Category Archives: Strategy

Practical tips for fighting the culture war

Embrace Your Pathology

It occurs to me that Our Thing ought to take a long, hard look at the Frankfurt School.

Those were the guys, of course, who pioneered the notion that their political opponents must be mentally ill.  Given that

  • all sane people are good; and
  • good people only want good things; and
  • Socialism is a good thing;

then

  • anyone who doesn’t want Socialism wants a bad thing;
  • therefore is a bad person;
  • therefore is insane.

Anyone with the common sense God gave little catfish recognizes this as begging the question.  And not particularly subtle question-begging, either, which is why it took over 1,000 pages (!) of ponderous Teutonic prose to disguise it.  It’s science, comrades.  Only Socialism, or a .38 to the back of the neck, will cure us….

…. assuming, of course, that we want to be cured.

The Frankfurt Schoolers assumed this, of course, as did all those freelance critical theorists running the NKVD’s torture chambers.  But that was then.  The Frankfurt Schoolers were shockingly bourgeois on so many things.  They thought homosexuality was a mental illness, if you can believe it, and I doubt even Herbert Marcuse would’ve signed off on “drag queen story hour,” let alone the state-mandated chemical castration of 6 year old boys.  Only the peerless enlightenment of the Current Year recognizes this, comrades.

These days, as we all know, what were once pathologies are now badges of honor.  Gays and feminists — once the #Wokest of them all — now play second fiddle to the trannies (and they, soon enough, will be replaced by the pedos).  Modern life is little more than the search for ever-more-outre “identities.”

Given that, I agree with the Frankfurt School.  I am grossly, flagrantly, incurably crazy, in that I think Socialism sucks.  I believe in biology, yea, even to the point of saying that boys have a penis, girls have a vagina.  I’m nuts, comrades.  Cuckoo for cocoa puffs….

…. and I demand that you subsidize me.  Only comprehensive universal health care will cure this.  And UBI.  For me.  Cloward, Piven, y’all ain’t seen shit yet.  Lunatics of the world, unite!

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Africa: The Video Game

Today’s more-than-typically excellent Z Man column says Our Thing is going to go nowhere until we start convincing Normals that the old assumptions are wrong.  People aren’t all the same, they sure as hell aren’t infinitely malleable, and there’s no one ideal form of human organization.  The question then becomes, how do we convince Normals of this?  Here’s my stab at an answer:

Africa has always been “problematic,” as the kids say, for save-the-worlders.  The place seems impervious to modernity, and has been since “modernity” was “three malarial Portuguese dudes in a rickety sailboat.”  Even so cucky a cuck as Jonah Goldberg once wrote a column — sorry bud, the Internet’s forever — arguing in effect that because Africans are so congenitally hopeless, we should re-colonize the place for their own good (i.e. before the Chinese, who use King Leopold’s Ghost as a how-to manual, beat us to it).  Faced with the utterly inexplicable primitive weirdness one sees every day on the Dark Continent, Old Africa Hands simply shrug and say: “Africa wins again.”

This is why, of course, the “race is just a social construction” crowd never venture much past 1800 when instructing us that, as one of the most hilarious of recent tomes puts it, “race does not exist, and the very factors that we think of as determining it a person’s heritage or skin color are mere pretexts for the brutalization of powerless people by the powerful.”  The authoress — who is, natch, as dusky-hued as Elizabeth Warren — is the recipient of such prestigious scientific awards as the “Taft Prize in Labor History” and the “Spruill Prize in Southern Women’s History.”  If those don’t qualify one to unravel the mysteries of the human genome, I ask you, what would?

And furthermore: See what I mean when I say I’m the only guy I know who really believes in evolution?  I’m quite comfortable with the idea that Somalians became Swedes over the course of 500,000 years or so, because evolution is so obviously copious, local, and recent.  The race-is-just-a-social-construction crowd, on the other hand, would have a hell of a time explaining just what part of “society” turns your skin pale, your eyes blue, and your intestines lactose-intolerant… which is why they never bother trying.  Ditto with inherited behavioral traits — if those are “social constructions,” too, then “society” must’ve turned wolves into dogs somehow… but hey, what do I know?  I never even made it past the quarterfinals for the “Brown Publication Prize in Black Women’s History.”

Anyway, all that is just logic, which as we know won’t do squat to convince the ideologically inconvincible.  We’ll have to go at it another way.*

Since this is the Internet, I assume you all have played some variant of the classic strategy game Civilization.  Let’s suppose a version of that game set in 1,000,000 BC.  You win by achieving world domination, via culture, technology, or the space race.  You load it up, and the computer assigns you to Sub-Saharan Africa.  What do you do?

If you’re scientifically literate a so-called “race realist,” of course, you just reboot the damn thing, because you know you’re screwed.  But let’s stipulate that you’re a cuck.  Let’s further stipulate that you’re in God mode, so you can do whatever you want to the physical environment.  You can re-route rivers, alter coastlines, cut down malarial jungles, assign yourself natural resources, whatever.  You can, in short, re-create Sweden down to the individual salted herring, so long as you retain the original human genetic group.  Now what do you do?

The answer, of course, is the one Goldberg suggested in that long-ago column, the one he’ll be forced to read from at his show trial early in the Warren administration: Impose Sweden on it by force.  If “race” really is meaningless — if the only reason Somalis aren’t Swedes is because Somalis act like Somalis, not Swedes — then the only way to prevent your computer civilization from becoming Somalia is to force them to act like Swedes.  Which is, after all, the fundamental premise of games like Civilization — whether you’re Queen Victoria or Mohandas Gandhi, Isabella or Montezuma, Peter the Great or Shaka Zulu, the different outcomes are solely dependent on the efficient use of culture.

