Tuesday, September 10, 2019

plus ca change

If malice and vanity wear the coat of philanthropy, shall that pass? If an angry bigot assumes this bountiful cause of Abolition, and comes to me with news from Barbadoes, why should I not say to him, "Go love thy infant; love thy wood-chopper; be good-natured and modest; have that grace; and never varnish your hard, uncharitable ambition with this incredible tenderness for black folk a thousand miles off. Thy love afar is spite at home."
Emerson, Self-Reliance

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Livestream with Tom Kawczynski

Tomorrow (Thursday September 5) author, scourge of right-thinking rural Maine and presidential candidate Tom Kawczynski will join me for a livestream at 4PM Pacific, 7 Eastern Time on my YouTube channel.

Tom's running for president. His campaign website is here: End the Con.

Tom's a prolific author. His most recent book is The Coming Civil War.

Tom was fired as Town Manager of tiny Jackman Maine when he was "exposed" for espousing pro-white and segregationist views in 2018:
Leaders in a Maine town said Sunday they will meet with their town manager, who has come under fire for espousing white separatist views. Jackman Town Manager Tom Kawczynski recently made public comments bashing Islam and calling for preservation of white European heritage in northern New England.

Local officials are scheduled to meet with him on Tuesday. Town lawyer Warren Shay said Sunday the town manager's beliefs aren't shared by Jackman officials, who intend to meet with him at Jackman Town Office at 8:30 a.m.

"The meeting is to talk with the town manager about comments attributed to him in a number of newspapers and other media outlets around the state," Shay said. "The beliefs reflected in those comments are not shared by any of the select persons or the Town of Jackman."

Kawczynski didn't return phone calls from The Associated Press. He moved to Maine a year ago and launched a group called "New Albion" to promote what he calls "the positive aspects of our European heritage" in northern New England and Atlantic Canada.

Kawczynski has said he expects to be fired over his actions, but he doesn't intend to quit, and he doesn't feel that his views on race interfere with his work as town manager. His website states that its purpose is "defending the people and culture of New England."

The website includes essays that make the case for a voluntary separation of races, and identifies Kawczynski as "steward for New Albion." 
And, of course:
He has also identified as a supporter of President Donald Trump.
Tom on gab and Twitter.
Tom is also something of a Medievalist as well I understand. Tune in if you can.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Bicycle Thieves

Rex is a big guy, maybe six foot five. He works around town for some app delivery service or other. He has the nervous energy of a smaller person and an undercurrent of rage I think I see behind his default expression, which is the sort of smile you would present to a savage encountered in the jungle, to show you mean no harm. He's often coming into conflict with the local homeless. (I hesitated over writing the phrase "homeless community", before realizing it is apt; in some ways they have more community than us)

Rex is unwilling to ignore the homeless and is often in conflict with them.

He bounded over, phone drawn, and, as he does, began as if in the middle of a conversation:
"So these two guys? I don't think I told you about these guys. They were prowling cars over at the plaza" he pointed off in the direction of what I think is a retirement home, "and I told the security guard you know?"
His smile lapsed into a genuine expression as he became enthusiastic.
"So I see them again. Look at this shit."

On his phone I see the homeless combatant coming at him from across the street and slashing at him with a tiny knife as he fends him off with, I think, a hot bag for carrying food.
"Whoa dude." I say (I have to be honest, this is what I said). "Did you call the cops?"
"Yeah. They're not going to do anything about it."
"No shit?"
"They're not sure any law's been broken, I guess."
"What the hell?"
"But I told them about their chop shop."
"Their what?"
"Their camp between the freeway and Fourth over there. They take stolen bikes there and do whatever. I told those fuckers 'I know about your chop shop!' ", that's when they came after me."
"Jesus dude, be careful." I say.

The next day I see the police clearing out the camp he talked about, taking all day to fill a truck with their abandoned gear.

"That's not their only shop." Rex tells me when I give him the news the next day.
"Have you seen those guys again?"
"Oh yeah. They're over on Fourth and Jefferson right now. I just saw them."
"Damn."
"Yeah. I'm going to bail on downtown Portland for a while. It's too bad; it makes it harder to make money doing this shit if I have to avoid the city."
"That sucks."
"I saw a guy coming down Broadway Drive, not one of the guys who attacked me but an associate, I've seen him with them, and he's coming down the steep part full speed like a daredevil, like he's got no brakes, on an expensive-looking bike."
"No bike is safe."
"It's true." He laughs.
"They're making their way higher up into the hills. Used to be they're weren't that determined."
Rex nods.
"Yeah. They're getting way more aggressive all around. And they'll steal anything. But they love bikes and breaking into cars."

Yesterday I saw him again, and he bounded over, phone drawn, and resumed the conversation:
"So I saw this video 'attempted stabbing of US Marine' and you're in it."

It's a video of protesters chasing a man with a bicycle off the street, heaping various indignities on him before the scene breaks down into chaos.

In the 360 degree video we see a masked man with another tiny knife, this time out for the Marine bicyclist. He gets close, but, probably because the crowd wasn't thick enough to hide his actions from view, he withdraws.

