December 25, 2022

Christmas songs and American ethnogenesis (open thread too)

It's striking how there has been no new American Christmas standard after 1994's "All I Want for Christmas Is You". It's the only standard to come from the '90s, and neither the 2000s nor the 2010s would produce a single new standard.

The '80s were a pretty wobbly decade for Christmas standards anyway -- "Do They Know It's Christmas" and "Last Christmas" from '84, and deep cut (although still played every year now) "Christmas Wrapping" from '81. And the big ones were both British, although under the American empire's influence by that point.

The '70s weren't too great either: "This Christmas" and "Feliz Navidad" from '70, barely outside of the '60s, "Wonderful Christmastime" from '79, and annoying gag song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" also from '79.

The last decade to be packed with new Christmas standards was the '60s, from "Please Come Home for Christmas", "Do You Hear What I Hear?", "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year", "Little Saint Nick", and the several examples from children's TV specials -- "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas", "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", "Christmas Time Is Here", and "Linus and Lucy".

American Christmas standards really start in the '30s, and continue through the '60s. This is the peak of American imperial ethnogenesis, when we were still defining our collective identity (and capable of expanding territorially, peaking in WWII). Anything that came after that is largely irrelevant, because our identity had already been forged. And anything before that was from a not-yet-mature stage of forging our identity.

So, for better or worse, most of our distinctly American Christmas music sounds like Midcentury American pop music. And very little of it is distinctly Christian -- it's more about the snow, gift-giving, and other wintertime secular rituals.

Why? Because America's process of forging its identity has always pointed away from its Old World roots, including Christianity in any form (Catholic, Protestant, etc.). Our founders were more Freemason than Christian. Like it or hate it, it's true. Evangelical Protestants and Catholics alike are most common back East, where America barely exists, and where Old World roots live on the strongest.

Heading westward has always defined the American experience and identity construction, as our primary meta-ethnic frontier was with the Indians on the other side. And out West, there are various strains of New Age American folk religion, but there is a brand new distinctly American sacred / supernatural kind of religion -- Mormonism (which had its own back East roots in Freemasonry).

I don't think that will replace Christianity until our empire is done collapsing, in the same way that Christianity didn't take root throughout the Roman Empire until it was collapsing in the 3rd century and afterward, although it originated during the height of Roman expansion in the 1st century.

And similarly, Christian culture barely existed during the 1st century or even 2nd -- that all came later as well. The same will be true of Mormon culture -- there won't be a new canon of Mormon Christmas songs until several centuries from now, when it has replaced Christianity in the former American Empire.

Although the Mid-20th-century songwriters could not tell what specific religion would replace the Old World religion of Christianity in America, they could still tell that Christianity would not survive here for long. Hence the need for a non-Christian canon of Christmas music, to mark us as a wholly separate, non-European ethnicity (in the anthro sense of a replicating cultural in-group -- not as a euphemism for "DNA race" as libtards and conservatards both now employ it).

And it's not merely a case of RETVRNING to our pre-Christian pagan European roots, as when we venerate trees, or whatever. Europeans may celebrate Christmas, and they may even incorporate pre-Christian elements. But our non-Christian elements are not very pre-Christian -- they are novel, and distinctly American, like elevating reindeer and snowmen to mythological status, even giving them proper names like Rudolph and Frosty. And adding new antagonists like the Grinch.

Santa (no longer called "Santa Claus") is distinctly American and novel as well. Father Christmas belongs to British imperial ethnogenesis (16th C), the Christkind (German imperial ethnogenesis, also in the 16th C) does not resemble Santa, and Sinterklaas from Dutch imperial ethnogenesis (early modern as well) only resembles Santa in being an old man gift-giver near the end of the year with a naughty-or-nice list (American Santa also lacks the accompanying character of Zwarte Piet).

The jolly fat old man with a white beard, red suit with white cuffs, who lives at the North Pole with Mrs. Claus (the only one to still regularly bear the "Claus" name), and oversees a workshop of helper elves to make or at least procure toys, riding a magical flying sleigh pulled by reindeer -- is a totally new American invention, from the 19th C., as we were expanding territorially.

These new members to the Christmastime cast of characters were driven into mass awareness through our distinctly American cultural products, like TV shows and pop music, not Christian hymns or pre-Christian European folk culture for that matter.

All of this reminds us that Americans are a distinct cultural group that underwent ethnogenesis in a totally different part of the world from the Early Modern European empires, although we began as an off-shoot of them, and were shaped by interactions with an "Other" who simply did not exist in the Old World. It's only natural that even surrounding a holiday that we supposedly have in common, like Christmas, our cultures will diverge widely.

84 comments:

  1. Here is a nice thread on the evolution of Santa Claus.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/culturaltutor/status/1606891166221623298

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  2. See, that's why you can't trust the statue avi crowd -- their whole schtick is to trace American ethnicity (cultural sense) all the way back to imperial Greece or Rome, an unbroken Western tradition. This is tantamount to denying that American ethnogenesis ever took place, and has largely been completed by now.

    The Greeks and Romans had nothing to do with the New World, didn't even know it existed. They never faced Indian tribes -- they faced Old World rivals.

    Some parts of our culture are inherited from earlier cultures that we were off-shoots of, mainly from the British empire. And via them, to Indo-European culture, as well as various pre-Indo-European cultures.

    But the ethnogenesis that accompanies imperial expansion totally transforms the culture -- if it were simple to make up completely new languages, we would. As it stands, we innovate new sound patterns (like the Great Vowel Shift in British English, as they were cohering against the French menace after the Norman Invasion and Hundred Years War -- or the cot-caught merger, father-brother merger, etc., that separated American / Canadian speech from British / Scottish / Irish speech.)

    This is not agency-free evolution a la genetic evolution, where there's random mutations and some are kept and others are discarded, and there's identity by descent or by convergent evolution. This is a deliberate collective effort to distinguish Us from Them -- or rather, the New Us from the Old Us.

    We are not a palimpsest of various pre-American, European cultures (whether pagan or Christian), that blindly and randomly meld together. We are a consciously forged and newly constructed ethnicity -- to the extent that we continue to resemble some earlier European cultures, it was by deliberate choice, to emphasize certain aspects of certain of our roots, even as we are engineering a wholly new identity.

    This is true for every culture that accompanies imperial ethnogenesis, the most radically transforming process there is. Imperial expansion is diametrically opposed to tradition, and that's why these right-wingers, whose function is to rationalize right-wingery, deny this contradiction.

    Their constituents are both the military, the central agent of imperial expansion, but also various religious and cultural traditionalists. If you wanted to conserve and RETVRN, you should wish that the British never became an empire, because that's why we're here now, with a non-European culture that the trads are struggling impotently to de-transform, back into Christian or Pagan European cultures.

    And even if they allow British imperial expansion, they should have wished that America never expanded beyond the Appalachian Mountains and remained "British in the New World," similar to the original Canadians. Because through American imperial expansion, we are not even British anymore, let alone European.

    There's way too much moralizing and rationalizing going on in right-wing cultural "analysis" to believe the main points they're selling.

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  3. The only group for whom American imperial expansion and religious fervor coincide are the Mormons -- they're a radically new religion, who no Christian body accepts as Christian. The Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Joseph Smith, the Genesis-style mythology of New World populations, etc., is a conscious break with all Old World religions, while still trying to emphasize certain of those old roots (mainly in the Near East, though, not Europe, but that's another story).

    They're central to American westward expansion, Manifest Destiny, culturally absorbing further cultures out into the Pacific Ocean, and being pioneers (Pioneer Day is a central holiday in Utah).

    They were so opposed to the back-East power center that they were literally at armed warfare with it for several decades in the late 19th C., and Mormon temple initiation rituals ("endowment") continued to incorporate swearing a blood oath of vengeance against their back-East military-government persecutors, well into the 20th C.

    As far as they were concerned, the real America was the one they were constructing out West as pioneers, not the pre-American / European remnants and fossils from back East.

    But other than Mormons, the right-wing contradiction remains between the military and the trads. And anyone papering over that, or flat-out denying it, is just a huckster.

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  4. Specifically, what's wrong with that "pre-American / Euro palimpsest" model of Santa? None of the precursors hails from the North Pole, or any unspecified ice / snow world. None of them has a wife. None of them oversees a production team of elves, who manufacture or procure the gifts to be delivered. None of them rides a magical sleigh, and therefore none is pulled by a team of beasts of burden like reindeer (the Dutch / Belgian Sinterklaas rides a single horse personally, not being drawn in a sleigh or coach, let alone by a team of them).

    And tellingly, none of them is named "Santa". Americans don't only refer to the individual that way, but anything associated with him -- "Santa's list", "Santa's bag", "Santa costume", etc. We have consciously dropped "Claus", dropped the linguistic connection to Nicholas / Saint Nick, and since we aren't a Romance-speaking culture, we have no idea that "Santa" is cognate with English "saint".

    A palimpsest model would mean all those elements were present in pre-American cultures, but just thrown together from various sources. None of them are present anywhere in Europe -- we created them deliberately to distinguish ourselves from our various European cultural precursors.

    The reach for a Scandinavian connection between Santa's elves and the tomte nisse is bogus because they don't live in the North Pole or indeed anywhere outside of the family's land who they help. They aren't overseen by a third-party boss (who would be the stand-in for Santa). And they don't manufacture items like a production line in a factory, they just perform agricultural labor around the property, and contribute to the LUCK stat of their host family. Their appearance is more like that of Santa than the elves -- old, bearded, white-haired, whereas Santa's elves are juvenile-looking, have their hair color, and are clean-shaven / too childlike to grow a beard. And the tomte nisse have red headwear like Santa, not the green caps that Santa's elves wear.

    So they don't resemble them at all, but furthermore, Scandinavian cultures did not feed into American culture, so there's no possibility of a palimpsest anyway. If the Vikings, rather than the Early Modern British, had colonized the New World, then there would be all sorts of Scandinavian influnce on the culture of today's residents of North America. But since they did not, there is not.

    Garden gnomes are about as far as the tomte nisse appear in American culture, and they are not treated by anyone as actual living creatures or spirits who play a role in the family's lives. Just objects of decoration.

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  5. Father Christmas does not resemble Santa either. He's got the Yule log, wassail bowl, and staff, none of which fed into Santa's get-up. He does wear a wreath of holly, but in America that has been displaced from the person to the walls as a decorating object.

    And he has nothing of the gentle, grandfatherly, responsible, punctual superviser-of-a-production-team role that Santa has. Father Christmas is the leader of rowdy carrousing and merry-making -- by and for adults, not children like Santa. That central role of F.C. did not even remotely feed into Santa's role.

