It is now three years since Mr. Obama was sworn in as POTUS; and if he has not been much of a president — not that much should be expected from anyone elected by the moronate; after all, it should never be forgotten that any president is merely a politician who got lucky — any sane look at those who are the very best the Republican party can put forward in competition must instill a heavy goodwill wish for the Chicago Thug to continue through a second term. Probably he won’t need much luck, since last year thanks to those interested in his progress it was ensured that he spent more than any other, and that this year he plans on breaking the magic Billion Dollar threshold.
Still, people may have too soon forgotten that his inauguration was fortuitously marred by a fortuitous assassination attempt by two fortuitous white racists who were fortuitously arrested in time, thus saving him and the nation for the benefits of the Leader’s intellect and wise guidance over the coming years: Wiggum was elected because he was African-American, highly intelligent, atheistic, young, and inspiring: plus he had rich friends — actually, he was none of these things, apart from the rich friends bit. I am not interested enough to select by race: all I can say is that the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, or even Charlie Rangel would have struck me as infinitely preferable choices were one to have blackness as a decider. Integrity still means something.
Yet this incident was to be overshadowed by a far more terrifying plot, one that very nearly succeeded in overthrowing the republic, had which it had done, would have sealed America into a horrifying future as a brutal fascist terror state, ruled by the arbitrary force of the conspirators and theocratic lunatics and cynical corporate interests.
The upcoming trial with anonymous jury of the Hutaree Milita starting today, by reminding them of the agonizing events of March 2010, when a nation’s fate twisted in the wind, should awaken the United States to the perils within. To put it at the simplest interpretation of the Government’s case, these rich men, living in their trailer parks and heavily armed with powerful state-of-the-art weaponry and unlimited access to the media, planned to first kill a government law official — as yet unknown to them and undecided by them — destroy the mourners at the funeral of the first; seize the state; abolish the United Nations; ‘replace all forms of government’; and found The Colonial Christian Republic, ruled by the Radok with the assistance of the Boramander and the Zulif.
This is nothing more than naked fascism.
To counter this grave threat the state was compelled to utilise the resources of the state police to capture those behind this shadowy Catilineseque conspiracy, and smash it to bits — in a different time and world sending a bobby around to knock on the trailer door of the President of Peasmouldia and give a stern lecture would have been sufficient, but now the threat of fascist terror is too great for such simple non-mechanized methods.
Since, some of the eight conspirators have been out on bail for the last 18 months — another pled guilty to weapons charges, and may give evidence — electronically tagged to prevent escape to sympathetic countries; and an unseemly dispute has arisen concerning the accused’ lodgings for the trial; being indigent they obviously cannot afford to travel 100 miles each day for 6 to 8 weeks, and the judge says the government cannot afford to pay for hotel rooms, so she has offered to put them in unconfined jail for the duration.
Only by standing firm, and having highly-trained performing lawyers scrutinze every word of those hundreds of pages of prosecutorial evidence, can America provide a fair trial and send them away to life imprisonment: showing her utter rejection of state fascism.
People can be persuaded to believe anything provided they understand that this is what they are expected to believe
That took years to formulate, but the comforting part is that very few of the mass will ever believe it.
Anyway, it can be tied into a Russian fable quoted later. In the mean time, the instability of server 'Amp' appears to have perhaps stopped, and Serene Falcon is back to it's previous quiet efficiency: however the sloth of page-opening is also part of that normal state, so sooner or later it will be moved to the fastest servers in the west, Teksapiens, whom I found on the faintest of hints from this source.
Still, however unlikely, the Internal Security Division of Serene Falcon had to look for any evidence of hacking; which was not found: to the easily awestruck 'hacking' appears like some rough magic by which the threatening deliver some arcane spell at a site like a videogame wizard easily manipulating all though a mysterious and unnameable exploit which vanishes when suspected. In prosaic real life traces are always left, and for php even the powerful c99madshellneeds to have been uploaded via FTP or through allowed uploads for the attacker to work; simply doing a date search for the most recent files will show if any of those was compromised... Should one find evidence in Wordpress, there are the options of looking for backdoors and eliminating them or cleaning the install.
To some others, including alas, state authorities, hacking is childsplay. Literally.
A new survey has revealed that while 78 percent of them agree that it is wrong, a quarter of the kids asked admitted that hacking really is child's play. The survey of more than 1000 children discovered that the boy hacker stereotype no longer holds true, with 47 percent of those who put their hands up to hacking activity being girls. The most common scene of the crime would appear to be the relatively safe haven of the bedroom with 27 percent saying this was where they hacked from, while 22 percent were hacking in an Internet Cafe, 21 percent using the ICT suite at school and 19 percent a mate's machine. ... Cumbria Constabulary’s Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde ACPO lead on E-Crime Prevention and President of the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB) says "what this survey starkly highlights is that hacking into personal online accounts whether email or Facebook can be child’s play if users do not protect their own passwords. It illustrates the importance of keeping your passwords strong, secure and changing them regularly to help protect your accounts from unscrupulous people of all ages. We live in a world where social networking, email and the internet are embedded into our every day lives from a far younger age so early education is essential to ensure young people know the devastating consequences this activity can have...."
Whilst offering some reluctant admiration for whoever came up with 'Policing of Cyberspace', and much less admiration for the feeble attempt to emphasize the tenuous reach for supposed feminist equality in the hackosphere, it is unnerving to realise that police consider breaking into a friend's Facebook account by guessing their password as expert hacking or cracking.
Over in Africa they are a little more sophisticated --- which is not something said very often, considering that in South Africa setting people on fire is a pastime and up in Somalia they drive a truckload of stones into a stadium to punish a 13-yr-old girl for reporting her rape ( a few of the 1000 strong spectators protested ): a touch of modernity was provided by having nurses discover whether she was dead yet, and finding this not so, reburying her for the next volley of stones. A touch of multiculturalism makes the whole world kin --- and if this is what may be expected from there, still more ingenious efforts will be forthcoming from Russia and China as they and we spiral downwards.
Imagine a network of virus-driven computers so infectious that it could bring down the world's top 10 leading economies with just a few strokes. It would require about 100 million computers working together as one, a "botnet" — the cybersecurity world's version of a WMD. But unlike its conventional weapons equivalent, this threat is the subject of no geopolitical row or diplomatic initiative. That's because no one sees it coming — straight out of Africa. Cybercrime is growing at a faster rate in Africa than on any other continent in the world, according to statistics presented at a conference on the matter in Cote D'Ivoire in 2008. Cybersecurity experts estimate that 80 percent of PCs on the African continent are already infected with viruses and other malicious software. And while that may not have been too worrisome for the international economy a few years ago (just like the continuing war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not affect our daily lives), the arrival of broadband service to Africa means that is about to change. The new undersea broadband Internet cables being installed today will make Africa no further away from New York than, say, Boston, in the virtual world. Broadband Internet access will allow Africa's virus and malware problems to go global. With more users able to access the Internet (and faster), larger amounts of data can be transferred both out and inward. More spam messages in your inbox from Africa's email fraudsters will be only the beginning.
Today I'd like to introduce you to one of the main thinkers on information warfare, who most of you never heard of. S.P. Rastorguev (Расторгуев C.П.). He is a Russian strategist who unfortunately, as far as I can find, hasn't been translated. He wrote several books, but the one I will be speaking of is called literally Information Warfare ( Informatsionnaya voina -- Информационная война ). In it, he discusses the human animal and how viruses of the mind can work just as well as viruses in computer systems, exploring many models of exploitation. While he covers many concepts, the one I was introduced to originally is the story of the fox and the turtle. Here is a slightly altered, and shortened, version ( full and accurate version below ):
A turtle walks through the forest, enjoying the view. She runs into a fox, who says: "Turtle, turtle, get out of your shell and you can fly." The turtle stares skeptically at the fox, and keeps on walking. Eventually, traveling through the forest the turtle comes across a television set. She watches as hundreds of turtles get out of their shells, and fly. She gets out of her shell, and she flies.
