Archive for the ‘World Government’ Category

Is Modern Liberalism Gene Roddenberry’s Fault?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Ah, now this is my kind of article. Western Chauvinist tooted her own horn over at Gerard’s place when he linked to us, and I’m glad she did. To the sidebar she goes. It’s a little difficult to tease this posting the way she’s structured it; I’ll do my best…

Is Modern Liberalism Gene Roddenberry’s Fault?

Anyone old enough to have seen the original Star Trek series created by Gene Roddenberry might recognize the utopian ideals of today’s liberals in it. Think about it. On any major policy we debate, Star Trek is the fulfillment of the liberal playbook.

Start with environmental policy. No fossil fuels burned in GR’s world. Nope – only dilithium crystals and warped space needed. Isn’t it grand? No CO2 emmissions at all…

Next up, how about economic policy? Capitalism or socialism? How primitive. As far as I can tell, no currency ever changes hands. Everyone in the Federation seems to “work” for the Federation…

How about health care? Well, Star Trek gives a whole new meaning to “universal healthcare”! I never saw Bones turn away anyone…

And finally, we can wrap up social policy, civil rights, race relations, international relations conveniently in “the prime directive”. This is encompassed by today’s liberal ethics of multiculturalism, political correctness and moral relativism…

She forgot two things, though. One helps to reinforce her theory, the other one challenges it somewhat. The challenging one is more important, but we’ll go with first things first.

An important part of being a modern liberal is to intermingle subjectivity and objectivity, which is the first of the seven steps to complete insanity. This means “anyone who thinks differently than you do must be a flaming idiot or must have something wrong with them.” Perspective is a meaningless quality. Things are the way you see them, period.

You see this in Star Trek, in which the audience is invited to identify with the Captain in nearly every episode. Watch for this pattern, for it is almost as consistent as it can possibly be: If the Captain (Kirk, Picard or Riker) tells a subordinate to do something or stop doing something, the crewman or bridge officer will carry out the order without question. If he does not, it means the subordinate’s body has been possessed by an alien or he has caught some exotic otherworldly disease. Throughout this, the Captain’s orders are the pathway to well-being — obedience leads to the Enterprise surviving whatever calamity is looming, disobedience spells certain doom for all.

There are other ranks above the Captain, and there is a meaningful flip-flop here. If an Admiral is visiting, or if orders arrive from Starfleet (outside of the first five minutes of the episode), then these orders are bollywonkers. They must be, for they compel the Captain to do something that is outside of what he would normally be doing…the Captain is the embodiment of perfect moral reasoning…therefore, Starfleet is drunk on power, infested with aliens, or something. The flip-flop that takes place above the rank of Captain is that obedience leads to disaster and rebellion is the only shot at salvation. But if the Captain (with whom the audience relates) tells you to do something you’d better do it.

Back in reality, our post-modern liberals emulate this behavior just fine. Grown-up hippies driving around with “Question Authority” bumper stickers on their cars…and if they have dinner with you, and catch wind of the fact that you “question” global climate change, they’ll call you “stupid” just for questioning it, without perceiving so much as a hint of the irony. Rebellion — they can dish it out, but they just can’t take it.

Thing I Know #235. What a self-parodying mess it is when a command hierarchy is constructed within any rebellion, for there it becomes undeniable: The rebel is only a fair-weather friend, at best, to the act of rebelling.

The other thing WC forgot is Star Trek’s mission: To explore strange new worlds, and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has ever gone before! Back in the sixties, liberalism loved to talk a good game about this, and according to the evidence that has come to my attention, had not yet directly contradicted itself here. But nowadays it’s a whole different century; liberalism is all about not doing this. It is about bathosploration:

Opposite of Exploration. A progressive movement over time which endeavors toward an ideal, rather than toward a frontier. This makes fulfillment of the Exponential Growth Instinct absolutely impossible over the long term.

Bathosploration is about doing less instead of doing more. It is about making things clean and sanitized instead of finding out what’s possible. It goes down instead of up, inward instead of outward.

Probably the best embodiment of this in modern times was the Clinton administration’s revised drinking water standards:

At the end of his eight years in office, Bill Clinton set a number of political traps for President Bush. One of them was changing the allowable level of arsenic in our water supplies from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. At the time, the scientific evidence that this change was needed was, at best, weak. And the proposal put severe burdens on some small towns. When the Bush administration took office, they set the rule aside and asked for a second look at the evidence. Immediately there was an outcry that Bush wanted to poison our children. (Sometimes from politicians, such as Tom Daschle, who had supported the higher level for years.) There was enough political damage from the charge that the Bush administration yielded to pressure and, after some months, accepted the lower standard.

And here’s the joke: More recent studies showed that the level of 50 parts per billion is fine. In fact, there is some reason to believe, thanks to the curious phenomena of hormesis, that a level of 50 parts per billion may be healthier than lower levels.

This is what bathosploration is. Can we polish what’s already been polished, and make it even smoother and shinier and more sanitary? Surely, there must be a way. Forget about exploring. Go inward instead of outward. Trudge toward an ideal instead of toward a frontier.

Liberals embrace this warts and all. You see it everywhere. You see it in the offshore drilling controversy. Don’t drill that! Something’s endangered. Buy carbon credits instead…bring your net carbon emissions to zero, like Al Gore said. Be a zero. Stop existing meaningfully. Abort your baby, show your patriotism by paying higher taxes, and when you die have a green funeral.

Star Trek is about the polar opposite of that. Oh sure, the individuals are likewise diminished…bridge crew notwithstanding, everyone on the Enterprise is just a nameless extra wearing spandex. It’s the exploration part of it. Reaching for the stars, finding out what’s out there — forget it. Liberals like to talk a lot about what could be out there. Stepping on out, once the technology is available, to find out for sure? Not on the liberal’s watch…not while he has anything to say about it. That disastrous episode Force of Nature in which Starfleet imposes a Warp 5 speed limit due to this discovery that the warp drive damages the fabric of space…that would end up being your pilot episode, right there. Omigod!! By existing and doing bold things, we’re damaging the environment! Again!

Funny how that never, ever seems to change.

Liberals think humans are so special, in our own way. Killer whales bite seals in half, or swallow ’em whole. Lionesses strip chunks of bloody flesh off the bodies of antelope that were frantically running away just moments before. Spiders inject venom into the bodies of flies that dissolve them into a ghastly milkshake from the inside out, while the flies are still alive, writhing in agony. That’s fine. But you, you human schmuck, are destroying the world simply by driving to work.

So if modern liberalism is Star Trek’s fault, the monster seems to have turned against its creator since being first animated. Perhaps that part of the Star Trek culture never was terribly well thought out. After all, what good does it do to seek out new civilizations and new worlds, and then once you find them…make extra sure you not have anything to do with ’em because of your revered Prime Directive?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Vegetarianism Will Solve Global Warming

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Actually, that’s a bad headline because nowhere in the story does anyone purporting to possess knowledge or authority, say or suggest such a thing. And yet, that is exactly what would have to be inferred in order to imbue this with any importance or relevance whatsoever.

People should have one meat-free day a week if they want to make a personal and effective sacrifice that would help tackle climate change, the world’s leading authority on global warming has told The Observer

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which last year earned a joint share of the Nobel Peace Prize, said that people should then go on to reduce their meat consumption even further.

I’m a funny guy; I have red blood in my veins and I come from a planet called “Earth.” So in my world, if you can’t say “there’s a decent chance we can kick the problem’s ass, for good, if everyone stops eating meat tomorrow” then all the milder offerings represent just so much nonsense and noise.

Anyone wanna give an argument that that somehow might not be the case?

“In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity,” said Pachauri. “Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there,” said the Indian economist, who is a vegetarian.

Heh. Doesn’t that just sum up exactly what the global warming political movement is really all about. “If I’m not doing something, I don’t want anyone anywhere else to do it either.”

Via Boortz.

Ith Americath Faulth Nom Nom Nom Nom

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Hunger LadyOh, I’m sure the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) might be doing something to alleviate the problem of world hunger besides blaming America…and holding press conferences to blame America…and distributing press releases that blame us…and holding conventions to blame us…

…but that’s about all I’ve seen or heard of them doing. Maybe they are doing other things. Maybe they’re coming up with some plans to “end world hunger.” But the making of the plans, consistently, gets a lot more news coverage than the content of those plans once made. You know, I think if everyone was willing to do whatever it took to end world hunger, once the content of such a plan was made clear and thought to be viable, it would travel to the four corners of the world like jungle telegraph.

All I’ve ever heard of, is bitching away about how the United States doesn’t kick in enough money.

