Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bill Keith, 1939 - 2015

Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Bluegrass Breakdown

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Leadership!

At this rate ¿Jeb? will soon become the greatest leader of all time:

Jeb Bush says he's not reducing his presidential campaign, he is simply refocusing it with an eye toward the early caucus and primary states.
"We've made an adjustment in our campaign," Bush said Saturday before conducting a town hall in the pivotal state of South Carolina. "That's what leaders do."

Or he could've gone with this angle:

Interviewer: "The last time [Spinal] Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?"

Manager: "Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no...no, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective."


This is an act of love, pendejos!

Maybe ¿Jeb? could get himself a cricket bat. I know I wish George HW Bush, patriarch of this disastrous clan, had used the stick a little more often and enthusiastically. Couldn't have hurt.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quote of the Day

Born-Again Sexuality

"Dreams of self-destruction, and probably many cases of suicide, are desires or attempts on the part of narcissistic individuals to give themselves a new birth by attacking themselves and thus bringing about self-fertilization."
--Theodore Faithfull, The Mystery of the Androgyne: Three Papers on the Theory and Practice of Psychoanalysis1938

We're not allowed to speculate any more on the motivation behind what used to be called "gender bending": transvestism, transsexualism, etc. Indeed, that now quaint phrase seems destined to fall to the Maoist language police, suggesting as it does sexual identity is malleable and subject to human will and desire. Because while it might sound like that is precisely what the trans movement is about, it isn't. That is, it is completely about that and completely against that.

While the theory is that sexual identity is a social construct free of biology that exists on a continuum--infinitely divisible, apparently--including as one such point the "gender fluid" individual whose sexual identity may change over time (but not, damn you, at whim), it also decrees that any suggestion this identity is not a congenital fact of birth ("born this way" in the slogan) is both immoral and unscientific. Thus the foundation of political homosexuality would be undermined. Because the movement is protected from criticism, this contradiction goes unexamined. Sexual identity exists like a particle in quantum physics, here, there, everywhere until pinned to a location by observation (or, in their case, declaration). Perhaps they shouldn't speak of a continuum, but of a
probability distribution.

But it's increasingly obvious to me the blossoming of alternative sexual identities is driven by two things: individual psychology and social influence. Like many or most of us in this atomized age, gender benders are engaged in a desperate, narcissistic quest to satisfy two conflicting desires: to establish their unique individuality, and to find their place in a community of their own. Sexual dysphorics who act on their dysphoria seek to effect their own destruction and rebirth. Whatever there is that's "heroic" about it at this point has less to do with social stigma and more to do with defiance of Mother Nature.

I was struck by this thought when perusing a photo collage of feminists and coming upon the picture of a butch lesbian. Her look was actually an impressive, in its way, mimicry of masculinity: pompadour haircut, practiced smile, perfect flannel shirt. I couldn't help thinking this woman might have been aware of a choice available to her: be an unremarkable looking woman, or an impressive caricature of a lumberjack.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Narrative Inversion, or, Lying Through the Media's Teeth

We're told the migrant wave into Europe is a mass flight from a dangerous war zone. Of course, wrong-thinkers keep pointing out the migration appears to be overwhelmingly male. Young, healthy males at that. National Review is here to reassure us, using the selective sentimental anecdote method, that this isn't a great "invasion" of Europe by "military age men" (neither, presumably, a giant poon-hunt by horny Arabs, the Great Sexile) but merely an advance guard of hardy colonists with women and children waiting at home until they establish themselves in public housing on the European citizen's dime. Then they'll avail themselves of Europe's family reunification policies to bring them along once it's safe:

“They tell us, ‘We do this dangerous trip on our own, we get asylum, and there is a law in the European Union that the family can come,’” says Christof Zellenberg, the chairman of the Europa Institute, who has been heavily involved in volunteer efforts in Vienna. You see few newcomers over 50, he adds, because “this is a grueling trip, and you need to be young and strong.” 

Many patriarchs are well aware of the risks of bringing their families with them. Zellenberg says the migrants he’s worked with have told him stories of violent criminal smugglers who rape women and threaten men with guns during the journey. 

