Fun House Mirrors

Story is not reality. And fiction often takes liberties with reality.

While I find the injection of leftist politics or climate change “facts” into every possible TV series, it’s not enough to make me want to put a shoe through the TV.

And my husband knows that if he insists on watching TV while I’m in the room, he will have to put up with my occasional commentary, when I look up from typing and hear something particularly egregious. My commentary is rarely profane. It usually is more like “Pshaw.” And “In your dreams that’s proven.” Or “What world are you living in?”

I find politics in entertainment products annoying, but I also know the left can’t help themselves.

No, it’s the other stuff that really gets to me, and often makes me shout, “Hon, you can’t watch this while I’m here. Not if you like that TV.”

Of course, we’ve been married a long time. When I say that he was usually about ten seconds from turning it off himself.

The other stuff? Yeah. the “of course this is the world and how it works.” That stuff, because it’s just part of the setup slides under the radar for most people. I don’t even know if I catch it because I have a writer’s brain or because I have a small Cold War Injury that only hurts when I laugh, and I ain’t laughing.

Stuff that gets to me: No one is clean. No, listen to me: NO ONE IS CLEAN. Not even the so called hero, who is often the most despicable of them all, but hey he kills bad guys, so he’s wonnerful.

However not only is everyone cheating, stealing and killing as a matter of course, but they’re also engaging in all forms of sexual depravity real and imaginary.

This is why btw in the left’s mind the worst crime is “hypocrisy” because everyone is the worst of the worst all the time, and pretending to be good is only done to make others feel bad. Because why else would you do it.

I often wonder if that’s why every lefty politician (or businessman) once you scratch the surface is a horror show. And which came first. Is it because they all are like this, or because they grew up thinking everyone is like this?

And the entire worldbuilding is bizarre and exhausting, when you bake that in. Look, I’m not the nicest person int he world, but where would I find time to have underage sex slaves? And where would I keep them? And who has the energy? EVEN SUPPOSING I HAD ANY INTEREST. Ditto with a drug habit. (Well, coffee, but–) Or the multiple affairs on the side. Or attending Satanist masses or whatever the heck I’m supposed to be doing according to the left’s perception of the world.

It’s like “Dude, I’m late on a short story and three novels. I’m going to have to pass up on the sex cult this month again. Sorry.”

Then there is the society. No, seriously.

First, the power brokers in the society are always white and what I’d call “Southern preachers” even when they aren’t. Heck, they’re Southern Preachers circa 1980, with the hair and the suits. And these will be corporate officers or whatever.

Have your female character get a job in a corporation and she’d either going to be asked if she’s a Christian, or treated like an oddity and like she’s overreaching herself.

I’ll be honest: I’ve been in the US for almost 40 years. NONE OF THAT HAS BEEN TRUE EVER. Even in the eighties the assumption if you were “smart” is that you were an atheist and any mention of going to church would get you made fun of. Because it was pushed in all the colleges that that was backward and “ignorant.” It was also pushed in all the entertainment even back then.

Unless a corporation is specifically I don’t know “United Baptist Books” (meh. I’m out of coffee. It’s best I can come up with.) You’re not going to get asked about your religion. And even there you’re unlikely to.

And all the characters somehow got brought up in this oppressive ultra-Christian, ultra-conformist society that might once have existed somewhere, in a small town in the South circa 1950 but I doubt it, because I grew up in an oppressively mono-religious little village, and even then there were dissenters and scoffers, and if they weren’t actually frontally attacking the majority they were ignored and tolerated.

AND despite getting brought up in that kind of background and acting shocked at the stupidest things, if a scene calls for them to talk about sex, they reveal knowledge of perversions I never heard about before, and note I learned about sex from Roman mythology first.

Then there are the …. Look, climate alarmism is a thing that in the provincial backwaters of academia and associated fields gets taken for revealed truth. Even though none act as if it were really true. I mean, look, if you really think we’ve passed the point of no return, and are all going to be dead in ten years why are you saving for retirement? I figure the back of their brains is much smarter than they are. But never mind.

But why is it that even the characters who don’t believe in it never laugh and say “that’s nonsense?” No, the characters always say things like “I don’t care if the world burns.” Like there is no room at all to question the nonsense. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the church of holy Gaia is obviously stupid. This is probably virtue signaling, or maybe the writers really being that dumb, but the result is that if you have a modicum of science training, you find yourself looking at the screen and going “They’re all mentally deficient” which adds another layer of horror to the setting.

And then there is the other “of course.” OF COURSE a white character is racist, no matter how they hide it, or even if they work tirelessly for racial harmony. OF COURSE a Muslim character has been bullied and treated badly (note, there is almost no incidence of this. At all. There are more hate crimes against Jews than Muslims. Also my laugh out loud moment was the Muslim guy who grew up in Denver talking about all the Christians putting him down. I was going “Dude, just DUDE. There are more open Muslims than open Christians in Denver, because big city and …. What?”)

The compound world of all these “of courses” is a horrible, nasty place, where every human is feral, women are more discriminated against than in the Middle East and oh, yeah, there is no way to get ahead except by thieving, murdering and defrauding others.

And all of this gets put in the back of people’s heads by not being part of the main plot, just “how things are.” Which means they will confuse it with lived experience.

When you wonder where the left comes from? They come from TVlandia, and it’s a terrible place.

They’re so convinced the world is like that that they can’t even perceive the real world. And that’s before you get to all the alarmism nonsense about climate or whatever is the thing today.

I wish there was a miracle to remove the blinders and let them see they don’t have to be miserable. But if it exists, I haven’t found it.

And I don’t know how to combat this dropping of sludge into the soul except by creating better worlds and keeping pushing them out there.

Under over and around. Because there’s no other way.

276 thoughts on “Fun House Mirrors

  1. The left has many codes they live by:

    Ignorance is bliss
    Megalomania is its own reward
    Todays doctrine is truth and always has been
    Envy is virtue

    The first should make them very happy, but all the others make that impossible.

    Only humanly possible way to change someone’s worldview is to understand it and attack their most fundamental beliefs. Finding out what those are can be difficult to put it mildly. Five avenues of questioning can help:
    1. What is their ultimate authority?
    2. Whats the pecking order of authority?
    3. What’s their morality and where does it come from?
    4. What happens if you obey or disobey the rules?
    5. What does the future hold?

    Simple in principle, hard in practice.

    The other method is to pray to God that He save them. We need a lot of that prayer right now.

    1. I wonder if we ought stop thinking and speaking in terms of left and right. It might be more realistic to consider the divide twix righteous and evil, or sane, insane and criminally insane.

      1. Well, iirc, the idea of left and right came from the French Revolution. After Louis XVI was deposed, in the parliament the most radical people were on the left, less radical were on the right.

        In the context of todays statists, it’s still fairly apt. A spectrum starting from the left of Dem wokezis moving to the middle with GOPe, then ending on the right with Freedom Caucus conservatives. But the “far right” still are fundamentally bought into big government statism and the longer they’re in DC the more bought in they get.

        As I’ve said before, we have a noxious, perverted, twisted Gordian knot of a problem here. Someone is going to cut it…I hope it’s God and not an Alexander.

        1. and fitting in with “Hitler went to the right” as he was radical left, hated “Jewish Capitalism” but didn’t go full socialist because he needed those businesses to actually work for him (those companies the gov’t did fully take over were disasters), and worse, attacked Brother Joe Stalin (ahead of schedule)

    1. I’m pretty sure this is exactly why they think that the Right are sexist, misogynist, homophobes.

    2. Yep, alas. The very idea that most people don’t do X, don’t want to do X, may never have heard of X, and don’t even have time to do X never, ever occurs to them. Everyone must have the same vices, just dialed up to 11.

  2. Hum. I haven’t turned the TV on once so far this year, probably had it on no more than 5 times last year and three of those times it was likely on for less than 10 minutes.

