Cultural Hold

I think part of the problem with “culture” and understand “culture” is that we cram a bunch of stuff under that poor word.

Like when people say we need to “take back the culture” they mean arts, entertainment, news, the stories, however told and by whatever means, that tell a people what they are; inform each individual what they’re part of, and what role they’re expected to play in society. (Different for everyone, but narrative should play a part in telling us where we can find a role. Roles are important because the human mind compasses millennia, but human life is brief. Part of what is destroying us is that the left has taken away everything humans could with honor consider themselves part of and leave for the future.)

The left meanwhile thinks that culture is food, clothing, language and what kind of music you like to listen to, and quaint holiday celebrations. They then proclaim all cultures the same and all subsumed to the great socialist project, (Workers of the world amalgamate! If you like your quaint sheep eyeballs dish you can keep your quaint sheep eyeballs dish.) or you’re a racist, yo. In that last accusation there’s also the accusation that culture is genetic and cannot be changed. They are in a way right while being so wrong they’re not even wrong. Oh, and at the same time they claim trying to change what they conceive of as culture as being “racist” they try to change deep inlaid culture with governmental, top down regulations and incentives, in their deranged and destructive pursuit of creating the new socialist man. Because consistency happens to other people. Oh, and as people in the EU have found out, no, you can’t keep your quaint sheep eyeballs dish. Okay, I made up the sheep eyeballs, but the socialists of the EU have been almost as crazy in Portugal to the point that you’re now only allowed to celebrate the RELIGIOUS aspects of the Saints “festas” (which happen every weekend somewhere not far off, no matter where you are, from Spring to Fall and which used to be one of the binding points of any community.) and that only until the Covidiocy, of course. The little fairs that used to be held at the same time — since…. well, since written memory. I suspect it was going on before Christianity, for that matter. The fairs sold regional goods, there were booths serving local specialties, and there were toys sold at these fairs that I swear had been made by the same families since the middle ages. I’m willing to grant that roller coasters, little airplane rides, bumper cars and also cotton candy were of much more recent vintage, but I’d also bet you there were fun equivalents before then. And look you, I’m the first person to admit that much of what is traditional in Portugal could benefit from being rubbed down with (boiling) lysol, or at least that’s my kids’ opinion of it. But making the place characterless and bland is not in anyone’s best interest, and in my opinion is the cause of “people forgot how to make babies.” (More on that later.)

The problem of cultures is that though we know they change and adapt, we have no idea how to do that to them intentionally. The left THINKS they know how to do that, but they also think humans are infinitely plastic, so you now, they are, what is that word? Oh, yeah, idiots.

The other problem of cultures is that to study them you need accurate recordings done at least week to week, moment to moment being better, and you need to be able to catalogue all the influences on a given culture, and what caused it to go this way or that.

If we had a time machine, or at least a time scope, and also AIs with infinite time and patience, then sociology could become an actual science.

As is, we can study certain aspects of culture with relative clarity from a certain point on. Like, say, from the 1700s. Most of what we can study with no prejudice are physical and economic conditions. And even those, you have to cut through the modern interpretations, mostly Marxist and crazy and go back to the raw numbers. For instance, Dickens — and Marx — howled about the dark satanic mills, and people talk about how WWI destroyed the working class in Europe. But if you actually read contemporary records, or look at similar processes in the world now, you find that the industrial revolution lifted people out of the direst poverty and expanded their horizons, and that — you don’t have to go very far, read Agatha Christie — the complaints of the upper class about the lower classes post WWI is that those dang peasants were no longer willing to go into domestic service for a crust of bread and a corner of the kitchen to sleep in, but were scarpering to the city for factory and shop jobs. Which btw, is a complaint of the upper classes going back to the industrial revolution.

There’s other and more inescapable records: like the fact that people grew more, fatter babies to adulthood. And famines slowly vanished from the west unless brought on and caused by gross governmental malfeasance.

I mean, in historical terms, everyone has been fat, lazy and decadent since America’s settling, at least.

Look, part of why I object to that “good times makes soft men” is because…. How do you tell? No, seriously. Yeah, no. Military enlistment is not a good measure, because we can’t tell why people aren’t joining the army. Sure, it could be because they’re soft pansy-asses. And you’ll find documents saying exactly that.

But here’s the problem: we don’t know why people stop enlisting. I can give you some clues, though. For instance, I’d bet you right now enlistment numbers and quality are falling. Like as of RIGHT this year.

Is it because the amount of soy in our food increased drastically? Or because we’re all so fat and calm and happy?

Well, no. It’s because no one would trust Joe Biden not to send their sons and daughters to fight on the side of the enemies of civilization. And that’s without counting intolerable impositions on the beliefs of the troops, and all sorts of violations of people’s ability to simply be and serve. Which anyone sane can see are starting and already on the menu. In fact, I’ve heard more than one person who’s served with honor and is close to retirement saying that they don’t advise anyone to enlist right now.

But let the left win (They won’t. Please, stop posting walls of text in the comments saying that sure, commies can totes feed themselves and build a thousand years of communism, because it’s bullshit. At best they can take civilization down to the neolithic, and I suspect that’s only in local areas. They don’t understand either human psychology or economics, and economics is a stone cold bitch) and history books in a hundred years will talk about how the decadence and soft living of capitalism took America down, and look, their own sons weren’t willing to defend her.

We can’t know. History is mostly written by twits, and mostly by upper class twits, and often by twits with an ax to grind.

Yes, we all laugh at the complaints from the Romans yelling about how people were decadent because life was too soft. We should. Only the uppermost crust had a soft life. Trust me on this, because I lived in what amounted to Roman culture with a few 19th century refinements, and life is only soft if you think that having to go outside to the bathroom night or day, or live with excrement in a pot under the bed is “soft”; that having to wash your clothes by hand on stone, winter or summer is “soft” and that growing most of what you eat is soft.

Now, thanks to the magic of antibiotics, I didn’t lose as many classmates as mom did, and I guess compared to grandma, who grew up in much tougher times, or even dad, who describes days of “vegetable soup” as the only food, we had it “decadently easy.”

But I think we’re conflating things that have nothing to do with one another. Starving and lacking the werewithal to live; surviving on crusts of bread and having to hoard rags so you don’t freeze, etc. etc. don’t make people strong. Physically they make them small and measurably dumber. And emotionally, it seems to mostly breed serfs.

Yeah, I know “the frontier.” Yes, people at the frontier underwent all those hardships, and it did breed a strong generation or two. But you have to look at that as most of them CHOSE to undergo those hardships. As we saw with the expansion west, in almost living memory, that makes a big difference.

Someone who has more time and has the ability to spend years on the project should sift between colonies created by force — like when they swept London of whores, beggars, travelers and criminals and shipped them to West Virginia, of all places — and those that came willingly and paid to come, and compare the outcomes, both in intangibles (“How are their descendants doing today?”) and in sheer numbers. How many died? How many survived? How productive were those who survived. Even in a country as modern and documented as America, this might be almost impossible to figure out though. Why? Mobility. And people lying. A lot of people lying.

So, while my opinion is just my opinion, and it might actually be impossible to verify — though you can probably “prove” it to the degree that anything of the sort can be proven, absent magic, or a way to see into the past or parallel words. I mean, I could probably have proven it, if I’d been chasing numbers and writing down exact facts for all the decades I’ve spent reading history books. Alas, I haven’t — I’d like to suggest that cultures have a life of their own, and that they react almost like living organisms.

While changing cultures is possible for individuals or small groups, it gets harder the larger the group is, because it’s then more of a self-actuated organism.

And I know I’m explaining this badly, okay. But I’ve undergone culture change, voluntarily, on purpose, on my own. For the individual acculturating feels like going insane, and being asked to do it twice in a life time would probably drive the most grounded of individuals nuts. Unless, of course, the incentive were massive. And even then, they might just pretend. Yes, I have seen (am related to) emigrants who returned and integrated (sort of) in the life of the “motherland.” But I don’t think they’d ever really acculturated besides trying some new foods, learning the language, and maybe wearing their clothes differently. Most of them emigrated as family groups and with intention of returning. (You can tell when people return “before the kids marry in the new country.”) Even then, I’ve been there for some odd and bizarre cultural stutters that they stumble upon without meaning to.

Anyway, you can do it alone. You can even do it as a family, if you decide you’re really going to do it. A lot of people who came here between and after the long war of the 20th century did just this: “We speak English” and “We’ll celebrate the holidays of the new country” and “We’ll fit in as well as we can, even if we really can’t.”

You can do it as a village. Sort of. I’m told that entire Italian (or Irish) villages emigrated en-masse and colonized blocks of New York City. But in that case the culture will change very slowly, and only to the extent young ones move away and marry outside the community. And even then it will take some generations. (And this is why there is no ethnographic difference between mass immigration and invasion, and why we still don’t know if there was actually an “invasion” of the Western Empire of Rome, or a fast trickle of barbarians moving in. Look, yes, I’ve seen the paintings, but I’ve also read the “overwhelmed by mass immigration” books. And, lacking a time machine, I can’t tell you what the truth was, but it could be either or both.)

Things will survive, still, in family culture. And hear me, I don’t mean cute clothing and great food. Only the left thinks anyone would mind that. I mean ways of speaking, and ways of emoting, and what you do when the worst/best happens. For instance, for some reason my husband had no idea he had any German blood. I knew he did, because one of his ancestresses was runaway Pennsylvania Dutch. (She had the same name I did before I changed mine, so MIL told me about her.) But in the …. ah strange constructions that MIL would inflict on English and passed on to my husband, you could still see the German influence. Also in diet and a dozen other habits. My host family was of Italian ancestry, and trust me, even though their parents tried to raise them with no trace of Italian culture, when they got to arguing you’d hear it. And see it. My kids don’t speak a word of Portuguese (okay, maybe a dozen words, mostly swearing. I have a foul mouth when I burn/cut myself in the kitchen) but if you see them arguing, they do not sound like normal Americans, much less like his dad’s Connecticut ancestry. In fact, I used to be afraid the neighbors would think a knife fight was about to break out and call the police. And as we tell older son every day and twice on Sunday “if you’re going to be that fatalistic, make your grandparents happy and learn to sing fados.” (To be fair, he’s very good at singing the blues.)

But those survivals are small and on the whole unimportant, because by all major measures (and it would take a whole other post or ten for me to explain this) we are still an “English” culture, possibly more English than England (which makes perfect sense, when you consider that colonies are always more conservative than the mother land. In fact, that’s how you determine which is a colony and which is the mother land if you find them as shards in the archeological record. And by “conservative” in this case you should read “faithful to the fundamentals of the culture.” For instance, the English tend to be king-killers. The French did it once and got a bad rep, but the English do it cyclically. And we seem to have inherited that.)

Of course, make the mass immigration mass enough and it’s an invasion.

And interesting things happen in invasion.

Look, it’s possible in the future we’ll discover that “culture” is just as much part of being human as the fauna and flora in our gut is part of us being human. This being the case, and culture being very difficult (though not impossible, particularly for individuals) to change, how did we come this far from the fertile crescent, or Gobleki Teppi, or whatever far, far location you choose?

Well, mostly there’s a cultural evolutionary process, known as war, conquest and survival of the fittest culture. (Not without survivals, just like you still have a photo-sensor under the bones of your skull. But that doesn’t affect you, and doesn’t wreck your chances of survival.) I mean, after Romans, Germans, Franks, Moors, Crusaders, Franks again the area of Portugal I come from still celebrates St. John with bonfires and merry making on the street, and in fact reading of the habits in certain areas of England/Ireland makes me giggle. Oh, and the fairy tales, the really old ones where the moral is murky? Are the same in Ireland and the North of Portugal. I’m not saying every contact leaves a trace. But I’m saying when cultures collide, the one that loses still passes a little bit to the future. Mostly through the women.

Look, most of those things we associate with “decadence” mostly because we compare it to the decadence of Rome have zero to do with how hard or soft life is. What they have to do with is the culture having lost confidence. Either because they’ve been “conquered” physically or intellectually.

If you think about it, the evolutionary process for the culture to be taken over by the one that proved itself superior by winning the war (more on how that’s been corrupted, later) is beautiful. Most of the men died in the war, of course. What comes after is that most women become sluts and men become drunkards (or gay. Or bi. Or whatever means they’re not fighting the invaders.) In a generation or two, all the kids are the kids of the invaders, and though the mothers might have taught them one or two words of the old culture, some fairytales, and maybe some songs (which sometimes survive in girl children longer) the culture has BECOME the winning culture.

Now in Rome, arguably, they’d been intellectually conquered by Greece oh, and Egypt and heaven knew what else. Or at least their elites were as oikophobic as ours. So their elites at least behaved like a conquered culture. Hence “decadence.”

On the ground? The people? Depends. I think in urban areas, with a high influx of mass immigration, the story the people told themselves about themselves became incoherent long before the “fall” and caused some of the same issues. In the far flung colonies? Well, let’s say there’s some debate on whether Rome fell. My dad, if you catch him unawares, still defines himself by the culture of the Roman Republic, at least as understood and transmitted over the centuries. (SO sanitized, btw. Going through the Pompei exhibit, it was like Portugal when I grew up, but sexually insane. I mean, who the heck has a painting of children being screwed by monkeys in the living room. Outside our wealthiest elites, that is? So, in case you wonder, yes Christianity does make a difference.)

We’re kind of experiencing that, because our “elites” that control the mass media have been conquered by socialism for 100 years. Which is why we’re bearing a lot of the markers of a conquered culture, but honestly? It’s not how well we live. It’s the fact we’re being told to deny everything we think/feel/the way we do things in favor of the conquering culture.

And yeah, socialism can survive for a while. Though it too, like the terminal form — communism — can’t really feed itself/create anything. Without an America to cannibalize, Europe would be a lot poorer/more f*cked up. But still, they are, par excellence, the “conquered culture” with all the syndrome. Oh. One thing I didn’t add: if the men aren’t all dead, birth rate (and marriage rate) plummets. It did so even before contraceptives, and no one knows why. It’s possible there was rampant infanticide. Or that it’s some psychological mechanism that turns off fertility.

Again, look, when cultures clash the normal thing is for one of them to become non-functional and become subsumed to the “winning” culture.

