Sterile

Saturn Francisco Goya

When Dan and I were first married (maybe two years into our marriage) we took a vacation in Algarve, in the South of Portugal. For those not conversant with the region, it has miles and miles of white sandy beaches, a placid, warm sea, and a generally pleasing climate.  All of which were more or less alien to me, since I grew up in the North, where the sea is freezing (due to an arctic current) and has waves that make it a surfer’s paradise. Also, the North is warm — ish. Often hot, actually, but not always — July through September only.

Anyway, Dan likes beaches, I like beaches…. we were young and fairly happy.  On the second or third day, we saw an elaborate castle-building shape-set in a window. The kind of play set (to sculpt sand) I used to dream of as a little girl, when I built VERY elaborate castles (including fountains in courtyards) with my hands, a silly plastic scoop and a dorky little bucket.

When I mentioned it to Dan, he of course said we should buy that set and build a castle.  (In our defense, the set was like 50c in US money.)  So, we did.  We spent most of the day building the castle, which had arches and bridges, multiple towers, and a little village inside.

We built it just far enough from the tide line that it would stay up for a few hours. I don’t know about you, but periodically on the seaside I come across such constructions, and they always make me smile. I wanted to pass that “smile” on.

As we were finishing, a group of kids sat nearby and watched us.  I thought they were just curious about what these English-speaking strangers were doing, and paid no attention.

However, no more had we finished the castle and — it being dinner time — started to walk away, than these kids ATTACKED the castle, tearing at it, and screaming in a paroxism of hatred.

At the time I was shocked and heartsick. Even these many years later, I’m slightly nauseated.

Sure, it was just a sand castle. BUT I can’t understand the need to tear and stomp flat, nor could I understand their FURY. They looked angry and gleeful at destruction.

And you know exactly what expressions I’m describing, if you go and look at videos of the riots.  It’s the same expressions, the same gleeful destruction, as they topple statues and write semi-literate graffiti on them.

But you know, it’s 32 years later, and I do know what animates them.

To understand fully — and I must say I never got to that point — you have to understand I went through 6 years of infertility before I had my first son.

What does that have to do with anything?

Well, while I never got to the point where I wanted to kill pregnant people, or even to make it impossible for people to get pregnant, when you’re trying very hard and every month (and a half. Long story) brings confirmation of your failure; when doctors keep reassuring you everything is working fine, and yet you can’t keep a baby growing in you, you start feeling resentful. Of life in general, and of people who get pregnant when a guy sneezes near them in particular.

Again, I never got to hating pregnant women or babies. But I started viewing every visible pregnancy as a personal taunt and affront.

This was not rational, nor put into so many words, but there was that night I went to the grocery store (we were in the habit of shopping in the wee hours) and EVERY SINGLE PERSON THERE was pregnant.  I mean, the cashier was pregnant, the stockers were pregnant, all the female customers were pregnant. I swear even every person on the cover of the tabloids was pregnant.

I came home filled with self-loathing and despair and spent hours crying.  Which wasn’t rational. I wasn’t any more infertile before I saw all those pregnant people. And they certainly didn’t get pregnant to upset me.

I think that’s part of what we’re seeing from the left in general, the left in the arts in particular.  And I think it’s part of the fury animating the rioters, who are children of privilege (and for the most part milk-white.)

That rage at their…. non-generative impotence is the only thing that explains why statues of saints or generals who fought against slavery, or even writers who were enslaved themselves, must be torn down.

It’s not over slavery. That never made any sense, anyway. And it’s not over George Floyd. The riots starting over his death never made any sense anyway. I mean, the killer was arrested almost immediately and no one, not even the most cop-supporting right winger says what he did was right. So why riot?
Yeah, sure, international interests fomenting it, and paying for it. After all China and Russia both would like us to tear ourselves apart. It would leave the way open for their domination of the world.

But that’s not the only thing. The people taking part in this really are gleefully engaged in destruction, and really believe everything the past bequeathed us must be destroyed, from statues to math or logic. I mean, we joke that logic is a tool of the patriarchy, but feminists do say that. Without irony, I might add.

Yes, most of these people are privileged, never had to work a day in their lives, and are extensively college-indoctrinated.

Why does that matter?  Well–

It matters because our current method of education — I had to fight its effects tooth and nail in my kids — is designed to stop people thinking independently.  There were a never end of rules, regulations, orders to do things, a preponderance of demands you obey, even if the order is patently stupid.

What’s more, every academic and “intellectual” environment has become an extension of the school. There is an entire method in place, from tainting by association — if you don’t know someone has been unpersoned and you talk to them, you in turn become unpersoned — to shunning for expressing the wrong thoughts, to being told you shouldn’t read the thoughts of bad/evil people because they will automatically “infect you.”

What has been built is essentially a system of training people NOT to think. Of training people to be unable to defend their beliefs, because they can’t conceive of anyone who thinks differently and is a good person. To have “forbidden thoughts” means you’re a bad person. Period. There’s no dissension, no debate, no discussion, no exploration.

What this means, ultimately, is that people indoctrinated in un-thinking can’t create.

To be able to create, or at least to create something new, you have to be able to conceptualize the new and different. Which, frankly, to social apes, is always a little scarier.

It is scarier for social apes who have been trained from a young age to know that a wrong thought can get you thrown out of the band, to starve or get eaten in solitude.

This, by the way, explains the sterile art of the left, both in writing and the plastic arts.  All those short stories (and novels) that are extended just-so stories, with their ideology expounded in maid and butler dialogue, all the “art installations” that amount to piles of unrelated things, or strangely ugly shapes randomly assembled.  In fact, all the ugly, repulsive and offensive (because stupid) art that your tax money supports and your universities encourage.

It explains much more than that, like all their machinations that keep backfiring because they simply can’t imagine being in someone else’s shoes.

But art? It explains art most of all.

You see, art, real art, engages your emotions. It’s not a screed, and it’s not a random snide attack on the approved targets.  It’s something that bypasses your thought process and goes straight for the feelings.  It doesn’t mean it’s always beautiful, btw. I know I spoke above about ugly “art” but that’s different, a weird combination of ugly and boring.

Real art can be ugly or terrifying, but it is not simply what’s in front of your eyes. It engages you in another dimension. It pulls at what for lack of a better term, I’ll call “the soul.” You find yourself experiencing whatever you’re looking at, or reading, and it really (no joke) becomes a part of you.

Now, the graduates of the excellent schools of the left, the winners of establishment praises (and prizes) get all the material rewards that it’s possible to reap for their “art”.  Because the establishment rewards its own.

But they know they’re missing something.  They’re human. They see the strength of past art, art they can’t match.

Just like they see the feats of math and civilization and logic.  And because they were taught in schools that believe rote is a bad four letter word and they lack even the basics of math and language and logic, these feats are beyond them.

Because they can’t create, they destroy.  Because then beauty and logic, and civilized life do not taunt them with their existence.

Because if they can erase the past — like all the idiots claiming we can’t read older sf writers, or even white ones, or whatever — they can convince themselves their infantile creations, with the thumb marks on them are the height of creativity and intelligence.

And yet, they know they’re lying to themselves.  They can destroy and erase the feats of the past, but they can’t remove them from their own minds. And they can’t quite convince themselves these things never existed.

They can blind themselves, but in the eternal light where their eyes used to be, the past will always rise up to mock their inability to create, their inability to generate.

Somewhere, deep inside themselves they know they’ve been creatively castrated; rendered sterile. They know that the future won’t tear down their works, because they won’t need to. Their pitiful creations will never be robust enough to live outside the bubble of leftist self-reinforcement.

Like blind eunuchs, they turn in rage and fury against everything that is not them.

They devour civilization and life and joy. But it profits them nothing.

They can’t be satiated.

426 thoughts on “Sterile

  1. I like your closing description, Sarah. Shall we begin calling them the “sinestrally castrated?” Or “wokist castrati?” Or something else similar?

  2. Makes me think of C.S. Lewis’s, “Screwtape Proposes A Toast.” Screwtape is giving an after-dinner address to the College of his fellow devils and repeats an anecdote about a Greek tyrant. A younger tyrant sent an emissary to an old, successful one asking how he’d done it. The old man took the emissary out to a wheat field and had his servants cut the tops off every stalk that stood taller than the rest. Then said to the emissary, “Now do you understand?”
    Screwtape then goes on to say that the (diabolical) college has done such excellent work on the educational system they expect to see the taller stalks biting their own heads off so they can Be Like Stalks. Lewis admitted he was thinking of the American educational system when he wrote the piece.

    1. I was thinking of Screwtape as well. In the Letters, he says Heaven is full of music and silence, while Hell is one continuous noise. Comparing the creatively ordered, and the random.

    2. Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” came to mind. One suspects he had the Screwtape story in the back of his mind.

    3. It’s a quote from Out of the Silent Planet that strikes me:

      “I see now now the lord of the silent world has bent you. There are laws that all hnau know, of pity and straight dealing and shame and the like, and one of these is the love of kindred. He has taught you to break all of them except this one, which is not one of the greatest of laws; this one he has bent until it becomes folly and has set it up, thus bent, to be a little blind Oyarsa in your brain. And now you can do nothing but obey it, though if we ask you why it is a law you give no other reason for it than for all the other and all the greater laws which it drives you to disobey. Do you know why he has done this?…He has left you this one because a bent hnau can do more evil than a broken one.”

      Just substitute “love of kindred” with “altruism” or the like.

  3. I wish I could agree, Sarah, but I don’t think it’s even that innocent.

    When they trashed the monument to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment I figured BLM were just on a blind rampage and destroying anything they could get their hands on. But then Styx pointed out that statues to FDR (imprisoned thousands of Americans based solely on their race) and Robert Byrd (Grand Kleagle of the KKK) were being left untouched. So black men who risked their lives to fight black slavery aren’t good enough for them, but a KKK leader is?

    They’re not just lashing out at random; there’s something even darker going on here.

    1. I agree on the something darker. I’m not a mystic and I have very little patience with New-Agey-feel-good “woo,” in part because I’ve watched people get themselves and others into trouble with woo. But something’s in the air, something Not Good. Call it the Zeitgeist, the General Will {Rousseau, how I loathe thee}, demons and evil spirits, what have you, Something seems to be on the prowl.

      1. Agreed. “Peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.” We’re seeing a preview of coming…well, attractions isn’t quite the right word for it.

      2. Third* time I’ve said it this morning. Your thing on the Great Panic is helping me.

        Bigly, yugely even. (Today will be a bad day. Not thinking well, and enduring RL stuff I actually have a lot of RL experience preparing me to endure.)

        *I have a comment I wrote before seeing the one of yours I’m responding to.

        1. Father Z(uhlsdorf) at wdtprs.com has been saying the normal priest set of minor exorcism prayers at least once a week at the end of his home Masses (usually Thursdays, sometimes Saturdays or Sundays, at sometimes at St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff when he was there), because the latest from the CDF said that various kinds of non-papal, non-bishop broadcast blessings did also count if you watch them live.

          (Insert argument here about live-ness of broadcasts and streamings, and put an “Ecclesia supplet” on top, courtesy of the CDF.)

          They’re prayers for the exorcism and blessing of parish lands, or of the area immediately around where they are being said, and there’s really no reason not to say them whenever a priest is allowed. And if the broadcast blessing ruling is in effect, livestream areas count. I don’t think Fr. Z is the only one doing it, and I know a lot of parishes have started back up with the St. Michael prayer after Mass.

          So yeah, I’ve made sure that I watched some of Fr. Z’s minor exorcistic livestreams, including more than one that I watched at work in the breakroom with the volume on low. And without being superstitious or giving demons too much credit, I think it helped. I mean, I felt better, but so did the general vicinity.

          It’s not like it could possibly hurt to tell demons to take a hike.

      3. And I’ll throw my hat into the ring as well. I agree. Something(s) dark are definitely at play. In one smallish corner of the universe, Christians are enjoined to pray the Divine purpose into the world. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy WIll be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,” compels believers to call down Blessing. Alas, many of my friends see this instruction as a call to accept, a call to passivity. Passivity is especially dangerous right now. No, no, no. Fight.

    2. FDR and Robert Byrd are recent Democratic Party icons, and Byrd in particular was a mentor to many current Democratic Party leaders, including Shrillary. The reason these statutes were not touched was because the destruction is being carried out by the Democratic Party’s paramilitary arm and the last thing they want to do is highlight the ties of recent, post-civil war, Democrats, with the very racism they claim they oppose.

      After all, you don’t hear these leftists demanding that FDR be taken off the dime.

        1. I’ve already seen people talking about how “if you have to go back 150 years to have a good President of your party, that’s not good.” Ignoring, of course, any Presidents of note since then who have an R. (Like even Grant! Who, let us note, was demonized as an alcoholic brute as part of the Lost Cause mythology. No, he didn’t just throw men at the problem, there was a point to it.)

          1. Grant is painted with guilt by association. He wasn’t corrupt; he just didn’t recognize corruption around him, so it spread.

            Eisenhower, Ford and Reagan were very good Presidents, in very different ways. Bush 1 was OK. Can you imagine Clinton or Carter trying to deal with 9/11/2001?

            Gerald Ford gets a bad rap. Even George Washington wouldn’t have been able to distinguish himself in that situation!

            Which great Presidents have the Democrats given us? Kennedy, I’ll grant you. But Wilson, who tried to ignore World War 1? FDR, who probably made the Depression 6 years longer than it might have been, admired Mussolini and the Nazis until it became unfashionable, and consigned more than 100,000 American citizens to concentration camps with the stroke of a pen? Johnson, whose lies got us mired in Vietnam, and then prevented our military from fighting that undeclared war effectively? At least Eisenhower kept the commies from overrunning South Korea.

            1. JFK was a white supremacist, and supporter of white supremacist terrorism; his ‘eternal’ memorial does not belong on federal land if anything deserves canceling.

            2. Wilson was great at making the world worse. Almost everything that happened bad since 1918 has been directly his fault, for poking his nose into the peace process and being vengeful about it for no good reason.

              Wilson was also great at making America worse, and spreading segregation and white supremacy everywhere he could. You could talk for days about his evil acts.

              1. That’s why I just said to my wife the other day, “If you really want to prevent WWII, don’t go back to 1917 and shoot Lance Corporal Hitler. Go back to 1917 and shoot Woodrow Wilson.”

                1. I think you’d have to shoot Wilson earlier than that. He was a pernicious influence long before he was President.

            3. Kennedy, I’ll grant you.

              Er, I’ll grant you that Kennedy was better than most of the other idiots that the dems have given us. He was into cutting taxes and fighting commies, at least. However, Kennedy’s only big achievement was to die young and thus allow everyone to project onto him what he allegedly would have done in his second term–which coincidently enough is always what the speaker wanted him to do.

              I don’t think I would say JFK was any better than Clinton, who at least had the political instincts to recognize which was the wind was blowing and didn’t want to achieve liberal causes more than he wanted to get reelected.

            4. JFK gave us “The President’s Council on Physical Fitness”, which mandated the hell of PE classes in public schools.

              1. The idiots at my school implemented that stupidity as mass jumping jacks and squats every morning. (Couldn’t get away with sit ups or push ups – asphalted playground).

                Note came home about my being tardy every morning. One of the very few times I did not get punished at home for something at school.

            5. Many people overlook Coolidge as a good, approaching great, president. Most likely because he wasn’t one to use two words when one would do…

              1. There is a story I heard tell about Coolidge. Someone approached him at a reception and said that they had bet someone else that they could get Coolidge to say three words to him. Coolidge’s response? “You lose.”

                  1. Chuckle Chuckle

                    I’ll admit that when I hear that Coolidge story, I wonder who would make a bet about what somebody would do *and* tell that person how he betted. 😈

                    I could see somebody making that bet and attempting to get Coolidge to say three words to him but I couldn’t see them telling Coolidge about the bet. 😆

                1. My favorite is the one about the Sunday when Coolidge went to church without his wife. When he got back, she asked, “What did the minister preach about?”
                  “Sin.”
                  “What did he say?”
                  “He was against it.”

