Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Kick the tires, light the fires, first one up’s the winner

Y’all already know I just love me some F16, which is the damned prettiest, sexiest jet fighter anybody ever made or ever will make. But it looks like the USAF found a way to put the ice cream on the pie.

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That badass color scheme is yclept the Wraith; it’s used on the OpFor aircraft of the 64th Aggressor Squadron—proving once again that the bad guys have all the fun, and always get the best toys.

(Via Austin Bay)

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Hef, spinning

Know how I always ask if there’s really NOTHING the killjoy Left won’t leave alone, NOTHING they won’t try to ruin?

Well.

Playboy has abandoned Hugh Hefner’s legacy and hired a team of millennials to transform it into a woke publication with a focus on social consciousness — while still continuing to fill its pages with naked women.

For the first time in the magazine’s history, no one in the Hefner family is involved with the publication, which relaunched earlier this year as an ad-free quarterly under the editorial leadership of a gay man and two women who are all under the age of 32. 

While struggling to find its voice following Hefner’s death in 2017, the magazine has now reinvented itself with a feminist tilt — even though its chief executive Ben Kohn is still a straight white male and three-quarters its readers are men.

Anybody besides me seeing the potential problem here?

The publication tried banning nudity in 2015, only to bring it back a few years later with the tagline ‘Naked is normal.’

The new Playboy claims to have moved away from the male gaze, but no matter how tasteful it may be, it is still relying on nudity. 

I’m betting you’ll be moving a good bit further away from the “male gaze” than you might wish, before all’s said and done.

The summer issue contains articles on BDSM and gender-neutral sex toys as well as a profile of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg Buttplug

Fixed it for ya.

and an interview with Tarana Burke, the activist who founded the #MeToo movement.

Because of COURSE they did.

For the upcoming fall issue, artist Marilyn Minter has shot a photo essay celebrating female pubic hair.

Hey, maybe you guys could do female armpit hair next.

Despite the changes, the debate over whether or not Playboy is even worth saving is still being had nearly two years after Hefner’s death.

Whether or not it was then, it definitely ain’t worth saving now. So, any bets on how long before we see this cover, then?

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(Via Ol’ Remus)

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There’s always a workaround

Don’t have an Instagram account, and never wanted one. Until now.



Now that I have everyone’s attention, the backstory:

When Kimberly Matte captions an Instagram post “suns out, guns out, buns out,” she mostly means it. The sun may be out, but she’s inside. Her buns are definitely out, because she’s wearing a lime-green thong. Technically, there’s only one gun out, but it’s an AR-10 battle rifle, so she’s still overdelivering.

Matte has more than 84,000 followers on Instagram and recently founded her own social media marketing and modeling agency. She grew up in Windsor, Ontario, one of seven children — a fan of skateboarding, dirt-biking, four-wheeling, soccer, and tree forts, and not of guns. The first time she held a shotgun, she was a kid, “65 pounds soaking wet.” Her dad and brothers thought it would be funny to let her shoot it. “They didn’t tell me it was going to basically rip my shoulder off,” she says. “I was like, I’m never touching a gun again.”

But then three years ago, she moved to Michigan to be with her American husband, who’d recently retired from the military. Now they shoot guns together, and arrange assault-weapon-centric lingerie photo sessions for Matte and her clients. She makes good money for her part, doing sponsored posts for brands both firearm-related and not — assault rifles one day, teeth-whitening treatments the next. For $100 and some free products, Matte will post a “selfie and shoutout” on her Instagram grid; she gets paid thousands of dollars per month for recurring endorsements.

Matte’s feed is a mix of guns and rough-cut firewood and laser-cut underwear. She doesn’t let anyone shoot guns on her property because her yard is an unofficial foster home for wild deer, several of which she personally nurtured through infancy when their mother was hit by a car. She loves the president, hates the “free-for-all negativity” around him. She is extremely charming. Her platform, she tells me, is a place to preach love.

It’s actually a damned interesting article, albeit an unexpectedly long ‘un. Plenty more pics of several of these lovely gun-bunnies too, bless their hearts. Via MisHum, bless his heart too.

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Day By Day fundie: give early, often, and bigly

Longtime CF brother-in-arms Chris Muir—the evil genius behind the universally-beloved Day By Day comic—is holding his annual fundraiser this week, prompting this here sticky post in support. Over lo, these many years, Chris and I have each seen the other through some tough personal tragedies, hashed out our stand on various issues of the day, lamented and reviled the eight-year Ogabe rein of error, and along the way forged a real friendship that I value highly. CF jumped in and propagandized for DBD from Day Uno, and Chris reciprocated by doing some excellent custom artwork for CF, including a fantastic header that I might just see if I can break out of storage for the week.

There are a couple of other most worthy ‘toons out there these days, but through both the superlative quality of his art, his deft presentation of his ideas, and his own stubborn cussedness, Chris has put DBD at the top of the heap. More importantly, when someone like Glenn Reynolds insists on the crucial necessity of slugging it out toe to toe with the neo-Marxist/Maoist/Gramscian Left in our societal struggle, Muir and DBD are precisely what he’s talking about. Muir and his colleagues are in the front-line trenches of the Great Culture War—a war our side simply cannot afford to keep on losing if we’re to have any hope of retrieving whatever remains of our stolen nation from the filthy talons of the Left.

So yeah, dig down and give Muir a financial boost if you can. I’m awed by his talent, grateful to call him an ally, and proud to call him a friend. Link to his donation page is here, to the DBD main page here. Oh yeah, I’m also working on putting together some sort of a code snippit so’s I can start running the daily strip again here at CF, since the Innarnuts somehow broke the old Javascript that automagically did it before. Fingers crossed on that one, people. As I said: this post sticky, to remain up top for the rest of the week.

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DAMN THAT TRUMP HE’S RUININ’ THE COUNTRY

A little good news.

Sears – which revolutionized retail not once, but twice – is now struggling to keep its doors open.

One of the most famous parts of the sad saga is what happened to the retailer’s iconic Craftsman line of tools and lawn and garden equipment. While my dad wasn’t much of a handyman himself (sorry, Dad) millions of families across America once filled their garages and workbenches with Craftsman products sold exclusively at their local Sears.

But as Sears struggled to compete in the changing retail landscape, it also sacrificed one of its most essential brands in the process. Craftsman production was sent overseas, and customers noticed a change in quality. Sears sales continued to decline.

