The Means of Production – Part 1

So, what to write about tonight?  Tucker?  Elon?  The Biden Crime Family’s Congressional investigation?  Trump and his various legal problems.  The Republican presidential contenders?  Dementia Joe’s sinking ratings?  The crime-drenched cities?  The invasion at the southern border?  The collapsing banks?  Stagflation?  The Ukraine War?  Bud Light’s ongoing sales freefall?

Meh.  Just not in the mood.  Maybe it’s the crazy local things I’m involved in.  Maybe it’s too much same old, same old.

Well for whatever reason, let’s talk about something different.

I was reading recently about a studio that has been producing family friendly movies.  Mostly Christian movies but not exclusively.  Let’s call them Christian friendly.  They recently had a hit with a movie called the Jesus Revolution, “a feel-good movie about hippies who returned to Christ during the 1970s, starring former “Cheers” and “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer – has grossed more than $52 million since its debut just a few weeks ago, making it the most successful film released by studio heavyweight Lionsgate since 2019.”

Many years ago, I remember watching a few of the movies produced by Christian churches and other organizations.  And although it was refreshing to see entertainment that stressed religious values and themes, they were notable for very simplistic plots and amateurish acting.  I guess the cast was more living the moments of the plot rather than acting them.

““The biggest critique on Christian art of the last thirty plus years, is that it’s not good, or it hasn’t been good,” said Terence Berry, COO of Wedgwood Circle, a nonprofit that connects investors and creators to develop projects that are informed by their Christian faith. “And I do think there have been huge strides made in people creating content for the faith market.””

Move forward twenty years and the producers now out there like Wedgwood and Angel Studios are producing movies that can be viewed by mainstream audiences without eye-rolling.  Berry calls it “a third way.”

““Can you offer stuff that is not perceived as faith market, and that is really well done, and it’s good, true, and beautiful, and it’s speaking to larger questions and it is aligned with your faith,” he asked, “but it is done so in a way that allows other people from outside the faith to engage and like that content?””

In the article the writer mentions that these producers are producing movies and arranging theater distribution using both investor and crowd-funded capital.  And the products include movies, music, books, television, and radio shows.  In fact, there are even animated movies in the works.

So why is this interesting?

I think because Hollywood is melting down.  Other than super hero movies Hollywood has only had a very few actual blockbuster hits in the last ten years.  Tom Cruise in Top Gun is that exception that proves the rule.  And it’s especially relevant because it’s one of the few movies that bucks all the stupid trends that have cost Hollywood its audience.  It’s patriotic.  It doesn’t pound away at woke tropes.  It doesn’t replace entertainment with an agenda.  It doesn’t denigrate its audience.

So, with Hollywood marching into the ocean and at the same time starving audiences for wholesome content.  And with streaming and the lower price of computer-generated imaging making fantasy and other genera movies orders of magnitude cheaper than just a few years ago, this is the perfect time for small production companies to provide people with entertainment choices they sorely lack.

And I think it’s finally, finally beginning to happen.  I’ve watched some short sci-fi movies on YouTube that come close to Hollywood level special effects.  And because of how Hollywood is using “diversity, inclusion and equity” there are many unemployed straight, white, male actors, writers, directors and other creatives that could use work.  In such an environment I think we’ll start seeing more and more breakout productions that owe their success to giving people the entertainment that Hollywood refuses to produce.

But here’s the point.  All of these people trying to produce this content didn’t get into it because they always wanted to build their own movie studios.  They’re doing it because the movie studios told them that the content they wanted was wrong and shouldn’t exist.  So, they had to become movie makers.  Same thing with book authors.  The books we like are so evil that the publishers are retroactively changing the text of old classics like Roald Dahl’s children’s books.  Same for music, same for art.  Same for education.  If we want what we think is right we’re going to have to make it ourselves.  Internalize that and employ it as needed in your life and you’ll start changing things for the better.

