February 27, 2024

Aaron Bushnell: assessment, and online reactions (TikTok Zoomer carelords vs. Twitter Millennial ironycels)

First an assessment of the US Air Forceman who self-immolated in front of the Israeli embassy in DC, to protest his being called to duty to support Israel's war against the Palestinians in Gaza. But mainly, a look at the polar opposite worlds of Twitter vs. TikTok, in light of their reactions to the seismic event.

The main questions being spun by the take-havers are what should we categorize this event as (mere suicide, expression of mental illness, martyrdom, sacrifice, etc.), and what effect will it have?

We can rule out mere suicide since nobody who simply wants to end their life lights themselves on fire in a public space and announces it and performs it as a political spectacle. Most mere suicides occur so inconspicuously that they may not be detected by acquaintances of the deceased for days or weeks, and are known only to the general public through amassing them all into national-level statistics, unaware of any single individual who committed suicide and/or their motives.

Nitpicking the reasons why mere suicides never choose self-immolation is irrelevant -- it is simply an objective truth that 0% of mere suicides use this method, which means we do no lump it into that category when engaging the pattern recognition lobes of our brains (which is only a branding exercise for most take-havers, they are highly ideological and retarded).

Why do some insist it's mere suicide, a call for mental health help, etc.? Probably projection from their own depressive mindset, their impotence in political activism, etc. Surely if I'm a depressive failure, everyone else is too. Sure thing, buddy.

But analyzing take-havers' motivations is not interesting. The main point is that they're objectively wrong when downplaying the severity and gravity of the event.

Both libtards and conservatards downplay it. Sometimes for the same reasons -- projecting their own depressive symptoms onto others. Sometimes for opposing partisan reasons -- libtards wanting to prevent a further fracturing of the Democrat coalition, since they are deeply divided over Israel vs. Palestine, and conservatards wanting to prevent a loss of faith in their own efficacy, after getting upstaged by a leftist against US intervention in the Mideast, something that their media hero Tucker Carlson is usually a champion of, in favor of focusing on America's domestic crises instead.

So, it's just like Bushnell described it himself -- an extreme form of protest, destined to become a spectacle.

That raises the next question -- what will come of it? It has already become a spectacle, there's no putting that genie back in the bottle. People may not talk about it every day for the next 100 years, but the effect will last in their minds.

Just like it only took one spectacle on election night 2020 -- the Great Ballot Count Stoppage -- to irreparably damage the legitimacy and authority of the national government, whether or not the masses keep grumbling about it every day for the next 100 years. The effect remained in their minds, and therefore in their behavior -- when ordered and threatened to take an experimental drug over a potential bad flu, those who were inclined not to do so, refused. They defied federal orders because they are illegitimate after having occupied the office only after the Great Ballot Count Stoppage. Why obey those who stole their way into the White House?

Why do take-havers mistakenly believe it'll all blow over, just cuz it'll no longer be the top trending hashtag on Twitter within a few weeks or months? Again, not interesting, but for the sake of completeness -- because they're projecting their own obsessive fixation on ThE DiScOUrSe onto everyone else. Since their own attention is in constant flux according to what's trending in the media, so must everyone else's be.

But 99% of the country doesn't fixate on discourse, and is not mentally unwell enough to be take junkies, and will not flush out last week's events just cuz this week has new events. The typical normie Republican voter still remembers the Great Ballot Count Stoppage, and treats the federal government as illegitimate to this day -- regardless of a zillion other events having flushed it out of the media over the years, including right-wing media.

Parents will never forget the insane torture that was foisted on their children through the school system during the Covid hysteria. Their eagerness to move on and get back to normal does not mean that they've memory-holed those events, just cuz their Facebook feed no longer has message after message about the topic. The next time they are asked to comply with systematic insanity against their children, they are going to say HELL NO, and the power-tripping administrators and teachers union have had to back off.

How many people forgot about 9/11 after a few weeks or months? It took at least 5 years to no longer be in the foreground of daily conversation, and it's still remembered and influencing our behavior to this day, over 20 years later. People react to actual events in the real world -- not to the topics du jour of the media. If the real-world importance was big, they will file that away as worth remembering, while irrelevant events will get flushed out of their memory. Only obsessive discourse junkies fixate on the topics du jour, and forget the milestones of last month, year, and decade.

The impact will not be the same everywhere, of course. It will cause shockwaves inside of the American military, the Democrat party, and the actively pro-Palestinian / anti-Israeli governments and militaries of the Middle East -- Yemen under the Houthis, Iran, and Hezbollah and allied Shia of Southern Lebanon, not to mention within Palestine itself (but then they have a self-interest in fighting against Israel, whereas the others need a higher purpose and inspiration to join the fight against Israel).