I'm gonna say I found this as clear as crystal, as I suspect really did the writer, who goes on,
When I first heard this story, I was confused. What was the moral of the story ? Deception ? Perhaps strategy ? A friend of mine explained it as Sergei Rastorguev did at the end of the story: "The turtle didn't know and never will, that information warfare --- it is the purposeful training of an enemy on how to remove its own shell."
The following translation of the fox and turtle story was done by Ilya Konstantinov, as a favor to me. As to why the fox is female, you better ask a Russian literary expert, as that's just how it is in Russian fables.
There used to be an ordinary turtle who constantly carried a heavy shell on its back. The shell pressed her to the ground and every step she took was hard effort for her. That's why her life, measured by the number of those uneasy steps, was also hard.
On the other hand, when a hungry fox came running from a nearby forest, the turtle hid her head inside the shell and patiently awaited until the danger was over. The fox kept hopping around, trying to bite at the shell, trying to turn her upside down; all in all, trying all the steps typical of an aggressor, and yet the turtle prevailed.
Once upon a time, the fox got a big wallet, brought in a lawyer and, sitting across the turtle, proposed a buyout offer for the shell. The turtle considered it throughly, but due to her limited imagination, she had to refuse. And yet again, the fox left with nothing.
Time passed, the world changed, new means of telecommunication have entered the forest. One day, coming out of her house, the turtle saw a TV screen hanging off a tree, showing films of flying turtles, shell-less. Breathless with excitement, the woodpecker-announcer spoke of their flight: "Such a lightness ! What a speed ! How beautiful ! Such an elegance !". The turtle watched the show that day, and the next day, and the day after... And then a thought arose in her little mind, about how stupid she is to carry around that weight - the shell. Wouldn't she be better getting it off? Life would be much easier. Scarier ? Yeah, a bit scarier, but the news anchor-owl announced that the fox has turned to the Krishnas and became vegetarian.
The world is changing. The forest is also completely different; there are less and less trees and distinctive animals, and more and more indistinguishable stray dogs and jackals. "And really, why shouldn't I fly ? The skies --- they're so big and wonderful!" "If only I gave up the shell, and --- right away - - life would be easier !" --- thought the turtle "If only she gave up the shell, and --- right away --- she'd be easier to eat" -- thought the fox, signing on the bill for yet another advertisement of flying turtles And one beautiful morning, when the skies seemed larger than ever, the turtle has made her first and last step towards freedom of her protection system.
The turtle didn't know and never will, that information warfare -- it is the purposeful training of an enemy on how to remove its own shell.
Thanks to the useful idiots of liberalism --- which includes every ideology since the 17th century, the Decline of the West is assured.
Seventeen years ago the federal government launched a siege and final assault against a group of private citizens who had not offended outside the beliefs they held or outside the group. To validate this process a propaganda campaign of falsehoods was instituted and was continued after.
This was not a punishment: it was a warning.
Punishments there were, in plenty, for the survivors.
Now, governments will do these things, whether in Indonesia, China or the USA --- and in the absence of government private parties will do such things, as in the Bastard Feudalistic phase of Late Mediaeval period during the Wars of the Roses or in the Gilded Age of America ( when Robber Barons like the unspeakable little republicans such as Carnegie or Frick randomly slaughtered their workers, Europeans were outraged not wholly at the murderous defence of Capital --- European polities were scarcely housing or in other ways treating their lower classes well, and were not averse though profoundly reluctant to sending the troops in if the police could not contain a strike --- but at the sheer insufferability of private citizens, including corporations as private citizens in the curious Anglo-American tradition, possessing and using armed private police forces to ensure their will ). This is not so much a question of the awfulness of government power, but the inane and disgusting purpose of an individual government.
The sect remembered was a breakaway group of a breakaway ad infinitum group in the true tradition of faiths. Seventh-Day Adventists are fearfully respectable and cook delicious food in their restaurants: those who seceded, as is the common way with splinter-groups, grew loopier the further they strayed. By the time David Koresh was through his sect was the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists, the apple having rolled fairly far from the tree. Which is not to say the tenets of the Adventists are sane compared to Catholic doctrine --- and for Royalists, the Roman Catholics have always been the weak sisters to Monarchy and Western Civilisation: petty, corrupt and wilfully treacherous. For those loyal to higher powers than despicably elected mere Popes, Canossa is the Great Unforgotten as much as Kronstadt is to any decent communist. However, although their theology may not be persuasive it is at least coherent --- From the Wiki entry, all the Adventist groups share such flawed beliefs such as:
# Jesus Christ is to soon personally return to earth to gather together his elect and take them to heaven for 1000 years, after which he will return with them to this earth to dwell with them for eternity in his kingdom.
# The non-immortality of the soul. That is, the dead have no consciousness, nor being.
# There shall be a resurrection of both the just and of the unjust. The resurrection of the just will take place at the second coming of Christ; the resurrection of the unjust will take place 1000 years later, at the close of the millennium.
# There is a sanctuary in heaven in which Christ is ministering on behalf of mankind.
# There is an investigative judgment going on in the heavenly sanctuary that began on October 22, 1844 to determine who will come forth in each of the resurrections, and who will be translated without seeing death at the second coming of Christ. That said judgment began with the records of those who had died, and would eventually pass to the living.
Etc., etc.. This stuff shares the usual delusion of religion that God is subject to human desires and whims. One may be sure that the number '1000' is relied upon as being a definite span, not too large as to be incomprehensible, not too small as to be verifiable: but to imagine God is subject to human time-tabling is not merely impious, but as vain as a mayfly suggesting the God envisaged by mayflies will judge the risen mayflies within a month.
And in the Wiki entry for the Siege itself there is piece we recognise as classic Curious Religious Americana --- we are often belaboured with the fact that America has a deeply religious base as compared with decadent Europe, just as has Dar al-Islam. And what use is that if the religion itself is utterly insane ? This has more to do with Spengler's forecast of the Second Religosity amongst the peasantry during the Imperialistic period than a deep love of the Almighty --- which involves exhumation and guns.
Following the failure of this prophecy, control of Mt. Carmel fell to Benjamin Roden, and on his death to his wife, Lois. Lois Roden considered their son, George, unfit to assume the position of prophet. Instead, she groomed Vernon Howell, later known as David Koresh, as her chosen successor. In 1984, a meeting led to a division of the group with Howell leading one faction, calling themselves the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, and George Roden leading the competing faction. After this split, George Roden ran Howell and his followers off Mt. Carmel. Howell and his group relocated to Palestine, Texas.
After the death of Lois and the probate case, Howell attempted to gain control of the Mt Carmel center by force. George Roden had dug up the casket of Anna Hughes from the Davidian cemetery and had challenged Howell to a resurrection contest to prove who was the rightful heir. Howell instead went to the police and claimed Roden was guilty of corpse abuse. By October 31, 1987 the county prosecutors had refused to file charges without proof and so on November 3, 1987 Howell and seven armed companions attempted to access the Mt. Carmel chapel with the goal of photographing the body in the casket. George Roden was advised of the interlopers and grabbed an Uzi in response. The sheriff's department responded about 20 minutes into the gunfight. Sheriff Harwell got Howell on the phone and told him to stop shooting and surrender. Howell and his companions, dubbed the "Rodenville Eight" by the media, were tried on April 12, 1988; seven were acquitted and the jury was hung on Howell's verdict. The county prosecutors did not press the case further.
While waiting for the trial, George Roden was put in jail under contempt of court charges on March 21, 1988 because of his use of foul language in some court pleadings threatening the Texas court with AIDS and herpes if it ruled in favor of Howell. The very next day, Perry Jones and a number of Howell's other followers moved from their headquarters in Palestine, Texas to Mt. Carmel Center.
The bellowed threats of God's biological warfare smiting the court seem counterproductive to getting that court to look favorably upon one's cause...
The Most Intelligent Way Possible
However the prior antics of squabbling religious fanatics was unassociated with the later event, which was orchestrated under the leadership of Miss Janet Reno. Here, I shall defer to a recent report [ Dec 2009 ] from IFS Writers: God Bless You Janet Reno --- Child Killer.