And the menu for the latest bitch-fest…as reported by the AP

• Vol-au-vent (pastry puffs) with corn and mozzarella
• Pasta with a sauce of pumpkin and shrimp in cream
• Veal rolls with cherry tomatoes and basil
• Spinach Roman-style
• Fruit salad with vanilla ice cream
• White wine from Orvieto

• Cheese mousse
• Pasta with vegetables and cherry tomatoes
• Chopped beef
• Butter beans
• Pineapple with ice cream
• Cabernet

• Zucchini pie
• Parmesan Risotto
• Ragout of veal with legumes
• Sauteed potatoes
• Lemon mousse with raspberry sauce.
• Pinot Grigio


You know, the catering seems to be the genesis of the public relations problems with these things. I understand it makes sense to cater meals with such a large entourage. What city’s cuisine establishments could handle such a lunch crush?

Hey here’s an idea. Fly them to Redmond, Washington, where I got my start in software development. The Microsoft engineers…twenty years ago, they had inspired a huge explosion in Thai restaurants. I’m pretty sure the restaurants are still there, most of ’em. Thai food is yummy. And, you know, there are some hungry people in Thailand. Just do with the world-hunger diplomats and policy wonks and noisemakers what they do with me when I have to go to training — speaker says “Do I have time for one more question? No? Pushing it? Okay, maybe it’s time for a LUNCH BREAK?” And then you turn them loose.

I’m sure there’s some kind of banking office in the U.N. that can handle the conversion of whatever currency is available, into American dollars in advance of the trip. Whoever can’t afford the ten bucks for chicken in peanut sauce, iced tea and tip, can just spring for McDonald’s.

Yes, I know…if they skipped lunch, it wouldn’t feed a single hungry person. I get that.

But people who are fat, or are making themselves that way, as they go through the motions of solving world hunger — man, that’s one of my pet peeves.

And I’m not alone. How do these public relations boondoggles happen? The U.N. is an organization that exists, in large part, to convince outsiders of things. They come up with ideas, right or wrong, and from there on out the big struggle is to persuade others how incredibly wise and correct they are because they are the U.N. It’s not a done-deal. The U.N.’s ideas tend to cost lots of money. Some folks are receptive to them, others are more skeptical.

So P.R. must mean something.

Why, then, does it seem that so little thought goes into things like this?

The Dark Age

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In our relatively recent memory, there is a micro-era just 76 months long that shook the world. That this tiny epoch exists in our past, says a great deal about how we live with each other, how we’re slaves to fad and fashion, and how we’re not nearly as independent as we like to think we are.

My son’s been having this interest in cultural events that immediately preceded his birth, which was in ’97. This could be a sign of genius, if he knows what he’s doing…something that is always open to question. It could be hereditary. In my case, back in my childhood I had an interest in what was going on in the sixties and seventies, barely conscious of the fact that “big things” were going on, and I didn’t quite understand what they were. But they were bigger than me. My similar interest was decidedly a case of not knowing what I was doing. If I had my childhood to live all over again, knowing back then what I know now about post-modern feminism and the effect it’s had on our culture and on our public policy, I would have read every single newspaper I possibly could have gotten my hands on.

There are cycles, waves, and other such patterns involved in the way we value things across time. We’ve always had this tendency to elevate one demographic onto a pedestal, and bury another one shoulders-deep into the ground for a vicious virtual-stoning. We take turns doing this, and throughout it all we have this self-deceptive way of telling ourselves we’re treating everyone “equally” when we all know it isn’t true. It’s a delicious and intriguing piece of human hypocrisy, something woven deeply into us inseparable from our body chemistries.

Maybe we picked it up when we bit that damned apple. Who knows.

And we exercise it as individuals. In a couple of years, my son will be a teenager and the “My Dad Knows Everything” phase will come to a bitter end. I’ll be the clueless dolt who doesn’t know a damn thing.

James BondIn the meantime, my son likes James Bond movies. He seems to be in search of the elusive James Bond question that his father can’t answer. And always, always, we keep coming back to the above-mentioned chapter. He’s figured out that the history of the movie franchise is inseparable from the history of modern America…double-oh seven’s adopted parental country. How it is connected, he’s not quite completely sure. But he understands there is a connection.

Always, we come back to the elephant in the room. The one thing about the superspy that cannot be ignored…but defies explanation because it defies definition. The one things in Bond’s timeline that is absolutely intermingled with and inseparable from ours. I’ve made several casual references to it, but have never thoroughly explored it before in these pages.

The Dark Age.

The time when the Knight of the Cold War underwent a timeless and decidedly female fantasy — the story of Persephone, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. He was taken away. He slept. The world tried, and arguably failed, to get along without him.

This has been an educational experience for me; the one facet to this Dark Age that fascinates me, above all else, is that it is a classic case of the few dictating the tastes of the many. We recall it — when we do — as a grassroots event, a natural consequence of the everyday folks getting fed up with an over-saturation of machismo. It simply isn’t true. It wasn’t bottom-up; it was top-down. Our elders decided they knew what was best for us, and they decided we were tired of James Bond. It was part of a much larger thing. Manhood was out of style. Masculinity, it was thought…although nobody came out and said straight-out, for it made far too little sense…was something that enshrouded us in the age of warfare, and now that the Cold War was over manhood no longer had a home. Anywhere. It was time for it to go away.

And so it became obligatory for the Lords and Vicounts and High Priests to instruct the peasants not to like James Bond. Or cigars, or martinis, or…well…anything you might’ve seen your “daddy” doing, be it Yankee or Anglican.

Working on cars on a summer day in an old greasy tee shirt. Drinking beer. Knowing best. Peeing on a tree. Opening jars for the wife. Telling dirty jokes. Growing facial hair. We were “above” all that, as we explored this new chapter in which 007 would be 86’d.

James Bond’s long slumber, the span between the sixteenth and seventeenth film installments, neatly bookends a small era in which we wanted none of these things…because we were told we should want no such things. And this year, as my son teeters on the brink of teenagerhood and is about to lose his curiosity about the Dark Age, and as Senator Hillary Clinton repeatedly struggles and fails to bring the Dark Age back again, perhaps it would be fruitful to re-inspect exactly what happened to us.

Supposedly, what happened was that Ian Fleming’s creation stalled out with the always-crescendoing legal troubles that arose from ownership disputes. There is certainly some truth to this; the evidence seems to suggest, on the question of Fleming taking indecent liberties with Kevin McClory’s contribution of the storyline in Thunderball, that Fleming is actually guilty. But it doesn’t really matter, does it. The very thing that makes this explanation plausible, is the thing that makes this explanation all bollywonkers and gunnybags. James Bond, at least in film form, has always been in legal trouble over this McClory issue. It is the reason there were two James Bonds in 1983. It is the reason that, in For Your Eyes Only two years previous, there was that surreal “Blofeld” appearance nobody can explain completely — the one with the smokestack, the wheelchair, the helicopter, and the delicatessen in stainless steel. Yeah, that.

Personally, I’ve never completely bought into this line that James Bond went away because of legal problems. He went away because he was out of style. Our feminists didn’t want us watching him. They told us what to do, and we obeyed our feminists. Starting with Hollywood, which made the regrettable decision — and today, looking back, the most ludicrous one — that the most profitable years of double-oh seven were in the past.

When one inspects what James Bond really is, one can easily see why our feminists have always hated him so much. He isn’t really a British spy, you know. He is the very apex of male fantasy. Let’s face it, international espionage doesn’t really have a great deal to do with saving the world from a madman with a laser orbiting the planet. It certainly doesn’t have to do with Aston-Martin automobiles, or sleeping with a lot of women. Or wearing a two thousand dollar suit and a three thousand dollar watch, when a couple hundred bucks divided among the two of those acquisitions will do quite nicely.

No, what those things have in common is that they typify male fantasy. They define manhood. Being entrusted with an important job, going about it, noticing something is about to happen that will injure millions of people you don’t even want to ever meet, preventing an enormous disaster and then retreating back into the shadows to go about your more mundane daily duties. Huh. I’ve just described the typical Superman episode. I’ve also just described a day in the life of any knight sitting at King Arthur’s round table. This is male fantasy that goes back a good stretch before Ian Fleming’s parents ever met.

And as frosting on the cake of feminist hatred toward the British superspy…once these male fantasies solidify into a newest James Bond movie installment, and the knuckledragging males like myself move heaven and earth to go see it…we don’t go alone. No, we bring our women along. Yes, women following men into the theater to watch a man’s movie. And we don’t jam our “honey do jars” full of bits of paper promising to do this or that pain-in-the-ass thing in compromise. We don’t have to. Our women want to go. Our women want to see the next James Bond movie more than we do.

This is what earns James Bond a fatwa from the feminist movement. He reminds us that men are noble creatures, and that women are complicated. Our feminists tend to hunger for the exact opposite, you know…they like men to be disposable and they like women to be simple. But with not a single sign of Meg Ryan crying, or Hugh Grant acting like a dork, the simple woman isn’t supposed to be having any fun. And she wouldn’t be. Yet the latest Bond flick comes out, and our women are practically jumping in the car, warming up the engine for us, offering to buy the popcorn.

