Sunday, July 15, 2018


Sonogram, Cathode Ray

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Love Letters


Actors reading the emails between Peter Stryk and Lisa Page. This should be adapted into a play.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Chord, Summer Remix


We gather in shadows
Before screens of light
Beneath arcs of rhythm
Where stories dog-fight

Where nothing is warm
But all is just right
Energy generated, energy spent
And no end in sight

The sky overhead
Boundless, indifferent
Draws it in to no effect
As the sea swallows the shipwreck

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Fundamentalist Christians will save Science

In Britain
A doctor has been “sacked” as a medical assessor for a government department after refusing to renounce his Christian belief that gender is determined at birth, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal. 
Dr David Mackereth has worked for 26 years as an NHS doctor but was told he could not be employed as a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) disability assessor if he refused to identify patients as being of a sex that they did not see themselves as. 
The 55-year-old father of four believes sex is genetic and biological, so established at birth.
 Perhaps it was inevitable. Feminism, anti-racism, gay rights all proceed from the same failed assumptions about biology. So far, Christianity hasn't conflicted with them. One might even say it operates from the same failed assumptions (I don't).

But with transgenderism's insistence we disbelieve our very eyes (and genitals), the progressive movement demands a level of delusion no faith asks. The left has managed to place itself on the other side of religion from science. Advanced religion may be hostile to scientific theory that threatens or offends, but it doesn't demand you believe nonsense about physical reality on the ground. It wants you to believe fantastic things that are safely remote from real life. Progressivism wants you to believe fantastic things about real life. Even things that could get you killed--or kill your civilization, maybe.

Of course, it's not a "Christian" belief that gender is determined at birth any more than the theory of gravity is a Christian belief.

In the Event

Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff recalls a paid speaking engagement in Medium:
After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men — from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come with questions of their own. 
They started out innocuously enough. Ethereum or bitcoin? Is quantum computing a real thing? Slowly but surely, however, they edged into their real topics of concern. 
Which region will be less impacted by the coming climate crisis: New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google really building Ray Kurzweil a home for his brain, and will his consciousness live through the transition, or will it die and be reborn as a whole new one? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?
Shock collars are suggested as a solution for that problem.
The Event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, unstoppable virus, or Mr. Robot hack that takes everything down. ”  
 This single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers — if that technology could be developed in time.
Or maybe robots to guard the workers and keep them in line. Whatever it takes.
The Event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, unstoppable virus, or Mr. Robot hack that takes everything down.
The one percent behave as if they have less and less faith in the system they dominate and celebrate. Those who appear to be in control behave as if they know no one is in control. Absent national sovereignty, representative government and a coherent culture the system itself is in control. Rushkoff, who appears to be a liberal who once believed in the democratizing and liberating power of technology, experiences a revelation:
That’s when it hit me: At least as far as these gentlemen were concerned, this was a talk about the future of technology. Taking their cue from Elon Musk colonizing Mars, Peter Thiel reversing the aging process, or Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.
 The recurring joke on the HBO show Silicon Valley is every new project will "make the world a better place". Looks like they've given up on the world. Is there a better indicator of the corruption of a system that those most benefiting from it have no real faith in it?

Zunday



 Z Man is our guest today on Luke Ford.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Reinventing Ourselves Out of Existence

It's a hoary old tradition on the progressive left to use Independence Day to hold forth on what America "is", invariably defining it in ways that would have made the Founders appeal to King George to be readmitted to the empire if they saw it coming.

More often than not it revolves around black grievance and historical resentment. Black American failure reinterpreted as American failure has been the means by which they've attempted, and largely succeeded, in redefining America as existing entirely to atone for slavery--which, as our cardinal sin, cannot be atoned for.

Exhaustion at such nonsense, and recognition of the damage it's still doing, feeds the growing white American nationalist identity, whether it's the "alt right" or a relatively apolitical Trump voter. Rhetorically, the Overton Window has shifted to allow a more vigorous defense of America (which really means, to both sides, white America) and critique of these critiques. Some have even gone as far as to point out the ethnic self-interest of progressive Jews, without whom the leftist narrative would gain little traction outside of those groups it flatters with demagogy, such as blacks.

A good narrative adapts. People are tiring of defining America by the well-being of its least virtuous, its least liberal, its least American (sorry blacks, that's you) people. These critiques have grown cruder and more rigid in pace with their dissipating influence on normal intelligent people who aren't compromised by their reliance on this system of white guilt cultivation.

For the left black failure is like a nuclear fuel rod, producing demagogic energy in perpetuity. It does not dissipate in recognizable time. As the goal of equal representation isn't possible without massive discrimination and distortions (the necessity of competence keeps getting in the way of, say, equal representation in the sciences). Destruction of the myth of white racism is the only way to avoid an eventual meltdown.

For the left the idea blacks aren't up to the demands of modern life and western standards of behavior is either incomprehensible or the Truth That Must Not Be Known. So they drive further into radical interpretations of America, its institutions and founding. What would have been laughable or terrifying to even their own liberal forbears becomes convention.

In an opinion piece in New York Times Roger Cohen says America is kind of like Madonna, adopting a whole new persona for every tour:
This magical capacity for reinvention lies at the root of American greatness. Other nations fetishize the past, rewrite it in blood; America’s genius is the facilitation of forgetfulness. To be unburdened of history, for many immigrants, enables the pursuit of happiness.
I wonder of Mr. Cohen would view Judaism, or any other group's natural inclination for cultural and ethnic preservation, as fetishizing the past.

But the reality is the nation has only reinvented itself once, in the postwar period culminating in the sixties' split with the past definition. The people, that is the actual nation, were not consulted. They acquiesced; it  all sounded good. Who would deny another man his rights out of bigotry?

We are waking, belatedly, to the con. The stubbornness of the elite suggest they believe the same con they push. Nothing makes a better liar than someone deluded into believing his lie. Delusional people turn from immediate reality to find harbor in, among other things, the past:
I began my July 4 by reading the words of a black poet, Langston Hughes, written in 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression. This, today, is not a good American moment. Truth is under attack. The law is under attack. The press is under attack. Moral depravity seeps from on high in a viscous torrent that infects everything and is hard to cleanse from the skin. It cloys. The White House stands for white males, above all, not 325 million Americans of every creed and color. I wanted to remind myself, again, of America’s spirit.
It's notable how much the proponents of progress turn to the past, to a, say, fetishized version of it, as they rail against any historical awareness of real meaning in real people. So it's inevitable. Mr Cohen, dipping his bucket in the kitsch well and citing the authority of Langston Hughes, has decided America does not exist at all, and only will after blacks have (are we even sure any more what exactly we want for them?). It was inevitable that, absent the impossible but non-negotiable goal of peaceful multi-ethnic equality they would seek to define the nation away all together, so as to start over.
In his poem, “Let America Be America Again,” Hughes writes: Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free. (America never was America to me.) The parenthesis punctures the myth. The American idea is a journey toward a receding destination, driven by the pursuit of perfectibility. The nation was not born of a piece with the Constitution. Its contours were outlined, with sufficient clarity and flexibility to endure, for future generations to usher closer to an ideal of liberty and justice for all. That is why for a black man, Hughes, writing 83 years ago, “America was never America.”
This is basically stating what has been policy and cultural convention since the civil rights movement. America only exists to create "equality" for Africans, and an ever-growing list of similarly aggrieved. An impossibility--without a totalitarian system of redistribution that would destroy the very civil liberties these people cite when they demand it. We won't get there, in other words, before we've destroyed ourselves, because it isn't possible and there's a whole world out there that doesn't share our delusions or interests.

I think it's time for the likes of Cohen to "reinvent" themselves. Indeed, they do not exist until they've realized their own potential for perfection. But the piece wouldn't be complete without another old cliche:
Nowhere else is becoming somebody else so easy. There is space, still, to be free. Sure there is. The divisions between those who came first and those who came later are fungible.
Fungible divisions is a cool story bro, for a misconception. If the last few decades have shown us anything it is the durability of divisions, which grow with diversity, provided you have enough people on each side of the divide to create dissension, and the political consensus represented by Cohen: you don't even exist, white America.

Individual reinvention doesn't really happen. Group or national reinvention (leaving out the remarkable history of the Jews, which can be seen as one of serial reinvention while maintaining the core element of identity, which Cohen sees as pure evil in white gentiles) likewise doesn't happen--unless it's forced on you from without. Reinvention is imposed from without in defeat by the victorious. Cohen is one of the victorious elite that imagines themselves as designing a new way for a defeated country, like General MacArthur in Japan.

Sadly, they may have pushed things so far along reinvention may be our only option.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Fourth of Nostalgia

Fourth of July about fifteen years ago, flying out of LA as the sun went down. I'm at the window seat watching the fireworks displays light up the landscape here and there. Only the prescient few know what's coming. I'm not one of them.

Nearby they illuminate the cities below: football fields, lakefronts, suburban grids. Farther out on the horizon they're bursts of neon and sparks sprouting from the forming crust of a new planet. They obey some foreign physics as they blossom and fade, crowding in on each other in striving profusion.

I'm reminded of another flight, out of Okinawa at night. I caught a ride on a medical airplane, a DC-9 with the seats facing the rear--for some reason--where patients were transported, bed and all. The pitch black was randomly interrupted by thick ropes of lightning that lit up the ocean surface, revealing little silver worlds of lonely uninhabited islands. These were the things of a boy's dreams, mine at least, somewhere along the way I lost them, lost the desire to get lost. I remembered something I'd read, I'm still not sure it's true, that lightning actually travels up from the ground, to the sky. I'm seized by the image of the mass of dense, churning clouds as a living thing, feeding, drawing the energy out of the earth below, seething, serving some mysterious purpose, indifferent in its greatness.

