Friday, May 26, 2017

Drive-up grocery store is now a thing.

That didn't take long, eh?

According to The Seattle Times, the first time you visit one of the two AmazonFresh Pickup locations, a concierge will enter your name and vehicle's license plate number into Amazon's systems. That way, during subsequent visits a license plate reader will automatically identify you and signal to employees that they should bring your order out to your car.

 What is interesting/alarming is not that this can be done, but that it can be done for $14 a month. If you want to wait two hours for your order to be picked, you don't have to pay at all.

Currently they have kids running around inside picking the orders. I predict not for long. Next thing will be to fire ALL the staff and robots do it all.

The Phantom

Thursday, May 25, 2017

How dare you fry that! Hipster racism in all its glory.

It seems that while we weren't paying attention, it became immoral to make a tortilla unless you are a real Mexican. Yes friends, Cultural Appropriation comes to food carts!

Two white women have been forced to close their pop-up burrito shop after they were accused of cultural appropriation.

Kali Wilgus and Liz 'LC' Connelly opened Kooks Burritos in Portland, Oregon, after taking a trip to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, last December.

For the first few months, the weekend pop-up shop housed in an taco truck was a smash hit. It gained so much popularity, a local weekly newspaper decided to profile the entrepreneurial duo.

But that's when the trouble started for Wilgus and Connelly, after quotes they gave to the Williamette Week led to them being accused of stealing their success.


Cutting to the chase, according to the quotes in the Williamette Week article, the two women went to Mexico, liked the tortillas, asked about them, watched ladies making them in Mexico, then came home to Portland and did research to figure out how to do it themselves. Then they spent a bunch of money creating a successful business out of it. Then came the ravening hordes of the perpetually offended, screaming for their heads.

Enter the Portland Mercury:

And call attention to it we did. As soon as Willamette Week, who has a history of publishing racially insensitive food commentary, published this story, people of color were outraged. Even some of those aforementioned super liberal white people. The comments on the article went up in flames, and pretty soon the story was even picked up by a national outlet.

Following the WW's article, one commenter said: "Now that you all boldly and pretty fucking unapologetically stole the basis of these women's livelihoods, you can make their exact same product so other white ppl don't have to be inconvenienced of dealing with a pesky brown middle woman getting in their way. Great job."

Not willing to let the commenters do the work, Jamilah King turns up the fire.

Week after week people of color in Portland bear witness to the hijacking of their cultures, and an identifiable pattern of appropriation has been created. Several of the most successful businesses in this town have been birthed as a result of curious white people going to a foreign country, or an international venture, and poaching as many trade secrets, customs, recipes as possible, and then coming back to Portland to claim it as their own and score a tidy profit.
...
In less than six months, Wilgus and Connelly have managed to build a business. And, depending on how you look at it, their methods are either genius or the latest example of white folks profiting off the labor of people of color.

Oh, the humanity. Somebody call the waaaaambulance.

Long story short the two ladies have stopped running the food truck, deleted their social media, and that's all folks. Given that people don't usually drop off the grid like that over a few mindless commenters at a shit newspaper, one rather suspects foul play. Two chicks in a truck would be pretty easy for SJW a-holes to intimidate, let's just say.

There appears to be only one answer to the SJWs. That answer does not involve a can of Pepsi.

The Phantom

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Pope.

The Pope met Trump yesterday. The Rodeo Clown and his poofy fashion model wife comported themselves as befits lay persons meeting the Pontiff of Rome.

Both the First Lady, Melania Trump, and the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump, accompanied the President to the high-profile engagement, and both chose to honour the traditional Vatican dress codes by wearing black, long sleeved dresses and veils - the former even choosing to honour her host nation by wearing Italian label Dolce and Gabbana.

That's what the leaders of states are supposed to do when they meet a religious leader. They are supposed to be respectful. Religion is about the soul, the spiritual life of Man, and God. Those are bigger things than nations and politics.

What did the Pontiff of Rome do?

Pope Francis joined an international chorus urging Donald Trump to meet U.S. commitments on climate change in talks at the Vatican Wednesday.

Francis gave the U.S. president a copy of his 2015 encyclical calling for urgent, drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions after a half-hour meeting in his private study.

Francis's choice of gift suggests he is adding his voice to those pressing Trump not to renege on the Paris accord, which is the cornerstone of global efforts to limit climate change. The Vatican said in a statement that the talks focused on international affairs and the promotion of peace, with particular emphasis on health care, education and immigration.


He used his position as the religious leader of the Roman Catholic Church to push politics. Stupid ones at that.

What analogy can encompass this?

Imagine a beautiful Louis XIV sideboard. It is solid, beautifully figured mahogany. It has ebony and rosewood inlay. It has gilded feet and gilded scrollwork drawer pulls and door handles. The top is a marquetry masterpiece, veneers laid to depict a view of the French countryside as envisioned by Charles Le Brun. Fragile, precious and complete unto itself, having no purpose other than to be what it is. A work of breathtaking wonder.

Pope Francis has it out in the kitchen. He's cutting meat on it and storing onions inside.

The Phantom

Monday, May 22, 2017

New front in the culture war: fonts.

This is the mentality of the Left: fonts are racist.

Typography is much bigger than a "gotcha" moment for the visually challenged. Typography can silently influence: It can signify dangerous ideas, normalize dictatorships, and sever broken nations. In some cases it may be a matter of life and death. And it can do this as powerfully as the words it depicts.

Really? Tell me more.

I'm not interested in whether Clinton or Trump had good logos. I'm interested in the different values they reveal. Clinton's typography embodies the spirit of modernism and enlightenment values. It was designed to appeal to smart, progressive people who like visual puns. They appreciate the serendipity of an arrow that completes a lettermark while also symbolizing progress. In other words, coastal elites who like "design."

Trump's typography speaks with a more primal, and seemingly earnest voice. "Make America Great Again" symbolizes "Make America Great Again." It tells everyone what team you're on, and what you believe in. Period. It speaks to a distrust of "clean" corporate aesthetics and snobs who think they're better than Times New Roman on a baseball cap. Its mere existence is a political statement.

The two typographies are mutually intelligible at first glance, but a lot gets lost in translation. We live in a divided country, split on typographic lines as cleanly as the Serbs and the Croats.

You got all that from a font? M'kay. What else?

The stakes are higher than you think. The next generation of fascists will not love geometric sans serifs as much as Mussolini did. They won't be threatening journalists in blackletter.

No, they'll be using Helvetica, just like they've been doing since the 1960's. Hillary and you, buddy, are the new fascists. The rest of us are tired of your shit, and we served you notice.

The Phantom

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How dare you write that! The final word.

The final word on this SJW bunfight goes to John Robson of the National Post, for sheer eloquence in defending the obvious, and for mentioning Rick Riordan's books. Which rock.

