An ongoing non-ironic joke with the Red Scare podcast hosts and their audience is that the show is primarily for "girls and gays". As with all things feminist, there's no such all-encompassing group as "girls" -- they mean a certain subset of them. Urbanite, transplants, high body count by age 30, open to experimenting with drugs, living in squalor, glorifying abjection, and so on and so forth. That creates a large overlap with how gays live, so they're two peas in a pod.
This primary filter leads to a secondary one for the straight guys who take part in the fanbase -- they're also urbanite transplants aiming for a high body count by age 30, will have few / no children, open to drugs, etc., and are looking to shack up with the girls in the primary audience. To the extent their lifestyles are similar, they may share cultural tastes, which can serve as conversation fodder in between episodes of abject hook-ups.
In contrast to this fast-living demographic, there's another mix of hetero and homosexuals of different sexes, who are more in the slow-living lane -- call them "lads and lesbians". As with all things MRA-ist, there's no such all-encompassing group as "guys" or "men" -- this would be a certain subset of them. Suburban, small town, rural, or unwilling urbanites. Low body count / volcel, aiming to have a lifelong pair bond and several children. Preferring natural vices like satiating meals and dancing rather than artificial ones like drugs. Living in charming coziness, eschewing abjection. That makes them overlap enough in lifestyle with lesbians for them to share a sub-culture.
(Yes, I know the term "lad" has the fast-living connotation, but it has to be alliterative with "lesbian" to counterbalance "girls and gays". "Dudes and dykes" is too rude to forge an alliance. "Guys and gal-lovers" sounds too forced. Maybe "lads and lezzies" for a more informal, gently negging tone.)
With that primary filter in place, a secondary one would select for straight girls who were interested in such guys as boyfriends, husbands, and fathers of their children. Girls from a similar demographic.
Just as the (certain subset of) girls need to be able to vibe with their gay friends, these guys would have to be a subset of their sex who could vibe with lesbians. Most lesbians aren't that butch, so we're talking guys who are not high-energy dominant go-getters, nor the attention-seeking type who were the class clown, life of the party, lead singer, or other entertainer. Sensitive, introspective, empathetic, self-effacing, social harmony over individual ambition.
If it were a podcast about politics, without any irony I would sum up a potential co-host pair as Michael Tracey and Tulsi Gabbard. (I'm not 100% sure she's lesbian, but after looking into their distinct characteristics this year, it seems more likely than not. The point being that the woman would at least have to strongly ping your lezdar.)
And although there are lots of guys in this mold on the left (especially the trad-Caths), I'd wager a majority of the groypers (the original kind) are of this type as well. Like Red Scare, this project would have to be heterodox enough to attract people from both sides of the spectrum. For instance, this one would be more SWERF-y and TERF-y (feminists opposed to sex work and to men-pretending-to-be-women hijacking the LGBTQ discourse and policies).
Then again, maybe the hosts would be only straight guys, who could attract a large enough lesbian following to brand themselves as "lads and lesbians," in a mirror-image of Red Scare. "Tfw no tradwife gf" guys, and cottagecore girls (straight or lesbian).
I'm not even sure the focus would be mainly politics or cultural commentary. These guys and their lesbian fellow travelers are less cerebral than usual for the media / entertainment sector. There would be more of a focus on the crafts, not only the arts, and practical rather than theoretical concerns. Artisanal cooking (of your own), vintage clothing, antique books, DIY home maintenance, folk music and dance, weightlifting and sports rather than cardio, all that calm and cozy stuff. And since lesbians generally do not have big boobs, this would be a rare case of butt girls having a room of their own in the discourse, which is dominated by cerebral boob girls.
The intro song would not be electronic dance club oriented, but combining folk, indie, rock, heart-on-sleeve sincerity, desire for intimacy, yet falling back on moody pining from afar -- something by Mazzy Star. (In retrospect, Hope Sandoval gives pretty strong lesbian vibes.) If more mainstream, Taylor Swift from 2010-'14 (her lesbianism is an open secret). Hard to think of better uniters of slow-living sensitive guys, sensitive girls, and lesbians in particular.
It wouldn't have to be a podcast, of course -- too many of those damn things anyway. YouTube show, livestream, group blog, or other "long-form" and episodic format, with fans reacting ideally on a site of their own (forum, blog comments section, etc.), or if not, a sub-culture on Tumblr (God forbid the gatekeeped sites of Twitter or Reddit).
I contain multitudes, and would not be the target audience -- I'd be split between the grinding to Charli XCX in a dance club audience of Red Scare and the lap-cat by the fireplace audience of the Lads and Lezzies show. So there are probably some other common factors to be pointed out, and I'll add them in the comments as they occur to me. Leave your own as well.
December 21, 2020
Lads and lesbians as a counterbalance to girls and gays, among "content-creators" and audiences
An ongoing non-ironic joke with the Red Scare podcast hosts and their audience is that the show is primarily for "girls and gays". As with all things feminist, there's no such all-encompassing group as "girls" -- they mean a certain subset of them. Urbanite, transplants, high body count by age 30, open to experimenting with drugs, living in squalor, glorifying abjection, and so on and so forth. That creates a large overlap with how gays live, so they're two peas in a pod.
December 18, 2020
The mirage of rap's popularity: How streaming stats mislead vs. sales and airplay
Looking over the top 100 songs for 2020, I was struck yet again by how much rap there is. I've noticed this for the past several years, and figured I was just out of touch with that area of pop music, since I don't listen to rap radio stations, don't know anyone who's really into rap, and don't go to clubs that play rap. Still, it just seemed like a growing presence that was not my cup of tea.
But having studied the seismic shift that streaming has had on the music culture, I can finally make some sense of it. Rap is in fact a niche genre, with a few crossover hits to mainstream audiences. However, the media elites who construct the chart formulas have put their thumb on the scale in order to over-emphasize rap's popularity and influence, at the expense of truly popular genres like pop, country, and dance.
The formal trick they use is giving substantial weight to streaming stats, which do not distinguish between breadth vs. depth of exposure. And popularity is about breadth of exposure across the entire music-listening population, not the depth of devotion among fans who expose themselves repeatedly to the song, as opposed to casual fans who expose themselves to it far fewer times.
So if you too were wondering why there's so much emphasis on rap in the media, you weren't crazy. It's another example of woke representation practices, meant to buy off the "talented tenth" of African-Americans, who get employment in the entertainment sector, and placate the bottom 90% of them with cultural cred -- rather than the entertainment and media elites using their high status to lobby the Democrats into providing desperately needed public goods and services.
* * *
First, a clarification -- the Billboard charts are a product of the media sector, not entertainment. The record labels produce the music, the artists perform it, and various other channels distribute it to the audience (radio stations, clubs, streaming platforms, etc.). Billboard is more of a trade publication than a cultural commentary one, but it's still part of the media sector, albeit the entertainment-focused media.
So, this is not a case of the production side making a ton of rap songs that nobody wants to listen to. Nor is it the distributors taking a niche genre and foisting it on users of their platforms like YouTube, radio stations, and so on. Those two sides are too driven by the cold, hard laws of supply & demand to attempt to deliver a bunch of stuff that is largely unwanted.
However, the media who describe and comment on entertainment are under no such constraints. Or rather, their supply & demand laws are different because their audience is not listeners of music per se, but readers of music-themed discourse. Their audience wants to read takes, and spit out takes of their own, which is orthogonal to what types of music they enjoy listening to.
It's perfectly possible, then, for Billboard to mischaracterize the state of supply & demand in the music industry, if doing so will satisfy the cravings of discourse junkies. It would be wrong to call this "foisting" their narrative onto the music-listening public, because the typical music fan probably never looks at the Billboard charts. Those who do consume media commentary on music, though, evidently eat up the narrative about how influential rap is, so the media outlets are not foisting the misleading description onto their audience either -- they're just supplying the demand for a certain narrative.
But if you do want an overall accurate picture of what the zeitgeist is like, out of curiosity, just bear in mind that the media chart creators can and do rig the outcome in order to please their target audience above all else. It won't be totally outta whack, since such a picture would not even be plausible, and the audience wants the illusion of reality as well as the ideologically soothing distortions. Still, something to take into account.
* * *
Now, the basic problem. For the 2020 Hot 100 chart, I count 30-some rap songs. Not a majority, but still a sizable share. And to anyone who's been in touch with music this year, way too many. What gives?
Well, the Hot 100 chart is actually made up of several component charts. The three with heaviest weighting are sales of singles (i.e. digital downloads), radio airplay, and streaming plays. As of 2013, these carry weightings of 35-45%, 30-40%, and 20-30%, respectively, and the weightings change week to week.
The shifting weekly weightings is the first obvious sign that the chart creators are using these stats to rig the desired outcome, otherwise the weightings would stay the same in order to judge all songs by the same set of standards. In one week, one weighting will accomplish the goal of maximizing rap at the expense of pop, dance, and country, while a different weighting will be needed for another week, since each week's batch of songs perform somewhat differently relative to one another.
For example, if the sales stats favor pop over rap by a huge amount in week 1, and to a lesser degree in week 2, then the chart-riggers will have to give a lower weight to sales in week 1 than in week 2.
Let's turn to Billboard's Digital Songs sales chart, of which their website lists only the top 75. For the 2020 chart, I count about 10 of the rap songs that are also on the Hot 100 chart, and several others that are not. Scaling that to a list of 100 by sales, that would be about 15-20 rap songs -- in other words, only half as many as actually appear on the Hot 100 chart.
Not only is rap less pervasive on the sales chart, but big hit songs you've been hearing all year do in fact show up, while they're mysteriously missing from the Hot 100 chart. "Kings and Queens" by Ava Max, "Midnight Sky" by Miley Cyrus, and "Stupid Love" by Lady Gaga in the dance genre. "Lover" and "Cardigan" by Taylor Swift in the adult contempo genre. And a slew of country songs I don't recognize because I'm not in the target demographic. Again, that's only for the 75 songs listed on their website; if they had a full list of 100, there would be more staples of the zeitgeist in those genres that were kept out of the Hot 100.
