Author Archives: Severian

Darker Shade of Black IV: Black Market

Like most Sixties fossils, P.J. O’Rourke went senile sometime during the Bush years, and Trump caused him to lose whatever was left of his mind. But at one point he was a seriously funny dude, with a real knack for boiling down complex political issues into humorous bites. What follows draws extensively on Eat the Rich, a book I still recommend if you have young people in your life — high school or early college — who need a primer on basic economics.*

Back in the bad old days in the USSR, they wanted to establish a system on non-monetary accounting, money being Capitalism of course, comrade. This despite the fact that Lenin’s “War Communism” was an admission, as early as 1918, that Marxist economics was badly wrong… but whatever, being Commies and thus unconstrained by mere physical reality, they went ahead and did it anyway. But being Commies (and thus unconstrained by mere reality), they didn’t realize that “price” isn’t just something the Capitalists made up to screw over the Workers. No, price is just information, and one of the key things it communicates is demand.

O’Rourke uses the example of shoes. The Commies weren’t big on consumer goods for obvious reasons, but even the proles need shoes. If you’re a Communist (or a teenager), it seems simple enough: send your flunkies out into a region, have them write down everyone’s shoe sizes, and then make those. Which would work, I guess, if not for the fact that industry doesn’t operate that way. Industries are only efficient through economies of scale. “A shoe factory” only beats “a cordwainer” because the factory can crank out 10,000 pairs of shoes in the time it takes the cordwainer to produce one pair. Worse, factories are massive resource sinks if they’re not running at full blast at all times…

After trying several workarounds, GOSPLAN, the state production ministry, decided to use “Gross Output Targets” to produce goods. Which probably worked ok for stuff like rebar, if you don’t care about quality (see Mao’s DIY backyard blast furnaces, below), but is terrible for stuff like shoes. So let’s say GOSPLAN decides that 100,000 lucky proles of Irkutsk Oblast shall receive one pair of shoes apiece. Since all materials had to be requisitioned in advance from GOSSNAB (I confess: I love Soviet acronyms), and since the production line would need to be re-tooled for each individual size and style of shoe, the factory managers — who had to hit the Gross Output Target, or go tour Siberia — did the only logical thing: They cranked out 100,000 baby shoes, all left feet. (Baby shoes use less leather; the excess can be sold or traded, see below).

Again, Commies couldn’t care less about consumer complaints, but eventually some up and comer in the Party will notice that everyone is wandering barefoot around a big pile of baby shoes. That might make him look bad, so he sends a report, and, after a long and convoluted bureaucratic process, GOSPLAN revises their order: 100,000 pairs of shoes, but in different sizes and styles, for men and women. In response to which, the factory manager does the only logical thing: 99,999 pairs of baby shoes, all left feet, plus one pump and one wingtip.

Lather, rinse, repeat. The factory manager isn’t a bad guy — in fact, let’s say he’s Wyatt. He’s just operating on an entirely different incentive structure than even his immediate boss, to say nothing of the faceless apparatchiks at GOSPLAN. Hitting any Gross Output Target is a real task, given that his workforce is a bunch of illiterate peasants who hate him and are constantly drunk. What probably seems like spectacularly inventive cruelty to the proles of Irkutsk Oblast is just Wyatt doing everything he can to keep his family out of the Gulag. And since Wyatt’s a smart guy, he can get around any target GOSPLAN sets. If they tell him to produce 100,000 pounds of shoes, his factory cranks out one enormous pair of concrete sneakers.

That’s one of Wyatt’s two overriding priorities: Staying out of the Gulag. The other one is: Using whatever he can scrimp, save, or scrounge from GOSSNAB as trade goods in the black market.

Here again, Wyatt’s not a bad guy. He’s not doing this to feather his own nest (though of course he lives a little better than others; he’s only human). In the words of the immortal Mike Tyson, everyone has a plan until he gets punched in the mouth, and even the most meticulously “scientific” management gets punched in the mouth all the time. As we’ve seen, GOSPLAN can’t even get it right with something as low-tech, as easy to mass-produce as shoes, so imagine how they do with more complex bits of equipment. The factory managers, who have to hit the Gross Output Targets, no matter what, quickly figure out that they’ll be waiting until doomsday if they try requisitioning what they need from GOSSNAB, so they form a kind of black market between themselves. Indeed there’s an entire class of quasi-criminals, whose name I forget, that exists only to facilitate such transactions.

Extend that paradigm to everything, and you’ve got life in the USSR. There’s the “official” economy, which is pure fantasy. There’s the black market economy at the factory level, where bulk materials change hands (since the official economy is pure fantasy, nobody blinks an eye when, say, 100,000 metric tons of concrete disappears off a manifest somewhere and reappears, un-manifested (as it were), somewhere else). There’s the black market at the consumer level, since of course the poor proles of Irkutsk Oblast have to have shoes and there’s no way they’re getting them from Wyatt’s factory. And finally, there’s the black market at the service level — those go-betweens arranging for 100,000 metric tons of concrete to fall off a truck in Vladivostok and appear, like magic, in Kiev (and their consumer-level equivalents — think pimps, but for everything).

All of which is coming soon to a theater near you.

In fact, a lot of it is largely in place. We’ve gone at it backasswards, of course, because a) this is Amurrica, and b) everyone involved so far has been a retard, but look at the aforementioned “education” system. Being in “higher” ed I was at the tail end of it, but even on my perch I could see it happening in miniature. Any “school,” K-thru-PhD, has what amounts to a Gross Output Target. A buddy of mine from grad school who teaches at one of those patented Small Private Liberal Arts Colleges (TM) had one of the muckety-mucks tell him to his face that he was failing too many students.

So he first tried dumbing the class down. When that didn’t work, he started rigging the grading scale, such that stuff like “having a works cited page,” which should be worth less than nothing, was now worth 10% of the paper’s grade. He tried other expedients, like “extra credit,” but since it was soon made clear to him that the kind of parents who send their kids to Small Private Liberal Arts Colleges (TM) ain’t paying for no “gentleman’s C,” he did what we all ended up doing, after going through much the same process — he just made it up. Thankfully college students are even lazier than their teachers somehow, so there are always a few who “wreck the curve” by not turning anything in, but since that doesn’t happen in grade school, they’ve done the only logical thing — declare that “grades be rayciss” and throwing them out.

No, really. Google it. And while you’re at it, google the horrifying reports that somehow slipped out last summer, about how some huge percentage of students in “lockdown” didn’t bother logging on to Zoom School at all. They still passed, of course, and do you see what I mean? The administration gets sent to Siberia if they don’t pass everyone through to the next grade; lots of kids never attended; therefore attendance be rayciss (no, really, that was really the excuse they used — some “underprivileged” households don’t have Internet access, and never mind what little Shitavious and Sasquatcheeta are doing with far nicer smartphones than you have).

Me personally, I’m planning on building a black market empire teaching basic history, spelling, and grammar, but that’s beside the point. The point is, most of the “official” AINO economy is pure fantasy already. The rest of it soon will be, and pretty soon you’ll need to know a guy to get just about anything. The good news is, since so many persyns in high places are so very, very stupid, black marketing should come fairly easy to anyone with anything on the ball. The bad news, of course, is that this is a shitty, soul-destroying way to live, but… there it is.