This rubbish about cultural appropriation, if taken seriously, would produce not broad views but unimaginable narrowness, a death by suffocation of dialogue and sympathy. What would To Kill a Mockingbird be without black characters? Or Invisible Man without white ones? If we share Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of judging people by the content of their character not the colour of their skin, we should do the same with books, including efforts to see the world through the eyes of others to explore questions of morality and culture. Like, say, Percy Jackson's half-brother Tyson struggling against bigotry because he's … a cyclops.

I guess that's not appropriation, just as nobody's going after J.R.R. Tolkien for depicting hobbits, elves or trolls. But if you can't see that the Lord of the Rings is a profound meditation on the human condition, you need to get out more … to a library. And if you think Tolkien should have stuck to bookish male Oxford professors, as his subject and audience, you deserve to be cast into the company of orcs.

Indeed you have put yourself there, for Tolkien himself called this world's bullies who detest life in its infinite variety "orcs." Like those who decry "cultural appropriation" to silence the human conversation with nasty narrow zealotry.

May Zeus strike them with lightning bolts. Borrowed if need be.

Sadly, I must disagree with Mr. Robson on one point. They are not worthy of Zeus' lightning. I think a nice plague of boils is more what they deserve. Appropriately appropriated from the Jews.

The last-but-one last word belongs to Kathy Shaidle:

I give zero fucks about you people losing your jobs because you dared to talk like a normal person for once.

You are all — and yes, I KNOW THIS — closest conservatives.

You are the elites Charles Murray (who is JUST AS BAD half the fucking time, too, actually) identifies as "not preaching what you practice," to the detriment of the rest of the "society" you pretend to care about.

You present yourselves as liberals for careerist hack reasons, but you all live un-diverse, non-green, traditional-family lives, with your private schools and your genetic lottery media complex.

You also think my friends and I are "deplorables" and so on.

We're your mopeds, your shadows, your whatever Freudian thing that is.

You all commit the only sin liberals still recognize — hypocrisy — every day.

And finally, you and your Filipino nannies and Moleskine notebooks and "play dates" and French immersion and Priuses and artisanal jam just went boom.

Slather on your Burt's Bees and kiss my lumpy ass.

But I get the last word. Because its my blog.

I, in my own little way, am a writer. Most of my characters are white. Some are not. Most of my characters are human. Some are not.

I will borrow from Canadian Indian culture, or American Indian culture, or Australian Aborigine culture, or Chinese culture, or Indian-from-India culture, or Greek, Roman, French, German, Nordic, or any other culture I goddamn well please. Furthermore, I will get stuff wrong at times, and I will even make shit up from whole cloth to curtain over the gaps in the story.

I may even get people to pay me to do it! How about that, huh?

Your SJW tears are the sweetest wine. Fill my cup.

The Appropriating and So Inappropriate Phantom

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Happy "Everybody Draw Mohamed Day"!

Another year gone, and Molly Norris is still in hiding.

And the main stream media still doesn't care. Newspaper stories today about Molly? Zero.

The Phantom

Friday, May 19, 2017

Robert Spencer poisoned in Iceland.

This is a sad and alarming story.

After I spoke last Thursday in the beautiful nation of Iceland, a Leftist in Reykjavik poisoned me.
Perhaps I should have seen it coming. The international Left has rejected free speech, and has embraced violence as a suitable response to speech contradicting its narrative.

Read the article, but the precis is that some punk slipped drugs int Robert Spencer's drink, and he was in hospital overnight. He was several days getting over it. They caught the kid, which is good.

I learned my lesson. And the lesson I learned was that media demonization of those who dissent from the Leftist line is direct incitement to violence. By portraying me and others who raise legitimate questions about jihad terror and Sharia oppression as racist, bigoted "Islamophobes" without allowing us a fair hearing, they paint a huge target on the backs of those who dare to dissent.
Those who paint the targets, and those who shoot at them, think they're doing something great. Not only does the Left fill those whom it brainwashes with hate, but it does so while portraying its enemies as the hatemongers, such that violent Leftists such as the young man who drugged me feel righteous as they victimize and brutalize for the crime of disagreement.

Being the Odd that I am, I've always assumed that I'm a target. One of the many reasons I remain The Phantom at this blog and on-line generally is the certain knowledge that if I stick my head up, there's somebody with a bat ready to knock it off. Or a pocket full of Ritalin and Molly. In "Real Life (TM)" I rarely bother to speak my mind anymore, the reception is invariably poisonous. Bad enough in person, without the knife-in-the-back that comes from an internet based attack.

Richard Spencer is evidently a better man than I, he really thought he was engaging these people in a legitimate and rational conversation. He didn't get who he was dealing with.


Rational? No, not so much. Dangerous? Yes, very.

I understand who you are, Lefties. I can see you. So can a lot of other people who keep their eyes open and don't say much.

The Phantom

Oh, the irony.

I present y'all with a beautiful, exquisite irony: Camestros Felpatron, complaining that a Hugo nominated story is too nassssty to be read.

Don't read the John C. Wright story in the Hugo Packet

I appreciate that is rather like saying 'don't stick beans up your nose' but I am seriously suggesting people don't read it. It is (I assume unintentionally) a nasty violent sexual assault fantasy with overtones of child abuse.

This is of course completely different from the -intentional- violent sexual assault fantasies to be found elsewhere in the Hugo packet this year. Much worse.
 
Reading Mr. Flopatron's description, the story definitely sounds like something I don't want to read. In exactly the same way that his description of N.K. Jemsin's work sounds like something I don't want to read. In exactly the same way that I didn't want to read the Ancilary Whatsis, by Ann Leckie.

Nasty, brutish, and horrible, in short. The type of grey goo that leaves you listless and depressed. Frankly, I can be listless and depressed on my own, without paying for a book to make me more that way. It isn't a state of mind to be desired.

Now, naturally if you ask El Flopo about it, he will -staunchly- defend Jemsin's and Leckie's work, but not because it isn't nasty. He defends those stories because they are either written by a non-white person and therefore are Important, or include stuff about Gender and are therefore Important. Still nasty as hell, but its okay because Reasons.

John C. Wright, being a white dude and a religious conservative, he's not allowed to be nasty. There are no Reasons for him.

But the awesome sauce on top of the exquisite irony is, Mr. Flopper is advocating Hugo voters should vote something down without reading it.

Somebody get this Floppy Camel a wooden assterisk. He can wash it down with a cup of delicious SJW tears.

The Phantom-tron

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The groveling continues!

And now, the CBC grovels.

The managing editor of CBC's "The National" was reassigned Wednesday for what the public broadcaster called "an inappropriate, insensitive and frankly unacceptable tweet" he made as part of a controversial debate over cultural appropriation.

In a memo distributed to staff, CBC News editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire said Steve Ladurantaye will now work on its digital "storytelling strategies" and reach out to indigenous communities "as part of his learning process."

"As you know, Steve Ladurantaye apologized for his action," said McGuire in the memo. "He has made it his goal to better understand the appropriation issue from the perspective of Canada's indigenous people.

