Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Flawed Initial Conditions

This snippet comes from The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl Trueman. I used to think it was an excellent description of what is going on with the trans movement in particular and the woke mob in general, but I've come to have some reservations about it.

Most significant for my argument in this book, they lead to a prioritization of the individual’s inner psychology—we might even say “feelings” or “intuitions”—for our sense of who we are and what the purpose of our lives is. To leap ahead, transgenderism provides an excellent example: people who think they are a woman trapped in a man’s body are really making their inner psychological convictions absolutely decisive for who they are; and to the extent that, prior to “coming out,” they have publicly denied this inner reality, to that extent they have had an inauthentic existence. This is why the language of “living a lie” often appears in the testimonies of transgender people.

While it is true that the trans people and all the other wackadoodle genders out there are indeed creating their own definitions for themselves without reference to anything external, all based on their feelings, that passage and, in fact, the whole book is too complicated. Making your inner psychological convictions absolutely decisive is wrong, but what is missing is what is right.

You can claim gravity doesn't exist because you don't feel that it exists, but it's still there.

You can claim that you get to define yourself based on your feelings, but you can't. God created the universe and He had a hand in creating you. Who you are is a tiny extension of who He is. You exist in a universe that He created, with all of its attendant laws of chemistry, physics and biology. That universe also comes with a moral order and a meaning that is above you. You fit into reality, reality doesn't fit into you. Or rather, you fit into reality, you don't get to define your own reality and climb into that.

I think one of the reasons the trans people are so fragile is that they are trying to create a model for reality from a blank piece of paper. It's doomed to be wildly mistaken, filled with logical flaws. When you begin to point out those flaws, you are deconstructing reality around them like it's some kind of computer simulation science fiction story where the algorithms have gone mad.

The trans movement is atheistic at its core and so there is nothing for the trans person to hold onto when people begin to point out the fallacies in their construct. They don't even have a hope of finding an anchor once things begin to collapse. Hence the violent language. When you argue with them you are indeed "erasing their existence."

Like a rocket off course, they spiral out of control because their initial conditions were flawed. They do not get to define reality, it exists independent of them. That is the problem. The fact that they prioritize their inner convictions is a product of that initial condition failure.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Been Busy

I built a floating corner desk out of rubberwood because I hated the desk I'd been using for 20+ years. More on that later.

In the process, I began to learn how to work with wood other than plywood and 2x4s and also how to use a router.

I hope you and yours had a lovely Memorial Day weekend.

The painting in the picture is one of my dad's.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Getting Your Underwear Lost In Translation

 ... is what happens when you don't listen to what people are trying to tell you.

Many times on this blog, I've ranted about "stupid" marketing moves where companies insult or attack their primary audience as a part of their advertising campaigns. In those posts, I've frequently used Casey Stengel's famous quote, "Can't anybody here play this game?" I've been dead wrong in my analyses. They aren't playing "this" game, they are playing "that" game. I took what I saw and I interpreted it through my own worldview instead of trying to understand theirs.

I just finished a book, My Battle Against Hitler, that has changed the way I see things. It was written by Dietrich von Hildebrand, a Catholic philosopher who experienced the rise of the Nazis as a university professor and recognized them for what they were. He spent his life railing against the Nazis, trying to get the people around him to open their eyes to the danger without much success. The Nazis quickly recognized him as a threat and he was forced to flee Germany for Austria, then Austria for Czechoslovakia, then France and then the US.

It's long winded and not very well written, but it gives you a personal view into how German Catholics viewed Hitler and why they didn't oppose him from the start. The gist of it is that they took what Hitler said and translated it in their heads into their own, Catholic worldview. They didn't or wouldn't understand that Hitler saw the world through a completely different set of dimensions. The Catholics saw poverty and suffering and Hitler saw race and power.

German Catholics also refused to acknowledge the Nazi threat because they didn't want to face the consequences of admitting it. If you were living in Germany in 1935 and could have foreseen Germany ten years later, bombed into rubble and most young men dead, wounded or traumatized by war, it would have been an easy decision to sell everything and flee somewhere, anywhere. Had they understood Hitler's view of reality, they would have seen it coming. Instead, they translated his actions and speeches into a Judeo-Christian structure. This gave them hope that the Nazis weren't all that bad.