If you don’t like the crap on display in woke world then search out something better at the fringes.  And if that doesn’t exist, then do it yourself.  That’s the lesson.

I intend to start looking for some of these movie projects and try them out.  I’ll report back on what I find.

Supporting the Revolution

Every aspect of our lives is touched by the division that splits the people of the United States into two almost completely non-overlapping groups; the Left and the Right.  Sure, there are people who claim they are outside these two groups but they’re wrong.  And that’s because the Left will not let you be exempt.  You’re either inside their orthodoxy or you are a pariah whose destruction they will pursue doggedly.  And for those of us on the Right, we have to struggle to survive this pursuit.

But no one just wants to survive.  We want to enjoy all aspects of life.  We want family, friends and things we can do to make our lives enjoyable.  And we want to forget about the Left and their lunacy whenever we can.  Now I won’t delve into the problems of avoiding the governmental controls that the federal government imposes or the even more onerous controls that blue states force their citizens to endure.  Let’s save all that for another day.

Instead let’s talk about what we can do as individuals to create the options we want in our lives.  A trivial example is the recent outrage over Anheuser Busch and their fake spokeswoman.  Here is an opportunity to use your status as a consumer to punish a company that went out of its way to antagonize its patrons and you can make a statement to the rest of the beer companies that you value a company that at worst stays neutral in the culture wars.  Even better would be finding a company that openly supports traditional values.  But neutrality will do.

Now look at that example.  And translate it into as many other choices and decisions that you make in your life.  The bank you keep your money in, the stores where you buy your groceries, the places you shop for your hobby supplies, the browser you use on the internet, even the social media sites where you interact with the on-line world.  All of these are potential choices.  Of course, some of them will be non-starters.  Amazon, Walmart, Target and the rest of the retailers are hopelessly left-wing.  The best you can do is occasionally try to shop directly from manufacturers who you know to be non-leftist.  That’s not such an easy thing.

But in other cases, there are choices.  Recently, Elon Musk has significantly reduced the anti-right activities on Twitter.  He’s un-banned numerous people on the Right and openly refused to silence even outspoken right-wing voices.  As an experiment I’ve recently decided to pay him his eight bucks a month to get the controversial “blue check” and I’m not saying it’s been some kind of golden ticket to viral success but I do enjoy some of the content I find on Twitter and I feel like I’m supporting a platform that doesn’t hate me.  So, if you have a choice between using Twitter or Facebook well that should be easy.    And I feel a hell of a lot happier with what I pay Twitter compared to the cable bill that supports the likes of CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the lefties that inhabit the various cable networks.  One of these days I’ll cut the cable and just use the channels that don’t hate me.  That will be a big day.

For another example, I use the Brave and DuckDuckGo combination as my browser and search engine respectively.  They respect privacy and block a lot of the ads that usually follow you around the internet.  As for news I use the sites that at least provide both sides on current events.  Real Clear Politics balances their articles about 50/50 between Left and Right.  It’s not ideal but I can just pick and choose based on the sources.

In the future I’m expecting that there will be a major dedicated right-wing news site on the internet with some free and some paywalled content that I will be willing to pay for.  That’s because I expect that Tucker Carlson will be participating in some kind of a larger news/opinion project with some of his more ethical colleagues.  Maybe it will be on Twitter, maybe on substack, but I suspect soon there will be a service that will be worth a few bucks.

And I expect in the future more companies and platforms will start trying to brand themselves as friendly to the Right or to conservatives or traditionalists or some other words to that effect.  Now it’s going to take some vetting to eliminate the phonies and the grifters who just want to jump on a bandwagon.  Probably word of mouth from trusted sources will be most helpful.

But in general, I think it’s a good idea to go out of your way to find a product or service that is produced by people who don’t openly despise you and buy it.  Don’t get ripped off doing it.  The premium for patronizing someone on our side should be reasonable.  Is that 10 or 15%.  Sure.  But not 100%!  And the quality should be comparable, not noticeably inferior.  I remember I tried using a coffee brand because they advertised their sympathy for the military but the coffee wasn’t any good.  So, I had to drop that.

