Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
It seems like, from reading this, the judge immediately recognized what he did wrong and apologized. I didn’t see that in the video I was watching, but I’ll just assume that’s correct. If so, there was nothing mean-spirited going on here. Just another case of poor judgment on the part of someone speaking in public.
Well, it’s a bit more than that though. Tom Bergeron nailed it. People in show business shouldn’t ridicule other people in show business for being in show business. Also, anti-bullying activists shouldn’t bully people.
I was bullied when I was a kid. The teachers wouldn’t help; they all said I should pay closer attention to whatever behaviors I might be showing to attract the bullying. That was actually pretty good advice. Did it work? No. Like a lot of kids in sixth & seventh grades, I didn’t have the maturity to self-correct on that level. Eventually, I hit back one time, then twice, and that pretty much stopped the bullying.
Gay people I can take. Gay people who complain about bullying, have my sympathy. Flamboyantly gay people, like Tonioli, I can “tolerate.” I do have a problem one with guy doing all three of those things though. Because my teachers back then, while failing the standards imposed nowadays, were correct in what they said and at some point people have to take responsibility for their behavior and how it might be altering their experiences with other people. Yeah maybe that statement seems retrograde and a bit harsh, but don’t judge it until you’ve watched this guy in action. Come to think of it, isn’t school supposed to be mostly about exactly that? Learning to socialize with each other? That you can’t just behave any ol’ way and then complain? Supposedly that’s the big advantage public school has over home-schooling, kids are supposed to learn how to “socially mature.” In my world, that means connecting actions with results, refining behavior, and I grant credit to anyone who does it purely pragmatically, to achieve their own goals. It takes time. We do the designated-oppressed-person-classes no favors by essentially telling them, “act however you want to act, and if people treat you in a way not to your liking, it’s always the other person’s problem (unless they happen to be in a more highly favored oppressed-person-class).”
But anyway. To then to go from there, and start bullying someone else, suggests some rather ugly ulterior motives. It suggests there’s something in anti-bullying activism that isn’t concerned quite so much with opposing bullying, but rather with controlling who gets to do the bullying and who should be on the receiving end. It’s something that’s becoming a pattern. I really wouldn’t care much whether they kick him off the show or not. But, my wife watches it, so if he quietly retires over this I won’t be shedding any tears for him. It’s not because he’s gay or because I think he’s a bad person or anything, he may very well have some decent things about him. And heck, maybe Ms. McKinney is a bad person and really had it coming. I dunno. But he’s loud and distracting. Many a time I’ve noticed, I’d be able to fall asleep and get some decent shut-eye while she watches the latest episode right next to me, if only it weren’t for that loud over-acting judge, over on the right. So to find out at this late date that some of this loudness is going toward creating new and innovative ways to insult people, who are really doing nothing more or less than being guests on the show, doesn’t offer me much motivation to start appreciating him any more than I did before.
…but…then again, when I use that particular phrase, it can only be about one thing. My most trivial problem. But, at times, surely among the most frustrating, that continues to dog me as if guided by a malevolent supernatural consciousness.
This particular brand of lager…
Notice that it has a pretty girl. It has to have one, it’s like, right in the name. So the brand has been re-designed, the models rotated out over the years more times than in the Tomb Raider franchise. And for those who are interested in dressing up as the next candidate, you can do that…
But you see, there is a problem. We’re in Northern California. Women here are a bit on the catty side, a little bit jealous. They’re into low effort. They look hot enough when they’re young, but then of course they’re not going to want to have anything to do with you unless you’re into their kind of music and pop culture. Once you snag one of them, though, it’s off with the make-up, on with the extra eighty pounds. Tee shirts and jogging pants all day every day. Which means, you’ll notice, anything associated with the image of a pretty girl, tends to disappear. This is a consumer bloc of no-makeup “all-done-tryin'” types, who don’t want competition and they can flex some muscle.
We also have people going extra-slow in the passing lane on the freeway. See, the attitude is everywhere. “Don’t wanna lead, don’t wanna follow, sure as hell not going to get out of the way.”
Now, I’d prefer this beer even if it had some bum’s ass cheeks on the label instead of a pretty girl. To me, the pleasing imagery is just a plus. I’m too old for the sweet sticky “kid’s beer,” not into the peach-flavored oatmeal stout with the wooden spoon to clean up the lumps on the bottom, no thankyew. And we’ve had this crisis, uh, “brewing” since Friday when I’d allowed my reserves to go dry. A dry Friday was not in the cards, the week had been tough. So I stopped by the drugstore that had repeatedly reassured me they’d never run out of the stuff, because it was way too popular in this neighborhood.
They were out of it. Picked over pretty clean, actually, for a Friday. As if the beer guy took pride in his job, but didn’t know anything about days-of-week, nothing more than a barnyard pig. I headed home with one box of Moosehead. Yech.
Just out of curiosity, I asked them what day they stocked. Tuesday. Hmmm, interesting. Yes, if there’s one day a week I think about beer, it’s Tuesday.
Well I drained off the Moosehead by Monday, as it happened. So I headed back in Tuesday to find…nothing…changed. It’s as if nobody bothered to stock a single box, or to buy one. So I grabbed some of that awful stuff, the German stuff that tastes alright but the paper label never quite peels off the way it should.
Today I ducked into my tried-and-true warehouse, that always has the brand I want. Well again, it’s got a pretty girl on the label so…no. It was well hidden. After a few minutes of searching from aisle to aisle, I was browsing the glass-front cold storage room, and I saw it peeking out at me. So I ducked into the cold storage room and pried out the box. Looked for a second & third one…no dice. I seemed to have been snagging their very last box.
I brought it up to the cashier. “I seem to have relieved you of the last box…” Pregnant pause. “In town,” I added, hopefully not too irritably. This aroused a frantic search on the computerized inventory system, which confirmed I must have been in error. There were at least two boxes left. A friendly customer service person raced to the back with all due haste while I loitered.
And loitered some more. After the five-to-ten minutes, the answer came back: Customer right, computer wrong.
That’s when I looked up to the liquor aisle, on the end cap there was a promotion that said “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!!!,” three exclamation points, featuring this guy:
I really don’t know what the Harlequin Romance Novel guy has to do with butter, or not-butter, or what not-butter has to do with liquor. But I’m pretty sure that if the artwork on the beer I wanted looked like that, I’d have no trouble finding it; everyone would be carrying it. Right out in front, prominently featured. No, more than “pretty sure.” Absolutely positive.
Man’s world, my ass.
Nonsensical Complaint #1: A grievance, from or on behalf of some designated-oppressed-group, and something passive-voice. Women are “seen” in such-and-such a way, gay people are “seen” like this or black people are “seen” like that. Or, men and women are expected to be such-and-such a way by “society.”
Question that cannot be answered: If this complaint were restated in active-voice, what would be the subject? Who’s doing the seeing? Who’s doing this expecting?
Why we don’t get an answer: Because then the mission of reform would become finite rather than infinite. The subject would become an object. The mission of reform would also become testable, because the reform would have to do with changing the state of an object, and it would have to do with actually fixing a problem, like catching the shark in Jaws. And, it would be practical to ask bothersome questions like “Do you, or do you not, have it done?”
That’s a non-starter. These are people who are into wearing nice suits and giving impressive speeches; not meeting any actual responsibilities, particularly involving measurable achievements. Objective assessments against predefined goals are for riff-raff, they’re for peons.
Nonsensical Complaint #2: Material wealth inequality. “Haves” versus “Have-nots.” Particularly complaints about how, once people get rich, they get to make the rules. Or, their expenses are reduced as they accumulate greater wealth. “The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.”
Question that cannot be answered: What is it, specifically, about these rich people that makes them rich? What puts them on the road to a destiny so remarkably different from everybody else?
Why we don’t get an answer: It would reveal that all these people, the rich and the not-rich, chose their own fates in some way. That the differential came about not because of birth station, race gender or class, but because of priorities, actions and inactions.
Nonsensical Complaint #3: That their political opposition won’t do what’s necessary to “grow the economy” — raising taxes. Or, that the economy is being hurt, because the taxes are being cut.
Question that cannot be answered: If I “tax” you while you are running up a hill, that would be something like grabbing onto your pants so you can’t move, or maybe weighing you down so that you make less progress after investing more effort. A “tax cut” would be the partial removal of such a burden. Does an economy not work exactly the same way? Isn’t that why we use the word “tax” (as a verb)?
Why we don’t get an answer: It would show that our friends, the liberals, are once again living in “Opposite Land.” There is only one reason to go through the exercise of pretending that “taxing” something is the first step to growing it or making it stronger: To disguise, as a process of creation, what is really a process of destruction.
Nonsensical Complaint #4: Womens’ swimsuits are too skimpy! We need to make them cover up so the men stop acting like louts! Or: I don’t want my fifteen-year-old son to see that, I want him to grow up to be a gentleman!
Question that cannot be answered: What does female swimming attire have to do with men minding their manners? Isn’t it a lasting tenet of modern liberalism that women should be free to wear whatever they want, and this has no bearing at all on how men are expected to behave? How to reconcile this glaring contradiction?
And how is it that anybody thinks this can possibly work? “Omigosh, it’s been three years since I’ve seen tits. I’m going to use my napkin, offer my bus seat to an old woman, and tip the waiter!” Like that?
Why we don’t get an answer: It’s really just like all the others, it would show liberals aren’t into actual problem-solving. Declaring war on skimpy bikinis holds the appeal of “Hit the men where they live,” just like tax increases hold the appeal of “Hit the rich people where they live.” So they’re into identifying target classes, and then hitting ‘em where they live. This doesn’t make anything better anywhere. The rest of us aren’t allowed to notice that.
Nonsensical Complaint #5: We desperately need to “shore up” the middle class!
Question that cannot be answered: “Shore up,” whether by design or not, is unworkably vague. What is it about the middle class, exactly, that we need to change?