When Hitler supported universal healthcare, free education and workers' rights, the Catholics interpreted it as being in line with Catholic social teaching. There was even a movement within the Church to pray for Hitler's conversion to Catholicism. They used the same terms we in Cursillo use, that they were going to "storm Heaven" with prayers. They pointed at Nazi social programs as evidence Hitler really wasn't that far off from being Catholic.

As for the Jews, they waved that away. After all, hadn't the Jews been persecuted just about everywhere else? That couldn't have been for nothing. Hitler had a point - Jews could be troublesome. Yes, what the Nazis did to the Jews was over the top, but you had to admit that a lot of the other things they did were on target.

By the time they figured out that the Nazis weren't even vaguely Christian, it was too late. The pope said as much when he realized that the agreements he had made with Hitler were worthless.

Now dig this ad from Calvin Klein.

I have no idea what that creature in the background is, whether it's a woman on testosterone or a dude on estrogen or just some fat guy who needs a man bra. CK put him there for exactly that reason. They are showing you that differences between men and women are a social construct and not real.

Prior to consuming that book, I would have raved about how stupid this was. It isn't stupid at all. It's telling you how management at Calvin Klein sees the world. If I had to express their POV in simple terms, I'd say that they are modern-day Marxists. The world is divided by race and gender. Everything can be described in terms of power. Our culture is socially constructed by straight, white men to maintain their power over everyone else. Traditional notions of beauty are simply tools of oppression designed to keep the patriarchy in power.

When seen through that lens, the ad isn't idiocy, it's genius. It's telling you that everyone can be beautiful in their own way when wearing CK underwear. It's saying that all bodies and genders aren't just acceptable, but should be celebrated. They specifically chose ugly people and a whatever-it-is with a beard and breasts in order to attack the social constructs made by straight, white men. If you disagree, you're full of hate. If you judge the people in the image, you are clinging to the norms of beauty that racist homophobes have forced on you.

Free yourselves from the shackles of the white supremacist patriarchy!

Some of our friends have moved out of California. Many of our friends are thinking about it. Von Hildebrand's book asks the question, "Are you waiting too long to escape?" Perhaps the question is, "Should you be thinking about escape? How can you live with these people and what will they do to you as they gain more and more power?"

In our case, I'm in the position of von Hildebrand, but instead of failing to convince my friends, I'm unable to convince my family. I'm failing for the same reasons that he did. We have two sons here in the San Diego area who own homes. We just finished an expensive remodel on our house. We have a strong network of friends throughout the area. We're entrenched.

Where is the CK worldview going? What costs will it extract from us? The Diocese of San Diego is facing a new round of lawsuits for the sexual abuse scandal even though every priest who committed the crimes is dead. The diocese moved to make each parish its own business entity so that it could declare bankruptcy without dragging the parishes down with it. That only works if the law is still functioning. 

If, instead, the legal system is controlled by the same people who created that CK underwear ad, hoping that the courts save you is a thin reed to clutch. They hate you. They hate you. They hate you. To them, it is a moral good of the highest order to destroy the Catholic Church.

Surely the Nazis, err, woke won't go that far and declare all of the parishes liable, too, will they? Surely we won't see all Church property sold off and be reduced to meeting in people's homes for Mass, will we?

Nah. If we just storm heaven, we'll convert Gavin Newsom to the faith. After all, he's not that far from Catholic social teaching what with all of his compassion for the poor.

Everyone thinks like we do.

Super Special Bonus Tweet

Can you live with these people? What will happen to you as they gain more and more power?

Monday, May 22, 2023

Statistical Chemistry Porn

Statistical chemistry, as I understand it, is the study of reactions, particularly as it regards their completeness. That is, if I take reactants and a catalyst and add them together in a certain way, they will produce a product. The reaction is described as a chemical formula, like so.

A good image to go with my morning cup of Joe.

