Merry Christmas

o5oYF

Merry Christmas from my house to yours. It’s a little warm here in Florida, a nice, toasty 65 degrees. I sometimes wonder if this is what my Australian friends feel, having Christmas in the middle of summer. It certainly makes all the usual Christmas songs a little amusing.

Anyway, I have to get back to the family and my son is impatient to open his gifts. Y’all have a great holiday, and never forget what it is we are celebrating. Christ has come!

 

Wednesday Randoms II

Today there is a new weekly column up on Dangerous: THALES: Turning Empathy Into a Weapon, How Social Justice Fights Dirty. This is a summary of a concept that’s been central to my posts here at The Declination.

Weaponized Empathy is a chief weapon of the Left, and we need to deprive them of it. To do so will impose a cost. Namely, many Leftists will hate you, and say the worst about you. But its a cost that must be lived with if the truth is to prevail. Indeed, the longer the cost is deferred, the worse it is likely to be.

On Monday, Francis penned an interesting post which touches upon the idea delayed gratification, something most Americans do not practice. By pushing instant gratification, and kicking the cost can down the road, our civilization has incurred an enormous amount of debt, and not merely financial debt (though that too).

The perverse incentives of our political figures has made this possible. But the citizenry itself cannot avoid responsibility either. After all, Americans have been voting en masse for short-sighted, destructive policies as long as I’ve been alive. The money quote:

We the People have earned a certain suffering-debt for our previous sociopolitical sins – never mind that we were set upon our sinful courses by an earlier We the People, who passed their accumulated suffering-debt down to us – then our choice is simple:

 

We could accept the penalty, endure it, and come out healed;
We could reject the penalty, which would compound the ultimate suffering.

 

Since World War II at least, the public has preferred politicians who will “kick the can down the road.” In consequence, government has gone ever further astray and our accumulated debt of ultimate suffering has compounded year by year. At some point, though the moment is difficult to predict, the debt will be paid. If it’s grown large enough, it will destroy our society completely.

 

But a payable sociopolitical suffering-debt is like a prison term: it’s finite. It will end. It can and should be endured, especially if the alternative is to raise it to an unpayable level. Our unwillingness to accept and endure the penalties that have already accrued is propelling such debts toward the threshold of sociopolitical bankruptcy.

Note, when Francis speaks of sociopolitical bankruptcy, is essentially discussing the fall of the United States as a functional, intact nation. And the longer we kick the can down the road, the more likely that outcome becomes. Indeed, I’m not even sure we can still avoid it.

On a positive note, Trump managed to push tax cuts through. They are not anywhere near as extensive as I would have liked, and I am sorely disappointed with the behavior of the GOP (more with the Senate than the House), but this is something.

Tax cuts used to be a sort of bread-and-butter of GOP politics, alongside strong foreign policy. The various factions within the party would jockey and argue over everything else, but low taxes and strong military were generally always agreed upon. That this much infighting was required to get the GOP to push through a tax cut – any tax cut at all – is disturbing. It demonstrates the slow evolution of the GOP Establishment away from the base, and toward a more Fabian Socialist agenda, agreeing with the Democrats in principle if not in time frame.

Still, this was why many folks chose Trump over Hillary. We knew we weren’t getting what we wanted, but a tax cut is better than a tax hike. Still, some Dems are going off the deep end telling us the tax cuts will literally kill people. They’ve clearly left sanity behind.

The Perfectibility of Man: A Seductive Fallacy

A short time ago, I coined a quick aphorism on Twitter. It’s one that, most likely, some other person has said better than I have, but nonetheless, it popped into my head:

To be human is to resist perfection. This is why any ideology based on the idea of the perfectibility of man is founded on a fallacy.

This is at the root of so many tyrannies and mass-murders in history. Some man (or group of men) gets it in his head that mankind can be improved, made better, according to some vision he has. The motives may even start out benign. Other times, the rot starts immediately. Either way, the drive for improvement quickly becomes a purity spiral. All that is impure must be destroyed. All that is imperfect must go.

What is more imperfect than man?

