Archive for the 'Culture' Category
I saw The Expendables 2 on the first Friday it was out, but my computer has been on the fritz so I haven’t been able to get around to a review until now. Here it is.
Prior to seeing The Expendables 2, I rewatched the first Expendables on Netflix. If there was a criticism of the original Expendables, it was that it dragged before the climactic action sequence. While I was gung ho about the first Expendables and made my feelings known, on reviewing it, I can see that complaint. What was so great about the first one, however, was that the last 20 minutes or so was one of the best extended action sequences in cinematic history, which redeemed the movie and made you forget about the slow pace getting there.
Expendables 2, likely in response to the criticism of the first one, avoids this issue. It opens with a gun blazing rescue scene and mixes in enough action along the way to avoid dragging. The climactic action sequence, however, isn’t nearly as good as the first one. On the whole, I liked the first one better, but 2 is still a must see.
As for what the second one did well, I think Van Damme makes an excellent villain. The climatic mano a mano fight with Stallone was not as exciting as Stallone vs. Stone Cold in 1, but over all JCVD makes for a very hateble villain. I’m surprised he hasn’t appeared as a villain more often. I also think Chuck Norris was used well if sparingly. I’m not sure why he was used so sparingly (contract and/or age issues perhaps), but the scene when he first makes his appearance was very well done. My theater was cheering. There were also plenty of references to all the stars’ old action movies to keep 80′s action movie fanboys happy. And Jason Statham continues to solidify his place as the number one modern action star.
As for what the movie didn’t do as well, Jet Li had an inexplicably small part. (Was he filming something else?) I think Li brings a comic element to the group that none of the others can pull off as well. Also, I thought there were some pacing/editing issues. I know there was a deliberate effort to keep the running time down, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with it, but there were moments when the movie went from one scene to the next rather abruptly with minimal transition. It left me with the feeling that a lot of the movie must have ended up on the cutting room floor. There were no fatal flaws. The story was discernible, but the abruptness of some of the transitions left me a little unsatisfied. I know executives make a lot of these decisions and the creative people are left to deal with them, but would it have killed them to let the run time go a few minutes longer. (Shorter run times potentially allow for more showings.)
Anyway, go see it if you haven’t already, although I’m sure that the manly men who read this blog already have.
Also, I hope to go see the anti-Obama movie tonight or tomorrow. I’ll be back with a review of that after I do.
I searched the ‘net for the loopiest reaction to the news that Augusta National Golf Club has knuckled under and agreed to admit women. I found it at the Washington Post:
The recent token actions at the Augusta National Golf Club and the repugnant comments of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) serve as the best public reminders of how entrenched male domination and arrogance carry the power to wound women deeply — and the fight that must be waged to stop them.
Both actions force the public mind to return to the often overlooked crime of gender abuse and domination. They arrive at a perilous time in this highly politically charged season to demonstrate the abusive power privileged men have to define the role of women, to exclude them from normal affairs of society and to act as if male birthright has made them the center of the universe.
Got that? If a private club is allowed to exercise freedom of association, and to organize itself along lines that violate (or worse, ignore!) the absolutes of Cultural Marxism, why, that’s a crime! And a fight “must be waged” against those who commit such crimes.
News flash: That fight is well under way. In case you hadn’t noticed, the forces of Cultural Marxism are winning.
Yes, that’s how far we’ve sunk, ladies and gentlemen. No aspect of our lives can escape the reach of radical egalitarianism, which is our beloved central government’s core value and justification. And what better way for Augusta to honor that value than to offer membership to Darla Moore, a banker, and Condi Rice, a war criminal who famously invoked the Civil Rights movement to justify the government’s wars? The representation of heartless plutocracy and militarism is picture perfect.
So what’s next for Augusta? Should the club install ladies’ tees? Or would shorter yardage goals for women constitute yet another assertion that women aren’t as capable as “privileged men”?
I don’t know what I’d do in their position. I really don’t. But then, the absurdities of make-believe equality — or “Potemkin parity” — are just part of the institutionalized insanity we must submit to. There’s plenty more to come.
Is Hank William Jr. a non-interventionist? Maybe so. Check out the lyrics to “Who’s Looking Out for Number One,” which is on his latest release, Old School New Rules. The whole song has a paleo feel, but pay attention to the first verse.
