ZMan talks about the present disruption that afflicts young men and women and how it has led to all the aberrant behavior we see today. His conclusion is that the society we’ve allowed to evolve no longer functions to bring men and women together to form normal functioning families. Well, that seems accurate. But it doesn’t go into what needs to be done. I think it goes without saying that leaving things the way they are will only make the problem worse. What needs to happen is for the society at large to incentivize young people to get married and raise families. Lobby for government policies that make families affordable; school vouchers, tax deductions for dependents and a subsidy for married stay at home moms, tax benefits for companies that provide family benefits to their employees. And on the individual front it’s necessary for all of us to start recreating traditional social organizations to provide a place for young people to meet. If the churches and the old line fraternal organizations have been converged and destroyed it’s necessary to form new ones. With the Supreme Court finally out of liberal hands perhaps it’s possible that the right of free association may resurface and we can again organize our personal lives to exclude the mentally ill and the disruptively abnormal. I think we’re in a bad place but I think it will improve when we have more control over the anti-traditional forces that are continuously attacking the normal roles of men and women in a functional society. Anyway, that’s my thought.
The trailer for this movie says it is fourteen years since the original Incredibles debuted. That must be true but because at that time I had neither children nor grandchildren of an age to watch it I missed its appearance altogether. Probably four or five years ago I read that it was probably the only Disney film of recent vintage without a truly ponderous social justice taint so I took it out and liked it. I watched it with the grandkids and they really liked it too. But when I saw the coming attractions for the sequel I was annoyed to find a bunch of blather about Mr. Incredible being relegated to Mr. Mom and Elasti-Girl (Mrs. Incredible) being the heroic superhero who earns the daily bread. And so, it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I took Camera Girl and the two older grandsons to the dying local movie palace to see the film.
Well, my fears were unnecessary. The movie is good. By the necessity of a sequel being somewhat derivative by its very nature Incredibles 2 may not rate as highly by some measures and to some audiences. I found it extremely enjoyable. Aside from any measures of technical or visual excellence the story line is meager as expected for this genre but acceptable, the main characters retain their original charm and the interactions between the family members defines the heart of the movie. It is a celebration of the traditional nuclear family. Mr. Incredible is a 1950s Dad. Elasti-Girl could be Donna Reed and the kids are the usual bundle of sibling rivalry, growing pains and mischief but whenever the chips are down the family pulls together to save the day and each other.
I’ll keep this short. If you have kids or grandkids bring them to this movie. And if you don’t, then go see it yourself. You’ll have a good time. My personal favorite scene in the movie is Mr. Incredible coming to terms with his kid’s “new math” homework. His anguished cry of, “Why would they change math?”, brought back such memories of exactly the same scene in my home that I probably laughed out loud in the theater like an idiot. Maybe there is still some hope for Disney. I mean I doubt it, but at least they didn’t alter the characters. They’re still who they were and still a lot of fun.
As many of you are aware, I’ve got an ad on Captain Capitalism’s web site. But an added benefit is I’m visiting his site and finding some very entertaining stuff. This article on living the 1950s lifestyle is very timely for young people trying to escape from Obamerica. And it gave me some things to think about too. I have a plan to escape from New England (where even now at the cusp of May it’s still snowing) and relocate to the southwest someday. Trying to find a non-leftist political environment is right at the top of my needs list for any relocation search algorithm.
My extended family has recently taken to getting together on both Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend. So last night I was over a sibling’s house for round one. Amazing food and drink was everywhere and everyone was talkative. Winter was evaporating and spring was in everyone’s blood. What a perfect time to talk politics.
We’re more than a year into the Trumpian Era and clear progress into a new world is evident all around. At the gathering yesterday of family and some friends a different perspective on what can be said and what was common knowledge was apparent. Those who had formerly been frightened or confused had gotten used to the new normal. Deference to the neo-con and NeverTrump “orthodoxy” had melted away. Contempt for the politically correct was loudly declared and anger at the left was sulfurous. Many were obviously overjoyed at the ability of Trump to confound his enemies and were openly scornful of the dangers of the Stormy Daniels scandal to damage the President’s agenda or presidency.
