Archive for May, 2016

The Phony Apathy

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

A friend and I were talking at work about the tragedy of the kids-these-days…the stuff they can’t do that previous generations would’ve been able to do, what’s changed in their upbringing, and consequentially in their behavior. She’s in her mid-thirties, I’m closing in on fifty this summer. So it was worth contemplating, that people in our age bracket have been harboring these concerns for a good long time, centuries even. In each generation, these concerns could be crystallized into something specific, that remains consistent with what was expressed a generation previous and a generation afterward: Here is something the kids aren’t being taught how to do, and after I was taught how to do it, darn it, turned out I really, really needed to know it. So how are they to cope? The world’s still here, so perhaps these worries are overblown.

But on the other hand. It would be futile, and maybe even a bit foolish, to doubt that there is a quickening of sorts taking place. The rate at which things are changing, the way they are changing, this is in itself changing. The kids don’t see it. And while the old farts like us do see it, it looks to us like some sort of a curve. Well, a curve could mean anything. y=x^2? Or, y=1/(k-x)? One can be plotted indefinitely and the the other cannot be. And this is the summation of the fears of all the old farts, grousing about the shortcomings of the younger generation, throughout history. Trying to detect from the slope of the curve, whether or not we’re heading over a brink. It’s the Stein Rule, whatever cannot last forever, won’t. So is this, that? Are we approaching something that can be approached only so much? That’s the question. Parabola or hyperbola.

I am reassured when I see that Medicators have been with us throughout the ages. These are the hopeless addicts to immediate gratification, the ones who don’t define much of anything at all, in fact will resist the useful definition of pretty much anything save for their own feelings. Their opposites are the Architects, the ones who take the time to figure out the widget will start working when, and only when, this pinion is affixed to this shaft and meshed with that other pinion…to which the Medicator protests, “I don’t care how the watch works, I just want to know what time it is.” Technology has illuminated, and intensified, this split in how people think. But the overall point is, it has also saddled us with a tragic paradigm: It has made it easy, in a way it never was easy before, for the Medicators to come out on top. Seems every big firm, right before tumbling over a precipice and starting a downward slide, puts their creative talent under the authoritative whim of the uncreative and untalented. This is a product of technology. Without technology, there is an implied contract of “you may have what you can build yourself,” just as without law and order there is an implied contract of “you may keep what you personally can defend with physical force.”

All-around, that’s an improvement. But there is one thing I know is wrong, for sure. I don’t need to wait to see how the curve plots as the X-axis extends rightward. And history provides me no assurances about this. And I don’t need a windy paragraph to make the point, I can summarize it in a single sentence:

People who “don’t care about” things, expect to win.

That’s new, and it isn’t being constrained in any way that I can see. Indeed, this expectation that the outcome should be unilaterally determined by people who claim not to care what the outcome is, does not come from within. If it does, it is at least being reinforced from without. These races for President of the United States just provide further evidence for what I’m observing. History is going to record President Obama got elected to fix our health care system, and…did something about it. The sources biased in His favor will say He fixed it, those biased against Him will say He wrecked it, but they’ll all be obliged to agree He was the Health Care President. But, Obama doesn’t care about this subject. He is not a policy wonk. If He was, He wouldn’t be fun to watch, there’d be no entertainment value in His speeches, and He would not be the figure He is today. Ever watch someone who cares about whether something works, build the whatever-it-is? Boring. Caring about where things go, how it all works, sucks up a lot of time. It can be made watchable only by way of careful editing, reducing hours and days to just a few minutes. But how about designing it? Want to watch someone do the actual design? Even more boring.

Watching someone wreck something, or dismiss a rebuttal with the ultimate smackdown of “I don’t care about,” that’s entertaining. Technology has enabled us to wallow in the delusion that this is how things are built. But it isn’t. Things that actually work, are built by people who care. Things that don’t work, are built by people who don’t. It’s no more complicated than that.

We Don't CareWhich brings me to bathrooms. Among those crusading for an end to the ladies’ restroom as a defining edifice of civilized society, a talking point has set in that they’re somehow the sane ones; their exclusive lock on sanity is illuminated by the fact that they don’t care. They don’t care about the gender of the person using the facilities, and they don’t care about the issue overall either.

