Saturday, April 19, 2014

CLASSIC Book Review: Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert's 1965 masterpiece, Dune, was quite simply the greatest science fiction novel ever. He reached heights that have never been scaled before or since. He completely rewrote the rules for science fiction and played an incredibly important role in legitimising what was once seen as nothing more than lightly entertaining, silly fare and turning it into a serious genre capable of delivering powerful messages.

He set the bar so high, in fact, that his sequel to his masterpiece was probably doomed almost from the start to fail to match its progenitor's success and impact.

And fail it did.

Dune Messiah is much shorter than the original Dune, clocking in at only 256 pages. Like its predecessor, it is a very fast read; Herbert's ability to write and flesh out interesting, fundamentally flawed yet heroic characters never disappeared even once during his authorship of the DUNE series. Whereas its predecessor took up a scope that was truly colossal- mind-bendingly so- Dune Messiah was spawned out of Herbert's deep disillusionment with the "hero complex".

Herbert wrote about this fairly extensively in both his private and public works. He argued all his life against the tendency that humans have for hero-worship, to believe that all of their problems could be solved if only they give up their free will and their ability to think for themselves and slavishly follow some great hero down a path of no return. His son, Brian, writes about this in the preface to the book.

In this book, Frank Herbert tried very hard to show the limits of hero-worship, the dangers of charisma, and the severe toll that such idolatry takes upon the focus of that worship. He succeeded in doing this, but in so doing, he lost touch with the very things that made the original Dune such a stunning achievement.

Dune Messiah takes place 12 years after the conclusion of the original. Paul-Muad'dib Atreides is now Emperor of the known Universe. His legions of fanatical Fremen have raged through that universe bearing the Atreides battle colours to spread their devotion to the Word of Muad'dib. He is the greatest emperor in human history, unrivalled in power and might, gifted with true prescience, and able to see and comprehend all possible futures.

Yet his jihad has come at a terrifying price. More than sixty billion have been slain in his name- and Paul knows, through his prescience, that this is actually one of the least terrible fates awaiting Mankind. With his ability to see far into the future, Paul foresees that Mankind will become ever more specialised, ever more inward looking, ever less capable of resisting true threats to its existence (none of this is ever explicitly mentioned in the book, by the way- you sort of learn about it through the series). He foresees the path required to avoid humanity's utter extinction many thousands of years into the future- and he despairs at it, knowing that he simply cannot sacrifice his own humanity in order to save his species.

In the background, sinister forces move and gather. The Bene Gesserit, now disenfranchised by the very creature they sought to create, the Kwisatz Haderach (a sort of human super-supercomputer, capable of understanding and foreseeing all possible futures), has destroyed their power. The Spacing Guild, totally dependent on the geriatric drug melange, does the Emperor's bidding without question. The Tleilaxu, seeking to escape from the grip of the tyrant of Arrakis, put in motion a plan to assassinate and overthrow the Emperor, and find willing allies in the form of the Bene Gesserit and Paul's Empress, Irulan. Conspiring together, they present Paul with a gift that they know he cannot refuse- a ghola, a resurrected clone of Paul's teacher and friend, Duncan Idaho, who was slain giving Paul and his mother time to escape into the desert of Arrakis in the first book.

After all of that setting up, a bunch of other stuff happens- a "stone burner" is detonated in the desert, Paul loses his eyesight, a Tleilaxu Face Dancer attempts to assassinate Paul, his beloved consort Chani dies giving birth to his children, and the ghola's cellular memories take over and Duncan Idaho is restored to life, and Paul finally wanders out into the desert, no longer a great hero but a broken blind man. And that's about it.

You can see, from my short description of what should have been a truly epic follow-up to one of the greatest stories ever told, what a disappointment Dune Messiah was. There is so much about the book's lack of logic and coherence that is frustrating- even infuriating. Paul's character, in particular, goes from being a great leader of men to whiny emo-trash in the space of a single novel. In trying to make his hero a man once more, Herbert overdid it, and turned one of science fiction's greatest creations into a pale, hollow shell of himself.

This is not to say that Dune Messiah lacks any redeeming features. It is still a formidable novel, showcasing a brilliant mind at perhaps the peak of its powers. Herbert wrote this novel as a sort of "bridge" for an even more grandiose and compelling vision in Children of Dune, in which the terrible path that he only hinted at in this book would gradually become more clear. When you read it that way- as a bridge, rather than just as a standalone sequel, you begin to see some of this book's virtues, for it is still a complex book.