The road exhausts and disconnects us from the thread of routine. We can't help but become reflective, and sometimes slip into the maudlin. I've had moments--in the hills of northern California, where nothing is so lonely--that I won't detail, that surely qualify; it's embarrassing. It's okay; you get a pass. I've made the drive to LA and back, some twenty-plus hours, a handful of times. It's madness, an absurd thing to do when you can fly. But it does clear the head, somehow. 

I was going home alone on that Fourth of July flight, surrounded by a gaggle of teenagers on some group trip. The kid next to me--I'm leaning back in my seat so he can watch the fireworks--is poring over one of those giant CD cases. I have one too. The fireworks are little acidic nightmares springing out of a great, churning consciousness, a giant brain-planet like in the film Solaris, their patterns a language too complex to understand. The land is sick, it calls out. It admonishes. I watch the lights like a fascinated ape. He knows he doesn't know, at least.

I want my memories to mean something. That is, I want the Fourth of July to be here, forever, if for no other reason than it's mine. Ours.

Happy Independence Day.

Friday, June 29, 2018

interlude



Four Tet, Hands



Odd Nosdam, Profane Bong Sue

Friday, June 22, 2018

Bronze Age Book Club



Today's title for the KMG Book Club on Luke Ford is Bronze Age Mindset by Bronze Age Pervert of Twitter.

Back in February 2017 the Atlantic contacted Mencius Moldbug, having learned Steve Bannon had read him; he rick-rolled them with BAP. Mencius, quoted in the Atlantic, via Steve Sailer:
“Think you should speak directly to my WH cutout / cell leader,” Yarvin said in an email. “I’ve never met him and don’t know his identity, we just DM on Twitter. He’s said to be ‘very close’ to Bannon. There are several levels, but most people just start out with his public persona.” @BronzeAgePerv’s avatar is of a muscular, shirtless man and his account’s biography reads: “Steppe barbarian. Nationalist, Fascist, Nudist Bodybuilder! Purification of world. Revolt of the damned. Destruction of the cities!”
The self-help aspect suggested by the book's title is more of an afterthought. As a Nietzschean elitist BAP acknowledges he's not interested in self help for the helpless but for a would-be elite out there among the young, isolated and contained in the great gel of the Poz.

He begins
This is not book of philosophy. It is exhortation. I hardly have anything to say to most who aren’t like me, still less do I care about convincing. This is account of my reveries. I tried to put, as brief and simple as I could, the thought that motivates me and the problem faced by life in ascent and decline...
If you look around eyes of some people you see a kind of demented energy. It’s pure anger or lust for power with nothing more. 
At times lapsing into a preposition-free speech to sell the Bronze Age aspect, he sees modernity as diseased and civilization as we imagine it a sham. He asserts at points the presence of a movement behind the scenes that he leaves vague
I wanted to expose the grim shadow of a movement that is hidden behind events of our time and from before. This is a great power that acts like a ghost. It hides in its own darkness and it has been absorbed by the lands and the peoples so that you can’t really see it anymore. There is just an eldritch quality embedded in things and on some faces. The same was said of Hades. Some said he would feel a great shame when some other god drew back the veil on the underworld so all the vile things that are there could be seen. Is this Hades of our time capable of shame? I heard also of such things being under the sea, the disgusting and frightful things revealed when the sea recedes before a great storm. I will draw back the curtain on this Iron Prison and show you where it is you really live…
The claim reminds me of something someone wrote of William Burroughs' transgressive book Naked Lunch, banned for obscenity, that it sought to demonstrate what lies beneath everyday life, what's "on the end of everybody's fork." Whether the book succeeded or not, it's an apt description of the attempt there and here. Burroughs wanted to cure himself of his homosexual tendencies by writing the book he's said, and its depiction of homosexuality is one of cruelty and sadism (that hasn't stopped Gay Inc from incorporating him without a hiccup). BAP, on the other hand, wants to cure you of your gheyness. This is complicated by his ambiguous sexuality; he appears to be a homosexual masculinist, but (as far as I know) never says so directly.

The first chapter is devoted to assailing Darwin and "scientism". He doesn't reject Darwin; he cuts him down to size, seeing evolution as insufficient and pointing out “...you don’t need Darwin to believe in heredity and even evolution.” Origin and speciation are probably evolution's weak points; they also are its least relevant. Genetic heredity is undeniable, so the adaptation of a group to its environment, its molding over time, is undeniable. The origins problem affronts religion; the heredity problem affronts power (as it stands now).

BAP sees an intelligence in the universe he's careful to differentiate from "intelligent design"
The mechanism of heredity or the means by which a species is shaped, natural or unnatural selection, which is really Darwin’s only insight, is the least interesting part of all. ... And the “design” is there, but it is by no means benevolent or intelligent, nor comprehensible. You see in the spider’s web a creature of rudimentary nervous system and little intelligence “design” something beautiful and complex, and this is key to understanding also all of nature. There is an inherent “intelligence” inside things, uncanny, silent and demonic...
The spider's web analogy brings to mind the technician of non-exceptional intelligence at the command of some powerful system by which he effects the most complex and massive tasks. His training, the technology, the system, these are the things by which he accomplishes wonders. Where is the equivalent system, for one, in the spider? How is it he knows? BAP rejects random adaptation and sees some hidden hand behind adaptations
our own intelligence is only a crude deviation of it...And all “adaptations,” no matter how much natural or unnatural selection may have gone to spreading them within a population, occur not by random but by a spontaneous correspondence of some kind between the organism and the environment. Some day we may discover the material cause or manifestation of this correspondence, or the chain by which it travels from the rock-face and the elements of brute matter up the forms of life—there is some as-yet undiscovered “signaling” system. But the adaptation by no means takes place at random, nor even primarily by natural selection, which is just one of the means by which it spreads in a population.
His worldview is the same biological fascism found in Mein Kampf. He makes a distinction between higher and lower forms of life based on mastery of environment leading them, via a mysterious process of which evolution only describes a part, or a particular type of life--life not blessed with the anti-slave spirit of higher humans (Aryans, Comanche, Japanese, etc). "You must learn to see the secret language of nature and what it drives at: there is one path that drives for the production of a supreme specimen." This despite recognizing evolution is not necessarily advancement to a higher form. But it isn't necessarily not advancement to a higher form.

He makes a distinction between two kinds of life, one seeking fulfillment and expressing itself with beauty, and the other merely survival and replication, as exemplified by the mindless profusion of yeast. It isn't that evolution only tells us part of the story of life, but that it only describes a type, the lower order obsessed only with survival. He notes the alleged ugliness and brutality of animals subjected to intense environmental pressures. It's only in the absence of these that humanity can cultivate the higher type.

He opposes evolution less as a science than as a worldview, or "scientism". Evolutionary pressures and the purpose suggested by evolution--species perpetuation at all costs--are inherently degrading, ugly
There can be no compromise between those who live under the pressure of need and of material increase, who are the walking shadows of the dead, and on the other side, those who are carefree, joyous, pleasure-loving and worship beauty. One seeks the preservation and expansion of mere life, the other seeks the exaltation of life.
Where the line of demarcation exists he doesn't say; neither how one exists without the other. He sees this division all the way down to the level of hormones, the activity of which he suggests might prove his suppositions about an intelligence at work, dimly perceived and misunderstood by science and reason.

He laments the lack of a religious order and individualism as a value
But [Nietzsche] never forgot that the fundamental fact of nature is inequality, and this is something these people, the followers of Heidegger, and Heidegger himself to a great degree, all forget. It is madness to ask the common prefab run of man to fashion his own way, his own “religion”—the many find solace and meaning only in submission It is good that this is so, and they shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed for it.
He offers a theory of the profusion of homosexuality as a reaction to modern matriarchy, the "owned space" of women, a revolt against female-determined rules of masculinity
The defeated male that is turned into a peon and a neutered beast for women and hidden masters is a terrible thing to see. The jockeying for status, the physical fights, the adventures boys are supposed to have in a state of nature…all of this is in nature meant as preparation for life, for a life of conquest and expansion...Precisely a character born for conquest, for expansion, a precocious type of boy...will have his expectations about life crushed and thwarted as soon as his eyes open. This may be around the age of six or seven, but it sometimes happens earlier. Such boy then comes to have only contempt for those among his peers who, not seeing the subjection we are in, continue under their delusion... 
I think there are many types of energetic and perceiving boys who reach this stage, who are turned off by the moral and biological self-castration of their conventional peers, who sense the suffocating limitations of modern space. The rest of this story is more particular to the boy who as response becomes a homo or trap, and Paglia is right about that part—masculinity rejected simply because of distance from other boys in general, mostly as a result of a certain native over-sensitivity.
 Despite seeing civilization as the problem, but he doesn't recommend a return to anything
All of these problems are problems of race, not of the modern city as such, modern progress, or the progress of technology. In fact, the attempt to limit this progress and to screw back humanity or freeze it in some supposedly pre-modern form, the attempt for example to bring back “small communities” in the modern world, is the greatest danger and a possible source of the most thorough-going and totalitarian subjection.
So what is to be done? In his chapter on adopting the "mindset" of the title he notes
Self-help is completely useless, and not what this book is about: rather, I would like most to go toward self-destruction and to be rid of them. I only care about very few who, being constrained in their predatory nature by this open-air zoo, must look to the past to understand what is possible. I want to give encouragement to some who are a certain way, in their blood, and to encourage them to become the purifying hand of nature. 
He offers masculine friendship in service to a cause
Among your instincts you will find the longing for strong friendships, that the modern evil tries to snuff out. And they have good reason to try this, because every great thing in the past was done through strong friendships between two men, or brotherhoods of men, and this includes all great political things, all acts of political freedom and power. The modern zoo wants you instead to be a weak and isolated “individual.”
But of course there is less and less opportunity for men to work in teams for real goals (not, say, sports teams), and those teams are patrolled by the forces of diversity, who see in the gathering of three or more white men a hate crime on its face. But that doesn't mean he's not right.