Given how unstable Egypt has become, a spectacle like this could set off a positive feedback loop there as well, whether it spawns a wave of self-immolation protests, or rouses the Egyptian people to topple their bought-off government (since the Camp David Accords of the late 1970s), or inspires a coup within the military that results in active warfare against Israel (breaking the Camp David Accords).

The ability of Israel to lash out at the Palestinians with no consequences, was predicated on converting the Arab-Israeli wars into a domestic Israel-Palestine conflict. Before the Camp David Accords, Israel was at war with the broad Middle East (which would've also included Iran if they'd had an Islamic government, rather than the US-allied Shah). Israel got bitchslapped out of Egypt's territory by an American Republican president in the good ol' 1950s (Suez Crisis), then won a resounding victory in the '67 war, but was quickly quagmired to a stalemate during the '73 war.

Only with the US buying off Egypt and Israel together -- the major militaries involved -- could there have been a slow winding-down of the Arab-Israeli configuration of the wars, shrinking it into a narrow domestic conflict between Israel and Palestine.

When Egypt's elite can no longer refrain from intervening on behalf of Palestine, and therefore against Israel, that whole reprieve from regional war is over. Egypt has never been more unstable in that matter, so it's only a question of how soon, not whether it will happen at all. And these public spectacles of martyrdom are just the sort of thing that could accelerate the timeline within Egypt.

And it will not merely go back to the Arab-Israeli configuration of the mid-20th century -- this time a more powerful Iran will join the anti-Israeli side, and it's not out of the question that the other regional power-player, Turkey, could side against Israel (probably not heavily, though). Not to mention global powers like Russia (militarily) and China (economically), likely the Saudis and perhaps Pakistan if Israel keeps pissing everyone else off. The Saudi-Iranian alliance is already a massive change since the last time, and weighs against Israel's survival as a Zionist state.

Thus, the downplayers are also projecting their own irrelevance in this conflict. They are not members of the military, so they think no one else is in the military either -- and won't take this much more seriously than civilian bystanders will. Those who are not Democrats, assume no one else is a Democrat either -- and so, no Democrats would listen to Bushnell, since Democrats don't listen to Republicans (projecting being a Republican onto everyone else).

Some are not Americans, projecting that onto actual Americans, who will of course take this more seriously than those in countries that are not party to the Israel-Palestine conflict. And most of the downplayers are not from Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Southern Lebanon, or Iran -- and project their own "big whoop" attitude onto the masses and elites, civilians and soldiers, of those places that are heavily involved in the conflict, assuming no positive feedback loop will get activated over there because of an act in America.

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It's ironic, cuz during the Trump years including the BLM / Antifa riots of 2020, the right-wing take-havers explained that right-wing protests would not change anything, that protests only work for leftists, because leftists are in power, and protests are really an internal form of bargaining within the liberal / leftist / Establishment system, akin to a bratty child throwing a tantrum at their parents.

In other words, there could be a million Trump voters marauding through the streets, and they would get shut down instantly and overwhelmingly, for being anti-Establishment, whereas BLM and Antifa are approved and sponsored by the Establishment, so their marauding would be forgiven and maybe even their demands met. Hell, the January 6th protesters got far worse treatment, and they didn't even burn down bookstores, police offices, or murder bystanders like BLM / Antifa did.

So then, by their own admission, Bushnell's act will succeed -- he's a leftist, not a right-winger, he's in the military and thus able to petition the military, and he's an American petitioning the American government. In none of these domains was he "politically homeless" and doomed to impotence at best and cruel persecution at worst.

Unlike BLM and Antifa, though, his refusal to take anyone else out with him will make him more sympathetic to neutral / independent types, as well as right-wingers themselves.

Although it's a minor tendency, some woketards of the BLM / Antifa persuasion did try to lessen his status by saying he was an evil white military man, so don't praise him or copycat him or anything like that.

But it's not 2014-2020 anymore, so the peak of politicized violence is over (zero protests or riots after Roe v. Wade got repealed). Most on the left did not amplify woketard voices in this instance.

If anything, this event will catalyze a shift away from BLM / Antifa organizing and violence -- none of which required sacrifice from the participants, they got away with everything and were never in any danger. They were not suicide bombers, nor self-immolaters -- they were just paramilitaries of the Democrat party running riot throughout the turf they controlled. They destroyed other people's stuff, not their own. They took others' lives, not having to risk their own in the process.

There's nothing inspirational about that kind of protest, except to those consumed by seething bitter revenge fantasies. But politicized anger has run its course and is getting exhausted, not replenished, after 2020. So, few to recruit to a would-be re-run of the 2014-2020 riots, driven by vindictiveness rather than martyrdom.

The starkest sign that Bushnell's act does not belong to the same category as BLM / Antifa actions is that no one in power is parroting him, lionizing him, etc. Unlike the top-level politicians and CEOs wearing black arm-bands, taking a knee / raising a fist, plastering the relevant slogans and logos on their social media, and so on and so forth. One is confronting the powerful, the other is in cahoots with the powerful. Anyone eliding this crucial distinction is just a propagandist for the Establishment, regardless of their branding.

There's also been a huge, rapid change in the generations within the relevant age group -- 25 year-olds today, like Bushnell, are Zoomers, not Millennials. For the record, 99% of woketards, BLM rioters, and Antifa paramilitaries were Millennials, with a small Gen X vanguard in leadership, and no Zoomers (who were too busy doing high school homework during 2014-2020, to go burn down a police station or summarily execute a MAGA hat-wearer, or even launch fake rape accusations during the #MeToo hysteria).

* * *


That leads into what I thought would be a major topic of this post, but looks like will be more of a reflection in an epilogue after all. And that's the unbridgeable chasm between the two main social media sites -- Twitter and TikTok (Reddit being parasitic off of Twitter, not the other way around, and like its Twitter host, being reflexively hostile to TikTok per se, as existential nemeses).

All of the depressive, projecting, ironypoisoned, coping downplaying comes from Twitter. I was really shocked after checking TikTok, but there is nothing like that there, from either political faction. It's more sincere, serious, resisting the ironic detachment from the Twitter-verse -- confessional, emotional, staring directly into the camera, and connecting honestly with the viewer one-on-one, heart to heart.

There was a big crowd within Tumblr that was like that, and they have migrated to TikTok, or they were too young to be on Tumblr but the would-be carelord Tumblr youths of today choose TikTok to begin with, since Tumblr's dead. The insane woketard SJW types migrated to Twitter (and somewhat to Reddit).

I realize that the Twittertards project Twitter-dom onto TikTok, and assume that everyone there is an insane ranting SJW with blue hair, which has opened up a lucrative (cash or clicks) market for rage-baiting Twitter accounts like Libs of TikTok, who provide the Twitter users what they want to see from TikTok -- i.e., the minority of unhinged SJWs who are speaking their crazy Twitter-esque threads out loud rather than writing them in text format.

But just scroll through the videos within the #AaronBushnell hashtag on TikTok, and hardly anyone looks counter / sub-cultural, none are ranting at the top of their lungs, they aren't demonizing white people, saying Bushnell should not be honored cuz he was white / male / in the military, or whatever Satanic imagery the Twittertards want to be shown via Libs of TikTok. No irony poisoning in their messaging (from any side), no glib dismissive tone of voice, no smugness, no Daily Show snark and caricatured facial expressions of superiority, no cynicism -- it's just the polar opposite world from Twitter.

Mainly this is generational -- TikTok is largely Zoomers, while Twitter has always been and still is mostly Millennials (and some Gen X-ers). Bushnell himself was a Zoomer, as is the right-wing public risk-taker Kyle Rittenhouse. Millennials are too selfish and entitled to sacrifice, they've always been that way, and they'll never change. Exploring why is not relevant now, the point is descriptively, that's how they are.

Libtards trying to downplay Kyle Rittenhouse's defense of public spaces during the 2020 riots was also largely projection of their own cowardliness and selfishness, based on generational differences. Who's this high-school pipsqueak trying to defend a public space at grave risk to himself? You're just supposed to burn it down when the elites grant you immunity, like a good little Millennial brown-noser and seething revenge-fantasy-masturbator.

Branding Zoomers as nihilistic doomers is, once again, just projection by cynical Millennials who have been defeated by the world and given up.

Zoomers certainly do not hold a rosy view of their future, but that does not lead them to passivity, cynicism, and irony-coated depression. If anything, they are pissed at the certain shitstorm that the future holds for them, and they're inclined to take bigger risks to make life livable -- they have nothing to lose, unlike Millennials who grew up in relative harmony and material paradise and upward mobility (until they had to leave home).

Call it idealism, zealotry, whatever -- they are far less inclined than Millennials to just take the shit sandwich the world is handing them, and obediently gulp it down. Millennials had much to lose, and Zoomers little -- how much worse could life actually get by slapping the sandwich out of society's hand and taking a big risk to get something good to eat?

Millennials learned not to bite the hand that feeds, since that hand fed them plenty. Zoomers grew up being fed by a stingy hand, and now owe no obedience.

And no, that's not their literal parents' hand feeding them -- Zoomers' parents fed and clothed them all right. But society writ large did not. Claiming that Zoomer risk-takers are just "mad at dad" is, once again, pure projection from Millennials who were overly indulged by their wealthiest generation in world history Boomer parents, imagining that the only reason a young person would lash out at the system is cuz mom & dad didn't give them enough money to hang out at the mall on the weekend.

January 23, 2024

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

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

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

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

* * *


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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