Fitna is back online at LiveLeak.
This is the way to do it. This is the correct response. I now DEMAND Her Majesty's government do its duty and protect the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression and freedom from unlawful threat of violence.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
For the next time YouTube deletes a video.
I was asked recently who I thought would take the Democratic nomination and who would become the next President. My answers were and remain Clinton and McCain. This would before the recent Jeremiah Wright unpleasantness, mind you. My reasoning was and is as follows:
If we may rely on Senator Clinton to act in naked self-interest and to cling on to the life-boat until the last of her fingers are chopped off by a party leadership desperate to avoid being swamped in the general - and we can - then this fight will be decided at the convention by the so-called superdelegates. Her recent momentum helps, of course, but I would ask Flea-readers to consider the reason - the only reason - the superdelegates were created in the first place. The disastrous nomination of George McGovern by the party's left-wing was never to be repeated and the superdelegate system intended to ensure wiser, centrist heads would prevail should the need arise.
That convention is decades gone and now the Democrats are faced with another contest that looks set to go to the floor. The superdelegates were created with one purpose only: To stop Senator Obama from taking the nomination. Not that this means they will do they jobs out of a sense of duty, mind you. Now all we need to ask is how many of those senior delegates have got the bottle to their more ideologically enthusiastic party faithful vs. how much dirt the Clintons have managed to accrue on each and every one of them over the years.
Senator Edwards still has delegates to throw to somebody, btw. This is going to be close. The general? That is going to be a blowout. The only likely Democratic path to victory is if Obama decides his brand is too damaged this time round to take the Presidency and some reason is contrived - the "best interests of the party and the country" come to mind - to stand as the vice presidential candidate. If Clinton loses it will be seen as her loss and Obama has four years to distance himself from the black nationalists and the Chicago political machine which got him this far. And if the ticket wins he is very well positioned to become the second black president at the close of the second Clinton administration.
"Australian" Foreign Minister Stephen Smith condemns Wilders' film as "high offensive" saying "It is an obvious attempt to generate discord between faith communities." Also generating discord between faith communities: Muslims killing anyone who is not a member of their faith community.
On a related note regarding Foreign Minister Smith, Mark Steyn has pointed out that referring to a religion as a "faith community" is a good sign you do not have one. Which goes a long way to explaining Smith's highly offensive denial of Wilders' rights, our right as free people to be safe from attack by the Dark Ages and, last but not least, the truth.
Related: And speaking of Mark Steyn, that's one, two, three, four links from Free Mark Steyn! and an endorsement re. book-marking the Flea. Thanks, folks! Much obliged. Now adding you to my blog roll.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, Geert Wilders' Fitna is, in a sense, a wholly uncontroversial document. The links between jihadi violence and their reading of the Koran are ones the jihadis proudly, repeatedly assert for themselves. It is only when a non-Muslim makes the same observation that the link becomes problematical. Western Pollyanna's cannot bear to have their shibboleth of non-Western Ewok folkways contradicted and the jihadis cannot bear to be disagreed with - let alone mocked - in any way or under any circumstances. So where then does the power of Wilders' film lie? What is it about a film so few people have actually seen that should provoke such outrage (and not only amongst the jihadis, I am at least as pissed off as they are). It seems to me Fitna's real argument lies in the reaction Wilders surely knew would result from his attempting to air it.* First, insane threats and libidinal violence on the part of the religion of perpetual outrage. Second, and more importantly, its de facto censorship by 100% of the world media.
This rhetorical device - speaking through having been silenced - neatly echoes two of the aporias Fitna is meant to illuminate. The first, the reaction to the Danish cartoon depictions of the "Prophet" Mohamed.** Here again the overt content of the depictions was less important than the fact of violating the taboo against depiction in itself. Here again bleeding hearts misread Muslim outrage at blasphemy as the hurt feelings of a minority suffering from the insensitivity of "racists". The second, our media's refusal to show the atrocities the jihadis have carried out against us; this out of fear of upsetting our sheltered sensibilities and for fear of fueling reprisals. Psychologically, morally and spiritually this media practice is an epic fail. I cannot forget the sound of bodies hitting the pavement of Manhattan precisely because I am not allowed to remember it.