To really drive the point home, let’s stipulate a mod of Civilization called White Man’s Burden or something, set during the Scramble for Africa.  Your goal isn’t world domination this time; instead, you’ve got to get your African civilization ready to achieve independence as a functioning member of the modern society of nations.  Again, you’re in God mode, so you can do whatever you want to the physical environment.  You can edit your cities, too, so that you can give, say, Kinshasa a modern seaport and an industrial base.  What do you do?

To ask is to answer, and hopefully by now even the Normals are starting to get it.  Even if we grant the ludicrous premise that “Race is just a social construction,” any attempts to solve the problems “racism” left behind involve the kind of cultural hegemony even a guy like Macaulay never dreamed of.  If it’s NOT a social construction, though, the answer is….?

 

 

 

*And yeah, I’m aware of the emerging consensus of multiple parallel human evolutions, as opposed to the “we all migrated out of Africa” hypothesis.  But since that’s infinitely worse for the “race is just a social construction” crowd — implying, as it must, that Blacks are an entirely different species — we’ll just leave it be.
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Form > Process > Outcome

If you want a three-word explanation of why American life is so messed up, there it is.

Academia’s a good example.  Whether completely divorcing form from outcome is a bug, or a feature, of academia’s Cultural Marxism infection is a chicken-or-egg?-type question at this point.  However we got here, we’re wedded to both of them, and they’re opposites — hence all the brain-bending contortions of “intersectionality.”

The outcome is a given: No Child Left Behind in grade school; Don’t Fail the Diversity in college.  Which would be child’s play to achieve, if we weren’t constrained by the form of a “traditional liberal arts education.”  So ed biz wonks are forced to endlessly tweak the “standards,” without ever appearing to tweak the standards.  This is why font choice and margin size end up being worth 75% of your term paper.  They’re completely objective, yet totally meaningless, and best of all plausibly deniable — the kid would’ve used 12-point Times New Roman, but alas, he sent it in an incompatible file format.  Full marks!

The problem, of course, is that in Senile America everything works this way.

If it’s to work at all, representative government has to be representative.  That is, it must be consented to by the governed.  But not only did we not consent to be ruled this way, we couldn’t.  Just to take the most obvious problem: We have no idea who our rulers actually are.

Hawaiian judges are our kakistocracy‘s public face, but all the decisions that matter are made long before the hacks in black get involved.  As we know, we Americans commit, on average, three felonies a day.  If, when, and how these come to the State’s attention are almost completely random.  This is true for any law, actually, and because it is, it’s not really an exaggeration to say that your livelihood, and often your actual freedom, depends on what side of the bed the cop got up on this morning.

If The Authorities notice you when they’re in a good mood, you skate.  If The Authorities are in a bad mood, though — tired, hung over, had a fight with the spouse, whatever — you’re screwed.  What actually happens to you depends on the lawyers, a.k.a the most incestuous little fraternity on the planet.  Whether they choose to prosecute or not, and for what, and what deals they make over a drink or seven determine what happens to you once you get in front of hizzoner… who, of course, is also butt-buddies with all the lawyers who appear in his chambers, since he was one of them not too long ago and they remain his entire social circle.

Who in his right mind could possibly agree to this?  No, forget “right mind” — it’s simply not possible for anyone, not even someone as far out on reality’s fringes as the SJWs, to consent to this.  Those “people” (in the strict biological sense) think houseplants have human rights, but not even they would agree to have their life’s course determined by two dimbulbs with great hair and ugly neckties cutting deals with each other in a dive bar.

But so long as we fetishize the form of “representative government,” it can’t be otherwise.  As folks in Our Thing never tire of pointing out, had The People ever been consulted about our preferences, at any time after 1963, we’d still be living in a White Christian nation with a solid manufacturing base and a minuscule military footprint.  If it were possible to throw the bums out, we would’ve thrown out every bum on every ballot since at least Calvin Coolidge.  But we can’t throw the bums out, because the process is rigged.

Our Side is really missing a trick here.  As Our Betters, the Liberals, constantly inform us, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 — 62,523,126 to 61,201,031.

  • She won California 7,362,490 to 3,916,209, and
  • she won Los Angeles county 1,893,770 to 620,285.

I’m no mathematician, but it sure looks to me like Los Angeles alone all but gave Hillary Clinton her popular vote “victory” — she beat Trump overall by 1,322,095, with 1,273,485 of them coming just from LA.

So when Our Betters start going on about abolishing the Electoral College, we should agree with them!  Really rub the American public’s face in it.  Yes, it’s a damn shame that homeless winos and Hollywood bimbos of both sexes and all 37+ genders don’t get to set the agenda for the entire nation.  That’s not Democracy!!! Or, as Our Betters love to put it, That’s Not Who We Are (TM).  Why cling to the old, outdated form of the Electoral College, when the straight democratic voting process gets us everything we want?

Give the governed an opportunity to truly consent to their government.  I for one can’t wait to put Barbara Streisand and Leonardo DiCaprio and three shit-stained homeless heroin addicts in charge of our nuclear arsenal, not to mention our health care.  How about you?

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Real Personal Evil

If I were building a #RealResistance — an intellectual resistance only, government goons, and anyway this is all hypothetical — I’d bring back the notion of real personal evil.  Yes, I’m talking about Satan, loose in the world, always prowling the night in search of souls to corrupt.

This has two huge advantages.  First, literally Satanic is a good way to describe Liberals’ behavior.  Honestly, ask yourselves:  If we got the Prince of Darkness himself on a conference call, and asked him for instructions, what exactly would he tell us to do differently?  Sacrifice some babies?  Planned Parenthood has us covered, and they’re orders of magnitude more efficient than any coven could ever even dream of.  Deny Christ more openly?  The combination of Marxism, Freudianism, and Postmodernism — hereafter, the poz — has convinced everyone in the West that the Seven Deadlies are actually the highest virtues.  Modern people don’t even have to bother with actual blasphemy — it’s wasted effort.

