Sunday, June 17, 2018

Is The Racialism Thing Just About Played Out?

I get the feeling more and more lately that the racialist moment is ending. The Asian-American lawsuit against Harvard looks airtight. Dig this graph.

The Ivy League is clearly practicing racial discrimination against Asians and, if you read the data beyond just this graph, whites as well. If the Asians manage to get the admittance rules changed for them, it will have to change for everyone and that's a good thing.

People who work hard should be rewarded and not just for their own sake. They make us all better as we have to compete with them. Were I surrounded by slovenly louts, I probably wouldn't be listening to non-fiction books all the time. I wouldn't feel the need to up my game.

What's going on now is a good thing.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

On Grooming A Pandora Station

I love Pandora. Here in the Catican Compound, we have about 40 Pandora stations, one for every mood and cuisine. It works on our Amazon Echo as well as our Sonos sound system. We also like to groom our Pandora stations, giving thumbs up and thumbs down to songs we like and songs we don't. The end result has been not quite what we expected.

I recently made a Confederate Railroad station. We're going to go see them in concert in a few weeks and even my Yankee wife has become a big fan. I've listened to the station at work and groom it as it plays. It now only plays a rotation of about 20 songs. The odds of it playing something I haven't heard are practically nil.

I get that Pandora wants to keep me happy, to keep me as a customer, but seriously, guys, I'm not going to bolt if I hear something less than stellar. In retrospect, I probably should have only used the thumbs-down and not the thumbs-up. That might have been the killer as all I'm getting now are my favorites.

Oh well. While you ponder that, here's one of our favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Didn't We See This Movie Already?

Following up on yesterday's post where I suggested that the news media is simply serializing a novel they want you to read and not actually reporting on the whole of reality, I'd suggest that it extends to the arts as well.

Back in the 1950s, the western reigned supreme. If you wanted to watch a sci-fi flick, for example, your choices were limited to giant monsters scaring teens and the very occasional rocket ship to Venus sort of thing. All of them were low budget efforts and never had any of the big names.

These days, it's all social justice all the time. Cute, skinny chicks beating up on big guys, people of varying alternative persuasions overcoming oppressive, white, cis-normal racists and the like. In many cases, the movies are set in the past so they can bring in Jim Crow and cultural sexism to make sure you get the point.

I've gotten to where I can't watch them any more because I can't tell them apart. In the civil rights movies, there's always a scene where the white racists come out of church and then a few minutes later are using the n-word or beating up the protagonist. There's always a scene where some big, white guy says, "You trying to cause trouble, boy?" to which the hero replies in an innocent, squeaky voice, "No, Mr. Johnson, I just want to be the best badminton player I can be!"

Last night, we watched an episode of The Bletchley Circle which is the story of the first Eskimo tennis star. Or maybe it's about a gay teen growing up in 1952 Kansas. Or it could be a group of women who worked together decrypting Nazi transmissions in WW II and now solving crimes as a group. I think it's the latter. I fell asleep pretty early, but not before one of the cis-gendered white men derisively dismissed the work of one of the women who had clearly solved a Nazi cryptogram.

Good Lord, haven't we seen this movie already about a thousand times?

So instead of Black Bart rustling cattle or Miss Ellen Sue losing her farm to the unscrupulous cloned sheep rancher, it's social justice morality plays over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. I don't have a problem with westerns or with social justice stories any more than I have a problem with oatmeal. I just don't want to eat it morning, noon and night.

Here we see either the small-town sheriff trying to fight off the bad guys or a Southern christian about to keep a transgendered Latinx off the women's water polo team.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

You Aren't Reading The News

Instead, you're being told a story.

On travel, at a Starbucks, my eyes wandered over a New York Times in a rack. Their Korea headline had something about Trump's dangerous gamble or something like that. Coming back to the hotel, another newspaper's above-the-fold story showed the Pope holding a black child and had a headline telling us that the Pope wanted more lenient immigration laws.

The first one was silly. Prior to the summit, the Norks were flinging missiles all over the place and detonating atomic bombs. Now they aren't. To my mind, missiles plus nukes is more gamble-y than no missiles and no nukes. I couldn't figure out why anyone would write a headline about Trump's gamble under those circumstances, but there it was in the NYT.

