The Unholy Inception of ShatnerKhan II

Today I was on a videoconference with the Board of Directors of the ShatnerKhan Corporation.  These august gentlemen and I began the initial planning of this great enterprise.  I must tell you, just knowing that ShatnerKhan II would happen despite the COVID-19 Plague was indeed exciting.  It would be like a shining beacon in the inky blackness of cultural hiatus that this quarantine has engendered.  It would bring hope and purpose to a weary nation.  It might even save countless lives by giving these poor souls the will to throw off the deadly clutches of this sinovirus.  “Ad astra per aspera.”

So, it was kind of fun talking about something so frivolous and light hearted.  No life and death diseases, no do or die elections just the foibles of that demigod of bad acting William Shatner.  We committed ourselves to a much more organized effort.  As you might remember ShatnerKhan I was an impromptu gathering with almost no planning, preparation or notice.  And most importantly not nearly enough time was spent on the menu for the event.  For as I’ve often stated ShatnerKhan is mostly an excuse to eat highly indigestible but exquisitely delicious and altogether splendiferous food.  So, I extracted this promise that the first thing to be fixed was the menu.  I am a reasonable man and will not prevent whatever personal favorites the Board requests.  All I ask is that dill pickles, corned beef, pastrami, pumpernickel bread, potato salad and good brown mustard are lavishly provided.  There was talk of all kinds of delicacies but we’ll see what they decide on.  I know that sausage and peppers, eggplant parmigiana and panko coated drumsticks were mentioned but I also know that Chinese food was listed at one point.  Well, at such an intellectually challenging event the sages need to keep up their strength somehow.

Moving onto the agenda we discussed how best to avoid burnout from the sheer volume of Shatneriana that was available for review.  It was decided that we would extract the quintessence of Shatner goodness from each historical record and in this way reduce the time needed to review it.  This will require great amounts of preparatory work.  And it will also require much greater technical skill than is currently at the disposal of the Board.  For I must confess that when it comes to digital expertise, we are blithering idiots.  But this aspect I’ve taken on myself to explore.  But the idea is to have a live stream that will capture us bloviating on the various scenes we are critiquing.  Of course, to maintain anonymity we will be masked.  I suggested Shatner masks.  I understand that the mask that the Michael Myers character wore in Halloween was actually based in some way on William Shatner’s face.  Whether this is true or not I have also been tasked to look into the masks and other props needed for the event.  It was suggested that I find a three-dimensional chess board and a Vulcan lyre like the ones that Spock employed during various episodes of the original series.  While I’m at it why don’t I look for Shatner’s missing hairline?  But I digress.

There was a discussion about inviting the great man himself to this great homage to his name.  But we were reminded that he’s eighty-nine and also fabulously wealthy.  But we may invite him anyway.  My guess is he won’t be too pleased by our take on his career and talents.  But who knows?  I thought maybe we should contact Kevin Pollack.  After all he’s fairly famously for imitating Shatner.  As you can see, bull was flung pretty freely at this meeting but it was quite stimulating talking about the event.  As far as timing the earliest it would be held is midsummer.  But based on the current crisis it might also be closer to September.  When asked by the Board if the readers of Orion’s Cold Fire could be a source for ideas for the gathering, I said I thought it very well might be.  I know of at least one reader who has shown enthusiasm for the idea and I think there is the potential for a collaborative effort where local groups could participate in the live streaming and eat equally indigestible, delicious and splendiferous food.  Of course, they’ll have to provide their own masks and food but the spirit of bright camaraderie will more than pay for the foodstuffs needed.

So, I’m throwing it out to the audience.  If you have any ideas practical or ridiculous that should be brought to the attention of the Board and if you have interest in remote link up during such an absurd venture leave a comment or send an e-mail and I’ll make sure you’re kept in the loop when any actual information is available.