The second, crucial advantage to describing Liberal behavior this way is: It gives them — the Liberals — an out.  We’ve all read our Festinger here; we know that drastic disconfirmation of a belief system only causes people to dig in more deeply, because otherwise they’d have to admit that they’re idiots.  Heaven’s Gate types — which all SJWs fundamentally are — would rather die than admit they were wrong.  Note, please: That they were wrong.  That is, that they were presented with the full catalog of sub-Scientology stupidity and said, of their own free will and after due consideration: “Yeah, sounds right.”

But if the Devil literally made them do it?  Different story.  A rigorous rite of exorcism and repentance can bring them back into the fold… and as we all know, there’s no one more zealous for your cause than a recent convert.

Now I suppose you’re saying “But that’s all superstitious hooey!”  Perhaps…. perhaps.   But it works.  Come up with something better, and I’ll be happy to listen… but 100+ years of the Left going from triumph to triumph says that whatever you come up with has already been tried, and it comprehensively failed.

Of course, the real reason we’re afraid to break out the supernatural isn’t contingent falsity, it’s the fear of mockery.  The Left have spent no inconsiderable time, in the 100+ years they’ve been setting the agenda, in establishing themselves as Science’s BFFs.  “Undermining religious belief through relentless mockery” was the Left’s main thing before there even was a Left — Diderot was doing it back in the 1740s; Hobbes was doing the nudge-nudge, wink-wink routine at the stupidities of organized religion a hundred years earlier.

All you have to do to refute this is recall the 3nd Law of SJW: SJWs always project.  Again, since we’re being completely honest with ourselves, which is easier to swallow:  A creation narrative, or the Big Bang?  “First there was nothing…. which exploded.”  SJWs will tell you that “nothingness exploding” can’t possibly be a willful act, because shut up, that’s why, but in our heart of hearts we know better.  How could it be otherwise?

And, of course, the Left have always been the truest of True Believers.  Indeed that’s how they won — the notion of blank-slate equalism, from which all Leftism derives, is so bizarre, so cattywampus to observable reality, so easily refuted by literally every singe thing in human history, that for two hundred years or more we’ve had no other response than Dr. Johnson’s: “I refute it thus!”  Which worked out so well that we now have Leftoids telling us it’s a scientific fact that men can have periods and women can have penises.

What could that possibly be, other than actual, personal demonic influence?

Even if you don’t believe this, act like you do, and watch what happens.

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The Committed Christian Culture Project

If I were trying to organize a Resistance — an intellectual resistance, FedGov goons please note, and anyway this is all hypothetical — I’d handle the opsec issue by forming a church-like front group.  Not an actual church, with the 501(3)(c) paperwork, as this invites IRS scrutiny, but a Bible study society.

There’s lots of precedent — that’s what the Puritans did, after all.  And that’s the great thing about Protestant Christianity — any ol’ body can pick up a Bible and start preaching, on no more authority than the Spirit.  There’s no need for any organizational affiliation, other than what members choose to create.  All you need is a website stating your core principles, and let the guerrilla cells, by which I mean intellectual guerrilla cells, by which I mean study groups organize themselves, 4G style.  4G being the highest internet speed available in most regions, of course, not the other thing.

There are several huge advantages to creating a specifically Christian group.  As we know, the rot at the heart of the American soul is: Lack of Purpose.  Life seems meaningless, because as currently constructed, it is meaningless.  Progressivism is a nihilistic death cult that has infected almost every aspect of American life.  “Normal” politics — the caesaristic charade of “Left” and “Right,” “Republican” and “Democrat” — is merely an argument over the most efficient way to pull the plug.  “Pop culture,” meanwhile, is quite literally poz — live the life the Glowing Box urges on you, and you’ll soon die, friendless and childless, from AIDS.  (Consumerism, of course, is just TV with a higher blink rate and more popup ads).

Christianity solves all that, because it’s a lifestyle.  Note that I didn’t say a “doctrine.”  There are lots of very committed Christians who don’t really bother with that “Jesus” guy — the Jesuits, for instance, one of which is currently the Pope.  But if you do want to bother with that Jesus guy, he’s a pretty good role model.  No, seriously, read what the man actually said.  The ambiguously gay fellow who tells Episcopalians to hold lesbian weddings for their transgendered cats is an invention, and a very recent one at that.  The real Jesus, the man from the Bible, had a philosophy orders of magnitude tougher than anything else on offer in the ancient world.  Constantine thought so, anyway, and though the late Imperial Roman Army had its issues, they didn’t fuck around with gender-benders and furries.  The Stoics thought so, too, which is why one of early Christianity’s main influences was Marcus Aurelius…

Christianity is quite clear on several points that fly in the face of the poz, which is why your Churchians try so hard to ignore them.  Leviticus doesn’t say anything the Koran doesn’t — the only difference is, the Aloha Snackbar crowd are willing to stand up for it.  The proper response for anyone wanting to make your Committed Christian Culture Project study circle more “inclusive” is “Leviticus 18:22,” followed by “Ephesians 5:22” (and, for the single gal, Exodus 22:18; furries get the next verse).  That’s it.  Those exact phrases, no more, no less.

Moreover, the real Christian lifestyle rejects modern excesses.  The Rule of St. Benedict can be followed in all important points by simply turning off the goddamn smartphone and unplugging the tv.  And as for the stuff about lectio divina, one can become an excellent Christian simply by reading Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus and putting it into practice.  See what I mean about not needing to bother with that Jesus guy?  A true Stoic is a manly man indeed, and (liturgical requirements aside) a true Stoic simply is a practicing Christian.

