Saturday, February 18, 2006

Why the Olympics Suck...
A semi-important (to the media, anyway) eruption has recently occurred with regards to the qudrennial "competition" we all know and love; no one seems to be watching. American Idol is kicking the crap out of NBC's (over-) televised (often tape delayed) coverage. NBC wants to know: what the hell is wrong with us, and why we won't watch a bunch of trust-fund athletes ski, skate and halfpipe their way to trumped-up "glory" on television.

Well, the answer is very simple, and comes in multiple parts:

a) There is no Cold War. The Olympics were fun when it was "Us versus Them". Say what you will about the moribund, dead-end Soviet Union; they knew how to take a nothing gold medalist in luge and turn him/her into a propaganda victory that thumbed the West in it's collective eye.
The main accelerant in that sort of thing was the ideological divide between West and the Soviet Empire, and let's face it, we miss it.

Sans any great ideological struggle with the threat of nuclear annhilition looming over it, we just don't care anymore. Communism is no longer the all-comsuming bugbear in American minds it once was. Now the all-consuming deadly force is Islam, and unfortunately (for NBC) there is no Pakistani hockey team, no Saudi figure skaters or Iranian bobsledders wrapping themselves in the flag of Islam, shouting "Death to the Great Satan and all the little Satan-ettes" in the games.
Those people are in the streets of Baghdad and Tehran, not in Turin. Which, if you ask me, is for the better.

b) Other than a few sports (figure skating and hockey) there is no public demand for most of the sports being shown. Curling might come in a distant third as far as "popular" events in the Winter Olympics. Other than those three, the "sports" have no history or worth to Americans, as a whole. While the history of biathlon (herding reindeer and defending them from predators in Scandanavia) are interesting, they don't necessarily dictate into an interesting viewing experience. Some of the other sports (halfpipe, snowboarding, free-style skiing, for examples) are attractive only to those under the age of 20 or so, and to the occasional rubber-necker at an automobile accidennt (they're simply waiting for someone to mangle themselves on television). It is not compelling viewing.

c) There are alternate media available for people to inform themselves about the progress of the games, assuming they DO care, without resort to NBC and it's affiliates; particularly the internet. Most people, upon seeing online that the US Hockey team, for example, tied Latvia 3-3, are not likely to watch the tape-delayed broadcast six hours later. The assumption is that there couldn't have been a good game in the offing if the Americans merely tied such a lackluster team. We live in the age of immediacy, and NBC cannot provide it in this case.

d) The commercialism. We're in an age where everything is for sale. Skiiers run down the mountain with "VISA" stamped all over them. Every five seconds we're reminded that the "Games are brought you by...". We've sold the games as a vehicle for merchandizing, not comepetition. Any Olympic broadcast, within a few minutes, devolves into a very long commercial for whatever sponsor paid for that event.

e) There are no athletes, per se. There are media creations. Like Bode Miller. The only controversy revolves around selfish personalities, like Michele Kwan demanding a spot on the "Team" because of who she is, not because she competed for it, and despite the fact that she was injured. The only compelling moment that could come from that sort of situation is if Emily Hughes (Kwan's replacement) somehow managed to medal despite being a passed-over-last-minute replacement. This Johhny Weir guy is the poster child for everything you hate about the gay community but are afraid to yell about: the flamboyance, the nasty, catty attitude, the in-your-face-I'm-a-fucking-diva self-indulgence. The only "you go, girl" moment in the games has come when an American skiier hit the slopes two days after an accident that would have killed a normal person, and managed to place 8th with a close-to-broken hip. Otherwise, no compelling programming.

The remainder of the "athletes" at this game run the gamut from the trust-fund crowd (only a very rich kid can indulge his passion for skiing, bobsledding and figure skating to the point where they can become "world-famous" without holding down a real job), to the Generation Y morons who indulge in sports that no one under 20 wants to or anyone in his right mind would want to.