The Marine, at least, kept his bike. But more importantly, he kept his dignity.




Friday, August 23, 2019

Rules of Distraction

I asked James Lafond about surviving the urban riot environment as an undocumented journalist:
Dennis Dale
Tue, Aug 20, 5:58 PM (1 day ago)

Portland had another to-do this weekend as a small right wing protest drew over a thousand angry "antifascists" who spent the day hunting out and harassing anyone they thought in sympathy with them and journalists (for exposing potential crimes).

Other than stay away, what can I do to avoid getting the bike lock to the head when I'm not looking? What are my legal concerns? Is protective gear an invite to violence?

James responds: 
Dennis, advising readers and friends on how not to reach assisted vegetative nirvana in my home away from home, must be my number 2 priority, just behind bedding half-blind slave girls.

If you are covering such an event, realize that press protection will not be forthcoming. Sitting judges have been ruling that only employees of mass media companies should enjoy protection of speech for years. It is also explicitly not the responsibility of any police department to protect citizens, but only to round up and kill enemies of the sate involved in drugs, violence or free thought.
This is true. I can also attest police openly resent bystanders--"looky-loos" was the phrase I once heard a cop use on a detainee complaining he'd just come to watch. The camera-wielding amateur media represents a two-fold problem for police: we encourage mayhem by turning cameras on people looking for attention, many of them mentally unbalanced, but they must also hate us for the same reason antifa does--the potential we have to document misdeeds. And that raises the question: on net do we increase or decrease mayhem?

People are encouraged to perform for the camera, but they also can't escape it. There might be a metaphor in here.
1. You should not go alone. Hire a teen age POC as your security guard. A six of malt liquor and the street cred he'll get for saving your honky ass will do.
2. Wear safety glasses or sunglasses.

3. Wear a cap, a ski cap in cold weather or a tactical cap with plexi-insert during hot months. I would wear a pit helmet. But without a Swahili bodyguard you might wish to stop short of a display of moral supremacy.

Yes, the pith helmet sounds very practical for the environment, and I might even be able to pull it off sartorially, but with the left's current state of wokeness I don't trust it won't be received as the colonialist equivalent of a KKK hood. And combined it with the Swahili bodyguard (sorry, James, quick hard-pass on that)? Just imagine me walking about in a pith helmet with a dindu guard. I could dress him in animal skins and give him a spear. It would tear a hole in Portland's space/time/justice continuum.
4. Wearing a BLM or No Nations No Borders shirt is highly recommended, because the guys on the Right are going to have their hands full surviving and won't have excess resources to secure the perimeter against thought criminals and witnesses.
I've considered disguise but decided against it. If antia identifies me as a enemy it will be because I'm filming. If they see I'm wearing their gear, they'll hold the subterfuge against me, and my defense--I'm a journalist, fuck off--is weakened. My strategy thus far has been to dress like a middle-aged suburbanite. A friend emailed the other day that he got a good laugh out of seeing me in the background--like Waldo--in various videos, in my bright orange-striped shirt.
5. Keep a pole or wall to your back and skirt the perimeter. Do not take up an obvious viewing position, but play it like a bystander as much as possible.

6. When people approach walk off obliquely rather than retreat. Making them change directions is more discouraging than asking them to speed up their pursuit.

7. Practice rolling with punches for when you get hit.

8. Use no type of defensive weapon more lethal than an umbrella, pen or rolled up magazine. Umbrellas are great because they can be used as shields against chemical attacks or as bayonets or clubs depending on the design.
Great advice. And I figure an umbrella is also one of the deadlier things you can carry without getting arrested for it. Some antifa I saw last weekend were masked head to toe in black and carrying black umbrellas; I fear they're training with them.
9. Remember that the cops are your enemy and if they think you are involved they might attack you, so clearly separate from others, seeking the view with the maximum distance from the belligerents and the pigs.
Police above all view you as a nuisance, a significant part of the massive nuisance that is the demonstration, which with some reason they see as a farce, so their attitude toward you will not be generous.
But your attitude toward them is crucial. If they give an order at least be seen as responding right away. Half the crowd is there to harangue them. When interacting signal that this isn't you by being polite and keeping your distance. The individual police in a line are, I imagine, identifying individuals in the crowd and rating them as threats. When the shit hits the fan they're coming after those guys first. In ambiguous situations later better if that individual cop has identified you as non-hostile already.
10. Any of the three parties that approach you should be greeted by your declaration of support for their causes, all of which are evil or misguided but all of which deserve the same praise. "You guys are doing good work—thank you!"

Remember, Dennis, as a journalist with your own mind, even though you may sympathize with the Right, all three parties, Left, Right and Police all have one goal, which is to silence dissent, and any independent journalist is by definition a dissident and will be targeted for violence by all of these parties in good time—first by the Left, then by the police and in the end by the radicalized Right—so trust none of them, especially when it comes to this street theater.
Thanks James, but I fear I'm a journalist in my own mind. That's probably how the police would put it. Street theater it very much is; sometimes I think the fundamental dynamic of these demonstrations is between performance journalists and performance artists.
The two guys in the video window below have head protection. The helmet is going to draw fire, so stick with a cap.
I really like the idea of a ballcap with lining. I think I'll fashion one out of aluminum, then when I'm captured I'll play crazy. Maybe even infiltrate my captors' cell as a mascot.

