Archive for February, 2007

Welcome to the New Serious – the death of pop culture*

February 28, 2007

¬†* denotes pop culture derived from traditional media, not “new media” like the internet.

This is in part a tribute to The Ultimate Showdown. http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/285267

I find Britney Spears to be attractive, but not exceedingly so. I’ve heard parts of a couple of her songs. They didn’t seem to express much talent. Her popularity has thus been quite a puzzle. People keep talking about her being a virgin, or having been a virgin, which apparently made her songs more exciting. I don’t quite understand this, since it seems highly unlikely she was a virgin at any point during her career, and why people would believe a marketing concept is not clear. I also don’t understand how that would increase the popularity, but I’ll take peoples’ words at face value.

One theory is that Britney Spears marked the beginning of the end of popular culture. American culture certainly since late 2001 has been getting increasingly serious. Chomsky approaching the mainstream is an obvious sign of that.

The most popular comedian of today, Jon Stewart, deals almost exclusively in politics, and is the most public political critic in America. Furthermore, his focus is that the media is not serious enough.

There has been more and more criticism of pop culture, and pop culture seems to be begging for criticism. The emergence of the even more dubiously talented Kevin Federline, the creatively empty antics of Paris Hilton, the attention given to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise going nuts, the consistent pain of American Idol… pop culture is running on fumes.

Pop culture’s largest representative, television, is taking a major hit as the internet rises to replace it.

10 years ago I never would have guessed that pop culture would be in this condition today. Perhaps, as The Ultimate Showdown concludes, Mr. Rogers and a shocked public alone will be there for the curtain call.

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A Further Exploration of “Cleve Blakemore in “Rape Them, Black Master!”

February 27, 2007

There are some interesting outcomes of Imperialism. One is that the culture, by necessity, favors domination, at least with respect to the same people promoting Imperialism (the ruling class). Imperialism requires the constant threat of violence with the frequent application of violence.

State violence typically takes the form of tanks, jeeps, bombs, heavy machine guns, sniper rifles, etc., but for civilians back at home these are not usually practical to imitate. The civilian corollary is twofold: guns and fists. This goes hand-in-hand with Authoritarian oppression but that’s a matter for other posts.

While guns and fists are a necessary and logical outcome of the policy of Imperialism for the ruling class, it filters down to the general population as well, at least with respect to those people who become dominated by the ruling class. This is, in turn, the intellectual basis for why civilian violence is so atrocious… not the violence itself but the truth that the violator has become dominated by the corrupt rulers.

Guns are nearly physically neutral propositions… both on the user and the receiver end. Guns have been called the “great equalizer”, and that’s precisely what that quote means.

Fists on the other hand are anything but physically neutral. Politically speaking, fists favor men, youth, strength, and aggression.

I’ve never seen a scientific study on this, but I’ve heard it many times in white culture. Whites have a theory that slave traders selected for strength and health in Africa, thus both the initial slaves and subsequently their descendants are bigger and stronger than whites, even assuming the overall population of Africa was physically equal to whites. Its a reasonable theory, despite no scientific evidence.

A reasonable person living in a civilized country doesn’t care about this theory. It doesn’t matter whether neighbor Joe, black or white, is stronger or weaker than you… that’s one of the features of a nation of law.

If the country, however, is not civilized, perhaps as a result of Imperialist ambition and practice and everything that goes along with it, a different reality emerges. Now violence abroad is reflected in violence at home, ultimately even sanctioned by the government (as long as its controlled) and strength DOES matter.

Furthermore, an Imperialist set of values honors masculinity, strength, aggression, etc… thus concluding that the physically strong are *superior* to the physically weak.

Coupled with racism and the theory I stated above, results in the conclusion that blacks are superior to whites (at least for blacks in America descended from slaves). Throw in white guilt over slavery and you have the white worship of blacks. This presently is ONE factor (there are of course many others) in the public perception of sports.

Cumulatively, this issue finds itself in the term Negro Champion.

On Being a Philosopher

February 26, 2007

Being a philosopher, or at least my approach to it, is nothing like what most people think of as philosophy. They think philosophers sit in a stuffy room in an ivory tower, writing down thoughts from their very impressive heads… the most frequent trait I hear of philosophers is that they are highly intelligent… that they are capable of great analysis, or that they are moral forces who share their unique vision.

There is no such thing as a unique vision that emerges from a single source. Philosophers are wise, and wisdom results from intense and broad examination of humanity. Its humanity that *creates* philosophers, not the other way around… philosophers are simply the accumulated result of human morality, science, and the intellect.

What we think of as coming from philosophers in fact comes from humanity. It merely gets *filtered* through the philosopher who then claims the work as “his”… its no more “his” than the water you drink, coming through pipes not made by you, from a source not formed by you, filtered by a mechanism created by others, is yours.