    Just cuz he's an old man with a beard who shows up toward the end of the year? Get real.

    However, as the American empire reaches its collapsing stage, there is a very active process of de-Americanizing Santa and struggling to RETVRN to earlier pagan / British traditions, of public carrousing, mass drunkenness, and merry-making -- SantaCon, where adult men dress up in a Santa costume but otherwise behave like drunk Union Jack tourists in the New York City metro area, around Christmastime.

    This could never take root out West, because they're too American to desecrate Santa like that. But the New York metro area, along with the whole rest of the back-East region (Yankee or Dixie), still does not speak with American accents, stuck in limbo between British and American accents. They didn't migrate out West as pioneers, so they were not subjected to the radical cultural transformation of cohering together against the Indians and settling open plains, etc.

    They also want to RETVRN to British / pre-American / non-American traditions like Christmas poppers, which would strike out-Westerners as too affected and not American.

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  6. But where Father Christmas is actually authentic, he shows the ethnogenetic process perfectly. The British personification of Christmas first appears in the 1400s, well after the Great Vowel Shift and the Norman Invasion / Hundred Years War against the French menace had been under way. Part of the English Civil War was fought over the celebration of Christmas, and he reached his final solidified state at the Victorian twilight of the British empire, before it bit the dust in WWI along with the other Early Modern Euro empires (aside from Russia, which lasted into the 1980s).

    Father Christmas is not a primeval figure, shifting shapes throughout various eras of the history of the British Isles -- he was nowhere to be found for thousands of years, until British people began cohering intensely against the French invaders, during the late Middle Ages and Early Modern era.

    And as far as I can tell from the Wiki entry, he originated in the South of England, not the North (let alone Wales, Scotland, or Ireland). The earliest mentions of a personification of Christmas are from Devon and Norwich. Into the 1500s, York (in the North) conserved the pre-British tradition of Yuletide, specifically calling the personification "Yule" rather than anything Christmas-y to reflect contemporary changes.

    British ethnogenesis is concentrated in the South, especially the Southeast, because that's the meta-ethnic frontier with the French -- not with invaders from due east, north, or northwest. Even today, Northern English / Scottish / Irish speakers refuse to fully adopt the Great Vowel Shift.

    The fact that the Parliamentarians / Cromwellians managed to suppress Christmas celebrations shows how influential the Southeast is (they were based there, the Royalists were to the north and west). That may have been overkill in their zeal to distinguish the British from the French, and therefore anything that smacked of Catholic veneration of saints like Saint Nicholas, but also being Puritans and wanting to suppress the rowdy carrousing of pre-Christian pagan Yule traditions in the North. So they just shut every wintertime ritual down.

    However, as this hyper-polarized climate subsided in the centuries after the Civil War, it was Christmas and Father Christmas that came back, not Yule or Yuletide. That reflects the greater strength of Southern than Northern rituals, as Britain became an empire.

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  7. The revulsion of Southern English toward Northerners, who they view as never fully becoming British, is shown in the Wicker Man horror movie from 1973. Culture-makers in Britain are concentrated in the Southeast (esp. London), just as American ones are concentrated out West (esp. L.A.).

    If the point were merely to depict degeneration, they could have focused on contemporary urban degeneracy in London itself -- no need to travel to the Hebrides Islands to the west of mainland Scotland.

    But the point was to also paint them as an earlier stage of British people, and therefore inferior to all contemporary fully-British people. So, head way up North where the Great Vowel Shift never spread. Then you can view them as primitive barbarians or savages, not just degenerates.

    It's also not a fear or disgust of urbanites toward ruralites -- there's plenty of rural folk to look down on in Southwest England, no need to visit Scotland.

    It's specifically a Southern vs. Northern rivalry, owing to the location of the meta-ethnic frontier against the French, and who has been the most radically transformed into a wholly new ethnicity by imperial ethnogenesis, vs. those who were far from the wars against the French and therefore left relatively unscathed by these (very deliberate) cultural innovations.

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  8. Without delving into as much detail, the German tradition of Christkind traces back to German imperial expansion. The tradition begins in the 1500s, as Prussia was expanding westward toward what we call "Germany" today.

    And it was pioneered by Martin Luther, a central figure in German ethnogenesis, who developed a new religion to replace what had been there for centuries. The Church of Rome was the old, fossilized religion of the Germans -- a new, dynamic religion was needed to distinguish the New Germans from the Old Germans, during imperial expansion.

    And sure enough, Protestantism has always been stronger / originated in the north and east of German-speaking lands, where the Prussians came from -- much less so in the south and west, which have remained more Catholic.

    The Dutch / Belgian tradition of Sinterklaas -- and Zwarte Piet -- begins only in the Early Modern era as well, as the Dutch began to establish an empire against their various imperial expanding neighbors like Britain and France.

    In sum, NONE of these figures are a palimpsest that traces back through the ages. They are all deliberately engineered, the outcome of the social construction of a wholly new ethnicity during imperial expansion.

    And that is why they are so specific to the empires that spawned them -- the British figure was constructed by the British empire, the German one by the German empire, the American one by the American empire. Empires do not overlap, and their peoples are not only *not* the same -- they are often bitter rivals, eager to distinguish Us from Them.

    And that's why Scandinavia has no such figure -- it never spawned an empire, at least after the Vikings from over 1000 years ago. They have not undergone imperial ethnogenesis, with the accompanying insane degree of Us-ness, and the need to forge a wholly new identity with new rituals, words, and so on.

    Scandinavians really are the noble savages of Europe in more ways than way. They have more hunter-gatherer DNA, but culturally they never belonged to empires, and were not subjected to the highs and lows of the ethnogenetic rollercoaster.

    That's where you can find these primeval traditions that blindly mutate and spread without agency over the centuries, like the tomte nisse -- similar to the fairies of Ireland, which has never spawned an empire of its own, and was only weakly and belatedly incorporated into the British empire. Probably similar things in the remote parts of Northern Russia, away from their meta-ethnic frontier in the South against the Steppe peoples. (I wouldn't trust finding such things in the former Lithuanian empire, though.)

    The figures that are highly specific, distinctive, and representative of a people are relatively new, deliberately constructed, and come from the imperial expansion era of their history.

    There's more than genetic evolution, or even cultural evolution -- there are historical contingencies, especially relating to the rise-and-fall of empires, that have to be taken into account before analyzing things at the big-picture level.

    I was a pioneer back in the early 2010s of making the cultural right focus on culture per se rather than genetic reductionism (sadly many / most are still stuck there, but some have taken that message to heart). I've been going on about historical contingencies now since the late 2010s, so hopefully they will take that to heart as well.

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  9. A final brief remark, that NATO has spread Santa to the collapsed Early Modern empires of Europe, except of course for the one that lasted through the 20th C and was our main geopolitical rival in Europe -- Russia.

    You could probably trace this decade by decade. I doubt Spaniards dressed up in Santa hats before the '80s, but it was already being adopted by the 2000s when I lived there (although 20 years ago, they were still preserving their older traditions, like the Tio de Nadal in Catalonia, a gift-bearing wintertime log).

    I'm sure Bulgarians never paid any attention to Santa before the past decade or so either.

    And now that Ukrainians are begging to be let into NATO, you can bet that Reddit: The Country will adopt the American Santa culture whole-cloth in order to demonstrate which side they're on (not Russia's). They've already begun desecrating their own Orthodox churches -- why not replace Orthodox Christmas with American Christmas altogether?

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  10. Tellingly, Japan and South Korea, militarily occupied by America for decades, have adopted Santa culture, but Yankee-free North Korea has not. It has nothing to do with religion or Christianity because Santa is not a Christian figure, he's a folk culture / mythological figure.

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  11. Libtards are more ferociously anti-Santa than anti-Jesus because America has already been on a non-Christian / post-Christian / Mormon trajectory for awhile now. It's and Old World thing, we're in the New World, it's going to vanish on its own. No need for libtards to throw extra weight behind the effort.

    The last breath of anti-Jesus libtardery was the 2000s (the Jesus Camp movie, etc.). You can't imagine the descendants of Green Day titling a song "Jesus of ____" in the 2020s, because Jesus has been gone for a long time. Not just since the 2000s, but really since the founding of America -- "God" doesn't specify the father of Jesus, and we don't say "In Jesus / Christ we trust," it's all this vague "God" and trying to root it in the Old rather than New Testament.

    But again, story for another post. Point is: Jesus has rarely played a central role in American state religion.

    Instead the desecrators have gone after actually existing mythological, legendary, supernatural, or folk figures in American culture. By now, they deploy more weapons against Santa than Jesus.

    Every Christmas, we get reminders from snarky libtards about how "to believe that Santa could deliver presents to all kids believing in him, he'd have to be able to travel at X miles per second -- clearly a ridiculous notion, ergo he doesn't exist!" To them, belief in Santa is lower than belief in Jesus.

    Given the supernatural nature of these figures, mundane arguments are of course irrelevant. "Yeah, well he's fuckin' Santa -- he can fly faster than mere mortals, you dumbass." Or in a troll mode, or sincere wonderstruck child mode, "Wow, THAT'S how fast Santa flies to get his job done? That's amazing!"

    And as always, rituals are not about beliefs, which are flimsy and ill-defined even by the individuals claiming to hold them, but about behavior, especially of a social or collective form. We behave as though Santa is real -- laying out the milk and cookies for him, telling children to beware of their naughty-or-nice status, putting presents under the Christmas tree with Santa's name on them (and others from mere mortals, not only Santa), and singing songs about him and his ways.

    Just as Christians behave as though Jesus is real, was resurrected, and so on. Thoughts, schmoughts. Behavior counts.

    We don't get those annual lectures about how the Bible says Jesus was born in different places depending on which account you read, experts agree he wasn't born on December 25th, or on Easter the lectures about how coming back from the dead is impossible, etc.

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  12. In fact, who else *is* grouped in with Santa as targets for the culture-destroyers? Their stock phrase is, "Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy". None are religious, let alone Christian. And those are distinctly American imperial creations dating back a century or so at most, as we were forging out own new identity to separate from the British and other Europeans.

    They have a *higher* regard for Jesus and believers in Jesus, by saying "You can't possibly believe in Jesus as recounted in the Bible -- why, that's like believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy". That assumes that the latter three are dead-obvious fake entities that only dumb children believe in, whereas the former has a higher if still debateable status that adults may potentially believe in.