“But,” you’ll no doubt say, “any group like this will quickly get infiltrated.”  They’ll try, of course, but that’s why you really should commit those Bible verses to memory.  Recite them at the start of every meeting.  Potential infiltrators will be so triggered they’ll faint — remember, these are the people who need jazz hands in lieu of clapping at their revolutionary planning sessions because the noise is so bothersome to their delicate sensibilities.  And as for more “professional” infiltrators, see the Rule of St. Benedict, above — as we are trying to live the committed Christian lifestyle, members aren’t allowed to have smartphones, and any flip phones that members need for work are to be turned off, turned in, and stored in a safe (= soundproofed) box for the duration of the meeting (hold the meetings out in nature for added security, and if you really need to go all out, have members change into loose, flowing robes and bare feet — in full view of the other members).

Endless elaborations are possible on the basic idea.  Since this is designed to appeal most to young, directionless, purposeless men, take a page from video games.  Institute a rank structure, with participation points, merit badges, etc.  Create a visible, obvious, but plausibly deniable mark of membership (feel free to steal the white ball cap thing).  The very difficulty of doing everything face-to-face — NO social media, email, or electronic communication of any kind, save the one “statement of principles” website* — will appeal to coddled kids who have never actually had to work for their participation trophies.

As for what one actually does at the Bible study meetings, well… that’s obvious, isn’t it?  Study the Bible, and come up with ways to apply its lessons to your local community, 4G style (4G, again, being the fastest wireless connection available in most localities).

 

*Which in all seriousness should be called the Committed Christian Culture Project.  That’s not a joke.  Think SEO, opsec style — if one must refer to it in online communications (and you’ll eventually have to proselytize over social media, if only initially), you know the rat bastard commies at Google aren’t going to ban mentions of the CCCP.
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Weaponizing Blogs

Having just sent my shekels to the Z Man, I got to thinking about monetizing blogs.  Which got me thinking about weaponizing blogs.

First, let’s discuss the money (undoubtedly the Clinton Foundation’s unofficial motto).  I’ve always wondered why blogs don’t get into the merchandising business.  I know, I know, liberals only like to spend other people’s money, but still, you’d think a site like Daily Kos could make a killing on merch.  What better way to virtue-signal that you’re one of The Smart Ones than by wearing a Kos t-shirt around?  So long as you put in some bullshit about how the shirts are made by the Hopi Indians of Kazakhstan using only locally-sourced, free-trade, shade-grown polyester, you could clean up.  I clicked on one of the many, many, many “design your own t-shirt” sites out there, and got a basic one-off for about $30.  Which is a lot, but I bet a bulk order from a real screen-printing house could cut that at least in half.  Your only problem then is storage, but since the folks involved pretty much by definition live in basements…

From there, the branding ideas kinda write themselves.  Speaking of writing themselves, most of Kos is (or was; for obvious reasons I don’t visit much) “diaries” written by members of their “community.”  Sticking with the t-shirt thing, if I were Kos, I’d give out a free t-shirt to diarists in the “silver circle” (wrote 50 diaries), “gold circle” (100 diaries, or got 100 links, or whatever), etc.  I know, I know, the thing about only giving away other people’s money still applies, but so skilled a self-promoter as Kos could be brought to see the need to spend a little money to make more money.  Or, hell, make it a bumper sticker — god knows the Left love them some bumper stickers, and those are way cheaper.  Big picture, his net outlay is close to zero (or actually zero, if it can be written off as a business expense), so the marginal rate of return is very high — if one t-shirt (bumper sticker, whatever) gets even five sets of eyeballs to the site….

The odd conservatism of the Internet might be in play here.  I do seem to vaguely recall websites trying to aggressively brand themselves with merchandise back in the late 90s, and failing miserably.  But most of those branding attempts seemed to be product sites, not blogs — Pets.com, not Salon.com, or slathering Danica Patrick in GoDaddy.com stuff — and the infrastructure wasn’t there yet.  Nowadays you can get custom anything off the Internet for a reasonable price — see e.g. Snapfish, with which parents plaster their kids’ faces on scrapbooks, coffee mugs, pretty much everything.  But Internet People seem to assume that if an idea was tried once and failed, it could never possibly work….

But whatever, the point is, selling blog merch seems like an obvious idea that nobody’s doing.  Admittedly I’m the furthest thing from an Internet Person (who still somehow has a blog), but the only site I’ve seen that even kinda sorta tries it is Vox Day’s, and even there only as an adjunct to all his other hustles.  Just for fun I checked Salon.com, a site that’s both desperate for revenue, and whose readership consists of nothing but Wall-adjacent Millennial cat ladies who confuse “reading some bint going on about her herpes infection for 1,000 words” with “political activism.”  You’d think they could sell t-shirts if anyone could.  And yet, their “marketplace” is entirely parasitic off Amazon.

Take a page from the shoe companies’ playbook.  For them, the brand doesn’t sell the product; the brand IS the product.

Which brings us to the second point: Weaponization.  One of Our Thing’s biggest problems, I think we all agree, is that we have no idea who “we” actually are.  We all naturally assume that any “official” gathering — in the increasingly unlikely event it’s permitted at all — would be instantly infiltrated, so that the ever-tolerant apostles of peace love and understanding could have us all fired from our jobs.  An “unofficial” gathering faces the same problem, since it can’t be organized without social media and social media is the natural habitat of the Junior Volunteer Thought Police (JVTP).*  So we all wonder if maybe “we” aren’t just the same five or ten or fifty lunatics, using several different handles, jerking each other off on the same handful of “dissident” sites.

Which is exactly where They want us, brothers!!

