Unraveling The Narrative a Blast From The Past from March 2015


Unraveling The Narrative a Blast From The Past from March 2015

It was 1993 and Clinton was making us prosperous and balancing the budget, and equality and amity flowed throughout the land. We were glad the “me decade” was well in the past.  Everyone was altruistic and full of care for the poor.  And weren’t we lucky that Reagan had not nefariously caused WWIII.

We know this because if you pick up practically any movie or book from the decade, this will be beaten home with a jack hammer.

I have actually howled with laughter while reading a book published in the late eighties going on about how Reagan was a murderous so and so who intended to kill all the Russians, or the like. You see, I remember the rather soft-handed treatment when the USSR actually imploded (and having seen what came after, I’m not actually convinced we shouldn’t have done as Heinlein wished and tried and hanged all Komissars. Sure some of them were just following orders. Like Nazis, after all. And yes, I am actually aware that was under George HW Bush. But the groundwork was laid under Reagan.)

It was 1998 and we were living in happy and prosperous land with the budget balanced and the worst danger on the horizon was a resurgence of the “right wing militias.” The future was an endless lot of “progressive victories” under “enlightened technocrats.”

It was 2004 and George W. Bush was going to put every gay person in internment camps. On the street corners people were searched for possession of Muslim religion or liberal ideology. Most of the country had got strip mined and toxic piles of toxic stuff lay everywhere.

You lived through the time and it was not like that, you say? Next thing you’re going to say we don’t live in a land where one in five women gets raped while in college, and where men have this magical thing called “privilege” which is a get out of jail free card in every situation (except when arguing with a feminist, when being called on the possession of privilege means it’s off to the dungeon with me.) You’re going to tell me that in this land, women in powerful, well remunerated positions aren’t oppressed night and day simply because they have a vagina and “institutional patriarchy” oppresses them night and day because institutional. Also patriarchal.

You’re going to tell me that women aren’t paid less than men just because they’re women.

You’re going to tell me that and you’ll be absolutely right, of course, because you know what you’ve seen with your lying eyes and it’s nothing like the narrative you can find in every book, in every movie, in every newspaper, in every report, and in the majority of the presidential speeches, too.

It’s like there are two lands, one that the media-industrial complex writes from, and then the land we live in.

And after a while the suspicion sets in, that they can’t be that blind accidentally, that the lies and coordinated purposely and for an end.

You’d be right. And wrong.

The big lie that informs all the little lies the media-industrial corporations tell is uniform, taught in the schools, and pushed at every kid and adult who has even a modicum acquaintance with formal schooling. This is because the ideals of Marxism have slid into our society and become the “overculture” of the elites. Not only through Marx, himself, mind. He fit neatly into a matrix of despising the present and your countrymen in favor of the past and the exotic, which had been propagated by all the custard head romantics heading back to the eighteenth century. But the Marxist lie was absolutely manipulated and shaped by the USSR who infiltrated just enough of the media-industrial complex to create the sense that all the good people were hard left.

After that, it’s not needed to tell people what to say, they can deduce how to shape the narrative from their oikophobia and their “hierarchy of victims.” Once you know whose victimhood trumps whose, you know how to shape the narrative. You also know only the “oppressors” can be villains.

Are the lies told for an end? – oh, sure they are, but the end is not necessarily consciously sought. To an extent the lies are told to make the liar fit in with what they perceive as the “upper crust.” To another extent, the lies are told to bring about what they’ve been told would be utopia, to wit, the rule by enlightened technocrats. But to another, the lies are told because even these people see the bad results of what their supposedly enlightened elites are doing, and want to deflect blame.

To wit, for how long have we heard Reagan closed the madhouses? Untold was the fact that the madhouses he closed were largely empty, since due to a campaign by the enlightened purveyors of enlightenment (and this one REALLY was financed by the USSR) we’d defined our madhouses like the communist madhouses. They used theirs to imprison political dissidents, so in equivalence world, then we must be using ours to imprison political dissidents. And if what the people in the madhouses thought was that they were the son of Mary Magdalene by Napoleon and that G-d himself had ordered them to kill every person named Ned, that was too political. Their madness was brought about by the inherent injustice of the capitalist system, you oaf. How can you not see that? Don’t you know many wonderful people who are poor and many rich people who are asses? Then how can you not agree that capitalism is unjust and makes people insane? (Never mind that people are more or less insane from birth, and that no better system has ever been devised. It’s unfair and therefore everyone who goes mad, goes mad because of Capitalism.) The left had waged a war on the very concept of mental illness, but when the hordes of crazy hit the street and then the madhouses closed, they had to blame someone, and the someone was the person who formally ended a system that had already ended in practicality.

Well, yesterday I came across a similar thing. I was watching Scorpion with my husband. He had saved a huge stack of episodes going back to October.

Now, I didn’t set out to watch it. I was, instead, intending to work in front of the TV, because my husband was there and also yesterday was very cold and the room with the giant computer screen is warm.

However the series captured me, mostly with its depiction of very smart people. They’re Odd, like us, and that was interesting.

Oh, sure, there were burs under the saddle. Like the fact that the main character at 11 supposedly got upset because his software was used to bomb Kabul. Of course he did. Because every smart person is against the war and wants our enemies to thrive, right? I mean self-defense is such an uncouth value.

Never mind. I could get over those little moments. But then we came to an episode where the plot was that a good populist politician had got murdered by (of course) an evil corporation, which did so because he would prevent (!) their stealing water from smaller agro-businesses in… California. California, by gum. The place where small farmers ARE being run out of business, the place being given over to a desert, because Nancy Pelosi and the eco-freak lobby have chosen to let the water flow through to the sea to keep alive the delta smelt, a sort of schrodinger fish that might or might not exist, and if it exists might or might not be endangered.

At this moment, I needed to go out of the room and not Hulk out. Because think about it – how many people know that Nancy Pelosi and her merry band of idiots are the ones responsible for the suffering of small farmers? How many people follow the shenanigans of politicians. And how many will immediately assume that having seen this on television, it must be true, and the evul large corporation must be the ones stealing all the water?

A few more repetitions, and “everyone will know” the desertification of California is all the fault of big agro-business. And then we’ll empower politicians who will, of course, be bought by big agro-business, and make it even less possible to be a small farmer, but never you mind that, because the narrative tells you what to believe.

