Archive for March, 2021

Remember the outrage when lil nas x was kicked off the country music charts?

Saturday, March 27th, 2021

Hm. Looks like Lil Nas X has burned all his bridges to Country Music.

Or maybe Country Music star Lil Nas X is taking Country music into a brave new direction. The eyerolling terrain of Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Gwar…

Did Charlie Daniels ever pull blood sucking stage stunts for his devil themed music?

The trouble with Assumptions

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Much has been made about the “vaccines woot!” commercial with the assemblage of the bulk of the living ex presidents — Carter, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. A snicker aside at the focus presented by Bush — can’t wait to watch baseball! — the big point made is… Um… Where’s Trump?
Fauci chimes in to publically request Trump speak out for vaccination — lead his followerers to do that which he did but polls indicate his voters may not. In seemingly in the dead of night, Trump poked out to give his all important address — yeah, get yourself vaccinated. Humorously enough we then get a cnn interview with the yokels in small town diner — where the refusants get represented by one dismissal of the “Trump endorses” with “New York liberal” charge — presented by boing boing as Inctedulity and some sign that these nutjobs have turned on their nutjob leader for being rational — and presented by infowars with a charge against cnn as cluless mainstream liberal media for the incredulity. I guess you do have to give the dismisser credit against the assumptions of Fauci that they aren’t simply Trump Believers.
All good and well. But by definition, not everybody voted for these ex presidents. Should we not get another public service message from the likes of the surviving ptesidential losers — a team up with Mondale and Dole and Dukakis and Kerry and Gore and Romney? Then they can plunge into the third party candidates so all their voters can get convinced — Nader has to get in there somewhere. Then again we run into the troubles that the Libertarian Party contingent won’t comply, smd so we can’t ever get the margins fully filled in.

Pile of intetesting dialouge

Monday, March 15th, 2021

some things

What if the rich are – and always have been- “servile conformists”? Have you read ‘Excellent Sheep’? I think it’s worse than that: lots of rich people are servile before Mammon. Can’t comment on the specifics of your post but i think the main ‘ religion’ is that of progress, comfort and the ‘freedom’ to do what one wants (all of which are bound up with the liberalism you seem to be uncritical of here).

And so you’re going to build up a culture *only* on art? I don’t see how that sits with your religious beliefs Rod. Seems like a very odd thing to say.

I think the establishment will be very happy to endorse the idea of rebellion. After all, that’s what late capitalism has been about ( T. Frank on ‘dissent’ is excellent on this). The real rebellion or opposition can only come, i think, from religion ( which produces an ‘inner’ revolution).

It’s probably me but I’m struggling to understand you. The “pseudo-religions” you rightly criticizing are part of the DNA of capitalism and western liberalism.

Lately, I cannot help but notice how humorless political discourse is. The greatest casualty of hyper-politics is the loss of lightheartedness. And, it’s especially noticeable how humorless the left is becoming, whereas most of us grew up in a world where comedy had a vague center-left viewpoint.

When I read this post about rebellion against the dominant progressive order, I couldn’t help but think of the way totalitarians hate humor and go to great lengths to stamp out jokes. Humor is subversive. Humor skewers the powers that be. Humor can knock the biggest tyrant down a notch. I think it was Saul Alinsky who noted the power of ridicule many years ago (again, back when the left could afford to be funny and irreverent).

The left understands quite well that the way to infiltrate the “normie mind” and chase out the parasite is through humor and general cheeriness. Their operation crumbles when the manifest absurdities of their movement are pointed out. It breaks the hold of fear and introduces the potential for subversiveness and irreverence. The ruling class cannot tolerate this. In response, they’ve adopted this permanently dour, outraged, offended tone. It’s the old joke all over again, but taken seriously now: “How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? That’s not funny!”

wish us on the Left were as powerful as your random article write thinks, that we could start declaring American citizens insurgents by 2027.

The actual far more likely reality of 2027 is a 2nd term of Joe Biden (or a newly appointed Kamala Harris after Joe steps down after the 2026 midterms) dealing with a Senate that has 54 to 55 Republican seats, than total left wing domination.