    Thanks for reminding me I ain’t missing anything important.

    1. We haven’t watched anything currently on broadcast or cable TV in years. Went to streaming internet and watched all kinds of stuff, mostly foreign. The world of current American TV is a bizarre fun-house mirror, with everything wildly distorted.
      My grandson’s current cartoon series? A Russian import called “Masha and the Bear” – cute little adventures with a hyperactive little girl named Masha, her animal friends, and a retired circus Bear who is her best friend. Not a LGQTBXYZ-rainbow or a scrap of current wokery anywhere in sight.

      1. Yep, via the net I’m watching a number of Japanese cowboy and Indian movies.

        OK, OK actually Samurai and ninjas but good guys and bad guys, bushido code rather than the Code of the West, same stories, different culture. They still head them off at the pass and ̶r̶i̶d̶e̶ ̶ stomp off into the sunset. I tend to contend that Toshiro Mifune was Japan’s John Wayne.

        I wonder if the passing of the kids cowboy Saturday matinees contributed to or was part of the moral decay that lead to now.

        1. One of the ideas I’ve kicked around in my head is for a novel about a Japanese aristocrat and some of his retainers moving with their families to the Mid-West in the mid to late 1800s. Tentative title of “Samurai and Six-Shooters”. Samurai and cowboys, of course. Obviously there’d be a lot of culture shock and changes as the newcomers settled into the local existing community. But I think it could work as a rather fun novel.

          1. Sort of an aristocratic flip on Blue Sun. Sounds neat! I mean, if the Brits shipped younger sons out to the middle of nowhere, er, Kansas and the Texas Panhandle to keep them out of mischief, why not a samurai in search of greener pastures?

            1. If memory serves – and likely it doesn’t after a long day minding the Wonder Grandson and a couple of glasses of cheap pino grigio — wasn’t there a Japanese samurai who went to Mexico with all his family and supporters?
              Still, if I am only imagining this, it would be a very fun concept to work with … (hurriedly makes notes for an upcoming Lone Star Sons episode.)

                    1. Short, fat, bald and happy; finally got a couple of teeth to come in (he’s been sure he’s teething since shortly after birth), bear-walks everywhere and is occasionally standing up.

                      Also thinks it’s HILARIOUS when he does a raptor-shriek and everyone leaps to obey.

            2. Well, for crossings of course there’s Kurosawa’s Ran, and King of Texas relocates King Lear to Texas.

              I’ve always felt the Cordelia character was ‘hard done by’ in Lear.

                1. For some reason never looked into sources for Lear. has the Faerie Queen bit, which ends
                  “Till that her sisters children, woxen strong
                  Through proud ambition, against her rebeld,
                  And ouercommen kept in prison long,
                  Till wearie of that wretched life, her selfe she hong.”

                  So, even there Cordelia reached the end of her rope.

                  Thanks for the stimulus to look!

        2. Wakarimasu.

          Three movies to watch, all Kurosawa:


          Hidden Fortress

          Seven Samurai

          Fine examples of jidaigeki film. You will likely immediately recognize the basic stories. You have seen derivatives.

          1. I first saw many of the Kurosawa movies at NYC’s Bleeker St. Cinema in the early sixties. Hidden Fortress is one I still haven seen, I’m searching for a copy now to correct that.

            Just found one & dowloading.

        3. My husband is hooked on teenage romance anime.

          … the fantasy ones are pretty enjoyable. I prefer the ludicrous cooking based ones, though, like Restaurant to Another World.

          1. @ Foxfier > “My husband is hooked on teenage romance anime.”

            I am relieved to hear my menfolk are not the only ones.

            I think.

            1. In the spirit of enabling an addiction– try The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague .

              Binged that last night, discussed if we were EVER that adorable.

              1. I’ve been watching that one, too, along with ‘Tomo-Chan Is A Girl’, ‘Handyman Saito In Another World’ and ‘Ningen Fushin – Adventurers Who Don’t Believe In Humanity’.

                I also got my order of ‘Spice And Wolf’, ‘Patema Inverted’, ‘The Saga Of Tanya The Evil’ and ‘Myriad Colors Phantom World’ after it was shipped from Iowa to Los Angeles, then took a detour through Atlanta on the way to San Diego.

                1. :chuckles: “Tomo-chan is a girl” is also too cute for words, even if I can’t stand the amount of pure cute that is Tomboy swooning over the blonde “princess.”

                  The raw enthusiasm is just so endearing.

                2. ’ after it was shipped from Iowa to Los Angeles, then took a detour through Atlanta on the way to San Diego.

                  ….that is impressive.

      2. There’s reasons I am binging on older shows on DVD like Stargate SG-1 and Buffy, dropped cable, and am dropping Disney+ now that I realized I forgot to.

        1. We’ve added Netflex (son paying for) and Paramount+ (sorry, still like Star Trek). Looking into what we need to cover our other must have’s (Golf Channel).

        2. I would recommend Farscape, Babylon 5, and Leverage, if you’re not familiar with them. They’re quite fun, with a lot of interesting characters. (I don’t think Leverage is too socialist-y, as it isn’t just ‘steal from the rich to give to everyone else because if they’re rich they must be evil,’ there’s always a reason they’re going after the given scumbag. But it’s up to you, of course.)

          1. ((waggles hands))

            Leverage is awesome, except for the last season which is utter socialist drek. Fortunately, the previous season finale actually gives good closure to the main plot and character arcs of the show, so I jut ignore everything after.

            As for B5 and Farscape: watch them. Watch them now. Watch them lots.

            1. The thing about Farscape (one of my all tive favorite shows, let alone SF) is that it’s all about the characters and the emotional roller coasters it sends them on. It will grab you by the gut again and again and again. Oh, and make sure you watch the Peacekeeper Wars mini at the end, otherwise it ends really, really badly.

                1. The thing that got me was John Crichton’s daughter that he will never meet. (Fans of the show will know exactly what I mean.) That one was personal as family is so important to me.

                2. I kinda want to see a crossover where John Crichton meets Q, just for godlike-alien-reasons. (And because Q is fantastically entertaining… on the other side of the screen.)

                  1. Didn’t you just tell me a day or two ago that you like having god-like beings drop in on your campaign worlds and dick around?

                    I’m sensing a theme here…

                    1. It’s a fair cop. I have certain tastes in media, and I don’t honestly know why.

                      I know I’ve loved disguises and subsequent mask-drop moments about as long as I remember – my favorite Bible story growing up was when Jesus met Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, and she didn’t recognize Him until He called her by name. And there was the scene in The Prydain Chronicles where Prince Gwydion dropped the ‘humble shoemaker’ guise in front of Taran.

                      And meddling beings of great or god-like power (which is different from God-like power) are somehow so much fun.

          2. Burn Notice was good for at least the first three years. I have the whole series but never finished it.

          3. Hmm… I’ve only heard of Leverage because there’s an Invisible Inc. mod that adds the characters to the game, and I don’t know much about it except that it revolves around capers. But putting it in the same league as B5 and Farscape is high praise.

            I might have to check it out one of these days.

            1. A brief summary:

              Ocean’s 11 meets Found Family.

              Hitter, Hacker, Grifter, Thief, Mastermind

              Chuck Norris looks under his bed for Elliot Spencer every night.
              With gummy frogs and orange soda, Alec Hardison can conquer the world.
              Sophie Deveraux is the best actress you’ve ever seen… as long as it’s an act.
              Nathan Ford puts the functional in ‘functional alcoholic,’ but gets scarier when he’s sober.
              And Parker? Parker is insane.

              1. Sounds interesting. I’ve never really been into caper shows/movies, but I did finally watch Inception about a week ago and greatly enjoyed it. So who knows.

