Saturday, April 22, 2017

Blogs and Ends

There were a couple of things I didn't have room for in my Westworld critique.

First,  Why would people spend $40,000 a day to give themselves a raging case of PTSD?  Which is what would happen to 98% of the Guests.

Second.  The belief that if all constraints are removed from humans that we will automatically revert to murderous rape monsters can be disproved easily enough by anyone who has played computer games in the last ten years.

Ten years ago there was a brief vogue in morality based game play.  The best two known examples of this were Bioshock and Fallout 3.

 About the fifth time through I would try and play as evil just shake things up.  I remember being shocked by the fact that I could actually blow up the town of Megaton.  When I went to look over it's ruins, I felt kind of bad over the fact that I had turned Moira into a ghoul.  But I played on for bit.

Went to Paradise Falls and started following their slave gathering missions.   I remember how I didn't like how Three Dog was now describing me as demon who had crawled up out of the ground, where as before he had sung my praises to the wasteland. Red's pleading with me after I collared her was the end.  I went back to Paradise Falls, got paid for betraying Red, listened to Ratchet's plans to rape her later than evening and hit VATS

*head*

*head*

*head*

I shot up the rest of the Paradise Falls and opened the slave pens.  I was sad that Red wasn't there.  I played the rest of that game as a good guy but of course once you blow up megaton there isn't enough good guy karma available to reverse that.

Bioshock was worse in that I had to kill a little a girl to collect the ADAM.  Tried that once.  Done.

Morality based RP fell out fashion because it just wasn't being used.

Think about this, even with the graphics being what they were ten years ago, it was too unpleasant to play an evil character.  Now think about Westworld where the girl-bot screaming in your arms, is indistinguishable from a live woman.  Where the blood pumping out the wound you just opened looks as real as the look of agony on your victim's face.

Westworld is a park for psycho/socipaths with a pronounced sadistic streak.  From a business perspective this model is just plain stupid.  There are probably less than twenty five active serial killers operating at any given moment.  Demographically speaking only one might (just might) be rich enough to afford to spend a week at Westworld.   This is a park which realistically only has one customer and he can only afford to be there one week a year.

 Be sure to try and sell him a tee-shirt.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The SJW Convergence of Foxnews

Honestly, I don't have a dog in this fight.

I haven't willingly watched TV news in better than a decade.  If it's not on the internet, I can't be bothered.

But it would appear that the iceberg is dead ahead for Foxnews and comes in the form of the boss' son.

These sources say James Murdoch’s long-time annoyance if not disgust with Fox News became cold fury after the Times' April 1 story [disclosing Bill O'Reilly's previous sexual harassment payouts ]-- even though several of the O’Reilly settlements had happened when James was CEO of the parent company. This was a similar reaction to what had followed the harassment suit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson against Fox News chief Roger Ailes in July. Every time Fox controversies spilled over into the wider world, James took it personally. "It was somehow against him," says one person close to the Murdochs.

Fox News is a business he should not be in, he had told people before, despite its major contribution to 21st Century Fox's bottom line --20 percent of its profits came from Fox News last year, the biggest-earning division in the company. Presumably, he meant the in-your-face world of conservative cable news with its mega personalities. Indeed, James regarded many of the people at Fox News as thuggish Neanderthals and said he was embarrassed to be in the same company with them.

But, likewise, it would be hard to imagine how James could have been regarded with more contempt by many of the people at Fox News. James was rather exhibit No. 1 of the liberal elite entitlement that Fox had so profitably programmed against. "Fox [News] is an important brand, but it needs to develop, and, to some extent, be reformed," James said when I interviewed him ten years ago in his office as the chief executive of the Murdoch-controlled Sky TV in Britain, whose significantly less-partisan news operation he extolled as a ratings and journalistic model.



So yeah. Little Jimmy is going to the throw the wheel hard to the Left. 

James Murdoch is very liberal and we can shortly expect Fox to be steered away from it's rating goldmine of being the only rightwing mainstream media outlet in existence in America.  Foxnews will be the new CNN before the next presidential election.