Statistical chemistry will give us the percentage of reactants that stubbornly refuse to be consumed and stay in their original form. The fact that some caffeine molecules remain unchanged does not invalidate the equation.

In my previous post, I glibly asserted the following as the model for romantic relationships, calling it the Dance of Romance.

  1. Women work hard to be attractive to men, not knowing when they will encounter Prince Charming.
  2. A man notices the woman and his desire is kindled. He approaches her.
  3. If he is acceptable, she allows him to woo her and she encourages him.
  4. He works to prove his kindness, generosity, valor and competence to her.
  5. She continues to encourage him.
  6. If the relationship works out, he proposes marriage and she accepts.
  7. She gives him children. He gives her resources and protection.
  8. Love

Wife kitteh and I have taught the San Diego diocese's remarriage class a zillion times now. Every class starts with the couple telling their love story as a way to break the ice. Every one has followed this same evolution. The fact that there are some love stories out there which do not follow this pattern does not invalidate the pattern.

I've seen plenty of Catholic retreat closing ceremonies where the newbies, raw with the emotions which have emerged from being surrounded by acceptance and love* for a whole weekend, share intimate details about how they've grown. Nearly every woman describes feelings that illustrate that sequence in some way. Nearly every man describes feelings that illustrate that sequence in some way. The fact that there are some reactions which do not illustrate this pattern does not invalidate the pattern.

Porn Is Local

In the previous post, I claimed that feminism had destroyed romance, ruined the lives of women and completely ignored the devastation wrought by the popularity of violent porn. I did this by mocking a Miller Lite ad that wagged a feminist finger at old-school bikini beer posters. My message was a simple, "Get a life. This is just a crude echo of how we engage in romance."

Tim asked a good question which I will endeavor to answer in this blog post. 

So what is the distinction between "pictures of women in skimpy bikinis" and "pornography"?

The answer is, it depends on local social norms. If I'm in an Amish community, the answer is, "None." If I'm in a feminist community, the answer is also, "None." If I'm in a honkytonk in Verbena, Alabama, the answer is, "Get a life. Chicks in bikinis are hot. I can tell the difference between the poster of a beautiful woman showing off what her mama gave her and a video of a guy choking a girl as he rapes her from behind."

Maybe you can't. Maybe you need a Fortran program that takes in images and outputs a 1 for porn or a 0 for not porn and without that, you'll refuse to take steps to censor porn. That's where we are right now as a society. 

Sexuality is on a spectrum, going from the height of a woman's heels to videos that capture a live-action sequence of a girl trying to escape from a room where three men are trying to rape her.

Yes, those exist. They are a whole category of modern porn. No, I haven't seen any, but I've ready plenty of essays from people, usually women, who've gone sewer diving on PornHub.

Let's generalize Tim's question with the example of heels.

So what is the distinction between 1" heels and 3" heels in terms of porn? How about the lengths and fit of skirts? How about the coverage of tops? Is there a crossover?

We as a society have gone legalistic on this. That's a mistake. Until said Fortran program exists, we're unwilling to classify some things as porn and others not. That misses the point of censoring porn.

Why Censor Porn

Porn is censored to protect society. We need children to be born. They will be the ones caring for us, both personally and financially, when we get older. We need children to grow up to be productive and happy members of society. We need our young people to be emotionally healthy.

Our limbic systems pursue three goals - food, survival and mating. Sex is a primal motivational driver in our lives. Screw with that and the downstream effects are massive. Porn does just that.

Feminism denies my Dance of Romance. Gender Theory denies the differences between sexes. Feminism and Gender Theory are now the default settings for society. They have wrecked women's lives as seen in the chart above. It's more proof that you don't fight the Fed and you don't fight Nature.

No, Really, Porn Is Local

Because sexuality is on a continuum, porn cannot be defined by a legal description, a Fortran program or even ChatGPT. Definitions of porn are really definitions of how a local community wants to protect its young people from sexual harm. SanFran is all in on perversion. Rural Kansas, not so much. The only way for porn censorship to work is to make it local and subjective. That's because it is. Justice Potter was right on the money all along.

