Sunday, 30 November 2014

A cure for a cultural hangover

The up-and-coming independent publishing company Castalia House recently produced a rather fascinating, and very well-written, book called Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War by none other than William S. Lind. The book depicts (among other things) the downfall of America's government and the re-establishment of political bodies which aim explicitly to restore Greco-Roman philosophy and Judeo-Christian morality as their core value systems.

It's a brilliant book- and it is extremely politically incorrect. I consider myself to be far more of a right-wing nut-job than most nominal libertarians are comfortable with admitting, and even I was taken aback by some of the ideas written into the book. (Not so much the stuff about blacks, Mexicans, and Muslims generally being dyscivic groups inherently incapable of maintaining or progressing a civilisation bequeathed to them by their betters- I don't exactly disagree with that part; the stuff about rejecting computers, electricity, and cars, though, was rather beyond my ken.)

One of the ideas that the book explores early on, though, is that the so-called "culture" which surrounds us is really just forcing bile and sewage down our throats. The book asserts that the modern "art" and "music" which surround us today are nothing more than crass commercialism thrown at us to numb our senses, to destroy our ability to feel genuine emotions and appreciate great works by great geniuses.

Based on what I'm seeing around me these days, I have to say, that argument is not entirely without merit.

One of the best things about living in a large and busy city like London or New York is that a great museum or art gallery is never far away. London, in particular, is home to my three favourite cultural spots on Earth:

The British Museum near Russell Square (I used to live near it as a student, back in the day), where a man could easily spend a week wandering through all of its various halls and chambers and not experience all of the wondrous things that have been collected there, preserved through time by the love and diligent care of good men and women;

The National Art Gallery near Trafalgar Square, which contains some of the most magnificent works of art by the greatest talents humanity has ever produced;

And my personal favourite, the Tate Britain, where nearly 500 years' worth of British art is preserved lovingly as a tribute to the skill and quality of the greatest of the British masters.

If you're looking for a way to escape from the stupidity, the insipidity, the utter folly and crassness of the culture that you see around you, there are few better ways to do so than to walk into an art gallery like the Tate Britain.

William Blake - The Ghost of a Flea
The Ghost of a Flea by William Blake
There you will find works by legendary masters like J.M.W. Turner, William Blake, and in particular my three favourite paintings of all time, by the excellent John Martin. To wander into the Tate Britain and view the works hanging in the galleries from before, say, 1890, is to be transported into a time when colour photography didn't exist, and artists were judged by their skill with brush and canvas.

You'll go on a journey that will remind you of just what the mind of Man is capable of- and of what we have lost through "progress" into our modern so-called "culture".

... su colosal tamaño cuando la ví en la Tate Britain de Londres
The Lady of Shalott by JW Waterhouse
You'll be stunned at how lifelike the maid Elaine's appearance is as she lowers herself down into the boat that will carry her to her death, cursed as she is for gazing upon the visage of Sir Lancelot and falling in love with him.

You'll gaze in fascination at the painting of Proserpine as her eyes stare down at you from the wall, and you'll almost see her turn to face you with the pomegranate in her hand, missing six of its seeds.

You'll see the sun set over the great empire of Carthage as its people decline and fall into disarray and squalor.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Proserpina, 1874, Tate Britain
Proserpine by Rosetti
You'll squint at the bursting of a flare over the field of Waterloo in the bloody and tragic aftermath of the Duke of Wellington's greatest battle, and you'll almost be able to hear the keening cries of the war widows as they search by dim light among the bodies of the dead for their fathers and husbands and brothers and sons.

You'll find yourself sitting underneath John Martin's The Plains of Heaven and contemplating its vivid colours and serene landscapes with a contented, quiet smile on your face.

You'll examine a picture of terrible glory depicting a scene from the Book of Revelations as the dead rise up from the sea, stunned at the incredible realism of the artist's depictions of the human form, even as you are repelled by the horror of what is happening- a sure sign that the artist captured the atmosphere of the Last Judgement perfectly.

Even when you come across a painting as simple and mundane as three young women playing cards, you'll swear that you're not looking at an oil painting on canvas- you're looking at a moment frozen in time of almost haunting realism.

Joseph Mallord William Turner - The Field of Waterloo, 1818 at Tate ...
The Field of Waterloo by JMW Turner
And then, as you stumble entranced out of the galleries from 1540 to 1890 and into the "modern" era, half-convinced that the paintings on the wall came alive before your eyes, you'll find yourself staring at paintings full of discordant angles and strange colours. You'll be eyeing with distaste blocky sculptures made from plastic and wood, not marble and stone, that are supposed to depict... well, actually, you have no idea what, exactly.

You'll be looking at photographs taken recently of dead-eyed people frozen in time, lifeless and flat. You'll be staring at portraits that look like they were painted by six-year-olds using felt-tips and crayons, rather than sepia and oil and watercolours.

In short, you will find yourself experiencing the entire catastrophic decline of Western culture in the space of a single thirty-minute walk through the galleries of one of the greatest art museums in the world.

It is enough to make a man who appreciates such things feel like he's in the midst of a throbbing hangover.

When you turn on the TV and you see these ridiculous music videos glorifying sex and drugs and violence, where barely-dressed voluptuous harlots gyrate and moan and writhe to what feels like someone scraping a cheesegrater over your eardums while driving a jackhammer into your skull, you find yourself wondering if there is anything worth saving of the sewer that is modern "culture".

The answer, of course, is "no". But this isn't an affliction unique to this day and age, and it isn't a problem unique to Western society. This has happened before.