"We will support Steve in these efforts and I am confident that the work and conversations we are engaged in will, in the long run, make Steve and all of us better journalists and better leaders."

I have a question: how objective can the managing editor of the official Canadian national news show be if one ill-considered tweet gets him removed? Is he going to report honestly about anything?

Nope. And that is why I have not seen The National for night on to ten years or more. Because it is bullshit.

The Phantom

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Marvel cancels the SJWs.

Liberals don't live up to their own hype, for the most part.

No one is buying Marvel's lineup of social justice-themed comics. It's no surprise, given that few readers want politics to be forced down their throats. Thus liberal darling Ta-Nehisi Coates and Yona Harvey's Black Panther & The Crew is getting the axe after poor sales, just two issues after its launch. Its cancellation comes just weeks after a Marvel VP revealed that comics with forced messages of "diversity" were responsible for the publisher's sales slump.

Joined by Luke Cage, Manifold, Misty Knight, and Storm, the titular superhero who entered the limelight with Captain America: Civil War gathers his all-black crew of superheroes to investigate the death of a civil rights activist who died in police custody. It has echoes of Sandra Bland's death.

Set in a near-future Harlem-turned-police state patrolled by robotic police officers controlled by a private security contractor, the comic has every element you'd expect from a comic attempting to tell a story inspired by Black Lives Matter. The cops beat people up for no reason, too.

Yeah, that sounds like exactly what I want to read in a comic. The author continues"

 Given Marvel's failed forays into "culturally relevant" storytelling, it's clear that any attempts to cultivate a new audience shouldn't come at the cost of alienating existing readers.

If there is any market at all for Black Panther & The Crew, it certainly isn't with the social justice warriors who cry when their stories are canceled but refuse to spend any money on them.

There's a theme here. The theme is failure. SJWs agitate to get something, some company does it for them, then it crashes because nobody buys it, and the SJWs blame... the company!

But why would a company that is in business to make money pay any attention to these whinging morons? How could they think that would end well?

Awards! SJWs have taken over things like the Hugo Awards, and they nominated Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, drawn by Brian Stelfreeze. As I understand it, this comic had remarkably poor sales as well. Mr. Coates is two for two. But it got a Hugo nomination.

Why did it get a Hugo nom if nobody liked it? That's a pretty good question, and the answer is Sad Puppies. We joined WorldCon and voted for stuff we liked, four years in a row. The SJW response was a four-year-long tantrum. Then they changed the voting rules, to keep us out.

This year there's no Sad Puppy presence at all, and Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet is the result.

I guess they'll have to vote for some other unpopular SJW thing next year, because Marvel seems to have finally started listening to their audience instead of moronic SJW whingers.

The Phantom

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How dare you write that! Update!

It appears there have been some developments in the Writer's Union farce I spoke of.

Well, there was some Huffing and Puffing. When the article starts "Dear White People..." you know it is going to be comedy gold. Even better, the guy who wrote it, is a White Guy.
Cultural appropriation has become one of those Trump-era terms that gets people literally all a-twitter. But there's one thing you may notice when the topic hits your feeds and timelines -- the people who are dismissing it as a joke are, well, white folks.
Like late at night on May 11, when a host of media bigwigs "hilariously" started Twitter-organizing an actual "Appropriation Prize" in reaction to the resignation of Write Magazine's Hal Niedzviecki after online uproar surrounding his editorial calling for one.
Wait, appropriation prize? This is good!

It began with Rogers' exec Ken Whyte. Soon, National Post editor-in-chief Ann Marie Owens, Maclean's editor-in-chief Alison Uncles and CBC managing editor Steve Ladurantaye joined in, along with many columnists from various publications.
By this morning Steve Ladurantaye had tweeted an apology for his "dumb glib tweet about a dumb glib idea" and Owens joined in with "Apologies for any offence caused by what began as free speech protest thread -- Twitter no place for glib."
But their not-glib point was made clear if you noticed the pale skin tone of everyone piling on in that thread.
Sure thing, white guy.

There was also more groveling. So much more. The editor groveled:

I regret that my words failed to acknowledge the profound and lasting adverse impact of cultural appropriation on Indigenous peoples. I began the piece glibly, which resulted in some readers misunderstanding my intentions. I understand and accept their point of view. I have the utmost respect for the Indigenous writers who contributed to this issue, and did not in anyway mean to diminish or demean their work, the importance of their authentic experiences and voices, or their struggle against racism and colonialism in Canadian society. To anyone who found the piece an inappropriate introduction to the work in the issue, I sincerely apologize. I have spent the last twenty years fostering and providing a forum to writing from the margins. Anyone who is familiar with my work knows that I would never intentionally demean or diminish the experience of other people. I appreciate individuals taking time to share their thoughts and respond to the piece, since I do value the opportunity to learn from this experience and from the thoughtful feedback of others.
I have resigned as editor of Write Magazine. In my time as editor I've worked with many great writers, helped to foster many voices, and am particularly proud of my collaborative work developing an ongoing column written by writers exiled from their home countries and now living in Canada.
Sincerely, Hal Niedzviecki
Be it noted, Hal Niedzviecki is a Jewish dude. Clearly, he could know nothing of colonialism, appropriation or racial hatred. So privileged, the Jews. (Yes, Internet censors, that is sarcasm.)

But then there was more groveling.

The Writers' Union of Canada deeply regrets the pain and offence caused by an opinion article in our member publication, Write magazine. The Writer's Prompt piece offended and hurt readers, contributors to the magazine and members of the editorial board. We apologize unequivocally. We are in the process of contacting all contributors individually.

The intention behind the magazine is to offer space for honest and challenging discussion and to be sincerely encouraging to all voices. The Union recognizes that intention is not enough, and that we failed in execution in this instance. We remain dedicated to honouring the very hard work we have set ourselves, and to taking responsibility for systemic wrongs in which we as an institution with a place in helping to define Canadian culture have participated.

The editor of Write magazine has resigned from his position, and the Union has accepted his resignation.

We offer the magazine itself as a space to examine the pain this article has caused, and to take this conversation forward with honesty and respect.

The Writers' Union of Canada
Predictably, some person from the Toronto (Red) Star had to throw her hat in the ring:

The best-case explanation for the ill-advised support for the "appropriation prize fund" is they all thought it was a joke.
Did you hear the one about those people who can't use the Whites Only door? They finally got a magazine where they all got to write and, like, one of our own topped it with a piece gutting this whole appropriation thing, and all those people are spouting their usual rage.
Haha. Here's my money.
These are but a few of the raging lunatics screaming for white blood to be spilled. I've seen comments about gargling glass on Twitter.

It seems to me that there is a very unwholesome interest in shutting people up on the part of some. That alone is worth me contributing money to an Appropriation Prize fund.

The Appropriating Phantom

Shut-update! Jonathan Kay is resigning as editor-in-chief of the Canadian magazine The Walrus.

