Destruction is the Point

Ace of Spades reports on the latest SJW cultural freakout: Make James Bond a woman!  He asks:

Why is the Social Justice Warrior imagination so incredibly stunted that it cannot even imagine imagining its own new things? Why can it only imagine old things, given a new racial or sexual make-over?

Why are they altogether incapable of any kind of creative or productive thought whatsoever?

And concludes:

Oh that’s right: Because these are stupid, useless, trivially-minded people.

Which is true, but that’s not the reason they can’t create new pop culture.  They’re remarkably creative when it comes to inventing new “fundamental rights,” “penumbras,” and so forth.

Rather, it’s because creating entertainment isn’t the point.  They don’t want to be entertained… not in the way normal people understand it.  Their entertainment is watching others suffer.  They want “Jane Bond” because it’ll destroy “James Bond.”  That’s all there is to it.

Which is creativity of a sort, if you believe Bakunin — “the urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”

Cyclical Conservatism

Everyone knows Kipling’s bit about “the gods of the copybook headings.”  It’s the easiest lesson in the world to forget, and without the long view, it’s hard to tell when they’re coming back.  For most of us, I imagine, conservatism has always been on defense.  Who was the last major cultural figure to talk up old-school, small-government, Western civilization?  Enoch Powell was considered a bizarre throwback in the Sixties.  Guys like Lord Curzon went from being forward-looking statesmen to grunting Neanderthals in their lifetimes.  Both Hitler and Virginia Woolf (now there’s a comedy duo!) picked 1911 as the annus mirabilis when the world became “Modern;” it’s hard to say they were wrong.  One hundred years of default liberalism!(1)

But as the Z Man notes, that’s rapidly changing.  The “alt-right” is on offense, and judging by the hysterical overreaction of establishment liberalism, they’re winning.(2)  Now would be a good time to review the lessons of the gods of the copybook headings, and ponder where they came from.

It doesn’t need to be as pretentious as all that, but it does need to be done:

[David] Horowitz is a good guy to read as he spent a lot of time in radical politics so he knows how to play hardball. What he understands and what comes through in his column, is there can be no enemies to your Right. The Left perfected this strategy. They never spent a second defending or explaining the extremists on their Left. Instead they focused attention on their enemy, forcing him to complain and explain. The radicals these days are on the Right and the same tactics apply. No enemies to the Right.

This hasn’t always been called “hardball.”  There wasn’t even a name for it back when, because that’s just the way things were done.  Politics is forever lapsing back into the state of nature, where every man has the right to every thing and it’s the war of all against all to keep what’s his.  If you prefer, call it “the Chicago way” — you bring a knife, we bring a gun; you put one of ours in the hospital, we put one of yours in the morgue.

Somewhere along the way, the Buckleyites forgot this.  It’s one of civilization’s great blessings that we can talk about tactics as if they were principles.  Buckley “conservatives” pretend to believe — and I’m willing to concede that some of them really do believe — that retaliation in kind violates some kind of sacred principle of political conduct.  But that’s nonsense, as any brief glance at history shows.  Armies didn’t somehow forget how to make poison gas somewhere between 1917 and 1938, and Stalin sure didn’t hold off on pushing the button because he was a nice guy.  Only the guarantee of massive retaliation in kind kept these weapons from being used.

It’s important to note that, bizarre as it seems, liberals are convinced that they’re acting out of principle, too.  They believe they’re battling capital-E Evil.  You don’t compromise with Satan.  Further, they believe that conservatives are not just Evil, but stupid — too dumb to see the benefits of liberalism, anyway, or else they’d be liberals.  So every one of us they get fired, no platformed, etc. is an object lesson pour encourager les autres.  In an existential struggle, all tactics are justified.

Only massive retaliation in kind will convince them otherwise, and the sooner it happens, the less painful it will be.  Still nasty, of course, but as a great philosopher once said, you need to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.  That time has arrived, and the “shitlords” of the alt-right are not being nice with gusto.  When everyone on both sides realizes that the gods of the copybook headings are always right, we can have principles again.

 

(1) f any of our readers remembers the 1920s, please please please get in touch immediately.