Legends of antiquity tell us that as the Western Roman Empire began its final plunge into the abyss, the emperors of Byzantium in the East wisely saw that their artists and sculptors did not yet have the skills required to replicate the magnificent sculptures and paintings from the past glories of Rome. To avoid the loss of their culture and their identity, and to allow future generations to learn from the works of past masters, the Eastern Empire took the finest works of the West to Constantinople as guides for the artists of the East. In so doing, they preserved the best of Rome while building their own unique cultural identity.

But there was no stopping Rome's artistic and cultural collapse. When the fall finally came, Imperial Roman culture had lost whatever virility and strength that it once had- weakened from without by war and famine and disease, weakened from within by a suicidal multi-generational compact with barbarian tribes from beyond the old imperial borders. And when Rome did collapse, not with a bang but with a whimper, as the last Roman emperor simply stepped off the throne and handed it to Odoacer, Europe underwent three hundred years of turmoil and uncertainty that we now remember (not entirely correctly) as the Dark Ages, in which art and artistic appreciation regressed to (supposedly) barbaric levels. (Again, in reality, the Dark Ages weren't really that bad- it's just that the great public works and artistic achievements of the past went to pot during this time.)

A similar cultural catastrophe has befallen us now. You can see it all around you- this putrescence of so-called "modern art", this excrement that permeates all around it with its stench, does nothing to elevate the mind and soul of Man, but instead tears it down with its insistence on jarring the senses as thoroughly as possible. Where the art of old seeks to inspire wonder, to show off the artist's virtuosity, to ennoble Mankind through brilliant use of light and colour and space, the "art" of today is hardly even worthy of the label.

Fortunately, the remedy, however palliative and however temporary, is not difficult to find.

All you have to do is walk into a museum or art gallery displaying the works of old masters. All you have to see is a single painting of ingenious brushwork and magnificent skill, and you'll have reason to be hopeful once again. That's all it takes.

The current Sargasso of ugliness and absurdity that we find ourselves swimming in will one day clear out, to be replaced with real art and real morality. Real artists with real skill- not hacks who think that dunking a cross in urine, or "performance art" pieces consisting of a movie star sitting in a room with a paper bag on his head, are valid modes of artistic expression- will make a comeback. We'll see real paintings, sculptures, and music come forth once more.

Until that time, though, the simplest cure for this horrible throbbing hangover can be found in any decent art gallery that displays decent old-school paintings. Go there, spend the afternoon with a hot cup of tea and the company of a good woman, and I promise you that you'll find reason for hope and joy once more.

The Force Awakens... the Didact yawns

I thought this trailer was a joke when I watched the first 30 seconds:

A black stormtrooper? Did J. J. Abrams read nothing of the original STAR WARS canon, which stated openly that the Emperor and the Empire were TEH MOST RACISSEST ARMIEZ EVAR!!! (Sorry... doing the full retard thing again...)

And then he acts like a very surprised younger version of Tracy Morgan, and we're expected to take that seriously?

And then there's that robot bowling ball bouncing through what I imagine is the outskirts of Mos Eisley on Tatooine. How, in the name of all that is holy, am I expected to take this trailer at face value after seeing that?

Fortunately, it gets a little better afterwards. X-wings! The Millennium Falcon!!! The... Sith with the ridiculous lightsaber that shoots blades out of the pommel???

Oh well, I suppose two out of three ain't so bad. Of course, if you actually tried to use an energy sword like that in a real battle, you'd get turned into shish-kabob by anyone who knows what he's doing...

Turns out, by the way, that the international trailer is vastly better and more interesting:

So this is what I really hate about STAR WARS canon: "Return of the Jedi" (my personal favourite movie in the series) ended with Anakin Skywalker destroying the Emperor and returning the Force back into balance, then thirty years of novels and comic books and video games carried on with various Sith baddies causing various galaxy-threatening problems for various protagonists, then the prequels came in and effectively trashed most of that canon, then the authors of the various STAR WARS novels spent another ten years frantically trying to retcon all the storylines to match, and now we've got three more movies coming up which will crap all over that.

Can't we just all leave the original movies the hell ALONE, and recognise them for the magnificent achievements that they were? I really don't want to see another butchered attempt at revising the lore and legacy of STAR WARS by J. J. Abrams, not after what he did in "re-booting" STAR TREK...

Thursday, 27 November 2014


Amusing Thanksgiving - U Can Haz ToFurkey
Head on the chopping block, NOW
Didact to turkey: F*** you, you're toast. (Well, rather, you're Thanksgiving roast, but, y'know, same difference.)

To everyone else, though- I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. I wish you good health and good fortune, and I hope that you are fortunate enough to be spending this very special day with the people who matter the most.

Like most Americans, I regard Thanksgiving and Christmas as the best holidays of the year. It's not because we get a day off work- I don't, given that I'm working in a country that doesn't set aside one day a year to recognise the bountiful blessings of the good Lord. But there is a special magic to Thanksgiving even so- because more than any other day, this is the day we remember and give thanks for all that we are blessed with, even if we don't have very much.

I am not a wealthy man. I live comfortably, but within my means. I have no particularly great influence, I don't pretend to be powerful, and I have no desire to be very important. Instead, I give thanks for the fact that I have the things that truly matter.

I have my beloved parents and my little sister- who may be a giant pain sometimes, but is still my best friend, my closest confidante, and my most important source of strength in times of adversity.

I have my friends, few though they are and scattered though they may be.

I have my health, my mind, and the fruits of my hard labour.

