black-white) firefighter wants to make contact with his white dad's family. They are cold at first, and his mom explains how they hated on the marriage... in the 1980s. The God damn white privileged bastards! (dying grampa eventually hugs his mixed grandson) 

4. White female paramedic looks maybe 85 pounds soaking wet and has a wicked cool and awesome apartment in a terrible part of town where the homeless guy urinates near her doorway sometimes but is nice. So cool. She is a hipster but tough!

5. The leader in their firehouse is black. He also has a white wife, and they might be older but they are expecting a baby. Hi five for the mixing! 

6. The motley crew of black, white, and who knows what the heck one guy is are pooling money together for a lunch wagon. Super cool cuisine out of a truck! 

7. The tough as nails and by the books fire chief is an old white haired white guy, and sometimes he is too by the book dammit. Damn whites who believe in the rules!

8. Firefighter is declared medically incapable of being a firefighter and another suffers a major accident where the unit does a fundraiser for him because he won't earn no dough. Comedy here being the fictional representation of firefighter economics. This is Chicago. The CFD has a huge negotiated collective bargaining agreement that provides benefits in these instances. First, the guy declared medically ineligible would start receiving either his CFD disability benefit, his paid for sick leave or a private disability insurance payment. In some instances, he'd receive a combination of 2 or all 3. The guy in the accident would start receiving benefits immediately. They would range from 60-100% of the predisability income. There would be no need for a quickie fundraiser for the guy. That would have been the case in the 1980s and earlier, but not now. How is this progressive narrative stuffing? This is a progressive "hide the fact that public employees have great pay and benefits now" narrative.

This entire show is a game of Frogger with the safe spots being conspicuous progressivism Narrative story arcs.

Oh hey look, an advertisement for the second "Russian spies living in suburbia in the '80s" show on television. Wow, thanks Hollywood. Now I know to hate the Russians!

Destroy Hollywood.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ABC's Feminist Disconnect Agent Carter-The Bachelor

Television is a wasteland. How much of it is schlock script writing and lazy producers and how much is the need to shove pure ideology through the screen? There has been a crop of political shows come out recently that are all garbage, yet couldn't the networks or even AMC run a limited series with some snappy writing and a period setting to avoid messing with moderns? That might be too much work, and doesn't push the "Vote for the lady" message. Advertisements do not need "They Live" sunglasses for decoding anymore. ABC spent the holiday sports season pushing promos for two upcoming shows: Agent Carter and the nineteenth season of The Bachelor. The products target the same audience, yet despite a stale premise and the lameness of reality tv, The Bachelor will pull in more viewers than Agent Carter. This has to frustrate the ideologues in Disney's creative development department, but let's look at the two shows.

First up to bat is the new series on the dame who is fighting tough and wicked smart!
Agent Carter is set in 1946. It is about a secretary to Tony Stark's dad who must be normal secretary during the day and then butt kicking secret agent at night. I'm a bit confused by this working woman in the 1940s thing as the feminists told me that they were the ones who fought for women to be able to work in the '60s. Is she just the brains of spy operations? Nope. The promos show her in her 1940s clothes acting like the standard Joss Whedon heroine. "Oh man, don't you just want to watch an anorexic actress knocking out 200 pound henchmen?" It's like the other 10 chick cop shows on television right now but set in the '40s. Still not biting? No, only 6.9 million viewers tuned in despite heavy promotion.  Viewership dropped nearly 2 million in week two. Well jeez, that stinks as Disney paid good money for Marvel's intellectual properties.
What might women be tuning into in higher numbers despite a stale premise? Everything that the lesbian feminists will say is wrong with cishet culture.
The Bachelor pits 30 women age 21 to 33 all pining for the one handsome, successful men to select them at the end for a committed relationship. Each episode pits them against one another in little competitions and date set ups with the one man. Through the wonders of editing, there are classic characters like "the good girl", "the vamp", "the goofy one", "the shy one", "the psycho", "the cute but low self esteem girl", and sometimes the very special "psycho-vamp". Some of these women even leave their kid or kids behind for months to participate on the show. People watch for the first two episodes to see the big fights and cut downs, then leave for a while only to come back in the final few episodes for the "meet the family" episodes and the tough cuts. All regular viewers tune in for the finale and the "After the Rose" episode to see them all snipe at one another like catty women. This stale reality series in it's umpteenth iteration tops 10 million viewers regularly with some seasons seeing 15-20 million viewers for the finale.

ABC ran promos for Agent Carter during The Bachelor premiere. Those ideological wizards in charge of Disney just do not know when to quit. No one but nerdy men and SJWs want to see a skinny, pretty actress beating up giant henchmen. If you're going to give us a fighting woman, at least cast one that weighs over 110 pounds. It needs to be believable that their shoulders wouldn't pop out of joint if they fired a gun. People do not want this crap. Look at the ratings. The mega-promoted single mom cop show "Mysteries of Laura" is getting ratings lower than The Bachelor. The special sauce is that even if married, even if single, all women want to see the good one rewarded and the bad girl be tossed aside. Double points if the bad girl has implants. The vamp has to have her lies proven false and sent home. The final girl chosen has to be pretty but not too pretty. The handsome, successful guy has to pick a good one for that golden ticket: the chance to opt out. This is an easy formula that ABC duplicates over and over for heavily edited, semi-scripted reality television. If networks want to go back to scoring ratings over ideology, give the ladies what they want. Let them get that rose.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Foxcatcher, Sports, Brotherhood

A few years ago, ESPN columnist Bill Simmons said the idea of sports movies was dead because they had ground the cliche underdog storyline into the ground. Hollywood has a hard time just doing a movie without the underdog gimmick. Foxcatcher is a tremendous sports movie that tricks audiences into thinking it is not a sports movie. Wikipedia lists it as a biographical drama. True, but this is a sports movie. This movie does focus on the Schultz wrestling brothers and the quirky John Du Pont who ended up killing the elder Shultz, David. This is not the 1999 Du Pont murder covered by Dominick Dunne. It is the other '90s Du Pont murder (Du Pont mayhem). This is an entertaining film that is well done and is sneaky enough to keep SWPLs in the seats despite being a great sports movie.