    None of these entities are more or less believable than any of the others -- they're all supernatural, legendary, mythological, etc. Jesus' existence is historically attested, sure, that makes his existence as a mere mortal more credible than an egg-laying bunny. But they're talking about his supernatural, miraculous qualities -- not having merely existed.

    The reason the desecrators target Santa etc. instead of Jesus is that the former are widely "believed in" -- people behave as though they were real -- in our historically contingent environment, where Christianity -- especially all of it relating to Jesus rather than a generic "God" -- has been fading rapidly since our nation / empire's inception.

    They want to destroy American culture and dissolve the social-cultural glue that bonds all Americans together. Jesus is not an element of that glue, so they have learned to leave him alone, and perhaps even pay grudging respect to certain believers-in-Jesus (while not believing in Jesus themselves).

    Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, however, are central elements of that glue -- so they must be attacked whenever the opportunity arises. They will never be left alone, and none of their believers will ever be afforded grudging-respect status.

    It's also relevant that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are all gift-bearers -- culture-destroyers want to destroy anything positive, generous, and pro-social. They only believe in folk devils, not folk angels -- ironically or not believing in Satan / The Devil, spirit cooking, the Boogeyman, horror movie villains, and so on.

    They want to emphasize punishment, not rewarding, and especially when the punishment is undeserved and therefore evil. They are anti-human scum and deserve nothing but mockery and exclusion.

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  13. And that's why, during American ethnogenesis, the culture-makers have been far more concerned with telling stories where Santa -- rather than Biblical Jesus -- is really real, not just a figment of our imagination or an empty legend -- from Miracle on 34th Street (1947, during the heyday of American Christmas creation), up through the petering-out stage of our culture, with The Santa Clause (1994, the same year that the last American Christmas standard song was made, "All I Want for Christmas Is You").

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  14. You are not wrong about the thread of anti-Jesus-ism/antiChristian forces extant in the rise and fall of Imperial USA. You are mistaken in the culture. Read the popular children's fiction through the middle of the 19c in America, and it is possible to trace the de-Christianization of that medium on both sides of the Atlantic. Otherwise interesting stuff.

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  15. Thanks to the Holo girls for showing right up to our homes at Christmastime to sing us carols. Millennials and Zoomers have probably never had real-life carolers visit their homes to sing honest-to-God Christmas carols, but I have. Granted, only one year, but that's because they were a local troop that can only visit so many houses per evening, and we happened to be on their list one year. Sometime in the late '80s or early '90s.

    But now that that tradition has long since died off, it's nice to have a virtual simulation of it through the Holo girls performing so many karaoke sessions that are packed with Christmas songs. Such a strange mixture of receiving Christmas carolers, attending your daughter's recital at her school auditorium, and going to a professional Christmas concert. All the wintertime musical performance feels, wrapped up into one soothing sensation. :)

    I haven't had time to watch them all live or catch up fully just yet, as my mom's in town for the holidays, and we've been watching movies around the normal streaming times.

    But I did see Mumei's Christmas karaoke last week. I caught the end of Irys' last night, then watched some vods of it tonight -- very heartwarming to hear her doing more Sad Seventies staples, not only "Rainy Days and Mondays" but also some Carpenters Christmas songs this time as well ("Merry Christmas Darling").

    Missed Fauna live tonight, but watched some vods afterward. Dueting with the Goobinator to "Baby It's Cold Outside", what a Christmas gift for the saplings and chumbos alike. Something special, a gift that only a Holo girl could give. Not something you can take off of a shelf, or place an order for online, no matter how much money you have. :)

    Also deeply appreciate Kiara's Advent calendar for bringing everyone together all month long, including a last-minute Christmas miracle with Goomba showing up.

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  16. Jarad Petroske12/26/22, 1:40 AM

    Great Christmas evening read. Thank you. I especially enjoyed the reframe on Back East/Dixie Land being less American than the West owing to its roots in the Old World. I’ll be thinking about that idea for months into 2023.

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  17. It seems insane to suggest that the territories that will make up the future former US Empire will become Mormon. As a Catholic, Mormonism comes across to me as something that was only able to emerge in the frontier environment of the US in the 19th century, where you could both have limited sources of information and also live relatively isolated from the rest of the world. Since then it has kind of survived through inertia. I've also heard that Salt Lake City doesn't feel like a holy or special city, not even compared to some of the nearby bigger cities in California. Evangelical Protestantism (so called non-denominational) seems to me as the religion that is most American in spirit.

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  18. Fauna's tagline when Switch Sports bowling begins: "That's right -- I'll have you fearin' the kirin" (brief pause after "fearin'").

    As her next music video debuts: "Are you hearin' what the kirin is premierin'?"

    Has anyone thought these up already? Hope not. ^_^

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  19. What's going to happen to the culture of black people in America as the American empire falls apart?

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  20. Aw, I think Fauna told us the origin of her oneesan (big sister) personality -- she delayed taking PE until senior year of high school, whereas most people took it early. So she was the only senior, and everyone else were freshmen or a handful of sophomores.

    And, surprisingly to her, a group of cool but quite younger girls adopted her into their clique.

    Why would the popular kids want to be friends with an emo, she must've thought? Well, because she was older than they were -- being older had an inherent coolness or respectability to it. Especially in high school, where 2-3 years may as well be 2-3 lifetimes.

    So she prefers playing the older sister role with others, because that role was pivotal during what was perhaps the only time she got to shine as one of the popular crowd.

    That's why she prefers hanging out with girls a few years younger than herself, like Mumei, Bae, and of course the Goobinator. Not because she's grooming them into a Zoomer harem or anything weird like that -- ^_^ -- but because they allow her to keep living that "wow, I'm one of the popular kids now!" period of her life.

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  21. Aside from being an incredibly cute and vulnerable opening-up moment about her life, this shows what else shapes a person, besides genetics and the "common environment" that two identical twins would share if they grew up together (like having lots of books in the home, climate, income of parents, etc.).

    There's a huge role for randomness and chance (the so-called "non-shared environment" in the behavior genetics literature). Suppose Fauna had an identical twin who grew up with her, but who took PE during freshman year like most students. Then it's unlikely a group of popular girls would've adopted her, being an emo outsider and all.

    She never would've felt part of the popular crowd, never would've practiced the "big sister" role with younger girl friends, and therefore would not have retained that part of her character into adulthood -- it wouldn't have gotten her anything special, if she had merely been freshman girl #27 in that PE class.

    But the Fauna that delayed taking PE until senior year *did* get to play that role, and imprinted on it because of how socially and emotionally useful it was to her during those crucial developmental years. Now it's just something she can't help but be.

    I highly doubt it's a genetic predisposition -- all her other traits are youthful, shy, innocent, etc. Not what would someone who had genes for playing the big sister role would have -- more mature, outgoing / initiating the interaction, experienced, and so on.

    It wasn't her genes predisposing her to this role, she was forced into it, or serendipitously fell into it, because of the random chance of delaying it a year, then another year, and then another year, until she suddenly found herself with "cool older girl" cache among the popular younger girls. It was dumb luck!

    That's also why she bristles when her male audience calls her "mommy" or wants her to act like a MILF or cougar or whatever. That would be a woman whose genes inclined her toward being that way -- all her traits would point in that direction. But Fauna is not like that at all, she still seems like a tee-hee schoolgirl, not a been-there-done-that / jaded / experienced / knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it, desperate housewives, cougar type.

    The only big-sister role she played as with same-sex peers, fitting into a peer group -- not opposite-sex peers, in a romantic relationship.

    I'm guessing she still likes somewhat older guys, not ones who are several years younger, as though she were a big-sister in the romantic domain of life. Only in the same-sex peer / friend domain! It's about that time she felt popular among fellow girls, not a time she felt desired by hot guys (younger guys can never be that hot to a girl, especially in high school).

    ReplyDelete
  22. For those interested, you can read Judith Rich Harris' book "No Two Alike" about the importance of the non-shared environment in shaping how people turn out. I wrote about the role for random chance in this non-shared environment model, either at this blog or GNXP.com or both (circa 2006, if memory serves).

    Randomness at both the social level, such as Fauna's example, or at the microscopic level -- like a neuron zigs instead of zags, and wires one twin's brain slightly differently, or a pathogen zigs instead of zags and successfully infects one twin but not the other twin, and that infection causes some difference in the brain's development.

    Last I read, something like 50% of the variation in adult traits is caused by differences in the non-shared environment, 35-40% due to genetic differences, and the small remainder to common environment (the stuff that social engineers impotently struggle to change, like parental income, books in the home, etc.)

    BTW, another thing in favor of Fauna not being genetically inclined to the big-sis role, is that she emphasizes that the popular girls adopted her, i.e. they made the first move, and she was initially taken by surprise but went along with it anyway.

    If she were a genetically inclined big-sister, she would've been that way by senior year of high school, and waltzed on over to those younger popular girls, approaching them with an offer to be their cool older friend, and then they would've been struck by being visible to the cool seniors when they were lowly freshmen, and said "of course!"

    But that's not how it went. They approached her, they transformed her into the big-sister role, which she was initially not inclined to specialize in.

    But dumb luck doesn't care if you're ready for it or not -- you have to adapt on the fly during those crucial years, and in adulthood, you and your identical twin who you were raised with, turn out strikingly different in quite a few ways!

    Fascinating stuff.

    I know the Holo girls talk about their "siblings" here and there -- do you think any of them actually has a TWIN, let alone an identical twin? That would make for an even better case study! But for now, hypotheticals like "if Fauna hadn't wound up on that path" will have to be close enough to twin studies. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Having divorced parents is one of the few common environment features that can screw kids up, though. I remember the bitter flame-warring in the comments section of this blog over that topic when I delved into the literature, probably back in 2013 or '14.

    All these insane right-wingers, whose goal was to rationalize the neoliberal breakdown of American society -- Reaganism -- went to such lengths to claim that, "Ackshually, growing up in a broken home doesn't matter".

    They argued deductively from the general picture of behavior genetics -- that genes matter, the chance part of the environment matters, but not the common environment (much).

    However, when you look at one of those common environment features -- growing up with divorced parents -- the effect was pretty big, unlike other usual suspects like parental income, etc.

    I don't remember if it impacted adult IQ or not, but who cares? And who said it would? It was more about personality traits, like being depressed or anti-social in adulthood, that kind of thing. But if you remember the pre-Twitter era of the internet, so much of the online right was single-mindedly focused on IQ as the only trait worth investigating.

    The literature was crystal clear, BTW, and everything I said was correct. They were just sad coping rationalizers eager to downplay the destruction that the Me Generation, yuppies, Boomers, and Reaganites wreaked on our once-great society.

