Category Archives: Uncategorized

Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30

I gather that one or two of the Twenty Readers aren’t on life’s back nine. I can’t fathom why you hang out with us old fogies, but since you do, this one’s for you:

I made the mistake of reading a Fred Reed column recently. Hoo boy. It’s amazing how fast the staunchest realist turns into Angela Merkel once he hits the regular prostate exam years. American health care sucks, and we don’t have cradle-to-grave pensions like they do in Europe! Boo hoo. You yourself knew perfectly well that all the great stuff we do have is a direct consequence of not having that other stuff… but then you got that first AARP free subscription offer with the junk mail, and that was all she wrote.

He’s a Branch Covidian too, of course — lockdowns are great! ask the Chinese!! — and I have no doubt that somewhere in there is a ringing endorsement of Rutabaga Joe. Yeah yeah, he’s a dementia patient and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the People’s Liberation Army, but at least he doesn’t say mean things on Twitter. Oh, and life in the failed Mexican narco-state is just aces, because Aztecs are so hardworking….

In short, give a rock-ribbed conservative three gray hairs and a sudden change in a wart or mole, and within a week he’ll be sporting a bow tie and mewling about muh prinzibuls. See also: Steve Sailer.

Such is life, I suppose, but gentlemen, always remember: advice from such as us is worth what you paid for it. I’m no better than Reed, in my way. I have young kids in my family too. In any conflict between what I know I ought to do, as a proud member of Western Civilization, and what I can do to keep those young kids safe, I’ll pick the latter every time, and twice on Sundays. “Old” doesn’t have to mean “cowardly” — Seneca died a real man’s death at 70 or so — but it often does, gentlemen… too often to risk listening to us.

If it weren’t for those kids, kameraden, I’d be in the “damn the torpedoes” crowd with you. I’m of no conceivable military use, but… bring it. I can hold down a section of barricade, and I can take a bullet with the best of them. Better an end with horror than a horror without end, and all that. The time between the drone launch and the fireball that ends us all will be the finest two minutes of our lives. As Sen. Blutarsky’s esteemed colleague Otter said, a situation like this absolutely requires a really stupid and futile gesture be done on somebody’s part. Let it be so. Let it be me… if not for them.

I’d join you, too, if the kids were older. Were they, say, in their late teens or early twenties, as I assume y’all are, I’d turn them loose with a clean conscience. I’ve done all I can for you, kiddoes – it’s your world now; you’ll have to make your way in it as best you can. Such tools as I had to give you, I gave you. I pray they’re enough, but however it goes, you’re free agents. But the kids in my family aren’t like that. They can’t make it on their own, and for reasons I can’t get into here, a lot of that falls on me.

So I’m giving you the truth as I see it, gentlemen. The “wisdom” of your elders, such as it is, is fine in its place… but always remember that they are elders, and time takes its toll on your balls even more than on your body. It’s amazing how little it takes to sway you, once you’ve had that midlife crisis — the emotional, as opposed to intellectual, certainty that you are going to die, and that right soon.

Y’all haven’t had that yet. I pray you make it to that point. Until then, take what we have to say for what it’s worth… but realize how little that actually is.

 

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Not Even a Jacquerie [UPDATED x3]

Trigger warning: This post is a pill so black, it’s fuligin. If you’re not in the mood for that, give this one a pass.


Back at the old Rotten Chestnuts, we discussed the difference between a revolution and a rebellion. Briefly: Revolutions are programmatic, rebellions are pragmatic. A revolution seeks to overturn the existing order of society; a rebellion aims, at most, to churn a society’s leadership. The American and French Revolutions really were revolutions, but so were the American and English Civil Wars. Pretty much all others are mere rebellions, whatever title they might have in the history books.

Revolutions require two things: Ideology and experienced leadership. (Note then that by definition, anything happening before 1536 is a rebellion). Even the most spontaneous-seeming revolutions, the French and Russian, were started (or quickly commandeered) by groups with longstanding ideological and practical ties. The guys in the Jacobin Clubs knew each other from way back, and of course Russia’s underground tradition was second to none. They knew how to organize. 

These experienced organizers also had a mature ideology that they could rapidly disseminate as propaganda, such that it won over lots of important cogs in the old regime’s machinery (Lt. Bonaparte, as he then was, was originally an ardent Jacobin).

