Politics, Creativity, Loudness

I’m sorry this is late.  My body seems to have decided this is a particularly good time to come down with something involving throat pain and low grade fever.  Given the timing (I don’t question it) I sort of presume it’s a plane-acquired bug.

The downside of this is that it’s delaying my work on Guardian, but fear not, first draft will be to Larry by end of next week or bust.  (Not that type of bust.  You’re a bad person.)

I find myself wondering just how minority the vocal minority is, recently and more or less assuming “very minority.”

The vocal minority I’m talking about here are my colleagues who, uniformly and en mass, give the impression that every creative person exists in a spectrum between Lenin and Stalin.

Anyone, including myself back when I was just a reader or a beginning writer with not many contacts, would be excused for thinking that somehow being lefter than left and thinking that communism was a cute and unexplored idea correlated highly with wanting to write fiction, particularly science fiction and mystery.  Part of my decision to stay quiet early on was because I was sure this was so and that I was a very odd duck who had somehow made it through with the contradictory characteristics of not being a lefty and wanting to write.

More or less daily I heard people, some of them the few non-left who’d slipped in talk about how the left was related to creativity, mostly because the left required original, contercultural thought, which in turn of course was creative and related to creativity.

I’ll be honest, since I am by nature a trouble maker and — as my mom said, only half complaining — prone to scratching up every newly painted wall to say what’s underneath, that’s when alarm bells started ringing in my head.

Yeah, I know, it is part of the mythos of the left that they’re countercultural, boldly opposing centuries or millennia of oppressive politics, etc.  It’s a cute self concept, and it allows largely conventional, privileged, often rich people to think of themselves as the oppressed hordes or at least the defenders of those.

But let’s be blunt, because honestly, I’m in no mood to cater to their delusions, this hasn’t been a fact since I was born, and probably long before.

If you’re a reader of early twentieth century fiction, say Agatha Christie, you’ll find that even back then the communists were treated as rather cute pets, or something like “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”  Further, they were often from the rich and privileged classes.

In fact, growing up in Europe, I can tell you that contrary to just about every movie and tv series and book NOW published, communists were not the struggling under class (they were sometimes their over-educated young, though) but more often were the sons and daughters of the nobility or the upper class.

Dave Freer might have a point when he says the “aristos” instinctively sensed a system (top down planning) that, in the name of the downtrodden, would undo the revolutions that stripped their kind of power over the last centuries.  He might be right, particularly because that top-down alliance, i.e. the king or upper nobility doing things in the name of the poorest people to keep down the bourgeoisie was routinely played in Europe from about the 12th century onward.  Heck, you could say the French revolution was the result of Louis XVI trying to play the game, being singularly inept at it and getting burned.  (Beheaded.  Same difference.)

Anyway, for as long as I’ve been alive, in all Western countries, the way to be respected or promoted or advanced in any artistic, news or otherwise intellectual field was to convincingly mouth the platitudes of leftism in its Marxist incarnation.  If you could add a genuine touch of Stalinist psychopathy, then you’d be considered genuinely righteous and advanced faster.

So that was my first alarm on the idea of “but leftists are more naturally creative because they have to challenge the existing system.”  How did that work, when they were the existing system?

Then came experiences, like speaking out, getting publicly told I was crazy (at the time speaking out more or less in private, in private lists and about minor issues, like telling one of the luminaries of the field that no, George W. Bush (!) didn’t raise the postage rate to bankrupt her PERSONALLY as it made her efforts to sell her used books harder.)  The thing was that everyone would pile on in public, and then the avalanche of “I don’t dare speak because I want to work/have children/etc” “but I agree with you” started, a lot of it from people my age or younger than I, i.e. in my sclerotic field, what passes for “youth.”

And I started wondering “How small is the vocal minority?”

I’ve since come to the conclusion they are very small and very scared.  To put things bluntly, again, a triumphant, confident cultural movement feels no need to shut down those who dissent.  They might argue with them, but they don’t shut them down.  They know they are most in accord with reality, most people agree with them, and eventually will come to their side.

Confident cultural movements don’t try to shut down dissenters and don’t deploy antifa to tar anyone who doesn’t agree with them with the brush of extreme right wing.

It’s only movements who are afraid the opposition has a point and has more adherents than they do that feel the need to be that violent.

Meanwhile in the creative fields of today (and even in the news fields and intellectual professions), the order of the day is the screaming down, shutting down, soft banning of all dissent.  We are treated to people acting as though soft-right speakers were an armed invasion of our universities.  Friends who aren’t even right wing enough to be considered non-left are enduring soft black listing from their publishers.

The result?

Well, you see, the left isn’t the creative side of this equation.  This is not because leftists are inherently less creative.  That would be stupid, and only stupid people would maintain that creativity somehow relates to a political side.

It’s more because leftism is the establishment right now.  Which means they attract a whole lot of good boys and girls who want to be in the artistic/intellectual professions but who have never had an original thought in their lives.  If they’d lived in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, they’d spout blood-and-soil and genetic superiority nonsense because that was what would get them advanced.

There are still creative leftists (for the definition of left being socialism and communism) but they are usually pariahs along with me and everyone else to the right of Lenin.  That’s because then tend to defend their beliefs in non-standard ways and to find the good boys and girls of the establishment as awful as I find them.

Now, I think these people are wrong, and I often think they are morally bankrupt, but a lot of them are also extraordinary artists.

The good boys and girls of the establishment… aren’t.  They really can’t be.

Those of us who arrived at our political beliefs in defiance and iconoclasm, and who had to — back then — filter every item of news to find the truth beyond the narrative are creative by default.  You see, we had to reject so much of the entertainment fed to us, that we had to grind out own out of what was available.

So, as the establishment — LEFT establishment — clamps down ever harder on any dissenting thought, what they’re actually doing is destroying those few elements among them still capable of original creation.

This more than anything explains the slump in Hollywood earnings this year.  For how many years have they been milking the re-runs and remakes.

The publishing houses who demand a unified political narrative, put limits on imagination with cries of “cultural appropriation” and hire not by ability but by DNA are experiencing the same issues.  They might think it’s indie eating their lunch, and it is, but it’s only because they no longer have teeth to chew that lunch.  They abandoned their reading public DECADES before indie found it.  And they’re willing to go down with the ship rather than relinquish their political death grip on the product (again, not the sign of a confident cultural movement.)

As for academia… Good Lord.  Why do you think that liberal arts requirements keep getting added to STEM degrees?  What parent or even student would willingly pay for a field where Western history is banned because it’s “oppressive.”

The left, left to their own devices, would entirely dismantle Western civilization.  It’s always been their intent, partly because the USSR always considered itself “Eastern” and in communist propaganda, the perfect state was always an appendage of Russia.

But there are very few of them, and they’re stunningly non-creative.

The problem is that they have a grip on every accrediting authority, almost every publishing house, every museum, every cultural institution.  They acquired this by the long march and then refusing to hire/contract anyone not their comrades.

You must have a heart of stone not laugh like an hyena at the thought of a hundred years of long and slow march, and then indie, and blogs, and…

Are we at the tipping point, yet?  Not quite.  And make no mistake, we need as many hands as possible to the cultural war.  If you can you must write, or create art, or whatever.  It won’t bring you the same rewards, even now, as if you were a darling of the establishment, but the thing is…

The worm is turning.  The times they are achanging. We’ll have some losses (how not) but in the end, the cultural tide is with us.  The more the establishment clamps down, the more scared it looks, the more adherents it loses.

And their product is just bad.  In books, it’s becoming well nigh unreadable.  There’s only so long you can wear the skin of a gutted institution while demanding respect, before the putrefaction is clear and people turn away in disgust.

In the end we win, they lose.  Be not afraid.



319 thoughts on “Politics, Creativity, Loudness

      1. Once upon a time Pa & I were “blue-skying” some random nonsense. We came up with the idea of a set of spray cans (or nozzles from a central paint pressurized paint tank… the system was described in it’s most crude form), a set of solenoids, a microcontroller or such, and a speed sensor.. with most rigged under a vehicle. “Drive-by” road graffiti as it were. After a bit of a pause, “…I don’t even know where the mayor lives.” This was humor, as we generally didn’t give a rip about most local politicians. Being *local* they knew they couldn’t screw things over too badly and get away with it.

