The Matrix

Not rated yet!
Director
Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Runtime
2 h 16 min
Release Date
30 March 1999
Genres
Action, Science Fiction
Overview
Set in the 22nd century, The Matrix tells the story of a computer hacker who joins a group of underground insurgents fighting the vast and powerful computers who now rule the earth.
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?

 

SIGN UP!

Box office recaps sent twice a month (maximum). 

    ( ̄^ ̄)ゞ 
(☞゚ヮ゚)☞  No spam! ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)




 ✍🏻  > 🗡️   Want to join our team? Email us!  
Vox Day
Castalia House



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ 𝐄𝐃𝐆𝐘 🔥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍𝐓 🔥 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 🔥 (𝐍𝐒𝐅𝐖?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • 1 - The desolation of The Hobbit
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In which John C. Wright explains how Peter Jackson rapes the corpse of JRR Tolkien's beloved book in the first unnecessary cinematic sequel:
    Where is the Hobbit in this film, allegedly called THE HOBBIT, again?

    Ah, but then we see Bilbo. After his friends are captured by wood elves, using his ring of invisibility, he sneaks into the buried palace of the elf lord. Unseen, his wily eyes spy out that the elves drink wine imported from Laketown, and float the empty barrels downstream as part of their trade and traffic with the human settlment.

    He waits until the jailor is drunk, steals the keys, frees the dwarves, and, instead of attempting to sneak them past the heavily guarded upper gates, takes them to the loading dock beneath the wine cellar, seals them in the barrels, and clings, still unseen, to a barrel himself as the unsuspecting elf prentices pole the empty barrels downstream to the Laketown. It is simple and brilliant. Unfortunately, he gets a wetting, and takes a headcold: little bit of realism, if not comedy relief.

    Oh, no, wait. That is not what happens.

    Just then, just when I thought I would be free from the repeated blows to my tender head of the Stupidity Hammer, the Stupidity Hammer rose up from the shining screen, drew back, whirled hugely and with great force and might and main slammed me right between the eyes so my brain squirted out my ears a yard past my shoulders in both directions.

    Bilbo does not seal the barrels.

    I will wait for you to recover in case you just got the sensation of a Stupidity Hammer clonking you from the computer screen. They I will repeat myself, because it is so dumb you might not believe me:

    Bilbo does not seal the barrels. He leaves the tops open.

    So the dwarves are perfectly visible, by which I mean visible to the eye, by which I mean not hidden. By which I mean people with eyeballs can see them, such as the elf-people from whom they are allegedly trying to escape.

    Bilbo leaves the barrel tops open when he is dumping the barrels into the water, which is a substance, so I am given to believe, that enters openings and makes things wet inside, and sometimes even sinks things....

    Just when I picked myself again off the sticky floor of the theater, blearily wondering where the Hobbit character was after whom this movie was apparently named might be, BAM! The familiar Hammer came down again. This time, it was a scene where Orlando Bloom is standing a zillion feet away from the evil orc bounty hunter Slopgog the Unmentionable or whatever his name is, and he does not shoot him with an elf arrow.

    I sat there, rocking back and forth with my eyes crossed, and through the stream of drool and vitreous humor leaking down my chin I muttered again and again, “Shoot him with an elf arrow. Shoot. Him. With. An. Elf. Arrow. SHOOT HIM WITH AN ELF ARROW!”

    But no. No elf arrow was forthcoming.

    Blogsnog the Debunker or whatever his name is strolled in a leisurely fashion down the narrow walkway of Laketown, not ducking for cover, and meanwhile no one was calling for the town guard, and the elf guy continued not to shoot him with an elf arrow.

    You see, the film slimer, er, maker, wanted this scene to be like a gunfight in an iconic Western, with Clint Eastwood and John Wayne staring at each other with narrowed eyes as each strides menacingly ever closer, spurs jangling with each step. Of course, in a Western, both are armed with revolvers, and both are wary of making the first move lest the other man prove fast enough to draw and shoot first, but then both shooters want to close the distance to improve their aim. That is what makes such scenes tense.

    Here was what makes a sense spectacularly NOT tense. One guy has a gun and the other had a knife, or a club, or maybe strangling wire or even a stick of butter, because no one gives a rat’s fart for what the other guy has because you can shoot him first.

    If you have the weapon that, you know, shoots, you can shoot the guy who has no weapon that shoots, and so there is no downside to letting him see you go for your gun, or, for that matter, use a winch to load your crossbow in a leisurely manner, because you can raise it and turn him into a pincushion before he can attack you with his club or strangling wire. Or stick of butter.

    In such a case, he will be running toward you at full speed, because if he walks a menacing walk, well, that give you time to roll a cigarette, light it, put your foot in the stirrup thingie on the crossbow, clamp it to your belt winch, and crank the string back, yawn, read a magazine, drop a bolt in the slot, check the grease on the bolt, aim, make vacation plans, check the wind speed, and fire a bolt through this heart and left lung and out his back in a three-dee spray of unnamed orcish life fluids.

    Unless you are superspeed acrobat the wonder elf, in which case you can shoot him nine times a second and spell out your monogram in his vital organs.

    Well, who cares? Neither character was in the book anyway. I think I lost consciousness overcome by the fumes of the butter-substitute substance coating the theater floor between the seats. I woke a little later, and elfboy still had not shot Urgslug the Irkisonic, or whatever his name is. My wife had to stuff a wide handful of popcorn flavored food substitute into my face, in order to smother the broken, wretched burbling — shoot him … with …  an elf arrow.
    I didn't bother seeing the second and third movies in the Matrix trilogy. I didn't bother seeing the second and third movies in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. And I don't think I'll bother seeing the second and third movies in The Hobbit, ah, trilogy either.

    You know it is bad when even hardcore Tolkien fans not only can't be bothered to see it, but devoutly wish to avoid ever being forced to lay eyes upon it. A commenter named Rainforest Giant summarizes the problem, not only with Peter Jackson ruining The Hobbit, but with the entire edifice of Pink and Postmodern SF/F:

    "Jackson... ruins heroics because he cannot understand heroism. He ruins a fairy tale because his world lacks the deep magic. His villains are straight out of Scooby Doo. His special effects mere lights smoke and mirrors. His understanding of war and conflict as meaningless as Xena or Buffy. Tolkien understood war, sacrifice, magic (as a storyteller and father), heroes and villains, hope and despair. Jackson lacks a deeper soul thats why he writes bad fan fiction and cartoon action."

    It could have been even worse. At least the dwarves weren't offering each other blow jobs because ground forces. Imagine if McRapey had chosen to rip off Tolkien instead of Heinlein, Dick, and Star Trek. "Famine for the spirit" and "a hog trough for the mind" is an exact description of the state of SF/F today.

    Labels:

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - Why the Wachowskis suck
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    There is a simple explanation for why the second and third Matrix movies were so bad, and why the Wachowskis haven't been able to produce a movie that is one-tenth as intriguing as the original The Matrix. They aren't genuine storytellers and The Matrix wasn't their story, they were ripping off a comic book that served as the graphic storyboard for the first movie.
    In 1999, The Matrix came out and blew everyone away with its insane action sequences, revolutionary cinematic techniques and, most of all, a mind-fucking plot that left the head of every viewer filled with intense philosophical questions.

    What It's Suspiciously Like:

    The Invisibles, a cult comic book series created by Grant Morrison, is basically about a group of individuals who fight the establishment because the establishment is secretly keeping people dumb and hiding the fact that reality is an illusion. Turns out that the "real world" is ruled by horrifying insect-like demons. One more thing: The Invisibles debuted in 1994....

    The Wachowskis have never acknowledged The Invisibles as an influence, even though they had invited the comic's creator Grant Morrison to contribute a story for their website. Morrison -- who actually liked The Matrix -- says he "was told by people on the set that Invisibles books were passed around for visual reference." His reaction to the second and third movies? "They should have kept on stealing from me."
    The real problem with Hollywood isn't the lack of creativity among those responsible for making movies. The real problem is the ridiculous pretensions of those who are technically skilled movie makers to be something that they are not, which is storytellers. At its root, the inability of the Wachowskis to give proper credit and continue to utilize Grant Morrison's storytelling abilities is no different than James Cameron stealing from Harlan Ellison or Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens crapping all over Tolkien with their idiotic dialogue additions and "feminine energy". Their pride, narcissism, and incapacity for understanding their limits causes them to produce movies that are much worse than they would be if they would simply focus on their cinematic craft and leave the story construction to the storytellers.

    The issue here isn't IP legalities, but the intrinsic stupidity of trying to claim an idea that wasn't yours as your own. It's foolish, because everyone is going to realize that the first idea wasn't yours just as soon as you're forced to come up with a second idea and it becomes obvious that you're completely incapable of doing so.

    Labels: ,

    ...
    (Review Source)

Ica Reviews
Aryan Skynet



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ 𝐄𝐃𝐆𝐘 🔥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍𝐓 🔥 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 🔥 (𝐍𝐒𝐅𝐖?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • 1 - Doctor Strange ***1/2
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    doctor-strange

    Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) stars as Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme in this decent supernatural action-adventure adaptation. A brilliant but arrogant surgeon whose hands are ruined after a car accident, Strange treks to Nepal in the hope of finding a means of recovering his manual dexterity, only to find instead that a world of occult knowledge and power awaits him. Tilda Swinton appears as “The Ancient One” who mentors him. She, along with Strange’s big brother adept Chiwetel Ejiofor and antagonist Mads Mikkelson, does a good job of keeping a straight face while delivering gobs of earnest mystical gobbledygook; but the team of screenwriters has also wisely peppered the script with irreverent observations from Doctor Strange, who, like the viewer, experiences the occult side of reality as a newcomer and serves as his own comic relief. With action choreography and a concept similar to The Matrix, fans of CGI-heavy special effects extravaganzas ought to be satisfied. One does, however, wish that sexy Rachel McAdams (True Detective season 2) had received more screen time as Strange’s love interest.

    3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Doctor Strange is:

    4. Anti-gun, with a physician mentioning “a drunk idiot with a gun” as a recipe for bodily injury.

    3. Pro-drug. Stan Lee, in a cameo, is seen reading Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception and exclaiming, “That is hilarious!” There is, too, a psychedelic sensibility to Doctor Strange’s visuals – Strange, on first experiencing the otherworldly, even wonders aloud if he has been dosed with psilocybin – and sitar flavors the music that plays during the end credits.

    2. Multiculturalist. Only after sitting at the feet of black masters and enlightened bald women are white men permitted to save the universe.

    1. New Age. As in The Matrix and any number of other martial arts movies, eastern wisdom is sold to impressionable western youths as a means of attaining preternatural fighting prowess and impressive occult powers. Strange is instructed that he must forget everything he thinks he knows – abandon the European achievements of reason and scientific knowledge, in other words – in order to find that which he seeks.

    Rainer Chlodwig von K.

    Advertisements

    Share this:

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    Deadpool ****1/2In "absurd"

    A Walk Among the Tombstones ***1/2In "A Walk Among the Tombstones"

    The Purge: Anarchy ****1/2In "action"

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - I, Frankenstein *1/2
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I Frankenstein

    The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

    30 Reviews in 30 Days

    DAY ONE

    Never mind the quaintly underachieving likes of Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965) or Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966). These movies are masterpieces compared to I, Frankenstein, positively the worst appropriation of Mary Shelley’s story this writer has ever seen. It wants desperately to be The Matrix, but this humorless CGI phantasmagoria bears more resemblance to the hallucinations of a subnormal and unimaginative ten-year-old boy given a tab of LSD. The comic book plot has Frankenstein’s monster (dubbed “Adam” here, because calling anybody a “monster” in this day and age would be insensitively judgmental), played by Aaron Eckhart, teaming up with an army of gargoyles committed to protecting humanity from “dark prince” Naberius (Bill Nighy).

    In terms of screen presence, the question of the relative power of demons, corpses, and gargoyles to inspire audience sympathy would seem to be academic, so that I, Frankenstein’s tableaux of legions of devils being blasted into fiery smithereens carries no more human interest than a war of several strains of bacteria viewed through a microscope. Beyond “look at all the surging colors”, there is really very little to say. Unless the reader finds himself enthralled at the prospect of ninety minutes of actors saying things like, “The gargoyle order must survive, and mankind with it”, or has always dreamed of seeing Aaron Eckhart writhing and screaming to sell the effect of computer-generated flame-tentacles burrowing into his eye sockets, there is nothing to recommend this film, which is possibly even more appalling than Dracula Untold.

    A star and a half. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that I, Frankenstein is:

    4. Pro-torture. “Descend in pain, demon,” Adam tells an enemy after shoving his face in holy water for enhanced interrogation.

    3. Ostensibly Christian, but misleadingly so. “Any objects can be made sacramental by marking them with the blessed symbol of the gargoyle order,” the viewer learns.

    2. Anti-capitalistic. Naberius takes the earthly form of a corporate executive, with his demon minions all wearing suits and ties like the agents from the Matrix franchise.

    1. Multiculturalist, anti-white, and pro-miscegenation. An army of multicultural gargoyles battles white guy demons in suits (plus one token Uncle Tom demon). A white warrior woman prefers to join her brown boyfriend in death rather than live without him. One might pity an actor as classy as Bill Nighy for being criminally miscast in such a retarded dud if not for the certainty that he was paid handsomely for his part in representing refined European m...

    ...
    (Review Source)

Society Reviews
Society Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 1 - King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Review
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    When it comes to King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, the weakest part of the film is the writing. It feels like if they had spent more time polishing the writing and making the flow of the film work better this would be a much better movie. With that said, the movie is enjoyable its many problems makes it more worthy of a rental than a must see in the theaters. Legend of the Sword is a typical Hollywood blockbuster, high on special effects and low on quality.

    Read more →

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - Ghost In The Shell (Guest Review Ft. JasonsMovieBlog)
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Ghost in the Shell is a step in the right direction for Hollywood in adapting anime movies into live-action features films, opening up the possibilities for better translations and erasing bad memories of some past endeavors (see Dragonball: Evolution). So, I just have this left to say…. I am Jason and I give me consent for you to like and comment on my review of Ghost in the Shell.

    Read more →

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 3 - John Wick: Chapter 2 Review
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    John Wick: Chapter 2 is the first certified smash hit of the year and Keanu Reeves almost 15 years after the Matrix has another and much-deserved franchise on his hands.

    Read more →

    ...
    (Review Source)