Thanks James. Portland is in a state of disorder since you left, as you see.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Endless Weimar



One last look back at this weekend and no more. Also: I'm booted from Twitter. I think I welcome it.


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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Put Down the Twitter

Twitter has suspended my account for satirizing the famous Tyler the Creater bullying tweet. Should I appeal?

Update.
Oh never mind:

Portland Burlesque



Partial roundup of last Saturday's events in Portland.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Final Hangout


Today is the last day YouTube will host Hangouts livestreams.

Live-commentary on part of the Democratic Debate and then joined by Melchy Zedek and Ecce Lux.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Plainstream


Meandering, but brief, livestream (and a cheap blog post). Talking about Portland's zombie population and other things.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Patriarchy is Over

Man made the electro lights 
To take us out of the dark 
Man made the bullet for the war 
Like Noah made the ark 
This is a man's man's, man's world 
But it would be nothing...
Not one little thing 
Without a woman or a girl 
He's lost in the wilderness 
He's lost in the bitterness...
Without a woman or a girl
James Brown, It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World, 1966.


Yet another photo to be compared to a Renaissance tableau featuring an array of types, in a scene representative of the time.

(partial, Transfiguration of Christ, Raphael)

We live in a cultural matriarchy. It's not quite a whole matriarchy, as men still do most of the doing, and still own most of the wealth. But women have been given rights of indulgence far beyond what men took for granted before the sexual revolution. Things are run entirely for them, if not mostly by them.

Someone must pay for the years of disappointment these aging women have endured (and their young compatriots seem to desire, demand even). They look for something, anything to blame it on, to reassure them none of it is their fault.

...we all nodded at him over the polished table that like a still sheet of brown water reflected our faces, lined, wrinkled; our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone—has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash—together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.
--Youth, Joseph Conrad


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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Now Come the Gaslit Kamikazes



The sad tale of Willem Van Spronsen, antifa member killed attacking an immigrant detention facility.

Some of his friends think the 69 year-old committed suicide-by-cop.



Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Re-run

Since political violence is all the rage right now, an old one:

The Bland Inhibitor

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 to the extent He in his omniscience can choose a random moment, which is of course its own interesting philosophical question. I mean, can He, being omnipotent? And if he can't then he's not omnipotent, is He? It's an interesting paradox. Can He suspend, then, his omnipotence? If anything whatsoever is in his power we must assume He can. But if he can even temporarily lay aside his omnipotence, how can He be truly omnipotent. Doesn't He then become vulnerable? Couldn't, say, Satan,--God forbid--overcome Him in his suspended state?"

"But He did, as the Son of Man The Son of Man is not God. He is not omnipotent. 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; mall 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 grante 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

Monday, July 01, 2019

Portland and the Trans-valuation of Values

Via James LaFond's blog, here's Portlander Tony on Saturday's citywide political dispute:
 I believe your pioneering efforts in the art or crowbar fighting have begun to gain some converts here in Portland. Antifa smashed a guy in the head downtown yesterday with a crowbar. Too bad no video. The boys in black masks are getting more violent. The current liberal craze is to dump milkshakes in the faces of people they disagree with. Here in Portland, the milkshakes are made with quick dry concrete. Makes for some nice chemical burns. I am predicting a short term escalation of violence over the summer. Once someone finally gets killed, I think they’ll all get scared and stay home for a while.

There was a trailer parked on Foster by the used tire store on 60th yesterday, being used as a platform for a billboard, encouraging people to go downtown and join the revolution. The funny thing, after the shit downtown was all over, I get off work and go grocery shopping at winco. There’s all sorts of antifa there, doing their shopping, I could just tell, they were dressed like punk rockers (playing dress up), and looked haggard like they’d been running around downtown all day. Anyway, a lot of them were couples. I’m kinda watching them, and they’re all the most prissy kind of men. Asking their girl what the right kind of vegetable to get with all the rice they have at home, following behind their women, bagging the groceries while the women pay the bill, the whole scene was kinda funny to me. Like, a couple hours ago, these dudes were throwing shit at the cops and screaming “FUCK YOU FACIST! I’LL KICK YOUR ASS!!!”, and now here they are, following their women around like servants. 
My impression is that for many "antifascist" protest is a moral holiday, a Mardi Gras of sanctimony.

Hilarious inversion: where drunkenness and debauchery would be indulged, and celebrated, now moral righteousness is indulged, and celebrated.

Drunkenness and debauchery aren't much restricted any more, after all; even celebrated--indeed, debauchery is now a sub-theme of "antifascist" demonstrations. Individual characters appear as if directly from the pride parade. Walking artifacts they are, of their origins in early gay pride demonstrations where their appearance was in fact transgressive. Now that's inverted, and their appearance on the streets of Portland Saturday, as in any corporate-sponsored pride event, is more an expression of power.

The moral holiday releases angst acquired conforming to social convention. The social order these angry antifascists have been conforming to is very much the one they demand, and loudly. Indeed, their problem Saturday was that somewhere in their town a couple dozen "fascists" were openly flouting that order.

