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Month: July 2018

We’re human beings, you know.

We’re human beings, you know.

Photo by Nonsap Visuals on Unsplash

So, I feel as if someone lit a firecracker beneath me or something, because wow.  I am irritated.  I have been, dare I say, triggered.  I am not proud of being triggered, but unlike the left, I will try to be more constructive about it.  Hence this post.

Earlier this morning I came across this very interesting article at the New York Post entitled “This pro-America book could buck the left-wing YA trend” and it’s about a new book called Camp Valor, by Scott McEwan and Hof Williams.  It sounds pretty good and I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.  The article is pretty even and unbiased.  I discovered it at a YA subreddit that had quite a few comments, but I didn’t bother to look at those since I figured it would only piss me off.  Conservatives are generally unwelcome on Reddit, except for a handful of subreddits.

So it got me thinking about a book I read several years ago (eight years ago to be exact…thanks, Goodreads) called How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler.  It’s about a girl with hippies for parents.  She’s tired of moving around, because just when she’s getting settled, she has to move.  I totally understand that, because I moved around as a kid too.  So her plan is to do whatever it takes to be unpopular so that she doesn’t make any attachments.  It does not go well, and she ends up with friends and even a boyfriend who happens to be a Republican.

And, to my utter astonishment, her boyfriend Jack is a well-rounded character who challenges her.  He’s not a silly cartoon character (at some point I think he says he’s not a Republican but he never seemed liberal either).  He’s not some stupid anti-Christian stereotype.  He’s a real person, and I appreciated that so much.

So I looked it up on GoodReads.  I read through some of the reviews, looking for the inevitable liberal whine about how the Republican character wasn’t demonized or whatever, and I did indeed find that.  I updated my review with the following:

“I read this a long time ago, and just thought of it now. I’m surprised my rating is so low, but this book stayed with me for one reason: the Young Republican character is an actual human being, and not a cartoonish villain. This is incredibly rare in literature.

Thank you, author, for treating us Republicans like human beings.

And if you want to talk about appalling hypocrisy, let’s talk about how you climate change nutjobs continue to use resources and technology that’s (supposedly) killing the planet. Do you know how many gallons of water it takes to generate the electricity you use to spew your silly nonsense? If you really cared, you’d get rid of your computer and go live in the wilderness, but you don’t, because it’s all a bunch of nonsense.

Or, we can also talk about how nonviolent you all are, yet you dump urine on people you disagree with you whack your opponents in the head with bike locks, you express your desire to see a twelve year old boy locked in a cage full of pedophiles…but you’d better not criticize how the Obama girls are dressed at an official event! That’s racist.

I could spend the next four hundred years going on about how utterly hypocritical the left is, but I won’t live that long, and this text box will only accept so many characters. But, again, I’d like to thank the author for writing an actual story and not two hundred pages of bullshit liberal talking points.”

I was so angry at this one reviewer mentioning the hoary old canard about “Republican” hypocrisy that I just had to make a post.

I was going to address the points the idiot reviewer made, but I don’t want to now.  I have already covered this whole hypocrisy thing anyway.

Synthesis Concert Review

Synthesis Concert Review

Ugh, the title of this post is just so lame.  But last night was anything but lame.  Last night, I attended the Raleigh concert by Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence.  I’m a big fan of both artists and when I heard about their joint tour a few months ago, I got super excited.  I got even more excited when I learned that they were playing in Raleigh.  I had wanted to go to Evanescence’s Portland, OR performance last year, but didn’t get a chance to go.  This was even better – two of my favorite artists in one night!

The concert started at 7 pm.  I live about twenty minutes away from the venue, and I was worried that I wouldn’t make it in time, but I did.  Fortunately, I got a seat and not a spot on the grass, as I hadn’t brought a chair.  It was very hot when I got there, and it was still light outside.

I am very short.  Even my torso is short, and, unfortunately, I sat behind a bunch of tall people.  I also have social anxiety, and I sat next to two guys who were, fortunately, nice.  I sat there stressing out over how sweaty I was, and my hands were sticky.  I barely even got to see the stage, but there were screens on both sides of the stage, so I could see closeups of both Lindsey and Amy Lee.

Lindsey released Brave Enough in 2016, and last year Evanescence released Synthesis, an album of symphonic-electronic reworkings of songs from their previous three albums.  Evanescence is touring to support Synthesis and because Lindsey performed on the song “Hi-Lo”, they decided to tour together.  Both are fans of each other.