Anyway, you get the picture.  It’s time for us to start putting our money where our mouths are.  Look for worthwhile products on our side and support them.  And if they pan out, pass the info along on social media.

Fight the power baby!

Choose Carefully

Each of us has his own “world.”  It’s made up of all the connections we use throughout our day.  We’re connected to our families by each word we pass, every facial expression we use to communicate.  After that the average man is connected to the world by his phone.  It is the nexus for all the calls, texts, e-mails, YouTube videos, news items, tweets, Amazon purchases, Google searches and on and on and on.  After that we have the relationships we have with our job, with the various government entities and the various corporations that we employ to provide us with goods and services to live our lives as consumers.  All of these connections give us a sense of being connected and grounded to the world around us.

But lately more and more of these connections have started to have a disorienting effect.  The head of the United States, Joseph Biden just gave a speech that declared, specifically that people like you and me are dangerous extremists intent on destroying the United States.  And a while ago the top health expert in the federal government told us that unless we shut down our country and hid in our homes wearing masks over our faces, we would all die of a horrible disease.  And around the same time, we were told that mobs of rioters looting and burning down the commercial districts of our largest cities were completely within their rights to do exactly that.  But if anyone tried to resist them with a weapon that would be prosecuted vigorously by law enforcement as assault.

If you read the news and especially if you read the mainstream media you might begin to believe that the whole world has gone insane and that we’ll be headed for a new dark age any day now.  Without a doubt, the people running much of western civilization have lost touch with reality and are trying to push the world in an unhealthy direction.  I won’t go through the whole litany but looking at some of the worst aspects; green energy initiatives, defund the police and transgender affirming treatments for minors, we can see that dangerous ideas have been mainstreamed by people with great power.

All of this can make it seem like there’s no place to turn for a breath of sanity.  Part of the reason it feels so dire is that for most of our lives we never had to worry about most of these institutions becoming unhinged.  Most of the United States was remarkably well run.  And even the bureaucracies, although they might be incompetent, uncaring or inefficient were never working to destroy us.  Now we can see they are.  And in addition, private companies have jumped on board the project to speed up our destruction.  Once you internalize that perspective it becomes easier to deal with the problems.

Once you change your point of view and assume that none of these organizations is necessarily on your side, it frees you up to begin evaluating your environment dispassionately and systematically.  This goes for all of the relationships you have.  From top down you can start with your country, state and town.  And from bottom up you can look at where you buy your coffee, what news you read and where you spend your entertainment dollar.  Each of these is a choice.  And granted, good options are hard to find in a lot of categories.  But that doesn’t excuse us from at least looking at the options and choosing the least bad choice.  And if you put in the work, you might be surprised at the good options you never knew existed.

Some of them are easy.  Looking at movies and tv just read the reviews and you can pretty easily find out what sounds like woke propaganda.  Another tactic is to buy local.  Small stores are more expensive than megastores.  But if you know for a fact that the owner is one of us then that’s got to sweeten the deal quite a lot and might put a small premium in price in perspective.  And get involved in your local community.  That can pay enormous dividends and will make you more aware of problems that may be coming your way.  And finally, it extends all the way up to deciding what state or even country you should live in.  It may seem extreme to contemplate such a huge change.  But if you look at it dispassionately, it might be the best move you’ll ever make.

How Do Things Get Better?

Even though it’s clear that Biden’s presidency and by extension, the Left’s management of the blue cities and states, and the Left’s social hegemony are all demonstrably crashing and burning around us, it’s not clear to me how we reverse the course we’re on.