The Pope story really hit me. The Pope says a lot of things. I'm no fan of Francis, but he's also said things about abortion. I seriously doubt the newspaper in question has ever run an above-the-fold story with the Pope holding a black child with a headline saying he thought we should stop slaughtering black babies by the hundreds of thousands. And yet he has said that and it is a far more defining feature of Catholicism and representative of the Pope than immigration is.

The reason those headlines were written with the supporting stories attached was that they were the next chapter in the story the newspaper was telling you. Just like a regular novel, there are stories going on all around the hero, but it's the hero's story and one story in particular that is laid out in the book. It's not even the most important story, either.

During the course of a Harlequin romance novel, where Theresa is wondering if Brian is thinking about Muriel while he strokes her hair and tells her sweet lies, there are other things going on in the world. China is building up a military presence in Southeast Asia and Iran is spinning centrifuges while British police officers are arresting English fathers for objecting to Muslims raping their daughters. You don't need to know any of that, this is a story about Theresa, Brian and Muriel. For all it matters, Pakistan and India could be trading nukes and annihilating millions, but what matters to the story is Brian's fidelity to Theresa in the face of slutty Muriel's advances.

That's the state of the modern media. They are there to tell you a story, not tell you the news. Oh sure, one of the largest annual marches in DC is the March for Life, but that's not part of the novel, so they leave it out just like the Harlequin author leaves out drug-gang murders in Mexico. Yes, they're happening, but that's not relevant to the development of the plot.

Never add things to a story that don't advance the plot!

So there you have it. If you see newspapers and TV news as a serialization of the novel the MSM wants you to read, it makes more sense and you can stop yelling at them about not covering or badly covering important events. You'll feel better when you do.

"Yes, Brian?"
"Italian bonds just turned into mounds of  worthless paper and Deutsche Bank is totally insolvent."
"Oh my goodness. That makes the Nigerian unrest even more unstable as Star Africa Commodities & Minerals Limited will need to liquidate some of their holdings to make up for unredeemable deposits!"
"Good Lord. That's just what Muriel was saying."
(I knew it! He's still seeing that witch!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

President Trump As Obi-Wan Kenobi

Yesterday, I watched the video that President Trump showed Kim Jung Un at the start of their meeting. I thought it was brilliant.

Two things jumped out at me.
  1. Notice how Kim is the hero of the story and Trump is his guide to achieving his goal. This is one of the most important lessons from Building a Story Brand. Kim is Trump's prospect and he's trying to sell him peace and demilitarization. When you sell, you are the guide, helping the hero, your customer, achieve their goals. You are not the hero of the story nor is your product. You are Obi-Wan and your customer is Luke. You will sell them what they need to succeed and then fade into the background while they win the day. This video was absolutely brilliant in doing that.

  2. Kim is shown as Trump's equal. A fat, little kid who runs a giant prison camp where only one city has reliable electricity is the equal of the American president, a TV star and a larger-then-life billionaire playboy. The video played to Kim's ego and his undoubtedly unsatisfied desire for more adulation, more money, more fame. It said that Donald Trump saw him as a great man just waiting to take his rightful place in history which could only happen if he made the right choices. Pure genius.
I thought Trump was going to overwhelm Kim and if this video is any guide, he did just that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Swallowing Toads

I'm in DC on travel and came down to the hotel lobby to see this.

I remarked on Twitter that it looked like the MSNBC hosts had been swallowing toads all night. I didn't notice the chyron about "people who worked in the Obama Administration." Good luck trying to get the American people to believe that this historic summit was somehow due to Obama.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Maybe Actors And Academics Aren't Representative Of The Population As A Whole

After a week of intersectional feminism/racism/gender crises which included a case where a school essay had to be scrubbed because it had triggering words that might offend transgendered Eskimo midgets*, famous actor Robert de Niro participated in a widely-watched practically invisible awards show for entertainers giving prizes to each other by screaming obscenities at the president.

I don;t think he was arguing against bimetalism here.
Meanwhile, the president is doing what many had considered impossible for anyone and negotiating nuclear disarmament in Korea. In addition to that, he's starting a process of pardoning blacks who are in prison for non-violent offenses, leading to scenes like this one.

I'm guessing that right about now, Democratic Party election consultants are starting to wonder if throwing their lot in with Hollywood and the Ivy League was such a good idea.

* - OK, I don't have any evidence this happened, but you have to admit, you wouldn't have been surprised if it had.