The philosopher is the *recipient* of humanity… only his arrogance would claim that humanity is the recipient of him.

My approach to philosophy changed recently. I used to examine problems by sharing the problems. I am layered, so I was able to have those problems on some of my layers while keeping others free of them. This is a very effective method in terms of studying the problems… far, far more effective than traditional methods of learning such as reading books on the issues.

Being extremely self-confident and perhaps arrogant, I thought I could handle it. I even convinced myself that I was handling it, but really I wasn’t. The religious might describe the process as losing your soul… the secular might describe it as losing your mind… the truth I believe to be somewhere else.

The problems with this approach are numerous, almost infinite. Its a form of sacrifice and thus entails a culture of sacrifice… denial of the needs of the self (asceticism) and the moral segregation of humanity.

The root cause of my approach is that human debate was not occurring… debate is the other major methodology for philosophers to learn (there are all kinds of informal learning contexts but those occur regardless). Humans simply refused to debate directly and indirectly throughout the 1990s and continuing into this decade. Fear of truth was the paramount condition of American society.
The popularizer of this methodology, Friedrich Nietzsche, had the same problems. Debate was not occurring in his society on key issues… so he took the matter into his own hands, soul, and mind, so to speak.

The use of this methodology is a key condemnation of culture… the prevalence of the methodology in culture is directly proportional to the corruption of that culture. Its an outrage for this methodology to ever be necessary.

We need to make sure that culture no longer encourages such methods. Not by OUTLAWING it, notice… Nietzsche is a victim… by changing the culture to make it no longer necessary.

A look at some issues of “Cleve Blakemore in “Rape Them, Black Master!”

February 26, 2007

“As Cleve huddles in his bunker, dwelling on human weakness, he again turns to the Negro Champion as his just punishment, his salvation:

I fear being as weak as Whitey. Look at that flabby pathetic creature. I seek the strength of solitude. Just me and my weights and my glorious distance from corruption.

How pathetic, that Whitey enslaved such a virile, strong, potent race as the Negros. How I despise them for it. How I dream, long for the Negros to do the same to Whitey.

Ah, but the dumb Negros never can, unless we help them. Shall we fuck the mind, dissolve the intellect? What is being smart, except a form of control? Ah yes – the path to glory of the negros – sports. The raging physicality and passion is perfect for them.

And Whitey – now will sit in his box and control the world from afar. He will let the Negro out to play.

But how will justice happen? How will Whitey pay for his crimes? Ah yes, GUILT… that most powerful of tools… what will whitey give, what weakness will whitey accept… what means will whitey pursue to absolve such a dreadful guilt?

Perhaps – his women? Ah yes, woman, that most treasured of prizes, the only true form of wealth.

Rape Them, Black Master. Oh, not the women… you strong powerful virile men, take them tenderly, show them a power and a love that Whitey can never give. Rape the Men, rape their shreds of remaining self-respect. Rape their hopes, rape their futures. Leave them with nothing, because that is what they deserve.

All hail the Negro Champion!”

————————————————————————————————————————-

American culture and therefore the American people includes within it the desire and at times the fulfillment of the domination and subjugation of others. This is routinely ignored… suppressed by people who would *rather* it not be the case, therefore it *isn’t* the case, according to their creative use of logic.

The only outcome of this kind of repressing and ignoring, one that we see time and time again, is that the issues move under the surface… they go underground. Worship of sports for example would never be and IS never accepted as a means of seperating and ultimately demonizing blacks… there needs to be an outlet for the pursuit of racism for a people who obviously still need such an outlet.

Take a close look at the attitudes of whites toward blacks with respect to the intellect… I’ve even heard such monstrosities as a white person assuming a tall black person is a basketball player… they would never assume (only considering it a possibility) that a tall white person is a basketball player.

WORSE than racism itself is the repression of racism. WORSE than considering that you are a racist is denying that you CAN be a racist, regardless of any facts.

For decades black people have been subtlely and at times not so subtlely segregated into the arena of sports. “Fun for them!” you might think. You may find it curious to note that sports themselves are seen as a play version of war. I find it insulting that a people once enslaved would then be pushed into a PLAY version of fighting. Isn’t it more logical to support in them a real version of fighting? The fight against racism goes on, and there’s little that’s playful about it.

I can’t count the number of times white people have told me that they marvel at the athleticism and grace of athletes, sometimes specifically mentioning black athletes but NEVER, not a single time, specificially mentioning any other race of athlete. Black people on the other hand do not say they marvel.

Black culture (certainly black elite culture, normal blacks are far more sensible) has by and large been defeated by this. They have cynically accepted the segregation, even going so far as to incorporate those same values, using them against blacks. Some even believe that they can turn the tables, that they can use their role in sports to *develop* as a culture.