Oh, did they ever. I myself watched in dismay as Craftsman went from a solid, cheaper alternative to the undisputed king of professional mechanic’s tools, SnapOn (worshipfully mentioned in this old post), to cranking out nothing but cheap, shoddy junk seemingly overnight. Nowadays, any time I walk through Lowes I always check out the pathetic excuses for tool chests stinking up the Craftsman aisle of the tool section: thin, flimsy steel cabinets; drawers with a clunky pull that stick and rattle; rough edges, haphazard machining—anybody who knows anything about tools can tell at a glance that Here Be Monsters. It’s depressing, is what it is, and just lately I’ve restricted myself to walking quickly past the squalid display shaking my head so as to avoid further needless suffering. But maybe the USS Cratfsman, after listing and taking on water for years, is about to be shored up and restored to something like its former glory.

In 2017, Sears did the unthinkable and sold Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker.

As it turns out, the folks at Stanley Black & Decker have big plans for the brand, which includes restoring the production of Craftsman tools in the United States, according to CEO James Loree.

“We ended up simply buying the brand because the products had been left to de-volve over time to the point where they weren’t high quality, respectable products they once were,” Loree tells TheStreet. “They had migrated from made in America to virtually everything being made in China and Mexico. They were in sad shape.”

That’s about to change, Loree says. Stanley Black & Decker has redesigned just under 1,500 Craftsman tools, all with American production in mind:

“We have created as a result products that could be made in America at a cost similar to what they would have been if they had been imported from China. One of the strategies behind re-booting Craftsman is to revitalize the products and make as many [of] them in America as possible.”

About 40 percent of Craftsman products will be manufactured in the United States after the initial product relaunch, which is now underway and will heat up this fall at retailers like Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and Amazon (just in time for the holiday shopping season). The goal is for about 70 percent of Craftsman tools to be Made in America in the next few years, Loree adds.

Good on you folks, and I wish you all the luck in the world. Since I ain’t wrenching for a living anymore—although I do still check in at the shop a couple of times a week and try to assist a little when Goose needs some help—I haven’t had either the occasion or the spare cash to drop on tools, although there’s plenty of stuff I need. What hand tools and equipment I’ve bought over the past few years has all been Kobalt stuff, some of which is of surprisingly decent quality, if admittedly not up to the lofty SnapOn standard. Nonetheless, I’d dearly love to see these folks finally get Craftsman’s act tightened up again, and will be keeping an eye out to see if they can pull it off.

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Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…uhhh…well, it’s…ummmm…well, actually, it’s…

Sky Dong!

The infamous sky penis of November 17, 2017, hovering over the clouds of Washington, was a total mystery.

On that fateful day, the puzzling dong appeared near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, around 30 miles north of Seattle. And although the base accepted full responsibility for the phallic drawing in the sky, the public had no understanding of what had actually happened. How’d that big ol’ boner get up there anyway?

Now, two years later, a military report has shed light on the long-awaited details.

A copy of the military’s sky penis investigation was obtained by Navy Times. On that November day, local news station KREM began reporting on a clearly man-made shape in the sky that resembled a penis and testicles. The formation had upset a local parent and began making the rounds on Twitter. The Navy soon confirmed that one of its pilots had formed the phallus and issued an apology.

“The Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable,” the base said in a statement at the time.

“Zero training value”? ZERO? Ace dispenses handily with that notion.

A point that should be kept in mind is that someone who is playing while actually doing their job — here, flying, executing what I’m going to guess are somewhat precise turns — is practicing that job at a high level. That is, if you’re doing something that might be unnecessary but is still part of your job and is still training your skill, you are likely learning more in those moments than most moments spent in serious study.

The “gamification” of skill-learning is powerful, I think. People like challenges. Every challenge someone makes up for himself is a little game. He understands the success and failure states. He understands that, even in this play, there is victory and their is defeat.

What I’m saying is that it’s a good thing for people to have fun in doing their jobs. Even if they burn up some extra jet-fuel doing so. A pro golfer isn’t directly helping his golf game when he starts playing around with bouncing the ball up and down from his putter-head like it’s a hacky-sack, but he is learning dexterity and comfort with the putter, stuff about balance and head-attitude he wouldn’t learn from just some more putting practice.

Maybe that won’t be helpful. But maybe it will be. It doesn’t hurt to try something different, seemingly unrelated to the core of the skill, to improve the core of the skill by an alternate angle of attack.

So maybe give these guys a (halfhearted) warning because, whatever, people are scandalized to know that Navy pilots (almost all young men) can be fans of puerile, naughty jokes.

But also bear in mind that one of the highest states of skill-acquisition is having fun with the skill and just showing it off. Doing something that seems to have no practical purpose, if it’s difficult and requires off-the-cuff improvisation and quick learning and adjustment (as the dick-drawing stunt did), does stretch and hone one’s skill.

They did have to plot out a path in three dimensional space and imagine what that path would look like as a two dimensional plane.
That’s not nothing.

The Navy probably handled this innocuous mischief perfectly: PR statements expressing OUTRAGE!, disgust, and contrition, while dealing out a finger wagged in disapprobation and a good talking-to. The officer tasked with the actual the dressing-down problem bit nearly through his lip trying not to bust out in wicked snickering. The transcript of the radio chatter from whence this inspired prank sprang—uhh, sprung?—is hilarious:

In the air that day were two lieutenants, a pilot and an electronics warfare officer, known as an EWO. They were soon edging each other on.

“Draw a giant penis,” the EWO said. “That would be awesome.”

“What did you do on your flight?” the pilot joked. “Oh, we turned dinosaurs into sky penises.”

“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the EWO advised.

The lieutenants began breaking down the concept of drawing a penis in the sky.

“I could definitely draw one, that would be easy,” the pilot said. “I could basically draw a figure eight and turn around and come back. I’m gonna go down, grab some speed and hopefully get out of the contrail layer so they’re not connected to each other.”

You telling me this WASN’T at least somewhat useful training, a honing of relevant skills? Not even a little bit?

To quote the immortal Sgt Hulka: Aww, lighten up, Francis.

Read the rest for sure, it gets even more hilarious from there. Naturally, the libmedia reportage I’ve seen dangles the inevitable “sexual harrassment” angle, although even they can only manage a half-hearted, flaccid stab at it. Yes, I’m sure some humorless bluenoses both in and out of the Navy were utterly mortified by this Crime Against Humanity. But not me. Far as I’m concerned, this stunt is one of the reasons bold, audacious young men become fighter pilots in the first place. Carry on, fellas, and good on ya.