For example, the Supreme Court has ruled against Biden’s corporate vaccine mandate.  Okay, but how do we go from there to getting our lives back from all aspects of the COVID regime.  When can we stop pretending that being forced to wear a mask is a normal part of living in a free country?  When will forcing people to have their children injected with an unsafe vaccine be recognized as a crime?  When will we prosecute government doctors for lying about the actual numbers of people being harmed by COVID?  Currently none of those things seem even remotely close to happening.

I won’t even go into the crime wave engulfing the blue cities.  With leftists firmly entrenched in the city governments, there is not even a possibility of those places returning to normalcy in the foreseeable future.  Those areas will become no-go zones for normal people who don’t want to risk life and limb.

I’m afraid the answer to my question is they don’t anytime soon.  We will have to wait until November of this year to see the first chapter to the road to recovery.  When the Dems lose control of the Senate and House that will deprive Dementia Joe of one of his levers of power.  We will no longer have to depend on Joe Manchin to protect us from unlimited looting of the treasury by pork-filled trillion-dollar bills that line the pockets of “green” lobbyists and their Congressional clients.  And it should put an end to corrupt judges that Biden has been seating on the federal judiciary.  But think of it.  We have three more years of this nightmare.

So, what that tells me is the only way things get better is when we make them better ourselves.  And that begins when we stop pretending that we can depend on the federal government and their woke cronies for anything.  Lies and betrayal are their stock in trade.  Look over your assumptions on how you live your life.  For instance, if you live in or near a blue city do you assume that the police department in your area will keep you, your family and your possessions safe?  In the wake of the 2020 riots and looting is that a realistic assumption?  And if not, what is your smartest realistic option?  Should you move?  Should you buy a gun?  Should you make changes in the way you live your life?

These same questions should be asked about the state you live in.  If you’re tired of wearing a mask and being injected with unsafe medicines maybe living in a place like Florida might make more sense.  And that goes for other problems with blue states.  The high cost of living and the restrictions on freedoms are quite oppressive for some people’s tastes.

Look at who your friends are.  Can you depend on them?  Do they believe in what you do?  If not, maybe you need to find some people who do.  Seek out like minded people and get to know them.

And how about the way you spend your money?  Are you supporting the worst corporate offenders when it comes to Woke capitalism?  Coca Cola, Nike, and a whole host of corporations spit in your face every day.  Don’t you think you should go out of your way to seek out the few companies that at least stay neutral on the culture wars and reward them with your patronage.  Maybe you can make it a goal of finding one good company or website or movie every year and spending your money with that thing.  Here’s something easy.  Stop using Google for your search engine.  Use DuckDuckGo.  That will be helping them, hurting Google (infinitesimally) and helping yourself by avoiding Google’s prying eyes.  And most importantly tell ten conservative friends to check out Orion’s Cold Fire.  What better way is there to stick it to Dementia Joe?

My takeaway is things only get better when you act to make them better.  I’m not saying don’t vote for the better candidate.  You must.  But it’s not enough.  Your life has to reflect the things you believe in and that may mean making some changes.  And then maybe things will get better.  At least for you.

Know Your Friends, Know Your Enemies, Align Yourself Accordingly

As I sit here drinking a Coke that I bought at Walmart while typing on the laptop that I bought on Amazon using the data highway that I pay Spectrum to use I often wonder why corporate America craps all over me.  And then I remember, Oh yeah, it’s because I’m a chump that just gives them my money and doesn’t do anything to force them to care what I think.   And that makes me one of at least a hundred million non-Leftists that gets kicked in the teeth hourly by the stooges that toady for our godlike elites.  You might be wondering, “What’s his point?”  Well, follow me a little bit further along.