Eugenics, Nazism, racial supremacy… that is the sort of purity spiral most people are at least casually familiar with. But contrary to popular consciousness, it is not the only such purity spiral. When you hear a feminist complaining about man farting in her presences, calling it fart rape, you are seeing an expectation of perfection. An extension of a purity spiral. In her solipsistic worldview, all that is not-her is imperfect. All that does not follow her desire is flawed. Somebody does something she doesn’t want them to do, and they have violated her.

Someone who doesn’t have it in their heads that the universe, and their fellow man, must be perfect would probably shrug it off, or might let it pass with an unkind word or two. To the purist, the fart is so much more than a fart. It is patriarchal oppression, it is a denial of her agency, it is a legacy of privilege. Whatever. In any event, it is impure and thus it must be stopped. Yet what do you do? Ask all men to cease farting in the presence of women at all times? Impossible. Apply this to any bizarre non-issue, like manspreading, mansplaining, microaggressions, etc… Apply it to larger meta-issues that are categorically unsolvable, like income inequality and demands for fairness.

Perfection on any of them is impossible, because humans are imperfect.

Nonetheless, the SJW believes the perfection can happen, or at least a constant state of “Progress” can be sustained, like a limit approaching perfection. Mankind, you see, can be set on an upward trajectory of “Progress” constantly nearer to a state of perfection, constantly improving. It’s a core tenet, though often an unspoken one, of Progressivism. This is why, when a Progressive violates the narrative, his apology often contains the words I will try to do better. He fell off the trajectory toward human perfection – whatever that might be – and must get back on. He must catch up.

This is where the catchphrase “educate” comes from. They believe that further education, that indoctrination, training, whatever you want to call it – can cleanse the original sin, or at least diminish it, thus putting us on a progressive path toward perfection.

It’s all a fallacy. Or maybe worse, a category error. Humans resist perfection, even in the objective sense. They resist it more when the notion of perfection is purely subjective; when it is merely the whims of a few. Marxists do understand this at some level, hence the notion of Reactionaries. They know that their quest for perfection will constantly generate new enemies. They do it anyway. Understand that completely. The Marxist goes into his quest for perfection knowing full well that he will generate people whom he will have to kill. In essence, this is intentional. The impure along the way must be purged.

Technology can be said to more or less progress in a general upward trend. There are bumps and drops, of course, but generally so. And so does the knowledge of man expand along roughly the same trajectory.  But the nature of man does not evolve in the same manner. Is man today any less envious of his fellows today than a thousand years ago? Is he truly wiser, not merely more knowledgeable? Is he stronger of will? Is he less inclined toward sins of various kinds?

The nature of man does not progress along the same track as the knowledge of man. Man does not approach perfection, I hesitate to even claim he improves much at all in this respect. He does not progress in the fashion progressives truly desire. Thus all of this must be imposed on man, since he is incapable of doing it willingly. To say that this serves the desires of tyrants everywhere is an understatement.

Thus, in the end, Marxism contains the same fallacy present in Nazism, and in many other historical ideologies. Under it all is the notion that mankind can be perfected, can be purified, made better at some level. The end result of such thinking is usually the most vile and destructive forms of tyrannical evil mankind is capable of. The nature of man is difficult to improve upon, but certainly easy to corrupt.

Mankind will never be perfected, except perhaps by God himself. No other could do such a thing. Nor will it ever be made to approach perfection; made to ascend on a constant upward trajectory as our knowledge has. I am not saying improvement is impossible, mind you, but I don’t know that we can control it, or that such control can be made constant, or that reversals won’t put us right back where we started. Thus we must never assume that perfectibility is likely, or even possible.

We must start from the very beginning with the notion that mankind is a deeply flawed creature, and that this fact isn’t likely to change.

Wednesday Afternoon Randoms

So I wrote another column over at DANGEROUS: Do Lefties Live in a Parallel Universe? Let’s Explore. It’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor at ridiculous behavior from the political Left. Sometimes I wake up and think these people must live on another planet.

An interesting (interesting in the sense of being utterly insane) piece came from regular reader Triple Sphinctered Wombat (what a name, right?): 10 Things Every Intersectional Feminist Should Ask On a First Date. Reading this vitriolic wishlist reminds me of something I once read at The Rational Male. Back in the day, Rollo Tomassi did a little bit of investigative journalism, I suppose you’d call it. He went on a dating site and wrote profiles that were mirror inversions of typical female profiles.