I want to dedicate this song to every working man and
Woman in this country and everyone that’s trying to
Run a business and constantly punished,
Taxed and regulated by the federal government ( Ed: This part is spoken. The singing starts below.)I’m gonna call up a talk show I’m gonna give ‘em a piece
I don’t give a damn about Iran or the Middle East
Cause they been fightin’ for about 2, 000 years you see
And we send billions to Mexico and Zimbabwe
Well I think it’s time for America to watch her own storeSo here is my question to everyone
Who is taking care of number one yeah
New Hampshire got it right live free or die
Don’t tread on us and tell us how to run our life
Don’t matter where you go everyone would like to know
Can Washington DC mind the store
Is there a soul still down on the farm
And who is taking care of number oneOur glorious leader just got back from China and Japan
Where he gave away our job put us down and sold out our plan
Well people here at home are tired of failed programs and loans
I believe they’re ready to change all this stuff that’s going on
Yeah it’s time for American’s to mind their own storeAnd here is my question for everyone
Who is taking care of number one
New Hampshire got it right live free or die
Don’t tread on us and try to run our life
No it don’t matter where you go everybody would like to know
Can Washington DC run a store no
Is there a soul still down on the farm
And who is taking care of number one
In a couple of posts below I commended Chick-fil-A and the Boy Scouts of America for standing-up to the PC bullies. This sort of grandstanding PC bullying is an effort to intimidate any person, company, organization, etc. who might consider transgressing PC rightthink into remaining silent. There is also a flip-side to these grandstanding PC condemnations of wrongthinkers. It is the public act or statement intended to display just how much of a rightthinker someone is. Enter Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com. He’s giving 2.5 million to the efforts to defeat an anti-gay “marriage” referendum in Washington state. Expect more of this “How dare you be a wrongthinker!” and “Look at what a rightthinker I am!” grandstanding in the future.
Given that the War Between the States took place 150 years ago it makes for useful analogies in this day an age according to some in popular media. A popular analogy going around is that for Republicans or at least for the party as its constituted now, 2012 Presidential election represents a sort of “Gettysburg” in which the GOP, much like the South, knowing the course demographic trends are eventually against them some sort of climatic “final showdown” in which a victory may help them stall for time to to enact legislation (if they won the entire government again) which could mitigate or negate some of the effects of the demographic transformation. Ed Kilgore, himself a Georgian, wrote about this in a post at the Washington Monthly website. My response is below:
“As disadvantaged as the Confederacy was a military tie would have been a victory for them, much in the same fashion as North Vietnam “defeated” the U.S., and would have been possible if the military situation hadn’t decisively turned in the fall of 1864 towards the Union reassuring Lincoln’s election.
Of course you’re right in saying Pickett’s Charge and Gettysburg and the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum of 1914 were all “final confrontation” or last best chance at “game changers,” to coin a phrase. But usually as it turns out it would had been better for the more desperate side to have avoided such a dramatic showdown altogether. The Confederacy did not need to fire on Ft. Sumter. They could have starved the garrison out or negotiated its transfer after some time. Lincoln could not have carried the North to war without a causus belli and Jefferson Davis gave him one. Likewise, the Austro-Hungarians got everything they wanted from the Serbs except for the last part which would have basically allowed the Empire to conquer Serbia, thus fashioning an ultimatum which they knew would lead to war. Usually it is a gross misreading of the other side which leads to this. The Austro-Hungarians never thought a war with Serbia would lead to World War I (neither did the Germans) but thanks to Russia it did. Likewise, I suspect Southern leaders reasoned the North would be happy to see the South break away not realizing Lincoln was a Whig nationalist, not an abolitionist.
As for the Republicans, one has to believe Karl Rove and the Bush II team were aware of these demographic trends as much as Rudy Texeria and tried to fashion a political programme designed to try and bring more diverse elements into the party fold. The failures of the Bush II Administration basically wrecked it. The Tea Party origin is as much a reaction to what happened 2001-2009 as to current trends. Having been led down what they felt was political dead end, they rebelled against politicos and decided their activism, anger and attention would compel GOP politicians, trying to figure out a new direction in 2009, towards their point of view and they turned out to be correct.
Unfortunately, because they have no coherent programme other “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable”, they have shown themselves incapable of going beyond being a protest movement. Thus you have GOP nominee Mitt Romney, hardly someone to fight “the final battle” with.
Belittle Ron Paul all you want but his was the only diverse campaign within the party for President. When he says his movement is the future of the party, he’s not kidding, because it may well be the only one left in 30 years time because as old as he was, he was the only candidate looking ahead.
Congressman Barney Frank, 72, has “married” his partner Jim Ready, 42. That’s a 30-year age difference!