                …Also, it just occurred to me that my favorite GAME is based around capers. While that’s not the main reason I play it, it does now seem a little odd.

                1. Hmm… an insane thief? Now I’m wondering how similar she is to Banks (a brain-fried thief from Invisible Inc.).

      3. It’s pretty crazy that one of the best animated shows of recent years is based on a plotless video game, on one of the most hypersexualized absolute bonkers villain characters, and they turned it into a superbly-characterized multicharacter tragedy arc. (And also managed to deemphasize the objectification.)

        Arcane, in case you’re wondering. Animated by a French company. (There’s also a YouTube guy called schee who has done a lot of very worthwhile character analysis videos on the series, useful information in any creative endeavor.)

        Anyway. Haven’t watched TV news in years, barring weather events. Stopped doing that entirely in college, not entirely because of seeing how the sausage was made (broadcast studies degree), but that certainly didn’t encourage me to cultivate a taste for it.

        1. Based on League of Legends, correct? LoL doesn’t have a plot… but it does have a setting that’s laid out in the backstories of each of the champions. And the setting is at least semi-cohesive. I’m sure the setting has massive gaps in it. But that doesn’t matter for a plotless video game that ignores such basic story principles as “putting teams together out of characters who are at least nominally on the same side”.

          Much like how in Overwatch you can have Soldier 76 and the man who betrayed him fighting side by side during a match. There’s a setting so that the characters you can choose to play with are more than just a name and powers. But that setting has no effect on the actual gameplay.

        2. Arcane was better than I expected it to be. I’ve never play League of Legends but my brothers have.

        3. As somebody who played the original Castlevania, I started watching clips out of the series with a completely different mindset than what I found. To be blunt, I was stunned by awesome. As an example, the Isaac character arc and how it is framed.

    2. $SPOUSE and I watched broadcast TV in decreasing amounts over the years. Either shows we liked got cancelled or finished their run, like Person of Interest, or the show would go places we didn’t like. (Or in some cases, the damned show got stuck in neutral; The Mentalist got that way, and we skipped the final season or two.) We just got tired of the NCIS shows, and stopped completely after Mark Harmon left the original. (The woke factor was getting bad, too.)

      We watch a few shows together, Midsomer Murders makes an effort to be unpredictable, though the clergy in the show is either the villain, antisocial, or a victim. (Embrace “and” for some of them.) The only tell is the fact that the perp tends to be one of the nicer people in the episode, but there are enough counterexamples to make it worth watching.

      I have the full run of Bones in the TBW stack, and we’re starting off on Morse. I never saw any of the latter when it was aired, so it’s a change of pace. OTOH, with MM, we don’t always remember whodunit, especially for the older episodes that we have on DVD.

      $SPOUSE now seems to watch some of the live-crime shows, Weather Nation, and ancient game shows on Buzzer. I’ll catch a little of Alex Trebeck doing Concentration. Silly, but fun rebuses.

      1. I haven’t quit the NCIS series, yet. OTOH if I overrun the commercials, fast forwarding, whatever. Might be getting close.

        1. What, you don’t have the Babylon 5 DVD sets? I’ve seen them frequently at the local used DVD store.

          I bought mine back when they were first published, so, late Nineties/early Naughties. I’ve also got a copy of the original version of ‘The Gathering’ with the Stewart Copeland score.

    3. I gave up TV years ago as there’s no reliable over-the-air signal and I found we were paying $50+ plus a month and maybe actually watching a nickel’s worth. After that, well, now I occasionally at some place that has a TV going and… wow, is that ever annoying.

      1. I’ve only turned mine on a few times a year over the last ten or more years. Each time I turn it of I know I haven’t missed anything leaving it off.

  3. I’m not likely to ever be a slave owner, sexual or otherwise. Too much responsibility and work for one. Even if you just used and disposed of them. Heck, I’m not even able to handle having a live-in housekeeper (Although my wife might like that!) Hmmm. I’d best not suggest it to her either. She might think she’d be better off with a housekeeper, and not me. /chuckle

  4. I would not agree that most businesses don’t care if their employees are Christian. In fact, most businesses persecute practicing Christians.

    Also worth mentioning: the reason that there are so many mass murders by sexually frustrated young men is that they can see on TV that everyone else is having wild sex all the time.

      1. Numerically, most mass killings are perpetrated by white, middle aged males that target their spouse, children, and other family members. Familicides. As whites are something like 80% of America, I’d be very surprised if this was not the case for familicide.

        Second most are felony killings. These are murders with an overtly criminal motive such as financial gain, gang killings, etc. These are primarily younger hispanic and black males.

        The least common numerically, by far, are the “public” style mass killing. These are either white males who have suffered some perceived failure in life stereotypically… Or are immigrants, legal or illegal, as some studies suggest.


        It’s part of a three part series. If you want the hard data, it relies heavily on Emma Friedman’s “A Multivariate Comparison of Family, Felony, and Public Mass Murders in the United States” that she did for the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, but I believe that one’s behind paywalls.

        (Delete if this double posts. WP does not want this one, judging by how it keeps kicking it out).

          1. As memory serves, the Isla Vista (Santa Barbara area) murder is the only one I can think of from a sexually frustrated young man(-child). According to Wiki, he was upset that the girls didn’t like him and other guys got girls. Further commentary indicated he was a piece of work, and there was a good reason why a lot of people stayed away from him.

            Wiki reference:

            1. I remember reading about him at the time, and skimming through some of the essays he left behind. He was an all-around misanthrope who hated everyone equally. But the fact that he was also a young straight male meant that he tended to focus more on women than would likely have otherwise been the case. Or at least that was the impression that I came away with. He also – ironically, given the fact that he was half-Chinese through his mother – had a bit of a white superiority complex.

              1. There was the guy in Japan who murdered his mom’s whole village, because he was bored and the girls wouldn’t date him, and also he was unpleasant so nobody liked him.

                All the stuff about being stuck in a remote village with the phones and electricity cut off, and a murderer running around? That’s copying him.

                1. But that was back in the 1930’s, I think? And the village allowed dating by bundling (“night visiting”), but the girls weren’t interested in bundling with him. Because he creeped them out.

                  1. Might also be important that in the ’30s, Japan was in the grip of the full-bore cultural insanity that would be on display during World War 2. In China, due to the Sino-Japanese War, the culture was already showing signs of all of the problems that the rest of the world would see starting in 1941.

                    That might have affected this particular mass murderer.

                    1. Yeah, the Communists were assassinating people, and people were assassinating the Communists. The army and the navy were assassinating their own politicians, and invading Manchuria without much civilian government consent. And so on.

                    2. And yeah, they sent the kid to live with his grandma in the rural village, to keep him out of trouble. Well. That didn’t work.

                      He sounded like a Leopold and Loeb type, honestly.

                    3. It’s called the Tsuyama Case, after the name of the closest town to the village. May 21, 1938.

                      And like a lot of these guys, he shot himself at the end of his murder spree.

  5. We stopped watching the crime shows when the “surprise” villain was always the white Christian businessman. Or the white Christian ex-military man. Leftists are not just wrong, they’re boring.

    1. That’s why I gave up on the Law & Order franchise. Every villain was always either a White Christian businessman, a Big Pharma exec, a Dick Cheney/GWB analogue, or whatever the Right-Wing Boogeyman of the Week was whenever that particular episode had been written (the infamous SVU “GamerGate” episode comes to mind).

      Yeah, when I can figure out exactly who the villain is the second they’re introduced solely due to their “demographic,” there’s no mystery left anymore.

      1. I find this to be quite lazy, speaking as someone that occasionally scribbles a plot or two. Proper villains need more than a slick moustache and a few quips about 4teh evuls. Proper villains need motivations, drives, obsessions, quirks, codes, failures, virtues, cares, concerns… They need DEPTH.