For 51 days, the ATF and the FBI held these people hostage, and then lied to Congress. I just want to let everyone know that I too, remember these Americans, these little children and old people that Janet Reno had gunned down, mutilated and burnt in the name of justice. I remember that one male report, who would come to the microphone and TV camera, and report that - there was no food for the children, or the next time, the kids were being molested, or the very next time, the kids were being held as hostages, etc. I wonder how his career is during these days. America will never forget Janet Reno and her friends that kill children, mothers and old people. I know she will live a long fruitful life. After all one day she will meet each and everyone of those victims again. And at that time, there are no laws, police and anything thing else that will save her from the raft of hell.
Janet Reno, the former attorney general in the Clinton administration, received a lifetime achievement award Friday, April 18, 2009, from the American Judicature Society, a non-partisan justice advocacy network.
Speaking slowly because of the effects of Parkinson Disease, Reno praised violence prevention programs and the current direction of the Justice Department. “Now I can look at America and think this is a nation that is responding in the most intelligent way possible to deal with violence, especially domestic violence,” Reno said.
Poor old incompetent fool, it might be more charitable to assume she, as we assume of Reagan during his presidency, so crippled pre factum that the mental damage was already there rather than it being a punishment..
Oh, Say, Can You See....
On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) launched the largest assault in its history against a small religious community in America. Approximately eighty armed agents invaded the compound, purportedly to execute a single search and arrest warrant. The raid went badly; six Branch Davidians and four agents were killed.
Attorney General Janet Reno asked for and received military support. The U.S. Army showed up with tanks.
After a fifty-one-day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved Reno’s plan to use CS gas and break down the walls with tanks to “save the children” of those barricaded inside.
On the 51st day tanks carrying the CS gas broke through the concrete walls and entered the compound. A fire broke out, and all seventy-four men, women and children inside perished. One third of them from gunshot wounds, the rest crushed by debris or burned to death.
After the compound had burned down the ATF flag was hoisted aloft to signify ‘victory’. At Janet Reno’s award ceremony today it was only mentioned that 74 “cult members” were killed.
Still Meant Over 10 Years In Quod For Resisting Arrest
In The Davidian trial judge sentenced five Davidians to the maximum sentence of 30 years each; one to 20 years; one to 15; one to 5 years and one to 3 years. On June 4, 2000 the Supreme Court cut 25 years from 4 Davidians' sentences and 5 years from one. On September 9, 2000 Judge Walter Smith followed the Court's instructions and cut those sentences, as well as the 25 year sentence of Livingstone Fagan who had not appealed.
All were released as of July 2007.
However... Quite ordinary American prisons appear training grounds for Guantánamo: from the Wiki article...
One, Derek Lovelock, was held in McLennan County Jail for seven months, often in solitary confinement. Livingston Fagan, another British citizen, who was among those convicted and imprisoned, recounts multiple beatings at the hands of prison guards, particularly at Leavenworth. He claims to have been doused with cold water from a high-pressure hose, which soaked both him and the contents and bedding of his cell, after which an industrial fan was placed outside the cell, blasting him with cold air. He was repeatedly moved between at least nine different facilities. He was strip-searched every time he took exercise, so refused exercise.
It's very difficult to imagine what pleasure a prison guard gets from beating up inmates...
And with all sieges where the external forces have world enough and time, All You Ever Have To Do Is Wait.
If all these things aforesaid were indeed performed, as we haue shewed them in words, you should haue a perfect Orchard in nature and substance, begunne to your hand; And yet are all these things nothing, if you want that skill to keepe and dresse your trees. Such is the condition of all earthly things, whereby a man receiueth profit or pleasure, that they degenerate presently without good ordering. Man himselfe left to himselfe, growes from his heauenly and spirituall generation, and becommeth beastly, yea deuillish to his owne kind, vnlesse he be regenerate No maruell then, if Trees make their shootes, and put their spraies disorderly. And truly ( if I were worthy to iudge ) there is not a mischiefe that breedeth greater and more generall harme to all the Orchard ( especially if they be of any continuance ) that euer I saw, ( I will not except three ) then the want of the skilfull dressing of trees. It is a common and vnskilfull opinion, and saying. Let all grow, and they will beare more fruit: and if you lop away superfluous boughes, they say, what a pitty is this ? How many apples would these haue borne? not considering there may arise hurt to your Orchard, as well ( nay rather ) by abundance, as by want of wood. Sound and thriuing plants in a good soile, will euer yeeld too much wood, and disorderly, but neuer too little. So that a skilfull and painfull Arborist, need neuer want matter to effect a plentifull and well drest Orchard: for it is an easie matter to take away superfluous boughes ( if your Gardner haue skill to know them ) whereof your plants will yeeld abundance, and skill will leaue sufficient well ordered. All ages both by rule and experience doe consent to a pruining and lopping of trees: yet haue not any that I know described vnto vs ( except in darke and generall words ) what or which are those superfluous boughes, which we must take away, and that is the chiefe and most needfull point to be knowne in lopping. And we may well assure our selues, ( as in all other Arts, so in this ) there is a vantage and dexterity, by skill, and an habite by practise out of experience, in the performance hereof for the profit of mankind; yet doe I not know ( let me speake it with the patience of our cunning Arborists ) any thing within the compasse of humane affaires so necessary, and so little regarded, not onely in Orchards, but also in all other timber trees, where or whatsoeuer.
Of the right dressing of trees
William Lawson -- A New Orchard And Garden : Or, The best way for planting, grafting, and to make any ground good, for a Rich Orchard: Particularly in the North and generally for the whole kingdome of England, as in nature, reason, situation, and all probabilitie, may and doth appeare. 1631
Charles West Cope --- Attempted Arrest of Five Members of the House of Commons by Charles I
A. Al these squares must bee set with trees, the Gardens and other ornaments must stand in spaces betwixt the trees, & in the borders & fences.
B. Trees 20. yards asunder.
C. Garden Knots.
D. Kitchen garden.
H. Walkes set with great wood thicke.
I. Walkes set with great wood round about your Orchard.
K. The out fence.
L. The out fence set with stone-fruite.
M. Mount. To force earth for a mount, or such like set it round with quicke, and lay boughes of trees strangely intermingled tops inward, with the earth in the midle.
O. Good standing for Bees, if you haue an house.
P. If the riuer run by your doore, & vnder your mount, it will be pleasant.
"You shock me sometimes, Jean," he said, a statement which amused her.
"You're such a half‑and half man," she said with a note of contempt in her voice. "You were quite willing to benefit by Jim Meredith's death; you killed him as cold‑bloodedly as you killed poor little Bulford, and yet you must whine and snivel whenever your deeds are put into plain language. What does it matter if Lydia dies now or in fifty years, time ?" she asked. "It would be different if she were immortal. You people attach so much importance to human life --- the ancients, and the Japanese amongst the modern, are the only people who have the matter in true perspective. It is no more cruel to kill a human being than it is to cut the throat of a pig to provide you with bacon. There's hardly a dish at your table which doesn't represent wilful murder, and yet you never think of it, but because the man animal can talk and dresses himself or herself in queer animal and vegetable fabrics, and decorates the body with bits of metal and pieces of glittering quartz, you give its life a value which you deny to the cattle within your gates ! Killing is a matter of expediency. Permissable if you call it war, terrible if you call it murder. To me it is just killing. If you are caught in the act of killing they kill you, and people say it is right to do so. The sacredness of human life is a slogan invented by cowards who fear death --- as you do."
In all the immense literature about the 1939 – 1945 war, one may observe a legend in process of being shaped. Gradually, authentic memories of the war — of its boredom, its futility, the sense it gave of being part of a process of decomposition — fade in favor of the legendary version, embodied in Churchill’s rhetoric and all the other narratives by field marshals, air marshals and admirals, creating the same impression of a titanic and forever memorable struggle in defense of civilization. In fact, of course, the war’s ostensible aims — the defense of a defunct Empire, a spent Revolution, and bogus Freedoms — were meaningless in the context of the times. They will probably rate in the end no more than a footnote on the last page of the last chapter of the story of our civilization.