Which is why socialists/statists are playing with fire. Let’s face it, even here, for 100 years, people have tried to impose cultural attitudes/deep beliefs/ways of living from above, and change them arbitrarily. (And for the mentally handicapped, no I’m not talking of the civil war. I’m talking since the beginning of the twentieth century with the mentality that we could have “scientific” governance. People were yanked about on what to eat, when to sleep, what to do. And mass media facilitated massive distribution of these decrees from on high, that applied to the most minute parts of individual life.)

I think our back brains understand that as “We were invaded, it’s time to die.”

To the extent America has a fighting chance at all, it is because we’ve always been fairly contrary and because the blogsphere gave us the ability to know we’re not alone.

And the problem with letting the “top down” culture win, is that socialism is death, either fast or slow. It’s “being invaded” forever, and just causes people to give up and die.

That’s what we’re facing. That’s what we’re up against. They can’t win in the sense of “last” but they can win in the sense of destroying human civilization more utterly than the imagined apocalypse of nuclear war.

And this ladies and gentlemen is why the idea if we just endure hard times we’ll emerge stronger p*sses me off. I don’t think those two things are even on the same axis. Correlation is not causation.

I also don’t know if there is some relation to fast rate of change and “symptoms of decadence”. It’s possible we’re changing our environment too fast for even us. Note that what I said above about clash of cultures seems to be designed to minimize the time of instability and achieve a new normal. That might not be possible with constant innovation and change, even if good. And no, I don’t know what that does to the back brain or the culture.

Frontier societies are a whole other ball of wax, and self-select to a great extent. Do we need one? Probably. Heinlein thought we did, and who am I to argue. (Also biologically all organisms extend their range or die.)

However the decadence imposed by seeming arbitrary dictats from above, about which the individual can do nothing will get in the way of our next leap to the frontier, because that one needs civilization and scientific knowledge.

So, let’s concentrate on what needs to change, and what needs to stop. And if y’all want to make it to the stars, that is certainly not “comfort” or “ability to treat diseases” or “babies growing to adulthood” or “people being largely well fed.”

What needs to change is us being treated like a conquered people. And responding like one.

The so called elites are stupid. The system they want to impose doesn’t work and has never worked elsewhere. Their claim of being “scientific” should (if nothing else, and you weren’t paying attention before) in 2021 be laughed out of the public square.

Let’s tell them where to put it.

452 thoughts on “Cultural Hold

  1. For the individual acculturating feels like going insane

    Yes. Yes it does.

    A lot of people who came here between and after the long war of the 20th century did just this: “We speak English”

    I’ve probably said this before, but….

    I know why people forbade speaking the Old Language on coming here, but the deliberate destruction of knowledge it still pisses me off to no end.

    just like you still have a photo-sensor under the bones of your skull


    (ob: There isn’t anything under my skull!)

    1. Deliberate destruction of knowledge is part and parcel of the effort to achieve 1984’s Oceania. They need to create a society of the ignorant to achieve their goal of perpetual totalitarian rule.

      1. I’m talking about the deliberate destruction of knowledge when a family forbids their children from speaking a language they know in order to assimilate.

        1. Well — If people were already bilingual in English and Gaelic when they came, they often kept it for a while. But raising bilingual kids is difficult and takes a lot of mental energy. A lot of people just say the heck with it, and try to get their kids a native US accent. Heck, they want one for themselves.

          There’s also a lot of sad memories tied to the Gaelic, in a lot of cases. So it was easier to put it aside and forget.

          That said, the “progressive” French attitude that you should only have one language per country also influenced a lot of teachers and parents.

          1. I have a friend who is an American of Spanish heritage (her words, NOT Latino, Latina. latinx, hispanic, Mexican-American, etc.) Her family was upper class Hacienda types when California was still a colony of Spain. Still living in Southern California. Still speaking among the family the purest Castilian Spanish. They tried to put her children in a “bilingual, bicultural” program in LA schools. She hit the roof. “No way. You’ll be teaching them that dirty gutter Mexican.” The school administration started having the conversation with her using the “Spanish speaking” staff. She refused to understand them. “Speak English, that’s the language of this country!” They speak Castilian in the private parts of their house – bedrooms, upstairs family room, etc. and English in the public parts of the house. living room, dining room, kitchen, downstairs den, etc. Her kids code shift between languages and cultures without clashing any gears.

            1. My dad moved to Bakersfield, CA in 1944 as the last of the Okies — his dad had been an itinerant coal miner who got a wartime job in the oil fields — and picked up Spanish, as he put it, “from beer commercials”. And then he presumably got lots of practice working around town and in the oil fields himself.

              Several years later, at Stanford, he went to a party at the Spanish House (pure book/Cathtilian Ethpanith, doncha know), and the students there said “why, L.C., you sound just like a Mexican!” Pop thought that was a compliment on the authenticity of his accent until they told him, “no, that means you sound like a hick.”

              (Speaking of which, I work with Spanish speakers from all over the world, including Spain, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, and the Mexican accent really is much more nasal than other varieties. Speedy Gonzalez is a stereotype, but one with a basis in reality.)

              1. Oh, yes – indeed, I ran into this when I was stationed in Spain for six years. The difference between correct Castilian Spanish, with the lisp and all, and the Aragonese accent added on top is all the difference between hick Southern and educated upper-class cut-glass British English with a slight regional twist. Our admin troop at the detachment was Hispanic, from New Mexico, and he was extremely reluctant to speak his version of Spanish to the locals, for that exact reason.

                1. Read somewhere that the Castilian lisp came about as an affectation due to some royal with a lisp; no idea if it’s true. Definitely don’t hear it much from Mexicans, tho.

                  And then there’s this guy, from up in the Basque Country… I had all sorts of trouble training my ear to halfway understand him (doesn’t help that my schoolbook Spanish has all but rusted away).

                  1. The Spanish king with a lisp is just a myth. Mexicans LOVE making fun of it though, but can you blame us? They sound both silly and snooty. Like Daffy Duck trying to sound like he’s Prince Charles or something.

                    1. True (LOL, great description) … but you lot stick all your words together so no one else can tell where one ends and the next begins! 😛

                  2. I doubt it. Turns out I have a lot of Castilian blood through dad. (Oh, please, don’t mention it near my parents. WWIII starts immediately.) Another thing dad’s family has is a mouth formation that makes it impossible not to lisp. Mine is moderate. Older son’s is amazing. The school wanted to put him in speech therapy and the speech therapist said short of breaking and resetting his jaw, it wouldn’t help. We declined. He learned to moderate it, by using some weird mouth positions for some sounds. Younger son has it too, so strong genetics.
                    My guess is that’s what set it.

                    1. Making it that much more likely that someone influential had it. No reason both can’t be true.

                      Likewise, I’d rather talk a little weird than have my jaw rearranged. And how do you know that’s not how we’re =supposed= to talk? It’s those other blokes with the impractical jaws making funny noises. 😛

                      Do you naturally say “wash” or “warsh” ?? I’ve noticed this is an inherited tendency, and some experimentation indicated that it’s most likely because shape of jaw and palate and associated muscles makes it easier to say “warsh”. (Takes significantly less effort.)

                    2. Warsh.

                      I have to make an effort to say it as Wash.

                      Good to know I’m not the only one.

                    3. Warsh. So much shit is given. I blame mum, who grew up in PDX, and she blames her father who grew up poor as hell in Sherwood.

                    4. The “warsh/wash” thing is in my experience an upper Midwest/upper Mountain thing, extending from Minnesota all the way to eastern Warshington, er, Washington.

                      My tell for middle-Midwest/middle-Plains is “athuhlete” for “athlete”.

                    5. Wash.

                      But I can say ‘warsh’ for effect if there’s a reason to.

                      The longer I use language, the more I value accurate usage. If speaker and listener do not agree on word usage, they do not communicate. They wind up yelling different languages at each other.

                      Like us and Leftroids. They use words that sound just like English words, but do not mean what they think they mean.

                    6. Both of my parents grew up in the Chicago area. I *think* Dad’s parents did, too, but getting that information is close to impossible now. Mom’s father was born near Copenhagen, her mother near Souix Falls, IA.


                    7. We’ve had this discussion before, and the Dayton area is all about alternating wash and warsh in the same sentence. Because the rest of you just don’t use the full flavor of the language! Ha! And everybody does it, and it tends to override black dialects, southern dialects, etc. Only people who actively fight it seem to avoid it. And it also applies to pronunciations of Washington.

                      So nope, not genetic. Although kids can give it to their parents.

                    8. In my little corner of southwestern Pennsylvania, we have Pittsburghese, named after the city of Pittsburgh, of course, but very widely scattered throughout the area. There have been tongue-in-cheek books written about how certain words are pronounced in this variety of English, and it is apparently a historical mashup of the Scotch-Irish who settled in the area first, followed by the Pennsylvania Dutch, which is actually German (Deutch corrupted to Dutch) and the millions of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe (Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Czechs, Carpatho-Rusyn, a good number of Lebanese and Syrians, etc.). So especially with older Pittsburghers, you’ll hear “worsh” for “wash” and my favorite, “dahntahn,” for downtown. I always crack up when I hear in my mind that Petula Clark song: “When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go … dahntahn.” 🙂

                  3. Heck, I learned Spanish the first time in Miami in the early seventies, second time in a class in the late eighties in Massachusetts. Cuban, Puerto Rican, Guatamalan, no problem. Mexican? Que? Hells’ own time understanding that accent.

                2. The Spanish I learned as a child in Spain (Dad was on a field engineering assignment for a defense contractor) was an odd mix of Castilian from the tutor my mother hired for me and my sister, and the Valencian my Spanish friends spoke. For those who don’t know, Valencian Spanish was regarded as the language of the wrong side of the tracks. The mad mix drove all my high school Spanish teachers (who learned their Spanish in South America) a little crazy, and 20 years later completely baffled the local team in a Mexican factory when, after a week of immersion, the language came back to me and I started answering questions in my version of Spanish.

              2. I have a friend from Madrid who is horrified that her son has traces of an Argentine accent from his father, Mexican would send her into orbit. It really annoyed her that Mexican is the “prestige” accent because of the number of people who watch the Mexican soap operas. She used to make fun of me because my Spanish accent was essentially Puerto Rican with a nasal tone picked up from the Mexican sports announcers on the old UHF station. What little Italian I speak is essentially working class Neapolitan since that’s what I heard growing up. In the same way, British officers in the Raj spoke Urdu with a peasant accent since they only spoke it to their soldiers.

                Story about Neapolitan. There was a piece out about a writer in DC whose friend from back in the Midwest was visiting. They went to a sandwich place but the writer panicked because they were serving capicola and his rube friend wouldn’t know what that was. One of my workmates was tee heeing telling me this story about rubes from the Midwest and I asked him what capicola was — I know exactly what it is one of my best friend’s family owned a pork store. He gave me this piece about it being posh Italian cured meat. I said “oh, you mean gabagool, that’s just Salami, what’s the problem.”

                  1. Ah, but you’re not a DC sophisticate who’s ashamed of being from back home. On the other hand, I’m from NYC born and raised so DC us just another hick town to me. drives them nuts.

            2. I once worked at a company with several folks from Japan, Korea, Cambodia and the Philippines. They all had trouble communicating with each other, but not with native American English speakers. They couldn’t understand each other’s accents, and complained about it.

              At least there wasn’t anybody from Texas. 😛

              1. One of my favorite anecdotes about English is the one of the American at the Helsinki airport who ended up translating between a German traveler and a Finnish customs officer: neither could understand each other’s English, but they could both understand the American.

                1. Snort. I did German in high school, and on my Girl Scout/youth hostel/EuroPass tour of Europe in 1970, I made the interesting discovery in my halting attempts at German that Luxembourgians could understand me, but I couldn’t understand them, and I could understand Austrians, but they couldn’t understand me.
                  And when I began working Vietnamese refugee resettlement five years later, in talking with Vietnamese who spoke English, I could hear the faint ghost of the regional accent of whoever they had learned English from. Another fifteen years after that — another broadcaster at AFKN-Seoul and I had an off-site job recording audio lessons for a spoken English-language course for Koreans wishing to learn English. We knocked ourselves out, speaking every word correctly, and fortunately neither of us had a detectable regional accent. (The military broadcaster school selected against anyone with such, back in the day, save a couple of speakers whom they thought they could train out of it as an object lesson. Strong regional accent – a barrier to understanding spoken words, dontchaknow. I came into that school with a decided English accent/Mid-Atlantic accent, but I had perfect diction, or so said the resident voice coach; the most accomplished verbal sadist I had ever met until that time.)

                  1. I read an article years ago about a training center that took people wanting to work in voice media and eliminated their accents. When I still watched the Fake News, this was evident. Whether from the Bronx, or Atlanta, or the West Coast – just about all of them sounded the same.

                    1. I expect they wouldn’t have to work nearly as hard anymore. Regional accents are largely becoming a thing of the past, as they flatten out to Network Standard and a sort of non-specific “country” accent. In the last five years or so, it’s stuck out as unusual for anybody to have a pronounced regional accent of any type, especially the non-elderly.

                    2. balzacq,

                      I had a friend who married a girl from Boston. The vast majority of the time she had no noticeable accent, but once, she described someone as “Not exactly Hahvahd material.” And then she was back to her usual, indistinguishable from anywhere else speech. But for that one word, she was so stereotypically Bostonian that I wondered if she was affecting it.

                    3. Like the Canadian “aboot.” Dead giveaway.

                      In England they’ve replaced “BBC English” with regional accents. But in the South most media is still mostly free of regional accents. In fact that seems more widespread, at least in Texas and Kentucky where I live.

                    4. I never really hear the “aboot” (more like “aboat”, really) except from older Canadians.

                      For me the tipoff is “sorey” for “sorry”, which seems to be persisting even among the young.

                    5. My mother was from New Hampshire but had only traces of an accent after living in California and Alaska before I was born. My aunt-by-marriage, though, had the full “pahk yeh cah in Hahvahd Yahd” Boston accent (which is subtly different from the South Boston accent, at least as far as I could tell from the couple of Southies at my college). I think it’s why I enjoy “This Old House” so much. 😀

                  2. When I began teaching at a Vietnamese university I couldn’t understand their “English” — even for the English teachers! After a few weeks I learned “Vietnamese English” and all was well. They teach English in Vietnamese!

