Ceci n’est pas Article sur Attaque de Paris

Instead of utilizing the more well-known works of the era, allow me to show you guys this instead:

Origin-of-the-World

This is Gustave Courbet’s “L’origine du Monde”, which still hangs at the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. Despite the fact that this museum contains more renowned pieces like Renoir’s Bal du Moulin de la Galette, Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone, and Whistler’s Mother, Courbet’s visually arresting oil-on-canvas of a woman’s hairy cooch is the one painting I remember the most of all. I found in it something glorious and subversive, and overall, quintessentially French. If preserving French culture means anything, it means not just preserving all the usual stuff, but also that very picture.

This leads me to the discussion about my first and last experience of John Oliver. After the Paris attacks, the heir apparent to the ‘Progressive Televangelist’ mantle left by Jon Stewart made a two-minute spiel that involved this statement:

“Here is where things stand: As of now, we know this attack was carried out by gigantic f*cking assholes. Unconscionable flaming assholes. Possibly working with other f*cking assholes. Definately working in service of an ideology of pure assholery. Second, and this goes almost without saying: F*ck these assholes. F*ck them, if I may say, sideways.

“And third, it is important to remember, nothing about what these assholes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure and I’ll tell you why. If you are in a war of culture and lifestyle with France, good f*cking luck. Go ahead, bring your bankrupt ideology. They’ll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloise cigarettes, Camus, Camembert, madeleines, macarons, and the f*cking croquembouche. You just brought a philosophy of rigorous self-abnegation to a pastry fight, my friend. You are f*cked.”

The first hilarious part is the last line of that Uproxx article plugged, which noted: “Well, I think that just about covers the subject.” I guess it does… if you’re stupid and love cheap catharsis. That’s what Oliver’s spiel is: cheap catharsis, in that you get to call a bunch of murderers a name then pivot to the idea that they would lose the culture war with France. However, said bankrupt ideology is armed with AK-47s and IEDs. Had Oliver tried to show off those ‘armaments’ to them in real time, he’d be cut off by machine gun fire before he even reaches Edith Piaf.

Either that or these events happen:

  • Sartre would probably interrupt Oliver, deconstruct every single word Oliver stands for, and then politely shuffle to the side of the shooters muttering his preface to Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth.
  • Edith Piaf would either be killed. If alive? Probably raped.
  • The wine would be drunk, disposed of, or sold. Unknown whether the shooters actually VALUE the wine enough to start their own vineyards.
  • Gauloise cigarettes would just be smoked until they run out. Like the wine, will they value it enough to run the tobacco plants for them?
  • Camus would probably be confused while he wasn’t grouped with Sartre and Piaf before dying horribly. This is unfortunate, as nihilism was something he fought against. Then again, this is a nihilistic age.
  • They don’t even LIKE most of those pastries. They’ll just dump em.

So by and large their ‘philosophy of self-abnegation’, contrary to Oliver’s claim, will fuck over the pastry fight by a wide margin. It’s also quite spineless as it screams “Hey you like these things!? Don’t kill us! You won’t have any of them anymore!” That doesn’t defend culture insomuch as compel them to probably monetize them and put such culture holders into involuntary servitude. But anyway…

This all brings us back to the aforementioned well-painted vagina. If it stood athwart alongside those examples, what would happen? It’d either be taken from its place at the Musee D’Orsay to be part of some terrorist flophouse, or it would be destroyed. A culture is only as strong as its people want it to be, and it really can only be such if there’s a hardy defense of it by arms. French culture isn’t just those piffling things (seriously quite piffling. Where’s Voltaire? Versailles? Charles Martel? The Resistance? Charlie Hebdo!?), but also things like say: the French Foreign Legion and the FAMAS Rifle. Those guys I would hope are sandwiched in-between the pastry table and the self-abnegators, ready to fire. Casualties? Maybe, but it sure beats saying things like fighting them with flowers, or “Imagine”, or any posturing that has people say in a nutshell: “We’ll keep doing our things, but I won’t hate or be violent.”

