January 23, 2024

Wide-ranging thread on shoot 'em up video games, vidya in general, and Japanese vs. American aesthetics

Might as well put a new post marker here, since the comments section for the last is getting a bit long. I'll be adding post-length-comments to this post, to make an ongoing thread.

The basic topic is shoot 'em up video games, inspired by watching Fuwamoco play a 2000s Touhou "bullet hell" game the other night. It is rare for non-Japanese people to play video games, rather than simulators, so I take notice and appreciate it every time it happens! But then, they're turbo-weebs, and you can't integrate yourself into Japanese culture without playing video games (created by the Japanese, with an illustrated, not photorealistic, style).

Below is the first "post in the comments" that kicked it off, which I'm putting here to get the ball rolling. More to follow in this post's comment section...

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Frogger was the original "bullet hell" game -- not even appropriate to call the genre a "shooter" or "shoot 'em up" etc.

*You* are the one getting shot at, like crazy, and you don't shoot back -- you can only navigate your way through the moving geometric minefield of bullets, much like the frog navigates his way through the geometric formations of moving hazards, i.e. the vehicles that make up the several lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions, the alligator teeth in the river section, etc.

In "bullet hell" games, you shooting the enemies is only 5% of the gameplay, and it's like shooting fish in a barrel, after the difficult other 95% of gameplay has been performed -- i.e., dodging the bullet waves.

Frogger is only missing that 5%, but it would be trivial to program it in -- right before you land on the safe space at the end, you have to lash out your tongue to hit a dragonfly that's sitting in the way of the lilypad you're trying to land on.

Surprisingly, no one has drawn this clear parallel before. However, the wiki on Frogger says that it was created explicitly to tap into the female demographic, as opposed to the highly popular shooter genre which girls were not very into (e.g., Space Invaders, Galaga, etc.). And they succeeded.

This may explain why "bullet hell" games are at least semi-common among female streamers -- Fuwamoco just played Touhou: Mountain of Faith, and Marine is a huge Touhou player and fan. They're more about fine-scale motion, not large-scale swerving and zigging / zagging, slow speed, not racing all around the screen, defensive rather than offensive, hide-and-seek rather than being aggressive and chasing down the enemies.

They still take a lot of spatial skill, so they're not very common among female players -- but if she does have spatial skill, this defensive and cautious style of playing is better suited to her personality, as opposed to an offensive and risky style that characterizes "shoot 'em ups" proper, which are for guys with spatial skill.

Then there are the bona fide "gamer girls" (not just empty branding) like Korone, who take on Salamander (Life Force in America), which is not only a shoot 'em up, but one of the hardest ones ever made! Much respect. ^_^

And yet even "bullet hell" games have lots of male fans -- it's part of the broader trend in video games towards taking away your offensive abilities, and making you passively hide-and-seek from an all-powerful enemy. Same time-frame as the survival horror genre, which largely robbed you of weapons and ammo (mid-'90s through IDK), and then took them away altogether (from IDK through the 2010s and '20s).

A Euro-LARP-ing pseud would use a fake & gay term like "slave morality," i.e. glamorizing the behavior of slaves. Gamer nerds call it "masocore", a more straightforward term. They're not slaves, they're just downers or masochists or hide-and-seekers, rather than aggressive, offensive, and active. It's a reflection of the broader end of our imperial expansion (and ditto for Japan's failed imperial ambitions), and with it, the end of the heroic age of our culture (and those in our orbit, like Japan).

209 comments:

  1. Strange as it may seem, America was not always into photorealistic simulators, but actually created and played heavily stylized video games.

    Probably this was due to tech limitations of the Stone Age of video games (laughably labeled the "Golden Age" by midwits), and by the time 3D tech was more common, America and everywhere outside of Japan went with 3D photorealistic simulators, while Japan carried on the noble tradition of games (not "experiences") that looked like they were from a world that was illustrated (not photographed).

    Sticking with the shoot 'em up genre, Americans created some of the seminal entries from the Stone Age -- Asteroids, Defender, Tempest, and Sinistar. The best and most influential Stone Age shooters were Japanese, though -- Space Invaders and Galaga (a sequel to Galaxian).

    Already at this early stage, Americans were pioneering the 3D immersive experience approach to "spaceship shooters" -- like the Star Wars 1983 arcade game. After the early '80s, Americans largely left the shoot 'em up genre to the Japanese. By 1993, the Star Wars ship-based games were entirely 3D simulators, not shoot 'em ups, ideally meant to be played with a joystick for extra realism -- Rebel Assault, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, the ship piloting missions in Shadows of the Empire, and so on and so forth.

    On the other side of the unusual early days, the Stone Age saw Japanese shooters that leaned in the 3D and volumetric (rather than 2D sprite-based) appearance -- Zaxxon (1982), not only the first isometric shooter, but first isometric game in any genre, to be followed later that year by an American isometric puzzle-platformer, Q*bert.

    Ultimately, isometric games took over non-Japanese games far more than Japanese games, owing to the American fixation on 3D photorealism, which the Japanese obsession with 2D illustration did not care about. But in the early experimental days, everyone tried a little bit of everything, before settling into their national cultural grooves later on.

    But axonometric projections throughout video game history is a bit too off-topic for now...

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  2. If video games had existed at the height of the New Deal era (i.e. 1950s) what would they have looked like?

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  3. To clarify, what makes Zaxxon ahead of its time, and atypical for Japanese games, is not just the pseudo-3D portrayal of the world, but the ability to move in the "height" dimension. The ship can move in its left-right and higher-lower dimensions, but not forward-backward. Still, that's more movement than allowed by Space Invaders or Galaga (left-right only).

    Shoot 'em ups are almost always in 2D worlds where the player is observing them orthogonal / perpendicular to that action plane -- from the top-down in the vertical shooters, and from the character's left or right (out of the screen) in the horizontal shooters.

    If you're looking straight down, you can't tell if the ship, or anything else, is changing its height. Likewise if you're looking from the right or left, you can't tell if it's moving right or left. Aside from changes in apparent size -- but these sprites do not change their size.

    In horizontal shooters, the characters move up-down and forward-backward, but not left-right (relative to themselves). In vertical shooters, they move left-right and forward-backward, but not up-down (relative to themselves).

    With another couple of buttons, Zaxxon could have easily allowed the ship to move forward-backward, letting the player see it move in all 3 dimensions. But just seeing it raise or lower its height, as well as move left-to-right, was unique, and the auto-forward scrolling implied it was moving in that dimension anyway.

    Thankfully, after this brief pioneering experiment, the Japanese returned to perfect the top-down shoot 'em ups, where there is only a slight hint of the height dimension in background objects (e.g. the walls of a building), in a top-down oblique projection.

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  4. The rail shooter genre is Japan's foray into 3D shoot 'em ups. The character can move up-down and left-right, while forward movement is implied by auto-forward scrolling (into the screen, as the player views the character from behind). Unlike the top-down or side-view shooters, the player's view is embedded within -- not perpendicular to -- the action plane. It's immersive.

    The graphic style is still illustrated, not photographic. The ordinary laws of physics may go out the window. And they usually opt for 3rd-person rather than 1st-person POV. So it still has a more fantastical feel than the American 3D shooters like X-Wing and TIE Fighter, which are more simmy.

    However, the genre was fairly short-lived, and was not jam-packed with examples like the good ol' top-down and side-view shoot 'em ups. It began with Space Harrier (1985), 3-D World Runner ('87), Star Fox ('93, which also featured some 1st-person POV gameplay), Star Fox 64 ('97), and Panzer Dragoon and its sequel ('95 and '96).

    Given the early state of 3D graphics, however, these low-polygon games pale in comparison to the rich, vibrant, detailed, animated graphics of the 2D shooters of the same time. The simpler style of Space Harrier and 3-D World Runner look fine, like any other 2D game of the mid-late '80s, but still nothing special -- all the time, effort, and money went into creating the 3D effects, not the overall art direction.

    This mini-genre was soon eclipsed by the bullet hell genre, and revivals of the retro styles, not to mention playing the old games themselves as a canon became established. And with that, Japan could leave behind the "3D immersive experience" approach, which cuts so heavily against their national style.

    As much as clueless Americans poke fun at the Japanese for being nerds lost in their cartoon worlds, it's actually the Americans who don VR headsets, and otherwise seek immersive experiences in entertainment, rather than interacting with their entertainment from a certain distance between the performance and the audience.

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  5. I wonder if the fad of 3D glasses in movie theaters was less widespread in Japan than in America, where every movie had them, and everybody in the audience -- not just nerds -- wore the glasses. That harkened back to the previous falling-crime / cocooning phase of the '30s-'50s, when there were lots of 3D movies in America, and an iconic image of Fifties Americana is a movie theater audience all wearing those red-and-blue 3D glasses.

    Here's a list of 3D movies from the recent craze, 2005 onward:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3D_films_(2005%E2%80%93present)

    Japan does have quite a few entries, but seems like not as high of a percentage of their overall movie output, or that they were less likely to be used for super-popular franchises than they were here.

    Hard to say without knowing all of these foreign movies I've never seen, nor will ever see, though. Just eyeballing it.

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  6. If someone (not me) wants to quantify it, you can look at the box office top X (say, 20, or 50, or whatever), for a given year, separately for Japan and America (domestic), and see how many were released in 3D for theaters.

    You could track that over time.

    Or, if the time-trend is not important, just the cross-sectional comparison between Japan and America, merge all the years into a single period, say 2010 to 2019, or whatever. The top 20 across 10 years gives 200 movies -- how many were in 3D, for Japan vs. America?

    I'll bet it's greater for America, but someone else (not me) can verify that.

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  7. Skimming Box Office Mojo for 2010, Jesus, even the Jackass movie du jour got a 3D release -- appropriately named Jackass 3D. And very popular, #21 for the year.

    I just refuse to believe that its Japanese equivalent (highly popular slapstick / pranks humor) would've been released in 3D!

    But feel free to correct me if I'm wrong (doubt it).

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  8. Just for the record, I love American cinematography, the best there is -- or was, at any rate. But in video games, nothing real is being recorded, and the camera itself is not real, only a simulation. CGI and virtual reality has always looked like total boring bullshit, more than 30 years after the initial heady wonderstruck days of Lawnmower Man, Toy Story, etc.

    Whatever you guys see in their stories and characters, you can't possibly tell me their cinematography holds up to Seventies Hollywood for live-action, or '90s Tokyo for animation.

    Such a breath of fresh air to see an honest-to-goodness video game the other night -- more of them, please! Japanese audiences have it so good -- Okayu just started playing the original Dragon Quest (in its '90s-inspired look), not to mention Lui playing both Dragon Quest VI and Torneko 2, which Koyori is also playing... all while Marine, Pekora, and Noel are diving into Terraria!

    If only they could pick some of these high-profile streams and sub-title them in English for overseas bros, like they do for movies or seasonal anime. The auto-translate on YouTube is free and automatic, but pathetic.

    Sure, we'd have to watch them a week later, but it would be worth it! And they're not song lyrics or artistic language, just plain ordinary speech, no need to sweat over the translation -- just the basic gist would be fine!

    Movies, TV shows, and video games get sub-titled -- why not streams? ^_^ The audience is certainly there for it.

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  9. BTW, the only foreign language worth learning anymore is Japanese (unless English is foreign for you, in which case that's #1).

    You aren't going to interact with IRL speakers of foreign languages, aside from at most a few days of vacationing in their country.

    But you could very well consume some of their pop culture, or high culture. Most people avoid high culture, so focus on pop culture. In the non-English-speaking world, who else is making anything in such popular demand, outside of the Japanese? It's such a joke!

    As much Spanish as I know, I never consume Spanish-language pop culture from any Spanish-speaking country -- and I lived in Barcelona for a year, so I'm not hostile to their cultures at all. It would have to be from their imperial heyday, but that's more high culture and a bit archaic to my ear. I did read some Spanish-language high culture in college, but there's no pop culture.

    French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Farsi, etc. -- what's the point? They don't make any pop culture that is in such high global demand, compared to the Japanese.

    For certain niches, maybe -- Hindi if you like Bollywood musicals, French if you want Midcentury art-house movies (ditto Swedish). But across the board, including music, TV shows, even video games, or live-streams / online content? Nope. You don't need to watch any French-language movie after 1980 or so. Their current pop culture, or high culture, is nothing special.

    But in the medium of animation, regardless of which genre it's in, there's so much coming out of Japan now and for the past 40-50 years. Or video games that are language-heavy (spoken or text), like an RPG. Certainly streams, memes, and online content.

    If only I had stuck with my plans to learn Japanese instead of Spanish, as I was planning my freshman year courses in college! I had the hiragana / katakana book, my grandmother to practice with (over the phone), and ended up becoming close friends with a girl from Tokyo!

    Parents: don't let your children grow up without some Japanese exposure. You're going to plant them in front of a media screen for so long anyway -- might as well make sure some of that time is in Japanese, and they can pick it up without having to pay for tutors or waste class time / homework on it.

    In fact, I wonder if Goob is so busy researching classic anime series cuz she wants to raise her new baby with Japanese exposure, which she may regret not having been able to speak while growing up and now in adulthood.

    Such a thoughtful and forward-looking sharky mommy! ^_^

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  10. OK, last brief comment for now (and unrelated to most everything else so far). Found this in the YT algo, a nice '70s-sounding city pop song from 1980, "Street Dancer" by Hiromi Iwasaki, sister of Yoshimi, who sang the popular theme song "Touch" for the anime series of the same name in 1985. Just about every JP Holo girl has sung that one, as well as the two bilingual EN girls, Irys and Fuwamoco.

    In case Goob ever pops back in for another city pop karaoke, here's one that would totally suit our enchanting sharky chantesuse. ^_^

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO1BvdmJYBY

    The rest of the album is good, too, including some country-crossover slide guitar, borrowed from American adult contempo of the same time. And one song title refers to her crush as a "music paper cowboy", showing their mastery of our regional differences -- they romanticize the out-West, not the back-East, as the iconic American culture. True! That's who was on the meta-ethnic frontier against the Indians, Mexicans, and later the Japanese themselves...

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  11. Receiving visits from Goob and Moom back to back! They must've been feeling homesick. ^_^ Since they're both non-ironic John Denver fans...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_iJJ8xDZq8

    Congrats to Moom for hitting 1 million, and during a '70s singer-songwriter classic, no less! Hehe.

    I had to replay it today just to reassure myself I wasn't schizo while listening last night, and she definitely started off "I Miss You" with "Oh hi..." instead of "Hello," and caught herself and paused without finishing with "there," then going on as normal for the rest of the song.

    Was she nervous cuz my tribute lyrics ("We Miss Moom") were interfering with the original lyrics in her ADHD owlbrain, and she needed to halt and re-focus for a second? No, I don't think I'll take my meds. ^_^

    In any case, since Moom specifically requested a kids' song, she won't take it as backseating if I suggest "Rainbow Connection" for her follow-up karaoke. She's the only Holo girl to sing it (twice). How about a more sincere rendition, a la Karen Carpenter?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoqJpXWGFOA

    It doesn't have to be a meme song -- just like she said about truly and sincerely liking "Take Me Home, Country Roads" -- give "Rainbow Connection" the same de-meme-ifying treatment. Make us feel the magic of the song. :)

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  12. And yes, Karafun has the Carpenters arrangement of "Rainbow Connection". :)

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  13. Selling your countrymen short here. Americans DID make a comparatively cute, stylized, and highly 'video-gamey' shooter way back in 1995, though it specifically eschewed the 'bullet hell' design for something where there was a constant risk/reward for flying into certain places rather than sticking to a predetermined 'dodge route'.

    It also had a 2 player mode where the two players could either fight seperately or join ships and have one control the movement (via mouse) while another controlled the turret (via keyboard), an idea so fun and revolutionary that it was somehow never replicated again in any game on record. Theoretically it should be trivial to implement over the Internet these days, but for some reason no one has.

    Really, the amount of intelligent and mostly unmined ideas and options in this game is criminal-slowly regenerating special weapons rather than get-out-of-jail free bombs, a cash and upgrade system affecting all aspects of your ship, a focus on, well, FOCUSED aggression and risk/reward in levels whose focus on getting the money/powerups/lore cubes you can instead of honing one-hit-and-you-die perfectionism, a silly but well-told story...Tyrian 2000 did have great success but sadly not enough imitators, because it was a labor of love more than an 'easily monetizable' concept beyond its old shareware model.

    Of course, American games were also focusing more and more on 3-D realism in the late 90s, and all of the big money and talent was going into pioneering 3D graphics.

    Americans have always had the skills, they just didn't always pay the bills, and pioneering the next revolution appeals to them much more than honing last year's craft. But when you get enthusiasts or retirees the time and money, they can easily compete at the highest levels of the genre almost effortlessly.

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  14. Looks cool, but there's a reason most Americans have never heard of it -- too against our national cultural style, especially by 1995 when 3D simulators were possible to make.

    It's not a matter of skills -- our IQs have not changed for at least a few thousand years (only big jump was from hunter-gatherer to sedentary agrarian societies). Culture is socially, collectively, cooperatively, institutionally created -- it's not made by one guy in his basement, or monk in a mountain cave.

    These collective forces push American culture in a distinctly American direction, so if it goes too much against the American grain, it'll languish in obscurity or not get made at all.

    Likewise Japanese culture pushes in a distinctly Japanese direction, and their shoot 'em ups have always looked like illustrations coming to life (anime), player's perspective is outside not embedded within the action space, etc.

    Tyrian could've taken off in Japan, if promoted and distributed there (presumably under license to a Japanese company famous for shoot 'em ups, like Compile, who the makers of Tyrian were huge fans of).

    And some societies can't get anything to take off, because they lack social cohesion that oils the gears of large-scale cooperative projects, like making culture for an entire nation (or world). That's where we're headed -- a new Dark Age, reflecting our imperial collapse, with about as much cultural dynamism as China after the Qing collapse.

    On that topic, the diff is between Japanese and non-Japanese, not Japanese vs. "Western" culture. China, a super-rich country with industrialization and over a billion people with a long history of high and popular culture, cannot make culture for shit these days -- it's still a declining empire, after 1912. It may have bounced off of the rock-bottom lows (no more civil war, no more pervasive poverty and famine), but it still produces nothing original.

    Ditto for Korea (North and South), whose last dynasty collapsed in the late 19th C., and weren't even expanding before then.

    Ditto for all of Southeast Asia, mainland and islands.

    The only expanding great power in East Asia was Japan, who after getting checked in their expansion, were immediately absorbed into the American expanding empire, and could tap into American dynamism and cooperation.

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  15. As for earning money to buy upgrades etc., that was done as early as 1986 in the Japanese school of shoot 'em ups -- Fantasy Zone (and its sequel), by Sega.

    Also done in Forgotten Worlds, one of the best shoot 'em ups ever, by Capcom in 1988. That one also had healing potions, and important info about bosses, for purchase -- making it like a one-stop shop for the functions of a town in an RPG.

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  16. Shoot 'em ups are the most distinctly Japanese genre of video game, as shown by the top-rated games for both the card-based PC Engine and its CD-capable successor the PC Engine Duo. In America, known as the TurboGrafx-16 and TurboDuo.

    These two home consoles were most popular in Japan, and only somewhat in America. I never had one as a kid, but two close friends (at different times) had one -- somewhere between the Vectrex and the Sega Dreamcast in terms of awareness in America. I only bought these consoles for myself around 2010, when I got into retro games for a little while.

    So naturally their library of games reflect Japanese tastes more than a Sega or Nintendo or Sony console, which were heavily marketed in America and elsewhere around the world.

    Top-rated games for their American versions:

    https://www.mobygames.com/platform/turbo-grafx/

    https://www.mobygames.com/platform/turbografx-cd/

    For both consoles, 3 of the top 5 are shoot 'em ups! And the #1 for both is a shoot 'em up! Their libraries are shooters, shooters, and more shooters.

    On the flipside, it's hard to find any games resembling a simulator (in contrast to the Super Nintendo, which at least had SimCity), or with 3D immersive gameplay (in contrast to the Super Nintendo, which had Star Fox, Doom, and a few others).

    The PC Engine / TurboGrafx games are pure games, with an anime / manga derived art style, and an orthogonal rather than embedded perspective (even though 3D immersion was totally possible for the PC Engine Duo's CD technology).

    These used to be the gold standard for aspiring hardcore video gamers -- a real gamer's console.

    But after American culture produced its own, contradictory style of video "games" (simulators), hardcore gamers outside of Japan now compete over the descendants of Doom, Star Wars X-Wing, SimCity, Civilization, Myst, and Grand Theft Auto. That is reflected in the shift to PC's rather than dedicated game consoles.

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  17. It's a shame, cuz America used to make awesome video games (not sims), for PC's, back in the good ol' days -- namely the adventure games by Sierra Online and the like (first played with a text-parser, then the point-and-click icons).

    Today, a video game masterpiece like King's Quest VI is forgotten, while its first-person shooter cohort, Doom, is still widely known.

    Like Japanese games, the Sierra games looked like illustrations, not photographs. But they were in the American illustrated tradition, not Japanese manga / anime.

    And KQ VI is one of the few games with human speech that doesn't sound ridiculous. Voice actors for the vidya sector are among the worst performers of all time. But the protag of KQ VI was voiced by none other than Disney's Beast himself, Robby Benson, and only a year after the Disney movie was released.

    But as American animation has taken a further nose-dive after the '90s Disney renaissance -- it was never a prestige medium, unlike anime in Japan -- vidya developers look to live-action talents instead of borrowing the top voices from animated movies. That's because vidya in America looks like live-action movies, not animation, so it only makes sense the vidya developers would get live-action actors.

    But live-action actors are not used to doing disembodied voice-over work. And vidya simulators are not photographing real people and places -- just simulating them. So both the look and dialog always has a substandard quality at best, and uncanny valley at worst.

    That drop-off in quality does not happen in Japanese video games because they are based on anime -- which also does not record real people or places, and whose actors are disembodied rather than doing both the physical performance as well as the dialog. Very easy to move from one medium to the other, in Japan.

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  18. The Sierra Online games also resembled animation in that the static backgrounds were highly detailed, whereas the moving figures or other objects were more low-res in order to make their animation less laborious.

    The player can use that difference to spot what they're supposed to interact with -- if it's highly detailed, it's part of the static background. You can't pick it up, move it, etc. But if looks more pixelated, it must be because it's going to move around -- and so, something you are meant to interact with.

    That background art was hand-drawn, BTW -- then digitally scanned for use in the video game image, colors adjusted to what the monitors could actually display, etc. Not drawn originally in a computer program of any kind, no graphic tablets, etc.

    Could have come from a Disney movie or Scooby-Doo episode, especially KQ V and VI, they were that good.

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  19. Goob! There's a shoot 'em up with your name on it -- "Same! Same! Same!" in Japan. The stream title writes itself. AKA "Fire Shark" here.

    The original title is a play on "Tora! Tora! Tora!" -- the codename that Japan used to order the attack on Pearl Harbor. "Tora" meaning "tiger" -- so instead of "Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!" it's "Shark! Shark! Shark!" ^_^

    Pretty fun one, too. I had it on the Sega Genesis, ported from the arcade.

    It's more Western-friendly, with contemporaraneous or even old-timey planes and ships and locations -- not futuristic space mecha anime. Similar in that way to Capcom's 1941, 1942, 1943, etc., where you play as American planes attacking the Japanese (even though it was developed by a Japanese company).

    Fire Shark was also made by a Japanese company -- Toaplan, who later made the first bullet hell game. But they'd made lots of other aggressive shoot 'em ups before then, including this one.

    As a follow-up to your Ace Combat stream -- and doing your weeb reps by playing the most Japanese of video game genres! Hehe.

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  20. Goob dropping the bombastic live-action saga trilogy version of The Hobbit, is a great way to set up a watchalong for the 1977 anime version, which is only 1hr 18min and aired on TV rather than the big screen. Far more fitting for it being a concise children's story, not a sprawling epic.

    Produced by an American company (Rankin/Bass), and with concept art from the Western fantasy tradition (especially owing to Arthur Rackham, a Brit from the early 20th C.).

    True to the imperial collapse stage of British culture that it's modeled on, the art style has more desaturated colors, thinly applied watercolor techniques, rather than the bold saturated look of empires at their peak (Gothic stained glass, illuminated manuscripts, '80s anime, etc.). And the setting is clearly pre-imperial, from a humbler Dark Age -- late-stage Brits longing wistfully for the days before their bloated and collapsing empire even got started.

    But like other popular animated works of its time, it was animated by a Japanese company -- Topcraft, a splinter from Toei, and the predecessor to both Studio Ghibli and Pacific Animation (who animated the popular '80s Western cartoons ThunderCats and SilverHawks). Best known for Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

    They also partnered with Rankin/Bass to do the animation for The Last Unicorn, which would make another great watchalong for a Holo girl -- introducing the audience to Japanese-animated, American-directed works, which were huge from the late '70s through the mid-'90s, for TV and movies.

    The Last Unicorn may be more up the alley of Shiori, Nerissa, Fauna, or Kronii, who have more of a penchant for dark fairy tales.

    There's enough examples, though, to fill out an entire week or month on the theme. One girl could do The Hobbit, another The Last Unicorn, another Jem (very apropos for vtubers), another Transformers, and the list goes on...

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  21. Irys singing "Kawaikute Gomen" last night was another great example of the mora-timed nature of Japanese speech, much like "Rouge no Dengon".

    In the chorus, the word "gomen" is drawn out into three clearly separated beats -- go-me-n -- where the last one is the syllable-final consonant "n", a mora unto itself, like a short vowel in the nucleus of a syllable.

    I don't know why they don't use musical examples to teach about moras, light vs. heavy syllables, etc., in Japanese -- they're so much easier to hear when they bear their own beat of the rhythm, and are drawn out for artistic reasons. It's hard to hear that in fast, everyday speech -- and impossible to "hear" in haikus, which are written rather than spoken.

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  22. Looking through screenshots of King's Quest V and VI, V definitely has better background art than VI, so if you're mainly looking for a game with iconic American fantasy illustrations, try V first.

    However, it's a bit more cryptic than VI, and the voice acting is not as good as VI. But it's still a close second behind VI overall.

    There were fan remakes of the first 4 KQ games, to update them in the visual style of V and VI, and give them text boxes or voice acting, plus the point-and-click rather than text-parser interface. Made during the early 2010s, don't know how easy they are to get know, but they used to be free.

    They also allowed an option to dial down the difficulty, prevent you from going into a dead-end of the decision tree, etc.

    They look, sound, and play better than the originals, which only looked, sounded, and played the way they did in the '80s due to tech limitations. Similar to the early Dragon Quest games on the Nintendo getting improved re-releases in the '90s or early 2000s, for the Super Nintendo, Playstation, etc.

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  23. Another way to see that shoot 'em ups are the most Japanese genre of video game, is how varied the subject matter, settings, and art style is. They cover anything and everything.

    Outer space, the future, WWII / the past, Medieval Japan, utopia, dystopia, the player controls a ship / mecha robot / human being / animal, gory body horror, HR Geiger biomorphic horror, tropical paradise, surreal candy-colored fantasy lands, military theme, cutesy magical girl theme, edgy anime style, childlike kawaii style (cute 'em ups), and even self-aware parodies / tributes to the genre.

    If it has a place in Japanese aesthetics, it is represented in a shoot 'em up somewhere. Oh my God, how many waterfalls are there in shoot 'em ups?! Or volcanoes. Or cozy snow-country environments.

    The only other genre that encompasses every staple of Japanese aesthetics is the platformer, which they invented and perfected, with nary an example from outside of Japan (whether America or elsewhere).

    Not so much the RPG, which owes too much to the American Dungeons & Dragons game, which in turn is heavily reliant on Old World / Euro settings, characters, storylines, etc. Not many futuristic RPGs, dystopian RPGs, urban RPGs, space / mecha RPGs, edgy anime and kawaii styles alike, and so on. Some examples, but nothing like the rich variety of platformers and shoot 'em ups.

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  24. This is related to the arcade vs. home location of where the games are played. Japanese companies always dominated the creation of arcade games, even in the early days when there were a few pioneering American companies.

    Americans did best making games for the PC.

    Home consoles are mixed -- there were several big American home consoles in the early days (Atari, Colecovision, Intellivision), then Japan ruled the format from the mid-'80s through the '90s, then Microsoft introduced the Xbox in the 2000s (which did not catch on in Japan, however).

    But if you consider home consoles and PC's together, as the home location, Americans have done well, and perhaps better than the Japanese. The opposite of the arcade location.

    That is a reflection of the Japanese approach to these being games, entertainment, amusement, or pop culture. You can't spend forever in an arcade playing a shoot 'em up or platformer game. It's like going out to see a movie in the theater, or visit an amusement park for an afternoon (or a carnival at night), or a danceclub for the evening (Dance Dance Revolution).

    When games are played in the home, suddenly you can spend forever playing them. You can get immersed in their worlds, you can follow their storylines and character arcs over long periods of time. It's more immersive, tending toward simulators and virtual experiences rather than games and gameplay / skill. And tending toward wearing 3D glasses or VR helmets like a fuckin' NERD.

    An RPG can suck you in for many, many hours, but a platformer cannot, and neither can a shoot 'em up. Not unless you're a streamer and trying to finish the game in one stream, or trying over and over to beat a difficult game, rather than a casual player who just accepts they can't beat the hard game after an hour or so.

    What is different about RPGs (in Japan or elsewhere) is the gambling function -- the RNG, the rare drop. Asians of all ethnicities are very weak to the temptation of gambling, so RPGs are the only genre that can feed their addiction and suck them in for very long periods of time.

    Likewise, the only game in a public place like an arcade that can suck them in for real degen hours are pachinko machines -- involving chance and randomness, similar to pulling the lever on a slot machine, and receiving a payout. Or playing those crane games (which are rigged to make everything a rare drop).

    But a shoot 'em up, platformer, or rhythm / dance video game, does not have an RNG built into its core gameplay. You're either good at it, or not. You have fun for a little while, then leave it behind. And there's no payout if you "win" the game -- you don't win 10 quarters, so you can keep playing over and over again, you don't get a physical prize, and you don't keep leveling up your stats as in an RPG to feel like you're climbing a status ladder.

    And again, the RPG is a very Western-origin genre, even if its video game format owes more to the Japanese. From its tabletop origins with Dungeons & Dragons, it's always meant to be immersive, long in duration, played at home, and involving an RNG at the core (rolling a die, shuffling a deck of cards, etc.). More of an experience, not just a game or amusement or aesthetic work of pop culture.

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  25. That's why Japanese gamers don't die like South Koreans do, while playing video games. Japanese games are not that addictive -- fun and exciting, but not addictive. Not immersive, not simulators, not in 3D or VR, not gambling temptations, on the whole.

    Highly stimulating things like Japanese video games prevent addiction, by giving you a rush, making you climax (as it were), and then leave you in a refractory state, where you can't play the game any longer even if you were paid to. They leave you satiated.

    Addictions are joyless, low-energy, brain-off, interminable sessions of just keeping your basic senses stimulated but not very fun or exciting. An endless chore, an endless grind.

    Addictions are more likely to come from the escapist, immersive simulators -- not the games where your perspective is orthogonal to, not embedded within, the action space.

    And so, people who get so addicted to a "game" (rather, an immersive experience in a simulated world) to the point of neglecting their health, etc., are going to be playing American-style "games" (simulators), rather than Japanese-style games (actual games).

    South Koreans, in order to distance themselves from their Japanese superiors, who they have a huge chip on their shoulder about, have taken to American simulators WAAAYYY more than the Japanese have. That way, they don't have to take part in Japanese culture. Case in point, Starcraft -- created by an American company, Blizzard, and dominated by South Koreans. And where South Koreans die while playing, because they're so immersed in that simulated world.

    Shockingly, some of them even die in public places, despite it being a game intended for the home location -- because they play it in a public internet cafe, with PC's rather than arcade cabinets.

    As fragmented as Japanese society may have become over the past several decades, they still retain the basic dignity and honor to play fun video games for awhile, and then move onto something else, not plunge into an immersive 3D / VR simulated world that is so realistic and addictive that they neglect their IRL health.

