||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
A paired rebuttal to "Beta Max" critiques
This came from Counter-Currents. That explains why race and Holocaust-revisionism are here being checked off the box. By so doing Johnson has excluded those topics from his argument, which topics also had never made up part of the original review (well, maybe race, a bit). If you've been reading my blog here for any length of time, you'll know that I do care about all that stuff; but you'll also know that I am not "triggered" by it. But I will, since I suppose I must, allow a brief pause for reader trigger-warnings... insofar as they count where they be post-facto.
Done? Smelling-salts consumed? A stiff drink of potables appropriate to your religion and time-of-calendar poured? So. Let us continue -
Trevor Lynch had, in the main review, illustrated how "Immortan Joe's vision" is "Oriental". More exactly, Lynch and Johnson believe this vision to be Ottoman and early Safavi. (George "Miller" Miliotis is of the Anatolian Greek diaspora, like Robert Spencer.) As for the film's prole white "bogan" guitar-heroism, these reviewers explain them (away) as situational.
I wasn't going to take Lynch's review seriously at the time, but Johnson's supplement gives me more pause. When we take the two opinions together, we can accept that the Big Bad's society is theocratic-Turkic in structure. It seems that Lynch and, more adroitly, Johnson have correctly seen that Immortan Joe is a satire of the masculinist tendency, which is currently being - uh - spearheaded in "Return of Kings" and other such sites. The theme of the "harem" serves this satire.
But this was... my point. All along, this was my point. "Return of Kings" cried foul in the first place because they recognised Beta Max as a satire and a misrepresentation of what men want. What I'd done was to illustrate how it was a satire - and to illuminate the targets of the satire.
To George Miller, these targets may be portrayed as like the old Turks but they are not Turks. The real patriarchs are white men. But not men Of Our Level, dearie-me.
As for Counter-Currents: they certainly have the right to a Northern vision of gender-role in which Valkyries fight alongside Vikings as equals or near enough; or at least to a Spartan vision where the women compete in athletics and hold up the home front (I myself sympathise with this). But Beta Max will not support them for the former, and he cannot support them for the latter.
Equality is for losers
For total losers, in fact.
If you are above average in anything, equality steals from you.
Tom Tomorrow versus Doonesbury
I ain't a fan of Perkins' expressly statist comic, but... on this one occasion, he punches up.
I spy more social-justice propaganda
A new movie's coming out starring professional fattie Melissa McCarthy. It's called "Spy" and here's the synopsis:
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency's most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.
Evil guns are destroying the global globe! For profit! Naturally, the critics want you to see it - really badly; even more than they wanted you to see "Beta Max". Their reviews are rocking 23/23 so far. Here, let's have a sample -
Simon Miraudo, for Student Edge:
Watching Jason Statham skewer his tough-man persona is just one of Spy's delights... It's here you can see the feminist twist on this take-down of the 007 franchise: dudes make everything worse.
Thomas Derwin, down under:
There's a sense of witnessing a woman empowered and it's a hoot to see McCarthy given the space she deserves to spread her comic wings.
The other reviewers seem more circumspect, as least in their summaries here. I expect they'll be burying some of these sentiments in the main text, more subtly. They all agree that movie is Important. Both for its anti-gun Message (we saw the same in the latest Apes se/prequel), and for its Empowerment of a Strong Female Protagonist (oh boy).
If you go to this movie, you deserve to be hit on the head and mugged in the parking lot. Not only are you a fool with underutilised funds and neurons, who won't mind losing some of each; but you'll have announced to everyone you won't be armed.
Monday, May 25, 2015
We need more men in tech
Google promotes Sally Ride, *yawn*.
Matt Taylor > Sally Ride. Missionary style.
This is the future you chose
Our global-reach is becoming more selective too
True. But who's winning?
Safe spaces sought
That interracial crime got into the news exactly because the victims were so wealthy. But these have been going on for a long while. It attracted a lot of attention in 2011, during a weekend of spontaneous mayhem swiftly dubbed "Black Memorial Day".