The film is well paced, has great sound mixing (a problem more and more I find in new films), and great acting from Mark Ruffalo as David Schultz and Steve Carell as John Du Pont. The sports sequences were shot with a variety of angles and shot selection so you don't suffer a headache watching "jerky-cam" cinematography. Channing Tatum gets to play the beefy brother who is a gold medalist yet still in his older brother's shadow. I enjoyed the contrast of Tatum's wrestler walk with Ruffalo's wrestler walk. If Carell is using this as he way to transition to drama, he did a tremendous job. Watching his portrayal of the millionaire, you never quite know if it's a touch of autism, eccentricity, or just the bubble of his upbringing that has made him as awkward with people. This is a dramatization, so we do not know if he was just a patriotic man who was a bit weird with people or Hollywood turning him a bit more into a villain. Some people in the audience I was a part of did not know the ending of this true life crime drama so they jumped and gasped at the shooting at the end. This audience might have been a bit heavy on the SWPL side as every instance of someone getting hit hard, whether when wrestling, the MMA telecast or the shooting, the audience reacted as if it was shocking. Oh my God, violence! How unaccustomed to violence the Eloi have become. It is a good film, and I recommend it on technical reasons alone. The other clue to the SWPL audience were the previews: period piece, period piece, period piece, foreign film and Julianne Moore Oscar bait flick (early onset Alzheimer's).

If you played sports, especially if you played beyond youth leagues well into high school or college, you will love the sports side of the film. The movie starts with Mark Schultz (Tatum) giving a speech about winning a gold in the '84 Olympics and cites the "virtues" it takes to win the medal. A nice touch was that after simple shots of Mark living his ho-hum life despite being a gold medalist, Tatum goes to practice with his brother. They go through the warm ups and grappling one would expect. The added touch is that they just chat as brothers and friends do. The brother relationship is a wonderful thing throughout this movie, because as with so many athletes, someone else introduced you to the sport. Someone first said, "let's go play catch". Usually, it is a father, a brother, a cousin or an uncle. Someone has a relationship with you that then the sport becomes a part of, for better and worse. The shadow of his brother aspect was a fun dynamic to the film. Mark's "little brother" desire to strike out on his own, win on his own, and be his own man is a common young male desire. The fact that he does well on his own but then allows himself to be corrupted by Du Pont is a great transition. Small changes. Once big brother shows up, he still acts defiant. This all comes crashing down at the Olympic trials.

At the trials, there is the strongest scene, which is right after World Champion Mark loses his first match. In his hotel room, he does the angry jock routine and ends up crying by himself. An individual sport does offer the benefit of being measured by a clock or one opponent and solitary glory, but it places all the responsibility on you alone. When you fail, you are the cause. Mark binges on a buffet of treats after his match and is lying alone when his brother, Dave, breaks into the room and holds him. "We can do this". Then you see the underside of what gets it done. Gotta drop weight, so start by throwing up that food. Gotta drop weight, so sweat the water away. Don't stop. Tatum's Davis sticking his finger down his throat to purge the food with his brother helping him along was part of the game. People won't blink over the men and teenage boys who throw up to cut weight because that's the deal, but they will react with pity at Natalie Portman portraying a bulimic in Black Swan. Those moments do not make it into the speeches to elementary schoolchildren. Du Pont wants to see his pet project win for glory. Does he qualify for the Olympics? Yes. Do the brothers reach an understanding? Yes. If you were an athlete, there has been a moment where you got mad with yourself. It made you eat better for the next season, train a bit harder, and get your ass out there in the cold for conditioning no matter what the temperature was. If you were lucky, there has been a time where someone else reminded you and helped you. Maybe it was a relative, and they have a history with you so you hear a phrase along the lines of, "You can lie to them, but you ain't foolin' me". I loved that relationship in this movie, because everyone who played a sport for a decade or so has that brother, father, uncle or friend. Get in there, you can do this.

This is fuel to many an athlete's fire. There is the person, or people, who knocked you down, called you worthless or worse. You hit the weights. You hit the bag. You spend an extra hour dribbling, hitting or swimming just to shut them up. Building drive on anger and hate would burn a person up. There is also the person who believes in you. They work with you, or act as your last resort support. There is one person you know will be there clapping loudest for you when you need it. Often now, Hollywood pumps out sports thing with the psychotic father and kid who feels crazy pressure to perform and be a man. For every instance of that, there is the "You can do this. I have faith in you," bond through sports. Ruffalo's portrayal of a loving older brother was great to watch, as every athlete has that one person.

The flip side to this is Carell's Du Pont and modern sports fandom. The movie portrays Du Pont as trying to use Mark Davis and wrestling at first to help create heroes in a nation needing them, and later, for his own ego and need for accomplishment and glory. Money talks but money does not solve everything for Du Pont. I could hear the snickers and snorts at different Du Pont goofball antics, pushing his involvement with wrestling despite not truly being involved. I hope they don't have any sports jerseys at home. It was a SWPL crowd, so most likely not, but the portrayal of Du Pont is just an extreme version of what sports fandom has become. The support for an individual athlete, by grown men, from favorite player to weird wish fulfillment to weird non-sexual same sex crush to really weird blurring of lines in existence as well as sexual. This is best exemplified by mailbag columns by ESPN columnist Bill Simmons. The questions regarding athletes, would you sleep with one if you had to, would you let them sleep with your wife, who has the best life, etc. have devolved over the fifteen years Simmons has been writing at ESPN. When I attend NFL games, I look at the adult jersey wearers and squint a little harder at them. What's their motivation? It is weirder now. Du Pont's need to be one of the boys, while portrayed weird in the film, is not so different from the average fan in 2015.

Just one moment to discuss the mentions of an implied gay relationship between Schultz and Du Pont. If a reviewer inferred this, they are obviously one of those gays that looks for gay in everything. Grow up and stop being narcissistic. In reality, the reviewer might be a bit bigoted against gays if they think because an older, loner type befriends a younger loner and they do coke together means it was a gay relationship. What is the reviewer saying? That short shorts and cocaine use automatically implies gay? The old rich guys prey on loner types who are buff and much younger? That borders on some unintentional thought crime there progressive reviewers. The '80s were full of short shorts for male athletes, and plenty of straight guys did coke in the '80s. Men have friendships. Older men often become father figures to younger men, and the film stresses that between these two men. Stop desperately looking for gayness everywhere.

