To test its top-secret Human Hibernation Project, the Pentagon picks the most average Americans it can find - an Army private and a prostitute - and sends them to the year 2505 after a series of freak events. But when they arrive, they find a civilization so dumbed-down that they're the smartest people around.
Staff ReviewsAround the Web ReviewsAudience Reviews
Check back soon when the reviews are out!
Or why not join our mailing list to stay up to date?
Some say the role of art is to show us what is in the future by amplifying what we refuse to notice about the present. Idiocracy takes on this task by showing us what happens to a egalitarian, sex-obsessed, entertainment-besotted and distraction-oriented culture over five centuries.
Set in 2505, Idiocracy follows the story of two people chosen for a crionics experiment because they are average in intelligence, physical ability and motivation. Absolutely expendable in the present time, they spend a half-millennium in cryostasis and emerge into a changed world.
Following the long tradition of hyperbolic absurdist comedy, Idiocracy portrays the world in broad brush strokes and basic colors. It does this because if it got any subtler, we would recognize America 2015 A.D. in this mess. In the future, the Dunning-Kruger effect — by which the stupid are arrogantly confident and the intelligent timorously hesitant — leads to a population of morons.
In the future world, society is ruled by entertainment of the most Beavis and Butthead variety, constant sexual and masturbatory stimulus, and the type of consumer hell that was imagined by 1980s thrash bands. People are not only brick stupid, but hopelessly vapid, living in a constant flood of distractions while their world crumbles around them. Idiocracy amplifies present problems to their maximum: pollution, corruption, incompetence and apathy have become not just commonplace, but dominant.
The film shadows past stories on this topic, notably Brave New World. In that novel, eugenics — the science of managing the intelligence of offspring — was controlled by government to produce leaders, artisans and drones. In the idiocratic world all eugenics has been abandoned and people survive through the buildup of technology which manages the world for them, having grown too stupid to do more than press buttons. As in Demolition Man, which alludes to the Huxley book, future authorities depend on maintaining the appearance of order through the absence of conflict. Citizens are threatened by insane police, bribed with sex and money, and kept distracted by Roman empire style circuses with a technological edge.
What this film does well is to show us a vision of hell. It keeps this vision on the line between what we recognize and what we can imagine, but the allusions to our present world are too close to be ignored. The future culture represents a cross between pro-wrestling, redneck culture, barrio living and urban lifestyles. Consistently the lowest common denominator is revealed in everything. The future population seems to be mostly Hispanic and white, with relatively few African-Americans but a health number of people of indeterminate mixed origins. This fits the theme of this movie, which is taking America A.D. 2005 and exaggerating it to reveal the natural end result of the path it is on.
In the intervening decade, the gap between reality and Idiocracy has narrowed to an alarming degree. What cannot be denied is that the future, like the present, is insufferable. People are fools, but if anyone smarter than they are arrives, they call him an idiot and metaphorically crucify him for their own entertainment. Arguing with them is like talking to people on the internet who cite Wikipedia and big media articles, but do not understand them, creating a kind of circular debate where the only people who understand it are in the minority and as a result are ignored. People lack awareness of anything more than their immediate needs in their immediate future, and have not only a lack of empathy but something worse than apathy, which is total obliviousness toward all consequences which cannot be immediately visualized. In Idiocracy, ignorance wins out over knowledge and intelligence every time, and the only way to get anything done is to lie to people and play to their superstitions and ignorance. It is a cynical and yet strikingly accurate view of the future.
Where this movie becomes difficult is that it is a cross between political polemic and cartoon, although it is not animated. There is no subtlety, no depth of character other than vague goodwill, and every scene exists to prove a point on the outline of an essay which might be titled Too Much of a Good Thing: How Humanity Won All Challenges and Atrophied Into Mental Retardation. The underlying pro-eugenics theme does not focus, as most of them do or movies such as Gattaca flirt with, on the production of superior beings so much as on the proliferation of average ones, and how that in turn induces average to consistently lower itself to avoid excluding anyone. The most crushing scene occurs when lead character Joe Bauers attempts to explain simple reality to a group of future-idiots, and is mocked for his trouble by those who rely on supposed “superior” knowledge.
I doubt this movie will find any fans in our established elites, for whom the idiots of this hypothetical — and it is best to put a big fat question mark next to that word — future seem like ideal constituents. Nor will it find many political supporters, since it avoids taking a side and instead points numbly and ardently at the elephant in the room. It is however most effective as a type of conditioning, in that after watching this movie the traits of people around in stand revealed in their full selfishness/narcissism, denial and manipulative distraction. For that reason, it fits within the metal worldview of seeing our society as a hugbox of denial of its own decline, and the rot coming from within and being masked by — not helped by — the rhetoric of peace, love, equality, subsidy and happiness which is the opiate of our fellow citizens as they zone out and wait to become idiots of the future.
Mike Judge, director.
20th Century Fox, $8
At the urging of a friend, I checked out this movie. When it was first described to me, what shocked me was how predictable it was: in the scene being explained to me by others, I could tell exactly what was going to happen and couldn’t believe the absurdity of it. Now I see how this is the strength of this movie.
This film is somewhat of an exercise in sadomasochism. There is delight in the stupidity of others, and a “2 minutes hate” style mentality toward them for being idiots. There is also a sense of predictability in the consistent stupidity of these characters, and it shocks us because we’re accustomed to ignoring stupidity even after someone does a blatantly stupid thing, and then being surprised when they do another, because that’s sociable. At the same time, even the predictable is made hilarious with over-the-top absurdity, and so there’s a delight in seeing what many of us believe will be the downfall of humanity: because we’re all socially equal, we cannot attack stupid behaviors and stupid people or we face the wrath of the crowd, thus over time our civilization itself becomes dumb as bricks.
Plotline summaries are easy to find, but for a quick rundown, this movie takes place when an average Joe and a below-average Jospephine find themselves in the future, where everyone is brick stupid. There’s a bizarre caricature of Barack Obama meets Hulk Hogan for the president; the average people resemble Beavis and Butthead, but worse; all functions of society have decayed according to the whims of a population that is too easily convinced of lies. And that is the first task for anyone in the land of the stupid: to lie simply and convincingly.
Although movies are so obvious by the nature of the medium that we’ve all become accustomed to sitting through the obvious in case the special effects are good, this movie is a drubbing with the obvious. It’s not about the future, or rather, the future isn’t a distant binary state — it’s a gradient, and we’re on the part that is steadily darkening with stupidity (there are strong undertones of Platonic eugenics to this film). That is why while I would not leap to see this again, I might purchase it for friends because it’s as valuable a container of truth as many works of literature.
Cult movies must take on an attitude similar to heavy metal and horror films: as outsiders looking in at a society whose institutions and ideals are entirely corrupted by what humans wish were true, and populated by humans who refuse to see the obvious because of their socially-defined rules and ideals which deny reality. Every good horror film involves people fighting an evil or mortal threat, but first they must fight themselves and purge from within the assumptions that make them useless, then get their war faces on and conquer the enemy or perish.
In that respect, Demolition Man is more like sci-fi horror cloaked beneath an action film. The plot is simple: ballbusting cop John “Demolition Man” Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) is convicted of mass murder for an arrest gone awry and imprisoned in a cryostasis facility. Forty years later, the vile criminal Simon Phoenix — portrayed with humor and energy by the engaging Wesley Snipes — is thawed by what looks like a computer error. Phoenix emerges into a new world: under a utopian system of government, people have become equal parts politically correct and 1980s “have a nice day” posi-culture, rendering them utterly useless against any real threat. The criminal rages across the land and in helpless confusion, the neutered future denizens thaw Spartan and send him out to get the bad guy in a decision summarized as “it takes a maniac to catch a maniac.” The movie follows Spartan as he tries to both capture Phoenix and deal with the shadowy forces that threaten revolution in this future paradise that may not be as paradisic as it claims to be. Aiding him is officer Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) who although she accepts her future world as perfect, also grates against its insipid pacifism and the boredom created by its regimentation of all activity into simple steps with almost no consequences.
The underlying influence on this movie is Brave New World, alluded to not only by the use of both Vladimir Lenin and Brave New World author Aldous Huxley to construct the name of the heroine, but also revealed in the type of hell into which Spartan falls: a society dedicated to avoiding conflict and maintaining safety that has eliminated all risk, adventure, masculinity and fun. Demolition Man shows us the horror of a society that we design based on our fears. This future world has no purpose except the negative purpose of avoiding bad vibes, risk and conflict. As officer Huxley discovers, this makes for not only a boring society, but a docile one which is manipulated by leaders who are not corrupt in the ordinary sense of accepting bribes, but in a moral and spiritual sense in that they wish to stamp out all defects and create a kind of varied uniformity that resembles the hipster scene in AD 2015. John Spartan, like heavy metal, represents the primal id of humanity which desires intense experience more than it wants safety like the neurotic ego. Simon Phoenix represents the lurking psychic shadow of such a civilization, motivated only to destroy because he rightfully detests the precious snowflake-world he finds himself in, and also because as someone entirely devoid of soul his only pleasures are found through dominating others. His addiction to victimization of others makes him a menace in any age, but the future world is entirely unprepared to deal with him because it has made is own emptiness a positive value. This conflict plays out throughout the film as Spartan finds himself caught between docile social engineers and anarchic revolutionaries.
Naturally with Stallone in this movie it requires high levels of carefully choreographed violence, but these are brainier — taking advantage of the anticipated “cult” audience — than those in big blockbusters like The Expendables which converge on the moronic. Bullock, known best for romantic comedy roles, performs convincingly as a character who is blithely indoctrinated in her new world order on the surface, but covertly hoping for something of significance to distinguish her days from one another. In particular, her comedic timing is exceptional. Stallone also reveals why action films favor him through his ability to deliver absurd lines which are both masochistic-masculinist and cryptically insightful. As the film progresses, these characters converge on a middle ground and understand each other, which brings out one of the themes of the movie: while designing utopia is a terrible idea, the anarchic void also threatens, and people are desperate for a middle zone where they are both not living in fear of random violence and also not managed like slaughterhouse animals.