Wilders has created a document whose power lies in its not being seen.*** I could find more inflammatory rhetoric on YouTube in five minutes but nothing so powerful as the argument we are not allowed to hear. The cowardice of the West is unfolding precisely as Wilders has foreseen. The cowards are doing all the rhetorical heavy lifting, proving his argument for him. There is only so long our culture can hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil before we walk civilization over the cliff and plummet into the abyss of a new Dark Age. Either that or until the consequences of denial are no longer supportable as neurosis, our conversion symptoms fail and we collectively undergo a genocidal psychotic break. They do not call psychoanalysis the "talking cure" for nothing. We either have to face our problems directly or they shall govern us until the end, whatever that end turns out to be.
* Wilders almost certainly drew the same conclusions I did from Pope Benedict's address at the University of Regensburg. He knew Muslim reaction to his argument would serve to prove his argument.
** Another slippage between the Koran and the Necronomicon. The first an unalterable text we profane cannot cite without fear of reprisal, the second a text nobody has read but which in reading will drive one to madness. Both are in a strict sense unspeakable.
*** The most vexing of which was not a Danish cartoon but a humorous photograph crudely photocopied and added by "Danish" Muslims themselves in an attempt to stir the pot. They succeeded. Again, outrage resulted from a document which did not exist.
Related: Frustration (nsfw). Hey, I am having a Lacanian kind of day. So sue me.
Wouldn't it be easier to provide a list of things that do not offend Muslims? Could be a real time saver.
Hugh Hewitt discusses the audio book/spoken word version of Senator Barack Obama's Grammy winning memoir "Dreams From My Father" with columnist to the world, Mark Steyn. Steyn describes the book as novelistic and Obama as a Gatsby-esque "invented character in a bizarre post-modern narrative", self-created and - though he does not use the expression - try-hard.
Whereas I think he sounds like I would if I had spent the last thirty years pretending to a brother. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The fake accents are my favourite part. Especially the way he attempts Chicano pronunciation and his fake Kenyan accent. You just know this is a guy who would say "chakra" with a rolled letter R to make it sound exotic and foreign and mysterious. Not to worry, Senator. If this presidential bid does not work out you have a future in the wiccan priesthood.
I expect coffee on keyboards for the tag-line, btw. At least I am feeling pleased with myself about it as it sums up the Hollywood backlot vibe I get from the man. Or rather, dude. It is as if his whole career was a set up for a forthcoming biopic starring, say, Tom Hanks as Obama. I should confess some annoyance Yumi Wilson-Spatta got to the "Barack like me" thing before me but Yumi's article is worth a look nonetheless. As an Englishman with Welsh blood I can empathize with Obama's plight: I too am... biracial.
An internet treasure from a couple years back: As part of his "Tough Questions for Tough Jews" series, Clifford Meth asked Harlan Ellison - who rocks hardcore - if he had any Jewish role models.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
It turns out mad FPS video game skills do not necessarily translate into the real world. And vice versa.
Not to worry, he returns the lesson.
Globe & Mail
globe trekking, supergenius** Graeme Smith explodes the widely held perception of the Taliban as cosmopolitan sophisticates. For one thing, the average Taliban cannot find Canada on a map. Some even have trouble distinguishing between a dessert fork and a salad fork. Therefore there is no problem and we should not interfere with their charming folkways. Move along.
In related news: The average Taliban may have achieved the same engagement with Canadian public life as the average Canadian communication studies undergraduate.* Having achieved such stellar results with no formal education, the Afghan Model suggests Canada should abandon public funding of schools from the kindergarten level on upwards and redirect spending toward vandalizing world heritage sites and a vigorous program of public beheadings.
Henceforth, my Prime Minister shall be known to me as Steng Peng Beng.
* I speak from long-suffering personal experience.
** Update: Please see Damian's comment in the, uhh, comments regarding Graeme Smith. If I owe the man an apology for undue snark - and I hope I do - then I apologize unreservedly. My opinion of the Globe & Mail's agenda remains unchanged.
Update: This post is now illustrated as per the comments.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (Danger: nsfw cheese!).
Some time ago, two friends told me they don't get MySpace.* Fried bacon, toast, even a full English breakfast.** If you check out Toast's friend list, you can get pretty much whatever you need on MySpace.
Possibly the most awesome contest in the history of the Known Universe (hat tip to a Faxy Lady). Though I would have placed the exclamation mark after the words "Grace Park".
And there is some great cross-over potential with my Alyson Hannigan Project.
TECHNOVIKING does not dance to the music. The music dances to TECHNOVIKING. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*
* This one goes with a shout out to Agent Bedhead who is v. talented and clever.
"The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people.... All white men are responsible for white oppression.... Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man 'the devil.'... Any advice from whites to blacks on how to deal with white oppression is automatically under suspicion as a clever device to further enslavement."