Similarly, while Oliver Cromwell the military genius came out of nowhere, Oliver Cromwell the Parliamentary leader had a long background in local, regional, and national affairs. Everyone in the colonies knew George Washington’s name, everyone in the US had heard of Jefferson Davis, and so forth — though they’re just names to all but field specialists now, the “fire eaters” were impressive men with serious pedigrees, as were the ideologues and faction leaders in the Long Parliament.

Obviously, then, a real revolution is out when it comes to the 2020 “election.” There hasn’t been an ideology to speak of in America since 1992, when the Boomers achieved their apotheosis (or, more correctly, their apocolocyntosis) with the election of Bill Clinton. Whatever they claim to believe is just this moment’s justification for their thuggish smugness. Have you noticed that, however identity politics twists and turns, AWFLs — that’s “Average White Female Liberals,” for those who don’t speak Internet — are always the Most Oppressed People Ever?

Yeah. I rest my case.

I don’t doubt that Orange Man has a sincere love of his country. He might even, given enough time, be able to articulate it. The problem is, “his country” hasn’t existed since the late 1980s, and even then it was mortally wounded. If “Trumpism” actually existed, it would amount to little more than “Wouldn’t it be nice if it were still 1982?” Alas, demographics is destiny.

Which leaves rebellion. Despite constant Media gaslighting, Orange Man really IS quite popular with large segments of the population, especially the armed segment. It’s possible that they would follow him into battle if he were to “cross the Rubicon,” as it were. Alas, Trump is no Caesar, though the situation facing him is more or less the same as the one facing Gaius Julius — fight, or be executed for treason. Caesar didn’t have an ideology either — he was a rebel, not a revolutionary — but neither was he afflicted with Orange Man’s fatal nostalgia. Just as the Goodwhites out there in the ‘burbs would rather have their kids beaten and raped in the public “schools” than admit to less-than-laudatory thoughts about Hyphen-Americans, Orange Man would rather be shanked in prison than fight. If he hasn’t learned by now that they’ll stop at nothing to literally destroy him, despite four years of truly overwhelming evidence, he’s not suddenly going to figure it out in this, the last week of the American nation.

And as for the “muh guns” crowd, in the absence of leadership the best they could hope to achieve — if “best” is really the word — is something like the Jacquerie, an orgy of pointless destruction by aimlessly angry peasants:

The peasants involved in the rebellion seem to have lacked any real organization, instead rising up locally as an unstructured mass. Jean le Bel speculated that governors and tax collectors spread the word of rebellion from village to village to inspire the peasants to rebel against the nobility. When asked as to the cause of their discontent they apparently replied that they were just doing what they had witnessed others doing. Additionally it seems that the rebellion contained some idea that it was possible to rid the world of nobles. Froissart’s account portrays the rebels as mindless savages bent on destruction, which they wrought on over 150 noble houses and castles, murdering the families in horrific ways.

Give the cheese-eating surrender monkeys this: they still had their stones back then. “Americans” don’t. If the “muh guns” crowd were going to do anything, they’d have done it already.* They might try to organize a few marches or something when Biden puts out his first confiscation order, but they’ll be denied municipal permits to organize… oh well. They’ll queue up like sheep to hand over their iron, and that will be that.

No revolution, no rebellion, not even a Jacquerie. It’s been trending this way for a long time, kameraden, and now it’s here. The fact is, “Americans” want this. For every fake Biden vote out there, there was a real one (given how badly Rutabaga Joe was losing, 1:1 might actually be the ratio). Lots of people really do want this, and now they’re going to get it. Evolution is copious, local, and recent. Neanderthal gives way to Cro Magnon, who has now given way to Homo Twitterus. It is what it is.

UPDATE: Horseshit of which I am tired: Apparently tonight Trump said :

This may be the most important speech I’ve ever made…. As President, I have no higher duty than to defend the laws and the  Constitution of the United States. That’s why I am determined to protect our election system, which is now under coordinated assault and siege.

As I think Immanuel Kant once said, “Do, or do not… there is no try.” The only way to restore any kind of integrity to our election system involves a wall, some cigarettes, and a whole lot of blindfolds. This course of action would absolutely be justified by the obvious, massive, and ongoing fraud — which now unquestionably includes foreign interference from avowed national enemies — but there’s no coming back from it.

You’re in the history books as a tyrant either way; the only question is, do you go out as a General Pinochet, or an Admiral Horthy. I know which way I’m betting, but either way, just fucking do it already… or shut the fuck up.