 

 


*I know, I know, Econ as a discipline is mostly ooga-booga stuff, but “supply and demand” etc. still work, and this is good for that.

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Darker Shade of Black III

The guy I’m calling Wyatt — the Black dude with something on the ball, who can’t know for sure that he does — has lots of historical analogues. But they’re just approximations. The reason I’m going through it this way, as a thought experiment with a guy called “Wyatt,” is because our Postmodern Left, being Hollow Men, are attempting an ideological revolution without ideology — indeed, without revolutionaries, as that term makes any sense historically. The “New Left” of the Sixties, whose only real goal was to break shit and freak out the squares, has finally achieved power… but they’re too senile to even realize it, much less do anything coherent with it.

That’s bad, but what’s much, much worse is the upcoming generation. The Old New Left at least felt the need to cloak what they were doing in the rhetoric of Marx and Marcuse and Mao. The New New Left, the Postmodern Left, hasn’t even heard of any of those guys. They’re pure, shit-flinging nihilists whose one belief is the Great Inversion: Whatever is, is wrong. They don’t know what they don’t know. Indeed, the very idea that there’s something worth knowing, that they don’t already know, doesn’t compute for them. The things they already know are the only things worth knowing, because they know them,

With that in mind…

Mao’s Great Leap Forward — of which DIY backyard blast furnaces were only a small part — was the result of putting guys like Wyatt in charge. Mao may have been an evil SOB, but a lot of the younger commies really believed that all you really needed to do anything was an iron will and a copy of the Little Red Book. When they found that wasn’t so, they lacked the cognitive toolkit to rethink their approach… but, being smart, knew how to work the system enough to at least avoid responsibility. The Great Famine, with its perhaps 50 million body count, was a direct result of this. Even as the peasants were eating first grasshoppers, then tree bark, then each other, the commissars were reporting bumper harvests, because everyone knew that Mao’s crackpot theories of agriculture were really right.

In other words, gang, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. You are of course familiar with the linguistic make-believe so prominent on college campuses. You also no doubt recall the Obamacare debacle, in which so many Lefties really did seem to believe that words make reality — healthcare is now affordable, because look, it says “Affordable Care Act” right there at the top of the page!! Alas, that Jonathan Gruber guy really fucked us, getting caught on tape admitting that it was all a big lie. He was a cynical, manipulative bastard who knew it was a lie… but so many on the Left didn’t, y’all, they really didn’t.

It’s crucial that we realize this, because as AINO — that’s “America in Name Only” for those who don’t speak Internet — gets browner and poorer, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of it. Wyatt is our best-case scenario, a guy who might actually be smart and competent, who could end up doing something like a decent job almost despite himself. The others… well, remember how the Great Leap Forward ended:

After the famine had killed enough people, Mao was finally persuaded to call it off — NOT because he rethought his theories on agriculture, but only because the army was threatening to mutiny after hearing tales of their nearest and dearest being forced to eat each other to survive. Having called it off, though, he first launched his “Socialist Education Movement,” which riled up the studentry, then the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, in which he unleashed them on anyone and everyone who gave him the sadz back during the Great Leap. That madness really only ended with the death of Mao himself.

The analogy breaks down early and often, but it’s the best I can do. At least Maoism had the advantage of being tied to the person of Mao Zedong, who, though crazy, was at least crazy in semi-predictable ways. Events had a certain logic to them, even if it was a crazy Chinese Commie kind of logic. Now, though?

China, and Russia, were backward countries that were still almost feudal in a lot of ways. Here in AINO, a formerly First World nation, we’re dependent huge, complex systems that stagger on through sheer inertia. They’re staffed by a generation of nihilists, of whom Wyatt is the very best case scenario. Increasingly, the people staffing up — and running — the various bureaucratic fiefdoms are lunatic idiots. When the dust settles, the robot historians of the year 2525 will probably conclude that it was some silly little flyspeck of an event that set it all off.

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Darker Shade of Black II

Like pretty much everything else in the reign of our totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent President, Joey Cabbage — peace be upon him — our educational system reminds me of the Soviet, but somehow so much dumber.

Let’s get back to our friend Wyatt. We’ve stipulated that he really is what the Poz insists all Blacks everywhere are — intelligent, hardworking, conscientious, etc. The problem is, Wyatt himself doesn’t know this. He can’t. Oh, he’s been told he is, of course — pretty much all of Newsywood exists to broadcast that message to the entire empire — but because he really does have something going on upstairs, he can’t help but notice that Newsywood is comprehensively full of shit. Like anyone with an IQ higher than Joey Cabbage’s, he wouldn’t believe the “news” if it told him the sun rises in the east. But… what else does he have to work with?

So off he goes into the real world, armed with nothing but his 4.0, his class presidency, his prom king crown, etc. These, he’s been told, make him an expert without portfolio, capable of handling whatever life throws at him. And though he has his doubts, he forces them down — he’s just a guy, after all, and who really wants to face the possibility that maybe he’s not all he’s cracked up to be? — and heads off to work…

…which is fine, so long as inertia continues undisturbed. But if something comes along to knock the system askew, Wyatt is absolutely the worst guy to be in charge. If he were dumber, he’d simply throw his hands up in despair and kick the problem up the chain. He’d do the same thing if he really were as smart as he’s been trained to believe he is, because by definition the “something” knocking the system askew is something outside the system’s parameters, something the very very smart guys who set up the system weren’t able to account for. But he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, so he charges confidently in, and… well, you know. I’m sure I don’t have to tell y’all that it’s the “bright, but not nearly as smart as they think they are” people who do the worst damage in a “knowledge economy.”

If you want to see how that plays out over a few generations of Wyatts, look to the USSR. The only thing Wyatt is really good at — objectively good at, not just certified as expert by some standardized test — is working his skin color. Again, I’m not blaming Wyatt for this, he’s just a guy, no better (or worse) than he ought to be. But that’s the one thing he really knows, so when a problem comes up that he has no idea how to handle — as is guaranteed to happen, see above — his first reaction is to go to the tried-and-true. The Soviets did the same thing. The only thing their Wyatts knew –and for the same reason — was The Collected Works of Marx and Engels, and since that’s somehow even more imaginary than the Poz’s view of Blacks, they responded to any and all problems with more applications of Marxism. Take that out a few generations, and there’s your Chernobyl.

The actual history of Communism as practiced in the USSR, China, et al has been all but erased from history — shocking, I know — so unless you’ve done a lot of independent reading, you probably don’t know that back in the days, they really did try to build factories and infrastructure with nothing more than Marxist theory. No, really, they did — Lenin took great pleasure in clearing out the universities, sending the faculty off to Khabarovski Oblast to build a tractor factory with hand tools, all under the supervision of some “revolutionary” twerp whose only experience of industry was writing an article about how capitalism is bad for Iskra. Mao Zedong, when his time came, refused to be outdone, mandating that his collective farms should smelt steel on their off hours in their backyards. There’s a reason blast furnaces aren’t a DIY project, but that was no object to anyone with the People’s Will and a proper understanding of dialectical materialism…

And here’s where it gets really fun. What do you think happens to Wyatt in that scenario?