The ecological and biological changes wrought on Arrakis, and the consequences for the Fremen, are of particular interest. Herbert's Fremen, as depicted in Dune, were shaped by their environment into the greatest fighters and survivors that one could imagine. They were forced to adapt to an environment of almost unimaginable harshness, and it left its imprint upon their psyche. As a result, the Fremen are brave, honourable, and extremely loyal to each other- yet they appear utterly wild and barbaric to any "civilised" observer. In Dune Messiah, as the planet Dune transitions ecologically into the paradise world that Paul promised for his people, the Fremen begin to lose their hard edge and start becoming soft and complacent. Herbert understood cause and effect as well as any writer I have ever read, and his mastery of these concepts shows itself time and again in his writing here.

Dune Messiah is not the book that its predecessor was. Not even close. It is still a very good book, and well worth reading (or in my case, re-reading for the first time in nearly 15 years). Just understand before you read it just how flawed it is compared to the original- and just how important some of those flaws are for the future of the Dune universe.

Didact's Verdict: 3/5, not nearly up to the standards of the original, but still worth reading even so.

Buy/download Dune Messiah here.

Humility and humiliation

I am hardly the world's foremost theological scholar. I have no doubt that older and wiser men like Vox and Carey could make me look like seven different degrees of idiot when it comes to understanding what the Bible (and the Talmud, for that matter) has to say about who does, and does not, get into heaven. That poor understanding aside, I'm pretty sure that bragging about your egregious violations of the rights of others is an automatic disqualifier:
Former New York City mayor is pledging to spend $50 million this year to push gun control, the New York Times reports. For this and other deeds (such as taking on obesity and smoking), Bloomberg believes he's going to heaven.
“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” Bloomberg told the Times.
Here's the full context of Bloomberg's heaven quotation:
Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter.But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
As for the gun control push, Bloomberg tells the paper he wants gun rights advocates to fear him.
Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.
Right. Once you've picked yourself up off the floor and repaired your ruptured diaphragm from laughing so hard that you broke something, let's go through this bit of moonbattery with care.

Michael R. Bloomberg, who I am given to understand is a liberal Jew who started out as a Democrat, became a Republican, and then decided that turning out his two-sided coat again was too much trouble and campaigned as an Independent, could simply have pointed to his accomplishments in the business world as his legacy. NO ONE in the world of capital markets and finance can argue with the tremendous good he has done there.

I have worked in the banking industry for the last four years, and in energy risk consulting for three years prior to that. I tell you now that the world of finance simply would not be what it is today without the Bloomberg news and analytics services. The Bloomberg information service gives traders, structurers, analysts, trade capture specialists, and anyone else with the money to pay 5K per month instant access to information, prices, pricing tools, and analytics that no one else on Earth can come anywhere close to replicating. Bloomberg LP's closest rival, Thomson Reuters, is still miles behind in terms of market share.

If you've never visited the Bloomberg building on 59th and Lexington in Manhattan, I very strongly recommend it. You'll be in for an experience. The place contains some of the most amazing software and development talent in the world, and yet working there feels like you're working at Google or Facebook. I was there as a guest once, years ago, for a seminar, and I felt like I'd stepped into an alternate dimension where people genuinely loved their jobs and had a fantastic, rewarding environment in which to work. (My job at the time really sucked.)

If Bloomberg concentrated strictly on his business ventures, and the tremendous good that he has done through bringing information services to the world, as his legacy, then that alone would have cemented his status as a great man. And if he'd just kept his trap shut and been humble and philosophical about the great good that he has done, then maybe, just maybe, the Heavenly Father would look favourably upon him. Who knows for sure? All I can say is that, based on my own life experiences, the Lord not only exists, He moves actively in our world, never ceasing in His quest to break through the sins of Man and reach us.

But noooooo, Bloomberg had to let all of that money and power go to his head and start meddling in the lives of others.

I'll let Matt Forney describe the little nutter's reign. Take it away, Matt:
Given that the diminutive Jewish billionaire has managed to piss off just about everyone during his decade-plus reign as the Big Apple’s Il Duce, that’s no small deal. Between his fascistic anti-gun policies, his war on sodas and other fattening foods, neutering the city’s term limit law in a blatant power grab and using the NYPD as his personal Praetorian Guard, it’s a wonder that Gracie Mansion hasn’t been torched by an angry mob yet. 
But while it’s obvious that Bloomberg is a power-mad little dork with a Napoleon complex, you can’t argue with results. Under both his and Rudy Giuliani’s aegis, New York has rebounded from the horror years of the seventies and eighties to become America’s most prosperous metropolis. Crime has hit amazing new lows, the cities’ most stagnant slums are being gentrified back into polite society, and despite being the epicenter of world finance, it’s weathered the second Great Depression pretty well. Even the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy last year couldn’t stop New York. 
And therein lies the problem. 
New York City has become a victim of its own success. Giuliani and Bloomberg’s efforts to make the city fit for human habitation have attracted white leftists who enjoy a safe, prosperous New York but can’t comprehend what makes it possible.
And now that Bloomberg has finally left the corridors of City Hall- thank you, Lord- and we're stuck with a socialist mayor (damn you, Satan, and the idiot voters who keep thinking that they can vote themselves other people's money!), he has decided to take his Napoleon complex and use it to tackle the inalienable right of a free populace to defend itself.