Having perused  The Walrus on occasion,  it is as Lefty a rag as can be imagined, and Jonathan Kay is well hoisted upon his own petard this time.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

How dare you write that!!!

Seen at Small Dead Animals (as usual, because Kate never sleeps) we have this morning's outrage and five-minute-hate.

The editor of the Writers' Union of Canada's magazine has resigned after complaints over an article he wrote in which he said he doesn't believe in cultural appropriation.

Hal Niedzviecki, editor of Write — a publication for the union's members — published an opinion piece in the spring 2017 issue titled "Writer's Prompt." In the article, in an issue dedicated to indigenous writing, Niedzviecki wrote: "In my opinion, anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities.

"I'd go so far as to say there should even be an award for doing so — the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren't even remotely like her or him."


Oh noes! Quick, everyone grovel!

On Wednesday, the Writer's Union of Canada issued an apology for the piece, announcing Niedzviecki's resignation and pledging to review the magazine's policies.

"The Writer's Prompt piece offended and hurt readers, contributors to the magazine and members of the editorial board," said the statement. "We apologize unequivocally. We are in the process of contacting all contributors individually.


That's not enough groveling!

Nikki Reimer, a member of Write magazine's editorial board, announced her resignation in a blog post published to her website on Wednesday. She said she "would have strongly objected to this piece had I seen it prior to publication."


The astute reader will recall Amanda PL the painter had her show cancelled by this same SJW whinging. It is going around, as they say.

Now, the SJWs like to pretend this is supposed to be about protecting the "victims of racist Colonialism" and getting brown people noticed in the arts. (And yes, I'm using the term brown people to be deliberately provocative. Tough.)

Because what is actually occurring is not the promotion of various non-White artists, or the increased display of their work, or grants for them to continue working, or advertising them in the media, or anything like that. Instead, the SJW brigades are censoring artists. Amanda Pl is NOT ALLOWED to paint what she chooses to paint, because the SJWs are using the heckler's veto to scare galleries into cancelling her show. Hal Niedzviecki is NOT ALLOWED to have the opinion he expressed in his column, heckler's veto exercised again.

Because the hecklers are no-talent hacks, and lazy assholes to boot. They couldn't organize a two man rush on a three hole shit house, much less a gallery showing of their favorite artists. Also, their writing is crap and it is not selling. At all. Much easier to whine 128 characters at a time on your phone, from the bar, than do something constructive.

At some point, probably pretty soon, the likes of the Writer's Union and the gallery set will grow very wearing of groveling to the SJWs every week, over some new imagined outrage. The hecklers will be shown the door, and that will be that.

In the meantime, I'm having fun mocking them. Popcorn is hot, beer is cold, got my feet up and I'm loving the show.

The Phantom

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Somebody at Marvel woke up.

Marvel Comics is likely cutting 30 titles.

Marvel Comics continues to suffer from dwindling sales as it's looking likely that upwards of almost 30 titles will be cancelled.

Sales for April's issue reveal 28 titles have sold less than 20K, which is right around the cancellation threshold number.

I'll gladly point out that when I was promoting Abnett and Lanning's Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova that they sold a solid 35K each.

Titles with an asterisk area already cancelled as of July.


There's a few asterisks in there.

The problem with all this is that the Marvel management will be drawing the wrong conclusions as hard as they can. Come fall, they will be doubling down on kid-unfriendly books, SJW themes, and off-shoring more art to destitute Third World artists. People who don't understand North America or comic books, but they work cheap and that's good enough for Marvel.

Oh well.

The Phantom

Whitewashed futures?

This kind of thing is beginning to piss me off.

New Blade Runner trailer. Not a single PoC. I'm no more willing to tolerate this than I was GitS. Uninterested in whitewashed futures.

That's N.K. Jemsin, SFF writer and Hugo nominee this year. You think anybody is going to call her on this?

Me neither.

The Phantom

Liberals, intolerant? Say it ain't so!

Today Politico has an article saying that psych research has found, shocking no one with a brain, that Liberals are every bit as intolerant as Conservatives.

But more recent psychological research, some of it presented in January at the annual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), shows that it's not so simple. These findings confirm that conservatives, liberals, the religious and the nonreligious are each prejudiced against those with opposing views. But surprisingly, each group is about equally prejudiced. While liberals might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are no more tolerant of people unlike them than their conservative counterparts are.

It is a quite long piece, worth looking at for the research links alone. I quite liked this part here:

Filip Uzarevic, from the Catholic University of Louvain, in Beligium, has reported preliminary data showing that Christians were more biased against Chinese, Muslims and Buddhists than were atheists and agnostics, but they were less biased than atheists and agnostics against Catholics, anti-gay activists and religious fundamentalists (with atheists expressing colder feelings than agnostics). So, again, the religious and nonreligious have their own particular targets of prejudice. Perhaps more surprising, atheists and agnostics were less open to alternative opinions than Christians, and they reported more existential certainty. Uzarevic suggested to me after the SPSP conference that these results might be specific to the study's location, Western Europe, which is highly secularized and where the nonreligious, unlike Christians, "do not have so many opportunities and motivations to integrate ideas challenging their own."

 Hmm.

Then there was the bit about intelligence. I really like this part.

But raw brainpower itself doesn't seem to be the deciding factor in who we hate: When Brandt controlled for participants' demographics and traditionalism (smart people were more supportive of "newer lifestyles" and less supportive of "traditional family ties"), intelligence didn't correlate with overall levels of prejudice.

And the capper:

Knowing all this, can we change tolerance levels? You might think that the mind-expanding enterprise of education would reduce prejudice. But according to another presentation at the SPSP meeting, it does not. It does, however, teach people to cover it up. Maxine Najle, a researcher at the University of Kentucky, asked people if they would consider voting for a presidential candidate who was atheist, black, Catholic, gay, Muslim or a woman. When asked directly, participants with an education beyond high school reported a greater willingness to vote for these groups than did less-educated participants. But when asked in a more indirect way, with more anonymity, the two groups showed equal prejudice. "So higher education seems to instill an understanding of the appropriate levels of intolerance to express," Najle told me, "not necessarily higher tolerance."

Education's suppression of expressed prejudice suggests a culture of political correctness in which people don't feel comfortable sharing their true feelings for fear of reprisal—just the kind of intolerance conservatives complain about.
 
None of the above, as I said at the beginning, comes as any surprise to a Conservative thinker. Being on the receiving end of 100 years of Liberalism, one sees the intolerance like a neon sign. There are many subjects about which one simply cannot engage a Liberal in a civil discussion. Gun control, abortion, religion, welfare, these things Liberals simply will not talk rationally about. They move immediately to stop the discussion, as hard and fast as they can. Conservatives are no better, truth to tell, but unlike Liberals we aren't consistently lying about how tolerant we're supposed to be, and how open to new ideas. Liberals are more doctrinaire than an 85 year old Jesuit, and more rigidly conformist than my Victorian grandfather.