Why we don’t get an answer: Think through this one, there are three possibilities. 1) People in the middle class should make more money. 2) People in the middle class should be allowed to keep more of their money after paying taxes. 3) The middle class has to include more people. The first doesn’t work because it’s a contradiction; if you make above a certain amount of money, you’re no longer in the middle class. The second makes more sense, but it would be a confession that liberals will never stop short of complete control over everybody, by way punishing some classes and rewarding others, through the tax system. (For the economically literate, it would also reveal that their economic policies are absolutely unsustainable.) And the third, which also makes a lot of sense, would be a confession that liberals really don’t help anyone at all — they require an expansion of the dependency class, not necessarily the “middle” class, in order to win elections. Need more poor people. In sum, it would be a confession of what everybody knows already if they spend any time thinking about this: Liberals won’t do anything at all with what we call the “American Dream,” except hinder it, because if too many people successfully pursue it then the liberals aren’t going to win elections.
Every panel, or almost every panel, makes me snort beer out of my nose. So funny, so true.
I noticed a lot of the people commenting seemed to be missing the point entirely. To raise a child to become a productive adult, you have to raise him to take walks in other people’s shoes, to react to things, respond, plan ahead, prevent bad things from happening, take responsibility…but while he’s a baby, all that stuff has to wait. Sometime ahead, though, it will have to come back. There will have to be transformations.
Too many parents are incapable of this transformation. They remain stuck in “Bring the baby what he needs” mode. Then, they make the wrong-headed decision that parenting must be all about affirmation; impressing on Precious that all the choices he makes, big and small, are as right and as wonderful as could be. But life, of course, doesn’t give a shit about affirming anybody’s decisions…
Well…say what you will about it, it’s good writing.
From 23 Writers With Messages For Straight White Male Publishing, off the Twitter feed of Andrea Castillo, by way of Instapundit. I can only hope the “authors” of the placards — what do we call these, the “Write something on a placard, pose with it looking grouchy and put it on the Internet” placards? — take as much pride in their actual writing, as in, stuff they’ve at least tried to have published by this predominantly-straight-white-male industry. I’d hate to think this was nothing more than the latest in “Just reject the right people, everything will turn out okay.”
But actually, “Read Less Straight White Men” is a close contender.
And this one might even come out on top. From the comments: “Replace straight white men with Jews, and boom. Instant Hitler.”
A fascinating comment stream took root & started growing over at American Digest after Gerard linked to the Polymath Archives article about the Inappropriately Excluded. I thought I should weigh in on the talks because, to me, it’s a matter of first-hand experience that you do not need to be a genius to experience these problems. My I.Q. has been nailed down somewhere around 128 to 135, never more than that, and if this is to be believed then it puts me in the middle bracket. Top-end of the middle tier, maybe, but not in the 140+ genius bucket.
But I’ve been watching this happen pretty much every hour of every day. Yes, it’s a sad way to live and a sad thing to see, and it isn’t just me…
The exclusion really begins in primary school with the failure of the educational process to provide an appropriate learning environment. The grading process, which should be a reliable assessment of knowledge learned and skills acquired, becomes nothing more than a measure of the child’s willingness to bend to the will of the teachers’ demand that he or she acquiesce to a profoundly inappropriate curriculum and learning process.
Leta Hollingworth noted that, if mainstreamed, children with R16IQs over 150 (D15IQ 141) check out and do not excel. Miraca Gross has done a long-term longitudinal study of 60, 160+ D15IQ Australian children. 17 of the children were radically accelerated, 10 were accelerated one or two years and the remaining 33 were mainstreamed. The results were astonishing with every radically accelerated student reported as educationally and professionally successful and emotionally and socially satisfied. The group that was not accelerated she characterizes as follows: ‘With few exceptions, they have very jaded views of their education. Two dropped out of high school and a number have dropped out of university. Several more have had ongoing difficulties at university, not because of a lack of ability but because they have found it difficult to commit to undergraduate study that is less than stimulating’. These children have IQs similar to Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, etc., so the loss from unrealized potential is enormous.
I think what’s really happening is people of all IQ levels, are being disciplined to act as if their IQ is more toward 100. As we make more “progress” with this, we’re defining-downward the level of above-average intelligence that is to be subjected to this shoehorning. We’re becoming more militant about what this acceptable-behavior is supposed to be. And we’re applying the force to more and more walks-of-life, telling more and more people “Take your admirable initiative, your plucky resolve and boundless resourcefulness and take them somewhere else.” Point is, it’s a continual process. The attitude I saw of “This educational experience is not for you, and we don’t care” is exactly what a child would have encountered forty years earlier, with an IQ of, say, thirty points higher. Conversely, today’s kids might do a much better job of fitting in than I managed to do — their quotients may be fifteen points lower — and would not have been subjected to this sort of treatment in my day. But here it is, now and not then, so they have to be medicated. So it’s institutionalized tall-poppy syndrome, and what is happening is the cutting line is getting lower.
A few people said some things that made my jaw drop just a bit, obviously assuming everyone with an I.Q. over 140 must be acting like Sheldon Cooper and all of the time. Then Rob De Witt pointed out,
Like I said, “Learning how to dumb yourself down for acceptability sometimes seems useful as a way to fly below the radar.”
For example, look at the unmitigated envy and projection displayed in this comment stream. A kid with the poor judgement to be born smart is gonna eat this crap for breakfast every fuckin day of his life.
There’s a certain annoyance factor to being subjected to this exclusion; the excludee cannot help but wondering is maybe this is a good thing that just happened, if he can sever the links with some degree of finality (which is not possible with grade school) maybe things are actually gonna start getting better now, some suffering will now have entered the final chapter. Maybe? You look back at those doing the excluding and you wonder about the calibration between their immediate ambitions, and the long-range objectives of the mission. You know the gap is there, because the gap created the situation that culminated in this outcome — for you. It hasn’t impacted anyone else. Or maybe it has. Or maybe it never will. And yes, it’s possible that now that they’ve gotten rid of you, everything is going to go swimmingly. But not only is it tough to see that, the pattern doesn’t seem to hold up anywhere.
Schools, for example. Now that they’ve got the out-of-the-norm kids all diagnosed with phony disorders and properly medicated, are they humming along? Operating efficiently? Inspiring public confidence?
I’ve noticed it before…don’t recall when or where…and I continue to notice it, can’t help noticing it. The word “bureaucracy, whether we want to admit it or not, is a pejorative word. Nobody ever says “I want to build a great bureaucracy, that is a shining example to all other bureaucracies.” No one wants to do that. The bureaucracy is not the machinery that performs a vital function, it is the rust upon it. And we all know it. It’s woven into our lexicon, people don’t really disagree about it, they just refuse to acknowledge it.
What is alarming is not that this is happening, since there is evidence it has always been happening. It’s human nature. What is alarming is that it’s getting worse. The Sheldon Cooper of the 1960’s was Spock, Science Officer of the Enterprise. Well, Spock was occasionally funny to watch, but much more often he was responsible for saving the Enterprise. That’s important. Not that high intellect doesn’t have these trade-offs, the original Star Trek series even had an episode about how you don’t really want Spock to be in command of too much, or too often. It’s not one of my favorite episodes.
In fact, people like to make a big deal about how the womens’ movement back then did not succeed in creating aspiring female engineers, and we still have some work to do on that now. A few moments of honestly recalling the old character of Spock, and the public’s reaction to him, sheds some light on why this is. Boys watched Spock, and took notes about how to apply logic to solve a problem. Girls watched him and became fascinated in the human-interest drama arising from a half-human half-Vulcan encountering and dealing with prejudice, and finding a way to make peace while straddling the divide between two worlds. If they took notes, the notes were about how Spock felt. The male half of the audience really didn’t give a rip what Spock felt, any more than they might have cared what one of John Wayne’s characters felt.
But we have become more feminized in the meantime. Now we have to worry about, once the cat is let out of the bag that “Those with high I.Q.’s are being inappropriately excluded,” if that message can be proliferated then the common reaction will be something like “Awww…how does that make them feel?” But read the article again. The real consequences of this exclusion are on everybody else. It’s a waste of human resource. It may be okay to fall prey to the impulse, since it’s part of the human condition and it’s a story that didn’t just begin yesterday. It isn’t okay to continue the practice. And it certainly isn’t okay to make it worse & worse with the progression of time.
I don’t know this Britt McHenry person, or know of her (language warning). But, I did learn early on that you really need to pay attention to how the fairer sex treats the hired help. Also (later on), that people who work for the Fourth Branch deal with public power and public trust. They carry influence and weight. When they abuse that trust, by result or by intent…they’re scum, just like the people in the first three branches who abuse that trust.
I realize something may have happened before this to provoke the outburst, something more than & worse than just having the car towed, and without me piling on she’s already getting a beat-down. I get all that. Say what you will about concealed-camera footage though, there’s a reason why it packs a whallop. There’s something candid about the candid-camera.
There’s also a reason why people look bad when they do this. This business of “I went to college and you didn’t,” and “I’m on the news, don’t you know who I am.” It’s vile, awful. Mothers, don’t let your babies grow up like this.
Whoever writes the headline for The Huffington Post, thinks the issue was “fat shaming.” Uh, no. Not even. That’s not even the start of what’s wrong.
I have no idea where it is, although it’s somewhere around here. And I know this makes me sound like an old fart, maybe it should, but I had to cut this lawn before I could earn the money to go see The Empire Strikes Back. That’s how we did it back then. Even though the Mount Baker Theater charged somewhere around $2.50 or so…today, you wouldn’t have to cut someone’s grass to pull that in, you’d scrounge around in your couch cushions to “harvest” that without bothering to help anybody. In my day, at age 14 I had to run a “business” of sorts. I had a piggy bank that was a super-size replica of a Tootsie Roll, with dollar bills and coins in it, along with a piece of ledger paper that tracked where all the money went. Gasoline, lawnmower repairs, etc., that was my “lawn care business” and that is how I saw Star Wars Episode V. On some May day in 1980, someone paid me — I don’t even know. $20. Maybe $10. Or $5.