        1. My county uses something similar to paint stripes on the center and shoulder. They like to use the stick-on plastic things for stop lines, crosswalks, etc. They’re slippery as greased owl snot when wet.

          1. And I ponder the harvesting of owl snot.
            This is not something I wished to ponder, mind you.

            And I’ve seen such spray systems for road lining. What we were thinking of was more of using an automobile as a big dot-matrix printer.

          2. Which is how Em broke both her shoulders at the downtown Residence Inn in Chattanooga at LibertyCon a couple years ago. They covered the back porch including the wheelchair ramp with that crap, and her feet went right out from under her.

            1. Not just owl snot, which brings up a raft of questions, but it then being greased which only brings up even more. Though I suppose dealing with the answers to that might serve as warm-up preparation for attempting to read “What Happened” (which has been neatly summed up as a book with both the question and the answer conveniently placed right on the front cover.) I have no plans make such an attempt. There is far better fiction to be had.

          1. He. It’s the sea serpent who’s she. The one that lives in the minion pool

            As for Fluffy, I’ve never see any spray paint stand up to one blast of his fire-breath.

            (Fluffy? you wonder. Well, you see, what do you call a large fire-breathing dragon?

            whatever he wants)

            1. Folks need to keep in mind that Fluffy identifies as a cute l’il bunny.

              Fluffy is a huge Monty Python fan, BTW. He’s seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail hundreds of times.

                1. It would seem your conversations with Fluffy have differed from his with me. Fluffy likes wallabies and has assured me that, should worst come to happen, I would eaten last.

            2. I know a Fluffy, and she is quite the Dragonet (or would that be Dragonette?). While living in Alaska she buried three husbands (plane crash, bear attack, lumbering accident) and sent the fourth one packing at gunpoint when he decided, in a drunken stupor, that hitting her was a good idea.

              A few years ago, two local residents of taxpayer subsidized housing near her used book and knickknack shop (brothers, and Brothers, recent immigrants to the Twin Cities from Chicago) thought it would be a good idea to rob her establishment. One of them (I think it was the genius with his name tattooed on his neck) broke her jaw, the other kicked her ribs in. When they left, she picked herself up off the floor of her store and walked across the street to a gas/service station to summon help. (The robbers had actually thought to yank the phone out of the wall to delay response.) When friends/family of the miscreants began threatening her to try to intimidate her from testifying against them, her friend the late Joel Rosenberg gave her a free concealed carry course so she could get her Permit to Carry and a S&W .38 revolver.

      1. It’s not “sorry” as apology, but as in “I really should not have left y’all unsupervised with plaid paint, hand-tools, and a mission statement.”

        1. It’s Friday! There can be mission except to have no mission. (Unless pizza counts as a mission then we can totally have that).

            1. Good point! Though I tend to just make bread with it instead of actually drinking it.

              No idea where I went wrong. I’m genetically disposed to alcoholism and was off to a great start with 4 years in the Navy. I have maybe 3 drinks a drink and their all spread out. *sigh*

    1. It’s part of human nature? Look at “Revelations”. It has to be one of the more well known postapocalptyic* story known. So I guess when things appear to be going so well most of us start looking for that other shoe to drop.
      *Considering the original language and title was Apocalypto…(I think of some variation thereof)

    2. Dystopian I’m not really that fond of, unless it’s the dystopians realizing the emperor has no clothes, and building a free and functional world. Thing is, in most dystopias, America, as envisioned by the colonists and founders, is deader than a door nail and has to be resurrected from obscurity and oblivion.

      How many of us growing up during the Cold War never thought we’d be around by now? Or if we were, what in God’s name we’d be doing? Hopeful postapocalyptic climbing out of their hole is stories appealed to me. One of the reasons I liked Larry Niven’s and Jerry Pournelle’s “Footfall” and “Lucifer’s Hammer”, and Pat Frank’s “Alas Babylon” novels is that they gave me templates for what we would need to do to recover from various global catastrophes. That is, assuming that one of the various military bases I was at weren’t turned into glass parking lots before I could get to safety.

      The problem is, in many ways it’s easier starting from a clean slate than it is trying to change something already in existence.

    3. Cause everybody loves a good tragedy.

      The pity is that modern authors have trouble getting to the “catharsis” part.

      1. I also think that getting to start over is a part of it too. There is no more new world to go be a pioneer and remake yourself in, but if you erase civilization you could.

  1. Among those of in opposition to the establishment-leftist culture, an additional observation to your (paraphrasing) “we’re more creative because we have to be” is that we’re more perceptive because we have to be. The leftists haven’t been called upon to justify and defend their dogmatic claims until recently and have therefore gotten away with just chanting their dogma over and over, thinking that doing so is actually addressing the observations that what they’re claiming is roaring nonsense. We perceive the truth because we question the crap they spew rather than just swallowing it and asking for more.

    1. I think the Left is in ‘brain-lock’ mode. They are trying to juggle so many contradictory and rapidly changing beliefs at the same time they aren’t really capable (most of them) of rational thought. Especially when they’re constantly being urged to think with their emotions.

      Which if you want a flock of easily led sheep getting them to think with their emotions is a bonus since it’s much easier to play on them than it is to come up with rational arguments and reasons. (At least when even minimal logic will kill your arguments).

  2. They may not HAVE to pull out the Goon Squad, but they might enjoy doing it.

    Heck, the “majority” tends to get a lot of thugs because it’s an excuse to beat folks up– “I don’t want to STOP evil, I just want to fight it,” and all.

    Pratchett nailed it with Interesting Times and the Red Army “helpfully” taking charge until the poor and down-trodden got their act together.

    1. Ah, but you can’t ever completely stop EVIL. ) You can only be the latest generation to fight against it. It comes back like weeds, bad pennies, or athlete’s foot. In that way, the comics and reality seem to emulate each other.

      1. The capacity for evil exists in every human being. It is the dark side of the virtues. For kindness, cruelty, for courage, cowardice, for humility, vanity, and so on.

        As long as there are human beings as we know it, there will be at least the chance of evil. It is when we rise above these things that human beings can touch greatness. When rage gives way to passion, when fear is set aside for bravery, this is the time that is the making of men (and women). Without those flaws, the heights we strive for become harder to reach. Adversity is a hard school. But the lessons it teaches can be learned nowhere else.

        1. If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
          ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      2. In one sense, they are right about the endless need to fight a revolution. But not for the reasons they claim

        “All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post.”
        ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

        (Of course in his pen, “conservatism” was all about, well, conserving.)

        They, however, insist that whatever is accomplished is done and needs only to be built on.

      3. Or, from another writer,

        As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
        I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
        Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
        And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

        We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
        That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
        But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
        So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

        We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
        Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
        But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
        That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

        With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
        They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
        They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
        So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

        When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
        They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
        But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
        And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

        On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
        (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
        Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
        And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

        In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
        By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
        But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
        And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

        Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
        And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
        That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
        And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

        As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
        There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
        That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
        And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

        And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
        When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
        As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
        The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

      4. This might point at part of the issue…

        There’s fighting evil– where you try to counter the specific evil, although it can be part of a pattern of evil.

        There’s fighting evil– where the idea is that you fight the thing that is evil.

        There’s fighting evil– where you’re trying to destroy evil for all time.

        And probably some others.

    2. TBH I think this is what drives much of the more aggressive and obviously destructive members of the mobs. Gone from protesting G20 (by destroying Starbucks and trash cans) to protesting against a platform wanting the same thing that was being foreseen with the first world exploiting all the poor foreign people and not paying a living wage. The cheka would have been just as at home in the nkvd as the SS or SA.

    3. Which is why you have to put the brakes on the revolution at some point to transition to a new normal. Sort out those who used violence for the Revolution’s sake, and those who used the Revolution for violence’s sake, and contain the later.