Foxcatcher works because it ties all of the identity issues and personal items well within a simple eighteen month time frame for a wrestler. The Olympic element adds fun to it because of the hypocrisy that the Olympics, drug free and amateur, have become. The Olympics announcing it would drop wrestling for 2020, but then bringing it back due to US, Russian and Iranian pressure shows the ludicrous nature of the even. Wrestling harkens back to the Greek original Olympics, yet we get ping pong as a sport now. Ever seen a gold medal or met a gold medalist? Du Pont introduces Mark to the black tie event attendees with that line. It does have a certain cachet. There is something magical to holding a gold medal. At one moment, that person was best in the world. Years ago, at a track camp, I got to meet Dick Fosbury. Late in the week, I had lunch a little late after a session, and saw him eating a late lunch and peering at a book. I could pick the brain of the guy who reinvented an entire sport, high jump. I walked over and asked if I could join him and talk. We talked about the mental game of preparation and competing. He mentioned singing "Da doo run run" chorus under his breath to calm down throughout the '60s. I asked him about changing how millions of people do the high jump forever. He started the flop as a fluke of sorts, and never expected the world to go along with it. His hours of practice were compounded by doing something no one else knew how would work or should work. A day later, he brought his medal out for the training session I was in, and everyone was in awe. I remember holding it, and thinking of his story. His story gave that medal weight. it made me think that while unique, all medals have their story*.

You may not be a sports fan. You may not have been an athlete. This film will still work for you. Even the Academy is recognizing the performances in this film. Some moments are legitimately spooky in that you wait for something to happen, amplified byt he fact that Tatum is the brooding, silent wrestler and Carell is the eccentric, awkward father figure. While Carell puts on a great dramatic performance, there is still a funny Carell moment in the helicopter. You'll know it when you see it. Enjoy the '80s touches, enjoy another great Mark Ruffalo performance and enjoy a well done film. For a Hollywood product, the film was lacking overt prog ideology stuffing. It was a bit refreshing to watch. Hollywood is not cranking out too many of those anymore.

* This is why I hate the current Olympic drug testing regime. Either let them use everything but make it known to everyone else, including the audience or go zero tolerance.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cobain, the Social Justice Rock Warrior

I stumbled across an interesting quotation by Kurt Cobain. It was not interesting for its wisdom but for what it revealed. While reading it, I had to suppress a laugh. Dress him in his normal attire, slap an Obama sticker on his guitar, and Cobain could be any of the hipsters you are stuck talking to at a vegan wedding reception. Here is the quote.

"I think rap music is the only vital form of music that has been introduced to music in a long time since punk rock. I would never attempt rap music. There’s no sense in it, the people that do rap music do it just fine. I’m usually offended by people like Vanilla Ice and stuff like that. People who really didn’t come from the streets. The white man ripped off the black man long enough. They should leave rap music to the African Americans ‘cause they do it so well and it is so vital to them. The main thing that bothers me about Rap is that almost all of it is sexist; it has no respect for women at all and that pisses me off and I can’t even consider it a vital form of music when it’s used like that. I like the comfort in knowing that the Afro-American has once again been the only race that has brought a new form of original music to this decade. ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ is one of my favorite rap albums ever."

Let's run through those lines as to the progressive declarations they are.

Only vital form of music... in a long time since punk rock = Ignorance at the development of rap and punk both being '70s NYC phenomena.

I’m usually offended by people like Vanilla Ice and stuff like that. People who really didn’t come from the streets. = A rocker used the word "offended". Authenticity! I don't like those whites trying it. Notice he avoids the Beastie Boys.

The white man ripped off the black man long enough. They should leave rap music to the African Americans ‘cause they do it so well and it is so vital to them. = Yes, that rip off of rock 'n' roll will not die. What else was ripped off Kurt? Total white guilt here. He used African-Americans, and this was the early '90s.

The main thing that bothers me about Rap is that almost all of it is sexist; it has no respect for women at all and that pisses me off and I can’t even consider it a vital form of music when it’s used like that. = Kurt uses vital again. Kurt shows his male feminist bona fides. He hates when rap is used in a sexist manner, which is roughly 1/4 of the songs on all rap albums ever. It is the early '90s, had he not heard of 2 Live Crew.

I like the comfort in knowing that the Afro-American has once again been the only race that has brought a new form of original music to this decade. ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ is one of my favorite rap albums ever. = He now uses Afro-American. Super on the edge for progressive talk. New form of original music this decade, which somehow overlooks rap's entire '80s existence and even late '70s start. He then throws out the hipster loved, political album of the '80s by Public Enemy.

This is pure signaling. It is almost beautiful in how many terrible SWPL cliches he can fit into the paragraph. Cobain starts of by praising the origin of rap, and how it is the only new form of music since punk. He manages to promote the black expression of authenticity as unique and special, while simultaneously ripping an "other" white. Cobain can position himself as a good white. He even slips in a slavery styled reference. Like SWPLs admiring Mos Def for years, citing "It Takes a Nation..." as one of his favorite albums is the thinking man's appreciation of rap. Cobain is angry at rap's denigration of women, so he burnishes his feminist credentials.

His status was suppose to be the new face for the ascendant rock music genre. This is Oberlin talk, not the words of a druggin' and lovin' Mick Jagger or even Axel Rose. This is an insecure man seeking to keep his status of enlightened, "good white", and not some silly rocker. This paragraph is by a man so self loathing and angry not just with himself but his gender, heritage and even race. It is an insight to understanding how a 27 year old set to be the biggest star of the newest iteration of rock music killed himself. No one with that mindset could grab the Rock Star Conch.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Romney, the Perfect 1996 Candidate

It is unfair to pick on a year, but we have a broken political system that is biased towards short term thinking. Rumors that Mitt Romney will attempt a third presidential campaign are rather humorous. Yes, he trounces names in some straw polls, but most of that is name recognition and residue of Chris Christie getting snipered over a bridge. No bridge media hyperventilating and Christie would be ahead of everyone by a mile. Why do it? Why set up for possible failure? If it's a "come on people, do over, I was right, just look at tapes from 2012", that does not work now. We do not have a voter pool of elastic thinkers that could possibly think about the guy taking the job. It's tribal. I feel bad for Romney. He seems like a decent guy, and one obviously sharp and successful. Whenever I hear Romney speak, I think, "There's the perfect '96 Candidate".