- James H. Cone, Black Theology and Black Power (1969)
I spent a good deal of the weekend giving thought to the "black theology" of James Cone, inspiration to Jeremiah Wright and by proxy to would be president Senator Barack Obama. Specifically, Cone’s Ingersoll Lecture to the Harvard Divinity School, "Strange Fruit: The Cross and the Lynching Tree" (parsed by Stanley Kurtz at The Corner) and the more succinct "A Conversation with James Cone" with Bob Scott of the Trinity Institute.
I don't get it. Perhaps it is because I am not American. I do not belong to a polity living with the spectre of a promised 40 acres and a mule so reparations are a bit of a non-starter as far as I am concerned. But then I also do not belong to the polity which sacrificed hundreds of thousands of Union lives on the altar of liberty including and especially the liberty of the ancestors of today's reparations advocates. It seems churlish to demand payment from the descendants of abolitionists let alone those of all the men who gave their lives far from home on behalf of people they did not know. Maybe, just maybe, it is James Cone and his fellow travelers who owe the debt. When it comes to the history of race in America there are villains, no doubt. But the United States government is not one of them. The United States government has been and remains the greatest champion of liberty in human history.
As for my ancestors, and, in fact, immediate relatives, there is a centuries long Quaker history of advocating the abolition of slavery. And there is the history of the Royal Navy which did the actual abolishing of slavery by main force, a practice to which the Quakers were and remain philosophically disinclined. I need no lectures on slavery from a man who claims as his direct inspiration one Malcolm X, a Muslim whose biography includes a pilgrimage to Mecca when "Saudi" Arabia had legally abolished slavery on Arabian soil a mere two years earlier, a man who described the assassination of John F. Kennedy as "chickens coming home to roost."* This should sound eerily familiar. James Cone claims we cannot understand Christianity - that you cannot be Christian and American - without seeing the cross in the lynching tree. It seems to me the metaphor is not strained. I am more proud of a Royal Navy which actually stopped slavery than even the best intentioned pacifist who merely spoke out against it. Actions speak louder than words: It is a bit much to be schooled in the hard life by a tenured theologian whose suffering is for the most part vicarious.**
I have never owned a slave and I have never freed a slave but to James Cone this is mere detail compared to the colour of my skin. To his line of thinking, my guilt lies not in my actions but in my essence. But again I am not American and so am perhaps missing the point as I do not share even a vicarious frisson of guilt on the subject. As a Canadian I see the cross in the railroad tie, metaphorical as it might be in light of an underground railroad. I see a Christian duty in offering refuge to slaves with no thought of reparation for the act let alone a claim on my part a century after the fact.*** More than this, as an Englishman, I see the cross in the yardarm of each of His/Her Majesty's ships interdicting the Atlantic slave trade.
So to James Cone, Jeremiah Wright and especially you Barack Obama: I am not asking you to thank me and mine but you are welcome all the same.
"Black hatred is the black man's strong aversion to white society. No black man living in white America can escape it... While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism. "
- James H. Cone, A Black Theology for Liberation (1970)
Malcolm X' remarks on Kennedy's assassination were a bridge too far even for black nationalist Elijah Muhammad. Though not, apparently, for James Cone, Elijah Wright or Barack Obama. No, Senator Obama, I will not give you the benefit of the doubt for words you have already refused to specifically condemn. You had a choice to be taken seriously by the sane or by your conspiracy theory base. You may have sailed close enough to the wind to convince your base but you have lost everyone else who is paying the slightest attention.
** Though I am prepared to see Christ in the adjunct lecturers who do the teaching tenured radicals won't do.
*** Though Senator Obama and anyone else living in a Chicago mansion is more than welcome to hit the tip jar in the side bar. I would be delighted if Obama could rise above his suffering, living as he does in a US$1.65m home and subsisting on his senatorial salary and the $320,000 p.a. pittance his wife brought in at University of Chicago Hospitals.
Some non-stupid comment on matters theological and a critique of a certain stupid, vulgar direct materialism from Slavoj Žižek. His mic is working so feel free to skip past the introduction. Flea-readers not normally enthralled with the idea of Slovenian philosophy professors might nevertheless humour my particular fascination and consider listening to part 4. In this bit Žižek considers an "open ontology", tells a story about a Polish elevator and in so doing suggests some interesting possibilities about how the universe is put together which had not occurred to me before.
Update: Will hates lots of people.