He really IS bright, y’all. He’s really trying. But he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and again, that’s not his fault, but it’s true nonetheless, and anyway he’s being asked to do the impossible. All he really has left, when it comes right down to it, is his “class position.” Is he going to admit defeat, and use his brains, conscientiousness, etc., to tell the higher-ups that he’s been asked to do something beyond his competence, indeed, beyond physical reality? Or is he going to double down?

Part III soon.

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A Darker Shade of Black

At the risk of beating a dead horse into paste, I’m going to conclude this “inertia” stuff with a thought experiment. I’d like y’all to imagine the plight of a Black man in America…

… no, Soros hasn’t gotten to me (though I do work cheap, George — call me). Note that I said a Black man, not the Black man. Specifically, I want y’all to imagine what it’s like to be a smart, hardworking, capable, conscientious Black man… heck, Black person, though since women have their own set of inertia-type issues let’s keep it simpler and say it’s a guy. There are lots of these guys around. The problem is, all of those adjectives are highly context-dependent, and they shouldn’t be.

Take “smart” first, since the problems with it are the most obvious. These days, “smart” has two almost diametrically opposed meanings. The first is what we older folk mean by it, which is something along the lines of “processor power.” It might show up in one’s choice of career, but then again, it might not — there are plenty of smart guys that we’d all acknowledge to be smart guys, who haven’t made a career with their brains.

For one thing, there are different kinds of processors — some pay under the current “means of production,” and some don’t. (Indeed, as we all know, it’s the non-STEM smart guy who causes almost all of the Current Year’s problems). For another, and not to get all Aristotle up in here, but “smart” is a potential that needs to be actualized, which sometimes requires a swift kick in the ass… which isn’t always forthcoming. One of my college roomies was a STEM smart guy, for instance. Freshman year, he was well on his way to a well-paying gig designing chemical plants. But sophomore year, he discovered another kind of chemical plant, and by junior year he was failing out  of whatever bullshit major he changed to just so he could stay in college and smoke weed for a few more semesters. These days he’s some kind of ayurvedic healer in Berkeley or Austin or someplace.

But then there’s the other kind of “smart,” the Current Year’s kind, the one that begins and ends with acing standardized tests. Sometimes this tracks with processor power, and that’s what standardized tests were designed to do — you can ask Joseph Moore about this, he’s really knowledgeable about the history of education, but even I know that the SAT was designed to be little more than a gussied-up IQ test. Often times, though, and increasingly, standardized tests measure little more than how much time you spent cramming, or how much money your folks spent cheating. The SAT, at least, has been dumbed down repeatedly, and now we’re to the point that an increasing number of colleges are tossing it from their admissions criteria.*

The point is, how on earth do you know what kind of smart you are? Since it’s not just standardized tests, it’s everything — grades, too, be rayciss, because of course they are.** This is true of all students in the American “education” system (we’ll get there, don’t worry) but it must be especially rough on Blacks, since they know they’ll get an A+, a gold star, a smiley face, and a cookie no matter what they do. We’re stipulating that our smart, conscientious, etc. Black guy, let’s call him Wyatt (there has never, in the history of the earth, been a Black guy named Wyatt), really IS all those things, but… how the hell would he, Wyatt, know that about himself? What metrics could he possibly use?

Ditto conscientious, hardworking, and all the rest. Yeah, really, and if you don’t think those are all “social constructions” too, comrade, you haven’t been around kids in a long time. If you haven’t, you’ll have to trust me on this, I guess, but look: I taught undergraduates for a lot of years, and by the end, I didn’t even bother with due dates for the assignments. If you set one, first you get a slew of emails from students telling you how that date doesn’t work for them — they’ve got a golf tournament, or the sorority formal, or it’s two weeks away from Spring Break and they’ll be in South Beach by then, or something, anything, and if you tell them tough luck, they show up at your office hours with notes from Student Health or “Disability Services,” and that’s that. Then the due date passes, and you get another tranche of emails — your classic Dead Grandma Stories. Finally, as the semester is drawing to a close, you get one last set of emails, this time from students you’ve never heard from before, the ones who showed up for the first day of class (to get marked “attending” for student loan purposes) and never again. They all have doctor’s notes, too, explaining why they just couldn’t come to class, or even rouse themselves to send you an email, the entire semester, and now they’re allowed to turn in an entire semester’s worth of work in the last 48 hours of the grading period. Deal with that shit long enough, guys, and you just throw up your hands and make everything due on the very last day of the marking period — if they don’t have it in by then, they can take their notes and excuses and sob stories down to the Registrar.

See what I mean? Wyatt could have a 150 IQ, be punctuality itself, etc., but how could he possibly know that about himself? The entire system is set up to prevent him from knowing it.

So here’s Wyatt, graduating with his 4.0, who has never missed a due date in his life. He’s valedictorian, of course, and prom king and student council president and all that other stuff, again because of course he is. He’s probably had corporate recruiters knocking on his door since he was in junior high, and now they’re back, waving six-figure jobs in his face. But here’s the kicker: those corporate recruiters can’t know anything meaningful about Wyatt, anymore than he himself can. All they have to go on is his 4.0, his student council presidency, and so forth. So they think that here’s a great chance to put Diversity into the actual workflow, and not just create another Assistant VP of Community Outreach. So they put him somewhere on the production line, and…

Everyone see where this is going? Now there are two career paths open to Wyatt. If he’s a screwup, they’ll kick him upstairs, to that Assistant VP of Community Outreach slot, where he’ll spend his career smiling for photos for the company website. But since Wyatt actually has something on the ball, he’ll rocket straight to the top of something important, some part of the core business. Which is all fine and good… until something affects the body-in-motion that is the company workflow, something that knocks things a bit off kilter. Wyatt is now the very worst possible guy to have in that situation, NOT because he’s dumb or incompetent or lazy — remember our stipulations — but precisely because he’s NOT those things. Having known nothing but success all his life, and having no way of knowing if his success was merited or not, he steps confidently into the breach…

…and proceeds to cock it up royally, because he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, because the entire system is designed to keep him from ever finding out. Barack Obama, at least, knew he was lazy, so he happily fobbed off the actual work of presidentin’ as much as possible, and thank you, sweet baby Jesus, for that. Wyatt isn’t lazy, though, so…

And that’s where we are, comrades, except that they’re all Wyatt these days. I’ve taught kids of all races, creeds, colors, and orientations, y’all, and they’re all like that. And the absolute worst thing is, I can’t even blame them for it. They think they’re universal geniuses for having aced the standardized tests, and how are they to know otherwise?

Part II soon.

 


* “Because rayciss” be the official explanation, though “because money” is much closer to the truth. Very few colleges can afford to turn away anyone these days, which sets up a perverse incentive loop — it’s actually better for the college’s bottom line to let in woefully unprepared dullards, because they need several extra semesters’ worth of remedial “education”… at full tuition, plus room and board.