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Atonement

Brother John expresses the racking torment caused by my leaving the walrus pic at the top of the page for a couple of days longer than I normally would have:

Will you please get that thing off the front page already!?

To which I responded thusly:

Maybe I’ll poke around later for a nice Audrey Hepburn or Natalie Wood pic to make it up to you folks.

You CF lifers will know just how transparently flimsy an excuse needs to be to get me surfing around looking at pictures of Audrey, so consider the antidote hereby applied.

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Sigh. What a lovely, lovely woman. Yes, I know, some connoisseurs have always maintained she’s a mite too thin to merit a place in the ranks of your truly classic beauties. But what better to rinse away the foul aftertaste of that tragically misguided tub of goo below, I ask you? Now let’s have ourselves a little Natalie.

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Another treat for the eyes indeed, and as stellar an example of feminine pulchritude as one could wish for. But as gladdening as the above photos are, my heart will always belong to Donna.

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Be still my beating heart! From 1941, apparently, that one’s as downright racy a pic of the winsome lass as I can remember seeing, and as welcome as a frosty glass of lemonade on a Sahara summer day. No need to thank me, folks, I admit I owed ya.

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I’ve been waiting years for this and didn’t even know it

Steyn reviews one of my all-time favorite movies. Alas, he doesn’t seem to think much of it.

The point is Andy and Larry Wachowski figured they’d hit on the perfect wrinkle for a classic postmodern nerd franchise — the Star Wars of our generation. And if you say, “Hang on, old boy, surely Star Wars is the Star Wars of our generation?”, I’d say, nah, it’s too 1930s radio serial, and its grandiosity is plonkingly earnest and squaresville instead of as coolly meta as Keanu Reeves’ too-bored-to-act acting style. The Matrix was quickly followed by The Matrix RevisitedThe Matrix ReloadedThe Matrix Recycled, and Neo got paleo pretty quick. None of the sequels could quite match the initial red-pilling of surface reality, and so they simply dug the rabbit hole deeper. Zion is the last outpost of humanity – but maybe it’s merely a Matrix-within-the-Matrix? Ever consider that, huh? And what if Neo himself is a Matrix-within-the-Matrix-within-the-Matrix? He was supposed to be “The One” – but maybe one of the others is The One. Maybe The One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.

By the sequel, the Wachowskis’ “innovative visual style” (a Cecil B De Mille-scale computer game peopled by sullen pouters) was looking a lot less innovative: they did all the same things they did in the first film all over again, just more expensively and even more arbitrarily — the scene in which Keanu/Neo is fighting a hundred guys in black and doesn’t win, doesn’t lose, but just finds himself fighting vainly the old ennui and so buggers off after 15 minutes pretty much sums it up. By the second movie, Keanu had perfected his morose blank look, and fine actors like Laurence Fishburne were turning in performances so clunkily solemn you’d think they were auditioning for George Lucas. As usual, the subterranean city of Zion proved to be just another generic dystopian underground parking garage; and the orgiastic dance party looked like a weekend rave in Huddersfield.

But by then the Matricians or Matricists or Matrons or whatever they’re called were hooked. In the original film, Neo discovers that the meaning of our lives is an illusion; in the first sequel, the meaning of the film is an illusion. It doesn’t make much sense as it’s flying by, and it makes even less if you pause the tape and copy out all the dialogue. The rabbit hole doesn’t go deep at all; the buck stops about four inches down.

Oh well, no two of us can expect to agree on everything, right? I loved ’em all then, and I still love ’em now. I am willing to grant that the second one was the weakest of the series; that extended Zion-party sequence was indeed tedious at best. It felt like filler, a superfluous time-killer without any real narrative point or purpose. That stipulated, however, I did still like at least some of the rest of Reloaded, and thorougly dug Revolutions start to finish.

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A birthday present!

CF lifer Richard Lamoreux has graciously presented me with a most excellent birthday gift: the Kindle variant of the book I spoke of at some length in this post—Guitar Wars—along with this followup. So y’all can expect even more on this worthy tome as I wade through it, along with some more excerpting, most likely. Thanks again, Rich!

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The art of Tolkien

Y’know, there ARE times now and then when I do miss living in NYC.

In my enthusiasm for seeing the exhibition “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth,” which just opened at the Morgan Library in New York, I made the mistake of scheduling my visit for the show’s opening weekend. If the first rule of Fight Club is to never talk about Fight Club, the first rule of exhibitions is never attend an exhibition on opening weekend.

This is particularly the case when the exhibition is about a figure as beloved as J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), author of “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and other tales that set the standard for fantasy literature in the 20th century. It’s no wonder that the line to get into the Morgan and see Tolkien’s manuscripts, personal items, and art snaked through the vestibule and out onto the sidewalk on Madison Avenue long before opening time, despite the below-freezing temperatures outdoors.

I attended a Robert Williams invite-only opening at Bess Cutler Gallery years ago, and I will NEVER forget it; it was fantastic, just a great night all around. Got to meet Axel, Lemmy, and the great Joe Coleman there, who as it turned out lived two floors below me on 13th Street. After that, I seemed to run into him on the stairs all the time; he was a weird guy, which should come as no surprise to anybody familiar with his work. Anyways.

As interesting as Tolkien’s manuscript drafts and personal objects are, the real draw for visitors should be the chance to explore Tolkien’s artistic output. It becomes clear as one moves through the exhibition that Tolkien was a talented artist from a very early age, and what is perhaps most impressive about his art is the fact that it is far, far smaller in size than one would expect.

In most cases, the works he created are no larger than a standard sheet of paper, and in some instances not even that. As an artist, Tolkien demonstrates a painstaking attention to detail that would have impressed even the most talented of medieval manuscript illuminators. This is all the more surprising given that Tolkien never intended the public to see most of his art, but Tolkien’s publishers were often so taken with the author’s drawings and paintings that they were used as cover art or to accompany the text of his novels.

One particularly interesting example in the exhibition of work that was decidedly not meant for publication are a series of pen-and-ink doodles that Tolkien made on newspaper, a habit he engaged in frequently. Always thinking about the mythology he was inventing, Tolkien would draw on any paper that came to hand as he imagined the peoples and cultures of Middle-earth. Newspapers were a cheap and easy target for his pen, and the exhibition has several examples of them covered with scrollwork, paisleys, geometric patterns, and other designs.