(2) Yes yes, I know — “hysterical overreaction” is their only reaction.  But it’s even more hysterical and apocalyptic than normal.

Cray-Cray

I don’t watch Fox News (or any tv news for that matter), so I’d only ever seen still shots of Megyn Kelly.  So aside from that stupid fucking Millennial spelling of her name — which alone is enough to make me dislike her — I knew nothing about her, save that she’s one of Fox’s more prominent blonde bobbleheads.  But just this morning I saw a clip of her interview with Trump, and…. wow.  Just wow, as the SJWs say.

She be cray-cray, yo.

Seriously: check out those eyes.  That clenched manjaw.  That weird Brigitte-Nielsen-in-Red-Sonja hairdo.  That’s a rabbit-boiler if ever I saw one.  Yikes!

Nation Building Redux

A reply to ColoComment that should go above the fold.  CC writes:

Looking to the ‘way back it sure does seem as though even the nascent nations of the Western world needed a “strong man” with vision to kick them into nationhood, before they ever reached a road to democracy/republic/representation.

Yep.  It used to be taken as read that it took some strong leadership during the Albigensian Crusade and the Hundred Years’ War to meld the king’s domains into “France”(1). The 30 Years’ War played a similar role for lots of other states.  And our idea of more-or-less universal suffrage was still being questioned within living memory.  It’s just another link in a long, long chain.

I wonder what we might have seen in Iraq, had we even kept 10k-15k troops there for a generation to ensure security while the Iraqis figured it all out, and resolved (or at least figured how to accommodate) its competing religious factions.

Probably nothing, alas.  There’s lots of precedent for this  — the British and French were pretty good at suppressing tribal warfare in their domains, and the British, at least, went to great lengths to help religions get along.  Again, India is the best-case scenario.

I wonder what we might have achieved in Iraq, had we found and installed a charismatic leader with a vision, and had we also a century of our influence.

Me too.  Historically, that’s the only sure way to proceed.  That’s how the Romans did it — install a friendly client king and give him a legion or two to play with, under the direction of a Roman “adviser.”  Ditto the British in India — they never did run the whole place directly out of London; even after 1900 there were still a gazillion little “princely states” like Gwalior scattered all over the place.

But, alas, that’s raaaaacist.  So we did the only thing we could do, which is also the worst thing we could’ve done: basically, we “decolonized” the place.

The British pulled out of Africa by slapping some lines down on a map and handing the keys to the nearest bunch of natives in neckties.  As they walked out the door, they told the new “government” that, to be a real nation, they’d have to get an army, a university, a medical school, and a national airline.  Oh, and hold an election.  So that’s what the natives did, on the hallowed 3rd World principle of “one man, one vote, one time.”  The new President-for-Life then did what presidents for life always do.  He made his brother the commander in chief of the army, made his first wife’s second cousin the university chancellor, put some tribal witch doctor in charge of the medical school, and let his third wife’s friend’s former roommate run the airline.  And now squatters are living on the runway, using medical textbooks for kindling.

You know, exactly like that bastard Lord Curzon predicted.  Crusty old imperialists always said that the moment the British left India, there wouldn’t be a rupee or a virgin left between Peshawar and Goa.  The same fate awaited Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan…. Imperialism is a sucker’s bet, and always has been, but it’s a damn sight better than the fakey-fake incoherent pseudo-imperialism we call “nation building.”  Put a client king in charge — the highly underrated sonofabitch system — or nuke the place from orbit.  It’s the only way to be sure.

 

(1) Lord knows what they say now; probably that history’s two most important Frenchmen were some cross-dressing cabaret singer and Toussaint L’Ouverture.

From the “Cognitive Dissonance is Bullshit” Files

Sorry, Gary, but even you have to admit this is stretching it:

Is it not time for a simple “Bannishment” of the Pet Leech? I realize that nobody wants to open up a “BlackList” situation but why not just say “you are done” to V.D. and his publishing house and obvious cohort saboteurs. If that is to much at least cut out V.D….It may leave out a small sum of quality works that sadly will not be recognized but that is a small price to pay for the quality we lose with his contributors sweeping the votes.