Frank is one of the more charming members of Congress. In the mid-80s, a male prostitute he hired for sex moved in and ran a homosexual dating service from the apartment, supposedly without Frank’s knowledge. Even in DC, that was too much, and the House voted 408–18 to reprimand Frank.
So this was a traditional wedding: Something old, something new, something censured, something lewd.
#3 this weekend at $16.5 million. It’s budget was $70 million.
I knew it was going to flop, but was still rooting hard that it would. I have been in a couple of movies where there was a trailer for ALVH and the general audience response was not “That looks cool” or “I’ve gotta see that” but “Huh?” and “What?” The movie is based off a popular book, but if you aren’t familiar with the book then the premise just seems stupid.
It couldn’t happen to a better fictionalized President. We already have to put up with the equally farcical Abraham Lincoln as great President and Abraham Lincoln as savior of the nation, do we really need Abraham Lincoln as vampire slayer?
Poster, Felton, thought the topic of selective abortion & the “gay gene” was worthy of a thread. Cross posting from my blog:
Our Man in Amsterdam
Here’s Ron Paul, speaking on the House floor:
While I absolutely believe that Israel – and any other nation – should be free to determine for itself what is necessary for its national security, I do not believe that those decisions should be underwritten by US taxpayers and backed up by the US military.
This bill states that it is the policy of the United States to “reaffirm the enduring commitment of the United States to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.” However, according to our Constitution the policy of the United States government should be to protect the security of the United States, not to guarantee the religious, ethnic, or cultural composition of a foreign country. In fact, our own Constitution prohibits the establishment of any particular religion in the US.
Of course the people of Israel have the right to protect their culture – that’s the soul of their nation; keeping that alive means the country they fought for will live into the future. Every people has that right.
But the cultural preservation of a foreign nation is not any of our business. Worse, the entire debate takes on a bizarre aspect when you recall that the official policy of the US is to depose its own majority culture.
Think I’m exaggerating? Check out this “anti-racist” screed:
What is racism? Racism is more than individual prejudice based on race. Racism is the power of a dominant group, through its systems and institutions, to enforce the dominant culture’s history, values, practices and beliefs. It advantages those in the dominant group and disadvantages those who are not. It results in disparities.
I’ve racked my brain, and can imagine nothing more insane than a government that openly undermines the traditional culture at home while upholding the culture of a foreign nation.
It’s a truism of paleo thought that one cannot influence politics without influencing culture. I still believe it to be true I but I can’t help but wonder over the past 40 years when the Right has won many victories at ballot box that outside of a few isolated instances, the culture so tilts to the left that some conservatives of we know well are looking to make their homes abroad regardless who wins in November.
I will say this, even if Romney somehow won it against someone than pro-Romney or any kind of agenda Romney is supporting. Romney is essentially a nothing candidate, more or less a fallback taking advantage of once again of divided loyalties rather than asserting a triumph for a particular agenda. It would be a backlash vote, just as 1968, 1972, 1988, 1994 and 2010 were backlash votes. There really hasn’t been a positive vote for any kind of conservative agenda since the period 1978-84 and until candidate comes along with a visions to for for something rather against, then it’s probably a given a negative attitude isn’t really going to resonate throughout the larger culture. Indeed, voters in those backlash campaigns were exactly voting for traditionalism as so much against what they though were its enemies.
But culture continued on oblivious to the election returns. So long was someone was buying tickets or paying millions for the art work or watching what was on the tube, they responded accordingly.
I think Pat Buchanan summed it up well: Conservative Votes, Liberal Victories.
A friend of this website sent the following e-mail. Sounds like fun if you’ve got the cash to spare. I wonder if “Hey, did you know I’m in a graphic novel?” would impress the chicks?
My friend Travis asked me to promote his historical graphic novel, so here it is. One can be in it if they help him by making a pledge. I figured I would make an appearance and pledged enough to get drawn as a hero.
Charles Murray deserves a lot of credit for writing about white America in serious manner compared to compared to the crap usually put out by the academia or even the media on the subject. But however true his new book Coming Apart is about the current class divide in white American his solution for it is utterly unbecoming of a social scientist which Murray claims to be.
Perhaps the best critiques of the book from trolling the internet are offered by Rod Dreher, Yual Levine and yes, even David Frum. There are three key points I wish to chime in with: 1). Murray says he’s he’s a libertarian but yet he admonishes the upper-middle class whites for not being “judgemental” enough about their lower class brethren. Aren’t libertarians the most non-judgemental people on earth?; 2). For a social scientist, why doesn’t Murray understand, as we do here at CHT, that like-minded persons on average, whether in race, religion, creed, background, are going to coalesce in like-minded communities? 3). Because he works for AEI, Murray’s judgement is often clouded by his apparent dislike of not just the upper-middle class or lower well-to-do-class, but the liberal i.e NPR listener, members of said class. Is that really enough people to base a whole race’s problems at?