One amusing incident was a conversation in which a visiting son of the Cloud People tried to explain why White Privilege was a legitimate concept. The blowback was heated and quite entertaining. My own statement was that if someone asks me to check my white privilege my response is “Thanks, I just checked it before and it’s doing splendidly. How’s yours?” Discussions abounded on the best way for the Attorney General to arrest the Mayor of Oakland and whether treason was the correct crime to assign to a state official interfering with the duties of a federal immigration enforcement officer.
I was especially gratified that the usual suspects entirely abandoned the attempt to provide the “Narrative.” We seem to have completely shrugged off the Bush/Obama era of right-wing paralysis. We can say what we want and we don’t have to care who hears it or what they think about it.
Probably a good part of the change is actually internal to me. I’ve finally figured out which arguments and which pundits are a waste of time. I don’t even waste time talking or even thinking about them. I just deprive them of oxygen and spend my time on what I want to talk about and what I want to happen. Once in a while we’ll make fun of the neo-cons or the Bushes or Romney. But that’s strictly for laughs. We are a very irreverent group.
And I would say the most important change of all is we laughed a lot. We were happy to be living in a place where there are jobs for our grown kids and even more hope for the future. And we especially hoped to roll back some of the progressive assaults in the near future. We talked about the Supreme Court and the Draining of the Swamp. And we laughed at our insane ridiculous President who beds porn stars one week and tweaks the noses of psychopathic dictators the next. It’s as if the “Most Interesting Man in the World” were suddenly living in the White House. And the insanity that circles around him like the rings that surround Saturn are part of the gaudy, nonsensical adventure. And the roller coaster gee force is no longer frightening, just fun.
So I’ll be hanging out with the family today and tomorrow. If I see anything interesting I’ll put it up for discussion. In the meantime enjoy Easter or Druid Human Sacrifice Day if you’re a “Henger.”
Merry Christmas to all you folks reading this out there. It is at this time of the rolling year that leftists suffer most from Hadephobia (the fear of going to hell) and do all within their power to discredit religion and especially Christmas. You see, they rationalize in their hearts that if everyone else is going to hell with them then it won’t be as bad. Maybe they figure they can convince Satan to put them in charge of handing out the torture. After all he seems like their sort of guy.
So, it’s up to us to neutralize their efforts and make them the ones who feel discredited and dispirited. And since making lists is part of the nature of Christmas, let’s make one to help focus the effort:
- Tell all your least favorite leftists that your best Christmas present this year was Al Franken resigning from the senate but that John Conyers was a close second.
- Make sure you publicly greet every non-left-wing individual with a loud and joyful “Merry Christmas!” and pointedly ignore the Christmas haters. And give a joyous Happy Hanukah to any Jewish friends of faith. But for goodness sake don’t be cowed into saying Season’s Greetings. That’s one step away from being forced to say “Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.”
- Make every effort to take time off around Christmas Eve and Day to spend with your family and friends. Let the atheists work on Christmas. Why should they care?
- Make sure that you actually participate in the activities. Help with the decorating. Go with the kids and get the tree. Put up the lights.
- Get involved in the dinner menu selection. Demand all the things you’re not allowed during the rest of the year because they’re bad for you. If your wife is cooking the turkey, then by all means go pick it up at the butcher’s or supermarket. Make sure you make a pest of yourself in the kitchen and if possible sample some of the food ahead of time. How could she mind that? And for goodness sake make a big fuss about how good the food tastes. Don’t be a dope.
- During your holiday time with your family, shut out the whole evil quagmire that is modern leftist society. Plan to provide entertainment that avoids all the poisonous nonsense that even Disney now bakes into their products. Here’s where you get a chance to show your originality and good taste. Put together a pile of movies and tv shows that past the smell test. Think old stuff. Don’t be afraid of black and white. Find all the music that you want to associate with a Christmas celebration. There’s plenty out there if you look. With a little effort you can provide enough entertainment to preclude any danger of Kathy Griffin, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Anderson Cooper or Snoop Dog taking part in your Holiday viewing and listening.
- And come up with activities that don’t involve electronic devices. If you or your family are musical, play some songs and if you can carry a tune sing along. Charades, card games, Yahtzee, board games and trivial pursuit are all easy things to get going. And with the really small kids, get down on the floor and play with all those toy trucks and space ships they just got from Santa. It’ll do you good. Put together a penny ante poker game with the male relatives (sure the girls can play too). Here’s a really crazy thought. Tell the kids some stories from the old days. Great grandma would love to break out some stories from the Great Depression and you probably have some characters in your family that are more than worthy of a story to tell the grandkids. So, there’s plenty to do without artificial intelligence. You’d be surprised how much fun it is shutting off the tv and doing something yourselves.