They had an opening act, called Cellogram, which consisted of a cellist and a drummer.  Their set lasted twenty minutes, and it was pretty good.  I liked one of their original songs.  Then we waited about fifteen minutes for Lindsey Stirling’s part of the concert to begin, and while we did that, I watched the full orchestra assemble on stage.  Yes, both artists had a full orchestra supporting them, and they sounded amazing.  It made me nostalgic for my high school choir days.

Lindsey Stirling – Brave Enough

Her set was very colorful and energetic.  She had three costume changes for the first three numbers.  I’ve been a fan of classical crossover for over a decade now, and I’ve never seen anyone so energetic while playing the violin – and she used what looked like an acoustic violin for most of the songs.  The backdrops were also very pretty.

Amy Lee graciously came onto the stage to perform “Shatter Me”, a song from Lindsey’s second album Shatter Me, of which originally featured Lzzy Hale as vocalist.  Unfortunately, I still couldn’t see much, but I did managed to record some of the performance.

My favorite number was “Crystallize” – they performed the orchestral version, of which you can find on the Target exclusive version of her first album, Lindsey Stirling. This number was followed by an interlude based on the song, with a brief narration about how sound and emotions can affect the crystals in ice.

Lindsey did speak to the audience and had an uplifting ‘believe in yourself’ speech, as well as an anecdote about the ‘bless your heart’ saying.  Yes, she thought that it was something nice and it really isn’t.  It’s a very passive-aggressive saying, and I don’t really like it.  But a lot of people get that wrong when they first get here.  I noticed Lindsey wearing tights, and boy did I feel bad for her.  Some other audience members wore tights too, and I just don’t know how anyone does that in this humid heat.  But she was fantastic.

She ended her set with a fantastic Phantom of the Opera medley.

Evanescence – Synthesis

Their part was quite different, as all of the songs on Synthesis are moody and atmospheric.  Amy Lee, the lead singer, is also a very good pianist, and every now and then she’d sit at the piano and play.  Unfortunately, she’d be on the left side of the stage, right in front of the tall people sitting in front of me.  But I still got to hear everything, and that’s the most important part of the show anyway.

I really liked “Lacrymosa”, “Lithium” and the Synthesis version of “Bring Me To Life” which got the loudest cheers of everyone, being that it’s Evanescence’s debut single and all.  To my utter annoyance, these two chicks two rows ahead of me stood up during the entire performance, and I basically couldn’t see anything.  I also got a little teary at “My Immortal”, but that song always makes me teary.

The set ended with the original song from Synthesis, “Imperfection” of which had an f-bomb in it, but it was the only one the entire night.  There were kids in the audience, by the way, but I’m sure they survived.

And then came the encore.  Amy Lee and Lindsey Stirling returned to the stage for a medley of songs I didn’t recognize, but boy was it good.  I recorded the whole thing.  I think it was Escala’s “Palladio” (they’re a female string quartet from the UK), Ozzy Osbourne’s “No More Tears” and Sia’s “Alive”.

Overall Experience

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I am really short – only 5’1″ – and, therefore, couldn’t see the stage very much.  I didn’t take many pictures either, and the ones I did showed people’s heads.  Ugh, so annoying.

Which brings me to some of the other things I wanted to talk about.  These chicks sitting in my row kept getting up all throughout the concert.  People kept walking in late, holding food and drinks and stuff.  The venue was pretty big, and was packed so I am sure the lines at the various concession stands was long.  But, come on!  The doors opened at 6 pm!  And do you really need to eat while watching a concert?  I had dinner before I left.

Several chicks sitting in the row behind me would not stop talking.  I couldn’t hear them most of the time, since the music was so loud, but I could hear them during the more quiet moments.  Then they decided to sing during “My Immortal” and, my god…they were off-key and pitchy.  It was bad, so bad that the guy sitting to my left turned around and gave them a look, like, “what the hell?”

And, of course, everybody stood for “Bring Me To Life” and I stood too, and even then I couldn’t see the stage.

But, it was an amazing night anyway.  Lindsey, Evanescence and the orchestra are all excellent.  I had a really, really good time.

Here is my recording of the encore.  It looks pretty bad, but sounds good.

 

When we go low, they go high – or not.

When we go low, they go high – or not.

Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash

Sarah Palin is in the news again. Full disclosure: I am still very much a fan of her. I used to be a little crazy about it, but I’m not as much these days. Which is a good thing.

So, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has a new that premiered on Showtime this past weekend, called Who Is America? (spoiler alert:  it didn’t too terribly well in the ratings, per Breitbart) He is known for dressing up as random characters of his own creation and duping people into interviews. He used to have a TV show, and then he ended up doing feature films – most notably Borat and Bruno. But his star is kind of on the wane now, and he needs to do something to get himself some attention.

