Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hell for values of hell

For some strange reason no one seems to bother asking exactly why the Islamist fundamentalist loony fruitcakes (yes, I know, quadruple redundancy, I'm on vacation dammit!) of ISIS are insisting on going about murdering and otherwise doing very unpleasant things to religious minorities in Iraq:
Unjustly regarded as ‘devil worshippers’ on account of their unusual beliefs, the Yazidi have for centuries been one of the most persecuted minorities of the Middle East. Islamic extremists regard them as infidels, worthy only of being killed. [Didact: First, there is no such thing as an "Islamist extremist"- because there is no such thing as an extreme version of Islam, it's just a bat-s*** crazy political ideology to begin with. Second, according to standard Islamic doctrine, EVERYONE who isn't a Muslim is by definition an infidel.] 
They are an ethnic Kurdish people who tend to have fairer complexions than many in the Middle East. 
They regard wearing blue as sacrilege, they never eat cabbage or lettuce because it creates wind [Didact: what about broccoli?] and their men often have long beards and wear their hair in plaits – which make them resemble the cartoon characters of ancient Gaul, Asterix and Obelix. 
They adhere to a 4,000-year-old faith passed down and adapted through the generations by word of mouth, and composed of elements of several religions. 
Their reverence for fire and light derives from the ancient faith called Zoroastrianism, the religion of Persia long before Islam arrived. [Didact: And which Islam practically wiped out. The old-fashioned way, with fire and steel.] They combine such Christian practices as baptism with Jewish or Islamic circumcision. Like Buddhists they believe in perpetual reincarnation. 
But it is the central tenet of their religion that has led others to brand them devil worshippers.
    They believe in one God who illuminated seven angels with his light. The greatest of the seven is the Peacock Angel, known as Malak Taus, who is dressed in blue (which is why the Yazidi refuse to wear the colour). His other name is Shaytan, Arabic for the devil or Satan. 
    The Yazidi believe that God left the Earth in the care of the seven angels and told them to obey Adam. The Peacock Angel refused, stating that Adam was created from the soil, and God’s light could never be at the mercy of the soil. 
    He was cast out for his disobedience, but was quickly reconciled with God who respected his argument – which proved he was, in fact, the most loyal angel of all. This is why the idea that he was akin to Lucifer is so misleading. 
    Tragically, the Yazidi are also victims of another misunderstanding, over their name. Sunni extremists believe it derives from a deeply unpopular seventh century caliph – or leader – Yazid ibn Muawiya. 
    In fact, it comes from the Persian word for angel or deity, ‘Ized’. Their name simply means ‘worshippers of God’. 
    Yet no such theological distinction interests Islamic State fighters in a Middle East where minor divergences between Sunni and Shia Muslims are a matter of life and death, and the region’s 12million Christians are diminishing by the day. 
    In such a murderous atmosphere, ‘Satan worshippers’ are inevitably the targets of genocidal fanatics.
    It's important to understand what Islam is in order to understand why it is so violent toward... well, everyone who doesn't agree with it. Islam is not a religion first. It is a political ideology first- one rooted in 7th-Century Arabia, with distinctly Arab methods of sorting out arguments over rank and divine revelation. (Read: behead, torture, impale, dismember, and otherwise make life extremely unpleasant for, anyone who disagrees with you. Fun bunch.)

    Moreover, there is considerable historical evidence that Islam's supposedly "canonical" sources were heavily edited, redacted, and revised to suit the needs of early Islamic caliphs and their administrations. In fact, a search for the historical Mohammed will likely as not reveal that the so-called "prophet" of Islam, as depicted canonically in the Koran, Hadith, and Sirah, never existed in the first place.

    Most stunning of all is the fact that there is real and weighty textual, historical, and anecdotal evidence that supports the notion that early Islam was actually something like a heretical offshoot of Christianity.

    Because of this, Islam's doctrines have been used and twisted and manipulated through time to allow- even encourage- Islam's expansion through use of military force. The early caliphs found it very useful and politically expedient to take their "holy" book's demands for war against the "unbelievers. Today, Islam's followers use jihad against "infidels" and "unbelievers" under the rather interesting, logically tortured justification that the world is divided into the "house of Islam" and the "house of war"- and that the only way to ensure peace all over the world is to use force and violence to bring the "house of war" into the "house of Islam".

    This is rather ironic, given that some of the absolute bloodiest conflicts and wars in human history have actually been between various sects of Islam.

    Which brings us back to what ISIS is doing in Iraq right now. Let's face facts: they are attempting to establish an Islamic caliphate. They will almost surely succeed. When they do, they will proceed to do exactly what an Islamic caliphate does- make life a living hell for anyone who isn't a Muslim.

    There is not room enough here to go into detail about exactly what that means. (Besides, I have a flight to catch.) Let's just say that if you do some reading, you're going to discover that the only alternatives open to the Yazidis, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and everyone else in the region will be conversion (and subjugation), war, or death. It's not a pleasant set of alternatives.

    So what should America do about all of this?

    One hundred percent of exactly nothing.

    The USA cannot afford yet another costly war in foreign lands- and this specific war was caused by America's unnecessary meddling in the first place. Saddam Hussein may have been a nasty piece of work, but he was still strong enough to keep the religious nutbags at bay during his reign. As long as America left him alone, he could continue to be a very nasty piece of work- and he could continue to keep the even nastier pieces of work suppressed.

    Now that basic check is gone. And we are seeing the results before our very eyes- religious minorities starved, beaten, persecuted, and slaughtered.

    Is there really any need to go about compounding that folly?

    Apparently President Jackass thinks so. But that's to be expected, the man isn't all that clever.

    As for the rest of us- we should not get involved in wars between barbarians. If the West were still a Christian hegemony devoted to protecting and upholding the Word of God- the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, David, Moses, and on downwards to Christ Himself- then there would be not only a need but a moral justification for going to war to protect Christians from persecution. It was done before- in limited, haphazard, and ultimately futile fashion. It could be done again- if only there was indeed a Western, Christian hegemony.

    But there isn't one. And there is no good reason, at all, for sending yet more of America's sons to fight and bleed and die in a land that has shown for the past 2,000 years that it is practically incapable of building or maintaining a real, tolerant, religiously harmonious civilisation.