    This is not a genetic or deep cultural difference, it's a historical contingency -- Korean society has been in a collapsed and occupied state for longer than Japan has, from the mid-late 19th C. vs. the mid-late 20th C. And Korea was not expansionist and high in cohesion before their collapse, so they began from a lower baseline.

    Give Japan another 100 years on their current trajectory, though, and they may die in public internet cafes while playing immersive 3D simulators, like their South Korean neighbors.

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  26. Pornography shows the same cultural divide. American porn has always been about photography and realism, either stills for magazines / pin-ups / etc., or for live-action camera recordings (originally for feature-length fictional movies, now just videotapped prostitution simulators).

    Japanese porn does live-action as well, but a decent share of it is illustrated -- static images for manga, or animated for anime, both called hentai ("pervert"). Erotic or pornographic animation has basically never existed in America, and neither has static illustration (in comic books, paperbacks, calendars, etc.).

    Japanese porn is more fantastical and stylized, allowing all sorts of bizarre things to occur. American porn is more realistic, at first a naturalistic movie, now an outright prostitution simulator.

    Japanese porn relies less on 3D glasses or VR helmets, whereas American porn keeps moving in the VR direction (first-person POV camera shots, then stereoscopic 3D shooting, binaural audio recording, etc.).

    The viewer of Japanese porn maintains more of a distance, since it's more stylized, whereas the viewer of American porn is more escapist, immersed, addicted, and degenerate.

    No, not saying "cure your porn addiction with this one weird trick -- watch hentai instead", let alone that "hentai is based, ackshually". Just pointing out key differences in the two, and their consequences.

    Japanese erotica / porn also has a heavy tangible component as well -- sex dolls of various kinds, "onaholes" ("woman-hole", i.e. a plastic / rubber tube meant to feel like a pussy), dakimakuras (pillowcases for body-sized pillows), and the like. These have minimal or no counterparts in American erotica / porn -- they're more of a joke here, vs. being able to casually buy them in a vending machine in Japan (along with young girl's already-worn panties, for tactile as well as olfactory purposes).

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  27. Japanese porn seems contradictory -- illustration is less realistic than photography, and yet sex dolls / onaholes / worn panties / body pillows with illustrated girls on their covers, are more realistic than not having them as an aid.

    I think the common factor is they are less cerebral. Tangible and olfactory aids are more corporeal than the purely disembodied approach of "beaming signals into your eyes and ears". And illustration has a physical nature that photography generally does not, unless it's highly stylized cinematography (but no porn is shot that way). Clearly delineated outlines, brushwork, saturated colors, exaggerated proportions, impossible actions, and so on, all draw attention to the medium itself, rather than trying to be an immersive fly-on-the-wall camera.

    The Japanese approach is not to simulate reality -- illustrations are less simulating than photography, and a rubber pussy that you hump leaves you aware of its status as a contrived artificial piece of technology, whereas signals to your eyes and ears feel less contrived and artificial. The onahole or the dakimakura is a proxy for a pussy or a girl's whole body -- it is not simulation of one.

    The American approach is more like "put your brain in a jar, and directly stimulate the horny lobe with an electrical signal". It's more disembodied, transhumanist, etc., than a dog humping a piece of furniture, or a horny teenage girl humping her pillow in bed, which is more corporeal than cerebral.

    That's why the Japanese porn consumer is more sympathetic, as I emphasized in my parody song "Daki Girl" (to the tune of "Barbie Girl"):

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2022/04/daki-girl-aqua-parody-body-pillow.html

    The guy with a daki is trying to stay as close to reality as possible, so there's a tangible side to it, as well as forming a lasting emotional and social attachment to a single make-believe person (even if the daki cannot reciprocate).

    The guy who puts on a VR helmet while wacking off (with his own hand, no proxy for a pussy), to any and every simulated prostitute on porn websites, is a much more pathetic and contemptible "brain in a jar" coomer. Far more dehumanizing of an experience, however much more immersive it is -- but that's the point, immersion and escapism to that degree is dehumanizing, no matter what the simulated activity is, whether sex, violence, or anything else.

    Our corporeal side is what keeps us human and one of the animals on Planet Earth, created by Mother Nature, God, or whoever. The directly stimulated brain-in-a-jar is a product of our own technology, no longer human and earthbound, but vaingloriously trying to transcend corporeal nature into some VR dimension divorced from ("beyond" in their sad cope) actual reality.

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  28. Bringing it back to vtubers, some real prescient and relevant comments in the "Daki Girl" post. As early as Feb 2020 (post linked in the comments to Daki Girl), I knew that the upcoming Manic Pixie Dream Girls of the 2020-'24 restless phase would move on to similar but new roles by the 2025-'29 manic phase.

    Namely, they'd become more independent and focus on their own needs, having successfully completed their role of coaxing weary sad sacks out of their shells during the restless phase. Those guys can now stand on their own, so the rehabilitating nurse can do her own thing now.

    Sure enough, by 2024, Gura, Mumei, Irys, and Fauna (the more quirky MPDG-like girls in Hololive) are drifting away from streaming / connecting with their audiences, to see to their own emotional and social needs.

    Goob is raising a new baby, Moom has at least moved in with a bf (maybe marriage or pregnancy in the future), and Irys and Fauna are taking frequent breaks (usually meaning moving in with a bf, getting married, dealing with pregnancy, or all of the above).

    They could return to regular streaming, if it were no longer in an MPDG role. The general vibe would be "girls just wanna have fun", and you're there for the ride, to feed off of their energy in order to juice up your own energy levels, so you can go out and get crazy yourself.

    Not that they're emotionally rehabilitating sad sacks who, along with everyone else, just spent the last 5 years in the vulnerable phase of the cycle -- those society-wide doldrums were 2015-'19, they were nursed back to health during 2020-'24, and by 2025-'29, very few guys will still feel so down in the dumps that they want an MPDG -- not until the next restless phase, 2035-'39, which will help people recover from the next vulnerable phase of 2030-'34, which will be the crash after the next manic phase, 2025-'29, that we're going to enter next year.

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  29. Also about Mercerism, Buster Friendly, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- the role or function that vtubers (or any streamer) plays for their audience, does not get canceled out just cuz some jealous hater goes on a crusade to prove that the performer is not who they say they are.

    In DADoES?, the central figure of the new religion is Mercer, whose Sisyphean struggle the audience empathizes with via the empathy box -- seeing, hearing, feeling the same way as Mercer as he struggles. And feeling communion with the other audience members whose brains are plugged into the empathy box, at the same time, focusing on the same figure, feeling the same emotions.

    Buster Friendly is a snarky comedian talk-show host who goes on a crusade to expose the fact the Mercer is just some random human being in a TV studio, not a god-like figure who keeps pushes the boulder up the hill. He's an actor, perhaps drawing on his own experience and personality to portray the character, but still just an actor.

    As though this exposure of the difference between the on-screen vs. off-screen life is going to utterly devastate the audience, make them abandon their connection to him, lose faith, drop their religion, and join Buster Friendly and other anti-Mercerists instead.

    Psych!

    No one cares if Mercer is just an actor, if the empathy box produces a feeling of communion among the audience, and the attachment between them and the religious figure. It's the sharing of the same feelings, and directed your energy and attention toward the same focus, at the same time, that creates this religious communion -- not some irrelevant quest for scientific truth (like was Jesus real, was he a normal human being, where was he born, did he get crucified, etc.).

    Today's tone-deaf snarky killjoys could conclusively prove that Gawr Gura is married and raising a baby, and therefore is no longer the unattached "girl you have a crush on, and may have a chance with" character that won over her audience to begin with. But that would not destroy her quasi-religious following. Would it, chumbos? ^_^

    She's playing a role, however much it may be inspired by her own personality and experience. We form an emotional connection based on that role, and feel connected to other audience members based on our shared connection to that role, leading to a feeling of communion.

    That attachment to Goob and to each other was not formed on a scientific quest basis, so it will not be undone by scientific proof that she's no longer the same person we attached ourselves to. Our attachment remains as long as she remains playing that role -- and comes undone only when she no longer plays that role.

    The only thing that has weakened the attachment between the audience and the performer, or among audience members themselves, is when the change in the performer's IRL life has resulted in less time spent with the audience, and so less time communing with other audience members. Similar to a band breaking up, and their fandom breaking up afterward.

    But if the band gets back together, or a single streamer gets back into regular streaming, the attachment to the performer, and the bond among the audience, will renew.

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  30. Obviously in Gooba's case, her more or less absence will last through the normal duration of maternity leave in any woman's job. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether she'll come back to regular streaming (or content creation in some other medium) after the early stages of motherhood. Some women disappear from public life forever, and get cozied up in domestic life for good. Others return to public life after early motherhood.

    Goob's a natural performer, so she might return to her role of putting on a show for an audience, after awhile (when her kid is in pre-school, or elementary school, or something).

    A girl who has a more "limiters on" approach to performing, like Moom, I can see preferring the snuggly coziness of domestic life without returning to public life -- she likes to watch, after all, not necessarily participate, beyond visiting every now and then. Much as it may pain the Hoomans to hear that...

    But given how tightly they bonded with their audiences, they shouldn't just disappear forever, at least stop by for a friendly visit from time to time. :)

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  31. Finally browsing through Coco's archive, to see if she's like Irys (the other half-Japanese, raised American Holo girl).

    Lo and behold, there are FOUR, count 'em, FOUR streams of her playing the original Super Mario Bros (in its Mario All-Stars / Collection version for the Super Nintendo). I'm only on the first one, but she really likes it! And is eager to get praise for playing a retro platformer ("I'm think I'm getting good at it!!!") Very into it, not just humoring an ojisan audience. ^_^

    You can't be Japanese without playing 2D platformers or shoot 'em ups. Even weebs have to bend the knee to either genre -- Fuwamoco just did a Touhou bullet hell game (and Donkey Kong Country before that -- a rare, as it were, Western 2D platformer), Gura did 4 streams of Super Metroid, and Irys is on her way to playing every 2D Mega Man game in existence.

    Gen X-ers were raised on real video games, so this may seem totally ordinary -- but Millennials and Zoomers were raised on degenerate escapist 3D immersive simulators, made outside of Japan, so anytime one of them discovers the golden age of video games, they get huge respect. Especially for playing them over multiple streams, not just an hour or so in one stream.

    Coco also played a tons of Minecraft and Terraria, which are Western examples of games rather than sims, and that provide a feast for the eyes, against the grain of the Cult of Crap that pervades non-Japanese "game" creation since the 2010s or even 2000s.

    Also like Irys, she's bubbly and high-energy, so I suspected she was the hyperactive shortie type -- sure enough, she's about 5' tall.

    Then there must be a counterpart of Irys + Kronii, a complementary friendship -- sure enough, she was not only online friends with, but was living IRL, with Kanata. Kanata is more shy and reserved and easily scandalized, uses a masculine pronoun, and has insane grip strength -- much like the Kroniinator. Coco was the high-energy, mischievous instigator who shook up Kanata's life with her crazy antics, to bring some excitement into her world.

    Given how catty girls usually are with each other, it's very heartwarming to see these complementary friendships develop -- if they're so different from each other, they're not competing over the same role, so they don't get catty with a rival, but fill the gap of their complement. :)

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  32. In other ways, Coco was like Goob -- from back East in America, with a non-standard dialect, and all the other things associated with that. More theatrical personality and behavior, more unfiltered, no BS / tell it like it is instead of the cult of politeness, inclined toward teasing and razzing others, highly meme-y / shitposter sense of humor.

    Also, both shorties.

    Both mercurial Geminis -- buckle up for the rollercoaster ride of a mad genius. But that's why you came to the carnival in the first place, riiiight? ^_^

    One key difference, though: Coco is a boob girl, while Goob is a butt girl. So Goob is more corporeal, into Ring Fit streaming and rhythm games and dancing.

    There was speculation that Coco was the secret senpai that Goob met up with while in Japan. Easy to believe, with how much they have in common!

    They wouldn't be complementary friends, but they never occupied the same space (Coco was in JP, Gura in EN), so they didn't really compete for a similar role, and never had cause to get catty. Kind of like meeting your alter ego -- similar and yet with a few key differences, you compare notes with each other for a little bit, and then go your separate ways.

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  33. I wonder if Okayu is on the tall side for a Japanese girl? Just guessing, based on her having a longstanding complementary friendship with Korone, and her recent collabs with Marine had a similar vibe as well.

    Okayu is more reserved and mellow, uses a masculine pronoun, is not very into Ring Fit or gymnastics or dancing. She's not a prude -- she just keeps her cursed or yabai side somewhat low-key, like fellow tall girls Mumei and Kronii. She just needs a hyperactive mischievous shortie to play the role of instigator, and then she will follow her lead.

    For Mumei, it's Bae. For Kronii, it's Irys. For Okayu, it's Marine or Korone.

    Marine is known to be a shortie, and I must believe Korone is as well -- she jumped rope 3000 times during a subathon, is into dancing, and does gymnastic stunts during concerts (cartwheels, front walkovers, etc.). That kind of athletic girl is usually short. Both are bubbly and high-energy.

    I think Korone works better for Okayu's complementary friend, compared to Marine, because Korone is from a non-standard dialect region, is more unfiltered, more theatrical, more bouncing-off-the-walls. Marine is from a standard dialect region, so she's not quite as unhinged as Korone. And since Okayu is from a standard dialect region (Tohoku rather than Kanto, but both are Eastern dialects), that makes Marine somewhat more similar to Okayu, compared to Korone and Okayu, who have greater cultural distance -- and therefore, more of a complementary list of traits.

    The cutest friendship in all of Hololive. ^_^

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  34. Korone + Okayu reminds me a lot of SNOT -- Goob is so off-the-charts in her hyperactive mischievous shortie-ness, that she needed not one, not two, but THREE complementary friends whose worlds needed a little shaking up with unhinged excitement.

    Moom and Kronii are tall for girls, and although she's hard to pin down, I think Fauna is as well, maybe 5'5 or 5'6 -- much taller than Goob, at any rate!

    Fauna's kawaii breathy voice, mellow demeanor, yet hidden cursed / yabai side, and ASMR specialty, makes her the most similar to Okayu, compared to Mumei or Kronii, where Gooba is like Korone.

    And given that Okayu recently said in her collab with Marine that Fauna has the sexiest voice in Holo EN, I'm sure both of them would welcome the comparison.

    We just need Gooba and Fauna to play a retro game together, and their transformation into the OkaKoro of EN will be complete! ^_^

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  35. Another genre you overlooked in "Japanese genres" is most certainly the fighting game. Got its start in Japan with Yie Ar Kung Fu and Karate Champ, was codified with Street Fighter 2, all the biggest spinoffs (Smash Bros-party fighter, Virtua Fighter-3D fighter) were Japanese as well. The only relevant western example of the genre is Mortal Kombat, and to a much much lesser extent Killer Instinct and Skullgirls. The genre is heavily based around the strong tradition of martial arts in Asian cultures, has its roots in the competitive arcade scene, is made for quick/adrenaline focused play.

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  36. Well, it goes without saying that basically all genres of actual video games (not sims) are Japanese, since they invented and perfected and sustained the medium. Just a matter of degree. Beat 'em up, run 'n' gun, you name it.

    Mortal Kombat is clearly American because it shoehorned photography into the aesthetics, whereas the canonical look of fighting games is that the characters are based on illustration / animation. MK used cameras to record live-action actors, digitized the footage, and used that to portray the characters.

    Similar: the American-made ClayFighter, a parody of the genre, applied the claymation approach -- using cameras to photograph IRL clay models, digitize the footage, and that's how characters are portrayed. The backgrounds are at least illustrated, though.

    Killer Instinct (British) went heavy on 3D and CGI, much like the rise of Pixar at the same time. And much like their platformer Donkey Kong Country (the CGI rather than hand-drawn look being the main tip-off that it wasn't Japanese, despite being from a Japanese franchise). The 2D hand-drawn illustration look was more or less over after the '90s, for Western animation as well as Western video games.

    In the same way that the PC Engine / Duo is heavily shoot 'em ups, Neo-Geo arcade and home was heavily fighting games. And that was more popular in Japan -- arcades were somewhat popular here, but more so in Japan, and the home console was a niche thing in Japan and more or less non-existent here.

    Some of those Neo-Geo classics are specifically Japanese, like Samurai Showdown and The Last Blade. Or the related wrestling-ring style of fighting games, King of Monsters -- each city is in Japan, and the characters are from the Godzilla tradition. The wrestling-ring style was not as popular as the side-view style -- probably because of the pseudo-3D aesthetics, when fighting games and video games in general want to be 2D.

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  37. Regional differences in video game creation: SNK is from Osaka, in the Kansai region, not Tokyo or the Kanto region or an Eastern dialect region, where the cultural center of Japan is. It's not alone either -- the biggest one of them all, Nintendo, is from Kyoto, also in Kansai.

    SNK were the makers of the Neo-Geo, and other games before then, like Ikari Warriors, P.O.W., and Guerrilla War.

    And who else is from Osaka? CAPCOM! Speaking of fighting games, shoot 'em ups, beat 'em ups, and 2D platformers...

    Osaka was also home to Irem (related to Capcom, and makers of Kung-Fu and R-Type).

    Sunsoft (Fantasy Zone, Blaster Master, NES Batman) was from Nagoya, which is on the border between Eastern and Western dialect regions.

    Kansai is a non-standard dialect region, away from the meta-ethnic frontier (against the Emishi and Ainu, in the case of Japan, which means the East and North is the cultural center). Such regions tend to be more theatrical, like how pro wrestling, danceclub music, musical theater, ballet, and opera are all bigger on the East Coast of America, not the West Coast (which is more naturalistic, like Hollywood movies and TV shows).

    Since Japanese video games are so stylized and game-like -- not naturalistic experiences, let alone photorealistic 3D simulators or attempts at virtual reality -- perhaps that gives an edge to creators from outside the cultural capital of Japan.

    There are many big video game companies in Tokyo -- Sega, Square and Enix, Namco, Taito, Konami -- but in the medium of video games, Kansai has a far bigger influence than in other media like anime. Perhaps because anime is used for naturalistic, as well as theatrical, presentation, whereas video games are far more theatrical and akin to pro wrestling. Except for RPGs, but then the big names there -- Square and Enix -- are both from Tokyo, as is expected.

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  38. Shigeru Miyamoto, the grandfather of video games, is from Kyoto, and Gunpei Yokoi (big-time producer at Nintendo) was born in Osaka and went to college in Kyoto. Similar to Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon both being East Coasters, not from California, Texas, or Chicago, where the cultural standard of America is typically set.

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  39. Nintendo's Virtual Boy was a huge failure because it tried to introduce 3D simulators and virtual reality into a medium, and a national culture, that was deeply based on 2D hand-drawn illustration, and where the viewer's perspective is orthogonal to, not embedded within, the action space.

    If the Virtual Boy had been created 10-20 years later, in America, it would've been a huge success. And in fact, 3D glasses, VR headsets, multiple wraparound monitors, and other tech that appeals to massive fuckin' NERDS has exploded in American culture.

    Back when video games were actual games, not sims, gamers took one look at this joke at said "no thanks!"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Boy

    Nintendo's lowest-selling console of all time.

    Nintendo's latest handheld, the 3DS, sold more in America than Japan, since we're more 3D obsessed (especially during the 2010s, when it was released).

    Contrast with the original DS, which sold better in Japan until the release of the DSi -- which had 2 digital cameras, at which point is sold vastly better in America. Photography goes along with 3D simulators.

    As much as the Japanese are stereotyped for bringing cameras everywhere and taking pictures of everything, Americans have always been way more camera-based -- point-and-shoots, Polaroid / instant cameras, slides and slideshow carousels, shoeboxes and albums full of family picture prints, cameras as the defining feature on what used to be portable telephones, web-cams, Skype, Facetime, selfies and selfie sticks, Facebook / Instagram / TikTok (Chinese, then American, not Japanese), and on and on and on.

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  40. Sure enough, Japan's camera and film industry are in Tokyo, since it's the cultural capital and more about naturalism, not theatricalism. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Konica, Sony, and Fujifilm are all from Tokyo. Only Minolta was from Kansai (Osaka), and they went out of business.

    Strangely, I liked the pictures I took with a Minolta (X-570) than a Canon (A1) camera, both with OEM lenses of similar speed, and on the same filmstock. Did Minolta's Kansai engineers have a bit more theatrical flare, like the rest of their regional culture? ^_^ Maybe they were meant for more artistic photography, and not so much the documentary / photojournalist use (like Nikon).

    But still photography is the lesser photographic art -- cinematography was and is dominated by Americans, who made the Mitchell camera, the Panavision camera and lenses (both from SoCal), and Kodak filmstock. Kodak is from back East (Rochester, NY), so perhaps they had a bit more theatrical flare compared to the makers of the camera bodies and lenses.

    Lenses are more about sharpness and resolution, bodies are about orchestrating everything together, like opening and closing the shutter.

    But the filmstock is where the magic really happens, and where there's greater latitude, as it were, for artistic license.

    Rochester is not exactly on the East Coast, but on the Great Lakes, so it's on the border between the cultural standard and non-standard regions of America. Still, closer to the non-standard and theatrical region of the country, compared to SoCal!

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  41. I knew it -- google "Minolta colors". I knew I couldn't have been the only one to notice something different -- and more aesthetically pleasing / compelling -- about Minolta.

    General consensus is their lenses produced images that had warmer or more vibrant colors, especially verdant greens and earthier browns, yellows that are not so pale but have some orange or tan to them. Perhaps at the expense of sharpness, but not in the sense of being blurry -- just not as revealing of micro detail everywhere (which no one would want for artistic photography, info-overload). Nice dark-light contrast, too. And the sense of being able to touch the picture and feel something wet, like fresh ink.

    Some say it's overblown. But no one says the opposite -- that Canon or Nikon has a distinctive aesthetic quality, let alone that this quality is for warmer and vibrant colors with a luscious wet texture.

    Probably more evident on their older lenses, before neoliberalism blew up quality standards in the name of profits uber alles.

    ...And all because Minolta was from Osaka, known for its theatrical flare compared to Tokyo. ^_^

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  42. Asking where the company is located is often deceptive. Larger companies are located and moved more by the demands of local land and tax policy.

    If you narrow your birth and early life search to the most notable creators/composers/artists/producers, like Tetsuya Nomura, Yasumi Matsuno, or Yujii Horii, you get an even more solidly south and west Japan talent map, who seem to be mainly using Tokyo as a central meetup location and source of cheap university talent in various specialized fields. You can go too far, though, the was too far from both Osaka and good sense to ever get his creations real traction or market success.

    There is one notable American (Californian) developer who focused on hand-drawn and much closer to illustrative than immersive 3-D - Blizzard Entertainment. Now that Microsoft has dropped their useless greedy executive team, they've also put their most hand-drawn and stylized SNES-style spritework of Warcraft 1 and 2 up on the Battle.net store for the first time in decades, playable in full Dosbox-emulated glory with no remake or shitlib executive meddling team in sight.

    And Warcraft 3, while it did use 3D models in all its cutscenes, was highly notable for how illustrated both its sprites and portraits were-a design decision followed by Starcraft 2 and mostly forgotten outside of their gacha game known as Hearthstone. You can tell how closely people paid attention to the details of Warcraft 3 by how slavishly it was
    imitated by one of Microsoft's other most valuable acquisitions.

    While now mostly known for their soulless item grinders like WoW or Diablo Phones, both Blizzard's RTS and most of the golden age RTSes were all legitimate games in the most illustrative and theatrical genre in American vidya. It's no surprise that the King/Activision branch of always-online always-micropay business models couldn't figure out how to revive or remake them after Starcraft 2 became the last notable one and the last one people would make custom maps and modes for. Esports? Please.

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  43. Blizzard did illustration way back in the mid-'90s, since they got their start making Japanese-style games -- Lost Vikings (puzzle platformer), Death and Return of Superman (beat 'em up), and Blackthorne (platformer -- although more in the American style, stemming from Prince of Persia, which uses rotoscoping for a more realistic animation).

    After they made the switch to PC's instead of Japanese consoles, they found a platform with easy 3D capabilities, and they very quickly dumped illustration and went 3D, and have never looked back.

    And neither have American "gamers" (simmers) -- they don't play the original RTS Warcraft or its sequels, they play the MMORPG World of Warcraft. Far more of an immersive, escapist 3D virtual reality simulator, to the point of logging in for entire decades of your life, and that's the only place you have meaningful social interactions, with the same players over time in your guild.

    To the credit of Glorious Nippon, they have only made one (1) MMORPG -- Final Fantasy XIV. The big creators of MMORPG's in Asia are from -- where else? -- South Korea.

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  44. South Korea used to do hand-drawn animation for American cartoons, occasionally in the '80s and '90s, but due to the huge chip on their shoulder about Japanese culture being superior to their own (at this point in time), they junked 2D animation (too Japanese, eww, yucky) and went with 3D simulators for PC's and live-action movies and TV shows.

    Think of how much "K-drama" there is on Netflix, or Korean live-action movies. And yet, no Korean anime.

    Japan hasn't devoted itself to live-action movies since Kurosawa. They put everything into 2D animation by the 1970s, and that remains their prestige medium.

    "K-pop" also sounds way more Western or generic global, with little native traces -- and crucially, whose Western / global sound is very 21st century. You rarely hear rock influences, electric guitars, slide guitars, doo-wop, or other American influences from before 1980.

    Meanwhile in Japan, they still pay homage to classic rock, R&B, and country / Western music from America. I mentioned the theme song for "Touch" a little while ago -- despite being made in 1985, it has very distinctive '60s surf guitar riffs, alongside a more traditional Japanese style (this blend is called kayoukyoku).

    And again, every Hololive JP girl has covered this, and I'm sure every other vtuber in Japan outside of Hololive. "Rouge no Dengon" has '60s surf guitars in it as well, and that also remains immensely popular in Japan.

    You don't hear that "peak Americana" sound in K-pop, which sounds like the Swedish Mafia stuff from the 21st century -- groovy, danceable, etc., but not clearly American.

    Why? South Korea loves to imitate America, as an alternative to imitating the bitterly hated Japanese -- South Koreans being among the most woketarded in the world, both in their home country and in the diaspora.

    They can't incorporate those "peak Americana" influences as part of their broader trend of imitating America, because the Japanese have already done that. And so, surf guitars, slide guitars, doo-wop vocalizations, etc., would not only sound American to Koreans, it would also sound Japanese -- boo, hiss.

    Too bad that North Korea has been a historic rival of ours, they would never copy our culture. But it would be funny to see them do "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," and incorporate "peak Americana" culture into their own pop culture, like Japan and America itself -- but against their South Korean enemies.

    Instead, I'm guessing that North Korea probably includes more Midcentury Russian / Soviet influences, which will troll South Korea, Japan, and America all at the same time.

    Props to the exceptions among the overall South Korean trend, like Ina from Holo EN -- works for a Japanese company, her major talent and other job is 2D illustration in a JP anime style, and although undoubtedly liberal like all other entertainers, she's not woke or into identity politics.

    But as a reserved and easily scandalized tall girl, she just needs a hyperactive shortie to bring some exciting chaos into her life -- occasionally, anyway. Enter Bae and Irys, when they're not shaking up the lives of Mumei and Kronii, respectively. ^_^

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    1. South Korea is the most woketarded due to the lasting influence of early 20th Century liberal protestant missionaries (which later mutated into later 20th Century radical feminism). Hence, they are FAR more depressed than any other East Asian country as this chart shows:

      https://twitter.com/Steve_Sailer/status/1706913959230787634

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  45. To clarify, wokeness is a uniquely American thing, at least now (counterparts in earlier collapsed empires, but in the 21st C, it's only coming from America). So if you adopt wokeness, you're imitating American culture.

    And yet not every neutral nation, or even outright militarily occupied nation, within the American imperial sphere of influence has adopted wokeness.

    Most relevant -- the Japanese have not, not even the edgy Westaboos who are into emo and rock music instead of traditional Japanese culture. Let alone their national government and other societal elites.

    South Koreans largely have adopted wokeness.

    What's the difference? Wokeness comes from a collapsing empire, trying to stitch it together as it's falling apart, and delusionally trying to incorporate more and more imperial subjects at a time when it cannot sustain them. Too may hands out, too little imperial goodies to dole out. Hence, hyper-competition for whose hands get the goodies. These days, on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, and sexual orientation.

    So it makes perfect sense that South Koreans would adopt this -- they are also from a collapsed nation, and have been mired in that situation for far longer than the Japanese (mid-19th vs. mid-20th C.). They already understand what it's like to live in a fragmented society -- they are literally still in civil war against the North.

    Japan has remained whole, not fragmented, since the Tokugawa Shogunate unified and expanded the nation after the civil wars of the Sengoku period. They might have fragmented after defeat in WWII, but we immediately occupied their entire lands, which forced them to stay together as a people, culture, economy, and government.

    You see the same split between Spain and Italy -- Spain is WAAAYYY more woketarded than Italy. Well of course -- Spain is a collapsed empire since the early 19th C, while Italy has not been an empire since the Romans. And they recently unified, in the 19th C., instead of being moribund in the 19th or 20th centuries. And like Japan, we immediately occupied their entire lands after they were defeated in WWII. Getting defeated could have put pressure on the North vs. South to break up, but America occupying the whole country meant they all had to stick together.

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  46. Germans are insane woketards, and they are also a collapsed empire -- and unlike Japan and Italy, America only occupied part of their lands, the other portion being occupied by America's rival, Russia. Similar to the situation in Korea, where America only occupied part of the collapsed nation, and where wokeness has taken root.

    Moreover, that Russian portion of Germany included the imperial core, stemming from Prussia and Brandenburg. America was not occupying the leaders, but the followers, of the German empire, and these non-standard dialect speakers will always have a huge chip on their shoulder about being forcibly incorporated into the standard dialect speakers' expanding empire.

    Contrast that with Germanic former great powers nearby, who were not empires, and therefore not collapsed empires, and did not become fragmented and mired in civil wars. Namely, Sweden -- they are super-liberal, but in the Midcentury sense of trying to help everyone, being a good neighbor if possible, etc. Not in the sense of trying to incorporate the entire world's population into their society, driving up the foreign-born population to 50% or whatever.

    Hard to appreciate from America, but there's a close analogue in Minnesota and Wisconsin -- turbo-libs, without going woketard.

    One crucial component of wokeness is iconoclasm and desecration of the past, while creating nothing in its place, with an attitude of nihilism, callousness, dismissiveness, and seething. That's way more common back East in America, both in the Northeast and Deep South.

    You don't even see Californians or Seattle libs blowing up their local heritage just cuz it was made by white male colonists (Spanish colonial architecture) or whatever. Nor are the Mormons leveling their old buildings in Utah, not even a lib city like Salt Lake City. The Midwest is where American culture begins, so it's largely free from this iconoclastic nihilism and pure destructiveness. Its libs, especially the Scandi types in Minnesota, are still in the "melting pot" utopian mode -- not the "burn all of America to the ground" mode.

    But the Great Lakes are on the border between real America and pre-America, so they can suffer from woketarded destructiveness on occasion. (The BLM riots of 2020 were mostly orchestrated by national woketards whose home base is Brooklyn, not oafish hicklibs from Minnesota itself).

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  47. Saudi Arabians are famously not woke, and they've been an expanding empire since the late 1700s. They're plateau-ing and bound to contract within this century, but they're not in outright collapse like we are yet. When they do reach that stage, however, watch the wokeness take root, in a Saudi-related form (e.g., Hejaz putting out their hands to the leaders in the Nejd, the massive foreign slave population organizing for their rights, and so on).

    Contrast with the Lebanese, who remain a fragmented and civil war-torn nation. Compared to Saudis, an insane percent of Lebanese, in the diaspora or internally, are woke and into identity politics. Likewise their Palestinian neighbors -- fragmented society with civil wars between secular vs. religious factions up until recently, occupied by a hostile foreign nation, and high inclination toward wokeness, both within Palestine and in the diaspora.

    Iran is like Saudi Arabia, despite being recent historical rivals. Their empire did collapse after the Safavids and Qajars, they were fragmented well into the mid-20th C., although without reaching the bottom level of territorial disintegration. They remained somewhat whole. Then, as of the Islamic Revolution of the late 1970s, they have become more unified and whole.