When I looked over the sales chart, it felt 10 times more familiar than what's listed on the Hot 100 chart. And that's not just from what I seek out deliberately -- it's from what I hear in any public place that plays music, what's on while changing radio stations, what's popular on Tik Tok trends, what a popular streamer like Pokimane plays in the background while chatting, what anyone is talking about, what online memes refer to... literally every source of pop culture other than the music media itself.
There is a heavy overlap between the sales and Hot 100 charts, since the big-picture narrative from the Hot 100 chart cannot be totally divorced from reality. Still, it's striking how disoriented a normal music listener -- who doesn't care about woke ideology being reflected in the list -- would get from there being a sizable minority of fake rap songs shoehorned in, and the same number of actually popular dance / pop / country songs erased from the record.
* * *
As for radio airplay, Billboard doesn't list their top 100 songs online, but by genre it must reflect the distribution of radio station listenership size by genre (called a "format"). See Nielsen's overview of the top radio formats at the end of 2019.
There is no dedicated rap or hip-hop format, but they are included under the urban contemporary and (to a lesser degree) the urban adult contemporary formats. So however well those formats do, rap must do worse, since urban contempo (and especially urban AC) also includes a bunch of R&B songs.
Among music stations playing current music, the formats with the largest listenership size are adult contempo, country, and pop, followed by hot AC and urban AC, with urban contempo lagging down with Mexican regional. Notice that this is the opposite ranking of which genres are artificially boosted on the Hot 100 chart.
Even more telling is the fact that Mexican regional does not get over-represented on the Hot 100, despite the potential wokeness cred that the chart-riggers could enjoy from doing so, and despite it being as popular or more so on the radio than rap. However, the cultural commentators and their audiences don't find Mexican culture interesting, other than the food, and they don't feel as strong of a need to "heal historical traumas" or "correct the historical record" by amplifying recognition of Mexican culture today, as compared to African-American culture.
The same goes for the Spanish contempo format, which is about as popular as rap (if not urban contempo as a whole, due to R&B's popularity), and is as popular as alternative. But listening to reggaeton enough to have an opinion on it one way or another, let alone actually dancing to it in a club with thicc-booty Cuban girls, would absolutely mortify the dorky white liberal males who control the music-themed media sector, and make up most of the audience as well.
"Spanish music" is still too dance-oriented and corporeal for it to appeal to the cerebral types who are take junkies and media consumers. There's no pretension in the lyrics about "telling a larger story," "raising awareness," etc., and there's no raw angsty attitude like in modern rap, which in many ways has become the black version of punk -- non-musical angst, verbal focus, and a basic beat without melodic instruments.
When rap is (slightly) more melodic, dance-oriented, and aimed at dudes and dudettes grinding on each other in a club, rather than individuals stewing in angst alone in their room, music media people lose all interest. Suddenly it's just a pretext for animalistic booty-shaking. Like all good cerebrals, they only condone sex-having and lust in music if it's centered around boobs (elevating) rather than butts (sinful).
* * *
That leaves only streaming as the component of the Hot 100 that must be artificially boosting the popularity of rap, and diminishing that of pop, dance, and country. This component reflects all the big platforms -- YouTube, Spotify, et al.
The first problem with streaming is the youth bias: 55% of Spotify users are aged 18-34. And in Nielsen's radio listenership article, urban contempo skyrockets to 4th place in that age group, while Mexican regional and Spanish contempo lag far behind. Giving greater weight to streaming means giving rap more representation compared to pop, country and Spanish-language music.
But there's a far greater distortion that comes from using streaming stats. Billboard uses the total number of plays across streaming media (in the US), which could be a lot of people listening a few times each (a broadly popular fad song), or a few diehards listening to it over and over again (a niche song that will last forever in the fanbase).
That makes streaming unlike sales of songs, where one sale could be listened to one time or one million times -- it's still measuring the song's exposure to just one individual. Diehard fans do not skew the overall results by listening to their purchases many times more than casual fans who bought the same song. Total sales of a song = total individuals exposed directly.
And it's also unlike radio airplay, which takes audience size into account. They use the share of radio listeners tuned into a certain station for at least 5 minutes during a 15-minute interval. If a song is played in that interval, that audience size is about how many people were exposed to the song.
Even if someone tunes into the station and hears that song every day, it doesn't skew the overall results because they aren't adding to the audience size by tuning in every day -- it's roughly the same size from one week to the next. Diehard fans may be tuning in every day, while casual fans only listen some days of the week -- but the total size stays about even because some casual fans who are absent on one day are made up for by other casual fans who are tuning in that day. (And when those casuals tune out later in the week, the casuals who were tuned out earlier in the week show up to replace them.)
So if anything, radio airplay is skewed more by casual listeners than by diehard fans, since the total number of casual listeners is hardly all present on any given day. Thus, the station's listenership is larger than it would appear from a snapshot in time. And assuming some song is a regular in the station's playlist throughout the week, it's reaching a broader audience than it would appear from a snapshot. Like sales, radio airplay measures breadth rather than depth.
The streaming stats could be made accurate by measuring the total number of unique individuals who played the song during a given interval, regardless of how many times they played it. Spotify could do that, since their users have to have downloaded the app and be signed in. But YouTube does not require you to even have an account, let alone be signed in, to search for and play videos. And big hits get in the 100s of millions of views on YouTube (albeit globally), so that is no small problem with aggregating streaming stats across all platforms.
I guess YouTube could try tracking how many unique IPs within the US played a video in a given interval, regardless of number of times played. But they're not doing that.
And the larger point is they don't want to -- it would ruin their goal of over-representing rap in the Hot 100 chart, to construct the narrative of how influential a certain part of African-American culture is in the broader society. Using youth-biased streaming stats, with a substantial and shifting weighting, and measuring total plays rather than audience size, are just the technical means toward the end of narrative construction.
If you think they aren't aware of these problems, you think they're stupid, and these people do not have low IQs. Even if you didn't think of the breadth vs. depth issue beforehand, your BS detector would be screaming when you checked the results of your algorithm and saw 30-some rap songs on the top 100 for the year. "I knew there'd be some, but not this many -- something's wrong with our formula."
Any naive techie geek who pointed these issues out would be gently ignored by his managers, and fired if he pressed on it. If these problems were solved, the results would only have 15 rap songs out of 100, and 20 more songs from pop, dance, and country -- ummm, lame mayo music much? Gotta get more hyped-up rap songs in there somehow, or else our descriptive narrative won't fly with the target audience of woke take junkies.
December 15, 2020
Late 2000s infatuation anthem "Here (In Your Arms)" by Hellogoodbye, the ultimate nostalgia for early '90s births, the next viral Tik Tok "kissing my friend" song?
While looking further into the restless warm-up phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, to get a hint of what's coming in the current restless phase (2020-'24), I came across this song from the last restless phase (2005-'09). Really embodies the "coming out of your shell" aspect of the restless phase, after the "don't come near me" refractory state of the preceding vulnerable phase. Bonus points for the music video being set in the early '90s, the most recent restless phase at the time, creating a zeitgeist echo.
"Here (In Your Arms)" by Hellogoodbye (2006):
Judging from the YouTube comments, this remains one of the most painfully nostalgic songs for people born between 1990-'94, who were born during a restless phase and then turned 15 during another restless phase. I thought some of the late '80s births would have chimed in as well, but they're pretty uniformly early '90s births.
It resonated the most with high schoolers experiencing their first major infatuation, where they're finally getting close to the other person, beyond merely pining and crushing on them unbeknownst from afar. For the late teens and early 20-somethings of the time, they'd already been through that, so while it was popular with them, it was not such a life-stage-defining anthem as it was for the early '90s kids.
It came right back to life for me, an early '80s birth, even though I couldn't place exactly where it was from -- probably at dance clubs, where I was actually going, since I was not listening to the radio. However, Billboard says it was only a hit on dance radio stations (#3 weekly, #14 year-end) rather than in clubs (did not chart), so maybe it was a quirk of the particular club I went to. And despite coming out on an indie label, it crossed over to the Hot 100 chart (#14 weekly, #81 year-end).
You can search YouTube for 'hellogoodbye here "200X" ' for some year in the late 2000s, and aside from the live concert videos, there are plenty of self-made music videos of teens dancing around their room with a friend to this song. All normies, and the occasional "indie who was friends with normies". Very much like Tik Tok these days, only the movements are more freeform and joking-around, rather than a standardized dance-step routine that everybody does.
The point being, it was super-popular back then, and you'll remember it if you were in touch with those times, but it's more of a deep cut nowadays. Thus far into the late 2000s revival, we still haven't seen this one go viral all over again, like "Shake It" has done on Tik Tok.
And that's not because it doesn't have the potential -- it could easily be the next soundtrack in the family of videos about "working up the nerves to kiss my best friend". It would start out with "Our lips can touch," allowing a little tension to build but not forever, then when the chorus erupts in intensity, the person goes for it and plants a big one right on their lips. Similar dynamic to "Electric Love," which has been a gigantic success in that family of videos.
It could also be showcased in late 2000s revival movie, whose vague concept I've been toying around with, but that's for another post.
December 12, 2020
"Thot" implies "butt girl," and "thot patrollers" are just boob guys frustrated by butt girls
I've been looking at various Tik Tok trends this week in order to write a yearly wrap-up post about how they reveal the shift from the vulnerable refractory phase to the restless warm-up phase of the 15-year excitement cycle. So now YouTube is suggesting a bunch of Tik Tok compilations, and a good deal have titles like "Tik Tok thots October 2020".
It made me wonder -- does the label "thot" imply that she's a corporeal butt girl? That's one of the most distinctive things about Tik Tok vs. other major online platforms -- way more tushy than tiddy.