Many female profiles had wish lists that were, as he put it, vastly out of proportion with what they had to offer. Women of middling looks, intelligence, and income would write long screeds about how their ideal man should be tall, have an impressive penis, be smart, funny, make more money than her, not be too clingy, but be the perfect romantic. He should be the best of the best, you see, to date a perfectly average woman. When Rollo wrote a profile explaining how he wanted smart, rich, hot supermodels, women variously complained about him being a misogynist or merely a bad joke writer.

In this day of Social Justice insanity, we must add to the unreasonable demands of the typical woman to these 10 insane political demands from an intersectional feminist. If you don’t go to the local Black Lives Matter protests, you can’t have any of whatever she’s offering. I can’t know for sure, of course, but I suspect this woman has even less to offer in terms of dating prospects than the middling women of Rollo’s date site experiments. Take a look at this demand:

5. Are you a supporter of the BDS movement?
BDS stands for “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” — an effort to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. I grew up with Jewish (Israeli and non-Israeli) friends and Palestinian friends. Before even understanding how power and oppression worked together, we understood the trivial hatred that colonized and put in constant danger the lives of Palestinians every single day.

Well, I guess this woman is probably an anti-Semite then, by the racism standards of SJWs. She refuses to date anybody who doesn’t prioritize Palestinians over Israelis. Which, naturally, would mean most Israelis. I mean who asks about the Israel/Palestine conflict on a first date, anyway?

On a more positive note, here’s a bit of (rare) good news: 84-Year-Old Vet Still Has It, Kills Intruder With One Shot, Overpowers Another in Physical Scuffle. Nothing is more heartwarming than seeing two goblins get their asses handed to them by a bonafide senior citizen.

Lastly, I’m sure my readers expect an opinion piece on Roy Moore’s loss. I have to sort some rather longish thoughts about that whole mess before I commit to writing that out. Suffice it to say, Moore was never exactly my kind of Republican, but the smear campaign against him was ridiculous in the extreme. I haven’t seen the Democrats go all in on someone like that since Trump’s election. Roy Moore was not up to the challenge the same way Trump was. Republicans should understand that this is the new normal. Every Republican is likely going to have to weather a storm like this one, unless they are properly pliable Flakes and McCains, and even that is no guarantee of safety.

Be prepared. It’s going to get ugly next year.

Dangerous Helicopterism

So some of my readers may have been wondering why I’ve been a little quiet lately. Wonder no more. I’ll be writing a regular weekly column for Milo’s new Dangerous.com site. My usual blog posts will continue here, of course.

The first article can be found here (please comment on it there): THALES: Curious About Helicopterism? Let Me Explain. There I got into detail about a sort of gallows humor meme many of my readers may be familiar with.

This is a pretty big milestone by my accounting. I want to thank some of the folks that have helped my writing get to this point. Tom Kratman, Sarah Hoyt, and Francis Porretto have been huge influences, and I never would have made it this far without them.

More to come!

Signalling Lies

These days, I figure almost everybody knows someone who is a complete idiot with his money. Somebody who, perhaps, makes a decent wage but constantly overspends in an effort to keep up with the Joneses. This is the kind of person who buys a $5000 Italian leather couch and then tells you that it’s a $5000 leather couch. It is important to him, you see, that you acknowledge his ability to spend money on overpriced couches. This is nothing new; it’s a form of status signalling that goes back to the dawn of humanity, most likely. My beads are prettier than your beads. My mud hut is bigger than yours.

The fascinating thing about it, however, is that most folks I’ve met who do this don’t actually have the money. They have car payments and furniture installment loans. They have credit card debt and student loan debt. They may have home equity loans on top of their regular mortgages. And frequently, they lack the liquid assets to cover any of these notes. Their lives are constantly stressed, for any interruption in their income stream could expose the lie of their status signalling. People would know that they were broke. That is more terrifying to such folks than losing the possessions themselves.