I envy you young puppies who were born sometime in the 1990’s. I try to show proper respect, restrain myself as my instincts compel me to launch into some lecture, or tirade, about appreciating legacies and so forth. You do know something about Han Solo being frozen, his fate uncertain, some 14 years before you were born. I try to remind myself that that’s like me knowing what’s going on with the real-life Hank Williams Sr. freezing to death in his car. I therefore have to remind myself that your generation, against all odds, is actually more conscientious than my generation.
It was actually well-known far & wide that Han Solo’s uncertain fate at the conclusion of “Episode Five” was reflective of Harrison Ford’s uncertain future with the movie franchise. I look back on my own personal opinions about this as among what might be called the “most-wrong”: My opinion back then, back when I was cutting someone’s grass and scooping it into a big bag, to earn my twenty or ten bones so I could see the first true sequel, was: Harrison Ford is Han Solo, and he doesn’t appreciate or understand this, and he’s a fool. That afternoon and evening, as I absorbed Han Solo’s fate and came to realize what was being tossed into the Realm Of The Uncertain And As Yet Not Quite Settled, my level of disgust multiplied upon itself.
And then, Mr. Ford compounded the “error.” The following year, he kicked off a movie franchise about an archeology professor in the 1930’s or something. I remember watching the trailers and thinking…uh, no. No. Very bad idea. Awful, terrible. DON’T DO THIS.
Fast-forward to today. I’m closing in, now, on my fiftieth birthday, in fifteen months or something? People at work call me “Obi-Wan.” And this awful, terrible idea of a movie back in 1981, I dunno…I was so disgusted with it when the previews came out telling us we should all go see it. All I was thinking was, “Dude, you stopped being Han Solo for this crap?” I thought of it like Sean Connery, Indian Jones’ Dad, stopping his James Bond career to be the Zardoz guy.
Suppose I dropped dead tonight because my heart stopped beating. And suppose my funeral-mourners had 500 years, or a thousand years, or ten thousand years, to figure out what one single movie out of Hollywood might have inspired me to make whatever positive influences on other people that I might have made, with whatever years, months and days the Lord had granted me. Well…if my opinion means anything at all, yes I do think it’s more important than Han Shot First. That, after all, is about next-to-nothing; it’s about shooting first.
Well we don’t need Han Solo for that, we learned that eleven years later.
Here it is, later still. A whole bunch of years. And I’ve heard it said, if my friends are in a hotel, friends who agree with me on a whole lot of political stuff and disagree with Bill Clinton on exactly that same stuff…but former President Clinton is on that hotel, in that bar, getting smashed…they’ll flock to him. And who can blame them? A celebrity is a celebrity.
But I figure Harrison Ford, whose political opinions are not that distant from Mr. Clinton’s, would somehow be at the opposite end of the bar, getting neglected. Would I join Indiana Jones? Maybe buy him a round? And the answer is, Hell yes. I’d have to do it. Even if the lefty-communist Hollywood actor wouldn’t understand why, and he likely wouldn’t. In fact, I’m sure he wouldn’t. But I look at all these people on my resume…they don’t like me personally, in fact some of them despise me, for what reasons I can’t figure. Or, maybe I can. But some of them would HAVE to hire me back again. Or at least, be strongly compelled to do this. There’s something important going on here. There’s a split. Some of us try to remain gainfully employed by being likable, being part of a “family” or some such, some of us go to work to get a job done.
And I may hate to admit it, maybe they’d hate to admit it too…but you know why that is? It’s because, if it was my job to steal the Ark of the Covenant back from the Nazis and use a bull-whip to wind my way underneath a five-ton truck and make sure the mission got accomplished — I’d fucking do it. Or at least, some stuff like that. That’s actually worth something. Probably worth more to me than to anybody else.
And, maybe movies have nothing to do with this at all, with men being worth more than what the men were as boys. With maturity. But you know…I don’t think so. It’s not that I like admitting to it. I don’t. I think, in adulthood, us men have women and children, sometimes children of us, sometimes children of other men — they count on us to get stuff done. And I think, when people are counting on us to get stuff done, we draw on a bank of resources, which we had been assembling since long before we were men. I think movies do have something to do with this. In a great variety of situations, movies impact us this way, they follow us from boyhood into manhood.
I mean, c’mon, admit it: Shane isn’t really that fun of a movie. It’s not that entertaining. Why then is it so important as a facet of our modern culture? Is it because Shane’s daughter-in-law looked like this…
…I don’t think so. Remember that Shane kicked off, rather than concluded, the era of the Western. It took place roughly around the same time as High Noon. This was not about cattle-rustling. It was about a Great Contrast, straight out of Lord of the Rings, between good and evil.
I think, in this way, movies are still important. They may not teach us about how the world actually works. They can’t. But they do teach us about what’s good, and what is not good. Because they teach us about that, they teach us about why we’re here.
And because of that, if I was trapped in a hotel late at night, with both lefty-lib Bill Clinton and lefty-lib Harrison Ford…I’d make it a point to spend my time around Mr. Ford. Even though he may not appreciate why. I figure I owe him. Just like your Father, stretched out on his deathbed riddled with dementia, unable to recognize you. Maybe Mr. Ford doesn’t understand what sort of a message he sent to an entire generation, or what sort of ramification it had. What does it matter? Bartender! Another round, for me and my dear, dear friend.
It’s not just him. It’s anybody who had anything to say, or to show, about resourcefulness. For real, or for theater. It’s an important concept, an irreplaceable concept. The idea that when the battle ends and it isn’t in your favor, there are always more chapters to be unfolded in the great war — that it’s always worth waking up the next morning to a new day.
This may very well be the world’s oldest problem: How do the elders, lacking the vitality to last indeterminably into the succeeding generations, send their positive messages? Not the negative ones. Negativity is easy. It always has been easy. How do we recharge the batteries? How do we let the younger generation know that, even though the U-boat has vanished with the Ark of the Covenant in its hold, it’s still possible to stow-away? To stage yet another confrontation? Even when all seems lost…
Update: Was thinking some more of the fond memories I have of the years surrounding Ford’s earliest & biggest films. There is a recollection of the summer when I had just finished up middle school, I was out camping with my Boy Scout troop and when we were supposed to be getting to sleep, we were coping with this new idea of “Star Wars” having a sequel. “I heard,” one of the kids said, “By the year Two Thousand you’ll be able to go the movies, drop TWENTY DOLLARS, and see all nine Star Wars movies, one after the other.” Heh…oh boy, so much to revisit with that prediction, where to begin. The twenty-dollar part of it has certainly come true.
Monday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” chief national correspondent John King said despite any message redo, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is no Bill, because when she went to Chipotle, she spoke to none of the average Americans she is hoping to champion.
King said a CNN contributor called the Chipotle manager, who seemed surprised the former secretary of state had graced his establishment, saying, “The manager of the Chipotle in Ohio had to look at the security video to prove it was Hillary Clinton who stopped in at Chipotle today. She went to Chipotle, she got lunch apparently, and she didn’t talk to anybody. Ohio’s kind of important in presidential politics….”
H/T: Chicks on the Right.
Is Hillary any good at this whole campaigning-thing?
The defense of the Clinton scandals follows a predictable path: cheerleaders angrily blame some “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy,” or they pretend to respond but really ignore the question, or they lie.
Is there any honest doubt that Hillary is even duller than Gore and even more puffed up than Kerry? Is there any question in anyone’s mind that if she were not Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton, this boorish old woman would not seriously be considered as a candidate for president at all?
Well…maybe not, but there’s a lot of question about whether she’s a failed candidate. More question about that, in fact, than there is about whether she’s still Little Miss Inevitable.
If Hillary is indeed the 2016 Democratic nominee, all she has to do to win the necessary 270 electoral votes is sustain the historic equation outlined in my November National Review piece “Breaking the Blue Barrier.” That equation is: 1992 + 1988 + Florida = a Democrat in the White House.
That first number represents the ten states with a total of 152 electoral votes that have been won by every Democratic presidential nominee since 1992. The second number represents the nine states with a total of 90 electoral votes that have been won by every Democratic presidential nominee since 1988. Together, those states command 242 electoral votes. Thus, if Hillary follows the Electoral College precedent that has held since 1992 and also wins Florida, with its 29 electoral votes (or any combination of states yielding 28 votes), Bill Clinton would be elected First Dude. (Mothers, hide your daughters!)
…anything can happen, and much will, between now and November 8, 2016. However, these five factors will likely form the foundation of Hillary Clinton’s victory. In addition, many low-information voters will pull the Clinton lever because they have been led to believe that a Republican alternative is far more dangerous than letting Bill and Hill back in the White House. Now, friends, please don’t shoot the messenger. Just tell me why I am wrong.
Maybe this “Chiplote” thing is the answer to that. When you get right down to it, there really is no campaign slogan that fits Hillary besides “Vote for me, I’m better than you are.”
Then again, that’s not good enough to sink a candidate who happens to be a democrat. In fact, are you ready for something really depressing?
Since 1984, there is an almost perfect correlation between whether democrat candidates for the White House, are ready to show their belief in the better-than-anybody-else axiom, and whether they win. Yes Bill Clinton would have made some chit-chat at the restaurant, but as a celebrity and not as an equal. The democrats who would have practiced the fine art of “everyman” campaigning were Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale. The only ones who break the pattern were John Kerry and Al Gore, and Al Gore doesn’t count because…well, you’ve heard it so many times before, haven’t you? He did win the popular vote & everything…
The point is, although Hillary is as politically clumsy as a Monday is long, this doesn’t provide much reassurance. It isn’t reasonable to expect democrat candidates to pay a penalty for a handicap like that, when they show no pattern of being so penalized.
If I were a Republican strategist, struggling to figure out what to do in the wake of Hillary winning the democrat nomination, I would try to get in the heads of royalists — those who must work toward her defeat, must labor not toward showing her to be a bad American President or a bad American Politician, but a bad member of a royal household. That really is the issue. Like it or not, we have a large portion of the electorate that is lusting for a peerage, wanting to live vicariously through the experiences of some first-among-mortals immediate-family that is above everyone.
It stinks on ice, but given that background and what her supporters want to see in her, she didn’t even do that “bad” of a job campaigning here. She may even have some sagely advice being offered to her behind closed doors, that stopping to talk to the riff-raff would have been a mistake.
