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The Exact Sort of LiveJournal Post I Would Have Made 10 Years Ago [Oct. 9th, 2016|04:13 pm]
Man, I love Crüxshadow's music, but their music videos are absolute shit quality and also sell every bad cliché about goths you can come up with.


PS: I hope the next < 30 days of the election is just increasingly shrill Republicans arguing with each other.

But I'm confused: [Oct. 8th, 2016|03:01 pm]
Was Donald Trump's pussy grabbing of binders full of women not a legitimate rape?

Otherwise I can't imagine why Republicans are shocked by this clearly unprecedented situation.

Link2 arguments|Disagree

Facing Another [Sep. 25th, 2016|11:54 pm]
I just watched The Face of Another by Hiroshi Teshigahara, written by Kobo Abe. It's a movie about plastic surgery, like Eyes Without a Face and Face / Off and Under the Skin, and within Japanese cinema, Onibaba. Like those other movies, it's a horror / science fiction, about how fluid identity runs the risk of dehumanization and the swapping of faces contains an existential threat that runs even as deep as sanity and morality.

I have an idea for a different sort of movie based on the work of Sir Harold Gilles, the father of modern plastic surgery, who believed that plastic surgery was a necessary method of medical attention -- that the existential risk of identity lay in making the external body reflect the internal beauty of a person as they believed it to be.

It's interesting to think that plastic surgery is one of modern society's forms of acceptable bigotry. Whereas transgenderism is chipping away at one element of that, the idea of an actress defending her face against age or even an invalid repairing her face against trauma is still, to a gut instinct, considered 'superficial.'


(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2016|10:00 pm]
As I watch the car cross the intersection I'm confused as to how wonderful the moment is.

I thought to cross but stopped myself, my general level re: inebriation such that it's within realm of possibility vis a vis some article in the newspaper about the drunken man wandered into traffic and then hit by a vehicle kaput, bloddy smeer on the ground or something,

but like my manager said that ages ago in the foreign country where I almost hit a head-on and then didn't, and exhilaration on high and yabbering and my manager he said, "Dude, iit didn't happen so stop worrying about it." Actually he was being a dick but behind the sentiment was something real. It didn't happen.

As now. It didn't happen. I'm really unsure over whether I chose not to cross the street or chose to cross the street but kept myself back out of self-preservation. I'm at exactly that level: did I almost wander unaware into the line of traffic and thus die out of a sense of nonsense, or did I think to end it on a high note and commit suicide by car but some unaware ego held me back? It could go either way. What's lost to the possibilities of time and to my own limited self-awareness with regard to my brain versus my consciousness is what was conscious and what was not. What's real in either case is that I'm still here right now. I survived, either despite myself or because of myself. Either way it doesn't matter in terms of history. Either way it matters in terms of memory. That's the distinction right there.

I mean, here I am at the keyhole and I'm trying to put the apartment key in the building lock. And I'm inside and here I am trying to put the building key in the apartment lock. Obviously I'm not all here. But am I not all here because of the chemical alcohol turning ethanol in my gibbets, or am I not all here like I'm not all here after a long day of work fatigue you try to stick a key in hole and it doesn't go and for that moment you feel that thrush of rush of what if you're locked out? and then you switch keys and it works and you laughsigh to yourself because come on man, seriously.

That's the game of consciousness doubled down exponential under the 1.8 beers, 2.3, maybe a three and a third. A moment past a moment where clearly fundamentally your reactions are delayed, DWI, DUI, the sort of stuff gives you a breathalizer if caught while driving, but only caught while driving, because weirdly otherwise and this is not an excuse but to be seriously on the other hand otherwise, but clearly your self awareness of the delay makes you more careful and that there is why you're a better driver or something. You never, ever believe it from a person who tells it to you. You always believe it when you tell it.

