morning 03.01.17

Hm. I thought that I posted this yesterday. All the better. I hadn’t read most of this thoroughly yet anyway.

The New Man of 4chan. Angela Nagle. This is a lot nastier and deeper than the other recent 4chan piece that was thrown around, digging into the anti-feminist streak with certain cultural touchstones and tying it to leftist counterculture with its tactics. She quotes from this 2014 Esquire piece by Sanjiv Bhattacharya. It’s uncomfortable, but not quite as softballing as certain other profiles. It’s unsettling to remember these people drew from Discordian ideas. Damned Illuminatus! is more prescient than it should be.

I didn’t know Zero Books has a podcast. Angela Nagle on her upcoming book Kill All Normies.

Trump blames Obama for town hall protests and security leaks. What a dumb motherfucker. The only political activity Obama has been involved in is slandering Keith Ellison and installing Tom Perez as the chair of the DNC. There’s actual reporting on it. Obama hates grassroots activism, despite his reaping its benefits in 2008.

How the Cool Kids Killed Obama’s Grassroots Movement. Tah dah. Organizing for America and the New Media team. Used, lauded, then discarded. 2009. “We don’t want to tell stories about people with problems. We want to tell stories about the heroes inside the White House solving those problems.” That worked well, didn’t it?

Does Stephen Miller Speak for Trump? Or Vice Versa? ha ha. This bit is good.

In fact, it was no accident that the order was sprung without warning on a Friday afternoon. Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon arranged the timing in the expectation that opponents, freed from work on the weekend, would stage huge protests—drawing maximum attention and galvanizing Trump supporters as the president followed through on a controversial campaign promise, says a senior administration official.

What Duncan said. Bannon has grandiose plans and he’s not a total dullard who has only read Sun Tzu…. but he’s still an arrogant fuck-up. Cheney is an actual competent supervillain and even he fucked up more than a few times.

Berta Cáceres court papers show murder suspects’ links to US-trained elite troops. It was an execution by state-backed forces.

Texas is the Future. I dunno.

Why is the Wyoming GOP scared? Town hall discord.

Two Trump profiles because he’s a fat oaf and pretending any more depth (especially after his first State of the Union address) is dangerously silly.

I didn’t watch Trump’s speech last night, passing out around 8 PM, waking up at 12 AM to read the Twitter reaction, falling back asleep at 2 AM, waking at 4 AM. Fuck this.

morning 02.28.17

Mardi Gras. We didn’t go to a single parade this Carnival. It’s a shame, but we’ve all had colds running for weeks, plus I’ve been working lots of nights and weekends, as usual.

I cannot get my shit together. Woke up at 3 AM yet again with splitting headache. I spent most of yesterday playing with Lego with the kid as it was soggy from rain. Almost no reading. I played Elijah some Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Johnny Cash. He kinda dug it all, but how’s a three year old not going to prefer songs about trains? Wasted some time reading about Mark Twain’s anti-imperialist activities and watching/listening to Carl Sagan clips on Youtube. Coming back to Twain and Sagan seems necessary. I went way off in the weeds in my teenage years with sci-fi and fantasy. It’s surprising that a steady diet of Robert Heinlein and Piers fucking Anthony didn’t do more damage than it did. Mark Twain, Carl Sagan, Robert Anton WIlson, Edward Abbey, Woody Guthrie, Philip K. Dick… who else from that era do I not wince in complete embarrassment and regret at the thought of now?

Fred Alan Wolf went places that I couldn’t follow, or did, then regretted. Nonetheless, I’m weighing the use of turning my friend dreaming of Nordic aliens onto him, as I’m already attempting with Robert Anton Wilson, to steer her away from too much flakiness. Humor and metaphor works better than rigid false mythologies.

The silly kerfuffle of Trump eating well-done steaks with ketchup being classist signaling made me finally start season 3 of Hannibal last night. It’s so very much better than The Young Pope, which I kept rooting for but seemed a bit of a dud. Maybe if I was raised Catholic, it could have connected. Watching Mads Mikkelsen cruise around like an alien predator while thinking of Trump voiding his bowels on his gold toilets kept me chuckling.

This morning I cannot find anything online that excites and engages me, just flashpoints of sadness and outrage at various inhumanities on Twitter while listening to Gil Scott-Heron for an hour or so. Now Can’s Ege Bamyasi.

Capitalism: A Six-Part Series (2015) Directed by Ilan Ziv. I want to see this, but the pricetag is fucking killer.

Umberto Eco’s Dope Fit. This is dumb shit, but it forced a chuckle and a smile. Apologies.