Of course, it must be said there is some blowback involved in this strategy…(link auto-plays)
One of my Hello-Kitty-of-Blogging friends, knowing of my family’s struggles with the “fAuxtism Spectrum” racket, tagged me yesterday afternoon with this most-excellent video and I couldn’t “like” it hard enough…
But with things working all screwy for some reason, I couldn’t find the e-mail notifying me of it when I got home from work. It wasn’t showing up on my wall, I only knew there was this person and she tagged me with something. So I had to scroll through her own wall to find it. Where I came across something else I liked even more:
If you are a freakin’ Communist, get off my friend list. You are vile, disgusting and evil. Yes, I said it. Yes, I mean it. Go.
Apparently, that had already been done, because there was quite a conversation that ensued and it didn’t have any of the usual rot about “There’s no such thing as communism today because nobody today meets the dictionary definition, which is blah blah blah means of production blah blah blah.” Which, if there are any communists around to interject, that’s usually the first boring-bromide to be tossed into the conversation about communism. Followed shortly by “But it is nothing more than the elimination of classes! You’re not for the preservation of classism, are you?” Those are the two go-tos for communists who’ve been called out for being communists now: There’s no such thing as a communist, and each of us is obliged to be one.
Well, what do you expect from an economic model & political ideology that has to eliminate definitions in order to make itself look good.
Instead, what we saw here, was an enlightening collection of interesting observations. Although nobody outdid this person:
Yesterday, a few of us got together for bible study, and someone mentioned that a friend of theirs said to them that at this person’s church, they all get together and sew outfits for everyone in the church – the exact same outfit for everyone with only size variants – and this person said that they do it seasonally there, so that every season, they have a new assigned clothing item, and that’s what everyone there has to wear to church. This person in our group was talking about how great they thought this was, because then no one looked down on anyone else and they had this apparent unity, this, that, and the other thing, and no one was jealous of anyone else. And my pastor (God, bless him!) just says, “Yeah, that’s wrong. That’s really wrong.” And she was saying, “Well, yeah, but…” And he just kept with it, “But you can see how that would be dangerous? You understand what’s so wrong with that, right? You need to understand…” And he just ripped into it. He said such a thing causes love to be found in jealousy, and true love to run cold. He said a society or social structure which finds its foundation in jealousy encourages jealously, reaps corruption, and causes love to run cold. He said that was one of the most fundamental flaws of communism – that is left no place for genuine love. He got kind of fired up about it and went on for awhile about how communism destroyed the uniqueness, talents, insights, skills, and giftings which our Lord gives to each individual person. He said that it left no room for love, but cast it out for fear of jealousy, really only favoring increased jealousy and ungodliness. He said we have to love people as the people God made them to be and value their uniqueness rather than envying them and despising them and being jealous over what they have that we don’t and getting caught up in materialism. He went into how completely opposite Christianity and the Christian mindset communism is, and said how much the whole thing just repulsed him. He was just really getting worked up about it.
Someone else came up with a good question: What about moderate-communists? “Sane, mild-mannered communists”? And is there such a thing? Can there be? The time stamps say that this person was kicking off the “early shift” of sorts, the hubbub had died down for the night some six hours earlier as the night-owls finally retired for the evening.
So it was left to me to field that one.
Let’s think through on that, presuming charitably that there can be such a thing as a mild communist. The “Aunt Petunia democrat” does not want to control everybody else, doesn’t want communism to overrun the globe, doesn’t know that much about politics but has some opinions in which the intensity of her passions expand past the breadth of her knowledge. She has no jealousies, she thinks, but worries herself into a state of agitation about all the poor people, and how we aren’t doing enough for them.
“The rich get richer, the poor get poorer,” she says. OOPS. Already, it’s no longer about the poor people not having enough; she’s managed to transform it into a whole new issue, of the rich having too much! I guess crusading for the poor people having a better life gets boring after awhile…always more fun to crusade for stealing loot from the people who have it, playing “Robin Hood.” What did she forget before she got tired of helping the poor people? If you actually KNOW some people who are, or have been, desperately poor, you know “not having enough cash” was not the root of the problem. Someone in their family had a temporary but catastrophic physical illness. Or, a more permanent and mental one. Or they did. Or they lived beyond their means. Or maybe the heartless conservatives were right in this case, they, or someone in the household, didn’t respect the value of hard work. In all these cases, it isn’t accurate to say they’re poor because they don’t have enough cash. The cash comes from the work. And you can skimp when you spend it. Events can disrupt this, but aside from the catastrophic health crises, in three to five years those events are just memories. That’s how “let’s get the government involved in health care” was sold to us, the catastrophic health issues have the potential to disrupt the American dream like nothing else does.
So the bottom line is, there is no, or very little, reason for anybody in America to say to himself “The reason I’m poor, or that that other person is poor, is because that guy over there is rich; we don’t have enough because he has too much.” There is only ONE reason for anybody to say something like that: However long they’ve been trying to make anything better, for anybody, their patience with the effort has been exceeded, they”re tired & bored of doing it, and now they’re into destroying because it’s so much quicker, more gratifying, more fun. That’s the simple truth of it.
Four words explain most of the “unsolvable” mysteries we see in America today: “McCarthy was not wrong.”
Of course, there is a shorter answer: We already know from history that communism cannot tolerate a world, or any sort of geographic region, filled with a disparate assortment of nations that are & are not on-board with communism. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition. You have Country A that is communist and Country B that is non-communist, if there is a point of contact between the two then there is going to have to be a wall. Not to keep people out, but to keep people from leaving.
As the technology that birthed communism forces the world to shrink, such walls become ineffectual, so communism has two choices: Cease to exist, or take over the world.
Also, it’s based on an unworkable contradiction because it’s supposed to get rid of “Keeping Up With The Joneses.” Think about how the Pastor walked through all this. The jealousies are not going away just because you think you eradicated clothes, or whatever else inspired the jealousies. They will not disappear, or even recede a little bit, after they become the fabric from which your new society is woven, or the bricks from which it is mortared. Nothing that important can ever retreat. To the contrary, the jealousies will intensify, engulf, as everybody starts to tattle on everybody else. It’s quite unavoidable.
In fact, what is the ultimate consequence of keeping-up-with-Jones in a capitalist society? Everybody does it, everybody does the same thing, and yes sometimes individual pursuits will be discouraged for just a little while…then someone says, yeah but I’m not making enough at my job to make these credit card payments, so they stop. Or, they start a business or invent something. Maybe some combination of all these things. Meanwhile, in the Fatherland of Russia people are still waiting in line for toilet paper. The point is, “Keeping up with Jones” may be a silly activity at times, but one thing you can say for it is that it IS activity. It is effort. You can get rid of it by getting rid of effort, but ultimately that has to involve getting rid of achievement as well, since without effort there can be no achievement.
This is not theory. We’ve seen it play out like this a few times by now, and there isn’t any excuse left for failing to notice.
This absolutely fascinates me. If you imagine liberals thinking about their goals the way normal people do about theirs, beginning with the end in mind and persevering through setbacks large and small — if you imagine them that way — you would have to credit them with optimism beyond the perimeter of sanity, plucky resolve that is just off-the-charts, inhuman. You would have to see them as bursting at the seams with exactly what they do not encourage in others. The attitude of: Don’t worry, you’ll win in the end. This is 180 degrees contrary to their message to everybody else, which essentially is one of: If you’re making $45k a year now, we can guarantee you will never make more than $55k in your whole life. You need social programs. Don’t try. Give up. The rich people have rigged the game. Go on “foostamps.”
Do liberals think about the end game? They have such enthusiasm, in those low trenches following their most disappointing setbacks, I know I’m not capable of matching it in mine. And so I don’t think of them that way, I think of them more like the dog chasing the car. Not a thought in the world about where this is all going, the possible scenarios, the victory, the defeat. There is only the pursuit. That’s why they pound the pavement just as hard when things aren’t going their way, as they do when they are. Just like the dog. I think.
Which brings us to America in 2015. It’s becoming a nation where an elite that is certain of its power and its moral rightness is waging a cultural war on a despised minority. Except it’s not actually a minority – it only seems that way because it is marginalized by the coastal elitist liberals who run the mainstream media.
Today in America, we have a liberal president refuses to recognize the majority sent to Congress as a reaction to his progressive failures, and who uses extra-Constitutional means like executive orders to stifle the voice of his opponents. We have a liberal establishment on a secular jihad against people who dare place their conscience ahead of progressive dogma. And we have two different sets of laws, one for the little people and one for liberals like Lois Lerner, Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, who can blatantly commit federal crimes and walk away scot free and smirking.
Today in America, a despised minority that is really no minority is the target of an establishment that considers this minority unworthy of respect, unworthy of rights, and unworthy of having a say in the direction of this country. It’s an establishment that has one law for itself, and another for its enemies. It’s an establishment that inflicts an ever-increasing series of petty humiliations on its opponents and considers this all hilarious.
That’s a recipe for disaster…
Liberals imagine that their president can simply take whatever actions he pleases — including ones he previously admitted were unconstitutional — and that the next Republican president won’t do the same. Except then it will be to negate their cherished policies.
Maybe they just don’t give a rip about the “cherished policies.” Maybe they just enjoy the fight, and the feelings that go with it. The feeling of standing in a park watching a black President-Elect in November of 2008, crying their tears of joy. Watching Bill Clinton lie and get away with it, watching his alleged “wife” all-but-dismiss the Senate panel that was supposed to be grilling her for her incompetence, by hollering “what difference does it make?”
Normal people keep watching them, and making the mistake of anticipating where this is all going, trying to figure out what the liberals are planning. Trying to get in their heads, like this is some sort of a chess game.
It’s not chess. It’s more like break-dancing. Really stupid, pointless, clumsy break-dancing.
1) If it wasn’t intended to offend you, then you shouldn’t be offended.
2) You do not get to decide someone else’s intentions. They do.
3) Being offended is a choice you make. Nobody is responsible for that choice but you.