Despite all the implied homosexuality in his arguments, when he offers the Greek model of intense friendships between men as transcendant, he rejects the accepted history
I know the rumors that these friendships were sexual, but I believe this is misunderstanding and exaggeration promoted by the homonerds of our time, for reasons I will explain later. The model for all such friendships was that between Achilles and Patroclus: Homer never hints such friendship was sexual. It is only out of the poverty of our imagination that we think it was, because we can’t conceive of such intense love between friends without some carnal or material benefit in play.
He derides the sexualization of relations between men in the public consciousness, "...many are rightly afraid of the way such relations have been sexualized between men and are never sure if a prospective friend has sexual intentions...at the same time as all this goes on, gays act out a domesticized and castrated parody of friendship." A parody of heterosexuality now, too--with gay marriage, gay relationships are parody becoming reality.

As for women
Giving “freedom” to women—an impossibility. With the liberation of women in the 19th century, the West has given itself an infection from which it can’t recover without the most terrible convulsions and the most thorough purgative measures. What the “freedom” of women means in practice is the domination of mankind by the demagogues who can rally the lower orders of the spirit. Because there is no world in which “the women” can act as a political unit. Liberation of women means freedom and power for financiers, lawyers, purveyors of comforts in and outside government, employers who whore out your wife and daughters. It has been the greatest weakening and self-own a civilization has ever visited on itself. But in the end is this so different from democracy as such? Yes…because the “liberation” of women makes democracy into a terminal disease…one that doesn’t just end a particular government, but the civilization.
Our salvation lies ultimately in a military government
There is a magic to charisma that does this, and the military-monarchical organization, the rule of the warlord, comes from desire for this in the nature of all, not from reflection and abstraction. Unfortunately some things conspire to end this original condition of mankind, which is itself no paradise and is full of strife, suffering and problems. These things are, first of all, the very success of these men in securing the conditions of life and comfort for the rest of the community. Second, the ascent, within this peacetime, of the priest, the shaman, the schemer, and the matriarch, which slowly usurp power away from the brotherhoods of young men and their captains. Spinoza explains the corruption of the Jewish people in just this way: the Hebrew “Republic” was in fact a military regime of the type I say here, a rule of the captains. But the priests took this power away and corrupted the nation to weakness. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Drum Machine of Outrage

The press is working hard to nurture outrage over Trump's separation of illegal immigrant families at the border, not just out of opposition to immigration enforcement but with an eye toward hobbling the Republicans in the midterm elections.

Now a Trump tweet asserting illegal immigrants won't be allowed to "infect America" has given them the outrage-quote around which to hang the scandal-narrative.

This is standard media manipulation that has taken down countless politicians over the years, many of them for the same reason it's being applied to Trump now, because he represents a threat to the powerful interests that all but control the media.
This standard model is supposed to work and did, until Trump, either evil-genius or just not knowing any better, came along and demonstrated the outrage-monster by which the elite has repressed speech doesn't really have any teeth.

As he's done in the past, Trump is defying the push--which basically comes as a demand from the deep state or whoever: stop this or we will destroy you with it. You would think the anti-Trump elite would be content to let him sink, and they are citing polls supposedly showing overwhelming opposition to the policy (but not among Republicans), but they're probably getting that sinking feeling this is something like the NFL controversy all over again.

Trump stands to win yet another conspicuous victory over the media and to do it ahead of the midterms on the issue of immigration.

Now comes the concern trolling.The Hill reports people are mad. Important people.
The separation of children from their parents at the border is fast becoming a political crisis for the Trump administration. 
The administration’s actions have drawn fire across party lines, including from former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.  
 They have caused unease among stalwart supporters of the president — among them, evangelist Franklin Graham and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
Not one but two first ladies and a strange new respect for Anthony Scaramucci. George W Bush lost relevance the moment he passed out of the White House for the last time so we're all excused for forgetting about him, but I think the reason we don't hear from Obama on this is because his administration actually employed the same policy of detaining minor illegals separate from their families.

I suspect In any district with a majority concerned about immigration, this policy is manna from heaven; whatever the case, by November this all will be forgotten, unless the media finds a memorable hook. This article proposes one, and if they can just get it to stick it will be a doozy.

What better analog than Hurricane Katrina, when we practically blamed the weather on W? A source invokes a freighted word, Katrina, and it can be duly reported. It has to be. Someone said Katrina. If people want to make of it a rallying cry, hey, that's up to them, says the reporter.. He just reports the facts, he says. You know, Trumplodyte, real news. If someone wants to make of it a political theme, because it's short, easy to remember, involves a  hated president and Suffering People of Color, well that's their business.
The administration has careened from one controversy to another, yet the president has seen his approval numbers edge up close to their high point of late.
[note: if the administration you despise ends the cycle with higher poll numbers it's you who's careening]
But some observers wonder if this issue could cause him deep damage because of its emotional resonance. The possibility of it rising to the level of President George W. Bush’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 seems increasingly plausible.
Where's Kanye West when you need him? Oh.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sex and Drugs and Denial



Sitting in on the Luke Ford panel with Kevin Grace and Brundlefly. Talking about David Irving, pharmaceutical drugs and psychiatry and, always, women.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Skin in the Book




Today on Luke Ford we'll be talking about Nicholas Nassim Taleb's book Skin in the Game, the Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life.

It's the fourth book in the former trader and risk analyst's Incerto series on risk, randomness and responsibility. The first book, Fooled by Randomness purports to demonstrate we are, just as the title says, fooled into creating "rational" explanations for random occurrences, including catastrophic market failures, or "black swan" events, the misunderstanding of which as he sees it he addresses in The Black Swan.

In the third book Antifragile he offers the concept of antifragility as a measure of a market or society's robustness or durability, demonstrated by how it responds to shocks, for one thing. Something is antifragile if, a la Nietzche, that which doesn't kill it makes it stronger.

Skin in the Game is about bearing the consequences of one's actions--above all of one's responsibilities: "...skin in the game is mostly about justice, honor, and sacrifice, things that are existential for humans"; "those who don't take risks should never be involved in making decisions."





Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Last Days of Democracy

Somehow I'd missed it, but earlier this week the group Patriot Prayer, a conservative Christian body in the Proud Boys sphere, rallied across from Portland City Hall and were attacked by armed and masked antifa.

Despite being explicitly not white nationalist, the group triggers with its support for Trump and explicit Christian conservativism, drawing violent antifa as surely as a KKK rally.

The demonstration took place a year after the group gathered in the same small park downtown for a "free speech" rally, as this one was billed. That event came off without incident only because of a high police presence cordoning off the conservatives from antifa (openly promising violence) and others barely less hostile. See my video of that demonstration below.

Still, the news reports range from deliberately to unintentionally biased. Everyone deploys the same passive description ("fights broke out") to describe a clear assault by one group on another. Even if the description is plausible--say, the two groups came into contact and individual skirmishes were prompted by both sides--the reality is, the conservatives, left alone, would have peacefully left. As they've demonstrated time and again, when they're allowed. It isn't as if in the absence of antifa and their kind the Patriot Prayer guys would have gone rampaging through the city.

Despite this obvious fact, antifa and the respectable local left invoke, with ramped-up intensity, the standard canard that a "homophobic" or "racist" person or group represents an immediate threat of violence. And then antifa comes along to initiate violence. Progressive hysterics connecting gay-bashing to any resistance to, for one, sexual degeneracy have become accepted wisdom wherever pc reigns, which is everywhere; these hysterics are source and justification for political violence. The Establishment is complicit in political violence, in Weimar-ish street battles.

There are no countering reports in the mainstream media and the lazy normie reader is not roused from his slumber. The report from putatively conservative Fox News is indistinguishable from the others, only it's shorter and the reporter appears to have derived it entirely from social media.

Here's the $PLC take.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Cracking Up


I joined James LaFond and Lynn Lockhart of the Crackpot Podcast

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

In the Mix

Black teens on a burglary spree in a white neighborhood ran over and killed a white female cop and, naturally, blacks are hardest hit:
BALTIMORE – It's hard to think of a more volatile mix: Four young black males from Baltimore City, accused in the death of a white female police officer in Baltimore County. Authorities say three of the teenagers were breaking into homes when the fourth ran the officer over in a stolen Jeep.

Predictably enough, social media, call-in radio and other forums blew up. A sampling from the Baltimore County Police & Fire Facebook page:

"I was hoping they'd kill him during apprehension. What a waste of life. He's currently breathing air some decent person could be breathing."

"I personally am tired of good for nothing hood rats committing adult crimes and people STILL saying crap like, he had hard times growing up, society made him do these things because he had no role models."
Young people don't know how long the "volatile mix" vaporism (let's call it) has been out there in the media lexicon, often invoked to obscure black misbehavior by equating it with the ensuing white expressions of outrage.