They'll never see it (irony isn't really their thing) but I think I do: the very things they demand, sexual liberation, diversity, feminism, drugs, drugs, drugs, are making them sick. They are immersed in it, encouraged by unending propaganda and discouraged from dissent--by such as the shaming rituals they take part in when they march, positively warning them: from this social order there is no escape.
They're trapped.

So they are as ill-equipped to self-diagnose as a pre-modern man enduring a disease yet to be discovered. Like him they look for explanations wherever they can. They don't have to imagine a sympathetic relationship between their deep unhappiness and some aspect of nature.
They have us. And they are turned upon us by the same social order that is making them sick to their souls. By people invested in that order--by the people who profit from our disease.

So yes, my progressive friends. There are people out there who deserve your wrath.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pozzwood Meltdown



Got to the party late yesterday and missed the real action. Patriot Prayer, the right-wing provocateur outfit who prompted yesterday's day of rage, was gone before I got there. As is typical, after the Patriots had a brief demonstration under heavy police protection they dispersed.

Progressive protesters then turn their attention to harassing police, journalists and anyone who looks like they don't belong. Various flakes and outright crazies are drawn to the protests. Every now and then you'll find them squaring off against each other:



Here they are massing at the riverfront and then heading back into downtown to harass the cops and confound commuters. Note the tail-gate twerkers in their U-Haul offering "free vegan milkshakes"--I assume the concrete and lime antifa were adding to their "milkshake" bombs is vegan:

Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday's Fable

Revival

this is a series: previously

Whitist Apologia
by Janae Acharya-Ramirez She-Her Cohen*
New York Times, July 6, 2042

Every high school freshman knows the history of the minstrel show in and its role in maintaining white supremacy. Thus the inherent problemicity in its recent resurrection, in parody of the original, as the "white show", replacing black stereotypes of the slave and Jim Crow eras with white stereotypes from our recent past in white supremacist America.

These shows have become so popular they're the main feature of virtually every "tent show" in the North American Consumer Region. The revival of that broader form, from which the new white minstrelsy was born, presents its own inherent problemicity matrix, coming as it does from the era of white supremacy.

Any representation of that dark period's norms, attitudes and mores runs the risk of normalizing them.
This was demonstrated on these pages brilliantly last week by Harvard Professor Tanyika Balder-Dash Bhe-Bher** in bher essay "The Only Good Whitism...". The shows are history, and any history of oppression without context amounts to the re-introduction of narrative pathogens. Her recommendations for placing Office of Civility and Acceptance regulators with every show is a good start.

Interestingly enough, the revival of the tent show derives in large part from the same necessity that created the original: summertime heat made indoor entertainment unbearable in the hottest months of summer before the development of air conditioning.
Now it's the power grid crisis and electricity rationing driving people out of sweltering micro-apartments and public spaces--and into a cultural and legal limbo.

Licensed under arcane laws regulating "tent shows, circuses and carnivals" as old as the original shows, the productions operate entirely outside of Department of Inclusion regulatory purview. It might come as a shock to the average person, but the tent shows can virtually say or present whatever they want, without fear of penalty.

You might ask--and virtually all of us have attended or seen one of the shows--what problem one could have with shows portraying supremacist era whites in mocking caricature.

I contacted Michael Gruden-Silver He-Him, producer of "seven or eight" shows to ask if the shows are guilty of normalization.

"I see our role as instructional and fun at the same time. I categorically reject the shows normalize whiteness or whitism. I fail to see how ridicule is somehow normalization. We've never sought to present whites or whitism in a positive light."

He's also quick to point out a fundamental difference between the new shows, in which white performers portray whites, and the old shows, in which white performers in blackface portrayed blacks.

"We realized it would be degrading for a non-white to wear whiteface in any context." He also rejected the charge that whiteface in this context is a "violent enhancement of ghostly whiteness" in the words of the Reverend Foremost Chastity Coates Bhe-Bher.
"Our performers wear whiteface only to complete the parody." He says.

Despite their portrayal as dishonest, boorish or ignorant, the stock repertoire of comic foils--such as the "yuppie", the "bro", the "redneck"--become cultural figures of familiarity; and familiarity breeds not contempt but a measure of fondness. We can't help it. The characters make us laugh. We chuckle and shake our head as if at the antics of an eccentric relative, and before we know it we've humanized whitism.

A recent study out of Yale examined the content of the four most popular shows over the last two years and found the same pattern affecting all, one of gradual softening of the shows' portrayal of whites. All began with material duly and unambiguously contemptuous in its portrayal of historical whites; all ended the period with material, while still presenting them as the comic foil, portrayed them in a somewhat more sympathetic light.

It gets worse than that. Shows looking to get an edge on their competitors have taken to introducing innocuous caricatures, such as "the cowboy", or "the sailor". Worse still, the shows offering these characters seem to be finding success. Overtly positive characters can't be far away. Rumor has it one show is working on a character called "the astronaut".

Certainly the content of the shows will eventually be brought under control; even the producers seem resigned to that. But is control of content enough? Is content really the problem? Some forms are inherently exclusionary.

