May 31, 2017

Wednesday Overnight Open Thread (5/31/17)
— Open Blogger

weds.jpg

(Obviously not one of our hamsters)


Quotes of The Day

Quote I

Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers. Hans Christian Andersen

Quote II

There are always new places to go fishing. For any fisherman, there's always a new place, always a new horizon. Jack Nicklaus

Quote III

I'm not in the leftist controlled Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of my political views, primarily my lifelong militant support of the NRA, the Second Amendment, and my belief that the only good bad guy is a dead bad guy. Ted Nugent


more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 05:01 PM | Comments (767)
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Hollywood Blues: Worst Memorial Day for Box Office; Reviews Are Apparently to Blame
— Ace

Before getting to that:

It should be noted that movies are only one aspect of Hollywood. When we say "Hollywood," we must also think of television, which is doing... well, I don't know it's doing. I do know all of The Elites spend hours and hours watching it because we're in a Golden Age or something.

Point is, theatrical production and exhibition is only one part of this industry.

That said, I have to note Steven Spielberg's seeming prescience.

Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an "implosion" in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. What comes next -- or even before then -- will be price variances at movie theaters, where "you're gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you're probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln." He also said that Lincoln came "this close" to being an HBO movie instead of a theatrical release.

George Lucas agreed that massive changes are afoot, including film exhibition morphing somewhat into a Broadway play model, whereby fewer movies are released, they stay in theaters for a year and ticket prices are much higher. His prediction prompted Spielberg to recall that his 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial stayed in theaters for a year and four months.

Yeah, I left in George Lucas' part because it's so obviously wrong.

The real movie side of Hollywood-- including theatrical distribution, not just PPV stuff -- is in trouble.

Here's the problem:

1. Television picture quality has advanced to the point where there is not really a big premium on seeing a movie at the theater. I used to always have to see the big spectacle movies on the big screen, but I don't any longer. For one thing, spectacle is now commonplace and CGI is often lame, and for another thing, there's really not that big of a difference between "The Big Screen" and a good-sized TV.

The big screen has the best theoretical resolution and sound, but how many times do you get to see a movie where the projector is perfectly focused and the sound is perfect? And you don't have idiots yapping next to you?

2. Because of the overseas market, and because Hollywood needs a reason to draw people into the theater instead of just waiting six months to watch it on demand on TV, Hollywood really can only make one kind of movie now. Gotta be big, gotta be splodey, gotta be something that can be plausibly claimed to be "better in 3D" or "mindblowing in Imax."

Don't get me wrong, I like a good popcorn movie with explosions, but when that's the only kind of movie you can make, the novelty of such a thing quickly diminishes, and you have to start making movies that are really third-tier material at best.

When's the last time you saw a big movie advertised that wasn't about superheroes or reboots of tv shows from the 60s to 80s?

Where are the detective movies? I only remember the Reacher films and The Nice Guys.

Where are the comedies? Fewer and fewer -- as with detective movies, comedy relies on dialogue, and that doesn't play well with foreign audiences. And even where there is a comedy, it's often a comedy-action-special-effects hybrid, like Ghostbusters, which gives not one but three different Failure Paths.

War movies? Well, you can't make a movie about our current wars, which are Bad, and even movies about World War Two have to be about something other than war. Saving Private Ryan was about the rescue of a single soldier, and Dunkirk -- which looks pretty good -- is about an evacuation/rescue/escape. Which is, yes, part of war obviously, but note that it's not about beating our enemies. It's about saving lives.

Same with Hacksaw Ridge. Yes, part of war (medics need love and haven't gotten enough), but we're running into the same problem where the number of things you can make a movie about are getting smaller and smaller. War is a spectacle and so should make for a movie -- except, you can only do war movies where This Time, The Mission is a Man.

How many of those can they do?

Horror remains a popular genre and we still get a lot of those (some pretty darned good!), but it's a niche genre that most people don't like.

Sure, there are exceptions here and there, but basically you have movies based on cartoons, or movies that are cartoons (children's fare), or attempts to turn a children's toy or game into some kind of Shard Universe. (Which GI Joe and the Micronauts are apparently doing -- there'll be some kind of Hasbro Toy Cinematic Universe. Maybe.)

Eh. I'm a fairly childish adult but even I can only take so much of childish things.

3. TV is, I keep being told, in a "Golden Age" where you have "actual stories you care about" or something, though when I see it, it always looks like a premise that could have been dealt with in a movie or six episode miniseries but gets padded out with all the same potboiler/soap opera twists and turns we've seen six thousand times so that they can make a full season of it.

Anyway, TV is more and more for anything that isn't about superheroes or aliens.

So the theatrical side of Hollywood finds itself in a fix similar to the one it faced in the 50s, when TV first became big.

Oh, and a lot of their movies are terrible and fall into the category of I Didn't Ask For This. That Great Wall movie with Matt Damon? Um... A movie about the Great Wall and the Mongol wars might have been interesting, but now it has to be about Giant Space Monsters or whatever.

Because Imax.