Even folks who do have the money often spend themselves into poverty trying to chase status. Stories of celebrities who spend their vast sums of money and wind up in crazy amounts of debt are absurdly common. But at least they had the money at some point. The status signal wasn’t entirely dishonest.

SJWs do something similar with regards to various forms of bigotry. Their goal isn’t necessarily to defeat bigotry, as some of the more honest among their number admit that it isn’t really possible to eliminate all biases in human beings in the first place. And even the most idiotic of SJWs has to know deep down that in America, we have it pretty good with regards to demographic group tolerance – or we did, anyway, before SJWs started screwing around with it again. Rather, the goal of the SJW is to signal that he is not racist/sexist/whatever.

Like the guy who shows you his expensive couch, the SJW who spouts off how much he loves Antifa, and how he goes to all the local BLM protests, is actually saying look at me I’m better than you. He’s signalling that he’s one of the enlightened, educated, and right-thinking individuals. Not like those icky poor people; not like those icky Right-Wing would-be Nazis.

It’s all about ego gratification. It’s about feeling superior, and being able to look down with disdain on the unwashed, the impure, the unrighteous. Even some who are nominally Right-Wing have fallen victim to this (see: Tom Nichols, Bill Kristol, etc…). But like the neighbor who wants you to think he’s rich, many of them aren’t. Like Joss Whedon, feminist warrior who cheated on his wife with a dozen women, they are signalling a lie. Some, like Bill Kristol, may have once been what they are signalling, but aren’t any longer. Somewhere along the way, they took the signalling to be more important than the truth.

It’s confusing the packaging for the product, confusing PR with the people behind it. It is tacitly saying that appearances are more important than realities. This is a core tenet of Social Justice Leftism. A superficial understanding leads many to believe women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. That is the appearance. Dig deeper, and the truth comes out: women make different career choices, work less hours, and tend toward lower risk tolerance. When these things are accounted for, the gap vanishes into irrelevancy. But this doesn’t matter, because the superficial appearance trumps the reality. Thus the SJW signals his acceptance of appearance over truth by constantly bleating this metric.

Underneath this ideology is a house of cards. One misstep, one accidental exposure of truth, and like the indebted man with his fancy furniture, the repo man will come and take it all away. Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch, Joss Whedon’s infidelity, or as I spoke of once before… an SJW’s obsession with getting beaten by men dressed as Nazis in a BDSM club… and it all it comes crashing down around them. Their moral preening is no more true than the yuppie’s affectation of wealth.

I often tell folks that I’m not that great of a guy. I prefer the position of Socrates on wisdom: none of us are truly wise. I prefer the Christian’s view on sinning: we all do it; we all fuck up. And I prefer a dose of humility to the obsession with social status. I don’t always achieve these lofty goals (see #2), but I’ve long believed that trying to achieve them is worth something. On the flip side of that, it’s very irritating when someone tries to signal a lie, and we all know it’s a lie.

I don’t judge my neighbor on the basis of his wealth, why should I care about that? But if he goes out of his way to lie about it, then I care about being lied to. I can’t be too harsh on a man who has committed various sexual indiscretions (provided they aren’t grossly illegal, of course – see pedo shit, rape, etc…), sex is and always will be a hangup for humanity. But if you pretend to be a moral puritan about sex, and it comes out that you are a creep, then I care about being lied to. It is a ‘cast the first stone’ situation. If you are casting stones at someone, and you are guilty of the same, you are tacking on intentional, self-centered dishonesty in addition to whatever it is you did. At least have the courtesy to be quiet about it. Better yet, go ask forgiveness from Christ.

On top of the aspect of dishonesty, it’s also insulting and patronizing. We know the signals are a lie. For the man bragging about his wealth, look… we can do math. For the man bragging about his sexual purity, we know you’re full of shit, we’re human beings too, you know. We know how it is with sexual desire. For the man declaring himself wise, an expert in all things, we know it’s all bullshit. We see when you are caught in lies and mistakes. In other words, we aren’t fooled, and by continuing on with your status signals, you’re only fooling yourself. Even your fellow signalers know, deep down, that you are lying. They merely enable your lies so that you may, quid pro quo, enable theirs.