The disproportionate extent of casual low-level (and not so low-level) crimes by this population, and said population's acceptance of same as opposed to violent rejection of law-enforcement against such crimes, won't be tolerated forever. If the average Joe (or Yusuf) has to fortify his own home with safe-rooms, they'll inevitably complain to others about doing this. Party-supported corporate censorship (you know, fascism) can only delay the inevitable.
Print is dead
So Egon Krantz opined in 1984. Back then, news-stories could be had through email and BBS's; but you were supposed to laugh at nerds like Egon, who didn't care about the pictures or, really, about leaving the office for very long. As a period-piece, you can still smile; but now we're smiling at his prescience, not laughing at his nerdlordship.
The "demise of print media" has been touted, literally, for most of my life. There has certainly been a decline, starting over the 1990s. But print stubbornly held on - because, you can't really lug a computer onto the metro, and even the earlier laptops didn't get good wifi down there.
But now that people are clicking Drudge headlines off of mobile phones and tablets, it is now more convenient to read news that way than by schlepping around those large wads of ad-filled low-quality paper.
The only reason to buy a newspaper, that I can think of now, is when you're worried about spilling goop on your mobile device. Paper is best read when you're eating lunch at the same time. Or when drinking coffee in a moving vehicle.
Memorial Day wieners
It wouldn't be Memorial Day if not for New York City Democrat wieners, so... here's our scandal of the day. h/t Drudge.
Now, bartering over the price of hotdogs isn't my problem. That's between the vendor, his company, and their customers. If he's overcharging and pocketing the delta, his customers can raise the issue with his boss, and his boss can yank his franchise. If that's all it was, I'd not care.
But I do notice that this particular greedy vendor of methanogens is wearing a "CLIMATE ACTION NOW" shirt. He's happy to enforce regulations on the rest of us, or at least to signal that he is; less happy to follow regulations himself. We don't have his name (and we don't need it) but New Yorkers do helpfully have his face now. They will know to avoid his wares in future.
Unionist Decoration Day
Today is the United States's (singular) memorial day for those who died defending Lincoln's new nation from enemies foreign and domestic. If you are a Republican today, then you likely take Martin Luther, second of that name, at his word that our
I do not accept MLK's premise. And as I would judge his four children by their actions, so would I judge their nation. This nation's actions have been... well, look around you. So I cannot claim it as my holiday.
Still. The appropriate reaction to-day should be one of respect for the dead, even, or especially, if we do not share the original intent of this holiday. Those who are commemorated today must also be judged on their actions. They have set a standard for courage and sacrifice which those of us who did not serve can rarely claim to match.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Clade and meme
I was interested in dinosaurs as a boy. (Like everyone else, right?) For me it wasn't all about large scary monsters, safe in the distant past. I also got to learn about how animals are classified today. It turned out that many - it turned out, all - animal types had branched out each from a lone survivor of a larger, and now otherwise extinct, group of an ancestor type. In the case of dinosaurs, we have the example of the birds: these are descended from what popular-culture calls the "velociraptors" - smallish (for dinosaurs) two-legged feathered runners. We need a word as abstract, one instance of which is that whole historical bird-group that did not die off with the other 'raptors. Such a group
The cladistic approach used to be just a fun way of looking at biological classifications. But now with the widespread use of genome sequencing in research, modern scientists need to know about the grouping of clades. Knowing the next-most relatives with surviving DNA helps fill in the gaps (to a degree of error) of the DNA sample you're working on. Knowing how modern birds function and behave might help understand the lives of their extinct 'raptor uncles.
Like birds, humans also have a genetic inheritance, but this inheritance is not nearly as flattering to us. Jon Swift rubbed this in our faces, noting in that fourth part of Gulliver's Travels that the brutish state of man was best seen as a degraded chimpanzee.