You don't really hear much about "Twitter thots," even though the women on there post selfies all the time, talk about their secondary sex parts all the time, and the men on there are terminally thirsty for said selfies and discourse.
Yet as I showed in a highly cited research article, all of those verbal / cerebral types on Twitter are boob girls and boob guys. I originally described them as political junkies, but it's more general -- any part of the verbal / cerebral "take" industry.
Googling "YouTube thots" or "YouTuber thots" returned an order of magnitude lower results than "Tik Tok thots" or "Instagram thots". YouTubers are nearly all in the takes industry, they just have an audio-visual mode of communicating their takes to the audience, as opposed to the primarily textual mode of Twitter.
But Twitter and YouTube are mainly thoughtties rather than thotties.
There are no takes on Tik Tok, or Instagram for that matter -- the other platform highly associated with the label "thot," and again where you're likely to see a fair amount of butt girls.
Do an image search for "thot(s)" on Google or Twitter, and a solid majority of the selfies are focusing on the ass / hips / thighs region, only a minority on the chest.
All these lines of evidence confirm my initial hunch that "thot" is used to refer mostly to butt girls, for whatever reason.
In that case, who are the "thot patrollers" who post "thot begone" on the verbal / cerebral take platforms like Twitter? Why, the very same boob men who populate that part of the internet. It's only natural that they'd want to drive the butt girls off of their patch of the web -- they aren't interested in seeing what's around back, but what's up front. The women go along with these memes for the same reason: they want to see a rise in the value of boobs, not buns.
To put it directly -- it has nothing to do with horniness in guys or attention-seeking in girls. These guys are horny as hell, but only for boobs. They never stop talking about milkers, milkies, milk trucks, and drawing Apu memes with the hands reaching up for some babe's bouncers. And the women never stop talking about their big naturals, often posting pics of them on main. Where's the "hornt police" to throw these offenders in "hornt jail"?
"You see, officer, I was merely lusting over a rack, not a rump. I lost No Nut November like a stoic gentlesir, to a boob girl, not to a butt girl like some thirsty simp."
Notice how the verbal / cerebral people always need to rationalize and even moralize about their base animal instincts? OK, so you're horny for boobs, I'm horny for butts, big deal right? No, one of those instincts is morally righteous and to be indulged, while the other is sinful and to be punished.
Corporeal butt people never do this: we just go with the flow, to each their own, everyone likes whatever they like, and so on. If horniness is to be shamed, then it should be shamed no matter which secondary sex region the person is focusing on. And if exhibitionism is to be shamed, it should be so no matter which region the girl is showing off.
Twitter people post shaming takes about Instagram and Tik Tok thots (and their simps), but Instagram influencers and viral Tik Tok stars, and their commenters, never make images and video clips to shame the verbal boob junkies on Twitter. Nor have they come up with a pejorative label for "attention-seeker, but only with her boobs" as a counterpart to "thot".
The policing obsession only goes in one direction, because cerebral people are more likely to suffer from mental disorders like depression and autism, which would drive them to fixate endlessly on the things that make them irritable, whereas corporeal people are more happy-go-lucky and don't let the jealous hate coming from the take-makers get to them. The idea that you would try to police other people's horniness only if it ran against your own personal preferences for secondary sex region, would simply never occur to them. "Okey-dokey, dork!"
I don't like having to always return to this "butts vs. boobs" discourse, but how can you not, given how sexualized everything is on the internet? It turns out that where you are on that dimension lines up with where you are on a whole bunch of other dimensions. And on the internet, someone is far more likely to share their secondary sex region preference, than whether they like or hate dancing, whether rich food or hard drugs is their vice, and so on and so forth.
By this point, that's the first filter that I classify internet-people by, to understand the context they're coming from -- boob person or butt person?
December 8, 2020
Make your own chicken liver pate at home in the crock pot
The week of Thanksgiving I planned on making a root vegetable stew to get in the cozy autumn mood, and decided on chicken livers as the meat. I figured it wouldn't be too different from beef heart stew, or fried beef liver & onions, or fried chicken hearts.
But in a Bob Ross turn of events, a happy little accident resulted -- liver in more of a pate consistency, totally broken down in structure after only stirring it around with a spoon. I did expect it to be falling-apart after 6 hours in the crock pot (what strivers have re-branded as a "slow cooker"). Just didn't think it would be so spreadable.
Given how expensive liver products are, though, I was only too happy to stumble upon the process for making your own at home.
The recipes for liver pate include a bunch of butter mixed in afterward, so this is more like a liver spread or liver salad. No pork, ham, bacon, or other meat either, unlike a proper pate or liverwurst.
Still, I prefer a variety of textures, and some separation of tastes to play off of each other, rather than a homogeneous mash. So if I wanted butter and bacon in the mix, I'd make the liver spread the same way, then slather some butter onto the toast before the spread, and top it off with a few slices of bacon. But if you like the all-in-one pate form, there are plenty of recipes for that as well.
If you're like me and were not raised on liver, its distinctive taste will be too bold and rich by itself, so I included some astringent vegetables like parsnip and celery to cut through the liver-y taste, as well as coating the top of the toast slices with yellow mustard. You could stuff this spread into half-sliced peppers, too -- anything crisp and acidic.
Ever since I discovered the low-carb / paleo / keto thing about 10 years ago, I've always made sure to include liver in my diet. There's no better source for vitamin A, since that's the organ where it's stored. It's so concentrated, you only need a medium slice of liverwurst a day to get all the retinol your body needs.
Now I can finally prepare it at home, without having to regularly eat fried beef liver & onions. Don't know why I never bothered looking up a recipe for pate, guess I always assumed it was a big laborious ordeal because of how expensive it is. But nope! It couldn't be simpler.
It will make a huge amount, though, more than you can consume before it starts to spoil after a week or so. (Speaking of which, store in the fridge with an airtight seal around the entire surface of the mass, whether plastic wrap, aluminum foil, etc.) The day before Thanksgiving, I filled a small casserole dish to the brim and gave it to the elderly woman I know next door -- and I still had enough to last about 10 days, with heaping servings every day.
Since this was the first time I made it, and on accident at that, what's below is more of a report of what I did, than a tried and true recipe, in case you want to keep it as simple as I did.
Normally I'd make the base out of a can of diced tomatoes, watered down, then a variety of herbs and spices mixed in. But I was experimenting with sauces out of the jar at the time. And if I'd known I'd be making a spread for toast, I would've minimized carbs by cutting out the rice, which was intended for a stew.
* * *
1.25 lb tub of chicken livers
1 jar tikka masala sauce
Water to fill the sauce jar
1/2 medium turnip
1/2 medium parsnip
1/2 medium yellow onion
2 stalks celery
1/8 to 1/4 lb white rice (did not measure exactly)
Toast, crackers, or pepper halves for serving
Empty sauce into crock pot, watered down with enough water to fill jar
Dice the turnip, parsnip, onion, celery, and add to the pot
Add rice to the pot
Rinse off the livers in a colander, then add them to the pot
Stir everything well
Cook on low for 6 hours
Slice livers apart and stir all around until a paste forms
Let cool for 30 min
Transfer mixture to Pyrex dish (or other hot-to-cold-to-hot dish)
Refrigerate overnight, with mixture covered in plastic wrap or foil
Serve on toast, crackers, pepper halves, etc., with yellow mustard
December 5, 2020
Social weather update: girls wolf-calling back in response to guy calling out first
At the end of last year and early part of this year, I detailed several "new" phenomena that signaled the end of the vulnerable refractory phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, and the beginning of the restless warm-up phase. "New" in the sense of they hadn't happened since the summer of 2015 at the very latest, and were more of a staple of the zeitgeist from 2005-2014 (a warm-up phase, and a manic phase).
One of those was girls in a car cat-calling guys (me). I felt sufficiently in-the-mood on Halloween to do some cat-calling of my own from the car. But it was from behind, since they were on the same side of the street, and we could only look sideways at each other as I passed them, which didn't leave much time for them to process what was going on and respond in kind.
So tonight I felt like experimenting a little, and made sure to look for a group of girls on the opposite side of the street, on the main drag through campus / downtown. Sure enough, despite the 30-something degree weather, there was a group of 5 or 6 girls in their early 20s, all dressed in short skirts and fishnet leggings, looking like they were heading somewhere with a goth / industrial / alt / e-girl theme.
Not that I don't appreciate the ones jogging around in yoga pants, but if you're showing your legs in near-freezing weather, you deserve the reward most.
So I howled out like a wolf -- OWW OWWWWWWW!!! -- and this time they had enough time to see me and process it all, and they all howled back using my exact same vowels and rhythm -- OWW OWWWWWWW!!! An entire pack of she-wolves out on the prowl, baying back at a random hot lone wolf guy. I honestly cannot remember the last time this happened, sometime during the heyday of '80s night around 2010, give or take.
I think it's important to make sure they can see you first, so they know it's not some ugly / creepy / soyboy guy, as they might worry if you called to them from behind. Even then they probably assume that an awkward dorky guy wouldn't have the balls to make such a public move on a group of girls, but still, don't leave any uncertainty in their minds.
Same reason why you don't ever approach a girl from behind to dance in a club -- even if she would want to dance with you, the event takes too long to process if she can't see you first, and she's going to instinctively feel awkward. Either she'll scurry away, or look tensely at her friend who can see you, to get a signal if it's a hot guy or a dorky guy. Bad spot to begin the interaction in.
Certainly your mileage may vary depending on how hot you are, and what music you're playing out the windows. ("Long Hot Summer" by Style Council tonight, despite the season, still set the flirtatious mood perfectly.) But even if you're not a follow-around-the-store hot guy, girls are still pretty forgiving when you're giving your best effort to flirt with them in public, especially where actual physical contact is not yet involved. If you and your normie friends are out driving around, and it doesn't look like you'd all be alone at a danceclub, just go for it and have some fun.