4) Even if the slight was intended and deliberate, functioning adults understand that they must move on and not dwell over every sideways glance or rude comment.
5) You have to stop doing the trendy internet thing where you write something on a piece of paper and take a picture of yourself holding it up while frowning. It’s just annoying at this point.
One thing that concerns me even more than this excessive sniveling, is the thicker skull that goes with the thin skin. Back in my day, the college liberals would openly brag about being way more “open to new information/ideas” than you; it was part of the shtick. Now they’re being micro-aggressed or something if the information manages to get to them, which adds a new layer of unhealthiness. We most recently saw it with the University of Michigan gag order against American Sniper, a decision which seems to have been thankfully reversed after one coach took action.
But the problem remains. Today’s fragile milquetoast proggies no longer brag about having more information than you, they brag about having the power to keep you from telling them anything. And then they want to use that power, so you can see them using it, again and again and again. This won’t end well, and it certainly is not good for them.
Naomi Schaefer Riley, writing at the New York Post, notices there are an awful lot of loud people running around “raising awareness” about things that don’t have much to do with what actually happened…
The verdict’s in on Rolling Stone. According to no less an authority than the Columbia Journalism Review, the magazine’s last year story of a University of Virginia gang rape was a “journalistic failure [that] encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking.”
But as with many other stories that don’t fit into the right narrative, the media will continue to draw the wrong lessons.
As an AP article noted, “Despite its flaws, the article heightened scrutiny of campus sexual assaults amid a campaign by President Barack Obama.”
Despite its flaws? You mean despite the fact that as far as anyone can tell, the story was made up out of whole cloth?
Take the case of Ellen Pao, who filed suit against her former employer, venture-capital group Kleiner Perkins, for gender discrimination.
She was seeking millions of dollars in damages to make up for what she claimed was a pattern of women being excluded from important meetings. They weren’t invited on a ski trip with other partners. Women were forced to sit in the back of the room during a meeting.
Two weeks ago, a jury decided her claims were completely without merit. And yet from the media coverage, you’d think Ellen Pao successfully exposed a Silicon Valley ripe with discrimination.
Here’s Farjad Manjoo in The New York Times: “The trial has nevertheless accomplished something improbable…The case has also come to stand for something bigger than itself. It has blown open a conversation about the status of women in an industry that, for all its talk of transparency and progress, has always been buttoned up about its shortcomings.”
In a Bloomberg article called “Ellen Pao Lost, Women Didn’t,” Katie Benner declared: “The case broke wide open the issue of sexism in a powerful, influential industry.”
Or take the Atlantic, which declared, “Ellen Pao’s claim against top venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins seems to have come up short, but it’s brought heightened attention to gender discrimination in tech.”
Come up short? She lost.
This is not unlike what happened after the Justice Department released its report on the shooting of Michael Brown last summer.
The only “lesson” that could really be drawn from the DOJ report and the grand jury’s non-indictment was that you shouldn’t knock over convenience stores, but if you do and a police officer catches you, it’s probably not a good idea to resist arrest.
But that was not the lesson that others wanted to emphasize. Which is why the Ferguson police now has to try to change the composition of its staff and ticketing policies — though they have no bearing on the case at hand.
Even The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capeheart, whose article “‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Was Built on a Lie” offered a kind of mea culpa for rushing to judgment in the case, concluded: “Yet this does not diminish the importance of the real issues unearthed in Ferguson by Brown’s death. Nor does it discredit what has become the larger ‘Black Lives Matter.'”
Actually, yes, it does diminish the importance because it calls into question whether those were real issues at all.
They certainly do love their narratives. From my experience in business, I’ve come to learn of a certain type of executive that is fond of saying “perception is reality.” I’ve also noticed that there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as an exec who casually mutters that now and then; people who say this, make it into a catch-phrase. It’s a bit disturbing because you can’t help wondering how they plan to benefit from the difference between the two. And there has to be such a difference, because if perception really was reality there’d be no need to point it out to anyone. You’d just talk about the reality.
The ambiguity has always bugged me too. Does “perception is reality” mean, if senior management is under the impression that a department is over-staffed and doesn’t need any open reqs for this year or the next one, and should be a plum target ripe for layoffs, that everyone should sit down and wonder what might have taken place to make the bosses think that? Alright. Say that, then. Because it comes off sounding like something very much different: Don’t argue, accept your fate. Maybe someone has worked something behind the scenes, slandered you, but it’s too late to do anything about that now. Both interpretations are plausible, so shouldn’t the speaker put a little bit of work into defining which one he means?
I recall reading another recap of narratives that outlived not only their usefulness, but their believability, at the end of last year. There is overlap between that list and the one up above, but only some.
Everyone knows Obamacare is a giant lie. We saw Jonathan Gruber on tape giggling about how the Democrats knew it. But the New York Times didn’t tell you that. The Washington Post didn’t tell you that. It was the citizen journalists who Andrew Breitbart inspired who told you that. If it weren’t for Andrew and his progeny, most American would still not know it. But now they do.
How about the “rape culture” lie of radical liberal feminists desperate for relevance in a world that has passed beyond their bitter whining and fussy psychodramas? Liberal media darling Lena Dunham claimed to be raped — conveniently, for the narrative — by a Republican. That was a lie, a lie revealed by the conservative new media. And it was also the conservative new media that publicized her book’s bizarre passages about her sexually inappropriate conduct with her sister — passages the gushing reviews in liberal stalwarts like the New York Times somehow neglected to mention.
So there are two takeaways here. One, if what you’re accomplishing has something to do with the truth, it’s better to talk about it while just sticking to what’s known to be true. If the movement is an honest one, and the people advancing it are honest people, they’re going to want to do that anyway. Truth is easier; you don’t have to remember what you said, or to whom you said it.
Two, reports of 2014 being the Year Of The Liberal Lie are evidently quite premature. Our friends the liberals, never having had much reason to worry about accountability for their lies, seem to have figured out the accountability thing is just never gonna happen and are now engaged in an effort to see just how profitable serial deception can be. Twenty Fourteen was just a matter of slipping through the first two or three gears, before really red-lining it.
They can say whatever they like, and they know it.
What an innocuous little phrase. Well…I still don’t trust it, and I have my reasons…
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a federally appointed panel of nutritionists created in 1983, decided for the first time this year to factor in environmental sustainability in its recommendations. They include a finding that a diet lower in animal-based foods is not only healthier, but has less of an environmental impact…
It’s called scope creep. What’s the vision? Giving us the information we need to eat healthier, or protecting the environment from us? It’s an entirely valid question. Although, in theory, it should be possible to find one or two things that would service both objectives, at the same time the ultimate “perfect solution” that would protect the environment from us, would be to make us disappear. So it all comes down to, what are we really trying to do?
From the comments:
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee…I think we just found another way to slash government spending
By way of Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm.
Evil Walmart makes a lot of money, right? We hear that all the time even though the retail giant’s profit margin was only 3.12% in the most recent quarter. Interestingly, we never seem to hear as much about the much higher profit margin of Apple, the “darling of the progressives.” In the most recent quarter, the computer behemoth with a market capitalization ($725 billion) that exceeds the value of the entire stock markets of Mexico, Thailand and Russia, had a whopping profit margin of 24.2%. No wonder its market cap is so astronomical.
So why is Walmart so reviled by progressives when its profits (and prices) are so low that it might earn a “profit day” every 31 days, and its main corporate objective is to provide low-cost merchandise to America’s low- and middle-income households? Every day that a Walmart opens its doors for business, it gives everybody in that local community a raise and makes them better off. On the other hand, why do progressives worship Apple so religiously when its extremely pricey products generate such huge profit margins (more than 7 “profit days” every month) that the company’s stock is worth almost as much as the entire Brazilian stock market? Every day that an Apple store opens for business, it stands ready to extract $24.20 in profits for every $100 spent that day, which seems like a huge transfer of wealth from Apple’s loyal customers to Apple’s wealthy shareholders. And yet the progressives worship Apple and revile Walmart – go figure?!
Update: The table above shows another big difference between Apple and Walmart: The workforce of Walmart is much more diverse than Apple’s. Walmart hires twice as many women and more than twice as many blacks as a share of its workforce than does Apple. As Steve Bartin points out on his blog, “We hear with enormous conviction by progressives that it’s important that a workforce looks like America.” Well, the data clearly show that Walmart is doing a much better job than Apple of hiring a workforce that “looks like America.”
Culture takes precedence, because the progressive agenda is first-and-foremost a cultural one, not an economic one. Over and over again we see these examples of certain selected well-heeled individuals and organizations escaping the proggie wrath that is all-but-expected to rain down, like fire from the heavens, upon anybody who makes too much, keeps too much, doesn’t manage to embrace, patronize, contract, employ the correct mix of pigments or sexual preferences. Certain names and certain brands get a pass.
There are two easy ways to get a Republican to roll over and put his paws up in the air: The first is to write him a check, which is the political version of scratching his belly, and the second is to call him a bigot. In both cases, it helps if you have a great deal of money behind you.
Tim Cook, who in his role as chief executive of the world’s most valuable company personifies precisely the sort of oppression to which gay people in America are subjected, led the hunting party when Indiana’s governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, while Walmart, a company that cannot present its hindquarters enthusiastically enough to the progressives who hate it and everything for which it stands, dispatched its CEO, C. Douglas McMillon, to head off a similar effort in Arkansas, where Governor Asa Hutchison rolled over immediately.
There are three problems with rewarding those who use accusations of bigotry as a political cudgel. First, those who seek to protect religious liberties are not bigots, and going along with false accusations that they are makes one a party to a lie. Second, it is an excellent way to lose political contests, since there is almost nothing — up to and including requiring algebra classes — that the Left will not denounce as bigotry. Third, and related, it rewards and encourages those who cynically deploy accusations of bigotry for their own political ends.