      John Paul Jones, let us remember, ended up in service to Catherine the Great.

  3. I’d argue that the Left _does_ make people less creative, if only because punishing deviation from groupthink makes it harder to think outside the box.

    It’s just that they’re not _necessarily_ unique in that.

    1. Well, you also have to remember they have different views of “creative.” They don’t see any real difference between a pottery class or macrame and designing and building your own airplane.

  4. I will concede to the left the sort of creativity seen in delusional cases. Whether it’s due to limited contact with reality or actual delusion is another question.

    That said, the association of the left with creativity comes from two sources. One is the disdain we with dirty fingernails hold those who only come out of their ivory towers to dictate their wishes, and sufficient cluelessness on their part to think it’s a compliment.

    1. Talks-to-plants? Infinite genders? Conspiracy theories? Fake-but-accurate? Nonsense comrade! These are merely- oh look, a convenient distraction, just over there!

      1. Talking to plants really does make them grow better. It’s all that hot air, err, warmed CO2 that you breath all over them.

          1. /me reads that. Read that again. Looks at the now-empty Scotch bottle. The now-empty beer bottles. The nearly empty Irish bottle. Reads it again again. Is sorely tempted to finish off the Irish. Decides to go lie down instead.

            Psychic.. talk… plants.
            That’s too damn stupid even for snockered slow ox!
            What office does that blogger hold?

            1. Now…if the leftist is in a persistent vegetative state, psychically talking to plants doesn’t seem that much of a stretch…

              1. Communing with their own? For all we know plant consciousness exists in something similar to the Colorado Pot Festival. (I have no idea if that’s a thing but it would certainly explain the way drivers with CO plates drive. . .

                1. Read that first line as “Communing with their lawn” which is pretty much nail on the head from my point of view.

                  As long as they do their communing on their lawn:

            2. She came up with her infamous post, widely blogged, about how all sexual intercourse is rape. I wandered around her blog for a bit and reported back that she actually thought some women could psychically communicate with plants and learn their properties that way. (All women could if they weren’t kept down by men. All men are evil. We can tell by the way they keep down women so they can’t psychically communicate with plants.)

              Here you go, if you want a new standard of crazy:

              Not useful as research, since she would be dismissed as too crazy for an Evil Overlady.

              1. Is it just leftism? Maybe it’s just organic brain damage? She can’t think any better than this? How would you tell the difference between a leftist and someone with brain atrophy?

                1. Well, actually, in her case, there is some explanation. She was still under-age* when she fell for a real manipulative monster, who jerked her around and left her damaged. She was unable to maintain a normal relationship thereafter — attracted creeps — and finally used her problems to define all of humanity’s existence.

                  *technically under age, she puts it. She’s trying to minimize the abnormality of the situation because she’s using it as the definition of male behavior.

          1. Little too wet and rainy atm to go listen to the oak trees in my back yard. My spider plant doesn’t get out much, so never has much of interest to say.
            As for the Christmas cactuses, well, succulents just suck, and most have overly prickly personalities.

          2. That’s a really low bar. I’m pretty sure a midget ant would have problems squeezing under that bar.

        1. They don’t talk. They listen. Why do you think they call them plants?

          Keep watching the shrubbery!

  5. It amused me recently to see a Fark headline (and if Fark isn’t pulling to the left like the front needed alignment several years ago… ) that read, roughly, “Hollywood has a problem in China: The Chinese don’t like movies that suck either.”

  6. Next week is Renaissance art at the Day Job. I’d say all you have to do to see the lack of verity in “the Left is more creative” is to compare Socialist Realism with Da Vinci, Van Eyche, and Titian.

    1. Were parts of Shikari inspired by your Day Job? Will there be a dead tree edition? I’d like to buy it when it comes out. Paperback only.

    2. If you are inept, then you claim to be good at something that can’t measured. (Which is why no one says all great plumbers or doctors or farmers are commies)

    1. I vaguely recall the furor when first class went from three to four cents a stamp. Even at my tender age the outrage was palpable.

      1. A thirty-three percent increase is a high jump, even if it is only a penny. By comparison, the 1973 increase from eight cents to a dime was only a twenty-five percent robbery jump, and the entire increase during the George W Bush presidency, from thirty-three cents when he too office to forty-two cents in 2008 was still less, on a percentage basis, than that one penny rise you recall in 1958.

    2. My father lives with us and fell over laughing when I came home all smug over my cart of groceries for $75. Said that HIS mother gave him all kinds of hell for spending 25 bucks on the same amount back in the mid-70s.

      1. Our neighbors during the Carter and Reagan years were an older couple who had married back in the late Twenties, early Thirties. He once told us about catching holy heck from his wife the one time he did the shopping, “How on Earth are we supposed to live with you buying chuck at 23 cents a pound instead of hamburger at nineteen?” seemed the gist of her complaint.

        Sam Clemens taught me that lesson in his A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court” — it isn’t how much you make that matters, it is how much what you make will purchase.

        1. I recall reading that as well – sometime in the ’80s. Another bit I recall was not Twain but someone on TV who explained a need to be sure of watching the budget (if only, huh?) with something like this:

          A dozen elephants for a nickel might sound like a great deal. But it’s only a good deal if you actually need elephants and have nickels!

        2. Oddly enough, I read that when I was nine or ten, went “ohhhhhhh!” and have never, ever forgotten it. Being elbow-deep in my mom’s small business probably had something to do with it, but I still vividly remember that moment of paradigm shift.

        3. All this, because a penny in 1953 was a lot more valuable than a penny today….

          This reminds me of when I learned that my grandma would scold my grandpa for putting on clean clothes without showering first. For a long time I thought that was weird, but it was only recently (within the last couple of years) that I realized that it takes a lot less effort to wash something today, than it did when my grandma was scolding my grandpa. That, and I have a lot more clean clothes to choose from! With that realization, the scolding made much more sense.

      2. And for a short time in the 1980’s when there wasn’t any other “news” to go on about, there was a big deal made of how $10 of groceries would now (then) fit in a single (full sized paper) grocery bag.

        And now, lo these many years of (low..ish) inflation later, $10 might be a fast food order.

        1. And for that same ten years the claim has been there’s been no inflation. Using “shopping baskets” that exclude food and gas because the prices are “too volatile”.

          1. “too volatile”
            As in the admission that the purchasing power of your dollars has been severely degraded would cast the administration in a very unfavorable light. And scamming the voters is always the number one item on a savvy politician’s mind.

          2. There’s an argument for gas as “too volatile”. The price fluctuates a lot, particularly with the undeclared war between the frakkers and OPEC.

            Food, on the other hand…

            1. Because I look at grocery shopping as a real-life MMO between myself and the stores, I watch regular and per-pound prices like a hawk. All my idiot liberal friends back in the late oughts were telling me that there was no inflation, when they weren’t telling me that objecting to inflation was RAAAAAAACIST…it’s a damn good thing most of them were Internet friends, or I would’ve lost patience and slapped somebody.

              1. I really did dance a little jig in the supermarket two weeks ago because they had whole milk on for $1.97/gal instead of $3.95. And one of the new employees at Day Job has hens that “are laying too many eggs. Please take some. We’ve run out of room to freeze any more.” I was more than happy to assist a colleague in need.

                1. Ten years back, blocks of cheese were a “not going to buy it unless it’s under $4.50 for the 2lb block.”

                  Now it’s “wow, the block fell under 9 bucks– buy four.”

                    1. Vast majority, yeah. If you can find the right store– and if your area has the right supplies, can’t remember if Colorado pushed through some of the “anti cruelty” stuff that causes a high loss of animals or not– you can get pork roasts and such, but even the loss-leader beef roast “steaks” are 1.99/2.15, limit two.

                    2. *looks* Yep, Colorado is one of the places that said it’s better for baby pigs to be smashed or eaten alive than for the farrowing mothers to be in a crate that looks bad. That alone means about a third of your piglets die horribly, which raises the costs.
                      Probably other “cruelty free” actions to raise the prices, too.