I've seen enough Giant Monsters From Space. Seriously.

Spectacle is too common and too easily achieved now to be spectacular. The most "spectacular" parts of movies are just CGI cartoons now and most could GAF -- and many people wonder, "Why not just have the hero and villain fight? Without all the super space explosions." Few have anything nice to say about Batman v. Superman, but many complain, rightly, that the garishly cartoonish fight at the end was the worst part of the movie.

I hear people are saying the same about the otherwise-well-reviewed Wonder Woman -- once again, the stuff they spend the most money on is the stuff that makes people wonder, "Why didn't they just have her kick the bad guy's ass for a bit?"

It's just boring now. When everything is a CGI Extravaganza, nothing is a CGI Extravaganza.

Anyway, the rash of failures is prompting some to complain that reviewers, who no one listens to anyway, are to blame for this.

But here's the thing:

No one wanted a Baywatch reboot. They estimated the Brand Value of the IP was high. They were wrong.

But they felt forced into Exploiting a Known IP because... I don't know. A movie without a pre-existing brand identity would be punted to Netflix or something.

No one wanted a Pirates of the Caribbean 5. In fact, no one wanted a Pirates of the Caribbean 3, and definitely not a 4. (We did want a Pirates of the Caribbean 2... until we saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2.)

Movies are largely about novelty, fellas. These things are not novel. Even the idea of doing a spoof of a bad, poorly-remembered TV show is old -- Brady Bunch did it. Starsky and Hutch did it. 21 Jump Street did it. Some of those movies are fun, but the idea of doing a silly spoof of a bad old TV show is old.

Clint Eastwood is doing a movie about those three Americans who thwarted the knife-and-gun attack on the Thalys train running from Brussels to Paris. I assume Hollywood only permitted this because they're all afraid of saying no to Clint Eastwood. And they fucking should be.

That's kind of new, just because it's so not of-the-moment. It's new because people don't do suspense movies with Problematic Overtones any more.

Tom Cruise's movies are like that too -- he's the only guy doing a particular kind of movie, where the late eighties never really died. Shooting and stunts and no giant space monsters (usually). Good bless him.

But everything else is so samey-samey.

And it kind of has to be. Anything else isn't a movie in today's climate -- it's something you pitch to a pay tv channel, and then pad it out until it's boring.

I don't know how they're going to solve this. In the 50s, Hollywood trotted out spectacles and introduced Panavision and Technicolor and stuff to differentiate theatrical pictures from TV fare, but spectacle is dead, and I can't think of any kind of technological innovation that would make seeing a movie on the screen a big must any more.

I don't even blame it on a lack of creativity (though, you know, some would be nice.) There are economic and social forces now arrayed against theatrical exhibition of films that I think are completely unstoppable.


Posted by: Ace at 03:30 PM | Comments (529)
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Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum -- Again
— Ace

It is imperative we begin emulating the left in its tactics.

A couple of years ago, I suggested a completely different strategy: I wanted to pursue a kinder path. I wanted an end to the speech wars and social media mobs and boycotts and all the rest of it.

But that path has been tried, and it has failed. Passive resistance -- moral resistance -- can only work when dealing with opponents with morality and honor, or who, at least, see you as more than subhuman.

Gandhi's tactics would not have worked had India been colonized by, say, China.

Many on the right, or even liberals who lean to the left but who still hold to classic liberal traditions, have called, endlessly, for an end to the Speech Wars.

That failed.

We've been trying this for years. Two or three years in my own case.

Has this sweet music of reason had any positive effect of soothing the passions of the beast?

Well, watch this video of the Empowered Mob demanding more firings at Evergreen college last week, and tell me the path of merely condemning mob lunacy is having any effect at all.

The Empowered, Privileged Mob demanded -- demanded! -- that white people absent themselves from their space, and this is what happened to those who said, "No, that's racist, and teaching class is my job."

Embarrassed by their own repulsive behavior, the Privileged Mob is now demanding -- demanding! again, like emotionally unstable toddlers -- that this video be taken down and that consequences be visited on whoever "stole" it.

This is not working.

People calling for an end to the Speech Wars have a good end in mind -- most people would just love it if not every single minor consumer transaction were not politicized, if not every single public faux pas were not a call to the Social Justice Wolves to come and feed -- but the current strategy, championed by most who want to get to this end-point, is not working.

The dispute I have with them now is not over their preferred end-state -- I deeply desire the end-state they seek, where people actually have freedom to think and speak as they want, and not every fucking mundane movie-ticket purchase is either a Cause or a Crisis -- but the current policy of "unilateral disarmament, and hope that the Monster Babies will learn from our example" is a total, dismal, catastrophic failure.

In order to learn at all, it is required that someone first believe that he has anything to learn at all, and we know that progressives do not see conservatives as people from whom anything can be learned -- they see us as subhumans to be re-educated and reconstructed into civilized savages who at least won't embarrass them as we tend their gardens.