    They still practice the holdover from their imperial heyday of allowing quotas for ethnic minorities in the government (e.g., Jews and Armenians), similar to the Ottoman millet system. But it's not trying to incorporate more and more groups, with less and less ability to sustain them. And it's not burning Iran's past and heritage to the ground in a seething nihilistic iconoclasm.

    And so, very little wokeness in Iran -- or among Iranians in the diaspora. Possibly more woke if they settle in the East Coast of America, but most Iranians are in easy-breezy Southern California, where nobody -- of any background -- would dream of blowing up all those Spanish colonial buildings, just cuz white male colonists made them or inspired them. They don't want to burn America to the ground, desecrate its past, etc.

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  48. Iconoclasm against Midcentury Modern / Brutalist buildings is back East for the most part, whether in Puritanical Yankeedom (Orange County Government Center, Goshen, NY) or the Deep South (Burroughs Wellcome headquarters, Research Triangle, NC).

    (Same pattern for toppling or removing statues of historic American figures.)

    That was "peak Americana" architecture, stemming from Frank Lloyd Wright and the Chicago School in the late 19th C.

    Anyone who cheers on, or even breathes a private sigh of relief, over the demolition of MCM and Brutalist architecture is anti-American scum, and they will be electrocuted en masse, live from inside the Oval Office, when I become dictator of the world.

    Same goes for those who cheer on or turn a blind eye to toppling Northeastern or Southeastern historical statues.

    You can't have it both ways -- whining when iconoclasts melt down your Confederate statue, while giving Massachusetts woketards a rare pat on the back for blowing up another Paul Rudolph building. Iconoclasm against American culture will come for it all -- either it is all defended and preserved, or it is all swamped and wiped out.

    That's why in a real part of America, like California, there's the largest conservancy agency in the nation (LA Conservancy, naturally in SoCal, closer to the meta-ethnic frontier against the Mexicans). They preserve Spanish Colonial, Frank Lloyd Wright, Art Deco, Brutalist, trad Euro LARP, Storybook, Googie, and everything in between.

    Even further from the frontier, in San Francisco, the most back-East enclave within the West, they're not going to blow up an MCM church like the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, like their Northeastern relatives would. Nor are they demolishing the palatial trad Euro LARP of the San Fran City Hall -- not in a million years.

    Different demographic groups may occupy these buildings over time, but none of them will demolish them in a seething contemptuous hatred of the heritage that created them once upon a time. Recent immigrants there would rather take them over for their own enjoyment, acknowledging their status as something awesome and wonderful that ought to be kept going -- not demolish them because they hate the people who made them.

    MASSIVE difference between libs on the West vs. East coasts, even among recent immigrants or outright illegals. A Mixtec-speaking drywaller in LA looks at a Spanish Colonial house as an aspirational space -- living there would be living the dream. A Somali-speaking Uber driver in Queens, NY, looks at a Collegiate Gothic high school and only has a bitter revenge fantasy about blowing it up.

    That's the legacy of the meta-ethnic frontier in America, first against the Indians in the West, then the Mexicans and some remaining Indians in the Southwest, and the Japanese for a hot second in the Pacific.

    The entire East Coast, outside of Central-to-Southern Florida (on the frontier with Indians up through the Seminole Wars), is going to sink for good, while everyone there laughs and how their historic rivals are also going under. The Southern Italy or Ireland of America.

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  49. That also explains why the rest of the Anglosphere is so woketard as well - they are all former parts of the collapsed British empire.

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  50. Sadly for East Coasters, the top Republican leaders who control the state will conspire with the bitter illegal Uber drivers to blow up that Collegiate Gothic high school -- exactly what happened to Camden High School (Camden, NJ), which was Collegiate Gothic, and only part of the "keep" of the castle was kept, while the rest was demolished and replaced with a featureless ugly box (not MCM or Brutalist, just a generic ugly box).

    Some wanted to preserve it -- but Republican Governor Chris Christie overruled that idea and ordered its demoltion, which finally happened in the woketard late 2010s.

    You can't explain that with crony-ism, which Christie surely did by giving contractors shitloads more money with a near-total demolition a rebuild, as opposed to a mere preservation and renovation and maintenance.

    Governors in California don't do that to iconic Collegiate Gothic high schools in LA -- they find other ways to give free money to their contractor cronies, like building another freeway or whatever.

    Only woketard iconoclasm, not crony-ism, drives you to demolish the icons of your heritage. Whether someone makes a fat living off of the project or not, doesn't matter. The point is demolition of heritage.

    And no, Camden High School was not demolished because the current occupants are rich straight while male colonists -- it's all ethnic minorities (2/3 black, 1/3 Hispanic), and 65% are "economically disadvantaged". The entire Camden area is poor and minority. They were robbing poor minorities of one of the few good things they had left in their shithole city, but being East Coasters, the poor minorities themselves didn't care very much, and were happy to demolish the boo-hiss past and progress into a 21st century building.

    No way in hell a similar high school in LA would get demolished, if it's Collegiate Gothic or Art Deco. Case in point: Venice High School, an Art Deco / Streamline building from 1935, still standing. Iconic not just for being Art Deco, but showcased in iconic movies -- A Nightmare on Elm Street, Heathers, and the music video for "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears.

    Student body: 85% minority (60% Hispanic, 14% black, 7% Asian, 15% white), and 67% get free / reduced-price lunch.

    Rob them of such an iconic dream building to live out their formative years?

    *heavy cholo accent* "Fron my col dead hands, ese..."

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    1. Remember that New Jersey is home to the Ivy League university of Princeton, so it is almost as bad as New York (Columbia) but definitely not yet Connecticut (Yale) or Massachusetts (Harvard, MIT, Boston University, etc).

      Massachusetts in particular could use a good locker stuffing. As far back as 1972, they were famously the only state to vote for proto-woke George McGovern (along with DC)

      https://www.nytimes.com/1973/01/14/archives/as-massachusetts-went-im-frommassachusetts-dont-blame-me.html

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  51. In case dum-dum East Coasters need a reminder, California is a one-party Democrat state, from the Governor and state legislature all the way down to city council members and school principals.

    So a pathetic appeal to partisan politics for explaining why California is so conservationist, doesn't even take off the ground. Christie's a Republican anyway.

    The simple and only reason is that California lies close to the meta-ethnic frontier in America, and the entire East Coast (aside from Central-to-Southern Florida) is as far removed from it as you can get, without swimming back to the Old World.

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  52. I had a similar experience in my own family, when I was 15, from the same demographics you talk about. Only it was out West (but still woketards). Blowing everything up, selling off patrimony as well as things and memories that were sacred for the family, and just abandoning everything out of hatred.

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  53. Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress has a waterfall with a secret location behind it! Similar to Seven Samurai from a few years earlier, which I covered in the comments to the post on waterfalls as a staple of American geo-identity:

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2023/07/waterfalls-as-uniquely-american-feature.html

    But in Seven Samurai, they just walk behind it, along the outer cliff / mountain wall. In Hidden Fortress, a heavy waterfall disguises the secret entrance to the mountain hide-out of Princess Yuki and her small entourage. This secret passage goes well into the cavern.

    No pictures of the waterfall online -- the internet is a black hole for images.

    But it's before they set off to infiltrate the enemy's territory.

    "Secret hidden passage behind a waterfall, disguising something interesting or valuable" is a Japanese trope that is much older than video games like Legend of Zelda.

    I already discussed that it's not Tolkien like some vidya blogger said. But it at least goes back to these Kurosawa movies from the '50s, and there are hints of it from ukiyo-e woodblock prints in the Edo period as well.

    It seems like there may be folk legends going back further -- though I'd guess no further than the Tokugawa Shogunate or the Kamakura Shogunate, when the cultural capital settled in the East of Japan, as they were expanding against the Emishi and Ainu in the North.

    In any case, neat to find another example!

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  54. To follow up on the "Minolta colors" remarks, my lens is a Rokkor MD 50mm f/1.4 (Rokkor is Minolta's in-house lens name), on an X-570 body, with good ol' Kodak Gold 400 film from the local drugstore. (The Canon lens was the same spec, on an A1 body, same film -- really nice, just not as rich feel to it.)

    If you've thought about trying your hand at real photography, that seems like an ideal camera and lens. Everyone praises that lens, as well as its f/1.7 sibling, and the X-570 body too. They seem very affordable, and underhyped -- outside of the "Minolta colors" appreciators. ^_^

    Probably worth getting slower speed film, closer to ISO 100, if you want to do broad daylight shooting and be able to open the lens up. But I was shooting in the late afternoon / early evening when daylight was already starting to go down, and by the end of my excursion it was dark. So 400 speed worked fine.

    If you want something even simpler (no separate lens), even smaller, and even cooler looking, almost a point-and-shoot but not quite -- the Olympus XA, one of the most compact rangefinders ever made. A little more expensive than the body and lens by Minolta above, but still affordable -- and indestructible.

    Scored mine for $5 or something crazy like that, diving through the container o' cameras in a thrift store 10 years ago, during the golden age of thrifting. Picked up the Minolta, and the Canon, at the same place, too! Probably $25 apiece for those, still an absolute steal and impossible to find in thrift stores nowadays, sadly.

    But at any rate, don't worry so much about the gear, just go with those two and you'll be fine. Focus more on choosing subjects or locations, composition, practice, etc. Too much online photography talk is about the gear and its capabilities, rather than what it actually does in real pictures. Neeeerrrdssss...

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  55. Minolta colorito vs. Canon disegno

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  56. See, Venice High School did a $162 million renovation WITHOUT demolition:

    https://www.dailynews.com/2023/02/24/venice-high-school-celebrates-its-new-162m-campus-modernization/

    Undoubtedly a bunch of politically connected cronies got filthy rich off of this big-ticket bonanza -- and yet, they did so by leaving the original building standing (with repair & maintenance & some updating), and then ADDING to the campus.

    Wow, something a clever-silly "analysis" about handing out free money to your cronies would totally miss -- you can hand it out with orders to destroy an icon, or with orders to build additions around the icon. The money doesn't care! And neither do the cronies -- "whatever you say, boss, you're the one paying the bills".

    You think the cheerleaders in that picture did a "land acknowledgement" about SoCal being stolen land from Amerindian natives, Venice High School being named after a European city, etc.? They're having too much fun, enjoying the fact that they're going to the same high school as Grease, "...Baby One More Time", Heathers, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. It looks too cool to blow up!

    And what would their claim to fame be without its iconic status? They're proud of that claim to fame.

    Meanwhile in Camden NJ, no one cares, they bitterly hate their heritage, and they actively seek to destroy it all as quickly as possible.

    There aren't any great pictures of it online (shocker), since Camden hasn't been gentrified yet, so there are no hipsters to take pictures of cool architecture before it's demolished. But there are good images of it from old postcards:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/385747572148

    Only East Coast scum would demolish that, and put a bland ugly box in its place. Real Americans have to accept that the back-East region is lost forever -- bits and pieces may get saved miraculously, but on the whole, the Republicans and Democrats alike back East are taking a steamroller to American culture.

    We have to let them be miserable, fragmented, and neurotic forever -- we can't invade them, forcibly annex them, preserve their heritage, make them assimilate to America by dropping their non-standard accents, or anything else.

    That will be the easiest split to make as the American Empire breaks up -- even easier than Northeast vs. Southeast, simply East vs. not East.

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    1. East versus Not-East was practically the dividing line between the pre-Reagan Republican strongholds and the rest of the country anyway:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_United_States_presidential_election

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  57. Final vidya thought for the night, a deep cut recommendation for lovers of all the classic Japanese genres -- Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll, for the Nintendo. Naturally made in Japan, by deep cut studio Culture Brain.

    Two totally different modes of gameplay that alternate between a side-scrolling level and a fighting game level.

    The side-scrolling mode is a platformer, beat 'em up, and sometimes run 'n' gun (when you get powered up enough to fire hadoukens).

    The fighting mode is a side-view fighter similar to the look of Karate Champ, Street Fighter, etc., not a top-down wrestling ring style. But similar to an RPG the combat is turn-based -- a target appears on you or your enemy, usually alternating back and forth, but sometimes on the same person two or three times in a row.

    If it's on you, you have to defend there; if it's on your enemy, you have to attack there. Going outside of that guideline usually means you get whooped or fail to land your attack (but you could get lucky with an attack landing where the target was not present).

    The target can appear at three levels -- head, body, feet. You can parry the enemy's moves sometimes, e.g. if they punch toward your head, you can defend by catching their hand, and then throwing them down with another button combo.

    The enemies have a variety of fighting styles, too -- kickboxer, wrestler, kung fu, etc., with different strengths and weaknesses. Wrestlers are too heavy for you to do that parry-throw move, but they're so bulky that they can't duck if you jump kick their head. You have to strategize and adapt by the enemy type, similar to Street Fighter etc.

    In the fighting tournament levels, the goal is to unmask some of the fighters as members of an evil army. Sometimes that's easy -- just beat them, and it goes into a follow-up fight against them as a much more powerful unmasked soldier. Sometimes it requires a trick or special way of defeating them, and you can either figure that out from the in-game clues hidden in the side-scrolling levels, or look up a walkthrough.

    E.g., one is only unmasked when you allow him to catch you in a headlock, rather than try to avoid it, and then wiggle your way free of it. Or you have to deliver the finishing blow with the powered-up flying dragon kick. Can be cryptic, difficult, and frustrating -- but it makes it challenging, rewarding, and endlessly replayable. (Again, have a walkthrough ready if you don't like the learning curve.)

    I had this one as a kid, and still do, and it never gets old. Pretty catchy soundtrack too -- uplifting and triumphant during the side-scrolling levels, and actually mellow and subdued during the fighting levels.

    The back-and-forth turn-based nature of the combat is what makes it so fun. I hate turn-based RPGs, I always played action RPGs instead. But here it's not just navigating menus and picking options during each turn, it's still good ol' side-view fighting gameplay, with a turn-based mechanism imposed on it. Not a brawl, let alone where either side can just decimate the other by cheesing (or the other side's inexperience). It's more choreographed -- like a martial arts demonstration, or good ol' pro wrestling.

    And powering up during the side-scrolling mode is a bit like an RPG leveling up -- there's a mini-boss you fight, and they drop a power-up. But again, not combat based on choosing options from menus, but landing attacks and dodging theirs. Action!

    Graphics are decent, though nothing advanced. And at least there are nice Edenic color palettes in the side-view levels, with blue skies, verdant plant life, and orangey browns on tree trunks or the ground.

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  58. Btw, I like the idealization of Las Vegas by japanese artists:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8VS15dpYYw

    There's a few videogames which have levels that take inspiration from there, always showing a dark and dreamy world with colorful lights everywhere. Possibly, the Sonic The Hedgehog games had the most memorable Las Vegas representation in its casino levels. Not only they are fun, but also flashy and have good big band jazz music too:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmdseeZBiz4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGONx_XKfIw

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  59. Would you say this old article of yours on autistic East Coasters is even more true today?

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2013/07/is-east-coast-more-autistic.html

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  60. Lib Protestants missionized Japan, too, but the several steps after that which you attribute to South Korea didn't happen in Japan. So just receiving missions doesn't change your culture.

    One country was fertile ground for eventually becoming full of feminazis (the collapsed, then civil war-torn Korea), while the other was not (Japan, which did not fracture territorially, and were recently expanding).

    Aside from wokeness, just being a feminist is way more common in Spain than in Italy. One is a collapsed empire, with territorial devolution into autonomous zones and eventual breaking away of the Northeast (Catalonia and Basque Country, far from the old meta-ethnic frontier against the Moorish Empire, in the center of the peninsula).

    The other was recently unifying, and hasn't been a collapsed empire since the Dark Ages. Venice was an expanding great power during the Renaissance.

    Germany is a collapsed empire and recently territorially fragmented, very feminist -- whereas Denmark and Sweden are not fractured, and are not feminazi-infested. They have Nordic egalitarianism, but that's just them being the noble savages of Europe. They're not seething bitter man-haters demanding special treatment just cuz of their chromosomes.

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  61. Back to iconoclam, though, Spain took a huge hit to its heritage after it began collapsing -- trying to suppress bullfighting, machismo, Catholicism and church officials, etc. It's still alive, but under far greater pressure to extinguish itself.

    There is no such anti-Italian iconoclasm coming from within Italy itself.

    But there sure is anti-German iconoclasm from within Germany itself. Or anti-British iconoclasm within Britain itself. Collapsed empires with territorial fragmentation (East vs. West Germany, Britain losing Ireland and maybe Scotland soon).

    And of course the original iconoclasm was from within Byzantium itself, when it was way past its peak of circa the 6th century. Iconoclasm struck during the 8th and 9th centuries, during its decline -- and well before the external threat arrived to trash Byzantine Christian culture. The Seljuk Turks didn't defeat the Byzantines and begin Turkifying Anatolia until 1071, the Battle of Manzikert.

    None of this anti-American iconoclasm today is due to immigrants invading and hating on and then destroying American culture. It's 100% internal, as our society splits itself into pieces. Whether some immigrants want to pile on or not, doesn't matter.

    And much like the anti-American iconoclasm coming from the non-standard dialect speakers far from the meta-ethnic frontier (those people being back East), the anti-Byzantine iconoclasm within the Byzantine Empire was also from the non-standard dialect speakers far from the meta-ethnic frontier. Their frontier was where Constantinople was built, facing various invaders via Thrace (like the Huns -- Battle of Utus, 447 AD).

    The iconoclastic faction was led by the Isaurian Dynasty, beginning with Leo III the Isaurian. Isauria is in the south-central part of Anatolia, and groups more with the southeast than the northwest (where the meta-ethnic frontier and Constantinople lie).

    These Isaurians did not feel the pressure from the Huns et al., did not unify Asia Minor, did not create Christianity as we know it, but were followers instead of leaders in the culture generally. Just the group to go smashing it all up, when internal cohesion begins to weaken. The creators themselves don't want to demolish their own heritage -- but the non-standard followers now get to indulge the huge chip they have on their shoulder about not having been the founders and standard-setters.

    The Northeast and Southeast in America did not create American culture, still refuse to speak standard accents, and haven't been pressured by Indians since the 1600s. Now that internal cohesion is coming undone, they're just the sub-regions to demolish American heritage, whereas the Midwest and even CoMmiEFoRniA will never.

    Central-to-Southern Florida is the place to watch. It's the only Eastern part of the frontier (very late, during the Seminole Wars, not many centuries ago). And architecture is the domain to watch out for. So far, tearing down statues of any kind seems like a no-go.

    But watch for Miami Art Deco / Streamline buildings, the Contemporary Resort at Disney World (Brutalist), and the New Capitol building in Tallahassee (probably the first to go, since it's part of the low-trust Euro-LARP Deep South, not on the border with the Seminoles).

    If Flordia wants to become truly American, they have to move the capital to Central / Southern Florida, and ditch the Deep South. Nothing against the South alone -- if Florida were on the far northern part of the East Coast, they'd have to split off from Yankeedom.

    East Coasters who used to own slaves vs. East Coasters who did not used to own slaves -- still East Coasters, pre-Americans, and by this point, anti-American iconoclasts. Separate, keep out, and terminate if invaded by them.

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  62. Emigration is another sign of fragmented woke states. There's so little cohesion, and they hate their own heritage so much, why bother staying? Why not just leave for greener pastures, where there's a culture you don't hate? Maybe it's not exactly to your liking, but it's better than being reminded of being a cultural follower rather than leader in your homeland.

    Japanese people have never left Japan -- not for anywhere in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Mars, or the Andromeda Galaxy. Well, of course not -- they are cohesive, were recent expanders, and have not fragmented territorially. They want to stick together -- and that requires *staying together*, not everyone going wherever the hell they want.

    China has been rich for decades now, as has South Korea, and yet shitloads of both people continue to leave their homeland -- not due to poverty (they are wealthy brain-drain cases). Southern Chinese are way more likely to abandon China than the Northern Chinese are (Southern China begins in Shanghai, along with the non-standard dialects).

    I don't know where most SK emigrants are from, but either it's a non-standard part of SK, or SK itself is non-standard, much like Canton in China, whereas NK is the standard. Nobody from North Korea leaves the country -- and not cuz their leader is some all-powerful devil who can prevent every single one of the 26 million people there locked behind fences. It's a poor shithole state, with nuclear weapons -- but those are no use to prevent emigration. North Koreans don't hate North Korea, as shown by the fact that they don't abandon it, contrary to South Koreans GTFO'ing their homeland in droves, including when they're already wealthy.

    Lebanon has a huge diaspora population, as does Palestine, and probably Syria too by now. The Levant is a black hole for asabiya, never produced an empire of its own, were recently overrun by the Ottoman Empire, and when the Pax Ottomana evaporated, so did their tenuous stability. This not only manifests in civil wars / territorial fragmentation, but abandonment of one's so-called neighbors and community members -- neighbors, schmeighbors!

    "Yaa akhee, you can't just leave your people behind..."

    Akhee, schmakhee! Don't call me your brother, we have nothing in common, and I'll see you whenever I see you.

    Arabians don't abandon Arabia. When it begins collapsing, they probably will, but not yet. Their asabiya isn't that low.

    Irish people do nothing *but* emigrate -- they hate Britain and Ireland too. Collapsed empire, plus non-standard dialect speakers / far from meta-ethnic frontier (SE England, vs. the Vikings / Danelaw).

    Southern Italians, ditto -- Italy was unified by the North, who do not emigrate in large numbers.

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  63. Poverty is a fake excuse, as there are tons of poor Londoners, but they would never abandon England just to make a few pounds more per day. Neither would the very large numbers of poor people in Northern Italy -- they aren't all graphic designers who own an apartment, and yet these poor Northern Italians would never dream of abandoning their land and their people and their culture.

    Look at how many Ukes have abandoned their country, as opposed to Russians -- even during major wars afflicting Russia, from the Mongols through the Nazis. Muscovites would never abandon Moscow, no matter how dangerous, or how poverty-stricken they became.

    Tons of German-Americans are Catholic, meaning from the non-standard / follower regions of the former German Empire (which was led by Lutheran Prussians and Calvinist Brandenburgians). Likely from the West and South of Germany, far from the meta-ethnic frontier against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that had encircled Prussia by the mid-2nd millennium AD.

    And the Protestant German-Americans were still likely from non-standard / follower regions, like the North or central / Hesse region, not the East.

    As the American Empire collapses, you can bet the East Coasters will be the first to GTFO -- where to, does not matter. They are not American, increasingly hate American culture, and will be eagerly booking their ticket to someplace where they don't have to be surrounded by Americans. An America-free oasis.

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  64. The small Japanese diaspora always wants to RETVRN, to turn things on a positive note. Irys is half-Japanese, and moved "back" to Japan in her 20s. So did Coco / Kson. I'm sure there are other cases among vtubers outside of Hololive, who I don't know about.

    One of my uncles, who is half-Japanese by background, moved back to Japan in adulthood, married a Japanese woman, etc. And my other uncle is going on a language / culture immersion vacation in Japan.

    I sometimes fantasize -- and that's as far as it'll ever go -- about RETVRNing to where my grandmother was from, Hokkaido.

    Before, the appeal might not have been very great -- but now that America is collapsing and fragmenting, a nice cohesive state like Japan looks very attractive, assuming you have some kind of link to it.

    Speaking of Japanese-Americans, the very small number that exist are still exceptions that prove the rule. They're not strivers looking to make more money, and have such weak ties to their homeland, or outright hate their neighbors, that they want to GTFO.

    My grandmother was from one of the few acceptable classes of immigrant -- war bride (after WWII, where my grandfather was stationed as an Air Force officer). Part of imperial expansion and ethnogenesis, creating a new people by incorporating the conquered into the core.

    And no, it's not forcible abduction like in those rape-y femcel romance novels -- women REALLY like a winner, especially in battle. And the American GI's just won. So why not go check them out? Hey, that one's pretty hot -- why not make nice with the victors, so you can get along peacefully instead of always being a thorn in each other's side? And that was that.

    Without knowing much about her background, I suspect something similar with Coco, just based on her coming from the Southeast, where our military bases are concentrated. Not hard to find a part-Japanese person in a military family in America, whether just after WWII or now -- since Americans are still stationed in Japan.

    Irys being from Hawaii is the other side of the coin -- a remnant of Japanese expansion in the Pacific, whereby they took over Hawaii and are now the local elite. Those Japanese didn't leave Japan because they hated it, but because they loved it so much they wanted to expand its territory, influence, and wealth.

    ("And we would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling Americans!")

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  65. Here's another old article of yours on West/East decadence gap that is even more relevant today:

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2010/06/western-us-less-morally-decadent-than.html

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  66. I know your enthusiasm is seriously dampened after last time, but there is a serious possibility that the Donald may win again. Recent polls indicate that he is significantly ahead of Biden in all of the 2016 surprise win states!:

    https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/1752709982100021586

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  67. I still don't know what to make of the poll propaganda -- that's all it ever is, propaganda. In 2016 and '20, they used it to make it seem Trump wouldn't win, and then to outright steal the election with the polls as a cover story during the lead-up to the Great Ballot Count Stoppage of 2020.

    Why is the mainstream media now reversing course? I thought it was cuz the Dems are sick of attempting to rule a fracturing society, where no one obeys their bullshit directives anymore, where they're the ones left holding the bag for the inevitable non-partisan losses around the world. So they're washing their hands of national politics, handing the White House back over to the GOP, and letting them eat shit forever.

    But there's a gnawing doubt that they keep saying this is about Biden, Biden, Biden. And not the Democrats as a party. Makes it seem like a cover story, not to abandon Biden and let Trump win, but to kick Biden out (after the fake non-voting primary is over), and replace him with some other Dem, on whose behalf they will steal the election again in November.

    Which one? Whoever will take up the role. Michelle Obama ruled it out. But maybe Bloomberg or whoever else.

    They would do so by saying "We just couldn't let Biden be on the ticket in November -- you guys saw how badly he would've gotten schlonged by Trump, all the polls said so!" Then a new round of polls would show the replacement doing better than Trump, and then they stuff the ballot boxes again.

    At this point, I can't see which path they're taking. Guess we'll find out soon enough, anyway.

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  68. Other old posts that are still relevant:

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2011/04/classic-car-culture-in-red-states-and.html
    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2010/08/where-do-art-lovers-live.html

    There are tons of classic cars out West, yes even in California. You see plenty of Mexican immigrants driving them, too. And there are almost none in the Northeast, which is wealthy (unlike W. Virginia & the South). They simply have no interest in classic American culture and no desire to preserve it. So whatever American excellence is preserved and passed on to future generations, including outsiders, will mainly be Out West & in the Midwest.

    And plenty of the people I knew in high school had real arts & crafts hobbies, as the 2nd post details, rather than the leisure/career striving treadmill activities. Obviously, the latter is more common than it used to be, but I still saw plenty of people doing ceramics, painting, or some type of creative work, however humble. The same applies to community service, more common in Cali and more genuine.

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  69. And Trump is no hope for making America great again, it's not just that my enthusiasm has dampened. The Trump admin proved that things are going to continue getting worse, fragment, and break down, no matter who's in office.

    Trump ran on an anti-Reaganite platform -- exit NATO, de-occupy Japan and South Korea, withdraw from the Middle East and Afghanistan, slam tariffs to re-industrialize the economy (which would show up in a narrowing trade deficit), and build a wall or otherwise stop immigration and send back lots of those already here. And single-payer healthcare!

    Instead under Trump, we added a new member to NATO (Montenegro), are still in JP and SK, sent more troops back into Afghanistan and put American boots on the ground in Syria (not just using Salafist and Kurdish proxies against Assad), widened the trade deficit to record numbers, and had a more wide-open border than Obama -- except for the single year of 2020, when every nation closed its borders due to Covid lockdowns. Even a Hillary Clinton admin would've had record-low immigration numbers for the single year of 2020. And still no single-payer healthcare.

    And when push came to shove, since getting cucked out of office, Trump has done nothing but shore up the Reaganite cocksuckers like McCarthy in his House Speaker campaign. Won't threaten the Georgia GOP for throwing him under the bus when Dems stole the state in 2020. Etc.

    And now with a widening war in the Middle East, his potential return to the White House would be even worse than his 1st term. As before, he individually would have zero power, because he has no power base -- he's from entertainment, which is Democrat, not the military, a GOP dynasty, or anything like that. The typical Republican scum would de facto run his admin.

    This scum would be even more gung-ho to humiliate America by racking up even bigger losses in the Middle East, relative to Biden's admin. Biden wants to drive up gas prices by firing missiles at Yemen? A Trump admin would send those prices even higher!

    But then, a 2nd Biden or other Dem term would be worse than this Biden term -- because things are on a one-way trip to Hell, whoever occupies the office. Our elites are too rotted-out to do anything other than fuck over the country, more and more as time goes on.

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  70. And you can't do escapism by saying, "Oh well, who cares about national politics anyway? We'll just focus on the regional and local, as power devolves to lower scales during imperial collapse."

    Fine -- but gas prices are still going to shoot through the roof due to national decisions by the Pentagon or White House.

    California or Florida don't decide whether or not our military is going to rack up another big fat fucking L and embarrass its home-team fans, while also driving up prices for basic things like gas, and while taxpayers at home either finance the colossal failure through taxes (unlikely) or eat the printed-money financing costs (more likely) through the collapse of the purchasing power of their currency that was inflated to finance another failed war.

    California or Florida also don't get to set national tariffs -- they can't even set state tariffs to keep manufacturers in their own state vs. another US state.

    Immigration is about the only thing they can affect locally, like Texas is doing right now, with or without the national gov being on its side.

    The only focus for the national level should be on accelerating the collapse of its ability to fuck over the sub-national entities, e.g. by going to war, refusing to set tariffs, printing the hell out of the only legal tender that states and citizens can use, and so on.

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  71. Reminder that all historical analogies other than to declining / collapsing empires, for America right now, are not only bullshit -- they are designed to make the promoter into a wealthy consultant for the would-be unifier, expander, and all-powerful dictator.

    Roman history -- we're in the Year of the Five Emperors, the prelude to the Crisis of the Third Century. Any admonishment about how to find our next Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, etc., is not only bullshit, it's "subscribe to my Patreon so you can play a role in finding or being the next Caesar". Sorry, suckers, the only auditions being held from now on are for the next Barracks Emperor during decades of anarchy.

    French history -- we're in the fin-de-siecle, already past the Franco-Prussian stalemate / humiliation / stagnation. More like WWI (without a literal world war being possible this time -- no huge number of empires jockeying for position like there were in Europe back then). Any reference to Napoleon -- not just bullshit, but "subscribe to my Patreon to help the next Napoleon work his Napoleonic magic". Sorry, suckers, the only auditions being held from now on are for the next overseer of pointless trench warfare and Vichy occupation.

    Russian history -- we're in the 1980s or '90s, not on the eve of the Soviet Revolution, which would hold the empire together and even expand it for many decades longer than other Euro empires (which bit the dust after WWI). Any reference to Lenin, Stalin, Bolsheviks, etc. -- not just bullshit, but "subscribe to my Patreon to play a role in getting the next vanguard party to launch the nation into an even wealthier and more powerful state". Sorry, suckers, the only auditions being held now are for the next Yeltsin.

    And so on and so forth. If someone is holding out hope for a national unifier, expander, and high-scale ruler, they are a failed management consultant, part of the downwardly mobile over-produced elite wannabe class. Nothing is going to renew the American Empire, they're just spinning this delusional possibility in order to (equally delusionally) get a fat-cat to give them a sinecure in order to make that dream into reality.

    Sorry, suckers, no elites are subscribing to your Patreon in order to be the next Caesar, Napoleon, or Lenin. They are too irrevocably locked into a groove of disintegration -- and will refuse to play roles of national unifiers, expanders, and creators. They are on a one-way mission to fracture the people, contract the territory (through failed wars and domestic territorial disintegration), and destroy culture.

    The only takes worth listening are how we can cope with those facts, minimize their damage, insulate ourselves from the fall-out, etc.

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    Replies
    1. Can you see a "Byzantine America" forming in the states West of the Mississippi and Florida?

      Delete
  72. There's also this old blog post from 2009 where you speculate the reasons for why there is a decline in genius:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2009/10/is-decline-of-genius-due-to-cheaper.html

    I think this ties into the decline of the United States because geniuses (and scientific and artistic achievement) only happen in a society or empire which is expanding at the moment. In an empire which is collapsing or has collapsed the asabiya simply isn't there to allow for geniuses because they will be too busy simply trying to survive.