                2. I once did simultaneous English to English translating between Glasgow and Brooklyn. It was surreal.

                  1. Once met a very old black man who spoke … well, it sounded like English, but I couldn’t understand a word of it. His somewhat younger friend had to translate. Guessing his native tongue was Gullah.

                    There’s an amusing video of a multi-nation conference where Putin took over when the German translator couldn’t keep up.

                  2. My husband often has to translate for me. I can’t for the life of me understand SOME accents in combination with some voices. I DO have mid-range hearing loss.

                    1. It’s not just accent. A lot of the time, all I get are random words and animal noises.

                      The expensive hearing aids didn’t help at all. It turned out the reason I was having trouble understanding some people was that they weren’t speaking English, just some slobbergobble that wasn’t even consistent.

              2. I worked for the US subsidiary of a French company for a while. When visiting the home office in France, I sometimes found that adopting an Inspector Clouseau accent made my native US English easier for them to understand.

              3. I was once the referee and interpreter between the Hardware Lead Engineer (Chinese) and the Software Lead Engineer (Indian) when they got into a screaming match about who was to blame for a major project being seriously delayed. I was the referee and interpreter because I could understand both of them, but they couldn’t understand each other (and nor could anyone else)

                1. (and nor could anyone else)

                  A team at my company that is in charge of recommending software architecture solutions and creating shared components has an annoying habit of assigning whichever engineer has the most impenetrable accent to make the presentation. And since these are (even pre-pandemic) always video conferences, we can’t even watch them gesture or try to read lips.

            3. I’m Mexican and I loathe the word Latinx and firmly believe the “let’s teach kids in a non English language so we feel good about themselves while trapping them in a liguistic ghetto” is an abomination. Good on this lady, even if her Spanish is lispy and snotty-sounding 🙂

              1. I think that the root of this is lefties not understanding diversity. Everything is an undifferentiated category to them and the fact that people from (eg.,) Latin America might have different accents and attitudes toward these accents entirely escapes them. They’re all very provincial.

                It’s even better is when they think they get it. Jemisin thinks she’s clever about the Lenape in her city spirit we became thing missing entirely that the Lenape probably thought they really put one over on the Dutch since the Lenape didn’t “own” Manhattan Island, a group of the Munsee with a, to me, unpronounceable name controlled most of it. That the Indians on Manhattan island might not be an undifferentiated mass completely escapes her. That they actually had agency would probably horrify her.

                1. “I think that the root of this is lefties not understanding diversity. Everything is an undifferentiated category to them ”

                  That’s EXACTLY how they think. If you’re mixed race they tend to just lump you in with your darkest ancestors (ironically that descends from the one drop rule, but in their mind that’s doing you a favor because now you’re part of the oppressed elect). I once tried to educate my friend about the changing dynamics of the southwest in history, Utes and Navajos loathed each other and loved selling eat other’s kids into slavery to the Mexicans. But they made war on the Mexicans just as much, and looked down upon them as stupid weaklings it was fun to steal livestock from. This only needed when the US swept in and forcibly stopped all the slaving and feuding. She didn’t get it at all. Mexicans and Natives are both brown people so they should have stood up to the evil imperialistic whites right? And only black people were slaves of the same evil white people weren’t they? God I pity her.

                  1. If I recall this discussion came about of her admiring a video of a a Native American guy (or someone who claimed to be Native American) taunting some anti-open borders protestors with the usual “when’re you going back to Europe” I critisised this because Native Americans were pretty much the last people to hold up as a good argument for unfettered immigration. She didn’t get it. I pointed out that the nicest thing native peoples north of the Rio Grande ever called Mexicans was “Our stock keepers” (i.e. Mexicans had a lot of good horses and sheep and cattle and women and children to carry off.) And this would still be going on without the US expanding westward and making everybody (eventually) equally citizens under the law. She still didn’t get. She went to the exact same school as me from fifth to twelve grade. (Which is why were still sort of friends then) Maybe because I read absolutely everything I could get my hands on and decided trade school was a better choice the Victims Studies, and she, well, didn’t.

                    1. TBF most “Native Americans” (AKA Amerindians. they’re more native than anyone else. There were people here before them.) are MOSTLY white. What happened to them is that they got genetically swamped.
                      But little twattwaffle doesn’t get that either.

                    2. We spent a day in Tahlequah (capital of the Cherokee Nation) and visited the cultural center. They had put up a good-sized replica of a pre-white village, complete with a palisade well over six feet high. My husband asked if it was to protect them from other tribes and got an earnest, “Oh, no, it was to protect against wild animals.” My beloved muttered something about, “Yeah, tell me another one, this thing was never designed to keep wolves and bears out, it’s to keep Creek and Seminole and other civilized tribes out.” (The Cherokee being one of the Five Civilized Tribes).
                      The terribly earnest white couple with us nodded in complete agreement. But I noted the docents volunteered to be in our photograph, not with them.

                    3. Of course, the attacks from the other civilized tribes might have been reprisals after attacks on them by the Cherokees. [Crazy Grin]

                    4. I’ve seen a cartoon contrasting a caricatured Native American welcoming European incomers and some redneck telling an immigrant to go home…. I am pretty sure it was trying to say it’s hypocritical to oppose illegal immigration, but I badly wanted to ask the artist which situation they are saying was a good thing…

                2. Everything is an undifferentiated category to them

                  Which is really stupid even for them. If you have something that looks undifferentiated and lacking in structure you haven’t looked closely enough.

                  Take a quiescent glass of water. Nothing going on right? Put a drop of ink or food coloring in and you will see just how complex it is.

                  1. Take an innocent-looking glass of water and tap the edge. It might suddenly freeze (supercooled) or boil explosively (superheated). You can’t tell its nature just by looking at it.

                    Somebody I know went off about Tucker Carlson, called him a racist fascist liar and so on.

                    “Have you ever watched an episode of Tucker Carlson, the most popular show on any news channel since they dumped Lou Dobbs?”

                    “Of course not! Why would I watch that !$#!#*@*#^%(!&?”


                    1. “Why should I try to understand them when I KNOW they are all white supremacists?”

                    2. This has been the attitude among the Left since at least 2002, and they have made it more and more plain ever since.

                      This is why it doesn’t matter whether conservatives will tolerate them; they are not going to tolerate us. They hate us, they want us enslaved and then dead, and the only remaining question is how many enslaved or dead will we allow them before fighting back?

                1. “It’s perfectly okay to talk to SPaniards. Just have an umbrella on hand.” 😂 *Laughs in Mexican*

                  My mom (whose first language is Mexican Spanish) once said, “I can understand the Portuguese but they sound very Frenchy to me.” Still trying to figure that one out.

                    1. I once had an instructor who grew up in Egypt. To me, he sounded like he a bit of a German accent. I still wonder if that’s something carrying over from his first language, or the result of his English teacher(s).

                  1. More Italian, actually.
                    I understand Spanish PERFECTLY but most Spanish speakers can’t understand Portuguese. Which is annoying as heck.

                    1. Once at our local bookstore these two Italians were arguing loudly (big shock right?) and we started started blantanly listening in. One caught on and looked us over and said to the other “we better be careful these two speak Spanish.” We burst out laughing.

            4. They tried to put MY kids in bilingual education. In Spanish, natch.
              Older son is so patient and good he didn’t tell me for two weeks, until I caught him crying (kindergarten) because he hadn’t understood a word at school for two weeks.
              Then I descended on them like the wrath of Sarah. And I told the kids I wanted to know the minute the school did that.
              It still took …. five? six more times, and finally telling them that their cultural insensitivity was insulting. My people FOUGHT the Spaniards.
              Then it stopped.

          2. There are always going to be sad memories tied to our native tongue. Even if all the provinces are An Gaelteacht, we will till remember the hedge schools and the deaths because of the language.

        2. Much of the “old” knowledge is not only not useful in the new world, it is ballast deterring assimilation and thus costs more than its value. Assimilation is hard ad those who would succeed must travel light. The trails across the Great Plains and the Rockies are littered with the household goods people had to abandon en route because their burden would have prevented the crossing, dooming them to die midway.

          1. it is ballast deterring assimilation

            As I said; I know why it was done.

            But I’m still going to grouse at the destruction. That it was necessary does not make it Good, it just makes for the least Evil of the available options.

          1. Oh!

            Um, nothing? Both sides of the family had been native for a few generations. Only foreign connection I know of is ~3 generations back there is some segment that visits from Germany every decade. But “I know of” is the operative word here as I know almost nothing about extended family.

            As for assimilation, due to [long extended reasons that would take days to explain even if this were a private forum] we if anything sort of de-assimilated.

  2. In my own view what we see as culture, and I know that word has definitions that encompass almost everything in human life, is passed on by the interactions we have in childhood which impart, implant, emotional reactions which fit with the older others we grow up around. That it is a natural thing which fits the individual more or less into the group they are growing up around.

    Changing this original culture that one acquires in childhood is done by the method that could be described as, “you become what you do.” Much of the self-betterment programs work this angle. “I wish to be a good husband therefore I should act like a good husband and over time I will become that and no acting the part will be required.

    What I see the Left doing in the schools is trying to impose a new culture upon young people using carrot and stick to get them to react emotionally as the Left wants. This is an artificial “culture” which has to remain in a bubble because the real world will break it if it seeps in.

    I am pressed for time today, and a poor typist, so this is written before reading too far into the post so I may be shown as a fool by something I missed. But I’ve been a fool before.

    1. I don’t hink what you say is incompatible with my impression, or what Sarah said here.

      1. Oh, and speaking of infrastructure and spending $6T on it… occurs to me the randomness of the numbers (200B for this, 300B for that, where’s the budget??) is not only crony-payoffs, but also *deliberately* spending the U.S. into catastrophic financial collapse, because China wants it that way. Been a number of these “sounds like China suggested it” lately on that front. Well, easy solution. Borrow it all from China, and renege on the debt.

  3. The late David Yeagely wrote a fascinating and sad article about America’s women, (especially it’s white women) and how “their hearts are on the ground”. Can’t find it now but I’m sure it’s still out there.

    1. I used to look forward to David Yeagely’s essays at David Horowitz’s sites; he was one who understood cultural war and kept the Comanche’s view of respect for the warrior.

  4. Of course, there’s the “respect my culture” nonsense that is said when some jerk is called on being a jerk. (IE he claims that his actions/speech are part of his culture.)

    I think the reaction to that sort of “respect my culture” nonsense should be “in my culture I get to beat up on jerks and you’re acting like a jerk”. 😈

    1. “Let us all act according to our national customs,” as Napier put it…

  5. As you note, people won’t be able to keep their sheep eyeballs. And fortunately, their insect-based protein bars will taste so good that they won’t mind!


    1. Leftists always think they can control and use Islamic fanatics, because they are oh-so smart and sophisticated and they’re just backwards savages. (Not that they would ever use that terms, that would be racist, but that’s how they think) by the time they realize otherwise (is ever) it’s already too late.

      1. Yeah, they think they can ally with them and control them. In the end they will find out that Islam will use deceit against anyone until they gain the upper hand.

      1. Not as much as when I actually did eat an insect. Specifically, it was a (headless) cricket doused in dried barbecue sauce. Supposedly they’re treated in Japan sort of like pretzels in a bar.

        If that’s the case, I think I greatly prefer pretzels.

        1. Incidentally, I had a disturbing thought today after I posted my snark about insect-based protein bars.

          Talk about forcing us to switch from meat to insect-based protein has been circulating around lately. If implemented, that would require huge quantities of insects to harvest as food. Gigantic insect farms would need to be established which would house the insects from birth to slaughter. And inevitably, from time to time swarms of these insects will escape and do what huge swarms of voracious insects always do.

          Yeah… no thanks.

            1. Land use, maybe? It’s not like insects need large ranges to move freely on. Though industrial poultry farms are similar these days, from what I understand (when they’re not “free range chickens”, obviously).

              1. seriously. We don’t have a lack of land for animals. It’s more they’re REALLY invested in this.
                As someone pointed out our grazing lands aren’t used for anything else.
                BUT they have Malthus on the brain, reality needs not apply.

                1. Sure, there’s plenty of range space as we see things. But the left seems hell-bent on shutting down as much “potential wilderness” space as possible. And when I say “shut down”, far too often it means “not even hikers and overnight campers are allowed to use this pristine wilderness”.

                2. Not just aren’t– but can’t be.

                  You might be able to bring some of them up to rather low production farmland by basically importing a new layer of topsoil. For the places that have water. And you can’t grow both trees and corn at the same time– but you can grow trees and cows at the same time. (and it helps reduce how nasty burns are)

            2. I got the “insect and worm protein will be the future” in elementary school in the 1960s. It seems to cycle around every ten years or so.

              Funny, none of the endorsers seemed all that anxious to lead the way…

            3. I don’t think it’s that they want us to eat bugs but that they want to protein-starve us to make us docile. “The only animal protein you’ll be allowed is bugs” is just something they see as a cool and effective means to that end.

                1. And like I keeps tellin’ you lot: There is NO Long Pig season! 😛

            4. “Nobody likes me,
              Everybody hates me,
              I think I’ll go eat worms.”

              Eating meat is for the masters. Let the peasants scrounge what the can.

              Besides, only a capitalism based economy produces enough meat for everyone to have it.

  6. One of the way in which English sucks is in using a word to mean too many things – and “Culture” is a perfect example. Even modified with such terms as “High,” “Low,” and “Middle-brow” the poor word is pulling too much freight.

    Perhaps if we introduced an alternate spelling, perhaps “Kulture” for the social anthropology load?

  7. “or live with excrement in a pot under the bed is “soft”;”

    We have a rehab Houst guest for the past 2 weeks, and probably for another 2 or 3 weeks from now. Ankle replacement surgery, did NOT have a safe place at home to recover in, immobile. Only able to lift herself from the chair to the portable potty. Said portable potty’s nothing more than a chamber pot attached to a seat. So yes, after each use, wife or I get the job of emptying and cleaning it. I wouldn’t consider that to be hard living; unless we didn’t have someplace to safely dump it or clean it; but then I’ve never considered a well constructed and sited outhouse to be hard living either. Hard living is having to use a log to hang your butt over, or dig a hole and squat over it, while using shredded inner bark from trees as wipes, unless you had to use your hands.