 Introduced back when whites might have actually contributed "volatility" to the "mix"--when they were resisting, sometimes violently, desegregation, say--decades ago, it's still invoked now that whites are all but powerless as such, relegated to complaining online. Invoking the platitude the conventional reporter deliberately equates barbaric black crime with the anger it invokes.
Authorities say the teenagers were burglarizing homes in Perry Hall Monday afternoon when Baltimore County Police Officer Amy S. Caprio approached the Jeep. They say driver Dawnta Harris, 16, of the Gilmor Homes public housing project in West Baltimore, ran her over.

Caprio died a short time later. Harris and three other youths were charged as adults with first-degree murder.

That the black youths had driven to the county, populated in no small part by decades of white flight from the city, fueled heated exchanges online and over the airwaves.
Baltimore imploded two years ago after the Freddy Grey riots, as police pulled back as crimes in the city increased. Packs of black teens have emerged from the hood to terrorize gentrified and suburban areas.
"After white flight, a lot of people who moved to Baltimore County ... felt victimized by blacks – 'they made me move,'" said Pietila, author of "Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City."
Blacks victimizing whites is a fundamental constant of the American street and school.
"At stressful times, all these emotions come out," he said. "These are not logical matters. These are matters where emotions rise, and prejudices take hold."
These emotions are invoked after contact and victimization, or in sympathy with others similarly victimized by blacks, in recognition of a consistent pattern constituting a campaign of violence against whites. Not to put too fine a point on it. But it is in fact the opposite of prejudice, but post-judgement.

None of that is important. The problem, as far as the Miami Herald reporter with the Spanish name who reached out to the former Baltimore Sun reporter with the Spanish name explained, is Trump and the demonization of "certain groups":
Pietila is a former reporter and editorial writer for The Baltimore Sun. While city-county tensions have a long history, he said, they now play out in the context of a noisy, divisive political climate. 
"What is part of this discussion is the demonization of certain groups that is happening at the national level," he said. "A lot of people who have strong feelings, maybe they used to be more circumspect. Now they let their feelings out."
White people are complaining about their victimization because Trump said bad things about Mexicans. Everyone's got their angle--except white people.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Holiday Streaming



Got to join Luke Ford this morning.

Kevin Michael Grace returns.

Also, Big Cat Kayla and Glib Medley.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Luke Ford Sunday



Matt Forney returns to Luke Ford today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Absolute Portland Report

The ACLU sent a letter to Amazon this week protesting law enforcement use of its "Rekognition" facial recognition program. It turns out a nearby police department is leading the way:
The tool, called Rekognition, is already being used by at least one agency — the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon — to check photographs of unidentified suspects against a database of mug shots from the county jail, which is a common use of such technology around the country.

But privacy advocates have been concerned about expanding the use of facial recognition to body cameras worn by officers or safety and traffic cameras that monitor public areas, allowing police to identify and track people in real time. 
The tech giant's entry into the market could vastly accelerate such developments, the privacy advocates fear, with potentially dire consequences for minorities who are already arrested at disproportionate rates, immigrants who may be in the country illegally or political protesters.

"People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government," the groups wrote in a letter to Amazon on Tuesday. "Facial recognition in American communities threatens this freedom."
Tech firms like Amazon Web Services are developing technology that will enable police to identify most people immediately from, for instance, a cop's body cam. It should help them in rounding us up to work in the salt mines after the hammer comes down for real.

The Orwellian implications of the above story render this grim police blotter item quaint, but look for the surprise:
Members of the Portland Police Bureau Detective Division's Homicide Detail continue to investigate the death of a person that occurred Monday evening on Southwest 2nd Avenue between Southwest Ash Street and Southwest Ankeny Street. 
Based on information gathered in the initial investigation, detectives believe there was a disturbance between two people on the east sidewalk of Southwest 2nd Avenue. During the disturbance a gun was fired and the victim was struck by gunfire. As officers arrived at the scene they immediately provided the victim with emergency first aid. When emergency medical responders arrived at the location they determined the victim was deceased. 
The suspect remained at the scene and was taken into custody without incident. After being interviewed by Homicide Detail detectives, the suspect was lodged at the Multnomah County Jail. 
The suspect has been identified as 33-year-old Sophia G. Adler. Adler was lodged on a charge of Murder (At the time of this release a booking photograph was not available.).
That's right, a female gun homicide suspect. The location is right behind, I think, the main Salvation Army shelter and in a rough pocket of downtown that draws a lot of homeless.

Speaking of shelters, I've been having some interesting conversations with a friend about their experience working at a female domestic violence shelter. Trans men are showing up and getting beds in female-only dorms. Employees who complain can expect to be fired--women in the shelter can expect to be kicked out--if they complain. There is no bottom.

The ACLU won't be addressing any of that, unless someone challenges the rights of the trans men. But they are on the city's case for alleged police excess in the Trump Season of Protest:
Today, with the help of a ferocious team of lawyers at Tonkon Torp, we have filed six lawsuits in Multnomah County Circuit Court to hold the Portland Police Bureau accountable for their violent response to protest. The lawsuits include six plaintiffs who were brutalized by police at protests between October 2016 and June 2017. 
Kat Stevens 
Patricia Barger 
Charles Stubbs 
Tristan Romine-Mann 
Peggy Zebroski 
Kelly Simon 
Our clients were assaulted or battered at a protest at Portland City Hall in October 2016, at a youth-led protest following the election in November 2016, at the Not My Presidents Day protest in February 2017, and at a counter protest to the June 2017 Patriot Prayer alt-right gathering.
I was at the June 2017 demonstration.

Right-wing but not white nationalist groups--Joey Gibson, a conservative Christian Trump supporter (who I think is actually of Pacific Islander background) organized the "pro free speech" event" when that was a trend. They had a permit to occupy a small park directly across from City Hall, and were surrounded by counter-protesters on three sides, each of those of a different theme--pro-immigrant on one side, labor rights (somehow) on the other, and the antifa horde you see above. Everything was kept in check by police cordoning off the opposing sides, but all they had to do to effect a Charlottesville would have been to stand down as they did there.

Antifa presence was heavy and threatening, kept in check by an equally heavy police presence:



To keep these groups apart at the protest's end, police pushed antifa northward with flashbangs and I think even a little tear gas:



Sorry about the kid there ruining the shot with his narration:



There was speculation protesters leaving in smaller groups would be picked off once the event was over, and there were confrontations here and there:

 

Our small Black Panther contingent blocked a street briefly, but I saw no arrests or fights.

Optics were awful on both sides, of course.

The ACLU also cites the post-election protest from November 2016. Here's a funny video of me getting flash-banged (at about 3:30) moments before getting arrested along with the lefties in that debacle. My reaction is a little embarrassing:



I'm already nostalgic for those simpler times. Look here for a regular dispatch from Poztown every Tuesday.


Monday, May 21, 2018

In with the Incel Crowd

I'm not surprised by the lack of sympathy for incels. It's to be expected.

It isn't like sexual failure is a moral failing now--it's worse than that, because it's evolutionary failure, the ultimate failure. The same logic behind nice guys finishing last is behind our disdain of them. Avoiding association with the evolutionary loser is an evolutionary strategy itself.

As so much politics is about contrasting one's group as the winners against the other's losers, and much or most of what defines a loser now is sexual failure, which is evolutionary failure, politics at least mimics evolutionary competition between groups and provides great cover for coherent ethnic groups to wage evolutionary warfare under the guise of politics. Even, amazingly, under the guise of liberation and political progress, as "oppressed" minorities. An awful lot has flowed from white westerners unilaterally (and loudly) disarming in the age-old evolutionary struggle between groups. They say it's all good--but they would say that, because "it" triumphs; see my earlier comments about disdain for nice guys in the evolutionary struggle.

Sexual morality, until recently, was largely about providing some shelter from the evolutionary torrent for the nice guys. That newly released torrent is now sweeping them away in the sexually liberated West. This has the power to shape us into a new people, is shaping us into a  new people, determined by biology on the steroids of a degenerate culture. From certain criteria--say those we observed before through traditional mores--the new traits we acquire will be dysgenic. Overall it can be expected to be highly miscegenational.

To assign the incel's bitterness to psychological pathology is absurd. Nothing could be more clear, coherent and natural than the rage of someone selected, by evolution and society, to die off. As the rest of the world appears to be screwing its brains out. Acceptance is only achieved by checking out and self-alienating.

In Toronto recently a man drove a van onto a sidewalk full of women and killed ten people after declaring himself a "soldier" on behalf of incels. He would seem to be an extreme case and was described as developmentally challenged. In photos he has the under-bite and hapless stare normally associated with mental retardation, but was smart enough to be a software developer and may have had Asperger's.

He succeeded at least in forcing incels into the news cycle, and media outlets into revealing their biases in their hot-take analyses.

Conventional thinking can only appreciate the incel problem as one of sex and individual rights.
But maybe it's more fair to say it's a problem of reproduction and group decline.