The Unz Review Staff
Unz Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 1 - Battling the Matrix and Freeing Oneself from the Roger Rabbit Mental World
    In 1999, a big hit movie was The Matrix. I went and saw it but I don’t recall it making much of an impression on me. At the time, my understanding of the world was pretty conventional. I believed the things I was told — for example, that a lone nut by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald had shot President Kennedy, and another lone gunman named James Earl Ray later shot Martin Luther King. Of course 9/11 hadn’t happened yet, but, when it did, a couple of years later, I assumed that the official story was broadly true. In retrospect, I am not sure whether, at the time, I even knew the term “false flag terrorism”. Probably not. In general, I believed that the way to stay informed about world events was to watch CNN and the BBC or read the New York Times. I also held rather typical mainstream liberal/progressive views that a North American university graduate would hold. In short, I was a typical overeducated idiot. Not very long ago, since it was linked on a web page, I watched the famous red pill scene again and it was a shock. I thought: “But my God, that’s… that’s… absolutely uncanny!” So much had happened in the intervening decade and a half, and I had undergone such an intellectual evolution that, of course, my reaction to the scene was bound to be very different. It was really thought provoking. On further consideration, though, I realized that, as compelling as the red pill scene is, it still basically begs the question. In the real world, there is no such red pill, either at the local pharmacy or from the neighborhood drug pusher. So, how would a real-world Morpheus get Neo to perceive the Matrix that surrounds them? You see, the red pill is basically a sort of deus ex machina. The character takes the pill and voilà! If you think about it, it’s understandable that they introduce such a plot device. That way, the film avoids having to explain how the characters came to perceive the Matrix. Actually I can’t even imagine offhand how the movie would go about explaining that, but if it did, it would end up being a very different sort of film, much more complex and psychological. Too intellectual. It would bore most people. This way, the character wakes up without taking too much time away that could be better used in slick martial arts scenes, which are, after all, what most moviegoers want to see. Another interesting aspect of this is that, in the moral universe of the Matrix, the character must choose the red pill of his own free will. Morpheus gives Neo the whole spiel and Neo has to decide. Okay, obviously we know he’ll choose the red pill because if he chose the blue one, the movie would be over before it had hardly started. But he is offered the choice. If Neo had chosen the blue pill, the other characters weren’t going to jump him and pin him down and force him to ingest the red pill. Though, actually, come to think of it, for all we know, that was the backup plan. But no, I’m pretty sure that the ethos of the Matrix is that a person must consciously choose the red pill. In other words, people have the right to delude themselves. Another movie that came out a decade before that, the John Carpenter film “They Live”, has a similar theme, where the characters perceive a reality that others don’t. Like the Matrix, it has a deus ex machina plot device that “explains” how the characters come to perceive the nature of the world they are in. Instead of the red pill, it’s these special sunglasses. But there is a very basic difference in a somewhat analogous scene. When the main character in “They Live” wants his best buddy to see reality, i.e. put on the sunglasses, the friend adamantly refuses. However, the protagonist won’t take no for an answer and a really violent broken down fight ensues. Finally the main character forces his friend, kicking and screaming (and punching and head-butting), to put on the sunglasses and see reality. This crazy fight scene is also something that I perceive very differently watching it now than when I first saw it many years back. On the superficial level, the scene makes no sense. You just think: this is silly, nobody would go to such lengths to avoid trying on a pair of sunglasses. He would just humor his friend and try them on before it got to anything like that! On a deeper level, though, once one understands what the sunglasses represent, one cannot help but feel that, as over-the-top as the scene is, it is, on some level, far more realistic than the Matrix red pill scene. The adamant refusal of the character in “They Live” to put on the sunglasses is actually far more like the way people in the real world behave than when Neo eagerly grabs the red pill in the Matrix. It would be even more realistic if, instead of shouting “you crazy Mother” while fighting to avoid putting on the sunglasses, the character shouted instead: “You crazy conspiracy theorist!” (In fact, the “conspiracy theorist” label is the most basic weapon of these reality avoiders and this essay will address this question later.) BDQ, high IQ idiocy, and the Ludek Pachman Moment (LPM) Getting back to the real world, we still have the observable fact that some people perceive the propaganda matrix and others are oblivious to it, and we don’t have any red pills or sunglasses to explain this. Just as some people get calculus and others don’t, some people see through the bullshit and others don’t. That’s pretty clear… ORDER IT NOWNow, when it comes to calculus or other academic subjects, we have IQ; we say the higher IQ people do better at school, or at least it comes easier to them. However, the ability to see through the propaganda, bullshit generally speaking, does not seem to have much (if anything) to do with IQ. There are people with a very high IQ who are just completely helpless when it comes to seeing through the propaganda. The technical term for such a person is HIQI, or “high IQ idiot”. The term is not really as contradictory as it seems, since, properly understood, there is another kind of intelligence in play than IQ, that allows people to see through the bullshit. The technical term we shall use for this is BDQ, which stands for Bullshit Detection Quotient. The term “high IQ idiot” does not originate in this essay. A quick google search reveals prior usage here and there, but this essay may be the first to provide a formal definition of the concept: A “high IQ idiot” is somebody with a combination of high IQ and very low BDQ. There is an event that I recall from a book that I read a long time ago that, I think, illustrates the concept quite nicely. It’s a rather obscure book, probably out of print now, entitled “Checkmate in Prague”. The author was a chess grandmaster named Ludek Pachman. I read the book back in my teens when I was a fanatical chess player. It’s partly a memoir of the author’s chess career but is mostly a political memoir of his time in Czechoslovakia under communist rule and it culminates in his defection to the West some time in the early 1970’s. The event I have in mind goes like this: Ludek’s housekeeper is going off to the market to buy some food. As she is going out, Ludek tells her that he would prefer that she not buy pork. You see, Ludek had read some sort of popular science article that warned of how unhealthy it was to eat pork. He was concerned that he was eating too much pork and would prefer for her to buy beef or chicken instead. His housekeeper, surely not a very educated woman, responded: “Oh, that is all nonsense, Mr. Pachman. They are telling us that pork is unhealthy because, at the moment, there is a severe shortage of pork and they don’t want people to notice.” Ludek took this as an example of the kinds of misguided notions that uneducated people engage in. (I don’t believe he used the term “conspiracy theory”.) For Ludek, it was completely unthinkable that scientists would write an article like that saying that pork was unhealthy if there was not some real evidence that it was. Well, some months after this, Ludek was reading some popular science article and the article was extolling the health benefits of pork. Now, apparently, pork was by far the healthiest meat, much better for you than beef or chicken. It struck Ludek as rather odd that the scientific consensus on this could change so quickly. Ludek looked into the question and discovered that, now there was a huge oversupply of pork. It seems that the authorities had overreacted to the previous shortage and now there was more pork than anybody knew what to do with. Thus, the authorities were desperately trying to increase the demand for pork by putting out articles telling everybody how healthy it was. Many readers might chuckle at the above story, not think that it is very consequential. After all, when you think of the various abuses committed in communist regimes, a few porkies about pork surely do not rank very high. Nonetheless, this incident really did shock poor Ludek, and was, as I recall, one of the key events that caused him to turn against the communist regime and, ultimately, to defect to the West. He just really disliked living in such a corrupt, mendacious society, in which everything was a lie. (Whether Ludek was right to assume that the West was much better is another fascinating question, but is beyond the scope of this essay.) Now, what I would point out about this story is that Ludek almost certainly had a much higher IQ than his housekeeper. And he was also far more educated. However, his housekeeper immediately knew that these articles appearing in the press — denigrating (and later extolling) the eating of pork — were bullshit, while Ludek was taken in by them. In short, Ludek’s housekeeper had a much higher BDQ than Ludek did. Since I feel that the foregoing anecdote is such a good basic example of a certain phenomenon, I shall introduce some new terminology. This kind of realisation that Ludek has, when he sees how naive he has been and that his uneducated housekeeper, in a very basic way, is actually smarter than he is — let us call this a Ludek Pachman moment, or LPM for short. I believe that, for people who belong to what we could broadly call the Deep Politics Community or the Truth Community, the LPM is a very basic recurring theme. For example, Ron Unz has published a series of articles under the rubric of “American Pravda” in which he documents just how unreliable the American (and really, Western) media is. The facts that Ron documents are indeed compelling, but the articles can also be looked at another way: you see, besides just covering various factual material, he is recounting his own personal intellectual journey, his own personal “Ludek Pachman moment”, or perhaps really a series of LPM‘s. About a year ago, Jeff Brown wrote an article about what he calls the Great Western Firewall. He outlines at great length a series of facts, but properly understood, I would say that Jeff is also describing his own LPM. While Jeff Brown outlines a completely different series of facts in GWF than Ron Unz in AP, one could say that, in deep structure, if you will, they are broadly the same. In each case, the author is describing his own LPM, or a series of LPM‘s that constitute an overall awakening. The reason that I found the aforementioned articles by Ron Unz and Jeff Brown so compelling is that I myself went on a similar journey and it is still fairly recent. I surmise that the people who react negatively to those articles (and I recall that Jeff Brown’s GWF article got a lot of negative comments) are people who have not (yet) had their own LPM. I guess the most basic diagnostic self-test in this regard is that if you believe that the way you get educated about the world is to watch CNN and BBC and read the New York Times, then you have not yet had your own LPM. And certainly, if you still think that calling somebody a “conspiracy theorist” is some sort of meaningful insult, you are in dire need of your own Ludek Pachman Moment. BDQ and Roger Rabbit Artefacts (RRA’s) When I started thinking seriously about the whole BDQ issue, one aspect of it occurred to me fairly quickly. People have a strong baseline of bullshit detection capability when dealing with direct visual stimuli. By that, I mean pictures of things that are obviously absurd. For example, however low your BDQ happens to be, if somebody shows you a picture of a car with square wheels, you immediately identify this as impossible. So it stands to reason that if you want to bullshit somebody, it is easier to do so verbally than visually. I guess the issue is that a visual stimulus goes directly to some part of the cortex that, on a non-conscious, non-verbal level of reasoning, just immediately identifies the input as absurd and impossible. Along these lines, I thought about another movie I saw a long time ago. It came out in 1987, a year before “They Live”. I am thinking of “Who framed Roger Rabbit?”. That was, I think, the first movie in which human actors interacted seamlessly with cartoon characters. (There were other attempts before, I’m sure, but I think that Roger Rabbit took this to a very polished level.) I think that Roger Rabbit, i.e. cartoons being superimposed on reality, can be a nice metaphor for thinking about these kinds of issues. In fact, I believe that many an LPM that people have undergone is when it dawns on them that some story that is presented by the media is an RRN, a Roger Rabbit narrative. Though it was quite a technical achievement at the time, one thing is clear about this: everybody can identify which elements on the screen are cartoons and which ones are real. A cartoon building or a cartoon car just doesn’t look like a real building or a real car. And most certainly cartoon characters cannot be confused with a real human actor. So, again, when there is a direct visual stimulus like this, we all possess the wetware to identify effortlessly and immediately what is real and what is a cartoon, at least in a Roger Rabbit sort of movie in which cartoons and real people share the screen. So if we were watching one of those Bin Laden videos and some actual cartoon Arabs were to come out in the video, characters out of a Disney animated Aladdin or Sinbad, we would all presumably realize that the video is fake. While nobody has any problem identifying a cartoon image, people frequently do have problems with a cartoon narrative. In May of 2011, in the first version of what happened in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a White House spokesman claims that Osama Bin Laden, when cornered, tried to use one of his wives as a “human shield”. They did later change the story, but this first version is a clear case of a cartoon element being overlaid onto something that is supposed to be a real event. My terminology for this is RRA, which stands for Roger Rabbit artifact. Admittedly, since no photographic or video evidence was ever produced of this Abbottabad raid, it is not an RRA in the more literal sense of involving video fakery. (Video fakery is frequent in other hoax events, but not this one.) I still classify this as an RRA, since an event is alleged to occur that clearly emerges from a cartoon or Hollywoodian universe. You see, the “human shield” story requires Osama Bin Laden, who is ostensibly a real person in the real world, to exist mentally in a sort of cartoon universe. Upon realizing that agents of the U.S. government have arrived to liquidate him, he reasons that these are chivalrous individuals who would not shoot a woman. Therefore, he can prevent himself from being shot by getting behind a woman. People, let’s think about this: would anybody in the real world ever reason this way? Surely, anybody — and I mean outside of a Hollywood movie or comic book — on realizing that professional assassins are coming to kill him, would try to put as much distance between himself and his family members as possible. Putting them between him and the shooters would only get them needlessly killed as well! Properly understood, it does not at all matter that the authorities later denied the human shield story. It really doesn’t, because, you see, once you identify an RRA in the narrative, even if it is later amended, you know the whole thing must be fake. This is because there is really no way that an RRA can just slip into a real event. No, there must be actual fiction writers involved! And that means that the event really must be a hoax. Why would you hire Hollywood scriptwriters, say, to write a script for something that really happened? Also, professional writers don’t write that fast. They have to have had the script written before the event (allegedly) happened! When the story contains what is clearly an RRA, and then no actual evidence is ever provided that any of this happened, we can say that the event must be some sort of hoax. (To be clear, I don’t mean to say that nothing happened. Some operation of some sort occurred and possibly somebody was killed. Something happened but we have no way of knowing what it was! We do know, however, that whatever they say happened is not what happened!) I hereby propose a basic principle of detecting official bullshit: If there is a single RRA in an official account, then the whole thing is an RRN. BDQ and the ISIS Beheading Videos ORDER IT NOWIt was less than a year ago that I watched one of those ISIS beheading videos for the first time. I had frequently run into claims that they were fake, but had always refrained from watching any of them. I doubt I’m the only person in this situation. After all, even if you think there is only a small chance that you will see somebody really getting beheaded, do you want to take that chance? Still the problem remains: how do you resolve the issue other than looking and seeing for yourself? When I finally steeled myself and watched some of these videos, it was shocking. The videos were not just fake, they were comically fake! Chock full of Roger Rabbit artifacts. I have to admit that it was only afterwards that I realised something about this that should have been obvious. You see, really, the ISIS beheading videos had to be fake. In fact, some variant of this could, I think be a basic question on a BDQ test: Does a political movement ever make propaganda films that are designed to portray themselves as villains out of a comic book? Really, think about it. You know, even without checking, I am absolutely certain that you can go and look back at any of the propaganda films from Germany in the Nazi period or from Soviet Russia and they never portray themselves as evil. No! Of course not! They portray their enemies as comic book villains, not themselves! That these videos therefore must be fake really ought to be obvious to anybody with, let’s say, an average BDQ (which, we could say by analogy, with IQ, is 100). However, it is clear enough that, in the society in which we live, people who immediately see through the absurdity of this have much higher than the average BDQ, surely 120 or far higher, I would say. And, actually, though I am a bit ashamed to admit it, this did not immediately occur to me. I don’t know what my BDQ is currently since I have never taken a BDQ test (due to the little technical obstacle that they don’t exist). I am, however, quite certain that my BDQ is vastly higher than it was ten years ago! Another odd aspect of these fake ISIS beheading videos is just how much of an open secret it is that they are fake. Most of the western media pretends they are real, but occasionally, somebody doesn’t get the memo, it seems. So, for example, you have this deconstruction of one of the fake videos in the British newspaper, the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2963039/Does-Isis-really-army-seven-foot-executioners-Experts-say-footage-beheading-Christians-Libya-FAKE.html You can see the actual fake video that the article refers to here along with some analysis: http://libyanwarthetruth.com/isis-beheading-video-libya-hoax This article quotes an informed source that says that these fake beheading videos are probably made by some production company in California, filmed possibly in Mexico (I guess because production costs are cheaper down there) or alternatively the work was outsourced to Europe, in which case it was probably done by a Spanish company. I have no way of verifying any of the above, but it rings true. In any case, it hardly matters whether the video was filmed in Mexico, Spain, or in Timbuktu. It’s fake. I think this particular video stars the infamous Jihadi Joseph. Jihadi Joseph, judging by his English diction, seems to have grown up in the United States. There are also Jihadi John videos. Jihadi John has an English accent. Basically, these black-clad knife waving native English speaking head slicers are stock comic book characters being portrayed by actors, thus an RRA, but the videos contain a host of other RRA’s, as you can see if you read the above-linked Daily Mail article. All that said, properly understood, the entire video is one big Roger Rabbit artifact, a cartoon being superimposed on reality. Now it does seem that there really are these thug/mercenary/gangster types controlling large parts of Syria and Iraq. It is also possible that they do execute people, maybe even a lot of people. However, these fake videos are really a kind of cartoon element being superimposed on what is really happening in the Middle East. The people behind all of this are crafting a kind of Roger Rabbit movie. The videos are so poor and so obviously fake that it must be that the people behind this have calculated (correctly) that very few people will actually watch the videos anyway. Besides this, and perhaps more importantly, very few western journalists will ever say openly that the videos are fake. This isn’t even a hypothesis. The Jewish-American feminist author Naomi Wolf, openly said that the beheading videos were fake and came under a very concerted character assassination attack. Here is just one example: http://thedailybanter.com/2014/10/celebrated-feminist-author-turned-completely-insane-person-thinks-isis-beheading-videos-fake/ Ay, she has gone stark raving mad, the poor dear, claims the videos are fake. It’s so sad but hey, that’s what happens when you spend too much time conversing wit’ yer hoo hah… But seriously, I feel that, whatever one thinks of Naomi Wolf and the third wave of feminism, whatever that is, and despite my own inability to resist making a joke at her expense, I strongly feel she should be applauded for having the ovaries to tell the truth. She didn’t have to stick her neck out and she had to know what she was in for. People come under concerted attack for telling the truth about these things. Yet, for all of that, it is so well known in certain circles that these videos are fake that they are fodder for comedy. Consider this video put out by some Israeli comedians: The people who made this video simply take for granted that their public know that all these beheading videos are fake. I infer that anyway, because if their audience actually believed that the beheading videos were real, the skit would be outrageously tasteless. I’m not familiar with these comedians, but it really seems to me that they just assume that their entire audience is hip to the fact that all these beheading videos are fake. It may be that the targeted audience for this group’s comedy videos is a demographic with a far above-average BDQ. Wings on Pigs: the 9/11 Narrative Now, I have to make some comments about 9/11 because it is, by far, the biggest of the false flag psy ops. I’m loath to go on that much about it because there is so much material by now. Here we are 14 years after the event, and, like the JFK assassination, it has spawned a vast literature. Of course, like any body of work, it’s a mixed bag, but certainly, just as in the case of the JFK research community, there are some extremely capable people who have worked on this. I myself have not done any independent research. The only novelty I can bring to the table is presentational in nature. It’s the same basic ingredients but maybe I can present them in a somewhat fresh way. Here is a basic point to consider: the official 9/11 story is a WOP narrative. No, I don’t mean like the Godfather or Goodfellas. The WOP acronym stands for “Wings on Pigs”. Let me explain. There is a standard idiom in the English language: If pigs had wings, they could fly. Like any idiom or cliché, we rarely think about it, I suppose. But, one day (I guess because I’m a weirdo) I was actually thinking about this. It struck me that the idiom was obviously false. I mean, think about it. If you could somehow transplant the wings of an eagle, say, onto a pig, you think the pig could fly? Not that I have any background in any of the relevant scientific fields, but it really seems that a pig’s body is too heavy and dense and not the least bit aerodynamic. Surely the eagle’s wings will only work for the eagle, as the eagle’s body has the appropriate characteristics. So, on consideration, it occurred to me that the correct idiom really should be: Even if a pig had wings, it still couldn’t fly. So, hopefully you understand what I mean by a WOP, Wings on Pigs narrative. If you tell me a flying pig story, I can take two basic approaches. I can just say: sorry, pigs don’t have wings. Or if I want to be more clever about it, I could pretend to believe that, okay, maybe a pig could have wings, and then argue that, even so, given