    Blog hiatus

    I'm off for about 10 days to travel. I'm not telling where I'm going (yet), but suffice to say that this is a trip that I have been wanting to make for quite literally half my life. Pictures, stories, and tales of wine and song to follow when I get back, I'm sure. Probably not too many stories of wild and crazy drunkenness, though, mostly because I'm quite a lousy drinker (in public, at any rate- at home it is a very different story). Obviously blog posts will be sporadic to non-existent in the meantime.

    No doubt all three people and their dogs that read this pokey little blog are going to miss the stupidity. So for them, here is a picture of Kate Upton in a bikini, "dancing", to make up for it.

    Never let it be said that I don't go the extra mile for my readers. All five of them.
    You're welcome. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a long, cramped, boring, uncomfortable, tedious, and generally unpleasant flight to catch before I can start goofing off.

    White-knighting is not worth an ass-beating

    A (male) writer for the Telly is somewhat perplexed as to why he couldn't do the "gentlemanly" thing and step in during an altercation between a large man and a small woman:
    The man wouldn’t let her get away. As she grew visibly more distressed, his large frame effectively blocking her from leaving, she was backed into a corner and the argument grew increasingly heated.  
    His tone was not hugely aggressive, but rather sad and needy; it was clear he wanted to "talk things through" and sort out whatever issues they were facing.  [Didact: Read as "butthurt Beta who can't let go".]
    The woman, who was in tears, repeatedly stated her desire to have nothing more to do with him. But due to his size and strength she was finding it impossible to push past him.  
    The man, thickset and tall, stood over her and dominated the exchange. He merely had to shift his weight from side to side to ensure she had no means of escape. It was horrible to watch.  [Didact: Not horrible, merely quite uncomfortable. There is a difference.]
    It was around 7.30pm at a relatively quiet suburban train station and my overriding feeling was that even though I wanted to intervene, to say something, a larger portion of my brain was telling me that if were to step in, I’d be putting myself in immediate danger. Quite simply, my good samaritan instincts were being overridden by a fear that this guy, considerably bigger than me, was in just the sort of agitated state to make him inclined to knock me out with a swift blow.  [Didact: Good call, Sir Wimpsalot.]
    Of course, the sensible advice in such situations is for someone in my position to call the police, or to at least alert somebody in authority or seek advice from a hotline. But my phone battery was drained. The handful of others filing in and out of the station didn’t even take a second glance; everyone seemed entirely nonplussed.  
    The only other member of the public showing a vague sign of concern was sitting inside her car with her children. I suggested that the argument appeared to be getting out of hand, and asked her whether she would mind calling for help. By the time we had established that she was prepared to do so – and she seemed positively disinclined at first – the arguing pair had calmed down and moved on. OK, so nobody stepped in, and no harm was done in the end. But what if things had panned out differently?  
    Last year, Alice Arnold asked quite rightly asked why nobody stepped in when Nigella Lawson was famously grabbed around the throat by now ex-husband Charles Saatchi. At the time I too was flummoxed as to why the only action taken by passers-by was to reach for their camera. Would I have stepped in? Perhaps. Perhaps not.  
    Certainly I'd have felt that I was less likely to be putting my own safety on the line in confronting a millionaire art dealer rather than the chap at the station who, based on first impressions alone, looked like he might enjoy a bit of a scuffle.
    The white knights of the world who claim that it is always a man's duty to step in and protect a woman in distress do so because they do not understand a very basic and fundamental rule of fighting: finish what you start.

    If you step in between a man who is acting aggressively toward a woman, you'd better be damn well sure that you can take him on. And even that is no guarantee that you will walk away unscathed. Most men who have never sparred or gotten into a fight do not understand just how powerful adrenaline is as a motivator and pain suppressant. In a fight, a man who rides that initial surge of adrenaline and controls it becomes very dangerous indeed- but a man who simply lets his instincts take over is even worse, because in his uncontrolled rage, he becomes impossible to reason with or intimidate.

    Note also the sad-sack quality of this (English) man's appeals to authority. Welcome to what feminism hath wrought. Western civilisation has for the last 60 years or so insisted on outsourcing the responsibility that every single one of us carries to ensure our own personal safety, to the care of others. Those others are very often too far away to help you when you're actually in danger. The police are useful, up to a point- but expecting them to step in to deal with a heated altercation like this, which apparently didn't even escalate to the point of physical violence, is simply absurd.

    To demand that others step in to protect a woman every time she feels the least bit uncomfortable in public is not only silly- it is physically impossible. And to demand that "someone" take action when a woman feels unsafe is to deny the fact that the woman herself has responsibilities that she must first uphold, before others can step in.

    For instance- I remember well a series of arguments that my sister had with my mother on the subject of whether or not it is a man's duty to protect a woman at all times. My mum, who is rather old-school about these things, said quite categorically that a woman is responsible for dressing and acting in a non-provocative manner when out in public. If she insists on keeping bad company, or staying out late and getting hammered (in various senses of the word), or dressing like a harlot*, then she should not be surprised when she gets into trouble.

    And if a woman insists on creating a scene in public with a man who is significantly larger and more powerful than her, then there is absolutely no good reason why any other man should step in to assist. Not least because that potential white knight could find himself waking up on a gurney in the ER, staring up at bright lights and wondering what the hell happened and why several of his teeth are missing.

    Moreover, there is no guarantee that white-knighting will not backfire on you. One of the comments to the article itself was quite interesting:
    Many years ago I got involved in the middle of fight where a man was physically abusing a woman in the middle of the street. Both were drunk [Didact: what did I just say about ladylike conduct?] and he was pretty violent. He punched her a couple of times in the face and grabbed her by the hair like a rag doll. I stepped in to calm him down but instead he attacked me. Being a Taekwondo black belt holder I was able to give him a taste of what his girlfriend or wife was enduring. [Didact: Bullshido alert.] But to my surprise, while I had him on the floor she started hitting me with her high-heel shoes on the back of my neck like a crazy person. Astonished I simply could just not comprehend what was actually happening so I just got the hell out of there. I´m not implying that all or most women would do such a thing but that´s just crazy!
    That's exactly what could happen to you. The woman that you are so gallantly trying to rescue could just as easily turn on you- and now your problems have multiplied, because you not only have to deal with an angry and aggressive and possibly drunk guy, but a crazy woman with sharp objects in her hand too. It's a no-win situation.