For the left it's viewed as a question women's rights, which will not be abridged either by sex redistribution schemes or a return to sexual morality. Any legitimate grievance must be civil rights based. Judging incels by that standard they are seen not only as unworthy but as appropriating sacred civil rights language. The Guardian:
They borrow a lot of language from the equality/civil rights agenda – society “treats single men like trash, and it has to stop. The people in power, women, can change this, but they refuse to. They have blood on their hands,” read one post the morning after the Toronto attack. Basically, their virginity is a discrimination or apartheid issue, and only a state-distributed girlfriend programme, outlawing multiple partners, can rectify this grand injustice. Yet at the same time, they hate victims, snowflakes, liberals, those who campaign for any actual equality.
The right arrives at the same place by way of libertarianism. There is a sexual market with winners and losers, not to be disturbed by the bleatings of those losers. The Federalist:
Those ideas, unusual though they are, fit into a pattern of statist rhetoric followed by many other groups who, failing to achieve their aims in life, seek to use state power to force the result they desire. Their reaction against the results of the Sexual Revolution is little different from communists’ reaction to the Industrial Revolution, but the methods by which they would achieve their aims—state coercion and, now, terror—are identical. Incels are merely statists of sex.
The misery of the incel is the measure of our personal liberty, apparently.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Superchat Menace



I joined Luke Ford tonight. Brundlefly returned and Kevin Michael Grace was our special guest. Our topic was this Buzzfeed article about the effect of superchat cash on Internet bloodsports

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Sunday



Matt Forney is on Luke Ford today.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Tinker, Tailor, Suck-up, Slur

To be precise, enumerating Jews is not allowed in a critical or neutral context, such as Weisman’s 2015 Iran Deal article. It’s fine to celebrate Jewish contributions, but don’t mention the Jewish role in an objective manner. 
Every anti Jewish trope doubles as pro Jewish praise depending on context and speaker. Joe Biden's famous, or infamous, speech praising Jewish dominance of culture and the changes ensuing from that, for example. To say a few talented Jews determine the course of social progress is reprehensible--if one views it objectively (much less from the valid, critical point of view of a self-interested non-Jew).

It's okay if one views it as an unqualified good, however, as Joe Biden, taking his moral direction directly from cultural propaganda, demonstrated without drawing a sideways glance:
“I believe what affects the movements in America, what affects our attitudes in America are as much the culture and the arts as anything else,” he said. That’s why he spoke out on gay marriage “apparently a little ahead of time.” 
“It wasn’t anything we legislatively did. It was ‘Will and Grace,’ it was the social media. Literally. That’s what changed peoples’ attitudes. That’s why I was so certain that the vast majority of people would embrace and rapidly embrace” gay marriage, Biden said. 
“Think behind of all that, I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense, the influence is immense. And, I might add, it is all to the good,” he said.
The problem seems to be in the "all to the good" part. Right now the advance of trans rights remains unchallenged, the gays look invincible and the demographic displacement of whites chugs on. Those changes Biden praises seem, despite everything, irreversible. That's why Biden felt comfortable expressing things as plainly as he did, all the way back in 2013.

Things have changed a bit. If those changes, somehow deemed self-evident by cloistered elites like Biden, are challenged, their champions will be challenged, perhaps. Triumphalism such as Biden's could be, historically speaking, the equivalent of celebrating before entering the end zone.

Biden, seemingly oblivious to implications--Joe is not redpilled--doesn't see the danger here to his favorite ethnicity. In tying drastic social changes, the effects of which we can only guess at with trepidation, to the Jews he's hung a sign about their neck like a thousand YouTube antisemites never could have done.
With praise like this who needs criticism?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Styx on Sunday


Styxhexenhammer666 joined us today on Luke Ford.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Active Monad meets Inactive Old Dad



I had a chat with the Swede Active Monad and Kaiter Enless of The Logos Club.

Subjects include language, trolls and feds, cats and stalkers.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Betrayal, the Blackpill and Bad Faith

What is the Alt-Right? 
It is a misnomer and its members are having an identity crisis right now. I’m not one of these men, but count many friends among them. 
The dissident right has been offered as an umbrella term for the masculine and morally disaffected minds among us. 
However, making sense as it does, now this view has taken people who were previously cast as alternatives to something that did not exist [the phantom American Right] and placing them in the mental box of the disengaging, disgruntled negative aspect of modernity. 
The image of the average alt righter is of someone damaged and embittered; an image drawn by many claiming sympathy with their predicament.
And when a society systematically and openly marginalizes a demographic--white males here--among those speaking out against it will be a number of the marginalized  That they are marginalized by a sick society, a marginal society by historical standards, lends them no credence in the eyes of the politically unsophisticated normies.

 As if by design, the same outrage produced by our deliberate marginalization is fed back into the narrate-o-matic to be used as pretext for our further marginalization.
But the bitterness remains in many of the men I have recently spoken to: Dennis Dale, Adam Smith and Mescaline Franklin—even Luther the outlaw biker—have all expressed a feeling of anger at the overarching slave matrix we exist in. I’ve been trying to fathom this and it finally came to me in a conversation with a fifth man who shall remain unnamed, even by alias. 
What is it that makes that red pill taste so bitter that it is coming to be known as the black pill? 
It’s the secret to your enemy masters’ success:  the marginal loser disaffected by the normal course of history. Despite the fact there is nothing normal about our current course of cultural self-destruction, for which history has no  betrayed in the optic category of Loser. America hates a loser, even in a rigged game, despite our vaunted, and still somewhat operative, notions of fair play.
We tend to only think of betrayal in terms of the mechanics of disloyalty and deception, an act that puts the moral weight of disapproval on the betrayer.
But who really suffers from the betrayal?
If the person is a psychopath, they don’t suffer from the stigma of disappointing you when they betray you.
Divorced from obligation to co-ethnics, our Wasp/Jewish elite views us the way a sociopath views other people.
But you have not been betrayed by an individual. 
You have been betrayed by a system, an internal management system with tendrils in every nation, which has replaced the nation you thought served you so that you could serve the cause of infinite human erasure and dwindle into oblivion as nations, races, congregations, families and souls are all extinguished in their turn.
 Politically, the more warranted anger the more problematic it is for the angry. Anger must be sublimated into effective action and expressed with discretion.

 Despite all this the affective fury of the multicultural left is studiously ignored by their allies in power. The enemies of normality and order--blacks, transsexuals, feminists--are mass-intoxicated on  outrage.

 The system has developed to cultivate that fury for the advantage of factions based on identity. But their rage, combined with their ugly totalitarian aesthetic, continues to discredit them beneath the veneer of righteousness. 
Anger is the best thing you can instill in an enemy, particularly in a weak enemy.
The exploitation of anger is systematized in our perverse democracy. The anger of your political enemies should be provoked and exposed with calm and humor. The right dominates meme warfare in this fashion.
The bitterness of betrayal is the System’s gambit which will entice you to such indignity that you might cast aside your mask, stand up like the odd nail, and invite the Hammer’s stroke.
Anger has its place, when you are surprised by enemy hands in the dark, when you must strike or die. But in all combat rituals anger serves the psychological bleeder—because that is what the angry person is doing—poorly if at all and most combat arts training is focused on taking anger and fear and sublimating them into fuel to power your engine of survival.
Betrayal is puppet master psychological warfare against the spiritual resistance. Betrayal is an eliciting of the impulse to cast aside the mask that all slaves must wear.
The Policeman is Not Your Friend and that the government has created a criminal class specifically to threaten you, and that against those kind of odds you can’t afford to act out of anger. If anger is your operating principal, you will not succeed in anything.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Incels at the Gates of Sexual Utopia

Youth, beauty, strength: the criteria for physical love are exactly the same as those of Nazism. In short, I was in the shit
.—Michel Houellebecq, The Possibility of an Island

Sexual innocence has gone to market.

In the absence of moral restraint. sexual competition becomes a laissez faire market, with similar disparities in success. But while a few people getting rich will still benefit their economy generally, it's hard to see how fewer people getting laid--and married--can benefit the reproductive economy of a nation.

Despite the tendency of the sixties generation to congratulate itself (or any generation, for that matter), sexual liberation owes far more to technology than to political action. Women first had to be liberated from toil. Only then could sexual equality become an issue. And corporate America was eager to liberate them from that toil, selling them labor-relieving products as consumers and hiring them as employees--to lower the cost of their labor.

 In one sense feminism can be seen as the rationalization of industry's capturing of female labor from the home.

 Or at least the rationalization of that process, driven by that constant of any economy that still brings us slavery and child-labor, the need for ever-cheaper labor.

It is to the modern free market, and its ruthless efficiency in wringing productivity out of labor, that women "owe" their sexual freedom.

The more liberal the less egalitarian the market. From here on the unfettered market of sex will proceed with the same inexorable logic, producing a surplus of the sexually stranded. The Marxian alienation of the factory worker is nothing compared to this.

Unmodified sexual competition is a return to nature, transplanting the primitive world into the midst of modernity; a return which will likely disabuse us of yet another cherished myth, that of the primitive idyll. It is every man (and woman) for himself. The regulation of sexual behavior through monogamy and chastity were civilizational advances we haven't bothered to replace, but are merely leaving behind.

Sexual shame has been routed, electronic entertainment reaches ever higher degrees of technological sophistication, and the ensuing profusion of sexual imagery and titillation is already desensitizing us. Ever more stimulation is required; already we show signs of exhaustion. It may all end in a sexually spent society.

At this rate sexual liberation may eventually destroy sex.

In the meantime, we'll have to deal with its surplus army of sexual desperados.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Reality, Sanity and Survival

Wikipedia:
In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. The occurrence of cognitive dissonance is a consequence of a person performing an action that contradicts personal beliefs, ideals, and values; and also occurs when confronted with new information that contradicts said beliefs, ideals, and values.
Cognitive dissonance produces psychological stress when and to the extent we're compelled to hold conflicting beliefs. The most common example is objectivity competing with faith. This stress has to be relieved. It's either reconcile or denial. And we practice a lot of both in the Current Year, rationalizing on one hand and looking the other way on the other.