The solution would be some kind of recognizable signal.  I suggested the white Hugo Boss cap (and I still wear mine whenever I go out!), but as this is a tiny group blog with 14 readers, it can’t work.  Branded logo gear could, though.  Just wear your “Z Blog” t-shirt out in public and see what happens.  It’s got a big “Z” on the front and the web address on the back, and… that’s it.  Every day you reach 100 eyeballs, and if even five of them check, and if even one of those can be brought over to the White Side of the Force, that’s a massive win.  And even if nobody clicks, there’s always a decent chance of spotting a fellow thoughtcriminal in a crowd… throw in a countersign of some kind, and boom!  Instant battle buddy.

Combine the two, and you’ve got a revenue stream for the bigger blogs.  Of course, that opens up the possibility of the standard Leftist deplatforming tactics, so alas, a direct “Z Blog Store” is probably out.  BUT: Since all those t-shirt printing places are out there, both online and in real life, why not simply ask readers to make their own?  Hell, you don’t even have to get it printed.  Go buy a five-pack of plain white tees from Wal-Mart, get a sharpie, make a big “Z” on the front, and write “thezman.com” on the back.  So long as that’s not the only stuff you buy on that shopping trip, there’s no way the algorithms could get you.

Which, alas, means that the Z Blog can’t monetize directly by selling merch, but that’s the beauty of advertising.  The Z Man already asks for donations.  Anyone sufficiently motivated to buy, or make, their own Z Blog t-shirt will surely be motivated enough to fork over some dough, and since you can send cash money to a PO Box, it’s Fed-and-JVTP-free. Best of all, since it’s just a t-shirt, there’s plenty of plausible deniability.  “Oh, what, this thing?  They were throwing these into the crowd at a minor league hockey game.  I have no idea what it means; I just wear it to work out in.”  Build the brand, and they will come.

Thoughts?

 

 

*A nice bit of counter-branding would be to rig up a cute little .gif of a nerdy little boy dressed up like an FBI agent, with the caption “Junior Volunteer Thought Police.”  Any time any Liberal starts going off in your social media account, just paste it as your reply and watch ’em squirm.  Like the NPC thing, but more aggressive.
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The Medium is the Message

I have a naive view of art.  I think it’s made up of two things, the medium and the message.  The medium is the artist’s materials plus his skill.  The message is whatever idea he’s trying to convey with his art.  Simplistic, yes, but it lets you talk about art without resorting to what the British charmingly call “art bollocks.”*

Great art, for instance, doesn’t have to be particularly original to be great.  This

is about as conventional as they come, in both medium (paint on a ceiling) and message (that God loves us).  It’s only the artist’s great skill that makes it great art.  On the other hand, this

has an even simpler medium, but more complex message (Seurat is trying to give us the “out of the corner of your eye” view, which points out just how fuzzy, temporary, and context-dependent our perceptions really are).  It’s great art because it highlights something fundamental about the human condition.  Do all our impressions work this way?

It works in reverse, too.  Just as great art doesn’t have to be a heartbreaking work of staggering genius to be great, so bad art fails not from lack of skill, but because the artist’s skill is used in the service of something false.  That’s why you can spot “socialist realism” a mile away, though tremendous effort and real talent went into its production.

Vasily Orlov, The Nature Hunt (1950)

That’s not bad art because of bad technique, or because the subjects are unattractive.  It’s not even overtly political.  And yet, everything about that painting is wrong.  It’s just false, and you can see it everywhere — the figures’ expressions, their postures, the field, the flowers, even the sunlight seems just slightly off.  It’s like something your grandma would paint after a few courses at the Y — the old bird’s got talent, but doesn’t have anything to say other than “kids were cuter back in my day.”

Which brings us to now, when the medium IS the message, as Marshall McLuhan famously said — the stuff on TV is true, because it’s on TV.  Seriously, try it for yourself.  Have you ever made a sustained effort to not watch TV?  I don’t mean “turn off the idiot box at home” (though that’s a great idea too); I mean don’t watch a glowing screen, period.  It’s nearly impossible.  TVs are everywhere, and they’re magnetic.  Even if you yourself have Catonian self-control, go to the bar and watch others interact.  There are always TVs on at the bar, and no matter what people are doing — drowning their sorrows in whiskey, arguing sports or politics, trying to get laid — you’ll see everyone’s eyes constantly flicking up to the TV in the corner.

Then watch the TV itself.  Being in a bar actually helps here, because you want the sound to be off.  TV is a passive medium — if ever the family really did sit around and watch shows together, those days are long past.  TV is just background noise now, and the people who do the programming most certainly know  it.  You’ll get the message much better if you’re not distracted by the content (McLuhan said the content is just like a piece of raw meat a burglar brings to distract a guard dog).  Is the presenter grim-faced and serious?  Whitey did something bad. Is he chipper and upbeat?  Get ready for a fluff piece about a Magic Negro.  Are there only graphics, words, on the screen of the most visually-dependent medium of all?  The Diversity did something bad.

Which suggests a wonderful line of counterattack.  Betcha didn’t see that coming!!!

Art imitates life, remember?  (For those who remember their Aristotle, this is mimesis (I had to look it up)).  Think of SJWs — by their nose rings ye shall know them.  Whether it’s mimesis or Marshall McLuhan who’s ultimately responsible, the whole SJW “look” is ugliness-for-the-sake-of-ugliness.  The nose-ringers themselves don’t think this, of course; the message they’re trying to convey is that they’re dangerous nonconformist rebels.  But see above — Orlov’s intended message was “communism rules;” the thought that picture actually invokes is along the lines of “I wonder who the Kommissar will shoot first if their flower baskets don’t meet the targets of the Five Year Plan.”