The 1996 election was a nice one. No active wars on the front pages. No giant war commitments anywhere we had to unwind. The Cold War was over. Heck, the Russians even had a reformer in charge who was helping bring MTV, McDonald's and Pepsi to Russia. We had a growing economy. Some of the moral degeneracy had slowed a tiny bit because of the HIV-AIDS scare. The budget gap was closing and on track for a surplus the next year. The president, a Democrat, had signed a law from a Republican Congress that defended marriage for straights. The president, a Democrat, had signed a law from a Republican Congress to get tough with the border. Man, OJ's trial starts up, but heck, that looks pretty damn open and shut. He'll be in jail, everyone can see he did it. What a sunshine time? This is an election for Romney. That time frame and those stakes are tailor made for a well spoken, pro-business and ideologically flexible candidate. After all, Clinton is not too far removed from Romney from a political standpoint.

The problem of viewing Romney as a '96 candidate and the idea of an election being an easier one is our American democratic mindset. Here's 1996 from another perspective. There are no hot wars going on, but America is getting dragged into police actions with the UN. The Cold War is over, but why are we going back on our pledge not to advance NATO closer to Russia's new borders? America is propping up Yeltsin in Russia so that the US Treasury, Harvard, Soros and Wall Street can loot Russia with the help of some sharp insiders that that Western nexus trusts. This could all lead to a massive backlash from a nuclear armed nation that could hurt is in the far future. The economy is growing and budget gap is closing but how much is due to the expansion of financial sector debt and capital gains vs. productive economy growth? Greenspan just mentioned this irrational exuberance, which may become a problem. There is no security at the border, and illegal immigration is on the rise. OJ's a black millionaire going on trial in a location not in his upscale zip code but a different zip code with a far more black population that just had multiple race riots a few years earlier. Did we really fix the race problem? HIV-AIDS scared some people, and the DOMA says marriage is one man and one woman, but the Supreme Court just said you can't stop someone from making laws that protect the rights of gays, and the NY Times likes the idea of gay marriage???? Have you seen tv? MTV has a gay character on every Real World, sex positivism is rolling around and I hear rumors about Ellen DeGeneres.

I'll travel back in time and fix Romney's political career. "Remain a Michigan resident", is all I will say. If a Michigan resident, he can run as a Republican for governor in 2002 who is far more conservative than candidate Romney was in 2002 in Massachusetts. He would have won, too. All his money, his polished speaking, his corporate connections, and the GOP candidate who lost was named Dick Posthumus (Dead Dick). As a two term governor with a more conservative speaking record, he isn't flip-flop Mitt with Romneycare baggage in 2008. How good does he look in debates in 2008 versus neophyte Obama. Throw in a financial crisis, and who do people trust the car keys with? It is 2015, so we'd be discussing President Clinton's first two years in office, but a Michigan Romney is a far more base pleasing Romney.

The world is a tough place. Even to provide the sunshine times, hard decisions and sacrifice must be made presently or in anticipation of the future. Our system is gear to much on the moment because we need to know who is winning and who just won. Our political system now just talks about who just won and who may win next, with actual legislation a sideshow that can be used for individual grandstanding for later elections. It is unfair to think of Romney as a '96 Candidate because there should not be '96 Candidates. Although the dumb play is to have Romney running as a do-over because he was right, but the GOP failing to clear the field, which hurts him, so maybe this is real. People thought Al Gore might run in 2004, but he did not. His endorsement of Obama over Clinton in 2008 came at the crucial June stage when the superdelegates were deciding the nomination. You only get one real shot.

Romney's real role is most likely stalking horse and controller of a giant nexus of donors. Think of that 20% of voter support and the donor network behind him that Romney could bequeath to a new man. A fresh face to be used by the same donor network that might need someone less establishment to trick, sorry, please the red meat voters. It is quite obvious that the anti-Bush wing of the party is going to try to get out ahead of the Bush donor juggernaut. Besides the freshness test that both Romney and Jeb barely pass, they are tied to too many policies that are off-putting to too many pieces of their tribe's coalition. Unlike the left, they do not have a straight, white male boogeyman to unite the hatred and create solidarity for the coalition of victims that hate each other. Romney is a figure who came up through the system too late, and we have a system that is set for too short of a time frame and run by psychopaths too arrogant for our collective good. The world is far too serious of a business to leave it to a system and spectacle like an American presidential election.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wikieditor Bias on Godfather Two

Ask someone to pick a greatest movie of all time. You'll hear The Godfather often as an answer. It is tremendous. My answer to that question: Godfather Two. Coppola did a double period piece, telling two great separate but connected storylines. In one, a man builds his family, both neighborhood mob and personal. In the other, a man loses his family, both neighborhood mob and personal. Deniro and Pacino both put in amazing performances. Pacino's Godfather Two performance and Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York are the two biggest Best Actor robberies in the last 50 years. I will not bore anyone will a Godfather Two analysis, but what instigated this post was a note on Wikipedia. It involves "the scene", which is the Michael and Kay separation-abortion argument that is an acting class all young actors should watch. The Wikipedia editors describe the plot with a very obvious inversion of events that fit progressive battered women ideas and contradict the actual movie.

I would not want to give away the whole movie, but Michael is triumphant over a government attempt orchestrated by his rival Hyman Roth to take Michael down. He uses his resources, his powers and his intelligence to figure out how to psychologically get to the government's star witness. His ploy is amazing in how cold Michael was to his brother in getting information out of him, as well as the ingenuity that Michael used. A guido mobster would not think like Michael, which is why he rules the Mafia kingdom. I have never understood why NBA players and rappers idolize Scarface when Michael Corleone is the real kingpin. Michael is packing to go home with Kay and the kids, and Kay comes in to tell him she is not going back to Tahoe. What ensues is a screaming match between the two.

Here is how Wikipedia describes it.

Afterwards, Michael violently prevents Kay from leaving with their children; she retaliates with the revelation that her miscarriage was actually an abortion.

What really happens is that Michael tries to calm Kay down, and tells her she is just upset over the miscarriage that she had of their third child. As the head of an empire under intense stress, Michael tries to talk Kay into staying with him, blaming the demands of work. Here is the additional frustration of this blatant Wikibias. Wikipedia's quotation page directly refutes the progressive line above. Let's go to the script (my notes are in bold).

