Hate Speech

…or as it used to be called in the Gude Ole Daze, invective, seems to have been cowed by Political Correctness because Feewings are more important than truth, or even humor.  Take this little passage from Taki’s Magazine, for instance, in describing the travails of CanuckiPM Zoolander:

As the telegenic fist-puppet of the global elite, Justin Trudeau does everything his string-pullers tell him to do: He pretends that Muslims are human, that trannies are women, that white people need to be eliminated, and that women never lie about rape.
Earlier this year, Trudeau threw his support behind the castration-crazy witch hunt known as #MeToo, a vanity project in which women receive love, cash, interview requests, and the sweet taste of revenge by boasting that they were sexually assaulted by powerful men. He called it “a movement whose time has come”:

“Sexual harassment is a systemic problem. It is unacceptable. When women speak up, it is our duty to listen to them and to believe them.”

Yeah, that’s going to be problematic for the boyish man whom many suspect is the bastard love child of Fidel Castro and Trudeau’s schlong-gobbling whore of a mother.

There’s so much fine invective here, it’s difficult to know where to start:  hell, the “telegenic fist-puppet” quip alone is worth the price of admission.  But it’s the description of Margaret Trudeau where the Invective Parade gets the brass band going, and I howled with laughter when I read it.

Lest anyone think that part’s libelous, I should point out that La Margaret’s lack of morals was not only well-known but documented, having had affairs with, by her own admission, more than one of the Rolling Stones during one of their tours of The Great White Space, as well as with other famous people.  And the affection towards Commie politicians shown by Her Groupieness makes the “love child” barb not only possible, but highly likely.  And let’s be honest:  she “let it all hang out” (literally) on more than one occasion:

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Artsy-Fartsy

I have long thought that “post-modern” (and maybe even “modern”) art is a load of crock, camouflage for the untalented to pretend their talent. It started, of course, with the post-WWI Dadaists (who were really nihilists) and really took off with Marcel Duchamps (may his  current body/spirit temperature be set to “BROIL” for all eternity). I mean, seriously?

Now comes this article, which looks at post-modernism’s more deadly aims:

If wisdom begins with the definition of terms, what do you call efforts to deliberately lie about what those definitions actually are? The manipulation of our shared understanding is too calculated to be merely inept; too consistent to be ascribed to simple ignorance; too debased to be just misguided. There is strategy here, relentlessly advanced and ferociously enforced.
Misdirection is at the core of the whole rotten Postmodern gambit. “Who is there among you, who, if his son. asks him for bread, will give him a stone?” The contemporary technocratic managerial class, that’s who. Our culture is saturated with globalist diktats that that are fundamentally at odds with reality. They not only give us stones for bread, they give us leftist activism in place of art, and tell us to swallow it.

Quite right. I’ve studied Art Appreciation quite thoroughly — because Art had always been a hole in my store of knowledge as a younger man, I had to fill it — but try as I may, I could not “get” Modern or Post-Modern Art. When a piece has to be “explained” as to its meaning or direction by either the artist or an “expert” (who may be completely wrong, by the way), I think it’s essentially meaningless. Or, if the interpretation of the work is completely in the eye of the beholder, it’s equally meaningless — it’s a blank page, in other words. (The gallery pic above is therefore quite instructive, in this regard.)

I make a clear distinction between these schools of art and Impressionism, by the way, because at their worst, Impressionist paintings gave you an insight into the artist’s view of the world, even though that view might have been disturbing (hello, Picasso):

But modernist / post-modernist art is nothing like that. Instead, we’re treated to the chaotic randomness of, for instance, Jackson Pollock:

…which tells us absolutely nothing, about anything.

I can live with some of the Modernists like Egon Schiele:

…and ditto the modern Impressionists, like Leonid Afremov:

(That’s his Winter Sun, and it’s hanging on my wall as we speak.)

But the whole school of Post-Modernism screams “FAKE!” at me, every time I see it, and the attempt to redefine terms — as the author explains in the above article — likewise revolts me, and I’m calling bullshit on the whole thing.

It’s not art; it’s anti-art. And a pox on them for their attempts to redefine and, ultimately, to destroy beauty.