** And again, “because money” is much closer to the truth. Look, y’all: we all know that the Left don’t give a shit about Blacks, except as pets through which to signal their virtue, or as cudgels with which to pound on Whitey. The real reason “Thou shalt not fail the Negroes” is the whole of the law in the Ed Biz is because failing the Negroes gets your funding cut, which means those lazy fucks who are still coasting, a year later, on “fifteen days to flatten the curve” might actually have to get real jobs. And since the Negroes would fail in large numbers under any objective grading system, grades be rayciss.

 

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Is Leadership Necessary?

I forget who said “History is but the biographies of great men,” but I largely agree with it. If you add the modifier “or the lack thereof,” I’m all but 100% on board. So many crises were only handled because a Great Man stepped up to the plate… and all of those crises became crises, almost universally, because there wasn’t some Great Man around to deal with them before they blew up. I don’t want to get lost on a tangent here, so I’ll simply mention Roman history, which is littered with both Great Men, and crises which fell to Mediocre Men by default. Study the latter.

But that’s the thing, here in our new GloboHomo world: Are Great Men even possible anymore? How would we even go about starting to identify a Leader, and, once identified, what is there for him to do?

There are two huge countervailing trends here in Clown World. The first is automation. We all know about the SS Dumbass stuck in the Suez, and I’m sure everyone has heard the saga of the Boeing 737, so let’s not belabor it. It’s sufficient to point out that pretty much everything, everywhere, is all-in on automation, and the trend is increasing. To take just one small example: thanks to the combo of Kung Flu and the totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent Cloward-Pivenite in the White House, fast food will be all-robotic within a decade. The only entry-level career in “food service” will be the guy who goes from store to store, lubing the robots’ ball bearings.

Against this, communication speed allows for ever-increasing micromanagement. Again, consider fast food. McDonald’s is set up in a very neat cellular structure that was perfect for the early 1950s, when the whole “franchise” concept really took off.* Most of the tasks are routinized, the org chart is clearly defined, and the areas of responsibility don’t overlap at all. I don’t know for sure, but I’d wager long money that before the bloat-for-bloat’s-sake ethos of the 1980s, the Mickey D’s home office was about twenty guys, all “regional director” types. The higher-ups would strategize regionally or globally, while the lower-tier guys were basically quality control, making sure everything remained standard worldwide. Everything else was left to the franchisees, but they had the training and structure to handle their own areas of responsibility.

Here again, I don’t know — not being an employee of the Golden Arches — but I’d bet even longer money that McD’s now has a zillion middle managers who don’t do anything but monkey in the day-to-day operations of individual franchises, simply because they can, and can’t figure out anything better to do with their time to justify their paychecks. If you want an example that definitely happened, look no further than the Bin Laden raid. The whole point of a special forces team is to operate independently — so much of the godawful stuff they do to their candidates is specifically designed to measure their ability to function independently when the pressure’s on — but Obama was there in the war room, watching the whole thing unfold…

…and monkeying around with the mission right up to the very end. Now, I’m willing to believe the very worst about the Kenyan Communist, but even I can’t imagine he believes his own bullshit enough to think he knows anything about running a commando raid. He wasn’t there to “help” the SEALs complete the mission; he was on the horn because, in his tiny little mind, that’s just what Presidents do. They make decisions, even when they know nothing about anything; even when everything is specifically designed to run without them making decisions.

See what I mean? You’ve got middle managers increasingly trying to micromanage systems that are increasingly automated. Worse than that, the middle mangers themselves are part of a micromanagement feedback loop. Worse, because the middle managers can’t be automated, because they don’t really do anything in the first place… but consider what happens when something unexpected pops up, something outside the Policies and Procedures manual. If the robots can’t handle it, the organization’s cellular structure kicks in, booting the decision to the next higher up. But they don’t know what to do, because all they’ve ever done is micromanage robots. So they kick it up the chain, and half the time the next higher up kicks it back down the chain, because hey, look, the P&P manual says this kind of thing is supposed to be handled at the district-manager level….

After the two micro-managing middle managers go back and forth with each other for a while, they kick it one level further up the chain, and now it’s really a problem, because by this point everyone is outside their wheelhouse. How do you deal with that? Worse, what happens when the original problem had to do with the automated systems themselves, as in the case of the Boeing 737? The problem isn’t (or isn’t just) the doohickey malfunctioning, or that the doodad isn’t properly interfacing with the gizmo. All of those are, theoretically, just engineering problems that can be solved with more engineering. The problem is that there are some things that simply can’t be automated

…but who’s going to make that decision, especially when the entire corporate ethos — from recruiting to training to promotion — is, itself, almost entirely automated?

[Hey, hold up a sec. I know you’re tempted to stop reading at this point and jump into the comments, to tell me that the real problem with the 737 is that Boeing is Committed to Diversity(TM), such that the entire management is full of powerskirts and dindus, and all the actual engineering has been outsourced to Bangladesh. I know, and that’s exactly what I mean when I say that everything about the company has been automated. Their personnel decisions are on autopilot, too].

What’s needed in this situation is leadership, real leadership, and there’s simply no way anyone, even the most natural Napoleon, could step up and provide it, because he’s been automated out of existence. Leadership isn’t just “making a decision.” It entails understanding the situation, and if you’ve been following me — and I know I’m not expressing myself very well this morning — you’ll see that “understanding the situation” is literally impossible for micro-managers who came up via automation. To return to the Bin Laden raid for a second: what if it had gone wrong? What could Barky really DO in that situation?

He can’t scrub the mission – they’ve already breached the compound. He can’t assume tactical command — knowing him, that’s exactly what he’d try to do, but the SEAL team leader would simply turn off his radio. Imagine poor Hussein, running around the war room with his dress over his head, squealing out “orders” that the men on the ground couldn’t possibly comply with, even if they could hear him, which they can’t.

The point of this long exercise, y’all, is that in the state of inertia in which we find ourselves, it doesn’t have to be anything dramatic to set off the collapse. I don’t deny that there are real actors with real plans doing their thing in Washington, though we peons of course have no idea who any of them are. The problem is, all those nameless, faceless somebodies owe a lot of their success to automated systems, and — much worse — all their unknown schemes rely on systems running completely on autopilot. One power shortage, and you’ve got a huge container ship stuck in the Suez. One unexpected gust of wind mid-flight, and you’ve got a giant aircraft splattering itself all over a mountainside.

Even tiny, minor, seemingly inconsequential things can set off huge problems, because not only can the automated systems not handle them, but the human “backups” to the automated systems are, themselves, automated systems. How would a potential Leader even know where to intervene?

 

 

*The history of fast food really is fascinating. You could spend a long time down the Wiki rabbit hole that way. Check the history of McD’s, for instance, and you’ll see that it got started by two guys who learned the tricks of the trade from White Castle — yeah, the slider guys. Clicking on that link, you’ll see what an innovative operation White Castle was, with its own internal house magazine and everything. It seems that White Castle was the Xerox of its day — it had all the cool shit that would enable later companies to get huge and dominate their markets, but they never could figure out what to do with it.**

**Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) had optical mice, graphical user interfaces, etc. as early as the mid-1960s, if I recall correctly. Their R&D was second to none, but the marketing boys really fell on their faces.