I have this blog, which has enriched and broadened my life in ways that I didn't even think possible when I started it back at the beginning of last year. I have met and interacted with several Manosphere bloggers for whom I have developed great respect, and whose work I continue to follow and learn from to this day.

(While we're on the subject- special mentions go to Halfbreed, who very kindly took a moment to write with some very welcome Thanksgiving cheer; and to Carey, whose thoughtful commentary and feedback help keep me honest. Check out their writing and learn from their wisdom, as I have- you'll be all the richer for it.)

And I am, and will always be, grateful for being given the opportunity to live in and learn from the richness, the wonder, and the beauty of America. I love the country. Leaving it was very difficult; it was made bearable only by the knowledge that I would almost surely return after a long absence. My life was forever changed when I got off that plane eight years ago. I have visited and lived in many lands, seen many wonders, experienced something of the richness and diversity of this world- and yet the land that agrees the most with me is still America.

I know it's kind of cheesy to read accounts by immigrants who come to America and proclaim it to be the promised land, or a country unlike any other. But sometimes it takes a foreigner's perspective to understand just how remarkable America is. And I'm not American, by any stretch of the imagination- I may never be, despite the fact that I agree with the country's formative, fundamental values down to the letter. And I'm sure it sounds silly to read yet another story about how the Pilgrims gave thanks on that one special day- there has been plenty of myth-making and exaggeration down the centuries since that time, to be sure.

Yet those myths have a kernel of truth to them. Those pilgrims might have been misguided in their faith, as Puritans who embraced a truly radical view of God's Will- hell, they were practically communists, until a lot of the stupid got beaten out of them by reality. That does not change the fact that they came to a God-blessed land that, in hindsight, seems to have been specially chosen to be the cradle of Judeo-Christian civilisation and all of the blessings that this brings.

I know that many of those who read this blog, and others like it, are ashamed of what that civilisation has become- lurid, narcissistic, shallow, slack-witted, deeply corrupt, and utterly unworthy of its past. It hurts to see that which we love being reduced to such trash before our very eyes. And I am sure that those who see America turning into a wasteland of cultural Marxism, political correctness, and whorish prurience despair at times of ever seeing that which we love being restored to its former glory.

Yet even in these dark times, there is reason for hope.

America in its current state may well be beyond saving as a whole. There is no point in trying to save it as it is now- there is no going back as things stand. But be hopeful for what will follow- and remember that it is we who, when the shambling, twitching corpse of a once-mighty and righteous civilisation finally collapses and dies for good, will be given the chance to rebuild.

Be hopeful for that day. And be thankful- to yourselves, to each other, and to the Almighty, that He has given us this chance to do His Will.

For can there really be any greater joy to be found, than to build a better world for our children, than the one which we were bequeathed, that we may do His work?

So do not be sad on this day- instead, be joyful, be merry, be far too indulgent of good food and good drink in the company of good friends and loved ones. And may the good Lord bless you and yours, now and always.

Oh, and one last thing- DIBS ON THE DARK MEAT!!!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

ALL men pay for sex

Last week, a report revealed that 1 in 10 British men have paid for sex. Find that shocking? Then try this for size: the same report, pulled from a total of over 6,000 men aged 16-74, also found that those most likely to have paid for sex in the last five years are single men aged 25 to 34. 
The research – conducted by University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections – led lead researcher Dr Cath Mercer of UCL to conclude: "The picture that emerges does not necessarily fit the stereotype of the lonely older man … men who pay for sex are more likely to be young professionals.
It’s an observation that rings true for Charlotte Rose, escort and sexual trainer. Two of her most regular clients are best friends, both aged 19, who visit Rose one day after the other. Neither count as anomalies among her clientele. 
"The demographic is changing towards younger professionals because younger men’s preferences are changing," Rose tells me. "A ‘professional service’ with an escort [creates] a mutual understanding of what the client wants and gets. All do’s and don'ts are pre-discussed and fantasies are more easily explored." 
Peter, a young professional in his late 20s, regularly visits escorts. He tells me that with some escorts there’s a connection, an emotional "nourishment" as he calls it, but that most of the time it’s "purely transactional", feeding a sexual need, getting that professional service Rose speaks of. 
He also admits that nine out of ten times paying for sex is an "alcohol fuelled" act that occurs at the end of a night when he’s been left frustrated. But he does say there are "emotional catalysts" as well as alcohol related ones. In fact, as with one of Rose’s 19-year-old clients, Peter lost his virginity to a prostitute, a 'Soho walk up' at the age of 24. 
"It was during a frustrating part of my life. I was living at home with my mum. I had feelings of hopelessness and despair and a real fear of becoming the 40-year-old virgin," he says. "After one bad night I just decided I wanted to get it done, but it turned out to be something which I evolved a dependency around." 
That dependency has led to over 50 encounters with escorts, something Peter doubts would’ve happened in the pre-internet age. 
"We spend half our lives online now," he says, before explaining that he believes watching porn – and porn addiction – served as a gateway to paying for sex. Peter effectively uses prostitutes to scratch an itch that hours of watching sex on screen can't reach. 
Rebecca Dakin, self-proclaimed Great British Sexpert [Didact: Lord, here we go...] and an escort between 2000-2010 who had many young professional clients, tells me that "over the last decade, the internet has increased awareness and availability of escorts". She says it has sparked the industry’s shift from cards in phone boxes to online ads, and widened out the demographic of people paying for sex. 
Dakin also believes the 24/7 lifestyle of so many young professionals plays a part in how they get their sexual kicks. "The faster pace of life, the increase in pressure at work and longer hours mean that many young professionals look for quick instant gratification when they feel stressed," she says. "The fast speed of the internet has made this all the more possible."
I'm with Becker on this one- doesn't matter what stage of life you're in, once you get involved with a woman, you ALWAYS end up paying for it. No exceptions.