Even though Murray himself is member of the very classes he criticizes, as this article shows he tries to keep things real by eating out at a casino in West Virginia from time to time. According to the book, if taken literally, Murray believes enlightenment will come when the white “overclass” spends a day at a casino watching the white old ladies spending their Social Security checks with the one-armed bandit. Why does this remind me of the 1960s when young SDS activists moved into poverty stricken and working class neighborhoods or going even back further when the Russian Narodniks started their “To the People” movement in the 1870s to try and find out what peasants were thinking? Because it’s the same sort Utopian mindset. So the young professionals are going to tell the Korean War vets at the VFW Hall how to be better citizens? If I were them I think I would pass and leave well enough alone. Or better yet order them a copy of Grand Torino to watch and learn from.
Murray would been better off just presenting the data in his book instead of offering solutions a social scientist like himself would have found distasteful if some Lefty professor made the suggestion every white person in the U.S. had to take in a person of color in their homes. Imagine what he would have written about that.
It’s no secret that young people constitute the dynamic core of Ron Paul’s surprising popularity. The reasons are many. For one thing, there’s a new, deep distrust of big government felt throughout society, but especially by the young. Disapproval of DC’s wars is near universal, but young people, who are the ones who must fight these wars, feel an understandable urgency to rein in an out-of-control government that thinks it must run the world. Little wonder Paul receives more donations from active military personnel than any other candidate.
Young people are attracted to Ron Paul’s courageous stands against a ruling elite and its institutions, which they feel have betrayed them. Good jobs are hard to find. Many are saddled with crushing student loans.
Steve Sailer believes something new is taking shape, “the decline of the generation gap.” The young are no longer viewing their parents as the enemy. As Sailer reminds us, “to get organized, people need to be in opposition to somebody.” Without an external enemy, people find one at home. (See “American Civil War.”) And the rise of multiculturalism, says Sailer, is creating a new generational unity within ethnic groups.
Young people who imagine the older generation is their enemy are learning hard lessons about who’s who in an increasingly hostile, “multicultural” world. Here’s a vivid and VERY satisfying example:
A vicious Marxist gang known as “Antifa” has staged violence attacks all over Europe. The group calls itself “anti-racist” and targets members of right-wing groups. Members of the gang routinely cross national borders to commit violent assaults. One of the ongoing projects of the gang in Germany is to vandalize Thor Steinar clothing stores. The group claims that the Arab-owned clothing line caters to “Nazis” by putting Viking/Norse imagery on some of their t-shirts.
However, a group of Antifa gangbangers got some poetic justice when a mob of Kurdish immigrants stormed their Berlin gang house and brutally beat members with baseball bats. The attack occurred just days ago. The Kurdish immigrants simply wanted to attack some white people, any white people.
The newspaper quotes a white female “with dreadlocks” as saying she is leaving the area for fear of “Kurdish and Arab mafia.” The newspaper states “the left’s worldview is faltering.”
Savor that last clause: “the left’s worldview is faltering.” The more your ideology clashes with reality, the harder reality is going to hurt. The “Antifa” saw themselves as noble, altruistic whites. The Kurd gang, however, only saw whites.
As Dr. Samuel Huntington has observed, “In the post-Cold War world flags count and so do other symbols of cultural identity, including crosses, crescents, and even head coverings, because culture counts, and cultural identity is what is most meaningful to most people. People are discovering new but often old identities and marching under new but often old flags which lead to wars with new but often old enemies.” The Age of Ideology is dead, and the Age of Culture has arrived.
In the world of the near future Tito Perdue creates in The Node, there is much the reader will recognize, but little that makes sense. And that’s the point.
The environment is wrecked. Sulfide clouds darken the skies. Older people recall a time when one could find water “free of anti-depressants.” There is a powerful government, but no stability, no social order, and the economy, what’s left of it, is perpetually on the brink of collapse. The Node vividly illustrates the seeming paradox of totalitarian anarchy.
In the territory once known as America, the population has grouped itself into warring ethnic and religious conclaves. Booby-trapped cars, corpses left hanging from cell phone towers, and gang attacks have become commonplace. One group, however, is steadily losing power and property, thanks to the government’s diversity initiatives, and that’s white people, now known as Cauks.