Cat-calling, wolf-howling, etc., are not going to get you laid right then and there -- and the girls know that. They won't interpret it as an awkward slide into their DMs, accidentally liking one of their selfies from 4 years ago on Instagram, or any of that other fake gay online shit. And therefore, there's a good chance they'll give you a signal of their own right back. It's just fun and exciting flirtation, meant to get everyone into a coming-out-of-their-shell mood.
The girls are signaling that they're out of their shell by making themselves presentable, and then actually presenting themselves for public evaluation. The guys signal that they're out of their shell by giving the girls a glowing evaluation.
You can't carry out this call-and-response ritual online, over text, etc. That's too pod-like. Girls feel no validation from it because it's the easiest thing in the world to send a text, so the guy isn't investing anything in them. And guys get no enjoyment either because sending a text, liking a tweet, etc., is not a ballsy move, so they don't feel their testosterone surge. Also, the timing is a nightmare online -- did they actually read it yet, when are they going to text back, etc.? When it's IRL, everything happens immediately and directly, so there's never a moment for either side's anxiety to build up. They just go with the flow.
One aspect of these interactions that I have not discussed yet is the impression they leave on everyone else in attendance, as it were. These are public spaces, filled by more bodies than just the two parties to the mating calls. Not only do these rituals change the mood and steer the behavior of the people directly participating, they alter the mood for everyone else as well.
"Wow, what kind of atmosphere are we in, where guys and girls are wolf-howling to each other in a densely packed public street? Horny levels must be going off the charts these days. Noted for future reference..."
These public spectacles can serve to shatter the conformity effect, when the time is right in the excitement cycle. If no one perceives anyone else to be bucking the trend of low-energy isolation, then even if they wanted to do so, they might just go along to get along. Maybe the timing is wrong. Maybe I'd be too weird. But once they see just a handful of other people breaking the "rule" and getting away with it, then all bets are off. Time for us to do a little cat-calling of our own.
One instance of the spectacle can alter the mindsets of dozens of others watching, and at least a few of them will perform the spectacle themselves before long, which propagates the phenomenon in an exponential fashion, as a social contagion.
Of course, you couldn't do this a few years ago during the height of the #MeToo vulnerable phase. It would have been poorly received by the girls, and the spectators would've taken it as a reminder to just keep to themselves for awhile longer.
But when you get the sense that the vibes are changing, risk-taking people can experiment to see what the reception is. And provided the time is right, they've just kicked off a return to the fun and flirtatious climate of the last restless warm-up phase (in the late 2000s).
Happy to do my part for the greater good of society.
I've been meaning to write a brief review of Miley Cyrus' new album Plastic Hearts, but in the meantime, here's an apropos track (featuring "Billy Fucking Idol," as the CD booklet says):
November 22, 2020
No archaeological record of music after 2015; and ownership as counter-culture in an inegalitarian era
Recently I discovered one of the rarest things while browsing around a thrift store -- a CD for an album released after 2015. Hardly an obscure artist either, yet it's the only time I've seen the album in any kind of second-hand store -- Taylor Swift's Reputation, from 2017.
Her first five albums, released from 2006 to 2014, are in abundance at thrift stores and used media stores. It's only the next one that has left no trace, and not because it sold poorly -- it went multi-platinum -- and not because it didn't have big hits -- it's the one with "Delicate". It was the #1 album on the Billboard year-end chart for 2018. She launched a massive world tour for it, and a concert special from that tour became a huge success on Netflix.
Oddly enough, the thrift store had a copy of Witness by Katy Perry, also from 2017, although I've seen that one once before in the wild. Pursuing my impressions of what I've seen vs. not seen IRL, I searched eBay for used CDs by the biggest artists of the past decade -- Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, etc. There is a pretty clear split between albums released before 2015 and after, with the earlier ones having hundreds of copies for sale, and the later ones only having dozens for sale.
It's not strictly night-and-day -- V by Maroon 5 is from 2014 but only has dozens available, and 25 by Adele is from 2015 yet has hundreds available. But those are the exceptions that prove the rule. And while some famous artists like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato never cracked the threshold of hundreds of copies, their pre-2015 albums are still higher in number available.
Although I did not check eBay because the sample size would be too small, my impression from IRL stores is that copies of indie music are also non-existent after 2015. I did find a copy of Borns' 2015 album with "Electric Love" on it recently, but that's unusual. There's a copy of Alvvays' self-titled album from 2014 if I want it, but not their 2017 album Antisocialites, which I'm actually looking for but will probably never find. Even for bands I don't recognize by name, when I check the back cover, there's rarely a copyright date from 2015 or after.
What changed around 2015 was the dominant mode of playing music, from ownership to renting, as streaming services replaced CDs and digital downloads.
It's strange, but just think about it: if you never owned the music to begin with, how could it ever leave a material trace in the real world? Archaeologists from the future will have no primary physical record to study for the music of our time, since today's streaming services will not last any longer than previous media formats like the record, the tape, the DVD, etc.
Instead they will have to reconstruct the record from secondary sources like Billboard charts, reviews in the media, eccentric blog posts, and so on and so forth. Even then, they'll only know the artist's name, album and song titles, genre, and some reviewer's impressions (at most, including stats like beats per minute, key, etc.). They won't be able to actually hear what was recorded and played by us, unless there's a special archive that's still being maintained.
And that's not because the past just disappears over time -- they'll have a rich record of music from before 2015 to experience directly. It's only the period of streaming music that will appear to be erased from the record.
What will they conclude about our world, beyond the observation that our musical media format changed from one thing to the other? Naturally, that we are becoming incredibly poorer than previous generations. We own less and less, and rent more and more, in both the lower and higher levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Not freemen but serfs.
You'll rent a bed in an Apple-aesthetic flophouse, you'll rent your office desk in a WeWork flex-space, and any social, emotional, and cultural connections you make to the outside world will only occur after a transaction that connects you to a streaming service from the info-tech cartel. You won't be having kids or meeting your family ever again, as everyone will be a transplant to a shithole megalopolis. But if you want to split the bed-rent by shacking up with someone else, you can choose to identify as "married" and level up your "adulting" status.
As the mainstream heads increasingly in that inegalitarian direction, a counter-culture will arise that avoids the transplant shithole cities, maybe even moves out into suburban, rural, and small town environments. And they will prize ownership over renting -- permanence, durability, and rootedness, rather than transience, disposability, and alienation. A higher standard of living, both material and intangible, at the cost of lower zip-code status.
That means owning a home or apartment, owning furniture (symbolized by a proper bed rather than a mattress on the floor), owning a variety of cultural items (books, CDs, prints, DVDs), owning the tools for maintaining their place, and owning organic social connections to family and neighbors that cannot be canceled by some subscription service provider (or by the group members themselves, more to the point).
Those who are getting ready for that world could be considered "preppers" in a way, searching far and wide for second-hand stuff that will actually count in the near, medium, and long term. They've been busy over the past five or so years "stocking up," in anticipation of the coming Age of Austerity 2.0.
Unlike the more well known type of preppers, though, the new generation is upbeat (considering the circumstances) rather than doomer, communitarian rather than (delusionally) individualist, and seeing a societal decline that will be gradual rather than apocalyptic. Thriving despite a steady societal erosion, not surviving a post-apocalypse.
It's highly disturbing how little regard the standard preppers give to the things that make life worth living, and how little they intend to pass things on to future generations. They're survivalists, not stewards. Friends, extended family, neighbors, songs, dances, stories, rituals of any kind really -- totally absent in the thoughts and actions of the preppers.
After all, there will be no society after them -- they are not the first generation of a new enduring group of people, but the final generation to have lived before the end of the world as we know it. They just don't want to bite the big one in as painfully acute of a manner as the mainstream.
For the stewardship-minded folks out there, though, keep in mind what to expect when you're out searching for things to preserve. Housing built after the 1970s -- don't bother, solid lumber frames cease to exist after that point. And music released after 2015 -- impossible to find, whether you like the songs or not. I don't think most people will look at the late 2010s as a high-point in music, but even if you do, it's better to just forget about it and go for the far more easily accessible stuff from before 2015 (which you'll probably like more anyway).
November 18, 2020
Sweet girls are not online, but they are getting more flirty in public IRL (to power-pop music)
[An intermission from the interminable election season]
I was running some errands yesterday afternoon, driving around with the windows all the way down in 30-something degree weather, blasting a Matthew Sweet greatest hits CD (especially "I've Been Waiting" and "Sick of Myself").
Nothing more invigorating than 25-mph winds whipping around you, carrying the jangly power-pop tunes for miles in all directions.
Pedestrians are always pleasantly surprised since they expect everyone's windows to be hermetically sealed in cold weather, and here some crazy bastard is cruising around like it's summertime. (I'm covered in wool, so the chill never feels biting.)
Who is going to resonate with Matthew Sweet, though? Not exactly adrenaline-pumping dude rock, nor is it booty-bumping music for party people looking for an early start to a night of dancing. I'm not always in a power-pop mood, but I just go with the flow and observe who resonates with each different style of music.
For power-pop it was the feminine, maternal, shy, pining, nervous-fingertips-emoji girls. Not the Type A career women out parading their status-dogs. Not the high-T bruh-girls either. They were all teenagers, although I'm sure there are some older counterparts who would've resonated as well, they were just indoors doing domestic wifey activities instead. The young ones are more restless and yearning, so they're more out and about, looking out for signs of something happening, hoping to be invited or otherwise drawn into the fun.
One was stopped at a light on her bike, something I'm noticing a lot each time I conduct these natural experiments. Girls on bikes -- for leisure, not because no one in their circle has a car -- always get a kick out of good music streaming out of car windows. But this one was fixated, like it wasn't just any old enjoyable-enough song. Cute bike-riding girls are the audience for Beatlemania and Cheap Trick.