You do not hate what’s in front of you if you’re interested in maintaining an active defense, but loving what’s behind you. If people keep maintaining that virtue signaling danse macabre, then that philosophy of self-abnegation is gonna keep negating

And negating

And negating

…Until there’s nothing left to negate anymore. This is terrible for me, as I would really like to see those hairy lady parts again. And I hope some Frenchie feels the same way and makes sure he doesn’t go down without a fight if they come for it.

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#FeeltheBurnBern

Berned into the recesses of my soul.
Berned into the recesses of my soul.

I like Bernie (Sanders, but for all intents and purposes I’d rather I call him Bernie).

I think he’s wrong on a number of things, be it the minimum wage, the strange inclination towards wanting only one type of deodorant, or that immigration is a Koch proposal. However, I still like him. I appreciate his candor in a political environment where it’s easy to be cynical and wary of those imperfect politicians and their ulterior motives. But Bernie? He’s a genuine WYSIWYG candidate, even though I’ve absolutely little faith in the feasibility of his plans. Yet… never underestimate politics, it may go a totally different way than what anyone’s expecting.

Again, I like Bernie, but he did something to turn me off this weekend.

Now before I get into what disappointed me, let me share you this tumblr post. Yeah it’s essentially a collection of Bernie’s tweets where he attempts to mic drop the participants in the GOP Debate. The key word is of course’ attempts’, as the limits of Twitter can only do so much. This said, it results in a number of primo reactions about how stoked people are that he’s ‘ready to fight’ and how he’s going to go wreck shit up, as if 140 characters are good indicator of his ability to match wits with oh… not Donald Trump but Carly Fiorina? Maybe Ted Cruz? Rand Paul? Ben Carson?

Then this happened.

Do I REALLY want this guy to be President? Forget all the weird shit he believes and forget he had more successful venues later, for this is unacceptable really. These are the moments where leadership is tested and how he can master the crowds and utilize his guile and energy toward a more just America that brings people together. But no, he just fades into the background while this segment of #BlackLivesMatter undergoes its own form of appropriation: venue appropriation and suffocates it entirely (another irony, since they don’t like that they can’t breathe) of any energy that would render Bernie able to make his points. That’s not being a good leader, that’s just… being an ‘ally’, which as I’ve mentioned before is essentially the new ‘comrade’. That’s no good, as it shows that with the right kind of hecklers, and no matter if his supporters outnumber them, Bernie will fold. Imagine if the Iran deal kinda falls through during his presidency and at a conference he lets himself get drowned out by a small cadre of protestors yelling “Death to America!”

Say what you will about the GOP and Donald Trump but at least they’re all fairly active participants in their scuffle (after all, this is for the presidential election). Bernie just walks away when he could’ve shown he was made of the right stuff, I mean after all he was a Civil Rights Organizer back in its heyday. Granted the people who came to see Bernie were more than understanding and still happy to support him despite what happened, but that may not last. Eventually, Bernie will have to cut his teeth and not run away from such matters again. A bit of weakness and vulnerability is okay, but when it becomes the norm, people will of course flock to candidates displaying strength and unflappability against odds, even from their own side.  Bernie may think he can be content ragging on his conservative opponents from Twitter, but the event in Seattle shows he may not be quite ready for primetime. That’s embarrassing and if YOU support Bernie you should hope he doesn’t do it again.

Perhaps it was a lose-lose situation this time, but he’s going to have to make it a win on his part the next.

Small thought:

#BlackLivesMatter is the shitty Bizarro version of Christian missionaries. When was the last time anybody who wanted to learn about the Lord Jesus Christ was met with a curt “Hey I’m not your servant. Go read a fucking Bible it’s like everywhere. Get educated, shitlord!”?

Beaning ol’ Cecil (by arrow and/or bullet)

Of course this is relevant. When was the last time an animal named Cecil caused kids to flip their lids higher than the moon?
Of course this is relevant. When was the last time an animal named Cecil caused kids to flip their lids higher than the moon?

