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.

* * *

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.


  1. Also, Bushnell has a WASP-y surname that comes from Berkshire in England (their version of WASP-y), and he's from a bedroom community of Boston, MA.

    I'm not sure how elite his family was, but he belongs to an elite ethnicity in America -- and therefore, his protest will be taken more seriously than if he were from a non-elite ethnicity (Southern white, Mid-Atlantic Irish or Italian).

    Another self-immolater in America, Norman Morrison, was a Northeastern Mainline Protestant (Presbyterian, from NW PA / Western NY state) who joined the Quakers at age 25, and was married to a Quaker.

    Like Bushnell, he was not from a selfish entitled generation -- he was a Silent, not a Boomer or Greatest Gen member.

    He was protesting the Vietnam War.

    Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting their demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza in 2003, was also from a non-selfish generation (Gen X). No clue if she grew up religious, but probably not since she's from the Pac NW (Olympia, WA). Her surname is Scottish, not Irish, so fairly elite ethnicity, if not a Boston Brahmin.

    Not a case of self-immolation, just curious about another American martyr in the pro-Palestinian / anti-Israeli movement.

  2. Reddit is so censored that in some major news forums they won't even allow posts about him.

  3. The plot thickens, seems he was partly raised in a Community of Jesus compound in Cape Cod, in addition to suburban Boston. Wiki describes it as a charismatic form of Christianity, akin to Pentecostalism -- but then says most of its members are from Mainline Prot and Catholic backgrounds, and given that it's Cape Cod, chances it's a typical Pentecostal church are zero.

    Episcopalians and a Rockefeller involved in its founding, as well -- not Pentecostal, but a more involved and engaged group of Northeastern Mainliners and WASP-y types.

    And with the money to lavish on the church (replica of a 4th-C. basilica with frescoes, mosaics, and bronze doors), and other institutions like a community theater that tours nationally.

    An acquaintance of Bushnell's described him as religious.

    So, probably in that same mold as Quakers like Norman Morrison, or older ones like Thoreau, giving a religious / transcendent angle to their anti-militarism.

    Obviously not something that will be found in the Southern counterparts, where all the military bases have been located forever -- they will develop a religious / transcendent angle *in favor of* militarism.

    But since the military has decided to purge Southern white men, they'll get more Henry David Thoreaus instead, which will further fracture the military from within.

  4. Unlike Thoreau, though, who was opposed to the elite sectors of other regions of America (Southern slavery, Southwestern war against Mexico), Bushnell and fellow travelers are opposing their own elites.

    It's still impossible to benefit from being anti-Zionist or anti-Israel in the Mid-Atlantic and New England, as proven by nobody in positions of wealth or power (CEO, politician) chanting his name, mirroring his gestures, repeating his slogans, using his logos, etc. The polar opposite of BLM and Antifa, which were 100% supported by the elites, especially in the Northeast.

    And no, it's not cuz Jews live in the Northeast -- it's because Israel is a proxy for the American Empire in the Mideast, as of the 1970s (allies during the '73 war and then Camp David Accords, before then we were enemies -- 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel firing on and sinking the USS Liberty during the '67 war). And Jews don't now and have never controlled the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, or NSA.

    Bushnell was in an intel role within the Air Force.

    Being against Israel is treated by the federal government as being anti-American and anti-Washington and specifically anti-Deep State agencies. They don't care what you think about Jews or Palestinians -- they care if you're going to threaten the American Empire's (futile, failed) pursuit of expansion in the Mideast via weakening our links to the state and military of Israel, one of our few allies there (as of the '70s).

  5. Bushnell's act is a far graver symptom of imperial collapse -- it's not only Southern chuds refusing to serve in the jock-type roles of the military, they're being joined by their Northern WASP doppelgangers who are refusing to serve in the nerd-type roles for the intel agencies.

    Up through 2020, it had only reached a sectional civil war level -- Democrats would use the nerd side of the Deep State, Republicans would use the jock side of it, and they would go to battle against each other for control over the empire.

    But now both sides have collapsed internally -- the jock brass alienated the would-be jock grunts, and now the nerd brass has alienated the would-be nerd underlings. Neither half of the Deep State can hold together, let alone cooperate with the other half -- so central power is out the window, whether in the nerd or jock form of power.

    And real-world outcomes confirm that -- after 2020, we got easily bitchslapped out of Afghanistan, Russia began taking back mainland Ukraine (not just Crimea), Yemen has blockaded the Red Sea and started sinking American allied ships, Saudi Arabia and Iran have formally joined sides, and it's only a matter of time before China takes back Taiwan.

    Not to mention the domestic theater of Deep State failed ops -- only those eager to get the jab got it, everyone else defied federal threats and received zero punishment from either the jocks or nerds in the Deep State. The governors of Florida and Texas, with huge populations, defied the Covid orders and the open borders orders from the federal government, and received no punishment from jocks or nerds.

    So, we have to erase / update the view from just 5 years ago, where the libs, progs, and socialists would all throw in with the nerd half of the Deep State and launch an all-out war against Trump voters / fedgov defiers, etc.

    Even the intel half of the Deep State is imploding and coming unglued internally -- there goes the whole fantasy of "revenge of the nerds against the chuds, through the FBI, CIA, and NSA". It's over for them.

    But equally, it's over for the jock side. Any right-winger indulging in revenge fantasies involving armed occupation with tanks, guns, jeeps, etc., of libtard states or sanctuary cities or college campuses or whatever -- keep dreaming.

    We saw the confirmed disintegration of the jock side already during the 2020 riots -- zero military jocks lifted a finger to stop those riots. Only when they threatened a federal building in Seattle or Portland. Otherwise, they were complicit in the destruction of the country, along with the police who did not lift a finger. And that was with a Republican president and administration!

    If you can't even sic the soldiers on rioting criminals, who do you expect to sic them on? It's a Potemkin army, they don't have enough cohesion or esprit de corps to even preserve public order domestically. Let alone will they ever occupy a left-wing college campus or whatever else the wordcel masturbators on Twitter may be fantasizing about, should the gOd-EmPeRoR regain the White House.

    Fat lot of good he did the first time, while the country burned! Nobody's more worthless than Republicans, the military, and the cops. Not in a moral sense (except to libtards) -- just in an efficacy sense. You can 100% count on them to fail, or not even attempt, their fundamental role (cops or soldiers preserving public order against violent organized mobs).

  6. Highly instructive contrast between Bushnell and Brace Belden, the nerdy Millennial Northeastern elite member who eagerly joined the CIA's push to re-brand American imperial intervention in the Mideast as an edgy hipster lifestyle, during -- when else? -- the 2nd Obama term. Namely by joining the anti-Assad half of the Syrian civil war.

    Along with Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show turning into CIA propaganda against Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc. Along with Vice getting hijacked by the CIA and regurgitating the same CIA propaganda through online "news" outlets.

    Not that these efforts succeeded in real-world outcomes -- Russia bitchslapped America and its proxies out of most of Syria, which is now steadily under Assad's control. They are now also taking back Ukraine. North Korea proved it could hit America with a nuclear missile, which brought the REPUBLICAN president to diplomatically visit North Korea for the first time ever, and sing his praises. The only realigning thing Trump ever did -- and very much butt-hurting the intel flunkies like Belden, Vice, and their CIA handlers. The coup against Maduro in Venezuela blew up pathetically as well. And Iran is not only *not* fractured in a civil war / color revolution, it's being joined by its recent nemesis, Saudi fucking Arabia!

    Just failure after abject failure, as per yoozh with the Deep State after WWII.

    But as of 2024, not only is the nerd half of the Deep State failing in the real world, it can't even recruit its target audience to play their basic roles within the institutions, whether those institutions would change the world or not. When they do manage to recruit someone, that someone is going to self-immolate rather than play their role!

    Edgy hipsters and elite members no longer think it's cool to join the CIA or Pentagon's proxies in the Mideast. Bushnell was an anarchist -- why didn't he join the Kurdish faux anarchist group in Syria, Iran, or Turkey, like his Millennial predecessors would have, like Belden? Times have changed, seismically, and there's no going back.

    With all the other failures of American intervention in the Mideast, the only active theater is Israel / Palestine, and NOBODY on the edgy, hipster, ironypoisoned left will join Mossad or West Bank settlers "for the lulz" and ironically post on social media about pissing on dead Palestinians as an oopsie-whoopsie war crime.

    Israel / Palestine is way too branded as a modern-day case of apartheid for any leftist or hipster to join the pro-apartheid side.

    The even more marginal minority of right-wing hipsters may continue to impotently prop up the street cred of the Zionist entity, but they're even less influential and effective than their lefty majority counterparts.

    And they don't even get official sponsorship, bankrolling, and glowing profiles in the media. Sad!

  7. Red Scare having Belden on their show remains one of the few stains on their reputation. At least with that CIA Vice flunkie on the Ukraine episode (which I instantly closed, when I heard Vice), they redeemed themselves recently by having on Russians With Attitude to discuss Russia and Ukraine.

    Syria is over as an active theater for the most part, so they missed the chance to redeem themselves on that one -- but they could have on someone to talk about Israel / Palestine, who's similar to Russians With Attitude, but who focuses on Israel / Palestine instead of Russia. IDK who that is.

    Not necessarily a pundit or prophet like Norm Finkelstein, who would just be delivering a speech and getting agitated. Someone to matter of factly talk about it, occasionally joke around, etc. -- but not be a flunkie for the imploding Deep State like those earlier two guests were.

    Someone who could give a broad overview going back to the late stage of the Ottoman Empire, which is where the roots of all this stuff come from. (Don't bring on some geek who traces it back to Medieval or Ancient times.) And who knows about Egypt's role, from being part of the Arab side of the Arab-Israeli war, to being bought off by Uncle Same in the Camp David Accords, to now being highly unstable with a very pro-Palestinian population, etc.

    It's harder to discuss than Russia / Ukraine, since it involves more nations. It wouldn't have to be a Palestinian or Israeli, it could be an American.

    Just remember, edgy hipster imperialism is over -- no point in trying to revive a dead and failed trend from over 10 years ago. Definitely do not bring on the even tinier and more impotent minority of right-wing hipsters trying to prop up American intervention in the Mideast / stanning for muh based Israel / etc. Even more sad and wack!

  8. I know, Red Scare should invite Nassim Taleb on their show, with the only planned topic being "The genocide of Palestinians by the state of Israel". They could kill three birds with one stone -- discuss this important current affair, redeem themselves for having on anti-Assad CIA Vice flunkie Brace Belden, and book one of their most coveted guests!

    They could allow him digressions on anything else, though -- that would be the enticement. No strings attached, no holds barred. Whatever he wants to digress about, he can digress about. Near Eastern DNA / Ancient history, are Levantines Arabian or Mediterranean, has the economy become more or less fragile since the last implosion, strength vs. endurance training, "Lindy", etc.

    As an Orthodox Christian from Lebanon, he has no immediate dog in the fight between Jews and Muslims in Israel / Palestine, more neutral observer.

    He lives in the NYC metro -- not impossible to meet up with...

    But he's very selective about interviews, so I doubt he'd agree, but maybe if Anna and Dasha granted him wide latitude regarding the topics, so he can hold court and expound at length on Semitic philology, genetic relatedness between Jesus and contempo Palestinians, does IQ matter in the real world, and so on... it would be a much more enjoyable experience for him, not like getting asked rapid narrow questions about the stock market, as in the corporate media. And not by hostile forces, which a pro-Palestinian view will still get met by in today's media and most of academia.

    To get on his good side, tell him the reason you're granting him such wide latitude on the topics of conversation is because his thinking is too high-dimensional to be condensed into a bite-sized segment about the stock market imploding. He's been recently driving home the theme of -- If you ask a lot of people to summarize a book, and they all give the same answer, it's low-dimensional, simple, and can be condensed into a journal article. If they all give divergent / non-overlapping answers, the book is high-dimensional, multifaceted, complex, and cannot be shrunken into a Reader's Digest version.

    Well, look at how a large pool of respondents would summarize "Nassim Taleb's oeuvre" -- there's too many different topics to cover! Such a high-dimensional, multifaceted mind as his, requires wide latitude to follow digressions all over the intellectual terrain. You won't try to box him in or restrict him along fixed guide-rails.

    I know that's laying it on thick, but if you could somehow get a Zoom call or Facetime, and bat your alluring eyelashes at him, or throw in the occasional disarming giggle, it'd work even better! It's not just empty flattery (which never hurts), it's showing you already know something unique about his thinking -- this recent theme of his about how convergent or divergent the summaries of a book are, and applying that to the interview format itself.

    That's as far as I can help you girls -- strategizing. I don't have the connections to introduce you, unfortch. But you have to admit, that's one hell of a sales pitch, for a guest you would otherwise have no chance at booking! ^_^

  9. BTW, my solving of the puzzle regarding why Nazis, Germans, and Prussians are demonized in the American sphere, but not the rising sun flag and the Japanese, also explains why nobody cares about Franco and his state's symbols, or Mussolini and his state's symbols, or the country / people as a whole.

    See the previous post's comment section for more detail.

    Briefly, the demonization campaign began well into the Cold War, when our main rival was Russia / USSR. America did not conquer the core of the Prussian / German Empire, which was the East and HQ'd in Berlin. That fell under Russian control -- so, through guilt by association, we retconned the Nazis and their predecessors in the German Empire (back to Prussia) as demons, since they would end up falling under our Cold War rival's sphere.

    America only occupied the peripheral regions of the former German Empire.

    Whereas in Japan, we occupied the whole country, including the core. In order to incorporate them into our sphere after the war, we couldn't demonize them -- which would have required further punishment, and keeping them away lest they contaminate us with their evil demonic nature.

    We had to treat them as worthy opponents who were now going to be converted to the American side in the global geopolitical game. They weren't fundamentally bad, contaminating, impure, etc. -- and so, who cares about their flag, their navy, their etc.?

    Well, we also absorbed all of Spain into our orbit when they joined NATO -- it was not just a peripheral region like the Northeast, it was the core in the central region that joined. Not like Germany.

    We also occupied all of Italy after WWII -- not just an unimportant region like Southern Italy and Sicily. We controlled the important regions around Rome and to the North as well -- to such an extent that we Protestantized / Americanized the Roman Catholic Church, in the form of Vatican II in the 1960s. Cuius regio, eius religio.

    And therefore, we never demonized Franco, the Spanish fascists, Spain as an entire nation, Spanish people in general, or the Spanish Empire going back to its founding as a reconquering of Iberia from the Moors. All of that was given a free pass by the same culture that began demonizing the Nazis, Germans, and Prussians.

    Same with Mussolini, Italian fascists, the Blackshirts, Italy as an entire nation, Italian people, or the unification of Italy during the 19th C. In America, Mussolini has been portrayed as a somebody we have a pitiful laugh at -- he and his group have no moral valence, he's not demonized, and when his name is trotted out, it's never on its own but always as a secondary intensifier to Hitler's name, the real demon in American mythology.

  10. For German-Americans, there's always the threat of being lumped in with the Prussians, German Empire, Nazis, and Hitler specifically. Whenever they go off on their typical kraut bullshit, we don't just call them krauts, we call them Nazis -- traffic-light nazis, waste-bin separation nazis, feminazis, "Oh yeah, my 9th grade teacher, Mrs. Wenzelwitz, she was a real nazi..."

    Italian-Americans have never been subject to this potential threat, linking them to Mussolini, fascists / Blackshirts, etc. Nor have Japanese-Americans, linking them to Hirohito, the bombers of Pearl Harbor, etc.

    If anything, Italian-Americans may get glorified by American culture as the inheritors of the badass Roman Empire -- even though none of them are from Lazio or the North, but from the anti-Roman South / Sicily, who collaborated with the invading Gauls and Carthaginians just cuz they were butt-hurt over the Romans being the leaders and unifiers of the Italic peoples.

    Same with Japanese-Americans -- if anything, glorified as inheritors of the badass samurai, ninjas, the navy that defeated Russia, Korea, China, Indonesia, etc. Whether or not they actually come from a samurai lineage.

    We give no such props to German-Americans as the inheritors of the Prussian / Brandenburgian Empire, since its core would ultimately fall under Russian control during the Cold War, so American culture had to retcon all of its imperial culture and accomplishments as prefiguring the Nazis -- who America would've been cool with, if only their territory didn't fall under our Cold War rival's control after they were defeated.

    Sorry krauts, them's the breaks. It's nothing personal or ethnic or genetic, it's just another case of historical contingency (whose territories fell under American vs. Russian control post-WWII).

    1. Vladimir Berkov3/1/24, 12:32 AM

      Some of it was personal, though, in that unlike Italy or Japan you had a certain very vocal and influential minority in the US with a real interest in retribution against Germany post-ww2, the Jews. It’s not a 100% Jewish explanation though, Germans were demonized during ww1 as well even though Jewish influence was far less. In the case of ww1 it almost seems more like the WASPy upper middle class of the NE was a main driver and receptive to British anti-German propaganda and lobbying. A whole lot of Germans lived in the west in “flyover country” or “pass through in a Pullman car country” at the time. But they didn’t have the influence of the largely british-descended WASPs in the NE.

      In a way though the ethnic makeup of America means that no matter what country needs to be demonized and portrayed as our new enemy, there’s always some ethnic or racial or religious group in the country who left or were kicked out of that European country and thus have a long list of grievances. If we ended up at war with Great Britain in Ww1 no doubt there would be support for
      That too among Irish sympathizers and a lot of German-Americans.

  11. That also explains why the Nazis, Prussian imperial culture, etc. was better preserved by the Russians / Soviets post-WWII. They were incorporating the core of the former Prussian / German Empire, so they had to treat them as worthy fuckin' adversaries who would become converted into pro-Soviet / pro-Russian forces after their defeat.

    The East German military was allowed to keep their Nazi / Hugo Boss badass aesthetic, whereas this was scrubbed / memory-holed from the West German military (who were not the core of the empire, and chaffed at being conquered by Prussia / Brandenburg). The East Germans only had to drop the swastika, similar to Japan having to drop the 16 rays but not the red sun on their national flag (and the original flag, as well as a modified 8-ray version, were still allowed for lower-level groups, just not the nation as a whole).

    When I found a pair of spotless East German officer boots in a thrift store, I was taken aback -- is someone collecting Nazi militaria and donated these? After inspecting the inside, turns out they're East German, when they were part of the Warsaw Pact.

    I thought for sure they'd look like whatever the Russian military looked like, as part of a centralized / standardized uniform. But the inheritors of the Prussian Empire were allowed to keep some parts of their heritage, so they didn't feel totally humiliated by their Russian occupiers and overlords.

    Russians may demonize Nazis narrowly, i.e. the army that invaded Russia and fought them during WWII. But they don't tar-and-feather East Germans, Prussians / Brandenburgians, or their former imperial culture, as fundamentally evil, tainted, contaminating, etc.

    If they found it so contaminating, they would not still be occupying Konigsberg (Kaliningrad), the original HQ of the budding Prussian Empire, home to Immanuel Kant et al.

    They also would not be supplying natural gas to Germany to enable their industries.

    Russia's main effort at de-Nazification right now is not destroying Germany, but the Ukrainian separatists who have adopted the Nazi symbols narrowly -- i.e., belonging to those who invaded and fought Russia during WWII, not as part of a broader and longer appreciation for Prussian imperial culture or the German people.

    In the same way that we commemorate the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and celebrate our victory over Japan, Russia does the same with their victory over the Nazis in WWII. But during the Soviet occupation of East Germany -- or even today -- that never reached the level of antagonizing the successor governments, cultures, and populations of their former enemies.

    It's something important from the past, requiring a memorial -- but not an open festering wound that serves as a cause for ongoing feuds and grudges.

  12. Currently, the dominant coalition of German politics after reunification (CDU/CSU) is heavily pro-American and has its power base in the south (Bavaria) and West (Palatinate) of Germany. The realigners in Germany after the neoliberal era ends (looks like AfD and/or BSW) are based out of the East of Germany and in general are more anti-American and pro-Russian than the current dominant coalition.

  13. That's why AfD, the realigning party in Germany, came from the East and had most of its early support there. It's not a narrow Nazi thing, it's that the East is the core of the former German Empire, and that's who drove German ethnogenesis in the Early Modern era and after.

    Not only because they're the standard-bearers of German culture, but also because when they were occupied, they were treated as worthy adversaries who had to be incorporated into the foreign government and society without being permanently humiliated, ostracized, punished, and so on.

    When they joined a unified Germany, after their Russian overlords bit the dust as an empire, they received far worse treatment from Northern, Western, and Southern Germany -- and their American imperial overlords -- than they ever did from Soviet Russia.

    From what I can tell, they direct most of that ire at the American occupation and EU / NATO membership, not at the other regions of Germany per se. They are mainly anti-EU, not anti-Westphalia.

    And those other regions are noticing that and reciprocating by now -- Hesse and Bavaria are becoming hotbeds of AfD support, not just the East:


    Why only now? Before 2020, the American Empire was only in a stagnant / saturated stage of its lifespan. So, hold out hope that this plateau would last forever. Don't rock the boat.

    But after 2020, the American Empire is in free-fall collapse -- they can't hold their own country together, how can they possibly provide for and protect a foreign nation like Germany? To make it worse, their American occupiers blew up the Nordstream pipeline and forced economic sanctions on Russia which are now devastating all of Germany's economy, not just in the East.

    Well, so much for the benefits of belonging to the American Empire. However, there's no Russian Empire to join either. AfD is not about becoming a mere client of Russia -- they are too busy dealing with Ukrainian separatists, how could they possibly provide for and protect Germany, other than sending them cheap gas?

    So AfD is trying to reconstitute a "Germany for the Germans" kind of nation, not an expanding empire, just trying to hold together the empire they already had up through WWII.

    Maybe imperial disintegration will be irrevocable, though, and Germany will go back to its pre-imperial pattern of "kleinstaaterei" -- dozens of tiny little powerless statelets. A la Italy after the collapse of the Roman Empire, or Western Europe after the collapse of the Frankish Empire.

    In that case, Germany could fracture into 4 nations (N, S, E, W), or into smaller regions (Bavaria, Westphalia, Thuringia, Hesse, etc.). Or even smaller states -- it's happened before there.

    But for now, they're trying to avoid that degree of implosion and fragmentation, and hold together a "Germany for the Germans" nation-state.

    Will it succeed long-term? Who knows? But based on the history of German-speaking lands, I wouldn't count on it. I think it's back to kleinstaaterei.

  14. How do you see Vox in Spain doing?

  15. Still, I'll bet that the core of the German Empire holds together more than the peripheral areas. The East will stay more integrated, while the rest could split into smaller pieces, especially far from the NE core -- in the South and West. Western and Southern Germany already has kleinstaats on its borders -- Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. No such kleinstaats near NE Germany.

    Similar to the collapse of the Russian Empire -- they lost all those Central Asian and Caucasus states, not to mention the Baltic and West Slavic states. They even lost Ukraine! But are getting that one back, since it's part of the core of the Muscovite state, being on the meta-ethnic frontier with Steppe peoples, and being part of the forces that drove out the Mongol-Turkic invaders.

    When the Frankish Empire collapsed, the core around what is today NE France, held together -- and expanded to include present-day France, after another round of imperial expansion. But farther away from the Rhineland, which was the motivating meta-ethnic frontier between Romans and Germanics, the Frankish Empire collapsed into kleinstaaterei, and remained that way until Prussian and Austrian imperial expansion in the Early Modern era.

    England and especially Southern England are holding together -- meanwhile peripheral regions like Ireland already broke off, Scotland may as well, and even Wales is not out of the question (doubtful, though).

    When the most recent Chinese Empire collapsed in the early 1900s, the core in the North remained whole -- meanwhile Hong Kong, Taiwan, et al broke away in the Southern periphery. Not as a unified non-Northern state -- but into many separate smaller states.

    As the American Empire collapses, we will see the same pattern -- the broad West will stay whole, from the Pacific Coast through the Rocky Mountains and almost certainly the Plains, yes including Texas. The other Midwestern states will most likely stay part of America. But as for back East, that will at least fragment away from America -- and into several pieces, like Northeast and Southeast, and possibly further from there, with Florida becoming its own government, or new borders draw up to make Western PA its own state separate from Philly / East Coast, and so on.

  16. The bitter endless feuding between Boston and New York means they won't be part of the same polity as American imperial collapse proceeds. It's not enough that they separate from core America, or even from the Southeast -- they'll turn on their "fellow" Northeasterners.

    "Oh no, if the imperial ship's going down, you're not gonna jump onto *our* lifeboat, we can get by JUST FINE without you bums!"

    The Northeast is so cursed and spiteful, even among themselves.

    1. Note the quite different tone by which this blogger describes the Northeast compared to other regions: https://rubyronin.com/are-all-americans-the-same/

  17. Polar opposite pattern on the West Coast: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego will always be part of the same polity.

    Only open question is what happens to Alaska and Hawaii? Too minor to survive on their own, plus they're out West and like being part of a big American nation.

    Alaska's too rich in resources to give away, I think they'll stay as a non-contiguous member of either the Pac NW or the Rocky Mountains cultures.

    Hawaii... doesn't really provide a whole lot for America, even if it's just the West Coast of America. Its importance is more symbolic than material. Depends on how badly Californians and Texans want their Polynesian paradise to belong to America, or be its own separate Polynesian state.

    Or if it's sold to Japan, since the Japanese-origin Hawaiians are already the ruling elite in the state.

    It would partly undo the loss of Japanese territory from their Great Power heyday -- they get back Hawaii! And that's toward the East, which is the direction of Japanese expansion going back centuries, so more appropriate than getting a piece of mainland Asia, which would be backward-looking for Japan.

    Given how isolated Hawaii is, and how non-strategic it is these days, since no Asian navy is sailing toward the West Coast of America, it may actually be a net drain on the future American core, and they decide to cut it loose for cost-cutting reasons -- while getting a little money in exchange for it from Japan, plus some diplomatic goodwill.

    Who knows? But that's really the only Western state I can see not belonging to future America, and that's not a certain thing either. Just the only possibility.

    Whereas back East is going to fragment like nobody's business.

    1. If we keep Alaska I hope we also get all the Canadian land in between Alaska and North Dakota. The Plains and Rockies Canadians would fit in with America better than any of the people from Appalachia, the Deep South, or New England.

  18. Canada has the same east-west asymmetry, so British Columbia and Yukon would easily join future America, probably Alberta, too, and perhaps the Prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Northwest Territories, too, and IDK about who the Eskimo in Nunavut would want to join.

    Quebec has zero chance of joining any other polity -- they wouldn't even join New England, or a broader Northeastern US. They wouldn't even stick together with Ontario. I could see the Maritime Provinces joining New England, though -- or maybe they'd form their own little statelet.

    Western Ontario might also get split off into a new Prairie province and join America, not sure. But no way Toronto would join America -- the highly populated parts of Ontario would stay their own place.

    It would be trivial for the Governor of California to say, "C'mon, who are we kidding? Vancouver belongs with Seattle, Portland, San Franscisco, and Los Angeles -- welcome home, fellow Pacific Coast people."

    Can you imagine the Governor of New York or Massachusetts saying that to the Quebecois, about "fellow Atlantic Coast people"? Ha! Even on the US side, the Atlantic states could easily split into 4 nations (New England, Mid-Atlantic, Deep South, Florida). There's no such thing even in America as "fellow Atlantic Coast people," Jesus.

    New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and PEI, I could see joining New England. New Foundland's too far north, with Quebec in the way. They might become a kleinstaat unto themselves. Most people live on a very isolated island, though, which can't survive imperial collapse. So they may just pack up and close down that province altogether, moving down to the other Maritimes closer to New England. Their province is only as old as 1949 anyway, not a bedrock of Canadian identity and history (and unlike Alaska and Hawaii, young states on the American side, NF is way back East, not important).

  19. Brainstorming names for what becomes of core America...



    America (without "United States of")



    I like that one enough to stop brainstorming for now, actually. It's space-y, futuristic, a frontier (reachable, not the furthest-out), but unlike Galactica, it has the same # of syllables, stress pattern, and first and last letters as "America". Familiar and faithful enough to the old empire's name, but forward-looking and tangibly outer space-y in the good ol' American way.

    (For the same reasons, the Mid-Atlantic should be called Atlantia.)

    It would pull in the Mormons as much as the Californians.

    Also avoids any narrower reference, derived from California or Texas or Pacific or Rockys or whatever, so no one gets to lord their local name over the rest of the nation. Everyone's getting on a new spaceship that's blasting off from the former American Empire, coming from varied yet all-American walks of life, toward a unified future where they fly under a banner that's not already owned by any of the members, a new standard they will bear without squabbling like a bunch of East Coasters.

    And the new capital should be Los Angeles, to reflect the center of American culture -- that way, they can make sure the monumental architecture for the central government is not just distinctly American in style, but a historical example rather than a newly built imitation. LA City Hall is Art Deco, baby.

    1. And here is the Greatest Generation song to revive California with: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l_GPIhNuNFQ&pp=ygURY2FsaWZvcm5pYSBhbnRoZW0%3D

  20. Maybe modified to include "The American States of Andromeda" -- keeping some variant of historical "America", but without "United States" so that Canadians get included ("America" referring to the continent, not the old US of A).

    Or is that trying to have it both ways, leading to confusion, two main adjectives and endonyms in circulation ("American" and "Andromedan"), etc.?

    Well, maybe they'll just have to put it to a vote -- "America" or "Andromeda", with no qualifiers or double names.

    "America" meaning this is the real America, not the pre-America of back East. Emphasizing the ethnogenesis that has already taken place.

    "Andromeda" emphasizing that although we all came from the bygone American Empire, its rump state will be something rooted in that past, but evolving in its own unique way as well, just as the successor states in the Italian peninsula after the Roman Empire collapsed did not pay tribute to Roma or Latium or even Italia. Venice, Lombardy, Tuscany, Umbria, etc. Even the one that included Rome was "The Papal States," and the Papacy post-dates the Roman Empire's heyday by centuries, referring to a religion that superceded Roman religion.

    On the other hand, when the Frankish Empire collapsed, the next one to take its place did pay tribute and called itself France. The Byzantines called themselves the Greek name for Romans, paying tribute to their predecessors.

    I think if we became another empire, "America" would have the same appeal that "France" and "Romaioi" did for those empires. But since we're not going to become another expanding empire, given that we no longer face a powerful enduring threat along any meta-ethnic frontier, we're not in the same position as the French and the Byzantines. But more like the Italian states of the Medieval era.

    So, I still like Andromeda best!

    It also satisfies Olde Worlde LARP-ers, since it's a Greek name -- but it refers to another galaxy, which is about exploring new frontiers, and not tethered to the Olde Worlde. If only it were an Egyptian name, that would be so much more American -- but alas, it's Greek. Whaddaya gonna do?

  21. Is the stealth Canadian from eastern Canada or western Canada?

  22. She's from Western-ish Canada. Having moved around a lot while growing up, she may have traits from various places. She did mention visiting Buffalo, NY as a kid, which is in the Toronto area. But she also does the "eg" to "ayg" thing, which is mainly in the Pac NW, although supposedly extends from the Prairie provinces as well.

    She likes clowning on the "French" (i.e. the Quebecois) and "Italians" (i.e. Toronto ethnics). So, doubtful she's from back East. She's pretty mellow, Midwestern nice / cult of politeness (even by Canadian standards), etc., like Westerners generally.

    Not being tainted by the back-Eastern-ness of Toronto or Ottawa or Montreal, she'd be welcomed into the post-imperial nation of Andromeda. :)

  23. On a completely unrelated note, Mumei's "goth vs. emo" collab w/ Fauna was during the final week of the calendar month, just like her "emo hours" collab w/ Nerissa, and emo / sadgirl content from her generally (last week, into the first week of the following month).

    Right on schedule.

    And her most recent burst of activity, despite being on break, was during the middle 2 weeks of the month, also on schedule.

    >he hasn't figured out the timing of his oshi's ovulation cycle

    fake fan spotted

  24. Wait, Mu-mei! It's so perfect! The mythical lost continent in the Pacific Ocean, akin to Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean. It fits right into her fascination with ancient aliens and other such distinctly American mythology!


    Of course there's a Japanese connection as well, one suspected site being the Yonaguni Monument:


    I first learned of this lost island while playing the action RPGs Illusion of Gaia, and Terranigma, both for the Super Nintendo. Both feature Mu as a location where some of the plot unfolds. And in Terranigma, you're resurrecting the continents, so adding Mu in as a secret one to resurrect puts it on an equal footing with the "received wisdom" continents.

    Naturally, these video games (not simulators) were created in Japan (by Quintet). I don't think Mu has penetrated American culture as much as Japanese culture, even though it's in the Pacific / New World, so we should totally be obsessed with it, more so than Atlantis (no offense, Goob). As things are, though, it's more of an obscure / niche thing...

    Oh, you like geology? I just got really into this lost continent... you probably never even heard of it... it's called Mu. But you're into normie geology, you wouldn't understand...

  25. I don't know if there's as awesome of a documentary on Mu, as there is about ancient aliens (like Chariots of the Gods), but you could do a watchalong of that.

    Oooh, stream title -- "Mu may be real? Mumei, be real!" xD

    Or build / settle a continent of your own in Minecraft, whether it's still above water or sunken / lost. You know what to call it! ^_^

    We miss Moom, miss Moom...

  26. It's definitely not just a mere suicide, but having seen his reddit history with the word "white" highlighted, my thinking on him is that it's possible he's the horrifying logical conclusion of how the good male feminist ally understands himself.

    4 factors combining:
    1) Even the pacifist leftie allies are always striking for how they have more venom and wrath for their foes, they've so much repressed need for masculine assertiveness and anger that it just explodes out at an acceptable target.

    2) Being a brit in the US protest culture could lead to being overawed by the forceful nature of the theorists, loss of proportion

    3) combined with a military culture....

    I can buy it as a final desperate act of a man trying to justify himself within his deluded reality.

    Or mybr

  27. Sorry didn't mean to hit publish. Anyway was just going to say there's a certain irony in the "How can you possibly deny/forget THIS!" and considering the event such a black unicorn, when the Israeli side consider the footage of the girls being abducted the same way.

    I think it will just end up as all the more reason to consider the other side monsters....

    Whatever the facts, it was a very brave thing to do. And so stark against our artificial media world. I actually think of it as more valuable as a subversive act there than a real protest likely to change anything. But I could be wrong.

    Can see why he made the military. I suppose I consider him to have been a principled man within his brainwash, which isn't a contradiction.

  28. By the way, I've always been curious: I'm fascinated by your excitement/withdrawal cycle theory and how you apply it, I got into this blog with all your musical examples to illustrate the phases manifesting, I still have many of them in playlists based on it. :)

    Is it your own device? And you still seem very confident it will persist into the future despite the cultural collapse, but I thought they would depend on that culture to generate in the first place?

  29. Been busy trying to figure out Korean ethnogenesis, and the empire that wasn't.

  30. As for the excitement cycle, yes, that's my own discovery, like most of the other stuff I've written on over the years.

    Only major model that is not mine to begin with, and I apply to lots of other cases / new insights, is the meta-ethnic frontier model of imperiogenesis and ethnogenesis, which I first learned of from Peter Turchin, who popularized it in English in the 2000s.

    But I have added to it, like how proximity to the meta-ethnic frontier determines who is the cultural leader vs. follower *within* the Us side of the Us vs. Them divide, whose dialect and culture becomes the standard, etc.

    And the concept of the "integrative civil war" -- only after which does the new empire and people become a whole new culture.

    We may not be making much new culture, but it's more about a social mood or attitude, and it can feed off of us making poor or boring culture, just as much as when we made awesome culture. Plus we may be reviving earlier culture, not just making new culture, and that is affected by the phases of the cycle too -- I showed how hit cover songs are typically from the same phase in an earlier cycle (like "Bohemian Rhapsody" becoming a huge hit in the early '90s restless phase, originally from the late '70s restless phase).

    1. Fascinating how you heard of Turchin decades become he became famous for it's prophecies!

      Would you say the "West Country" (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/TheWestCountry) is the least decadent area of England as it was the site of its ethnogenesis under the House of Wessex? Wessex was the furthest frontier from the Anglo-Saxon landings and the last holdout against the Vikings and the Celtic remnant in Cornwall.

      "Grace and Favour", the forgotten sequel to Are You Being Served? the Britcom takes place in that area in the early 1990s. It certainly feels the most wholesome.

  31. Taking back others' shopping carts -- make it fun, as well as civic, by pushing it real fast and riding it through the parking lot!

    I've done this TWICE in the past week, with carts that were outside the entire shopping center where they belonged, but where I was headed anyway.

    The first time I used it like a skateboard / scooter, pushing off the ground with one foot every few seconds. I was in a hurry that night, cuz Irys was doing unarchived karaoke, and that helped me shave a few minutes off my trip time! ^_^

    Then tonight there was one across the friggin' traffic light at the border of the same shopping center. Rode that one pretty well too, but not like a scooter. Not in a huge hurry -- plenty of time to catch the Moominator's zatsu later tonight.

    Mini-marathon of Galaxy Express 999 in the meantime!

    Then, onto getting an earful of owlvulation nation. She's gonna be pumped up tonight!

  32. (Yes I have a car, I go for walks for exercise, fresh air, being human, etc. That's when you can bring back these shopping carts that are a good 5 minutes away from their home.)

  33. If you see California as the centre of a future American Byzantium, do you see Texas as akin to Egypt (a big, wealthy, resource rich province that it largely desert)?

  34. I'm not sure how much of the meta-ethnic frontier theory is Turchin's own work, and how much he popularized. I'm remembering his book Historical Dynamics, where he says there's been a lot of work in Russian-language anthropology and social science about ethnogenesis, which the West / English-speaking world is largely unaware of, so he's introducing it and applying it to the rise and fall of empires.

    I checked that out from a univ library over 15 years ago, don't have my own copy, so can't quote directly. Certainly he was the first to provide differential equation modeling for the rise and fall of asabiya as a function of distance from a frontier.

    But I don't know the non-English sources he's referring to, so can't say how much he's popularizing and how much is his own. I assume the stuff about the rise and fall of empires is more his own, although he does cite Turner's Frontier Thesis as an English-language American example of the importance of a meta-ethnic frontier in driving imperial growth. But putting it all together in a big picture I think is his own.

    What the nature of the previous material is that he's referring to, I don't know.

    1. The rebellion against the Mongols provided a major impetus for Russian ethnogenesis as this video here notes between 13:45 and 17:00: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jat6cQXTDVU&t=581s

  35. Turchin was already famous here after War and Peace and War (2007), which popularizes Historical Dynamics (2003). That's what got me interested, and since I was learning differential equation modeling as part of applied math in biology, I was hooked.

    I also checked out Secular Cycles (2009) when it first came out. That one didn't make quite as big of a popular splash as War and Peace and War -- probably because right-wingers didn't want to hear about internal problems, only Us vs. Them struggles. Internal problems that are not partisan, especially -- things you can't blame the boo-hiss Other Party for, like how much the foundation of American society, economy, and culture was blowtorched by the Reagan Revolution.

    Left-wingers could appreciate the internal disintegration models from Secular Cycles, but also the Us vs. Them models from the meta-ethnic frontier stuff -- they would just say, "Boo, Us vs. Them thinking, but that *is* sadly how history works..."

    Left-wingers are also not paralyzed by autism like right-wingers are regarding history and especially military history -- which they reduce to technology, tactics, strategy, Great Man nonsense, etc. Nope -- it's which side is more cohesive, unified, and acting as a collective unit, rather than weakly glued together, or outright riven by mutual suspicion and hostility within their own side.

    War is a team sport, not an engineering project. Whichever side has the stronger team spirit, wins. Simple as that. Where they *get* their team spirit from, is where the meta-ethnic frontier model comes in.

    Techno-autism is even more pathetic in March 2024, as one faction within one region of Yemen has managed to bitchslap the American imperial military out of a major trading route, with only a tiny fraction of the funding, materiel, personnel, and so on.

    But they are more unified as a single, superorganic collective, the way we used to be when facing off against the Indians -- a long, long time ago.

  36. On the other side of the Israeli / Palestinian epicenter of the current Mid-East crisis, the Shia of Southern Lebanon -- the poorest group within Lebanon -- have managed to bitchslap America, France, and Israel out of their territory.

    Not cuz they have better "ideas guys" or weaponry. They have been forged into a superorganic collective by finding themselves located along a hostile, enduring meta-ethnic frontier -- namely, with Israel.

    That's the only prediction Turchin missed in War and Peace and War -- he thought the Israeli and American presence in the Levant would forge the Palestinians into a newly cohesive and perhaps expanding entity. (Maybe he suggests Southern Lebanon / Hezbollah as well, but I think he only mentioned the Palestinians.)

    But throughout his examples, there's always a region that gets swamped easily and swiftly by the meta-ethnic nemesis, and then there's a buffer or no-man's-land around that lost territory, which is where the frontier truly lies.

    It's mostly where the meta-ethnic faultline is, but not exactly the same place -- like the Etruscans and other Northerners getting swamped and occupied by the Gauls. Northern Italic peoples are on the same side of the meta-ethnic frontier as the Romans, but they were the first to get attacked, had no time, etc. because there was no enduring frontier between them and the Gauls.

    Whereas there was a buffer just to the south of the Etruscans, so Rome was on an enduring frontier, did not get swamped instantly, and had time to grow their cohesion.

    The Danelaw in England / Scotland got swamped immediately, while the Southeast of England was more of a no-man's-land as far as Viking vs. Anglo-Saxon hegemony. That's where the frontier was enduring, and that's where the seed of English and then British ethnogenesis / imperiogenesis was first planted.

    Southern Iberia was instantly swamped by the Moorish Empire's invasion -- the stable no-man's-land put the frontier more in the center of the peninsula, near Castile, where there was a longer time for their cohesion to develop in the face of the meta-ethnic nemesis.

    1. Do you see the Southeast as fundamentally more of a site of ethnogenesis than the Southwest of England? The latter had the metaethnic frontier of both the Vikings to the East and the Celtic remnant of Cornwall to the West.

  37. Likewise when Israel occupied Palestine, it was quick and instant. It took awhile for the Israelis to invade Southern Lebanon (early 1980s), and even then they were enabled by collaborators within Lebanon (Maronite militias, representing the North). The frontier between Israel and Southern Lebanon was more enduring, a no-man's-land, where cohesion had time to germinate -- unlike Palestine, where they were wiped out right away and had no chance to recover.

    But Turchin was correct about that location producing a meta-ethnic conflict that would intensify the cohesion on one side, and even who one of the sides was -- Israel (and its American sponsor). He just missed who would be the other side that would develop strong team spirit -- not the Palestinians, but the Southern Lebanese.

    Southern Lebanese Shia had already driven out American and French military troops with the early 1983 suicide bombings in Beirut, had already driven out Israel in the early 2000s, and had recently defeated Israel again in 2006. So I don't know how he missed this prediction -- but in fairness, so did most people reading the book, including me.

    Perhaps cuz it was "only" one faction within Lebanon that was intensifying its cohesion, so we didn't think Lebanon as a whole was involved, and conflict must involve national-level actors.

    But that's how it always is. Only Rome / Latium was intensely more cohesive in the face of the Gaulish invasion -- not Italians in general. Only the Southeast English were driven to intense cohesion in the face of the Viking invasions, not the Midlands or Ireland. Only Western Americans cohered around confronting the Indians, not the back-East pre/proto-Americans.

    Same in Yemen -- it's only the Northern Yemenis who have become more team-spirited in the face of the invading Ottomans way back when, and more recently Israel and its American sponsor. Southern Yemenis are farther removed from those meta-ethnic frontiers.

    Even in Lebanon, the Shia of the South may not govern the entire nation, but they *are* its de facto national-level military. The other factional militias of the Lebanese Civil War had to disarm -- but not Hezbollah, the ones responsible for defending the entire nation against foreign occupation (by America and France, who only the Shia militias drove out in 1983 via martyrdom / suicide bombing).

    Once they also drove out Israel, their status as Lebanon's de facto military became cemented.

  38. And by now, Southern Lebanon's military leadership has translated into cultural leadership. Although the Beirut dialect (somewhat in the center of the country) is still considered standard, there is a strong asymmetry in the North vs. South dialects -- everyone now agrees that the Northern dialects, like in Zgharta, are highly non-standard, whereas they don't feel like the dialects among the Southern Shia are so non-standard.

    Likewise with the norms and typical behaviors of the North vs. South -- Lebanese may think of the Southern Shia as poorer, which they are, but not as backward as the North. "Backward" meaning clan-like, endless feuding between neighbors, coarseness of manners, etc.

    Perhaps as Hezbollah rises to greater heights with the disintegration of the American Empire, and its Israeli client, Beirut itself will come to be re-framed as "the northernmost city of Southern Lebanon," as a nod to the military and cultural leadership of the South rather than the North.

    Or one of the Southern cities, perhaps Tyre, will become the new cultural capital of a newly cohesive (by historical standards) Lebanese nation, while Beirut becomes more of a financial or economic capital, not a cultural one.

    Cultural capital, meaning who is setting the national standard and innovating, vs. who is following along to that national standard -- not meaning who has a wealth of ancient culture to boast about (every region of Lebanon has that).

    Whichever route history takes, it will involve strengthening the prestige and leadership of Southern Lebanon, and weakening that of the North.

  39. To emphasize, none of this is racial, genetic, or even long-term ethnic. It's a historical contingency -- which region of Lebanon finds itself on an enduring, hostile meta-ethnic frontier.

    If Syrians were highly different from Lebanese, and they had established a long-term militarized border with Northern Lebanon, then the Maronite Christians would have become the national military for Lebanon. And the Zgharta dialect would have become the national standard, not a highly non-standard dialect. And their clannishness and coarse manners would have melted away into superorganic collectivism and a cult of niceness / politeness.

    But, as the accidents of history happened, the highly different ethnic group was not the Syrians but arrivistes from Riga and Warsaw, and they landed to the south of Lebanon, not to its north. That is why the Lebanese leadership is Muslim (while still defending the Christians), not Christian. And why it's Shia more than Sunni -- another accident, whereby Shia are concentrated in the South, while Sunnis live more in the North.

    There is nothing in the deep history of Shia vs. Sunni that explains this difference in leadership and becoming the standard-bearers for the nation -- it's simply a matter of who accidentally found themselves along an enduring, hostile meta-ethnic frontier. It's only about Southerners vs. Northerners, i.e. proximity to the Zionist invaders, and everything else is derivative of that.

  40. I first stumbled upon Turchin's work after the 2016 election happened when I found his Ages of Discord book, which explained a lot of why things were getting worse in America politically, economically, and culturally.

  41. Well, Southern England as a whole is the site of their ethnogenesis, but there's an epicenter in the Southeast since the Vikings landed along the eastern coastline, not the western coastline. This only intensified when their meta-ethnic nemesis switched to the French, who also targeted the SE of England more than the SW -- closest distance to France.

    The Celtic remnant of Cornwall wasn't a hostile enduring frontier, compared to the Vikings. Different, sure, but they weren't a marauding empire.

    1. Fair enough. And then later the Germans of course.

  42. And yes, Russian ethnogenesis is due to the Mongols -- not Rurik and all that legendary stuff that Putin was talking about.

    Way back in the comments to the post on, I think, waterfalls as a geo-identity feature, I discussed the whole "founded by a legendary foreigner" myth, which appears time and again in the rise of empires, especially after their integrative civil war when their ethnogenesis takes off like a rocket.

    Google "rurikid dna" and you'll see discussion that none of the living descendants of the Rurikid lineages are Scandi / Norse / Swedish / Etc. They're local Slavs, maybe with a little Finnic (not necessarily from today's Finland either -- could be from Karelia, currently owned by Russia).

    But they don't actually descend from a Viking of 800 AD. He did not exist, just a legend. If he did exist, he didn't play the role that's given to him by Russian historians.

    That's the key -- this whole business about Rurik and Kiev was spun by Muscovite cultural innovators -- not by "Ukrainians" or Kievans themselves. Moscow did not want to be perceived as arrivistes -- no budding empire does.

    They want to claim a long glorious noble past -- but since they are clearly new to the scene as a mighty expanding state and culture, their founder must've been a foreigner from a superior culture.

    Hard to imagine a more formidable and impressive empire than the Vikings, if it's Moscow in the late Medieval / early Modern era. What other mighty empires are their to claim descent from? Can't be anyone from the Steppe or Central / Eastern Asia, since that's your current meta-ethnic nemesis (Turko-Mongols from the Genghis era onward). So there goes the Huns, Khazars, Alans, etc.

    There were no empires east of the Rhine River in Continental Europe during the Medieval era, nor during Ancient times. So you'd have to claim descent from the Franks, Byzantines, or Romans -- but that's a bit of a stretch, given how far away they are, how two of them were Christian and yet Russia was only just beginning to Christianize during their imperiogenesis.

    Wait -- the Vikings! That's it! They were not Christian, so there's no contradiction about the early Muscovites / Eastern Slavs being pagans. They did head down Eastern Europe during their trading & raiding routes. OK, so they didn't settle Moscow itself -- but they were close enough to Kiev, so we'll claim we descend from the Vikings *via* the Kievan Rus, and our connection to Kiev isn't so hard to imagine, right?

    So, rather than calling ourselves "Muscovites," we'll claim descent from those Viking-ish people from old Kiev -- and call ourselves "Russians".

  43. IIRC, this legitimation narrative about Rurik began with the Daniilovichi, i.e. Yury of Moscow and his successors -- the first Princes of Moscow, a city-state that was gaining influence.

    Under the Turko-Mongol occupation, the Khan chose a local leader to be Grand Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal -- the highest figure of local administrators of the Turko-Mongol occupation.

    Daniel, the first Prince of Moscow from 1283 - 1303, was never chosen by the Khan to be the Grand Prince, and so his sons had no legitimate claim to being Grand Princes either. They remained Princes of Moscow at best.

    That was according to the Eastern Slavic tradition of izgoi -- if you ascended to an office, your sons had a legitimate claim to it as well, but not anyone else. (And the sons can fight amongst themselves to see which one gets it.)

    A few generations later, the Muscovite Princes managed to get the Khan to choose them as Grand Prince of Vladimir by a special edict (yarlik), not according to the Eastern Slavic tradition of izgoi.

    Having ascended to the role of Grand Princes through this special edict from a Turko-Mongol Khan, rather than local Eastern Slavic tradition, the Daniilovichi were eager to spin a legitimation narrative about their Slavic, Kievan, and ultimately glorious foreigner founder roots (Rurik, a Viking).

    They weren't usurpers, arrivistes, or brown-nosers of the Turko-Mongol Khan -- they were fulfilling an Eastern Slavic tradition, just not izgoi. They were carrying on the legacy of the Kievan Rus, who descended from a legendary Viking, Rurik.

    And with that founding myth, their occupation of the highest office was not a political calculation and contrivance, violating tradition -- it was just as deeply rooted, even more so since it went all the way back to Rurik, not only as far back as the Kievan Rus and their izgoi tradition.

  44. Turchin does mention Hezbollah, BTW, in War and Peace and War. But he oversells how much Palestinian asabiya has risen as a result of the Western / Zionist invasion, and says both Hamas and Hezbollah are examples of how the meta-ethnic frontier has driven up asabiya among the Arabs.

    He does note that it was Hezbollah who bitchslapped Israel out of Lebanon in the 2000s, but does not conclude that this heralds Hezbollah / Southern Lebanese Shia as the most high-asabiya Arabs in the vicinity of Israel. And he does not mention the same group (Southern Lebanese Shia) bitchslapping America and France out of Lebanon 20 years earlier, with the suicide bombings of 1983 (he discusses other examples of suicide bombing being on the rise in the Mid-East).

    To fill out the rest of Israel's neighbors -- why didn't Egypt or Jordan take leading roles against Israel? Well, they did at first, especially Egypt. But as of the Camp David Accords of the late '70s, the American Empire bought off Egypt and Israel together -- each of you take a billion dollars a year, on the condition of not going to war against each other. Deal? Deal.

    Then Jordan was bought off the same way with the Oslo Accords in the early '90s. Take a shitload of money from Uncle Sam, on the condition that you never fight Israel, and if anything help it against the Palestinians.

    So that removed Egypt and Jordan from experiencing a *hostile* meta-ethnic frontier. Of course, it's still a major ethnic faultline -- but it's no longer hostile, thanks to diplomacy and bribery from America.

    And America hasn't occupied, bombed, and otherwise fucked up Egypt and Jordan like it did with Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria. So Egypt and Jordan don't feel meta-ethnic hostilities from the American invaders of the region either.

    Their *populations* are a totally different matter -- Egyptians are still hopping mad that Israel is there, fucking over their Arabic-speaking, Muslim-worshipping cousins in Gaza. Ordinary Egyptian citizens are not getting those billions of dollars of bribe money from Uncle Sam -- so they may feel the hostilities of when Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula, but they haven't had anything to dull the pain or numb their minds, like the Egyptian leaders have had for 45 years.

    Still, ordinary Egyptians do not control Egyptian foreign policy, so although unstable and a pressure-cooker internally, Egypt hasn't been driven as high in asabiya as the Southern Lebanese have been, due to the Zionist invasion.

    Hamas has been pretty well bribed by Israel and America, too. Ordinary Palestinians have not seen any of that money -- but they don't control the Palestinian military, yet. So Palestinians are not the leaders -- they were swamped instantly and decisively, like the Etruscans by the Gauls.

    There's only one group in Israel's vicinity that has not been bought off by America or Israel -- and at this point, is impossible to buy off by America or Israel, namely Southern Lebanon, which is now staunchly supported by America and Israel's enemy, Iran.

    But Iran didn't evict Israel from Lebanon, or blow up the Marines barracks in Beirut in 1983 -- that was the Southern Lebanese Shia themselves. They experienced the meta-ethnic frontier for the longest, in a hostile manner, and were never removed from it by bribery.

    They have become the highest-asabiya group in the region, at least among Saharo-Arabian groups. Iran is a different matter, having been surrounded by the American Empire for decades, subjected to a coup through US / UK intel agencies, and targeted by sanctions forever.

    The Houthis are the only other high-asabiya group in the region, and their rise is much more recent. But their integrative civil war is wrapping up now, with them in the new leadership role -- militarily, and pretty soon, culturally as well.

  45. The Lebanese Civil War was integrative, BTW, not disintegrative. If Lebanon had fractured into, roughly, a Northern half and Southern half, that would have been disintegrative -- continuing the trend since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire circa 1920, after which Lebanon was splintered off from Syria along sectarian lines (it had most of the Christians in the Levant).

    But rather than split up into separate nations -- 2, 3, 4, however-many -- Lebanon stayed whole after the civil war was over. Not like Ireland splitting off from the UK in the 1910s, as the British Empire was collapsing.

    And the balance of power shifted decisively in the Southern / Shia direction -- they gained a lot more influence in the parliament, which was re-calculated away from having a Christian majority (Christians, especially the armed and organized ones like Maronites, representing the North).

    All other militias had to disarm -- except for Hezbollah, representing the South. Pretty sweet to have a monopoly on legitimate armed force -- but that's your reward when you bitchslap America, France, *and* Israel out of your territory, to the benefit of all of your countrymen as well. Southerners, on the hostile meta-ethnic frontier with Israel, have the most skin in the game.

    Who knows how much longer the American / European / Zionist pressure will exert its asabiya-raising forces on Southern Lebanon? European empires have been dead for 100 years. America has begun collapsing as of 2020, and Israel is only supported by such empires, not its own team spirit, so it will bite the dust too.

    Hard to say whether the Southern Lebanese lead Lebanon into a new expansionist policy -- but it's possible, especially when Israel collapses from lack of support from a capable European or American Empire. Who else is going to fill the vacuum in Israel? -- and in Palestine as well, for that matter?

    It's easy to imagine the Southern Lebanese being the sponsors / patrons of a Palestinian vassal state -- rather than Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Russia, Iran, or China playing that role.

    And once they effectively control the West Bank and Gaza, why not the rest of Israel / Palestine, after the collapse of Zionism and the exodus of its shallow-rooted Jewish population?

    Egyptian and Jordanian leaders have been Euro / American / Zionist collaborators for too long to make a legitimate claim to being suzerain over post-Zionist Israel/Palestine. I don't mean in a fake and gay "debate club" / "Model UN" way -- I mean, their asabiya has been weakened by the bribe money they've been receiving for so long, which removed them from the hostility of the frontier.

    So they'd get bitchslapped out of Israel/Palestine by a surging Southern Lebanese force like Hezbollah, especially if Iran chose to continue backing Hezbollah instead of betraying them for Egypt or Jordan -- but why would they do that, since Hezbollah has been nothing but loyal, and major players in the war against Israel and America in the Mid-East, unlike Egypt and Jordan since the 1980s?

  46. Syria is very unstable internally, and Assad was nearly removed by American imperial intervention in the 2010s -- until rescued by Russia. Notably, Syria is located even farther from the Israeli meta-ethnic frontier than Northern Lebanon is.

    So who's to rule out Southern Lebanon growing to have de facto influence or control over Syria as well, especially if Russia decides it's better to have a high-asabiya group in control, rather than a weak-asabiya group in control (like Assad).

    But maybe the Southern Lebanese wouldn't bother with Syria -- lying in the opposite direction of their expansion, which would be southward toward the HQ of their motivating nemesis, Israel. They'd rather take over Jordan than Syria, and Jordan is just as weak internally as Syria, asabiya-wise.

    So, Southern Lebanon would expand to integrate the Lower Levant, while Syria would retain the Upper Levant.

    It's not only easy to imagine Hezbollah becoming suzerains over Israel, Palestine, and Jordan (plus de facto rulers over Lebanon) -- it's hard to imagine *who else* would fill that vacuum, since they all have weaker asabiya than the Southern Lebanese.

    I once floated the idea of Egypt being a caretaker or even suzerain over Palestine/Israel, since they are a historical source of empires in the region -- along with Turkey and Iran. But when you zoom into the specific historical contingencies, Egypt has become too weak from being removed from the Zionist frontier after the late 1970s and that bribe money.

    And Southern Lebanon has cohered intensely all the while, are actively repelling Israel, and are bound to be even more strongly team-spirited once Israel inevitably collapses.

    It won't just be a "victory lap" or bragging -- they will literally be the only team-spirited group in the lower Levant to fill the power vacuum, after America and Israel can no longer hold the Zionist state together.

  47. Maybe this new polity would choose a new name instead of "Lebanon," to celebrate the turning of the page of the "post-Ottoman disintegration" era.

    Along the same lines as "Andromeda" for the American rump state out West, maybe something Space Age-y and utopian -- but tying into medieval Middle Eastern history, by using one of the many Arabic names for stars and constellations, to commemorate their role in medieval science and astronomy specifically:


    I have no idea which one would have special significance for the lower Levant, but I like the sound of "Homamia", from the word for "high-minded" (Homam, AKA sa3ad al-humaam, meaning "lucky star of the high-minded", a star in the constellation Pegasus).

    Something to speak to the cultural renaissance that is bound to kick off, thanks to Southern Lebanese unity triumphing over the Zionist invasion.

    And something that does not privilege any certain region, like Lebanon, Tyre, Palestine, Jordan, Levantine, etc. Otherwise they'll squabble and seethe over whose region was elevated to the namesake of the entire polity.

    Homamia! ^_^

    1. I think Nicholas Taleb would approve of that: https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1150442910023913475

  48. Another reading of "humaam" is "heroic", and related words with the same h-m-m root are "hamma" (to intend), "himma" (motivation), "muhimm" (important), and "ihtimaam" (concern or interest).

    So, something that seizes your attention, drives you to action, perhaps ultimately on a high-minded or heroic crusade.

    It totally fits! Homamia...

  49. Will the Lebanese have enough asabiya to take the Sinai Peninsula from the Egyptians and parts of northern Arabia off of the Saudis?

  50. Korone did an aerial at Fes this year! Such a high-energy, gymnastic, springy, bouncy doggy god. ^_^

    Watching a compilation of her earlier gymanstic stunts at Fes, made me think that there should be a montage video of her doing warm-up exercises, and then a final dancing performance. On the theme of her starting small and dreaming big, to performing her ultimate accomplishment -- a la Flashdance!

    And as it happens, there is a contemporaneous Japanese cover of that movie's iconic theme song, by Miki Asakura!

    "What a Feeling (Flashdance)"


    She also did an amazing Japanese cover of another apocalyptic, volcanic eruption of a song of the early '80s!

    "Holding Out For a Hero"


    I need a Kooorooo!

    I need a Senchooo!

    I need a Shishiro!

    I need a Shiooon!

    It works for so many of their names! ^_^

    This next one reminds me of a swingy jazzy song that Marine would love. It's the opening song from Lupin III: Fuuma Ichizoku no Inbou. No Hololive girl has sung it during karaoke, although Watame, Flare, and Marine have sung other songs from the same soundtrack.

    "C'est la Vie to Iwanaide"


    She's from Osaka -- very theatrical style. As I detailed earlier, divas tend to come from the non-standard dialect regions of a country, far from the meta-ethnic frontier, where they can turn up their individual personality to 11, without having to conform to egalitarian social pressures about not sticking out from the group. Frontier life demands people get along harmoniously, or else get wiped out by the meta-ethnic nemesis.

    The most iconic big-voice diva of the Showa era, Sayuri Ishikawa, is from Kumamoto on Kyushu -- very far from the frontier against the Emishi and Ainu! Her most famous songs may be about locations in the standard, Eastern dialect region -- "Tsugaru Kaikyo-Fuyugeshiki" and "Amagi-goe" -- but her theatrical diva voice is due to her upbringing in a non-standard dialect region, way down in the Southwest of Japan.

  51. Lebanon's iconic big-voice diva, Fairuz, also represents the non-standard dialect region, far from the meta-ethnic frontier (against Israel).

    She was born in Beirut, in the center of the coastline, but her father was an Orthodox Christian from Southeastern Turkey (during the Ottoman era), and her mother is a Maronite Christian. SE Turkey is a non-standard dialect region even within Turkey!

    She's not a Shia from the South.

  52. I recently saw the film Coma (from the 70s), you mentioned it awhile back, but I forget where. Really enjoyed it too, they did everything much better back then. It might be of interest to Mumei given her conspiratorial streak. It features a woman who's definitely more on the cerebral/paranoid side and a conspiracy cover-up & investigation. I think they did a good job by keeping the setting more domestic and close-knit and by making the motivation more personal, given the protag is a woman rather than a man (albeit an unusual kind of woman).

    Maybe you could do a series on 70s-80s movies or do a broad overview of them? Or repost old posts with recs? With IRL things related to movies dead, it's hard to find niche hits the way you might have at physical stores. And the Internet/Google is useless at finding movies, it's way too censored to show anything cool.

    Anyways, I don't mean to backseat, thanks for the posts and great stuff on this blog.

  53. Coma is awesome, some things of note about its broader zeitgeist (don't know what I said about it before).

    Part of the "dystopia is bright, clean, and harmonious" trend of sci-fi during our imperial heyday -- before "dystopia is dark, dirty, and fractured" that came during our imperial decay.


    The place where the dystopian activity takes place is an "institute" -- they don't do "institutes" anymore. They have to have WASP-y names, too -- it's "the Jefferson Institute," not "the Di Cipriani Institute" or "the Horowitz Institute".

    Last major example of an "institute" in sci-fi that comes to mind is the Carrington Institute, from the N64 game Perfect Dark, 2000 (one of the few good games for that console).

    There's a Daystrom Institute in Star Trek: TNG from the '90s, which is not shown, but referred to.

    In the Incredible Hulk TV show from the late '70s / early '80s, the pilot takes place where David Banner is working -- at the Culver Institute.

    The trope of the institute is a private, not governmental organization, perhaps for-profit but perhaps not -- it's a kind of futuristic utopian research foundation (another older word for it -- e.g., "the Carnegie Foundation"). With an applied approach, not purely theoretical, aimed at improving or even perfecting mankind, the environment, and society or civilization as a whole.

    It's not too close to the science itself -- that would be a "laboratory" like Bell Labs, Los Alamos Labs, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, etc. Or how a narrowly scientific organization for astronomy is called an "observatory" like Lowell Observatory.

    There's some higher philosophical, sociological, utopian planning involved, for which the narrow research science is merely a means. There's a council of elders or guardians in charge of an institute, not a bunch of nerds and experts like at a laboratory or observatory.

    E.g., when Banner is researching at the Culver Institute, he's trying to uncover what gives people superhuman strength in times of crisis -- in order to apply that, and improve / perfect the human condition, since wouldn't it be great if we could all call on superhuman strength when times get tough?

    The dystopian side comes from what can go wrong with such utopian planning -- like the researcher experiments on himself, and gets cursed with the Hulk condition, which can be used for good, but may also lead to disaster, so the bearer of the curse makes it his goal of the story to remove the curse.

  54. Lots of academic institutes from the utopian Midcentury -- Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, etc.

    The name "institute" tells you these aren't latter-day monasteries or libraries, but guided by a council of guardians of American society (or Western civ, or humanity as a whole). Study, and technology, are just a means for realizing the utopian plans of the guardian council.

    That's also why they need WASP-y names, to tell you it's the deep founders of the nation / empire who are in charge, and are acting as long-term historical stewards of American society by spearheading the institute.

    They can't have Ellis Islander names, since those guys are a lot more recent and not as trustworthy as deep historical stewards.

    1. I thought WASPs feel the most guilty and "woke" about the American Empire.

  55. The architecture and design in Coma are pure Midcentury utopian awesomeness, Brutalist buildings and Midcentury Modern interior design.



    None of the haters of Brutalism ever mention the interiors, which were warm, luscious, and sensual, where red carpet and amber-stained woods were essential.

    Note the desecration and blandification of the remodel of the former Xerox sales HQ in Lexington, MA. (The East Coast is the worst offender of anti-American iconoclasm against Brutalism.) They removed the high-up bridge, which makes it less of a castle or fortress. And they flattened the exterior walls with window rows.

    In the original, the windows are not looking directly outward, perpendicular to the outer walls. They're angled, and are surrounded by a kind of coffer that makes up the outer wall. The outer wall isn't flat, it has a zig-zagged / triangular pattern running along its width, and the windows are set within this zig-zag pattern.

    Brutalism loved coffers, like the ceilings of the DC Metro, which I now unironically love, and which LARP-y tards hate, despite claiming to look to Roman architecture as a paragon. Look at the Pantheon -- largest unreinforced dome, and it's made out of concrete, unpainted, and with a geometric / matrix of coffers / cells. Just like the DC Metro, you LARP-ing faggots!

    Or Pereira's many buildings at the UC Irvine campus, this time around the windows on the outer wall, instead of being purely aesthetic like on a ceiling.

    The Xerox sales HQ, shown in Coma, has an unusual coffering in that the windows are in-set on 3 sides rather than all 4, and if other buildings did that, they usually left the bottom side uncoffered. This building has the left side uncoffered, basically against the outer edge, while the top, bottom, and right sides have coffering -- making for an asymmetric effect, where the left side is along the outer edge, while the right side is deeply in-set. Dynamic, energetic -- not stale and lifeless!

  56. Perhaps not the greatest examples of either genre, but only a few examples will be the greatest -- these examples show how widespread and common such examples used to be, it was populist rather than elitist. Everyone today still has at least a few aging examples of "pop Brutalism" around them.

    Just the other night, I went on a long walk and noticed something I'd never appreciated before, cuz I'm used to driving -- an underpass built from concrete, with the ribbed texture that was common for Brutalist ornamentation. Not just in one direction -- one panel had it horizontal, another next to it was vertical, there was a thin strip that had its own ribbing, and the piers supporting the overpass were ribbed all the way around!

    Luckily there was a date of construction -- 1990! Very late example, but cool nonetheless, and miraculously left standing, after the 2010s anti-American woketard iconoclasm that demolished countless examples of America's iconic national architectural style (Brutalism).

    But I'm in the Midwest, not back East, where woketard iconoclasm has been the most sacrilegious and pervasive -- they're not really American back there, so what do they care if they lay waste to America's distinctive culture? Both libtards and conservatards alike have teamed up to destroy America along the East Coast.

    Hearing Tucker Carlson rag on Brutalist architecture shows he hasn't fully reconstructed himself from his trad-LARP bowtie East Coast roots. Nobody loves demolishing Brutalist building more than government agencies in blue cities within blue states within the Bos-Wash black hole.

    Pathetic to see cultural conservatives eagerly link arms with these sacrilegious anti-American libtard scum -- but they'll never understand, let alone appreciate and preserve, Americana. Sadly those examples will all get demolished at some point, and the real America will just have to let them go and preserve our own examples.

    Even a mundane overpass!

    Not to mention countless office buildings with coffered window surroundings on the outer walls, in every American city throughout the land. You don't have to make an expensive or elite pilgrimmage to see them -- they were brought to the common people's own neighborhoods!

  57. Brutalist ribbing is the same as "fluting" on Roman columns, ornamentally / aesthetically, often on the same exact architectural element (a cylindrical support, like a column / pier). It's not functional.

    It just reinforces how baseless the support for Roman (or the non-existent, contradictory "Greco-Roman") architecture is, when they hate so cluelessly on the exact same things in 20th-C American Brutalism.

    It's just a LARP, not an aesthetic sensibility -- and even then, not LARP-ing as Romans (about which they're clueless), but as Early Modern Western Euros, who themselves were LARP-ing as Ancient Romans.

    An aesthetic sensibility would make them like the same thing no matter where and when it manifested. They're just sad, impotent, irrelevant LARP-ers, who need to remember:

    >ywnb an 18th-century French aristocrat

  58. The conspiracy theme of Coma also recalls our imperial heyday, when high-scale plots could be conceived and executed by a high-level cadre.

    During disintegration, those high-scale levels don't exist anymore. These days, the CIA can only conspire over whether to order Pizza Hut or Domino's for their next pointless meeting. All their coups have failed for the past 70 years.

    The last successful one was the 1953 coup against Mussadegh in Iran, which didn't last long anyway -- one generation later, the Islamic Revolution blew up, and put Iran forever out of America's control, indeed bitterly opposed to American interests.

    They couldn't even take back Cuba, which we won in the 1898 Spanish-American War, even though it's a small island right next to Florida. And they had a lot greater chance of success in the early 1960s than we do now, but even the Bay of Pigs invasion failed pathetically.

    Non-governmental conspiracies (the likes of which would be hatched by an "institute") likewise don't exist anymore, nobody can cooperate at high scales these days, whether for good or evil.

    And no, the social media cartel censorship and the like is not a high-level conspiracy. First of all, they're not secretive -- they openly say, "If you're a Trump-sympathetic independent or to the right, you can't speak your mind or advocate for policies online".

    Conspiracy implies a hidden, secretive, obscure / opaque nature, not straight-up Orwellian memory-holing and Two Minutes Hate.

    Conspiracy dovetails with the theme of paranoia -- and you're not paranoid if They really are out to get you, openly and shamelessly. Then it's just Us vs. Them warfare, factional conflict, etc., not a conspiracy whose insidious secretiveness makes some of its targets question their own sanity -- could such a thing *really* be unfolding? It's almost too crazy to believe, and yet you have to consider...

    These paranoid conspiracy movies and books peaked in the '70s, along with the American empire as a whole (Brutalist architecture, lowest % of the population being foreign-born, classic rock, chrome and woodgrain cars, Star Wars, and the rest of it).

    They've rapidly fallen off ever since, and are basically non-existent after the '90s. Probably some video games from the 2000s, that I'm unaware of, like Perfect Dark. But movies and TV? Gone as a genre, with only very isolated examples like Stranger Things from the 2010s (and nothing this decade).

    Even the names have changed -- in The Game (1997), also starring Michael Douglas as in Coma (1978), the antagonistic organization is called "Consumer Recreation Services" -- not an "institute". Consumer services is way more crassly neoliberal than a Midcentury utopian guardian council for the perfecting of mankind.

  59. The dark org in Stranger Things is also not an "institute" but a lab -- albeit still with a WASP-y name, Hawkins National Laboratory.

    After the '70s, we couldn't even dream big on the level of "what name do we give it?"...

  60. As for recommendations, any list if you google "1970s thrillers" or "1970s conspiracy thrillers" ought to do it. Then you can read the description to see if it's what you're looking for, whether there's a scientific angle to it for example.

    But as for one off the top of my head, if you like Coma, definitely The China Syndrome -- made just one year later, starring Michael Douglas (and Jane Fonda -- who also starred in must-see '70s thriller Klute, directed by Alan Pakula and shot by Gordon Willis).

    Set in a tech-y modern workplace (nuclear power plant), although not much of a deliberate plan for perfecting mankind as a cover-up of the downsides of nuclear power.

    Similar to Network, in the Everyman salaryman who is willing to become a martyr against the Powers That Be, on behalf of the common people. But not comical or satirical like Network, more raw -- without being emo, hard-edged, or action-y, despite it being a disaster movie.

    Also shot on good ol' Eastman 5247, the super contrasty film stock of the mid-'70s and into some of the '80s.

  61. I did mention once that Mumei would enjoy the conspiracy movies of the '70s, or later incarnations from the '90s like Twin Peaks, X-Files, and many episodes of Star Trek: TNG.

    But I don't think most Millennials or Zoomers care about experiencing the classics, and preserving them in whatever way they can (like doing a watchalong if they're a streamer, or discussing them if they host a podcast, etc.).

    Gen X was the last generation to feel compelled to do these things -- whether as a compulsion to experience aesthetic greatness, a social pressure to be cool, or a sense of duty to enculturate yourself into the national culture.

    It's different in Japan, naturally -- plenty of Millennials and even Zoomers there still do these things, whether it's pre-modern Japanese culture or 1980s anime and video games.

    Americans have stopped caring, though. So there's no point in making recommendations on a large scale anymore -- like those "1000 movies / video games / albums you MUST experience before you die" books from the 2000s or so.

    Even then, it was an individualist focus, like "If you want to maximally stimulate your dopamine receptors, here are the specific cultural products to do it with."

    Not a collectivist focus -- "If you want to be a real member of the gamer community, you MUST play these games."

    From my limited experience, you can still recommend songs to them, and they'll look into them. But TV shows, movies, video games, and other long-form things they will not.

    It's not an attention-span thing -- they still watch TV shows, movies, and play video game consoles. They just don't care about what was made before the 2010s or maybe the 2000s, no need to experience it and pass it along in a chain of tranmission where they're doing their little dutiful part, like we all used to.

    And yes, this is a radical change -- back in the '70s, total normies used to watch what are now considered "cult classics". Take the supposed year that ended New Hollywood and ushered in the blockbuster era, 1975.


    The #1 movie at the box office was Jaws -- itself now a cult classic, not something that everyone sees at some point. But #2 and #3 were One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and the Rocky Horror Picture Show! Dog Day Afternoon (#5) and Three Days of the Condor (#7) are also cult classics now, in the '70s thriller genre.

    But they didn't all break into the top 10 ranking of tickets purchased by being obscure, niche, curated shibboleths for gatekeeping edgelords. Every fucking normie American saw these movies in the good ol' days, for whatever reason.

    Now nobody does, outside of some niche gatekeeping sect.

  62. When I do these wide-ranging discussions, I'm not making an urgent sales pitch to any demographic, whether Gen X or Gen Z. There's no point in that, they've either already picked up those habits and know about these movies (or where to find lists of them, and go through them), or they're never going to be interested.

    Maybe if the American public school system changed to reflect our cultural output, emphasizing movies and TV shows rather than so-so novels from the 20th century, post-X generations would develop an appreciation for them, having been raised on them.

    Or maybe if the American media played them in re-runs, i.e. preserving them and making people watch them. But they don't do that either.

    Rather, I imagine writing for future historians or scholars, so they don't have to re-invent the wheel that I've already discovered (for my original insights), or if they just want a basic understanding and description of what's going on here and now, they can consult my chronicle.

    During imperial collapse and decay, everyone else is a lost cause at the big picture level. Of course, the minority who are interested can read this blog and enjoy it -- but it's not for them, or me, it's for a higher and more distant audience, and I'm not doing it for pure pleasure, but to fulfill a calling / vocation.

  63. To give credit where it's due, Gura was the best at taking suggestions, recommendations, and direction. She's a Zoomer, but somehow uncorrupted by the vast network of forces that make everyone else not give a shit about their own culture and history anymore.

    And she's a New Englander on top of it -- even more miraculous!

    It wasn't just specific movies that she did watchalongs for (like Jaws and Star Wars, which she had not seen before), or classic songs she kept in regular rotation for karaoke -- it was the entire culture.

    She wanted to make commercials, host a game show, make a hand-drawn animation with a musical soundtrack -- and as she kept reminding us, if she wasn't a streamer, she wanted to be one of those "living history" actors, like in Williamsburg or something.

    She wanted to fit in to a higher collective, not just be her own brand. And carry on the traditions and culture of that higher collective, whatever they are -- whether she initially wanted to or not. There's some higher calling she felt compelled to listen to, and she's playing a role in a drama that some higher force has written for her.

    She's a total muse.

    She only stopped her regular fulfillment of those duties cuz she's raising a small child, understandable.

    Irys is also somewhat willing to take recommendations and direction, but then she's culturally half-Japanese and living there for years now.

  64. The JP side of Hololive, where it was born, has many examples of Gura-tier dedication to a larger and more enduring culture than that of her own individual life experience. Korone, Okayu, Marine, Akirose, Pekora, Subaru (who did an entire hand-cam stream of trying out retro toys from before the 1990s), just to name the most obvious examples among many others.

    If just one of them had to raise a small child, the entire JP side would not suffer.

    I hate being a downer on the weekend of Holo Fes, but it's hard to deny how much the non-Japanese vtuber and even face-streamer world has fallen off a cliff after Gura's semi-departure. It's not just Holo EN, it's all vtubers, and all face-streamers. And it's not just Americans but Koreans, Chinese, Euros, everyone.

    And in any case, Holo Fes is Japanese -- the location, the vast majority of the audience, and most performers, as well as the behind-the-scenes staff. That kind of vtuber Woodstock could never happen outside Japan, which retains a very high level of national cultural cohesion, and therefore where an entire scene does not rest on one individual's shoulders.

    If somebody did want to make recommendations about movies, TV series, and video games -- they should direct them toward a Japanese audience. They still feel compelled to integrate themselves into a long-term culture, not just focus on their individual brands and life experiences.

    It's very rare to see a Holo JP karaoke setlist that reflects "what I personally liked during my formative adolescent years". There will be some of that, too -- along with standards and classics stretching much farther back. And not just songs, but TV series, movies, video games, etc.

    Out of nowhere last week, Pekora streamed Mario 3 over two days and totaling nearly 18 hours, and she had not played it before -- she was not reliving previous experiences of maxing out her dopamine receptors, for nostalgia purposes. It's because Mario and Nintendo are Japanese, and she's Japanese, working as a Japanese entertainer -- she *must* play the Mario games for her audience, at some point.

    Just one of countless examples -- Korone and Lui collabing for the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (and those two have such amazing ying-yang chemistry with each other), Lui's ongoing series of the Dragon Quest franchise, and so on and so forth.

    They're all well integrated into Japanese culture, and use their streamer platforms to preserve that culture.

  65. Speaking of Dragon Quest, Akira Toriyama recently died. He was a comic book / manga artist, created the Dragon Ball franchise (mostly known from the anime TV series), and was character creator for the Dragon Quest video game franchise, as well as for the cult classic Chrono Trigger.

    Many of the Holo JP girls wrote a commemoration post on their Twitter account, or sang songs related to his works during their next karaoke (Luna sang "Wai Wai World," the theme for the early 1980s Dr. Slump anime, based on his manga). Lui happened to be playing a Dragon Quest game (DQ Monsters 2) and when the final credits rolled, she mournfully mentioned "Toriyama-san..." when his name appeared.

    Only weebs mentioned his passing outside of Japan -- but that's to be expected, since he is far more central to Japanese culture than to non-Japanese culture.

    The real point is, who would American, European, South Korean, or Mexican streamers commemorate once they died? Probably only a singer -- the outpouring when Michael Jackson was huge, ditto for Whitney Houston, Prince, David Bowie, and on and on.

    Hardly anyone notices or does much when a TV or movie actor dies, let alone someone from the video game world.

    Ken and Roberta Williams, who spearheaded the American PC video game world during the '80s and '90s, at Sierra Online during the text-parser and later point-and-click adventure heyday -- sadly, nobody would notice or commemorate them. Only the YouTuber, former podcaster Metal Jesus Rocks, cuz he's Gen X and cuz he literally worked for them as tech support for Sierra Online back in the '90s.

    Any of the creators of Myst, Doom, Goldeneye, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Bioshock, and others that took American video games in the 3D simulator direction that is now the standard outside of Japan? No way.

    Perhaps Gabe Newell, producer of Half-Life, but even then known only to current "gamers" cuz Valve is responsible for Steam, the video game streaming service, not a specific video game that Valve has created.

    I think music is again the partial exception, where non-Japanese people would notice and mourn and pay tribute to a video game music composer like Jeremy Soule if he died.

    But because American culture and society are disintegrating, its members don't feel like "a loss of one is a loss to us all" -- especially a central figure in our culture -- like we used to.

    Japan is still fairly cohesive, so when a central figure in their culture dies, it stings, and everyone feels compelled to commemorate them and begin the healing process.

    In America, there's no healing process to begin, because we largely don't feel the sting anymore when a central figure of our culture dies.

    It was hard keeping track of all of them who died in the single year of 2016 -- I still remember only Prince and David Bowie -- but even those two only got semi-commemorations by the culture as a whole. Not like when MJ died in 2009, when Kurt Cobain shot himself in 1994, or when JFK got assassinated in 1963.

    Even a broadly appealing singer like Taylor Swift would not get MJ or Whitney levels of commemoration these days, and no politician of either party would get commemorated like JFK if assassinated.

    1. Also compare: the death of Queen Elizabeth II after the British Empire collapsed vs the death of Queen Victoria at the height of the British Empire.

  66. More warm, lush Brutalist interior shots of the Xerox sales HQ building, from Coma -- warm red carpet, highly figured woods, elegant chrome.


    Also correction: the remodel did not demolish the outer bridge altogether, but shifted it to the right, linking it to a new ugly glass-box addition, and the bridge itself is an ugly glass box, a rectangular tunnel / corridor, with its *own* doored entrance -- rather than the floating slab that made it feel like the bridge to enter a fortress.


  67. Also note the lush verdant natural environment that Brutalist buildings were always set within, if possible -- not possible if it was in an existing highly developed urban city block.

    But an "institute"? -- that has to be set in a more remote location, green grass, tall trees with plenty of canopy cover, plump bushes and hedges. It has to be an eternal Edenic pastoral idyllic paradise -- with a contempo fortress built within it, just like Medieval fortresses, Early Modern country estates / compounds, or Ancient villas.

    Always judge from contemporaneous pictures -- even if they're miraculously still standing in 2024, it's likely that most of the bushes, hedges, and trees have been demolished in the meantime. Especially during the woketard 2010s and now in the 2020s.

    None of those tree-choppers cleared a space for "more development" -- the dumbest right-wing or left-wing critique of tree-choppers. The space had already been developed and built on -- the bushes, hedges, and trees were entirely ornamental. Removing them frees up 0 new square feet to build upon.

    Tree-chopping is an entirely iconoclastic, anti-nature crusade to despoil what remains of our primitive Noble Savage lifestyle in the modern world. Part of the Cult of Crap -- rather than create anything new, let alone better than what is already there, merely eradicate the beautiful and sublime things that a previous lively and cooperative society had created.

    Remember that Democrats are 100% to blame for this tree-chopping crusade. They are in blue cities, especially in blue states, in office buildings where libtard businesses operate -- not an oil refinery, military barracks, or farm. And the nearby apartment complexes where the libtard professionals are housed.

    Republicans are the more nature-leaning party, being more rural-based. They don't make a crusade out of chopping down trees -- especially when doing so cannot possibly lead to an alternative use of their footprint, e.g. clearing part of a forest to build housing or workplaces. When it's an entirely ornamental use of plant life -- guaranteed, the Democrats are going to rip them out, root and branch, within your lifetime, if they haven't already.

    And if there weren't things like Google street view, which has a history of pictures going back over the years, you might not even be aware that your apartment complex or office building used to be filled with trees, bushes, and hedges.

    Nobody napalms nature like Democrats -- not just cuz they're the urbanite party and want more housing built! They destroy plants that are purely ornamental on already-developed land! Nihilistic, iconoclastic, heritage-hating, soul-sucking bug-brains!

  68. Brutalist mall exterior, warm lush Midcentury Modern interior, as the pairing always went. Holyoke Mall, MA (opened 1979).

    First, the vertically ribbed concrete exterior ("fluting" if it were Roman), with a floating slab bridge leading to the fortress-like entrance -- all it's missing is a portcullis!


    Then, the warm amber-y wood paneling that is extensively used throughout the interior, not to mention verdant plants of all shapes and sizes, and expanse of warm tile? or carpet? in red, orange, and yellow along the floor, all flooded with sunlight from the cell-segmented glass dome.


    In the same way that Gothic architecture cannot study the exteriors and interiors separately, Brutalist architecture can never be studied without attention to its Midcentury Modern interiors. Imagine how boring a Gothic cathedral would come across to you, if you never went inside and saw the stained glass windows, especially during daylight when they're the most brilliant?

    Gothic exteriors have more encrusted ornamentation on their exteriors than Romanesque buildings do, or Roman buildings do -- but they're still not very striking just from the outside. It's on the inside where all the sensual razzle-dazzle happens.

    And so it was with Brutalist malls -- imposing concrete fortresses from outside, on the inside filled with sumptuous red carpet, verdant plant life, water cascading into ponds, figured wood paneling, and massive geometric sculptures in gleaming chrome.

    Anyone who shit-talks Brutalism or malls has either never experience one for real, or is just jealous that American culture created its own distinctive variation on a timeless and universal theme. Shit-talkers are just bitter and seething that they aren't living in 18th-century Paris -- there could not be less relevant "voices" (whining) to listen to in modern America.

  69. Credit where it's due, somehow New England Puritans have managed to preserve Holyoke Mall fairly intact -- it's still operating, the warm wood paneling is still everywhere, the exterior is still ribbed concrete (though one region painted to create a two-tone effect -- no big deal, looks fine), although as usual most of the plant life has been uprooted by the Democrats.

    Nothing equal or better was put in place of the plants, and because it was already developed, and the plants were purely ornamental, this was another case of entirely nihilistic anti-aesthetic iconoclasm, not a materialist profit-motive calculation.

    Perhaps cuz it's in Western Mass, and not contaminated by the black hole of Boston? I dunno, but it's a miracle that a '70s Brutalist mall is still largely intact back East.

  70. God, does it feel awesome to link to a fellow Blogspot location! ^_^

    Although tellingly, that 2012 post on Holyoke Mall was its last -- like most other sites of the blogosphere, it lies in ruins, and I'm rummaging through what remains there.

    They were driven by an internal warm-and-fuzzy reward -- I am driven by an external calling for inspiration. And so, I will never abandon my post! Not until I literally drop dead.

  71. Plenty more to come on the topics of Brutalism, malls, and BRIDGES!

    So much synchronicity with bridges lately -- noticing that bridge from the Xerox sales HQ building from Coma, just a few nights after seeing a small office park with bridges leading from a central plaza / terrace out to the three separate office buildings (same night as I walked under that Brutalist ribbed concrete overpass), and fondly remembering the Brutalist dorm I used to live in, which had bridges leading to the residential buildings themselves, from a central plaza / terrace... and many other examples!

    I'll put these into a separate standalone post, with pictures (once I collect enough).

    Aside from feeling like fortresses, it also makes the complex feel like a treetop village -- with elevated walkways or sky-bridges, a la the Ewok Village from Return of the Jedi, or the Channelwood world in Myst.

    These Brutalist complexes also often had exterior spiral staircases to ascend or descend, and the treetop village also employs this element (like Channelwood). In the treetop village, the stairs wrap around the outside of a massive tree trunk -- in a Brutalist complex, around a massive concrete pillar.

    A back-to-forested-nature jungle gym, made from concrete and brick in an urban or suburban setting -- so cool! ^_^

  72. I'm still working on bridges in Japanese culture, too. They absolutely LOVE them, nothing more Japanese than a bridge. But those are bridges over water, whereas the American obsession is with bridges over open space, above solid ground (not a Medieval moat).

    But in the same way that Americans excavate a site in order to make the former "ground level" stand 10 feet above the now scooped-out lower level, so they can build a bridge across the excavated open space, the Japanese will irrigate a small stream into a location just so they can build a tiny foot-bridge across it.

    You see that in video games all the time, or in Studio Ghibli landscapes. This really clicked in my brain while watching Lui play Dragon Quest VI, when she got to the town of Amoru:


    An ordinary town would just have flat land, with no water or bridges. But this town has not one, not two, but count 'em THREE pointless / ornamental bridges in its small footprint. The shape of the stream underneath is totally unnatural, it's only there so that 3 bridges could be built on top.

    And it has a waterfall, too! Two central elements of Japanese geo-identity in one town -- waterfalls, and bridges! ^_^

    Chinese culture also likes bridges -- but only when they're way up high and rickety, connecting two rockfaces across a deep plunging gorge. Lots of those in the ink-wash paintings. Distinct from the American sky-bridges / elevated walkways, which are used as part of a larger developed building complex -- the Chinese bridges connect two places that are otherwise totally natural, not architectural, i.e. one rock formation and the other.

  73. Back to Enka music for a second, the central role of waterfalls in Japanese geo-identity shows up in Sayuri Ishikawa's iconic passionate love-song "Amagi-goe", which mentions Jouren Falls by name, and there is a commemorative plaque at the site to say it's the inspiration for that biggest karaoke hit of all time.



    Similar to the iconic status of "Rocky Mountain High" mentioning the Rocky Mountains, or the Shenandoah River in "Take Me Home, Country Roads".

    Since I've mentioned that song several times, here's the original -- with its hard-edged Tsugaru shamisen strumming, '80s power ballad guitars, and volcanic eruption of a diva's voice:


    Lots of Holo JP girls have sung it for karaoke. But to fully capture the iconic Japanese-y status of it, here is Marine's 3D live from last November, where she and Kanata performed it as a duet, in traditional Japanese costumes, shot as though it were a Showa era TV program. So cool! ^_^


  74. Irys sang "Tsugaru Kaikyo-Fuyugeshiki" for her Valentine's Day karaoke... perhaps she can fulfill her destiny as a Japanese diva, and add "Amagi-goe" to a future setlist? ^_^

    It's such a kickass song, she should want to perform it for the personal thrill of it -- but even if not for that reason, then to answer the call of the Japanese culture gods, who demand that she perform it in order to be a truly Japanese performer. It's no longer a personal preference, but a rendez-vous with destiny... xD

    She would knock it out of the park, too! But it would involve some training and practice beforehand, not something you can just wing off-the-cuff.

  75. Forgot to mention, "Amagi-goe" also refers to Kanten Bridge by name -- waterfalls and bridges, name a more iconic Japanese geo-identity duo! ^_^


    Also, I checked, and yes, the Brutalist office complex I walked by, which had the configuration of "bridges leading from a central plaza out to separate buildings", formerly with lots of trees and bushes and hedges, was built in the good ol' Seventies. :)

  76. Caldor Rainbow *did* keep their Flickr account going, though, and continues to post from there. Nice to see it not de-camp to Instagram or some other black hole of visual culture.

    Reminder: the best single filter you can apply to an image search is "site:flickr.com" to only get results from Flickr.

    It's also a good rule of them to block content-thief sites that won't display the full image on-screen all at once -- "-pinterest.com -reddit.com -facebook.com". They don't upload original pictures that you'd want to see, they're all from other places online (or family pics), so just remove these middleman content-thief sites, and you'll find the original anyway -- with no hoops to jump through, no "create an account and stay signed in forever in order to view this one (1) image" -- lolno.

    Twitter will, for now, let you view the resulting post and click to view the full image that you came for, so although it's otherwise a closed-down dead site, you don't need to block it from an image search. Some of those Coma pics came from Twitter, although probably not from the account-holder herself.

  77. Another Brutalist mall exterior, sumptuous Midcentury Modern interior, from Caldor Rainbow's Flickr. Lycoming Valley Mall, Muncy PA (opened 1978) -- totally closed down since C.R. covered it as recently as 2018, when a decent amount of the original '70s goodness was still intact. See this album of it from 2018:


    More importantly, a postcard from its heyday, showcasing the Midcentury Modern wonderland that all malls looked and felt and sounded like -- a heady utopian synthesis of soothing back-to-nature Noble Savagery and exciting colonization of uncharted galaxies in the Outer Space Age.


    As for the exterior, see the Bon-Ton's:


    Imposing blocky, massive, wall-based exterior entrance, with ribbed concrete (mainly vertical, but also horizontal), in a tawny / sandy tone rather than gray, with the door in-set within a very large-scale coffer (angled outward on the L and R sides, horizontal on the top and bottom sides), supported by two massive cylindrical pillars (rectangular cross-section would've been more apropos, but whatever).

    The pillars are probably more ornamental than load-bearing, since other malls have this style entrance without them. It gives it a slight Roman LARP feeling, since it is back East, after all -- cylindrical columns, and relying on columns for support rather than the massive walls themselves. American architecture in general, and Brutalism in its most extreme form, resembles Romanesque / Byzantine rather than Roman or Gothic / Early Modern -- massive walls are the support elements, not the columns and arches that open up a lot of the space and give it that light-and-airy Euro feeling.

    American buildings look like Frankish fortresses ("Medieval / Dark Age").

    Also like Romanesque buildings, American ones like the Bon-Ton in Lycoming Valley Mall have recessed entrances with a shrinking-down of the outline shape from the very exterior wall to the door itself. In Romanesque, the outline was two vertical sides with a semi-circular top, which shrunk down in all dimensions from the outermost to innermost shapes.

    In the Bon-Ton entrance, the outline of a rectangle only shrinks in the horizontal dimension, angling inward on both sides, from outer wall to the door, while the height dimension stays the same, and the door itself is a lot shorter than the ceiling above it as a result.

    This part of the mall was an addition from 1985, so all the staples of Brutalism that it shows were still present in American architecture, and like I said, that Brutalist overpass near me was built in 1990.

    The style began declining during the neoliberal era, as trad LARP styles and glass box styles alike desecrated our distinctly American heritage, as we entered the stage of imperial stagnation rather than dynamism.

    But that doesn't mean there were no examples whatsoever of Brutalism from the '80s. Just that they were not chosen for high-profile masturbatory buildings, like yuppie offices, but still used in cultural safe spaces like malls (God bless them).

  78. Another song Marine would love, this time from England. A mix of '80s synth-pop, new wave, and older swing-y / jazz-y / boogie-woogie rhythms, with cocky "girl on the prowl" lyrics that are similar in tone to "I'm Your Treasure Box".

    "Dream Baby" by Bananarama (1984):


    It was not released as a single, but that whole album (self-titled Bananarama) is awesome -- one of the best New Wave albums, with no skippable songs, each one transitioning into the next one as seamlessly, and unrelentingly, as Bad Girls by Donna Summer or Confessions on a Dance Floor by Madonna.

    The tender final song, heralding the end of the early '80s manic phase, and the beginning of the vulnerable phase of the late '80s, "Through a Child's Eyes":


  79. Japanese video games with bridges are too numerous to mention -- basically, every one has a bridge somewhere. From the early days through contemporary ones.

    And as in Dragon Quest VI, sometimes in the same location as a waterfall, the other staple of Japanese geo-identity -- like the town Amoru. Or in Mario Kart 64, D.K.'s Jungle Parkway has a long narrow bridge, with a huge waterfall off to one side, and its big pool far below the bridge. In the beginning of Secret of Mana, the action is set on a long narrow tree-trunk bridge, with a huge waterfall in the background.

    American video games used to have bridges -- usually not over water, but in the American style of bridges over an open void. These are common in Doom II, whose blocky massive fortress-like buildings are very Romanesque and American. With the Space Age / Star Trek interiors in some levels, it feels downright Brutalist.

    Doom II's level design is very architectural, playground, jungle gym, amusement park, high-concept golf course, all in one. Doom 1 is mainly tunnels / corridors -- nowhere near as awesome as the sequel.

    And in Doom II, these bridges connect two architectural elements, rather than the Chinese style of a bridge connecting two locations of unbuilt nature. In America, bridges are part of the larger built environment complex.

    I'm struggling to think of other examples from the '90s. There's one in the Cradle level of Goldeneye, and part of Caverns has narrow elevated walkways. None come to mind from Perfect Dark. Maybe some in Quake, Halo, etc.? Never played them.

    And like I mentioned before, the whole Channelwood world in Myst.

    But from all the post-'90s non-Japanese games I've seen streamers play, bridges don't really stand out as an architectural feature. Probably some in Portal and Portal 2 -- where the focus is on the architecture as a part of the puzzle-solving material, how to get from point A to point Z. But where the environment is not a puzzle in itself? I don't really recall any examples.

    In the JP games, and the American games from the '90s, bridges are not a puzzle -- they're functional or ornamental, part of the overall aesthetic experience. They're there just because bridges are cool, not as an obstacle to navigate during a puzzle-solving homework problem.

  80. This shows the preservation of Japanese culture into the present day, and the neglect and abandonment of American culture after the '90s or so. Japan is still cohesive, America is rapidly losing its cohesion -- so why preserve its past?

  81. Speaking of preservation, Luna played A Link to the Past today! ^_^

    There is no such thing as Japanese culture without Zelda / Link, or without Nintendo. It's not a choice whether you're going to play a Zelda game at some point, if you're a Japanese streamer. It's your DUTY, and since you're part of a cohesive culture that is proud of its accomplishments, it's a duty that you are HAPPY to fulfill! It's not a homework assignment, a chore, or a slog.

    Luna is another clear example of upholding Japanese culture -- she plays retro games fairly often (and can perform the infinite 1-up trick in Mario / Mario 2 JP), she sings Enka during karaoke, and refers to Showa-era anime and sings their theme songs as well. As well as everything after the '80s -- but she sets that within a broader history of Japanese culture.

    It's only natural for a princess to be a patron of her people's culture. ^_^

    I know Okayu played A Link to the Past early on in her career, but other than her and Luna, I don't think the JP girls have played it. And the Koronator played the original Legend of Zelda last year.

    Will anyone take up the challenge of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link? Hehe. That's one of the hardest games ever made -- I've never beaten it without the Game Genie or save-states, and it's still one of my all-time favorite games. I even have it in the box with manual, only cuz I found it cheap in the wild -- I'm not a completionist with tons of QE funding for a fake email job, like the ebay buyers.

    I wouldn't expect anyone to beat Zelda II, whether they're Gen X or Gen Z, whether they're a guy or a girl. It's so fun, though, despite its difficulty and cryptic guidance. It's very action / combat based and a side-scrolling platformer, not like the other Zelda games. And very little story, if that's important to the player and audience.

    It's almost like each encounter with an enemy is a brief 1-v-1 fighting game match. You don't just button-mash or bulldoze over the enemies. It's more choreographed and lengthy, like a fencing match.

    Great soundtrack, too!

  82. In terms of the Frankish analogy, do you see the West of the old US remaining a single cohesive polity like France after the original empire's break-up and the East becoming more like Germany in the Middle Ages?

  83. Yes, except that West Francia was subjected to the Viking meta-ethnic nemesis by the late 800s, when the Frankish Empire was only just beginning to unravel.

    So in what is now NE France (where Viking raids were most intense and enduring), there arose a new empire pretty seamlessly after the collapse of the Frankish Empire -- not by the same people, of course. The Frankish rulers, at that time of Carolingian descent, had sold out their people to the Vikings -- paying them tribute money and telling them to go on to some other Frankish city.

    It was the Counts of Paris, who were not from the decadent Carolingian dynasty, who stood up to the Vikings. The Frankish kings / emperors were headquartered in Aachen, in what is today eastern France, not so easily hit by the Viking raids, which came by waterways, like the Seine River.

    But aside from being more geographically protected, the Carolingians were in the terminal decline / infighting stage of their imperial lifespan, so it wouldn't have mattered if they were HQ'd in Paris.

    Count Odo was the first to stand up to the Vikings, and his lineage, the Robertians, soon spawned the House of Capet, which became the unifying, expanding, imperial house of France forever after.

    The Vikings were not mere opportunistic raiders, they were a full-blown expanding empire by the late 800s (having arisen on the meta-ethnic frontier with the Frankish empire, next to southern Denmark). There is no such collective like them anywhere on Earth right now, let alone on America's borders.

    Therefore, we will simply collapse into a no-name country, unlike West Francia which was quickly resurrected into an empire by the Capetians in Paris.

    1. Great points. Can you see any cohesive new cultures forming in the foreseeable future out of metaethnic frontiers?

  84. OK, the American architectural staple of the air-bridge is totally getting a standalone post. I've found lots of examples -- not just the ones that motivated me the other night after my walk, but some of the iconic structures that I reviewed last year during my excavation, so to speak, of American architectural history and American ethnogenesis.

    Trying to look for earlier examples, I figured, "Why excavate new sites? Just look at those you've already studied" -- and BAM! Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Ennis House, in SoCal, from 1924. Earliest example so far. It's damn near impossible to show it in one image, cuz it's the entrance to the minor building within the complex (the garage with the chaffeur's living quarters on top). It was only a seed back then, but it was there, and it was planted by the genius Grandfather of American architecture -- Frank Lloyd Wright himself.

    I found several examples from student dorms, including one I used to live in -- so check back on Eero Saarinen's iconic Ezra Stiles and Samuel Morse colleges complex at Yale. BAM! Even better! That's the earliest I've found where there are several bridges leading from a central plaza, courtyard, or patio, out toward large imposing fortresses, with some kind of forbidding air-moat underneath them.

    And it's very Romanesque in appearance -- massive volumes, not light-and-airy, what we normally think of as a fortress or castle. Supposedly inspired by a Medieval Italian town, but it doesn't really look like it. It's more like a remote Romanesque castle or fortress.

    Pictures are hard to find of these as well, since the site was desecrated during the iconoclasm of the woketard 2010s, although you can still make out what used to be there. And thank God there are pictures online of its pre-2010s status, where it's crystal clear what they used to look and feel like.

    UC Irvine's campus by Pereira? -- tons and tons of elevated bridge entrances to massive Brutalist castles.

    The Contemporary Resort at Disney World? -- elevated monorail entrance into the most beloved Brutalist hotel-castle on the planet. Bridges don't only allow foot traffic, it could be vehicular as well!

    These sites are iconic for a reason -- so many key themes are expressed in them, you can always come back to consult them as a reference for future investigations into the nature of American architecture.

    Sometimes I could cry thinking about how our culture's definitive styles have stopped being created by the, at first dorky, then incompentent, and now openly evil and sacrilegious "creative class". But then I take a walk I've taken a million times before, explore only 10 feet off the sidewalk -- and suddenly I'm transported through into an alternate dimension where American Utopia still exists, usually in somewhat degraded status, but recognizable and enjoyable and connectable nonetheless.


  85. Final Fantasy VII has so many Japanese geo-identity staples in a single dungeon, the Northern Crater. Recall from the "waterfalls" post last summer, that American geo-identity shares all of these, in an uncanny case of parallel / convergent evolution.


    Not just a volcano, but volcano as a portal into the Hollow Earth primitive beating-heart underworld, caverns with lots of stalactites and stalagmites (not the airy, open dome that Europeans think of for caverns), a huge waterfall (flowing with the Lifestream), and bridges!

    Bridges made from geological material (rocky formations), rather than built -- but still feeling pretty architectural, like some designer or planner sculpted or placed them in that configuration to act as a bridge from point A to point Z.

    That game is iconic for a reason! I've never played it, although Nerissa is streaming the remake of it. Might have to tune in to see if there are other staples of Japanese / American geo-identity!

  86. Steve Sailer has a new article out on American architecture:


    You seem to be right about California having a surprising fondness for it's historic architecture (at least among working class firemen).

  87. In terms of measuring decadence (including the relative decadence of the US and Japan), what do you think of this map on drug deaths around the world?:


  88. The usual cultural cluelessness from Sailer. The guy he's LARP-ing as, Tom Wolfe, didn't even accept the 20th century -- nice to see the trad LARP-ers have at least moved on to accept Art Deco and WPA Streamline, and not place the ending-point at late 19th-C. Beaux Arts anymore. Give it another generation or two, and they'll accept Brutalism and malls as well. Always a day late and a dollar short with them.

    The real change in 1945 was not beauty vs. ugliness, but complexity vs. simplicity or overly ornate vs. restrained sobriety. It's only about beauty for the 18th-C. French aristo-LARP-ers, whose standard of beauty *was* very ornate and complex.

    My post from last year explaining how imperial competition fuels and ornamental arms race, which is the real reason why things changed post-WWII -- when it was only America, Russia, and Saudi Arabia left standing as empires:


    Post-1945 American architecture is still distinctly American, not a Euro-LARP (which America abandoned in the late 19th-C, after our integrative Civil War, when ethnogenesis creates an entirely new culture for a newly integrated and expanding empire, unlike the early days of empire when they have not been tested to see which sub-group will define a national / imperial standard, and they rely on inherited cultural products).

    The only change was from the higher level of complexity and ornament from Frank Lloyd Wright, Art Deco, etc., to Brutalism and other post-WWII styles. In the 1910s, America was still competing against Euro empires for cultural status -- once they bit the dust after WWI, we already dialed our complexity back with Streamline.

    Then after we formally acquired their collapsed empires after WWII (United Nations, NATO, GATT, etc.), we really dialed down the degree of encrustation. Nobody left to compete with.

    Very much like Roman architecture, which the trad LARP-ers never dare show pictures of, cuz it looks just as minimalist and sober and sublime, and unencrusted ornamentally, as Postwar American architecture. Rome also had no imperial competitors on its borders -- only Parthian Persia way the hell over in the Mesopotamian no-man's-land.

    Ditto for both Frankish ("Romanesque") and to a lesser extent Byzantine architecture (Byzantines had the Sasanian Persians, Bulgarians, and Islamic Arabians to contend with as empires, but only the Persians were an early / enduring competitor). The Franks had nobody to contend with until the bitter end, when they spawned the Viking Empire on their Saxon frontier.

    These periods of Pax Romana, Pax Franca, Pax Americana, etc., all have streamlined and simple architecture, since they're not in an arms race with rival empires.

    1. "...the real reason why things changed post-WWII -- when it was only America, Russia, and Saudi Arabia left standing as empires"

      I love how you tell it like it is. Most assessments of the post-1945 situation wouldn't put Saudi Arabia on that list!

      Have you heard of FDR's visit with the King of Saudi Arabia on Bitter Lake literally right after Yalta?

  89. And I don't care about reactions to the architects' professional cartel and their picks for most significant buildings. Look through that list -- hardly any Brutalism on it to begin with! No wonder the American public didn't choose many examples of that style -- there were few to choose from. And as usual, the professional cartel chose based on historical precedence or famous for being famous, rather than peak awesomeness.

    For example, why is Paul Rudolph's Burroughs Wellcome building not on the list? It's literally light-years beyond anything else he made, and built as late as 1972:


    Look at all the pictures, including the interiors, full of sumptuous, sensual, Space Age sublime. And check out the workers casually hanging out, chatting, and having fun on top of the carport roofs!

    "Wah, Brutalism is so soul-crushing, socially isolating, bla bla bla" -- not judging from the people who worked there! It was the coolest place in the galaxy to be!

    And yes, it has an elevated walkway / air-bridge, on the left-ish side as you're facing the main entrance. Hard to see, but that long walkway that leads into the left wing casts a shadow on the Edenic expanse of verdant grass underneath it.

    The cartel's list includes a mediocre but professionally famous example like the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport -- but excludes the wildly popular with real Americans example of the Fort Worth Water Gardens in the same goddamn city, and by a sTaRchItEcT (Philip Johnson), built in the supposedly boo-hiss 1970s:


    You wanna talk about popular with brides, children, families, and normies? -- you don't GET more popular than the Fort Worth Water Gardens. There are zillions of professional pictures, photo shoots, amateurs video clips on YouTube, etc. Not to mention being featured in Utopian / Dystopian sci-fi classic, Logan's Run, as the portal between the safe and dangerous realms of the future world.

    Gee, who'd-a-thunk-it? -- professional cartels exclude what normies and the masses love, to inflate their own sense of superiority, so the list they come up with doesn't include many examples of normie-pleasing buildings!

    That only tells us about professional cartels and their egos -- not the actual real-world track record that future historians will excavate and say, "This was a key American Brutalist site" about the Fort Worth Water Gardens and the mind-blowing Burroughs Wellcome Building (abandoned and demolished by Research Triangle libtards, thanks in large part to cultural "conservatives" like Sailer and Wolfe shitting all over the American tradition, providing zero pushback to the anti-American iconoclasm of the woketard 2010s).

  90. Image search "fort worth water gardens cheer" -- zillions of pictures of high school cheer teams posing fondly and smiling around the complex. Then "fort worth water gardens dance" -- dance teams posing on the exposed-aggregate concrete pedestals themselves.

    Actually existing Brutalism is one of the most anti-nerdy styles, which is why nerds on campus constantly complain about that one Brutalist dorm or library or class building. And it's why cheerleaders love a modern-day post-Euro Space Age concrete Garden of Eden oasis, like the Fort Worth Water Gardens.

    Brutalism taps into the Sublime, not just the Beautiful (which is more in the interior decoration side of things anyway -- building exteriors rarely look beautiful in themselves). In another lifetime, Sailer and other cultural cons used to refer to Kant's essay on the Sublime and the Beautiful, in Sailer's case using golf course architecture.

    It's supposed to be dangerous, imposing, forbidding, risky -- something that stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, gets the blood pumping a little, and makes you wanna live a little on the edge!

    The dangerous imposing fortress with its heady synthesis of Stone Age primeval origins and Space Age risky colonization, is just what lovers of the Sublime crave -- and they're not going to get that in some Rococo LARP, with its delicate, light-and-airy refinement.

    They need something where they can literally take the plunge, like an orange concrete waterfall-into-whirlpool, like the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Something that is so dangerous yet playful and fun, it just invites you to take your shoes off and get a little crazy!

    Only corporeal types appreciate the Sublime, though, and the professional cartels are run by cerebral wordcels -- that's why these Brutalist jungle-gym masterpieces will always escape their notice, and even if forced to stare into its radiant brilliance, they would cower back in blinded pain, demanding to be taken back into their LARP-ers' cave of shadows and illusions!

    1. Doesn't this look sublime? A 1980s fuzzy but clear VHS of happy cheerleaders dancing to the image of Brutalism and Space Age architecture in the background?:


  91. Ironically, Tom Wolfe got famous for "The Painted Word", where he details how the typical art critic is a wordcel rather than a shape-rotator, in current lingo.

    And yet Wolfe himself is a writer! And so is Sailer -- he always disses the visual IQ tests, and hypes up the verbal ones like analogies. Supposedly cuz the latter are more g-loaded -- but really, cuz he's a wordcel and wants to marginalize the shape-rotators.

    If wordcels want to write about literature, screenplays, song lyrics, etc. -- go for it. Why do they think anyone cares what they have to say about non-verbal art like painting, cinematography, architecture, and music?

    To keep picking on Sailer, he's famously tone-deaf and has two left feet -- like 99% of music critics. Ask a session musician or a dancer instead, and you'll get a very different picture of what's good.

    Ideally, the art critic is good at both Wordle *and* Tetris -- so they can get non-verbal art, but also discuss it verbally.

    I'll kick anyone's ass at *both* Wordle *and* Tetris -- and that's why I've taken it upon myself to do verbal discussion of non-verbal art, since the early 2010s off-and-on -- but even more so during the last year or two.

    To give credit where it's due, and to show I'm fair, I'd rather listen to one of the old contestants on Project Runway from the 2000s talk about Brutalism than any wordcel, whether lib or con. They're not professional critics -- they were professional shape-rotators and craftsmen/women.

    The winner of Season 1, Jay, made a dress inspired by the Chrysler Building, and one of the contestants on Season 3 was an architect and married to one (Laura), and she didn't make the sartorial equivalent of a bland glass box at all.

    But then, the media is run by wordcels, so their cartel will gatekeep people like me with superior verbal AND spatial skills, who would embarrass the cartel's members and prove to be charming favorites with a broad audience. ^_^

    In the meantime, tune out any critic's opinions on non-verbal art, until you know their Tetris skills.

    1. When do see the decline of charm beginning in American culture? I see it around 1993. Demolition Man was in retrospect remarkably prophetic on how autistic and woke and queer society would be in the future.

  92. Brief but intense interlude for some Sublime Seventies music, actually a cover of a Sixties icon. Santa Esmeralda covering the Animals, "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", in a Flamenco / Spaghetti Western / Disco-pocalypse style:


    There's a longer album version that's 10+ minutes, as well as a second Animals cover of "The House of the Rising Sun" (not quite as awesome as this one, though).

    Few styles more anti-nerdy than disco, which is why wordcel critics always shrug their shoulders at the era, or actively shit on it, unaware that people don't care what tone-deaf, two-left-feet-havers think about music. ^_^

    1. And here is game show host Richard Dawson hosting a roller rink party in the outgoing year of 1979, if you are interested: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9mPGPdD2R8g&pp=ygUfUmljaGFyZCBkYXdzb24gcGxheWJveSBtYW5zaW9uIA%3D%3D

  93. Take your musical cues from a guy who wore his shirt open, sported a gold chain, and cut a little rug back in the Seventies, like the singer in that video.

  94. Last remark on that clueless post, about the history of empires and their cultures -- Sailer's incurable Cold War Reaganism forces him to paint the Bulgarian Empire as a mere interloping Turkic tribe that ransacked their neighbors before disappearing into oblivion and leaving no grand cultural legacy.

    Back on Planet Earth, the Bulgarians united an expanding empire that was mostly not Turkic by DNA, but local Slavs, Thracians, and whoever else was in that neck of the woods in the 2nd half of the 1st millennium AD.

    Only the initial leaders were Turkic -- and they left behind their Tengrist religion and Turkic language, adopting Christianity as the first of the Slavs to do so, and not only adopting the Slavic language of their adoptive home, but sponsoring its birth into a literate culture. The Bulgarian rulers sponsored the Byzantine evangelists Cyril and Methodius, who invented the Glagolithic alphabet as part of their mission to the Slavs.

    Other Slavic groups in the 9th C. were not receptive to Christianity -- only a newly expanding empire undergoing intense ethnogenesis, and looking for a new culture for its new people, welcomed them. Fortunately, the Bulgarian Empire had concluded its integrative civil war, which pitted clans who were pro-foreign-subservience (to their meta-ethnic nemesis, the Byzantines) against those who wanted an independent Bulgaria (who naturally won).

    Boris I ("The Baptizer") of Bulgaria began the Christianization of the Slavs in the 9th C, among many other military and political accomplishments:


    Russians downplay the Bulgarian Empire, and hype up the non-existent Kievan Rus "empire" instead, in order to claim more of the credit for Christianization and birthing Slavic high culture for themselves (via the imaginary Viking leader Rurik, via Kiev).

    "Old Church Slavonic" is simply Old Bulgarian, a Southern Slavic language, not Western (like Czech or Polish) or Eastern (like Russian). This provided the high-culture Christian hymns among the Slavs, which survive to this day.

    And of course they left monumental-scale architectural ruins -- at their capitals such as Pliska, Preslav, etc. Such as the Great Basilica at Pliska, dating to the early years of their Christianization, reduced to ruins after their empire collapsed (as usual).

    Their early architecture and fresco painting styles were mainly copied from the Byzantines, who were competent builders with a mature style unlike the nomadic Turkic tribesmen and their pre-imperial Slavic subjects. But that's just one domain of culture.

    Bulgarians also have the most rhythmically intricate folk dances, and the accompanying music, in the world, where 5-beat rhythms are only the beginning of the complexity -- 7, 11, you name it.

    I discussed them here:


    They are not "so simple my little kid could do them" -- it takes a lifetime of enculturation to absorb them into muscle memory, because of the asymmetry involved between the "light" 2-beat metrical foot and the "heavy" 3-beat foot. And they're very fast-paced, too, not forgiving for the two-left-feet-havers.

    Just try them yourselves and see! ^_^

    I suspected at that time that they traced back to Ancient Thrace, but now I'm sure they're part of the Bulgarian Empire's ethnogenesis in the late 1st millennium AD, which was also epicentered in Thrace, and spread to adjacent non-Bulgarian cultures (Turkish, Gypsy, etc.).

    The Bulgarian Empire lasted many centuries, not an opportunistic raider's flash-in-the-pan confederation.

    Why twist yourself into knots of cluelessness? Cuz they were Communist during the Cold War, and therefore they must have always been cultureless rubes back into the past.

    What a dummy! But that's partisan brain rot for you.

    1. The Bulgarians might have taken Constantinople if they weren't trashed by the Mongols who came out of nowhere.

      Hungary and Georgia also had their opportunities ruined by the Mongols.

  95. As a palatte-cleanser, Bulgarian Brutalism atop Roman ruins! The Zahariy Knyazheski Regional Library, in Stara Zagora (can't find the construction date, but the library began as a district library in 1954, so probably some time after that, likely the '70s when the style was popular):


    Close-up pic of the coffered cell-matrix arrangement of windows into various sizes / groupings, including the topmost one whose slightly curved tops and prominent vertical sides make it look almost like an ancient arcade of columns and arches:


    Beige-toned concrete matrix with coffered cells -- just like the creators of the Pantheon in Rome would have loved! LARP-ers should check it out sometime, too. ^_^

    More of the Roman context:


    Striking Space Age utopia, respecting ancient ruins. So cool!

    Pictures taken from this overview of the city, which is both ancient and modern:


  96. Imagine telling Americans, who worship pyramids and obelisks, that they don't ackshually like massive geometric volumes with restrained ornamentation!

    In America, our ancient cultural (not to say genetic) ancestors are the Egyptians, not the Romans (who were also restrained in any case). As long as it doesn't violate the massive solidity and bulky volume -- like I.M. Pei's neoliberal, decay-of-America transparent glass pyramids, which look and feel light, airy, and open. That defeats the whole purpose of a pyramid! It's no longer an imposing Sublime fortress for the dead, who have transcended into the afterlife!

    The only other acceptable old-timey LARP for Americans is gnomes, Smurfs, and other simple creatures of unspoiled nature. Nothing Gothic or Rococo about a Smurf house or a Hobbit home! Simple geometric volumes, restrained ornamentation, just on a small domestic scale for coziness, rather than monumental public scale for civilizational grandeur.

  97. No "vernacular" architecture on that cartel's list either -- the stuff that people love, as proven by it being everywhere in the country, *after* 1945, although left to rot after the '80s or '90s, and then demolished or otherwise desecrated (e.g., covered with dull gray paint) during the woketard 2010s.

    Critics and cartel members alike must pretend that "vernacular" architecture was ackshually designed and built by total amateurs and rubes, rather than professional firms. The firm's name may not have made it into the cartel's history book, let alone the names of the individuals within the firm.

    But that doesn't make it any less representative of architecture in America -- and there's a ton of it from after 1945 that everyone loved at the time and ever since.

    Goddamn it -- just look at the Los Angeles Conservancy's list of preserved buildings, since Sailer is in SoCal. It's not just the ones that are famous with the professional cartel, like the Art Deco L.A. City Hall. It's Googie, it's ranch homes, it's Brutalist, Space Age, breeze blocks, "giant object restaurants," futuristic pastoral Midcentury office parks, and everything else that made America American after 1945.

    They're way more relevant than wordcels who come up with cartel lists. They actually have to see the places, visit them, maintain them, and appreciate them, love them, and conserve them.

    And they are not the man on the street -- they're all members of the cultural elite. It's just that their tastes are much more in tune with the common people's tastes, representing the beneficent side of the elites, not the side that wants to torture the masses with anti-human degrading garbage.

    Nothing degrading and anti-human about Fred Flintstone and George Jetson -- AKA Googie, which combined primitive flagstone walls and palm trees, with rocket-ship roofs in the same building.

    It may not be everyone's favorite style, but few people actively shit on it (aside from some wordcel nerds, I'm guessing). Always a crowd-pleaser, at the time and ever since. It's iconic -- why is it not in the cartel's history books, or the lists of favorite buildings? Cuz it's too corporeal and visual and sublime -- imposing, dangerous roofs that remind you of hurtling on a rocketship toward God-knows-where in some distant galaxy, and the pre-agricultural primitive forests of state-less nature.

    Something only corporeal people can appreciate, which includes most normies -- but few wordcels.

  98. To fill in the argument about Googie, it, like the rest of distinctly American architecture after 1945, is made of simple geometric volumes with minimal ornamentation, although the lines and shapes are dynamic and stimulating, and the scale of the volumes is large, imposing, and sublime.

    Like Brutalism, it is set, whenever possible, within a pastoral, idyllic, Edenic natural landscape. Palm trees, verdant shrubs, primitive-looking flagstone walls, etc., for Googie.

    And it was everywhere -- car washes, diners, coffee shops, drive-ins, you name it. It was *not* a LARP -- it was a brand-new, uniquely American creation, full blood siblings with Brutalism, Midcentury Modern, and the rest of it POST-1945.

    Ditto for the "caveman hut" vernacular architecture, which included ranch homes in the residential domain. But all those restaurants like Pizza Hut, or the "Mansard roof" McDonald's and Burger King (which was not Mansard or French chateau at all -- that was branding for yuppies -- and it looked like a short, squat Polynesian longhouse, in keeping with the POST-1945 Polynesian / Tiki mania).

    Innumerable suburban office buildings POST-1945 are caveman huts as well, on the office / industrial side of things.

    None of this was a Euro-LARP, none of it was a carbon-copy of an existing Polynesian style -- it was at most inspired by Polynesian longhouses, but was a uniquely American imagination of "caveman hut", piggybacking on the broader trend of storybook houses, hobbit homes, gnome homes for the garden, the Smurfs, the Flintstones, and so on and so forth.

    Fred Flintstone is not how our primitive ancestors actually lived -- it's a Midcentury (POST-1945) American imagination, construction, etc. But as with the rest of POST-1945 American architecture, the Flintstones inhabited a world of massive slabs of simple geometric volumes, with restrained ornamentation. Just like a 1950s ranch home, but in some imagined past.

    And there's nothing we love more than that! That's why so many ranch homes, offices, and restaurants were built that way for many decades, well AFTER WWII.

    And none of them were built by amateurs, all by professional firms. Just not the ones who the wordcel professional cartel or wordcel critics pay attention to, cuz they're fundamentally joyless nerds who want to take opposing sides in whiny nitpicking.

    1. This scene from Mel Brooks' "Spaceballs" certainly incorporates all of these elements:


  99. Imagine being a SoCal Boomer like Sailer, who literally grew up surrounded by all the prolific and widely beloved styles I just listed, and mind-cucking yourself into claiming that "post-1945 American architecture" is represented most iconically by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Gehry. Just so you can complain about not being le 18th-century French aristocrat with Rococo curlicues adorning the facade of your home...

    By now it's a common complaint that self-styled "cultural conservatives" don't conserve anything -- now we see why. They're fundamentally LARP-ers of a time and place that they have no connection to, not just as in they didn't personally grow up then-and-there, but there's no cultural chain of tranmission and inheritance either.

    Present-day French people can enjoy Rococo -- they've inherited it. There is no chain from 18th-C France to present-day America, or from anywhere in the 18th-C for that matter. Because in the meantime, specifically beginning in the late 19th C (after our integrative civil war), we underwent intense ethnogenesis and became a new people, with a new culture for ourselves, severing all sorts of would-have-been chains of transmission.

    Cultural conservatives in America cannot "conserve" things like "the West" or "Western civ" because we severed that chain of transmission. We're in the New World, not the Old World, and we don't follow some imagined trace back to ancient Greece or Rome -- but we *do* follow an imagined trace back to ancient Egypt and Israel and Mesopotamia, cuz that allows us to be non-European (who do trace themselves back to Greece and especially Rome, as befits their history).

    We can't conserve Rococo or even Beaux Arts -- another time, another place.

    We certainly cannot conserve Christianity -- an Old World religion, which we refused to make our national religion from the get-go. Our state religion was at first Freemasonry as a place-holder religion, and now a civic American New Age-y religion, and perhaps in the successor state to the American Empire, they will adopt America's contribution to global religions -- Mormonism. Americans, lib or con, can conserve Mormonism, but not Christianity.

    We tell people protesting against China's treatment of Tibet, "Why don't you try to influence something that you can actually influence? China doesn't care what Americans think." Ditto for cultural conservation -- Americans of any era, but especially post-1900, cannot conserve the cultures of other times and places. We can only conserve our own.

    But since cultural conservatives are LARP-ers, they literally don't even know what American culture *is* -- they just assume "our culture" means the culture that we would have inherited, if we hadn't severed the chains of transmission in the aftermath of our integrative civil war, when we began constructing our own new culture.

    Just as the Romans constructed an entirely new culture for themselves after 40 BC, not 140 or 240 or 340 or 740 BC. After 40 BC, Romans could no longer conserve Greek culture, or any other Eastern Med / Cradle of Civilization culture. They were a radically new culture, severed from their Greco / Eastern Med LARP past. Arches, vaults, and domes were entirely new creations in Roman architecture, 100% absent from Greece and the Fertile Crescent, and they only showed up after 40 BC.

    If you still wanted to LARP as the inheritors of Greek culture, it was tough shit for your Roman ass after 40 BC. You had to construct, adopt, and then conserve, this new ROMAN culture, not Greek.

    And so it is with Americans in the 21st century -- we can only conserve the culture created in America, made after our Civil War.

    Cultural conservatives here fail to conserve anything cuz they're too busy trying to conserve a culture that is not theirs -- and the result is just as sad and impotent as the left-wing activist trying to protest China's treatment of Tibet.

  100. Roman ethnogenesis was so anti-Greek that they made a Trojan their imaginary foreign founder -- Aeneas, as constructed by Virgil in the Aeneid (written during the 20s BC, right after their integrative civil war).

    For those who are only distant LARP-ers of Ancient Greece -- Troy was their bitter enemy, and "the Trojan War" meant it was a war of the Greeks *against* the Trojans. The "Trojan Horse" and being wary of Greeks, even when they come bearing gifts like that, refers to their animosity and warfare between each other.

    A clueless American might think, "Oh, the Trojans? They were another one of those ancient societies near Greece, so when the Romans made a Trojan their legendary founder, they're just celebrating their cultural inheritance from Greece."

    No they weren't! They were doing the opposite -- they had a zillion Greeks to choose from, and they choose a bitter wartime enemy of the Greeks instead! The Trojans didn't even speak a language from the same branch of Indo-European as the Greeks -- they spoke one from the Anatolian branch, and lived in Asia Minor, not the European side of the Aegean region.

    That's just like Americans choosing Egypt and Israel instead of Rome as our legendary ancient cultural ancestors. Rome occupied those regions and were wartime enemies of Egypt and Israel. We are being as profoundly and obviously anti-Roman as we can possibly be, when we choose Egypt and Israel over Rome and Greece as our imaginary distant roots.

    Clueless LARP-ers will never appreciate these facts, or how they work within the culture, so they will never conserve their own culture (being fixated on conserving one that they have no chain of custody to).

  101. To be crystal clear, the board of the L.A. Conservancy are the true cultural conservatives (even though they would never style themselves with that branding), not the entirety of anyone who ever wrote for the National Review, the Tucker Carlson Tonight show, etc.

    I'm sure there are a fair amount of California Republicans on the board and membership of the L.A. Conservancy, but even the likely majority of Democrats on its staff have done, and will ever do more than self-styled cultural cons to conserve American culture. Not the least because SoCal has been the source of so much of our national / imperial culture!

    Credit where it's due -- those who steward the culture that they have been entrusted with, not the impotent failures who try to conserve a culture that never belonged to them.

    Ditto for Mormons, on the right-wing / Republican side. They conserve their religion, and its architecture, better than Christian LARP-ers elsewhere in America (doctrine, rituals, material culture, etc.). Another out-West frontier group -- no coincidence there.

    1. "Not the least because SoCal has been the source of so much of our national / imperial culture!"

      This, of course, includes Valley Girl talk.

  102. The horseshoe theory doppleganger of the LARP-er is the novelty-seeking flux-junkie, or maybe I'll use the simpler existing term "fashion victim". They do happen to be libtards and Democrats, but they're only a subset of them. Like I said, most of L.A. Conservancy is probably liberal and Democrat.

    Fashion victims are more about constant change, toward some imagined future that they never reach or enjoy, and changing and churning every year along the way. Like runners on a treadmill, they are joyless the entire time -- just like LARP-ers always being joyless!

    For separate reasons, both the LARP-er and the fashion victim share the same goal of destroying their own culture -- the LARP-er because he cluelessly believes that "his own" culture is one that he has no chain of custody for (e.g., le 18th-century French Rococo, for a 21st-century American). Anything radically different from the culture that he impotently LARPs as the custodian of, is a direct threat to the preservation of his imagined culture -- so he votes to destroy his own actual culture.

    The fashion victim cannot tolerate the state of the system settling into a mature, plateau, stagnation and conservation stage of its lifespan and evolution -- there must always be LOTS OF NEW THINGS! No matter if they violate their own culture's traditions, result in its desecration or demolition -- or if it is in keeping with those traditions. Just as long as there's a steady drip of dopamine-maxxing novelties.

    At first, this allows the fashion victims to enjoy their own culture -- when it is in a dynamic, fruitful stage of its life. But once it settles into the mature and stagnant stage, the fashion victim turns against their own culture, and votes along with the LARP-er to destroy it.

    The only thing they disagree on is what to replace their own culture with -- the LARP-er wants an example from a culture they have no connection with, while the fashion victim wants literally anything that's new and different from their own culture of last year.

    Guess who wins?

    Because the LARP-er has no actual inheritance to steward, they cannot force that imagined culture of "theirs" onto the fashion victims. There is no chain of transmission from that alien culture to the here-and-now environment, so it has no conduit to becoming the replacement.

    Whereas the barebones minimum of "literally anything new and different" is do-able in the here-and-now. It may not be great, it may suck, it may be bland, mediocre, etc. -- but to a dopamine junkie, it gives them the quick fix they're after. And once they get habituated to the 1st replacement of their own now-destroyed culture, they will move on to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4-millionth replacement, in fashion-cycle fashion.

    Mere novelty doesn't require a chain of transmission, custodianship, stewardship, etc. Anyone can deliver it. One side of the culture-destroyers *can* deliver on their replacement idea, the other side of culture-destroyers *cannot* deliver on theirs, so the former wins (the fashion victims).

  103. Both LARP-ers and fashion victims are eternal edgers, always striving toward some impossible destination of rest and satisfaction. LARP-ers toward a culture that they can never experience here-and-now (since they are not connected to it). Fashion victims toward a future state of non-flux.

    However, although they never reach satisfaction, the fashion victims *do* get a series of small dopamine hits along their running-in-place journey, with each successive novelty.

    Neither can offer the masses satisfaction -- but one can at least deliver a regular series of small fixes.

    Guess who wins?

    LARP-ers and fashion victims, therefore, never feel home, never at rest, never at peace. But specifically, never *home* -- one is homeless and longing for a time-and-place that they never inherited, the other is homeless because they would never want to settle down and put down roots to begin with.

    Tellingly, LARP-ers often behave like fashion victims in chasing after an endless changing list of alien cultures that they can never connect with or import / resurrect here-and-now. First they're an Antebellum South LARP-er, then they're a Roman Empire LARP-er, or a Biblical-era Christian LARP-er, or a Second Temple Judaism LARP-er, or a Medieval Crusades LARP-er, or a Genghis-era Mongol LARP-er, or a Bronze Age Med LARP-er -- and so the cycle of fashion keeps on a-turnin', forever leaving them blue-balled.

    But unlike the fashion victims, this series of targets are never broadly adopted, so they don't even get the regular dopamine hits that the fashion victims do, who at least *do* get to see their novelties implemented.

    Guess who wins?

  104. Perhaps "prog" / "progressive" is more apropos than mere "fashion victims," since LARP-ers often show fashion victim mindset and behavior. LARP-ers and progs, it is then.

  105. The opposite of these horseshoe extreme dopplegangers, is the conservationist, at-home-ist, enjoyer, the one who is satisfied.

    They aren't trying to connect with a time-and-place that they have no chain of transmission to. It may well be in the past, but there's an unbroken chain from then to now, and it's in the same geographical unit.

    English people enjoying Shakespeare is not a LARP -- that's their unbroken chain of cultural (not genetic) inheritance. French and Rococo. Russians and "Swan Lake". And so on -- none of them are LARPs.

    They accept that a mature plateau stage has been reached, and they're more concerned with keeping it alive rather than dying out altogether, and expierencing and enjoying it right-here and right-now -- not at the potential end of a potentially endless journey.

    They feel joy and satisfaction, not misery and blue balls / walls.

    They're not on a journey at all, being totally at-home. They can experience the culture that would satisfy them, immediately and where they are. This makes them more provincial -- no need to wander aimlessly toward ever-changing unattainable goals. LARP-ers and progs are way more globalist, since there are people all around the world who want to belong to alien cultures, or to taste LOTS OF NEW THINGS every year.

    People who really enjoy French culture -- are more likely concentrated in France. Connoisseurs of Japanese culture (not just "watching anime") -- are mostly Japanese. And so on.

    Conservationists are more tolerant and pluralist -- allowing French culture for the French, Japanese culture for the Japanese, American culture for the Americans, etc., respecting each other's boundaries, maybe cross-fertilizing somewhat, but all being satisfied and at-home in their own culture.

    Progs and LARP-ers have more homogenizing plans on a global scale (which never come to fruition, being unattainable even in their homeland). The Antebellum South LARP-er doesn't just want to ressurect the Old South, and leave outsiders free to do their thing -- they want a world where the South *won* and set the national standard afterward. A Southern conservationist doesn't have such homogenizing plans -- she just wants to wear a Confederate flag bikini on the Fourth of July.

    Medieval Crusades LARP-ers don't just want to RETVRN to that era of Christianity and chivalry -- they want to defeat the Muslim armies of that era, or their imaginary descendants today, in a cultural conquest (if not a military one -- they'd settle for converting the Middle East to Catholicism, without firing a single bullet).

    And so on and so forth.

    Progs are globalists because they have to search for novelty somewhere, and there's only so much they can come up with on their own. So why not give nation X its 15 minutes of fame? Then nation Y, and Z, and on and on. Greek, Thai, Spanish, and then the two-way fusions like Korean-Filipino, and then the three-way ones once the two-way fusions are exhausted (Indonesian-Brazilian-Ethiopian). Etc.

    They're not multicultural, cuz they want the whole world to adopt a single standard for the given interval of time. This year, Thai food must be available everywhere on Earth -- and in five years, it's fine if Thai food goes extinct, but then Mexican food must be available everywhere on Earth, and so on.

    Temporal flux, but spatial homogeneity -- as novelty-chasers, these progs are travelers, or at least wannabe travelers, so every possible travel destination, within and outside of their home nation, must have these novelties on tap at all times.

    1. LARP-er's are big fans of the "Alternate History Wank":


      For Nicholas Taleb, it would be a reality where Emperor Maurice was never overthrown by Phocas, causing the disastrous war that weakened both powers to the point they could be conquered by the Muslim Arabs:


  106. The thrift store and antique crowd are conservationists, literally paying a small fee in order to acquire a piece of their culture into their own personal stewardship, perhaps for some ancillary utilitarian reason, but mainly as a curator of their own personal collection that they get to experience and enjoy on a daily basis for the rest of their satisfied life.

    If you're a LARP-er, boy are you gonna be blue-balled at a thrift store or antique store -- no Roman coins, no Capetian armor, no manuscripts written on papyrus. Heavens no, you'll have to confront your own culture!

    Progs could try to get their fashion victim fixes there, since the inventory does change regularly -- but at the medium or big picture, it's really all the same over time, it only changes on the level of particular items. It doesn't keep changing its style, or go through various other cultures in a 15 minutes of fame way. Not enough to cater to their LOTS OF NEW THINGS journey, and catering more to the provincial tastes of conservationists satisfied with their own culture.

  107. For a future American Byzantium ("Andromeda"), there should be the equivalent of the underground cities used by the Byzantines in times of invasion but done up in the style of a 1980s mall:


  108. Conservationists understand and appreciate other cultures, more than LARP-ers and progs.

    LARP-ers obviously misunderstand the culture they're trying to LARP as, since one of the most central facts about that culture was when and where it was made, by whom, and for whom. Most LARP-ers will just make shit up, over a very superficial factual basis.

    E.g., Roman Empire LARP-ers know nothing about Rome before 70 BC or after 180 AD (Julius Caesar to Marcus Aurelius, the part of Roman history where ethnogenesis was dynamic, exciting, and created all that cool new distinctly Roman culture).

    They don't know who spawned the Roman Empire -- the invading Gauls and later Carthagenians. They don't know who unified the empire, even though it's right there in the name -- assuming their "fellow Italics" joined up with them, rather than fighting inter-Italic wars against the Romans, often shamefully and traitorously siding with the meta-ethnic nemesis. And they certainly don't know about the stagnation under the literal LARP-er Commodus (who dressed up as Hercules) and the empire's internal collapse during the Crisis of the Third Century (they think it went along fine until Germanic immigrant hordes suddenly invaded in the 5th century).

    But LARP-ers must also lie about the other cultures surrounding their target culture, as imaginary enemies / rivals of "their own". A Roman Empire LARP-er won't be able to tell you anything meaningful about their Persian Parthian rivals, cuz part of the Roman LARP is to shout boo-hiss at the Parthians.

    Any all cultures from other times and places -- including their own true culture -- are dismissed as irrelevant to their target LARP culture, so they remain ignorant of them, including their own. Maybe hostile to them, maybe just indifferent -- but profoundly and resolutely ignorant. Any time and effort spent on understanding a non-target culture is subtracted from the LARP of their target culture. "Sorry, can't be bothered to look into them, I've got an idee fixe and it's not changing" -- unless they go through a fashion cycle and start LARP-ing as some other alien culture, but still retaining their dedication to ignorance.

    Conservationists aren't threatened by alien cultures -- they have a culture of their own, which they are already enjoying, experiencing, in touch with, at home with, no need to lie about what it is, just accept it gratefully for what it is.

    Experiencing and enjoying their own culture is not an endless journey, so there is no notion of "learning about an alien culture subtracts from the enjoyment of my own" -- the latter happens almost automatically and effortlessly. Sure, I've got time to spare learning about someone else's culture -- because experiencing my own is not a homework assignment or project that is a massive drain on my time and energy.

  109. Progs fail to understand, and lie about alien cultures because they're just looking to exploit them for their 15 minutes of fame as the novelty culture. If they're different, great, no need to lie, just adopt some superficial element of their culture for 15 minutes, then dump them and flush all memories of that element out of your mind and behavior. If they aren't very different, you'll just have to lie and paint them as so profoundly different from your own culture du jour, that they'll make great candidates as the next source of novelty.

    E.g., progs who just watch a handful of anime, but don't experience any other part of Japanese culture (even including an adjacent one, like Japanese video games with anime-looking graphics). Even a normie American, who is not a prog, knows Mario, Zelda, Street Fighter, Castlevania, Metroid, Nintendo, etc. But those are not sources of novelty in a dopamine-maxxing fashion victim cycle -- so no need to flush them out after the initial contact.

    Progs also lie like crazy that, e.g., Japanese food is so much more flavorful than American food -- wasabi all the way! Overall, though, Japanese food is less spicy than American, given the heavy influence of Mexican food on our own. They cherry-pick the element of wasabi, and lie about the overall picture, where Japanese food is more mellow than American.

    A normie American who enjoys their own culture, has probably had a more representative sample of Japanese food, like sushi -- which is not loaded with spices or flavors, if you don't purposefully eat a tablespoon of wasabi paste with every bite. Or Cup Noodles and the like, which again aren't super-spicy unless they're really made in Thailand instead of Japan.

    (Side note: I was ashamed to see that Pocky is now made in Thailand -- not that I bought it more than once or twice in my life, but I'll never buy it again until it says "Made in Japan". That's like buying mozzarella cheese that's made in the Ukraine.)

    Normie Americans adopted flip-flops from the Japanese -- but American prog fashion victims have cycled away from them over time, since they were no longer a novelty after 1970 or so, while they remain a staple of normie Americans who primarily identify with conserving American culture of the 20th century -- which included flip-flops after our occupation of Japan following WWII.

    This example shows how progs lie about the differences in alien cultures -- they may emphasize a difference at first, as a source of novelty. But once that novelty wears off, the difference is still there -- Korean food is still different from American food. But it's no longer novel, after its 15 minutes of fame. So now the prog has to pretend that since Korean food as been saturated across America for a few years, it's now indistinguishable from American food, and thus no longer novel, and therefore to be flushed out and forgotten about, as they move on to some other cuisine.

    But American food never incorporated or integrated or swallowed up Korean food -- it co-existed with it, side by side, for a little while. Mexican food, you could say was incorporated to some degree into American food, owing to far earlier contacts, during our peak period of ethnogenesis and imperial expansion. But Korean? That will never be incorporated into "American food" and will always be treated as non-American.

    So progs have to simply lie about Korean food's eternally non-American status, and therefore lie about the fact that it will always be a novelty from American food. But since the fashion victims have already become habituated to that particular novelty, they have to pretend it's what Americans have all been eating for decades, so it's too familiar, not truly different or exotic from American food, and thus, no longer a source of novelty.

  110. And that about wraps up the lectures and revelations for today. Whatever higher power was possessing me as the messenger for higher truths, has run its course for now. I'm sure it'll have more wisdom to impart via lil' ol' me, but no more for today.

  111. 7 hours of continuous possession -- not that I ever kept records, since I'm not a numberfag, but that's a pretty good one. Didn't eat or drink anything the whole time, took a whiz once. Not ideal for normies, but that's life as a chosen vessel. ^_^

  112. America has their own versions of sushi. California rolls, Philadelphia rolls, Seattle rolls, Spider rolls, BC rolls, et cetera. All made in America (except for BC rolls which come from Vancouver). Americans also sometimes replace the seaweed with bacon in their sushi.

  113. There is no discussion of American architecture without malls -- and yet, not a single mall or shopping center on the professional cartel's list of America's favorite architecture. Nor in the supposed cultural conservative pushback against the list. Just shows how out of touch both sides of that fake-and-gay debate are with their own culture -- to totally miss the entire category of building site called "malls" when discussing American architecture, especially from the Midcentury onward.

    What do the wordcel geeks think Americans built after 1945? Where did we spend our time after 1945?

    Not just in our domestic house or apartment building or school dorm, not just at our office building, not just at a diner or drive-in theater or library or government services building -- AT THE MALL, the next quantum leap above the multi-story department store of the first half of the 20th century, which was already a uniquely American building type, which everyone loved at the time and still do when they can experience the real deal (IRL if it's still standing, or looking through old pictures if it's demolished or desecrated).

    Malls were a distinctive and unique American architectural complex, and we did not merely pick and choose existing elements from earlier cultures and fuse them together. They just evolved into the complex of elements that they showed.

    But for comparative purposes (not to say, drawing a historical lineage), they're like the Iranian and Turkish bazaars -- lots of shops under a single big sprawling structure. But they weren't just that -- they had lots of public amenities like a Euro city center, town square, performing arts space, or country estate gardens would have. And usually malls had more than one story, unlike those other structures -- but just like American department stores, many of which naturally migrated to serve as anchors for the mall.

    To reiterate, American architects did not survey all those earlier cultures and choose elements from each in order to fuse into the new concept of the mall. They threw all those elements of the mall together, without being aware of most of their historical comparisons, certainly not the main one -- the Iranian and Turkish bazaar, with lots of shops under a single big roof and walls.

    Rather, when they came up with something awesome for the function of retail, public space, leisure center, etc. -- it will tend to share traits with other approaches to the same functions in earlier cultures.

    It's convergent evolution, not identity by descent or by imitation. And the set of elements that defines a mall did not all emerge in any previous culture's approach to the function -- we got something entirely unique and special, so much so that we exported the architectural type all over the world during peak Pax Americana.

  114. Now for some picturs of malls in the good ol' days. Just image search "70s mall" -- cuz the '70s get such a bum rap, everyone is already familiar with how awesome malls were in the '80s and into their staggering lumbering period of the '90s. And cuz there's a decent '70s revival under way currently, so help it along.

    Here's an extensive and representative gallery from Click Americana:


    The so-called decade of malaise was in fact peak paradise for Americans -- highest purchasing power for the minimum wage, lowest percent of the population being foreign-born, banks didn't own a majority of the housing stock and keep it vacant while hoping to flip it, nothing but classic rock, disco, and soulful singer-songwriter ballads on the radio, the single greatest decade for movies, woodgrain and chrome on every car (which were at their most affordable and ubiquitous), everybody being out and about, trusting each other, getting it on (even in public), and the most nationally unified patriotic celebration in our history -- the 1976 Bicentennial (you can't curate your own '70s collection without Bicentennial memorabilia, which everyone used to be somewhat aware of even if they weren't born then, due to the special Bicentennial quarters minted for the occasion -- but which Zoomers may have never seen, in the "cards instead of cash" era).

    That peak era of Americana extended into architecture as well. Not just Brutalism being everywhere, from suburban office parks to libraries to schools and dorms, but the central focal point of our architectural existence outside the home and office -- the mall. Malls had Brutalist or full-sibling styles on their exterior, and Midcentury Modern interiors.

  115. However, because the mall was something of an outdoor setting, within a single structure, it had lots of architectural features that would normally only go on the exterior, placed within the interior. Not the interior of the particular stores -- but within the central courtyard, or adorning the gigantic sprawling ceiling, which was more of a sky than a ceiling. The interior walls were similar to the outer storefronts of a city center's shopping district, so elements that would normally go outside showed up on the inner walls of the mall.

    Large fountains and ponds, amphitheater seating, long benches, large groups of planters, and the like -- usually for a park or country estate garden, but now within the interior of a single sprawling building.

    Because Brutalist was the exterior-focused style of the time, malls therefore brought Brutalism indoors to harmonize with Midcentury Modern (the interior style for other building types that were not sprawling complexes unto themselves on the inside -- the typical office building didn't have a huge fountain with a sprawling pool under it, waterfalls, park benches, tons of planters with tall trees, an atrium with a giant skylight, etc.).

    So in addition to Midcentury Modern interior decoration staples like sumptuous red carpet and warm-stained figured wood paneling, there was also Brutalist exposed aggregate concrete with ribbed texture and poured in place into sharp-angled geometric forms.

    See that gallery's picture of Briarwood Mall for the clearest example of indoor Brutalism, but also the concrete geometric fountain grouping outside the Smith & Welton store, the one with the Flagg Bros store, and the Deptford Mall (the planters and walls enclosing the court).

    But even when the material is not exposed aggregate concrete with ribbing (both of which are ornamental, contra the complaint that Brutalist had only bare sparse surfaces), the style is in keeping with Brutalism and Midcentury Modern -- large-scale assemblages of massive volumes made from simple geometric shapes.

    In keeping with the pastoral caveman side of Brutalism, though, there are tons of verdant plants all around the mall, and at least one prominent body of flowing water. Elements your normally only found at a park or estate garden -- and rarely or never in the typical city center, especially in America. The mall brought so many diverse elements together under a single roof -- that's what made it so special and unique.

    That's why you have to look at old pictures from the building's heyday -- during the '90s, and accelerating after then, malls started to desecrate the park / garden elements, sometimes just turning off the flowing water, sometimes gutting the entire unit altogether. If you're a Millennial or Zoomer or Gen Alpha, you've probably never been treated to a literal red carpet reception at a mall -- but as you can see, it was common back then.

    1. I have very old memories from my childhood of when there used to be a giant fountain in my local mall.

      It has since been replaced by a literal time capsule.

  116. Malls all had giant metal sculptures, which I'm going to do a separate post on at some point, but again just look at the gallery's picture of Briarwood Mall -- and that's on the small side of metal mall sculpture!

    Others are huge mobiles that would otherwise only be found in a large museum (like the Alexander Calder one in the National Gallery's East Building).

    And others are 20-foot tall pieces that would normally stand only on the exterior grounds -- but since a mall is in part a large outdoor complex that's been brought inside, tall sculptures could suddenly be enjoyed indoors.

    In every case, they are typically American -- massive, bulky, simple geometric forms made into a larger-scale group or left as a single volume unto its gigundo self. Even those with lots of smaller pieces, usually a hanging sculpture, are not light-and-airy and open and delicate -- it's more like one of those volume-reducing haircutting shears has been taken to a solid volume, removing an alternating half of the volume, while still leaving the impression of it being a big massive solid chunk. And still made of gleaming chrome -- totally in keeping with Brutalism and Midcentury Modern.

  117. The point being: real Americans love this iconic staple of post-1945 architecture that we uniquely invented in America. It doesn't date to before 1945 (although it evolved from some of our earlier types, like the multi-story department store), and it's not a LARP or inheritance from some earlier culture that LARP-ers are fine with.

    Americans loved malls when they were brand new -- that's why so many were built. And even when their business suffered with the cocooning phase of the '90s through the 2010s, malls were still remembered warmly and fondly by real Americans of all walks of life.

    To put it plainly, malls are the most powerful single source of nostalgia for American architecture that Americans feel, right up to the present day. There is no graver symbol of our decadent cultural collapse than the dead mall / label-scar phenomenon, and retail apocalypse broadly.

    Sidenote: non-Americans might not know this, but nobody did any "shopping" in a mall. It is a public congregating space, that's it. No entry fees, no requirement to buy literally anything from any of the stores, not even a small drink at the food court. Nobody had to pay to go to a park, garden, ice rink, city center, or museum (malls were something of a design museum, to marvel at what our manufacturers created) -- well then, nobody has to pay to go to the mall.

    If you happened to see something you liked, you were able to buy it. If you wanted to eat something there instead of before or after, you could grab a bite to eat at the food court. But no payment was required for enjoying the space, not even a social pressure like passing around the collection plate at church.

    Spending was log-normal anyway -- a few shopaholics accounted for most of the stores' revenues, making up for the vast majority of mall-goers who spent only a little bit or nothing at all. The shopaholics were like old-time benefactors, putting up the big bucks so that the masses could enjoy the space for free. They got special perks, like taking home merchandise instead of "only" getting to hang out there with your community. But that's no different from the perks benefactors get anywhere and anytime.

    As our elites have grown selfish and wicked and sacrilegious, instead of how they used to be (benefactors, good, and respectful), all major sources of funding have dried up. The mall operators no longer want to run it as a quasi non-profit -- such investment could get a higher return with lower risk by shoving it into the Central Bank-propped-up stock market instead. And wealthy men don't send their daughters and wives to the malls in order to spread some of their wealth around to the general community, supporting the mall that everyone enjoys without having to drop serious dough.

  118. This is precisely why malls will never show up in the professional cartel's list of iconic / favorite / historical / canonical American architecture, despite the fact that they are the single greatest example of American architecture at its peak.

    Malls are too much of a crowd-pleaser, perennial faves with the normie masses, so the cartel members could never feel elitist and snobby by acknowledging such a building type as canonical, special, great, etc. Not just some particular mall that they don't like -- malls as an entire category.

    And so it is with their fake-and-gay debate adversaries on the cultural conservative side, who would never offer malls as a counter to the claim of "Why don't the masses like what we architects have built after 1945?"

    Cultural cons are LARP-ers, so they must imagine that the American normies' rejection of certain post-'45 architecture means they must truly love the LARP-y stuff that has appeared post-'45, like the bastardized take on an already LARP style, the McMansion (rehashing the Romanesque Revival of the first Gilded Age). Sorry, Americans hate McMansions -- probably enough to not mind razing them, but at least not wanting to see any more of them, let alone prefer living in them.

    No, what we truly long for is Midcentury Modern interiors, like during the Mad Men craze and afterward, during the Austin Powers / That '70s Show craze, in fact Midcentury Modern has never really gone out of style.

    Ditto for malls -- their elite funding may have dried up during the second Gilded Age of elite wickedness and stinginess, so they're not around for us to enjoy anymore. But everyone still loves malls very dearly -- the handful that are still standing, but especially when looking at pictures of their Brutalist-even-on-the-inside heyday, all of which was after 1945.

    As usual, I'm not writing any of this to persuade any side of a fake-and-gay wordcel debate. I'm writing for future historians to help them understand and analyze the here-and-now culture. If they relied only on the professional cartel sources, and fake wordcel media pieces, they would never know that malls existed, that they were ubiquitous, that they were wildly popular at the time, and that they were cherished even after their funding had dried up and they were neglected into ruins.

    Imagine trying to study Roman architecture and not knowing what a forum is -- that's how bad the wordcels are about American architecture. Partly I'm writing to serve as a corrective against such shameless memory-holing, but also to understand and analyze them for my own model of what American culture is like, how it relates to earlier cultures in other places, how it's different, how it evolved, and so on.

    Real Americans know all of this stuff deep down, but it's buried under a lack of exposure to reality for so long. The heyday of malls was many decades ago, before some people today were even born. But I forget nothing, especially if it's special. So I've been chosen for this role, to preserve the culture's memory, a mostly boring and thankless clerical role, aside from analyzing and studying it in its own right (the more exciting role).

  119. The professional cartel's list isn't just stacking the deck against post-1945 crowd-pleasers, it's that way for pre-WWII buildings as well.

    No department stores at all -- not even Art Deco masterpieces like the Eastern-Columbia Building or the Bullocks Wilshire Building, both in L.A.

    No retail in general.

    No picture palaces of the 1920s, or movie theaters of any type or era.

    No restaurants, diners, or literally any other such commercial type.

    There are some MLB baseball stadiums.

    But no parks, not even Central Park in NYC. No gardens either.

    What the fuck do these nerds think American architects actually build? Just yuppie offices, housing, and schools / museums / libraries / government?

    So utterly and pathetically clueless about their own time, place, and profession. Jesus...

  120. Don't forget the background beautiful music at malls like in this nostalgic video:


  121. I'll round up these sermons and analyses into a standalone post, as a placeholder for March at least. I'll probably start doing that with all of the other long comment sections, so that they will be visible to search engines and myself, since searches don't see comments.

  122. Saudi Arabia also has lots of Brutalist buildings, more than anywhere else in the MENA region, since they were one of only 3 empires left standing after WWI / WWII, and Brutalism was *the* prestige style. Usually built by foreigners, but incorporating local influences, and sponsored and welcomed by the Saudis themselves.





    Knowledge of Saudi Arabia's status as an empire with an imperial culture is an easy litmus test for who's a dum-dum on all things related to the Middle East, past and present. If they know that, they may know other things and have insights. If they don't know, let alone if they lie about it, their views can be dismissed on all things related to the Middle East.

    Imagine thinking a tiny tribe of desert nomads has always been in control of all that territory -- and imagine thinking it only happened recently due to oil wealth, rather than the intensification of their asabiya due to getting encircled by their Ottoman meta-ethnic nemesis, who they eventually unified many diverse peoples around them in order to overthrow circa WWI.

    Well, if you don't even know that much, into the garbage can you go.

    1. Left-liberal historian Rick Perlstein thinks the 1979 Iranian Revolution lead to Al-Qaeda and ISIS, which really shows who's a dum dum on Middle East politics. Iran's regime are Shia Islamists who view Sunni ultra-Salafists as their mortal enemies!:


  123. Iran is no slouch, though, with their iconic Brutalist Azadi Tower in Teheran -- built in 1971 under the Shah, but preserved throughout the Islamic Revolution era, because they're forging a new modern identity there as well.


    Nice view of the Midcentury utopian layout of the entire complex, with a futuristic sharp-angled cellular matrix cut into an expanse of primeval Edenic verdant pasture, just like any suburban "institute" from America of the same time (Burroughs Wellcome building, the 1978 Long Beach Civic Center, etc.):


    Just cuz it's made from marble rather than concrete doesn't make it not Brutalist.

  124. Likewise the Yerevan Cascade, a 1970s Soviet-era Brutalist complex from nearby Armenia, made from travertine rather than concrete, but no less Brutalist as a result:


    As with all other examples of Midcentury utopian architecture, the Yerevan Cascade is set within a charming Edenic natural landscape -- a steep hillside in this very mountainous country, filled with verdant grass, tree-lined bench areas, flower beds, and pools of water.

    Nothing more transcendant, elevating, socially connecting, and spiritually replenishing than these Midcentury utopian syntheses of daring Space Age colonization and comfy back-to-nature Noble Savagery, always adapted to the local rooted history of their sites, never grafted into place by a cold clinical surgeon (that would be the neoliberal glass-box era that we still suffer under, thanks to the bitter seething haters of Midcentury utopianism in all its forms -- political, social, economic, and cultural).

  125. There's something really tender and pure about those unguarded flower beds at the Yerevan Cascade. Nothing wrong with planters or other built / architectural surroundings for them -- but the way they're just chilling there, flourishing without gates or fences or walls around them, is a small detail with a big impact.

    This site at least, maybe or maybe not the entire society, is so high-trust that they can flourish there without being trampled upon by pedestrians, rooted up by hordes of animal pests, etc. Some higher invisible force is protecting them, not a visible material shield.

    Similar to the presence of wild ducks or geese wandering around a pond, as opposed to being penned up or caged like it's a zoo.

    Cage-free, free-range flowers. ^_^

    And yet, they're clearly being cultivated and gardened -- otherwise they'd be spread all around, rather than in an artificial geometric formation like a circle or square.

    We know there's a gardener or landscaper somewhere, but due to his invisibility, it feels more like these flower groups are being well-behaved and respectful, rather than running rampant all around the site. They're reciprocating our high trust and respectful treatment of them... cute!

  126. I dreamed about Dasha last night -- no, not one of those dreams. I don't remember most of my dreams, and this is the first online persona I've dreamed about in awhile.

    There was some meme or image of a man's face being displayed in the open air, like some kind of large floating screen, and he had some nervous awkward expression, the kind you'd use for a meme to make fun of someone who's getting nervous.

    The way it was shot and cropped, "reminded" me of some "famous" Russian artist's portrait -- I doubt this really exists IRL, but it was real in my dream. I recognized the stark similarity, and began calling out down below, where Dasha was walking toward the entrance of some apartment or office building.

    I had to let her know how cultured I was in Russian art! Heheh. She also instantly "recognized" the similarity of the guy in the photo and the "famous" portrait, and looked backed up at me with her head tilted, smiling and giggling, reaching out her hand and making a grabbing / clapping motion again and again like a pat of recognition and appreciation. Like "I know! I know! Isn't it?!"

    She was thankful and appreciative that I let her know that I recognized it, like "Aw, he understands my culture"... not in a romantic way, more like she was proud that her culture felt seen and heard, that'd I'd bothered to familiarize myself with her culture, to the point of getting excited and giddy as a schoolboy about it.

    Yes, she was like the cool, Boho art / English / music schoolteacher who gets all warm-and-fuzzy and beaming inside when her students get genuinely excited about what she's imparting to them. I know she's more than 10 years younger than me, but I really did feel like a schoolboy trying to connect -- non-romantically -- with the pretty, Boho chic teacher. ^_^

    Honestly, nothing sexual at all, she was not a sultry corrupting sleeping-with-the-students type of teacher. Pure and innocent, but also exciting and libidinal, in that cusp-of-puberty way where pretty women aim to reassure budding boys that there's nothing scary or polluting or intimidating about pretty women, and that they have no reason to fear sharing their excitement with them (instead of reading terrible advice about insulting girls in a doomed impotent attempt to get into their pants, or in reality just getting some nudes).

    I know she likes to brand herself as le depressed art ho with designs on corrupting men, but if you've seen Dasha at an awards ceremony, she gets quite innocent flower-child and beaming and abandoned of self-consciousness and insecurity, incapable of plotting or scheming or corrupting anyone. When she senses that a crowd appreciates her for who she is, not as a potential notch on the bedpost (which is what raises her shield and puts her in "corrupt before getting corrupted" mode).

    When / if the podcasting gig runs dry of funding, Dasha should move back to her Western roots and become a laid-back SoCal Boho chic schoolteacher. She went to an arts school (in an Art Deco building, BTW), and she has some kind of Hollywood connections -- there's your in!

    We'll be cheering (and praying) for you. ^_^

  127. She was wearing a black turtleneck that was slightly loose-fitting and smooth-textured (and not tucked in), medium-to-dark brown pants with somewhat loose / flared legs, didn't see the shoes (which I never pay attention to IRL anyway -- only gays and other girls do), no heavy make-up or jewelry, natural hair let down.

    Understated '70s chic, like she does macrame crafting in her free time for fun, not a pretentious gallery level of severe minimalism.

    Not an abject thing about her.

    Just think of the classroom full of students as an audience or crowd that you're speaking (not performing) in front of, who are there to appreciate what you have to impart to them -- like the audience of an awards show!

    Dasha would totally feed off the attention and validation -- without it being a corrupting influence like posting selfies on social media for clicks.

    And she does have a soft maternal side that comes out when she's tending to Anna's baby. If she ends up not having a kid of her own, helping to raise the community's children is a perfectly respectable and honorable calling.

    "What would I teach them????" If they're little, you don't need a PhD or subject matter expertise -- you're teaching them reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. And being a babysitter, socializer, enculturator, etc.

    Maybe it's at a private Catholic school, for that narrow sect she belongs to? How many pretty Boho chic teachers could there be competing for those spots?

    Would that involve becoming a nun first? xD

    Tradcath LARP-ers online cannot save her, but a crowd of innocent playful children can...

    That's what my dream was about -- a vision for her future vocation, a message I have to relay to her, not some horny sex simulation. That's why I felt like a schoolboy in it, to show me who her crowd / audience had to be composed of, in order for her to become saved from abject art ho-dom.

    The Lord works in mysterious ways. ^_^

  128. Say if California would be at the centre of a future American Byzantium and Texas is its Egypt, Utah (the centre of Mormonism) would have to be its Holy Land with Salt Lake City as Jerusalem!

  129. Also, Florida (another metaethnic frontier) could become the Andromedan equivalent of Byzantine Sicily, the warm, southernly region of the old imperial centre:


  130. The corporeal world of the 1980s in one film trailer:


  131. Related reason for minimal ostentation during the Midcentury was the egalitarian economic order, which was a reaction / compromise / defusion of tension, after the worldwide Communist-esque revolutions during the late 1910s and early '20s, when violent civic breakdown reached its peak here in America as well (Red Scare, Coal Miner Wars, race riots, etc.).

    Those revolutions were, in turn, a reaction to the insanely top-heavy, conspicuous consumption, over-produced elite economies of the late 19th and early 20th C. (Victorian / Edwardian, Gilded Age in America, etc.).

    I traced the history of conspicuous consumption in home styles, from the first Gilded Age through the egalitarian Progressive and Midcentury eras, through the current second Gilded Age, in this post (with pictures):


    I didn't include pics of the McMansions of the second Gilded Age cuz we all know what they look like.

    NB: updated link for the 1955 Fortune Magazine profile on how the elite class began living more modest lifestyles in less ostentatious homes by the '50s, compared to the palatial estates and feeding frenzy lifestyles of the Roaring Twenties (still in adults' memories at the time):


    Cultural conservatives pretend to like the 1950s, but it's all bullshit -- they just didn't like the explosion of violence in the late '60s / early '70s, and view the early '60s and '50s as a nice quiet world before then.

    It has nothing to do with wanting to resurrect the '50s -- their entire crusade was to destroy the '50s via the Reagan Revolution, flushing out the New Deal and plunging us into lower and lower levels of neoliberal hell ever since then.

  132. Neolibs like Sailer made it their crusade to destroy the Leave It To Beaver world of the post-WWII American utopia, ushering in the Reagan Revolution in place of the New Deal.

    It's only natural that their taste in architecture will harken back to the first Gilded Age rather than the Midcentury -- and far from being a mere preference, they have gone on an iconoclastic demolition crusade to raze all those icons of our Midcentury Fred Flintstone / George Jetson paradise.

    If every time a Brutalist structure is demolished, a glass box is put in its place -- every critic of Brutalism is to blame, including right-wingers who claimed to prefer some Euro-LARP instead as the replacement.

    Sorry, if you link arms with the progs to raze Brutalism, and their glass-box plans always come into effect, you know that, and you tolerate and accept that -- cuz at least it's not the boo-hiss Midcentury utopian style.

    The right-wingers may have claimed to prefer a Beaux Arts building to replace Brutalism, but they'll settle every time for a dumb ugly glass box instead, if that's the price of teaming up with progs to destroy the New Deal economy, polity, society, and culture, and put neoliberalism in its place.

    In econ lingo, the cultural conservatives' "revealed preference" is for the exact same dumb ugly glass boxes as the progs. They could've left the Brutalist or Midcentury Modern or WPA Streamline building in place, but they had to destroy those traces of the New Deal, revealing that they don't find neoliberal glass boxes to be objectionable. Something they're totally fine with.

    To take Sailer's example, here's what the Long Beach Civic Center of the late 1970s used to look like. Pure Midcentury utopianism -- Romanesque fortress, Space Age colonization, and back-to-nature verdant pastures, all in one site:



    This symbol of the era of peak Americana was iconoclastically demolished during the woketard 2010s, and replaced with glass boxes:


    THIS is the revealed preference of the anti-New Deal haters of Brutalism, whether right-wing Euro LARP-ers like Sailer or left-wing progs like those who designed it. By the late 2010s, right-wingers know Goddamn well what's going to replace a demolished site. And they chose the glass box, yet again, cuz thank God it's not Midcentury utopianism.

  133. Look at how flattened the land is after the progs and LARP-ers demolished the Brutalist Long Beach Civic Center.

    It used to stand on a raised platform of earth -- like any good ol' Romanesque hilltop fortress. Changes in elevation are aesthetically pleasing, as well as more exciting to experience while using the site.

    See the Yerevan Cascade again -- talk about a hilltop fortress!

    In typical Brutalist fashion, the basement / lower level is not solid earth, though -- you can see the entrance to the public library at the corner.

    This is one key difference from Romanesque castles, where you couldn't see the below-grade structure (if there was any). And if so, it would've been a dungeon -- the lower levels in Brutalism are more like cozy Hobbit homes buried underneath the surrounding green grass.

    And there is no obstruction between them -- you can choose which place you want to enter, ascending one set of stairs toward the hilltop fortress, or descending another set of stairs toward the cozy Hobbit home library in the basement (without having to enter the main building and take an elevator down, for example).

    This split-level style was used mostly for buildings with air-bridges, like those at UC Irvine. The bridge leads to the main upper portion, while a separate lower and less monumental structure may lead to the lower level (or not, you may have to enter via the bridge, then take an elevator down).

    The upper and lower portions are stylistically distinct (though still Brutalist), as they are in the Long Beach Civic Center.

    In fact, the only way to improve on the late '70s Civic Center design would have been to include some air-bridges -- turn those ascending staircases into air-bridges by excavating underneath them, and just to the side of them. You could leave some of the staircases on the inclining mound of earth, to preserve the hilltop feeling. Maybe just one air-bridge per side.

    But that's a minor nitpick -- no need to iconoclastically demolish or remodel it! Remodeling is the foot in the door for demolition, desecration, and degradation!

  134. Actually, looks like you couldn't enter the library corner from the outside. I thought there was a set of descending stairs at the corner, but that open space in the corner has somewhat tall trees poking up out of it -- so it was probably a straight drop down, with landscaping on the flat lower level. And there's no walkway through the shrubs-and-mulch perimeter at that corner -- and you wouldn't just traipse through the landscaping itself.

    So this was like the usual air-bridge design, where you could see the lower level as a tease, and to give it a different feel from the main top portion. But you had to take the air-bridge (or staircases in this example) into the main structure, then an elevator or internal stairs down into the Hobbit home basement.

    Once inside on the lower level, if you were near the open corner, there was sunlight coming in through the window-wall -- made from smoked glass, though, to not make it too agoraphobically open and blinding. And you could look out onto the little landscaped area in the sunken part of the corner, with the tall trees etc.

    Now there is no split-level design, so assuming there is a basement, you can't see outside, robbing the cozy Hobbit home feeling of the original.

    Returning to the Ezra Stiles and Samuel Morse colleges at Yale, they were only somewhat desecrated during their woketard 2010s renovation -- the overall spirit remains, though still a pointless downgrade.

    They have Hobbit home lower levels as well, below the air-bridges, and they allow sunlight into the basement areas, as well as sights from inside to the built and natural landscape outside.

    Very cozy -- and impossible when some prog or LARP-er fills in what was supposed to be an open space around the lower level.

    The National Gallery East Building stands at the crossroads between Midcentury utopianism and neoliberal glass box hell (those damn glass pyramids are already starting to erupt through to the surface). But credit where it's due, in the below-ground level, there is a portion of the outside earth that has been excavated, and a window-wall allowing in sunlight and sights of the outside -- which include a cascading waterfall from outside and above. A decent little Hobbit home effect.

  135. What a tragedy to America is the demolition of those great mid century jewels. Here in Spain this grey shit is being built all around the country:
    We are probably living in the worst era in all history as far as architecture is concerned, no matter the country. Pure dystopia.

  136. Marvel at the Hobbit home lower level of the Brutalist Langson Library at UC Irvine. The split-level approach was not only used in residential homes during the Midcentury -- Brutalist monumental-scale buildings used it too! The lower level is revealed, at least in teasing parts, from an outside view, and those inside can see, at least in teasing parts (or more), the outside world.


    Some portions of the lower level exterior wall have narrow windows, more of a skylight, while other portions have a large window-wall to bask in the full pastoral Edenic glory of the landscaping right outside. Glass looks slightly tinted, for additional coziness.

    Imagine being in a library "basement" and looking out onto this landscape!


    The outside shots establish what a lush, Edenic, back-to-nature paradise the entire complex is set within. Brutalist utopias were NEVER lacking in nature and landscaping. Grass, shrubs, hedges, trees, flowers, you name it, baby!

    The main entrance is an air-bridge (an inclined staircase suspended over open space), while a rear entrance with its own little pathway lets you enter the Hobbit home lower level from the outside. But it's not such a direct entrance since you have to walk all the way around to the rear. The impulse is to just enter the main entrance and make an internal descent to the lower level.

    The air-bridges really were like the draw-bridges to enter a Romanesque fortress, over some sort of moat -- not water in the American case, but a 10-foot or more drop of open air.

  137. To spell out the distinction between the main upper, vs. lower, levels in the Langson Library -- the main portion is defined by vertically-oriented cells, each of which is coffered / in-set, with prominent partitions between each one, and the upper and lower sides of each cell protrude even further. The defining color is a warm buttery cream, contrasted with a dark brown smoked glass.

    The lower level is not such a cellular matrix -- some of the walls are perfectly flat. Where there are cells, like the windows, each pane has a fairly equal top/bottom and side -- not tall skinny vertical cells like the main portion. The partitions between each pane are not very prominent. And there are not many cells across one side of the facade -- as opposed to 24 cells across the main portion. The windows are not really coffered or in-set into the facade. The curvy protrusion on the upper and lower sides of the cell are missing.

    And there are elements not found in the main portion -- namely, the inverted L-shaped buttresses that support the main portion. These buttresses, although vertically oriented, only number a half dozen across, not the tightly packed 24 across for the cells in the main portion.

    The warm buttery cream color is absent, and it's more of a sand color.

    All of these features act to clearly distinguish the lower from the main portion of the building, even though both portions are in the same Brutalist style.

    Why not use the same set of features all the way to the ground on the exterior? Cuz that wouldn't give it the same Hobbit home feeling, where the lower level is being revealed in teasing fashion. If the same elements went all the way to the ground, it wouldn't feel like a separate lower or basement level! Just the lowermost of many identical levels in a single whole building.

    Make it qualitatively distinct, and suddenly it's revealing a level that used to be or should be hidden!

  138. That's also where the air-bridge comes in -- to distinguish the main portion, where the air-bridge leads into, from the lower portion, which lies below, at the same level as the air-moat under the bridge.

    Without an air-bridge, a qualitatively distinct lower level wouldn't look like a basement or undergound level -- just like, "Huh, the first two floors look different from all the other floors above". Neat mixture or contrast or whatever, but not one based on "above-ground vs. underground".

    Of course, the lower level is not really that underground -- it's been excavated outside, and is being revealed, at least in part.

    But when the main entrance to the building is above this lower-level, it really feels like an underground or underwater level, not merely "closest to the ground".

    Very clever, effective, aesthetically pleasing, and unique in history!

    And therefore, one of the main targets of the anti-American heritage-haters who have razed these Brutalist utopias.

  139. That's the ironic and typically clueless thing about Sailer et al's whining about these Brutalist utopias.

    He's a wordcel, not a shape rotator, so he can't tell you what he's looking at in the late '70s Long Beach Civic Center. He has to come up with verbal / conceptual disses, in order to urge for its iconoclastic demolition.

    So that public library corner he labels a "bunker" -- even though it is the opposite of a bunker, as far as underground structures are concerned.

    The part of a bunker that you see from outside is the entrance -- and it is only a means of entering the bunker. It is never open to the outside, figuratively or literally. It is entirely opaque on either side of it, it is thick and solid enough to be a protective shield, and it is narrow -- only wide enough to allow a few people in at a time (or if it allows vehicles, only wide enough to let in one, not a 4-lane highway).

    That fits the purpose of a bunker -- to protect the people inside from some hostile outside environment.

    Same with the cellar door on some older American houses. Totally opaque from both sides, thick and solid, and narrower than a main door.

    The public library in the Brutalist era of the Long Beach Civic Center, along with all other lower levels of a split-level Brutalist building, was the exact opposite on all these features.

    It's transparent (at most, smoked glass, perhaps normally transparent glass), it's thin and easily breakable (by a hostile outside force -- not by ordinary forces, of course), and it's wide-open, taking up much of the wall.

    That fits the purpose of a Hobbit home window-wall -- to CONNECT the external environment with the interior "underground" level, not to erect a barrier between them.

  140. A bunker makes you feel paranoid, a Hobbit home window-wall makes you feel calm. A bunker feels cramped and shut-in, a Hobbit home window-wall makes the place feel cozy and breathably open. A bunker is for a temporary emergency, a Hobbit home window-wall is for an enduring normality. A bunker is low-trust, a Hobbit home window-wall is high-trust.

    In the high-trust, cohesive paradise of the New Deal era, buildings and the people within them could reveal their tender underbelly without worrying about being taken advantage of, attacked, or exploited in any other way, real or imagined.

    Although we may have entirely glass facades in the neoliberal era, that never involves the revealing of an underbelly like those "underground" levels of a Midcentury building. In fact, most of the glass box facades are highly reflective from outside, as in the replacement for the demolished Brutalist Long Beach Civic Center. It looks like the blue sky or a warped image of the surrounding buildings -- it's a mirror-like facade.

    And although I don't spend much time in these glass box torture chambers, I don't think they're mirrored from the interior -- more of a one-way mirror, where the insiders can see out, but the outsiders cannot see in.

    And therefore, they are not examples of a high-trust transparent revealed exterior -- they are the least trustworthy wall possible, a one-way mirror from inside to out. If it were opaque / reflective from both sides, that would merely signal a separation between the two spaces. The one-way mirror signals that the insiders are spying or surveiling the outside environment out of paranoia and distrust, and make the outside reflective so those outsiders can't spy back on the insiders. It's competitive or rivalrous, not reciprocating and harmonious.

    Neoliberal glass boxes are a monumentally scaled pair of wraparound mirrored cop glasses.

    They differ from bunker doors only in being one-way opaque, since the inside-out visibility requires glass or plastic, and that is too fragile to use when the external threat is based on force. If it's mere paranoia and suspicion, rather than tornado-strength winds or a literal invading army of tanks, jeeps, and guns, then glass or plastic are fine for their not-so-thickness, and perfect for allowing the one-way mirror visibility.

    As usual, these lies reveal that the haters are only confessing through projection -- progs and right-wingers are the ones who want to build and inhabit bunkers and bubbles that shield and insulate the valuable in-group from the hostile or at least polluting forces of a real or imagined outside.

    Lower levels in a Brutalist building were the opposite of a bunker, while their neoliberal glass box replacements -- supported by progs and right-wing LARP-ers alike -- are the closest thing to bunkers we have ever seen in a widespread architectural phenomenon (not just a small handful of isolated loonies).

  141. That brings us to the Seagram Building, a supposed counter-example of a glass box from the New Deal / Midcentury paradise.

    But as I said last year, I'll give partial credit to the Seagram Building because its glass is smoked -- dark and intimate, rather than bright and blinding like Euro LARP-ing Rococo light-and-airiness.

    I also pointed out that its glass is transparent enough to see the warm amber glow of the lights inside, and that this color is a relief from what would've been a cold facade.

    But I didn't think back then that its transparency from the outside IN ITSELF was a major difference with glass boxes of neoliberal hell. Those of the past 40 years are mirrored on the outside, whereas the Seagram is only very weakly reflecting -- you can sort of make out the reflection of the building across the street, but you can easily see the office furniture, people, and especially those amber lights on the interior.

    The interior is even more visible from outside, when it's night-time -- the interior is lit-up by the warm amber lights, while outside is not lit-up by anything. Maybe there are a few weak spaced-apart street lights, but that's it.

    The degree of illumination is weak on the outside, so there's little light to bounce off of, e.g, the building across the street and onto the Seagram Building's window facade. But there's tons of illumination inside, so that means there's a lot to see -- provided that the windows are transparent from the outside, which they are!

    They could've chosen a mirrored exterior, but decisively went against that, and kept it harmonious with the high-trust cohesive New Deal utopian zeitgeist.

    The ground floor window walls are also highly transparent from outside.

    See those images of the Langson Library again, particular when it's night-time -- the windows on the lower level are transparent from outside, and you can make out people, furniture, and even the blinds if they have them lowered.

    With a mirrored-exterior building, they could have the blinds up or down on the inside, and people outside could never tell!

  142. Final case study before I take a massive whiz and lose my energy and momentum. Last year I randomly found the example of the Centennial Library in Winnipeg, Canada. It's Canada, not the epicenter of culture in North America (us). So, they don't make the greatest examples of any style of architecture -- but it's a perfectly fine example nonetheless.

    It was a Brutalist utopian small-scale Eden, more amazing since it's in a dense urban setting, when it was originally built in good ol' 1977. Notice the smoked-glass window-dome which is transparent from the outside, at ground level in the center of the main building:



    In the 2000s, it was renamed Millennium Library, and appalingly desecrated with the apparent encasement of the old structure by a newer giant glass box, like some sick twisted parasite enveloping it and sucking the life out of it. Note the highly reflective exterior (blue sky, individual wisps of clouds, building across from it), but totally transparent interior, of the window glass. Typical neoliberal one-way mirror, only transparent from outside in one picture.



    It's not even a full demolition and replacement, allowing for some kind of proper burial in a landfill -- it's embalming the corpse, which is kept on display, and subjected to perptual parasitic attack.

    It's meant to degrade, humiliate, and torture -- not merely replace -- the paradise and society that came before it.

    Canadians may practice a cult of constant apologizing, but they are some really dark sick twisted scum underneath. Americans at least kill it off and give it a proper burial, not this spectacle of torture where the victim is still and always visible, in their victimized pathetic state.

    Same culture whose video game industry produces all manner of torture, abuse, degradation, and serial killer / molester simulators (e.g., Dead by Daylight).

    But then, Canadians were never on a hostile meta-ethnic frontier that made them cohere together. In fact, Canadians are defined by their collaboration with the Indians, both of them against the Americans. No surprise which group of Euro descendants became an entirely new people, and cultural dynamos as a result.

  143. There are other examples of blocky mid-century modernist buildings on the Winnipeg Architecture website, which are still standing today. One of them is the Willowlake Church in Southdale, Manitoba:


    There's also the Bell MTS Administration building in Brandon, Manitoba:


  144. Another good way to compare Midcentury Modernist architecture vs Reaganite fishbowl architecture is to take a survey of America's schools built in the 1945-1980 era vs America's schools largely built or extensively renovated after 1980.

    For example, Hoffman Estates High School in Hoffman Estates, IL was built in 1973 and has the characteristic concrete + tinted glass + some blockiness of midcentury American architecture:


    Compare this to Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL, which was hugely expanded in the 1990s and 2000s from its original building, and where you can see the huge amounts of reflective glass to the entrance of the school:


    Note that Wikipedia editors are as usual trying to erase all signs of Midcentury architecture from existence. Wikipedia has a picture of Stevenson High School with its fishbowl glass entrance, but no picture of Hoffman Estates High School at all.

  145. Northwestern University in Evanston, IL at least has had the sense to keep its University Library as the original 1970 building, so that we can see the Midcentury Modern paradise it was intended to be:



  146. The Messiah Lutheran Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba is another example of Midcentury Modern architecture on the Winnipeg Architecture website which seems to have survived to the present day:



  147. Also, take a look at how blocky the Founder's Memorial Amphitorium at Bob Jones University is:



    So even the culture warrior conservative evangelical Protestant types back in the midcentury era wanted this kind of American architecture.

  148. The blocky-ness of American high schools is everywhere. Here's Middleton High School in Middleton, Wisconsin, even though it looks to have used neoliberal reflective glass in the upper parts of the building:


    Here's Waunakee Community High School in Waunakee, Wisconsin. The Google Maps images date to 2007, and it's clear from the picture of the high school on its website that between 2007 and present day, they desecrated the high school with a giant black glass box:



  149. Baghdad Brutalism -- Al-Zaqura Palace (1975), with influences from the ancient ziggurat form (which it is named after).


    This is also an influence of American / Pax Americana architecture, as we trace our imaginary ancient roots to Egypt, Israel, and Mesopotamia -- not Greece and Rome, like the Euros do. We love pyramids, obelisks, pylons, and ziggurats!

  150. Pentecostal televangelist Brutalism / Midcentury Modernism, at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK (1960s). You can't get any more 'Murrican than that! Tell that Euro LARP-ing faggots to shove their Rococo curlicues up their ass! Buildings for spreading the word of Almighty God should be sublime, not pretty!

    A great gallery and discussion of its influences:


    Only thing to note is that it's unusual in using tons of columns on the outside, and very thin wispy columns at that. That light-and-airy openness is usually what Americans avoid, in favor of solid slab walls, as the former style makes us too similar to our Late Medieval / Early Modern imperial competitors from Europe.

    But at least these tall wispy columns supporting a high open roof on the outside, has some exotic value -- it looks more Ottoman and Mughal than European imperial of the same time period. It adds a little eclectic element, without it feeling out of place, even if it's not strictly in keeping with the styles of the time and place.


  151. Naturally, American Euro LARP-ers can't stand Pentecostals, televangelists, and other Bible-thumpers -- too distinctly American, threatening to embarrass the LARP-er in front of their imaginary Euro friends.

    "N-n-no, I swear I'm not one of them! I'm upholding Western Civ, I promise, not American culture! I'm one of the *good* Americans, please accept me, validate me, and praise me!"

    Pathetic -- and never accepted as a Euro by the actual Euros anyway, haha.

    Earlier post on Mormon temple architecture being distinctly American, not Euro, from early on, right up through the present. Another religious group that right-wing cultural "critics" do not care for, find embarrassing, etc. -- cuz they don't build Euro LARP-ing cathedrals, but Frank Lloyd Wright, Streamline, and other Midcentury utopian styles:


    This post is censored by Google's search engine. Maybe some flunkie at the CIA is a trad-Cath who's butt-hurt about being proven to be not a real American, culturally? IDK, but it must contain tantalizingly dangerous knowledge! ^_^

  152. I struck gold, discovering a roughly 1000-year cycle in open vs. closed walls for architecture across Western Eurasia, and probably South Asia too. Don't know about East Asia.

    It will require a separate post. I don't know if the period length is 1000, 900, 800, etc. -- but roughly a millennium.

    I'm not sure exactly where the changing point is -- seems like the century beginning with 300 or 400 if AD (700 or 600 if BC).

    And it doesn't go back before the 2nd millennium BC, since extensive use of columns doesn't seem to be there no matter what millennium it is -- solid slab walls all the way back.

    Open, colonnaded / arcaded, extensively windowed walls, etc., show up first during the Hellenic era in Greece, before that the Achaemenid era in Persia, continuing through the Roman and Parthian eras.

    Suddenly, everyone dropped these open exteriors and made them all solid and slab-like -- Sasanian Iran seems to be the first, with much use of blind arcading, in the 3rd C AD, but it included Byzantine, Frankish / Romanesque, Armenian of this period (the famous, stereotypical Armenian style), into the early Arabian Islamic era, and even the Seljuks as well. What we think of as a Medieval / Dark Age fortress.

    Then starting around 1300 or 1400 or 1500, these slab walls were opened up once again for the first time in 1000 years, and all over Western Eurasia and South Asia. Gothic-into-Baroque, Rococo, etc., in Europe, after Romanesque was over. And the Renaissance with its Greek and Roman revivals -- why did they wait so long to revive them? Cuz it was finally getting toward the end of the 1000-year pendulum swing, and the time was right to return to open-and-airy like a Greek temple or Roman colosseum. Ottoman in their empire, Mughal in South Asia, and Savafid in Persia, too.

    America is an unusual case, cuz we colonized a whole new part of the Earth, and during ethnogenesis we decided to distinguish ourselves from the Old World -- adopting the Romanesque / Byzantine / Sasanian / Armenian style of massive, blocky, solid slabs with minimal openings in the exterior.

    This happened well before the end of the 1000-year pendulum swing, but in our case, it was not as a result of a temporal pendulum swing -- it was a spatial difference, where we immediately wanted to distinguish our new location, society, and culture, and that over-rode the fact that the open-and-airy pendulum swing still had a few more centuries left to go before slabs returned.

    This is why Euros have always resisted our neo-Medieval architecture, and try to keep their light-open-and-airy approach still going. They will tire of it around 2300, and go back to slab-like fortress walls again. But in the meantime, it feels artifically forcing the current pendulum swing against its momentum, so they really minimize any slab-wall influences that are coming from America.

    When they change again around 2300, maybe they will do a Brutalist American revival -- noting how ahead of its time it was. But we weren't being avant-garde -- we were being anti-Old World, and had to immediately change styles. Being in the New World, we didn't feel the same long-term cultural pendulum oscillation like the Old Worlders did.

    It wasn't artificially forcing the pendulum to turn around before its natural time -- it only felt that way for Euro LARP-ers, but as of 1890 when Americans decided to break with the Old World in our ethnogenesis, it felt acceptable and natural and wonderful for Americans.

    Then circa 3300 or 3400, there will be another revival of the open-light-and-airy approach in the Old World. The Second Renaissance! And the Third Renaissance 2000 years after that!

    America seems to be off on its own course, though, for sure taking our Canadian vassal with us, and perhaps the New World in general. We just adopted slab fortresses around 1900, so they'll stay until 2900, and only in the 4th millennium with open-light-and-airy become the standard in America!

  153. To clarify, I mean the cycle moves 1000 years in one direction, then 1000 years in the other, so the total length of one cycle is 2000 years.

  154. Donald Trump's second term is looking like it will be the disjunctive term for American presidents in America's current party system. You have the blacks, a core Democratic constituency, abandoning the Democrats for Trump in 2024, a key sign that we are entering the disjunctive term:


    Now since the military neocons still hold power in the Republican party. Donald Trump wouldn't be able to do anything to help the blacks once he gets into power because the military still wants its gibs and forever wars in Ukraine, the Middle East, and Taiwan. In fact, things will probably get worse for all Americans including blacks as Trump will be saddled with a second great depression and will be blamed for the economic crisis.

  155. And I do think this is a pure pendulum-swing oscillation driven by a fashion cycle dynamic, akin to hemlines on dresses rising for a long time, then falling for a long time, then rising for a long time again, over and over.

    In other words, this cycle is not a cultural reflex of some other aspect of society changing -- it has nothing whatosever to do with warfare, the military, defensive engineering, etc. That is the most braindead autistic right-winger take out there (if championing the style -- braindead autistic left-winger take, if whining about self-defense as violating a criminal's rights).

    They only talk about the military advantages of the slab fortress styles -- well then, why did the Achaemenids, Greeks, Romans, and Parthians keep their buildings to open and exposed, sometimes on all sides? Pretty hard to defend against an invading army, or to control local rioters, etc. Ditto for the 2nd era of open-light-and-airy from 1400 to the present (in the Old World).

    There has been nearly constant warfare, recurring civil wars, riots, peasant revolts, etc., during those open-light-and-airy periods. And they never closed up their walls into Bronze Age, Medieval, or American slab fortresses. They kept them open the whole time, for nearly 1000 years each time!

    Maybe there is some other long-term cycle it's piggybacking off of, but I don't see it. It's really striking how the entire Old World, at least outside of East Asia -- and maybe including that, too, I don't know enough to say one way or the other -- is synchronized on this 2000-year fashion cycle.

    The primary goal for building styles is cultural -- in particular, to be doing the new thing rather than the deadweight old thing. How long until the new thing starts feeling like the old thing? About 1000 years. Changing before then would feel like killing the new thing before it matured, and regressing to the bad old thing. Waiting too long would be like living with another, new old thing -- can't have that either, time to go back to the old old thing, which will feel new again!

    Military engineering etc. merely adapts to these cultural considerations. If the fashion is for slab fortresses, they try to exploit that style. But the buildings do not change in an arms race, as would be required if the building style is about military tactics.

    "Oh, you built ladders to scale our massive slab walls? How about we rebuild in an open-airy style, where your ladders will be worthless, and a whole new terrible secret attack will be waiting on the other side of those columns that you think you're going to just enter with no pushback?" Ad infinitam, cycling back and forth for military reasons.

    Nope -- that would be on a much shorter time-scale than 1000 years in each direction. And you would never give up the slab walls -- they are optimal over an open column wall, for defense. There would be no cycling between closed and open walls -- just a finer and finer adaptation of the slab fortress defenders to the tech of the invaders.

    Architecture in particular, and culture in general, is way more about ethnogenesis than about military concerns in particular, or material / economic / rational calculation incentives in general.

    If having our walls open between columns makes it easier for enemies to invade our buildings? Well, that's just the price we will accept for not being those backward, Bronze Age societies that relied on pyramids, pylons, ziggurats, and other slab enclosures. Get with the times, already! -- the Achaemenid times, the Hellenic times, the Roman and Parthian times! We're a superior people than those old people, and we must adopt a new building style to manifest our newfound glory.

  156. And yes, I already gave an example of culture / architecture reflecting an economic cycle, namely the egalitarian vs. top-heavy economic cycle and its cultural reflexes like modest vs. ostentatious displays (in clothing, architecture, word choice / length of litery work, etc.).

    I'm saying, there are very long-term cultural cycles like slab vs. open building exteriors, which are so important they can't be violated for mere material reasons, and operate as a fashion cycle between the old thing and the new thing (which becomes old after awhile, and ushers in a return of the former old thing, now the new thing all over again).

  157. Brief survey of the Iranian side, which most Euros and their off-shoots would not know about or expect to be sharing so much with the Euro / Med region at the same time.

    Huge openings between columns along a wall, with high "ceilings" between the columns, at Persepolis. In general, columns, columns, and more columns on the exterior, including porch / loggia sections, which a slab fortress would never allow.

    See the reconstructions, if they aren't standing in ruins. This is from the 6th C. BC -- long before Alexander the Great subdued them. This was an independent manifestation of a very geographically broad trend.


    Very similar Hellenic and Roman styles in Hatra, during the Parthian Empire -- but again, not due to adopting someone else's style, rather independently manifesting a very broad trend. They're even more open than their Achaemenid predecessors, cuz more time has gone on, and the pendulum has swung further in the open-airy direction.

    Not cuz Alexander subdued them (and left very little cultural legacy -- they didn't speak Greek, worship Greek gods, etc.). It's a very broad trend, synchronized with the Hellenic trend of temple walls being 50% open space (in between the columns). This is the 3rd / 2nd C. BC.


    Suddenly, after the fall of the Parthians, alongside the collapse of the Romans (Crisis of the 3rd Century), the Sasanians do a complete 180 from their Achaemenid and Parthian predecessors -- at the exact same time as there's an architectural 180 spearheaded by the Byzantines, Franks, and even sub-imperial cultures like Armenia (which was contested between Byzantines and Sasanians).

    Check out what a Romanesque fortress, slab-walled castle style these Medieval Persians pioneered -- it's uncanny!


    Even more uncanny -- check out all the blind arcades and vaults along the facade of the Arch of Ctesiphon, from the 3rd to 6th centuries AD:


    "Blind" meaning those columns and arches are not really load-bearing support elements with open space in between / underneath them. They're just superficial, low-relief carvings or sculpture adorning the facade.

    A Roman or Parthian building would have made those into real openings, as much as possible, like the Colosseum -- they were open-airy cultures!

    But by the 300 AD or soon after, the 1000-year reign of open-airy walls had come to an end. Now was the time to usher in solid slab walls, so any homage to their predecessors had to be superficial rather than actual -- arcade-looking sculptures, not actual columns supporting arches with real open space to the inside!

    Seeing Persia parallel Europe and the Med is one of the most insane uncanny things I've ever seen. Then seeing it swing back to open-airy again with the Safavids, Ottomans, and Mughals! It's nuts. This cycle is REAL.

  158. For Romanesque blind arcades, see the Vezelay Abbey from the 12th C in France:


    We're not in the open-airy world of the Parthenon or the Colosseum anymore!

    In case you forgot what "Medieval castle" is supposed to bring to mind, see Dover Castle in England from the 11th C. How very Brutalist -- and with an elevated bridge entrance, to boot!


    So sad that American Euro LARP-ers try to memory-hole the Medieval times ("Dark Ages," boo hiss), when this is precisely the stuff that gets American excited about Ye Olde Worlde -- not that Roman rehash of the Renaissance, or that fruity Rococo bullshit.

    Solid slab walls, moats, drawbridges, narrow slit windows, massive imposing sublime presence -- not meant to be light, airy, open, delicate, and pretty! Castles, not chateaus!

  159. Do the architecture styles in India (of open vs closed) also sync up with those of Persia and the Mediterranean?

  160. Final post, bringing it back to American retail architecture -- Children's Palace toy stores (AKA Child World), which flourished from the mid-'70s through the early '90s.

    Not that Toys R Us was bad in the good ol' days, but I *always* wanted to go to Children's Palace instead, just cuz it was a trip to a castle!

    And a clearly Romanesque one, with slab walls, turrets with narrow slits, a crenellated battlement, and restrained rather than ostentatious ornamentation. Just like mystical, fantastic, sublime Medieval times! Not even pointed in the vague vicinity of the Enlightenment!


    We used to have cool stuff like this all over the country, and at a far more elevated level with the malls. If it doesn't make it into some wordcel's account, that only tells us how clueless they are about their own subject matter.

    Last thought on Romanesque in America -- the so-called Romanesque Revival was distinctly American, instead of trying to revive the Renaissance or Rococo or Neoclassical or whatever, like was common with the Euros.

    But instead of reincarnating the Romanesque / Medieval spirit in a uniquely American body, they felt obligated to do the Euro-LARP thing at the same time, trying to please both sides (LARP-ers and Americanists). So their facades were a lot more open than actual Romanesque -- windows, arcades, spatious vaults (which did not shrink down to the actual door, like Romanesque), etc.

    Sticking with the U California system, compare Royce Hall at UCLA (1920s) to its inspiration, the Basilica of Sant-Ambrogio in Milan (12th C).



    Only the towers look really Romanesque, with far more blind arcading than actually open spaces. The rest of the facade has numerous large windows, and spatious arcading along the ground level. If there was actual arcading in Romanesque, it was better to make it up high -- where it would not have such an open-airy feeling, cuz who can just waltz through those openings 50 feet in the air?

    The original has extensive blind arcading, not actual arcading, around the facade at ground level:


    Only inside the complex does it open up, have arcades, and windows.

  161. Yes, India syncs up pretty well with the rest of the Old World on open vs. closed exteriors.

  162. Now we see the historically contingent nature of Euro LARP-ers in America -- they don't want any ol' period of the Old World / Europe / Italy / NW Europe.

    They hate everything before 700 BC, all the way back to the Great Pyramids at Giza, of the 4th millennium BC. Nothing is more anti-American than hating pyramids. But more than that -- nothing more anti-civilization, which is the branding these bowtie dorks like to style themselves with. Civilization came before 700 BC, complete with monumental architecture, from the geographic location of the Cradle of Civilization.

    And then they hate everything from roughly 300 AD to 1300 AD, i.e. Byzantine, Romanesque, or in the British context, Anglo-Saxon and Norman (which goes under the catch-all term "Romanesque" on the Continent). This is somewhat encapsulated by the term "Medieval," but Gothic usually falls under "Medieval" as well, and the LARP-ers can use "Medieval" to mean Gothic and Renaissance, i.e. before the Early Modern period of 1500 or 1600.

    Why do they choose these specific periods to hate, and the other periods to praise? Not due to any aesthetic considerations, but due to their LARP-ing target -- namely, as wannabes from European empires between 1600 to 1900 (technically, up to WWI, when those empires bit the dust, and their cultures along with it -- "Modern painting").

    The actual aristocrats from those times and places were themselves drawing influence from, the Classical period (roughly 700 BC to 300 AD), because both were from the open-airy phase of the 2000-year cycle of architectural styles. Arcades and lots of large windows -- not solid slabs and fortresses.

    This is a natural comparison for French people in 1600 to draw, so it's not so much of a LARP -- they were creating their own distinctive French culture -- as paying homage to cultures from another time-and-place that, for whatever reason, resemble your own.

  163. In America, we broke with the Old World cycle, so it is unnatural for us to look around and say, "Yes, this looks strangely similar to Ancient Greece and Rome, let's pay homage to our ancient lookalikes by incorporating their distinctive look into our own."

    In America, it's a pure LARP -- not just cuz it's an unnatural comparison to make (our architecture does not resemble the open-airy phase of Classical times). But because the Classical likers in America are always adamently *against* creating a distinctive culture of our own -- they want a pure copy-paste of Classical styles, maybe mixing them in an eclectic way, but nothing distinctive of our own.

    This is the opposite of how the French in the 17th C behaved -- they were making their own distinctly French culture, which was not a copy-paste of Greece or Rome, and would have had to bulldoze over copy-pasted Greco / Roman buildings in order to make way for French buildings.

    There are no pointed arches, elaborate tracery on windows, stained glass, flying buttresses, tall spindly towers and spires, etc., back in the Classical period. That's all distinctly French. Against whatever voices may have urged a copy-paste of Classical styles.

    But then they noticed that their own distinct French styles, beginning with Gothic, resembled the open-airy styles of Greece and Rome, so they said, "Y'know, a little Neoclassical wouldn't be so out of place here."

  164. Such a statement requires an established historical precedent of native, distinctive FRENCH architecture, to which the Classical styles can be compared. If they pass the similarity test, it's like saying the Classical styles are distant relatives, but still related somehow, so they are allowed in.

    Without an indigenous, distinctive cultural style of their own, they cannot compare the styles of other times and places, in order to judge how similar they are, and allow in these foreign styles based on how congruent and harmonious they would be with their own existing native styles.

    In other words, how easy would it be for a foreign style to ASSIMILATE to the native style? If it's too dissimilar, it would stand out in a bad way, grafted on clumsily, compete against it, poison it, corrupt it, or otherwise be a negative presence.

    If it's similar enough, then it will get along well and play friendly with the native styles, a positive presence.

    In America, nothing could be more of an antagonistic influence than Classical and Renaissance / Neoclassical styles. Only if it's pre-Classical, or Medieval (excluding Gothic and Renaissance).

    These styles from other times and places are similar enough to our own sensibilities at a high / abstract level -- solid slabs, blocky, cozy cave-like, fortresses -- that borrowing from them will not disrupt the lively harmony of our own native styles. The good form of "variety is the spice of life" -- only if those diverse elements play friendly with each other.

  165. That's why Americans have made national mascots out of a jungle man, Tarzan, as well as a Dark Age literal barbarian -- Conan -- after the birth of our new nation after the integrative civil war. Not to mention Fred Flintstone, 1,000,000 Years B.C., dinosaurs, and other very pre-Classical figures.

    Aside from Conan the Barbarian, we've always been way more into Dark Age / Medieval Britain than present-day Brits -- especially the Arthurian mythological period, which is post-Roman but pre-Gothic. Castles with drawbridges over moats, solid slab walls, fortresses, magicians rather than mathematicians.

    We've made Robin Hood more of our own national hero than the current Brits have -- and his legendary time period was the late 12th C., still clearly in the good ol' Dark Ages, not yet Gothic, let alone Renaissance.

    This is the European heritage that Disney draws on, to allow Americans to enjoy European culture without disrupting our own American sensibilities. Their Classical and post-Medieval movies are always a bit below the others in how iconically American they are -- e.g., Hercules and Hunchback of Notre Dame, compared to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Sleeping Beauty, Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, and Black Cauldron.

    In fact, we can label the Dark Ages and the Pre-Classical Ages as the Fairytale Ages, where there's magic, fairies, dwarves, elves, trolls, and all those other wonderfully anti-rational creatures and forces.

    All that sword-and-sandal fantasy stuff, again from the early 20th C onward, as American ethnogenesis kicked into over-drive after our integrative civil war.

    We're more into the Tolkien worlds than Brits are (ideally in some form not created by the boring Tolkien himself), and British heavy metal bands that leaned into their pre-Classical (Celtic, Stonehenge, Spinal Tap) or their Dark Age / Medieval past were always bigger in America than in their British homeland.

    We're more obsessed with LARP-ing as Vikings than the Scandis themselves are. Or pre-Classical Germanic culture, like Thor and Loki (first as comic book characters, then in the Marvel movies).

    Without knowing anything about the historiography, I'll bet it was American influence that ushered in the concept and study of the "Carolingian Renaissance" -- to counter-act the boo-hiss slander against European culture between 300 AD and 1300 AD. Whether the pioneering scholars were American, or Euro scholars who only warmed up to the idea once we assumed control over their societies in the post-WWII era (NATO, UN, GATT, etc.).

    1. Also the Harry Potter series. Hogwarts takes place in a giant castle which was built in 990 AD according to the canon. No wonder why it became so popular in America.

  166. Again, only self-styled cultural conservatives could be so clueless about their own culture -- due to LARP-ing as le superior foreign culture -- that they don't even recognize which foreign styles are permissible to import, and which are not permissible.

    They rigidly insist on importing the hostile foreigners, and not the friendly ones -- and whatever our own native population says, be damned! You're gonna look at Gothic cathedrals and Neoclassical banks and government buildings, rather than Romanesque churches and Dark Age castles and fortresses, whether you like it or not! It's for your own good and edification!

    And they wonder why they have no clout, and must always rely on their horseshoe-theory doppleganers the progs to execute their crusade of anti-American iconoclasm, demolishing the neo-Medieval American identity, even if they just get glass boxes as the replacement. At least that's open-light-and-airy, in a way -- not solid and massive and opaque like those boo-hiss Dark Age castles that Americans are way more fond of!

    Iconoclasm never lasts forever, though, and after this initial phase of imperial collapse, real American architecture will be treasured, salvaged, protected, and emulated, just as Byzantine art was, after their initial imperial descent into iconoclasm.

    They were the OG Medieval society -- we could learn a lot from them, including their crack-up and aftermath. Except there are no Ottomans on the horizon in America, so the conservationists and emulators won't have as much wealth to invest in rescuing American architecture after the abominable Prog - Trad-LARP Alliance runs out of energy. But still, some degree of conservation and emulation is better than callous acceptance of a demolished and ruined culture.

  167. Does Australian buildings follow American or European trends when it comes to closed/open architecture? If the latter that might explain why Aimee Terese has a love-in for neoclassical architecture.

  168. In this light, "Collegiate Gothic" in America is really Collegiate Medieval, primarily Romanesque (or Anglo-Saxon, Norman, etc.). Few of those buildings look Gothic -- the roofs are flat, not pitched in a triangle, they are low to the ground rather than soaring everywhere, they don't have pointed arches or elaborate tracery or stained glass, the turret peaks are not pointy but flat or crenellated, and although they do have one or two towers, they're thick and bulky rather than wispy and spindly.

    They look rather like Mormon temples, which were taking their distinctive shape at exactly the same time (but in more of an ethnogenetic incubator in America -- out West), not Gothic cathedrals.

    They do have lots of windows, so they're not the most fortress-like buildings in our history. But the overall impression is a Romanesque cathedral like the one at Durham (built circa 1100, with a few later Gothic additions), just with more windows -- but not the far more open-airy elements such as columns, arches / arcades, vaults, etc., along the exterior. No flying buttresses, for example -- a crucial element in Gothic, central to the open-airy feeling even on the exterior, and never used in America.

    In fact, we're more likely to call them nicknames like "castle" than "cathedral", because they look post-Classical but pre-Renaissance. They may have some elements of Gothic, so maybe "Medieval" in its broader sense, but primarily they are Romanesque / Dark Age, with only a minority being fully Gothic LARPs.

  169. One final comment on the irony in the Prog - Trad-LARP alliance, namely which sectors of American society emulate the Classical and Gothic-and-after Old World styles. And which sectors emulate either the Dark Ages or champion our own distinctly American styles.

    Classical and Neoclassical are most common in federal government buildings (less so / not at all at the local municipal level), schools -- especially college campuses -- and finance -- especially the biggest in the pyramid, like the New York Stock Exchange.

    Big gubmint, radical college campuses, and the big banks on Wall Street -- we understand why progs would love these sectors, but conservatives and Republicans are supposed to be bitterly opposed to them.

    This reveals "cultural conservatives" to be a minority strain of liberal Democrats, who simply wish for old rather than new styles to replace the demolished icons of America's distinct culture that owes little to the Old World (let alone to its Classical or Neoclassical eras).

  170. Where is Dark Age, Pre-Classical, and American Modern architecture found in abundance, preserved rather than demolished, as a source of pride? In the Republican sectors -- the military, cops, manufacturing, agriculture, oil-and-gas wealth, and the Mormons (and to a lesser extent, Evangelical Protestants in flyover country).

    Especially if there's a synergy between two or more of them, like manufacturers for agricultural equipment -- like the John Deere world headquarters, designed by Eero Saarinen. He also designed the General Motors Technical Center, and the home that invented the conversation pit, for the head of a company that made diesel engines (the Miller House, in Columbus IN).

    West Point looks more like a Dark Age fortress, including its latest truly American building, the Brutalist Mahan Hall (built in the early 1970s), which is only slightly different from canonical Brutalism in using Medieval-looking stone masonry with non-uniform sized stones, on the facade instead of exposed aggregate concrete. But still very Brutalist.

    Brutalism is more common for government buildings that are good -- at the municipal level, maybe state-level. And state colleges rather than Ivies (who hate it).

    The Pentagon could not be more of a simple geometric solid, of slab-like solidity, on a massive monumental scale.

    Mormon temples have always been part of American Block Symphony, never any Old World LARP of any period.

  171. Vegas casinos, Disneyland and Disney World, and malls (from the labor-intensive Republican sector of retail), are also far more favorable to Pre-Classical (pyramids like Luxor), Dark Age (Arthurian castles like Excalibur), and American Modern (the Brutalist Contemporary Resort at Disney World, the Brutalist malls discussed earlier in this thread).

    These are more family-friendly than college campuses, banks, and FedGov buildings. Again, cultural conservatives claim to favor family fun -- but they want the places most hostile to families and fun, looking down their wannabe noses at them as prole / pleb / vulgar, rather than simply and wonderfully American.

  172. Mainly this is a geographic difference -- whereby the FedGov, elite colleges, and finance are all headquartered in the dreaded back East backwater of pre-American culture. Manufacturing, Mormons (and Evangelical Protestants), agriculture, and the military have more of an out-West basis.

    The Pentagon and West Point show how staunchly the military is opposed to Greco / Roman / Renaissance / Gothic / Neoclassical LARP-ing, since both of these elite military institutions are in fact back East, where resisting a Greek temple or Gothic cathedral takes real guts.

    The sole exception to Democrat sectors back East being pro-Classical is the media. E.g., the Time & Life Building (used for Mad Men, and formerly IRL for print magazine giants), and the CBS Building in New York, both examples of American Modern.

    Probably cuz the media is such a new, Industrial Age sector, giving it an old time-y look would be out of character -- whereas national government offices, banks, and schools have existed for millennia.

    Entertainment is a solid Democrat sector, but being headquarterd out West, its styles are not Classical or Neoclassical at all. Maybe an Egyptian movie theater, or a Storybook House, or an American Modern style (Capitol Records Building, built in the '50s).

    This shows that cultural conservatives are mainly back East, or wannabe East Coasters from out West.

  173. American culture really is about being a latter-day fairytale world, whether we're creating our own unique fairytale world, or incorporating previous fairytale worlds into our own, like those of Britain during both the pre-Roman and Dark Age eras alike.

    They're so easy to assimilate -- compared to what from the Greek and Roman cultures? It's not just their material culture that we find alien and hostile, it's their myths as well. Somehow, they're too bombastic to be fairytales.

    And perhaps not using enough magic and mystery as in pre-Classical myths and Dark Age legends?

    Their gods were too human-like, not mystical and ghostly, or creature-like?

    IDK, something about it just feels incapable of assimilating into American culture, as easily as fairies, elves, dwarves, gnomes, trolls, witches, sorcerors, the boogeyman, and all that other stuff.

    Last comment for today.

  174. Aesop's Fables -- those are the only Greek myths we can easily assimilate, and have. He was Greek, but lived circa 600 BC -- very early during the Classical era, not the Golden Age of Athens or anything like that. Pre-Achaemenid Empire, pre-Athenian Democracy, etc.

    And he was a collector and storyteller -- meaning the sources are even earlier, from the pre-Classical era, some well into the previous millennia.

    They have animal characters -- that's just so American and Disney-friendly and Japanese video game-friendly. And less bombastic than the recorded forms of Greek mythology, which are more from the core of the Classical era (like Oedipus Rex). More relatable -- Americans love relatable characters.

    And if they're super-human, they'd better be REALLY super-human, not such human-like gods as in the recorded forms of Greek myth from the Classical era. That's too yucky to American tastes for us to swallow.

    OK, that's really it for today's lecture! Off to the thrift store! ^_^

  175. This whole discussion of Euro-larping reminds me of this essay by John Michael Greer:


    Greer talks about how the elites in the US and Russia are still culturally European, how the middle class (intelligentsia in Greer terminology) is trying to Euro-larp their way to elite acceptance but never end up succeeding, and how the working class of both US and Russia absolutely despise European culture and the Euro-larping quislings among their own.

    1. The middle class isn't synonymous with the intelligentsia though. You have a lot of suburban and rural middle class Americans who don't really care about LARPing as European. Most people who LARP as European are the progressive left and the dissident right, who are mostly Millennials living in the urban cities.

  176. I wonder how much of the Euro-LARPing back east is really LARPing as European, and how much of that is actually that their culture isn't truly American because they never experienced the frontier wars which defined American society and culture?

    Like it is possible that after the American empire collapses, the Americans west of the Appalachian mountains preserve American culture and neo-medieval brutalist architecture, while the people east of the Appalachians completely reject American culture and instead follow the European open-air architecture?


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