Another was a babysitter playfully wrangling her two little charges, and when I turned the corner toward her, she got swept up in the moment, tilting her head back, eyes wide opened to the side, mouth gaping open in a laugh, just like a model for an album cover by the Cars. If her maternal instinct is strong enough to want to indulge it before she can even get married, and she's playful enough to act as a jungle gym for rascally children, she's definitely a power-pop girl. So wholesome and fun-loving.
It lasted even after I was no longer driving or playing the music, but taking a stroll around the park, still possessed by the power-pop energy, which I was apparently still radiating. A high school girls' soccer team was practicing on the field next to the walkway, and as I approached, one of them softly kicked the ball in my direction, and the two or three other girls in its path who could've intercepted it before it went out of bounds, just stood back and let it roll along the grass toward random hot power-pop vibe guy.
They didn't just strut right over, start making eyes and dropping innuendo, etc. Not the typical Type A female athlete behavior. It was one of those plausibly deniable oopsies that, tee-hee, happened to make me connect with them. Being in a pack helped them take risks they would never take alone, when sole responsibility would lie with the individual. Shy yet impulsive, nervous yet hormonal, letting their emotions out when they've melted into a crowd -- Beatlemaniacs in a nutshell.
By the way, when the ball actually reached me, their fellow high school guy assistant had sprinted nervously over, so that I ended up kicking it back over to him rather than them. It was so funny how protective and jealous he got, like a eunuch guarding a harem. Like, dude, I'm not going to steal away every babe from your school. Guys, too, at that age can't hide their hormones, although I'm sure the girls took his white-knighting in good humor since he was already their friend.
Reflecting on it all during the end of my stroll, I was struck by how you never see this kind of girl online. I'm sure they have social media accounts that they use to communicate with their friends, or to fave viral content, like the social "networks" of the MySpace and early Facebook era. But they'll never get hundreds, let alone thousands or tens of thousands, of followers by being a social "media" persona.
It's the shyness, mainly, but also the wholesomeness and fun-loving spirit. The media -- no matter what platform -- attracts and promotes girls who are depressed, anhedonic, either sky-high body count or reclusive virgins, and who need their fantasy lover to give them a bloody lip before they can get turned on. It could not be a more unrepresentative and unnatural slice of the female sex.
Everyone rightly worries about the effects on guys from there being so many porno women on the internet -- how it will warp their expectations of what sex and relationships in general are like. But that's nothing compared to the warping effects of their exposure to Reddit girls, Twitter girls, Tumblr girls, and YouTuber girls, which makes up a far greater share of their time and emotional / parasocial investment online.
Guys are going to start thinking that the average girl is an urbanite degenerate who's already taken dozens of dicks during her 20s, and whose ideal date is listening to rap or metal while getting ritualistically beaten up to re-enact her early abuse (beyond the normal pattern of male dominance and female submission). Or who swings toward the other extreme of a ball-busting killjoy man-hater.
Not that such girls are only a tiny minority -- they're definitely out there, but if young generations spend so much time online, they're going to think it's the vast majority. Unless they get out there IRL, the guys would have no idea there are tons of normal, wholesome, fun-loving girls who are shy-yet-impulsive, yearning for the guy to make a move (without giving them a black eye). I just ran into a bunch of them IRL without even trying, and they not only didn't get turned off by earnest infatuation / courtship anthems, they got weak in the knees for it!
Something to keep in mind at the big-picture level, as the restless warm-up phase of the 15-year excitement cycle sees guys and girls coming out of their refractory-state cocoons of the vulnerable phase that ended in 2019. PUA discussion and practice is about to enjoy a renewal. Just remember that there are more girls out there than depressive sluts -- but the fun, wholesome ones have an invisible presence online. Certainly for social media platforms, but I assume for dating and hook-up apps as well (I don't use them).
Getting out there IRL also removes the guy's burden of constructing and maintaining his own social media persona, if the interactions were taking place online. People are much more chill and accepting of who you naturally are IRL, but are more irritable and fault-finding online, where they expect you to act out a persona's role -- to provide them with fan-service as they consume their parasocial online media content.
This is most true for the proverbial "nice guy" -- meaning, the sensitive type, not the bitter loser afflicted by a false sense of entitlement to endless hot snatch. There couldn't be a worse place for him than online, where the most visible and audible girls have achieved their status in virtue of being adversarial and confrontational, not to mention thick-skinned enough to deal with trolls, bullies, and so on. He won't find the nervous-fingertips-emoji girl whose dream date soundtrack is power-pop -- no way she could handle the pressure of being an internet-person.
Guys don't have any excuse for not logging off of social media, if they want to un-warp their perception of the opposite sex. Instead of, or in addition to, No Nut November, they need No Scroll September, No Feed February, etc., to regain their perspective and humanity.
November 11, 2020
Judging soundness of elections from bellwether states / counties (a project for someone else)
This post is split into two sections. Morons and partisans will only read the first section, and either accept it or reject it based on which party they are wedded to. Prove you are not a moron, and not a partisan shill, by reading through the second section.
First, a glaring red flag of the soundness of the media-alleged results of the 2020 election (i.e., a Biden win), judging from the bellwether states of Ohio and Florida. Both handily went to Trump, just like last time, strongly suggesting he will be re-inaugurated in January 2021.
Each state on its own has historically had a high agreement rate with the national winner. Sometimes one will miss, sometimes the other will miss, but have they ever both missed in the same election? Only once, all the way back through 1848, when both states have been in the union. If you know about stolen elections, you can already guess which one it was -- 1960, when the outcome in Chicago was rigged by the corrupt urban Democrat machine, swinging Illinois and its EC votes to JFK, and deciding the national result against Nixon, who both Ohio and Florida voted for.
Back then, Chicago was still the "Second City" after New York in population, and Illinois carried 27 EC votes (out of 537 total). Today, that steal is equivalent to stealing Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine's 2nd district, combined. Or Pennsylvania, Iowa, and ME-2, combined. That shows how outsized of an effect a single large city can have on the national result, if it is rigged.
When your only historical precedent for 2020 is 1960, the presumption is that 2020 has been rigged / stolen at the "counting ballots" stage, albeit more obviously this time because it's in 4 states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia), and therefore leaving more fingerprints. The most flagrant fingerprint this time is when they halted their elections around 10pm on election night itself, and only resumed the next day, with a risible reversal of fortune for the leading candidate from before the halt.
Unlike 1960, though, the party trying to ram the steal through the next stage, where state legislatures choose their slate of electors, and not having that over-ruled by SCOTUS -- is the opposition party, not the dominant party. Dems were dominant during the New Deal era, but are the weak opposition party in the Reagan era. Today the presidential candidate targeted by the steal, the state legislatures in the stolen states, and the majority of the Supreme Court, are all from the dominant party of this era, the GOP.
Reminder to political LARP-ers: if you're going to try to steal the national election, you'd better make sure you're the dominant party of your era. Libs and leftoids still cosplay as the Democrats of the '60s-'70s heyday of Civil Rights and the New Left, when they could get away with whatever they wanted, like pushing a Republican president out of office. Unfortunately they find themselves today in the Reagan era, where the balance of power has shifted so far away from their party that their LARP-ing only sets them up for destruction by a reality check.
* * *
This bird's-eye-view of bellwethers reveals the importance of combining the separate signals into a single index. The "errors" that a bellwether makes -- when it goes against the national result -- ought to be randomly distributed across the years. And these errors are few in number because that's what makes them bellwethers -- they rarely miss.
So if a particular year shows a lot of the bellwethers making errors in unison, that calls the soundness of the national result into question. Specifically, some process above and beyond the lowest-level casting of ballots by voters, such as the ballot-counters rigging the outcome by adding illegitimate ballots for their guy, ignoring ballots for their rival, or whatever other methods.
Here's the obstacle for constructing the history of "bellwether hits and misses," though -- the list of bellwether states and counties is not the same over time. Some may be reliable over a long period, but others may show a heyday of bellwether status, before and after which they were not so reliable.
If you just want to pick a start and stop point, and see which states and counties had the highest hit rate, fair enough. That's just a description of the period, with no inferential applications in mind.
But to judge the soundness of a particular election, you have to put yourself in the perspective of that year -- therefore, all information from future years is excluded, and the year itself is excluded because it's under consideration. How far back you go from the year in question is up for debate, but it has to include the most recent election before, and trailing backward from there.
For example, let's go back to the stolen 1960 election. If we want to assign a "bellwether warning index" to 1960, we cannot select states and counties to make up the list of bellwethers based on their performance in any point after 1960, and we're excluding 1960 itself because that's what we're uncertain about. The list of bellwethers would be chosen based on their hit rate from some sufficiently long interval that went up through the most recent election of 1956.
We cannot take the bellwethers of 2016 and apply them back to 1960, because some of the current ones were not bellwethers back then, and others from back then have not survived as bellwethers through today. It would be imposing our perspective on another time. Maybe the two will turn out to overlap, but to be as accurate as possible, each year requires its own proper list of bellwethers.
That still allows the analysis to proceed and give an interpretable result. Each year has its own list of bellwethers -- those that clear a sufficiently high threshold of hit rate (e.g., 90%), evaluated over a sufficiently long interval backwards including the previous election (e.g., 15 elections). The longer the interval, the lower the hit-rate threshold should be -- easy to hit 90% over 4 elections, impossible to hit 90% over 40 elections. I'd still say nothing lower than 80-85% even for periods over 50 or so years.
Then for the year in question, each bellwether result is compared to the national result. The total number of misses is added up for the year in question, and that is the index signal for that year. Weighting each component of the index by how reliable each bellwether is relative to the others, gets into over-fitting problems.
Then the index signals from each year can be plotted over time, and we could see spikes in the signal that flag certain elections as suspicious.