Leftist students cannot be taught anything -- they now routinely scream at professors (you know, the people they're allegedly paying to learn from) that they must SHUT UP AND LISTEN. They come to the university already knowing all there is to know, and in fact are only present to teach their professors; one wonders, then, why it isn't the students being paid, and the professors paying tuition to learn their collective, shouty, expletive-filled wisdom.

(By the way, don't be fooled: None of these people will pay the massive debts they're acquiring while passing time at university; you will.)

The most we are "winning" is not losing as much: We chalk it up as a "win" that USAA has been counter-pressured to resume buying ads on Hannity, overlooking the fact that nine other companies were protested by the left into boycotting him, and remain in full boycott.

We overlook the fact that corporations routinely -- some might say "eagerly" -- join Social Justice War-Bands to curry favor with them and to improve their "brand image" in the eyes of the progressives, which make up about 20% of the country, but seem to be the only demographic that matters.

Rather like the Brahmin class of India. But more on that later.

We don't seem to notice that we are always defending, and even the best possible outcome for our attempts at defense only means that we have avoided harm -- for a month.

Then they start up again, demanding this corporation boycott this public commentator, demanding that this writer have his advanced canceled, demanding that this Random Citizen of No Particular Public Interest be fired for the crime of giving spoiled, stupid Monster Babies something to #Occupy their shriveled brains for a morning.

But they never stop. And why would they?

Just as the best possible outcome for us is that we avoid the harm they intended for us for one short month, the worst possible outcome for them is they will not get This Twitter Cycle's Designated Scalp -- for now.

But there'll be another scalp ripe for the tearing in a few days.

In short, the worst penalty they suffer is not being able to make anyone else suffer-- for a short period.

They are never made to suffer themselves.

Thus, they have absolutely no incentive whatsoever to ever stop.

If you're a sadist, and an insecure individual with little credit to his name, you can build yourself up into a Social Justice War-Fighter by constantly attacking others and making them miserable and afraid.

The worst outcome is that you don't get your scalp -- this time.

But you have in fact caused your enemies to fear you, and to always worry what might upset you next.

Which is a major psyops victory in itself -- the best, and easiest, form of censorship is self-censorship, and if you've put your enemies into terror of being the next to face the mob, they will self-censor, and they will become, against their will at first, but then according to their habit as time goes on, your personal censorship enforcers, patrolling their own minds for thoughts the mob has deemed impermissible.

The second-best outcome in war is to take an enemy out. But the very best outcome is to Shanghai an enemy to be one of your own marines.

The worst outcome for them is basically... the best outcome for them.

Do they ever actually suffer for their own choices? Do they ever experience a setback larger than just not getting their way, this week?

No.

And it's time for that to change.

If a sadistic, insecure, submediocre individual enjoys tormenting those he deems enemies, like a child who enjoys pulling the wings off flies, he will not stop -- ever -- unless he is made to feel the same pain himself.

If he subscribes to a racist cult that says all outside the cult are Fair Game for abuse, and abusing them is actually a sacrament -- how can he be made to stop?

If you're in a fight with someone, and you never do anything but parry blows and dodge, you can at least hope for him to tire himself out.

But he'll have regained his endurance by the next morning. And, as he actually enjoys just throwing blows at you, and you've done nothing to convince him this is a counterproductive idea -- he will be back.

If you never actually hit him right the fuck back -- when is he ever going to learn that fighting is not a good idea?

Many of us -- and I blame myself here -- have been pushing an idea of unilateral disarmament in this arena, hoping they would just learn how awful and venomous they are.

But they don't. I think they take a rather different lesson from our passive resistance than the one they intended.

We intended that by passively resisting, they would see us as showing moral courage and would learn from us that ceaseless violence and bullying and collectivized political campaigns run against everyday citizens pursuing no public office are wrong.

But they didn't learn that.

What our self-restraint has taught them is quite the opposite--when we refuse to fight back, they take that as signalling that deep down, we know they're right and that we are the monsters, and thus, our refusal to engage them in the fight they've started does not prove our moral rightness, but instead our moral corruption.

We think: We are showing them a better way by acting in a manner that is morally superior.

They infer: They are submitting to us as if they are our inferiors, therefore they must know that they are in fact our inferiors.

We cannot keep deluding ourselves into pursuing a course of action which, while appearing morally righteous and principled on paper, is in fact bringing more suffering upon ourselves and only encouraging the behavior we thought our peaceable approach was actually discouraging.

This path is not stopping the Social Justice Warrior Cult of Racist Hatred -- it's fueling it.

We shall have One Law in this country, or none at all.

If these tactics are permissible -- and effective, as they certainly appear to be -- then they are permissible for all, not just a special privileged group of Empowered Snowflake Warriors.

If it's permissible to pressure corporations into firing people and cancelling appearances for leftist groups, then surely it is permissible for the right to do likewise.

Only when they start seeing themselves blacklisted for employment will these morally senseless people learn that blacklisting is bad. They do not have moral sense, but I trust most of them are not so stupid that they don't possess a basic practical regard for their own self-interest.

