In which I watch a movie

And this time, I didn’t even have to leave the house. [Fair warning:  some generalized spoilers ahead, if you want to be completely surprised].

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs stars an ensemble cast in six short stories set to film. Tim Blake Nelson is a singing gunslinger, James Franco is a hapless bank robber, Liam Neeson is a grasping carny, Tom Waits is an old prospector, Zoe Kazan is a struggling settler, and Tyne Daly appears in the final segment as a flinty Calvinist.

buster scruggs3.png

The film is on Netflix, so you can watch it in your den as you order your Amazon and post on your blog. I’m a huge Coen brothers fan but they don’t appeal to everyone. The vignettes are all familiar Coen brothers’ territory, exploring human frailty and struggle for certainty and meaning in an uncertain, meaningless and tragically finite existence. None of the stories end particularly well for the protagonists, with perhaps the exception of Tom Waits’ character in the only non-original part, an adaptation of Jack London’s All Gold Canyon.

The movie is a visual feast and the Coen brothers really know how to set mood and get emotional projection out of their actors. The Coen brothers–two Jews from Minnesota–remain compassionate, respectful chroniclers of the American West and of Christian morality. They also remain, as noted by Steve Sailer, unapologetically white. The only folks of color are the American Indians, in a couple of anonymous and violent appearances.

I haven’t enjoyed a Coen brothers film this much since Miller’s Crossing. Highly recommended, and nothing you wouldn’t mind exposing a well-adjusted teenager to.

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I actually did leave the house to go see another movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. In contrast to the Coen brothers, J.K. Rowling is exquisitely, apologetically, self-consciously white. Like the Star Wars prequels, it is another of those retrospective schemes to extract mileage out of the current Harry Potter franchise. Jude Law does well as a young Dumbledore, who apparently formerly favored a neat beard and impeccable business suits instead of frumpy wizard garb. By the way, Dumbledore is gay. Yes! Gay as all get out. Had a gay lover and everything. I guess that explains it.

The film is a Diversity grab bag, hitting frequently and heavily on the themes of miscegenation, white privilege, and fascism that occupy so much space in the British mind. The plot is spread thin and illogical over a number of diverse, cardboard characters so every ethnic in the Commonwealth should leave the theater happy.

Johnny Depp chews up the scenery and spits everybody else out as the charismatic really, really white leader of the pure-bloods, who have apparently plagued the Harry Potterverse since at least 1927, when the movie is set. There are one or two other films in the canon, so I’m pretty sure Rowling will get this tied in with Hitler. I cannot imagine the mental life of these people.

As consolation, this will keep Mr. Depp, a demographic peer and actual talent, in fine wine for the next decade.

Demography is democracy

Just when I was feeling chipper.

Broward County continues to pull ballots out of dumpsters, custodial closets, and rented cargo trucks in down-to-the-wire counts for Florida’s senate and gubernatorial races.

democracy2
Democracy is in good hands.

I know a number of earnest, intelligent people who still believe this biennial charade represents the rule of law. Ideally, local governments deploy tamper-proof technology and competent, mission-oriented humans to administer elections. In practice, elections are administered by bankrupt municipalities on obsolete, amateurish equipment by career bureaucrats ranging from the not-terribly-bright to the absolutely dimwitted. In a polity that’s swelled to diverse millions it is hardly suprising that elections turn on numbers within a (growing) margin for error. The Neo-Americans are right; America no longer looks like this.

Freedom_of_Speech__-_NARA_-_513536

It looks like this.

freedom of speech2

That the only white person is a 40-ish woman staring off into space in an SSRI-induced fog is a touch of gritty realism that would probably be too much for the highly romantic American painter, Norman Rockwell.

I am well over democracy at this point. The late Bob Wallace used to say that 105 IQ was the minimum needed for informed civic engagement and he is probably correct. The US mean is around 98, a level where people’s policy preferences are largely umbilical. Democracy is for a local polity voting on the roads or another water tank or police car. It is absurd and childish to think the universal franchise will deliver valid or successful outcomes at the national level on existential and ontological issues. That’s what the country’s founding was for. After that, it should just be the net tax-payors voting on the annual budget. Adult freeholders are as good a proxy as any.