        1. Was rustic in other ways. But remember I was a VERY sickly little kid. Meaning throw up and other such were ….. very common. Without a bathroom that flushed. (Shudder.)

          1. Quick, or even slack lime was a popular cleaning, deodorizing de-blue bottle flying ‘flush’ for US outhouses,was this common in Portugal as well, Sarah?

            Having used ‘remote ‘facilities in the Russian Far East, Malaysia and a few other places where lime, or anything else, wasn’t used I can understand use of such leaving a bad taste in one’s mouth.

            Outhouses are quite a bit less common up here in Alaska, now, than when I first arrived. -50° temperatures are a bit challenging when seeking relief. Keeping a toilet seat inside the cabin and taking it out with you so it’s warm when you sit was quite routine. I do remember some friends that had a mink cover on one seat in their two-holer, quite pleasant when a bit cool but, oddly enough, they’d bring it inside and hide it whenever they had a party with a lot of drinking going on and a lot of drinkers staggering out.

            1. I think the quick lime, yes. Though I didn’t have an outhouse where we lived. They just built the bathroom outside because inside would be gross.
              Now mom’s dad had an outhouse. Also, btw, it has to be rebuilt every so often, if it can’t be moved, because the FUMES will eat the floor boards and the seat.

              1. My grandparents had an indoor flush toilet for Grandma, and an outhouse for Grandpa. That way she didn’t have to clean up the soot/red clay/chicken poop he tracked in, and he didn’t have to stop what he was doing to clean up every time he needed to go. It worked for them.

            2. I am reminded of Ronald Dahl’s autobiographical “Boy” and having the job, as an underclassman at a British boarding school, of warming the toilet seat for his assigned upperclassman.

              Self-warming toilet seats are one of the things I miss about Japan.

              1. 1. Boarding schools were remarkably spartan up until the 1980s. Then the parents started insisting that little johnny should sleep in a room with double-glazed windows and radiators instead something unheated and drafty. I was an inmate at the very end of the hard life era in that my school modernized to the level of carpets on the floor, better windows and heaters about mid-way through my sentence er sojourn. In my second year I recall we all did the “will the water in the toothmug freeze over night” test with a contest to see who had the thickest sheet of ice. I didn’t win. The sucker in the bed by the drafty window did.

                2. Talking of sef-warming toilet seats my wife has declared that it is now summer and the seat is no longer heated

                1. My water glass always froze on the bedside. I don’t know why Portuguese didn’t believe in heating houses. I mean they did in victorian times, then by the seventies they had decided they were tropical or something.

                  1. Or your mother had hot flashes. I go home and the house heat is off and windows open and interior temp is in 50s. We’ve had the pipes freeze while occupied cuz didn’t turn heat on.

                    1. No. There is no central heating in houses in Portugal from about 1965 to 1998. Then it comes back into houses that are built at that time.

      1. When I was 8-10 years old and visited Grandpa’s place, I thought the old one-holer down by the blueberry field was sort of cool.

      2. WWII vet who just turned 98 said he really remembers 1931. What was special about 1931? That was the year that electricity came to the farm and his world changed.

      3. My grandmother grew up in rural upstate New York. None of the farmhouses had indoor plumbing. When the first neighbor family got an indoor bathroom, the aunt raising her said “They are really going to do THAT in the house?!”

        1. I think that was Great Grandmother’s thought. So the bathroom was DECENTLY outside the kitchen door and about 20 feet away.
          TO be fair, they didn’t get S traps till the seventies.
          The people who bought grandma’s house put two bathrooms inside. One is in the room I was born in. So I’d best not do anything historical, because ripping out all that tile would be expensive. 😀

    1. “portable potty’s nothing more than a chamber pot attached to a seat.”

      Living without plumbing, I would just put a plastic shopping bag in the potty and throw it in the trash after use. Use a pee bottle (liquid detergent jugs work best) to keep the bag dry. Funnel for the ladies. Habits die hard — I still prefer the bottle! (I apologize for writing this disgusting post.)

  8. Military – I think it’s been sliding for awhile now. My mechanic, I work with his sister, had to apologize to two of his new hires for ‘hurting their feelings’ when he yelled at them for doing something stupid that was about to get both of them hurt. They were both Marines. And so was he. He’s fairly incredulous that he somehow hurt their feelings and walked off muttering about, “next time I’ll just let you lose your fingers.”

    1. I am of the opinion that if we were attacked in force that our military, if it was allowed to respond at all by the Democrats, would fare far worse than most people expect and would actually crumble like the paper tiger that the Japanese military thought it was in 1941. Just look at how planes used by the military need to be cannibalized in order to repair other planes.

            1. “the American way of war.” It’s like everyone who says “We haven’t fought back, so we’re not going to.”
              THEY OBVIOUSLY never read the history of the revolutionary war or the civil war, or how many offenses they endured, before the fuse caught fire.
              Americans really don’t like to fight. until they have no choice.

              1. We are a peaceful people. The problem is all the people who mistake restraint for weakness and keep pushing until our patience runs out.

                  1. Seriously that’s why I hate the “Americans KNOW the 2020 election was stolen why aren’t we/they up in arms”. The first revolution and civil war had a long, long fuse.

                    1. Yep. IF we don’t go kinetic next month, as gut tells me (but Gut isn’t always right, mind, and this year has thrown perceptions off.) I expect it will take stealing 2022 to push us.

                    2. I’m Curious, missus H., what you think might be leading your gut to be telling you those things – I’m trying to avoid normalcy bias, but I’m not sure that it’s going to be that soon. I’m also trying to understand why people ain’t doing yet … because especially here in the PNW it’s fecked.

                    3. Mostly what I read, and the expressions I see when I’m out and about.
                      The other side is the little outbreaks I’m seeing.
                      Mind you I think whatever happens next month will be relatively small but in retrospect when hell started breaking lose.
                      I expect two “easily put down” incidents. And then a third which cracks things wide, before the end of summer.
                      Why? Not sure. It’s gut feel. I’ll freely admit it could be wrong. But I’m hearing the same from other people who have seen it before, so maybe not.

                    4. BLANTIFA is sending citizens to the hospital with impunity. I’m listening to an interview of the fellow who was beaten so badly by BLANTIFA on Wednesday they sent him to the trauma center. Dude is a former Marine/Army guy. He made the mistake of getting out of his vehicle–he treated them as humans, not as a mob.

                      He’ll probably be arrested because he tried to defend himself. BLANTIFA had AR15s, AK47s, the residents where he was beaten were yelling to kill whitey…. And the Portland police did nothing. The dude just said if anyone points a weapon at him again he’s killing them. (Which is what he ought to have done to begin with, but things are so crazy it was beyond his experience.)

                      We’re so fecked up here it’s not even funny. And the serious crap might start up here.

                    5. I had to go up to Anchorage to take possession of my increasingly-demented dad, get him into a home, and clear out his apartment, all of which took about seven weeks, and then spent the last month more or less getting caught up on everything, including blogs.

                    6. Thank you. I tend to sort of circulate between blogs to concentrate on, and as time and capacity permits. So I’ll go three months without even looking at Neo’s blog, and then I won’t read anything else for a month as I catch up; and then it’s Instapundit’s open threads; and then it’s here; and then…

                    7. Yeah, I thought your Dad might have needed care.

                      God bless you, man. Those are tough duties.

                    8. Hey, a lot of countries were stocking up on popcorn over Florida 2000. Why not, they’d have a civil war for a lot less reason.

                    9. >> “I was MILDLY worried, but you’ve had intermittent silences before.”

                      Speaking of our regulars going silent, has anyone heard from Shadowdancer lately? I don’t recall her posting here in a good while and a check of her blog and twitter shows no recent activity.

                    10. Neither of your precedents had mass instant communication. “Committees of Correspondence” were formed to try and mass produce letters to inform fellow Patriots of the latest outrage and took days / weeks to write and deliver.

                      Our “long train of abuses and usurpations” started in the 60s to the 90s, depending on who you ask,

                    11. Doesn’t matter. Theirs started earlier too. I have a “The long road to revolution” book, and they put it at 20? years.
                      The outrages actually started here in the 30s, but most conservatives were FOR them.
                      Depending on how deep the hole you got into is, the MASSES take a long time to turn around. It’s not instant.

                    12. >> “The little baby is mobile, and the bigger baby is getting MORE mobile. 😀”

                      So she is okay, then? Good to know.

              2. Whereas the British (and Irish) like fighting, particularly the “lower classes” and the aristocracy. It’s the wimps in the middle that don’t.

                1. Oi! I’m right fecking tired of all these stereotypes of the Irish as fighters and drinkers, so as soon as I finish me pint, I’m after hitting ye in the face!


              3. My wife teaches the Revolutionary War as part of 5th grade. It took a long time to get the colonists riled up enough to get around to organized protests and violent revolution. The Sugar Act (1764), The Stamp Act (1765), The Townsend Act (1767). We didn’t get really miffed until the 1770s.

                1. There is this nifty documentary to get people from the Carolinas to visit Barbados? And it turns out that a lot of the Southern slavery system is Barbados’ fault, for bringing their laws along when they financed and colonized the Carolinas. Very relevant to pre-RW and the Revolutionary War.

        1. China would really like to flex its muscles in the Asia/Pacific sector. 20 years ago they didn’t have the capability to invade Taiwan, but now I think they could take it and hold it for years because we wouldn’t be able to effectively respond. I doubt anyone is gonna attack North America though. Not even China is that delusional.

          1. Is that why they are trying to start trouble with India?

            1. Invade India
            2. Continue on to the Middle East.
            3. Steal a bunch of magic carpets and a few magic lamps
            4. Use the carpets to get the PLA across to Taiwan
            5. Use the lamps to magic the PLA into something that can fight an armed opponent.

            1. Might feel a bit sorry for India. But the Middle East? 🙂 Between the Middle East and Africa? China will deserve what mire they get entangled in. May the Jihadists start screaming “Death to China!” Their only consistency is they hate everyone “not them”.

              Just leave Israel out of the mess.

              1. I’m just waiting for China to figure that Afghanistan is a threat to the Belt & Road and decide to have a go.

                On the other hand, I don’t want the PLA to have a long campaign getting combat experience, even if they eventually lose.

                1. Ah heck. I just want unity US wide, snickering behind doors and hands at China going “Suckers!!!!” With Russia going … “Been there. Done that. Don’t ask us.” As far as what happens to the Middle East? Who cares? I am tired of others taking the generosity of the American People and shoving it down our throats. National Natural Disasters anywhere else, Americans are the first to arrive on scene, generosity of the American people through American government help and private from American donations, is unmatched by any other country in the world. North America get hit with a natural disaster … nothing, nada, zip. The silence is so deafening they might has well be saying “they deserved it.”

                  1. #somuchthis.
                    Israel has been a reliable ally (and we mostly treat them like sh*t.) England more or less so. Japan, probably.
                    And that goes double with a cherry on top for Germany, who has hated us for decades.
                    The rest? GO FISH.

            2. There’s a long-standing border dispute with India that dates back quite a ways. It was supposedly settled when the British signed a peace treaty with Tibet. But China controls Tibet these days, and has declared that the treaty was an unequal one, forced on Tibet by evil colonialists. As such, it has no standing. And Tibet’s claim – enforced by China, of course, as Tibet has been incorporated into the PRC – is the correct border.

              Fighting over the border offers Xi what he no doubt hopes will be an easy victory. It also gives him an opportunity to blood the Chinese military, which hasn’t had a serious war since the invasion of Vietnam in the late ’70s. And the fact that the invasion failed is of less importance than the fact that no one currently serving in the PLA fought in that war. Or at least, that’s my thinking.

            1. Hence my mocking strategy plan. Because it is at LEAST as plausible as the ten thousand variants of “China waltzes over everything”.

              Seriously; China, and Sea Power?!!??! All someone is saying when they harp on that one is that they have no idea what it takes to run a modern navy.

              1. I think they bought into that guy’s argument that in 1421 they could have conquered the world if they’d just taken the treasure fleet east instead of west . . . [Omits long rant about what were basically giant junks vs. Pacific Ocean weather].

          2. Why would they want to? Much better for them to simply continue to stir trouble, get our rulers to shoot even more of their knees off since out of feet, and there are plenty of resources elsewhere especially if continue to hold ours hostage.

            Hell, if they need more resources than their BRI, there’s plenty of land to their west and can get the US to fight the war for it.

            1. Taiwan isn’t about resources, it’s about pride. They consider it part of their country even yet, though they don’t have control over it. And they can use the boat lift across the straight to show everyone else that, “Hey, we do have a viable navy!” even if it can barely get across that narrow body of water. Our Navy would have difficulty getting there in time unless we prepositioned some SSGNs in the area, and I don’t expect we’d be able to deploy land forces to Taiwan in any reasonable time frame to help out.

              1. I mean invade the US. Their ability to do so is immaterial to actually controlling us.

        2. I don’t think North America will be invaded. I think Europe will be taken over by Russia and Asia by China. I’m not saying that either will be successful but they will try.

            1. You think someone will try to invade the US? Won’t work. Too many armed and knowledgeable people who will be the nastiest fighters.

        1. I remember them not fondly but all too well! I don’t want to return to the 70s. It screwed our country and the world badly.

    2. It depends on the individual. My nephew served his term, and can’t wait to get out. He’s thoroughly disgusted with pretty much everything he’s seen while serving. One of the things that’s had him frustrated (though not a primary reason for his departure, imo) is the relaxing of standards.

      Then again, he’s also in a field where failing to follow safety protocols will get you dead real quick. And sometimes even following the protocols isn’t safe enough.

    3. Yeah. I’m embarrassed for them. And now, let’s talk about those lady “Rangers,” shall we?

      1. While I haven’t seen it myself, apparently the “Without Remorse” movie on Amazon Prime (which, based on the trailers, has absolutely nothing in common with the original novel, aside from an angry special forces protagonist named John Kelly) includes a trans SF team member.


  9. Changing cultures is HARD, but no where is it harder than From Black Culture to American (White) Culture.
    It is the old thing, if you are trying to change then you are “Acting White”. Trying to get an education, you are “Acting White”. Being civil to the Police, you are “Acting White”. Getting a job and trying to get ahead, waiting until marriage to have sex or kids, not being in a gang, etc. – you are “Acting White”.