    And then there is the very real possibility that you will be taken to court for stepping in to help. Again, this is what feminism hath wrought. We now live in a society where men can no longer settle their differences by beating the ragged snot out of each other and putting an end to it; instead, we live in a "sanitised" society in which wall-to-wall counselling is illegal, and women can win cash and prizes simply by claiming that they feel uneasy around certain men. Unsurprisingly, such a society is one in which women, and snarky timid men, can take well-meaning and otherwise harmless men to court and win substantial damages; it is also a society that cannot guarantee physical safety of any kind to most of its citizens, because those who would otherwise do the protecting can see that the penalties for doing it are far higher than the rewards.

    Bottom line: don't white-knight. Stick to your side of the road. Don't intervene. Just walk away, even if you know that you could take the guy down and kick his ass. Your own health, safety, and welfare are far more important than those of strangers that you neither know nor trust. Exceptions exist- if it's your sister or wife involved, obviously, or your neighbour's daughter, etc. But the basic rule of thumb is that white-knighting is for manginas- don't be one of them.

    * I prefer the Biblical term; it sounds both more genteel and more contemptuous than "slut".

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Eros mocks Mars

    Repeatedly, thoroughly, and regardless of sex:
    When Sarah West was appointed the first female commander of a major Royal Navy Warship, she talked about the toll life on the sea had taken on her personal relationships.

    “There are drawbacks,” she said as she took charge of HMS Portland in 2012. “Years at sea probably explains why I’m still single. But every person in the military makes sacrifices.”

    The difficulties of maintaining a relationship in the Navy may be one of the drawbacks of service, but having a relationship with a colleague can be even more problematic – as Cdr West discovered earlier this month, when she was sent home following an alleged affair with her third-in-command.

    The case has been the subject of much media attention, with some claiming that Cdr West – who was previously married to a Navy pilot – has “let down other women in the Royal Navy”. Others have suggested that had a man been in a similar position, we might never have heard about the alleged affair - or at least it would not have made the front pages.

    Because while her gender and high profile may have made this case exceptional, Cdr West is far from the first person in the military whose love life has impacted on their career. In 2011, for example, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Ainsley was sent home from another ship after allegedly having an affair with a female sailor. In 2009, it was revealed that General Sir Richard Dannatt, then head of the British army, had tried to block the promotion of Major-General Chris Hughes because of an extra-marital affair which Sir Richard believed would have reduced his moral authority over other soldiers. 
    And the cases that are reported are only the tip of the iceberg. Rank-and-file soldiers have stories of relationships between military personnel which are never brought to the attention of the authorities, while military lawyers are often called upon to provide advice when investigations are launched.

    One such lawyer is Christopher Hill, who has been working in the field for more than 20 years. In that time, he says he has represented around 40 soldiers who have been accused of having affairs with colleagues, and subsequently find themselves facing career-threatening disciplinary action. 
    “The fact that someone’s having a relationship with another soldier – whether it’s an extra-marital affair or otherwise – doesn’t make them fall foul of the code of conduct,” he explains. “It’s only when it might affect the work of the military. [Didact: Which is EVERY SINGLE TIME, you lawyer scumbag.]
    “There was a time when people did get thrown out just for having affairs, but the army can’t get away with that sort of thing now because of the Human Rights Act. You are entitled to have a family and private life, and they’re not allowed to get involved without good reason. [Didact: Wrong. You are not entitled to a damn thing. You are allowed to maintain a private and a professional life, as long as you can maintain good judgement in both.]
    But sometimes – as in the case of Cdr West and many others – there is good reason. “If you’re somebody’s girlfriend, are you really going to send her on patrol in Afghanistan in an area where there’s a risk of IEDs? Of course you’re not. It’s going to affect how you write her annual report; it’s going to affect the way you command her and that will influence the way other people respond to your commands.” 
    Could there possibly be any clearer evidence that letting women serve in the front lines of a Western military is beyond idiotic? We have seen this in the American military, time and again, with mixed-gender units. There are very good reasons why "fraternisation" between officers and enlisted personnel- regardless of sex- is expressly prohibited in almost any uniformed code of conduct.

    To permit women to serve in the front lines, in the company of mixed-gender units, is to threaten to destroy the very fabric of military discipline. A strong military functions on esprit de corps- that sense of brotherhood and belonging that is almost exclusively the province of men at war. It is extremely difficult and time-consuming to build up that deep, spiritual bond between men of a military unit- and it takes very little indeed to destroy it.

    A military unit functions because everyone in it believes fundamentally, and completely, in one very simple concept: that the skin of the man standing next to him matters as much as his own, because he is a brother and a comrade. It is an almost ephemeral concept- something that only men can really understand and experience- but it binds more strongly than steel. Military units function and excel because of mutual respect, loyalty, absolute discipline, and the Platonic love and brotherhood that their members share.

    Yet even steel can break if subjected to sufficient stress. When applied in the form of conjugal relationships between members of the same unit, that stress is so great that discipline and loyalty break down; jealousy and distrust run rife; and even the most highly trained and ordered unit in the world becomes a lawless, leaderless mob.

    Sordid affairs within the ranks of officers of a unit- or, worse, between officers and enlisted- can destroy, and have destroyed, the cohesion and strength of too many military units to count. It is high time that we recognise this equalitarian lunacy for what it is, and return military service to its traditional roots.

    That means: no more women in combat service. No more female officers, now or ever again. No lowering of standards to accommodate the fact that women cannot keep up physically with men. If women wish to serve, fine- let them do so far away from the front lines, thereby freeing up able-bodied men to fight and sparing us the spectacle of watching female soldiers petition the government for better combat bras. (I wish I were joking.)

    And absolutely, positively, no more homosexuals in the service- or at least, if we must allow gays to serve, then let them serve in their own completely segregated units, modelled on the Theban Sacred Band of antiquity.

    Human sexuality is one of the most powerful shaping forces of our species. It is capable of making, and breaking, bonds of loyalty and love that would otherwise easily withstand any other test. For that reason alone, any attempt to override human nature, and thereby human sexuality, through fuzzy equalitarian nonsense will inevitably fail.