How does one do that? Trash Republicans, naturally. The whole premise of the show is to insultingly “interview” random Republican luminaries – most of whom have kind of retired, with the exception of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is running for a US Senate seat – with a couple of liberals (Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders) to make it seem as if he isn’t completely biased.

I might have some personal issues with Vox Day, but Jesus, these people should have read his book SJWs Always Lie. They should also seriously consider his rule of not talking to the press. I can’t believe that none of these people vetted these fake personas, or that any such background check wouldn’t immediately reveal the truth. And why oh why would you trust them?

At least in Palin’s example, Baron Cohen posed as a disabled veteran. Palin is big on veterans’ issues – her son is a (apparently troubled) veteran, after all. They did their homework on her. Even so, I’m still amazed that they fell for this.

It wasn’t just that – they apparently, after interviewing Palin, dropped her and her daughter Piper off at the wrong airport, which caused them to spend three days in DC, unplanned. That is a seriously shitty thing to do.  You can read more about how he treated them at The Hill.

Oh, and his disabled veteran character is a vile caricature of Republicans and veterans. He even went whole hog and set up a website for his stupid character. And, when Palin went nuclear on him for his prank, he wrote a really stupid in-character response.

Check out the description of this character (source):

“A source close to Palin with knowledge of the interview told Breitbart News, ‘Cohen pretended to be a disabled veteran from Kentucky who was a big fan of Governor Palin. He was wearing a necklace made of bullets and had a laptop covered in InfoWars stickers.’

The bullet necklace and stickers for Alex Jones’ InfoWars website were part of the persona Cohen was playing, the source explained.

‘His disguise was basically a caricature of a conservative middle class Trump voter. He was asking her absurd, racist, homophobic, and sexist questions that were all meant to mock Trump voters as a bunch of ignorant and offensive kooks.'”

Sounds nasty, doesn’t it? It sounds pretty nasty to me. It’s so obvious that everyone involved in this piece of propaganda hates Republicans.

One thing that really pissed me off is the insinuation that the migrant crisis in Germany and Sweden and other European countries led by horrible people hell bent on throwing away their heritage and civilization is overblown and anyone talking about, say, that one year old little girl being beheaded in a Hamburg subway is a flat out racist and crazy conspiracy theorist. This is a real problem, and Angela Merkel’s wretched government has been working overtime to suppress any information that might be even slightly unflattering to her horde of precious migrants. This is the same woman that asked Mark Zuckerberg if it was possible for him to censor German citizens by deleting whatever truth they might post on their Facebook pages! Oh, but it’s just a bunch of bullshit by paranoid racists, right?

He pulls bitchy stunts like this and wonders why we come across as paranoid. It isn’t fucking paranoia if they’re really out to get you, and guess what? It’s plain and obvious that he’s out to fucking get us.

Now, of course, the right-wing media has been all over this story. Concern trolls are telling us we shouldn’t talk about it because it just gives them free publicity. So? My own personal motto is to never, ever let anything the left says go unchallenged. If it does, then it becomes the status quo. People believe it. We have to refute it, especially given that this is a comedy show. It’s culture. Remember what Andrew Breitbart said – politics is downstream from culture. Sarah Palin is probably one of the few Republicans who really understands that. We can’t let this go unaddressed.

I didn’t watch the premiere, and I have no plans to watch the show.  As I noted earlier, the ratings weren’t so great, but they weren’t as bad as I’d like them to be.  I thought this example of leftist mockery to be a bit funny, but, according to the same article, they spent more time mocking conservatives than they did progressives (source):

“‘Next, we see Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, a pussy hat-wearing ‘cisgender, white heterosexual male’ who bicycled across the country interviewing ‘racist and childish’ Donald Trump supporters in the weeks after ‘the election was stolen from Hillary Clinton.’

This Cohen character has dinner as the South Carolina home of June Page Thompson, a South Carolina Trump delegate, and her husband Mark Thompson.

The couple listened as the ultra-left-wing Cain-N’Degeocello revealed ridiculous personal details about his child-rearing — he forces his daughter to ‘free bleed’ on American flags instead of using menstrual products. The Thompsons politely oblige the absurd stories — Cain-N’Degeocello’s partner has frequent affairs with a dolphin — never passing judgment.”