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  73. How much of this phenomena (dating back to 2010) is also a result of America being a collapsing empire:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2010/02/on-impossibility-of-sympathy-in-todays.html

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  74. Brazil is a huge source of wokeness, 2nd only to the East Coast of America in the New World. Not just being social welfare libs -- tons of seething man-hating feminazis, trannies, deliberate uglification and confrontational appearance of formerly cute girls, bitter seething hatred of their own past and heritage, nihilistic desire to destroy without replacing.

    "They're only a minority" -- just like in America, but they're far more common than elsewhere, and they have an out-sized effect on their society.

    You don't see this wokeness in the Andean countries, whether a largely Euro-descended country like Chile or a more mixed and indigenous country like Peru. Compare attendances at Latin America's take on SlutWalk:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk_in_Latin_America

    In Chile and Peru, maybe a couple hundred people, one or two years. In Brazil, held at least 3 years, and a couple *thousand* attend. Notably the one in 2012 in Brasilia, where a guy trolled the large crowd of man-haters by flashing them, gaining meme immortality. But that doesn't make Brazil more based -- he's one lone guy reacting to a highly woke feminist society, where over 50% of women consider themselves feminists.

    There's one university in particular that is well known, where the female students go and come out with disfigured looks -- shaving their head, cutting off their boobs, tatting themselves up, and generally trying to disgust men rather than look cute, hot, or sexy. Naturally this is censored by Google, so none of the search terms go anywhere, and Twitter is where this info comes from -- but it, too, has been censored by Musk privating the site unless you sign up and log in (to falsely boost his metrics, by making lurkers appear to be active users).

    Maybe someone who's more aware can chime in with the name of this university, but it's infamous in Brazil, with tons of "before and after" pictures of these poor girls going viral on social media.

    Brazil is also the origin of one of the seminal proto-woke texts, Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire.

    Brazilian woketards on an iconoclastic crusade against Carnival, a central part of their own cultural heritage:

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/03/27/the-woke-war-on-brazils-carnival/

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    1. Did you know the 80-year old hippie English teacher who popularized Freire 's texts has his lair at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario?

      In other words, Southern Ontario may be the epicentre of wokeness!

      Delete
  75. What's the link between Brazil and East Coast America, for feeding wokeness? The fact that they are both far from a meta-ethnic frontier.

    In America, the meta-ethnic frontier was against the Indians, Mexicans, and somewhat the Japanese. Out West, and then the Southwest. Not back East, aside from Central-to-Southern Florida, stemming from their border with the Seminoles pretty late.

    In Brazil, the initial settlements by the Portuguese were entirely along the eastern coastline, and that is still where most people live. Most of the country lives in the Southeast, specifically (e.g., in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo).

    How did Brazil come to encompass the huge swath of territory that it now has? Well, non-imperial people don't expand like that -- and sure enough, that expansion to the west and north was due largely to the Spanish.

    Most of this expansion took place during the Iberian Union, when Castile conquered and absorbed Portugal (back in Europe), lasting from 1580 to 1640, at the height of Spanish (Castilian) imperial power. Before then, the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) had carved out the far eastern coastline of South America for Portugal, but once Portugal was merged into Spain, this treaty was irrelevant. So the Spanish expanded westward and northward.

    However, Portugal regained its independence in 1640, in one of the first signs of stagnating Spanish power. Then the Spanish Empire bit the dust in the early 1800s, as every one of its New World colonies fought wars of independence, and won. Back in Europe, Spain was occupied by Napoleonic France. It was over for them as an empire, and Spain remained mired in civil wars on and off throughout the 19th century, with another major civil war in the 1930s, and really only coming into security and prosperity due to the Pax Americana and joining NATO.

    As the Spanish Empire collapsed, Brazil took advantage and declared independence in the early 1800s, keeping all of that extra Spanish territory to the west and north of Portugal's initial settlements.

    That extra territory should not deceive us into thinking that the Portuguese and their Brazilian descendants went on a vast expansionary project. They did not, they stayed along the eastern coastline the entire time, and benefitted from the collapse of the Spanish Empire by getting all that Spanish-conquered territory for themselves.

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  76. Who were the meta-ethnic nemeses for the Iberian colonists in the New World? Well, everybody was highly different from the Iberians in just about every way -- language, religion, art & architecture, subsistence mode, etc.

    But in some places, the frontier was weak because the indigenous people were not very organized, strong, and given to raiding. Such groups were easily steamrolled by the Iberians, much like the small-scale hunter-gatherer Aborigines in Australia. That is why asabiya is so weak in Australia that they still have no national / centralized / homogenized culture -- each region refuses to acknowledge a single national standard (notably the undying internecine rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne).

    In the New World, large tribal confederations existed in America, and outright empires existed in Mexico (Aztec) and Peru (Inca). This put a huge pressure on Euro colonists in America, Mexico, and Peru, while leaving Euro colonists in Brazil -- far from the Andean home base of the Incan Empire -- to live fairly safe lives. No wave after wave of organized military encroachment from the natives in the Brazilian coastline.

    And again, to the extent that "Brazilians" did expand westward toward the Andes, these were mostly Spanish during the Iberian Union. And in any case, the advanced civilization of the Andes was already subdued by the time "Brazil" began expanding westward. The Spanish under Pizarro conquered the Incas between 1532 - 1572, and Brazil only began expanding after that point, during the Iberian Union.

    There was no highly organized military Other for "Brazilians" left to encounter by the time they reached the Andean border -- and "Brazilians" have never settled that region anyway, contrary to Americans who did settle the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest after subduing the Indians and Mexicans. They have always chosen to remain back East, safely removed from organized and unrelenting predation by a meta-ethnic nemesis.

    With no such external pressure to cohere internally, they remain low in cohesion. This shows up in the endless internal revolts, revolutions, and civil wars that Brazil has seen since independence -- but especially during the late 19th through late 20th centuries.

    Just cuz they have not fragmented territorially, like South and North Korea or East and West Germany, only means they have not hit rock bottom by global standards. A truly cohesive nation like America was not subject to such internal conflict -- only the integrative civil war of the mid-19th C. (and of course the current disintegrative civil war).

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  77. Brazilian culture has all the telltale signs of a non-imperial society, far from any meta-ethnic frontier.

    They are famous for being brash, direct / blunt / no BS, love using colorful language, highly theatrical, have a more sing-song melodious intonation in everyday speech rather than monotone, no cult of politeness, plagued by gangs / mafia / honor culture in the anarchic absence of strong central government, beset by numerous internal regional rivalries -- even in the Southeast region, there is an intense sub-regional rivalry between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, similar to the New York vs. Boston rivalry within the Northeast of America.

    These sub-regional rivalries are lacking out West in America, and appear to be lacking in Peru as well -- the only mentions are of football rivalries between Peru and Chile, not internal to Peru. And the two mentioned within Peru are both within the city of Lima, not between two different cities, states, or regions. It sounds more like a class-based rivalry between Lima neighborhoods, not separate political or cultural entities.

    Peruvians are not famous for the above list of theatrical traits. All the ones I've met or seen in the media are actually pretty chill, reserved, low-key, and seeking to clamp down on too much chaos. Not exhibitionistic. More like a frontier people with higher asabiya, where collective harmony trumps individual self-expression or attention-seeking.

    Also, Brazilians speak a non-standard dialect for their part of the world -- Portuguese, rather than Spanish. They are as obstinate about joining a larger linguistic collective as the Quebecois in the Eastern part of Canada (who never migrated out West toward what little of a frontier there is in Canada).

    Except Quebec is not (yet) its own country -- I'm not talking about there being multiple dialects of Portuguese within Brazil, but the fact that they never homogenized with the rest of Spanish-speaking South America, even though they owe their vast territorial expansion to Spain during the Iberian Union.

    But that's just how people are far from a meta-ethnic frontier -- they like their idiosyncratic ways, and have no reason to homogenize them in service of a larger-scale Us in order to organize against the meta-ethnic nemesis.

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  78. Another similarity between back East America and Brazil is that the ethnic and racial diversity have nothing to do with a meta-ethnic frontier that produces higher cohesion internally and higher warfare externally.

    Diversity back East is mainly from the importation of cheap foreign labor by plantation owners. But Africans, whether slave or free back in Africa, have nothing to do with what motivated the cohesion and expansion and ethnogenesis in America. It was the Indians, and later the Mexicans, who were our nemeses.

    Likewise in Brazil -- and from the same place (Africa) for the same purposes (slave plantation agriculture). The only difference is that the two races have mixed a lot more in Brazil in America, but in neither case did this involve groups on opposite sides of a meta-ethnic frontier -- just from different levels of a racialized class hierarchy.

    The situation is totally different in Peru and Mexico. There was minimal cheap foreign labor imported from anywhere, but certainly not from Africa. Racial diversity comes from Euruopeans mixing with Amerindians -- the indigenous meta-ethnic nemesis, once they had been conquered, and were then subject to intermarriage and other forms of incorporating and administering the Other once they had been conquered by Us.

    Much like the mixing and incorporation of non-Han, Turkic / Mongol / Tungusic groups with the Han Chinese in northern China, after one side conquered the other to found an empire.

    Presumably, if the Amerindians in America had come from large-scale empires, rather than tribal confederations that were easier to wipe out entirely, the same genetic and cultural compromise would have been practiced after the natives had been pacified. But since it was easy to kill all the Indians and take their land entirely, we did that instead, with no reason to seek a genetic and cultural mestizaje as a post-conquest truce.

    That's also why Brazilians did not intermix much with local Amerindians -- easier to wipe them out, since they were not large empires or civilizations, take their land, and let that be that. They couldn't wipe out the Africans, since they were slaves, and that would be like firing your entire workforce and hoping to still make money. But local hunter-gatherers who were not part of your economic hierarchy -- just kill them, if they're too small to resist, and take their stuff.

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  79. Similar to Brazil are the Caribbean islands, like Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and other islands. Most of the indigenous were simply killed off by Euro colonists, since they were small-scale tribes at most, not empires, and their land and resources were taken outright, with no need to compromise. African slaves were imported, but entirely within the Us side, just at a lower level on the economic pyramid -- and who therefore cannot be killed off like the natives were, or else the business model of the Euro colonists collapses.

    Also much more of a hotbed for wokeness, not just the obvious example of Cuba and Haiti, but Puerto Ricans who settled into the East Coast of America -- compounding their levels of wokeness -- as seen in the current political leader of wokeness, AOC.

    There's a reason why she's not Peruvian. Even her Caribbean ancestors were part of the broad "back East" swath of the New World -- from Quebec, through the East Coast of America (excepting Central-to-Southern Florida), the Caribbean islands, and Brazil.

    This is also why the anti-woke Cubans who migrated to America chose Central-to-Southern Florida as their home base. It's the only oasis of non-wokeness -- and even anti-wokeness -- along the entire Eastern coastline of the New World.

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  80. Dance music! How could I forget about that?! It's from the non-frontier regions of Latin America, as is always the case.

    In Canada, all the dance music (mainly electro / techno derived) comes from Montreal, back East.

    In America, it's from the East Coast -- the dancier forms of Jazz, tap-dancing, disco (Philadelphia), all sorts of techno (New York), danceable rap like crunk (Deep South), and even Miami (unusually, since it tends to be less East Coast-y in other respects).

    In Latin America, the Caribbean is a powerhouse for dance music, despite having almost nobody living there -- salsa, merengue, bachata, calypso, cha-cha-cha, conga, guajira, mambo, rumba, and that's just the most Hispanic ones! Then there's reggae and ska and dancehall from Jamaica...

    In Brazil, all the variants on samba and bossa nova.

    Quick, name a famous and popular dance music genre from Mexico or Peru! ... no response? No wonder!

    Sure, everyone everywhere has some kind of dance style and music to accompany it. But what is it out West in America? Country line dancing? Square dancing? Not very theatrical or exhibitionistic. Not the national or global headquarters for danceclub culture.

    Most of the theatrical dances we associate with Carnival in the New World are from back East as well -- Mardi Gras in New Orleans, various Caribbean islands, and more than any other Brazil. Where's the same level of Carnival -- for any occasion, Carnival or otherwise -- in Mexico, Chile, or Peru? It's not there, they're not as flashy, uninhibited, and bluntly in-your-face as the Caribbeans and Brazilians (of all races).

    Much as disco went global, so has Caribbean and Brazilian dance genres. Low cohesion means no bowing to social pressures to rein in your behavior -- let it all hang loose!

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  81. To emphasize that it's not racial or deep cultural differences, compare West Coast vs. East Coast rap. At most, West Coast rap might have sampled an East Coast funk band, e.g. Digital Underground and Dr. Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg sampling Parliament-Funkadelic.

    But the funk they're sampling, as well as synth-y dance rap like "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa, hip house music like "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" by C+C Music Factory, Miami bass like "Whoomp! (There It is)" by Tag Team, crunk like "Get Low" by Lil Jon.... and on and on and on, is all from back East.

    In case some clueless race science nerd was thinking of attributing the dance powerhouses all being back East to "that's where the African DNA lives", and the not-so-dance-y places being "that's where the silent Amerindian DNA lives".

    And in Montreal, there's nary an African or Amerindian at all -- it's white people! Just like in Sweden.

    Just cuz you're in the minority of white people with two left feet, doesn't mean you have to project that onto all European-descended people and say "dance music only comes from where the Africans showed up".

    Wrong! -- it's wherever there's weak cohesion, due to the HISTORICAL CONGTINGENCY of being located far from a meta-ethnic frontier, regardless of race.

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  82. Both libtards and conservatards make that race reductionist argument about "dance music = black influence", BTW. But on either side of the political aisle, these are just the minority of white people who are awkward in their own bodies, can't dance, are tone-deaf, and cope by projecting that corporeal awkwardness onto all white people.

    Or they are Afro supremacists trying to gloat -- but the average black lib doesn't make the argument or believe it. At most, they're just trolling or joking around. They know white people can dance and make dance music -- most club kids in America, let alone around the world, are not African. And Euros make shitloads of dance music -- which they excitedly dance to!

    This dum-dum argument is only seriously put forward by white critics on either side of the political/cultural aisle -- but both of whom can't carry a tune to save their lives, and couldn't dance their way out of a wet paper bag.

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  83. That's it for now, might copy-paste these into a standalone post so search engines see it better. Getting a little far away from video games, Japanese culture, etc.

    To bring it somewhat back to vtubers, though, I predict Caribbeans and Brazilians would make better theatrical-style streamers / vtubers, much like how the Goobinator is pure undistilled East Coast unhinge-o-ness. Pippa too. ^_^

    That's right -- Ironmouse, with a huge following, is a Puerto-Rican American, and a former opera singer. Talk about theatrical...

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  84. so if the Amazon did have an empire to serve as an ethnic frontier vs the Iberians, Brazil would have been speaking Spanish today instead of Portuguese?

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  85. At the very least, Spanish would be the standard language, like English is in Canada, and Portuguese would be a non-standard language, like French in Canada. And the cultural center would be in the direction of the Amazon, not the eastern coastline.

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  86. Regional differences in Mexico, reflecting the meta-ethnic frontier from Spanish imperial times: the main frontier was the Spanish vs. the Aztecs, whose capital Tenochtitlan is in the center of present-day Mexico, and remained its capital as Mexico City after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.

    The Central region, based around Mexico City, sets the national standard for Mexican culture, including the standard dialect of Mexican Spanish. People there are more chill and laid-back, basically polite, high-scale institutions, legalistic, reserved rather than theatrical in appearance and behavior.

    There are two separate non-standard regions, far from this Central area -- the far Southeast, including the Yucatan Peninsula, which is more like the rest of Central America, and the North up to the American border, which is more similar to the long-term Hispanic population of the American Southwest (such as New Mexico).

    I'm focusing on the North, since it's the more prominent and influential of the two non-standard regions.

    Everyone outside of the North says that Northerners' dialect is more harsh, blunt, and sounds confrontational -- like they're always angry. The rhythm and stress pattern is also more theatrical and percussive, with an overall louder volume and heavier stress. Americans will recognize this as the language of the landscaping slave class here.

    This also shows that Northerners are more likely to abandon their people, as is typical of non-standard dialect speakers who hail from low-cohesion places. If Mexicans from the high-cohesion Central region were more likely to abandon their people, we'd be used to hearing *their* accents here in their destination.

    There are other non-standard features of their phonology and morphology, but the important thing is that they speak a non-standard dialect, and that their behavior has the characteristic bluntness, no BS, confrontational nature that non-standard dialects always do (e.g., on the East Coast of America, far from its Western frontier).

    This overview is a bit long, but you can skip around to focus just on their treatment of the Northern dialects. They're from the Central region around Mexico City, and they sound exactly like someone from California or Kansas would describe the dialects and behaviors of Americans from the East Coast. "Why are they all so high-strung and theatrical?"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suMFTTX4Yrg

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  87. Naturally, the North of Mexico is where the gangs, mafia, and cartels are headquartered, including the largest and most powerful drug-trafficking group in the world, the Sinaloa Cartel (formerly headed by El Chapo).

    In areas that have not been forced to cohere in order to fight a powerful Other, cohesion remains low, trust in institutions low, and lawlessness high. Therefore, mafia / warlords fill the gap between anarchic instability and law-abiding peace.

    Much like the mafia on the East Coast of America, or the Yakuza in the Kansai region of Japan. Or for that matter, the mafia in Southern Italy (far from Rome and the North).

    That would seem to explain the Hispanic gang problem in America, which is mainly in the Southwest -- where gangs and warlords should be uncommon. But if the local Hispanic population reflects the Northern Mexican culture (from long ago, or recent arrivals), it's no surprise to find lawlessness, lack of trust in institutions, and reliance on gangs and warlords.

    The Southwest did have internal gangs and lawlessness back in the Wild West days, only cuz the expanding nation had not sedentarized the American settlers out there just yet. Once the institutions of law enforcement could settle down out West, white gangs and white warlords went away pretty quickly.

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  88. The other major source of Hispanic gangs in America is the rest of Central America, such as El Salvador and Guatemala, which are similar to the non-standard Southeast region of Mexico. So those entire countries are like non-standard regions of the former Viceroyalty of New Spain -- the administrative unit of the Spanish Empire that included its North American and Central American territory, and whose capital was Mexico City.

    (Spain's South American territory initially fell under the Viceroyalty of Peru, centered in Lima, due to their wars on the Incan Empire frontier. Later it fractured, with a new Viceroyalty of New Grenada in Greater Colombia, and Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata in Argentina.)

    So, when the Spanish Empire collapsed in the early 1800s, the disintegrative and anarchic forces were most intense and enduring in Northern Mexico and Central America (including what is now Southeastern Mexico), whereas Central Mexico was not quite so affected, since they had some residual cohesion left over from their wars against the Aztecs.

    There were no later meta-ethnic nemeses to force Northern Mexico or Central America into becoming high-trust new empires. America took over Northern Mexico too quickly to present much of a contest, and although there were raids from Amerindian groups like the Apache and Comanche into Northern Mexico in the mid-to-late 1800s, these did not last longer than a generation or two, and such threats went away thanks to American expansion and pacification of these Indian groups -- not Northern Mexican efforts.

    In the other direction away from Central Mexico, Central America, including Southeast Mexico, remains a low-trust anarchic shithole perennially plagued by civil wars, and few cultural exports. The only semi-separatist region of Mexico today is in Chiapas (under the Zapatistas), which is in the far south and borders on Guatemala.

    "Indigenous peoples of the Americas" is a totally fake term in these analyses, because those Amerindians are related to the Maya, not the Aztec or the Inca. And since Spain's nemesis was the Aztec, not the Maya, the political and cultural truce of mestizaje did not extend much into the Mayan-related areas of New Spain -- only to those of the Aztec-related peoples.

    If anything, the Maya-related people were enemies of the Aztecs, whose empire was expanding toward the southeast, at the expense of the Maya, before the Spanish showed up.

    And so, mestizos of Central Mexico are aware of descending from the Aztecs -- not the Maya -- and therefore view people in the Southeast of Mexico, and the rest of Central America, as cultural outsiders, descended from the Maya, whether entirely or even if mestizo.

    In that YouTube review of Mexican accents, you can hear how bewildered the two Central Mexican mestizos are by the dialect of the Yucatan, as though those Maya-related people might as well be from Mars.

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  89. We can't forget about dance music! While Central Mexico is the source of the national standard of mariachi, the most danceable music comes from up North -- and the dances to accompany it.

    The broad genre of NorteƱo ("Northern") music derives in part from lively European folk dances such as the polka and waltz (a key instrument also reflects these roots -- the accordion).

    The huapango style involves intricate percussive footwork (zapateado) on top of a wooden board, and is originally from the Northeast (the Huasteca area). Music from the Northeast (Nuevo Leon):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1N17hYatE

    But showoff-y fancy footwork is also popular in the Northwest, as you can see by browsing "asi se zapatea en sonora" or "asi se baila huapango en sonora" on YouTube or Tiktok:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okwP9q8yOj0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGhjtrFnxKY

    An even more theatrical style from the Northwest that involves some tumbling / sommersaulting on the ground, the "deer dance" (danza del venado, AKA el mazo), which is central enough to their culture that it's tought in school:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDon-rENWgQ

    https://www.tiktok.com/@conjunto.laduracion/video/7216863588672130310

    In general, the fancy footwork with a stiff upper body is highly reminiscent of Indo-European folk dances, presumably from flamenco in the case of Mexico -- but perhaps from other Euro immigrants as well.

    But this appears to be mixed in with New World sources as well, since the deer dance is said to reflect Yaqui Indian roots. And the upper body is not so stiff and upright in that dance.

    And let's not overlook the "pointy boots" trend of the 2010s, which involve highly theatrical dance shoes with pronounced pointy toes over a foot long, to match the theatrical dancing style:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veQkt4tS0Tc

    The pointy boots originated among Carnival performers in the Northwest, but this adoption of them for popular dances began in Matehuala, which is in the Northeast (on the border between the states of San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon).

    Social pressures to keep a low profile in the interest of group harmony, are not very strong far from the meta-ethnic frontier, allowing theatricality to flourish, most notably in dance culture. And so it is in Mexico, with the low-trust, in-your-face culture of the North being the source of various theatrical styles of dance.

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  90. Strangely, Mexican pro wrestling (lucha libre) is not from the North, although there are quite a few performers from up there -- and many more from Hispanic Americans in the American Southwest. It began and remains a sport from the Central region, and both main organizations are headquartered in Mexico City.

    This is contrary to the usual pattern of theatricality, and pro wrestling in particular, being from the non-standard dialect regions, like how pro wrestling is from the East Coast in America (along with dance music).

    It doesn't appear to have many participants from the South, though, so maybe it's a partly Central / partly Northern phenomenon. I don't know, from only reading the Wikipedia article on it.

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  91. Back to wokeness, in Mexico this heritage-hating iconoclasm manifests as anti-clericalism, which only began once the Spanish Empire collapsed in the early 1800s. At first the newly independent Mexican state was supposed to be overtly Catholic, but the environment of a collapsing empire does not favor preserving its heritage.

    The Catholic Church's key role in Mexican culture is reflected in its headquarters being in Mexico City, rather than other, non-standard / follower regions of the country.

    Pretty quickly, by the mid-1800s, the Catholic Church began to be marginalized, with Liberal reformers pushing for greater secularization.

    Anti-clericalism reached its peak in the early 20th C., leading up to and in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. The Catholic Church had property taken, could not participate in politics, could not operate schools, and so on and so forth. The persecution got so bad that Pope Pius XI addressed it in two encyclicals in the late 1920s and early '30s.

    The situation was only loosened up to a neutral status during the 1990s, but Mexico remains a highly secularized and anti-clerical nation overall.

    In this respect, it's no different from its imperial parent, Spain, over the same time period.

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  92. This national picture obscures profound regional differences, however. The leaders during and after the early 20th-C. revolution were Northerners (especially from Sonora), which lies far from the Church's power base in Mexico City.

    When a religious institution is a real player in society, its location matters because patronage is physical, and goes most to where the outlets actually exist. Americans find this hard to understand, because no church has ever played such a role in our history, in contrast to the Spanish Church in Spain and the New World.

    Because Northerners lived far from where the Church could dole out its goodies, the Northerners had little to gain from supporting it. And in the zero-sum game of factional politics at the national level, that means they had to oppose it, in order to get more power, wealth, and influence for themselves.

    Some of these Northerners were military generals, others were commercial merchants, others were rural ranch-owners. Not exactly the type we associate with opposing churches in America -- but that's because our churches have never had any wealth, power, or influence that the non-religious sectors might enjoy taking over.

    Other major historical anti-clerical figures were from the far Southeast, e.g., Tabasco governor Canabal. Pioneering 19th-C. Liberal president Benito Juarez, from Oaxaca, was a Zapotec Amerindian -- the first "indigenous" leader of all of Mexico, in true woke form. And yet he was not descended from the Aztecs, but an entirely different group, the Zapotecs.

    These two indigenous groups don't even speak languages from the same family: Aztecs spoke a Uto-Aztecan language, which are from Central-to-Northern Mexico and into the American Southwest, whereas Zapotecs speak an Oto-Manguean language, which are from Central America and the Southeast of Mexico.

    "Poor indigenous people" -- someone who Americans expect to be highly religious, superstitious, etc., craving the opiate of the masses, and therefore inclined to support the Church. Well, not these poor indigenous people -- they lived too far from the Church's headquarters to get a large share of its patronage, so they could've cared less whether the Church lived or died.

    Thus, both the Northwesterners and the Southeasterners had a common enemy, the political and cultural headquarters in the Central region.

    This is not to say that commercial or indigenous people were anti-clerical -- wealthy people, poor people, mestizos, Euros, etc. from the Central region were and still are far more religious and specifically Catholic than other parts of Mexico. Why wouldn't they be? -- they benefitted the most from its patronage over the centuries.

    See the table "Population in terms of religion by state (2000)" in the wiki for religion in Mexico, and sort by "None":

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Mexico

    The states that are above the national average for having no religion are in the North and somewhat in the Southeast. The Central states are the least likely to have no religion.

    Those figures are from over 20 years ago, and as secularization has only continued, the absolute levels of "no religion" are going to be even higher today. But the regional differences are clear even back then.

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  93. It comes as no surprise that those most responsible for iconoclastically trashing a nation's heritage, and doing their best to neuter or wipe it out in the present, hail from the non-standard dialect regions, far from the original meta-ethnic frontier. They have always been cultural followers, not leaders, during the long process of imperial cultural homogenization.

    It's not just that they will be the first to "opt out," as though they merely jump for joy that they don't have to belong to a high-scale imperial culture anymore. They bring a seething, bitter, chip-on-their-shoulder hatred for the cultural standard, and fantasize sadistically about destroying it while creating nothing of equal quality in its place, and -- perhaps literally -- digging up or pissing on the graves of yesterday's cultural trendsetters.

    Opting out does not imply desecration and iconoclasm -- the latter phenomena attend to imperial collapse because the high goes so high, the crash plummets to a lower level than where it began, just like other excitable systems (heartbeat, appetite, orgasm, neuron firing, etc.).

    That is, if Mexico had never been part of an empire, it would never see this level of desecration and iconoclasm -- things make come into being, and then go out of being. But they wouldn't be worse than where they began. That's only possible by an excitable system dynamic, which characterizes imperial expansion and asabiya.

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  94. Final remark, on Mexico's imperial parent: the hotbed of anti-clericalism in Spain was Catalonia, in the Northeast, far from the meta-ethnic frontier against the Moorish Empire, which was in the center of the peninsula.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Terror_(Spain)

    Where is the Catholic Church headquartered in Spain? Where else? -- on that very frontier, in Toledo.

    Far from that frontier and church headquarters, people benefitted little from it, and were the most eager to desecrate it during imperial collapse.

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  95. If most Mexican immigrants in America are from Northern Mexico, and Northern Mexico was historically a hotbed of anti-Catholic sentiment, it's no wonder that many Mexican immigrants in the United States are converting to Protestantism.

    Similarly for the entirety of central America converting en masse to Protestantism. There are now more Protestants in Honduras and El Salvador than Catholics.

    Brazil is another country in Latin America with a huge percentage of Protestants these days. Their former president Jair Bolsanero was an evangelical Protestant.

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  96. Protestantism in Latin America is correlated with no religion -- two sides of the same heritage-hating iconoclastic coin. One sticks with some form of institutional religion, although not one that is a power player in their society now or in the past (and is mostly an import from the American Empire), unlike the Catholic Church. And the other just does away with religion altogether.

    You can see this on a more granular level within Mexico. The Southeastern states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Quintana Roo are all far above the national average for both "no religion" and some non-Catholic form of Christianity. Same with Sonora, in the Northwestern non-standard dialect region. Guatemala, just over the border from Southeast Mexico, is also heavily Protestant.

    The common factor is being far from the meta-ethnic frontier against the Aztec Empire, which is where the headquarters of the Catholic Church was founded in the New World, and remains to this day (although there are more than one archdiocese -- but they're still in Central Mexico). And also where the center of government has been.

    Mexico fits the typical pattern of the political, military, and cultural centers being in the same place -- unlike America, where the political center is back East and the cultural center is out West.

    Political and cultural institutions work together to prop up the social order, so where both of them are weak -- far from the meta-ethnic frontier -- there is not only political anarchy, but a cultural chaos, in the sense of no centralizing / homogenizing standard that scales up to the national level.

    In the political vacuum, gangs, mafias, cartels, and warlords swoop in to fill the gap.

    In the cultural vacuum, medium-scale counter-cultures fill the gap, whether a strong regional culture or an outright foreign import / cultural colonization (e.g., Protestantism in Latin America).

    These are not so centralizing and homogenizing as the standard culture -- no Protestant church, or collective of them all, is as strong, wealthy, and influential within any region or nation of Latin America.

    It's more like a sub-cultural "scene" in the American sense. They do carry out some welfare state functions, in the absence of heavy central state involvement in the periphery. But those, too, are only small or medium in scale -- not like a nationwide network of schools, hospitals, farms, or whatever else the standard high-scale church operates as patrons.

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  97. Mormonism is also making big strides in Latin America, fittingly as this non-Christian religion places heavy emphasis in its New World genesis narrative on pre-Euro natives ("Lamanites"). And also fitting in that Mormonism is the American Empire's new global religion, swooping in like the Pax Americana on a military level. If your religious culture is evaporating due to imperial collapse (of Spain), then America can come to the rescue and give you a new global religion (Mormonism).

    And unlike the Protestant churches in America, Mormonism is a great big-scale hierarchical institution -- not just a sub-cultural scene where people meet and sing once a week, and there are no welfare state functions, and no hierarchy associated with power, wealth, and influence that the church can wield on behalf of its clients.

    The Mormon church leaders may be weaker in Latin America than in America itself, but they still have weight to throw around on behalf of their clients -- even more so if the church imports those foreigners into America, where it does have hefty influence and wealth.

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  98. Timely reminder with Bukele's re-election in El Salvador that crime is unaffected by national policies, and moves on its own for long periods of time in either direction (rising or falling). Here's their homicide rate over time, from 1994 to now:

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/SLV/el-salvador/crime-rate-statistics

    The peak was in the mid-'90s, but it fell off a cliff during the late '90s and early 2000s, and remained low through 2013. There was a brief surge through 2015, then it fell off a cliff again to the low and declining trend of the previous 20 years.

    This is all before Bukele took office, and his election is completely invisible in the real-world data -- only visible in the shrieking propaganda, on either political side, of the wordcel dIsCouRSe on midwit social media.

    Without knowing anything about El Salvador's situation in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, I still know what caused its decline in homicide since the mid-'90s peak -- an older population, with a smaller and smaller % of the population being in their crime-prone young years (roughly 15-24, or maybe 29).

    That is the only reliable demographic correlate with rising and falling crime rates -- the Western baby boom set off a crime wave when they entered the 15-24 bracket of the age pyramid, and when there was a baby bust, crime rates fell as a result. Not enough hot-headed wild-and-crazy young people anymore.