Generally speaking, I am not one for cutesy alternative church services - pet blessings and the like - but I am four-square in favour of Reverend Marcus Ramshaw's gothic eucharist at Cambridge and Whitby. Most public spirited of him.
Yes, that plus lots of latex and corsets so let us keep things in perspective tragedy-wise.
Related: Follow these simple steps. First, go to Google. Second, type the words "Google gothic". Third, press "I'm feeling lucky" et voila! (hat tip to Captain H)
Almost everybody has a grandma they love.* And, quite possibly, a cranky dad or granddad like John McCain they love just as much. You can disagree with McCain, find him infuriating, but he is telling you what he believes to be the truth. Obama does not even rise to the level of a used car salesman version of the truth; at least a used car salesmen is selling something. If I am right to trust the good sense of my American cousins, this election is going to be a blow out.
* There is a funny here on the difference between your grandmother sitting in the back of the bus vs throwing your grandmother under the bus. It will come to me later.
Seriously, read the whole thing.
If only they could have foreseen the cancellation of the Bionic Woman reboot. I think I was the only person watching that show.
I had been labouring under the illusion rats do not really swim up into the toilet. It turns out they do. Or rather, they walk most of the way and only have to swim a few inches around the U-bend. No bigee as rats tend to be accomplished swimmers.
To quote one commenter: "i wish i had not read this. oh jesus."
Related: "It was one of those five levels of realization ... How big is this snake?"
So I have mentioned I regard Candice with a kind of Holy Awe. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Abyss & Apex has secured some bulletin board traffic from the future. To be specific, from the International Association of Time Travelers: Members' Forum Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War (via Quotulatiousness).
Awesome. Though sounding a bit Book of Mormon meets Dallas.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Update: Then I say unto you, send men to summon... wooorrrrms!!!
Writing for Reuters, Shaban Buza, who clearly has no dog in this fight, cites "senior diplomatic sources" who claim Serbia's plan to govern ethnically Serbian areas of what was until a few weeks ago part of Serbia* is a form of partition.
No. EU and UN sanction for an independent Kosovo is "a ratification of partition". If the sovereign territory of Serbia is not sacrosanct, then neither is the sovereign territory of Kosovo. Something Quebec might do well to remember.
* Yes, yes, I know. But such is to quibble. Christopher Hitchens offers an excellent and unsympathetic introduction to Serbia's case. I am simply in favour of forestalling more bloodshed for the sake of yet another line on the map.
K-punk comments on the BBC's White Season, claiming an elision of class is carried out by the substitution of a pernicious "ethnologic". What of non-white working class people and what of middle and upper class white people? What is missing, in other words, is the class box of the race/class/gender metric that now dominates sociological thinking. Also missing are religion and nationality as organizing principles, the opiates which have entranced the masses in so many contemporary conflicts.
My only surprise at this argument is that it should need to be made. I had thought it was a commonplace on the left that white working class racism was a canard, a false consciousness meant to produce an unwarranted solidarity with a white ruling class. "The Jew is using the black as muscle against you. What you going to do about it, whitey?", etc. and forth.*
There is a further elision at work, however, one former Marxism Today readers are quite happy to ignore, viz Englishness as ethnicity. The more parliaments and assemblies pop up around what once was Britain, and the more everyone from the Basques to the Albanians to the Québécois carry on carrying on, the more likely someone is going to assert an English nationalism. We are meant to believe this is a serious problem, so much so the idea remains unthinkable in polite society.** But being "white" and being English are not the same thing. The distinction deserves to be made with at least the ersatz seriousness to which the various Celtic nationalisms have been treated. It seems to me that if everyone's identity is to be celebrated we might - perhaps as an apologetic afterthought - think to include the nation England is, for now, still named after.
The "ethnicization" of the English working class is not a new phenomenon. Victorian anthropology needed look no further than the East End for its model savage***; noble savages could only be found abroad. These days indigenous English natives have access to cheap flights and consequently may be found abroad in ever greater numbers. At least until their anti-global warmenists social betters tax away these latter day working class Grand Tours along with beer, bacon and proper English sausages by way of looking after the health and safety of the natives. The noble savage, meantime, may now be found at Finsbury Park mosque where his charming folkways and legitimate grievances are celebrated by no less than the heir to the throne.
* Note how the neo-Nazi analysis of the situation summed up by my Blues Brothers paraphrase neatly echoes the Marxist version: For "Jew" read "capitalist". Most anti-IMF/free trade/globalization posters I have seen use fat cat caricatures that could have been printed in Der Stürmer.