          2. Jean Edward Smith’s biography of Grant makes the point that the prevailing military theory of the day was ‘the battle of maneuver’, and that it more or less didn’t work. Grant realized this and instead concentrated to destroying his opponent’s ability to continue. He also didn’t give up any retreat whenever things didn’t go his way.

            Because the the ‘battle of maneuver’ school, it was easy for Lost Cause historians (and sour grapes Union officers) to frame Grant as an attrition machine, which doesn’t make it true.

        2. There was an attempt to do just that with a plaque on a university several years ago. When the school was called on it, the officials “clarified” that they meant that Lincoln was a supporter of democracy, and not necessarily a member of a particular political party.

          1. But that was also incorrect. The Confederates were the small d democrats, and the Union was strict, small r, republicanism. There is an alternate timeline where succession is litigated in the courts, but escalating to violence instead of debating the way that prior agreements are binding is a core feature of democracy.

            1. The idea that the Confederates in any way supported States’ Rights in bushwa. If they had they wouldn’t have demanded that escaped slaves be returned, or that free states allow them to bring slaves in without freeing them.

              The War Between the States was an extreme example of the lengths a cultural Elite will go to when they feel their power waning.

              Let’s hope we can avoid a replay.

    3. I kinda lost my temper and started saying something like: if refusing to stand with those screaming racist insults, seeming to target black cops and shooting black grandfathers going to check on a shop, burning businesses in black neighborhoods, defacing the memorial of the guy who lead the war to end slavery before doubling down on that, and thinking King has a good point in desiring to judge on character rather than color makes me a racist, then boom: I am a racist. Grats. Screaming the N-word at a black cop before trying to kill him is “anti-racist.” Enjoy 1984.

      1. My inclination is much terser: “I reject your premise.”

        I know: they none of them have any idea what that statement means. Nor do they care; they’re not in the dialogue business, they’re in the intimidation business.

    4. The dark miasma that you mention is their existential despair, fostered in part, I think, by the endless mantras of their doom and gloom and learned helplessness, that they can never be ‘out of the control of those more wealthy and influential than themselves.’

      It is part of why they don’t teach who or what the statues are, and why those statues exist. They only teach that ‘statues are there of people that other people think were worthy of making statues of,’ and no more. That way they can weave the lies like Beethoven was Black (how many know his full name was Ludwig van Beethoven? most of them don’t) or that confederate soldiers are not veterans (they are. https://www.truthorfiction.com/confederate-soldiers-are-considered-u-s-veterans-under-federal-law/ ) thus justifying in their mind the removal of ‘such unworthies’.

      The Intellectual Elite forget that in the depredations and massacres of the Unclean, they themselves were targeted by Pol Pot. They approve of the notion that ‘all white representations of Jesus and his European mother be removed because ‘Jesus Wuz Black’n ignoring the historical reality that at the time, many of the parts of the Roman Empire, like Egypt, were heavily traveled multicultural hubs and Jesus’ family would have had no trouble hiding from Herod’s reach there, and carpenters were no different from many other tradies of today, who travel to where the work is. (I would like to know why Talcum X still has so much power as a white man pretending to be black in the ‘black community’? For all the yelling that ‘they will not be ruled by whites,’ they cheerfully follow the scam artist.)

      There is too, the ambitions of the small minded and large egoed, whose dreams of recognition outstrip their abilities. These are the sterile that Sarah described, the children who gleefully destroyed the castle. Because they cannot dream or build, they must destroy. They are the locusts, who are endlessly hungry and leave nothing but devastation behind. Marxist locusts.

      We recognize the darkness in the air, the blackening of the atmosphere with rage, hate, and hunger for destruction.

      —-

      I felt something similar to what Sarah felt, when my children kept dying; stillbirth, cot death, miscarriage. Whenever I read of children killed by abuse and neglect, I would mourn, saying ‘why did God not send those children to me, where they would be cherished? Why couldn’t my boys stay with me?’ I still feel like this, even though I have my hands full with toddler and infant. The house feels quieter than it should’ve been, even when I have one child crying because her clothes were changed to get her ready for bed, and the other wailing because big sis is crying. There should’ve been more voices, more little bodies trying to cram into my lap, more little feet using me as a footrest, more little foreheads to kiss goodnight. It is a quiet, sorrowful ‘there should’ve been more.’

      And like Sarah, this pain never sought to take away someone else’s joy, but is a ‘but why not me too?’

      1. I felt something similar to what Sarah felt, when my children kept dying; stillbirth, cot death, miscarriage. Whenever I read of children killed by abuse and neglect, I would mourn, saying ‘why did God not send those children to me, where they would be cherished? Why couldn’t my boys stay with me?’


        It is stories like yours that prevent me from crying over my own infertility issues. I only was lucky to have one viable pregnancy. I also didn’t suffer miscarriage after miscarriage mid-way or deep into pregnancy. Early one, suspected early two or three over 10 years, but beyond that, no. Despite this, same response as you and Sarah. Why NOT me? We wanted them, we would cherish them, we don’t turn away homeless kittens when they show up at our feet. Why not us?

        Made friends wonder at our lack of sympathy for their sudden pregnancy, while on birth control, just months into their marriage, that they were not crying in joy over. Might have been, maybe, that I’d just come home from two weeks in the hospital from the one known miscarriage, after a few years of trying, on the day that he called to cry on my husband’s shoulder; barely walked into the house. He didn’t know, but his timing sucked. It would be another 5 years before an inkling of a true pregnancy. After the birth of our son, it was easier, even though we would have liked more.

        There was a bit of jealousy when a co-worker & friend, also with extensive fertility problems, finally got pregnant. I was happy for her. I was thrilled. I knew what they’d gone through. I was well past childbearing years by then. But she became pregnant with Triplets (successfully delivered … they should be 20 by now). Lost contact with her, & the triplets, when she moved home because her folks needed her. I mean if I was only getting one shot at a pregnancy why not multiple? Given fertility medicines that I was on + family history, Twins were possibility. Grandfather was a twin. He also had siblings who were twins (although one of them did not survive infancy). Cousins on both sides had twins. (My chances were smaller because it was my Paternal Grandfather who was the twin, but possible).

        1. The heart-hunger is real. Unlike you, I brought it on myself. Not just marrying late, but then dawdling about with birth control for several years after. A merciful God gave me one.

          Unless you’re dead sure you want to go to your grave a mule, don’t delay marriage and kids until the perfect time. Use the time you have, because biology is a mother $%!#.

          A side note: My favorite SJW comic is one called Questionable Content. It puts that world-view in the best possible most-functional light. They fall in love; it’s even sweet.

          And every single character is a mule.

          1. We married when I was 22, he was 26. Middle sister and her husband were 25. Youngest sister was 27, her husband 31. None of us “delayed”, just me and middle sister both had problems. She actually was told she couldn’t have kids for medical reasons, one adoption & 5 (3 births) miracle pregnancies later … Youngest sister, because of our problems didn’t bother with birth control. Her first two they didn’t have problems, their third, she did.

          2. Our worry didn’t last for long– I only had one bawling “what is wrong with me?” type conversation with Elf about not having become pregnant yet.

            TMI, but I didn’t even cycle, and no way did we have money for the expensive quackery that is associated with female hormone problems, besides moral objection to most of the “reproductive technologies.”

            As everybody here knows, that problem fixed itself. Not everybody is as sane in their pain as Shadow or Sarah, too—so some of us know you’re hurting. How to help, not so much, since that’s both individual and situational.

            I could do without the “random cousins send me at their daughters if they’re having fertility problems,” honestly. Short version is usually: “Your mom did the joking not joking thing about talking to you about having babies. Do you actually want a direction to look for help or is she just doing it to demand grandkids?” If anybody is reading this and wants to know what I say, NFP– Natural Family Planning– websites, are usually where I send them. The charting and stuff makes it so even if it doesn’t work, you have a better idea of what is wrong, without spending thousands to be handed variations on the Pill and a referral to an in vitro clinic.

              1. *laughs so hard she’s gasping*

                You do realize I just pictured your mom as Nanny Ogg because of that, right?

                Which I KNOW is… not accurate, other than the Scary thing at least in part because come on that’s grandmas……

                1. Mom is EXTREMELY competitive. And she’s losing the competition for great grandkids.
                  THAT’s not allowed.
                  I come in for my share of “You should be a grandmother by now.”
                  Me “I am, I adopt them.”
                  Her “That’s not FUNNY.”
                  Au contraire. It’s hilarious.

        2. We have our reasons for tears, and it’s not a contest of ‘whose got it worse’. So, don’t let my story diminish yours. *hug* Your sorrows cut you, and the scars remain. The pain is real, and we live with it.

          I had a friend who, at the time, didn’t have children but had a dog he loved, one he finally was able to get after years of wanting a dog. The dog got into a container of medication and despite rushing to the vet, they lost him. He cried on my virtual shoulder, then later felt appalled because ‘he was crying like this, when a pet isn’t like a child at all’ and apologised. I was genuinely baffled and asked if any of his other friends had experienced devastating loss, and he admitted that none of them did. I said he had nothing to apologise for; as I was the only friend he had that he knew could understand his pain of losing a loved one, even if it is ‘just’ a pet; to him, the loss isn’t ‘just’ anything. Indeed the trauma of it was great enough that even though he and his wife desperately wanted children, he was terrified that it would happen to a child. I said that since he’d lost a loved pet to a mistake, he would likely be tons more careful with his children. He has two lovely sons now, and enjoying fatherhood.

          We all didn’t let our scars, our wounds, our tragedies in life cripple and stop us. We chose to get up again, and keep on going, and it is not a shame to occasionally stop and weep when those scars sometimes bleed, even after years have passed. I still wish at times that I could find someplace where I could scream and scream my anguish undisturbed, and my rational brain chides me that even if I did, those screams would echo and I’d probably have some scared hiker or homeowner calling the police out of fear someone’s being murdered in the outback. *sigh* Which would be embarrassing.

          *hug*

          1. I said that since he’d lost a loved pet to a mistake, he would likely be tons more careful with his children.


            In spades!

            We all didn’t let our scars, our wounds, our tragedies in life cripple and stop us. We chose to get up again, and keep on going, and it is not a shame to occasionally stop and weep when those scars sometimes bleed, even after years have passed.


            Yes.

            *Hugs*

      2. Jesus was an Aramaic Jew, most of whom were darker skinned. The reason many of the portraits of Jesus portray him the way he is, with lighter skin, however, was in most cases done to make him look less Jewish, not less dark-skinned per se. The Church hierarchy was fully aware of this. It is the virulent anti-Semitism of the Church of that era that caused depictions to be made that deliberately tried to “de-Jew” Jesus, because the Church did everything possible to minimize the connection between Jesus and Judaism.

        1. Artwork of Jesus– and other figures– looks like people of the time and place the artwork was for.

          Marian apparitions show up looking like the locals, in a way that will convey the important aspects of her station as the mother of the Christ.

          Trying to make Jesus not look Jewish had nothing to do with it on a scale that covers all European art showing Jesus in a non-photographic manner.

          Theologically speaking, the objection to the Jews was theological. Not racial/genetic. It does get mixed up in the “you’re not from our area” response, but that wasn’t because they’re Jewish, it’s because Jews are the most common group that will be visibly identifiable as “not in the regional group.” (Numerous or successful+ outsider= target, as everybody here knows.)

          As the art was supposed to convey information, not be a photograph, Jesus (and St. Paul, who was one of the bad guys) would be shown in a way that showed they were of the nation, while any outside of their religious influence would not.

        2. Could be but I suspect it was more a matter of the artists painting Jesus and other Biblical people in the image of people in “their neighborhood”.

          1. Well, there is one exception. Pictures of Jesus with blonde/white hair are sometimes the iconography of Jesus as the Ancient of Days, as seen in Daniel and Revelation.

            For example, the picture of Jesus at the Last Judgment, on the back wall of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It’s all wrathy and stern.

            But yeah, the National Shrine is all about the diversity. So many different pictures and statues of Mary, as seen in various famous artworks, miraculous icons, favored titles, and apparitions, along with 50 zillion different versions of the adult and child Jesuses. So many different eras of clothing, so many different colors of humans, so much unity of love.

            Hopefully the Shrine stays safe. It’s an over the top place, and I love it.

      3. Hell, I still feel that way. And sometimes at night I dream of the ones I lost. (Only one late enough to know what she was.)
        And reading of abused kids I feel the same. “Why didn’t you send them to me, Lord?”
        But no, I never wanted to destroy.

        1. Never destruction. Only lamentation and ‘why not send them to me to be loved? Even if for a short time?’ with an undercurrent of ‘what is wrong with me?’

          I still feel that way. I dream of the boys, they’d have been seven and five and two or three now. I stop for a moment, love them in spirit, then go on and take care of the living. I trust that they would understand.

    5. And trashing statues of abolitionists, and men who fought for the Union, even a statue of Lincoln himself – which was paid for by collections taken among freed slaves themselves, after the ACW! It was suggested in a comment on Chicago Boyz that perhaps the unholy alliance of Antifa/BLM want to destroy any hint, any memory that there were white abolitionists, men and women who spent decades campaigning against the slave system in the US, and those who gave their lives fighting for the Union. Because they can then insist that all white people supported slavery, and thus deserve oblivion, so they can write up a false history to put in its place … like the 1619 Project…

      1. I’m reminded of how in the late 1800s, early 1900s, the Democrats would continually use race to keep poor whites and poor blacks from coming together to upset the existing power structure.

        Seems to me like “White Privilege” and the BLM movement are just updates to an old Team Blue playbook.

      2. I half believe it is driven by a need to erase memory that the Holy Democrat Party was the party of slavery, secession, Jim Crow, and the Klan. And that, of course, means also erasing the memory of the Republican Party as the party hat opposed those sins.

      3. Most importantly, it’s so they can erase ALL of history. Only in such a way do they think they can erase the stain of Original Sin in their New Man. Yes, it’s still that same old tune – progressivism looking to make all of man into something pure and perfect… and under their thumb.

        1. And if you eat of the fruit of knowledge you shall be like gods, knowing good from evil.
          I’m seriously wondering if human civilization is cyclical. If we’ve been here before. If it was destroyed the same way.

          1. Well it has been theorized that “dark ages” are cyclic, and we haven’t had on in a while, and it certainly seems like the barbarians are inside the gates.

            That being said, I don’t want to be in on the start of the collapse of civilization, thank you very much.

      1. It’s time to. It’s time for our people to eradicate all statues of Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Marx and Che from our country.
        Leave behind graffiti pointing out they enslaved free people. Che also killed dogs. (And people.)

  4. Well, every slight mental illness is now either over medicated (often to the point the medications cause more problems than they solve), or ignored and seen as a new gender, lifestyle choice, or excusable, and all base envy is now also excused, etc, etc. All too many of the past few generations are akin to spoiled, hateful 3 year olds, and a few Daddy Warbucks types are sugar-daddying them along because they think it’s cute.
    I’ve more I can’t currently but into words well.
    Let’s just say I am very disgusted at the moment.
    very

    1. And how much of the overmedicated issues come from trying to process the general idiocy being passed around by the masses today? To be a sane man with world gone mad

        1. This. I do my best to avoid the national broadcast news, and enough still leaks through to make me jumpy and wary. It’s a wonderful breath of fresh air to get out of town and see normal people doing normal people things and NOT talking about the Great [BLM] Panic or the Kung Pao Sicken.

          1. I broke down and ordered groceries for pickup today, because I can’t take the horde into the store to shop right now and frankly I’m holding on to not-flipping-out-at-strangers by my nails as it is. We all got in the car and drove for the first time since my parents visited back in March….

            I actually teared up in the Kwik Star because it was normal.

            Sure, there were signs about being six feet apart, and stickers on the floor to show six feet, and the ladies at the checkout had masks, but there were donuts in the cooler, and fruit out on display, and soda machines and the guy behind me sped up to catch the door and the lady who left before me HELD the door because my hands were full…. it was NORMAL.