James Bond is a sign that feminists may have more to learn about women, than anybody else.

And so, during the Dark Age, they killed him. They did what feminists desire to do: Shape our culture and define the values we exercise therein. Glittering recruiting-buzzwords like “power” and “freedom” and “choice” really have very little to do with any of it.

But…when angry women want us to do things, we find it hard to tell them no.

For the two thousand three hundred and thirteen days that began in the summer of 1989, James Bond slept.

The world went un-saved.

And when the experiment was over, it turned out — maybe the world doesn’t need saving after all — but it certainly does need James Bond. That male fantasy that he’s really all about. We depend on it; that’s just the way it is, and the feminists can get as grouchy about that as they want to get, but it’s true and will always remain such.

The feminist edict that James Bond should go away, began the way all cultural impulses do: With a tailwind, and on a downward slope. It caught on because resistance was at a low ebb. Certain external events created a climate in which it was handy and convenient to suggest a retirement from MI6 and from Hollywood. The AIDS crisis had reached a plateau, and some would say it was still on a sharp upswing. The baby boom generation, always numerous, always powerful, and always hostile to anything that might have been identified with the generation previous to them, had reached middle age and they started to occupy positions that were powerful, positions in which “real” decisions were made about things. And with Russia’s troubles, anything even remotely connected to a “cold war” seemed naturally headed to the trash heap.

It was Timothy Dalton’s second venture in this role. It is sometimes said that his style, notable in fidelity to the book version of Agent 007, grated on the movie audiences and there may be some truth to this as well. But another thing about Dalton that doesn’t get a lot of mention is that he was the first “Fountain of Youth” James Bond. Fans were expected to believe this was the same guy who outwitted Dr. No in 1962 and wrecked that railroad car on the Orient Express with Red Grant the following year; here he was, maybe seventy years old, wrestling control of an airplane in mid-flight after waterskiing behind it in his bare feet. The storyline was original enough, involving Bond’s defection from the British Secret Service and carrying out a personal vendetta on behalf of his friend Felix Leiter. And Robert Davi had all kinds of things going for him as the bad guy. He was dark, sinister, bloodthirsty, cruel and charming.

But — and looking back on it, this was probably the nail in the coffin — the bad guy was also a drug lord. In the previous film, The Living Daylights, it turned out that bad guy was also a drug lord. James Bond fighting the war on drugs. Nothing says “past the prime” quite like that.

The only sense of continuity was that Dalton had signed up to do three movies, and this was the second. Other than that, there was no momentum at all.

The death knell also came from bad returns, and the bad returns undoubtedly resulted from bad promotion. The film competed with Batman; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Lethal Weapon 2 and many others. Bond had been a summer phenomenon with every film appearance since The Spy Who Loved Me, but evidently the time had come to re-think that, and perhaps it was re-thought a bit too late.

When the thumping came from the dismal revenues, feminists, and others invested against Bond’s success, trumpeted that we were tired of men saving the world from disaster, conveniently ignoring the success of Die Hard just a year ago. The talking point stuck. They talked it up and talked it up. Meanwhile, MGM/UA sued Danjaq, the parent holding company of Bond-related trademarks and copyrights…another outgrowth of the McClory mess.

That winter, in a dark omen about the times in which we were about to live, carefully sanitized of any male heroism or derring-do or respect for same, Marc Lepine murdered 14 women at the University of Montreal. The Montreal Massacre has come to epitomize what’s wrong with feminism, why it is the very last mindset that should have anything, whatsoever, with the formation of public policy.

Let us summarize it here: Feminists talked down male heroism. They opposed it at every turn. They poured vast sums of money and energy into sneering at it, indoctrinating entire generations of people to the idea that the Real Man is a myth, and if he is indeed real he serves no purpose, in fact is something toxic and ugly. And Mark Steyn, quoting himself after the Virginia Tech shooting, fills us in on what happened next:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

The conclusion is inescapable. Masculinity was killed, and soon after it the real women it had been defending.

Well, Mark Steyn has his opinion about what it all means, but the prevailing viewpoint has another take on it…

Since the attack, Canadians have debated various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motives. Many feminist groups and public officials have characterized the massacre as an anti-feminist attack that is representative of wider societal violence against women. Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Other interpretations emphasize Lépine’s abuse as a child or suggest that the massacre was simply the isolated act of a madman, unrelated to larger social issues. Still other commentators have blamed violence in the media and increasing poverty, isolation, and alienation in society, particularly in immigrant communities.
The massacre was a major spur for the Canadian gun control movement. One of the survivors, Heidi Rathjen, who was in one of the classrooms Lépine did not enter during the shooting, organized the Coalition for Gun Control with Wendy Cukier. Susan and Jim Edwards, the parents of one of the victims, were also deeply involved. Their activities, along with others, led to the passage of Bill C-68, or the Firearms Act, in 1995, ushering in stricter gun control regulations. These new regulations included new requirements on the training of gun owners, screening of firearm applicants, new rules concerning gun and ammunition storage and the registration of all firearms. The gun registry in particular has been a controversial and partisan issue, with critics charging that it was a political move by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien that has been expensive and impractical to enforce.

Who’s right? Form whatever opinion you wish to form; I’ve formed mine. This culture conflict between male-friendly and male-hostile forces had been going on for awhile, and ultimately it culminated in the death of James Bond, the greatest family-friendly male fantasy material ever put to the big screen. And then the Montreal Massacre showed us the horrific consequences in store for us if we eradicate masculinity…and in response to that…our neighbors to the North, in their infinite wisdom, eradicated masculinity some more. Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women — as if deranged gunmen pay attention to such things, before making the fateful decision to go charging through a college campus shooting people.

Little things began to happen in popular culture about this time, poisoning the well just a little bit further. The Simpsons premiered — the madcap adventures of a little poorly-drawn cartoon boy named Bart. It turned out his doofus dad Homer had special resonance with our now thoroughly-vaginized audience, and in the years to come the family patriarch would steal center stage. Homer Simpson, in this way, continued the trend set by Al Bundy in Married…With Children — albeit as a less sympathetic character — and the Age of the Doofus Dad began in earnest.

On the big screen and the little screen, things started popping up “geared toward” girls and women…which means deliberately excluding men. The studios discovered women were feeling a special attraction toward things that not only entertained them, but were assured to provide little-to-no entertainment for anybody else. They called it “tailoring” or “customizing” or “specially targeted” or whatever. The meaning was all the same: Men wouldn’t like it.

Makes sense. Guys, when you take your sweeties to the movies, it should hurt. Makes as much sense as that ring that should cost a lot. Sacrifice is the point.

So we were buried in an avalanche of things men wouldn’t like. The Little Mermaid marked the beginning of what became an annual pilgrimage — Disney would market the hell out of their next big feature cartoon, full of strange people and animals with eyes the size of dinner plates, with obscene volumes of merchandising tie-ins. Next year, they’d go back, Jack, and do it again. All of it “tailored.” Cleansed of anything that might be interpreted as even residual masculine appeal. All of it calculated to make Dad barf.

Steel Magnolias. That spring, Pretty Woman. Ghost. Feelings, feelings, feelings…bits of fluff to make you cry, tossed up there for the purpose of pulling in the little gold statues of the man who has no face.

Ryan White died of AIDS. Such poignant deaths tugged at our heartstrings, and helped to remind us that the era of feelings could not have crested out just yet. It was just getting started. After all, if you resolved to confront the AIDS crisis with your brain instead of with your heart, what in the world would you do? There was nothing to do in the Realm of Thought except throw a little bit more money at the disease. And then a lot more money. Well, when people can’t form a plan that seems complete, they like to feel their way through things so with every AIDS-related news event we did some more feeling.

Manhood being coupled with stoic, rational thinking, it was buried a little further in the ground as we continued to bury our brains. We had to be more sensitive. People were dying of AIDS. Nobody ever explained how being more sensitive would stop AIDS deaths, but that’s the beauty of feeling your way through things — no explanation necessary. Just think happy thoughts. Or sad ones. Whatever fits the occasion. Just be compatible. Doing constructive things, that was out of style now.

The era of James Bond continued to slip into the past. In August of 1990, movie producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli parted company with screenwriter Richard Maibaum, and John Glen, director of the previous five films. Half a year after this unfortunate event, Maibaum would be dead.

The environment took center stage, now that we were being extra-feminized and sensitive. We had a new Earth Day, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1970 event, and that summer Captain Planet and the Planeteers premiered on TBS.

Men were understood to be inherently bad and women were understood to be inherently good. We began an endless fascination in women doing those heroic male things, like catching the bad guy. This is the year in which Clarice Starling became famous, as portrayed by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs. And then there was Thelma and Louise. Of course, the Tailhook scandal helped out a lot. Women were heroes — and hero status was incomplete if it was even suggested that maybe, just maybe, there might be some things men could do that women could not…that wouldn’t do. We pretended otherwise. And if anybody dared to get tired of it, we’d simply explore how women were victims — and that would return them to “hero” status.