I mean, we can’t even rig an election where we win more than a 50-50 Senate and a narrow House win, and in six years. we’re going to start a war against the normies.

I mean, it is true that every radical wants a revolution, but the far more likely reality is that in 2027, the vast majority of American’s will be going to jobs, visiting friends, going to church services, going to concerts, and watching superhero movies, than anything your article talks about.

think the assessment has been made that humanities are essentially (in terms of a concrete timeless content) worthless, in the context of what is essentially a technocracy with a very thin surface-level veneer of democracy: e.g. US, UK, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, etc. These societies, and the relative “black boxes” of Russia and especially China, are the unparalleled geopolitical leaders because of their leadership in science and technology period (with the humanities being pretty much far behind in relevance). Therefore you alternate in terms of whatever surface-level “qualia” you teach in the humanities as long as you leave the fundamental technocratic system in place and unquestioned: this latter system is where all the major changes to human individuals and societies are going to take place (television, internet, cellphones; not to mention medicine, transportation, etc–but ultimately all these fall under the unitary area of computational scientific advances). So what is the function of humanity-focused (i.e. non-scientific elites), if not to continue the surface-level work of maintaining the patina of democratic volition under which lies the vast and ever more exceedingly complex machine of technocratic civilization?

The future elite described in the Weiss article will for the most part be (composed as it is of bright, but in no way brilliant, or even predominantly scientifically gifted students) a technocratically useless and therefore contingent and entirely substitutable one: the elite composed of lawyers; non-scientist doctors; executives; traders; rentiers; wealthy heirs; political dynasts; higher bureaucrats, etc). In other words, the *capitalist gentry*; said class has to be socially, politically, and economically kept both appeased and occupied. However, they must also be controlled politically: all political systems seek to control their gentry, as much as they do the proletariat; the middling class of grocers, tailors, bakers, etc). What ultimately is to remain unquestioned, even by said elite, is the sense of the US as a unique nation that should lead the world, including by deciding what should be the mores of the rest of the world.

This constant of the necessity for American dominance over the rest of the world, simultaneously in soft and hard power terms, is what continues to be inculcated in the context of US elite educational institutions (including elite prep schools), even while the ideological specifics may experience significant, even tectonic-seeming, shifts over time, an identity-defining ideology of American civilizational telic supremacy holds.

The elite prep students described by Weiss are being indoctrinated in the post-Cold War era forms of American ideological telic supremacism, which have made of philosophical relativism the principal instrument of its facilitation, expression and justification: they are being administered an englobing anthropological epistemic relativism which they themselves will then be entrusted to dish out as non-technocratic elite avatars of the American technocratic empire. To wit, specifically, as journalists, artists, designers, writers, entertainers, but also executives, elite academics in the humanities, politicians, trans-subscribing doctors, members of the foreign service/diplomatic corps, etc.

So, in short, what Weiss is describing is a disciplinary indoctrination process that may seem, because of its dependence on an exceedingly anthropologically relativistic philosophy, subversive of American geostrategic supremacist goals; except, that the anthropologically relativist ideology is itself ultimately philosophically and epistemologically deeply unrelativistic in its identity-defining adherence and loyalty to the telic supremacism of the ongoing American civilizational project, thereby making of it entirely compatible and equatable with the historically storied, but “living” and ever evolving bipartisan ideologically identitarian raison d’etre of American geopolitical strategizing, which continues to be ever imperialist and entropic of other civilizational and anthropological systems..

… Havel’s greengrocer – I read this metaphor many times, mostly from western authors. The reality on the ground was a bit/lot more nuanced…

The communists were not brought down by those young students with shining eyes protesting on the central squares. They simply “died out”. In the late 80’s you could barely find even senior party members who really believed in “the system”. Most people were members for cynical/selfish reasons. Outwardly everybody had to parrot the official propaganda line, but once you paid the lip service there was so much “freedom” – you could freely drink in the workplace, sleep on your desk (if you had a deskjob) and if you happened to work in a factory you could liberally “use” or “borrow” state property, as the saying from those days goes – “Who doesn’t steal from the state steals from his own family!”.

90 percent of our political conversations are battles over who has power, but with the goal of showing that it’s not you.”–Jane Coaston, regarding this article.