- Give away lots of little presents to the kids. All the kids. Kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, friends’ kids, neighbors’ kids. Nothing like bribing the kids to get them listening to you about important things.
- If you have some days off, plan some interesting seasonal activity. Go see a production of A Christmas Carol. Go to a sporting event (not the NFL). Go sledding with the kids (if you have snow). Or just take a drive somewhere.
- Give gifts to our side. Support the military charities, religious charities and traditional cultural organizations. But do your homework. Many churches, charities and organizations have been infiltrated and converted to leftist zombie versions of their original selves. Don’t give these a penny.
- Take some time at the end of the holiday to make plans for the new year. Discuss your goals and those of your family separately and together. New Years resolutions actually have a purpose.
- Spend some time in prayer. A Christian is supposed to spend some time talking to God. The time around Christmas is the perfect time to do it. And even if you are agnostic it’s a very useful time to reflect on the world and what it means to be a human being in it.
So, there you go, twelve suggestions on how to recapture some of the special quality of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Now try to come up with a list of your own. Bet some of mine will end up on it.
The only advantage to getting old is grandkids. Of course, I’m sure there exist grandkids from hell but as a general concept, grandkids are a great idea. They allow us to have fun, hang out with young people and then send them back to the people who have the real work of attempting to civilize them. All plusses. No minuses.
Every year at about this time the local engineering school, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) sponsors a science exhibition for kids. The call it “Touch Tomorrow”
( http://wp.wpi.edu/touchtomorrow/the-festival/wpi-research-exhibits/ ). WPI is affiliated with NASA and provides robotics and other expertise for Mars rovers and robotic components that dig and manipulate objects and sense light and other functions. So, there are exhibits and presentations on many subjects involving spaceflight, robots and futuristic technology of all sorts. For my oldest grandson this is like being in heaven.
And it’s pretty good stuff for me too. Being an engineer and an inveterate fan of science fiction many of the topics are highly interesting and even answer some of my questions about the whichness of what. So, this event is an annual win-win for me and my descendant.
But, of course, being in New England and the bluest of blue states, the fair has its share of pc virtue signaling and progressive biases. I won’t go into all of them but suffice it to say that the celebration of women in science and technology is just a little too loud and a little too shrill. That being said, I noticed a couple of things that gave me some small reason for optimism.
The first was at the forensic medicine exhibit. A woman who had worked for the coroner had a table full of bones. She was explaining to the kids how physical parameters of skeletons could allow a coroner to estimate very accurately the age of a child based on evidence from a skull. This had to do with the stages of dentition. Then she had a skull of Neanderthal Man. She was able to relate the difference between Neanderthal and modern humans based on the differences in skull shape and bone thickness. Finally, she was able to point to the differences in skulls based on sex and also race. She had skulls for the three major racial families (Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid) and for men and women. I was shocked that a pack of screeching SJWs had not driven her out of the hall for espousing these hate crimes. That not only were there physical differences between the races but that men and women were divided along anatomical lines. Such an outrage.
The second thing I heard was during a presentation by a physics professor on the Universe. He described the scientific method and very pointedly declared that no scientific fact was ever settled. He stated categorically that a theory that was refuted by evidence was false. And he further stated that a true scientist is always hoping that experiments used to prove a theory refute it in some way because these differences from theory are the basis for an increase in knowledge. He said that when the Higgs Boson was confirmed last year, the disappointment was that it was exactly as calculated. Even though the discovery was a great triumph of the standard model, the fact that nothing new was learned was a let-down to those hoping for new information. I was tempted to ask what he thought of global warming data but I didn’t want to get this faithful acolyte of science burned at the stake by adolescents.
After the presentation, I spoke with this physicist and pinned him down about one particular “fact” that he showed during his presentation. When describing the size of the universe he stated that the universe was potentially 93 billion light years wide. I asked him whether the universe is currently believed to be bounded or unbounded. He stated it was believed to be unbounded. So, I asked him what the physical reality of this edge of the universe at 93 billion light years was. He said all that it is, is the current guess at how far we’ll be able to observe based on the light after the big bang. And he continued, “beyond that be dragons.” Now that’s my kind of scientific answer.