Now, I’m not a sci-fi fan.  I have no dog in this fight, save pas d’ennemis a droit.  But seriously, y’all.  As I understand it, the whole “Sad Puppies” deal went like this:

  1. author Larry Correia alleged that the Hugo Awards were a clique who consistently excluded works because of the authors’ politics. So
  2. Correia got a bunch of conservative writers on the ballot.
  3.  The conservatives were systematically excluded.
  4. After which, the clique asserted that no, there was no blacklist, it’s just that all those works by conservative authors sucked.
  5. After which, they changed the rules in an attempt to blacklist conservative authors.
  6. Which prompted Vox Day to game the system even more.  GOTO 3.

Which brings us to now, where they’re still maintaining that it’s not a blacklist, even when they’re explicitly discussing a blacklist.  You’d think that’d cause a weensy bit of pain in the ol’ gulliver…. but no.

Hence, cognitive dissonance is bullshit, and the true heuristic — at least for this group — is Nate Winchester’s: feelz b4 realz.  They feel that Vox Day should be blacklisted, and they feel that they’re opposed blacklists, therefore blacklisting Vox Day is not blacklisting.  They are, as Anonymous Conservative argues at length, all r-selectors.  They’re rabbits, and the whole world, to them, is a big sunny grassy field that goes on forever.  They never have to think about how to obtain their objectives, because all they could ever want is right there for the taking, and always will be.  Thus they “reason” — and I believe they really do think of it as reasoning — in swillogisms: I like astrology; and I “fucking love science;” therefore astrology is scientific.

Cognitive dissonance is only for conservatives, because for SJWs, it never rises to the level of cognition at all.

Movie Review: Deadpool

You know how hair rock was fading –but still hugely popular — around 1990?  Then Warrant released Cherry Pie and its big awful transcendent dumbness killed cock rock stone dead?  A similar fate awaits Deadpool.  I enjoyed it, but ten years from now it’ll look like it got made on Mars (1).

Imagine that you hated Joss Whedon and thought all his fans were idiots for falling for that meta-ironic, painfully self-aware quirky shtick.  “These dorks will watch anything,” you think, “so long as the hero is snarky and they can pretend they’re ‘subverting’ the superhero genre by doing exactly the same big dumb violent CGI crap they complain about in other movies, but cranking it up to 11, because they’re stupid enough to think that calling Alanis Morisette’s song “Ironic” ‘ironic’ because she doesn’t get the technical definition of irony is brilliant.”  You’d make Deadpool.  It looks like it was written by two nerds who spent their formative years contemplating their navels and the cosmic significance of being “slackers” in “Gen X” while dissing the inauthentic coffee at Starbucks and jerking off about how much they’d like to kill off “commercial” comic books… and whaddaya know, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick went to high school together and broke into the movie biz around the turn of the century.

Back in the mid-90s, in other words, this would be edgy arthouse shit — a parody of Tarantino if Tarantino did superhero movies (aspies, please recall that this is before Kill Bill).  Foul-mouthed monologues!  Fourth wall breaks!!  Ironic comments on the fourth wall breaks!!!  Boobies!!!!  And he says “fuck” every fourth word, which for some reason you can’t do in a superhero movie (vigilante justice, burning people alive, crunching bones to paste, racking up Western Front-level body counts…. all these are ok, but no cussing!  George Carlin must be turning in his grave).

If you’ll forgive the PoMo-speak from about 1993, it’s so meta:  Middle-Aged Me remembers Teenaged Me thinking something like this would kick all the ass, so MAM sees Deadpool as a tired combo of worn-out tropes everyone’s been bitching about for years — slacker aesthetic meets CGI slugfest, two tired-ass fads that make thumping headaches together.  But MAM also realizes that TM is nothing like teenagers today, who grew up watching CGI slugfests and got their dose of slacker aesthetic from mommy’s certified organic, locally grown, free trade breast milk.  To those poor sods, Deadpool probably really does kick all the ass, because it’s “new” and “transgressive”!  Meta x2: Now I know what my parents’ generation must’ve felt like, watching their teen angst being recycled as new, Xtreem! teen angst for their kids.(2)  And now I’ve got a headache again.

Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?

 

(1) Yep, guilty as charged — I enjoyed Cherry Pie, too.  “Think about baseball and swing all night.”  That is either the most brilliant stupidity, or the most idiotic brilliance, I’ve ever heard.  And that part where the solo is going back into the verse and he screams out “I’m a trained professional!” for absolutely no reason?  Probably my favorite moment in all of rock, if I’m being honest and have a few drinks in me.  Jani Lane was awesome, and that’s all there is to it.

(2) Being Boomers, though, they probably didn’t even notice, because they were the epitome of cool back then, and life should always be exactly like what they wished it was like in a college dorm in California, circa 1967.  You could actually predict the course of American politics from the late 70s forward by asking yourself “what would a guy who never owned a lava lamp or a Hendrix record in the Sixties, but really really wishes he did, vote for in this situation?”  But that’s a rant for another day.

Why Do Social Groups Decay?

There’s been a bunch written on the decay of social cohesion in neighborhoods — Putnam’s Bowling Alone and Murray’s Coming Apart are two frequently mentioned examples.  And it’s usually pretty obvious why companies and political movements decay: Groupthink.  The brain trust focuses on turning out the best damn buggy whip ever or “hitting all the targets” or whatever while ignoring structural change.

But what about all the other social groups out there?

For instance, the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the heydey of fraternalism.  Wiki cites 40% of the male population belonging to one “Order” or another, and many men belonged to many different orders simultaneously…. but unless you’ve been reading Gilded Age social history recently, who’s ever heard of the Oddfellows, the Good Templars, the Improved Order of Red Men, or the Grand Army of the Republic?  Yet they all had memberships in the hundreds of thousands; their leadership were usually very senior folks in commerce and government; and they were the lobbying firms of their day — the GAR quite plausibly claimed to have swung at least one presidential election (Benjamin Harrison, 1888), and the various temperance laws in states nationwide culminated in the 18th Amendment in 1919 (thanks largely to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, another defunct group).

There are no obvious reasons for their decline.  Yes, the GAR limited itself to actual veterans of the Union Army, but there were all kinds of successor organizations itching to take over their mantle (the Sons of Union Veterans, for example)… but they all faded away, along with the Moose, the Elks, and a zillion other organizations (1).  And this is recent history.  Remember Happy Days?  That lasted into the early 1980s, and there were strong enough cultural memories of fraternalism to drive entire plots — I think Fonzie was once briefly elected Grand Poobah of Mr. Cunningham’s Leopard Lodge (because of course he was).  Jokes that made perfect sense in the context of a popular prime-time show on a major network just 30 years ago are nearly incomprehensible now.

Obviously the decline of social cohesion that Putnam, Murray, etc. describe are part of the answer.  But fraternalism arose, in part, precisely to combat this — Gilded Age men also thought that society was fragmenting and their communities falling apart, so they joined lodges to strengthen bonds, and to give any member a temporary social group wherever his travels might take him.  It was even, in theory, interracial — the GAR, for instance, was forever rejecting proposals from Southern posts (=lodges) to segregate the order, on the grounds that Union veterans were Union veterans no matter what.  Forget bowling leagues; these were supposed to be cradle-to-grave affairs — and indeed they sometimes transformed into insurance companies (Modern Woodmen of America is an example).

So what gives?  Why did these large, influential organizations decay, or change missions so dramatically as to be unrecognizable?  Beats me, but if we’re ever going to restore the social basis of republican government, answering that question would be a good place to start.

Addendum:  I just thought of another example: You don’t hear much about “The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit” anymore.  That was the big bugaboo of Lefty critics in the 1950s — the “Organization Man,” the faceless consumerist drone whose only sense of identity, aside from his tv and his house in the ‘burbs, was his fidelity to IBM or Western Mutual or whatever.  The days of lifetime employment with one firm are long gone, of course, but it wouldn’t be too hard to gin up some good old fashioned corporate loyalty… if they wanted to.  But nobody outside of Silicon Valley pushes their “great employee culture” as a bennie anymore… why?

 

(1) Yes, technically the SOV still exists, as does the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Women’s Relief Corps, etc., but who has heard of any of them?  You could probably fit their combined active membership into a high school hockey rink.