This is the point of a solid historical analysis -- we would not only detect a spike from 2020, which is obvious, we would see how unusual it is compared to the rest of our nation's history -- contra the cope that "shady stuff always happens". Moreover, we might detect other (rare) suspicious exceptions, like 1960, contra the other cope that no election has ever been purportedly stolen before.
The insane deviation of 2020 is convincing enough on its own that this is an attempted theft-in-progress, but an even more convincing story would show how rare such a signal is over history -- and how perhaps the only other large deviation is the known stolen election of 1960.
However, I will not be doing this analysis myself. Whoever wants to, can begin with the database sources, and the code for analyzing them, in this post from Adam Obeng. It is county-level, and he looked at 1952 through 2012, but you can substitute different years into his code for your own purposes. Still, that will only generate the list of bellwether counties for a single year. You have to add your own code to do that for each separate year, so you're not judging one period by the bellwethers of another. And you'll write your own code to see how well the bellwethers performed for a year in question, add the misses into an index for that year, and then plot those index signal values over time.
This cyber-professor is handing over such a project to his cyber-grad-students and cyber-postdocs because I'm not terribly passionate about it myself, it will be good practice for them, and they need correction from their current analyses of bellwethers, which use a single list of states or counties to compare elections across several decades, when each election needs its own list of bellwethers. But the basic sources and methods are already there in the post linked to above, so have at it.
I also want to impose some "doing the work" requirements on the "weaponized autism" crowd, who typically waste most of their time just scrolling a social media feed. So many man-hours utterly wasted on social media activity, striving to be talking heads (reacting avatars) and call-in guests (reply guys), just on a 21st-century media platform rather than radio and TV like the Boomers.
I also notice that "the autists" don't get much on a theoretical or conceptual level that ought to shape their interaction with data, even if the point is simple (like bellwethers not being the same states / counties across all years). Instead they consume "the data" as just another form of digital content to entertain themselves with for a take-cycle or two, and then totally forget about it, don't polish it, and never follow up on it.
Here's to hoping that they'll be more motivated to do the most persuasive possible analysis when their president's re-inauguration hangs in the balance.
November 9, 2020
Democrat polarization fails when they're still the opposition party of the Reagan era
The increasingly doomed attempt by Democrats to steal the elections of 4 states (WI, MI, PA, GA) should serve as a bitter reminder to those among their ranks who LARP as though it were still the '60s and '70s, when their party was dominant (New Deal) and they could shove a Republican president out of office (Nixon, Watergate).
Since the Reagan realignment of 1980, they have isolated themselves further from the rest of the country, alienated their potential swing voters, and put all their elite-sector eggs in the basket of unproductive informational activity, such as the media, Silicon Valley, higher ed, and the intel agencies of the Deep State. Finance is the sole productive member of their coalition.
Today's Democrats fantasize about being a dictatorial party that imposes its will despite being the party that nobody wants. To move beyond their delusions, they have to win over states, regions, demographic groups, and sectors of the economy, that currently hate their guts. No amount of rioting, burning down cities, rigging state elections, censorship of the internet and social media, and contemptuous portrayals in entertainment, is going to accomplish that.
Indeed, it's only broadened Trump's appeal: his base is still there, but now buttressed by less-than-hardcore fans, who are thinking, "Whatever he may or may not have delivered from his 2016 campaign themes, at least he isn't hell-bent on our total and remorseless annihilation." Democrats have lowered the bar of acceptable political activities so much, they've allowed Trump to clear the bar with voters all the more easily in 2020 than in 2016.
Any Democrats who want a future where their party is dominant, rather than opposition, now have a whole 'nother topic to have to counter-signal. First it was just, "I don't think flyover country is a basket of deplorables." Then it was, "I don't think burning down cities is an acceptable way to whip urban votes for our candidate." Now it is, "I don't think impotent opposition parties should try to steal the national election by rigging the vote in a few cities that they control."
As I've said before, it seems like finance is the only elite sector using the Democrat party as its vehicle, which has not pulled out all the stops to wipe out their political enemies, at the elite or popular level. The media is the most compromised, followed closely by info-tech, the informational wings of the Deep State (CIA, rather than the Pentagon), and education / campuses. Entertainment is surprisingly not as propagandistic and contemptuous as the others, but it has no material force in society -- only supplying or depriving people of mass-mediated culture.
With apparently no negative feedback from within those worst-offending sectors, the only check on their party's self-destruction is Wall Street and the central bank. They can tighten the financial screws on their fellow elite sectors of the Dem coalition -- a technically, if not politically, easy feat since Silicon Valley is entirely propped up by central bank money-printing that flows through the upper tiers of the finance pyramid (QE). That funds the tech cartel members directly through investments in them, as well as indirectly via the disposable income that their yuppie customer base spends on their products and services. (Yuppies would have had zero wealth growth since 2008 if not for QE trickling down to the top 20%.)
But since finance has actual material power over society -- the creation and flow of money, not just shaping consensus, mass communications, crafting narratives, and other airy-fairy crap -- perhaps they should split off and form their own party. Let the Democrat brand belong to, and die with, the most bitterly despised sectors of society -- Silicon Valley, the CIA, the media, and college campuses. Bring along Hollywood and entertainment, though, since their domain of monopoly (pop culture) is still fairly popular across demographic and political groups, even if it's not powerful.
Then convince the industrial commodity sector -- steel especially -- to defect from the GOP. Manufacturing controls the GOP and has destroyed domestic demand for industrial commodities by off-shoring the factories that make finished goods from raw materials. Finance has a material interest in re-industrializing domestically, since de-industrialization has saddled the central bank with all the costs of funding society (these debts have now bankrupted the central bank), rather than taxing the high-profit-margin manufacturing sector and its labor-intensive workforce that earned high wages. That will lock in Pennsylvania for this new party, along with Indiana (the #1 steel-producing state).
The marketing and branding is irrelevant for now. The key point is just to shed the branding -- and the coalitional membership -- of those hated, impotent, and unproductive sectors that are currently destroying the Democrat party. Call the new one the "Funding and Building Party," I don't know. Things need to be Made in America again, at an industrial scale, and that requires funding their operations, and providing the raw materials for manufacturing. "Funding" avoids the bad associations with "financing" and "banking". Or the "Investing in American Creation Party," which sends out good vibes to fans of Made in America manufacturing, cultural creativeness, and more distantly Creationist-friendly religious people.
November 5, 2020
Modern Democrats: All of the rigging, none of the welfare state, of the old school
As we witness the unfolding of the most flagrant attempt by Democrats to steal several state elections simultaneously, in order to steal the entire presidential election, it's worth remembering what the stakes are.
Most citizens by now already have such low trust in the government and societal institutions broadly, that they might not mind if the election rules were bent or even broken -- provided they got something out of it. Very few people these days idealize and sanctify the electoral process itself, as something to be guarded per se. In the trade-off of prosperity vs. liberty, if forging millions of ballots were to deliver the goods for you and yours, then forge away.
But this is not the close contested election of 1960, where urban Democrat machines put their finger on the scale to favor a New Dealer like JFK. He was not a proto-Reaganite like Carter, so if you liked the New Deal, you could have easily tolerated some breaking of election rules if that's what it took to get more of the New Deal programs.
Nor is Biden a latter-day remnant of the New Deal within the Reagan era, like former Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant, infamous for corruption and presumably no stranger to ballot tampering and the other typical Democrat electoral rule-breaking. Aside from bringing home the bacon to his constituents, he had a flawless record of voting against the two major destructive trends of our era -- de-industrialization and imperial over-reach. He voted against NAFTA, the China trade bill, the Gulf War, and was about to vote against the Iraq War before being driven summarily out of the party.
Robert Byrd, the Democrat Senator from next-door West Virginia, also had a flawless record on those four votes -- plus he'd been around so long that he got to vote for Medicare back during the New Deal era. So he wore some KKK robes when he was a young adult -- BFD, normal people will think, if he's giving the country Medicare, and voting against de-industrialization and getting sucked into Iraq.
Biden, on the other hand, voted in favor of NAFTA, the China trade bill, and the Iraq War. He did vote against the Gulf War -- the only good vote he ever cast -- as did the vast majority of Democrats, who controlled both houses of Congress at the time. But Delaware became even more of a shithole while he was Senator, and the nation tumbled off a cliff during his tenure as VP -- unless you were in the top 20% of the income pyramid, in which case the $4.5 trillion printed up by the central bank slushed your way (quantitative easing).
In the 21st century, that is what you're looking the other way for, when Democrats attempt to steal elections. It's not to elect a New Dealer who's in a tight race against an anti-New Deal Republican of the 1930s. It's to elect a neoliberal warmonger whose primary goal will be to cut a bipartisan deal with Congressional Republicans to gut what's left of the welfare state, de-industrialize the economy, and sink more money into failed militarism abroad (a la Clinton and Obama).
Democrats have truly become the worst of both worlds, corroding all norms of fairness in the naked pursuit of power, while not only delivering nothing to the common people, but acting to strip as much away from them as possible. Our elites have long since become parasitic upon, rather than mutualistic with, the common people. But the Democrat half of the elites has kicked their parasitism into overdrive.
Vote for the other party, and they'll rig the outcome in their own favor. Speak out against the steal, and Silicon Valley censors will muzzle your free speech rights.
This is just like the pattern of rioting over the summer, which an earlier post showed to be a campaign of violently whipping votes for Biden in battleground states (indeed, the same that are now subject to urban Democrat steal attempts). If you aren't going to turn out for our candidate, we'll burn down your neighborhood, and another, and another, until you show up to the voting booth and do as you're told. No promises of goodies and spoils upon victory, just preemptive punishment to motivate those under their control.
Like I said before -- no carrot, all stick. And so it is with the electoral process itself when voting Democrat. If you vote for us, we'll use power to rob you blind, and if you try to vote for the other party, we'll cancel that out with just-enough ballots that have materialized out of thin air.