The Georgia gubernatorial race (which has still not been conceded) has been instructive. (Paul Kersey has a good write-up).

The Republican candidate was uber-WASP Brian Kemp, a former real estate developer. The job of real estate developer in Georgia is the easiest in the world. First, you obtain your permits from the obliging local government which will let you build just about anywhere with zero regard for traffic, infrastructure, or environmental impact. Second, you take your permits and plans to SunTrust Bank for some gunslinger manager to throw money at you, or to some local “bank” which is mostly just a pile of equity holder warrants, or to some REIT full of money from geriatric investors. Then you hire your illiterate Aztec workforce to throw down your cheap, pre-fabricated crap. Realtors then sell your cheap, ugly product to national-chain commercial tenants, or to the latest group of whites/Asians desperately chasing “good school districts,” or to the enormous crop of atomized, single women working at professional service firms. This business model thrives on endless churn and principals without the slightest aesthetic or future-oriented sense.

There are a lot of Brian Kemps in the State of Georgia. He is a perfectly decent sort. He has no idea how much this picture engrages his ethnic and cultural rivals.

Kemp_governor-1080x675

The Democratic candidate was Stacey Abrams, a black lesbian with a beer gut. She got a Yale law degree, sort of. She was briefly given an office by Sutherland Asbill. Since then she has mostly worked as a perenially indebted “black female entrepeneur,” like fellow BFE and Atlantan Tiffany Brown.

stacey-abrams-restaurant
Holy moly.

A metro Atlanta district full of corporate middle-managers living in neighborhoods with $400,000 entry fees elected a Congresswoman from the political party which wants to take all the guns and erase Stone Mountain. There are lots of transplanted goodwhites in Georgia. These people believe that their principled ism-ism will survive democracy.

The black bloc vote was astounding. We don’t really vote anymore; we just take a census count.

Despite capturing three-quarters of the white vote, Brian Kemp may yet end up in a run-off election. Demography is not just destiny; demography is democracy.

How many Big White states are left–Ohio and Pennsylvania? At least half the whites in Wisconsin and Minnesota appear to be public employees.

The good news is in 75 years things will be so out of control that even our Brazil-ified electorate will vote for Brian Kemp’s great-great-grandson, Brian Duterte Kevin Nassim Bolsonaro.

 

Poverty

H/T Ad Orientem.

This is poverty.

poverty
From Shorpy’s, http://www.shorpy.com/node/23987

And this.

poverty2

This might be poverty, but it’s probably more bad choices and bad habits. Los Angeles is an expensive town. Move.

san fran2This really isn’t poverty.

not poverty1Nor is this. It’s not “refugee” or “asylum” either.

not poverty2

I couldn’t find a photograph of a fast food worker with a neck tattoo and cell phone, but that too is not poverty.

Mankind has accomplished an amazing thing in my lifetime, and that is the practical abolition of scarcity. We can grow all the crops the world needs in that greenbelt in the middle of the U.S., and float it down via gravity to the Port of New Orleans or truck it to every corner of the country. Nobody starves to death in the U.S. absent the most consumptive mental illness or addiction.

I’m willing to be proved wrong, but I don’t think anybody starves to death on the entire planet absent a deliberate human disruption of the supply chain.

Rather than be grateful to God and humbled at our abundance, we instead are freed up for all sorts of nonsense, like gender equality, racial equality, and sexual deviancy. That’s the human condition, and has been since Genesis 11.