                    3. Stupid question: any local farmers that will sell directly?
                      Jacqui can’t eat beef, so we ended up buying a whole lamb (~60lbs meat) for about half of what it would retail.

                    4. Sarah, at those prices, if you have the freezer space, it would just about be worth it to drive down or up with a pickup and a couple of big ice chests….

                    5. I checked the boneless skinless chicken thighs I grabbed at costco here– $1.98, was trying to figure out how to check what the in-store prices in her area are.

                      Heck, we get the rotisserie chickens, too; it’s $5 for a ready to eat bird, you can’t buy the chicken for that. (of course, this is the same store where I go to get milk and eggs and spend $100, so they’re not really hurting).

                    6. Is that a premium brand? Because the store brand here is normally $1.99.

                      The whole beef brisket that was on sale her last week for $1.99/lb, though, wow! (Even if I was surprised to find that it was half fat)

                    7. I used that because it’s the most expensive cut of chicken around. And if you want chicken stock you buy a whole bird; this is for serving chicken cordon bleu for 6 without buying three whole chickens.

                    8. Used to be ham shanks/hocks would cost half or less of what ham cost; lately it seems they’re as if not more costly than plain ol’ ham. What gives?.

                    9. Food fads collide– there’s various “poor people” foods that are popular right now that require that, and then there’s the fad for “bone broth,” and then there’s the “everyone knows that it’s the cheapest cut” thing.

                      That’s also why I am able to get roasts for a buck less a pound than bulk hamburger.

                    10. Yeah, oxtail used to be a really cheap cut, then somebody had to get all trendy, and now they’re way too expensive anywhere but the butcher to use for soup. (This particular butcher put the oxtails out as a “use the whole cow” measure, and promptly picked up the price when he realized that people in TX like barbequing oxtails, and thought he was running a loss leader. Not being a slow man, he now has them available all the time, and sometimes has them cheap.)

                    11. Same with cow tongue. My mom loves oxtail soup and she used to buy cow tongue as a cheap protein. Not to mention cow heart. These days they are all trendy or cultural so prices through the roof.

                    12. Actually, it isn’t weird; fall is when ranchers slaughter off cows they aren’t going to feed through the winter, both beef and dairy.

                  1. And bear in mind there is NO shortage of basic cheese: the government has bought so much with price support programs they’re running out of places to keep it.

                    1. If you recall, that already happened about 35 years ago, when they decided they had to empty the warehouses of cheese, and created a whole new government program just to do it. I guess they need a new one now…

                2. I’m gnashing my teeth right now. Utility grade turkey’s are on sale at my local budget grocery store for 95 cents a pound (averaging about $12 CAD per bird). I don’t have any freezer space currently. Guess I shouldn’t have grabbed those club packs of lean ground beef for $6 a pack the other week. Yeah, I watch my pricing on stuff a lot. Have to these days. Thank the good lord above my mom taught me how to cook and to shop.

                    1. Possibly a Canadianism? Means it’s not a “perfect” carcass. Possibly missing a wing or part of a leg. Sometimes the skin is missing on a part. Nothing wrong with it for human consumption. Just not a picture perfect bird. Still tastes the same.

                    2. I think that’s a Canadianism. Down here, those birds seem to get parted out instead of being sold at discount. At least in the places I’m familiar with.

                  1. Last I looked at my favorite meat market (Granzins in New Braunfels) the cheapest thing they had was chicken leg and thigh quarters for .78 a pound – but IIRC, that was for a family pack, and buying five or ten pounds together.

                    1. I run into this for prices a LOT– my idea of normal is enough to hold the Hoyts for weeks.

                      Although I’ve gotten some awesome deals by buying the individual sized stuff when it’s next to the big units labeled “family” or “value” pack, the math is easy and it’s FUNNY to see stores cashing in on people “value hunting” without paying attention to price.

                    2. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing or the stores I shop at. On the shelves for everything they have a price/100g breakdown of each item. That way it’s easy to price compare when shopping. I keep mentioning this to other parents/people and quite a few haven’t noticed or paid attention to this lovely little cost saver.

                    3. A lot of the budget-friendly stores have it here– ie, all the places I shop at!– but you do still have to pay attention, they’ll have this cereal in the per-weight cost, while the store brand is in the per-package (sometimes “unit”) cost. Some of it is obviously just for ease of use, but of it seems strategic.

                      …my kids have gotten a few “shopping lessons” they didn’t really need when I saw someone obviously fussing over price. My voice carries really well, so I may as well use it….

                    4. They have those at the stores I shop at, but most people don’t even pay attention to them.

                      It’s really hilarious to see Ramen noodles at $0.20/package, and a box of 12 packs for $3.99.

                    5. I asked at one store about a price/oz. or such and was told how that would be such a complicated thing for them to do. And yet I recall stores doing that in the 1980’s when computing power was not as… ubiquitious.. as today.

                    6. I would guess it had to do with the amounts in a package changing– if you check the candy isle M&Ms, you’ll find different flavors have different amounts in them so they can have the same price.

                      It’s hard to keep a price updated when the 12oz box suddenly becomes an 11.2 or a 10.3oz box.

                    7. You mean there are stores where they don’t put price per unit on the shelf price tag?

                      The supermarket that I always use (Ralphs, for the curious) has had that for as long as I can remember – usually price/weight. I’ve gotten in the habit of checking it, and sometimes buy more of the smaller packages when I note that they’re less expensive than the bigger bulk package.

                    8. Well, it’s an old-fashioned meat market, Junior. All the various meats and cuts are piled up in the refrigerated display. Not parted out in plastic-covered Styrofoam trays, already priced.
                      You tell them what you want and how many pounds, they weigh it, and the scales show you how much there is and what it will cost, you say OK, and they package it up there for you, in brown butcher paper and print out the label.
                      You can even point out the specific steak or roast that you want.

                    9. I do the Family Packs of chicken parts like that. 5 lbs. of chicken thighs, after removing skin and flensing flesh from bone ends up as 2 – 2 1/2 lbs of cubed chicken flesh in the fridge/freezer which is enough protein for 4-5 3-day meals’ worth of cooking for the equivalent of a couple of bucks/lb. .

  7. “throat pain and low grade fever.”

    Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Did you ever get thyroid antibodies evaluated?? Usually flareup indicates thyroid medication is underdosed, or that T3 or NDT should be in the mix.. (Ideally, TSH should be suppressed to avoid stimulating antibodies. NDT reliably achieves this.)

    1. No, it really is not. I do have hypothyroidism, which I’m being treated for. BUT this is something my friend who was on the trip had a few days ago and seems to be “a bug that’s going around.”

  8. The truly sick irony is that just about every country that embraced communism really did not. OK, perhaps Cambodia, and look how well that worked out for them.
    But invariably in every declared communist country it was we will take control and run things until that great and glorious day when we can turn control over to the proletariate. Always somewhere far down the road. In the interim things were kept under an iron fist by the “good” people, ie those with the biggest guns.
    Now real communism has been tried, generally by small communities starting fresh in undeveloped regions. And inevitably they all failed just as soon as human nature kicked in and the productive types got sick and tired of carrying the lazy leeches who always seem to crop up, always for the dinner bell, never when there’s work to be done.

      1. Orwell’s two are both half of the story. Animal farm is the economic errors and 84 the government that is required to enforce it.

        1. With a tiny dose of wishful thinking. Orwell was, after all, a socialist. That’s why you get the boot-stamping-on-a-face-forever. He didn’t want to admit the problem was inherent.

      2. In case you missed it, we had 1984 figured all wrong. Y’see, when we were coming to the conclusion that a humongous, all-encompassing state was a bad thing, that wasn’t it at all. According to Hillary:

        “The goal is to make you question logic and reason and to sow mistrust toward exactly the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence, ourselves.”

        This is in reference to the torture scene where electric shocks are administered until the victim admits that there are five fingers, not four. Somehow, in Her Shrilliness’ mind, Big Brother appears to have been the misunderstood hero of the piece. *shakes head*

        Folks, it just don’t get much stupider than that.