    For the sake of those who fight and die so that the rest of us do not have to, it is far past time to end this ridiculous farce once and for all. Return the military to its all-male roots, or suffer the consequences the next time a real fighting war breaks out, and we see shattered and demoralised units entering the field with no sense of purpose or cohesion, just because the company commander is porking his staff sergeant, or the platoon leader is getting nailed by her regimental commander.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    The end result of multiculturalism

    President Jackass proves that he, and his idiotic multiculturalist agenda, is every bit as dysfunctional as his critics have been claiming for years:
    Take a White House state dinner and multiply it by 50. The result is the most elaborate and unusual dinner of President Barack Obama's administration, a one-of-a-kind affair put on Tuesday night for a one-of-a-kind gathering of several dozen leaders from countries across Africa. 
    The leaders are attending a three-day conference organized by the White House and aimed at boosting U.S. ties to the continent. 
    Obama wasted little time highlighting his own personal connection to Africa during a brief toast. 
    Guests at the summit dined on chilled spiced tomato soup and socca crisps, which are made of chick peas; chopped farm-stand vegetable salad using produce from the first lady's garden; and grilled dry-aged Wagyu beef served with chermoula, a marinade used in North African cooking, sweet potatoes and coconut milk. 
    Dessert was cappuccino fudge cake dressed with papaya scented with vanilla from Madagascar. American wines were also on the menu.  
    Guests were shuttled down to a massive tent erected on the South Lawn because the White House, as big as it is, does not have any rooms large enough that can hold the more-than-400 invited guests. 
    I stand before you as the president of the United States, a proud American. I also stand before you as the son of a man from Africa,’ Obama said drawing applause. ‘The blood of Africa runs through our family, so for us, the bonds between our countries, our continents are deeply personal.’ 
    He warmly recalled family visits to Kenya before he became president, as well as stops at historic sites in Ghana, Senegal and South Africa with his family while in office. And he offered a toast to ‘the new Africa, the Africa that is rising and so full of promise.
    I know 2012 was a while back. I still can't believe that you people elected this... clown as your President. TWICE!!!

    Even India had the good sense to throw Indira Gandhi out of office as soon as it became clear that she'd gone off the deep end.

    With the obligatory Obarmy-bashing out of the way, let's analyse just why this is so deeply wrong, and why the President's statements should make any red-blooded American feel distinctly queasy.

    Let us be very clear about something. If you are President of the United States of America, you are the President of the United States of America. One cannot be simultaneously the leader of an American nation, and a son of Africa. (Yes, I know, he technically said "son of a man from Africa". This isn't about the man's- highly dubious- birth certificate.)

    The question that every American should be asking right now, but most probably never will, is simple: who exactly does their President serve? Does he serve the interests of the people who elected him? Or does he serve the people of Africa?

    This is a President who proclaimed on the campaign trail in 2008, in ridiculously overblown fashion, that he was "a citizen of the world". I used to believe that such nonsense was possible- I've lived in 6 different, countries, I speak two languages and am anywhere from conversant to beginner in two more, and I've seen more of Asia alone in my lifetime than most Asians ever will, never mind most Americans. That was before I matured and came to realise that one can only be loyal- truly loyal- to one country, and one culture, at a time.

    In light of this President's utter failure to lead his own country effectively, and his betrayal of his people- assuming that he actually considers Americans to be "his" people- one is forced to seriously question his loyalties. And as far as I can tell, this President is loyal to none but himself and his own conception of how the world works.

    Which brings us to the broader reality of multiculturalism. This is an idea- an ideology, really- that states, quite simply, that all cultures are equal and that no one culture can be elevated to superiority above any other. Ostensibly, this is an ideology that promotes tolerance and peace. In reality, it promotes division and open war.

    Because multiculturalists seek to deny that any one culture can possibly be superior to any other, they are forced into a state of severe cognitive dissonance when they realise that Western culture, created as it was first by Greco-Roman influences, then by Judeo-Christian values, then by Enlightenment philosophy and science, has achieved vastly superior outcomes by every single possible measure than any other culture in history.

    To overcome this dissonance, multiculturalists are forced to resort to the most fantastic tortures and twists of logic to elevate barbaric cultures up and push Western culture down. You can see this for yourself if you've ever read- or tried to read- Edward Said's Orientalism, for instance.

    It is for this reason that we are confronted with such idiotic statements as the one that President Jackass made above about "the new Africa".

    As far as I can tell, the "new" Africa is exactly the same as the "old" Africa- the one where, when I were a wee lad, Zaire was overtaken by a supposedly "democratic" revolution to overthrow a corrupt old tyrant who stole billions of dollars of his own country's wealth. He was replaced by... a corrupt younger tyrant who stole billions of dollars of his own country's wealth.

    Looking at the guest list for Obarmy's little soiree, one sees the exact same pattern repeated time and again- dictators, mass murderers, corrupt nepotists and crony capitalists.

    The vast majority of Africa remains a disaster when measured on almost any metric- health, education, life expectancy, per-capita GDP, rule of law, etc. You name the test, and Africa fails it. The only exceptions are tiny countries like Lesotho and Botswana- and those countries are rife with HIV/AIDS infection rates that are in some cases north of 50%.

    And what of the white colonials who- so multiculturalists like to proclaim- oppressed Africa for so long, and did so much to perpetuate the cycles of violence and hopelessness that plague the continent? Well, as Ilana Mercer pointed out in her landmark book, Into the Cannibal's Pot, the whites actually tended to leave pretty effective governing structures and institutions in the countries that they conquered and pillaged.

    And make no mistake- the imperial powers did conquer and pillage, and did inflict tremendous human misery.

    Thing is, though, that compared to Africa's own people, the British and French and Germans and even the Belgians were bit-players when it came to oppressing and slaughtering Africans.

    If you think about it, in a way, there could be no greater validation of what nationalists like me have been saying for years- decades, even- about the evils and logical contradictions of multiculturalism than this special White House summit dinner.

    President Barack Hussein Obama, a product of an American education system, an American political system, and an American nation (presumably), stood in front of the leaders of Africa as the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth. For all of his innumerable flaws and his galactic levels of incompetence, he is still, in his own strange way, living proof of this country's innate greatness and decency. He stood there as a product of the greatest and most powerful culture in human history. And he tore down everything that had put him there.

    Meanwhile, some of the world's most corrupt and barbaric leaders sat around, ate and drank products that their own people by and large cannot produce, and which are far more expensive than 98% of their people can possibly afford, and listened to this poltroon wax lyrical about the supposed greatness of nations that are rich in resources, and yet routinely come begging the world's truly rich nations for aid.

    This, my friends, is the final stop on the multiculturalist road. It's exactly like the final scene of Animal Farm, when you look through the window and you can't tell the difference between the men and the beasts.