Fact is, dating costs money. And it often doesn't end in sex- which, let's be brutally honest, is largely the point of dating. (I'm not saying it's the only point- that would be stupid- but there can be no denying that sexual gratification is a huge factor.) It's not uncommon, especially in these benighted times, for a man to take a woman out on several expensive drink-and-dinner dates, only to go home empty-handed, so to speak.

When you combine the pressures of modern white-collar life on young men with the realities of a stagnant economy- I don't care what the Grand Poobahs of the Western so-called governments have to say, we're still very much in the midst of the worst economic depression in about four generations- then you quickly realise that young men are faced with a situation unlike pretty much any other in history.

There was a time that a man could comfortably support himself and his wife, and three or four or five kids, on a single income. That was before the 1970s, when the world's currencies became completely decoupled from any kind of sane non-inflationary backing standard like gold or silver, or the US dollar (not that this was much of a "standard", admittedly). That reality is gone and won't be coming back for a good long while.

This, combined with the increased economic opportunities for women- often secured through legislative means, via supposedly anti-discriminatory gender neutrality laws concerning equal wages for again supposedly equal work- means that the average young man today has to demonstrate considerable value even to be considered as worthy dating material.

Combine this with the fact that young men of today have been ripped off and lied to and given endless bad advice about how to court women in today's day and age, and it's no surprise that young professional men are voluntarily turning away from the dating market, partially or even completely. They've been prepared for a role that no longer really exists by a world that appears completely bent on suicide through self-immolation.

It should therefore come as no surprise that young men today seek an easier, more honest way to satisfy their desires.

And yes, prostitution is more honest than dating. There are no games to be played. The nature of sex is reduced down to a simple economic transaction- the man pays a fee, the woman provides an orifice and outlet and service all in one (or several, depending on the type of transaction), both parties enter into the contract by more or less mutual consent, and both parties get something out of it.

From a certain very cynical point of view, of course, this is exactly what dating is.

Women are genetically hard-wired to seek security and comfort, from men. Men are hard-wired to seek the continuation of their genetic code, through women. Prostitution simply clears out all of the deadwood in between.

Despite this, I absolutely do not recommend prostitution as an outlet for male desire. I simply think that it's one of many possible solutions to a well-known problem- just not a very good one.

When you date a woman, you do end up paying for the privilege, one way or another- whether through buying her drinks (hopefully you're not stupid enough to buy her more than one), buying her dinner (and if you do this before she's put out, in today's world, you're an idiot), or giving up time spent doing other things to be in her company.

If you spend time with real women, though, you get a lot more out of it than sex. I can't speak for all deep introverts in this regard, but when I spend time with a girl, I do so for what I hope will be the pleasure of her company. I hope to be stimulated intellectually by her charm and grace and wit, and other such feminine comforts, just as I hope to be stimulated physically by her beauty. These things are difficult to put a money value against, and they are all things that you won't get with prostitutes.

As I have said before, I have never used prostitutes. I find the idea quite bleak, for precisely the reasons I just mentioned- you get the pleasure of sex, to be sure, but it's just a quick and emotionally empty release.

And that's before we get to the psychological harm done by this.

In my view, resorting to prostitutes to satisfy one's need for sex is just one step below using internet porn to do the same. You're not developing any skills from the process. You're not becoming a more interesting or well-rounded man. You're just... a participant in a transaction, and nothing more.

We men were meant to be far more than just dumb animals reacting to base emotional desires. We were meant to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, by pushing ourselves to the limits of our potential- and beyond.

This can't be done by visiting your friendly neighbourhood brothel and busting a nut for a fee. It can only be done through acknowledging your shortcomings, putting yourself out there, taking a risk, and experiencing the rewards.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Frenchist trollop on power

The former First Lady of France apparently has a few choice words for the state of politics in her native country:
Former first lady of France Valerie Trierweiler has branded the country's politics 'misogynistic' and said female politicians encounter opposition as 'a matter of course'. 
Ms Trierweiler, the ex-partner of French president Francois Hollande, has written a tell-all book chronicling her seven years as his girlfriend - which ended when it was reported he was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet. [Didact: Er... wait... they weren't married, and yet she's considered a "former First Lady of France"??? Dafuq?!? The Frogs really are weird.]
It is believed the book, Thank You For This Moment, could damage Mr Hollande's reputation with controversial claims he called the country's poor 'the toothless'. 
Ms Trierweiler also claims in the book that Mr Hollande instructed for her to be given high doses of tranquillisers shortly after they had broken in order to keep her in hospital and out of his way. [Didact: As you'll find out below, those tranqs probably did have an effect.]
In an interview with Kirsty Wark on the BBC's Newsnight, which will be broadcast tomorrow, Ms Trierweiler was asked: 'Is France misogynist?' 
She said: 'In the realm of politics, yes. Women in politics encounter opposition as a matter of course.' 
Ms Trierweiler told Sophie Raworth on BBC's Andrew Marr Show today that the book was not the revenge of a hurt woman. 
She said: 'It's not revenge, it's not about destroying him, it's about me rebuilding myself.' 
She was then asked if she was saying that she did not think he was suitable as a president. 
She said: 'You know what political figures are like. They don't become president if they're not self-centred, or if they're not sometimes economic with the truth. 
'I've followed other presidents in my professional career, I've only known one intimately, but the majority of them have these faults, in that they're completely egocentric. 
'I don't think Francois Hollande has more faults than another president.' 
Ms Raworth suggested that Ms Trierweiler had made an 'awful lot of money' out of the book. 
Ms Trierweiler replied: 'Yes, well, I will next year, but that wasn't my primary objective. 
'The media said, "don't read this book, don't buy this book", but people did anyway, because they wanted to know. 
'And the majority of people say to me, "It's not at all what I was expecting, it's not a settling of scores, it's not a book of revenge, it's almost a love story". That's what my book is.' 
When she was asked why she had written the book, Ms Trierweiler, a journalist, said: 'In fact I started writing it before knowing that it was going to become a book. 
'For me writing is a form of therapy, I started writing it when I wasn't feeling terribly well and that was a good reason for writing it.' 
She said the title 'will remain a mystery, a message that only Francois Hollande himself will understand'. 
She added: 'It's not a personal attack on Hollande at all, it is the story of our relationship, there are good moments and bad moments I describe in it.' 
When asked about the tranquillisers, she said: 'I only know that he told me to take the medicines the next day and they were a higher dose than usual.'
Actually, all of that blithering on about French politics- about which the rest of us frankly could not give a toss about- is nowhere near as irritating, or as scary, as the woman doing the talking is.