Michael: What do you want from me? Do you expect me to let you go? Do you expect me to let you take my children from me? Don't you know me? Don't you know that that's an impossibility? That that could never happen? That I'd use all my power to keep something like that from happening? Don't you know that? Kay, now in time, you'll feel differently. You'll be glad I stopped you now. I know that. I know you blame me for losing the baby. Yes. I know what that meant to you. I'll make it up to you, Kay. I swear I'll make it up to you. I'm gonna change. I'll change. I've learned that I have the strength to change. [ed: boilerplate prevent divorce defense] And you'll forget about this miscarriage. And we'll have another child. And we'll go on, you and I. We'll go on.

Kay: Oh, Michael. Michael, you are blind. [ed: Keaton's eyes look so defeated and sad]  It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion. [ed: you have to see Pacino's face] An abortion, Michael!  Just like our marriage is an abortion. Something that's unholy and evil. I didn't want your son, Michael! [ed: Pacino's silent rage makes him tremble] I wouldn't bring another one of you sons into this world! It was an abortion, Michael! It was a son, Michael! A son! And I had it killed because this must all end! I know now that it's over. I knew it then. There would be no way, Michael... no way you could ever forgive me, not with this Sicilian thing that's been going on for 2,000 years-

[Enraged, Michael lunges at Kay, slapping her across the face. She falls onto the couch]

Michael: BITCH! You won't take my children!
Kay: [sobbing] I will. [ed: mumbled]
Kay: I will! They're my children too [ed: mumbled]

Here's most of that scene on Youtube.

Looking at the script and scene, we see very clearly that Kay reveals that she killed their son, his son, because she could not take it anymore. After the revelation, Michael slaps her. Michael is forever the calm, cool and business son of the Corleone family. He is the thinker, and he reluctantly kills Salazzo in the first Godfather. This moment of power, one where he is now untouchable, is marred by his wife telling him that his family is broken, and that their marriage was never right, evil. She took away his son. He is told it all by his wife. He reacts in anger and pain, and slaps her. Once. The Wikipedia line above that "he violently stops her, and then she reveals the abortion" is a lie in many ways. She revealed it first. Michael let Kay leave him. He still wore his wedding band. He kept the kids. Did Michael love Kay? I don't know if he ever did. Does he coldly close the door in her face later in the movie when she secretly visited the kids and begged Anthony, their son, for a hug.

It is a cheap shot at a fictional character, but Wikieditors make Michael the abusive husband, and Kay gets a little revenge on him revealing the abortion. In reality, Kay exercises her right to kill a child no matter what the father says, and that was her one defiant act in a relationship and situation in which she felt she was a prisoner. If you ponder if the progressives coordinate, consider the decades involved and subject. We have Wikieditors lying about a movie scene to push a narrative, but there is something else. In the Godfather books, Michael and Kay have two sons and one daughter. There was no abortion. Look at the release date again. Godfather Two came out in 1974. Roe v. Wade was in 1973. Coppola slipped in a topical change to help the little folks at home realize that abortion is a special freedom for women who are trapped in horrible marriages to wealthy, powerful men. The ideology pushing has always been there; it has just become more obvious and zanier. Wikieditors are around decades later to help new generations understand the right way.

One final comment, or thought experiment. Watch this movie or just this scene with even the most vocal mangina of your SWPL friends. Talk to them about it. You are bound to get them to trip up on the reality of abortion or the idea that it is never ever okay to hit a woman. Someone you thought loved you and was committed to a family with you consciously kills your child, your son. How does one react? Thought crime is easier when the socially frowned upon idea is not abstract.

Monday, January 12, 2015

NY Times Snark Reveals Egyptian Junta's Effectiveness

A Google News search for Libya reveals warring factions, blown up tankers and oil terminals, and a general descent into hell. Libya definitely lost out in that Arab Spring. I will not bring up Assad because despite being in power still, he is in a tough spot. Anyone hear from Egypt recently? Pretty quiet on that front despite the rest of the Middle East being embroiled in ISIS fighting. Egypt is feeding it's people and will even issue some new bonds. The military's coup looks to be a success. We can see proof of it just in how the New York Times is reporting on Egypt.

First, the wonderfully bitter op-ed in October by Mona Eltahawy sneered at el-Sisi's new Egypt. She put "New Egypt" in scare quotes. Mona is an Egyptian-American author with a book coming about the fight for gender equality in the Arab world. We see where her sympathies lie as well as her disconnect from the Muslims of the Middle East. In November, the Times reported on the dropping of all charges against Mubarak. Then in December, the Times reported on Egypt denying entry to an American scholar who was critical of its government. Grrr, a sovereign nation made a decision that displeased the Times. Cementing the view that el-Sisi has things under control, the Times was left with one progressive gasp in early January. Egyptian authorities cracked down on twenty six gay men. It was appalling in the Times words. They were acquitted but will "suffer a lifetime of public scorn". When the Times is down to that, you know you've won.

How did el-Sisi do it? Well, looking back at that October op-ed, one can see the mechanisms. El-Sisi also received aid from some good Arab friends. Here is the op-ed chunk that explains el-Sisi's success.

The reality is that since July 2013, when Mr. Sisi overthrew President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, at least 16,000 people have been jailed for their views — most for being members or supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. The regime has also imprisoned secular activists, such as Ahmed Maher, a founder of the April 6 youth movement, for an unauthorized protest, and journalists, including three from Al Jazeera who were convicted in July on charges of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood.
Earlier this year, a judge handed down more than 1,200 death sentences in two mass trials, again mostly to those accused of being Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters. (The number of death sentences was later reduced to 277 and the judge was removed from his court after international condemnation.) 
As a draconian “protest law” that went into effect last November has almost entirely eliminated street protests, university campuses have become one of the few places of opposition. Since the school year began on Oct. 11, with harsh new government-directed security forces on campuses, at least 200 students have been arrested across the country for protesting.