The white minstrelsy, like the black minstrelsy, is at its core caricature.In engaging in caricature we validate the practice of caricature. Even the appropriately negative portrayals of whites have this unfortunate effect: without contextual guidance, people will assume there's some validity to other caricatures, such as those of blacks in the old minstrelsy. The dynamic is at work in the new minstrelsy as in the old: the audience believes it is laughing at something familiar.

It isn't merely a question of content. Content is the least of it. The forms of the pre-liberation past, being products of it, are the problem, as evidenced by the white show's progress. Hewing to all norms of justice inclusion, they nonetheless have the effect of bowdlerizing the past, of minimizing non-white suffering and even inducing nostalgia. Reversing the content of minstrelsy makes it no less minstrelsy. Existing entirely as a reference to that original transgression, it revives it.

Our experience with the new minstrelsy has revived Professor Balder-Dash's call for "an end to satire as we know it". I haven't given up the hope satire, and comedy generally, can be saved, despite their inherent power dynamic. But we don't need to curtail it until we figure out what's going on. The white show has demonstrated that.

The good news is the shows are no longer escaping notice. Pastor Coates assures me bhe's planning a national action soon to protest their continuing operation outside of regulatory scrutiny.

to be continued

*Regarding the proper placement of the colloquially named "pronounerific", denoting gender identity, introduced in the early twenties and standard by the time of our story, appearing here as "She-Her": it follows the surname, unless the surname is preceded by a hyphenated pair of surnames, in which case the--properly named--proidentitatem follows the hyphenation and precedes the surname [Ed. from the future]

**"Bhe-Bher": specifically a black "She-Her" [Ed. from the future]

Monday, June 24, 2019

Oregay

From fellow Portlander Tony
This story is one hundred percent true.

Some bullshit ass bar on the Oregon Coast. Seaside, if it really matters. June 13th at 12:06am if ya wanna get technical about it.

He looked like an average rural white kid. Fit. Handsome. Well mannered at first.

He was wearing the standard garb you’d expect from a kid that lives in Corpus Christie, Texas. Trucker hat. Flannel shirt.

After a few drinks, he says he’s a firefighter. We talk. He says he has a great life. He’s not yet 30. He seems like the polar opposite of the urban beta male pack that the cities are so full of these days.

I tell him, “Hey, bro, this next shot’s for you. You’re the future of America.”

I really fucking hope I was wrong about that.

After the shot, he makes an Italian joke, assuming that I am Italian. Everyone named Tony MUST be Italian, you know? I jokingly tell him I’d rather be a Somalian than an Italian. At this, he tells me that “people are just people, and the world is changing. We should “WELCOME AFRICAN MIGRANTS WITH OPEN ARMS.” Whoa. Where is this coming from?

I thought he was a blue collar, working class, TEXAS kinda guy.

After that little statement, I tell him 3/5s of a nigger joke, just to see if he’s serious or not

Like an ugly woman who knows you had lunch with her for the very last time, he gets kinda serious.

He gets to punching me. In the ribs. The chest. What he thinks are the weak spots. Sort of how an old buddy would punch you. Expect he wasn’t an old buddy

He tells me he’s half Irish, half Mexican. Lucky me. How he loves to fight. How crazy he gets when he drinks. How he’s pretty much a bad ass. Laying it on thick.

He keeps punching me at the bar, where we’re both seated. I’m waxing stoic, and he keeps trying to punch me harder. Kind of joking, but kind of not. Testing me.

I say, “Hey. You ever been inside a boxing gym?”

He says “No.”

This dude is almost 15 years younger than my old out of shape ass.

I tell him, “Let’s arm wrestle.”

Right about then, I swear on my honor, he started calling me a bully.

Started saying it loud.

Asking for help.

Looking like a mommas boy who’s trying to hide behind his mother’s apron strings.

He showed me his true colors.

This person (I won’t call him a man) started calling out for help. Proclaiming me a bully. Loudly. Playing the victim. Sounding like a bitch ass south east Portland faggot.

Except he was a firefighter from Corpus Christie, Texas, named Alejandro. (goes by AJ.)

The barkeep came over.

He told her I was a threat.

I was told to leave. 
I was wrong about the future of America.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Justice is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

One man's radicalization is another man's rehabilitation.

The New York Times' recent piece on rehabilitated white nationalist Caleb Cain breathlessly describes his foray into right wing YouTube as if he was a spellbound zombie conveyed along by mysterious algorithms
These interviews and data points form a picture of a disillusioned young man, an internet-savvy group of right-wing reactionaries and a powerful algorithm that learns to connect the two. It suggests that YouTube may have played a role in steering Mr. Cain, and other young men like him, toward the far-right fringes 
But there is cause for hope, according to the Times
It also suggests that, in time, YouTube is capable of steering them in very different directions.
The article goes on to describe Cain's deprogramming by an internet-savvy group of left-wing ideologues manipulating powerful algorithms. Justice doesn't allow for self-awareness.
Mr. Cain also found videos by Natalie Wynn, a former academic philosopher who goes by the name ContraPoints. Ms. Wynn wore elaborate costumes and did drag-style performances in which she explained why Western culture wasn’t under attack from immigrants, or why race was a social construct... 
Ms. Wynn and Mr. Bonnell are part of a new group of YouTubers who are trying to build a counterweight to YouTube’s far-right flank. This group calls itself BreadTube, a reference to the left-wing anarchist Peter Kropotkin’s 1892 book, “The Conquest of Bread.” It also includes people like Oliver Thorn, a British philosopher who hosts the channel PhilosophyTube, where he posts videos about topics like transphobia, racism and Marxist economics.  
The core of BreadTube’s strategy is a kind of algorithmic hijacking. By talking about many of the same topics that far-right creators do — and, in some cases, by responding directly to their videos — left-wing YouTubers are able to get their videos recommended to the same audience.
Good luck with that, as they say.