His drawings and watercolors, however, come across as quite contemporary with, and informed by, several of the artistic and design styles that were popular during his lifetime, from Gothic Revival to Art Deco. For example, the show displays several of the badge designs that Tolkien created to illustrate examples of elven heraldry. These reflect the influence of British Arts and Crafts designers such as William Morris (1834-1896) and William de Morgan (1839-1917), whose fashionable textiles and tiles Tolkien would likely have been familiar with in childhood.

Tolkien was an enormously talented man, a true genius back in the days before that word became completely devalued due to overuse. Naturally, though, there’s a catch here, and if you know both Tolkien and NYC you can probably guess what it is.

As enjoyable as it was to see Tolkien’s art in person, not to mention so many items related to his personal life and literary output, I do have one major criticism to pass along.

It seems intellectually lazy, at best, to ignore such a crucially important factor in Tolkien’s personal life, philosophy, and work.

Earlier I referred to the crowded nature of the exhibition as reminiscent of lining up to receive Holy Communion. Yet, strangely, there’s virtually no mention of Tolkien’s devout Catholicism in this show, let alone any exploration of it as an underlying factor in his life and work.

This is a significant and, one assumes, intentional oversight, given that Tolkien stated quite plainly that “The Lord of the Rings” is “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work,” a fact that remains both unacknowledged and unexplored in this otherwise comprehensive exhibition.

It cannot have been lost on the organizers that many Christians will see the show because they admire Tolkien as a man of faith who succeeded in a field largely dominated by those of none. This unwillingness to explore Tolkien’s Catholicism raises questions potential visitors may wish to take into consideration. While no one exhibition can hope to explore every aspect of an artist’s biography or output, of course, in this case it seems intellectually lazy, at best, to ignore such a crucially important factor in Tolkien’s personal life, philosophy, and work.

If one wanted to be charitable about it, this omission could well be explained by its emphasis on JRR’s artwork alone; whether or not his religious faith figured much (or at all) in his paintings isn’t made clear in the article, so it may be that it wasn’t so much ignored as that it just wasn’t there in the first place, I dunno. But I think we all know well enough why all reference to Christianity was excluded, with no need to bother being charitable about anything.

“Intentional oversight”? If it’s intentional, then it ain’t really oversight, now is it?

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Cutlery

You get what you pay for.

So I blogged a while back about having just bought and liking the SOG Trident Elite with its assisted opening, glassbreaker, and belt-cutter. Once I loosened up the assisted-opening action (by working it a bit and adding a drop of oil) it became super easy and slick to open with just a flick of my thumb. It’s well made and feels good in my hand. The carry clip was a bit tight, and when I pulled on it it gave a bit too much and now it’s slightly too loose, but it’s a very nice knife.

But, of course, the voices of evil temptation helpful people in the comments told me that I’d really like a higher end knife better. As it happened, I’d just received a modest windfall, so I said what the hell, and ordered the Benchmade 940 and — because Amazon only carries the fixed-blade version, not the “automatic” version — actually went to a store (!) and bought a Benchmade Infidel.

Conclusion: You do get more for the money. The 940 gives you roughly the same size blade as the Trident in a much smaller and lighter package, and the quality is jewel-like. It’s basically a functional work of art, like a fine watch. It opens easily with one hand, but there’s no spring-assist — you have to push it all the way around to locking with your thumb on the stud. Once there, it’s very secure and very nice.

The Infidel is freaking amazing. I’ve never owned an “automatic” knife before — what in less enlightened times used to be denigrated as a “switchblade” — and the opening is lightning fast and shockingly easy. In fact the speed with which the blade deploys and retracts, as related to the small amount of effort required on sliding the opening actuator, seems to violate the law of conservation of energy. It’s super well made as well, the carry clip fit perfectly with no adjustments needed right out of the box, and the blade is super sharp and beautifully made. It’s also awfully expensive. My only complaint, really (besides the expense), is that the carry clip says “Infidel” on it, advertising to everyone who knows anything about what you’re carrying.

Worth the money? Well, yes and no. On the “no” side, the primary use of my carry knives is opening Amazon packages, and even the Trident is overkill for that. But there’s a pleasure in things that are finely made, and the more expensive knives certainly bring that. I’ve never really been a big knife guy, but I get the appeal.

I’m a big knife guy myself, always have been; I even have a beautiful custom-made job sporting a fancy Arkansas Toothpick-style blade, laminated grip, and hand-tooled leather boot-scabbard made for me by a bank night-security guard I used to chat with a lot when I was making deliveries to the bank years ago:


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I included my ravaged, arthritic old hand just to provide scale. As you can see, that there’s a LOT of knife—almost a dirk or short sword, really. You could easily run a skinny guy all the way through with it if you needed to, but it’s not terribly practical for carry purposes. What I was thinking when I had the guy make a boot sheath to go with the thing I’ll never know; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pair of men’s boots tall enough to hold it. Not ones that I’d be willing to wear, anyway. Also, those of you who suffer from it will doutbless recognize the Vikings Disease afflicting my last two fingers.

A good, well-made, reliable knife, like any other tool, is worth just about anything you have to pay for it, and will repay its cost many times over. I had a Benchmade folder myself for years, given to me by a very dear friend. Benchmade products are a favorite among SEALs and other SpecWar operators, and with good reason. I can’t remember what model name it went by, but mine was a clip-point (I HATE Tantos, sorry) combo blade that featured an improvement on Spyderco’s Round Hole opener: Spyderco’s trademark innovation is machined straight, with an almost rough feel around the edges of it, but Benchmade nicely beveled theirs. And it’s attention to fine little details like that that make for a great knife instead of a merely acceptable one.*

I would have happily kept that knife forever, but Outrageous Fortune had a less happy fate in mind. See, I handed my treasured Benchmade off to the nurse who happened to be passing by the scene of Christiana’s deadly crash nigh on thirteen long years ago and stopped to lend a hand; she used it to slice through my wife’s shirt and intubate her in a desperate and ultimatelty futile effort to save her life.