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Inertia Part II

Some exempla (because we’re just that highfalutin around here) that didn’t fit into the previous post, in case you need or want them:

“[A] vibrant and expanding content universe.” According to The AV Club, that’s a statement from an official press release by AMC Studios, the big media conglomerate behind the tv show The Walking Dead, which is somehow still on the air, and does everyone see what I mean? The reviewers rightly mock this abominable corporate-speak, but that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about — by mocking the suits, the reviewers (and by extension we, the viewers) think they have agency. Hahaha, look at those MBA-tards! And yet, you still watch the show.

The proper response to a phrase like “a vibrant and expanding content universe” is to throw your tv out the nearest window. The only sane thing to do, upon learning that this summer’s biggest blockbuster is going to be Iron Man vs. Thor, Part 7: And This Time, Darth Vader is a Girl!!! is join a monastery. I’ve given this a lot of thought — way, way too much thought for a guy who doesn’t watch tv and hasn’t seen a movie in years — and I’ve concluded that the real reason they keep “gender-swapping” franchise characters is, quite simply, that they can’t think of anything else to do. Yeah yeah, it’s an insult to the Normies, and that’s great and all, but again, this is the equivalent of giving the grade school kid a gold star and telling xzheym xhey’re a good organism — it gives an illusion of agency to learned helplessness.

Moviemaking, like sailing a giant container ship through the Suez, is one of those things that can be put on autopilot for 99% of the journey. The most striking thing about any “true Hollywood story” is that it’s a teeny tiny world, where all the same people do all the same things over and over again, like clockwork. For instance, I recently read a guy’s tale of life as a roadie. Not “a roadie for [band X],” because he wasn’t — he spent a lot of time on [band X’s] tour, yeah, and by the middle of the book he’s talking about what good friends he is with [famous frontman], but then the tour ends, and he goes to work for *NSYNC.

No, really — [band X] was the kind of hard-rockin’ outfit that opens for Metallica and regularly loses key personnel to heroin overdoses, and this cat loved being part of that show, but without a second’s hesitation he signs on with a fucking boy band, because that’s just what roadies do. That’s the show; that’s the life; and running a stage for five flouncing prettyboys and their battalion of backup dancers is no different than running a stage for the Collapsed Veins Quartet. And hey, speaking of Metallica, have y’all seen Some Kind of Monster yet? If you have, you’ll recall the scene where they audition for a new bass player. He doesn’t end up getting the gig, but the band happily jams out with a guy whose main touring credit is listed as “Alanis Morissette.” He’s a long-haired, tatted-up dirtball, just like Metallica, because they’re all like that. It’s just the life.

That’s the “99% on autopilot” stuff. I truly would not be surprised to learn that most movie scripts are literally written by computer, and that “screenwriting” credits these days work like “songwriting” credits used to (and perhaps still do) work in the music industry: “Change a word, get a third,” because that’s how producers funnel money to their lackeys and butt boys. Did anyone actually even greenlight Wonder Woman vs. Spiderman 4: James Bond’s Revenge, or did it just kinda happen, because the machine keeps on rolling? Again, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was the latter, and the “gender swapping” is just a way for the “producers” to feel like they’re actually doing something.

So too with The Walking Dead and its “vibrant and expanding content universe.” The machine squirted out a script, and the execs just plugged in “properties” to make it work. Those spinoffs could’ve easily been filled with “characters” from The Golden Girls as easily as The Walking Dead. It’s just the system.

Last one: Here’s the top fiction bestsellers from 2020, according to the New York Times (according to Wikipedia). Being the highbrow that I am, I haven’t read a “fiction bestseller” this entire century, and even I recognize 90% of those names… and the ones I don’t, like Delia Owens, are obvious products of the Oprah’s Book Club hype machine, soon to disappear down the memory hole with Elizabeth Wurtzel and Charles Frazier and the rest of the MFA wunderkinden whose second-person, present-tense quirkfests now go for a buck fifty used on Amazon. John Grisham! James Patterson! (I thought he was dead). Nora Roberts! J.D. Robb! Danielle Steele, for Christ’s sake, and I honestly thought she was a hologram. Would you truly be surprised to learn that these were all written by computer, too?

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Only Inertia?

The other day I went to cancel my gym membership.

By “went” of course I mean “logged on,” since my state governor, though not one of the high priestesses of the Church of COVID like Gavin Newsom, is still angling for a slot in Tha PrezzyDizzle’s third term. I’m sure online yoga and whatnot work great for some people, but there’s no such thing as “Zoom curls” or “virtual bench press” and I’m not gearing up in a goddamn hazmat suit just to hit the weight rack.

It was an eye-opening experience. I’ve had an easier time assembling IKEA kits using the Swahili instructions. This went way beyond incompetent website design; this was active malice.

Which makes sense given the “villain decay” we talked about yesterday, I guess. Just as Spotify, Pandora, etc., seem to have decided that they can annoy you into subscribing to their premium service, Globo Gym evidently believes that if they just make cancelling your membership enough of a chore, you’ll give up and keep paying them $100 a month for the privilege of not working out there.

And I hate to say it, but they’re probably right, at least in the short term, if for no other reason than every other institution in this pathetic excuse for a “nation” has bet the farm on the same business model. They’ve worked very hard to set up a world in which “not doing anything” is far, far easier than “doing something.”

It starts in grade school. In his very interesting memoir The Molding of Communists — get yours before it’s banned — Frank Meyer discusses his time as a “cadre,” one of the hardcore infiltrators. Being a smart guy eager to flex his intellectual muscles, very early on he tried doing some “theoretical” work and got his ass kicked by the higher-ups. Never do that, the bosses told him. You can’t write a single page without committing some kind of deviation; leave the “theorizing” to the experts…

…by which was meant: the guys more wired into Moscow, the keepers of the official Party Line. Since the Party Line changed unpredictably, without warning (except to the very, very clued-in), “deviations” were inevitable for anyone aiming above his station. Some of these Party Line changes were just politics — e.g. the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact — but lots of them weren’t. Stalin was an evil genius, and one of his best tricks was to suddenly flip the Party Line every now and again, seemingly just for shits and giggles. This induced learned helplessness in his slaves. Note that Wiki finds a way to quote the CIA — as if Commie torturers, especially the Chinese, didn’t write the book on this stuff (get it before it’s banned!) — but whatever, please note:

learned helplessness is characterized as “apathy” which may result from prolonged use of coercive techniques which result in a “debility-dependency-dread” state in the subject, “If the debility-dependency-dread state is unduly prolonged, however, the arrestee may sink into a defensive apathy from which it is hard to arouse him.”