If you want the Culture of Ceaseless Social War to stop -- which i dearly do -- then I propose it is necessary to engage in it ourselves, until they sue for (at long last!) peace.

We must insist on equality before the law -- and before the media, as well.

The progressives are in the final stages of a decades-long campaign to make us a Lower Caste, with fewer rights and privileges than the Ruling Caste (and the sad courtiers to the Ruling Caste, who hilariously believe themselves to be members of that caste).

When we demand that the "rules," such as they may be, must be enforced equally as to all, this is no minor cavil: If a social order exists in which some groups labor under additional legal and social burdens than others, then that social order is, by definition, a caste system.

If we accept this caste system, and we accept that we belong to a lower caste by submitting ourselves to the special burdens reserved for those of our station, we confirm our place in the lower caste and we also confirm the special privileges of the higher caste.

It is social codes like these that make a caste. In England, back when it was more class-stratified (and who knows, maybe today), a "gentleman" could refer to a commoner just by his last name, or his first name. Tom. Upton. Whatever.

But the commoner was expected to only refer to the gentleman as "sir" (or "ma'am,") or, if named, with the title of dignity "Mister" (or "Miss").

Anyone who followed that convention was confirming his own place in the hierarchy.

Another man can only tell you you belong to an inferior caste.

But when you begin acting like you're part of an inferior caste -- following his rules and his preferences, substituting them for your own -- then you actually are now part of that inferior caste.

The man posing as a lord only asserts you are a serf. When you begin bowing to him, you confirm his claim.

The same rules must apply to all, the same laws. The same dignities.

For everyone.

Or else you have a hardening caste system.

What do I want? I want a world in which angry mobs do not form up and begin screaming at people or pressuring companies to fire people just to fill their empty, pathetic lives with something shabby and mean they can pretend is grand and noble.

But we're not in that world. We're not in that world of Social Peace.

And refusing to acknowledge that we are in a state of Social War does not bring Social Peace any closer; it just encourages the Monster Babies to wage even further war, making more demands, demanding more submissions, concessions, and ritualized confessions.

If you want peace, prepare for war.

You may not be interested in Social War, but the Social Warriors are deeply, deeply interested you, and bringing you to heel, and making you confess that you are indeed a creature with fewer rights and privileges than they possess.

No one's ever going to put them in a position of authority over others -- which is why they desperately need you to accept they have authority over you.

I didn't particularly want Kathy Griffin fired -- but it was necessary.

I actually envy her lack of inhibition and total feeling of freedom. She felt she could do whatever she wanted, so long as it broke no laws.

I'd like to feel that way. But I can't.

I can't feel that way, because I know the progressive mob is always scalp-hunting, and that I am not free to say or think as I might like.

They rule part of my brain -- my very fear of them limits my thoughts, creates inhibitions and limitations in me which I did not choose for myself, but were forced upon me from without.

I have become, partly, a recruit in the Social Justice Warrior army. Their dicta, their demands, their fury is always alive inside of me.

I know to fear them. And so I must self-censor.

My fear of their power makes part of my own brain their appointed warden for the rest of my head.

So a big part of my anger is in seeing Kathy Griffin act as a totally free spirit and free agent, able to do what she likes just because she thinks it's funny, or "edgy," or whatever.

It makes me angry to see her living a life where she can just do something without fearing the consequences -- but I can't.

And neither can you.

My hatred of Kathy Griffin isn't a hatred of her -- it's a hatred of the vicious caste-based system which says she has more rights than Sean Hannity, and more rights than you, and more rights than me.

If keeping some of my diminished amount of freedom means that I have to thuggishly begin taking it from others -- so be it.

I didn't make the rules.

I'm just trying to survive them.

I don't want her to have less freedom -- but the only way to make sure I keep the limited, constantly-eroded freedom I currently have is to insist that I am not a serf, and I will not be held to different laws than the Lords.

As I cannot accept that -- and as I will not accept that -- I must insist she pay the same cost I would be expected to pay if I were to do what she did.

Otherwise, I'm saying Sir/Ma'am to the Ruling Caste, and confirming that I accept my lower position.

Hillary Clinton called half of the country "The Deplorables."

It's really not so different from the lowest caste in India -- the "Untouchables," is it?

They're not even attempting to turn us into serfs covertly any longer -- it's now just pretty much out in the open.

No more.

No more.


Posted by: Ace at 01:27 PM | Comments (701)
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Huma Abedin Invites Anthony Weiner Home
— Ace

Well.

One take on this from William F.B. O'Reilly:

[N]o figure consistently attracts more unfair ridicule and scorn from the peanut gallery than Huma Abedin, the long-suffering wife of former Congressman Anthony Weiner. Social media provocateurs gleefully humiliate Abedin as if tearing wings from a fly. There’s a special kind of cruelty to how she is treated.

After news broke Tuesday that Abedin was allowing Weiner back into their home following his conviction for sex messaging an underage girl, social media predictably exploded: “Hillary’s top aide invites a sex offender into her home,” one twitterer jubilantly announced on his feed. "EXCLUSIVE: Just when you thought Huma had enough, she invited her admitted sex offender hubby back home again" read another. Donald Trump Jr. was among the first to “like” that one. Then began the conspiracy theories about why she would do such a thing.