More and more, the Democrat party appears unable to be reformed, and must be thoroughly replaced with a new second party, in the manner of the Whigs dying in order to be re-born as the GOP during the realignment of the Civil War period (the closest period to our own). Not a party that will deliver utopia, just one that can engage in mutualism with its voters, rather than relentlessly trying to rob them of their freedom while also sucking up as much of their wealth as possible.
With today's Democrats, it's not a trade-off of prosperity vs. liberty, but a lose-lose.
November 3, 2020
The paradox of mega-rallies when Trump supporters are otherwise crypto: Herding to evade individual detection, like secret ballot voting
Outward symbols of supporting Trump have nearly vanished during the 2020 campaign vs. the 2016 campaign -- lawn signs, bumper stickers, and the famous red MAGA hats. And yet he is set to win re-election.
What has put a lid on expressing outward support for Trump is the climate of hysteria, paranoia, and vindictiveness that has been sustained for the past 4-5 years by the liberal half of the elites, those aspiring to join them, and the media who supply the content that they demand (dehumanization of Trump supporters, Trump admin, etc., whether in a normie flavor a la MSNBC or an edgy irony flavor a la Chapo Trap House).
As discussed in October, this is precisely the source of the media's massive polling bias that was predicting a double-digit win, and Electoral College blowout, for a challenger from the opposition party, which saw a fairly divisive primary, taking on the one-term incumbent from the dominant party, which was entirely united during the primary. If the media make it impossible to express support for Trump, naturally the polls will come out ridiculously in favor of Biden.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, where expressions of Trump support are through the roof. The rallies are as big or bigger than in 2016. The "cookie polls" in Ohio and Pennsylvania, which count up the number of cookies sold from a Biden version and a Trump version, are still going strong. Graffiti on public bathroom walls, that I've ever seen, is uniformly pro-Trump (Democrats only react to it, and these merely diss Trump, not support Biden, Bernie, or whoever). And of course, there's the actual voting, where Trump is not only going to win, but with greater turnout than the depressed levels of 2016.
What accounts for the difference? It boils down to whether or not the expression can be traced back to the individual supporter. If so, then the expression has gone into hiding, for fear of retaliation. But if not, then they are still present, perhaps more so.
The best way to view this is as herding behavior among a species that is being hunted by a small number of predators. If the individuals in the herd swarm as a collective, it's hard for the predators to tell one from the other, making it difficult to chase any single one of them down.
Here, the predators are the members of the media, activists, etc., who try to identify specific Trump supporters in order to make them a target for ostracism, getting fired, and so on and so forth.
If you have a Trump sign on your lawn, that is easily matched to your address, and even if the anti-Trump forces don't know your name, they at least know where to find you (to steal your signs, to egg your front door, to make loud noise that keeps you up at night, etc.). Likewise a bumper sticker on your car, hat on your head, and most of the other symbols.
But during a rally, there are thousands -- even tens of thousands -- of Trump supporters, making it information overload for the media, activists, etc. to apply facial recognition technology and generate a list of those in attendance, for distribution to anti-Trump forces. This is a real defeat for the would-be hunters since they're not just "identifying less than 100%" -- they are identifying 0%, because they're not going to bother at all in the face of such information overload.
So, you can go to a massive Trump rally, and no one will know unless you choose to stand right behind Trump, where the main cameras are pointed. If no one knows, there can be no retaliation against you. And therefore, the bigger the rally, the better it thwarts attempts to retaliate against the attendees.
Compare that to a small gathering of dozens, or even a minor protest of only hundreds. The media and activists can turn on their phones for a little while and get everyone's face, voice, unique clothing items, and so on. They can instantly upload those to social media, and then crowd-source the task of identifying the individuals by name, address, etc. Small herds are easily split up and picked over.
This is exactly the logic of secret ballot voting on the same day (or now, the same several-month window). Unless they choose to reveal their preference by putting on a MAGA hat after leaving the polling station, Trump supporters will never be found out when casting their vote. There's no way for anyone to discover that information, and start a chain of events that ends in retaliation against that specific voter. So, they're perfectly happy to turn out in droves to express support for Trump by casting a secret ballot.
The joke's on the cancel crew when it comes time to voting -- they have only rigged the system of individual expression against Trump supporters, but voting is an anonymous collective activity. Who's herd is bigger than who else's? They think that just because they've poisoned the atmosphere of lawn signs, hats, and bumper stickers, they've scared the Trump supporters into hiding on Election Day. But none of the Trump voters have to worry about being "punched as a Nazi" when they go out to the polls, because no one knows how they'll vote. If it came down to it, they could simply lie and say of course they're voting for Biden, in a political kind of taqiya.
This goes equally for the "cookie polls," i.e. the number of Trump cookies vs. Biden cookies at a single bellwether bakery in a battleground state like Ohio or Pennsylvania. No one knows which individuals purchased any of the cookies, but the total number of cookies is still known and can be made publicly available without compromising the secrecy of the "ballot". So, no one is afraid of buying Trump cookies, provided they believe the bakery to be non-partisan. This form of expression of support has not diminished at all, but grown if anything.
Although it's far less ubiquitous than the rallies, cookies, or the soon to be actual votes, public bathroom graffiti exemplifies the logic as well. It's not enough for it to be pseudonymous -- individuals generally use pseudonyms on social media platforms, but that doesn't stop them from getting targeted and suspended. While the IRL name of the account owner may not be known, their account name is. If a specific account posts heretical content, it can easily be identified as the offender and shut down.
With bathroom graffiti, not only does nobody know the IRL name of the tagger, but there's not even a pseudonym, account name, or other unique identifier to help shut down the activity coming from that individual. It's scrawled in secret, while no one else is watching, so good luck tracing it back to the writer. Certainly the owners of the bathroom can have it erased, but that's only tantamount to making a user of Twitter delete particular offending tweets -- not suspending their entire account, which would remove them from posting on the platform altogether. The bathroom scrawler can return whenever and leave as much or more pro-Trump graffiti.
By investing so much in the strategy of suppressing freedom of expression among Trump supporters, the media and activists have only succeeded in cleaning up the outward, individual symbols. If all they wanted was to never see a MAGA hat again, then mission accomplished. But if they wanted to actually diminish Trump support, they have only succeeded in making this support crypto or taqiya. And if they wanted to sap the collective power of their enemies, they have failed because those all benefit from information overload due to herding.
Attendees at a mega-rally, voters in the polling stations, God forbid platoons of troops on a hypothetical civil war battlefield -- none of these collective agents allow for the recognition of the individuals making them up, who are therefore immune against attempts at personal retaliation.
The libtards have sought to "weaken the Trump mob," but in suppressing all of their individual freedoms of expression, they have forced Trump supporters to adopt behaviors that are even more like those of a herd, crowd, mob, gang, or army. And individuals in collectives behave differently, protected as they are from personal retaliation. Credit and blame is so diffusely spread around the various individuals, that any one of them can do something reckless and get away with it.
Conservatards have done nothing of the sort toward their enemies. It's totally permissible to have Biden yard signs, hats, bumper stickers, and the rest of it. They won't be retaliated against for expressing their support for Biden or Democrats generally. No pathetic groups of conservative activists photographing every Biden yard sign they see, making lists of "known Biden supporters" in the community, getting them fired, and so on and so forth.
Crucially, the Biden supporters are not very good at the collective herd behaviors -- their rallies are non-existent, they don't buy cookies shaped like their candidate, they don't tag bathrooms with graffiti in favor of their guy, and they're not going to show up in large enough numbers at the polling stations to win the actual election.
If anything, the climate of hysteria, paranoia, and retaliation created by the media and activists has only made the liberal / left half of the elites more complacent and therefore individualist. They don't need to band together and herd. And they've made the conservative / right half feel more besieged, determined, and therefore collectivist.
Collective activities are no place for smug, secure individuals -- and that is why the liberals and leftists are going to lose when it counts -- like deciding who controls the government -- as long as they keep up their campaign of suppression of individual expression ("cancel culture"). As in all other areas, Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democrat politician with a national stature who could lead the way out of their quagmire, and she is the natural choice of those Trump supporters who are disaffected with the Trump admin's re-branded Reaganism, with only little hints of substantive change.
Celebrate the libtard tears tonight, but more importantly, support Tulsi and the others like her in the future so that we don't keep finding ourselves in this awful situation, where the only silver lining is "owning the libs". NEETs may not mind being part of a samizdat / taqiya movement, but normies would rather be able to openly express which candidate, party, and program they support.
October 23, 2020
The "sexy enemy" Halloween costume: Carnivalesque role inversion and sexual taboo bending to strengthen Us-Them boundary
As Halloween has become adult-oriented over the past 20 years, the "sexy Halloween costume" has become standard, and was satirized as early as 2004 in Mean Girls.
For the most part, the roles that the girls assume are not inherently repulsive, which would thwart their main goal of exuding sexiness at a Halloween party. Some roles are typically warm and feminine like the pet cat or nurse. Others are threatening and dangerous but not necessarily ugly, like the witch or devil -- both of which may deceive with outward attractiveness.
The sole possible exception is the sexy zombie, whose bloody / wounded / decaying body is inherently repulsive. Even there, most girls try to dial down the gore and play up the pallor, vacant stare, and so on, so as to be less disgusting. At the party, they do not move around lethargically and clumsily like corpses, and their normal-to-high energy level makes them seem actually alive rather than (un)dead.
Since Halloween is a holiday for the carnivalesque inversion of rules and roles, the trend is for girls to choose the threatening-but-not-ugly category, rather than the safe-and-familiar category. For one night, they don't have to project propriety, and they can take on the persona of someone they are prohibited from being during the rest of the year.
A similar logic plays out among the guys at the party: for one night, they are allowed to openly desire a member of some group that is otherwise forbidden for them to get horny over. The rest of the year, they must only openly desire nice respectable types, not a witch, devil, zombie, leopard, lusty schoolgirl, etc. -- all of which represent various sexually taboo groups (spirits, dead humans, animals, underage humans, and so on).
Even on Halloween, they are not violating these taboos outright, but only bending them. They're not lusting after an actual leopard, but a human girl wearing a leopard-print body suit. Not an actual high-schooler, but a 24 year-old in a plaid mini-skirt and white button-down shirt.
This is the social control function of a collective ritual like wearing costumes for Halloween. The carnivalesque inversion of roles maintains the status quo by allowing for some exciting -- if temporary -- dynamism, to counteract what would otherwise be an oppressively tedious static system. And the more rare the occasion, the more intense its expression -- which serves to satiate the participants with one great big indulgence, rather than leave them forever craving more if they were to only provide a lot of weak hits. The massive dose sends them into a refractory phase, like a hangover, and ensures that they won't be bending the rules for a long while afterward.
During the rise of Halloween-for-adults, the society has become increasingly polarized by political and cultural membership. That has given the holiday a new source of dangerous, threatening, forbidden types to dress up as (for girls), and to lust after (for guys) -- those who belong to a different political party or a different sub-culture. Call this the "sexy enemy" category of costumes. Not a personal enemy who you, the individual, has beef with -- but who you, as a member of Team A, are opposed to because they belong to the rival Team B. Someone from a group who your own group would never allow you to marry or have children with.
The earliest example is the sexy nun, which I can only date back to 2005 (see here). That sacrilegious trope has existed for far longer, I mean its form as a Halloween costume. That came in the wake of the Catholic Church pedophile scandal of the early 2000s, but has remained common through today, as part of the church-going vs. atheist culture war. As with the other examples, nuns are not inherently ugly, and their roles run the gamut from nurse to teacher to disciplinarian. But within the groups where the costume is worn, their role is "evil religious extremist".
The sexy lady cop can sometimes take on an Us vs. Them character. Generally the Halloween costume party fanatics are on the left half of the political spectrum, where cops are a political enemy group from the right half. That is compounded by the racial divide if the lady cop is white and the male spectator is black or Latino. It's hard to think of a group that black men bitterly hate more than "white cops" -- but if it's a white-woman cop wearing booty shorts and fishnets, then suddenly it's socially permissible among their group to back the blue (for one night, anyway.)
More clearly political is the case of right-wing talking head Tomi Lahren dressing up as celebrity leftist AOC:
I decided to dress up as the person who scares me most. The Democratic Dimwit Darling, socialist-loving, freedom-hating, former bartender herself @AOC pic.twitter.com/PAEK8LkfvI— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) October 31, 2019
Here, she's not dressing up as a generic "sexy leftist" -- perhaps wearing a Che Guevara shirt and dying her hair blue for the night -- but specifically AOC. This means that she and her audience believe that AOC is hot enough to serve as a sexy Halloween costume. The red-blooded red-staters in her audience could never be allowed to marry or have kids with AOC, but they still want to "fuck the liberalism right out of her". That too would violate sexual taboos, though -- you're not supposed to even sleep with an outgroup member.
However, if it's not the true AOC -- but a right-wing babe cosplaying as her -- then it's socially permissible among them to lust after the Commie from Queens. It's bending the norms rather than breaking them. And for the rest of the year, these left vs. right boundaries become stronger after being bent and tested on Halloween night. As in the lady cop example, this case has compounded thrills due to the racial factor, with a Nordic right-winger cosplaying as a left-wing Latina.
There was a similar case in the late 2000s and early 2010s, where left-wing guys lusted after Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, but could only express this in a socially permissible way if it were actually a left-wing woman cosplaying as Palin (comedian Tina Fey or pornstar Lisa Ann). I wasn't at parties with the middle-aged target audience, but Google Images turns up plenty of results for "Sarah Palin Halloween costume".
Notwithstanding these left vs. right examples, polarization is a fractal phenomenon. It's not just the highest-level group, like the nation, that is polarized, but every level on down. The left is highly fractured within itself, as is the right. And each fragment of the left (or right) is itself fragmented, and so on down the line.
So by now it's not just the left dressing up as the right, but one camp within the left dressing up as another left camp. For example, here is Anna Khachiyan's costume from last year. She's dressing up as a basic Becky from the East Coast suburbs who's a regular at Starbucks, has a marketing consultant career, and loved Hillary Clinton in 2016. In other words, a "fellow" member of the left half of the spectrum, but still separated by a sub-cultural divide from the Bohemian olive-skinned ethnic from the urban core who's a regular at Sweet Green, has a niche podcast career, and loved Bernie in 2016. Her audience is from the same in-group, and instantly recognizes which out-group she is cosplaying as.
Choosing the Starbucks Becky reveals that the guys and girls of her sub-culture believe that this out-group is attractive, even if they would distance themselves from them by saying "conventionally attractive". To them, Starbucks Becky's are so attractive that they can serve as a sexy Halloween costume. Anna's fellow urbanite arts majors are prohibited from marrying or having children with someone whose favorite musician is Taylor Swift, and yet they can't help but lust after their long luscious waves, thigh-high boots, and intimacy-enabling lack of irony poisoning. However, if it's not a true Starbucks Becky -- but an art-hoe podcaster cosplaying as one -- then it's socially permissible among their group to openly lust after the type. (For one night, anyway, then it's back to the sub-culture war, whose faultline has been clarified by this boundary-bending exercise.)
Finally there was the case of strengthening the boundary between two factions within the Bernie left, the stylistically radical neoliberals vs. the anti-woke left. Although technically not for a party since she was only hanging out with herself on Halloween, here is a radlib girl cosplaying as the anti-woke left princess, Aimee Terese. As with Tomi Lahren dressing up as AOC, this girl did not wear generic signifiers to look like a generic "sexy anti-woke leftist," but specifically modeled herself after Aimee's iconic Twitter avatar. Both she and her audience feel that Aimee is unambiguously hot enough to serve as a sexy Halloween costume.
Normally, the radlib soyboys would never be permitted to openly thirst after a boo-hiss class-reductionist and anti-feminist, as much as they might want her. But if it's not actually Aimee, only a radlib thot cosplaying as her, then it's off to the horndog races. For one night, anyway, and then the radlib vs. anti-woke boundary gets stronger for the rest of the year after it's been bent and tested.
I'll add other examples in the comments if I think of them. But that covers the phenomenon from the highest to the lowest scale of group polarization.
October 22, 2020
Programming note: Halloween season, and Millennials' inability to celebrate Halloween outside a Saturday
Just a brief note that I will continue ignoring the 24-hour news cycle, the cravings of take junkies from social media, and so on and so forth, notwithstanding the upcoming election.
The last few posts could've been written at any time, and are more of an update on the media's abject failure to figure out what planet they're on. Standard, boring stuff that's not intriguing, or original, or insightful -- but that needs to be spelled out in detail, at least once, ahead of another major election that they're going to completely fuck up in predicting.
There might be a final lighthearted post when the libtard tears start flowing on election night, but until then, it's going to be Halloween themed around here. I didn't want to delve into these topics right when October began because it dilutes the holiday's energy when it's spread across the entire month, and people are basically habituated to it by the time October 31st rolls around.
It's too bad that the coronavirus pandemic has shut down the party atmosphere this year, because this is one of the rare years where Halloween falls on a Saturday.
For the past decade, the socially awkward Millennial generation has altered the day for celebrating Halloween, to suit their inability to cut loose and have fun every once in awhile. For them, the only acceptable day is "the Saturday before Halloween" -- everybody's routine already includes Saturday night as the consensus night for going out to party, so why disturb the routine?
If you celebrated Halloween on October 31st, that could very well fall on a school night / night before work. That's part of the carnivalesque inversion of rules and roles that these holidays allow us to indulge in. But for the hidebound Millennials, you can't just show up to school or work the next day in a post-party buzz or hangover -- that would disturb the routine of school and work! You need that buffer of Sunday before things return to normal on Monday, with any mischief and merrymaking safely quarantined to Saturday.
Since Halloween coincides with Saturday this year, the awkward Millennials wouldn't have their typical excuse not to celebrate the holiday on its real date. That ought to make it feel like a rare treat for them: "Wow, it's been so many years since we got to party on literal Halloween night!"
As in so many other areas of life, Millennials have a knack for cucking themselves. They're self-chaperones. "Don't worry, Mom and Dad / Mr. Principal / Supervisor Karen, we're not going to party on a Tuesday night or anything crazy like that..."
It's not that they're so responsible or conscientious -- they're used to half-assing everything due to grade inflation being the norm in school. It's that they're socially awkward because their helicopter parents raised them in a bubble, and they've grown up incapable of adjusting to the social-cultural world beyond the bubble. Helicopter parents would never allow partying on a Tuesday night, but they would convene a family meeting with their children, and reach a sensible compromise of partying on "the Saturday before Halloween". Crisis averted -- bubble integrity unbreached!
Like the Silent Generation before them, the Millennials are going to absolutely go off the deep-end when the social-cultural mood becomes outgoing instead of cocooning, and crime rates start steadily rising again. They'll be in their late 20s, 30s, even 40s, and they'll feel the irresistible urge to live bubble-wrap-free for the first time in their whole lives, once the social mood has shifted to make it acceptable and standard to let your guard down, go with the flow, etc.
It wasn't Boomers who the hippies drew from, but the Silents who were shaped by the cocooning Midcentury. But, unaccustomed to the novel environment, they were unadapted and unprepared for it, and they were the ones who got easily sucked into drugs, divorce, and the rest of the bad parts of the late '60s.
If you think that won't happen to Millennials when the culture becomes more guard-down, just remember they can't even celebrate Halloween outside of a Saturday because it would threaten their humdrum workday routine. How are they going to handle the next "let it all hang out" kind of zeitgeist?