I’m in my 50’s which is old enough (believe it or not) to have seen people with parasitic elephantiasis. Elephantiasis is now classified as a “neglected tropical disease.” I still see people living in genuine Third World squalor in places like McIntosh County. I call it squalor not poverty, because if we wanted to we could take these peoples’ guns and shoot their pit bulls (they have both), bulldoze their shacks, and move them to clean, hygienic apartments with a guaranteed minimum income, which a lot of them already receive. Same for the schizophrenic homeless men I drive by every day on the way to work. The only reason we don’t is our powerful creed of autonomous individuality. And you know what they would do if we did these wonderful things? They’d escape to the back streets or some remote culvert or clearing to resume their free lives.

We have a poverty problem all right, but it’s the problem of the poor enjoying the vices of the Biblical rich. The recluses and vagrants aren’t really the problem. These people are the problem:

Is anybody else thinking about a world, post-Scarcity?

Are the economists? What is money at this point? There are people alive today with so much money all they can think to do with it is buy the government paper that keeps millions alive without working and a Navy floating around with nothing to do. Why do we even bother with taxes? Why can’t we sell countries like Haiti, Guyana, the Congo, and Palestine to the billionaires? One day, I bet we will.

Are the theologians? What’s the attraction of Christianity when Globohomo Corp. can reduce marginal costs to the point that we fill every belly, cure everybody’s AIDS, and preach the gospel of liberalism? What was all that stuff about “labor” and being “heavy-laden” again? Christianity in general, and Orthodoxy in particular, is the redoubt of affluent intellectuals. Present-centered people enjoying all the food, parties and sex they want have no need of it.

I’m told this is all cyclical and soft people make hard times. I guess we’ll find out.

Smashmouth politics

run to daylight

The basic running philosophy employed by the Green Bay Packers under coach Vince Lombardi [was run-to-daylight.] The central two plays in this philosophy are off-tackle run and the so-called Packers sweep. In both plays, the offensive line would work to seal off a running lane for the back to use, and the running back would aim for this corridor rather than a specific pre snap hole. In the off tackle run, the quarterback would hand off (often to the fullback) who started running to the position between the tight end and tackle, but would aim for the best hole that developed. In the sweep, the two guards would pull to form the outside wall of the running lane, while the center and run side tackle would form the inside wall of the lane. – Wikipedia

iraq-marines

Each item of equipment in the modern ampibious assault force–from the multimillion dollar aircraft carrier to the least expensive radio battery, every highly skilled man–from a jet pilot to the operator of a small, portable radio–exists to get the Marine rifleman in position to close with the enemy and destroy him. – Guidebook for Marines

I’m a simple man so I like punchy quotes that are clear, direct, and axiomatic. The goal of the ground offense in “smashmouth football” is simple: clear the field in front of you in order to advance the ball to the opponent’s end zone. The goal of Marine assault is similarly reducible: put an infantryman on the disputed ground so he can engage with and destroy the enemy.

The goal of politics is simple as well: acquire power to implement desired policy. The Left has pursued that goal single-mindedly for a long time. The Right has been debating minutiae, but they are quickly catching (growing) up. The Right is adopting the smashmouth politics of their opponents and not a moment to soon.

More subtly stated, the goal of politics is to control the frame of debate. The US Civil War banished secession and slavery outside the frame of debate. (I can use the Civil War interchangeably because politics is just war by other means–instead of firing the rifles, we count the rifles.) Socialism, royalty, government racial discrimination are outside the frame of US political debate.

The current problem in US politics is the competing frames. Past a point, the competitors aren’t fighting over holding calls; they’re fighting over which ballpark. As I’ve been saying for a long time, politics has passed beyond ideological to territorial. Keynesian economists can exist in the same frame with the supply-siders, socialists cannot. Lots of people are now actual socialists. They will literally vote to take your stuff unless you out-vote them, and when votes no longer work, you’ll have to physically, ahem, stop them.

Sexual deviancy is also zero-sum. If you don’t banish transgendered freaks to live under bridges, they will dress up like Baphomet and read books to your children. If I’d said that ten years ago, you’d have called me a lunatic.

baphomet

Now for the hopeful stuff, as I promised last post.