  5. Wow so much to take in here. My not particularly humble opinion of public education and modern schooling in general is that is is an artifact of the industrial revolution mixed with the absolute worst ideas of Darwinism. Factories don’t need innovators, they need compliant workers. Social Darwinism of the late Nineteenth century posited the idea that survival of the fittest meant that there was scientific evidence supporting exploitation of the poor. Stir and serve: Schools that turn out reliable cogs for the smokestack kings. One small problem of course is that it made a fertile field for the Religion of Malcontent ie Marxism. The workers were always just about to throw off their chains and the dawning of the new era was always… tomorrow. There’s a lot more I could say but we got a new puppy Saturday and she is asleep on my desk so the keyboard is all scrunched into the corner.

    1. Actually, it turns out that what factories need are workers who understand the process, the product and the customer. Given proper support, thinking humans beat the crap out of bipedal automatons in productivity.

      1. I once read that when studies were done of what would increase productivity in factories, it came as a surprise to the researchers that almost any change resulted in an increase in productivity. The common factor, it turned out, was that paying any attention at all to what workers wanted made them happier and more productive. It appears that this proved to be too simple a concept for most management types to understand.

        1. No, many managers got it. They starting telling the workers that the company was People First! And that
          they wanted the workers input. It worked for awhile. But soon the workers noticed that it wasn’t People First. When someone retired after 30 years they didn’t even bother getting a replacement until they had left. All that knowledge wasted and thrown away. The workers also found that all the input they gave NEVER was implemented, it was talked about a little but just fell through the cracks.
          They found that the attention they were given was FAKE. So they no longer believed their management and just on about their jobs. Management continued their BS and the workers pretended to care.
          If upper management wasn’t so incredibly stupid the work place would be a great place to work and the company would make FAR more money. As it is they don’t bother us enough for anything so we can get on with the work and it’s not bad.

          1. This reminds me of a ‘Breakfast with the Boss’ plan they had at one old job of mine. You would be given the privilege of sitting down at a nice (inexpensive) meal with the higher management, at which point they would expound their vast respect for you and the rest of the peons. You were also told in advance that you were not permitted to say anything except short responses to direct remarks from Your Betters. Surprisingly enough no one seems to have gone for it save a few store managers.

            1. They have the same thing at my job. Unless you have excellent A$$kissing skills there is no upside. The best you could hope for is mostly quiet awkwardness.

          2. PHB: I’ve been saying for years that ‘Employees are our most valuable asset.’ It turns out that I was wrong. Money is our most valuable asse. Employees are ninth.

            WALLY: I’m afraid to ask what came in eighth.

            PHB: Carbon paper.

        2. It’s called the Hawthorne effect, after the factory where it was first identified. The short form is that any change to people’s environment that isn’t an abuse creates a response in the people in that environment. It’s an important effect in traffic control; fiddling with signs and lane markings creates a temporary drop in collisions. It take about a year to fade away.

    2. Except that in most of the industrialized world, the Evil Capitalist System provided so much material wealth for it’s ‘impoverished, oppressed, exploited workers’ that the inevitable socialist overthrow thereof fizzled. If you can earn so much that you can buy stock in the company you work for, are you the exploiter or the exploited?

      Which is why they’ve turned to Cultural Marxism as their path to Paradise (TM).

      1. It’s very tough to convince workers to support nationalization of industry and businesses when those workers ask “what happens to my 401k plan?”. As the Soviet Union collapsed, the Marxist aspiring totalitarians realized they needed a substitute for traditional class warfare; thus they focused in identity groups and put out such noxious identity based Marxism under the moniker Critical Race Theory.

  6. Speaking to Art, As you recall I am sure Art History has divided up the past into ‘Periods’ like impressionism, cubist etc, I vote to name art since about 1950 as “Transgressivism” because the thrust of almost everything has been to shock or outrage the ‘Squares’ and defy or destroy the norms of art in society. None of this would have been possible without government subsidy of course. When I was in college back in the ’70’s (Dinosaurs and all that) I had a acquaintance who was an art major. ‘Mac’ as we will call him was a little rabbit of a man, lacking only the long ears to complete the picture. As a vegetarian he was pale and thin, probably anemic, but I digress. I saw his masterwork for a course in painting one afternoon at his house. It was a two by three foot canvas painted all flat black, save for one corner about a foot long painted silver. Juxtaposed in the opposite corner was a silver dot about eight inches in diameter. I asked him about it and he gave me a five minute exposition as to the meaning of all the elements of the work, which i do not remember a bit of. I never learned to speak gibberish as a youth you see.
    Transgressivism is about a spent force now i think, because the ability to shock has been lost on a public that now endures daily humiliations by lunatics who believe they are our ‘betters.’

    1. Your experience with the Art Major is rooted in the business (Tom Wolfe wrote about it in THE PAINTED WORD) of all Modern Art being illustrations of the Art Theories that are the real Art on display. Wolfe says it better; I cannot recommend his (non-fiction) work highly enough.

      Transgressivism is something else again, or at least something additional; As our hostess has written “You see, art, real art, engages your emotions.”, and yet Artists are Not Allowed to engage emotions, by and large. If the Unwashed ‘get’ the Art, it’s No Good. The only ’emotion’ that successful artists are allowed to engage is the giggling, whispering, ‘we’re in the know’ smugness of the Elect…and that’s not really very satisfying. But if you engage the emotions of the Unwashed, you run the real risk of becoming an un-person; look at what happened to Frederick Hart. Arguably the greatest sculptor of the 20th Century, responsible for the heart-punch of The Three Soldiers, and the Art World did their damndest to ignore his existence. Ah, but there is ONE emotion an Artists can provoke from the Unwashed that the Art World will approve; Outrage! Stick a bullwhip up someone’s bottom! Paint a Madonna with elephant dung! Submerge Christ in urine! OK, they’re juvenile and talent-proof exercises in Dada, but they provoke REAL EMOTION, and you’re ALLOWED TO ENJOY IT.

      Which leads me to another thought; what new are dealing with here is a manifestation of what Aristocracies do when they calcify; they suck the joy out of everything.

        1. to Mr. Morden: “There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. Then you accept it… or you kill yourself… or you stop looking into mirrors.”

          Londo was fated, in the classical sense of the term. He served a corrupt state run by a madman. His was never a free agent, and as things progressed his choices were constrained by honor, duty, and finally simple survival… not just for him, but for his whole civilization.

          to G’Kar: “When we met, I had no power and all the choices I could ever want. Now I have all the power I could ever want and no choices at all.”

      1. That helps to explain why Western Art (art showing the American and Canadian West) is pooh-poohed. It is figurative, tells stories, stirs positive emotion (usually, but not always), and is something average people like having on their wall. Quel Horreur! https://www.timcox.com/ He’s not Charlie Russel, but he captures the landscape and skies better than many, if not most.

        1. That’s because art that most people can understand and appreciate is ‘common’ or even (Quel Horreur! indeed) ‘commercial’. No, their ultimate goal is art that NOBODY can understand or appreciate, but only pretend to. The Emperor’s New Art!

          The won’t spank the child who points out that it’s worthless; they’ll put the poor tyke in therapy!
          ———————————
          Mollari: “Everyone is cute! But in purple, I’m stunning!” [collapses on the table]
          Vir: “Ah! He has become one with his inner self!”
          Garibaldi: “He’s passed out.”
          Vir: “That too.”

          1. We named our Roomba Vir after my husband called him a moonfaced assassin of joy. Ok, so Vir Roomba is black. So what? Big deal.

        2. In Newport RI, there’s a wonderful museum of 20th century illustration art. That’s where all the people who knew how to draw went — the pulps, the book cover departments, and commercial art.

          1. Indeed. My home town (Cleveland) was home to a man who played gloriously in all kinds of media. Victor Shreckengost painted, sculpted, crafted ceramics, and revolutionized industrial design. He is considered ‘the Henry Ford of the pedal car’, having turned what was a hand-crafted rich kids’ toy into something that came off an assembly line and which working class families could afford. With a small band of others he turned Industrial Design from an accident into a discipline. And I have never seen one of his originals in any museum (though I own one myself). I gather that Cleveland has chosen to honor itself by building a Schreckengost Museum, which is great, but you’d think that during the years I was regularly visiting the art museums in DC there would have been at least ONE touring exhibit that mentioned him.

            1. Oh, I just learned that the “Johny Appleseed” on the Lakewood High school building was by Schreckengost! If the iconoclasts come for that, I WILL fight!

            1. There is a new wave of anti-manga/anime hate going on. Considering how widely varied the stuff is, from sketchy webtoon to Kaoru Mori ‘I draw most of the patterns of cloth by hand’, it isn’t about the beauty, but how the art is able to evoke emotion.

              1. I think the real baddies hate the beauty, too. Beauty involves ideas of perfection and form, standards, geometry and logic, and creativity. It makes them uncomfortable, so they want to smash it. And if beauty involves things like masculinity, femininity, religion, philosophy, history, etc., they hate it even more.

                1. “Beauty is truth; truth, beauty./ That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need know.” Keats had a good point, even if he was musing [pun intended] on a piece of pottery from Classical Greece.

                1. Too sex-positive for het dudes, I think — excuse me, too much male gaze/female objectification — but I could’ve missed something.

                2. I’d guess My Hero Academia is getting way too popular for some folks’ comfort, as well as being pretty and fun.

                  Has at least three layers of meaning that totally screw with the Woke sorts (basic storyline with realistic if exaggerated characters, the layer where All Might is basically America personified, and the layer where it’s theological– the Almighty, and Endevor is the Accuser style devil) and I just realized that it’s also go a terminally disabled main character who isn’t constantly harping on it to demand others genuflect to his disability or planning to kill himself because ew disabled ew.

                  1. And I keep meaning to look into the whole “Plus Ultra in Latin is the motto of Spain because of the Holy Roman Emperor” tidbit I ran into at one point; my history isn’t good enough to know if they were having more fun with that one or not.

                    1. Wiki says that Plus Ultra is Latin for ‘further beyond’, the motto of Spain, and originally the personal motto of Charles V, because of the New World, allegedly originally the opposite of the Latin for ‘nothing further beyond’ on a structure where the Med became the Atlantic.

                      I need to check my memory, and find out if Charles V is in Fate, because if so, there are crossovers that must be written.

                  2. “I just realized that it’s also go a terminally disabled main character who isn’t constantly harping on it to demand others genuflect to his disability or planning to kill himself because ew disabled ew.”

                    Wait, I thought that last part was something the Woke crowd was against, ‘making the token disabled person kill themselves because disabled’? I’m saying it poorly, and I apologize, but I thought it would be like ‘kill the black/gay/whatever guy’ idea

                    1. To the best of my knowledge, they don’t phrase it that way– there’s just a standard that every time someone who is physically able becomes disabled, they tend to kill themselves because there’s nothing else worth living for, usually either in a very touchingly clean scene or off screen entirely.

                      There’s also a notable lack of disabled folks who are unpleasant to look at in their disability– which I honestly only realized after noticing a theme in, of all things, complaints about WalMart. People who have obviously been in serious accidents not only shop there, but can be hired to work. They have old people– and not just Betty White type old people who could be 40 years younger but with white hair, old people who make you feel the physical disparity between your relative youth and health, and their decrepit old age.
                      There are druggies that look like the “after” photo there!
                      Being disabled is OK, but it can’t be something that…intrudes, I guess would be how to say it. Just something to genuflect to and show how great you are, but otherwise get it out of the way. Same way that one of the reasons Palin was “supposed” to kill her son, as Downs is a very visible and discomforting to be around disability.
                      The complainers want to put the disabled out of the complainer’s misery.

                      While in My Hero Academia, after giving his health for those he loves– the disabled guy keeps going. In a rather uncomfortable way that frequently reminds you of what he was– including puking blood– and yet he does not give up and die as being unworthy of life. HIs life has value, and yet he will still give it.

                      I’m getting choked up just talking about it. That is honor.

                    2. Someone hasn’t come across all the ‘Izuku attempts suicide’ fanfics.

                      Remember how Sarah describes characteristic story patterns of another culture? Romances where he dies, and she lives to old age grieving him?

                      Little bit more complicated here than simply a single difference in religious/cultural views.

                      First, the left tells itself stories about how oppressive the right is. It has less urgency if the right wingers are not driving whatever category into suicide.

                      Second, consider the sheer hopelessness of believing only in a worldly salvation, which can be out right seen not to have occurred yet. If one is of the victim categories of the moment, the victim class policies of the moment have not been realized, and one believes in a reason to keep living that is not The Cause, one has an emotional tie that is outside of the left. Which is verboten.

                      Third, people who are suicidal are not valuing their own lives. For a sociopath whose ends are political, that may be desirable in your friends and in your foes. Friends because it is easier to talk them into stuff, and foes because it may be easier to talk them out of doing stuff. Angry suicidal depression for allies, passive suicidal depression for opponents.

                      Fourth, a conservative man in his fifties or sixties who has worked his entire adult life despite being crippled young is obviously not in the same Marxist category as a young socialist cultist that identifies as some flavor of mentally ill. The latter is someone who it may be convenient to burn their bridges and exacerbate their condition with poor maintenance of mental health. The former is someone to dehumanize, and use as a token in appeals to mad technocratic ambition.

                3. Simultaneously, bewbs and curves and dfc, the latter of which ‘is encouraging pedos’.

                  As a woman who has the same build as Lina Inverse, Rory Mercury, and Konata Izumi, the obvious jealousy is obvious.

                  They even are screaming about Belle Delphine for ‘encouraging pedos’ because a twenty year old acting/dressing like an anime girl plus her not so huge chest having a massive thirsty simp fanbase is magically ‘pedo’ to these complainers. Bitch please, they’re jealous that she was able to financially earn from that (selling her bathwater wasn’t even her idea originally, it was a quip one of her fans made, so she ran with it and made bank.) Heck, they made the same whiny illogical arguments about Sakimichan’s aged up sexified fanart characters.

                  Surprising absolutely nobody, the people screaming ‘waaah, pedos’ are the same people who tend to be ‘body positivity’ and ‘pronouns in bio.’

                  1. (Snicker) Seeing J. Random Pedo try something on Rory Mercury would be entertaining, for a short time.

                    For those not familiar with GATE — Rory Mercury is the Apostle and Oracle of Emroy, god of war and death. She has a 7-foot battle-axe most grown men can’t even pick up, which she twirls casually, laughing, while she chops enemies apart. When her lips turn purple, look out!

                    Rory would see a pedo’s nature instantly, and shortly thereafter, there would be two half-pedos and she’d need to clean her battle-axe.
                    ———————————
                    Edna Mode: “No capes!!”

              2. Many of the female anime ‘sex objects’ are absolute badasses — soldiers, police or superpowered gals equal to or better than their male associates and enemies. They are smart, competent, heroic, and still compassionate.

                But they are gorgeous and they don’t hate men. Those are TWO unforgivable sins, and thus they must be hated and denounced.
                ———————————
                Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

          2. commercial art isn’t real art you know, true artists never stoop so low as to expect money for their work, it is all a work of love

            omg i alllmoostttt typed that with a straight face.

          1. Now they aren’t even hipsters. “I don’t have to give you links. You should just educate yourself. Give up your privilege and listen, and parrot whatever I say but not too close, and pay attention to the ever-moving target!”

          2. depending on the circumstance or exact reply, I have said “I know them, they are obscure because they are not good enough to be well known but not bad enough to be known for sucking” or “I know them, they’re too stupid to be well known” and if I really dislike the individual ” I’ve found only morons know of them and still like them/it”
            but I am not often called reasonable (~_^)

      2. …dang. I was raised by an art major who detested anything after about 1920 (limited exceptions for Picasso’s sculpture plus Guernica ONLY) and I have never heard of this guy. Who was born in my hometown and raised in my other hometown. Pretty impressive erasure.

        *wanders off to rectify this error*

    2. I asked him about it and he gave me a five minute exposition as to the meaning of all the elements of the work, which i do not remember a bit of. I never learned to speak gibberish as a youth you see.

      This I think is the difference between actual art that happens to be ugly and “ugly art” of the cross-soaked-in-urine or the jar of feces type. There are a lot of Dali’s paintings that I find ugly, but I don’t need an extensive explanation of why Dali painted them, what they’re supposed to mean, or how I should react to them.