They think they can sell that as sanity, because they think it looks like sanity. Maybe it does to someone else, not to me though. Sanity, where one side cares about how an issue is resolved and the other side does not care, looks like: Let’s ask the ones who care. While those who have better things to do, more weighty things on their mind, go off to attend to whatever those things are.

I know, that’s just crazy talk, right? It would end these “bathroom wars” in a heartbeat.

But, that will never work. It takes seriously something that never was intended to be taken seriously, this outburst of “we don’t care about.” That’s fake. The crusaders for the rights of gender-confused bathroom visitors not only care, they refuse to take no for an answer.

This is an old problem with the homosexual agenda. It passes itself off convincingly as something reasonable, by basing itself on the premise that “kids are born that way,” therefore the object of all this crusading has to do with a personal birth-attribute, over which the person in question has no control, much like the color of a person’s skin. It is on that intellectual foundation that the movement is treated, from within and without, as an anti-discrimination movement. All fine and good. But it does not follow, from that, that the movement should be granted the various things it demands. This is the true meaning of the Latin “non sequitur“: It does not follow.

How you “sexually identify” shouldn’t have any ramification whatsoever on what bathroom you visit. We visit bathrooms to resolve biological issues; to take a #1 or a #2, to put it delicately. This has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with attachments and fittings. But with the “I don’t care” crowd running things, I suppose right-wing blogs are the only place we can mention what should be immediately & ultimately obvious?

As saneperson commented last month,

Another little game that liberals like to play is, “Why are you wasting time arguing about X when there are all these far more important issues?”

But if their real concern was that public debate time is being wasted on trivial side issues, the solution would be simple: Give the conservatives what they want on this issue, and then get the conversation back on the important things. If you think the issue of who can use which bathroom is silly and not worth arguing about for 30 seconds, then great, stop arguing about it! If you think this debate is a waste of time, you can end it instantly by just conceding the point.

Of course they never, ever do this. 9 times out of 10 they’re the ones who brought the issue up in the first place, by passing some law or getting a court ruling forcing everyone in the country to do something that liberals want. As in this case. So they’re argument is, “This is stupid and unimportant. So you should just concede the argument and give us 100% of what we want.” No, if you really believed it was stupid and unimportant, you would never have brought a lawsuit over it or lobbied Congress or whatever to begin with. You’re the ones who declared this a vitally important issue. And now you’re mad at us because we agree that it’s important.

The real objection, of course, is not that we are wasting time by debating this trivial side issue. The real objection is that we are not getting the liberal agenda enacted fast enough.

And that really nails it. My beef with them is not with their apathy; I’m apathetic about a lot of things. Nor can I fault them for their passion. It’s the insincerity, by which they so casually cloak the latter under a disguise of the former. They’re supposedly not targeting homosexuals, or straights, they just want a non-discriminatory world in which everyone can be what nature has decided they should be. And, they’re not coming after our kids, supposedly. But they are. Elsa is supposed to have a girlfriend, the newest hashtag campaign says so. What does “coming after our kids” look like, if that isn’t it?

And this brings me to the latest hot new trend of “We distinguish ourselves by not caring about it, so let us unilaterally dictate how it’s going to be and we will NEVER take no for an answer”: #NeverTrump.

Once again, a tempest in a teapot arises, and it’s supposed to be all my fault, for noticing a glaring contradiction. These are supposed to be champions of conservatism. Their narrative is that Trump is just as much a liberal as Hillary, and since the election is now a contest between the one and the other, it’s a lost cause for conservatism. They’re just pointing it out, folks, and don’t you dare insinuate they’re campaigning for Hillary!