Demolition Man deserves every bit of its cult movie credential. Some of these scenes are painful to watch because of the high ingenue factor of people in the future, but like other movies in this vein such as Idiocracy, the pain is necessary to reveal the full absurdity of the type of goal that our politicians, entertainers and corporate overlords routinely announce as desirable. Although this movie is hammy, it is not ham-handed in that a viewer can appreciate it as a simple story without worrying about its implications, but that layer of interpretation lurks beneath the surface and brings out an emotional depth that action films normally do not have. In this satirical treatment the crisis of humanity’s attempt to manage itself becomes painfully clear, and while these characters represent broad positions in that battle, these roles occur within the spectrum of this question and allow the allegory to work without being reduced to the level of pure personal drama. Movies such as this make us fear our wishful thinking and realize that perhaps our best intentions — with which the road to hell is paved as folklore informs us — will create a prison for our souls that only raw animal violence and blind will to crush what is empty can resolve.
In March 1976, philosopher Michel Foucault described the advent of a new logic of government, specific to Western liberal societies. He called it biopolitics. States were becoming obsessed with the health and wellbeing of their populations.
And sure enough, 40 years later, Western states rarely have been more busy promoting healthy food, banning tobacco, regulating alcohol, organising breast cancer checks, or churning out information on the risk probabilities of this or that disease.
The concept of biopolitics is an interesting one because it entirely hinges on how one measures the health of a population. If it is measured from the individual perspective, each individual must be made healthy; if a Darwinian or moral view is taken, those who do good must receive good care, and those who act in a way that disrespects their own survival should face consequences of that act.
In fact, as the film Idiocracy raises, the question upon is is whether we want to protect and make healthy the unhealthy, because then we will get more of them. If people behave in a reasonable manner and take care of themselves, the healthy will survive and the strong will die out, eventually. If we insulate people from the consequences of their actions, and bail them out from bad decisions and bad genetics, those will proliferate and drown out the healthier.
That conflict shows us one motive latent within Liberalism: to replace natural selection. One method of replacing it is as described above, the socialist-style safety net being extended to preventative health care. Instead of allowing people to face the consequences of their actions, we are all exposed to the consequences of tolerance and egalitarianism as the lower replaces the higher.
Another Leftist replacement for natural selection is the notion of “progress.” In the progressive view, society changes over the years and we view each change as the new normal and an improvement over the past. By continuing the path of change, we eventually reach a Utopian state. But this both denies the actual history of humanity, and serves as a distraction from and substitution for natural selection.
If humans have never fundamentally changed, as seems to be true from the six millennia of recorded history, then all forms of government and social change were known at least in theory long ago. History shows us that other societies have experimented with liberalism, notably ancient Greece and Rome. This means that our “new” ideas are not new, and even more, they have already been tried, which means their consequences are known.
If humans, on the other hand, have changed in some fundamental way, adopting a type of society that was designed by past iterations of humanity makes no sense as we are then subjecting a new species to the rules of an older species. This fundamental logical trap eludes liberals, who want to believe that society does the improvement for us, so that we do not have to face evolution — the consequences of our actions determining whether we thrive or fail.
We can see the future of the Leftist program in Foucault’s coded warning:
Foucault never claimed this was a bad trend â€“ it saves lives after all. But he did warn that paying so much attention to the health and wealth of one population necessitates the exclusion of those who are not entitled to â€“ and are perceived to endanger â€“ this health maximisation programme.
With the demise of natural selection, we no longer select who succeeds based on their actions in regard to health and life itself. Instead, we must select them by political reasons. Because Leftism is also a religion/morality replacement, this means that soon we will be choosing people by political allegiance, which means that Leftist states will import and protect all who claim to be Leftist, and drive the rest out.
â€¦ the largest effect size [from a single allele] researchers have been able to detect thus far is less than a single point of IQ. Larger effect sizes would have been much easier to detect, but have not been seen. [â€¦] This means that there must be at least thousands of IQ alleles to account for the actual variation seen in the general population. A more sophisticated analysis (with large error bars) yields an estimate of perhaps 10,000 in total.*
Each genetic variant slightly increases or decreases cognitive ability. Because it is determined by many small additive effects, cognitive ability is normally distributed, following the familiar bell-shaped curve, with more people in the middle than in the tails. A person with more than the average number of positive (IQ-increasing) variants will be above average in ability. The number of positive alleles above the population average required to raise the trait value by a standard deviation â€” that is, 15 points â€” is proportional to the square root of the number of variants, or about 100. In a nutshell, 100 or so additional positive variants could raise IQ by 15 points. [â€¦] Given that there are many thousands of potential positive variants, the implication is clear: If a human being could be engineered to have the positive version of each causal variant, they might exhibit cognitive ability which is roughly 100 standard deviations above average.
Evolution is canny. A single gene for seemingly superhuman power would create people who, in one generation of bad breeding, might possess sociopathic personalities and superior abilities. This would be a disaster for the genetic group into which they outbreed, and would therefore self-destruct those traits. If instead of focusing on ideological conformity, humanity rewarded natural ability, we might be able to harness Darwin indirectly and by simply following Plato’s formula — good to the good, bad to the bad — make ourselves into Nietzsche’s supermen.
The reason for indirect use of Darwin is that our direct interventions are clumsy because they take into account far too few of the factors involved. Jim writes a convincing post about the evolution of female political inclinations:
In the ancestral environment, if you were a man and your in group was conquered, you were likely to be killed or enslaved, and thus be no ones ancestor. If you were a woman and your in group was conquered, you were indeed likely to be enslaved â€“ to a successful man in the victorious group who would have children by you, and, knowing his children were his own, raise them well.
So we are in large part descended from men who conquered, and who resisted conquest with absolute determination, and descended from women who took to conquest, abduction, and slavery like a duck to water.
While that is interesting from a cyberdynamics perspective, in that it shows us a type of advanced sorting, it also fails to take into account the complexity of humanity. The Bell Curve has always been with us, even as cavemen, which we can verify because it can be observed in other animal populations as well. This means that not all women react the same way of have the same standards.
More likely, what we are seeing is an interaction of two factors: first, the huge boom in lower-rung populations in the West, and second, the defining attribute of femininity. Men are throwers, and women are catchers. Men must go out and force things to be right, where women exercise a singular capacity for gatekeeping — they decide what is let in and then make the best of it. This puts women in a role where the passive becomes the active.
As a result, the female mind is excellent at keeping together a group like a family or community — as is the traditional role of women; men just think they rule society, where women are the cornerstones of culture — but is in converse unsuited for the role of decision-making, because to a passive/active mind, the vital decision of inclusion has already been made: as in a family, all are included. This is unfortunate because the decision to exclude is the most vital choice any group has, and represents its only way of indirectly enforcing Darwinism.
In other words, war and rape — which tend to receive too much ink for how little they influenced us, relative to other factors — are not what make women into natural Leftists who make the dangerous choice to include rapists in our society. They are hardwired for this type of choice because their personality must be constituted on this type of accepting, active-to-passive mindset.
Factors like these influence our ability to preserve evolution among our people. Without a strong motivator toward quality, we become “tolerant” or “all-inclusive” and obliterate ourselves. That tolerance is the basis of the liberal myth of Progress, which is designed to interrupt natural selection in women and men alike, and replace it with a bigotry toward universal inclusion, which makes an obedient but low-quality civilization.
The original Death Race 2000 came about for many of the same reasons as Black Sabbath did: skepticism of the optimism based in technological and political Utopianism around it, a phenomenon that seemed irrefutable but in fact, as human assertions often do, concealed a vast and secret doubt. Death Race 2000 introduced us to an […]
Runaway (1984) Tristar Pictures 99 minutes Michael Crichton Famous for his apocalyptic but realistic sci-fi books like The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton wrote a number of stories about the potential horrors of technology, and one turned into Runaway, a movie about a robot revolution of another kind. In most books of this nature, science fiction […]
Two weekends remain before Election Day -- just enough time for movie fans to pop in a couple of flicks. These suggestions aren't obvious election-related films like 2016 or Occupy Unmasked. For starters, these movies aren't necessarily as depressing. They can instead be hilarious, uplifting, and fascinating. But each one has something to say.1. Avalon Avalon is the gorgeous Barry Levinson story of Russian-Jewish immigrants who came to America, and who came to love America. They proudly sought America's material promise and spiritual freedom. They built things, they raised families, they dreamed. They realized that no place on Earth offered the same life to those determined to work hard. Sometimes they failed, but that didn't stop them. Sometimes they made mistakes, but they learned. Avalon is the story of what happens when the goodness of a nation is matched with good people. It is a story of what makes our nation great and what Americans have treasured for generations.2. IdiocracyIf Avalon is poetic and beautiful, this Mike Judge comic farce is ugly and lowbrow, except it really isn’t. Idiocracy is the story of an “average” American who is frozen for 500 years and awakens to a totally transformed America. Law, culture, morals, ambition, intelligence, initiative, thrift, industry, and competence have all rotted away. The movie is a comic romp through the resulting society. Planes fall from the sky, government planning leads to near famine, and sugar drinks flow through tubes to millions watching TV on the couch.