About Time, Too

I’ve always enjoyed Taki Theodoracopulos’s pet online project, Taki’s Magazine.  I especially love the old Greek bastard’s own wicked articles, with all the name-dropping and gossip flavoring. Almost without exception too, the writers have been a type after my own heart: intelligent, educated, fearless and completely irreverent, they’re willing to tackle even the most fearsome of sacred cows.

Much less so were the morons who commented on the articles. Almost without exception, they were a bunch of ignorant assholes for whom no dire situation or event was not at least partially caused by the Jooos (especially, as Taki puts it, “(((the Rothschilds)))”) who are seated at the heart of the Great Jewish / Bilderberg / Katahdin /  Illuminati Conspiracy (or some bullshit like that).

So Taki finally got sick of all those commentators’ illiterate and malicious doggerel, and took out the Comments section. Now, if you want to make a comment, you have to send Taki’s Mag an email with your comment, and they’ll publish them later in the week IF they feel the comment is worthy. I suspect that only about 0.05% of the emails will ever see the light of day: good.

At last, I can wholeheartedly endorse Taki’s Magazine because it’s excellent. Even David Cole and Pat Buchanan don’t get up my nose that much anymore (mostly because I only read those of their posts which cover topics I’m interested in). Even if I don’t agree with the rest of the Taki’s Mag articles — or even just parts thereof — I read them anyway, because regardless of my opinion, they’re pretty compelling reading.

Hell, Joe Bob Briggs alone makes visiting the website a fine experience; but to be honest, you could say that about almost all the writers. And that’s something I cannot say about any other online (or even Dead Tree) publication.

Enjoy.

Fashion Stakes

As my Longtime Readers all know: like a doomed moth to a searing flame, I’m helplessly drawn to the spectacle of women dressing up to attend horse racing events. (I just can’t help myself, Doctor, please help me — no, don’t.)

Anyway, a couple of races have gone by and I was too busy Ubering to do them justice, but now that the weekend is upon me, I’m ready to rock and roll.

As British horse races go, Cheltenham is about as different from Aintree as single malt Scotch is to moonshine — they both contain the same basic ingredient, but…

So this year at Cheltenham was pretty much the same as it’s always been:

And even when the booze flowed, it wasn’t at all Aintree-like:

And of course, my latest obsession object of desire would-be girlfriend Carol Vorderman put in an appearance:

The men also looked quite dapper, especially ex-Top Gear Token Dwarf Richard Hammond (with wife Mindy):

…and even his partner-in-crime, the usually-disheveled Jeremy Clarkson (with his latest Irish squeeze) did his best:

…although recently-fired-from-Top-Gear Chris Evans failed dismally:

(Don’t even get me started on all the fashion faux pas in just that one outfit…)

The ladies, in general, looked quite lovely (with lots of un-PC fur, worn quite unashamedly):

This was in steep contrast to their Australian cousins at some race in Oz, who showed the class for which Strine women are famous:

But wait! How did this vision of pulchritude get in through the gates?

Ah yes, of course [sigh]:

Ugh.

Ladies: if you want to be thought of as classy (at least for a first impression), you need to cover up your cutaneous mutilation with clothing such as worn by cycling gold medalist Victoria Pendleton:

The last time I looked, even the pretty Olympienne has a tiny one on her inner forearm [deeper sigh]. But in her earlier days:

I’ll never understand the self-mutilation thing.

Anyway, speaking of regrettable decisions: Aintree’s coming up soon, which means… Train Smash Women!   One can only hope they do as well as they did last year.

Watch this space.

No Thank You

There seems to be a consensus that if driverless cars are ever to become universal, then the controlling system will have to be one single one — you can’t have competing, perhaps even incompatible systems fighting over the traffic. In other words, we’d need something like Europe’s Eurocontrol:

Eurocontrol’s Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System compares demand for flights in a particular area with the available capacity.
The system pulls together data such as flight plans, taxiing time, and flight position from numerous sources in multiple countries and collates them.
It can then track planes in real time to manage the number of planes in the air to make sure it doesn’t get too crowded.
Precise monitoring prevents the carefully balanced system from being thrown out by planes with delayed departures or arrivals.
Planes can then be herded into departure and landing slots at airports to keep the thousands of flights in Europe flowing smoothly.
ETFMS also helps plan flight schedules up to a week in advance to help airlines and air traffic controllers plan each day down to the minute.