After this presentation, we were finished with the exhibition and headed to a steakhouse for beef and potatoes. I went with the ribeye and baked potato while this younger fellow heretically opted for sirloin and french fries. Youth is wasted on the young.
During dinner, we continued our debate of the impossibility of producing a machine to endlessly produce electric energy from a single input of mechanical energy to a dynamo. He wasn’t having any of it. To prove my loyalty to the laws of thermodynamics and electromagnetism I agreed to fund his project and purchased a number of components for his machine on (of course) Amazon.com. In this way, we could provide evidence to confirm or dispute his law of perpetual motion.
When we got to my house, his grandmother provided ice cream and I provided classic horror movies, specifically, “The Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Being a purist I strongly disapprove of TCFTBL being included in the Universal canon. But we live in disordered times and allowances must be made.
After I returned him to his parents it occurred to me that the name Touch Tomorrow could also be a description for older people spending time with their grandchildren. They literally are tomorrow and by influencing them we make probably the most lasting effect we will have on the future. Considering all the negative influences on our children from the forces of progressivism I thought about how good it is that we can impact them directly and have fun at the same time. So, family actually is good for something. Who knew?
Families are a great invention. They allow us to remember stuff from long ago and be young again. Case in point, I have a descendant who is in middle school. He is forever describing to me machines he has invented that turn kinetic energy and wind and sunlight into potential energy stored in batteries and flywheels and allowing him to perpetually power the imaginary kingdom he rules with an iron hand. On a fairly frequent interval I remind him of the three laws of thermodynamics and the scourge of entropy. He laughs it off as fake news. Apparently, his generation has formulated the fourth law, magic.
All of these flights of fancy reminded me of my own early technological history. As a youngster, I had a fascination with chemistry. I quickly graduated from the hobbyist set up with a few bottles of sodium bisulfate, test tubes and an alcohol lamp to a professional ground glass distillation set up, temperature controlled electric heating, reagent bottles full of mineral acids and even some formidable organic solvents. I searched in arcane book stores for the organic chemistry recipes and set-ups that allowed for practical synthesis of various compounds that in my young mind were interesting. At one point, I obtained an old organic chemistry text that was part of a medical school curriculum from the 1920s. It included a number of compounds that interested me including nitroglycerine and trinitrotoluene. I went as far as obtaining all the reagents, equipment and vessels I would need to perform the reaction. On the day I had set for producing the first batch I was walking down to the supermarket to buy the fifty pounds of ice I needed to cool the reaction when it occurred to me that this might just possibly be a “bad idea.” You see I remembered that nitroglycerine was a material that wasn’t just dangerous during production but remained sensitive to heat and vibration at all times. Not owning a reinforced concrete bunker, I realized that after I manufactured the “soup” I had no place to keep it. Well, no place that would survive a detonation. Now you might think that this kind of rational evaluation would have steered me clear of all pyrotechnic and explosive materials. You would be wrong. The extent of my caution was to shift over to something less unstable but equally exothermic. I started working with thermite. In these post 9-11 days I imagine my experiments would probably fall under the heading of possible terror activity. Back then they were the stuff of Fourth of July celebratory hijinks. But even these relatively tame and successful forays into amateur pyrotechnics now give me pause. Just precisely how stupid is a teenage boy when it comes to unsafe activities. The answer comes back loud and clear. Infinitely stupid. I can remember what back then seemed to me to be failsafe precautions. In hindsight what I see was ignorance and just plain dumb luck. And that really frightens me.
Needless to say, these memories inform my present situation. It occurs to me that the adults around when I was hatching my munitions program thought that my forays into chemistry were altogether benign and to be encouraged. Hmmm. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Not just the Shadow. Any man who was ever a fourteen year-old boy knows too.
I intend to monitor my young Archimedes’ progress with an eye for safety. I have gotten him some books on electricity and machines that stress safety and standard components. I know he has an interest in robotics. And I know he enjoys BattleBots so I will keep an eye out for any indication that his creations will include cutting surfaces or kinetic devices such as circular saw blades or pneumatic hammers. If my cautionary tale rings any bells in your own case, remember, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
As I noted in my previous post, I spent a very nice week and a half relaxing and enjoying the Christmas holiday. As part of that I read an awful lot of right wing and sort of right wing commentary. And it occurred to me that things are definitely looking up on our side of the blogosphere. Christmas Eve I watched the beginning of this five hour (!) set of interviews.