How many degrees of remove (if any) are those "violent criminal smugglers" from those working with NGOs to facilitate the migration and who are described warmly in other reports?

 Powerline dubs these men "anchor daddies". The National Review article seems to think this is supposed to reassure us that, even though there's still no effective screening to weed out terrorists (much less the latent terrorists who'll be radicalized in European mosques after learning it's not all pussy and cars in Berlin after all), it's okay because it's just that Europe hasn't actually considered the real numbers of soon to be welfare-dependent Muslim families crowding into Europe:

But a future influx of families could another problem, as Zellenberg notes. Europe is already struggling to deal with the financial burden caused by today’s newcomers, who are pouring across European borders at levels not seen since World War II. If the majority of these men plan to bring families later, the current numbers are totally off. Multiply it by four or more, he says.

Oh, okay. Now back to photos of cute waifs.

So not only are the migrants not fleeing war zones for safety, they're leaving the women and children behind in relative safety until they can comfortably travel (just waiting to hear about how Europe will be cowed into paying for their transport) into the great fatlands of the North.
A good narrative effort is adaptable and rolls with the punches. A lie refuted isn't acknowledged but countered with another lie. Refute that and here's another. Of course it all works because the referee is in on the fix too, but you still have to admire the skill.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Trump Agonistes

The uppermost idea with Hellenism is to see things as they really are; the uppermost idea with Hebraism is conduct and obedience.
(...)
 The governing idea of Hellenism is spontaneity of consciousness; that of Hebraism, strictness of conscience.
  --Culture and Anarchy, Matthew Arnold

The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
--John F. Kennedy

And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece...
Zechariah, 9:13

American politics have been upended by the Trump candidacy's success in the face of sustained, coordinated opposition from the powerful. Has there ever been such a wide chasm between popular support and elite opposition? Trump's unlikely popularity comes not merely as a shock but as a revelation, but what precisely has been revealed is debatable. Something is happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.

His detractors, despite their glib dismissal of his popularity as mere white male anger (the only anger they don't valorize out of hand), don't really want to know. So they'll keep on with a strategy that, after all, should be working. And it may be that despite his remarkable run Trump is still just one gaffe away from the abyss. Or one cringing apology from it. That he hasn't succumbed so far itself constitutes a secondary, collateral quandary for those who hold the commanding heights of the media. He threatens to expose the gaffe-apology cycle in American politics as the kabuki theater it is. Most of the time it isn't the offense but the apology that kills or stalls an individual career. Just as its purpose is not to salve real or manufactured outrage--outrage is a valuable commodity in American politics--but rather to de-legitimize the line of inquiry or dissent threatened by any given sin of exposition.

Trump threatens to expose the reality that any given gaffe-scandal normally has little to it but the sturm und drang of media histrionics which might, or might not (for it need not, really) set off some level of popular anger. By this process the individual citizen is led to believe--now through the amplifier of social media (the force-multiplier of manufactured opinion)--there's a groundswell of popular outrage and expert disagreement with a given assertion. Call it, contra Chomsky, manufactured dissent. As often as not the gaffe is simply a truth routinely suppressed. The gaffe cycle creates the illusion of consensus denying that truth and subverts the individual's own perception of it, however obvious, causing him to doubt his very own eyes and experience.

Of course this can only go so far, and only go on so long before the deliberate nature of the suppression of the truth becomes as obvious as the truth it suppresses. If Trump achieves nothing else, his demonstration that one can not only survive opposition to the process but thrive by opposing it will constitute a significant contribution to the greater good. But he has to survive, or at least not die by gaffe. All the more reason for the elite to focus on this method of attack--to demonstrate it, still, is How Things Work and some things must not be said.

But his opponents will keep at it for another reason. Serious engagement with his immigration argument--the font of his popularity--threatens to legitimize a debate which the political, media and business elites have worked years to de-legitimize. Astounding as it is, immigration restriction hasn't a single true proponent among mainstream national politicians or media outlets, despite the overwhelming popular support for it. That Trump exposes this remarkable anomaly is yet another reason to focus on the messenger. It really is "all about" the immigration, in more ways than one.