Ultimately, the signals won’t work. Even if you fool us for a little while, sooner or later we’ll find out.

I don’t think any human can remove all signalling from himself; some of it is undoubtedly unconscious. And sometimes a signal can be true: Donald Trump’s ostentatious wealth is actually true in his case. But better to err on the safe side when it comes to signalling. Best not to do it. If you must, be very sure it’s not covering a lie.

Sanctuary “Justice”

Well, we have a verdict for Kate Steinle’s killer: not guilty. He admitted to killing her but claimed it was an accident. That claim, of course, changed several times over the course of this story. Whether it was a result of media incompetence, his own lies, or some combination of both, I cannot say. He was, however, convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Supposedly he is to be deported. Again. After all, he already came back five times, why not a sixth?

Either way, I’m not surprised. California is a Marxist paradise, after all.

Leftists are generally fond of using the “if it saves one life” defense, or its uglier cousin “you just want people to die” with regards to everything from government-run healthcare to regulation and gun control. When dealing with sanctuary cities and illegal immigrant crime, however, you will hear nothing but crickets from them. After all, only the Left is allowed to use such a blatant fallacy to guilt their opponents into silence.

Remy explains in a humorous video:

 

Trump was widely panned by his critics for suggesting that Mexico doesn’t exactly send us their best and brightest when the illegals hop over the border. I fail to see the error in his statement.  A couple weeks ago I was talking with a friend who lives in Virginia, and she was lamenting the rapid growth of MS-13 in her locale, many of whom are illegals and/or are involved in illegal immigrant smuggling and, of course, much worse. We’re talking about Virginia here. It’s not exactly close to the border.

Ann Coulter suggested in her book In Trump We Trust that the real illegal immigrant figure could be as high as 30 million, not the more commonly reported 11-12 million figure. This gives us a range of about 3% to 9%. That is not a small number, and we can see why Democrats push for amnesty and eventual citizenship for them, or at least a way to get some of them to the polls. Kate Steinle is a minor bump in the road for their impending demographic takeover (famously celebrated in the book The Emerging Democratic Majority). Trump’s unorthodox electoral victory shows that they are very close as it is. What value is the life of some white girl in the face of all that?

Yes. Two can play the “you want people to die” game, Lefties.

If Trump puts up a wall before 2020, he’s going to be reelected in a landslide. If he fails, then expect the Democrats to push through amnesty as fast as they possibly can, to prevent the rise of anyone right-of-center ever again. After that, things are likely to get very dicey in America.

Meanwhile, a murderer will go free… and probably come back across the border soon enough.

Bigotry: The Ultimate Sin

Bigotry is the ultimate sin in modern American Leftism. Racism and sexism are the most commonly cited varieties, of course, but other permutations exist. Homophobia, Islamophobia, fatphobia, ageism, and presumably a whole host of other possible violations.

The fact that it is accounted as the ultimate sin provides the Leftist with a moral club with which to browbeat his opponents. If one accepts the proposition that these are the worst sins of humanity, and one also accepts the proposition that all humans are biased (which is true – humans categorically cannot be fully objective), then everyone is guilty of the ultimate sin. Weaponized empathy is then applied. You are guilty, look at all the horrible things that happened in the world, which are now your fault because you’re guilty of the ultimate sin.

Redemption is only possible through the application of Progressive policies. Give up your wealth, give up your possessions. Surrender your country, vote the way the Progressive technocracy wants. And even then, the intercession through political submission is only temporary. Tomorrow you will still be a racist, and more will be required of you.

Take this Leftist example on Twitter. Admittedly, he is not exactly the brightest bulb even in the ordinarily dim Progressive world. But he does a nice job of illustrating this view of the Ultimate Sin ™.

thales2

Read it very carefully. “Someone who is not racist is a better person than someone who is.” And then our intrepid Leftist attempts to escape by taking issue with my application of “a tad.” The application, of course, was very deliberate, as was my example. We’ve already had plenty of real life examples of highly intelligent, useful, inventive people being tarred and feathered because they were deemed guilty of the Ultimate Sin ™. Remember the case of Brendan Eich? Remember Tim Hunt? So a man can do something, accomplish something great, but everything is rendered null and void with even a minor violation of the Progressive narrative. You could cure cancer, but if you made a joke about “chinks” you’re now accounted as lower than every person Progressives see as not-racist.

