Category Archives: Current News

Power of the laugh track

Pointed to it from Vox Day’s blog, I just finished listening to Owen Benjamin’s description (show number 494) of the sit-com Seinfeld and how the laugh track destroyed our culture. Pretty deep  stuff. But is it over the top? One thing that it brought to mind was how the Japanese military conditioned their soldiers.

It’s not a normal act to stick a blade into someone and be OK with it. So they’d tie up a prisoner (POW or civilian, made no difference to them), perhaps put them in a trench where they could not run away or retreat, and order a soldier to bayonet the victim to death. While he did that, his squad-mates would be standing around him, cheering him on, laughing, clapping, making a joke or game of it. They’d already done the same, or soon would be. It conditioned them to think it was normal, and fun, and it dehumanized the victim. But it was the cheering, laughing, and open mocking of the dead and dying while their mate butchered a man… or woman, or child… that made it such a powerful social pressure.

It was murder with a laugh track, and it was undeniably successful at its intended mission.

Yes, what Owen says is spot on. Not over the top. It’s psychos conditioning a whole generation. No wonder there are so many people today who need a shrink. Or, better yet, to purge their lives of screens.

Stolen idea

Sometimes when someone “steals” your idea, it’s not all bad. Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, etc. In that light, via an email from a very helpful reader, I hear of Steve Bannon – yes, the famous one – supporting something like my idea from Heretics.

A “gladiator school” of sorts. Not identical, of course, and the CBS writers get some of the normal things wrong that they always do when describing anything remotely right of left-wing, but some good ideas, too.

h/t to Portly Pirate

Trump, guns, Parkland, Pavlov, and character(s)

In the real world, people tend to be true to their nature. Good writing reflects that, and characters act in ways that are internally consistent and believable. You may or may not like the characters, but if the various players in the story each are true to their own worldview, education, upbringing, etc., they are believable. In much the same way, various actors on the world stage – politicians, bureaucratic organizations, lawyers, televangelists, etc. – all play sadly repetitious, if not completely predictable, parts. Continue reading Trump, guns, Parkland, Pavlov, and character(s)

Vet Freestartr

It’s up. Doing Well.  Over $23k and >350 backers at this point.

Interesting point is that by my quick count, John C. Wright is in the lead, Lawdog is in second, and I’m in third.  not a straightforward “count names” because a number of posts mentioned more than one title in ranked order, or brief discussion of merits. Each has it strengths and weaknesses. In any case, I’m honored to be considered in the same group, even if in last place. In any case, contribute, chip in if you can, cast your vote, and bask in the glow in a good deed that will induce REEEEEE!

UPDATE: $32k, 478 backers.

UPDATE2: >$42k, 608 backers, a bit less than 48 hours to go.

Not movin’ dozn’ mean not doin’

Red and green static dances everywhere for a moment, then disappears.

Quiritis mutters to herself “What’s that all about?”

The Ship AI replies quietly, still with a heavy piratical accent. “That be the sounding lead, testin’ the waters.”

“Meaning?”

“Someone looks t’be slippin’ into the harbor, quiet-like, to take us at anchor. Crow’s nest can’t see a thing, fog’s thick, but thar be a splash t’ be heard.”

Quiritis ponders the words a moment. “You think we are under attack?”

The Ship AI is cautious. “Aye, perhaps, lass. But no shots fired yet, an’ we cann’a fire blindly in’t’ fog without knowin’ wha’ sail be thar.”

“What sort of attack?”

“Noises. Pokin’ ‘n prod’n wi’ lightnin’. Gettin’ their magic in’r compasses.”

“Lightning? EM attack, hacking?”

“Aye. Shit-magnet ‘peers t’be on full power, t’is.”

“But they can’t do that at this tech level! Jamming only.”

“Aye. That’s why the crow’s nest is keepin’ a sharp eye, so’s we knows th’ targets well. Then we be clearin’ the decks in a hurry.”

“Can’t you do something!?”

“Not movin’ duzin’ mean not doin’,” the Ship AI replies conspiratorially. Continue reading Not movin’ dozn’ mean not doin’

Veteran’s Day

It’s that time – the day we commemorate Veteran’s Day. A somber day, not exactly a “Happy Holiday!” with a cheery smile sort of occasion.  This year, appropriately enough, the observance day is also the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps (U.S.M.C.). Happy birthday, Marines!The US military has been going through a rough patch in the last few decades, with more enemies domestic and internal (especially the most recent former C-in-C, whose policies were extremely destructive to the professionalism and moral of the uniformed forces, from what I’ve heard) than external… those the external threats, from ISIS to RocketMan are not inconsiderable.

I’m a veteran of sorts – served an uneventful (in terms of actual hot-war deployment) enlistment in the US Army Reserve. It’s enough that on some job applications I can check the “veteran” status box, but on others that list specific types of veterans (Vietnam War Era veteran, Service Medal Veteran, etc.) I cannot, because I don’t qualify as any of those specific types. Just a generic “signed up, served, went home, carry on” sort of thing.

I honor those who served, whether draftees like my dad, or volunteers like myself, friends who or family who served in war and came home like Joe Huffman’s son-in-law, or those who served and didn’t, like Adam Plumondore.

So bow your head briefly, raise a glass, or whatever, and thank those who served to protect your right to politely disagree with your fellow American, and helped to create the greatest country this planet has ever seen, flawed, decadent, and in decline though it may be.

Cheers!

Happy 4th!

The Declaration of Independence, the Original Brexit!

Celebrated with explosions and guns and food and family and all things the crew of Tajemnica would approve of.

Wasn’t always easy.

Wasn’t always fun. Been more than a few rough patches and growing pains. And now, apparently, having a moment of sanity among the encroaching senility and decadence of old age and too much easy living. But still the greatest nation on earth. That may change in a few years – all things change, all empires fall and fade – but we’re on the right path for a few more years.

Heinlein’s future history spoke of the Crazy Years. We’re in them. My future history so far published has been deliberately vague, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m predicting more tough years ahead, but all in not lost. Venice arose out of the fall of Rome. America rose from the faltering British Empire. But Haiti arose from a faltering French empire, so nothing is guaranteed.

For today, celebrate what has gone before and gone right, while praying for things to improve, and work toward making it so.