        1. Folks, it just don’t get much stupider than that.

          I dunno – I thought her identifying herself with Cersei Lannister was spot on. I think she needs to fire her Pop Culture Advisory Council, but it was brilliantly stupid.

    1. Hmmmm … when I consider the accounting and statistical practices in those states where communism is in effect, the explanations for communism’s failure, the intellectual contortions required to justify it, I suspect one really can make an argument that they are the creative (for certain values of creative) ones.

  9. Wasn’t there an early colonial settlement that tried to be ‘communist’? That’s ‘communist’ in the sense that everything produced was supposed to be shared equally.) And didn’t it fail because the productive members got tired of feeding the non-contributors, so all left for other places?

    1. Plymouth I believe. Part of reason for poor harvest and hence Thanksgiving. Not completely saved by capitalism (some was learning localized food techniques) but definitely part of it.

    2. The Pilgrims attempted that but after the first year (?) gave up that idea.

      There have been similar attempts in the US but they have failed for that reason.

      On the other hand, monasteries and nunneries do well at the “community owns everything” but those who join are more committed to that ideal than the average person who be.

      1. Religious orders work with communal measures because there is an accepted leader by all and it’s not someone that can really change His instructions. So you don’t get as much of the leadership struggles that drive favoritism.

        1. aacid14: Umm .. you may want to read some histories of the Orders. Religious communes can be just as authoritarian as secular ones, if not more so. Especially when the leaders forget that they are supposed to be subordinate to Someone Else. Ellis Peter’s Cadfael Chronicles are a pleasant way to experience some of the infighting inside the walls.

          1. Not stating all. Noting why some manage to avoid the typical pitfalls. Just as how some families can work in from each to each fashion while others don’t.

      1. I have a friend who posts claims that it’s been debunked every Thanksgiving. I don’t get the reasonings on the “debunking.” I go to the source documents on the subject, the ones that talk about the imposition of socialism “as though men were wiser than God.” But that’s me. I prefer systems that don’t make it advantageous for the vast middle to scam rather than strive.

        1. I think there is some legitimacy to claiming this as ‘debunked’. Colonies were certainly intended to be profit-making ventures. Expectations of instant riches on the part of both colonists & investors were unrealistic. So characterizing Plymouth, Jamestown, et al as socialism-by-design (along the lines of Oneida) is untrue.
          On the other hand, there was a clear ‘from each/to each’ plan to these colonies, which proved to be fundamentally at odds with human nature & led to failure. This is common to most attempts at socialism. so maybe it is not quite as debunked as some might like.
          Of course (puts sarcasm hat on), we all know that anytime a socialist idea fails, it (all together now) “wasn’t REAL socialism”.

        2. Having spent some sixty years observing academia, I have concluded from their saying a thing has been “debunked” that I do not think that word means what they think it means.

          For example, they seem to think that “disputed” or “denounced” is synonymous with debunked, just as they appear to believe that declaring something “racist” or “sexist” constitutes a rebuttal of the assertion.

      1. Failure simply means it just wasn’t tried by the right people.

        Heavier than air flight didn’t succeed until tried by the Wright Brothers, after all. Submarines failed many times over the years until the right people undertook them.

    3. The economic term “Tragedy of the Commons” was coined in 1968 by Garrett Hardin based on a pamphlet written by William Forster LLoyd in 1833. But the principle behind it is a force of human nature.
      Without a strong hand to compel them people will not take the same care of shared resources as they do those they own and directly benefit from. That hand can be government, or shared community spirit, or the head of a household, but the further removed from day to day activity it is, the less effective it becomes.

      1. Unsurprisingly, Milton Friedman explains it so clearly …

        … that even a High School student can grasp it.

  10. The Left’s bully pulpit used to look intimidating, now I can see their behavior for what it is: sweaty, reeking desperation.

      1. “You seem to be retreating into a fantasy world.”
        “Half right. I’m retreating from one.”
        “Take a look around. Now, I don’t actually mind that it’s a fantasy world. I can deal with that. I’m a ‘minotaur’, I count centaurs and unicorns and dragons amongst my friends. I even – against all odds – have a friendship with a big city elf. Fantasy in itself is not an issue.”
        “So what’s the problem?”
        “Like I said, look around. If one is going to craft fantasy, one really ought to do a better job of it.”
        “What’s with him?”
        “He’s delusional. And yet seems to pass all the tests saying he’s fine. Something’s really screwy.”
        “Did he say something about a Minotaur?”
        “Yeah… claims he met one.. who told him Reality was too unreal to be believed.”
        “A.. mythical creature… said that…”
        “Yeah, that his claim.”

        “Hrm.. what if… ”
        “What if the minotaur was real and is right? Then we don’t dare let anyone else find out, of course. The world might… might have some more serious problems.”
        “We.. up the dosage?”
        “We up the dosage.”
        “Isn’t that dangerous?”
        “Not really. Oh yes, there is the chance it might kill him, but our world continues.”
        “Are we sure we’re the good guys here?”
        “No. We’re making sure we’re the survivors here.”

                1. Depends. If it’s misty and kinda dim, there’s a bull who can be AWFUL sneaky and quiet when coming up behind teenaged boys who think they’re going to take a shortcut through his pasture.

                  Never “sneak” through the bull’s pasture. If you’re gonna run for it, RUN.

      2. the fact they keep acting crazier and crazier

        This would be a “‘Revitilization’ movement” in the Cultural Anthropology class I took long ago. Cultures under stress, often go through a period of “doubling down” on some of their fundamental beliefs in the hopes of overcoming whatever is threatening them. The classic example (per the text) was the Ghost Dance of several Native American tribes. I’ve wondered in the past if maybe the recent Jihadi movements are not some of the same.

        This actually is a good sign. It shows they’re on the ropes even if they don’t know it themselves.

  11. The only concern I have tends to be that as the skin they are wearing starts to decompose they get to take credit for all the positive things and that their incivility is the cause of all of it. It’s similar to how the social system of Scandinavia is due solely to the governmental policies they like, not cultural mores that match those seen in that subgroup in the United States or having a significant income from resources (e.g. north Sea oil) etc.

    Hopefully once the ediface crashes it is rebuildable and doesn’t irradiate the area.

      1. They’re like Postmodern Deconstructionists – they think they’re super duper cutting edge and intellectual, until you apply deconstruction toward their silly-assed “philosophy”. They tend to short circuit.

          1. When they declared that LBJ suffered a “Credibility Gap” they were conveying more about their prior gullibility than the president’s credibility.

      1. I would refer you to a concept termed Yellow Journalism quite popular around the Spanish/American war. 1890’s for those of you who slept through that part of history class, or anyone educated in the last 30 or so years.

        1. 1973 was a convenient possibly-in-memory year for the folks involved. Too many times of late I mention something and get a reply of “That’s before my time.” Which is hardly a good reason… after all, well, so is Beethoven’s Fifth… and a good many other things that are still, or ought to be still, known.

  12. Being on the fringes of the Entertainment industry; you can see the Left’s strangle hold on the arts is starting to break. Statist sentiments bandied about the park have either the air of empty platitudes or of people who’ve never been exposed to anything else; no true believers.

    Then again, Westerns are the cinematic art form predominant where I work (when we don’t lose productions to New Mexico and their thrice-damned tax credit) and that’s an art form the Leftys did their damnedest to kill in the 60s and 70s but is still here.

    1. It’s still here because it’s a story construct that speaks to the heart of almost everyone, everywhere. Even foreigners totally unfamiliar with the story of the American West get the gist of the stories. They’re the same stories they tell around their campfires, in their ges, at their bedsides – just the props and scenery change.

      Progs, OTOH, don’t think in terms of human universalities (at least, not the ones that actually are), and think everything must be NEW. Those poor, deprived people….

      1. My darling husband spent a lot of time when he was in the border war reading American westerns – he noted that the biggest problem was when someone had worn off not only the covers, but the first or last pages, so you had to wait until you were transferred to another camp or some new books were traded between camps in order to find that same L’amour and get the very start or the very end of the story.