the properties of a pig’s body, it still can’t fly! In other words, a WOP narrative is when the story is so many degrees away from being possible that you could concede (just for the sake of argument, really, like pretending that pigs have wings) any specific point and it doesn’t matter: the story is still crazy! Much of the 9/11 truth debate centres around whether the fires that were burning in the buildings could have melted or weakened the supporting steel frame of the buildings sufficiently to cause a structural failure. Well, the answer, on investigation, is pretty clearly no. The fires weren’t anywhere near big enough or hot enough. Much more intense fires have raged far longer in steel-framed high-rises and not once has such a building ever collapsed as a result. Never. It really is that simple. (Propagandists try to complicate the matter by deliberately confusing the temperatures that can be reached in a blast furnace, but in the conditions of these fires burning this way in the open, they’re nowhere near hot enough.) This seems clear enough, but to make matters worse, even if we assumed that the temperatures of the fires were hot enough to significantly weaken steel columns (i.e. if we assume that pigs have wings) the result would never be this kind of straight-down symmetrical collapse. (i.e. the pig would still not fly!) The clearest case to consider is building 7, which was not even hit by a plane, and its collapse is on film from several different angles: What is fascinating about this is that the implosion of WTC building 7 is more impressively clean and vertical and symmetrical than even most controlled demolitions you can look at on youtube! There is an interview one can still watch on youtube where the late Danny Jowenko, a Dutch demolition specialist, when shown the building 7 footage for the first time (without initially being told that it happened on 9/11) expresses obvious admiration at how well executed a demolition job it is. He says: “Those guys really know what they’re doing.” At this point, anybody with a reasonably high BDQ would realize that the official story — that this building collapsed as a result of unplanned, uncontrolled fires — cannot possibly be true. If all of this is not enough, a further point to ponder is that demolition specialists sometimes mess up, on occasion spectacularly, and the demolition fails. Sometimes, the building just partially collapses, or tips over, or something like that. It is utterly preposterous that a perfect symmetrical collapse as we see in the video could occur just by fires spreading in an undirected, uncontrolled manner. It took me a decade to realise this, but a person with a higher BDQ could realise instantly that something this perfectly symmetrical has to be engineered. The above is how I came to realize that the official 9/11 story could not be true — that, in fact, it is preposterous. What is funny about this is that, once the spell was broken, I started realizing all the other absurd aspects of the story. Consider the hijacking part. Here is a basic BDQ test question: Would a terrorist mastermind ever send his agents to the target country for a suicide operation over a year before the operation? It really seems like the answer must be no. Just think about the following considerations: The willingness to kill oneself is not a normal state of mind for a person to be in. If somebody is willing to die for the cause now, in February of 2016, is it feasible to plan an operation that depends on that person still being willing to kill himself in August of 2017, say? This seems especially problematic if the person is dropped into a completely novel environment, which the U.S. would be for them. Could anybody really count on people going off to live in another country and then, a year and a half later, being in the exact same state of mind where they are willing to kill themselves? Is there any suicide operation in history that has ever worked like this? Moreover, why would you ever send the operatives to the target country over a year before the operation anyway? They were there in Venice, Florida to learn how to fly the plane, eh? You think the U.S. is the only country in the world where you can learn to fly an airplane? Wouldn’t the presence of your operatives in the target country for over a year prior to the operation drastically increase the chance of them being identified and having the plot foiled by organs of the State in that country? It’s a lesser issue, but getting a visa to live in a country for over a year is far more difficult than getting a short-term tourist visa. Of course, one could visit a country on the short-term tourist visa and overstay the time limit, but that also introduces an extra risk factor, getting detained or deported for violating the terms of the visa. ORDER IT NOWIf you think about these questions, it becomes obvious fairly quickly that no real operation would ever work the way the 9/11 operation was alleged to work. Any real terrorist organization would have its agents go to the target country at the last possible moment before the operation. They would fly in on a tourist visa, saying they were middle class Arabs there to see Niagara Falls or Disneyworld, and then carry out the operation shortly after arrival. Again, as in the previous example of the ISIS beheading videos, it seems like a person of average BDQ ought to realize that the whole hijacking story is preposterous. However, that is obviously not the case, not in western countries anyway. If the average BDQ in the West is assumed to be a baseline 100, then it seems just offhand that, to realize the above requires a BDQ of at least 130. Or possibly higher. It should be immediately obvious, yet I have to pinch myself to realize that it took me well over a decade to get there myself. Fool Me Once, Shame on You…. Fool me twice… While the BDQ of the general population in the western countries is horrendously low, I have little doubt that the worst of the lot is the United States. Perhaps the most important factor in this is the general ignorance of history. It is not for nothing that the late, great Gore Vidal referred to the U.S.A. as “the United States of Amnesia”. One aspect of Vidal’s insight is that the American people, as a group, have next to no real collective memory, so they can just keep falling for the same propaganda over and over again. Doubtless, low BDQ and ignorance of history tend to go hand in hand. After all, much of what we call “intelligence” amounts to pattern recognition and the form of intelligence that we call here BDQ, the ability to detect bullshit, is definitely no exception. This is because the bullshit is surprisingly repetitive in nature. For example, in early August of 1914, the German army invaded Belgium. The British government had already decided to get into the war but needed a pretisxt, so they were shocked, outraged, that the Germans had violated Belgian neutrality. They further claimed that the Germans were committing horrid atrocities in Belgium, “bayoneting Belgian babies” among other things. A full 76 years later, in 1990, to get the American public behind a war against Iraq, they invented the story of the Iraqis taking babies out of the incubators in Kuwait. Now, you would think that anybody who knew history, when they see basically the same war propaganda recycled, they might think, like Roger Daltrey: “won’t get fooled again”. So, let’s say that, tomorrow, it is claimed that ISIS (or whatever Bogeyman du jour) has massacred a bunch of babies, this is intolerable, and we must go off to war. It stands to reason that people who know the historical precedents are far less likely to buy the story. Once you know that they have used these stories about babies to sell more than one war, you will be very loath to accept any similar warmongering story without strong proof. You can also be sure that when you do ask for proof of the story, none will be provided; you will be denounced as a “conspiracy theorist”. Just as the warmongering propaganda gets recycled over and over, the modus operandi of Deep State operations does not change that much either. If you look at the Kennedy assassination of over fifty years ago, you have a patsy, a designated fall guy who is to be framed for the crime, Lee Harvey Oswald. In the assassination of the black civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, four and a half years later, the patsy was a man named James Earl Ray — like Oswald, another white American. Today, the same pattern is repeated over and over: specialists carry out the operation and one or more patsies are framed for it. Typically, the patsies are killed, giving the authorities quite a bit of liberty to say anything they want afterwards. Nowadays, the patsies are almost invariably Muslims, because that is the Roger Rabbit narrative being pushed. When a HIQI professes amazement that you could even consider the possibility that deep State agents would commit a crime and then attempt to frame somebody else for it, what he is doing of course, is exposing his own ignorance of history — in a rather cringeworthy fashion. High IQ Idiots and the Conspiracy Theory Shibboleth All of this brings us to one key thing about High IQ idiots. Granted, it is subjective in nature, I think it will ring true to most readers: A HIQI is far far more annoying and obnoxious than a garden variety low IQ idiot. You see, the conventional idiot, the low IQ idiot, does not typically use his own low IQ as proof of how clever he is. Okay, he may well say something like: “Sure, I was never very good at school but I’m nobody’s fool.” And, fair enough. In my view, that’s actually a reasonable thing to say. But he will just about never say something like: “I don’t understand calculus (or whatever) and that shows how clever I am.” The high IQ idiot will take his own idiocy, specifically his own inability to see through these Roger Rabbit narratives, as well as his own woeful ignorance of history, as proof that he is more clever than you are! I can only speak for myself, but I find that pretty damned annoying! In fact, it’s so annoying that one can lose one’s cool, when, really, what is needed is to think very coldly and analytically about how to approach this problem. One of the first issues to discuss in this regard is this whole “conspiracy theory” construct and the associated insult, where they call you a “conspiracy theorist”. Quite typically, this is the only rhetorical weapon they have, and as such, they always pull it out and keep trying to bang away at you with it. In fact, if you can wrest this single weapon from them, they are essentially disarmed. They don’t have anything else! The most important thing to understand about the CT concept is that it is utterly meaningless. This becomes quite obvious when you ask people for proof of whatever official, Roger Rabbit narrative they are espousing. For example, if you simply ask people to provide proof of the government story of 9/11, without suggesting any alternative theory yourself, you will pretty much invariably be called a “conspiracy theorist” even though you have yourself offered no theory! On reflection, the whole thing is really very odd, because the government story would seem to be a “conspiracy theory”, as it is a theory and it does involve conspirators conspiring. So they propose a conspiracy theory, you request proof of that theory, and they respond to your request by saying that you are a conspiracy theorist! It is as if, when you say that you don’t believe the stories in the Bible, people were to respond by accusing you of being a religious fanatic! Eventually, one comes to the understanding that a CT is just any avenue of investigation that the authorities want to discourage you from exploring! And this is the case even if no conspiracy was posited. Or even any theory at all! At various times, I have heard people refer to the proposal that the Federal Reserve should be independently audited as a “conspiracy theory”. I recall Donald Rumsfeld saying that the belief that the Iraq war had something to do with oil (as opposed to the U.S. government’s official explanation, the non-existent WMD’s) was a “conspiracy theory”! Calling something a CT is simply an illegitimate way of trying to shut down a conversation and it may well be that the most important cultural/intellectual divide in our current day world is between those who realize that and those who don’t. Finally, the only way to deal with this “you’re a conspiracy theorist nya nya” sort of thing must be something analogous to Godwin’s law. I guess I could immodestly propose that this be called “Revusky’s law”: Anybody who starts with this vacuous nonsense about “conspiracy theories” and/or calls you a “conspiracy theorist” has thereby conceded the debate. When the HIQI professes his belief in whatever Roger Rabbit narrative, it is up to him to tell you what the proof is for the story. Simply calling you a name, in particular a name that is meaningless anyway, does not cut it. Overall Tactics: Retaining the Initiative The above brings us to something that is, properly understood, a more general point that goes beyond the issue directly at hand here. This may seem like a tangent but bear with me. Across a wide variety of different competitive activities — sports, games and so forth — any proper analysis of strategy and tactics will refer to a very basic concept: the initiative. At any given moment, the person who holds the initiative is the one who is forcing his opponent to react to him, rather than the other way round. Consider, for example, two games that seem, on the face of it, to have absolutely nothing in common: chess and tennis. Nonetheless, there is actually a thread of commonality. In both games, holding the initiative is a huge advantage, at least at a professional level of play. In chess, the white pieces move first, and, in high level play between comparable players, the vast majority of games with a decisive result are won by the player playing white. For broadly similar reasons, in tennis, in a match between players of comparable level, the player who serves in a given game is vastly favored to win that game, because he begins each point holding the initiative. Looking at this in a very general way, we could say that it is somehow in the nature of things that passivity is rarely a winning strategy in this life. Thus, across a wide variety of games or competitive activities, the expert practitioner will not readily cede the initiative. No, it is the weak, inexperienced player who readily adopts a passive, reactive stance. This all has a direct application to the topic at hand, which is how to deal with the HIQI’s and their Roger Rabbit narratives. Much to my amazement and exasperation, what I continually observe in debates is that people who really ought to know better make the basic tactical mistake of ceding the initiative to their opponent. Time and again, they allow themselves to be maneuvered into a passive, reactive stance. This is really quite a striking phenomenon when you examine it. Earlier I introduced the concept of the WOP (Wings On Pigs) narrative. A WOP narrative is so many degrees away from being possible that a full refutation tends to be complete overkill. The flying pig story is impossible because the pig does not have wings and, moreover, even if the pig did have wings, it still would not fly. So, if you are facing a WOP narrative, how can you fail to win the debate? Well, the first thing to understand is that, if somebody has to use legitimate arguments, based on facts and logic, to defend an absurd story, his position is completely untenable. Or, to use the more lively vernacular, he is up (bull)shit creek without a paddle. And this has a simple logical implication. A position which is indefensible (by definition, really) will not be defended. Your opponent understands (consciously or not) that he cannot defend his stated belief. The only thing he can do is go on the attack. What they will typically do is demand that you tell some alternative story to their flying pigs narrative and then, if you are silly enough to do so, they try to pick holes in your story. So it becomes: “If it wasn’t the official story (flying pigs) then you tell me what happened!” ORDER IT NOWThe answer must be something like: “Sorry, dude, you have to defend the flying pigs story before I tell you any story myself, i.e. I’m not ceding the initiative. So, flying pigs you say… now, could you explain this aspect that I never had clear…. how do these flying pigs, given their body mass, ever get airborne? Have you ever personally seen a pig with wings?” And so on… A related tactic is when, in response to the most obvious common-sense observation, they will attack your qualifications to say whatever it is. You point out that pigs don’t have wings and they start asking you where you did your ph.D. in zoology. Or if you say that, even if a pig did have wings, it still couldn’t fly, they say: “Well, you obviously have never studied aerodynamics.” Essentially, the idea becomes that, in order to make the most obvious common sense observation about the world — pigs do not fly, bears do shit in the woods…. — you must possess multiple doctorates from M.I.T. or someplace. Regardless, the underlying point is that, by necessity, they will go on the attack and grasp for some way to make you respond to them. Once you understand the concept of the initiative and apply it to this case, it becomes obvious that you have to make them answer your questions. So, if they’re defending their WOP narrative, you keep the pressure on: “So, pigs may possess wings, you say…. can you point me to any evidence for this?” Or: “You say pigs can fly, eh? Well, that’s fascinating. I can’t find any evidence for this. Can you help me?” Obviously, the defender of a WOP narrative is in a completely untenable position when facing such straightforward questioning and must try to turn the tables and make you respond to him. So it is with a key event like 9/11. You ask them: “Can you point to any example of a steel-framed high-rise building collapsing in a perfectly symmetrical manner from randomly spreading office fires?” They’re obviously not going to give you the only straight, honest answer which is: “No, steel framed high rise buildings never integrally collapse from randomly spreading fires, and certainly not in a perfectly symmetrical manner.” They have to confuse the issue by trying to make you answer their questions or by attacking your qualifications or something like this. What tends to happen is that, once you understand the basic game theory here, that you cannot voluntarily cede the initiative, the debate is over very quickly. For example, if you ask any of the defenders of the official 9/11 story a simple question: “Could you please outline the best evidence available that the government story is true — specifically that the attacks of 9/11 were orchestrated by a man named Osama Bin Laden from faroff Afghanistan?” The question is obviously legitimate and a defender of the official story has no excuse for not answering you, yet you will never receive a straightforward answer. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and try it. At the time of this writing, the recent (November 2015) events in Paris are still quite topical. The French authorities claim now that the terrorist mastermind was a young man, an ethnic Arab named Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Here are the photos of this “mastermind” that appear from a google image search. https://www.google.es/search?q=abdelhamid+abaaoud&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwix89uJ34nKAhVFaxQKHaLLApkQ_AUIBygB&biw=1366&bih=602 We should strive not to speak ill of the dead, but look at the photos: does this fearsome terrorist mastermind look capable of masterminding the tying of his own shoelaces? I think not. Now, people can jump on me and say that one should not judge a book by its cover. After all these Ay-rabs are devious, and Abdelhamid, in all these photos, may have just been pretending to be a dork. Well, in all honesty, one must concede that this is possible. Still, my response to this is that if you say that the above pictured kid was the mastermind of these terrorist attacks, I’m going to demand the proof from you. And said “proof” really should not be one or more of: They told me on the TV that he was the mastermind, so he was. It’s true unless you can demonstrate that it’s false, i.e. you ask me to prove the negative. You’re a conspiracy theorist nya nya. The basic concept here is this: if somebody is peddling whatever Roger Rabbit narrative, that Jihadi John and Jihadi Joseph are real individuals, this kid Abdelhamid Ibn Oswald was a great terrorist mastermind, or some other folks bayoneted some babies just for the pure fun of it — then they have to tell you what specifically the proof of this is. You cannot let them turn the tables on you and put you in a defensive position. Closing Comments This essay has been an attempt to address a very broad topic of discussion. To do so, I have introduced some novel terminology and concepts. One such is the RRN, which is the Roger Rabbit Narrative, in which cartoon elements are superimposed on reality. There is BDQ, the Bullshit Detection Quotient, the ability to see through the bullshit, which is a form of intelligence that does not seem very correlated with IQ. And then there is HIQI, the acronym for “High IQ Idiot”, which refers to people with a combination of high IQ and low BDQ. When I showed earlier drafts of this article to some people, one comment I got back was that I should think twice about some of this terminology — well, in particular, HIQI. You see, apparently, the conventional wisdom is that, if you want to win friends and influence people, you shouldn’t call them idiots. Yeah, that is probably a pretty well founded rule of thumb. So if I consciously break that rule and use the dreaded “I-word”, there ought to be a good reason. Or reasons. So let me explain. First of all, I have not wanted for this article to be a pure exercise in venting my own frustrations. Since all of this is so utterly exasperating, that is an easy trap to fall into. I wanted to avoid that and actually write something useful. So, no, the novel terminology and concepts I have introduced, such as HIQI or BDQ, are not meant as throwaway insults. No, I really am trying to provide some useful framework of analysis. Really. But one problem is that if you are going to inform people that, unfortunately, they believe that cartoons are real, it is actually rather hard to sugar-coat this. I could not think of a euphemism that avoided the I-word, at least without using another term that is at least as derogatory. In fact, nobody who objected to my HIQI terminology ever proposed an alternative term. But the thing is that I really am not trying to be derisive or scornful towards the people I refer to as HIQIs. No, because I make no bones about the fact that I myself was, by my own definition, a HIQI for most of my life. I believed all the bullshit too. So I understand. And I sympathize. At the beginning of this essay, I linked the outrageous fight scene in the movie “They Live” and I said that I understood the scene much better now than when I first saw the movie when it came out so many years ago. Of course I understand why the character does not want to put on those sunglasses and see the world as it really is! Of course I do! It’s really depressing to put on those sunglasses or take that red pill and see the world as it actually is! Now, the other side of this is that, when, for whatever reason, something snaps and you join the reality community, it is a real intellectual adventure. It’s exciting to learn, to start connecting the dots and understand things that you didn’t have the conceptual tools to understand before. But then the problem still is that what you do learn tends to be profoundly depressing. To realize what a rotten, corrupt society you live in is a real bummer. It’s not just realizing the truth about all the false flag terrorism. Sites like this one introduced me to economic analysis of people like Michael Hudson or Paul Craig Roberts and I started to understand how much of our economic order is utterly fraudulent. Sophisticated looting operations, Ponzi schemes basically, blowing bubbles and popping the bubbles and bailing out the fraudsters with public money. What are basically loan sharking schemes as you see there with Greece and other countries. Throughout it all there is a common theme, what Ron Unz calls “American Pravda”, the realization that the professional class that, in principle, is supposed to be informing you about the world, is devoted to lying and covering it all up. And heck, it’s not even normal lies in many cases. It’s the Roger Rabbit narratives, where people are pretending that cartoons are real! How utterly exasperating and infuriating is that? So, yes. Hell yes. I now understand why the character in “They Live” fights like a possessed maniac to avoid putting on those sunglasses! And I understand why the people I refer to as HIQI’s are so resistant to being told the truth about a host of matters. So, the point of this is not simply to heap scorn on the people I’m calling HIQI’s. I understand them. I was one myself. The other thing this essay is not meant to be is some sort of call to the barricades. I myself am getting a bit too old to man any barricade. But to tell the truth, even at a younger age, physical courage and martial prowess were never my calling card. Anyway, if I was going to call on people to man the barricades, I’d have to know where said barricades are and also be able to make the case that manning them would do some good. Still, I have used martial imagery right in the title, “battling” the Matrix — i.e. confronting the pervasive bullshit. So I am saying that this is a war. Of a sort. And a war has battles and skirmishes. Of a sort. To the extent that the analogy is valid, you do have to think about strategy and tactics. I’m certain that if you study the great military leaders of history, Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte and the like, you see that they don’t engage in battle for its own sake. The goal is not to to engage in battle, or even to win battles per se. The goal is to win the war. In short, you only engage in battle when it makes sense to do so. In our personal lives, we will interact socially or professionally with people who believe in all the Roger Rabbit narratives, and when you say you don’t believe it, the people will disdainfully call you a “conspiracy theorist”. Uh-huh, yeah, been there, done that… Certainly, there are cases where the situation can get sufficiently nasty and the people are so obviously a lost cause anyway, that there is little to do but to let the matter slide. So, on the one hand, yes, I feel strongly that there is a real moral imperative in this life to stand up for the truth. That, after all, is why I wrote this essay. However, one cannot really advocate what amounts to pointless, self-destructive behavior. I guess what it finally comes down to is that, in this infowar, like in a conventional war, you don’t engage in battle for its own sake, if nothing can be achieved. But if you judge that this is the right spot and you do opt to go into battle, you need a good understanding of the nature of the enemy, the basic strategy and tactics, and also the overall lay of the land. So, in this essay, I’ve tried to present some ideas in this regard. It’s not the last word on the topic, really more like an attempt to start a conversation. Fan mail (as well as hate mail) can be directed to revusky at gmail. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - The Failure of Democracy