Abedi'’s crime, other than being Hillary Clinton’s confidante, is the audacity to show mercy in a world intoxicated by schadenfreude and rage. It's more than some can bear. Abedin is willing to take the deeply flawed and broken father of her child back into her home in the hope that redemption somehow lies ahead for him. She’s doing so fully aware of the ridicule that will follow, not just from Clinton haters but from feminists, too, who view as anathema standing by any wayward man. One doesn’t often see that kind of strength today.

All I can say is I wish I were as good a Christian as Huma Abedin is a Muslim. Her mercy is to be admired.

Eh, part of this is the long-simmering suspicion that this is some kind of political-cover marriage. That's why people on the right are so dumbfounded --
some are wondering why a pretend marriage is being pretended after the need for it has passed.

(Or has it passed...? Hillary can't seem to get over her loss and, given her marital history, seems to be a sucker for humiliation.)

Though, actually, these bizarre turns have the strange effect of making me think this is a real marriage.

(People on the left are dumbfounded because Female Empowerment You Guys.)

When kids are involved -- one is involved here -- I understand this. Kids are a contract, and a pretty sacred one. It's not that all marriages with children involved must be endured -- I'm not an absolutist on that, some marriages are so toxic that staying together doesn't do anyone any favors -- but certainly they should be endured as much as one can.

Well, that's the best I can do. I don't really care.

Posted by: Ace at 11:25 AM | Comments (473)
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CNN Severs Ties With Sad Lonely Clownwhore Kathy Griffin
— Ace


Posted by: Ace at 09:43 AM | Comments (597)
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Trump Withdrawing From Paris Climate Accords
— Ace

While the Twitter ninnies and NeverTrumpers (but I repeat myself) obsess over the typo "confefe," actual news is out there, though it might not be as nummy to the Twitter Shut-in Set.

President Trump has made his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the decision. Details on how the withdrawal will be executed are being worked out by a small team including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. They're deciding on whether to initiate a full, formal withdrawal -- which could take 3 years -- or exit the underlying United Nations climate change treaty, which would be faster but more extreme.

Why this matters: Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could do to unravel Obama's climate legacy. It sends a combative signal to the rest of the world that America doesn't prioritize climate change and threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal.

But don't worry, Twitter Addicts and NeverTrumpers (BIRM) -- You lost Paris, but you'll always have covfefe.

He's also put a 90 day delay on an Obama-era rule on methane.


Posted by: Ace at 08:25 AM | Comments (561)
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Progressivism Can Only Be A Parasite
— Open Blogger


The Village.jpgImzy.com (Conceptualized)


Imzy has been described as a "social-justice kumbaya version of Reddit". I had never heard of it until dri posted a sidebar item announcing its demise after a little more than a year. And its investors took an $11 million bath.

Started by former fired Reddit Vice President Dan McComas, Imzy was built on the idea of "safe space". McComas said that he wanted to give users a "nice" place to have "nice" place to discuss "nice" things without "being harrassed." It was supposed to be "a community forum product that was heavily moderated so as to conform with social-justice norms."

In other words, it was an online version of The Village.

And it failed. Imzy was an enterprise set up along explicitly progressive lines, and it flopped.

I wondered why this progressive enterprise failed. Which led to wondering why most, if not all, progressive enterprises fail.

In order to better understanding this, I believe C.S. Lewis holds the key.

In his classic book Mere Christianity, Lewis spent some time explaining the nature of good and evil and the relationship each has with the other. He starts out by considering 'dualism', by which he means a philosphy wherein Good and Evil are two more or less equal powers in the universe that are at war with each other. Lewis, of course, rejects this view, and argues that it fails because evil really can't be a stand-alone entity, which is what 'dualism' would require:

Put it more simply still. To be bad, he must exist and have intelligence and will. But existence, intelligence and will are in themselves good. Therefore he must be getting them from the Good Power: even to be bad he must borrow or steal from his opponent. And do you now beg to see why Christianity has always said that the devil is a fallen angel? That is not a mere story for the children. It is a real recognition of the fact that evil is a parasite, not an original thing. The powers which enable evil to carry on are powers given it by goodness. All the things which enable a bad man to be effectively bad are in themselves good things-resolution, cleverness, good looks, existence itself. That is why Dualism, in a strict sense, will not work

I remember first reading this almost 40 years ago, and it just made so much sense. And still does. He touched on this theme in The Screwtape Letters. Here is Screwtape himself railing against God:

He's vulgar, Wormwood. He has a bourgeois mind. He has filled His world full of pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least - sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working, Everything has to be twisted before it's any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side.