My Take on Yarvin’s Essay “The Deep State vs The Deep Right”

Last night I clicked on the American Mind website and saw that Curtis Yarvin (aka Mencius Moldbug) had a new post up.  The title was “The Deep State vs The Deep Right.”  I find Yarvin’s ideas interesting but at the same time in some ways obscure.  In this new essay he states that the only way to overthrow a regime you live under is to undermine its authority with a more attractive idea.  He puts this in terms of aesthetics.  His case in point is the Czar.  According to Yarvin the Russians overthrew their government by first convincing everyone including the Czar that they needed to adopt the British outlook on life.  And since socialism was the religion of the British elites at that time what better way to emulate them than by taking their ideal and turning it up to eleven via Marx’s writings.  Yarvin’s point is that art (in this case the 19th century Russian novelists) had prepared the Russians for the replacement of the monarchy long before the Bolsheviks came on the scene.

Yarvin’s idea is that what is needed to overthrow the current neo-liberal order is an aesthetic to replace the aesthetic our current elites espouse. This is the confusing part.  When he talks of aesthetics and art he’s talking about books and music and movies.  You are probably asking yourself how does this get Nancy Pelosi off of the Speaker’s podium?  And that’s a fair question.  As much as I’d love to write the ultimate science fiction novel that shifts the balance of power from the Left to us, I don’t see how that happens.  Yarvin points to Bronze Age Mindset as a sort of first attempt at moving the aesthetic in our direction.  And maybe it is.  Apparently, it was very popular with younger men and showed there is a market for dissident ideas out in the real world.

Okay, so why should I care about any of this?   Well, because I kinda know what he’s saying.  The people who want to tell us what to do, say and think aren’t going to believe us when we say their ideas are wrong.  They think that what we believe and who we are is stupid.  They are convinced that what they believe and who they are is smart.  We are going to have to make our case in the court of public opinion.  We are going to have to show them that our ideas are better and stronger than theirs.

From the point of reason, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince people that things like screwing up the hormones of an eight-year-old boy and then castrating him is not sane.  But remember, we don’t have the microphone so we don’t get to tell the story on tv.  We’ll have to work on back channels like blogs and self-published books and podcasts.

But of course, that isn’t enough.  What I’m hearing from Yarvin is we’ll need to convince and recruit the intelligentsia in order to get the microphone we want and need.  That’s a pretty tall order but I think Yarvin’s got something there.  We have to get people who speak their language, academics and artists to make the case that our world view is sane and theirs is crazy.  Specifically, we’ll need some medical doctors and psychiatrists and ethicists to expose the nightmare logic at work.  We’ll need documentary and dramatic filmmakers to sway public opinion.  But first we’ll need judges and lawyers and cops and even politicians to have the courage to confront these lunatics who defend these practices and hold them accountable.

So, there’s the pipe dream we need to dream.  We have to turn the world upside down, or right side up if you look at it from our point of view.  And the first step is to identify the weakest points of the current system and attack them.  And to attack them we have to show the world what we would put in its place.  I would say that the beginning of such an enterprise requires a lawfare approach.  We’ll need a Circuit Court with jurisdiction over a blue state that has adopted the most flagrantly perverse law and have a lawyer challenge that behavior at the Circuit Court level and have it struck down.  That would trigger a storm that would catch the attention of national press and allow public opinion to hear our side of the story from the judges and the plaintiffs.  After the dust settles it will make a good book, an interesting documentary and maybe even a decent movie although we probably wouldn’t be able to get any A-listers involved.  But it’ll be a good start.

This idea highlights why it is such an important thing to have President Trump appointing judges to the Circuit and supreme Court in the numbers he is doing.  He is close to flipping the Ninth Circuit and that court rules over California and the rest of the Left Coast.  That is a place where a lot of wonderful damage can be done.  I think I see what Yarvin is talking about.

 

Now what do you think?  If you agree or sort of agree or even strenuously disagree, I’d like to hear from you.  This site is to allow me to have my say but also to here what everybody else thinks.  Leave a comment in the section below and get to have your two cents.

Mencius Moldbug Has a New Essay on American Mind

Here Mencius is continuing on his theme that the only way to overthrow the current order is to change the aesthetic we live by.  And the only way to change the aesthetic is to live the one you believe in and prove that it is stronger.  Always thought provoking.  See what you think.

The Deep State vs. The Deep Right

Perhaps the Scope of the COVID-19 Crisis Won’t Be as Bad as Predicted

The “Murray” model is the one being used by the White House task force.  But it seems to be overestimating the numbers.