I think Rod thinks “the elites” have more power than they do, and are a lot more in lockstep than they are. I would like to see a lot more about how conservatives can rebuild a functioning mental map of the world and an actual intellectual ecosystem, because he actually has some influence in those quarters, and I think most people understand that adherents of “wokeism” have some crazy ideas.

I can’t overstate how jarring it is that if I walked into the closest conservative church, and said “Biden won the 2020 presidential election fair and square,” or “there have been a lot of studies saying masks probably work, so they probably do,” I would probably be ostracized, or at the very least viewed with suspicion. Rod Dreher doesn’t watch a lot of Fox News, or listen to talk radio, or share a lot of political stuff on Facebook. Based on his posts, he reads the New York Times, New Yorker, listens to NPR. What it seems that Rod misses is that he is the anomaly, and there are millions and millions of people who do watch Fox News, etc. Trump voters might not be the majority, but they are 45% of the country! That is a lot of influence.

Rod acts like we are living in Stalin’s Russia where dissent was remorselessly hunted down. There is a huge gap between “tortured to death” and “people at work or your $50k/yr high school get mad at you.” Do people get fired for anti-woke ideas, when they shouldn’t? Absolutely. Is that more than a tiny, tiny percentage of people? No. Do most conservatives do just fine? Yes.

Just as I have a hard time getting worked up about a couple who can demand $7 million for an interview being uncertain if their son was going to be given the title “prince” — a title I would live to see abolished — I have a hard time getting worked up over families who can afford $50,000 a year tuition worrying that their children are being indoctrinated. They can always enroll their children in the local public school, donated the $50,000 to make up for death by a thousand tax cuts, and join the PTA.

on another social war battle in the schools, probably misrepresented moving into moral panic land.

This is weird, even as paganism. The Aztec gods appear to have been “native” to central Mexico and shared among the several peoples there, but given names in Nahuatl among the Aztec. The Aztecs themselves appear to have originated farther north, maybe in New Mexico and adjacent parts of Arizona. Neither the gods nor the people have any connection to California or the native people living there. The latter do have some legit beefs with Europeans, both the Spanish and the Americans but instituting lessons in Aztec mythology addresses none of that. It’s a little like saying Celtic mythology should henceforth be taught in Greece to counter such wrong as the Turks did to the place. Sounds like the crazypants activists think all Native Americans are some sort of undifferentiated cultural blob.

I found a letter which that activist, R. Tolteka Cuahtin, co-signed where he refers to himself as a “Nahua Xicanx,” with “Xicanx” being a nutty gender-neutral, anti-colonialist way of calling oneself a “Chicano.” Of course, all those X’s make it look cool and exotic and tribal, especially to people who don’t know what it is, but my guess is that the dude is just a Mexican-American from California who is exoticizing and mythologizing his perceived roots. If that’s the case, then he’s more American in his behavior than he can possibly imagine.

Interestingly enough, the ancestors of the Aztec were likely among the ancestral puebloan peoples pushed out of the four corners region by the southward migration along the Rockies of the Athabaskan-speaking precursors to the Navajo and Apache.
Also interestingly enough the Athabaskans seem to derive a large component of their ancestry from a *totally separate* migration to the Americas, many thousands of years after the main migration that gave rise to most of the Native Americans today.

The Aztecs would be the last place I would start in attempting to vindicate the indigenous and their beliefs. It seems Chesterton’s War of the Gods and Demons has opened a new, transatlantic, theater. Admirable artists, agriculturalists, etc. Bad with religion. Cortez didn’t have to do much to make the Tlalascans and Jalapans and so forth help him overthrow the Aztec Empire. I believe it was Francis Jennings who said the Aztecs and Spaniards deserved each other.

There is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism.”–Walter Benjamin

All civilizations are founded on human sacrifice. In some civilizations, such as the Western, the sacrifices are made off-stage and kept conveniently out of sight of the metropolitan citizens, who know nothing about what goes on in the colonies. In the Western case, as Sartre pointed out, Empire walks naked in the periphery, but dresses herself modestly in the center (where citizens can afford to nurture delicate sensibilities). In other civilizations, such as the Aztec, the violence that sustains the empire is brought directly into the heart of the metropole. Citizens are shown the true foundation of the empire. “This is what we are, and you better deal with it” is the honest message. Do you choose honesty or hypocrisy?