Page 1 of 3 next
Idiocracy was a pretty dumb movie, but it had its moments. The opening narration offers a cautionary tale for the future:As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.The Wikipedia entry for the film describes the level to which humanity has sunk 500 years into the future:The human population has become morbidly stupid, speak only low registers of English competently, and are profoundly anti-intellectual.Why wait 500 years when you can go to the University of Maryland and show students a picture of Ronald Reagan, asking them to identify the photo?President Ronald Reagan is one of the most famous Americans of the 20th century. Between his acting career and his eight years as president, you would think that his face would be instantly recognizable to anyone with even a basic knowledge of recent American history.You would think.As it turns out, a lot of college students at the University of Maryland had absolutely no clue who Reagan was when they were shown a picture of America's 40th president.A few historically-literate students recognized Reagan right away. But, the majority of those I showed the picture to were completely flummoxed or provided me with wild guesses. Some of those guesses included: John Wayne, Kenny Rogers, George Bush and some guy named Fred Moore. (I have no idea who Fred Moore is, but he sounds like a pretty cool dude.)Some got close - including one young lady who asked if he was "...some kind of president."At a certain point, I decided that informing the students that they were totally ignorant of recent American history would just be too embarrassing. So, when they gave me a wrong answer, I just told them they were right and let them go about their day, having no idea that they know less about American history than a 4th grader who sits in the back of the classroom and eats paste. Two or three times a year, a similar experiment is carried out at other campuses and we are shocked, shocked, I say, that young people attending college can be so profoundly stupid.Surveys going back to the 1950s show alarming numbers of college students being unaware of when the Civil War was fought, who Thomas Jefferson was, or what the Declaration of Independence is (many confuse it with the Constitution).I will bet that some of those kids in the video who don't have a clue who Reagan was are going to make a gazillion dollars inventing something that would never occur to you or me. They will be captains of industry, or tech moguls. They will be lawyers, doctors, or even engineers.The point being, they are probably plenty smart in the field they have chosen to study. That's why even though school has been dumbed down, these and other students retain knowledge that is essential to them, rather than information that we think should be essential. It makes them stupid voters and stupid citizens, but we've always had low-information voters and probably always will.It's sad, but most Americans care little for their past. And while this has allowed us to look to the future unencumbered by ghosts of past failures, it also blinds us to some realities that end up causing us to repeat historical mistakes.
Before the festival started, I took the opportunity last night to see IDIOCRACY, since Toronto is one of the few cities where Fox is dumping it. Shame, shame, shame.
The film looks somewhat cheezy and is unquestionably a bit one-note — “these people are stupid” is really the point to 90 percent of the jokes. It breaks no thematic ground that BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD hadn’t already plowed quite well.
But I busted a gut. This film is filled with quotable moments and lines — the hospital title (kind of a theological impossibility), the method of medical diagnosis (which isn’t that far off from cash registers in the era of innumeracy), the evolution of US News & World Report and the anchors at Fox News, always fair and balanced. The trial is like THE TRIAL as rewritten by Beavis & Butthead. And like with B&B, people who complain that, e.g., there’s too much cheap balls-kicking humor, are missing that this isn’t meant to be funny per se. What’s funny (and often hilarious) is that the characters in the film think it’s funny and/or brilliant. It’s a measure of the emptiness of their souls, consumed with consumption and sex (wait till you see what Starbucks is doing in the future; and I swear-to-God, the first time I ever heard someone refer to “Fuddruckers,” I thought this too). Nor is it just a pro-eugenic sneer at Red State hicks — the high-IQ couple are brilliantly skewered as well in their brief appearance at the set-up.
This is a movie made for video admittedly, as it is all throwaway gags and one-liners, and crammed with in-jokes at the edges of the frames (Sam Adams made the comparison to THE SIMPSONS last night over cider and beer). So for dumping this movie, Fox News, always fair and balanced, is … like … really retarded and shit.
This note brought to you by Carl’s Jr. They give me money when I say that.
Mike Judge’s long-awaited second live-action feature, IDIOCRACY, debuted last weekend. What, you didn’t know that? Did you get the memo? You must live in such out-of-the-way hix nix towns as New York, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston … y’know … cities where people wouldn’t “get” Mike Judge and where OFFICE SPACE tanked because his scathing satire on work and bureaucracy was completely alien to them. Remember that moment in SPINAL TAP when the manager tells them the Boston gig fell through because it’s not much of a college town? That was awesome.
My bud Bilge at Nerve.comexcoriates the suits at 20th Century Fox (over and over) for dumping IDIOCRACY, and for what sounds like really good reasons like messing with Judge’s cut, and sitting on it for two years before dumping, etc. So, the film came with the aura of failure, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Two stats suffice — (1) as I type this about 845pm Monday, the new Mike Judge film on opening weekend still doesn’t have five IMDb votes; (2) if you go to the Fox site, there is no mention of IDIOCRACY. At all. Really.
Now I’m a pretty hard-core realist when it comes to selling movies and I don’t think studios have any obligation to lose money or throw good money after bad. I’m not under any illusion that Judge has made a potential gazillion-dollar blockbuster. And it’s certainly possible that Judge made a stinker (Homer nods; Hitchcock made THE PARADINE CASE, etc.).
But do American studios any longer know how to market a small movie to a niche audience, except through their boutique divisions like … um … Fox Searchlight? “Un Film de Mike Judge,” “from the creator of OFFICE SPACE” [or BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD or KING OF THE HILL] has got to be worth enough tickets to make at least a half-ass push worthwhile. OFFICE SPACE wasn’t a big hit (Fox didn’t do very well by that film either, but I was able to see it in Augusta, Ga., fercryinoutloud), but subsequent word of mouth has turned it into one of the defining cult films of its era.
Right now on my IM system at work (and I swear this is a coincidence), the public greeting reads “Remember to put the cover sheet in your TPS reports.” Others on my menu include “Where’s my stapler” and “yeeeeah … welllll … I’m gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.” Another person at work has his public message right now as “sounds like a case of the Mondays” and others on his menu have included “did you get that memo.” There’s at least a half-dozen people in the newsroom with whom I regularly exchange OFFICE SPACE lines. And it’s not a slam at any particular workplace or supervisor — OFFICE SPACE is golden to anyone who has ever worked in a bureaucracy.
Do the suits at Fox realize what kind of Cult Status all three of Judge’s major works have? All have their own universe of devoted cultists. The rewards come later than opening weekend of course, and they require patience because they depend on word of mouth, so they won’t affect the quarterly balance. But the DVD sales and multiple editions “with flair,” etc. do come and in a veritable torrent by the standards of two, three, or four years later. And it’s not as though Judge’s movies cost $200 million to make. But Fox still can go through the motions for MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND and JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE (info still on the front page at the Fox Movies site) and let’s not forget the upcoming masterpiece THE MARINE starring beefcake model/pro wrestler John Cena. So if THE IDIOCRATS isn’t the absolute indisputable worst movie of the year, or ever, this treatment is absolutely unconscionable.
And it’s an insult to the artist who created BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD and OFFICE SPACE and who (most inexplicably of all) has gotten good ratings for Fox TV with his KING OF THE HILL. One wonders why Judge would continue to have a relationship with Fox TV after this shitty treatment. Maybe a key is Judge’s personality, at least as portrayed in this profile in the June issue of Esquire. He doesn’t seem like the intransigent, self-destructive perfectionist, like a Tarkovsky or a Dreyer. I don’t blame him, by any means, and it may very well be that the personality portrayed in Esquire is the beaten-down one of a dog that’s taken one too many whippings. Or at best, he’s triaged THE IDIOCRATS in the hopes that playing ball and not being difficult, things’ll be better next time.
I watched IDIOCRACY again the other night, and it stayed where I had it the first time — uneven, repetitive, but often brilliant and laugh-out-loud funny. And one of the best “guy movies” of recent years — the perfect flick to watch with a fellow reactionary intellectual-wannabe over pizza and beer. (I an not unaware of the irony of consuming the film on those terms. Is there a text in this house, etc.?)
I repeated to this fellow-reactionary Sicinski’s comparison of the film to Allan Bloom and he agreed (Waz must love have so many starboarder fans). And then he made a slightly less highbrow comparison to National Review’s John Derbyshire, aka “The Derb,” a curmudgeonly natalist and pusher of “demographics as destiny.” (UPDATE: The Derb saw the film and didn’t think it did much with the premise, which he acknowledged thinking was great, but done better in a novel.)
One thing that struck me harder than it did before was the ending (SPOILER warning) … Private Joe and Rita marry and have “the three smartest children in the world” and he becomes president. The family is playing in the Oval Office. Then Judge pans the camera and the dumbass Frito has multiple wives and a gaggle of children.
In other words, nothing changes. The cinematic language on display is of the happy ending — swelling score, happy characters, plot threads all tied up to the main characters’ satisfaction, etc. But the actual content of the image is not. The scene specifically mirrors the intro segment about the two couples’ child-whelping practices, and it makes it clear as day that the dysgenic collapse of society will continue.
Nor is this an atypically grim ending for Judge, who may be one of the most astringent moralists making films. The ending of OFFICE SPACE follows the same template, a happy-looking ending that collapses the minute you think about it — Michael and Samir are back in the rat race. Peter is smiling, but only because he has radically lowered his expectations and is now in manual labor (always historically considered a stepdown from a white-collar job). The key speech is given to him late in the film by Joanna, about how people in general just try to carve out some space to be happy despite having jobs and lives that suck (sorry, can’t find the exact wording online).
BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD DO AMERICA ends with the boys sunk back into TV, having completed their quest for the only thing that matters to them as they walk off into the sunset. About half the episodes of the B&B series end with the boys happy or contended, but the viewer has one of several fundamentally different reactions, from pity to contempt, from bemusement to bewilderment. For example, when they’re caught out in the rain outside the movie theater after the two chicks (“I’m Lolita and this here’s Tanqueray”) con them of their money, they resolve to come back with twice as much money the next night — “then we’ll score” as the growling guitar riffs of the closing theme well up. The more Todd beats them up and treats them like shit, the more they admire how cool he is. They waste $499 to get a mower, so they can buy $1 of gasoline. They don’t realize how badly they lost their campaign for school treasurer (“is that like, the money dude?”). Whether it’s learning Women’s History, Positive Acting Teens or the Christian Businessman’s Group, it all flows over them. Beavis even learns he’s destined for hell, and all he and Butt-head are doing is laughing about St. “Peter.” Huh-huh … Peter.
Mike Judge’s theme: the world is incorrigible. Live with it.