    I don't think that kind of argument would fly today, incidentally. It's common knowledge now how insane Reagan and his acolytes were about immigration, abortion, divorce, and the rest of the cultural conservatives' main concerns.

    I would never let shilling for partisan politics get in the way of my destiny as a Gen X-er to remind everyone how destructive divorce is on the children, and why it's one of the strongest signs of our national decline and epidemic of self-centered-ness.

    "Who cares if we fuck up the kids? We don't love each other anymore."

    Too bad, so sad -- we still need a mom and a dad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditziness used to be associated with wholesomeness:

      http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2012/12/have-ditzes-disappeared.html?m=1

      In some quarters, it still is:

      https://lithub.com/femme-freedom-on-film-on-daisies-romy-and-micheles-high-school-reunion-and-twinning/

      Delete
  24. Decent post in that lithub link. Just filter out the "DNC are my patrons" MFA-speak, about heteronormativity, patriarchy, capitalism, etc. There's zero about those topics in the substance of the argument, which is about failure to launch or whatever the euphemism is today. That occurs in communist as well as capitalist, patriarchal as well as imaginary matriarchal, and hetero as well as imaginary all-gay societies.

    It's about women who remain eternally childlike or adolescent, mixing up the worlds around them in playful ways, not settling down. The term that the author's not allowed to say anymore as a dutiful Democrat / MFA-haver -- Manic Pixie Dream Girls. (Props still for praising girliness and normalizing use of the word "panties", twice -- about as edgy as these people are allowed to get these days.)

    Specifically during the manic phase of the 15-year cultural excitement cycle (sure enough, Daisies and Romy & Michele are both from manic phases, the late '60s and the late '90s, also completing a 30-year cycle). See my post about how the MPDG character evolves after the restless phase is done, when she's fulfilled her nursing role of bringing sad sacks out of their cocoons and giving them confidence to achieve. Then they start pursuing their own wants and needs, a la Ruby Sparks in the early 2010s manic phase (after the late 2000s restless phase, where the MPDG proper roles were concentrated).

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2020/02/after-nursing-others-to-health-during.html

    Mira Sorvino is the manic-phase birth, while Lisa Kudrow is a wild-child restless phase birth, and Sorvino was always more MPDG-ish -- especially in Mighty Aphrodite. That's from '95, just outside of the restless phase where MPDG movies tend to concentrate (restless phase, in that case '90-'94, e.g. Pretty Woman and L.A. Story). But pretty close.

    If we go with the substance of what she's saying, not the MFA-speak, we can see why there's this "twinning" phenomenon in her examples. She doesn't really account for that in the post. You can not have kids, not get married, etc., while still being a loner -- the ultimate rejection of fitting in as a cog in the machine.

    But these characters have a pair, almost like a clone. That is clearly owing to their failure-to-launch youthfulness -- it's like being a middle-school or high-school girl who has a BFF as her quasi-twin. As they mature, women no longer have BFFs, or even the same female friends over time -- they tend to burn bridges with their female friends after awhile, and never have anything to do with them again. It's a harsh life.

    But if she's stuck in adolescence, she would want to keep around her quasi-twin for as long as possible, the key word in "best friends forever".

    Adult MPDGs can easily be loners, or at least without twins. They're the wandering gypsy type -- that doesn't require having a clone of yourself, to insulate yourself from the broader social norms and punishments.

    Needing a BFF well into adulthood is not just about being a MPDG type, but specifically one who's eternally adolescent, not merely child-*like* or teenage-*like*.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I feel sorry for all the guy readers who are in the same boat as Aidan, who want a ditzy girl or a MPDG in their world, yet refuse to watch streams from the Hololive girls, despite my constant highlighting of them.

    Such guys *want* to be culturally blue-balled, they're not just complaining about how the world ain't what it used to be. True, but just watch the girly-girl streamers from Hololive, and it's problem solved. You may not have known about them, or streaming as a whole -- but now you do, since I've been writing about them this whole year.

    If you don't want them in your world, you're just BS-ing about missing the good ol' days (the '90s, in most instances, not even the '50s or whatever). You *want* to be poor, deprived, lonesome, and tortured by society -- couldn't be me. Couldn't be the millions of guys who regularly keep in touch with the Holo girls.

    For any new readers, the ones who most appeal to audience that prefers MPDGs, adorkable, or ditzy girls, or girly-girls, eternally childlike or adolescent cuties -- Gura (currently on break, but with an ample archive), Fauna, Irys, and Mumei. That's way more than enough material!

    I wouldn't say any of them are clones or twins, but Fauna + Mumei come the closest to being inseparable BFFs who you could make a movie about, with them as co-protagonists. (Their pair's nickname is "Faumei" in the fandom, and no it doesn't necessarily mean imagining them as romantically involved.)

    Then there are the larger streams where there's 3 or more of them, where the teenage slumber party dynamic totally takes over, especially if it's during a horror game and there's the "teenage girls wanting to get spooked" vibe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM4cyuUqa_c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNDuEV86ddI

    Much of their opening-up moments happen while playing solo games with no larger purpose, like wandering around Minecraft, or chatting with the audience with no game being played. If you just want to hear them talking, you can put the streams on in the background without watching the gameplay, and put it on 1.25 speed to make it go faster.

    And it's not serial -- pick any random stream, and it doesn't build on previous streams. They're just chatting about whatever struck their curiosity that day, or was suggested by the chat. No need to start earliest and go in order.

    Be there or be square!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Last night, Fauna also confessed that streaming is her stress reliever, so that's why she likes streaming during high-pressure times like major holidays.

    For some streamers, it's not just a job or a hobby, it's a form of social therapy for the streamer / performer themselves. "Parasocial" goes both ways -- the presence of a trusting audience can allow the performer to open up, unburden, and get a cathartic release, so they don't go crazy from all their pent-up feminine emotions. :)

    I wouldn't go so far to say that we the largely male audience are a substitute boyfriend for them, but some kind of mixture of "confidante guy friend" and "suitors at a debutante ball". This mixture makes it both soothing / stabilizing, and exciting / topsy-turvy, over the course of our relationship.

    Not all streamers welcome that -- like the people-haters, not in an ideological way, just that they don't like social interactions or bonds, don't value others and don't want others' validation. They're the ones to use ironic detachment to maintain emotional distance, and value their audience mostly for the money they donate / pay through subscriptions.

    For newcomers to the streaming format, one telltale sign of the people-likers is that they'll unload, rant, or mindlessly babble about what's been on their mind / going on in their IRL lives lately. Girls don't open up like that to just any old rando.

    Imagine going up to some totally random girl, and asking "So, how's your day been?" She's going to shut it down with, "Woah buddy, I don't know you like that..."

    It's only with her husband, bf, or close guy friend, that she'll do that with -- and expect him to prompt her, to prove he really cares about their relationship. "You're not just with me for the phyiscal stuff, are you?" She has social and emotional needs that only guys can fulfill, even if they're "only" a confidante -- which is already halfway toward being her bf, BTW.

    If you are uncomfortable, or outright bristle at / reject, playing the role of confidante, you're not getting anywhere with girls (which is why you only jerk yourself off with other guys, on the internet). Doesn't mean she relies on you as her *sole* confidante -- also her girl BFFs, her siblings, parents, etc. But on you as well. :)

    Imagine being so narcissistically delusional to view the friendzone as a demotion from being her bf (which you never were), rather than a promotion from being an invisible worthless rando stranger...

    ReplyDelete
  27. If you think the male confidante friend, or stress-reliever, is a harmless dead-end role for a guy to be playing w.r.t. a girl he's romantically interested in -- just imagine a gf or wife who introduces you to "my confidante", who is male and not gay.

    Your jealous instinct should be, "Wait wait wait, why don't you confide in me? Who's this other guy? Why do you have to confide in him?" If her answer is, "Well, you just don't listen to me, you roll your eyes all the time, and get all crotchety any time I try to tell you how my day has been", or "Talking to him just relieves me of so much of my stress, and trying to talk to you... only makes my stress worse" -- then that male confidante is only a few chess-squares away from stealing your queen.

    Classic case of, if you can't satisfy her needs, some other guy will. But clueless guys (most these days, raised in an online echo-chamber of girl-hating, surrounded by literal or de facto gays), only interpret that in a physical way. For girls -- and guys, too, of course, but especially for girls -- the physical and the emotional are bound up in an inseparable way.

    Imagine thinking that "negging" (AKA petty insults) and complaining about her unloading of feminine emotions / how her day's been, is going to advance your status with girls! You're announcing at the outset that you'll never be able to satisfy her needs -- you might as well brag that your weenie is a micro, and eternally flaccid! xD

    Girls crave for the emotional lobes of their brain to be stretched open, rubbed against, massaged, and released of tension, just as much as their lady parts (if anything, more so!).

    Millennial and Zoomer guys who grew up in a girl-hating online echo chamber should start worrying about how they measure up as confidantes, not as hole-stuffers (gay). Only one of those aspects of being a satisfying bf has fallen off a cliff in the past several decades, and it's not the one that these clueless guys think will be helped by taking steroids and boner pills.

    ReplyDelete
  28. PS: that's the role that girl-hating girls (sometimes self-branded as "female misogynists") play in the online ecosystem -- they're a small minority of the female population, but the only subset that girl-hating guys can interact with, and not have to worry about measuring-up as a confidante. Maybe even being able to hurl petty insults ("negging") about her sipping on that dumb bitch juice again, and get rewarded or at least humored, rather than blocked and ignored.

    But the joke is on the sad guys chasing after the attention of girl-hating girls -- that niche is even more of a sausage-fest, because there are so many girl-hating guys, and so few girl-hating girls. If they were seeking the attention of people-liking girls, they'd have such a larger pool of girls to pursue, and there's no difference in the physical attractiveness of either pool.

    But their self-castrating death-drive to hate on girls as their identity, rather than fulfill the role of male confidante in a potential-gf's life, forces them into the niche with even more doomed / it's-over / forever-alone ratio of males to females.

    Sorry to break it to you, girl-hating guys, but none of you are gonna make it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. And that's also the scam behind the "get laid with girl-hating girls with this one weird trick" stuff. Girls who view other girls as annoying cunts, rather than as potential BFFs, who welcome petty insults, etc., are such a tiny minority.

    But they are there, and they do tend toward the promiscuous side, owing to their lack of self-worth and general cynicism / jadedness. The prototypical bar slut.

    "OK, so that just means I'll be scoring left, right, and center with bar sluts my whole life? Don't threaten me with a good time!" says the clueless girl-hater.