“The discrepancies are also stark when looked at on a state-by-state basis. The model estimated that 65,434 patients would need hospital beds in New York State on Friday. In reality, there were 15,905 hospitalizations in that state by Sunday morning, according to the COVID Tracking Project.”

“The forecast predicted, for example, that the United States would need around 164,750 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients on Saturday. Yet the COVID Tracking Project, a team of journalists and data analysts who collect and tabulate coronavirus data from state tallies around the country, reported only around 22,158 currently hospitalized coronavirus patients nationwide on Saturday.”

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Profiles in Courage from the Instagram Era – Chris Cuomo – The Ernie Pyle of World War Z

Someday historians will look back and identify the exact moment when American manhood hit its lowest point and it will be identified by the time stamp on the video of Chris Cuomo whining about having the flu.  Don’t get me wrong having pneumonia and being unable to breath is my idea of Hell on Earth.  The elderly and the frail victims of COVID-19 are struggling with every breathe they take to stave off a horrible death.

But by his own description Fredo is describing fever and muscle aches.  Those are exactly flu symptoms.  He doesn’t have pneumonia.  He wasn’t in respiratory distress.  He wasn’t coughing up blood.  He wasn’t suffering from cardiac arrhythmia.  He has the flu.  And even as he painted his word picture of his harrowing ordeal he managed to take as many pot shots at President Trump as he could.  Cuomo is a pathetic man who in a better world would be consigned to cleaning trash off the sides of less important roads.  Listening to him I wonder if we’ll ever see a time when the major media outlets will be ashamed to let someone as dishonest, as petty, as annoying as Chris Cuomo represent their brand to the American public.

I should link up to the video but frankly I wouldn’t want to help his ratings.  Shame on him.  Shame on CNN.  And shame on all of us for allowing our country to deteriorate to the point where Chris Cuomo isn’t ashamed to show his face in public.

But I wonder what Chris will do in a couple of days when he has no symptoms left to tout?  He will be quarantined for a couple of weeks at least so he has to come up with a new act.  Perhaps he can chronicle his battle against toe nail fungus or a really bad case of ear wax. So brave, so brave.

A Little More Information Comes In

Some information I’ve gotten in the last day or so:

  • A Chinese clinical study that included a control group found that patients taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) had a shorter time to clinical recovery, as well as improved pneumonia. Even the NY Times reported on this although they downplayed the President’s role in touting HCQ.
  • One of our family relations in New York City was in critical condition on a ventilator with the COVID-19 virus. His wife had to sign a release to allow the doctors to use a treatment.  A couple of days after the start of treatment he is off the ventilator much improved and talking to relatives on the phone.
  • I had a chance to do some back of the envelope calculations to see how the death statistics look for this thing with respect to patient’s age. Here it is:

So over 88% of people who die are over 60.  82% are over 70.  That tells me that dosing all the old age homes with an anti-viral (which HCQ is) would go along way to knocking these death rates down by almost a  factor of 10.

There are plenty of smart people who want his thing to end sooner and without hundreds of thousands of deaths.  I’m hoping they start looking at the numbers and figure out that targeting the elderly is the key to dropping the mortality from this thing way down.

When We All Go Back to Work

I’ve been out of the office for over two weeks now.  One of these days the medical powers that be will decide that boredom has become more deadly than COVID-19 and we’ll be allowed to emerge from our burrows and walk the Earth again like bears in the spring.  And after we remember how the gear shift on our car works, we’ll drive to work and return to our desks and empty out the calls from our desk phones and return our laptops to their docking stations.  And we’ll start to work again?

It seems odd.  We’ll go back to driving two hours a day to do the same work we did from home in our slippers and Saturday clothes.  We’ll sit in conference rooms for hours instead of just reading an e-mail or teleconferencing for a few minutes.  Sure, for some of us there’s much that we can’t do from home.  If you work on projects that require managing contractors to build stuff it’s not possible to work remotely and if you buy equipment that needs to be tested at a factory then you’ll still have to drive or fly to do that.  But it will seem that driving an hour back and forth to sit at a desk for eight hours is kind of stupid.  And sure, I’ll admit that going to the office a day or two out of the week would actually be beneficial to ensuring that things are going smoothly and that any mistakes have been caught and to at least keep up the pretense that your boss is useful.  But more than that seems a waste of everybody’s time.