        Cardboard cutout bad guys are boring. You don’t have to lavish detail upon the faceless goons, but the mid boss better have some love. The BBEG needs just as much attention to detail as the protagonist/hero.

        Skimping on the forces of evil is just shoddy workmanship. Everybody knows a potential bad guy or two. There’s bad guy potential in you. What would you do if you no longer cared about the consequences and just let your occasional frustration and rage have its way? What would you do if you could get away with it? If there was a way to satisfy your petty frustrations in a permanent and untraceable fashion… would you?

        Evil means to good ends is a lesson we’ve been watching real time for decades. Everybody wants a clean, healthy planet right? Everybody wants everyone to be healthy, happy people right? But using force to make those ends happen is Not Okay, per the Constitution (and common bloody sense, but we’re well past that gate).

        There are so many ways to do evil and make it compelling that the fact that they don’t even try offends me. Deeply.

        This may be part of the reason I don’t bother watching tv.

        1. Successful villains monolog to corpses, from far away, nonverbal.

          “Welk, if I am going to die, tell me for what.”



          1. “No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die.” – Auric Goldfinger

            Would have shortened the franchise a lot, but that would have been very satisfying had that gone on.

            1. I was a bit taken aback a few months ago to find a coworker of…. advanced maturity, shall we say, was unaware of the meaning of ‘Auric’. “Wait… Auric Goldfinger’s name was really… Gold(ie) Goldfinger?!”

              1. Lots of that sort of ignorance: “What, you mean the soldier is named Miles and Miles is Latin for soldier??”

                1. “What do they do in the infantry?
                  They squawk and squawk and squawk,
                  About miles and miles and miles,
                  That they have had to walk.

                  They march across the ocean,
                  And that’s quite a trick to do,
                  But don’t forget the Air Corps
                  Has done some marching, too!”

                  1. Sirius Black the animagus whose other form was a black dog? Minerva McGonagall, whose other form is an owl? Charms Professor Flitwick? Draco Malfoy? Woman was not subtle. Like, at all.

              2. I know what auric means because I was into Dragonlance when I was younger, and ‘auric’ was one of the flavors of draconian. And I know what ‘gauntlet’ (as in an ordeal, not the armor piece) means because I played the arcade game by that name as a kid.

                You learn from the strangest places.

                1. Nit: the gold wingless jerks were spelled aurak. I guess to keep in with the nomenclature of bozak, kapak, Sivan. No idea why they deviated with the baaz

                  1. > “Nit: the gold wingless jerks were spelled aurak.”

                    Right, sorry. It’s been a couple of decades. But given the metal theme of the draconians, aurak and auric were close enough for me to figure it out.

                    > “I guess to keep in with the nomenclature of bozak, kapak, Sivan. No idea why they deviated with the baaz”

                    My guess is that bozak and bazak would have sounded too similar and caused confusion.

                    I also note that sivan could be considered a deviation too. Why not sivak?

                2. Auric I picked up from a video game series, Trails of Cold Steel, when they fancied up the colors of each of the Divine Knights so El-Prado became the Auric Knight rather than the Golden Knight. I don’t think anything can beat Palatinate Knight for the purple one, Zector, as far as fancied up names though!

                    1. Yeah I’m not sure where XSeed came up with that one for the localization – for Dingus, Nathan and others familiar with Japanese the characters used for Zector’s color are 紫紺 (shikon) – but it is a pretty badass mech and his pilot is pretty awesome too!

            2. In the very unlikely event that I ever become a Bond villain, I shall limit my monologue to the following:

              ‘If you can’t figure out my Evil Master Plan for yourself, you don’t deserve to know.’

              1. Which number on the Evil Overlord List was that again? 😀
                They are my enemies. Shooting is not too good for them.

          2. But who’s going to appreciate the brilliance of your plan if you don’t TELL them? It’s so unsatisfying to not be appreciated.

            1. I will struggle with the disappointment as I continue as the Evil Despot Who Lives In Luxury And Dies Of Old Age.

              1. There is great satisfaction to be had in cackling whilst you write the memoirs that will be securely stored and published after your death. It also gives your senior henchmen a reason not to bump you off, as they will surely be implicated once the book goes to press.

                1. Now, that would be a good plot twist.

                  OTOH, there is the danger that your Beautiful Daughter would read them and then be seduced by the Hero.

                  You’d better make sure you are neither Mad nor a Scientist, or possibly that you will not have a daughter, before you write them.

              2. Pshaw! Living in luxury is not conducive to making a truly good plan, which requires deep thought and hard work.

          1. I have heard rumors of people wanting to make Rainbow Six into a movie/show. I highly doubt they’d keep the bad guys intact, though. They didn’t in Sum of All Fears. Or Without Remorse.

            1. Now if they made Dead Six into a movie… 😛

              Cue the epic wailing and gnashing of teeth!
              The ‘insurrection’ wasn’t on January 6. It was on January 20, when the Democrats installed their puppets.

        2. I see the latest Marvel movie has a black villian, even if he happens to be Kree. Megalomaniac? Check. Extremely powerful? Check. Apparently trying to tempt the hero? Check.
          Or so the trailer implies.

      2. Although bringing back Big Pharma as the villian pushing dangerous vaccines for profit would be an awesome twist, now.

  6. I recently binge watched the Netflix show “Atypical” (recommended to me for reasons we need not get into here although you might guess). When the main character goes to college, he ends up taking an “ethics” class and some of the discussion in the class is about how bad climate change is. Well, it’s a college in the modern day, so, yeah. Main character is also worried that climate change will adversely affect antarctic penguins which are his “special interest”. I rolled my eyes but could go with it because in the context of the show it was probably what those people whould do and say.

    As for this belief of “gatekeeping” if you’re not Christian, well, I’ve been pretty open about my own religious preferences here and yet, strangely enough, it has never come up in anything related to my employment. The Left, however, gatekeeps based on religious belief (“leftism” and particularly “wokeism” being a religion) so that’s pure projection on their part.

    1. The only time I’ve seen a religious requirement was for two explicitly denominational colleges that required faculty to profess the tenants and creeds of those denominations. They were very clear about it, didn’t spring it as a surprise, and are both private schools that get no federal funds. I didn’t apply, but it wasn’t because of the religious requirement (lack of experience in one case, not the field I’m trained in for the other.)

      1. I lost a chance at a job with the Southern Baptist Convention back in the day when I admitted to the gatekeeper (boss’ secretary?) that alcohol had ,indeed, passed my lips, though I also said I would not drink if I got the job.

    2. I’ve seen progressive Mormons complain that the church is tightening up standards to teach at BYU(s). However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for a religious university to want their employees to reflect the actual beliefs of the faith instead of pushing some flavor of the church of progressive activism.

  7. Sad and funny but true. The people (TV writers, editors, producers) you describe have taken over the Publishing business, as you know. Sometimes I actually send out my stories to ‘literary’ magazines…. Yeah, hope is dope. I can’t stop hoping that maybe, finally, an adult has somehow burrowed into these echo chambers and will proclaim, “Hey, this is a story about a different time and it rings true and it is well written… and I think we should publish it.” Of course, he or she gets shouted down, probably fired. But I submit (wow, a loaded word…) anyway. And when the stories are chosen, or the contest won, the list of winners looks like the names of the participants at a meeting of the UN Council on Economic Reconciliation Because… Slavery and Sexism.

    I read an interview with Irvine Welsh where he says, “It would be very difficult, with the homogenization of culture, to publish a book like Trainspotting now. I don’t know if it would get published. It’d be a self-publishing job; then maybe a publisher would pick it up, after it got some buzz from there.”

    I don’t agree with him about the ‘homogenization of culture’ part, but he’s right on about everything else, and maybe just a little bit too kind. At one point he says in the interview that the book, Trainspotting, is about the ‘end of work.’ Again, too kind, perhaps he’s still hoping to publish, because that is not true. It’s about the destruction of the white middle class here in Scotland AND here is America.