    In a given club or bar, there's probably 100 guys chasing after the one bona fide bar slut. If she's looking for a steady relationship, that means 99% of the guys will fail. Even if she's just looking for a no-strings hook-up -- that's still probably only 10 guys over the course of a year, still a 90% failure rate at that time scale (and still the pathetic 99% failure rate at the weekly scale).

    That's not even mentioning that the 1-to-10 guys who do make it out of 100 are probably the best-looking of the male pool, cuz she's just looking to get railed by some random hot guy that Saturday night. And unless multiple random girls throughout your life have approached you, unprompted, to tell you -- directly in words, without innuendo -- how good-looking you are, then you are not gonna make it into that 1-to-10 group of finalists with the bar sluts.

    Or the Tinder sluts, or wherever you're doomedly chasing after them.

    Whether the huckster selling the "one weird trick" stuff is himself a member of that elite, or is just faking it, doesn't matter -- he's getting paid by the suckers, and that's all he's after. He'll use that to buy some hookers, if he's not a member of the male elite.

    And really, that's the dead end that this line of behavior inevitable leads toward -- trying to re-brand paying-for-sex as Ackshually Based rather than the last resort of the dregs of the male barrel.

    And most of these suckers probably don't even have enough disposable income for *that*!

    Just give up your delusional dreams of being a harem-keeper, part of your online porn poisoning, and reform yourself into a reliable male confidante. Then go from there. Stop feeding the ill-gotten wealth piles of the girl-hating girl internet personalities, and the "fuck bar sluts with this one weird trick" male hucksters.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Emotionally_Girthy -- username available! (I don't even charge for this advice, folks)

    ReplyDelete
  31. "Sorry to break it to you, girl-hating guys, but none of you are gonna make it."

    Interesting isn't it. When said guys become Christian. Because of the Theology of girls being made in God's Image.

    They end up mellowing.

    Even if they try. They cannot escape the girls:

    "Women also responded in great numbers to the new spirituality preached by Bernard, but the Cistercians were appalled. R. W.
    Southern observes that “no religious body was more thoroughly masculine in its temper and discipline, than the Cistercians, none that shunned female contact with greater determination or that raised more formidable barriers against the intrusion of women.”46
    Nevertheless, “the Cistercians’ efforts to limit the number of nunneries joining the order proved unavailing.”47

    The new mendicant orders were also caught in this tidal wave of
    women. St. Francis of Assisi, in a somewhat uncharacteristic tone, observed, according to Thomas of Pavia, “the Lord has taken away wives from us, but the devil has given us sisters.”48

    St. Dominic tried to keep his followers away from women. The earliest constitutions, written before Dominic’s death in 1221, prohibit Dominicans from undertaking the cura monialum, the spiritual direction of women.49

    This prohibition seems not to have been based on Dominic’s concern with preserving the Dominicans’ celibacy, but on his fear that his followers would be overwhelmed by women’s demands for attention and neglect their preaching to men.50

    In the end, the Papacy commanded the new orders, their reluctance notwithstanding, to take on the spiritual direction of women.51

    The secular clergy were generally corrupt, unlearned, and unimpressive; the monastic and mendicant orders were zealous, learned, and well respected. Women, despite the wishes of Francis and Dominic, became the main audience for the new mendicant orders. When Henry, the first Dominican prior of
    Cologne, died, he was mourned by “the women of Cologne.”52

    https://podles.org/files/Church-Impotent/ChurchImpotent_Chapter6.pdf




    ReplyDelete
  32. Imagine not wanting wives, sisters, a tidal wave of women, or being mourned by the entire female body of a major city...

    Were those Catholic monks, er, y'know...?

    ReplyDelete
  33. >ywn be an 8-eared 3dio mic into which two generations of Holo girls simultaneously unload their "how my day's been" stories, random factoids, and giggles

    ReplyDelete
  34. >ywn be a 3dio mic modded with temperature and olfactory sensors to process the warmth and scent of vtuber breath while you keep pretending to be a dumb robot instead of a sentient AI

    ReplyDelete
  35. Merry Christmas from the family also came out in 1994. It’s very much Texan, but I wonder if the other regions that adopt our culture as the generic rural American standard consider it a classic too.
    https://youtu.be/P37xPiRz1sg

    ReplyDelete
  36. Jay's linked article is interesting, as it shows that a whole bunch of women decided to join Catholic monasteries in the 1100s and 1200s because of greater freedom for women during that time period, and then the monasteries, previously being largely a male-only thing, became dominated by women. Something similar is happening right now in universities and academia, which used to be a male-only thing but has in the past 50 years become dominated by women.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Aimee is risen yet again! No other account is so capable of having multiple comebacks...

    One of the last things I read from you before your latest ban was telling guys to give girls (or maybe just "people," but including girls) compliments, and not to "neg" girls (which by now just means petty insults to cut them down to size, out of sour grapes loser-ness).

    Thank you for your girl-respecting service. And guy-respecting service! Girl-haters always turn out to be guy-haters deep down, really just generalized people-haters / cynics / misanthropes.

    Telling guys to be wary of giving compliments, and to neg her in order to establish dominance (from some ugly dork on the internet, sure thing lol), are the real guy-haters, leading them right over the cliff into bitter inceldom.

    Bringing it back to your favorite cursed topic, which demo is more girl-hating, more stingy of compliments toward girls, and most zealous in going out of their way to neg and cut girls down to size, humiliate them, etc.? Guys pretending they're girls. In the current climate, amping up the latent girl-hating tendencies of generic guys is going to push them right into being witch-hunting troons.

    ...I know you have that little 10-20% of girl-hater in you, and being on the hellsite full of girl-haters of both sexes only puts peer pressure on you to dial it up to 100%.

    So, I'm proud of you for sticking to your 80-90% girl-respecting guns, and giving guys some good advice -- and neutering the advice from the ubiquitous girl-hating girls on Twitter.com.

    Good to see you're back again, special fren. :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. That's not an exaggeration, sadly, and it's just as true on the right as the left. How many right-wingers go "BASED" when they see a guy-with-pigtails bashing a girl's face in during combat sports?

    It just goes to show it's not a strictly partisan or even political / ideological thing. They just seethingly resent girls, hate their guts, and don't care what wicked agent may happen to be the thing that cuts those undeserving femoids down to size.

    In a truly just world, the male kinsmen of that combat sports girl wouldn't let her get into the ring in the first place -- but if it did get that far, and she was matched with a guy-with-pigtails, they would just go shoot the guy after the fight was over, for being such an anti-social freak.

    Somehow I don't see Hezbollah allowing guys-with-pigtails to get into combat sports with girls...

    ReplyDelete
  39. As for women flooding monasteries in the 12th and 13th C's, that sounds like a classic example of elite over-production. Status-striving affects women just as much as men, and if it's work that women can do, why wouldn't they pour into that domain?

    Being a nun doesn't involve male levels of physical strength, bravery, risk-taking, etc. Seems like a natural place to go for status-striving women looking for job security in a climate of too many strivers and too few existing slots.

    And sure enough, the 13th C was one of plateau-ing stability in the demographic-structural model -- right before the crisis phase that hit during the 14th C., followed by a depression phase that lasted through much of the 15th C.

    For the overview of this particular cycle in this particular country, see Turchin & Nefedov's Secular Cycles, Ch 4 (Medieval France: the Capetian Cycle).

    The 12th C was a phase of expansion, and didn't reach saturation until the 13th. But elite over-production always kicks off before the saturation level is reached -- it's part of what pushes things high enough that they reach unsustainable saturation levels later on.

    E.g. the higher ed bubble gets started in the late 1960s, way before neoliberalism or Reaganism is fait accompli, way before 2008, before de-industrialization, and all those other signs of fractures appearing (let alone the current phase where they're breaking apart).

    The late '60s higher ed bubble was accompanied by women entering the professions and becoming status-strivers along with their male counterparts.

    But when elite production is just beginning to steadily rise, it doesn't kill the system. It looks like the system can accomodate these higher and higher levels of strivers. You really can "have it all" for the woman of the '70s -- who got in on the ground floor of this multi-decade bubble.

    But fast-forward a generation or two later, and there is no ground floor, and the new strivers are competing against two earlier generations of strivers. Whereas the first gen of strivers had nobody to compete with, and just shoved their way into elite status. But that trick only works once!

    Same with population growth, elite production growth, etc. in a pre-industrial society. The expansion phase of most of the 12th C looked A-OK, and the 13th C was mainly one of the slots getting taken up and some fractures appearing, but no breakdown just yet. Then BOOM -- everything collapses in the 14th C, and stays mired in a depression until the mid-15th C or so.

    It's not just total population numbers that fall off a cliff, it's also the elites. I don't know about monasteries specifically, but by the mid-1400s, the elites / elite aspirants have killed each other off, mainly on the battlefield (Hundred Years War in France, lasting into the War of the Roses in England).

    Without stability and abundant wealth at the tippy-top, I can't imagine there was enough to trickle down to clients in the monasteries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Catholic Church helped spread monogamy over polygamy around the High Middle Ages...stigmatizing striver women chasing after high-status men.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=musa+al-gharbi+weirdest&oq=musa+Al-Gharbi+weird&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j35i39.7753j0j7&client=ms-android-google&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

      Martin Luther later sought to stigmatize and young man or woman remaining virgins and shut down the nunneries

      https://www.firstthings.com/article/1999/12/the-holy-feminine

      He even married a former nun .

      Delete
  40. BTW, the church was also a main refuge for over-produced elite aspirants during the next cycle, in England at any rate (surely France as well). By the time saturation levels were hitting in the 17th C. (after the expansion phase of the late 1400s and much of the 1500s), everyone was struggling to get a sinecure in the church.

    Including my favorite poet of that time, John Donne. But we only know what he was capable of creating because he did *not* slip through the cracks -- there were many others who didn't make it, and who never got to make anything of their talents.

    That's just how it is when competition for slots gets to those insane ratios of number of aspirants per slot.

    ReplyDelete
  41. "Then BOOM -- everything collapses in the 14th C, and stays mired in a depression until the mid-15th C or so."

    When the Mongols threw plague infested bodies into Kaffa. Those ships transported the plague to the rest of Europe.

    The Black Plague came wave after wave over that time period:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_plague_pandemic

    ReplyDelete
  42. True but Mongol foreigners didn't force European elites to globalize their supply chains just so these same Euro elites could get exotic spices from the other side of the world.