UPDATEx2: I am a cynic because I am a historian, and as such I look for evidence. As everyone on this side of the aisle knows, the deadline for conventional legal action passes early next week. If Trump were planning to “Cross the Rubicon,” even as an emergency last-ditch backup plan, there would be some sizeable military forces in motion… or, at the very least, on standby. It does no good to proclaim martial law without immediately rolling tanks into certain areas.

So… are the tanks gassed up? Which ones? Where?

This kind of thing leaves a paper trail. Are National Guard units getting called up? Is the Army staging a “war game” or big “training exercise” (the usual covers in this type of situation)? I don’t know… but I do know that such preparations are impossible to fully disguise (that’s why the “war game” / “training exercise” is so popular – if you can’t hide it, do it in plain view).

Moreover, any such mobilization would necessarily perk up our nation’s enemies — China et al bump up their equivalent of a DEFCON whenever we do a wargame, just on general principles. If our combat forces really were gearing up to go in the far-flung provinces of the empire, it would be noticed, commented on, and responded to over there.

Anyone who claims the Rubicon is about to be crossed, without such evidence, is just bullshitting. Note that the reverse does not hold – you don’t need evidence of things NOT happening to claim that the situation will continue as before.

UPDATE 3xPer WOPR’s comment, below, here’s why things will never change. That’s the Ace of Spades crowd — all of whom, being smarter than concussed chimpanzees with a heroin problem, acknowledge the Presidential election was stolen — urging people to vote in the Senate runoff races. 

Holy nut-juggling Allah on a rocket-powered moped. Let me see if I can explain this in tiny little words:

THEY. STOLE. THE. PRESIDENCY.

THE. ELECTION. WAS. RIGGED.

If they’re willing to do that — by definition, the largest conceivable political crime in a nominally free republic — why on earth would they not rig lesser races?

Yeah, keep voting. Make them xerox some more (D) ballots, punch a few more buttons on the Dominion machine. That’ll show ’em!!

 


*n.b. to FBI goons: As should be obvious from the context, I am NOT advocating that anyone should do anything. These are reflections on history.

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Bespoke Posts [UPDATED]

Since I’m using That Other Site to explore my main preoccupation these days, the appeal of Rotten Chestnuts, like that of Spinal Tap, is necessarily getting more selective (the appeal of The Other Site seems to be capped at about 40 readers, which is somehow twenty more than here, but selective nonetheless).

Which is an opportunity for more bespoke posting over here. So: what do y’all want to see more of?

UPDATE: I should’ve done a better job advertising the Other Site. I was leery of doing that, given how the last attempt at a spinoff went. But there seems to be an audience for speculation about our brave new rat utopia, so the site can be found here.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I’m thankful for a lot, even now. Especially now. Be thankful that we had it at all, let alone for as long as we did.

As always, I’m thankful for y’all. I still have no idea why you come here, but I’m glad you do. Enjoy today. If nothing else, do it just to spite them – they hate joy, and the joy of a happy family being happy together reminds them of all the things they can never have.

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I Was Wrong

About the “Fuck Off” t-shirts from our previous discussion. I’m thinking of getting a few of those printed up myself.

You see, this morning I realized: I’m starting to enjoy the death glares, the snide little “nice mask!” mutters I get when I walk around a store without the mandatory Karen Kloth. You don’t like it? Call the cops. Call the store manager, and get me thrown out. Or try to put one on me with your own two hands, and watch what happens.

However it goes, it’s time to step up or shut up, you fucking sheep.

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The Plague We Deserve (UPDATED)

This morning in the gym, I saw a guy wearing a shirt with a slogan in beautiful copperplate script.  It said: Fuck off.

At first I thought it might be a punk band shirt or something — not excusable by any means, but at least understandable, I suppose. But no. That was the whole of the message: Fuck off.

Since nobody gets custom shirts screen-printed, what must’ve happened was, someone out there sensed a market for a shirt saying “fuck off.” He ordered up a bunch of them, advertised them, and this guy bought one. Which means he either specifically went looking for a shirt that says “fuck off,” or he hangs out on the kinds of websites where a person selling a t-shirt reading “fuck off” would trawl for potential customers.

Ladies and gentlemen, Current Year America!!