Back to the nearest memories of humankind, 1980, when the fatuous figures of Reagan and Madame Thatcher were stalking the globe as twin pestilences, Hordes of the Things made it's first appearance on Radio Four ( BBC ). The links should be read after listening, since they naturally are spoilers. Radio, apart from it's life-preserving, as in rescue, or life-destroying, as in war, --- though British military radio from the late Balkan Wars to Iraq in the form of the aging Clansman system was wretched enough for the soldiery to opt for using their mobiles instead if possible --- services has little to commend it's survival now; yet for the prior half of the 20th century it was more important for popular cultural enrichment than TV as a later phenomenon: fortunately, both are being obviated by the internet. Still, radio humour --- as variable in quality as any other medium ( viz: mostly crap ) --- supplied a need in those less advanced years; and Hordes of the Things was fairly good. However rarely repeated, the combination of actors well-known in their day, and seasoned comedic writers produced from four short episodes phrases that live in the mind. The occasional mock-shakespearian rhapsody and the underlying menace of beauty from Wagner's finest didn't hurt a Tolkienesque burlesque with Dragons, Eagles and Spiders. Still, 'We are trained to be patient in the Brotherhood of Night.' kind of haunts the mind even of those of us who are severely lacking in patience of any kind.
Quite other than it's being comedy, there is a satire implicit upon the very worst and most despicable Liberal. The utterly sincere, and really morally pure, harmonising, well-meaning, honest idiot who horridly sees good in all and tries so hard to reconcile, that his weakness destroys himself and all that he is obligated to protect. Who genuinely thinks that competing cultures must be greeted with complacent self-destruction. Combining self-satisfied fellow-travelling, dumb moral relativism and a disgustingly feeble-minded belief in the value of all, and their good intentions, together with total disdain for those who prefer reality, makes them so worthless as to be more dangerous than a frank villain such as Bush or Clinton.
Still, as I was saying, though the contemporary in-jokes have reached the inevitable fate of all such trifles, many of the finely delivered lines resonate so as to be almost unforgettable [ Bearing in mind that everything is ultimately forgot here below... ]. Thanks to a friendly torrent this aged comedy is available here.; but also proffered as a downloadable zip which is recommended for home use.
FOOOOOOLLLL ! Now I can seeee yoou !
Name not that name within these walls, Master..
Loathsome Brothers !
Just a, a minute. There's something strange here. Majesteh ? Why are there so many more wenches than hags in the village ? The men had marched a long way, Majesteh. Oh. Ah... yes... I see...
Beware, Agar, son of Yulfric; for no power on earth is granted without a price.
You take the counsel of that cannibal and sentence your own son to grisly death ?
Right, what is this ? Just a mirror. It looks like the All-Seeing Mirror of Ganst, whose power lies by reflecting deep into the souls of the fallen... Reproduction. And all these axes here, magic helms and articles of torture ? Collector's Items. I don't doubt it Yulfric, but what sortof collector ?
The First Chronicle The Second Chronicle The Third Chronicle The Fourth Chronicle
This suggests the fascinating possibility that the key for a group intending to turn Europeans against themselves is to trigger their strong tendency toward altruistic punishment by convincing them of the moral blameworthiness of their own people. Because Europeans are individualists at heart, they readily rise up in moral anger against their own people once they are seen as free riders and therefore morally blameworthy — a manifestation of their stronger tendency toward altruistic punishment deriving from their evolutionary past as hunter gatherers. In making judgments of altruistic punishment, relative genetic distance is irrelevant. Free-riders are seen as strangers in a market situation; i.e., they have no familial or tribal connection with the altruistic punisher.
As a very interesting and influential European group, the Puritans exemplified this tendency toward altruistic punishment. A defining feature of Puritanism was the tendency to pursue utopian causes framed as moral issues — their susceptibility to utopian appeals to a ‘higher law’ and the belief that government’s principal purpose is moral. New England was the most fertile ground for “the perfectibility of man creed,” and the “father of a dozen ‘isms’.” There was a tendency to paint political alternatives as starkly contrasting moral imperatives, with one side portrayed as evil incarnate — inspired by the devil. Puritan moral intensity can also be seen in their “profound personal piety” — their intensity of commitment to live not only a holy life, but also a sober and industrious life.
Puritans waged holy war on behalf of moral righteousness even against their own genetic cousins. The suggestion is that this is a form of altruistic punishment found more often among coöperative hunter-gatherer groups than among groups based on extended kinship. For example, whatever the political and economic complexities that led to the Civil War, it was the Yankee moral condemnation of slavery that inspired the rhetoric and rendered the massive carnage of closely related Anglo-Americans on behalf of slaves from Africa justifiable in the minds of Puritans. Militarily, the war with the Confederacy rendered the heaviest sacrifice in lives and property ever made by Americans. Puritan moral fervor and its tendency to justify draconian punishment of evil doers can also be seen in the comments of “the Congregationalist minister at Henry Ward Beecher’s Old Plymouth Church in New York [who] went so far as to call for ‘exterminating the German people … the sterilization of 10,000,000 German soldiers and the segregation of the woman,.”
Thus the current altruistic punishment so characteristic of contemporary Western civilization: Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. Rather than see other Europeans as part of an encompassing ethnic and tribal community, fellow Europeans were seen as morally blameworthy and the appropriate target of altruistic punishment. For Westerners, morality is individualistic — violations of communal norms by free riders are punished by altruistic aggression.
Guilt is rather necessary, for we ought to know what we are; but it is also necessary to discard it as mere vainglorious self-obsession once past fault is recognised and subsumed. Natürlich, some of us find it easier than others; but that’s just through rigorous self-training ( or something ) — which is far less complacent than the opposite urge to purge another’s guilt. And certainly beats killing or self-killing to satisfy a ridiculous moral ego…
Last night I idly considered the tragic life and death of Anna Nicole Smith, and wondered why the keepers of Amerika still have not yet transformed the Statue of Liberty into her likeness --- for that life and death perfectly capture the parallel destiny of the land... A century ago George S. Viereck wrote this predictive fantasy. He was quintessentially an odd bird, and despite some sympathy for his Hohenzollern cousins was rather a teutonophile than in any way royalist, yet his Germanic imagination qualified him as a seer.
THE EMPIRE CITY
HUGE steel-ribbed monsters rise into the air Her Babylonian towers, while on high Like gilt-scaled serpents glide the swift trains by, Or, underfoot, creep to their secret lair. A thousand lights are jewels in her hair, The sea her girdle, and her crown the sky, Her life-blood throbs, the fevered pulses fly, Immense, defiant, breathless she stands there
And ever listens in the ceaseless din, Waiting for him, her lover who shall come, Whose singing lips shall boldly claim their own And render sonant what in her was dumb: The splendour and the madness and the sin, Her dreams in iron and her thoughts of stone.
O NINEVEH, thy realm is set Upon a base of rock and steel From where the under-rivers fret High up to where the planets reel.
Clad in a blazing coat of mail, Above the gables of the town Huge dragons with a monstrous trail Have pillared pathways up and down.
And in the bowels of the deep Where no man sees the gladdening sun, All night without the balm of sleep The human tide rolls on and on.
The Hudson's mighty waters lave In stern caress thy granite shore, And to thy port the salt sea wave Brings oil and wine and precious ore.
Yet if the ocean in its might Should rise confounding stream and bay, The stain of one delirious night Not all the tides can wash away.
Thick pours the smoke of thousand fires, Life throbs and beats relentlessly --- But lo, above the stately spires Two lemans: Death and Leprosy.
What fruit shall spring from such embrace ? Ah, even thou wouldst quake to hear ! He bends to kiss her loathsome face, She laughs --- and whispers in his ear.
Sit not too proudly on thy throne, Think on thy sisters, them that fell; Not all the hosts of Babylon Could save her from the jaws of hell.
Through the long alleys of the park On noiseless wheels and delicate springs, Glide painted women fair and dark, Bedecked with silks and jewelled things.
In peacock splendour goes the rout With shrill, loud laughter of the mad --- Red lips to suck thy life-blood out, And eyes too weary to be sad !