The dysfunction that took hold in our society, wasn’t so much that we saw good things in women. The most “patriarchal” societies, contrary to popular belief, have it in common that they have seen women as innately good and worthy of protection — hence the necessity of strong men. No, in the 76 months of this Dark Age, the real damage was irony. Things seemed, to us, to be the opposite of what they really were…starting with strength and weakness. Weakness was now the new strength. In the news as well as in fiction, people were shown to be strong through a ritual of showcasing their frailties. Rodney King was worthy of our attention because he got beaten up. The beating was worth talking about. His leading the police on a high speed chase through a densely populated suburban neighborhood…wasn’t worth talking about, because this didn’t service the goal of portraying King as a victim. Starling was strong because she was a victim. Thelma and Louise were strong because they were victims. The Tailhook ladies were strong because they were victims.

Strong didn’t have anything to do with being ready, willing or able to defend someone in need of a defense. That would be too patriarchal.

In July of 1991, Patricia Ireland succeeded Molly Yard as the head of the National Organization of Women. This was a pivotal event because it was a generational hand-off; Ireland is a baby-boomer, and Yard came from the generation previous. Three months after this, Susan Faludi published her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Strength-through-victimhood continued.

Feminists, during this time, could be as nasty as they wanted to be. If anyone called it out they’d just call it a “backlash” and do some more complaining about dark and sinister undercurrents in our society, working against them. Meanwhile, James Bond was dead…along with countless other “patriarchal” trinkets, involving far less meaning to us item-by-item than they meant collectively. The feminists were being exactly what they called others. Rodney King’s famous query was “can’t we all just get along?” The irony was, those who worked day and night to make sure everybody heard the question, also labored with equal gusto to make sure the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!”

Jeffry Dahmer was arrested. For eating people. The police got in trouble when it was discovered Dahmer fooled them into returning a bleeding, naked little boy to his care…who he later had for dinner. He ate lots of other people, but the police got in trouble because of this one boy. Don’t worry about Dahmer, he’s probably the last cannibal we’ll see for awhile, but we’d better fix the police because they’re feeding little boys to cannibals!

So the pattern continued. Those who did harm, were presented to us as nothing more than a curiosity…maybe even something deserving of our sympathy. Those whose job it is to protect us from the harm, are presented as part of the real problem. Ostensibly, this is done to make sure our protection is worth something. But every crime needs a protagonist, doesn’t it? If I’m a cop I can’t very well feed someone to a cannibal if there’s no cannibal around, can I? The police were a danger, the protagonist was not.

In November, Freddy Mercury died of AIDS. The feeling-over-thought continued. Bohemian Rhamsody, that winter, blared from every loudspeaker on every radio and every television.

Disorder was the new order. Justice was dispensed, not from the courtroom in which Stacy Koon and his colleagues were acquitted for the Rodney King incident, but in the riots that followed in downtown LA. Again…it was all about solving problems with feeling instead of with thought. Justice becomes a myth when you do that; just a glorified system of might-makes-right. More irony: People who want to disclaim masculinity, manhood, “patriarchal oppression” and so forth claim that as their goal — to elevate themselves and society above an anarchy in which might-makes-right. But that’s exactly what they cause to happen.

Meanwhile, nobody noticed that the Maastricht Treaty had been signed. This was the beginning of the European Union. Just like any other union, it was constructed to “level the playing field” against someone who had an “unfair advantage” — which means to attack that someone. In this case, it was the United States.

The importance of the Maastricht event cannot be overstated. Sixteen years later, we have been dutifully fed our talking points that the United States is seen by our “allies” as an oppressor. Most people who believe this uncritically, fail to comprehend how intricate and robust is the organization that is really responsible for all this “seeing.” It is an international union formed for the purpose of gaining more power…against the United States. With a little bit of a longer memory, one can see there is more to that story than just President George W. Bush. The hostility against America has roots in it, that go all the way back to this event. This quiet event.

Then came the Year of the Woman. It was part of a global fashion trend. That year, Betty Boothroyd had been elected as the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, and Stella Rimington became the first woman head of MI5, the domestic counterpart to Agent 007’s MI6 international espionage branch. The movie industry continued to assault us with their feeling-over-thought anti-man pap: A League of Their Own; Lorenzo’s Oil; Prelude to a Kiss.

Dan Quayle, technically correct, perhaps even prophetic, but hopelessly tone-deaf, gave a speech on the harm Murphy Brown was doing to our society. It was something we needed to have pointed out, but we weren’t ready for it at the time. Our sense of direction was utterly destroyed by now. Chaos looked like order, women looked like men, cops looked like robbers and robbers looked like cops. When cowardliness led to piles of womens’ dead bodies, we thought the best way to protect our women was to embrace more cowardliness. Murphy Brown’s dysfunction? It looked like function.

As Quayle’s boss faced re-election that fall, the worst debate-question ever was asked by pony-tail guy at the debate in Richmond, VA: “How can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect the two of you—the three of you—to meet our needs?” Rush Limbaugh provided more context for the quote here (link requires registration with Rush 24/7):

RUSH: Shall we go back to March 30th, 1993, from my Television Show, I played this sound bite from October 15th of 1992. This was the presidential debate, Perot, Clinton and Bush 41 in Richmond, Virginia.

THE PONYTAILED GUY: The focus of my work is domestic mediation, is meeting the needs of the children that I work with by way of their parents and not the wants of their parents, and I ask the three of you, how can we as symbolically the children of the future president expect the two of you, the three of you to meet our needs?

RUSH: That’s the famous Ponytail Guy from the Richmond debate in 1992. These presidential candidates are our fathers, the president’s going to be our father, and what can we expect from our father, you, to meet our needs?

The irony continued. Dependence was independence.

As the Danjaq/MGM case wound its way through the courts, The Crying Game was released…continuing the irony, women were men. Superman, the defender of Truth, Justice, The American Way, died. Just as well. We had some significant questions about what exactly all three of those were…and at the time we didn’t even realize we had those questions. But Superman just plum ran out of ways to save the day — without offending insecure women with his masculine oppression and what-not. So down he went.

Clinton appointed a whole bunch of women to his cabinet. Had he been seeking the best and the brightest for these important positions, he might have accidentally picked some pretty ones, and that would have been threatening. So he made sure they were all physically unappealing. Reno. Shalala. Albright would come later…and of course later that year Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court. I don’t wish to be unkind, but these ladies are homely. To doubt that there was an agenda in place to select them that way, is to doubt the evidence of our senses. If you sent me out to find some that look like this, I’d be out there all day long…probably finding none at all, or no more than one. In one of his first acts of office, not quite content with his retroactive tax increase, he passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.

Because as anybody knows, the first step to making the economy stronger is to make it godawful expensive to hire people. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Country music didn’t escape the Age of Dysfunction either. Eilleen Regina Edwards, better known as Shania Twain, released her debut CD. Country Music purists became apoplectic, and the schism helped to channel this seemingly limitless supply of anti-tradition anti-male energy into lifting the nascent career of the gorgeous Shania…whom, apart from that, had no shortage of assets appealing to the male psyche. There was little or no animosity involved in her lyrics, but a darker culture arose to consume her. No bitter, angry single-mom was complete without a cheap little CD player belting out one Shania Twain cut after another. It was all just so fresh…which sounds deceptively positive. Under the roots of it all, was a underlayer of raw, naked animosity toward anything that was traditional, and/or not yet quite as feminized as it might possibly be.

The Supreme Court decided Wisconsin v. Mitchell, signaling the readiness of our modern culture to consider hate-crime legislation. Who exactly is ready for it, nobody is willing to say; for a judicial-branch decision to drive what the legislative-branch is supposed to do, isn’t quite the way things are supposed to work. But work that way it did, as the Supreme Court decided states have latitude in considering motive for a crime in enhancing the penalties for it.

What’s been mostly forgotten is that the Wisconsin decision concerned an assault on a white fourteen-year-old boy, Gregory Reddick, by a gang of black individuals in Kenosha, who had just seen Mississippi Burning. Todd Mitchell asked the group “Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?” — Reddick was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the rest is history.

Todd Mitchell’s penalty was enhanced due to thoughts in his head. The Wisconsin Supreme Court had determined there was something wrong with that, that such an enhancement would have a “chilling effect” on free speech. The Supreme Court overruled, finding “no merit in this contention.” Those are unfortunate words. Penalty enhancements due to thoughts-in-the-head may, with a little bit of trickery, be shoehorned into some functional compatibility with the spirit of our Constitution, or at least with the letter. But “no merit” is a little on the strong side. To say penalties can be enhanced because of free speech exercised, might have a chilling effect on free speech…it does, at the very least, have some merit.

