Improving My Mind

Watching Joe Biden turn into a mumbling moron with stuffed artichokes for brains has reminded me that for us older folks it’s use it or lose it.  So, I’ve initiated a cultural renaissance right here in Dunwich.  I’ve got three very different reading projects going on.  They are:

 

  1. Northmen: The Viking Saga, AD 793-1241, by John Haywood
  2. The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin, by Søren Kierkegaard
  3. The Bounty Trilogy: The Complete Series: Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea & Pitcairn’s Island, by James Norman Hall (Author), Charles Nordhoff (Author)

The Kierkegaard book on “Anxiety” is the most questionable project.  I took some courses in philosophy as an undergraduate and found them to be highly annoying.  They seem to spend so much time and effort splitting hairs that by the end, all of the audience has walked away in boredom.  And they employ so much specialized jargon that the notes for the vocabulary sometimes outweighs the text itself.  But I want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt.  He claims he wants to make philosophy more about what we need to do as human beings and less about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  I figure the least I can do is slog through the argument.

The Bounty trilogy is just a book I’ve always meant to read and now have finally gotten around to.  And so far, it’s a good one.  I’m finding that the 1930’s Charles Laughton movie is pretty close to the text.  It’s an exciting adventure story that has the added advantage of having actually happened.  It is a fictionalized account but it is based on the documents left by the protagonists and by their descendants.  Other than the myriad of parts of a sailing ship that I don’t know the names of the book is a fast read.  I’ll have a review of this when I finish.

The Northmen book is something I’ve been interested in learning more about for a while.  I was writing a sci-fi/ fantasy story that used Valhalla as a plot element and I just kept running into aspects of Norse mythology and history that I wasn’t up on.  This book looked to be a way to fill in some gaps and also provide me with some information I’ve always been interested in.  The Scandinavians had a very large impact on several different aspects of European and by extension world history.  I feel like I should know a lot more about their origins before I start introducing them and their culture into my stories.  I’ve just gotten started with the book but already I’ve learned a bit about the origins of the Goths, Burgundians and Vandals that I didn’t already know.

As I said yesterday, our whole lives shouldn’t be railing against the progs.  As the ZMan says, a negative identity does not provide a basis for a viable society.  We must pursue the actions and goals that have intrinsic value.  If we are claiming that the Left is trying to destroy our way of life by denying us the opportunity to do things that we value then shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to do these things?  Otherwise, it’s all just cant and posturing.

So, stretch your mind and learn something new.  Then figure a way to make some of it relevant to your life.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – On Boys’ Books and Real Rocket Ships

Loved the book (Treasure Island) as a lad. In fact, I read it to my brother who was not old enough to read at the time and we played pirates for months on end. One of the greatest boy’s books ever written, true. I’d put it up there with Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn. Billy Bud, Call of the Wild, Johnny Tremain, Old Man and the Sea, Old Yeller (and Savage Sam), Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Red Badge of Courage, the Time Machine, War of the Worlds, White Fang, both Jungle Books, Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Tunnel in the Sky, Podkayne of Mars and Rocket Ship Galileo.

Along with the old Boy Scout Handbook, circa 1950-ish.

There was another series, the title/author of which I cannot remember, written for boys. The hero was a Poindexter-like young genius who solved issues such as he broke a case because the witness said they saw a squirrel backing down a tree. Squirrels always run down a tree head first, so the witness lied. A bit Sherlockian but set in Middle America. A bit like the Hardy Boys but better written, I thought. The hero used his brain and his studies and as a skinny young lad never resulted to violence or other like heroics.

One of my favorite Jules Verne novels was turned into a classic comic. “Steam House”, about a group of British nationals traversing India in a trailer thing pulled by a stem powered, mechanical elephant. I read all of Vern’s novels as well as a lad. I was amazed at seeing things he predicted in his novels come true.

I read Big Little books as well “Phantom”, “Mac and the Marines”, “Alley Oop” etc. Heck, I practically taught myself to read on the pulps like “Amazing Stories”.