      Art, much like humor, gets killed if you have to dissect its meaning. If you have to spend ten minutes explaining why your joke is funny, the joke wasn’t funny. Similarly, if you have to have a five paragraph essay explaining why covering yourself in blue paint and hugging the walls was a profound artistic statement, then it was neither profound nor artistic. You might fool the intellects of those who want to be fooled, but even there, the emotions are going to be say, “Yeah, but you covered yourself in paint and hugged the walls.”

      1. I saw that in a movie. The artist smeared paint all over himself and his wife and had, um, marital relations on the canvas. Their art was all the rage. Later in the movie, he became unable to…perform, without the paint and canvas.

        Don’t remember the title, just that Kari Wuhrer was in it.
        ———————————
        Leo Bloom: “Well, if we assume you’re a dishonest person—“
        Max Bialystock: “Assume, assume!”

        1. I was just thinking about that earlier. My mother was an art history teacher with…Opinions on modern art. (“Art shows you the soul of a culture. If the art makes you go ‘eww’, consider yourself warned.”) But she adored Guernica for its power and communication.

      2. And then you get Dali’s jewelry, or “Christ of St. John of the Cross,” which is . . . seriously Odd, but profoundly moving, and a bit mind breaking when you realize he’s using at least two focal points. He had to be a master of the techniques to be able to pull that off and make it work. It’s not for everyone, but you can appreciate the work and talent that went into it.

        Covering yourself in paint and hugging the walls? Ah, nope.

      3. Thought triggered– a lot of the really awesome old art, especially religious art, does have to be explained to be fully understood.

        The difference being that it’s good before you dig in to find out why there’s a lion, an ox, an eagle and a dude with wings over there, an why this guy has a key, or what is up with those roses? Or why are those three doves flying kinda odd, over there by the candle?

        1. Yeah, I wound up in a Spanish museum once, with my kidlet, and a friend who was the wife of a chaplain and her kids … and I was explaining the symbolism … things like the iris representing the Trinity, and the wheat heads and bunches of grapes, the dove, that the four evangelists and the saints had their own symbols. I was explaining it for the kids, and then I saw that the wife was paying attention, too. She didn’t know anything of this, in spite of being married to an ordained minister…

          1. I once stole an entire tour by accident, due to my art-history-teachin’ mom. My best friend dragged me to Bob Jones University, which despite its multitudinous…issues…has an absolutely stunning religious art gallery. (Itty-bitty school, Greenville, SC, and they have a freakin’ Titian original.) So I was gleefully flitting around the gallery and explaining to my friend and her little sister why THIS was awesome and THAT was a different kind of awesome and how THAT thing led to THE OTHER and here’s how you can see the development…then I heard one of those quietly homicidal silences and looked up to find twelve little old ladies following me like ducklings and the docent glaring daggers at me from the back.

            1. *snicker* I was once in a field trip for a college class (graduate level, IIRC) in Roman art and architecture, touring the Getty reproduction of the Villa di Papyri (Hey, California, FFS, we had to use what we had, locally, ‘kay?) and our professor, leading us all around, kept having other visitors attaching themselves to the group … and then dis-attaching, upon hearing our professor going deep, deep, deep into the weeds regarding things like … the difference between wall-finishing of cement walls in Roman times. (Opus incaertum, opus reticulatum, and opus sectile, and I still remember the difference in all those wall finishes and how they can be used to date Roman construction, so yes, all that did sink in … did I ever warn y’all about my memory for absolute trivia?) It was most amusing, watching the tourists’ eyes glaze over …

              1. In the summer after tenth grade, 1) my Latin teacher managed to bull her way through layers of idiocy to get her class a two-week tour of Europe (“I teach Latin. Most of the people there spoke Latin on account of being pwned by Romans at some point.”) and 2) my mother bulled her way onto the trip while categorically refusing to chaperone (“Chaperones never have any fun. I refuse to pay half price to not have any fun.”). All was well until we made it to Italy, where 3) I got caught in the tug-of-war between my most beloved teacher and my generally-beloved mom (“I’m sorry, ma’am, I love Latin and I would like to see the Forum, but I LIVE with my mother and she will KILL ME DEAD if I don’t go to the Sistine Chapel with her.”)

                My mother and I could wander deep into any number of weed patches, so my sympathies are possibly with the professor. 🙂

            2. We didn’t steal a tour group or anything, but when we took our 4 year old to Canada Banff/Jasper National Parks, on the way there we stopped at the “Looping Tunnels”. The lower one you can see where the train goes into the tunnel, then where it comes out of the loop to cross over the rest of the train. There is a model there that explains the entire process. We let the volunteer go through the explanation. Then dad went over the physics the way a 4 year old can understand. Then we watched a train through the process (we’d made sure that there was one in the valley ready to make the run). For the next 2 hours we watched while our 4 year old explained the process to anyone who would listen to him; which was a lot, nothing cuter than a 4 year old who can’t quite pronounce the words needed but has the process correct. The volunteer was very understanding and encouraging.

              Couple of updates. Today? (VS 27 years ago) That 4 year old, now 31? It is like pulling hens teeth to get more than a couple of words out of him at a time. Tour guide material he did not grow up to be. The same location above? The platform that took people from the highway right to the tracks to over look the train going by approaching the lower section of the tunnel, where you could actually see both ends of the tunnels and the over lap, is now gone. Trees block the process. The parking and exhibit with volunteer are there, but really can’t see much of it anymore. Shame. They need to replace the platform.

          2. Apparently, some groups view the symbols as theologically tainted because of the association with the Catholic church.

            Thankfully, that seems to be dying off as the folks who can actually remember JFK age out of public teaching. These days there’s all kinds of cool Protestant notice of stuff like Mary as a sort of first disciple who didn’t go into public ministry.

        2. The difference being that those paintings were made for people who did understand the language. It only has to be explained to those centuries later who have lost it – the original intended viewers could read those paintings like a book. The modern stuff is painted explicitly for people who do not understand the language, so that they can be confused in themselves and despised by the insiders. The secret is that there is no secret.

            1. Having seen some of the really ugly “why is that guy wearing a record that’s been spray-painted gold?” attempts to show the Divine Light– plus the whole “look, it’s a frizbee on a stick, that’s a halo!” — the horns don’t look like that bad of an interpretation.

              1. Oh, yeah! I was going to tell you that the university parish/chapel got ANOTHER donated painting! This one is a modern picture of BUFF CARPENTER BRO ST. JOSEPH and cutie-pie Baby Jesus. The halo was lighting effects and a sort of glow in gold paint.

                  1. Heh. I got a room full of Protestant high school students to almost die laughing. We were talking about “Christ in culture” and “Jesus meets Pop-Culture.” First was the Precious Moments™ Life of Jesus in the Precious Moments museum. Then “Dashboard Buddy Jesus,” the final scene of the “Jesus Christ- Superstar” movie, and “To Hell with the Devil” by Slayer. A very brisk discussion ensued, and the general consensus was that there are limits to just how far Christians should to in trying to reach out to the larger culture at the expense of, let us say, Divine dignity.

                    1. Oh, that could’ve been fun!

                      I’ll take the counter argument, starting with Himself having done slapstick!

                      (Seriously, imagine a grown man doing a fully physical version of that whole “a sliver in my eye? You’ve got a FREAKING BEAM STICKING OUT OF YOURS!” story, a good talker could pull it off.)

      4. I mildly disagree or rather would like to add a codicil. There is art that can be enjoyed at more than one level, but much great art is simple. I remember a music teacher pointing out that Beethoven’s compositions became simpler as his art matured. One of Bernstein’s lectures noted how much Beethoven agonized over the 5th symphony, taking more and more out until he had what he wanted. I also remember a hilarious narration that pointed out how the simple theme kept returning again and again. On the other end of things, a friend was a musician who was in love with a jazz organist’s virtuosity. When he asked me my reaction to a piece, I replied that the musician played like an epileptic spider. (I’m frequently less diplomatic than a situation calls for.) Virtuosity can be appreciated, but doesn’t necessarily make great art. Likewise an appreciation for in-jokes or references that float by the casual observer can heighten the enjoyment of a work of art.

        This is threatening to become a full-fledged essay barely relevant to the topic, so, suddenly, I am run over by a truck.

        1. That was one of the things I really enjoyed about John Fahey’s guitar work. He wasn’t the fastest or flashiest guitarist, but each note was right, placed exactly where it was needed.

        2. Was the narration, “New Avenues in Music Apprciation,” by Peter Schlikle? That turned the first movement of the 5th into a sports contest between the conductor and the orchestra.

  7. A few words on the creative process. Back when Sputnik went up it seems the word “aptitude” virtually disappeared to be replaced with “want”. Back then the gov wanted every high school grad with an i.q. at or above body temp to enter STEM programs and provided as much push as possible to make that happen. Consequently potentially brilliant economists, artists and others were dragged up the STEM academic tree to where we had this population of Ph.D.s in fields in which they had no talent. So the survivors became adroit at inter-office politics. I offer Dr. Fauci as an example

    By the same token, wanting does not replace aptitude in the arts. I see aptitude as the line of communication between the brain and the hand and all the wanting and all the participation trophies will not change reality. Either you can or you can’t.

      1. And one hell of a lot of Art Schools have abandoned training. Not the commercial art schools, which is why commercial art has been so much better than so-called Fine Art for a Century or so.

        1. The cynic in me wonders if that’s why the trend for ugly crap has proliferated. Teaching the students how to use proper technique, understand perspective, etc…all that sounds distinctly like work. Much easier to just tell them some BS about finding their inner child and then praise whatever scribbles they produce.

          1. Not very different from the English teachers who have never studied grammar, and thus lack the tools to explain the exact meaning of a sentence, or help in expressing a thought unambiguously. Even fewer of them have studied poetic meter and form, let alone practiced reading verse aloud.

      2. Oh yes, very much this. My college’s art school did seem to have a nice emphasis on training, at least from what I saw of it. The ceramics professor, annoyed at people who thought Ceramics 1 was an easy A, made sure everyone had history of pottery AND the science of pottery (including firing temperatures and the like) as part of that class. And of course, if you went on, you got to learn how to use the dangerous equipment like the clay mixer. (That could rip your arm off if you weren’t following safety guidelines.)

        The campus art museum had some very nice pieces in it from student exhibitions. I’m not much into modern art, but there was at least craft to it.

      3. Yes definately training but who decides who gets that training and when? I tend to question aptitude tests based on the experience of one given by the state to high school students that informed I would be a qualified packer of avacados. This was in Oklahoma circa 1960 so maybe they have improved.

        1. The person decides. I know it sounds stupid, and yes there will be waste, but the individual decides. it’s the only way. It’s not as wasteful as otherwise.
          Of course, they have to pay for it. You pays your money, you lays your bets.
          Honestly, no, the aptitude tests hadn’t got better by the 80s. It said I should be a dancer.
          I have two left feet.

            1. In all fairness, I took an aptitude test that identified me as a potential engineer. I didn’t see myself piloting a train, so I passed on that.
              It wasn’t until I married my husband and hung around his friends – engineers, most of them – that I began to understand what that meant. And, kicked myself for having let myself not follow up on that career pointer.
              Although, to be fair, I doubt I would have been able to overcome my dislike (at that time) for being the oddball in a group. Perhaps I might have enjoyed being kind of “the mascot” for a group of young men, but – probably not.

      4. > you also need training.

        Bah! You simply replace one engineer with 20 years of experience with 20 engineers with 1 year of experience. And you get fewer opinions, less backtalk, and you throw them away when you have no further use for them. Such a deal!

        1. …and ten ships can make a ten-day voyage in one day, and nine women can produce a baby in one month.

          And the government can make doctors produce a cold vaccine on a specific date.
          ———————————
          I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.

    1. I can’t. I can’t draw, or paint, or sculpt, or play an instrument. I tried a few times, but after long enough with no discernable improvement I gave up and went on to other things.

      I CAN design electronic devices, build test instruments, lay out multi-layer circuit boards, and even solder those itty-bitty fly-speck components onto them. I can write computer programs, and documentation.

      I can rebuild an engine, or a transmission. I can do all sorts of construction work, electrical wiring, and plumbing. I can build useful things out of wood and metal.

      I can write fiction, and I think I’m getting pretty good at it. Some of my readers agree, and that feels good.

      So, I don’t resent artists and musicians just because they can do things I can’t. Some of them do things I can’t stand (rap and hip hop, BLECCCH!) so I do my best to avoid them. And I think I have some ability to recognize art that just plain sucks. Sturgeon’s Law applies to most everything.
      ———————————
      Simon Illyan: “Do you know all those old folk tales where the Count tries to get rid of his only daughter’s unsuitable suitor by giving him three impossible tasks?”

      Ekaterin: “Yes…”

      Simon: “Don’t ever try that with Miles. Just….don’t.”

          1. The food starts telling you what temperature it’s supposed to be like your characters “borrow” your pen?

            1. No, the food starts going “y’know, this would be so much more fun with a sprinkle of dill” or “I am very boring over rice by now, let’s play with quinoa and almonds instead!” But Our Hostess is right, the two processes seem to draw from the same well.

      1. I can’t. I can’t draw, or paint, or sculpt, or play an instrument. I tried a few times, but after long enough with no discernable improvement I gave up and went on to other things.

        Yep. I can do some sculpting, I can do geometric designs given time and a grid, and I can embellish (by which I mean take something like a line-drawing of a flower and add curly bits or extend lines to make it fill a space, suitable for fake stained glass) but don’t ask me to do things that require proportions, rhythm or coordination.

        One of my first screaming fights was on the subject of “everyone can do it. You’re just not trying hard enough.” Combined with trying to force me to stop being such a “brat” and “just do it” because it’s “easy, if you just try.” (I have been a brat. This was not one of those times.)

        Worked about as well as punishing a color blind guy for not telling blue from red would.

        1. Yeah. My whole family can write to a reasonably good extent (I WISH Husband Unit would file off the serial numbers from some of his old Star Wars fic), but I’m the physical crafter. I knit, I bead, I do all kinds of little fiddly things, and Husband Unit and the Kid literally struggle with tying knots. There are times when it takes all I have to go “you’re not TRYING hard enough!” but they pretty demonstrably are.

          …Velcro. Velcro is my FRIEND.

      2. I forget where I heard it, and it was dated Back When I did hear it…

        “Do you play any instrument?”
        “I play a small Japanese instrument.”
        “Really? What is it?”
        “The transistor radio.”

  8. An interesting analysis: essentially what we’re looking at isn’t a political movement or even really a protest, but a new religion complete with a creation story, martyrs, saints and original sin, but one that has human sacrifice instead of any redemption.

    It makes sense, and it’s why none of the hypocrisy or contradictions will get through to these people: they’re in the throes of religious ecstasy.

      1. Correction, it was 19 years ago: KURTZ, Stanley, “The Church of the Left,” National Review, May 31, 2001.

        Unfortunately, I can’t find the essay on the National Review website right now, or on archive.org.

        1. The sentiments have been there for awhile, but recent events have been the spark that lit the flame. In Floyds death we have an image that perfectly encapsulates all the brutally and victimization they’ve been told about, and the example of America’s irredeemable corruption. Combine that with all the other deaths that have been sensationalized(no matter the real facts of the individual cases or the statistics) and now they’ve had enough. They’ve got the fire in their bellies to go with the narrative in their heads and they’re not going to stop.

    1. Part the Second: the throwing down of images is a feature of every new religion. The Christians did it when they threw down images of the pagan gods, Islam did it when they threw down images of Jesus and the saints and converted churches to mosques, now this nascent religion is doing it. I think we can all guess the images that will be raised in their place.

      1. I think we can all guess the images that will be raised in their place.

        My guess would be none. I don’t think these idiots even have the talent to make images of their idols, MarxLeninMaoChe.

        Thinking about your list there, Christianity knocked down the statues of pagan gods and replaced them with images of Jesus or the saints. Islam, though, when it knocked down the images of Jesus and the saints, had nothing to replace them with due to the prohibition on making human/animal images. That seems interesting, and like there ought to be a deeper message there, but there’s too much blood in my caffeine stream for me to figure it out at the moment.