    Anyway, enjoyed your article as usual.

  8. I liked the story from one of the Aubrey-Maturin novels about the Admiral being told that his ship’s chaplain had converted and died a Catholic…The Admiral replied that it gave him bragging rights to having the only clergyman in the Royal Navy with “any religion at all.”

    During my working years,I have never been asked my religion or known what religion any of my co-workers followed….

  9. I had a co-worker ask me if I was going to order the book Spare (by the author formerly known as Prince Harry) for the school library.

    I told her that I didn’t think it was appropriate for middle school because of the many references to his “todger” so, no.

    She was very disappointed. During the course of our subsequent conversation, it became clear that she believed every single thing was absolutely true in the series The Crown, that Sparkles and Harry have been extremely hard done by and they just want to be out of the public eye. She wondered why everyone was so mad at Harry when all their dirty laundry was already being aired in that show.

    I told her if they wanted out of the public eye they would not be doing television interviews, writing books and jetting around at every venue that would pay them. Constantly.

    It had never occurred to her to question their intentions. Because The Crown had apparently shown her the truth about the royal family.


      1. Ah, Katz’s Delicatessen… which doesn’t have waiters taking order like in the movie. Yes, I have been there. Twice. There is even a sign over one table with an arrow pointing down: [THIS IS WHERE HARRY MET SALLY]. If go there and have the pastrami, the celery soda pairs with it very well. But getting an ‘egg cream’ (which contains neither) would be understandable.

      2. What I find most hilarious about that cartoon is that Markle is black in real life, something that she constantly plays a drumbeat upon. But she looks like a white woman who tans well. Ramirez likely either doesn’t know (I didn’t for the longest time) or forgot about her ethnicity, and she’s as pale as Harry in that cartoon.

        1. Markle is not nearly as black as my wife, who isn’t. I doubt she is any darker than Our Hostess.

          The ‘One Drop Rule’ is stupid, no matter who plays by it.

          1. Depends on how much I’ve been out, yeah.
            And by the one drop rule I’m black.
            I don’t look black. I wasn’t raised in the culture. I’m not black.
            I only claim to be Latin occasionally, mostly to pick on the left. Though completely entitled to it, by culture.
            I am ALMOST sure I’m human.

              1. Heh, I got pegged as 100 % Ashkenazi Jewish, believe it or not. I didn’t think anyone got 100% anything

                  1. I must respectfully disagree, Madam.

                    Last I checked, I was 100% myself.

                    (Of course, there’s the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation that complicates matters when it comes to having received the Eucharist. But as pertains to the Incarnation, Jesus was 100% God and 100% human, so I don’t think that changes the degree to which I am me. Or it would do so in a positive direction, not negative.)

                    1. No. 100% of a small minority?
                      Though it would make for interesting physical issues. The 2% or so I have… (the rest being Sephardic, though no, not 100%) is considered to me at risk for a ton of things.

            1. > I am ALMOST sure I’m human.

              As long as the light is dim and nobody looks too closely, I can pass.

          2. She has to be Black so that the irritation of the British public with her antics can be attributed to anti-Black racism. And this is further proven by analysis of tweets by the impressively-credentialed* researcher Chris Bouzey and his Bot Sentinel, showing evidence of a racist Twitter bot campaign targeting her.

            Fro readers unfamiliar with “Lawtube” and the interesting evidence that’s come out via Nate the Lawyer’s defamation lawsuit against Mr Bouzey, that was sarcasm.

            1. With all this “oppression of blacks going around”, it’s amazing that “blacks” who can “pass for white” keep calling themselves “black”. [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

              Oh who was that woman with no known “black blood” who called herself Black and got into a leadership position of a local chapter of NAACP?

        2. There were some recent photos, by Harry’s wife, of herself without makeup. She was considerably paler than a white woman who tans well, because I’m a white woman who tans well. And my mom, who is also white, is considerably darker than me.

          She’s darker-skinned than my extremely pale redhead coworker, but I’ve seen redheads of different ethnicity who were darker than Harry’s wife.

          1. I’d rate Markle as about as dark as a Japanese friend of mine who mentioned once that people at a congregation she’d formerly attended thought she was a light-skinned Filipina. My friend is dark for a Japanese woman. But since it’s “dark for a Japanese woman” that we’re talking about, it means that outside of Japan she isn’t really all that dark.

            Or in other words, Markle is about as dark as someone who comes from a fairly homogenous ethnic group that’s well-known for being pale-skinned.

            And as Markle won’t stop telling us, she’s spent her entire life suffering the slings and arrows of discrimination against her due to the color of her skin.

            Heh. That’s a good one.

          2. I have taken to commenting that some of us have a lot of crackers in our personal woodpiles.

    1. It seems possible that the two are suicidal, and should be institutionalized for their own protection.

    2. I mean, Harry’s uncle (Prince) Edward got married and is actually living far from the public eye. He absolutely could do so if he/they wanted. It’s fairly clear they don’t.

    3. > “It had never occurred to her to question their intentions.”

      Did she at least wise up after you pointed this out?

  10. I stopped voluntarily watching TV dramas a long time ago. I am sometimes forced by social obligations to watch a few with friends. They all suck (the shows, not the friends, who are simply misled).

    I’d rather watch anime.

  11. I quit watching TV when Mythbusters went off the air. It was the only decently-entertaining show left that I actually enjoyed.

    Other than the Star Wars animated shows, which I couldn’t watch either due to the time slot (overlapped with Mama Raptor’s “News” programming) or the channel (which wasn’t included in our bare-bones channel package) I don’t feel like I’ve missed much of anything.

    1. History apparently just canceled, “Forged in Fire,” which was the only show I was watching regularly.
      Before that it was “Castle,” which was pretty good up to its last season.
      Otherwise, I remember watching an episode of, “Airwolves,” (involuntarily) with a critical witness in the hospital and commenting, ” And now the bad guys’ team will try to kill her,” just as they arrived.
      This did not make me more popular. It’s just cliche plots have been around a really long time.

      1. We’re re-watching “Chuck,” which has a terrific cast and fun plots. It’s a goof of a show but came out when beautiful women could be gorgeous and Adam Baldwin was at his peak prime yumminess. You mentioned Castle, one of our favorites, and I think Chuck falls into a similar category. Find ’em where you can, and share to the like-minded.

        1. Small world! I just picked up seasons 4 and 5 of Chuck, and season 4 of Castle. I’ll get around to watching them, Real Soon Now… 😛

          Might re-watch Bones, too.

          1. As I said, the last season of Castle and particularly the last episode is a rolling dumpster fire. I gather the previous season was supposed to be the final one, and had a definite “final episode,” that laid out what all the characters would be doing. But the fans protested, the network/studio hired new producers who had no clue about the show, and….

          2. I enjoyed Bones for a while. But after a while it got painful watching the reasons for the leads to not get together, and…

          3. Maybe I’ll try Chuck if I can find it. I did see the first two minutes of several episodes after My Name Is Earl (one of my favorite shows ever), but somehow it never struck me as something I wanted to watch.

            But time and taste can change. I never wanted to watch Community…until one of those depression-fueled sleepless nights, when I just didn’t care if I liked what was on Netflix or not, and then I started caring (laughing) a lot. Same with Schitt’s Creek; didn’t like the first few episodes much, watched it because depression and who-gives-a-crap, but then it just grabbed hold of me. And a couple of my now-favorite bands are ones I heard and passed over, only to have the same songs knock my socks off a few years later.

      2. Indeed – regular broadcast TV shows had gotten so predictable that we could pick out the villain and the resolution about ten minutes into the show, having seen every predictable plot at least twenty or thirty times before.