        But then, South Africa also had its own frontier – as we expanded west on the great plains, they expanded east on the high veldt. (North Texas looks enough like some parts of South Africa that when we visited, he got homesick. So, we moved here.)

        He’s come full circle, in a way, with writing two meticulously researched westerns – and later this fall, we’re going to spend a few days in the Wet Mountains so he can follow his protagonist’s trail.

    2. I saw a list of the 20 ‘Must See!’ movies coming out this year. I went through the list, read the descriptions, and decided that I didn’t want to see any of them. They all had some blatant politically correct tie-in or in the case of American Assassin (the only one I was interested in because Vince Flynn) I saw the trailer and lost interest.

      1. Same here. No interest whatsoever in 20 more rancid servings of Hollywood dreck. I’ll take my chances with the various movies and series available through streaming video.
        (Currently watching an Australian series starring no one that I have ever heard of: 800 Words. Very heartwarming series about family and community. Recommended.)

        1. Not sure why but I’ve been watching a bunch of the old John Wayne movies the past couple weekends and really enjoying them. Even TV now days is just kind of ‘meh’. But I’ve been on a 3 strike rule with TV shows. 3 annoying political references or SJW-ish type stuff and I’m done.. (I couldn’t get through the 1st episode of Supergirl).

        2. I’d like to see more of Emergencies Down Under. It’s about Brit cops, firemen, doctors and nurses in Australia.

          1. ?!? You mean it is not about an ER ward’s experiences with problems of an [ahem] embarrassing personal nature?

            I haven’t felt this gobsmacked since I discovered Damn Yankees was not a Civil War drama.

            1. They’re a 90s rock band — somewhat ironically named since lead singer Tommy Shaw is a native of Montgomery AL.

      2. Honestly, the only two movies I’m looking forward to with some hope are the sequels to Deadpool and Kingsman. At least in part because in their initial offerings neither took themselves too seriously.
        Have been please all in all over the treatment given to the summer TV show Midnight Texas, kept closer than most to the books.
        Always been a fan of the NCIS shows, but they’ve been falling all over themselves to serve up hard left messaging last season or two, so waiting to see if they skew even further this season.

        1. They ruined the sweet cute Flash show. Season 2 got gritty and season 3 went stupid. Streaming is good but can be a pain in the neck when you ‘net goes down. I watch You Tube. What I call short attention span theater.

          1. Based on the series of that name by Charlaine Harris who also wrote the Southern Vamp books that were made into the HBO series True Blood.
            If you liked True Blood you should like Midnight, same universe, but since it’s network TV a smidge less sex and nudity.

        2. The new Churchill film with Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour, looks promising from the trailers I’ve seen.

        3. Only movie I’ve really missed seeing this summer was Dunkirk, mostly because of the screeching of the SJWs about ‘celebrating maleness’ or similar drivel.

            1. Well, excessively declarative bronie-free.
              I’ve not seen all the episodes, but what few I have seen I find better than most television, so… And yeah, that IS a low bar.

            2. Bronies aren’t that bad, generally they’re just guys who can enjoy a well-told story even if the characters are quite odd lookign– the psycho pedophile sex-obsessed guys that sometimes hit those circles, sure, but nothing is free of them.

              Huh, come to think of it, it’s a bit like Gamer, or even general Geek, circles… there are some folks who are just waaaaay out there in serious pervert no really dangerously perverted AVOID land.

    3. Statist sentiments bandied about the park have become the “Have a nice day” of Leftist culture. The ritual denunciation of Trump acquire the tone of protective coloration.

      Outrage expressed over some perceived unfairness has moved from “You know, she has a point to There she goes again.

      Saw today an article about a Swedish woman denouncing “the Patriarchy of the dog park.” Apparently she deems it a great injustice that she’s barred walk her dog while the bitch is in heat, but male dogs can walk at any time.

      Okay, she also imagines her bitch misses “her doggy friends” during these cycles of exile, so possibly there’s a screw loose.

      1. Uhm, just in case anybody doubts me (which you should never, ever, do):

        Outraged woman crusades against dog park ‘patriarchy’
        A Stockholm resident wants to build a new dog park with one rule: no (dog) boys allowed.

        In the Swedish capital, it’s socially verboten for female dogs in heat to frolic in dog parks, according to local news outlet StockholmDirekt.

        The pooches aren’t partitioned without cause: It’s a widely held opinion that female dogs in heat shouldn’t be in close quarters with unneutered male dogs, who may get riled up from the interaction.

        But artist Carola Kastman, owner of 5-month-old border collie-Doberman-Rottweiler mix, Coco, thinks it’s downright discriminatory that pups like hers are barred from Stockholm’s dog runs for the roughly three months per year they are menstruating.

        “I could never have believed that patriarchy had entered the dog parks,” she tells StockholmDirekt.“This is a major political issue. I will not be happy until there’s at least one sex-separated dog run for female dogs in every neighborhood.

        Her “citizen’s proposal” to open a female-only dog park near her neighborhood of Sodermalm will be considered by the local government — although the chairman of Sodermalm’s district council declined to comment to StockholmDirekt “because he is not a dog owner himself.”

        [END EXCERPT]

        Emphasis added.

        Sweetie, you won’rt even be happy then.

          1. She’s using the typical feminist argument of “if I have to use common sense there’s a rape culture” extended into the canine realm.

            “I get to do what I want and everyone else doesn’t.” Bah.

        1. Oh, my God, the stupid. It burns.

          Actually, it’s a sign of how common this kind of stupidity is, that my major face-palms had nothing to do with the idea of a bitches-only dog park.

          No, I can’t get over the stupidity of the person writing the article. Male dogs might get ‘riled up’ from being around bitches in heat? No kidding. They’ll attack each other and any human who tries to separate them, not just play rough for a little while until the bitch is no longer nearby. Keeping the intact males and females apart is a safety issue. And dogs don’t menstruate, genius writer. They, like most non-primate mammals, have an estrus cycle, which is very different from a menstrual cycle and doesn’t include having a period.

          After wading through that morass of dumb, the idea of a sex-segregated dog park is, well, a walk in the park.

      2. Imagine what she’d say about “rape culture” if those male dogs wanted to mate with her female dog (while the dog was in heat). 😈

  13. Why do you think that liberal arts requirements keep getting added to STEM degrees?
    Well, honestly, all technical degrees used to have a lot of “liberal arts” requirements. Because you want you engineers to be able to think critically, write well, have a broad perspective and a connection to the foundations of civilizational thought.

    What they require now is “prog arts”, not “liberal arts”.

        1. That’s what I used to call my classification classes (this was before forensics became much more the term) . Physical anthropology, the scientific part of the Arts degree! *chuckle*

          1. Alas, when I think of physical anthropology, I think of looking at prehistoric remains from Europe and thinking, “So much for the peaceful primitive and the Edenic life before technology.” Especially when the next slide is the blunt instrument that exactly matches the hole in the stove-in cranium…

    1. ‘Prog Arts’ I like that one!

      So basically using your own bodily fluids and excrement to paint with and then calling your Mom to show her how well your potty training took?

    2. Look at the backgrounds of most of the college administrators, liberal arts degrees each and every one. Sure, the common excuse is “students need a well rounded education.” The truth is that they are maintaining a welfare program for their over educated liberal colleagues who otherwise have no qualifications that would gain them honest employment.

      1. Know anything about text book writers? I kind of want to find the guy that wrote the one for the class I’m currently taking and have a rather firm discussion with him.

        For some reason he’s decided that he needs to take what are normally considered industry standards and ‘make them his own’. I get the feeling he’s very well educated and has taken tons of classes but has never actually done infosec work.

            1. Reportedly not too far off. Been a few reports that their Chief security officer was a music major. I’d be leery but not the strangest I have heard

                1. I just wasn’t 100% certain it was verified and not a forgery.

                  Although for some reason I think one of the big name financial oops CEOs was a PE major so not a surprise

                    1. Undergrad. Can get other degrees later. Historically wasn’t unheard of. But again I can’t put a name to it so possible mistaken memory

              1. Saw this. But as someone who does IT stuff, I don’t think it’s particularly important. In IT, a computer-related degree is useful, but not the be-all end-all. What really matters are the certifications that you’ve earned. And if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to study, then you can get those without having a degree.