(And I know this raises a question of why. That is, if the devil is borrowing strength from God just so he can sh* all over everything, why does God allow this to happen? This is an important question, but it is not my intent to go into it here. My point is merely to affirm the truth of what Lewis is saying, that it is impossible for evil to be anything other than a parasite. Evil can't really create anything new. Or, actually much of anything at all. )

And I think that progressivism's relationship to conservatism (AKA normal life) is exactly like evil's relation to good. Progressivism, like evil itself, is unoriginal, derivative, dependent, and basically parasitical. It can never be anything else. It is utterly dependent on something outside itself, usually something it was set up to oppose, in order to survive.

In other words, in order to spit in God's face, the devil must first be allowed to sit in His lap. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:30 AM | Comments (292)
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Mid-Morning Open Thread
— Open Blogger

Moltedo.jpg

Joseph-Antoine Moltedo
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Corsican by birth, Moltedo was an enterprising businessman and inventor, agent to the French clergy at the Vatican, and director of the Roman post office from 1803 until 1814. Painted during one of the most productive periods of Ingres's nascent career, this refined portrait belongs to a series of commissions he received from French officials in Napoleonic Rome. They are distinguished by the inclusion of Roman views as backdrops -- in this case the Appian Way and the Colosseum -- as well as by stormy gray skies, a Romantic conceit that serves as a foil to the calm and secure expressions of the men portrayed.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:30 AM | Comments (717)
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The Morning Report 5/31/17
— Open Blogger

kate.jpg

Good morning, kids. Sated with wifey's homemade coconut cake to mark another Copernican journey around the sun (and my advancing decrepitude) let's get to it. First up Kathy Griffin's cunning stunt is not to be dismissed. It is indicative of the growing violent attitudes of the Left. Despite CNN brass' mouthing that they have to reassess their relationship with the no-talent bint, the talking heads are completely dismissive of her actions. On top of that, some bimbo named Kate Bolduan called a Texas Democrats physical assault on a GOP colleague "Democracy in action." No, Miss Bolduan. That's called political violence, and your approval of it is incitement. On a more positive note, the US interception of an ICBM, and on the first attempt no less, is a huge deal. For those who may not recall, Teddy Kennedy went on a secret mission to the Soviets in 1984 (you listening WaPo?) and promised them that they would scrap the Strategic Defense Initiative when they defeated Reagan in that year's election. There's your collusion. Which I would spell "T-R-E-A-S-O-N." Hopefully, the Cape Cod Orca is roasting in the Infernal Reaches. Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

UPDATE: Just corrected the last link. It's 3,853 new regulations printed out are over 95,000 pages. Thanks to StirFry Laura for that correction.

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May 30, 2017

Tuesday Overnight Open Thread (5/30/17) It's A Tuesday But Feels Like A Monday ONT Edition
— Open Blogger

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(Illgen Falls, Silver Bay, MN)


Quotes of The Day

Quote I

I love the sounds and the power of pounding water, whether it is the waves or a waterfall. Mike May


Quote II

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. Abraham Lincoln


Quote III

I would like to be remembered as a - somebody who could rock your soul or make your cry with a song. And somebody who's kind, who loved to laugh, and loved his God. Gregg Allman


RIP, Gregg Allman.


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USAA Will Begin Advertising on Hannity Again
— Ace

Okay.

Well, Hannity's audience, which includes a lot of veterans (I'd guess), probably counter-pressured USAA to resume advertising.

However, given that USAA targets servicemembers for their services -- it's time, I think, to demand that USAA stop running ads on CNN, Kathy Griffin's most prominent employer.

Given that she urges the assassination of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, mimicking ISIS -- the US military's enemy -- in a mock beheading.

And if they don't, it's time to for patriots to cut ties with USAA.

If these are the rules of the game, then let both sides begin playing by them.

Corrected: I garbled the words in a sentence that was inelegant to begin with and said, wrongly, that USAA employs Griffin, when I meant USAA should not advertise on CNN, which features this ghastly hag every New Years Eve.

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Melty Little Snowflakes Outraged That YAF Pranked Them Into Rejecting Socialist Redistribution of Grade Point Average
— Ace

I don't understand this premise -- doesn't everyone get A's in college now? Or a B, if you literally never come to class and fail the exam.

Well, I guess there's a difference between summa cum laude (4.50 GPA) and bottom of the class (3.82 GPA).

YAF wanted to test the snowflakes' dedication to the redistribution of earned rewards, and so asked snowflakes to sign a petition stating that the top 10% of the class would have some of its GPA "knocked off" so it could be redistributed to the bottom 10% of the class, For Fairness and Equality.

They mostly objected, the Dears.

But the funny part is that they're getting angry and demanding consequences for simply having their stupid principles poked around a bit.

Below, the triggering video what triggers. more...

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Claim: New Panel Will Report that Argentine Prosecutor, Found Dead During Probe Into 1994 Terrorist Bombing, Was Murdered
— Ace

Here's the background:

1n 1994, a Jewish center in Buenos Aires was bombed, killing 85. Iranian agents were suspected of being behind the attack -- but no prosecutions were ever brought.

In 2015, Alberto Nisman was conducting a special investigation into the unsolved terrorist bombing case. He planned to bring a complaint against then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and other Argentinian politicians of covering up the bombing on behalf of Tehran.