        1. And now Christians (and Jews) protesting the dismantling of statues are told they are sinners breaking the Second Commandment.

      2. Bob Said :
        I think we can all guess the images that will be raised in their place.

        Baal, Asherah, Molech or their modern equivalents?
        They already like sacrificing their children…

      3. Not _every_ new religion. It’s Abrahamic religions, mostly, because of monotheism. Everybody else does either syncretism, or they just complain about the old gods being declasse.

        1. Which doesn’t mean they won’t kill you, but your gods/statues are more likely to get stolen. Lucullus even had dreams that the statues/gods were telling him to take them home to Rome (nice rationalization, Mr. Super Collector).

    2. Another particularly powerful element is their invocation: “Black Lives Matter,” it concentrates so much in a single phrase: on the surface, it’s undeniably true that black lives matter, but stating it thus implies the false narrative that we live in a society that does NOT believe black lives matter and must be reminded of it. Attempt to point out the real facts – who is most likely to be killed by police, what are the real dangers to black lives, the rights and freedoms enjoyed here compared to anywhere else – and they can shut you down with “so you don’t think black lives matter?!” and label you racist.

      Meanwhile they advance the narrative that America sins of racism are so great the whole country must be deconstructed and rebuilt. And they’ve got the support of government and corporations.

      You underestimate this at your peril.

      1. And it’s not enough to simply believe that Black Lives Matter. You must express the belief in exactly those words, preferably prefacing your statement, or else face the wrath of the awokened.

        1. “BLM Protestor” probably picked her to harass because she was little, mistakenly thinking that would make her an easier target.

          The thing is, in a profession like that, they face “pick on the little one” all. the. time. They don’t stay unless they are really good at handling it.

    3. Human sacrifice . . . like the Aztecs were into, only less publicly gory.

      Yeah. Something hungry turning its attention North. That makes sense.

  9. if you don’t know someone has been unpersoned and you talk to them, you in turn become unpersoned

    This happened to me. Before I got tenure I became friends with the man who is the Italian professor at my now former university. He’s a great guy, and happens to be gay. But he committed the cardinal sin for a gay man, he voted Republican. Not only that, he had the gall to put a Bush sign in his front yard in the 2004 election season. He was harassed and mocked at the humanities divisional meetings. Being in social science, I saw none of this, but when I started talking to him, he actually warned me that as an untenured professor I should probably avoid him so that I wouldn’t hurt my tenure bid. I refused to do that and told him that if I failed in my tenure bid because I was friends with him that after I loudly and publicly went through the formal appeals process, I would sue every member of the tenure committee so far into debt that they’d never be able to retire. It helps to have a decade and a half of real-world experience under your belt when you enter academia. You recognize the absurdity of the academic bullies and the weak points in processes that can be used against those who would thwart you for political and personal reasons.

    I got tenure and he’s still a good friend. When I was threatened with academic/career harm a few years later because I was on a committee that was defending the promotion of another gay man who didn’t follow the “rules”, the Italian prof was one of the first people to come to my defense (along with two business profs who heard the bullying as it was happening…in my own office. Why you always keep your door open.)

    I despise those who would force conformity.

      1. Thanks, but it just really pissed me off and it was pretty easy because I’d already pegged those who were harassing him as idiots to begin with. I never had to do anything loud, but I simply made a point of talking to him after every meeting and anywhere else I ran into him. It was fun actually since we both knew it annoyed the crap out of others but there was nothing they could do. When I went up for tenure I had a dean who in addition to being 6’4″ and kinda scary looking, didn’t take any crap from anybody. So, I had that going for me. 😀

        1. I’d already pegged those who were harassing him as idiots

          As Heinlein said, albeit in slightly different context, even when you aren’t sure whom to be for it is usually easy to tell who to be against.

  10. I’m never sure how to reconcile analyses like this with stories that seem to me to be well done apart from obviously “going for woke,” sometimes even when that was obviously the whole point of writing them. Not sure if it’s “didn’t manage to kill it completely in everybody” or “I’m not adequately critical.”

    1. I don’t think the loss of creativity is universal, but so many have it, and others try to mimic sterility because it seems safer. So you can have someone who still has the ember alive, the spark, but they feel compelled to harness it to wokeness because “all the good people are doing that.”

    2. Psychology is at the simplest, analog, not digital/quantum/discrete.

      One can not have yet managed to kill oneself inside, and at the same time have trained one’s creativity to mimic features of the dead.

      Transsexual stuff is the woke rage right now. Probably tons of the fiction, that is written by cookbook, and has nothing to offer me.

      And yet, before it was cool, I read and enjoyed a little fiction that used those themes. I knew a website focusing on the stuff, and back then the stories there were written by people with an overwhelming interest in the topic. Some of them so interested that I found their stories boring or offputting, but others I really enjoyed. And one of my favorite authors I knew from other sites, one of which likewise had a focus. That author used those themes, but is a stubborn, crazy, observant sort who hasn’t gone woke, and I’m pretty sure still writes stuff I would find great.

      1. And yet, before it was cool, I read and enjoyed a little fiction that used [transexual] themes.

        You mean stuff like Heinlein’s I will Fear No Evil (1970)? Or like Piers Anthony’s Cluster series (1978-82)? Or Chalker’s Flux & Anchor (or even his Dancing Gods) series?

        No, no, modern authors are ground-breaking — it says so right on the book jacket, and we all know book jackets never lie.

          1. I was about to say, don’t you mean Chalker’s Pretty Much Anything?

            (back in less Woke days, I had the pleasure of watching Mike Resnick reminiscing on the book he co-wrote with David Gerrold and Jack Chalker. “The Red Tape War”, I think it was called. Resnick’s commentary: “I did all the hard parts, like the nouns and verbs, and Gerrold took the easy stuff like the adjectives and adverbs. We gave Jack the pronouns because he kept changing them anyway.”)

              1. Just accidentally reread Chalker’s Changewinds series. In “War of the Maelstrom” (page 159 of the paperback), there is a description of the reason for the revolt, that resonates with today.

                “This whole revolt is hatred and revenge, from Klittichorn and the Storm Princess on down to those people back there. That’s what their whole new society is gonna be built on -hatred and revenge. Makes a society built on callousness and indifference seem downright nice by comparison”

                Sounds like he nailed the motivation for the left. Hatred and revenge. The same thing that motivated the red guards in China, and the horrors of Cambodia. But you first must train the youth on who to hate.

                The changewinds are a metaphor for how changes by the left destroy. You can’t rebuild.

        1. I’m more nineties era internet fiction. Ranma fanfic, and the like.

          Don’t think I’ve read the specific works by any of those authors, but I have read little bit of other Chalker that might qualify.

  11. “Yes, most of these people are privileged, never had to work a day in their lives, and are extensively college-indoctrinated.”

    This is quite likely true of most of those doing the actual rioting…but it’s not always true, I’m afraid, of those that make excuses for them and even support/encourage them. Many of this second category of people are hard-working and pretty successful; some of them are old enough that they went to college prior to the clean sweep of the crazy. Some, of course, are just going along with the herd, but quite a few are true believers.

    1. There are a lot of nice, decent people who support it because they accept what they see on the nightly news as absolute truth. They would never lie to their audience, so the news sources would never lie to them.
      We were in a group a few weeks ago where the child of the camp manager had fallen ill and been tested for WuFlu (of course, not referred to that way). In the prayer for the child the prayer leader actually thanked God for reminding us that Covid-19 could strike anyone, not just the elderly. (With the implied lesson that it was a sign to us to continue social distancing, etc). He meant well, but since this was what the government authorities told him, it had to be true. As an aside, the child did not have WuFlu.
      The same thing is working in BLM’S favor. These folks simply believe what they are told because they are good, honest people and expect others to be likewise.

  12. The riots starting over his death never made any sense anyway. I mean, the killer was arrested almost immediately and no one, not even the most cop-supporting right winger says what he did was right.

    I noted before that every one of these big protests/riots in recent years over “police brutality” the proximal case “sparking” them turned out to, well, not justify it. Ferguson, Baltimore, the use of force was entirely justified despite what lies like “hands up; don’t shoot” would have you believe. And Floyd? The system was working for a change. Fired immediately, a brief investigation and criminal charges filed. If anything the riots, by pressuring the DA to overcharge for the crime is more likely to cause a failure of justice than the other.

    And then real, legitimate cases don’t trigger widespread protests let alone riots.

    Once or twice might be coincidence, but this has been so consistent that it has to be deliberate which raises the question of why?

    1. I saw an analysis last week that made a lot of sense.

      They want somebody to scream ‘RRRAAAACIIISSST!!!‘ at.

      They don’t want agreement, they WANT controversy and strife. If the case is clear-cut, if the cops were provably, completely out of line, nobody would disagree with them. They don’t get an excuse to raise hell, loot and burn, scream ‘RRRAAACIIISSST!!!’ and ‘OPPRESSOR!!’ in your face when you point out that it’s not a simple situation and not all the facts have been discovered.
      ———————————
      Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

    2. There are several different groups attempting to take advantage of the situation. Besides genuine protestors there are the political radicals who are working to discredit/destroy the current order (level of disorder?). There are also criminals who use the mayhem as cover for their own activities. Both act as instigators, but for different reasons.

      Here in Chicago I had the opportunity to listen to a black man about my age (60-ish) who noted a few things that have not appeared in the news. While “protestors” were setting fires and looting stores the gangs were going around removing ATMs, ripping them out and hauling them away to be opened later. Another gang was planning to raid one of the police precincts to take the weapons while most of the cops were responding to the riots but the police stayed put.

      There also have been several “marches” through neighborhoods where cops live. In Chicago police must live within the city. There are several well known neighborhoods where cops, firemen, and other city workers live and raise their families. I reside near one of these, but just outside the city limits. There has been no trouble yet, but all of those cops have weapons, they often have other family members trained in their use, and they are backed up by any neighbors who have concealed carry permits. And for those without firearms, baseball bats. I was assured by a local businessperson that during these marches every gun was loaded and available if needed. Mayor Lightfoot may talk all she wants about “vigilantes”, but if the city isn’t going to be able to respond to 911 calls people are not going to sit around doing nothing.

    3. The old adage, “once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action” seems to apply.

  13. Historian Friedrich Meinecke, in his book The German Catastrophe, cited a friend’s comments made before the Nazi takeover:

    “It often happens nowadays…that young technicians, engineers, and so forth, who have enjoyed an excellent university training as specialists, will completely devote themselves to their calling for ten or fifteen years and without looking either to the right or to the left will try only to be first-rate specialists. But then, in their middle or late thirties, something they have never felt before awakens in them, something that was never really brought to their attention in their education–something that we would call a suppressed metaphysical desire. Then they rashly seize upon any sort of ideas and activities, anything that is fashionable at the moment and seems to them important for the welfare of individuals–whether it be anti-alcoholism, agricultural reform, eugenics, or the occult sciences. The former first-rate specialist changes into a kind of prophet, into an enthusiast, perhaps even into a fanatic and monomaniac. Thus arises the type of man who wants to reform the world.”

    I think this description applies to a lot of those of have become extremely politicized ‘progressives’ in the last few years, including many of those in the second category in my post above.

  14. I mean, the killer was arrested almost immediately and no one, not even the most cop-supporting right winger says what he did was right.

    Actually, I just learned that Shaun King was personally involved in arguing wrong doing. That should have immediately taken us to a default suspicion that it was another Shaun King framing of an innocent man.

    My perspective is still not the same as what you describe. If I could justify supporting a policy of summary execution for drug offenders, I would, but I cannot, and have to live with not having such justification. Because I can’t, I have to accept the possibility that wrong doing occurred. Certainly, the police department’s training might well be unsound.

    There was an originally more famous Chauvin, who was only an absurd fanboy for Napolean. It could be reasonably argued that said Chauvin did nothing wrong.

    Anyway, Alma’s explanation of the Great Panic is helping me cope with what is happening. Anybody have a link to it handy?

    Like blind eunuchs, they turn in rage and fury against everything that is not them.

    May also be true of some of the academics in STEM, where diversity and the under represented are concerned.

    Of course, some of those arguments I find more reasonable, or even agree with.

    1. Yeah, the crazy extremists are the ones going “Hold up, there’s no need to jump into a mob, how about some investigation and looking for evidence to find out exactly what happened and do judgement calmly after being well informed?”

      The vehemence with which this is met makes me suspect there are known major issues.

    2. Actually, a lot of people independently think it looked like Chauvin was part of a criminal organization, along with Floyd, and that the organization had put out a hit on Floyd for various reasons. Under this theory, Chauvin was just following orders to make an example of Floyd, and nobody had considered the optics of one minion being white and the other minion black.

      “I’m from Chicago, and I know what a hit looks like” is the general thing one hears.

      1. Something stinks to high heaven about that club they both worked security at, El Rancho Nuevo. Money laundering and counterfeiting, perhaps.

        1. So the rumor I’ve heard suggests.

          But with King involved, coordinated disinformation is a possibility that must be considered.

          If there is any truth to the killing being motivated by criminal activity, it should be possible to introduce at least some evidence of that during the trial.

          Would be darkly hilarious if a cartel paid off Chauvin, had him do the hit, and this led to an increase in anti cartel sentiment, or an increased willingness to ban public service unions.

        2. Ought to clarify: I have variation from time to time how strongly I feel, and how I put things together to form a picture.

          So I may owe some apologies for the inconsistency.

  15. You see, art, real art, engages your emotions. It’s not a screed, and it’s not a random snide attack on the approved targets. It’s something that bypasses your thought process and goes straight for the feelings. It doesn’t mean it’s always beautiful, btw. I know I spoke above about ugly “art” but that’s different, a weird combination of ugly and boring.

    I don’t remember how it came up, but I’ve been taught this from single digits– my mom said, of a song on the radio, that you have to have something to connect to it or you can’t really sing it. It doesn’t sound…right.

    This usually comes to mind when I’m having the kind of day where I am listing to Disturbed or searching for Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff.

    1. Many years back I had a friend who was a sculpture. Her works just looked like colored lumps of clay to me, but I was polite and did not mention it. Then I went on a hike in southern Utah red rock country. Her sculptures suddenly spoke to me. I just had not had the experience before that to appreciate them.

      1. I’m envisioning a slow pan I once saw, of… I think it was the Rose Window of Notre Dame.

        Started zoomed in so close there was only one color, I think it was milky white.

        Slow, slowly backed out– so you saw edging of black, and then those gorgeous jewel tone bits, and it was all pretty. BUt it didn’t make sense until you got the bigger picture.
        Poking around, it was probably the gold of the robe on the Child, and they carefully zoomed out so you couldn’t see it was Him until relatively late in the reveal, so probably down and on the left of the dead center of the window.
        And then it just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and more…..

      2. Oooh…. that’s neat.

        And it makes sense that some stuff that’s meant to be evocative needs a context to evoke.

  16. I hate the behavior of folks like those kids with the sand castle, by the by.

    There are people who hover, searching for a hint that there’s something you love, something you care about, something you value– so they can destroy it.

    And I just connected this to the harpies at the feast…it fits….

    Part of raising your child properly is coming down like a ton of bricks on behavior like that.

    Schools? They punish the target for “starting a fight.”

  17. all the ugly, repulsive and offensive (because stupid) art that your tax money supports and your universities encourage

    Back in the 1990s, the City of San Jose, California commissioned what they thought was going to be a soaring 25-foot-tall sculptural depiction in bronze of Quetzalcoatl, wings outstretched, for the paltry sum of $400,000. Due apparently to an unidentified longstanding grudge against the City of San Jose on the part of the sculptor, what the city instead received for those tax dollars was an eight foot tall black “cast stone” sculpture of ol’ Quetzl that most observers assess as most resembling an eight foot tall pile of dog poop.

    So the city installed it anyway in a major downtown park.

    Story with photo: https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/08/23/san-joses-quetzalcoatl-the-story-behind-the-statue-we-love-to-mock/

    I note with interest none of the brave sir anarchists during the recent unpleasantness have even tagged the dog poop.

      1. I’ve seen it. To be honest I thought ol’ Lord Feathered Serpent doesn’t look too bad. But no one ever accused me of having good taste in art.

    1. “cast stone” sculpture


      That’s how the hoity-toity say ‘concrete’ without actually using such a plebeian word.

      I note with interest none of the brave sir anarchists during the recent unpleasantness have even tagged the dog poop.


      So it’s not even interesting enough to be worth defacing?

      1. “I submitted a sculpture for a government grant
        it was risque and ultra-nouveau.
        A Mapplethorpe shock-value visual rant
        fit for the best East-coast show.

        But I lost to a carving of a woman feeding duckies
        by a dog with big floppy ears.
        In the letter they sent me, they said i was lucky
        to be among that sculptor’s peers.”

        – Greg Keeler

  18. Two things, in no particular order-

    1-I’ve run into this as well, when I’m trying to find people to commission art, that the artists that I like tend to be a bit defensive, because they are doing “traditional” or “manga-style” or similar kinds of art. One conversation that I had was that if they left places like Tumblr and Twitter because anything that was not the SJZ/Cal Arts-approved style got them relentlessly trolled and harassed in their comment sections. And, let’s not even get into the whole “whitewashing” aspect of art design.

    I’m wondering if the mentality of these people is due to the fact that the human brain needs something like…religion, faith, something along those lines…to provide some kind of center. Like all things, it needs to be in moderation, but there has to be something there. Without it for most people, they have the tendency to bang around the insides of their skull little things and little resentments that just bounce harder and begin to fester inside their souls. The only way they seem to know how to deal with this spiritual inflammation is to share it, destroying things that other people like and enjoy.

    2-I think a lot of art today is “political”-in the sense that you have to appeal to the people that are in charge of the publisher/studio/production company. And, it’s not competence or ability that gets you in the door unless you’re one of their money makers, it’s the ability to please the people in charge and to tell the stories they want you to tell.

    Take, for example, Ghostbusters(2016). (PLEASE!) Amy Pascal wanted to do big-budget grrl power/glass ceiling-shattering movies. She wanted to do an all-female superhero movie, but the failure of the Amazing Spider-Man reboot (I saw both, they weren’t bad, just not memorable in comparison to the Sam Raimi movies) meant this plan was on hold.

    The Ghostbusters franchise was crying out for a third, new movie-the director, most of the original cast, and quite a few other people were rattling the cages to get a third movie made. That the Ghostbusters video game was a decent success in what would have been most of the third movie’s proposed plotline, was noticed and the idea of a third movie started to pick up steam. Especially since Sony was really lacking in tent-pole franchise movies to get people into the theaters.

    Then…Amy Pascal took over. And, she saw the movie as a way to do the grrl power/glass ceiling movie that she always wanted. Ivan Reitman (who produced the first two Ghostbusters movies, had it in his contract with Sony that he had to have first chance to direct any sequels, and lead them to good levels of success) was pushed out of the producer’s role to the point where his name was marque-only. Then, Amy Pascal brought in Paul Feig-who mostly made modest budget parody movies in the past, was extremely playing up female characters to the expense of male ones, and had never done a genre movie like this in the past.

    That it was a disaster doesn’t even need to be said. Most of the script outline leaked to Reddit and 4Chan early and fans hated it, the first trailer got so many downvotes on YouTube that it pretty much broke the meter, and the studio quadrupled down on the movie with calling anyone that didn’t like the film woman-hating, basement-dwelling man-babies, an ad campaign that emphasized the grrl power aspects of the film, a second trailer that was deliberately posted in multiple places to avoid the massive downvotes of the first trailer, and strong-arming the original cast into doing pick-up cameos in the movie.

    But, because it hit all the right check boxes with the studio staff, the mainstream/access media, and the Woke crowd, the movie was declared a modest success that they weren’t going to follow up on (despite talking about making this into a MCU-type Cinematic Universe before the film came out). And, the other grrl power movies that were coming down the pike weren’t given a critical look and they were bad. Captain Marvel probably only did well because it was the movie between Avengers:Infinity War and Avengers:Endgame and had protection from on-high by Disney. Terminator:Dark Fate was hated by Terminator fans, who wanted a return to form and this wasn’t it. And, the Charlies Angels reboot movie was so bad and forgettable that the director was reduced to screaming about how men had to see her film and that they were terrible if they didn’t. I think the “Rambo” movie was in the theaters longer, and it wasn’t that good a film, either.

    But, all the directors and producers and actresses and actors were of the “right” politics and opinions, so who cares about money being made? They blocked out all the right “progressive” check boxes, and that’s what matters, doesn’t it? And, if they audience doesn’t want to come, if they don’t want to watch, then they’re all basement-dwelling man-children that never left their parents homes.

    If you don’t like the current Marvel Comics or DC Comics plots and stories? Trolls!

    If you think Discovery and Picard are terrible shows that should have never been made? Misogynist!

    You lose hope sometimes.

    1. It was particularly stupid, because the Ghostbuster franchise already included the idea of the Ghostbusters having branches in other cities, or franchises one could purchase and operate. No reason why you couldn’t have female Ghostbusters; Janine was already a beloved figure busting ghosts in the cartoons and comics.

      But the ridiculous, unnecessary reboot, paired with a lack of story and character, made it a flop. The lack of actually funny humor, and the meanspiritedness, made it worse. The hatred for fans and viewers made it a disaster.

      1. And there was the odd first trailer that specifically referenced the earlier movies that the new film completely ignored.

        1. Well, trailer makers are in the business of trying to stir up interest in moviegoers. Poor things, they’ve had a hard road to hoe lately. They should be the directors and film editors, instead of just making the ads.

      2. It’s interesting to watch the contrast of feedback from CGI Lion King, and say, Sonic the Hedgehog (where they listened and actually redid the CGI of Sonic. All of it.) I heard about how UPSET the usual critics were that it apparently did very well. I’ve been informed there is a sequel coming.

      3. I got a chance to read the leaked script from Reddit and I went “this is a dumpster fire waiting to happen. Somebody has to know this and the reshoots are going to be massive.”

        Then it comes out, and it wasn’t a dumpster fire. It was a dumpster burning of Dresden fire. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t topical. It wasn’t amusing. It wasn’t even good. It wasn’t even “lampoon in a few years” B-movie bad. It was just a terrible waste of everything.

        And, there are still people defending it to this day.

    2. Captain Marvel probably only did well because it was the movie between Avengers:Infinity War and Avengers:Endgame and had protection from on-high by Disney.

      It’s not a bad movie, as long as you figure the main character is supposed to be unlikable, and there’s some plot justification for her being a psychopath. Reminds me of a lot of those obnoxious 90s “anti-hero” movies.

      It was just bad compared to the rest of the cloud-series.

      And count me among those looking forward to Rogue gaining superpowers.

    3. That’s happening now with the sequel to The Last of Us. The creator is raging that Pewdiepie is ‘ugh I can’t. Can’t care about this character.’ and muttering every now and again how to get the character Abby killed while he has to play through the part of the game as her. They made this character so buff she looks like a man (also unfortunately flat chested too, and this is coming from me, a woman with a small chest), but where they lost me is where they have a visibly pregnant woman out on patrol in what is essentially a post zombie apocalyptic world, climbing over fences and running. ‘Because she wants to instead of just sitting around.’ People are evoking GamerGate all over again, oh how bigoted people are…!

      1. Everybody that has gotten a chance to play the game says, “It’s very f(YAY!)king depressing, and there’s no payoff at all in the game.”

        I’ve read enough to confirm this. The game is just terrible, and a lot of the game is sold on false premises. The characters are unlikable and poorly written, canon is violated, and the basic concept of the game isn’t there at all.

        I don’t need depression right now. I don’t need my “expectations subverted,” I don’t need to be lectured. I want to be entertained and amused. This is not amusing at all.

        1. And here again is an example of “depressing”, because it is a dark story, versus “depressing”, because it is garbage and pointless.

          The first game is deeply depressing and approaching pitch black at times. But even at the darkest moments there is still something of value to care about.

          1. It’s another way to destroy– you can’t take their joy in the first game, but you can copy it, and twist it, into a maimed orc, thus destroying both their hope for the next game, andpossibly future games.

            Plus, you get some money, AND the glee of being able to sneer at the stupid unwoke who wouldn’t buy it.

                1. “Time’s Scar” is a beautiful song and one that I still enjoy listening to. It deserved to be the theme for a better game.

                  I didn’t even play “Chrono Trigger,” and I still rage-quit “Chrono Cross” halfway through. I was sick of having the rug yanked out from under me. From the descriptions I’ve heard of what happens in the last part, I don’t think I missed anything.

                  1. The final boss battle was utterly anticlimactic, that’s for sure.

                    It’s been so long that I don’t even remember most of the plot… I do remember that there were way too many characters to collect.

                    I think that the original SNES version of ChronoTrigger is probably the only one worth playing.

                    The PlayStation version added a bunch of anime cutscenes that were supposed to tie things to ChronoCross, and I’m told that the latest port to a Nintendo console added a couple of dungeons and quests that make no sense, time-wise.

                  2. >> “I was sick of having the rug yanked out from under me.”

                    Then you would have absolutely hated finding out about the color pattern at the end. Good thing you quit when you did.

                2. >> “At least the soundtrack was good….”

                  That, I’ll give you. I still listen to parts of it from time to time.

                  But the writing would make some in this crowd break out the torches and pitchforks.

              1. I’d add Ni no Kuni II to that list as well. I quit playing that one when I realized that the point of the game was to help a bunch of idiots and a-holes conquer the world.

          2. The creators are overgrown children, in the teenage “if I can shock you, I WIN!!!” way of “writing stories.” It’s the cheap edgelord method of doing things.

            I just go “that’s cute. Your story makes no sense at all, and I pay for stories that make sense in some form or another. When you stop playing with your $100 million dollar bloody Duplo blocks, let me know.”

            (Free story idea to a good home! One of the Great Old Ones runs into an artist-and the Great Old One runs away because the artist points out all the flaws in his work and the Creature Beyond Space And Time can’t stand it-and can’t refute it, either.)

            1. The awkward smacky ‘mwah!’; rushed, not even giving the air of the husband rushing out the door to work kiss in TLOU2 had me watch it over a few times (Pewdiepie’s playthrough) because I was trying to figure out why it didn’t look right and for what was supposed to be an emotional moment, didn’t make me feel anything but ‘what.’

              There is LITERALLY more love in ‘Gottagohonloveyouseeyoutonight *mwah*’.

              1. I agree, I saw it and they were just…bored and didn’t have any passion to it. It was just…a thing.

                And, I can find some VERY good examples on YouTube easily, and they are much more passionate than anything I saw in the game.

                If I can do my due diligence like this, WHY CAN’T GAME COMPANIES?!?

                1. It’s … mimicky. This ‘thing’ they just have to do, because expected.

                  Makes me remember how some years ago, security in the Philippines caught two Iranian terrorists trying to enter the Philippines to head to the aislamic separatist groups under the guise of being on their honeymoon. They apparently acted like a lovey romantic couple, but when asked what caught them out, the guards said ‘they didn’t look… real. No love or passion. You didn’t see it.”

                    1. I love that Pewds is also annoyed at the pregnant woman being out on patrol, it’s one of the initial things he complains about in his current play through installment. (part 6) “Why is she here?!” “It seems so irresponsible.” I feel ya, Felix.

                    2. It’s another checkbox on the “didn’t do the research” and “don’t want to do the research, in fear that you might change your mind” in the modern liberal process.

                    3. I really don’t like to assume bad motives, but I have run into a lot of examples of folks wanting to insist that pregnant women are absolutely identical to the most fit of able bodied men, in so far as it applies to considerations which must be made by the person insisting.
                      When it’s demands on the pregnant woman, Katie bar the door.

                      Similar to school Authorities re: bullying, the situation is interpreted to be as easy as possible for the interpreter.

                    4. I absolutely lost it when he randomly bursts out at the character with “GO HOME! Okay, we were attacked but STILL!”

                      Oh and you find out that the babydaddy of the pregnant woman is Abby’s ex. Who Abby later sleeps with in the most badly segued to sex scenes ever.

                      And Pewds saw the H-scene, and was deeply unimpressed. I couldn’t stop laughing over how badly it was set up and the abrupt change in Abby’s priorities afterward is just, WTF. IT IS SUCH BAD STORYTELLING.

                      BUT THE KISSES WERE A BIT BETTER PORTRAYED!

                      Someone in the comments of the vid pointed out that if you had swapped story arcs around, and left Joel’s death until last, the player would be more emotionally invested in Abby’s arc and character.

                      Oh and her ‘mature’ very masculine body makes zero sense as in Abby’s flashbacks she has a completely different character model, a very feminine build complete with hips and swish when walking or running. She even has a modest décolletage. They could have used that set of bones and skinned her with realistic levels of female muscle increase but nope, they went for Male Body Abby, with the miraculous testosterone supplements of the zombie apocalypse.

                      Hell, Zarya from Overwatch has a more feminine build and she’s huge.

                    5. Everything about this game, from the reviews, makes me glad that I’m not remotely tempted to get it. I would rather spend my money at JAST and buy h-games. Some of them are even…okay! 😀

                    6. That’s what I suspected, especially after the series kind of, well, blew up in their faces. So few people remember that most of the Nasuverse started from erogames and became somewhat “respectable” eventually.

      2. I’ve only looked into TOLU2 enough to know it is [long expletive filled rant omitted]. I’m not looking any deeper because while I have never truly become nauseous from seeing fiction destroyed, this would probably change that.

        Horizon Zero Dawn 2 I have better hopes for; the developers already showed in the first game that they could deftly handle obligatory PC in ways that added to the central mystery of the story.

        On the gripping hand Bioshock 4 scares the crap out of me. Not least because I will have to take a look at it even if it is awful.

        1. Why are they making a sequel to Bioshock? There isn’t a reason, the two games (and there are only two, Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite) are self-contained in their story arc.

        2. I played the first Bioshock game and mostly enjoyed it (though I thought there were some flaws in execution). I’ve thought about playing the second one, but never did so. I saw the very first preview for Infinite, and thought it looked interesting. But then I read a description of the opening act of the game and realized that I wanted nothing to do with it.

          1. If you are talking about the political / cultural elements…… let’s just say that Infinite is far more subtle than it immediately appears.

            You just don’t see it until near the end of Act 2.

            1. That may be. But the ham-handedness right at the start of the game makes me not particularly want to spend time working to reach that point.

              1. Obligatory disclaimer that this is by far my favorite series, and thus am biased….

                I don’t think it is that ham handed. The game takes place in 1912, with the events that end up creating the city as we see it spanning 1893-1912. Only a few years later the horror of the Progressive Era would be unleashed upon and nearly destroy this country.

                So we take the pent up insanity that in our universe became the Progressives, plus lingering resentment from the Civil War / Reconstruction, plus a Prophet who can actually cash the prophecy checks he writes, plus the exaggerations of fiction, plus the tendency towards the utopian that this country has always had (see again: progressive era), plus $SPOILERS.

                Yeah… seems completely plausible to me.

                Of course the first time I played it I was very irritated by the anvil dropping. But only the first time: because building that up makes the reveal* all the stronger. To the point where post-reveal it can indirectly reference the Holodomor and it doesn’t seem out of place at all.

                * It isn’t The Big One, just one of the many twists and turns of the story, which is why I’m willing to sort of spoil it.

      3. It’s not so much that Abby has a flattish chest and big shoulders.

        It’s that she has no curves. Not skinny woman curves, not muscular agricultural girl curves, not even fat curves. No curves. And her abs are placed like those of a man, and her breasts aren’t attached to a woman’s chest muscles. Her hips are manly hips, and her legs are manly legs. It’s like an anatomy class list of Don’ts.

      4. I never played the first game, so I have no particular dog in the fight over this game. But I got into an argument over it with someone, focused on what the sequel does to the protagonist of the first game, coupled with who you apparently spend the second half of the game playing as (trying to avoid spoiling it since it’s new). The person I was arguing with absolutely refused to consider the idea that the points I was arguing over might be a turn-off for fans of the first game, and repeated “actions have consequences” over and over like a religious mantra. The idea that other forms of consequences might be less objectionable to players was apparently anathema. The individual was so stubborn in refusing to consider any position other than his or her own that at times I wondered if they were an employee of the developer. I finally called them out on their closemindedness and walked away. I’m sure they responded to my final post with some inane blather about how I was really the unreasonable one. But I didn’t go back to the thread to see what the response was.

        1. SPOILERS AHEAD.

          Yes, I haven’t played the first game either, but we have it and from what I hear, it’s good. I am bad with these kinds of games though (and my brain does not need encouragement in creating nightmares.)

          “Actions have consequences” Let’s just say that ‘create your own villain’ was done in a much, much better way by effing 8-Bit Theatre and manages to somehow end on a much happier note than this utter clusterfuck of a game. Dresden Files does it TONS BETTER. Last of Us 2, despite the amount of detail they went into, is “An attempt was made” and in my opinion from a storytelling perspective, took The Failboat and rammed it down everyone’s throats, and the devs got surprised pikachuface that the original fans aren’t happy.

          SPOILERS AHEAD

          The base of the story is, Abby is the daughter of the doctor npc that the male protag in the first game had to kill in order to save Ellie, the then 14 year old girl about to be experimented on.

          However you apparently start out or early in the game, you are playing from Ellie’s pov, the guy who rescued her is being brutally murdered by a woman, and Ellie and her (bisexual) pregnant girlfriend narrowly escapes being killed. Ellie vows revenge. You play through as her for a while then later switch to Abby’s POV, complete with flashback, and apparently even though you play through as Abby and now have her version of events, she is so completely unlikable that most people have problems sympathizing with her. You’re apparently going to have to play as Abby for at least ten hours, and I watched part of the stream and Pewds just goes nope, not doing that right now ugh and just stops and saves and quits for a while. (His commentary is hilarious.) There’s some incomprehensible interpersonal drama that involves another heavily pregnant character whose baby daddy Abby has incomprehensible sex with. I hate the pregnant character, who for REASONS that boil down to ‘I want to’ like a selfish indulgent bitch, goes out on ‘patrol’ in a world where they get shot at by rival human groups, have zombies and involves a lot of running and climbing and jumping from high places, and somehow she doesn’t get shot or killed or loses her baby. She later gets murdered by the protagonist just to give the latter something to feel horrible about once she finds out and the ending fight somehow results in Ellie just letting Abby go (after the latter bites off two of her fingers) and the broken aesop that we get sledgehammered with is that revenge is pointless and empty and costs you everything, when Ellie has lost her girlfriend and the ability to play guitar.

          Like thanks, Pewdiepie, for sacrificing your time and sanity and hopefully earning money of streaming the gameplay as recompense for this horrible depressing nihilistic game.

          And yes, the pregnant character really makes me mad. They’re all behaving like typical millenials, self absorbed and narcissistic, which throws me out of suspension of disbelief, because there should be some changes in mindset and cultural perspectives given the whole ‘humanity is down to the last scraps and the world has a weird zombie fungus taking over people.’

          1. That’s even worse. I thought that Abby would at least be sympathetic. But it sounds as if she doesn’t even have that going for her. It also sounds as if the “actions have consequences” mantra that the idiot kept repeating flies out the window where she’s concerned.

      5. You will know things are hopeless if the next game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise bows to the SJW mob. It set the standard for video games being politically incorrect. Of course GTA games are very equal opportunity when it comes to giving offense (or at least perceived offense).

        1. It’ll happen eventually due to personnel changes at the company, if nothing else. But I expect it to be a while. CD Projekt Red has also shown some spine, ignoring complaints about an in-game ad in their upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.

    4. Well, until they can make us all march into the movie theaters to see those awful movies, and clap like a bunch of trained seals on command … no reason to lose hope, I believe. They CAN’T make us go see their godawful movies. We can wander away, watch old movies, foreign-movies, small-budget independent movies … practically anything else.
      Hollywood, (and I keep wanting to spell that as ‘Whorey-wood’) as we used to know it, is dead. Walk away.

      1. I can count the number of movies that I want to see when theaters open up on one finger. Otherwise, I can barely even stand TV, I have enough DVDs to run my own anime channel, and otherwise…nope.

    5. I thought Ghostbusters – the ReBoot was a pretty good Chris Hemsworth movie, probably his eighth or ninth best performance, although they did give an awful lot of screen time to his supporting actors without them using it to good effect.

        1. Indeed I think his performance as the secretary in the Ghostbusters reboot clearly showed his comedic timing. I sometimes wonder if it didn’t convince Taika Waititi to let Mr. Hemsworth go wild in the comedic portions of Thor: Ragnarok. It certainly made it the best of the three Thor movies by a long shot. Timing may be suspect as the reboot was 2016 and Ragnarok 2017, and principle shooting for Ragnarok was probably done before Ghostbusters hit theaters. Special effects movies tend to have HUGE post production lead times.

          1. Hemsy has a bunch of local commercials, and a fair amount of them are comedic. He really did a great job in Ragnarok, and the opening scenes of Infinity War just broke my heart.

            About the only coming new MCU movie I’m looking forward to right now is Dr. Strange.

          2. “It certainly made it the best of the three Thor movies by a long shot”

            ————–

            I’m just going to note that’s not really saying much…

            ^^;;

            1. I actually quite liked the first one, but I didn’t get around to seeing Ragnarok for long enough that I ended up reading Waititi’s comments on, basically, how he’d set out to ignore everything prior as much as possible except to make it all about the evils of colonialism and mocking the unrelatable characters. So… I think I probably won’t.

              1. If you liked the first one, ignore the idiot and just watch the movie– you’ll probably like it.

                The Thor movies aren’t great, but they’re fun. I like fun.

              2. Ragnarok‘s problem – or possibly my problem with Ragnarokwas mood whiplash.

                There are a whole bunch of very funny comedic scenes, interspersed with gorgeous and tragic dramatic scenes, but they are right next to each other.

                It’s either all the way up or all the way down, and there’s no time given to rest and absorb. There isn’t even what you could call an ascent or a descent. Just FUNNY and then TRAGIC and FUNNY and so on and so forth.

            2. Alright admittedly its a low bar, but to my taste Ragnarok even with all its flaws is probably one of the top 5 of the MCU series.

    6. I saw the Female Ghostbusters movie. It wasn’t good, if the desired outcome was to produce another franchise movie, just like the others, but with gender-bending.
      However, viewed just as a movie, it wasn’t THAT bad. Even enjoyable, in parts. The part of the geek – Melissa McCarthy – was actually fairly well done – she evoked some sympathy for her struggles to fit into the world.
      I expected to HATE it, based on reviews. It didn’t deserve the abuse it received (which was made worse by the promotions for it – nothing could live up to the hype).

      1. I think the hype was what doomed it, that and it was billed (at least initially) as the sequel we wanted for the first two Ghostbusters movies. It didn’t help that the hype also included insulting a good portion of the potential audience.

        And, good comedy is transgressive. Nobody wants to be transgressive these days, in fear of the Twitterati.

    1. To elaborate:

      The ‘anti-racist’ drive to turn schools into woke propaganda mills
      School will be a very different place next academic year. Classes will be less full; desks, rigorously sterilized. And if the education establishment has its way, teachers will be aggressively woke.

      “We are living at a time of obscene inequities, and merely trying to compensate is not enough,” the American Association of School Administrators recently announced. It called on members to “become actively anti-racist” and “ensure that cultural responsiveness permeates all levels.”

      Parents might welcome this as an innocuous appeal to moral progress in the wake of a tragic injustice. But they’d be surprised by what anti-racist, culturally responsive classrooms will look like. Hint: It isn’t about treating everyone the same, like a version of the Golden Rule.

      The Chicago Public School district’s “toolkit” on race and civil disobedience, for example, features an epigraph from Angela Davis, the Communist and former criminal fugitive: “In a racist society, it is not enough to not be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” The toolkit provides links to material from the Southern Poverty Law Center and directs teachers to Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist.”

      Education Week’s “Classroom Q&A” blog tells teachers: “As Dr. Ibram X. Kendi would say, there is no ‘not racist.’ There is only racist and anti-racist. Your silence favors the status quo and the violently oppressive harm it does to black and brown folk everywhere.”

      Anti-racism, in this worldview, doesn’t mean equal treatment of others; it is an all-encompassing ideology that demands constant questioning of one’s own actions and motives and those of others.

      English teachers may look for guidance to an “anti-racist” expert like Lorena German, who chairs the Committee on Anti-Racism for the National Council on the Teaching of English. At the height of the recent unrest, with police cars and buildings set ablaze by anarchists and looters, German tweeted: “Educators: what are you burning? Your White-centered curriculum? . . . Your anti-black behavior policies? The school’s racist policies? Your racist-ass principal? The funding for the police in schools vs counselors? WHAT ARE YOU BURNING???!!?!?!?!?”

      German’s call to commit arson may have been metaphorical. But anti-racist schools will teach very different material from the schools of yesteryear. “Transforming Our Public Schools: A Guide to Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education,” created by the NYC Culturally Responsive Education Working Group, explains to teachers that “the whole Western canon is rife with horrible stories and atrocities of who we are as people of color.”

      [SNIP]

      [New York University professor David] Kirkland [the architect of New York’s framework and author of “Culturally Responsive Education: A Primer for Policy and Practice,”] expressed outrage that the media were using “the racist construction of criminality” to “comment upon who gets to fight for their freedom and who does not.” Referring to law enforcement, he declared: “What does it mean when your job is to enforce the law when the law is explicitly racist? It means enforcing racism.”

      “There is no apolitical classroom,” the NCTE insists. With so many in the education establishment now taking this stance, the culture war appears headed for many classrooms — whether parents like it or not.

      1. The entirety of the modern American school system is based on and designed to teach that “ignorance is strength” and “conformity is diversity”.

      2. “Educators: what are you burning? Your White-centered curriculum? . . . Your anti-black behavior policies? The school’s racist policies? Your racist-ass principal? The funding for the police in schools vs counselors? WHAT ARE YOU BURNING???!!?!?!?!?”

        Um, did anyone else notice that item number 4 on that list is distinctly not like the others? Not like I don’t think that’s where they’ll go, but wouldn’t anyone reading this tweet be alarmed to see her saying it out loud?

  19. It’s not just that art stirs emotions as well as thoughts (though it helps).

    Art draws on things that don’t have clear thoughts or emotions, things that nobody really understands. Novels use words to talk about what has no words. Music sings about what cannot be heard, and visual art gives a glimpse of what cannot be seen or depicted.

  20. But they know they’re missing something. They’re human. They see the strength of past art, art they can’t match.

    Even worse, now and then they are forced to deal with someone like The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu/The Timelords/The KLF who draw from the same “official sources” (in the case of the JAMS weird 60s stuff like the Illuminatius Trilogy) and did make something new and moving. Sure, it was mostly pop songs (although here I am three decades later still admiring them and listening to them and drawing inspiration from them), but that’s more than they can accomplish.

    And I think on some level they realize because even people drawing from the same sources as them like the KLF are actually rebelling, for some value of rebelling, like the leftists are told over and over they are doing, and are trying to drown out the realization that they are just mouthing what The Man has told them to instead of actually creating something.

    And since I talked about them a lot:

    Everyone just lie down on the floor and stay calm.

    1. Drawing from “official sources,” for art is as old as civilization. Greek tragedy is based on the stories of the Trojan War; drawing stories from incidents or episodes of the war and turning them into character and philosophical studies. Or the Arthur cycle. I suppose you could argue the better Trek fanfiction was drawing on the same impulse, while definitely applying Sturgeon’s Law.

      1. Yes, but some do it better than others.

        The sterile can dismiss art drawn from non-official sources as bad by definition. They cannot do that from art drawing from the same sources as they use.

      1. It’s roots are very much in the 60s even though the Roberts didn’t get published until 1975. It’s that the approved 60s rebellion mindset, although it pokes fun at itself over it (huge sign of still thinking is laughing at yourself).

        My point was more it is the kind of thing that supposedly embodies the ethos our elite are immersed in.

        And for what it’s worth I named my Erisian cult “The Church of the Cult of the Incarnations of Marilyn Monroe” before I read any of the trilogy. Then again, I’m the rare soul who read The Principia Discordia before I read the trilogy.

        Speaking of the Principia, did you know a copy is in the Warren Commission files?

  21. Ayn Rand had an essay, where she excoriated educators in her day, calling them “The Comprachicos of the Mind”: That they made it their business to cripple children and young adults mentally.

    This reminded me of that: The consequences finally coming around?

    Can’t throw stones though: It’s all I can do to avoid being sterile myself. Internet brain, migraines, and other problems. I’ve sort of gone there in the past myself – being annoyed by others acheivements (what *more* do I need to do just to start measuring up?!), though I’ve stopped myself until the mood passed, knowing that it was a bad set of impulses.

  22. One factor – you and Dan could afford that sand castle set. You were the rich American tourists come to flaunt your wealth. Of course they gloried i their ability to deny your creative effort.

    Tourism is loaded with such contradictions, inherent conflicts from those who must play servile to earn their portion of tourist wealth, kids whose mothers must take menial jobs cleaning up after careless tourists, fathers who wait their tables, mix their drinks. Locals everywhere resent tourists and their ability to buy over-priced goods (which also tends to price locals out of the market.)

  23. Well, you nailed that one. There is certainly no evidence that any of these people looked at the name beneath the statue and said “No, not this one — he was a good guy”. They don’t know the history and they don’t care. But, yeah, it is an affront that someone cared enough to commission, someone to sculpt, a statue, and that this person might have been a “hero” to someone. I would certainly resent all that if I were a useless piece of spoiled, over-educated, self-esteem-deprived, empty-headed garbage. Not to to disparage anyone.

  24. “Again, I never got to hating pregnant women or babies. But I started viewing every visible pregnancy as a personal taunt and affront.”

    ———————

    Not pregnancy, specifically. But I can definitely understand and empathize with the feeling.

    On a somewhat related note, a Korean series that I’m watching on Netflix had an episode that focused on a couple who were trying to get pregnant. The wife had finally managed to get pregnant, but then miscarried. The failure to have a baby was putting a lot of stress on their marriage even though the husband was trying to be completely supportive of her (which, in and of itself, added its own stresses to the wife since she knew that her husband was trying to be supportive of her).

    The protagonists decide to help her by talking to the divinity in charge of disbursing conception dreams (which are apparently dreams that either you or a friend have right before you learn that you and your spouse are going to have a baby). The divinity in question informs the protagonists that the unfortunate couple is going to have to endure at least a few more years of childlessness (it’s not the divinity’s decision; orders are orders). Meanwhile, the divinity is making her rounds, distributing conception dreams to the people on her list. One of those people is a mother to be who is indignant when she learns that the child she’s about to become pregnant with might not be the sex that she wants.

    It’s at times like these that it’s all you can do to not reach your hand through the tv screen and throttle the character in question.

  25. My brother forwarded this Facebook post by Anthony Esolen, who is a classicist (I’m not active in social media). Some of his characterizations of the rioters resonate with Sarah’s post.

    “You can tear down the statue of Teddy Roosevelt, little man, but he will still be Teddy and a man of considerable accomplishments, and you will be as small as ever, and maybe smaller.”

    “There is no bottom to the crater. That’s because the protests are not about the merits or demerits of this or that person honored with a statue. Those can be discussed by reasonable people. The protests are a yawning chasm of ressentiment — and the trigger for ressentiment is the felt inferiority of the person it infects. It can infect otherwise great men: Max Scheler identifies Blaise Pascal and Tertullian as great men of ressentiment: men who hated what they hated more than they loved what they loved. But mostly it is a spiritual poison for people whose inadequacy appears to themselves as irremediable, a nasty trick that nature or history or bad fortune has played on them, and they can’t forget it, they can’t forgive people who are healthy and who are more accomplished than they are. It’s why feminists are often needled by the sight of a big happy family. It’s why many gay men sneer at ordinary people and call them “breeders.” It’s why people who have lost their faith often loathe their former comrades and twist everything they say or do. It’s why the children of famous people sometimes turn viciously and vindictively against their parents.

    “To treat somebody, you have to know what’s making him ill. If you yourself are not actuated by ressentiment, it is almost impossible for you to imagine what it is like to be so moved. You can only observe the phenomenon from the outside. But the person so moved cannot, it seems, be helped by kindness coming from the perceived superior. Nothing of that kind helps. Nor does it help to accede to today’s demands, because the underlying envy remains; kindness often makes the beneficiary hate you all the more. There is no end to it, because there is no achievable and rational goal. The only way to end it is for the person of ressentiment to repent and to embrace an active and humble love. We can help at that, I guess, by doing the same …”

    “We use the word “resentment” to describe what someone feels when he has been taken advantage of, or when he has been treated unfairly by comparison with someone else. RESSENTIMENT as Scheler uses it, taking the cue from Nietzsche, arises when you cannot either forgive the person you believe has wronged you, or strike back in anger, or take swift vengeance. The “wrong” is usually a permanent condition: the person or the persons or the class or the world is superior and you are inferior, and there is nothing you can do about it, though you feel vindictive. You repress the vindictiveness and you become devoured with envy — envy properly speaking, which is the hatred of some good that some other person enjoys. Rancor, the impulse to detract, vindictiveness, and even spite are not yet ressentiment. The latter occurs when you INVERT THE VALUES, saying that the good that you cannot obtain is actually bad or evil, meanwhile elevating your own spitefulness and your condition of inferiority and calling it a virtue. The fox who can’t get the grapes and calls them sour is still not in ressentiment, because he still does want sweet grapes. The man of ressentiment says that sweet grapes are bad and the sour are good…

    “I am afraid that American blacks have been instructed in ressentiment, which is a common enough spiritual malady in a democracy, where people are encouraged to look with suspicion upon excellence. So they have been taught to look down on being studious, calling it “acting white.” Feminists are in the grip of ressentiment, envying and hating the dynamism of masculinity, and seizing upon the examples of bad men to smear masculinity itself as “toxic.” Or they will say that logic itself is “phallocentric,” et cetera. Iconoclasm is often a function of ressentiment — the desire to tear down. Self-styled debunkers are often men of ressentiment; the critic who cannot write the play or act the scene; the pundit of no political accomplishment … People who enjoy the discomfiture of their enemies more than they enjoy the triumphs of their friends, because in fact they have no real friends …”

    1. The short version: losers that hate the world because some people are more successful than they are.

      It doesn’t matter how hard those people worked for their success, and the losers didn’t; they imagine a ‘right’ to equal (or greater!) success, and hate…everybody for cheating them of it!

      1. An ordinary loser gets used to his situation. Probably doesn’t like it, but that’s life, after all.

        Then you have the privileged losers, like the classmate in the fifth grade who just happened to be the principal’s daughter. Didn’t matter what kind of work she did, she always got an “A”. Made a point of making sure everyone else in the class knew.

        Saw her later in junior high, sullen and resentful, on the back row trying to be queen of the spitwad-shooters. She wasn’t going to *work* to get what was obviously her just due, so she had a whole new coterie.

        1. One of the people who cheered about Sakimichan getting cancelled literally complained that Sakimichan should share some of that success with ‘other artists.’

          “WAH PEOPLE LIKE TO BUY HER STUFF MORE THAN MY STUFF SHE NEEDS TO GIVE ME MONEYS TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER.” Effs sake.

  26. So why riot?

    I thought it was perhaps a reaction to things in general.

    The lockdown of COVID and the general pettiness of officials during that.

    For weeks I watched cops turf people out of the park across the road because omg they are sitting on the grass only 20-50 yards apart and the parks are closed. That sort of thing has to cause frustration. Note its just a roadside park perhaps 50 metres deep and 200 metres along the road

    I have heard theories its to make trouble for trump.

    Here in Australia they attached the blm protests to refugee rights. Sorry I feel almost zero sympathy for boat people who have spend 20k+ to ride a boat for a better life in Australia. There are other ways!.

    1. Why riot? The fact it’s worldwide and it makes no sense tells you. It’s organized and paid for by the left, which is losing the argument on every font and is trying to cow us into submission.
      The art destruction is all I addressed here. The rest? Bought and paid for by the international socialists.

      1. They are losing on all fronts but power. But power is the only front they care about. They will gladly lose all else if they keep the power of lies of envy, of ressentiment, of envy and wrath and despair.

        Again, thank you Sarah, for this online -salon-. Thank you for your courage in relating your own faults. Thanks to Noe Valley Bob for a clear description of a deadly evil of the soul.

      2. They are perfectly content to squat on the rubble and rule the ruins. Keyword RULE of course. Leftist attitudes can be perfectly summarized by our good friend Tolkein: “hobbits as miserable slaves would please him far more than hobbits happy and free. There is such a thing as malice and revenge.” With a slight modification of Them for Him, though the sentiment stands.

  27. Not to be crass but many of the protestors appear to be leftover women who missed the husband boat. There really is a noticeable difference in young women these days who have been brought up (or are following their peers) to embark on the career treadmill over establishing families. One sees them jogging everywhere or studying useless disciplines in groups at the coffee shop. After all these years of promoting careerism it is surprising there is no movement to consider the alternative – starting a family early and entering the workforce after children have grown. You can always get a job, but the window for having children is early and brief. Now we see these victims of the career industry hurling themselves at cement statues instead of enjoying children.

    As for the spate of academics publishing anti-racism instructionals it is obvious they are nervous about losing their leftist institution sinecures to the mob and want to make sure they get their anti-racist bona-fides on record.

    1. Are you serious?
      The rioters I’ve seen aren’t career women. Unless the career is “Sit on mom’s couch and pick at zits.”
      (Rolls eyes.)
      I have a ton of different opinions on career vs family and note I voted with my life by sidelining my career to support husband and raise kids. That’s my choice.
      I might also think society needs children and children should be raised by parents, so parents should ensure AT LEAST one of them works from home and can raise them. AND I think EVERYONE who can should at least consider having kids. There are reasons for this too lengthy too go into.
      BUT “Career women” is not a hammer you can apply to every nail, no matter if it’s actually a screw.

    2. They didn’t miss the husband boat; if anything, they’ve been told that A Career (in an approved area) is the only acceptable goal, which feeds into making them such violent losers.

      But it’s not because they’re career women. If they were even trying to be career women, they’d have something to value.

      Instead, they– like the males– have been told all things of value are either worthless or evil; the closest they can come is sex where the promises their bodies make to each other are betrayed as a matter of course, and they’re not even allowed to be upset about that.
      They’re allowed to destroy the acceptable targets, though. So they do. Viciously.

      1. Yeah.

        Acceptable careers for women or ethnic minorities are high status positions that involve education or leadership.

        What personality traits go into making someone who really thrives on putting in the work being successful at those occupations? However you answer, they are not found in all members of any group, male or female, minority or majority. Consider a kindergarten whose teacher is certain that everyone they teach will go on to be a Wallstreet executive, and happy. Cramming a group not sorted for personality into activity suited for a particular type of mind is a recipe for misery and absurdity.

        Even if the personality and activity match well, going into the activity under the influence of someone who understands it so little that they think you just need to show up and get the certification is going to have unfortunate results. You can hold teaching employment by showing up, and getting the credential. That does not describe all jobs.

        If your mind will not thrive on investing emotionally in work, then an environment that tells you that you can only ever be a Career Woman TM is not going to be pointing you in directions that return your emotional investment.

        Even when you are chasing positions that you qualify for, and that would be personality compatible, it is very easy to turn off an employer because you don’t know what you don’t know, and don’t have an overriding interest driving you. Some positions, they look for that overriding interest, because you will put in the extra work that is the difference between success and failure for them.

        When you are doing something wrong, and do not realize what, it is very demoralizing. If you get very unhappy with that, you find yourself looking for something outside to explain things. If you’ve been shortchanged by soft handling, you are going to find yourself reaching for discrimination, even if the real problem is much earlier in the chain of events that led you where you are.

        The facts are: Educators don’t actually know enough about the adult a child will become to sort those adults into suitable occupations. Employers have a number of different problems to solve imperfectly, and can assign the hiring decision to someone who knows the actual duties of the job, to someone who knows how to minimize litigation costs of a hiring decision, or to someone who actually knows the important things about a candidate. (Very rarely do these people overlap. The best outcomes are a small firm that hires someone they already know, or an HR worker who knows superficial details of the job and of the candidates. We should expect outcomes that are a hot mess.) There are likewise serious information problems where the bureaucrats and activists sticking their fingers in the pie are concerned.

        1. Acceptable careers for women or ethnic minorities are high status positions that involve education or leadership.

          Or some sort of star, yes. (sports, TV, famous for being famous….)

          Was going to note that, but then I’d have to explain their ideas of high status, and…yeah, heck with that noise. Summary of not being an Acceptable Choice is enough!

            1. You missed out by not getting to see more of it. And, yes, if you were a young, intelligent social misfit back when that show was on then Daria was probably your spirit animal.

                1. Thank you.

                  I probably won’t, because based on what I noticed then, I would probably spend the whole time going down a checklist of manipulation attempts instead of being able to enjoy it.

                  But thank you very much. It’s good to have the option.

                  1. You’re welcome, but it looks like I was wrong. The first episode is free but trying to look at the others requires logging in with a TV provider service.

                    Just as well you weren’t interested, then.

  28. So you’re saying Harrison Bergeron really is our future-present? Creativity, if allowed at all, must be restrained to avoid offense the the cretins that are set on ruling us…

  29. It wasn’t until your post that I connected the failures of the art world (that is, the 98% of it that’s leftist) with envy, but it fits. And brought me to the moment of realization that that’s how socialism ties in. Socialism declares envy to be the highest virtue, and envy is at the core of the art world these days. It’s all part and parcel of the same devil’s brew.

    1. It’s all envy – the destructive, endlessly hungry evil kind, not the sort that spurs self improvement or creation of one’s own achievements. It’s all wanting what they cannot make and if they can’t have it, it must be destroyed, so nobody can have it, ‘because that is fair.’

  30. Racism against white people gets folks promoted. Saying white people matter / All lives matter gets the speaker and anyone related to them to lose their jobs.

    1. Thank you for that– just shared with Rushbabe49, an old friend I met via Ricochet. She’s in the blob, and is… ah… in the same mental place as that fellow, we’ll say. ^.^

    1. As I said at Herb’s: Why create fantasy races only to insist on strict mappings to real world ethnic groups?

      1. Because SJWs don’t know how to separate reality from fiction. So many of them get so upset at anime art style, wigging out about how it’s secretly pedophile fetish style, but are also the ‘RESPECT NONWHITE CULTURES RAWR’ as if African culture is the only nonwhite one to exist, or Islamic. It’s like there’s a subtle dislike for Asian groups, and weirdly they overlap with the Kpop stans. But at that point really, I expect endless rampant hypocrisy on display. The hypocrisy is about the only constant at all.

      2. To be WOKE.

        There’s also the large set of people who can’t accept fantasy or SF as anything but metaphors for contemporary society and insist that nothing in it exists as itself. (This is why Brave New World and 1984 are the accepted SF classics, they were really about contemporary society.)

        One recalls the literary writer who, after grasping a story of a Mars voyage as a metaphor for isolation and the precariousness of relationships, realized that at a deeper, more subtle level it might even be a story about an actual trip to Mars!
        ― Michael Flynn

      1. Elf and I kinda nuked a younger geek friend, he’s just a bit too young to remember this being done well, in the 90s.

        Dear lord, they didn’t stop at Drizzt, either– there was a not-evil freaking gnoll shaman in one of the books I got at the library! This stuff was done a quarter century ago.
        (I don’t remember much beyond it was kinda boring, if I’d had a stronger emotional attachment to how vicious the gnolls are in a D&D game it would’ve worked better.)

        And then we went into the original source material that D&D stole— uh, was inspired by.

        That’s besides little things like the Drow not being humans-with-melanin black, they’re freaking charcoal black, at least as was pointed out for Drizzt. I seem to remember…. Elaine C, I think she did some books with the tribe of good drow you mentioned, where exposure to sunlight can give them a tan where they look more like, well, human shades that are called black.

        1. I used to have the original publication of ‘Queen of the Demonweb Pits’ as well as the rest of the ‘Against the Drow’ from back in 1st Ed., back when the Drow were mysterious and scary. And incredibly beautiful, which was rare (with notable exceptions; anyone else remember Prydain and Gurgi by Lloyd Alexander?) in fantasy back then. Either you were beautiful and good, or Orc-dipped-in-dog-crap ugly and evil. The Drow were different, and very memorable.

            1. No, no. I meant that Gurgi was a rare example of an ugly good guy, as the Drow were a rare for their time example of evil as beautiful.

        2. TBH, my character avvie wasn’t inspired by AD&D; I based her off of the svartalfs of Norse mythology, but the reading I had of them back then was a bit ambiguous as it seemed that the dark elves and dwarves were different groups entirely (as in, svartalves were darker skinned cousins of the Alfheim, a bit more… neutral, to chaotic neutral if I had to describe their alignment.) This was before the Internet had the tons of pages and sources we have now and all I had to go by were some books I’d read in the library ages ago. So that’s my avatar. Hadn’t even read about Drizzt and only had exposure to Dragonlance at that point, and novels only.

          And yeah, Elaine C did some books…? I think? it’s been a while.

          1. One of the neat things I got from reading the Eddas and some other poetry a few years ago (when there was a lot of stuff online) was the sense of how different the classifications were from the popular culture depictions and even mythology storybooks I’d run into before. I had almost entirely missed the war between the Aesir and the Vanir previously. The Aesir seemed to be distinguished predominantly by living together in a city and paying attention to humans. Certainly a group biological distinction from the giants seemed difficult in a number of cases, aside from less of a predilection for having multiple heads apiece. Idunn of the golden apples may have been a dwarf, or at least had the same father as several of them. Norn (where they weren’t solely the ones equatable to the Greek Fates) and Valkyrie seem in some sources to have been roles open to multiple races — I’m not sure you could be human and a Norn, but I’m pretty sure you could be human and a Valkyrie alongside goddesses, depending on what story you were in….

            …I had fun.

      2. Didn’t FR kill her and most of her followers off in a very poorly received series of books, years ago?

        I seem to recall it happening right before the ninnies redid the Realms for 4th Ed., by turning the good Drow white (well, lighter) after their ‘dirty evil demon blood’ was removed. And the new Realms, which boasted about ‘oh, we’re so DIVERSE!’ Which was done by removing virtually every non-white human ethnicity, culture, and homeland in the game — getting rid of peoples and lands some of us older fans had been begging for more information on, for years!

    2. There was an old usenet post about an alternative Underdark campaign where the surface races became corrupted and evil, and the underdark races were – mostly – good guys. (Mostly: “The Mind Flayers are evil slime balls – always were, always will be.”) The Duck search engine finds an archive here.

      But there’s a huge difference between reimagining drow as good people for a GM’s personal campaign and officially “nuanced” drow for the sake of Political Correctness.

      1. Paper is RRRAAACIIISSST!!! Coal is RRRAAACIIISSST!!! Snow is RRRAAACIIISSST!!! Crows are RRRAAACIIISSST!!! Polar bears are RRRAAACIIISSST!!!

  31. Of training people to be unable to defend their beliefs, because they can’t conceive of anyone who thinks differently and is a good person. To have “forbidden thoughts” means you’re a bad person. Period. There’s no dissension, no debate, no discussion, no exploration.
    Because it’s a cultic religion. It’s not a political movement, nor an intellectual one. It’s a religious one – and a cult at that.

  32. It’s not just envy and anger from an inability to create. It’s also a lack of respect for Other People’s Stuff.

    A third element is the desire to go “Back to Zero,” which is why I’m inclined to call them Zeroists, rather than castrati or gelded or the like. When applied to art, you get “Deadly Geniuses” who others can’t properly imitate, and who end up trashing the field.

    1. It’s not just envy and anger from an inability to create. It’s also a lack of respect for Other People’s Stuff.

      Which– as most philosophically minded parents figure out– is a root foundation for respect, period.

      Not just of other people– but of yourself.

      It’s tied in with responsibility, too, somehow. I haven’t been able to pick it apart, especially not while in motion and when unwilling to break things to test it.

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