And the beauty of it, the sheer beauty of this, is that you don’t need to tell all the lies yourself. Just have people hear the same explanation three times and most of them will assume they came up with it on their own through REASONING. And then they’ll tell the lies for you.

This is how those raspers, like that Reagan was going to destroy us all in WWIII ended up in the middle of an otherwise completely apolitical cozy mystery. This is how you find episodes of Muslim harassment and hate crimes against Arabs as being common in America today, even though most of the hate crimes in America are committed… against Jews. Most of them by Arabs, but that’s something else. You will hear every time there is an episode of Sudden Jihad Syndrome that “we fear backlash against Muslims.” And having heard that often enough the man on the street assumes it must be happening, every time, otherwise why fear it? And thus it creeps into books, like other myths, such as Clinton’s balanced budget and devotion to feminist ideals.

All of which brings us to where we are today. And before you slump and say “we know. It’s all up.” – Pfui.
It’s not all up, and we’re starting to make substantial holes in the narrative. The fact that they get all up in arms these days about stuff that doesn’t ACTIVELY SUPPORT the narrative: Interstellar not blaming the destruction of the Earth on humans; American Sniper not condemning the war, means that they are both afraid and desperate. They want to control every single peep coming out of media, of entertainment, of news.

But time has moved on. Back in the eighties or nineties, they mostly had it as they wanted it. You see, the trick to constructing the narrative and fooling the maximum amount of people is that you have to both show only those of your field who are most rational and coordinated, and manage to not show any opposing views that accord with what people’s lying eyes are actually seeing.

Fail at one of those, and you’re going to have holes in your narrative. Thus, when the representatives for your side are a chick who made up a gang-rape story to attract a guy who didn’t care for her; or even moderately successful science fiction writers who scream they’re being oppressed and attack men for using the word “ladies” or, of course, Rose Eveleth, Vagina Vigilante, pissing all over the victory of a guy who landed on a comet – ON A COMET – because she doesn’t like his shirt… Or a vast group of supposedly educated women going on a crusade to make men sit as though they didn’t have male organs.. well, the idea that women are more peaceful or worthy of ruling than men goes out the window. So does the idea that feminism is about equality of opportunities. So, might the idea that women should ever have been let out of the drawing room and fainting couches, if it weren’t that some of us still insist on using the brains we were born with and in public, to boot. (The feminists can thank us later, if all women don’t end up treated as lunatics or children or lunatic children. Or they could thank us later, if they weren’t so busy acting like lunatic children.)

The narrative is leaking like the titanic after striking the iceberg.

Then there is the fact that the repellent Lena Dunham had her narrative of rape-by-college republican exploded by citizen journalism; that Herr (Schickle)Grubber’s lies on behalf of Unaffordable Care were shown by citizen journalism; that Rolling Stone had egg rubbed on its dirty face by citizen journalism. And there is the fact that other books are available, books that don’t have to go through traditional publishing’s “must reinforce the narrative mill.”

Suddenly you realize the narrative is already fracturing. Or to keep our metaphor, starting to list and fill with water.  If it weren’t, if someone in that big den of conformism that is Hollywood weren’t starting to get the sense the narrative is not one size fits all anymore, we WOULDN’T have got Interstellar. Or American Sniper. Not without the narrative.

Someone once told me they shriek louder when they’re losing. Ladies and Gentlemen, small furry folk and dragons, it’s time to do like Ulysses and plug our ears lest their shrieking drive us mad. Interpret their cries simply as meaning one thing: we are upsetting them. We’re disturbing their control. Which is exactly what we want to do.

Lay into them good and hard.*

In the end we win. They lose.

*To the SJWs reading this (oh, come on honey. EVERY SINGLE LINE, and you know it.  I  elevate your heart rate as much as exercise, but you like your ragey rage more.) yes, this is a rape metaphor. Just like a medieval sword is a phallic metaphor and the stuff between your ears is a potato metaphor. Or you could, you know, learn something of real life and history.

Of course that would disturb your belief in the narrative and in the end – heaven forbid – you might start thinking and join our little rebel band… er… I mean group of privilege who are privileged to be kept out of all positions of power by our immense… privilege. Better not risk it. Go back to sleep. It’s a rape metaphor. That’s it. Just like umbrellas. And rolling pins. And fish.  And a thought intruding on your head.

128 thoughts on “Unraveling The Narrative a Blast From The Past from March 2015

  1. I actually had to go back and read the date this was originally published. That’s when I realized the only thing missing that would be in there if it were written today is references to Orange Man Bad.

    Is it good or bad when a Blast from the Past is more relevant now?

    1. I think I wasn’t yet on the topic of Trump being a ringer for the Clintons at that point in the year. Otherwise there might have been some Orange Man Bad in the comments.

      We’ve had three years without Clinton in office, and that was better than I thought we would see for about six months.

      1. Of course they’re still freaking out. They threw the election away through overconfidence that caused them to not cheat hard enough.
        The burning question for those here is do you really believe that they would make that mistake again?

        1. Trump needs to have loyal feds with cameras at every voting station. Or if he can’t get enough of those, to encourage private citizens with cameras to be there instead. With promises to come down like a sledgehammer on anyone who unlawfully tries to stop them or is found cheating.

            1. I’m kinda hoping he has a trap or five set for this kind of thing. The Democrats have gotten away with so much for so long that my guess is they’ve probably gotten sloppy. And as I’ve said elsewhere, they keep expecting him to curl up and die like a good little gentlemanly Republican of old. And he keeps reaching for the straight razor he keeps in his shoe.

              Maybe I’m dreaming, but if I’m not the show alone should be wonderfully satisfying.

                1. Perhaps he was naive and wasn’t prepared for it, but he’s neither stupid nor the sort to let himself be walked all over. And it will be HIS job on the line in 2020.

                  Don’t rule out him having something planned this time.

                2. Here’s hoping the midterm was a wakeup call and honorable members of the DOJ are prepped and ready to enforce our voting laws come 2020. Sure, they will still cheat, and then there’s the automatic five percent or so due to media bias, but I still hope and pray that we squeak out another victory against the radical progressive left.

                  1. I’d have more faith in that if I thought President Trump actually had some meaningful control over the Department of Justice. Given their lackluster record at responding to criminal referrals by both the Office of Inspector General and members of Congress, I have little faith.

