Life Is a Shit Test

Boy, I am really on a run with these meaning of life posts, aren’t I? Well, they say the peak of human wisdom is in one’s 60’s. It’s odd that we get less wise as we get beyond 70, but perhaps we are starting to fall apart, and this mandates a whole new set of defenses and lies to oneself. And when you’re lying to yourself all the time (or at least too much of the time), it’s a bit hard to be wise. Wisdom and pathological lying don’t tend to go together.

So no wonder I am plugging into all this meaning of life stuff. I’m stuck right here in the damned age of wisdom.

Just call me sensei, motherfuckers!

I just pointed out that life is a conspiracy theory, at least to some extent.

Well, after that revelation hit me, another flash of God-given epiphany was on its way. After all, one epiphany tends to lead to another, no?

If life is a conspiracy theory, then a corrolary of that must also be true, and that is:

Life is a shit test.

Think about it. Maybe not as a kid. High school’s a shit test for sure, and so is junior high in particular.

Hell, junior high is probably the worst shit test of most of our lives. If you make it through junior high halfway sane and undamaged, thank your lucky stars.

I run into grown adults on a regular basis who are still damaged from childhood. Not from early childhood, and not so much from high school. Yeah, from junior high. Grown men and women in their 20’s and 30’s still seriously damaged from damned junior high of all things! The typical symptom is low self-esteem.

After high school and on to university, oh God, of course that’s a shit test. And venturing out into the cold cruel world of work and survival is the ultimate shit test of them all, probably worse than junior high. After all, your very survival is at stake now. In junior high, you may get killed verbally, psychologically, and spiritually, but most of us tend to survive puberty with at least our physical bodies intact, albeit maybe with a few bruises from getting pummeled by bullies.

Put this idea in your head and walk around with it and see if life makes more sense. Wake up in the morning and look up and the ceiling and say, “Ok, today is another day of the endless shit test called life. Pray I make it through yet another one to the end.”

If this doesn’t resonate with you right away, chew on this idea for a while and see if it makes more sense. You might just find that it fits real nice, hand in glove nice:

Life is a shit test.

Life Is a Conspiracy Theory

Now that I am making meaning of life posts, I thought I would toss this one out there. I’m not sure if it has always been this way, but the only way to analyze much of modern life is via the lens of conspiracy theory. But before you go down that rabbit hole, beware. Much conspiracy theory is out and out absurdity and nonsense, and much of the rest is just wrong. But of the remainder – oh yeah, it definitely seems to be correct.

The explanations of the world, foreign policy in particular, we are given by our government and news media are mostly fake news and propaganda. In order to search for the truth is this disgusting blizzard of lies and bullshit, one must employ conspiracy theory because a lot of the facts of modern life are only explainable for conspiracy theory.

As I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into this explanation of modern life, fake news, and media propaganda, I’ve started to wonder what exactly conspiracy theory encompasses.

For instance, we are now into an era where false flags, fake attacks, and provocations are simply normal. I’m not sure if they’ve always been normal, but it seemed that in the past we didn’t do this as much, but in the last 20 years, it’s been one US-sponsored false flag, fake attack, or provocation after another.

Perhaps this is a symptom of a fading empire lashing out in a wild hail of lies, theft, and cheating. After all, lying, cheating, and stealing is not only the way humans do business and politics, but it’s also part of the toolkit of the desperate man. How many film noir movies do you have to watch to figure that out?

When a man is at the end of his rope, he’s thinking of survival, not getting murdered, staying out of prison, keeping his job, whatever. And all morality tends to go right out the window when faced with avoiding alternatives like that. You can hardly blame a man. But just as a desperate man must be looked at with suspicion, the state equivalent of a desperate man – a fading empire – requires an extremely dubious eye, to say the least.

Anyway, as I chewed this over more and more, I started realizing how deep conspiracy theory seemed to pervade so many things. You would think that the world of business would be immune to this, but you will never see so many devious conspiracies and blizzards of lying, cheating, and stealing as you will see in the world of business and especially corporations.

I am not entirely sure if conspiracy theory pervades human relations that much, but on the other hand, once you figure out that a lot of what  people say and do means something quite a bit different from what they literally say and do, even that starts to make sense.

Human relations are soaked into subterfuge, lying, defenses, and hidden meanings. I spend a good part of my time trying to figure out the hidden meanings in the behavior of my fellow men. I often have to run it by others. Of course, a world where many literal (think “official”) meanings are false and hidden meanings are often true is conspiracy theory in a nutshell.

At some point it hit me. Oh, the Hell with it!

Life itself is a damned conspiracy theory. 

Not completely of course, but enough of it is that this odd aphorism makes sense a lot of the time. Put that idea in your head “life is a conspiracy theory” and go about your daily life. Notice how so many things start making a Hell of a lot more sense when you are plugged into that horrible key to the universe.

At the very least, let’s face it, it’s a damned devious conspiracy to kill us all off when none of either agreed to that fate or wants to die.

In that way, death is the ultimate conspiracy theory.

Death is the last, best practical joke God will ever play on your life.

“Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”, Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers

“Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”, Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Another cover of, yep, a Merle Haggard song, from, once again, Sleepless Nights, 1977. Go back a couple of posts to see the rundown on this album and the sessions in early 1970 that made it up.

I’m a bit of a bottle fan myself I suppose. I take that bottle of hard stuff and cradle it in my arms like a baby. And it calms me down like a babe in arms, just like that. Life’s not easy. Sometimes we need a little help to make it through without grabbing a gun or a handful of pills and buying it ourselves before our time. Better to sip slow, watch the pain fade out, and let nature take it’s cruel course.

And in case you are wondering, yes, I sleep very well at night. A polygraph examiner told me that once after I finished the test. He said, “I think you sleep well at night, don’t you?”

“Yep,” I said. No regrets.

I suppose if someone asks you what the most important thing in life is, you could always say, “To sleep well at night.” To behave well enough that you don’t have much to feel sorry for, or if you don’t, to forgive yourself for whatever transgressions you stumbled into on your way down the road.

Do you sleep well at night? I hope you all do. It’s so important. There are few things worse than insomnia and ill sleep. Pure torture.

Flying Burrito Brothers, “Sing It Back Home”

Flying  Burrito Brothers, “Sing It Back Home”on Sleepless Nights, 1977.

Gram Parsons and the Flying Burritos covering Merle Haggard’s great song. This song was recorded in early 1970 when Gram Parsons was still with the band. The songs on this album were intended to be released for a new album that never got released. Actually these songs were considered to be simple studio dabblings that were never intended for any finished product release.

The Flying Burrito Brothers were one of the greatest bands of the 20th Century, but almost no one has ever heard of them. Their first two albums featured the great Gram Parsons. After that, they fired him and he went on to issue a couple of solo albums before he OD’d on morphine in Joshua Tree National Park in 1973. Dead to soon.

Why do all the best ones leave us too soon? It’s almost as if they are doomed to die young – flash bright like a shooting star and then burn out before 30. What happens? Do they burn too fast? Too fast for life?

A lot of artists are nuts. That’s part of the problem. Art is all tied up in various forms of insanity and lots of artists are crazy in all sorts of ways, in particularly, self-destruction.

No one quite knows why this is, but being an artist is the ultimate anti-Normie act. The artist is giving the finger to the Normie world every minute he is alive and producing great art. He’s a permanent outsider. An outsider’s life is painful, and many artists live lives of intense pain. Perhaps the pain is necessary to produce great art. If we were all perma-happy Pollyanna Normies, what sort of great art would we produce? Anything.

Anyway, life is painful. And it’s not easy. You would think that life would be quite simple, but it’s not. In part this is because we are not completely rational. If I were completely rational, my life would be a lot easier, but instead I’m fucked in the head, so life is a bit of a chore. A happy chore but a chore nevertheless.

He Wanted a Twin, Or Worse, a Reflection in the Mirror

My mother and father went to UCLA. My Mom for a mere year, my father til graduation. And came back later for a Masters in Counseling, after which he set about for the entire time I knew him demonstrating that he had learned almost nothing from those pounding years of hard core psychology classes. And the books in the world can’t penetrate a brick wall in the head.

I was supposed to go to UCLA, but I was as huge disappointment. I couldn’t pass Algebra 2, even with this Grade-A IQ of mine. Disappointment all around.

Why was I supposed to go there? He went there. What was I supposed to major in? History? Why? That’s what he majored in! What was I supposed to do afterwards? Teach school. Why? That’s what he did! Starting to get the picture? He didn’t want a son. He wanted a junior twin. Worse, an exact replica cutout from the mirror, 35 years too late.

Why do parents do this shameless bullshit? Yeah, I resented it. I’m not your toy or your reflection in the mirror, pal! I’m actually a real human being, separate from you. You know, a separate person, with my very own thoughts, feelings, desires, values, girlfriends, orgasms, bong hits, parties to go to, you name it, guy. I think people like that have an Object Relations problem. A lot of people have this.

Borderlines are notorious. The Borderline cannot see you as an individual person with your own feelings, thoughts, desires, sleep patterns, favorite foods, quirks and gifts, home runs and strikeouts. A lot of personality disorders share this.

This is one of the most important lessons you can learn in life – that others are completely separate from you. It’s painful in a way because we really want others, especially those we love, to be a part of us in a sense – to agree and disagree with us on everything, but it just doesn’t work that way, and thank God for that.

To Know Thine Own Self Is the Rule

To know thine own is the rule – always know yourself. This is an ancient Greek aphorism, but it may be one of the most important lessons one ever learns about this journey called life. But how many of us ever get there?

SHI: I’d rather have you as a strutting narcissist than a wannabe Incel.

I’m still a strutting narcissist, no wait, someone with high self-esteem. I’m not a wannabe incel. Why would anyone want to be an incel? That would be a volcel anyway. I get the incels though, I get it. All of us men are incel at various times anyway or at least most of us are. Especially bachelor life is notoriously feast or famine.

I’ve been on both sides of this thing, from Alpha all the way down to Omega (which is about where I am nowadays lol), and I can see the whole sexual landscape from here. So it gives you a very nice perspective having seen the whole map and hiked all of the land yourself. Your understand the terrain a lot better.

SHI: Fuck them, you’re not what they are. Don’t have to internalize their problems as your own.

No, they are mostly correct, at least on those things. I have thought about it forever, and yep, they’ve got it down. But really I have known all these things about myself on some level or other for forever now. I know myself pretty well. It’s just that I hide the bad parts of me from myself most of the time because I don’t want to think about that stuff.

You don’t like that I went over the bad parts of me. Hey, that’s ok. But I embrace all of myself, pretty much, and those parts that I think are bad and I want to change I work on all the time. There are other supposedly bad parts of myself that I don’t feel like changing because they’re too much fun.

You are into total self-confidence and always thinking of yourself positively. You don’t want to think negative things about yourself because you think that messes up your Game. Actually it doesn’t if you integrate them well into your psyche and you get ok with your flaws.

I am beyond the age where I need false optimism and denial of my bad side anymore. I wish to know my whole self, good and bad, right and wrong. And I hope to accept it, well, most of it anyway. That way I am a whole person.

SHI: I can understand that you might be having a bit of bad luck phase. It happens to everyone but it’s never forever.

That’s not really true. I’m afraid that this is just the way it is at this age of life. It’s not a real great age, I have to tell you, folks. I mean I like myself just fine still, but apparently that view isn’t widely shared.

I don’t get along with women much at all these days. They pretty much treat me like crap. The young ones almost all do, and a lot of the older ones are not real nice either, or they’ve given up on men altogether. It’s all part of the age and sex dynamic. I guess men my age are simply not very well-liked by women. The best I could hope for would probably be a woman my age. Some of them still like me.

*****

The women who loved me also said many wonderful things about me. The critiques in the other post are some of the things that they told me about myself, some of which shocked me because I didn’t realize I was that way. All of the things I’ve listed were valid judgements at least at the time they were made. I left the BS judgements out.  There have always been some of those from different women.

At different times of my life, girlfriends have criticized other parts of me or more properly ways that I was behaving at that time. I was in a huge rut for a while there, and I am afraid they were correct. But I’ve moved beyond those dark moods of my early adulthood. My 20’s were wild, but they were also rocky. I didn’t list those critiques in my post because I’m not like that anymore, though unfortunately I was like that at the time.

Some Examples of Permanently Flawed Utopian Rules and Laws Under Feminism: Domestic Violence, Assault and Battery, and Statutory Rape

As I have mentioned before a number of times, Female Rule (feminist rule) is always doomed to fail. It’s not so much that it’s evil (though it is a bit evil, especially towards us men) but more that it simply causes chaos. Any attempt to enforce and legislate rules and laws that go against human nature is doomed to cause chaos and eventually fail.

Because Mother Nature bats last, that’s why. She also always gets the last laugh, don’t forget.

Female Rule is failing horribly right now in Sweden, probably the best example of Female Rule on Earth.

The UK is increasingly under Female Rule, and the results seem to be the usual chaos.

The US is increasingly coming under Female Rule, and the result is the usual criminalization of much normal male behavior; increased arrests and jailings of men for simply being men; utopian and often irrational or even grossly unjust, preposterous, and unworkable laws; extreme injustice in divorce courts, etc.

Domestic violence laws are now profoundly unjust. Defend yourself against a physical attack by a woman, and you are going to jail. This law is extremely biased on favor or women and very oppressive to men.

Female Rule has now been extended to conflicts between men, something which women know nothing about. These new laws lack common sense. The ancient rules of Man World – the rules of the “fair fight” – are now gone, and when two men get into a physical fight for any reason, both of them are always going to jail.

This is profoundly unjust but a woman will tell that this is justice! “We can’t figure out who started it,” the woman will say. “So we have to put them both in jail.” Somehow this is just!  Actually it is unbelievable unjust for the man who was defending himself.

Many to most men only act decent primarily or perhaps only because in Man World, if you act aggressive in a number of ways, someone is going to hit you. Punch you in the face. Man World runs on the threat of a punch in the face.

Most men are aware of this, are terrified of other men, and do everything they can to not get penalized. Now women have taken this form of law away from us, when it was one of the main things that held male society together and made it halfway calm and peaceful. Now that the punch in the face penalty will send even the umpire to jail, male society is much more dangerous and chaotic.

Only women would come up with something so insane as to say that a woman who has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs cannot consent to sex. How on Earth can she not consent? Of course she can consent! If this Female Rule law were actually enforced, most men would be jailed within the year.

Only women would come up with the idiotic notion that a teenage girl cannot consent to sex. Except that in most states she can definitely consent to having legal sex with an underage teenage boy. Women will say that somehow this precious flower of Ultimate Purity can consent to have sex with a boy her age (How? I thought she can’t consent?) but somehow, automagically, when he turns 18 or above, she’s not able to consent anymore!

Women will say this is completely logical and just. Of course it’s not. It’s not even sensible. It’s downright preposterous, illogical, and idiotic.

Now, there are reasons that especially older men (say past early 20’s) should be kept away from these girls for both their own good and the good of the girl. I definitely prefer for it to be illegal for me to touch those young girls. I fear for myself if we get rid of the law. And those girls need to be protected from me and especially other men less scrupulous than I. It’s good for us and it’s good for them. It protects us from ourselves and it protects them from us.

But of course those girls can consent! They can consent to have sex with any man of any age, really. I would just like to keep statutory rape illegal to hold up basic societal rules and in order to avoid what looks like excessively exploitative relationships. But not because they can’t consent! What are they? Retarded? Schizophrenic? Deaf, blind and dumb?

I challenge these women to produce a philosophical argument proving that these girls can somehow be unable consent some of the time and yet able to consent at other times.

The Fallacy of Feminism: Trying to Create Utopian Universal Justice in an Inherently Unjust World

Female Rule (feminist rule) tries to create universal justice in an inherently unjust world.

Obviously that’s a fool’s errand. Female Rule always tries to rewrite and even criminalize human nature (mostly male nature) because women dislike human nature and especially male nature. They think our natural male behavior sucks, and they want to make it against the law.

Whenever women take power in the world, the first few things they usually do is outlaw pornography, gambling, and alcohol. You know, the three things that keep most of us guys from blowing our brains out.

Women tried to outlaw porn in the West and failed badly. Gambling is becoming legal in the West again. And of course, it was idiot women who were behind the utopian Prohibition which failed so miserably.

The attempt to create Utopia and Universal Justice by ignoring or criminalizing basic human and especially male nature is why Female Rule always seems to fail.

Two Types of Masculism

This blog definitely supports masculism, which is simply support for the normal sexual and non-sexual behaviors of regular, everyday heterosexual men. We don’t think masculinity is toxic. this is a feminist notion that we reject. We  don’t think that male heterosexual sexuality is automatically toxic, dangerous, and  needs to be attacked: this is a feminist position.

A lot of you probably don’t know what masculism is. While it holds the potential, like any IP, to be toxic and senseless, there is a good case to be made that normal masculine behavior and normal male heterosexual sexuality are things that should be safeguarded and not attacked as the enemy, which is what the feminists are doing. In that sense, masculism is a valid position.

From Wikipedia:

Christensen differentiates between “progressive masculism” and an “extremist version”. The former welcomes many of the societal changes promoted by feminists, while regretting that some measures reducing sexism against women have increased it against men.

The extremist version promotes male supremacy to some degree and is generally based on a belief in women’s inferiority. Nicholas Davidson, in his book The Failure of Feminism, describes an extremist version of masculism which he termed “virism”: “What ails society is ‘effeminacy’. The improvement of society requires that the influence of female values be decreased and the influence of male values increased…

The more progressive version sounds better to me. I don’t believe in male chauvinism, and I don’t believe that women are inferior. There is definitely a problem of our society in general being taken over by female thinking (feminism), with the result being a mass pussification of American “men,”most of whom have become the equivalent of gender traitors.

I also don’t believe that society should be run on the basis of female thinking. It’s too chauvinist and irrational to serve as philosophical basis for society and its laws, mores, and rules. Female Rule doesn’t work, sorry. I’m not sure how many times we have to prove this until people start believing it.

Dirk Vanderbeke (Greifswald), “Vineland in the Novels of John Barth and Thomas Pynchon” 

Although this text is copywritten, the Internet page on which it was posted has been taken down and is only accessible via the Wayback Machine, so I think I am in the clear as far as copyright it concerned.

If you are wondering, this is the sort of thing I read for fun. That’s right, for kicks. I read this stuff because I love Literature and even literary criticism but I also do so as a way to exercise my mind because modern literary criticism is one of the few types of nonfiction that I still find very difficult to read.

Most of the things that I post here about – psychology, sociology, foreign policy, domestic policy, political economics, gender studies, race realism, etc. – are often a result of reading I have done. However, the reading involved in any of the fields above is typically not very challenging to me. I can just wolf it right down. It’s often very interesting but it’s not like it’s hard to figure out.

Now when we get into Linguistics and literary criticism, it’s a whole new ballgame. I read Linguistics because it’s my field, but I also do so to exercise my brain because a lot of the Linguistics I read is pretty hard to understand. So it’s a brain workout.

And I read literary criticism not only because I love literature but because modern literary criticism is often very hard to read and understand.

In part this is due to the way it is written – nowadays, it’s all based on critical theory with all of the postmodernism and post-structuralism that implies. Names like Derrida, Lacan, Foucalt, etc. are tossed about – and these Frenchman are hard if not impossible for anyone to understand.

In fact, one criticism of them (see Noam Chomsky) is that what they writing simply makes no sense at all. I would throw in Slavoj Zizek here for good measure. I don’t think he makes sense at all.

So quite a bit of the time, literary criticism doesn’t make much sense because that’s the general idea – it’s not supposed to make sense. A lot of the time I think even the authors don’t even understand what their own articles are going on about.

One annoyance is repetitive themes running through all of this: the blurring of boundaries, borders, meaning, and the divide between the world of the self and the external world of perception and representation.

Another theme seems to be the difficulty or impossibility of finding any true meaning in much of anything or the idea that meaning is personal in any text, has no firm definition, and is instead derived via the particular personal interpretation of the reader himself.

This last theme is actually interesting in a way, even if these folks take it way too far. But that is the subject of another post.

As you can see, the themes above are all the usual obsessions of postmodernism. But I tire of reading about this theme. Sometimes it seems like all modern literary criticism is telling the same story and that is reiterating the themes above. It gets old after a while.

Isn’t there anything else we can derive from reading modern literature but the claustrophobic themes above? It seems to be a lack of imagination on the part of literary critics that they have boxed themselves in like this, not to mention that it makes a lot of modern literary criticism quite boring.

I’ve recently read quite a bit of literary criticism as a brain workout, if you will. Most of it did not seem appropriate for a repost here, as it was hard for me to understand and for sure it’s going to be hard for you all to understand. But this essay was pretty much intelligible to me, and it ought to be understandable to most of you all too.

Whether or not you are into literary criticism and these two authors is another matter. But you might want to dip into it just for a brain workout anyway, as it deals with a lot of concepts that are not easy at all to grasp.

The two authors here are Thomas Pynchon and John Barth.

Pynchon’s books are few – nine.

I have read all five of these, and they’re all great:

V.
The Crying of Lot 49
Gravity’s Rainbow
Vineland
Slow Learner

I have not yet read these four:

Mason & Dixon
Against the Day
Inherent Vice
Bleeding Edge

Which is most of the later stuff. I have read excerpts of the first two, in particular Mason & Dixon, but I haven’t read the whole books. I’ve read very little of Against the Day, Inherent Vice, and Bleeding Edge. Mason & Dixon and Against the Day are supposed to be awesome.

Barth has written many more books than Pynchon – 18. 12 of those are said to be very good. The rest are more up in the air.

I have read the following book:

The Sot-Weed Factor

It’s very long – 756 pages – but it’s great!

The Floating Opera
The End of the Road
Giles Goat-Boy
Lost in the Funhouse
Chimera
Letters
Sabbatical: A Romance
The Tidewater Tales
The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor
Once Upon a Time: A Floating Opera
On with the Story
Coming Soon!!!
The Book of Ten Nights and a Night
Where Three Roads Meet
The Development
The Friday Book
Further Fridays
Final Fridays

The Floating Opera, The End of the Road, Giles Goat-Boy, Lost in the Funhouse, Chimera, Letters, Sabbatical, The Tidewater Tales, Once Upon a Time: A Floating Opera, The Development, The Friday Book, and Final Fridays are all supposed to be very good.

Let me know if you want me to run more stuff like this or if you think this is a huge waste of time. If you are into literature, you might want to read stuff like this simply as a brain workout if you are into such exercizes.

Dirk Vanderbeke (Greifswald)

Vineland in the Novels of John Barth and Thomas Pynchon (1)

At the end of the first chapter of Thomas Pynchon’s novel The Crying of Lot 49, the heroine Oedipa Maas is reminded of a trip to Mexico with her former and now late lover Pierce Inverarity.

In Mexico City they somehow wandered into an exhibition of paintings by the beautiful Spanish exile Remidios Varo: in the central painting of a triptych, titled “Bordando el Manto Terreste”, were a number of frail girls with heart-shaped faces, huge eyes, spun-gold hair, prisoners in the top room of a circular tower, embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void, seeking hopelessly to fill the void: for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships, and forests of the Earth were contained in this tapestry, and the tapestry was the world. (Pynchon 1967, 10)

If you imagine a tapestry spreading out from a single point, you will get something approaching the shape of a wavy V, the letter which is of crucial importance in the novels of Thomas Pynchon.

If Mexico City is chosen as the starting point of this image, the shape of the wavy V may come to resemble the North American continent, and it may be useful to keep in mind that it was Central America where the first concepts of the New World were formed.

Vanderb (2).gif (2326 Byte)

And if you finally travel along the branching lines of the V up to 40° of latitude, you will come to Vineland: i.e. the actually existing town of Vineland, New Jersey in the East and the fictional city and county of Vineland in the West.

When Pynchon’s novel Vineland was published in 1990, the initial V. served to some extent as a trademark of the obscure author, and after 17 years of silence since Gravity’s Rainbow, expectations were running high. But many of the reviewers were rather disappointed at first (cf. Keesey 1990; Hawthorne 1992, 77). 

The title suggested some historical depth, a concern with the origin of America, and possibly an evocation of another American dream, the mythological ‘Vinland the Good’, which never had to face the reality of history and thus could remain in a prelapsarian state. Yet there is less historical interest in the actual book than in any of Pynchon’s previous novels.

The text hardly ever leaves the time-frame experienced by its readers, i.e. the few decades since the 60’s; only occasionally are there some brief reminiscences about the strikes and labor movements of the 30’s or the anticommunist witch hunt of the 50’s. And the only mythology mentioned in the text is the lore of the Yuroks, the Native Americans of the Vineland area.

Still, some attempts were made to link the fictional Vineland of the novel with the Vinland of the Vikings:

As a distant, romanticized land, Vinland connoted refuge, a haven after the harrowing crossing of the Atlantic. Pynchon’s Vineland is also a refuge where fantasy, or at least the ignoring of reality, can shape a girl’s education, keeping her from knowing the secrets of her mother, but it is a refuge surrounded and finally invaded by reality.

Vinland became identified with Thule, the White Island or Blessed Islands of Western mythology; likewise, Vineland is associated with Tsorrek because it stands at the mouth of the river that, according to Yurok geography, flows from the land of the living to the land of the dead. (Hawthorne, 77)

I will later come back to the mythical river of the dead, but for the moment I would like to suggest that this kind of analogy is rather forced – the ‘Blessed Islands’ do not really resemble the grim image of Tsorrek.

Another critic wrote:

Vineland sets its dreary depiction of contemporary reality against former utopian dreams of what America might one day become. Although the title refers to the novel’s setting in the fictional (but realistic) town of Vineland, California, it also evokes the name given America by the Vikings, a name that conveys a sense of abundance and promise.

The New World as a whole originally functioned in the European psyche as a locus of hopeful idealism. […] But the cruelty with which … [the] conquistadors subdued the native population of Mexico anticipates Pynchon’s suggestion in Vineland that the American dream has become a nightmare. (Booker 1992, 7)

The sudden shift from Leif Erikson’s idealized Vinland to the Spanish conquest in the quotation above blends two images of the New World which are not so easily reconciled. After all, even in the earliest Spanish accounts of America, the utopian dream was frequently balanced by its opposite, the dystopian nightmare, and the arcadian garden was also supposed to be inhabited by a multitude of monsters and man-eating savages.

I also doubt that Pynchon suggests that the American dream has become a nightmare – all his novels and especially his latest book Mason and Dixon indicate that history has lately been ‘a nightmare from which he is trying to awake’.

But the setting of the novel in the year 1984 certainly does suggest a dystopian view of contemporary America and thus the Vineland region, a dwelling place of marijuana farmers, old hippies, and large sections of the counter culture, may very well indicate the other America which is now under siege, the land of myth and eternal childhood.

But Pynchon’s novel is far too ambiguous to offer us a simplistic alternative of a better world, even if this world is eventually doomed to fail and succumb to the evil forces of Reaganite persecution.

His Vineland is a complex web of intertextual references and hidden allusions, and I want to suggest that one of the most important texts in this context is John Barth’s novel The End of the Road, which is partly set in Vineland, New Jersey – Barth’s title would, of course, be a very suitable subtitle for all of Pynchon’s novels.

Vineland, New Jersey, was, by the way, the site of a utopian community in the 19th century based on strictly teetotal regulations. The fact that Pynchon’s Vineland is rather the last refuge for dope heads and the grass-growing segment of American agriculture may tie in with concepts of complementarity in his earlier novels.(2) And maybe the oversized grapes of the mythical Vinland were simply translated into modern modes of intoxication.

The End of the Road, published in 1958, explores the human condition in terms of freedom, choice, and motivation. I suppose that it will not be necessary to outline the plot of the novel; for the purpose at hand, a brief summary of the basic situation will suffice.

At the chronological beginning of the novel, the hero, Jacob Horner, does not sit in the corner as in the well-known nursery rhyme but instead sits on a bench at Pennsylvania Railway Station in Baltimore, and he is completely paralyzed not because of some kind of bodily handicap or ailment but because he simply cannot find any reason to move.

Having asked at the ticket window for possible destinations he might reach with his money, he takes a seat to make up his mind.

And it was there that I simply ran out of motives, as a car runs out of gas. There was no reason to go to Cincinnati, Ohio. There was no reason to go to Crestline, Ohio. Or Dayton, Ohio; or Lima, Ohio. There was no reason, either, to go back to the apartment hotel, or for that matter to go anywhere. There was no reason to do anything.

My eyes, as Winckelmann said inaccurately of the eyes of the Greek statues, were sightless, gazing on eternity, fixed on ultimacy, and when that is the case there is no reason to do anything – even to change the focus of one’s eyes. (Barth 1988; hereafter quoted as ER).

The plurality of possibilities has led to an impasse because the alternatives offered carry no intrinsic value. If everything is ultimately the same, there is no basis and no reason for choice.

Jacob Horner remains in the grip of paralysis, like Buridan’s ass locked in its state of indecision, until the next day he is observed by an obscure, nameless Black doctor who specializes in cases of psychological paralysis and takes him to a remobilization farm. The farm is situated in Vineland, New Jersey.

This choice of location in a novel of mainly fictitious places may be taken as an indication that America and the American dream are at stake and that the therapies offered or rather prescribed bear some significance for the American condition.(3)

The most important and striking feature of all the quite unusual therapies mentioned is that they do not even try to touch upon the causes of psychological paralysis  – all they deal with are the symptoms of a state of mind which is more or less taken for granted.

Among the therapies offered there are Agapotherapy or Devotional Therapy, Sexual Therapy, Conversational Therapy, Virtue and Vice Therapy, Philosophical Therapy, Theotherapy and Atheotherapy, all of which are basically methods by which one may choose between different modes of action without the necessity of an individual evaluation of the possibilities at hand.

The doctor states that “Choosing is existence” (ER 77), and in this claim we may detect a faint echo of the credo of democracy and a celebration of the ultimate achievement of freedom in the proverbial land of unlimited possibilities, but the principle of choice is re-qualified as an absurd ritual, vital but meaningless:

[D]on’t let yourself get stuck between alternatives, or you’re lost… If the alternatives are side by side, choose the one on the left; if they are consecutive in time, choose the earlier.

If neither of these applies choose the alternative whose name begins with the earlier letter of the alphabet. These are the principles of Sinistrality, Antecedence, and Alphabetical Priority – there are others, and they are arbitrary, but useful. (ER 80f.)

The French equivalent of Jacob Horner, the hero of René Clair’s La Princess de Chine, organizes his life on the basis of similar modes of selection in an extensive game on probability. In Barth’s novel, the ability to choose remains a sine qua non of existence even after the evaluation of alternatives has long lost its relevance.

Jacob Horner’s paralysis is the result of an ultimate lack of ego, he is simply a person without a personality. His emblem is a small statue of Laokoön, immobilized, the mute mouth opened in a silent scream. The doctor’s solution to Horner’s problem is Mythotherapy, the willful selection of a role-model as the prototype for one’s own life and every process of decision-making.

Mythotherapy is based on two assumptions: that human existence precedes human essence, if either of the two terms really signifies anything; and that a man is free not only to choose his own essence but to change it at will. Those are both good existentialist premises, and whether they’re true or false is of no concern to us – they’re useful in your case. (ER 82, italics in the original)

The philosophical principle ‘Know thyself’ is thus undermined by the realization that there is no self to be known, that there are only multitudes of masks to conceal the essential emptiness. The American ideal of the self-made man takes an almost Lacanian twist where the “self” is “made” by prefabricated roles, and the life story precedes the life it will narrate.

It is made quite clear that Mythotherapy is not simply the cure for Jacob’s state of mind but the general mode of human existence, and that paralysis is rather the result of not being able to participate in Mythotherapy any longer.

In consequence, all the characters of the novel are occasionally observed in the process of donning and doffing their masks. In fact, it seems as if Barth in his novel had anticipated Michel Foucault’s diagnosis of the selves as the difference of masks (cf. Foucault 1974, 131).

Thus the question for motivation leads to an infinite regress, as every action can be traced back to an earlier choice of the role to which the function of decision-making was assigned.

When Jacob Horner commits adultery with his only friend’s wife, the attempt to analyze this act, to attribute motive to a deed done, will lead to catastrophe.

As neither of the characters in question is able to account for any intentions which motivated the act or to define the infinitesimally small change in atmosphere which ultimately led to the considerable result, the only mode of investigation seems to consist in a forced and increasingly reluctant repetition, which leads to pregnancy, which leads to abortion, which leads to death.

The concept that each life is based on a story and that the story precedes life must take into account that each story ends with the final period and that human life follows the law of diminishing possibilities.

It might be possible to take the development of the plot as a kind of analogy to the butterfly effect of chaos theory, i.e. a minor shift in initial conditions leads to major effects, but then novelists knew about this long before scientists began to investigate the phenomenon.

The ill-fated abortion is performed by the nameless doctor in Vineland.

It is preceded by a kind of Faustian pact in order to gain the doctor’s agreement, but in accordance with the basic lack of human essence proclaimed throughout the novel, Jacob Horner does not have to trade his dubitable soul but his future life – he agrees to become the property of the doctor, to follow him as a living case study when the farm is moved to a new location – the remobilization farm turns out to be the most mobile element in the novel.

On the last page, Jacob Horner is taking a taxi to the railway station to meet the doctor. Beginning and end are reversed in the image of the railway station, i.e. the starting point of endlessly bifurcating paths but at the same time the final destination of all those paths. This image will return in the mythology of the other Vineland on the West Coast.

But in a sense the story of Jacob Horner begins and ends in Vineland at the remobilization farm, where initially unlimited though meaningless possibilities are offered, except they lead back to the same place and to the loss of any choice.

The American dream of liberty, of mobility, of the eternal frontier, has been replaced by arbitrariness, chance, mindless motion, and ultimately by paralysis and death, the last word of the novel being “terminal” – I do not think it will be necessary to elaborate on the double meaning.

In Pynchon’s Vineland some of the elements of The End of the Road are re-investigated. Again I do not think that it will be necessary to give an outline of the plot; as a matter of fact, this would be quite impossible, as the novels of Thomas Pynchon do not yield to any kind of summary.

Let it suffice that the novel is based on the quest of a young girl, Prairie Wheeler, for her mother, Frenesi, who in the 60’s had originally been a member of a radical film crew but crossed the lines and for some time became the lover and instrument of the evil principle of the novel, the DA Brock Vond. As in The End of the Road, the novel begins and ends in Vineland, but it is Vineland, California, and 30 years have passed.

Again, Vineland marks an end of the road, and in a sense one might say that Vineland is the last frontier of an expanding and colonizing America.

Someday this would be all part of a Eureka – Crescent City – Vineland megalopolis, but for now the primary sea coast, forest, riverbanks, and bay were still not much different from what early visitors in Spanish and Russian ships had seen.

Along with noting the size and fierceness of the salmon, the fogbound treachery of the coast, the fishing villages of the Yurok and Tolowa people, log keepers not known for their psychic gifts had remembered to write down, more than once, the sense they had of some invisible boundary, met when approaching from the sea … (Pynchon 1990, 317; hereafter quoted as Vl)

This almost mythical land has become the last refuge for the remains of the American counterculture of the 60’s, eternal hippies as well as labor movement activists, but it is under siege from the lumber industry on the one hand and from CAMP, i.e. the Campaign Against Marijuana Production, on the other hand.

In consideration of Pynchon’s rather obvious bias for the failed revolution of the 60’s and the identification of evil with the Reagan administration and especially every kind of law enforcement, this could lead to the simple understanding that Vineland resembles Vinland the Good, that good and evil are easily distinguished in the novel and in politics in general, and that mind-expanding drugs may offer a new vision of the American dream.

As a matter of fact, one of the leaders of the 60’s in the novel, later to be assassinated, is called Weed Atman, which might be translated into ‘marijuana smoke’. But things are not so easy in Pynchon’s novels.

If possible, psychological involvement with Mythotherapy has taken leaps since The End of the Road. But while the doctor’s prescriptions were chiefly based on the classical role models of Western tradition or even on narrative functions as described by structuralist patterns, we now encounter distinct voices and gestures taken directly from the ever-present television, the capitalized Tube.

In George Orwell’s 1984 the telescreen serves as the ubiquitous instrument of control because it can monitor each and every move. In Vineland’s America of 1984 this has proven to be quite unnecessary because each and every move is motivated by the images and characters observed on the screen.

The vision of the American dream has been replaced by television, and the question of good and evil has been blurred by the fact that every story needs its villain, no matter whether the villain is the outlaw or the cop.

When Prairie’s father is confronted by an old-time acquaintance from the police who is still after him, the conversation turns into a fast game of impersonations, with the law enforcement officer humming the tune from Meet the Flintstones and alternately imitating Clint Eastwood and Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.

As one result of this impact of the media, the generation gap tends to close. The world of Vineland is marked by a culture of reruns and thus also by a ritualized and quite literal déjà vu, as each childhood is largely structured by the tubal input which remains constantly retrievable ever after.

Children and adults are thus shaped by the same experience in which the past and the present are to some extent fused – the endless repetition creates a kind of timelessness.

As a matter of fact, a childhood which is extended into adult life was one of the significant features in the culture of the Yuroks, the native Americans of the Vineland region (cf. Becke & Vanderbeke 1992, 63-76), and it might be of interest here that one of the standard texts on Childhood in America contains a chapter on the Yuroks and was written by Erik Erikson (4) – the surname should ring a bell in the context of Vineland.

Pynchon’s Vineland features an equivalent to the clinic in The End of the Road, but it is no longer concerned with those who are unable to participate in Mythotherapy, it rather deals with patients who have developed some televisionary addiction, it is a “dryin’-out place for Tubefreeks” (Vl 33).

The name of this clinic is one of Pynchon’s typical acronyms: the abbreviation of the ‘National Endowment for Video Education and Rehabilitation’ spells NEVER, and like the Neverland of Peter Pan or Michael Jackson, it is a place for those who are unwilling or unable to grow up.

But it is not only the personal of Vineland that is obsessed with the new media, the text itself occasionally reads like a complicated version of Trivial Pursuit’s silver screen edition. The novel contains about 300 names, and disregarding the characters of the novel, by far the largest group of them consists of real or fictional characters associated with the new media.

As a result, the reading process occasionally turns into an extended excursion into pop culture, but there is a catch. Once you have achieved a complete understanding of all the allusions, you yourself will have turned into a potential patient of the rehabilitation center for addicts of tubal abuse.

And finally, reality itself seems to have been infused with the fantasies of the screen. All of Pynchon’s novels call for a heavy dose of willing suspension of disbelief, and quite regularly, the most unbelievable elements are actually taken from life. But here the fantastic element is almost completely an extension of television’s virtual reality into the world of Vineland.

The Thanatoids, a group of reproachful revenants who try to obtain recompense for wrongs done to them while alive, are, for example, quite obviously descendants of George A. Romero’s living dead, and when a Japanese Research and Development laboratory is flattened by a size 20,000 foot, we simply know that it was an act of God or Godzilla.

The world is constantly being told and retold on the screen until the narrative claims priority over the world itself. In terms of the image of the girls who weave the world in TCoL49, in Vineland the tapestry of the world has turned into video tape.

The ritualized cultural experience based on repetition, the dependence on pre-fashioned role models in any attempt to cope with an increasingly complex world, and especially the interaction of reality with the virtual reality of a prevailing narrative mode which is distinctly illiterate mark a cultural situation which bears some resemblance to mythical ways of worldmaking. America has to some extent returned to its origins.

This world is ruled by the members of a remote power elite – Brock Vond calls them the “Real Ones” (Vl 276) just as H. P. Lovecraft refers to the “Great Old Ones” or the “Ancient Ones.” Their will is carried out by the computer, an instrument of control which has turned into a symbol of arbitrariness, incomprehensible but unquestionable processes of decision-making, and a metaphor for a cruel and despotic God.

When Prairie’s mother Frenesi and her husband are quite suddenly dropped from the government’s pay list and their bank accounts are canceled, she starts to hum to a sort of standard gospel tune:

We are digits in God’s computer (…) and the only thing we’re good for, to be dead or to be living, is the only thing He sees. What we cry, what we contend for, in our world of toil and blood, it all lies beneath the notice of the hacker we call God. (Vl 91)

The computer has assumed the role of former mythical deities, granting or withholding the flow of modern forms of sustenance, i.e. money, in the same way in which the local gods granted or withheld the return of the salmon.

The novel opens with a ritualized annual performance by Prairie’s father: once a year he has to jump through the closed window of a public building to prove his mental instability and also his obedience to the powers that be, and he is rewarded for this act with a monthly mental disability check.

The story of Vineland follows Joseph Campbell’s well-known pattern of the quest for the mythical hero’s – or in this case heroine’s – origin. The time frame is cyclical rather than linear, and both the beginning and the end are marked by annual happenings, the beginning by Zoyd Wheeler’s autodefenestration and the end by a yearly family reunion which seems to embrace all segments of the American counterculture.

This counterculture has lost the revolutionary momentum of the 60’s. In fact, the anticipation of a better society has given way to a nostalgic remembrance of times past; the utopian dream has taken a regressive twist. America scorns its intellectuals, and the development of the political Left seems to prove the point.

According to Pynchon’s assessment of the last decades, large sections of the former Left have turned to a new irrationalism and the eclecticism of the so-called New Age philosophy. The movement of the 60’s, which never excelled in excessive coherence, has further dissolved into a heterogeneous mass of solipsistic and interchangeable ideologies.

In Vineland these include the usual forms of radical vegetarianism and mysticism but also the clinic for karmic readjustment and the Sisterhood of Kunoichi Attentives. But in one way or another all segments seem to be connected with Vineland, and they all turn up at the annual reunion of a Pan-American family in the Vineland region. In the course of this reunion, American history is ritually retold as an endless succession of persecution and the abuse of power:

…grandfolks could be heard arguing the perennial question of whether the United States still lingered in a prefascist twilight, or whether that darkness had fallen long stupefied years ago, and the light they thought they saw was coming only from millions of Tubes all showing the same bright-colored shadows. One by one, as other voices joined in, the names began – some shouted, some accompanied by spit, the old reliable names good for hours of contention, stomach distress, and insomnia – Hitler, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Nixon, Hoover, Mafia, CIA, Reagan, Kissinger, that collection of names and their tragic interweaving that stood not constellated above in any nightwide remoteness of light, but below, diminished to the last unfaceable American secret, to be pressed, each time deeper, again and again beneath the meanest of random soles, one black fermenting leaf on the forest floor that nobody wanted to turn over, because of all that lived virulent, waiting, just beneath. (Vl 371)

In Barth’s novel, Vineland offered a cure for paralysis, but the cure did not include a return to a meaningful evaluation of different possibilities – it was based on arbitrariness and chance.

In Pynchon’s Vineland all the decisions seem to have taken a bad turn, and American history reads like a long list of wrong roads taken. The final failure of utopian ideals was established once the screen dominated the scene. The diagnosis is announced by an adolescent violence freak:

Whole problem ‘th you folks’s generation … is you believed in your Revolution, put your lives right out there for it – but you sure didn’t understand much about the Tube. Minute the Tube got hold of you folks that was it, that whole alternative America, el deado meato, just like th’ Indians, sold it all to your real enemies, and even in 1970 dollars – it was way too cheap… (Vl 373)

America, the seemingly most advanced society, has relapsed into a quasi-mythical mode, and Original Sin is endlessly repeated in every instance of giving in or selling out to the agents of power – in fact, with every use of the remote control, the term carries a very precise double meaning in this context.

The area of Vineland may be a last refuge for the other America, but it has long succumbed to the American way of life in the age of mass media. It may be of interest here that the name of Prairie Wheeler fuses both aspects of America: the old and the new, the primordial and virgin American landscape and the intrusion of the railroad or, using Leo Marx’s image, the machine and the garden.

In addition, the seductive power of order is working on the last inhabitants of the happy enclave. In Orwell’s 1984 there was a catch:

If there is hope, wrote Winston it lies in the proles. (…) (Orwell 1972, 59)

But:

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious. (ibid., 60)

In Vineland‘s 1984 the paradox reads: If there is hope it lies in the hippies, the anarchists, and especially the children. But until they organize they can never succeed, and once they begin to organize, they have changed sides.(5) But even more important: behind every act of revolt there lurks the wish for a return to the equilibrium of order (6):

Brock Vond’s genius was to have seen in the activities of the Sixties Left not a threat to order but unacknowledged desires for it. While the tube was proclaiming youth revolution against parents of all kinds, and most viewers were accepting the story, Brock saw the deep … need only to stay children forever, safe inside some extended national Family. (Vl 269)

All this seems to indicate the necessity of doom, the ultimate failure of each and every hope for individuality and the salvation of the American dream. But Pynchon ends his novel with an unexpected twist. The mythical landscape of the Native Americans itself succeeds and overcomes the forces of evil, if only temporarily.

On the last pages, the villain is led to the land of no return – to Tsorrek – the Yurok version of Styx, the river of the dead. The road to Tsorrek can open anywhere, i.e. all roads finally lead to the same destination, and so many have walked this road that it is trodden deep into the earth.

The familiar image of time as a garden of branching paths, i.e. of endless possibilities, is turned into its opposite, an image of the irreversible processes leading to death. The question of general history is replaced by the inevitable conclusion of life.

With the death of the villain, the book may end on an unfamiliarly happy note (at least in the context of Pynchon’s novels), but this is balanced by the rather grim image of the unhappy hereafter, which after all seems to be a place in Arcadia.

 

Notes

(1) The ‘Pynchon-part’ of this paper is to some extent a revised version of aspects already touched upon in a paper I read at the Alte Schmiede, Wien in 1994, published as “Thomas Pynchon’s V, oder: Wie man einen Buchstaben erzählt”, in: Strukturen erzählen, Hrsg. Herbert J. Wimmer, Wien 1996. (back)

(2) In The Crying of Lot 49, for instance, we find the names Tristero and Hilarius, one being the incarnation of the entropic forces in nature and society, the other a psychoanalyst who started his career in a German concentration camp and is thus ultimately associated with the forces of order.

But the names allude to Giordano Bruno’s motto for his play Candelaio “In tristitia hilaris: in hilaritate tristis” and thus to the concept of the coincidentia oppositorum – and, as a matter of fact, Tristero and Hilarius do each – like yin and yang – contain elements of the opposing principle, and they both lead to the same reaction, i.e. paranoia. (back)

(3) In the discussion at the conference it was suggested that the doctor’s existentialist background may put Europe rather than America under attack in Barth’s novel. This is certainly a valid point, America is heavily influenced by European philosophy in The End of the Road.

But the text does not offer any alternative. Joe Morgan, complementary counterpart to the doctor and all-American scoutmaster, definitely takes part in the game of impersonations. The rules established by the doctor in Vineland govern each and every character of the novel, they define the American condition. (back)

(4) I am grateful for Hartmut Lutz’s remark in the discussion of this paper that Erikson’s account of the Yuroks bears little resemblance to reality. Pynchon’s allusions to the Yuroks are chiefly references to Yurok mythology, still the importance of a prolonged adolescence in Vineland seems to indicate that Erikson’s book and its claim of ‘infantile attitudes’ preserved within Yurok culture may have served as a source for the novel. (back)

(5) This problem recurs frequently in Pynchon’s texts, it is of crucial importance in his short story “The Secret Integration” and it leads to the ultimate failure of the ‘Counterforce’ in Gravity’s Rainbow.(back)

(6) Anne Hegerfeldt has reminded me of the fact that in nature there is, of course, no equilibrium of order but only equilibrium of disorder. I would like to maintain though, that in Pynchon’s novels there is a tendency towards order and that the entropic process is reversed in his depiction of human history and society. (back)

Works Cited

Barth, J., The Floating Opera and The End of the Road, New York 1988.

Becke, R. & Vanderbeke, D., “Chants of Dispossession and Exile: The Yuroks in Vineland“, in: Pynchon Notes 30-31, spring – fall 1992, pp. 63-76.

Booker, M.K., “Vineland and Dystopian Fiction”, in: Pynchon Notes, No 30-31, spring – fall 1992, pp. 5-38.

Foucault, M., The Archaeology of Knowledge, London 1974.

Hawthorne, M.D., “Imaginary Locales in Pynchon’s Vineland“, in: Pynchon Notes, No 30-31, spring – fall 1992, pp. 77-90.

Keesey, D., “Vineland in the Mainstream Press: A Reception Study”, in: Pynchon Notes, No 26-27, spring – fall 1990, pp. 107-113.

Orwell, G., 1984, Harmondsworth 1972.

Pynchon, Th., The Crying of Lot 49, New York 1967.

—–, Vineland, Boston 1990.

Acknowledgements
“Vineland in the Novels of John Barth and Thomas Pynchon” was first read at the Conference: The Viking Connection: Canada – Continentalist Perspectives (Greifswald 1996), and then published in Informal Empire? Cultural Relations Between Canada, the United States and Europe (Schriftenreihe des Zentrums für Kanada-Studien an der Universität Trier, Bd. 8); ed. Peter Easingwood, Konrad Groß and Hartmut Lutz, Kiel, l&f Verlag, 1998, S. 415-427. It is reprinted here by kind permission of the editors.

Most Humans Engage in at Least a Fair Amount of Hypocrisy

Jason: Childish thinking infects all races – and in fact, as noted in @Robert Lindsay’s article, is a main characteristic of “identity politics” – including the White kind.

One example is making fun of people but not being able to take “being made fun of”.

Dual morality:

It’s ok for me to do it, but it’s not ok for you to do it. I hate to say it but most people act this way. Even the people I most love in my life act like this.

I think there are a few people who are decent enough to not act like this. Your best friends won’t act like this, at least not around you anyway. And I’ve had some girlfriends who, I must admit, didn’t really engage in this hypocritical behavior because they thought it was beneath them. Then again, I’ve had quite a few girlfriends who excelled at this bullshit.

This thinking is associated with diminished self-awareness, which is probably just a huge dose of Denial, plus Denial’s twin, Projection,  in which other people blame you for doing the bad things that they do but are too proud to admit to. This is a basic human defense system that you see every day.

I don’t mind Denial so much, though it can be fatal. You are at an outdoor dinner party in Africa, cocktail in your hand. You see an elephant charging the party a ways away. No one can hear it yet, but there it is, heading right towards your happy gathering.

You turn around and say, “Elephant? I don’t see any elephant,” and go back to your merry ways. For a short while anyway – until you are stomped to death. But hey, it was worth it, right? You got the pleasure of denying that something terrible was about to happen to you along with the sense of relief that that generated.

Projection is a much more nasty defense, but it is extremely common. In mental health we call this one of the primitive defenses. These defenses are often used by children. Everyone keeps using them as adults, but a mature person is supposed to use them less often.

Projection is nasty stuff. You do a bad thing, but you are so gutless and pathetic that your weak ego can’t admit that you do it, but you feel guilt anyway (even subconsciously) that you have to deal with because it makes you uncomfortable, so you diffuse this guilt by projecting it off onto someone else. “I don’t do this lousy thing; other people do!”

This sort of hypocrisy seems to be programmed right into the human race. In a sound bite, humans are selfish. Human selfishness probably boils down to simple survival thinking. If you don’t usually put yourself first, pretty soon you will end up dead. No matter what, you and your survival always come first. It is folly to think otherwise.

Selfish thinking generates the dual morality and hypocrisy cited above. Further, all tribes are extremely hypocritical. In fact hypocritical thinking is typical of all tribes. That’s why tribalism, including its modern variant, Identity Politics, is so poisonous.

The Basic Law of Human Beings

Polar Bear: Black women basically operate on jungle law. I have seen it with old model blacks even. If an injustice favors them personally, they are all for it. A White Dudley Do Right will demand equality for his coworkers at his own expense. A house slave will be harder on her fellow slaves because only master butters her bread.

I don’t think this is particular to Black women. Blacks period seem to operate on this crude calculus.

And in fairness to Blacks, most groups are like this. Why do you think Identity Politics is so nasty and toxic? Because that’s what IP supporters are like – all IP movements support any injustices against the enemy group that benefits the identity group in question. SJW’s aren’t really about justice at all.

They’re for injustice as much as they are for injustice. Most SJW’s believe we need to commit injustices against certain bad groups to benefit certain good  groups. That’s not exactly justice if you ask me. It’s just sheer vengeance and retaliation.

Feminists are like this, and most women support these feminist injustices that harm men but help women.

I think most ethnic groups feel this way too, but I am having a bit of a hard time proving that at the moment.

Also, Whites supported injustices against other groups for many years on the basis that it was good for us. This whole thing of Whites turning into Dudley Do Rights and voluntarily surrendering power is a fairly new thing.  It is not just Whites who do this. It is also men. Whites and men are two of the few groups in the world that I can think of who have voluntarily ceded power to other groups and who have dismantled injustices that benefited us.

And what do we get for this saintly, self-sacrificing behavior? Endless attacks from the groups we gave up our privileges to attacking us for being the essence of pure evil. You can’t win.

I think that Whites and men, specifically White men, are some of the most moral people on Earth at the moment. You see anyone else voluntarily surrendering power and supporting things that harm their own group simply because they think that the policies they benefit from are immoral and hence should be dismantled?

White women have been in on this to some extent, but since feminism, they have become very angry and selfish. In a word, due to feminism, women are all hopped up and looking for paybacks.

An awful lot of people in the world believe:

Right/Good: Anything that benefits me.
Wrong/Bad: Anything that is bad for me.

Paybacks Are a Bitch

In order to live outside the law, you must be honest.

– Bob Dylan

Anyone who has spent any amount of time amongst street types – lawbreakers, either victimless or otherwise – that line in that song instantly rings a bell and makes perfect sense. I think people who don’t know much about street life would be more likely to be baffled. “What do you mean, to be a criminal, you must be honest? That makes no sense. Crooks aren’t honest.”

Oh yeah? Crooks have no sense of justice? Get yourself locked into a prison or jail sometime and start victimizing the other inmates. A lot of the time there are going to be some very serious  retaliatory consequences coming your way.

And as the saying on the street goes, “Paybacks are a bitch.”

When I lived my victimless street criminal life, I used to hear this all the time. If someone was going around committing injustices like ripping off the local dealers, the dealers and their friends would get together and really fuck the guy over hard.

My friends and I put a bomb on the windshield of a car and blew it up once because the owner of the car had been going around ripping the local dealers off. Two dealers participated in the bombing, another guy and I, and we had both been ripped off by this guy.

There really is a sense of cruel morality to the street. You can almost get away with more as a “legal criminal” than you can on the street. Sometimes I also think a good motto of the street is “the street has a thousand eyes and a thousand ears.”

Not only that but perversely enough, the street believes in justice. People who run around actively harming other street types usually have a pretty rude awakening coming to them. As in paybacks. It’s not uncommon for such victimizers to even end up dead.

“You don’t mess with the street” would be another saying of mine. Don’t mess with street types. They’re basically criminals, for Chrissake! They’ll kill you! A criminal will hurt you for an injustice committed against him far more than a law-abider will. They don’t have a lot compunctions about committing nasty crimes to get back at you. They’re used to committing crimes, being criminals after all.

Face It: A Lot of Young People of Both Genders and a Lot of Races Act Pretty Bad

Polar Bear: Black female morality: A local Italian place has cheap food that didn’t sell during the day, so I stopped by a little bit ago. Me and another White man get their first but let all the ladies go first. A fairly diverse bunch of women take their food before us – fine.

A black lady takes as many plates as she can carry, so me and the other gentlemen get none. Me and the other guy looked at each other and both thought of a word.

That word you were both thinking of is exactly what this lousy women is, sorry. If Blacks don’t want to be called words like that, just act decent and civilized, and most of us won’t abuse you with slurs. If you act terrible you deserve every slur hurled your way.

Blacks do this sort of thing a lot, far more than any other race I can think of. The one adjective I think of when I think of a certain type of Black person is “inconsiderate.” Very inconsiderate and self-centered. You’re either not there or you don’t matter. All that matters is them getting whatever the need, come Hell or high water. Other people are either nonexistent or in the way.

In fact, I would say that most of a certain type of Black women are like this. I think there is something wrong with a certain type of Black person. You all know exactly who I am talking about. I’m not surely what exactly is wrong with them and why they act this way, but one of the purposes of this site is to explore questions like that.

And yes, it is typically a Black woman who is trying to more or less scam or semi-scam, thieve or semi-thieve, this way. I don’t know about the extent to which Black men engage in this behavior, as I really don’t deal with them.

On the other hand, it’s not just Black women. This thing: low level more or less thievery or at least very inconsiderate behavior, is very common among women of all races. It is mostly young women who pull this shit. In my opinion, 1/3 of young women are basically thieves. And the people they steal from are men.

Many young women age 18-30 are virtually psychopathic. There’s something terribly wrong with them. I don’t understand why so many young women act this way.

After age 30, women do a lot less thieving. And whoring for that matter. Thieving (from men) and whoring are a young women’s game, and they excel at both of these things. The thieving is often tied in with sex in a way or at least that is used as an enticement. After age 30, women seem to have a lot more morals. Things they would have done without a thought when they were young now elicit frowns of disapproval and statements like, “That’s wrong.”

I really don’t get why but young men are pretty horrific too. Sure, Black men have an extremely high crime rate, but the Black men doing that are mostly 13-33.  After age 33, Black testosterone levels return to White levels or even lower, and an awful lot of Black men who used to act really bad calm down.

Really though, Hispanic and even White men age 18-30 don’t act real great. The vast majority of male crime in both Hispanics and Whites is committed by this cohort. I suppose you could say that a lot of young men period are almost psychopaths.

Youth is the time for a Hell of a lot of fun, potentially anyway, but young people of both sexes seem deficient in morality, and quite a few of them act pretty damn bad. Both males and females calm down after age 30-33 and even seem to grow a sense of morality where little existed before.

It’s also our society, as I talked to a man from Yemen, and he said that no woman would ever steal one dime from a man in his country. It’s simply unheard of.

These feminists wonder why some men pine for patriarchy, vicious as it is. If you offered me a society to live in where female thieves and thieving whores were basically nonexistent, I would probably want to impose a society like that.

For us men the benefits of such a system are obvious. It’s not just we get to be cruel and lord it over the ladies. I don’t care for that part of it. But a serious patriarchy cuts way down on the thieving and whoring tendencies of women, especially young women, so it spares us men from being victims of whole armies of predatory and amoral females who specialize in victimizing us.

PUA/Game: Male Morality Versus Female Morality

Jason: O.K. I’ll play the devil’s advocate. Seriously, in any town – are guys (as in traditional male) who run their mouth, backstab.

How is this different from chicks? Nothing.

Everyone runs their mouth and backstabs. It’s just about normal for both sexes. It’s a bit low (especially the backstabbing) but the number of both men and women who do this is very large. Backstabbing is rather shitty but a lot of people do it anyway. Unfortunately, I have been known to do it myself at times.

Like if I have two girlfriends at once and they find out about each other, I might go to Girlfriend A and diss Girlfriend B to or with her or vice versa. I’m basically playing them off each other. It’s pretty evil but I do it anyway. I am not a very honorable man when it comes to women, sorry. The rule book goes out the window, and I do a lot of bad things, but I really don’t care ha ha.

I am talking about making up pure lies about a man simply because they don’t like him. Mostly women do that and it’s usually young women. For instance, looks like young cunts made up some pretty nasty lies about you.

It’s true that on the Internet, a lot of “men” make up sheer lies about people they hate. If the man has psychopathic or narcissistic features, they can do it as a matter of habit. But that’s not part of male morality.

There’s nothing in male morality that says you can make up lies about people you don’t like. Almost all men would characterize that as fighting dirty and a lot would say it’s pussy, womanish, or unmanly behavior.

Male morality looks down on dirty fighting and sees it as pussy and unmasculine. “Come out and fight like a man!” Sure there are men who fight dirty, but a lot of us really look down on men like that because they are dishonorable and a real man is supposed to be honorable.

Female morality has no such values. Fighting dirty is allowed in female morality because they say that they are weaker so the only way they have a chance is to fight dirty. For instance, female morality says that if women think some guy is creepy or makes them “uncomfortable”, they have a perfect right to make up a bunch of sheer lies about him.

It’s moral to make up these lies because he’s a creep and he deserves it. Plus they need to get rid of him somehow because he makes the poor babies “uncomfortable”, and if they need to make up a bunch of lies to get rid of this guy, so be it. It’s worth it to not have him around so they can be “comfortable” again.

If  you go around the Manosphere, especially the MGTOW and Incel places, you will see a lot of references to the idea that women are simply evil, that they have no moral compass at all, or that they are all psychopaths. I was baffled by this for some time and thought maybe these guys were just nuts.

But I kept hearing it over and over. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. So I dug into it. I believe what I described above – that female morality says it’s ok to fight dirty and rules are for men – is probably the source of these allegations of female evil and amorality.

But fighting dirty doesn’t make you evil. Mostly it’s chickenshit, feminine, pussy and unmasculine, but women are most of those things by their nature anyway, so what do you expect? Of course they fight dirty. And women are not the only ones. Anywhere you look in society, where there’s a fight between someone who is stronger and someone who is weaker, the weaker party often resorts to dirty fighting because if they play by the rules, they’re going to get creamed.

I don’t like women’s dirty fighting, but I suppose it is to be expected. Just accept that they are like this, they’re not changing, and move on.

I don’t think women are evil, amoral, or psychopathic, but I can understand why they might appear that way.

I don’t think teenage girls do this to much to men or boys because in general they are not sophisticated enough to do dirty stuff like this. Also a lot of teenage girls are still pretty innocent and haven’t built up much anger and rage towards men yet.

But by age ~18, most women have developed a real bitch factor, guaranteed. I believe their views of men start to harden. High school girls just burst into tears. A college girl  will scream at you like a banshee and then rip your ball sack right off your body without a second thought.

Young women 18-30 will absolutely do this, and they do it all the time, out of habit almost, without batting an eye or a single trace of guilt. A huge number of young women – maybe 1/3 – are more or less  psychopaths in my opinion. I consider 1/3 of young women to be pretty damned  evil. That’s how many young women think it’s acceptable to steal from men.

Now a lot of older women (I am hoping) would say it’s not cool to make up sheer lies about some guy just because he  makes you uncomfortable. They would say ignore or quit looking at him and in addition, quit being so sensitive.

PUA/Game: Women Fight Dirty and Don’t Believe in Rules

Jason: Those women are being bitches – specifically picking on unattractive men. HOWEVER, it was noted recently on this blog that men unfairly target skinny men for “picking on”. Isn’t that the same thing?

Real Men Don’t Fight Dirty

I don’t know. I don’t know any men who pick on skinny men. That stuff is usually over by age 20. Maybe guys in high school might, I dunno. I’ve never known any skinny guys in my life that got picked on but YMMV.

According to male morality, it’s immoral to make up lies about another man just because you hate him. Sure, men do this all the time, especially in politics and war. But you’re not supposed to. You see a lot of men fighting dirty on the Net because they are completely unaccountable for their actions. If you let everyone be anonymous, you will get a society of psychopaths.  Most people only act halfway decent because they are forced to, sorry to say.

To a lot of men like me, a man fighting dirty is severely pussy behavior. A real man doesn’t fight dirty. A real man is honorable and he even fights honorably. I only fight honorably for the most part. I won’t make up a sheer lie about anyone, even my worst enemy.

Fighting dirty is chickenshit and pussy. It’s for little bitches, not real men. Frankly, fighting dirty is extremely feminine behavior because that’s how women fight. When you fight dirty you acknowledge that you are weak, as weak as a woman. It’s pathetic.

Women attack men they see as unattractive far more than other men do. Really, we men don’t really give a fuck about the rest of men. Hell, I don’t even look at other men most of the time! I see no men bullying other men ever in my day to day life and haven’t seen any of this for many years.

Fighting Dirty Is Natural and Normal Female Behavior

Now that we armed these dumb cunts with #metoo, they are using it to go after any man they don’t like. They will specifically single out men who they think are weird or unattractive and accuse them of #metoo violations. Most of the accusations will be straight up lies.

Young women are basically cunts. Evil cunts. Women get a lot less evil as they get older. Most women over 30 will not make up some #metoo lie about some man just because they think he’s weird or ugly.

But young women absolutely will. I would say 1/3 of young women are such evil cunts that they would straight up make up a #metoo lie out of whole cloth just because they think some guy is ugly, weird, or creepy. 1/3 of young women are pretty much psychopaths. Just pure cunts. The other 2/3 are ok. Young women are a field of landmines though. Most are good but a lot of them are very, very bad.

You must understand female thinking. Women think it is 100% acceptable to make up sheer lies about ugly, weird, or creepy men just because they don’t like them and they make these women feel “uncomfortable.” According to female “morality” that is 100% moral. This is how female “morals” work.

Women don’t believe in rules. Women think that rules are for men, not for women. They think men make up those rules to disarm women because men are so much stronger. As the weaker party, of course women fight dirty, and the acceptability of fighting dirty is a part of female “morality.” Women think, “We’re weak and men are strong. If we have to play fair, then they will destroy us. The only way we can fight men is to fight dirty.”

It’s like weak guerrilla groups going up against powerful national armies of nation-states. The only way that guerrillas stand a chance at all against national armies is if they fight dirty and throw out most of the rules. Face it, forcing guerrillas to fight fair means they are guaranteed to be wiped out. I don’t like terrorism, but a lot of guerrillas think terrorism is justified because they are weak, and terrorism is the only way they have a chance at all.

Until you figure this out about women, you will never understand them. Women won’t harm you physically but they can cause severe psychological and spiritual harm to men and their psyches. This country is full of men who have been more or less destroyed by women’s cruelty.

I don’t recommend that you get destroyed by this. I recommend instead to completely toughen up as far as women are concerned and recognize that millions of women in this country are straight up pure evil cunts from Hell. Accept that and be ok with it because you can’t change it. But most women are more or less decent human beings, and that applies even to young women, who excel in psychopathy.

Violation of Natural Law: A Theory Explaining Male and Female Homosexual’s Unhappiness and Psychological Disturbance

RL: And the sad thing about gay men is that gay men are most attracted to masculine men – IOW straight men, but straight men won’t have them. They’re not really into the other effeminate men they hook up with. So maybe that is why their lives tend to be rather sad. Lesbians also have a reputation for leading sad lives. “The Well of Loneliness” is a lesbian classic from the 1930’s.

I’ve wondered why gays and lesbians are not as happy and seem to be more mentally ill than straights. They are finding this even in cultures where discrimination is about zero. So it seems there is something inherent in homosexuality that makes people nutty, unhappy, and possibly unfulfilled.

My theory is that they violating Natural Law. They’re going against Nature. And things that go against Nature don’t really work. And people who go against Nature are often not very happy. Mother Nature bats last. Nature wants us to live our lives in certain ways, and when we don’t live our lives as nature dictates, we violate Nature and hence are unhappy because we are going against our “programming.”

To which Polar Bear responds:

You can’t fight Nature.

Lesbians with their fake dicks can only really have oral sex.

A gay will never give birth from his ass.

Transgenders, male to female, are likely more mentally ill but often less annoying than a flaming queer cis male. Of course, the ones that split their banana most always regret it – still not a pussy. Female to male dicks are even less realistic.

The happiness of these groups is a glimmer. The passable trannies’ passability, the twinks’ twinkle, the lesbian couples’ sex, etc. all fade fast. A straight couple has more natural permanence. While the old gay homo sucks the life out of some bum in a dark alley like a mohel, the sun shines on the straight couple sipping lemonade and holding hands while watching their great grand-kids play.

I really like Polar Bear’s comments. They’re almost poetic.

Face Facts: Homosexuality, Whatever You Think of It, Is Abnormal

Is homosexuality normal?

Although the question could be bigoted, it doesn’t have to be. On the contrary, it’s an excellent philosophical question.

I realize that almost all gay men and even most lesbians are biologically generated, and at least the gay men cannot change at all. Most lesbians will have a hard time changing. I have no reason to attack anyone who gets wired up any particular way through no fault of their own. It’s like beating someone up for having green eyes or blond hair.

But nevertheless, it’s painfully obvious to me that homosexuality is simply not normal. Obviously the species would have gone extinct if this were the norm.

However, like geniuses, retards, murderers, and saints, homosexuality is normal in that sense: it will always be part of the human experience whether it is right, wrong, or indifferent.

Let us consider briefly one excellent argument for the abnormality of homosexuality: If homosexuality were normal, why would homosexuals habitually mimic heterosexual relations?

Gay men split themselves into males (tops) and females (bottoms) both globally and in relationships.

If you look at a lot of lesbian relationships, it’s obvious that a lot of the time, one is the man, and the other is the woman.

If homosexuality were normal, it wouldn’t mimic heterosexual relations. The fact that it does so habitually implies that it is heterosexuality is the human norm, and homosexuality is just the abnormal variant mimicking the norm, as many abnormal variants do.

Nevertheless, homosexuality is “normal” in the human sense in that most all human societies will have at least a bit of homosexuality.

Human Abnormality and Normality: Two Contrasting Definitions

The two definitions would be:

First definition, Common versus uncommon.

1a. Abnormal as in uncommon: Everything only existing a small percentage of humans is abnormal like this. This usually but not always implies that it would not be workable if the majority were like this.

In this sense, sorry, but blue eyes and blond hair are abnormal unless you’re an Estonian. And of course left-handedness is abnormal. But one could argue that those three things are also harmless. Abnormal things could be either harmless or even positive (blond and blue above).

1b. Normal as in an always-present part of the human tapestry. In this sense, child molesting, rape, wife-beating, murder and all sorts of nasty things are “normal” in the sense that they are simply part and parcel on the human experience. On the other hand, we want to keep this sort of thing at as low a level as possible due to the moral aspect of it (it harms innocents) and the social chaos dimension (high levels of any of this cause a lot of chaos).

Second definition: Workable versus unworkable.

2a. Abnormal as in unworkable for the majority. In this case, the human behavior works on when only a few humans do it, but it might not work well at all if a majority of people were like this. I will give examples like this below.

2b. Normal as in workable for the majority. In this sense, left-handedness and blond hair and blue eyes would be both normal and abnormal at the same time: they are all rare so they are abnormal per se, but if the majority were left-handed or blond and blue, this would not only be workable for society but it might even make the world a better place. A world full of Swedish women sounds like an upgrade, at least to me.

Let us point out that geniuses, retards, murderers and saints are abnormal in the 1a sense for better or for worse.

Abnormal and bad (1a-2b type): On the other hand, neither killers nor retards are normal in the other sense.  You can’t really have a human species where most humans are murderers. Granted tribal societies like this exist (the Yanonamo), but it wouldn’t be healthy in larger groups.

In the US 110 million men would have murdered a man by age 40. You really think that’s sustainable. Killers get locked away forever in prison. You’d have millions or tens of millions of men locked away for decades. Not to mention the total societal chaos that would ensue.

Could you have a human species where most people are retards? Not going to work either.

Abnormal but good (1a-2a types). The good but abnormal things are different. Geniuses and saints are both normal and abnormal. They’re a normal part of the human experience, but only a tiny percentage of humans are either, so it’s abnormal de facto – anything practiced by only a tiny percentage of humans is obviously abnormal.

This also shows that there’s not necessarily wrong in the abnormality of tiny behavioral minorities. It takes all kinds to fill the freeways. And geniuses and saints both have contributed immensely to our species and our accomplishments.

But could you have a society of geniuses? I’m not sure. Probably no one would ever get laid for one thing because genius men at least are the worst at getting laid because they’ve left their bodies and swim in their heads all the time. Most Normies notice that and think it’s weird if not nuts.

That’s part of why genius men often find it hard to get laid. As IQ rises, men have less and less sex, girlfriends, wives, etc. and their likelihood of being virgins in their early years rises. So does their poor performance at sports. The awkward, dorky nerd genius who can’t get laid is more than a stereotype: there’s something to it.

And geniuses don’t hook up with each other very well  either, but maybe the female geniuses could seduce the male geniuses. A lot of female geniuses really like to fuck and have great success at dating and relationships. Genius doesn’t seem nearly so tied in with painful introversion in women. Female geniuses are often strikingly extroverted.

A society of saints? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it won’t work. We’re not meant to be pure good and especially purely self-sacrificing. We’d all die trying to be heroes and protect other people. A lot of us would probably deny ourselves to death as saints are wont to do so – check out how many saints and saintly types died of sheer starvation. Not to mention they like to starve themselves in other ways, as in sexually.

Saints seem prone to masochism and no-fun ethics – if it’s fun, it’s bad; if it makes you suffer,  it’s good. So there would again be a lot of celibates – volcels this time – whereas the genius males would be incels.

I would also argue that it’s not healthy for us to be pure good. A little bit of rough makes the world go round. I don’t like bad people, but I’m not against being a little bit bad. Hell, I’m not against being a little bit evil for that matter. I like to stir just a tiny sprinkle of evil into my coffee every morning. Gives me that nice bad boy edge to go out and conquer in a hostile world.

I’ve had girlfriends remark that I’m a little bit evil. That’s just fine. As far as I can tell, it’s helped me get laid. I have had girlfriends even flat out admit that to me – they have told me that I am dangerous and scary, but that that turns them on like crazy. For that reason one was rejecting a “boring old man” in favor of me, about whom she remarked:

You’re scary. But scary’s hot.

Danger in men revs up the female sex drive. Take note, boyos. Score one for Bad Boy Game.

If they said I was real evil, I might get worried.

Perhaps being a little bit bad or evil is an essential part of the human experience for most of us.

After all, what humans say is evil is simply normal survival type behaviors for most mammals. In other words, if most mammals aren’t at least a bit “evil” they’re probably going to die or go extinct.

Want to feel good about yourself? Fine, be a saint. On the other hand, want to survive? Maybe you’ll need to be just a bit bad.

A Theory of Aesthetics: Great Art Affects One on a Level Beyond Simple Understanding

As I showed you with that song by that German gothic band earlier, it often doesn’t even matter if you can understand the words to a song.

A great song can be sung in a foreign language and it matters not. Because the glory and beauty of music goes far beyond the pure meaning of whatever lyrics are being sung. Often the words are beautiful even if you can’t understand a word!

How does that work? I suppose you don’t have to understand any particular work of art for it to be great. I had no idea at all what was happening most of the time in Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, but it didn’t even matter! I read along anyway, and the fact that I had no idea of a plot took away nothing from my feeling that that was one of the greatest novels ever written in English. It was a great story! Who cares what the confounded plot was?

Perhaps the best way to see this is to posit that art and its beauty (for art is nothing without its beauty) and its affect on one’s mind and soul goes far beyond a simple understanding (which we can call “intelligibility”) of the work. It’s affecting you on a whole different level than ordinary intelligibility, perhaps on a higher level of perception where meaning and intelligibility doesn’t even matter. All that matters instead is what I might call “pure perception” and the experience of such. All that matters is the emotional reaction to the work of art.

By the way there is a whole subfield of philosophy dedicated to the study of art and its beauty called Aesthetics. It’s pretty interesting stuff. Even the Greeks had a lot of interesting things to say about Aesthetics. James Joyce deals with this subject in Portrait of an Artists as a Young Man, (highly recommended – the easiest Joyce novel to read) quoting St. Augustine, the great Christian mystic as part of his argument.

Augustine (City of God) was far more than a theologian. He was an incredible philosopher, and both philosophy and theology advanced dramatically after his thinking was published.  Pretty good for a guy living in the 1200’s. I need to check out Augustine some time. I heard it’s great stuff, especially City of God.

Repost: Do the Yezidis Worship the Devil?

This is a repost of a repost. The first repost was fully 10 years ago. Amazingly the graphics carried over after the shut-down because the images were saved on my Blogger site, which is still up and running. Yay!

This is an awesome post if I do say so myself, though it looks like it needs an edit. Anyone interested in Comparative Religion, Paganism, Polytheism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, metaphysics, Middle Eastern History or even philosophy might want to look into this post.

I know it’s long. It runs to 35 pages on the web. But you can read it. I read it myself, more than once too! If I can do it, you can do it. If you are interested in this sort of thing, you might find it quite an enjoyable read. If it’s not your thing, well you can always pass it on by. But even if you are not normally interested in this stuff you might find it interesting because this post goes quite a bit beyond its obvious subject matter into a lot of more universal subjects.

Repost from the old site. This is a very, very long piece, so be warned. But the subject, the Yezidi religious group, is extraordinarily complex, as I found out as I delved deeper and deeper into them.

They are still very mysterious and there is a lot of scholarly controversy around them, mostly because they will not let outsiders read their holy books. However, a copy of their holiest book was stolen about 100 years ago and has been analyzed by scholars.

I feel that the analysis below of the Yezidis (there are various competing analyses of them) best summarizes what they are all about, to the extent that such an eclectic group can even be defined at all. The piece is hard to understand at first, but if you are into this sort of thing, after you study it for a while, you can start to put it together. There are also lots of cool pics of devil and pagan religious art below, for those who are interested in such arcana.

The Yezidis, a Kurdish religious group in Iraq practicing an ancient religion, have been accused of being devil worshipers by local Muslims and also by many non-Muslims.

The Yezidis appeared in Western media in 2007 due to the stoning death of a Yezidi teenage girl who ran off with a Muslim man. The stoning was done by eight men from her village while another 1000 men watched and cheered them on. Afterward, there has been a lot of conflict between Muslim Arabs and Yezidi Kurds.

As Western media turned to the Yezidis, there has been some discussion here about their odd religion. For instance, though the local Muslims condemn them as devil worshipers, the Yezidis strongly deny this. So what’s the truth? The truth, as usual, is much more complicated.

The Yezidis believe that a Creator, or God, created a set of deities that we can call gods, angels, or demons, depending on how you want to look at them. So, if we say that the Yezidis worship the devil, we could as well say that they worship angels. It all depends on how you view these deities.

In the history of religion, the gods of one religion are often the devils of another. This is seen even today in the anti-Islamic discourse common amongst US neoconservatives, where the Muslim God is said to be a demonic god, and their prophet is said to be a devilish man.

Christian anti-Semites refer to the Old Testament God of the Jews as being an evil god. Orthodox Jews say that Jesus Christ is being boiled alive in semen in Hell for eternity.

At any rate, to the Yezidis, the main deity created by God is Malak Taus, who is represented by a peacock. Although Yezidis dissimulate about this, anyone who studies the religion closely will learn that Malak Taus is actually the Devil.

On the other hand, the Yezidis do not worship evil as modern-day Satanists do, so the Satanist fascination with the Yezidis is irrational. The Yezidis are a primitive people; agriculturalists with a strict moral code that they tend to follow in life. How is it that they worship the Devil then?

First of all, we need to understand that before the Abrahamic religions, many polytheistic peoples worshiped gods of both good and evil, worshiping the gods of good so that good things may happen, and worshiping the gods of evil so that bad things may not happen. The Yezidis see God as a source of pure good, who is so good that there is no point in even worshiping him.

In this, they resemble Gnosticism, in which God was pure good, and the material world and man were seen as polluted with such evil that the world was essentially an evil place. Men had only a tiny spark of good in them amidst a sea of evil, and the Gnostics tried to cultivate this spark.

This also resembles the magical Judaism of the Middle Ages (Kabbalism). The Kabbalists said that God was “that which cannot be known” (compare to the Yezidi belief that one cannot even pray to God).

In fact, the concept of God was so ethereal to the Kabbalists that the Kabbalists said that not only was God that which cannot be known, but that God was that which cannot even be conceived of. In other words, mere men cannot not even comprehend the very concept of God. A Kabbalist book says that God is “endless pure white light”.  Compare to the Yezidi view that God “pure goodness”.

This comes close to my own view of what God is.

The Yezidi view of God is quite complex. It is clear that he is at the top of the totem pole, yet their view of him is not the same as that of the gods of Christianity, Islam, Judaism or the Greeks, although it is similar to Plato’s “conception of the absolute.”

Instead, it is similar to the Deists’ view of God. God merely created the world. As far as the day to day running of things, that is actually up to the intermediary angels. However, there is one exception. Once a year, on New Years Day, God calls his angels together and hands the power over to the angel who is to descend to Earth.

In some ways similar to the Christian Trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, the Yezidis believe that God is manifested in three forms.

An inscription of the Christian Trinity, the father, or God, as an old man with a beard; Jesus, a young man; and the Holy Ghost, here depicted as a winged creature similar to Malak Tus, the winged peacock angel. Compare to Yezidi reference for Šeiḫ ‘Adî, Yazid, and Malak Tus (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)

 

The three forms are the peacock angel, Malak Tus (the Holy Ghost); an old man, Šeiḫ ‘Adî (God or the Father) – compare to the usual Christian portrayal in paintings of God as an old man with a long white beard ; and a young man, Yazid (Jesus) – compare to the usual Christian paintings of Jesus as a healthy European-looking man with a beard and a beatific look. A similar look is seen in Shia portraits of Ali.

Since the Yezidis say there is no way to talk to God, one must communicate with him through intermediaries (compare to intermediary saints like Mary in Catholicism and Ali in Shiism). The Devil is sort of a wall between the pure goodness of God and this admittedly imperfect world.

This is similar again to Gnosticism, where the pure good God created intermediaries called Aeons so that a world that includes evil (as our world does) could even exist in the first place. On the other hand, Malak Tus is seen by the Yezidis as neither an evil spirit nor a fallen angel but as a divinity in his own right.

One wonders why Malak Tus is represented by a bird. The answer is that worshiping birds is one of the oldest known forms of idol worship. It is even condemned in Deuteronomy 4: 16, 17: “Lest ye corrupt yourselves and make a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air.”

More likely, the peacock god is leftover from the ancient pagan bird-devil gods of the region. The ancient Babylonians and Assyrians both worshiped sacred devil-birds, and carvings of them can be seen on their temples. The Zoroastrians also worshiped a sort of devil-bird called a feroher.

A winged demon from ancient Assyria. Yezidism appears to have incorporated elements of ancient Babylonian and Assyrian religions, making it ultimately a very ancient religion. Note that devils often have wings like birds. Remember the flying monkey demons in the Wizard of Oz?

 

The pagan Phoenicians, Philistines, and Samaritans worshiped a dove, and the early monotheistic Hebrews condemned the Samaritans for this idol-worship. The pagans of Mecca also worshiped a sacred dove. Pagan Arabian tribes also worshiped an eagle called Nasar.

What is truly odd is that peacocks are not native to the Yezidi region, but instead to the island of Sri Lanka. The Yezidis must have heard about this bird from travelers and incorporated it into their religion somehow.

In the Koran, both the Devil and the peacock were thrown out of Heaven down to Earth, with the Devil and the peacock both suffering similar punishments. So here we can see Islam also associating the peacock with the Devil.

In popular mythology, peacocks tend to represent pride. Note that the Koran says that the Devil was punished for excessive pride (compare with a similar Christian condemnation of excessive pride). Peacocks are problematic domestic fowl, tend to tear up gardens, and so are associated with mischief.

The Yezidis revere Malak Tus to such a great extent that he is almost seen as one with God (compare the Catholic equation of Mary with Jesus, the Christian association of Jesus with God, and the Shia Muslim association of Ali with Mohammad).

Malak Tus was there from the start and will be there at the end, he has total control over the world, he is omniscient and omnipresent, and he never changes. Malak Tus is the King of the Angels, and he is ruling the Earth for a period of 10,000 years. Yezidis do not allow anyone to say his name, as this is degrading to him.

Yezidis also superstitiously avoid saying an word that resembles the word for Satan. When speaking Arabic, they refuse to use the Arabic shatt for river, as it sounds like the word for Satan. They substitute Kurdish ave “river” instead. Compare this to the Kabbalist view of God as “that which can not even be comprehended (i.e., spoken) by man.”

In addition to Malak Taus, there are six other angels: Izrafael, Jibrael, Michael, Nortel, Dardael, Shamnael, and Azazael. They were all present at a meeting in Heaven at which God told them that they would worship no one other than him. This worked for 40,000 years, until God mixed Earth, Air, Fire, and Water to create Man as Adam.

God told the seven angels to bow before Adam, and six agreed. Malak Taus refused, citing God’s order to obey only Him. Hence, Malak Taus was cast out of Heaven and became the Archangel of all the Angels. Compare this to the Christian and Muslim view of the Devil, the head of the angels, being thrown out of Heaven for the disobedience of excessive pride.

In the meantime, Malak Taus is said to have repented his sins and returned to God as an angel.

So, yes, the Yezidis do worship the Devil, but in their religion, he is a good guy, not a bad guy. They are not a Satanic cult at all. In Sufism, the act of refusing to worship Adam (man) over God would be said to be a positive act – one of refusing to worship the created over the creator – since in Sufism, one is not to worship anything but God.

The Yezidis say that God created Adam and Eve, but when they were asked to produce their essences (or offspring), Adam produced a boy, but Eve produced an entity full of insects and other unpleasant things. God decided that he would propagate humanity (the Yezidis) out of Adam alone, leaving Eve out of the picture. Specifically, he married Adam’s offspring to a houri.

We can see the traditional views of the Abrahamic religions of women as being temptresses and sources of evil, conflict, and other bad things. The Yezidis see themselves as different from all other humans. Whereas non-Yezidis are the products of Adam and Eve, Yezidis are the products of Adam alone.

Eve subsequently left the Garden of Eden, which allowed the world to be created. So, what the Abrahamic religions see as man’s greatest fall in the Garden, the Yezidis see as mankind’s greatest triumphs. The Yezidis feel that the rest of humanity of is descended from Ham, who mocked his father, God.

Compare this to the Abrahamic religions’ view of women as a source of corruption. Christians say that Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden, causing both of them to be tossed out. In Islam, women are regarded as such a source of temptation and fitna (dissension) that they are covered and often kept out of sight at all times. In Judaism, women’s hair is so tempting to men that they must shave it all off and wear wigs.

The Yezidis say they are descended directly from Adam, hence they are the Chosen People (compare to the Jewish view of themselves as “Chosen People”).

Yezidism being quite possible the present-day remains of the original religion of the Kurds, for the last 2,000 years, the Yezidis have been fighting off other major religions.

First Christianity came to the region.

As would be expected, the Nestorian Christians of Northern Iraq, or “Nasara” Christian apostates, as an older tradition saw them, hold that the Yezidis were originally Christians who left the faith to form a new sect. The Nestorians and other ancient Christian sects deny the human or dual nature of Jesus – instead seeing him as purely divine.

This is in contrast to another group also called “Nasara” in Koran – these being the early Jewish Christian sects such as the Ebionites, Nazarenes, and Gnostics who believed the opposite, since they regarded Jesus as purely human whereas Nestorians regarded Jesus as purely divine. These early sects believed only in the Book of Matthew, and retained many Jewish traditions, including revering the Jewish Torah, refusing to eat pork, keeping the Sabbath, and circumcision.

Mohammad apparently based his interpretation of Christianity on these early Christian sects which resemble Judaism a lot more than they resemble Christianity. Hence, the divinity of Jesus was denied in the Koran under Ebionite influence.

The Koran criticizes Christians for believing in three Gods – God, Jesus, and Mary – perhaps under the influence of what is called the “Marianistic heresy”. At the same time, the Koran confused human and divine qualities in Jesus due to Nestorian influence, so the Koran is of two minds about Jesus.

Finally, the Koran denied the crucifixion due to Gnostic influence, especially the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, hence the Koranic implication that modern Christians are actually Christian apostates having diverged from the true Christianity.

The local Muslim neighbors of the Yezidis, similarly, hold that the Yezidis are Muslim apostates, having originally been Muslims who left Islam to form a new religion.

Šeiḫ ‘Adî (full name Šeiḫ ‘Adî Ibn Masafir Al-Hakkari) was a Muslim originally from Bait Far, in the Baalbeck region of the Bekaa Valley of what is now Eastern Lebanon.

He is one of the tripartite of angels worshiped by the Yezidis  and was a Sufi Muslim mystic from Northern Iraq in the 1100’s. He attracted many followers, including many Christians and some Muslims who left their faith to become Yezidis. Yezidism existed before Šeiḫ ’Adî, but in a different form.

Šeiḫ ’Adî also attracted many Persian Zoroastrians who were withering under the boot of Muslim dhimmitude and occasional massacre in Iran.

He came to Mosul for spiritual reasons. Šeiḫ ’Adî was said to be a very learned man, and many people started to follow him. After he built up quite a following, he retired to the mountains above Mosul where he built a monastery and lived as a hermit, spending much of his time in caves and caverns in the mountains with wild animals as his only guests.

While he was living, his followers worshiped him as a God and believed that in the afterlife, they would be together with him. He died in 1162 in the Hakkari region near Mosul. At the site of his death, the his followers erected a shrine, and it later became one of the holiest sites Yezidism. However, Šeiḫ ’Adî is not the founder of Yezidism as many believe. His life and thought just added to the many strains in this most syncretistic of religions.

The third deity in the pseudo-“Trinity” of the Yezidis is a young man named Yezid. Yezidis say they are all descended from this man, whom they often refer to as God, but they also refer to Šeiḫ ’Adî as God. In Šeiḫ ’Adî’s temple, there are inscriptions to both Šeiḫ ’Adî and Yezid, each on opposing walls of the temple. In a corner of this temple, a fire  – or actually a lamp – is kept burning all night, reminiscent of Zoroastrianism.

There is a lot of controversy about what the word Yezid in Yezidi stands for. The religion itself, in its modern form, probably grew out of followers of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan, the 2nd Caliph in the Umayyad Dynasty of Caliphs. Yazid fought a battle against Mohammad’s grandson, Hussayn, in a battle for the succession of the Caliphate.

Hussayn’s followers were also the followers of Ali, the former caliph who was assassinated. The followers of Hussayn and Ali are today known as the Shia. The Sunni follow in the tradition of the Umayyads. In a battle in Karbala in 680, Hussayn and all his men were killed at Kufa, and the women and children with them taken prisoner.

To the Shia, Yazid is the ultimate villain. Most Sunnis do not view him very favorably either, and regard the whole episode as emblematic of how badly the umma had fallen apart after Mohammad died.

Nevertheless, there had been groups of Sunnis who venerated Yazid Ibn Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan and the Umayyads in general in northern Iraq for some time even before Šeiḫ ’Adî appeared on the scene. Šeiḫ ’Adî himself was descended from the Umayyads.

Reverence for Yazid Ibn Muawiyah mixed with the veneration of Šeiḫ ’Adî in the early Yezidis. It was this, mixed in with the earlier pagan beliefs of the Semites and Iranians discussed elsewhere, along with a dollop of Christianity, that formed the base of modern Yezidism. But its ultimate roots are far more ancient. Yezidism had a base, but it was not formed in its modern version.

Here we turn to the etymology of the word Yezidi. It is possible that the figure of “Yezid”, the young man-God in the Yezidi trinity, represents Yazid Ibn Muawiyah.

By the mid-1200’s, the local Muslims were getting upset about the Yezidis excessive devotion to these two men. In the mid-1400’s the local Muslims fought a large battle against the Yezidis.

To this day, the top Yezidi mirs are all related to the Umayyads. Muslim scholars say that Yezid bin Unaisa was the founder of the modern-day Yezidis. Bin Unaisa was one of the early followers of the Kharijites, an early fanatical fundamentalist sect that resembled our modern-day Al Qaeda and other takfiri Salafi-jihadi terrorists. Bin Unaisa was said to be a follower of the earliest Kharijites.

These were the first Kharijites. Early split-offs from Ali’s army, they took part in the Battle of Nahrawan against Ali’s forces outside Madaen in what was known as the Triangle of Death in the Iraq War. In 661, the Kharijites assassinated Ali, one of the ultimate moments in the Sunni-Shia split.

At some point, bin Unaisa split from the Kharijites other than some of their early followers who were following a sect Al-Abaḍia, founded by ‘Abd-Allah Ibn Ibad who left with bin Unaisa. bin Unaisa said that a Muslim who committed any great sin was an infidel.

Considering his Islamic fundamentalist past, he also developed some very unorthodox views for a Muslim.

For instance, he said that God would send a new prophet to Persia (one more Iranian connection with the Yezidis). God would also send down a message to be written by this prophet in a book, and this prophet would leave Islam and follow the religion of the Sabeans or Mandeans. Nevertheless, he continued to hold some Kharijite beliefs, including that God alone should be worshiped and that all sins were forms of idolatry.

In line with this analysis, the first Yezidis were a sect of the Kharijites. The fact that bin Unaisa said that the new prophet would follow Sabeanism implies that he himself either followed this religion at one time or had a high opinion of it.

Muslim historians mention three main Sabean sects. All seemed to have derived in part from the ancient pagan religion of Mesopotamia. Sabeans were polytheists who worshiped the stars. After the Islamic conquest, they referred to themselves as Sabeans in order to receive protection as one of the People of the Book (the Quran mentions Jews, Christians, and Sabeans and People of the Book).
One of the Sabean sects was called Al-Ḫarbâniyah.

The Sabeans believed that God dwelt within all things that were good and rational. He had one essence but many appearances, in other words. God was pure good and could not make anything evil. Evil was either accidental, necessary for life, or caused by an evil force. They also believed in the transmigration of souls (reincarnation).

It is interesting that the beliefs of this sect of Sabeans resemble the views of modern Yezidis. Therefore we can assume that Yezîd bn Unaisa believed in God and the Resurrection Day, respected angels and the stars, and yet was neither polytheistic nor a true follower of Mohammad.

At the same time, bn Unaisa lined himself up with those People of the Book who said that Mohammad was a prophet yet did not follow him (in this respect, he was similar to Western non-Muslims who acknowledge Mohammad as the prophet of the Arabs).

Although most orthodox histories of the Yezidis leave it out, it seems clear at this point that Yezîd bn Unaisa was the founder of the Yezidi religion in its modern form and that the Yezidis got their name from Yezîd bn Unaisa. This much may have been lost to time, for the Yezidis now say say that the word Yezidi comes from the Kurdish word Yezdan or Êzid meaning God.

After naming their movement after Yezîd bn Unaisa, the Yezidis learned of Šeiḫ ‘Adî’s reputation and become his followers, along with many Muslims, Christians, and Zoroastrians.

Presently, like their founder, the Yezidis believe in God and the Resurrection, expect a prophet from Iran, revere angels and stars, regard every sin as idolatry, respect Mohammad as a prophet yet do not follow him, yet at the same time pay no attention to Ali (recall that the early Kharijites assassinated Ali). Being opposed in a sense to both Mohammad and Ali, bn Unaisa is logically despised by both the Sunni and the Shia.

The fact that the Yezidis renounced the prophet of the Arabs (Mohammad) while expecting a new one from Iran logically appealed to a lot of Persians at the time. Hence, many former Zoroastrians or fire-worshipers from Iran joined the new religion, injecting their strain into this most syncretistic of religions.

There is good evidence that many Yezidis are former Christians.

The Yezidis around Mosul go by the surname of Daseni or Dawasen in the plural. Long ago, there was a Nestorian diocese in Mosul called Daseni or Dasaniyat. It disappeared around the time of Šeiḫ ’Adî. The implication is that so many of the members of this Diocese became Yezidis that the Diocese collapsed.

Furthermore, many names of Yezidi villages are actually words in the local Syriac (Christian) language, more evidence that many Yezidis are former Christians.

Adding even more weight to this theory, the Yezidis retain two Christian customs – the baptism and the Eucharist.

The Yezidis must baptize their children at the earliest possible age. At the baptism, the priest puts his hand on the child’s head as he performs the rite. Both customs mirror the Christian baptism precisely.

When a Yezidi couple marries, they go to a local Nestorian Church to partake of the Eucharist. The cup of wine they drink is called the Cup of Isa (Jesus). The Yezidis have great respect for Christian saints and houses of worship and kiss the doors and walls of churches when they enter them.

When a Yezidi woman goes to the home of her bridegroom on wedding day, she is supposed to visit every every religious temple along the way, even the churches. On the other hand, Yezidis never enter a mosque. Sadly, the Yezidi reverence for Christianity is not returned by the Eastern Christians, who despise the Yezidis as devil-worshipers.

Yezidis revere both Jesus and Mohammad as religious teachers, not as prophets. The group has survived via a hefty dose of taqqiya, or the Muslim tradition of dissimulation to ward off persecution, in this case pretending outwardly to be some type of Shia Muslim.

This is common for minority faiths around the region, including the Alawi and Druze, who have both proclaimed at the top of their lungs that they are Muslims and have hidden to the aspects of their religion which would cause the Muslims to disown them at best or kill them at worst.

Yet the primary Islamic influence on the Yezidis is actually Sufism, not Shiism per se. But even the fundamentalist Shiism practiced in Iran is very friendly to Sufism, while fundamentalist Sunnism is very hostile to this form of Islam.

There are traces of other religions. Hinduism may possibly be seen in the five Yezidi castes, from top to bottom Pir, Shaikh, Kawal, Murabby, and Mureed (followers).

The Yezidi caste called Mureeds are unfortunately about on a par with Dalits or Untouchables in Hinduism. Marriage across castes is strictly forbidden in Yezidism, as it has been disapproved in India.

Pre-Islamic Iran (Zoroastrianism) also had a caste system, and the base of the Yezidi religion seems to be derived from Persian Zoroastrianism. Hindu caste dates from 3,500 YBP.  The suggestion is that going back a few thousand years, caste was common in human societies and caste-based religions were religion. So caste may be the leftovers of an ancient human tradition.

The Yezidi, like the Druze and the Zoroastrians, do not accept converts, and like the Druze, think that they will be reincarnated as their own kind (Druze think they will be reincarnated as Druze; Yezidis think they will be reincarnated as Yezidis).

The Yezidis can be considered fire-worshipers in a sense; they obviously inherited this from the Zoroastrians. The Yezidis say, “Without fire, there would be no life.” This is true even in our modern era, for if we substitute “electrical power” for fire, our lives would surely diminish. Even today, when Kurdish Muslims swear on an oath, they say, “I swear by this fire…”

Many say there is a resemblance between Malak Taus and the Assyrian God Tammuz, though whether the name Malak Taus is actually derived from Tammuz is much more problematic. This connection is not born out by serious inquiry. Tammuz was married to the Assyrian moon goddess, Ishtar.

Ishtar the Goddess of the Moon, here represented as a bird goddess. Worship of birds is one of the oldest forms of pagan idolatry known to man. What is it about birds that made them worthy of worship by the ancients? It can only be the miracle of flight.

 

Where do the Yezidis come from? The Yezidis themselves say that they originally came from the area around Basra and the lower Euphrates, then migrated to Syria, and from there went to Sinjar, Mosul, and Kurdistan.

In addition to worshiping a bird-god, there are other traces of the pre-Islamic pagan religions of the Arabs in Yezidism.

Yezidis hold the number seven sacred, a concept that traces back to the ancient Mesopotamians. The Yezidis have seven sanjaks, and each one has seven burners of the flame. Their God created seven angels. The sculpture carved on the temple of Šeiḫ ’Adî has seven branches.

The Sabeans, another ancient religion of Mesopotamia who are now called star-worshipers by their detractors, also worshiped seven angels who guided the courses of seven planets. Believe it or not, it is from this formulation that our seven days of the week are derived. In the ancient religion of Assyria, Ishtar descended through seven gates to the land of no return. The ancient Hebrews likewise utilized the number seven in their religion.

An ancient seven-armed candelabra, a symbol nowadays used in the Jewish religion, with demonic sea monsters drawn on the base.

 

The Yezidis worship both the sun and moon at both their rising and setting, following the ancient Ḥarranians, a people who lived long ago somewhere in northern Iraq. Sun-worship and moon-worship are some of the oldest religious practices of Man. The ancient pagans of Canaan worshiped the Sun.

At the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the religion practiced there had little in common with Talmudic Judaism of today. For instance, the horses of the Sun were worshiped at that temple (see II Kings 25: 5, 11). The ancient Judeans, who the modern-day Jews claim spiritual connection with, actually worshiped the “host of heaven” – the Sun, the Moon and the Planets. So much for Jews being “the original monotheists”, eh?

In Babylonia, there were two temples to the Sun-God Shamas.

Another pre-Islamic Arab pagan belief is the belief in sacred wells and sanctuaries that contain them. These sacred springs contain water that has curative powers. The holy water found at the Zamzam Well in Mecca is an example; even to this day, Muslims bottle the water and carry it off for this very purpose. Often sacred clothes are used to make the pilgrimages to these waters because ordinary clothes are thought to contaminate the holy site.

In pre-Islamic days, when the pagans circled the rock at the Kaaba, they were completely naked. In Islam, men and women are supposed to remove their clothing and wear a special garb as they circulate around the rock. In Mandeanism, both men and women go to the Mishkana or tabernacle, take off their clothes, and bathe in the circular pool. Emerging, they put on the rasta, a ceremonial white garment.

At the temple of Šeiḫ ‘Adî, there is a sacred pool. The Yezidis throw coins, jewelry, and other things into this pool as offerings. They think that Šeiḫ ‘Adî takes these things from time to time. They also must remove their clothes, bathe, and wear a special garment when they visit the holy valley where this temple resides.

The ancient Arabs also worshiped trees. There were sacred trees at Nejran, Hadaibiya, and Mecca. The pagans hung women’s ornaments, fine clothes, ostrich eggs, weapons, and other items from these sacred trees.

Similarly, the Yezidis also worship trees. They have their favorite trees, and sick people go to these trees and hang pieces of cloth on them, hoping to get well. They believe that whoever takes one of these down will get sick with whatever disease the person who hung the cloth had.

An inscription of a sacred tree from Ancient Babylonian civilization. Trees were worshiped not just in ancient Arabia; they were also worshiped in Mesopotamia.

The Christian Trinity combined with the pagan Tree of Life in an interesting ancient Chaldean inscription that combines pagan and Christian influences. The Tree of Life was also utilized in Kabbalism, Jewish mysticism from the Middle Ages. Nowadays the symbol is used by practitioners of both White and Black Magic. Radical Islam committed genocide once again on the Christians of Iraq, including the Chaldeans earlier in the Iraq War.

 

Yet another Tree of Life, this time from ancient Assyria, an ancient civilization in Mesopotamia. The concept of a tree of life is a pagan concept of ancient pedigree.

The ancient Meccans used to worship stones. At one point the population of Mecca became so large that they had to move out of the valley where the Kaaba resided, so when the former Meccans formed their new settlements, they took rocks from the holy place in Mecca, piled them outside their settlements, and shrine or mini-Meccas out of these things, parading around the rock piles as they moved around the Kaaba.

In Palestine, there were sacred wells at Beersheba and Kadesh, a sacred tree at Shekem, and a sacred rock at Bethel. As in animism, it was believed that divine powers or spirits inhabited these rocks, trees, and springs. This tradition survives to this day in the folk religion of the Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese.

The Yezidis also have certain stones that they worship. They kiss these stones in reverence.
When the Yezidis reach the goal of their pilgrimage or hajj, they become very excited and start shouting. After fasting all day, they have a big celebration in the evenings, with singing, dancing, and gorging on fine dishes.

This hajj, where they worship a spring under Šeiḫ ‘Adî’s tomb called Zamzam and then climb a mountain and shoot off guns, is obviously taken from the Muslim hajj. Mecca also has a Zamzam Spring, and pilgrims climb Mount ‘Arafat on hajj.

The shouting, feasting, singing, dancing and general excitement is typical of a pagan festival. The non-Yezidi neighbors of the Yezidis claim that Yezidis engage in immoral behavior on this hajj. No one knows if this is true or not, but if they do, it may be similar to the festivals of the Kadesh tribe discussed in the Old Testament, where the Kadesh engaged in licentious behavior in their temples.

Although the Yezidis have a strict moral code, observers say that they allow adultery if both parties are willing. That’s pretty open-minded for that part of the world.

The World Runs on Logical Fallacies

The vast majority of people use logical fallacies every day, all day long. The world runs on logical fallacy and illogical thinking. It’s part of the fuel that runs human civilizations.

People have lazy brains. They don’t want to think too hard. Most logical fallacies are caused by “short-cut” thinking. You get to the answer of an unpleasant question very quickly without having to do a lot of painful thinking.

Most people are not like me. I love to think. I live to think. To most people, deep thinking is a pain in the ass. It causes confusion and anxiety. I love being unsure of things. Most people hate being uncertain about things. It causes anxiety and makes the world seem like a scary place. So they decide one way or the other on most important questions that are thrown at them – “Right, wrong, or indifferent, this is how I feel, and I’m not changing my mind.”

I have noticed that people are extremely resistant to changing their mind once they decide that some particular thing happened in some particular way. I have thrown mountains of evidence at people to convince them that what they believe is wrong, and I got nothing but a stonewall and typical a belligerent yelling, screaming stonewall at that. Telling people they are full of shit really sets them off.

The excuses roll off the tongue.

“They’re lying…he’s lying…she’s lying…they made it up…they faked it…it’s a bad source…I only believe the media or the government…that’s conspiracy theory…that’s just one person’s view…show me the evidence…”

Once people get set on a fixed idea of reality, it’s virtually impossible to get them to change their minds. Part of it is just pride, ego. No one wants to admit that they were wrong. In particular, no one wants to admit that they were taken in like suckers in a big fat lie. People will defend the most nonsensical ideas if it means that they can avoid saying that they were dumb enough to get conned.

Why Do Haters Even Come Here?

I’ve had haters on this site forever now. For the most part they are gone these days after I put in a lot of new rules that I have been bashed all over the Internet as thin-skinned for having. One of the rules says more or less that you can’t comment here unless you like me. That leaves out 99% of the world, but that’s ok. That still leaves us with  80 million human lovers to choose from!

Nevertheless, from the very start, I have had many haters on this site. They came here all the time, posted many, many times and obviously absolutely hated my guts. For some idiot reason, I kept letting them post here forever. A lot of them were Jews and SJW’s. Some just hate me for some reason that I never understood.

Whenever I got heavily involved in any subject, be it Sasquatch, the Delphi Killings or whatever, I attracted huge mobs of insane haters. They tried to doxx me.

They set up hater webpages dedicated specifically to me. At one time there were two websites set up for the specific purpose of hating me. One had a forum! Needless to say they all tried to destroy my reputation, if I even have one. They also tried to say that I had no credibility whatsoever and that anything I said about anything had to be completely dismissed due to the source.

But seriously, why in God’s name would you come here and comment all the time if you hate my guts? I really think if you do that, you’re a bad person. Good people don’t troll the blogs of people they hate beating the crap out of them every day.

I mean there are thousands or probably millions of people who I absolutely hate with all my heart writing on the Internet. But why in God’s name would I go over to their pages and pick fights with them all day? Why pick fights with people? I don’t even pick fights with people I hate, and I hate a lot of people. Why should I pick a fight with my enemies? I mean they are bad enough as it is.

Why go over there and launch a war on them? I don’t like having enemies. That they exist is bad enough. I don’t like being in wars with people. That these wars exist is bad enough. I hate to say it, but it’s painful for me to have enemies and be in wars against people.

But why would I go over to a page of someone I don’t even know, who is not my enemy, who never did a thing to me, whose only problem is an awful attitude (like half the population on Earth) or being utterly full of shit (like half the population once again), and deliberately pick or start a fight with them? I’m not a fight picker. I’m not a fight starter. Not with anyone.

Maybe I should be. Maybe some people are so evil that I need to don my suit of armor and lance and charge into battle against them. Maybe I’m a bad person if I don’t launch a war against them.

Incidentally, SJW’s make exactly this argument. They say that if there are some racist people out there, and you are not actively picking fights or starting wars with these people, then you are evil too because that means you are just as racist as they are. It is extremely racist to not stand up and fight racism.

They actually believe that shit. Well I guess I must be an extreme racist against non-Whites because I just don’t feel like picking fights with any of these  racist boneheads.

Just give me my cape and torch already. I already have my cross to burn. I kept it handy for this very moment. I plead guilty and I am ready for my punishment.

I really hate to say this, and maybe it’s not true. I think that adults who go around picking fights and starting fights with people who never did one thing to them are not good people. In fact, most of them are bad people. Lousy people. No good people.

What’s wrong with them?

Many of them are evil minded sadists who get off on picking fights with other humans who never lifted a finger against them. They never graduated from 8th grade. They still think life is a junior high playground. You would be stunned at how many “adults” are actually like this.

I think this is pathetic and if you are an adult who continues to bully other humans in this way, no matter what they did, who never did one thing to you, I think there is something wrong with you. There’s something wrong with your heart. Clearly, it’s full of wickedness and malice. That means you are not a good person, sorry.

Generally speaking, all of these people are moralfags. Many moralfags like this. In particular, these are sanctimonious shits who are, believe it or not, “waging a holy war against evil.” They are the good ones, the knights in shining armor. They have the glory of God on their side.

The people they bully on and pick and start fights with are the bad ones – they are pure evil, Satan on Earth. These moralfags dedicate a good part of their more or less worthless fucktarded lives to going on a good versus evil jihad against the evil people.

Why are these people evil? Because of something they did to the white knight? Of course not, silly.  That would be reasonable. One thing a sanctimonious shit and moralfag is, if nothing else, is that they are never reasonable.

Moralfags hate the people they pick fights with because of what those people said or wrote. Usually not even because of what they did. They said the wrong thing. They wrote the wrong thing. What sort of a person are you that you are such a sanctimonious little turd that you spend your whole life deliberately picking fights with other human beings for things that they said or wrote?

Wow! Is human speech ever that bad? Why should I wage war against some moron for shooting off his mouth, no matter how stupid or unpleasant the things he said were? Why should I go pick a fight with him?

Look, I am sorry. If you are a moralfag, sanctimonious shit, or simple an evil-minded sadist who spends all your time on here hating on me and picking fights with me, you’ve got a very serious problem. Why don’t you go hang out on the page of someone you like? Why do you prefer to spend your time on here picking fights with me, someone you obviously hate.

I also think that no matter how much you dress up your moral jihad in sanctimonious colors, I think you are a bad person. Good people simply don’t go around picking fights with others. They don’t spend all their time hanging out with their enemies trying to start fights with them. If you do that, on what basis do you call yourself a good person. You’re a vicious-minded little shit if you ask me.

Life is for the lovers. Hell is for the haters.

 

Take Advice from Anyone, Even Bad or Crazy People

Condemn the messenger, not the message. And lousy or even awful people often have a ton of great advice. Then doesn’t mean they aren’t still lousy, but maybe you ought to listen to them.  Listen to advice from everyone – good people, bad people, sane people, and even crazy people as long as they are not too crazy.

Almost everyone over a certain age has accumulated some wisdom along the way, even complete fools, and most people have some advice or a philosophy of life to impart to you. Listen to the advice or life philosophy and decide if you think it is good advice or a good philosophy. Decide first if it makes sense, is logical, true, and commonsensical, and second if it is moral or not, i.e. fits your moral values.

People who don’t have much good advice to give include:

  • Very stupid people, often low IQ’s in the 70’s or below (although one woman I dated in high school and my first year of college, the first woman I ever had PIV sex with, taught me more about women than most women I have known – her IQ was in the 70’s – she was a classic dumb blond).
  • Very young people – who are usually more receivers of wisdom than deliverers of it.
  • People who are seriously crazy with schizophrenia, acute mania or manic psychosis.
  • Most depressives.
  • People who are seriously drugged out or having a drug psychosis, etc. (although I knew a long-term speed freak who had some great advice to impart somehow, especially about car engines).

Homeless drug addicts and others who have obviously made poor life choices have a life philosophy, but it is often a poor one as is evident by their circumstances. Any ideas about how to live life from these people are likely to be bad advice because they don’t live sensibly.

Alt Left: Things Fall Apart? or History’s Never Over

Yesterday never comes around again, and you can’t win a war against time.

Reactionaries think clocks work backwards. They don’t. They move forwards. The Marxists are right about history, and Fukuyama is wrong. Clocks always move forwards and the march of history is about progress and forward action through time.

And you probably can’t stop it. It might even be programmed in. Check out Hegel, “Observations on History.” If you can somehow make sense of him. If you can’t I don’t blame you!

He talks about that a lot. He thinks that Logic and Progress or Logos are coded right into the system, and if there is a God, that’s what it is. If you ever see people like E. Michael Jones talking about Logos, this is what they are talking  about.

The human tendency will always be towards Order and Reason and against Disorder and Unreason.

But twisted fans of Entropy Theory like me will never be happy with that. Dirtbags like me actually want things to fall apart. I want the bull raging through the china shop. The system is too sick to be reformed. It has to smashed altogether.

In that sense, I am a Leninist, and the Alt Left is a Leninist movement. But so was Steve Bannon, so hey. There are Leninists of the Right and the Left you know. Also we agree with Bannon about that. We only differ on how to put it back together and even there, we agree with him on some things. For nationalism and against globalism for one.

Put it back together later? Sure, just leave that to us, please. On the other hand, I see this process as History, so there’s a contradiction here.

By the way, Marx agreed with him, and that’s why Marx was a Hegelian, and most Marxists see themselves as Hegelians. The bump and lurch of History; change as the merger or clash of two opposing forces.

People like Aliester Crowley and modern-day Satanists push the idea that the order of the universe is towards Disorder and Unreason. That what Magic is all about anyway. A Hegelian doesn’t practice Magic. He can’t

Narcissism and Psychopathy Are on Continua Too

Very good book.

I just finished reading this book.  It it titled The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain

Author is a well known neuroscientist who discovered while looking at his brain scan that he is a psychopath himself! His scan looks exactly like that of a criminal psychopath. He is what is called a prosocial psychopath. These types or even a lot of the antisocial noncriminal psychopaths types are everywhere in politics, business, law enforcement, the military, law, and medicine. Psychopaths are attracted to all of those fields and all of these areas of work are swarming with those jerks. Most antisocial noncriminal psychopaths never spend one day of their lives in a jail or prison. They are what I like to call legal criminals, always skating  just on the edge of the law. Our government (see Mr. Trump) and many corporations are full of these “legal criminals.” I don’t think too much of them honestly.

I’ve met a few apparent antisocial criminal psychopaths in my life. The last one was a 23 year old woman! You really need to stay away from them.

Every psychopath who entered my life ended up harming me. For the most part, they all stole from me. You won’t be able to befriend these people without getting used and harmed because that is exactly what they do to most if not all other humans. Nobody emerges unscathed from befriending a psychopath. You’re not going to get away with it!

Psychopathy is also a continuum, just like…everything! The PCL scale ranges from 0-40. 0’s and 40’s are not common. For instance, I assure you that I am absolutely not a 0! But I am not a psychopath either, although my score is  for sure somewhat elevated above that of  goody-goods, cop-lovers, authoritarians, and choir boys.

On the other hand, I don’t really victimize innocent people, unless you count women, but that’s debatable as all’s fair in love and war! Sexual relationships are generally outside of morality. They can be immoral but they have to be pretty bad to get to that point. Players, pump and dumpers, easy women, etc. are generally not behaving immorally.

30+ is a psychopath and 20+ has serious psychopathic traits. Even in 0-20, if you score a 6 on the scale, and someone else scores a 12, they will appear more psychopathic to you. If we look at the scale that way and pick out everyone who clearly has elevated psychopathy, we are talking about 10-20% of the population or maybe more. Maybe a lot more.

Most everything else in the world that is a subjective quality  is a continuum too. Philosophically, qualities and objects are different things. Objects are objective and generally are not on a continuum. An object either exists or it doesn’t, 100 or zero. There’s no such thing as part of an object or an object that is only there a little bit but not completely there.

For instance, all humans are narcissistic and you can score that on a scale too. Narcissism and self-esteem mean the same thing! So low narcissism means low self-esteem. And high narcissism means high self-esteem, which is considered to be normal and is actually thought of as good mental health, although some folks might find people with big egos like this a bit much.

Here we are into people who are vain, conceited, self-centered, etc. but nevertheless normal. None of those three things are indicative of narcissism.

Sure narcissists have all of those in spades, but narcissism goes far beyond that. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is pathological narcissism (Trump), and if you have been around anyone like that, trust me, they are real bastards and get on your nerves real fast if you are reasonably sane.

They are very annoying people and actually they are rather mean, ugly, and hostile in many ways. NPD’s are not very nice people!They are also profoundly selfish. They really don’t care about you! It’s all about them. What’s all about them? Everything. Face it, you’re either a taker or a giver in life. Narcissists are takers, not givers. They don’t necessarily take from everyone, but they definitely don’t give to much of anyone either. All of their stuff, material and otherwise, is for them.

“Extreme Polarities of Game in Nabokov’s “Lolita”” by Dana Sala

If you all wonder what I do in my spare time, well, I like to feed my brain and work out my brain, mostly by reading things that I find very hard to understand. The harder it is to understand, the more I like it.

Here is an article I read recently. It’s Literary Criticism. Some of this stuff is extremely hard to understand. In fact, it is some of the most hard to understand stuff out there. Some people say that that is because it’s all nonsense, but I think a lot of it is just really thick and hard to figure out. It’s operating on a higher plane that most of us are.

I’m honestly not sure if this article is nonsensical and full of crap or if it actually means something. I think it probably means something, but I’m just not smart enough to figure it out. I’m not sure if Literary Criticism is full of nonsense yet. For some reason I doubt that it is.

Anyway, if you want to see the sort of thing I spend my days reading, here you go. And by the way, you are welcome to try to understand it yourself.

Extreme Polarities of Game in Nabokov’s “Lolita”

by Dana Sala

Abstract:

An aesthetician in the sense of Kierkegaard, Humbert wants to savor life without being limited by moral rules. Any writer might find himself reflected by the myth of Don Juan, identifiable with the eternal seducer of the reader. Lolita is a real presence, not a Humbertian alter-ego. Humbert the Seducer yearns to be seduced.

His existential game can furnish things for analysis to Humbert the Casuist provided that he has a counterpart – the game of Lolita, less spiritualized, less intellectual, but closer to the generic notion of game.

Fluctuating between life and death, the game of Don Juan longs to explore the other type of game, the active one. The game that resents reality (the imaginative game) is challenged by the game that
bravely assumes it (active). A perennial Manichaeism between these disjunctive components renders the necessary tension to any game – ultimately a result of two extreme polarities playing against each other.

Key words: casuistry; innocence; seducer or seduced; active and imaginative game; Nabokov; Lolita; Kierkegaard; seduction of literature; nymphets; kitsch; the ineffable; Narcissus; art and gratuitousness.

Fatally enslaved to innocence, Humbert Humbert cannot escape casuistry, as it offers both a compensatory means of transcending an undesired reality and a way of exploring it. Lolita is frantically desired and perverted during Nabokov’s discourse not by granting her money in exchange for her dearness but because of Humbert’s turning into a casuist.

Innocence cannot be re-found by analyzing a self already schizoid. Humbert can vaguely sense again the innocence in the company of a nymphet, of every nymphet (that’s why his ceaseless hunting of nymphets, even if he must have been satisfied with Lolita, is an impulse of living, not a sign of perversion). Humbert’s real perversion lays in his casuistry.

Another perversion is to be so refined in the art of seducing the reader. None of Don Juan’s acts of seducing could be accomplished without gratuity. An aesthetician in Kierkegaard’s sense, Humbert wants to savor life without being limited by moral rules. Innocence grants both Johann the Seducer (in Kierkegaard’s writings) and Humbert Humbert a life lived within the aesthetic stage of existence.

Paradoxically, Lolita is a consumer without any remorse of what Humbert (and this time Nabokov either) hated most: the stereotyped society, sterile imitation, commercial kitsch. In this respect, Lo is not individualized but conventional, as conventional as a nymphet could be. The difference between Lo as a nymphet and a stereotyped woman (any from Miss Opposite to Charlotte Haze) is that Lolita does not live according to these clichés.

Her life may be governed by them, she is gravitating around them, turning them into commodities, but her nymphic glimpse makes her incorporate all these consuming goods. Thus they are made her own.

Humbert’s narcissism lays in the fact that he is more eager to know the inner world rather than the outer one. The paths of exploring the world go through the inner self. Loving Lolita becomes an act of a 20th Century Narcissus. We are very far from the commonsensical situation when a powerful male personality transforms the beloved one into a reflex of his own self.

Humbert could be a perfect illustration of the Narcissus myth not because he loves himself in Lolita but because he wants to set in permanent forms the beloved image.

Any writer might find himself more or less anamorphotically reflected by Don Juan’s myth, identifiable with the eternal seducer rather than the ceaseless lover. The exertion of demiurgic valences of an author, generically speaking, could be equated with a Don Juanesque temptation to construct a suffocating intrigue around the victim since the authentic Don Juan will never disrelish demiurgic enticement.

In order to be perfectly overlapped, both writer and seducer must be possessed by the demon of the intellectual game. In Nabokov’s Lolita and Kierkegaard’s The Diary of the Seducer Don Juan is not only an archetype but also the main character, seductive as narrating self, seduced as character.

For Nabokov, fiction is a game and a contest with the reader:

I want my learned readers to participate in the scene I am about to replay. (Nabokov, Lolita: 13).

Like every other bit of existence in this book, game has in turn its right to Siamese twinning. Therefore, an essential distinction in Nabokov’s fiction would be that between the two facets of the twofold game.

One is the imaginative game; the other is the active one. A perennial Manicheanism between these disjunctive components renders the necessary tension to any game – ultimately a result of two extreme polarities playing against each other. Nabokov, the writer who suffered a second exile, a linguistic one

paved the way for the truly postmodernist novels that were to follow

M. Couturier, 1993: 257

The imaginative game is high-minded, aware of its own uncertainties, and non-finite because of its endless combinations of virtual realities. This is the game of fiction, the authorial game, the Humbertian one, the contest of minds with the reader. Humbert is playing this game with the other Humbert, and Nabokov is playing it against Humbert and Quilty, by whom Humbert might be written.

The imaginative game means perpetual replacement and recreation of realities. The so-called active game is the one engulfed by reality. This game resents the non-finite reality of mind, preferring the genuineness of the conceivable world. Humbert Humbert’s game is centripetal; Lolita is centrifugal.

The active game is attempting to find a way of real manifestation. For the fictional game, the outer world is too suffocating, whilst for the active game, the inner world is too broad. Lolita’s playing with Humbert, Lolita’s disclaiming virginity to Charlie Holmes, the nymphic games integrating an immobile Humbert – these all belong to the active nature of the game.

By means of imaginative game, “reality” (one of the few words which mean nothing without quotes) is transcended to the aesthetic level of being. Humbert shares with Nabokov the appetite for autoscopic game. A sample of the authorial imaginative game is the intrusion of a preface teller illustrating the conventional moral view point, telling us what we must not understand from the novel.

Dr. John Ray Jr. would not be able to recognize himself mocked – as a exponent of a certain category of people – since the capacity of reflection, of playing dangerously with your double, cannot be understood by all readers.

As a case history, “Lolita” will become, no doubt, a classic in psychiatric circles. As a work of art, it transcends its expiatory aspects; and still more important to us than scientific significance and literary worth, is the ethical impact the book should have on the serious reader; for in this poignant personal study there lurks a general lesson; the wayward child, the egotistic mother, the panting maniac- these are not only vivid characters in a unique story: they warn us of dangerous trends; they point out potent evils.

“Lolita” should make all of us – parents, social workers, educators – apply ourselves with a still greater vigilance and vision to the task of bringing up a better generation in a safer world.

Nabokov, Lolita: 5

Both Nabokov and Humbert Humbert’s fictional games have no expressed target.

It would be inappropriate to see it as a mere justification of a murder or of a pervert.
Fluctuating between life and death, Don Juan’s game longed to explore the other type of game, the active one. The game that resents reality (imaginative) is challenged by the game that bravely assumes it (active).

Humbert the child was probably playing active games with Annabel Leigh (disclosed later as Annabel Lee with a frankness borrowed from or mimicking nymphic behavior). That must have happened before he was assaulted by two barbarian intruders who actually raped his androgynous clumsiness.

This moment coincides with the implicit revelation of the postponed fulfillment and with the intermission of an irreversible personality split:

My world was split. I was aware of not one, but two sexes, neither of which was mine; both would be termed female by the anatomist. [ … ] Taboos strangulated me. Psychoanalysts wooed me with pseudoliberations or pseudolibidoes. The fact that to me the only objects of amorous tremor were sisters of Annabel’s, her handmaids and girl-pages, appeared to me at times as a forerunner of insanity.

Nabokov, Lolita: 18

While Humbert underwent the inexorable metamorphosis into a mature schizoid, Lolita,
although twofold nature herself, presents the extremes of vulgarity and innocence fused
together. Her personality is not painfully split. Humbert the Casuist admits that Humbert the
Seducer will be lured by the genuineness of a nymphet that refuses to be shaped.

A Humbert, the first or the second, we will never know, is the mirror reflection of the other one. That is why the first Humbert can charge the second Humbert with abominable features, while his true desire is to be seduced by innocence.

Lolita arrived in her Sunday frock, stemming, panting and then she was in my arms, her innocent mouth melting under the ferocious pressure of dark male jaws, my palpitant darling! The next instant I heard her – alive, unraped – clatter downstairs.

Nabokov, Lolita: 66

Lo as a nymphet means a permanent resuscitation of Humbert’s erect attention, as this erotically un-evolved widower will always run away from fulfillment. For Kierkegaard, the happy marriage or happy love is inconceivable. In the same spirit, “Lolita” illustrates the doctrine of Eros Kosmogon, saying that Eros, as a daimon, as a mediator of two principles, exists as long as these two principles fail to unify (see J. Evola).

Therefore the moment of coupling coincides with the annihilation of Eros itself, viewed as longing of the being to be coupled with the non-being.
Nabokov and Kierkegaard’s casuistry reveal the dramatic condition of the overlucid Don Juan endowed with an ontological contempt of the stereotype of femininity.

Don Juan accepts only an equal partner who rejects becoming a mere reflex of his own self. Thus the myth of Pygmalion is reversed. The aesthetic pleasure is not given by the act of engulfing the feminine presence into the male self. On the contrary, Don Juan is attracted only by the ineffable type of women, respecting the noumenal part of femininity.

In this way, Lolita is a real presence, not an Humbertian alter-ego. Humbert the Seducer yearns to be seduced, as his existential game can furnish things for analysis to Humbert the Casuist only when he bumps into a corresponding replay – Lolita’s game, less spiritualized, less intellectual, but closer to the generic notion of game.

As Huizinga stated, game is beyond good and evil. Vladimir Nabokov’s seducer and Kierkegaard’s Don Juan can be looked on as aestheticians, belonging to the first level of being in Kierkegaard’s term.

For Kierkegaard the essence of a man is defined as aesthetic, and this represents the first stage of being. Consequently, the aestheticism is not necessarily the artist but someone who has discovered in pleasure the purpose of his life, denying the presence of good and evil. The
aestheticism’s act of living is achieved through the aesthetics of his self.

Every aestheticism lives so that he could voluptuously respond to all desires commanding him. Moreover, his quest tends to reveal more and more yearnings to be fulfilled. How the outer world reacts to this has no relevance for the aestheticism.

Humbert’s perversion can be seen in his attitude to the reader rather than in his pedophilic propensities. It is the demoniac glimpse which differentiates a nymphet from any other adolescent and helps Humbert Humbert localize her. Humbert’s intention is in fact to suspend the instant and isolate it.

Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and 14 there occur maidens who, to a certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as “nymphets”.

Between those age-limits, are all girl-children nymphets? Of course not. Otherwise, we who are in the know, we, lone voyagers, we nympholepts, would have long gone insane.

Nabokov, Lolita: 17.

Humbert Humbert’s aversion to stereotype makes him an unreliable narrator. Craig Raine remarked that

“Nabokov’s galère of unreliable narrators (Hermann in Despair, Kinbote in Pale Fire) represent unreliability in its extreme form. They are reliably unreliable. They get nothing right.”

Craig Raine, Afterword: 322

A twofold nature himself, a paragon of exactitude and a miracle of meticulousness fused with “hallucinative lucidity,” Humbert Humbert abhors the Hollywood stereotype of a woman. Lolita is a consumer of the same type of clichés, but this does not diminish her seductive potencies. She would prefer a Hamburger to a Humburger.

Hummy has striven all way to find an equal partner, double-natured. Vulgarity can coexist with shamelessness and purity. By the end of the novel, Humbert wholly regrets not having taken the angelic line of conduct at the “Enchanted Hunters.” He sees himself now as a maniac who has deprived Lolita of her childhood. Lolita, neither saint nor slut, but a complex mixture.

And neither is she the fragile child of a feminine novel.

What drives me insane is the twofold nature of this nymphet – of every nymphet, perhaps; this mixture in my Lolita of tender dreamy childishness and a kind of eerie vulgarity, stemming from the snub-nosed cuteness of ads and magazine pictures, from the blurry pinkness of adolescent maidservants in the old country and in the very young harlots disguised as children in provincial brothels.

And what is most singular is that she, this Lolita, my Lolita, has individualized the writer’s ancient lust, so that above and over everything there is – Loli ta (Nabokov, Lolita: 44).

Annabel was meant to be the vanished angel. Lolita as her reincarnation outdid the prototype, as she had an extra demoniac glimpse and a twofold nature. On the other hand, Humbert Humbert attempts to analyze the ineffable nature of the nymphets, as he will always long for his androgynous state with Annabel:

My little Annabel was no nymphet to me; I was her equal, a faunlet in my own right, on the same enchanted island of time.

Nabokov, Lolita: 17

Unable to seduce Lolita, who acts physiologically, defying any metaphysical concepts, Humbert seeks compensation in seducing his readers. Humbert the pervert, comparable with Johannes from Kierkegaard’s The Seducer’s Diary, attempts to detect the resort of innocence and fails, perverting it.

Their supreme refinement is the fact they try to do so in writing. Losing virginity coincides with the revelation of the end, of the finite. This is valid for Humbert who becomes from that moment Humbert Humbert. Reaching enlightenment, Humbert Humbert cannot ignore or deny knowing.

It is impossible for him to pretend that the sense of his quest has not changed irreversibly. For Lolita, the Charlie Holmes experience is just a childish game. Her authenticity has not been endangered, and the world has not changed its coordinates.

Lolita’s innocence belongs to the category of “ignorant innocence”. Humbert Humbert, now that he knows the world is limited and love subdued to Death, is fascinated by this type of innocence, totally devoid of shame. All his strategies of seducing Lolita reveal in fact a surprising timidity. Humbert Humbert does not exactly plan how to make Lolita love him but how to derive small satisfactions without her approval.

Recomposing his identity is a playful way of guaranteeing the subjective truth. This attitude is preserved in approaching the nymphet. The greatest Humbertian joy now is to let the nymphic nature fully manifest itself and recompose all these images in silence so that the White Widowed Male could “blissfully digest” the “rare drop of honey”.

In a way, Humbert has the intuition that the besieged Lolita is able to surprise the hunter and turn it into a “Hunted Enchanter”. Her natural way of becoming her stepfather’s mistress is the climax of her nymphic manifestations:

The hollow of my hand was still ivory-full of Lolita- full of the feel of her preadolescently incurved back, that ivory smooth, sliding sensation of her skin through the thin frock that I had worked up and down while I held her. [ … ]I felt proud of myself.

I had stolen the honey of a spasm without impairing the morals of a minor. Absolutely no harm done. The conjurer had poured milk, molasses, foaming champagne into a young lady’s new white purse; and Lo, the purse was intact. Thus I delicately constructed my ignoble, ardent, sinful dream; and still Lolita was safe – and I was safe.

What I had madly possessed was not she, but my own creation, another, fanciful Lo1ita –perhaps more real than Lo1ita; overlapping, encasing her; floating between me and her, and having no will, no consciousness- indeed no life- of her own.

The child knew nothing. I had done nothing to her. And nothing prevented me from repeating a performance that affected her as little as if she were a photographic image rippling upon a screen.

Nabokov, Lolita: 62

Had Lolita remained Humbert’s only in his imagination, she would have perfectly replaced Annabel, and she would have belonged to Humbert’s own reality. But Lolita has a life of her own, a self-sufficient existence that makes no room for moral dilemmas. She needs to be more than a prototype for Humbert’s recreation of another Lolita.

Humbert considers pathetic his hypostasis as a nymphic purity protector. This would be
the only possible way to fix Lolita in eternity, to set her unchanged. But Humbert can do so
only on the realm of arts. Art reconciles and stirs Lolita and Humbert’s games and destinies.

Don Juan is innocently seduced by innocence. The twofold nature of Humbert the Don Juan and Lolita are heaven and hell, life and death:

This is my story. I have reread it. It has bits of marrow sticking to it, and blood and beautiful bright-green flies. At this or that twist of it I feel my slippery self eluding me, gliding into deeper and darker waters than I care to probe.

Thus, neither of us is alive when the reader opens this book.[… ] I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lo1i ta. (Nabokov, Lolita: 309).

The beginning is given new valences. Trying to seduce the illusion of Lolita, Humbert has engulfed the real one so deep inside that he can take her out only for the sake of his autoscopic view: “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”

Works Cited :

Baudrillard, J. (1979) De la séduction, Paris, Galilée.

Couturier, M. (1993) Nabokov in Postmodernist Land, Critique, 34(4): 257.

Evola, J. (1993) Metafisica del sesso, Edizioni Mediterranee.

Jenkins, J. L. (2005) Searching High and Lo. Unholy Quests for Lolita, Twentieth Century
Literature, 51(2).

Kierkegaard, S. (1997) The Seducer’s Diary, with a foreword by John Updike, Princeton University Press.

Nabokov, V. (1995) Lolita, Afterword by Craig Raine, Penguin Books. Copyright The Journal of Humanistic Studies, 2009

8chan Is Still Up

Here ya go, folks.

8chan.

And you can even see the notorious pol board which has everyone so up in arms.

pol/.

I’m not sure how many boards either 8chan or 4chan have. I thought at one time that 8chan has ~1,800 boards, but I could be wrong. The main thing is that there is no such far rightwing board called “8chan.” No such thing. 8chan, 4chan and the rest simply host scores or hundreds of boards ranging over every possible subject you can think of. All of the problems are coming from one of those boards, pol/, which stands for Politically Incorrect, not politics like Net “experts” say.

So really the whole problem is with one single board, which is indeed a White nationalist / White Supremacist / Nazi board.

There are some other boards like b/, which stands for Random. There are some Nazi and White Supremacist posters on there, but a lot of their enemies are on there too, and there are many people talking about things that have nothing to do with that subject. b/ is not some radical rightwing racist board. It’s just a board where anyone of any ideology or belief can post whatever the Hell they want to.

But there are other boards dealing with everything under the sun. In addition, there are quite a few Leftist or liberal boards, and they absolutely hate pol/ and want it shut down. But if you shut down 8chan, you shut down all those anti-fascist Leftist boards at the same time. Get it?

Even pol/ is rather misunderstood. Yes, posts have been made announcing attacks on there, but posts have also been made on Facebook announcing attacks. I suppose you can announce a coming attack anywhere you wish on the Internet.

All such posts are taken down by 8chan quickly, and this post was taken down 15 minutes after it was posted. 8chan also cooperates fully with law enforcement in terms of turning over IP’s of anyone doing anything seriously illegal on there. That was a condition of them staying up. 8chan is run by some guy in the Philippines who has no particular politics at all other than hating the government and an absolute commitment to free speech.

I saw the post that was taken down. There were several responses, all attacking the poster for his post announcing the attack. Most responses were saying “Hello FBI” or calling him a Fed.

There were a few pol/ threads after the attack that I looked over. Probably 80% of the responses were either condemning or criticizing the attacker or calling each other feds or Jews. ~20% were supporting it in some way or another, but often in a rather subtle way, like, “A Jew killed 20 Mexicans. I think I like Jews a lot more now.” This was based on a mistaken idea that the shooter was Jewish.

Criticisms of the attack included people saying that they opposed murder, that the shooter killed 20 “nobodies” when he should have been killing those responsible for replacing the White race, how stupid it was for a 21 year old White man to throw his whole life away on something this stupid, how this will backfire and just result in more deplatforming and and victories for the other side, how they should be trying to convince people of their argument rather than murdering people, etc.

There were a few posts saying, “Kill feds. Kill Jews. Kill Muds.” These posts were generally mass attacked as being posted by either feds or Jews.

Others were saying, “Hey look, we are in a war now whether you like it or not. You need to pick a side. You’re either with us or with our enemies.” These posts got a lot of criticism.

This wildly conflicted and somewhat subdued response was in marked contrast to Brandon Tarrant’s shooting at the mosque in New Zealand  which killed 47 Muslims. The pol/ response to that attack was wide cheers.

As you can see, the responses to these attacks even on the virulent pol/ board are all over the place, and the vast majority either condemn the attack or call other people feds.

8chan went down a few days ago, but then it came back up for a while. What you see now is a somewhat archived version of 8chan, as the last post on any board was 8 AM August 5, not quite 48 hours ago.

They will obviously come back just like The Daily Stormer did. Incidentally, the Daily Stormer has a new policy that anyone directly advocating violence gets an instant ban. It’s still a ferociously racist site, but it’s not openly calling for any violence.

To me shutting down these sites is a fool’s errand. These people are under the mistaken impression that you can kill an idea. It should be obvious to anyone that you cannot kill an idea.

Speaking philosophically, ideas are not even objects, a constant source of discussion in philosophy. So they’re not even real, actual things that you can see, hear, touch, hold in your hand, etc.

One wonders if ideas even exist at all. They are simply these nebulous things, not even objects, that float around in human brains, often going from brain to brain. They’re not even on the level of an electron or quark. We can actually see that those things exist on some level.

We have no idea if an idea even exists unless some human with a brain tells us it does. Can you see, hear, touch, or hold an idea in your hand? Nope. In fact it is very hard to tell if an idea even exists at all except that someone tells us they have one in their brain, and there’s no way to prove even that, as they could be lying.

I really want to know exactly how these people are going to go about killing an idea. Do they have machines that search inside the brains of all of us humans, machines that can spot all of these nebulous idea-things floating about in our heads, reading and decoding them, somehow isolating the bad ones, and then zapping the bad ones with some laser ray?

What else are they going to do? Are they going to put people in jail for having an idea? They can’t. Are they going to put people in jail for propagating an idea? They can’t do that either, thank God.

If they shut one site down, ten more will pop up. They will end up with an endless game of wack-a-mole. The sites will move to the Dark Web (when you go to Daily Stormer, you are going to the Dark Web), and there’s no way to shut down anything down there or even to tell who’s running any site or who anyone posting anything even is. Even the FBI can’t crack the Dark Web, as it’s un-crackable.

There are quite a few bulletin boards up all over the Net that support the Islamic State and other Islamist guerrilla groups. People working against these organizations have chosen to leave these sites up so the groups can be easily monitored. You enemy’s not going anywhere just because you want him gone, and the number one rule of warfare is to know your enemy. That goes all the way back to Sun Tzu.

How do you kill an idea? You don’t. But you can fight an idea, and no you don’t fight an idea by shutting down everyone who has it. You fight an idea by countering its message with the opposite message, one that points out that the idea is bad and wrong and that people should abandon it for those reasons.

If White nationalism and White Supremacism, particularly in their armed forms, are such terrible things (and I do think they are wrong), the people who hate these ideas need to forcefully make the case that these concepts and ideologies are wrong and bad and should be abandoned.

There’s another silly concept floating around. It’s the idea that these armed White nationalists want to start a race war. I’ve got some news for everyone. The guys on pol/ are right. It’s too late for that by a few years already. The war’s already here. It’s already on. It’s happening right now.

You can’t stop an existing entity from starting. Is it time to pick a side? Maybe so, or you can always go neutral. I will choose to oppose these maniacs because killing people because of their race, religion or ideology is just messed up. I don’t agree with the morality of it.

Alt Left: Anatomy of Two Chinese Stereotypes: Greediness and Lack of Aesthetic Taste

Thinking Mouse:

What do you make of the stereotype that Chinese are greedy amoral worker drones with no aesthetic taste and little emotion?

Lot of truth to those things. Let’s take these one by one here. We previously discussed amorality and stoicism or lack of emotion, so let us look at greediness and lack of aesthetic taste. I will also look at Jews as many Chinese stereotypes are Jewish stereotypes as well.

 

Greediness

 

The Chinese are white collar criminals, and they are amoral in that sense. Very similar to the Jews. It may be the case that any group with IQ’s markedly higher than the majority will not only grab most of the money under capitalism but will also be profoundly ruthless and amoral in how they go about it, often to the point of basically being a race of white collar criminals, which is what I would call Chinese and Jews.

Both Chinese and Jews are viewed as being fanatically money-oriented, materialistic, and aggressively driven to succeed at all costs. As the Jews have their Jewish mothers and uncles with pinky rings, so the Chinese have the newly created Tiger Moms

Lack of Aesthetic Taste

 

You can make the lack of aesthetic taste argument about all those other Chinese-influenced societies. The Chinese or Japanese artist is deliberately spare and seems at first glance to be drawing excessively, shall we say, modest paintings. It is as if the Asian artist feels ashamed of artistic talent and is deliberately dumbing down in his art so as to not appear better than others.

Nevertheless, artists have told me that Chinese and Japanese art is excellent in its own spare, somewhat minimalist, and certainly modest sense.

Both Chinese and Japanese have taken to modern literature, the Japanese in particular in terms of fiction. But both races have early traces of fiction in the form of epic tales that are basically novels extending back centuries, even to 1000. Think of The Tale of the Genji or Water Margin for Japanese and Chinese respectively.

Japanese invented a very interesting, spare, minimal, “shy”, and modest or self-effacing form of poetry called the haiku, which in its own way reaches to the peaks of literature.

The Japanese also took up Western or rock music. Many excellent rock bands of all sorts have come out of Japan. The Chinese, like the Italians, have been entertaining themselves via operas forever.

Alt Left: Anatomy of Two Chinese Stereotypes: Amorality and Emotionlessness or Stoicism

Thinking Mouse:

What do you make of the stereotype that Chinese are greedy amoral worker drones with no aesthetic taste and little emotion?

Lot of truth to those things. Let’s take these one by one here. Let us look at emotionlessness and  amorality and for starters. I will also look at Jews as they are accused of some of these very same thing, not to mention that Jews and Chinese have a lot in common.

 

Emotionlessness or Very Understated Emotions

 

The Chinese practice inscrutability. This is one of the hallmarks of not only their but also all other Chinese-influenced societies in Asia such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Say a wild, boisterous, screaming, hollering violent fight breaks out on a train. An older Japanese men, maybe 40, gets between the fighters and calms. He never loses his cool or gets very emotional in the process.

These Chinese-type cultures would say that that man is displaying the ultimate in masculinity. He’s the most macho guy on the train, simply because these people regard keeping cool under pressure and not caving in easily to emotions as extremely masculine behavior. And in the Nietzschian sense, the man on the train is indeed the biggest man there, the Ubermensch. He rose above everyone on the train, did he not?

However, the inscrutability, like so many Chinese habits, is largely fake, for show, or like a game. The Chinese are trained to appear inscrutable, not to be emotionless. Of course they have emotions. But they regard a wildly emotional person as akin to a beast of the jungle. After all, most beasts seem to have few emotions being fear or rage, and they are usually showing one or the other or both.

Beneath the inscrutable mask, the Chinese would say you can have any emotion you wish. But you are supposed to hide it from others, once again a form of extreme modesty and politeness taken nearly to the point of obsequiousness.

All of these China-influenced cultures are rather shy, deliberately self-effacing nearly to the point of being self-hating. This is mostly just a show or a game, but in all Chinese societies, modesty is highly valued, and braggarts, loudmouths, showoffs, blowhards and just noisy people in general are regarded as at best uncivilized and at worst barely human.

After all, many animals care nothing about raising a ruckus. Animals lack modesty by their very nature. This extreme, almost bizarre modestly of the Chinese probably comes from Confucian values, which were then overlain with Communism, which also regards showoffs, braggarts, and egotists as lousy Communists at best and downright society-destroying hooligans at worst.

Amorality

 

However, behind that stone-faced mask, the Chinese man may be hatching all sorts of devious schemes because once again like the Jews, the Chinese tend to be underhanded, sneaky, scheming, and conspiratorial nearly to the point of appearing diabolically devious. Check out Sun Tzu if you don’t believe me.

That’s how a Chinaman fights. Rules? What rules? Once again this akin to Jews who have always been accused of fighting dirty, playing hardball, and violating all rules in conflict. The intelligence branch of the Jews themselves after all has the motto of “By way of deception, though shalt do war.” The author of The Art of War himself would have been proud to have written that line.

Neither the Chinese nor the Jews for that matter  engage in savagery and barbarism (though the birth of Israel has created this very thing).

The Chinese are the Jews of Asia with the exception that they are not professional revolutionaries in every way, that they are not out to smash all taboos, and they do not want to change the societies in which they live.

Even in the Philippines and Indonesia, where 2% of population, the Chinese, controls 75% of the wealth, they just let the native Malays do whatever the Hell they want to as far as how to run society. The Chinese just want their money. They keep out of politics and the society-changing efforts that cause so much anti-Semitism when Jews engage in them, as is their nature.

This world-changing, ever-revolutionizing nature of the Jews is one of the main drivers of anti-Semitism, especially among conservative nationalists who see Jews as undermining and destroying the moral and traditional fabric of their lands. The Jews are always rebelling. Now, I am rather sympathetic to this trend, mind you. I’m a bit of a revolutionist myself and always have been.

Both Jews and Chinese also tended to lead Communist revolutions at the same time that their ethnic group was hoarding 32-80% of the wealth. So both the Chinese and the Jews are ultra-capitalists of the worst sort while also being some of the ultimate and often most radical Communists.