Sunday, March 09, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

American Cheese

I just found out today is National Cheese Day. I had to go online to verify that wasn't just another name for Martin Luther King Day (it isn't).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

First they came for the librarians...

Steve Sailer likes to point out the irony of the Los Angeles Times' dutiful support for illegal immigration driving the subsequent collapse of English literacy in Southern California, meaning fewer and fewer people are left who care to read the Los Angeles Times. Well, put this one in the Linguistic Self Displacement category:
2014 will mark the beginning of a massive change for liberal talk radio across the country. In New York, WWRL 1600 AM will flip to Spanish-language music and talk, throwing Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Alan Colmes off the air.
Couldn't have happened to a more deserving crew.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Christmas Lullaby, Arvo Part


Estonian Lullaby, Arvo Part

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Sorrows of Diversity

Plentiful as cheap organisms
Undeveloped in the bosom of a nation...
...you're one of us

--My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, On This Rack

According to police a heartwarmingly diverse duo in Seattle aspired to be a duskier, dumber Leopold and Loeb:
Sometime before 6 a.m. on Oct. 12, two men forced their way into a house in the 13700 block of Northeast 133rd Street and confronted the 18-year-old as he slept in a third-floor bedroom of his parents’ home, charging documents say. The two men restrained the teen in bed and held a knife to his throat, the papers say.
The two forced the young man downstairs, threatening to harm others in the house if he resisted or made any sound, according to the papers. Once in the basement, the 18-year-old was wrestled to the floor; one of his attackers restrained his arms and instructed his accomplice to cut the man’s leg off, the papers say.
That attacker — allegedly Gainey — began hacking at the man’s left ankle and leg, “causing large deep cuts down to the bone,” the papers say.
In the comments section (that's me there as eladsinned) to the Seattle Times' report someone posted links to the alleged Facebook pages of the accused and another friend of theirs, making for a diversity trifecta: one third Asian, one third Black, one third Hispanic, one hundred percent psychopathic. Some social media points are like little peepholes into hell.

Their "likes" call to my mind the controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho, about a yuppie serial killer with a pedestrian tastes in pop music (in the film version he gives an unwitting victim an impromptu, glowing review of Huey Lewis and the News' Sports just before splitting his head with an axe, while Hip to be Square blares insipidly over his top-of-the-line sound system): young Vinsint was a fan of That Seventies Show, American Dad, Two and a Half Men and Family Guy. And of course he and his alleged accomplice--whose parent(s) gave the name "Blessing" (when masked for crime he's a Blessing in disguise)--love their video games.

I've always found it curious and creepy to consider the wandering psychopaths among us laughing at the same television shows, rooting for the same sports teams, listening to the same music--bathing in the same glow coming off the screens in your home. Just like the disgruntled diversity hire Chris Dorner lamenting his suicidal killing spree meant he'd miss The Hangover III and giving shout-outs to his favorite celebs--yo, Anderson Cooper, my man!

The revulsion of finding behind a stupefying act of evil the trite, the familiar, the frivolous, the just plain stupid may explain a familiar screen cliché (coming from that same dull circle of our cultural hell where our Vinsints and Blessings spend so much time): the brilliant serial killer with expansive knowledge and exquisite tastes. You know the scene: here he is plotting his next crime while listening to a delicate aria. There he is now taunting his interrogators with impeccable English. We need to believe in the uniqueness of personified evil. In the difficulty of it. We want it to be an achievement, and not an easy one.

Alas. All hell requires is mediocrity and terror. I imagine the further you delve into the mind of one of these breathing horrors the more you'll find--perhaps most terrifyingly of all--nothing. Nothing but dull, base sensations and wants, led by stupidity and greed. Distressingly common and only held in check by the coercion of law and convention.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Poking Fun

The Smoking Gun gets the vapors.

This is a curious thing. Two anonymous fellows engage in offensive behavior--dressing as Trayvon Martin (complete with blackface and gunshot wound) and George Zimmerman. They are neither celebrities nor public officials. Yet here they are, outed and putatively shamed by the diligent right-thinkers at The Smoking Gun. One could say they're getting the celebrity treatment, of a sort. The Gun even gives us the dirt on one of the guy's own petty criminal record. At some point, without us noticing, New Media began applying the same intrusive treatment formerly reserved for celebrities to the common man--if the common man transgresses against political correctness.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New National Motto

We have nothing to be ashamed of but shame itself.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

For the "Citizen of the World"

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er with him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentrated all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down,
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
--Sir Walter Scott

Monday, May 13, 2013

Colossus 2013

Revising the monument:

Not like the noble works of Western fame,
Of conquering race astride from land to land,
Here at bloodied, graffitied gates now stands,
A twerking harlot, some parent’s shame, named:
U S for Sale! Comprehensive Plan!
"Yo World; may your spawn slander, reprimand,
My breed, whose bequest, nonetheless, they'll have,
Keep," mumble her collagened lips, "your fit. Pour:
Your aggrieved, those eager to settle scores,
Bloodied hands fleeing their criminal wars,
Bring misogyny, polygamy, crime,
Bring Hate, Greed, 'Vibrancy'; power is  mine!
Hit my cell at the door, for a good time..."