Snowboarding was only included as an "Olympic sport" because ESPN somehow found an audience for the X Games. When it comes to the Olympics, that X Games crowd is in bed by 8 pm on a school night.

f) Then there's Bryant Gumbel, who, taking note of the lack faces at the games, somehow calls America racist. Well, Bryant, I guess all that money and fame you get for being an idiot has blinded you to a few realities of Winter sport: you won't wind much ice in Harlem or Watts, there aren't legions of black Norweigian skiiers, and Zimbabwe didn't bother to field an Olympic Mogul team this time around. The simple reason why there aren't more blacks in the Winter Olympics is simple: black people do not engage in those kinds of activities in any numbers or with the same enthusiasm, nor with the same passion to launch them upon a career path to take them to Turin. If you want to change that, fine. Go fund a downhill skiing course in inner-city Chicago. However, I'm sure if there was a Drive-by Biathlon, you'd find plenty of inner-city blacks to sign up for it.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Evolution of an "-ISM"...
One of the things that has rattled around my brain cage for a while is the way in which certain attitudes and ideologies evolve. Once again, I was thinking of the tattered banner that is "leftist" politics when George Orwell entered my thoughts (again).

Orwell expounded (quite correctly, if you ask me) that leftists (he used the more polite term "intelligensia") are basically the disaffected fringes of society. These are people, for whom, society at large, has no obvious use. Their worthiness and talents (whether real or imagined) are not anything society wishes to indulge for some reason or another, and so, they turn to politics. The reason they do so is to have a forum in which their grievances are aired, and often, taken seriously. The intelligensia is a person, who, simply wants a voice so that what he considers novel thinking (or merely a voicing of his grievance) gets a chance to be heard. He almost never expects, nor wants, to be in a position of political power. The process by which this often happens is somewhat more complex.

Which got me to thinking about the evolution of an ideology. Now, mind you, I'm not a psychiatrist (I've seen enough of them, though!) or an expert on the inner workings of the human mind. But, I put my limited intelligence to work on this (I have a LOT of spare time) and tried to see if I could determine a common thread that runs through the worlds most virulent ideologies.

For the purposes of this discussion, I have limited my "test subjects" to three: Nazism, Communism and Islam. (Islam, technically is not "leftist", but it follows the same pattern in interesting ways).

To begin with, we need a grievance. Typically it is a grievance for which there is no practical remedy. In Nazism it was the German loss of the First World War, for Communism the inequalities of the Capitalist system, and for Islam, the treatment of Mohammed by his own family and the Meccans.

The grievance, legitimate or not, rankles. It festers. It hurts so much on such a fundamental level, that it begins to feed upon itself and starts a vicious cycle; the grievance, the impossibility of a remedy, begets more grievance, which makes a remedy that much more difficult, and so on and so on. The cycle continues until it reaches the next phase: Obsession.

The Obsession is constant. It occupies the thoughts and actions of the afflicted 24/7. The affected cannot come to terms with it. He cannot face it. He cannot listen to reason. He simply cannot let it go. The initial grievance (and the redress of same) becomes the only reason for living. For Islam it was Mohammaed's revenge against the Meccans, for Hitler the restoration of German power and might, for Communism the equitable distribution of wealth by an anally-retentive system of enforced management. We then move onto the next phase; the mental defect.

Obsessions can be cured. Time, therapy, medication, distraction, and a host of other things can often solve the problem of obsession. When an obsession cannot be cured or curbed by something resembling normal means, it becomes a mental defect. Once you reach this stage there is no appeal to reason, no test of logic, nothing, that will disabuse the affected from his original notion (I've been wronged, dammit!). The mental defect evolves into conspiracy theory.

The Conspiracy theory is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it continues to reassure the affected that they are a victim, either of circumstance or others, and that in the end, they were powerless. On the other hand, the conspiracy theory then becomes, and objectifies, the Justification.

For Islam, the justification was that the Meccans wouldn't give Mo his props - they became the most vile, destructive and evil people on the planet. For Adolf, it was the Jews; they undermined western civilization, and German civilization in particular. For the Commies, it's the quaint notion of the conspicuous consumer in his motor car and top hat. Having now identified the motivators of the conspiracy, they now become the targets of a counter-conspiracy.