The ACLU and its media allies are trying to take YouTube over entirely from its creators, from its audience, from YouTube. They've lost the platform, and, probably related, the platform has become the last haven of genuine political discourse. It's as if, in banning nationalist dissent everywhere else, they herded it onto YouTube; chasing it off of YouTube leaves it with no effective platform, shunted into little narrative reservations where no civilized person might be troubled by its savagery.

Not only does the left's argument not inspire, its customary advantages don't work on a free YouTube. It is (or was) democratic, it empowers the common man, costing virtually nothing to get started; it's global and grassroots at the same time. An unfettered YouTube is everything the left claims to want, and they want nothing to do with it.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Censorship to Continue Until Morale Improves



Censorship is the eighth dirty word. The first seven are okay now, actually. Censorship is the last dirty word. Can't say it.
YouTube channel Black Pigeon Speaks was taken down without explanation this morning


The reason we know; the only curious thing is the timing. The subject of his last video was censorship and I think I'm seeing a trend.

BPS was meticulous in avoiding terms of service violations, but was certainly slated for removal at the first opportunity--but what determines that in YouTube's estimation? What holds them back in the first place from wholesale banning? Having demonstrated they won't explain themselves and no one will force them to, what restrains them?

Going nuclear in a day on the right might prompt a response, finally, from somewhere in the government or society. Congress taking up the anti-trust issue must factor in. But be certain, if things get really bad for the Narrative, they'll probably drop the big one. Everything they've done this far shows their commitment to censorship of any rightist or populist dissent, even over profit.

How much autonomy is YouTube allowed? The erratic nature of its censorship--waiting a day to purge Crowder and then abjectly apologizing, for instance--indicate Google is applying all the pressure (not community outrage), and intervening at points when CEO Susan Wojkiki isn't being diligent enough. Thus the tearful apology.

Pozzwood Tonight

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Money and the Reformation

In 1971 German author Dieter Forte had some international success with a play, Martin Luther and Thomas Munzer, or the Introduction of Bookkeeping, portraying the Reformation as a battle between the people and capital, with unfortunate consequences. Munzer is the Reformation preacher who split from Luther, leading radical reformers in attacking the feudal system. He was executed for his role in the disastrous German Peasant's War.

Medieval banking magnate Jacob Fugger lectures Luther's protector, the Duke of Saxony:
Do you know we have over one hundred church holidays a year? Over a hundred, my dear prince. Church masses, pilgrimages, I don't know what. The people eat and drink themselves full and don't give a thought to work... And then these fast days! I'm always having to petition for new exceptions for my workers. A worker should work and not fast! This has finally got to be regulated. Daily work should be sanctified. People should thank God that they can work at all. They can receive their reward in heaven. Then they won't need so much on earth, and we shall finally have cheaper labor costs. So much for your Luther.
Pagan religious observations provided the peasantry with relief from toil before there was such a thing as "days off". The Church's maintenance of them created an authority interfering with exploitation of labor where before there had been only custom.

It long ago become a cliche to find capitalism's very roots in Protestantism. But we are now in Protestantism's dotage, its optimism gone, its authority gone--done in by its own materialism, I say.
 Those days once consecrated to rest are now dedicated to consumption--and the work to pay for it. Protestantism probably made inevitable religious holidays' present role--you no longer sacrifice, to propitiate God, but indulge, to assist the economy. An economy based on indulgence--is a funny thing to find at the end of a road that began with a revolt against indulgences.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Money Changes Everything

Every historical movement since the invention of money has had a strong if not dominant economic component. Feminism in the pre-hysteria United States was largely about drawing women out of the home and into the labor force--labor arbitrage.

Whether economic incentive is a necessary or a sufficient cause of the disease feminism is now doesn't matter. It's hard to imagine getting to where we are without it--expanding the labor pool for the world's greatest economy is how we funded the demise of the family. America fuck yeah.

The patriarchy, despite its misogyny and lack of representation, kicked it all off with technological innovation: maintaining the home required less labor with progress generally and specifically in the introduction of modern appliances such as refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. The initial instrument of women's liberation was the washing machine.

There is a racist classic: "if we'd known you'd be this much trouble, we'd have picked the cotton ourselves". Likewise, maybe we shouldn't have been so industriously helpful to women in their former misery.