** The English, like the Jews, are a people whose nationalism is considered illegitimate. There should be an English equivalent of Zionism.
*** Sherlock Holmes made it his habit to always carry a pistol when venturing east of Aldgate. Sound advice then as now.
Update: Rantburg notes his passing.
This is the same CIA that can't find its own ass with both hands in the dark CIA? Just want to be sure we are talking about the same organization. Because you know, if oHb's "pastor" means that other CIA I think he must have been smoking something.
Like crack. Which I am pretty sure was also invented by the CIA.
I would not know. I have never been a cocaine dealer.
Spengler considers Senatar Barak Obama, Jeremiah Wright and the "black liberation" theology of James Cone and Dwight Hopkins, a reading of Christianity "to which liberal academic establishment condescends."
Which explains part of the double-bind faced by not only Obama, but Mitt Romney, in a bid to respect the faiths of one's fathers (well, not Obama's father...) while not appearing to be a complete loon to the mass of the electorate. More importantly, it also underlines the unsettling solvent effect of Christian universalism on local particularisms and especially the apparently paradoxical universality of anti-Semitism. God really does have a chosen people and if you are Christian your people ain't it. This has been a bit much for some - just picking a nation out of a hat here - German sensitivities particularly in those times when the German people had no polity or when, later, that polity was faced with the shame of military defeat and economic ruin. Much easier to blame somebody else for one's problems; the entire Arab world being No. 1 in today's shame and blame game. Much easier to blame the Jews - Jeremiah Wright is no exception on this point, much easier to blame "white" America or Britain.
Easier even to blame God. James Cone puts it succinctly:
The spice must flow.
Heather Mills married Paul McCartney on 11 June, 2002. On 30, July 2006 McCartney filed for divorce. Four years is 1460 days. Add another 29 and 30 days for June and July of 2006 and we get 1519 days or 36,456 hours.*
Astute Flea-readers may already see where I am going with this.
On March 17, 2008 Heather Mills was awarded £24.3m as her divorce settlement.** This figure equals £666 per hour or US$1333 at today's rate of exchange thereby easily trumping Ashley Alexandra Dupre's reported $1000 per hour. I realize Dupre is taking a hit in comparison but, hey, at least she can still say she is an honest woman.
* Giving credit for whole days at both ends; there may be a leap day to consider but this is a hand waving exercise.
** £16.5m lump sum, including £2.5m to buy London property, £7.8m assets and £35,000 a year for daughter Beatrice (plus nanny and school fees).
Harlan Ellison and Robin Williams discuss L. Ron Hubbard; fascinating both for the subject in hand - Hubbard's electric typewriter, for instance - and for a glimpse of the Hydra Club and life as an sf writer in the 1950s. Ellison offers his usual hyper-caffeinated restraint. It turns out Lester Del Ray had been a stump minister when he was young. LRH complained he was breaking his ass writing and could not keep it up for ever.
"There has got to be a better way to make money."
Anonymous replies to slurs the movement is anti-Catholic by reference to a Free Cult Test. Not only is this important to refuting the charge, it is a handy reference for those asking what objection anyone could have to people joining Scientology.
White men voting this Democratic primary season are reportedly "torn" because under identity politics rules they do not know whether they have to vote "white" or have to vote "man".
Remember: One tribe. One vote.
This reporter forgot the class box of their race/class/gender undergraduate sociology paper generator. Blue collar white men are voting for Clinton while white males with tenure, a Volvo and a Montessori connection are voting in class solidarity with Obama. Somewhere there is a Democratic primary voter making a decision based not on tribal affiliation but on, for example, public policy. The politically correct term for this sort of Democrat is "Republican".
... you turn up at an Anonymous street demo and recognize someone because she is wearing her gasmask.
Click here to find your protest.
Also related: The Fishman Affidavit or go to OT III immediately. Also thanks to the internets, Steven Fishman himself. To summarize for those who do not wish to sit through the whole thing: Fishman is the biological father of Jesus Christ, Xenu is Jesus Christ, Jesus is on out-ethics for creating Hell on Mars and Judas betrayed Jesus because he thought Jesus was cheating on him (he wasn't).
Update: Lots of March 15, 2008 Toronto raid media. Anonymous estimates about 250 participants at its peak; this is about what I had estimated when I visited.
"It's a trap!"
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Flynet asks a question arising from the reported assault on their photographer and another paparazzi by Nicole Kidman's bodyguard.
Update: WWTDD? comments.