In addition to that inheritance, civilised man has an intellectual inheritance. It is enough to the chimp that he be part of a clan. Our tribesmen require more to justify their existence, if nothing else then to prove to ourselves that we are not chimps. These stories we tell ourselves within the group have a name too: "meme". Clade and meme tend to cluster together. The Jewish people are the "textbook" example, but it will hardly do for non-Jews to pretend that they are any different. Many Orthodox Christian communions have historically been national cults and, where deprived of a nation, have tracked with racial groups. The Armenians, for instance.
You must understand clade and meme, and their interconnectedness in human tribe, first. Otherwise you'll never figure out human history, and political science will be lost to you. When you've soaked all that in, you can attempt Mencius Moldbug's work on the origins of Northeast Progressivism. This should be supplemented by Gura's contemporary text on Transcendentalism. (We all seem to have missed the latter at the time. Kevin MacDonald's 2012 review may have been similarly overlooked, and it has since been at least forgotten; but now we got Radish's tweet.)
An afterthought, on the English language: I am surprised that auto-spell-check does not recognise the word "clade" - nor "progressivism", nor even "velociraptor". It does however recognise "meme" and "transcendentalism". But then, I've been battling Microsoft Tu- uh, Word's attempts to turn "pericope" to "periscope" for almost two decades now...
Friday, May 22, 2015
Since Foseti hasn't said anything in the past year-and-half, I must with regrets take my leave of his site.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
How to get that promotion at work you always wanted
Let's say that you've approached the Peter Principle at your job, and there's a guy ahead of you who's older, and you've seen his "Romney 2012" bumper-sticker once too many times. Maybe... he's a racist?
Who knows. It's certainly possible that your obstruction I mean, boss has once said a thing or two online. Then the Tumblr blog "Racists Getting Fired" might be for you. It's like watching karma unfold in real-time.
The permanent revolution wants you, to inform. Our brave new world can work for you.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Web comics actually worth reading
I was introduced to webcomics in 2002ish by a then-gf (unless we are counting college-era flings with "Spacemoose" and the like). Her thing was "Sinfest". "Sinfest" itself wasn't all that great but it did lead to discovering some others. I need to mark down, somewhere, where I've found comics that I enjoy.
Obviously, there's Top Webcomics, and Webcomics Worth Wreading, and all manner of other aggregators you can go for. But I've found that too many "Top Webcomics" showcase nonhumans (so I've nothing to relate to) and too many "Worth Wreading" are - well, let's just say, that site is all about getting YOU to read those webcomics. Its SJW author is, I suspect, an unreliable guide to whether she would read all of it herself.
So, since I like comics that are good, and comics that aren't trying to convert me to this or that cult:
Honourable mentions would include Zona - which started out like a Jew's fantasy of a hot shiksa girl (zona is not nice in Hebrew!), but then actually developed said shiksa's character. Flipside earns points for allowing the Objectivists their side of the story. Stick in the Mud has been good so far, and I'm waiting to see what they do with the premise.
something*positive was a mainstay about a decade back, but it mellowed out and I guess I just moved on. I do recommend the earlier bits though.
Will add others as they come to mind.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
An Ember in the Ashes: review
Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes is a Young Adult story about an evil empire and a few plucky kids who fight against it. It is (slightly) more original than that description sounds.
This empire is called the "Martial Empire", and its imperium hangs over ethnic groups with names like "Scholar" and "Tribal". This naming-convention has already annoyed other reviewers, who (rightly) see these names as placeholders and have wished for something less generic. Personally I was waiting to see if any character in the book would mention if the empire demanded worship of Mars the war god by name, but - no. The empire's just "Martial" because it's military and classical-themed.
The world in general seems like it developed while the author was writing the plot. We learn in the second half of the book (p. 261ish) that the Tribals do, in fact, own their own language(s). They're han- languages, reminiscent of "Northern Arabian" (para-Arabic) like Thamudic; the language we meet here is called Sadhese. The New York Times has mooted that it's nice to watch the Saif-tribe / Sadhese culture emerge from the generic Tribal label. Aristotle would insist that a better author should introduce that stuff earlier in the book. I say that we're being asked to experience the Saif and Sadhese in the eyes of one who grew up with them; I say that we need to have more of this information up front.