There are two solutions to this. The one being pursued vigorously by the "tolerant" Liberal Atheist Left is, hilariously, the suppression and silencing of anything they object to or don't believe in. Enforced conformity, pretty much.

Equally hilariously from a historical perspective, the solution pursued by the Conservative Religious Right is freedom. The freedom to do what you want, say what you want, and associate as you want, without the enforced strictures of Political Correctness crushing your expression.

The choice between repressive conformity and expressive freedom is an easy one, you'd think. Freedom works better from a practical standpoint, and it certainly is easier on the nerves. But then there's that pesky Human Nature thing, we like to fight.

Fight on, killer monkeys.

The Phantom Monkey


Android tracking apps use sound to find you.

Little Brother is more of a threat to your privacy these days than Big Brother.

An increasing number of Android applications are attempting to track users without their knowledge, according to a new report.

Over recent years, companies have started hiding "beacons", ultrasonic audio signals inaudible to humans, in their adverts, in order to track devices and learn more about their owners.

Electronic devices equipped with microphones can register these sounds, allowing advertisers to uncover their location and work out what kind of ads their owners watch on TV and which other devices they own.

The technique can even be used to de-anonymise Tor users.


What's happening is that companies are embedding signals in television, radio and internet advertisements, which are too high frequency for the human ear to hear. Then a cell-phone app listens for the signals, and phones home to Little Brother when it hears them. This can be used to locate the cell phone geographically. And because it is audio, it doesn't matter if you use TOR to hide your tracks. Your computer still played the sound, and your phone still heard it.

They found that, while six apps were known to be using ultrasound cross-device tracking technology in April 2015, this number grew to 39 by December 2015, and has now increased to 234.

The study hasn't named any specific programs, but says that several have millions of downloads and "are part of reputable companies", including McDonald's and Krispy Kreme.

To me, that seems like some big companies have a very unwholesome interest in my location. If somebody out there wants to know where I am that badly, I should probably hide.

The Phantom

Monday, May 08, 2017

Caitlin yes! Rachel no!

One might argue that if we simply MUST take transgender Caitlin Jenner seriously, then by that logic we should take trans-racial Rachel Dolezal seriously as well. If gender can be fluid, then race can be fluid as well. To my mind, while gender has a biological, physical basis, race really is a cultural construct.

One brave (or foolish) soul did just that. The results were utterly predictable.

The editors of an influential feminist philosophy journal have denounced an academic research paper that argues racial identity can be just as fluid as gender, castigating its Canadian author for causing "harm" and ignoring "violence upon actual persons."
Curiously, these editors run the journal that published the paper in the first place.
The "profound" and grovelling apology from associate editors of the journal Hypatia stops short of formal retraction. But it indicates the editors are appalled that Hypatia peer-reviewed, edited, and published the article, titled In Defense of Transracialism.
In it, Rebecca Tuvel, a Toronto-born, McGill educated assistant professor of philosophy at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, makes an argument by comparing two cultural phenomena: the ridicule and scorn directed at Rachel Dolezal for assuming a black racial identity despite being born white, and the praise and admiration directed at Caitlyn Jenner for assuming a female gender identity despite being born male.

It has been well established that Conservative White Males are the cause of all that is mean and nassssty in the world, so clearly my opinion must be discarded on skin colour and plumbing alone.

What's fun is watching the SJWs have a melt down and eat their own. I reproduce the whole thing here, in case these girlie mental cases ever take it down.

To our friends and colleagues in feminist philosophy,
We, the members of Hypatia's Board of Associate Editors, extend our profound apology to our friends and colleagues in feminist philosophy, especially transfeminists, queer feminists, and feminists of color, for the harms that the publication of the article on transracialism has caused. The sources of those harms are multiple, and include: descriptions of trans lives that perpetuate harmful assumptions and (not coincidentally) ignore important scholarship by trans philosophers; the practice of deadnaming, in which a trans person's name is accompanied by a reference to the name they were assigned at birth; the use of methodologies which take up important social and political phenomena in dehistoricized and decontextualized ways, thus neglecting to address and take seriously the ways in which those phenomena marginalize and commit acts of violence upon actual persons; and an insufficient engagement with the field of critical race theory. Perhaps most fundamentally, to compare ethically the lived experience of trans people (from a distinctly external perspective) primarily to a single example of a white person claiming to have adopted a black identity creates an equivalency that fails to recognize the history of racial appropriation, while also associating trans people with racial appropriation. We recognize and mourn that these harms will disproportionately fall upon those members of our community who continue to experience marginalization and discrimination due to racism and cisnormativity.
It is our position that the harms that have ensued from the publication of this article could and should have been prevented by a more effective review process. We are deeply troubled by this and are taking this opportunity to seriously reconsider our review policies and practices. While nothing can change the fact that the article was published, we are dedicated to doing what we can to make things right. Clearly, the article should not have been published, and we believe that the fault for this lies in the review process. In addition to the harms listed above imposed upon trans people and people of color, publishing the article risked exposing its author to heated critique that was both predictable and justifiable. A better review process would have both anticipated the criticisms that quickly followed the publication, and required that revisions be made to improve the argument in light of those criticisms.
We would also like to explain our review process. Manuscripts sent to Hypatia are sent out for peer review to two anonymous reviewers. The reviewers do not see the names of the author of the manuscript, and the identity of peer reviewers is not known to authors. The journal has had a long-standing policy of minimizing desk rejections due to its commitment to providing constructive feedback to feminist scholars. Revised manuscripts are also sent to the same readers for review. In the case where two peer readers disagree, a third anonymous reader may be found. Members of the Associate Editorial Board might be asked to provide another opinion and are expected to serve as readers on two articles each year. Some have wanted us to reveal the identities of the peer reviewers for this article. We cannot do this. We are a scholarly journal committed to an anonymous peer review process. We want readers to feel free to offer their honest feedback on manuscripts submitted to Hypatia. Anonymous peer review is important for the scholarly reputation of Hypatia; mistakes in particular instances should not compromise the commitment to anonymous peer review in scholarship.
In addition, to reconsidering our review policies, we are drafting a policy on name changes that will govern review of all work considered for publication in the journal from this point forward. We wish to express solidarity with our trans colleagues in our condemnation of deadnaming. It is unacceptable that this happened, and we are working to ensure that it never happens again. We also wish to express solidarity with our colleagues of color (understanding that gender and race are entangled categories) in our condemnation of scholarship about racial identity that fails to reflect substantive understanding of and engagement with critical philosophy of race. We are working to develop additional advisory guidelines to ensure that feminist theorists from groups underrepresented in our profession, including trans people and people of color, are integrated in the various editorial stages. This does not mean that we want to place future responsibility solely on transfeminists and feminists of color. We are committed to improving our review process and practice in order to make the best decision about publication and to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
Hypatia is a journal committed to pluralist feminist inquiry and has been an important site for the publication of scholarship long-considered marginal in philosophy. Too many of us are still characterized as "not real" philosophers by non- and anti-feminist colleagues. As a feminist journal, Hypatia is committed to providing mentorship to all who submit articles by encouraging substantive feedback on essays submitted for consideration. Clearly there was a mistake along the line in the review process, and we are doing our best to figure out a way forward.
Several further types of responses have been suggested to us, including issuing a retraction and setting up a blog or website for further conversation about how to move forward and improve our process. We continue to consider those responses and all of their potential ramifications thoughtfully. We welcome more feedback and suggestions, as we intend to learn from this mistake and do our best to be accountable and worthy of the trust of all feminist scholars.
Finally, we want to recognize that following the publication of the article, there was a Facebook post from the Hypatia account that also caused harm, primarily by characterizing the outrage that met the article's publication as mere "dialogue" that the article was "sparking." We want to state clearly that we regret that the post was made.
We sincerely thank all who have expressed criticism of the article's publication and who have called on us to reply. Working through conflicts, owning mistakes, and finding a way forward is part of the crucial, difficult work that feminism does. As members of Hypatia's editorial board we are taking this opportunity to make Hypatia more deeply committed to the highest quality of feminist scholarship, pluralism, and respect. The words expressed here cannot change the harm caused by the fact of the article's publication, but we hope they convey the depth and sincerity of our commitment to make necessary changes to move forward and do better.
Sincerely,
A Majority of the Hypatia's Board of Associated Editors