At this point, Kavanaugh must be confirmed. It won’t be pretty, it will drive the Left even more insane (which doesn’t seem possible but always is), and that’s why it has to be done. If it’s not, we lose the framing. We’re not ceding an arrogant, eccentric Robert Bork to get the more conventional and tepid Anthony Kennedy; we’re hanging on to Kavanaugh because the Left’s real premise is that white heterosexual males cannot be allowed to govern. Call me crazy (am I? Am I?!) but look at how transgenderism has snowballed–remember last post how I said these things always snowball?

The Republicans and American bourgeois finally recognize the competing frames. We’re in a gunfight, not a toy knife fight. You play smashmouth or you lose. This isn’t about oafish Irishmen, it’s about straight white males period. The ideological debate is back there in ancient, white-guy history, and the scales are falling off a lot of eyes.

erickson

So if you see me with a twinkle in my eye, a spring in my step, and a jaunty straightening of my tie, it’s because Trump has fulfilled a simple man’s simple wish: he’s made smashmouth politics great again!

jaunty lindsey

The adults have left the room

Sixteen-Candles-underwear-trade

Like those old John Hughes’ movies, the adults have been inexplicably though indispensably absent to the titillating plot line of politics in the Kwa. No youthful indiscretion has been too infinitesimal as the leaders of the world’s most powerful and oldest continuous government root around in details of beer-drinking and sex from parties that were cleaned up and forgotten long ago.

You may recognize the scene from Sixteen Candles above. I enjoyed being a young person in the early 1980’s, but unfortunately never got to make out with a drunken Haviland Morris.

haviland 1982

Here’s Haviland now. She works in New York City real estate.

haviland now

The 1980’s were fun times. I attended a number of those parties that Christine Blasey-Ford has been talking about. Ms. Ford is no Haviland Morris. (In fairness, I’m no Anthony Michael Hall.)

blasey ford

Speaking of, Anthony Michael Hall has ended up with a pretty interesting, pugilistic look. He’s also gotten tall (6′ 2″) and his estimated worth is $16 million. As I said, I’m unfortunately no Anthony Michael Hall.

anthony_michael_hall

I’ve been following this story to see if another member of my age cohort, Brett Kavanaugh, will have his Supreme Court appointment derailed by Ford’s completely unprovable and unrefutable allegation that he ravaged her fair white body at a beer-fueled rapefest in 1982.

Where are the grown-ups to tell us forget it, it was 36 years ago, we don’t know, we can’t know, and therefore we don’t and can’t care? We’re the grown-ups now: world-weary adults with thinning hair, arthritic joints, aging or deceased parents, furiously denouncing our peer group over drunken groping that may or may not have happened in the bloom of glorious youth.

As somebody who remembers those torrid years rather fondly, I’m astonished. I can recall lots of good and bad times, including being physically humiliated by a bigger, stronger peer. I could look this man up on Facebook. We have our own adult lives and responsibilities. Why would I seethe over any number of stupid incidents from high school? That’s what grown-ups do: they grow up. Christine Blasey-Ford is not a grown-up. Lots of women never grow up. We used to not bother counting their votes.

The hysteria has snowballed to encompass all manner of lurid allegations and minutiae. Grown-ups can tell you that’s what hysteria does: it feeds on itself, snowballs to attract all sorts of freaks. A woman named Julia Swetnick came out of the woodwork to say Kavanaugh and his friends ran trains on helpless, poisoned women. Wow! Except our big-brained media and savvy politicos forgot to notice that Swetnick was crazy as a fucking fruit bat and being shepherded around by a psychopathic lawyer.

The circus continues and will for some time. Women roam the Congressional office building, screaming in its halls. Millions cower at their computer monitors, convinced women are routinely assaulted at a level which would otherwise shut down much of society, with women refusing to leave the house and men fighting blood feuds over the constant attacks on their wives and daughters. It’s all nonsense.

There have been hopeful signs out of all this mess, and I’ll address them in the next post.