    Sure enough, a quick check reveals high birth rates through the mid-'60s, and the end of this baby boom would've only left their crime-prone years 25-30 years later, i.e. the early-to-mid-'90s, which is exactly when the homicide rate peaked:

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/SLV/el-salvador/birth-rate

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  99. Midwit partisan shills will conceal and censor these truths because they don't favor the party line of either party. Obviously contrary to the right wing, whose power base includes the military and police, and these institutions require propaganda about how getting tough on crime produces results, so give them more and more funding and power.

    But they're also contrary to the left wing, which still has an interventionist stance -- but just not through the military and police, rather the NGOs, social services, and other lib institutions. But those do nothing either -- El Salvador didn't juice up the number of social workers during this period of falling crime.

    Reality is usually non-partisan, helping out neither side -- which is why propaganda is in such high demand among political factions. If reality spoke for itself, you wouldn't need propaganda. But when crime rates are falling well before the so-called interventions, people ignore these interventions as causes.

    In fact, people ignore them as causes since they were also in effect during the *rising* crime period -- both libs and cons had their contrary attempts to stop crime during the one-way rise of the '60s, '70s, and '80s in America. Great Society libs with soft-on-crime interventions of the '60s and early '70s -- failed. Neolib Reaganites with hard-on-crime interventions of the '80s -- failed.

    "The age pyramid has more of a bulge in the crime-prone brackets, so crime will increase, or the bulge is moving out of that bracket, so crime will decrease" -- no institution cares about this, it's not like you can do anything about a baby boom once it's already happened. No way to combat the effects of the baby boom either -- short of genociding half the cohort.

    That's the real "would you kill baby Hitler?" thought experiment -- would you kill off half the literal Baby Boom generation in infancy? It would prevent 30-35 years straight of rising crime -- but it would also prevent all the cool stuff that comes from a youthful, cocky population.

    But in any case, it's just a thought experiment, with no real-world policies to debate. That's why the wordcel midwits in the media, of all scales and on both sides, censor this key truth. Whether to double the number of cops, though, is a possible outcome, opening up a debate, allowing both sides to shill their dumb propaganda. So that's where the dIsCouRsE goes instead of the truth.

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  100. The other primary driver of crime rates is cocooning vs. outgoing social mood, which is not a demographic factor but still a societal variable that is subject to dynamics.

    That's why, despite still being in a baby bust, crime rates have started to go up again -- the cocooning phase of the cycle lasts only so long -- about 25 to 30 years -- and it began circa 1990.

    That's how I correctly predicted around 2010 that we'd see a rise in crime rates around 2018 -- only off by 2 measly years -- despite no new baby boom to fuel an insane crime wave like that of the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

    I knew the cocooning phase would not last forever, just like that of the Midcentury (the '30s, '40s, and most of the '50s) did not last forever. Once people started to be more out and about, open and with their guard down, it would create more targets for criminals, and we'd see another crime wave. That's the bad side -- the good side is people being more outgoing and trusting rather than paranoid and bunker-bound.

    I have no idea if there's a similar crime-and-cocooning cycle in El Salvador. But if there is, they too could see another rise in crime rates beginning in the next 5-10 years. If the duration of the phases of their cycle is like ours, it could be sooner than later. Their homicide rate peaked only a few years after ours did, so the start of their next rising-crime phase may be only a few years lagging behind ours -- and ours kicked off in 2020.

    But that's assuming a lot about this social mood cycle that may not be operating in El Salvador, or may have different lengths between peaks (or valleys).

    Still, worth bearing in mind -- another key truth that midwits on social media would never discuss, because it fuels neither side's demand for braindead partisan propaganda.

    If you seek true enlightenment, you must make that difficult journey up the online mountain, to visit the sole surviving monk of the blogosphere, who will never decamp to the brain-polluting swamp of social media. Never!

    In the meantime, you can browse through my archives from around 2009 through 2012 to see the extent of my "crime and cocooning" series. It's great stuff, if I do say so myself!

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  101. It's the same in the East of America - you have atheist Northeast (non-standard) and Southern Baptist Southeast (non-standard).

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  102. Least religious country in Latin America is also on the east coast of S.Am. -- Uruguay, where fully 45% say "no religion", and only a minority of Catholics actively practice. Even more woketarded than America -- they've legalized abortion, gay marriage, weed, and prostitution.

    Protestants are more active, but a small minority -- part of Pax Americana swooping in after the collapse of the Spanish Empire, to provide a small-to-medium scale institution that can actually do something for you, being connected to a wealthier and more powerful parent church back in the American Empire.

    Similar situation in Argentina, also on the east coast of S.Am. About 20% say "no religion," Catholics are about 60% -- but only 20% practice -- and Protestants are at 15% and more active.

    What's in common with Argentina (whose population is concentrated near Uruguay), Uruguay, and southern Brazil (where most Brazilians live, especially the secular ones)? Why, distance from any meta-ethnic frontier! The intense frontier in South America was with the Inca, in Peru, which is on the west coast, in the central-to-north stretch of the coastline. Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro are all as far as possible in the opposite direction -- to the east and south, along the coastal extreme.

    Don't expect Protestantism to last long in Latin America, BTW -- as the American Empire collapses, there will be nothing its churches can do for you, much as with the Catholic Church during Spanish imperial collapse.

    Partial exception for Mormonism -- it's out West, will survive imperial collapse as a new global religion. Not part of the black hole of asabiya back East. And it focuses specifically on the New World and Pacific in its narrative, so it has that buff going for it in Latin America (and Pacific Islands).

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  103. I don't think Mormonism will become as widespread as Christianity became in the Byzantine Empire, which created it as a global institutional religion, after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

    If there were a new meta-ethnic nemesis in the American West, then that pressure could force a new empire to form just within the West Coast / Rocky Mountain area. Their religion would be an imperial one, which would spread it very far and wide.

    Just like Byzantium was on the fringe of Roman territory, was subjected to meta-ethnic nemesis raiding via Thrace (mainly the Huns), and this transformed them into an empire, and their religion -- Christianity -- went all over.

    Islam was spread by an empire, the Arabian Empire of the mid-1st millennium AD.

    If Mormonism had already existed before America became an empire, and was adopted by America, it could've reached levels of Christianity and Islam by now -- what other empires could rival us in cultural and political influence, during our heyday?

    But it's more like Christianity during the Roman Empire, only a seed on the periphery. It needs a new empire there to grow into maturity and truly global reach.

    You never know who could show up at your front door, but there are currently no threats to anywhere in America, including the West. So, while international, Mormonism probably won't become a super-global religion or whatever you want to call it, akin to Christianity or Islam or Confucianism (spread by various Chinese empires) or Buddhism (Indian, Chinese, and some Southeast Asian ones).

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  104. Why didn't Brazil fragment territorially like the rest of Latin America? It was not part of an empire for most of its history, so it was no quite so subjected to the "higher highs and lower lows" that intense ethnogenesis produces in empires.

    In the declining phase of the lifespan, it doesn't crash into a refractory state like an empire does, where everyone's turning on everyone else, after having been so intensely unified and cooperative during the rising phase of the lifespan.

    Brazil did belong to the Spanish Empire during the Iberian Union, 1580 to 1640, but that was not long enough to leave such a lasting influence on them. Most of their development and evolution happened after then, including independence in the early 1800s (along with the rest of Latin America, as the Spanish Empire collapsed).

    They did belong to Portugal, but Portugal was not an empire. They did have several overseas colonies, much like the Dutch did, but that doesn't make the Dutch an empire either. They were not an expanding polity in their vicinity, unlike Spain next to Portugal, or France, Britain, and eventually Germany next to the Netherlands. They just had a lucky pressure release valve, being on the far west of Europe during the Age of Exploration, and could send colonists to the New World.

    Since they were never as intensely unified and expansionist as the Spanish were -- in any part of their empire -- the Portuguese and their colonists did not have such a massive hangover on the other side. They're still less cohesive than they used to be, due to Spain's imperial collapse affecting them exogenously -- but they didn't have quite as large of a plunge endogenously.

    So, they haven't fragmented into pieces like the former Spanish Empire in the New World. That's the plus side of mediocrity -- you don't rise as high, but that also means you don't plunge as low afterward.

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  105. Back to Northern Mexico, why didn't they fragment as much as the Southeastern part of Mexico, including Central America? That's probably the effect of the not-so-meta-ethnic frontier with the American Empire and the Indian raids from Apaches and Comanches.

    With the Indians, it wasn't long enough to have a huge effect on Northern Mexico.

    With America, they were too powerful and took the now-American Southwest over so fast, it was not really a contested "no man's land" border / frontier. It was longer-lasting, of course, but not intense -- we quickly defeated them, took their land, and that was that. America did not constantly launch raids into what is now Northern Mexico. We were pretty different from them, but not an intensely violent pressure.

    And yet, those two pressures are still more than what people felt in SE Mexico and Central America during the same time period. The only external threat was Britain carving out a tiny irrelevant slice of Central America (Belize), and much later America pressuring Panama to secede from Colombia in order to build the Panama Canal in an easily bullied state. And there was nobody like the Apache and Comanche among local indigenous groups to conduct raids for a generation or two throughout Central America.

    So, there was far less motive to stick together in Central America compared to Northern Mexico, even though both were far from the original frontier against the Aztecs that glued New Spain together after the arrival of the Spanish. Northern Mexicans had *someone* to defend against, to *some* degree. Central Americans had zippo -- and therefore, they immediately fragmented into pieces.

    They didn't even join the young Mexican state, after the Spanish Empire collapsed. They formed their own federation in Central America -- but that quickly shattered into 5 separate states, Guatemala, San / El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Belize was carved out by the British and has remained separate since independence from the British in 1981, instead of joining one of the other states. Panama chose to leave Colombia, under American instigation.

    Central America has to be one of the lowest-trust, suspicious, anarchic, disloyal shitholes on the face of the Earth. Not due to DNA or prehistoric cultural baggage -- due to the historical contingency of belonging to an empire that fragmented, and had no other meta-ethnic nemeses to make it cohere at least somewhat.

    In fact, there never was an expanding empire in Central America -- the Olmecs, Mayans, etc., were civilizations, but not empires with a positive feedback to their expansion. Only the Aztecs and Incas were empires in the New World.

    It's very much like Southern Italy and Sicily, or the Levant -- no native empires ever, belonged to empires that collapsed, leading to their own internal fragmentation and low trust ever after, even if they are part of civilization rather than nomadic or hunter-gatherer societies.

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  106. So it comes as no surprise to see a member of one low-trust anarchic culture leading another one, even on the other side of the world -- Bukele in El Salvador comes from a Levantine Christian background.

    Christians have been the most likely to abandon their homeland in the Levant, second only to Jews (from the same region, never had an empire, never cohesive, frequently occupied by other empires that collapsed and left them with internal fragmentation afterwards).

    The Lebanese and the Jews belong to the tiny number of ethnicities that have a larger diaspora population than the population in any recent or ancient homeland.

    Muslims from the Levant are more likely to stay put, especially the Shia Muslims of Southern Lebanon -- who have been brought together strongly by the meta-ethnic nemesis of Israel right on their border.

    I doubt this will last long enough to make Hezbollah into a bona fide empire, but it *has* had the effect of transfomring them into the national unifiers. They protect Christian churches from the Salafist type of Muslims, who are literally or spiritually from Arabia. And they were the ones responsible for bitch-slapping the American military out of their country, in the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut. All the religions of Lebanon are represented in the capital city area, and yet only the Shia Muslims confronted and won against Uncle Sam.

    Christians in Lebanon live further to the north, away from the bloody frontier with Israel. So they are less likely to feel intense asabiya for their neighbors and countrymen, and thus way more likely to leave not just their home but their entire region of the world.

    The skewed nature of Lebanese emigrants means vastly fewer Christians remain in their homeland, and are by now a distinct minority instead of a former majority. Much like Southern Italians being more likely to abandon their homeland than Northern or Central Italians. Or Ukrainians vs. Russians, or Irish vs. Southern English, or Southern Chinese vs. Northern Chinese, and so on and so forth.

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  107. Sure enough, Christians in Lebanon fit the pattern of non-standard dialect speakers, living far from the meta-ethnic frontier where the unifiers, centralizers, and standardizers are made.

    I'll never forget Nassim Taleb (a Lebanese Christian) showing a skit from a Lebanese sit-com awhile back, showcasing a character from the region of Zgharta, a largely Christian area in the North.

    I think I've found it, or if it's different, it shows the same stereotypes. The show is Ktir Salbe, and the character is Sayed from Zgharta. Here he is, getting into a confrontation with a member of ISIS:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4rsDI60FMQ

    Even if you speak no Arabic, you can tell the guy in the suit with glasses has a distinctly funny and non-standard accent (which is typical of Zgharta, but highly non-standard in Lebanon as a whole, and the Levant in general).

    You can also tell what his personality is -- brusque, straight-tawkin', takes no BS, confrontational, high-strung / neurotic, overbearing, theatrical way of communicating, and inclined to arguing and razzing or teasing. Even when ISIS is pointing a gun at him, his only response is the local equivalent of, "Eyyy, I'm walkin' heah!"

    If you don't literally LOL at this skit, something is wrong with the funny lobe in your brain!

    Does he remind you of someone from the East Coast or West Coast in America? A Cantonese speaker or native Mandarin speaker? A Japanese person from Kansai or Kanto? Southern Italy or Northern Italy? Or, circling back to Mexico -- Northern or Central Mexico? It's so easy to tell, because they're the same way no matter what country they're in!

    Far from a meta-ethnic frontier, low motive for cohesion, not inclined to bow to social pressures, therefore doing their own thing, at maximum volume -- and if you don't like it, geddafuckouttaheahhhh...

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  108. Or was it Aimee Terese who shared the clip of Sayed from Zgharta, saying it reminded her of her Northern Lebanese relatives? I don't recall, but someone from the Lebanese Christian diaspora shared it on Twitter a few years ago, and I'll never forget it!

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  109. Lebanese Christians are less modest in dress, appearance, and lifestyle compared to their Shia Muslim compatriots, who -- being situated on a meta-ethnic frontier -- have adopted the code of modesty, sobriety, and politeness that all frontier people do.

    Much like the stiff upper lip in Southern England, "Piemontesi, falsi e cortesi" in Northern Italy (who unified present-day Italy), Central Spaniards (compared to the Catalonians), or Midwestern niceness in America.

    I don't know what their speech patterns are like, but I assume Shia Muslims in the South of Lebanon have a more humble manner of talking than Sayed from Zgharta -- it would be hard not to!

    That's not to say that Hezbollah are insane puritans, like the Salafists in Saudi Arabia -- but that too illustrates my point, since the Saudis were the frontier expanders (against the encroaching Ottoman Empire), and they adopted a code of modesty, sobriety, and interpersonal politeness, to the extreme. So did the original Arabian Empire that spread Islam, after being encircled by the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires.

    To present an extreme but telling example, the only Lebanese pornstar (Mia Khalifa) is Christian, not Muslim.

    This is not because of a high-level split between Christian and Muslim morality and behavior, since Turkey, Iran, Dubai, and other Muslim-majority places have prostitution, some form of pornography, and other forms of "sex work".

    But in Lebanon, Christians are far from the meta-ethnic frontier with Israel, while Shia Muslims are right up against it, so the former will behave in a more individualist way. There is no porn industry in Lebanon itself, but in the diaspora there may be, and if one of them wants to do it, she can and will, since she's from an individualist region of her homeland -- and being in the diaspora, lives even further from the meta-ethnic frontier of her homeland.

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  110. It's telling where low-trust people migrate to, when they abandon their homeland. Most Levantines in America did not settle out West, but back East -- where they fit in better. They migrated to Central America, or Southern Brazil, Argentina, and other places far from the former frontier with the Inca and the Aztecs.

    Bukele is the leader of El Salvador, not Mexico or Peru.

    Speaking of recent immigrants leading Peru -- their leader in the '90s was of Japanese background, Fujimori. Japan is much higher in trust and cohesion than anywhere in the Levant. There are tons of Chinese-background people along the west coast of South America, and as usual they're from Southern China. Somehow, the large population of Southern Chinese could not produce a leader of Peru -- while the smaller population of Japanese immigrants did.

    It's cuz Japan is a more cohesive place than Southern China, due to the meta-ethnic frontier with the Emishi and Ainu, whereas the meta-ethnic frontiers in China have always been in the North (against nomadic barbarians). In Peru there was a recent meta-ethnic frontier (against the Inca), so its leaders must be from a cohesive frontier culture -- either locally, or a similar one abroad. Japan fit the bill, Southern China did not (and never will, as one of the eternally cursed regions of the world).

    However, that predicts that someone from a Southern Chinese background *could* be the leader of a Central American nation at some point. But not Peru or Mexico, or America (sorry, Andrew Yang).

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  111. The descendants of Glorious Nippon all settled out West in America, they avoided the East Coast like the plague that it is.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Americans_with_Japanese_Ancestry_by_state.svg

    Contrast with the maps for Chinese Americans and Korean Americans, who did settle along the West Coast, but also heavily along the East Coast as well -- especially around the blackest hole of them all, the New York metro area.

    Tellingly, Cantonese speakers chose Northern over Southern California for their new headquarters. Farther from the frontier along the war-prone border with Mexico. More individualist, low-trust, and anarchic -- just like back home.

    The sole expanding great power (not to say empire) in Asia during American history was Japan. When they migrated, they instinctively recognized the region that was closest to their homeland, being a high-trust frontier, out West. Japanese people who remained in Japan could not give a shit about East Coast culture -- they get it!

    And of course, immigration from Japan was always tiny compared to Southern China or Korea or the Pacific Islands. Not cuz of population sizes, but due to cohesion -- people in a cohesive country do not want to abandon it, while people in a fragmented low-trust shithole don't mind abandoning their countrymen, who they have little regard for, in order to pursue individualistic materialistic gain.

    Even if a Japanese person could have earned more money in America than back home, they loved their people, culture, and country too much to throw it all away just for higher wages, like some glorified slave.

    Much respect to the sons and daughters of the barbarian-quellers! ^_^

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  112. My Japanese grandmother settled only as far east as Ohio -- still in the Midwest, part of the Old Northwest, on the high-trust frontier due to fairly late Indian Wars (e.g., against Tecumseh's army).

    Just think of how much money, status, and power the Japanese are forgoing by refusing to settle along the Bos-Wash corridor. Some of the wealthiest zip codes on planet Earth, the lowest-trust place in the nation -- it would be so easy for them to slime their way into the parasite class of that region and slurp up infinite money for free, while destroying the rest of the nation.

    But they have too much honor to lower themselves into such a low-trust anarchic shithole. Wealth, power, and status be damned!

    It's not like the West Coast is poverty-stricken anyway, but again compare to Koreans and Chinese -- they absolutely jumped at the opportunity to parasitize the nation by settling into the professional (or wannabe) class of the Bos-Wash corridor.

    Very greedy and dishonorable, and to their never-ending shame. But what else do you expect from non-standard dialect speakers? They're followers, not leaders, and don't mind being glorified slaves and prostitutes.

    (OK, that's it for now.)

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  113. Scandis acted like the Japanese in settling America! They made the biggest leap-frog ever recorded in human history, and bypassed the entire back-East region (not only the coast), and went right to the good ol' Indian frontier in the Old Northwest, before migrating even further out West (lots of Scandis in the Pac NW).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Census_Bureau_2000,_Scandinavians_in_the_United_States.png

    The only way they disagreed with the Japanese was in Hawaii -- a fellow island in the Pacific Ocean, familiar to Japanese, while alien to the Scandis, who took to the familiar state of Alaska instead.

    Scandis are high-trust and cohesive, and like the Japanese some were from a recent expanding great power that fell short of an empire (Sweden in the Early Modern era). They were from an outright empire only over 1000 years ago -- the Vikings.

    Talk about voting with your feet -- give two of the highest-trust and most cohesive societies on Earth an opinion poll, where would you like to settle in America? That must be the most high-trust and cohesive part of America, as judged by two completely independent countries.

    Wait, make that three! The Swiss, too!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Swiss_ancestry_us.gif

    They avoided the eternally cursed East Coast, and settled mainly in the Midwest, and highly cohesive Mormon-land in the Mountain states, though not so much the West Coast.

    Everybody's favorite Midwestern cohesive trad sub-culture -- the Amish -- are originally Swiss, and avoid the entire East Coast like the plague that it is.

    I wonder where Bushmen hunter-gatherers would prefer to settle, if given the chance? Where else?!

    (OK, really it for now.)

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  114. Why are there so many Somalis in the Upper Midwest? They don't seem all that cohesive.

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  115. Ah, you’re a hapa. It all makes sense now,

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  116. Hapa is someone who self-identifies, or is identified by others (other Asians, or other non-Asians), as part Asian, which I'm not. Even though I'm 25% Japanese by DNA.

    Culture is not transmitted through DNA, but through face-to-face IRL enculturation by family, neighbors, community institutions, etc. -- which I never received, growing up in the Midwest, then the East Coast, not Hawaii or Japan itself, where the possibility to enculturate as part-Japanese would've been present.

    The easiest way to see if someone is part-Asian or part-Japanese is to send them to the relevant society -- will they pass and be accepted? I would definitely not. I don't look Asian, don't have any distinctly Asian values, cultural markers (language, dress, etc.)... other than believing that vtubers are real.

    Even within the "part Asian by DNA" group, I'm not representative. The other 75% of my DNA comes from founding stock, Southern English and NW French, who came here in the mid-1600s -- way before the Ellis Island opportunists who make up the bulk of lazy race reductionists online.

    Coping for their lack of culture by claiming their DNA holds the legacy of past imperial greatness, assuming they belonged to a great culture to begin with -- lots of them are from never-imperial cultures like Poland or Ireland, though, and are trying to latch onto British, French, etc. imperial culture by saying they share the same "European" DNA.

    Claiming a generic "European" identity is always a telltale sign of being from a backward shithole, hoping no one will ask which specific European place you come from, we're all Western civilization creators here, r-r-right?

    My ancestors were raided by Indians in America, some captured and escaped, others taken away to Quebec (France allied with the Indians) and then upon release headed out toward the Great Lakes / Old Northwest frontier before there was any government there.

    And the typical hapa has their Asian side from a greedy non-standard dialect speaking group back in Asia -- which mine is not. Japanese didn't come over due to greed, but to incorporate a newly conquered part of the American Empire -- the last such territory that could do this, since all American wars after WWII failed. And even within Japan, Hokkaido is part of the Eastern dialects, on the meta-ethnic frontier, not in the West.

    The white parent of a typical hapa is not a military officer stationed in a recently conquered territory, like my grandfather.

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  117. The fixation on large-scale DNA races, rather than cultural groups and historical contingency, is sadly typical of collapsing empires. That only showed up in European imperial cultures in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as they were bloated, stagnating, and on the brink of collapse and losing their colonies.

    So I don't expect any less cluelessness in the collapsing American Empire -- on both political sides. They're genetic reductionists, as shown in the reactions to my post on the "ethnic composition of the anti-woke left" several years ago.

    Both left and right said it was genetic, not ethnic -- even though "Catholic Slav" is obviously not a genetic category, nor are there genetic differences between "Southeastern whites" and "Northeastern whites", and yet there are huge cultural and political differences that make the SE whites more open to anti-woke left politics.

    But lazy genetic reductionism in the dIsCouRsE doesn't translate into reality, as shown in the Mexican example, to return to them. Mestizos from Central Mexico don't treat their "fellow mestizos" in the Southeast or Central America as all part of the same culture that gets along wonderfully and are practically cousins.

    Nope -- some are descended from the conquered Aztecs, and reflect post-conquest incorporation by the victors on the meta-ethnic frontier. Others are descended from Mayan-like groups, do not reflect frontier dynamics, and have always remained on the cultural and political periphery.

    Likewise on the other side -- there are mestizos in Northern Mexico, but they and the Central mestizos treat each other as different groups, which they are. Here, there's not even a genetic or long-term cultural group difference -- the Amerindian side is similar in both, coming from Uto-Aztecan speakers, not Oto-Manguean speakers or whoever else, not Athabaskan speakers from the American Southwest, etc.

    But one is right on the historical frontier, the other is far from it -- and that makes them different enough that they don't accept belonging to the same cultural unit. Northerners are distinctly Northern -- they know it, and the Central residents know it.

    Cultural and social dynamics shape who winds up in which group, not genetics.

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  118. To the extent that I extol Japanese culture, that's just my all-American side speaking. My Japanese side, if it really existed, would take it for granted and not gloat about it. Maybe you're a foreigner and don't appreciate it, but in America Japanese culture has had a special place at least since WWII -- as well as in European imperial cultures during the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Japonisme).

    We adopted flip-flops from Japan (a stereotypically American form of footwear these days, not European, since "Europe" did not conquer and occupy Japan). Ninjas, samurais, karate, sushi, origami, tamogatchi, video games (not simulators), anime (Toei-related animation of Western cartoons in the '80s, then fully Japanese anime during the 2000s and 2010s), vtubers, Japanese cars and motorcycles, futons, Zen Buddhism, wabi-sabi pottery, Kurosawa (on his own among the art-house crowd, and in Western popular remakes like The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars), transforming robots, haiku, ukiyo-e prints, kabuki... the list goes on and on.

    The reason that Americans have adopted such a broad swath of Japanese culture, rather than Korean, Chinese, or other Asian culture, is the historical contingency that Japan was our last conquest. We occupied South Korea at their invitation, in their civil war against North Korea. We didn't conquer it. Let alone the failed conquests of Southeast Asia, never attempted to conquer China, and so on.

    We have nothing but good memories of Japan, because it's a reminder of our imperial heyday -- the ability to conquer a worthy fuckin' adversary in battle, and to incorporate them culturally into our culture, as well as borrow from their culture in reciprocity.

    As a late Gen X-er, I appear to be more of a Japanese supremacist than the typical white American because I grew up on Toei-illustrated cartoons, toys made by Takara, and video games by Nintendo, Sega, Capcom, Konami, Hudsonsoft, etc. I grew up with Disney, Hanna Barbara, Doom, Myst, and Sierra Online as well -- but my generation had a lot more exposure to Japanese culture. Possibly the most exposure of any generation.

    Like I said before, most Millennial and Zoomer weebs are anime watchers, but they don't stick with Japanese video games, didn't play with Japanese toys as children, play as ninjas IRL, eat and drink from hand-painted plates and cups that were made in Japan, and so on and so forth.

    So late X-ers are more like Japanophiles than weebs, and for emphasis I use the phrase Japanese supremacist. Like, imagine thinking you're a real gamer without being a Japanese supremacist in your choice of games...

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  119. Back to Northern Lebanon, here's an illustrative video of the Zgharta norms:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/lebanon/comments/ztp1x1/whos_grandma_100_from_zgharta_though/

    Again, does this look like a scene from the East Coast or West Coast in America? Talk about colorful language and taking no BS, It's uncanny!

    It's from the Lebanon subreddit, and everyone recognizes it as Zgharta and part of Northern Lebanese culture broadly.

    Another stereotypical Northern trait shown by Sayed from Zgharta, in the Ktir Salbe show, is being a gun-toter -- he almost always pulls out a pistol, often firing it casually to end one of his many quotidian arguments.

    The gun-toting stereotype does not reflect dueling, or protection against hostile outsiders (as in cowboys and Indians). It's just second nature in an anarchic, socially fragmented and mutually suspicious environment.

    Southern Lebanese don't have this stereotype -- if anything, guns being a part of their image would relate to collective defense against a meta-ethnic nemesis, namely Israel or the American Marines. Not casual antagonism between neighbors -- which is more like the Hatfields and McCoys from back East in America, or mafia enclaves on the East Coast.

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  120. Joe Biden is from the East Coast. Donald Trump is from the East Coast. It's not surprising that under their presidencies that things have gotten a lot worse in America, if both presidencies represent the part of America who wants to demolish American culture.

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  121. Relevant old post on the Parsis, a beloved market-dominant minority, unlike the usual pattern of being hated by the majority of their adoptive countries, like the Ashkenazi Jews or Southern Chinese:

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-are-parsi-elites-welcomed-while.html

    Originally from Persia / Iran, they fled the Muslim-ification as practitioners of Zoroastrianism, settling in India. They came to dominate several sectors of society, enjoying higher economic and social prestige.

    But they have never been the target of pogroms -- quite the opposite, their adoptive country is always trying to find ways to *increase* their low birth rate, so there will be more of them!

    The major difference seems to be how they treat their host culture and population, trying to make it as great as possible, and only enjoy wealth that flows from that effort. Not to take the place over, hoard as much wealth as possible, and look down on their adoptive population. They go out of their way to be generous -- operating hospitals, for example, not like "philanthropy" that is just funding for partisan political agendas.

    Is there a role for frontier dynamics? Seems like it -- Parsis spent most of their history in the standard-dialect region of India, in the North / Northwest, where its empires have historically been born (the South has borne some empires as well). Specifically, Gujarat, until recently spreading out to major cities outside of Gujarat, with industrialization and the need for professional / managerial types to run these new kinds of businesses.

    The main meta-ethnic frontier in India being in the Northwest reflects where hostile foreign raiders have put pressure on the Subcontinent. Nobody comes from China or SE Asia, or by sea from the South. Most civilizations and nomadic confederations came from Iran, Central Asia, or through those regions (even all the way from Macedonia).

    Who knows? If the Parsis had settled into a low-trust shithole far from any meta-ethnic frontier, their cultural evolution might have ended up as another member of the "hated market-dominant minority" club, tolerated for their competence at running things, but still seethingly despised.

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    1. Are most Chinese living in Southeast Asia (and in the Anglosphere) from Southern China? If so that would explain why they are a hated market-dominant minority.

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  122. Ashkenazi Jews reflect their adaptation to non-imperial or non-standard peripheral regions of empires (Poland, Lithuania, Western Ukraine -- not Muscovy, Vienna, or Prussia and Brandenburg). They tended to get expelled by rising-trust, expanding empires like France, Britain, and Spain.

    Where the Jews were welcomed into the high-trust meta-ethnic frontier, like the Sephardic Jews of Constantinople during the Ottoman Empire, they didn't have such a reputation for being greedy parasites, cultural aliens, and subjected to pogroms.

    Who knows? If the Sephardics had settled in Southeastern Anatolia (non-standard dialect, far from the meta-ethnic frontier) instead of the Thracian frontier, they would've culturally evolved like their Ashkenazi cousins.

    But, settling into the high-trust frontier region, Sephardics of the Ottoman Empire evolved more like the Parsis in Gujarat.

    Not every Jewish tale has to have a sob story ending -- only if they settled far from the meta-ethnic frontier of their adoptive country. Which doesn't look too good for East Coast Jews in America, whereas SoCal Jews can breathe more freely.

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  123. To fill in some details, the Ottoman meta-ethnic nemesis was the Byzantine Empire, headquartered in the NW of Anatolia, headquartered in Constantinople, but with the main powers center emanating into the rest of NW Anatolia and parts of Eastern / Northeastern Greece, just across the Aegean Sea.

    The Seljuk Turks and Ottoman Turks entered Anatolia from the Southeast -- that is their "back East" region, as it always is in Anatolian empires. Those pesky non-standard Isaurians in the Byzantine Empire, those pesky non-standard Karamanids in the Ottoman Empire, those pesky non-standard Southern dynasties in the Hittite Empire...

    Sephardic Jews mainly concentrated in Constantinople, precisely on the high-trust meta-ethnic frontier. And even outside the capital, they mainly settled in the Northwestern swath of Anatolia, not the Southeast, and regions in Greece that are close to NW Anatolia, primarily Salonica / Thessaloniki.

    From the imperial core, they were allowed to spread out further to the Ottoman conquests -- Damascus, Baghdad, Jerusalem, etc. But they were mainly concentrated along the high-trust meta-ethnic frontier, not peripheral areas, and definitely not the non-standard dialect region of Anatolia (Southeast).

    They were somewhat subject to ethnic antagonism in Damascus, Baghdad, Jerusalem, etc., during the declining and collapsing phase of the Ottoman lifespan. But not in the high-trust core, like Constantinople, Bursa, and Salonica.

    Something to think about, the next time you plan to mass-migrate your population -- don't settle into a low-trust shithole far from any meta-ethnic frontier!

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  124. Fortunately the Parsis chose another high-trust frontier region to settle in America -- SoCal. There are some in NorCal, too, where they're probably adapting to more woketard ideology than their easy-breezy all-American SoCal cousins.