The arrogance of this man, the sinfulness of his pride, is truly staggering. Think about it carefully.

If he thinks he can one day out-muscle the NRA, an organisation funded exclusively funded by the will and the contributions of its millions of members, then he is not humble- he's crazy.

And if he thinks that he can reduce gun crime and violence by taking away people's guns- well, then, let him prove it. COME AND TAKE THEM.

But he won't. Not because he can't- any man with the will can march up to another man's house and demand that he surrender his weapons. He won't, because fundamentally, like every rabbit out there, he's a coward. He won't take personal risks by demanding that free men surrender their freedoms in person, so he'll do it by using government force and fiat to do the same. 

Mayor Bloomberg, you are a damn fool- you are foolish and you are damned. Your sins of pride do not give you entry to Heaven- they condemn you to hell. You think that bragging about taking away the ability of men to live as they please, and be held responsible for the consequences of their actions, is a virtue?! It is the greatest form of sin- the worst form of pride. You believe that you know better than those you hold in contempt as rubes and hicks who cling to guns, God, and fizzy beverages? I say that they know themselves better than you ever will, and they know where pathetic petty little tyrants like you belong- in the ever-growing pile of human trash that will one day find its rightful place in Hell.
1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
-- Ephesians 2, King James Bible 

Taking school rules a bit far

Now this is just stupid. A guy in high-school almost by definition has more balls than brains, but if you're going to get suspended for asking a girl to the prom, you might as well ask out Miss America:
If Miss America visits your high school, and if it’s springtime, and if you don’t have a date to the senior prom, you’ve got to ask her to go with you. Right? 
So what if you get suspended? 
Such was the case for Patrick Farves, a senior at Central York High School, when the reigning Miss America, Nina Davuluri, came to the York, Pa. school on Thursday to give a speech about diversity and the value of science, engineering and math. 
During the question-and-answer period that followed Davuluri’s speech, Farves asked Miss America to prom. And then he promptly got three-and-a-half days of in-school suspension as a resultreports the York Dispatch. 
Farves, 18, got the brilliant idea to ask Miss America to the prom a few days before the assembly. He told a few people about his ingenuous scheme. And those people told a few more people. And then, this being high school, the whole school including teachers and administrators knew. (It’s not clear if he submitted his question for prescreening.) 
About 10 minutes before Davuluri’s speech began, an unidentified school administrator advised Farves that asking Miss America to the prom would be “inappropriate,” explains the Dispatch.
Farves wouldn’t be browbeaten by some sorry bureaucrat, though. He apparently snuck his question in between two prescreened questions. He even presented Davuluri, 24, with a special, plastic, purple flower he had acquired in art class that morning. 
The senior’s request was met with raucous cheering from the clearly impressed students in the audience. 
Farves said he doesn’t think Davuluri said yes. At the time, his ego is placated by the fact that she didn’t say no, either. 
“I never got a direct answer,” he told the Dispatch. 
All the cheering made it hard to hear, apparently. 
Farves then asked for a selfie with Davuluri. She told him, “Maybe later.” 
The next questioner started the next question by asking: “Can I get another round of applause for my friend, Patrick.” (And the crowd again went wild.) 
It was then that humorless, joyless school officials marched Favres out of the assembly and gave him the suspension. 
Farves appeared to be much more diplomatic and philosophical about the incident than the school officials were or, frankly, could ever aspire to be. He said he can definitely understand their frustration.
This kid's got "future lady-killer" written all over him. Good for him that he had the balls (or lack of brains) to do that. Oh, and in case you're wondering what all the fuss is about, this is what the current Miss America looks like:

Not pictured: Budweiser, eagles, guns, Mustangs, the American Flag, the Constitution, etc.
Putting aside the fact that she looks like the exact opposite of what most people outside of America think an American woman looks like, and the uselessness of pageant shows in general, the only important question from a male perspective is this:

WYB?

That's what I thought.

And clearly, this high-school kid thought the same. Thanks to his irrational self-confidence, I say we get the guy a gig writing for Heartiste or RoK.