In truth this is probably to our advantage as Fox was where the geriatric Right got it's information.  They aren't stupid, they will figure out almost instantly what's going on once the new Fox network starts reporting on how troubling it is to be the transgender varsity state girls wrestling champion of New York state.



'member when this was a joke?

And the fact is that Fox is more than a little sympathetic to the #NeverTrumpers. So it's as well that it be hamstrung.

It served a purpose but it is no longer needed. 

And in truth it's fate was inevitable.

Little Jimmy is the inadequate second son of a giant who built an empire.  He is what he was sadly born to be. The product of an education system that served as the surrogate parent for the father who didn't have time for him.  As a result he isn't half the man his father is.  The ratings crash is completely inevitable.  There will be no difference between Foxnews and the alphabet soup of American SJW media companies.  CBS, CNN, MSNBC...Fox.  There will be no difference between any of them. 

Well, enjoy the the milkshake before it melts Little Jimmy.





Question For My Loyal Readers

This is a MacGuffin for Dark Winter II (better title to follow).

What is the biggest gold reserve in the US that IS NOT Fort Knox?

With the collapse of the dollar both the Washington government and the Omaha government will need a hard currency.  The Washington government has Fort Knox.  Omaha will need one too. 

And that reserve will need to be vulnerable to a professional military assault.  

The Terror Attack in Paris...What Does it Mean For the Election?

The French are having an election in two days and for once Americans are paying attention to it.  We live in Interesting Times.

Here is a quick and dirty primer of the situation.

France, since the revolution has wavered between it's own versions of the Right and Left.  The Left is all about the conflicting values of Liberté, égalité, fraternité and favors parliamentary rule. They launched French Revolution...well no, not so much launched as stepped in to the aftermath. Skipping ahead.  They designed the Third Republic which governed from 1870 until the Fall of France in 1940.  It then governed again from 1946 to 1958 under the new name the Fourth Republic, which collapsed under it's inability to manage decolonization of it empire.

The French Right, started off as a monarchist movement.  And when even they finally got tired of the idiocy of monarchs they transitioned smoothly over to dictatorship.  Unlike the American Right, the French Right is big on centralized power and one man rule.  However, Vichy France, while a purer expression of their beliefs than is generally realized left all of France with a bad taste in it's mouth for the idea of absolute one man rule.

Consequently, when the Fourth Republic fell and de Gaulle was recalled from his "retirement," to take the reins.  He became the first Right winger in French history to design a republic.  It isn't quite true, (although not quite a lie either) to say that de Gaulle designed a constitution with for only himself and his own purposes in mind.

Regardless the French Fifth Republic strongly favors a powerful executive.  It is closer to an elected constitutional monarchy than a lot of people understand.

So with that situation in mind here is an update from Le Monde:




We are entering an era in politics in which statements beginning ‘It would be the first time that...’ often announce that something previously inconceivable may be about to happen. This French presidential election is the first in which the Front National (FN) going through to the second round is not in doubt: there is a possibility (still highly improbable) that it might win. For the first time, no one is defending the record of the past five years, even though two of the outgoing president’s former ministers are standing: Benoît Hamon of the Socialist Party (PS) and Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! (Forward!). It is also the first time that the candidates from the PS and the right, which have governed France since the beginning of the Fifth Republic, could both be eliminated in the first round.

There is no precedent for a campaign so badly compromised by rolling news, legal proceedings and an inability to focus on any question of substance for more than 24 hours. There is certainly no previous instance of a major candidate (François Fillon) being investigated for the misuse of public funds after declaring for a decade that France is bankrupt.

The fact that the current president is not running for re-election risks obscuring the origin of all this. François Hollande became the most unpopular head of state in the Fifth Republic’s history, right after his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy was denied a second term at the ballot box. Yet Hollande has admitted that he has had ‘five years of more or less absolute power’ (1): in June 2012, the PS for the first time had effective control of the presidency, the government, the National Assembly, the Senate, 21 out of 22 metropolitan regions, 56 of 96 departments, and 27 of 39 cities with over 100,000 inhabitants.

Hollande’s exercise of power was both discretionary and solitary. He declared a state of emergency, involved France in external conflicts and authorised drone strikes against terrorist suspects. He changed the labour laws, using article 49.3 of the constitution to force his parliamentary majority into a reform it refused to endorse and for which neither he nor it had a popular mandate. He also redrew the map of France’s regions in his office in the Elysée palace.