Gotta give the perpetually outraged credit, they’re indiscriminate in their vitriol whenever somebody showcases their conquest in hunting. Whether you’re Axelle Despiegelaere or Melissa Bachman, like a herd of wildebeests the outraged are whipped into a frenzied stampede in the hopes their foes get crushed by their righteous indignation. Yet since it came to light that one Walter Palmer killed a known celebrity lion, one 13-year-old Cecil, the ragamuffin wildebeests somehow developed a taste for blood. Not only have they started to peg the man’s dental practice, but wonderful human beings like Piers Morgan, the fine folks at PETA, and even a number of personal acquaintances on Facebook and Twitter, have sought to wish the man an utterly painful death*. It is probably a death in the same vain as Katherine Chappell’s in June of this year, only more X-rated for maximum arousal.

First off, ew. Why the hell does anybody think Cecil’s an acceptable name for a lion? It reeks of the worst internalized colonialism imaginable, evoking the megalomaniac Cecil Rhodes. Why should tears be shed at a vestige of the British Empire that has been maintained instead of renamed to a more proper title? If anything it just made Cecil get what was coming to him. It is highly doubtful he was named Cecil as a tribute to current Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards, never mind a seasick sea serpent.

Second off, ruin his business? In this economy? It’s easy for cisgendered, 1%, white celebrities like Sharon Osbourne, Aaron Paul, and Piers Morgan to really put the screws on some upper-middle class schmuck. It’s a rather counterproductive affair really to scream for living wages and raising the minimum of it when private actions of an employer can cause people to not give two shits about people losing their livelihood. One may claim that Murphy ought not to have done that then it wouldn’t have happened, but rudimentary predeterminism does not make for a good excuse because someone did something upsetting. To paraphrase ol’ Bernie, apparently you don’t necessarily need more options for dental care when a lion is dead in Africa.

Third off, who WAS Cecil!? If anything he just might be the Herman Van Rompuy of felines: all the charisma of a damp rag, yet not with the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk. If anybody honestly loved him, why on Earth would he even be in Zimbabwe!? This is a country where its President for Life feasts on elephant, confiscates the land of white farmers (SH, that’s not racism, it’s merely prejudice cuz racism is only power plus privilege), and overall maintains the country as just one really big pile. More importantly, why wasn’t he ever in a zoo for the past 13 years of his life? One could argue that would deprive him of some dignity as the King of the Jungle or what have you, but then again nobody complained of Knut the Polar Bear’s short but memorable stint at the Berlin Zoo. Such actions would have probably saved Cecil.

When such thoughts, plus others, are combined together it brings forth the most utterly baffling display of internalized human misanthropy. Events like Cecil’s death triggers some deep savagery within the bien-pensants and brings about such forceful, if dime-a-dozen, calls for blood over what is essentially a disagreeable act. Yes, the act of Walter Palmer killing Cecil is only disagreeable as of yet, and barely just touches reprehensible. Unless it can be substantiated that he truly did not know who Cecil was, never mind that the approval process to allow him to big game hunt, this Dishonest John du jour does not deserve the demonic scorn heaped upon him.

Then again, even if he did do the wrong thing, the aforementioned scorn will be minimal on this author’s end thanks to the braying, patronizing, herd who apparently knew poor Cecil like he was their own. Then they would subsequently patronize the African hunting industry in a way only internalized colonialism could compel them to do. Unfortunately, there’s the issue of the complex nature of African geopolitics, where hunting is used as a means of conservation, and where regular Zimbabweans are ambivalent to the cat’s fate, and that’s no good. Then again, who are you going to listen to, the conservation entities and the Average Zimbabwean Joes that have to deal with this bullshit or Jim Norton? Come out of your Hiding Boxes you Huffenpuffs and think for once! It is quite unlikely Dishonest John would go through bureaucratic paperwork to grant him the opportunity to hunt, instead of doing it illegally.