In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced... [b]ut I know it when I see it ..."

These days on this blog, I'm trying to stop reacting to the culture, which is controlled by the progs, and posit a positive position for my own positions. Hence the Dance of Romance. From that, I can derive all manner of ideas and suggestions instead of just waving my arms and hating things I hate.

I claim that my Dance of Romance is true in the way the metabolization of caffeine is true. I claim that from that model, you can create local, moral standards of behavior that protect people in their sexual prime from wrecking their lives by ruining their sex drives. I claim that you can create local, moral standards that protect women from emotional ruin and encourage the creation of babies, motivate the professional and moral growth of men and define the proper use of the horizontal monkey dance in marriage.

And that right there is a whole lot of fun. Unlike the feminists and the gender creeps, I'm pro-fun.

* - At our Catholic retreats, acceptance and love is for everyone except the homosexuals, of course. And the blacks. And the women. And people from other countries. The FBI is spot on about this. We're xenophobic, patriarchal, white supremacists who hate gays.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Tilting At Feminist Windmills And Destroying Romance

Two months ago, before Bud Light incinerated their brand with that monumental pervert, Dylan Mulvaney, in an event that went mostly unnoticed, Miller Lite released this grating, feminist finger-wagging ad.

This is wrong on so many levels. Let's start at the bottom.

This ad presumes the atheist, Marxist model for reality. Men oppress women. That's the basis for the whole thing. That model is demonstrably false. Men do not oppress women. When it comes to sexual relationships, men and women are complimentary, created by God to fulfill each other's needs. The Dance of Romance goes something like this.

  1. Women work hard to be attractive to men, not knowing when they will encounter Prince Charming.
  2. A man notices the woman and his desire is kindled. He approaches her.
  3. If he is acceptable, she allows him to woo her and she encourages him.
  4. He works to prove his kindness, generosity, valor and competence to her.
  5. She continues to encourage him.
  6. If the relationship works out, he proposes marriage and she accepts.
  7. She gives him children. He gives her resources and protection.
  8. Love

We are creatures who are unique in that we possess the spark of the divine, but we are still creatures of the flesh. That dance of romance is common to many creatures. Heck, the house finches have it dialed in, it's not that hard to understand.

The ad above removes rung 1 from the ladder above. Porn removes rung 2.

Note: I normally don't go graphic on this blog, but I'm making an exception in this case because it shows reality.

The Times in the UK ran an article by a woman who created a PornHub account and then scanned the top-ranked videos in the UK. She saw the face of Satan. Here's an excerpt in image form.

Heroin addicts continually increase their dosage levels because they are futilely trying to relive their first high. Their first hit does brain damage, making all future hits less enjoyable. Porn is the same way. The user, futilely seeking that first high, is drawn to more and more grotesque or exaggerated images or videos. New and different is exciting.

Goodbye, rung 2. The dance of romance stops before it even starts. Men get consumed by the porn they consume and women fall into depression and despair because they can't get the masculine attention they crave.

Meanwhile, the progs and feminists are fighting beer promo posters featuring bikini models. While women are in dark despair and men are consumed by Satanic porn, the progs are proudly and sanctimoniously attack images of chicks in bikinis.

They couldn't be more detached from reality because their underlying model of reality is utterly false. Marx was wrong. The world is not defined by childish groupings and power dynamics. It's rich and complex and our relationships, designed by God, are as deep and unique as the individuals involved.

And so the woke march on, possessing the commanding heights of the culture, spreading pain because their intellectual basis is nonsense. They are so consumed with their nonsense that they cannot see the reality of the hideous depravity wrecking romantic relationships and the lives of the young.

In fact, their devotion to their Marxist idiocy is so deep and so complete that they must deny what they see all around them, save for those things that validate their oppression models. It took the reporter from the Times no effort at all to make a PornHub account and see the demonic horror therein. 

And so off they go, fighting 30-year-old posters of chicks in bikinis. Hooray for women! Hooray for girl bosses! Slay, Queen!

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

SciAm Has Gone Mad

 ... actually, it's madder. They've been crazy for quite a while now.