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I am now convinced that the Oligarchy that rules America intends to steal the presidential election. In the past, the oligarchs have not cared which candidate won as the oligarchs owned both. But they do not own Trump. Most likely you are unaware of what Trump is telling people as the media does not report it. A person who speaks like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYozWHBIf8g&app=desktop is not endeared to the oligarchs. Who are the oligarchs? —Wall Street and the mega-banks too big to fail and their agent the Federal Reserve, a federal agency that put 5 banks ahead of millions of troubled American homeowners who the federal reserve allowed to be flushed down the toilet. In order to save the mega-banks’ balance sheets from their irresponsible behavior, the Fed has denied retirees any interest income on their savings for eight years, forcing the elderly to draw down their savings, leaving their heirs, who have been displaced from employment by corporate jobs offshoring, penniless. —The military/security complex which has spent trillions of our taxpayer dollars on 15 years of gratuitous wars based entirely on lies in order to enrich themselves and their power. —The neoconservartives whose crazed ideology of US world hegemony thrusts the American people into military conflict with Russia and China. —The US global corporations that sent American jobs to China and India and elsewhere in order to enrich the One Percent with higher profits from lower labor costs. —Agribusiness (Monsanto et.al.), corporations that poison the soil, the water, the oceans, and our food with their GMOs, hebicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers, while killing the bees that pollinate the crops. —The extractive industries—energy, mining, fracking, and timber—that maximize their profits by destroying the environment and the water supply. —The Israel Lobby that controls US Middle East policy and is committing genocide against the Palestinians just as the US committed genocide against native Americans. Israel is using the US to eliminate sovereign countries that stand in Israell’s way. What convinces me that the Oligarchy intends to steal the election is the vast difference between the presstitutes’ reporting and the facts on the ground. According to the presstitutes, Hillary is so far ahead that there is no point in Trump supporters bothering to vote. Hillary has won the election before the vote. Hillary has been declared a 93% sure winner. I am yet to see one Hillary yard sign, but Trump signs are everywhere. Reports I receive are that Hillary’s public appearances are unattended but Trumps are so heavily attended that people have to be turned away. This is a report from a woman in Florida: “Trump has pulled huge numbers all over FL while campaigning here this week. I only see Trump signs and sickers in my wide travels. I dined at a Mexican restaurant last night. Two women my age sitting behind me were talking about how they had tried to see Trump when he came to Tallahassee. They left work early, arriving at the venue at 4:00 for a 6:00 rally. The place was already over capacity so they were turned away. It turned out that there were so many people there by 2:00 that the doors had to be opened to them. The women said that the crowds present were a mix of races and ages.” I know the person who gave me this report and have no doubt whatsoever as to its veracity. I also receive from readers similiar reports from around the country. This is how the theft of the election is supposed to work: The media concentrated in a few corporate hands has gone all out to convince not only Americans but also the world, that Donald Trump is such an unacceptable candidate that he has lost the election before the vote. By controllng the explanation, when the election is stolen those who challenge the stolen election are without a foundartion in the media. All media reports will say that it was a run away victory for Hillary over the misogynist immigrant-hating Trump. And liberal, progressive opinion will be relieved and off guard as Hillary takes us into nuclear war. That the Oligarchy intends to steal the election from the American people is verified by the officially reported behavior of the voting machines in early voting in Texas. The NPR presstitutes have declared that Hillary is such a favorite that even Repulbican Texas is up for grabs in the election. If this is the case, why was it necessary for the voting machines to be programmed to change Trump votes to Hillary votes? Those voters who noted that they voted Trump but were recorded Hillary complained. The election officials, claiming a glitch (which only went one way), changed to paper ballots. But who will count them? No “glitches” caused Hillary votes to go to Trump, only Trump votes to go to Hillary. The most brilliant movie of our time was The Matrix. This movie captured the life of Americans manipulated by a false reality, only in the real America there is insufficient awareness and no Neo, except possibly Donald Trump, to challenge the system. All of my life I have been trying to get Americans of all stripes—academics, scholars, journalists, Republicans, Democrats, right-wing, left-wing, US Representatives, US Senators, Presidents, corporate moguls and brainwashed Americans and foreigners—out of the false reality in which they exist. In the United States today a critical presidential election is in process in which not a single important issue is addressed by Hillary and the presstitutes. This is total failure. Democracy, once the hope of the world, has totally failed in the United States of America. Trump is correct. The American people must restore the accountability of government to the people. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 1 - The History of Green and Blue Screen in the Movies
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle While green screen has become ubiquitous for small (I have one in my garage for my videos), medium (PJTV has one in their L.A. studio) and gigantic productions (films like Sin City and 300), the basic effect that drives the concept dates back almost 80 years, to the early days of the talkies. A couple of years ago, the folks at Videomaker magazine produced a nice clip on the surprisingly long history of blue and green screen effects, going back to special effects wizard Linwood Dunn's pioneering efforts in the 1930s, all the way to the Matrix and other gigantic green and blue screen spectaculars. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/10/24/the-history-of-green-and-blue-screen-in-the-movies/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - Sort of X-Men Versus Whatever-It-Is
    Klavan On The Culture I have a review of Mark Bowden's new book Worm in the Wall Street Journal Today:Even before the Internet became a household word, let alone a household tool, there were those who conceived of it as an actual place—an alternative reality of mystery, possibility and danger. Science-fiction novelist William Gibson dubbed computer networks "cyberspace" in a story written as far back in the dark ages as 1982. By 1984 he had penned the novel "Neuromancer," in which characters used a brain-computer interface to travel through a virtual reality called "The Matrix." And of course by 1999 the film "The Matrix" built on that metaphor to explore the notion of a complete computer alternative to reality where good guys and bad guys nonetheless battle to save the world.The metaphor of "cyberspace" has a certain validity. There are ways in which the Internet, like the printing press before it, has expanded the bounds of our communal imagination, and there are ways in which the imagination can be usefully conceived of as a piece of mental real estate— a place of consequence, in fact, where adventures may occur that affect our actual lives. But in the end, the metaphor is only that—a metaphor. Dreams are only dreams, and the Internet is just a bunch of machines linked together.You can read the whole thing here. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2011/9/29/sort-of-x-men-versus-whatever-it-is/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 3 - The Top 10 Comic Book Movies Hollywood Still Needs to Make (#4): The Invisibles
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Click here for #10 -- Dr. Doom -- and the introduction to this project.Click here for Part #9 -- Justice League.Click here for Part #8 -- The Riddler.Click here for Part #7 -- TransmetropolitanClick here for Part #6 -- The Silver SurferClick here for Part #5 -- Rorschach4. The InvisiblesIn a sense The Invisibles was already made into the film. It's well-known that the series was a core influence on The Matrix and that the Wachowski brothers plagiarized a lot of the themes and ideas. But that doesn't matter. An adaptation of The Invisibles can and should still be made.The premise of The Invisibles is that a team of counterculture superheroes is at war defending freedom from a conspiracy of alien beings secretly enslaving the planet. Really the fun of the series, though, is in the strange plot twists, memorable characters, and alt-culture ideas the eccentric creator Grant Morrison infused into the story. The Invisibles is basically a Gen-X, comic book variant of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's The Illuminatus! Trilogy (another property worth talking about in cinematic terms at some point.) Here's a video of Wilson laying out the quantum perspective that informs Morrison's approach to the superhero story: var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/7/31/the-top-10-comic-book-movies-hollywood-still-needs-to-make-4-the-invisibles/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 4 - CRUISE TO CRUISE AGAIN: The
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll CRUISE TO CRUISE AGAIN: The Internet Movie Database is reporting that Tom Cruise will be remaking that hoary old Roger Corman 1970s exploitation flick, Death Race 2000. In a way, this sounds like a smart move by Cruise, returning to a racing film after Vanilla Sky got pounded by both the critics, and has yet to crack the magic $100 million mark at the the US box office. (And cost $68 million to make, so probably needed two or three times that amount to turn a profit, once advertising, promotion, etc. is factored into the equation)Back when Vanilla Sky came out, I wrote, on Stuart Robinson's terrific home theater Web site: Vanilla Sky puts Tom Cruise firmly in Dark City, The Matrix, The Truman Show, etc., 'what is reality' land. And while I've enjoyed all of the above films, this film seemed like a mess, with awful dialog, a silly subplot involving plastic surgery, and pacing that makes Eyes Wide Shut (which I really liked incidentally, but then I've drunk gallons of Kubrick Kool-Aid in my college days) seem like Star Wars.One underlying theme of the film seems to be "choose your cultural references carefully"--Cruise's life seems to be endless cliches of pop culture icons. He owns a publishing company ala Jann Wenner, drives a boss Mustang ala Steve McQueen in Bullit, walks through scenes that look like Dylan-esque album covers, at one point, wears a mask that looks like the one he wore in Eyes Wide Shut, etc.Vanilla Sky is a remake of the Spanish/French film Abre los ojos ("Open Your Eyes"), which also starred Pen class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2002/3/13/cruise-to-cruise-again-the/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 5 - What Does Israel's Prime Minister Have to Do With the Horrific Dark Knight Shooting?
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle This morning I provided coverage of the breaking news and commentary for a shooting last night during a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rising that left a dozen people dead.This afternoon will feature further updates of the tragedy and the attempt by some to utilize it for political gain. One example so far -- from David Sirota at Mother Jones trying to label the act "terrorism" -- disturbed enough to warrant its own post here.So far in the progressive responses we've seen attempts to blame the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh for inspiring the shooter. We've also seen calls for gun control.Now MJ Rosenberg takes the discussion in a whole other direction:2:30 Update: Both atheists and Christians have responded to the shooting. Mediate quoted Tom Flynn, head of the Center for Secular Humanism criticizing President Barack Obama for invoking God in his speech today:“Even in a situation like this, [when] he leads a public prayer to a deity that it pretty recognizably the Christian God, much as you can understand the emotional context of it, he’s still sending to some degree a message of exclusion to other religions who don’t call their god “Lord” and to non-religious Americans.”“By the very act of praying, that’s a message of exclusion,” he continued. “If I’m a public official, I think I’m going to look around in the morning and conclude that, ‘hey, this religion thing is just too hot to handle, I should stay away from it in my official capacity.’”And the lead story at the progressive-feminist group blog Jezebel all morning:Here's the tone Erin Gloria Ryan chose for writing about Rep. Louis Gohmert's remarks:Hours after a horrifying armed assault that claimed the lives of 12 people and injured dozens more at a Colorado screening of The Dark Knight Rises, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert took to the radio airwaves to call the tragedy an "attack on Judeo-Christian beliefs" and surmise aloud what would have happened if only more people in the hazy, dark movie theater would have had guns. Yeah, if only that 3-month-old baby that got shot had a gun and just a liiiittle bit more Christ, none of this would have happened.The remarks came during a radio appearance on The Heritage Foundation's "Istook Live!" and included some other gems like a bizarre ramble about how the Founding Fathers would have been upset about the state of the world today because some Americans aren't all that into religion anymore, and how maybe if more people in the theater had guns, they could have shot blindly into the dark haze and ended the shooting spree, because everyone knows that when you carry a gun, you automatically get night vision. It's like how Peter Parker got bit by a spider and became Spider-Man. And, really, even though God could have prevented this tragedy, God opted not to because God listens to American law enforcement, and Americans were like "Ugh, GOD, just GO AWAY you're ALWAYS EMBARRASSING ME by SHOWING UP TO MOVIE THEATERS."And here's what Gohmert actually said:ISTOOK: We were going to talk about other things but since you are a former judge and you dealt with criminal cases on the bench…. I don’t know if you ever had something that was such a crime that is senseless as we seem to be seeing with this theatre shooting with at least a dozen people killed evidently in Aurora, Colorado.  What? What is your experience, with the way we have so many twisted people in our society?GOHMERT: Well it… some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedoms that it was important … you know… whether it was John Adams saying  that our Constitution was only for people with ‘moral and religious people’ and ‘wholly inadequate to the governments of any others.’ Ben Franklin, ‘Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become more corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters’. I mean it goes on and on… you know… George Washington, ‘of all the disposition and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.’ We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country… and when… you know… what really gets me as a Christian, is  to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo- Christian beliefs and then a senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place.ISTOOK: Now, in this case we don’t know much about the individual. Now, about the suspect all I’ve heard is  is he 24 years old, his name is James Holmes. Obviously, he had hom…GOHMERT: What I am saying…ISTOOK: We don’t know…GOHMERT: Don’t misunderstand my statement … don’t misunderstand. My statement - by saying that it is terror…ISTOOK: Oh, No, I didn’t take it that way.2:54 Update: At Film.Com Elisabeth Rappe worries about the effect of the shooting on "Fan Culture":After Columbine, focus turned on Marilyn Manson, “The Matrix,” video games, and trenchcoats. I lived in the same neighborhood as Columbine High School, and can attest to the paranoia and anger that swirled for months after the event. If you wore a long black coat (and you dared to pair that black coat with boots or sunglasses), you were looked at with fury, silently condemned as someone who celebrated murderers. One felt guilt at enjoying “The Matrix,” even though it was proved to have no inspiration or connection to the teenage gunmen. It didn’t matter. Everyone needed something visual to blame and rage at.The same is about to happen to movie enthusiasts and comic geeks. This is the price of going mainstream. Eventually, the world knocks on the door, and demands to see our “weirdos.” Rumors persist that the accused was in “costume,” which will undoubtedly put a focus on cosplayers. The worst of our culture will be emphasized and we’ll likely see costumes banned at midnight screenings from this point on, regardless of what evidence about the assailant is revealed. Perhaps midnight screenings will end as well. Geeks, their gatherings and their costumes are going to be seen as a powder keg.It may very well be that this man was obsessed with DC Comics, Christopher Nolan and Batman. He may be one of the very people who was sending death threats to critics. He may have been too into Nolan’s world, a sick mind who fancied himself a supervillain, and wanted to make his mark on a piece of pop culture in a louder way than in a comment field. We’ve seen the positive sides of fandom – fan-made posters, trailers, web comics, costumes, charity events – and it’s constantly thriving and shaped by people who want to be a part, on some level, of a property. Where there’s good and honest people who just want to join with others, celebrate and even leave the world better than they found it, there are people who want to hurt, maim, and ruin in the name of obsession.We have to recognize this. We have to be prepared, and we have to be ready to defend the integrity of fandom we’ve all seen and experienced. Again, there may be no direct correlation, but we have to brace ourselves that the claims – which are already being made – could turn out to be true.No, Ms. Rappe, I don't think you'll have to "defend the integrity of fandom" even though we now know he committed the act dressed as the Joker.4:00 Update: Bill Maher weighs in from his blackberry:4:11 Update: Like Rappe at Film.com, Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress also interprets this tragedy through the lens of "fandom":Mostly what I feel is this: Midnight screenings are big, hyped, advertiser-driven events that have become a source of new information to feed the Hollywood data beast, by indicating how motivated audiences are to see a movie. But they’re also a product of genuine enthusiasm and an expression of collective joy. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has meant a lot to an enormous number of filmgoers. And as someone who writes about movies, and who cares about the big, flawed thing we call fandom, I’m saddened by someone turning that shared enthusiasm into a weapon. And even if this tragedy hadn’t happened at the premiere of one of a dwindling number of genuinely mass cultural events, I hate the idea of using an audience’s suspension of disbelief, their openness to and absorption in the spectacle unfolding before them, as cover—the gunman reportedly started shooting during a sequence involving gunfire, meaning the audience was slower to react. We are vulnerable when we go to the movies, open to fear, and love, and disgust, and rapture, surrendering our brains and hearts to someone else’s vision of the world. We don’t expect to surrender our bodies, too.4:19 Update: Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood with Christopher Nolan's statement:Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to  know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.4:32 Update: Nation contributor Max Blumenthal, who now describes himself as a "Desert bloom denier" in his Twitter bio:4:36 Update: Michael Moore:4:48 Update: Bill Moyers and Michael Winship declare at Salon that "The NRA has America living under the gun":Every year there are 30,000 gun deaths and perhaps as many as 300,000 gun-related assaults in the U.S. Firearm violence costs our country as much as $100 billion a year. Toys are regulated with greater care and safety concerns than guns.So why do we always act so surprised?  Violence is our alter ego, wired into our Stone Age brains, so intrinsic its toxic eruptions no longer shock, except momentarily when we hear of a mass shooting like this latest in Colorado. But this, too, will pass as the nation of the short attention span quickly finds the next thing to divert us from the hard realities of America in 2012.We are a country which began with the forced subjugation into slavery of millions of Africans and the reliance on arms against Native Americans for its westward expansion. In truth, more settlers traveling the Oregon Trail died from accidental, self-inflicted gunshots wounds than Indian attacks – we were not only bloodthirsty but also inept.Nonetheless, we have become so gun loving, so gun crazy, so blasé about home-grown violence that far more Americans have been casualties of domestic gunfire than have died in all our wars combined. In Arizona last year, just days after the Gabby Giffords shooting, sales of the weapon used in the slaughter – a 9 millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistol – doubled.We are fooling ourselves. Fooling ourselves that the law could allow even an inflamed lunatic to easily acquire murderous weapons and not expect murderous consequences. Fooling ourselves that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a “well-regulated militia” be construed as a God-given right to purchase and own just about any weapon of destruction you like, a license for murder and mayhem. A great fraud has entered our history.5:12, Last Update of the Day: Chris Kelly, a writer on Real Time with Bill Maher, featured at the Huffington Post:Early this morning, 71 people were shot -- 12 died, one of them six-years-old -- in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. They were killed, apparently, by a rifle and a handgun and the faulty wiring inside the head of an alleged gunman named James Holmes. And our response -- America's response -- is going to be nothing.No. They were not killed by guns and "the faulty wiring inside the head" of James Holmes. They were killed by James Holmes. He is the one who will bear responsibility for his evil acts. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/7/20/what-does-israels-prime-minister-have-to-do-with-the-horrific-dark-knight-shooting/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Hugh Hewitt
Salem Radio Network