Living in any culture will require some level of cognitive dissonance.

Religious mythology is the most obvious example of compelled belief conflicting with objective reality. Our post-Enlightenment secular-religious order up to the recent past imposed a relatively light load, with Christianity's revealed, non-falsifiable nature and stress on broad moral principle.
Believing in the Resurrection can be cast as the highest delusion, but it intrudes on nothing in the material present. Believing race doesn't exist, sex is fluid and women differ not at all from men are, let's just say, consequential.

Even a purely rational social order would impose dissonance on individual experience, experience being subjective. But in our present state the more objective the individual's perspective the greater the dissonance.

Political correctness requires commensurate levels of cognitive dissonance, imposed by shame, intimidation, impoverishment In European countries with hate speech laws it can be said to be imposed via the barrel of a gun.

But it isn't the dissonance, it's the lie from which it emanates, crackpot-theory rationalizing our deliberate displacement, condemning our past and precluding our future as plain white Americans. This is not about cognitive dissonance. Merely enduring a lie is one thing. When that lie is the means of your destruction...words fail. How did we allow this?

Resistance becomes a duty, then, to at least Do No Harm, and signal no false virtue. The sixties concept of "selling out"--whatever its validity then--has never been more useful than now. There is no sellout greater than selling out your ancestors and grandchildren at the same time. Working for Dow Chemical in the sixties is nothing as compared to working for present-day Disney.

Current Year cognitive dissonance is the sound of our gallows being built.

On the basis of no authority I suggest the only real relief from cognitive dissonance is abandoning the false belief for the true, and I don't think I need any authority to suggest it's at least the best, from an individual therapeutic standpoint. The recovery of a white political identity in the US becomes one and the same with the recovery of the individual white's mental health--with relief from the imposed psychosis that is political correctness.

In resistance, in transgressing an obvious injustice, the individual white reclaims at once some his own and some of his groups' psychological health. This is, dare I say it, spiritual.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Muttering


She watched soap operas compulsively, writing lists unintelligible; we never bothered to know. I reprise her, spinning notes to nowhere--writing them out and throwing them out over and over, just as she did.

On commercial breaks she would rise, sometimes quickly, and walk out of the room to mutter about the drama just suspended. I do something like that, wandering from room to room, occasionally muttering. After our mother died I heard her mention "mom" in such an occasion. She was born mildly retarded.

When she was very little a gust of wind lifted her off the ground, she was that slight, with her dress like a sail; the memory was a source of delight, retold with the same innocent enthusiasm with which she regarded a cat or a baby, the sort of enthusiasm of which only a child in her innocence is capable. Similarly deprived of guile, she retains that same childish enthusiasm, expressed just as it was when she too was a child.

She wasn't goofy; the impression I've had, biased but based, is that she was highly intelligent, but for the deprivation of oxygen in the womb or, we children did debate, a violent blow in a domestic row. She's still there in those small rooms, in the crater left by the blast, from which the rest of us scattered or succumbed.

Lifted her off the ground that gust of wind did.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Bland Inhibitor, 2018

Thou are right, O Lord, very right.
Thou hast condemned us justly.

"Bear with me. My story requires a bit of preface. " Alex said. "I might try your patience. Even if what they used to call storytellers still existed, I wouldn't be one. The ability to tell a story with a coherent beginning, middle and, especially, end, is all but lost. No one knows how to end a story anymore. And I have no ending for this one."

"So...you've come  to me for help." I smiled.

"No." He smiled back. "I mean...no offense, I wasn't thinking that. And now that you mention it, I'm open to suggestions."

"You won't mind?"

"I will thank you, if you can give this story its proper resolution."

"What do you mean resolution?" I asked. He laughed.

"Just what I was saying about nobody knows how to end a story anymore. The true art of storytelling was lost by the middle of the twenty first century. Anyway, I'm beginning to think there is no ending. None that isn't meaningless. And I warn you now you'll find the details and course if the story--what they called plot back in the day--absurd. But not, if I manage it correctly, meaningless. The point is to arrive at meaning by way of all the absurdity."

"That's absurd." I laughed. Alex grinned.

"No, not at all. Autonomous Virtuality is still churning through themes that precede its crude early stages as 'virtual reality', which it inherited from cinema, which was passed down from the written word: supernatural elements, time travel, conjuring of historical figures. I borrow some of these techniques. History and man provide the absurdity.

"After I spent the summer immersed in the old writings--so wonderful they're there, so unfortunate no one cares--I was compelled to write a story in the old fashion. It's meant to be read and that's it. It isn't a script, or accompanying text for something else. Reading was once something people did for its own sake. Not just storytelling; nonfiction writing was merited aside from content for artistry, and what was called the essay, for instance, was once common. There was of course poetry, now all but indecipherable to all but an aging few and soon to pass into oblivion with them."

With all the deliberation of a man who'd finished speaking for the time being, Alex paused to pour his glass and drink. Knowing him, I didn't interrupt. The light outside was dimming.

"I've set my story in the first half of the twenty first century, just as the Postmodern Panics were beginning. Of course this is not what they called them at the time, because it's inaccurate. The Panics were not at all panics--sudden mass psychological reactions--but the logical culmination of the parallel movements that dominated American politics into the middle of the twenty first century.

"Nor do I believe any of the prevailing, supposedly deeper analyses--not that anyone pays them much attention--that they were manias born of the economic shocks of the twenties, or the post sexual revolution, or to the combination of the two, or--a favorite of mine--a mass re-wiring of the human brain due to the sudden prevalence of AV; autonomous virtuality was actually in its infancy when the Panics began in earnest--and they certainly weren't due to that perpetual specter, global warming.

"The Panics weren't in opposition to the dominant cultural and political movements of the time, as we are taught, but emerged logically, ideologically, from them. They only differed in methods and--for the most part--fervor from half of the respectable political spectrum, this was when we still had what they now call an antipodal system, from what used the be called the Left. But more than that; their assumptions regarding the justice of their causes was conventional thought. One could get in more trouble--that is lose his livelihood or, towards the end, worse of course, by publicly questioning these assumptions than he could praising the actions of the various political terrorists of the time.

"The critique that had reformed society, liberalized its laws and economy, came to be a condemnation of it; the people of the West came to the conclusion their culture had been corrupt the whole time, and that it had sinned in coming to dominate the modern world it created.
Conventional thought was a radical, non-empirical analysis of a people condemning itself and its history. There is no precedent.  Anyway, what we're taught now--that all good people stood in opposition to the Panics waged by a zealous and effective few--is not true. Let's just say by the time of my story, about 2020, the terrorists and ruling elite shared the same critique and, for the most part, goals.

"Both ruling elite and political terrorist professed nearly the same contempt for the old order, what was once called the West, and its people, loosely and broadly described, and vilified, as 'white'. This is the origin of the casual usage of the word white to mean something generally bad or suspect, while that original racial connotation is lost to obscurity.

The renunciation of Western history and culture had achieved such a revolution over such a short time--a couple of generations, and the die was cast--almost entirely through the cultural and political moral suasion of society's institutions acting in solidarity--which is not to say there wasn't a great deal of coercion, especially toward the end.

"But this suasion was of two parts: a queer self-condemnation of the West, coupled with the promise of the superiority of the new post-Western utopia. The utopia was stubborn in arriving. The condemnation, always the greater part, became like a drug: ever greater dosages and strains were required. The violence of the early twenties looks predictable in hindsight.

"The component movements of the dominant order--feminism, the black and gay autonomy movements, ever more smaller movements modeled on these--found themselves unopposed in spirit and at the time presented themselves still as the rights movements of oppressed groups. Their actions might be condemned, but never their goals--and these could be quite radical. It wasn't long before these movements started shedding smaller, uncontrollable elements, domestic terrorists and criminal gangs. Many if not most would be folded up into and fighting for the Axis of Equality in the civil wars. The worst atrocities charged to the A of E almost invariably involve these. The name 'Axis of Equality', by the way, was initially a derogatory phrase, introduced by the opposition, while there still was one, co-opted by the A of E in its ascendance.

"The terrorist organizations that emerged from the time and would later be folded into the forces of the Axis--the Black Insurrection, the Amazon Army, the Western Intifada, the Indigenous People's Brigade--which, did you know, had few of these 'indigenous' people among its ranks, and virtually none among its leadership, and eventually collapsed over its inability to reach consensus on the meaning of 'indigenous'?"--Alex chuckled--"did not differ in their analyses from polite conventional opinion. They only differed in their fervor and violence. The elite agreed in principle and even sought the same negation of the historic West and its people, at least as a people. Well, they've got their way; no one defines himself as a 'Westerner' any more, by any name. But I suspect this isn't what they had in mind.

"I was going to say I think people don't go in there and read the old writings, and the few who do tend to get it all wrong, because the actions of these near predecessors of ours are so inexplicable, ultimately. It's like you're reading about an alien race.

"At any rate the past has been jettisoned like a rocket stage by post-literacy. We don't speak the same language as our own past. What's more, we can't know what is lost. But to think the powerful used to go to great lengths to suppress information. All they had to do was wait. Run out the clock on concern. But there's more to it, I suspect."

"You had a lot of time on your hands." I teased.

"And I spent it obsessing over the past--over time!" Alex delighted.