Quite frankly at the end of it all, if it weren’t for all the flora and fauna, I would not be surprised if these wildebeests entertained thoughts to encase Africa in a terrarium, and then dump enough formaldehyde to keep it in place. No progress, no development, no opportunity for it to enter within the Concert of Nations. Africa will be frozen for all time because it NEEDS to be left alone and the people advocating such will involve themselves in any way possible to make that so.

The concept of the ‘human zoo’ never did fall out of favour. It was just relocated to another facility that for some reason is an entire continent.

* – I’m leaving out Jimmy Kimmel. Cuz he’s a weenie.

Not Quite Introductory Post 101

I’ve been putting this off for way too long after nearly a month or so creating this journal. These days I could afford to start writing a bit more of my thoughts on various subjects without relegating it to tweets or, Heaven forbid, tumblr and Facebook posts. I probably live too much under an academic mindset when it comes to writing on particular subjects. This includes a propensity to feel like I ought to pour over voluminous amounts of research and deal with a possible anxiety of having such matters not reviewed by any academic authority. However, that’s probably just me.

Plus I’m also kindof getting tired of just writing reviews online whenever I want to write in long form. Need to branch out. Any reviews I do will be posted elsewhere, while this place is mostly relegated to various essays on subjects that I’m probably well-versed at.

Anyway, the opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not represent the opinions of others associated with me. I will do my best to provide sound, consistent, content on a somewhat daily basis. It is the hopes that I improve upon it as time goes on.

If you are curious about the name of the blog, its origins are from the song title, “A Runner at Daybreak” by Ⅱ MIX ⊿ DELTA for the anime Engage Planet Kissdum.

It’s an okay song, but its title endeared itself to me. I’d like to have an entire spiel about how a Runner at Daybreak is a resonant image that harkens to dedicated runners in track or the runner at Marathon, but I don’t. It’s just a pretty cool title.

Also, this isn’t the first post of this blog. Check the previous entry if you’d like to hear about my views on that one time Equalists celebrated the Avatar, instead of tried to murder her. Other than that, we might be seeing each other again.

That time Equalists adored instead of attempted to annihilate the Avatar.

amonrainbow

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, the celebration of same sex marriage across the United States through social media went in full swing. For fans of the cartoon, The Legend of Korra, it was a time to remind people of that final scene in the series. There, a budding romance was revealed between the Avatar and her close lady friend and confidante, holding hands, looking longingly at each other as they went off into a great unknown. To some people, the idea of Korrasami is a defining moment that helped to solidify the fact that #LoveWins.

This is strange. By and large, if the people who celebrated Obergefell were living in the world of the Avatar, I would imagine they’d more likely try to kill her than celebrate her newfound relationship with another woman. Assumes too much, I know, however I cannot help to when the crux of the Avatar’s nature is not ‘equality’, but ‘balance’. I mean even the intro to The Legend of Korra agrees with me.

See?

Camille Paglia wrote of how groups like gay and feminist movements are obligated to put something better in place if they confront organized religion. Unfortunately, I’m very hard-pressed to find it when I come across ‘gems’ like these tweets:

https://twitter.com/fatherjonathan/status/615286358169534464

https://twitter.com/danarel/status/615192967393988609

Hell. Just go here.

Allies (a term I distinguish by and large as the new ‘comrade’) will balk at such reactions and say they’re merely anecdotes that do not represent the entirety of the LGBT community and its allies as whole. I’m duly inclined to say that’s kindof a crock when I can easily imagine these same people smearing an entire geographic region (and a flag) because one 19-year-old racist murdered nine churchgoers. I’m even more inclined to believe that when it just makes friends even more insufferable in their stance. Hell, one on Facebook put up a status on his bonafides as a good person (the usual rigmarole of stating allegiance as an ‘ally’), and then invited people to unfriend him then punch himself/herself in the face after.

If this is equality, it means plowing over the bodies of the living in the hopes they succumb to being buried alive. It is the flippant dismissal of that remaining 41 or so percent of Americans who could’ve changed their hearts and minds over it. Such attitudes do not really stop homophobia; it merely retards it, and lets it calcify. It does more to promote such than any Westboro Baptist protest. Justice Scalia, a figure who became the butt of everybody’s joke as they screamed he was irrelevant, held by and large a great admiration for the same sex marriage debate.

“Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage. Many more decided not to.1 Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work.”

But for all that the #LoveWins crowd is the product of a cynical age. Love must happen now, love happen no matter what, love must conquer anything that stands in their way even if the odds are currently in their favour and all they needed to do was win hearts and minds. These individuals, so literate in their Bible readings of Leviticus and Deuteronomy seem to be wholly illiterate in the readings of say… St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians about what is love:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

However, aside from the hope and perseverance, I see none of the others in the #LoveWins crowd. They do not look to be satisfied until the writhing bodies they’ve sown under their fields stop moving.

“Oh!” but they protest. “Our apologies!” They would say after a long line of contemptuous prose. “We’re flawed too and our emotions get the best of us. We’re just trying to be better persons! We come from a good place!” Well shit, so did Amon and Kuvira. Like the benders the former takes their power away from and the latter who conquers her foes in the name of her own kith and kin, now there are those who think churches should get their tax-exempt status revoked if they do not give their stamp of approval. Of course given the very peculiar nature of churches and non-profits, especially their focus on specific issues, any attempt of a holistic approach to assuage the fear that churches will only be targeted may not be the case. Couple that with podunk pizza places getting threatened out of business (do you REALLY want to destroy jobs in this economy?), florists and bakers getting up to $150k charged, and news outlets not only limiting any opposing views on Same Sex marriage, but also saying that there are no two sides about it (then goes about not even saying shariah law is evil).

Again shit man. The Avatar’s priority (if he or she didn’t have to stop an overwhelming force from conquest) was to be in tune with any and all perspectives. It wasn’t just the four elements/nations that had to be listened to, but every man, woman, and child within the world, not to mention the expansive Spirit world. Like it or not, like in the world of Avatar, the religious we will always have with us. Thus I find it weird to see bills about religious freedom to some people were an archaic idea. Who knew a concept that’s only about 300+ years old is considered that these days when the whole of human history is strewn with the bodies of billions because they were not allowed their own beliefs. Avatar’s world is filled with the constant attempts to reconcile between past, present,  and future whether it was Tenzin maintaining the old ways of the Air Nomads while guaranteeing their legacy, the role of women in the Water Tribe, Aang’s anguish on whether or not to kill the Fire Lord, and so on. You cannot dismiss things outright like Suyin Beifong did with the (quite contemptible) Queen of Ba Sing Se, then opt not to put something better in its place or allay uncertainty (for the record Korra fans, I think Su was also culpable in creating the events of Book 4, but that’s for another time).

Then there’s the subsequent condescension that civilization hasn’t ended because same sex marriage is now the norm. Heavens do they think those critics are myopic, they’re concerned not about tomorrow but ten, twenty, thirty years from now about their religious faith, the fate of their country’s principles, whether it leads to polygamy and incestuous marriages and so on. And when representatives of the victors call Supreme Court justices “clowns in blackface” and ask for straight people to stop using rainbow profile pics on Facebook? They will concern themselves about the future even more. Like the Avatar, they have to think of all three spaces in time, and how they will be able to reconcile such with so many variables at play.

In essence, it’s baffling The Legend of Korra is used without irony in the celebration for same sex marriage, as the Avatar is everything the same sex marriage advocates hate: A quasi-religious figure, a mediator, a listener, and a caretaker whose ongoing duty is to remind the world where it came from, and to always be vigilant about where it is going. He/She is the reconciler of the living, the dead, and the eternal, in the hopes balance is always maintained. Not anarchy (Zaheer), not theocracy (Unalaq), not equality (Amon, Kuvira), but Balance. It’s been roughly a week since Love Won, and I’m hard pressed to see any love or attempt put everything in proper order for the many divergent paths.

If there are those people truly out there let me know, or you can just keep finding ways to kill the Avatar while only worshipping the recent one’s final moments as a totem of your good personhood.