It’s a shame this woman was targeted by psychopaths for harassment, but for fuck’s sake- she’s a moron. She went on to argue with an astrophysicist about the Moon’s gravity. She’s barely existed in my consciousness until now. How do people this preposterous prosper? It’s not just Trump. Something is very wrong.

James Baldwin debates William F. Buckley in 1965. Plan to watch later. (I realized I never watched those John Berger documentaries. It also sank in that last time I was sailing through good stuff was when I was on a week of opening shifts. Here we go.)

Oh yeah. John Berger. The Transcendental Face of Art.

morning 02.27.17

Just not in mood to blog at moment.

Trump Administration Seeks to Loosen Hiring Requirements to Beef Up Border Patrol. Thugs. They want to hire thugs. Trump wants to deport people whose only crime might be non-citizenship, but hire racists, felons, and malcontents. Great. So fucking smart.

How class produced Milo, and how class may absolve him. Laurie Penny is not good and people who bolster her, Warren Ellis, Neal Gaiman, etc. probably aren’t either. I wish that the specific piece that Penny wrote during the student protests in 2011 stuck with me. Maybe it was a tweet. She was easier to figure out that Crabapple, who is of the exact same cohort, but I kept waving off obvious signs.

Josh Marshall is exhausting. He was spouting disingenuously about the DNC chair race, knowing full well the real cause of discontent (well stated by Matt Bruenig, which Marshall no doubt read.)  I lost my temper when he started in on a strawman about how the left didn’t vote for Hillary because she would be more bellicose than Trump. Hillary for certain would have mired us in a cold war with Russia and probably Iran as well. Marshall hurrumphing over shit that Obama already was ramping up and Trump is continuing more clumsily was especially grating. The motherfucker has already been on the wrong side of history before in the run-up to the Iraq War. With the slightest mention of that, he ran to the same trope as before, comparing mildly leftist criticism to Stalinism. (I don’t follow him anymore, but have seen him pull this before. I only saw this statement because i foolishly followed William Gibson again, who retweeted him.) Marshall is a fucking snake. Anything left even to the slightest left of his centrist liberalism is Russian and extreme. This is why I suck at Twitter. I cannot do irony well online and everything gets under my skin. I was already working sick on a closing shift and this entitled twerp evades how fucking wrong he was back in the day by waving his hands to pretend any critic is a radical eager to murder millions for ideological purity. I was shaking in rage. Fuck this rat bastard. He’s right. He convinced me. I will gladly send him to a workcamp in the hinterland. Thank you.

Other shit going on unrelated to politics that has me edgier than usual, but so be it.

The real shame is that I never even think about Bill Paxton. There’s some kind of fucking lacuna I have regarding him, but it’s mind-blowing just how many movies I’ve enjoyed that I’ve seen in which he played a significant role. The characters and lines I can recall. Paxton? Never.

morning 02.26.17

Matt Bruenig in Tom Perez’s election to DNC chair. The result was expected, but it still makes me insane with rage. Even the late, little details added to the ratfucking stench: Perez announcing pledged votes to give air of inevitability, the last minute switch to paper ballots to mask who was voting for whom, Buttgieg dropping out at the last minute with Perez having a prepared statement on the matter when Ellison’s people had no warning that would happen, etc. Delightful. It’s wonderful to see that the man who parachuted into the DNC chair race on December 15th to have Valerie Jarrett make personal phone calls at Obama’s direction on his behalf and Haim Saban threatening to cut off the flow of money to the party has such grass roots support.

Reading Twitter to assess what the average centrist Democrats took away from election. Fuck these people. Fuck their intellectually and emotionally stunted desire for Obama to be their daddy and Hillary to be their mommy- cretins and rubes who think that politics is sports. I want no part of their debased party.

Next weekned DSA is marching on Nissan up in Jackson, Mississippi, but I’m probably not going to that either now. My kid needs to go to a birthday party. I only get one weekend a month off and usually I have to skip that kind of stuff. I had half an idea to do the march, then visit Bill and his family up there, but who am I kidding? It’s physically & psychically distressing to leave the house to get groceries.

Matt Christman clarifying a point he made on Chapo last week. I’ve no time to watch it now. Maybe it’ll turn up as a mp3 so I can give it a proper listen.

morning 02.24.17

This waking up at 3 in the morning bullshit has to stop. My sleep cycle is fucked.

Planted a few flowers from the plant nursery down the street: bee balm, hollyhock, (allegedly) bog sage, and Mexican hyssop. Planted a porterweed carried over from last fall I’ve neglected. Some of the salvias from last year that died back severely in the singular freak 21 degree freeze seem to be coming back from roots. We’ll see. I blew off starting a vegetable garden last month, although with the inevitable collapse of civilization, that will be a deep regret.

FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories. Ha ha. Nothing matters. Many are shrugging, saying that this is essentially what brought Nixon down. Nah. The Republicans (and the Democrats for that matter) aren’t done with Trump yet. They need that fat oaf around to heap more sins on his back before they drive him out into the wilderness.

Trump’s First Terror Arrest: A Broke Stoner the FBI Threatened at Knifepoint. For example, this isn’t Trump’s fault. This is just the fucking standard operating procedure of the FBI. Meanwhile, a white supremacist manufactures ricin and doesn’t get caught until he drives himself to the hospital after accidental exposure. It’s impossible to tell if there is an actual agenda here or if the FBI has a lot of lazy opportunists who don’t want to put themselves in real danger. The end result doesn’t matter.

The “Identity Politics” Debate Is Splintering the Left. Here’s How We Can Move Past It. Oh, I missed this piece! Anyway, I have a bad feeling about the DNC chair race. They’re all pulling a Hillary, announcing the pledged votes, putting Perez well ahead, although Ellison has the more significant endorsements. If Perez is in, I’m out of the Democratic Party. Fuck that guy. The supporters on Twitter keep obsessing on Bernie and ignore that Perez is all-too-friendly with Wall Street or even declare that’s good.

More on that nuclear sniffer airplane from the other day. It took off from Scotland, heading for Norway and the Barents Sea. It’s accompanied by another surveillance aircraft, a RC-135W, rigged for detecting, identifying and geolocating signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. Hm. Sunken subs?

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent. Oh boy. Two of my favorites! Collective punishment and civil forfeiture!

Someone on Twitter referenced Whit Stillman as a conservative artist recently, lumping him in with some odious motherfuckers. The thing is that I hate Whit Stillman movies. His perverse sympathy for the elite is so willfully wrongheaded. I watched a few of them repeatedly in a resentful rage. It was infuriating lurking on certain online forums back in the day with a bunch of people who were ostensibly more academically left than I was/am but would swoon over Whit Stillman films, cosplaying them as absurdly as the goofballs I ran across a decade on a Tom Waits listserv pretending to be hobos.1 This 2012 interview was what I was looking for. He’s not evil, just superficial. His mystification over why Wes Anderson reached a larger audience, not him, is nice detail.

Jeff Sessions announcing more use of private prisons and Spicer suggesting a federal crackdown on marijuana use ((connecting it to opiate use, no less)) is disgusting, sad, and inevitable. Honestly, it’s probably something Hillary would have done more quietly. She was taking a lot of money from private prisons too before getting called out on it and her moronic daughter Chelsea is still insisting people die from smoking pot. (“Drug interactions.” Pft. Chelsea implied again recently, but I cannot find a good link.) Sessions is more obvious about it, but it was going to happen regardless of the election. It’s just like how the ICE raids and mass deportations have been going on for years under Obama, but now they’re more brazen. Maybe accelerationism is good, no matter how much that makes me cringe.

55 detained in Mississippi restaurant immigration raids. This is bad. There are references stating these raids have been planned for awhile, but it’s still creepy shit. I know that the farms in my area will be hit hard if they haven’t been already. However, this story seems very Trump era: Undocumented woman with brain tumor seized by federal agents at Texas hospital. Whole lotta hateful racist motherfuckers working for ICE.

Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary. Sebastian Gorka is a pretty stinky piece of shit, is he not?

Flint Sickles Prove Grain Cultivation in Galilee 23,000 Years Ago. Ohalo II. This one deserves coming back to ASAP.

Thousands of horsemen may have swept into Bronze Age Europe, transforming the local population. Damn it. I should have figured the horse and wagon aspect out independently when I linked a briefer version of this story the other day. Duh. Yamnaya migration.

Meet the South Pole’s Dark Matter Detective. Work of Reina Maruyama.

Fermi finds possible dark matter ties in Andromeda galaxy. It’s similar to findings at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It could also be a high concentration of pulsars.

One of my friends has been talking about dreams of Nordic aliens. I’m… ambivalent. I goofed around with a lot of this material in the past and had a lot of fun. However, when one jumps straight into the mythologies without a big dose of humor and/ agnosticism, it’s not going to go well. I’ve been trying to push Jacques Vallée’s2 books, or better yet, Robert Anton Wilson’s first Cosmic Trigger book3. The Chapel Perilous concept still works for me.