What is it this time? Well, this time, they're taking sparrows and stuffing them into bins. Dig this.

Here's the tweet the editor in chief of SciAm posted about it.

I dunno, man. I've been observing sparrows and finches for a long time and it sure seems like they've got two sexes. They seem to be making a lot of baby birdies with just two of them doing the songbird equivalent of the horizontal monkey dance.

Anyway, the bin is the modern day Marxist bin, this time the straights oppress queers bin. Poor little sparrows. What did they ever do to deserve being stuffed into a bin?

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

You Can't Beat Something With Nothing

 ... even when that something is really, really bad.

Dig this reaction from Chicago's black population at the prospect of still more "migrants" coming to the Windy City.

The progs' model of the world is completely wrong. At its center is a Marxist division of society into oppressors and oppressed. People are categorized by race, sex and gender and tightly grouped accordingly. The only dynamics of significance are power dynamics and the only solutions are political. That's it, that's a wrap, that's all she wrote.

Whites oppress blacks, men oppress women and straights oppress queers. Add in a couple existential crises and the worship of expertise and you've got the whole package.

It's all nonsense, of course. People of Color are not identical. People in general are not identical. Their theory would tell you that the scene shown above could never happen. Their model would predict that browns and blacks would march arm in arm, fighting the white supremacists who use social constructs and systemic racism to grind them down into the dirt. The model is clearly wrong.

So what? As Andrew Klavan has pointed out on his podcast, at least they have a model. Their model completely describes the world and is the basis for their moral decisions. Abortion, mutilating girls, racial segregation, anti-white racism, it all springs forth, logically from their model. You can point out all of the horrors resulting from their model, but if you never posit a competing model, then you're treating symptoms.

What is the red model? I don't hear anyone, not even Ron DeSantis, proposing one. In the past, reds have relied on the market and personal freedom to save the day. Well, the market has given us Google which acts to suppress speech it doesn't like. Dittos for the big social media platforms, save Twitter. The market has given us Amazon and Walmart, hollowing out American businesses. The market gave us offshoring which hollowed out American industrial cities.

The market plus individual freedom gave us PornHub and the obliteration of healthy, sexual relationships.

The reds can't explain why any of these things are wrong. What is the fundamental model of reality that allows you to derive morals and policies that protect the Normals from these things?

Unless the Republicans run Trump, it sure looks like they are going to crush the Democrats in 2024. There will be a brief halt in the insanity, but there will be no reversing course and heading back towards a healthy culture because there is no wholistic theory of reality to compete with the progs' Marxism.

For me, my model of the world is Catholic, mixed with a belief that people are individuals who act in their own self-interests. Government by its nature is inefficient and should be as small as possible. Throw in a romantic, chivalric model of sexual relations and that's probably a fairly complete model of reality right there.

Unless the reds come up with something like that, America will keep ratcheting leftwards with occasional pauses.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Alabama Analysis

I'm on a solo vacay in 'Bama for about 5 days, hence the lack of blogging. As I get older, I like typing on a laptop keyboard less and less. On this trip, I'm in a little VRBO right near the Fish River.

My trip was originally to see Hank Williams Jr. at the Wharf in Orange Beach, but I also decided to make it a scouting trip. I'm trying to answer the question: Does it make sense to buy a vacation / hobby home in Dixie? We'd have a place for family vacations, I could raise some crops here and have a workshop. When I wasn't there, I could rent it out as a VRBO.

I anticipated coming to the conclusion that the idea was stupid for a variety of reasons.

On this trip, my backyard looks like this.

That right there is a good reason to keep the experiment going. The South is simply incomparably beautiful to me. The concert last night was a lot of fun and the people, being southern, quickly became my new best friends. I stopped at Billy's Seafood when I first arrived and got local oysters, crab and shrimp. Yesterday afternoon, I made an exquisite seafood gumbo.

So far, so good.

One reason for thinking the idea idiotic was the flights. Every time I came here, I'd lose a day on either end, traveling. It turns out that's not a consideration. Once the travel day is behind you, it ceases to matter. The cost of the flight is three figures, but that's no big deal. The cost of renting property for my hobbies in San Diego is mind boggling.