Let’s start with the heavy hitters.  Amazon hates you.  Not just a little, a lot.  They’ve even started refusing books based on their politics.  And Amazon will sell almost anything else.  And Amazon is at this point, half the retail economy of the planet.  But, but, but.  What can I do about that?  Well, here’s a thought.  Look at the sellers on Amazon.  Find out something about them.  If you find a company that supplies a lot of things you like but doesn’t celebrate their hatred of everything you stand for then start buying directly from them.  Cut out the leftist middle-man.  I buy all my camera gear from B&H Photo.  The store was founded by a couple of Jewish guys in Manhattan.  They’re closed on Saturday.  Are they Leftists?  Maybe yes maybe no.  Do they announce their possible leftism anywhere on their website or celebrate all the craziness that’s all around them in New York City?  Not that I can find.  So, they get all my business.  And over the course of 15-20 years that’s actually into middle five figures.  Could I have saved a few bucks on Amazon?  Probably, but they hate me so why should I add to their power?

And the same goes for whatever else I like.  Used books is a no brainer.  There are tons of used book sellers.  Why go through Amazon?  To save on the shipping?  Meh.  To get it overnight?  Meh.

How about Hardware?  I could go to Walmart and get whatever I want there.  But I go to the local hardware store.  Why?  Well, the guy who owns the store is theoretically my neighbor.  He pays his taxes in my town and sends his kids to the local school and I rub elbows with him at my grandson’s baseball and basketball games.  Am I losing some money?  Definitely.  But he can also give advice on a tool or on an alternate way of doing something.  Is he a leftist?  As it turns out he’s not.  He has a Trump sticker on his car as does my auto mechanic.

And don’t buy anything from Coke or Pepsi.  They both suck.  I have inside information on that.  They are among the worst.

Look at your neighborhood businesses.  If they aren’t big corporations and they don’t have any rainbow coalition or BLM signs, banners or stickers in sight take that as at least a sign of respect for our half of the population.  Get your coffee from a small shop or if that’s impossible at least don’t go to Starbuck’s.

Don’t pay to watch Disney, or any of its subsidiaries like ESPN.  Buy some of the classic Disney movies on DVD (used) and call it a day.  Don’t watch the NBA, NFL and at this point the MLB.  Find a minor league park and bring your kids to that.  If they take a knee during the anthem walk out and never come back after telling the management why.

Find authors and websites that reflect your values and patronize them.  Very, very carefully rate politicians and if you find one who is honest and actually conservative, spread the word.  If you have the cash you could contribute to his campaign.

But most importantly, educate yourself on who is on your side and who is not.  And do something about it.  Make a point of withholding your money from the Left and patronizing the Right.  And socialize with people who believe what you do.  And shun the Left.  It actually has an effect.  It may seem cruel but it’s not wrong it’s necessary.

Black Rifle Coffee Company

I followed a link on Vox’s page and read an article at Breitbart about Keurig dropping their advertising from Hannity because of his interview with Judge Moore from Alabama and it mentioned a coffee company run by veterans called Black Rifle Coffee Company.  One of their mottos is “Make Coffee Great Again” so you can guess which side of the fence they’re on.

Well, that got me thinking.  Currently I drink Pete’s Coffee and they’re a West Coast company and I’d bet my last doubloon that they’re as left wing as The NY Times.  I thought, why don’t I put my money where my mouth is?  So, I’ve joined Black Rifle’s coffee club.  Now this is a big move.  I drink a whole lot of coffee.  Camera Girl cold brews a quart of coffee every morning and then sends that with me the next morning in a thermos (hot of course).  This thermos keeps me alive and producing engineering at an industrial scale.  If my coffee fails me it might cause a rift in the space/time continuum serious enough to destroy all life as we know it or at least get me fired for falling asleep at my desk.  But I want to do my part for the cause.  I have now sworn off lefty coffee for life.  Add that to the NFL, The Simpsons, almost all Hollywood movies and television shows and the Dixie Chicks (actually that one was easy, they suck).  Let’s just call this my first foray into virtue signaling.  Actually, now I see why they do it.  It’s fun sticking your thumb in the eye of The Man (well girly man anyway).