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • "Debate #1: Wow!" by Clark Judge
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    A special column from Clark Judge, who actually knows what it means to advise presidents on messaging: Debate #1: Wow!By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute Remember that line at the end of The Sting? Triumphant over the success of their project, Robert Redford turns to Paul Newman, recalling Newman’s warning when they first hatched their plan, says, “You were right, it’s not enough.” Then he breaks into a big smile and adds, “But it’s close.” That was last night’s debate. No, it was not the end of the campaign. But it was huge. Maybe more than the all-but-unanimous view of the commentariate has it that Romney won and won big. For the critical demographic number in this race is not the 2% or the 47% but the 14% — the 14% of voters who tell Rasmussen pollsters that they are not certain voters for either the president or Governor Romney (by polling standards those who are certain are evenly split between the two candidates). [# More #] How transformative was last night’s confrontation for the 14%? Frank Luntz ran one of his focus groups on the Fox News Channel. When Luntz asked who had voted for Mr. Obama in 2008, a large portion of his thirty to forty member group raised their hands. With only a few exceptions, all had flipped to Romney by evening’s end. There will be lots of talk in the days ahead about Romney’s clear and devastating (to Obama) explanation of his tax position, Medicare, the price of Solyndra and other boondoggles in other lost opportunities… his apt phrase “trickle-down government”… his noting that most of the oil-industry tax breaks the president routinely denounces go to small drillers and will be candidates for elimination if he (Romney) can bring the corporate tax rate down enough… his calling out of Obama’s fantasy charge about businesses getting tax breaks for moving jobs overseas (“I’ve been in business for 25 years and I have no idea what you’re talking about”). The list goes on and on. For the first time someone effectively challenged the president’s parallel universe version of both Mr. Romney’s positions and the way our economy operates – and all the world could see that, confronted with reality, Mr. Obama had no real response. I don’t want to get lost in movie analogies, but at times it was like the moment Keanu Reeves wakes up in The Matrix with Lawrence Fishburne looking down on him and Fishburne intones, “Welcome to the real world.” All that was great. But listening to Luntz’s group, something else stood out as the ultimately transformative moment of the night: Governor Romney’s discussion of reaching across the aisle in Massachusetts, including his entirely adult noting that, while a leader lays down broad principles, there will be many approaches for getting to those principle and a leader can’t take a “my way or the highway” approach. As I say, Romney’s was an adult account of political leadership and went directly to the signal shortcomings of the president’s tenure, announced in the early days of his presidency. No statement showed Mr. Obama’s lack of preparation for the White House more completely than three words he spoke to the Republican House caucus when he met with first them: “Remember, I won.” That is not how a mature political executive (mayor, governor or president) talks to legislators. Romney’s account of how he met his Massachusetts challenge (a legislature that was 87 percent Democrat) showed how big time political leaders work. From their discussion, it sounded to me as though that moment sealed the deal for the switchers in the Luntz focus group. Ahead of us lie three debates, four and a half weeks of campaigning, hundreds of rallies, a hundred thousand or more 30-second ads, untold Internet ads, probably more Chicago-style graveyard voting than we have ever seen in a presidential contest, some kind of October surprise from Team Obama (perhaps a bogus charge against Mr. Romney coming too late for correction before Election Day) – in other words, get ready for the eternity in an hour character of the final weeks of a presidential contest. But still… still… last night was transformative. An adult candidate spoke to the voters as adults. If he keeps it up through Election Day, America just might elect a new president. Wow! Previous: The Left In Shock: President Obama Was As Unprepared For The Debate As He Was For The Presidency Next: "He Lied! He Lied! He Lied!": The Left Responds To Obama's Debate Disaster ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 1 - This 'King Arthur' Film Is So Bad, It's Kind Of Great
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I’ve been a fan of the King Arthur legend almost as long as I’ve been alive, but I was underwhelmed by the frenetic trailers for Guy Ritchie’s big-budget reboot. Nevertheless, fully aware that Sir Thomas Malory might be rolling over in his grave, I turned out on opening night for this new interpretation. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is a very… unique take on the character. That’s not just a euphemism: on net, I’m pleasantly surprised at how entertained I was. By any objective metric, it’s pretty terrible. But it scores points for crossing over into the rarified realm of films “so bad they’re also kind of great.” It’s hard to do justice to the sheer insanity of this experience, so just take my word for it: everything I’m about to describe actually happens in this movie. ‘Legend’ Is Full Of Berserk Dynamism The film opens as King Uther Pendragon’s castle of Camelot is being attacked by the evil Mage King Mordred and his legion of supernaturally summoned, hundred-foot-tall war elephants. After repelling the attackers, Uther and his wife are murdered by Lord Vortigern (Jude Law), who’s been taking counsel from a trio of amphibious conjoined witches living in the Camelot dungeons. Uther’s son Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) is spirited away to London, where he’s raised on the mean streets by a group of hookers with hearts of gold. Twenty-odd years later, a mysterious “sword in the stone” turns up, and everyone in the kingdom is required by law to try their hand at the task. Once he draws forth the blade, Arthur is almost killed by Vortigern’s men, until a gang of friendly outlaws and an animal-controlling mage girl intervene. Shortly thereafter, Arthur and his crew decide to lead an uprising against Vortigern to retake Camelot. Suffice it to say that this is not another “gritty reboot”: instead, “Legend of the Sword” is ludicrously over-the-top, embracing its own berserk dynamism. There’s not much exposition or laborious world-building here, and that’s a good thing. Somehow, this film is at its best when it abandons any attempt at explanation or straight-up narrative. If you took some of the wildest visuals—collapsing towers! giant snakes! giant bats with leech-like mouths! fiery explosions! the Lady of the Lake carrying a flaming sword underwater!—and switched out the sound effects for a synth-pop score, “Legend of the Sword” would actually be a pretty decent art film. None of it makes any sort of sense, but you really have to admire the sheer brio of the whole thing. A Film That’s Stupid, But Enjoyable Obviously, there are a lot of moviemaking hiccups here. Director Ritchie borrows heavily—and largely unsuccessfully—from his “Snatch” and “Sherlock Holmes” bag of cinematic tricks. The distinctive “Guy Ritchie gimmick”—an explanatory voiceover layered onto a rapidly-edited visual sequence, as past events are recounted or a plan is described—is deployed four separate times, to stultifying effect. Ritchie also displays an obnoxious fixation on the “gritty street brawling” aspect of this story (which, in any story involving “King Arthur,” should be incidental to a larger plot), and the second act sags because of it. There are a lot of directors who could’ve effectively executed a King Arthur adaptation. Ritchie is not one of them. And as stupidly enjoyable as “Legend of the Sword” can be, a lot of the Arthurian myth really was lost in translation. The best King Arthur stories are situated in a world that intersects with two distinct supernatural realities: paganism and Christianity. Within this space, Merlin’s Druidic wizardry and the sacred power of the Holy Grail can coexist—a nexus that reflects an essential tension between earthy, prehistoric magic and the holy light of the transcendent. Against that backdrop of otherworldly “kingdoms in conflict,” deeply human stories of love, loss, and war unfold. For All Its Faults, ‘Legend’ Is Never Dull “Legend of the Sword” is a serious dumbing-down—shall we say a “millennialization?”—of this ancient metaphysical order. Magic doesn’t “work” in any ordered sense here. Sorcerers wave their hands, and shiny stuff happens. The eponymous sword Arthur wields is a magical talisman that allows him to attack his enemies in slo-mo (imagine the “bullet time” sequences from “The Matrix,” but with blades). But it’s the sword, not Arthur, that’s really in control—a storytelling contrivance that deprives Arthur of any moral responsibility or need for kingly introspection. The thematic desaturation doesn’t stop there. (Mild spoiler.) As Arthur prepares to confront Vortigern in a final battle, Vortigern suddenly transforms into a huge, flaming, armored demon and teleports them both into a mystical “battle arena.” It’s the single most “video gamey” moment I’ve ever seen in a Hollywood blockbuster—and while I must admit it’s an exciting sequence, it completely lacks internal logic. Is Vortigern channeling the evil spirits of Christian lore—Asmodeus, Belial, and so forth—the Celtic King of the Wild Hunt, the Viking demon Surtr, or something else altogether? But maybe in the end, it doesn’t really matter. “Legend of the Sword” is quite comfortable embracing its own sheer wackiness. Ritchie commits to his crazy premise with lots of vim and vigor, and ends up producing something that’s quite watchable, if never really “good.” This is the sort of movie that will surely become a punchline in years to come—something endlessly mockable, but in an affectionate sort of way. As far as I’m concerned, it’s better to aim high and go out with a bang than make something bland and pedestrian. And “Legend of the Sword,” for all its faults, is never dull. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - What 'The Seventh Seal' Tells Us About Life And Death
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman produced “The Seventh Seal” in 1957. As with all great works of art, it still speaks as clearly to us today as it ever did to folk in its own time and place. The movie is a profound meditation on man, God, and the relationship between them. Looking at the film through existential philosophy can help draw out its main implications about the meaning of being human. First, a short synopsis of the plot. The main character of the film is a Knight who is returning home, disillusioned and exhausted, from the Crusades. While he is resting on a beach, he runs into the figure of Death—a man dressed in a black, monkish cowl. When Death asks the Knight if he’s afraid, the Knight responds: “My body is afraid, but I am not.” Then he challenges Death to a game of chess. The rest of the film is just about the Knight encountering different people and trying to find some meaning with what time he has left as he continues to play for his life (with the rule that he can keep living as long the game is in progress). The first scene itself is enough for you to see that there’s something strange about this guy. When the average person runs into Death, he would probably lose his mind with fear. But this Knight stays perfectly calm, and greets Death as an old friend. So, what’s going on? There Are Two Kinds of People The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who’s often thought of as the father of existentialism, can help bring some insight to this situation. Kierkegaard’s main motto is that “subjectivity is truth.” He’s not looking for objective, scientific knowledge, but starts with the individual human soul, and that soul’s first-person experience of the world. This point becomes clear in Kierkegaard’s view on the question of immortality. In his major work, “Concluding Unscientific Postscript,” he says: The very moment I am conscious of my immortality, I am completely subjective, and I cannot become immortal in partnership in rotation with two other single gentlemen. Subscription collectors who produce long subscription lists of men and women who feel a need in general to become immortal receive no benefit for their trouble, because immortality is a good that cannot be obtained by bullying one’s way with a long list of   signatures. As it is with immortality, so it is with God. In a way, there’s no question of whether you “believe” in him or not. You either know that God is real or you don’t, in the same way that you sense your own immortality or you don’t. It’s kind of like being in love, as well: if you need to ask ten of your friends if you’re “really” in love, then the odds are, you’re not. Scientific confirmation from a multitude of other gentlemen (as Kierkegaard might put it) isn’t going to help. Either your soul knows or it doesn’t, and that’s all there is to it. Kierkegaard would call the first kind of person the aesthetic type, and the second the ethical-religious type. The aesthetic type thinks any talk of immortality is just silly, since that kind of person can’t see anything other than the surface of the world as it appears to his senses. The ethical-religious type, though, has deeper intuitions in his soul. Maybe the Knight can look Death square in the eyes because he is this type of man. A Brawl at the Tavern The Knight starts off in despair. He confesses: “I live now in a world of phantoms, a prisoner of my own dreams.” He also yells at God for making himself so difficult to understand and be sure of. According to Kierkegaard, though, most people are in a state of despair—in fact, they’re so far in that they don’t even realize they’re in despair. The Knight’s self-awareness of despair thus becomes a key step toward his redemption. The Knight spends the rest of the film overcoming this curse, trying to do a good deed and treating others with unpretentious kindness. If you want to see why this makes the Knight special, consider a scene in the film of a brawl at some tavern. It reveals the way the average, aesthetic (as opposed to ethical-religious) person tends to conduct himself. As Death himself says: “Most people give no thought to death and nothingness.” At the tavern, the whole crowd picks on a Jester—a socially awkward dreamer with a kind heart. They act with collective, wanton cruelty and self-abandon (led by a morally bankrupt theologian, no less). Of course, they think nothing of this: they neither know nor care about whether they even have souls, let alone what their actions will do to their souls. The Knight, on the other hand, befriends the Jester. By the end of the film, the Knight is able to say the following words to the Jester’s wife, after her family treats him to a picnic: “I will remember this moment: the stillness, the dusk, these wild strawberries, this bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light. I’ll hold this memory between my hands like a bowl of fresh milk full to the brim. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lyre. I’ll try to remember what we spoke of. And it will be a sign, for me—a source of great satisfaction.” Afterwards, he laughs in the face of Death. That’s his redemption, his reward, for being an ethical-religious man. Time to Forget Descartes Ever since the Enlightenment, the meaning of the word “God” has become fuzzy. René Descartes is a key culprit. He developed a philosophy of reason in which God turned into nothing more than some vague and abstract idea—a premise that was needed to fix the argument, but without having any inherent value; a figure for purely logical thought. Descartes did try to anchor his argument on the idea that this world must be real and meaningful, as opposed to some monstrous deception, because God is good. But this is weak, weak stuff. (In his defense, at least he lived long before movies such as “The Matrix” or “The Truman Show.”) In Descartes’ philosophy, God is just a placeholder; he might as well not exist. It makes sense, then, that many later rationalists just dropped God altogether. This is very different from the proclamation of the Gospel, which insists the Lord is a specific, actual person: not some pie-in-the-sky abstraction, but a truly living presence. Not a figure for logical thought, but a relationship for the passionate heart. This can be called the existential, as opposed to rationalistic, conception of God. It can also be called the idea of the true God, if you believe in the Gospel; and this idea underlies the worldview of “The Seventh Seal.” The Problem with This Generation Kierkegaard’s motto that subjectivity is truth has been all but lost. A lot of people, especially millennials, have an actual belief system where they refuse to trust anything but their physical senses, or what can be verified with the scientific method. But God and immortality and love have nothing to do with the scientific method; you can’t ask ten gentlemen to verify them for you. That’s because these are not “objective” things. These are things you can only see for yourself, on the basis of individual, subjective courage. If we start with the premise that our souls’ intuitions are nothing but delusions, there’s no hope of getting anywhere. When you face Death, a vague idea isn’t going to save you. Nor is the agnostic weakness of saying you just don’t know. What’s really needed is a living presence within the heart—something that your soul knows to be at least as real as anything else in this world. The Knight had that, and it’s why he could carry himself the way he did. It’s like the presence of Death outside of him was outweighed by the presence of Life within him. It’s Kierkegaard’s existentialism, and not Descartes’s rationalism, that we’ll all need in the end, if we want any real answers to the mortal problem of meaning. That’s at least one thing to learn from Bergman’s film. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 3 - ‘Ready Player One’ Is A Kitchen Sink Throwback Failure
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The film is essentially a bizarre 'things were better back then' attempt to ignore not only the future but also the present by clinging to the past.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 4 - How A Movie About The Men's Rights Movement Became A Feminist's Journey
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Dissent from politically correct conventions is not allowed, and the politics will get personal. Such are the lessons award-winning documentary film maker Cassie Jaye learned while making her third film, “The Red Pill.” The documentary filmmaker who gave us short films like “Making Mothers Visible” and two full documentaries—“The Right to Love” about LGBT relationships (before the drop the T petition, obviously) and “Daddy I Do,” about abstinence education culture—Jaye had feminist and progressive credibility, plus the media connections that come with it. Not only did the films win an assortment of awards and accolades, but also the likes of Slate’s Amanda Marcotte starred in the latter. Jaye could investigate any topic she wished. Or so it seemed. Bicurious, Femcurious, and Now Mancurious As her portfolio displays, Jaye was curious about gender topics. Until 2013, she had focused on women’s and LBGT stories. But she wondered about the opposition. How could men’s rights advocates oppose the gender truths she and her friends knew? She began to explore men’s rights sites to understand. What she saw infuriated her. Some arguments seemed too obnoxious to be true. Others struck her as doubtful because if they were true, then surely she would have come across the argument previously. Others still made her angry to think that they might be true. Some arguments seemed too obnoxious to be true. So she embarked on her current project, “The Red Pill,” a documentary on the men’s rights movement. She assumed the feminist movement was open-minded enough, as she was, that she could do an honest film. Initially, that assumption held. She had the support of her networks, who were frankly excited about the prospect of a men’s rights movement exposé. But Jaye did her homework. She researched. She conducted personal interviews. And she realized that the men’s movement made some valid arguments. When her backers realized that Jaye would not be doing a hit piece on the men’s movement, she lost their support, both technical and financial. Some simply did not believe what she had found. Others told her that her findings may be true, that men might face an assortment of crises as claimed, but that it was unacceptable to address those concerns while women were still oppressed. Many might sing a song of equality for all, but in practice, women were their priority. Opening the Lace Curtain What started as a film about the men’s rights movement became a parallel documentary about the men’s movement and Jaye’s journey as a modern feminist. In a recent conversation, she would not tell me the details of her moment of realization. It is a pivotal event in her film, and it informs the title, “The Red Pill.” A ‘clack’ moment was when a woman realized that she only garnered praise for actions taken at the expense of men. Her moment of realization about the truth of balance between feminism and men—that is, there is no balance, only the feminist perspective, purpose, or preference—has many names. Danielle Crittenden called it a “clack” moment in her 1999 book, “What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us.” The opposite of Betty Friedan’s “click” moment, when the suburban housewife of the ’60s realized that men took advantage of her domestic service, a “clack” moment was when a woman realized that she only garnered praise for actions taken at the expense of men. Warren Farrell, a long-time men’s rights activist who long ago sat on the board of NOW, referred to domination of the feminist perspective as a “lace curtain” in his 1999 book, “Women Can’t Hear What Men Do Not Say.” To help men, one has to get though the lace curtain. It was a play on the Iron Curtain of the Cold War. (That chapter is excerpted here.) So in 1999—apparently a banner year for scales falling from eyes metaphors—“The Matrix” was released. In the movie about virtual and actual reality, Morpheus, the wise teacher, presents Neo, the newly found hero, with a choice of two pills, red and blue. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Soon “taking the red pill” became the preferred metaphor for the moment when a man realized that feminism wasn’t just about women’s equality and that it had no concern for men. Women realized this, too. Camille Paglia is the most infamous of the dissenters. Christina Hoff Sommers is the most well-known on the Right. I wonder how many have even heard of Karen DeCrow? Jaye, with her new knowledge, has plenty of company, and plenty of heartache. Cassie Jaye’s Breitbart Interview Her network’s abandonment almost scuttled Jaye’s film. She had to resort to a Kickstarter campaign, which onetime-friends even refused to share in email because they did not trust her to present the men’s rights movement as they saw it. As soon as they released their collective breath in relief, the project almost died. Men’s rights activists had known about the project. Many had been interviewed and were wary. A feminist looking into the movement? Well, many of them had not had good experience with feminists, especially the old guard, the men who had been feminists in the ’70s before Gloria Steinem ousted Betty Friedan from leadership at now. (By the late ’70s Friedan had realized the movement had overstepped in trashing housewifery and men. “Some of the rhetoric got off,” she said later, when she published an all-but-forgotten book that tried to restore balance. But Steinem, Helen Gurley Brown, and their ilk had already taken over. Men and home were out. Sex and career were in.) The original feminist men had lost friends and networks. In some cases, they were all but destroyed. Yet some had spoken with Jaye on the hope that someone from the outside was willing to listen without assuming they were patriarchal oppressors or sewers of toxic masculinity. As soon as they released their collective breath in relief, the project almost died. Then, Milo Yiannopolous published “‘The Red Pill’ filmmaker started to doubt her feminist beliefs…now her movie is at risk” in Breitbart. Those who were sympathetic to the empathy gap for men—the lack of concern that many from professional social workers to everyday people have about any problems men face—found out about the film. Along with a few anonymous feminists, these sympathetic people funded the project. In about two weeks, Jaye made her main goal and her two stretch goals, which will allow her to improve the production quality and submit the film for Oscar contention. From Ice to Fire This success did not sit well with her erstwhile supporters. When they thought the project would starve, they were content to simply ignore her. But when she got funding, the personal attacks started. Dissent is not tolerated. Ever. Their preference is to ignore it, to freeze it out. But if it still surfaces, then they go for the credibility of the messenger. It seems like a habit. They’ve done it for decades. When she got funding, the personal attacks started. Dissent is not tolerated. I’m on the steering committee for the commission to create a White House Council for Boys & Men. A couple of old-guard men’s rights activists started the initiative in 2013. During one of our recent weekly conference calls, Jaye’s documentary came up. By this point, the men knew it wouldn’t be a slanderous exposé. They knew that she had lost support because she was going to present the movement as she found it. And they knew she had lost friends for her integrity. Warren Farrell, one of the authors linked above, was on that call, as he often is. He had spoken to Jaye just a few days before about what she was going though. He started crying. Just the way a smell sends you back to a time and a feeling, talking with Jaye had brought back memories of the days when people he thought would always be his friends had shut him out of their lives because he did not agree that feminism had to proceed at men’s expense. He was for actual equality, not gender karma and revenge. But he learned, as all feminist dissenters learn, dissent is not allowed. And the attacks will be very personal. Cassie Jaye’s film, “The Red Pill,” will be out in fall 2016. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 5 - Caitlyn Jenner Can't Be Woman Of The Year
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    To prove either that they have reached the pinnacle of patriarchal leftism, or that they are making the biggest joke in the history of mankind (on us), Glamour magazine has named Caitlin nee Bruce Jenner “Woman of the Year.” To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of this award, Reese Witherspoon will accompany him on the December cover. This is not only absurd, but patriarchal posturing at its finest; not to mention an insult to real women everywhere. Guys? We’re in Crazy Territory It was all fun and games—except when it wasn’t—when Jenner announced he was going to begin playacting a woman for the foreseeable future. As if that wasn’t enough, the transgender lobby prodded their ideal posterboy further Left. Next, ESPN awarded him with its Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and he secured his own reality show, “I Am Cait.” Enough is enough. Glamour goes too far. Jenner cannot be woman of the year because—kids, close your eyes—he has a penis. Jenner might feel like he is a woman, he might want to be a woman, he might be living as a woman, but thoughts do not generate biology or reality. (I’d like to think I’m a millionaire and living in Turks and Caicos year-round, but that doesn’t make it so.) The fact that Glamour is even passing this off as some kind of convoluted, uber-progressive fact is absolutely mind-bending. It’s as if we’ve taken the blue pill a long time ago and Neo is actually Trinity. When “The Matrix” is the only working analogy, we have a problem. This Is a Cultural Ploy The progressive left is to culture what Hollywood is to “House of Cards:” Sure, there’s some real elements incorporated, but some things get exaggerated—or altogether lost—in the shuffle. Grant it, this is Glamour. It’s not like we expected them to pick Laura Bush as woman of the year. So one could consider the source and just as easily shrug it off. But as a college professor once said, “A movie is never just a movie,” and likewise a magazine cover is never just a magazine cover. By choosing Jenner as woman of the year, Glamour endorses the idea that men are better at being women than we are. By choosing Jenner as woman of the year, Glamour endorses the idea that men are better at being women than we are. Glamour is sending a clear message about a new kind of feminist-driven patriarch, who pushes women out of our spaces and expects submissiveness of their feminist enablers. Transgender women tend to be hyper-aggressive. Remember when Zoey Tur told Ben Shapiro he’s going out in an ambulance? Martine Rothblatt, a transgender woman, graced the cover of New York Magazine as highest-paid female CEO in the nation. Apparently real women can’t cut it, so we’ve got to import men into our ranks to win awards. Perhaps this just shows a split among liberal feminist types, but doesn’t it seem odd after hearing them rail for years about men setting standards (even for things like heart attack symptoms) that we’re now supposed to be hailing someone who’s lived all his life as a man as an exemplar of all that is good among women? Now women don’t even get to decide for ourselves what marks the best and most impressive qualities of our own sex? That feels ideologically oppressive. If anything, Jenner should win man of the year for winning woman of the year. Usurping a women’s award is pretty much the most male thing ever, is it not? This Is Insulting to All Women As a bona fide woman with real ovaries and breasts and who’s experienced countless menstrual cycles and given birth to four babies—all uniquely female issues—I’m slightly offended a man was named woman of the year. Men boast their own unique strengths, but so do women. To laud a man for living as a woman is to insult and patronize women who have borne and overcome incredible odds and achieved great successes because of their uniquely womanly traits. If we’re going with a man for woman of the year, why not consider Vladimir Putin’s suggestion: Barack Obama. If we’re going with a man for woman of the year, why not consider Vladimir Putin’s suggestion: Barack Obama. More sincerely, why not the three American men who subdued the gunman on the train in France? Surely acts of sacrifice and heroism warrant more praise than dressup. As for women, what about Dafne Almazan? Just barely a woman, at 13, she has become the world’s youngest psychologist and according to Forbes is one of Mexico’s 50 most powerful women. This year on her birthday, Malala Yousafzai, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize (the youngest winner ever), opened a school for Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, near the Syrian border. Yousafzai was targeted and nearly killed by the Taliban for advocating for women’s education. She, too, is a worthy role model. If Glamour’s staying stateside, why not consider Elizabeth Holmes, the college dropout who developed technology that can retrieve blood samples easier, cheaper, and with only a few pricks to the finger. Her partnership with Walgreens pharmacies is growing. Heck, even Taylor Swift would have made a better woman of the year, if only because of her philanthropy. Kayla Mueller was an American relief worker whom ISIS members captured, held hostage, and repeatedly raped. Before she was killed, she reportedly tried to protect other women who were forced to be sex slaves, too. What about the quieter resolve of the mother who, diagnosed with cancer a second time, refused treatment that would harm her baby in utero and succumbed to the disease when her newborn was six weeks old? I’ve undoubtedly left out dozens of other women who have embraced their unique qualities and left their mark on 2015. It’s time to stop the patriarchy-reinforcing posturing about Jenner’s transition. He may have his own show, but it need not go on in real life the way it does on reality TV. It’s patronizing to women because it overlooks their very makeup. It’s demoralizing to women who have used their gifts, led by example, and made the world a better place. Correction: The author suggests Glamour consider Elizabeth Holmes to receive its award. In fact, she has already received it. View the complete list here. We regret the oversight. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 6 - Barbarians At The Gates Of Realville