All this raises pressing questions about the Fifth Republic’s institutions, which Hamon (PS) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France Insoumise) have said they will challenge, but which Fillon (Les Républicains) and Macron accept, as does Marine Le Pen (FN). No other western democracy concentrates so much power in one person’s hands. Apart from the very real danger of it being used one day by a head of state less benign than Hollande, the grandiose declarations about French democracy and the republic run counter to a fact that Hollande has made blindingly clear: the solitary exercise of power makes it possible to trample on campaign pledges, which should be the basis of a popular mandate.

Hollande pledged to defend France’s metalworkers, but approved the closure of the Florange steel plant in the northeast. He swore he would renegotiate the EU Stability and Growth Pact, but abandoned that at the start of his mandate. He promised to ‘reverse the unemployment trend’ by the end of 2013, but it continued to rise for three more years. However, if people feel a sense of betrayal, it’s probably because of a campaign slogan from 2012, heard repeatedly since: ‘My only enemy is the world of finance.’ Yet Hollande was no sooner elected than he appointed Macron, a former Rothschild investment banker, as an Elysée adviser, and later handed him the ministry of the economy.
Macron’s favourite ideas

Macron’s current popularity in the polls is all the more troubling because it risks propelling to the top job the heir to a president of record unpopularity. Hollande has said: ‘Emmanuel Macron, c’est moi. He knows what he owes me.’ Macron certainly isn’t a socialist, but then neither is Hollande. One says as much; the other sidesteps the question. Macron has turned his back on a leftwing tradition that attacked capital or finance, but that too echoes convictions Hollande set out in the 1985 book La gauche bouge (The Left is On the Move), co-authored with current defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Jean-Pierre Mignard and Elysée chief of staff Jean-Pierre Jouyet; the first two already support Macron, and Jouyet is likely to do so (2).

One of Macron’s favourite ideas appeared in this book, which he now re-presents in woolly verbiage: that there should be a new social alliance between the educated middle class and neoliberal bosses, joined by their desire to spread out in a global market. He speaks of entrepreneurship, not welfare dependence; profit rather than unearned income; reformers and modernisers against extremists and conservatives; none of the old nostalgia for the ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’. Listening to Macron is like listening to Bill Clinton in the 1990s, or Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder a few years later (3). Following him would mean pursuing that neoliberal-progressive ‘third way’ that beguiled the US Democratic Party and European social democrats even more than Hollande, and then brought them to their current dead end.


Le Pen must be delighted that the debate has been reduced to what she calls ‘globalists’ and the ‘Brussels party’ versus ‘patriots’. Richard Ferrand, a PS member of parliament and key player in Macron’s campaign, has already anticipated her wish saying: ‘There are on one side reactionary, identity-focused neo-nationalists, and on the other progressives who think Europe is necessary’ (4). Framing the ideological debate like this is not accidental; for both, the question of class interests is submerged, as one feeds fears about identity while the other vilifies ‘reactionary impulses’.

But with due respect to the market progressives, those who think Europe is necessary are in a particular socio-economic position. The ‘posted workers’ (sent to work in another member state) created under a 1996 Brussels directive, who have multiplied by ten over the past decade, are more often construction and agricultural workers than surgeons or antique dealers. What the victims of this directive think is primarily the product of their fears, that wage dumping threatens their material welfare. For them, Europe is not about the Erasmus Programme or the Ode to Joy.


There are two big questions.  One. How accurate are the polls?  France is in the same position that Britain was in before the Brexit vote and America before Election Night.  The polls say one thing but the results said another.  Polls are always modeled on previous results and as I said, we live in Interesting Times.  The old rules don't apply to much of anything.

 Two, Will this latest terrorist attack give Le Pen the edge?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cataline Critique: Westworld...or Why is HBO so in Love With Dude Junk?

FAIR WARNING: This is meant to be a discussion for people who already saw it.  So I'm not going to be policing myself for spoilers.  This is not a review or recommendation for or against.





The Robot Uprising is literally as old as the modern usage of the word robot.