What's the difference between you when you know it and you when you know you're lying? Drunkenness. You know it either way. But what's the difference between someone telling you they're okay and lying to you that they're okay? You can't ever really tell. And the difference between you knowing you're okay and you lying that you're okay is the same with your ability to tell the difference between if you know in yourself you're okay and you're lying to yourself that you're okay. It's the doubt, right? If you doubt that you're okay, you're okay. If you don't doubt, you're not okay. But if you don't doubt, you can't doubt, and it's easier to convince yourself you're okay.

Which is all to say when you're walking around the park by yourself late one night and even think about how you'll tell the story to someone else, "to sober up", is the term you're thinking, "to sober up", that comes with that self-doubt regarding alcohol-to-ethanol in the gullet transmission, does the exercise help or hurt? Like, are you processing faster or is your body holding out to the moment when more energy and resources can be used against this legal poison in the system that can be worked out, as long as motherfucker stops using said resources for the contractconstrictstretchcontractconstrict of the legamens ligaments? Whatever the hell happens down there, pulley system of musclenerve twisted meatstrings. Takes energy, you know that. Wears you out, you know that. But burns the alcoethanol, low boiling evaporation point? Or system overdrive?

It doesn't matter, you're alive now. You smell the ditchweed from the Puerto Rican neighbors as you backseat drive your own inebriated skull over the whole key versus lock situation.

But did you almost wander in front of that car, or did you merely consider it?


Rewording of my last post [Aug. 16th, 2016|12:18 am]
1) The difference between 'decadence' and 'wealth' in Western historian lingo is whether or not the Republic collapsed shortly afterward.

2) The Western right defines 'decadence' as decay of cultural and civic institutions, the Western left defines it as unsustainable and inequal consumption of resources.

3) The Republic collapses, but the 'decadence' doesn't. It just flees to other societies and advances them instead.


"Decadence Precedes Collapse" [Aug. 15th, 2016|11:57 pm]
An interesting sort of cognitive glitch can be found in the general mainstream recognition of "the decadence of the Weimar Republic." More or less, you can use the concept to explain how republics begin to collapse without controversy.

The problem?

That's basically some matter of opinion of which the Nazis have written lasting, generally accepted history. There was nothing wrong with the Weimar Republic culturally. It was the government and economic institutions that were fucked. And there certainly was some relationship there -- high inflation made it worthless to save, so people spent more frivolously, the recent demise of royalty meant less clear authority -- but culturally speaking, the art, philosophy, scientific, and sexual freedoms of the interwar period that weren't destroyed by the Nazis merely escaped to other countries and advanced their respective societies. Einstein, Fritz Lang, 'subversive art', and the 'sexual revolution'.

These things are discussed separately. A person today accepts 'the decadence of the Weimar Republic' AND the flight of intellectuals, Jews, artists, and others as mutual general truths of the era, not noticing that the former slander refers to the latter fleeing antecedents.

See also Caesar.

On the right, 'decadence' means the end of moral and civic institutions. On the left, it means unsustainable and unequal massive consumption of resources.

In that manner, everyone can claim that 'decadence precedes collapse.' But if the collapse never happens, it was merely wealth.


Then and Now [Aug. 12th, 2016|08:01 pm]
How I got the news in the 90s: "First African American to win a gold medal in swimming! TONIGHT AT 9 ON NBC!"

How I get news today: "The first African American to win a gold medal in swimming just happened this instant AND NBC SAYS NOTHING THOSE RACIST FUCKERS."

How events happened in the 90s: "The Olympics are coming to you live from Rio de Janiero."


How notable benchmarks were portrayed in the 90s: "First woman elected to this office!"



On Boycotting Shitty Products [Aug. 8th, 2016|10:46 pm]
My friends feed is alive with calls to boycott Taco Bell over its maxed out PAC donation to Trump's campaign. I guess I'd join the boycott too, if I did business with that shithole in the first place.