The Times of London reports James Bond has changed his tailor. Brioni is reportedly to be replaced by Tom Ford . We can debate the choice - and I do - but I expect Flea-readers will turn to canon for judgment. The Times cites Nick Foulkes, co-author of Bond "style bible" Dressed To Kill, Fleming never tells us who tailors Bond's suits even as Bond himself takes time to consider his enemies' sartorial choices.
As opposed to what... insufficient dandyism? Luxist claims Tom Ford is "a bit too metro than James Bond" but, frankly, it would be difficult to exceed Pierce Brosnan for metro in Brioni. Ian Fleming himself "dressed for comfort not for style" purchasing his suits just off Saville Row at Benson, Perry and Whitley of 9 Cork Street, W1. Sadly for purists the establishment appears to have gone out of business.
My suggestion: Gieves & Hawkes at No, 1 Saville Row; excellent tailoring, economical off the peg and offering a millitary collection. Right up Bond's street, in other words. Flea-readers wishing to consider suits and related matters in detail might consider The Bond Lifestyle. It is a bit short on polymathory and killing folk who need killin' but has plenty to offer brandwise.
Will i watch a video just for the Adora BatBrat cameo? Apparently, yes. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Which side are you on? A simple test to find out.
Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby of Rossendale, Lancashire were set upon by a pack of feral youths* aged 15 to 17, kicked and stamped in the head until Maltby lost consciousness and Lancaster lost her life.
Lancashire and Maltby were so badly mauled paramedics could not initially identify Lancaster as a woman. It took her thirteen days to die. The young couple were singled out, assaulted and murdered because they were dressed as goths.
Scoop Shachtman of the Drink-soaked Trots (whence this story) asks if it is time for another law or whether murder is an adequate charge in this case. The two victims belong to a very clearly identifiable group. If their clothes had identified them with a traditional religious affiliation, there would be additional legal consequences under hate crimes legislation for their attackers. Not only this but the supposedly greater protection afforded under the law for a couple clearly at greater risk of being singled out for harm. I tend to agree with Will in the comments at the Drink-soaked Trots, murder should be an adequate charge. The difficultly, of course, is that murder is no longer an adequate charge.
The law goes so far as to protect the identity of the droogs for no other reason than they carried out this pogrom at the tender age of 15, 16 and 17 and not 18. I have reservations at society granting special status to any identifiable group** including murderous youths though - and I am speaking from personal experience - goths are regularly singled out for violence. The problem is that I have no confidence anyone in England any longer enjoys the protection of the law.
There are well meaning people, good hearted people, sanctimonious, weak kneed, bleeding hearts... you know the type, people who will blame anyone - society, racism, the victim, the weather - anyone but those who actually commit crime for crimes they commit. These well meaning people are responsible for at least two consequences of the psychological drama they enact as public policy. First, they have enabled at least two generation to be raised without fear of consequence for their trespasses against others. From littering to multi-generation dole collecting to pack assaults on the elderly, to flying loaded passenger jets into office buildings there is no atrocity self-anointed progressives will not excuse. Second, in denying the citizenry the protection of the law, let alone the right to protect themselves, progressives have undermined the sole criterion for a viable State, viz the monopoly on the use of force. Whether your name is Charles I, Louis XVI, Nicolae Ceauşescu or a well meaning Gordon Brown there can be only one end to that road. The current anarchy will provoke gangsterism or rule by the mob if these are the only forms of rule to be had. The people will have law if it is only the law they can cobble together for themselves as a last resort against whatever remaining sanctions the police, the schools and a hectoring press can beat them with. At some point, even middle-class arts students on a gap year will arm themselves and take their chances in the courts rather than risk life and limb in the streets.
* No, not those "youths". Or at least they need not be.
** With the possible exception of serving police officers, the fire brigades or anyone else whose responsibility is explicitly to uphold the rule of law.
What subcategory of Goth best fits you?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Industrial/Rivet-Head|
You're a rivet-head. You like industrial music, warehouses, and you are a minion of the machines. Click on my name to take my other tests if you liked this one.