    Conservatives are realizing we haven’t just lost a few arguments on social issues, global warming, or the economy. We wish. Rather, like something out of “The Matrix,” the very cosmic architecture that allows for argument in the first place has warped beyond recognition. We are witnesses to a logicide, the murder not just of discussion, but the possibility of any framework for discussion. Some of us have been screaming in the wilderness about the effects our cultural Gnosticism is having on public discourse. (See here, here, here, here, and here, for starters.) It’s a very real thing, and you’d better get a handle on it if you want a roadmap for the future. No less than Pope John Paul II said, “Gnosticism…has always existed side by side with Christianity, sometimes taking the shape of philosophical movement, but more often assuming the characteristics of a religion or para-religion, in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian.” Additional insights from political philosopher William Voegelin, existentialist philosopher Hans Jonas, and literary critic Harald Bloom reveal Gnosticism as a “theory of everything” explaining transgenderism, change-the-world utopianism, gay marriage, the erosion of borders, but also movements in conservative Christian circles like contemporary worship and the mega-church movement. It helps explain why media-induced phantasmia—manipulation through music, movies, and trending Internet memes—are the new authorities. It explains how the personality cult has become the default venue for social organization. And it explains why we can’t do a damn thing about it. Tripping Against Reality Why? Because conservatives live, as Rush Limbaugh puts it, in Realville. Realville doesn’t matter to people who think the cosmos is a Dali landscape or the product of mental construction. You say “2 + 2 = 4,” they say, “My, what pretty curvy lines those twos are, but how rigid, enclosed, and exclusive that four is! And notice the phallic nature of that equal sign, with its patriarchal, lineal sequentiality!” Realville doesn’t matter to people who think the cosmos is a Dali landscape or the product of mental construction. Think I’m kidding? Check out this claim that the invention of the alphabet ended goddess-worship and introduced patriarchalism. It suggests the invention of TV and other media has been wonderful, because its flickering light in the darkness emulates how information traveled in pre-literate days when cavemen gathered around the fire telling stories, worshiping goddesses…and stuff. The glory of such a position is that, if anyone opens his mouth against such nonsense, he is ipso facto perpetuating the corrupt system. Of course, this is a classic petitio principii. But, silly us, there we go again, phallically using ideas possible only within certain logical constructs—Latinate, at that!—perpetuating the linguistic rape that defines Western history. It’s maddening, but it’s where we’re at. The Roots of Logicide As I studied for my book on this topic, I repeatedly thought, “These people have been telling us exactly what they’re doing all along!” Regarding logicide, for instance, Gnostics have from the beginning said destroying language prefaces tearing down the cosmic architecture for Realville. Gnostics have from the beginning said destroying language prefaces tearing down the cosmic architecture for Realville. Plato didn’t help things with his allegory of the cave, which suggested what we see and experience in Realville is an illusion. Neoplatonists ran with this idea and taught that the multiplication of being—individuation—is the result of a fall from “the One” into the many, and salvation happens when we realize the individuality of material beings is defective and pursue a mystical ascent back into the One. For Plato and the Neoplatonists, however, individual material beings at least reflected higher beings. They were the beginning of a restored soul. Aristotle, with his focus on particulars, and Plato, with his focus on the One, could still discuss things in the School of Athens. They were monists: fall and return was part of the whole cosmic cycle. Not so the dualistic Gnostics. They’ve left completely the cosmic setting of the School of Athens, the realm of dialectic (or dispute). For them, the material world—and its derivative individualism—was the creation of a lesser, fallen Demiurge. Individuals, the results of the division of being, are essentially evil, deceptive, and corrupt. It’s because of individuation we have a fissured mind, a mind that constructs a cosmic architecture of particular beings, each with boundaries denoting its existence as distinct from all others. From a Gnostic perspective, this leads to the myth of “ego” versus “other,” the root of all evils that prompts other evils such as “male versus female,” “us versus them,” or “my property versus your property.” Both the Greeks and the Hebrews, with their centrality of the word and property-defining law, conspired in this cosmic crime. Individuals, the results of the division of being, are essentially evil, deceptive, and corrupt. If language denotes a one-to-one correspondence between multiple words and multiple beings, but the multiplication of being is evil, then the corresponding language is also evil. Letters are fetters. Here’s the kicker: If salvation requires escaping one’s individualized, flesh-and-blood person through discovering an abstracted, otherworldly higher Self, this salvation requires breaking the fetters of language itself. This occurs through supposedly supra-rational modes of communication like poetry, music, dance, imaging, mysticism, and even sex. As Schuyler Brown perfectly summarized it, “Gnostics and orthodox [are] guided by two different root metaphors….The masculine Logos [and] the feminine figure of Sophia.” He continues, “In the Gnostic reading of Scripture, sexuality, not speech, is the root metaphor. The beginning of the cosmic process is not the divine word but an act of autoeroticism.” Thus the death of the Logos. Straight from the Gnostic’s Mouth The Gnostic “Gospel of Truth” describes the “knowledge of the living book” whose letters “are not vowels nor are they consonants, so that one might read them and think of something foolish, but they are letters of the truth,” which “surpass every form (and) sound.” ‘[I]t is by being born again that the soul will be saved. And this is due not to rote phrases or to professional skills or to book learning.’ That sets the tone for a new sort of book-burning. Channeling many a New Age pastor, the Gnostic “Exegesis of the Soul” says, “[I]t is by being born again that the soul will be saved. And this is due not to rote phrases or to professional skills or to book learning.” This explains why the many crypto-Gnostic Millenarian and Anabaptist movements of the Middle Ages involved burning all theology books but the Bible. Why do you need a pastor with all his brainy book learning when your heart connects you straight to God? Or there’s this insightful comment from the “Gospel of the Egyptians”: “iiiiiiiiiiiiii eeeeeeeeeeee oooooooooooooooooooooooo uuuuuuuuuu eee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaa oooooooooooooooo oooooooooooo.” Isn’t that essentially the argument for gay marriage? Or was it my sermon notes from the charismatic service? (Donna Minkowitz rightly doesn’t see a difference.) When the Islamic Gnostic Sufis ask questions like, “Why is the sound of an onion?” we’ve officially exited Realville. The Main Suspect for Logos’ Murder: Eros Denying language, reality, and the one-to-one correspondence between the two has its advantages. Religions based in words, doctrines, liturgy, and names ritualize and therefore externalize the confession of its adherents, forcing them either to embrace or reject these in times of persecution. Confessing a name or even a doctrine can mean a Christian’s death. But when language is debased and you think your religion transcends all earthly forms, you can cloak your religion in non-rational ways, such as the love song. Denying language, reality, and the one-to-one correspondence between the two has its advantages. This is what many scholars argue the troubadours did. They suggest the troubadour movement (the first literary movement to use the vernacular languages of France, Spain, and Italy) was sublimated Catharism, the major Gnostic movement of the Middle Ages suppressed by the Church. The poet singing his ached love song to a lady he’ll never get is the Gnostic passionately seeking the hand of his Sophia, who reaches out from the One to pull him out of this ugly world of earthly institutions, like marriage. Have you ever wondered why the word “Romantic” means “vernacular languages based on Latin,” “passionate love,” and “a philosophical movement centered on poetry and transcendental ideas”? Or have you ever wondered why passion means both “the suffering Christ did on the cross” and “strong, amorous, sexual desire”? It goes back to those “root metaphors” of Logos versus Eros. Romantic scholar Paul Davies doesn’t miss the connection. In his “Romanticism and the Esoteric Tradition” (1998), he catalogues the various intersections between Romanticism and the esoteric (Gnostic) movement. The foundational element in both is the failure of language, logic, and reason to accurately convey truth. John Keats channels blatant Gnosticism when he writes, “There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions—but they are not Souls till they acquire identities.” Samuel Coleridge speaks of the “outlines, and differencings by quantity, quality and relation” and one’s “birth place” as the causes of a “relative individual” which is “an alien of which they know not.” That is, our very birth into individuality is an alienation from our “authentic Selves” of who we really are. So, if you’re born a woman in a man’s body… The foundational element in both is the failure of language, logic, and reason to accurately convey truth. What, then, of language? Language is a fallen universe of multiple words needed for a fallen universe of multiple beings. And it’s all bunk. As Coleridge said, the “very words that convey [our individuality] are as sounds in an unknown language.” Davies summarizes the Romantic point, explaining how poetry is the one acceptable form of language because it’s the “collapse of language.” He adds (in his own italics), “language only moves close to the Unity when its sequencing function is frustrated and it collapses, closes in on itself.” Logicide and Collectivism Do you see that “moves close to the Unity”? That ought to chill you, because it gives divine sanction to the quest for collectivism, in which individualism is lost as we return to our pre-fall collective condition. But don’t miss the role the collapse of language plays in the move to unity. As long as language is accepted as possible, sequential, illuminating, defining, and reflective of natural truths, it gets in the way of the move toward unity. As long as language is accepted as possible, sequential, illuminating, defining, and reflective of natural truths, it gets in the way of the move toward unity. It is through language, after all, that differing opinions lead to differing positions, and thus the rise of nations, philosophies, religions, and denominations, all of which create a world of contradictory interests, and all of which can only work together under a regime of pluralistic federalism, in which truth is seen as (a) possible, (b) insufficiently attained by any one person, and (c) something to be pursued together with mutual humility and respect using language. This is why the federal system of the forefathers was so brilliant, but also why it is intolerable to the Gnostic who claims to have transcended this corrupt, pluralistic situation and glimpsed the essential Unity. The idea is, You all flop around in your little culture-based truths and linguistic thought forms; I’ve glimpsed the pure truth and essential Unity of the cosmos. (See Reza Aslan.) Less other-worldly Gnostics then make this a political program: The pure truth of the cosmos is the Unity toward which History is leading, and those with secret knowledge (gnosis) will lead the way! Federalism cannot suffice for the Gnostic, so the language upon which it depends must be collapsed. It must be deconstructed. It must be replaced by new paradigms of communication, all of which the enlightened use to manipulate the unenlightened—like music, archetypes, images, phantasmia, and passionate sentiments of love and emotion. It’s far easier to induce then rally a love-starved people behind an image or a song than to break things down into their doctrinal parts and engage them. Friedrich Nietzsche laid the groundwork for the new gods and new cosmic architecture of the postmodern, deconstructed rabbit hole we live in today. He was reading transcendentalist (i.e. Romanticist) Emerson while writing “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” which proclaimed the death of God, but more to the point, the death of the logocentric cosmic architecture. He too looked back to the troubadours as prophets of a new age, proclaiming that “love as passion is our European specialty” and that the West “owes so much [to the troubadours] and, indeed, almost itself.” Where Logicide Occurs Today Reflecting on those words of Nietzsche, who woulda thunk that the current spiritual climate is a Western colonization of the human mind? This is the paradox the postmodern Left constantly runs into and won’t admit, but their multicultural, logos-transcending ideals are precisely the terminus of distinctly Western thinking. The Left’s multicultural, logos-transcending ideals are precisely the terminus of distinctly Western thinking. On these terms, medieval catholic culture represents an occupation force in the West founded on Judaism (with its centrality of the word and talmudic reasoning) and Christianity (with its sacredness given the flesh through the incarnation of the Word). This Judeo-Christian cosmic architecture must come tumbling down if the grand product of Western thinking is to flourish. As one revolutionary put it, “Our revolution is not merely a political or social revolution; we are at the outset of a tremendous revolution in moral ideas and in men’s spiritual orientation. Our movement has at last brought the Middle Ages, medieval times, to a close.” Oh, by the way, that was Hitler, whose view ex-fascist Hermann Rauschning re-worded thus: “[Were not the Jews] the protagonist of the independence of the spirit, and thus the mortal enemy of the coming age? . . . And was not the whole hated doctrine of Christianity, with its faith in redemption, its moral code, its conscience, its conception of sin, the outcome of Judaism? Was not the Jew in political life always on the side of analysis and criticism?” Analysis and criticism, logic and rationality, words that mean things, beings defined by nature, institutions reflecting natural order, Realville, these are all part of the “spiritual orientation” passed on from the Middle Ages, and it’s coming to a close with the advent of the new age. Boundaries between male and female, my property and your property, our country and other countries, warp. So it is that the revolution is all but complete. The analytical, logo-centric foundation which has brought about democracy, the dignity of the individual, federalism, the pursuit of truth, ideals of beauty (for the arts), and a basis for morality has been replaced by one in which image replaces word, paradox and play replace coherence and logic, collectiveness replaces individuality, and an abstracted Self replaces the physical person as the locus of identity and the source of “values.” Meanwhile passionate, erotic, achy longing promises liberation from the oppressive systems of this world—Eros is all that matters. (Ecce homo novus!) The boundaries between beings become warped like an LSD-induced mindscape. Boundaries between male and female, my property and your property, our country and other countries, warp. The Internet and computer warp our very Selves, alienating them from a personhood understood according to flesh-and-blood human nature and neighborly contact. The flesh itself becomes nothing more than an incidental medium for our self-expression, a shell to escape at death and then incinerate. Aren’t human bodies a virus on Mother Earth anyways? Logicide Severs Us from Our Founding Marilyn Ferguson in her “Aquarian Conspiracy” (1987), forecasting the coming glories of the new age, explained the grounds for today’s logicide in Romantic terms: “Words and sentences have given us a false sense of understanding…Life is not constructed like a sentence, subject acting on object…Language frames our thought, thus setting up barriers.” Thomas Jefferson’s objectively clear words become nothing more than window-dressing for the student’s narcissistic, sub-Nietzschean will to power. Gnostic antinomianism requires breaking all such barriers and rules, so it shouldn’t surprise us that there has been a war against the confining work of grammar itself. This was the sad tale told by David Mulroy, who references Peter Elbow’s influential textbook, “Writing With Power,” as one source of today’s logicidal evils. In it, for instance, Elbow suggests that “nothing helps [ones] writing so much as learning to ignore grammar.” Such emphasis in today’s classroom surely helps explain the reoccurring complaint of college professors that today’s students lack basic comprehension and analytical skills. Mulroy himself did an experiment in his classroom in which he gave his students the assignment of summarizing in their own words a famous piece of writing. See if you can detect what famous words the following sentence is intended to re-phrase: “Cut your earthly bonds and wear the mantle of Nature and God. Wield the power and declare justly your ascension from man’s law. Then all shall bow before your might.” That’s how one of his students summarized the prologue to the Declaration of Independence. His surreal summary was typical. Thomas Jefferson’s objectively clear words become nothing more than window-dressing for the student’s narcissistic, sub-Nietzschean will to power, a veritable metaphor for today’s Millennial. Who wants to bet that this student from the ’90s grew up and was nourished politically and philosophically from “The Daily Show”? Name It and Shame It Where does this leave us? We need serious discussion of this question. I don’t believe we stand a chance trying to beat logicidal maniacs at their own game. It would require conservatives fighting in Fantasyville with the weapons of Realville. You saw what happened to bullets in “The Matrix.” I don’t believe we stand a chance trying to beat logicidal maniacs at their own game. Similarly, if we’re going to try to make our case with better music, movies, images, or more boundary-breaking sexuality, we will lose. It doesn’t come naturally to us. Movies like “God’s Not Dead” make the choir feel cool, but are a laughingstock to those outside. Same with contemporary Christian pop and most attempts of contemporary Christianity to use the tools of our Gnostic culture in the Christian cause, like using sex to sell a sermon series or using the music of U2 in a U2-charist service. The medium is the message, and the message fosters the Gnostic demons decaying our culture, which might explain why the strategy isn’t working and Christianity continues its decline in America. I do believe, however, that you defeat Gnosticism by doing the one thing it hates more than anything else: name it, label it, define it, categorize it, and deflate its pretense to transcendent status. That’s fighting it on our turf (and that is what I am doing in this essay). Ever notice how what is hip and trendy is so until identified so? That’s because our American understanding of “cool” is to transcend whatever is considered conventional. As soon as a trend is recognized and named as a trend, it becomes conventional and thus something new to transcend. It’s a bunch of paradoxical, existentialist claptrap, but it drives hipsterism. But how do you pursue being cool when pursuing being cool itself is the convention? Similarly, I don’t know how often I’ve listened to some Millennial explain smartly how he doesn’t subscribe to organizations or religions, but believes God transcends names and is this spiritual force out there that we all tap into in our own unique ways. I say, “Oh, so you’re ‘spiritual but not religious,’” or, “Yeah, that’s called a ‘none,’” or if we get philosophical, I say, “Ever hear of Gnosticism? Because that’s what you are.” Then I add, “By the way, did you know this is the fastest-growing religious identity?” You defeat Gnosticism by doing the one thing it hates more than anything else: name it, label it, define it, categorize it, and deflate its pretense to transcendent status. Their faces become crestfallen, because in the idiom of hipsterism, you might as well have just told them they belong to First Presbyterian Church in 1955 and love Pat Boone. And that can’t stand. So simply naming the demon of Gnosticism should take some of the edge out of its popularity. Meanwhile, we can take comfort in the one thing Realville has on its side: reality. Reality is its own proof. You don’t have to prove gravity to a Wile E. Coyote who appears to defy it for a few seconds in Fantasyville. Because reality is its own proof, language reflecting it is its own proof, as well. Language can’t be forced any more than redefining womanhood can be forced. Things settle down to their natural state. Biological clocks tick. Debt clocks tick. Things slowly return to normalcy when the phantasmic house of cards on which Fantasyville is built begins to fall. People wake up from the Gnostic-induced slumber and realize those barbarians at the gates have real knives, ready to manifest what an abortion culture really implies, that it encroaches upon the born. Pixie dust, unicorns, and gender-confused Americans stoned on drugs, sex, media, and computer games have nothing ideologically to counter ISIS, Russia, or China, to say nothing of internal threats like the corrosion of marriage, family breakdown, suicide, a failing education system, or damaged children. Current attitudes on each of these issues are phantasmic bubbles waiting to break. Nature will takes its course on these issues and a whole lot of other things. When it does, our culture will need a few sole survivors of Realville to explain what just happened. Unfortunately, if history is a guide, Rush may have to set aside his office of Realville mayor and assume the role of abbot for an Irish monastery circa 700 AD, preserving the remnants of civilization for a long distant future. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 7 - Why The Left Hates Video Games
    This week saw the advent of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, arguably the most important video games-related conference of every year. Right on cue, a collection of the social-justice Left’s most prolific cultural parasites emerged to attack it. What caused particular distress was the exceedingly violent trailer for “Doom,” a graphically enhanced reimagining of the original classic 1993 computer game that tells the story of a soldier forced to fight his way off of a moon base overrun by literal legions of Hell, and eventually out of Hell itself. Rather like the original “Doom”—which, aside from introducing the concept of user-generated levels to gaming, also is almost certainly the most controversial game in history—this trailer had self-appointed moral guardians up in arms over its hyper-violent nature. Of particular note were the responses by Jonathan McIntosh and Anita Sarkeesian, co-creators of the infamously poorly researched Tropes vs Women in Video Games series, and the website Feminist Frequency. Writing from the Feminist Frequency Twitter account, Sarkeesian moaned: This level of extreme violence shouldn’t be considered normal. It's not an excuse to say it’s expected because DOOM. That’s the problem #BE3 — Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) June 15, 2015 Internet commentator PopeHat quipped in response that disgraced video-game violence crusader Jack Thompson must have stolen Sarkeesian’s Twitter password. It wasn’t an inapt comparison, because Sarkeesian’s complaint, like Thompson’s, has no merit. Furthermore, many of the more detailed complaints McIntosh put forward—such as the fact that the “Doom” trailer features someone being sawed in half — were almost comical in their ill-informedness. For starters, the “person” referred to is a demon, not a person, and furthermore, the act of using a chainsaw to destroy an enemy is far from unique to “Doom.” The exact same act is depicted in the exceedingly popular XBox franchise “Gears of War,” down to even applying the chainsaw from the same angle as in the “Doom” trailer. However, even if this particular instance of pearl clutching got deservedly mocked, it’s far from the only case of Sarkeesian and McIntosh bemoaning video-game violence in general, and toward women in particular. Granted, the pair almost always ignore context and narrative importance (a sure sign of a would-be censor masquerading as an art critic), but the recent assault by the far Left (of which Sarkeesian and McIntosh are a representative sample) on gaming raises a serious question: Just what is it about violent video games that gets these people so enraged? In Which the Left Becomes the Religious Right It’s not a question with an obvious answer. Previous generations of anti-violence crusaders sprang from the Religious Right, which saw violent video games as a form of commercialized scandal at best, and an actual cause of violence at worst. The latter accusation has since been discredited, and though Sarkeesian makes a laughable attempt to claim that video-game violence against women might drive up domestic violence and sexual assault, you can tell her heart isn’t in it. With good reason. That Leftists should mimic a group they despise so thoroughly as the Religious Right, even down to appropriating some of their talking points, should cause some headscratching. What, after all, is going on? Fortunately, being aware of Sarkeesian’s previous corpus, and armed with a close reading of tweets from her and McIntosh, can indicate an explanation. First, a relevant sample of the tweets in question: It’s really troubling (and depressing) that the #BE3 audience is enthusiastically cheering for bodies being ripped apart. — Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) June 15, 2015 We just saw a packed auditorium full of adults cheering at seeing bodies cut in half with a chainsaw. Really think about that for a moment. — Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) June 15, 2015 Think about it without getting defensive. No one wants to ban DOOM. But what message does that send to the world about the gaming community? — Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) June 15, 2015 Gamers cheering loudly at scenes of brutal dismemberment. God this is depressing as hell. Welcome to the gaming industry. #BE3 #DOOM — Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) June 15, 2015 An interesting theme emerges from these Tweets, which is that while Sarkeesian and McIntosh are obviously not fans of the violence in the game, that’s not actually what upset them. What upset them was that the violence caused people to cheer. Look at how many references there are to “cheering” in the above, and you’ll see it. Obviously, humans have a long history of cheering violence (see gladiator matches). Bizarrely, McIntosh seems eager to head off this critique, due to a subsequent tweet where he claims playing a game and watching a movie are “fundamentally different experiences.” Hold off on speculating on what differentiates them for a second, because we’ll come back to that. A little more background, first. Discomfort with the Dark Side of Human Nature In Sarkeesian’s videos (which it’s all but certain McIntosh assists in writing), one of her more interesting (albeit less persuasive) arguments is that games that program in the option to commit violence against women implicitly sanction violence against women. As I noted elsewhere: According to Sarkeesian, the real problem with these scenarios isn’t that the players necessarily have to take part in them. It’s that programmers programmed them in in the first place. […] Sarkeesian wants to see a world where human nature is artificially truncated so that certain forms of violence are so unacceptable as to be literally impossible and inconceivable; where certain impulses are metaphorically not even part of human beings’ programming. Even if players can go around murdering people and being rewarded for it, according to her theory, they should never be allowed to commit sexualized violence against women or even witness it because the patriarchal system is so overwhelming that they’ll necessarily internalize the idea that this can be okay. The problem here, as the Architect of “The Matrix” might say, is choice, not violence. This gives us a fascinating little window into what bothers McIntosh, Sarkessian, and their ilk when people cheer for the violence in “Doom.” Their problem isn’t that the violence was depicted, as it might be in a film. Their problem is that people want to perform that violence in a simulated context at all, and even regard such a thing as “fun!” Of course, McIntosh himself is no fan of “fun games,” and has said so, on very revealing grounds: In gaming lingo “fun" is often code for feeling powerful and feeling powerful is code for doing violence to people and other living things.— Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) October 27, 2014 Now, we could just say McIntosh and Sarkeesian are probably closet pacifists and leave it there. But in actuality, what’s going on here seems much deeper, especially given that McIntosh openly admits to wanting to spin narratives that grant him and his allies the power to change culture and modify human behavior, facts be damned. Therefore, what seems to actually be the issue actually goes back much further than McIntosh and Sarkeesian, all the way back to an insight by the great traditionalist writer Russell Kirk, who wrote that the first principle of radicals was (emphasis mine): The perfectibility of man and the illimitable progress of society: meliorism. Radicals believe that education, positive legislation, and alteration of environment can produce men like gods; they deny that humanity has a natural proclivity toward violence and sin. A natural proclivity toward violence and sin…say, the sort of proclivity that might be shown by cheering depictions of dismemberment, and wanting to act them out with the help of a controller? Video Games Provide an Outlet for Evil One of the great canons of left-wing discourse since the French Revolution has been the idea that human beings can be “perfected” or, at minimum, “improved” using coercive force. The idea, in other words, that people are naturally good and only institutions like property and tradition make them evil. Conservatives, meanwhile, in the words of George F. Will, have always made it their mission “to protect you from the liberal faith that they can make something straight from the crooked timber of humanity.” If the “Doom” trailer is anything, it’s evidence that people don’t mind being crooked timber, and in fact celebrate things that give them a safe outlet for their more crooked tendencies, rather than trying to destroy them. Moreover, that the game explicitly pits the player against demons suggests players prefer to see their crookedness channeled toward heroism, and actually celebrate more ancient heroic virtues as a means of compensating for the urge toward violence. The “Doom” trailer, in short, seeks to make peace with the human proclivity toward violence even as it turns it against sin, rather than try to write both out of existence. For its efforts, it gets cheers. With good reason. Like “Hatred” before it, it’s a humanistic game. For Leftist ideologues like Sarkeesian and McIntosh, the game is a reminder that their ideology is forever cut off from human nature, and that their utopian vision of a world without urges toward violence will always ultimately be chainsawed by reality before being drowned in a storm of unapologetically humanistic gunfire. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said “Doom” was first released in 1995. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 8 - In The Pink Police State, We Are All Bridget Jones Now
