To My Erstwhile Friends
It may have been the CBD spray, but all of a sudden I was struck, no more than struck, I was invaded by how all of my leftie/liberal friends feel. And it is horrible, and it lasted a long time and it was geopathic, I couldn’t escape it. To listen to those tirades on the television every night, to feel all that hate coming at you, the character assassinations, the drama, the parade, the great soap opera of the early millennium.
I don’t watch it. I can’t. If I listen to a minute of it, my nerves start to curl up and die. I need to read, and I need to discuss, and I need to analyze. So I do. I have many friends with whom I do just that. Many.
But I miss y’all. I wish I could send a tonic, other than turn it off. Read. Read deeply, read beyond the headlines and read widely. Think for yourselves, turn away from the hysteria, the rising tone, the G-Force hurricane alarm. You’re burning out your adrenals. You can be as liberal as you like, but please, the rising hysteria in everyone’s voice is exhausting. To everyone.
One more thing. It’s not your side being investigated, charged, put in solitary confinement, convicted, bankrupted, driven from social media, deplatformed, refused by banks to collect your money and that was just the last six months. Nope, my side is on defense and busy quickly fixing the broken economic system, so that everyone benefits.
It is your side putting us through this.
Why Reading Jane Austen is Essential
The Federalist published an essay today trying to reinvent, no doubt for the ten millionth time in human history, a reason for reading the classics. Why Reading Jane Austen is Essential to Understanding Virtue and Vice, is a new iteration on this old trope and useful since “virtue” and “vice” seem to have gone the way of the IBM Selectric. Utility and advancement, getting yours, grinding till you own it, as Beyonce says, is pretty much the dominant philosophy sold by popular culture.
I’ve tried living for pleasure and utility. It sucked. It hurt me. It hurt other people. So I returned to the sterner path a couple decades ago and it served me well. I notice among my women friends that feminism has served them ill, in telling them their deepest impulses are good and to be celebrated because all hell is brought by the patriarchy. I watch them tormented by greed and envy, lust and pride, inevitably followed by self-hatred and depression. It is a hell of a trap, and one can say nothing that wouldn’t be received as invasive and judgmental.
“Virtues like courage and moderation are character traits that reveal themselves when one is faced with great adversity or great pleasure. When one reacts courageously to the circumstances one might face or when behaves moderately in the face of great pleasure, one exercises virtue.”
Behaving moderately in the face of great pleasure, however, that I have yet to master. I’d love to try again.
Beyonce and Blacks in September Vogue – WTF?
Managed to get through almost 2/3ds of the September Vogue without suffocation, but was pleasantly amused since it seemed less content-free than usual. US Vogue which used to be a cash cow is now losing almost $150 million a year, an impressive sum especially since it used to carry its entire parent, Conde Nasty.
What amuses me most is that about half of the ads, stories and models are now populated by People of Color. I interviewed there about 20 years ago and suggested a photo story of the Williams sisters who were just then starting out and physically stunning. The editor, not AW, looked at me as if I had horns. Not now, boy, if you were to read Vogue you would now think the US was half black, rather than 13%. And left wing, very very left wing. With occasional forays into brutal-dictator-worshipping.
I don’t get the marketing plan. Have white women fled the Wintour corral for pastures stripped of shoes that destroy your ability to walk by the time you’re 60 and clothes that turn you into a Russian or Saudi whore? And now she’s about to fit black women into some new-fangled torture costume? Run strong black women, as fast as you can.
Watergate Guy Publishes Yet Another Hit Job on Trump
Bob Woodward, the ancient creaky frog of the DC swamp is publishing Fear: Trump in the White House on the weighty-to-the-point-of-cliched-date of September 11th, just in time for another week of hysteria on the nets. Does the fact that CNN has lost 800,000 viewers not mean anything to these idiots? Do they not realize we have turned them off? That the only people watching are fanatics and hysterics?
Seriously, Woodward jumped the shark of significance four books ago. He is wheeled out every now and then to weak applause from the assembled academics, failed and otherwise, and pseuds of the blue east coast states – the west long ago having turned him off. I bet he sells a few multiples of tens of thousands of copies, mostly libraries and from lecturers assigning his book in school, and then, like all the others glub glub glub.
The intelligent world moved on long ago, Bob.