Let me rephrase that a bit. The person Progressives deem as not-bigoted (and this is a temporary license which can be revoked at any time) is automatically a better person than some of the brightest, most accomplished people in history.

Worse, bigotry is seen as a binary state with them. You are either bigoted, or you are not. Gradations are meaningless. The man who makes a politically incorrect joke about “wetbacks” is as evil as Hitler, because both are “bigots.” This is one of the convenient tools of Antifas who see Nazis in their breakfast cereal, all Ultimate Sinners are bigots, all bigots are Fascists, all Fascists are Nazi, all Nazis are Literally Hitler. They misunderstand why Hitler was evil. He wasn’t evil because he didn’t like Jews, he was evil because he killed them by the millions. It is the physical action not the thought which rendered him evil.

Progressives lump both into the same category and call it all bigotry, but one of these is not like the other. If you have a bad thought you must feel guilty for the thought. If the badthink turns into speech, you are a Nazi, because speech is synonymous with physical action (except when they are talking, in which case it isn’t). They are like Neo in The Matrix, dodging sense and consistent definition like the protagonist dodged bullets.

Everybody has inappropriate thoughts of some kind or another. The sensible person dismisses them and does not allow them to unduly affect his life. He need not feel guilty about them. He merely needs to not act on them. Do not allow weaponized empathy to hijack your brain and make you feel guilty for bad thoughts (some of which aren’t even bad in any objective sense – they are just un-PC). Do not fall into the trap of bigotry as the Ultimate Sin ™. And certainly there is no need to submit to Progressives so that they may conduct intercession for you or grant you a temporary, revocable license as a non-bigot.

Consider the extreme endpoint of the Progressive train of thought. An equal-opportunity murderer is better than the man who cures cancer but makes a politically incorrect racial joke. The Marxist roots of this line of thinking should be evident by now. It’s the same strain of ideological madness that led to Communist regimes prioritizing political criminals over violent ones. Fidel Castro released many murderers and employed them as guards and executioners for political prisoners. After all, the murderer is better than the political opposition.

Progressives think this is getting to the root of the problem; that by attacking the thought, the bias, they are somehow curbing the action. Except that this doesn’t work. Controlling thought at this level is impossible short of deliberate brainwashing; short of making everyone functionally identical drones. The proper way of heading off bad behavior is to not act on something inappropriate. When a man gets mad at someone over something small, he may think about beating the stuffing out of that person. But should he act on the thought, or dismiss it and calm himself down?

This is part of simple human maturity. The Progressive must treat humans as children, incapable of walling off thought and action; that each thought must turn into corresponding action, so one must be constantly on the lookout for biases, wrongthink, or otherwise. Some of the smarter ones attempt to escape this trap by (truthfully) admitting that this isn’t actually possible. But then they turn around and say we must now compensate for these implicit biases; for these thoughts. They believe that the thoughts must somehow be turning into unconscious actions that are small and immeasurable as single units, but still causing a collective effect. Since clearly [insert demographic group here] are worse off than another, the Progressive might say,  we must compensate for the difference, because the cause of the difference must be collective wrongthink; collective bias against [demographic group].

There is an unfounded assumption baked into that: namely, that such small, unconscious actions are the primary cause of such inequity. Many other explanations exist. With the famous “77 cents on the dollar” comparison with women, different personal career and life choices probably play a role. With regards to black people, Thomas Sowell points to the welfare state as the primary cause. He has explained that by subsidizing the destruction of the black family, the black middle class has been wiped out, and this, accordingly to him, has resulted in the inequity. Some suggest nutrition and dietary choices play a role; that people who eat like crap don’t develop as well. Others suggest general biological differences as another possibility (and not merely racial – but also sexual). Progressive brains explode into rage at the mere hint of this notion. It is considered beyond the pale to discuss. Cultural differences are also often cited, with the famous Asian stereotype being a common example (“you study to be doctor NOW!”).