“Rolling Stones” was pretty good. Castor and Pollux showed up again in “Number of the Beast” which was definitely NOT a children’s book. I preferred “Between Planets” until I learned what Venus was really like on the surface, which Heinlein could not have known at the time it was written. Blast you, Carl Sagan. 😉

I was an omnivorous reader as a child. Sci-fi, dad’s Zane Gray and Louis L’Amour books, anything written by Sam Clemens and Rudyard Kipling. I went through the child’s section at the local library in short order and then onto anything written about dinosaurs and aircraft/space. Dad worked for North American Aviation, later called Rockwell then Rocketdyne. He helped develop the X-15, OV-10, A-5, B-70 and others, as well as worked on the Saturn V boosters and Dino-Soar reentry vehicle and ICBM’s. He brought home color photos and posters for me to hang on the wall of the aircraft he helped develop. He also recommended many books on jets and space vehicles, as well as westerns (his favorite genre).

Dad and mom had rings made from a reentry missile nosecone that had been in space and suffered the fiery reentry. Whatever it was made from, only diamonds could cut it and it took them time. It was like white gold but never tarnished and no chemicals ever had any effect on it.  It must have been some titanium alloy as it looked like white gold and easily survived reentry.  It had his first name and hers on their rings, and the engraving took a week with a special diamond tip. Both were buried with them.

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SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police; A Review

Discussing this book is really a combination of explaining the concept of the Social Justice Warrior (SJW) to the uninitiated (or fortunate innocent) and reviewing the efficacy of the content with respect to the book’s stated purpose.

How’s that for a loaded thesis?

So, for anyone who has been in a coma for the last twenty years or living in a Burmese lamasery for the same period of time, an SJW is a person who pursues a policy of seeking out and punishing anyone who does not sufficiently submit to any aspect of the ultra-progressive narrative and agenda. This transgression can be of any kind; action, inaction, word, silence, facial expression, glance or any behavior at all. Most guilty are those who regardless of any other action belong to that most detestable group; the cis-gender, male, straight, white, christian American. They have the Mark of Cain (if I may use such a Judeo-Christian metaphor). For them any punishment is justified and insufficient. The SJW’s favorite method of attack is the internet swarm. These creatures will locate a likely target and using internet posting and e-mail complaints attempt to convince the victim’s employer that he is a terrible person and needs to be de-employed (fired). This sounds highly unlikely but reading a few of the clearly documented and easily confirmed high profile examples from the book it’s pretty clear that SJWs exist and that they do horrible damage to their victims. So in a nutshell that is the meaning of SJW. First part of mission accomplished. Hooray.

Part 2. My thoughts on the book. The author of the book, Vox Day, is an incredibly polarizing individual. For left wing individuals (especially those in the science fiction and fantasy community) he is the devil himself. Their fear and loathing of him is practically a fetish. For the political moderates he is a gadfly. He punishes them for failing to support anyone who the left labels as racist, sexist, homophobic or any other label they use to disqualify their enemies. Lately, in fact, Vox has been more of a scourge of mainstream conservatives than left-wing targets due to the Trump campaign and the reaction of mainstream republican politicians and pundits to it. Therefore he has become a lightning rod for several types of attack. He is aligned with the alt-right and nationalist groups and his popular blog site ( https://voxday.blogspot.com/ ) reflects his take no prisoners approach to the culture wars. For these reasons it would be easy to dismiss his book as a partisan screed only useful for preaching to the far right choir. But that is not the case. The book is actually an incredibly useful tool for explaining to all sorts of people and preparing them for an SJW attack. How to recognize it. How it progresses. What to do and most importantly, what not to do.

The information is laid out in a very orderly arrangement with chronological breakdown of the stages. Interspersed are examples of the high profile SJW victims from the recent past. Also Vox provides his own autobiographical account of an SJW attack.

Grabbing just one nugget from this useful guide I’d say probably the single most important rule is never apologize (although a close second is never resign).

In my estimation this book should be read by anyone who wants to protect himself from being intimidated (and potentially destroyed) by leftist culture thugs. What it also does is allow you to recognize the noxious effect that political correctness has already had on normal human interaction. Basically everyone is afraid to challenge the thought police who impose an unpopular narrative on us all. The fact that it is reinforced at almost all institutional centers (media, schools, corporations and government) shows just how serious the problem already is.

Vox Day has millions of enemies. But he has almost everyone in his debt for providing a useful tool to warn of and protect us from these totalitarian harpies.