    There are only a handful of Paris on the East Coast, so they are yet another independent confirmation of where the high-trust cohesive regions of America are. Ask a cohesive ethnicity where they want to move? Japanese, Scandis, Swiss, and Parsis all agree -- out West!

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  125. In the 20th century all the Ashkenazis moved from Eastern Europe over to Palestine, another place with low cohesion and low trust.

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  126. Reminded of Coco when they played "The Rose" by Bette Midler in the thrift store a few nights ago. There's an even better arrangement, with Japanese lyrics, by Harumi Miyako for the movie Only Yesterday ("Ai wa Hana..."), which I was really struck by when doing my Studio Ghibli reps last summer. Turns out, the original is American!

    I wondered if any Hololive girl had sung either version -- Coco sang the original several times in karaoke, and not in a meme-y way or disguising her feelings. When the irony-poisoned shitposter opens up and shows her tender vulnerable side, awwwww. Very touching to see. ^_^

    So now, "The Rose" is "that Coco song", just like any Carpenters song is "an Irys song", "If You Leave Me Now" is "a Gooba song", "Time in a Bottle" is "that Moom song", "Lovefool" is "that Fauna song", "Rouge no Dengon" is "that Marine song", etc.

    And I didn't even get to watch Coco when she was Coco! But when someone makes it their brand to sing a sincere emotional song like that, it makes a lasting impression -- whether you heard it live or several years later.

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  127. There's no anger in those songs, that's what makes them stand out as showcasing the performer's sensitive side.

    Anger is about perceived injustice, motivating you to take measures to right the wrongs, settle scores, etc. It's the basis of sounding emo -- and like a whiny chuuni middle schooler whose main emotion is that "life / the world isn't FAIR!"

    It's doesn't count as lowering your guard and showing your tender vulnerable side to express anger. Quite the opposite -- it shows you in defensive, armor-up, weapons-at-the-ready mode. Whatever you feel about emo-like songs, they don't produce that reaction of "awww, that person's showing their sensitive side". It shows their trust of the audience, like a pet showing their belly. ^_^

    That's why these performers still to this day go back to songs from the '70s or earlier, from the New Deal heyday of societal cohesion. Back then, you could open up and trust others not to take advantage, exploit you, point and laugh, etc. As neoliberal stagnation, and now outright imperial collapse, are occurring, it's every man for himself, trying to get ahead by accusing others of being unfair and using that as a pretext to settle an imaginary score (you taking their stuff to benefit yourself), and seething bitter revenge fantasies of wannabe power-trippers.

    There is NO WAY you can just open up and be vulnerable in that social-cultural environment. Not with new songs meant for the entire nation, anyway.

    You can only open up within a sub-culture like vtubers, where you trust the smaller and more intimate audience.

    And even within streamers / vtubers, only some audiences can be trusted. Hololive's audience is trusting, whereas the ones that are more infected by political dIsCouRsE of various types, cannot be trusted. At best, those audiences will point and laugh at you for being sincere, for not amping up your anger (which they really want), and at worst they'll try to cancel you for being problematic in any number of constantly-fluctuating ways.

    When I become dictator of the planet, Coco will be welcomed back into Hololive, where she can still indulge her meme-y shitposter side -- but also feel comfortable showing her sensitive side, where there will be no tumblr SJW descendants in the audience to push things in an emo or trauma-dumping direction, just opening up and being sensitive and real together. :)

    Just looking over some other sensitive, feel-good classics she did -- "Call Me Maybe," "A Whole New World," "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "YMCA"... along with other genres like "Toxic" etc. Such a sharky setlist, like the Goobinator's haafu Dixie Millennial alter ego. ^_^

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  128. The karaoke phenomenon in Japan shows how cohesive they are, that they trust perfect strangers in the audience of a public space not to point and laugh, snicker at them for being sincere, or try to cancel them for choosing a problematic song / by a problematic artist.

    We could've done that back in the New Deal heyday. Similar to our "open mic night / amateur night" tradition -- for music, stand-up comedy, reading your poetry, whatever -- which has died off over the past 30 or so years. Any such environment today has to be coated in 17 layers of irony (at best -- and at worst, just angry woketard propaganda).

    But karaoke is still going strong in Japan, both IRL and online. Japanese people in the 21st century are not all at each other's throats, so they don't have to worry about letting their guard down in public like Americans do today.

    That's not to say Japan is a paradise of communitarian good vibes -- any urban environment with lots of transplants can be oppressively faceless and alienating. But it doesn't have to descend into open hostility among all individuals, like it has in the collapsing American Empire (especially in the black hole of asabiya known as the East Coast).

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  129. I'm getting better at distinguishing Kansai from Kanto people! In Yojimbo, the wife of one yakuza gang's leader runs a brothel, and is very curt, "get down to business," no BS, headstrong, confrontational, etc. Her husband apologizes to the protagonist for her lack of manners and etiquette after she brusquely interrupts their negotiation.

    "She must be from Kansai," I thought -- sure enough, the actress is from Osaka! Isuzu Yamada.

    She played a similar role as Lady Asaji in Throne of Blood (adapting Lady Macbeth's role). She's more polite in the company of others in that movie, but is still a headstrong, no-BS, DGAF schemer following the individualistic code of "eat or get eaten", just like her role in Yojimbo (where she pressures her husband and son to kill the protagonist after his services to them have been rendered, so they won't have to pay him anything in the end).

    Very striking, angular nose, too.

    You gotta watch yourself around those Kansai cuties!

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  130. Pippa revealing that she is moving to her native west coast was rather surprising, since I fell hook line and sinker for the Appalachian presentation. However, your discussion on the nuances of the west coast's relation to the meta ethnic frontier towards the south border led to the possibility that Pippa is probably from NorCal or even Oregon. If I were to guess, she came back to look for a husband to spawn some Pipkids or adopt one of her nieces.

    This past week we found out the reason for our fake American's disappearance, at least the part from December onward. Birds of a feather really do flock together, the fake American and the most american Canadian.

    Regarding the fate of American Jews, you forgot the third concentration, that of South Floridans, This group has traditionally been composed of transplants from New York, and with the Manhattanization of Miami, and the future issues of the East Coast, will attract even more such transplants.

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  131. Thanks to Fuwamoco for keeping that bouncy '60s revival of the '80s sound alive, with "Valentine Kiss"! Add that one to "Rouge no Dengon" (technically from the late '70s, like Grease) and "Touch".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydlkJR2o6L0

    I thought it sounded familiar, and sure enough, Irys sang it during her Valentine's Day karaoke last year! That makes her honorary JP, since this song -- like "Touch" and "Rouge no Dengon" -- has been sung by pretty much every Holo JP girl, including two official cover versions with 4 girls apiece. It's a standard of Japanese pop music.

    I knew Marine would love it, and she has indeed sung it several times -- and so has Aqua! Kawaii. ^_^

    This is yet another example of "peak Americana" being preserved better by the Japanese than the Americans ourselves. Being able to unironically belt these '60s-style songs out, with no disguise or parody or politicization, shows how cohesive they remain as a culture.

    Over here, songs from Grease or the cover of "Earth Angel" from Back to the Future were popular unironically through the '80s, to a lesser extent in the '90s (Smash Mouth covering "I'm a Believer", Austin Powers, etc.), and maybe into the 2000s (Mad Men watch parties).

    By the woketard 2010s, these had to devolve to a lower level -- a sub-culture, like rockabilly, rather than pervade the nationally unified culture. Or the national outlets transformed them into something for woketard audiences only, like making them staples of gay theater kid TV shows like Glee, which are heavy on the message of "it's only cosplay, we don't actually like the '50s or '60s, and we're branding these as for woketards only, not for an all-American audience".

    Similar to what they did with Star Wars and Marvel superheroes -- they are too iconic and entrenched in American culture, so rather than outright erase them during their iconoclastic anti-American crusade of the woketard 2010s, they sacrileged them, transformed them, and otherwise appropriated them for their own side in the culture war.

    Grease used to be something that every American loved -- including being the favorite movie of my ultra-chud uncle, Vietnam vet, biggest Trump fan on Earth, lived most of his life in rural Appalachia, didn't go to college, etc. Somehow the woketards had to steal this all-American staple, so just do a heavily gay theater nerd re-interpretation of it, blast it all over the place, and it will become rebranded in the present-day awareness as "one of those flamingly gay theater kid movies and songs".

    Not back in Glorious Nippon, though, where these kinds of songs remain wholesome, unironic, and standards in a unified national culture -- whether you're lib or con, old or young, male or female, trad or edgy, etc.

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  132. Another cool niche retro game from the Koronator yesterday, from a series I'd never heard of. Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman Zero, a late release for the Super Nintendo (1997):

    https://www.mobygames.com/game/28428/kaizo-chojin-shubibinman-zero/screenshots/

    Action platformer, combat like Street Fighter (punch combos, sweeping kick, jumping uppercut, and hadouken), in a contempo urban / industrial setting, some trad Japanese settings, and some natural environments as well. *Not* like Mega Man, other than having a kawaii art style. Very unique mixture of elements. ^_^

    She's going to do a follow-up stream playing it on local co-op with a mystery guest... could it be OkaKoro?

    Korone always introduces us to these strange retro games we've never heard of -- even those of us who grew up with the Nintendo, TurboGrafx / PC Engine, and so on. Like that Transformers kusoge for the NES... this one was a much better game!

    Such a fun feeling to wake up early on Saturday morning and catch the stream live. I wasn't intending to, just one of those weekends where I didn't feel like sleeping in, so I got that "Saturday morning video game" experience like when I was a kid. ^_^

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  133. Speaking of shoot 'em ups, Korone might like Abadox for the Nintendo. It's similar to Salamander / Life Force, but it has a body horror / gore art style (and *not* based on H.R. Giger, like most others of the genre, such as Contra and R-Type).

    https://www.mobygames.com/game/11083/abadox-the-deadly-inner-war/screenshots/

    You have to navigate your way through the insides of a giant parasite in outer space, where smaller disgusting monsters, like a tapeworm, serve as bosses.

    It's difficult, but that's what save-states are for, if you want to enjoy the entire game. ^_^

    I haven't played it in over 30 years, but I do remember it being fun and cool-looking, but pretty hard.

    If the Koronator can share cool niche retro games with us, the least we can do is share some other ones in return! ^_^

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  134. Another recommendation, since she likes Ganbare Goemon (the Mystical Ninja series here), is Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, which has two similar but distinct releases, for the Nintendo and the TurboGrafx / PC Engine.

    https://www.mobygames.com/game/11997/jackie-chans-action-kung-fu/screenshots/

    One of the few Japanese games to take place in traditional China. The control is amazing, fun beat 'em up combat, kawaii art style with Edenic colors, and bouncy soundtrack. One of the few beat 'em up games to look kawaii rather than edgy or gritty.

    There are no town / RPG elements here, like in Ganbare Goemon. It's more like the side-scrolling action platformer levels in Ganbare Goemon. And also like Shubibinman Zero -- a kawaii beat 'em up. ^_^

    *Not* as difficult as Abadox or Salamander -- more friendly to the player.

    I used to rent the NES version from the video rental store all the time as a kid, and now I own the cartridge as an adult. Very fun!

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  135. So many classic songs over the past several days from Holo karaokes. ^_^ Nerissa and Kiwawa both did songs from Grease, and Nerissa threw in a Carpenters song for good measure (and half of Wawa's setlist was classics).

    Out of nowhere, Moom busted out "You're So Vain", which her fellow Zoomers are very fond of. Sabrina Carpenter and Olivia Rodrigo have both performed this live several times.

    Marine and Azki both sang "Valentine Kiss", and Irys even sang some Enka!

    Finally, what *didn't* the Goobinator sing? Very heartwarming to hear her sing a line or two of "If You Leave Me Now", and say she wants to learn "Earth Angel" like in BTTF. First time she sang "Power of Love," too. Alan Jackson, Frank Sinatra, anything and everything. ^_^

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  136. Say, Goob... speaking of Zoomers' affinity with Carly Simon... maybe for the public karaoke, when you slip into your sharky chanteuse mood, you could sing "Nobody Does It Better", if you know it. Bonus lore connection for you -- it's from the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me, and the villain's headquarters is an underwater base named Atlantis!

    You like collecting stream assets like intros -- a James Bond opening title sequence! It would have to be something with JP rights, although possibly in English, like city pop (slow, sultry, jazzy, something Bond-esque). Then silhouetted shark-girls doing fluid motions through the frame, in a group of several of them... well, whoever you commission / volunteers, will know what a classic Bond opening title sequence looks like.

    Maybe even a meme-y title... "The Shark Who Scuffed Me", "Dr. Nyo" (hehe), "Chumberball", "Goldshrimper", "Slimings Are Forever", "Slimefall", "Octosharky" (for a collab with Ina), you get the idea. ^_^

    Oooh! And Moom reminded me of another classic media format you could do for fun -- those commercials for a compilation CD, like "classic love songs" or "Pure Moods" etc. Depending on how short the musical excerpts are, you may be able to do it using Western songs, otherwise JP rights songs.

    You'd only have to clip excerpts from existing karaokes / concerts, sticking with the original format where it's a compilation of existing versions, not a new rendition. No new recordings needed! That applies to the visual side as well -- whatever you were doing while singing it the first time.

    If you wanted to get into it, you could make several of these compilation commercials -- "Sharky Ballads," "City Pop Shark," "Sharky Showtunes," "Dance Party Sharky," etc.

    You could go retro '80s / '90s, with the sincere and calm presentation, with slowly scrolling titles (present song in yellow text, other songs in white text), and the blue-background final screen with the address and other ordering info.

    For 2010s dance party songs, you could mimic the "Now That's What I Call ___" style, more extreme and in-your-face and 2010s-y. But since that phrase is probably trademarked, something to parody it... "Aw yeah, who's up for some ____?!" Or to personalize it to you, "Domo City Pop Same Desuuu!"

    Lots of opportunities to get meme-y with the ordering info at the end -- the name of the company, the address, what you have to give over or do in order to get it (not just money -- too boring), how it will be delivered, fine print disclaimers, etc. ^_^

    If it's songs that are archived, you could provide links to the source in the description, so viewers can actually hear the full songs without it being only a meme. Maybe work that into the ordering instructions -- an asterisk with fine print saying, "Or just click the links in the description below... silly!"

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  137. Wait! -- "No Chumbie Does It Better"! xD Please, if you do sing it, make this one small but crucial change to the lyrics! You'll knock 'em dead, kiddo!

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  138. "Ebi, you're the best" xD OK, I go now!

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  139. James Prawn'd! It's the ebi mascot sticking out of the neck opening of a tuxedo, with the iconic Walther PPK gun! xD I go for real now!

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  140. Fauna belting out a bunch of classics, too! Including some Midcentury ones en francaise. ^_^

    I'm so glad that she didn't let herself get defeated by the spiritually gay girl-hating autists who were trying to bully their oshi ON VALENTINE'S DAY, making her clam up and end the oldies section of the setlist early as punishment.

    (Reminder to ugly dorks on the internet: making girls feel insecure, when they're trying to be open and giving their all, does not pressure them into liking you. In yer dreams, nerd, it just makes them clam up and spoils the mood for everyone else too.)

    I knew just from those two or three opening notes, before she stopped the track, that it was going to be "Put Your Head On My Shoulder". Those girl-repellant autists were robbing us of a romantic classic! But thankfully, Fauna's hyper-competitive side prevailed, deciding not to let the jealous haters get one over on her, and she performed it as the last song.

    Good for her! ^_^

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  141. There's a collab game show idea -- "Name That Tune"! Possibly trademarked title, but you can adapt it. "Guess the Song" or whatever.

    In the original game show, the point is to identify a song using the shortest excerpt possible. Two contestants offer to name that tune in shorter and shorter excerpts -- "I can name that tune in 5 seconds," "Well, I can name that tune in only 4 seconds," etc., until the other side declines to go lower.

    Then the last one to make an offer is put to the test, getting the points if they succeed, and if they fail, getting nothing -- or receiving a batsu, in a vtuber format? Hehe. After revealing the answer, a longer clip of the song plays, so everyone can enjoy it for longer than just 2 seconds (15 seconds, 30, seconds, whatever).

    Most points at the end of the game wins.

    This could accomodate a two-person collab, or maybe with a 3rd person to be the judge. If lots of girls want in, they could form two teams like quiz bowl. Otherwise, it's hard to make it individual contestants vs. one another, when there's 5 or 6 or however many.

    The songs could be chosen from anything -- perhaps even Western music, since the excerpts are so short. But if Hololive is too risk-averse for that, they can draw them from Hololive's own song catalog, or JP rights music in general.

    They could do a broad list of songs, or dedicate a stream to a specific genre -- "Guess the Enka song," "Guess the City Pop song," "Guess the Vocaloid song," "Guess the Anisong," etc.

    I don't watch most of the JP-language game show segments, so perhaps they have already done this on the Holo JP side. But if not, it would be perfect since Hololive leans heavily on the musical appeal of their content!

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  142. Ame busted out the Dead Milkmen, in the midst of a bunch of other classics! "Punk Rock Girl". They were my favorite band in 8th and 9th grade (after seeing "Punk Rock Girl" on Beavis and Butt-head), and they never wore off, although it's not the main thing I listen to anymore.

    Back in the good ol' days, fans could send things in the snail mail to their favorite bands, and might actually get a response! And without having to pay $1000 between travel costs, convention tickets, and individual access to certain celebs, as in the neoliberal shithole that cOnVeNTioNs have become.

    As a high schooler, I sent the Dead Milkmen the CD cover booklet for Big Lizard in My Backyard, with a short fan letter saying how much I listen to their stuff, I wish I could've seen them before they broke up, etc., and can you sign this one thing for me?

    Well, the days and weeks went by, and I figured maybe since they broke up, they weren't checking their fan mail address, or were moving on with life, or whatever.

    Then after some number of months... it arrived back in my mailbox! The lead singer and the guitarist both signed it, with a '90s ironic meme-y message from each: "[Agnostic], Thanks for supporting our drug habits -- Joe Jack Talcum," and "[Agnostic], Sorry I hung on to this for so long -- Rodney Anonymous".

    That level of community and a physical basis for a scene -- not just online, but with discs, booklets with hand-drawn illustrations, envelopes, hand-written pen messages, etc. -- stopped existing after the '90s. By the late 2000s, kids would've been happy just to get a response from their favorite band's MySpace account -- but unable to send and receive physical things, which become imbued with a magical quality, like religious relics or museum artifacts, which online messages can never duplicate.

    It's heartwarming to hear that there's still some degree of the good ol' ways living on in the Hololive scene, where fans can send letters, books, etc., and receive hand-signed cards, etc. It's real, not virtual!

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  143. Have vtubers ever done listen-alongs, for music, like watch-alongs for movies or TV shows? That would be pretty easy to do on YouTube -- just put a bunch of YouTube links to the songs, in the description of the stream, so the audience can conveniently find them, in the same version too.

    Play one song (in a different tab), have a little chat or reaction, play another, more reactions, and the stream lasts however long it lasts.

    It's a way to introduce an entire audience to something worth exposing them to, creating a canon, cementing a community or scene together, experiencing the same thing at the same time, and enjoying the feeling of "this is what binds us together" rather than just "here's some random list of songs".

    If it's JP rights songs, can they play the original song in the same stream window? Or does it have to be a karaoke version? If the former, no need for links to a separate tab! But if that's not allowed, clicking links in the description is still easy-peasy.

    It's making the vtuber into a DJ, whether styled after the radio or nightclub format. I'm sure some of the girls would love being a DJ!

    And if some song that's not on the pre-existing list comes up in discussion, or it occurs to them too late, they could still pin a comment in the chat with the link, or maybe write it in a text box in the stream window, or whatever, to allow for some flexibility in the playlist.

    Just a thought. ^_^

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  144. I'm retarded -- it should just be one link to a YouTube playlist, which contains all the songs in order, without having to click on every single song. Less clutter in the description box.

    The v-DJ could create this list, or find an existing playlist that someone else made, if time is short.

    Although beware -- a lot of the popular existing playlists have ancient videos that have crappy audio / video quality. Probably worth it to make your own playlist, with videos that you've screened for meeting a decent quality level.

    This still allows for flexibility, by pinning a comment with a link to a single song, if it's not already part of the playlist.

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  145. For Ame, here's a mixtape (link list) of '80s and '90s alternative, if you like "Punk Rock Girl". I don't know how much Dead Milkmen you've heard, so I included a lot more, just in case.

    The common thread being a throwback to early rock of the '60s, the proto-punk stuff like garage and surf. Maybe with a comic angle, since the Dead Milkmen were a stand-up comedy / sketch comedy troupe set to '60s-inspired garage / surf punk-abilly music.

    I wish it were still the '90s, and I could make this tape to give her physically, as one of the gurlz in the scene. She definitely would've been one of the not-so-girly cool chicks who hung out with the dudes, wanted to go crowdsurfing at a show, dance the skank, and just have some carefree fun and get a lil' rowdy wit da boyz.

    There's a retro '60s sci-fi theme here, too, since that was big in the '90s revival of the '60s, and Ame, as a not-so-girly girl, loves classic sci-fi, action, and horror movies. ^_^

    That's part of Boomer nostalgia for the "peak Americana" era. These guys were mostly Boomers, not X-ers. And as a SoCal native, Ame will resonate with this all-American culture, even if some of it comes from our Leaf-y neighbors to the north.

    Anyone else who likes what they've heard with "Punk Rock Girl" would enjoy these songs, too. But Ame provided the inspiration, so she gets the dedication. ^_^

    Side A: More Milkmen

    Dead Milkmen - Laundromat Song

    Dead Milkmen - The Thing That Only Eats Hippies

    Dead Milkmen - Tacoland

    Dead Milkmen - Surfin' Cow

    Dead Milkmen - Stuart

    Dead Milkmen - Born To Love Volcanos

    Dead Milkmen - If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire

    Dead Milkmen - In Praise of Sha Na Na

    Side B: You might also like (non-algorithmically generated)

    Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper - I Hate Banks

    Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper - The Ballad of Wendell Scott

    Agent Orange - Out of Limits

    Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Having an Average Weekend (Kids in the Hall theme)

    Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - In My Room (Beach Boys cover)

    Man or Astro-man? - Mystery Science Theater 3000 Love Theme

    Man or Astro-man? - Alpha Surfari (track 15)

    The last link is the full album, since there's no good standalone clip of that song. But it's fun to listen to the whole thing, which has bumpers between songs that are sampled from Midcentury sci-fi movies.

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  146. RIP Mojo Nixon, earlier this month. Always a high-energy character even in his later years.

    I only managed to see him live once, at Fletcher's in Fell's Point, Baltimore. On June 9, 2001... and no, I don't recall the date off the top of my head, just searching around to remember the name of the venue, and found a bootleg recording of that performance:

    https://archive.org/details/MojoNixon2001-06-09BaltimoreMd

    I was home for the summer during college, and went with an older friend, and probably his girlfriend, who I knew from the local music / show scene in high school. I'm sure I crashed at their place (they lived in Baltimore), and went home by metro in the morning.

    Same couple who I used to go on day trips with up to New York to see They Might Be Giants, and Brian Dewan one time as well. Drive up at 4pm, see them live at night, drive back at 2am, crash at their apartment when the sun's coming up, and groggily wander off to the metro station at 11am.

    I originally knew the guy only from the internet, at a fan site. People used to meet up, hang out, crash at each other's places, take day trips, and even become bf + gf IRL, starting from an online connection.

    Back when the internet was a nebulous, sketchy place, and you wanted to move things into IRL as much as possible. The exact opposite of today -- transitioning all of your IRL relations into online-only mediated exchanges.

    With the collapse of trust and cohesion in America, thriving scenes like that are no longer possible. Nor are there centers of attention around whom that community can congregate, not just individual people like Mojo Nixon, but locations and spaces like Fletcher's and Fell's Point (all of which used to be part of the music scene back in the '90s, and have seen become yuppified into "Latin/sushi spots" as the obituary of Fletcher's describes its sacrilegious replacement).

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  147. Might as well do a whole obituary on the alt / punk / indie scene in general, wherever it was throughout America, not only in the DC area.

    Fletcher's shut down in 2009, just a few years after Smash Records (record and alt / punk lifestyle store) shut down its longstanding M Street location in Georgetown (2006), and just a year before Commander Salamander shut down (2010, and in the same neighborhood as Smash, alt / punk lifestyle store). Orpheus Records used to be part of the same M Street focal point, almost next door to Smash, and they were first moved out to Arlington VA in 1999, then had to close that down as well in 2009.

    Shit-tons of printed-up money has only flooded into the DC area, and the affluent neighborhoods like Georgetown in particular, since the 2008 Depression began. These focal points for a social-cultural scene did not vanish due to lack of funding -- apart from the area in general being flooded with money, the particular members of the scene were all middle-class or above, and were flush with cash.

    Somehow, other categories of stores took their place and remain thriving -- the proverbial or literal "Latin/sushi spot". If the area, neighborhood, or clientele had become hard-up for cash, the area, neighborhood, and clientele would be devastated across the board. But M Street has never looked like a delapidated main drag in a small town in the Rust Belt.

    So we can rule out economic explanations like "rich people gentrified it" -- it was always a rich neighborhood.

    It's specifically a yuppie or striver type, which is apart from the amount of money they have access to (themselves or parents' credit card / allowance).

    Strivers are hyper-competitive individualists, so they will destroy all communal focal points. They don't want communion and harmony, they want a chaotic jockeying for position in a neverending war of every man for himself in the status contest.

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  148. But these alt / punk / indie scenes were all part of the neoliberal era, and everyone was middle-class or above -- shouldn't that make them yuppie strivers hell-bent on status contests and corroding communal focal points?

    At first, and for awhile, no -- they were a holdover of the "sub-culture" phenomenon of the New Deal era, like the beatniks or the hippies. Not that they were direct descendants of those, but a new example of the same abstract category.

    If they were hyper-competitive individualist strivers, they wouldn't have been able to hold together a local scene, let alone a regional or national one. And all these bands and fans traveled around the country to take part in the scene -- like I said, even a high schooler like me was making day trips 6 hours away, going to not-so-safe neighborhoods locally, and some people came from even further away on a less frequent basis.

    And again, it wasn't just showing up to the same place at the same time, the trust and connections went much further than that -- crashing at each other's places for the night, offering to drive a group on a day trip, having one's parent drive a group (my first day trip to New York, I was driven by the mother of a girl I'd only recently met from AOL).

    Also like the beatniks and hippies, during the first two decades of the alt / punk / indie scene (roughly the '80s and '90s), we weren't really at war with our peers or families or "normies" (a very anti-social term and practice of self-isolating to prevent contamination).

    That episode of Mad Men where Don visits the beatnik hangout of his paramour, is illustrative. They aren't from the same scene, but they aren't treating each other like hostile factions in a hot civil war. They can even find some common ground, break bread / share a joint, laugh at their differences, and remain part of the same cohesive national culture -- just being in different worlds at the smaller scale.

    Pretty in Pink -- the protag is pretty alt, so is Duckie, and so is the owner of the record store where they hang out (played by the always stunning Annie Potts, the receptionist from Ghostbusters). But they aren't at war with the other kids in their school, let alone is that the only thing that binds the sub-culture together -- contempt for normies. They're friends or neutral with everyone.

    Same thing in Heathers -- the quirky alt protag is friends with a bunch of pretty popular preppy types, not off in her own sub-cultural ghetto. And she's not at war with the other cliques -- when the bad boy love interest shows up and *does* try to kill off the normies, she is repulsed and pulls away from him and actively thwarts his anti-social normie-hating agenda.

    This is exactly how it remained when I was in high school in the late '90s -- the sub-cultural group was all friends with pretty popular preppy girls, or normies of other types. There was no factional civil war among cliques. We had our tastes and practices, others had theirs -- and we got along like one great big happy pluralist community. Seeing what high school has devolved into since the '90s, I non-ironically look back with fondness on how cohesive our school -- and everyone's school -- used to be back then.

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  149. Well then, what were we against or opposed to or separate from, if not our fellows, peers, family members, and normies? It was a *collective* opposition to some *institution* or set of them, at the elite level -- the police, the military, the government, banks, corporations in general, the church, the media, the school administration, etc.

    And as that list shows, it was non-partisan, including right-wing sectors of the elite like the police and military, as well as left-wing sectors of the elite like banks and the media and the principal's office.

    There was nothing social about this -- we weren't singling out some demographic group, whether racial, ethnic, regional, cultural, or sub-cultural. "The banks" and "the army" are not a social community, they're a sector of the economy or society, and their elites are playing certain roles that we were against, it's not a personal thing against them as individuals.

    And it was always an opposition to the elite stratum, not everyone in the institution -- we were against the principal and some teachers, but other teachers and the lunch lady and the crossing guard were fine. The CEO of a bank was bad, but the teller was fine. The military brass had to be opposed, but a lot of the grunts were fine, and could be converted to opposing the brass.

    The worst it got was some sub-cultural people holding contempt for the low-level people in the institutions -- calling church-goers "sheeple" (and not just opposing the televangelist leader), anyone going to hang out at a mall is a mindless consumer (even when they never buy anything), the watchers of TV are brainwashed by the media elites, etc.

    I'd still say that that was a minor tendency, from the more anti-social members of a sub-culture. It was generally not based on seething hostility, contempt, or disgust at low-level normies.

    Even among those calling TV "the idiot box" (common among conservative old guys, not just sub-cultural types), it was more in a humorous way. Laughing at someone else's shortcomings, and thinking you're above all that -- but not feeling anger or disgust at them, as though they're an enemy faction in a civil war, or threat to your well-being.

    It was just thinking you're more clever and aware of the real big truths -- not the same thing as contempt, disgust, hostility, and other anti-social emotions like that.

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  150. That began to shift during the 2000s, ahead of the 2008 Depression. No more communal vibe in teen movies, as there was in Pretty in Pink and Heathers -- or She's All That from the late '90s, another example of one sub-cultural and one popular / normie character crossing social boundaries to become a couple. The message is not that this was some heroic Romeo & Juliet effort, as if their respective cliques were feuding with each other -- it was easy-breezy to do this back in the '90s!

    Same in Clueless, also from the '90s -- le philosophy major tree-hugger, and the pretty popular preppy ditzy protag, remain friendly throughout and become a couple by the end. Or in My So-Called Life, the protag remains friends or neutral with her alt friends, the geeky normie neighbor, the popular cheerleader, the slacker / dropout, etc., despite whatever conflicts they get into from time to time.

    That show was the purest media stylization of the alt phenomenon, and the '90s in general. If you haven't seen it yet, you may have been unaware of committing this cultural crime, but making up for it is simple -- there's only one season of 19 episodes.

    As that show demonstrates, there was still "teen angst" involved in the alt scene, but it wasn't directed at entire classes of people. Even at the particular targets, you still wanted to resolve the conflict constructively and seek a happy ending -- not stew in bitter resentment and revenge fantasies, resolving to never make compromises or peace with enemies in a war. It's really twisted how hostile America has become since the '90s.

    Instead, as shown in Mean Girls from 2004, the cliques in high school are more at war with each other, borders between them are harder to cross, and even within a clique, the striving for status has ratcheted up like crazy -- it's not a harmonious little sub-culture or clique, but a micro rat-race of backstabbing "frenemies" (a term and practice that did not exist before the 2000s).

    The unwelcoming, uncomfortable clique-ish-ness and anti-social jockeying for position in a neverending status contest, only continued on in Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and other teen shows (teen movies having ended as a thriving genre around this time).

    Cohesion and trust was already startling to come undone at the local level during the 2000s.

    I remember seeing that among the students I tutored -- more contemptuous or dismissive and hostile toward members of another clique or sub-culture, not merely "we're just different".

    I'm sure Millennials are exaggerating when they claim that "back in the 2000s, we were nearly genocided just for watching anime / listening to emo / etc." But there's still a grain of truth there, since nobody was even lightly teased or bullied for their sub-cultural tastes in the '90s. Maybe if you were a cringe-y member of your sub-culture, but the sub-culture as a whole was not treated as cringe-y and subject to ridicule, ostracism, etc.

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  151. Collective violence move in a 50-year cycle, as Peter Turchin showed and discussed. The last peak was circa 1970, fell toward a minimum during the '90s, and gradually rose after that until the most recent peak circa 2020.