      3. Dang it. I love Forged In Fire. It and Seinfeld are the only TV I’ve watched in the past two years.

        No, wait…I started The Umbrella Academy, but it sucked, so I quit. Also started Daybreakers (I think that was the name) because I do like a good zombie show, but a good one it was not. The only characters who didn’t make my skin crawl after a few episodes were some of the zombies…so I quit.

        I don’t think the entertainment biz knows how to write watchable characters anymore.

        1. Forged In Fire

          Me Too. Although the last year they’ve been running out of themes and repeating a lot of recreations from prior season. Bringing people back, etc. I did appreciate the series of episodes where the kid (18/19?) student that beat out older much more experienced at forging.

  12. “Hypocrisy!” Ah, yes, right out of Rules for Radicals, the bits about “make them live up to their own standards” and “fix it, personalize it.” Notice that it’s always “the other side” that is supposed to be forced to act nice and be good, not the would-be-Radicals.

    1. @ TXRed > “make them live up to their own standards”
      Works for me.
      “Republicans removed Omar because Democrats insisted that anti-semitism was disqualifying and stripped MTG of her committee assignments purely out of spite.
      But now when Republicans give Omar the exact same treatment, it’s white supremacy.
      Watch these highlights of Democrats crying because the Republicans aren’t going to let an actual Jew-hating anti-semite on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
      Honestly, Democrats in Congress are CRYING because they think that THEY are allowed to be racists without consequences.”

  13. I understand the left are mentally ill. Just look at their eyes. They’ve all an inner Trigglypuff just waiting to make itself known.

    I’ve found a way to “agree” with them that makes them realize how foolish they sound. It’s been good camo so far…

    1. Finding that crack in the narrative that allows them to actually attempt to think is key. Sometimes it’s humor. Sometimes it’s just innocent questions. Sometimes it’s just reporting the truth without commentary.

      Whatever works. Many that vote left don’t do it because they are hardcore leftists. They just don’t think. They don’t even know the other side exists, outside of a few laughably incorrect talking points.

      Always leave a way out for your political foes. When backed into a corner, they always fight. Unthinkingly. But when you leave them a way out, sometimes they actually might begin to think, and then…

      Then they can’t be leftists anymore. Once the mask falls, you can’t unsee it.

      1. The Reader thinks that at some point soon we are going to have to distinguish between ‘political’ foes and just plain foes. Peel away the ones we can but recognize that at some point we are going to have to fight. The Reader doesn’t know when but is afraid it is close.

        1. The difference between those what can be saved and the rest is simple, I believe.

          The former can think. They can question things, use logic, recognize facts when they search them out. They can be argued with, reasoned with. They argue honestly as they know how.

          The cultists cannot. They do not think. They do not listen. They actively resist any argument that might make them question their own putative position of the moment (that changes, constantly). One does not argue with a cultist. One keeps them as far away as possible from innocents, positions of power, and influence over anything you really want to keep around.

  14. I tend to watch either British Murder Mysteries, the British are so polite when they are murdering each other… Or history/science shows. I actually like Ancient Aliens, not for their rampant speculation, but because they show a lot of ignored archeology in their show. Thank god for streaming services. I don’t think other than the occasional football game I have watched any network TV in five years. I do miss seeing some of the funnier commercials, but it is a small price to pay for all the other claptrap that goes along with woke TV.

    1. Yeah, am wrapping up a rewatch of the David Suchet Poirots (interspersed with Don Matteo*, Inspector Rex, and Guy Williams Zorro**) with one set of family members, starting a new-to-us anime (haven’t decided which one yet, maybe the comedic yakuza Romeo & Juliet) with a different set of family members, and (for research purposes) soloing my way through a rewatch of some midcentury British horror/scifi movies, with an emphasis on the gentleman adventurers, detectives, and monster hunters.

      *who just blew off a not so penitentially-minded penitent with “if you’ve already absolved yourself, then you don’t need me.” Pope Francis would have been peeved at that episode. 😀

      **One of the best things on Disney Plus right now.

      1. Pluto TV has a big sprawling Zorro telenovela. And I now know where the 90’s Zorro comics got their ideas, because apparently colonial Spanish California was full of mostly naked or underweared Mexican actresses.

    2. miss seeing some of the funnier commercials

      Heck I DVR everything, so I skip commercials. The only time commercials are worth watching is during Super Bowl, usually. Last few years those have been lame.

      1. I visited my brother when he lived in Florida. All the TV channels there broadcast split screen; 2/3 program, 1/3 manic dancing and scrolling advertisements. Plus the usual 8 to 12 commercial blocks.

        He said he was used to it and didn’t notice it any more.

        1. I would tape a piece of cardboard over that part of the screen.

          If watching the other 2/3 was at all important to me, anyway.

          If they move the ads around so they can’t be blocked off, it’s back to heaving bricks through the screen. 😀

  15. Someone in Hunlandia researches history via historical fiction (what can you tell of a society from what the fiction of the time assumed to be true if I’m getting that right and I really think that’s a neat field but where do I start? And it would have to be a hobby anyway). Anyway I remember that the someone exists. And I wonder what that someone thinks about historians two hundred years from now who will be looking at the fiction from this era and saying essentially, “WTF?”

      1. I hadn’t thought it completely through. But I would like to be there to see the reactions to the batpoop crazy stuff.

  16. Oh yes, the reality where Catholics and Evangelical Christians are conflated in all of their beliefs, much to the bafflement of both sides. Plus whatever other beliefs they want to attribute randomly.

    I was very surprised to learn as a kid that my church was anti-science. (Don’t tell Brother Guy!) Or that we were sola scriptura (which… uh, that’s sort of one of the sticking points for Protestants, that Catholics aren’t.)

    Currently getting bored and annoyed by the drumbeat of “The Catholic Church is the most eeeevil institution evah!” It’s just tiresome noise after a while. (It’s a subset of “Christianity is the most eeeeevil evah!” but it’s a big target. And of course it’s Evangelical, dontchaknow.)

    1. G. K. Chesterton said the constant drumbeat of criticism was one of the things that drew him to the Church. How could anything be so wrong in so many different ways, simultaneously?

      1. That’s why the Church is so universally hated. If it’s right literally every one else is wrong.

      2. Well, now we’re up to [checks list] at least 8 flavors of Methodist (United, Free, AME, AMEZ, Global, Wesleyan . . .), and the last time I checked, there were over 150 Presbyterian denominations. I’m glad I don’t do religion history, because I’d be soooo confused.

        1. And a messy possible schism going on now. I think we might break into northern/southern, or more likely, red/blue subsets.
          The sticking point is the ordination of gay ministers.

          1. It looks as if the central US and parts of the South are going more toward the Global Methodist, and the coasts are staying United Methodist. I suspect the bit about restraining the power of the bishops is playing a role in who joins the GMC vs. staying in the UMC.

        2. I’m pretty relaxed about this. Historically speaking, the current brouhaha doesn’t really seem to be that out of the ordinary. The various Wesleyan churches have broken up and gotten back together so often, they ought to be soap opera characters.

    2. I don’t remember the exact phrasing used, but someone over on Brandon Sanderson’s forum once used Sanderson’s Latter-Day Saint faith to make the accusation that Sanderson was against smart people (or perhaps it was the educated; it was something like that).

      The response from another forum-goer was short, but brutally effective: “Harmony would disagree.” In one of his books, Sanderson has a scholar quite literally become that world’s deity.

      The person who made the accusation promptly shut up.

    3. Yeah, I was a bit salty over this recently.

      Getting down to brass tacks, American Protestants don’t exactly like or trust other American Protestants very much.

      Very significant differences in opinion.

      1. Depends. Methodists around here aren’t always fond of southern Church of Christ, but then, CoC thinks we’re all going to Hell for not being CoC.

      2. Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!”

