Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Shang-Chi vs. Will Smith

So, we all know that Will Smith appears to have bitch-slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, on stage, right in front of everybody. According to various Conservative sites, there is no shortage of Leftists out there blaming Republicans, Trump, racism and Western Civilization as a whole for that. None of them seem to be blaming Will Smith, which is what I'd expect. They never blame the guy who does the bad thing, they always blame somebody or something convenient for their narrative of the moment.

Well, I have a different perspective. Here's a related news story about another movie, Shang Chi.

According to an ACE announcement, Liu, Zhang and Munteanu will be available for celebrity photo ops and in-person autographs on June 4 at Awesome Con at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The announcement also noted, however, that the actors would not be signing any comic books deemed offensive, particularly Marvel Comics' original "Shang-Chi" run from 1974-83.

"Simu Liu will not sign any Master of Kung Fu comics or other comics deemed offensive," the note read. "All autographs from Simu will be signed in English only."

Shang-Chi first appeared in the 1973 comic book "Special Marvel Edition" issue No. 15, created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin. It went through a title change two issues later to become "The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu."

While it featured an East Asian protagonist, the series was ripe with "yellow peril" tropes, most notably in the form of the hero's father, Fu Manchu, a fictional cultural icon who has been deemed by many as "yellow peril incarnate."

I have quite a few of those comics. For a comic book convention to come out and claim a title with a run of ten years has been "deemed offensive" and then tell fans that an actor will not sign them at their con is two things.

First, it is a slap in the face to fans, some of whom might really have a copy of Master of Kung Fu they were willing to pay $150 to have autographed. Why is Shang Chi even a thing in the first place? Those comics. They were pretty good.

Second, it is utterly expected. Erasing the past is something the Left whines about constantly, and something they do themselves harder and faster every year. For some unnamed dickhead to "deem offensive" a title from the 1970s and 80s is what we've come to expect from academics and Leftists generally. We've also come to expect organizations, publishers, companies and conventions to bow to these unnamed dickheads and accede to their every wish. Because those orgs and companies don't want to get dragged through the media as racists. Which is what will happen.

In this environment of fear and hatred, things like the Academy Awards have lost all meaning and become nothing more than opportunities for Hollywood people to signal their virtue. The spectacle of one millionaire slapping another on the stage in front of the entire world on television is, I'm disgusted to say, utterly expected. I'd go so far as to say it's inevitable. Also expected, the standing ovation for Will Smith when he won an Oscar ten minutes after assaulting the jester. Also utterly expected, peace be unto Jim Carrey. Why expected? Because "don't be the first to stop applauding Stalin." That's why.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

European gun control, 2022 version.

Well well. Poland just figured out that disarming the whole population means... the whole population is disarmed.

WARSAW, Poland — Scared that Russian President Vladimir Putin will eventually target them, Polish civilians, many of them women, are flocking to gun ranges so they can learn how to shoot Glocks and AK-47s.

The number of people coming to shoot guns has tripled at Strzelnica Warszawianka, a gun range and shooting school in the Polish capital Warsaw that's tucked in a basement underneath a swimming pool, since the war erupted, one instructor told VICE World News.

Wow. How unexpected. Who could have seen that coming?

In Poland, gun laws are fairly strict, so owning one isn't easy: it takes months to go through all the prerequisite background checks, and some firearms have to be registered with police.  But ChewiƄski said Poland's government will likely loosen the restriction soon, which will make owning a gun easier. "Of course to access weapons you'll have to get psychiatric clearance. You can't just show your ID and buy a weapon," he said.

 Yeah, you can't just show your ID and buy a gun... this week. By next week? They could be handing them out in the park, because the Russkies are in the next town.

After screaming about this shit since 1992, and telling everyone who will listen that gun control is the STUPIDEST idea of our Boomer generation, it looks like I'm right. And man, it sucks to be right about this.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Ivory Tower: wrath demon or succubus?

Last night I read something that pissed me off so bad I had to play Plants Vs. Zombies for an hour before I could sleep.

Now, the politicization and tribalism of campus life have crowded out old-fashioned expectations about justice and neutrality. The imperatives of race, gender and identity are more important to more and more law students than due process, the presumption of innocence, and all the norms and values at the foundation of what we think of as the rule of law.

Critics of those values are nothing new, of course, and certainly they are not new at elite law schools. Critical race theory, as it came to be called in the 1980s, began as a critique of neutral principles of justice. The argument went like this: Since the United States was systemically racist—since racism was baked into the country's political, legal, economic and cultural institutions—neutrality, the conviction that the system should not seek to benefit any one group, camouflaged and even compounded that racism. The only way to undo it was to abandon all pretense of neutrality and to be unneutral.

It's one thing when you see stupid kids running around doing this sort of shit at Laurier U to people like Linsay Shepherd. It is an entirely different thing when you see the Prime Minister of Canada use one (1) planted asshole with one (1) Nazi flag at a lawful, legal, peaceful Freedom Convoy demonstration to invoke the Emergencies Act and seize the bank accounts of anyone who donated money to the charity. That's what we're talking about here. As the author put it,

At first, the conventional wisdom held that this was "just a few college kids"—a few spoiled snowflakes—who would "grow out of it" when they reached the real world and became serious people. That did not happen. Instead, the undergraduates clung to their ideas about justice and injustice. They became medical students and law students. Then 2020 happened. 

All of sudden, critical race theory was more than mainstream in America's law schools. It was mandatory. 