    And this is precisely why nationalism, not multiculturalism, is the only sensible ideology for the modern world.

    A REAL yoof culture

    Via Vox- who got this from Heartiste, who in turn got it from... well, somewhere- here is a video that, in a sensible world, would serve as a rallying cry across this country to the youngsters of today:

    As Vox pointed out in both of his blogs, this video is a sort of litmus test. If you watch this video and recoil instinctively in horror at something that seems to remind you of der Hitler Jugend propaganda videos from the Third Reich... then I'm sorry to say that you completely missed the point.

    Worse, you are very much anti-civilisation. You favour an ideology that holds that there are no innate differences between different races and cultures- no matter how much evidence that is presented telling you otherwise- and you believe that you can simply wish away the evils of multiculturalism and transnational progressivism.

    If, however, you react with righteous acclaim, pride, and deep satisfaction, and you believe that these youngsters do in fact have a very real point, then welcome to the side that's fighting for civilisation. Welcome to the team that believes that there is something worth fighting for.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014


    Vox Day had some rather trenchant things to say about the H-1B "worker visa" programme yesterday, on the back of an interesting article that pointed out that companies are now using the H-1B system to force domestic IT workers to train their foreign replacements. Now, the thing is, I generally agree quite readily with Vox about most issues related to free trade and immigration. The fact is that the entire doctrine of free trade is based on very shaky foundations and simply does not hold up to close scrutiny. Free trade is not a mutually beneficial system; comparative advantage is not a logically sound doctrine; and it is not possible to support complete free trade without also supporting completely open borders.

    And if you support completely free trade, you cannot, by definition, also support the concept of a nation state. It just doesn't hold up.

    However, Vox's dislike of the H-1B system- as thoroughly justified as it is- tends to miss the wood for the trees.

    In this regard, I have a very different perspective. I am here on an H-1B visa. I have been for the last six years- and because of the system and its immense flaws, I will soon be leaving, possibly for good.

    As a result I can see that the H-1B system, for all of its faults and problems, does in fact exist to solve some very real problems- it just does a terrible job.

    As the article that inspired Vox's ire points out, companies tend to use the H-1B as a "training visa" of sorts. This is quite simply an abuse of the system and of the original intent of the visa itself, and it absolutely should be banned. The biggest offenders, by far, are IT companies- in fact, in the US, IT companies and banks make up the lion's share of corporations that apply for H-1B visas for their workers. (As readers may know by now, I work for one of those banks.)

    The H-1B programme was never intended to be used to bring foreign talent over and train them for a few months before sending them right back to lower-cost locations to take jobs from highly qualified but expensive domestic workers. Instead, the programme was designed to provide a way for highly qualified foreign graduates of American colleges and universities to stay and contribute to the American economy.

    To that end, the original programme was set to cap H-1B visas issued in any one calendar year to about 120,000, if I recall correctly. That cap was almost never reached back before 2001. After 9/11, though, Congress altered the cap to 65,000 for college graduates, with an additional 20,000 visas available for people with advanced degrees, such as Master's and PhDs. There are a number of other stipulations and the cap itself has a lot of wiggle room, but the basic idea behind the system has always been to provide a way for talented foreigners to stay and contribute to the American economy.

    From what I have seen, when the H-1B is used for the purpose for which it was originally intended- i.e. students come here, study at American universities, do well, graduate, and then find high-paying jobs in growing industries- then the programme tends to succeed quite admirably at reaching those limited goals.

    One thing you have to understand about the H-1B is that it is in fact quite an expensive proposition for any company that applies for one for a given worker. The employer has to prove that the employee is better-qualified than similar American graduates. He has to prove that the employee will be paid at least as high a wage as the "prevailing wage" in the industry. He has to pay significant legal costs in getting all of the paperwork filed; if he pays for expedited processing, that can add up to quite a hefty sum in terms of billable hours for attorneys and paralegals. He has to deal with the long lag-time between the day that applications can be filed- usually April 1st every year, and yes, I'm aware of the irony there- and the day that the approval is granted by the USCIS. He has to then wait for the applicant to secure a US work visa, if he is outside the US- a process that can take over a month, thanks to your country's perpetually FUBAR'd immigration system.

    Also, when the employee's contract or employment with the company ends, the company itself is responsible for paying for a one-way plane ticket for that employee back to his country of origin. Those flights ain't cheap, y'know.

    And don't forget that because H-1B employees tend to be, let us just say, pretty well paid by the standards of their industries, we pay a LOT of money in taxes. A damn sight more than the average American, actually- something on the order of 35% of my pay routinely disappears down the gullets of various Federal, State, and local tax collectors. That's getting on European levels of taxation.

    Also, let us keep this in mind- we legal, highly-educated, law-abiding, non-immigrant, non-resident aliens are paying for your welfare and education and healthcare systems, while you let tens of thousands of illiterate, uneducated, law-breaking Mexicans and Central Americans stream through your Southern border and take up residence in your country and then mooch off those same systems.

    And yeah, that really rankles.

    Which is why, when an American hauls off on the abuses of the H-1B system, guys like me tend to get our backs up a bit. We come here to work, and we pay your exorbitant tax rates, and if we lose our jobs, we can't resort to the American welfare system for a safety net. I know. I've been laid off, twice, in the last 6 years. Both times, I left the US and only came back in after I had legal authorisation to do so.

    Once you take all of this into account, you're quickly going to realise that an H-1B employee who stays with a company for a while is an expensive proposition. Far more expensive than just hiring local talent.

    Yet, in the banking industry in particular, for technically demanding positions that require significant advanced qualifications and skills, virtually the only applicants that we can look at are foreigners. Almost always with H-1B requirements.

    Why is this? Surely a bank could hire just anyone, right?

    Actually, you might be surprised at just how difficult it is to find really skilled talent to fill in various positions within most banks. My own team is something of an extreme example; we have two or three roles that have been open for over a year, and because of what we do and how we do it, we're forced to look mostly at people with advanced degrees in mathematics and computer science.

    It just so happens that the vast majority of those applicants are from India and China. And they are here on H-1Bs.

    It was a similar story in my Master's program, by the way. Over half the class- I would wager somewhere on the order of 60%- were foreigners. Most of them were from India, China, and France. Every single one of us found a job in an American or European company. We had to beat out significant competition to do so- some of it domestic, but most of it from foreigners just like us, looking to get a foot in the door.