Uh huh. Then something like this happens:

Up to half of all flights in Europe face delays today after a Europe-wide air traffic control system failed.
Eurocontrol, which runs the system, said that a technical problem means that as many as half a million passengers could be affected, disrupting travellers who went away for the Easter weekend.
‘Today 29,500 flights were expected in the European network. Approximately half of those could have some delay as a result of the system outage,’ Eurocontrol said. The agency said the system would be back up and running tomorrow.

The cause had been identified, it said, without saying what it was. The agency said ‘contingency procedures’ were in place to stop the system becoming overloaded but that these would be lifted later this evening.
Eurocontrol added that flight plans from before 11.26am BST were ‘lost’ and asked airlines to refile them.
The agency said it was a ‘technical fault’ and that the system had not been hacked, saying they were now ‘in recovery mode’.

“Lost”, huh? That’s comforting.

Here’s my takeaway. I am never going to submit myself to a driverless car. And I am certainly never going to board a pilot-less aircraft (which, incredibly, has been suggested by various airlines and aircraft manufacturers).

Systems fail occasionally — all systems fail eventually — and I’m not going to be a prisoner of this kind of happenstance, ever, if I can possibly avoid it.

Cultural Straws Part 2

In yesterday’s post (Part 1) I looked at the trend in modern music covered by this article. Today I want to talk about the last couple paragraphs of said piece, which really deserve their own discussion. Why? First, the text:

“Music is at its core a social activity. People get inspired to play because they listen to their favorite artists or see them at a live venue. But that experience isn’t translated when you take music lessons. It’s usually a very solitary, one-on-one experience with one teacher and the students aren’t necessarily learning to play the songs they want to learn.”

“We teach students of all ages the same music theory they’d learn anywhere else, but you learn to use that theory with a band [emphasis added]. Students have group rehearsals where they can practice with a band every week. And we also have our version of a recital, which is really a rock show at a live venue. We put on more than 3,000 shows a year across the world.”

I cannot stress how good an idea this is, and here’s why.

It is a truism of education that unless there is relevance, fear or self-interest (or all three) involved, education or training will be a waste of time, i.e. no learning will be retained. (“Retained learning” being defined as being taught something, and being able to repeat the input a year later with more or less 90% facility.) This learning will be doubly successful if it is practical, meaningful and requires frequent repetition.

So here’s why the above approach is so successful.
1.) Pupils are not just learning musical theory (which I can attest is deadly boring), but are immediately required to put it into practice by playing with a group — i.e. it has relevance because the band’s performance will suffer if the pupil under-performs, and thus the band will rehearse over and over until they get it right (which provides the discipline to practice, as opposed to leaving practice to self-discipline — not an easy thing to maintain for months or years). Thus: application and repetition.
2.) Pupils get to play either exactly what they want or a close facsimile thereof by making a group compromise. Thus: relevance for the skills they’re acquiring.
3.) Finally, the audience’s applause provides the reward (i.e. self-interest) for the pupil.

I can tell you from my own experience that when our band really enjoyed a song — both the learning and the playing — we would play it for months or even years until we either forgot about it or got sick of playing it. On one occasion, after an absence of five years from the playlist, we got a request for Radar Love. As it happened, one of us had it on tape, so we listened to it during a break, then went back onstage and played it as though we’d done it the night before. Retained learning.

So I am totally unsurprised at the success of the School Of Rock, if this is how they’re teaching music. If I were a great deal younger, I’d enroll in a heartbeat.

As for the main thrust of the article — that Guitar Center is in financial kaka — I’m not worried, certainly not as far as guitars are concerned. It’s one of the few items remaining where a buyer absolutely has to touch the thing and test it before buying it, so GC should be able to weather the storm, even if in truncated fashion… I hope.