Rorschach

What’s wrong with this picture?

97bfbc65ac9576f2d7dbe478f8d71f36No, seriously: I’m told that Amazon had to pull this ad for their series The Man in the High Castle because certain overly-excitable folks started using it as propaganda for their ideas.  So what, exactly, is wrong with it?  Do you know?

It’s time to simply admit that “Fascism” means exactly what Orwell said it meant 70 years ago: “Something not desirable.”  Take away the word “racism” — which also only means “something not desirable” — and not one American in a thousand could even begin to articulate a case against that poster.  It’s a lost cause.  We’re going to get it, largely because we have no idea what “it” is…. and have no desire to learn, because we’re convinced we already know.

Thomas Wolsey supposedly said of Henry VIII, “Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out.”  The American public too, your Eminence.

Striving Towards Heteromediocrity

I think this should be the new official motto of Rotten Chestnuts.  Author Larry Correia finds an interesting neologism aimed his way:heteromediocrity….and suggests that, to increase sales, he “should add some Homodynamism.”

I’ve only cracked the cover of one of Mr. Correia’s books, and it wasn’t for me (though I could see that if it is for you, it’s awesome).  But he was the originator of the ongoing Sad Puppies hilarity, and he sometimes takes time off from getting paid to beat SJW scolds like rented mules, and for that alone you can count me as a Larry Correia fan.

That said, Mr. Correia, please don’t increase your Homodynamism.  You’d break the internet forever… but you’d probably win a Hugo Award.  :)

Anyway…. co-bloggers, our cherished Four Regular Readers: what say you?  Shall we strive towards heteromediocrity together?

 

From the “Thank God I’m Not Still in College” Files

Stacy McCain reports on Connecticut’s insane new “affirmative consent” law:

If you’re a college student in Connecticut and want to have consensual sex, you might want to leave the state to do it.  The Legislature approved an “affirmative consent” bill Wednesday night that now goes to Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, a proponent of the idea that sex is rape if one partner does not get the other partner’s repeated and mutually-agreed upon consent throughout the act.

McCain notes that the whole point of this is to deprive men accused of rape of their due process rights.  Such a law

shifts the burden of proof so decisively against the accused that the accusation alone suffices as proof of guilt. All sex is effectively illegal, requiring only an accusation to make your hookup a crime.

And there you have it.  On the other hand, this is a real blessing for pervs who get off on sex tapes, since at this point you’re a fool not to record the goings-on with professional-grade equipment.  Of course, if CT also has laws against videotaping someone without consent, McCain’s right — they’ve effectively outlawed hooking up.

Let’s all pause a moment in mourning for the obvious, but unstated, corollary of all this: The consequences for the rest of us. If you’re not the kind of unmitigated cocksman the “Game” bloggers claim they are — PUAs whose sex-fu is so strong that they can get girls to loudly, repeatedly, and enthusiastically agree, on tape, to whatever depravity they suggest — you might as well join a monastery as try to get laid in Connecticut… and since Connecticut has now joined California in setting the precedent, the rest of the nation will soon follow suit.

And the rest of us pretty much have to — pardon the pun — feel our way through it, and nothing kills the vibe faster than describing, in explicit anatomical terms, what we’d like to do next, then asking if that’s ok.*  Not even Barry White’s greatest hits can overcome that.  Guys, if you have a girlfriend, and she’s even remotely marriage material, it’s time to start thinking about that ring… you might never get laid again otherwise.  On the other hand, I’m seeing a major entrepreneurship opportunity for some crafty young lawyer out there: Drawing up ironclad “perpetual consent” agreements for those folks who don’t want to have to get married to get some nookie without having to hold a seminar first.  Ahhh, romance…..

 

*yeah yeah, I know, any feminists who come across this site would start shrieking about how I just admitted I’m a rapist.  So, for legal purposes I’m going to state that all of that is strictly hypothetical, and that I’m actually a big fat neckbeareded Cheeto-stained virgin who lives in my mother’s basement playing <i>World of Warcraft</i> all day.  You know, like 95% of the guys who post on “Game” blogs.