        2. It certainly seems unlikely, but for what it’s worth, one often observed effect of being absolutely determined not to make Mistake A again is that you overcompensate so far that you slide straight into Mistake B. The Devil sends errors into the world in pairs, as Screwtape admits.

        3. ” They threw the election away…” by running Hillary Clinton unopposed. (Bernie doesn’t count.)

          All those Dem candidates this year? They all existed three years ago. They ALL had ambitions three years ago. Every one of them. Where were they?

          1. Part of the deal struck in 2008 was that Hillary! would be given 2016.
            “It’s Her Turn” is a fairly fitting slogan.

        4. They threw the election away in a lot of ways. Granny Maojackets von Pantsuit wasn’t going to galvanize the Left-leaning electorate without some real effort…which she either didn’t make or didn’t have in her. The ‘Deplorables’ comment, OTOH was nicely calculated to make sure each and every voter who had even THOUGHT about voting for Trump would make it to the polls. Granny being handed a ‘get out of jail free’ card over her emails should have scuttled her eligibility; lots of folks will take some trouble to vote against an insider who gets let off by her chums. Yes, they were seriously overconfident. They were also counting on the Media for a lot. The Media has turned things around for them on many occasions, but it has gotten a trifle too blatant about its partisanship, and a lot of people don’t watch anymore.

          They MAY be revved up to cheat more this time, but that could backfire on them badly. Trump isn’t a Nice Guy Republican, though it seems to me that even at this late date they keep expecting him to become one.

        5. I think they’re willing to try do everything they can that they think will get them the win next time. Morals, laws, restraint, etc, do not exist. The ends justify the means for them, and the only thing that matters is power.

          This approach is what is prompting the Walk Away movement, and I honestly think that is baffling them.

    2. It’s good, because the listing and crumbling are all the more apparent now, the shrieking is getting REALLY tiresome, and we need the reminder that appeasing the shriekers never does any good.

  2. >> “yes, this is a rape metaphor”

    Stop teasing the kittens with the laser pointer, Sarah. It’s not fair to them. 😛

    1. Just like Sarah said about the Black Dog not being a puppy, these aren’t kittens. They’re nasty, diseased feral Toms who will give all your actual cats some dread parasite if they aren’t driven off.

    2. Kittens? Type “animals laser pointer” into YouTube, and you’ll see birds, goldfish, and freakin’ SPIDERS chasing the red dot…

      1. My dog does it–70 pound mutt.

        Years ago a guy I knew would use a flashlight with his full grown rottweilers. Furniture got moved–and not that weak ass Ikea stuff.

  3. To another extent, the lies are told to bring about what they’ve been told would be utopia, to wit, the rule by enlightened technocrats.

    But…but… Shouldn’t technocrats actually take the trouble to learn something about technology? Stuff that involves math, physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology…instead of ‘gender studies’ and ‘community organization’?

    They are obsessed with control, but they do not understand what they are trying to control.
    Governments can only print money; they can’t make it worth anything. They CAN make it worth nothing.

    1. Now that’s a crazy idea! Next thing you know, you’re going to suggest that all these people who go around saying how much they “F—ing love science!” ought to have some clue what science is, at least being able to name the basic steps in the scientific method.

      Clearly, you are a heretic. Say three “Hail Marx”s and then do a month’s penance by volunteering with your local PIRG.

      1. I will stick with heresy. At least I can see what will happen when idiots grab the controls despite never having learned to fly the plane.

        The pilots are part of the Privileged Patriarchy, you see, and knowing how to fly the plane is Evil Oppression! The idiots have to save us from people who might actually know what they’re doing!
        Why do so many idiots believe that the way to solve our problems is to keep voting for the shame shitheads that caused them?

          1. They believe they should control things they don’t understand. Learning is too hard!

            Learning useful skills and applying that knowledge is ‘oppression’.
            Socialized Health Care: A system in which doctors fill out paperwork while paper-shufflers play doctor.

          2. That’s a big switch. They used to *love* them some meritocracy, at least when they were the ones defining “merit”…

            1. Exactly! “Merit” does not mean technical expertise, it means “politically correct.”

              They now assign merit the meaning of “most deserving” and determine it according to the Intersecitionality Rulebook (generously cribbed from the Calvinball Rulebook.)

            2. This exact metaphor was used when Republicans were decrying the elite political class and calling for citizen politicians rather than career and bureaucrats.

        1. “You can’t trust politicians at all, no matter the party”
          “I’ll gladly pay 14% more taxes to not have to worry about insurance, and just have the gov’t take care of things”
          – The Same Effing Moron

          1. The answer to that Same Effing Moron is, “Look, the people most like us in the world are the British, the Canadians, and the Austrians. All of them have tried the kind of government-driven Healthcare you say you want. All of them have demonstrated pretty conclusively that it doesn’t work. The Swedes are some of the nicest, most cooperative people on earth. THEY couldn’t make it work. Can we please try something else?”

            1. Best thing about my move at work is now I don’t have to listen to that particular moron, and the other one who whined the economy was going to crash and ruin his 401(k) (nevermind Hillary and her followers want to abscond with his 401(k) so they can dole out the proceeds to win votes and subjugate the working masses) are now across town from me and I don’t have to put up with much of their B.S.

    2. The new hotness is that they can print as much money as they want and it doesn’t affect value. It’s just a “construct” “like gender.”
      We can’t let these lunatics win.

      1. But it’s Modern! You’re just too caught up in legacy thinking to understand how much better and smarter this is, you uneducated primordial throwback. 😀

          1. So did Paul Krugman. So did All Out-Crazy.

            Okay, what AOC studied was political economics, which has the same relationship to economics as social justice has to justice.

            There are essentially two intellectual approaches to study: the Engineering Approach and the Lawyer Approach. The former thinks in terms of margins of safety, of load bearing, of unanticipated problems; the latter looks for loop-holes.

              1. Yeah. My tube of you is infested with ads for some sorta Great Courses thing, and their lecturer on Economics is Krugman, Nope. Nope. Nope . . . Sure he got a Nobel, but so did Obama so that shows how much it’s worth these days. }:-(

                1. oh, and Great Courses is supposed to be mostly okay, though, yeah, having Krugnut is a big black mark, and not going to get me to send money their way.

                2. Shame on you! The noble Nobel prize is as significant and important as the oversight provided by the UN Human Rights Council!