    And why is that? Simple: because you Americans just don't study technical subjects to the degree, and in the numbers, that would satisfy the requirements of domestic industries that actually need those talents. Don't forget what I wrote above- hiring an H-1B is, on balance, more costly than hiring a domestic worker provided that the H-1B employee stays in the US. From an economic perspective, it makes no damn sense to hire a more expensive foreign worker to do the same job when a less expensive domestic worker will do the job just as well.

    The bottom line is that your immigration system is more f***ed up than a football bat. But it's only one symptom in a much broader malaise that is scourging your society. You people have become just like the Romans in the later stages of their degeneracy, when they outsourced the jobs of defending and maintaining the empire to foreigners because they themselves lacked the virtue and the will to do those jobs.

    From the perspective of someone looking to hire people, and quickly, I can tell you this- we would love to hire someone right away. But we can't, because most homegrown talent simply would not be able to meet the requirements of the job. We've had positions open for over a year which we've been unable to fill, just because we can't find sufficiently qualified people willing to work at the rates that we're offering.

    There is nothing particularly wrong with an easy-to-use, fast-track, limited "guest worker" program that requires a non-immigrant worker to come to your country, stay as long as the job requires, and pay taxes and stay clean and obey the law, et cetera- provided that there is absolutely no recourse to citizenship in the process. That's how you get people like me into the country- people who fundamentally agree with the ideas that founded it, people who believe in liberty and freedom and who refuse to sponge off others, people who are willing to earn their right to stay as guests in a country that accepts them and generally leaves them alone.

    There is everything wrong with a system that encourages companies to simply train up people, send them back to lower-cost locations, and then replace expensive American jobs with cheaper Indian or Chinese ones.

    If you want to start fixing these problems, you have to start from the ground up. You have to revamp your entire education system to start teaching maths and science, the hard way- the only way. You have to close down your borders and stop giving these illiterate peasants from the south a free ride just because they managed to cross your borders while a Democrat was in charge. You have to tear up your free trade agreements with the rest of the world and adopt a universal tariff system that gathers revenue and protects the domestic economy to some extent.

    And you have to abandon this ridiculous, ahistorical belief that you people seem to have in your mythical "melting pot" concept, which really doesn't hold very well and which certainly does not apply to most Asian immigrants who come here- not least because Asian-Americans tend to be politically liberal and hence directly opposed to the very principles and ideas that keep civilisation strong and healthy.

    "Spinal Tap" was reality TV

    It is indisputable fact that This is Spinal Tap is the funniest movie of all time. Especially if you're a major heavy metal/rock nerd, like me. The more you know about rock and metal, the funnier the movie becomes, because you realise that it's a completely deadpan send-up of some of the most ridiculous things that have ever happened in the history of rock music.

    The thing is, though, that if you watch it for the first time, you'll be tempted to think that it's either a very lame attempt at bad humour, or a real documentary. And when you learn about some of the crazy stuff that happens to real bands when they're on tour, you will understand exactly why so many rock stars saw the movie and said, "that's not funny, that's literally daily life for us...":
    #3. Kings of Leon Drowns in Bird Shit
    Kings of Leon was having a concert in St. Louis, Missouri, when, during the third song (a phrase which here means "the third time they played 'Use Somebody' that night"), a flock of pigeons swooped in and shit all over them, because apparently God only answers the most hilarious of prayers. 
    The birds had been steadily crapping on the show all evening, having previously rained deuces on the two opening acts before assaulting the Kings of Leon themselves, and yet everyone involved chose to ignore what the universe was clearly trying to tell them. The band soldiered through the first two songs, apparently accustomed to singing "Sex on Fire" with runny dumps streaking down their cheeks, but by the time they'd reached the third number on their set list, one of the free-falling sky dooks had landed directly in bassist Jared Followill's mouth. 
    This was somehow the last straw, and the band stormed off the stage in disgust and refused to continue. 
    As a footnote, we should point out that Alice Cooper had an even stranger story during one of his shows. His trademark boa constrictor (a phrase typically reserved for professional wrestlers and G.I. Joe villains), evidently concerned with leaving a lasting impression on any Rolling Stonereviewers in attendance, squeezed out several huge mounds of snake boom on the stage to ensure that the evening was an affair to remember... 
    Luckily, several clowns were on hand to rush onstage and clean up the poop (and we mean literal face-painted circus clowns, because Alice Cooper is a maniac). However, the stench was so overwhelming that the clowns started to throw up all over the place, turning their cleaning efforts into one of the labors of Hercules and effectively distracting everyone from the music, which admittedly is the entire purpose of an Alice Cooper concert. 
    The difference between this and the Kings of Leon incident is that no one felt the need to stop the show, and in fact if Cooper could have trained the snake to do that every time, he almost certainly would have.
    I have a hard time reading that story about Alice Cooper and not falling over laughing. I've seen him play live- opening for IRON MAIDEN, no less- twice, and there is pretty much no greater showman on Earth. And the thing is, knowing Alice Cooper, he totally would have incorporated a diarrhoetic boa constrictor into his show...

    Maff, Pt. 2

    Math Fail

    The Didact, in the gym, on heavy deadlift day:


    "Rep out 405lbs!"

    "Now rep out 365lbs!!"

    "OK, time to do reps at 315lbs!"

    [Deloads the bar from 365lbs by removing one 25lb plate from the left side- and leaves the other one where it is on the right side]

    "OK, here we go, get set, breathe, grip, and LIIIIF- dafuq?!?!"
    I looked only SLIGHTLY less stupid than this.

    I wish I were joking.

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    Rediscovering the blindingly obvious

    A female writer for the Telegraph belatedly discovers the basics of girl game:
    A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with some male friends [Didact: Translation- guys she would not sleep with] and conversation turned to which female celebrities would be on my "lesbian list" (as it does). I duly rattled off the names of five famous women who I believe to be irrefutably stunning, interesting and talented and could therefore definitely turn me, if only for the night. 

    I won’t name them here, since public body shaming goes against every fibre of my being, but suffice to say there was a massive discrepancy between the way I, as a heterosexual female, viewed these women and the way they were perceived by my heterosexual male friends. 
    An actress whom I pinpointed because of her unique sense of style and mane of thick luscious locks was dismissed as looking like a "shaved horse". [Didact: Sarah Jessica Parker, I suspect.] A supermodel whose glorious bone structure and timeless coolness I covet had, I was told, "the body of a prepubescent boy". [Didact: Has to be Kate Moss.] A singer I admire for her glamour, vivaciousness and exotic colouring was dubbed "a ferret lady in Shirley Bassey’s old clothes". 