This follows a relatively long history of noticing that a lot of calls for boycotts rarely concern businesses I trade with. There have only been 1 business that I've had to make any decision to boycott and 2 businesses that I've sort of made the decision to boycott:

1) The business that I did boycott was a LOCAL hamburger franchise. The owner backed and invested in Proposition 8, that aimed to ban gay marriage in California. Note that neither the franchise owner nor I reside(d) in California at the time, which made it extra offensive to me.

My boycott wasn't just not going in, I made sure to write a letter to the company stating that I would no longer eat at their franchises do to this decision. I got a response apologizing for our difference of opinion and hoping that I would see cause to return in the future, so I think that was actually decent of them despite it being a form letter. At least they tried to respond.

Later the owner was outed by the board of directors, though not necessarily because of Prop 8. Turned out he had some shady business dealings too. The corporate side of the company got taken over by a new owner and the quality of the transition has been mixed -- they don't make as great hamburgers as they used to, but I'm no longer boycotting them and the hamburgers are worth buying when you're hungry. It's just that since then I haven't had as much opportunity to shop there, maybe have gone a total of three times in three years.

2) Hobby Lobby I am technically 'boycotting' but don't really have to because there's no need for me to shop there. The only reason there was a chance I would or that I had familiarity with the place is that my father, an artist, used to buy his paint there. But after he died, I only shopped there one time and one time only to get some materials for a student film shoot and found out that Hobby Lobby had far less than I expected.

So I could technically claim that I'm boycotting them because there's a potential to desire to do business there, I guess.

3) I've actually lifted my boycott of Wal-Mart, except that I was sort of raised into that boycott (long story involving Wal-Mart attempting to build a supercenter in an area of my community when I was a young, young DiB. The community protested and Wal-Mart never moved in. For years afterward I fondly collected and collated anti-Wal-Mart propaganda before I started noticing some things that I'm not so anti- about). The problem is that I've just never been used to shopping at Wal-Mart so I don't. Any time I've gone I've been underwhelmed and disliked the experience. So I just don't shop there.

So those three constitute businesses that technically lost a few of my dollars because of my political decisions. But the burger joint is the only business that I actually liked and made a conscientious decision to stop going to. That would be the only real 'boycott.'

The other stuff is hardly fazing. How can I get upset at a company and plan to boycott it when it's already a piece of shit 'the invisible hand of the market' should have smacked anyway, presuming capitalism is based around evaluating quality? (Hence the existence of these businesses proving that value isn't always the driver of financial success.)

Taco Bell is a perfect case in point. I don't eat there. Whenever I had Taco Bell as a little kid, I hated it. I though it tasted like poop, and I gave it a couple-three honest reappraisals as an elder DiB just to make sure, and elder DiB could confirm for younger DiB, Taco Bell tastes like utter dog feces.

(Nurr hurr how do you know what dog feces tastes like DiB bluuurrrrrg)

Anyway, I know I'm arguing taste here, so there's invariably that one person who is going to get upset with me when I say it, but,

in a lot of these boycotts, taste really does seem to correlate with business principles. It always seems like the shittiest fucking, worst value, dumbfuck businesses that end up joining the Stupid Side of history. This is probably because the businesses are run by people who only care about market share, not quality; margins, not value; advertising, not standards.

When a fast food chain is modeled around selling you the poorest quality meat legally available, of course they are going to back the candidate who wants to do away with the FDA.

Most of my friends are doing the teary eyed "NOOOoooOOOoooOOO!" boycott of their beloved Taco Bell. For me, the only upsetting news was learning that so many of my friends eat at Taco Bell.


Why Hillary Clinton Lacks Charisma [Jul. 30th, 2016|01:19 am]
I normally don't watch the conventions, but just read the general analysis of what happened afterward (with the associated risk of reading limited or biased accounts). I was going to skip watching the DNC until FiveThirtyEight reminded me that Clinton's speech was a historic first. Since I didn't miss Obama's 2008 acceptance speech, I figured I should catch Clinton's*.