The solution to this comes from anyone who sees racism as unacceptable and respects all aspects of blacks, including their intellect which is equal to that of whites.

Gotta love the northern bigotry that says that racism is only something for hillbillies and rednecks. I’M not a racist, they fervently declare. “We” are beyond that, they sniff, as opposed to the south which they vilify in equal proportion to their own insecurity. THEY are the problem, they declare, they are ruining the perception of America for the rest of us!

Comparing the two, I PREFER people who are openly racist. At least they’re honest. Being honest, at least they have the *chance* to change. The present of the south may be bleak, but its future on racism is brighter than that of the self-righteous north. Self-righteousness *ALWAYS* signals an end to progress.

These words, since they are truthful and uncomfortable, will of course be ignored. If I was a more public figure they would not only be ignored but be suppressed (and the right of me to be a public figure would possibly be taken away). Humanity is so sad, so pathetic… and the shame is that its so EASY to correct this… differentiating between the actual world and the desired world isn’t rocket science.

Politics ruins everything. Racism in this country is outlawed. Therefore only outlaws can be racist, therefore racists can’t ever ADMIT their racism… therefore their racist actions and beliefs get sublimated… go underground.

Cynical assholes say one of two things, either “Well, this is the best we can do… remove racism from the surface of American society” or “What is no longer on the surface will eventually be no longer deeper”.

The latter is simply wrong… the depth creates the surface emotional reality… its Fascist and Authoritarian to control the surface in any case, and what that creates is a bipolar world where there is a schism between the surface and the deep, not unlike the reality in any totalitarian society.
The former is also wrong. Its not the best we can do… racism is a scourge that has caused untold suffering and agony, in ways both big and small. Racism is not tolerated and not acceptable. However, the corollary to this is not that the surface must be CONTROLLED in order for humans to not be allowed to express racism.

Open debate must always be allowed to occur, on every subject. Don’t demonize the next racist you see (you’ll probably see one today), instead invite him to a debate on racism. If the person doesn’t admit to being a racist that’s fine, just present the debate as a learning process for anyone, which it is.

I’ve seen seemingly every evil that exists in America, and racism isn’t even one of the worst ones. It becomes a lot worse than it is if your first instinct upon witnessing it is demonization.

Good collection of the current political environment

February 25, 2007

http://tinyurl.com/3xkx98

http://tinyurl.com/3a5gdp

Gotta love humans / American hero Chris Hedges

February 24, 2007

Reactions like this was why America didn’t question Bush.

Ignorance is a disease. America needs an operation.

All together now: “USA! USA! USA!”

Remember kids, you should always turn your back on someone expressing truths that make you uncomfortable. That is the American Way.

These college graduates have apparently learned plenty of important lessons. They are ready to be the leaders of tomorrow.

This is the best Chris Hedges video I’ve seen: http://tinyurl.com/2qw5mh

Reno 911: A disappointment

February 23, 2007

A mixed bag, but overall negative… most of it was not funny. I liked the spirit… now they need better jokes.

Speaking of better jokes, the cast was HILARIOUS in the press releases and radio interviews before the movie release. They should have made that into a movie and left this one on the cutting room floor.

On Fascism in America

February 23, 2007

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4447302406546777538&q=Chris+Hedges

“300”: fun for the whole manipulative family

February 22, 2007

¬†This comes from the production notes for the movie “300”.

“Co-writer/director Zack Snyder adds, “Spartans live for battle. They love it,” he says. “They fight as one, creating a phalanx in which each warrior’s shield protects the man beside him. It’s an awesome and intimidating sight, even for the masses of Persians. Though the Spartans face insurmountable odds in terms of numbers, a true Spartan warrior is always willing to die for freedom–they consider it a ‘beautiful death.’ They define themselves by sacrifice and freedom.”

Sparta was one of the most restrictive and oppressive cultures in history, making communist Russia look like a playpen. They would have been better off as slaves.

I hope moviegoers don’t take from this film the message that freedom is worth any cost… the garbagemen in the White House for example would be only too delighted to exploit that.

Sparta was deeply corrupt and brainwashed. Freedom without liberty is meaningless, as America may still be inclined to find out for itself.

The solution to Authoritarianism

February 15, 2007

Unlike every other political position, Authoritarianism is not compromised with. Imagine if we had said to Hitler “lets compromise… only kill half of the world’s Jews”. My example is not extreme. Any Authoritarian can become Hitler given the right circumstances. Hitler is not a *special* kind of problem.

Removal from power is the only solution with respect to Authoritarianism.

America being united is fine. That unification cannot include Authoritarianism however.