I really think it’s time for someone to start putting together a comprehensive list of conservative alternatives to lefty products and services (and companies that invariably cave to lefty pressure).  I’d love to pass along cash to right wing folks who make stuff that I need to buy anyway.  Something like an Amazon Associates program for right wing stuff would be fantastic.  But of course, without the Bezos bias thrown in. If any of you folks have any suggestions for conservative alternatives for everyday (or special) commerce items please share them here.  It’ll take years to put a dent into the Google/Amazon/Facebook military industrial complex but as the Chinese say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Well, at least I think that’s what they’re saying, some of the r’s and l’s might have been dropped and I was crunching the crunchy noodles so I might have misunderstood.  Actually I think what he said was “please pay the bill and get out right away because we have a party of 24 and need to combine this table with a lot of other tables to form one big table.”

Well wish me luck.  This is serious business.  Without good coffee my existence would be a hollow mockery of living.  I would wander aimlessly from my desk to the cafeteria staring at the carafes of pencil shaving infused battery acid that they call coffee there and wondering how I managed to pass right through the gates of hell without noticing the inscription.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

[Total_Soft_Poll id=”6″]

18AUG2017 Update – Make a Start

So, every month or two the world becomes even a lot weirder and I need to do an evaluation to allow for course correction. And it’s definitely one of those times again. The events of the last week have pushed us still deeper into the uncharted territory of American Guerilla War. The prospect of Antifa battling it out with Nationalists has become reality. And right on script establishment republicans have backed Antifa. The press has become almost apoplectic and President Trump is still managing to defy the powers that be. Wow.
The upshot. Social media and much of corporate America have joined lock-step with the narrative that right-wing = Nazism. Even relatively moderate bloggers are being deplatformed by social media and even their internet service providers. Moderates are panicking and swearing allegiance to anyone on the left who will accept their confessions. Many on the right are angry and confused. Some are blaming the Alt-Right for making all this happen.
What do I think? I think that those who foretold a growing separation between left and right in America and the beginning of a schism of the American public were right. I think it may be starting to happen. Now, I don’t think this will be some civil war (either cold or hot). I think there will be more clashes in the streets and more and more animosity and hate. And I think it will harden opinions on both sides and it will move things further along toward a separation of us and them. Alternative platforms and companies and agencies will begin to form that will allow people to disengage from the irritants that exist in the present condition. A way for people to avoid Twitter, Facebook, PayPal, Patreon and Google and the other myriad institutions that despise the right and everything it believes in. And then people on the right are going to start using boycotts to put pressure on Walmart and Target and the other big businesses to stop caving into the pressure from the left and just sell their crap to us without the social justice virtue signaling attached. And they are going to have to start looking for alternative places for their kids to go to school. That will be the toughest choice of all.
But I think all of these things are starting to become more real. The left becomes ever more hateful and irrational. It becomes ever more strident and its demands become more and more intolerable. I believe people on the right will have to build networks and relationships that allow mutual support and even economic relationships. Hire the people you trust and the people you like. Buy from people who don’t despise you. Shun the businesses and the individuals who openly hate everything you stand for and believe in.
It’s not a pretty picture. A year-ago I would have said it sounded silly and melodramatic. I don’t think so anymore. I think it’s the direction we’re going. I’ve begun the first little steps myself. I will no longer click on a news link from any of the left-wing media. Never. I avoid all arts and entertainment sites that control the message and only allow leftist dogma. That is one of the reasons I include photography and science fiction on this website. I wanted a place where people on the right who enjoyed these things weren’t second class citizens. I am looking for alternative companies for products that are produced by flagrantly leftist companies. I don’t use Twitter, Wikipedia or Facebook. I limit what I use Google for and avoid their browser. I support alternatives like Gab, Infogalactic and Brave. I’m waiting to see what alternative crowd-funding and other funding choices become available.
Of course, these are tiny steps. For many of the daily actions no good alternatives exist yet. But start somewhere. Patronize those who agree with you. Shun those who are your sworn enemies. Make a start.