Goodness, HBO’s Sharp Objects is Mondo Depressing
I like Amy Adams the lead in Sharp Objects, the current piece by Gone Girl author, Gillian Flynn. And I enjoyed Gone Girl, mostly because revenge. But honestly, really? What is going on here, other than endless parades of flashbacks, nightmares, insults from the worst mother ever to walk the planet, a lotta drinking, very very weird sexual encounters, and some admittedly shocking displays of cutting?
There is a reason they tell you in writing school that flashbacks and dreams screw with drama and forward momentum. Equally drinking and drug-taking is not especially meaningful to anyone not actually taking the drugs, ie the character his or her or theirself. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t find something else to do during sex scenes now. Maybe not adolescent boys, but pretty much everyone else screws up their eyes and sighs a gusty sigh of mixed boredom and frustration.
That comprises 70% of Sharp Objects. Which leaves us with 30% of extremely confusing events meant to suggest who the hell the killer might be, possibly, or not.
Amateur time. If this is an example of “including more women’s voices”, we have a long dry period of bad drama coming up.
The Rub of Rough Sex
Basically I think sex has jumped the shark. People are turning off – not guys and not porn of course – but in the super-culture, where only consumer choice leads. Amazon has started hiding erotica, the pieties of Hearth and Home, the W Network, Hallmark, Lifetime and so on, dominate television. Grubby, gritty, dark drama is losing its fascination.
Of course, in the further regions of the left, where that provincial and dizzyingly narrow-minded community is strictly limited to the ‘woke’, they are still fighting the 19th Century. And “rough sex” seems to be the new battlefield. One that sends them to the hospital.
I knew what these women were describing because I too have felt something like those slaps, those stings, that choking fear…..as they slapped my face, ripped my asshole, and bruised my vagina.
Last week I read most of a distressing piece from Longreads by a woman with the porny name of Chelsea Summers about her liking for having the crap beat out of her by a series of super disgusting “boyfriends”. Can’t say I finished, “too much gross” said a friend, but I was struck by her tone of moral superiority. Her boyfriends had the right politics. They were feminists, like all the #MeToo abusers, like the NY AG Schneiderman she voted for, who choked and beat his girlfriends because “they liked it”.
These men appeared to embody the fascinating dichotomy of enlightened politics and raw male sexual magnetism, and this bifurcated appearance was as important to them as it was to me
I was caught too by the fact that she lived the life I once did in lower Manhattan, working in theatre and film, going to endless nightclubs, parties, and restaurants. Few of us then were political beyond hating Reagan and Bush. Now they work for “social justice” and “community organizing” is the apogee of achievement. People then were daringly promiscuous, now by this report, they are rutting beasts tearing strips off each other and calling it enlightenment.
Conventional masculinity is still “rough,” and it remains tethered to a heady cocktail of sexual prowess, dominance, and aggression.
Summers concludes her “think” piece by stating that all men are evil predators by nature and prone to give into their deepest desires and are trained by the culture (and evil Jordan Peterson) to do so. This was the most risible statement of a veritable parade of wrongheadedness. No, Chelsea, most men are good, you just haven’t been out of your teeny-tiny ghetto. The men you meet, Chelsea, are vile and disgusting. Here’s a clue. Make it your life’s work to find the good ones. Then work with them, party with them, make a family with one, and a community with the others. Because I assure you, at the age of 60, you don’t want to be living in a condo or cabin with cats and resentment. Your encountering vile examples of masculinity may be a clue that your social justice wokeness might be anything but. Herewith the current cant of her nasty little species:
And let’s not pussyfoot around it: Masculinity is broken. When people understand that there are discrete differences between being a “good man” and being masculine, we have a problem. When men testify to abuse as an outgrowth of masculinity, we have a problem. When men overwhelmingly perpetrate acts of mass violence, we have a problem. And when men carry out those acts of mass violence in the name of their manly rights to women’s bodies, we seriously have a problem.
For now, Summers has survived having the crap beaten out of her and her heart torn out by the roots. But she is still entranced by the dark. Two more pieces of advice, Chelsea. First get rid of the silly name. You are an adult, not a “persona”. Second, get down on your knees and thank the Universe that your “boyfriends” didn’t get you addicted to drugs and turn you out. Because that is the next logical step on your “journey” into darkness. Become like the trafficked women and children who surround you by the tens of thousands in Manhattan, for whom ‘evil’ is not a recreational choice. Oh wait, you call them “sex workers”. Of course, you do.