“A defensive apathy from which it is hard to arouse him” is a perfect description for life in the USSR, 1917-1991, and if you know anyone who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, you can still see the scars. You don’t have to torture a guy to induce learned helplessness, though. Indeed, the best “defensive apathy” is the kind where the “arrestee” thinks he’s neither defensive nor apathetic. So what you do is, you change the catechism without warning, Stalin-style, between iterations of the same standardized test.

Since it’s an issue I’ve had a lot of experience with (anecdotal experience, you goofs, get your minds out of the gutter), let’s talk homosexuality as an example. If you remember the 1990s, the One True Way to be Gay back then was to have as much anonymous unprotected sex as possible. The merest suggestion that settling down into a committed relationship might have some benefits was a hate crime. And then… suddenly…. just like that…. “gay marriage” was all the rage, and it was now a hate crime to suggest that all gay men everywhere might not want to settle down in the suburbs to raise lhasa apsos together. See what I mean? If you don’t want to get in trouble with the Lavender Mob, the best thing to do is just avoid the subject entirely.

Take that down the line, for every item of the SJW catechism, and you’ve got No Child Left Behind. The good students are the ones who can parrot today’s catechism flawlessly. The best students, the ones who get the scholarships to the Ivy Leagues, are the ones who can not only parrot it flawlessly, but who can, Khrushchev-style, anticipate the changes and get out in front of them. In their minds, they’re neither defensive nor apathetic — no no, they’re good little boys and girls (or whatever they identify as today). Be sure to post your gold stars on all your social media accounts!!

Alas for the world, they actually are defensive and apathetic, as you can prove to your heart’s content by merely suggesting that they turn the fucking phone off. Even older folks, who should damn well know better, will start giving you every excuse in the book. What if an important client calls? What if one of my grandkids is attacked by a bear?

“Well, ok then,” should be your reply. “Then just uninstall Facebook and Twitter.”

Go ahead. Watch what happens.

And that’s grownups. Try that with a kid — meaning, these days, anyone under the age of 35 — and they’ll look at you the way your dog would if you asked it to factor quadratics. Arf? Woof? It just doesn’t compute.

Which suits the Powers That Be just fine, but the problem with betting the farm on this state of affairs continuing indefinitely should be obvious. Consider Nuke1776’s analysis of what happened to that cargo ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal. Nothing seems simpler than sailing a giant-ass ship in a straight line, but it’s actually a very complex endeavor that requires a lot of systems working in perfect sync… or it requires a lot of quick-thinking people with real knowledge making correct decisions on the fly. The crew of the SS Clown World decided to roll the dice and just assume that everything was hunky-dory, because hey, why not? When has a complicated electronic doohickey that requires constant maintenance by highly trained technicians ever failed in a critical spot before?

Some systems have a lot of “give” in them — a lot of redundancy, wide margins of error. Some have very little. Some are so huge and complex that we can’t even guess as to how much “give” they might have. I’d say that “society” falls into that latter category, but we seem determined to find out. There’s nothing like installing an obvious dementia patient as our totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent “president” to signal to the world that you’ve decided to say fuck it and just roll the dice, assuming everything’s hunky dory because as some Dead White Guy once said, objects in motion tend to stay in motion….

…unless something something something, oh who remembers, I’m sure it’s fine, and anyway physics be rayciss, yo. Inertia for the win. What could possibly go wrong?

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Villain Decay

Take it from people who watch way too much tv — after a while, even the most brilliant villains get stupid:

[Villain Decay is] the process by which a villain who is extremely scary on first appearance becomes a joke after a few more appearances.

In most shows, Failure Is the Only Option for the Villains, because success would mean that the villains Take Over the World, kill or imprison all the good guys, and otherwise do things that make future episodes impossible. However, this eventually results in a Foregone Conclusion and a predictable plot, since it makes the audience wonder why The Hero is so concerned about an enemy that they’ve beaten six times already.*

Here again, as with my 1500 words on Boss Hogg, below, I realize that tv is too fluffy to hold up discussions as heavy as the current world-historical crisis requires, but I think it was Averroes who said that all approaches to truth are valid so long as they’re pitched to the hearers’ level of understanding, and… you know what? I’m just rolling with it. Check back next week; I’m sure I’ll have more highfalutin’ stuff then.

Anyway, Villain Decay: Anyone who has spent ten seconds contemplating the Stalinism for Idiots our ruling caste is trying to impose on us must have noted that these people are catastrophic screw-ups. That’s not to say they’re not dangerous — they are, absolutely, and they will kill you if given the chance — but they’re also feckless incompetents of the first water. Say what you will about Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky (to say nothing of a thousand lesser lights), they were smart guys who played for keeps. They learned politics in the hardest school — the Okhrana might’ve been bush league, but the Bolsheviks’ intra-party fights were all-star.

When a Bolshevik screwed up, in other words, it was because he was committing a category error. No one can make Communism work, because it’s antithetical to human nature and basic physical reality. The Commies’ unforced errors, then, were strategic. Tactically, they usually performed well, and often brilliantly.

Our Neo-Stalinists — let’s call them, provisionally, the Stolenists — are obviously not like that. I’d love to say that their errors are both tactical and strategic, and hell, maybe they are, but the sad truth is: I can’t figure out what the fuck they’re doing. And that’s why “Villain Decay” is the best I can do to describe them. I mean, all previous revolutionaries — Bolsheviks, Nazis, the Jacobins, pick one or all of them — were equally hateful, equally bloodthirsty, equally committed to the idea that everything before them was one long catalog of error. But they had an actual ideology, such that you could sort their mistakes, and even to some extent predict what they’d do, or at least the kind of thing they’d try to do.

This crew, though? These murderous carny folk? I have no idea. Most people in Our Thing would say that they do have an animating ideology — anti-White racism (henceforth, AWR) — but while they certainly do hate White people, the key fact is that the worst ones are themselves White. And not just any White, but uber-White — products of two-parent homes in the suburbs, who aced all the standardized tests and went to all the right schools, where they got all the right degrees. In other words, their cursus honorum, the only thing that gives their life meaning, is the very same thing they say is the most saturated with hateful Whiteness.

And they don’t give themselves a pass for it, the way the Bolshies did, by being a “vanguard party.” The only time you’d hear a Bolshie admitting he’d made doctrinal errors was at his show trial, i.e. about ten minutes before he was taken to the Lubyanka’s basement and shot in the back of the head. Our Stolenists routinely abase themselves in public. No one carries on more theatrically about how “White supremacist” higher ed is, for instance, than a university president. That Robin DeAngelo twat is whiter than Vanilla Ice climbing the Matterhorn, and so forth. Tom Sowell once wrote a book subtitled Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. That was 1995, and a quarter century later we’re up to self-loathing as a basis for social policy. It’s pure, shit-flinging nihilism — our rulers hate that which they rule only slightly less than they hate themselves.

And it’s not just politicians who suffer from Villain Decay. I listen to lots of music on my commutes, and around the house. I used to listen to that music on streaming services like Spotify or Pandora. But now those services are so junked up with ads, I’m going to have to go back to the old fashioned way, downloading them Joe Biden style — you know, totally legitimately and legally, with no fraud whatsoever. And it’s not just any old ads, comrades. Of the ads you hear once every two or three songs — and it really IS that bad, at least during peak listening hours — more than half of them are the service itself begging me to “go premium,” in order to get away from the ads.