                  Another United Nations human rights wrong
                  Providing yet more evidence that it’s an utter travesty, the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday chastised a Hong Kong lawmaker for calling out the truth.

                  Tanya Chan, the founder of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Civic Party, testified in Geneva about police brutality against protesters: “Use of force is excessive and indiscriminate.” She gave specifics, too: Police “shot a beanbag round at a first-aider and blinded one of her eyes.” And “riot police attacked innocent subway passengers whom they claimed were rioters in disguise.”

                  Plus: “Arrested protesters face physical abuse,” including “sexual abuse cases.”

                  She added that Monday marked “the 100th day of the movement, but there is no sign the police will exercise restraint. This is a direct result of the lack of democracy in Hong Kong, as the government is not held accountable for its endorsement of police abuse.”

                  Her remarks followed new violence last Sunday, as police fired water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, who, in turn, threw gasoline bombs outside government headquarters.

                  She called on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to “support our appeal for this council to convene an urgent session and to establish a mission of inquiry to ensure the human rights of the people of Hong Kong.”

                  Then she asked the all-important question: “Why is China sitting here as a member of this Human Rights Council?”

                  That’s when the council’s No. 2, Carlos Mario Foradori of Argentina, told her to “frame the statement within the context of the agenda item strictly.”

                  Huh? The agenda item was “Promotion and protection of all human rights.” Chan spoke the truth. Her only mistake was asking for a solution for part of the problem.

                  1. Let me guess — these are unarmed protesters, in a jurisdiction which does not allow its subjects to own guns.

                    Coming to your town, as soon as the ‘progressives’ manage to get rid of that pesky 2nd Amendment…

                    Here’s a quote, from a story I’m working on:

                    We are not free. We have never been free. So long as we remain illiterate, ignorant and disarmed we will be slaves in all but name. When the ruling classes have weapons and we do not, we exist by their indulgence alone. Our homes, our food, our lives, the very clothes on our backs can be taken from us at their whim.

                    The setting is Edo Japan, but the truths are eternal.
                    There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the perfect world. Trouble is, they always start out by fucking up this one.

            1. Eh, engineering does look for the loopholes in the laws of physics. It’s how all cool stuff happens. The difference is we check it (usually: see KC hyatt regency or the 737Max, worlds largest earthmover) and we can’t avoid the laws of physics. Wordsmithing loopholes usually lasts just long enough for ponzi to get away

      2. I think the tendency of the Left to label things as “socially constructed realities” is in all truth “socialist constructed ridiculousness.”

        1. Like many things of the Left, it is representative of a small, narrowly correct bit of Truth distorted beyond all recognition.

          What they call “socially constructed reality” is more accurately described as “socially recognized reality.” It is premised on the Sociology/Psychology principle that what we think of as True is true of any social interaction. Thus your child’s understanding that you promised a pony ride is as valid as your thinking you promised a ride if ponies were at the park.

          Gravity, particle physics, economics are somewhat less prone to subjective variability as well as less forgiving.

      3. They are partially right. Money (unlike gender) IS just a construct. But it depends on consensus belief, and if you monkey around with it enough, you WILL undermine that consensus, and then you have Venezuela.

      4. The singles in my wallet identify as hundreds, but the transphobes in stores refuse to acknowledge their value.

    1. If you have been inculcated with the idea that emotion makes right, er, correct, then she who howls the loudest is obviously on the side of all that is good and proper. And so if things don’t go your way, you need to make more noise, and protest more violently, to prove that you are indeed the most sincere and the one with the correct ideas and truth.

      And oh, how I wish I was joking.

  4. You lived through the time and it was not like that, you say?

    I had to learn to realize that my perspective on the world is limited by my very small circle of contacts and associations, by my own implicit biases and the problems of small sample size. Not only that, I lack the vast resources of a modern-day internationally-based technologically sophisticated news-gathering organization. I also lack the training and resources required to place events in their proper historical and cultural contexts.

    Naturally I cannot believe my own lying eyes.

    Which is why I need to keep my head firmly ensconced between my buttocks and rely on trusted news sources to provide those services I lack.

    If only there were trusted news sources instead of the corrupt, parochial rubes (who wouldn’t know sophistication if it bit them on the ass) gas lighting me daily.

    1. “If only there were trusted news sources instead of the corrupt, parochial rubes (who wouldn’t know sophistication if it bit them on the ass) gas lighting me daily.”

      When I first moved to New York State in 1993, I couldn’t even get dial-up in Westchester county. Ontario Canada, bulletin boards and all that kind of thing were local-call access. New York was 10 years behind. It was pitiful.

      Everybody says that New York City is the cosmopolitan center of the universe. Having lived in Toronto, I can tell you that NYC is a hobo-infested crap hole. Living in a zillion dollar apartment next to Central Park means you have a nice apartment with a nice view in a Third World country and you likely have bullet holes in your windows. (I was in a few “nice” apartments to visit. On higher floors, you understand. More than one had bullet holes. Not only did assholes shoot indiscriminately, the landlord didn’t fix the f-ing window. I have never seen a bullet hole in a window anywhere else.)

      The “highly educated sophisticates” of NYC, I know a bunch of them. Outside their narrow areas of expertise, they don’t know shit. Their opinions are extremely provincial, their life experience limited to NYC. Most of them haven’t been as far as Yonkers, some have never left the island of Manhattan.

      That’s why so much of what gets made in NYC is echo-chamber bullshit. They think the whole world is like that. They don’t know where milk comes from, much less coffee.

      I know redneck cow farmers in Hagersville that are more traveled and better read. In fact most of them are. They have to be, farming is a lot harder than city people think.

      1. Having grown up in a small rural town, and putting my offspring in a big city school I have come to the conclusion that the former is much more cosmopolitan. Growing up we had one school. The richest family and the poorest family sent their kids to the same classroom where they worked and played together. Likewise, the kids who would grow up to be union assembly line workers were in the same class as the kids who aspired to be doctors. The people from other races weren’t “the Blacks” or “the Koreans”, they were Tom, David, Kim, etc. and you’d known them since Kindergarten. Meanwhile in the city there are whole schools just for kids into art or STEM or medicine. Schools for rich neighborhoods and schools for poor ones. A child of the ‘elite’ need never sit next to or play with a child from the wrong side of the tracks or who couldn’t give two whits about the life-of-the-mind or going to college.