DR. PLONK, Rolf de Heer, Australia — 6 The titular 1907 scientist discovers that the world will end a hundred years hence and so develops a time machine to get the proof and/or warn the then-present. Since it’s done in the style of a silent comedy, or more specifically a not-quite-so-frenetic Mack Sennett, this silent-film fanboy was ready to adore DR. PLONK. And there IS a lot of stuff to like here: a charming dog with a ball fetish to end all ball fetishes, the deaf assistant, Dr. Plonk’s chalkboard with not-quite-brilliant scrawls (“c² = e/m”), and my favorite gag was the way Dr. Plonk handles the TV salesman. But I quickly realized I wasn’t laughing as much as I should have been, and it’s because writer-director deHeer does little “shading” or “building” the gags. Let me give one example: whenever he gets a good idea, Dr. Plonk pulls out of his pocket and displays to the camera a glowing lightbulb, not attached to any socket or other visible power source. In the course of the film, he does this maybe six times or so. But that’s only funny the first or second time. If Chaplin or Lloyd were to have done this, they would have had something unexpected happen during or because of the gesture, rather than just rinse-and-repeat. And not much is really made of the 1907-2007 contrasts, other than a funny bit about trying to visit the Australian prime minister. DR. PLONK is more an great stunt done passably than a great movie.
RECLAIM YOUR BRAIN, Hans Weingartner, Germany — 0
I should have reclaimed mine by walking out of this vile bag of stupid, self-satisfied, self-righteous, audience-fellating garbage. Weingartner said in his intro at the festival that the “TV rating system does not reflect intelligent people like us,” which got my back up right away. “Us”? And then, the very first dramatic scene is so over-the top — imagine this PJ O’Rourke essay as adapted by someone who didn’t realize O’Rourke is a humorist — that the only question really left was how much I would hate RECLAIM YOUR BRAIN. Quite a lot. A supposed satire about the dumbing effect of television and a plot by a ragtag group to electronically rig the ratings and turn Germany in a few months into a nation full of “intelligent people like us,” it really increased my admiration for movies like SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS and IDIOCRACY, which handle some of the same subject matter, but without the smarmy adolescent superiority. This is the sort of movie where two guerrillas try to steal a ratings box and “turn” the security guard chasing after them by sheer dint of persuasion. This is the sort of movie where PERSONA and ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL are put forth as ideal programming, but which has several happy, sappy montages of the New Intelligent Liberated Germany scored to happy, sappy pop music that I don’t recall Bergman or Fassbinder having a jones for. This is the sort of movie that thinks capitalist advertising causes people to consume willy-nilly for the sake of consumption (what caused Roman vomitoriums or “Madame Deficit” then???). It is even the sort of movie where at one point a character notes that “we don’t want to change the ratings too quickly, it’ll attract suspicion” but then later, the characters will huddle around a computer to watch the hacked “real-time ratings” for one network drop by three-fourths in 15 seconds.
DAYS OF DARKNESS, Denys Arcand, Canada — 8
According to Mike, nobody liked this movie at Cannes (and nobody in my circle at Toronto even as much as saw it). I will freely admit that DARKNESS profited enormously from both my seeing it immediately after that piece of scheisse and also from comparison with Arcand’s BARBARIAN INVASIONS, which I rather disliked. DARKNESS shares some thematic similarities with both films and even a narrowly topical resemblance to INVASIONS. But the difference is in the perspective — instead of INVASION’s insufferably smug circle of intellectuals, DARKNESS follows a single protagonist who works in the bowels of that kafkaesque P.C. behemoth that Quebec calls a government. He’s a nobody in his family (his wife is even a Realtor, shades of AMERICAN BEAUTY), he’s bullied at work, where he cannot do anything to help the people who come to him with serious woes. And, like Walter Mitty and Billy Liar, he escapes into fantastical dreams that Arcand presents as black-out comedy sketches. That never quite avoid sex. Arcand presents Quebec as choking on a suburban hyper-modern bureaucratic impersonalism that has arrogated everything and its meaning unto itself. There is a “real-life” scene involving a tribunal over the hero’s use of the word “Negro” that is funny enough but probably is far wittier in French. A lengthy sequence involves a weekend among medieval impersonators (Society for Creative Anachronism types) which the hero says is about “people who just want order and faith.” But, eventually, the only thing left to the hero is to withdraw. TS Eliot said he’d show us fear in a handful of dust (and the Waste Land’s dust is choking the city at the start of the movie) and Arcand shows us the meaning of life in an apple. In other words, this is the right-Romantic “Gemeinschaft” critique of capitalism and modernity (which is incompatible with anything smacking of Marxism or anything leftist): “Crunchy” Rod … see this movie.
SECRET SUNSHINE, Lee Chang-dong, South Korea — 8
I wish I could have just worn a mike and recorded the beer-sodden (on my end) conversation I had with J. Robert Parks on Friday night, so I could post that here as a Podcast. I admired SECRET SUNSHINE much more than Robert does, though the film’s virtues are fairly self-evident: a bravura central performance by Jeon Do-yeon as Shin-ae a newly-widowed mother hit by tragedy as she moves into her late husband’s hometown, and an understatedly-comic turn by Song Kang-ho as Mr. Kim (something needed in a movie where the central character is so BIG and goes through such wild emotional swings). We agreed on all that, where we disagreed and what we mostly discussed was the presentation of Christianity in SECRET SUNSHINE.
After a tragedy, Shin-ae finds her way into a church, an evangelical Protestant group with a strong charismatic bent. At the healing service she wanders into half-unawares, the minister lays his hands on her (the rest of him is offscreen … the perfect framing) and it’s as if 16 tons of coal are off her shoulders. This scene is presented straight and without irony. She joins the church and seems content and at peace. But then tries something heroic, which I won’t spoil, but which turns her against the church and into the remoter edges of sanity. I wouldn’t agree with Darren Hughes that SECRET SUNSHINE is “the truest depiction of evangelical Christianity I’ve seen on film” (I’ve seen THE APOSTLE, and even, in a movie that has more in common with SECRET SUNSHINE, TENDER MERCIES). But Lee does get a lot right, including the physical stuff like the songs (no “Dies Irae” in a low-church setting or “Ave Maria” among Protestants, say), the parking arrangements, and the ways that this church provides community and love to those who badly need it. And Mr. Kim, who joins the church simply to pursue Shin-ae, eventually becomes a reasonably contented member.
Even the warts Lee shows in the church, or rather in this church, are not things Christians (or even evangelicals like Robert) are blind to — starting with a certain spiritual immaturity that, while admirable because it grows from a boundless faith in the Holy Spirit, would encourage the spiritual equivalent of fighting for the world title after winning the Golden Gloves. (And as a Catholic, I have no difficulty with noting how the evangelical once-and-for-all soteriology encourages rashness even in non-salvific or more-secular things; indeed I count this as one of the film’s strengths in its depiction of Christianity.) Even if Robert is right … back me on this one bud … there can be no questioning Lee’s basic receptivity and seriousness, his sincere desire to explore a milieu or phenomenon in its fullness — a religion relatively new to Korea but rapidly-growing. We’re not talking Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris, in other words.
One reservation: the film should have ended … I will be vague … as the heroine walks down the street, saying “help me.” Instead there’s a really dumb coda in which a certain action is used as a metaphor for “striking out on one’s own / thinking for oneself.” Except that the action used is one that there are very good natural reasons most people have others do it for them. Which undermines whatever point the coda would have to have to justify its existence.
A GENTLE BREEZE IN THE VILLAGE, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Japan — 6
A half-dozen kids make up the entire elementary school in a small Japanese village but a boy comes from Tokyo to study in the top grade, joining the class with the girl who’s the leader of the pack but about to become a teenager. If I had to sum up GENTLE BREEZE in a single word, it would be “sweet.” There isn’t much plot tension exactly, but Yamashita creates a mood more than anything — one of easy happiness without saccharin uplift. The children form a group and love one another rather than the sort of cliquish wiseacres — going to the beach together and even inviting the new boy along lest he feel left out. When GENTLE BREEZE stays with the environment of the children, it is superb and filled with “just so” moments of recognition — I had memories tickled of being afraid to take “The Rock Way” home from St. Lawrence’s Primary when someone told me it was haunted. Even though I never believed in ghosts, exactly. There’s another moment when the youngest girl hugs the eldest, who is a bit of a mother hen to the group without being bossy, that is frog-in-the-throat territory. In his setup, Yamashita deliberately invokes Ozu-style framing to emphasize that this village hasn’t changed much since Ozu’s time. But high-school and the class trip to Tokyo beckon, where the heroine finds out some things about the new boy. GENTLE BREEZE has some very funny comic moments, my favorite being the discussion of the ethics of kisses and handshakes that is far removed from the world of Britney and Lindsey as imaginable. But good as the parts are, they never really come together and the film does drag, grooving on its sweet a bit much for my tastes — as a result, it sometimes feels as slight and inconsequential as … well … a gentle breeze in the village (sorry).
My father was a high-ranking student radical poobah and still thinks Castro was the bees' knees. Although I'm technically a red diaper baby, I've rejected all that baloney. I write off-the-wall fiction, and Righteous Seduction concerns next-generation game. My blog concerns "deplorable" politics, game, and my writing projects.
Mit Abstand sehen wir die Realität. Was wurde von jenen erreicht, derer wir heute gedenken – jener tapferen weißen Amerikaner, Briten, Kanadier und Europäer, die die Minen und Maschinengewehre von Hitlers Festung Europa überwanden?
Mit der Zeit werden Historiker der Zukunft in der Lage sein, in derselben Weise einen langfristigen Blick auf den Zweiten Weltkrieg zu werfen, wie wir vernünftig über den Aufstieg und Fall Karthagos oder der Goldene Horde diskutieren können. Ohne die Propaganda, das kreischende Moralisieren, die Halbwahrheiten und die glatten Lügen ist die wahre Konsequenz des alliierten Sieges offensichtlich: Innerhalb eines historisch unbedeutenden Zeitraums nach dem Fall des Dritten Reiches werden europäische Menschen und die europäische Zivilisation zu existieren aufhören – sofern sich nicht etwas ändert.