Hours later, after Christiana was gone and the cops had given me permission to leave the scene and head for the coroner’s office in Lenoir to sign a small mountain of paperwork, the saintly woman handed my Benchmade back accompanied by tearful expressions of regret and sympathy. I looked at it in my hand for only a couple of seconds—my precious, trusty blade, a constant companion up until then—before turning and throwing it with every ounce of strength I had down into the wooded valley below. No way did I want the thing anywhere near me; after being a part, however small, of the nightmarish ordeal of watching helplessly as my soulmate expired right in front of me, every time I pulled it from my pocket from then on would remind me of one thing only. I just couldn’t bear the thought of it. Much as I loved that knife, much good hard use as I’d gotten out of it, in that mad, overwhelming moment I just wanted it gone from me.

My friend Jason has been looking ever since for a replacement, but never has found one. I’ve checked the Benchmade website and other places like eBay on occasion myself, although it’s a moot point since there’s no way I can afford Benchmade quality these days even if I found one. The point is moot; apparently Benchmade just isn’t making that model any more, more’s the pity. Could be Spyderco revoked their permission to use the Spyderhole design, I dunno. Or maybe it was never granted in the first place.

My main carry blade these days is any of several Kershaws I own. They ain’t Benchmade, but Kershaw makes perfectly serviceable stuff. Affordable and nicely designed, they take a good edge quite readily and hold it surprisingly well. Their Speedsafe assisted-opening feature is a handy, well-thought out thing. Made in America too, which I like, although they were bought out some years back by a Japanese conglomerate and as far as I know are still owned by ’em.

I’ve also heard good things about Columbia River (CRKT) blades from blade-freak friends of mine who dig ’em, but have never owned or used one myself and so can’t say. If you need a daily carrier but just ain’t got the coin to drop on a BM, an Emerson, or any of the small-batch custom-shop jobs available these days, I’d recommend a Kershaw to just about anybody without embarrassment or hesitation.

But if—lucky you!—the price of admission to the exalted status of Benchmark ownership won’t force you onto an all-PBJ and ramen noodle diet for an extended period, I can assure you you won’t regret taking the plunge and getting yourself one. In fact, if you’re a knife guy like me, you’ll find yourself taking the thing out of your pocket just to stare at it in wonder and admiration now and then. Just ask Glenn if you don’t believe me. As he concludes: “There’s a pleasure in things that are finely made, and the more expensive knives certainly bring that.” They do indeed. They’re a heartening reminder that not everything is cheap, disposable junk—that quality, care, and craftsmanship are still respected values in some corners of this increasingly thoughtless, throwaway world.

*I’ve had several Spydercos over the years too, and used to like their products a lot. They were really nice knives once upon a long ago, but the last couple I had (Enduras, which was my preferred design) were complete junk. That’s too bad, a dang shame, and I have to wonder what happened with them. My first real big-boy knife was a Spyderco Endura I got back in the mid-to-late 80s, and it was excellent all around. But if my experience with the last two is any indication, they’ve fallen pretty far since then. Maybe they’ll make a comeback sometime.

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If sheep could cook

Okay, I know this is serious and all, but I just can’t keep myself from laughing here.

In American schools, they take the “separation of church and state” so seriously they ban candy canes, reindeer and red-and-green color combinations. By contrast, in Scotland the state schools still perform nativity plays before Christmas, and little Alfie Cox found himself cast as a shepherd. So his mum ordered the excited five-year-old a costume from Amazon, and was delighted upon its arrival to find that Jeff Bezos had been generous enough to throw in a free blow-up sheep:

But the mom of two was puzzled when a teacher told Alfie to take the sheep home — until she blew it up and found it had a huge hole in its bottom as well as red lips and eyelashes.

Cox, 46, found the exact same sheep was on sale as a “stag night bonkin’ sheep” and is now devising a way to steal it away from unaware Alfie.

Is Jeff Bezos sending free blow-up sheep to all Amazon’s customers this Christmas? Or only five-year-old Scottish boys?

Well, I can only say that I sure didn’t get mine, doggone it. Steyn includes a picture of the, uhh, lucky (?) kid, his mom, and his “bonkin’ sheep,” which only made me laugh the harder.

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True American hero

Meet Sabo.

Los Angeles
It’s not much to look at from the outside, a dingy apartment building in a downwardly mobile stretch of burglar bars, psychics, and coin laundries. When asked the name of the neighborhood, one inhabitant classifies it as “no place in the middle of every place.”

It’s not much better on the inside. The guy I have come to see answers the door of his cheerless one-bedroom shirtless, in camo shorts and Chucks, while pulling on a white polo in order to appear less feral. He’s not a down-on-his-luck porn producer, though he used to work in the industry. He’s not some middle-aged gangbanger, though he could pass for one: solidly built with his name tattooed on his knuckles and a branding-iron mark singed into his chest. He is Sabo, America’s preeminent right-wing guerrilla street artist.

This sounds impressive. Yet being the Banksy or the Shep Fairey of the right is not a high pile to climb. It’s a bit like being the foremost reggae singer at the Grand Ole Opry or the premier scuba outfitter in the Kalahari. There’s not a lot of competition.

In this most liberal of cities (where even unaffiliated voters outnumber registered Republicans) and out of these modest digs, Sabo runs a one-man torture emporium. His victims include everyone from lefty politicians and Big Tech overlords to smug celebrities who never cease to subject us to the hot blasts of their virtue-signaling.

When inspiration strikes, Sabo might hijack a billboard, as he did last year with one advertising the film The Greatest Showman. It featured the actress Zendaya on a trapeze, and Sabo added a smirking Al Franken behind her with his lechy come-hither hands outstretched. Or he might crank out cheeky T-shirts with the letters “DOU” next to a picture of Che’s face.

The fashionable hypocrisy of the left drives Sabo bonkers, which explains the “F— Tibet” sign in his living room. It’s not that he doesn’t feel for the Dalai Lama’s oppressed people. But he’ll see some L.A. fashionista in a Mao shirt hauling a Free Tibet tote bag, “And I’m like, ‘You realize the reason Tibet needs to be freed is because of the f—ing Communists?’ These are the idiots I have to deal with.”

We all do, buddy, we all do. Read every word of it; as WRSA says, it’s good stuff. His apartment sounds like one hell of a fun place to hang out:

From the moment you step inside Sabo’s place, you get the sense that artistic violence is committed here. Amidst the skateboards and racks of spray-paint that adorn the hovel of this 50-year-old man-child, there’s a tattered Koran, which serves as his doorstop. It’s missing pages, since he’s used a few when out of toilet paper. If a visitor didn’t get the point that he’s not a fan of Islam, one wall also features Beyoncé in a burka.