In an act that symbolized exactly what was going on, Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband’s penis and flung it at a stop sign, to fall into a field where it was later retrieved and reattached. Good thing she picked the summer of 1993 as the best time to do it. She was hailed as a feminist hero. The jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity, and after a court-ordered 45-day psychiatric evaluation, she was released.

She got away with it.

And the feminists said she was exactly what they wanted to be. Good for them. I wonder if, in 2008, they have the decency to be embarrassed by that. But it might be a good idea for the rest of us to remember what exactly “feminism” meant fifteen years ago: Cutting off dicks, or wishing you had the guts to do it.

Kim Campbell was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

President Clinton passed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, then went out to the Rose Garden for a photo op as Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands in a sham peace ceremony. The age of fakery, of built-in irony, of feeling-over-thought, of pretending things weren’t what the cognitive lobes understood them to be…staggered on. Meanwhile, John Wayne Bobbit flirted with porn. It seems he was restored to his potency much more quickly than we were restored to ours.

Sleepless in Seattle assailed our senses, followed closely afterward by the premiere of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Jocelyn Elders was confirmed as our Surgeon General, and the Maastricht Treaty came into effect, forming the European Union.

As Madonna slipped into her Dominatrix outfit, Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law, then sent his wife down Pennsylvania Avenue to babble some kind of nonsense at Congress about socialized medicine.

On November 13, Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode called Force of Nature that nearly killed Star Trek. It was about environmentalism. It turns out, when you take a starship above Warp 5 you do some incremental damage to the fabric of the space-time continuum. At the conclusion of this episode, Starfleet, in its infinite wisdom, imposed a galactic speed limit on all starships, bringing the fictitious age of exploring the “final frontier” to a virtual end.

Another metaphorical event of profound poignancy: Ripping apart the fabric of a space-time continuum, was exactly what was taking place in real life. With manhood, our spirit of exploration was dying. And with that, our fastening to logic and truth. We wanted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We wanted the thoughts in our heads to be regulated, while we were told no such thing was happening. With all the exploring done, we just wanted things extra safe…we wanted our Hillarycare universal health plan.

Lani Guinier, the “quota queen,” was nominated as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Colin Ferguson, accused of killing six passengers and wounding nineteen on the Long Island railroad, employed the black rage defense. His attorneys tried their best to retroactively declare open season on people, but to no avail. He received six life terms. Hey, at least they tried.

Black rage was first proposed by black psychologists William Grier and Price Cobbs in their book Black Rage (ISBN 1579103499). Grier and Cobbs argue that black people living in a racist, white supremacist society are psychologically damaged by the effects of racist oppression. This damage causes black people to act abnormally in certain situations.

Irony continues. The victim has strength, and is to be respected. Inequality is equality.

Since everybody was instantly good and wonderful if they would just let women do things they previously couldn’t, the Church of England began to ordain female priests. Hugh Grant typified his perpetual role as the hapless clumsy “git” in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Timothy Dalton went on record, announcing his official abdication from the role of James Bond.

Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley. The World Series was canceled, and the FIFA World Cup began in the United States. Enter soccer, exit baseball. But the real insult to the United States was just around the corner: Michael Fay used his American origin as an excuse for spray painting cars in Singapore. You see, we Americans are meek and mild and we’re just not tough enough for that caning punishment they have over there. The skin on our buttocks is especially thin, I suppose. So, you should just let us get away with it. I have a social disease, Officer Krupke! Grasping for the chance to show that chaos is really order and strength is really weakness, President Clinton intervened and bargained the ritual six strokes of the cane down to four.

With our national identity confused, lost, given away, we went through our summer ritual of being buried in annoying, glurgy, anti-male, feeling-over-thought movies. When A Man Loves A Woman. Natural Born Killers. Bad Girls. Blue Sky. Exit to Eden.

Woodstock ’94 commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of something that wasn’t really worth the trouble. Hippies smoking dope listening to music having sex in the mud. It was kind of a bust. The hippies had grown up, gotten jobs, mortgages, heads full of gray hair…and some nice suits that couldn’t get muddy.

ER premiered.

Hillarycare was quietly abandoned. We just weren’t going for it…yet.

A new Star Trek movie came out in which Kirk and Picard would appear together. This started lots of Kirk/Picard comparisons…wonderfully entertaining, all of them…but again, metaphorical toward the confusion and dysfunction we felt during these 76 months. The overall trend was that Kirk was more dependable and effective when confronted with a crisis, but Picard was more desirable…for reasons left unstated, or stated only vaguely. His propensity to surrender was thought to be an asset. Again, weakness is strength.

Disclosure came out, asking us to imagine an event in which a woman is guilty of sexual harassment (including an unfortunately ludicrous and silly scene in which Michael Douglas is given a blow job against his will).

We showed some signs of an early bloom in this 330-week winter. We voted in a Republican Congress, and Dr. Elders was finally forced to resign. Peter Jennings said we were having a “temper tantrum.”

When the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City was blown up, they blamed talk radio and angry white men.

Bryant Gumbel, then co-host on the NBC News Today show, reported that “The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that’s been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one’s suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the president…”

We were being told what to think and what not to think. But dependence was independence.

Women continued to take on male roles in fiction. One expensive production after another failed, either in the short term or over the long haul, but the producers insisted on believing women could look appealing just by doing manly things. Real entertainment is expensive, after all. And so Hercules had an episode called “The Warrior Princess” which spun off into its own show; “Star Trek: Voyager” premiered. Of the latter, the only draw was that the Captain of the vessel was a woman. Who acted a lot like a man. It was rather painful and boring to watch, but it did endure for seven seasons, the Warrior Princess for six.

In those early days, success was sure to be had so long as the personalities showcased were not straight, white and male. And so 1995 brought in the now-ritual summer of glurgy anti-male-ness and anti-family-ness and anti-thought-ness…Babe, Pocahontas, Boys on the Side, Bridges of Madison County. Copycat, Scarlet Letter. And, let us not forget the Macarena being released. Looking silly is serious business.

Sandra Bullock, in the first movie appearance since she lit up the screen in Speed, embarked on a new rejuvenated career dedicated to chick flicks — with While You Were Sleeping. Funny. Thirteen years later, I have yet to remain awake all the way through that movie.

Nearly three years after Barbara Boxer began her vendetta against him, Sen. Bob Packwood was forced to resign. A few years later, she’d circle the wagons around President Clinton for doing something much worse…I guess inconsistency is consistency. But with Packwood gone, we could talk about women being victims again, especially with Shannon Faulker’s adventures at The Citadel. Victims are strong because weakness is strength.

On November 13, 1995, the 2,313 day winter was finally brought to a thaw as Goldeneye was released. It received two BAFTA nominations and earned $26 million during its opening, the most successful Bond movie since Moonraker.


It should be obvious by now. We had been starved. We had been denied what we, men and women, really want: That old story, the knight-of-the-round-table story. Disaster prevented. Good thing that strong smart resourceful guy was where he was.

Women, somewhere, may be capable of doing what men can do. But there is no fantasy there. Nor do we have any inner lust toward this phony irony, wherein victimhood is strength, femininity is masculinity, unfairness is justice, thought control is freedom, chaos is order, dependence is independence. We know, deep down, all of us, that that’s all crap — we can only snack on it for so long before we get sick of it. Three hundred thirty weeks…it’s far too much to ask of us. Can’t keep it up.

Eventually, we have to return to our programming and our programming has to do with truth, logic, and order. That is what our programming is all about, for our programming has to be consistent with nature. If it were not, we would not be here. And so we like to see a strong masculine figure preventing disaster, for the benefit of people he has never met and never will meet. A man…defusing a bomb. A man…lifting a concrete slab off a baby who is miraculously unharmed. A man…fishing a kitten out of a tree…or shooting a terrorist who was about to wear a dynamite belt to a pizzeria. Men see that, and they feel better about themselves because they want to be that guy; women see that, and they feel better because they understand someone somewhere believes they are worth defending.

What was this long winter, the Dark Age in which James Bond slumbered away, really about?

It was about abjuring reason…for the sole purpose of feeling good…and failing. Once it was over, we felt better than we’d ever felt since it began. Let that be a lesson to us: To plagiarize Franklin, those who disclaim logic, reason and masculine symbiosis for a good feeling and “self esteem,” deserve none of these things and shall ultimately have none of these things.

The U.N. is Against Taking Drugs

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

The United Nations is sending out strongly worded letters to the movie business because some of the leading stars are on record with their controlled-substance habits.

The UN’s drug control agency said the easy ride given to stars by police, prosecutors and the courts sent out the wrong message to young people and generated cynicism over drug laws.

Well, I agree with the U.N. drug control agency, although this goes well outside of the mission & purpose I have in mind for the U.N.

And I think it’s interesting. If some slightly overweight, over-fifty, six-foot-tall straight white guy Republican governor of a southern state with a thick southern accent said exactly the same thing, we’d all know about it the next day and we’d all receive our instructions from our media overlords to put the hate on him and laugh at him.