One day before he was due to make his complaint, he was found dead.

Claims were that it was a suicide, but a lot of people were suspicious about the convenient timing -- it was almost as if Alberto Nisman wanted to exit this earth at the precise moment people not named Alberto Nisman wanted Alberto Nisman to exit this earth.

A forthcoming report -- not yet published, so we don't know if this is all true yet -- will declare the death a murder.


A team of investigators appointed by the Kirchner government concluded -- following a controversial investigation that was heavily criticized by Nisman’s family -- that the special prosecutor committed suicide using a gun supplied to him by Diego Lagomarsino, a computer specialist employed by Nisman.

But a new report from the Gendarmeria, a federal security force, will put the suicide theory to bed once and for all and show that Nisman was murdered, according to Argentine news outlets. The report's publication is expected within the next thirty days, the Clarin newspaper said.

In the photo that runs with the story, one protester is holding a sign that reads "85 + 1 = 86," saying, I presume, that Alberto Nisman was the 86th casualty of the 1994 bombing.

Which was probably perpetrated by agents of Iran.

Oh, also in 2015, Obama gave Iran the go-ahead to build a nuclear bomb and $140 billion dollars.

Oh: And Kircher claimed at a UN speech that, in 2010, a former aide to Obama asked her to provide nuclear fuel to Iran.

During a 45-minute speech, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner claimed that in 2010 a former Obama administration official asked Argentina to "provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel" under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to Kirchner, Gary Samone, who was the White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction at the time, visited Argentina in the hopes of convincing them to provide reactor fuel. When the Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs asked for the request in writing, they never heard from Samone again.

There is a backstory to this, as Kirchner explained. In 1987, Argentina supplied Iran with nuclear fuel for their "Teheran" reactor. Samone told Hector Timmerman, the Argentine Foreign Minister, that negotiations with Iran to end or limit its nuclear enrichment program had begun and that the "Teheran" reactor was a sticking point. Iranian negotiators wouldn’t go forward without the fuel. And Argentina was the United States’ answer.


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Kathy Griffin Poses With Bloody Decapitated Head in Trump's Likeness
— Ace

Someone, I think Joe Concha, said on Twitter that CNN, if it were to follow its own claimed standards on incitement of political violence (which it never does, of course), must immediately announce that Kathy Grfifin will no longer host their embarrassing shambles of a New Year's broadcast.

But they won't -- as CNN supports political violence so long as the right people are being targeted for violence. Content warning for a vile lich-like Face of Death, and also, a prop severed Trump head.

Fart within 100 meters of Ben Jacobs, though, and it's the Apocalypse.

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Flashback: In 2004, Al Franken, Who Would Later Be Elected Senator With No Media Outrage, Body-Slammed (For Real) a Protester at a Howard Dean Rally
— Ace

The progressives didn't defend Franken's body-slamming of a peaceable man for a simple reason: They didn't have to. The media never brought it up.

Strange that behavior that is not only non-objectionable for a progressive but also not even worth remark is a Five Alarm Fire of moral panic when a conservative does it.

Ann Althouse has some interesting thoughts on masculinity and the urge to dominate. She asks -- I think; I don't want to misinterpret her -- if that leftwing Guardian reporter's actions are not a "toxic masculinity" driven form of attempted dominance, but using the script preferred by weaker men.

Note that that wouldn't really change the legal or ethical calculus here, I don't think -- even though weaker people might have the same drive to dominate as stronger people, and may employ different techniques of achieving it, that doesn't change the fact that violence is strictly forbidden, and for good reason.

I do think it's an interesting insight nevertheless.

Thanks to Evil Blogger Lady (@MsELB.

Corrected: It happened in 2004, not 2000. One's memory begins to slip as one reaches the early middle age of 29.

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Thank God for College: Feminist Researcher Proposes Bold New Science Mixing Quantum Mechanics and "Intersectional Feminism"
— Ace

Anyone want to bet that the only thing this idiot even knows about quantum mechanics is that it involves probabilities along a spectrum and duality?

A feminist academic affiliated with the University of Arizona has invented a new theory of "intersectional quantum physics," and told the world about it in a journal published by Duke University Press.

Whitney Stark argues in support of 'combining intersectionality and quantum physicS" to better understand "marginalized people" and to create "safer spaces" for them, in the latest issue of The Minnesota Review.

Because traditional quantum physics theory has influenced humanity's understanding of the world, it has also helped lend credence to the ongoing regime of racism, sexism and classism that hurts minorities, Stark writes in "Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities."

Scientists believe this paper is composed entirely of the Stupid Quark.