Next to the coffin-sized printer that cranks out the posters that he plasters all over Los Angeles, there’s a wall-sized depiction of Elizabeth Warren in a Pocahontas headdress. There’s also the Hillary Clinton Wizard of Oz-style flying monkey campaign placard (with which he blanketed Brentwood before one of Hillary’s deep-pockets presidential fundraisers) and the tin of “Planned Parenthood Baby Dick Sausages by Vienna” (his nod to the unborn, though he’s ambivalently pro-choice).

Sabo’s also pro gay-marriage. But just when you think he’s going bleeding-heart on you, his bathroom door features the traditional ladies’ room silhouette of a woman, but from under her skirt is protruding, like a turtle head from a shell, a man’s unit. The bathroom is marked neither “Men” nor “Women,” but rather “It.” Though Sabo hastens to add that with their high rates of attempted suicide, he has nothing against “trannies.” “I hurt for them in a good way…just don’t try and tell me that it’s normal.”

Then there’s the MAGAphone—a megaphone inscribed with Donald Trump’s favorite acronym, as well as “Eat Shit Commie” around the horn. 

This is a fascinating, well-written warts-and-all bio of a fascinating young man who’s led a fascinating, rough and tumble life. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the introduction from Sabo’s website before here, but it bears repeating:

Bush the Younger was elected President and the claws came out in Hollywood. I lost my friends along with a great deal of peace. It was not a good time to be a Republican in Hollywood. There was no place I could go where I wasn’t punched in the face by some sort of art defining who I was for being a Republican. Evil, Bigotted, Homophobic, Out of Touch, Rich, Greedy, on and on. And then I snapped. Why was the Left allowed to define me and where are the dissenting voices from the Right setting the record straight? Creatively speaking, no one.

I believe the Right has a great message, sadly the only people telling it are those on the Left and they do a damn fine job making us look like ass holes and what do Republicans do about it, NOT A DAMN THING!!! Fuck it! I guess it’s just going to have to be me, I thought. My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any Liberal artist out there, more so if I can. Use their tactics, their methods, appeal to their audience, the young, urban, street urchins with a message they never hear in a style they own. My name is SABO, I’m an UNSAVORYAGENT.

We need all of ’em we can get, now more than ever. Okay, okay, one more excerpt, which I just love:

Sabo became a tank crewman, from which he derives his handle. A “sabot” is a type of armor-piercing round—“pretty much a bullet for a tank.” The Call of Duty nerds like to test him on this, claiming, Sabo says while imitating their pedantic whine, that it “isn’t the round, it’s one of the things that cup the round.” Disgusted, he adds: “I’m like, ‘Bitch, I only slept on one for four years. Shut up. I used sabot rounds as a goddamned pillow.’ ” He doesn’t let his real name out there, since antifa types would chronically harass him, possibly worse, and he doesn’t need any help in the paranoia department: “I wouldn’t be surprised if celebrities have witches trying to f— me with spells. Sometimes when I do [a job], I get really sick.”

It was in the Corps that Sabo became a drunk. Everyone was a two-fister. “They literally had Coke machines filled with beer.” He never saw combat, but there was plenty of fighting. “When I got into a bar fight, the whole bar fought,” he says, suppressing a grin. He was once slam-dancing at a bar, and some Navy killjoy said, “Dude, you spilled my drink.”

Sabo responded, “Dude, it’s a slam-dance song.”

“It’s Barry Manilow,” said his rival.

Heh. Now if THAT doesn’t convince you of how much you’ll enjoy reading this one, I don’t know what would. It’s in an unlikely spot—the Weekly Standard (!)—so naturally the interviewer works in the obligatory NeverTrumpTard complaints. Sabo, himself no Trump fan early on, responds with piercing insight and admirable ferocity (“…he’s ‘kicking the teeth in’ of everyone who needs their teeth kicked in…’How can I say it, dude?’ he goes on about people like me criticizing Trump while still enjoying the spoils of his Supreme Court picks, his pushback on the thought police, and his promoting of America instead of apologizing for it. ‘It’s like grow the f— up'”), and he’s right on the button.

Do I even have to say “read it all” again? No. No, I do not.

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Decivilization

It’s the culture, stupid: its art, its history, its philosophy. Mike Walsh is on it.

My thesis is simple: we can learn more about the nature and practice of politics from, say, The Oresteia or The Aeneid—to give just two examples more than two millennia old—than we can from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and that the visit of Vladimir Horowitz to the Soviet Union in April 1986 (about which I wrote a cover story for Time magazine) did more to hasten the collapse of the USSR five years later than all the white papers and policy statements from the American talking-head establishment wonks of the day.

The new book is more prescriptive—a kind of how-to combat manual of cultural touchstones from which we as inheritors of the Greco-Roman enlightenment can recollect our strengths and moral authority, reject the false equivalences of multiculturalism, accept that Western syncretism (known disparagingly now as “cultural appropriation”) is something profoundly good and beneficial to all cultures, and from which we can draw a renewed vigor in our defense of ourselves.

In Monday’s speech in the beautiful new Visitor Center, I located a signal change in the Western education system that, at the time, looked like an advance: the American reaction to the launch of Sputnik in 1957. Suddenly, America felt it was losing its technological edge over the Soviets so American schoolchildren became acquainted en masse with the wonders and joys of the slide rule and the hard sciences. The effect was immediate: we quickly regained and maintained our advantage over our antagonists, but it came with a price: the downgrading of the importance of the arts as a civilizing and ennobling force in American public (and private) life.

So while the emphasis on tech eventually resulted in the creation of the personal computer and the iPhone, it also reduced the literary and plastic arts from essential elements of nationhood to “entertainments” for the wealthy; triggered the coarsening of society and, worst of all, cut both America and, shortly thereafter, the Western European nations from the wellsprings of their shared patrimony. This may not entirely have been by design, but it was seized upon by the nascent philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which by this time had been transplanted from pre-Nazi Germany to Columbia University in Manhattan and quickly spread throughout the American system of higher education.  