          1. Wherever more than 3 are gathered in my name, there shall soon be two mutually antagonistic groups certain that only they have the key to salvation.

            I’m an RC mind, we tend to keep our enemies closer,

            1. Just remember: 1 is a Jew. 2 is an argument. 3 is the start of a new congregation.

                    1. > “yeah. I think it’s still a sin.”

                      Said the girl who writes fiction for a living. 😛

                      …Yes, I know that’s not REAL lying. But the thought still amuses me.

    4. Heh. Madmike has on his FB page a link to someone on Twitter posting screencaps of a subreddit where someone asked whether the theory about the creation of the world developed by Catholic priest Georges LeMaitre should be taught in school.

      Trolling folks HARD. Because he was, of course, the cosmologist behind the big bang theory.

  17. I’ll admit, this is one of the shoals that the WIP has foundered on hard. I realized both factions were devout Christians, and that the core difference was a theological disagreement on what constitutes a human.

    And I can already see how all of it is going to get ground up by the woke wars and interpreted into some perverse fun house mirror version of itself.

    On the other hand, I may just be procrastinating on spending the time and energy I need to to do the research necessary to have a sufficient background in ethics and social structures to properly build the world all this is happening in.

    So yeah.

      1. Irony is, it wasn’t the premise; it was just the only setting I could think of where one of the sides wasn’t a complete monstrosity.

        Apparently Christianity and Confucianism are the only religions to conclude slavery was immoral within their own logic, and I don’t know enough about Confucianism to know why. It’s a bit of a realization to discover I don’t know enough about Christian ethical reasoning to realize I don’t understand the argument that one had about it either.

        1. Do we have a theologian in the house who could expound? This kind of thing is really interesting.

  18. I chant this to myself fairly regularly. I started it when I was desperate to move from WA to either TN or North Idaho, and now that I’m trying to get a smaller/cheaper apartment and running up against landlords’ trying to make a living despite the crummy eviction laws it’s coming in handy: “Over, under, around, or through, that is what we’re going to do.”
    Yes, I refer to myself as we most of the time.

    And, praise Jesus, I just started working for Union Gospel Mission of the Inland Northwest on Monday. Working in the retail store in Hayden. I have a million things I want to say about what we do, and how it’s timely that we do it, and how we’re growing and the need is so huge.

    People break. And television like that breaks people before they ever get a start.

    Can you imagine something like Schoolhouse Rock being created today? I can. It’s just being made in somebody’s living room or garage and distributed independently. People are trying, working, building, creating, and trying to carry as many other folks to meaningful lives as they can.

    I love this country more today than I’ve ever loved it, even during service.

    1. I bet the homeschoolers would start it, or Hillsdale’s charter schools. The Epoch Times’ culture magazine would do a review, and it would spread from there.

  19. The compound world of all these “of courses” is a horrible, nasty place, where every human is feral, women are more discriminated against than in the Middle East and oh, yeah, there is no way to get ahead except by thieving, murdering and defrauding others.

    In other words, it’s an accurate reflection of the worlds most lefties actually know: the media (not only Hollywood, but most pronounced there); current academia; and unions. They cannot imagine a better world because they “know” that these are the best possible worlds, they know these worlds well, and therefore everything else must be worse, because of course.

    1. Hollywood is also a blue-collar town of highly skilled professionals with high ethics… but they have to work with the other town. It’s a very schizophrenic situation, and the drug and sex industry are so interwined with it that it makes it even worse.

      Basically, the people who have to get up early, work late, and then head straight to sleep are the people really doing the work.

  20. For my sins, I moved from the land of the Entwives to Libertarian utopia, Mrs. Hoyt, and… you are mistaken.

    It’s as if I walked through a portal into America. U.S.A. c 1985.

    I need more processing time. Working 10-11 hour days, trying to get the drawing back up and oh, dear Heaven, the unpacking

    But yeah. Citified parochial AWFL-dom is as described… The thing they feared…

    It’s complicated. Might be worth looking into the Indian wars

      1. “I was fascinated. It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror—of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath:

        “‘The unpacking! The unpacking!’

        “I blew the candle out and left the cabin.”

          1. It’s from the climactic moment (as much as it has a climax) of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Dearkness”, except that Kurts actually says “The horror! The horror!”

            1. Ah! I think I’ve heard of that book, among the pile of ‘classics.’ (Quotation marks not used for scare-quotes, just to show that it is a category people tend to file books into. Some deserve it more than others.)

              The book any good? I know Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Scarlet Letter were interesting, to one degree or another. (Nathaniel Hawthorne’s habit of block descriptive text that did nothing to advance the story was rather annoying, but I was very enthused about the psychological warfare aspect of the book. Perhaps to an unsettling degree.)

              Moby Dick, on the other hand, I have no intention of reading. Ever.

              1. It’s important and influential, but in my opinion, if you’re going to read Conrad, go with either Lord Jim or Nostromo. Conrad is very good, but very… negative? Cynical? Something like that. “Heart of Darkness” is shorter, and to my taste, drier and less involving than his longer books.

              2. And, to be clear, “as much as it has a climax” wasn’t meant to insult the story, it’s just… a very internal kind of a story.

                Which is weird that Apocalypse Now managed to become a great film, based (very loosely) on it.

  21. @ B Durbin > “Christianity is the most eeeeevil evah!”

    Seems to be the primary focus of the Leftist Wokerati.
    Peter Heck makes some good points here.
    Moreover, it was the Christian Right that warned for decades that just as the physical universe operated by unchanging absolute laws, the moral universe does as well. You can’t just walk off the edge of a building proclaiming that you don’t personally accept the law of gravity and refuse to be bound by its supposed parameters. Neither can you violate the moral laws of God’s universe and think there won’t be consequences.

    God, we said, is the foundation of all science, logic, and reason. Therefore, rebellion against Him is necessarily rebellion against all science, logic, and reason. But polite society knew better here too. Christians could live by their archaic, patriarchal, antiquated notions of moral boundaries, but a brave new world would finally be embracing science over superstition, reason over regressive beliefs. And here we are.

    I don’t say all this as some petulant, taunting, “We told you so.” I don’t want to argue about it. For my part, any sense of vindication I feel by all that is unfolding is completely cancelled out by an overriding sense of grief and dread that this sick society is the one we must all now attempt to raise children in, somehow teaching them to understand right from wrong when, as Scripture warns, “everyone does what is right in their own eyes.”

    I know we can’t go back. But in the hope we can make better, wiser choices moving forward, how about we at least spend a second or two considering the thoughts of those who have been pretty much spot on in their predictions for the last 40 years?”

  22. Totally off topic.

    Does recent news explain my earworm of Nena singing “Neunundneunzig Luftballons”?


    1. At least in the English version they changed it to red balloons as they needed something to fill the syllable for Luft (Luftballoon implying helium/hydrogen or so I was told). But here we have only 1 so far though it does appear to be a luftballoon.

      Oh and thank you so very much for that earworm, it is no vacillating back and forth in my head between the German and English versions…

        1. Maybe? Seems pointless though, at 60-100K ft where weather balloons operate most viruses would get trashed by the temperatures (like -60 F or colder that’s an arctic mass its in) and in daylight there is UV B and C aplenty that will trash most viruses post haste. the (sketchy) pictures I’ve seen show arms with panels on them (Photovoltaic? antenna? ). It really is a puzzlement WTF China is up to. Modern Commercial Satellites can give them images better than 80’s spy sats, plenty of resolution to see silos. They certainly have that capacity and to spare. Similarly side looking radar to get data on missile sites in the Dakotas/Montana area could also be done just as well from orbit. And if it is gathering data how is it sending it back? Uplink to satellites? That has ALL sorts of issues. especially if you want bandwidth for Visual or radar at any resolution. And it’s not really like they couldn’t drive someone out to take pictures. Heck plenty of our Brahamandarins would (probably have) sell(sold) them what they need. They’re just being (pardon my language) assh*les for the fun of it as far as I can tell. Why embarrass your own plant (literally plant as in turnip)? We really are in some clown universe timeline.