Starting this Fall, Georgetown Law School will require all students to take a class "on the importance of questioning the law's neutrality" and assessing its "differential effects on subordinated groups," according to university documents obtained by Common Sense. UC Irvine School of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law, and Boston College Law School have implemented similar requirements. Other law schools are considering them. 

As of last month, the American Bar Association is requiring all accredited law schools to "provide education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism," both at the start of law school and "at least once again before graduation." That's in addition to a mandatory legal ethics class, which must now instruct students that they have a duty as lawyers to "eliminate racism." (The American Bar Association, which accredits almost every law school in the United States, voted 348 to 17 to adopt the new standard.)

Trial verdicts that do not jibe with the new politics are seen as signs of an inextricable hate—and an illegitimate legal order. At the Santa Clara University School of Law, administrators emailed students that the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse—the 17-year-old who killed two men and wounded another during a riot, in Kenosha, Wisconsin—was "further evidence of the persistent racial injustice and systemic racism within our criminal justice system." At UC Irvine, the university's chief diversity officer emailed students that the acquittal "conveys a chilling message: Neither Black lives nor those of their allies' matter." (He later apologized for having "appeared to call into question a lawful trial verdict.") 

Professors say it is harder to lecture about cases in which accused rapists are acquitted, or a police officer is found not guilty of abusing his authority. One criminal law professor at a top law school told me he's even stopped teaching theories of punishment because of how negatively students react to retributivism—the view that punishment is justified because criminals deserve to suffer.

"I got into this job because I liked to play devil's advocate," said the tenured professor, who identifies as a liberal. "I can't do that anymore. I have a family."

Other law professors—several of whom asked me not to identify their institution, their area of expertise, or even their state of residence—were similarly terrified.

Nadine Strossen, the first woman to head the American Civil Liberties Union and a professor at New York Law School, told me: "I massively self-censor. I assume that every single thing that is said, every facial gesture, is going to be recorded and potentially disseminated to the entire world. I feel as if I am operating in a panopticon." 

This has all come as a shock to many law professors, who had long assumed that law schools wouldn't cave to the new orthodoxy.

They're attacking the foundational values of Western Civilization, is what they're doing. The basic notions of rationalism, the dispassionate review of evidence, and equality before the law are now "racism." That's what Critical Race Theory is all about, and it is running your government as of right now. All thanks to the pointy-headed intellectuals of the Ivory Tower. 

This is not the first time I've talked about this, this link is to an article by a North Korean escapee who had to walk across the Gobi desert so she could go to Columbia U.

Famed North Korean defector Yeonmi Park offered a chilling account of her time at Columbia University, saying that not even North Korea went to the level of brainwashing that she witnessed.

Speaking with Fox News, Park became increasingly dismayed with the cost of an education that amounted to little more than what she described as indoctrination.

"I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think," she said. "I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying."

Like in North Korea, Park said she witnessed example after example of anti-Western sentiment and guilt-tripping. During her orientation, for instance, a staff member scolded her for liking classic literature.

"I said 'I love those books.' I thought it was a good thing," Park said of her orientation. "Then she said, 'Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.'"

When the North Korean defector tells you that Columbia is crazier than Pyongyang, that's not a good sign.

It seems very clear that elite colleges discriminate against Asian-American students, and that the Supreme Court is going to find this. (One expert said no discrimination would result in around 65% Asian-American admits.) The fact that this has been so tolerated speaks volumes. Stopping standardized tests -- which are imperfect and correlated with socioeconomic status -- seems to be bad. Other items like the personal essay are surely more correlated and more hackable. I'm all for looking at test scores in context, but dropping entirely denies opportunity. (I wonder if this is correlated to the earthquake coming when colleges can no longer discriminate against Asian-American students.)

 He's talking about this case, wherein Yale rejects Asians and Whites every year based on race alone. That case is going to the Supreme Court, where it seems plain that absent some form of fuckery, Yale and the other Ivy League schools will lose. The student debt crisis is a huge issue in the USA, and schools are going bankrupt.

Here in Canada, Laurentian University went out of business, and in February the big scandal from Quebec is three (3) schools went under at the same time, stranding thousands of foreign students with no school and they haven't got their money back either. Scamdal!

Universities have never really gone bankrupt in Canada that I know of, they're semi-government entities. But here we are, universities going super hard Woke and then going broke because the kids don't like it and the parents won't pay for it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

No one is listening to your tweets.

Here's a good-news story in among all the war and pestilence stories that are being blared at us 24/7/365 by the Lamestream Press. Nobody is listening.

Why it matters: The rising power and prominence of the nation's loudest, meanest voices obscures what most of us personally experience: Most people are sane and generous — and too busy to tweet. 

Reality check: It turns out, you're right. We dug into the data and found that, in fact, most Americans are friendly, donate time or money, and would help you shovel your snow. They are busy, normal and mostly silent.

Yes. Most people are off the news-drip and getting on with life. Here are the specifics from the article:
  1.  75% of people in the U.S. never tweet.
  2. On an average weeknight in January, just 1% of U.S. adults watched primetime Fox News (2.2 million). 0.5% tuned into MSNBC (1.15 million).
  3. Nearly three times more Americans (56%) donated to charities during the pandemic than typically give money to politicians and parties (21%).
Americans closely resemble Canadians in these numbers from articles I've seen over the years. We're a little less generous with charities, a lot less generous with politics. Note that of the ones watching the news, double the number watch Fox than MSNBC. That's some pretty good news too.

I take this to mean that the partisans raging on the Internet, both the Left and the Right, are a tiny number of people who basically represent nothing. That's encouraging. The vast majority are simply not listening to them, or to the politicians.

Good times!