Then comes the pill, of course. Its benefit to the economy has been well documented--and celebrated, here in the new New Republic
Legal access to the pill before women turned 21 both increased how many women were in the labor force as well as how much they actually worked. Access to the pill reduced the likelihood that a woman would have a baby before the age of 22 by 14 percent. That, in turn, increased young women’s labor force participation by 7 percent. The women who first had legal access to the pill because of their states’ laws worked 650 more hours than their peers who only got it later... 
Between 1972 and the early 1990s, the share of women in their prime working age who were in the workforce rose from 72 percent to nearly 84 percent. Had that not happened, the economy would have been about 11 percent smaller in 2012...
This leaves out the perceived economic incentive of legal abortion, which Chelsea Clinton recently blurted out to some controversy. I won't try to make myself an expert on the subject: I'll assume there's mainstream consensus it benefits the economy by limiting labor turnover.

But taking the long view there's an economic argument against the Pill--if you take out the feminism: it's dysgenic. It degrades your human capital. Not just the quality of available labor, but that of the population is degraded, and society has to absorb the cost of the Pill effecting higher levels of dysfunction.
Of course.
But this cold calculation chills people who cheer the economic benefits of a childless society. For whom the nation with more children is on the wrong side of the "fertility differential".

I don't think it's the economists that are that short-sighted. It is, or has become, the feminism now, stupid. Increasingly, like "diversity", the cost feminism will extract from the economy will become obvious and unmentionable.

It likely isn't quantified, or allowed to be quantified at this point, but the economic returns to business from the great migration of women out of the home must be diminishing now. All those jobs where women are competitive with men have long been open to them and their industries have taken advantage of the expanded labor market--now, compelled by feminism, the same businesses are expected to produce equal representation everywhere, regardless of how paltry the pool of available and qualified female labor.

Feminism has made a lot of money for the economy. Now it wants that money back, with interest, forever.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Purge's Progress; Hell Hath No Fury Like a Sissy Scorned

You're never going to believe, grandchildren, what it was like under the Tyranny of the Twink.

The homosexual bullies of the present test my sympathy for the bullied homosexuals of the past. As well they should. It's a tired trope to say the past explains the present--and questionable. More often we should look to the present to explain the past.

Our understanding of the past is malleable and obscure, mediated through History. The present is undeniable, in your face. The present is to the past as reality is to its representation.

The present is always and everywhere exposing various misconceptions failing the "test of time"--except where political correctness won't let it happen. The consequences of this suppression are disastrous and getting worse.

"Nature secretly avenges herself for the constraints imposed upon her by the laws of man."
--Alexis de Toqueville

Consider our experience with race relations, where--though no one ever says it--the misbehavior of blacks in the present explains the segregation and oppression of the past. Indeed, it creates a natural and justified longing for it. That each individual white endures a sort of psychological torture by propaganda suppressing this--as our suicide rates climb--is a great crime.

Feminism is, unfortunately, barely getting started on this same arc and is sure--because it's women--to be even less rational the farther we get into their grim enterprise dedicated to making of women inferior men.

Like civil rights and desegregation, gay liberation likewise will reveal the evils of the past weren't irrational expressions of Hate (global evil spirit in Diversity theology) but social and evolutionary adaptations to the problem of homosexuality.

Among those problems is the tendency for homosexuals to form elite subcultures and capture organizations or institutions--like the Catholic Church. Our capture now by gay culture looks very much this historic precedent on a grand, chaotic scale.

This rant was prompted of course by the "Voxadpocalypse". The limp wrist of justice found even me, though it only copped a feel.

A YouTube livestream video from last October was flagged, reviewed and taken down

 


No strike was applied, but the letter ends with the strong suggestion I "review" my videos to avoid getting the boot.
So I just took a scorched earth approach, taking all but the last couple of videos private. The longer your trace of videos the more raw material laid out for the voluntary auxiliary thought police to mine and flag. But You Tube has a plan apparently, that goes all the way down to tiny channels like mine (270 or so subscribers).

We're all supposed to believe this is a result of outrage over Carlos Maza's suffering and YouTube's initial refusal to take down Steven Crowder's channel, but it's yet another case of a platform unleashing a host of restrictions on a questionable pretext. Usually somebody being "bullied" online. The left's obsession with "bullying", its use as a means to power (first come the charges of sexual harassment/racism/bullying, then the remedies, which involve transfer of power, position, wealth) demonstrates the status of gays within it, just as its obsession with sexual harassment demonstrates the status of women there.

No, I think if this is due to a single sissy, he's perched higher up than Carlos Maza.

You Tube is said to be just getting under way in this latest round of repression. After they've eliminated as many right-wing accounts as they can without doing more damage to the platform than they want the remaining few will be severely limited, banned from monetization and recommendations.

And, completely coincidental to this totally unplanned escalation of the purge, comes a piece in the New York Times about a white guy "drawn" from innocuous self-help videos into the "rabbit hole" of alt right You Tube via the site's AI-derived recommendations.


AI must be calibrated to pc premises eventually; the powers-that-be eye the technology warily, greedily. Objectivity has always been their enemy; automated objectivity is a nightmare for them. It's a nightmare for us if they get control of it.