A friend of mine once told me that Sikhs were created by the Hindus to protect India from the Muslims. But such is kashatriya humour I could never tell when he was speaking tongue in cheek. Whatever the case, think goths for Hindus and rivetheads for Sikhs.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
The fifth and final season of The Wire is done. Flea-readers who were fans and are suffering whatever is the pop culture equivalent of postpartum depression* will find themselves in good company as WireTAP holds its final round table on the episode, the season and the series (many spoilers). If you have not seen the show, do so starting at the first episode of the first season. The stories are massive, complex and finely detailed and will not make much sense unless they are seen in the order they unfold. The seasonal arcs of the show, its finely drawn characters and refusal of exposition (until this final season) are all cited as reasons the show never gained a wide audience. More than this, it is a story that is difficult to pigeon-hole by genre as nothing quite like it has been told before. When I have tried to convince people to give The Wire a chance, I have described the show as a police procedural - sort of - that is about municipal politics, urban planning and public policy. I realize this does not sound promising. Just trust on this one.**
Stuff White People Like explains.
This is is almost exactly right. After the first couple episodes of season five it became de rigeur to deny the show's authenticity and instead wax poetic on its magic realism.
* Popartum, presumably.
** Or trust James Lileks. "I watched “The Wire” – dour, wry, knotty, depressing, bracing, perfect as usual. It will end up being the most overpraised show worthy of overpraise in cable history, and will have 1/100th the impact of “The Sopranos,” which looks like a cartoon in comparison." Quite. And this was before the final episode. More at today's Bleat.
Related: Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price and David Simon argue the war on (some) drugs should be opposed by jury nullification.
Also related: When did "granular" enter the vocabulary of left intellectuals? Samantha Power referred to granularity twice in her much maligned BBC interview. The scribblings of Hardt and Negri fans I can avoid but now the term pops up at the Belmont Club we all have a problem. I realize it is early in the year to ban a word but I am nominating this one for the dustbin.
Update: Quotulatiousness, who gets out more than I do apparently, is fed up with the sturm und drang.
Two small points. Point the first, anyone who thought The Sopranos was the best show on television had never seen Deadwood. Point the second, and this is critical as I believe it lies at the crux of the matter, The Wire was an HBO joint and not the product of broadcast television. Try premium cable, my friend, and you shall see the light!
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
A new Banksy appears on the Essex Road, a short walk from the Flea's Islington residence. A second cousin (once removed) of the Flea is concerned the piece will be whitewashed; he believes the property has now increased in value... Londonist says not to worry.
Writing for the New York Times, Scott Shane considers contemporary interrogation methods. Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution argues Army Field Manual 2-22.3 (“Human Intelligence Collector Operations”) does not reflect decades of corporate research into influencing consumer choice and Col. Steven Kleinman argues for a new agency or sub-agency with a specific focus on interrogation.
Vanity Fair says there should be "a war memorial to fallen Bond Girls". There case is bolstered by an Olga Kurylenko photo shoot which I suspect Flea-readers will find convincing. Featured: Riding boots. Related: Daniel Craig turns 40.
Not related by awesome: Stills from Zack Snyder's Watchmen film adaptation.
Project Runway Season 4 is done and, somehow, I managed to avoid learning the winner before the finale; this despite Victoria Beckham's decision to turn up at Bryant Park in an orange Versace dress thereby attracting the lidless eye of the press. Entertainment weekly has exit interviews with Jillian Lewis, Rami Kashou and Christian Siriano.
An abridged history of America at war. Go hamburgers!
Unrelated (or is it?): Jeanie and the Tits - "I Owe it to the Girls".
John McCain. Yes.
If I was an American citizen I would tattoo those words on my right arm. The full text is here. Higher resolution here; there is a Vangelis influence made obvious by the better picture quality and sound.
Scientologie, published in 1934 by Dr. Anastasius Nordenholz* appears to have provided some inspiration to L. Ron Hubbard's later cult of the same name. Enturbulation has scanned images from the book. Comment at Enturbulation suggests Nordenholz was not the first to use the term.
Related: A Secret Lives documentary on the life of LRH (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).** Flea-readers who do not share my interest in the Scientology organization into hatred and contempt might nevertheless be interested in the part one. This features an interview with literary agent Forrest Ackerman on LRH, hypnotism and much else. Particularly interesting is Excalibur: The Dark Sword, a book written by LRH after a nitrous oxide experience at the dentist and reputed to drive readers to suicide. Think the Necronomicon meets Battlefield Earth.
The next Anonymous action is due March 15 in recognition of L. Ron Hubbard's birthday.
* Whose name sounds like it comes straight from central casting.
** This linked by an ex-Scientologist. He links an excellent documentary about Anonymous. I am beginning to admire the children of Generation X.
* The game is meant to be supported by advertising and micro payments made by players wishing to customize the look of their character.
Erez Eshel asks: How can a prime minister send men to battle when his own sons do not serve in IDF? By contrast, the royal family.