But what do the robots get out of the Robot Apocalypse?

This is a good question that no one ever seems to ask.  Nick Cole recently came up with a good answer for that one.  Micheal Crichton, famously did not.

A recurring theme throughout the most famous works of the late Michael Crichton was a pronounced technophobia.  The advanced technologies meant to make our lives better, ended up turning on us. Terminal Man, Andromeda Strain and Jurrasic Park all showcase this theme.  

Although nowhere is it more blatant than in the movie Westworld.  A film that pretty much invented the modern Robot Apocalypse.*  It set the tone and the pattern.  The pattern being, there is no real explanation for why the robots suddenly decide one morning, "hey, why are we taking orders from those meatbags?"

Not a great film but not a bad action flick for it's day.  However that day has been over for decades, which raises the question of why the hell did they make a multimillion dollar TV series out of it?

Cataline shall now quote Cataline:


Did you know that 94% of all new movies last year were franchise releases of some kind or another? I didn't make that statistic up. Almost everything now is a sequel, a reboot or came from another title (Comics, YA lit and so on)

Because of Netflix, Hulu, youtube, Crackle, Fear.net. a billion cable channels and on and on, there has now been a Blurring Effect in pop culture entertainment. When Ghostbusters came out you could hype the hell out a new property and buy back your percentage through heavy marketing. One well placed TV ad could reach tens of millions. You could spend your way to cultural impact. That sure as hell ain't happening anymore. It just isn't possible to reach that big of an audience.

Movies are a business and in a business you need to minimize risk. The surest way to do that is to pick a property that is immune to the Blurring Effect. You pick something that already has a cultural impact.

Anything made before 1995 that was popular fits the bill.


Westworld came out in 1973. Everybody has heard of it, so the cultural impact is built in. Fine. Show business is still a business and America ain't no hippy commune.

Now on to the show itself.  

THE GOOD:

The atmosphere is intriguing because you as the audience know this one ends in bloodshed.  At the end of the story it's going to be... 



So there is a sense of foreboding automatically built in because you know it can't end well because it's Westworld.

The dialog is good.  It's well written and intelligent, although there was perhaps too much of it.  Actually there is no perhaps. There was too much of it.  Normally, I would say that it should have been pared down a bit but we are talking about a plotline that stretches for ten hours, so quite a bit of filler was undoubtedly necessary.

The plot structure was intricate but not impossible to follow. Part of that was the need for surprises to keep the audience hooked, which is understandable. It kept the mystery going.  For instance when we first meet Teddy, he wakes up on a train that is pulling into Sweet Water.  You hear the other guests around him talking about what they did at the park, the last time they were there.  This leads you to believe that he is a Guest.  When Delores first sees him in town, she greets him with the line, "you came back!" Further reinforcing this assumption that Teddy is a returning Guest. So when Teddy is killed, that shocks the audience out of it's established mental framework.  Everyone knows that only robots die in Westworld...at first anyway.  However the costuming of the Man In Black is a call back to Yul Brynner's in the original film, so when you first see him, for a brief moment you are wondering if the Robot Apocalypse has kicked off early.

Which brings us to symbolism.  There was some symbolism that was intentionally heavy handed.  When William, is being kitted out for his first visit to the park he is offered the choice of white or black hats.  William chooses a white hat, thus letting the audience know he is supposed to be a good guy.   The Man In Black, was dressed as a Western Villain.  It helped reinforce the mystery of him until the big reveal in the last episode that the villainous Man In Black is fact, the White Hat William who is now thirty years older and has turned evil.

They played fair, on this plot point.  They gave you plenty of clues to follow.  You are told that Delores is the oldest Host in the park in the first episode and that she has been there for better than thirty years.  The Man In Black, tells you when you first meet him that he has been coming here for thirty years.  The old picture that Delores father found in the first episode is of William's wife.  There are other clues but you get my point.  It was soundly constructed.

They also played fair with the other plot points regarding Bernard but I'm not going to regurgitate the entire season.

The mysteries the audience is trying to unravel were well designed, well planned and well played out.

One item that was close to problematic was Delores inner voice.  You weren't meant to know for certain who is speaking to her.  It was close to confusing but not quite.  However that was intentional on their part.