    Polarization moves on an even longer scale -- only since the 2000s has partisan polarization shot up like crazy. And during the violence of the late '60s and early '70s, partisan polarization was still minimal. Everybody was part of a single unified nation during the New Deal. The last peak of polarization was the Civil War and Reconstruction, falling but still present by the 1920 peak of collective violence, then minimal throughout the New Deal.

    Collective violence reflects an anti-social attitude, treating whole classes of people like they're the enemy in a literal or figurative civil war. But polarization does the same thing. And if both are occurring at the same time, they amplify each other.

    Both only got going during the 2000s, after the fairly non-partisan '90s, which were not polarized either (attempts at culture-warring and political correctness and censorship were ridiculed and shut down across the board).

    On a cursory glance, it looks like the mid-2000s are the first signpost on the step toward social-cultural dissolution. Those seething and contemptuous "documentaries" (partisan propaganda) like Super Size Me and Jesus Camp, which were not about the elites of some institution, but sneering at the low-level members of those institutions. Not just having a chuckle at them, thinking you're more clever, but going on a propaganda campaign to vilify them, dehumanize them, and get the audience to treat them accordingly, not just as lolcows or sheeple or whatever harmless term.

    And yes, 95% of the polarization came from the left half of society, which is why left-leaning sub-cultures and institutions were destroyed from within and left no descendants today -- especially after the iconoclastic crusades of the woketard 2010s. There was no right-wing equivalent of the leftoid documentaries to vilify the other half of society, including low-level peers, fellows, neighbors, family, etc.

    Right-wingers don't understand how thoroughly anti-social the left has become, where they went beyond vilifying the right half -- to vilifying everyone else in their own half. Libs need "safe spaces" from each other -- no tumblr user seriously thought there was a dictatorial right-wing church leader who would make their lives hell online. It was other backstabbing frenemy striver libs from their supposedly shared scene and sub-culture.

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  152. It is this anti-social stance of sub-cultures since roughly the mid-2000s that has destroyed focal points like a club or store or neighborhood, figureheads of the scene, and sacrificing things for the common good of the scene (like hosting others so they don't have to pay for a hotel, offering to drive the group, etc.).

    Even within the sub-culture, there is too much backstabbing frenemy behavior, and relations toward out-group members are even more non-compromising. OK then -- no social unit can survive such intensely *anti*-social behavior, and culture is a group-level phenomenon, not one of individual private consumption. So there goes the entire existence of sub-cultures.

    The would-be members of the sub-culture still have money to blow, but they will do so on other forms of business, like a "see and be seen" bar where patrons jockey for status position, not a club where the entire crowd is one indivisible super-organic mob.

    Online spaces are no less fragmented by status contests and seething hatred and disgust of normies (i.e., everyone outside our narrow sub-culture).

    And no, it's not due to online vs. IRL -- we had the internet back in the '90s. That's how a lot of us "met" for the first time! There were newsgroups, usenet groups, bulletin boards, websites, chatrooms, etc., all of which could have easily accomodated a hostile and anti-social population, if that's what we were like back in the '90s. But we weren't!

    You might have hotly debated (flame war'd) over whether Captain Kirk or Captain Picard was better -- that's just debating. It's not backstabbing frenemy behavior, ostracizing, ridiculing, belittling, dehumanizing, or other forms of angry and disgusted emotions.

    So the fact that online spaces since the late 2000s have become incredibly hostile, clique-ish, and anti-social, reflects the broader societal trend -- not the nature of the internet itself.

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  153. This situation will only stop or reverse when the polarization and collective violence (reflecting collective hostility, on an emotional level) simmer down.

    The peak has already been reached for collective violence -- right on Turchin's schedule, in 2020. Zero protests, let alone violence, when they repealed Roe v. Wade, lol. There's no more gas left in that tank -- collective hostility (and violence) will decline through roughly 2045, then rise after that, toward another peak circa 2070.

    Polarization's cycle is much slower, though. We only just started getting polarized in the 2000s, and that shows no signs of slowing down, let alone reversing. Even infants today will live out the rest of their lives in the hyper-polarized fragmented shithole of a collapsing empire.

    So, open seething hostility and sadistic revenge fantasies will be -- and already are -- declining, which would tend to foster the resurrection of sub-cultures. But the polarization is still going to be crazy forever.

    And to reiterate, polarization is a fractal phenomenon -- it applies at every scale of society. It's not just "left vs. right" -- America blew through that level of polarization over a decade ago. It went through "Bernie Dems vs. Hillary Dems" in the 2010s (and has not healed -- see the current fracture over Israel/Palestine).

    Forget the "Hololive vs. Nijisanji" scale of polarization, among the Western vtuber fandom -- that milestone has already been passed. We're currently at an even narrower scale of polarization between "Nijisanji faction A vs. Nijisanji faction B". And to be fair, "Hololive faction A vs. Hololive faction B," although that one has started to heal.

    Still, to a Gen X-er like me who has LiVed eXpEriEnCe with actual thriving sub-cultures, nothing today comes close to any of them from the '90s. Some may be holding together better than others here-and-now, and worthy of investing yourself in among the existing options -- but all of them are still clearly on the other side of The Great Fall after the Edenic paradise of the '90s.

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  154. To bring it all back to Glorious Nippon, they still have thriving sub-cultures -- with individual figureheads around whom a community congregates, as well as physical stores / clubs, streets, and entire neighborhoods that belong to that sub-culture. And online analogs, like image boards, websites, sub-sections within Twitter, and so on.

    Not speaking Japanese, I'm not a lurker or browser of those online spaces, but all the translated remarks I've read on 4chan make it sound like the Japanese are more like Americans were back in the '90s. Some may make fun of others, nerds (otaku) may make fun of normies (riajuu), but it's not seething, based on revenge fantasies, and directed at entire other sub-cultures.

    There is way less hostility between fans of Nijisanji JP vs. Hololive JP, and certainly less hostility among fans of Hololive JP, or among fans of Nijisanji JP. Their streamers can collab with each other, and it's not going to cause a fracture.

    In the IRL spaces, there might be a gyaru group that sticks together, and a gothic lolita group that sticks together, but they aren't at each other's throats in an endless bitter feud. They could be friends at school, across a social-cultural barrier, not refusing to compromise, not ridiculing or dehumanizing each other.

    The fact that so many Japanese people walk around in public with visible sub-cultural symbols, without suffering anxiety, proves that there's nothing for them to worry about. They're just members of different sub-cultures -- not rival samurai clans endlessly feuding over territory. Sengoku has been over in Japan for centuries, with no clear signs of returning.

    You can go out in a trad Japanese costume, you can adopt a fully Westaboo / non-Japanese costume, you can hang out in a respectable cafe, or an all-night pachinko parlor or video game arcade. In the karaoke club, you can sing Enka, you can sing J-punk, possibly during the same setlist. Nobody bats an eyelash.

    Whatever differences there are among sub-cultures, they have to treat each other as fellow members of the same higher-scale community -- Glorious Nippon. Maybe the Westaboos would use that term with a cheeky, ironic chuckle, but they cannot -- and do not -- desecrate the Japanese nation, culture, or population.

    That's pluralism in a cohesive society, something Americans have not experienced since the '90s, and never will again in our lifetimes.

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  155. And no, none of the sad common explanations are correct. Some dum-dum variation on: "Sweden and Switzerland and Singapore are small in population size, and are racially homogeneous, which is why America is so fragmented."

    Japan has 125 MILLION people, has a high-scale industrial economy, modern technology infiltrating every aspect of their lives, etc. And yet they remain a cohesive high-trust society.

    Also, racial and ethnic homogeneity don't prevent civil war -- which Japan has gone through several times, the last time during the 1500s. The Han Chinese themselves -- putting aside the non-Han -- went through disintegrative civil war as recently as the mid-20th C. Just cuz "they all look the same" doesn't mean they won't ever find something to go to civil war over. Get a clue.

    The main common factor, to reiterate, seems to be lack of imperial-level dynamics. They might get to be an expanding great power, but not an outright empire. No super-intense cohesion on the ride up, no refractory state of cohesion during the crash after the peak.

    Iconoclastic self-hating destruction of one's own heritage and fellow population, is something that only happens when the imperial level has been reached. It's an excitable system -- without crossing that threshold, the system does not take the huge tour through the phase space. It neither achieves the intense highs, nor does it crash into the negative lows afterward.

    In Japan's case, I don't think their absorption in the American Empire and the Pax Americana are merely papering over hostilities among different factions in Japanese society. If they were as hostile toward each other as we are, that would show up in their public spaces and social behavior -- and it is nothing like ours.

    So, I don't see disintegrative civil war and self-hating iconoclasm on the horizon for them, even as their American patron does collapse, and they'll have to field their own military again. They're more like Sweden after their great power period, shrinking back into their home turf, no expansionist ambitions, but not crashing into civil war and seething hostilities toward their fellow Swedes.

    Without having been there or knowing much about them second-hand, I predict sub-cultures are more thriving in Sweden and Switzerland than they are in America or Britain or France or Germany (collapsed empires), for the same reasons that Japan still has thriving sub-cultures (never an empire).

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  156. Not to step into a big smelly pile of trending discourse, but this is why the Japanese will never make a TV show based on one of their video games, where Link or Ryu or Simon Belmont are taking cum up their butt. That would be desecration of national figures of Japanese culture -- and therefore, unthinkable. Halo, on the other hand...

    Gay characters are still allowed in Japanese culture, but not if it would desecrate Japanese culture, e.g., by degrading an already existing heroic masculine rescuer-of-princesses into an "ewww, girls are yucky" faggot.

    At the same time, it's not like their culture is seething with hatred over gays. Sometimes they're portrayed in a bad light, sometimes in a sympathetic light, sometimes serious, sometimes as objects to be laughed at. In other words, as part of the crazy variety of the real world, like it or hate it. Not as devils, but more relevant vis-a-vis their American imperial patrons, not as unimpeachable sacred angels.

    Even the occasional gay character that does make it into a high-profile Japanese game, isn't treated as a moral superior and holy sacred angel. He was a mincing sissy! The jester character from Dragon Quest XI, which I saw while Okayu was playing it last year.

    Importantly, he's not a desecration of an earlier instance of the character -- it's not like his character was a knight rescuing a princess after battling enemies in Dragon Quest III, and now they've degraded him into a mincing sissy jester. He's a new character, and thrown in for comic relief -- not sacred worship, but not seething disgust and contempt either. Like a gay gossip-y hairdresser from a '90s sit-com. Leon from Roseanne, perfect example, or Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall.

    His original Japanese voice actor does give him a distinctly gay voice, IDK about the American dub. It gets annoying after awhile -- he'd be better as an infrequent source of comic relief, not a permanent party member you have to keep hearing from. But he doesn't have a tone of moral superiority, just being obviously gay.

    His name in the original Japanese is Silvia, a feminine name. The woketards in America Bowdlerized that into Sylvando, a masculine name, as though gays -- especially the mincing sissy jester type -- cannot be addressed by appropriate names (the way Americans used to use "Susie" as a generic term for a gay guy).

    Japan has not devolved into woketard iconoclasm since the '90s, while we have. So they get to still call their mincing sissy jesters a feminine name. In America it's treated as a human rights violation, AKA sacrilege against the holy religion of taking cum up the butt.

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  157. Speaking of mid-2000s polarization and iconoclasm -- Brokeback Mountain (2005). That was the first high-profile instance of the culture producers shifting from simply portraying gay characters, to desecration and iconoclasm against the standards / icons of their political and cultural enemies, to degrade and humiliate them and erase their contaminated heritage. Perhaps they also thought of that as cleansing themselves, as inheritors of the industry that made Midcentury Western movies.

    Cowboys and Wild West culture was anything but gay -- probably the most heterosexual environment ever. Hence all the female whores in the ubiquitous brothels out there -- not rent boys. Ditto for their cultural depiction in American Western art (Remington), to Midcentury TV shows and movies, right up through Will Smith (an IRL homo, but not portraying one) in the 1999 hit movie Wild Wild West.

    Only 6 years later, there's Brokeback Mountain, and it only devolved further from there. Aside from the risible premise about where these two -- not just one -- homos find themselves, it prefigured the other desecration related to gayness, that would arrive in the woketard 2010s. Namely, the big lie that gay guys are monogamous, romantic types who get more emotionally intimate than normal guys do -- and therefore, why shouldn't we allow them into the institution of marriage?

    Back on planet Earth, gays are the most promiscuous, emotionally numb, chew them up and spit them out, callous meat-market, cold clinical number-crunchers, that have ever existed. Their piles of diseases reflect that, but even if there were a cure for all of them, it would not negate their profoundly anti-romantic and anti-monogamous nature.

    "Awareness," "representation," "sympathy," etc. -- all fake and, literally, gay. It was about iconoclasm, desecration, destruction without creation of an equal or higher value replacement (it sucks dick as a Western movie, again literally).

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  158. Awareness, representation, and sympathy -- those actually did show up in openly gay characters from 2000s media and entertainment, but they were on the way out the historical door. Namely, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Project Runway, and Blow-Out, all on gay-friendly Bravo.

    But these only lasted through the mid-2000s, and were invisible by the later part of the decade.

    Why? Because they showed gay guys as they really are -- hairdressers, fashion designers, etc., with typical gay voices, gay mannerisms, and gay social behavior (gossipy, anti-monogamous, girl-hating, etc.).

    The trouble with those shows for the woketards is that you can't force conservatives to watch them. They'll tune out, probably not aware of them in the first place. If they did learn about them, they'd just chuckle -- "Yep, that's what gay guys do, that's how they talk, all right..."

    Woketard polarizers want to desecrate something sacred to their enemies, so merely displaying your own side's culture can never accomplish that. You have to steal something from the other side, desecrate it, and parade its sullied state around to gloat.

    Then, necessarily the other side will be aware of what you're making, will get angry, and will feel spat upon and degraded, seeking revenge.

    This cycle of feuding will only stop when the initiators knock it off, and stop desecrating the sacred things of the other side. Judging from the Halo TV show, and the fact that polarization's cycle lasts a lot longer than the collective violence cycle, that is not going to happen within the lifetime of anyone alive today.

    At this point, you are better to tune out the desecration, since you don't control the media or entertainment industries, and never will. Just know that none of it will go down in history as the iconic canonical version, but a laughably low-quality iconoclastic bastardization.

    And then tune into the pre-2000s American culture, where such desecration is absent, or post-'90s culture from Glorious Nippon (or pre-'90s, for that matter!). The sole oasis of large-scale cultural production left in the 21st century.

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  159. And yes, I'm aware of the BL phenomenon from Irys' frequent tangents about it. I.e. "boy love". In some -- most? -- cases, it involves characters in a non-gay setting, e.g., a sports team or the military.

    Why is that not like Brokeback Mountain? Because BL is a niche genre, not marketed / advertised / and distributed to a mainstream audience. And it's for fujoshis, i.e. a female audience who think that boys are going to reject them as "eww, yucky girls" if they were to approach them as girls. So the female readers self-insert as male characters, in order to infiltrate the secret boys-only clubhouse, where they can get emotionally and romantically close to the other male characters.

    In other words, it's fan-fic for a niche audience.

    Brokeback Mountain, the new Halo TV show, etc., are not made as "implausible fan-fic for a niche audience to fantasize over". Their portrayals are treated as serious and realistic, not as implausible and only for fantasizing. According to the movie, there *really are* two homos in the same Western cowboy setting at the same time, and they are both *really are* cowboys, not cosplayers or self-insert characters for a female audience.

    BL doesn't take itself seriously, since it's just fantasizing material. Woketard iconoclasm takes its portrayals so seriously that you're not allowed to question their plausibility without being charged with sacrilege against the religion of cum-up-the-butt.

    And BL isn't thrown in the face of the culture it's appropriating -- no normal guy who plays baseball, or is a fan of baseball, reads a BL manga set in a baseball team. It's not confrontational, unlike Brokeback Mountain, Halo TV, etc., which are paraded around in front of the other side, on a national public level, not an embarrassing private "in my room only" space.

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  160. Nor is Brokeback Mountain like the Village People cosplaying as masculine character types. That's the whole point of their campy appeal -- no way in hell these gay guys are actually cowboys, Indian warriors, construction workers, etc. Those are the straightest roles imaginable!

    Yeah, that's the joke! It's an obvious inversion, treated as an inversion, and calling attention to itself as a comical inversion of reality. Both the performer and the audience understand that, and behave accordingly. Fans of American Western culture aren't going to act like it's a hostile desecration of their culture, since the performers are not behaving in that manner. It's harmless camp.

    It's the flipside of the super-masculine rock stars of the '80s presenting in feminine-typical costumes, wearing garish make-up, tight leggings, etc. They weren't demanding to be taken seriously as women -- it was an obvious inversion of their masculine, hyper-hetero reality, and called attention to itself as an inversion. That's the joke!

    Brokeback Mountain and its successor campaigns in the woketard culture war, insist that they're plausible, real, and naturalistic -- they demand to be taken seriously, not as a comical inversion of reality. In fact, treating them as a comical inversion, and having a good laugh at that fact, is grounds for further escalation from their desecration crusade.

    Aside from their overall low-quality as culture (looks like shit, sounds like shit, acting is shit, etc.), they are further dragged down by this fundamental aesthetic contradiction -- a comical inversion of reality, which is portrayed in such naturalistic fashion it descends into weepy sentimental schmaltz, where laughing at the comical is considered beyond the pale.

    OK, that's it for now. Like I said, it's better if you simply are not aware of all this desecration, and tune into pre-2000s American culture, or Japanese culture from any time in the modern era.

    Once in a blue moon, though, it's worth wading into the shit-stack of trending discourse to see the big picture.

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  161. Japanese '60s surf + shamisen, as an appetizer for my upcoming post on the (Northern) frontier origins of neo-trad Japanese music, centering on the Tsugaru style of shamisen music.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S6k70O1Oto

    "Dark Eyes," a Slavic folk song, performed by Takeshi Terauchi & The Bunnys, with Hokkaido Enka master Michiya Mihashi on the shamisen rather than vocals for a change.

    How's *that* for a palette cleanser?! Done with woketards for awhile...

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  162. Re: where different nationalities settled in US.

    Poles around the great lakes few in the Northeast

    Italians mostly in the Northeast

    Irish mostly in Northeast

    Germans mostly in the great plains

    Mexicans not many east of Chicago/Milwaukee

    Central Americans some in LA most in the Northeast largest concentration in DC

    Cubans Miami and NYC

    Puerto Ricans northeast and the parts of Florida that's mostly transplanted North-easterners

    Vietnamese California and Texas

    Indians silicon valley and the northeast

    Jews mostly in northeast.

    French Canadians northern New England plus Cajans in Louisiana.

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  163. Eggs, from shrinkflation to fraud. As part of the never-ending inflation during our imperial collapse, a dozen eggs are back up to $2.50, having fallen to around $1.50 for a little while, after the insane $3.50 or whatever it got up to last year (I stopped buying them and didn't bother tracking the prices after that).

    But then I went to another branch of the same chain, only a 5 minute drive away, and saw they were only $2 -- decided to try them instead, what the hell, I was already paying $1.90 at this same store for this exact same product just a week ago.

    Get home, get the skillet heated and buttered up -- only to notice that these eggs are way smaller than the real thing.

    The carton is still labeled "large eggs," but these are definitely only medium or small. The carton even says "24 oz" as it always has -- and though I'm not going to bother weighing them, they definitely are not 24 oz. Possibly as low as 16 oz.

    If the price per oz is the same as the $2.50 per dozen -- and I'm not even certain *those* are the usual size -- then the $2 dozen might weigh 20 oz. Still committing flagrant fraud by not altering the packaging with a lowered weight, especially in a conspicuous way to warn people that these are way smaller than the real thing.

    If the $2.50 per dozen are the same reduced size as the $2 per dozen eggs, obviously that's an even worse conspiracy.

    Maybe it was just these two eggs? Nope -- I inspected the other 10, and there is a LOT of wiggle room in every separate egg compartment in the carton. With the real thing, the egg fits pretty snugly in its compartment. These wiggle around like crazy, because they're a lot smaller.

    I'm sure even a partly subjective term like "large" is regulated by law, but even if not, certainly a quantity in ounces is not subjective -- it better be however-many ounces it claims. Off by 1%, no biggie. Off by double-digit percent? -- flagrant conspiracy, requiring a live public execution by the electric chair, from within the Oval Office itself.

    Otherwise, the agriculture cartel ("farmers") will collapse society's trust even further and faster than it already is.

    If you're the confrontational type, go to a supermarket and check them out -- if they're cheaper than the newly inflated prices, chances are they're the lower-weight type but still claiming to be the full weight. Challenge the manager, and weigh the eggs right there in the store, at the meat counter (where the scales are better calibrated than in the produce section). They're probably 20 oz or less, more than 15% away from what the packaging claims. Get whatever you can out of that certain W.

    And fuck "farmers".

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  164. With a certain stealth Canadian streaming tonight, I'm reminded that at least the American conspiracy does not reach the depths of delivering milk in plastic bags -- the Canadian dairy cartel's preferred way to humiliatingly remind the populous of its monopolistic conspiratorial powers.

    Lucky for their dairy cartel, Canadians are too dickless to do anything about it. They'd probably say "sorry" several times after backing down, just for good measure.

    Americans may not form literal torches-and-pitchforks mobs to seize control of the egg cartel's property, but they are definitely not going to put up with this BULLSHIT either.

    No one goes to McDonald's anymore cuz a single nuggie costs $2 or whatever the fuck. By ending our relationship with McDonald's, we preserve some of our honor, instead of going along with the humiliation.

    Pretty soon 90% of Americans just won't buy this fake crap that they have begun stocking the shelves with. Infinite free money days are over -- QT, not QE, and higher-for-longer interest rates, not 0%. Not even yuppies collectively have enough fake free money sloshing around to make up for the bottom 80-90% who can no longer afford a dozen eggs at the true weight.

    Nobody will cry when pieces of the ag cartel starve to death due to their own greed, anymore than we care about big banks going broke.

    The commercial real estate bubble has only begun to pop, most of the property-owners are still delusionally holding out for "infinite free fake money". Sadly, it's not just left-wing bankers being bitter clingers -- so is the ag cartel.

    They can either adapt to the new reality -- which is the old reality, where people are not flush with infinite free fake money forever -- or go extinct.

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  165. Irys was JUST talking about how Japanese eggs are better than American eggs, during her Splatoon collab with Flare. She's right! Aside from the differences in quality she mentioned -- richer yolk color in Japan -- the prices keep skyrocketing for American eggs, and the amount they give you keeps shrinking!

    And they put you through the humiliation of pretending that these obviously medium-to-small eggs are ackshually large, and not saying or doing anything about it -- a form of psychological torture that the Japanese egg companies do not inflict on their customers.

    Already, and more and more over time, the meme will become reality:

    X: Snooze

    X, in Japan: OMG!

    It's not due to magic, it's that Japan is higher in trust and cohesion, and is not a collapsing empire with triple-digit inflation in the basic cost of living. OF COURSE "thing, in Japan" is going to be better!

    Maybe not back in the 1950s, but in case anyone is still that delusional, it ain't the '50s anymore! That was paradise, and now we are descending through deeper circles of imperial-collapse hell.

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  166. Irys and Flare make a great "complimentary friend pair," BTW. Flare is more reserved (Irys is a go-with-the-flow flower child), semi-tomboy-ish (compared to girly girl Irys), not as into fitness streams or dancing (Irys is excited to find her Ring Fit device), and I'm guessing is on the taller side for a Japanese girl (whereas Irys is 5' nothing).

    Very similar to Kronii and Irys (Flare being like Kronii) -- or Flare and Marine, another classic complimentary friend pair (where Marine's qualities are similar to Irys').

    Towa appeared IRL during Bae's stream recently... I predicted that with Moom taking somewhat of a break, Bae might drift into another complimentary friend pair to find someone similar to Moom, and that since she's in Japan for awhile, it could be Towa (taller, tomboy-ish, reserved / easiliy scandalized, not a hyperactive dancer bouncing off the walls).

    I think that's why Moom does those drive-by discord chat sound effects when Bae is streaming. Just to remind her, "I'm still watching your every move, oh darling complimentary friend of mine..."

    ^_^

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  167. And Towa's going to be the other half of Korone's Shubibinman Zero stream! Being late to the Holo JP world, I haven't seen them interact together before. But I'm sure they'd make a great complimentary friend pair!

    Korone is short, hyper, gymnastic / dancer, no-filter, instigator.

    Girls really like it when their friend is complimentary, so they don't have to compete with each other over the same role or persona, which could lead to them acting catty. They get to be a harmonious yin and yang -- different, but joined together, completing each other.

    Very cute! ^_^

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  168. Is the shrinkflation universally bad throughout America, or is it just localized in the low-cohesion parts of America (i.e. back east) with shrinkflation being less of a problem in the more high cohesion parts of America?

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  169. A quite unorthodox element of your blog is routinely contrasting what you see as the decadent East and the more confident West. It seems to be the case that even as late as the Turn of the Millennium, Northeast/Ivy League autism had not yet trickled down to SoCal as this chick flick, Legally Blonde (2001) illustrates:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PlOx9obQ2yg

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  170. There's also a croissant conspiracy, as of the past month, while we're on this topic. If it were one example, maybe it's nothing -- two concurrent examples, means the producers are in a depression, just like after 2008 when the chocolate cartel stopped using cocoa butter, and replaced it with garbage oils (usually palm oil).

    Back then, there was some credibility left in our elite class, so the FDA or whoever forced them to change their packaging -- instead of "milk chocolate," which must contain cocoa butter, they had to label it "chocolate-y" or "made with chocolate" or "I can't believe it's not chocolate" etc.

    Some of them switched back to real chocolate, others to this day are still fake garbage oil abominations. Check the ingredient list! Especially with holiday themed "chocolate," they figure no one will bother inspecting it, since it's only meant as a gift, not a tasty delicacy. Those are the worst offenders.

    What's the croissant conspiracy? The pastry member of the agriculture cartel manufactures pre-made dough for all sorts of pastries, and they send them to supermarkets where they are "baked" (AKA heated in the oven) by the bakery department, and sold as "freshly baked in-store".

    The croissants are labeled as "all-butter" -- to let you know they don't contain garbage oils, but the real thing, butter and eggs. These were one of the best things to get from the local supermarket bakery -- and too expensive for most people to afford unless they were on clearance (the only time I buy them). But the higher price reflected the higher quality ingredients.

    As of the past 2 or 3 weeks, though, they are visibly different. They don't have the all-over golden color and glistening brightness like they used to. Some of that is still there, but there are bands where it just looks like ordinary white bread, not a croissant.

    When you cut it open, or bite into it, it's different as well -- the texture is not as flaky and delicate like the real thing, but more bulky / substantial, like white bread. And the taste is not as rich as the real thing.

    They have not descended to the depths of merely being crescent-shaped white bread, but they are only 75% of a real croissant.

    They are still labeled "all-butter," but that doesn't specify how much butter is used -- clearly they have cut the amount by double-digit percent, and probably use a lower amount of egg as well.

    But since the egg member of the ag cartel has resorted to outright fraud in their packaging, who's to say the pastry member of the same cartel isn't doing the same thing? Maybe the fat is 50% butter, and 50% soybean oil?

    And as with the egg conspiracy, this is not just one bad batch -- the entirety of their croissant offerings, in multiple separate branches of the supermarket chain, are in this new diluted form.

    Pretty soon the dairy part of the cartel will dilute their sour cream, cream cheese, and yoghurt with non-dairy filler like corn starch. Memorize the fat content of a 2 tbsp serving now, so you know if they start ripping you off!

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  171. Japanese croissant, folded over 10000 times -- literally! Again, this is no longer just a meme about gullible starry-eyed weebs.

    The quality of anything being made in America right now is plunging off a cliff, and if we judge by the relatively less intense depression of 2008, whose effects are still here (non-chocolate chocolate), the current more severe depression will leave effects that are even greater in degree and longer in duration.

    You may never be able to buy a real croissant ever again in a typical American supermarket.

    And given how systemic these changes are, I wonder if even the super-expensive local pastisseries in Manhattan will be making their croissants at the same quality standards -- probably not!

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  172. The sickest thing is that the media used to do "consumer reports" investigations, to maintain their respectability, trust, and neutrality -- news you can use, helping out the little guy, not just funneling partisan propaganda through the boob tube.

    The last time they did that regarding the ag cartel was publicizing the pervasiveness of "pink slime" in American meat products, both the raw meat sold in supermarkets to be made into home-cooked meals, as well as fast food fare like McDonald's.

    That was the pre-collapse part of the 2010s -- 2012, to be specific, with an ABC investigative report. Before Trump's attempt to right the ship, which libtards reacted to by saying, "If Republicans want to Make America Great Again, we Democrats will have to make our counter-offer Destroy America Immediately and Forever".

    It does not have to do with who's in the White House, as though they're currently in damage control mode for Biden -- the pink slime awareness campaign was during Obama.

    There was a fundamental and irrevocable shift by libtards during Trump's term and after. Now, instead of investigative consumer reports about all this shrinkflation and outright fraud -- by an elite sector of society (agriculture) that is REPUBLICAN, even, which should allow them greater leeway to criticize them -- they launch propaganda campaigns about "deal with it" and "it's good for you" and "oh no, baby doesn't get their treats anymore".

    They said the opposite about pink slime during Obama, this is 100% new in the post-Trump collapse era. They have given up on maintaining credibility or neutrality or contributing anything positive to society. They are hell-bent on making everything worse, including poisoning the dIsCouRsE, which they have monopolistic control over.

    But, censorship of the truth does not prevent it from reaching the awareness of the masses. Everyone buys food at the supermarket, and sees how insane the prices are, how smaller the portions are getting, and how diluted and degraded the quality is becoming. And we have abandoned fast food restaurants, for the same reasons.

    You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows -- another former credo of theirs, which since the post-Trump collapse they have inverted to, "You're a conspiracy theorist for bringing an umbrella with you, when the weatherman already said it's not raining (but it really is)".

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  173. Reminder that Nader 2000 was my only vote before Trump, and that I advocated Trump making Bernie his running-mate for a bi-partisan anti-Establishment ticket in 2016.

    Such a naive hope, in hindsight -- but what the hell else were we supposed to try? Four more years of guaranteed failure from another Clinton or Bush? Jesus Christ...

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  174. And while we're waxing nostalgic over the last time there was a faction of the Democrats worth half a shit, remember the greatest political ad of all time, Bernie's "America" ad from 2016:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nwRiuh1Cug

    *Those* farmers weren't going to poison us with fake garbage, while charging us twice as much as last year, and lying about it all on the packaging to boot!

    By the open collapse of 2020, Bernie's faction joined the "Destroy America Immediately and Forever" project of the mainstream Dems. In fairness, Trump in 2020 was no longer campaigning about leaving NATO, de-occupying Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Germany, smashing profit margins for American manufacturers by forcing them to make things in America instead of slave labor colonies, etc. They saw how pitifully that project went after 4 years in office, might as well go back to generic Reaganite bullshit.

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  175. Props to the Goobinator for working "Scarborough Fair" into her setlist, impromptu. I don't know why, but I always sing a super-deep droning bassline to that song, including during her karaoke! ^_^

    Nerissa & sis did "The Sound of Silence" last December, and Gooba did "Scarborough Fair" back in Feb 2021. Otherwise, a criminally overlooked source of iconic all-American music...

    Slow down, you moom too fast
    You got to make the shork-stream last
    Just clickin' through the owl-posts
    Gettin' a buff, and feelin' gooby
    Nya nya nya nya nya nya nya nya nya
    Feelin' gooby

    Aki Rose also did "Scarborough Fair," BTW! Oct 2020. A nice old time-y, European folk song.

    As shown in her recent 3D concert, she really likes sampling the entire world for musical inspiration. ^_^ Middle Eastern belly dance, Dixieland jazz, country / Western slide guitar, etc. Not to mention all varieties of Japanese music, from Enka through Vocaloid and beyond, in her karaokes. ^_^

    She is another easy-going flower child type, and given how much she's into dancing and music, probably on the shorter side, bouncy and springy. I don't know who her yin-yang friend is, but it should be one of the taller, reserved, non-gymnastic types.