      2. Those who consider NYC as the cosmopolitan center of the universe are not wholly wrong.

        After all, when it comes to matters political, the average denizen of NYC reasons about as well as someone who has downed at least a half-dozen Cosmopolitans in the space of a few minutes. On an empty stomach. As a lifelong teetotaler.

  5. “Gentlemen, small furry folk and dragons, it’s time to do like Ulysses and plug our ears lest their shrieking drive us mad.”

    Oh, absolutely. I get by these days by not watching broadcast TV and not listening to broadcast radio. The nice thing about streaming TV is that I can fast-forward past the stupid parts, and I can ignore the propaganda shows.

    Mostly what I watch these days is anime, in Japanese. Those have their own message and subtext, but because its not the SJW subtext it isn’t pissing me off. Plus I miss most of the message because foreign language. Which leaves the action, the witty repartee (nani?!!!) and the fun characters. That’s all I want out of a fricking TV show, after all.

    Remember James Garner in Rockford Files? That’s a proper TV show.

    As for books, I have my go-to authors. They all write too slow, even in aggregate, to keep my read-pile stocked. So now I write.

    My characters tend to fall under the “problematic” category. I let them do what they want, which turns out pretty interesting some times. One of them said something the other day that fits here.

    Setup to this scene, Alice and assorted robots plus the werewolf are interviewing a crooked medical examiner at his rural property in Arizona. Ten gang-bangers (aka brigands) show up to silence the medical examiner guy, so now Alice has to decide what to do with ten bashed-up murderers. Its pissing her off. (Gruesome Mary is Henrietta’s robot girlfriend, also a combat scorpion made of guns.)

    “You have recovered your temper now, Miss Haddison?” asked Guruh with wolfish amusement.

    “Yeah, sorry I yelled,” sighed Alice. “What should we do with these brigands of yours?”

    “Slay them,” said Guruh with unconcern. “They are scum, they deserve nothing more.”

    “Really?” said Alice skeptically, looking askance at the wolf. “A zillion years of killing demons in Hell and that’s all you’ve got for me?”

    “Tie ‘em together, take their shoes and make ‘em walk back to Globe,” snarled Henrietta. “That’s the type of thing they like to do. Ten miles, no water. Real instructive.”

    “No,” said Gruesome Mary. A simple, single word that carried the weight of mountains.

    “Why not?” demanded Henrietta angrily. “If not for all this science fiction shit we got, we’d be dead right now!”

    “Because I said.” Gruesome Mary looked down at Henrietta’s angry red face. “They get to be assholes. You don’t.”

    “Shee-it!” swore Henrietta and looked away from the proud Fury. “Goddamn goody-two-shoes bullshit! Same thing every time! How d’ya think their next victims are gonna feel about y’all lettin’ them go?”

    “Not my problem,” said Gruesome Mary inflexibly. “I’m not responsible for what they do. They are. Letting you put scars on your soul is not going to make the world a better place. You’re not doing it, so shut up. You’re not either, wolf.”

    “You would contest with me, child?” asked the wolf quietly.

    “I will kick your ass up and down this canyon,” promised Gruesome Mary. “Everybody else seems to think you’re hot shit, but I’m not inclined to accept what everybody says. You know who I am, you know what I can do.”

    [/end excerpt/]

    Now, normally in these situations there’s a big looong discussion about morality, and the hero always does some humane thing that comes back to bite him on the ass. Its a trope, one that I am heartily sick of.

    Gruesome Mary the combat robot doesn’t give two shits about the gang bangers or what they do. She cares about -her- human, and she knows dealing harshly with the bad guys isn’t going to improve said human’s mental state or situation. Quite the reverse, it will leave scars that will never heal. Therefore she’s going to walk away and let the murdering gang bangers go, because Not My Job. And she’s not taking any lip about it from the werewolf.

    This was a surprise to me. Gruesome is normally a bit of a smart-ass, doesn’t take things too seriously. Like her name, for example. (Currently the rest of the characters still haven’t decided how this is going to go. Alice is leaning strongly toward punching somebody in the face just because. No one seems to be trying to talk her out of it very hard. Guess I’ll have to dive back in and see what happens.)

    But that’s why I’m writing my own now. Where the hell else am I going to find a character who will mind her own knitting like that? Everything else is “Oh, the poor gang bangers, we must help them!” Or its a big long torture scene with sights and smells lovingly recorded, and I’m supposed to still be rooting for the “good guy” who did the torture. Feh!

    1. …fast-forward past the stupid parts, and I can ignore the propaganda shows.

      Don’t watch much, do you? Probably for the best. The precious little I am exposed to (no reliable signal at home, and like bloody HELL am I gonna for that [MANURE].

      At this point, TV is a Technical Curiosity at best. Tell me about about the modulation schemes and the transmitter (and receiver) designs, but the content? Hell, I’ve *FLUSHED* better. MOO!

      1. Every year, the list of TV shows worth watching shrinks. I’m down to two of the NCIS shows (gave up on the LA variant a long time ago, and the Scott Bakula one is on probation), and we’ll watch any of the good PBS mysteries. $SPOUSE watches more, but she’ll knit or crochet while doing so.

        This Old House is getting back to “see how rich we are”, and the Ask version gets a heavy hand on the skip-section keys. I’ll watch Woodsmith Shop for ideas worth stealing and/or adapting. OTOH, I watch very little U-tube stuff because of bandwidth and latency issues.

        1. My mother and I occasionally get together to binge on a sci-fi series. Last one was The Expanse and we both loved it, so I’ll give it a plug here.

          If anyone tries it, watch at least the first four episodes before making a final call.