As for the school administrators who put him on suspension- you guys are humourless, heartless idiots who probably weren't hugged enough as children. Reinstate him- and then by way of reward and punishment, hammer this straight into his skull:

The Giant Brass Balls medal. God Bless America!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Accountability


Matt Forney's latest featured post opened up a can of weapons-grade whoop-ass on a number of topics and people:
Yesterday morning, I had a realization: I don’t want to be part of the manosphere anymore. 
I remember the exact moment when it happened. I was sitting in a brunch joint in downtown Buffalo, waiting for the waitress to bring me my orange juice, when I came across Danger & Play’s article on quitting the ‘sphere. Like an empty car ambling forward on drive, I slowly grew angrier, my left hand balling into a fist under the table. 
Mike’s article was the catalyst for my growing revelation: the manosphere is dead. 
I’ve defended the manosphere for years now because as one of its founders, I felt a certain loyalty to it. Mike’s article made me realize how I’ve sold myself out in the process. As he pointed out, almost no one came to his defense when Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller plagiarized his blog for their watered-down ripoff site Mating Grounds. I’ll freely admit that the week prior to that, when Frost discovered that Jack from Viva La Manosphere was plagiarizing Mike’s site Fit Juice for his own juicing blog, I didn’t want to do anything initially because I didn’t want to “rock the boat” in regards to site traffic (Viva La Manosphere was one of my blog’s biggest referrers). It was a completely cowardly cop-out and I apologize for it. 
But it goes deeper than this: two of the manosphere’s biggest voices are frauds.
Read the whole thing. As polemics go, it's a doozy. In the course of the article, Matt names and shames both Sunshine Mary and Dannyfrom504, outs them publicly, and does everything possible to discredit and humiliate them.

Basically, he performed the blogging equivalent of a carpet-bombing campaign.

Now, I am not going to wade into the middle of an argument over whether he is right to say what he said, mainly because out of the three people in the middle of that issue, I have only met Matt himself. I can, and will, vouch for his authenticity- he is a genuine guy, who has done genuinely amazing things, and he is honest. I don't always agree with everything he writes, but I have great respect for him, so if he's that willing to name and shame, chances are that he's doing it for good reasons.

I don't know SSM or Danny, and they've done nothing at all to me personally, so I have no axe to grind here.

I do, however, think it's worth expanding upon the basic theme that Matt brought up- namely, the importance of being held accountable for who you are and what you write.

It's all too easy for any keyboard jockey with an idea and some spleen to vent to sit down, start a blog, and start writing. It's very easy to hide behind an anonymous identity and talk smack about pretty much anything you want. And if no one calls you out about it, eventually you might just start believing your own petty lies and constructing your own identity based on self-delusion.

This is incredibly dangerous, not only because you're lying to yourself, but because you're lying to others. And if they believe what you have to say and glom onto your words without running some basic sense checks on what you're saying, then you are potentially endangering the minds, and possibly the lives, of other people.

If you write something based on some idea you've concocted- such as "do X to this girl and she will respond with Y, because hypergamy!!!", or "look how EEEEEEEEVIL liberals are, because cultural Marxism!!!"- without backing it up using either actual, verifiable experiences, or authentic, verifiable sources, or both, and you sucker someone else into believing what you have to say, then you are responsible for his false understanding, and the consequences that arise from it.

If that isn't a wake-up call to be accountable for who you are and what you write, then I don't know what is.

Think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill? Let's take a powerful and compelling real-world example and look at how it applies to blogging.

As I've said many times, I practice Krav Maga, and I love it. I will listen respectfully to any man who has a real background in martial arts and shows that skill regularly, whether on the practice mat or in the sparring ring. And because I practice the art (to whatever poor level of skill I can muster), I know the difference between real skill and BS.

Unfortunately, there are some martial arts "masters" out there who get away with teaching pure BS- also known as "bullshido". They get away with it through what I can only call very skilled mass hypnosis or mass delusion. And when they, or their students, get in trouble and get flattened by guys who actually know how to fight, the results are really quite awful to see.

Kiai Master Ryukerin, a "red belt" (which in any real martial art is a very serious and very prestigious rank), is particularly (in)famous for this sort of thing. He claimed to have won 200 victories with zero losses just by, essentially, waving his hands around and throwing... um... "chi attacks", I guess. Then he got overconfident and offered $5,000 to anyone willing to challenge him in a martial arts bout. A Pancrase fighter took him up on it and... well, watch the video. The results are equally pathetic and hilarious.


What is truly sad about teachers of bullshido like Kiai and dim mak and kyusho-jitsu, is that they seem to believe their own BS. And then they go and teach it to students, who believe that they've unlocked some truly deadly secret to fighting. The moment they get into an actual street fight, though, and get tackled to the ground by some B. J. Penn or GSP clone, they have no idea how to fight- because they've never had to actually, y'know, fight. They've never been held accountable for their own nonsense until it's far too late. And because of that, they end up getting seriously injured- if they're very lucky.

Question: Who is ultimately responsible for that student's injury or death?

Answer: the teacher. It's his damn fault.