So it's absurd to think that without the immigration issue, and the implicitly pro-white agenda of which it's the centerpiece, he'd be getting anywhere. It's hard to imagine Donald Trump's comically boastful roadshow succeeding with the same milquetoast policy prescriptions of a Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Far easier to imagine any one of his Republican opponents succeeding with his immigration policy than to imagine him succeeding with theirs. That's leaving aside the lack of trust the public retains in mainstream politicians and the fact their donors would never countenance them taking such positions.

Still it's clear Trump doesn't succeed despite his image. Neither is it a matter of indifference. His style--deliberately offensive defiance--is ideally suited to his message, and that message is ideally timed, if not overdue. Trump's open insulting of the individuals and opinions of the elite is seen, by a long-disrespected middle America and its sympathizers, as returning insult for insult. And it's seen as a longtime in coming. We've long endured a cultural assault that has proceeded by insensible gradations and the concessions of a naive opposition to where we are now: open contempt for the white, heterosexual historical core of the nation is convention. That is what we mean when we write Narrative with a capital N. Donald Trump is the counter-Narrative.

His message is also seen as restorative honesty after seven years of strained hypocrisy under Barack Obama. From the moment he burst onto the national stage--with a platitudinous, insubstantial speech at the 2004 Democratic convention that was met with the overblown praise for any indication of black ability that is essential to conspicuous white guilt--Obama's career has succeeded less by the man's practical successes than by his acolytes' determination that he be successful and their need to be seen celebrating that success. Obama's success demonstrates the extent to which we've perverted the "Hebraic" strain in Western culture as defined above. That strain, that now would more often be called Christian or Judeo-Christian, compels moral correctness not just in deed but in thought. That compulsion which has been subverted into political correctness and, with horrifying irony, turned upon the heirs of Christendom and Western culture.

Trump, boasting endlessly of his accomplishments and wealth--wealth, to him, being the ultimate measure of accomplishment--represents a return to the Hellenistic view. He, in his vulgar fashion, celebrates the Greek value of arete, of ability and achievement as the ultimate virtues, over that Hebraic compulsion toward inner purification. Which is not to say unrestrained Hellenism would be better; the West has achieved greatness through, however you like, the synthesis or struggle between these two strains. Trump's impolite frankness is a vulgar Hellenism, valuing knowing, opposing a perverted Hebraism, valuing feeling. 

Even in his obsessive branding, putting the Trump name on everything he builds, he exhibits a core element of the Greek value of arete, where the highest goal is to make one's name immortal--as opposed to the Hebrew goal of making the soul immortal, in part by eschewing just this sort of  Hellenistic "vanity". It's easy to see how the two have combined to create the Western mind, and how one--not always the same one--tempers the other. If you want to ascribe Trump's success to angst, I suggest you consider a real and justified angst that the Hebraic impulse has been perverted, co-opted and turned first against the common people and then against the West--against itself, in a sense.

It isn't as if the elite has ever abandoned the Hellenistic value of arete; on the contrary, they jealously keep it for themselves and demand of the common man a perpetual Hebraic contrition. The common man is hectored into a permanent state of moral self-doubt for, among other things, his "racism" and "xenophobia". It just so happens keeping him in this state--particularly regarding immigration and multiculturalism--serves the purposes of a global politico-economic elite. As the Church Lady from Dana Carvey's old SNL routine would say, "how con-veeen-ient."

So, while the individual elites strive to make their names immortal, they offer to the common man the immortality of the soul, even as they scoff at the very idea, bound up in religion as it is, of a soul and its judgment in the hereafter. It's a blustering con, and it's perhaps fitting that it's revealed, intentionally or not, not just by a member of the elite that uses it, but by this bluffing and blustering member of that elite.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Terrorist Fricassee with a Side of F--- You

Memo from Department of  Keep in Mind it's From Russia Times to Department of Hope They're Just F--king With Us.
Unnamed Russian official in RT:

He added that according to Russian intelligence the militants are fleeing the area that was in their control. “There is panic and defection among them. About 600 mercenaries have left their positions and are trying to reach Europe,” he said.