Still good.

It's in the high 80s and humid, but that has never bothered me. I went kayaking in the heat of the day yesterday and didn't have any problems with the heat or the exertion.

How about the fam? How do we make them want to come?

That's a tough one. Wife kitteh is bored down here, but a lot of that comes from not having her friends around. I know how I'd fix that, but I'm not her, so my advice in that area is inapplicable. We'll table that one for now. 

As for the kids and the grandkids, if I get a nice, big house, we could outfit it for parties and playtime, which a lot of VRBO owners do. If I buy a boat and some towed floats to ride, river and bay fun is all around us. Gulf Shores is a veritable playground for families. That sounds like a winner.

It's Still A Bad Idea

I still think the idea is a loser. All of my friends who have vacation homes, have them in places their families have gone since the kids were tiny. The extended family grew up going to Mexico / Colorado / etc. Here, I'd be trying to introduce this idea to adults. They'd go once, but it wouldn't have the cultural draw as if we'd been doing it every year for decades. The real reason I want to do this is because I want to do this.

That's a no sale, right there unless I resign myself to making solo trips.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Property Is Human Life

Just a quicky today as I'm unpacking, working and then packing for a trip to Dixie.

Dig this from one of the San Francisco board of supervisors dudes.

"Human life is more important than property" is nonsense. Human life depends on property. If I take away your food and water, both of which are property, you die.

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Happy Tortuga Endings

I'm unpacking and working and stuff so just a quick update to yesterday's Tale of the Lost Tortuga.

I drove the little dude back over to his alleged house late yesterday afternoon. He wasn't very happy at all and didn't come out of his shell, not even a little bit. The people at the house still weren't home, but their neighbors were outside. They told me that, yes, the little guy lived there with lots and lots of friends. Apparently, those people have a thing for turtles and tortoises. Escapees are a common sight in the neighborhood.

They told me to put the fellow in the back yard. I discovered the gate was latched from the inside, but not locked. I was able to work the latch open, walked into the backyard and gently placed my friend on the cool, green grass of home and closed the gate behind me.

All I could think of was some children's story my mom read to me many moons ago about some child, probably a rabbit or puppy or kitten who ran away from home just as an adventure, but got lost. Sad and lonely and frightened, the child was returned home where they vowed to never, ever run away again.

Little tortuga probably felt the same way. His back yard was lush and green and cool and soft. The street was dirty and hot and noisy and dry.

He's happy now. That makes me smile.

Monday, May 08, 2023

Of Tortugas And Invasions

We have a new, hopefully temporary houseguest.

A 9-10" box turtle.

Our home remodel is complete and we're now moving back into the house. On my way to get something or other, I saw this charming fellow on the roadside, hiding underneath a car. They're not native to this area, so I turned around to offer him a ride home. Someone at a nearby house told me where he lived, but the residents aren't home, so he's staying with us for the time being.

He's a lovely creature, but I'm not sure what people see in reptiles as pets.


While I love to talk about doom and how bad things are, I'm actually pretty optimistic about America. Except for the invasion part. I follow a couple of border reporters on Twitter as well as the war correspondent par excellence, Michael Yon. They are all pushing the panic button over the end of Title 42. As far as I can tell, the MSM doesn't care.

It's insane.

Bonus Content: Of Catholics And Hitlers

I'm making my way through My Battle With Hitler, an autobiographical look at a Catholic philosopher's interactions with the Third Reich. The author was German, but escaped Germany right after Hitler became chancellor. He found "refuge" is Austria, which gives you an idea of how well things went after that.

I'll blog more about this later because the topic is apropos our modern travails. Suffice for now to say two things:

  1. Just like the invasion across our southern border, the people of the time had no idea how big the forces arrayed against them were.
  2. It's interesting to see how individual Catholics, including theologians, priests, bishops and the pope made excuses for and deals with Hitler. Just like my bishop here in San Diego, they had no idea what time it was nor who their enemies were. Hitler told them over and over in word and deed that he hated them, but they would cling to any positive words out of his mouth and dismiss his evil as an aberration.
OK, back to unpacking now.