Forests: Manage them or Watch Them Burn
Yesterday, driving my step-son Amos to the ferry, we drove into what I consider the most astonishing vista on Salt Spring, which is Bruce Ridge, a sheer treed mountain that peaks at around 2350 feet. I haven’t made it to the top yet, but I climb its switchbacks as often as I can. It is breathtaking in every sense of the word, high, lonely, wild, exhausting. I carry one of those sound-barrier-breaking alarms because of cougar, it’s that wild. But the exultation that it confers on the lonely hiker is unmatched, at least in my life.
As we approached it, I said, “Someday that whole mountain is going to explode in fire, and it will be destroyed for fifty years.” We had been following the fires in our province and directly south, the catastrophic canopy fires in California.
All of which, ALL of which were entirely preventable. I wrote a book about environmental mismanagement that was published in 2012, which entirely lays out the reasons why. Other, more rigorous researchers had gone before me, and many have gone after, but none of the research has trickled into the culture to the point where something will be done.
So to recap. In the late 80’s, during the “War of the Woods”, a new paradigm of forest management was invented. It was given power by the 1992 UN Festival of Fools, commonly known as the Earth Summit, and over time was instituted ALL OVER THE WORLD. Forced even, bullied into existence by ceaseless invective and divisive campaigning by the usual suspects. This is what it did:
- forbade the clearing of brush in the forest
- forbade the thinning of new trees
- forbade clear cuts
- forbade fire breaks
- forbade the stoppage of early lightening-caused fires
- allowed fires to progress
- forbade forest management practices that had been in place for hundreds of years – this called German silvaculture.
- forbade the clearing of debris out of creek beds
- forbade the grazing of cattle and sheep in the forest.
All of this means the forests are overstocked. Fire ladders grow up out of years of dead brush and reach forty feet on some trees, acting like tinder. There is so much stock growing in the forest that the soil is desiccated, its nutrients sucked dry. Which means one spark, and it’s gone.
So today, we have a continent, with several hundred million square miles of forest, all of which are in danger of catastrophic fires that burn so hot that even the seeds in the soil are killed. Every species threatened and not, will die. And no one does anything about it.
The Adventure of Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs
For the past nine months, I’ve been coming off drugs I took for 25 years to moderate a mild case of CFS/Fibromyalgia. I was prescribed relatively tiny doses of an old-fashioned anti-depressant to improve the quality of my sleep. “A homeopathic dose,” said my GP. If I was stressy, I took more, if not, I took less. It worked. I didn’t fall entirely out of the stream of life as do most people with CFS. So given an almost complete recovery and because the drugs were interfering with my clarity, time to stop. Tried to do it two years ago, fast, with exercise, like a lot of it. I was hill hiking for 8 hours a week, which put me into a kind of ecstatic state I highly recommend. I was so fully oxygenated; there were moments I actually felt I could fly.
But the combination of rapid detox and ten hours a week of exercise – I swam two hours along with the hiking – broke the homeostasis of my body and I very near killed myself. It was bio-hacking way into the danger zone. However, I brought myself out of it, gave myself a year in bed. Which I highly recommend, it is a magnificent reset, which, I am pretty sure, will add many healthy years to my life.
In any case, tapering slowly was, in the end, more interesting. I have learned to balance my body with supplements and herbs. “I am a highly educated health care consumer,” I joked to my naturopath last week, and he said, “Boy are you ever,” without a hint of sarcasm or caution, for which I was grateful. But still, coming off any kind of psychiatric drug is very very tricky, no matter how healthy you are or well-balanced. Whatever they did in those labs to create these drugs, has saved millions of lives, but the cost is high and the stories of people trying to get off them are more often than not, pitiable, even tragic.
I have had all kinds of symptoms. For instance, all the emotions the drug allowed me to stuff came up and had to be reckoned with. That was a lot of information to process. Also, since I am less tranquilized, my blood pressure and heart rate zoom up and down like crazy looking for balance. Forget chocolate, and certainly, forget drinking. No exogenous stimulants, not even diet Coke, not even too many parties and I like parties. My thyroid rockets up and down confusing the lab to no end. Nor can I push myself. Like, at all. This will all calm down over the next few months, so it is not worrying, just annoying.