Some local DSA guy who friended me on Facebook turns out to be a more tasteful record collecting scum than I could dream of being. His FB posts have gotten me back into listening to Bert Jansch.

  1. These same hardcore Whit Stillman fans were the same ones who linked to Mark Fisher and others. []
  2. It’s still fucking bizarre that he became a venture capitalist and I didn’t know until today that he sits on the scientific advisory board of Bigelow Aerospace… you know, the corporation started by the guy who owns Skinwalker Ranch. []
  3. because the later ones get into shit that aren’t as relevant or appealing []

morning 02.23.17

NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star. TRAPPIST-1. Seven earth-sized planets. Three definitely in habitable zone. 39 light years away. The star is an ultra-cool dwarf, relatively young at 500 million years old, but has a potential life-span of 4 to 5 trillion years.

Scale of TRAPPIST-1 to Jupiter & its moons.

TRAPPIST-1 system vs. Jupiter system

ICE detainee with brain tumor removed from hospital. If we ever get another government, which seems pretty unlikely, these ICE agents need to go. They need to find another field of employment than law enforcement. They lack consciences that would allow them to do their jobs responsibly and effectively.

Voyage to the prison planet. Sam Kriss lays into Paul Joseph Watson of Prison Planet. I seriously miss all of the fringe websites I used to read daily back in the ’90s, before it became obvious that they were run by deeply damaged people

Sen. Bill Cassidy’s town hall: Fractious and furious constituents shout down the senator. It turned out that I wouldn’t have been able to get out of work even if I tried (and lost valuable hours.) The citizens who showed up did great. Cassidy doesn’t deserve any credit for his shitty politics, but when asked about the silly and insulting “paid protesters” trope, he did wave it off to admit that these people are actual concerned constituents. It’s good to see that it was mostly ACA and DeVos questions. I stole a glance at Twitter to fear that it was derailed on that Russian conspiracy line. Sticking to the abhorrent domestic policies of the Republican party is the only way to keep momentum. Obsessing on Putin and Russians doesn’t harness the righteous anger of ordinary citizens and might at best only deliver President Pence and/or Ryan.

The art of Gely Korzhev. Biblioklept has been posting his paintings for awhile, but Dangerous Minds put up a profile yesterday. I’d seen these paintings for years without stopping to think about the context or meaning.

02GeliK.jpg

For awhile I’ve been attempting to plow through the rest of The Young Pope. It opened gauche and absurd, but the middle stretch has me nodding off after twenty minutes every night (not many) I’ve had a chance to watch it. Too much scenery and shots of reaction and contemplation, not enough intrigue. OTOH, one of the worst scenes has been the exchange between the pope and the Italian prime minister. There’s too much hubris and the pope comes off one-dimensional. Perhaps Game of Thrones infects me too much, but the universe isn’t sympathetic to plans of men. There isn’t enough chaos and humanity in The Young Pope. Even pretending Pius XIII is Doctor Doom doesn’t work, because even though he’s as vain and petty, he’s been too perfect in his machinations. Where’s his Reed Richards?

morning 02.22.17

Crescent moon in the eastern sky with two barred owls hooting at each other.

The raid on the NODAPL camp is today. Inevitable but still depressing.

NASA’s exoplanet announcement today seems intriguing. It seems that it can’t just be yet another planet, but something relating to biosignature gases.

Trump’s Tlön. This is the good stuff. I think that I already made this connection, calling Trump’s statements hrönir and throwing in the quote, “‘To refute him is to become contaminated with unreality,” elsewhere.

Chill With the “Journalists Are Heroes” Thing. Elitism is bad. Entitlement is bad.

Has There Been A “Nuclear Incident” In The Arctic? My bet would have been it’s the waste of old accidents are now being spread through the oceans because of… you guessed it- global climate change melting the Arctic. Tah dah! However, it’s  iodine-131, which has a half-life of 8 days. Apparently one of the old sites or a new site has something actively spilling. What the fuck is going on up there? There’s no news yet on what the WC-135 nuke sniffer plane has found.

Excavation at Chaco Canyon Reveals Maternal Lineage. 330 years, from A.D. 800 to 1130. Identical mitochondrial DNA. Some aren’t so keen on this matriarchal dynasty theory.

Genetic data show mainly men migrated from the Pontic steppe to Europe 5,000 years ago.

Socialism’s Return. Optimism but too much focus on Bernie. I love him, but he’s not going to be our future.