Their feet go down to shameful death, They flaunt the livery of their wrong, Their beauty is of Ashtoreth, Her strength it is that makes them strong.
Behold thy virgin daughters, how They know the smile a wanton wears; And oh ! on many a boyish brow The blood-red brand of murder flares.
See, through the crowded streets they fly, Like doves before the gathering storm. They cannot rest, for ceaselessly In every heart there dwells a worm.
They sing in mimic joy, and crown Their temples to the flutes of sin; But no sweet noise shall ever drown The whisper of the worm within.
They revel in the gilded line Of lamplit halls to charm the night, But think you that the crimson wine Can veil the horror from their sight ?
Ah, no --- their staring eyes are led To where it lurks with hideous leer: Therefore the women flush so red, And all the men are white with fear.
As in a mansion vowed to lust, Where wantons with their guests make free, 'Tis thus thou humblest in the dust Thy queenly body, Nineveh !
Thy course is downward; 'tis the road To sins that even where disgrace And shameful pleasure walk abroad Dare not unmask their shrouded face !
Surely at last shall come the day When these that dance so merrily Shall watch with terrible faces gray Thy doom draw near, O Nineveh !
I, too, the fatal harvest gained Of them that sow with seed of fire In passion's garden --- I have drained The goblet of thy sick desire.
I from thy love had bitter bliss, And ever in my memory stir The after-savours of thy kiss --- The taste of aloes and of myrrh.
And yet I love thee, love unblessed The poison of thy wanton's art; Though thou be sister to the Pest In thy great hands I lay my heart !
And when thy body Titan-strong Writhes on its giant couch of sin, Yea, though upon the trembling throng The very vault of Heaven fall in;
And though the palace of thy feasts Sink crumbling in a fiery sea --- l, like, the last of Baal's priests, Will share thy doom, O Nineveh.
The doom of our culture was already well upon it's way by the time of the Second World War --- or War of the Republics as I would prefer it to be known, since this was conducted entirely betwixt differing republican systems, all equally loathsome. Possibly not Japan, I guess, since it was at least nominally a monarchy, although cursory search indicates it was more of a constitutional monarchy. WWII may be summarized as that the nazis were detestable; the western allies despicable; and the communists disgusting.
The Russians had reverted to becoming savages by 1945: the Americans maintained their customary anthropological status as barbarians. Their especially barbaric political system of representative democracy had grave consequence as victors... The very first moralistic theatre was the judicial murder of General Anton Dostler, of which may be read here, written by the son of his American defense counsel. Essentially, 15 American soldiers were captured disguised as Italian civilians, and the --- non-nazi --- General referred the case to Kesselring, who ordered them to be executed. Admittedly Smiling Albert had enough to occupy his mind right then without giving this a great deal of thought, but under the laws of war this was a done deal anyway. It is pointless to object or blame soldiers for disguising; it is equally pointless to object to the consequence --- which procedure is actually there to protect civilians. Thus although guiltless --- neither prosecutor nor defence expected anything except acquittal --- General Dostler was then sentenced to death after new instructions were handed down from Washington in response to the revelation that the prosecution would fail, that is that henceforth in these trials hearsay evidence would be admissible. This was to satisfy the voting constituents. Democracy is awesomely repellent not merely in practice, but still more so in idealist theory...
'Hope to God we never lose a war.' said the prosecutor.
As two world-outlooks, two modes of blood-flow in the veins and of thought in the daily being and doing, are interwoven, there arise in the end ( in every Culture ) two sorts of moral, of which each looks down upon the other --- namely, noble custom, and priestly askesis, reciprocally censured as worldly and as servile. It has been shown already how the one proceeds from the castle and the other from the cloister and the minster, the one from full being in the flood of History and the other, aloof therefrom, out of pure waking-consciousness in the ambiance of a God-pervaded nature. The force with which these primary impressions act upon men is something that later periods will be unable even to imagine. The secular and the spiritual class-feeling are starting on their upward career, and cutting out for themselves an ethical class-ideal which is accessible only to the right people, and even to them only by way of long and strict schooling. The great being-stream feels itself as a unit as against the residue of dull, pulseless, and aimless blood. The great mind-community knows itself as a unit as against the residue of uninitiated. These units are the band of heroes and the community of saints.
It will always remain the great merit of Nietzsche that he was the first to recognize the dual nature of all moral. His designations of "master-" and "slave-" moral were inexact, and his presentation of "Christianity" placed it much too definitely on the one side of the dividing line, but at the basis of all his opinions this lies strong and clear, that good and bad are aristocratic, and good and evil priestly, distinctions. Good and bad, which are Totemistic distinctions among primitive groups of men and tribes, describe, not dispositions, but men, and describe them comprehensively in respect of their living-being. The good are the powerful, the rich, the fortunate. Good means strong, brave, thoroughbred, in the idiom of every Springtime. Bad, cheap, wretched, common, in the original sense, are the powerless, propertyless, unfortunate, cowardly, negligible --- the "sons of nobody" as ancient Egypt said. Good and evil, Taboo concepts, assign value to a man according to his perceptions and reason --- that is, his waking disposition and his conscious actions. To offend against love-ethic in the race sense is ungentle, to sin against the Church's love-command is wicked. The noble habit is the perfectly unconscious result of a long and continuous training. It is learned in intercourse and not from books. It is a felt rhythm, and not a notion. But the other moral is enunciated, ordered on the basis of cause and consequence, and therefore learnable and expressive of a conviction.
The one is historical through and through, and recognizes rank-distinctions and privileges as actual and axiomatic. Honour is always class-honour --- there is no such thing as an "honour of humanity." The duel is not an obligation of unfree persons. Every man, be he Bedouin or Samurai or Corsican, peasant or workman, judge or bandit, has his own binding notions of honour, loyalty, courage, revenge, that do not apply to other kinds of life. Every life has custom-ethic --- it is unthinkable without it. Children have it already in their play; they know at once, of themselves, what is fitting. No one has laid down these rules, but they exist. They arise, quite unconsciously, out of the "we" that has formed itself out of the uniform pulse of the group. Here, too, each being is "in form." Every crowd that, under one or another stimulus, has collected in the street has for the moment its own ethic, and anyone who does not absorb it and stand for it as self-evident --- to say "follow it" would presume more rationality in the action than there is --- is a poor, mean creature, an outsider. Uneducated people and children possess an astonishingly fine reactivity to this. Children, however, are also required to learn the Catechism, and in it they hear about the good and evil that are laid down and are any thing rather than self-evident. Custom-ethic is not that which is true, but that which is there; it is a thing of birth and growth, feeling and organic logic. Moral, in contrast to this, is never actuality ( for, if it were, all the world would be saintly ), but an eternal demand hanging over the consciousness and, ex hypothesi, over that of all men alike, irrespective of all differences of actual life and history. And, therefore, all moral is negative and all custom-ethic affirmative. In the latter "devoid of honour" is the worst, in the former "devoid of sin" is the highest, that can be said of anyone.
The basic concept of all living custom-ethic is honour. Everything else --- loyalty, modesty, bravery, chivalry, self-control, resolution is comprised in it. And honour is a matter of the blood and not of the reason. One does not reflect on a point of honour --- that is already dishonour. To lose honour means to be annulled so far as Life and Time and History are concerned. The honour of one's class, one's family, of man and woman, of one's people and one's country, the honour of peasant and soldier and even bandit honour means that the life in a person is something that has worth, historical dignity, delicacy, nobility. It belongs to directional Time, as sin belongs to timeless Space. To have honour in one's body means about the same as to have race. The opposite sort are the Thersites-natures, the mud-souled, the riff-raff, the "kick-me-but-let-me-live's." To submit to insult, to forget a humiliation, to quail before an enemy --- all these are signs of a life become worthless and superfluous. But this is not at all the same thing as priestly moral, for that moral does not cleave to life at any cost of degradation, but rather rejects and abstains from life as such, and therefore incidentally from honour. As has been said already, every moral action is, at the very bottom, a piece of askesis and a killing of being. And eo ipso it stands outside the field of life and the world of history.