This is what Ms. Rottweiler looks like:
Valerie Trierweiler is the ex-partner of French president Francois Hollande  and has written a surprise, tell-all book chronicling her time as his girlfriend


You want to know what I was instantly reminded of the moment I saw that picture?


Hey, that's a pretty good likeness!
Actually, I think it's accurate to say that the second of these two pants-wettingly scary creatures is a lot less dangerous than the first. The second will actually be repulsed by a crucifix and a healthy dose of holy water; the first will simply shriek at the sight of the Cross and be very irritated at being doused in aquae sanctus.

The method for dealing with both, though, remains the same- the tried, tested, and true wooden stake through the heart followed by decapit-

Sorry, where was I?

Right, some crazy bint was complaining about how horribly chauvinistic politics tends to be.

This is, of course, the reality of politics- it is and has always been a man's game. There is no getting around this fact. The reason for it is quite simple: politics requires strength of will, the desire to seek and hold power, and the ability to be flexible enough that you can tell people what they want to hear, no matter who they might be, while yet appearing rigid enough to hold a well-defined position of some sort.

The desire for power in particular is very much a masculine trait. It is something that men are hard-wired to seek, and the best of us do it very well indeed. This is not something to be surprised or annoyed about, it's simple reality.

And when men achieve that level of power, they tend to act like they've achieved something worthy. (Which they have, if you think about it.)

This tends to be rather attractive to women. Even if you look like, well, this twerp:

I WISH I'd Photoshopped that idiotic grin onto this Commie goofball's face...
For all of her craziness, her soulless stare, her very evident hunger for your blood, and her silly Frenchist notions about equality, Ms. Triphammer still manages to hit upon a very important truth about politics: the pursuit of power does involve a certain degree of narcissism. You can't be a politician without it.

Now would someone please pass the garlic?

Monday, 24 November 2014

Take your "law" and shove it

That's the only appropriate response to the latest bit of nanny-state stupidity that has been proposed on this side of the Pond:
Labour wants to stop drinkers having more than a pint of beer a day sparking fresh accusations that it is out of touch with ordinary Britons.
Shadow public health minister Luciana Berger said she wanted to slash the numbers of people who drink more than doctors recommend. 
For men that is just three to four units a day – equivalent to a pint of continental lager. Women are supposed to drink no more than a glass of wine. 
Ms Berger revealed Labour’s new goal at the charity Alcohol Concern’s annual conference, the Sun newspaper revealed today. 
She told the audience that she wanted ‘to reduce the proportion of the population who consume above the recommended level’. 
The proposal was criticised by beer-drinking Ukip leader Nigel Farage. He said: ‘People work hard and enjoy a sherbet in the pub.’ 
But Ms Berger’s proposals to cut Britain’s drinking habit comes amid moved from the Government to reduce alcohol consumption. 
The Government has introduced a ban on the sale of cut-price alcohol sold below the cost price. 
The ban on below cost selling came into force in May and is now one of the strict conditions which licensed premises like pubs and supermarkets have to abide by. 
The ban means that a can of average strength lager cannot be sold for less than 40p, while a standard bottle of vodka cannot be sold for less than £8.89. 
Selling booze for any less can result in up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a £20,000 fine. 
Scottish politicians have gone further – introducing a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol. 
Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat Home Office Minister, has insisted the Government is still considering copying the minimum price rules in Scotland. 
He said: “Minimum unit alcohol pricing remains on the table. We can't sensibly take it forward until the outcome of the Scottish court case. But I'm personally sympathetic to the idea.” 
Despite the crackdown MPs themselves voted to freeze booze prices in Parliament's bars until next May. 
That means MPs and their guests can continue to enjoy pints of beer for as little as £2.90, with taxpayer's subsidy contributing £7million a year to the bill. 
The freeze actually works out to a cut once inflation has been taken into account, means prices have only gone up once in the past five years.
This should tell you everything you need to know about British politicians, from all of the major parties.

Labour- the Democrats- pretend to be on the side of the average Joe Schmoe working-class public, yet propose policies that hurt the very people they are supposed to care about.

Tories- the Republicans- pretend to stand for traditional English values and simple, old-school ideas, but in reality will sell the God-given sovereignty of the English nation down the river to the EU in Brussels at the earliest possible opportunity.

