The arts, in general, need a king; they only flourish under the influence of sceptres.
Joseph de Maistre
“Speaking of totem poles” As my mother used to say when faced with a comment from out of the blue.
“or worthless ducats that cannot be exchanged for anything meaningful” Some ducats can be exchanged for quite a lot. This is a 4 Ducat Franz Joseph gold coin from my collection
On the next post is my take on a silver proof version of the Florida State US quarter and a really amusing silver Mexican coin.
I’ve got several thousand shots of different coins like that.
Amusing, but about 15 years ago, APMEX, the largest online supplier of precious metal products tried to hire me as their product photographer but I was already employed as a Civil Engineer.
This photo was purchased by a Mexican Publisher for inclusion in a Mexican elementary school level arithmetic text book.
If you look around the perimeter it shows the Mayan counting system. Base 5 apparently but humorously, they assign minor deities to each number.
I’ve got a Mexican contact for trading interesting stuff back and forth.
Just read this in PJ Media (link)
Reports of Disney’s Death Are (Not?) an Exaggeration
Stephen Green | 5:11 PM on November 27, 2023
As Disney’s two-time CEO Bob Iger prepares to host the company’s annual town hall on Tuesday to provide “hints or guidance for what the next phase of ‘building’ will bring after the problem-solving phase,” it’s time to ask if Iger is able “to ‘quiet things down’ after years of culture wars.”
The first quote comes from a Hollywood Reporter item on Monday detailing the company’s Wall Street woes. Traders and managers will be watching Iger on Tuesday for “possible color, body language or even outright updates on various topics,” ranging from the company’s ongoing series of box office flops to troubles at their fabled theme parks.
The second quote is courtesy of Jonathan Turley. His Monday column — almost in time for Adam Smith’s 300th birthday — shows how Smith’s “invisible hand” has undone the company’s woke agenda. Disney is now “negatively associated with activism by a significant number of consumers,” Turley writes, and is “even reporting a decline in licensing revenue from products associated with Star Wars, Frozen, Toy Story and Mickey and Friends — iconic and once-unassailable corporate images.”
“Wish” is Disney’s latest animated effort that isn’t a sequel or reboot and it opened over the long Thanksgiving weekend to middling reviews and worse box office sales. Well, not entirely not a reboot — one of the characters is the glowy Star, as in Pinocchio’s “When You Wish Upon A Star.” “Wish” looks to be another big money-loser in a yearlong series of them, including “Indiana Jones and the Whatever McGuffin,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the live-action Little Mermaid, and most recently, “The Marvels.”
The Disney+ streaming service is losing money and eyeballs. Impressions — the streaming measure of viewership — is down 14% from last year, the company says.
The worst news is that Disney’s intellectual properties — the company’s seed corn for future growth — are in terrible shape.
The good news is that $7.5 billion in cost-cutting measures have restored some sense to the company’s balance sheet. The bad news is that the maintenance-heavy Disney World and Disney Land are reportedly looking a little worse for wear. Or as Wall Street’s Jamie Lumley warned, “As the business looks to slash costs and make streaming profitable, there are sure to be concerns about cutting too deep and impacting the business going forward.”
But the company can’t cut its way to health. It needs to start selling tickets again to the kinds of movies and theme park experiences people expect when they see the Disney label.
Walt Disney and his brother Roy were jealous guardians of the Disney name and reputation. Given so many more recent changes, this seems like much longer ago than 1983, but I’m reminded of “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It was considered a Very Big Deal at the time when Disney produced a Ray Bradbury film with such a dark mood and storyline. At the time — Walt had died and Roy was no longer involved in day-to-day operations — Disney was looking to branch out from family fare like the Herbie movies and “Pete’s Dragon.”
Results were mixed at best, and I’m being overly generous.
It took a 1984 hostile takeover attempt and a long-term recovery plan courtesy of incoming CEO Michael Eisner to restore Disney’s luster. Eisner understood Disney’s creative strength — and it wasn’t in jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon with “The Black Hole,” or another cheesy Love Bug movie.
It was in getting back to classic animation with “The Little Mermaid,” and in recognizing similar strength in the fledgling Pixar Animation Studios.
Iger can cut costs but, in the end, what he needs to do is remember what the Disney brand means — and work as furiously to restore it as Eisner did, and as Walt and Roy used to work to protect it.
Unless we see evidence of that in Tuesday’s town hall, Disney shares might be up a bit on Wall Street’s hopes but I ain’t buying.
Nothing great has great beginnings.
Joseph de Maistre
I’m back, I’m back. I was held ransom by the forces of darkness that lay claim to my soul here in this hellish corner of New England. Dunwich is a desolate quagmire of unspeakable infamy. Here I must traffic in the few remaining grains of sand in my hour glass in return for worthless ducats that cannot be exchanged for anything meaningful, like a breeding group of tuataras or Komodo dragons. Ah well.
So the news feeds are all full of various pundits on the Left, Right and middle buzzing about the latest crop of foreign right-wing parties and leaders who have broken through and made it to the mainstream. Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Javier Milei in Argentina are the latest additions to eruptions in Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. And other countries are threatening to continue this change. Both France and Germany have growing right-wing parties and there is talk that in the next French presidential election Marine Le Pen may finally win.
So, does any of this indicate a turning of the tide? Well, it seems to indicate that the ceaseless migration of third world people has finally worn out even the endless patience and tolerance of Swedes and Germans. Maybe at last these Europeans are ready to end their invasion by people who do not share their values and refuse to assimilate their host country’s manners and identity.
Is it too late to reverse the deterioration of culture and lifestyle that these invaders have caused? In the case of France, it might be. There are no-go zones in and around Paris that no longer respond to police authority. Trying to reassert sovereignty in those areas will require military action similar to what’s currently going on in Gaza. I tend to doubt that the French are up to the challenge.
But some of the other countries where the invaders are far less entrenched may be able to claw back their homes. A place like Hungary where they never let the problem take root can be a resource for the type of immigration program that protects the indigenous population from immigration-based suicide. We’ll see.
Does any of this presage the same type of political change in the United States? Actually, no. We had our moment in 2016. All the pressure that the citizens of this country could bring to bear was expended in the elections in 2016 and 2020. But the administrative state in concert with the Democrats in the swing states successfully used fraudulent election practices like ballot harvesting to steal the 2020 election. And since then, they’ve “fortified Democracy” (enshrined voter fraud) in those states to prevent the indigenous citizens of this country from electing the government they need to protect them. At this point I’d be more than a little surprised if any honest federal elections occur anywhere that has large Democrat run cities. The prospect of the 3 am shutdown of the polling places followed by the three days of steadily pro=Democrat returns is a little hard to watch so until I’m proven wrong, I’ll assume we won’t have the luxury of stopping illegal immigration anytime in the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, I’m quite encouraged by the right-wing revolts going on in Europe and elsewhere around the world. I think they indicate that there is still at least some life left in the West. And watching these parties growing and waking up more and more of the people in these countries is at least a starting point for some kind of a reaction to the woke ideology that until now has gone completely unchecked.
Keep it coming.