They jailed opponents. They then sentenced extremists to death, removing the judge after international pressure. What a victory though: one judge "retires" but 277 opponents are sentenced to death. The junta will take that trade any day. I find it interesting that this op-ed writer is so against the street protest law and is a feminist. Were not the street protests the site of many rapes and sexual assaults? Hmm, weird.
The regime struck back when the US State department was confused. Egypt accepted billions from the Saudis and have inked deals outside the USG realm and is making moves to reconcile with Qatar, which formerly supported the Muslim Brotherhood. They have to keep the bread cheap. They also showed the Islamists that they will not be pushed around. The message sent not just to the Islamists but to many unaligned peasants is a strong one. As another Arab once said, "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse". The Egyptian regime knows Arab psychology. Troubles come and go. Who won and who was strong? Who showed no mercy? Democracy and voice are overrated if you cannot eat and a mullah is telling you how to live.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Nigeria's Descent, Islamic Terrorism + Willful Ignorance

The Charlie Hebdo attack that later involved an attack on Jews in France is receiving mass media attention. Our establishment is concerned with protecting the status quo, so LePen was excluded from the march for unity and no one will enact an end to Muslim immigration. Tucked away behind the French headlines is news out of Nigeria. Boko Haram has massacred 2,000 people as it takes more land. I've written before on Nigeria's collapse in slow motion. A lot of factors are at play as Nigeria potentially moves from low level civil war to much more. To borrow from Moldbug, our leadership, drenched in the Athenian manner, has no response to this much like everything else because they have purged the Spartan martial values from the realm of acceptable.

If you think secession talk has crept into the American political discussion in large amounts, we have nothing on Nigeria. Nigerians have actively been discussing a potential North-South split for years, and now there is a Break Up 2015 prediction they are obsessed with. They should be as groups like Boko Haram carve out regions of control. Boko Haram is a response to the influence of the West as well as the ever lingering violent arm of Islam in Nigeria's Muslim-Christian divide. The "Bring Back Our Girls" online campaign did not do anything, and Boko Haram has only grown in power.The timing of this is important. In one month, Nigeria goes to the polls. What awaits Nigeria and possibly the rest of sub-Sahara Africa?

Nigeria's economy has taken a bruising hit with the decline in oil. As oil has dropped, all government revenues are down. Nigeria also has seen their exports to the US tank, as the US has virtually eliminated all imports of oil from Nigeria. This feeds into accusations that the US is sabotaging Nigeria's economy. This is all coming to a head as the Nigerians head to the polls, and the ruling party, led by Goodluck Jonathan, faces a unified opposition. Patronage, graft and corruption all matter as oil is at the heart of government control. Twelve dead Frenchmen do matter, but 2,000 dead Christian Nigerians matter in a nation that has no proper government response to a Muslim threat that even the great American seat of power responded to months ago. Nigeria is also a nation nearly 50/50 for the Muslim/Christian split. Think red/blue divide but with a true religious divide.

This is part of the problem of our American Empire run by progressives. For so long they have won domestic battles purely by controlling the media and academia that these Athenians have scourged their mindset of any of the old Spartan virtues that made rule possible. The progressive establishment thinks that hashtag activism like #BringBackOurGirls, #Kony2012, #BlackLivesMatter and the rest are substitutes for competent rule, tough decisions, old truths and resolve. Our elite that controls the system is geared towards propaganda, holding the megaphone and maximizing votes. They think this kind of crap works with other groups because it works internally when they can frame it with the media's help and an Anglosphere audience. The messaging on gay marriage worked on whites, but not minorities so much.  Blacks needed their current Big Man to change his mind before roughly 20% of them changed along with him.

That is part of the problem as well. Anglosphere outbreeding selected for different traits, and did so early and for far more generations than other groups. This selection process did give us the institutions and social framework that would make rule of law, trial by jury and other niceties possible. Massive per capita wealth could occur, and Western Civilization flourished. Non-European groups did not go through this process as soon, so their clannish behavior and, ahem, tribal affiliation over processing information and changing one's mind is a problem (see black support of the media's Ferguson narrative vs. forensic evidence). In defense of the Anglosphere, these outgroups do not see the value of cooperation and thinking beyond the clan because they came to Western Civ after much development and hard work to lower murder rates and formalize laws occurred. "We'll enjoy that golden goose after the whites are gone," must have been the thought of Zimbabweans or Detroiters. How long will trial by jury last in America? I'd just watch the non-white population figure and set a termination date.

A European society does matter if the basic frame of mind depends on European ideas. Stuffing more non-Europeans will not help matters. It is agonizing to watch television pundits pretend Fareed Zakaria is the man on the Arab Street. Human biodiversity matters. American media often wonders where Islam's Martin Luther or Gandhi is, never considering that Sayyid Qutb is their Luther and Gandhi. What if Islam looked at the West, was disgusted, was worried that alien norms and mores would change their culture forever, and turned away, hoping to be better Muslims? It is historical revisionism to imagine a Muslim Reformation being a turn towards peace when we have the Catholic-Protestant warfare for centuries after the Reformation to look at, but do not rule out progressive wishful thinking.

Progressives cannot entertain the idea that a group would reject their values or have a long standing tradition and genetic selection process (cousin marriage, too) that would make those values unappealing. Progressives are so stupid, and have denied the need for martial virtue for so long, that they cannot grok that force may be needed to deal with others. The unity marches do not work on everyone. Not just in defending one's society but in assimilation. A mind can decide to follow if one makes a strong enough impression. The British were Anglo, yet the Victorians put down the Indian Rebellion of 1857 with vicious force. Note that Muslim sensibilities were at the root of that as well. Progressives will not be able to prog Islam due to the non-Anglo culture involved. If you doubt this, consider how long it took the clannish and European Irish to conform. Have blacks fully assimilated? Nigeria's religious discord will not be solved by hashtags and conferences. Oil money kept violence at a reduced level and at least not declared open civil war. The USG system will try to hold Nigeria together and keep it in the Empire's loop. They just may no longer have the tool, oil revenues, nor the knowledge, people are different to solve the problem.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Army of Darkness was Real

No not really. Saw this picture on Twitter, and it is the mechanical spring loaded glove of Gotz Von Berlichigen from 1504. He could wield a sword with it 40 years after his amputation. My immediate thought was "ah yes, the marvels of German engineering". My second thought was "Ash from Army of Darkness". The Evil Dead character turned Medieval savior in Army of Darkness, Ash was the superhero jawed lead of the comedic action films by Sam Raimi. Why was Army of Darkness a cult classic, inspiring people to look back at Evil Dead 2, which is genius, and Evil Dead, which is super low budget but still scary. The meta-comedy of making fun of action films in the Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy definitely get a start in old Ash's tales.