But there’s a conflict here. The folks who are all cranky because we’re too national and not sufficiently international, are the same folks who are all cranky because we’ve got our evil insidious “War On Drugs.”

What’s the U.N. wanna do here?

The agency, which polices the way in which countries stick to international drug conventions, has been heavily critical of the Government’s failure to take a tough line in recent years.

Three years ago it said Labour was sending ‘wrong signals’ after downgrading the legal status of cannabis from class B to class C, which means that those caught with small quantities of the drug are unlikely to be arrested.

I note that many of the people who are vocally opposed to the War on Drugs are my tenth-amendment brethren, people who share my distaste for federal authority on matters where state or local authority is more appropriate. And yet I have to wonder how many among them will let this pass by without comment…a craven cowardly world council, trying to be a world legislative body, without having the stones to admit that is what it’s trying to be. World, not federal.

Should we legalize? No, not in my opinion. I’m tired of the druggies. It’s not the corruption of children that concerns me just yet, or the declining property values. I’m tired of their stupid crappy-ass opinions. It’s a form of pollution. They say the most inane stupid things, things in which they actually believe, because the drugs have been messing with their brains…stupid things like, drugs don’t mess with your brain. Or “if we legalized it and taxed it, we could pay off the national debt overnight” — you’ve heard that one before, haven’t you? The debt. Overnight. Sixteen billion dollars a minute is what that comes out to, you stoned-out old math wizard you.

In Barack Obama, we’re about to elect a President of the United States who is a drug, in all the ways that matter. I’d say that’s taking things plenty far enough.

Canada Abandons Durban

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

The Government of Canada has abandoned the United Nations Durban II anti-racism conference.

That’s not John Bolton…that’s not John Birch…that’s Canada.

The so-called Durban II conference “has gone completely off the rails” and Canada wants no part of it, said Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity.

“Canada is interested in combatting racism, not promoting it,” Mr. Kenney told The Canadian Press. “We’ll attend any conference that is opposed to racism and intolerance, not those that actually promote racism and intolerance.

“Our considered judgment, having participated in the preparatory meetings, was that we were set for a replay of Durban I. And Canada has no intention of lending its good name and resources to such a systematic promotion of hatred and bigotry.”

The 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban turned into “a circus of intolerance,” Mr. Kenney said.

One government official on Wednesday called the conference “a gong show.”

H/T: Boortz.

Accepting My Challenge

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Challenged to a DuelI have been challenged to, and accepted, a duel with JohnJ at RightLinx, whom I understand to be one and the same with Johnjrambo2000 at Bullwinkle Blog. At issue is the ninth installment of Yin and Yang, and the points of disagreement, as stated by my opponent, are these:

Freeberg’s basic point is that individualism is better than collectivism. This is, of course, a value judgment. Since not everyone has the same values, individualism cannot be better than collectivism for everyone. Some people will prefer collectivism because it corresponds to their values. What would Freeberg do with these people?


Freeberg also claims that there is no middle ground between Yin and Yang. I have to disagree with that point as well. Yin, as he defines it, are those people who, basically, lack social sense, but who can often make up for it mechanically. Yin will never achieve the natural social sense that Yang has, though. It seems to me, though, that there’s no basis for assuming that people don’t have various levels of use of the Orbito-Frontal Cortex, a part of the brain that is used in socialization. I don’t see any reason to assume that it’s all or nothing. If anything, the assumption should be just the opposite. The vast majority of people should fall between the two extremes.

We’re still in the stages of defining the points of disagreement, but I’ll have to cut in at this point because there’s disagreement in this definition. If there is a value system to be promoted in recognizing the Yin and Yang bifurcation, I would hope it is limited to leaving well enough alone. To hold one of these halves above the other in a universality of situations, such that one is innately superior and one is innately inferior regardless of whatever challenges would come up, would not only be inaccurate but also unkind. Somewhere within the thousands of words I’ve written about this, that message may have been blunted or even lost. But the Yang, while largely a mystery to folks like myself, accomplishes things we need to get done. So what would I “do with these people?” The question answers itself. They are here; they are doing stuff; the stuff they do cannot be done by anybody else.

But if I get to decide what the Yang are going to do, I would scribble down one preference. I would like the Yang to leave others alone.

There’s something about the strongest Yang, and I gather it comes from the lifelong habit of viewing all challenging exercises to be social. They tend to be controlling. They tend to want others to resolve problems the way they resolve them. I touched on this somewhat in the Fourth installment, which was inspired by a story that mothers-of-brides in some Asian cultures force their daughters to cry at the wedding. There’s nothing inherently Asian about this, it’s universal. Yin think; Yang feel. The thinker is touchy about how he is allowed to do his thinking, nevermind what everybody else is doing — but the feeler must control the feelings of everyone in proximity.

This explains my many references to the construction of a giant wall. Imagine a room containing twenty people, a piano and a computer. If the piano and computer are both to be used, friction will inevitably result. A piano must be a social vehicle. A computer — notwithstanding YouTube clips and photo albums — is not. Whoever wants to use the piano is going to want to control the feelings of the other nineteen people in the room…that is what a piano does. A computer processes information. Or — it looks at porn. It is, mostly, a device to be used in solitude.

The point is, the guy using the computer will be likely oblivious to what others in the room are doing. They can do what they want as far as he’s concerned. He’s a Yin, and the first step to what he is doing is to draw a boundary around what he is doing. Working on a drawing, writing up a post on his blog, testing a computer program…all of these things work within a system. Even if the system is complex, it is a system of interrelated parts that function within a perimeter, and anything outside that perimeter will be disconnected.

Some will argue, with a kernel of truth to it, that the concept of disconnection is mythical — all things are connected. There is truth to this only if one regards trivial or irrelevant things to be somehow important. The computer is connected to other things because there is an Internet…and there is power. These things are true, but they’re ultimately meaningless. The program, or the drawing, or the blog, all these things are essentially isolated systems. A stimulus crosses the perimeter surrounding the system, and the system with it’s interrelated parts is supposed to provide a proper response. If the response is correct, a task is complete, and if it isn’t, more work needs to be done. This is how the Yin see the world. Not just the computer…but every little thing they do. And they’ve been looking at it that way since they were little kids.

Contrast this with the piano. There is no meaningful boundary that surrounds the piano. Someone plays it, and “we” are going to listen to it. “We” are going to feel whatever the song being played on the piano, tells us to feel. If one person starts singing along, everyone else will feel compelled to start singing too (unless the song is something like Ailein Duinn).

If these are both happening at the same time, there is going to be friction. Screwing around on the computer, after all, is not what “we” are doing. “We” are gathering around the piano, and you should not be doing what you are doing on the computer. Come over and join us.

Note — if the lone-wolf was watching a football game or wrestling match on television, this would make so much more sense. That would intrude on the piano-playing. But with goofing off on a computer, or doing work on a computer, this doesn’t apply. Yet anyone who’s been in such a situation, understands that the urgency involved in getting the computer-guy off the keyboard, to come join the crowd, is just as pushy as it would be if he had the TV cranked at full volume.

There is no explanation for this, other than the Yin and Yang theory. The Yang want all things in proximity to work in a uniform way. It has to be that way, because a mission to defeat all borders within visible proximity is what being social is all about. It isn’t disrespect or unfriendliness. It’s quite the opposite. When you’re socializing, you want to bring everybody into the fold.

And so John and I have a disagreement about what I said. I do not want to banish people or wish them away to the cornfield. But I do think building a wall would be educational. I’m convinced it’s part of the human nature to repeatedly stir up friction of the “piano and computer” variety, friction that has no real reason to be there, and in response to such friction, do anything but what would make the most sense. We tend to put up with it, we irritate each other, we schedule our daily activities in such a way as to stir up the same useless friction at the same time every day.

I do have the sense that the Yin tend to build things used by the Yang. That is our place. We are “systems builders.” We draw lines around things, we wait for the loud sociable people to leave us the hell alone, and then we get things within those perimeters to work the way they should. The Yang do exactly the same thing — except to them, the perimeter is whatever they happen to understand at a given moment. Within line-of-sight, everything has to work the way they want.

The Yin get stressed out if the perimeter or something within it, starts to slip out of their control. One sign that a person is a Yin, is if he curses his own bad memory. Yang seldom do this. God damn it, there’s something else I was supposed to get right…what was it? The Yang, to my long-standing envy, seem to be spared from this. You see this most definitely when you see them hosting a party. Good heavens, is there anything we can do that is more demanding of detail, achieving pre-defined tasks within a boundary, than hosting a party? It gives me a huge migraine. Nevermind that socializing-with-people thing you have to do.

But the strongest Yang pull it off effortlessly. If their definition is strong, they are extraverts, and that means as the party goes on they recharge their “batteries” while mustering up the energy to carry dirty dishes out to the kitchen and bring out new plates of food, coordinate the entertainment, switch the music around, etc. etc. etc. Yes, they need to do things a little bit out of their turf, but they’re up for it. All evening long, they are in the mode of being fully charged. People like me, see the “chore” of socializing with folks as an ancillary task, one we could barely manage — even if we like the people — without all these minute-to-minute cleanup details we have to do. But the Yang see it as the payoff.