See, this couple, who were Trump delegates in 2016, just sat there and listened to this nutjob and weren’t nasty at all.  I’m amazed they let this segment air.  And yeah, I thought that was funny, because I can easily see some hateful leftist having their daughter free bleed on an American flag.  After all, some bitchy YouTuber wiped her ass with the American flag – on camera.  You can read about it here – this is an article about how some Georgia politician criticized what she did, and he got shit for it because he called her a “knee grow” (say it out loud).  But this is the only article that has a picture of the stupid bitch (it’s censored, thank God, because that was gross).  Sadly, the whole “use the American flag to clean up my nasty shit” thing is entirely plausible, which makes this small segment funny.  The best humor has elements of the truth, after all.

The rest of it, however, is bullshit and they know it.  No, we aren’t racists, or sexists and a great deal of us aren’t homophobes anymore either.  But they have to have their little boogeyman or else people might think objectively about their platform and their stance on the issues, and might determine that the Democrats haven’t really been doing anyone any good for decades.

This is well over a thousand words already, but I have one more thing:  this gun shop owner didn’t fall for Baron Cohen’s schtick.  I don’t think it’s fair to characterize those that did as stupid.  As I said, most of the people that did are middle-aged or older, and most of them aren’t that big on popular culture, and Baron Cohen isn’t as big as he used to be. You can read about it here.  I thought it was awesome.

Anyway, expect the media to crow about Palin and Roy Moore being mocked on this stupid show, as they weren’t in the premiere episode.  This is just more stupid propaganda, and it doesn’t matter if it’s unsuccessful.  They’ll keep on doing this because, as Vox Day says, SJWs always double down.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

unsplash-logoJohn Silliman

Freedom isn’t free.  And, you cannot be free without being responsible.  This message has been utterly lost on leftists for…well, for a very long time.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the social safety net – welfare, food stamps, WIC vouchers, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.  If they all went away, the Democrats would never win another election, because they are clearly using these programs to buy votes.

But the person that feeds you and bestows free, wholly unearned gifts onto you can take them away, if you’re unlucky.  If they don’t take them away, they can impose restrictions on your life as a condition of using those free benefits.  Right now, you can probably buy loads of junk food using food stamps, but that could change, and the government is well within its rights to restrict food stamp purchases to the basic essentials.

Wouldn’t you rather just buy your own food, with your own money?  Then you can eat whatever you want.

But leftists don’t like that, because they’d rather spend their money on frivolous stuff.  They also think that because they need certain things – food, shelter, clothing, medical care – that they have a right to it, and that it’s the government’s job to secure those rights.  Well, as Bill Whittle said a couple  of years ago, these things are commodities.  Someone has to sacrifice their own time and resources to bring these things into being and make them possible.

Being free does not mean you are, or even should, be free from the consequences of your actions.  That’s another thing the left doesn’t understand, and they are very hypocritical about it.  They think Sarah Sanders should be hounded and harassed for the rest of her life simply because she’s President Trump’s press secretary. Or, because, according to them, she “lies” for the Orange Hitler.  They never actually point out his lies or her lies, but they don’t like him, so he must be a liar, period.

They think that we should endure the consequences of our actions, but that they themselves do not, and that if they do end up dealing with the consequences of their actions, that’s “oppression” according to them.

Anyway, enough of that.  I can expand upon this in another entry, this relationship between freedom and responsibility.  I want to talk about how grateful I am to be an American.  Despite my surname, I was indeed born here.  I was born in California, and I’ll be going back there for a family occasion later this month.  The miserable state of California is also fodder for a whole other post.

We Americans are very lucky and fortunate in many respects.  Not that we don’t have our own problems (and boy do I have a LOT of problems right now), but we’re very fortunate.  I can pretty much work where I want.  I can wear what I want.  I can marry whoever I want.  I can say what I want, listen to what I want, read what I want, watch what I want.  I can buy what I want (well, almost…the idea that any guns are banned is just total bullcrap to me).  I can (mostly) associate with whoever I want and do business with whoever I want.  I can also have as many children as my body can handle.  And I can go to school and get a college degree (which I’ve already done).

We women are very lucky.  The US, and other Western nations are among the best places to be if you’re a woman.  It irritates me that feminists constantly whine about stupid shit, like being called a slut or whatever.  Look, if you do something in public, people have the right to say something about it.  You, in turn, have the right to “clap back” or whatever they’re calling it.  That’s the beauty of the First Amendment – the give and take of ideas and such.  Leftists don’t want it that way, though.  Leftists don’t like free speech anymore because eeeeevil “racists” are allowed to spread their evil evilness around and call it free speech.  They want to censor anything they don’t like.