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  176. Finally found an Arts & Crafts / Mission desk in quarter-sawn oak tonight at the thrift store -- and for only $11. Not a typo -- eleven dollars! In my decade of thrifting, I've only seen one, and it was in rough shape.

    This one is still in very good condition -- solid wood, and quarter-sawn, so more stable against warping. There's veneer on the underside of the drawer that's peeled off in one place, otherwise it's amazing, and it's probably at least 100 years old -- back when things were built to last, not made-in-China, put it together yourself, glued-together-sawdust frankenwood, abominations.

    Miraculously found the exact model without the maker's mark surviving (although there are some calligraphic model / serial numbers). It's by Imperial Furniture, from Grand Rapids, MI -- furniture city, and the more American-leaning furniture center (North Carolina being more trad / Euro-LARP).

    Although they made Duncan Phyfe repros in mahogany, this is all-American blocky geometric amber-and-brown quarter-sawn oak. Why did they stop making desks with bookshelves built into the sides???

    It's this one (mine has slightly different drawer pulls, being more blocky / rectilinear):

    https://www.harpgallery.com/shop/item31100.html

    The other photos there have been deleted, but here's another desk by the same maker, so you get the picture of what the other surfaces look like... in case you haven't feasted your eyes on such a wild grain and stain as Arts & Crafts quarter-sawn oak (I'm repeating it so you'll remember):

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/1459669720/antique-arts-crafts-mission-oak-desk-by

    I've been looking for one of these forever -- and not the insane prices that the antique or consignment stores or the letters-to-Santa-Claus websites charge. QE's over, bitch, time to return back to planet Earth.

    I have just the swivel chair to match it stylistically, too! I found that one at a thrift store a few years ago, and I knew one day it'd have the desk to go with. Finally that hunt is over. ^_^

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  177. As much Midcentury Modern stuff as I've hunted down over the past year, I'll never get rid of the Arts & Crafts / Mission stuff I've got -- just as all-American, but at the outset rather than the peak of American ethnogenesis.

    Only period I don't have a ton of is Art Deco / Streamline -- I have a waterfall Deco chifferobe, a lucite and brass desk clock, a leather and silver magnifying glass... not much.

    Art Deco architecture is great, and ubiquitous, but furniture and design objects for the household... maybe it was the Depression and people didn't have lots of income, but it's not as ubiquitous, unlike Mission stuff from earlier in the century, or Midcentury Modern stuff from the '50s and after.

    I've never been a huge fan of most Deco furniture I've seen, like the clamshell chairs. I like the style that's most poo-poo'd -- waterfall. More blocky and American. A decent amount of Deco was trying to hold on to a Euro LARP. Mission was never like that, though -- it's super-American, from earlier on as well.

    Maybe cuz Mission and Midcentury Modern were more Western -- beginning in western Michigan where Grand Rapids is (Imperial, Stickley, Herman Miller, etc.), and extending out to California. Whereas Art Deco had a fair East Coast base, as well, and couldn't deviate as much from the Euro tradition. IDK.

    Massive, blocky, geometric? It's American! I don't know how people tolerate life deracinated from their own tangible heritage, including in the household.

    If you live in a 5-over-1 gray box, with nondescript "furniture" that you put together yourself from sawdust-and-glue materials, and your plates, mugs, silverware, etc., all came from Target... you can stream all the retro movies you want, but you're disconnected and adrift, and you need to RETVRN.

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  178. In a sign of how far Japanophilia had spread during the Midcentury, I saw something so unbelievable I had to check to make sure. Pfaltzgraff, the East Coast pottery giant (York County, PA), made its name with Old Worlde, Euro, specifically German pottery types. It can be found in any thrift store.

    BUT, I never thought I'd see Pfaltzgraff... in a wabi-sabi drip glaze, with chiaroscuro earth tones! It's their Gourmet Brown line, which was in production from the '50s through most of the '80s:

    https://www.replacements.com/china-pfaltzgraff-gourmet-brown/c/75121

    They usually didn't deviate at all from their Old Country German style... this is like going to a South Carolina BBQ in summer, and all the girls are wearing -- not Stars and Bars bikinis, but Rising Sun flag bikinis!

    Well, they're already wearing flip-flops, which were borrowed from the Japanese...

    I didn't get those two mugs, but they were cool enough to catch my attention, especially when I saw they were from the usually trad-LARP maker!

    But American culture had become so Japanified during/after the Midcentury, how could even Pfaltzgraff avoid the trend?

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  179. Hajimete no uuu
    Kirin to uuu
    I will gift you all my subs

    This kinda works with Mumei (hajimete no moom -- my first mooming -- or bending the owl noise to huu, instead of Japanese hoo).

    But it works best with Fauna because "kirin" sounds similar to "kimi" from the original. Stress on the 2nd syllable.

    Been listening to this one a lot lately -- Aqua's version with cat-girl vocalizations in the chorus, Korone's version where she improvs "listener-san" as the source of her first kiss (teehee), AmeSame's duet from Gooba's birthday concert, and Moom's duet, er, trio with Fuwamoco. ^_^

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  180. Mass censorship of the rising sun flag's appearance or non-appearance during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (held in 2021).

    I was thinking about how Japan has preserved its national culture and pride, unlike other recently defeated and occupied nations like Germany, South Korea, etc.

    Do they still use the rising sun flag?

    Well, the most recent test was the 2020 ('21) Olympics in Tokyo. Unfortunately, the media cartel has erased all information concerning its appearance or non-appearance during the games, in one of the most flagrant and extensive memory-holing conspiracies I've ever seen.

    Maybe some info exists on Twitter, but Musk has de facto censored all of Twitter by impotently trying to force lurkers to convert to active users. But one of you freaks with an account can do the search and see if it turns up the truth, whichever way it went.

    Check any images for captions that show when and where it was taken -- irrelevant if it's from a soccer match in 2013, or a Japanese Navy drill in 2019. The question is: during the 2020 ('21) Olympics.

    100% of info available online -- in English at any rate, maybe JP-only info has some truth -- stops before the Olympics began. All info after the games concluded, only refers to the pre-games period.

    In other words, a zillion reports -- some going back to 2019, which the algorithm should demote to page 1000 for being out of date on a timely ongoing event like the Olympics -- about South Korea whining about the rising sun flag, it being a reminder of their defeat and annexation by Japan during its great power heyday.

    A zillion other reports about SK taking this issue to the IOC, SK claiming that the IOC said the rising sun flag will be banned, but then counter-reports that the JP officials said that blanket ban claim is a lie.

    All of these reports serve only as propaganda, for demanders and consumers of woketard propaganda. Most of the focus is on the historical background and controversy, not the actual real-time events that are unfolding -- i.e., is the flag being flown or not?

    You can do a website search, image search, go to Yandex instead of Google, look up the Wiki -- literally zero information anywhere, in any format. I didn't check JP-only sources, though. But in all sources outside of Japan, this info has been 100% memory-holed.

    They don't even say "the rising sun flag was successfully prevented from being displayed in any way whatsoever during the Tokyo Olympics," or "the rising sun flag was shamefully allowed to be displayed during the Tokyo Olympics, over the protests from South Korea". There is simply zero evidence of either polar-opposite possibility having become the real outcome.

    When I become dictator of planet Earth, not only will the Japanese flag be restored to the rising sun flag, we will finally determine the truth about the 2020 ('21) Olympics -- was the flag displayed there, or was it not? Either way, truth requires us to know.

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  181. Right-wingers don't demand this sort of propaganda. I think there was one hit from Breitbart, but that was it. It was 99% the libtards using it to supply propaganda to their libtard propaganda-demanding audience.

    No right-wing militarists going, "How dare they fly the flag of the military that bombed Pearl Harbor?!" Nobody in the middle or right of America gives a single fuck. If anything, it's one of those eternally cool icons of Japanese culture that we've borrowed in American pop culture after WWII -- not to say it's displayed here, but it's something about their culture that we think is cool and badass and aesthetically compelling.

    We have zero animosity toward it like we do toward the swastika.

    And it's not like the Confederate flag cuz the Confederates were the losers. The rising sun flag is the flag of the winners -- until they met the American Empire. But they defeated the Russians, Chinese, Koreans, various Southeast Asians on the mainland and in the islands. And that's who's whining (mainly the South Koreans -- North Koreans are honorable enough not to act like whiny little bitches about getting defeated in the past).

    They didn't defeat America, so we don't feel the same way the South Korean whiners do.

    It's still puzzling to me why American culture started fixating on the Nazis and their symbols, when we didn't care about them at the time, and they did not attack us. Whereas we were pretty chill about Japan's military and their symbols, despite actually getting attacked by them on our territory, and fighting far more vicious warfare against them.

    No, it's not cuz Jews control the media -- which is true, but that was true in the lead-up to WWII, and throughout WWII. Yet most Americans didn't care that much about Nazi Germany.

    Maybe after we shifted geopolitical focus to the Middle East, and Israel becoming our main proxy in the region -- which was only after their victory in the '67 war (we cucked them out of the Sinai Peninsula during the '56 war). So then we had to retcon their nemesis as our nemesis. IDK.

    Or maybe cuz the Nazi power base was in Eastern Germany and HQ'd in Berlin, just like the Prussian Empire that preceded it. And the Russian Empire took that over, not us. So we conflated them as two sides of the same totalitarian coin, because they were not under our imperial sphere of influence -- unlike Japan, which we took over directly and wholly.

    So we had to retcon the Cold War animosity back into WWII and its lead-up, where both the Soviets and the Nazis were caricatured super-villains, since neither would end up under our control in the future.

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  182. Wikipedia says this though:

    "In 2021, Capcom removed the appearances of the Rising Sun Flag from their re-release of Street Fighter II. Capcom did not provide an official reason for the flag's removal, but it is guessed that the flag was removed in an effort not to offend any parts of the international gaming community"

    so the censorship is real.

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  183. Another sign of the retconning and equating of Nazis and Soviets, but not of the Japanese "Empire", is that contrarian edgelords have never used the rising sun flag as a provocative or trolling statement.

    They might use the swastika, or the hammer & sickle -- but not the rising sun flag. Nor did "comfort women" become an ironic name of a band, like Joy Division did (referring to Nazi sex slaves).

    Even though Japan was an expanding great power, conquered and occupied lots of other peoples / nations, and was part of the Axis Powers in WWII. Plus they were ToTalItAriAN, under control of a god-like emperor -- not a representative secular liberal democracy.

    It seems to be purely a matter of did the American Empire wholly incorporate them into their sphere of influence, or not? Japan did, so they're fine. The HQ of the German Empire, from the start through its decadent Nazi twilight, was not -- and neither was any part of the Russian Empire. So they're evil boogeymen, just like North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Cuba -- but only once Cuba left our imperial sphere, they were good guys when we occupied them after winning the Spanish-American War.

    The confusion over the Nazis belonging to the "Axis of Evil (now and in the past)" is that America occupied most of Germany after WWII, and it was de-Nazified like crazy under our influence, as well as the peripheral regions of the former German Empire not liking the Prussians and Brandenburgians to begin with (e.g., in Bavaria, in the polar-opposite region of Germany, the Southwest, not the HQ in the Northeast).

    HOWEVER, we did not really take over the core of the German / Prussian Empire, which was in the East, with capital at Berlin. Plus, the early capital of the budding Prussian state was Konigsberg, which was also occupied by the Russian Empire -- not us -- after WWII, renamed Kaliningrad (and still occupied by them to this day).

    Therefore, American culture retconned the Nazis, the German Empire, all the way back to the Duchy of Prussia, as an evil boogeyman, based on their eventual incorporation into the Russian sphere of influence, not America's.

    Sour grapes!

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  184. Desecration of the rising sun flag by Capcom, a Japanese company! Thankfully, the only real example of Japanese heritage destruction by an endogenous Japanese actor, which is otherwise extremely rare.

    In the Japanese character, E. Honda's, stage of Street Fighter II, there is a prominent rising sun flag in the background, although it is never shown as red and white -- it's two-tone gray during the match, and flashes red and yellow at the end. But it's obviously a rising sun flag.

    That game came out in 1991, and through numerous ports, updates, and re-releases, it stayed that way -- until 2018, when it was downgraded to only the circle, without the rays, a la Japan's post-WWII national flag.

    Then in the 2021 re-release, it was eliminated entirely, and in typical woketard fashion, nothing better was put in its place -- just a big fat empty void where the glorious kyokujitsu-ki used to be.

    Also in typical woketard fashion, these changes were not only for certain whiny foreigners like South Korea or China, but even in the version that was for sale in Japan itself!

    This is a double desecration -- not only of the flag itself, but of the video game Street Fighter II and E. Honda's character, both of which are cultural contributions that bring pride to Japan.

    South Koreans and Chinese have nothing of their own to desecrate like this, cuz they haven't created anything worthwhile for many centuries, unlike Glorious Nippon, which is still a major cultural player.

    When I become dictator of planet Earth, the rising sun flag will be rightly restored to the E. Honda stage in Street Fighter II.

    I wonder if Capcom being from Osaka played a role in their caving into the woketard whining from South Korea -- or maybe it was the even more cursed and woketarded South Korean diaspora in America and Canada?

    Osaka is the center of mercantile forces in Japan -- not the military, shogunate, navy, or anything related to it. Maybe their mercantile orientation made them prioritize "not offending potential customers in the global market" instead of "upholding Japanese culture, including those created by our predecessors at Capcom back in the 1990s".

    How many South Koreans (in SK or in the diaspora) would really not buy the game, if it had a rising sun flag in a Japanese stage? Get real, not even 1%. They want Street Fighter, end of story.

    And the flag is not even present in some non-existent South Korean stage, as though it were used as a symbol of imperialism. E. Honda's stage is in Japan! Japanese flags are allowed in Japan! South Koreans are among the biggest faggots on Earth right now.

    In order to atone, after such a flagrant dishonoring of their own predecessors' creation, the current Capcom company must restore the rising sun flag to E. Honda's stage. The woketard 2010s and early 2020s are over -- nobody's going to riot, or even refuse to buy a video game, based on a Japanese flag appearing in a Japanese stage...

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  185. On the positive side, where is the rising sun flag being preserved in contempo Japanese culture, even in the hi-tech side, rather than the strictly traditional side?

    Well, the main thing to look for is alternating bands of red and white -- that is the offending motif that was eliminated from the rising sun flag, post-WWII, to give only the red disc on Japan's national flag.

    It doesn't matter if that removal "makes sense" -- the point is, that's what was eliminated, so where is it preserved? That's a sign of a backlash against treating their rising sun flag as a vilified hate symbol.

    The rising sun flag was common throughout Japan during the Edo period and after, and is central to Japanese ethnogenesis. They didn't bring it with them when they washed onto the islands after leaving from the Korean Peninsula thousands of years ago.

    It wasn't even the national symbol when the cultural and military and political capital was in the center of Honshu (first Nara, then Kyoto). It only emerged sometime after the eastward-and-northward expansion against the Emishi and the Ainu shifted the center of gravity to the east (first Kamakura, then Edo / Tokyo).

    Demanding that the Japanese give up alternating bands of red and white is like asking Americans to give up the stars & stripes -- not gonna happen! One compromise was made to the national flag, and that's it. Any further, and you're asking for a troublesome occupation.

    In looking for examples of "traditional Japanese" culture (i.e., from the Edo period and later) in Hololive, I found this video of four of their talents singing and dancing to a Hololive original song, "Holomen Ondo":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDVdtHJiAEk

    This is based on the real-life practice of the Bon Odori, a music and dance portion of a summertime festival meant to honor ancestral spirits, and generally serving as a summertime cohesion-builder for the community, much like a BBQ or carnival or Fourth of July parade in America.

    Since the festival dates to the Edo period, it's only natural to see the one of their defining visual motifs -- alternating bands of red and white. In fact, on the central stage, these vertical red and white rays are connected to a solid red square at the top -- and a square and circle are topologically the same thing, one's just a little blockier. The rays emanate in all directions from the red solid center. It's the rising sun flag -- or rather, another example of the same underlying visual motif, which later showed up in the Japanese Imperial Navy's flag.

    The talents wearing traditional yukatas, doing traditional dances, and using traditional folk music for a new song with Hololive-specific lyrics, shows how dedicated the creative team was to preserve this part of Japanese cultural heritage in the hi-tech present day.

    And it has nothing to do with militarism, conquering the Koreans, or anything retarded like that -- it's one of their national symbols, so it's only natural to find it on occasions where they're celebrating their cultural heritage!

    Good for Hololive! ^_^

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  186. Within Hololive, the talent with the most traditional Japanese branding is Ayame, whose various outfits you can browse here:

    https://virtualyoutuber.fandom.com/wiki/Nakiri_Ayame/Gallery

    Aside from wearing a kimono, wielding katanas, and sporting a hannya mask as an accessory on her head, she has a prominent bow on the back of her costume, and this bow is made from alternating bands of red and white.

    Scroll through her other outfits, and alternating bands of red and white show up in most of them, whether a more traditional double-breasted top, a contempo sporty tracksuit, or an edgy bikini and shorts outfit.

    Here's one of her official trading cards, where the background is diagonally-oriented alternating bands of red and white:

    https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/267278/weiss-schwarz-hololive-production-nakiri-ayame-sr

    Usually, though, the motif is not a carbon-copy of the rising sun flag, but novel variations on the same underlying theme.

    Just like an American-branded vtuber might have red, white, and blue, but not necessarily in the same configuration as the American flag -- but clearly evoking it by being variations on it, to the intended audience. Especially if that character were also given a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and holster belt.

    In the collapsing American Empire, these all-American symbols would be "problematized" or erased entirely, though -- but since Japan never became a full-fledged empire, their decline is merely shrinking back to a normal state, and not crashing into heritage-destroying iconoclasm like empires go through during their collapse.

    Good for Hololive and Ayame! ^_^

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  187. Even in Hawaii, the red-and-white stage for Bon Odori continues among the Japanese-origin community! No woketard whining about how it represents the military that bombed Pearl Harbor during WWII (located in Hawaii, for the Americans who don't know, and other foreigners).

    Google image search "hawaii bon odori," and they all look like the Edo-period original. Cultural pride rather than shame -- and these are Japanese-Americans, not Japanese nationals.

    Good for Hawaii! ^_^

    If the cursed South Korean diaspora migrates en masse to Hawaii, and demands an end to all displays of "alternating bands of red and white" cuz of the legacy of imperialism or whatever, Japanese-Americans in Hawaii must HOLD THE LINE and tell them to move somewhere else if they hate Japanese culture so much. It's HAWAII -- what kind of culture were you expecting to find?!

    If Japanese-Americans in Hawaii fail to hold the line, that will be a top priority for the reconstituted Japanese Navy, as their American occupiers continue to collapse and can no longer provide a credible military for Japan -- reconquering Hawaii and restoring the rightful place of alternating bands of red and white during the Bon Odori festival. And maybe having to restore the festival altogether, if some woketard South Korean diaspora manages to kill it off entirely in the meantime...

    I doubt the woketards would win there, though, cuz South Korean expats rely on American imperial power and influence to settle scores with their historical enemies. And as the American Empire collapses, there will be no source of wealth, power, and influence for the South Korean diaspora to parasitize in their jihad against Japanese culture.

    South Koreans could steal the presidential election and wind up in the White House -- only to meet open defiance by the Japanese-American governor of Hawaii, who tells the impotent figurehead president they'll have to pry these red and white stripes from my cold dead hands! With central power having collapsed, and Hawaii being so far away anyway, it'll just be more empty hot air coming from Washington DC. Hehe.

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  188. Beyonce wore a rising sun flag swimsuit in "Video Phone"! Only difference is the solid center shape is a heart, not a circle -- but very obvious what it's supposed to be.

    Way back in 2009, before the woketard 2010s would have told her it was a colonial settler hate symbol. STFU, it looks badass -- and so does she! Starting after 3:00 --

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGkvXp0vdng

    Pairing it with a dominatrix costume of thigh-high boots, elbow-length gloves, and an imposing military / police hat, all in black leather with silver-tone metal accents. The prop bow-and-arrow are red and white to match the swimsuit.

    Very remiscient of the "hate-fuck Nazi babe" trope, a la Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS.

    But the rising sun swimsuit doesn't have the same hate-fuck taboo transgressive value, since we Americans never demonized and vilified any sector of Japanese society and culture, from any point in their history, after we defeated and occupied them, incorporating their whole country into our imperial sphere (not just the peripheral regions, as in Germany).

    That doesn't take away from its cool and badass look -- just saying that it doesn't have the additional transgressive hate-fuck appeal that a hot chick dressed like a Nazi officer or Soviet commisar would have.

    Dominatrixes are supposed to have a streak of evil or sinister or sadistic, so only our sworn and vilified enemies can be cosplayed in the dominatrix role. See also: the "sex-hungry dominatrix nun" for the bitter haters of Christianity, who think the religion's whole purpose is genocide, oppression, etc.

    Oh, but you BET that South Korean guys fantasize about being submitted by a Japanese dominatrix who's got the rising sun flag sprawled over her whole torso.

    Now THERE'S an open niche for Japanese vtubers (not my seiso idols in Hololive, though) -- a girl who's avatar is emblazoned with the rising sun flag, and she gleefully gets off on reminding her South Korean male audience of being conquered by Glorious Nippon, how pathetic their culture is, how they don't deserve to watch cute anime girls like her that were invented by the Japanese, they'll have to work 10 times as hard to prove their worth since they're mere South Koreans, etc.

    xD

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  189. Also worth noting that even black Americans used to follow the all-American trends. Americans, to distinguish ourselves from European rival empires, insist that we descend from the ancient Saharo-Arabian sphere, not Indo-European. We come from Egypt and Israel, not Rome or Greece or the Knights of the Round Table.

    Well, African-Americans took that idea and ran with it -- the hotep phenomenon, where they say they were the ancient Egyptians, or the Israelites (even more emphasized in Rastafarianism).

    The whole futuristic space travel focus of American culture, unlike Euro culture (but was present in our Russian / Soviet contemporaries), African-Americans ran with that too -- the P-Funk Mothership, Earth Wind & Fire's shiny spacesuit costumes, album covers, and music videos, and so on and so forth.

    But also the cool, badass side of Japanese culture, which extended somewhat to other East Asian countries if they had something like samurais and ninjas and karate and yakuza -- like Bruce Lee movies.

    Along with the peak of American ethnogenesis in the 1970s, including on the African-American side with P-Funk and Earth Wind & Fire, there was Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" (Jamaican in England, but part of American music -- disco).

    Then the Wu-Tang Clan in the '90s... Beyonce's "Video Phone" video, and casting the Fresh Prince's little kid as the next Karate Kid in 2010... and then the woketard 2010s waged an iconoclastic crusade on American society and culture, a big chunk of which is East Asian and usually specifically Japanese in origin.

    But none of those faggots care about being "anti-Japanese" or "anti-African-American" by trying to problematize / cancel "Kung Fu Fighting" (a disco song by a black guy, paying homage to Chinese culture). If it's American by adoption, it must be destroyed just as much as endogenously created American culture.

    Thankfully, a fair amount of Zoomers are sick of this Millennial bullshit -- and all those woketards were Millennials, not Zoomers, who were in elementary to high school at the time. That includes the good ol' Goobinator, who non-ironically and joyfully includes "Kung Fu Fighting" in her karaoke performances, including her most recent one.

    America luvs ya, Goob. ^_^

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  190. The Japanese never dishonored themselves with "my culture is not your costume" bullshit during the woketard 2010s, whether they were in Japan or the American diaspora.

    Aside from a more pleasant way to engage with other cultures, it also reveals that they actually have a lot to be proud of culturally, and that a lot of foreigners have adopted parts of their culture. They're happy to see the success of Japanese culture among the kaigai niki! ^_^ ("Overseas bros" in vtuber speak)

    Who DID launch this seething bitter spiteful crusade? It wasn't the Japanese, it was people who identified as "Asian" or "Asian-American"...

    Hmmm, you're being a little non-specific there, aren't you? Asia's a huge place. Given how angry you are at Americans adopting your culture, you must be Japanese, then, desu ka? You don't like Americans eating sushi, wearing flip-flops, watching anime, playing Nintendo video games, wearing Hello Kitty backpacks, play-acting as ninjas, etc., right?

    "Uh, well, I just don't like non-Asians appropriating all that Asian culture" -- woah there, none of that is "Asian" culture, it's JAPANESE culture. If you aren't Japanese, shut your mediocre-country or shithole-country face, and let the actual creators of sushi, anime, ninjas, and Hello Kitty weigh in on the matter. Wait a sec, they're excited that we enjoy their stuff -- so we get a pass! Go back to whatever non-Japanese shithole you came from, with that "we're all Asian" attitude.

    And then they went even further with "Asian and Pacific Islander" -- even more grasping hands reaching out to claim Japanese culture as their own, just cuz they're all part of the fake mega-category of "Asian and Pacific Islander". You're from the Philippines, bro, no one even knows what your culture IS -- let alone do they appropriate it! Only thing you guys get to gatekeep is Jollibee, not sushi and anime and samurai! xD

    All these woketards are part of the non-Japanese diaspora, and even the Chinese are Southern Chinese -- not the people who created the major works of Chinese culture that people outside of China are amazed by. Only thing outsiders appropriate from Southern China is kung fu movies. Pagodas, the Great Wall, ink painting, and all the rest of it -- Northern.

    And Northern Chinese don't want to leave China, so they're not the ones whining. It's always a Cantonese speaker whining, when they didn't even create the Chinese culture being appropriated -- let alone the far more appropriated Japanese culture.

    People with an impressive culture of their own -- as judged by outsiders -- have no reason to hide their national identity into a higher-level unit, where they hope to mix in unnoticed with the true culture creators.

    Japanese will never identify as "Asian" -- it's impressive enough to identify as Japanese. Only the non-Japanese will try to mix in with the Japanese by identifying as some unit that includes the Japanese. Cantonese will go with "(East) Asian", Filipinos have to reach further with "Asian and Pacific Islander".

    But nobody is fooled -- you didn't create any of that cool stuff, so you don't get to gatekeep it.

    Thank God the Japanese do not welcome them into the fake mega-category of "our fellow Asians" either! I don't know if people in Japan realize that in America, non-Japanese "Asians / Pacific Islanders" have appointed themselves guardians of Japanese culture!

    It's pathetic and embarrassing, but more importantly, a territorial trespass by the non-Japanese onto the Japanese turf. No way the Japanese will welcome trespassers, who claim to be defending their territory for them -- yeah right! Go back!

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  191. Same thing with "European" -- instant identifier as a shithole country citizen. Only Lithuanians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, maybe Irish, etc., emphasize their European identity, their cities being European, etc.

    A French person will never put European above French -- being French is impressive enough, they are "Europe's" cultural center going back over 1000 years. They don't need to mix themselves into a higher-level unit in order to associate themselves with an even greater culture than their own. Same with the English or British, the Spanish, even the Italians (although more of a regional identity there -- still, not European first). Germans were fractured after WWII, so they're not as proud of their national culture, but still have a healthy German identity. Austrians too.

    And Russians! They're part of the continent of Europe, but they would never humiliate themselves by de-emphasizing their national / imperial identity in order to mix in with a higher-level unit with the real power players. They ARE one of the power players, culturally and militarily, in that part of the world.

    But if you're Lithuanian, Czech, etc., no one outside your country knows anything about your culture, it's boring and inoffensive at best, crappy at worst, but probably most people don't know a thing about you. The Dutch and Belgians are in that category, too -- European, not Dutch. And most people not knowing anything about them, not holding them in high regard. It's not strictly Eastern Europeans, the Western European countries that were never expanding empires behave the same way.

    Scandis, I don't know. They weren't empires, like the Dutch and Lithuanians. But they don't try to ape Euro empires' culture, they have their own Scandinavian cultures. And in that way, have distinguished themselves, outsiders are aware of Danish Modern furniture and design, Swedish meatballs (no one knows a single food from the Netherlands or Lithuania), Vikings, Bergman, Ibsen, Munch, etc.

    I think the only supra-national unit they'd agree to is "Nordic / Scandinavian," not European.

    At any rate, imagine Poles and Lithuanians screaming about being the defenders of Europe, the West, etc. -- you didn't create any of it, you don't get to gatekeep it. Not just on some normative / fairness level -- just logistically, European culture worth defending is not located physically within your territory. We're worried about psychos burning down the Notre Dame cathedral, defacing paintings by French artists in the Louvre, etc. Not... well, I can't even name whatever the main cathedral is in Poland or Lithuania, because that doesn't register in the minds of outsiders! No one cares, outside the country itself.

    Poles can defend Poland, but only the French could defend Europe or the West, since they're at the center of it -- but they still see themselves as defending France, not Europe or the West.

    It's uncanny how universal this pattern is...

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  192. Oh, and "North American" -- you mean American? No? Ah, you must be Canadian, trying to claim credit for American culture without having created it.

    Canadians are WAY MORE in the closet about their identity, because they want to disguise themselves into a higher-level unit that includes the true culture creators of their part of the world, namely Americans -- hence, the fake mega-category of "North Americans".

    No American, even a libtard, identifies as a "North American". Just like the Japanese will never identify as "Asian," and the French will never identify as "European" primarily. Only Canadians push this "North American" bullshit, like the Dutch or Poles do with "European", or South Koreans and Filipinos with "Asian / Pacific Islander".

    Canadian mediocrity is nothing to be ashamed of, most places aren't going to create timeless global culture, if they're not an expanding empire or at least great power. It's the way they try to disguise themselves, blend in with Americans, and trespass onto American turf, as though it's their own.

    I only grudgingly permit this in one person's case, a certain stealth Canadian vtuber, since passing as an American is part of a running gag on her part. She's not trying to hijack American culture, become its ultimate arbiter, or anything like that. It's a kind of exhibitionistic comic routine -- how plainly can I expose my Canadian-ness, without them becoming aware? Every voyeur has an alter ego that's an exhibitionist, in some way.

    She was recently caught off-guard regarding the pronunciation of "Nova Scotia," which she usually pretends not to know how to pronounce. "Well, a clueless American wouldn't know, so I'll have to fumble around with and say Scoh-tee-uh," etc. But it came up so fast she didn't have time to load that program in her brain, and she said it effortlessly and correctly -- along with "New Foundland," which she also usually pretends to be confused about, "new FOUND-land" instead of "NEW find-lind" etc.

    I only mention it since it was very cute to see her be caught off-guard and say them correctly effortlessly, since the occasion required her to say them quickly, not giving her brain enough time to load the program of pretending to be a clueless American who would not know how to pronounce them.

    Nice to see her true leafy colors every once in awhile. ^_^

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  193. You don't know how right you are with the angry "japanese defenders" asians on social media. I've seen plenty of these people on twitter and they almost made me hate japanese culture thanks to being so resentful and anti-western. Quite a lot of them from Thailand too. And of course they eat all the woke stuff too!
    Thank for pointing it out!

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  194. Woketard South Koreans also whined about Air Jordans having a rising sun flag -- on the *insole* of the shoe, not even visible when it's being worn.

    They came out in 2009, same year as the Beyonce video mixed African-American hip-hop with Japanese rising sun flag imagery. They were not erased entirely, but woketard South Korean whiners did manage to get them put out of production sometime in the 2010s, and these rising sun flag insoles are now considered rare & collectible among sneakerheads for that reason.

    Again, the polar opposite of the swastika and hammer & sickle -- all sneakerheads are liberal / progressive / socialist, but they would never go "Oh wow, neat, rare & collectible Air Jordans with a swastika / hammer & sickle that was pulled from production!"

    In America, and its broader sphere of influence, the rising sun flag simply has no ideological or political connotations one way or another. It's just a cool and badass example of Japanese aesthetics that we enjoy, along with a zillion other examples.

    Nobody says, "Um, well, ACKSHUALLY the samurai were high on the societal hierarchy, therefore watching Kurosawa movies is a form of working-class oppression" or whatever dumb bullshit. Samurais have no ideological or political connotations. They're just cool and badass and distinctly Japanese. That's it!

    Write-up on the Air Jordan affair, and an example of woketard South Korean whining about them, both from the 2010s:

    https://www.nicekicks.com/air-jordan-12-rising-sun-history/

    https://behindthemedialens.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/we-should-ban-the-rising-sun-flag-in-the-meida/

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