                It’s entirely possible that the Experian employee really did have a Music Composition degree, started doing IT work as a way to earn money while waiting for her (the thing I saw about this indicated that the individual was a woman) big “break” in the music writing industry, found out she enjoyed it, and got the necessary work experience and certifications to qualify for the position at Experian.

                That doesn’t guarantee that she’s qualified. It means that you need more information than just her college degree to determine whether she was competent.

                1. Music involves a lot of the same little grey cells as math and logic, and for some fields of music (and in some periods of time) the aspiring musician can be employing some highly technical devices, such as theremins, electronic keyboard instruments in the Sixties and solving problems of amplifier feedback and distortion.

                  Doubters ought check the CV of Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, guitarist with Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Spirit and the US Department of Defense.

        1. Once you have graduated or at the very least transferred to a different school you might raise that question with both the head of the department and with whatever professional organization governs that field of knowledge.
          It’s quite common for the professor or a department head to write the textbooks for a class. It’s also far too common for them to have grad student assistants change the contents every few years, not to improve them, but rather to eliminate the option of saving money by buying the text from the campus used book store.

          1. Sometimes they only just rearrange the chapters. Happened to me in college once. Had a great teacher for Macroeconomics who did her due diligence and had both copies and taught out of them for the entire semester because she thought it was stupid and a blatant cash grab.

        2. Richard Feynman found his name listed on a textbook he’d never heard of, one that had some horrendous errors in it. He had some extensive go-rounds with the publisher trying to get his name removed. It turned out that the actual authors of at least some textbooks were unknown or uncredited, and they used the names of famous people or “advisors” who worked for the people they were trying to sell to.

          The amusing part was, it was a book I’d had in school, and the particular example of bafflegab he pointed out was one I *still* remembered as WTF?, so many years later…

  14. first draft will be to Larry by end of next week or bust. (Not that type of bust. You’re a bad person.)

    Let’s just say that in my head I took that and ran with it…in all sorts of interesting directions.

    Yes, I am a very bad person.

    Which is a long-winded way of saying c4c. 😉

      1. Well, my brain *did* go there first, too… Then common sense caught up. “Oh! *that* kind of bust!” *sigh* Sometimes things like that go right over my head.

        1. Speaking of triggering…. I’m not going to be able to go to Oz and do it myself, so can I deputize you to drop by and Gibbs-smack these three idjits?


          three Australian college professors believe that “Playful urination practices – from seeing how high you can pee to games such as Peeball (where men compete using their urine to destroy a ball placed in a urinal) – may give boys an advantage over girls when it comes to physics.”

          1. Bwahahahahaha – When I was in college, my women’s studies professor -I actually liked her, mind!- said (in response to me) that women can pee standing up.

            I liked her, because even though she didn’t agree with me a good majority of the time, she didn’t stop me from voicing dissenting opinions or facts, and liked that I could challenge entrenched beliefs by argument and discussion. I wonder how she is.

            Oh, and I linked this to the housemate, since he’s upstairs in his room and I’m in my work area… and heard the screaming hysterical laughter from across the house. He wasn’t as surprised when he saw who had penned the original article. According to him, the two Wilsons noted there are professors in a degree that isn’t too different from the US ‘liberal arts degree.’

            “Well, there ya go,” was his sarcastic, snarky laughing response. “They’ve hit the nail on the head. The gender gap between urethras are really why girls don’t ‘do as well in physics.'”

    1. There was some sort of controversy yesterday about some guy saying “boobs” on CNN or something like that. Big excuse for a lot of folk to say “boobs” on a variety of media sources.

      I endorse that. 😀

      1. There was that big brouhaha over a “wardrobe malfunction” some years back. My take was it was no big deal. There was C-SPAN and C-SPAN2, all the boobs on TV anyone might ever want.. or more likely not want.

  15. Back when I was…much younger I was involved for a bit in community theater. Now, the cliche is that there is a much higher percentage of people who are gay or bi in the performing arts than in the general population. Many people interpret this as meaning that gay folk are just more creative than straight. However, that’s not really the case. What I saw–and others made the observation as well–was that in fields like theater or orchestral performance, and dance, especially dance*, was that folk who were gay and bi were more “openly” accepted and felt free-er to be open about their sexuality within those groups. So, first, that provided an attraction to draw gay folk to those fields who felt uncomfortable elsewhere because of what they perceived as a lack of acceptance. The second was, the gays within those fields tended to be more open, less “closeted” and so they were more visible

    I think there’s a parable here somewhere. 😉

    1. As a side note, it might also be that persons who were gay/bisexual became very good at acting in everyday life, and so decided that they could make money at it.

      1. As a side note to your side note, my very reserved Southern grandmother, upon finding out that Rock Hudson was gay, gave the matter a moment’s thought and said “Well. I guess he was a better actor than I thought.”

    2. And third, because “everybody knows” that folks of different sexualities are in theater, folks who weren’t theatrically inclined at all but also weren’t straight would end up being theater groupies / trying to be in theater, because that’s where they were “supposed” to be. They’d also end up being bad at being flaming, because “everybody knows” that gays are “supposed to” lisp and be flaming. And moving to New York or San Fancisco or “the big city” because that’s what they thought they had to do.

      Worked with those guys and gals, too. *sinal salute* We need better role models in LGBT, but nobody ever manages to notice quiet and conservative neighbors who are well-liked, when all the media attention and “supposed to” is focused on Ru Paul and the worst excesses of Pride Parade.

      1. You can’t offend the God-botherers and squares by giving attention to the quite, polite, conservative neighbors.


      2. Sort of like the activists never see moments like the one that happened a few years ago when someone in the chorus inquired, “He’s gay?” Another chorus member said, “Yep. He and {partner} have been together for thirty years at least. Met {partner} at the [charity] trap shoot. Nice guy.” First person: “Huh. When did you say the sectional rehearsal was?” No fuss, no homophobia, just a shrug and moving to more important topics.

        1. But y’see, that kind of *shrug, move on* is supposedly badbigothomophobeevil because of NOT CONSTANTLY ACKNOWLEDGING THE GAY PERSON.

          The thing I actually hate a lot is the assumption that every single gay person is that insecure and self-absorbed, that they need constant validation and acknowledgement as GAY SPECIAL THING.

          Good example: this self absorbed jerkass wanting to come out to his 7 year old nephew.

          It’s clear he doesn’t respect his sister’s opinions (namely, she doesn’t think that the kid is old enough to understand, and it’s more important that “he’s Uncle Matt.”) and thinks there is a desperate need to ‘prepare the children.’

          Beyond the self-absorption, there’s a creepy note of “why are you ‘preparing’ the children for your sexuality?” The child he’s so concerned about is not his kid, but his sisters, and it’s rather clear that he doesn’t care about her parental rights or authority, or opinions. All that matters is his feelings. That’s it.

  16. … like telling one of the luminaries of the field that no, George W. Bush (!) didn’t raise the postage rate to bankrupt her PERSONALLY as it made her efforts to sell her used books harder.

    More likely it was because the market for her used books was such she’d have made more money selling her used panties.*

    *I have no idea why men pay for such, but they do, and for far stranger things. I consider it evidence women are smarter than men (which is not evidence women are the saner of the two.

    1. There was a time when “”crotch-sniffing” or “panty-sniffing” was used as an insulting adjectival phrase. Now, it seems to be … not so much.

      1. I did a little reasearch on that ‘vending machine’ story, once. Evidently, there was at least one, once. That one didn’t last. Don’t know if it was closed,down by Authority, or failed to make money. There may or may not have been others, from time to time. Reports vary. But they aren’t common, and don’t last.

        1. Seems logical. Even for “Japan is weird” values of strange, there can’t be *that* much of a market. Besides, the vendors have probably moved online by now…

          1. I have read that some p-rn stars (good grief! is every gal who flaunts her talents in that genre a star?) sell them by subscription, presumably with certificates of authenticity.