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Take Heart

I would argue that January was the high water mark of the transgender movement. It's such insanity that it only required a little courage from the Normals to speak out against it and it would fall apart. Thanks in great part to Matt Walsh and the Daily Wire, that courage is coming out now in the public as evidenced by the Bud Light - Dylan Mulvaney catastrophe. I've seen all kinds of numbers about Bud Light sales so none of them can be taken as gospel, but it looks like they've suffered a 15-20% drop in sales. That's massive.

Now comes Anthropologie, a fashion company, blowing itself to bits with the same explosives.

Anthro is getting absolutely nuked over this. Its Twitter account is a horror. I didn't look at its Instagram account, but it can't be much better.

It's over for the trans madness. Without the support of the corporate giants, it's done.

Political Ramifications

Right about now, that Cajun Conjurer of Electoral Victories, James Carville, has got to be screaming, "I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THIS!" at his Democratic political customers. I've seen clips of him from the past year warning the blues that this was going to be a total disaster. They didn't listen and here they are, watching the ground fall out from underneath them.

Me, I'm popping the popcorn. This is going to be fun.

Even Carville couldn't turn this in to a win.

Friday, May 05, 2023

Nyjer Seed No

I'm still working on finding the best food for my backyard children - finches, sparrows and doves - and recently, some friends of mine who have lots of successful bird feeders told me they swear by Nyjer seed. After the gym this morning, I took the 30-minute drive out to Tractor Supply and bought a bag of it.

Filled with excitement, I filled the birdfeeder, expecting the birds to eat their fill. They landed on it, took one look, and flew away.


Thug life finch says, "No."

I'll give it a bit more time to see what happens. I filled the adjacent feeder with black oil sunflower seeds. Maybe they'll like that.

Thursday, May 04, 2023

The Critical Theory Cartesian Coordinate System

 When drawing graphs, we always use the x and y axes. Like this.

Whenever you see a graph, it's no surprise to see the x and y axes. It's what we used all through school. It's a simple convention for describing positions in a 2-dimensional space and it's no big deal.

Critical Theory is the same thing. It's a simple convention for describing the world. Whites oppress blacks, men oppress women and straights oppress gays. Those are the Cartesian coordinate axes of Critical Theory. All of society has been designed by the oppressors to maintain their power over the oppressed.

You dress the way you dress because it's a social construct designed to keep straight, white men in power. You consider certain books classics because it's a social construct designed to keep straight, white men in power. You assume sex is a binary because it's a social construct designed to keep straight, white men in power. Everything is a social construct designed to keep straight, white men in power.

I don't recall what it was, but recently I saw a headline proclaiming, oh, I don't know, let's just say margarine is racist. Of course it is. It's in the Critical Theory Cartesian Coordinate System. Just like all the points in our 2D graphs are described by their x and y coordinates, all of life is described by racism, sexism and the various gender-phobias. There aren't any axes other than x and y and there aren't any considerations other than race, sex and gender.

That's it, that's the end, that's all she wrote.

As soon as I realized that, I became bored with the whole thing. That's been happening a lot lately, by the way. I'm a slow thinker, but eventually I can usually figure out what's what.

While the Cartesian coordinate system is useful and makes sense, the Critical Theory Cartesian Coordinate System is obvious bullocks as I've ranted over and over on this blog. Still, it might be useful to see that analogy so when this stuff comes up again and again, you can recognize it as an inevitable consequence of a complete structural misdiagnosis of life.

Super Special Happy Fun Bonus Graphic

The Cartesian coordinate system is racist. Well, played critical theorists. Well played.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Cleopatra Hamliton

Here's a still from the new Netflix series on Cleopatra.

Cleopatra's lineage is well known. She was a descendant of Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great's generals. She was Greek, not black.

Alexander Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers of America were whites. They were not black.

Meanwhile, at the time of Cleopatra and at the time of Alexander Hamilton, West Africa was home to sophisticated and powerful empires. It wasn't just the threat of African diseases that kept the Portuguese, Dutch and English from establishing more than trading posts on the coast. There was no way the European powers of the time were going to force their will on the Africans.