Yet another reason why I wouldn’t banish them anywhere. We need them.

And some Yang don’t even mind the details. They are spared the Yin headache of remembering details, because they simply…don’t.

The Yin are spared headaches too, though, that plague the Yang. This is in the form of other individuals doing things in a way different from the way we would do them, if we were they. Doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m a guy who types away on a computer. Now honestly, John & everybody else…how many people do you know who are the exact opposite of that? We’ve all had the acquaintance of some Yangy-type person who constantly has a problem — something that is easily seen by others as a great source of concern, giving her an upset stomach and sleepless nights — something to do with someone doing things the wrong way? This is their cross to bear. And I doubt it’s an act, I think it is an ongoing source of real tension.

Tolerance, John. That is my solution. Good old-fashioned tolerance, the kind our liberals say they support (although seldom do). Tolerance, respect, empathy. Let the Yin support the Yang in all the things that Yang labor day-to-day to get done…and vice-versa.

Now to your second point, that there is no middle ground. On this issue, you are half right in understanding where I’m coming from. But as I said in the ninth installment that inspired your challenge, we have to dispense with the latent skills that can be nurtured by highly intelligent and functional individuals in their more mature stages of life. If you’re sufficiently talented, obviously you can make up for what you left undeveloped in childhood. “Yin” can figure out how to socialize; “Yang” can figure out how to solve puzzles. And when they do this, they end up being what I believe you’re describing with this “middle ground.”

But we have to dispense with that when we consider how these people are going about these tasks upstairs, between their ears. And this is what we need to do when we talk about Yin and Yang, because that’s what the divide is all about. What kinds of pathways did you dig out in your brain tissue, in the “old-growth” parts. The thinking you learned how to do before you lost all your baby teeth.

That’s important because any other kinds of things you learned to do, much later, after your teenage years — functional as all that stuff may be, it’s still stilted and awkward. If you’re highly adaptable, the best you can do is to cover up the awkwardness. But it’s still like a right-handed person writing with the left hand. You’re attempting a task, perhaps completing it, perhaps netting satisfactory results, maybe even super-satisfactory results. But it’s not something that comes naturally to you.

The BlockLet me introduce a theory to help explain this. Let’s call it the “Big Gray Building” theory; we will take all of your formative years, stretching deep into adulthood in which, as your maturing personality develops skills to meet rising challenges in the business world, you do this crossing-over. This writing-with-the-other-hand.

Imagine this vast expanse of time, from birth to age forty or fifty or so, as a walk halfway around a block. You are born on one corner of the block — you pop out of your mother’s womb there, with no skills whatsoever. There is a “business convention” at the opposite corner, which I’ve represented here with a great big red X. When you get to the big red X, you’re going to have to show functionality in both Yin and Yang endeavors. That goes without saying. This is an important business conference, and we’ll need the participants to have social skills (Yang), as well as problem-solving skills (Yin).

Here’s the challenge: As any informed parent will agree, young children have an amazing talent for learning whatever it is they want to learn. Regardless of intelligence, the pace at which micro-toddlers learn their things, is amazing. If we could keep this pace up into adulthood, we’d all be geniuses. But we don’t.

And so, as this micro-toddler, you can “crawl” along these avenues toward the business convention, at a rocket-like pace.

But — you can’t turn corners.

And there’s this big gray building between you and the red X. It is a monolithic building. There is no alley. All entrances on the building (save for the one at the X) are locked shut tight.

And I think this is our real point of disagreement. I’m contradicting hundreds of years of dogma in the education of children in asserting this…but based on what I’ve seen, it’s true. Children crawl toward the business conference that demands a functional representation of all skill sets. They develop one half of the needed skill sets…or the other. They’ll neglect one of the other. There are two paths toward the X, from which each child can choose only one — neglecting the other.

Appearances notwithstanding, that’s the way things will stay. Until at least the teenage years, one path will lie neglected.

LibraryIf they lack the maturity to build a network involving peers or parents, they’ll have to be forced into it. But if that’s the situation, they won’t naturally take to it. They’ll do it when forced to do it. And meanwhile, if they have any intelligence at all, they will become adept at solving problems. This is simply path of least resistance. Being children, they will have to challenge themselves, and if the socializing presents too much of a challenge they’ll find a challenge that doesn’t involve socializing. They will crawl — more like shoot — due North along the street I’ve called “Rain Man Lane” — developing cognitive ability while neglecting, to some degree, social skills. And they can’t turn corners, so they’ll be stuck up there once they reach the end. They’ll become “nerds,” seeking out more and more challenges that don’t involve interacting with people. Let’s say there is a “library” up there. They will pop over to this virtual library at around age five, and stick around there. They’ll remain there until, roughly, the age they can start driving.

They’ll be “nerds.”

You don’t want to deny there is such a thing as a “nerd,” do you John? The nerd has become a staple in American culture, for good reason.

Social ClubNow, some children will have the maturity to build the above-mentioned parent-peer network. And at a very early age, on the light side of two years old, they’ll shoot off Eastward along “Valley Girl Street,” toward a “social club.” These sociable kids can’t turn a corner any better than their nerdy counterparts, even if they’re very mature and intelligent. This favored pastime of socializing people, just burns too brightly and is too tempting for them. Even with homework and exams and so forth, there is little point to nurturing problem-solving skill. The need just isn’t there.

But — I’m sure you want to ask this — these are the kids who tend to get the best grades. Surely you’re not suggesting they’re all “socializing” by cheating on their tests?

No, there’s a huge bundle of evidence here that the babies shooting off to this “Social Club” can indeed solve problems. They can do their homework, with little error, and they can get sky-high scores on pop quizzes.

But here’s the rub. Their advantage dissipates when there is re-interpretation involved. They excel at multiple-choice questions, but their impressive achievements start to taper off with essay questions. If they can complete an essay question, they aren’t often known to re-word the phraseology they’ve learned, to construct synonyms — to show true comprehension. And most impressive of all: I’ve noticed this in childhood as well as after I’ve come to maturity. They tend to lack the ability to retain.

This is a big hole in our educational system, in public schools as well as private. Testing a student’s ability to truly absorb concepts as well as text, is a highly difficult chore. Again, we’re at path of least resistance — this time with regard to the teacher instead of the student. And path of least resistance is, you test short-term retention. Study on the week that ends on the 10th, and we’ll have our test on the 15th.

So these Yangy kids, for the most part, are allowed to wind through the school system being tested only on their ability to memorize things; to mimic. True understanding of concepts, and problem-solving, is something tested only rarely. Far more often, the exercise at hand is repeating things back. When this is a prelude to socializing, the social-minded kids tackle it with gusto.

Many will disagree with this. Want proof? Go to your high school reunion, approach a dozen of the brightest, most socially-outgoing kids who got the best grades. Ask them a textbook question they could easily have nailed in the days-gone-by. At least ninety percent of the time, you’ll get a deer-in-the-headlights look back.

Memorize a concept, you’ll never forget it. Memorize text, you’ll forget it in a week. By and large, school tends to force kids to memorize text.

Complete BlockSo now our block is complete: You’re born at a corner, there is a library at one corner, a social club at another, and then there’s a business convention going on at the far corner where you won’t arrive, until you’ve become a mature adult. Not a twenty-something, but someone with the maturity to achieve functional command of the spectrum. Since kids lack the ability to round corners, and childhood itself runs light on challenges that make real demands to do such corner-rounding…each set of child is stuck in his respective corner. Adulthood, probably, will bring a fresh wave of challenges. These challenges will, at long last, demand this corner-rounding — accepting no substitute for it. The child who crawled East will have to crawl North, and vice-versa…the business convention is at that inconveniently-located corner after all.

And both kids will work hard at it. But now they’re nurturing talents in adulthood. They aren’t learning as quickly or as definitively as they did before.

So they both arrive at the business conference, which demands all this Yin-and-Yang skill from everyone present.

This is the part John missed: Yin and Yang is about the path they have taken, not where they end up. This determines how their brains are wired, and how, between the earlobes, they tackle each perplexing problem that comes up. At least, the problems that have no pre-fabricated solution. The route they have taken to the business conference, dictates the method they’ll use to solve these problems.

Paths TakenAnd as far as the path they have taken, there is no middle ground. At least, that’s the theory. Remember, the big gray building is monolithic. For a socially-exuberant child to develop real problem solving skills, is improbable because it’s unnatural. Children develop skills wherever need intersects with opportunity. They have to have both, or the development is highly unlikely to take place…and the socially-energetic kids don’t have need. As for the socially-interactive skills developing in the nerds, that’s a matter of opportunity. It’s absent, and so they go for the next best thing. They develop the ability to think out unorthodox challenges through a cognitive process, an ability their more friendly and outgoing counterparts invariably lack.