Oswald Spengler : The Decline of the West [ Vol II, Chap. 10 ]
Lingering self-respect has oftimes preserved me --- 'gainst all temptations --- from the more egregious effects of the zeitgeist of sentimentality: a modest pride holds in that I have nevereverseen either It's A Wonderful Life or The Wizard Of Oz, f'rinstance. Now, Upton Sinclair was a notable story-teller, but a Hemingwayesquely poor writer --- 'What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke ?' as Gore Vidal wrote of his native land --- and his themes here are rather trite; bad capitalists... bad religion... exploiters... the family saga genre... so it's rather unlikely I shall bother to watch There Will Be Blood. Having a nearly all-male crew probably clinches it --- single sex movies suck as much as single sex communities... However the title is awfully good --- especially considering the vast importance of titling and it's common neglect --- so I tried to find from whence it came.
It makes good on the film's title, which may be taken from Lord Byron. "The king-times are fast finishing," he said. "There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist. But the peoples will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it, but I foresee it."
This is pretty painful stuff even for Byron, who ever veered precariously betwixt plodding doggerel and occasionally splendid fustian, and rarely hit the rocks of glorious lyricism. And as with Marx --- But Hubbard’s superb record for inaccuracy of statement clouded any of his positive remarks with a fog of doubt. to quote Stewart H. Holbrook on a notable capitalist of the latter's era --- it's not easy to ascertain the finished construct of the promised Paradise: presumably it will include peace, love, harmony, compulsory gender and racial equality, an incredible amount of daily uplift though one way communication, and a total absence of thought. Or, let us say, no class whatsoever.
Fortunately though, the probably ever-reliable China Daily gave the definitive origin:
Smite The Waters
The film's resonantly Old Testament title comes from the seventh chapter of Exodus where God, via Moses, orders Aaron to smite the waters so that "they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt". In the context of the film this biblical blood is oil, the contaminating element dealt in by its forceful central character.
The Bible is so beautiful...
[sarc] And God said, "Let there be Blood." [/sarc].
More importantly, a link from the China Daily went on to better news; in Düsseldorf the police are equipping their dogs with shoes.
Small, Medium And Large
"All 20 of our police dogs -- German and Belgian shepherds -- are currently being trained to walk in these shoes," Andre Hartwich said. "I'm not sure they like it, but they'll have to get used to it."
The unusual footwear is not a fashion statement, Hartwich said, but rather a necessity due to the high rate of paw injuries on duty. Especially in the city's historical old town -- famous for both its pubs and drunken revelers -- the dogs often step into broken beer bottles.
"Even the street-cleaning doesn't manage to remove all the glass pieces from between the streets' cobble stones," Hartwich said, adding that the dogs frequently get injured by little pieces sticking deep in their paws.
The dogs will start wearing the shoes this spring but only during operations that demand special foot protection. The shoes comes in sizes small, medium and large and were ordered in blue to match the officers uniforms, Hartwich said.
It's rarely one sees police-dogs in Great Britain --- nearly as rarely as police-horses --- but I hope they institute it here: broken glass on the streets, however, is not rare at all. [ If randomly picking up shards, I've found that one hand can hold a dozen of any size, but not more; and of course, one can only fill one hand... ]
I was born in Düsseldorf, and that is why they call me Rolf...
The topiary tree formed as a profusion of carved nephrite, finely veined leaves and jeweled fruit and flowers on an intricate framework of branches, the fruit formed by champagne diamonds, amethysts, pale rubies and citrines, the flowers enameled white and set with diamonds, a keyhole and a tiny lever, hidden among the leaves, when activated open the hinged circular top of the tree and a feathered songbird rises, flaps its wings, turns its head, opens its beak and sings, the gold trunk chased to imitate bark and planted in gold soil is contained in a white quartz tub applied with a gold trellis chased with flowerheads at the intersections and further applied with swags of berried laurel enameled translucent green and pinned by cabochon rubies, the central rubies edged by diamonds, each foot of the tub also applied with chased gold rosettes set with cabochon rubies and diamonds, the corners of the tub with pearl finials, the square carved nephrite base in two steps with a miniature nephrite fluted column at each corner set with chased gold mounts, each column with a reeded gold cap surmounted by a pearl nestled in translucent green enamel leaves, the swinging gold chains between the columns formed as pearl flowers with translucent green enamel leaves.
Occasionally, as still more with Erté, part of the slickness causes wariness, yet as Fabergé's skill astounds, the sheer swaggering inutility redeems any doubts. However in the end, like power and lands, art eventually temporarily ends up, via passing revolutionaries into the hands of base millionaires before they too die, unwept and unsung --- and wholly unremembered. Even uglier is the next fate of possessions --- passions --- of individual monarchs and people transmuted into a disgusting 'National' heritage for all, dead in state museums and owned by no-one.
It is taken as a rule that whenever, and no matter in which context, a personal pronoun is used, the speaker is — hopefully unconsciously — boasting. Still, I have identified my major flaw and can’t really feel it increases self-esteem. I am incapable of reverence. This might be a coded way of saying rebellious, were it not for the fact that as a reactionary traditionalist I’ve never seen the point in rebellion for it’s own sake save as a narcissistic attitude ( see: Shelley, and indeed, Byron ); rejection of belief seems as pointless as it’s easy acceptance, and considerably more self-dramatizing. Naturalich, I feel honour to my hereditary lord: he is God’s Vice-Gerant; then again, I am scarcely likely to meet him, even less to serve him; and no chance at all to die for him > which last should be man’s natural doom. I think it was Lord Bernard Stuart who died with his back to a tree fighting eight Roundheads; and later, as my namesake lay dying…
The Viscount then asking the said Johnston: “How the day went ?”
“The day went well for the King, but I am sorry for your Lordship.”
Claverhouse : “It is the less matter for me, seeing the day went well for my Master.”
Dying was worthwhile in those days. Now it has the same unimportance as life.
To continue, no singer or band has ever held my heart. No people or group, large or tiny, seem the least bit worthy. I can’t respect breeding, wealth or achievement, no matter what it cost the achiever; work, any work, is as only good as the result; and most present day work produces ugliness adding to the material world. As a legitimist, concurrent politics merely seem the futile gesturings of freed slaves aping the process of governance. Religion is not to be crudely disdained, even — especially —- if one is fundamentally irreligious, so short ceremonies are easy enough to be for mannered respect, but in church I’ve never felt anything except annoyance and a dislike of kneeling — and this lack of interest applies to all manifestations of the religious impulse, whether church-based, atheistic, faith in science, faith in materialism, faith in people ( all, or a selected group ), nationalism, racialism, anti-racialism, and all the creeds that mix any of these to form a cocktail of belief. And too philosophers have very little to do with a functioning spiritual life any more than economists have to do with the random workings of whatever the economy may be: both are merely theologians, only to be read for the funny bits.
Thus both religion and ethical theory fail, if just because both make enormous logical leaps by constructing the desired end — good and evil — first, then creating the theory that accounts for why they think one of these is right or wrong. There are only two pole-stars for correctness: personal honour and loyalty. So in fine, there is nothing in life that can command respect or even much admiration.
I feel horror and disgust at having lived in the decades I did, both from their and my own inadequacy: all platitudinous self-serving of both rulers and ruled nauseates; we are lucky enough to have excellent gear now, but a hideous environment to house it. Technology is excellent, yet can hardly substitute for the lack in modern life. If I go anywhere in Great Britain, I know exactly what I’ll find, no matter if I’ve never seen the area once. All towns. cars, supermarkets, garages, motorway stations, same shops everywhere — maybe a museum or gallery might be interesting for an hour, or it might be as trite as the media society that invests us all. Certainly the countryside in Europe is still pretty good in places: but you have to get further in than you see from the roadside. Culturally, the bittersweet Still Game regarding two pensioners in Glasgow pretty well sums up the dead end-game of life in Britain. I can now go anywhere, but can’t conceive of any place I want to live in.