An excellent illustration of this dynamic is on display in the recent pronouncements of columnist and gay-rights activist Dan Savage, who, in what seems to be an effort to resurrect every lame stereotype about the shrill, hysterical, theatrical gay man, declaimed that the efforts of those who do not wish to see butchers and bakers and wedding-bouquet makers forced by their government at gunpoint to violate their religious scruples is — you probably have guessed already — nothing less than the consecration of Jim Crow Junior. “Anti-black bigots, racist bigots, during Jim Crow and segregation made the exact same arguments that you’re hearing people make now,” Savage said. Given the dramatic difference in the social and political position of blacks in the time of Bull Connor and gays in the time of Ellen DeGeneres, this is strictly Hitler-was-a-vegetarian stuff, the elevation of trivial formal similarities over dramatic substantial differences. The choices for explaining this are a.) moral illiteracy; b.) intellectual dishonesty; c.) both a and b.
Adlai Stevenson famously offered this definition: “A free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.” We do not live in that society.
The war on the private mind, sadly, has casualties in the private mind. “My movement is, or is not, in favor of people being treated the same regardless of class membership” is something that ought to be objective and measurable. It’s even testable. But these crusaders for special protections and special privileges, being adamantly opposed to this idea of treating everyone equally, have managed to uphold themselves as champions of something called “equality,” and have managed to smear their opposition as reactionary zealots who want more discriminating to happen.
As a society, we’re well on our way to recognizing “freedom” as something we have when people face threats of fines and jail terms because of their religious beliefs. With such fundamental definitions being flipped in such a way, pancake-like, is there hope? Time will tell.
A slew of liberal government leaders have rushed to be in with the all the cool kids on social media who are beating up on Indiana for reinforcing a law that Bill Clinton created in 1993 (see what happens when you put it that way?) Never mind the fact that the law has been grossly mischaracterized pretty much everywhere it’s being discussed. Never mind that 19 other states have laws just like or similar to Indiana’s new law and nobody’s saying a word about any of them. Not even the government leaders of those states, as it turns out.
Jumping on the #BoycottIndiana bandwagon, Connecticut’s Governor Dannell Malloy tweeted this out –
But when you get past the rush to judgement in 140 characters or less, you find out that – SURPRISE! – Connecticut signed a law similar to Indiana’s in 1993. And, according to The Daily Caller, the Connecticut law has even more strict language than Indiana’s does.
While Indiana’s law includes language prohibiting the state from creating a “substantial” burden against an individuals’ exercise of their religion, Connecticut’s does not use the “substantial” qualifier. It reads that “The state or any political subdivision of the state shall not burden a person’s exercise of religion.”
Regarding the law allowing discrimination, or enabling discrimination, or making it possible, whatever…it’s the same lapse in logic I see on the part of the Ricardians who insist Henry Tudor must have been responsible for murdering the Princes in the Tower. Pressed to make their case, well, they don’t require any pressing at all, they have the monologues all ready to go. The monologues put together a brilliant case, I might even go so far as to say an undeniable case, that it is possible. And they go no further.
Ricardians fail to keep the difference straight, between a plausible scenario and “Yeah I just proved it really happened that way.” RFRA protesters, to my way of thinking, are committing exactly the same logical sin. They’re in a high state of dudgeon over the entirely innocent tailored-suit customers, auto-body customers, bakery-shop customers and parking ticket payers being thrown out of Indiana retail establishments on their ears. It doesn’t seem to be within the perimeter of their way of thought, to realize this is something they’re entirely fabricated.
In fact, they’re worse than Ricardians. More like the puppy dog chasing its own tail.
They get caught at it an awful lot, and if you pay attention to any one subject of their repeated lying throughout its presence in the news cycle, you discover they have a need to do this lying; truth wouldn’t benefit them. Once they’re caught at it and confronted with it, they don’t seem to think there’s much of any ramification or consequence to it. Like they never stopped to think what it would be like to back something that would still look good, with the truth being known. John Hawkins notices this pattern:
If Liberals Are The Good Guys, Why Do They Lie So Much?
Remember when the Trayvon Martin shooting hit the news? Most people thought a 12 year old kid was attacked by adult who had uttered racial slurs about him and then shot him to death for no good reason…
You could ask the same question about the Mike Brown shooting. At first we heard that Mike Brown was just an innocent kid who was attacked by officer and then shot to death while he had his hands up and was pleading with the officer not to shoot…
Then there’s Obamacare.
No piece of legislation in modern history has been sold with so many willful lies about what it would do. Obama told people they could keep their doctors, keep their health care plans and that Obamacare would save the average family $2500 a year.
None of that turned out to be true.
If liberals are the good guys, why did they have to lie to the American people about Obamacare? If liberals are good people, why aren’t they apologizing for the lies they told?
The frustrating thing about confronting any of this is that it quickly becomes apparent that some liberals are good people. Or at least, fully intend to be. If liberalism, as a political movement, relied on the nefarious schemes of people who really did intend to capitalize on such lies, or so casually shrugged off the devastating effects of such lies with full consciousness of the suffering they were choosing to ignore, it wouldn’t get anywhere.
So the first thing you always have to do when arguing with liberals, the most frustrating part, is to try to figure out if you’re looking into the face of pure evil. Or, if it’s just ignorance. Is this one of the deceivers, or one of the deceived? One of those who wouldn’t care if he could be made to understand that the policies are bad, and already knows anyway; or, one who would care, and a lot, but just doesn’t understand?
There are two obstacles: Ego and mob-rule. Ego is enough to confound the question, because if you simply tell a supporter of raising the minimum wage “This doesn’t actually raise the wage of any jobs, it just outlaws jobs that pay less” — you’re almost never going to get back a “Oh yeah that’s right, I hadn’t thought of that.” Even though, if we’re arguing with logic, reason, common sense, and concern about what happens to the poor, that’s about the only rebuttal that can be offered. No, the direction is not going to be changed so easily. There’s inertia here, lots of it.
On the plane of reality, what you can expect to have happen is civility will be lost at that point, and it will be all your fault. Good manners have evolved — devolved? — to mean, you should offer the liberal some chance to continue being a liberal.
The other obstacle is the intoxicating effect of climbing on a bandwagon. “I want to do this thing” carries with it some instinctive feeling of responsibility, some obligation to make amends if the “thing” turns out not to be right. “I want to be a part of this thing,” on the other hand…
This is part of the reason why, to me anyway, one of the most impressive lines in Judgment at Nuremberg is when Judge Dan Haywood says, “As far as I can make out, no one in this country knew.” The entire movie comes down to just that one line. That’s how liberalism works, right there: Lots of mob-enthusiasm, lots of excitement over a “chance to be a part of this thing,” and it seems always with a charismatic demigod at the front of it. Everyone’s got some excuse for doing their lying, but there certainly isn’t much truth going around; and after the parade rounds the corner and disappears from sight, and there’s nothing left in the streets but lots of debris, lots of damage, lots of suffering…nobody knew.
Item: Jay Leno tells a story of how he was accused of saying something racist, because he didn’t feel like Mexican food for lunch that particular day…
“College kids now are so politically correct. I mean, to the point where — I’ll give you an example, we had interns at the show, college interns,” Leno said. “Like, the last year of the show, one of the interns comes and says, ‘Mr. Leno, I’m getting lunch. what do you want?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, where are you going?’ He said, ‘we’re getting Mexican.’ I said, ‘I don’t really like Mexican.’ He goes, ‘whoa, that’s kind of racist.’ That’s not racist.
“No, being anti-guacamole is not racist, okay?” Leno said. “You have no idea what racism is. That’s not racist, you idiot, you moron.”
Call: Leno is right. Millennial-college-kid is wrong. And a moron.
Item: The White House — and, not just that, many other people who are vocal about their opinions and not connected with the White House — says Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence has signed a bill legalizing discrimination, when the bill actually reinforces religious freedom.
At the White House daily press briefing today, Press Secretary Josh Earnest criticized a religious freedom bill signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Thursday.
When asked about the president’s reaction to the bill, Josh Earnest noted that many businesses in the state are already expressing “legitimate concerns” with the legislation.
“The signing of this bill doesn’t seem like it’s a step of equality and justice and liberty for all Americans,” Earnest said, calling his comments the “view of the administration.”
National sporting organizations, including the NCAA, have also expressed concerns with the bill.
“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events,” the organization said in a statement. “We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.”
Pence signed the bill in private yesterday, asserting that it was a just law.
“This bill is not about discrimination,” Pence said, “And if I thought it legalized discrimination I would have vetoed it.”
Observation: As noted already, the administration is not a lone voice in the wilderness on this. Their opinion may in fact be the majority one. If that is the case, it is perplexing to note that it rests on a grossly flawed premise: That we measure the health and fortification of our liberties in this country, based entirely on whether it is “legal” or “illegal” for other people to discriminate against us, and we assess that, in turn, based on how easy it is to sue them. Not sure when that started, it seems to have been a gradual process of manipulation of the public.
Call: Pence is right. Earnest is a moron. And I guess if I ever choose not to have Mexican for lunch, it would be good if nobody at the White House finds out about that…
Item: Twitter catches fire after former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore, in an interview, fails to get on board with the idea of Idris Elba being next-up for the role:
Roger Moore has come under fire for some comments he allegedly made to Paris Match magazine in which he scoffed at the idea of Idris Elba playing James Bond.
When asked for his opinion on rumors that a black actor would portray Bond, the 87-year-old actor reportedly said, “A few years ago, I said that Cuba Gooding Jr. would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!”
“Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be ‘English-English’,” he continued. “Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”
Observation: I’m a lot less worried about black people, and James Bond, than I am about the very concept of creativity. “Hey let’s have James Bond be black” is not creative. As an idea, it may deserve props for being ground-breaking, but not if everyone in favor of the idea is going to recoil in theatrical anguish like wounded harp seals every time they catch wind of someone who isn’t in favor.
Call: Sir Roger is right about not being a bigot. Furthermore, I agree with him about Idris Elba not being right for the role. It isn’t that seeing a black James Bond would shock me, because let’s be honest, the cat is already out of the bag and there’s nothing shocking about it. And let’s be further honest about it: The story would probably suck. Bond movies are great because the people who made the movie put in some extra effort, and tried hard. The “we got a black Bond” people would have no reason to try hard.