The irony is delicious, and the list of crimethinks is hillarious.
  • "perpetuate harmful assumptions"
  • "the practice of deadnaming," [gasp!]
  • "dehistoricized and decontextualized ways"
  • "commit acts of violence upon actual persons" [by writing a paper, to be clear]
  • "insufficient engagement with the field of critical race theory"
  • "associating trans people with racial appropriation" [oh noes!!!]

So, to sum up. You can appropriate an entire gender, but you must NEVER question the social construct that is race, and you must super-duper never cosplay as a black person. That is the biggest no-no ever! Oh, and writing something is an actual act of actual violence on actual persons.

Okay then.

The Phantom

P.S. Internet censors and Perpetually Outraged Persons please note, I'm not making fun of Caitlin Jenner or Rachel Dolezal. I am a conservative, and I believe it is a free country. They are free to do whatever the hell they want, as far as I'm concerned. They can culturally appropriate and gender-bend all frigging day long, as far as I am concerned.

I am making fun of "A Majority of the Hypatia's Board of Associated Editors" because y'all are a pack of hateful idiots.

P.P.S. I saw this first at SDA, as usual. Kate always gets there first.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Whose brain got eaten?

A guy with a three million dollar book deal has decided he needs to piss on everybody else in the business.

Our writer looks around at who is new, who is hot, who is making it in the field and who isn't, adds up the anecdotal evidence that doesn't involve the impossible factors of himself or just plain bad luck. And then he thinks to himself:

You know, maybe it really is the Jews keeping me down.

Or the blacks. Or the gays. Or the liberals! Or the Millennials! The lousy SJWs and the feminists! Or all of them! All at once! For starters!

And that's when our writer looks up from the path, and in front of him stands the Brain Eater.

Who pulls out a spoon, cracks open our writer's skull, and starts feasting, while our writer goes onto the Internet and talks angrily and at length about who it is that is keeping him from what he deserves.

Projection, thy name is Scalzi.

The Projectable Phantom

Friday, May 05, 2017

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Trans-species is the new gender thingy.

Somebody explain to me how this is not a mental disorder.

'I consider myself trans-species, in the same way transgender people feel, I need to become how I feel inside, I don't expect people to understand but I ask they respect it.

'The fantasy genre makes me happy and because I didn't have many friends when I was younger I submerged myself into it.'

'I started with cosplay but it wasn't enough, I wanted to change to become my own perception of beauty.'

At the age of 14, he was determined to undergo surgery to look more like an elf and six years later he went under the knife for the first time.

He recalled: 'It was the start that led me to decide this was the direction I wanted my life to go in, the recovery was painful and slow but I was happy with how I looked.

'I didn't care for how much it hurt, because it allowed me to get one step closer to my dream of what I want to become.'


Some day, this guy is going to wake up, look in a mirror and wonder what the hell he was thinking. That's going to be a really bad day for him.

The other thing is, when your whole life is spent thinking about how you look, you have no room for anyone or anything else. That's a pretty crappy life.

The Phantom

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

51% of murders done in 2% of counties.

This is something that has been a long time coming. I've been saying for a million yerars that when you look at a crime map, you find that ALL the crime is done in a very small area.

In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54% of counties (with 11% of the population) have no murders.  69% of counties have no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country.
The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. As shown in figure 2, over half of murders occurred in only 2% of counties.
Murders actually used to be even more concentrated.  From 1977 to 2000, on average 73 percent of counties in any give year had zero murders. Possibly, this change is a result of the opioid epidemic's spread to more rural areas. But that question is beyond the scope of this study.  Lott's book "More Guns, Less Crime" showed how dramatically counties within states vary dramatically with respect to murder and other violent crime rates.

Guess where those places are. Go on, take a stab at it.

Yep. The Clinton Archipelago.


The Phantom

Monday, May 01, 2017

How dare you paint that!!!

Artists had better watch out. SJWs are going to have the power to tell them what they may and may not paint.

Visions Gallery had planned to showcase the work of Amanda PL, 29, a local non-Indigenous artist who says she was inspired by the Woodlands style made famous in the '60s by the Anishinabe artist Norval Morrisseau, who focussed on nature, animals, Indigenous spirituality and medicine.
But within hours of the gallery's email announcement promoting the exhibit, there was a backlash, with people alleging that PL had appropriated Indigenous culture and art.
Chippewa artist Jay Soule was among those leading the charge. He argues PL blatantly copied Morrisseau with virtually no regard for the storytelling behind his work.
"What she's doing is essentially cultural genocide, because she's taking his stories and retelling them, which bastardizes it down the road. Other people will see her work and they'll lose the connection between the real stories that are attached to it," said Soule.

Its a funny kind of genocide that leaves guys like Jay Soule around to complain about it, as Kathy Shaidle is fond of saying. This would make a good comedy show, except that the gallery cancelled the show.

White people are not allowed to paint like this.


On the bright side, the artist did not make some kind of fulsome apology to these assholes. I view that as progress.

The Phantom

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Humor at Yale? Yes!

I noticed the other day that the SJW brigade at Yale was having a "hunger strike" out in front of some building there for some (presumably idiotic) reason that only an SJW would understand.

Yale University graduate students are holding a tag-team hunger strike to demand a union contract, with plans to send in fresh strikers to replace members who become too hungry.

Eight members of Local 33—UNITE HERE, a newly formed union representing graduate student-teachers, started the hunger strike Tuesday after preparing their stomachs for several days beforehand by only eating vegetables, fruits, and eventually, just liquids.