There are few after-stories. It may be that once off the drug, people sail off and forget to report. It may be that life continues but is diminished. Or the depression returns, or the anxiety disorder, or the voices. In my case, no such thing has happened. I reckon I have access to an extra five or ten IQ points, I have returned to my disquieting and autonomic empathy and I am much more sensitive, the two latter of which are mixed blessings.
Was it necessary? I now know how to stop any physical or psychological disequilibrium with herbs or supplements which are GRAS, generally recognized as safe. Even schizophrenia can be virtually halted with large doses of flushing niacin, I’ve seen it in my own family. Moreover, the culture at large has been aware of this cheap rapid fix for more than forty years. There is almost no need to take sleeping pills or Ativan or in fact any psychiatric medication anymore. Biohacking is advancing so far ahead of conventional medicine you almost have to be in the slow stream to not be aware of the extraordinary feats you can achieve with your body, given an even average intelligence.
The future, therefore, is bright. Both for me, and for the ordinary Joe trying to manage the chaos of post-authoritarianism.
Amazon, Apple, Twitter and Facebook are all heading for Trust-busting, Roosevelt-style
Enjoy the giants, because in ten years they will be gone. Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter are all heading for the chopping block of democracy. And free speech is the accelerant.
They are too big; they are too dominant. They are worse than the robber barons who were ruined by Theodore Roosevelt, an earlier Trumpkin. I don’t need to cite the figures showing that they are virtually the only publishers now, the rest just feed into their maw. As such, they have all the power.
And now they are flexing it.
This weekend Twitter decommissioned the account of the current darling of the right, a young pretty black woman called Candace Owens with a mouth on her that hasn’t been seen since Churchill, no lie. Owens was spoofing the latest hire of the NYTimes editorial page a Korean-American racist who hates white men so hard one expects her to melt into green slime like the Wicked Witch of the East.
Apple has decided to take a firm stand on “free speech” and has eliminated all of Alex Jones’s podcasts along with Google etc., effectively de-platforming him. Jones is a much-loved crack-pot and someone who often gets things very very very right on, along with a lot of spectacular rubbish, which amuses tens of millions.
Twitter and Facebook lost 25% of their value last week, seems they aren’t getting enough new users. Could it have something to do with blocking, shadow-banning and censoring the full 50% of their user base with whom they do not agree? Arithmetic is so hard.
Amazon has been elected by the cartel police in Germany as their next target for take-down, arguing, correctly, that Amazon eviscerates local businesses. Coupled with the exposes of warehouse worker conditions, nothing is starting to look good on them, not even the pleasure of having toilet paper delivered by Fedex.
Trust-busting is fueled almost entirely by public sentiment, and sentiment is turning. No one believes anything any authority says anymore. It seems that finally, the people’s revolution is here and the public has freed itself from forelock tugging.
It is going to be a splendid spectacle watching the slow-mo fall. And lawyers are going to make out like bandits.
Fame is the Mask that Eats Your Face
I have watched the new documentary, Robin Williams, Come Inside My Mind on HBO 2 ½ times now. It is a luminous piece of work that peels back the many layers of William’s tragic clown persona.
Fame is the mask that eats your face a friend reminded me recently. Williams started as a serious-minded preppie who went to elite single-sex schools bent on turning out the leaders of tomorrow. But touched by genius and seduced by youth culture, the minute he could escape the established path, he did. He married well, three times, he had three gorgeous children, made several fortunes and for a decade was possibly the most loved man on earth.
And he spent the last 20 years of his life eating himself alive.
I was in the same hippie veggie store on Saltspring with him once. He smiled at me, then turned his head up and twirled looking at the building. He looked like a dwarf, all shrunken into himself, deflated, cartoon-like, squat, ugly. I had never seen anyone so exhausted, so much a husk of an individual.
Williams succumbed to the spirit of the age, addicted to the high of his vertiginous talent, addicted to oblivion that gave him rest, by the 2000’s he had descended into scatological invective, his brain firing so fast, sweat pouring from his body during performance, it was like watching a man burn to death
He will be remembered for the next 500 years as an incandescent genius who immolated himself for our pleasure and his own.
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