Thursday, June 23, 2016


"All great, genuine art resembles and continues the 
Revelation of St John."

- Boris Pasternak

Thursday, June 9, 2016


1. Well, our old pal David Cole Stein went and dun diddit. He wrote an article that I've been planning to write myself for the better part of a year now: a definitive take-down of the increasingly unhinged, and inexplicably widespread, pathetically idiotic "conspiritard" mindset. That's what an epic case of self-sabotaging procrastination gets you pretty much every time. On the bright side, however, he has saved me a bit of a task. Of course, David comes at it from a different angle than I would have - for instance, his nonsensical fretting about "leftist tyranny", which in the context of 2016 America is almost as goofy as the stuff the "false flaggots", as he colorfully anoints his targets, are spouting - but it's still a pretty excellent piece of writing. He writes, in part:
False flag mania has now reached the point where the producers of a massively popular, high-profile Israeli TV series think the term is hip and familiar enough to garner their show attention and success in the U.S. There was a small air of condescension among some of the people with whom I spoke, a sense of (and I’m paraphrasing here) “if the goyim want to believe every Muslim act of terror is a false flag, we might as well profit from it.” Truth be told, I share that condescension. I wrote disdainfully about false flag conspiracy theorizing over a year ago, and after my experience at the LAJFF after-party, I thought it might be edifying to revisit the topic. 
First off, it’s important to get an understanding of the definition of “false flag” among the conspiracy-minded. Initially, the term had a fairly simple meaning. It’s an operation designed to hide the true identity of the perpetrators of a crime while at the same time framing an innocent person or entity. Soldiers from country A dress in the uniforms of country B and carry out atrocities to make country B look bad. That has happened, no question. In fact, it’s an age-old war tactic, although so is claiming that something was a false flag when it wasn’t (country B actually does commit an atrocity and tries to weasel out of it by claiming, “No, it was people from country A wearing our uniforms! We wuz framed”). 
Thanks to a dynamic partnership between trolls and lunatics, “false flag” has transmogrified into something very different these days. Now it is used to refer to fake events, hoaxes that were completely staged. “Crimes” (mass shootings, bombings, etc.) that involve no actual crime and no real victims. The “perpetrators” are all conspirators and the victims are all “crisis actors.” 
Not only did Sandy Hook never happen, there is no Sandy Hook. Obama faked a town called Newtown and a school called Sandy Hook. Thousands of average people were hired to portray residents, neighbors, students, and administrators, and every member of the media was bribed to play along. There was no gunman, no victims. And of course, not one of the pretenders—not even the small children—has ever betrayed the secret (because we all know that 6-year-olds are the world’s best secret-keepers). Bataclan never happened. The Boston Marathon bombing and the Brussels airport attack? Never happened. The Santa Barbara mass shooting? Aurora? Roanoke? Charleston? San Bernardino? Fake, fake, fake. Crisis actors and stage blood.
Unfortunately, despite my own best efforts over the years, I know that a few "false flaggots" still lurk amongst my regular readership. I therefore urge each and every person who comes across today's Suggested Reading List to surf on over to Taki's - enemy territory though it may be - and read David's excellent article in its entirety. It just might do you some good.

2. Thanks again to David for covering bogus conspiracy theories, above. Now, let's delve into some conspiracies that have a pretty good chance of actually being true, via this AOL-curated list of the Top Eight Conspiracies in the Sporting World. Keeping things topical and timely, let's take a look at Number Five on their list, Ali-Liston II's infamous "Phantom Punch", about which they write:
The theory: Sonny Liston took a dive and was "knocked out" by a "phantom punch" from Ali midway through the first round in their 1965 rematch. 
Why it might be true: There were rumors that Liston had run up major gambling debts to the mafia, so he may have bet against himself in the fight and then lost on purpose to make back what he owed. Also, footage of the Ali jab that floored Liston shows that it barely connected. 
Why it might be false: It was a punch that barely connected. Yet it connected. And it was thrown by Muhammad Ali. If the average person took a glancing blow from 1965 Muhammad Ali, they would not only be knocked out, they would be decapitated.
Keep reading and learn about David Stern's frozen draft pick envelope, Michael Jordan's "secret suspension", and Janet Jones' (NOT Wayne Gretzky's, surely!) gambling problem.