And North America and Europe — which comprise the continents I should feel comfortable within —- are pretty much the same way. All is dullness. And the people are devoted to weakness and ineptitude. We live, as predicted, in Ressentiment World. Slaves Rule.
A few years ago an Italian friend of mine travelled by train from Boston to Providence. She had only been in America for a couple weeks and hadn’t seen much of the country yet. She arrived looking astonished. “It’s so ugly !” People from other rich countries can scarcely imagine the squalor of the man-made bits of America. In travel books they show you mostly natural environments: the Grand Canyon, whitewater rafting, horses in a field. If you see pictures with man-made things in them, it will be either a view of the New York skyline shot from a discreet distance, or a carefully cropped image of a seacoast town in Maine. How can it be, visitors must wonder. How can the richest country in the world look like this ?
Attempting to find via Google — an increasingly futile exercise — why the USA, which has so many marvellous resources, and so much ( misdirected ) energies, should have created rather awful urban and rural landscapes, James Howard Kunstler seems to have as much of the truth as the article in the first quote. Certainly the author over-romanticises, say the British experience, yet our countryside, both rural and wild, will still retain some beauty awhile. For naturally the rest of the world has ugliness too, and increasing with both population rises and the copying of the American and soviet models for humanity; yet it is the contrast between the vast wealth — which of course mostly ends up with the money-chosen elites — and the reality which makes America ever more depressing yet. Inevitable destruction is one thing, but still better played out before a noble and harmonious backdrop; anomie is one thing more, but still I should prefer to be alienated from a civilisation I could respect rather than the trite horror of the endgame of the last few centuries.
“Eighty percent of everything ever built in America has been built in the last 50 years, and most of it is depressing, brutal, ugly, unhealthy and spiritually degrading: the jive-plastic commuter tract home wastelands, the Potemkin village shopping plazas with their vast parking lagoons, the Lego-block hotel complexes, the ‘gourmet mansardic’ junk-food joints, the Orwellian office ‘parks’ featuring buildings sheathed in the same reflective glass as the sunglasses worn by chain-gang guards, the particle-board garden apartments rising up in every meadow and cornfield, the freeway loops around every big and little city with their clusters of discount merchandise marts, the whole destructive, wasteful, toxic, agoraphobia-inducing spectacle that politicians proudly call ‘growth.’ [ Book: The Geography of Nowhere ]”
With very few exceptions, our cities are hollowed out ruins. Our towns have committed ritualized suicide in thrall to the WalMart God. Most Americans live in suburban habitats that are isolating, disaggregated, and neurologically punishing, and from which every last human quality unrelated to shopping convenience and personal hygiene has been expunged. We live in places where virtually no activity or service can be accessed without driving a car, and the (usually solo) journey past horrifying vistas of on-ramps and off-ramps offers no chance of a social encounter along the way. Our suburban environments have by definition destroyed the transition between the urban habitat and the rural hinterlands. In other words, we can’t walk out of town into the countryside anywhere. Our “homes,” as we have taken to calling mere mass-produced vinyl boxes at the prompting of the realtors, exist in settings leached of meaningful public space or connection to civic amenity, with all activity focused inward to the canned entertainments piped into giant receivers – where the children in particular sprawl in masturbatory trances, fondling joysticks and keyboards, engorged on Cheez Doodles and taco chips. Big and Blue in the USA
A talk by Mr. Kunstler on The Tragedy of Suburbia at Ted Talks : Mp4 video
It was easier to see what was happening if you were a visitor from a less frantically prospering land. J. B. Priestley, affronted by the impact of Texas on his English prejudices in 1954, described the ugly results with pungency in Journey Down A Rainbow. He summed up the system of increasing productivity plus high-pressure advertising and salesmanship, plus mass communications, in the word Admass --- 'the creation of the mass mind, the mass man.' One of the characteristics of Admass was the uniformity of the food on offer. 'If a good Admass man does not order a steak, either he is not hungry or he can't afford the price.' Between Fort Worth and Dallas he found the nomads wandering from motel to motel, 'the tuneless gipsies of the machine age', along roads lined with trailer courts, gas stations, second-hand car dealers, supermarkets, drive-in banks, movie theatres and restaurants, all serving the same food, movies, television, songs and cigarettes. 'It offers movement without any essential change,' he wrote, 'It is a street three thousand miles long. You burn 150 gallons of gasoline to arrive nowhere.' This pattern of life was being copied in Britain and all over the motorized world with greater or less fidelity. Priestley's warning was that it was essentially a cheat. It did not offer more choice but less than there was before. The freedom to wander at will is illusory if all fhe destinations are indistinguishable. 'The people who live there are dissatisfied, restless and bitter,' he warned, 'Especially the women --- still girls in a mining camp'. It may be unfair to picture the horrors of Texas as if they are worse than the horrors of industrial Britain. The motel-supermarket-hamburger civilization has now been superimposed on what was left of nineteenth-century towns, and has further worn down the differences between one region and the next.
Although uninterested in automobiles, I'm terribly fond of my little Pajero, 'Baby', as I call her without the faintest trace of mawkishness. Certainly she may lack a dainty grace, but she could go through a large crowd of people in 10 seconds. She looks like this ( except goldish champagne ):
Yesterday I went to the dentist in Ipswich keeping a wary eye out for cop-cars; keeping to the correct mileage to the sulphurous annoyance of the drivers behind; and inter alia running a red light unnoticed. After picking up some more boxes from the garage, glancing without pleasure at the rest to be moved --- since we've not really had a summer the cold and wet inculcates mould ---- I left Baby in a multi-story since cars there attract less attention than on the road. Unfortunately there were a couple of hours to kill, and this not merely reinforced my distaste for a place where I had been far too often, but emphasised how further along the road to booklessness towns are on. Two books only could I buy: of thousands of books most were modern trash, and the rest either uninteresting or read. On my own road to perdition, it shewed that I have, on most subjects, read as much as I shall ever want to. And of the few types of books I still do want to read, these are unobtainable in shops... Which is one form of defeat.
Still, and this is more a subject for a separate paper, Defeat is illusory --- as much as is Victory --- vital, and necessitous. It is not only part of the human condition, but the major part; and is far more enriching than the equally temporary feat of victory. Apart from the fact that without defeat we could no longer fight ---- I have never heard of any commander who, lying, didn't proclaim the ultimate aim was universal peace; peace on their terms no doubt, but boring deadly peace nonetheless --- it may not be the lostness of lost causes that is the potent attraction, but that those causes being more correct than others were bound to lose, and gain a shining aura in the process. The Prussians were powerfully beaten at Jena, but their fighting there should be as cherished as that in any of their victories. And... in Valhalla both victors and defeated are created anew to battle the next day...
On the other hand, for a future post on Himmelstürmers, I came across this related page on the new GMC Yukons with pop-up Gatlings, and I can honestly say that if I ever wanted another SUV than my sweet Baby, it would be one of these. The Prussians could have used one at Jena; and it would be useful if I ever visited Jena, Louisiana.
America is a mistake, a giant mistake. Sigmund Freud
But… there’s no point to America anyway. It has no hereditary King or Emperor to provide a meaning or centre or source of law, merely a flag and whatever significance the individual places upon that object, whether entire people; particular section of the people with whom the individual identifies; continent; laws; congress; temporary chief officer, or any number of interpretations that do not coalesce into anything real. Notably because they are mere abstractions: notions with which each individual invests with his own misty preconceptions and unformed wishes. Therefore, America is not so much a mistake, as a conglomeration of millions of individual mistakes. So it has to be with all republics, including Rome and all the pseudo- [ non absolutist hereditary ] monarchies of today… Homer Simpson’s agonized question in the film from which the above title is purloined, though uniquely American in it’s self-misunderstanding, “Why does everything I whip leave me ?” is why Americans cannot combine moral courage and realism, even if — exceptionally rarely, as in the case of the current president — they possess the former quality. It is not enough to maintain a whip, whether right or wrong to wield it, there has to be a purpose in doing so: comfort, rightly derided by the Prussian exponents of Kultur against the concept of mere civilisation, is — like patriotism — not enough. The dearth of courage is not merely a consequence of the decline of the culture — this is shared in Europe and all westernised nations — nor solely from the idiots’ political system, but also stems from the very bases of the American Idea.