Heute natürlich darf man das nicht sagen – tatsächlich kann die Infragestellung gewisser Aspekte des Zweiten Weltkriegs mit Gefängnis bestraft werden. Man denkt an die Sicht auf die Geschichte, wie sie im satirischen FilmIdiocracypräsentiert wird, wo der Protagonist in einer „Time Masheen“ sitzt, die ihm davon erzählt, wie „die UN [ausgesprochen als einziges Word, „die Un“] die Welt für immer entnazifiziert hat.“ Dies faßt ungefähr zusammen, was die meisten Menschen heute im Post-Westen vom größten Konflikt der Weltgeschichte denken – es ging einfach darum, Juden zu retten und Rassisten zu bekämpfen.
Aber Historiker der Zukunft werden – großteils weil sie wahrscheinlich Asiaten oder irgendwelche anderen Nichtweißen sein werden – sehen können, was wirklich geschah. Genauso wie wir die Barbareneinfälle nach Rom als Totenglocke des Imperiums erkennen, wird der moslemische Zustrom nach Europa als das gesehen werden, was er ist – eine feindselige demographische Invasion einer fremden Macht. Die kollabierenden Geburtenraten, die degenerierte Kultur und Xenophilie des Post-Westens werden als das gesehen werden, was sie sind – der Todeskampf einer Gesellschaft, die zu krank ist, um zu überleben. Und der massive Austausch der Bevölkerungen einst stolzer Nationen wird als das gesehen werden, was er ist – keine „Bereicherung“, sondern einfach Eroberung.
Immerhin sagt heute niemand, daß die Dakota Sioux durch die weiße Siedlungstätigkeit „bereichert“ wurden, ungeachtet des gesteigerten Handels und „Wirtschaftswachstums“. Mit Objektivität und ohne unehrliches Posieren erkennen wir als Historiker, daß die Folgen von Massenmigration und militärischer Eroberung nicht voneinander zu unterscheiden sind, nur daß ersteres oft schlimmer ist als letzteres. Eine Nation kann besetzt, aber später befreit werden, aber eine Nation, die ihre ethnische Identität verliert, hört für immer zu existieren auf.
Amerikaner witzelten immer, ohne uns „würden all diese Europäer heute Deutsch sprechen“. Nun, es erscheint weit wahrscheinlicher, daß sie wegen uns in ein oder zwei Generationen alle Arabisch sprechen werden. Während die amerikanische „Anti-Nazi“-Propaganda einen Stiefel zeigte, der eine Kirche zertritt, mit der Aufschrift „We’re Fighting to Prevent This“ („Wir kämpfen, um dies zu verhindern“), scheint es, daß die Allierten das Gegenteil erreichten. Die westliche Nachkriegsführung tat, was Jahrhunderte islamischer Invasionen nicht konnten. Worüber Gibbon sich müßig Gedanken machte, ist nun eine Prophezeiung – die „Interpretation des Korans“ wird „in den Schulen Oxfords gelehrt werden, und seine Kanzeln werden vielleicht einem beschnittenen Volk die Heiligkeit und Wahrheit der Offenbarung Mohammeds demonstrieren.“
Man kann nicht objektiv behaupten, daß die deutsche Besetzung Frankreichs für die französische Lebensart in irgendeiner Weise zerstörerischer war als die nichtweiße und moslemische Besetzung Frankreichs heute. Die Franzosen unter Vichy waren in jeder sinnvollen Weise „freier“ als die Franzosen unter Hollande und der Europäischen Union.
Noch wichtiger: während Krieger kämpfen, damit ihre Lebensart bewahrt werden und ihr Volk sich ihrer als Helden erinnern kann, erreichte die „Greatest Generation“ die Dekonstruktion der gesamten Welt, die sie verteidigte. Die weißen Gemeinschaften, von denen alliierte Soldaten dachten, sie würden sie verteidigen, wurden von ihren eigenen Regierungen innerhalb von ein paar Generationen vorsätzlich eliminiert, die Kultur der Weißen als rassistisch abgetan und die Opfer der Soldaten nur insofern als wertvoll erachtet, als sie jenen den Weg freimachten, die sie verachteten. In dem, was Peter Brimelow „Hitlers Rache“ genannt hat, kulminierte der übertriebene Abscheu der westlichen Eliten vor dem Nazismus schließlich in der demographischen Zerstörung der alliierten Nationen selbst. Bei den gegenwärtigen Trends werden Worte wie „England“, Frankreich“ und „Holland“ innerhalb des Jahrhunderts einfach geographische Begriffe sein.
Die Frage ist, ob man dies hätte vorhersehen können. Waren die unwissenden alliierten Armeen bei ihrem Zusammenprall auf den Ebenen Europas Trottel? Opfer? Ihre eigenen schlimmsten Feinde?
Sicherlich wurde der Krieg zu der Zeit nicht als egalitärer Kreuzzug gesehen. Tatsächlich kann man den pazifischen Kriegsschauplatz fast als reinen Rassenkrieg betrachten. Die amerikanische Armee war rassisch getrennt; die Briten, Franzosen und andere alliierte Mächte unternahmen nach dem Krieg einige Versuche zur Rückgewinnung ihrer Kolonialreiche, und sogar die nominell kommunistische Sowjetunion versammelte die Rote Armee eher im Namen von Alexander Newski und des russischen Nationalismus als im Namen des Traums von einer vereinten Welt der Arbeiter.
Aber der Erfolg oder das Scheitern eines politischen Führers oder einer Bewegung wird nicht durch Sieg oder Niederlage in den Kämpfen des Tages definiert, und auch nicht dadurch, wie sie von der Geschichte gesehen werden. Statt dessen sollte Erfolg danach beurteilt werden, wie nahe jemand den Zielen kam, die er selbst definierte, und wie gut er das verteidigte, was er für wichtig hielt.
Zum Beispiel hat Winston Churchill einen großen historischen Ruf, weil er der unverzichtbare Mann war, der angeblich Großbritannien versammelte, um sich Hitler entgegenzustellen. Und doch war Churchill nach seinen eigenen Maßstäben ein kolossaler Versager. Als Mann, der in seiner gesamten Karriere regelmäßig die Positionen zu entscheidenden Fragen wechselte, war die eine Konstante in seinem ganzen Leben seine Liebe und Hingabe zum britischen Empire. Und doch ist es mehr als jeder andere Mann im Laufe der gesamten Geschichte Winston Churchill, der die Verantwortung für die Zerstückelung des britischen Empires trägt. Er opferte alles, um Deutschland daran zu hindern, eine dominante Position in Osteuropa zu haben – damit statt dessen die Sowjetunion eine solche haben konnte.
Wie Patrick Buchanan es ausdrückte, verlor Britannien sein Empire, und der Westen verlor die Welt. Churchill beendete seine Karriere unter schwächlichen Protesten gegen die nichtweiße Einwanderung und die Zerstückelung des Empire, aber er war bereits irrelevant in der neuen Welt, die er entfesselt hatte. Und weit davon entfernt, „Britannien zu retten“, ist die „Sceptered Isle“ nun ein Ort, wo man wegen Zitierens von Winston Churchills Schriften über den Islam verhaftet wird. Wir können erwarten, daß Churchills Reputation in den kommenden Jahren schlechter werden wird, nachdem sich bereits Gemurmel wegen seines „Rassismus“ und „Imperialismus“ erhebt.
Der endgültig gescheiterte Reaktionär Churchill sagte einmal: „Es ist ein Fehler, zu weit vorauszuschauen. Man kann nur ein Glied der Kette des Schicksals auf einmal behandeln.“ Während es modisch ist, den Alten Löwen als Teil einer ungebrochenen Kette des britischen Schicksals zu bewerben, die sich vom Duke of Marlborough bis Sword Beach erstreckt, braucht man nur durch das monströse Konglomerat aus internationalem Finanzwesen und Drittweltmüll zu spazieren, das wir London nennen, um zu sehen, was er wirklich erreichte.
Sprach Churchill: „Ich habe nur ein Ziel im Leben, die Niederlage Hitlers, und das macht die Dinge für mich sehr einfach.“ Und das tat er, und wie die anderen alliierten Führer zerstörte er am Ende sein eigenes Land und seine eigene Zivilisation. Was es schlimmer macht, ist, daß Churchill tatsächlich diese Dinge bewahren wollte – er war nur zu töricht und kurzsichtig, um es zu tun.
Es ist die Verantwortung jener, die führen wollen, nicht nur die Richtigkeit einer Sache zu beurteilen, sondern auch, was ihre Handlungen in Bewegung setzen werden. Sicherlich hätte der durchschnittliche Soldat, Seemann oder auch Senator nicht wissen können, daß der Kampf für „amerikanische nationale Interessen“ gegen das, was er als ein paar aufgeblasene Deutsche und Italiener sah, letztendlich in dem egalitären Alptraum kulminieren würde, der gegenwärtig „Amerika“ zu einem bedeutungslosen Begriff macht. Aber wir können heute die Folgen sehen. Und heute, wo alles auf dem Spiel steht, einschließlich unseres physischen, buchstäblichen Überlebens als Volk, müssen wir jedes Ereignis, jede Bewegung oder politische Gestalt im Sinne dessen betrachten, wozu es führen wird und wie das Endspiel sich entwickeln wird.
Ich verurteile die Invasoren des D-Day nicht. Sie wußten nicht Bescheid. Noch wichtiger ist, daß Mut um seiner selbst willen ehrenswert ist, und der Soldat, der für sein Land kämpft, verdient immer, im Zweifelsfall zu seinen Gunsten beurteilt zu werden.
Aber ich glaube, wenn die Soldaten des 6. Juni 1944 hätten sehen können, was sie entfesselten, hätten sie ihre Gewehre weggeworfen und sich den Verteidigern angeschlossen. Wir haben keine Zeit mehr für diesen reaktionären Unsinn. Es muß gesagt werden, daß jene Amerikaner, Briten und andere, die in der Normandie starben, nicht ohne Grund starben. Der Effekt ihres Todes war, das Leben der meisten ihrer Nachkommen schlimmer zu machen und die Eliminierung ihrer eigenen Länder sicherzustellen. Sie starben, damit der Westen zerstört werden konnte.