Here is one example:

I will not vote for a liberal. I don’t give a hairy rat’s ass how many made-for-TV slogans he repeats, how many empty promises he offers, how many insults he or his followers hurl…I don’t trust him. I won’t vote for him. and I do not respond to fascist tactics, period.

if you only dive-bomb my posts in an effort to change my mind? save it. you’ll never do so.

if you delight in hurling insults at those who still take the time to engage you? don’t be at all shocked when they respond in the only manner in which you seem to understand.

don’t bother with your asinine argument about voting for BIG GOV CANDIDATE 1 (Thing 1) in order to prevent BIG GOV CANDIDATE 2 (Thing 2) from ascending to the WH. we told you months ago that — should this shit sandwich on soggy syphilitic toast become the fare du jour — we would not partake.

you’re comfortable with compromising your integrity, your “principles”, to the point that you’ll support a lying, classless bully who exhibits NOT ONE characteristic indicative of statesmanship, nor any fundamental understanding of the Constitution he might become charged with protecting — on the basis of this year’s “Hope and Change”? good on you; I’m happy for you. I’ll never be there.

I will not shut up. I will not stop posting about my objection to this ASS as an appropriate choice for president. I will NOT vote for him come November. and I AM NOT ALONE.

continue haranguing the last conservatives of good conscience remaining in this country; you’ll find that you only cement our resolve.

Where to begin.

“Hurling insults” is something I have seen time and time again from the Trump-phobes, not so much the Trump-philes.

I’ve checked out this thing about Trump being some kind of liberal. Even in the smear jobs, he comes off looking like a mercenary who has become tired of the rules he has successfully followed. This is the very picture of the newcomer-conservative that the movement should be making efforts to welcome.

And, as I’ve pointed out many times before, this mistaken mindset of “I must be correct for look how incredibly difficult it is to change my mind” is a rhetorical tool of the left. Of liberals. We should expect this to be the case. If they had what it took to take in new information, to consider other perspectives and other views, they wouldn’t be liberals.

But my biggest problem is with the “I will not shut up.” Why not, I wonder? If you are in this crusade to uphold your “principles,” which have to do with conservatism, which has been entirely betrayed now that the 2016 election is distilled into a contest between one liberal and another…then, I would expect, your head is in 2018 or 2020. And your crusading would go there. Why are you crusading in the here and now? What is it you want — this year? We know what you don’t want; what DO you want, then? Given all that is possible as of now.

If your thoughts are on this year, and you will not shut up…which I’m reading as, you will not take no for an answer…I’m guessing you want to divert votes away from Trump. You know your third-party candidate won’t actually win, so — what part of this is not supposed to look like crusading for Hillary? Why is it, exactly, that people aren’t supposed to think this is what you’re doing?

I’ve pointed this out to Trump-phobes before. They don’t take too kindly to it. One of the most common rejoinders is, if they’re expected to shut up, then anybody who disagrees with them should also shut up, just as quickly and just as much.

This misses the point. They’re the ones with the narrative that says all is lost now. They’re the ones who, given that the contest is now between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, don’t care. Which brings us back to the original subject, the title of this post. Just like the people who don’t care how nature made a child who was born gay; and, like the bathroom warriors. There is a certain way people behave when they really don’t care about something. True apathy has a certain standard, and #NeverTrump crusaders, by continuing to crusade, are failing to live down to it.


Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The time has come to start spelling it out with one word.

Lately every movie that has some action in it, has to involve a butt-kicking female. What’s sad is that it’s like watching an alcoholic try to cure his alcoholism by drinking more alcohol, because there is a desire here to get a message out that women can be just as heroic as men. What’s missing is the heroism. They stand up to sexists, they win arguments, they kick butt. Actually saving the day though, as in protecting the lives of untold numbers of total strangers, that’s still a dude thing.

NeckToToeBlackCatsuitThere’s supposed to be some creativity involved, too, but there isn’t any. The constant costume is this NeckToToeBlackCatsuit. Modesty Blaise made this look good. It makes sense for Batgirl and Catwoman to be wearing it.

But that’s not enough. Selene. Emma Peel. Black Widow. Aeon Flux. Trinity. Wilma Deering. Charlie’s Angels. Scarlett. The Invisible Woman. The Bride. Seven of Nine. Katniss. Yori. And, some women who don’t belong in catsuits…Lara Croft, Wonder Woman, others.