Now, the words "hunger strike" are in quotes because this is a tag-team hunger strike. When you get hungry you can tap out, and somebody else will step in to not-eat while you go get a burger.

But none of the four student-teachers the Independent interviewed said they were willing to risk hospitalization. If not eating endangers a student's health, that individual will sub out and another union member will assume their place in renouncing meals — a moveable fast, if you will.

That in and of itself is funny. But the Yale Republicans club found comedy GOLD among the humorless snowflakes:

I don't know what's more shocking to me. That Yale has Republicans or that someone at Yale has a sense of humor.

Who knew?

The guy who tweeted this out was hard-pressed to find the funny.

But I find it all manner of hilarious.


They set up a real barbecue fundraiser in front of the fake hunger strike.

You're welcome!  ~:D

The Laughing Phantom

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Yes, the media IS all the same.

You are not imagining it, the media really is a solid, unified, monolithic lump.

But journalistic groupthink is a symptom, not a cause. And when it comes to the cause, there's another, blunter way to think about the question than screaming "bias" and "conspiracy," or counting D's and R's. That's to ask a simple question about the map. Where do journalists work, and how much has that changed in recent years? To determine this, my colleague Tucker Doherty excavated labor statistics and cross-referenced them against voting patterns and Census data to figure out just what the American media landscape looks like, and how much it has changed.

The results read like a revelation. The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn't true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you're a working journalist, odds aren't just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation's most pro-Clinton counties. And you've got company: If you're a typical reader of Politico, chances are you're a citizen of bubbleville, too.


Publishing of books particularly is centered in New York City and Chicago. Mostly NY. So if you want to get your book published, you have to write to a New Yorker sensibility. That means Liberal, irreverent and snarky, pretty much. Lots of conservative sacred cows getting gored, a little creative religion bashing, and of course the pieties of Social Justice must be observed.

Which is exactly what all the Science Fiction and Fantasy books on the shelf at the bookstore look like. That's why we had Sad Puppies 1-4, because a whole huge section of the population has nothing fun to read. We don't share the tastes of the TOR editorial board, or the Random Penguin, and so forth.

There is one place I disagree with the article:

Resist—if you can—the conservative reflex to absorb this data and conclude that the media deliberately twists the news in favor of Democrats. Instead, take it the way a social scientist would take it: The people who report, edit, produce and publish news can't help being affected—deeply affected—by the environment around them.

This is known by the social sciences as Ethnocentrism, and it does account for a lot of the cluelessness of modern reporting. The stuff where they're tone-deaf, or they don't bother telling you things, or they deliberately conceal certain details because they think its rude to mention. That's all down to them not noticing the cultural water they're swimming in.

But we have all seen the NY Times lie, deny and "squirrel!!!" too many times in the last few years to discount corruption as part of the picture. Hillary got the debate questions ahead of time, the Obama administration had a say in stories being published at the NY Times, Google execs visited the White House every day, Facebook caught red-handed cooking their news feed... that kind of evidence can't be ignored.

So yes it is a bubble, AND they're deliberately propagandizing the nation on top of that.

Canada of course is a small town in comparison. We barely have a publishing industry to begin with, and ALL of it is in Toronto for English and Montreal for French. You write to the Canadian Urbanite taste here, or you don't get picked up.

The Phantom

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Robots replace entire warehouse staff.

This is a rather stupid article about a pretty amazing robot implementation in China.

THIS army of tiny orange robots which can sort up to 200,000 packages every DAY in a Chinese warehouse are providing an alarming glimpse of what the future could hold in factories around the world.

These miniature machines, each just 7.5 inches, follow a set route and transport parcels from the assembly line to the departure gates where they are then dispatched.

In the STO Express building in Liny, Shandong Province, the 300 robots can get through 20,000 parcels every hour.

The self-charging workers have saved the company, which has 300,000 employees, a staggering 70 per cent of manpower.

I can hear the boys at CUPE headquarters melting down from here.

The Phantom

Expect police overreactions to increase.

From the "running with scissors" file, CBC discovers that comic book conventions have cosplayers in costumes.

Fan Expo got underway at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Thursday, and with it came an array of excited, costumed fans.
One of those fans apparently startled some GO transit passengers this morning: Toronto police got a call at about 10 a.m. with reports of a person with a gun. It turned out to be part of someone's outfit.
"As with any type of call like this we treat it as a real threat, and then we work our way back down to ensure that there's no threat," Const. Victor Kwong told CBC News.

This time, the gun call didn't end badly. But, then there was this other call:


Call the cops, Martha! Its a ALIEN!

It was almost game over in Grande Prairie this week for a cosplay enthusiast.
Dressed as a character from Fallout, a popular post-apocalyptic video game series, the man walked down a street wearing a gas mask, helmet, armour and bullet belt.
RCMP Cpl. Shawn Graham told CBC News that police received calls just before 5 p.m. Tuesday from citizens concerned the man was wearing what looked like a bomb on his back.
At least eight officers responded with their long guns drawn. Photos show them crouched behind vehicles and bushes.

Emphasis mine. Now, what we have here is a full rollout with rifles on a guy wearing an obvious costume, down the street from the comic convention. Why? Standard Operating Procedure.

SOP response to kid in costume. GUN HIM!!!


"We have to believe everything is real until proven otherwise," said Graham. "In the end you've got a good feeling after going, 'OK, there wasn't a bomb, there was no intent to do anything criminal, it's just someone with their costume."
Graham thinks it should serve as a warning to others who enjoy cosplay that police will assume fake weapons are real.
"There's a time and a place for it," he said, pointing out that costumes are OK at conventions and similar events.
"Wandering around downtown [is] maybe not the place to do it."

That's right nerds. You'd best not show up on the street, 'less you wanna feel the heat. They arrested this guy, took his stuff, and took him away. Why? Standard Operating Procedure. Two seconds of looking told them everything was legit. They busted this kid for wearing a costume.

Cops stealing obvious costume before transporting dangerous nerd.

I'm surprised they didn't beat the shit out of him and drag him around a bit, like United Airlines.

My single question: how long before they shoot somebody for cosplay in public?

The Phantom

Saturday, April 15, 2017

FN-FAL variants from Imbel.

These are extremely cool. 7.62x51 carbines on a modified FAL platform. Sweet!

The Phantom

Friday, April 14, 2017

university = wedding? Yes!

This is one of the greatest pieces of wisdom I have seen lately.

Why is it so hard for millennials NOT to go to college?

With college tuition being literally unaffordable, stories after stories about the plight of un/underemployed college graduates, horror stories of the same with crippling student loans, and it no longer being a secret that college is a bubble, why is it so hard for 18 year olds to say, "screw this, I'm going home?"

Its a big question, given that even an engineering degree doesn't necessarily get you a job these days. Why are people still forking over the price of a detached suburban house for a -worthless- degree?