    Empires spread pandemics, from the Plague of Athens to the Antonine Plague to the Plague of Justinian to the Black Death, to the Great Plague of London to cholera, and COVID (fortunately less deadly than the others, thanks to improvements in sanitation that kept it from being cholera on steroids).

    By the 1300s, there was not only the Mongol empire to spread disease, but the nascent Ottoman empire / twilight of the Byzantine, French, British, Spanish, and Lithuanian. Plus the Venetian commercial trading "empire" of global connectedness.

    Even without the Black Plague, there were already devastating famines in the 1310s.

    And no foreigners, Mongol or otherwise, forced the French elites to kill each other off in a great big civil war (Hundred Years War, spilling over into England, since their royalty was of recent French origin).

    Foreign threats only devastate a nation or empire that has already weakened itself internally, including by the over-production of elites, which ramps up the hyper-competitiveness instead of cooperation among the would-be rulers of the society.

    (Immiseration of the commoners, and the fiscal distress of the state are the other two big weakeners.)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Fauna, Irys, and Reine hazing Mumei into their vtuber sorority till she blushes "sweet tomato" red.

    Fitting that the pledge / initiate is the youngest one. 3 Millennials, 1 Zoomer.

    The elder three look knowingly at one another, as the hazing escalates.

    "So, Zoomer, bet you didn't think you'd be getting hazed for real..."

    "Aw, what's-a matter, Zoomer? Getting hazed isn't exactly sending you into orbit?"

    "And don't bother crying for help either, Zoomer -- offline, no one can hear you sheeeesh."

    ReplyDelete
  44. >ywn knock on a hotel room door with a "keep down the racket in there, will ya," hear the door creak open once you're already several paces further down the hall, get kidnapped by 10 miffed yet giggly vtubers, and thrust into the center of their pillow-fight circle, where they rain down huffing yet dainty blows, leaping from one bed to the other and back, over and over again, while "Black Magic" by Little Mix blasts over some portable speakers

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am actually thankful that plagues came. I'd rather have those plagues.

    Since disease took away so much mouths to feed. The food situation improved afterwards. The health of the survivors improved:
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/black-death-actually-improved-public-health-180951373/

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  46. Surplus elites going into the church is an European and particularly English tradition. For the noble landowning class the eldest son could inherit the land but the second and third sons could go into the church and the army.

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  47. While playfully teasing Mumei, Fauna said, "Well, look who's in the hot seat today..." referring to Mooms. Someone else, or Fauna following up to herself, could've added:

    "And that *is* one, hot, SEAT... *in* the hot SEAT."

    Mooms, the most suspicious one, says, "Way-whuh-the-heck??!??!?!!"

    "Ummm, paranoid much? She's just saying you have a cute butt... We really need to teach you how to take compliments."

    And then go from there with the "so silly" and "so funny" loop, on the theme of "excessive compliments are torture to a suspicious person".

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  48. Also, more and more convinced that Fauna hails originally from southern Illinois or Missouri (like St. Louis, right on the border with southern Illinois).

    She immediately knew the first names of the explorers Lewis & Clark in the trivia game. True, she knows lots of stuff that doesn't have to pertain to where she's from -- but she's mostly a science-head. She's not a history buff -- maybe she might vaguely know their last names, and what they did, but not their first names, and not having it committed to memory.

    But Lewis & Clark started their expedition from the St. Louis area, so anyone growing up there would've heard a lot more about them, as local legends, than someone growing up farther away. Once she heard the wacky-sounding name Meriwether, she couldn't forget it, hehe.

    She's never slipped up and said "pop" -- always "soda," and Missouri is an island of "soda" speakers within the Midwestern "pop" ocean.

    And there's a very slight Southern twang to her vowels, usually only when she's high-energy, not when she's practicing whatever tricks she learned in public speaking enunciation.

    But it's not fully Southern, and she can only approximate a Southern belle accent with lots of effort. Which locates her upbringing to an old border state like Missouri rather than Minnesota or Mississippi.

    Just checked, and the portion of the St. Louis metro area that extends into southern Illinois is still the 2nd largest metro area in *Illinois* (after Chicago). So whether she's from IL or MO, I'm going with the broader St. Louis metro area!

    Once you start watching Fauna's streams, you can't help but explore Kronii, Mumei, Irys... she's a true Gateway gamer girl. ^_^

    And no, it's not my fault for spending so much thought on such topics -- I wouldn't be, if she didn't have such a damn fascinating voice to study!

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  49. How could the Holo girls adapt iconic party games like Spin the Bottle to another "Girl sleepover simulator" stream? Obviously not expecting them to actually lean over toward each other, but...

    There's also the game called Seven Minutes in Heaven, where two people just go into a closet and do whatever for 7 minutes. Obviously not expecting a literal adaptation of that either, but...

    Let's say a group of them get together in the same place. They have a real glass bottle, which they sit around in a circle. They take turns spinning it, and whoever it points to, those two girls have to go do Seven Minutes in Heaven -- but instead of a steamy make-out sesh (this is IRL, not fanfic!), it's 7 minutes spent doing a pairs activity in Switch Sports or Ring Fit Adventure or something like that!

    Ideally one where they're on the same team, but if not, a little heated rivalry could get the blood pumping, too. ^_^

    "Playing badminton on the same team as the master Irys herself? Mmmm, seven minutes in heaven indeed!"

    "Bowling on the same league as the master Fauna herself? Oh, why does it only have to be *seven* minutes in heaven?" Hehe, does Switch Sports even allow league / team bowling? You get the idea, though.

    That would still make it a physical activity, done in a pair, and energetic. But not too yabai, and only relying on a little innuendo.

    (And not a very boring and annoying "subversion of expectations" like Spin the Bottle but you have to backseat the other girl while she plays Jump King. Something actually fun and exciting.)

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  50. Or maybe Just Dance / DDR / Etc., with a 7-minute time limit, aiming for the highest score -- and JP-only songs, to keep it archived. Or if they don't mind unarchived, then EN dance songs.

    They wouldn't need full 3D movement, though that would be neat. Just hearing them go crazy in the same room together, and watching the screen to see how well they're doing. That'd be enough.

    I don't know how practical these things are, given where they're staying and have access to. They can figure that out more than I can. I'm just talking about the overview of adapting yabai party games to the balance between seiso and yabai that Holo EN specializes in.

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  51. Group hand-cam playing with a Ouija board! Such a staple of girly slumber parties. Don't mind that it isn't Halloween -- people used those things all times of the year in the old days, not just when it was seasonally on-brand.

    Maybe color-coordinate the gloves with the girl's avatar, so we can easily follow along with who is who.

    Get the fans involved by taking questions from the chat. Or ask your own questions about the chat / the fandom, to maybe get a little playful teasing in at them.

    You could even get meta -- "Does the chat enjoy being playfully teased by their oshis?" and after some vacillation to one side and the other (itself a kind of teasing), the piece ends up pointing to YES. Hehe.

    Some of these games would not take up an entire 1 hour stream, let alone longer. But you could do several in the same streaming session, to give it that authentic sleepover vibe -- you don't just play one game during a sleepover, and that's it. You do this activity, wind down, then do that activity, then wind down, then move onto some other activity, and so on.

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  52. Tasting Japanese snacks! Pre-packaged sweet or savory junk food, convenience store sandwiches, beverages (will Fauna find the Japanese counterpart of White Claw? ^_^). Binging on snacks is a natural stage of any sleepover, and food is a perennial favorite topic for any audience.

    Much like the Pop-Tart tasting stream from the Myth meet-up. (And much like DDR or RFA would be similar to Gura's classic Twister stream with all of Myth -- but they wouldn't even need to be 3D or VR this time, to make it easier to pull off.)

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  53. Group movie watchalong! Another natural stage of the sleepover. Although given the length, this could be a separate stream from the grab-bag stream with 3 or 4 shorter activities. Maybe 4-6 participants -- if everyone wants to do it, have two separate movies to watch.

    Never having been to one, I don't know what girls watch at sleepovers. But it seems like the two main genres would be a rom-com or horror -- and therefore, make it horror, since your mostly male audience won't be big into rom-coms.

    You could even take a page out of the Goobinator's book and make it a public domain horror movie, so it could be archived. The point is not to burnish your credentials for having superior taste in movies -- it's just to capture the social vibe of being at a girls' sleepover party.

    It really wouldn't matter if you watched Night of the Living Dead again! Everyone's seen it already, so you could mostly focus on your own commentary and reactions, which parts you like, "Oh no, this part always scares the shitake out of me!" and so on. Lots of laughter and giggling and you react to each other.

    Only obstacle is getting everyone mic'd up, but I'll leave that to the audio experts and what resources you have access to there.

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  54. Group ASMR, a room full of falling-asleep girls at a sleepover -- to help you, the listener, fall asleep! Check this out, and please feel free to block the idea if it feels too intimate.

    The setting is a hotel room full of girls at a sleepover. Most or all of them have already fallen asleep, or are getting there. Nice relaxing atmosphere -- the slumber after the party.

    But maybe one of the girls is still awake, and she's reflecting on the day's and night's activities, how peaceful it's getting, how adorable the girls are now that they're not bouncing off the walls anymore, etc. I'm thinking of Fauna, as both the responsible oneesan waiting till the others fall asleep to set herself to bed, and as the ASMR go-to girl.

    She visits each of the slumbering girls, one at a time, and the mic records the sounds of that girl's peaceful sleep. Rustling sheets and blankets as she unconsciously stirs to find the most comfy position to be sleeping in, maybe her hair brushing against the pillowcase as she adjusts her cute little head, a fairly up-close recording of her relaxed inhaling and exhaling pattern. These can be made slowly and fairly continuously, like the droning base layers in an ASMR. True, no one stirs around in bed to make *that long* of a rustling sound, but it's artistic license to stylize it that way.

    And for cursed / comic value, a few drowsy words slowly falling out of their mouths as they begin dreaming.

    "[Groan] I told you not to backseat me, chat... sub-mode only..."

    "[Groan] Can't believe I got one-guy'd again..."

    "[Groan] Whaddaya mean, only Gura or Mumei can call you mommy...?" (Followed by an "Oh dear" reaction from Fauna herself)

    "[Yawn] Ahhhh, allll caught up... on superchat readings...."

    "Mmmmm, a new personal best..."

    "Mmmmm, IRL her hair smells amaaaaazinnnnnggg...."

    Maybe the awake girl even gives the sleeping girls a little brush through their hair, close to the mic, because they didn't have enough time to do it themselves before crashing into their pillow after an exhausting party. A nice nurturing detail.

    Then the outro is the final girl setting herself to bed, brushing her own hair, rustling the sheets or blanket as she gets settled in, begins slowly inhaling & exhaling, and joins the chorus of the other girls doing the same already.

    It's not a "personal attention" kind of ASMR, more of a "you are there" POV.

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  55. That's all the ideas I've got, but still plenty to think over, hehe.

    I go on at such length to give you girls the most to work with, to riff on, to provide a little direction or structure to the chaotic creative energies flashing through your minds.

    It's not as an obsessed fan demanding his fanfic be made real, or else.

    From one chaotic creative mind to another...

    Luv u gurls 4va

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  56. The blacks are currently migrating away from the Rust Belt back to their ancestral home in the Deep South. Expect that to accelerate as the American empire collapses.

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  57. Is it just me or is Christianity a girl-haters worst nightmare.

    You think that is just an anomaly or built into the religion and will remain so until the end of time?

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  58. Mooms had a little liquid courage and felt confident enough to perform before a live audience in a brick-and-mortar karaoke bar, with Bae by her side. :)

    And to think that the audience there had no idea they were being serenaded by celebrities. What's a fairy tale where a princess gets fed up with being so rich and famous, and assumes a normie disguise in order to free herself and enjoy normal life for awhile?

    The Little Mermaid, maybe?

    Not feeling so much pressure, since there were only a few dozen sets of eyeballs on them. Not being broadcast or recorded. Hardly anyone recognizes them. Re-living their pre-exposure days all over again.

    Actually they could probably do that any given weekend in their home cities, and still no one would know. The culture is so fragmented that even the most popular performers in their format could escape detection even if they got up to sing on stage in a crowded club.

    Sure, one rando might recognize them, and if they kept doing this regularly, word might get around, and small band of followers would show up.

    But it's not like in the old days when performers were famous across the society, where even a "niche" band would get noticed if they were already big in their format, and went to an unpretentious place to play a set some random Saturday night.

    I hope this experience shows them that they can do this when they get back home as well. Japan must be full of people who are aware of vtubers, and yet some of the most globally famous ones can just do an impromptu karaoke set, and not get mobbed. So they can just let loose and be themselves more freely.

    Just think, there must be fewer vtuber fans per capita where their home cities are, so this would be even easier to pull off when they return. They don't have to hide indoors for the rest of their lives, with the rationalization that the paparazzi are going to be following them and notifying an army of obsesses crazies for an impromptu karaoke.

    Imagine the exhilaration going through their minds. "They don't even know I'm a world-famous vtuber... I can sing anything, and do anything!" Hehe.

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  59. Custom emotes, superchat gold
    How many fan-arts can one hard drive hold?

    ...

    Off the PC, wish I could be
    In the real world

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  60. That's a little peek at something that's been percolating in my brain since the summer, but didn't feel like setting it all down and finishing it until more recently, since it's about a willful princess leaving her magical wonderland behind, because the mundane world seems so tantalizingly novel and low-pressure.

    Daddy's girl becoming all grown up and leaving home... it'll be a bittersweet occasion, for sure. It already feels like she's in the distancing adolescent stage. Might as well prepare for her departure -- worst-case scenario, we're not thrown for a loop, best-case scenario it turns out to be unnecessary and we all thank God she stays.

    Naturally the above song will be contrasted with another one, an earnest over-the-top plea to not leave the wonderland, full of such amazing sights and stuff.

    On da PC
    On da PC...

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  61. John,

    I'm not surprised at that because the blacks everywhere in the US sound exactly the same as white Southerners, and completely different from Northerners. 100 years of life in the North wasn't enough to rid blacks of their Southern accent unlike virtually every other immigrant or refugee group who put down roots in the Northern cities. And so if they aren't willing to assimilate into the local population perhaps it is a good thing they are heading back south.

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  62. Tying the accents and culture and historical origins in together, this shows why blacks haven't been so defining of American culture and ethnogenesis. They didn't head out West, didn't fight the Indians or Mexicans or Japanese, etc.

    They're nearly as non-representative of the American standard as white Southerners. What are the two genres of pop music that are the most common exceptions for "your favorite kind of music"? The standard phrase is, "I like everything -- except rap and country." Because those are back-East genres, not because of blackness (country is all-white!).

    And they're the two groups of speakers who most stubbornly resist the cot-caught merger and father-bother merger, the defining features of the American standard dialect vs. British / Australian / Etc.

    I was looking at a map of that as prep for some new posts returning to the topic of dialect standardization and imperial ethnogenesis, and the map had this crazy smattering of unmerged speakers in the Great Lakes area. "I've never heard that kind of speech around there, or from anyone originally from that area who I met elsewhere!"

    Then you find it it's among Great Lakes *cities* -- and only on the American side, not their next-door neighbors on the Canadian side. Ah, well, why don't they just be up front and say it's the black speakers from the Great Migration, who have the unmerged dialect, owing to their still-Southern accent? And that's why it's restricted to the US side of the border -- blacks didn't migrate into Canada, only to Detroit, Chicago, etc.

    But yes, that's another sign of their unwillingness to assimilate, not just to their new home cities, but to the American standard in general. That's understandable if they're in Atlanta -- even the white people there refuse to assimilate to the American standard -- and so do Noo Yawkaz and Bostonians, it has nothing to do with being losers of the Civil War. But in Milwaukee or Kansas City or Cincinnati?

    The greatest influence that blacks had was actually in the early stages of the Great Migration, where a fair amount of them were intent on assimilating, and tried to ditch their Southern-ness. Chuck Berry inventing rock 'n' roll -- in St. Louis. Or the more smooth & sophisticated Motown sound -- in the Old Northwest region where Detroit is.

    The fleeting moment in the '90s when rap was a national phenomenon, it's because it was the heyday of West Coast rap. East Coast rap has always been crappy and alienating to most Americans. Crunk music from the Southeast is pretty danceable, though I don't think most people like it for much else (big points from me, though, keeping music danceable).

    However, after a few generations, it became clear that blacks were not going to ditch their Southern-ness in the Midwest, so they weren't going to be cultural leaders there anymore. And the Great Migration barely reached California, not to mention most of them got ethnically cleansed by various waves of immigrants within the past couple decades. Again look at the fate of the '90s West Coast rap scene, where its epicenter in South Central L.A. is now entirely Mexican immigrants.

    And if you don't have a decent foothold in California, especially around L.A., your national influence on the culture and identity won't be very strong.

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  63. Tying it back into vtubers, weebs, anime, K-pop, etc., that's why Asians are going to have a longer-lasting influence on American standard culture -- they're landing on the West Coast, especially California and L.A.

    They can't just inject their native culture into the American mainstream after securing an internship or even CEO-ship at some L.A. culture-maker. But they can get a feel for what Americans are like and prefer, through the marketing and consultant people at those industries -- "nah, that'll never sell in Cincinnati, forget it." The stuff that will fly, though, they can start spreading it.

    "Americans like carboholic grain dishes? OK, let's hype up fried rice, or pho."

    "There's a vogue for grilling? OK, let's hype up bulgogi or Mongolian BBQ."

    East Coast wannabe influencers are too narrow-minded and provincial to know what Americans like, so they'll just stubbornly try to force it whole-cloth onto American tastes, and it won't go anywhere. Plus there are no cultural industries on the East Coast through which to pursue that project -- only finance, academia, and the media (borrrinnng).

    That's why African-American food, or its deeper roots in sub-Saharan Africa, are not part of the American standard cuisine / palate / menu / etc. They're too Southeastern. White Southeastern food like grits has also failed to enter the mainstream. And likewise for the winners of the Civil War -- clam chowdah from WASPs, Ellis Islander staples like Portuguese octopus stew from southern New England, or Noo Yawk style pizza (flimsy / floppy / foldable plate-sized slices).

    Everyone here and abroad refers to us as BORGARS. And where does McDonald's come from? SoCal, as does In-N-Out Burger. White Castle was the original the burger chain, taking root in the Midwest (first store in Wichita KS, then branching out through Ohio). Wendy's was founded in Columbus OH. The odd-man-out is Burger King, founded in Florida, back East -- not coincidentally, always in 3rd place as an American institution, not to mention how many identity crises & corporate take-overs it's been through.

    Naturally this explains why certain Hispanic groups -- but not others -- have had a big influence on American culture. Mexicans more than others in the food category, because of their Southwest residence, rather than settling back East like the Cubans (who have rarely gone mainstream with their culture). The only exception is Puerto Ricans, mainly from the NYC area -- and still, Caribbean music is nowhere near as central to American standard culture as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and nachos. (How many Caribbean musical genres, or dance forms, can the typical American name, recognize, or perform?) And where is Taco Bell from? L.A., of course.

    All of these are a matter of historical contingency, or blind luck -- that the founders arrived in the East, and the meta-ethnic frontier was always out West. So that's where ethnogenesis took place. And the non-founding groups did not all arrive or stay in the same place -- blacks were unlucky to be stuck in the Southeast for most of their time here, so they never had a chance at being culture-makers. Whereas the Mexicans, and to a lesser extent some Asians, were able to play a larger role because they settled in the West (specifically the Southwest, where warfare against the Other was always way more intense and identity-shaping, than in the Pac NW).

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  64. East coast specifically NYC has fashion still, but mostly on the higher end - linked to Paris and London. LA and the west has popular fashion. Jeans, t shirts, ball caps and sneakers, the ultimate American costume, are all mostly western and informal in origin.

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  65. So there's the thought experiment: what if blacks had been settled in the Southwest, while Mexicans preferred settling in the Southeast? Then their roles in the standard American culture would be reversed -- nobody would even know the names of any of those Mexican dishes, let alone would they enjoy them.

    "Tacos, huh? I dunno... I mean it's not terrible, but it just tastes too Southern or something. If I'm in the mood for some ethnic food, I'd rather have some chitlins and collared greens."

    Or imagine the founders originally landed on the West Coast, and the meta-ethnic frontier was always toward the East, pushing the Indians that way. Then blacks in the Southeast would have a huge role as culture-makers, while the Mexicans in the Southwest would be invisible culturally. And Atlanta, rather than L.A., would be our ethnogenetic epicenter. And all the really boring shit like finance, academia, and the media would be along the West Coast, while movies and music and video games would be East Coast industries.

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    Replies
    1. Possibly but southern black “soul food” is possibly one of the objectively worst cuisines in the US maybe only edging out Native American food. Maybe if it had decades or reinvention and fusion. Then again the best elements already got fused into other cuisines already like BBQ and Louisiana creole.

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    2. Don't forget about the black-white puritan influence on Wokeness.

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    3. Here is one interesting speculation on what may have occurred had Chinese Exclusion not happened until decades later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWA2Lhw4xDc

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  66. The West Coast has also held a profound influence on international gay culture (i.e the Rainbow Flag is from San Francisco).

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  67. New York / East Coast cultural institutions are like everything else back there -- caught in limbo between European (reflecting our origins) and American (not from our identity incubators out West).

    It's not mainly that they're snobby or look down on American culture (to some extent they do), it's that they have to make the most of what is available. And that means the institutions that preserve peak imperial cultural products from earlier European empires, like the symphony and opera, ballet, stage plays, musical theater, couture fashion, and painting. (And in the case of the Met, even earlier imperial products back to the Cradle of Civilization.)

    Americans have never dominated these fields, and never will. I'd go further and add "publishing", meaning books, whether novels, poetry, or whatever. Yeah, people in other countries hundreds of years from now may pay attention to an American poet or novelist here or there, but not really -- they'll know us by our movies. We pioneered it, and perfected it.

    They may not even think much of the verbal side of movies -- the dialog is pretty naturalistic, nothing very aesthetic about it, unlike the Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. More for the plot, characterization, acting, music, and the cinematography / visual effects.

    Edgar Allan Poe has a huge following in the collapsed Early Modern Euro empires, especially France. And he's from back East (Baltimore MD). But they only like him because he reminds them of themselves. Same goes for the very few American painters, fashion designers, choreographers, and musical theater composers / playwrights that today's Euro elites pay attention to.

    Architecture is another big American-dominated field, and also not verbal at all. The epicenter has been Chicago and the Midwest, back to Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School. Richardsonian Romanesque from back East, was more trad and not very distinctly, newly American. Greek revival was also huge back East, before we had forged our own new identity that didn't need to just revive earlier empires' culture -- or really, imitate the Early Modern Euro empires where Greek revival was en vogue at the time.

    That goes for both monumental buildings like the skyscraper -- a form that we invented, but in Chicago rather than New York -- as well as domestic buildings like the American Craftsman / California Bungalow, Four Square, ranch home, etc. Way more quintessentially American than a Cape Cod home.

    Then there's industrial design, including the aesthetic side of things. Hard to say that we're not the leaders in automobile design, a form that we invented -- but in Detroit and the Midwest, not in Boston, New York, Philly, Baltimore, Atlanta, or Jacksonville. We'll go down in history as aesthetic leaders for car design, yes even compared to Germany or Italy. And what's more quintessentially American than the car? Also a form with zero verbal component to it.

    Video games were invented and perfected in Japan, but America is in a solid 2nd place. The industry is out West, mainly in Silicon Valley, all the way back to Atari, but now stretching up into Seattle with Microsoft / Xbox. We invented / perfected the first-person shooter genre with Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, etc., by id Software from the Dallas TX area. Non-cringey video games have a minimal verbal / literary component -- they're mostly a visual-spatial (and musical) form.

    And so on and so forth.

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  68. I was reading the old HBD blogs like JayMan and hbdchick and I see that while they used to be very active back in the day around 2012-2016, after 2016/2017 or so there was a huge dropoff in activity and most of them stopped blogging. However they have Twitter accounts and most of them are still actively posting on there. What happened around that time to cause them to stop blogging?

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  69. spot on with your observations as per usual.
    especially about the sperg-to-girlhater-to-gay groomer pipeline called right-wing ideology. see alt-right twerps calling sex with women literally "gay", which means ... but then what is fascism if not applied political homosexuality.
    "Yes my F├╝hrer, I obey you unconditionally, I would die for you, do anything for you, even kiss your balls hahaha jk.... unless...."

    Just as you say, the same /pol/cel who spams his tranny gore folder on 4chan every day will yell BAAAAASED over a violent troon beating a woman.
    And the 'SHITSKIN INVADERS' who must be PVRGED and removed from HWITE EVROPA? ---- so HECKING BASED how they subjugate their w*men, WHITE SHARIA NOW!

    amazing how naturally things fall into place when cutting through rhetorical smokescreens and breaking it down to the timeless 'Who? Whom?'

    anyway, wish you a happy 2023, may you find much inspiration to blog.

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  70. Meanwhile, the woke are starting to be cut from tech companies and other corporations
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/techs-highly-paid-versions-of-homer-simpson-wont-be-missed

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  71. Video games were invented in the US (Tennis for Two, invented at the Brookhaven National Lab... Spacewar invented at MIT, and of course Pong by Nolan Bushnell), however they were perfected in Japan. RPGs, both computer and tabletop were also invented in the US (and of course perfected in Japan).

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  72. Malcom Kyeyune just came out with an article about the white nationalists hating on their fellow white Americans on Twitter.
    https://unherd.com/2023/01/the-feebleness-of-white-nationalists/
    White nationalism is basically dead in the US right now apart from some racist liberals on Twitter. It's peak was in the 1920s when the American empire was expanding, and they needed something to unite the Yankees and the Scots-Irish and the Dixiecrats against the Indians/Mexicans/Japanese/et cetera, hence the notion of whiteness. Now that the American empire is beginning to collapse, there simply isn't any cohesion amongst the white population in the United States anymore to get a white nationalist movement going. Instead of white nationalism, we'll get stuff like Dixie nationalism, Appalachian nationalism, Yankee nationalism, et cetera, all fighting against each other as the empire collapses.

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  73. I'd say it was Americans who invented the tech or engineering behind video games, but as far as "video games" as a cultural (not tech/engineering) domain, PONG is not it, nor is the Magnavox Odyssey. It's the Japanese arcade games from the late '70s and early '80s -- Space Invaders, Pac Man, Galaga, etc. That's more the invention of a whole new form of culture. Plus the public cultural spaces devoted to them -- arcades, akin to the movie theater or multiplex for watching movies.

    Most American efforts after that were just importing / localizing the Japanese games, plus Atari's home console games (many of which were also ports of Japanese arcade hits).

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  74. All genres of blogging stopped in the late 2010s, because it turns out most of them were what we now call clout-chasers and grifters, looking to secure that bag -- or at least farm shitloads of clicks, followers, etc. Social media and Patreon allowed them to act on those inclinations, whereas earlier online platforms did not (no visible metrics on a blog, other than # of comments to a post, so there's no status contest, publicly known clout stats, etc.).

    I don't want to get depressed rehashing how retarded all of "the discourse" is on Reddit or Twitter vs. any php forum or the blogosphere, during their heyday of the 2000s and early 2010s.

    Podcasts are another massive downgrade in "the discourse" -- it's just talk radio, over the internet, allowing lots more strivers enter the battle arena for status and money.

    But all those Millennial over-produced elite aspirants need *somewhere* to try to find a slot for themselves, since the institutions or platforms or "spaces" of the pre-social media era have been squatted on by Boomers for decades.

    Boomers won't leave until they literally drop dead -- and here's the kicker, they will dynamite the institutions on their way out the mortal door! Just so no one else can take their place. This is the biggest blind spot of Millennials eagerly awaiting the death of Boomers -- no one will get any of their stuff, it's all getting vaporized, or transferred *up* the wealth pyramid, not down (e.g., selling their car to Jay Leno or some other collector, not giving it to a family member, or community member, who needs it).

    What remains of liquid wealth, like money, will get sent to the HMO stockholders via "end of life care". Quick, I still have $30,000 left -- Doc, can you charge me $25K for that end-of-life mumbo-jumbo? That'll still leave $5K for my funeral expenses, and zippo for anyone else!

    *That* is a whole 'nother post...

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  75. Would Substack also be part of the same phenomenon as social media/Patreon/podcasts/et cetera?

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  76. To emphasize for now, though, Boomers will sell their house to a hedge fund, take the money and use that to RENT housing for their senior years. Remember, Boomers have been homeowners since their early 20s -- and suddenly, they feel like becoming renters for the rest of their lives.

    Why? Because then there's no house to give away as part of their estate. The money they get from the sale goes into landlords' pockets, not set aside for their estate, since they're renters. And they can live it up with all that liquid cash, no longer tied up in their owned home -- as long as living it up doesn't leave wealth behind that could go into their estate. E.g., travel, expensive food, leisure, etc.

    What remains after all that goes into the catch-all final wastebin called "end of life care". The charge is not fixed, it's "what can you afford?" Well, whatever is left! That's what it costs. It's just a moral laundering scheme to relieve Boomers of culpability for vaporizing the wealth that they're depriving others of -- "Sorry there's nothing left for an estate, y'know how expensive end-of-life care can get, these greedy HMOs and all..." Assisted Living Facilities are landlords, BTW, leaving no wealth -- the opposite of getting hospice workers to visit a home owned by the patient.

    Boomers got shitloads of wealth from their parents their entire lives, from birth through their parents' death -- including their parents' homes, but all sorts of other things along the way (another post). So no, this is not how it's always been -- Boomers got free shit their whole lives, and are now busy vaporizing it all before they croak so that they remain undefeated for "wealthiest generation in world history, who got most of it through the efforts of others".

    If you've seen the '80s comedy classic Brewster's Millions, this should sound familiar. Boomers have been obsessed with this project since the dawn of their Reagan Revolution. How to spend a gazillion dollars and leave no assets behind, with only a nominal amount that can be given to charity.

    Ah, but they didn't have end-of-life care back then! That's how you flush the remainder down the toilet (or rather, upward into the corporate coffers of the HMOs).

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  77. If you didn't know this already, please count on getting zero from Boomers -- not just your own family members through an estate, but collectively through any form of intergenerational transfer. They'll blow up the social capital, cultural capital, political, and financial capital, before they all die.

    Don't count on infinite money-printing from the central bank either (quantitative easing). That was just to prop up the Boomers after 2008, since they weren't ready to die or enter senior-years renting austerity just yet.

    Now that COVID spooked them shitless, they've accelerated their seniors-years timeline, so that they're fine with blowing up the stock market, and whatever else is in their financial portfolio. Ideally timed to coincide with their death, but they know nothing can be perfect.

    But that's why interest rates are getting jacked up and will not be 0 for a whole decade again. They're contracting the money supply, rather than fire-housing more dollars into circulation.

    They were always planning to blow the building up before being forced into retirement by the grim reaper -- that spook from COVID was all it took to make them launch their final solution.

    You will never get what the Boomers have.

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  78. The Golden Age of Multiculturalism occurred in the period of outgoing/rising crime from c/1958-1993 before the consolidation of neoliberal globalization, when there was a large-scale ethnic revival among whites! https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/23824

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  79. Just realized that most of the people on Twitter like Aimee Terese and Malcom Kyeyune are millennials.

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