Speeeeaking of the classics (besides Aristotle), Tahir has read just enough of these to be dangerous. The Martial Empire is pretty much Sparta without the buggery (yo, Peter Brett!). The warrior caste, called "Masks", are trained in an almost-all-male academy, except for a few years where they're turned loose on the countryside to raid farms and forage.
One difference is that the augur caste, called "Augurs" (sigh), does stick a girl into the mix from time to time. This girl is an outlier on the right hand of the XX bellcurve - think, Brienne the Beauty - so, at least here, it's not annoying. It also causes the social problems you'd expect.
It was generally weird how little religion was noted here. The people swear by the "skies". Here we're dealing with yet another authorial placeholder.
I'm also unsure how well the Masks' masks are handled. Maybe I didn't read close enough into the book. But - for me - it was hard to know when the masks were on for the two main Mask characters, whom we sometimes meet without the masks. More reminders of the masks being on, when characters are interacting as Masks, would have helped me visualise the scenes better.
The two POV characters are Laia, a newly-orphaned Scholar; and Elias, the bastard son of the Commandant who leads the Masks. Laia joins a Resistance and tries to spy on the Commandant. Elias needs to pass the final tests to become a Mask, but secretly dislikes the Martial system; in fact, when we first meet him, he's trying to desert. Later on, Elias finds a reason to hang around just for those last tests - the Emperor is dying and the Augurs need to pick a new one, which, because magic (actually more likely because the Augurs want someone pliable, but the characters can't know that), must come from this particular graduating class. There are also various love-quadrangles since Laia and Elias meet and hit it off, but also have interests in their own circles. (Did I mention it's Young Adult?)
Another pause for rant here: "Elias"'s name is wrong for this world, and wrong in the wrong way. It is Semitic and so foreign to the classical culture of the Martials; and this much is acknowledged in the book. The problem here is that it's supposed to be Sadhese - from "Ilyaas". No, Tahir; NnnNO. It comes from "Elyaw" / "Elyahu" and it's Hebrew, and refers to the Biblical God. "Ilyaas" isn't any form of Arabian; it's Qur'anic, Arabic only by way of Syriac by way of the Septuagint. This looks like a deliberate nod to Islam (she seems to allude to this faith in the acknowledgements) in a structurally non-Islamic book. Frankly the book doesn't need it.
Beyond that faceplant, the characters are handled well. The females act like females, twisted by their environment. The males act mostly like males, which is a pleasant surprise in YA fiction. Because YA, there's no sex here, although several characters come right to the edge of it. (The book likes to tease.)
It might be just as well there's no sex, because the characters otherwise seem to interact with violence. Actually, although I'm not much for trigger-warnings... uh. The Commandant is about the most brutal woman in any book I've ever read. If you don't like floggings, brandings, beatings, scarrings this book is not for you. If you don't like bones snapping, ditto. The book even gets some attempted raeps in. As they say, This Is Sparta.
Anyway, the book is a mixed experience. I loved parts of it. But the worldbuilding was weak; especially since the book ends on a downer, implying a sequel. It needed an editor like the characters herein need to get laid... which is a lot. Maybe the author listens to criticism (because I'm not saying much that other critics haven't said) in which case, she should spend some time developing a "Silmarillion" for this world before doing any more work in it.
[From the Book Thread. This review was long, and I noticed some bugs crept in, and... even as long as it was, it missed some stuff. So, here it is again.]
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Obama plays to his strength
Lately I heard that Ramadi had fallen to the Daesh caliph, but also that some Special Forces have plugged one of the caliph's War Boys.
I try not to discuss Barryochus Epiphanes much around here, because - well, he's the symptom, not the germ that caused it. Briefly: I am not fond of the man, "if indeed he is a man" to paraphrase Josephus. I think he's a troll. I never assume that his motives are in the Western interest, let alone in America's. This assassination raid was a high-risk, low-value affair. It also was timed brilliantly, given how our news-media will then not report on Ramadi.