The result? To take just one example, the New York City public school system went from offering a model education in music and the arts to needing police officers in the schools—a reflection of the overall changes in demography, to be sure, but also of the decivilizing effect the loss of a democratized high culture entails. More Mozart, fewer metal detectors…

In The Fiery Angel, I am not arguing that the arts should be politicized—that way lies the corpse of the old Soviet Union (and this is treated at some length in the chapter entitled “The Raft of the Medusa”). Rather, I am saying that the arts both predict and comment upon historical-political developments in ways that no dispassionate analysis can manage. Try this sequence of events on for size:

Beaumarchais–Mozart–The French Revolution–Beethoven–Napoleon.  From Le Marriage de Figarothe play, to Le nozze di Figaro the opera, to the start of the French Revolution and fall of Louis XVI is a span of only five years, and yet in that time the royal edifice was first lampooned, then sexualized, and finally pulled down around the aristocrats’ ears. Those with sensitive antennae—among them Louis XVI himself, who initially forbade public performances of Beaumarchais’ play—could see what was coming. Most could not.

Our Progressivist-run government schools have thoroughly perverted and politicized the history curriculum, “balancing” any notion of American greatness, uniqueness, and benignity (when those notions aren’t excised altogether) with immaterial nonsense like “Washington owned slaves!” and other such irrelevancies, and that’s no accident. It’s resoundingly evident that any lasting reversal of the cultural enervation the Left has deliberately inflicted on us must begin with instilling a proper appreciation for Western civilization, its achievements, and the intellectual and artistic roots of its unprecedented success in young minds.

Continue reading “Decivilization”

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Miracle On 34th Street

So I had intended to do my next Christmas-themed post on another wonderful old classic movie, but damned if Eskiman didn’t beat me to it in the comments to the Wonderful Life post. Did a very good job of it too, thereby saving me a lot of labor, so I’m just gonna swipe it and bring it right on out here.

Another wonderful film from that era (1947) I just re-watched last night: Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O’Hara and John Payne, Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle and a very young Natalie Wood as Susan. Do please watch it, but –SPOILERS– do follow!

It was delightful, and better by far than the much more modern version produced in 1994, though the newer one’s Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle was excellent; in fact he was so good that the other actors’ performances appeared mediocre, which is as much as could be said. I saw this version the night before last, which is why I had to find the original; this new one left a bad taste in my mouth, which was dispelled by the beautiful Maureen O’Hara.

The original film, made in 1947, is in black & white, and reflected values of that time. Unlike It’s a Wonderful Life, it was actually bitterly cold when it was filmed; I understand that some of the cameras froze during the shoot! But the real reason it was remade wasn’t just because someone wanted to make the film in color- it was to “sanitize” it. The later version is much more PC: it has no black housekeepers and women are more than equal. For some reason I don’t know, even the department stores’ names had to be changed: the old version had Macy’s versus Gimble’s, but the new one had Coles versus Holiday Express (is there actually such a store?) The 1994 version toward the end has Fred and Doris getting married late at night in an empty church, for no particular reason. I was not impressed; the entire ending sucked in this version.

The original script was re-written, but not improved. Many changes seemed to be made just to make it different, but the changes didn’t make it better, and most made the newer film much worse. In the original, Kris Kringle’s cane was a simple wooden cane, not very heavy. Its replacement was a fancy silver-headed cane that looked like a club; someone could easily be killed with such a cane. This didn’t improve the plot, nor did other changes which made the original drunken Santa into a real bad guy and Holiday Express a viper’s den instead of honest competitors.

The original was much more light-hearted, made more sense, and the ending was much, much better: the unmarried (but very sweet on each other) couple were sent on a “short-cut” and Susan saw the house of her dreams when they arrived at a cul-de-sac; she was thrilled, and ran into the house, with Doris and Fred in hot pursuit; inside, it was just an empty house which was for sale- with a swing in the back yard! Susan knew who had arranged it all!

And Kris Kringle’s cane was propped against the fireplace.

I highly recommend the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street; accept no substitutes (because there really isn’t one.)

I couldn’t agree more; the original is another great movie of the Wonderful Life stripe, made to a standard that present-day Hollywood can’t even approach anymore and seems indifferent to at best anyway. More light-hearted than Wonderful Life (which is not necessarily to say frivolous), certainly; you won’t find much examination of weighty existential issues here, which is just fine, and shouldn’t really be scored against it.

One caveat, though: it aired on the teewee earlier today, and to my horror and disgust, it was *ULP* the colorized version. Gag me with a maggot. What a revoltin’ development.

Leaving his commie predilections and Jane Fonda out of our consideration, Ted Turner should have had his skinny ass kicked up between his shoulder blades twice daily in perpetuity for coming up with the wholly rotten idea of desecrating carefully-conceived and meticulously executed black and white films—which were framed, lit, and shot with black and white film in mind, remember—by painting over them with washed out, drab, sickly looking colors, supposedly to heighten their appeal to modern audiences anesthetized by color TV.

It kicked up quite the little controversy at the time, as I recollect, which Turner dismissed in his trademark high-handed, arrogantly ignorant fashion (“The last time I checked, I owned the films that we’re in the process of colorizing…I can do whatever I want with them, and if they’re going to be shown on television, they’re going to be in color“).

The filmmakers of the day did not consider black and white to be any sort of limitation or handicap. To the contrary: it was their palette, and the best among them were quite skilled at its use, thanks. To vandalize their purposeful art by the rough equivalent of scribbling over it with crayons is a perfect example of the sort of arrogant application of present-day standards to a long-gone era we see all over the place nowadays. Hey, given modern advances in the production of pigments, maybe somebody should go back and paint over all those Rembrandts too.

Thankfully, you don’t see those colorized obscenities nearly as much as you once did, which amounts to pretty righteous repudiation of Turner’s smug assertion that “once people start watching the colored version, they won’t bother with the original.” But having to endure Miracle On 34th Street sullied by the annoying, ugly travesty of colorization is reason enough to suspect there must have been a special place in Hell waiting for Turner upon his death all the same…and that the jerk had it coming, too.

Oh, and one more thing: if Donna Reed had any real competition as America’s loveliest woman, the magnificent Natalie Wood would have been it—with Maureen O’Hara making a credible bid herself.

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OhgodohgodohgodohGOD: DONNA REID!!

If y’all ain’t checking in on Dutoit regularly, let me tell you: you’re making a mistake.