It's at this time that those with a grievance somehow manage to find others with similar or related grievances. How this happens is a mystery to me, but in the case of our test subjects, it's easy enough to discern. Hitler was exposed to political views that strangely mirrored his own. Mohammed had his desert entourage, his family, who were sure to have suffered the same slights based on association. For Communism, it was the convergence of bourgeoise who felt guilty. It is at this point that they begin to discuss, and systematically organize, what to this point had been merely a colelction of disconnected thoughts running around inside someone's skull.

What evolves is ideology. Which is then quickly spread because once the original person with a grievance finds his fellow travelers, he's encouraged to speak out, and reach out, to others of similar mind and outlook. The great dictators of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were, to great extent, great orators and able to seemingly hypnotize (by all acocunts) crowds with power of their voices, the germ of reason in their arguments and the obvious fervor for their cause. Mohammed adopted the religious angle; he gave his grievances and system of ideology a mystical, holy patina.

Once this collection of aggrieved mental patients with a somewhat plausible ideology reaches a critical mass, it now erupts in megalomania. This is the final, often terminal, phase of the disease.

Megalomania is a desire to rule. Everything. Completely. Hitler started a Second World War (for the good of the German Race), the Soviet Communists instituted a system of total control over their society, the Police State (for the good of mankind) . Mohammed's vision became one of holy conquest (to save everyone's soul).

And that's as far as my limited capacity took me. Feel free to discuss and pick apart at your leisure.
Creating Islamophobes..and then Jailing Them...
From the Brussels (Belgium) Journal:

Yet more evidence that Europe is unwilling to defend Western Civilization, and yet more ammo for those who realize that Islam is a mental disorder.

The surprising things are: a) this is a Eurpoean news report that is candid and forthright and, b) someone in Europe is actually beginning to notice.
Rotting From Within...
Regarding the Islamic riots over some Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed (Middle-east's version of Norm from "Cheers") as a bloodthirsty maniac:

If the shoe fits, wear it. Unless you're using it to beat a Danish flag or a statue of Hans Christian Anderson.

On a serious note; if there were still people who hadn't gotten the message that Islam is a degenerate, destructive, destabilizing force that will ultimately pull down Western civilization before it is checked, here was a glaring example. Denmark as Great Satan? Cartoons the basis for a global jihad?

Let's face it, there are very few (count 'em on the fingers of both hands) "reasonable" "moderate" Muslims. Anywhere. Perhaps there's one or two in a laboratory somewhere. On the one hand those lab subjects are the focus of medical research on how the West can clone more of them, or in Eastern circles, research into the genetic flaw that makes them that way. Take your pick.

What is totally lost on most people is that these riots in European capitals and American cities, as well, is the total hypocrisy, on one hand, of those who protest that their sensitivities and rights are being violated while they exercise them in the name of "protest", while demanding consideration and respect from those they are not willing to give either to. I'll be sensitive to the Prophet and your religious beliefs when you stop strapping explosives to yourselves and blowing up pizzerias or flying airliners into office buildings. Once we've established that extremely low level of mutual agreement, we can go forward from there.

Western civilization has taken yet another blow in the war against uncivil behavior. Tehre has been very little condemnation by civil society against the protests which are out of all proportion to the original "slight". Newpapers and media outlets, which all claim to be the champions of the "people's right to know" (see Dick Cheney brouhaha) have refused to show the offending cartoons in the "interests of sensitivity", in which case, how can there be anything approaching rational, reasonable debate on this subject when we don't even know what it's about? That platitude about "sensitivity" is really a code; "we don't dare reproduce them (the cartoons)because we don't want a protest of a bomb in return".

The riots that have more or less "spontaneously" erupted across the Middle East and other Islamic countries is nothing of the sort. The cartoons in question are over four months old and no one in the Middle East even knew they existed before they were publicized by an imam with an axe to grind and a thirst for publicity.