Point is, whatever the reason(s), the Progressive assumption is that it must be the fault of wrongthinking bigots, and we must transfer their ill-gotten, bigoted gains to the poor, oppressed people of… whatever. Naturally, as intercessors on your behalf (and they get their cut, accordingly), you must submit to their will, or your non-bigot license will be revoked and you will be considered worse than literal murderers.

Because bigotry, you see, is the Ultimate Sin ™.

Happy Thanksgiving

Hopefully my readers are settling down with a nice meal, good company, and a bit of old fashioned entertainment. It’s one day where I often feel the need to set politics aside, because damnit, you can’t talk about that all the time, right? Tomorrow is another day, and I have a full plate of things to discuss then, but for now enjoy a day off from it all.

We’ll be settling in to eat in a few. Turkey, ham, bacon, and all the usual fixings, of course. Stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, and yes, the jellied cranberry too – even though some folks think that’s sacrilege. Also, plenty of beer, cigars, and whiskey. Not necessarily in that order, of course. To me it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a glass of bourbon on the rocks.

I tried to think of something profound or really meaningful to say for Thanksgiving, but it’s a holiday that doesn’t really lend itself to that, in my opinion. To me, it’s just about how things used to be. Family, friends, and a hearty meal. Simple, but enjoyable. Take time away from the world and focus on people who are important to you.

Of course, I try to pretend Black Friday doesn’t exist, and that it isn’t creeping into Thanksgiving itself. What a mess that is. I’ve no idea why anyone would brave it, and push aside a wholesome day to wait in a long line of angry people for a cheap TV or Xbox. But I promised no politics, so we’ll talk more about that another time.

So relax, my friends, have a good time, gorge yourselves silly, and enjoy Thanksgiving.

More Random Observations

Freebies

Francis Porretto is giving away a good book, starting November 20th. Get in on the action if you haven’t read his work before. The money quote:

From November 20 through November 24, the Kindle edition of Innocents will be free at Amazon. Yes, friends, that’s a grand total of $0.00 for enough words to separate the wholly electronic covers. Oy vey! Such a bargain! So don’t miss it.

Far be it for me to dispute a freebie.

Moralizing Morality Morally

Leftists are prone to excessive moralizing about everything. They rationalize too much, they go too far. It’s difficult to explain but easy to demonstrate. Many might remember the woman who was free-bleeding (that is to say, going through menstruation without any sanitary devices) during a marathon. The press gave her more attention than the marathon winner, because the free bleeder was protesting the patriarchy, or some other vague thing. They rationalized how it was edgy, and a brave statement of… whatever. They overlooked the absurdity that she was visibly bleeding all over herself in public on purpose.

Lately, they’ve taken to rationalizing human extinction, the death of Western civilization (because slavery, dontcha know), why wearing a kimono is racist, or why being attracted to women is misogyny. There is no limit to their capacity to over-moralize themselves into absurdity. Here’s another grand example: Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.

I fisked the last death cult article I ran across, I’m not going to bother with this one. But suffice it to say, I tire of these supposed moral proscriptions against doing… well, anything, including even existing. Sooner or later these people will rationalize themselves into the moral superiority of suicide. Want to save the Earth from the bootheel of humanity? Fine. Let’s colonize space instead. I don’t want to share a planet with these assholes anyway.

Plato’s Cave Sucks

Sarah Hoyt touched on something today that I think everyone should read. By necessity, we are all at somewhat imprisoned by Plato’s Cave, because we are limited to the individual experiences as filtered through our consciousness. Or, put more simply, we only see through our own eyes. She explains for us:

I’ve long ago maintained that movies and other visual media is inferior to books.  Why?  Because you’re observing things happening to other people.

 

HOWEVER when you’re reading a story, particularly first person, though others work too, for a moment it replaces the voice that narrates your life.  For a moment someone else is behind the eyes.

 

Powerful writing can even create the impression you LIVED something.

Read the rest, it’s very powerful stuff. Sarah does an excellent job of explaining not only why reading is so powerful, but why the narrow-minded SJW conception of “diversity” and “authenticity” forces the reader further into Plato’s Cave. It certainly doesn’t help us escape it, even for a moment.

 

 

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