It’s the bare legs, stomachs, backs…skin pisses off feminists. Interestingly, a pleasing female shape doesn’t seem to arouse this kind of rage out of them. Odd, since their battle cry is supposed to have something to do about reforming unrealistic societal expectations placed upon the female physique. A hundred-pound strumpet doing high kicks in a NeckToToeBlackCatsuit does nothing to bring about such reform, and yet we are surrounded by exactly that because the studios don’t want to piss off the feminists.

Well if the story is supposed to involve some kind of realism, I can certainly go without the bare skin. What I can’t abide is the NeckToToeBlackCatsuit. It is a warning siren of studio cowardliness, coupled with extreme lack of creativity. Black Widow, that’s okay because she’s been illustrated this way in the comic books for years. It’s the cookie-cutter motion that piques my fatigue, and ultimately closes my billfold. Oh, we’re supposed to have action. Write in a butt-kicking female, and have the costume department order up a NeckToToeBlackCatsuit.

Well here is an idea. How about…get to the root of the problem? How about writing it so that the woman, rather than just kicking high, winning arguments, beating people up — does what the male action heroes do that make them heroes? Find the control box that activates the deadly satellite that will vaporize Hong Kong in X many minutes, risk life and limb to get to it, and prevent a disaster? Which, if allowed to happen, wouldn’t harm her personally in any way, but would end the lives of innocent people she has never met, and never will meet?

Yes, some women in action movies do something like that. But not as often as the males. The high-kicking in the NeckToToeBlackCatsuit, generally, is invested in self-preservation. And before she gets to that, she’s winning arguments, asserting her position of superiority and dominance over retrograde sexists who don’t have the correct opinions.

It’s the wrong approach. James Bond did engage in & win some arguments here & there, sometimes against bad guys obsessed with world domination, sometimes with scatterbrained females. But the primary emphasis was on saving-the-day. The studios are missing this key point, so in their zeal to elevate reform of cultural attitudes above entertaining the audience, they’re typically not even going about it the right way.


Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Reason (v.):

1a obsolete : to take part in conversation, discussion, or argument
b : to talk with another so as to influence actions or opinions (can’t reason with them)

2 : to use the faculty of reason so as to arrive at conclusions


the use of reason; especially : the drawing of inferences or conclusions through the use of reason

Something has happened. In years past, these people who today call themselves “liberals” used to do some of this. Now they don’t, or at least, they do it much less often than normal people. Which really says something, because normal people are not involved in social-media “debates” as often as these people who today call themselves “liberals.”

Maybe I come close. But my observation is about normal people. So, those who go by this label, are involved in arguments a lot more, and they use reasoning a lot less. Taking all of the above definitions into account and applying it to everyday situations, we might think of “reasoning” as traversing a sort of route on a map, with facts at one end, conclusions at the other.

It’s pretty hard to live an adult life, even for a day or so, without doing some of this. So how do they get around doing it? Part of it is, conclusions are really just opinions, and to an emotionally-invested liberal there’s no distinction to be made between facts vs. opinions. In their world, this stuff is all in the same salad bowl, it’s all just something you say to make people agree with you.

Their enduring position, and their attitude, is “accept it uncritically or else I shall call you a troglodyte.” Or something worse: Bigot, sexist, racist, homophobe. Mere insults carry a threat of social shunning, but the “ist” words carry a threat of vocational ostracism. Using plain simple words, that means career-death. That actually means something to a conservative.

The unreasoners are encumbered by a paradox. They want to think their ideas are so emphatically, so self-evidently true, so elevated above the need for any inspection, deliberation or contemplation — reasoning — that anyone capable of even the most cursory level of responsible thinking would not only sign on, but assist the liberal in eschewing any dissent. Truth is, though, if an idea ever did rise to that level of “everyone gets it, no need to discuss,” it would lose all appeal for them. They don’t want to promote any ideas that are self-evidently true, that everyone with a working brain automatically gets. That’s boring.

That would be something like: If you think the police are prejudiced against you and you’re afraid of them…start this urgent business of protecting yourself, by not breaking the law. Or: If we want the economy to do better, make it less expensive to start, and operate, a business. Things like these make far too much sense, so this is all something to be left to conservatives. They’re much more fond of things like: What is our country doing to make the terrorists want to attack us? Or: We have to sign these international accords so we can bring the planet’s climate (back) under some kind of “control.” Or things that contradict not just common sense, but themselves: The economy is doing wonderfully because of Obama’s wise stewardship — it is urgent that we elect Hillary so she can clean up this terrible mess. Cops are racist, let’s have strict gun control so only cops have the guns.