Conservatives without Conscience

February 14, 2007

John Dean covers modern American politics, exposing the Authoritarianism rising since the 1980s. This is the nightmare reality most people thought would never happen in this country.

On Game Design

February 12, 2007

http://www.costik.com/nowords.html

A great piece here… from the results subsequently I assume not too many developers read it.

The Number 23

February 11, 2007

Numerology again… *grrrreatt*.

Here’s another number for you… zero. When your two hours of spastic neuroticism is over, get back with me.

The Denial/Defiant Will Problem

February 10, 2007

This has nothing to do with “multiple personalities”. Multiple personalities is less problematic.

The way I used to operate intellectually was to take inside myself what I was examining. I experienced the denial will problem firsthand. I’ll tell you what it is and then I’ll put it in some context.

At its basic level its simple. Lets say you are going to the grocery store, the result of your (ostensibly) dominant will. The denial will’s point is to deny the correctness of the “dominant will”. This occurs with respect to *every* thought you have, *every* action you take, *every* action you don’t take or thought you don’t have.

This causes the dissolution of the dominant will.

Since all it takes for the denial will’s position is denial, it doesn’ t have to have *reasons* for it. It denies blindly, stupidly, eternally.

My contention, based on viewing the world and experiencing the things I have gone through to understand it, is that this is one of the most serious problems facing America. And that its MUCH more common than people think. It may be the core problem of the Neocon/Authoritarian/Religious Right segment of America.

Having a denial will is an extremely miserable experience. There is no joy in the lives of these people, because any event that would otherwise be joyful is simply denied by the opposing will. There is also no torment for these people for the same reason… all emotions and eventually all values are drained away. Humans make the mistake of “he’s tormented by inner demons”… the only demon is denial and torment is not its result.

What happens in people with denial wills is that that is only the *beginning* of the experience. They don’t just roll over and accept it. Religion for example… they accept God’s will in order for them to HAVE a will that can overcome (in some cases) their own denial. God the All Powerful, All Knowing, All Seeing… that’s what it TAKES for them… anything less would simply be denied.

Its a big mistake to think the denial will is “the conscience”. This is another trick of these people. In truth denial wills destroy the conscience because there’s no point in taking good actions since regardless of the action or the thought it will be denied. Good and bad become one and the same.

People call this “nihilism”, but nihilism is only one of the *outcomes* of the denial will.

Denial will people look for ways to overcome the denial will inside themselves. For some its buffoonery, people who become self-farces. For others its belief in the Law as a control mechanism… a sort of social conscience and restraint for people who have none of their own. Still others turn to Ideology, a way to control the world, put it under a system of thought and behavior.

Still others turn to Solipsism and Authoritarianism… they define the value of the world in terms of whatever specific vision they have for it.

Denial wills occur in the first place IN ORDER for humans never to have to suffer being wrong (“evil”). Since every aspect of yourself has its denial, if the action you took was wrong there is always your denial will that was right, and since you care as much about the denial will as about the action…

Of course this is nonsense, because the denial will has nothing behind it *other* than denial, but people with denial wills manage to take considerable comfort from it nonetheless.

Denial will people care about Yes and No, about Black and White, about Right and Wrong, and have no care whatsoever for what lies behind these terms, no cares for the *whys* or *hows*.

Denial will people reduce human existence and the world to at best a hollow shell.

To denial will people there are no questions… there is only what you do in service of whatever authority even your denial will can for the moment bow before. Since what you do is always in service of a higher good, it cannot be questioned or challenged.

In the lack of such authority denial will people will create another, as soon as possible given their panic.

The 20th century was obsessed with the denial will after a variation of it was described by Nietzsche. Hard work, personal responsibility, hedonism, secularism, relativism, and anti-religion all tried to counter or subvert the denial will.

Given the present results in America, its obvious none of that worked. If anything, the denial will merely moved underground, became better at hiding, became more determined of political victory.

People with denial wills CREDIT the denial will for their ABILITY to worship “higher concepts” like God and Absolute Law and Ideology.

The funny thing in all this is that people *without* denial wills can quite healthily follow gods and laws and even ideologies. Hence the Black and White concept of God being bad is wrong and people that say “I don’t believe in ideologies” can be just as blind as the denial will people themselves. In fact, that can even be a *belief* of denial will people.

The denial will may have its symptoms, but place too much stress on the symptoms and the denial will merely moves to different symptoms, as a virus adapts. No solution exists to “kill God”… the only solution is to kill the denial will.

Its too bad Nietzsche didn’t write “the death of the denial will” instead… we’d all be much better off if he had.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

February 1, 2007

Downside – it’s sadistic

Upside – it’s produced two great comic creations, the Mooninites and the Plutonians.