The lesson for any "manosphere" blogger is simple. You are accountable for what you write. Being anonymous is no excuse. If you write something online, be prepared to back it up with facts and/or real life experiences. Many of us- most of us, I think- write anonymously because we have to. We have a lot to lose and can't be as open as we would like to be.

In my case, I personally like the fringe and am perfectly content to stick to my little corner of the world. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those writers who not only write well, but do so under public identities. That is why I openly promote and admire the work of established writers like Vox, Roosh, Rollo, Matt, and others like them- and I do the same with relative newcomers like Stephanie and Carey.

That said, I write based on my own experiences. What you read on this blog is verifiable. There are eyewitnesses who can verify what I have said and done.

When I write about how to lift weights properly, I'm writing from the perspective of someone who squats and deadlifts well over 300lbs, for reps, for fun- and I will happily work out with any man who demands that I verify this.

When I write about martial arts, I'm writing from the perspective of someone who actually practices an art, and who actively watches MMA, and actually spars against real, live opponents- some of whom are far bigger, or stronger, or more experienced than me. If someone wants to verify this, then you are welcome to grab a pair of boxing gloves and join me on the mat during our sparring sessions. I don't claim to be good at it, but I know the difference between theoretical and actual fighting, and I can tell you right now- I don't care how many black belts you claim to have, I don't think you're worth a damn unless you actually spar and know how to fight, how to punch, how to kick, how to block, and how to go to the ground and defend yourself.

When I write about investing, economics, personal finance, and money, I do so from the perspective of a man who lives debt-free, is careful with his money, lives alone and very comfortably, and has an actual track record of picking stocks and investments*. I have picked winners and losers both, and I do not lie about my mistakes on the subject. (Remind me to tell you about my investment in Intuitive Surgical sometime.) I write about economics and Austrian theory from the perspective of someone who has a degree in conventional economics, who has worked as a risk management consultant and has an advanced degree in mathematical finance, and who not only reads but critiques the works of alternative economics like Mises, Hayek, and their students and followers. Quite simply, I know of what I speak, and I can prove it, and have proved it, repeatedly.

When I write about books or music, I'm writing about things that I've actually read or listened to. Every post that I write is authentic for these reasons- I know that I am accountable to my readers, and I take that responsibility with absolute seriousness.

And on the very rare occasions that I write about game, I don't pretend to be some pickup artist or ladies' man. I'm not. Not even close. I have no real desire to be, either, but I have a lot of respect for those who are successful with women and who are good at teaching others how to be the same. I write from the perspective of a man trying to shed the lies that he was taught from birth, and trying to learn the lessons that others have learned through hard work and persistence. I don't have some magic formula for getting a girl into bed within ten minutes of meeting her, I can't tell you how to make her squirt, and I can't tell you how to get a threesome. (Halfbreed can, so go read his book instead.) I can only tell you what not to do, based on my own experiences.

That, ultimately, is, or should be, the point and the value of the manosphere- to teach, to enlighten, to forge a community of better men who actively try to improve themselves and become the best versions of themselves that they can be. It should never have descended into self-parody, which, to a large extent, I think it has. We should have each other's backs, so that when a self-promoting guy like Tucker Max comes along and openly rips off one of the best bloggers out there, we should stand up and argue against what the guy's doing. We should never allow the 'Sphere to become yet another circle-jerking exercise in echoing each other's ideas and conclusions, standing around pointing at the undeniably putrid corpse of Western civilisation and screaming, "EEWWWW!!! GROSS!!!" like a bunch of autistic children.

We should be forging the future, not rehashing the past- a future based on a powerful understanding of human nature, an ironclad belief in masculine prowess and pride, unshakeable faith in masculine virtues, and absolute fidelity to ourselves and our peers.

Think about how much better the manosphere would be today if we were all held accountable for the words and deeds of our mouths and hands, the way Matt Forney and Vox Day and others like them hold themselves accountable. That is the 'Sphere that I want to see.

Help us build it by holding yourself, and others, to task for what they say and do.

* Future post on long-term investing coming up. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Death and taxes

In honour of the single most hated day of the year:






Shorts

Three sites that you really should check out if you've got some time to kill and want some intelligent commentary:

  • Terrence Popp's REDONKULAS: I discovered this site via a recent article over at RoK. I was laughing so hard after watching the first video that my colleagues at work were wondering WTF was wrong with me. This guy tells it like it is, but with added dark slapstick humour, crude jokes, and an extremely funny turn of phrase. Go through all of his videos, from first to last- Popp is a goldmine of great red-pill information.
  • SpeakEasy(X): This blog was started up recently by a reader who actually got in touch with me to suggest some reading. Now I want to make it very clear that he's NOT asking for props or traffic or linkage- I just happen to think he writes well and like to read his work. If you're interested in the perspective of a red-pill Christian who's been discovering these truths on his own, like me, for the last decade or so, then this is a blog you should definitely check out.
  • Kate Upton wishes she had smaller boobs: All together now, gentlemen.