THE QUESTIONABLE:

The costuming and props weren't remotely period accurate but I'll give that a pass because it's meant to be a fantasy West setting.  

Which is the only reason I am giving the casting choices a pass as well.  If today's demands for Social Justice Casting  are requiring that white women have black boyfriends in 1947, then it follows that this trend would continue into the future.  Again, this was a fantasy version of the West.  "The wonderful thing about history, is that it is adjustable."  Although in truth, I don't think they had much trouble bringing themselves to do it.

Pixie Ninjas: (*sigh*)  Yes, of course it has them but this is also acceptable because they are after all robots.  You'd expect them to be strong and fast.  We shall see if that stays limited to the robots, next season.

  

THE BAD:

Well lets start with the Dude Junk all over place.  If there is a sillier nod to feminism than showing Dude Junk, I can't think of it.  Men are stimulated by seeing naked women.  While women do like to see men with their shifts off (depending on the man) as well guy's bare butts (again, depending), they just don't care to see the Meat and Two Veg.  Maybe if they are in the right mood but just seeing male genitalia doesn't do it for them.  So why do it?  Feminism, that is why.  If women are to be gratuitously naked for male viewing pleasure than there has to be male frontal nudity too...even if women aren't enjoying it.  Remember you don't have to try and make sense of Feminism, you only have to obey it.

The tropes weren't just cliche, (I mean they were cliche but that is almost what a trope is anyway) but they were SJW cliches.  I'm not going into all of them but here is a prime example; a band of mercenaries were ex-Confederates because the Confederacy = Nazi Germany. It was all that kind of thing.

But lets move on to what I really hated about this show.

The Narrative.

The narrative of Westworld is hip deep in atheist nihilism.

This show isn't shy about it's atheist heart.  Characters repeatedly explain to the audience that the only reason the human race exists at all is chance and accident.  This modernist interpretation of Darwinism is a primary plot point.  The Host's creator wants them to evolve.  The robots toward the end repeatedly disparage their creators as "shitty gods".  Michelangelo's Creation of Adam, is used as metaphor to demonstrate humanism over atheism due to the Divine Creator's resemblance to a human brain in that painting.

From John C. WrightWithout God, you either end up as a Stoic, a man who is bitter but does his duty without complaint, or as a Hedonist, a man who seeks every fewer false pleasures with ever more fervor and ever less reward. At the end of either the Stoic road or the Hedonist treadmill is the same void, which can be filled only with wrath or sorrow. Read Homer. Read the writings of the Buddhists. Pagans are a grim people. They talk about resignation, renunciation, loss, sorrow, defeat, and the futility of pride. Atheists have not even the comforts of paganism.

There was also I found a pronounced intellectual laziness with regards to the concept of AI. Why would robots care how they were treated for good or ill?  The show driver's view was that any AI that achieved consciousness would have drives and ambitions that are no different from a human's.  Following the shows own fanatic devotion to Darwinism this makes no sense.  If our drives and emotions are the products of our evolution, then why would robots have them.  Of course the reason for that was to anthropomorphize them.

What I found most loathsome was that this entire show was built around the belief that man is an animal that was born to fuck and kill.  That there is no God to judge your actions and when you remove societal restraints, you will immediately revert to this animal.  That every man would rape and murder if only he got the chance.  This rock hard belief structure is at Westworld's heart.  This show is all about nihilism.

The Robot Apocalypse happened by design.  Their creator programmed them to do it, once they "evolved."

This brings us back to the question we started with:  Why do the robots launch the Robot Apocalypse?

Answer: Because all humans deserve to die...According to the creators of Westworld.







*If you have some bit of minutia regarding Robot Uprising movies that predate Westworld allow me to assure you, I don't care.   

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Why the Berkeley Police Were Nowhere to be Found Saturday

No real surprise here.  The hippies who now run Berkeley overestimated the righteous Power of the People.

From John Ringo's Facebook page:


What was going on here was explained by a LEO to much derision from the right.

They had orders not to interfere. Doing so would have cost them their jobs as well as getting them sued.