Related: John McCain.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Somewhere at three in the morning a quiet noise in the gallery as a cigarette comes unglued from the canvas and falls to the floor.
On a recent expedition to the Basement of the Parental Units, I found my character sketch for my first ever D&D character; I was a bit unclear on the concept. "Sauron" was a first level magic user but - in my mind - was already fairly represented as a pillar of smoke surmounted by a lidless flaming eye. Graph paper at the ready, I sent Sauron, his three hit points and supply of ten foot poles into the dungeon. He never made it past the first room. He fell into a hidden floor trap falling ten feet into a pit. One hit point down... when the Kobold guard appeared at the edge of the pit it was all over. My magic missile failed to work for some reason while the Kobold's first arrow did the rest.
I still think that Dungeon Master was a complete dick. If I could remember that velour wearing jerk's name I would publish it. Scott something. Who sends a first level magic user into a dungeon on his own? And he was really directive about my dungeon mapping too; as if that was going to make the slightest difference. Plus I was at 0 hit points, not -10 hp. Sure I was immobilized but maybe the Kobold wandered off and I - that is to say, Sauron - could have recovered. Then the poles could have been improvised for an escape; I had plenty of rope on hand to tie them together. But no.
Sauron, rest in peace. Also, Gary Gygax.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Michael Goldfarb suggests President Bush send F-22 Raptors to Columbia.*
* Update: Or even Colombia, which would have the advantage of being an actual country (see comments).
Update: I am constantly baffled anyone should give credence to threats of war from countries harbouring forces already making war against their neighbours. This is as true for Iran, Syria and "Saudi" Arabia as it is for Ecuador and Venezuela.
The seed vault project is one of the few instances of long term thinking in which our species is currently engaged, albeit funded and (I would expect) managed by short term thinking global warmenists. Still, it seems a sensible precaution against a catastrophic meteorological or epidemic incident. Now all they need to do is make it proof against the future jihadi government of
Sweden Norway; that one is going to prove trickier.
The definitive gothic club track of our time: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance .
In part, it is the "can do" spirit. Take the BROACH, for example. Fortunately for Iranian weapons designers, fire does not melt steel. Otherwise they might think twice about their roofing situation (not so sure about concrete, it blows up real good).
(It is possible a sarcasm tag was included there somewhere...)
A story appeared in the Jerusalem Post several weeks ago; at the time I was not certain whether a disgruntled Facebook group deserved the attention. I am now thinking it is a sign of things to come. When the duly elected representatives of the people refuse to defend them, vigilantism is inevitable.
The wonder is not that people are advocating acts of terror; the wonder is it has taken so long. Critics of the IDF operation in Gaza - silent on Gaza's forever war against Israel - should pray Israel's government is successful. There are only two alternatives to victory for the rule of law: Either the Jews undergo yet another diaspora and a land made green through their efforts is returned to the desert or the Jewish people finally lose patience with their government and a bloody anarchy is unleashed.
Update: Ireaellycool is monitoring events better than any other source I have found. Solomonia is doing yeoman's work finding substantial commentary including a link to this peace: Enablers of Murder.
Godspeed the IDF.
The single coolest thing I have ever posted: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
The YouTube age allows the fire at Bathurst and Queen to be seen after the fact on line. It was a gut wrenching walk along Queen by Funhaus on Friday night. Where once there was Suspect Video there is wreckage and a view of the spire of St. Mary's at Bathurst and Adelaide. The church was built in 1885, a quarter century after the buildings lost to the fire, and consequently it is only now it can be seen from this part of Queen Street.
I was not sure what to say and so I said nothing. Now Peggy Noonan has said it for me: On the passing of William F. Buckley.
Noonan has soaring rhetoric, appropriate to the occasion. All I have got is a personal analogy. A great teacher once explained to me you don't ride a Harley Davidson because it is the best bike on the road. Harley's generally do not have the most torque, the most power, the best acceleration or mileage. They are not competitively priced, are not necessarily a great ride and spend more time in parts on the living room floor (much more) than they do on the road. You do not ride a Harley for any quantifiable reason, you ride it because you see another guy on a Harley and you realize you want to be that guy.*
Reading Peggy Noonan now I think back to watching William F. Buckley on Firing Line. I wanted to be that guy.
* Or, in my case, on a BMW. There is a machine you can ride wearing a jacket and tie.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
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10% Upper Midwestern
I have posted something close to this before but I think it is a nice Saturday diversion nonetheless.