Und ungeachtet dessen, was oder wen man für das verantwortlich hält, was heute mit dem Westen passiert, ist es die Mission dieser Generation, das Urteil dieses schrecklichen Zweiten Westlichen Bürgerkrieges aufzuheben. Im Namen des Blutes, das vor 75 Jahren auf beiden Seiten vergossen wurde, müssen wir dafür kämpfen, daß Europas größte Niederlage nicht seine endgültige Niederlage ist.
“Wenn wir das nächste Mal kämpfen, dann Seite an Seite.”
Radical Traditionalists like me believe, or should I say, know, that civilizations are organic entities that are born, grow, climax, decay, and then die. Though few are willing to admit it, this fact holds true for the United States as well. Like every empire that has come before it, “the land of milk and honey” will ultimately collapse following a series of internal and external crises.
One of these crises, I’m firmly convinced of now, will be the lack of any capable people to staff the bureaucracy in the near future. I say this because I see the average American student on a daily basis, and my observations leave me little doubt that the dystopia foretold in the film Idiocracy is inevitable.
Today’s education system is a complete joke: the curricula are watered down and inferior; the students are complete idiots who scoff at learning; the students’ parents are either too busy to get closely involved with their education, or simply don’t care; education courses at colleges are too saturated with Leftist sociological studies and not enough practical application; and many teachers are of mean quality, hired because they know the right people. Add to this the endless array of technological and pop-cultural distractions that teenagers indulge in and the anti-authoritarian Zeitgeist that has been in place since the late 60s, and the education system is hopeless.
Let us first take a closer look at the curricula. Students today sit through classes that offer nothing in the way of academic rigor when compared to the classes of fifty years ago. Back then, secondary school kids studied all the major liberal arts, including Latin. English classes demanded that students read major works of literature from Tolstoy and Shakespeare, not the dull novels of John Steinbeck or Harper Lee. Math and science classes were certainly more difficult than they are now, as evidenced by the report A Nation at Risk. All of these highly cerebral subjects fostered mentally and culturally enriched students: Latin gave them a better understanding of English and enhanced their communication skills; math and science made them more rational problem-solvers; literature offered the same benefits as Latin, plus the added knowledge about history and life in general that came from studying the experiences of different characters from other times.
What have our youth now? Well, the math and science are still there, but the fact that most European and Asian students are better mathematicians suggests that our courses are not very rigorous. English classes are a complete joke. Most of the young people I meet nowadays have a horrible command of English (even American-born ones), and few have read anything other than Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby. Even many of my fellow college students from a year ago had substandard ability in writing; there was one event that I will never forget when a professor for one of my classes went off on a tirade about how she knows 8th graders that write better than my colleagues (not to brag, but she specifically excluded me from her insults). The possibility for any cultural enrichment has been removed due to the over emphasis on “multicultural education.” Instead of focusing for several weeks at a time on Greek, Latin, English, French, or Italian literature, as it used to be done, students are being bombarded with single works from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US, within a few weeks. From this they learn virtually nothing about the host of cultures they are examining, only a confused mess of different narratives. History education barely even exists anymore, and it won’t be long before such classes are cut completely so that we can increase the math and science in an effort to keep up with China (which will not happen anyway). Believe it or not, I’ve actually met students from schools where history was only taught during detention, as a form of punishment.
Now let’s look at the students I keep mentioning.
Never before have I met a more undisciplined, unintelligent, ignorant, restless, uncontrollable — and in many cases, flat out uneducable — rabble. The majority have no desire to learn, which they make clear by their constant interruptions, side conversations (about the most irrelevant topics), requests to use the bathroom, and complaints about work. Those who actually leave the class to go to the bathroom walk as slowly as possible, stop into other classrooms to say hello to their friends, take forever once they get to the bathroom, and walk even slower on their return to class. My time in various attendance offices has informed me that at least a hundred students simply don’t show up to school or come in late each day, the majority of these being black and Hispanic. Many times it’s impossible to even confirm absences with parents, as they cannot speak English.
While sitting in the teacher’s lounge, I’ve overheard countless conversations in which teachers complain that their students don’t even know their times tables. Let me repeat that: high school students don’t know their TIMES TABLES! I was forced to memorize these when I was nine years old! That some still have not done so says that (A) they are of below average IQ, and (B) their elementary and middle school teachers were lazy scoundrels who simply passed them through the system. “Someone else’s problem,” they likely said to themselves. Of course, nowadays it’s virtually impossible to hold students back for poor performance. The same parents who were never there to check homework or help study suddenly appear to bitch and moan to the education board that their kids are geniuses and shouldn’t be held back.
Borderline public indecency is also rampant throughout public secondary schools. Young girls wear the most form-fitting and scanty garments available, and it’s not uncommon to see exposed lingerie. Slack-jawed degenerate boys still sag their pants for the world to see their boxer shorts. Lesbian couples make out in the hallways between classes, and whorish little white girls hang onto the arms of ape-faced, prognathic Negroes with lazy grins and charcoal-dark skin. The parents obviously could not care less, are trying to be fashionable, or are simply incapable of maintaining any control. Regardless of which is the case, it’s apparent that they should never have become parents.
The above problems are of course systemic. For one, it’s impossible to maintain a properly functioning education system when droves upon droves of subhuman mongrels flood society from Africa, Asia, and South America, all with their unique yet irreconcilable modalities. The classes need to be continuously debased for the sake of “cultural responsiveness.”
Another problem lies with American culture (if you can call it a culture) at large. Technology has completely consumed the youth generation via text messages, Ipods, video games, instant messaging, fantasy football, and of course, wit-dimming television shows. The idols provided to the youth from movies, shows, and music spew the same message of “rebellion” against all forms of authority, be it parents, teachers, counselors, etc., and parents seek to be fashionable by allowing the goalless rebellion to continue unhindered. Self-expression for the sake of “originality” and “being different,” no matter how ridiculous the results, is continuously drilled into the youth’s heads through the aforementioned sources.
The Frankfurt School has won the culture battle.
We are now left with a hopeless generation with only a small minority that is capable of really learning and synthesizing anything.
A pair of researchers with the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway has found that IQ test scores have been slowly dropping over the past several decades. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg describe their study and the results they found. They also offer some possible explanations for their findings.
Prior studies have shown that people grew smarter over the first part of last century, as measured by the intelligence quotient—a trend that was dubbed the Flynn effect. Various theories have been proposed to explain this apparent brightening of the human mind, such as better nutrition, health care, education, etc, all factors that might help people grow into smarter adults than they would have otherwise. But, now, according to the researchers in Norway, that trend has ended. Instead of getting smarter, humans have started getting dumber.
The study by the team consisted of analyzing IQ test results from young men entering Norway's national service (compulsory military duty) during the years 1970 to 2009. In all, 730,000 test results were accounted for. In studying the data, the researchers found that scores declined by an average of seven points per generation, a clear reversal of test results going back approximately 70 years.
There are other factors, of course, particularly the dysgenic effects of female education. One has to wonder what the point of educating women is supposed to be when the next generation of women are going to be considerably less intelligent because so few of the highly intelligent, highly educated manage to replace themselves.
But the sheer magnitude of the movement of peoples is the more significant factor. This is why the infrastructure in the USA is never going to return to the state it was in previous decades. The society simply isn't intelligent enough on average to maintain it any longer.
Remember, that's not just seven points, that's seven points PER GENERATION. Idiocracy is not just a movie about the dystopian future, it's a satire on the dystopian present. Welcome to Costco....
In keeping with a proud tradition of not placing too much importance on most pop culture products and arguing vehemently against reading political messages in the plotlines of space operas, I had steered clear of the ever–widening circle of arguments over the political “message” of Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up (I should mention at this point that I have not seen this movie). There is a part of me that would like to encourage left-of-center movie reviewers to see every cinematic depiction of normal human behaviour as a coded conservative propaganda effort, thus reinforcing the association of normality with conservatism that any supposed propaganda effort would be trying to achieve. This saves conservatives some of the trouble in actually producing our own films, as it attributes the production of films in which conservatives had no role to our supposedly vast network of Hollywood influence. In addition to being very amusing, because it is so obviously contrary to fact, this serves to increase the public perception that such-and-such a popular, entertaining movie is “conservative.” It also gives conservative movie reviewers things to write about, as they attempt to perceive the hidden references to Burke in The Bourne Supremacy*.
For the most part, however, I find this sort of movie criticism annoying because it is so obviously wrong and compels everyone to label quite arbitrarily different pieces of art, television and film according to mostly inappropriate or misleading political categories. Instead of appreciating Pan’s Labyrinth as a work of magical realism, it seems as if everyone felt compelled to show off his anti-fascist credentials by talking up the supposed political lessons of the film. Instead of trying to understand, say, the New Caprica sequence in Battlestar Galactica as an interesting attempt to tell a different side of a war story there was no shortage of observers who wanted to make it into a commentary on Iraq. Interpretations of 300 were similarly obsessed with either its horrible Orientalism or its supposedly subversive attack on Bush. I suppose there could be and are political messages worked into all sorts of stories (I am more sympathetic to interpreting Apocalypto as a conservative morality play, which is far less speculative given the well-known politics of the director), but I suppose I have never quite understood why this becomes the basis for criticising the story or, more dramatically, rejecting it outright. This is my general rule of thumb: the less overt and clear the political references, the better the work of art. If you can very readily glean a political message from a film (at least any film not explicitly intended as propaganda), it is probably not terribly well made and probably not worth watching. Take V for Vendetta, for instance–please!
There have been some cases where Hollywood studio politics clearly clashed with the marketing and release of films that had potentially very un-P.C. implications, resulting in their narrow release and fairly dismal box office receipts (and possibly contributing a little to their later critical acclaim). Children of Men and Idiocracy were two films that, even in the Cuaronised version of the Children of Men plotline, seem to have conveyed messages that so horrified their respective studios that the studios seem to have tried to sabotage their success. Both films pointed towards–probably unwittingly for the most part–the issues of “birth dearth” and demographic collapse that might be taken as encouragement for a natalist politics, and Idiocracy also had the “bad” taste to clearly put intelligence and heredity at the center of its story.