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Open Letter

The Carrot and the Stick

All of these fatigued and serious faces showed no evidence of despair...they made their way with the resigned expression of those who are condemned to hope forever.
--Charles Baudelaire, To Each His Own Chimera

Human beings are, necessarily, actors who...can be divided...into the sane who know they are acting and the mad who do not.  
--W.H. Auden

What made my dreams so hollow? 
--Tom Waits, The Train Song 

 You will not be cured. Live long enough and the realization can no longer be deferred. The expectation you've sustained--that has in return sustained you--that over time, with work and luck, you will make yourself whole, is a fraud. A necessary fraud, but a fraud nonetheless. It is not possible. You cannot "find" yourself, as the widely ridiculed cliché would have it--we ridicule it only because it's naïve to speak of it, not because we aren't each guilty of the conceit--because your self is not out there to be found. A thing can't be both seeker and sought. The eye cannot turn upon itself. And the conscious self reduces down entirely to point of view.

But we can't help trying. Each of us, to the extent we're not simply waiting out mortality eating, shitting, acquiring, procreating--to the extent we're human--is a philosopher. We want to know, and the only real object of inquiry left is the conscious self. It's the last mystery. Everything else is biology, physics, evolution. Technical issues.

The only thing setting us apart from the apes--those living, breathing mockeries of the noble idea of man-in-God's-image--is our ability and need to form this question. So, if the self is one's unique identity, and everything else is animal function, then the searching for the self, absurd and impossible, is the only self there is. The physical world, while infinitely vast, is infinitely explainable. Scientific questions will always arise, but so will their answers. We can assume every one of them has a solution, whether we've found it yet or not. There is only one question that has no answer: Why? In the first place, why?

Man has gone in search of God and he has found the void. The void will not hear our appeals, will neither love nor judge us, will not put things to rights; it is indifference itself. This pathetic lament is the last argument in favor of the existence of God; but I will not be led by an appeal to consequences--no matter how unthinkable the consequences. I will have the consequences, thank you; you can have the appeal. Take your fairy tale, if it sustains you. But take it somewhere else. I retain my sympathy, even some respect, for the religious. But I'm all out of patience for them.

Should I speak only for myself? Okay then. I will not be made whole; I will die as I was born: unfinished, incomplete, ill-adapted and ignorant. I'm okay with this; whatever the case, there's nothing else for it, and I'm in no hurry to prove this thesis. And anyway, I could be wrong. Now don't run off; humor me a bit longer. You've got nowhere to go, and besides, none of this is what I came to say. My concerns are of the petty, selfish variety--the only honest kind, in other words.

I've always been afraid of two things: beginnings and endings. I'm afraid to "take the leap" into new endeavor; I will stay for years in the same physical or metaphorical place purely out of inertia--often in tormented awareness of the fact. But I fear more finishes and finality--at least some part manifestation of my fear of death. I once took a job selling--or trying to sell--cars. I was thoroughly incapable. I couldn't "close". Second only to closing in my dread was opening the sale. Introducing myself. This holds mostly constant for me. The only thing I can bear, the only thing that feels natural to me, is the stringing along of a thing.

I want to fiddle in the middle. Better still to go back periodically, not to the beginning, but to some earlier point. Even as a  young boy I recall wanting to go back in time, to correct mistakes, to retrieve something irretrievable--never anything specific. I've just always been haunted by the vague suspicion I've screwed up. I don't defend this. I know it's untenable; I have paid dearly for it. Still, I despise you for not understanding. I despise your practicality. I despise your literal-mindedness, your impatience with all this, your perfectly logical and correct arguments. To hell with your careers, to hell with your ambition, to hell with your concern! To hell with you, closers, and this world of yours!