So I think those are the points of disagreement between John and myself. I don’t want to banish the Yang…and the divide between my kind and theirs, is clean and decisive. That doesn’t mean we can’t work together. In many ways, we have to work together.

But I do think I need to pick on them a little bit. They get in trouble with people like me, from time to time, because of this controlling behavior. Their superior skills in the realm of engaging their peers socially, gives them an unfortunate tendency to behave as if all problems can be solved this way. Not some — all. And this, in turn, saddles them with a weakness in the department of looking at reality as it objectively exists…along with an ego too fragile to acknolwedge that this might be the case.

And this brings me to Macmic, the deep-thinker with the .ca e-mail address who attached two impressively-sized epistles to the end of the Michael Moore post in the week just past. He, I am gathering, is exactly what I’m talking about. Now that I think about it, so is Michael Moore himself. As I wrote about Mr. Moore…

Why does Moore have anything to do with America? Every time he comes out with a movie he keeps returning to his “Bowling For Columbine” theme that there is something wrong with America, something rotten in its core — something that compels us to be afraid of things and shoot each other all the time. He makes his films in Canada. He claims to be from Flint, MI — not too much of a drive to go from there, into Canada, for good. I’m not saying it to be derisive or dismissive — watch his movies sometime. Any one. The dude really likes Canada, and I don’t know of a single good thing he’s had to say about the U.S. by comparison. What’s he doing here?

It’s a question I might as well have posed with regard to a lot of other folks besides Michael Moore.

Now take a good look at what’s going on here. Just take a long, hard look at the world. We have all these countries that are not America. Hundreds of them. They have all embraced socialism, in one way or another. First world, second world, third world. Oh sure, they have different rules, different programs in place that address different things, and they all allow “businesses” to operate in some crippled form. But America trails behind all of them in this path to socialism. America, alone, struggles along awkwardly as a half-breed society, kinda socialist, kinda not, with some semblance of longing for true individualism still trickling through it’s veins.

In all other places, the need comes up for the individual to sacrifice something for the “public good” — and it’s done. We have a social problem and we need a curfew — okay. There is violence at nighttime and we’ll have to ban alcohol after seven o’clock — done. Traffic is congested so we’re going to install round-abouts to force your errand to take longer than it should — we comply. We’re disarming, please present all your guns to the sheriff in the town square tomorrow at noon — alright.

Only in America is there some remnant of healthy, cantankerous protest on behalf of the individual. We waver a lot here & there, but we still have it.

And along come passionate, all-controlling collectivists like Michael Moore to stamp it out. Here. It is not a case of live-and-let-live. Michael Moore could live in Canada, which already manages healthcare exactly the way he wants it done. He could live anywhere. He could let America sink or swim.

But he has to mount a crusade to get one country on the face of the globe, to do things the way he wants them done, when all other countries already do it more-or-less the way he wants. He’s got to stamp out the last remnant of resistance. Why, if that isn’t controlling, I don’t know what is.

Macmic makes the same point about countries that John makes about people: I have neglected the middle-ground. China has socialism and capitalism, both. So does Japan. So do many, many other countries.

Macmic’s logical error, here, is to presume all these societies are at rest. That is untrue in all his examples, and it cannot be true anywhere. It simply can’t hold up, because in human history all efforts to control others are prolonged struggles. My point about the collectivists is that the desire will always be there. Remember what I said about the Yang — we are all gathered around the piano, gathering around the piano is what we are all doing. Individualists can live in harmony with collectivists, but collectivists cannot abide individualism.

And so, when Yin and Yang are placed in proximity, there will be an enthusiastic and energetic effort among Yang to convert the Yin. Yang, obviously, foster an environment friendly to collectivism, so this bleeds over into the interaction between individualists and collectivists; where they exist in proximity, there will always be a mission among the collectivists to eradicate all others.

And that’s why I referred to socialism as the Terminator robot of economic models. It really is. Michael Moore proves it — he’s got the entire world, sans America, and it isn’t enough. His physical obesity and obvious mode of gluttony, turn out to be convenient metaphors for his desire that socialism should cover a few more square miles, until it has gobbled the globe.

No, I don’t think the Yang are inherently unfeeling or evil. I don’t think they want to eradicate humanity. I don’t even think they want to kill Sarah Connor. I don’t think they’re all collectivists or socialists…all they do, to my mind, is create an environment that allows collectivism to spread. If someone must erect a breakwater so this attack on the individual can be stopped, or slowed down, it is up to the Yin to build it. But the collectivists must run everything, every square inch all over the globe, or else they are perpetually hungry for more. “Terminator” fits the collectivists very, very well. That’s why socialism always ends up being unimaginably hostile and dangerous, even though it is never designed to be that way.

Listen. And understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Time Machine Lunacy

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

It occurs to me that if one wants to be committed to a looney-bin, without lying about anything or deceiving anyone in any way, a time machine set to the right year will do the trick. The right year, and a carefully-selected tidbit of factual disclosure.

Hello good people of 2006! I’m from the future. Democrats are going to take over Congress, and one of the first things they’ll do is ask for direction from those whackjobs at DailyKOS. You think I kid! I’m as serious as a heart attack.

See what I mean? Off you go, and here’s your straightjacket. And yet…here we are.

Hello good people of 2005! I’m from the future. Democrats are blaming George Bush for hurricanes. Yes. They really, truly are.
Hello 2004! George Bush is thought by many to be the most “hated” President ever, and it looks like he is, even though he’s won more popular votes than any President in history.

It’s just awfully tough for me to believe we would be allowed to keep our freedom as responsible, sane people, after uttering such drivel. It all makes sense now; in fact, in some quarters you’ll be subjected to some form of verbal assault if you don’t go along with it. But we wouldn’t be able to explain it to the people of yesteryear. We’re like the frog sitting in a pot of water, raised to a rolling boil degree-by-degree.

Hello 2003! We have captured Saddam Hussein and he’s been executed; we’re having a lively debate about whether this makes the world any safer. The folks who think it was a bad move, have pretty much won the debate, even though they are never — ever — called upon to say what should have been done differently.
Hello 2002! Evidence has been produced that the people in the U.N. voting against an invasion of Iraq, are on Saddam Hussein’s payroll through the oil-for-food program. To the tune of billions of dollars. What are we doing to bring them to justice? Nothing. Actually, hardly anyone ever talks about it.
Hello 2001! I dunno what to say to you…just hug your kids. And may God be with you.
Hello 2000! If you give Republicans control of all three branches of government, Democrats will try their very best to win you back by…calling you a bunch of fucking goddamned idiots and hoping that will change your mind. Ultimately, it will.
Hello 1999! Don’t worry about President Clinton’s legacy. He’s doing more to try to hide it, than anyone.
Hello 1998! Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governor of California.
Hello 1997! Little kids are going to start performing oral sex on each other because the President said it wasn’t really sex. He’s going to stay just as popular as he is now, if not moreso.
Hello 1996! We’re debating about whether Saddam Hussein was ever a dangerous fucknozzle; the people who insist he was a harmless misunderstood old teddy-bear, are winning.
Hello 1995! We got a “Pelosi Revolution” that’s just like your “Gingrich Revolution.” It involved between a quarter and a third as many House seats changing hands, as what you just went through…but our media tells us it means far, far more. And you wouldn’t believe how differently they’re treating it. It’s working, too.
Hello 1994! Your “co-President” is going to get her husband’s ass handed to him in the upcoming mid-terms with her socialized-medicine scheme. It’s going to make history — and yet, twelve years later, she’s going to start pushing the same product all over again, running for President “in her own right.”
Hello 1993! I’m from the future. Your brand-new President is going to lie to you. About a marital affair. On television. Waggling his finger at the cameras…and I mean that literally. And then he’s going to get caught by his own spunk, spurted all over a blue dress. DNA tests and everything. He won’t be run out of town on a rail, in fact, there will be a cult following devoted to him and how he “got away with it.”
Hello 1992! James Bond is gone for awhile, but eventually he’s going to come back. But while you’re settling into this era of political-correctness and female-friendliness, I can’t begin to describe what you’re about to do to the White House.
Hello 1991! Saddam Hussein’s going to be left in charge. This will be proven to be the wrong decision. The United Nations will make every single mistake about him they possibly can, including — get this — taking billions of dollars in bribes from Saddam himself, to veto enforcement of Resolutions 678 and 687. And yet, I daresay, there is no one in my time who is opposed to the U.N., who isn’t also opposed to it in yours. Not a soul, so far as I know.
Hello 1990! In about five years, it will become highly fashionable for mens’ pants to slip WAY down so their butt cracks stick out. You won’t be able to get away from it, and it will remain highly fashionable for about a dozen years.

These things make some measure of sense to us because we’ve been acclimated to them slowly. They would make sense in no other time.