The story begins when the unnamed main character – referred to as “our boy,” “our man,” and, tellingly, “our pilgrim” – can no longer obtain propane for heat. He leaves his farm and sets out for the ruined city, where he hopes to find a sanctuary.
“Our man” offers much to the Cauk commune he joins, including books, a .357 with 200 rounds, and real money – 204 yuan. He proves himself to be such a valuable asset to the group that he is entrusted to take some fellow members out into the country to establish another compound for Cauks, with the ultimate and audacious goal of reclaiming enough territory to establish a resurgent Cauk nation.
The Node is an absurdist novel about an absurd world, where the illogical and fantastic have become ho-hum, and political correctness is the unquestioned standard of the good. Peering through a telescope one night, the protagonist spies a newly-discovered heavenly body named “MLK,” a name it shares with almost all new construction. Perdue displays a wicked sense of humor that lashes modern-day culture. I laughed out loud at a nightmarish cityscape where street whores attract clients by dressing “like high school girls.” Consumerism rules in this world. At one point, “our boy” is acknowledged as a worthy leader because he owns the latest model “escrubilator,” an electronic Swiss army knife which is the most prized of possessions in Perdue’s world.
The central question Perdue poses is blunt and disturbing: Can people reclaim their heritage when they’ve swallowed whole the belief system of those who seek to destroy them? One running gag is how everyone agrees that diversity benefits the economy, though diversity is the law of the land, and the economy is a disaster. When someone suggests going to “Alabama,” the response is, “All those racists?” And no one, including “our boy,” thinks stealing is wrong.
Has “our boy” undertaken a hopeless mission? Is it futile to imagine that a degraded people can rise again?
The author does not provide neat answers to these questions. However, he does affirm that certain standards once existed, that there were once men who lived and fought by a code that could not – and would not – coexist with the world described in The Node:
“This modern age! It prefers the feminine virtues, the easy ones, the ones that can be exercised while sitting on a sofa in a darkened room – compassion, diversity, tolerance, empathy. But us, we aspire to the hard virtues, the ones that hurt – courage, integrity, stamina, and will.”
Men fail, civilizations fade, but Perdue, as in earlier novels, sees heroic virtue enduring through time — despite human folly. The Node may be dystopian, but, like its author, is defiantly optimistic.
Occupy Charlotte’s proud legacy lingers on:
City Water Quality Manager Daryl Hammock says there was clearly human sewage in that storm drain when the Occupiers cleared out.
“It looks like that it was multiple uses over some time but I wouldn’t describe it as a large amount,” says Hammock.
The city took photos and evidence from the drain and now Hammock is trying to figure out “whodunit.” The culprit could get a notice of violation and a fine. If it was the Occupy Charlotte campers, they’re leaderless and pretty amorphous.
That’s a perfect description of the Occupy movement: “leaderless and pretty amorphous.” Just like the mysterious, stinking pile the Charlotte water department is dealing with now.
One thing we do know: from little boys playing with matches, to dirty hippies using a storm drain as their outhouse, we will never forget what the Occupiers accomplished. Never.
Problem is, it’s hippy poop. Police say that while camping out on the City Hall lawn and lifting up our collective conscience, the protesters used a storm drain for a commode. The Fire Department’s HazMat team has been called in to clean it up.
It’s an honor to have been excluded by people like this.
The Oscar nominations are out. Yawn. Largely another year of Academy naval gazing with complete disregard to what audiences actually like and go see.
The two best movies of the year were, without a doubt, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Warrior. Drive was also very good. Rise was a very pleasant surprise because I wasn’t expecting much except a routine summer action movie and what I got was a very human story that only became the man vs. ape drama that you see in the commercials at the end. On the other hand, Warrior is the only MMA themed film that actually lived up to its pre-hype among fans of mixed martial arts. Even knowing the very unkept secret of the basic plot (two brothers) and acknowledging the highly implausible scenario (a high stakes tournament that lets in scrubs) the movie grabs you and doesn’t let you go. The fight scenarios at the climax are Rockyesque in their effectiveness. At least Nick Nolte got a best supporting actor nod.
I wouldn’t argue that there is a one to one correlation between movies that are commercially successful and movies that are good. Rise made more money than anticipated based on extraordinary word of mouth. Warrior underperformed despite being an excellent film because I have determined that mixed martial arts enthusiasts are just not very avid movie goers. Notice that Haywire underperformed this past weekend also. But sometimes I get the feeling that the Academy is snobby for snobby’s sake. It is snobby just based on general principles. Why no love for Rise which garnered critical and viewer praise and happened to make a lot of money?