            1. I understand you are being facetious, but you’d think the Chinese could come up with a better excuse. Are they researching jets streams over the Pacific? Why, their weather comes from west of them not east? And why not make a system that essentially self destructs before it crosses into hostile airspace. Clearly they’re trying to send a message but to who? The current administration appears bought and paid for with CCP money. The EU? They’re even more in the Chinese pocket. Russia? They’re busy trying to recreate Russkiy Mir and failing miserably. Why do things that were done 60+ years ago and are easily available in public papers? One expects their opponents to make sense. There is nothing that makes any sense there at all. Which worries me because it means I’m missing something. If I had trust in our administration I’d figure someone had a handle on it. Given the halfwits (an over estimate in most cases) and intellectual midgets which pass for “Best and Brightest” in this administration I’m fairly certain they have even less clue what’s up than I do. That worries me greatly.

              1. Distraction?
                I was wondering about viruses, too. If I were an evil overlord and had a batch of Son of Covid, or something else with a high mortality rate, now is about the time I’d set it loose.

                  1. That, or it is loitering over military facilities as an unsubtle warning that they know where our strategic assets are located and they can Do Something if we don’t behave.

                    1. So we have three theories so far
                      1)Distraction/ message
                      2) Military threat
                      3) Military reconnaissance

                      Lets me work them backwards. As I already noted the reconnaissance front is kind of pointless. The data you need (numbers and positions of silos and control rooms) is either publicly available, easily gleaned from current commercial/military hardware or gotten from simple humint sources either planted or through honeypots like Fang Fang. A balloon is a fairly rube goldberg kind of device for that kind of work.

                      As a military threat its pretty ineffectual. Yes the Japanese did use balloons in WWII. However, they did NO commercial damage and killed 6 people (students investigating a downed balloon in the Northwest if I remember correctly). On top of that China has ICBMs. It could do a test launch into the pacific of an unarmed missile. Or it could rattle sabres at Taiwan or Japan, or play chicken with the PLAN vs our Navy.

                      Distraction/message If it is a distraction what is happening that the CCP doesn’t want us to see/pay attention to? What is the left hand doing while the right hand shows us the Balloon(s)? Message/test seems the only even viable choice. In essence they’re showing that the US and its current administration are utterly without backbone/ testicular fortitude and that they own the Big Turnip/Guy in fee total. Essentially the Paper of Record (AKA Babylon Bee) got it right, Joey No Brain Wave shot it down once it was no longer useful to his lords and masters. Essentially the CCP was testing if the Turnip Chief was an honest politician, i.e. he stayed bought and paid for. That seems the only point of this bizarre behavior. The only other thing I can think of is Winnie the Xi is playing to someone at home, Not the Chinese public they’ll probably never know about this but some group in the halls of power saying, look we have the US and its administration on a leash. Or maybe he’s signalling to Russia, look be our vassals and we can fix this for you?

                    2. I wonder exactly how much information did they get?

                      Can they tell a missile site apart a commissioned site from a decommissioned site (abandoned/sold, or not)?

          1. It’s now in the Atlantic, according to a headline. We popped it and it plummeted off the coast. Don’t know about the one over Latin America.

  23. It strikes me that you are feeling around the edges of some of the same concepts as Nicholas Kotar. He has a couple of podcasts you might enjoy – one on fantasy writing and one on Slavic fairy tales. But much of his discussion and analysis centers around the hero’s journey, the modern subversion of it, that there is such a thing as “bad fantasy”, and why story is important for the development of a moral imagination. The fairy tale one also plumbs the depths of tropes more common to Eastern story.

    It’s all very interesting to listen to. Plus, I think he have grown up bilingual or a native Russian speaker, and it’s just nine kinds of fun to hear him read Russian fairy tales.

    1. I’m not groping around. I am a fiction writer by trade, and I am aware of all the other stuff. Though I’m not FOND of Eastern story.
      This was just an analysis of what the bad mass entertainment is doing to people’s perception of the world.
      NOT of the writing craft, because this is not my writing blog.

  24. Surprised no one has mentioned one of the most ridiculous tropes in modern tv cop shows: When ultimately confronted, the evil businessman reaches into his desk drawer to pull out a gun to start the shootout he inevitably loses to the hero cop, so that justice is served street-style. Often as villain is begging for mercy. Especially if he’s a millionaire.

    I’ve known many businessman. They tend to rely on lawyers over guns, in my experience.

    I’m enjoying kdramas now, especially ones with a supernatural aspect. Fun to see non-western ideas about the afterlife creatively portrayed.

    1. Convenience of villain identification. If you accuse the guy of murder, and he pulls out a gun and tries to shoot you, you can be pretty sure you got the right guy. Plus, it insures he won’t walk on a technicality just in case your TV detective may have been a bit flexible in his attitudes towards things like the 4th Amendment.

  25. “Also my laugh out loud moment was the Muslim guy who grew up in Denver talking about all the Christians putting him down.”
    And what did that “putting him down” consist of? Almost certainly it was merely people politely disagreeing with him when he introduced topics into conversations.

      1. Apparently they live in a universe in which it’s acceptable for school teachers to yell at students because of the student’s religion.

        1. Of course it’s acceptable to them; after all, their paid educators yell at Christian and right-of-Stalin kids, if they think they can get away with it, so the Ebil Ones must be at least as bad.

            1. I am still giggling that the videos we actually get are all libby teachers being abusive when they think they’re not being recorded. 😀

          1. @ Foxfier > “their paid educators yell at Christian and right-of-Stalin kids, if they think they can get away with it,”

            Funny you should mention that – couple of months ago, one of our grand-daughters called her mom to pick her up at school.
            Her history teacher had them read a History Channel article on “Manifest Destiny” and then she started ranting about how Christians were the source of all the evil in America.
            Granddaughter felt personally threatened (no secret we are a Christian family) and had to come home because being in the classroom was causing her to have panic attacks.
            (She’s under a lot of stress for several reasons, and this didn’t help.)
            Mom wrote the Principal a Sternly Worded Letter, they had a conference, Teacher denied everything, but Granddaughter is no longer in her class.

            1. Oh, my goodness– my greatest sympathy to your granddaughter, and given the choice of targets and location, I really wish I could say it was JUST a malfiring fear reaction.

              These days, I really can’t, anymore.

      2. Read something in the past few months that would seem to apply. Can’t remember the original source.

        Psychologist had a patient with… Borderline Personality Disorder, I think. She claimed her husband or boyfriend was highly abusive, said the most terrible things to her. Shrink had them come in for a joint session, and confronted hubby with some of the things said, and the guy was just confused, saying he had never said such things, ever.

        Next session, Ms. BPD admitted that hubby had never said those things, but she had to tell the shrink that, so that he would understand how she felt when hubby did innocuous things that hurt her deeply.

        Look at how the left has been acting since… forever. And tell me that it’s different.

        I mean, they are still insisting that TrumpRussiaPossibleCollusion was real. It had to be, because DRUMPF!

        Their (insane) feelings come first, and reality just has to conform to them. And if it doesn’t, they’ll go with the lie, because feelings.

  26. I’ve found myself over the last couple of years judging news articles by how they make proclamations about things, especially those that don’t have much, if any, bearing on the main gist of the article. Make a statement about how climate change or sea level rise is anthropogenic/harming people and I immediately know this isn’t any sort of article that should be taken seriously. The same with statements about January 6th being anything more than a minor riot the likes of which they’ve seen much worse just in this century. If they can’t get basic facts right in a “news” article, it’s all just fictional story telling trying to pass itself off as something serious.

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