        2. Tubes of You (latest Alex Steele vid running right now), Motor Trend online, and MavTVLucas Oil Racing.tv (soon, not started the online service, yet, but when I had DirecT, 90+% of my watching was Mav) and I watch MotoGP via streaming BT Sport.
          Woodworking, I watch ISHITANI FURNITURE, Mr. Chickadee, Matt Cremona, April Wilkerson, Paul Sellers, and many others.
          diy stuff Diresta (of course), Pask Makes, HABU, Laura Kampf, etc.
          I love C&Rsenal, Forgotten Weapons, and 9 Hole reviews, as well as Taufledermaus.
          Woodworking (of all things) got me into Sail Life (why a fiberglass boat refit got recommended in there is beyond me but Mads is funny) through that to Sampson Boat, and Acorn To Arabella, also Drake Paragon for cruising life videos. Diresta got onto Tips From A Shipwright.
          Mostly metal work stuff is Abom79, AvE, and This Old Tony. Clickspring when he gets one out.
          Been watching Forging Armor.Armorsmith (He has good translation for his narration. Out of Ukraine, either music played by him, or narrations).
          Car stuff, it’s Bad Obsession, Mighty Car Mods (though Moog can get on my nerves) through them to Skid Factory (Al is my Aussie Spirit Animal), and Benny’s Custom Works.
          Get the latest Maru stuff, Simon’s Cat, watch History Time, WW2, Time Ghost, The Great War, Sabaton History, Alex, French Guy Cooking . . .

          I guess I could get an antenna and see what I get for over the air, but I just moved the TV onto the computer desk and use it for vids while the small monitor is where I type this, and sometimes another video (like this past weekend, with Goodwood Revival running while the MotoGP races were running) is played.
          Over all I now have over 90 subscribes, and heck, I hardly have time for more TV anyhow.

          1. most of my YT subbed channels:
            Forgotten Weapons
            Bad Obsession Motorsport
            The Skid Factory
            Crimson Custom Guitars
            Alec Steele
            Forging armor. ArmorSmith.
            Mighty Car Mods
            History Time
            Acorn To Arabella
            Hand Tool Rescue
            Sabaton History
            izzy swan
            This Old Tony
            Benny’s Custom Works
            9-Hole Reviews
            TimeGhost History
            Matthew Cremona
            World War Two
            Sail Life
            Pask Makes
            Darbin Orvar
            Rag ‘n’ Bone Brown
            Cris Salomone
            April Wilkerson
            Lyndon Poskitt
            Scott Turner
            Sampson Boat Co
            Third Coast Craftsman
            Stavros Gakos
            Laura Kampf
            Hassan Abu-Izmero (HABU)
            Alex (French Guy Cooking)
            The Slow Mo Guys
            tim sway
            mugumogu (Maru’s owner)
            Young Je
            DIY Creators
            Lockk9 TT Racing
            Chop With Chris
            Giaco Whatever
            Smarter Every Day 2
            Alton Brown
            Paul Sellers
            Bill Whittle
            Get Hands Dirty
            The Slow Mo Guys 2
            Simon’s Cat
            Chickadee Enginerding
            Jerry Miculek – Pro Shooter
            The Great War
            Mr. Chickadee
            Edd China
            Marius Hornberger
            THE DRIVE
            MCM TV2
            Tips from a Shipwright
            Chicken Wings Comics
            Asia Talent Cup
            Bikesport News
            Edd China’s Garage Revival
            Blunt Force Truth
            Jeff Dunham

    2. Alice and assorted robots plus the werewolf

      Okay, that is a phrase of the English language I have genuinely never heard before in my life. Already you intrigue.

    3. I was watching one of the 5:30 national news things last night, with the sound off. I could see the propaganda targeting. It was pitiful. Climate change and crisis, Democrats, Houston under water, Iran doing something somewhere, and then the feel-good tidbit. Yawn.

      1. “Climate change” meaning “a tropical depression is over the area dumping a lot of rain so it’s flooding like it usually does since Houston has a lot of bayous” or similar?

        1. Yes. Apparently it never rained on the Gulf Coast before the invention of the internal combustion engine. Tonight it was “is nuclear energy safe?” Followed by something about songbirds dying because of chemicals and loss of habitat. Nothing about how wind turbines are leading to the extinction of the Golden Eagle and a few other large birds.

          1. Insty linked to a story on the waste management nightmare of dealing with worn out wind turbine blades. Lots of non-recyclable plastics on the skin, and maybe some aluminum as structural elements. No big wind power around here; some large scale solar (8-12MWe for the big installations, lots of multi-kilowatt ones on ranches), and until it’s taken away, some hydroelectric.

  6. At this moment, I needed to go out of the room and not Hulk out. Because think about it – how many people know that Nancy Pelosi and her merry band of idiots are the ones responsible for the suffering of small farmers? How many people follow the shenanigans of politicians. And how many will immediately assume that having seen this on television, it must be true, and the evul large corporation must be the ones stealing all the water?

    This is why many of those farmers put up big signs on their dustbowls, informing any who go by of who to blame.

    Someone who supports Gunssavelife.com did something similar with BurmaShave! style signs along the fence lines– there was one, something like “Young thugs/ seldom attack/ when a teacher/ can fire back.” The last one, with the website, was sort of accessible– and had been ripped to shreds.

    Kinda says it all, no?

    1. Yep. Reminds me of the guy who put nail-studded lumber around his TRUMP lawn sign because liberals kept running over it with their SUVs. Caught quite a few.

      The BurmaShave sign sounds like a giggle. Being the evil-minded nerd that I am, a few cameras hidden around the last one that gets torn up all the time would make for some great video to add to the web site. Faces, license numbers, things like that.

    2. i remember back in the early ‘80’s, when the who
      E Farm Aid scam was going strong. My folks were then living in Ames, Iowa. My Father was teaching at Iowa State, and Mother was much involved in local society.

      The consensus of One of the Premiere agricultural colleges in the Nation was that the farmers who were in danger of ‘losing the family farm’ were, for the most part, doofuses who didn’t much like farming and had taken up buying expensive farm equipment they could only marginally use. Playing with big tractors, and not paying attention to the bottom line.

      Most of the ‘Big Corporate Farms’ are family owned, anyway, as John Ringo has pointed out. They incorporate because, so far, doing so is both cheaper and more effective than holding Uncle Sugar’s grubby paws off with armed rebellion.

      1. Back in the ’70s prime Illinois or Iowa farm land was a couple hundred an acre and a typical family farm about 400 acres.
        Moving into the ’80s farm land values soared into the thousands so farmers found themselves sitting on a wealth of equity that the banks made it ridiculously easy to borrow against.
        Foolish farm owners bought the latest and greatest tractors and combines on credit at anywhere from 100k to a quarter million a pop.
        Smart farmers either hunkered down or used their credit to buy more land.
        These days a typical incorporated family farm runs in the thousands of acres.
        And Ringo’s The Last Centurion goes into very informative and entertaining detail about many aspects of this as well as a bunch of other things. Most excellent read.