Here's a bit of it:


Assembled Bodies
Reconfiguring Quantum Identities

Whitney Stark
Abstract

In this semimanifesto, I approach how understandings of quantum physics and cyborgian [???] bodies can (or always already do) ally with feminist anti-oppression practices long in use. The idea of the body (whether biological, social, or of work) is not stagnant, and new materialist feminisms help to recognize how multiple phenomena work together to behave in what can become legible at any given moment as a body. By utilizing the materiality of conceptions about connectivity often thought to be merely theoretical, by taking a critical look at the noncentralized and multiple movements of quantum physics, and by dehierarchizing the necessity of linear bodies through time, it becomes possible to reconfigure structures of value, longevity, and subjectivity in ways explicitly aligned with anti-oppression practices and identity politics. Combining intersectionality and quantum physics can provide for differing perspectives on organizing practices long used by marginalized people, for enabling apparatuses that allow for new possibilities of safer spaces, and for practices of accountability.

Over the weekend, a male conservative Twitter personality bought a ticket for the women-only screening of Wonder Woman at the Alamo Drafthouse in NYC. Actually, the screening was for people who "identify" as women.

There was a lot of, get this, hysterical emotional overreaction.

Oh, and "Charging Bull," a statue originally designed to stand by itself on Wall Street, is now opposed by, and negatively recast, by the parasitic sculpture "Fearless Girl." That statue now changes the meaning of his original work -- making the bull, which originally stood for daring and vigor, now stand for Penis-Based Oppression.

Another male artist is annoyed by this Cultural Appropriation.

So he's now erected (but of course he is, what an oppressor) a statue called "Pissing Pug" right next to Fearless Girl, urinating on her.

peepeepug.jpg

He says he deliberately made the new statue crappy because the new Fearless Girl statue is crappy too.

Correction: I was confused, thinking the new artist of this new "Pug" statue was the original artist of Charging Bull. He isn't, MWR tells me. I've rewritten the mistake out of the post.

Prank Warning: Commenters think the "cyborgian" paper on Quantum Intersectionality might be another prank paper.

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The Pacific Northwest Beclowns Itself
— Open Blogger

"No free speech for you, h8rs!"

Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler has called on the federal government to revoke an already-issued permit for what he believes is an “alt-right” protest scheduled to take place in the city on Sunday

The protest will take place on federal property which is why the feds are involved in the permit process.

Mayor Butthurt is all concerned and shit:

“My concern is they’re coming here to peddle a message of hatred and bigotry,” Wheeler said Monday during a news conference. “They have a First Amendment right to speak, but hate speech is not protected.”

So this idiot is a student in the Howard Dean Law School Where You Get To Make Shit Up.

The organizer has told the mayor to go pee up a rope, that he plans to go ahead with the protest as scheduled.

Surprisingly, the ACLU is on the side of the "alt-right" protesters:

“The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period,” the organization wrote on Monday.

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Mid-Morning Open Thread
— Open Blogger

flower seller.jpg

The Flower Seller on the Pont Royal with the Louvre beyond, Paris

Marie-François Firmin-Girard

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The Morning Report 5/30/17
— Open Blogger

plug.jpg

Good morning, kids. Hope you all had a blessed Memorial Day weekend. Now, back to business. First up, so, totally bereft of ideas the Democrats, aided and abetted by a gaggle of illegal alien stooges, tried to disrupt the final day of the Texas legislature because they oppose the efforts of Governor Abbot to actually enforce our immigration laws. One of the miscreants threatened a GOP lawmaker who promised he'd defend himself with a gun if necessary, and so the spin is of course that the victim here is the criminal. Meanwhile, "Resistance Summer" kicks off as the national Democrat Party is openly vowing what is tantamount to sedition. Keep it up, and they'll have their wave election in '18. Only not the way they anticipate. Some other positive links: PDT will probably withdraw from the Paris Climate nonsense and is set to reverse the insane Obama Cuba policy. Lastly, there's quite a good blog post from American Thinker about how bureaucracies not only exist to stop alleged discriminatory practices but are staffed with scores of people whose mission is to seek out alleged violations (or invent them if they have to). That there is a yuuge reason why you got Trump. Drain that friggin' swamp, white boy (ear worm alert). Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

May 29, 2017

Monday Overnight Open Thread (5/29/17) Memorial Day Edition
— Open Blogger

Note from Pixy: IBM broke the comments. They're doing
maintenance on the virtual hosting platform that runs
our proxy server. Should be back online soon.

Comments are back on line for all your commenty needs!

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(Don't be afraid to click. You won't be disappointed.)

Missing, but not forgotten. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Memorial Day is a time for remembrance. Many think of the ones who have died in combat, but a forgotten group is the Missing In Action. On this solemn day Americans should think about those who never came home, with their families left in limbo. Thankfully, there is one group whose sole purpose is to account for the ones who fought for this country, but never returned home. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission is to find many of the missing from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.


Mark Steyn, brilliant, moving and insightful, Memorial Day & Decoration Day remembered.

There is something not just ridiculous but unbecoming about a hyperpower 300 million strong whose elites - from the deranged former vice president down - want the outcome of a war, and the fate of a nation, to hinge on one freaky jailhouse; elites who are willing to pay any price, bear any burden, as long as it's pain-free, squeaky-clean and over in a week. The sheer silliness dishonors the memory of all those we're supposed to be remembering this Memorial Day.

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