Now, take Herr Sturmbannführer** up there.  That’s a serious, dangerous-looking man, and not just because he’s got an Iron Cross and two lightning bolts on his collar.  He’d still be a panty-dropper even if he were dressed like your typical dude-bro goober.  You see where I’m going with this….

The medium is the message.  I don’t care what Trigglypuff has to say.  She may have all the facts, data, and logic in the world — I know, I know, but let’s stipulate — and I’m still not going to listen, because she looks like Trigglypuff.  Meanwhile, Herr Sturmbannführer impresses me despite myself.  I know what he’s about — one does not rise to high rank in the Waffen-SS without committing a few war crimes — but I can’t help it, I’m curious.  How does a man like this believe something like that?

We need to use this!  Our message is right; our look should be tight.  We can’t all look like panzer commanders, but we don’t have to — SJWs are such deliberately grotesque slobs, all we have to do is dress like we respect ourselves.  Watch our language and habits — don’t get drunk in public, don’t walk around munching on a greasy hamburger, don’t cuss, and for pete’s sake never wear flip flops, tank tops, or sportsball jerseys.

Meanwhile, the standard rebuttal to any and all Leftist hyperventilating on Twitter, Facebook, whatever should be nothing more than: Posting a picture of the hyperventilator.  Your Ace of Spades types, for instance, spend lots of hours online arguing with Matt Yglesias types.  This is Matt Yglesias:

’nuff said.  The medium is the message.

 

 

*The author of that piece, David Thompson, has an excellent blog.
** Yes, I looked it up.  This is, after all, the Internet — I don’t want to get 45 comments from people who can’t see the point because I accidentally called that guy a lieutenant colonel or something.
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Rage III: The Dying of the Light

The most important is also the shortest, because by this point you either agree or disagree.

The Cat Fanciers had an ideology.  It’s not hard to find.  They had a philosophy, too.  Nobody’s ever heard of Giovanni Gentile, and you might want to ask yourself why not, but it doesn’t matter.  The point is, there was enough intellectual heft behind Cat Fancy that even serious, heavyweight people could buy into it, in full public view.  The Black Cat Militia — the fanciest Cat Fanciers of all —  was full of professors, doctors, lawyers, industrialists; far from mindless thugs, they were better educated than average, with better degrees (up to and including PhDs in real subjects) the higher up the ranks one went.

[If it helps, think of how many serious, heavyweight people were in the Freemasons, well into the 20th century.  Did they believe all the ooga-booga stuff about Masonic ritual extending back to the time of the Pharaohs?  Of course not, but they took the ritual aspects seriously, because whatever else it was (and is), Freemasonry is a brotherhood.  Brotherhoods depend on ritual.  So did your average obersturmbannfuhrer really believe all that junk about World Ice Theory, Atlantis, the power of Norse runes, etc.?  I really doubt it.  But the “brotherhood” part?  Oh yes; to the bitter end].

What really held them together, though, was an aesthetic. A vision.  The only reason the Cat Fanciers’ techno-anarcho-retro-futurism seems weird to us is the same reason nobody’s heard of Giovanni Gentile (or Ishiwara Kanji and the kokutai): They lost the war.  It’s no weirder than Karl Marx’s techno-anarcho-retro-futurism, and the only reason “Marxist” isn’t a swear word right now is because the same professors and media figures who were so hot and bothered for Cat Fancy (esp. the Italian variant) switched sides once it became obvious how the war was going to turn out.  Stalin’s crimes dwarf Mustache Guy’s by an order of magnitude (and Mao has Uncle Joe beat by a country mile), but wild horses still couldn’t drag an admission out of most “educated” people that mass murder is a feature, not a bug, in the ideology.

For a modern techno-anarcho-retro-futuro thing, I suggest mythologizing the Fifites (already mostly done, I realize), combined with end-of-the-Empire conservationist paranoia:

The light really is dying, comrades, all over the former West.  The glories of belief, of science, of the very concepts “logic” and “reason,” are being pushed back into darkness, not just by the Marching Morons, but by smart people who owe everything in their lives to Western Civ.  These “people” — decadent and corrupt enough to make an Ottoman pasha blush — would rather see the whole world burn than endure the tedium of their sheltered, cossetted little lives one second longer.

Resist them, or die in a nuclear fire.  Why on earth do you think they’re so desperate to arm the Iranian mullahs?  It serves no geostrategic purpose.  It’s guaranteed to destabilize the region, and that, comrades, is the entire point.  If they can’t goad us into a war with Russia over Syria, then give nukes to the mullahs.  They’ll use them — you know it, I know it, Obama and Hillary and Soros and John Kerry and John McCain and every faceless bureaucrat at the EU knows it.  Bibi Netanyahu certainly knows it, which is why they’ll strike first, and the SJWs can crow about it for the 59.3 seconds it’ll take between that and the arrival of Russian / Chinese ICBMs in our skies.  They’ll die, too, but at least they’ll die smug — to the SJW, that’s ultimate victory.

Rage, comrades, rage against the dying of the light.  If you can’t fight — and not all of us can — preserve.  Be an Irish monk in the Dark Ages, hoarding up humanity’s precious inheritance against the possibility, however remote, that we might crawl out of the caves again.  But if you can, fight!  The human race depends on it.*

 

*obviously this is my thought experiment example of how such a mythology might be created.  I advocate nothing.  All of this is strictly hypothetical.
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Rage Part II: Mythology

In addition to the camaraderie of the Front, the Cat Fanciers had another great movement builder: Mythology.  Forget (((you-know-who))), for the same reason we’re calling the folks under discussion the “Cat Fanciers:” Naming names just clouds people’s minds.  Let’s stipulate, for the rest of the series, that (((you-know-who))) are irrelevant.  It’s not just possible, but really easy, to construct the Cat Fanciers’ basic movement-building technique without any reference to them.  Here goes:

Regardless of whose hand moved the knife, the stab-in-the-back seemed very real at the time.  Most veterans took it for granted that international finance capital — which for the majority was NOT synonymous with (((you-know-who))) — was behind both the start and the end of the war (Lenin agreed, which is one of the many reasons so many veterans went Red after the war).  It wasn’t true — nothing in human affairs is that simple — but it’s an easy-to-understand explanation that meshes with a lot of the obvious facts on the ground.