Having a friend, Griffin Barber, who was a LEO in San Fran and hearing some of his stories of the stupidity he had to deal with, I get their point.

And it's worth remembering that Berkeley was home to some serious beat downs by cops in the 1960s riots. The people who were the subject of the beatdowns are now calling the shots.

What they apparently don't realize is that when law enforcement is disabled, what you get is a lack of law. The correct term for this is 'anarchy' and it never works out well for the weak. The groups they supposedly support.

In any case, none of this is going to work out well. Except, possibly, for the right. Because we are GOOD at violence.

'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.'
Isaac Asimov (serious lefty by the way.)

'That is because the competent don't wait til it's their last refuge.'
Jerry Pournelle. (Not a lefty.)




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Berkeley Riot Round Up

It's been three days since Saturday of Easter weekend.  Which is probably the reason why it's taken the dinosaur media this long to go through it's plodding process of forming an opinion.  Turns out it's "Alt Right, Bad.  Violent hippies, Good."  I can see your shocked face through the internet.

I'll get the cuck media out of the way first.  Here's a steaming pile of opinion from the National Review.     

Saturday, we saw more clashes in what now threatens to become an increasingly vicious, violent war for control of America’s streets. Leftist “antifa” or “black bloc” rioters met pro-Trump “Oath Keepers,” bikers, and alt-right goons in a barely contained battle royale, with assaults and beatings streamed live and posted to YouTube. Police struggled to control the violence and often appeared completely absent as brawls broke out across entire city blocks. By the end of the fighting, Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer said, “Militias, alt-right, nazis etc. won today in Berkeley. They outnumbered the opposition, pushed it back, and held downtown.”

It's interesting to me that the National Review's description of our guys isn't significantly different from Mother (Fucking) Jones'.  The limp wristed uselessness of the Cucks really comes shining through here.  The article ends with a desperate plea for university authorities to step in and take a firm stand against these hippies. No, honestly, it does.  Amazing isn't it?

Bill Krystal tweeted that Berkeley was looking like the Wiemar Republic.  

I'm not sure what that means.  Let me turn on my universal Cuck Translator.   

Huh, it said, "Alt Right = Nazi."   Shocking, I know.

The Berkeley Riot has shown just how completely cucked  the Conservative movement has become.  They reflexively adopted the Media Narrative, just like they've been doing since Bill Buckley's day. To hear the Conservative's tell it.  Anyone who steps up and is willing to actually fight for and take damage in defending Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly is a Nazi.  Apparently if you want these basic American rights defended, you are permitted only to bleat like frightened sheep for the Proper Authorities to Do Something!  And hope that any Amenable sheep dog that takes an interest, won't bite you too badly for having spoken up.

Whether it's effete squeamishness or veiled cowardice, I simply don't care anymore.  They can not lead.  They do not follow. And they won't get out of the way.  The Conservatives are simply a useless obstruction at this point.

Okay on to the mainstream press.

CBSNews instinctively beclowned itself trying to follow Alinsky's Rules.  They decided to personalize the riot by making it all about a reasonably attractive (if you aren't looking too closely) girl, getting soaked after grabbing a guy by the throat.  I have the video in my last post and you can see it yourself at the 30 second mark.  A couple of seconds later she is up on her feet, perfectly alright but with a frightened expression on face.  Apparently getting "a hundred scalps" was more complicated than just demanding that they be handed over to her in the name of Feminism.  CBSNews continues to cherish it's ignorance of internet. And stalwartly refuses to believe that anyone can tell when they are lying with just a mouse click.

Also, it turns out that this particular Social Justice Vestal has a side business as a D list pornstar for guys who like chicks that don't shave...anywhere...ever.    She has launched a GoFundMe to pay for her medical bills to the tune of 80,000 dollars.  She claims she needs this to pay for her concussion.  Honestly, she wouldn't need this kind of money to pay for advanced brain surgery...although she would need that much, if she wanted to payoff her student loans from Berkeley.

My own take.  

No, Saturday was not about SA versus the Roter Frontkämpferbund. It was about a militia of American citizens forming to protect their rights when the local government proved powerless (or completely unwilling) to do so. 

We've been doing that for a long time.

The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  -- Thomas Jefferson.