*In case anyone couldn’t tell, this is not a serious example.
After something happens, people have to talk it to death to figure out what it meant. What they’re really asking is: What caused this, and what was its goal or ideal in response?
What they are looking for at that time is a summary, a “main point” which can be used to explain the movement in a broader historical context (most artistic and political movements being, only a few decades past their eventiture, minor footnotes in a larger narrative).
They want to know its relevance, in other words.
Napoleon attacked Russia? Fine: a battle; what caused it? Napoleon wanted to conquer Russia… to establish hegemony of the new post-monarchic order… and to ensure French imperial supremacy… which had fallen into disrepair… and been exploited by the monarchs… — so we have multiple factors here, centering on a restoration of power after a failure. Right, a desperate move. The significance is more than what Napoleon “wanted”; it’s the historical context in which he exists.
In the same way, we’re looking at black metal and our society offers a number of failure-prone ways to look at it. First there’s the rock-n-roll industry way, which is predictably airheaded: these dudes just wanted to make the most intense music ever, man, and so they turned to Satan and extremism. OK, that’s useless — only a true retard would accept that as a complete answer. Then there’s the inarticulate musician answer, which is that they were inspired by Venom and so copied their heroes. On top of that, we have the useless academic answer, which is that they were altering the heuristic of their neuro-linguistic token integration in order to re-interpret the world as simulacra through new, opened eyes — that’s crap. Then you have interesting side observations, like the Until the Light Takes Us filmmakers wanting to make a movie about the decomposition of an idea — that definitely happened, and it’s true, but tells us nothing about how the phenomenon came about.
And what might a historian or a philosopher say?
The Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc fell in 1990-1991. That ended the post-WWII order, and the Communism-versus-Capitalism narrative which splintered off into many degrees of socialism, conservatism, greens and others duking it out. But even more, there was no longer a reason for society to strive. The war was over — what was left? The worst of the 1980s, except now we didn’t even have conservative politicians to reign us in. The McDonald’s, the Coca-Cola, the women turning themselves into plastic whores, the men living for novelty and not bravery, the large corporations controlling more of what we think, the democratic governments so easily purchased… that is the background to black metal.
And against all of these ideas, it offered a simple solution:
Modern society: Everyone is equal. Everyone is important. What is most valuable is not pushing yourself to new heights, but getting along with others. When everyone is included, there will be no war or suffering, and we can all live good lives thanks to these excessive rights and these plasticized corporate products.
Black metal: No peace can exist, and nothing is equal or pure. Morality is garbage invented by the weak. What matters is making yourself better, pushing yourself farther than ever before. War is our destiny, and this is good, because it cures stagnation and indecision. What matters most is the best rising, the supremacy of the conqueror and predator, so that we do not become weak.
In this rebellion, black metal was revolting against the beliefs of its parents, which were that once the evil Cold War was over, we would finally have reached the promised land.
This was a promised land, incidentally, that they started promising in 1914… or rather, in 1789, because it’s the same narrative. We beat back the privileged, make everything equal, all conflict ends, peace and justice reign, yay!
Except that every age has people that think this way, and they’re always wrong, in part because if you think about such a society, it would be miserable. Paralyzed, because avoiding conflict means not finding answers. Permissive, which both cheapens everything and makes sins not a pleasure but almost a mechanical duty, like our porn and its ever-expanding quest for new extremes (where do we go, really, after the A2M explosion, enema milkshake and 919 man gang bang followed by riot bukkake?).
It sounds like something out of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: an artificial, pandering, whorelike world without a soul, but you have no reason to object, because materially, you are provided for.
That’s kind of how Baby Boomer parents treated their Generation X (and black metal was a Gen X thing entirely) kids — here’s some money, you live in a nice house and have the best options our society can offer. What are you upset about? Oh the minor fact that we inherited a first-world nation and left you a third-world one, sheerly by our Idiocracy-style tolerance and in fact encouraging of the reproduction of idiots, our fast food, our television nation, and so? That’s a minor fact. Minor. Don’t complain. Kids in the third world don’t have toilet paper.
Black metal was throwing off all of this: the vapidity, the obliviousness, the guilt and the manipulation.
It was saying we cannot all get along; in fact, most of us are shitheads. We need natural selection. What matters most is not peace, happiness, love, etc. but a warlike desire to get things done right according to a higher standard, and along the way, a Romantic contemplation of what it is to be an individual in the world, melancholy and isolated from the false cheer of society.
This fits right in with what Wordsworth, Blake, Emerson, Keats, Byron, Sterne, Shelley (Mary) and other Romantics wrote about only 200 years earlier, during the last great outbreak of culture in the West.
It also fit into the narrative developed by Plato and expanded on by Oswald Spengler, which says that societies go through life cycles, and when they get corrupted by “too much socialization,” they die in slow passage into third world status: low hygiene, corruption, disorganization, dysfunction and immoralism. Remember that other great mystery figure from the 1990s, the Unabomber? He said similar things.
None of this stuff was new. It was what the foremost intellectuals talked about in the 1960s and 1970s, before they wrote the books and recorded the music that influenced the PARENTS of the black metal generation; these were the artifacts they found, wrapped away carefully as if treasured but denied in a quest to pursue “adult” responsibilities, in attics and garages. And absorbed wide-eyed, as children do.
From that we got black metal.
Is it nationalistic? (Nationalism = one nation, one ethnic group, with a single culture, religion and philosophy to match. Don’t confuse it with patriotism, which is political loyalty to whatever State happens to control the land you’re on right now.)
Yes, it is, as the Romantics were. Not in a bigoted way like the neo-Nazis, but proud of their nations, and aware of the need for each nation to fix itself. We can’t kumbaya, glom together and fix each other. We have to go it alone.
From this view, NSBM is what black metal degenerated into, not its ultimate expression. Of course, not everyone agrees — Alex Kurtagic has a different take on things:
Black Metal artists also emphasize nature and landscape, but a morbid and mystical sensibility is evident even here. Whether inspired by völkisch thought or mere Satanic occultism, nature is always conceived in spiritual, mystical, and Romantic terms. The Black Metal aesthetic dictactes that night and winter are eternal. Coniferous forests are preferred to tilled fields and manicured gardens. Where the glorification of war merges with nature mysticism, the emphasis remains on the latter. Viking and Folk Metal bands, in contrast, adopt a more obviously völkisch approach to nature, allowing daylight in their landscapes and generally emphasizing the idyllic as opposed to counter-Enlightenment Sturm und Drang.
The Black Metal sensibility does not reject culture in favor of nature, but instead valorizes culture and nature, both conceived organically, over civilization, which is conceived in mechanistic and materialistic terms. In the Black Metal universe, cities were never built, the Industrial Revolution never occurred, and modernity never arrived. For all its belligerence, Black Metal is inherently nostalgic, a comprehensive negation of modernity. – Alex Kurtagic at Counter-Currents
I find his second paragraph interesting: the enemy is the senescence of civilization itself, which is conceived — well, here I split — from a desire to please the herd. The herd doesn’t create civilization; it destroys it. Rare individuals overcoming their own dysfunction and rising above the herd, that’s what creates and maintains civilization. But then civilization suicides: in an effort to make life better, it protects those incompetents, and soon creates a giant herd of Homer Simpsons, all subject to the Dunning-Kruger effect where they reject anything more complex than they can understand, and are confident in that rejection.
But that’s a study of methods, not of cause.
The cause is a lack of spirit, and the solution is to reject “safety” and “peace,” and explore the edge of risk. Feel the terror, the pain, the glory and the joy, again. Right now, we’re a society on anti-depressants that barely feels a thing, glad for the comforting numbness but also missing out on lives that, if we were paying attention, offer a lot more than we partake. Instead we pursue the same mechanical pleasures.
We are scheming on modern society, cruising on the wealth of the industrial revolution, to make us all materially fat and happy by removing our fears; our Satans, our Hitlers, and even our fears that there is no moral God guiding us, or no Utopian moral Society guiding us, but only a space in which we must make what we desire. Because we have no idea what we desire. We are living in a plastic simulation of a real world, built from the memories of our media lords and writers of government pamphlets, based on a morality that is dysfunctional and a dream of an empty, sterile pointless existence that we desire because it is both safe and greedy, letting us indulge our fantasies. Yet all of this is part of a power structure that undermines us.
Black metal is a revolution in culture against economics, politics, popularity and other forms of deferring the ideal for the tangible:
Certain performers like Orkis and Bylsma are also preferred for their ability to interpret certain ideas that — like genres have ideas in common and as a result, sounds in common — composers explored as part of their collective membership in certain time periods or recurring ideas, like the Faustian, the Romantic and the reverent/sublime outlook, all of which are shared between metal and classical.
These similarities in composition explain why metal and classical have a lot in common — and this is why the correct interpretors are needed. Rock is harmonic-rhythmic, metal is phrasal-narrative. When making rock music, you pick a rhythm, and then use a standard song form or variation to fit it into a scale, which in turn determines harmony. Rock riffs are not as active or as shaped as metal riffs, because generally they are variations within a scale whose goal is to return to the chord being played; they are based around open chords and lead rhythm playing of the scale. Metal is phrasal, meaning that its riffs take the form of phrases made of power chords, and narrative, which means that metal song structure is determined by content of each song more than by a standard form — that’s the infamous “riff salad” rock musicians bemoan in metal.
Classical music also uses narrative composition. While imbeciles will focus on its fixed forms — sonata, fugue, aria — the more important idea here is that the song follows the poetic content being expressed. This mirrors the epic poetry of ancient European and Indian civilizations, where it was understood that each adventure had stages of ritual, much like we have stages in acceptance of death or change. As a result, there was a need for an overture, a reconsideration, some changes and a recapitulation and synthesis of themes, and these got formalized in the song structures that today imbeciles regard as iron laws. The narrative style however is the common thread in classical music from its beginning to the present.