Why all the blackfacing in historical dramas? I think both Cleopatra and Hamilton are profoundly racist art. They turn the actors and actresses into organ grinder monkeys, dressing them up like Egyptian royalty or American aristocrat-revolutionaries. In the absence of big-budget productions dealing with the West African empires, it's like Hollywood is telling us, "See? Black people could have been just as white as those other people from history!" It's like there aren't any African stories to tell because ...

Because what? Because the Africans were subordinate to Europeans? Because they didn't accomplish as much? Because they were unsophisticated? None of that is true. What is it that prevents those stories from being told?

As far as I can figure out, the problem is precisely that there was no way the European powers of the time were going to force their will on the Africans. The slave trade was mutual. The Europeans weren't buying slaves on the cheap, they were dealing with shrewd operators. It's not like the Africans didn't know what was going to happen to the slaves, either. They'd been in that business for a long, long time.

The progs run Hollywood and they can't tell that story. If they did, we'd all see how similar we are. Aztecs enslaved. Whites enslaved. Blacks enslaved. The whole narrative of colonialism / imperialism / white supremacy /  patriarchy would collapse. It's not that the Euros were more evil than everyone else, it's that they had something that allowed them to out-compete everyone else.

Christianity, Too

Why didn't the Aztecs or Africans ditch slavery before the Europeans forced them to do it? Why did the Euros ditch it at all when no one else did?

We know the answer to that question and it's another story the progs can't tell.

Monday, May 01, 2023

What Is It This Time?

 ... is my exasperated response to essays like this.

An honest reckoning with women’s interests today calls on us to reject the cyborg vision of sexless, fungible homunculi piloting re-configurable meat suits. The cyborg era began with women, and women must reclaim the power to say “no.” In its place, we can pioneer a new but ancient moral consensus. We can lead the charge for solidarity between the sexes.

Honestly, I've been listening to people yapping about "women’s interests" for 50 years and I just don't care any more. This essay was by Mary Harrington who has recently become a darling of the right for her book, "Feminism Against Progress." She's making the rounds on the right wing podcasts, which is where I heard of her and her book. I bought the audio version of it and made it halfway through when I simply couldn't listen to it any more. It was exhausting.

I couldn't put my finger on what it was the wore me down until I saw this.

This is a still from the new Netflix series on Cleopatra where Cleopatra is black. Cleopatra was not black. She was Greek. Still Netflix felt the need to make her black. Because black. How much is enough?

Getting back to the all-new version of feminism, the sentiments that are making conservatives swoon are along these lines, also from her essay:

(I)f you want to be a mother, marriage is not a patriarchal institution designed to oppress you. It’s the minimum unit for human-scale solidarity. Unless you’re very rich raising kids in this atomized context, marriage is not the misogynist option but the pro-women one.

Did you figure that out all by yourself, Mary? Well, aren't you the brilliant one. Thanks so much for enlightening us. From this husband and father who has been through the ringer with women, listening to her prattle about how smart she is and that misogynist beasts like me aren't as bad as all that is no reward at all.

Nowhere in her book or her essays or any of the other feminist / racial justice blather is a syllable about their roles and responsibilities in society. What good are you? What is expected of you? Crickets.

I'm just done with all of this. It's been decades of this stuff and I don't care any more. Don't tell me how oppressed you are because I've lost interest in it. I remember all the way back to the Equal Rights Amendment fights in the 70s and every demand that streets be named for MLK and accusations of racism. Decade after decade of it.

After all that agitation and demands met, you'd think things would have improved, but they haven't. Women's depression rates are higher. Marriage rates are down. Black literacy is pathetic, particularly in places run entirely by blacks. And on and on and on. After all that, what do we get? Yet more books and essays talking about how hard it is to be a woman and Egyptian history blackfaced.

They're like telephone salesmen blasting at you day and night asking if you want to renew your car's warranty. It all makes me shake my head and let out an exasperated, "God almighty, what do you want now?"