    Read part two of this series here, and part one here.  Is the pink police state inevitable? To answer that question, we might begin with a smaller one. Why has this new regime arisen? More specifically, why hasn’t the development of the political and economic compact within what Marxists call “late capitalism” stuck to one of the several well-thought-out scripts written by many not-so-Marxist analysts and theorists? A Marxist would likely reply that the answer is simple: because Karl Marx was right! To be sure, Marxists have outdone their capitalist contemporaries in imaginative structural analysis. But as with the few non-Marxists who do practice systems theory, the faulty conceptual cornerstone of the Marxist creed is that the collapse of our regime is really going to happen this time. As Nouriel Roubini put it four years ago, “Karl Marx had it right. At some point capitalism can self-destroy itself because you cannot keep on shifting income from labour to capital without not having excess capacity and a lack of aggregate demand, and that’s what’s happening.” Likely To Happen Versus Must Happen Our most prominent systems theorists often tirelessly insist that regime collapse is not just inevitable but imminent. It is important to see how these are two different arguments. Marx did not argue that our regime “can” destroy itself, but that it must. These ideas are readily conflated today because the rise of an apparent Age of Terror has infused fear into our oscillations between the official and unofficial spheres of life. Marx did not argue that our regime ‘can’ destroy itself, but that it must. In a democratic age, Alexis de Tocqueville explained, the dominant variety of individual and social motion is “restlessness,” which we should not hesitate to translate, in the parlance of our times, as craziness. “Among democratic nations,” he wrote, “men easily attain a certain equality of condition, but they can never attain as much as they desire. It perpetually retires from before them, yet without hiding itself from their sight, and in retiring draws them on. At every moment they think they are about to grasp it; it escapes at every moment from their hold. They are near enough to see its charms, but too far off to enjoy them; and before they have fully tasted the delights, they die.” This struggle drives us crazy—into that half-mad world where we are neither officially insane nor unofficially sane. In America, Tocqueville continues, “suicide is rare, but insanity is said to be more common there than anywhere else. These are all different symptoms of the same disease […]. The will resists, but reason frequently gives way.” We are all Bridget Joneses now, perpetually moving past the Edge of Reason. It is no surprise that this reference should come in so handy to us right this moment. After all, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was first published in 1999, and from 1998 to 1999, the pink police state was born. Our Bipolar Selves and Government Before we wind back the clock to the dawn of the pink police state, however, consider for a bit longer the matter of motion and collapse. We are now stuck living in a bipolar regime, where an officially healthy and safe realm coexists in a codependent coupling with an unofficial realm where fertility, filth, contamination, and danger all commingle.[1] The consequence of living in these two adjacent realms of insatiable but merely overlapping appetites is the acceleration of all things as we shuttle between them. The more kinetically we move, the more our fears acquire potential. The faster we are, the faster it becomes. As President Obama put it, harshly, anxiously, in a State of the Union address: “America doesn’t stand still!” The consequence of living in these two adjacent realms of insatiable but merely overlapping appetites is the acceleration of all things as we shuttle between them. As the urban theorist Paul Virilio has argued, speed, progress, and fear blur together. According to Virilio, who came of age in occupied France, our “cult of speed,” our “propaganda of progress,” and our “administration of fear” all began with the Bomb. A political singularity, he claims, was opened up by the Manhattan Project—for the first time, it became thinkable to literally destroy the world in an instant. For Virilio there is also an informational singularity afoot. “It creates a ‘community of emotions,’” he argues, “a communism of affects coming after the communism of the ‘community of interests’ shared by different social classes.” Here, Virilio warns, the “synchronization of emotion” actually “surpasses the power of standardization of opinion that was typical of the mass media in the second half of the 20th century.” Once we had “a democracy of opinion;” now, we’re stuck with “a democracy of emotion.” Virilio fits the model of unofficial dissidence in the pink police state. He says his task “is to focus on the fear that is hidden by the ideology of progress” in what we are calling the official realm. But even though he uses his own unique concepts, he helps us restore the blurred line between the inevitable and the imminent. Without the right kind of political economy, he claims, “we will fall into globalitarianism, the ‘totalitarianism of totalitarianism.’” That seems to bring us back to Leo Strauss’s fear that philosophy will become impossible in the realm of officialdom. It seems to fit right into the pattern of systems theorists, conflating what must happen with what could happen. When Time Completes Itself But there is a catch. Virilio is a Christian, for whom propagandizing and proselytizing are inherently different kinds of activity. To understand how they differ, consider how time is thought of differently when thinking of what must happen versus what could—even at any moment—happen. The unrest seemed to confirm that the progress of Western democracy toward the post-communist political economy was threatened by a new, domestic adversary. The secular idea of an inevitable collapse is conceptually distinct from the religious idea of the end-times. In the realm of faith, there is no way to predict the speed of events that are significant to the soul—including the “final” event, the spiritual singularity. In realms of fate, fact, or fiction, the ability to sense the speed of events becomes of paramount secular importance. How long until the missile hits? How long can you stay erect? As Thomas Pynchon made clear in Gravity’s Rainbow, these questions are two of a kind for some very deep reasons. In a secular age, plumbing their depths readily becomes an obsession, both in official and unofficial life. For faith-based dissidents in the unofficial realm, the whole secular concept of time must be rejected. Take, for instance, Jesus’s saying in Mark 1:15. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” In propagandists’ terms, this means that an important event is imminent. In proselytizers’ terms, however, it means that an important condition has always already been the case. This distinction is crucial. We are tempted to collapse it because we humans are biologically disposed to think of our lives as lists of “life events.” Consider the experience of converting to a religion. From an egotistical, biological standpoint, the conversion is an event, something that happens to the self. From a cosmic or super-natural standpoint, however, the character of the event is less important than the context that defines it. In Christianity, for instance, it is always the case that Christ’s sacrifice had already made God’s grace accessible to us. In the triumphant years at the close of the 20th century, the opponents of the Western powers did not, and could not, amount to actual rivals. You don’t have to be religious to understand how naturally reluctant we humans are to accept the “always already” at the expense of our sense of “eventhood.” The idea was important for Marx himself, whose vision of all individuals as always already social helped launch the whole postmodernist inquiry into the construction of reality through language. Nevertheless, Marxists who take religion more seriously stand a better chance of realizing just how different claims of imminence and inevitability really are. It is one thing to say the collapse of capitalism is around the historical corner. It is another to say the end of history will arrive only in the fullness of time. Marxists and Secularists Are Confused Marxism has typically been torn between these two statements, and has typically erred on the side of trying to hasten the collapse of capitalism. Alas, History keeps disappointing the Marxists, and the Marxists keep blaming Capital, with its ever-more-quickly evolving wiles. In a secular age, the supposedly inevitable tends quickly to become the imminent. That confusion has tended to influence Marxist as much as non-Marxist systems theory. Ironically, Marxists would love to claim responsibility for the events at the dawn of the pink police state. Unfortunately for them, however, the pink police state can be understood historically as the regime that arose to effectively postpone political revolution indefinitely—although not permanently. To find that moment in historical time, we must go back to the fateful years of 1998 and 1999, the brief era when the pink police first made their appearance on MTV. The Battle of Seattle Consider again the late ‘90s world of Marilyn Manson’s “Mechanical Animals.” Just about a year after its release in September 1998, anti-globalization protestors clashed with riot police in what was then considered a definitive expression of society’s new grand divide. At the opening Ministerial Conference of what was meant to be the “Millennial Round” of World Trade Organization negotiations, our progress toward what Francis Fukuyama called “the end of history” was forcibly interrupted by the so-called Battle of Seattle. This interruption did not just occur in real life. Even more importantly, it arrested the elites who had conceived of the dominant idea of progress and were busily working to execute it. The radical truth was we were all losers. A media sensation, the unrest seemed to confirm that the progress of Western democracy toward the post-communist political economy was threatened by a new, domestic adversary—one quite unlike the external foe whose defeat had brought a sudden end to the Cold War. To be sure, some enemies remained abroad. In a handful of “rogue” or “failed” states, Western strategists faced a growing assortment of what Hans Magnus Enzensberger would later term “radical losers”—terrorists, guerillas, and criminals acting beyond the reach or the view of sovereign powers. In certain troubling instances, these problem actors worked together, or even converged. But from North Korea to Afghanistan, these perils appeared mainly to be remainders and aftereffects of the Cold War. No new vision had seized power in a way that challenged the primacy of the West. No one really worried, as Western elites worried about Stalinism during the 1930s, that the narcoterrorists and strongmen of the 1990s offered a serious alternative to capitalist liberal democracy—much less one which the logic of history seemed to anoint over a declining and divided West. The ‘Fight Club’ phenomenon, that is to say, captured a social situation that, in 1999, felt broadly real—to elites, would-be revolutionaries, and the rising generations caught in the middle. Now, history had declared for democracy. In the triumphant years at the close of the 20th century, the opponents of the Western powers did not, and could not, amount to actual rivals. They were “throwbacks,” “dead-enders”—primitives. Rather than a source of anxiety, these figures were problems to be solved by elite Western experts, or, at worst, managed until a solution became feasible. A sense of panic did not surround these bureaucratic processes because our atavistic opponents had literally been left behind by the speed of events. The one possible exception to this geopolitical rule was China. But here, any geopolitical anxiety was carefully ironed out, in a grand bargain that entailed “constructive engagement” on the part of the West and a “peaceful rise” on the part of China. In finance and economics, globalization would bring East and West closer than ever before; politically, nothing much within either “hemisphere” would change. The Chinese would bend the market to autocracy. The Western powers would use the market to spread democracy quickly and cheaply enough to justify a policy of nonconfrontation. After all, the durability of Chinese autocracy itself reassuringly augured a parallel democratic quietude in unipolar America and the new, larger Europe. There was something reassuring in the idea that any regime type could supply a surface for progress to hover swiftly above—and something tremendously rousing in the notion that progress could now rove unimpeded across any political surface. Still Alienated by Capitalism Or so it seemed, until the Battle in Seattle—which struck at the very core of the vision of post-Cold War American development. Long before neoconservative critics of neoliberal bliss ironically declared a “holiday from history,” radical theorists of the Left, like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, began to insist that the liberal democracies could never incorporate all of humanity into a single political economy because of the West’s own contradictions. The mere failure of Marxists’ positive agenda, they claimed, didn’t drain Marx’s critique of the West of its force. According to the radicals, democratic capitalism produced stable, profitable regimes by plowing their externalities inward, toward the “imperial” core, and not just outward, into the (post)colonial periphery. No amount of goodwill toward the global South could successfully repress the consciousness of the capitalist masses at home that they toiled in alienation from nature, community, and self. The radical truth was we were all losers. Bourgeois hedonism, the radical anti-capitalists avowed, was not just too small a prize for our bloodless corporate labors. It was too sterile, too fruitless—as Heather Havrilesky is now making explicit in her anti-capitalist critique of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Our pornographic magazines once “effectively equated the moment of erotic indulgence with the ultimate consumer release, a totem of the final elevation into amoral privilege;” now, she writes, “James’s trilogy represents the latest installment in the commodified sex genre. The money shot is just that: the moment when our heroine realizes she’s been ushered into the hallowed realm of the 1 percent, once and for all.” Then as now, the capitalist masses may not have translated their malaise and neurosis into revolutionary action, but in 1999, the antiglobalist vanguard chose street combat over fantasy entertainment. Intriguingly, in 1999 the Internet had become mainstream, but Internet porn had not. The ‘Fight Club’ Critique It is now a cliché to quote the rousing speech from “Fight Club,” where the alienated losers are told to be “very, very pissed off” because “we’re slowly learning” that “we won’t” become “millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars.” In 1999, however, those words had a vitality that our old boxes of college DVDs do not. The progressive ideology of crafting public policy through regulatory bureaucracy offered a way out of confronting the “hard choices” that always and already arise among neighbors meeting face to face to share in self-government. Indeed, Tyler Durden, the alter ego of the socioeconomically oppressed white corporate drone played by Edward Norton, took his animating vision out of the basement fight clubs and, at the story’s climax, onto the streets—literally blowing up the high-rises that housed the big banks, and blowing up with them Americans’ debt. “Out of these windows,” he says, “we will view the collapse of financial history. One step closer to economic equilibrium.” On one interpretation, “Fight Club” is not much more than a well-timed allegory about gay identity and moral nihilism. It is telling, however, that the movie adaptation turned the rather misogynist book into something more like a love story. In the film, revolutionary political action is the means by which Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter escape the realm of officialdom, with its cubicles and its therapy groups where the terminally ill came to cope. The “Fight Club” phenomenon, that is to say, captured a social situation that, in 1999, felt broadly real—to elites, would-be revolutionaries, and the rising generations caught in the middle. That situation was defined by the shocking irruption of a forward-looking revolutionary attitude. That shock, and not the atavistic attacks of 9/11, truly captured the “existential threat” to the trajectory of Western regimes in history. Durden summed up the problem in another speech memorized by many a proto-millennial male: I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives. Durden gave voice to the anti-globalist dream—ultimately, humanity’s shared dream—of profoundly social yet personal lives of real, and not virtual, worth. It is a dream, as today’s hipsters reveal, that is not foremost about money. On the one hand, today’s hipsters are often downwardly mobile by choice; on the other, they are known to tote around top-of-the-line laptops—sometimes bearing a sticker that could have been slapped on the side of Little Boy: “This Machine Kills Fascists.” Chaining The Beast Within Instead, the dream is about fruitful, regenerative human life—in all its messy, contingent, and unregimented glory and possibility. But in the pink police state, where the unofficial realm is often too beastly and fugitive to ground such a life, that dream becomes a fantasy that is hard to envision and even harder to articulate. In the spirit of ’99, however, valorized by the likes of Hardt and Negri, the youthful dreamers were not just scrappy romantics. They were, of necessity, anti-capitalists. They were throwing the protean and adaptive strategies of parasitic survival back in the face of the unfeeling machine that had perfected those strategies. Leading a new, popular counter-West, the street-fighting dreamers would take back humanity—because they would take down the machine they raged against. (Yes, “The Battle of Los Angeles” was recorded in 1998 and released in 1999.) Technocracy marches hand in hand with emotivism: our therapeutic culture of feelings, sensitivity, compassion, sincerity, and self-esteem. As is often the case with popular movements, some adherents are there because of what they are for, others because of what they are against. From the standpoint of American elites, however, there was no time to sort out proto-hipsters from fight clubbers from anti-capitalists. For American elites, the spirit of ’99 was grounds for a level of geopolitical anxiety on par with the Cold War—one that “fundamentalist Islam” and “radical jihad” inherently could not, and so would not, attain. Taking the fear past the edge of reason, Bret Easton Ellis followed up “American Psycho” with the ultimate geopolitical taboo. In “Glamorama,” published just days before New Year’s Eve 1999, a male model in his late twenties—who just happens to be the son of a powerful senator—slides “down the surface of things” into a nightmare world where the most beautiful and wealthy libertines on earth are also the planet’s most soulless and lethal terrorists. Ellis revealed what the anti-capitalist view of “Fifty Shades of Grey” conceals: it’s not all about money. It’s about what Nietzsche called “the beast”—the monster that lurks within the human, always longing to get out.[2] It’s Too Messy and Hard to Govern Ourselves Adding to our elites’ new anxiety was how it seemed to fulfill, in a surprise way, the warnings and premonitions of a seemingly bygone era. According to the anti-globalization radicals, the neoliberal project to create world peace by institutionalizing economic interdependence was a failure. That critique strongly echoed the typical cautionary tales of 19th-century political theorists, who were gravely concerned about the internal logic of democratic times. Note that the mechanism of decay they identified was not shaped by a belief that economics is the master science. Rather than seeing capitalism as the foundational problem, they saw the monetization of all things as simply one manifestation of the rising democratic age. And rather than seeing democratization as a primarily political process, marked by the steady expansion of rights and regulations, they saw it as an anthropological one, marked by the increased equalization or interchangeability of all persons. Whether liberal or anti-liberal, whether friendly or unfriendly critics of democracy, theorists like Nietzsche and Tocqueville warned of a dystopia wherein whole peoples abandoned their drive, dynamism, freedom, and pride, in favor of an “oriental” despotism that ensured their health, safety, efficiency—and servility. Subsequently, 20th-century conservative critics of the rise of progressivism in turn-of-the-century liberal democracy traced back to canonical figures like Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, and Mill a powerful philosophical technophilia—one that promised relief from the pressures and dilemmas of democratic life by infusing the very notion of politics with scientific values and objectives. For elites and common folk alike, the progressive ideology of crafting public policy through regulatory bureaucracy offered a way out of confronting the “hard choices” that always and already arise among neighbors meeting face to face to share in self-government. In the terms of the pink police state, the work of republican democracy is awkward, clumsy, messy, risky, perhaps even dangerous. The expert application of science to governance, by contrast, is routine, scripted, predictable, and safe. The pathologies of political freedom are cleansed; democracy is made safe for the world. But a More Comfortable Technocratic Rule Subjugates Citizens According to 20th-century critics of progressivism, Right and Left, the alleged capture of our political and economic institutions by scientism was a landmark event. The rule of experts, they said, had not saved us. Instead, it produced a massive and unaccountable administrative apparatus, turning citizens into subjects and replacing real life with a simulacrum. Radical leftists began attacking neoliberalism on this basis; reactionary conservatives, neoconservatism. Monetizing these fears was “The Matrix”—joining “Fight Club” at the box office in 1999. In that film, Joe Pantoliano’s traitorous Cypher tells Keanu Reeves’ Neo that he’s content to eat tender pink steak even though it “doesn’t exist,” with only the Matrix “telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious.” Democratic life is making us more gentle and more beastly at the same time. Technocracy, the critics concluded, perversely uses our fear of death to inspire us to surrender our love of life. Under the vast soft despotism marking history’s end, we and our posterity will mark out insignificant, ignoble, perhaps even undignified lives. The fears of Tocqueville and Nietzsche will be realized; fat, numb, and happy, the technocratic rule of the expert few will reign over the dull functionaries below. But as some of America’s harshest conservative critics have admitted, this is not exactly what has happened. Drawing from Philip Rieff, Alasdair MacIntyre and Christopher Lasch confirmed that technocracy marches hand in hand with emotivism: our therapeutic culture of feelings, sensitivity, compassion, sincerity, and self-esteem. Recalling to mind today’s Human Resources departments—possessed of an omnipresence Foucault would envy—MacIntyre and Lasch suggest that our big-brained technocrats have learned how to hardwire our big-hearted emotivists deep into the administrative apparatus. Government isn’t exactly like Nurse Ratched after all. Instead of seeing itself as a coldly militant enforcer, it loves to play the indispensible helper, as heroic and bold as it is warm and fuzzy. Technocracy Can’t Tame the Human Soul Rieff dreaded a therapeutic democracy in which all become one another’s “crippled pets.” Perhaps. But the real power of Rieff’s sociology of the therapeutic, too absent on the MacIntyrean right and the Laschean left, is in its recognition that emotion is fundamentally erotic, and eros is fundamentally resistant to domestication. In our erotic human nature there is always to be found the beast. In the name of health and security, we are willing to compromise across a range of erotic fronts—but only so long as the transgressive possibilities of erotic life are kept open along other fronts. From this view, which Nietzsche sometimes shares, any human content to eat tender pink steak that does not really exist must not, in any sense truly real for us, exist. In the name of health and security, we are willing to compromise across a range of erotic fronts—but only so long as the transgressive possibilities of erotic life are kept open along other fronts. The human longing for the reality of eros and its transgressions cannot be fully sublimated, repressed, or domesticated—not even by the most expert and comprehensive technocratic techniques. One way or another, the beast will out. If this is true, many of our current concerns about technocratic democracy need to be radically revised. The classical liberal and contemporary conservative fear that the state will accomplish the final domestication of eros is as misinformed as the radical hope that the West’s internal divisions doom it to contradiction and destruction. The reality that commands our attention is that democratic life is making us more gentle and more beastly at the same time—more like servants and more like masters in a sense far more robust than even Rieff implied. Neither soft despotism nor system collapse is our fate. There is no fate. Neither soft despotism nor system collapse is our fate. There is no fate. From this standpoint, the why of the pink police state finds an answer. Historically, its rise can be seen as a so-far successful attempt to use the kinetic energy of spreading, deepening equality to therapeutically resolve the geopolitical anxiety of the elite on the one hand and the deep disenchantment of the people on the other. It is the rise of a somewhat forcibly negotiated settlement between the imperatives of the contending forces whose war was announced at the Battle of Seattle—the elite technocratic order and its popular erotocratic opposition. But is it inevitable? Is there a way out of the Matrix? As Neo came to understand, to truly answer that question, we must now look within our own souls—mirror that they are for the regime in which we live.   [1] That which is now knowable only in unofficial life was once, remarkably, thrust into the faces of millions as a consequence of the mass personal experience with war. In Fear, Gabriel Chevallier’s lost classic of World War I, French troops on trench detail stumble upon an arresting truth. “The pick had hit a damp, rotten stomach, which released its miasma right into our faces, a sudden burst of foul vapor. […] The decomposing body’s disgusting gasses spread out, filled the darkness and our lungs, reigned over the silence. The NCOs had to force us back to this angry corpse, and then we shoveled furiously, desperate to cover it up and calm it down. But our bodies had caught the awful fecund smell of putrefaction, which is life and death, and for a long time that smell irritated our mucous membranes, stimulated the secretions of our glands, aroused in us some secret organic attraction of matter for matter, even when it is corrupt and almost extinguished” [emphasis added]. [2] See The Genealogy of Morals, Second Essay, Section 22. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