And the Liberal Democrats? Well, they're a lot like Ralph Nader's Green Party- the poison of choice for the loonies among us.

(The actual British Green Party is more like the American Socialist Workers' Party. That's how ocialist Britain is. Their Green Party makes America's Green Party look like a bunch of right-wing nut-jobs by comparison.)

It should also tell you something about the historical ignorance and economic illiteracy of the average British politician.

In the first place, American progressives at the beginning of the 20th Century tried ever so hard to bring down alcohol consumption among the American people, for years, with very limited success. It turns out that most people do, in fact, enjoy alcohol and don't enjoy being told what and how to drink.

They even tried to turn that busybody tendency into a Constitutional amendment- the very first time in the entire history of the nation that the Constitution was used to remove a right from the sovereign people, rather than giving them protections for the rights that they already had. The Eighteenth Amendment has since gone down as one of the most idiotic things ever done by any nation to itself. It spawned thirteen years of racketeering, drug-running, "illegal" moonshine, tax evasion, and gang warfare. The Prohibition Era was absolutely brilliant for criminals and bootleggers, and absolutely terrible for anyone who wanted to exercise his God-given right to a cold beer at the end of a hard day's work.

(The Brits, by the way, don't understand the concept of cold beer. Their idea of "beer" involves warm, flat beverages with bits of soil floating on top. Personally, having endured far too much of that frozen horse piss that you Americans refer to as "lager", I tend to side with the Limeys on this one.)

Furthermore, this nonsense of price "floors" is exactly that. When you put a price floor on something- an artificial support, basically- then as long as people's demand for a given product intersect the supply for that product above the floor level, everyone is happy. But the moment that the arbitrary price floor sits above the "market price" of any product, you immediately get oversupply.

At present, the price floor is place at 50p per pint, because this is supposedly the cost of production of a pint of beer. All well and good; I've yet to come across a single pub anywhere in the country where you can buy a pint for 50 pence.

But if these Parliament nitwits ever wanted to stop Britons from drinking, then there is very little stopping them from setting the price floor ten times higher.

And trust me, when a pint of proper ale costs the equivalent of $8 at your average neighbourhood pub, you will see people rapidly scaling back their drinking- at the same time as beer producers rapidly scale up their manufacturing. Where do you imagine the surplus beer will go? To the French?

And as you can see, British politicians are just like all other politicians when it comes to setting one standard for everyone else to follow, and a completely different standard for themselves. They get to consume alcohol at a totally different price than the one that they insist on setting for the average British pub-goer.

There is only one appropriate response to these idiots and petty tyrants. I'll go get the feathers, you go find some tar...

The cranky introvert's catechism

Hey, y'know, screw all of you people! I can change anytime I want to! I simply don't want to!!!
 -- John Becker, M.D.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Blissful incoherence

The Liberal Mind

I doubt very much that anyone who visits and reads this pokey little blog of mine is a liberal. (Well, maybe one or two people at a time are, but they rapidly become so appalled by what I have to say that they flee screaming in terror at what they see.) Despite that, and despite my relatively limited interactions with liberals in general, it is fair to say that I understand liberal thinking far, far better than liberals understand my thinking- or that of most people who are of what might loosely be called a "conservative" cast of mind.

This is neither new nor surprising. It has been known for some time now that conservatives are far more accurate at predicting liberal responses to moral and philosophical questions than the other way around. And there happen to be very good, sound reasons for this. Some of these reasons have been explored by Michael Trust- you and I know him as Anonymous Conservative- in his books, which I highly recommend.

Yet it is one thing to sit and theorise in the comfort of one's own armchair (or couch, in my case- Lord, but I miss my couch...). It is something entirely different to confront the moral and philosophical incoherence of liberalism in person.

Such was my experience the other night when I met one of my closest friends from college for dinner.

My friend and I have known each other for a long time. We've always gotten along well despite our quite different backgrounds, mostly because we share the same basic values regarding family, work ethic, and generally irreverent attitudes toward anything that isn't a hard science. Our lives have taken very different paths. I opted to get to work as soon as my Master's degree was done, while he decided to go for a PhD in applied mathematics. I left London for New York, and have been there or thereabouts ever since; he's never lived anywhere other than in or around London. Yet we've remained close, and it was a great pleasure to see him and my other good friends from college again last year when I visited London twice.

When we met up for dinner, we exchanged the usual pleasantries over who is doing what and where and why, and caught up on each other's lives. It was all quite normal, old friends enjoying each other's company over a good meal- right up until I mentioned that I'd visited Israel earlier this year.

That was when the whole tone of the discussion changed.

A Simple Test

In my experience, the subject of Israel and its conduct toward the so-called Palestinian "nation" is a real litmus test of one's ability to think critically, look at different points of view, and come to an independent conclusion.

Most people fail this test outright.

I don't take this test to the same extremes that many American Jews do, by the way; to hardline American Zionists, anything less than full-throated support for the Jewish state is a sign of latent anti-Semitism. (I find this attitude ironic, considering that Israeli Jews tend to view American Jews with anything from mild contempt to open disdain for being soft and silly.) As far as I'm concerned, though, I have an openly admitted very large soft spot for the Jews, I've visited Israel, I absolutely support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish nation, and I wish the Israelis all the best. That doesn't mean I agree with everything they do- they are far more socialist than they should be, they hold far too much sway over American economic and foreign policy, and some of their domestic policies are simply insane.