And what I learned was, yes, I can see why people have a kneejerk, visceral reaction to dislike her, in much the same way they joke about Ted Cruz. She feels off, like a particularly strict and stern matriarch always frowning and looking for a reason to smack your knuckles with a ruler.

I don't have a very good survey of women national leaders, but what I do know is that Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel come off much the same way.

And my hypothesis of why that is is because for women to attain that level of power, they get scrutinized and resisted to degrees that would turn any person into flat affected monotonous speakers. They get subjected to pressures men can laugh off with a cigar.

Obama managed to retain some amount of warmth and charisma through much of his presidency, but he managed to get in while still young and idealistic, and even then he was still blamed for not being passionate enough, for seeming detached, for playing everything understated and careful. This is because as a black man, if he ever showed passion, anger, and resistance, he would have been crucified as a mad black person. In a choice between seeming weak and seeming crazy, while so many people have you under a microscope just waiting for you to do something wrong, seeming weak is better.

Obama and Hillary Clinton don't have the advantages George W. Bush (stupid) and Bill Clinton (careless) have. They're not white men. So when Bill gets a scandal, his approval ratings go UP, whereas when Hillary gets a scandal, her approval rating goes down EVEN THOUGH SHE NEVER DID ANYTHING WRONG. When Bush trusts his intuition rather than his facts to go into a war with Iraq, he gets institutional support from Congress (including Hillary Clinton, I will point out), but where Obama makes the case to intervene in Syria, he's considered some warhawk sellout trying to destroy young American's lives.



"In the attention economy, people are rewarded for extremism. They are rewarded for indulging their worst biases and stoking other people’s worst fears. They are rewarded for portraying the world as a place that is burning to the ground, whether it’s because of gay marriage, or police violence, or Islamic terrorism, or low interest rates. The internet has generated a platform where apocalyptic beliefs are celebrated and spread, and moderation and reason is something that becomes too arduous and boring to stand.

And this constant awareness of every fault and flaw of our humanity, combined with an inundation of doomsayers and narcissistic nihilists commanding our attention space, is what is causing this constant feeling of a chaotic and insecure world that doesn’t actually exist.

And then: it’s this feeling that is the cause of the renewed xenophobia and nationalism across the western world. It’s this feeling of insecurity and chaos that is igniting the platforms of divisive strong-men like Trump, Erdogan, and Putin. It’s this feeling that has consumed the consciousness of millions of people, and caused them to look at their country through the lens of a fun-house mirror: exaggerating all that is wrong and minimizing all that is right."

Emphasis isn't even mine.

Here's Newt Gingrich:


"The average American, I bet you this morning, does not think crime is down, does not think the economy is better [...] The current view is that the liberals have the whole set of statistics which may theoretically be right, but it's not what human beings think."

I think Gingrich is revealing while still being completely wrong.

Feelings matter. It's like I've said here before: "The pain is real, even if the complaint doesn't make sense."

But feelings are also propaganda. Goebbels has not been falsified in his notion that repeating a lie makes people believe it; that people crystalize their beliefs if they think they made their decision of their own free will; and that reason is undercut by emotion.

To balance those contrasting appeals is actually just that: balance. Feelings have to be backed up by data, and data has to be backed up by feelings.

So when all the data says the world is becoming a better place, but low income workers don't believe it, it shows the world is becoming a better place for everyone but low income workers. The intent there is then to find a method of providing a way of getting the low income workers to benefit from the advances the rest of the world is making. It is not to tear down the entire system because the entire system has failed to help specified demographics.

Whereas when conservatives are saying the world is becoming a worse place, and yet they live in a nice house with a nice car and a nice family and a nice job and generally have everything going for them, their complaint is mainly just a problem that people complain.

And there are low income conservatives who are NOT living nice lifestyles whose only frame of reference for making their complaints are the well-off conservatives. So they adopt that rhetoric.


"Hillary Clinton is inherently honest.": http://americannewsx.com/politics/why-cant-you-believe-hillary-clinton-is-inherently-honest/

A Martin O'Malley voter (!) makes the scientific case for Hillary.

"Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest": https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson

A reporter who has covered decades of Hillary scandals makes the case for Hillary.

"Clinton distrusts the press more than any politician I have covered. In her view, journalists breach the perimeter and echo scurrilous claims about her circulated by unreliable rightwing foes. I attended a private gathering in South Carolina a month after Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. Only a few reporters were invited and we sat together at a luncheon where Hillary Clinton spoke. She glared down at us, launching into a diatribe about how the press had invaded the Clintons’ private life. The distrust continues.

These are not new thoughts, but they are fundamental to understanding her. Tough as she can seem, she doesn’t have rhino hide, and during her husband’s first term in the White House, according to Her Way, a critical (and excellent) investigative biography of Clinton by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta, she became very depressed during the Whitewater imbroglio. A few friends and aides have told me that the email controversy has upset her as badly."


My boss also watched Hillary's speech. He's a sensitive dude who pays very fine attention to emotions. He said that she didn't seem sincere or connected to her statements.

To me, she looks exactly like she is: a woman who has been witchhunted for three decades, to the point where she has had to shut off her emotion and protect her hide and put nose firmly to grindstone to get the shit done she believes has to get done.

The thing is, her and Obama's relatively high rankings for honesty over all politicians have to do with facts being their only recourse. All things being equal, considering higher scrutiny and identity politics and the constant watching and witching, literally the only way to be able to say something straight and not get 'caught' on it is pretty much to make sure you have factual evidence behind your claim.

You don't get through decades of being jerked around like Hillary Clinton and come out of it grinning like Bill. He at least got a blowjob out of his scandal, and lives in a patriarchal society that allows 'boys will be boys' but women victims have to explain to juries of men their clothing choices the night they got raped.

YOU try running for president as the latter demographic, and let's see how emotive and warm your face looks.

tl;dr: Hillary Clinton: President Resting Bitch Face. The voting public: 'Nice Guys.'


*To be fair though, Trump's speech was a historic first too in its own way, and I didn't watch it.

Ronald to Donald Inversion Number [Uncountable] [Jul. 27th, 2016|11:37 pm]
Yes, Donald, we get it: You're running for President of Russia.



This is another one of those delirious situations that would make this entire election feel like a Lynchian miniseries take on House of Cards, except that it's totally precedented in the same party that elected Ronald Reagan.

It's also another area where the left flank of the Democratic party doesn't help much.

In 2014, Obama had to make a decision to support a rebellion against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A war weary American public was obstinately against it. Liberals don't like war regardless of reason, conservatives hate Obama no matter what.

The thing about Syria is that it's basically Putin's access to the Middle East, and Bashar al-Assad Russia's gatekeeper to that access. So sensing a power vacuum from the US's soft force approach, Russia steps in. This serves the double benefit of protecting Middle Eastern stakes and embarrassing the United States.

And of course, the conservatives, always happy to show how awful terrible Obama is, praise Putin.

And there you have it. Conservatives hate black people more than they hate foreign dictators. It's not surprising that Trump, regardless of being conservative or not, could pick up on that and praise Putin and ask for Russian hackers' backing of trashing Hillary Clinton and cede Crimea. Because hating Obama has always been more important than 'America First.'

In the end Russia overplayed their hand and attack Ukraine, so the United States lay on sanctions that (luckily) happen to coincide with plummeting oil prices and the Russian economy is squelched.

Meanwhile, the burgeoning terrorist bloc developed out of the chaotic borders around Iraq and Syria coalesced into ISIS.

Which is all to say, I remember when Obama was offending progressives by positing the need to put boots on ground in Syria. Maybe, if there were some better discourse about it and we worked out a strategy, neither Russia would have been emboldened nor ISIS able to coalesce.

But, you know. We deal with that because for the right, hating Obama is more important than hating terrorists, while from the left, hating war is more important than making strategic decisions.


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