In fact, let’s be even yet more honest: It would end up being the Barack Obama of Bond movies, every time anybody came up with some legitimate criticism, the defenders of the movie would simply shout those critics down as racists.
Let’s be more honest still: They’ve started already.
What do all these things have in common? Racists calling non-racists racists. Which, in turn, is brought on by a raging shitstorm of Goodperson Fever.
Item: In Rhonda Robinson’s house, ADD is considered a personality type and not a mental disorder. I read between the lines that this means she has boys in it, and isn’t in any hurry to try to get rid of them or transmogrify them into girls, a situation that is sadly becoming uncommon in both homes and classrooms. Thus begins a fascinating column…
Boys are no longer judged by their developmental standards. We have lost sight of a very basic tenet of humanity, one that our ancestors understood since the beginning of time: girls are very different from boys. Boys with uniquely masculine strengths, once prized, are no longer valued. In fact, these traits of boyhood are considered dangerous, even pathological.
.M. Stolzer explains that back in 1990, Carol Gilligan, a “difference feminist” and author of In a Different Voice, published a series of case studies that became widely accepted as fact. According to Stolzer, Gilligan hypothesized that it was the masculine bias deeply rooted in the American school system that was causing girls to suffer severely both psychologically and academically.
Gilligan garnered unprecedented exposure and acclaim from policymakers and academia — all accepting her theory without question. The cultural Marxists did what Marxists do best — they created an underclass of victims. What more compelling victim to raise money and change policy for than sweet little girls?
Women’s groups rallied and lobbied, and government agencies responded with funding, policy changes and programs. The “girl crisis” became a commonly held belief: girls are at a significant disadvantage in the American school system because a masculine bias tilts it.
All this happened with under an ounce of peer-reviewed scientific evidence…
The “female way of learning” has become the standard for both sexes in the classroom, and the gold standard for behavior in general.
Just as we will never fully comprehend the emptiness in the world that an aborted child might have filled, so, too, the world suffers the loss of modern-day knights, and leaders subdued in boyhood.
As long as male traits are considered defective, boys will be left to sharpen their skills in the fantasy world of a video game. While the real world, in desperate need of heroes and bravery, is content to have him sitting quietly on the couch.
Item: This comic strip purports to explain why there is a dearth of female engineers…
The headline moments came when Pao testified a male coworker with whom she had an affair retaliated against her by cutting her out of emails and meetings — and the firm did nothing to stop it.
“Going back I would not have done it again,” she testified about the affair. “I didn’t think it was inappropriate at the time.”
From the comments:
hey_man 1:57 AM PDT
If junior male members are allowed to pass “over” a female who is performing better than males, isnt this discrimination?
Dogsi 8:59 AM PDT
That was her claim. That doesn’t make it the case. The reality is that she had a disproportionate sense of entitlement.
I have to say I’m somewhat puzzled on the whole concept of a firm being even potentially liable, if it can be shown they “did nothing to stop” one employee treating another employee differently from a bunch of other employees. Some of us have rather lengthy track records of being the “One of these things is not like the other” types, and have battle-scars to show for it. In my case, I thought some of the employees who treated me differently were jerks, still do, I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Because how dare I vote Republican, or prefer DC comic books over Marvel, or whatever else…be that as it may, on what planet is the firm liable for all these shenanigans? Oh, I guess that’s just how we do things now in our litigious society. Can that possibly work? Such a plan should have my sympathies. But I’m doubtful.
And on the office-affair thing and its unfortunate aftermath, isn’t a feeling of dread over such future events unfolding, part of the reason people take a pass on the whole thing once the opportunity arises to date staff?
This kind of touches back on the comic strip about women failing to become engineers because they had dolls, or something. Well…there is a kernel of truth in this. There is a lot of fertilizer in it too, since my future prospects as an engineer weren’t scuttled when nobody bothered to get me a remote control airplane for Christmas. But I’m pleased to see someone acknowledging the truism that, when a tech firm toils away under the pressure to fill a hundred senior software engineering positions with fifty males and fifty females, and discovers it simply isn’t going to happen in this lifetime, there may have been forces at work on the cultural level, having taken their effect years and years before any candidates ever applied for the positions.
Nicole Richess, 20, had a drunken threesome with the two servicemen at a friend’s house and then her own home at the end of a night out.
The following day her boyfriend heard rumours she had been unfaithful and confronted her.
Richess ‘panicked’ and made up the false claim that the two innocent men, aged 23 and 24, had forced themselves on her because she was too ashamed to tell him she had cheated on him.
Item: Your man is probably going to look at other women in skimpy bathing suits, and that is OKAY…
From the comments:
When we go anywhere…. I’m the one pointing out women to my husband. We look at them together…It totally irks me when chicks get upset over this.
If you’re so insecure in your relationship that you have to fret over your man looking at other women.. then you shouldn’t’ be with him. It’s unhealthy. Move on to someone who doesn’t make you feel so insecure.
Maybe the play-with-dolls has something to do with this, too. Men might wish their wives and girlfriends do some things the wives and girlfriends aren’t doing. Women, on the other hand, get upset that the husbands and boyfriends aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do; or, in this case, do things they’re not supposed to do. I’ve said many times before that this has to do with playing with dolls. What’s a doll do? Everything you want it to do, and nothing you don’t. And so here we have yet another thing that men and women see in different ways. For the husband or boyfriend, a template of behavior has been defined, and an issue is being made out of reality failing to conform. The guys, for the most part, aren’t going to make an actual issue out of the wife-or-girlfriend’s behavior failing to fit a pre-formed, pre-defined template. At least, within reason. I’m sure the guy whose girlfriend had a three-way with the service members and then lied about it, is a valid exception…
Observation: All of these stories have it in common that they have something to do with women. But, uh, we can take it much, much further than that, can’t we? They all have to do with the status of some class, or instance, of women. The frumpy woman on the beach is worried about her husband leaving her. The slut who had the drunken three-way lied to avoid getting caught. Carol Gilligan’s research was all about girls being deprived of having a place. Ellen Pao’s lawsuit was all about a hostile work environment.
Further observation: They all concern situations that have gotten way out of hand because someone got hypersensitive about womens’ status. Either a woman becoming hypersensitive about her own status, or someone in a position of authority taking it upon themselves to provide a bulwark against anything that might threaten a woman’s status. Up to, including, and past the point where lies have to be told.
Conclusion: It seems like we’re living in a period of what might be called “anti-chivalry.” As one endeavors to come up with some specific definitions of the ancient code of chivarly, what continues to bubble to the surface is a three-element package of respect for: Women, honor, and truth. Not necessarily in that order. The more modern variant seems fixated on elevating women above truth. Especially in the case of Ms. Pao, in which we’re all evidently supposed to pretend she won the lawsuit when she didn’t, and the drunken slut who lied about being raped, something Instapundit notes we’re being repeatedly told can’t ever possibly happen. This is just one of many fronts in the daily battle churning away within our society in which, if & when the day comes that our priorities change, things will get better. Life will get better. For everybody.
Lesson: If a woman’s virtue can only be defended by way of elevating fiction over truth, her virtue isn’t worth defending. To deny this or to act in opposition to this, does nothing to help the cause of women in general.
So this happened…
Newsmax’s Top 50 Conservative Blogs of 2015
And we haven’t gotten around up until now to mentioning it here because, well, WorkAndStuff. Also, like it says, this is The Blog That Nobody Reads, heh…also all my previous efforts sort of dissolved into a fruitless Google Image Search for things like “twentieth,” something that establishes a solid connection and has a nice-looking girl in a skimpy outfit. Nothing ever qualified. By now, we’ve reached the point where further silence from us would be ungracious.
The truth is, though, part of the reason we’ve been brought to this point is honest, old-fashioned humility. I’m looking at the ones in the Top 50 who aren’t in the Top 20, that would mean we managed to “beat” them in some way, and thinking…WTF? We beat that guy? Naming examples would be pointless, there are so many. But in the past few days or weeks, if you haven’t noticed, we haven’t even been doing much of anything at all here. How do you emerge North of truly great artisans, and linkers-and-thinkers, while not actually doing anything?
One of our Facebook friends was sufficiently kind, or flattering, to mention…
Actually, now that I’ve had time to look through some of the “blogs” listed ahead of Morgan, I think his actual ranking is much better than 20. A lot of 1-19 are just news feeds with little to no commentary or analysis. Morgan’s is among the first few listed that I would consider to actually be a blog.
Well, I can see some basis for that although I can’t get on board with the idea that we should be ranked even higher. It gets back to the linking-versus-thinking thing, again; yes some of the ones in the top nineteen are “feeds,” mostly, in fact some are that and almost nothing else. But, there’s a lot of value in that. It isn’t hard to establish a difference. For example, we just went six days without saying anything, can you reasonably infer from that “nothing must have happened for the last six days”? Surely not. That is not our goal. So we’d make a lousy news-feed. And we happen to like and admire news feeds, ourself. We have a coffee mug too, we have a hot plate on which it sits, too; sometime in the wee hours of the morning, the two make contact, and there we are, just like you, wondering which page we can hit to get the best impression of what’s going on in the world in the shortest amount of time.
Commentary & analysis does have some value too. In our case, and in the case of many others, that’s best thought-of as a chronicling of the evolution of one brain among many. The creation of some prejudices, the preservation of others, the destruction of still yet others. Learnin’s. The “howcum-whenevers” from which it seems someone is always forbidding you, in polite general conversation. “How come whenever they profile a ‘poor’ person, he’s always wearing nicer and newer clothes than what I wear and has a bigger teevee?” “How come whenever they interview a feminist college professor, she always has a hyphenated name?” “How come whenever they mess around with & throw money at a social problem for decades and decades, it never seems to get any better?” Maybe we’re not supposed to think such things or audibly comment on such things; but if you want to get a lot of people running in a circle endlessly, like a hamster in a little metal wheel, best way to do it is to forbid any sort of thinking like that. To get rid of the “howcome-whenevers” — which is precisely what the powers-that-be managed to do before blogs came along.