So what possible consumer good exists, that people can't afford, will go into debt for, that doesn't offer anything of tangible financial value afterwards, and has this societal push, borderline obssession to buy it regardless?

Then it hit me.

Weddings.

Weddings are the identical twin sibling of college. 

The reason why can be summarized in one simple phrase:

"It's my day."

However, whereas "my day" is the exclusive preserve of women on their wedding day, there is a similar sense of entitlement to having "my day" FOR BOTH SEXES when it comes to college.  And the reason why is that college is NOT sold to young kids today as the education it was supposed to be, but the "college experience" it is has successfully and falsely been propagated and inflated to what it is now (an industry that is more than TEN TIMES THE SIZE OF THE WEDDING INDUSTRY).

That makes perfect sense. Here's the killer part:

To have this birthright, to have this entitlement, nobody cares about logic, reason, evidence, finances, or math.  College, just like "her day," is worth any price because up to this point in these kids' lives, we as a society have given them nothing else to live for.  We get divorced, we mock nuclear families, we value things over friends, we cripple the economy, we load up on debt, we hate our own country, we criminalize success - precisely, what do these kids have to look forward to after they graduate from college?  As far as they're concerned life is over at 22 and then they lead the lives you do, which, sadly, for the most part is pretty pathetic in their eyes.  Worse, you've made their childhoods so painful with the craptastic public prisons schools, any childlike idealism or hope has been squash and the only light at the end of that tunnel is college.  The price of tuition could go up another 300%, it won't matter, they'll still pay it because these kids have nothing else to live for.

 That, my friends, is wisdom. Read the whole thing.

The Phantom

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

More robots: stupid, or annoying?

The Guardian, for a wonder, asks the question: do we really want big Roombas cluttering up the sidewalks?

Sharing a sidewalk with one of DoorDash's delivery robots is a bit like getting stuck behind someone playing Pokémon Go on his smartphone. The robot moves a little bit slower than you want to; every few meters it pauses, jerking to the left or right, perhaps turning around, then turning again before continuing on its way.

These are the sidewalks of the future, technology evangelists promise. Autonomous delivery robots, once the exclusive purview of 1980s sci-fi movies, are coming to a city near you, with promises of reduced labor costs, increased efficiency and the reduction of cars.

If you've ever seen one of these things in action, they are dumber than shit. No human could tolerate being stuck behind one. You'd kick it out of the way after thirty seconds, for sure.

So far we hear nothing but cheerful happy-sappy propaganda from the techies who just LOVE these things. They're salivating over the billions of dollars they're going to make.

But here's the thing. One dumber-than-shit robot is a novelty at best, an ignore-able obstruction at worst. The town pizzeria gets a couple for in-town delivery, no big deal.

Hundreds of the damn things, from UPS to the pizza guy to the government delivering welfare checks to some other dumb service/scam we haven't thought of yet, you are not going to be able to ignore that.

They have to cross the street, right? They take longer than a crippled old drunk with a walker to do it. They have to wait for traffic lights. But if there's only a stop sign, then what? You're going to see ten of them waiting at a stop sign when its busy. They're going to get stuck. They're going to get lost. They're going to get rolled upside down and broken open by kids. They're going to wander into your driveway and be attacked by the dog. They're going to end up in the middle of an intersection blowing their tiny annoying horn and blinking their distress light because they had a nervous breakdown. They'll run out of battery. They'll end up busted on your front lawn, and the cops will give -you- a ticket.

The problem, as usual, is greed. The robots suck, but they are super cheap, and they are almost good enough. So, look for your delivery job to go to a Coleman cooler on wheels in the next five years.

The Cooler Phantom

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Marvel comics explained.

Marvel head boy of sales was complaining his sales were down. He blamed his customers. Nerd racism, y'know.

Some other idiot chimed in. Yes, the crap comics that weren't selling got a Hugo nomination. Shocking, right?

Then we find some schmuck in Indonesia has included secret antisemitism in X-Men.

But now I think I have the answer. The Marvel comics dilemma is what happens when you let no-talent hipster douchebags play in your sandbox. The link is to an iO9 round-up of what's been happening to Captain America since they made him a Nazi.

If you're reading Marvel comics right now, then you're probably aware that while Steve Rogers has taken up the Captain America mantle once more, something is... very off. Like, "he's secretly a fascist agent of Hydra planning to get space aliens to invade the world" off. Confused? We're here to get you caught up on "Stevil" Rogers.

If, like me, you gave up on Marvel in the 1990's before Northstar was gay, I will save you some trouble with Captain America 2017: It is a confused mess of Leftist propaganda, and the art is crap. Don't spend your money, and don't bother with the i09 link.

So, if the Big Wheels at the House of Mouse want to know what to do about tanking Marvel Comic sales, it is the following:

Your VP of sales thinks his customers are a bunch of racist nerds. You should fix that.

Offshoring your artwork to third world countries will not make you any friends in the US art world, and it has more liabilities than you thought.

Contrary to your VP of Sales (did you fire that guy yet?) what your customers don't want is Captain America Agent of Hydra. Whoever green-lighted that tomfoolery is an assassin trying to poison your company.

You're welcome.

The Comic Phantom

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Found out why Marvel has been sucking.

Marvel managers have been listening to these morons here.

On Tuesday morning, the finalists for the 2017 Hugo Awards (the Oscars of sci-fi and fantasy writing) were announced by the World Science Fiction. Unsurprisingly, collected volumes of Marvel's critically acclaimed Black Panther and Ms. Marvel series were both nominated for Best Graphic Story.

These nominations come just days after Marvel's Vice President of Sales, David Gabriel, went out of his way to blame Marvel's lagging sales on comics—like Black Panther and Ms. Marvel—starring people of color and women. Suffice it to say that the optics of this whole thing don't reflect well on the publisher, but the Hugo nominations send a telling message to Marvel about just how the public actually feels about its "diverse books."

I'll repeat that last bit because it is just too sweet: "...the Hugo nominations send a telling message to Marvel about just how the public actually feels about its "diverse books."

That is actually true. It does send a telling message. And the message is "Ghostbusters got a Hugo nomination too."

The Hugo's new role in SF/F is the Kiss of Death. When you have completely jumped the shark, abandoned your morals, your values, your common sense and your audience, when your sales are tanking hard because you have been producing nothing but Lefty propaganda, you will be nominated for a Hugo.

These days a Hugo nomination is not an achievement. It is a warning.

Note to Marvel board of directors: fire everyone, start over.

The Phantom

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Hugo Award Nominations are up.



I did not pay money to Worldcon this year, having been scorned and smeared two years running as some form of Nazi off-scouring by the stinking SJW Horde. You don't hand out a wooden Assterisk to commemorate my participation and expect me to buy another membership.

Therefore I will again use the Hugos as a warning label not a recommendation.

The reason why can be summed in this example:
 Nominated for best SF movie , Ghostbusters.

'Nuff said.

The Phantom