John Nolte
Daily Wire / Breitbart



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 1 - ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Review: Feminism and Metal Mangling Done Right
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Mad Max (Tom Hardy) has truly gone mad. Groomed like a caveman, and seemingly able to communicate only in grunts; figuratively, our Road Warrior has become the Feral Kid. He eats two-headed desert lizards alive and drives through an endless wasteland without purpose. The world that was is now so far gone, nothing left is recognizable — except the vehicles, including Max’s now iconic Pursuit Special. What really drives Max, though, are regrets come to life as demons, not a machine. Without giving away too many plot points, the first act of “Fury Road” is spent in a fascinating dystopian society of physically deformed and mentally warped haves, and desperate have-nots. The mad asylum (a wonder of imagination, detail and production design) is run by the tyrannical warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Burn) and his cult of deadly War Boys. For her unique resourcefulness and scavenging skills, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is revered in this warped society. Like a celebrated Roman general, Immortan Joe sends Furiosa off into the desert on a mission. Furiosa has her own agenda, though, and a nearly non-stop two-hour chase begins. You would think that after nearly 50 years and thousands of centerpiece automobile chases (starting
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Review: Feminism and Metal Mangling Done Right
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Mad Max (Tom Hardy) has truly gone mad. Groomed like a caveman, and seemingly able to communicate only in grunts; figuratively, our Road Warrior has become the Feral Kid. He eats two-headed desert lizards alive and drives through an endless wasteland without purpose. The world that was is now so far gone, nothing left is recognizable — except the vehicles, including Max’s now iconic Pursuit Special. What really drives Max, though, are regrets come to life as demons, not a machine. Without giving away too many plot points, the first act of “Fury Road” is spent in a fascinating dystopian society of physically deformed and mentally warped haves, and desperate have-nots. The mad asylum (a wonder of imagination, detail and production design) is run by the tyrannical warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Burn) and his cult of deadly War Boys. For her unique resourcefulness and scavenging skills, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is revered in this warped society. Like a celebrated Roman general, Immortan Joe sends Furiosa off into the desert on a mission. Furiosa has her own agenda, though, and a nearly non-stop two-hour chase begins. You would think that after nearly 50 years and thousands of centerpiece automobile chases (starting
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 3 - 'Fury Road': A Look Back at 36 Years of 'Mad Max'
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    With 37 reviews in, director George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” sits at an impressive 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the reviews are outright raves and make clear that after four decades as a filmmaker, Miller went old school to make the action genre once again feel fresh and vital. “Fury Road’s”  action sequences go back to the future by actually respecting the idea of spatial logic. Better still, there is almost no CGI. Gee, what a concept. The fourquel, which hits theatres Friday, is supposed to launch a brand new franchise. Star Tom Hardy, who steps in for Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky (aka Mad Max aka The Man with No Name aka The Road Warrior), is attached to three more films. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. To begin with, it has been a full 30 years since the last “Mad Max” (1985’s “Thunderdome”). On top of that, Miller is 70 years of age. Most directors are past their prime at that age, especially when it comes to action films. And then there’s the not-small detail that not a single one of the previous “Mad Max” films were huge hits here in America. “Mad
    ...
    (Review Source)

Crosswalk
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 1 - The Matrix
    Movies from Film Forum, 11/01/01Some messiahs have reached the mainstream. The Matrix's Neo (Keanu Reeves) is trained to enter a world of manufactured lies and deliver a persecuted people. He exhibits miraculous powers (even resurrection) and points the way to Zion's refuge. Neo means well, but some viewers question the saintliness of gunning down innocents in the name of the cause. Isn't this holy-war terrorism?from Film Forum, 04/22/04Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films) presents a summation of the Matrix trilogy this week—just after the video release of the third film, Matrix Revolutions. Greydanus argues, "The Matrix isn't really a Christian allegory, any more than it is a gnostic fable. However interesting the film's Christian references may be from a critical perspective, The Matrix offers little in the way of genuinely edifying or uplifting moral or spiritual significance, at least as regards the Christian parallels." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); And he concludes, "Viewed as a trilogy, the Matrix story-arc ironically lacks something common to both gnosticism and Christianity: transcendence, connection to ultimate reality or absolute truth above and beyond the finitude of the created order." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Related Elsewhere:A ready-to-download Movie Discussion Guide related to this movie is available at ChristianityTodayMoviesStore.com. Use this guide after the movie to help you and your small group better connect your faith to pop culture. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2 - How Christians Can Revolutionize Faith-Based Media
    (”The Matrix” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Movies Not long ago, I wrote an article about how the fate of “Faith-Based” movies was largely secure, thanks in no small part to the patronage of Christian audiences. Whether you love them or loath them, faith-based films have managed to carve out a comfortable niche in today’s modern media. Christians make the movies, Christians watch the movies, and we repeat the process as needed. Still, in pop culture there’s a big difference between surviving and thriving. While Christian films may be here to stay, their quality and usefulness as evangelical tools have reached dangerous levels of stagnation. Like all forms of entertainment, Christian content must innovate and evolve if it hopes to remain relevant. Sometimes this means learning to tell new stories, while other times it’s making the jump into a different medium. Seth Tower Hurd, a podcast host and contributor to Relevant Magazine, believes Christians should stop investing in movies and instead look to the small screen for inspiration. Hurd correctly notes that Hollywood has been losing creativity for years, choosing to roll out sequels and superhero blockbusters instead of taking chances on original ideas. Combine that with a combative attitude towards Christianity, and it’s unlikely faith-based films will reach higher than they already have. The same can’t be said for companies like Netflix and Hulu. Hurd writes, “As much as I hate to say this as a film critic, theatrical releases just don’t wield as much cultural power as they used to. Since 2000, the top movie each year has been a sequel, or based on a book or comic book with one exception: Avatar in 2009. The days when an original story like The Matrix or Rain Mancould capture the imaginations and water-cooler talk of an entire nation seem to be waning, if not gone.” googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); “Unlike movies, there’s still plenty of room at the table. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and dozens of smaller companies are throwing buckets of cash at anyone with a half-baked idea. Movies essentially have one weekend to live or die. Good streaming TV can continue to find audiences for decades. A coworker recently shared with me that the big trend at her daughter’s high school was the 20-year-old cult hit The X-Files.” There’s really no arguing with Hurd’s observations. We currently live in a world where a three-minute YouTube video can get more views than a major motion picture. Podcasts have replaced daily talk shows as the guides to self-help and conventional knowledge. Even the blogosphere has exploded with a wealth of new spiritual and secular writers. For Christians, the opportunities for creative and cultural impact are virtually limitless. Yes, faith-based films are here to stay, but for Christian artists who dream of sharing the gospel through pop culture, it may be time to start thinking outside the box. Streaming services like Netflix have become champions for original content, and unlike some movie studios, they’re not as averse to faith-filled narratives. If video isn’t your specialty, there’s always blog writing, or digital galleries for photography. In order to see Jesus portrayed in our media, we must pursue Biblical craftsmanship in all creative areas with passion. The world is waiting to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, we only need to find an audience that will listen. (Image Credit:©Thinkstock/disqis) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); *Published 6/13/2017 ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Want even more consensus?

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!  

What’d you think? Let us know with a video:

Record a webcam review!

Or anonymous text review:

Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews
Overall Hollywood Bs Average rating:  
 
Anti-patriotism Average rating:  
 
Misandry Average rating:  
 
Affirmative action Average rating:  
 
LGBTQ rstuvwxyz Average rating:  
 
Anti-God Average rating:  
 

Buy on Amazon:
Price: $17.99
⚠️  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.

Share this page:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail