Monday, January 15, 2018

Treasures of Walmart

Dude, is this shit even legal?

I mean it can't be legal, right?

And yet I was able to buy it right out of the $5.00 bin.  Although I paid cash just to be safe, ya' know?

I can't imagine how triggering this collection is to Millennial feminists.  I thought Warner Brothers had banished most of these to an unnamed vault, never to be seen again with the exception of Odorable Kitty, which won the Oscar of best short in 1949.  Also it is more acceptable to the feminist sensibilities than most because it's one of the ones where the tables are turned on Pepe.

It was interesting to watch the artwork develop over the years.  Pepe shorts were mostly directed by directed by Chuck Jones.  You can tell when a short is from Jones golden period because (a) he will be credited as Chuck Jones instead of Charles M. Jones.  And (b) a fellow named Maurice Noble is credited with either the "layouts" or is outright called a "Co-Director."  Unsung hero there I think.

I do recommend it if you can find it.

I Know I'll Love the Ending

It's about Obama's last year in office.  Samantha Power is apparently one the major star of it.  She hosted a party for a bunch of female diplomats the night of the election.  I am hoping...Just really hoping here that they show it. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dark Winter... The Review Are In!

Hugh McKay
4.0 out of 5 starsEntertaining. worth the money.

The world building was tight and believable. Good pacing to the story. The characters were well done. No supermen. Random chance plays a role in their actions and reactions. issues with the book are little things that could have been caught by an editor. typos. character name spelling changes. The first third of the book had weird format changes on my kindle. All of those through me out of the story from time to time.

Hugh, I am extremely grateful for your kind and unsolicited words. The formatting problems will be corrected by Monday. I am still learning the intricacies of KDP. I'll do what I can about the misspellings but I am unlikely to catch everything.

Dark Winter: The Great Divide Game

The end of the world begins in the middle of the Michigan State University/University of Michigan’s annual Great Divide Game. Zombies provide the halftime show.

Dark Winter is an exciting roller coaster of a novel. A disease that is devouring the world. A Team of Marines detailed to guard the only hope for a cure. A hero condemned for a crime he didn’t commit. A father trying to protect his family. A beautiful Russian scientist. Murder. Revenge. And desperate escape plan hatched at the start of the next American Civil War.

Sweet But...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Blogs and Ends: The I'm Sleepy Edition

I was casting far and wide for inspiration today.  I even looked up some people I don't visit anymore like Ann Althouse, who had this to say about President Trump

I'll call him a table genius. Look at him, with members of Congress arrayed around him at that table. The news media had to keep the cameras running live. After spending the last week promoting the theory that he's stupid and crazy, the media look stupid and crazy, as he's clearly in command, speaking coherently, behaving competently, and getting full respect from the members of Congress. This really was a perfect response the barrage of criticism that bounced off Michael Wolff's convenient-but-fake book:

Normally these things don't work for Republican presidents. But then most Republican presidents are stupid enough to believe that the press will treat them the same way they treat Democrat presidents. They provide the press with the picture and a narrative that the press ALWAYS rewrites with a view to undermining the desired narrative. These thing do work for Trump because he provides the public with an image that the press will have to transmit along with a distraction for the press.  This time it's about immigrants but what Trump gets out of this is a room full of people who are acting like he's clearly and obviously sane and presidential.


Holy crap, that thing is ugly
Looks like the ass end of an Imperial Walker
Metaphor alert, for the entire Obama Presidency

Once the Obama Presidential Center is constructed, it will have a children’s play garden, sledding hill, green spaces for picnics and outdoor gatherings, basketball courts and even a recording studio, officials have said.

But what the space won’t have is all of former President Barack Obama’s manuscripts, documents, letters and gifts he collected during his time in office. While the Presidential Center is about four years from opening, a conversation has begun about what the facility will mean to scholars and to local research universities without those items.

That was from the Chicago Tribune and my response was, oh come now! Did you really expect HIM to provide documents?

Basically this architectural nightmare is supposed to be used a training school for high ranking SJWs, which I am totally cool with. We'll have a much better chance to monitor who is coming and going if they are all in one place.

No my objections to this are entirely aesthetic. If they ever make any of the Miles Vorkosigan books into movies they should use this as  model for ImpSec HQ.

"The Imperial Security Headquarters building stood windowless, foursquare against the light, a vast utilitarian concrete block with enormous gates and doors certainly designed to diminish any human supplicant fool enough to approach it."

Famous for being the ugliest building in the city, it was blockish with deliberately oversized front steps.

Simon Illyan (who ran the place) said he would sell the building for a Betan dollar, if only he could find a Betan with a dollar and no taste, and if only the Council of Counts would build him a new building, which they wouldn't. According to Alys Vorpatril, Simon used to keep a holo of the Investigatif Federale building on Escobar (a tall glass building) on the wall of his inner office, the way some men would keep pinups.


From an age when The Atlantic was a force for good...Yes, of course it dates from the 1920s:

When the Bolsheviki came into power in 1917 they regarded the family, like every other 'bourgeois' institution, with fierce hatred, and set out with a will to destroy it. 'To clear the family out of the accumulated dust of the ages we had to give it a good shakeup, and we did,' declared Madame Smidovich, a leading Communist and active participant in the recent discussion. So one of the first decrees of the Soviet Government abolished the term 'illegitimate children.' This was done simply by equalizing the legal status of all children, whether born in wedlock or out of it, and now the Soviet Government boasts that Russia is the only country where there are no illegitimate children. The father of a child is forced to contribute to its support, usually paying the mother a third of his salary in the event of a separation, provided she has no other means of livelihood.

At the same time a law was passed which made divorce a matter of a few minutes, to be obtained at the request of either partner in a marriage. Chaos was the result. Men took to changing wives with the same zest which they displayed in the consumption of the recently restored forty-per-cent vodka.

'Some men have twenty wives, living a week with one, a month with another,' asserted an indignant woman delegate during the sessions of the Tzik. 'They have children with all of them, and these children are thrown on the street for lack of support! (There are three hundred thousand bezprizorni or shelterless children in Russia to-day, who are literally turned out on the streets. They are one of the greatest social dangers of the present time, because they are developing into professional criminals. More than half of them are drug addicts and sex perverts. It is claimed by many Communists that the break-up of the family is responsible for a large percentage of these children.)

The peasant villages have perhaps suffered most from this revolution in sex relations. An epidemic of marriages and divorces broke out in the country districts. Peasants with a respectable married life of forty years and more behind them suddenly decided to leave their wives and remarry. Peasant boys looked upon marriage as an exciting game and changed wives with the change of seasons. It was not an unusual occurrence for a boy of twenty to have had three or four wives, or for a girl of the same age to have had three or four abortions. As the peasants of Borisovo-Pokrovskoie bitterly complained: 'Abortions cover our villages with shame. Formerly we did not even hear of them.' But the women, in self-defense, replied: 'It's easy for you to talk. But if you just tried to bear children yourselves you would sing a different song.'

I was once discussing the subject of frequent divorces with the president of a village soviet. 'What makes women get divorces?' I asked him. Just then a girl about eighteen years old entered the room. 'Here is our latest divorcee,' said the president laughingly. 'Ask her.' I turned around, but the girl was no longer there, and from the window I saw her running away as fast as she could. I ran after her and finally caught up with her in the fields outside the village. We sat down on a haystack and I asked the girl to talk to me frankly, as woman to woman.

Tears filled her eyes as she told me that she still loved her nineteen-year-old husband, but that he had forced her to ask for a divorce only two months after they had been married. He now thought he loved another girl in the village and threatened to kill his wife if she did not leave him voluntarily.

I recall another victim of the breakdown of family ties in the villages, a tall, pale, silent Cossack woman. She was divorced by her husband after their first child was born. He then married another woman, had a child by her, deserted both, and returned to his first wife, by whom he had a second child. The woman was deeply religious, and was tormented by the thought that her second child was illegitimate, although her priest assured her that this was not the case, because the Church did not recognize the divorce.

Several peculiar abuses sprang up in the country districts in connection with the shifting marriage regulations. Many women of light behavior found marriage and childbearing a profitable occupation. They formed connections with the sons of well-to-do peasants and then blackmailed the father for the support of the children. In some cases peasants have been obliged to sell their last cow or horse in order to settle such alimony claims. The law has created still more confusion because it is retrospective in its operation, so that women can claim support for children born many years ago.

Other peasants took advantage of the loose divorce regulations to acquire 'summer brides.' As the hiring of labor in Russia is hedged about with difficulties and restrictions for the private employer, the richer peasants in some districts took to the practice of marrying a strong girl for the harvest season and divorcing her as soon as the work in the fields was over.

The new sex relations have also raised certain problems in the cities. During the winter of 1924-1925 some of the older Communists accused the younger generation, especially the students, of indulging in too much dissipation, of squandering health and vitality in loose connections; they blame the girl students for practising frequent abortions. 'You must be either a student or a mother; under present-day conditions you can't be both,' declared one mentor to the modern Russian women students. The latter indignantly replied that love was almost the only cheap amusement left to them and demanded that they be given at least the same opportunity for free abortions that factory women enjoy. Moreover, they retorted that not all the older Communists could serve as a model of pure living.

Some members of the League of Communist Youth, an organization which now numbers between a million and a half and two million young men and women, regard the refusal to enter into temporary sex relations as mere bourgeois prejudice, the deadliest sin in the eyes of a Communist. Some of the provincial branches of the League went so far as to organize 'Down with Shame' and 'Down with Innocence' circles; but these were sharply condemned as rowdy aberrations in the official report on the activities of the League at the last Congress of the Communist Party.

Both in the villages and in the cities the problem of the unmarried mother has become very acute and provides a severe and annoying test of Communist theories. In the early stages of the Revolution the Communists held the theory that children should be reared and cared for by the State. But it soon became evident that the State, especially in war-torn and impoverished Russia, was financially quite incapable of assuming such a heavy burden of responsibility. The figure of ten thousand foundlings, reported for thirty-two provinces of the Soviet Union over a period of six months, illustrates the danger that the present large number of vagrant homeless children may be swelled because of the inability or unwillingness of parents to provide for the offspring of temporary connections.

The amazing thing is that the Commies figured out that they had fucked up and reversed course on all of this. Our society on the other hand has done everything in it's power to set this crap in stone.
It won't last of course. This garbage is never more than one real crisis away from being booted into the shitcan of history. We just haven't had that crisis yet but it is coming.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Sets Another Record

According to The Last Jedi has now (as I predicted) dropped below the fifty percent line for audience approval. Less than  half of  all the Star Wars fans who have seen this Star Wars movie like it.  Although ninety percent of critics sill like (or claim to like) it.

We have reached a point where the critics simply can't be trusted at all because they see themselves as "artists in uniform..." Or to be more exact, "failed artists in uniform."  Critics will reliably circle the wagons to protect their more successful comrades.

But why take my word for it.  I'll let the numbers speak for themselves.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Critics score: 90%  Audience score: 49%

Star Trek: Discovery; Critics score: 82%  Audience score: 56%

And now lets do a little compare and contrast. 

Bright; Critics score: 27%  Audience score: 87%

The Orville; Critics score: 20%  Audience score: 93%

One of the biggest tells in the convergence of a business is a sudden desire to get rid of all of your old unwoke customers in exchange for those of the childless weirdo  purple haired Tumblrina class.  We've seen that in Target.  We've seen that in Penzey's Spices.  We've sure as fuck seen that in Marvel.  And now we've seen in Star Trek and Star Wars.

The critical scores are simply another reflection of this phenomena.  The scores are a baffling mystery to the guys at Redlettermedia but then again they are progressives although not SJWs.  If thought different too bad, they bring out their lefty bonafides in this one.  Although that doesn't last too long.  Regardless this video is a useful comparison and contrast between two the titles listed above: Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville. 

Fair warning, this one is HEAVY on the nerd content.

Did Star Wars: The Last Jedi Bomb in America Too?

Now that may seem like a pretty stupid question.  After all I myself have duly noted the brobdingnagian amounts of money Star Wars: The Last Jedi has made, so as to avoid making it look like I was making the claim that TLJ had bombed in America.  Bad enough to be a right wing crackpot, I'd rather avoid being known as a dishonest right wing crackpot.

Turns out I was wrong.  Star Wars has bombed in America.  So far as the money guys are concerned anyway.

From Forbes magazine.

The apologists also claim that $1.2 or $1.3 billion is a huge total, and that on that point alone, The Last Jedi must be deemed a big success. I can’t deny that $1.3 billion is a lot of money, but the argument is nevertheless still fallacious in my opinion. It’s as if Disney invested a huge amount of money to get Albert Pujols in his prime, and after a 47 home run season, the next year he hit 28. Sure, you could argue that for most players, 28 home runs would be great. But for Albert Pujols in his prime, it stinks. Disney didn’t pay hundreds of millions for production costs and marketing to make a movie that will earn nearly 40 percent less than its predecessor.

To take this point further, just because a movie generates a big top-line gross doesn't necessarily make it a financial success. Disney spent a huge sum to develop, produce and market The Last Jedi, it committed enormous and costly human resources to it, and gave it the year's most valuable release slot. The studio paid $4 billion for the right to produce Star Warsmovies, so the amortization of that purchase applied to The Last Jedi runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars. All in, with production costs, marketing costs, studio overhead and IP rights, The Last Jedi's breakeven point is almost certainly among the highest of any movie in Hollywood's history. Will the studio make a profit on that investment? Yes, probably. But will Disney's return on investment justify its expenditure by exceeding or even matching The Last Jedi's cost of capital? Only Disney can answer that question for certain, but I'm skeptical.

Kathleen Kennedy went all in for Rian Johnson, praising him to the skies and going so far as to promise him his own Star Wars spinoff trilogy.  She is acting like she believes in him one thousand percent.  I am now left wondering if she knew she had a problem all along and was only bluffing to try and bump up the boxoffice on what was at best a rather shaky project.

Rian Johnson for his part is cracking like an egg dropped from Sears Tower.  Publicly saying that J.J. Abrams is free to reverse any or indeed all of his plot points and story elements because he is outta here.  

I strongly suspect that Johnson's spinoff series will get quietly swept under the carpet.  No formal cancellation you understand, the SJW Hivemind would be enraged if that were to happen.  So it will quietly die in development as so many projects do.

It is now up to Abrams to unfuck this mess.  Probably the biggest thing he's mad about right now was Johnson's decision to let his own project stand as is after the death of Carrie Fisher. Rather than think about the trilogy as a whole.

Johnson had the perfect place to kill off Leia when she was blasted off the bridge.  When I saw it as an audience member my thought was, sad but necessary.  And this is a good place fit it in.  Then you seen her corpse floating and I figured, okay she either drifts off into the sun or ghost-Han will appear and take her hand.  She opens her eyes and young Leia is there again, she looks back at her empty floating space robe because of course her body has Force vanished.  Que the Princess Leia music. When she opened her eyes I thought, called it!

Yeah...I didn't.

 Johnson pretended that Carrie Fisher's real world death hadn't changed anything, when it obviously did. 

Yes, it would have altered the tone and he probably would have had to have reversed course on killing off Luke, (also easy to do just have him get up off his rock instead of dying from using too much Force magic).  Now Abrams is going to have to insert an awkward scene where computer generated robot Leia dies at the start of the next movie just to clean up Johnson's mess.  This was the middle movie of a trilogy and Johnson left absolutely nothing set up for the next movie.

Johnson thought only of his own story.  On the one hand I can applaud a brave voice standing by his artistic vision no matter what... But somewhere inside he knew his film was garbage.