The funniest comment from that third link didn't even have anything to do with Kate Upton:


This picture, however, has everything to do with Kate Upton, and why her wish is such an incredibly stupid one:

"Hey! My eyes are up here!"
"Haven't gotten to them yet."

The 101 Rules of Black Metal

An old favourite from way back when I was a teenager- dedicated to the memory of our comrade and brother-in-arms, BRONAN THE BARBARIAN:
  1. Don't be gay.
  2. Be "true".
  3. All people who aren't "true" are gay.
  4. Be grim.
  5. Be necro.
  6. Be simultaneously grim and necro if at all possible.
  7. Break things while being grim and necro.
  8. Don't have fun at concerts. Stand around with arms crossed.
  9. Repeat all above while denouncing organized religion in any form.
  10. Never ever, EVER under ANY circumstances...
  11. ...Listen to PECCATUM.
  12. When someone asks you if you enjoy the music of MAYHEM, point out that you only enjoy the music of "the true" MAYHEM. Maniac is gay.
  13. Don't play with fuzzy things, excepting that by "play" you mean "burn".
  14. Don't be Dani Filth.
  15. Never, ever, under any circumstances utter the phrase "Kenny G slams, man."
  16. Don't be Dani Filth.
  17. When your mom tells you to take out the garbage tell her that you're too metal to remove refuse.
  18. Then run for it!
  19. Sodomize a virgin whore. [This may be quite difficult to do.]
  20. Sodomize anything that is not male. (Fuzzy things look out!)
  21. Make sure your album goes out of print about 3 years after its release... so it becomes 'cult'.
  22. When in doubt, say "True Norwiegian Black Metal!"
  23. If that doesn't work, blast beats can fill any silence.
  24. Turn any cross you find upside-down.
  25. Nipple twisting is not a blackmetal activity..
  26. Write a cult, underground, grim and necro zine. Feature only interviews with bands no one has heard of, even "true" blackmetallers.
  27. Never ever, EVER, EVER be open-minded.
  28. Never write songs less than 15 minutes long and containing less than 15 adjectives in the title.
  29. a) paint face. b) go in woods. c) act like troll.
  30. Don't be Mortiis (or Dani Filth).
  31. Don't wear white shoes after Labor Day.
  32. Don't make jokes only your mom would get.
  33. Don't make jokes.
  34. When in doubt, scowl with eyes downturned.
  35. Don't eat Marshmallow Peeps.
  36. To producers of black metal albums: remember...no low end! If it doesn't hurt to listen to, it can't be "true".
  37. Make sure that no less than half of the musicians on your album are "session" members.
  38. When in concert, always growl names of songs so that they are imperceptible. This will ensure that anyone who doesn't have your "cult" LP won't get it.
  39. Never play live.
  40. When getting ready to go to a show, completely forget that the other people there are not going to the show to look at you.
  41. Use barbed wire whenever possible. (Note: this assists in being both "necro" and "grim".)
  42. When asked by a non true BMer what BM is, say something like, "BM is the raw essence of pure black evil in man", in any case, make sure that by the conversations end, the other person still has no idea what black metal is.
  43. Drive one of your band members to suicide, and claim he died because of the "mainstream" "infecting" the "scene".
  44. Reform with "old members" and release an album intended to produce commercial success.
  45. When it flops say that you meant it to fail cause anything less wouldn't be "true".
  46. Have a side project. Ensure that all other members of your band also have side projects.
  47. Fill out the other slots in your other member's side projects as "session" musicians.
  48. Record everything in the same studio with the same producer/instruments/equipment/etc.
  49. Make sure your album cover never consists of more than three colors (color options allowed: grey, black, white).
  50. Publicly state that your band is "non-religious", then use the word "Satan" over 400 times on your one-song thirty-minute album. [I have seen BELPHEGOR play live opening for KREATOR. Twice. This is literally their entire writing process for albums.]
  51. Never stuff your shoes to make them appear puffy and avoid the wearing of backwards baseball caps if at all possible. Red ones in particular.
  52. Insist that music should never progress and that it should still sound the same way it did 9 friggin years ago.
  53. Never say "friggin".
  54. Never finish anything you start.
  55. The word "Hail" is the only appropriate greeting whenever greeting someone "true".
  56. If feeling especially true on a given occasion, try "Infernal Hails".
  57. All logos must include illegible writing and at least one inverted cross and/or pentagram. This is non-negotiable.
  58. When referring to sex with a Metal Chick use only the terminology "sticking my clouded frost-spire into her gates of attrition". [Who wants to put odds on Halfbreed using this one at least once in the next 6 months?]