So all these types of blogs are valuable. Like it or not, it’s certainly a medium that is here to stay. Some of the stuff that’s coming out about Dads-n-Granddads’ “news” channels lately, ++cough++ DanRatherBrianWilliams ++cough++, has to make one wonder what sort of crap got swept under the rug in decades gone by before the blogs came along. We’re pleased and privileged to be a part of the phenomenon even if it’s a matter of debate how much, or in what way, we’re managing any sort of contribution to it.
Feminism as it exists today began as the Women’s Liberation Movement in 1968. Sometimes called “Second Wave” feminism (to distinguish it from the “First Wave,” circa 1850-1920), this movement arose from the radical New Left…To put it quite bluntly, at a time when the Cold War was raging, when the tyranny of Soviet imperialism threatened to conquer the world, and when U.S. troops were being killed by Communists in Vietnam, feminists were on the other side.
The Women’s Liberation Movement emerged from the extreme fringe of anti-American, pro-Communist radicalism. From its inception, this movement was hostile to men, marriage, motherhood, religion, capitalism and patriotism. Some people try to claim that there is a “mainstream” feminism that was “hijacked” by radical kooks, but in fact the kooks built the feminist plane, and any perception that feminism is “mainstream” is an illusion created by the movement’s dishonest publicity/media apparatus.
Related: They have to ruin everything?
The robber then took Jandebeur’s wallet out of his pocket and started to make his way in the direction towards the man’s wife on the other side of the truck. That would prove to be a near-fatal mistake.
…Of course, Liberals do not want a conversation, they want a soliloquy…
How can an idea be stupid? It can be prone to fail; it can be engaged without anyone bothering to define what it is supposed to do; it can be unlikely to do whatever that is, and then in some cases it can achieve the opposite.
Or It can be put together to achieve not one thing, but many. It can be loaded up silly with ulterior motives. Anything loaded up with ulterior motives labors under yet another motive, the motive to keep the ulterior motives hidden. It can achieve the opposite of what it is supposed to do, it can achieve the opposites of all the ulterior motives, and then it can fail in the mission of keeping the ulterior motives hidden.
That’s when I received a challenge to my contention that this might be the stupidest idea ever.
And the second thing is to not actually do anything about the problem. If Starbucks locations meticulously avoid, through either cause or by way of effect, locations that are economically and racially divided, then there is a geographic handicap against this plan ever having any chance of achieving what it’s supposed to achieve. It’s like starting a dialogue about mountain climbing on the bottom of the ocean.
And this is liberalism in a nutshell: This fondness of “conversations,” which are actually soliloquies, way-off-somewhere — “Those People” conversations. Conversations about the “root causes” of blight, illiteracy and crime, in elitist, overly-privileged, communities nestled deep inside protected enclaves, behind gates and guardhouses, in which there is not much chance for anyone to be bothered with any blight, illiteracy or crime. What guns shall we ban, what health care laws shall we pass, to get things right with Those People? What levers shall we pull, what knobs shall we twiddle.
One of the most dishonest things you’ll ever see is a liberal “starting up a conversation” about how to make people more alike. It’s always a monologue and not a dialogue, for one thing, and the other thing is, they don’t want everyone alike. People who make this sort of noise want special privileges and set-asides. They want social stratification. They want differences. They want one set of people doing things that have an effect on a different set of people; for everyone to be in the same boat, is the furthest thing away from what they really want. кто кого?
For the benefit of the females who are at the age of figuring out their couplings, and their parents, it does seem to me something should be said about immediate gratification as opposed to the delayed. The article, leading up to its key point, mentions that
You can be strong; you can have things going on in your life; you can learn to know when it’s time to keep your distance; you can be direct…And still be a great guy.
Trouble is, the dating-market could be completely saturated with “great guys” like that, and some girls would still be drawn to the dickheads. That’s because of yet another bullet point that didn’t make the list…
Some people get things done that are useful, help other people. Other people are fun to watch all of the time. Is there any overlap between those two camps? Not much has been observed, what has been observed is highly debatable, and whatever overlap could be proven to actually exist isn’t very important. In life, generally, if you want to get something done that’s of any use to anybody there is going to be some boredom involved. Some people just aren’t up for that.
A graphic that deftly illustrates the tenor of the times in which we live, captured by Kate at Small Dead Animals. Every so-called “plan” that manages to capture any attention at all, it seems, is an Underpants Gnome plan. When Step Three doesn’t happen, everyone’s shocked for a little while…then it’s time to come up with the next plan. With all the confidence and enthusiasm that was there before, at the same point on the last lap.
Life will get better for us when we break out of this orbit.
Item: We have in our extended family a very promising young man, currently under the stewardship of someone who craves conflict. Recently we have noticed his future has started to darken, as his skills have softened. With a few more visits, the picture to us has become sadly clear: He’s learning the wrong lessons about how to deal with challenges, how to side-step them. Minute One, he will have a tasking, a thing he is expected to do. Minute Two, he’ll languish a bit while other kids his age would’ve been diving in, getting the job halfway done already, and he’ll stir up some issues. Minute Three, everyone around him will be fighting about something and he won’t be doing the whatever-it-is. It’s sad to watch. We know exactly where he gets this.
The irony is, we also know exactly what fixes it: Competition. Competition is an exercise in conflict. When kids don’t get competition, they start to use conflict to avoid work. They lose sight of the timeless and plain truism that we all have names, identities that are attached to the work we manage to actually get done. Or, not get done. You can put a name by a handicap too, even if the handicap is a pure fabrication.
In many respects, anti-racism is the perfect topic for the Cultural Marxist. The pale penis people will always be with us so there is no “winning” or end game like we had with homosexual marriage. Since blacks will also always be with us, the disparities are a social constant.
The key to these modern movements is that the promised land must be just over the next hill. That way, the believers can feel their are getting closer so they get worked up in a frenzy at anything that is seen as an obstacle. As the Greeks learned in the Peloponnesian War, fanaticism comes easy when the enemy is evil.
Just scan through those comments. They are clawing each others eyes out to get to the top of the piety pole. They are rats hooked on coke banging at the little button to get their next fix. That does not go away without something filling the void.
Shades of GoodPerson Fever; I noticed it way back when. But, I was too asleep-at-the-switch to think of the “rats banging on the button” metaphor. That’s golden.
Item: This insightful comment about hockey…specifically, the refereeing of it…
With only one exception, all the guys who are always up in arms about the calls are the sneakiest, dirtiest such-and-sos out there. The guys playing hard who may pick up a call here and there generally just head to the box; if they were fouled and don’t get a call, they’ll ask but they won’t really get up in arms unless it’s a horrible miss.
Why are the complainers also the biggest rulebook jockeys?…They don’t want to take the trouble to learn what will and won’t get them whistled. They can’t change the rulebook itself, but they can try to influence how it’s called, so that now the other team isn’t just involved in a skill contest, but in a “skill AND lobby the refs and see if we can swing just one future call in a big spot” contest. And if they’re not bending your ear over the most arcane paragraphs in the book, they’re busy seeing if they can get over on a few of their tricks by doing everything in that grey area, daring you to call it all so they can [whine] more about how “it’s hockey and you gotta let us play” or else “call it both ways” and such.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, play a different game, the “This argument isn’t over until it’s over the way I like” game. And that’s the same thing going on, I think, with the rats-and-button with the little anti-racism game. Slam that juice into the main vein, and half an hour later you’ll want to do it again.
The discussion is about Architects and Medicators — the latter of whom I named because, well, I guess I just didn’t realize it at the time, but they’re constantly medicating. What I had in mind was that their highest priority is to regulate their own emotional state, and they put this above the state or status of anything else. But this isn’t the first time it’s been called to my attention: “medicate” fits in so many more ways. They act just like junkies. They crave something, they get it, a little while later they crave exactly the same thing all over again. You can almost see the belt or rubber tubing on their arms.
But then there is a subtly different kind of Medicator: The Cheesecake Nazi. You guys, stop talking about all that stuff! There’s cheesecake! Ah, but there was cheesecake thirty minutes ago, and it will keep for awhile. The “Stop arguing, there’s cheesecake” types have it in common with the “This argument’s not over until it’s over the way I like” people that they favor this agenda item: They don’t want it to go there. There are certain things both camps want left unsaid. Certain dark alleyways neither one wants illuminated.
If it’s a family thing — and it usually is — the dark alleyway tends to be some sort of co-dependent relationship. Seems every extended family has to have a “Bubba” somewhere, a “Nothing is ever his fault” guy. Or an Aunt Mabel, constantly at the center of a tempest that’s never her fault: Darn you, for saying that thing that made her fly off the handle like that!
The lesson ultimately seems to be that on the bell-curve of conflict, the Medicator lives on both of the extreme ends, with some of ‘em generating the conflict to avoid having to live up to some standard, and others sidestepping the conflict entirely: Don’t know what you’re arguing about there, don’t wanna know, just leave me to my tunes. The Architect is in the middle, not avoiding the conflict but not worshiping it either, instead trying to use it to accomplish some other aim that the Medicator can’t, or won’t, understand. To the Medicator, I’m sure it looks like the Architect must thrive on conflict. They very often say exactly that. It’s easiest to understand the conundrum when one thinks about real Architects: Here & there, now & then, they get into a “block” when confronted by two proofs that the next line should be drawn in two different places, and have to stop everything while they resolve which one is errant. Sure, the Architect will bring a passion to this struggle while those perceiving the exercise from the outside will fail to understand how or why there is any problem at all. But that doesn’t show that the Architect actually thrives on the conflict. He’s certainly not going to be the happier for having spent the entire day on it. He’d prefer it be over & done in the space of five minutes, two or one would be better. But if after ten or twenty or thirty the problem is still unsolved, then that will remain the priority until it’s solved.
But to the Medicator, it’s all about how it makes you feel. Everything keeps coming back to that. Where’s my next fix?
I agree with it all except for the last sentence about “Everyone needs to be more responsible.”
That is not how you achieve behavioral change. Those who have misbehaved should be singled-out, targeted, shamed. There’s no excuse.