This is real and from the early 1500s

Campbell as Ash delivered snappy one liners throughout the Army of Darkness script.
"Shop smart. Shop S-mart"
"Yo, she-bitch, let's go."
"This... this is my boomstick."
Evil Dead 2 is a terrible, low budget horror movie storyline containing all actors except for one with a separate storyline of a dark comedy containing the loner, Ash. Campbell was just super hero looking enough, charismatic and could use facial expressions wonderfully. Evil Dead 2 starts making fun of the horror and action genres, whereas Army of Darkness turns it to 11. By Darkness, Ash has learned the evil's tricks and mixes the confident swordsman machismo with professional wrestling's showmanship. The catch phrases, the sarcasm, and the joking on action film cliches are endearing and all incredibly quotable. By 1992, there was a large enough audience to appreciate joking on '80s action film staples. The legend of Campbell has grown because that in on the joke audience has only grown. The legend grew as I recall excitement from the Internets when Bruce Campbell was mentioned as having a role in the first Spiderman movie, and no, it was not the Green Goblin, just a bit part. The superhero jaw would not make it big. As Campbell even noted in his book, as the budgets got bigger, his roles got smaller.

From a movie

"Sure I could've stayed in the past... Could've even been king... but in my own way... I am king. Hail to the king baby."

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Life Imitates Law and Order

In the realm of television procedurals, the Law and Order franchise looms large. It is a multi-decade empire that still exists in ridiculous form with Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which could be renamed "Law and Order: Soap Opera". It started out as a meat and potatoes crime show based in NYC that played on the '80s drug, mob and white collar prosecutions, with a lot of action on the police side and little on the court side. They junked that formula to be about half cops and half courts, and really hit their peak with the Orbach and Waterston years. Their sweet spot was the era with the Orbach/Waterston leads and Noth/Bratt cop & Jill Hennessey as the believably smart and smoking hot ADA sidekicks. Another terrible feature that happened more and more was the "ripped from the headlines" storylines. They might have been ripped from the headlines with a progressive washing. New York just saw a murder that would be best classified as ripped from the Law and Order script bank.

Tom Gilbert millionaire hedge fund maestro was found murdered in what looked like a suicide. It... wasn't... suicide.

It was his 30 year old son, Tommy Gilbert who did it.

>Dunt Dunt<

Tommy was educated at prep schools all his life that cost what the average American makes a year. He went to Princeton and took six years to graduate due to taking "leaves of absence".

>Dunt Dunt<

Tommy was a tall and handsome, blond haired, blue eyed man known for going to many black tie social events.

>Dunt Dunt<

Tommy was dating a Manhattan socialite named Anna Rothschild... aged 49. She described him as handsome, fit and wealthy. He was a loner who had few friends, and the only person who called him was his momma.

>Dunt Dunt<

Tommy was rumored to have burned down a rival's mansion in the Hampton's yet his friends say any murder would be out of character.

Tommy was unemployed and on an allowance from his father. He was found with skimming devices and blank credit cards in his apartment. He resented his father for holding him down and never thought he'd live up to his dad's expectations. The allowance was being reduced from $600 month to $400 month (on top of paying his $2400/month rent).

>Dunt Dunt<

This is exactly the type of soap opera situation that makes up the majority of Law and Order episodes. This is a young man raised in privilege who somehow never applied himself. Anyone else want to know his SAT scores for that Princeton Admission? Anyone else want to know the cause for his leaves of absence? It is two whole years that they allowed him to take a break yet occupy a seat in their elite student body. A friend who went to Columbia once said, "Poor kids drop out, rich kids take a break". Gilbert had every mistake and error taken care of by his parents and Princeton. The real world turned out to be a bit tougher for him. He still was being subsidized by his parents, and pretending to live a good life. These people are calling a thirty year old man, "Tommy". Murder over a drop in his allowance, at age thirty, does not sound so strange if you look at everything in total. Friends just never want to admit that their friends are capable of anything. We all are given the right motivation.

Anything else stick out as weird? Here is a fit and handsome son of wealthy parents living in the NYC rich man's playground. What the hell is he doing dating a 49 year old? have you seen pictures of her? She is a Rothschild, so she is loaded. Here is her Facebook page, where she refers to herself as a public figure. Being twice divorced and previously spotlighted in the NY Times, she might have been paying to play or informally helping young Tommy along in his rough patch. A good laugh is that in 2000, the times called her a 31 year old divorced babe, but now, 14 years later, she is age 49. She aged 18 years in 14. Her mention in the Times is too delicious not to quote.

The upward trend is not lost on women in certain circles. Take Anna Rothschild, a 31-year-old Manhattanite just getting divorced from her second husband. Her first, a stockbroker, gave her a five-carat, round diamond set in platinum from Harry Winston. Her second husband gave her a six-carat, emerald-cut diamond with trilliums on the side. She designed it with him at a private jeweler (cost: about $75,000).''Personally,'' Ms. Rothschild said, ''I would have preferred 10 carats.'' But husband No. 2, an English businessman, ''thought that was vulgar and inappropriate. He wanted a more understated type of style.'' Next time around, Ms. Rothschild said, ''I would like at least an 8-carat canary diamond. They are much more rare than just a regular diamond, and I've tried on my friends' rings and I know it looks good on my finger.'' ''See, if you're medium-boned, even four carats can look small on your body,'' she added.

The Times expected her to get engaged a third time for a bigger diamond, but it never happened. What if Rothschild is calling this 30 year old such a great catch because she doesn't want to admit that a rich cougar can find a hot young guy twenty years older only if he is an unhinged, murderous fire setting loon?

Gilbert had no friends. Rothschild is quoted as saying she does not know why such a fit, good looking, wealthy guy would do such a thing, but she did not think it weird that a man of all those great characteristics would be doing living a friendless, lonely life with his only relationship being one with a woman nearly 20 years older. Millenial Tommy was lost in the maze that was NYC life, enjoying it superficially because his parents were rich. Money still did not make up for the emptiness and whatever possible mental health issues he had.