  59. Design complex logo for your grim black metal band on binder paper in the middle of math class.
  60. Accept every interview you're offered... then pretend that you really don't enjoy being interviewed.
  61. Thoroughly enjoy Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  62. Wait... scratch that last one. (See rule 1)
  63. Never divulge to any outsiders the Exact Day of the Divine Arrival of the Massive Hoof. Instead, inform them that they should be ready to suck the Dark Lord's greasy @#%$ at any time.
  64. Use the phrase "suck the dark lord's greasy @#%$" whenever possible.
  65. If you ever find that you have somehow become a member of HECATE ENTHRONED, be sure to piece together a music video of scrap footage of yourself walking around in the woods at night looking evil. Only, instead of being night make sure it's the middle of the @#%$ day, and instead of looking evil, look dorky instead. (See also: rule 1)
  66. [666] Own hundreds of black metal albums, demos and bootlegs. Listen to approximately 8 of them regularly.
  67. Humping a ceramic Virgin Mary in front of your uncle's house is not"pimping it" (unless you tell her you're done then blow in her face like a shotgun when she turns around). [Yeah...  I could never understand this one either.]
  68. Refrain from using keyboard smilies when communicating via the Internet. Single acceptable smiley: -(
  69. Why isn't the word "Northern" in your album title yet!? Get to it! Amateurs...
  70. Spelling things correctly is neither grim nor necro.
  71. Norsk Arysk Blak Metal! Rahhh!! [For the uninitiated, this just means, "NORWEGIAN ARYAN BLACK METAL! RAHHH!!!"]
  72. No matter where you're from, pretend you're from Norway and therefore 'true'.
  73. Don't be Dani Filth. (I think that's clear)
  74. All pets you own now will henceforth be known as "Crucifier". Any pets you own in the future will also be known as "Crucifier".
  75. True black metaller: "Many of our dark hyms are influenced by the mighty Tolkien... You have not read the works of Tolkien!? Nerd. Wait a minute... It appears I am the nerdy one after all!"
  76. @#%$, I'm talking to myself again.
  77. Norsk Arysk Blak Metal! Rahhh!!
  78. That's better, on with the interview!
  79. Create inverted crosses in all possible instances. Suggested tools: Drum sticks, twigs, pool cues, pencils, etc. (See also "clouded frost spire")
  80. Profess publicly that you are a Satanist and add that you are in touch with Norway's ancient Pagan past.
  81. Pretend that somehow those two facts make sense in conjunction.
  82. Stick your dick in the mashed potatoes.
  83. Don't make Beastie Boys references.
  84. Don't make references.
  85. Satanus. Huh huh huhuhuhuh.
  86. Huhuhuhuhuhuhuh.
  87. If possible, design the title of your album so that it consists of three completely unrelated words. DIMMU BORGIR are the master of this (i.e. Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, Spiritual Black Dimensions, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, Godless Savage Garden) but you may also want to refer to IMMORTAL's "Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism".
  88. As we all know, women have no place in the homoerotic world of black metal, but if your girl friend still won't stop bugging you about wanting to be involved in your band, give her a lame spoken word part or something.
  89. Never form a band containing you, your wife and/or girlfriend, and some gay looking guy. (See also: rule 11)
  90.  Go to bed when your mom tells you to.
  91. If it's rare, it must be good. Order it immediately.
  92. I will not add that as it is not metal enough.
  93. Are you metal enough to be reading this?
  94. Own every DARKTHRONE release. Listen to exactly none of them.
  95. Own cult-as-@#%$ shirts of bands you not only own no releases of, but also haven't even heard.
  96. Use the phrase "cult-as-@#%$" whenever possible.
  97. Attempt to randomly throw the word "@#%$" during random segments of your songs. (Kindly refer to Attilla's work on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.)
  98. In order to make your recording more incomprehensible and therefore more "cult", be sure to either select a singer who has only a tenuous grasp on the language to be sung. (Acceptable languages: Norwegian, Latin, Orcish.)
  99. I'll tell you what your album lay out needs...Some titties.
  100. And you know what else? How long since you acted like a troll? Pick up that makeup and fight, soldier!
  101. You mean to tell me you read this whole thing when you could've been prancing about in the forest with an axe? For shame! For shaaaaame!
Related:

Speaking as a metalhead, I like to be able to at least understand some of what I'm listening to. Which is why the blackest metal in my collection is... probably OPETH, and that's about as far as it goes. At least with OPETH you can actually understand what the hell Mikael Aekerfeldt is growling- sort of...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Run, hamster, run