I trust I don’t have to spell out how “the fat cats sold us out!” applies to our current situation.

On its own, something like the stab-in-the-back is a necessary but not sufficient condition for building a revolutionary movement, because it doesn’t suggest anything to replace the fat cats.  This is why Bakunin-style anarchist movements always fail — they’re great with the “first, we kill all the ____” part, but they’ve got nothing for “and then we shall have Utopia, in which ____.”  It’s the same problem all those chiliastic sects had back in the Middle Ages — they filled in the blank with “Jesus returns and the world ends.”  People are stupid about utopian fantasies — cf. Socialism’s current appeal, 100+ million corpses notwithstanding — but it’s got to be small-u.*

What you need is a kind of two-way myth.  You have to mythologize both the past and the future, such that both are really just two sides of the same myth.  That’s why Karl Marx’s rare pronouncements about what the Communist future would look like invariably invoked an idealized past.  Rousseau gets my vote for The Original Commie, if only because he expressed it best:

The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

Marx devoted umpteen pages to “proving” that all of human history was just a run-up to the industrial revolution, which was the precursor of Communism, which was really just a return to Rousseau’s eden.  It sounded all precise and scientific — Leftists have claimed to have a monopoly on Science for going on 300 years now — but it was really just a prelapsarian fantasy.

So, too, with the Cat Fanciers.  They, too, fucking loved science, but only in the service of a higher Romanticism.  Their vision of a Cat Fancy future was a series of all-but-medieval market towns, linked by autobahns and defended by peasant farmers with air support.  No, really — that’s what the Black Cat Militia was expressly designed to do.  Lenin said Communism is “soviet power plus electrification.”  Mustache Guy wasn’t that pithy, but “feudalism plus autobahns” is a pretty good summary of their weird futuro-retro-techno thing.

Here’s how it works:

Part III soon.

 

 

*Lenin didn’t really have an answer either, of course, for what goes in the second blank; Mustache Guy didn’t either, for that matter.  But they had big huge books that sure seemed to be offering an answer, and that was enough.
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Wearing the White Hat

The last post was fairly abstract about movement building.  Let me illustrate.

College football programs change their uniforms all the time.  They almost never change their logos and color scheme, no matter what pressure is put  on them.  This is because football is central to the college experience.  The teams themselves mostly lose money, as we noted yesterday, but they’re loss leaders – they  build the brand.1  This is also how ranked schools have creampuffs to mollywhop every opening weekend.  Yeah, Cupcake Tech gets paid to travel to Big State and get stomped, but have you ever wondered why the hell Cupcake Tech has a football team in the first place?  You can’t run an entire program from a single game’s paycheck.  Again, it’s all about the brand — Cupcake Tech gets stomped by Big State on national tv.

What, you thought the faculty decided that athletics is a central part of a well-rounded education?  Profs hate sports in general, and football in particular, with the heat of a thousand suns.2  All that toxic masculinity!  I promise you: Every fall, all the faculty loudmouths (that is to say, the entire faculty) at every college in America get together and go down to the college president’s office to complain about the football program.  And every fall, the president tells them to get bent, not because he’s a football fan — college presidents are eggheads, too — but because he’s the one guy on campus who sees the bottom line.  I’m not exaggerating too much when I say that without its annual stomping by Big State, Cupcake Tech would pretty much cease to exist.

No, really.  If “athletic success” can increase applications 30% in two years, simply being on tv with the big boys must do something.

“The primary form of mass media advertising by academic institutions in the United States is, arguably, through their athletic programs,” says Harvard Business School Assistant Professor of marketing Doug J. Chung.

That’s what I want everyone to keep in mind: The brand-building effect.  Let’s say you’re a parent who doesn’t want to send your snowflake off to Big State — you bought into the bullshit about “smaller class sizes” and whatnot (and it is mostly bullshit, but that’s a rant for another day).  Where do you start looking?  Well, there was that college on tv the other day… they had a cool logo, nice colors….

The specifics don’t matter.  At all.  Snowflake doesn’t know what she’s going to major in, or what she’ll do with that degree once she gets it.  Nor will the first three or four years on campus clarify it much (what, you thought “undeclared” was just for freshmen? HA!!).  But I promise you: Snowflake will have all the gear.  It’s an almost perfectly inverse relationship, in fact — the less you know why you’re in college in the first place, the crazier your devotion to the school mascot.  (Yeah, sure, it’s anecdotal, but I’ve got a lot of anecdotes).  Snowflake will be a Cupcake Tech Fightin’ Pastry until her dying day.  And since the student body nationwide is close to 60% female

Let’s apply that to Our Thing.  The very first step in building a successful movement is letting the world know your movement exists.  This seems obvious, but read the biography of any successful revolutionary — it’s littered with alphabet soup, the clunky acronyms of a zillion low-rent “movements” that never got out of somebody’s basement apartment for lack of publicity.  Here again, the specifics don’t matter.  At all.  The first, and most pressing goal, of a Direct Action Group — even before “getting a better name, for pete’s sake” — is to create the impression of ubiquity.  Turn wearing a white ballcap into a fashion statement.  This shouldn’t be all that hard to accomplish — see “undergraduates, female majority of,” above.  College girls are the most conformist creatures on God’s green earth, with high school girls running a close second.