This is an oddity but it should not come as a surprise. This is just the Millenial stagnation problem coming to boil and finding a representative in the elite. Tommy Gilbert obviously had a privileged upbringing and moved in high social circles, but he was miserable just like many other unemployed Millenials. Gilbert is still a product of his society. He still was so emotionally stunted that he could not get beyond the Daddy issue (like the Into the Wild guy). You can watch enough Dominick Dunne episodes or read Dunne's journalism to see that these types of murders have happened through the decades. This is just the 2015 edition. Zero Hedge might be the only source to peek a bit deeper at the curious life of Mr. Tommy Gilbert, because the flash of millionaire murdered by Junior will be enough to overpower any urge to look at the whys, which would make this murder make a whole lot more sense.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Note on Houellebecq

In the anticipation for Michel Houellebecq's new novel Soumission about France going Islamic, there has been chatter about what it will be like. Houellebecq gave a fantastic interview promoting the book. He once again demonstrates his grasp of the establishment as well as his grasp of human nature and reality vs. the establishment. Read as the interview keeps substituting women when she means feminist, and how Houellebecq performs verbal judo on her. He knows women will follow a strong lead and what the media tells them, so an Islamic turn for France might not be horrific for women but it will be for feminists. Steve Sailer expected Soumission to describe a bottom up French embrace of Islamization instead of a top down imposition. I did not. Looks like the book is top down. Houellebecq knows his world, which is why it is top down.

Houellebecq writes about a West in decline best exemplified by a West devoid of passion expressed through his analysis of Western sex lives. Strung throughout Platform and The Elementary Particles (better translation was British marketing as "Atomized"), are bits that show the elite's betrayal of classic Western ideas and appeasement of Islam. In Elementary Particles' ending, the transfer from normal life to the weird genetic creations and reorientation of life to go immortal is somewhat voluntary but enforced by the government. He explicitly writes that the government cleans up religious hold outs. That is what the modern establishment does. There is no choice; it is their decision for the weird, commie sexual utopia. This is all at the end of a book where Houellebecq rails at the unoriginal Boomers who did not rebel as much as recycle and sold out at the first chance.

Anyone else actually read Platform? At the very start of Platform, the lead is called in by the police over the death of his father. It is quite obvious to the reader by what Houellebecq writes that the death is a murder. The follow through is how the Muslim girl related to the man who had a confrontation with the lead's dad was sleeping with the lead's dad. Sacre bleu! The police do not follow up. Nothing will be done about it. At the very end, Muslims go nuts and attack one of the resorts that was set up as conducive to sex tourism. The Muslims inflict horrible death and carnage on the locals and tourists. How does the media report it? They blame the insensitive company that had started the pro-sex tourism hotel system. The lead's love is dead, and her former boss has his career ruined because of the insensitive tourism idea. America just watched as the media cajoled blacks into rioting in a suburb of St. Louis and then excused it away as acceptable since a warped idea of justice.

What a week for this book to be released. Paris suffers a Muslim mad man crew attack on a rag that satire everyone, even the prophet. In a month of Allahu Akbar being shouted from cars as they ran over French pedestrians, cars lit aflame by the score by Muslims on New Years and this, the media is nervous about Houellebecq's book. The reaction from the media mandarins of "Oh Gosh, please no Islamophobia" plays right into Houellebecq's hands. They are acting exactly as he has written. I am sure Jean Pierre Silverburg will be penning an op-ed soon on why Frenchmen have not accepted the Muslims enough, which is causing these outbursts by random Muslims.

So Michel Houellebecq wrote a novel set in 2022 France. Anyone thought he would write of a LePen victory and rejuvenation as they removed kebab? Anyone thought that he wouldn't write a novel about the elites doing everything to screw over the one nationalist pro-France politician? Anyone thought he wouldn't write of the elites and media selling out, being handmaidens to Islamization and forcing it on the French? This is Houellebecq. His leads often commit suicide. His leads, while sometimes rebels, still are products of their culture. Even when they find love, they still go to swingers clubs or they kill themselves. Muslims are presented realistically. The elite and media are traitorous. They will force what becomes an offer because it is easier for them to do so when the population has lost its passion and will take anything shoved their way with enough media persuasion.

*** I am posting here a comment I left on Foseti's blog years ago about Platform.

Anyone commenting read the book? I read it years ago and enjoyed it more than the Elementary Particles, which I loved. Platform allowed Houellebecq to really sink his teeth into ripping on Western decadence as well as the Muslim inferiority complex that they still use as a crutch to say they are superior. It’s one of the best anti-globalization novels ever as it focuses on both the terrible assimilation of Muslims into the West and then the insertion of libertine Western things into the East.

Houellebecq has been writing on the decline in passion and sensual contact between Western men and women in his books. In Elementary Particles, which rips the post-68 worldview, his 2 leads eventually find loves that connect and are wonderful French lovers. In Platform, Houellebecq expands on that, taps into the sex tourism idea, and shreds the oddity of Islam and France’s lack of a spine when dealing with Islam entirely. At the end of the book, the negative actions of a Muslim terrorist are not the focus of the media obsession but the resorts that cater to sexual desire by the company become the negative that the media trumpets.

An interesting point in the book is how Valerie gives Michel crap for his Asian sex tourism, as well as challenges the standard BS the white woman gives for having a black boyfriend. I wouldnt sell the entire idea short on the stereotype of Asia for men and Africa for women as Valerie’s boss comments how the women on the come to Africa ads are a bit too blatant in their advertising. I found Valerie’s boss a fantastic commentary on the modern corporate male. His high powered wife is the model for what Roissy warns against marrying. Even when Valerie’s boss is enjoying a sexual reawakening and living, he still has to remind Valeri and Michel how each promotion gives them more stock and more money.
I loved the small touches that Houellebecq inserts into his books. He had a great line where he contrasted the wimpy euros like himself to the masculine Americans and Aussies looking with fresh faces as they were to take over the world, but that all of them answer to the siren call of Asian pussy. He writes a slightly utopian relationship with a western woman, but it’s the passionate touches she puts that Western men want Western women to exhibit or enjoy. There’s a specific passage where Valerie performs wonderfully on Michel and he expects a negative reaction to an ending that most Western women would say is degrading or a feminist would say is a power move, but instead he is rewarded with a more passionate connection. There is submission + tradition, contrasted wodnerfully witht he awful S&M club passage. Within those traditionally sexual bits, they find great love in it.
Just in case his blog is shut down forever. At least I am consistent with asking if people have actually read his books or just claim to in order to sound smart. "Sting, I love Sting, not that I own any of his music, but that he makes it, I love that."