See what I mean? They’ve decided that they’re going to annoy me into paying for their service. I mean, it’s not like I can just turn the fucking thing off or anything…. right?**

And so it goes, even with huge corporations. You’ve probably heard that there’s a ship wedged sideways in the Suez Canal. Maybe ex-Navy man Nuke1776 can enlighten us on this point, but I’m pretty sure most seamen back in the days could tell when they were sailing fucking SIDEWAYS. Alas, GloboHomoCorp, being #Woke, has to hire the kind of captain who doesn’t know his port from his starboard. Pick any business above mom-and-pop size — it’s 100:1 that “moving product” is way, waaaay down on their list of corporate concerns . Of course, you can’t pick a mom-and-pop business, since the Kung Flu has killed them all, and do you see what I mean?

Since we started with tv, we might as well end there, too:

Villains who have gone through this process usually have three possible outcomes.

  1. They can begin the transition to Anti-Hero or Villain Protagonist, as did Warcraft’s Orcs, and Star Trek’s Borg ultimately did in isolated examples.
  2. They can become a Butt-Monkey or source of cheap comedy.
  3. They can be retired from use completely.

I’m hoping for #3, obviously, and while I’d definitely characterize the totally legitimate, not in any way fraudulent Biden administration as a source of comedy, it’s a very, very expensive source, both in treasure and — soon enough — in blood. It’s the “anti hero” or “villain protagonist” stuff that gets me, though. As narcissists, they all obviously believe themselves to be the star of their own movie… but what’s the movie about? We’ve never seen a “revolution,” for lack of a better term, from above before. We’ve certainly never seen one where we can’t even tell who the revolutionaries are, much less what set of beliefs might be motivating them.

It doesn’t work on television, but I suppose there’s a fourth option for a rapidly decaying villain: He finishes decaying. It all falls apart through sheer stupidity, because the competent ones — even the competent revolutionaries — are simply overwhelmed by the incompetent flailing of the idiots “in charge.” Looking at the Stolinists, I ask myself who’s really in charge, and what do they really want. As it stands, I’m forced to conclude that the answers are “nobody” and “nothing.” Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

 


*n.b. the odd capitalization is [sic]; they refer to hyperlinks I have removed as unnecessary.

**Even “conservatives” fall victim to this. I used to go to Ace of Spades a lot, to see what the NormieCons were freaking out about today. I can still do it on a desktop, but the site is so kludged with ads, embedded videos, etc., that it crashes my phone and tablet. No big loss, I guess — be sure to vote harder, guys! vote harder!!! — but still sad.

 

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Roscoe P. Col-traaaaaaane!

Much like the mushy brain of our totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent “president,” Zhou Bai-den, today’s Elite knows they’re supposed to be there — wherever “there” is — but have no idea why.

Back in late 2015 or thereabouts, I opined that while a Hillary Clinton presidency wasn’t ideal, America could survive it, since Hillary at least had some idea why she wanted to be president other than “it’s my turn.”*  Those reasons never rose above the pecuniary, and of course she would’ve gotten eaten alive by the real sharks out there, but her astounding venality at least made her predictable. As a politician, she was Boss Hogg — she should’ve topped out as a county comptroller back in Toad Suck, Arkansas, but The Swamp has long experience working around the Peter Principle. “Incompetent but predictable” is often the very best we can hope for in a mass democracy. Have you noticed?

Alas for us — and y’all, I’m really starting to think “alas” is the right word — we got Trump, which got us, totally legitimately and not at all via massive and bum-rammingly obvious voter fraud, Joey Cabbage. That’s like putting Roscoe P. Coltrane in the big chair.

I realize that I’ve got a lot of overseas readers — howdy, guys, and would you mind checking in? I’m worried about y’all, seeing as how you’re somehow going even more insane about Kung Flu these days than we are — so here’s a brief recap from the (unintentionally) hilarious wiki entry:**

Rosco’s mentality is that of a clumsy, somewhat slow-witted buffoon. He speaks often with a childish vernacular and repeats his favorite catchphrases constantly…. One aspect of Rosco’s personality that was well-loved and became synonymous with him was a choppy and excited chuckle that was produced from the back of the throat (“Kew-kew-kew-kew!”) and became one of the most recognizable aspects of the character…He is easily excitable and genuinely enjoys law enforcement, especially chasing criminals, which he refers to as “hot pursuit”.

More importantly, Roscoe is more of a hindrance to the aforementioned Boss Hogg than even them Duke boys, since the Boss has to rely on Roscoe to carry out vital tasks and Roscoe, being dumb, excitable, and — worst — prone to independent “thought,” always cocks them up.

I realize this is putting way too much weight on a goofy tv show from the Seventies, but that’s the only realistic thing about The Dukes of Hazzard — the fact that guys like this used to know their place. Even Boss Hogg’s big schemes are penny-ante — he wants to sell the Duke boys’ farm to a crooked developer from the city who’s going to put in a mini-mall or something. We never see them — again, because this is one of the most “Seventies” of Seventies tv shows, which is really saying something — but there’s a whole informal, but very real, infrastructure above Boss Hogg making sure his fat little fingers never stray beyond Hazzard County.

That used to be SOP in America, and everyone, most importantly including Boss Hogg himself, knew it and was ok with it. Indeed, a guy like Hogg knew it so well — and had enough going on upstairs — that he’d take himself out of contention if his name ever came up in a bigger league (since we’re doing fiction here, I suggest consulting the novel All the King’s Men for an example of what happens when a guy isn’t smart enough to figure out that he belongs in the minors). He’d live and die as the big cheese of Hazzard County; leaving the local party machine in the hands of his son Cletus was his loftiest long-term ambition.

This is not to say that Bogg Hogg was a good guy (and yes, I know this is getting a bit embarrassing, but stick with me). He wasn’t; he was as venal as they come. But that’s just it — he knew his lane and stayed in it. His reach did not exceed his grasp, because he understood that the lifestyle he wanted was there for the taking, provided he aimed no higher. Unlike Joe Biden, he knew where he was, he knew why he was there, and he knew what to do with that information.

Our modern Elite, by contrast, doesn’t know any of that. Follow any of their careers; read their CVs. They have no idea what they’re doing, and I don’t mean that as a slam on their “policies.” They’re true apparatchiks, in the full Soviet sense of that word — they go from Third Assistant Kommissar for Grain Procurement at Khabrovsk, to Second Assistant Kommissar for Quality Control at the People’s tractor factory in Vladivostok, to First Assistant Deputy Kommissar’s Assistant at the Office of the Five Year Plan in Magnitogorsk, because that’s the next-higher slot that happened to come open when it was time for them to move up.