Democratic Socialists make headway in U.S. after Trump’s win. I was so excited to help get the local chapter rolling, but a series of family illnesses, wife’s birthday, and crappy shifts screwed that up. Maybe after Mardi Gras. Today there’s supposed to be a lot of folks turning up at Bill Cassidy’s town hall in Metairie. Not only can I not afford to miss my hours to trek down there, but a boss is showing up today. Stucker than stuck at work.

Cabinet picks clash with White House over hiring. Personal loyalty to Trump outweighs all other factors. Hiring for key positions is grinding to a halt. This is good. Take as many vacations as you like, Trump. Obsess on who truly likes you. This is all good. I am being utterly sincere. The less he actually governs, the better. A paralyzed government is better than an effective authoritarian one.

Daniel Clowes: Trump Made Me Forgive Shia LaBeouf. I forgot LeBeouf plagiarized him. Clowes disappoints though. Forgiving just anyone who stands against Trump, even temporarily, isn’t wise. That’s how people get stabbed in the face by shitbags like Evan McMullin. Us against them doesn’t work at this point in time. I trust juggalos more than people like McMullin.

The most recent Chapo Trap House has me back onboard. It still seems they’re underestimating what Bannon can accomplish, because the well-established police state doesn’t need true genius or even much competence to bulldoze over us all. However, I’m very much down with their assessment of how we need to hold onto Trump as long as we can as whatever monster follows will be more quietly competent. Trump is their freak monster to be discarded, the disposable shit magnet. The normies will sigh in relief and embrace each other in triumph when Trump goes, not comprehending the fascism machine will continue to roll on.

Will reading this William Burrough’s passage is perfect. I’d forgotten its relevance.

We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision.

They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of past.

There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.

Burroughs himself for good measure:

morning 02.21.17

Eyes are making it tricky to keep blog rolling right now.

Study on prehistoric violence published. Tracing the history of California for past 1,000 years.

Weird Life Found Trapped in Giant Underground Crystals. Mexico. Naica mine in Chihuahua. Microbes trapped in pockets of fluid inside these crystals. 10,000 to 50,000 years old.

4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump. This one is annoying because there are several inaccuracies in it or shit I just disagree with.

  • 4chan wasn’t that off the radar. I tried it out fairly early thinking that it could be a decent forum for discovering comics. Unfortunately, most of the users had terrible taste and were incredibly arrogant about it. Most of the other topics were also utterly worthless. Then again, i used to lurk sometimes on Something Awful prior to this. Forums like ILM and Barbelith were more interesting for what I was interested in.
  • Raids. Other forums alternately celebrated and derided 4chan raids. There was nothing mysterious about the origins. Almost certainly a few are referenced in old Metafilter threads from that era. ILX probably has mentions of these too.
  • Everyone fucking knew it was 4chan versus Scientology. This “Don’t talk about 4chan” shit is a myth. They never could shut up about 4chan. Another factor that seemed to drive that crusade was 4chan’s love for New Atheism. That’s not mentioned in this piece.
  • Anonymous. Yes, it was originally a 4chan project, but the article doesn’t mention that key members of that group were arrested. Others were probably quietly co-opted. Why would Anonymous go from ambitious projects attacking authoritarian power structures to doxxing random women on the internet? It didn’t. Mostly those were different people. Anonymous did indeed have different values from Occupy but Anonymous is not Gamergate either. Anonymous-affiliated groups used to dox rapists back in the day… and those people were pursued and charged by the FBI.
  • 4chan has not been static. The forum is now on its second or third generation. As the years progressed, it self-selected for a specific set of personality traits. Eh, “self-selected” is inaccurate. 4chan radicalized in a pattern analogous to other groups infiltrated and shepherded by certain agencies. The hikikomori story is only one angle of what happened. It’s more comfortable for certain powers that outsiders like the members of 4chan to channel their frustration towards minorities than at powerful institutions. That’s how one gets an “alt-right”.

 

 

 

noon 02.18.17

Did Stone Age people build a large labyrinth in Denmark? Bornholm. Palisade enclosures. Neolithic.

Iron Age Potters Carefully Recorded Earth’s Magnetic Field — By Accident. All kinds of great research interlocking here.

Washington quietly rebuffs Turkish delegation’s anti-YPG efforts. Good. Whatever aspect of the deep state that is supporting YPG can keep on keeping on.

India’s only live volcano active again: National Institute of Oceanography. On Barren Island in the Andaman Islands. It’s been erupting since January 23rd. It’s been intermittently active since 1991, but was dormant for 150 years prior.

Parable Of The Sower – Not 1984 – Is The Dystopia For Our Age – Nnedi Okorafor. I don’t think I’ve gotten around to reading any Octavia Butler. I vaguely recall The Parable of the Sower.