    If YOU can succeed then THAT means that if THEY tried or worked at it they could also, since they will not, they CANNOT LET you succeed. It makes them look bad. Also if you try then you are a RACE Traitor.
    The thing is that the Black Culture was created by Blacks and Enforced by Blacks with the help of the Democrats.

    Obama was NOT culturally Black, he was culturally Progressive (a Red Diaper baby). This allowed the Democrats to get Blacks to look at Obama’s Color and NOT his culture. The Blacks were then surprised when Obama ignored them. Obama had FAR more in common with Bill Ayers then he had with ANY American Black. There are thousands that make it out of the Black Culture but many more thousands that cannot or don’t even try. How can they when anything they do is fought by other Blacks. Who pull them back into the culture through pressure or even violence.

    This is NEVER recognized as a problem, anyone who brings it up is destroyed, Example Bill Cosby, Clarence Thomas. If Bill had never brought it up do you really think he would have ever been charged?

    1. There is a reason that I say that there are scads of white supremacists out there, and they are mostly black.

    2. That’s mostly because socialists have taken black people as a pet project. AND changed their culture for the worse.
      And seriously, Obama wasn’t AMERICAN.

      1. Emphasis on pet. :-/

        (How the hell is getting a job, studying, etc. limited to white people?!)

        1. If it isn’t, if the moral capital necessary for success is available to everyone, then minorities will start figuring out that they can leave the vote plantations and lead successful lives, and if that happens the Democrats cease to exist as a political party.

        2. Why don’t they remember Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver?

      1. As is the “white trash” culture it’s cousins to. (Sowell’s essay “Black Rednecks, White Liberals” was…very eye opening.)

      2. Make that ‘ghetto culture’ — or ‘barrio culture’ — and you’re closer. It’s not about color, it’s about a group making its identity ‘not-X’ instead of something positive.

        Defining ‘X’ as ‘Everything that leads to success and prosperity in America’ just makes it Extra Stupid.

        1. it’s about a group making its identity ‘not-X’ instead of something positive.

          So like Canada, then? 😀

      3. ““Black culture” is a crab bucket”
        Which makes the fact that the self-proclaimed “leaders” of the Black community are transparently cynical, greedy hustlers who want to get their cut and then buy a mansion or three in a white neighborhood even more ironic.

      4. “Black Culture” is a lie. There is no more of a unified culture of Black folk than there is of Whites, Muslims, Jews, SE Asians or any other continent-sized populace.

        Look at the Income by National Origin charts and you will see that Nigerian-Americans have better than average household incomes. Perhaps they only look Black? Louis Farrakhan seems to be doing pretty well for himself and I don’t hear him preaching about the virtues of staying on Welfare. Of course, as soon as I hear him preaching I change the program, so maybe he does …

        1. So what do you call a group of people who whine and complain about reparations for slavery that hasn’t existed for 7 generations; who blame the same for no legal jobs, who embrace drug use and gang membership, and aren’t willing to do a lick of honest work, nor seek an education to prepare themselves for any?

  10. Two bits I feel the need to chime in on.

    For those not reading carefully, there are at least a couple ways that she is saying that socialism signals like ‘we are conquered’. One is that it is a thing of the elites, not something chosen by ordinary non-intellectuals. Old saying about how the post WWII American man mostly wanted a car with big fins, and one of the new mass produced houses. Secondly, because it is a thing of rule by intellectuals (or at least felons and bureaucrats) socialism has no place for an ordinary man, not an intellectual, to live as his father lived. If one is living according to the mores and customs of one’s parents, one is not slavishly obedient to the whims and dictates of the experts of the central power.

    Secondly, the ‘socialism can’t feed itself’, because we’ve had some utter morons come by who can’t work it out from first principles.

    One of the core claims of socialisms is that your central ruling experts can better manage the economy, by setting production, distribution, etc. goals that are ‘efficient’ and ‘fair’.

    This has some practical issues that interact to form a prohibitive problem.

    One, setting a goal is not the same as controlling a process to meet that goal. Statistical process control is a viable thing in some industries, but what works with one scale and complexity is ludicrously impossible at other scales and complexities. Political power is weird, and totalitarian economies are particularly prone to having layers and layers of falsehood obscuring that things aren’t really being controlled.

    Two, food is one of the significantly intractable things where process control is concerned. It is pretty much utterly dependent on weather, which cannot be foreseen on central government planning time scales. The only way to make central production goals for agriculture work is they are set to an ‘inefficient’ surplus. If they are only set to break even, the unaccounted for variation ensures famine or starvation eventually.

    Third, if you are aiming for a surplus, and your central experts or bureaucratic aristos have power over the ordinary sorts, they will think that they can steal the surplus without there being a serious consequence. The layers of bureaucrats, accountable only to their bosses, will steal enough to make sure that the effective production goal is /breaking even/.

    Note also, I was only focused on growing. Storage, processing, and distribution are additional complexities.

    And proposing to answer this with AI is mainly evidence that one does not really understand the workings of AI.

    The rest of the world can screw up this way, and be cushioned from the consequences, so long as America is free and for profit enough to be producing a massive food surplus.

    Then the shortfalls can be covered when the limited information expert bureaucrats of some government have accidentally stolen about half the resources that would have been necessary to grow enough food to feed the population.

    It doesn’t do anything to prevent a communist government from using starvation as a tool when it has decided to kill its population.

      1. Remember how you guys used to joke that it was scary when Bob started making sense? I can’t help but notice that people don’t bother making that joke anymore…

    1. Third, if you are aiming for a surplus, and your central experts or bureaucratic aristos have power over the ordinary sorts, they will think that they can steal the surplus without there being a serious consequence.


      I’ve mentioned before the famine in China during the early 40s (i.e. during World War 2) that killed so many people. The province that was primarily affected by the famine had large graineries that were supposed to store a surplus for just such a situation.

      But greedy officials…

      Without someone like Joseph the son of Jacob to run things, and retain tight control, all too often your observation ends up being completely correct.

  11. “I mean, who the heck has a painting of children being screwed by monkeys in the living room. Outside our wealthiest elites, that is? ”

    Ah, Jeffrey Epstein and his cadre of associates?

  12. “those dang peasants were no longer willing to go into domestic service for a crust of bread and a corner of the kitchen to sleep in, but were scarpering to the city for factory and shop jobs.”

    Every time someone starts holding forth about horrible third world factory labor is, I point out that it beats subsistence farming. Nobody rounded these people up and chained them to their sewing machines; they volunteered for those jobs and probably fought each other tooth and nail to get them. Same goes for 19th century dark satanic mills.

    1. Yeah. Hearing it rephrased like this is how I went from “sweatshops bad” to “Oh, yeah. That’s…actually a really good point, hadn’t thought of that ’cause I still had some more stupid lefty programming from school to break down.” I also read an article out there about how some western activists got a “sweatshop” in one of the SE Asian countries shut down…and the only other option the former workers had was prostitution. :/

      (Now. Slave labor in China, on the other hand, where they AREN’T being given a choice…)

      1. Even most of the sweatshop labor in China is peasants going to the cities under their own power to make better money than back at their village.

        Prisons and concentration camps excluded, of course.

      2. I vividly recall, back in the Nineties when we were having Cultural Vapours over Kathy Lee Gifford’s clothing brand being produced in Honduran sweatshops, reading a defense of sweatshops (making that very point – it was the best alternative in a world of bad choices) in a front page (albeit below the fold NY Times article. They explained that the choices for those kids was not sweatshops of cakes, that the societal value of educating kids beyond Fourth Grade was nearly nil and that living and working on farms was far more perilous.

        Yes, the NY Times was once, within living memory, capable of printing reasonable stories. Of course, the majority of their coverage of the issue was predictably abysmal.

        One cannot help wondering whether if there were more sweatshops in Honduras, Guatamala and other Central American nations their people might be less inclined to flee to America.

    2. Yup. After reading a ton of novels wallowing in the horror of those “dark satanic mills” I really want to write one from the point of view of a factory girl who is there because it beats the hell out of life down on the farm.

        1. THE most stupid shiite I’ve encountered in Jane Austen Fanfic, worse than “The duchess took the gig to the market, to get the vegetables for lunch” was more than once where servants are threatened with being sent to work for a factory, if they don’t shape up.
          I’ve read memoirs of domestic servants of the time. The problem their employers had was that they kept running away to go to the factories!

  13. I think I’ve found a talking point or two on George Floyd that is sufficiently vicious for my feeling, and is at the same time something I might be willing to defend.

    Lives Don’t Matter.

    As in, strictly speaking, there are a lot of living things, like bacteria, that have no great practical or moral importance. Human lives matter to a Christian, because of being created in the image of God, but even there lives are not the most important aspect, or usable as an unimpeachable argument. Stalin was human, but his life was not so important and so valuable that it would be wrong to take it preventing his murders of other humans.

    In the case of the hero-martyr Derek Chauvin, in a more just world he would have summarily executed George Floyd. He did not do so as a result of possessing excessive humanitarian values.

    If he, and the rest of us, had gotten rid of excessive humanitarian values by internalizing a study of history, we could all be as vicious and callous as the Critical Race Theorists.

  14. Back in the day, I had a history professor who mused in one of his lectures (or maybe it was a Q&A session) that the ancient Romans of both the Republic and Imperial sorts were actually a lot more able. dutiful and grounded than one might think from reading the polemics by contemporaries, and of the bloody and perverted shenanigans indulged in by the Roman elite. Yes, the sexual antics of Messalina, Tiberias and Nero and the rest were pretty spectacular and violent – but that was just the elite, at the very tippy top of the pyramid. Down at the lower levels there were generations of sober, responsible Romans doing their job, raising families, keeping the roads repaired, the water in the aqueducts running, the courts administering justice in a relatively fair manner, bringing in the grain ships from Egypt, volunteering for the Legions … all that unspectacular work of civilization. And that was why Rome in various incarnations lasted so long.

    1. Yeah, studying history is useful for grounding oneself in something beyond the ‘now’, and it fits my own appetites.

      All historical records are lossy. They cannot capture the full level of ordinary, and it is really hard to imagine it. In some cases, that means a lot of industry, thrift or decently is overlooked.

    2. The correlation to me was always “When volunteering for a full term in eth Legion could yield a land grant in the new territories, there were plenty of volunteers from the Roman citizenry. But after the Empire got static and any land ownership changes were just redistribution from out-of-favor to in-favor aristos, the payoff for a full term enlistment in the Legions was The Thanks of The Emperor and A Grateful Empire, which along with a follis could get you a cup of watered wine.

      1. Unless, of course, your general somehow got elevated to the throne…

        Explains an awful lot of the later Empire.

    3. Imagine the conclusions that future historians will reach about our culture, reading only the campaign speeches of politicians and studying the historical recordings filed as All in the Family

    1. The living room art just struck me as “okay, you don’t have the same taboos.” Christianity DOES make a difference.
      BTW, it’s like how people see America abroad, from our games and shows and politicians. NOTHING like who we actually are.

      1. I mean, I was shocked as heck at the little bits of tv I saw in Romania (watching tv was not a thing allowed, as a missionary, lol.) Waaaaay more nudity, etc that would ever, ever fly in the US, except on certain cable channels, heh.

      2. I think it was here that I saw someone say that foreigners think all Americans live like Cher in Clueless and that’s just not the case at all.

    2. I suspect it depends on which homes you visit.

      Miley Cyrus decorates her home with sex toys
      Some people like to fill their houses with scented candles, throw pillows, family photos and perhaps a plant or two. But Miley Cyrus? She decorates with a different vibe.

      “I like sex toys,” the 28-year-old pop star said during a recent interview on Sirius XM’s “Barstool Radio.”

      “I buy them for myself, but I end up using them for interior design. Sex and interior design go actually hand in hand.”

      It’s not the first time Cyrus has opened up about letting her vibrators do double duty as home decor; she shared similar comments on Barstool Sports’ “Call Her Daddy” podcast in August.

      “I’ll buy a dildo, and [for] more than … its operation — I don’t really wanna get in there with it because I love the way it looks on my table,” she said. “I like vibrators, but I mostly like aesthetic.”

      The “Midnight Sky” singer moved into a $4.95 million mansion in Hidden Hills last summer, and we’re guessing that her favorite “home accents” also come in handy during those FaceTime sex sessions.

      ProTip: do NOT [SearchEngine] for “Miley Cyrus Sex Toys” – just DON’T DO IT!!!!

      Warning: the linked article has a photo illustrating her décor. It is probably safe for work but that is o reason to go view it.

  15. “For the individual acculturating feels like going insane, and being asked to do it twice in a life time would probably drive the most grounded of individuals nuts.”

    BTDT. Multiple times. I’m a Third Culture Kid, one of the poor, unfortunate souls permanently stuck between the culture of the motherland and the culture we are actually raised in. I’m cursed to have no culture and to be an outsider wherever I am. After being home in America over 30 years, I still bump into areas where I don’t react as American, or suddenly show that I’m slightly off. But, it’s the way my life goes, so I don’t complain.

    1. But, it’s the way my life goes, so I don’t complain.

      You can extract a useful silver lining from that: coming at things from an angle that others aren’t.

    2. Third Culture Kid

      Thanks for bringing that up — I was waiting for it. I’ve lived in 6 countries — 5 cultures — and became a cultural chameleon. In Peru I lived and worked with TCKs (including my own kids). Everywhere I lived I could easily locate the third culture; it became my own. (Maybe being raised in the California 50’s with blacks and Mexicans (school, family, music) helped. I ended up teaching intercultural communication for a living. Married to a Brit for 40 years.

      Last time in Peru I brought a son who was raised there and had lived with Mexicans in Texas. He baffled the Peruvians; they would ask him “what country are you from?”

      1. Oh, yeah. Another TCK here. One thing I’ve discovered is that TCK’s often find they have a lot in common with each other even if they don’t share any of their “root” cultures; in fact, often they find they have more in common with each other than any of their “root” cultures. I.e., a German guy who grew up in Japan, and an Australian guy who grew up in Spain, will often find they have more in common with each other than with mono-cultural Germans, Japanese, Australians, or Spanish people. Because that shared experience of not quite fitting in, whatever culture you’re in right now, goes deep, and when you find others with that same experience it’s like “Finally, someone who understands me!”

        1. Military brats raised on DOD bases overseas are another breed of Third Culture Kids … my daughter being a prime example. Pure Anglo-American, born in Japan, spent the pre-K years in suburban Athens … and her elementary school years in suburban Spain, running with the mob of kids with their bicycles in the upscale Spanish suburb of San Lamberto. (They called her “Caroline” because she looked like the child actress who played the character of Carole Ann in the Poltergeist movies. She understood Castilian Spanish and could speak it, after a bit. And then, when she was twelve, we moved back to the continental US. Talk about culture shock … we were on home leave in San Diego, and she suggested that we ought to go to the military base to look for English-language comic books. Then there was the time in Southern France when she met a pair of irreproachably British vacationers at the hotel we were staying at and announced, “Oh, you’re ‘peaking American!”
          Well, she had noticed that Greeks speak Greek, Germans speak German, Italians speak Italian … so someone speaking English must be speaking American…

  16. Those fools, those damned fools! Don’t they understand they’ve doomed us all?

    ‘We Reject Ideas of Natural Gifts and Talents’
    By Robert VerBruggen
    That is a direct quote from the California Department of Education’s draft framework for K–12 education. Robby Soave has much more on the framework here; it argues against separating kids by ability before high school and downplays the importance of giving bright kids access to high-school calculus.

    You can argue about when schools should start providing different classes for kids with different skill levels, and about whether smart seniors should be focusing on calculus or some other topic. But when the “experts” in charge of your education system can’t even admit that giftedness exists, and they insist on holding advanced kids back in the name of “equity,” you just might have a problem.

    Incidentally, not all leftists are this stupid in the face of human differences. You can read my review of Fredrik deBoer’s The Cult of Smart here.

      1. The system is designed to grind any gifted victims down so they’re not competition for the spawn of the ‘elites.’

          1. There seems to be building evidence that the primary reason for ethnic & racial disparity in “Elite” schools (i.e., those High Schools focusing on STEM or similarly demanding curricula) is the absence of GT enrichment in K-8 classes.

            Telling kids that applying themselves to their studies, not acting up in class and getting “right” answers probably doesn’t help.

            1. MOST of the “gifted” classes this day are ways to annoy truly gifted kids. BUT honestly, you should have the kids at home, if they stick out.

    1. All I can offer as an individual entirely outside and decades removed from our dystopian prison-like school systems are some pointers to resources: Resources that didn’t exist in previous eras and may allow those with the inclination to educate themselves.

      1. Get your kid a computer with the internet. However, don’t let them get sucked down a rabbithole. There are infinite dopamine-rat-mazes on the internet amid the useful bits. Teach them how to program, and teach them a bit about calculus and modeling so they’ll have something to do when they program. The computer should be able to provide “tactile feedback” which will make learning about math easier and more compelling.
      2. Get a VPN to cover your butt when you fly the jolly roger. I personally have used NordVPN and like it.
      3. There are many places online, like Library Genesis, where you can pirate basically any textbook ever written.
      4. Sci-hub lets you pirate any scientific paper. Because these are piracy sites, they move around a bit.
      (I mention these sites because three centuries of publicly supported research, as well as a century of out of print books, should by rights be in the public domain, not locked behind a ludicrous paywall or a copyright system designed to protect the cash-flow for Disney IP which they’re busy censoring and burning.)

      There are youtubers who put out very interesting educational videos: NileRed and NileBlue for chemistry, any number of people for machine-tool operation. I’m sure the same holds true for pretty much any subject.

      Your kids should be able to gain access to just about any resources to learn just about any subject they feel like, whether the school thinks they should be *allowed* to do so or not.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any suggestions about where to get the time, since that appears to be one of the primary functions of our maleducation system: To make sure none of the proles have any free time. To eat it all with homework and jumping through hoops to prove what a good boy you are to a college admissions board. In fact, that’s one of the problems with modern America in general: No one seems to realize how little time any of us have anymore. All the slack has been squeezed from our lives.

      1. Apparently it’s a Rumsfield Rule, but I learned it many years before Don ruled it so: If you measure something, that something will improve, in the manner you measured it.

        Schools are measured by attendance. Not completed degrees after admissions to college or graduates gainfully employed in trades, nor the fraction of graduates not on public assistance some number of years after graduation – no performance-based measure at all, except kid butts in seats for a fraction of a day, and of course union teachers employed. So that’s what we get – as noted, remarkably like a prison, where the number of incarcerated and the number of guards drives budget.

        If we wanted successful schools as a society, we’d measure something other than butts in seats when the attendance rolls are called.

        1. Don’t forget the number of principals, superintendents, school boards, ‘counselors’, and all the other bureaucratic deadwood our government schools just can’t do without. Jimmy Carter’s Federal Department Of Education has spent 40 years and $2 TRILLION, and all they have to show for it is a lot more bureaucrats. They didn’t even hire more teachers.

      2. >> “There are youtubers who put out very interesting educational videos: NileRed and NileBlue for chemistry, any number of people for machine-tool operation. I’m sure the same holds true for pretty much any subject.”

        Along those lines, I can recommend Ben Eater’s Youtube channel for anyone who wants to understand how computers really work. He’s built one on breadboards step-by-step with explanations for how everything works. His channel is here:

        I can’t remember if I’ve suggested it before, but I’ve been thinking this community could do a lot of good by assembling a list of recommended educational books/videos/etc. on various topics.

    2. Thankyou sweet merciful Jesus for my parents keeping me out of California’s public schools

    3. Yeah, I hate ‘gifted’. ‘Talented’ makes sense. Lots of people have talents. Some people can learn certain things easily.

  17. I’d like to suggest that cultures have a life of their own, and that they react almost like living organisms.

    Well, of course! Cultures are composed of living organisms, after all.

    Although I’m not so sure about NecroNancy Pelosi…

  18. If you like your quaint sheep eyeballs dish you can keep your quaint sheep eyeballs dish.

    I come from a culture which celebrates the new year with a traditional meal centered around a dish of the braised politicians’ testicles.

    Yes, it is a dying culture.

  19. If we had a time machine, or at least a time scope, and also AIs with infinite time and patience, then sociology could become an actual science.

    We would also require sociologists who wanted to be real scientists, so it ain’t gonna happen.

  20. One thing I didn’t add: if the men aren’t all dead, birth rate (and marriage rate) plummets. It did so even before contraceptives, and no one knows why.

    I recall, vaguely, hearing of a study that said testosterone drops in (male) (American) football fans when their team looses; I don’t know if you had to have been watching the game in person, watching on TV, or listening on the radio. When I heard of the study, I recalled a particular game that my team had lost and I head the end of the (close) game on the radio. I did experience a let down feeling.

    Maybe it’s a related effect or you just feel like giving up if you’ve lost your country. If you’ve given up, you don’t want to chase women ardently enough to marry and mate?

      1. Women are supposed to be attracted to men who present themselves as powerful (and the way that the power manifests itself can take different forms). A man lacking self-confidence is going to have trouble with that.

          1. “Bully romance” is a thing, especially in reverse harem sub genres. I really, really don’t get it. And this is me, the lover of capture fantasy, dominance, and dub/non con stories, saying this.

            1. On the other hand, the anime harem shows quite frequently have a the main romantic interest portrayed as a “tsundere” who’s actually more of a female bully.

          2. Sarah, the trope of the outlaw / wild man tamed by the love of a good woman has been around as long as country music…. 😎

            1. That doesn’t mean that it’s Realistic or Good. 😦

              Oh, IMO “love taming a bad man” only works when it’s the “love of the bad man for the good woman”.

              Her love alone wouldn’t work.

              1. The more interesting story is on the back side of that: years down the road when the savage has learned his measure of civilization. And then has to return to his past self when a disaster strikes, but without falling to it.

              1. At which point you start looking in the dictionary under “masochist”. Which is a kink that’s been around even longer.

            2. *Enkidu stares in ancient Mesopotamian*



              That said, yeah, it’s not “guy becomes good because girl” it’s “guy is a total a-hole the whole time.”

                1. *facepalm*

                  Dang it, now I’m trying to figure out the gap between “City State” and “Country” and “Cultural Blob” and….

          3. I’ve been getting lots of those ads on my Kindle. Ick, ew, no. Talk about toxic! “My boss is mean to me and I love him.” “My neighbor is a horrible mob enforcer and has a dog that ate my puppy and I think I’m in love.” *shudder*

  21. [T]hose survivals are small and on the whole unimportant,

    Those elements are the décor of life, the curtains, table settings, knick-knacks on the shelves of culture. The true culture is in the architecture, the placements of doors, of interior walls, the way space under the stairs and under the eaves is used. More than that, it is in the arrangement of our cities – the proper distance from front of house to property line, the width of streets, the distance we tolerate to groceries and other essential services. The basic psychological structure of our cultures is to our minds as water is to fish.

    1. That would explain why the lefties keep trying to change it and why everything they produce is so ugly. CS Lewis talked about it in That Hideous Strength.

  22. I don’t think this relates, directly, but why are high school valedictorians 3/4 or maybe 7/8 female? The top three in my high school class were female; the top two in my own offspring’s class are female. One of the local television stations has a long-standing tradition of running a brief profile (a 20 second video clip) of the valedictorians from the high schools for several counties, and most of them are female again this year.

    1. 7/8. And if htey aren’t they still are.
      Look, my son was WAY better than the valedictorian. I know, because the little bint invaded my blog, and she couldn’t carry a sentence in a bucket. BUT she had better grades. Because the teachers know what’s good for them.
      So, I don’t know what you think it relates to, but it’s part of the leftist project TM.

    2. Girls mature earlier and girls are better at school — school qua school is something you can be good at at., Add to that the fact that everything in school has been shifted toward what girls are good at and you have your answer. Bloody crafts were the bane of our existence when my boys were young. It’s why We sent our sons to boy’s high schools. My daughter chose a girl’s school, but she would have been OK anywhere.

      1. No. They really aren’t. I watched this up close and personal. NO ONE DARES give the girls a bad grade. While the women who mostly run the schools conduct a holy war on males from the first signs of puberty.

        1. i watched it too, at least through grammar school and I think we’re saying the same thing. In an American context where the schools are run by womyn for womyn, yes, girls are better at school, which is a thing you can be good at independent of content. the whole thing is biased toward them. Being good at school means sitting still, giving the “right” answer, writing long, wordy, somewhat purple essays, crafts, and that damned forensics sing song voice. Girls are better at this. It’s why girls then flunk out of the hard course where there isn’t an already approved answer. I don’t think it’s a good thing at all. Add to that the cowardice of the authorities in this country and you have the cluster f-ck that is American education.

          My children went to school here and in the UK. They went to independent, Catholic schools co-Ed for primary and single sex for secondary. I have no experience of public school, but assume it is worse than where I sent mine but better than the progressive private schools, which is where most of the IVY leaguers go.

          Number two son dropped out of the education program at university since he couldn’t stand the fact that everyone there hated him for being male, white, and heterosexual. Even more, they were all stupid. This is a real shame since he would have been a superb teacher and the boys in his old school, which is where he wanted to teach, need men like him. I hope he decides to go back to it.

          We are paying a very dear price for allowing our schools to be run by third raters and Columbia Teachers College.

          1. That’s partly why I teach in a religious school. In Texas, you don’t need an education degree or certification to teach in a private/parochial school if you have an advanced degree in a field.

            1. I could see Ed as a minor, but more as a practical tips/tricks/practical stage rather than the theory silliness

    3. When I was in HS the girls were the more serious students, maybe because they matured earlier. The guys were much more serious about knowing someone who could get beer for them, finding parties, and plaaying ball. Yeah, more female teachers also who favored the girls.

  23. It is well known among the aristos offspring who stay in school forever to do archeology that culture consists of what gets thrown out, as middens and tool work scrap piles and such are the only things that actually survives for an extended time.

    All the rest of the cultural stuff is only vaguely inferred, and thus can be argued about eternally in papers and at conferences, ensuring publish-or-perish throughput.

  24. Without an America to cannibalize, Europe would be a lot poorer/more f*cked up.

    Without America Europe would have long ago become a Soviet playground. They might not have annexed it but they would certainly have colonized the enjoyable parts.

    Kinda like the Oil-ogarchies have.

    1. Without the US, the Nazis would have conquered the UK and the Nazis, Imperial Japanese and USSR would rule the world.

      1. Maybe. A lot of the Nazi war effort was made of duct tape and ridiculous luck. There are possible universes where they could have successfully invaded England, but considerably fewer than the popular image at the time.

        1. THIS. And the early soviets were carting tubes around to make us think they were missiles.
          (Rolls eyes.)
          The Nazis were already collapsing when they were taken down, because they had “eaten” their most productive minority…..

      2. Well. They’d have ruled it for a little while, and then collapsed because they couldn’t feed themselves or anyone else.

      3. Briefly. VERY VERY briefly. Because when starvation set in, people would shift.
        SERIOUSLY. What part of Socialism can only survive when they can canibalize other nations is so hard to UNDERSTAND?

        1. “What part of Socialism can only survive when they can canibalize other nations is so hard to UNDERSTAND?”

          Reminds me of this classic gem of a Simpsons joke.

  25. To the extent America has a fighting chance at all, it is because we’ve always been fairly contrary

    Hey! I am not contrary and never have been. It is The World what am contrary.

  26. Heinlein thought we [needed a frontier].

    Meh – back then, that idea was in the cultural water even more than fluoride. Lots of people thought it, and it may well have been true. Maybe we need frontiers so that we don’t develop Galt’s Gulch Syndrome, driving out our achievers, entrepreneurs and makers, the folk for whom “equity” only makes sense as an ownership share and who will with terror and slaughter return!

  27. people talk about how WWI destroyed the working class in Europe. But if you actually read contemporary records…the complaints of the upper class about the lower classes post WWI is that those dang peasants were no longer willing to go into domestic service for a crust of bread and a corner of the kitchen to sleep in, but were scarpering to the city for factory and shop jobs. Which btw is a complaint of the upper classes going back to the industrial revolution.

    In fairness, these are not only not mutually exclusive, but one can explain the other. The loss of significant numbers of men in the working and middle classes creates a supply and demand situation where a worker who used to have one option, take it or leave it, might have one and a quarter or even two options.

    Consider it a small scale version of the vast loss of industry that made the legendary economic dominance of the US for the two decades after WW2 (but don’t think that is the only reason the US was dominant…after that period ended, we’ve been a consistent quarter of the world economy year in and year out…that seems to be our “natural” location under the post-war system).

    Military enlistment is not a good measure because we can’t tell why people aren’t joining the army. Sure, it could be because they’re soft pansy-asses.

    If I have any effect on it, for my five nieces and nephews, it will be because someone else’s damn family can do the job for a change (maybe some Boston Northshore families, for example, . Twenty years later, the parents at that school still have my ire.). In three generations over four individuals, my family has north of 65 man-years no ProWriting Aid, I am not changing that to person-years) of service for a country whose ruling class spits on people like us.

    But in the …. ah strange constructions that MIL would inflict on English and passed on to my husband, you could still see the German influence.

    I still use “free, white, and 21” to indicate someone can make their own choices, ill-advised or not, despite being too young to really remember when that phrase had any meaning (unless you argue MADD brought back the last one).

    In fact, I used to be afraid the neighbors would think a knife fight was about to break out and call the police.

    Our betters spent last week assuring us knife fights are just part of growing up.

  28. People who say that the US has not culture don’t understand that things like “Don’t talk with your mouth full” and “If it’s not yours, don’t touch it” and be polite to everyone unless they give you a reason not to” and “Don’t leave a mess for toehr people to clean up”…. are culture. And that they’re not universal.

    They’re not even universal within the United States *looks at people who leave unwanted grocery items on random shelves, rather than putting them back where they got them*.

    1. Or the choreography that happens between a pedestrian and the driver of car that wants to turn right across the pedestrian’s path.

      Proper etiquette: The driver waits. Driver and pedestrian make eye contact. Pedestrian gives wave or head nod of recognition and either speeds up his walk or looks like he’s trying to speed up his walk across the street. A final hand wave is given from pedestrian to driver, eye contact is made, smiles are given. They go their separate ways.

      And yes, I know it doesn’t always happen like this, but it’s still the rules where I grew up. 🙂

      1. Just people smiling at each other all the time is American culture. You hear foreigners commenting on it all the time.

        1. I know this goes against received truth, but having traveled the world before coming here?
          Americans are WEIRDLY polite. Note the first ones to impress me with their good manners were…. New Yorkers.
          It will give you a range of how the world behaves.

          1. I recall a documentary about Royal Navy submariners that pointed out that “polite British” is an American myth — in fact, the British are brutally rude to each other on an everyday basis.

            1. There was funny meme floating around recently about how Americans see English people (picture of stereotypical stiff formal aristos) vs how Europeans see English (picture of fat drunk violent soccer hooligans).

              “Americans are WEIRDLY polite.”
              Hmmm wasn’t there a quote about armed societies and politeness thereof? 🤔

    2. “people who leave unwanted grocery items on random shelves”

      Hey, if people didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have had my job at Big Lots putting all that stuff back. And wouldn’t have had the opportunity of finishing up the food items left in the opened packages.

      When an Australian friend in Vietnam finished her snack her driver commanded — “just throw the paper out the window.” “But I don’t want to litter.” “Nonsense — it is someone’s JOB to pick it up.”

      We all want people to have employment, right?

      1. Heh….as if there’s not enough work for people to do in a day without other people deliberately making more of it.

  29. yanked about on what to eat
    I was playing a trivia game the other day and was surprised to realize that the food groups have changed – at least three times since the last time I had paid attention (when I had to memorize 4-4-3-2 in grade school).
    Apparently, “meat” has become “protein” in all but name and “fats & oils” has been added, but “dairy” has not been removed – so what about butter? Switching to macro-nutrient groupings makes sense, but then why are fruits and vegetables still separate and why hasn’t “grains” become “carbs”?
    It’s as if they’re trying to make it as confusing as possible

    1. No boom! Landed on fire like the deity and RAH Intended!

      Congratulations are due Elon and the SpaceX Raptor and Starship teams.

  30. The U.S. is not “English” it is Anglo-Saxon. Folks do not perceive this for the same reason I did not realize my adopted country is (or was, thank you garbage migrants*) a paragon of left-right tolerance was because both sides were throrough-going populists. And has not that been a trip?

    Happy birthday, Christmas, kindergarten, not needing the credit as long as you get the win, kinder-kuche-kirke which balances anglo-franko-courtly-love white-knighter-y, and barn raising: That’s your Deutche-Amerikaner. Baked in from the beginning.

    We’ve always been hybrids.

    (*Coastal proggies who foul every nest they fly to)

      1. And Norse, and a bit of celtic from the rest of Britain because people did come over, yes? And odd dollops of French at the strangest times.
        BUT even though the genetic makeup is not that different, something happened (I have theories) to the culture, and created a very distinctive thing. There are echos, places like Australia, but they’re echos. We seem to aim to be a continuance. AGAINST ALL ODDS.
        Cultures are bizarre. ENough to make you believe they have a soul that migrates.

        1. Well there are many many melted in cultures. Especially the Norse. But the dominant pair are the clusters from England and Germany.

            1. Some of the French came with William the Bastard’s army. [Crazy Grin]

              1. Yeah. But they were French from Normandy. And then it always goes tiltawhirl.
                Speaking to Obsidian’s point, Castille, Leon (DUH), Navarre and Galicia had major contingents of French crusaders. I don’t know what remains.

            2. Interesting, since iirc, German was the second most common language spoken in the newly independent Thirteen States.

                1. And Palatine Germans and others. Being a Protestant in the way of Louis XIV’s armies was not fun.

                  1. The Wiki Article mentions them as being part of the “Pennsylvania Dutch”.

                    1. I think that there might be a differentiation made between those Germans who stayed in Germany, and those who legged it for the New World, before and after the Revolution. The ethnic Germans who up sticks and went for land, lots of land and an existence free of the eccentric whims of kings and nobility turned out to be a different lot entirely, from the 20th century variety. Something like 12% of the Revolutionary Army was ethnic German, and of the American Civil War Union Army, only the Irish component was larger.

                    2. Weren’t the different… uh… kingdoms that became Germany… also pretty different, like Scotland to Ireland different?

                      While the modern Germany is Prussia and defeat?

                    3. From my family history, it seems like the Germans (or at least a certain subset) were more than willing to up sticks and travel to foreign lands for the mere chance of a better life.

                  2. We also got a ton of French, though they tended to go native.
                    DIL’s ancestors SEEM (hard to tell for sure) to be an aristocratic family who either left during the revolution, or the younger son had come to the wilds of Canada/US, and the rest of the family died in the revolution.

        2. “Cultures are bizarre. ENough to make you believe they have a soul that migrates.”

          Thomas Sowell confirms this observation in Migrations And Cultures: A World View. See also Race and Culture: A World View and Conquests and Cultures: An International History. Interesting stuff!

    1. “(*Coastal proggies who foul every nest they fly to)”

      THIS a thousand times.

      I was out videotaping and fishing on the Stillaguamish today. It’s so beautiful it’s overwhelming. I have to stop every so often and just… stop.

      I don’t know how, but we cannot let the communists have this state. We just f’ing can’t.

    2. Um…. No. Sorry. English. I don’t know what the Anglo-saxons were up to, but our culture tracks with the thing past the norsemen invasion. The rest is garbage. Strange racialist garbage.
      Having done a dive today into Portugal’s Celtic past (Shakes fist at Foxfier. She KNOWS why) I can tell you Europe is a hodge podge of “races” and they surface where you least expect them.
      English culture, though, particularly post war of the roses is a VERY distinctive thing.

      1. norsemen invasion?

        Oh, you mean those Frenchized Vikings (ie the Normans). [Crazy Grin]

          1. Well, according to my rough knowledge of English history, the Anglo-Saxons had major problems with a long term invasion of the Danish until the Danes were defeated. However, the Danes were not pushed out of the English lands that they invaded. They just accepted the rule of the victorious Anglo-Saxon King (IIRC Alfred).

            Of course, just before William the Bastard invaded England, Harold Godwinson had to deal with a Norse invasion lead by Harald Hardrada of Norway.

            After Harold Godwinson defeated Harald Hardrada, he learned that the army of William the Bastard had landed in England.

            He marched his army 241 miles to face the Bastard’s army at Hastings. Oh, by many accounts Harold’s army came very close to defeating the Bastard’s army.

            The Bastard’s invasion was the last successful invasion of England.

            By the way (just as a footnote), one of H. Beam Piper’s characters said that the English language is the result of Norman footsoldiers trying to get dates with Saxon barmaids. 😉

            1. Are you saying that the English didn’t have so many problems after they gelded the Danes? :p

            2. So my ancestors (well some of them) are from East Anglia which is once of the places where the vikings stayed put and intermixed with the local Angles. I don’t think you can tell by looking that they are different from the West country people – saxons and celts. You used to be able to tell by accent/dialect – and indeed to a degree you still can. West country people use different verbs (they don’t use is, am, are for example instead it’s all be – “what you be doing?”) and the same is true the other way up in the North East (Geordie the Newcastle dialect) has a ton of norse in it.

              Its worth noting that king Canute was also king of Denmark and Norway so the ruling of the British Isles between Alfred and Harold wasn’t all Anglo-saxon. The hand overs between were moderately peaceful until Harold beat the crap of of Harald and then lost to William.

              Williams invasion was the last successful invasion that wasn’t assisted by some of the residents. William of Orange arguably invaded, but he had a good 50% of the country in favor of him and not James II. As did Henry Tudor for that matter.

              As Sarah says the British have a habit of killing (or exiling) their kings when they don’t deliver. This was why we didn’t have much truck with the Stuarts and their “Divine Right” concept.

          2. The Danelaw, to be specific. The ~750-900 AD invasion/occupation by Norsemen was step 1 of making Old English a lot simpler than the typically-convoluted Germanic language it had grown up as. And also gave us about a quarter of our basic vocabulary (“egg”, for instance).

      2. We’re talking past each other. Probably because I am backwards at history, having been forced to auto-didact on the subject at a late age.

        Try Anglo-German instead.

        Seriously. Where do you think Christmas celebrations come from? Look up their history in the U.S. *and* England.

        Foreign imports.

        Look up German Texas and which are the languages most widely spoken in the U.S.

        I am assuming that, like me, you care about your host country’s background for its own sake. I personally think we’re wisest to skip mentioning the topic. If the Dewberries understand what we’re based on they’ll dynamite it.

        Ask first. Miss out.

          1. I’m putting in a word for the Scots-Irish as the decisive contributors to the culture, in the south definitely and America generally,

            Scots Irish and the Germans settled the frontier, the English, not so much. Now the Scots-Irish are my hereditary enemies since they’re just Ulster Scots who kept on going but I think the cussedness and individualism came from them more than any other group. Andrew Jackson was one, and so was Ronald Reagan. presidents, astronauts, They’re the ones that won the revolution, and they still make up a disproportionate part of the army.

            Even among the English, you find names from the borders not so much from the south.

            James Webb’s Born Fighting is a good overview or Thomas Sowell on Rednecks for the downside.

            1. Walter Russell Meade’s four schools model of US foreign policy feeling makes argument, I think implicitly, that the Scots-Irish were one of the emulsifiers in the American cultural mix.

            1. No. I really do not. I think the USAIan culture is historically ENGLISH-IRISH-SCOTTISH.
              The German part? Pfui. I know too much German culture.

              1. But not American. Not Missouri. Or Pennsylvania. Or German Texas. Or most of the midwest. It’s all third-hand history to you. It’s not who we are now, but it is where we came from.

                1. There are pockets of little European countries everywhere.
                  Colorado has German, French, Spanish and….
                  Seriously, this is bullshit. RANK bullshit at that.

                  1. So: I have given this some more thought, and it is possible that your big-picture historian skill trumps my lying eyes. (no sarc)

                    It’ll be a long time before I can get back to you (the way the USA is going neither of us is likely to see old age – it took me 10 years to get back to John about women, virtue, and chivalry).

                    My great great grandparents* emigrated from an area that’s sorta Poland and Germany now, to Brazil to found the Lutheran church there. My dad’s g-g etc. ditto to the midwest. Family history says the Lutheran church (aka not Anglos) have been a part of the U.S. since the frontier opened.

                    And even before then, the Hun, running about in the background, was enough of an issue (1770s-early 1800) that Ben Franklin worried about the national language going to German.

                    So: the U.S. culture, the thing that made us such a swell republic is hybrid vigor. Go re-read Dr Tocqueville. We were 3/5 England, 2/5 German, and 1/5 Other; all of which combined to make something new and extraordinary. Like the labradoodles of world culture 😋)

                    But! And! I could be mistaken. I promise to keep “running to find out”.

                    Oh yes! ” Porkies” Is that pork-pies –> lies? (Coconut rhyming slang)

                    *Yes, thanks to teh internets, I now know know “Saxon” is not a synonym for “roughly German-ish cultures”. I went to U.S. public schools: ten different ones.

                    1. After completing the catechism I joined a Lutheran church (Missouri) in Texas, attended faithfully including men’s breakfasts. After six months I just stopped going — nobody would speak to me — to the point of rudeness. They were nearly all Germans. This Scots-Irish guy just did not fit in.

                      A few months later I received a letter informing me that my membership in the church had been cancelled.

                    2. But you never had to worry about random strangers hugging you or getting trapped by a greeter as you tried to leave. 😄.

                      I get it though. The way to make meaningful connections is by working side-by-side for a year or two. It’s easier for the women, as they do most of the regular chores, like Altar Guild.

                    3. Yeah.

                      If you can survive a year or two of being the single outsider, listening to all the women bleat about their children, their grandchildren, everything about their spawn’s educational opportunities, foibles…. If you can survive them coming in the doorway and yelling “Oh I’m so glad to see you!” and it’s never you they come running for.

                      Yeah. Not any more.

                    4. A life-time of different expectations and a (probably) different cultural background make it hard for me to grok what you are describing. But I’ll pray a prayer now that you find your place where you can do that with other people. It’s hard, especially nowadays, where even if you do find a good fit, most of the folks are woke or in the closet.

                      Though again, I want to offer my suggestion,(seriously, my previous comments have been very much tongue cheek) used at churches, cons, and schools, that you try finding a job of work that you can do reliably and well with other church volunteers. I am not sure I could ever get to a place where I want batches of non-family running up to me like that, but if I *did* that is how it would start. Oh! And you have to do all the social dance stuff that people do who identify someone they like enough to want to be friends with on top of that foundation. And keep putting in the time to invite them to your home for coffee and later dinner and so on. It’s really time-consuming and exhausting.