Again, because it’s critical: The specifics don’t matter.  They don’t need to know — indeed, definitely should NOT know — that a white Pats ballcap (or whatever) means you’re part of #TheRealResistance (or whatever).  That comes later.  Your cadre should know…

… because that’s our white hat’s second critical function at the start: Signalling.  This is old-school spycraft, right out of the Fifties.  The eighteen fifites, which is why it is will be so effective in the modern high tech urban surveillance environment.  “Affects and effects” were standard communication techniques for secret agents.  How do you know who your contact is, since basic operational security means you’ve never seen him before?  Ahhh, he’s the chap with the red flower in his left lapel, holding yesterday’s copy of the Telegraph in his left hand, leaning against a lamp post at Euston Station between 12:30 and 12:45 (he’ll recognize you by your white hatband).  If the meet’s on, he’ll rapidly open and close his paper; if it’s off, he’ll pretend to drop his pocket watch.

So: Are you really in #TheRealResistance, or just some trend-surfing poseur?  Ahh, you have a shamrock pin on the left side of the brim.  You’re a Cell Leader Third Class in the local Organization.  Combine the two for extra fun — get the trend surfers wearing “pieces of flair” on their hats like that dork in Office Space.

You really just want to be able to recognize your fellow Fight Clubbers, but if these nimrods want to volunteer as camouflage, let them!  If your Basic College Girl has at least fifteen pieces of flair on her hat, you can stealth-transmit half of Atlas Shrugged.  

Obviously I’m being more than a little facetious — obviously — but “piggybacking” on a trend that you yourself started is incredibly effective.  Witness the lulz with the OK sign, which was openly a prank from day one.  It’s to the point now where undercover shitlords really could signal to each other that way.  It’s got plausible deniability out the wazoo, everything from “do I look like I follow internet memes?” to “seriously, that’s really a thing?” to “haha quit joking” to “I’m standing up to the Alt-Right — take back our hand gestures!”  But if the other guy flashes OK back at you, now you have much to discuss….

Alas, the plausible deniability requirement means Our Thing’s “uniform” really will have to be something common.  I take a backseat to no man in my disdain for poseurs, and while all modern fashion is stupid and it’s getting worse as we careen closer to real-life Idiocracy, creating a “look” from scratch is too risky — you’ll get “outed” before it turns into a trend.  It’d be easy enough to get bespoke gear made — the local screen printing shop can set you up with an all-white hat with any logo you choose — but it totally compromises operational security.  As does picking some minor league team’s gear — while nobody will find it suspicious if the New England Patriots suddenly have a lot more fans (particularly if they win another Super Bowl), a bunch of y’all running around Dallas wearing the hats of the worst team in the New Hampshire Co-Rec Softball Weekend Beer League’s weakest division might raise a few eyebrows, even at such an enstupidated institution as The Feeb.

In short: Start thinking like a dumb, mal-educated, hormonal college girl.  What would she wear, and why?  Use that, and once it gets good and popular….

THEN it’s time for the big reveal.  Or, you know, the microscopically small reveal, because you want to maintain plausible deniability at all times.  You want it juuuuuuust well-known enough that it’s slightly “risky” to be seen wearing one. Take a lesson from the so-called “EdgyCons” here.  Whatever you think of their message, guys like Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, etc. make really nice livings at the very edges of “respectable” opinion.  A certain kind of person would find you slightly dangerous if you carried a copy of 12 Rules of Life around.  If they asked you, though, you could just as easily say “it’s a research project; I know he’s a horrible badthinker, I want to see just how bad it really is, to make sure nice sweet people like you who love Big Brother don’t get sucked in.”

Obviously you’ll get a lot more of a certain type of poseur with this tactic, and that’s ok.  For one, they’re a fertile recruiting ground, especially the ones who want to get in your face about it.  Goebbels bragged he could turn a Red (Communist) into a Brown (Nazi) in two weeks, because both Commies and Nazis are easily excitable losers who are already worked up about politics, so all you have to do is shift the emphasis a little bit (he only implied that last part).

For two, imagine the reaction of the kind of hysterical wanker who gets worked up by the OK sign, Pepe the Frog, and the rest.  If they start thinking that maybe, just maybe, an all-white Pats hat is the uniform of the Neo-Neo-Klan, then isn’t all Pats gear suspect?   Hell, isn’t all NFL gear suspect?  I mean, cardinals are well known as the most racist of birds, and that Jacksonville team could’ve picked an all-black jaguar for their logo, but picked the spotted one instead.  Clearly racist.  And don’t get me started about the “Packers” — packing Jews into concentration camps!!!3

Have some fun with it.  So long as it’s plausibly deniable and no none gets hurt, it’s good.  (Or, you know, don’t have fun with it, because all this is purely a thought experiment.  Totally hypothetical).

 

1 The teams that do money make tons of it, and hey, whaddaya know, Oregon — the undisputed world champ of wacky uniform changes — is third on the list.  They started changing their uniforms every week when Nike CEO Phil Knight got involved.  Hey, ya think Phil Knight — the guy who brought Air Jordans to the world — knows a thing or two about building a brand?

2 Yes yes, the “gender studies” people love softball, I’ll give you that.  And field hockey.  But since about 14 total persyns play those, they have no impact on campus life.

3. Again, obviously I’m kidding.  This is 100% satire.  I advocate nothing.  I love Big Brother (in fact, I’m required by my institution’s ethics board to notify you that this — all of it, this whole blog — is all a big experiment in the Department of Sociology.  I’m trying to see just how gullible and manipulable you suckers really are.  I’m With Her, all the way).

 

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