The host Stefan Molyneux has a series of videos where he interviews people about politics, philosophy, religion and life. Ostensibly this series of interviews are about Christmas. But that’s a jumping off point in some cases to discuss the year just passed and the new year coming up. If you are not familiar with most of these people then I’ll say that they are spread across a continuum of ideologies starting on the left at about what used to pass for a liberal (but now would be too mild for the left today) all the way to some pretty hard core alt-right types. Happily, for me, none of them here have joined the goose-stepping lunatics that abut this political neighborhood a little too closely for comfort. But they are all unapologetic in their scorn for social justice warriors, America-haters and other lefty lunatic types that reflexively attack all things normal and good. Some of them are not Trump fans, others came around by the end and some were predicting his win a year, ago. But all of them are part of the new media. They have cast their lot with the new way of reaching the people. They run their own businesses and have their own audiences and get paid for telling a side of the story that the main stream media doesn’t tell. They are more interesting and more relevant than most of what Fox provides and a thousand times better than the nonsense on CNN, ABC, NBC or CBS. It’s very hard to predict if any of these folks will survive the brutal competition that exists in the media environment today. I hope they do. They inject humor and wit and points of view that aren’t permitted to exist on the network shows. And interestingly they seem to be plugged into some of the trends that everyone else missed this year. If that fact indicates a better grasp on what really will be happening in the near future, then maybe they’ll thrive. I recommend that if you’re interested in what different voices are saying about our changing world then look around and see what’s going on. You may be pleasantly surprised. After all these are the deplorables that that Hillary warned us about and you remember how well that worked out for her!
Here we are almost a month after part one of this thread and the warm glow from the election has not dissipated. If anything, it has increased. Donald Trump has surprised almost all of the critics (other than the democrat hacks who if even Einstein were the republican candidate would deny he was smart enough to count on his fingers). His cabinet selections have been good, very good. Personally, my favorite is the pick for EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt. Pruitt is the Oklahoma attorney general and he has been involved in stopping the EPA from imposing CO2 restrictions on the energy industry. This sort of clear and direct approach to reversing the outrages of the Obama administration, I think, bodes very well for Trump’s success. In addition, the extreme panic and indignation on exhibit over this particular selection is both amusing and instructive. These folks realize that they are not dealing with the hapless Bushes or some equally ineffective mainstream republican. We’re gonna get to move the chains in a big way.
So, I kept my promise and I did not speak about the election or politics with my friends or relatives of the other persuasion at Thanksgiving. I intend to maintain this policy through to the New Year and possibly beyond. The idea of separating friends and families from political debate was sound. No good or gain would come of it. Anyway, it would be overkill. I’m so saturated with schadenfreude through reading and watching reports of the progressives’ fury and panic that I’m almost poisoned with it. So, I’m done with it.
The time is better spent enjoying the holidays. There are books and movies to read and see. There are grandsons, nephews and nieces to regale with tall tales and bribe with presents. There will be mountains of splendiferous food; lobster, lamb, turkey, ham, lasagna, sausage and bean soup, eggplant parmigiana and breads, rice and potato dishes enough to feed a small village. After that we’ll eat desserts until diabetic shock sets in. Pies; apple, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, coconut custard, sweet potato, Boston crème and three kinds of pumpkin. Pastries; sfogliatelle, lobster tails, tiramisu and several kinds of cannoli. And we’ll drink gallons of coffee. And for those who indulge, there’ll be enough wine and booze to float a boat.
So, looking ahead to the Inauguration and the First 100 Days what should we expect? I think the question that needs to be answered is whether Senator McConnell has the stomach to go nuclear to get the cabinet and supreme court appointments confirmed. Recently he’s showed some backbone but it’s too soon to say. Luckily, McConnell is about to find out that pressure can come from both sides of the divide. I don’t doubt that Trump will use the bully pulpit and public opinion to get what he needs. After that I’m assuming we’ll see a bunch of Obama executive actions rescinded and new ones put in place. Also, I think we’ll hear what will be replacing Obamacare and how the immigration measures will be initiated. Eventually I hope to see how Trump plans to increase employment. Changes to the corporate tax code to encourage increases to domestic employment would be the best way.
So, here’s to everybody’s holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy yourself and save your energy for 2017 and the fireworks to come.