                    5. The only way I’ve ever made friends is by working with them, usually for years, before we got to know each other.

                      I’ve connected at two churches and both times I followed my natural instinct to volunteer for something. I know better now that other people aren’t quite as naturally inclined to connect on a deep level as am I. I am? Anyhow, it’s worked twice and I stay in touch with people from both places.

                      It’s been much more difficult up here now that I’ve moved home. But your advice is really sound, and I know it. I just get tired of dead ends, as everybody does.

                      Thank you so much for the prayers. That’s the ticket I think.

                    6. The only way I’ve ever made friends is by working with them, usually for years, before we got to know each other.


                      That, and “adopted by extrovert or motivated imitation.”

                    7. Oh my word, THIS: “That, and “adopted by extrovert or motivated imitation.””

                      I’m not the only one.

                  2. Really, given ancestry (and locale…) I have no idea what ISN’T ‘Amercian’ and *is* “German*/*Polish*/*Norwegian*. And anyone attempting to lectur eme deserves a potch on the duppa…. };o)

            2. US culture is very much private property, free trade and common law culture. That is basically “everything not explicitly forbidden is permitted”. That is absolutely British and not Germanic. Germanic culture, like French for that matter tends to come from the HRE and before that the actual Roman Empire and its endless legalisms and government granted permits.

              Now it has to be said that the modern regulatory state in both the US and UK has turned both to looking like the German/French but in both nations, unlike most of the EU (the Dutch and Nordics being mostly exceptions), there is considerable push in both US and UK to reduce regulatory impact and roll back the state. That’s Tea party, Trump, Brexit, Thatcher, Reagan and so on. It doesn’t always win against the regulatophiles but it is present in the culture in a way that it isn’t in Europe. But is (for example) in the rest of the 5 eyes (Aus, NZ, Canada).

              1. If you imagine that U.S. culture is bounded by economics, then yes.

                But you would be mistaken.

                Culture is religion, mating, rules for male and female interactions, child-rearing and education, the songs we sing, how we celebrate and the stories we tell.

                And, yes, economics. A small part.

                1. Agree culture is a ton of things, not just economics, but economics is one of the ways it shows.

                  The US and UK (and the rest of the 5 eyes) are massive outliers in terms of charitable giving for example. Germans don’t give to charity, they let the government do it. [ Interestingly the Japanese have a thriving NPO sector which may be an indication of how Japan is in may ways a cultural outlier in (East) Asia. ]

                  The concept of rich people giving their wealth away to fund museums, hospitals, nature reserves, helping the needy and so on has been utterly lost in Europe if it ever existed beyond tithes to the church. It’s standard in the Anglosphere.

                  Sure the US has borrowed good ideas from other places regarding how to live – but that again is a very British trait (see the famous saying about the English language mugging others of useful grammar and vocabulary). The meta-culture of the US is that culture. Take something, adapt it and now it’s mine. Its so built in you don’t think of it as being abnormal but it is. “Not Invented Here” syndrome is a real thing and in most of the world it’s the default for lots and lots of culture.

                  [Again the one obvious exception is Japan, which has repeatedly done the exact same thing]

                  1. By the by, Germans (in general) being cheap is real. It’s a part of U.S. culture as well. I do not want to imply you are wrong about this.

                  2. This. The culture: how people think of themselves in the world, it’s closer to PORTUGAL than to Germany.
                    Btw, most of the things like Kindergarten were borrowed world wide 20th century and were more part of imitating those “well organized Prussians” than anything else. Part of mass production and the rusht o standardization and statism.

                  3. How far back does the Japan thing go? My thought is that it might be an outgrowth of the Post-War American Occupation.

                    1. No it goes way back. They took their letters and a bunch of other things from the Chinese in ~700AD, they took deep frying from the Portuguese in the 1500s. Two quick examples.

                2. Try being from Louisiana. All that French influence. Until twenty or so years ago it even had French law, (although some and maybe all of that has gone by the wayside). Laissez les bons temps roulez and all that. All this to say that there are still small but deep pockets that aren’t Anglo-Saxon

                  1. Precisely this. Colorado has more French than German.
                    And yet, our civic and participatory culture is still solidly English, and goes all the back to John Lackland.
                    Borrowing things is what the west does. There is no pristine culture. But GERMAN? really?
                    Most of what German gave us was 20th century statism, because that’s when they took the lead in Europe.
                    Which as we all know….. went well. Culminating in the sh*t show we call the EU, because SS was taken.

                  2. Apparently all the US does now. At least the guilty until proven innocent part

                    1. The French system, like all inquisitorial systems, does not presume guilt. Or innocence. Its purpose is to establish the truth. In theory, you’re not supposed to have shenanigans about “discovery” and concealing evidence — anyone who turns up anything relevant to the truth needs to bring it to the court.

          1. Gets complicated because anything Christmas or Christmas-like across the entire planet has been either replaced or melting-potted with the American version.

              1. If you like fried chicken and strawberries (not together) it’s fine. The oddest thing about Christmas in Japan is that it is just a working day not a holiday.

                Japan has culturally appropriated bits of Christmas and put their own spin on them, just as they do with everything else from Buddhism and Chinese to Capitalism and Quality Assurance.

              1. No. We really didn’t. Tomahawk and Cross is a good read. If you have access to the NYT historical files you can look up the Christmas tree controversy.

                1. It’s also bullshit. NYT.
                  SERIOUSLY most of the crap you’re referencing went Europe-wide before America got it, and America got it because well to do brides went to England for a season. I KNOW. Dan’s family did that.
                  SERIOUSLY. The stuff you’re saying is so wrong it’s not even wrong. I suspect I know where the well-spun porkies come from, but you need to figure out it’s bullshit.

                  1. NYT: I was speaking of the archives. You can read it going back to the 18th century.

                    The porkies (?) come from family history. Clearly your mileage varied widely.

  31. Culture – yet another thing we could actually think about if Sociology and Anthropology were real things. When we build up and over we are going to have to figure out a way to resurrect the social sciences. Sadly, I don’t think Thomas Sowell will be around to lead us in the endeavor. We will need his texts to form the basis of any social science that makes sense.

    1. Mary Douglas, Cultural Theory of Risk. One of the most explanatory theories in the social sciences. I’ve wanted to write a post on it here but sloth isn’t one of the 7 deadlines for nothing. She was unkind about environmentalists and the CND so you’ll not find her stuff in any academic department now.

      She proposes a set of four ways of managing change from collectivists who are afraid of any change, individualists who manage it themselves, authoritarians who believe in experts, and schlubs — not her word — who just have it happen to them. Add psychopaths to her set and you have a superb analytical framework for understanding the covidacy, and a great deal of the cultural change we’ve been discussing here over the last several posts.

  32. While it is true that those who migrated west in the US did volunteer to take on the hardships – they had every intent of not doing it for any longer than they absolutely had to. Now, one pair of my g’g’g’g’grandparents (I might be missing a g’, I’d have to look it up to be sure) didn’t get into a “real” three room house until the third winter, living in the sod house until then. But that was because it was (according to family lore) a full two-summer-day trip to the nearest rail head. Not a lot of trees in north central Kansas.

  33. Starving and lacking the werewithal to live; surviving on crusts of bread and having to hoard rags so you don’t freeze, etc. etc. don’t make people strong. Physically they make them small and measurably dumber. And emotionally, it seems to mostly breed serfs.

    Don’t forget making them more susceptible to disease. Part of the reason the Plague was so devastating was that harvests were lousy during the Little Ice Age. Everybody was cold, wet, miserable and starving. Probably vitamin D deficient, too.

  34. What worries me is the number of allegedly adult friends I have who still don’t understand that we are owned by what we receive for “free”.

    1. What they give you for ‘free’ they can take away. Or impose ‘conditions’ on getting that ‘free’ stuff.

  35. But making the place characterless and bland is not in anyone’s best interest, and in my opinion is the cause of “people forgot how to make babies.”

    No thanks to Kinsey, Sanger, et al, we never did forget how to make babies. But I think far too many members of our Western nations are forgetting why.

    1. One of the people of my generation, talking to me after my son’s wedding, told me of his daughter, who is older, but in no hurry to have kids, and said “It’s the stupidest thing. People forgot how to make babies.” I was referencing that, because I’ve talked about it. (Not that you have to remember everything I’ve ever talked about. That one I remember because he was so sad.)

      1. I see that. I also think there’s an attitude, conscious and sub-, that looks at the meaninglessness we’ve enforced on modern life and asks “What’s here worth leaving to anybody, or bringing a child into?”

        1. My husband (naturalized American from Africa) mentioned that they were taught as children (so, in African schools) that people having too many kids was part of why Africa was so poor.

          There’s a reason why we have all the kids, and his siblings, cousins and friends have zero to three, and it’s largely because, as a friend of mine put it once “You aren’t religiously LDS, Holly, but you’re culturally LDS.” I really internalized children as being a positive thing. It’s fun doing home school co-op because the adults are outnumbered about five-to-one.

          I don’t know that it’s actually an American idea, that having children is bad. Europe seems to be even more anti-children than the USA, but whoever came up with it, it’s been propegated successfully everywhere.

            1. “People were taught that there were too many people. And against all reality, they insist on believing it.”

              May Paul Ehrlich be reincarnated as a serf toiling on a subsistence collective farm on a pristine planet with few people and no modern technology.

            1. I hadn’t realized how anti-children until I was in Poland and was taken aback at first by the enormous numbers of kidlets all over the place. Which was normal when I was a child, but that you never see in Germany or most other European places that I’m familiar with.

    2. But I think far too many … are forgetting why.

      I think this summarizes the basic theme to a lot of anime– I’ve been describing stuff like Elegant Yokai Apartment Life as “how to adult” mini-series.

      But it’s also “how to be a FUNCTIONING adult,” and “WHY to live.” Just the basic, healthy, natural law type reasons– some of the stuff in EYAL that hits the hardest is pointing out the obvious things that get ignored. (The stories for the cook and the kid, for those who’ve seen it. Other parts were a lot more fun, but OUCH.)

  36. The problem of cultures is that though we know they change and adapt, we have no idea how to do that to them intentionally.

    I know of one way, and only one way, to change a culture intentionally, and that is to spread a religion. It won’t change everything about the culture, but history records lots of cases where a people group’s cultural practices altered after lots of people converted to a new-to-them religion. For example, one group (can’t place their names right now, this is from memory, but this was reported to me as a true story with names and dates listed so it could be verified) used to engage in cycles of revenge killings. Then missionaries came and preached Christianity, and a large percentage of the group converted. They then said, “Hey, Jesus taught us to love our enemies and pray for them, so we have to stop these revenge killings.” And within just a few years, there were practically no revenge killings any longer. I believe there were still some, because there are always going to be a few people who don’t believe the religion that the majority of their culture has converted to, and stick to the old ways. But by and large, the new religion had changed the culture: in this case, for the better. (Depending on the religion, it can change the culture for the worse, as well).

    But the reason that this example succeeded at changing the culture was that the people decided to make the change for themselves. This was not a change imposed on them from outside: the missionaries didn’t say “Hey, I order you all to stop these revenge killings.” They just preached the teachings of Jesus, and the people who believed in those teachings decided for themselves that their cultural practice was incompatible with their newly-found faith. Whereas when the Left tries to change cultural practices, it will only be successful with people who have become true believers in the religion of Marx that they preach. Everyone else might be forced into outward compliance, if the Marxists have gained political power in their country, but the cultural practices will just go underground in such a case; they certainly won’t stop. The only way for a cultural practice to stop is for a large number of people to become convinced for themselves that it’s no longer desirable.

      1. Yep. Imposed from above never works, as can be seen time and time again when the Marxists try it.

      2. Yeah, it really boils down to individual choice there, and that’s the only reason it DOES work. It’s like Himself planned it that way or something… 😀 (And, of course, that is why the Marxists can’t grasp it, and likely why they hate Christianity: as our hostess has said, Marxism is a Christian heresy, and they REALLY don’t understand a.) why it’s a heresy, and b.) why Christianity itself works where their abomination does not.)

    1. A little late to the party, but this could have been in West Papua, Indonesia. The tribe my parents started the Bible translation for was one of the tribes that did that. There are a number of other major culture shifts in New Guinea that have been documented in the last 50-100 years as a result of the introduction of Christianity. Also, with regards to the issue of imposition from above, the missionary effort to our tribe came from one of the other tribes in the region, not from the western missionaries.

      1. While I can’t remember the exact source I got that story from, I do know that it was missionaries from a Bible translation group that told the story. So yes, it might well have been from that part of the world.

    2. The only way for a cultural practice to stop is for a large number of people to become convinced for themselves that it’s no longer desirable.

      And that’s why we don’t have separate water fountains for colored people anymore, not some law passed by Congress.

      1. If a large number of people still desired the practice to continue, a law passed by Congress would only succeed in removing the labels from the water fountains. It would not, however, succeed in changing the labels people carried around in their heads: “Oh, that’s the colored people’s fountain, I don’t want to drink there”, or in the other direction, “Oh, that’s the white people’s fountain, if I drink out of that one then someone is going to yell at me and/or beat me up; I’m not in the mood for trouble, so I’d better avoid it.” Note that in the latter case, the cultural penalties inflicted on the person breaking the unwritten rule might be totally illegal… but they would still happen anyway as soon as the eyes of the Law weren’t looking.

        I’m very glad the culture has moved away from that particular version of segregation… and I’m NOT happy about how people are preaching neo-segregation under the false name of “anti-racism”. Not happy at all.

  37. When I was a little kid, you would find me playing in the gutter on the corner of 35th and Toledo Ave after a thunderstorm rolled through. Ice cold water, even in midsummer, flowing down the gutter, through little dams, and valleys in the dirt washed of lawns upstream. I’d be padding around watching it, helping it, diverting it as it made it’s way east to the storm drain.

    Your thoughts remind me of that time of my life. I read your thoughts here, and it’s exciting to see where they go. I learn from you, and I’m excited to see what I think and what you think and how they line up. Your thinking flows, with interesting and surprising twists and turns. I have learned much from reading here. It is a special place, where my curious mind can explore and expand.

    Thank you for putting this out here… for me. I need this.

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