"This then is the time and setting of my story: the Panics hadn't arrive yet and the civil wars were just a rumbling on the horizon. The Pope then, he wasn't the guy you see on the advertisements for Global Sun or whatever they're calling it now. Vatican III hadn't happened yet, of course. The Church hadn't yet abandoned its claim of descent from Saint Peter. The Pope still went about in robes performing ceremonies, sometimes wearing a grand mitre on his head. Good, simple people still believed and wept at the sight of him, genuinely moved; they were some of the last human beings to experience religious faith, and our understanding of it died off with them. They didn't see at the time the very man they venerated as somehow nearer to God was working shoulder to shoulder with the enemies of God, of the idea of God, of the Church, above all by embracing the Great Migration that set up the European theater of the civil wars.

"The erosion of power that had begun with the Reformation half a millennium before wasn't quite complete, and the Church retained a great deal of wealth and political influence. But any real power it had was conditioned on it following the secular order of the day, which could be seen as Christianity stripped of its mystery--and any elements troublesome to commerce or politics. The last of the popes were enthusiastic proponents of this order. But at the time of my story it still had more than billion professed members--declining in the advanced West but growing outside of it in the poorer south of Africa and South America.

"The Church's dependence on those from the Third World aligned with the European ruling elite's  own project of facilitating the migration of these people into Europe. Or so it would seem; that these people were overwhelmingly Muslim and thus compelled--by a religion their average believer seemed to take more seriously than the Pope took his--to oppose and displace Christianity wherever they found it, well, I don't have an explanation for why the Church was untroubled by that. But it had clearly abandoned the goal of bringing the world to Christ.

"Instead it opposed the slightest opposition to the great migration that would achieve in decades what Europe's secular impulse sought for centuries: the Church's final ruin. It's as if having been stripped of its moral authority over spiritual and family life it could do nothing but divert this thwarted energy into moral authority on the great secular sins of the time, racism, sexism and nationalism. This was no real authority at all, of course, because its converse was not allowed, or at least not considered a tenable position by Rome.

"Adopting the secular mores of the time did not lessen condemnation of the Church; in fact it only seemed to get more intense and confident. The Church was historically guilty as the source of the great sins of the time--racism, sexism, sexual morality, which had become a vice somehow--so it could never reform to satisfaction. Condemnation proves inversely correlated to the power of its target. Imagine that."
Alex smiled.

"And there we should begin. Despite allying with them on a global level, at the time of my story the Church drew the attention of of some of these pre-Panic groups, militant but not yet violent. Among them a group of radical feminist women who interrupted worship or any gathering of the religious, staging stunts, usually of an obscene nature, in protest of the Church's continuing opposition to abortion and its suppression of women as they saw it."

I drew the blinds against the darkening night. Alex turned on the lamp after fiddling with it for a moment.

"And that's where we begin. The setting is St Peter's Square. The sky is cloudless. The air has the sharp transparency of late fall, but the day is unseasonably warm. It feels like summer.

Terrorism has been a concern for a while now, and the thick cord of people waiting in line to tour St Peter's is contained behind heavy fencing paralleling on one side the great curving colonnades that embrace the square, where groups of tourists mill about under the watchful eye of security, some in disguise.

"In the center of the square there used to be an Egyptian obelisk-"--Alex saw my confusion--"-a sort of spire-pyramid, some twenty meters or so tall. It's since been repatriated back to Egypt, as part of the global 'historical repatriation and reconciliation' movement, and was eventually destroyed by fanatic Muslims in the chaos of the mid-century. Around this striking point in the center of the vast square a commotion begins."

"Two young women have managed to elude security and are attempting to scale the obelisk. They are stripped mostly naked, one painted pink in symbolic resistance to the Church's repression of women, the other in the colors of the rainbow signifying its repression of homosexuality. They are struggling with a suction-cup and rope method of their own contrivance; the pink climber is managing better, about three meters off the ground and making slow progress before the police, scandalously late, are upon them. The other climber has managed to ascend just out of reach of police, but two have seized the slogan bearing banner she's trailing behind her. It's gotten wrapped about her midsection; she struggles to free herself of it as the police draw it just enough to hold her in place.

"As more police arrive, three more women have ditched their tourist disguises. They too were chosen for youth and suppleness to draw more attention to their stunts, the modus operandi of this particular group. Their torsos were painted with anti-Church slogans. One wore a bra attached at the nipples with dildos on springs; they bobbed obscenely. She set upon a policeman and twirled them, in stripper fashion. He took her by the forearms and they grappled. Another wearing a headpiece with dildos curved into the shape of devil's horns seized him by the leg. Two more demonstrators rushed forward with a pink banner they intended to wrap about the obelisk; they were intercepted at its base, one becoming entangled in the banner as they struggled with police. The pink climber held her precarious vantage partway up the obelisk bravely as she started shouting slogans. But she could not be heard, as the still air was suddenly broken by gusts of wind.

"A crowd began to form around the spectacle. Here and there a shout of disapproval emerged from it, but mostly the people watched in curious silence. Political stunts like this were common enough by that time; most observers knew the bizarre sight for what it was immediately. Such demonstrations such as this were increasingly indulged by the same political leaders who were ultimately responsible for maintaining order--unlike the unfortunate police and mid-level bureaucrats, who were immediately responsible for maintaining order. Because of mass media nearly everyone in the crowd on the square had the prior, virtual experience of the bizarre scene before them, and could confidently classify it for what it was and the nature of the protester's complaints without reading the slogans on the banners. On the faces of some in the crowd you might have even seen something like resignation.

"It was then, near the entrance to the square, a lone figure approached.  It was the Son of Man, in human form, walking among us. He was recognized immediately. The irreligious, the falsely religious, the devout; all who saw Him knew immediately it was He. He glided through them, blessing their lowered heads with a look at once all-knowing and all-forgiving."

"Now hold on a damn minute. That's quite enough." I interrupted. Alex smiled mischievously. "This is getting ridiculous. And, by the way, you know I know something about Christian eschatology."
"I know very well. More importantly, I see you as a believer, unlike myself..."

"You know I'm definitely not." I protested.

"Only because no one is, anymore. But you are of the type--the good, noble type of believer. Me--who's to say?--but most likely not. I have a cursed nature. Whereas you, like I said, are a believer; a believer in a time, not of disbelief, for that would at least be an assertion...no, ours is an age of indifference."

"You make it all sound so grim. For us believers, that is."

"Oh no, it's grim for all." Alex said enthusiastically, as if this was balm. "That's the thing. This absence of a tenable religion isn't just a problem for the faithful, but for the skeptical, for while the believer is denied something 'to believe in', the non-believer is just as significantly denied something in which to disbelieve. His resistance to faith is no less a moral way than faith; after all, if he's right it is he who is a soldier for truth against deception. I'm not even sure the distinction between them is all that meaningful. Coming at this dilemma from opposite sides, faithful and skeptic alike can be said merely to be coming up hard against an indifferent natural world, unmitigated by religion. If there's nothing greater than Nature, as there is now in the absence of religious mystery, and if Nature is indifferent as it certainly is--countless failed Nature cults can't be wrong--then in this indifferent world the indifferent man thrives.

"Those who were genuinely engaged in the question of religion and the soul didn't see they ultimately shared a cause: that existence deserved an explanation. The secularists offering a moral alternative to religion, the humanists and others, didn't see religion's death was their own; they grappled with and overcame their mortal enemy as both went over the falls of history. Of indifference. Sorry, I'm drifting."

"Not at all."

"So He has returned. But this is not the Second Coming. Whatever His intentions were we can't know--let's establish that as a bound for this story, that we can't presume to know the intentions of the Almighty. That would be too much. But we're obligated to establish this isn't the Advent. He's come to be among us, that is all, for His reasons.

"I want to say He chose the moment randomly, but that raises an interesting philosophical question. I mean, to select a moment randomly is to select a moment you don't know. He, being omniscient, cannot not know something. And if he can't not know something then he's not omnipotent, is He? It's an interesting paradox. Can He suspend, say, his omnipotence? If anything whatsoever is in his power we must assume He can. But if he can even temporarily lay it aside, how can He be truly omnipotent? And if He did, doesn't he step down from divinity, and couldn't, say, Satan overcome Him in his suspended state?"

"Sounds like another story. But He did suspend, so to speak, his omnipotence, as the Son of Man. The Son of Man, the Son of God, is not God. He is not omnipotent in this state. That is the point. Isn't it the basis of your story?"

"I won't pretend to understand the controversy regarding the essence of Christ but we can dispute that later. Let it remain a mystery, just as the Christ, just as all religion is necessarily shrouded in mystery. It is this loss of mystery in our time I lament. But to return to my story."

"Please, do." I said.

"Many there in the square bore the atavistic fashions of the time, the curious tattoos and piercings you see in images of that age. As He turned his eyes upon one such woman she covered a tattoo on her forearm with her hand, suddenly ashamed. With an exquisite tenderness he placed His hand on hers. He moved on. She raised her hand and the tattoo was gone."

"This is really too much." I said.

"Bear with me." Alex smiled.

"They fell silent in His presence and cried out spontaneously in His wake. Their shouts were joyful and grievous at the same time, and of an intensity none of them could have before witnessed, much less experienced, before. Indeed, what human beings could have known an experience of this nature, much less degree? None of us. But the sound was instantly recognizable for what it was: genuine, unguarded, human. Into that world of artifice upon artifice, it came like a bolt from the sky.