It is only when they take such risible positions, that the unreasoners start flocking to their go-to, like bugs to a zapper: It’s just so obvious, there’s no point discussing it with someone who doesn’t get it. Ever notice? They don’t do that with things that really are just obvious.


Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Me, from the e-mails:

I look at it like this. Whenever someone is replaced in some occupation due to incompetence, you can count on two things: Things will get better over the longer term, and there will be lots of discomfort over the shorter term. There are variables involved but the variables don’t affect either one of those two things. They remain true even if the incompetent is replaced by someone else even more incompetent (since, at least, there is a forced acknowledgement that there was & is a problem of incompetence, whereas before there was no such forced acknowledgement). And they remain true even if the prior person’s incompetence was a closely guarded secret.

Now the political class that Trump opposes, or pretends to oppose, it really doesn’t matter which — it had one freakin’ job, no more and no less. Trump is obviously not a politician and doesn’t try to be one, but he beat ’em at their own game, and he did it time after time after time, all year long. Anyway you cut it, that’s incompetence. They had one job.

You know, people blast Trump for this and that, some of what they say is true but it doesn’t matter because they’re missing the point. Trump did earn those delegates. There was something hugely broken before he came along, and he effectively exploited the problem. Yes it does remain a large assumption to be made that “exploit” has something to do with “fix,” and there are a lot of problems involved in such an assumption. But that’s the assumption that makes American politics go, that is how it works. With any candidate.

Their moment-to-moment war-planning, and their life-long training, is to be liked & get votes. Donald Trump…just go and randomly pick from any one of all the things he says, on any given day, for proof of this…is not quite as fixated on the being-liked part. He’s been beating them like harp seals all year. And beating them at what they’re supposed to know how to do. And he isn’t supposed to know how to do that, at least, not as well. But, the results…they speak for themselves.

No, that is not because there is just unlimited awesomeness on Trump’s end. There must be some incompetence on the other end. Pretty hard to deny there is something significant taking place right now, and that it is the result of pressures building up over time while being denied an outlet. An outlet’s been found.

Over the long term, that’s a good thing.

Rules for Throwing Temper Tantrums

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

1. The very first rule is to keep in mind at all times that, by default, the reaction to you being angry is either a) indifference or 2) laughter. That’s because “temper tantrum” is a term we use to describe the behavior of very small children. If you’re using one to get something you want, you have to change this dynamic somehow. Which brings us to…

2. Your temper tantrum M-U-S-T involve a cost, to someone, besides you. Someone in a position to fulfill your demand, or at least get things moving in that direction, has to be deprived of something they want. If this is not happening then you’re just embarrassing yourself.

3. The best way to throw a temper tantrum is always to go charging out of the room. Keep in mind though that you can only do this once. If you have to keep popping back into the room to remind people you’re still angrily charging out of it…that’s not providing incentive for change, that’s providing humor.

4. Remember that a temper-tantrum is a negotiation tactic. As such, you M-U-S-T give your opponent an out. What are the terms of their surrender that you’re offering? How are they supposed to bring your temper tantrum to an end? Your demand must be a) possible, b) practical, c) concise and d) clear.

‪#‎NeverTrump‬ folk have a lot of good points to make, so it’s a shame that they’re punchlines right now. They’re breaking all four of these rules. Making a logical decision from a plurality of undesirable options is one of the defining characteristics of maturity. Fantasizing about some other option being available, that isn’t, is a defining characteristic of immaturity. No, it doesn’t look “principled.” It looks like a little kid upset about the dinner menu, throwing a fit because he can’t have something else.

There are no party bosses, wringing their claw-like hands together in perplexed states of agitation, whining to each other about “Oh no! Bob out in Northern California doesn’t like his choices! We must find another! Donald Trump, stand down!!” Fun thought for you to have in your head if you’re Bob in California…but that is not happening.