    Somewhat affronted, both on behalf of the women I’d mentioned but also because of my friends' assessment of my taste, I then asked them to name some famous women they thought were beautiful. 

    About ten names were provided for my consideration. They were all people I thought were pretty, in a sort of attainable, girl-next-door type of way. None of them fitted the super slender, uber-glamorous stereotype I’m used to seeing on the front cover of Vogue (or a men's magazine). More than half of them were over 40 and the majority of them were over a size ten. The list was the complete antithesis of the "never too young or thin" beauty paradigm huge swathes of women are striving for.
    There is a lot wrong with this from a red-pill perspective, obviously- starting with the fact that she was hanging out with "male friends". Let's be clear about this: men don't have female "friends". We categorise women into three basic buckets: Have Banged, Would Bang, Cannot Bang. There are nuances and gradations in between, and it's surprisingly easy for a woman to go from the Would to Cannot category very quickly, but that's basically all there is to it.

    Yet there is also quite a lot that is right. The article goes on to list several points where women get things completely wrong, and points out what men really want:
    • Someone healthy versus someone skinny: A beautiful woman generally tends to be a healthy woman too. There is a reason why very few men actually like anorexics. Ever tried hanging out with a woman who is obsessed over her weight and how skinny she is? I have. It's infuriating. All such a woman ever does is yap about her diet and fret over her weight. There is no depth and no sense to such women at all.
    • A sense of proportion: Some men prefer butts, others prefer breasts. Some like skinny girls, others like voluptuous ones. It's a matter of individual taste and preference. But almost no man wants to date a cartoon character.
    Rangiku Matsumoto Matsumoto Rangiku
    Not even this one
    • Individuality over style: Probably the most subjective point of the lot. There is a fine line between wearing the latest fashions and wearing the latest fashions well enough to stand out.
    • A woman who looks like she's having a good time: This, and the last point, are by far the most important. Most men have dreamed, at some point or another, of dating models and supermodels. Personally, I have never really understood this desire. I used to know a couple of former models- not very good ones, mind you, but very minor models nonetheless- and I don't think I've ever met a more unhappy, superficial, high-strung bunch of women. Being a model is hard work, and it's difficult to look happy and carefree when you're working like that to maintain a flawless facade.
    • Someone who smiles: Bingo. A woman who pouts and preens her way through any social engagement or date is not a pleasant person to be around. A woman who smiles, a lot, and looks like she is delighted to be alive, is a source of energy and goodwill for all those around her. There is nothing like the dazzling smile of a pretty woman to lighten a man's day.
    The entire article might as well have been titled, "How to Attract Men 101". These basic points are things that every girl should be taught from the day she hits puberty. The basic realities of what men find attractive have not really changed over the millennia; we've simply brainwashed ourselves into thinking that a woman should be accepted no matter what she looks like.

    Yet, women who look like supermodels also seem to be the unhappiest and the least successful in their personal lives; and women who look like shambling shoggoths and Innsmouth fish-people (also known as "feminists") are, well, nasty. Women should not be accepted simply as they are- they should strive to beautify and perfect themselves, to become the best versions of themselves that they can be.

    And how can they do that? For starters, by simply understanding each of the five basic points above, and applying them every day. They will be happier, and healthier, and more contented, for it.

    Maybe they'll let him live this time

    Sean Bean has certainly been given the short straw a lot in his film and television roles- basically, the man almost always dies. Usually quite gruesomely, almost always spectacularly. 

    Doesn't change the fact that he's a great actor, though. His CV spans some 25 years of theatre, film, and television and he has proven repeatedly that he is one of the world's finest actors. Anyone who can play Richard Sharpe, that Irish terrorist bloke, Odysseus, Boromir, Eddard Stark, and Sgt. Andy McNabb through his rich and storied career, has got to have some serious acting chops.

    His personal life is a bit of a dog's breakfast, though. He's evidently quite introverted- he likes his alone time- but he also makes the classic introvert mistake of going for serial monogamy. That is an expensive and rather painful habit, it must be said.

    Now apparently he's back on the small screen in a TNT show called "Legends". And maybe this time, they'll let him last more than, say, 10 episodes before he is subjected to a gruesome and nasty death...

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Cultural Vandals

    I first heard that phrase in connection with the controversy over whether or not the first Moon landing actually happened back in 1969*. It was used in a rather interesting BBC documentary- it might actually have been the History Channel, come to think of it- by supporters of the Apollo 11 landings to describe those who disagree with the mainstream view.

    The term "vandal" originates from the East Germanic tribes that sacked Rome in 455 A.D.- just 4 years after Flavius Aetius, one of the Last of the Romans and one of the greatest generals in history, successfully defended the Empire's collapsing Eastern flank against the incursions of one Attila the Hun. For over 1,500 years, "Vandal" was an epithet used to describe those who plunder and destroy great works of art, and great civilisations, indiscriminately seeking to annihilate all that is good and beautiful.

    We now know slightly better about the Vandals. When it comes to modern progressives and their desire to destroy everything that is good, and decent, and normal, about our world, the original meaning of the term still applies:
    Last week was a trifecta for Cultural Marxism in the comic-book world. Archie Andrews was shot to death trying to protect a gay senator, Captain America became black, and the Mighty Thor had a sex change
    Archie Andrews, the freckle-faced, milkshake-drinking ginger who has epitomized American wholesomeness since 1941, was murdered last Wednesday in Life With Archie #36. His friend Kevin Keller, an openly gay white senator with a black husband, was campaigning for gun control and was being threatened by some stereotypically rendered right-wing gun nut. [Didact: The editorial staff apparently didn't know how to market the anti-gun message in a subtle and tasteful fashion.] But Archie stepped in and “heroically” ate a bullet for him. 
    “Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters,” explained Jon Goldwater, co-CEO of Archie Comics. “He’s human. He’s a person. When you wound him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that.” [Didact: English FAIL] (The company’s other co-CEO is Nancy Silberkleit, who has been sued for sexual harassment by reportedly referring to all male employees as “Penis” rather than their names. She denied such harassment was even possible since males are not a “protected class.” At press time, I could not verify whether she also uses tremendously annoying words such as “impactful.”
    I’ll bet you didn’t know that before he gave his life to save a gay senator, Archie also spawned an interracial baby with a black woman
    Marvel Comics announced last week that the role of Captain America—who, like Archie, has existed as a Caucasian since 1941—will be assumed by a black man from Harlem who until now has played a sidekick known as “The Falcon.” The original Captain America—the white one—is giving his role over to The Falcon because he is now 90 years old and too feeble to be a superhero anymore. All-New Captain America is slated to launch in October. 
    “In 2014, this should be a thing that we shrug off,” says Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort about the new black Captain America. “It shouldn’t be seen as revolutionary, but it still feels exciting.”