Days like today, I wish the Kung Flu really was the extinction-level event the Branch Covidians make it out to be. That’s the plague we deserve.

UPDATE: An interesting divide in the comments. I can guess your decade of birth by your response.

Born before 1960, you can’t imagine anyone wearing such a shirt. You can do it *intellectually*, but you’ll never really believe it happened.

Born after 1990, you don’t really see what the big deal is. Sure, It’s crass, but welcome to the 21st century, Grandpa.

Born to Gen X, though, and you can believe it happened… but only because you believe the guy must’ve been looking for a fight. We’ve discussed Fight Club here. The reason it worked at the time was, even if you were the soulless yuppie Ed Norton type, you knew that out in the sticks there were places to go if you wanted to have a fight… and lots of people did. I never indulged myself, but even I knew of a dive bar where you could walk in wearing your preppie college boy stuff if you wanted to… and someone was guaranteed to say something about it, and you could then invite him outside. It was something of a right of passage for guys in certain frats, even in my day (early 1990s). You can probably ask Pickle Rick to confirm this, but I heard that frat dudes from San Diego State and Marines from Camp Pendleton pretty regularly got into it on Friday nights, again as a rite of passage, not that long ago.

For us, in other words, a “Fuck off” t shirt can only mean that the wearer is looking to start a fight.

For the Millennials, though (I doubt this guy was even 30), it’s just part of that general “make yourself as obnoxious as possible all the time” thing that they do.

 

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This Post Was Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience

I’ve long said that even the crappiest “____ Studies” fields in academia could have real value, if they concerned themselves with actual human behavior. There is a robust and important discipline to be carved out of “African-American Studies,” for example — one exploring the causes and consequences of a culture that defines itself entirely against “acting White.” The Victorian anthropologists would’ve had a field day with that one…

So, too, with things like “Media Studies.” Remember back in the 70s and 80s, when it was a point of pride for a show to be filmed “in front of a live studio audience”?

What on earth was that for? What function did it serve? Figure that out, and you’ll have some real insight into the period.

 

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Political Theory Site?

Who’d be up for a site dedicated to political theory stuff?

RC would remain active, but we have a certain… lack of focus… around here, to go with the signature style. I’m thinking there should be a place to discuss foundations, without the fart jokes and spastic tossed-off bullshit. (All of which is totally my fault, but since some of y’all apparently come here for that kind of thing… plus I enjoy it). All that stuff stays here.

No registration, and comment moderation as close to zero as possible, but with a strict three-strikes tard banishment policy.

What say you?

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The Longue Durée

The Frogs, even the 20th century ones, weren’t completely useless. The longue durée approach to history, for instance, has the potential to reconcile us to these troubling times.

It gives priority to long-term historical structures over what François Simiand called histoire événementielle (“evental history”, the short-term time-scale that is the domain of the chronicler and the journalist), concentrating instead on all-but-permanent or slowly evolving structures, and substitutes for elite biographies the broader syntheses of prosopography. The crux of the idea is to examine extended periods of time and draw conclusions from historical trends and patterns.

(In case you don’t feel like clicking on the link, “prosopography” is the study of family trees and suchlike).

In the long run, of course, we’re all dead, but looking at the long run can help us make sense of this particular shitty point in history, in which so many good things are ending.

So much of long-run history is simply the story of people as people — that is, as organisms. As everyone on this side of the fence knows, evolution is copious, local, and recent. We’re currently inhabiting something like the crisis of the third century. The third century crisis had lots of origins, not all of them of human manufacture, but surely a large part of it was, quite simply, third-century people. The Romans who so comprehensively fucked up the Empire were not the same kind of biological organism as the Romans who carved out the Empire in the first place.

Luxury is fatal to civilization. (Not original to me, of course — Sallust said the same thing, about this exact topic). The hard men of the Late Republic would’ve been corrupted by the Late Empire… but they would’ve survived, maybe even thrived, if they’d fallen into a time machine and were warped a few hundred years forward. The girly men of the Late Empire would’ve wilted and died had they fallen into the time machine and been sent a few hundred years backward.

There were still a few hard men in the Late Empire, of course, but they did what our hard men should and will do — they looked after their own. As a historian, if I’m honest with myself and my discipline, I can’t even really blame our Pozzed idiots for being Pozzed, and more than I can blame Dalmatian dogs for being dumb and unhealthy. They’ve had it bred into them; they can do no other.

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