Yet it's still a worthy test. All you have to do is ask the following questions: Are you for or against a country where homosexuals are tolerated and treated as human beings? Are you for or against a country that works to advance human knowledge through scientific discovery and research? Are you for or against a country that gives a hostile minority living within its own borders the ability to vote, no matter how limited? Are you for or against a nation that is at the forefront of environmental preservation and archaeological discovery? Are you for or against a country that exercises restraint and pays attention to civilian casualties when it goes to war?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you're going to have a very hard time justifying a dislike of Israel, because these are all qualities that Israel embodies.

Yet this is exactly what my good friend proceeded to do. And in so doing, he provided a window of insight into the very different ways that Europeans consume their information through the media- and not just when it comes to Israel, either.

A Very Different Weltanschaung

My friend's views on a large range of subjects can be summarised thusly:

On Israel
  • Israel is not a legitimate nation because it currently occupies all of the territory that it holds through use of naked force.
  • Israel's wars against the Palestinians are exercises in genocide, because the number of Palestinian dead is always far greater than the number of Israeli dead, and Israel is itself a genocidal state. No outside observer who argues otherwise is credible, especially if that observer happens to come from the American or British military. [Not even this guy- one of Britain's most highly experienced and decorated soldiers and foremost military tacticians.]
  • Israel permits the Palestinians to live in suffering and oppression because it suits their purposes better than simply marching in and wiping out every last Palestinian man, woman, and child. [Note: the order in which I placed these two statements is completely deliberate.]
  • Israel is only successful does because it gets massive amounts of aid from the West.
  • Israel is an openly apartheid state because it treats Arabs as second-class citizens and refuses re-entry of dispossessed Palestinian refugees.
  • There is absolutely no evidence that Hamas was using civilians as cover for their weapons caches, and therefore absolutely zero moral justification for Israel going to war.
On economics
  • Completely open borders are always and everywhere a good thing, as is completely free trade.
  • There is no such thing as a "British" culture that is distinct and worthy of preservation.
  • The United Kingdom Independence Party are far-right racist homophobic loonies who are every bit as bad as the fascist British National Party [which is now defunct and has been replaced by the Britain First Party].
  • The presence of hundreds of thousands if not millions of foreigners in Britain is something to be tolerated and celebrated, not feared. [I did mention that he's a British Indian, right?]
  • Utopian socialist ventures like Britain's National Health Service are Very Good Things and must be preserved, no matter the cost.
  • There will never be any problem with meeting future social welfare obligations, because Britain has full control over its currency and can print its way out of trouble whenever needed.
On Islam
  • Any criticism of Arabs and Islam shows that the critic has a problem with both and is not rational. [This was triggered when I pointed out that Arabs are what sociologists call "amoral familists".]
  • The Crusades were an act of wanton and open aggression by Christian Europe against peaceful Muslims.
On social issues and American politics
  • America's stance on gun control is completely crazy and people shoot each other there all the time.
  • Ron Paul and the libertarians are complete nutters and ought to be ignored.
The really sad thing about all of this is not how incoherent, illogical, ill-informed, or mixed-up all of this is.

It is that so many educated Europeans think the exact same way.

A Hard Dose of Reality

I could spend all of the next week writing carefully reasoned, logical rebuttals to all of this.

I could easily point out that the Palestinians themselves have admitted that there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation or people, and there never has been, going all the way back to Roman times and beyond.

I could point out that Israel was granted full legitimacy among the nations of the world by a United Nations vote, and upon declaring independence, extended the hand of friendship and brotherhood to the very Arab nations who sought to exterminate the Jewish state from without, even as it was fending off attacks by Palestinian Arabs  who intended to do the exact same thing from within.

I could argue about the ridiculous illogicality of claiming on the one hand that Israel holds genocidal intentions toward the Palestinian Arabs when fighting them, and on the other hand keeps them alive and blockaded and helpless.

I could point out that Egypt has long blockaded its border on the Sinai with Gaza, because the Egyptians (like most Arabs) want absolutely nothing to do with the Palestinians and prefer to keep them isolated, helpless, and angry. So too do the Jordanians and the Lebanese, who have huge camps full of the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees sitting right there in their territories and have done exactly nothing to take them in.

I could wax lyrical about the incredible resilience of Israel's economy, of its dynamism and growth and internally-driven innovation that has made it the envy of its neighbours.

I could point out that, as a Jewish state, Israel has every right to set its own policies and discriminate against whoever it chooses- you don't like it, don't live there, end of story. And I could point out that every nation on Earth discriminates against someone by definition, and excludes at least a quarter of its own native-born population from voting through arbitrary age-based guidelines on who can and cannot vote.

I could show example after example of Hamas firing rockets on Israeli civilian targets in the midst of the civilian population of Gaza, from the very media outlets that have most vocally condemned Israeli conduct in the latest war. And I could point out that Hamas does its absolute level best to cover up its barbaric conduct, in order to win the moral level of the war- the most powerful by far, and the one that the Israelis always lose.

I could give examples of nations that have buckled and crumbled under the weight of immigrants who did not share their fundamental values. I could show how tribalism and diversity combined together to generate open street-gang warfare even in New York City back in the day.

I could reel off examples like the London Riots from a few years ago, or the riots in France from a few years before those, or the fact that Norwegian women are now afraid to walk the streets of Oslo, Norway, at night, or that Malmo and Gothenburg in Sweden are now ethnic ghettoes, to show the impact of Muslims emigrating en masse into Britain and Europe.

I could argue that the NHS is bankrupt, that Britain itself is bankrupt, and that printing money ad nauseam does terrible economic damage, until I'm blue in the face.