“A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which and outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost it’s civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There remain many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales a to how realistic, reasonable and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weariness and cowardice… Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end ?…”
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 8, 1978
He added: “The human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits, exemplified by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.”
They still don’t like Alexandr…Rigour and unsentimentality repel the satisfied, complacent and weak; yet as Hermann Hesse pronounced: “People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.”, so it will never bother the great witness of our times.
I'm fairly strong on the Nature side myself. At least 80%, and I rather suspect that even for the undeniable parts of Nurture, such as prior environment and influence, a case can be made that these too are determined by the nature of those who created the environment, no matter how unwilled that creation.
Earlier, he has an interesting piece on our robotic future as regards artificial sex.
Much has been written about the sexbot phenomenon, with the skeptics focusing on the technical limitations (men make this argument) and the insistence that sexbots would not satisfy male sexual desire like real women would (women make this argument). It’s possible the technical hurdles to creating a sexually pleasing mechanical woman that could compete with real women might be too high, but assuming those hurdles are jumped, I offer the following future scenario. etc.
Although at least this might lead to less inane chatter from those advocates who make a wishful distinction betwixt 'sex' and 'gender', that might be balanced by an increase in geek chatter about hardware and programming.
Personally, although obviously much stronger on the realist wing than the romantic, I can't think of anything more dire. Life without passion is tawdry and arid foolishness. No doubt the geeks would insist on the validity of the personality of each machine --- where man's anthromorphological urgings, strong enough in normal life, meet with the insistent deconstructualisation of actual personhood and what it means to be human promulgated by atheist philosophers looking for excuses to be what they would want to be, but lack the courage to implement --- yet no matter how realistic these things could be, they would still be slaves and slaves aren't companions. Which exemplifies that if one creates a perfect world of artifice to merely surround oneself with heaven, one remains a slave oneself.
Authenticity is not just the finest achievement, it is the only prerequisite for a valid life. Which is not to say that it is necessarily nice or good, but that like oxygen to carbon-based beings, it is necessary. Personally I'll stick with girls.
Occasionally I write into a novel which will never be published, it regards a germanic lad called Jamie Egremont growing up in Oxfordshire; and, insofar as his limited sphere permits in a degenerate democratic society, he exemplifies the noble creed of Spengler:
The beast of prey is the highest form of active life. It represents a mode of living which requires the extreme degree of the necessity of fighting, conquering, annihilating, self-assertion. The human race ranks highly because it belongs to the class of beasts of prey. Therefore we find in man the tactics of life proper to a bold, cunning beast of prey. He lives engaged in aggression, killing, annihilation. He wants to be master in as much as he exists.
'It is impossible to evaluate the moral compass of George W. Bush without reference to James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner'
Not only because of the theology involved, nor yet additionally because it is one of the most influential and greatest of Scots novels, explaining much about Knox's corrupting legacy that sours that troubled land.
But because I wanted to say that.
The innate manic manichaism of the pressie's inmost self does at least add an extra edge to the stern boredom of contemporary international politics: the particular wars may be strictly dumb, yet without war we are nothing; so at least he's fulfilling at least one useful function: entertainment. Much like Arnold Bennet's famous Denry Machin, 'The Card', "he’s identified with the great cause of cheering us all up.” Future generations --- if they retain the habit of reading --- will consider the War on Terror much as the same as la Grande Peur, or previous American hysteria over bolshevism...
After the Russian Revolution, Americans based their ideas of Bolshevism on the sensational half-truths of newspaper reports and on the portrayals of Communist activity in films like Dangerous Hours... . In this picture, Russian infiltration of American industry was foiled by Lloyd Hughes. The political complexities were ludicrously simplified. Audiences were shown the most heinous crime of all time: the nationalization of women. This abominable act involved a number of extras on horseback rounding up women, throwing them into dungeons, and beating them. Kevin Brownlow - The Parade's Gone By
With all that to be said for Bush though --- and I should quote Solzhenitsyn's gnomic Russian saying that those who speak for the wolf should also speak against him, were it not for that fact that identifying Americans with lupines seems so terribly, terribly wrong, they being much the same as the stalwart, yet not immensurately daring, Slavs, as Mencken noted in the last century: ' ...nearer to the Russians than any Europeans. Russia was not like Europe, but it was strangely like America. In the same way the Russians were like Americans. They, too, were naturally religious and confiding; they, too, were below the civilized average in intelligence; and they, too, believed in democracy, and were trying to give it a trial.' --- the lack of character consequent to the Calvinist doctrine of the Elect --- it makes men mere puppets in the end --- shall finally condemn him as it condemned the deluded Wringham.
In the parish of Colmonel By bloody Claverhouse I fell. Who did command that I should die For owning covenanted Presbytery. My blood a witness still doth stand 'Gainst all defections in this land.
Once upon a time there was a magnet, and in its close neighbourhood lived some steel filings. One day two or three little filings felt a sudden desire to go and visit the magnet, and they began to talk of what a pleasant thing it would be to do. Other filings near by overheard their conversation, and they, too, became infected with the same desire. Still others joined them, till at last all the filings began to discuss the matter, and more and more their vague desire grew into an impulse.
'Why not go today ?' said some of them: but others were of opinion that it would be better to wait till to-morrow. Meanwhile, without their having noticed it, they had been involuntarily moving nearer to the magnet, which lay there quite still, apparently taking no heed of them. And so they went on discussing, all the time insensibly drawing nearer to their neighbour; and the more they talked, the more they felt the impulse growing stronger, till the more impatient ones declared that they would go that day, whatever the the rest did. Some were heard to say that it was their duty to visit the magnet, and that they ought to have gone long ago. And, while they talked, they moved always nearer and nearer, without realising that they had moved. Then, at last, the impatient ones prevailed, and, with one irresistible impulse, the whole body cried out, 'There is no use waiting. We will go to-day. We will go now. We will go at once.' And then in one unanimous mass they were swept along, and in another moment were clinging fast to the magnet on every side. Then the magnet smiled --- for the steel filings had no doubt at all but that they were paying that visit of their own free will.
The American Empire is being undone by its bigness – no one can centrally plan such an enormous undertaking.
The rise and fall of the Bizarro Empire is going to be an object lesson in how greatness, and liberty along with it, is lost. The story promises to be Spenglerian in its tragic denouement yet oddly inspiring in that the old republic survived as long as it did – up until at least the fatal year 1917, when we were dragged into the Great War and the seeds of the next were planted. The beginning of the end was when America embarked on its long overseas crusade to make the world safe for democracy against the villain of the day. Twice the villains were Germans, and since then the Russians, the Iraqis, and now the "Islamofascists" have all had their turn. Tomorrow it may well be the Russians again, and then there's always the Red Chinese, whom the Fates have entrusted with much of our debt – a weapon more deadly than any H-bomb.
America, having exhausted itself militarily, economically, and spiritually, will one day be found washed up on some foreign shore, a hapless Gulliver overrun by hordes of angry Lilliputians and bound by a thousand threads to their feuds. When the history of the American Empire is written, any fair and objective author will have to concur that it didn't have to turn out that way: if we choose the prerogatives of Empire over the ascetic ideals of our republican tradition, we go willingly to our doom. Justin Raimondo
Nah, it was written from the beginning. Starting with the profoundly wrong assumptions and beliefs on which America was founded --- sort of, since the canny old founding fathers were mainly driven by a desire to increase the power of their own class, and most certainly had to put out a cover-story of ideals for the gullible dumplings --- and which are held as self-evident truths by all simple-minded Americans today: the belief that all people are the same; a recursive belief that perfect equality stemming from people's sameness, starting as equal blank slates capable d'tout, is the ultimate null goal of final progress; that everyone deserves what they get; that life is rational; that outcomes are mechanistic; that Providence specifically loves a particular nation or way of government or individual; that fortune is not a determinant --- instead, putting faith in self-invention through striving, and a pious understanding that the whole ultimate end of creation is use.