Like the situation with Tommy Robinson.  The courts didn’t like him reporting about the rape gang trials, because his reporting might “taint” the jury and the vile rapists might actually be held accountable for what they’ve done.  So they banned him from reporting outside the courthouse.  He did it anyway, and that was why he was arrested (he’s apparently done this before).

This law, rule, whatever you want to call it is unjust.  But he took his punishment like a man, and unfortunately was sent to a prison with a high Muslim gang population.  He is in solitary confinement, however, for his own safety.  Of course, they didn’t have to send him to that prison anyway, but they’re keeping him around until they feel like letting those Musloids have at it.  It is very worrying.

His situation is one of the zillions of reasons why I’m so grateful to be an American.  I don’t like saying I’m “proud” because pride is a sin, and it’s a sin for good reason.  Not that I have a problem with anyone stating that they’re proud to be an American.  Go for it.  Don’t mind me.  But I feel so strongly about being an American that being “proud” doesn’t adequately describe my feelings.  I’m not wearing anything on my head, save for my glasses and my pink Beats headphones as I listen to Dragonette’s “Darth Vader”.  Thank God.

The only reason why my life is such a mess right now is because of the stupid decisions I’ve made.  Me.  My fault, and no one else’s.  But I can fix those problems, because that’s one of the wonderful things about this country.  The boundless opportunities.

Anyway, God Bless America and all those who live here.

Okay, I don’t hate Jetpack

Okay, I don’t hate Jetpack

I just hate the latest version.  What happened is that the connection between my two self-hosted sites and WordPress.com broke.  I was able to see my stats in the browser and in the iOS apps, but I wasn’t able to see posts in the iOS app and drafts would fail to save.  My only alternative was to use the site admin dashboard to post, which is fine, but I’m traveling later this month and I’d really like to be able to use the iOS apps.

I did get some help from the Jetpack tech support, but I figured out a solution on my own – I downloaded an older version of the plugin and installed it manually.  You can download older versions of plugins by going to the WordPress plugin repo, choosing the Advanced view and scrolling down to a pull-down menu that gives you access to previous stable releases and some old beta releases.  Download the last stable release that a) works with your version of WordPress and b) one that obviously worked properly.

So, despite the content of my two blogs – me being ostensibly conservative and all – they were helpful so far, and I thank them and commend them for it.

Don’t Make Me Laugh

Don’t Make Me Laugh

To be honest, I can’t really laugh at this.  So, the director of the film Desire has gone on record defending the scene, claiming that the mothers of the two actresses were on set when it was filmed, and that the girls didn’t know what they were doing, exactly.  There is even, supposedly, a “making of” program showing how the scene was filmed.

I had wanted to bring this up in the earlier post, but didn’t want to edit it, as I’d have to edit the Medium post too, and I’m lazy.  I am not proud of that.  Perhaps it worked out for the best.

This is the director’s statement, copied from Variety’s article:

“Despair” is a film. When we see a shark eating a woman on film, no one thinks the woman really died or that the shark was real. We work in a world of fiction; and, for me, before being a director comes being a father.

Of course this scene was filmed using a trick, which was that the girls were copying a cowboy scene from a film by John Ford. The girls never understood what they were doing, they were just copying what they were seeing on the screen. No adult interacted with the girls, other than the child acting coach. Everything was done under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers. Because I knew this scene might cause some controversy at some point, there is “Making Of” footage of the filming of the entire scene.

Everything works inside the spectators’ heads, and how you think this scene was filmed will depend on your level of depravity.”

Oh, so WE’RE the depraved ones!  You have a little girl riding a pillow in a very, very sexual manner and we’re depraved for pointing it out?  Why the fuck is this scene in the film anyway, if you’re so fucking virtuous?

And pardon me, but I think this guy is full of shit.  How do we know the girls were ignorant of what they’re doing?  I am not about to track down the “making of” feature for this film, because I don’t even want to watch that.

I also love how Variety just had to point out that Megan Fox, one of the first to report this issue, is a “conservative” commentator.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter if they knew what they were doing or not.  The fact remains is that the director coached them into doing this, and filmed it.  Even more horrifying – their mothers allegedly watched this happen and said nothing.  A lot of sexually abused children end up doing stuff while not understanding what it is they’re doing.  That doesn’t absolve the abusers.

Netflix isn’t doing anything, and the mainstream media is still largely ignoring the issue.  Of course.

Since the r/pizzagate subreddit was banned, people have moved over to Voat.  There’s some interesting discussion in two different threads:

Diego Kaplan defending Netflix and his film ‘Desire’
Netflix under investigation for streaming disturbing child pornography scenes