        1. Phil Stong (who was once a medium deal American author) wrote a book called HAWKEYES that was effectively a social history of Iowa. He wrote about a land-speculation boom (presumably in the 20’s, but I don’t have the book in front of me) that caused a number of good farmers to make the same mistake.

          Good book, BTW.

      2. Most of the ‘Big Corporate Farms’ are family owned, anyway

        Mostly for taxes. When Farmer Jones shuffles off his Earthly coil and leaves his multi-million dollar (book value) farm to his kids, Uncle Sam and the State get a BIG chunk in taxes. When the Jones Family Farm Corporation CEO Jones goes off and the former COO rises to the head, it’s just business.

          1. Yep. All property, plant & equipment become corporate property and may be depreciated against corporate income as a shield against taxes. The family home is now corporate offices with attached housing for staff. There are no personal vehicles, just company-owned ones provided for the service of employees. Clothing/Uniform allowances may be provided, not taxable to the recipients as salary. Per diem meal expenses are also not subject to payroll taxes. Because all permanent employees* are also stock-holders, keeping salaries low and providing generous health insurance and pension benefits is advisable, avoiding high payroll taxes.

            There’s a lot more that can be done even without getting into “Hollywood” accounting.

            Speaking of “Hollywood” accounting, look up some of Bill Whittle’s discussions on how stars manage, e.g., DeCaprio Corp. contracts for the services of its chief asset,paying his expenses and a small stipend while preserving as corporate property his yachts, jets, and mansions.

            *as distinct from contract (or “temp”) labor

    3. Once upon a time, when RCFM (Rocket City FurMeet) was alive and at least somewhat well, I drove through the dubious state of Illinois and saw Burma Shave-esque signs in support of 2nd Amendment rights. It’s been a LONG time (Damn, but I miss RCFM… If the “League of Responsible Furs” had formed from those thinking of such, I’d have been a member at Founding… Alas, some of the Best are No Long, having left this Mortal Coil – and condenser). I suspect such signage is still there, but the cesspools of Chicago and Springfield will never see Reality until it stomps them. If even then.

      1. Last time I went through that area they were still there (2015). They are also right near a Penitentiary.
        Insty’s “Illinois divorcing Springfield and Chicago” holds a TON of merit

    4. From what I’ve encountered and essays from Victor Davis Hanson, San Joaquin water issues are a joint cluster[redacted] of Gummint and large farmers. The government screwed up surface water supplies with the baitfish mandates, while big farms (corporate, big landowners, whatever) are sucking the water table down with heavy irrigation for almond orchards. VDH has written that many of the small farmers can’t get any water, since the wells would have to be deepened. These are either abandoned or sold off; Hanson says a lot are abandoned.

      Agreed, Scorpion had a fair amount of PC balderdash as well as some impossible physics (among many others something about sodium mirrors having super reflective powers. Ehh?) I wasn’t heartbroken to see it end, though I liked most of the characters.

      1. It’s even worse than that. I have friends who work or worked at the Department of Water Reclamation, and there isn’t a water policy at all. There’s several thousand competing water priorities, and the DWR’s job is to tell the government the least illegal thing to do.

        The one that incenses me is the water bottling. Nestle has been out of compliance on a federal lease for decades and paying next to nothing—and then they say they can’t do anything about it? TURN OFF THE DAMNED PIPE. Water is for fighting, after all.

          1. IAnd the rules on the delta smelt seem to get set by the greenist judge that the eco-nazis can find. Amazing how that happens.

            Clever how Hetch Hetchy Dam never seems to get targeted for removal. Between SF and the Tech-oligarchs, it’s a safe one. The three Oregon and California dams on the Klamath River, not so much. (Pacific Power [spit] doesn’t want to spend money on fish ladders, and solar will take care of the load, says nobody after sunset).

  7. I find it amusing that Gilbert & Sullivan had to deal with the same type of knuckleheads in their day :
    “They never would be missed – they never would be missed!
    Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone
    All centuries but this, and every country but his own”

  8. “how many people know that Nancy Pelosi and her merry band of idiots are the ones responsible for the suffering of small farmers?”

    Well, me for one. But I’ve been reading non-narrative stuff since childhood. The Folks took The National Review, and when I got out in the Big Bad World I already know that most of what the Left repeated was drivel.

    1. I know, but water policy and use/abuse of rivers is something I follow for professional reasons. And occasionally out of morbid curiosity, in the case of CA.

    2. My mother got divorced when I was in my teens, and proceeded to immediately and inadvertently collect a small hisem from the entire Single Adult Sunday School class. The smart suitors bribed me. The REALLY smart one bribed me with 10 years’ back issues of National Review.

  9. It was 1994. Two years in the Clinton administration rammed an assault weapon ban through Congress that promised to prevent gun crime and make everyone safer. Sure the bill included a ten year sunset clause, but it oviously would prove so successful that it would be renewed without question. Now on to tackling health care.
    Later that same year the Democrats lost both houses of Congress in the ’94 mid terms, due at least in part to an organized response by the gun community to that self same AWB. Clinton was compelled to adopt a more centrist stance and they never did get around to seriously addressing the total revision of US health care.
    In the late 1990s the CDC commissioned a study intended to demonstrate that claims of civilian defensive gun use were vastly overblown and that in fact it was an extremely rare occurrence. The study actually found that claims of DGU in excess of two million a year were in fact most likely accurate. The study was never released to the public, only discovered recently by accident by a researcher and the documentation retrieved through a FOIA request.
    It was 2004. Absent an active renewal by Congress the assault weapon ban would expire. Extensive studies of crime statistics were conducted that indicated that the AWB had absolutely no effects on criminal activity or public safety. Having learned a lesson from the ’94 midterms Congress made no serious effort for renewal and the legislation was quietly allowed to expire.
    Of course current day with the left’s penchant for either ignoring or rewriting history to fit the narrative the AWB was a wonderful thing, just not quite strong enough and obviously that sunset clause a stupid mistake.

    1. Alright, some Arschlocher manages to ban smokeless/gun powder devices. Thank goodness for acetylene, propane, butane, magnetism, Lorentz forces, LASER devices… and ox is *slow*. Damn slow, really. Smart humans will be MUCH more impressive in bypassing/mocking/thwarting such idiocy.