    So if it’s no big thing, why did you do it in the first place, and why does it feel “exciting” to you?
    Jim Goad's article goes on at considerable length to point out just how badly the progressive Left has poisoned the fun, escapist world of comics and graphic novels:
    • Thor, Norse god of thunder and war, protector of Mankind, and defender of Asgaard, is now a woman
    • Peter Parker has been killed off (again) and was replaced by a half-Puerto Rican, half-black character named Miles Morales- and Marvel's editorial staff wonders why no one takes Spiderman seriously...
    • Superman renounced his American citizenship
    • Batwoman, (re-)introduced in the "52" crossover event after the finale of the "Infinite Crisis" arc, is now a lipstick lesbian who, when she's not busy looking ridiculous, makes out with the new Question, Renee Montoya
    • Nick Fury's "Ultimate" version is a one-eyed black badass modelled specifically to look like Samuel L. Jackson- which in my opinion is the only change in this list that actually makes the slightest bit of sense
    • Alan Scott- the original Green Lantern, from DC's Golden Age- is now gay and married to another man
    Looking at this list, one is compelled to ask: is nothing sacred anymore?

    Are we to simply sit by and watch as beloved, iconic heroes that we looked up to and admired as children are twisted and warped beyond all recognition?

    Must we just stand back and accept the fact that our cultural touchstones should be desecrated in this fashion?

    Should we, indeed, wither away in brightest day, in blackest night, and let those who worship evil's might, abuse the power of Green Lantern's light?

    The thing that amazes me the most about these people is not their sheer chutzpah in rewriting beloved childhood characters and destroying whatever civility remained in the culture wars. That is to be expected- they're leftists, they have no concept of what it takes to build civilisation, since they have no capacity for understanding true beauty.

    No, what amazes me is their complete lack of historical understanding, and therefore their inability to understand that by reinventing characters like this in order to show how multicultural and correct they are in their thinking, they unwittingly insult and abuse the cultures that originated these characters in the first place.

    Consider: Thor, son of Odin, guardian of Asgaard, mighty defender of Mankind, and future slayer of the Midgaard Serpent, is a pagan icon. Given the very clearly anti-Christian and anti-establishment views of the editors at Marvel and DC, you would think that they would be happy to keep Thor the way he was in Norse legends, right?

    Instead, they turned him into the exact opposite of what Thor is, and in so doing, have managed to insult the culture that worshiped him. A culture that, lest we forget, was subjugated to the yoke of Christianity by fire and sword, and that has never forgiven the Christian invaders of Scandinavia for those trespasses.

    They just so happened to insult a culture that believed in killing the thralls of great warriors en masse when said warriors died, so that they might accompany him to the afterlife. They drank mead from the skulls of slain enemies- there is a reason, after all, why mead is considered to be a "heady drink". And they inflicted quite horrendous punishments on anyone who they really didn't like.

    Marvel, indeed, at Marvel's tin ear when it comes to the God of Thunder. If Marvel's editors really want to find out what the Vikings were like when they got really hacked off about something, well, they chose a rather good way to get said Vikings to start hacking stuff...

    Vox Day and John C. Wright have pointed out many times before that this is how the Pinkshirts like to go about things. Instead of telling a great story- like comic books used to do- they now are used to ram home Big and Important Messages about Tolerance and Diversity and Multiculturalism and Human Sexuality.

    This rot is as insidious as it is disgusting, and those of us who still have some moral sense left to understand the rottenness rightly recoil from it with horror at seeing what our childhood heroes and teenage icons have become.

    What, then, are we to do about this blight?

    Simple: we starve it.

    If you're as fed up of this preachy garbage as I am, do the one thing that the Pinkshirts absolutely cannot fight against. Don't buy their work.

    It has been months, if not years, since I last bought a graphic novel that wasn't related to the Dark Horse Conan series- because even now, the Conan series still provides the sense of dark escapism and fantastical wonder that Robert E. Howard's original writing did so many decades ago.

    I don't think I've ever bought a comic book that wasn't HALO-related- because even despite the equalitarian nonsense that pervades the HALOverse, the HALO novels and comics still tell great stories and still present an unambiguous battle between good and evil, between right and wrong.

    I have chosen to deny DC Comics and Marvel Comics my money for almost anything that isn't related to Batman, simply because I am so tired and fed up of being preached to instead of being told great stories about the battles between good and evil that define our world. Batman is still the ultimate example of the Dark Knight, the man who walks the fine line between salvation and damnation, the man who fights evil with nothing more than his wits, body and will, and whose iron resolve in the face of unspeakable horror is still a moral example to the rest of us even in these morally unhinged times.

    Don't spend cash on Pinkshirt trash. It isn't worth your hard-earned money. Spend it instead on great works by great writers, like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and, of course, the inestimably talented John C. Wright. Starve them of your money, and you will ensure their downfall faster than any amount of legislation, hyperbole, or invective.

    And to those who despair of winning the culture wars when even seemingly sacred domains like children's comics and young adult graphic novels are under assault like this- take heart, and do not fear. We will win this war, simply because the writers on our side are better at telling great stories.

    Great stories endure through time- witness the endless appeal of the titanic battles between good and evil in the Bible, or the Mahabharat and Ramayana, or Tolkien's legendarium, or Lewis's work.

    More than anything else, we will win this war because we have wit and wisdom on our side- and as C.S. Lewis showed in The Screwtape Letters, if there is one thing our enemy cannot abide, it is to be laughed at, to be mocked. So mock them, indeed, for their folly is great and their absurdity is vast.

    For the record: I think it did happen, but I'm willing to listen to any reasonable and well-supported argument that says otherwise.