            Call me cynical, but I have this sudden vision of a “panty factory” — a cubicle farm of third world girls wearing panties to be marketed as “Marilyn Chambers worn!” (I am sure there are more recent, more infamous “actresses” in that arena but I just don’t care.

              1. Some time back I read an article on the topic of “What it’s like to sell used panties on ebay”. Individual in question was actually a performer in the adult film industry. Apparently it’s a “volume” business but the “used” is true–for sufficient values of “used.” She’d basically put them on, then take them off and stuff them in an envelope–“used” by a strict definition of the term–and then on to the next. Margin is small because people won’t pay that much more than the cost of the panties themselves, but it provides an additional revenue stream to the actual performing which is less lucrative for most than some might think.

            1. That meme was captured in all its glory in a scene in if I recall correctly the first Dirty Harry movie. While pursuing a criminal Harry passes through a porn boiler room filled with fat little grandmothers sitting at tables, applying lipstick, then kissing letters to be stuffed into envelopes to be sent along with racy photos of the imagined porn star letter writer.

  17. The simple truth is that the leaders of the Left aren’t terribly bright. They’re people who inherited wealth and power, or lucked into it. Take a close look at Democrat politicians, and you’ll find most of them are descended from the political class.

    These are people whose greatest fear is social mobility, because that means that someone like me can move up…and take their place. Because without a rigged system, that’s precisely what will happen.

    1. I read a book on child-rearing from the late 1800’s (incidentally, it was much more gentle and child-centered than the stereotype) that reminded the mothers to make sure their children treated any servants well because social mobility meant their places could change. I suspect the possibility disturbs progressives who already “have it made”.

  18. ” (Not that type of bust. You’re a bad person.)”

    Sarah, where else could we go when two Mormon males are collaborating? I’m reliably informed it’s a universal feature with you….

    (Great racks think alike?!? Preparing defenses for a hoyt of carp….)

    1. From Batman Begins. “It’s what you do that defines who you are.”

      The comic adaptation of Robert Asprin’s “Another Fine Myth” (don’t recall if this scene was in the novel itself–Foglio, who did the adaptation, took a few liberties) had a scene where Skeeve was suggesting that Aahz should be building up his self confidence if they’re going up against the Big Bad of the novel. Aahz is very dismissive of the idea and gives Skeeve a lesson in magic. Skeeve is supposed to put up a magic shield to stop small objects thrown at him. He fails. “I wasn’t ready!” Aahz gives him a chance to get ready. He fails again. The problem is that it takes time to draw power from “Ley Lines” to cast the spell so the lesson (I’m coming to a point here. Really) is for Skeeve to grab some of that power ahead of time and tuck it inside. Skeeve does that and, without warning, Aahz says “stop it” and throws a knife. Skeeve blocks the knife.

      Lesson learned, Aahz tells Skeeve “That’s the kind of thing you should have confidence in.”

  19. The history of the Political Left in England is instructive. It starts with the denouncers of the Industrial Revolution,mwho were largely of two types: there were sentimentalists like Dickens (who could seemthe concentrated poor, but hadn’t done the research that would have shown how much worse off the agricultural poor were) and Aristos who resented where the wealth was going. The intellectualoids came later, when they realized that the industrial working class would be at least semi-literate and that their primary distinction wasn’t that distinct anymore.

  20. “This more than anything explains the slump in Hollywood earnings this year. For how many years have they been milking the re-runs and remakes.”

    This year, the only movies that made decent money were primarily movies made from the stories told by 1980s comic books.

    I feel for the kids of the future, because 2017 comic books look like this:

    This is a company deliberately ruining its own brand, to push political propaganda. I say deliberately, because DC has already seen how this game went with Marvel. The sales of Marvel slumped so badly this year that they shit-canned their whole line and brought out all new, non-SJW titles.

    Imagine how frigging lame those comics are going to look in 2037.

    1. Incidentally, thanks for all the comments at the Soapbox, guys. Sorry the moderation trapped them all. They are released into the wild now.

  21. There won’t be any comics in 2037. They’ll be extinct by then. I hate when characters can do a 180 degree change in personality from one issue to the next. Have you read any comics from the silver age: late 50’s, early 60’s?

    1. I have, and they’re -way- better than the shite we get now. Personally I haven’t collected since 1993.

      I was shocked to find a -kid- in front of me in line for a concert this week agreeing with me, loudly. I took Young Relative to see Palaye Royale in Toronto (class act, highly recommended, incidentally) and we were discussing the Superman thing. The girl in front, couldn’t have been over 16, waxed lyrical over how the comics were treating Harley Quinn and Superman like shit, and how they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

      Apparently her father didn’t collect anymore either. >:D

  22. Michael Ledeen, today:

    Who’s a Fascist? Why Does it Matter?
    The most politically interesting and potentially significant aspect in the current tumult is that both sides call the other “fascist.” That testifies to the sometimes perplexing success of “progressive” dogma in the Western left following the fall of the Soviet Union. You might have expected Western intellectuals to acknowledge communism’s failure, but instead “fascism” became the primary, at times seemingly the only, legitimate label for political evil. This practice started right after the Second World War, and was a major weapon in the Soviets’ campaign to bring communists to power in the West. The West European communists asserted that they alone were entitled to determine if a given person was “fascist” or “antifascist.” Post-war Italy, with Europe’s most powerful Communist party, was the classic example. This produced all manner of political blackmail, as many real fascists were recycled as “antifascists.” It all went well for them for two generations. It wasn’t until the end of the century that famous writers and scholars confessed to their dark past.

    Something similar is happening today, in the United States. As the left dominates the selection of faculty, curricula and recommended or required reading material, intellectuals who want to survive and flourish have to pretend to be loyal leftists. They tell themselves that eventually they will come out of their ideological closet, but as the European examples show, that can be quite a long time, if indeed it ever happens.

    [Emphasis added]

        1. Sometimes (not always) it’s faster and easier to call my husband rather than texting him. And I call work to tell them I’m there and unlock the door.

  23. I think we need to defend victim-blaming.

    No, I am not saying it is right for people to exploit your ignorance about probabilities of criminal events. No matter how a girl is dressed it is wrong for a man person of undefined gender (probably a man but possibly a woman or even a transgendered or genderfluid) to assault her, sexually or otherwise. Just as it is not right for a white person in a three piece bespoke suit with $100 bills forming a pocket square and a diamond-encrusted Rolex on each wrist to be mugged while strolling through Harlem.

    Those are crimes and no provocation justifies such acts. But there is a principle of contributory negligence, aka “victim-blaming.” It can both be wrong for a drunk to run you down and for you to be riding your bicycle in your ninja garb when the bars are closing.

    Besides, I am tired of being victim-blamed when I suggest a victim might want to think about making better life choices than walking Whitechapel’s streets in the wee hours of the morn dressed as a harlot.

    1. I agree. Yes, ideally a woman SHOULD be able to get drunk at a frat party without waking up dripping. But relying on SHOULD usually put you at odds with natural forces like gravity, stupidity, and lust.

      And turn it around; the Duke lacross team did something fantastically stupid when they hired a stripped they didn’t know to come to their house. Doesn’t make that stripper any less of a criminal for her false accusation, and Nifong (sp?) still deserves to be dropped froma great hight. I just hope that, behind closed doors, their dads (or moms) handed out an assortment of thick ears.

  24. Further, they were often from the rich and privileged classes.
    In fact, growing up in Europe, I can tell you that contrary to just about every movie and tv series and book NOW published, communists were not the struggling under class (they were sometimes their over-educated young, though) but more often were the sons and daughters of the nobility or the upper class.

    Marx et al are all for “proletariat”, bu-u-ut, those proles are so unenlightened (because of evil oppressors) and therefore need “guidance” of… someone else.
    It’s one of invariant points at least from ol’ good Zhang Xianzhong (or Chang Hsien-chung) who had his heart bleeding for “heavens”, to tokenism of modern purplehairs. Thus probably intrinsic.

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