      Hell, any halfway decent *optician* should be – at MINIMUM – halfway to damn good thermite reaction. Add a cutoff saw and some nigh-ubiquitous light metal…

      Ban Chemistry? Even ox not THAT slow!

      1. Common sense education control.

        There are profiles for spree killers, terrorists, and ordinary criminal murderers. Education has increased the effectiveness of every mass murderer and most spree killers. Gun control is pointless unless you close the education loophole

        A) Purge all university faculty of such elements as criminals, mentally ill, terrorist sympathizers, alcoholics*, etc.
        B) Imprison people with advanced degrees who are at risk, or who are not politically reliable enough to only teach when authorized.
        C) No one is authorized to receive an education who is not born and raised in an intact** family, with a consistent record of church attendance, from a denomination of sound theology***.
        D) Public schooling at the primary and secondary level is to cease immediately. All current teachers are enjoined from contact with children.
        E) Questions of education access have to consider all police records, which must have been possible for a US police department to collect dating back to the age of three.

        *Baptist definition.
        **Let’s specify that the marriage has to be within a church that does not recognize gay marriage.
        ***Definition specified to maximise the poison pill again. Forex, for a Catholic, the entire hierarchy above them must have no adherents of Liberation Theology. For a Baptist, they must not believe that anyone outside that denomination of Baptist can be saved. For a Morman, they have to think that hot drinks includes fruit sugar and temperatures greater than five degrees below ambient. A Calvinist male has to be middle aged, completely, utterly mono-maniacally boring on the topic of theology, and wear a suit.

        I’m not sure this poison pill is quite big enough.

          1. They support Media Control too. Can’t let those uppity peasants spreading Rightist disinformation about their betters without proper oversight.

            1. Yeah. Education control can be twisted to directly hurt mainly conservatives, but not as easily as media control. Because the left is pushing immigration and educational funding now.

      2. The most effective and smallest rail guns I have seen were kids in a garage
        granted it was enginerd, college age kids, but still, everything was open market sourced

      3. The thing is, all gun control legislation focuses on restricting the LEGAL acquisition of what the government defines as a firearm. The implicit assumption is that denied such access those of a criminal homicidal bent will simply give up and abandon their intended acts of violence.
        Of course this approach has worked so wonderfully well in our War on Drugs, hasn’t it?
        And as you point out so well, could they magically cause every firearm to suddenly vanish there are a great many viable and deadly alternatives. Keep in mind that two of the most devastating mass attacks were carried out with, one, a rental truck loaded with fertilizer, and two, box cutters and jet fuel.

        1. Gun confiscation has worked wonderfully in the UK and Oz . . . Why, the law abiding public has no firearms at all, for the most part.
          Gun crime?
          Sure. Lots of it, still, lots of baddies with guns in both places, and hell the UK is going after pointy objects now.
          Seems nearly every day the Melbourne and Sydney papers are ranting about Bikies and drug dealers (some overlap) shooting it out or getting nabbed and being well armed.
          As for the UK:
          Back away from the Phillips Screwdriver!
          Wood Chisel Control Now!

          1. Does the French army still patrol Paris in squads of four, with battle armor and submachine guns?

            I read through Larry Correia’s back blogs and that’s what he saw in France when he did a European book tour a couple of years ago. And the idea of visiting violent America has all those French lefties fainting?
            Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

            1. the only reason it is only some is, even though the goal is every grad an idiot, a few manage to learn something useful, and ignore the tripe and a avoid the indoc

    2. the Democrats lost both houses of Congress in the ’94 mid terms

      Didn’t you watch the News? That was the election in which “Angry White men” threw their tantrum. Speculation as to the basis of their anger mostly started at “loss of social status/privilege” and progressed (heh) no further.

      I noticed recently that they are trying to re-write the history of the effectiveness of that “scary boom stick” “assault weapons ban” — shocking, I know.

  10. Every day it seems I am screaming I WAS THERE! at a tv show or news article. I was there I remember the truth I have taught my son the truth. But the lies fall down like rain.

  11. “What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.” Valery Legasov’s character in “Chernobyl”

    I still can’t believe this series got made, and was allowed to be as scathing about the Soviet system as it is.

    1. I don’t get HBO, so much of my information on the series was from essays, but I suppose it got made largely due to Russia, Russia, Russia! and the demonization thereof.

      I’ll wait patiently for a similar expose series on say, China. Mind if I use that glacier for a clock?

      1. You really need to see it. It’s not so much the Russian people who are slammed- they come across as rightly heroic- but the Soviet system.
        If Ronnie, Maggie, and Alex Solzhenitsyn was to write a tv series about the failure of the Soviet Union, it could hardly be more scathing.

        Not only that, but it’s just really well done.

        1. I’ve heard it’s quite good.

          Slamming the Soviet system was a bit easier to do with the spin that Putin is the second worst person in the world (after Bad Orange Man, of course). I’d still like to see one aiming at something nearer and dearer to Those Better Than Us, but I don’t expect one in my lifetime.

  12. One indication of just how politicized everything has gotten: drive-by political attacks everywhere, even when utterly irrelevant to the ostensible subject matter of the piece in which they appear. A particularly bad example recently appeared in, of all places, the industry trade journal Railway Age. It has to be read (just the first few paragraphs) to be believed.


    1. Still, it’s nice to know that people can be deprived of employment and services, based on perceived socially unacceptable behavior. I’m sure this can’t possibly backfire, like if potential employees decide to screen job applicants based on what they consider offensive.

      For that matter, the mainstream media itself has been enduring quite a large number of “cancellations”, given the decline in movie attendance, or the television ratings of almost anything that’s not Fox or HBO. Only in this case, it’s due to the drop in quality (currently at three basement floors below the bottom of the barrel), and the rising number of alternatives. So in that regard, I’m not sure if publications like these are lashing out against people who already have walked away, or have actually yet to realize exactly how deep they’ve buried themselves.

  13. “…and the stuff between your ears is a potato metaphor.”

    THAT one mede me laugh out loud. 🙂

  14. Back in the day I knew an otherwise-sensible fellow (for an old hippie) who for a month after the election, went around white-faced with dread because Reagan was for sure going to start World War Three.

    1. I was young and foolish and voted for Jimmah. Twice, I’ll admit. By 1982, I’d seen the light and never looked back. My words in November ’80: “If we make it to 1984, we’ll be rich.”

      Well, not rich, but a lot better off than before.

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