"And when this sound reached the obelisk as He neared, for He was moving directly toward it, it turned the attention of the crowd away from the chaotic burlesque there. Even the police and painted women froze in mid-struggle, like comic statuary, looking off in the direction of the sound. The pink-painted climber, having been thus distracted, lost her grip and began to slide down the obelisk. She managed her slide at first, but then her foot caught up fast in her tangled rope. Suddenly and completely anchored by the foot, her momentum whipsawed her headfirst into the obelisk. She fell and crumpled at its base, the rope wrapped about her leg.

"Police and civilians pressed in on each other coming to her aid. Right away someone called out to Him, and others joined in. He was already upon the scene. The murmuring crowd parted for him, revealing the girl laying inert, a policeman kneeling by her side. There was a drop of blood on the corner of her mouth; a trickle coming from her ear. Her face was colorless as chalk against the bright pink of her torso.

"He came close and stood over her, enveloping her in his warm gaze, and said, barely audible in the tense silence: 'talitha cumi'. With that the girl sat up with effortless, casual grace. The blood had vanished; the color had returned to her cheeks. She looked about with a confused, sweet expression. Small flowers which she had braided through her hair somehow survived all; she resembled a child. The people near exulted as one.

"Their celebration was interrupted immediately. A platoon of soldiers appeared, their heels striking the ground in unison as they moved in disciplined double-time. Barking orders and shoving the people back with their rifles they created a cordon around Him. These were not mere police, but the elite forces formed after the siege of Vatican City in 2019 by Muslim terrorists. Without a word they marched him off. They didn't lay a hand on Him and He didn't resist; He all but led them along. The people cowered. They wailed and wept violently, but shrank away and made no resistance."

"I doubt the people would allow that."

"But they did. You have to understand the power the soldiers represented. The troops' appearance alone was terrifying--helmeted, masked, armored, outfitted like combat soldiers but all in black without insignia; the extraordinary and ill-defined powers they held; even, or especially, because of the fearful specter that was terrorism--immediately evoked as it was by their appearance on any scene; all of this combined to make those troops the very embodiment of worldly power and threat. So now, just as they bowed before Him, they bowed before the muzzles of the troops' rifles.

"They took him to a subterranean complex beneath the Vatican. They left him in an interrogation room, sitting at a bare table before a two-way mirror. They did not shackle Him. He remained there the night through without making the slightest move or gesture. Light was dawning outside when a man came through the door. He was unexceptional in appearance--the sort of face you find hard to recall--and impeccably but just as blandly dressed. His ethnicity was uncertain, as was his accent; he could have been from anywhere. He paused halfway through closing the door, and examined Him curiously.

" 'You were expecting maybe the Pope?' He grinned. 'He wasn't expecting you, I can tell you that! His grin widened. 'None of us were. It is you, isn't it?' He said as he moved in and looked closer, his face momentarily grave. 'I'm Chief Investigator'--his name came out unintelligible--'here--' He cut himself off before finishing. He eyed the empty chair across the table from Him but remained where he was, thinking a moment. He held his hands out before him palms-up in an inquisitive posture and said:

" 'What can we do for you?' "

"He did not speak; His expression did not change. The Investigator held his pose for a moment, waiting.

" 'Very well. What, then, can you do for us? Have you come to help or enlighten?' " He paused.
'For they are not the same thing, as you very well know. Have you come to free us?' He said with a trace of contempt as his reserve seemed to give and something like emotion flashed across his face. 'That boat has sailed. We've been free a long time. We are wearied. You've had a look at our freedom. What do you think of it? Is man happy in his freedom? Does it feed him, keep him warm, console him...?' he laughed spontaneously at this last, '...quite the opposite, as you know. Was that your intention? Whatever the case, it's done now. You cannot pull the rug out from under mankind now. It is too late. For two thousand years we have labored under this false, yes, god.

" 'Do you not see this notion of freedom, of free will, is at odds with that other malicious gift you gave us, truth? For freedom is false, and can have no relation to truth; they are almost opposites. You paired these mortal enemies together and flung them into the heart of man, where they claw and tear at each other as they destroy their host. What god does this? Is it any wonder man continually returns to the worldly shackles of tyrants? Of mysticism, cant, degeneracy? Would you condemn the powerful and cruel for freeing man from "freedom"?'

" 'But you were so eager to grant man his freedom. This curse he does not want. Yet you granted it, and he feels compelled to praise it, to desire it, to celebrate--to die and kill for it! But he secretly despises it, he yearns for the guiding hand, your guiding hand, he yearns to be your slave. And he surrenders to this desire with this latest heresy--for it must be a heresy if you're here before me now--this Islam, in which he describes himself as your slave. These people, so backward, so proud of their ignorance and intellectual squalor, these people have that one thing right--that man wishes nothing so much as to be a slave, as long as he's a slave to a higher power; indeed, the highest good for man is to be a slave to the highest power. These people--stupid, dull as they are--have this one thing, the one thing, right. And all of your followers have it wrong. Because you granted them their 'freedom', when challenged by the spirit of Satan in the desert.

"The Investigator stopped himself, as if he had gone farther than intended.

"Forgive me. But this cycle must be broken. We are doing it, and we are doing it with the help of your church. Shall I tell you then? Yes, that's it.' He snapped his heels together and popped an exaggerated salute.

" 'Progress report, sir! We have been very busy, those I represent, in alliance with the good people of the Church. Just today we another two thousand needy souls into this land that used to be one and the same with your church; we pulled them right out of the ocean! Certainly you approve? I'm sorry a representative of the Church couldn't be present. They really wanted to meet you. But we didn't want there to be any misunderstandings.'

"Still there was no response from Him.

" 'As for the laity his misery is at its end. Hunger is soon to be a historical memory. The other sources of misery too will fall in due time. Strife itself, the eternal human struggle of family, nation, race--is nearing its end. We are at the beginning of a blessed global uniformity of peace, justice and plenty--without, pardon me, your help. Without so much as a sign from you. So if you've come to offer your help, it really isn't necessary. But if you insist, we have some ideas for how you might do that.'

"A group watched from the other side of the two-way mirror, silent.

" 'I hope you understand why we don't act in your name--and I hope you understand why we don't predicate our ministry, so to speak, on accepting you as their savior, and why the Church itself no longer does either. Sadly', the Investigator said remorsefully, 'things have gotten so bad, and you've been absent so long, that your name actually hinders the efforts to bring to reality your promise. Can you blame the people for losing faith? He will not bow before an absent god, but he will bow before worldly power.'

"He paused.

" 'We are their savior, we bring light to the darkness, we feed the hungry, we protect the weak in the here and now, and if we were to credit you we would be lying. We are instituting the universal brotherhood of man you sought. But we can't do it in your name.

"Sorry, I'm afraid your brand is obsolete. But whose fault is that? You handed your work and sanction to the Church, and it did wondrous things in your name. More to its credit, it did terrible things in your name. For that was the real sacrifice, wasn't it? And when the wrath incurred by history was turned on it--where were you? You left it to its enemies. To us, frankly. But we have been magnanimous in victory. In allowing it to exist still, to prosper even, to participate in this glorious final realization of your charge, to make all mankind one family, to make concern for the stranger equal to, nay, greater than concern for one's family, one's self. We took you at your word and then some. Or are we calling your bluff? No matter. You've had all this time to correct us; we must assume your absence to be assent. What else would you have us do? You've seen the latest manifestation of the Abrahamic tradition--'

"Here he is talking about Islam." Alex said. I nodded and gestured impatiently for him to go on.

" 'Twice great heresies arose demanding your appearance. First right here in Europe, from within the Church, and then in Arabia from the savage desert without. The Church countered the first--no help from you--and now we counter the second. Make no mistake about our intentions. We will deal with this last, final challenge to man's ultimate liberation. But in so doing we will have to destroy this pernicious lie, this stringing along of humanity, this faith.

" 'And 'salvation? What is that? A promise, backed by faith in an absent, silent God. To make real your wishes for humanity it has become necessary to disassociate them from your name. The Church did everything it could--no thanks to you--and can go no farther. So you can see why it's important that you not return, that you not show your face now. Why would you? What possible good could come from it? Is your intention to return and leave again, for another two thousand years? How long do you intend to string humanity along?' "

" 'Your appearance today has caused us little trouble. Already we're putting it to good use. We are spinning the story of the eccentric who appeared at the Vatican to our advantage. You're trending, my man! You have trended for so very long, but trends end.

"As if any who weren't present there yesterday to see for their own eyes would believe in your return anyway. You don't realize we've--you've, in your long absence--made faith impossible. Even those poor wretched souls you tormented--yes, tormented, for how can they be expected to return to daily life after this?--even they are beginning to doubt what they saw, what they felt. Those that don't will be seen as mad--already they are being mocked and ridiculed in the Press. And you will burn in tomorrow's bit of theater--do you know what we have planned?--and will be remembered, barely and briefly, as a conservative religious zealot attacking the church for its apostasy, its worldliness, its embrace of the foreigners of that great second heresy. You died once for our sins, now you will die for yours.' The Investigator stopped and swallowed, as if having gone farther than he intended. He looked away from Him and said again, quietly, 'tomorrow you will burn.'

"It was then He rose and approached his questioner. The Investigator not move but could not look Him directly in the eye. He kissed his lowered head. The Investigator turned and left the room, his hand over his mouth as if stifling his own words."

Alex sighed.

"And that, I'm afraid, is all I have."

"You can't just leave it there." I protested.

to be continued, perhaps