In rock music, you write to fit the scale to the rhythm, and then melody is added to accentuate that. This is easier work because all of the real variables are defined by the form. Similarly, in jazz, the form is fixed and within it the player riffs off harmony and rhythm, and inserts fragments of melody to that end — this is why most jazz artists make thousands of recordings of a song, and only one or two are considered “the real deal” by collectors: without the artist making it happen, cerebrally, the pieces fit together by random convenience. Classical works by the opposite principle, which is creating or adapting a general form to the poetic needs of a piece — expressing the change in both listener and “actor” within the story or feeling being related — and then designing a combination of rhythm, melody, theme, motif and form to express it well.
Metal is similar, although less schooled in this regard, because it seeks to express a similar worldview — underlying philosophical assumptions about life — to that of classical. Metal is reverent for the sublime; it sees the power and the horror of nature as necessary for its perpetuation, and is like nature intolerant of the oblivious and unrealistic because they create a parasitic slowdown of the exciting experiences in life. It derives much of its thematic development from the pace of horror movies, in which a few “awakened” people realize that they face a supernatural — or invisible pattern underlying all reality — foe against which technology and their oblivious, unrealistic social partners are useless. Finally, metal like classical expresses the Faustian spirit, or a sense of struggling for the rare and inconvenient beauty life offers, and fighting back those who submit to static obedience or dogma; this sense of purity through struggle is called vir, or the virtuous warlike acts of ancient man. These themes repeat throughout classical music, like metal, and while there are exceptions, it’s more than a coincidence that the best among metal and classical use these themes repeatedly. – Classical Music for Metal Fans
It’s a philosophy of triumph through living not for safety, but for adventure:
Where modern society in a desire for safety imposes values designed for an average person onto all of us, and assumes that our material and humanist wellbeing constitutes meaning in life, Romanticism explodes from within. It is not a philosophy of cautions, but of desires for the intangible, and as so it worships risk and conquest and a lack of fear toward the karmic existence. It transcends the desire to either live karmically, or live akarmically, because it sees karmicism as a means to an end and concerns itself only with the end: the ideal.
In this, Romanticism constitutes a philosophy because it posits intangible ideals as a balance weight to the certainty of death. It seeks a sense of unfolding; the discovery of something new in a prismatic space hiding behind the mundane. In doing so, it renovates life itself by working from within and renewing the brain in its aspiration and heroic transcendence of the karmic drag, in the exact opposite principle to modernity, which is materialism/humanism as supported by technology and populist political systems. – Metal as Prismatic Motion
And although we can show how it is connected to Romanticism and classical music, its bigger connection is to an ideal of transcendentalism which has been discovered and forgotten innumerable times — when societies are healthy, they discover it; when they are not, they forget it. This is the Tradition that writers like Rene Guenon refer to:
As a result, metal is sandwiched between protest music of the anarchic left and the wisdom of the conservative ancients, forming itself through fantasy into a vision of a more realistic and more enjoyable vision of life. Rock music is a product of the wealth and convenience of a modern time that allows us to have inconsequential lifestyles and opinions, while metal is a revolution against that outlook, a seemingly deconstructive art form that in actuality opposes deconstruction.
We can trace these ideas through consistent beliefs found across metal generations:
Beauty in darkness. It is not ugly, pounding music but music which discovers beauty in distortion, in anger and terror, in violence and foreboding dark restless relativistic power chords. The point is not to deconstruct, but to go through deconstruction and find meaning. This is evident in the works of Black Sabbath and every metal band since, and is what distinguishes “real” metal from hard rock.
Worship of power. Unlike pacifying rock music and jazz and “new music” classical, metal music adores powerful, vast and broad simple strokes; it loves the majesty of nature and its crushing final word. It does not have love songs. Instead, its love is directed to forces of nature, including physical forces like storms and intense human experience like war or loss, as if trying to find meaning in these.
Worship of nature. Linked to metal’s adoration of power is its appreciation for the function, including its “red in tooth and claw” aspects, of the natural world. Where most are repulsed by the idea that combat exists between animals in which one is victor, and one is prey, metal idolizes it. It finds beauty in ruins, in destruction, and in death, as if praising the cycle of life they engender again.
Independent thinking. Metal does not buy into the individualism of a modern time where the only goal is material pleasure of the self (materialism) and keeping others away by granting them the same (humanism). It prefers the independent thinking that looks for higher values in life, mountains to climb and challenges to be met. Where punk music enmeshed itself in a callow “I wanna do what I wanna do,” metal saw this as part of the same gesture of rock music and discarded it.
These are expressed artistically by the following:
Dark, morbid themes that clashed with the “love will save us” hippie mentality. These are explained by Black Sabbath as being derived from the horror movies of the day, a genre which features a union between technology and the occult (zombies, werewolves) producing a force humans cannot oppose. Normal technologies and methods cannot defeat it. They struggle against this force but their emotional instability causes them to sabotage one another, and often the dark force wins. Examples from this genre: Mothra, Dawn of the Dead, Alien, The Exorcist, The Shining, War of the Worlds.
Songs written from short cyclic phrases called riffs, which unlike rock riffs used movable chords of inspecific harmonic bonding, making the melody and rhythm of the phrase more important than key or voicing. Metal bands tend to use more riffs per song, and not in the traditional cycle of verse-chorus, in a way quite similar to progressive bands like King Crimson and Yes, both of whom used aggressive distortion.
A focus on the holism of the human effort as determined by our moral state as individuals in a way that can only be described as “religious.” Metal, in addition to sounding eerily like angry Bach-scripted church music, has a similar focus to dogmatic transcendentalism Christianity: what is our future as human beings, and how does how we shape our personalities effect it?
Bass-enhanced overdriven guitar sound, or distortion, which encloses the primary instrument used in making heavy metal. In rock, guitars and drums come together to emphasize a vocal melodic line; in metal, guitars lead a melodic line for which vocals are a complement and drums a timekeeper, enclosing it in a regularity to give listeners context. The guitar is the loudest single instrument heard and the one that invokes changes in song.
These beliefs and musical techniques reinforce each other. Using distortion and loud music, yet finding beauty in it. Using longer narrative phrases so as to tell a story, creating a holistic view in which emotion emerges, instead of citing pre-configured emotions like rock music does. A darkness and melancholy exhibited in lyrics and imagery, corresponding to aggressive music, expressing a desire to seize all of reality, good and bad together, and make something better of it. – Assimilation
Metal finds beauty in darkness.
Modern society tries to shut out darkness and, in doing so, removes beauty.
Coca-Cola or wandering in the woods, wondering if you’ll find fresh water or die of thirst.
One is safe, one is exciting.
Does black metal flirt with fascism? Black metal is conservative, and conservatism is a spectrum from libertarianism through national socialism, just like liberalism is a spectrum from anarchy through Communism.
Black metal implies that our modern time is as totalitarian as fascism or Communism, it’s just that the mechanisms are hidden from us. We are trapped in boring jobs, in ugly cities, in blight-ridden streets that are covered in commercial messages and obscene graffiti. We are not controlled directly; rather, we are sabotaged by society itself, which removes good options from us and replaces them with ever-lowering standards, so we both cannot rebel (hey, you can do ANYTHING, man) and cannot aspire. One way of doing things rules across the globe, and it controls our lives, even if it does so by making sure that the majority prefer dumb options and thus make those into law.
Modern society is a series of bad options because those are what the equal proles prefer; as the rot spreads, the controllers laugh from their ivory towers, watching civilization defeat itself because it cannot enact impulse control, and have preferences for long-term goods instead of short-term personal gain or recognition. We destroy ourselves. We do their work for them, and since most people are too dumb to figure this out, you can shout the truth on streetcorners and you will be ignored. It is a perfect system of control.
In the process we commit ecocide by growing like an obese cancer. Is black metal green? In a way that Garrett Hardin, Pentti Linkola and Arne Naess are green.
Is it fascist? In the way that Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin were: when you are in a society of idiots, you might as well carve it up and do some conquering because these people will do nothing but pursue their hollow pleasures, live callow lives of pointless misery, and then blame whoever is in charge for their own failings.
Our world is stagnating; entropy is upon us. The old methods of 1968 will not work because they did not work, and never work. They sound good, but they, too, are hollow.
Black metal is many things. It is religious; in a pagan, transcendentalist sense that maybe the most profound Christian mystics (Eckhart, Emerson) would have understood. It is violent, and it is fascist, but not totalitarian. It is nationalist, but not racist, per se. It is an assertion of the inward spirit of humanity that wants to rise above its own fear and desire for safety, and carve from an empty wilderness of a world a new civilization, one that achieves love not by commanding it through law, but through creating it by making things worth loving.
Black metal is all that this world is not, and the order that will replace it. The next thousand years are ours.
Oh wait, I was supposed to write about NSBM. Well, it’s nothing, really. It’s what happens when the RAC people claim black metal for their own. The original bands — Burzum, Emperor, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Enslaved, Immortal — they all endorsed nationalism, like Bathory did. For them, the point was to rebuild culture; for others, the idea is to wage race war. You can see there’s a difference.
I don’t always agree with Mr. Murros, but his notion that international finance is now more powerful than government and getting stronger (and will eventually destroy government) is, IMHO, spot-on:
Economic policies will be dictated by Corporate America virtually everything will be up for sale. There will be tax cuts for the rich, dismembering the federal government apparatus, and whatever is left of it is then privatized and merged with Corporate America (in the long run this is, of course, a positive thing because the only way we can beat this monster is that it begins to devour itself). Civil liberties, so dear to
Skip Rotten Tomatoes, they’re biased SJWs too afraid to criticize things like the Ghost Busters reboot. Avoid giving them ad revenue by using the minimalist alternative, Cinesift, for a quick aggregate:
🗣️ Know of another conservative review that we’re missing?
Leave a link in the comments below or email us!
⚠️Comment freely, but please respect our young users.
👍🏻 Non PC comments/memes/vids/links
👎🏻 Curse words / NSFW media / JQ stuff
👌🏻 Visit our 18+ free speech forum to avoid censorship.
⚠️ Keep your kids’ websurfing safe! Read this.