But we're just another sissy's complaint away from the next phase of their plan, I imagine, helpfully outlined in the New York Times article above.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

A Purge's Progress

"If you are reading this I'm already dead..." 
Nick Monroe on being banned from Twitter for the Orwellian offense of "ban evasion":
You’re reading this because I’m gone now. Twitter permanently banned me for a “ban evasion” lasting three-and-a-half years.
 They say my account – which amassed almost 50,000 followers and has appeared on numerous news websites – is a “ban evader”. This means I had an old account which was banned, so they banned my new account, too.
Twitter: "If you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts."

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.

Banning people from the platform is inconsistent with allowing fictional personas in the first place. Whatever the case, Twitter doesn't believe in redemption.
Monroe is apologetic about the old account
Being banned on Twitter is a lot like participating in both the court of public opinion and a funeral at the same time. Both my followers and detractors are judging my body of work and all my actions in the wake of the ban. I wasn’t always the person I am today, but who I am was best described in my interview with Michael Malice.
Roughly five years ago, I was ‘PressFartToContinue’ (PFTC).
It's all somber tones and puerile names in the Current Year. Future man won't know what to make of it.
I made a YouTube account by that name when I was 17-years-old. It was meant to be a fan channel of ‘PressHeartToContinue’.
I had no idea what I was doing, or how my actions would come to impact me years later. I, like just about everyone else in the world, have grown since I was 17. And I know who I am today. I’m the independent Twitter journalist who spoke out against online censorship before I too was banned.
And that last part is what this is really all about. Twitter is not scandalized by the thought of enemy of humanity PressFartToContinue evading justice. Ironically, it's the good behavior of Monroe's later account, and its effectiveness as a critique that inspires this action. The ruse is laughable.

Monroe was actually quite disciplined and broke no pc rules--the very model of how to get past the censors, if they were even faking an unbiased stance.

A little too on that adorable nose.
Twitter earlier banned an AOC parody account for being "misleading" despite the author including the word "parody" in the title and bio. The author was then perma-suspended for having a personal account as well, which isn't actually forbidden.

"No, really, Mr. Hanson, my intention was just to bring shame upon her and her family..."
Meanwhile Dateline NBC still hasn't come around for Gawker's Josh Bernstein for stalking a 14 year-old girl. One thing I didn't know about the Soph saga is the police were actually called in after his hit-piece:
According to the local Kron4 new station, they published a piece on May 17th, 2019 indicating that police are investigating Soph based on complaints made by those at her school, who have begun shunning the teenager and claiming that what she stated in her “Be Not Afraid” video was “disgusting”. The video was taken down by YouTube shortly after the Buzzfeed article was published...
The Daily Beast punches up at a barely-employed sports blogger:
On May 22, a Donald Trump superfan and occasional sports blogger from the Bronx named Shawn Brooks posted a video clip of Nancy Pelosi on his personal Facebook page. The clip showed Pelosi at her most excitable, stammering during a press conference as she voiced frustration over an abortive infrastructure meeting with the president. Brooks’ commentary on the video was succinct: “Is Pelosi drunk?” 
Thirteen minutes later, a Facebook official told The Daily Beast, Brooks posted a very different Pelosi video to a Facebook page called Politics WatchDog—one of a series of hyperpartisan news operations Brooks runs (with help, he claims). This clip had been altered to slow Pelosi down without lowering the pitch of her voice. The effect was to make it sound as though the Speaker of the House was slurring her words drunkenly while criticizing Donald Trump. 
Fifteen minutes after that, the same doctored video appeared on a second Facebook page Brooks manages, AllNews 24/7. This clip was identical to the Politics WatchDog video on every way, except that it didn’t carry the Politics WatchDog branding that was superimposed over the earlier video. Whoever posted it had access to the director’s cut. On both pages the clip was accompanied by the exact same dispassionate, newsy prose: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on President Trump walking out infrastructure meeting: ‘It was very, very, very strange.’”
At the same time, doctoring that video was wrong. I'll chalk it up to the fact Brooks is a black guy. His defenders sure seem fixated on that.

Again this is all about trying to prevent a Trump victory in 2020. But it's also a global trend. Angela Merkel's chosen successor has proposed censoring dissidents ahead of elections:
Merkel's successor sparks freedom of speech uproarPicture: Die WeltSofia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's favoured successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer sparked outrage on social media on Tuesday with an apparent call for limits to free speech around elections, AFP reported. 
The CDU chief's comment came after her party and its centre-left coalition partner SPD suffered their worst scores in Sunday's European election -- a result partly blamed on the fact that some 70 YouTube stars had urged Germans not to vote for either party.

Addressing the issue on Monday night, Kramp-Karrenbauer said if 70 newspaper editors had called to boycott parties ahead of an election, that would be classed "clearly as propaganda". 
"The question is... what are rules from the analogue realm and which rules should apply to the digital realm?

"I'll tackle this discussion quite aggressively," said Kramp-Karrenbauer, or AKK as she is dubbed in Germany.
The pace quickens.

plus ca change

If malice and vanity wear the coat of philanthropy, shall that pass? If an angry bigot assumes this bountiful cause of Abolition, and comes...