But now comes the real news: it pissed Daesh off. This will result perhaps in Daesh going after Obama's own inner-circle. This is harder to reach for a ground force; thus, that action will distract them from doing the other stuff it's been doing, like retaining their position in Ramadi and Anbar. Speaking of which, now that the Anglophone media is not going to be looking so hard at Ramadi, if the Iraqis want to go in and massacre hundreds of thugs and their supporters, they have a window to do that.
So Obama's trolling ways might actually help. I wish he'd used this talent for our behalf earlier.
I saw Furiosa's Road last Thursday evening. I'd been warned that I Should Not Go See it (h/t, Ace's sidebar). Like a fool, I didn't listen. I dropped my initial reactions on my walk back home (J0eTB). Anyway: first off, the movie lies. This is not a Mad Max movie. This is a movie set in the Mad Max world in which Mad Max navigates firmly in the heroine's orbit (I believe the term is, "friendzone").
I need to collect all my thoughts in one place. If nothing else, I can go back and edit this better here.
The big picture we have to see is that this director, George Miller, is of the Left. That any given work is pro-female isn't what we should worry about; we must observe the nature of the feminism on offer. If the work is preposterous on its face, then we are dealing with absurdism - with satire; or else we are dealing with strained means to force the plot into slavery for the author's message. Either way it signals propaganda. Vox Day has already noted, from afar, at least one way it's not like real life; as it happens, the clumsier latter way. Ergo, this movie is Left propaganda.
In a fictional work's villains, we will see what the author wishes to portray as the villain - which becomes vitally important when the work is a propagandum. Among the more deliberate absurdities on offer, the enemy fleet showcases a bard playing loud rock music on an electric guitar with flames shooting out of it. The whole effect is of a Spinal Tap cover. So, the enemy of femin'ity isn't an outsider like the Raqqa caliphate; it is Rape Culture, it is the masculinity of the Western male.
The film constantly alludes to the female body as the (white) man's tilth; this too is in a parodic style. This is a movie where you see (slightly off screen) fetuses being ripped out of mama's uterus by knifepoint. This is a movie where milk is extracted from human females like they were cows. And this is also a movie that is not above showing us some young chicks in wet t-shirts.
Immortan Joe, fat old patriarch, is the epitome of what a man is not to be; and he is served by half-lifes, cancer-afflicted mutants, who are promised Valhalla if they die in Joe's service, also not a fitting role for men. By contrast, what a man should aspire to be - besides Max himself, the outsider - is the half-life Nux. Nux develops an affection for one of the girls under Furiosa's charge. Nux serves this affection to its end by taking a suicide run on her behalf. So that is what men should be: sacrifices for women. [hat-tip to ZT for reminding me of Nux's role]
Charlize Theron is the story's badass; but this much feels like overcompensation. To give you an idea: when Max misses two shots, Furiosa has Max kneel so Furiosa can rest the rifle on Max's shoulder and take the shot. Furiosa duly aims and makes the shot.
Fury Road is a deeply, deeply creepy movie at its base. I got the feeling that George Miller himself had gone creepy in his dotage. I was reminded of how male SJWs behave. And, given that SJWs Always Lie, the dishonesty of its marketing campaign clinches that hunch.
UPDATE: thanks to ZT's comment, I've corrected the director's first name; it is, of course, George and not Mark (I must have been thinking of another parodist, a better one). And now you have an illustration on why I needed to have this in an author-editable format. More coffee needed.
UPDATE 2: RegularRon thought up "Beta Max" before I did. I'm pretty sure several others had beat me to it. It's the sort of thing that so obviously springs to mind, that even if I told you I did come up with it independently, it wouldn't matter. God Himself is now filing this in His Diwan under the "B" section. To be screened, of course, at the other guy's cinema.
Friday, May 15, 2015
The Brits had an election again
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Marco Rubio is the H1B candidate
Oracle make it official: Rubio is the choice of tech employers.
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