I think this is idiotic crap, although it has certainly been true that humans doing bad things to other humans has a lengthy history. However IF you’re right that civilization cannot exist absent human sacrifice, then
1. Why bother with all this justice and equality junk? Its all garbage anyway. We must kill!
2. If we’re gonna kill then shunting it to the frontier seems appropriate. Killing, according to you, is a messy necessity. Like pooping! I mean, all humans poop but we generally try to do it privately and without a lot of fuss. You dont host cocktail parties and say “anyone who chooses to go to the bathroom rather than pooping right on the couch is a hypocrite!”

It has been suggested by some historians that one reason why the populace (as opposed to the elites) of what is now Latin America put up so limited a resistance to the Europeans was precisely because they so disliked the bloody rituals to which they were subjected. (I do not know if this explanation is still current but it was 20 years ago.) The Inquisition was an unnecessary horror but it was not, alas, unpopular with the mass of people and found considerable support among the peasantry, who were less likely to be its victims than townspeople.

Any particular reason why?

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

Ah yes, a batch of activists whose message is getting blurred in a city of boarded up store fronts and obnoxious graffiti, I guess aligned with Black Lives Matter but sometimes seem more affiliated to antifa got in a big patade again, noting the weather patterns — nice sunny day for Saturday, rain coming in SundY. And a bunch of the latest fliers calling for the revall of the Mayor for… I guess pepper spraying a man chasing after him and for shutting down attempted set ups of your CHAZ” mini cities. Oh, and not shutting down the police department.
In truth they would be calling for the Impeachment/recall of anyone. Better to eliminate the job of mayor. It is the Anarchist thing to do.
I never did get around to seeing what his November vote total was. But he failed to crack the 50 percent mark. His challenger forever resentful of that write in bid by the candidate who — to the degreee thete was one — was the choice of the chanting activists — or the base therein — thinking these ought be HER voters. Then again, so did Ted Wheeler back in thet day — until their giant display at the federal building indicated otherwise.
Likewise such would be the fate if she had won — just flip the names on the fliers.
On that other mark, we do see the question — the disgruntled murmurs I heard a block and two away from the main strret — “Yeah, and on to tear down the city” — big Wheeler voters?


Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Let’s see. Governor Greg Abbott in Texas is pummeled for power failings during the Great Storm, but it probably doesn’t matter for his political career as the Texans tend to blame it on the windmills. He is further castihated for opening up Texas and ending all the coronavirus restrictions, but gets by that as well since the CDC can’t see to a normal future regardless of vaccinations.
Texas Senator and Ted Cruz and California Governor Gavin Newsom get frayed for sorta the same thematic issue: law applied to thee but not for me. I suppose Newsom’s is more systematic, and sits alongside a haphazard approach in applying and not applying covid restrictions, where with Cruz we are stuck with strained suggestions on mistreating his dog and a golden political opportunity for Alexandroa Occasio Cortez to travel and stump in Texas — so on that part it is fairthat Newsom gets a recall efgort and Cruz just has to figure out how he may beat the next Beto again in a few years.
Andrew Cuomo hangs on with more sexual misconduct allegations dropping in all the time, taking over from a prior scandal of waving aside nursing home death statistics. Hard to figure which of the two most taint a previous political strength and prefabricated self construct. I see that Senator Gillibrand chimes in at last with Call out of a double standard in femanding commemts — may be true and may be seen in the media framing — “as a woman, what say you?” — but applied to the simple matter of asking and reasking prominemt state party leaders, unless you want to claim Schumer as the only person who matters it is fair to apply the matter to the Junior Senator, winner of state-wide office.
The British Family gets its feedig at the hands of an Oprah interview with Meghan Markle lends to my generalized assortment of “probably right” so far as it goes BUT… Oh, a hypocrisy on a supposed “turn to a simple life” (replete with millions), but what I am lost on is the frustration over the “claustrophobia” of Royal life. I’m sorry but… isn’t that you are signing up for when you marry into the British Royal Family?