Surely, I’m not the only one who has discovered this.  Possibly this earthshaking news may filter up to the front office and a more rational approach to the office environment may emerge.  Think of the amount of gasoline that will be saved.  Think of the car accidents and traffic jams that could be eliminated.  Think of all the extra sleep that Americans will get and all the extra time they’ll get with their families.  And think of the energy that the office will save with the lights and heat and air conditioning turned off in areas not being used.  It really makes you think.

Now this is an exaggeration.  I’m currently at the end of some projects and the beginning of some others so this was actually the most convenient time for me to be out of the office.  A couple of weeks earlier or a couple of months later and I’d have been forced to go in regardless of pandemic.  As I mentioned, construction can’t be managed by remote control but I have definitely seen that part of my work week could be handled from home.

But I would be very surprised if after this whole mess winds down that some steps aren’t taken to make the work week more flexible and make telecommuting a reality for more people.  If I were going to pick a day for working from home, I’d make it Wednesday.  Staying up late on Tuesday night and getting up late on Wednesday morning would really change the dynamic of the work week into something much more manageable.  I think I’ll put that in the suggestion box this week.  Oh, wait I can’t.  It’s in the office.  Maybe they’ll invent the virtual suggestion box.

 

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Fredo is Down!

CNN’s Chris Cuomo has announced he has tested positive for COVID-19.  Could they set up a Fredocam to let us watch his last minutes?  Would he become smarter as the virus kills off his antibrain cells?  Will the increase in average IQ after his death be visible from space?  So many questions to ponder.  Hail ,hail and farewell Fredo.  We hardly knew ye.

 

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Enough is Enough

If living through this nightmare does only one good thing, it’s this.  It will give President Trump a mandate to end globalism once and for all.  Once we’re finally released from our cells, we’re going to want him to take whatever steps he can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  And that’s quite a laundry list of things.  First off, it’s time to close not only the borders but the airline routes too.  Apparently Chinese New Year is the occasion for sending millions of Chinese back and forth from there to here just chock full of whatever pathogens have shown up in the wild game markets of China.  That must stop.  If China refuses to adhere to modern food hygiene then they should be treated like a plague city and kept at arm’s length.  Instituting a quarantine for travelers from China and similar places at the border for say, two weeks would go a long way to preventing another horrific outbreak like the one we’re suffering under now.  And because there’s no way of telling at the Mexican border where anyone comes from, we’ve got to end all the illegal immigration.  Not just sorta/kinda, but for real.  Use the state of emergency to shut down the border and if a judge says no then declare martial law and do it anyway.  The people will approve it.  And while we’re at it, suspend legal immigration for the time being.  It doesn’t make sense to be bringing people into the country during a catastrophe.

The next thing is to get Congress to declare all sorts of industries critical to Homeland Security and use a carrot and a stick to bring them back on shore.  And make it a very heavy stick.  Having our pharmaceuticals manufactured in China turns out to be a bad idea.  And manufacturing everything else there hasn’t helped either.  The President should do himself and us a favor and repatriate pharmaceuticals, automobiles, electronics, chemicals, metals, building supplies and just about everything else.  As far as I can tell we’ll need the jobs badly when this is over and the tens of millions of unemployed people are going to want growth in the economy and plenty of it.  And one good way to jump start something like that is to rebuild all the infrastructure that has virtually rotted away over the last fifty years of neglect.  Infrastructure projects have often in the past been boondoggles but compared to tossing trillions away to keep people sitting in their homes I doubt you could do worse.

Some will be worried that shifting production here could cause a worldwide depression.  I find that unconvincing.  The East Asian economies have their own domestic demand that is quite mature at this point and not having ten percent growth won’t kill them.  As for the rest of the developing world, if it’s not corona virus from China, it’s dengue fever from Guatemala or Ebola from the Congo.  We don’t need any more lessons in epidemiology.  We can see that plagues don’t mix well with a modern western democracy.  It’s time to roll up the welcome mat and tell everyone out there to stay home and fix their own damn problems.  And if it’s not too much to ask how about stop eating bats for a start.  Try chicken, it tastes the same.

 

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