They don’t know squat about any of that stuff, but it doesn’t matter — they’re connected, so they can’t be shuffled off into some kind of permanent make-work job.*** Nor will they voluntarily step aside when their name comes up. Why should they? They’re connected. They went to all the right schools, checked all the right boxes, aced all the standardized tests. If that doesn’t qualify you for anything and everything, what does? Whether you’re Sheriff of Hazard County or Foreign Secretary, you’ve got your dog-eared copy of Marx and Engels tucked under your arm, and that’s all you could ever possibly need, comrade.

To circle all the way back, Boss Hogg would step aside if his name came up, but Roscoe P. Coltrane wouldn’t, because he’s too stupid to know better. Hell, you could make that guy president, and not only would he take the job, he’d think he was doing terrific at it, even when his patrol car ended up in a pond again.

This stuff matters, y’all, because Roscoe is everywhere. It’s not just our beloved, totally legitimate leader, Joey Cabbage. Zuckerberg, Bezos, Bill Gates… they don’t know what they don’t know, and they’re certified geniuses compared to the self-righteous moron whiz kids who are coming up under them. They’re busy trying to impose honest-to-God Stalinism on a First World country. We’ve never seen a flat-out coup in the West before. They’re carrying on like it’s Moscow, 1937, and they’re doing it in a country with more firearms than people, in the Internet age.

 


*Recall that in late 2015, everyone including yer ‘umble narrator was convinced that the Republican nominee would be Jeb Bush, or possibly Marco Rubio, aka “the dumber, gayer Jeb Bush.” I got on the Trump train a lot earlier than most — yeah, that sound you hear is me patting myself on the back — but certainly we all can forgive ourselves for thinking !Yeb! and his hundred million dollar war chest were going to run the table.

**It’s been a while since I’ve seen a wiki article as lulzily pedantic as this one, and as y’all can imagine, that’s a really high bar. Wiki wants us to be absolutely certain of the proper spelling for a fictional character on a tv show from forty years ago. It’s Rosco, no -e. No less an authority than James Best, the guy who played the character, has informed us of this on his personal website. But hey, this is my website, and all due respect to James Best, I’m gonna live my truth, and spell it with an -e. Now if Catherine Bach says it, that’s a different thing entirely.

***”Elimination by promotion,” it’s called in the dreaded Private Sector, which is one of the big reasons you see so much Diversity in places like HR, “public relations,” and the like. You’ve got to hire them, but they’re utterly unqualified to be anywhere near the core business functions, so you make them “Assistant Director of Community Outreach” or something, and never mind why Amalgamated Widgets should even have such a department in the first place.

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Thursday Miscellania

Year-round school. The Z Man really knocked one out of the park today. The column isn’t about Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education, per se, but since he does feature prominently someone in the comments brought up Duncan’s big push for year-round school. Duncan wasn’t the only dumbass pushing the idea, of course, it comes up every few years or so like clockwork, but he was the latest. Anyway, the mere mention of “year round school” gave me another little zap of that “let’s do [something stupid] again, but this time somehow even dumber!” vibe that’s been the signature of our totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent President’s reign thus far.

I just wish the term “Karen” had been around back then, because I never could quite put my finger on a good word to describe one side of the “year round school” “debate.” Karen, of course, thinks of schools as nothing more than public daycares. She’s not wrong, so her position makes a twisted kind of sense — since our “teachers” are really just (very very shitty) babysitters anyway, why not have schools open in the summer? That way, Karen doesn’t have to cast around for “enrichment” programs and whatnot into which to dump her kids while she self-actualizes on Twitter.

Unfortunately for Karen, the teachers’ union runs so deep in the Democratic Party, they could probably literally get the Army deployed against their enemies if they really put their backs into it, so they win. And since the whole point of being a “teacher” is so that you never, ever have to put your back into anything, schools will continue to be closed for the summer until the planet is overrun by superintelligent apes. They’re the laziest bastards ever to draw breath, and if you want proof, start digging into who’s really behind the “masks now, masks tomorrow, and masks forever!!” mafia in your locality. It’s 1,000:1 it’s the teachers’ union, since the masking and social distancing rules are such that no school district can comply while still holding classes, so gosh, gee whiz, golly, darn, I guess those poor put-upon “teachers” will have to keep drawing their nice salary and gonzo benefits for sitting at home on their asses….

….for another entire fucking school year. (Hey, speaking of, I’m sure you know we recently passed the one-year anniversary of “fifteen days to flatten the curve.” How did you celebrate? I sent an email reminder to all the liberals I know, but they were still too busy cowering under their beds to read it).

Speaking of lazy, brain-dead Liberalsthat’s the real reason they keep pushing for endless lockdowns and masks and social distancing: Because they like it. Morgan’s latest got me thinking about this. We assume that the Left keeps pushing for ever more idiotic, ever more draconian restrictions because they hate freedom, or because they’re sexually aroused by bossing people around, or because they’re making money off it somehow. All those things are true, of course, but there are lots of folks — the vast majority of the Branch Covidians, in fact — who can’t boss anyone around and haven’t made a dime off it. These folks hate freedom, all right, but it’s crucial to realize that the freedom they truly hate is their own.

When this nonsense started, I kept getting this weird feeling I couldn’t name. But then an errand took me down to College Town — this was when a few things were still open — and it finally hit me: It’s deja vu. Unless you’ve been in the ivory tower recently yourself, I guess you’ll just have to trust me on this, but the most fundamental difference between living like the most timorous Covidiot in existence and living like an egghead is: Nothing.

Massively online, terrified of any human interaction, living on delivered food… in the ivory tower, that’s called “a day ending in Y.” Binge watching Netflix, spending the non-Netflix hours hyperventilating on Twitter… that’s what they call “time off.” Kung Flu finally gives them an excuse to do that guilt free. It’s not that they’re pathetic shut-ins afraid of their own shadows. No no, they’re saving the earth!!

The anti-culture. Continuing with the theme from below, I’m running long, so real quick: Since we’ve decided to give Stalinism another go (see above; “do __ again, but dumber!” could be the Biden admin’s motto), those of us who know* ought to consider how various folks in the Soviet Union made out. I think we should especially look at the refuseniks. These were originally Jews who were refused permission to emigrate to Israel, on the theory that they might somehow take Soviet state secrets with them. So it will be with White people under the Bidenreich — we’ll never be allowed to go our own way, because we might take state secrets like “how indoor plumbing works” with us.

There won’t be any international pressure coming to help us, of course, but note how proudly the refuseniks maintained their culture despite it all. There’s a lesson there. We don’t have to wallow in filth, y’all. We don’t have to give in. Just say “no.” Here, listen to this Grammy-winning… No! Watch this Emmy-nominated… No! Call this person by xzhyr preferred… NO! Do what you have to do to keep the NKVD off your back, nothing more. And trust me, since they’ve decided they’re going to do the Democrats’ traditional “destroy the economy” thing while simultaneously doing the Neocon “invade the world / invite the world” thing, they’ll soon have a lot bigger problems than a few old codgers refusing to watch “Black-ish,” or whatever the fuck it’s called now.

Refuse. Just say no.


*It occurs to me that “those who know” might be a good nickname for… well, those who know. “Neo-gnosticism” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but there’s got to be a catchy name to be made there somehow.

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