I say this because there was another, undeniable aspect to my aversion to closing the deal. Something less flattering still. I don't understand the appeal of bending someone to my will, of seduction--even of women. It repulses me, almost as much as the idea of being seduced. I always feel guilty about it. It is degrading. Maybe it's really just pride, pathological egoism--I refuse to play along, to compromise. I will not bow, I will not appeal, and I will not act the part. I have a few problems, you see, with my character as written in the script. I want to know who wrote these lines anyway. I will not read them--they are all trite cliché. I'm not feeling it. What about the audience? To hell with them. I didn't charge admission. I can't see beyond the floodlights; I'm not sure they're out there.

Yes, I know--the closing must be done; the cars have to be sold. The seductions, and subsequent screwing, must take place. Somebody has to do it. If no one does it, it won't get done, and if it doesn't get done, we'll suffer for it. But must everyone have join in, for Christ's sake? Modern life increasingly demands we all be closers--or closed upon. Closers run the world. What about creativity, you say? There are creators--like those who invented the car. But notice: they don't run things. They have some influence, often very much influence, yes, but they don't have the last word in this world. It's right there in the contract: they get a percentage of the gross, but they don't have final cut. Who does? Politicians? Well, that's what they call themselves, but what they really are is salesmen. Closers. And what they sell is necessarily corrupted. It's used by various interests. The world is run by used car salesmen. They even look the part, only somewhat better dressed. Their patter is, if anything, less honest. But this isn't what I came to say either.

I have given up the ghost--now don't start, it's not as grim as that. And some day--it's inevitable--you will too, if only on your deathbed. You fear this like the onset of dementia in old age, or like falling under the sway of a cult. You see it as death itself. Me, I can't remember truly caring. I have only wanted to escape it. Now I can't fake it anymore--yet I have to go on living. The battle has been lost but there is no surrender, no merciful slaughter; no resolution. I must go on fighting--I'm not the type to put a gun to my head. I am too jealous, too greedy, too envious for that, after all my gloating disdain for concern. I'm not leaving this all to you bastards. I might miss something! So I am condemned, not to die but to live.

But I have sinned; that's the worst of it. Because I have not contributed. It was pride that would not let me step onto the wire. I would not risk it. I have been a free-rider the whole time, the worst kind, the kind who consoles himself with the notion he's been cheated. But I haven't gotten away with it; mediocrity is its own punishment. I committed the worst sin of the healthy and sane: I held back. I was a miser, hoarding himself. Recently I read about a "hoarder" who'd been found, dead for weeks, buried in the refuse he wouldn't part with. That's how they'll find me, amidst the half-baked ideas, the false starts, the if-only regrets that are my refuse. For what was I saving myself? What did I expect to happen? I made an assumption that isn't mine to make--that none of it matters. Now that assumption fails too. What's the first thing to give with age? Certainty.

Those who act are better, nobler; they operate on faith, on the faith there is meaning, despite all evidence to the contrary. It takes faith to buy in without guarantee. And faith is all we ever had to go on in the end, in the absence of signs.
Ironic isn't it? But faith is all we have left in the absence of God.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Moment of Silence, Attended by Fanfare

Derangement meets cynicism. From Politico, President Obama and the politics of kitsch:
Tuesday morning, a peculiar announcement trickled out of the White House press office: President Barack Obama would be holding a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston bombings. At the White House. By himself.
No press or other intruders allowed. Except the White House photographer. 
Nothing more than the president's sentiment is necessary, because nothing can exceed it. Perfection cannot be perfected. The tragedy is less significant than the great one's recognition of it. We're way beyond kissing babies in this country. This is getting weird.
So I guess it's inconceivable anyone will sit the One down to explain to him the whole point of a moment of silence is, well, silence. I wonder: what would an Oval Office intervention look like, anyway?