3. [adult swim] keeps surprising with their output. This particular short film, a trio of strange tales collected under the title MULCHTOWN, doesn't exhibit the terrifying refracting insanity of recent masterpieces like This House Has People In It and Unedited Footage of a Bear, or the self-assured, gleaming satirical perfection of Smart Pipe or For Profit Online University, but it has a certain charm all its own. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


1. Just when you thought 2016 might finally be the year you screw up the courage to follow through with years of idle threats by actually pulling the lever for the Libertarian Party candidate in November's elections, they go and hold the most screwed up party nominating convention since the Whigs' convention in 1939, in which nominee Henry Clay, who'd achieved a plurality of votes during the first ballot, blamed his second ballot loss to William Henry Harrison on the first ballot's third place finisher, Winfield Scott, prompting Clay to brutally pummel Scott during a drunken game of cards, an incident which nearly led to pistols at dawn. If anything, Seth Stevenson's Slate article about last weekend's Libertarian Party Convention goes a long way towards explaining why relatively popular Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson's next, best move might just be to immediately disown the Libertarian Party and pretend the convention during which he was nominated never took place. I mean, consider these excerpts:
Among the leading candidates for the party’s nomination were men who, by nigh any external standard, qualify as total nutters. 
Consider: McAfee—who fled his own Central American residential compound while under suspicion by the Belizean government for the murder of his neighbor; who openly admits that said compound featured a harem of teenage Belizean sex workers; who likes to talk about the time a 16-year-old Belizean prostitute tried to shoot him in the head at point blank range; who bounced around the hotel halls wearing a three-piece suit and a pair of Nikes like some kind of Mad Hatter on meth—had regularly polled in third place for the nomination in the lead-up to the convention and even seemed to have a puncher’s chance to win. 
Further consider: He was barely the weirdest candidate on the scene. Polling second coming into the convention, just ahead of McAfee, was a guy named Austin Petersen. Petersen’s 35 and looks 14, but question if he’s seasoned enough and he’ll yelp, “Tell that to the Marquis de Lafayette.” His go-to applause line: “I want gay couples to defend their marijuana fields with fully automatic weapons.” 
Polling fourth, one slot behind McAfee, was a fellow named Darryl W. Perry, who accepts campaign donations only in the form of precious metals and cryptocurrency and who opted to have his nominating speech delivered by an “erotic services provider” who goes by the moniker “Starchild.” Perry’s most animated moment in the debate came when he slammed his fist against his lectern, forehead veins a-popping, as he insisted that 5-year-old children should have the legal right to inject heroin without adult supervision.
Oh, and did I mention some of these "champions of liberty" appear to espouse the so-called "philosophy" of the so-called "Free Men on the Land" we've been hearing about so much in recent years? Google that shit for the some of the best evidence ever that bad ideas can be as contagious as the common cold.

2. Recently, an old pal sent along a link to The Kavli HUMAN Project, and asked me what I thought of it. On their front page, the Project describe their mandate in the following introductory paragraph:
The Kavli HUMAN Project will be the first true study of all of the factors that make humans… human. For the first time ever we are now able to quantify the human condition using rigorous science and big data approaches to understand what makes us well and what makes us ill by measuring the feedback mechanisms between biology, behavior, and our environment in the bio-behavioral complex.
My prediction? I suspect this project will probably yield a few interesting discoveries, followed by a whole bunch of philosophically questionable and morally bankrupt erroneous conclusions that will, in turn, lead to incredibly damaging policy shifts for a generation or two before ultimately vanishing into obscurity, just like every other technocratic attempt to digitally replicate, cybernetically quantify, and consciously control the ineffable that has preceded it. But hey... that's just me.

3. If you have yet to learn about the heart-warming, inspiring way in which the latest edition of the Scripps National Spelling Bee went down, you owe it to yourself to check out this story. It did, however, leave me with one unanswered question: Why are so many people shocked and surprised when a couple of kids named Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar and Nihar Saireddy Janga turn out to be better at spelling than kids named Jason Jones, Holly Willis and Joey Smith? I mean, come on!