This yet one more example of how the West is failing to come to grips with unchecked Muslim immigration (in Europe) and the out-of-proportion regard for political correctness in this country. The question has been asked "Is an Islamic society capable of democracy?" The laboratory for this experiment is Iraq, and we'll know the answer in time. However, when we see the reaction to a bunch of cartooons in a very minor Danish newspaper, one starts to have his doubts. When one sees the retaliation by the Muslim press (publishing anti-semetic cartoons) one starts to wonder just how far removed from reality Muslims are; what does a Danish newspaper have to do with Jews?

And even that is interesting, in a way. Here we have a European, secular newspaper publishing "unflattering" material, and the first people to get blamed for it is the Jews. There's a seriously obsessive pre....ummm...occupaion (no pun inteneded) with the Jews. It's insanity and it seems to be genetic; there's no possible way that kind of hatred and mental disconnect can be taught. It simply must be an inherited trait.

Many times on this page I have advocated, as a solution to the problem of the Islamic Hordes, genocide ona scale never before seen. I have chided myself that writing and thinking such things is an infantile response to a serious problem and have often relented. After, once again, seeing how seriously demented the Islamic world is, I'm chiding myself for having second-guessed.
Dick Cheney: Homicidal Maniac...
Concerning the White House Press Corps collective apoplexy and panty-bunching over the Cheney hunting accident;

1. This is Dick Cheney, not Charles Manson. You're repeated attempts to charicature Cheney as a "loose cannon", operating behind a screen of secrecy like Dr. No only serve to reinforce the public's notion that it is YOU who are divorced from reality, not the Viced President nor the general public.

2. The loci of this hissy fit seems to revolve not about the shooting itself, but rather the manner in which it was made public. That is, the White Hosue or the Vice President's Office did not follow the established protocol of issuing a press release through the customary channels, giving the preening yapping rectums of the Press Corps an opportunity to hammer Cheney for an entire weekend.

3. The real reason the press is interested in the minutest details of this case have more to do with the media jihad against anything Bush, republican or conservative than it does with the actual job of creating an informed populace.

4. As of today, preliminary investigations have cleared Cheney of any wrongdoing. In effect, ti was an accident. The same press that harps on Cheney's (thankfully to this point) non-lethal shooting mishap had no problem with giving Janet Reno a free pass when it came to incinerating 80 Christians in a Texas religious compund after a 51 day siege. Get your priorities straight.

5. If in fact Cheney is guilty of anything (beyond negligence), let's wait until that is difinitively proven before we start the feeding frenzy. But, once again, the issue is not the promulgation of the truth, it is about the oppportunity to mould and shape opinion into whatever form the press wants to.

6. A Vice President involved in a shooting is good for ratings. It's a scenario right out of "Law and Order". The longer the press can continue to generate a tempest in a teacup, the more the more money the networks generate.

7. I find it interesting that when Cheney did speak publicly, he did so through Fox News. The MSM will tell that is because Fox is a "conservative" network ready to take anythign the VP says as Bible truth. I say it's because Cheney knew that in the post-interview analysis he would get a fair shake. Take the fucking hint, David Gregory.

8. It's been said before, but bears repeating: I'd rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than driving with Ted Kennedy. There still has not been a satisfactory answer as to what Ted did, when he did it and how the public was informed about it. How about you clean out your own attic before you jump on Cheney for his.

9. The democratic (small 'd' intentional) party is so desperate for anything negative to hang on the Bush Adminstration that is only a matter of time before Cheney's accidental stepping on Harry Reid's foot becomes part of a sinister assassination plot.

10. If the media were all that concerned about truth, it would be telling some of it as regards the war on terror and the rebuilding of Iraq, despite the obvious problems we'd all expect there to be. Of course, that would require leaving the security of the Green Zone in Baghdad and getting out into the streets where you might get killed!
My apologies to the three or four of you who regularly read this screed. The need to acquire meaningful employment has kept me from posting as often as I'd like. Please bear with me, as I have a ready supply of caustic b*llshit ready to spew very soon.