I could point out the wealth of literature about Islam- much of it from Islamic sources- proving conclusively that Islam is a violent, backward, racist, misogynistic, deeply intolerant and utterly two-faced political ideology, based on the ideas and philosophies of a warlord, not a prophet, who probably did not even exist as he is depicted by his own "religion". I could further show from primary documents of the time that the Crusades were an entirely justified and limited-scale retaliatory intervention by a Christian Europe responding to decades of provocations by the Seljuk Turks in the Holy Land.

I could point out that gun violence in America has been trending downward for years- even as gun laws become less strict, not more, and even as gun purchasing soars among ordinary Americans. (God love 'em for that- at least Americans still have a choice. Britons don't.)

And not one of these points would make the slightest damned difference.

Resistance is Futile

The reason is quite simple. The mind of the leftist is simply not capable of handling reality.

And this because liberal thinking is quite literally a mental shortcoming.

Anonymous Conservative documented this rather well in his books. He pointed out that liberals in general have significantly smaller amygdalae than non-liberals. The amygdala is the part of the brain that handles incoming stimuli and provides signals to the rest of the brain about whether or not those stimuli are benign or dangerous.

Because they have shrunken amygdalae, liberals have a very hard time dealing with things that are dangerous to them and their societies as a whole. They routinely make category errors about things that the rest of us instinctively recognise as dangerous. If they experience too much pressure on their belief systems, they immediately go into shouting-and-waving mode to try to drown out the source of the discomfort.

This is precisely what happened on not one, but three separate occasions with entirely separate people.

The first was that dinner with my friend, as noted above; he basically resorted to rubbishing my arguments, talking over me (repeatedly- I hate it when people do that, since I tend to give people lots of time to say their piece), and repeatedly saying, "utter bollocks" whenever I presented evidence that contradicted his beliefs.

The second was a former acquaintance of mine from college; I've documented a highly-stylised version of that particular exchange here. She wrote back after that- much to my surprise, actually- and veered wildly off topic on the subject of whether or not Israel's conduct in its latest war is justified. I spent the better part of a month editing my response on and off, and responded yesterday with what I suspect will probably be the (long-winded) straw that broke the back of that particular camel of friendship.

The third is a British-Chinese bloke who sits behind me at work. For some bizarre reason he wants to talk to me every morning, and is often rather shocked to find himself listening to opinions about the world that he's never been exposed to. I take no particular pleasure in these exchanges, since he usually bugs me when I'm in the middle of actually getting things done. The results of these intrusions into my personal space are not particularly pleasant. (Incidentally, he'll be back from a business trip over to the US office tomorrow. I imagine he got a bit of a culture shock from the trip over- which I warned him about, and which I suspect he didn't pay the least bit of attention to. I await his report on what he saw with some amused anticipation.)

Each and every time, people who have been brought up in the incoherent, illogical, utterly unrealistic milieu of European thinking on what is Right and Good invariably find themselves stunned to discover that not everyone thinks the same way, and that many of the counterarguments are in fact not entirely without merit.

Yet it is ultimately futile to try to convince the Europeans that their ways are dying out, that their nations are sclerotic and weak, and that their welfare states are causing their demise. They simply clap their hands over their ears and chant loudly, hoping to drown out the unpleasant realities that confront them.

This is what America faces. This is the future that America will have to deal with. It's already too late for much of the country to avoid it, what with the impending implosion of Social Security and Medicare, and the ongoing invasion of the Southern border, and the staggering monetisation of the debt by the Federal Reserve.

The reality is that both America and Europe will decline and fall, as so many great civilisations have before them, weakened from within before being conquered from without. There is no escaping this anymore.

The really tragic thing about it all is that it could have been avoided. And so easily too. All it would have taken was a bit more cultural pride, a bit less hubris, a bit more Judeo-Christian thought and action, and both the old nations of Europe, and the new nation of America, could have been great and moral and free bastions of liberty.

But no. Because both sides of the Atlantic embraced ideologies and ideas that were impossible and incoherent and foolish, the world will take a series of giant leaps backward through time, condemning our children, and their children, to a world that is poorer and weaker and less free than the one that I grew up in.

What a waste. What a terrible price to pay for such ridiculous nonsense.

Gym crimes will be prosecuted

So know what to avoid, thanks to the Buff Dudes:

Check out their channel, there is much gym-related hilarity- and quite a bit of very solid lifting advice- to be found.

See also:

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Be strong, be proud, be happy

I really can't put it any better than this guy does:

The chap whose video you just watched has been on teh YouTubez for a long time- if you look at his list of videos, it numbers in the thousands. And his content is solid; he's an all-natural bodybuilder who is very freakin' strong. While his accent and, shall we say, sometimes tenuous grasp of English is amusing at times, it doesn't detract from the value of what he's saying.

Masculine men must never, ever, ever apologise for being that way. It is our genetic inheritance and birthright. Those who would seek to tear us down because we want to become stronger, fitter, and better are nothing but imps and trolls, to be ignored for as long as possible, and then destroyed when that is no longer feasible.

If you are trying to get stronger, good for you. It's worth the pain and sacrifice- even if it doesn't always feel that way.

(As I write this, I'm nursing a very sore tendon in my elbow, which prevents me from straightening it properly, and a long-term injury in my left hip that prevents me from squatting too far below parallel. As a result, deadlifts and squats, my two favourite lifts, are very difficult to do properly right now. I know of what I speak.)

Masculinity is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to encourage, cultivate, and be proud of.