A former blonde "bombshell" projects her own insecurities on married couples:
She has romanced some of the world’s most sought-after men, from Matt Dillon to Justin Timberlake, but none has been able to tame her [Didact: I'm already seeing a reference to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew here- and guess who the shrew is?] and, at 41, Cameron Diaz has revealed that her single status makes married women – and men – nervous. 
I think some people want other people to make the same choices in life that they have made so that they can feel good about their own choice,’ said the actress, who is currently starring in the rom-com The Other Woman. 
‘I think that some married people have made the choice to get married, but when they see a person who is living a different way, it makes them stop and think, “Wait a second – you mean you don’t need to get married after all?  
'"You mean that I felt I had to get married, but you don’t feel that you have to?”  
'And if they weren’t too sure about their choice in the first place, that can make them very uncomfortable.’
I'm sure Ms. Diaz rather enjoys the single life- but I suspect it's less fun at the age of 41 than it was at the age of 21. Her unwarranted confidence about her lifestyle aside, it really is remarkable just how insecure she seems.

Think about what she's saying. She seems to think that married couples look at her and think that maybe they didn't have to get married themselves. Does she realise that she lives a life that 99.999% of people will never achieve? What is possible and realistic for her is completely impossible for most people.

And then there is the conceit that married couples think they "have to" get married. No one has to get married unless there was a whoopsie involved- and even then, in today's society, having children out of wedlock is not exactly verboten.

My guess is that Ms. Diaz recognises, deep down, that her time is rapidly running out, and she is desperately flailing around for some justification for her lifestyle and her precious princess attitude toward the men she has dated.

Consider her most famous romance, with some berk named Justin Timberlake who- so I am told- sings and acts for a living. He is 33, a good 8 years younger than his former paramour. He married this woman two years ago, when she was 30:

Sure, she's got a weird face, but... WYB?
And this is what Ms. Diaz looks like right now- with heavy use of Photoshop and every trick in the book:


She looks good, no question. But she's a long way removed from her twenties:

How to Stop Traffic 101
The lesson to be learned here is that women don't get better with age- their single most important asset devalues over time, and a woman with good sense will try to preserve that value for someone special in her early years. Ms. Diaz's attempt to devalue the choices made by women who choose to marry and stay married is nothing more and nothing less than a reflection of her own insecurities. It's not funny or witty; it's just sad to watch a formerly beautiful woman hit The Wall like that, and then try to justify her status post-Wall to the rest of the world.

Gettin' rid of the varmints

This is how you resist unwarranted aggression and overbearing intrusions from the Federal government:
Citing safety concerns, federal agents are withdrawing from the Nevada cattle ranch where they had engaged in a week-long showdown with Cliven Bundy, a 67-year-old rancher who claimed the federal government had no right to tax and regulate property his family has owned since 1880. 
The Bureau of Land Management had dispatcher agents, helicopters and four-wheelers to remove several hundred of Bundy’s cattle that they claimed were encroaching on federal lands–and may have posed a threat to an endangered tortoise habitat. [Didact: Seriously? Tortoises matter more than people and their rights under Constitutional law? WOW.] A BLM spokesperson also claimed that Bundy owed over $1 million dollars in fines that he accrued since the early 1990s. 
Bundy and his family challenged BLM’s authority to “manage my ranch out of business,” he said, according to ABC News. 
Federal policies had starved out all the other cattle ranchers in the area, and Bundy saw his dispute with BLM as a challenge to destructive federal power. 
“People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power,” said Bundy’s wife, Carol, in a statement. 
Last week, government agents descended upon the property, which is 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. They set up a blockade on the road leading to the ranch, and clashed with several hundred protesters. Tasers were used on at least one person: Bundy’s son, Ammon. Another son, Dave, was briefly taken into custody by authorities. 
The establishment of a designated “First Amendment zone,” drew criticism from many people, including Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican. Citizens’ free speech rights were protected only when they were standing in the First Amendment zone. 
“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” said Sandoval in a statement. 
But on Saturday, BLM decided not to remove the cattle, citing concerns that the operation was endangering the lives of both federal agents and civilians.
Mr. Bundy has cojones, no question about that. Now, as far as I'm concerned, if someone is grazing cattle on Federal land, then he owes the Federal government money for that privilege. But if he's grazing cattle on his own land, he doesn't owe the Feds a damn thing, and the Federal government's attempt to take what they think they are owed by force should be resisted by force.

The other lesson to learn here is that people will eventually realise that there is a breaking point for government aggression. The Feds apparently have learned from PR disasters like Waco- or the BLM just didn't call in the really big guns like the BATFE (they probably wanted to very badly)- and so pulled out before the confrontation turned truly bloody. But as Cliven Bundy and his family have shown, there are limits to what the Feds can do if an armed and angry population would simply wake up and impose those limits.

MOLON LABE, indeed.