Operation Embrace in Effect, Operation Dry Hump Standing By

According to USA Today, the mosque attended by the terrorist Tsarnaev brothers is a tad less liberal than its Boston surroundings:
Several people who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., have been investigated for Islamic terrorism, including a conviction of the mosque's first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, in connection with an assassination plot against a Saudi prince. 
Its sister mosque in Boston, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited guests who have defended terrorism suspects. A former trustee appears in a series of videos in which he advocates treating gays as criminals, says husbands should sometimes beat their wives and calls on Allah (God) to kill Zionists and Jews, according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance, an interfaith group that has investigated the mosques. The head of the group is among critics who say the two mosques teach a brand of Islamic thought that encourages grievances against the West, distrust of law enforcement and opposition to Western forms of government, dress and social values. 
"We don't know where these boys were radicalized, but this mosque has a curriculum that radicalizes people. Other people have been radicalized there," said the head of the group, Charles Jacobs.
Recall Fareed Zakaria's advice that we "embrace" our Muslim communities like the Europeans do, establishing contacts so respectable Muslims will inform on their radical cousins. The feds are way ahead of you, Zak:
Yusufi Vali, executive director at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, insists his mosque does not spread radical ideology and cannot be blamed for the acts of a few worshipers. 
"If there were really any worry about us being extreme," Vali said, U.S. law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security would not partner with the Muslim American Society and the Boston mosque in conducting monthly meetings that have been ongoing for four years, he said, in an apparent reference to U.S. government outreach programs in the Muslim community. 
The Cambridge and Boston mosques, separated by the Charles River, are owned by the same entity but managed individually. The imam of the Cambridge mosque, Sheik Basyouny Nehela, is on the board of directors of the Boston mosque. 
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, attended the Cambridge mosque for services and are accused of setting two bombs that killed three people and injured at least 264 others at the April 15 Boston Marathon. The FBI has not indicated that either mosque was involved in any criminal activity, but mosque attendees and officials have been implicated in terrorist activity
Note the same organization, the Islamic Society of Boston, runs the Islamic Society of Boston Mosque in Cambridge and the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Boston proper. This may mean nothing, but it could be they have an official mosque for inoffensive services and more radical preaching in another to avoid alarming their more respectable congregants.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Observation

Our zeitgeist: everything is revealed and nothing is known.

People are going to have to think less about themselves and think more about me, Fareed Zakaria...

Fareed Zakaria was born into an elite Indian Muslim family and made his way into the global elite via Harvard and Yale. He's edited Foreign Affairs, Newsweek and Newsweek International; now he's a host on CNN. As you can imagine, this expertise and background have given him unique insight into the inexplicable horror of the Boston Marathon bombing by two young Muslim men whose family was welcomed into United States as refugees when they were children. Mr. Zakaria has had a whole week to apply his keen intellect and experience to the problem. What has he discerned? That we haven't done enough to "embrace" Muslims, and should take Europe, with its much larger, more hostile and separate Muslim communities, for our model:
Over the past two decades...European countries have recognized the dangers created by their indifference and have sought to integrate Muslim migrants. Governments at all levels have engaged with Islamic communities, taking steps to include Muslims in mainstream society but also to nurture a more modern, European version of Islam. In effect, many governments are now dealing with Islam as they have other religions, creating Islamic councils, providing funding for cultural activities, representation in public forums and being mindful of religious practices and holidays.
Note the use of "integrate" in place of "assimilate". This is a long-time trend that has been gaining steam as assimilation has failed due to the sheer number of newcomers, our regnant system of identity politics and the progressive elite's assault on the concept itself. Assimilation of immigrants is now considered either too ambitious or just so, I don't know, last millennium in its backwardness.

Of course I'm forgetting the most important question following the bombings. How does this affect the prospects of Fareed Zakaria and his progeny? Without a separate community (and the threat of violence and general social degradation coming therefrom) Zakaria cannot claim to be our diviner of intention, and his rougher poor relations ("Muslim leaders") cannot appropriate the role of intermediaries. All this talk of "fear" in the elite media--the average American wouldn't know he was in its throes if the Washington Post didn't tell him--is just wishful thinking. Your fear is desired, necessary even, and will be presumed whether you like it or not. The lad(ies) doth protest too much. This is all  leaving aside that Zakaria is nearly as alien to the average Muslim immigrant as Barack Obama is to the urban black.

Fareed goes on to reassure us that if we legitimize separate Muslim communities as such and deal with them through a new generation of Muslim political leaders, occasionally somebody will rat out the terrorists before they strike:
The lesson from Europe appears to be: Embrace Muslim communities. That’s a conclusion U.S. law enforcement agencies would confirm. The better the relationship with local Muslim groups, the more likely they are to provide useful information about potential jihadis.
An attack — apparently inspired but also perhaps directed by al-Qaeda — was foiled recently in Canada for just this reason. An imam in Toronto noticed one of his congregants behaving strangely and reported the behavior to the police, who followed up and arrested the man before he could execute his plan. Before briefing reporters on their collaboration, Canada’s top counterterrorism authorities invited Toronto’s Islamic leaders to a meeting and thanked them for their help. “But for the Muslim community’s intervention, we may not have had the success,” said the official, according to one lawyer invited to the meeting.
Of course a moratorium on immigration from Muslim countries is inconceivable. What would become of Fareed's CNN gig then?
Wait a minute, I think I've seen this bit before: