April 25, 2024

Names and American ethnogenesis, from Dark Age revivals to purely New World creations

I still have plenty to cover in American architecture, but I hit on something pretty big that's worth exploring first. This is not exhaustive -- the big picture, with plenty of details, and as usual more to appear in the comments section.

I've covered names before on the blog, over 10 years ago, looking at trends over time, linking the rise of unique names with the status-striving cycle (vs. egalitarian times, when people feel compelled to give their kids the same names, so no one sticks out like a diva), and other matters.

But now we'll look at the role that given names play within the process of ethnogenesis. Strikingly, Americans began breaking from their British / European / Western / Olde Worlde roots right after landing in the New World -- *not* after the integrative civil war had wrapped up, which is when all other forms of cultural evolution take a distinctly, newly constructed American turn.

Already in the 17th-century, Puritans were giving their kids unique names by the standards of their cousins and ancestors back in Britain -- Prudence, Humility, Chastity, and other "virtue" names. Some of them have stuck, like Faith, Hope, Grace, and Felicity.

Benjamin Franklin, born in 1706, was given a name light-years ahead of its time, even in America, let alone back in Europe, where it was still distinctly Jewish -- 100 years after Franklin's birth, Benjamin Disraeli was the only Euro statesman with that name, and he was Jewish. And Franklin was not an outlier -- two other Benjamins signed the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Harrison V and Benjamin Rush.

A quick look over the other Founding Fathers (signers of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, or the Constitution), reveals all sorts of names that were unusual by contempo Euro standards -- Daniel (x3), Nathaniel (x2), Caesar, Titus, Abraham (x2), Josiah, Gunning, Jacob, Stephen (way ahead of its time), Richard (x5), Jared, Rufus, Arthur, etc.

As for US presidents, unusual names are already apparent with those born in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and it never stopped -- Zachary, Millard, Franklin, Abraham, Ulysses, Chester, Grover, Benjamin, Theodore, Woodrow, Warren, Calvin, Herbert, Franklin again, Dwight, Richard (more common in America by that time, but still not a typical Euro name), Gerald, Ronald, Donald, and Barack (Barry while growing up -- but even Barack, with its weak initial vowel, sounds more like a typically all-American 20th-century name like Brock, Rock, Doc, Spock, etc.)

Masculine names are far more conservative in their trends than feminine names, so the fact that this critical break with the Olde Worlde shows up in early male leaders is quite a testament to how eager we were to fashion a new identity for ourselves once we began adapting to a whole new environment in America.

Why do names defy the usual pattern of a new cultural identity being constructed only after the integrative civil war? Perhaps not as much cohesion is required to introduce new names into circulation via your own flesh-and-blood offspring. It's not like putting together Elizabethan stage plays, Viennese symphonies, or monumental architecture. Your children going to get a name no matter what it is, why not use the opportunity to make it a new one? It's cost-free and doesn't require much teamwork to make it happen, unlike the major cultural products like buildings, dramas, and paintings.

It seems like dialectal variation should behave the same way -- it costs you nothing to introduce a new sound pattern. But it does require lots of cohesion, since all the other members of your speech community must agree to the new sound pattern for it to catch on. Such cohesion only comes about from intense asabiya being born on a meta-ethnic frontier, and the outcome of an integrative civil war, when there is a strong sense of a new Us being fashioned, not just the old Us vs. Them -- but one Us vs. another Us, to determine who among the varied Us gets to set the new standard.

Names are not quite as demanding on cohesion -- not everyone has to give their kids the same new name, whereas everyone does have to pronounce the vowels in "cot" and "caught" the same, if that's to be a new sound pattern. Probably the other members of the community, when they hear a new name, think "Huh, that's a little odd-sounding... but all the other cues tell me it's a member of Team Us, so I guess that's just a new name that some of Us are giving Our kids, better make an exceptional note of it and put it on the safe-list."

Whereas if they hear a funny-sounding name, and all the other cues point to it being a member of Team Them, the strange name is just another aspect of Them-ness, and to blacklist the name as belonging to Outsiders. The other cues being grooming, clothing, subsistence mode, religion, language, totem symbols, folk customs, food traditions, music, dance, and the rest of it.

* * *

Within the general population, Americans have been even more eager to fashion a new cultural identity for themselves, separate from Olde Worlde roots (especially Euro / Western, with Ancient Saharo-Arabian being a possible exception). Right up through the end of the American Century, the top 50 names for baby girls in 1999 included purely American creations, chosen for sounding too exotic for Euro ears, like Samantha, Madison, Jessica, Alyssa, Kayla, Brianna, Grace, Destiny, Brittany, Amber, Savannah, Danielle, Brooke, and Sierra.

Quibblers will claim that Jessica comes from Shakespeare, after the character in The Merchant of Venice. But that was not a real person's name, only a character's name in a stage play. And in the play, it's the name of a Venetian, not an English speaker. It never caught on after that -- and Shakespeare in general, and that play in particular, have always been popular. It was only used on rare occasion, by offbeat parents who wanted to show how cultured or unique they were.

The true reason for Jessica's rise in popularity is its sound similarity to already popular names -- the skyrocketing Jennifer, along with recently trendy names ending in "-ica" like Veronica and Monica, and the appeal of making a feminine form of the popular male name Jesse. Jennifer and/or Jessica also spun-off the name Jenna circa the 1970s and '80s, which is *not* from Shakespeare, but does sound like an already popular name, whether Jennifer or Jessica or both. Jenna then spawned rhyme-mates McKenna / Kenna and Sienna.

There's another character in The Merchant of Venice named Nerissa, and yet that name has never become popular -- outside of the same rare offbeat parents, and the cultured individual who chose the stage name for the Hololive vtuber Nerissa Ravencroft.

To the extent that Nerissa is appealing enough to become the stage name for a major entertainment brand like Hololive, it is due to being a member of a rhyming class of names -- Melissa, Alyssa, Kissa, etc. In fact, it's a minimal mutation of Melissa, changing the initial nasal to another nasal, and the medial liquid to another liquid. Phonology, not semantics and referents, are what drive the evolution in names.

Portia, another character from the same play, caught on somewhat better than Nerissa, but it's not clear that it's due to that character, instead of the prestigious car manufacturer's name, Porsche, pronounced the same in American English. In fact, the spelling variant Porsha is another trendy American name -- and as usual, the midwits who spin their BS folk etymologies behind names, claim that it's a German word meaning "offering". Nope -- it's just a typically American-sounding name, regardless of any false cognates it may have in the world's myriad languages or its literatures or its luxury brands.

No one behaves according to what a name "means" across the zillions of false cognates it may have somewhere out there -- it's how it *sounds* that drives our behavior.

This is because names are not a private affair -- they serve as shibboleths in a social context, identifying members of Us from members of Them. If you don't recognize anyone's names, you must be dealing with Them. If their names are already known, or familiar-sounding enough, you must be dealing with Us. Shibboleths are about pronunciation and sound, not meaning or substance. I don't care what your name alludes to -- it sounds totally weird to my ears, so you must be an outsider, to be treated like one.

As America separated itself from its British, Euro, Western, and Olde Worlde roots, the names belonging to the latter groups became contaminated-sounding -- too Them, not sufficiently Us. Hence the present situation, where the top 50 baby girls names for 2023 include not only many of those from 1999 listed above -- but wait, there's more!, like Ava, Mia, Chloe, Avery, Addison (rhymed from Madison), Zoe (rhyming with Chloe), Layla (rhymed from the already popular Kayla, not descended from or alluding to its false cognate in Arabic), Brooklyn, and Maya (with lower-ranking but still popular rhyme-mates Kaia, Gaia, probably Raya, Vaya, and who knows what else next).

Gotta love the absolutely desperate cluelessness of the semantic-focused spin-meisters at thebump.com (as in, baby bump), who claim that the name Kaia has Scandinavian, Estonian, Greek, Japanese, Hawaiian, and Hebrew roots -- a post hoc rationalization for everybody! Nope -- it simply rhymes with the already popular Maya, and doesn't sound Euro, so it's suitably American.

I got a pleasant chuckle from hearing Dasha on Red Scare saying she was eager to have a baby boy so she could name him Honor, with the usual wahmen's rationalization about it being semantic -- a latter-day virtue name. But nope, it's simply a rhyming variant of the already popular Connor. She was so eager and bubbly while spinning the rationalization, though, that I hate to "decode" what was really guiding her decision -- typical male-brain always trying to analyze things, just let a girl feel her feelings, sheesh! ^_^

BTW, we can probably add McKenzie to the pure American creation list -- it's tempting to think of it as adopting a surname to a given name, but it also comes in the non-surname form of Kenzie, without the Celtic patronymic prefix "Mc / Mac". The same goes for McKenna, which comes in the non-surname form of Kenna.

Ultimately these all trace back to the earlier popular name Mikayla, which may be a purely new creation, or a novel feminine form of the male name Michael -- but in any case, where the initial sounds of "mik" are not a patronymic prefix at all. Mikayla comes in a rhyming pair with Kayla, and that supposed shortening does not involve dropping a patronymic prefix -- so we don't need to assume that process is happening either with McKenna to Kenna, or McKenzie to Kenzie.

Also, the supposed Celtic surnames are tightly constrained by phonotactics -- there are a zillion Celtic surnames that begin with Mc / Mac, and yet the three most popular ones belong to popular rhyming classes. Mikayla, Kayla, Layla, Shayla, Jayla, etc. And Kenna, Jenna, Sienna, etc. (Kenna may also be a novel feminine form of the recently popular male name Ken.) And even Kenzie is a close rhyme for the popular late-20th-C girl's name Lindsey.

The stressed vowel is produced a little higher in the mouth for Lindsey, but given the tendency for Western American dialects to lower front vowels (e.g., Valley Girls pronouncing "bitch" as "betch"), maybe they were already pronouncing Lindsey as "Lendsey", making Kenzie a perfect rhyme for it after all.

I'll only briefly reiterate Stanley Lieberson's important finding that naming trends do not follow appearances in popular culture, but rather the opposite -- some name is already climbing from obscurity into prominence, and the culture creators sense that just as well as their everyman audience does, so they choose it for their cultural work. They're two sides of the same coin, not one causing the other.

There are a few exceptions, IIRC, but in general it is pure post hoc rationalization to point to some pop culture character that came out before a name became super-popular and say, that figure made the name popular. It was already becoming popular before the character, and the character's creator was jumping on the bandwagon just as much as real-life mothers were.

Just as one example, Wikipedia, citing one of those dumdum baby name sites, claims that Kayla's popularity was due to a character by that name who debuted in 1982 on Days of Our Lives, a popular American soap opera TV show. In reality, Kayla's popularity was already shooting through the roof before 1982 -- it ranked #578 in '81, up from #594 in '80, way up from #678 in '79 and #677 in '78, up from #694 in '77, way up from #854 at the start of the '70s.

It did shoot up big-time during '82, when it ranked #132, but this is just how exponential growth and decay works -- it builds slow, then goes really fast, then slows down / tapers off, then gently declines, then crashes, then mellows out. That is a completely endogenous process, it doesn't get some external injection of oomph just before entering its steep-climb phase. And Kayla's growth was already well under way before a soap opera writer jumped on the bandwagon at the right time.

Good culture creators do not influence the everyday lives of millions of people -- they have an intuitive knack for spotting what is already in demand, and delivering it to the audience. Someone senses that the name Kayla is building steam among real-life mothers -- well, if that's what they want, then that's what they'll get, a new (fictional) person in their lives named Kayla.

* * *

That brings us to regional variation within America. As usual, the main source of cultural innovation is along the meta-ethnic frontier with the Indians, Mexicans, and somewhat the Japanese -- out West. Back-East names are more conservative, notwithstanding the Puritans' novel virtue names. Back then, Puritans *were* on the meta-ethnic frontier with Indians -- but over time, that frontier shifted further and further out West, leaving East Coasters to favor Euro-LARP-ing names more than West Coast Americans do.

Here is a data visualization from over 10 years ago, demonstrating the pattern that everyone always finds with names in America. The distinctive, new, all-American, non-Euro names are born from the Midwest to the Pacific Coast. Even within the Deep South, Louisiana or Mississippi is more likely to spawn a new popular name than Georgia or South Carolina.

Take just one salient example, the quintessentially American name Brittany. It was rhymed from the already popular Whitney, not the false cognate from the name of a region in Northwestern France, which pronounces the "a" vowel, unlike the American girl's name, which is pronounced BRIT-nee, where the "a" is silent, and where the stressed syllable is first rather than last, just like Whitney. The spelling variant Britney, as in Britney Spears, makes this clear.

At its peak of popularity, circa 1980, it was most distinctive of Utah and a broad swath of states from the Plains and Rocky Mountains region, and only somewhat distinctive of states east of the Mississippi River (Britney Spears was an outlier for being born in Mississippi).

This geographic gradient reflects the general pattern -- constructing a new identity is done by those closest to the meta-ethnic frontier, where they are being shaped into a whole new people by their conflict with the meta-ethnic nemesis, and must cohere very intensely into a new Us in order to fend off and perhaps even conquer Them.

The standard dialect in American and Canadian English is Western -- East Coast dialects sound the most harshly non-standard, whether Yankee or Confederate. And so the pattern goes with names, a linguistic element that is also strongly based on sound / phonology for determining how standard it is. It's a shibboleth.

* * *

I'll wrap up with a discussion of a very broad and in-depth discovery I made in the comments to the previous post, about America being a Dark Age culture out of sync with the Old World timeline, which left the Dark Ages behind circa 1300 -- but was part of a previous Dark Age before circa 700 BC, with Classical eras from 700 BC to 300 AD and from 1300 AD to present.

I explained this cycle by referring to the relative dominance of nomadism vs. sedentarism, with much of Eurasia being united by the Steppe as a source of nomadism, putting them all on the same timeline and cycle. Nomadic dominance leads to weak central states, and other aspects of Dark Purity cultures. Sedentary dominance leads to strong central states, and other aspects of Enlightened Perversion cultures.

But there are notable exceptions that spun off from the Eurasian landmass -- America and Japan, which remained a Dark Age / feudal culture until very recently, and arguably remains one, just like America.

(As a timely reminder of America's weak central state, look at who is sent to deal with all the anti-Zionist protests on college campuses right now -- not a federal organization like the US Army, FBI, etc., but city-level forces like the NYPD or state-level ones like the Texas National Guard, under the authority of mayors or governors, who are like regional counts, dukes, or barons from the feudal Dark Ages, not the president or any other federal official, who are like the king and central royal court from the Dark Ages. In Europe, where central states are stronger, they would send in a national-level gendarmerie like Spain's Guardia Civil for protests erupting around the nation.)

Looking over the names of American presidents, and having delved into the European Dark Ages so much recently, I can't help but be struck by three presidents having names that end in "-ald", as though they were a Frankish or Viking chieftain named Theobald or Grimwald.

This is one domain of naming trends where substance, meaning, and allusion do come into play -- not at the level of individual names, which are tightly constrained by sound patterns, but broad sources of inspiration to draw from, while obeying the all-important sound patterns. Not every name can be a totally original coinage.

In the 19th century, in the Old World itself, there was a general backlash against the centuries-long consolidation of central states and their overly rigid and dehumanizing / domesticating cultures. The Romantic movement, the Gothic novel, the Grimm brothers collecting and publishing fairytales, a Gothic revival in architecture (technically part of the civilizing phase of the cycle, but the earliest stage of it, and so feeling more thankfully barbarian in comparison to Neoclassical), Wagnerian operas about the Dark Ages and Bronze Age mythologies of Germanic peoples, and so on and so forth.

This didn't last very long in Europe as a major cultural phenomenon, not making it out of the 19th century, but it does still linger as a minority tendency. It was more of a temporary pressure relief valve for all that stultifying order and domestication that had been building up since 1300 -- not an endless new trail they were going to blaze.

Heavy metal bands that tap into Britain's Stonehenge era will always be more popular in America, a bona fide Dark Age feudal society. And as the Old World empires all bit the dust in the early 20th C, most of them fell under American vassalage (except for China), and so they adopted some degree of our very eager indulging in the Dark Age cultures of the Olde Worlde.

In names, this backlash and Dark Age revival showed up in old Germanic names making a comeback within Europe itself -- in Britain, Albert, Herbert, and other -berts, along with Robert, which never fell totally out of fashion after the Dark Ages. The first and only British prime minister to have such a neo-bert name, other than Robert, was H. H. Asquith -- Herbert Henry -- born in 1852. Among royalty, Prince Albert (husband to Queen Victoria) was born in 1819, and several generations of his male descendants were named Albert as well.

America would take that revival and make it permanent, with Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump.

Elsewhere in Europe, Engelbert made a 19th-C comeback in the eastern German-speaking lands, including places in their sphere like Slovenia. Oswald made a brief comeback in Eastern Europe as well.

But in America, not only did we elevate the popularity of Robert to all-time heights during the early-mid 20th century, and maintain other lesser ones such as Albert, Herbert, Norbert, and Gilbert, we enshrined this Dark Age suffix as a full name unto itself -- Bert / Burt. For real people like Burt Lancaster and Burt Reynolds, this may have been a nickname for Burton, but that's still a nickname that no British Burtons had used before. And in the case of Bert from Sesame Street's Bert & Ernie duo, it was spelled like the suffix and was not a shortened form of Burton / Berton / Bertram / etc.

The open-ended productive use of -bert continues outside of existing -bert names, into American novelty names in pop culture. There's icons like the Dilbert comic strip, the Q*bert video game character (a very rare American-created, rather than Japanese, arcade game from the Golden Age), the name Goobert that the most popular English vtuber, Gawr Gura (alias Gooba), gives to some of the characters she plays as in video games, as well as fellow Hololive EN vtuber Fauna naming her sourdough starter culture Doughbert. All part of her love for fantastical fairytale forest culture. Back when men had real names like Dagobert, Rigobert, and Humbert. ^_^

(The protag from Lolita, Humbert Humbert, is supposed to be stereotypically Euro, and a fish out of water in America, and yet he has a very American name -- a Dark Age Germanic -bert name. The only finishing touch to Americanize it would be shortening it to a monosyllabic nickname like Hum.)

Born around the same time as the first -bert prime minister was the first -ald, Archibald Primrose. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, two separate Harold prime ministers were born, Macmillan and Wilson. (Harold was Harald in the Dark Ages.)

Sidenote: Boris Johnson has a Dark Age name, after the greatest of the Bulgarian emperors, from the 9th century, who is responsible for Christianizing Eastern Europe, bringing literacy to them, and establishing the foundation for Slavic liturgies.

I think the -ald ending is not as productive in American English cuz it's not such a well-formed syllable, lacking an initial consonant. Maybe just -bald or -wald would work, but -bald has a false cognate with negative associations. And we're familiar enough with German toponyms that -wald sounds too much like the name of a place, not a person. IDK.

Aside from these Germanic names from the Dark Age, there are several others originally from Greek -- meaning Byzantine, not Hellenic. We're Dark Age, so must our Greek inspirations -- either Byzantine or Bronze Age.

Christopher and Stephen were only common during the Dark Ages in Europe, going into decline during the Renaissance and falling into total oblivion after then. But in the 20th C., there can be no more all-American names than Chris and Steve (the most ubiquitous Boomer name). As pointed out earlier, America was *really* early on the Stephen trend, with a signer of the Declaration of Independence being a Stephen. In fact, although he went by Grover in adulthood, the late 19th-century president Cleveland was born and raised as Stephen.

The last and only British ruler named Stephen was king during the 12th century, during their empire's integrative civil war (the Anarchy), as the English were consolidating their initial victory over their meta-ethnic nemesis (the Vikings / Danelaw, who were expelled by the Norman Conquest).

Then there are Bronze Age Greek names like Jason, that were never that popular even during Hellenic Greece. Nor was it popular during the Dark Ages. There's one Italian born in the 1400s named Giasone (del Maino), and another born in the 1500s (De Nores). Otherwise, almost all Jasons of any note are Americans born in the 1800s and after. It's so iconically American that it has been chosen as a rhyming inspiration -- for Mason, Payson, Grayson, Chayson, Kayson, Brayson, etc.

There are so many Greek names from the Classical era that we are famililar with -- Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Archimedes, Euclid, and the list goes on and on -- yet we have decided to entirely ignore them, preferring instead the monster-battling heroes of the pre-Classical era, or the heroic Christian martyrs of the Byzantine / Dark Age era. Nothing could be less appealing to American honor-culture sensibilities than "being good at math and philosophy" or "being a theater kid".

Speaking of "monster-battling" -- Bronze Age epithets like Homer's "swift-footed Achilles" fell into disfavor during the Classical era. Too concrete, and therefore animalistic or barbaric. The Romans did include a descriptive term like "august" within their 17 other elements of a full name, but that dilutes its power. And like "august," they weren't so concretely physical.

It just doesn't pack a punch like Charles the Bald, a 9th-century Carolingian emperor, whose own father was the emperor Louis the Pious. Or the 12th-century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa / Rotbart -- Redbeard. Or the 10th-century Viking king, Harald Bluetooth. Or the 7th-century Byzantine emperor Justinian II the Slit-nosed. Or the 12th-century British king, Richard the Lionheart. Or back to Boris of the 9th-century Bulgarian Empire -- known as The Baptizer. And on and on and on...

Well, leave it to a neo-Dark Age culture like America, where our politicians are now known as Crooked Hillary Clinton, Lyin' Ted Cruz, Sleepy Joe Biden, etc. During Trump's first primary campaign, I pointed out that he descended from literal Vikings -- the clan MacLeod, whose namesake was a Viking ruler named Ljotr. At least that's the tradition, it could be a case of legitimizing one's group by means of an illustrious legendary foreign founder, much like the Rurikid dynasty in Russia claiming descent from a non-existent, legendary Viking ancestor.

Whether he has authentic Norse DNA in his veins or not, Trump surely is a Dark Age feudal leader of a weak central state, and he knows what buttons to push to resonate with its cultural values. And weak central state people love nothing more than blunt epithets. See also the once-common Italian-American practice of blunt epithets like Fat Tony, Danny No-Shoes, Jimmy Too-Short, etc. Or African-American rappers and gang members using epithets like Fat Joe, Megan Thee Stallion, etc.

Europeans haven't named leading figures "fat" since the days of Louis the Fat (also, the Fighter), a 12th-century king of the Franks. Maybe there are a few straggler examples into the 13th or 14th centuries, but once the proto-Renaissance showed up during the 1300s, it was all over for blunt epithets.

I'll bet that's a very broad phenomenon, but I don't have time to look into Dark Age Middle Eastern, South Asian, Central Asian, or Chinese cultures right now.

I'll bet Japan loved blunt and concrete epithets from about 1200 or 1300 onward, perhaps right up to the present day. The most popular vtuber in Japan, Marine, has a family name Houshou, meaning "treasure bell/chime", which seems to function more like a concrete descriptive epithet, and not a family name indicating who her parents are. Likewise, Korone is known by the epithet in place of a family name, Inugami, meaning "dog(gy)-god".

So when translating their full names into English, instead of Marine Houshou, it's Marine the Treasure-bell. And instead of Korone Inugami, it's Korone the Doggy-god, like good ol' Dark Age epithets. ^_^

Although the English Hololive girls don't have this format for their names, as members of Dark Age America and Canada, some of them do make epithets of their own, like Gura referring to herself as the Shark, Mumei as the Owl, Bae as the Rat, etc.

Without getting further into the Dark Age weeds, I'll just note that Geoffrey (later, Jeffrey) and Richard were common Dark Age Germanic names that were resurrected and made super-common in America during the 20th century.

Also, Arthurian legendary names. Not just Arthur, but Morgan, Guinevere / Jennifer (and similar-sounding names like Gwendolyn, Gwen, and Gwyneth, which most Americans pronounce as Gweneth, all of which also hint at the character Gawain), Elaine, Lynnette, Taliesin (Frank Lloyd Wright's headquarters), and perhaps not Lancelot -- but Lance! That has to be the connection. Monosyllabic shortening -- of what other possible longer name? Gotta be from Lancelot, given how much we're obsessed with Camelot. Some of these, but not all, were part of the limited 19th-century Romantic backlash in Europe, but we made them permanent, or are entirely responsible for (like Lance).

Speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Franks, that given name was confined to the Dark Ages until resurrected in America during the 19th century, including the birth of the Father of Modern and American architecture himself. Post-Dark Age Euros only used variations like Francis, Francisco, Francois, Francesco, etc. -- not Frank itself, or even the related Franklin, which was also resurrected in America during the 19th century, including the greatest president in our history, the New Deal trailblazer himself, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The name Frank just sounds too, well, frank, to domesticated sophisticates, so they could only preserve it in the frilly-and-gay embellishment Francis, Francois, etc. In America, nothing could sound more embarrassingly prissy than the name Francis, in place of the honorable alternative Frank. I think San Francisco would sound -- and then become -- less gay if it were renamed San Franco!

I have no idea if there's a case of convergent evolution between American names and Euro Dark Age names, in the same way that our similar environments have produced similar architectural styles (closed-solid-heavy slabs and caves and fortresses). There may be something there, but I haven't looked into it yet. Maybe later, in the comments. That would require cross-cultural confirmation as well, and I really doubt I'll get into the evolution of popular name sound patterns all across Eurasia, from the Bronze Age to present.

But just based on how Frank went to Francis / Francois / etc., then back to Frank in America, there could be something to how prissy-and-sissy names sound during the 1000 years of the cycle when sedentarism is dominant over nomadism. Francis has changed the hard "k" into a sibilant "s", then added a high-front vowel (connoting things that are small, weak), and another "s" after it.

I mean, you can totally make up a barbarian name -- and yet instantly recognize it as barbarian. Conan, Thundarr, Krull, Chewbacca, etc. Only some of that is semantic association with known, existing barbarian names. Some of that has to be purely an effect of sound symbolism, e.g. the absence of high-front vowels and sibilants (at least voiceless ones like "s" and "sh" -- "z" is "zh" are OK).

Alfred, Dagobert, Harald, Arthur -- no high-front vowels, no sibilants (especially voiceless ones). Just a brief impression, without a systematic survey, but may be something there...


  1. The Abbasid caliph al-Wathiq, who fascinated Romantic-era Europeans enough to be the protag of an Orientalist Gothic novel (Vathek, by William Beckford), has a full name without a single high-front vowel (which does exist in Arabic -- "i").

    Abū Jaʿfar Hārūn ibn Muḥammad

    The "i" is only there as part of the patronymic "ibn" meaning "son of", which is part of the generic template, not his specific names.

    Also, perhaps no sibilants, let alone voiceless ones -- only "j" which is voiced. IDK whether it was a sibilant, like "zh" (as in present-day Levantine dialects), or an affricate, like "dg" (as in present-day Mesopotamian and Gulf dialects), or a stop, like "g" (as in present-day Egyptian dialects), back in 9th-century Iraq. But it was not voiced, in any case.

    The "i" vowel does appear in his epithet, al-Wathiq (bi-llah), but perhaps as an epithet rather than a personal name that's not so prissy-and-sissy?

    Also, yes, he has an epithet! Not just a personal name. "The Believer (in Allah)".

    That's all the further I'm going for now. Just have to consult the good ol' Abbasid Caliphate to ask it what the Dark Ages were like in the Middle East, before leaving (for now).

  2. The old world has stricter gun control laws as well compared to America, and the Euro-LARPers back east want to implement stricter gun controls in America too.

  3. From where are you getting these supposedly novel names? Outside of the Puritan ones, many of your oddities are common, even classuc British names. A 5 min check of Shakespeare, a google if English parish records yields data such as this.


    The theory is intriguing, but the premises need work.

  4. Well that list is not a "top 100" list like the "top 100 American baby names in a year" -- mainly cuz it's drawn from such a small population, i.e. people associated with Oxford University, where the top 100 names cover a far greater share of the population, as opposed to the top 100 names in America where millions of babies are born in a year.

    So at #54, Geoffrey / Jeffrey, there are only 38 individuals with that name across 60 years. Hardly anyone -- and that shows up in lists of famous Geoffrey's, where there's basically no one after Geoffrey Chaucer, who was born in the 1340s.

    Names that I said were resurrected by Americans (with or without the Euro Romantic revival of the 1800s), and sure enough do not show up on that list at all, as in not even a single individual in over 60 years -- Frank / Franklin, Jason, Albert, Alfred, Norbert, Burt / Bert, Donald, Ronald, Archibald, Jared, Rufus, etc.

    Some of them are so rare there are only less than 10 in over 60 years, such as Gerald (only 1), Theodore, etc.

    And as I said, most of the "top 100" are already rare, including Stephen (86 individuals in 60 years, vs. several thousands apiece of John, Thomas, and William).

    Rising in popularity doesn't mean everyone has the name, nor does declining in popularity mean no one has the name. Lists of famous people with the name turn up no Stephens after the Dark Ages, and even this list that casts a broader net hardly catches any of them -- as opposed to how easy it would have been back when it was common enough that the king was named Stephen.

    By the Renaissance / Early Modern period, Stephen was languishing in obscurity in England, and only Americans of the 19th C rescued the name, rising so much in popularity that it became one of the definitive Boomer names by the 1950s, entering the top 20.

    And that's just the male names, which I mentioned are more conservative than female names. A similar list of women associated with some institution in England in the 16th century will show the pattern even better -- no Brookes, Savannahs, Samanthas, Kaylas, Kenzies, Gwens, Elaines, Lynnettes, and so on.

  5. To take 2 more examples of -bert names, that list has 2 Ethelberts and 1 Fulbert -- that is far rarer than their frequency during the Dark Ages, when every Tom, Dick, and Harry was named (A)Ethelbert, including saints, archbishops, and kings.

    The list of famous (A)Ethelberts shows that they're all from the 6th to 9th centuries, i.e. when the name was common (as were all other -bert names), and only again with 19th-century births, most of whom are American rather than British.

    Finding a handful of attestations across more than 50 years and covering over 10,000 people, does not make the name common or rising in popularity. Quite the opposite.

  6. The last king of England with an epithet was Edward Longshanks, who reigned during the late 13th and very early 14th centuries. There's that 1300 date again. His epithet is physical and concrete, too, not abstract.

    ("Bloody" Mary was only used as propaganda by her factional opponents, and even that weak example was from the 16th C.)

    The first king of England, Alfred (late 9th century), is known as "the Great", although that's not very concrete.

    In between those two are quite a long list of epithet-bearing kings:

    Aethelstan the Glorious

    Edmund the Magnificent

    Eadwig All-Fair (physical)

    Edgar the Peaceful

    Edward the Martyr

    Aethelred the Unready

    Sweyn Forkbeard (physical)

    Edmund Ironside (physical)

    Cnut the Great

    Harold Harefoot (physical)

    Edward the Confessor

    William the Conqueror

    William Rufus (physical)

    Henry Beauclerc

    Henry Curtmantle (physical)

    Richard the Lionheart (physical)

    John Lackland

  7. When I become dictator of the world, I wish to be known as Agnostic the Epithet-bearer.

  8. Harold / Harald didn't show up at all in that 16th-C list either.

  9. Something weird is going on with French kings and epithets -- they all seem to have one. Maybe cuz they're all named Louis and need something else to distinguish which one they are?

    In any case, most of the ones after 1300 are abstract, not physical.

    Start with Charlemagne, i.e. Charles the Great, then Louis the Pious, then Charles the Bald -- that's physical, from the 9th C.

    In fact, before Charlemagne, there was the de facto ruler if not king, Charles Martel -- "the Hammer", a physical epithet. Back to the Carolingians:

    Louis the Stammerer (physical)

    Charles the Fat (physical)

    Charles the Simple

    Louis the Do-Nothing

    Robert the Pious

    Philip the Amorous (pretty physical)

    Louis the Fat (physical)

    Philip Augustus (still probably an epithet, not a second personal name)

    Louis the Lion (physical)

    Louis the Saint

    Philip the Bold

    Philip the Fair (physical)

    Louis the Quarreler (pretty physical)

    Philip the Tall (physical)

    Charles the Fair (physical)

    And that's the end of the physical epithets. After that they become less common overall, and are abstract when they are used -- the Just, the Beloved, the Wise, etc.

    Charles the Fair reigned during the 1320s, right around the time when the system is shifting from nomad-dominant to sedentary-dominant.

    So, although the French are more liberal in handing out epithets, their pattern over time mirrors that of the English / British.

  10. Without going through the whole list of Scottish kings, the last one with an epithet was James II Fiery Face, who reigned during the mid-1400s. He was a late outlier, as the last before him was John Balliol, Empty Cloak, who reigned in the late 13th C.

    Wiki's list of monarchs says Robert III, who reigned circa 1400, is known as "the Lame King," but his individual entry has no such epithet.

    The first Scottish monarch with an epithet was the first, Kenneth MacAlpin the Conqueror, from the 9th C. Most of them after have epithets, and they tend to be physical -- the Wine-Bountiful, the White, the Diseased, the Rough, etc.

    So, Scotland mirrors the English and French patterns over time.

  11. As for the Holy Roman Emperors, the first one after the collapse of the Frankish Empire to bear an epithet is Louis the Blind (a physical epithet), who reigned in the very early 10th C.

    Several physical epithets soon after -- Otto the Red, Henry the Black, Frederick Redbeard (Barbarossa), Frederick stupor mundi, who reigned in the late 13th C, and was the last of the period when it was common.

    The last one was a late outlier, Frederick the Peaceful, who reigned in the second half of the 1400s. Aside from being an outlier, his epithet is not physical. After that, nothing whatsoever.

    As for German monarchs (distinct from emperor), the last to bear an epithet, and a physical one at that, was Frederick the Fair, who reigned in the early 1300s (when else?). The first one, from the Ottonian dynasty, was Henry the Fowler (a physical activity, not an abstract quality), who reigned in the 10th C.

    Generally, though, the Germans are far less generous in handing out epithets -- and yet their pattern over time is the same as England, Scotland, and France.

  12. Zipping over to Hungary, the last king with a physical epithet was Charles the Small, who reigned for a few months in the late 1300s. There was a late outlier with an abstract epithet from the late 1400s, Matthias the Just, after whom there were no others, even before they got absorbed into the Austrian Empire.

    The first King of Hungary, from the early 11th C., had an epithet, Saint Stephen. After him there are a fair number with epithets, including physical ones -- Andrew the White, Bela the Champion, Coloman the Learned / Bookish, Bela the Blind, etc.

    Among the Grand Princes of Kiev, the first of them bears an epithet, Oleg the Seer, from the 9th C. More of them follow: Saint Vladimir the Great / the Baptizer, Sviatopolk the Cursed, Yaroslav the Wise.

    Among Grand Princes further east that would evolve into Muscovy / Russia, there's Vsevolod the Big Nest (reigned during the late 12th and early 13th centuries), Mikhail the Brave, Dmitry the Fearsome Eyes (hard to get more physical than that), Ivan the Moneybag, Simeon the Proud, Ivan the Fair (reigned during the 1350s).

    The last Grand Princes of Moscow with physical epithets are Vasily the Squint and Vasily the Dark, from the mid-15th C. Much like France, Russia is more generous in handing out epithets, but overall they become less common after the mid-1400s, and they are abstract (the Great, the Blessed, the Peacemaker, etc.).

    So, same pattern over time in Eastern Europe, not just Western Europe.

  13. The Spanish are very generous in handing out epithets to their monarchs, more than the French or Russians. And yet the same pattern over time shows up -- the last with a physical epithet was Philip the Handsome, who reigned for a few months in 1506. They're all pretty abstract after him.

    And yet, they were fairly abstract before him as well -- only Henry the Infirm (as King of Castile, before they had united all of Spain) had a physical epithet, and he reigned circa 1400.

    The two monarchs after the Franco era do not have epithets.

    Because Spain gives an epithet to almost everyone, the pattern is harder to discern, but it's there.

  14. To wrap up with a quick trip to Scandinavia, in post-Viking Denmark, they hardly gave anyone a physical epithet, but they did give some of them abstract ones -- Valdemar the Victorious, Eric Ploughpenny, Eric Klipping, etc.

    The last Danish monarch to bear an epithet was Valdemar Atterdag ("Return of the Day"), who reigned during the mid-1300s.

    Same decline pattern over time in the North of Europe as well.

  15. Regarding the idea of calling out the local cops on campus radicalism, this goes back at least as far as Governor Ronald Reagan:


  16. Do you ever think there will be a revival of men naming their sons after themselves (e.g. Joseph Kennedy Jr, Paul Martin Jr, etc)? That's another custom that seems to have vanished with second-wave feminism.

  17. The 8th/9th-century Abbasid Caliph at the start of the Islamic Golden Age was also known by an epithet -- Harun al-Rashid, i.e. Harun (Aaron) "the Just / Rightly-Guided".

    Anyone with an Arabic "laqab" (epithet) sounds like a Dark Age figure. Checking out some more...

    Saladin, the 12th-century Muslim leader against the Crusaders, is known by an epithet, Saladin, meaning "Righteousness of the Religion," not by his personal name Yusuf (Joseph) or his family name (ibn Ayyub).

    The 10th-century Fatimid Caliph who saw the rapid decline of his empire is known by an epithet, al-Muqtadir (bi-llah) -- "Mighty (in Allah)" -- not by his given name Jaʿfar, or the patronymic phrase ibn Ahmad al-Muʿtaḍid (which contains his father's epithet), or the phrase indicating who his son was, Abu’l-Faḍl.

    The 11th-century Sultan of the Seljuk Empire who greatly expanded its territory, is known by an epithet -- Alp Arslan, meaning "Heroic Lion" in Turkish, not his given name, Muhammad, or the phrase indicating his father (bin Dawud Chaghri). Crucially, his epithet is not in Arabic but Turkish, and makes no religious allusion. This was just how leaders were known back then -- no matter where they came from, what religion they belonged to, or the semantic content behind their epithet.

    By contrast, a 20th-century leader like the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, does not have an epithet -- Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Saud. "Abdulaziz" is his personal given name, and the rest indicate his father, grandfather, and clan / royal house.

    It's all so formulaic! So bureaucratic! Fill out this form with the information about your given name, your father, his father, and your royal house, and we will deterministically, algorithmically return your full name.

    Dark Age cultures chafe at such rigid, order-obsessed formulas that reduce people to data. They want to be known by a name that tells others what makes them a special unique individual. Perhaps in a humbling way, perhaps in an elevating way -- but in either case, something spontaneous, creative, open to choice, that only the human mind can come up with, not a cold invariant formula or schema.

    Strong central states --> bureaucritization of the human spirit.

    Weak central states --> liberation of the human spirit (just like wandering nomads).

  18. If Nassim Taleb had belonged to the House of Wisdom during the Dark Ages, he would have been known by a laqab -- something like, Nassim al-Qatil al-Mughfilin ("Nassim the Idiot-Slayer" in my very rough attempt at Arabic -- hopefully "mughfil" doesn't have one of those weird broken plural forms, and hopefully "mughfil" is the proper choice of "idiot" in this context).

    That would not be possible if he'd stayed back in the Olde Worlde, which is still in its sedentary sophisticated phase.

    But since he's moved to a Dark Age culture like America, he can be known by an English epithet -- Nassim the BS-Slayer.

  19. Although he does come from the Olde Worlde, he comes from a very weak-state part of it -- Northern Lebanon. That's why he resonates with other weak-state regions of the Mediterranean like Southern Italy and Sicily, as well as their descendants in America like the "Fat Tony" type in the East Coast (who are, not surprisingly, known by colorful epithets).

    And although he likes to style himself as a Hellenist, he also styles himself as a Byzantine -- which is more apropos. He's not a mechanical problem-solver or autistic nitpicker, he's a monster-battling hero -- against trolls, intellectual-yet-idiots, BS-vendors, charlatans, and various other monsters, beasts, and demons.

    More like a Bronze Age Greek hero, or a Dark Age Byzantine saint or martyr, like St. George (the Dragon-Slayer).

    1. He regularly derides "Nordic Supremacists", Arabists, and PC Fanonists alike:





  20. Exploring a point I made in the previous comment thread, it seems like "monsters" are a mythological counterpart of "nomads" from the real-world threats that Dark Age people face.

    Not just that they are forces of chaos, harm, predation, etc. -- but that there are a whole lot of them, from various species, all of whom prey upon the sedentary and orderly people, who long for a hero to battle all those various monsters.

    Nomads form tribal confederations that include a motley crew of members, and each decade or century, there's a new confederation that sweeps through the sedentary lands -- Alans, Vandals, Huns, Avars, Khazars, Bulgars, Magyars, and on and on and on.

    Like "monsters," they speak different languages, have different styles of dress and grooming, have different sets of weapons, etc. Like different species of monsters -- some fly, some are from the sea, some are poisonous, some are sleek and hairless, some are hirsute, but all are roaming and raiding predators.

    In a strong central state era, these motley crews of enemies have been eliminated, and there's one great big monarch, and one great big enemy -- some rival monarch.

    In mythology / religion, this takes the form of an all-powerful single God, and a nearly all-powerful single Devil, not a variety of monster species. At most, the Devil commands a hierarchy of demons -- but in a Dark Age culture, the variety of monster species are not commanded by an absolutist villain.

    On the other side, Dark Age cultures rely on a variety of benevolent helpers and allies, who are not human -- in Dark Age Christianity, the broad cast of characters known as "saints". Christians stopped focusing so much on saints after 1300 in the Olde Worlde.

    They may still honor them once a year, name children after them, and such -- but they're not part of the real living world like they were in the Dark Ages, urgently being preyed to or given offerings, as though they were the "benevolent nomads" like knights-errant among their fellow human beings, who could help them out in a weak-state / nomad-dominant world.

    Same with gnomes, elves, fairies, and other benevolent (or at least neutral, and possibly helpful) non-human creatures. Bronze Age Europe, Dark Age Europe, brief revival in 19th-century Europe, but mostly gone during their Classical and post-Dark Age periods.

    The Japanese, as another present-day Dark Age culture, still believe and behave as though various species of natural spirits and unnatural creatures exist -- whether harmful ones like ghosts and demons and monsters, or good ones like helpers, protectors, and providers (see also, Santa and the Tooth Fairy, in America).

    1. The Japanese I think are more polite than the mainland Chinese today though:


  21. In other words, "weak central state" applies to the bad guys (real or mythological), not just to the good guys (real or mythological). A roving biker gang, Apache raiders, and forest monsters, are not a totalitarian dictatorship.

    And "strong central state" applies to both the good guys and bad guys (real or mythological).

  22. Maybe "centralized vs. decentralized" is a better way to frame it, not "single vs. multiple", to tie it into the weak vs. strong central state idea.

    Dark Age cultures have decentralized networks of enemies and helpers, real or mythological.

    Enlightened Perversion cultures have centralized cores of enemies and helpers, real or mythological.

  23. Anyway, back to NAMES. Looking into China, the Wiki entry on temple names says these became widespread during the Tang dynasty, so much so that the rulers of the Tang through the Yuan dynasties (i.e., the Dark Ages) are referred to by these temple names even today -- not their given personal or family / clan names.


    Also, there were no regnal names during the Han or Qing dynasties (Classical and Neo-Classical eras), while there were regnal names during the Tang and Liao dynasties (Dark Ages).


    The good ol' Tang dynasty, just as reliable of a window into Dark Age China, as the good ol' Abbasid Caliphate or the good ol' Frankish Empire.

  24. Japan is naturally on a different timeline from China, regarding epithets. Well into the Early Modern and Modern eras, the highest Japanese rulers have been known by epithets.

    The founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate circa 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu, is also known by the epithet Tosho Daigongen, where Tosho means "Light of the East". And Daigongen can be broken down into Dai, meaning "Great", and "gongen" is a Japanese Buddhist / Shinto term for an incarnation of Buddha in the form of a Japanese kami (god / spirit).

    His epithet is popular enough that the shrines in his honor are known as Tosho-gu, i.e. "Tosho shrines" -- not mentioning his given name, clan name, etc., but his epithet "Light of the East".

    Toyotomi Hideyoshi was given the epithets "Kozaru" (Little Monkey) and "Saru" (Monkey) by his lord, Oda Nobunaga, based on his slender and hairy appearance.

    Nobunaga himself had many epithets in his own time, including Outsuke -- the (Big) Fool, based on his eccentric and unorthodox appearance and social behavior. He styled himself, perhaps sarcastically or not, as the "Demon King" (Maou).

    These are the three unifiers of Japan.

    Further still into the Modern era, with the Meiji Restoration, the Emperor adopted a new policy of one era-name per ruler. Previously, era-names could have been coined at will, with some emperors giving multiple names to subdivisions within their reign.

    Meiji means "Enlightened Rule" -- at first, the era-name for the post-Shogunate period. But by fixing the era-name for the entirety of the emperor's reign, he would become posthumously identified with that same name, i.e. "the ruler during that period". Emperor Meiji's given name was Mutsushito -- Meiji is an epithet.

    Referring to Japanese rulers by their era-name epithet, not their given name or familial / clan name, continues right up to the present. The current emperor goes by his given name, Naruhito, but upon dying he will become posthumously honored as Emperor Reiwa -- "Reiwa" being the era-name of his reign.

    Weeb fans of '70s and '80s Japanese culture already know the term "Showa" for that era, and its usage as an epithet for the emperor who reigned during that time, whose given name was Hirohito (which he's commonly known by outside of Japan, as we don't follow Japanese naming conventions). But this practice goes back to Matsushito / Meiji in the mid-1800s, and is another clear sign of Japan's Dark Age culture and distinctiveness from mainland Asian cultures, as China and the rest of the "Sinosphere" have stopped using era names, let alone turning them into epithets, a long time ago.

  25. We could easily adopt the Japanese practice in America, since we're also Dark Age. E.g., referring to FDR as "the New Deal President", or JFK as "the New Frontier President", or LBJ as "the Great Society President".

    Those were slogans chosen to describe their aspirations for their reign, as it began, and then the entirety of their reign became known by these terms. So why not just call them "the Great Society President" etc.? It would be totally natural to Americans, and we already do so informally.

  26. As for the New World, our meta-ethnic nemeses were known by descriptive physical epithets rather than given or familial / clan names -- Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, etc. And even in fictional stories of Americans joining the Indians, we receive similar epithets -- Dances with Wolves.

    Sitting Bull was an epithet bestowed upon him by his father after their participation in a raiding party (to rustle horses from the Crow tribe), as part of his rite of passage into manhood and warrior-dom.

    Nomad-dominant cultures can't get enough of their descriptive epithets.

  27. Pro wrestlers uphold this noble savage tradition in American culture -- George "the Animal" Steele, "Rowdy" Roddy Pipper, Jake "the Snake" Roberts, and so on.

    Very similar to Japanese vtubers, who also practice kayfabe for their audience. As mentioned above, their names do not translate into "given name + familial / clan name," but to something like Marine the Treasure-Bell, and Korone the Doggy-God, just like pro wrestlers. ^_^

    This is crucial, to show that it's not just monarchs and rulers, but entertainers within folk culture who take on epithets.

    And common people as well -- my Aunt, who went to high school in the early 1960s, said everyone at her school was called by an epithet rather than their given or family name. And just like in the Euro Dark Age, based on some salient quality they had -- "Bucky" for someone with buck teeth, "Fats" for a fat guy, and so on.

    My best friend in high school, in the '90s, was given the epithet "Ogre" by his football teammates (on account of being large and hairy, even as a freshman), and that epithet spread somewhat into the general school population as well.

    Here's a post on the extensive usage of epithets for English lords in the Domesday Book, of the 11th century following the Norman Conquest. Alwy Beetle-beard, Ernwine Cat's-nose, etc.:


    This shows that it is every tier of the societal pyramid, from king to lord to commoner, that receives epithets during a Dark Age culture. That's important for deciding among competing theories about the reasons behind epithets being common in weak central state societies, and unpopular in strong central state societies.

  28. Pirates are also known primarily by epithets -- Blackbeard, Bluebeard, Peg-Leg, etc. Even if they're from a strong central state society (like Early Modern Britain), they're a refuge for the vanishing minority of wild nomadic spirits, and they adopt the same Dark Age naming conventions, all the better to mark themselves as rebels and outcasts from their Enlightened Perversion society that snickers at such barbaric behavior.

  29. Errata: Mutsuhito, not Mutsushito. And al-Muqtadir was Abbasid, not Fatimid. The Fatimids, as fellow Dark Age people (10th to 12th centuries), were all known by epithets of the form "the ____" (see the column "regnal name"):


  30. I'm so Dark Age, I even call my cat by epithets. Sometimes I do use his "given" name, but usually it's "(the) Little Big Guy" or "(the) Tiger-Bear", very physical epithets. ^_^

    He's a really big cat, although more of a gentle giant / teddy-bear, very social, friendly, affectionate, respectful, polite, talkative, and playful. So "(the) Tiger-Bear" is also a bit humorous, like calling a tall guy "Tiny" -- he's not an intimidating ferocious beast. He sure looks like he should be, though!

    Sometimes I combine both, "Little Big [Given Name]". But usually just an epithet.

    I wonder if that confuses him -- it doesn't seem to. He's a very socially intelligent cat, so he must understand that I'm using multiple names to refer to a single individual, and that they must be terms of endearment, etc.

    Awww, he's so smart. ^_^

  31. Sophia is a Byzantine name, another Dark Age revival in America. Wiki says it's first recorded in the 4th C, perhaps referring to Saint Sophia, a martyr during the Diocletian persecution.

    It's become very popular here, reaching the #1 spot for 2011 - 2013 births. But even earlier on it was popular -- Sophia ranked #197, and Sophie ranked #163, among 1900 births.

    Most of the famous Sophia's are from the Dark Ages, with a later group of them in the Early Modern period -- but only within the royal House of Hanover. In Spain, for example, the two royal Sofia's were born in 1938 and 2007.

    Always worth remembering that "Greek" doesn't necessarily mean Hellenic / Classical / pederastic satirists. It could represent the Byzantine era -- which it does in this case.

    We might think of "philosophy" when it comes to words with the Greek word for "wisdom" -- but we should really think of the Hagia Sophia cathedral ("Holy Wisdom"), the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture.

    Dark Age people can still appreciate "wisdom," just not in the autistic, analytical, nitpicking, verbal games, clever-silly way that people do in eras of Enlightened Perversion. Wisdom can be holy, supernatural, intuitive, spiritual -- as well as folk wisdom. Not bookish wisdom.

  32. Rhyme-mates Chloe and Zoe are both recently super popular in America, and both are Greek -- but what kind of Greek?

    Chloe seems more Classical -- an epithet of Demeter, an Olympian goddess, who were worshiped beginning in the mid-1st millennium BC. Also the heroine in the 2nd-century AD Greek novel, Daphnis and Chloe.

    No famous real-life Chloes during the Bronze Age, Classical Age, Dark Ages, Early Modern, or Modern ages, though. Just some characters from the Classical Age.

    It was in the top 400 baby girl names in the late 1800s in America, declined during the first half of the 20th C, and even fell out of the top 2000 altogether during the '60s, before beginning to rise during the '80s and peaking around 2010, remaining popular even today, though.

    Zoe is a Dark Age name -- the earliest mythological example is the daughter of the Phyrigian King Midas, supposedly from the 2nd millennium BC (before the Trojan War). There's one real-life example from the Classical era -- a saint / martyr who died in 127 AD. Then there's another saint-martyr from the late 3rd C, around the transition to the Dark Ages.

    The two highest-profile real-life Zoes were from the Dark Ages -- the Byzantine Empresses Zoe Karbonopsina (who, in true Dark Age fashion, was known by a physical epithet, meaning "with the coal-black eyes" -- oooh baby), and Zoe Porphyrogenita, both from the 10th C.

    Then a later outlier, still Byzantine but from its very end-times -- the Grand Princess of Moscow (married to Ivan III) was born Zoe Palaiologina, and in true America-anticipating fashion, became known by the name Sophia! She was born around 1455.

    The only other notable historical Zoe is Zoe Talon, countess of Cayla, confidante of French King Louis XVIII, and born in 1785, during the Gothic revival / Romantic period.

    Zoe was already in the top 400 baby girls names in America by the late 1800s, along with Chloe. It followed the same decline during the first half of the 20th C, then began rising like crazy (now also including the spelling variant Zoey), and peaked around 2010 as well.

    The crucial point is that Chloe and Zoe used to be about equally popular, with Chloe enjoying a slight edge, from the 1800s through the 1950s. But then Chloe dropped out of the top 2000 altogether in the '60s, while Zoe hung on. And when both started soaring after that low-point, their relative popularity flipped, with Zoe enjoying a solid lead and reaching a higher maximum (counting both spelling variants).

    So over the course of American ethnogenesis, we came to treat Zoe as the foundational member of that rhyming class, and Chloe as the imitator / spin-off member. Zoe just resonates better with our Dark Age sensibilities, and it does in fact have more of a Dark Age origin than Chloe.

    Uncanny how good ordinary mothers are at sniffing all of these things out, without any bookish instruction on these facts. They just knew, "We're American -- Zoe is more fitting than Chloe".

  33. What about super popular Mia? Turns out she's part of a rhyming class that began with Leah, which later took on spelling variants Lea and, among Zoomers, Lia (including the nickname of an American vtuber, whose full stage name is Rinkou Ashelia).

    Other popular members include Bria and Aaliyah / Alia (including the hit R&B singer and actress who died tragically young). Less popular ones include Rhea, Tia, Diya, Kia, Gia, Sia, and Zia.

    Most of the class were spawned and took off with Millennial and Zoomer births, but Mia started rising earlier, in the '60s -- before Mia Farrow was popular, she was just in the right place at the right time (and was born Maria, with her nickname being Mia -- not born as Mia).

    Leah is the founding member of this class, though, nearly cracking the top 200 baby girl names in America during the late 1800s (along with the minor spelling variant Lea), before falling off through the mid-20th C. But Leah began rising during the '50s and '60s -- right at the same time that Mia began rising. But Leah was far more popular back then, and Mia was piggybacking off of Leah. Mia wouldn't overtake Leah until the 2000s.

    Leah is not a Biblical or Christian name, although it is a false cognate with one of the wives of Jacob. There were no fictional or real Leahs of any note before late 19th-century America, with a handful of examples around that time in our sphere of influence (Canada, Australia, Britain, etc.).

    True Biblical and Christian names show up at some point before 1800s America -- but Leah did not. And to be Christian, they must show up among non-Jews as well. The supposed example of a Polish Jewish writer born in 1680, of the surname Horowitz, was not born a Leah -- but as Sarah Rebecca Rachel Leah Horowitz.

    Even among Jews, the earliest examples are born in the late 1800s in Europe and its offshoots, possibly as part of the Zionist revival of the Hebrew language, returning to Israel, etc. -- maybe also using Leah as a given name for the first time since the days of Jacob's wife herself.

    The earliest notable woman who was born Leah, and not Jewish, is Leah Rhodes (born Leah Margaret Montgomery), an American costume designer born in 1902. The next such person is also American, Leyah / Leah Chase, a popularizer of Creole cooking in print and TV, born 1923. Perhaps no accident that both are from west of the Mississippi River (Texas and Louisiana).

    No further notable such examples until the '50s and '60s, when it began taking off.

    As for Lea, there is a lone example from the good ol' Dark Ages -- Saint Lea, from Rome, not Jewish. Wiki says her name derives from Old Testament Leah -- but I doubt that. Saint Lea is only known from accounts by her close friend St. Jerome, who compiled the Vulgate Bible. In Latin, he transliterates Leah, from the book of Genesis, as "Lia" -- not "Lea". Back in the 4th century, Lea must have had a different origin, and not a Jewish one at that.

    There's a Finnish Lea (Piltti) born in 1904, but she's the only one from her nation ever, so probably a one-off. Also, Lea was in the top 1000 names in America by the late 1800s.

    None of the future members of this rhyming class have strong Jewish, Christian, or any religious connotations -- so it's just another example of sound patterns mattering more than semantics. It sounded new, and plausibly American, so let's run with it, regardless of its connotations.

    At most, you could say the silent "h" at the end of the more common spelling variant reflects a consideration for Old Testament-ish spellings, but that's not due to our being Jewish or Christian as a nation -- but due to our desire to separate our American identity from Classical Euro roots. So if anything, it's pseudo-Saharo-Arabian or pseudo-Semitic, much like the names coined by Joseph Smith for the Book of Mormon (Lehi, Moroni, Lamanite, etc.), the foundational text of America's contribution to global religions, Mormonism.

  34. There's also Nia / Niah / Neeya, among the somewhat popular "-ia" names. That fills out the rest of the minimal sound pairs -- Mia and the other initial nasal, Nia. Tia / Diya, Sia / Zia, Leah / Rhea, Gia / Chia? LOL, not an example due to sounding like the novelty plant / toy Chia Pet.

    How about Priya, to match Bria? It's there among Indian-Americans, but has yet to enter wider usage -- maybe due to libtards worrying about "cultural appropriation" (yes, there's a reddit post on that exact question).

    Stay tuned, lots more tonight.

  35. Up next is a near-rhyming class, Pamela, Tamara, and Angela. Pamela was first, becoming popular in Britain before America by a couple decades, in the early-mid 20th C. It peaked in America in the '50s.

    But it spawned near-rhyme-mates Tamara and Angela, which are more Gen X, and did not spread so broadly in Britain. The Brits liked the single name Pamela, whereas in America it became a template for a broader phenomenon of names.

    They're similar in being 3 syllables, identical vowels, stress on the first, last consonant is a liquid, and the stressed syllable ends with a nasal consonant.

    And they truncate nicely into nicknames -- Pam, Tam / Tammy, Angie / Ange (like "anj").

    None of these names were popular, or even really existed in English, before the 20th C.

    Pamela was coined by English Renaissance poet Sir Philip Sidney, for a character in a work set in Ancient Greece (Arcadia). It's meant to sound Greek-ish and exotic to English ears. Inspired by Arcadia, the Early Modern novelist Richardson used Pamela as the name for a novel. And yet -- no real-life examples, just a few character names.

    Tamara existed in some Eastern Euro languages, after Queen Tamar of Georgia, a 12th-C Queen of Georgia who protected Eastern Christianity against the rise of Islam in the Caucasus. But it didn't exist in Western Europe or its off-shoots, and is therefore just a false cognate with the 20th-century American name. The Georgian queen herself is named after an Old Testament woman, since her clan claimed to be descended from the Biblical King David.

    We can tell it's a false cognate since several of the societies use Tamar, without the final feminine-sounding "a", not to mention the stress pattern is different for many of those with the final "a" -- ta-MAR-a, rather than American TAM-a-ra.

    But to American ears, it sounds exotic and vaguely Mediterranean or pseudo-Semitic, so we like it -- it lets us distinguish ourselves from our British, French, and Dutch roots.

    Angela only existed in Italy, from the Dark Ages through Modern times, although seemingly only among saints and nuns and religious officials. In any case, it does not have a religious or Christian connotation in America, because its stressed vowel is different -- in "Angel" the first vowel rhymes with "pay", whereas in "Angela" it rhymes with "pan".

    It's just another exotic-sounding name that lets us sound non-British.

    In America, it's popular enough to have spread outside the Italian-American group, if it even began with them. The most iconic Angela, and one of the most iconic Gen X-ers (who own the name), has quite the WASP-y surname -- Angela Chase, the protag of My So-Called Life.

  36. Sarah, Tara, Cara, Clara, and Farrah. Sarah is another super popular non-Biblical / non-Christian name. If it were a popular Old Testament or Christian name, it would have thrived somewhere and sometime before the founding of America. But it did not.

    There were a few Sarahs born in the mid-17th C in England -- Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, and a writer Sarah Fyge Egerton.

    But most of the early famous Sarahs are American women born in the 1700s, when / where it was a common name -- the daughter of Benjamin Franklin (who had a given name ahead of its time as well), the stepmother of Abraham Lincoln (ditto), the early mystic Sarah Edwards, the portrait artist Sarah Goodridge, the abolitionist Sarah Moore Grimke, writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale (who wrote the standard nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb"), and so on and so on and so on.

    And we had a mid-17th-century-born Sarah here as well -- Sarah Good, executed during the Salem Witch Trials.

    Sarah has never been an uncommon name in America, and despite a decline during the first half of the 20th C, it took off like a rocket during the '60s and '70s, peaking in the '80s, before coming down afterward, although still in the top 100 today.

    It's had a minor spelling variant, Sara, the whole time.

    But wait, there's more -- its skyrocketing popularity was piggybacking on another rhyming name, Tara.

    Tara (with minor variant Tarah) is another purely New World creation -- nobody had it before 20th-century America. It first broke into the top 2000 in the 1940s, and climbed steadily during the '50s and '60s, when Sarah / Sara was still languishing in its low-point. It also peaked earlier, in the '70s, than Sarah / Sara did (in the '80s).

    Sarah was always more common than Tara, but it got new life breathed into it by the sudden exciting appearance of Tara.

    Cara was another not-so-popular rhyming name that was in the top 1000 to 2000 spots back to 1880, but never broke out until a rise beginning in the '50s and '60s, before peaking near the #200 spot in the '80s. Not as popular as the other two, but following a similar evolution.

    Clara was actually more popular than even Sarah from the 1880s to the 1920s, though following the same decline over that period. For some reason, it didn't piggyback on the late Boomer / Gen X trends of Sarah, Tara, and Cara -- maybe it sounded too Victorian? IDK. But like all things Victorian, it's enjoyed a steady rise over the past few decades, while Sarah, Tara, and Cara have been falling. It's currently around the #100 spot, more or less tied with Sarah again.

    Nobody was named Clara before 1800s America, where / when it became common. Before then in the English and French-speaking worlds, it was Cla(i)r(e). The Dark Age, 13th-century saint who is the first with the name, was not Clara but Chiara, without the "l".

    Maybe Clara sounds too English and French -- we already know of the similar name Clair(e), so it sounds like we just tacked on a feminine "a" at the end, while hardly disguising its post-Dark Age Western Euro roots. And so, not as suitable for a New World identity, and that's why it gradually lost out to Sarah / Sara, and the others that were popular in the mid-to-late 20th C.

    Farrah / Farah was never as popular as its rhyme-mates, but it did get a slight bump in the wake of Farrah Fawcett's iconic face, body, and name, during the 1970s, and then another bump after Farrah Abraham was cast for the hit MTV show 16 and Pregnant in the late 2000s. One of the rare examples of pop culture influencing names -- but again, hardly at all. It failed to crack the top 500 during either of its heydays. And it had to rely on rhyming with other popular names like Sarah, Tara, Cara, and Clara.

    Even Farrah Fawcett was not a Farrah -- she was born Mary, and Farrah was a nickname given by her mother.

    From the early adoption of an actually Semitic name that had never been used by Gentiles before, to a whole rhyming class of pure New World coinages, anything to distinguish ourselves as an exotic non-British and even non-Western culture.

  37. Dang, I guess we'll have to get to Alvin, Simon, and Theodore (and Theodora) later.

    But for one final laugh for now, see Wiki's page on Cara (given name). It's an exercise in desperately groping around for a meaning to explain the name, rather than just accepting it as a sequence of sounds with no meaning in particular -- aside from "the individual bearing such a name".

    It's Irish, no wait, Welsh, no wait, German, no wait, Scandinavian, no wait, Japanese, no wait, Greek, no wait, Turkish, no wait, all Romance languages, no wait -- Ancient Egyptian!

    Get a clue, people. Names don't have to mean anything, and the less they mean, the more desperately the midwits insist that they do, with more meanings than you can shake a stick at.

    If the sounds "KA-ra" or "CARE-uh" mean so much to so many ethnic groups -- why are 99% of Cara's Americans, and born after 1950 at that?

    It's just another sound sequence that lets us be non-British, non-Western, even non-European or non-Olde Worlde.

    Ditto for Tara -- not an Irish name. No Irish person went by that name before copying Americans from the mid-20th C onward. It's a distinctly New World sounding name, that's why we adopted it. Whether it has false cognates in various languages around the world -- none of whose speakers ever made it a name, let alone a common one -- is irrelevant.

  38. Alvin, Simon, Theodore -- we're the chipmunks! Those names are more American than we knew, and so are Chip and Dale, but that's another story (and something I don't need to go into, pretty obvious).

    Alvin shows the lengths we were willing to go to, to resurrect the Dark Age of Europe. It sounds like it's from the same culture as Alfred and Albert -- presumably the "vin" would've been something more Welsh-y and Medieval like "wyn", Alwyn. How very authentically Arthurian!

    But no, we Americans made it up! There's no such name in history! Not until 19th-century America, and as with our other distinctive names, it spread well before our integrative civil war. Names really are the only exception to that rule.

    The earliest notable Alvin is a businessman from the Boston Brahmin Adams family (which included the 2nd president, John Adams), who was born in 1804. As much as the East Coast elites like to LARP as Euros, they never did stick with their names, and were eager to distinguish themselves as a new cultural unit, just as much as their Puritan neighbors did with their virtue names.

    They tried to uphold Western Civ in various other ways, but they at least made it clear that they were not identical to any group of Euros -- their name-shibboleths told others that they were a new special unit, Americans, but that they swore to do their best to champion Christian values, uphold Western Civ, and all that other Euro-LARP stuff.

    If they had stuck with British names, then there would have been no baton to pass to the American elites. And no reason to declare independence from Britain.

    Speaking of which, note that there are no notable Alvins from Canada, especially early on. They did not want to break free from Britain, they wanted to be British people with a British culture, just in a new location. They did not want to create a new culture -- which is why, after finally relenting, Canadians have always copied Americans and not the other way around. They didn't face the meta-ethnic nemesis of Indian raiders, we did. That forged us into a new people, not them.

    But it wasn't just an East Coast elite name -- Alvin Saunders, who was born in Kentucky, became the Governor of the Nebraska Territory, and ultimately its first Senator, way out West. He was born in 1817.

    By the 1880s, the name had already reached #112 among baby boys names, and kept rising toward its peak in the 1920s, when it hit #71. It has declined ever since then, and yet it remains well within the top 1000 (at #770) even today.

    No doubt that's helped out by its adherence to Millennial and Zoomer male name phonotactics -- 2 syllables, stress on the first, second syllable is a weak unstressed vowel (usually schwa or short "i"), followed by "n" -- Devin, Dylan, Mason, Jackson, etc.

    But Americans will never forget Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks, since "they" recorded an iconic Midcentury novelty Christmas song ("Christmas Don't Be Late"), which guarantees cultural immortality in America, where we were desperate to come up with new non-Euro Christmas songs.

    Not just rehashing original Dark Age names, we'll coin new ones too -- anything to bring the Arthurian world back to real, dynamic, exciting, breathing life! They must've come up with their own novel names back then, right? Well, why wouldn't Alvin have been one of them? They shouldn't be fossilized, but kept going as though still full of creative, inspired potential!

  39. Alva, the middle name of Thomas Edison (born in the mid-1800s), was part of the same pseudo / neo-Arthurian project as Alvin, but it didn't get quite as high -- within the top 200 (and it had a minor spelling variant, Alvah).

    After plateau-ing in the 1880s and '90s, it fell off hard and never recovered. It left the top 2000 altogether in the 1980s and has stayed obscure.

    This emphasizes the importance of phonology, not semantics, in the evolution of names -- Alva(h) has a more feminine-sounding ending than Alvin, and regardless of that, also failed to adhere to the Millennial / Zoomer male name pattern, which requires an "n" at the end. Or in a pinch, an "r" -- Asher, Archer, Porter, etc.

    If you could convince Millennial and soon Zoomer parents that "Alver" is a legit name, they would totally run with it, just as they're still keeping Alvin alive, but not Alva(h).

    (The related Alvaro, from Spanish, violates the requirement of having a final consonant, and again, libtards are too worried about cultural appropriation to go with a Spanish name anyway.)

  40. Oh God, Dahmer could totally become an American boy's name!

    "How many times have I told you, Dahmer? Quit playing with your food!"

  41. Simon is a Dark Age name among Gentiles (among Jews there are lots of examples from the Classical era). The first martyrs by that name are from the 4th and 5th centuries, and the first leader by that name was Simeon the Great, tsar of the Bulgarian Empire, who was born in the 860s. Several Hungarians of note from the early 2nd millennium as well.

    And some Dark Age Englishmen -- the 11th / 12th-C Simon of Worcester (Bishop), the 13th-C Simon de Montfort (leader of the barons against Henry III), the 12th / 13th-C Simon of Southwell (Treasurer of Lichfield Cathedral), and the Archbishop of Canterbury Simon Sudbury (born just a bit past the magical 1300 mark, in 1316).

    After that, there are no Simons until three colonial and New World figures -- Simon Bolivar, independence leader in South America (born 1783), Simon Cameron, American Senator from Pennsylvania and later Lincoln's Secretary of War (born 1799), and Simon van der Stel, Dutch Governor of Cape Colony who was born at sea in the Indian Ocean (in 1639).

    Despite the colonial / New World nature of the rebirth of a Dark Age name like Simon, it was the British who ran with it the furthest. Most notable Simons since the 20th C have been British, even though it hasn't disappeared from America (where it only reached the top 200 or 300 during its separate peaks in the 1880s and the 2010s, but didn't fall below the top 600 even at its low-point in the Midcentury).

    Definitely not as iconically American as Alvin, but still an interesting American -- and also, South American -- angle to its revival.

  42. Alvin is part of a rhyming class with Calvin, and the far less popular and later derivative Malvin, all of which peaked in the 1920s.

    Calvin has staged a comeback during the 2010s, though, whereas Alvin is merely being held steady. Semantics likely do not matter, as usual, but phonotactics -- we like an initial consonant in our syllables, especially a stressed one, so Calvin fits better than Alvin, soundwise.

    This also shows that Calvin the given name has nothing to do with John Calvin, the Puritan / Reformed religious founder. The most famous Calvin in American history is Jewish and very not-religious -- Calvin Klein.

    Rather, Calvin was piggybacking on the popularity of the novel pseudo-Arthurian Alvin. Sound, not meaning. From the 1880s through their peaks in the '20s, Alvin was always more common than Calvin.

    The earliest Alvin of note was born in 1804, and the earliest Calvin of note was born around the same time, in 1815 -- Calvin Galusha Coolidge, who served in the Vermont House of Representatives, whose son also served in the Vermont General Assembly, and whose grandson became President -- John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (Although he went by Cal(vin), he was born John.)

    In true Dark Age fashion, he's known by a physical epithet -- Silent Cal. There were no other Calvin presidents, nor were there realistically going to be any more. So there was no need to distinguish this Calvin from other Calvins. That's not what epithets do -- they're not functional and efficiency-maximizing. They're spontaneous and humanizing and playful and freely chosen, outside what is provided by formulas, schemas, and algorithms.

    Calvin Galusha's father was also born a Calvin (in 1780), though he's not noteworthy.

    The point being, both names seem to have been created around the same time and place -- circa 1800 in America.

  43. "Francis has changed the hard "k" into a sibilant "s", then added a high-front vowel (connoting things that are small, weak), and another "s" after it."

    I wonder if that's a more general linguistic trend in Renaissance era European languages, to soften hard consonants.

  44. Justin is another example of a name which appeared in the Dark Ages Byzantine Empire, and then disappeared for over a thousand years before reappearing in the Anglosphere in the 20th century:


  45. Brian is a Celtic name from the British Isles commonly used during the Dark Ages (most notably Brian Boru who was High King of Ireland in the 1000s), then disappeared after the Dark Ages ended until Americans picked it up in the 20th century again:


  46. Ryan supposedly comes from Old Irish "Rian" but there are no notable Irish figures with either name until the 20th century where the number of Irish Ryans/Rians are swamped by the number of American Ryans/Rians:


  47. Kevin is another name which only became widely used in the 1950s in the USA before spreading to the rest of the American empire.


  48. About the similarities between Barack and Brock, there's this "Brock Obama" meme from the late 2000s and early 2010s where people photoshopped Brock the Pokemon Trainer's head into pictures of Barack Obama:


  49. Lyman is part of a rhyming pair with Simon, and is an early and distinctive American name. It looks like Lyman came first -- a wholly new American creation, unknown before 1700 anywhere. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was a Lyman (Hall), born way back in 1724, well before the notable Simons.

    Nor was he alone -- other 18th-century notable births are Lyman Walker, Lyman Wight, and Lyman Beecher (Presbyterian clergyman, temperance movement leader, and father of abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe -- very American).

    All Lymans are American, or in a few cases, Canadian.

    Given how common it is in American religious contexts -- lots of the early Mormon leaders (in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) -- I consider this a pseudo-Saharo-Arabian, and specifically pseudo-Semitic name. Sounds Biblical, from the Bronze Age, not the Classical period when Jews had become more sedentarized and Hellenized. A nomadic Hebrew name.

    It has 3 consonants that make a good Semitic word, L-M-N, and speaking of Mormons, one of their pseudo-Semitic proper names is the Lamanites, an ethnic group in the Book of Mormon who settled in the ancient Americas (akin to Native New Worlders, though bearing a very Semitic-sounding name). Lyman and Laman have the same tri-consonantal root, and even share one of their vowels, and are stressed the same way.

    Lyman was never as popular as Simon, and peaked at the same time, in the early 20th C, never to return. But it served its purpose -- to uncouple America from Europe and its Classical eras especially. Anything that sounded like a Bronze Age Semitic name was fit for the job -- Lyman, it is.

    See also, Hiram, a 10th-century BC Phoenician king, who left his mark in American names as well. They don't have to even been Jewish or Hebrew -- as long as they sound like they're from the non-Euro part of the Old World, and from before 700 BC, they'll do!

  50. Uber-American names David and Michael are also from the Bronze Age of Semitic cultures, not their Classical / Hellenized era. They became popular with non-Jews during the Dark Ages, especially with Byzantine emperors and those in their orbit, like the Bulgarian Empire and the Caucasus nation of Georgia. And from there, to Russia.

    They fell out of favor after the Dark Ages, but were revived like crazy by Modern Americans, to the point where they're some of the most popular-ever names here.

    Mikhail also became revived by Russians in the 19th C -- their version of being sick and tired of so much rational, Neoclassical order and structure. Let's revive the name that no leader of an Eastern Orthodox country has used since the Byzantine and Old Church Slavonic era!

    I can flesh out the specifics of these evolutions later, just wanted to put a synopsis here while speaking of Bronze Age Semitic names.

    David was not a Rabbi, Pharisee, or Talmudist -- he was a monster-battling hero! Goliath was a menacing giant, from the nomadic times when real monsters used to roam the earth. Good luck finding such a worthy fuckin' adversary in the Hellenized world that wrote down the books of the Jewish Bible.

    But back around 1000 BC, when David was alive, there were nomadic monstrous threats wandering all over the place. Leviathan, the whale that swallowed Jonah, burning bushes -- it was a whole different world, full of magic, mystery, and fantastical creatures, with no centralized Bad Guy in Chief who commanded them all.

    It was like the Greek Dark Ages / Heroic Age, or Modern Japanese folklore and mythology, or American folklore and mythology -- there's no single Devil / Satan at the top of a hierarchical army of beasts. They're all out there, doing their own thing, much like Dark Age bestiaries in Europe, when the Devil was an impotent joke of a figure. He wouldn't become a nearly all-powerful Villain-in-Chief until after the Dark Ages, when societies started centralizing again -- Dante, Milton, the Witch Trials (all witchcraft being supervised and commanded by the Devil himself, of course).

    In the weak central state society of America, the Bronze Age Semitic folklore and mythology resonates a lot more with us. David and Goliath, Theseus and the Minotaur -- something with a proper monster in it!

  51. Amy and the variant Aimee (no accent) are other names that became popular with the American Empire, due to a Broadway musical called Where's Charley? from 1948:


  52. It's really amazing to think that Glorious Nippon not only invented a new iconic monster, but saw the whole world adopt him into their own bestiaries, and even spawned a productive suffix for a monster -- "-zilla", after Godzilla, King of Monsters.

    Sorry China, Korea, and Southeast Asia -- only one "Asian" nation is cool enough to do that, and it's the one that's in a Dark Age of its cycle, which hasn't been seen on the mainland of Asia since the Mongols (at the very end).

    I'll bet there's all kinds of badass monster movies that could be made from Chinese mythology of the Tang and Song dynasties, not to mention the nomadic menaces themselves, like the Liao and Yuan dynasties.

    However, China just isn't in the right cultural phase to channel that spirit, to get into the Dark Age mindset. It would be better of Japan were the interpreter of Dark Age China to the modern world -- which they have already done plenty of times, from anime to video games.

    They just get it more naturally! They also live in a weak-state society with feudalism and nomadic threats roaming around, until very recently, and still do -- albeit somewhat pacified by the American occupation.

  53. Pop culture doesn't drive mass behavior. How many hit songs with a girl's name were there that were *not* followed by a rise in the name's popularity? They don't pick a name at random -- you'll never hear a some about Beulah in 2024.

    They pick one that's already trendy -- the culture creators are the ones riding on the coat-tails of mass behavior.

    In the case of Amy, it was a case of in the right place at the right time. The musical Where's Charley? debuted on Oct 11, 1948 -- too late to affect the figures for 1948.

    And yet Amy had already jumped 20 places in the ranking, landing at #311, when from '47 back through '30, it had been stuck around 325-330, and wouldn't budge upward.

    Maybe the writer of that musical had heard his friends naming their newborns Amy in '48, the first year that it ticked upward. Or maybe he had the same mindset of those mothers, figuring Amy was due to become a hit name.

    In any case, it was a coincidence, not causation.

  54. A better example of the non-causative role of pop culture on mass behavior -- Maria. The most popular song from musicals is "Maria" AKA "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" from The Sound of Music, which debuted in '59 and was adapted into a hit movie in '65.

    The lead female character in one of the most popular musicals, and then movie adaptation as well, is Maria from West Side Story, which debuted in '57 and was adapted to movies in '61.

    All these high-profile pop culture characters named Maria -- American mothers are sure to get brainwashed and send Maria through the ceiling during the '60s and after!

    Wrong! Maria *peaked* around the time of those musicals and movies, and declined during the '60s in their wake, falling off pretty hard after that. Nor was this downward trend reversed by Blondie's first hit song in many years, "Maria" from 1999.

    Maria had already been soaring for decades before The Sound of Music and West Side Story.

    Why Maria -- and later Mariah, Mariam, etc.? -- instead of Mary, which has been in steep decline more or less since the start of American history?

    Cuz Mary is too British and too Euro. Maria, Mariah, Mariam, Miriam -- those sound more Bronze Age Biblical, part of our imaginary Ancient Egyptian, Canaanite, and Mesopotamian roots. Mariah especially sounds like a pseudo-Semitic Biblical name, riffing on Hosiah, Obediah, and the like.

    Americans are not British, and do not want to be British. How much clearer can we make it? We'll name our daughters Mariah instead of Mary.

  55. Now for Theodore, to wrap up the Chipmunk names. In the past 10-15 years, the name has exploded in popularity for American baby boy names, reaching all the way to the #10 spot for 2022.

    Yes -- Theodore, that name everyone associated with being a geek or whatever back in the '80s or '90s. Everything Victorian is hip again. It's last peak was in the 1900s, and declined for a full century.

    Theodore Huxtable was a popular character on one of the most popular TV shows of all time, The Cosby Show, in the '80s -- and yet the name kept sliding in popularity for over 20 years. Pop culture has no effect on mass behavior.

    Nor did the sitting super-popular president of the 1900s, Theodore Roosevelt, save the name during the following decade, when it began falling off.

    What brought Theodore into the American name-pool to begin with, though, regardless of whether it's during a rising or falling phase? Some names don't cycle at all because they're not part of our name-pool.

    There were a few Classical-era Theodores from Ancient Greece (Theodorus of Samos from the 6th C BC, and Theodorus of Byzantium from the 5th C BC).

    But most of them are from 300 AD and after -- it's a Dark Age name, championed and popularized by the Byzantine Empire. There were only 2 born after 1300, and none after 1400.


    As for the post-Dark Age era, there are only a few examples from separate centuries and separate countries -- not reliable members of a culture's name-pool.

    The first notable Theodore who is part of a national tradition for the name is an American born in 1787 -- Theodore Frelinghuysen, of a long-established political clan in New Jersey. He was followed by notable 19th-C American births Theodore Parker (transcendentalist and Unitarian minister), Theodore Dreiser (novelist), Theodore Roosevelt (future president), among many many others. There's even a Theodore Lyman -- two highly distinctive American names in one person!

    Crucially, these people are from stodgy normie occupations -- politician, businessman, religious leader, etc. Not just offbeat artists, adventurers, and others whose non-conformist parents may have given then non-conformist names.

    And given the recent resurgence in the name's popularity, the vast majority of famous Theodores -- after the Dark Ages -- will continue to be American.

    The name is not "Greek" -- it is Byzantine. And it is not "Christian", since Europe remained Christian after 1300 yet threw away this name. It's a Dark Age name, whether Christian or otherwise, in Europe or the New World, whether the bearer speeks Medieval Greek or Modern American English.

    In America, it may get confused with another Dark Age name from the Germanic side of Europe -- Theodoric (as in the King of the Ostrogoths of the 5th and 6th centuries). But if Americans are tapping into that name, they are still channeling the Dark Ages of Europe all the same.

    From Jason to Theodore -- skipping right over all those Golden Age of Athens figures, whose names are very well known to us, but could not sound more out of place in a Dark Age culture like America.

  56. Sandra, a purely American creation, was the #4 girls name in America for the 1940s. It appeared almost out of nowhere in the early 20th C, first climbing during the '20s and '30s. Even after declining for decades, it was still in the top 200 for Millennials.

    It has the exotic non-British sound, non-Roman sound, and vaguely Eastern Med sound, where our imaginary roots lie.

    I don't know if it's a shortened form of a Greek name -- it has a lot in common with other popular sound patterns of its time, like Debra / Deborah, Barbara (whose 2nd vowel is silent), etc. Two syllables, 1st stressed, final syllable is "r + schwa", stressed vowel is a front low vowel, stressed syllable has an initial consonant and one or more consonants in its coda.

    But if it Greek, it's short for Cassandra, not Alexandra. In English (American anyway), the "x" in Alexander and Alexandra is pronounced "gz" not "ks". Shortened forms of Alexander include Zander, but not Sander. Ditto for Alexandra shortening to Zandra, but not Sandra.

    The "ss" in Cassandra *is* pronounced as an "s", so that's at least possible.

    But I doubt either of these truncated origins -- because Sandra soared off the charts way before either of the longer names took off, and they were far less popular even then.

    Sandra had already peaked, in the '40s, before Cassandra and Alexandra started to rise in the '50s, and they wouldn't peak until the '90s. Interpreting Sandra as a truncated form assumes that the longer form is already common and well known -- but they were not.

    In any case, Cassandra, the only possible one, actually refers to a Dark Age Trojan, not a Classical-era Greek. Alexandra sounds too Classical and sophisticated -- not very American. Cassandra has a supernatural gift involving a kind of magic -- being able to see into the future, but being cursed by the gods to be unbelieved by everyone else. She's a psychic, not a philosopher, right up America's alley.

    But as I said, I doubt either inspiration -- it's a name unto itself, and has its own nickname form, Sandy. That doesn't carry over into Alexandra (which cannot be nicknamed Alexandy) or Cassandra (no nickname of Cassandy). I know AOC went by Sandy, but Alexandria in Spanish does have a "ks" sound, not "gz" as in English.

    It simply sounded vaguely Greek, from their Heroic / Mythological / Bronze Age past, not their Classical and sophisticated era. And importantly, it sounded like Barbara and Debra.

    Anything to not sound like a Neoclassical Brit.

  57. Sandra, Debra, Barbara are very close to the Pamela, Tamara, Angela group, except the latter have 3 vowels, the middle of which breaks up what would be 2 adjacent consonants in the first group, at a syllable boundary.

    Perhaps in American English, a nasal followed by a liquid (or just "l") isn't a nice syllable-boundary pair. So stick in a vowel to break them up. Whereas a stop consonant like "d" or "b" followed by a liquid (or just "r") doesn't sound to bad, so no need to insert a vowel to break them up.

    More evidence that semantics are only tangentially involved here, and at a very abstract and collective level -- like "vaguely Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean", rather than "from the Greek, specifically meaning protector of men".

  58. when you think about it and spell it out it becomes obvious. voiceless consonants are associated with weakness/faggotry because they can be produced even when speaking nasally/uptalking with only the air in the mouth. whereas clean voiced consonants require nice booming airflow from ones lungs/gut.

  59. Amy is part of a rhyming class with Mamie and Jamie, all of which are distinctly American. Mamie came first, with mid-19th-C births among the notable ones, the earliest being Mamie Claflin (b. 1867), a temperance and women's sufferage leader (not a mercurial artist type).

    Mamie peaked sometime in the late 1800s, fell off at least since the 1890s, and never recovered.

    Amy we've already been over.

    Jamie, although not as popular as Amy at any point in time, is a unique American name, coming into existence sometime in the early 1900s, staying in the #900-1000 range through the '30s, then jumping off in the '40s -- *before* the jumping-off point for Amy, which was the '50s. Jamie peaked later than Amy, '80s vs. '70s. It reached the #34 spot for the '80s.

    So if anything, Amy's sudden skyrocketing has even less to do with pop culture, but riding the coat-tails of the brand-new name Jamie.

  60. BTW, I'm not subtweeting anyone in this post or thread -- if you have one of these names, congratulations, so does everyone in the off-shoots of the British Empire!

  61. Linda, Melinda, and Belinda are a rhyming class, and all are American creations. Linda came first, already in the top 300 baby girl names by the 1880s, although no notable examples from the Wiki page (many do not list their birth year in the list, though, and I'm not cliking on every one). It shot up during the '30s, peaked at #2 in the '40s, and fell off after that.

    Melinda and Belinda took off during the '40s, when Linda was at its peak, clearly piggybacking off of it. Melinda was more popular than Belinda, and peaked at at #91 in the' 70s, with Belinda peaking a bit earlier at #168 in the '60s.

    Just like Sandra spawning the elongated form Cassandra (which is therefore a false cognate with the mythological Trojan woman, but makes for a nice post-hoc rationalization), Linda spawned the elongated forms Melinda and Belinda, which sound highly similar to each other (voiced bilabial consonant, followed by schwa, in the unstressed first syllable).

    These are pure sound sequences, Me- and Be-, they have no semantic meaning as though they were a prefix. We can thus reject all spurious etymologies about Melinda deriving from the Greek words for dark or honey, Belinda having to do with Italian bella, or Linda having to do with Germanic lind or Iberian Romance linda, etc.

    Like the other quintessentially 20th-century American names, they derive from nothing, but sound as though they were exotic Eastern Mediterranean names from 1000 BC -- as part of our mission to separate ourselves from British names of the Early Modern period, since we're American, not British. We should be named accordingly, with the sounds in a name being a shibboleth (especially when the semantic content, such as it exists, is identical, like British Mary vs. American Maria, Mariah, Mariam, and Miriam).

    There's more than one way to alter a given sound sequence -- you can remove sounds, or you can add sounds. May be obvious, but everyone forgets, especially when one name sounds like the shortened nickname form of another. But as we see with Sandra -> Cassandra, and Linda -> Melinda and Belinda, names can be elaborated upon, not only pared down. And purely on the basis of sound, with the new additions meaning nothing as either supposed prefixes or suffixes.

  62. Jeez, what a tangled web with Melanie, Melissa, Melinda, Beth, and Bethany! Gimme a sec, I'll figure it out...

  63. Too many Europeans have the name "Caroline" so the Americans decide to modify it to "Carolyn" instead.

  64. Melissa, Melanie, and Melinda all took off during the '40s, and were equally popular in that decade and the '50s. They all peaked in the '70s, with Melissa reaching #3, Melanie at #56, and Melinda at #91. They all fell off afterward, without recovering.

    Similar to a rhyming class, but with the same head instead of "tail". Call them a same-head class, I guess. With a wrinkle, though, in that Melissa and Melinda have an unstressed 1st syllable (2nd stressed), while Melanie is stressed on the 1st.

    This makes sense since Melinda is an elaboration of Linda, and when you add material, it shouldn't alter where the stress is -- just like in removing material, you remove the unstressed material.

    That implies that Melissa is also an elaborated form of a shorter base name. It could be the same "me-" added to Lissa -- that base name did not exist, but Lisa did, and was also taking off like a rocket in the '40s and '50s (reaching the #1 spot of the '60s). Lisa does have a slightly different vowel from the intended target of Lissa, ("ee" in Lisa vs. short "i" in Lissa), but they're both pronounced very near to each other, as high front unrounded vowels.

    Perhaps only "m-" is the addition, and the base name is Elissa / Elyssa, or related Elisa. But these were far less popular, albeit rising over the same period or perhaps later than Melissa and Lisa.

    Whether Lisa or Elissa is the target for the elaborated form Melissa, the base name reflects a desire to shift away from the uber-British name Elizabeth / Elisabeth. There are many ways to remove material from Elizabeth and still get a well-formed name -- Eliza, Beth, Liza, Liz, Elisa, Lisa, Eli, El, etc. More on Beth later.

    And in either case, Lisa and Elissa both have stress on the "l + high front vowel" syllable, allowing the elaborated form Melissa to go unstressed in the new 1st syllable.

    None of Melissa, Lisa, or Elissa were names before 20th-C America (notwisthanding the lone example of Lisa del Giocondo, the woman painted in the Mona Lisa). They're pure coinages. Even the one that sounds the most like an existing Euro name, Lisa, subtly altered the vowel and following consonant of its target in Elizabeth -- from short "i" to "ee", and devoicing the "z" into an "s".

    And for all I know, perhaps the early Lisas pronounced their names with a "z" instead of an "s", even less of a deviation from Elizabeth. Certainly the Lizas like Liza Minnelli used the same "z" as Elizabeth, although they deviated more in the vowel alteration, making it a diphthong whose second element was an "ee" as in Lisa.

  65. Unfortunately, I don't think America's ever going to have national single-payer healthcare, because they're too much of a decentralized Dark Ages society to muster up the centralized state control needed for single-payer healthcare:


  66. Where does that leave Melanie? This cannot be an elaborated form like Melissa and Melinda, since the 1st syllable is stressed in Melanie. It's not an unstressed addition. And there is no base name to add "m(e)-" to -- Lanie, Lania, Elanie, Elania, etc., all with "a" as in "car", do not exist in English.

    If it were Melana, then perhaps an unstressed "me-" could be added to existing American name Lana. But that's not what's going on here, and besides "me" is stressed in Melanie, unlike the two elaborated names.

    And unlike Melissa and Melinda (for whom there are only 2 historical examples, an early Christian saint and her granddaughter, both from the early Dark Ages), there are several historical examples of Melania and Melanie, neither of which are elaborations, but fully formed names in themselves.

    So, Melanie seems to have been dragged along with super-popular Melissa and less popular Melinda, even though the stress pattern is different, and even though Melanie is not an elaborated form like the other two. Just due to being same-headed, apart from stress.

    This debunks yet another dum-dum theory about pop culture influencing mass behavior -- Wiki, citing who knows what dum-dums, claims that Melanie rose in popularity due to a main character in Gone With the Wind having that name. The book came out in '36, the movie in '39. The timing is right -- but yet again, that's just a coincidence.

    Why didn't any of the other characters' names skyrocket in popularity, like Scarlett or Rhett, the main duo? Cuz they couldn't participate in a broader phonotactic trend. Rhett has only recently skyrocketed among boys names, and that's after the earlier popularity of rhyme-mates Bret and Chet, which did not exist back in the '30s. Likewise, Scarlett has only skyrocketed recently due to the resurgence of rhyme-mate Charlotte (which has always been more popular than Scarlett).

  67. This old blog post of yours might be worth traversing through:


  68. I forgot about Melody / Melodie! This name also began rising during the '40s, peaked in the '60s (within the top 200), and fell off for awhile... before coming back to life starting in the 2000s!

    Why did Melody come back to life, but not Melissa, Melinda, or Melanie? Something to do with the semantic meaning? Of course not! All four names are same-headed, but only Melody has the final two syllables being "short 'i' + flap + 'ee'" -- putting it in the broad class of popular girls names that are of the form optional unstressed syllables, then stressed syllable, followed by that sequence above.

    E.g., Kennedy, Cassidy (with many variant spellings), Serenity, perhaps revived Puritan virtue names like Chastity, Purity, and Felicity, etc.

    Some Fox News Boomer could start a trend with Hannity as a girls name in this climate, while also piggybacking on the earlier popularity of Hanna(h).

    My hunch is that this class is a subtle alteration of the earlier popular name Emily, where the liquid "l" has been changed into a flap, and where any ol' stressed syllable can take the place of "Em-".

    In any event, they are all American coinages with no precedents or traditions in the name-pools of other cultures.

    And they are, as always, based on phonology, not semantics.

  69. More evidence in favor of the "-ity" names stemming from Emily, their stressed vowels tend to be low front vowels, as in "Em-". That's what keeps Purity from being as likely to come back, compared to Chastity. Felicity has a front vowel, although a high one.

    So, most important for that stressed vowel to be front, and better if it's low, like "Em-".

  70. Not surprisingly, there are no "vice names" to counteract the virtue names, since we're a Dark Purity culture, not one of Enlightened Perversion.

    I was trying to think of rhyme-mates for Melanie, and the only word it rhymes with is Felony. Sounds more like a Suicide Girls pseudonym, not one that could ever take off in the general population.

    And Depravity could never join the "[BLANK]-ity" class, unlike Chastity, even though it has the same stressed vowel.

  71. On your other blog you wrote a piece on when elite whites start obsessing over blacks:


    And on there the data showed they started doing that in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

    And that was around the time America's empire was reaching its peak power, and it was time for America's elites to start integrating all its ethnic groups into the American empire, no more white nationalism treating blacks as not American, they need to now be integrated into American society as Americans, and they won't ever willingly integrate into American society if the white elites don't care about black culture and blacks. So hence why America's elite whites started obsessing with blacks.

  72. Finally, Beth and Bethany. Beth came first, already in existence though not famous in the 19th C, in America only, naturally. It steadily rose during the early 20th C, then really took off in the '40s, peaking at #67 in the '60s, a similar timeline as those discussed earlier.

    Bethany was always far less common than Beth, and began rising later, in the '50s, then peaking later as well (at #100 in the '80s). Both fell off and never recovered.

    This makes Bethany an elaboration of Beth -- not Beth a shortened form of Bethany.

    Where did its extra material "-any" come from? Why, from Melanie! And also from the far more popular name Tiffany, which peaked at #11 in the '80s, whose nickname is Tiff.

    This means it's completely coincidental and spurious that Bethany is also the name of a place -- but not a person -- in the New Testament. It was not adopted into the American name-pool as Bethany, but as an elaboration of Beth, with the new tail borrowed from existing popular names like Tiffany and Melanie (and maybe others I'm not remembering off the top of my head).

    Where did Beth come from? Well, the same place that Lisa and Liza and Elissa did -- by trying to Americanize the uber-British name Elizabeth. Beth was already in use as a nickname for Elizabeth, so why not use it as a given name in its own right? It'll make us sound less British, especially less "post-Dark Age British".

    Elizabeth, although "Biblical" in inspiration, seems to be unattested in Bronze Age, Classical, or Dark Age eras, especially among non-Jews. There are only a handful of late Dark Age saints named Elizabeth -- almost all of the examples are from after 1300.

    Somehow we neo-Dark Age Americans could sense this, and rejected it, desperate to alter it into a more American-sounding form. And even that was not enough -- better to elaborate upon it, as in Melissa or Bethany, so that we can distance ourselves even further from the Euros of the Enlightened Perversion era, and sound more distinctly American.

    Another reason to reject the Semitic and Biblical origin of Bethany is that the "Beth" in "Bethany" ends in a feminine h/t (taa marbuuta in Arabic, don't know what it's called in Hebrew). Meaning "house". But in "Beth" that stems from "Elizabeth," does not originally end in that letter, but the exotic ayin -- Elisheva, as transliterated into Roman letters, but having an ayin at the end in Hebrew, not the feminine h/t letter.

  73. The stressed vowel in Melanie, Tiffany, and Bethany are all front, and 2 of 3 are low as well. Same pattern as Emily and the ones it inspired in the 2000s and after.

    Only subtle differences are that the unstressed middle vowel is schwa vs. short "i", though still a bit close to each other. And the last consonant is a nasal "n" instead of liquid "l", though still voiced and high up on the sonority hierarchy, a common substitution in linguistic change. The final vowel is the same, "ee".

    Looks like we've (I've) found a much broader class of names that all these belong to. And all having to do with phonology, not semantics!

    The only role for meaning is in the vague connotations or suggestions of their ethnic background -- real or imaginary. They sound like Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean names, where we place our imaginary ancient roots -- not Europe.

  74. As for Emily, BTW, it's not a Classical name, despite claims it comes from Roman family name Aemilius.

    In fact, there's only one notable Dark Age figure, Emmelia of Caesarea, born circa 300 AD, whose son was Basil of Caesarea, a leading figure in early Christianity. They were Byzantine.

    There are no notable Emily's born after her until circa 1800, and even then it seems to be part of the Romantic era backlash. The earliest notable Emily is an American from -- where else? -- Texas. Emily Austin Perry, sister of Stephen Austin (there's another iconic American name ahead of its time), who were early pioneers in Texas.

    She was born in 1795. The daughter-in-law and First Lady under president Andrew Jackson, Emily Donnelson, was born in 1807. These two are ahead of Brits of the name like Emily Bronte (born in 1818). So was American suffragette Emily Parmely Collins (b. 1814).

    Although declining from at least the late 1800s through a low-point in the 1960s -- when it was still ranked at #250 -- it shot up during the '70s, peaked at #3 for the '90s, and has fallen off since. If only the "l" were a "t" or "d", it could've been ever more popular now, as part of the "[BLANK]-ity" class.

    But I think that's where the class got its recent inspiration from, so Emily served its purpose at any rate.

  75. Scott is another name that seems to be given to mostly Americans. There are no notable Scotts listed on Wikipedia before the 20th century.

  76. Stephanie started the "-any" class, it looks like. That name started shooting up at the same time as Stephen for boys names, in the '40s. But it kept going for awhile, peaking in the '80s at #7.

    Tiffany only took off like crazy in the '60s, then also peaked in the '80s (at #11, staying less popular than Stephanie the whole time). It clearly piggybacked on Stephanie -- it just deleted the initial "s" ("s + consonant" initial clusters are rare for girls names), kept the "t" and the "f" sounds, and slightly raised the stressed vowel to short "i", while maintaining its front-ness. The "-any/ie" ending stayed as well.

    And it sounded less like a mere feminine variation on a male name, but a feminine name of its own.

    Stephanie being the original one also makes sense because the rest of the class wants a low-front vowel in the stressed syllable, and Stephanie's got one. Tiffany has a front vowel, but somewhat high.

    Plus Stephanie was the most popular one, and the earliest one, AFAICT.

    Where did Stephanie come from? Well, she's piggybacking on the more popular Stephen, so in that sense she's part of a Dark Age revival, not reviving the name directly.

    But as far as Stephanie's in history go, there were quite a few in the Dark Ages. Four notable nobles from the 11th and 12th centuries, and from various locations and languages -- 2 from French background (although residing in the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Crusades), one from Castile, and another from Navarre. Earlier in the 9th C, Pope Adrian II's wife was named Stephania.

    The name died out in Europe after 1300, but was briefly revived during the 19th-C backlash against order and structure and reason, in several Euro countries.

    As I said, though, American Stephanie is not borrowing from this lineage of Stephanie's -- it's piggybacking on its more popular male version, which only the Americans revived from its former Dark Age glory, as described earlier in the original post.

  77. Seriously, say out loud Stephanie without the "s", and marvel at how close it is to Tiffany! Only the orthography is getting in the way of our recognizing how near-identical they are. Just that tiny little difference in the stressed vowel.

    If Tiffany were spelled Tiphanie, it would be glaringly obvious what it was riffing on.

    Say them alternately back and forth -- Tephanie, Tiffany, Tephanie, Tiffany -- and notice how little your mouth and tongue are moving. The vowel is so close, and everything else is the same! Just deleting that initial "s", which is natural since initial clusters are no good for female names. Really the only exception is Stacy.

  78. Ha, of course the dum-dums think Tiffany was spawned from Breakfast at Tiffany's, the 1961 hit movie.

    Nope -- it's just a subtle alteration of Stephanie, making it more suitable for female names, and sounding like a name of its own rather than a female variant on a more popular male name.

    Wiki even claims it comes from -- what else? -- Greek, i.e. Theophanes.

    We can reject this dum-dum claim very easily, since Tiffany does not have an "h" in the spelling, and is not pronounced with the voiceless interdental fricative as in the Greek name (theta), even though we have that sound in English (as in "think"). There is no "o" in either the spelling or pronunciation of Tiffany, nor is there a diphthong of any sort in that first syllable.

    In all English borrowings from Greek that begin with "theo", we have kept the spelling and pronunciation identical to the original (in that root anyway) -- theology, theocracy, theodicy, etc. It would be totally effortless for us to adopt Theophanes as Theophany/ie (thee-OFF-uh-nee). But we didn't -- cuz that's not where that name comes from at all!

    Keep grasping, post-hoc rationalizers! Semantics always leads the dum-dums astray, they get lost in their own clever-silly cerebral verbal-games bullshit.

    Phonology is more corporeal and physical, which is why it appealed to me the most of any domain of linguistics. I'll bet phonologists are better dancers and athletes than the semantics and syntax people!

    Also less dominated by Ashkenazi Jews (very verbal-oriented) than semantics and syntax, from what I recall of the big names.

  79. The best you can say about Tiffany responding to Breakfast at Tiffany's is that the movie drew people's attention to the name, when it was ripe for the picking. Tiffany & Co. goes back to 1837, and became a famous luxury brand in the early 20th C, and the building where it was housed in the movie was completed in 1940 -- plenty of opportunities for Americans to notice this name.

    But from 1837 to 1940, there was nothing appealing about Tiffany cuz there was no nearly identical name Stephanie, and there was no Stephanie cuz there was no Stephen -- not at skyrocketing levels, anyway.

    The movie did not cause people to find the name appealing -- that was entirely due to the popularity of Stephanie and Stephen, which had been rising high for decades by then.

    But it could have drawn their attention to this appealing name, at which point they intuitively recognized how similar it sounded to Stephanie -- without consciously saying so, of course. But if Stephanie was a great name, then so was Tiffany -- thanks, Hollywood, for pointing that name out.

    But Hollywood did not brainwash or manufacture consent or anything dum-dum like that.

    In fact, Audrey Hepburn's character's name in that movie is Holly Golightly -- what happened to Holly? THAT is the name that should've influenced mass behavior, according to the dum-dums. Nobody named their kids Skynet after watching the Terminator, it's just some company brand name.

    Well, Holly was already shooting through the roof, as of the '40s. Again, culture creators jump on the bandwagon with names that are already popular among the masses. That's their job -- to give the audience what they like, not to brainwash them against their will as part of a vanguardist social engineering project, which always fail. Get a clue!

    Nobody in that movie is given-named Tiffany.

    Tiffany is just the name of the store, which everyone had known about for decades. Nothing newly luxurious about the brand, its merchandise, or its building, all of which remained as they were for decades.

    It was just hearing the sound sequence "Tiffany" in the title that made them recognize, unconsciously, "Hey, that sounds a lot like Stephanie, the already popular girls name -- it would make a great riff on that already popular name!"

  80. Quick addition to the Pamela, Tamara, Angela group -- Tamela! Never a very popular member, peaking at #525 in the '60s, but rising during the '50s and '60s like the others of the group.

    Just neat to see confirmation that people are just playing around with the sound sequences -- if Pamela and Tamara are good, why not mix up some of their sounds while staying within the overall template, and try out Tamela?

    An even rarer variant is Tamala. The popular spelling being Tamela shows they were basing it on Pamela, to riff on an existing popular sound sequence.

    As usual, Tamela means nothing whatsoever, and does not derive from whatever false cognates there may be in Greek, Swahili, Vietnamese, etc.

    It's just being playful and creative with sound sequences, within a purely phonological framework. At most, the suggestion or connotation of what ethnic group it reminds you of, due to names acting as shibboleths for in-group / out-group distinction.

    Also, there was a minor variant on Tamara -- Tamra, popular at the same time, but deleting that middle vowel and trying to join the Debra and Barbara group. But like I said, something not so well-formed about that nasal-liquid sequence across the syllable boundary, unlike the stop-liquid sequence for Debra and Barbara. So Tamara won out.

  81. That's probably it for tonight's lecture, discovery, sermon, concert, etc. Time to get ready for Irys' midnight karaoke. ^_^

  82. Carolyn is part of a rhyming class, with Marilyn and Cherilyn (all with spelling variants). Haven't looked into them all yet, but I think they're the origin of the "-lyn" names that remain ubiquitous among American girls, now including Brooklyn, Kaylynn, Jaylin, etc.

    Also related to Evelyn, another early American pseudo-Arthurian name. But the three early ones above rhyme all 3 syllables, clearly part of a broad phenomenon.

    So broad, they just might have to do with some male names I'm about to write about, including Mervin / Marvin -- related to Marilyn? Maybe, maybe not. But both sounding Medieval Welsh, and spelled accordingly with that odd "y" in the final syllable, although with the usual "i" for the male names -- male names being more resistant to embellishment.

  83. First up is Patrick, the Irish version of 19th-C Dark Age revivals among Euros (including the Irish diaspora in America). Similar to Germans and Austrians reviving Engelbert, or Russians reviving Mikhail.

    Patrick comes from the Latin honorific title Patricius, related to patrician (elite, not plebian / commoner). But as a given name, it's only from the moribund stage of Roman history, in the Dark Ages, and even more so among the Byzantines. It's not a Classical-era given name.

    The earliest Patricius is the father of St. Augustine of Hippo, from the mid-4th C. But he's not so well known in his own right.

    The best known Patricius is St. Patrick, the missionary and patron saint of Ireland, from the 5th C. True to the nomad-dominant, weak central state climate of the times, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders / pirates, from his home somewhere in Britain, and only escaped some years later back to Britain, eventually returning to Ireland to convert them to Christianity.

    Also true to the monster-battling hero archetype that people long for in the absence of a strong central state that could provide protection against violent roaming threats, he's said to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland, similar to the Byzantine legends about St. George slaying the dragon.

    Patrick / Patricius had already died out by the second half of the Dark Ages, possibly because the Roman Empire had zero meaning or prestige by that point. It remained dead for most of the post-Dark Ages, until a popular revival sometime in the 19th or early 20th century, relating not just to the Euro-wide malaise with structure, order, and security, but also to the growing Irish independence movement, and reviving their pre-British conquest figures and heroes.

    It enjoyed some popularity in America, but not as much as in Ireland -- and here, probably mostly among the Irish diaspora.

    Worth noting how recent some of these ancient names are -- due to conscious revivals, not to an unbroken, long-standing tradition.

  84. Wikipedia says that Marcia is of Italian origin but there are no Italians with the name Marcia in the Wikipedia article:


  85. More definitively American is the feminine version, Patricia, which was likely piggybacking on the surging popularity of Patrick. It cracked the top 1000 baby girls names in America by the 1880s, and continued rising toward its peak in the 1940s, when it climbed all the way to #4.

    It was way more popular than its male counterpart / inspiration, which only reached #32 in the '60s, and which was actually in decline during the late 19th and early 20th C, only rising again in the '30s.

    Like Patrick, it is a Dark Age revival, with the only notable historical Patricia being a Byzantine saint from the 7th C (Patricia of Naples, after the spot where she eventually wound up, but from Constantinople). In this case, the revival is unintended -- it was just piggybacking on the conscious revival of Patrick, known to English-speakers, unlike St. Patricia of Naples / Constantinople.

    Via its nicknames Trisha and Trish, it likely influenced the appearance of Trac(e)y, which began rising in the '40s or '50s and reached its peak in the '70s -- very Gen-X girls name. There are no other popular girls names that begin with "tr" before that time, and like Tiffany, Trac(e)y used to be a surname, not a given feminine name.

    Tracy and Trisha also shares a voiceless sibilant for their 3rd consonant (just a subtle alteration from "sh" to "s").

    Along with Tracy came rhyme-mate Stac(e)y, which like it also bears an unusual consonant cluster in its head -- surely influenced by the earlier popularity of Stephanie. They're the only hit girls names beginning with "st".

    Their timing and overall popularity are about the same, among their spelling variants.

    Once the highly unusually headed Tracy and Stacy fell off, the rest of the name "-acy" was kept around for repurposing into a new rhyming class, first with Casey and Lacey, then Macy and Jaycee. There are evidently no real-life Chaseys, but there was a famous '90s adult film actress by the screen name of Chasey Lain. (If you image search her, add "90s" to the search terms, to only show her when she was supermodel-caliber, not what she apparently descended into in the 2000s.)

    Whatever claims there are about the meaning / origins of these names, is the usual BS. They're a rhyming class that spun off from a phonologically similar founding member, ultimately Patricia.

    Patricia might have also spun off an open template of the form:

    (C) + schwa + liquid + short "i" + voiceless sibilant + schwa

    Like Melissa, Alyssa, Marissa (forgot to mention her in the earlier comments about Melissa, which she clearly copied, just changing from one liquid to another).

    These particular ones owe to the effort to carve up Elizabeth so it's no longer recognizable, starting from Eliza. But with the Patricia template also floating around, the "-lissa / -rissa" class could have gotten an extra boost in popularity.

    There's a clear influence of Patricia's template on later Alisha, which keeps the unusual "sh" sibilant, unlike Alissa.

    All of these sound suitably non-British and non-Euro, like Bronze Age Eastern Med names, aside from the "-acy" ones, which still don't sound British but more uniquely American -- cuz they are!

  86. Sidenote: I think I finally get the appeal that girls found in Jared Leto, another '90s sex symbol. Chasey Lain and Jared Leto back then looked like opposite-sex twins.

  87. Brief note on another iconic Dark Age revival name -- Norman. We've already covered Frank, how about the good-guy raiders who kicked out the bad-guy raiders in England in the 11th C? Normans conquered the Vikings, not Englishmen. The Normans were welcomed as liberators in an era of dominant nomads and weak central states.

    Norman was a surname after the Norman Conquest, but there are no notable people with that given name from that time or after in Europe. The supposed feminine form, Norma, is also unattested outside of a single example in 1203.

    Rather, it's an American given name, probably a conscious Dark Age revival, since it has no rhyme-mates, and doesn't seem to fit into a looser template with others either.

    The reason it was so rarely used before was its being a contemporaneous demonym -- like naming our kids America, Pilgrim, Yankee, etc. Wouldn't happen.

    But to 19th-C Americans, it had no such interference, since the Normans were not a contemporaneous ethnic group.

    It was already rising by the 1880s, and reached its peak in the 1930s at #40. After falling off, it has remained flat around the #1200 level, rather than vanishing altogether -- because it fits the Millennial / Zoomer template of Devon, Mason, and the rest.

    There's a wide-open niche to name your kid Saxon these days -- it not only fits the template, it rhymes with Jackson, and even spelled like the variant Jaxon. And it's reviving a Dark Age ethnic group from the days of wandering tribes warring against one another, one of whom landed in England, where we ultimately come from (in reality, though not in our imagination).

  88. For all of Taleb's obsession with correcting historical BS info, I am surprised he never brings up the Crusader Sack of Constantinople in 1204, which desolated Greek civilization beyond recovery.

  89. Kenneth is another Arthurian revival, already in the top 300 baby boys names in America by the 1880s, soared toward its peak in the 1940s at #16, then fell off after, but still remains in the top 300.

    Notable Kenneths are all Dark Age -- the 6th-C St. Kenneth of Ireland, another saint of the same name and century but from Wales, the 9th-C founder of Scotland Kenneth MacAlpin (similar to his contemporary Alfred the Great in England), and his successors Kenneth II and III from the 10th C.

    After that, no notable Kenneths until mid-19th-C births in both England and America. Maybe it occurred to them independently -- if we're going to revive Alfred, Dark Age unifier of England, why not also Kenneth, Dark Age unifier of Scotland?

    From there, its nickname became the iconic Ken, from Barbie & Ken, and of course Barbie is the nickname for another standard Midcentury American name, Barbara.

    It just occurs to me that Gwyneth is rhymed after Kenneth -- in that "Gwyn" spelling, the stressed vowel is slightly higher than in Kenneth, but it has an equally popular alternate spelling, Gwenyth, where they're the same. I've always heard people say the name of the actress Paltrow as rhyming with Kenneth.

    Plus that makes it same-headed with the literally, not pseudo, Arthurian name Gwendolyn (and its shorter form Gwen).

  90. A timely reminder, with the anti-Zionist protests exploding, and the freakout among national-level politicians to criminalize free speech against Zionism and Israel, that America has always had a weak central state -- and now more than ever.

    It's true that we have something like a Deep State, like the Praetorian Guard or the Spanish Inquisition or the Stasi or other historical examples from empires.

    But you know who didn't have them? The Frankish Empire, the Viking Empire, and the Byzantine Empire. I'm guessing the Abbasid Caliphate did not either, whereas we all know the Ottomans and their Turkish rump state did / do.

    China has a Deep State, but Japan does not.

    Cracking down on mass behavior only works in strong central state societies, which all of Europe has been since 1300. That's the environment that creates an Orwell, Kafka, or Solzhenitsyn.

    Right now I'm watching the classic British TV show, The Prisoner, from the '60s -- and far closer to that Orwell / Kafka tradition, than its American counterparts like The Twilight Zone, Star Trek: TNG, etc. It's overtly about the Deep State of a national government, with chains of command that secure compliance from their underlings -- except for the lone rebellious protagonist.

    The American side covers that at times, but we're more likely to have our antagonists be smaller in scale than the Deep State of a full-fledged empire. And often enough, it's about the low-scale members of a community turning on each other out of fear and suspicion -- not at the control or instigation of a centralized Deep State.

    Anyway, the point is, clamping down on free speech and protesting is something that Europe, Russia, China, and India do all the time. That doesn't happen in Japan or America, though, as much as some of their elites would like to do so -- there's just not much power centralized into the national government to wield against the population.

    In fact, right now all of the clampdowns are coming from governors and mayors, directing their national guard (a misleading term for state-level military) and city police force. That's feudalism, with power decentralized to the provincial level, a lord and his retinue -- not a national gendarmie or national police like Europe, Russia, and China have.

  91. At most, the central govt could beg the online tech barons to suspend the account of anyone that talks bad about Israel -- but even that is not on the table. They're trying to go through the national Dept of Education, which gives funding for schools, crucially colleges, at the state and city levels.

    Still, the FedGov has no power to enforce their will on all the colleges around the nation. A lot of university funding comes from the state and local tax revenues, and their real cash cow is not FedGov grants -- but Wall Street investment portfolios ("endowments"). The FedGov also does not control the big Wall Street banks or Connecticut hedge fund giants. Turning off the money-spigot enough to hurt the universities would require debanking them, freezing / seizing assets, etc., by the finance barons -- and they have no incentive to do that, and are not under FedGov control anyway.

    When the central state does not dole out shitloads of free stuff, nor provide for the security and protection of citizens (which again comes from the local cops or Natl Guard, assuming anyone shows up to defend you at all, the federal military will never stand in the line of fire to protect you), it has no leverage to threaten anyone with. Oh no, don't take away the thousandth of a percent of our endowment that comes from federal grants!

    In a decentralized, feudal society like ours, the barons scratch each other's backs, rather than the central state doling out goodies and protection to the various barons, to secure their allegiance to the state. Wall Street banks siphon money into university endowment funds, without needing approval from Congress or the President or Supreme Court. Universites reciprocate by enculturating the next generation of wannabe elites to trust the overall financial system, worship things like credit scores and cashback perks for credit cards, and be eager to serve it if anything.

    Especially at elite colleges, where these protests are hottest -- elite students are more likely to think they're in charge, or headed on their way toward being in charge after graduating. So they feel entitled to a seat at the negotiating table, and won't blindly follow orders from their own college or the national Dept of Education.

    What is their own college going to do -- suspend everyone? Revoke everyone's credentials? It'd be such a stain on their all-important MeTrIcS, they'd never dare. Same reason they grade-inflated every student to never get a failing grade -- that would bring down the college's score on THE BIG BOARD.

    That's why they're asking the local armed retinues to use force, which may give them bad publicity in the media, but will not drag down their scores in the rankings.

    Again, even that is not a central state response -- it's a very local one. It may be happening around the country, but it's not directed nor even coordinated by a national entity. It's just that the regional / local barons feel similarly about shutting down anti-Zionist protests, and they all have local armed retinues under their command, so why not use them? It's not centralized at all.

  92. In the case of UCLA, it wasn't even the city police who were using force against protesters -- it was a rag-tag group of Zionist citizens, who obviously had the blessing of the local police and any Deep State handlers in the area, but were also not agents of those entities going undercover / agent provocateur.

    It's similar to Antifa during the Trump years -- mostly private citizens who had the blessing of the Deep State, but were not literal flunkies from the FBI or NYPD. They probably weren't even formally deputized by the local police or Deep State -- just given their word of honor, to look the other way if they wanted to stab or shoot Trump supporters live on TV, since they shared an enemy.

    These pop-up protests, and pop-up counter-protests, must have been what violence in politics was like during the nomad-dominant Dark Ages or the Bronze Age, akin to raiding / rustling livestock, then counter-raiding or getting reprisals. No central state that could shut down either side, even if it gave one side its lip-service blessing.

    Or more to the historically relevant point -- the Wild West in America. Supposedly the police were least present at the UCLA protest, compared to the East Coast and Great Lakes protests.

    A strong central state would never allow its monopoly on legitimate violence to be broken by rag-tag groups of wannabe thugs, like the Zionists at UCLA, or Antifa. It would undermine state authority, showing that they're too impotent to do it themselves, so they farm it out to decentralized networks that operate outside the national, state, or local governments.

    "Paramilitaries" is too extreme, which suggests they're centrally organized but semi-off-the-books. No, these are more like street gangs or feuding clans, which dominate a weak central state society.

    Actually strong central states send in the national gendarmie, like the Guardia Civil in Spain, or the Carabinieri in Italy, who have clearly identifiable uniforms that remind everyone -- this is a central state presence, and since the central state is strong, you'd better watch yourselves, or you'll get smacked back in line.

    We have no such Carabinieri-esque organizations, no such uniformed presence, and therefore, no such reminder not to get on the wrong side of the national government.

    In America, you can tell the FedGov to go take a load of AIDS up its ass, and they will not punish you -- not cuz they wouldn't like to, but cuz they don't have enough power centralized up to their level, to direct against you -- let alone all the offending citizens out there.

    In America, you're taking on the Governor or City Hall, and their far weaker armed forces (no nukes, no carpet-bombing, no navy, no missiles, no nothing). At that level of decentralized armed forces, it's a lot harder to control rowdy crowds.

  93. Which is why they usually don't bother -- videos of police crackdowns on protesters are always way worse from Europe, and those are national police / gendarmeries.

    I don't know why they're bothering trying to wield their local-level armed forces against protesters, when there's no way that's enough, and so it makes the city / state leader look powerless and shamed when they prove predictably ineffective.

    Maybe it's being in the collapse stage of our imperial lifespan, when leaders start doing all kinds of pointless crazy shit out -- not out of desperation and anxiety, but out of seething vindictiveness.

    "Oh yeah, you think you're gonna make me look bad by protesting Israel with no violent consequences? Well, it may not shut your protest down, but I'm gonna bring you down with me!"

    20-25 years ago, when I was part of these protests, the city and state barons could not have stopped us through force either -- but they were not so seethingly, ragingly vindictive like their counterparts today. They decided better to let them blow off steam, get into shouting matches with counter-protesters, but by no means would they have discredited their own authority by sending in the cops or National (State) Guard to try to arrest us or beat us up, which would have had zero effect on the protests' size and intensity.

    Now, we're in the "fuck it all, pull out all the stops" stage of empire, and local / state leaders will and are going to discredit their authority and prove their own impotence beyond doubt, just out of seething vindictiveness.

    "If I feel bad, you're going to feel bad too!" No matter if it unravels what shrinkingly little institutional legitimacy, credibility, and authority they have left to get compliance from the peasantry or the wannabe elites.

    It's going from the patriarchal disciplined father role, to the drunken-rage deadbeat dad role, who never gets his kids to obey him.

  94. Final remarks on this topic (for the night anyway): it's not really the central state providing goodies to the barons that gets their compliance to the central state's orders and institutions.

    It's that the barons have decided to delegate that power, authority, wealth, and monopoly on violence to the central state.

    Why? They usually want to hoard those precious things for themselves.

    That's where the nomadic threats come in -- it takes a strong central state to crush nomadic raids, expel the nomads, and scare them away from trying to get reprisals.

    Nomads are nomadic -- and as hard as it may be for a central state to chase them all the way into the depths of the Steppe (or open sea), it's *even* harder for a provincial lord or city council to do that kind of chasing.

    That's the link to fortress architecture in nomad-dominant times -- regional lords don't even bother trying to hunt down the raiders, they play pure defense, and what else can they do but build solid walls around the things that are valuable?

    A strong central state doesn't build a wall around the entire national borders, although that may play a part. Even there, policing a national border requires national-level cooperation -- it can't be done in patchwork by regional lords. It has to be centrally coordinated and executed.

    What if there's a weak link? What if one regional lord betrays the others for nomad money? National borders can never happen in a feudal society, which is why ours have always been non-existent, and why our architecture has always been so fortress-like.

    And the defense doesn't need to cover the entire border, since a strong central state also has a strong standing army that can fill in any gaps in the defense, as well as go on the offense against the would-be raiders, or to get reprisals against raiders who made it back out into the Steppe or open sea.

    Enduring, repeated, intense nomadic raids eventually wear down the private greed of the regional lords, and make them take a second look at the whole "boo, central state" behavior. Maybe it's worth it to pool some of our resources, material and social, into a central state, since that's the only fighting shot we've got at protecting ourselves from these nomadic predators.

    And that goes as well for purely internal group violence -- like one regional lord vs another, forgetting about any external raiders.

    Eventually that internecine violence wears everyone down, and makes them consider delegating some of their authority, wealth, and violence abilities, to a central state, assuming it's fairly neutral w.r.t. the regional lords.

  95. So what causes the pendulum to swing back the other way? Once that power, wealth, and violence has been delegated to the central state, how does it ever get clawed back by the regional lords?

    It becomes a victim of its own success -- the strong central state wipes out the nomadic external threats, and pacifies the internecine feuding within its own lord class. A true happy ending!

    But this state of peace goes on for so long, that eventually there is certainly no personal memories of the nomad-dominant world, but not even institutional memories of them, which would warn them about clawing back what they granted to the central state.

    "Ah, bollocks! That's just a bunch of hysterical scholarly hand-wringing from 900 years ago -- the world today is so different from then! Who exactly are we protecting ourselves against? The Huns, Alans, Magyars, Goths, and Vandals haven't been seen for centuries! Our regional lords may occasionally descend into civil war once every several centuries, but they're not in a permanent ongoing state of feuding and raiding each other. Problem solved! We don't need those powers centralized into the national state anymore -- we're taking them back for ourselves, to enhance our own status and prestige and authority. Nothing to worry about, though -- there are no threats that need defending against anymore!"

    By weakening the central state through un-delegating their wealth, power, and violence, the regional lords -- with no effective institutional memories of the nomad-dominant days -- expose the entire society, from the top down to the provincial level, to nomadic raiders from outside, and open up the can of internecine raiding and feuding within the internal lord class. Each lord has his own private army again -- and they're damn well going to use it! Perhaps to go on the offensive, or to deter others. But in any case, there goes the pacification of internal raiding.

    And pretty soon, the society enters the nomad-dominant times again, whether the nomads are internal or external.

  96. Why don't the societies change instantly when nomads show up? Cuz the regional lords wave that away as a temporary fluke -- annoying, even tragic that these predators get away with their raiding. But not severe enough to force the lords into delegating their authority to a central state.

    That's why the raiding needs to go on for so long, and be so intense, that the lords can no longer wave it away as a temporary fluke.

    Then the central state machinery gets switched on.

    But like any system with hysteresis, when it's long and slow to switch on, it stays on for a long time, even after the motivating stimulus goes away.

    Same reason -- how do we know the absence of nomads is not just a temporary fluke? Who says they or some other nomadic group won't be back next year or next decade? We can't just shut off the central state machinery like a light-switch. Better to just keep it running idle until it's needed actively -- and who can say it's no longer needed, unless a veeeerrrrryyyy long time has passed with no nomadic raiding.

    These systems are called "fast-slow" systems in the differential equation modeling world, where one variable acts fast -- the nomads, in this case, who don't even need to coordinate with other nomad groups, only themselves -- and the other variable reacts slow -- the collective consensus of the lords.

    Fast-slow systems tend to have hysteresis for the reasons above. Digestive enzyme production, as a reaction to the presence of the food it's meant to digest -- if there's just a tiny morsel that comes into the stomach, who says it's time to turn on the enzyme? Maybe it's just a morsel. Not until there's a steady flow of it does the enzyme production ramp up.

    And just cuz there's a lull in the flow of food -- why shut down the enzyme? Maybe the mouth is just taking a break, to chat, or relax, or prepare the next course or whatever. Keep enzyme production on, even in the absence of food, if it's been switched on already. Keep it idle, so it can be used immediately when the food flow resumes.

    Only shut off enzyme production when the flow of food has stopped for a long time. Only then is it safe.

  97. This is also distinct from the build-up and breakdown of asabiya, in the face of a meta-ethnic nemesis, a la Peter Turchin's model of imperiogenesis.

    Just cuz there's a meta-ethnic nemesis, only means that regional lords need to form a collective unit to defend themselves, and maybe then go on the offensive.

    It doesn't say whether that collective will be centralized or decentralized. It just says they're now bound together by their shared nemesis, whereas before they might not have though of each other as belong to the same Us / in-group. Now they do.

    But whether the in-group is going to be governed by a strong or weak central state is independent of the matter of a meta-ethnic nemesis and needing to cohere together.

    The strong vs. weak central state cycle is not reacting to the presence / absence of a meta-ethnic nemesis, but specifically to a nomadic / raiding kind of threat, whether internal or external.

    And again, the build-up of that central state is long and slow -- just cuz Vikings raid the Seine, doesn't mean France is going to turn into a strong central state overnight. The Vikings were long gone by 1300, when the French state began centralizing like crazy -- possibly slightly earlier than that, under the reign of (Saint) Louis IX, who consolidated the territorial unification of France by Philip Augustus circa 1200.

    But I still favor a date closer to 1300, cuz no one knows right after Philip Augustus unifies France, or Louis IX consolidates those gains, that the situation will last forever. It seems like several generations moving in the same direction are needed before the lords say, OK, you're right, we need a permanent strong central state so that nothing like the Viking raids ever happen again -- not to mention the Alans, Vandals, Huns, Magyars, and so on and so forth, during our semi-recent past.

    The Frankish Empire and the French Empire were both empires, spawned by a meta-ethnic nemesis (the Roman Empire, along the border of the Rhine River, for the Franks; and the Vikings in Northern especially Northeastern France, where they came down the major rivers to raid).

    But the Franks had no long-term memories of a nomad-dominant world -- their memories were of the Roman Empire, a strong central state if ever there was one! So their lords favored a decentralized weak central state, while still cohering into an expanding empire.

    The French of the late 1st millennium had plenty of memories of nomad-dominant times, so they decided, y'know what, we can't let that happen again, our empire is going to be dominated by the central state, not a patchwork of regional lords.

    The English / British Empire of the same time, came to the same conclusion, cuz they had the same memories of the wandering tribal warfare times, right up through being occupied and ruled over by the Vikings (far worse than the French got it from the Norsemen).

    Britain had no meta-ethnic frontier to spawn an empire during its Dark Ages, so we don't have the perfect internal comparison like we do in France. But if there had been an empire in Britain during the middle of the 1st millennium, you can bet it would've been a decentralized, weak central state empire, like the Franks or the Vikings in their neck of the woods.

  98. That's it for tonight. Just gotta make sure to keep the war-minded male audience checked in, after so much content feeding the baby-name-minded female audience.

    Sorry, guys, they're just too cute to ignore. ^_^

  99. "National borders can never happen in a feudal society, which is why ours have always been non-existent,"

    I wonder if that's why nobody is addressing the border migrant crisis in the United States right now, and why governors are willing to just ship migrants to other states.

  100. Oooh, this one's for Moom and Fauna -- Bella, Edward, and Jacob! A very good example of the non-causative role of pop culture on mass behavior, like choosing baby names.

    The book Twilight came out in 2005, and the movie in 2008. Bella, the name of the female protag, rose afterward -- but it had already been shooting up like crazy *before* the book came out!

    It was nearly non-existent from the earliest American records, and was outside the top 2000 names up through the 1990s. But it began climbing like crazy during y2k: it leap-frogged from outside the top 2000, all the way to #750 in 2000, and by 2004 had climbed further to #260 -- before the book even came out.

    So, Stephenie Meyer, the book's author, was just jumping on the bandwagon, not sparking a trend of her own. Culture creators supply what the audience demands, they don't socially engineer a bunch of blank slates.

    Moreover, Bella itself is clearly piggybacking on the success of Isabella, which took off beginning in the '90s, and nearly a decade later, the shortened form Bella took on a life of its own -- before Twilight.

    These two are part of a broader rhyming class whose founding member was Gabriela, which began climbing during the '60s and '70s, along with alternate spelling Gabriella (with two l's -- mimicking the then-popular ending "-elle" as in Danielle, Gabrielle, Elle, etc.). The two-l version became the more popular form by the '90s, since it looks more exotic, and while fashioning a whole new cultural identity for ourselves, we always prefer the more exotic form.

    Around the same time that Gabriel(l)a took off, so did Daniel(l)a, spinning off from Danielle. It never got as popular as Gabriel(l)a, cuz people were used to it being Danielle, so Daniella wasn't so exotic and novel, whereas Gabrielle was not as common as Danielle, and rose a bit later, so it was able to do a quick costume change and convince everyone it was a brand new name, Gabriel(l)a.

    Other names that joined in during the '90s-and-after "-ella" fest: Stella, Estella, Ella, Hella (jk), Della, Coachella (jk again), Zella (fr), Vella (far less common), Briella, and Nella -- and that's just the ones I can think of to check!

    The multisyllabic ones are harder to think of. I checked Ezekiella -- no hits so far, Gen Alpha username spotted!

    To spell it out: the base name is an ancient Semitic name from the Jewish Bible -- Gabriel and Daniel, both masculine. So just give them feminine endings, and with 2 l's, and a pronounced schwa rather than a silent "e" at the end -- and ooh la la, they sound both ancient Semitic, ancient Greek, and Latin all at once! (Naturally, none of these names were used before America's founding.)

    No McKella's either, if you were thinking of naming yet another girl McKenzie or McKenna, but want to rhyme it from a different popular base name.

    Some of those "-ella" names were huge names back in Victorian / Edwardian times, and have come back from the dead.

    Speaking of Edwardians coming back from the dead, how about Edward, Bella's main love interest in the series? Edward has been in steep decline in America since the Edwardian era, and received no boost whatsoever from the Twilight series.

    Jacob was more popular than Edward, but had already reached its peak in the '90s -- Meyer was even more late to the bandwagon on that one than for Bella.

  101. To clarify, Gabriella is the founding member of the currently popular rhyming class of "-ella" names. Like I said, quite a few were highly popular back in the late 19th C, and perhaps earlier, in America, like Ella (#17 in the 1880s), Stella, and Estella.

    As mentioned, they're related to the "-elle" class, which also has old roots (e.g., Belle being #107 for the 1880s), before the sudden skyrocketing appearance of Danielle in the mid-20th century.

    And they're also related to the "-elly/ie" class, whose oldest popular member is Nellie (#19 for the 1880s), before being joined by Kelly and Shelly during the mid-20th century (the same time Danielle and Gabrielle took the place of Victorian names Belle and Nell within their rhyming class).

    None of these names mean anything, as their inspirations draw from ancient Semitic, Latin, and who knows what else. They just sound like names you haven't heard before if you're a Brit or a Euro, at least from after 1300 (no, I'm not going to check which ones are potential Dark Age revivals, but I doubt many are).

    And some of them are not borrowings or adaptations at all, but pure coinages, like Della, Briella, and even potential founding members Elle, Ellie, and Ella (not pronounced with an "l" in Spanish, where it has meaning).

    They simply sound new in history -- just like our American culture! They're the perfect fit.

  102. So many classic video games being streamed by the Japanese girls from Hololive recently! Subaru is playing Super Mario Bros right now, in fact, with well over 20,000 live viewers after 3 hours. ^_^

    Luna played Mario Kart 64 -- I watched the whole thing and was never bored, despite the fact that I can't understand Japanese. It's so much more entertaining than the later Mario Kart games -- the courses really knock you around like a pinball sometimes, and you're in fate's hands.

    I can't remember LOL-ing for real so much during a stream -- sometimes you get multiple rounds of bad luck in a row, and there's nothing you can do but laugh at your cosmic punishment.

    But she's a pretty good player, knows the courses well from childhood, and when she comes from behind, you're pumping your fist to cheer her on.

    And there's very little of the annoying Kommie Kart algorithm that watered-down the fun in the games from the 2000s onward -- it seemed like there was only one blue shell every 4 or 5 matches, not every single match, let alone multiple times per match.

    And no info-overload on the graphics, items, etc. It's easier to pay attention to.

    And the music is killer! Such an off-the-wall eclectic '90s mix of banjo-pickin' getaway music, chill Caribbean steel drum lounge music, and spooky horror movie music.

    I only wish that some of the other girls would play with her -- in battle mode! That's the best way to play Mario Kart 64! Especially on the Block Fort map, there's so many places to go (unlike the donut map).

    They really watered-down the battle mode in the 2000s and after, and now nobody even bothers playing battle mode. But that's actually how we used to play it back in the good ol' 90s -- hours and hours and hours of Double Deck and Block Fort, with the occasional match on Skyscraper.

    I know they try to include some of the classic courses on the new releases, like MK 8, but they aren't the same. Some are literally just 20% of the original map, like Rainbow Road from MK 64.

    Everything is so on-rails and hand-holding in the new ones -- they don't even let you fall off the edge, you get rescued the moment you fall off. Not like that in MK 64, where if you fall off the side into Yoshi Canyon, your ass is tumbling down for a good 5-10 seconds before you get back into the race.

    MK 64 is so much more rowdy, even the AI is more rowdy. It really gives it that Mad Max free-for-all brawl-on-wheels feeling!

    It's not mere nostalgia -- the classic games are superior, not merely familiar and memory-tickling. Graphics (especially the color palette), gameplay, level design, and MUSIC.

    Nobody will play a classic game like this outside of Japan (regardless of which company they work for, regardless of what country they come from / language they speak, or anything else). Japan invented and perfected the video game format, and only they will uphold the classics. ^_^

  103. The Japanese love for bridges is abundant in the level design of MK 64's courses. Another element that seems to be lacking in the games from the 2000s onward -- not just in the MK series, but any racing game, especially the more simulator-based non-Japanese driving / racing games.

    The course is supposed to be like a fantastical jungle gym for cars! Something you could only experience in a video game. Not some boring IRL simulation.

    And it adds so much to the dangerous, risky nature of the gameplay when you can plummet off the sides of the bridge and into the trap below.

    But it's not just the danger of there being no guard-rails -- it's the safety you feel on either point of the bridge. The feeling that you're passing between two ordinary spaces, through an unstable risky portal.

    Some of the "bridge" elements in later racing games are not really bridges at all, they're just paths above open space, with no guard-rails. It's not the same as a bridge that connects two safe points, across an unstable connecting element.

    The Block Fort on battle mode has everything -- tons of bridges, step-pyramids with multiple tiers and ramps, blocky shapes, fortress feeling. So American -- and so Japanese! No arcades, pavillions, or any of that open-airy stuff.

    Mario Kart is supposed to be about nomads conducting a rowdy raid, whether in grand prix or battle mode. Its architecture has to reflect that -- where nomads are dominant, architecture is blocky and fortress-like!

    I really hate those Modern Euro city replica courses in the later MK games. So anti-nomadic, like you're some tourist on a guided bus tour. Real gamers want a rumble-in-the-jungle atmosphere, like DK's Jungle Parkway! ^_^

  104. Luna also played a Gradius game for the Playstation (Gradius Gaiden). See the older post from January, about shoot-'em-ups being the most Japanese video game genre. You won't find non-Japanese people upholding those classics...

    Unless they're turbo-weebs like Fuwamoco, seeking to be initiated into true Japanese culture after moving there! (Not just being anime-watchers.)

    They played a Touhou bullet-hell game, in an IRL collab with the Treasure-Bell herself, Marine! ^_^ Marine has a playlist on her YT channel with all the Touhou games she's beaten on stream -- there must be dozens!

    And Koyori, as part of a retro marathon, played Star Fox 64! Right when I tuned in, there was a waterfall -- such an iconic element of Japanese landscape art. And what looked like step-pyramids or temples from the New World or Ancient Egypt -- while being set in distant outer space!

    Very cool upgrade to the level design compared to Star Fox from the Super Nintendo, which was more of a standard outer space planet, IIRC. The SF 64 levels are more of the "ancient aliens" type, which only Japan has incorporated into their culture as much as we Americans have into ours. ^_^

  105. Shoot-'em-ups make great co-op games, too. I'd love to see an OkaKoro collab where they play one of the many, many shoot-'em-ups for the PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16.

    I'm pretty sure Korone has that console, and maybe the CD version as well? I don't know if she has any shooter games, though. But they're very common, easy to pick up, if she doesn't already have them. The best game is Gunhed (Blazing Lazers), and although it's only 1-player, Korone and Okayu could take turns playing it...

    Or they could play a proper co-op arcade shooter, like Forgotten Worlds (available on Capcom Arcade Stadium, for the Switch), or Eco Fighters (available on Capcom Aracade 2nd Stadium).

    The graphics and music are amazing in the shoot-'em-up genre, it would be quite a sensory feast for their audience! ^_^

    Speaking of the PC Engine, that's something that Fuwamoco ought to explore, during their adventures in Nihonjin-ification -- retro consoles, especially ones that were only / primarily popular in Japan. Perhaps during a visit to the Koronator?

    Even if you're in the right generation like me, only a minority of us played and fondly remember the TurboGrafx-16 (what it was called here, and using a different form factor). It's mostly a Japan-only console.

    And made by NEC -- giants of the Japanese electronics world (well, back before the 2000s, when everything was made in Japan, or made in USA). They used to dominate the Japanese personal computer market, so a video game console was a natural decision for them, like the Xbox branching off from Microsoft's domination of the Windows operating system in the '90s.

    Computers used to look so cool, and had dedicated peripherals instead of everything being different swipes on a touch-screen. ^_^



    Oh, and here's the PC Engine -- pretty compact and kawaii for a video game console. And the games are compact and kawaii too -- like a thick credit card.


    Japan is the only nation that still enjoys using the fax machine, a testament to their love of physical, mechanical technology over purely intangible online "tech". They still maintain their video game arcade machines! And still have physical crane games, not just online gacha games.

    Nihonjin-ification cannot be complete without some tangible connection to the golden age of electronics manufacturing in Glorious Nippon.

    I know Fuwamoco must be scouring the music stores there for obscure CD's -- what better to play them on than a made-in-Japan CD / DVD player? ^_^

    There's one by NEC at a local thrift store here in America, I may have to pick it up after getting this pumped about them. I already scored a made-in-Japan Sony DVD player from the '90s, which does CD's as well. But NEC is too cool and iconic in Japanese culture to ignore. ^_^

  106. Speaking of vintage tangible tech, I scored lots of photographic slide stuff recently. A slide projector by Airequipt, made in USA, similar to this one, with the iconic dark figured woodgrain, chrome (or silver-toned metal), and black look of the '70s Midcentury Modern style, and with the remote control and a separate slide-stacker loader:


    Still has a made-in-USA Sylvania bulb in it, too! ^_^

    Got an Airequipt magazine for the slides to go into, and which fits into the loading area of the projector. All aluminum, including the individual slide frames. Made in USA, natch. With the original packaging -- and a price sticker, showing it was bought from a Woolco for $1.44 -- possibly indicating a Canadian store (they had $1.44 sale days). Probably from the '70s or 80s.


    And a Da-Lite glass-beaded projection screen, like new in the original box (it was sold from a K-Mart in 1979). This model:


    Projector was $8, screen was originally $9 but got it on half-off day for $4.50, slide magazine was $4. Midcentury treasure is still out there. ^_^

    I have two sets of slides within the piles of family pictures, so that's a start for what I can put into a slideshow. They're from '84 and '85.

    But people on eBay sell huge lots of old slides, so there's another source of entertainment material. Classic cars, candid family photos, travel / tourism, architecture, social interactions from the pre-collapse times. And all projected from film, through an optical lens, onto a proper screen that's glass-beaded! ^_^

    I'd kill to get my hands on a slide collection of Modern American architecture...

  107. Another bittersweet reminder of how rich we used to be. Just by going to the local K-Mart and Woolco (the discount department store from the Woolworth company, whose earlier stores were five-and-dime variety stores), the American (or Canadian) Everyman could pick up a slide projector, projection screen, slide magazine, the camera, and film.

    Take pictures of all sorts of interesting things, shot on high-quality film.

    Display them during a slideshow, like a little movie theater of your own in the home.

    Yes, I have a vintage home movie projector, too. ^_^ Harder to find film reels to watch, though.

    Now you need an ungodly expensive iPhone, smart TV, etc., to do the same thing. Which is why nobody does it -- unlike home slideshows being so common in the good ol' days.

    And unlike slides, which are still around by the boatload, none of your digital image files will exist in 10 years, let alone 50 years like the slides.

    "Um, ackshually digital files don't physically deteriorate like --" that's right, the files get deleted, or the devices they're stored on get tossed out, or the websites they're hosted on get shut down or privated or paywalled. No one gives a shit about digital image files.

    Good luck finding those pictures you assumed would last forever, that you uploaded to your MySpace profile back in 2005. Good luck finding the Canon PowerShot that you originally took the pictures with -- and good luck finding the SD card with the files on it. Those images are lost forever.

    Not only are we far poorer than our ancestors were in the '70s, we don't have anything left to remember the world by.

    But physical media will never die.

  108. It gets more bitter than sweet: as part of our widespread material / technological / manufacturing collapse, nobody makes the bulbs ("lamps") for slide projectors anymore. They're highly specific, not just any ol' appliance -- they're only for slide / movie projectors.

    Looks like a few rando places made them into the early 2010s (GE, Sylvania, and Westinghouse stopped making them awhile before that, judging from the graphic design on all new old stock). But as of the late 2010s or 2020s, nobody makes them anymore. You have to find new old stock, which is about $20 per bulb on ebay -- doesn't sound too bad, but their lifespan is only 25 hours!

    If you're only going to use it 1 hour per year, as part of a family slideshow when everyone meets for Christmas, that would last awhile. No biggie.

    But if you wanted to actually use the thing at all, not just 1 hour per year, you'd go through these bulbs pretty quickly.

    Aside from the expensive cost, they're in limited supply. They're $20 today -- could be $50 next year. Who knows? Total uncertainty, no reliability.

    This is how progress fails to build successively over the millennia -- when one empire builds it, it usually dies with their collapse. We only see the survivorship biased examples, where it succeeded despite imperial collapse.

    But as a general rule, it goes like it is in America right now -- the necessary parts stop being made, the industrial capital is left to rot, the people with the knowledge and experience die off without new trainees to take their place, and then it's just a matter of time before the extant products fail -- and then that's it, over for good, nobody will make them ever again, except by independent re-discovery.

    Here's to hoping that the Yemeni Empire of the 37th century AD re-invents the slide projector, and breathes new life into all these slides laying around 21st-century Earth.

    Till then, the only reliable way to view them is with a non-projector method, like those slide viewers that are just a simple magnifying glass (vs. the multiple optical elements in a projector), maybe with a standard bulb for lighting.

    There are special desks for slide viewing, with built-in lamps, but I'll bet those bulbs are all screwily specific as well. It'd make for a neat piece of furniture, at any rate.

    That's what all this formerly functional stuff is now -- museum pieces, curiosities, engineering wonders from an advanced civilization of the ancient past, that we couldn't even recreate or sustain if we wanted to (and we're too sapped of vitality to even give a fuck about it).

  109. That doesn't negate my point about physical vs. digital media -- digital image files don't even make it to the 10-year mark before they're gone. Slides made it to the 50+ year mark, when viewing with a projector -- and even longer, and still ongoing, when viewing with a bulb-less magnifying glass type of viewer.

    Prints from a negative have never been unviewable, since they didn't rely on a fancy hi-tech display device -- they were already printed large enough to see with the naked eye. If you wanted to blow it up to fit on a 40"x40" projector screen, like a home slideshow, well, tough luck.

    But the upside of not being able to be blown up via projector, is that they will never be unviewable.

    Yeah, but when projectors were common, it allowed these ordinary photos to take on a larger-than-life status, beyond what your senses take in from looking at 3"x5" prints in a photo album from a few feet away. That was a sign of the common man living like a king, not the immiserated serfs we've become since then.

    And not just in the private household -- every run-of-the-mill school, in every podunk town, all across America, had these projectors, the parts, the screens, and the slides, to turn any ordinary classroom into a movie theater.

    Nobody is fooled when you send audio-visual files to a projector in classrooms these days -- it looks just as crappy as it does on a laptop screen or post-CRT monitor. You don't feel like you're in your own little movie theater. That requires special, physical media.

    I still remember when the college Film Society would project movies from film reels, with a real optical projector, onto a proper screen. Those days must be long gone by now.

    I think even the film-buff theater in the city stopped showing optically projected film reels as of the Covid hysteria. Glad I got to see a few while in the late 2010s, while it was still barely holding on...

  110. Dang, checked my home movie film projector to see if its bulb would work in the slide projector -- nope, different size.

    Mood rn:


  111. Every man living like a king in this way was dependent on the movie industry being healthy. The manufacturers of projector bulbs were certainly not relying on the living-like-a-king common man -- he wasn't going through *that* many bulbs a month. It was movie theaters ordering bulbs in bulk.

    Once the movie industry killed itself, that ended up strangling the common man, too (not that Hollywood cared by that point).

    There's the purely idea-based cultural side, where Hollywood stopped making good movies in roughly the 2000s, and certainly by the 2010s. That deprived the common man, who used to have all sorts of -- not mere entertainment, but things that bound him together with other members of his culture.

    But there's also the material side of it -- once Hollywood ditched film for digital, they didn't use the same types of projectors any longer. All those optical elements, the bulbs, the everything -- no longer necessary.

    So, there goes your home movie and slideshow formats as well. No manufacturer will continue supporting them, without the big bucks brought in by movie theater operators.

    Now all we can do is, as always, a 2nd-rate version of movie theaters -- but since they're so crappy, we get an even crappier format. Using a computer to send, or heaven forbid stream, audio-visual data to a big display device, like a huge smart TV, or maybe a digital projector (which still looks like your crappy laptop screen, just larger in size).

  112. In a way, it was like military surplus, but from the culture industry. Remember when military surplus stores had quality stuff? Not since the '90s. Maybe a few odd items by the 2010s, and now they're all done for.

    Why? Same reason -- as Hollywood killed itself, the military killed itself. Who needs high-quality stuff for the soldiers? Just let them wear polyester on their body, and rubber on their feet. Make sure none of their body breathes, and always reeks.

    And as with Hollywood, it wasn't only the material side where things broke down -- they couldn't even pull off the purely aesthetic side of things anymore. They ditched the iconic woodland camo, which was a barely altered version of the ERDL pattern from the '60s, which was still highly similar to the frog skin pattern of WWII, our first camo pattern.

    The Universal camo pattern was such a joke -- desaturated colors, digitized / pixelated look, no multiple colors, no connection to the past. That lasted from 2004 to 2019.

    Its replacement, the Operational camo pattern, at least puts some colors back into it. But it still has that nerdy, pixelated, Puritanical censorship pattern over tits on the TV look to it. It's dehumanizing, like your body is being censored in the media, and also as though you're just bits of data that need to be scrambled so the enemy can't download it or something. Too efficiency-minded.

    The earlier patterns did have a utilitarian angle to them, but just an angle -- they didn't think you'd become maximally undetectable with those patterns, as though you're just an inanimate soulless optimized instrument for jamming the enemy's surveillance devices. PEOPLE are wearing those uniforms.

    The Frog skin through Woodland patterns were like war paint for the clothing, not just for the face. And adhering to American aesthetics -- abstract expressionism, the non-goofy kind. The goofy kind was museum paintings, like Jackson Pollock.

    But look at all the wabi-sabi inspired drip-glaze pottery from the '60s and '70s (and somewhat into the '80s). Very non-representational, purely based on abstract shapes and forms, and color combinations. More on the boho chic earth tones-y side of the '60s and '70s, not so much the Swingin' London / Mod color palette. But still iconically Midcentury American.

    All of the good camo patterns look like they were painted onto a surface by human hands, perhaps with a brush or maybe just their fingertips. Each region of color is large and coherent enough to be made by human hands. Each shape looks organic, something plausibly existing in the natural world.

    The fake & gay ones signaling our imperial collapse look like they were sprayed on at random, pigment randomly spat out from the mouth, or flicked from the brush's bristles -- like the pretentious and ugly kind of abstract expressionism. They look way more Jackson Pollock than '70s wabi-sabi drip glaze pottery. Their forms don't look organic or natural.

    You can instantly tell the cool stuff from miles and aisles away in the thrift store -- "it's the organic noble savage kind, not the pixelated data censor kind!"

    It's the kind of pattern that Tarzan or Conan the Barbarian or Fred Flintstone would wear.

  113. Wait! That's it! The iconic camo patterns not only look like "plant foliage", i.e. the thing you're trying to blend in with. They also look like a piebald animal hide pattern! Fred Flintstone wears just such a pattern on his animal-hide clothing. But his is an orange background with black spots, like a prehistoric cheetah or whatever.

    But the American camo patterns look like the hide of an animal who was trying to use its hide to camoflauge itself within the very same plant environment that we were trying to dissolve into as well. So, don't re-invent the wheel -- just steal it from some outcome of adaptation through natural selection. Some animal has been at this game for awhile, just kill it and wear its hide! Work smarter, not harder!

    Or it looks like body-paint that we applied in the same way we do to the face. But without looking like human skin -- something more textile-y and textured, like a furry animal hide.

    But in either case, organic and natural! What animal's external appearance has those random pixelated patterns and colors? None! That proves that they're not only less efficient (else many animal species would've independently converged on those patterns), they're a moral and aesthetic crime, an abomination against Mother Nature / God / Etc. Too shameful for even animals to wear out in public!

    As Dark Age noble savages from outer space, Americans love a good animal print -- not just women, but the men who envision playing Tarzan or Conan out in the forests and jungles!

    IDK if this insightful comparison has been made before, but I've never seen it. The cool camo patterns look like animal hide patterns!

  114. I mean, basing the military camo pattern on animal hide camo patterns is right there in the name of the original one -- frog skin. But they didn't keep up that naming convention, and I think people lost conscious sight of it, while still of course getting it intuitively. It's the appeal of wearing a patterned animal hide, like a badass caveman or Dark Age barbarian.

    I think people started drinking way too much Kool-Aid about camo patterns as a "data-driven" bla-bla-bla, designed by engineers, rather than allowing the wisdom of adaptation through natural selection to tell us what model to follow -- piebald animal hides! Just, animals that would be living in forested or jungle areas, with colors to match.

    *Not* tropical warning colors, or sexual advertising colors. Rather, Tarzan colors -- he sees an animal that blends in well with the plant environment, kills it, wears its hide to disguise himself in the same environment -- it's common sense, no need for some autist with a PhD to design / engineer the pattern from scratch! Let alone the pixelated kind... did they not find it odd that no animal anywhere, at any point in the history of life on planet Earth, ever had some wackass pixelated censorship of tits on TV pattern?

    That's Mother Nature trying to tell your dumb autistic brain something, that it sadly cannot comprehend.

    Not very long ago, the autists were not in charge. I don't care about generals number-fagging over kill ratios in Vietnam (which they still lost, despite all that number-fagging). They at least weren't so far gone that they designed pixelated censorship patterns for camoflauge in natural environments. They hadn't confused TV pixel patterns with the real natural world yet.

    We'll never live that one down -- nor all the terrible movies made since the same time.

    Fortunately, you don't need highly specific expensive rare tech products in order to sport some animal-hide-looking camo clothes!

  115. That's why I still prefer low-tech stuff like furniture, clothes, basic housewares, and non-electronic mechanical devices (like a bike), when it comes to treasure-hunting in thrift stores. Speaking of lightbulbs, you can't go wrong with lamps, they take a very common standard size bulb that's still in production.

    But any of the other electronic stuff -- you just don't know when they're going to stop making parts for them. And there are a LOT of parts in some of those things. Some of it proprietary, some of them rare, or expensive even in their heyday.

    It's just not very dependable for long-term usage of the thing. At best, it becomes a piece for your own little museum. But not useful.

    Furniture, clothing, mugs, bikes -- you will always be able to use that stuff. Books don't require a playback device! They're like photo prints vs. slides. Good ol' print media... there are still so many high-quality printed books out there, made in Italy, England, America, Japan, etc. Most of that died in the '90s, from what I can tell, and were sent to shithole sweatshops in China.

    But I just found a great vintage hardcover book on Japanese mythology, written in England but printed in Italy, from the '60s, for only $2 at a thrift store. Amazing pictures! They really don't make 'em like they used to. This one:


    Or this one, General Motors, the first 75 years of transportation products ($4), with amazing photos throughout of classic cars (published in 1983, when there weren't too many great years left anyway):


    Cars may not exist in the future, when gas costs $100 per gallon (not just per barrel). But hardcover books, with high-res photos, will be around for a lot longer than the cars they have captured in print form.

  116. “ Good luck finding those pictures you assumed would last forever, that you uploaded to your MySpace profile back in 2005. Good luck finding the Canon PowerShot that you originally took the pictures with -- and good luck finding the SD card with the files on it. Those images are lost forever.”

    Here’s a nice old blog dedicated to just that. The curator sifted through old Photobucket, Flickr, MySpace etc collections uploaded by randos, mostly focusing on the period between 2003-2012. The best starts after page 200 or so, when he was uploading right at the tail end of that time. A good deal of accidental gold. I miss my PowerShot. Lent it to a friend in high school circa 2008 and that was that.


  117. More Japanese girls are catching the classic game fever! ^_^ Sora played, and beat, Super Mario Bros! I could tell she'd played it before, cuz she knew the "start + A" trick to continue. Looking through her archive, she's played several retro games, including the SMB version that's on the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the Super Nintendo. She has really good gamer reflexes, BTW -- she would do well at any retro platformer! ^_^

    Koyori was playing Adventure Island today! That's such a hard game! I only rented it back in the '80s, cuz it gets frustrating after awhile, and it's not something I wanted to play every day, like Zelda or Mario or Castlevania.

    Non-back-seating suggestion for a similar game she may like -- Wonder Boy V: Monster World III for the Sega Genesis (known as Wonder Boy in Monster World outside of Japan). It has the 2D action platform gameplay that Adventure Island does, but with action-adventure as well. Great music, and AMAZING graphics. It's a classic for a reason!


    And what's this, the fever is spreading outside of Japan! Subaru must have been a super-spreader. ^_^ Iofi, from the Indonesia branch, played Super Mario Bros *and* Excitebike!

    If someone wants to try a retro game that's not a platformer, how about a puzzle game that combines some action into the gameplay? The Adventures of Lolo series:




    These are some of the most fun and addicting games I've ever played. Although I rarely play video games anymore, when I do, I always play these! Wonderfully Japanese-y Edenic kawaii art style, too, along with upbeat bouncy yet slightly bittersweet music (which does get a little repetitive after awhile).

    I think the graphics look better on the non-Japanese versions, called Adventures of Lolo, compared to the Japanese versions, called Eggerman. It's a rare miss with the Japanese release -- they look too dark and bland. The Adventures of Lolo versions have the classic outdoor platformer color palette -- lush greens, saturated blues, and warm yellow and brown earth tones for the ground. So comfy!

    Who will come down with classic game fever next??? We'll just have to wait and see! ^_^

  118. While going through Subaru's archive, I found a stream where she played Capcom fighting games with Luna -- including Street Fighter II! One of the later flavors, Hyper Fighting IIRC, but still very much like the original that started the whole fighting game genre.

    Such a breath of fresh air to see old games being played! ^_^

    Subaru and Luna have excellent yin-yang friendship chemistry, BTW. Luna is normally very chill and monotone, while Subaru is rowdy and rambunctious with an intonational rollercoaster. I've never heard Luna laughing so hard before!

    Subaru brought out the high-energy side of Luna -- she's a very good instigator. I can see why everyone likes interacting with her. ^_^ Very reminiscent of Subaru + Okayu, another yin-yang friendship.

    Every even-tempered person occasionally wants a tempestuous person to come into their life and throw the scales out of balance -- for a little while, anyway. :)

    Speaking of which, it's been a minute since Irys got tipsy and called into Kronii's already-in-progress stream... Irys referred to it as "bothering" Kronii -- but some people, sometimes, *want* to get bothered -- by the right person, that is. ^_^

  119. The de-New-World-ization of aesthetics in the neoliberal era. A recent post on the "Global Village Coffeehouse" aesthetic, at the Red Scare subreddit, was very familiar to me as someone who grew up during the '90s...


    But as someone who's been piecing together the puzzle of American ethnogenesis, what now struck me was how anti-New World it is. And as part of that, how anti-American it is -- but it's much broader, anti-New World as a whole.

    There was nothing special about a RETVRN to primitive, tribal, hunter-gatherer, non-European cultures during the 1980s and '90s. In fact, there was an even more widespread and popular aesthetic concurrent with the Global Village trend -- the (American) Southwest revival. Geometric tribal patterns, kachina dolls, dreamcatchers, pre-Columbian rock art (petroglyphs) from Utah, specifically the Kokopelli figure, and so on and so forth.

    Earlier, Americans had carried out a Tiki craze during the Midcentury, not to mention our longstanding mania for all things from Glorious Nippon.

    Pre-Columbian art and architecture have been staple influences since the birth of American architecture around the turn of the 20th century, beginning with the grandfather himself, Frank Lloyd Wright, such as Mayan step pyramids.

    Our folk mythology places the New World at the center of a colonization / visitation / mentorship by an ancient advanced alien civilization, including South America as well as North.

    And our genesis narrative holds us to have inhabited a distinctly New World environment, typical of the Western United States -- desert or mountainous, with some grasslands nearby, and active volcanos. As prehistoric cavemen, we inhabited this environment with honest-to-goodness dinosaurs, as well as non-human hominids.

    And eventually we will colonize outer space, as a sort of nostalgic return to visit the extraterrestrial civilizations that influenced us way back when -- or maybe they won't even be around anymore, but we'll explore distant galaxies nevertheless. Our journey to the moon was only Phase One.

    This unique combination of cavemen in outer space, or cavemen from outer space, is what makes Americans American.

  120. Very little of American culture has to do with the Old World -- certainly not Classical or Neoclassical Europe (Dark Ages Europe is a kindred spirit to our own latter-day Dark Age culture), perhaps the Bronze Age Near East, but that's about it.

    And it's not just Eurasia that does not matter to us in America -- Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, does not matter to us either. It's the Old World, not the New!

    Almost no sub-Saharan African cultural elements make up the suite of American culture, as it was constructed after the integrative civil war. Ragtime and jazz music were not already existing music and dance styles from Africa, which were then imported more or less intact to America -- they did not exist at all before 1890.

    Ragtime and jazz were created from some elements of European and African traditions, PLUS something entirely different and new -- cuz we're undergoing intense ethnogenesis, and need something unique to us. Ragtime and jazz are not some percent Euro + the remaining percent Afro. They're maybe 20% Euro, 20% Afro, and 60% unique creations from roughly 20th-century America, with Americans of both African and European DNA participating in the construction process. Same with later styles like R&B, rock, disco, etc., that define American musical culture.

    We have almost no African food items in our national style (only in the Creole style of Louisiana), no African languages still spoken, hardly any words borrowed and preserved from African languages, no place-names of African origin, no elements of African religion, whether doctrine or ritual... there's really hardly any trace of African cultures in 99% of American culture (outside of Creole Louisiana).

    That is in total contrast to all the New World, pre-Columbian influences -- art, architecture, music, dance, clothing, whole languages, loan-words into American English, place-names, religion (in our New Age spirituality, not to mention our own global religion, Mormonism), food, folktales... there's hardly any part of our culture that doesn't have at least some small New World influence.

    And again, from the American perspective, anything out West is New World, until you hit the Eurasian landmass again -- so all the Polynesian and Japanese elements we've borrowed count as "not the Old World" as well.

  121. So, seeing such a minimal presence of New World influences in the so-called Global Village aesthetic really gives away its ideological nature -- it's just another prong of the attack on American culture, by trying to de-Americanize us back into an Old World culture -- just, a mix of Old World Euro and Old World sub-Saharan African, with a dash of Indian and Chinese, and yet leaving out our crucial Bronze Age Middle Eastern identity and the Japanese and Polynesian cultures as well.

    It's literally just dodging and weaving around every culture that influenced actual American culture as it was actually constructed, whether the jettisoned / memoryholed cultures were New World, Old World, or otherwise.

    There's a heavy influence of Marc Chagall -- why not Maxfield Parrish? Here, New Age is clearly a distinct and more fundamentally American aesthetic, since the cover of Enya's 1995 album Memory of Trees is her literally cosplaying as a figure in a Maxfield Parrish painting (The Young King of the Black Isles, from 1906).

    But Chagall was a Euro, so he's in.

    Surrealism is in, since it's Euro -- but anything sci-fi and fantasy is out, no matter how dream-like or fantastical or surrealist-ish it is, since it's American.

    Primitive art is in -- but only if it's sub-Saharan African, not Native American. Old vs. New World. That also ties into the Euro bias, namely their use of West African masks as inspiration in early 20th-C Euro art (e.g. Cubism). We used primitive Amerindian masks, art, and architecture -- so those Mayan and Aztec geometrically stylized faces from their temples, are out.

  122. Vague slogans in the Global Village aesthetic about honoring the traditional wisdom of primitive cultures -- yet nothing specifically New World, like Native American medicine men. The "alternative / non-Western medicine" craze that accompanied the Global Village aesthetic rarely looked to the New World, outside of South American psychotropic drugs. Gee, thanks for the tribute!

    Even within the harmful medicine genre, the Global Village crowd are some of the most fanatical anti-tobacco zealots in world history. But they just luuuuuvvvv their cannabis -- native to mainland Asia, naturally, along with poppy plants and heroin (not as glamorous, but fine for their tragic tortured pop culture heroes like Kurt Cobain). They look down their nose at cocaine as a danceclub drug -- another swipe at the New World, not just the drug but the music and dance and gathering spot known as the disco.

    All the positive medicine was sought out from India and China, maybe Africa too, but not pre-Columbian cultures or their New World descendants. Anything to avoid a New World influence, which would be too American, and so very not European.

    That's what they truly want to be -- not living among the natives, but as Euros lording over the entire Old World, a dream that blew up in the actual Euro empires' faces in the early 20th C, but which American LARP-ers never really gave up hope on, including the same White Man's Burden crusade, now translated into a crusade for international human rights, Amnesty International, etc.

    Again, look at how Old World-centric those human rights crusaders have been -- there's very little attention to America itself (or its Canadian vassal), nor any part of Central or South America or the Caribbean. Maybe an afterthought about the drug war in Colombia, weren't there some military coups in the Southern Cone that massacred some people? and uh... free Cuba and the Sandinistas and the Zapatisatas, I guess. Honestly, though, when was the last time an Amnesty International type talked about Chiapas and the Zapatistas? It's so distant in their minds.

    They just don't give a shit about Latin America, which is in our own backyard, compared to China, Tibet, North Korea, South Asia, East Timor in Indonesia, the Middle East, and all around sub-Saharan Africa -- Rwanda, Darfur, South Africa, and the list goes on and on, anything to LARP as the *good* White Man's Burden Euros lording over the Old World, in order to avoid enculturating yourself as an American and therefore focused on the New World.

    I know there's a minority tendency within the human rights crowd that is international, including the New World, but they're swamped by the Old World LARP-ers who are nothing other than White Man's Burden Victorian wannabes.

  123. So, Global Village is part of the broader conscious undoing / deconstruction of American culture that began in the 1980s. I agree with their timeline that this began more in the middle part of the '80s, not the early '80s, which were still fairly New Deal and not so flagrantly neoliberal.

    No, this is not a matter of Euro / white American vs. global people of color, or some retarded bullshit like that. American culture, as it was actually constructed, has central elements from non-white and non-Euro cultures, like those of the pre-Columbian Americas -- since we do live in the New World, after all.

    You don't need to discover an obsession for Ethiopian or Thai food if you want something non-white or non-Euro -- plenty to choose from among Native American cultures, or Latin American cultures. But no, that's too ordinary, one step away from frat boys pulling into the Taco Bell drive-thru at 2am on Friday night.

    As proven by the enduring popularity of broadly Latin American food, and Japanese food, in America, this whole Global Village project was largely a failure on the mainstream, and was more of a separatist movement by wannabe Euros.

    I'm guessing it was way more popular back East than out West, given how Euro LARP-ing the entire East Coast is. You can poo-poo Berkeley liberals, but that region is the most East Coast part of the West Coast -- it's not a SoCal thing. Nor is it even a Pac NW thing, Starbucks notwithstanding. Starbucks may have adopted the aesthetic for a bit in the '90s, but they didn't stick with it, and most of their coffee comes from the Pacific Islands and Latin America -- more New World than Old World.

    One thing to note is the disappearance of the futuristic angle to the utopianism of the Global Village crowd. But that's a topic for a separate post-within-the-comments-section.

    The deconstruction of the Space Age core (or half-core) of our American identity took place during the same time period, beginning in the mid-1980s, but among the tech crowd rather than the lib-arts crowd.

    I'll cover that in depth later, but as a teaser, just look at the design of the early Appple computers, like the Apple II and IIe, or the Commodore VIC-20 and 64, vs. the 128 and Amiga models. Or the early video game consoles like the Famicom (Japanese version), Atari 2600, and Intellivision, vs. ones from the mid-'80s onward, like the NES (American version), Playstation, and Xbox.

    Color palette got drained, and became monochrome on top of it, no more chrome or silver-toned metal in general, and so long to two-tone aesthetics, let alone anything with woodgrain or the color brown. It's so against our design culture from the 1920s and '30s through the '70s, when that identity was created in "product design".

    The Global Village crowd preferred the computer designs of the mid-'80s and after, while finding those of the early '80s and earlier to be hopelessly Midcentury and too distinctly American as a result, since we created and dominated design during the Midcentury.

    How simple would it be to make your badging and logo be made of silver-toned metal? Apple managed it into the early '80s, then it went away forever.

    The Famicom even had large silver-toned metal plates on the face of its controllers, and the body of the console was cream and raspberry -- a two-tone combo straight out of the tulip-chair Mod Sixties.

    But again, those details are for another time.

  124. Also, props to Anna Khachiyan for promoting New World (Mexican) and Japanese ceramic art so much lately. As an Old World immigrant, it may feel kinda strange and unsettling -- but also exotic and cool, and soon enough, comfy and familiar, like any truly assimilated American would enjoy! ^_^

  125. And this was the same crowd that blew up our distinctive American architecture, especially Brutalism but anything Midcentury Modern -- and during the same time.

    Not so much the early '80s, when Brutalism could still be found here and there among new buildings.

    More from the rise of so-called Postmodernism from the mid-'80s onward -- some of which was literal Classical Euro LARP-ing, but all of which was designed to deconstruct or undo or demolish "Modern" architecture -- meaning American, since we're the ones who invented and perfected and spread it, from Frank Lloyd Wright onward.

    Postmodern architecture shares the same twee dumbed-down preschool look that much of the Global Village aesthetic has, although as a more intellectually pretentious movement, it has more of a clever-silly, snarky, impressed-by-itself tone than the Global Village stuff, which was more mass-marketed.

  126. Better, extensive image gallery for the Global Village Coffeehouse aesthetic:


  127. This was also an attempt at de-Americanization of African-Americans, who were suddenly no longer good enough for libtard brownie points. Just as the goal was to de-transform Euro-Americans back into Europeans, it was also to de-transform African-Americans back into Africans.

    There was a whole craze for "African chanting" in '80s music -- not some underground thing that went mainstream, but beginning with mainstream, albeit on the art-ier side of it.

    The first was "In Your Eyes" from Peter Gabriel's 1986 album So, which has an extensive final solo in Wolof, a West African language.

    Right after that in the same year was the whole album Graceland by Paul Simon, which features a black South African choral group on backing vocals, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

    Rounding out the trio of prominent examples (and I'm sure I'm missing some lesser ones off the top of my head), one of the later singles from Michael Jackson's 1987 album Bad, "Liberian Girl", begins with a soft-spoken incantation in Swahili, by a black South African singer (Letta Mbulu).

    Aside from these musical elements of African influence, there was also the thematic lyrical content that was Africa-centric -- "Africa" by Toto, the supergroup name U.S.A. for Africa ("We Are the World"), the line from Ethiopian famine relief benefit song "Do They Know It's Christmas" ("And there won't be snow in Africa..."), the song title "Under African Skies" from Graceland, and even in the New Age genre with Enya's song "Storms in Africa" (from her 1988 album Watermark).

    This culminated in the 1994 mega-hit Disney movie The Lion King, which is set in Africa and uses Swahili names for the characters, and a Swahili phrase in one of the major songs ("Hakuna Matata").

    This was also the time when the libtard elites tried to make Kwanzaa into a real practice, again focusing on South Africa and the Swahili language to suggest that African-Americans are just as un-assimilated as the Euro LARP-ers on the East Coast (and Bay Area), and that they should emphasize this purported un-assimilated status by celebrating Kwanzaa instead of their own American holidays.

    As with the attempt to de-New-World-ize the Euro-American population, this attempt failed with mainstream African-Americans as well, and was always confined to wannabe elites.

    Actually popular black culture in America continued to rely on their imaginary roots in the Bronze Age civilizations of the Near East -- Egypt, in their case, as well as in ours, since we're both Americans.

    More memorable than the Swahili chant and West African focus of "Liberian Girl" is the Ancient Egyptian cosplay video for "Remember the Time" by Michael Jackson, with a star-studded cast of African-American celebs all doing their part to transmit the American myth of having roots in the Bronze Age Near / Middle East (see also the Book of Mormon, for the whitest side of white American culture).

    In common slang, African-Americans still used the Egyptian-centric phrase "Nubian" as in "Nubian queen" -- not "Bantu queen" or "Liberian queen" or whatever the World Music crowd would have had them use instead.

    1. While we are on the subject of de-Americanizing New World residents of all races, I found out recently that the 1977 TV Show "Roots", based on a book that focuses on the arduous nature of African Americans surviving slavery over generations, actually sparked a significant ethnic revival among many white Americans including the modern "genealogy" industry in an effort to find their own "roots" (which contrasted what the makers of "Roots" wanted white Americans to feel).

  128. The Eddie Murphy & Arsenio Hall movie Coming to America satirized this whole attempt to re-invent African-Americans into merely Africans, at the height of the craze (1988), by showing how out-of-touch actual Africans would be in black American environments, and vice versa, how alien African culture would be to black Americans.

    It's not mean-spirited toward Africans -- but it does make African culture the butt of most of the jokes, and the intended African-American audience is expected to think, "Thank GOD I'm an African-American, and not still an African back in Africa..."

    Just as Euro-Americans are supposed to be thankful they're Americans, not a Euro back in Europe.

    The unapologetically comedic tone is meant to say, "Get a load of these clueless nerds trying to tell us that we're really just Africans, and not an African-American community with our own distinct American culture, which makes us no longer compatible with our distant relatives back in the Motherland -- God bless their goofy tiger-skin-wearin' asses, wish 'em the best, but we're just not the same anymore."

  129. Never on Sunday, but it's a British ethnomusicologist who visits Atlanta in search of the living descendants of West African polyrhythms and their dances -- and instead discovers a world of crunk music and strip clubs.

    He tries to mold one of the strippers into a latter-day princess of the Songhai Empire, trying to educate her about the glories of her ancestors. But she casually and frustratingly dismisses his attempts, and is more concerned with getting her twerk on, and being showered with dolla billz from makin'-it-rain customers.

    A regular customer, also African-American and equally unaware of and dismissive about the Songhai Empire, ends up winning her over instead cuz he resonates with what makes her a charismatic unique individual, not a blank slate to imprint his fetishistic projections upon.

  130. Also related to the "de-Americanizing" of everything in the neoliberal era: the term "African-American" itself to refer to black Americans became widely used in America in the 1980s:


  131. Global Village was also a de-futurization of American culture, which is just as antithetical to us, given how central the futuristic / industrial / Space Age component of our identity is. Just as much as the primitive New World caveman component.

    And here again, New Age was clearly distinct from Global Village, in continuing with the cosmic / Space Age / techno influences on pop music.

    New Age had some of its roots in krautrock and kosmische muzik ("cosmic music"), and electronic / synthesizer-heavy film scores by Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, etc. This continued into New Wave as well, which was more rock and disco influenced, but also a combination of primitive + futuristic (not just "jungle"-style drumming, but lyrical content in "Hungry Like the Wolf", the music videos set in primitive or ancient settings like "Save a Prayer", and so on).

    From the get-go, Enya's first self-titled album from 1986 has a fair amount of synthesizers in it, played by the superstar herself. This futuristic / space-y component of the instrumentation continued throughout her oeuvre. Her most popular song has lyrical content focused on the New World -- "Orinoco Flow". She's an Old Worlder herself, but took up the American influences that defined 20th-century culture, and combined the Old and the New worlds, the primitive and the futuristic.

    But the really revealing album is the Pure Moods compilation, the defining New Age '90s collection. There are two slightly different versions, from '94 and '97, but both are similar in one crucial aspect -- combining the primitive / folk / World music influence with a techno / dance / synth / futuristic / outer-space influence.

    "Crockett's Theme" from Miami Vice -- pure '80s synth, but with an exotic vaguely Eastern riff.

    "Oxygene Part IV", "Chariots of Fire", the Twin Peaks score, all very techno / synth-y as well.

    The re-release has a techno remix of the X-Files theme song -- hard to get more futuristic and Space Age-y than that.

    "Sweet Lullaby" is a very techno / dance-heavy version, paired with a folk lullaby melody from the Austronesian language family (Oceanic branch, related to Polynesian languages, but in this case from Micronesia -- Solomon Islands). Given the relatedness to Polynesian culture, this counts as a continuation of America's Pacific / South Seas / Tiki craze.

    Also, the most famous song from the collection is "Return to Innocence", which also relies on a techno / dance / synth instrumentation, with a primitive folk chant -- also from the Austronesian family, but from the indigenous of Taiwan (not related to Chinese -- the Amis people).

    Most listeners, certainly in America and Canada, interpreted that chant as Native American, not aboriginal Taiwanese -- but in either case, not part of the Old World influences from the Global Village movement, which were all mainland Eurasia and Africa.

    Then there's "Yeha-Noha", which does have actual Native American singing -- in Navajo, which is even more iconically American since they're from out West. And again, this is paired with a techno / synth beat and instrumentation.

    "Sadeness" incorporates another definitive American influence -- the Dark Ages of the Old World, namely Gregorian chant, which saw a broad revival in the New Age '90s. It was not part of Global Village, but New Age. And as always, this primitive chant was paired with a techno beat and synth instrumentation.

  132. It really makes you appreciate New Age, seeing it in contrast to the lesser Global Village phenomenon of the same time, and superficially of the same style -- but scratching only slightly beneath the surface, seeing how different it was.

    Also, New Age never had any preachy libtard Democrat propaganda in it, like Global Village always did -- including things that have nothing to do with multiculturalism or other nations, like breast cancer and abortion.

    At most New Age was about environmentalism and conservation -- but as part of the rural side of human society, that was actually a conservative / Republican concern, just being temporarily supported by the opposite party. After the '90s, Democrats and libtards generally, as the uber-urban party, rapidly threw environmental conservation overboard, and become hyper-developmentalists.

    I'm not even sure that the demographic for New Age was Democrat or liberal anyway -- it was so broadly appealing, if anything it was for independents and non-partisans. But conservatives and Republicans had their Southwest revival furniture, kachina dolls, packing the theaters for Dances with Wolves, and all that other stuff, too.

    Political and cultural polarization just wasn't that insane during the late '80s and '90s -- but when it did rear its ugly head, the libtard side completely flushed out any focus on the New World (Darfur over Chiapas, Ethiopian and Thai food over Mexican or Brazilian barbeque, which were more popular in the mainstream).

    Some of that is due to libtards being concentrated on elite college campuses, which are mainly located in the Euro LARP-ing back-East region of the country. But also, they have grown to bitterly seething hate American culture, and undertaken an iconoclastic crusade to destroy and erase it -- and that includes any New World components as well, which they fig-leafingly rationalize with complaints about "cultural appropriation," while not caring if people eat Thai food, watch Bollywood movies, or learn Arabic and wear a keffiyeh to support Palestine.

    New Age fans have never tried to destroy American culture, let alone the New World influences on it, and they never whined about cultural appropriation -- they're some of the most eager participants in adopting what is cool from New World cultures! They have nothing to apologize for, so they never apologized in Maoist self-criticism / witch-hunting fashion.

    Follow in Enya's footsteps -- not Rusted Roots'.

  133. There's a samba song on Instrumental Moods, "Samba Pa Ti" by Santana, originally from 1970 and part of the whole samba / bossa nova / Brazilian craze of the Space Age / Mod Sixties.

    Libtards and Global Village types absolutely *hated* the Latin craze of the late '90s and y2k, epitomized by "Livin' la Vida Loca" -- apart from the Latin American influences, there's also the distinctly American big band / swing and surf guitar influences, from the boo-hiss Midcentury.

    Libtards and Global Village types also largely sat out from the Brazil and Caribbean craze of the 2000s. Not that it was for God-fearing conservatives -- it was just for ordinary all-Americans who were into something fun, exciting, and exotic. More on the independent or non-partisan side, which still existed back in the 2000s, although being eroded by the later part of the decade, and wiped out during the woketard 2010s.

    Woketards will flip out at the suggestion, but I think their Global Village aesthetic was also part of their broader puritanical crusade against beauty, libido, and horniness. I think they chose sub-Saharan African cultures, not for their (distant) connections to African-Americans -- in which case, they could simply focus on black America itself -- but because they wouldn't feel tempted or seduced by the women.

    Yeah yeah yeah, every culture has its beautiful women, but sub-Saharan Africa has a far smaller percentage than other places, whether white or non-white. Especially outside of the East African pastoralist cultures, which do mass-produce models like the Somalis Iman and Ilhan Omar (hate her politics, but she's a looker). Nobody's getting horny over the more representative ones like Grace Jones.

    And I don't mean this as a subjective assessment of my own -- look at *their* own behavior. They never get into a "horny race-mixing" mood when they're around such cultures, nor around their distant relatives in the American black population. And if someone else did get into such a mood, they would denounce that person as a sinner, as loudly and publicly as possible.

  134. Latin America has too many hot babes to suppress your libido, even for puritanical types. I think that's also why woketards try to avoid Japanese culture, and stick with mainland Asian cultures, whether Northeast or Southeast -- not as many passionate cuties like there are in Glorious Nippon. Woketards really love South Korea because they're also insane puritans, whereas Japan is neither puritanical nor hedonistic -- more mellow.

    And where there are hotties from the non-European part of the Old World, like the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, woketards go to extreme lengths to communicate that they're not lusting after exotic babes, as though they were sexual imperialists or something. They're too dickless for horny race-mixing, but just in case it wasn't clear, they constantly virtue-signal about not viewing MENA baddies as mere Princess Jasmine archetypes, and treat it as a violation of someone's human rights if you lust after their exotic hottie body.

    They're in no real danger of horny race-mixing, settling for the unattractive members among the lib-arts white girl population back home. But they go through these theatrics pre-emptively, to make it clear that their motives and impulses have nothing to do with beauty and excitement and libido, and will not deter their broader cult of ugliness and boringness and crappiness and sexlessness.

    That's why they select some African rhythms and dances for their Worldbeat drum-circle dances, or jam band concerts -- it lets them get a little bit of body movement out of their system, without being sexual.

    They wouldn't be caught dead in a dance club blasting crunk music, where twerking was the norm (for blacks, whites, and everyone in between). Nor in any Latin club -- even a normie club where Latin music crossed over into the American mainstream.

    "Uh-oh, 'Hips Don't Lie' is playing -- how do I make it clear that I'll never lust after curvy caramelicious chicas??? Oh no, that one looks like she wants to dance -- what if she grinds her butt around in my crotch??? I'd be guilty of sexual colonization!!! I'd have to say 10,000 native land acknowledgements at the next DSA meeting!!! No thanks!!!"

    None of these inclinations are conservative or Republican, of course. They're just all-American, independent, non-partisan motives that are not ideological in either direction -- not leftward or rightward, anyway, only upward.

    This is not an exhaustive argument, but there's enough detail here to confirm what should be highly suspicious to any side -- that the most zealous destroyers of beauty and libido have selected certain parts of the Old World for their multiculturalism, and in other parts of the Old World (and most of the New World), have gone out of their way to signal that beauty and libido are not guiding their interests and involvement.

    1. South Korean females seem far more mentally ill than other East Asian females (East Asians and East Meds seem the happiest):


  135. Actual African culture, whether in Africa or as an influence in the New World, does have a libidinal or horny side to it. Depending on when, where, and whom you're looking at, it may be the dominant side.

    But woketards, beginning with Global Village, made it a crusade to purify African/ish culture of its horniness, to hold them up as non-sexual beings and therefore equal to or perhaps even greater than the puritanical white population that made up the movement.

    Not that they eliminated only the hedonistic or degenerate side of African sexuality, while retaining a healthy / natural / red-blooded sexuality -- they sought to entirely de-sexualize African people and their culture.

    It's an impossible task, but ideology allows them to easily ignore the daunting parts of the crusade -- like having to ignore all danceable / club-based rap music, the sexualized / twerking dance styles that accompany it, and what the main reason is that black people go to clubs in the first place. It's not to link arms and celebrate the joy and wisdom of Mama Nature -- it's to get their grind on!

    They retroactively memoryhole James Brown and any heavily sexualized black music from the R&B and Soul eras, and further back to Josephine Baker and the exotic dance crazes of the Jazz Age.

    Normally the cerebral depressive types who are 99% of woketards prefer soul-deadening music, like most of indie. But when they do accept a little drum-circle corporeal engagement with physical reality, it cannot commit the sin of lust -- so only certain African music and dance styles are allowed as models, while all the sexualized ones are kept at bay.

    Mainstream Americans ignored this puritanical crusade, preferring the colorblind explanations like "hot pussy isn't black or white," "a hard dick doesn't discriminate," and so on and so forth.

    Much like her Latin babe contemporary Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce was the last example of broadly accepted lust after a curvy caramelicious African-ish body with a cover-girl face to match. Maybe Rihanna as well from later in the decade. Janet Jackson only faced a backlash for the 2004 wardrobe malfunction due to her age -- earlier in the '80s and '90s, she was an unobjectionable sex symbol for mainstream America.

    But once the woketard 2010s arrived, all actually attractive black or "black-coded" women had to be purged from pop culture. Only ones who were morbidly obese, ugly, and who couldn't carry a tune to save their lives, were promoted -- key example being Lizzo, but the ubiquitous nameless ones in ads since the 2010s as well.

    This is the definitive proof that woketards are primarily guided to sub-Saharan African people / culture due to their puritanical, anti-sexual, anti-beauty focus. If they weren't, they would accept and even promote the babes like Halle Berry, Iman, Beyonce, Rihanna, Doja Cat, etc. Instead, they go out of their way to magnify the fat-and-ugly ones like Lizzo, the Dove Soap spokeswomen, etc.

    And they're always primed to pounce with a witch-hunt on someone who does try to magnify the Halle Berrys and Doja Cats -- "You only wanna fuck them because they're hot! That doesn't clear the charges of you being a racist! Why don't you lust after Lizzo, huh???" Duh -- cuz she's an uggo.

    It always gets back to the racism witch-hunts with them. In their minds, wanting to get bounced on by some babe has nothing to do with how good she looks -- only her race. Whereas most people don't care about race, least of all when they're horny.

  136. Then they blow up this neurotic fixation of theirs to the group level -- "You only like Latin music as part of your attempt to sexually colonize what you consider quote-unquote exotic brown bodies, not the music itself!!!"

    And that's where they lose most of their support among non-white people. Because once a non-white group hears that you find them attractive, on average, they will actually rescind any accusations of you being a horrible mean racist. "Well, if he would hypothetically let a girl of my ethnicity fuck him all night, he can't be that bad..."

    And it's not just horniness that factors in -- sex inevitably leads to making babies and raising families, and merging the in-laws. So if you're up for sex with a passionate Latina, you're also signaling that you're up for investing in her children and merging her family and culture into your own.

    That makes it an honest signal of openness and commitment and treating them as serious real human beings -- you can't fake it. Unless you're a literal sex tourist in a foreign country, there's no way to keep having sex with girls outside your ethnicity, without eventually having to invest in their kids and merge your family and culture with theirs.

    That's why anti-race-mixers don't care if a soldier has sex with prostitutes while stationed in a foreign country -- that will never result in merging their families back home. But if he's chasing around the exotic hotties from back home, then eventually he's going to knock one of them up, and it's game over for his parents or grandparents who don't want to merge their family and culture with a strange one.

    In the old days, that applied within racial categories, like a family not wanting a Protestant son to have sex with Catholic girls while at home -- but if he were stationed in Italy during WWII, they'd look the other way if he visited a Catholic prostitute or had a torrid love affair with an Italian girl, as long as it didn't reach back home.

  137. Their puritanical crusade takes on an age dimension as well. And that's due to their anti-sexual / anti-libidinal motives -- can't get horny and tempted around menopausal women, or literal grandmas.

    Whether it's woketards in the 2010s, or Global Village types in the late '80s and '90s, they always selected the older women for magnification. Supposedly to suggest they were interested in listening to the wisdom of other cultures -- and young people aren't very wise yet.

    This is why they scrupulously avoid crunk, twerk, and other staples of youth culture among black Americans -- too young, too libidinal. Woketards only allow blacks to get worked up in the service of some non-corporeal, transcendent crusade of self-proclaimed justice, like rioting for BLM. Much like drum circles for white people, rioting lets them get out some corporeal energy without it committing the sin of lust, so puritanical woketards are OK with that.

    This is where the wise / magical Negro archetype comes from, whether Morgan Freeman narrating a movie, or Oprah Winfrey doing therapy on the entire nation through the TV set. They're old(er), mature, wise, and no longer red-blooded or horny or libidinal -- they'd gotten it out of their systems, and could dispense clear-minded wisdom or administer justice dispassionately.

    That's what all those African chants are in Global Village music -- the wisdom of the *elders*, not merely "the ancestors". In a pre-modern population, most of the people are young -- so a lot of the people among any ancestral society were young and dynamic, not old and immoveable.

    This elder wisdom is then paired and livened up by the youthful beat, in both the Global Village and New Age movements.

    But the New Age crowd always had more young people, and good-looking people, as part of their image. Not elders whose skin was wrinkled and wizened to suggest wisdom. Or at least, not *only* old and no-longer / never attractive people. There are some old mature wise people in the video for "Return to Innocence" -- alongside young attractive couples.

    In fact, the video for "Sadeness" has what used to be a staple of music videos -- a model, and a teen babe at that (17 or 18 at the time):


    Enya herself has always been a looker, although she was never presented as a vampy sex symbol or anything like Beyonce or J-Lo were.

    The point is that New Age had a horny and libidinal side to it, sublimating it into a focus on beauty and transcendence -- but of an energetic rather than calmed-down nature. Mature and wise, yet young and playful at the same time. Primitive and futuristic, in-group and out-group, Old and New world. One of the last examples of exciting and dynamic American culture. ^_^

  138. A late example of the youth-and-beauty focus of New Age, "A New Day Has Come" by Celine Dion (who like Enya is a looker herself):


    Exotic cultures represented by their attractive members, as well as horny race-mixing. Came out in 2002 -- and impossible to imagine, let alone turn into a popular success, in the following decade of the puritanical woketard crusade against beauty and libido and race-mixing (now viewed and condemned as a form of a power-imbalance, cultural imperialism, or whatever).

  139. Right wing Euro-LARPers have the same anti-race-mixing attitude as woke leftards.

  140. Does Indonesia count as part of the Old World Eurasian mainland or part of the New World?

  141. In a town in Lebanon, in the supposedly prudish Middle East, these the police uniforms for females!:


  142. Growing up mid-Millennial in the Northeast, I knew multiple girls named Michaela (i.e. an explicit feminine form of Michael); my assumption has been that Michaela spawned McKayla as a cutesy respelling, which then led to the other surname imitators McKenna and Mackenzie (perhaps with Splash's Madison lending moral support). I always chuckle at Mckenna Grace's name because it sounds reversed.

  143. Enya is even more Space Age-y than I thought -- her first album has a song "Aldebaran" which is named after a distant star, and with an exotic Dark Age Arabic name.

    But wait, there's more! "The song is based on future Celtic people 'passing Aldebaran on their journey to new territories, continuing their migratory pattern which was so predominant in their early history.'"

    Bronze Age nomads roaming nomadically into the Space Age!


    She's so cool -- and effortlessly, too. She's so capable of channeling a spirit or vibe, never being a show-off or diva, just letting it take her over and focusing it outward to the audience. Such an intense, gripping gaze, channeling it right into your brain. ^_^

  144. And "Orinoco Flow" has a line about space travel: "From the deep sea of clouds / To the island of the moon", as part of the template about all the various places she wants to sail to, Old World as well as New.

    Very Japanese way of viewing outer space -- as a body of water with islands, and travel is by a ship.

    The American view is that it's like a big sky with lands suspended up there magically defying gravity, and travel is by an airplane.

    New Age was channeling the spirit of exploration, while Global Village was about RETVRN-ing or retreating back to our roots. You could say they wanted to live in the present while being guided by the voices of the elders -- but still, a present that was not outward-looking or exploring or journeying to strange new places.

    Wonder at exploring the unknown, perhaps beautiful but also likely to confront the sublime -- that's the New Age spirit. Way cooler!

  145. Americans also view space travel as by rockets, imaginary missiles, etc., but in any case they're airborne rather than waterborne vehicles.

    Probably cuz we invented air travel, and before the Space Age was the Jet Set Age, so space travel carried off where not-so-terrestrial flight had begun (in the air!).

    Whereas the Japanese, British, etc., all had more experience with navies rather than manned flight, so they went with their own traditions and viewed space travel as waterborne navigation.

  146. Hololive x Leijiverse collab, where Marine gets bored and restless with her pirate activities on Earth, that she takes her crew to explore distant galaxies as space pirates!

    And instead of Earth people spreading our technology to other planets, it's a cultural colonization, with Marine spreading her charismatic seductive mischief through song and dance!

    Once the people of Andromeda hear "Ahoy!" their cultures will never be the same again... ^_^

  147. Or maybe her first exploration is just a short prologue -- there's some accident, or she's about to get overwhelmed by enemy forces, so she uploads her spirit into a computer program.

    As her spaceship drifts aimlessly for ages, a civilization from Andromeda discover it, and investigate inside.

    Their translation technology tells them that a certain device is a "Treasure Box" -- so naturally, they do their best to open it!

    After being scanned by their technology, the device activates Marine's spirit that had been lying dormant...

    But as part of their excitement and pride, the Andromedan team has decided to broadcast the opening live to their entire galaxy, so everyone can share the wonder.

    Suddenly, they get a full blast of this --


    Some of the planets in Andromeda already resonate with this culture, and it inspires them to take it up in their own culture.

    Other planets have engineered a dystopian society where all libido has been erased / suppressed / prevented from coming into being. These people are thrown into civil chaos, trying to deal with such an intense dose of libido!

    And far from the cultural effect being just that one music video, Marine becomes re-animated, and visits the various planets, sometimes receiving a warm welcome and having fun with her new intergalactic fans, and sometimes finding herself in hot water because the social engineers view her seductive charm and sensual music and dancing as a threat to their social order -- but she gets help from a minority of natives on those planets who want to live in a natural society again, not the fake one where libido has been engineered out of existence.

    The Re-Animated Adventures of Houshou Marine in the Andromeda Galaxy -- I like the sound of that! ^_^

  148. More observations on yin-yang friendships in Hololive, after watching some old clips.

    During their recent Phoenix Wright collab, it was clear that Korone and Lui have amazing yin-yang chemistry. So I thought, "Has Lui collabed with Marine before?" -- that would be another yin-yang pair.

    They did! Lui wanted to meet Marine so badly she was nervous, and Marine effortlessly played the instigator role to coax Lui out of her responsible and orderly executive role.

    They even took a compatability test and scored 96% compatible!

    But there was one little detail I noticed, where Lui felt a bit uncomfortable when Marine was aggressive -- Lui asked Marine to be more gentle.

    I think that's why Lui found her yin-yang friend in Korone, because Korone is like Marine in being a spontaneous, free spirit, no-filter, instigator -- but Korone is more gentle and seiso in her approach, whereas Marine is aggressive and seductive. And that gentle instigation is what Lui was looking for.

    That doesn't leave Marine by herself, though -- she has amazing yin-yang chemistry with Okayu. Like Lui, Okayu is more quiet and mellow and reserved, and prefers the other person to instigate the excitement, while Okayu goes along for the ride. But unlike Lui, Okayu does want the other person to be more aggressive and seductive and even somewhat lewd at times.

    That's also why Subaru appeals to Okayu so much -- Subaru has a strong, rowdy approach, not a gentle approach. And that's what Okayu is looking for.

    So, for even better yin-yang chemistry, it's not enough for them to be opposite in "reserved vs. outspoken", but also compatible in what kind of approach they want, "strong vs. gentle".

  149. Irys would make a great yin-yang friend with Lui, for that reason -- Irys is the hyperactive, spontaneous super-girly free spirit who instigates the excitement, but her approach is more gentle and seiso than aggressive and seductive.

    I know Irys is already "taken" by Kronii and Flare as yin-yang friends, but there's no reason she can't form a similar friendship with Lui. ^_^ They haven't interacted very much, but I think once they got over the "breaking the ice" stage, they would make great yin-yang friends.

    Or Irys and Towa. Towa and Korone had amazing yin-yang friend chemistry in the Shubibinman collab, so I think Towa is like Lui -- she's reserved and shy, and wants someone to bring some exciting chaotic fun into her life, but she wants the other person to do so in a gentle way.

    Same pattern with Irys and Kronii -- despite her edgy / chuuni side, Kronii is possibly the most easily scandalized Hololive girl (and Ina -- the South Koreans). If someone is aggressive and seductive toward them, they'll just clam up. But since Irys is gentle and seiso, Kronii doesn't get scandalized by Irys' instigation, and is comfortable going on whatever crazy hijinx Irys has in mind for that day.

  150. Moom and Fauna both want someone more strong and aggressive. Fauna clearly has this side to her, from her ASMRs where she roleplays as a witch who traps the listener with her forever -- not gentle! And I can never forget that one time when chat was trying to compliment Moom on something, and she got uncomfortable and told them, "Chat, I need you to be mean to me" -- also not gentle.

    Well, nobody is more direct, blunt, horsing-around, and rowdy as the Goobinator. That's why both of them loved the SNOT collabs, and why Kronii always felt a little uncomfortable in them, relative to the others -- she wanted the gentle approach, whereas Gura was giving the other two a blunt and rowdy form of instigation.

    With Goob gone, Bae has filled that role with Moom -- and Bae is also on the blunt and rowdy side, like Goob or Subaru, and that's what Moom prefers. That's what's preventing Moom + Irys from becoming a yin-yang friendship -- Irys is too gentle and seiso for Moom.

    Bae also tried to fill that role with Fauna (Halloween month-long collabs), but it hasn't lasted as long as MuBae. I think Fauna, like most chumbies, never really moved on from Gooba's indefinite hiatus, and feels like no one else could fill her sharky croc shoes.

    Maybe Kiara could try? She's hyperactive and extraverted, and likes aggressive more than gentle interactions... although she's orderly and responsible, rather than a free-spirited wild child like Gooba or Marine, so I don't know if she could coax Fauna out of her shell, which only a spontaneous free spirit can do.

    But then again, maybe she has a spontaneous wild side that would come out in a collab setting, that does not come out on her solo streams.

    Maybe Biboo could try as well? My impression is she's more gentle and seiso in her approach, even if she does refer to more yabai memes in her content. But maybe she has a blunt and aggressive side that would come out in a collab with Fauna?

    IDK, just throwing around suggestions.

  151. Zooming out, for those not into vtubers, this highlights how Japanese people are more free-spirited, open-minded, and no-filter than Americans or other Westerners / white people these days.

    In the entire English-speaking world, which Hololive EN draws from, there were really only two such people -- Gura and Bae. And with Goob gone, it shows how few others there are to pick up the slack of the no-filter free spirit.

    In Hololive JP, there are so many -- Korone, Marine, Subaru, I'm counting Irys since she's half-Japanese genetically and culturally and has been living there for years, I'm also counting Coco for the same reasons, and those are only the ones I've watched a decent amount of streams from!

    Azki and Koyori also strike me as free spirits, but I haven't watched them enough to say one way or the other.

    I'm sure there are others in Holo JP, I just don't know specifically who!

    And no, this isn't about East vs. West, or Asians vs. whites / Europeans -- it's *only* Glorious Nippon. China, South Korea, Indonesia, etc., are not full of spontaneous no-filter free spirits -- only Japan is.

    Well, not "full" -- but 20% vs. 2% or even 0.2%. It's becoming very noticeable to me, the more I explore the Holo JP world.

    Not to mention other areas of culture, like video games and animation -- not just the creativity in the format itself, but the characters that are created by Japanese vs. Americans these days.

    Everybody in the broad American sphere is so hidebound, puritanical, and rigidly closed-off -- including the edgy / chuuni types. Nothing is more contrary to spontaneity and free spirits and roaming wild, than someone who wants to sulk by themselves in their room / apartment / home all day, every day.

    Explicit / disgusting / obscene memes are not against puritanism either. It's not spontaneous, but coldly and clinically calculated. And it's not for its own organic insatiable sake -- it's only to "own" the enemy in a stale culture war. Nobody's more close-minded and against exploration than woketards.

    This makes Japan's spontaneity all the more remarkable, since they've been directly occupied by us since WWII, and have absorbed all sorts of cultural influences from us -- but not this one. Thank God!

  152. And please spare me the retorts about the "man in the gray flannel suit" salaryman life in Japan, or how conformist and shame-based the Asian mind is.

    First, America used to have a "man in the gray flannel suit" culture -- back in the good ol' days when we were at our peak. Now in the 2020s, we lead boring tedious faceless existences -- but without the family bonds, material prosperity, and cultural dynamism of the 1950s.

    Why are Millennials and Zoomers getting nostalgic for office cubicle life from the 1990s and earlier? Cuz it was something fulfilling compared to rootless free-lancing, or more likely, not having a real job (either being a NEET or a fake email job-haver).

    And it delivered more prosperity and stability, vs. being unable to afford steak dinners or live in the same place for 10 years in a row.

    We've not only lost the salaryman way of life, we've also lost the free spirits that used to co-exist mutualistically with the man in the gray flannel suit, back during our Midcentury peak. On Mad Men, how many times did Don Draper have an encounter with a sub-cultural type like beatniks or hippies, or just an individual Manic Pixie Dream Girl like his daughter's schoolteacher Ms. Farrell? Or the Holly Golightly's and Annie Hall's? It was yin and yang for the American Midcentury.

    Americans are not only more conformist than Japanese people today -- the few that are willing to stand out will get shamed / shunned / ostracized / fired / deplatformed / debanked. Nothing like those social and institutional pressures exists in Japan -- just the occasional old lady who will chase after you if you jaywalk.

    They have the same pro-social pressures we used to in the good ol' days -- not the increasingly Chinese-style self-criticism and witch-hunts. We've become totally insane.

    Shame culture in Japan is an employer having to perform a deep bow on public TV because the lack of safety measures led to some of his employees getting hurt or killed.

    Shame culture in America is a powerless teenager calling someone a fag or tranny on Xbox Live, and then having to mouth POW-tier confessions of abject worthlessness and incorrigible sinfulness, before a jury that is only there to gawk and throw tomatoes or stone him to death, with no notion of forgiveness and rehabilitation. And that's not to mention that such a "crime" is bullshit to begin with! Just saying that even within their BS ideas about what is criminal, they have totally abandoned the practice of forgiveness, rehabilitation, and letting bygones be bygones.

    It's not the '50s anymore -- it's not even the '90s anymore! Glorious Nippon has somehow absorbed all sorts of positive American influences from the decades after WWII -- but not the crushing of the individual spirit, the snarky spiteful derision meant to extinguish spontaneity (especially in cute young girls), and other signs of conformity like gay marriage.

    Science-fiction movies? Sure! Synthesizers in music? Awesome! Shaming free spirits into sulking sad girls? Affording butt-sex-ers the sanctity of marriage? No thanks!

    Good for the Japanese for sticking up for themselves, choosing only the influences that they like, and keeping the hostile influences out. For keeping Japan under the control of the Japanese people!

  153. I think that's why the few remaining free spirits in America and its sphere of influence, tend to check out these days, rather than give themselves to the culture.

    Too much pressure on them, when they're the only ones who can play such a role. Goob is a perfect example -- the entire weight of the English-speaking world shouldn't have to rest on one tiny little girl's shoulders.

    It's not as daunting, anxiety-inducing, and stressful when there are multiple others who can pick up the slack. So you're more likely to stay engaged in the role.

    Like I said, entire sub-cultural scenes were filled with free-spirited types, certainly the beatniks and hippies, but extending into the '70s boho scene, disco, and even the New Age scene from the '80s and '90s (as well as various revivals of earlier free-spirited scenes, like the '60s / '70s revival during the '90s). Some of no identifiable sub-culture, like the "It Girl" socialites -- another long-dead species in America.

    The last dying gasp of that was the Scene girls (capitalized) of the late 2000s, who did not survive the puritanical woketard crusades of the 2010s. But even by the 2000s, the main sub-cultures were pretty anti-social and explicitly anti-fun -- goth and emo.

    There was some hippie and disco influences in the 2000s, with the glam rock revival, and the dance-rock / disco-punk bands. But by the 2000s, the sneering at spontaneity and wanting to please other people was becoming more and more noticeable.

    Somehow, one tiny little girl navigated the American 2000s and 2010s with her fun-loving spontaneity intact, and whose stage presence made her seem like the reincarnation of a free-spirited jazzy chanteuse from the Midcentury. Such a breath of fresh Atlantean air...

    But she's just a sharky chanteuse, not Atlas, and can't bear all the world's weight on her shoulders. Who can blame her?

    Back when there were tons more like her, they could all eagerly participate and give over their energy to society at large, since not too much was being asked from any particular one of them.

    That seems to be how things still are in Glorious Nippon -- where free spirits never fully burn out, because their individual light is not being used to brighten up the entire society. And where they are not scornfully shamed for being spontaneous in the first place!

  154. Japan needs to form a Manic Pixie Dream Girl Liberation Front -- not for their domestic purposes, but to invade America and put an end to the spiteful holocaust of free spirits in our collapsing empire.

    Maybe it will be too late to alter the course of history here, but at the least they can secure the exodus of free spirits to Japan, where they will be nurtured rather than neutered.

    From decaying civilization, to thriving noble savagery. Tarzan-ettes, raised by kawaii magical anime girls. ^_^

    (OK, that's it for now.)

  155. After watching the British series The Prisoner, the nomadic / weak state status of America comes across so much more starkly.

    I've been watching the Incredible Hulk series since last fall or winter, but it never occurred to me that it was part of a very broad genre of a nomadic "man on the run" in American culture, until I went back to watching it after The Prisoner -- and some episodes of the American series The Fugitive, from the '60s (the inspiration for the 1993 movie with Harrison Ford).

    Here's a pretty good survey of the genre in TV and movies, and while I don't think he intended to, it looks like they're all American. Well, of course -- we're a nomad-dominant society, with a weak central state, whereas Europe is not.


    Dark Age weak states do not have strong central institutions of any sort, let alone ones that can pursue fugitives around the entire land under their nominal, but not de facto, jurisdiction. So it is possible to be an ongoing fugitive -- and for that narrative theme to resonate with a popular audience.

    In societies with strong central states, like Europe (and the rest of mainland Eurasia) since about 1300, they do have such institutions. There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide -- only a brief matter of time before they find you, hunt you down, lock you up, and throw away the key.

    And therefore those narrative themes -- of a totalizing surveillance and carceral state -- resonate more with Euro audiences than Americans. That's why, although Europe has been mostly no-shows in the TV format, they did score big with shows like The Prisoner, where they have an advantage over us. They know what those kinds of societies are like, so it's not so fictional to them, and it hits closer to the bone.

    Ditto for Kafka, Orwell, Huxley, Foucault, Terry Gilliam (Brazil), and the rest of them.

    When an American pretends we live in a totalizing state like that, they're just showing their Euro LARP-ing desire -- sorry, but remember:

    >ywn be European
    >ywn be controlled by a faceless big-gov bureaucracy
    >ywn trace your cultural lineage to the Roman Empire

  156. The sleight-of-hand is to shift the totalizing institutions to private / corporate ones -- but those are not the state, they precede it, stand apart from it, and in nomad-dominant times they utterly control it rather than vice versa.

    When non-state and below-the-central-state sectors of society are the highest level of oligopolistic social control, that is feudalism. Like in America, where the gubmint didn't enforce the mask / vax mandates during the Covid hysteria, and begged private employers to force it on their employees via threats of being fired.

    Strong central states may import hordes of foreign slave labor -- but that's under state control. In a feudal society like America, not only are they eager to import slaves in an orderly manner, they leave the borders wide open to be overrun in typical nomadic fashion -- because there is no cohesive national-level army or police force that can slam the protect the borders.

    That doesn't mean the borders are totally unenforced -- only that whatever enforcement does exist, comes at the sub-national level, in our case through the small-s states, run by governors, like Texas or Florida vs. California or New Mexico.

    And even that enforcement is pathetic, as shown by skyrocketing illegal immigration, yes, even across the Texas and Florida borders. They may be doing more to protect them than California or New Mexico, but sub-national institutions just aren't enough to police borders.

    In America, protection from illegal immigrants is and will remain mostly a private feudal lord affair -- the lords and their clients will be protected by *private* security details, of one sort or another, shielded by Dark Age fortified compounds (with literal gates and walls with sharp obstacles). Everybody else is completely on their own, just like in the Dark Ages and Bronze Age.

    That goes for protection from internal nomads as well, like the skyrocketing "homeless" (crazy / drug-addled bum) population.

    There are no such levels of illegal border crossings, as well as internal homeless nomads, ravaging Europe -- even though they are part of many other broad trends with us, like neoliberalism, imperial collapse, and so on.

    But they are not in the weak state phase of the 2000-year cycle, so they are not plagued by external nomads crossing at will in huge numbers, internal highwaymen, pirates, gangs, clan warfare, and other things that do plague America, and always have plagued us, and will continue to plague us until 2600 or 2700 AD.

  157. In this light, it's a miracle that Japan is physically isolated from most other sources of potential illegal border crossings. Just as America doesn't have to worry about border crossings from Canada, Japan does not have to worry about border crossings from South Korea.

    But America has a huge southern border that tons of Latin Americans would love to enter through -- not to mention people from around the world who enter America by way of Mexico.

    Even China is rich enough by now for there to be no reason to nomadically sail to Japan to live as an illegal immigrant, and leave China behind.

    The main countries with huge populations, that are not rich, and are somewhere near Japan, are the Philippines and Indonesia. But they would be more likely to nomadically sail or island-hop to southern China / Taiwan -- or perhaps Australia, whose northern coastline (where it is closest to the Pacific Islands) is mostly unpopulated and unprotected.

    There's certainly no history of Pacific Islanders nomadically invading Japan -- except for a small component of the pre-pre-pre-historic Japanese population, when there was no huge population let alone a state and army/navy to protect it. This is unlike Central Americans roaming up north, or North Americans roaming south, which is attested within the past few centuries (like Mexicans vs. the Southwest American Indians).

    Japan, like America, is still a (corporate) feudal Dark Age society with a weak central state. If their geography included a long land border with the Philippines and Indonesia, who were in a similar economic state as now, I don't think Japan could protect that any better than America can protect our southern border with Latin America.

    That only leaves state-directed importation of slaves as a source of mass immigration, and so far, Japan has opted to have robots rather than Pacific Islanders perform such labor. And to also accept the costs of having a top-heavy age pyramid, like home prices depreciating over time, since there is so little demand among younger, first-time home-buyers -- there's not many young people there at all, compared to the older population that might sell their homes.

    I think this is due to Japan never reaching full-blown imperial status, and only attaining regional great power status. Their elites and gerontocracy are only "fleeting great power" greedy -- not "global empire" greedy, like American Boomers.

    So Japanese Boomers are not inclined to inflate a massive unsustainable housing bubble just to prop up Boomers' nominal home values, which they can then use as an ATM to fund their conspicuous leisure and consumption habits.

    And they do practice money-printing -- ever since the supposed end of their Lost Decade of the 1990s, in fact, they invented quantitative easing. But it has "only" been used to keep zombie corporations afloat, and their employees along with them -- which we have done in America post-2008, but we sprayed the fake money all over the place, driving up the costs of not only luxury things like colleges and hospitals, but basic necessities like housing and food.

    The higher they rise, the harder they fall -- and since Japan never rose to anywhere near the height of the American Empire, they are not crashing anywhere nearly as badly as we are, on a moral / social level. Their elites are simply not as greedy and anti-social as ours, and therefore it is beyond the pale for them to import hordes of slaves in order to prop up the elites' cushy lifestyles.

  158. Bringing it back to vtubers, and "Japan is for the Japanese," I'll just throw this out there as a logically deduced speculation with no actual smoking-gun evidence.

    I think the reason why Fuwamoco are not going to be as active as they initially were, is that they are husband-hunting and trying to jump through all the hoops necessary to attain Japanese citizenship.

    The only premise we need to accept is the blindingly obvious one -- their overarching goal, for a long time, is to become Japanese, to live as Japanese, in Japan, forever, until they die -- and to then have their remains remain in Japan.

    They are turbo-weebs and very determined and ambitious, applying to Hololive several times in both the JP and EN branches. That's unrelenting determination, and it's directed at their main goal of being absorbed into the society of Glorious Nippon.

    They've already moved to Japan, and gone through the house-hunting stage of becoming Japanese.

    But in Japan you can only get so far, and for so long, unless you're a Japanese citizen. Employment, housing, bank accounts, loans, etc. -- all of these are strongly dependent on you having Japanese citizenship.

    If you just want to hang out for a short while, they'll let you. But you will not live out the rest of your years, residing where you want, working where you want, and otherwise living the lifestyle you want, without Japanese citizenship.

    And as a non-imperial nation, Japan does not open the doors to everyone -- quite the opposite, it exists for its own citizens.

    My grandmother and every one of her ancestors going back thousands of years was Japanese -- but that doesn't entitle me to jackshit as far as Japanese citizenship. You need at least one parent -- not a grandparent. And I'm sure that even if they did accept a grandparent, mine would not count because she surely surrendered her Japanese citizenship after becoming a naturalized American citizen -- Japan does not allow dual citizenship. So my grandmother would only count as genetically / culturally Japanese, not politically Japanese, since she gave up her citizenship to live and die here in America.

    Fuwamoco have no Japanese relatives, whether genetically, politically, or whatever, so citizenship by descent is out the window.

    If you're a superstar contributor to Japanese society, they may give you a special exception, and grant you citizenship. But Fuwamoco are just starting out in their Japanese company.

  159. The only real way to get Japanese citizenship as an outsider is to marry into the society. And as marriage-age women from a nation and culture that Japan has some respect for (although they may get one point subtracted for being Canadian instead of American), that's do-able for them.

    If that's the only way for them to achieve their goal of becoming Japanese, that is precisely the route they will take. And the earlier the better -- the clock is always ticking on your ability to stay in Japan as a foreigner.

    And since they're turbo-weebs, I don't think they need their arms twisted to marry Japanese husbands -- it's not like they're only there for the vtuber money, and would have to reluctantly agree to be mail-order brides. They love Japan and Japanese people -- why *wouldn't* they want to marry Japanese dudes?

    It's beside the point whether they want to have children and raise a family right away. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. Either way, they do want to get married, and to someone Japanese -- not just cuz they're turbo-weebs, but that gets their foot in the door for Japanese citizenship. It all links together, none of these are trade-offs or sacrifices -- it's about becoming Japanese, as fully as possible.

    That would take care of all of the legal / institutional / political / contractual barriers to becoming Japanese, as foreigners.

    But more than that, it would mitigate a lot of the social barriers to becoming Japanese. Suppose you were rich enough to simply pay for Japanese citizenship -- that doesn't mean Japanese people would treat you as one of their own. They'd still ignore you, whether they outright shunned you or not, you'd still be completely invisible and cut off from them.

    But when you're married to an honest-to-goodness Japanese person, you now have a powerful vouch in your favor -- you've proven, in a honest signal way (can't be faked), that you're willing to tie your future to that of somebody Japanese. If you have children together, this signal is even stronger about commiting to a future of being Japanese. But even if it's "just" marriage, that's a powerful statement.

    Now, you have an insider who can vouch for you -- "Hey, don't look at her that way cuz she's a foreigner, or talk about her that way, or treat her that way -- she's my wife, and our fates are tied together, so if you mess with her, you're messing with one of your own countrymen, namely me."

    Suddenly, the outsiders' neighbors, co-workers, employers, etc. will have to treat them as closer to the in-group than some random anime-watcher. Maybe not fully equal to an in-group member -- but way, way, way closer to the in-group than a weeb tourist.

    Likewise, my Japanese grandmother was treated as pretty-much-American, if not 100% American, since she married into and raised children within normie founding-stock American society, rather than separate herself into an ethnic enclave.

    Fuwamoco aren't going to hang out within the Western / American expat population of Japan -- that would defeat the purpose of moving there for turbo-weebs!

    And both legally and socially, there's really only one way to permanently enter a foreign society, that is not an empire importing hordes of slave labor -- marrying into it.

  160. Again, just pure speculation, but really the only logical deduction from the open facts. And husband-hunting can take awhile -- they're not just using it as a cheat code for JP citizenship, they want to find dudes who they really want to get married to. That's not a fast process even in one's home nation, let alone a foreign one!

    And then there's all the red tape involved with getting married, waiting 5 years for permanent residency, etc etc etc. It's not like it's a full-time job to fill in bureaucratic forms, but just being in that head-space of "I need to clear these obstacles sooner than later," means that as entertainers, they're under far more distracting circumstances than when they debuted last summer.

    I don't care if they get married, or even if they did remote husband-hunting before moving there and are already walking down the aisle. I tune into their streams to see classic games get played, and reacted to and appreciated by a new generation of gamers (or girls who can kayfabe enough to be into video games), and more so in their case to listen to classic songs be sung in karaoke (whether Japanese or English).

    If they're going to court a partly Japanese audience, as part of becoming Japanese, I don't think they need to be worried about being married, as long as it's behind-the-scenes and kayfabe is maintained while performing. Japanese audiences seem to be more into the pure entertainment value of vtubers, as though they were pro-wrestlers.

    Non-Japanese audiences, whether American or European or Asian (reminder that Japan is not Asian), seem to be more into the social simulation appeal of vtubers or other streamers. And if it's not just friends, but potential gfs or waifus, they would chafe at any talk about the performers having husbands.

    Well, in that case Fuwamoco will just have to court more of a JP audience, which as turbo-weebs who want to become as fully Japanese as possible -- and who literally applied to the JP branch of Hololive as part of that ambition -- I don't think you'd have to twist their arms into doing that. They do have insane novelty appeal as Canadians who can speak fluent Japanese, know obscure JP pop culture, and perform them in tune during karaoke.

    I'd say the only thing they'd need to focus on is to keep the retro / classic video games flowing. You can be a JP vtuber and play only contempo Western FPS simulators, but that's not Fuwamoco's forte either. It's much easier to demonstrate your willingness to integrate into JP society by streaming yourself playing a Mario game from the Showa era, which is still a hot series with Holo JP streamers.

  161. Speculating further, I wonder about Irys and Coco. My uncle moved back to Japan as an adult, married a Japanese woman, had a Japanese child, and is never going to come back to America. And yet, having a Japanese parent was not enough for him, I don't think -- cuz his genetically and culturally Japanese mother had to surrender her JP citizenship upon becoming a naturalized American citizen.

    Hence why he married into Japanese society -- which I'm sure he wanted to do anyway, given that he was really into his Japanese heritage. He learned Japanese, unlike his siblings, and did East Asian Studies for higher ed, unlike his siblings.

    But aside from wanting to do marry a Japanese woman for its own sake, I'm sure he had to in order to ease the process of legally and socially integrating into Japanese society.

    I'm sure Irys and Coco are in the same bind, if they want to remain in Japan long-term. And they may not want to -- maybe just live there for awhile, then come back to America. IDK where they stand on that.

    But if they do want to remain there long-term, they can't claim citizenship by descent, because although they have at least one parent who is genetically and culturally Japanese, that parent doesn't count as a Japanese citizen if they surrender JP citizenship upon getting naturalized American citizenship.

    Given when their Japanese parents entered America, and have stayed here, I'm pretty sure they did become naturalized American citizens, and therefore had to give up JP citizenship.

    So if Irys or Coco want to get JP citizenship, they're in the same boat as my uncle -- gotta marry your way back into it, even if you have a parent who is genetically and culturally Japanese. That's not good enough for JP citizenship -- that parent has to have current, valid JP citizenship, which excludes those who surrendered it in order to become naturalized American citizens.

    Or so it seems to me, I'm not a JP immigration lawyer. But I'm pretty sure that's what my uncle had to go through, for the same reasons Irys and Coco would have to go through these obstacles that they would never expect from American laws.

  162. Anyway, the main point is not vtubers' marital status, it's just using that as a window into Japanese society. Not only is it very hard to get in -- and even then, you have to prove in an honest signal that you're in it for the long haul, which really only marriage and/or children can prove.

    But it's also hard to get back in if you leave -- that's a very tight-knit society. Somebody leaves and takes up citizenship somewhere else, that person surrenders their original citizenship -- and their descendants can't use their parent to claim citizenship into the original country!

    Once you're in, you're in. Once you're out, you're out -- you gotta get back in the only way that proves your long-term commitment to integration, marriage and/or children with an in-group member.

    And that's part of why Japan has remained so Japanese-y -- good for them!

    ...even if it is a pain in the butt for re-patriating cases like my uncle, Irys, and Coco. ^_^

  163. Hololive ad campaign to boost Japan's fertility rate, which begins with a declining chart (comically steep, not autistically the real data), and a group of Hololive staff and talents huddled around a conference table, sleeves rolled up, question marks emanating from their heads, flustered at the prospect that Japanese society may not reproduce itself into the future.

    Where will the next gen of streamers come from? And where will their JP-language audience come from? Fertility rates must rise, to provide future performers and viewers! But how???

    Well, there are many willing suitors outside of Japan -- some of whom may even be watching us right now (wink at the camera).

    Then a JP talent looks into the camera and says, in English, with a playful teasing tone:

    "So, kaigai niki, remember -- you will never be Japanese, until you marry a Japanese woman, and give her Japanese babies!"

    Followed by a final cute wink, as though Hololive viewers would need their arms twisted to imagine marrying their oshi. ^_^

  164. Central Americans might be nomads but are they cohesive enough to form a new meta-ethnic frontier with North Americans?

  165. Back to unique American names, and probably the last I'll have to say on this topic for awhile, names with the letter "v" are something we invented and made our own.

    Obviously other languages around the world have that sound, and sometimes in their given names -- I'm talking about what made us different from the major cultures that seeded North America from Europe.

    And it does play into our Dark Age focus, while still being something new and unique. It's not just adopting Dark Age names, but making names that sound as though they could have been popular names back in 800 AD.

    Sometimes these come in a pair where the "v" becomes a "w" -- which is closer to the Dark Age LARP, like "-vin" and "-win".

    I already covered Alvin, which is an American creation that sounds like a pre-Norman Anglo-Saxon name.

    But there's also Mervin, Marvin, and Melvin -- I guess Merlin would've been too on-the-nose and LARP-y.

    BTW, for Millennials and Zoomers who never got to watch peak American TV, the name Mervin rings a bell for us who did -- "Merv Griffin Enterprises," the production company of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, named after the producer Mervyn Griffin -- now how's *that* for a Dark Age name? They even worked the "y" into the given name, and his surname is a mythological Welsh monster.

    Calvin and Kelvin. "Uh, but those are just surnames" -- no, they are names that fit the phonotactics, and happen to be surnames. You can't repurpose any ol' surname into a given name -- it has to obey the sound and/or orthography patterns. They end in "-vin," so they're just as good as Marvin and Alvin.

    Irvin and Irving.

    And one of the most American names of the late 20th century -- Kevin.

    And those are just the boys names.

  166. V-names go all the way back to the 1st baby born in the New World to English parents -- Virginia Dare. What poetic justice!

    That's right, nobody was named Virginia before then.

    In a strange case of synchronicity, that year -- 1587 -- was when the first Italian girl was named Virginia (Virginia Centurione Bracelli).

    Other early notable Virginias in America include writer Virginia Randolph Cary (b. 1786), socialite Virginia Kyle Campbell (b. 1822), and wife of Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Eliza Poe (also b. 1822).

    These are important to establish that V-names precede the fame of Britain's Queen Victoria, who was crowned in 1832 (b. 1819). In fact, she was not born Victoria, but Alexandrina Victoria -- but she went by Victoria as queen, giving that name rather than Alexandrina all the fame.

    But in any case, Americans had the Brits beat in V-names by several centuries, with the also Latin name Virginia. Latin does not imply Roman, as Latin remained a lingua franca throughout the Dark Ages, and was the language of Christianity in the West -- and Christianity is a Dark Age religion, coming out of the Byzantine Empire, as a world religion (not a handful of enthusiasts here and there around the Mediterranean shores who were persecuted by the collapsing Roman Empire).

    Virginia rose in popularity throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, peaking in the 1920s at #7, then falling out as other V-names took its place.

    Like Elizabeth, Victoria always sounded too British to American ears after Queen Victoria took the throne. So like Elyssa and Beth, we've chopped up Victoria into Tori and Vicki (Vikki if she's a baddie). Victoria took awhile to become popular in America, rising toward a peak in the 1990s at #19.

    Since Europe was going through their Romantic Dark Age revival during the 19th century, they resonated with our invention of V-names, and ran with them as well. Sometimes beginning the name, like Virginia or Victoria, sometimes tucked into the middle, like Elvira, and sometimes appearing at the beginning *and* in the middle for good measure, like Vivian.

    Around the time that Virginia peaked, in 1920 other V-names within the top 100 included Evelyn (#12), Eva (#58), Viola (#59), Vivian (#64), Vera (#75), Violet (#77), Sylvia (#85), and Genevieve (#86, and another double-V-name).

    Fast-forward to the top 100 girls names born in 2015, and V-names are still highly popular, some being Victorian revivals, some being totally new, including Olivia (#2), Ava (#4), Evelyn (#15), Avery (#16), Victoria (#20), Savannah (#38), Violet (#50), Nevaeh (#70, "Heaven" spelled backwards), Eva (#76), and Vivian (#95).

    Vivian is a great example since there's a literal Arthurian tie-in -- Viviane being one of the names of the Lady of the Lake. Not a rational Enlightenment name. :)

  167. Also in the back of Arthurian revival minds, Guinevere has a "v". The last time British names had a "v" in them somewhere...

  168. Final mini-survey, look over the names of First Ladies in American history. They're from outer space, compared to their Euro contemporaries.


    Dolley Madison was born in 1768 -- who was named Dolley back then, let alone a member of the elite? And she was born Dolley, that was not a nickname. She was ahead of Hello, Dolly! and Dolly Parton by 200 years!

    Sarah Jackson is a very early Sarah for people of Euro descent. Followed shortly by Sarah Van Buren! And Sarah Polk!

    Just within the Tyler family, there's Letitia, Priscilla, and Julia. There's another Julia married to Grant.

    Ida, Helen, Ellen, two Ediths, Grace in the Progressive Era...

    Mamie (born Mary), Jackie, Claudia, Thelma (in a rhyme-class with Selma, Velma, etc.), and Rosalynn (there's that distinctly American template ending "-lynn").

    After that, there's hardly any Anglo names -- Nancy, Barbara, Hillary, Laura, Michelle, Melania, and Jill (usurper).

    Anything to avoid sounding like we descended from a culture that originated in Europe between 1300 and 1800 AD.

  169. The next separate post will be about the Romantic movement -- of the Classical era. It's so extensive, the backlash against order and structure, beginning in the late 1700s across Eurasia. They'd been heading in the direction of more and more order, structure, and central state strength, since about 1300 -- enough already!

    Well, they're still strong central states with a predominance of order and reason rather than nomadic chaos and intuition and superstition and religion. But as of that backlash circa 1800, they've leavened that rationality with mysticism, and harkened back to their Dark Age ancestors' culture -- while still predominantly favoring the Classical / Neoclassical.

    That had to have happened during the previous phase of sedentary-dominant societies in Eurasia -- and sure enough, it did! How much more rational and orderly can you get than the Enlightenment? Well, there's your marker -- just look for the time in the Classical era where it just couldn't get any more rational, orderly, and logical -- that's the marker. After that point, there will be a Romantic backlash, and it will leave its mark on the rest of the sedentary-dominant phase.

    Not to say it reversed the rationalism and strong central state focus -- just that after that backlash, it would be leavened with mysticism, fairytales, pastoral Edenic bliss, and Bronze Age monsters and creatures.

    After that post, or perhaps within the comments section to it, will be the converse phenomenon -- within the 1000 years of Dark Ages, there comes a backlash against its mysticism and nomadism, and there's a mini- or semi-Enlightenment within an otherwise Dark Age environment. And it leaves its mark for the rest of the Dark Ages.

    When the Dark Ages can't get any darker, there's your marker -- after that, a semi-Enlightenment or academic focus or appreciation for logic, reason, scholarship, etc.

    These phenomena happened throughout Eurasia, too, not just in Europe.

    It looks like Japan, which is not on the Eurasian timeline, already began its mini-Enlightenment awhile ago, while still being a Dark Age culture.

    America got started even later than Japan, so we have yet to see our mini-Enlightenment. Depending on when you want to begin American history, we're only at about 600 to 700 AD on the Eurasian timeline.

    And yet we're closer to the marker than we were 100 or 200 or 300 years ago, so we'll get there sooner than later. Then we'll become a Dark Age culture, leavened with rationality and scholarship, instead of a pure Dark Age culture.

  170. Was Meiji the Japanese mini-Enlightenment?

  171. A bit earlier, shown by the explosion of Edo Neo-Confucianism, which peaked between 1650 and 1700.


    In East Asia, rationalism = Confucian, mystical = Buddhist.

    Overall, Japan has been strongly Buddhist since the Kamakura era, but this leavening of the mystical nature of Buddhism, with a little bit of Confucian rationalism, shows that the purely mystical phase of Japan's Dark Ages was over by around 1700.

    After that, it was still heavily mystical and Dark Age -- but with a minor tendency of rationalism.

    The Wiki article also says when and where Neo-Confucianism came from, before Japan -- when else, and where else, than the Tang Dynasty in China? ^_^

    That was the East Asian version of the Carolingian Renaissance in the Frankish Empire, the Macedonian Renaissance / Encyclopedism in the Byzantine Empire, and the House of Wisdom in the Abbasid Caliphate.

    But since Japan is not on the Eurasian timeline, the "mini-Enlightenment within an overall Dark Age" didn't show up until nearly 1000 years later.

  172. I saw pics of the Hololive Gamers Fes this weekend, and it's at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, originally built for the 1964 Olympics by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, who later won the Pritzker Prize, and mainly worked in Midcentury Modern and Brutalism. Like all the great 20th-century architects, he was born before 1925 (1913, to be exact).



    It just drives home how much more appreciated Brutalist architecture is in Glorious Nippon, even though we invented and perfected it. It's on one of those national lists of significant and protected buildings, by the national government -- not just a list of critics' favorites.

    In America, Brutalism was pretty safe from demolition up through the 2000s, even if the dork squad began poo-poo-ing it during the neoliberal '80s. But during the woketard iconoclasm of the 2010s, the elites and wannabes went on a demolition spree of America's distinctive culture and history -- whether that was Confederate monuments or Brutalist monuments.

    Japan never rose as high as we did, so they are not plunging to the abysmal lows that we are now, during the hangover. So while some of their Brutalist and Midcentury Modern buildings will fall into disrepair and/or be demolished, they are not targeted with the insane heritage-hating zealotry that the woketard iconoclasts did while destroying American culture during the 2010s through today.

    And that's just the ones that are neglected -- other Brutalist and Modern buildings are sanctified and protected by the highest levels of government in Japan, which is far more than you can say of America.

    Brutalism remains a critic's favorite style in Japan, unlike in America where neolib Postmodernists and Deconstructionists shat all over it, to pave the way for its demolition.


    Recall the sad anti-American Euro-LARP of the Trump admin's executive order, writing fanfic that in the future all government buildings will be from the Neoclassical through Art Deco styles. Yeah sure, the demolishers will blow up a Brutalist or Mid-Mod building, and put a dumb ugly out-of-place glass box -- like they always have, for the past several decades.

    Nobody is fooled about cultural right-wingers erecting Neo-Neoclassical or Neo-Deco buildings -- they are simply the good cop, to the libtard bad cop, in demolishing America's unique architecture in order to make way for glass boxes.

    The only thing they have to add is a feigned wistful surprise at the outcome of yet another glass box, gee, we really thought we were going to get that Neo-Beaux-Arts building for sure this time...

    Sacrilegious anti-American bowtie faggots.

  173. Will America ever get a Midcentury Modern architectural revival or are we just doomed to have neoclassical larp/fishbowl glass buildings indefinitely into the future?

  174. For buildings? No way will they revive Midcentury Modern -- too powerful of a reminder of how great our country used to be.

    But for furniture and interior design? Perhaps. Most of the yuppie furniture stores these days have a lot of Midcentury Modern lookalikes (made in China, total crap).

    That's cuz furniture is less expensive, and an individual who likes some style can use their demand to drive the supply of it.

    But buildings are too big for the average person, or even an entire collective of them, to exert any influence. It's all up to who's funding the construction, or sale, of an entire building -- only our sacrilegious elites, who want to think of themselves as always progressing, evolving, and improving upon what came before them, even as what they control unravels into piles of crap.

    If anything, we will see the continuation of the outright hostile iconoclastic crusade against Midcentury culture by the woketard elites, and they will demolish as many of those buildings as they can.

    Only when we're through collapsing as an empire, will the elites have cooled off with their heritage-hating iconoclasm. There will be no more plausible deniability about improving on what came before them -- our empire will lie in total ruins. So then they'll say, "Y'know what, let's just try to uphold and imitate what was great about our predecessors."

    That won't be for several centuries, though.

  175. Another Brutalist gymnasium by Kenzo Tange, the Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, built the same time as the Yoyogi National Stadium, but farther from the capital -- on the small island of Shikoku. Just like in America, Brutalism and Midcentury Modern styles were populist in Japan -- they were not concentrated only in elite, wealthy cities.



    As shown in the final pic in the first link, the dramatic upward-swooping roof is symmetrically placed at both ends of an elongated building, not just at one end. And it dips in the middle of the roof. Near each of the upward-swooping eaves are massive piers to support it -- but they extend far away from the base, being cantilevered.

    In fact, it's just like Googie architecture from America, which itself was inspired by the Polynesian longhouse design, which drew our attention during the Tiki craze of the Midcentury, lasting into the design of the Polynesian Resort at Disney World. See these posts (with pictures) from last year:




    The upward-swooping eaves also recall traditional Japanese roof architecture, but the entire building looks more like a Polynesian longhouse.

    As a reminder, this style was invented by the grandfather himself, Frank Lloyd Wright, in residential Midwestern American architecture in 1949 and '50.

    Tange's gymnasium is unique in using Brutalist construction and ornamental details -- monolithic concrete, with large-scale coffering / cellular matrix on the underside of the eaves. Not the same surface as the glass walls, flagstone walls, and metallic spaceship roofs in Googie.

    And yet it still looks both primitive and futuristic / sci-fi at the same time. And for one little prefecture's local gymnasium!

  176. Sadly, the Kagawa Gymnasium may be demolished. It received preservation funds, described in the first link of the previous comment. But it has a special / unique / odd design for the roof, where the stainless steel cable holding it up has begun rusting, allowing water through, and opening a can of worms for restoring it.

    It has been closed since 2014, and may be demolished if the local government can't find a buyer.

    If it is impossible to fix and use as intended, they should just let it stay as is, and it will become an abandoned building that is still a public monument.

    Eventually if it decays, they should let it become a ruin -- don't demolish and clear it away. We need tangible and, as it were, concrete reminders of our cultural legacy -- look at how many ruins there are still in Europe. They didn't just say, "Well, too much damage done to the roof to keep this operating as a church or a castle, let's just demolish it and clear it all away". They're still there -- and they look cool!

    For the love of God, stop trying to memoryhole our entire history.

    But back to the point about Japanese vs. American elite attitudes toward Midcentury culture, this gymnasium has not been slandered by the Japanese elites -- it's been praised, and they've tried to protect and restore it, whether or not that effort is ultimately successful.

    And even if it does get demolished, it will be due to a bizarre structural damage that could not be easily repaired -- not as part of a hateful, spiteful iconoclastic crusade, driven by moralistic rage. It's utilitarian, not moral -- structural damage can't be corrected, guess we'll have to let it go.

    In America, the woketards have targeted and demolished perfectly intact and structurally sound buildings. They have no utilitarian fig leaf to hide behind -- they simply declare that Midcentury culture must be erased, whether it's currently useful for some utilitarian purpose or not. It's a matter of morality for them -- they find something profoundly and incorrigibly immoral about our glorious history, so it has to be expunged thoroughly.

    Then, don't even put up something great or greater in its place -- something deliberately crappy and sense-depriving, like the now standard matte gray box or glass box.

    Japan looks at its post-WWII history as something to be proud of and celebrate and preserve, while we increasingly look at ours as something to be razed and memoryholed. Its greatness is simply too embarrassing to the wannabes and flunkies who run the society these days.

  177. Speaking of Midcentury Modern furniture, I scored a Steelcase swivel chair for $7 at the thrift store this weekend. From -- when else? -- 1978. This one:


    Mine is also red upholstery and chrome -- which is still in amazing, gleaming condition -- but mine has a dark brown back / bottom, not beige like in the link.

    The legs at the bottom have a slight arc, and their cross-section is a slender oval instead of a circle. Really gives it that Jetsons look! ^_^

    My cat is sleeping in it right now, he really loves the good ol' stuff. He used the All-Steel Pollock-esque chair that I'm sitting in right now as I type this, for his napping chair for awhile. Now there's a new one, so he's claiming that one.

    So glad to see he has good taste -- and who said pets don't resemble their owners? ^_^

    Reminder that none of the prices on those websites are real -- no idiot is paying over $1000 for a chair that was mass-produced and therefore has millions of examples lying around the country.

    Just last year, these sites, and the wannabe "dealers" at antique stores, used to list them in the low-hundreds range -- now they're doubling down and listing for the low-thousands. Delusional, they show up frequently in thrift stores for less than $10.

    And with the collapse of the commercial real estate bubble, offices all over the place are shutting down and liquidating everything -- and if they get a better tax write-off by donating their stuff, they'll send it to the thrift stores instead, which I gather is what is going on.

    I'm guessing the operators of these sites put up these risibly fake prices in order to manage expectations for Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist, where these things might actually be sold. The potential customer sees an FBM ad, says, "Hey, that's neat -- but $100 for an old office chair? Hmm, I dunno, lemme see if it's worth that much -- Alexa / Google / Siri, tell me how much a 1970s Steelcase office chair is worth. [Fake voice] Current prices are $1000. Holy shit, I'm getting a deal for only $100!"

    Of course, this attempt is sad and deluded, as usual for these wannabe flippers / re-sellers / "dealers". In reality, this stuff that they poach from thrift stores just sits around collecting dust in their storage unit, until they croak and it goes back to the thrift stores as part of a dead person's estate.

    But fuck them for taking it out of circulation in the meantime. That's why you have to visit the stores yourself -- before some deluded greedy re-seller gets it first!

  178. If only there were more adorable J-Pop idols like this one from the Glowing Eighties:


  179. "The data" are so fake nowadays that some of these re-seller sites lie and claim that a certain item "sold". Obviously, nobody is buying a thrift store office chair for $700 -- either the seller bought it themselves, or has a buying ring / cartel that buys each other's stuff, or has an understanding with the site's owners to falsely declare something sold when it is not.

    All in order to give the impression to curious customers that these things are worth way more than they really are.

    But again, nobody is fooled. So why bother with such a deluded futile effort? Cuz it lets them save face, and hold out hope that their status is not slipping out of their grasp.

    The other thing about the office spaces collapsing, is that they're the only people who would pay lots of money, and in large quantities, for office furniture. In fact, that's who the main buyers were back in the '70s -- corporations, not lone individuals.

    Corporations can get bank loans, or these days printed-up Central Bank funny money. Lone individuals cannot.

    So maybe a *brand-new* (not used / vintage) Steelcase chair could've sold for hundreds in the QE bonanza of the 2010s. But that's all being halted and reversed, and interest rates are way to high to borrow the money to buy expensive office furniture at a large scale.

    Again, I'm glad that nobody is suicidal enough to enable the re-sellers by actually buying such overpriced stuff these days. But fuck them for taking all this stuff out of circulation and giving an A+ to your own test, by sticking a $1000 price tag on an old office chair, in a sad and pathetic attempt to pump up your own status.

  180. Very proud of Subaru for beating Super Mario Bros last night! No warp, no save states, no continues -- from 1-1 all the way through 8-4! She practiced and improved over several streams, each lasting many hours -- but it was all worth the effort.

    And it's not just worth it for the final winning run -- she made many entertaining streams *before* the final run! I think she had about 30,000 people watching live each time -- that's how captivating the game, and the performer, are!

    She's played quite a few classic games -- Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Megaman 2, just to name a few! All of the very popular vtubers in Japan have a solid foundation of preserving the classics.

    Also, proud of Aqua for beating Super Mario Bros 3 -- the same night as Subaru beat the first game! What a night...

    She has the best gamer skills of anyone I've seen playing the classic games, even though she tends to play modern FPS games, which she also excels at. Those skills -- reaction time, exploration, killer instinct, etc. -- transfer from one genre to another. Like Sora, she would be very good at any of the classic games.

    She might be able to beat Zelda II! ^_^

  181. I wonder if Aqua being short makes her a better gamer? She is known to be tiny IRL, around 4'10.

    Korone is also great at classic games, and she's on the short side -- given her gymnastic skills, since gymnasts are always short.

    Marine, the queen of bullet-hell shooters, is also short.

    And the Goobinator, rhythm game master, is also tiny.

    Irys, who also beat Megaman 2 among others, is good at classic games despite not playing them often. And she's tiny! (notwithstanding her character's model being tall)

    Maybe because there's a shorter physical distance in the nervous system pathway, from the brain to the hands, in a short person, compared to a longer distance in a tall person?

    Tall people are famous for being less coordinated, like it takes too long for the signals to be sent to the muscles in time. Again, gymnasts are all shorties.

    In video games, there's no need for strength, just reflexes / reaction time. So that would seem to select for short people -- and judging from the Hololive girls, that seems to be true!

    I'm guessing most of the elite gamer guys are around 5'8, not 6'2.

  182. I wonder also if that's partly why Asians and the Japanese are better at video games? (Japanese are not Asian, but are also shorter than Europeans.)

    Part is that Asians and Japanese have better visual-spatial skills than verbal skills, on IQ-type tests.

    But they might also have faster reflexes, in a video game setting, due to being shorter.

    I just can't imagine all the teenage Asian guys who dominate Tetris are actually over 6'.

    In some settings, it's better to be short.

    And since Hololive also includes being a dancer, that's all the more reason to select for shorties -- better coordination and rhythm, or outright gymnastic stunts like the Koronator does. ^_^

  183. Currently going through the archives of some of the heavy hitters in Holo JP, where the classics are still played. ^_^

    Korone has a zillion classic game streams -- too many to choose from! But I started with Sonic the Hedgehog, and I believe she's the only one to have played it. It's such a classic, and fits her personality perfectly -- zipping around at the speed of light, and in kawaii form, like the cute free spirit that she is. Hehe.

    I was glad to see that she loves the music for the Starlight Zone -- that has always been a favorite of mine, too. I normally don't write about video game music, but I wrote about that song awhile ago, comparing it to "I Want You Back" by Bananarama, from slightly earlier.


    It has that '80s / Showa optimism, Space Age futurism, and easy-breezy but slightly wistful tone for cruising around Neo-Tokio at night. ^_^

    Even without a closed-caption option, I could still tell mostly what she was saying and feeling -- she's so expressive on a physical level, you don't need to translate the precise words from a dictionary.

    I've heard that Gura is like that too, for non-English speakers, giving her a broader appeal than just people who understand the word-for-word meaning of the rollercoaster of sounds coming out of her mouth during a stream.

    And speaking of expressive, I'm now half-way through Marine's stream of Super Mario Bros 2 -- the JP version, the super-difficult / ragebait version. Although she does not specialize in classic games, she has still played quite a few of them as well, including this one that she played for 4 hours -- not just a quick dip of the toe into the pool, but taking the plunge!

  184. Browsing the archives of the Holo JP girls is another reminder of how well they preserve their culture, compared to America.

    American streamers, whether they're vtubers or face-tubers, male or female, from this company or that company, do not preserve the classics. I don't just mean the Japanese classics like Mario, Zelda, Megaman, etc. -- they don't preserve their own American or British-made classics.

    FPS players won't play Doom II or Perfect Dark, walking simulator players won't play Myst, fantasy / adventure players won't play King's Quest games or other Sierra Online games, puzzle players won't play NES Tetris (Russian-made, but still not Japanese), fighting game players won't play Mortal Kombat 1 or 2, and so on and so forth.

    The only exception I've noticed is that Americans and Canadians will play Donkey Kong Country 1 and/or 2, which were made in Britain way back in the '90s, despite being 2D platformers and using a JP mascot.

    Karaoke streams are also exceptions -- no matter who it is, they'll sing some songs from before 2000 or 1990, and if they're a more musically inclined person, they'll probably since songs from back into the Midcentury or earlier, like Goob and Moom.

    If Americans are more willing to preserve the history of their music than their video games, I wish streamers would shift their content more in that direction -- karaoke every week. It's no coincidence that karaoke streams draw much larger audiences -- the audience wants to fit into a larger community, and that has a time dimension as well, feeling connected to your culture's past.

    Can't feel that with an asset flip flavor-of-the-month simulator, unless other streams preserve the history of simulators like SimCity (the original), Civilization (the original), etc. If the media being played and reacted to are treated as disposable, what's the point of engaging with it anyway? There's enough disposable crap in the world today.

  185. I wonder if the whole "shitty retro games" genre of Gen-X and Millennial YouTubers from the Angry Nintendo Nerd onward, was in effect an iconoclastic erasure and memoryholing of the classic era. Whether they intended to or not -- and I think in most of their cases, they did intend to shit all over the hand-drawn illustration era, the game rather than a simulator era, and that they mostly played 3D immersive simulator "games" in their free time.

    Just like the slandering and demolition of Midcentury architecture, during the same time period and same country.

    Now, this crowd does preserve certain classics, like horror and sci-fi movies. But their whole schtick was focused in video games -- and there, the (likely intended result) was to purge not just the foreign games like Mario, Zelda, and Megaman, but the American classics like Sierra Online, Doom, Myst, Perfect Dark, etc.

    I know there are exceptions, like Mike Matei streaming retro games, Pete Dorr still reviewing classics, and Metal Jesus Rocks interviewing Ken & Roberta Williams (founders of Sierra Online, who he used to work for back in the '90s).

    As for the retro-inspired games of the 2010s, most of them also have the effect of making the era seem shitty and awful, rather than great. They dumb down the pixel art, use no music or boring music, and make the gameplay into a ragebait or a hand-holding bubble-wrap modern-style game. The similarities are so few and superficial to actual games from the good ol' days.

    Only three major exceptions there -- Minecraft, Terraria, and Stardew Valley, which are not coincidentally some of the most popular games ever, but certainly within the "retro-inspired games from the 2010s" genre.

    If it looks like crap, sounds like crap, and plays like crap, it's a deliberate attempt to slander the glorious past -- blackface, or I guess retro-face, video games.

  186. To end on a positive note, though, I've been enjoying Lui's Dragon Quest VII streams. I don't understand most of the plot, which I can read about off-stream anyway. The music, as always for DQ games, is such a breath of fresh air.

    But what stands out about VII is how it's in 3D, but still looks like a 2D game. The color palette is still lush and saturated -- as it should be! There is nothing inherent to making games 3D that requires their color palette to change one bit.

    American (and other non-Japanese) games specialized in 3D immersive simulators at this time (late '90s / early 2000s), and they also specialized in depriving the senses of the players and audience. It's supposedly part of the move from illustration to photography as the guiding art form -- but photorealism doesn't require a boring desaturated color palette either! Nothing from the heyday of Hollywood in the '70s looks like that.

    It's just non-Japanese video game creators representing the worst of their creative class -- writing the worst dialog, acting it out in the most ridiculous performances, conceiving the dumbest plots, making boring set pieces and costumes and character models, with zany cinematography on top of it all.

    But back in Glorious Nippon, video game creators were drawn from the better half of their creative class. So the hand-drawn illustration look was still "in" with DQ VII -- the characters look like they're from a 2D anime, not photorealist CGI (which has always looked like shit). Their volumes, outlines, costumes, colors -- all from a 2D anime.

    The musical score still sounds like it's from a 2D anime, and meant to convey emotion throughout the entire game -- not just the occasional sting here or there, and not just bland background filler music.

    And even the cinematography looks like a 2D video game, not 3D -- the perspective is far from the characters, not over their shoulder or through their eyes, so it is not immersive and simulator-y at all.

    And the 3D is limited -- you don't pan it left and right like a sim, nor up and down like a sim, and there's no zoom in and out like a sim. It's just a simple "rotate" clockwise and counter-clockwise function, where you can film the characters at the same great distance away from them -- but from a different angle, although still on the ground and pointing parallel to the ground.

    It's like the camera being on a dolly, which can move around a circular track with the characters in the center of the circle. But not tilting up or down, or panning left or right.

    This guides the characters through a 3D environment, without it being immersive and sim-y.

    I took a peak at DQ VIII, and I think it also uses this limited 3D approach -- and it also looks like a hand-drawn illustration from a 2D anime, not a photorealistic 3D simulator.

    I always hated the move to 3D in video games, but perhaps that's cuz I was thinking of the non-Japanese games that were responsible, like the FPS and other immersive sims. DQ was never a popular series here, so I never played them. And the popular Japanese games here like Zelda did not have this mechanic either.

    Seeing how much aesthetically better the Japanese creators handled 3D, I don't hate it inherently anymore -- just the photorealist simulators that drove the adoption of 3D outside of Japan. But DQ VII and VIII look pretty damn cool. ^_^

  187. It's more like the 3D mechanic in DQ VII is to rotate the environment (CW or CCW), not so much circle around the characters, but with a similar effect. It's like those physical toy games, where you guide a ball through a maze by moving around the entire "ground" board itself, to make the ball weave this way or that.

    It gives it a 3D-ish nature, but in any given frame it still looks like a top-down 2D video game.

  188. And DQ VIII has a more immersive POV for the camera, so I don't think I'd like that one as much as VII. But at least it has a rich color palette and character designs and environmental designs that look like they're hand-drawn illustrations / anime, not uncanny valley wannabe photorealistic CGI.

  189. You don't know, oh-oh
    You don't know you're Mumei-ful, oh-oh
    That's what makes you Mumei-ful

    Great set list tonight :)

  190. Some political posting, on the occasion of the collapse of the Camp David Accords from the late 1970s, as Israeli and Egyptian soldiers have opened fire on each other and killed each other over the weekend.

    Very stupid people -- 99% of the media, left and right, establishment and dissident, online and offline, legacy formats and social media posting -- spin the current affairs of the Middle East as having ancient roots, there's nothing new under the sun, just have to ignore it and let it do its thing, etc.

    Back on planet Earth, all of the current affairs in the Middle East have recent roots -- the collapse of the Ottoman Empire circa WWI, which had been the regional hegemon going back centuries.

    That was the birth of Arab nationalism, as the Arabians -- i.e., the Saudis -- were the uniting force that drove out the Ottoman occupiers. So, other non-Arabian groups in the Levant, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and North Africa, all adopted "Arab" as part of their national identity -- to reflect which nation had liberated the Saharo-Arabian language sphere from Ottoman rule. To honor them.

    That's also the origin of the Iranian - Saudi antagonism, as neither one was ever under the Ottoman occupation, and both were vying for regional dominance as the Ottoman collapse left a power vacuum.

    That's also the origin of the Israeli state -- formerly, just a handful of Zionist tourists from Europe settling into a certain slice of the Ottoman Empire. Once the Ottomans bit the dust, the power vacuum meant the Zionists might get a state of their own -- and they did, a bit later on.

    That's also the origin of American involvement in the MENA region -- previously somewhere we had no involvement in, one way or another. We would've been cockblocked by the Ottoman Empire. But once the Ottomans bit the dust, the power vacuum opened up a space for the remaining empires -- the local one, Saudi Arabia, and the two empires that survived WWI, Russia and America.

    As always, religion played zero role at a fundamental level, it was all geopolitical / imperial jockeying for position.

  191. With such a massive power vacuum opening up, and so many empires competing for influence over so many political fragments of the Ottoman Empire, things were never static in the 20th century or the 21st -- even after the collapse of the Russian / Soviet Empire circa 1990.

    There are no deep roots to the Lebanese Civil War, the Iranian antagonism with Israel, or more to the point now, to the Egyptian - Israeli alliance. All are mere snapshots within a turbulent and dizzying shifting of alliances, as each one tried to adapt moment-by-moment in the wake of the Ottoman collapse.

    Previously, Christians and Muslims co-existed in Lebanon -- then they were at war with each other, then Hezbollah won, and now they're more united in driving Israel out of the region. Turbulence, but now settling into a more stable equilibrium, with Southern Lebanon playing the leading / unifying / expanding role, since they're on the meta-ethnic frontier with Israel, unlike the largely Christian North.

    But the two are no longer at civil war with each other, and the Christian North is gradually accepting Southern Shia leadership -- only Hezbollah was allowed to stay armed after the end of their civil war, and that was agreed to by the Christian North.

    Iran under the Shah in the Midcentury was aligned with America, as well as with Israel -- and that was not an automatic pairing, since America was not aligned with Israel back then, as shown by our bitchslapping Israel out of the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis, when we favored Egypt instead of Israel.

    Then in the late 1970s, the Islamic Revolution reversed many of the positions of the Shah state, including their alliance with Israel, and suddenly Iran and Israel became bitterly opposed.

    Also in the late '70s, the *Arab*-Israeli wars had reached a stalemate, and America decided to placate both sides (Egypt and Israel) with massive bribes, in the hopes of maintaining stability rather than constant warfare. Egyptian and Israeli elites would accept our massive annual bribes, and in return, they would not fight each other. That's the Camp David Accords.

    So much for the Arab-Israeli wars -- it would now devolve into an internal war between Israelis and Palestinians, which might anger the broader region, but would not involve them in an ongoing military conflict.

  192. Because America supervised the Camp David Accords, and was the party sending such massive amounts of money, military equipment, and diplomatic cover to both Egypt and Israel, anything involving them stems from us. We are not a neutral uninvolved party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we will not be a neutral uninvolved party between Egypt and Israel as they have begun shooting each other.

    Anyone who says that conflict doesn't involve America, it's on the other side of the world, can we please focus on America instead -- is not only ignorant, but lying. They know we're the one responsible for the system of alliances of the past 40-some years, and that we're financing and equipping Egypt and Israel to the tune of billions of dollars every year, in a class of their own for "foreign aid".

    Even if America had not been the central factor behind the Egyptian-Israeli alliance, and therefore for the conflict's devolution down to the merely Palestinian-Israeli conflict, picking the Israeli side would still commit us to another "forever war" in the Middle East -- something the Trump supporters had supposedly hated back during his 2015-16 campaign.

    That was Trump's unique realigning appeal back then -- get us the fuck out of the Middle East and Afghanistan, and either save the money we would've wasted over there, or spend it on some better cause back home, like single-payer healthcare (which Trump always promoted).

    But once in office, he bombed Syria and put thousands of American boots on the ground in that country, which Obama and Bush Jr and every other American president before then had avoided. Trump DID get us into a new war in the Middle East (previously, we were only helping regional proxies). Trump himself begged Obama, on Twitter, not to bomb Syria back in the early 2010s.

    Then he sent thousands of Americans *back into* Afghanistan, rather than withdraw them, contrary to his campaign.

    Now on the campaign trail, Trump is promising to side even more heavily in favor of Israel, which now not only means against the powerless Palestinians, but regional and global powers like Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Russia, Yemen / Houthis, and Lebanon / Hezbollah... talk about doubling down on picking the losing horse! Jesus...

    America has been picking sides in the Middle East -- not always the same ones -- since the Ottoman Empire collapsed over 100 years ago. The notion that we have nothing to do with what's going on there, and can just stick our heads in the sand, is insane -- and a flagrant lie. It's just cope, to manage the emotional states of Americans whose geopolitical and military power keeps collapsing through further circles of Hell every month.

  193. During the topsy-turvy 2010s, the popular uprisings, as well as the CIA attempts at coups (all of which failed), should have signalled that the system was still not settling into an equilibrium there.

    And with a post-collapse Russia now intervening to bitchslap America out of Syria, and actively courting Egypt with offers for economic, energy, and military investment, that instability should have become even more obvious.

    I commented on the Russian courting of Egypt at the time, and said it's only a matter of time before Egypt finds a better and more reliable sugar daddy than the Pentagon, giving that American military and diplomatic influence peaked many decades ago.

    Well, with the 2020 breakdown of internal order within America, all bets are off around the world. Right away, the Taliban bitchslapped us out of Afghanistan, Russia began taking back Ukraine, Yemen took over the Red Sea from the US and NATO, and before too long, China will begin taking back Taiwan.

    None of those are the unique fault of Clinton, Obama, or Biden -- Reagan got bitchslapped out of Lebanon in 1983 by the precursor to Hezbollah suicide bombing the Marines barracks in Beirut. Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. all tried to weaken Iraq, which therefore allowed Iran to expand its sphere of influence into the Iraqi power vacuum.

    Bush Jr. failed catastrophically with an all-out invasion of Iraq, and Trump failed to reconquer what little initial control they had -- in fact, he campaigned on the invasion being a total disaster and waste. Ditto for the all-out invasion of Afghanistan -- complete Republican failure from Reagan onward, whether we were backing the Mujahadeen against the Afghan Communists and their Soviet patrons, or against the Taliban that grew out of the Mujahadeen.

    The fact that the Afghan coup de grace was delivered under Biden is a mere footnote to the multi-decade history of total failure by Reaganite America to conquer Afghanistan, including under Trump (who, again, campaigned on cutting our losses there).

    Assuming the Democrats do as they have been telegraphing, and let Trump win the 2024 election rather than steal it again, in order to wash their hands of all these imperial catastrophes, the second Trump admin will see even greater catastrophes than Biden has.

    During the post-2020 crack-up of the Pax Americana, Hezbollah has expanded their influence into northern Israel, which is now officially abandoned by the Israeli state, and it's being contested between local Zionist settlers and Hezbollah -- and we can see from the track record who's going to win that fight. That had not happened under the first Trump admin.

    Yemen has put indirect pressure on Israel, by setting terms for transit through the Red Sea -- anything pro-Israel will be blocked, fired upon, or sunk. That was not true for the first Trump admin.

    Israel itself has abandoned its ties to America, deciding to "fuck it, we go it alone, 100%" because the collapsing American Empire can no longer secure Israel's safety and military aggression and economic prosperity. Israeli independence from America was not a factor in the first Trump admin.

    And now the Camp David Accords are finished, as Egypt can no longer restrain the anti-Israeli majority of their population, including within the military. That was not a factor in the first Trump admin.

  194. Again, none of these headaches are due solely to Biden -- these various foreign nations simply observed the internal disintegration of America during and after 2020, and figured it was the right opportunity to pursue their own goals, without American sponsorship, both on the Israeli and the non-Israeli sides.

    A second Trump admin will alleviate none of these headaches, given that they are not due to Biden individually or the Dumbocraps collectively usurping the White House. They are post-2020 factors, and a second Trump admin will also unfold after the 2020 event horizon -- they will be as plagued by all the post-2020 headaches that the usurping Biden has admin has been plagued by. In fact, even worse, since the problems will have had more time to accelerate along their "independent-from-America" trajectories.

    Any right-winger who is hoping that a 2nd Trump admin will alleviate, or reverse these headaches -- perhaps even score that elusive W on the scoreboard, when we have only racked up L after L since the late 1940s -- is some combination of insane, stupid (low-IQ), ignorant (despite midwit IQ), emotionally coping in order to avoid suicide, or a paid shill for some propaganda outlet.

    It's not the '90s anymore. You can vicariously re-experience it by listening to your "vaporwave in an empty mall before mom picks you up to go to Pizza Hut and Blockbuster on a Friday night in the '90s" playlist on YouTube. But you cannot rewind the geopolitical trajectories back to that point, ever again.

    Most of the dumb / lying right-wing supporters of Israel already know this, and have begun preparing for the hard landing stage. They will no longer advocate for American dominance, or by-proxy dominance through an Israeli local hegemon, as both of those possibilities are collapsing day by day.

    Instead, they will adopt the "beautiful losers" identity -- crying about being on the morally right side, while losing the reality / material side. Just as they did during the twilight of Apartheid in South Africa -- from smug braggadoccio about white / Western / European dominance over their genetic or cultural inferiors, to whining about how the morally wrong side won that conflict. The ugly side won, meaning the beautiful side lost -- beautiful losers.

    They will rehash this identity transformation, from smug triumphalists (who were always deluded about their power), to whiny beautiful losers (whose appraisal as the beautiful side in the conflict only comes from themselves, naturally -- and therefore, everyone else must have gone crazy, calling us beautiful people ugly, and those ugly people beautiful).

    At that point, that cope will be all they have left, and no one will care to fight a culture war over it, just as the anti-Apartheid side, outside of South Africa, doesn't keep gloating that they won in the '80s. They won, that's that, on to the next battle. They looked at pro-Apartheid apologists, in the post-'80s environment, as laughable sad novelties who are not worthy fuckin' adversaries in a culture war -- because the material war has already been won, and there's nothing left to contest.

    The same will happen for the pro-Israeli apologists, in the post-2020s environment. Laughable sad novelties who deluded themselves into thinking they're the beautiful losing side, not worth fighting because the Zionist occupation has already been materially halted and reversed -- possibly annexed and outright dissolved, by that point.

  195. This is a fitting end for the pro-Darwinist right-wing crowd of the hyper-competitive neoliberal era, which had niche roots in the Ayn Rand crowd of the otherwise anti-Darwinian New Deal / Midcentury era.

    Darwinian natural selection is blind -- whoever wins, is ipso facto the "right" side of history. Maybe it's being bigger, maybe it's being smaller. Maybe it's being ruthless, maybe it's being cooperative. Maybe it's being dazzling, maybe it's being drab. It all depends on the environment and niche that you're trying to adapt to.

    Crying after losing only makes you a sore loser, not the actual or spiritual or moral winner.

    As the pro-Darwinist right-wingers get out-competed in increasingly more niches, they will then drop the Darwinist identity and start to blame the environments themselves -- rotten environments select for rotten winners, and how they long to live in a pure environment that would have selected for the pure winners (coincidentally, them).

    They will also drop their ubermensch BS, since they cannot alter their environments, and therefore, cannot alter the "rules" by which the winners win.

    Most of them are not religious, but those who are will become plagued by doubts, of the "why do such bad things happen to good people?" variety. How are these rotten environments allowed to exist, when they select for such rotten winners? Why doesn't God change the environments, so that people like me would be the winners instead?

    Talk about self-centered vainglorious hubris! Once they say it out loud, the game will be over, and they'll be mindbroken forever.

    But again, who's going to be pro-Israeli into the 2020s and after? How many Apartheid apologists were there in the '90s and after? It won't affect many people, but the pattern is interesting to observe nonetheless, for sociological / historical purposes.

  196. And that's it for political posting for awhile. Just a little celebratory moment, now that Camp David is finally imploding and we'll get bitchslapped out of the entire MENA region sooner than later, so we can finally spend money and effort on the common people in America instead of foreign elite clients.


You MUST enter a nickname with the "Name/URL" option if you're not signed in. We can't follow who is saying what if everyone is "Anonymous."