Like many people, I suspect, I have become fascinated by the advancements made in robotics — not from a technological standpoint (because I’m a high-tech retard), but from a sociological one. I’m also not interested in robots which will perform brain functions: the arrival of spreadsheets and their macros in programs like VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3 foreshadowed all that, and considering that most of life is incredibly boring bureaucratic shit (e.g. legal documents), I have no problem with delegating the mundane tasks of life to the bots — as long as I still have final control over the output, that is.

No, I’m very interested in the effects that sexbots will have on our society. I’m completely ignoring the bleats of womyn who see, correctly, that female sexbots will eventually replace actual women in  terms of the male meat market, where schlubs who used to live in their parents’ house will now be able to score with a “woman” who won’t castrate him and/or pillage his wallet. Sure, sex with a bot isn’t going to be as good as with a live, breathing woman, at least until the technology improves anyway (although quite frankly I can think offhand of about half a dozen women in my experience who would make the most basic sexbots feel like porn stars, so indifferent were they to sexual activity).

If you’re wondering what the hell this has to do with the perfectly luscious paragon of feminine pulchritude that is the great Donna Reed as per my title, well, just go read it…and enjoy the purty pitchers, too. No need to thank me; this is what I DO, folks.

As you CF lifers will already know, I have always maintained that Donna Reed is the most gorgeous woman who ever lived, or ever will live, and that the way she looks at Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life—when he comes home at last on their wedding night (after the big bank run) to their ramshackle, leaky, “drafty old house”—is exactly the way every man in the world wants his woman to look at him.

And Kim, bless his heart, has a truly racy, erotic photo of her that even I never saw before—which is saying something, let me assure you. It’s hot and provocative in a way that all the too-explicit, grungy modern-day crap will never either approach nor apprehend. Nor properly appreciate, probably. Their loss, I say.

Donna. Fucking. REED. Sigh.

In fact, Kim has so much good old pinup, gun, vehicular conveyance, and other worthwhile stuff up now, he’s becoming one of the most vital daily stops in the blogosphere, as far as I’m concerned. I hate the circumstances that brought him back, of course. But he’s a genuine treasure; he always was, and we all ought to be damned glad to have him amongst us again. I know I am.

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Saved the best for last: merry Christmas!

The fairest of them all:




So very lovely it almost hurts to hear; as I said the other day, I don’t see how anyone could possibly be a serious musician—or hear something like this—and not believe in something greater, deeper, and more powerful than our mere selves. And no, I certainly do NOT mean the State.

But in any event, with that, may the joy and serenity of this most blessed of days find its way deep into the hearts of each and every one of you, in its and your own unique way.

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Groupthink comes in a box now!

Get yours while they last — because the stilted drones have banned it.




Philo says:

Art should challenge the status quo, the staid complacencies of the bourgeoisie; it should even shock. So goes a standard Leftist line. But when art actually DOES that, they do their best to suppress it. That helps to explain why the ideas of the avant garde have been the same for more than a century, and why, today, avant garde means defending the statist status quo.

Background:

You don’t have to be an art critic to see something tasteless going on at Pratt Institute. Since 1887, this venerable New York institution has been dedicated to educating “artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society.” Yet teachers and administrators at Pratt have been nothing but irresponsible in their recent dealings with a fifth-year drawing student named Steve DeQuattro.

Mr. DeQuattro is a political artist. He uses his background in graphic design to illustrate the dominant political culture of his world. At Pratt, this means creating work that addresses, as he wrote to me, the “growing bureaucracy, higher tuition, new buildings for administration, new offices, and departments, and left-wing bias, all at the expense of the students.”

As part of his recent work, Mr. DeQuattro has designed a cereal-box-like sculpture that he calls, ironically, “Sustainable Liberalism in a Box” (the graphics are pictured above). He has developed a piece that takes the ubiquitous Apple iPod ad campaign to address abortion. He has designed a sobering five-foot-wide mural that tracks the Democratic Party’s record on race, from Jefferson’s slave-holding days up through the racially charged speeches of Senator Robert Byrd and Vice President Joe Biden.

As a senior in the school, Mr. DeQuattro has been working on this art in preparation for a group show for Pratt’s graduating students, which is scheduled to open on April 23. While his faculty advisor has been supporting him, his peers have not. Mr. DeQuattro says they recently wrote a letter to his professors, calling his work “offensive” and complaining about exhibiting alongside him. Last week, the chair of the fine arts department stepped in to prevent Mr. DeQuattro’s participation alongside the other students in the group show–an unprecedented move in the history of the department, says Mr. DeQuattro, despite the fact that none of his work is pornographic, libelous, or in violation of the laws of free speech. Mr. DeQuattro’s advisor did not return a request for comment.

Well, no, he wouldn’t. Being a liberal means never having to admit you’re a fascist, and the advisor, having supported DeQuattro, would be in line for severe punishment from the ancien regime. But whether you possess the intellectual honesty to admit it or not, you are just the same. Read all of it; it’s right on the money, right down the line. And remember, under liberal fascism, Transgressive is Good…as long as you’re not transgressing against the entrenched establishment, which simply can’t tolerate any dissent at all, lest their smarmy self-regard dissolve quicker than sugar in hot water.

(Via Insty)

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Posted in Art!   

First They Came For Hitler…

SEIG, HELL

Town Crier:

In the report presented to the Police Services Board on April 22, Nazi is listed as one of the 27 identified victim groups targeted in hate-motivated criminal acts in 2009.

Under the breakdown of occurrences by police division, “Nazi” is listed as the victim group for one mischief offence that was reported in 13 Division. The west-end division polices parts of Forest Hill, Davenport, Cedarvale and Dovercourt.

In the report’s executive summary, Nazi also appears under the listing of “new victim group” for 2009; these are the identifiable groups that have not appeared in the previous hate/bias crime reports.

Herr Steyn:

I personally am indifferent as to whether Nazis get beaten up on the streets of Toronto. But I don’t think the law should be. And that’s why Mr Farber’s soundbite is so revealing. Two years ago, when the cases against Maclean’s got underway, I wrote:

Justice is supposed to be, like Dean Steacy, blind. If you run a red light and you hit a pedestrian, it makes no difference in law whether the pedestrian’s Marc Lemire or Nelson Mandela. Or at least it shouldn’t.

This is one of the most repellent aspects of Canada’s “human rights” regime: Its contempt for one of the most basic principles of justice – equality before the law. At the “human rights” tribunal, your roles as victim or victimizer come pre-assigned: By definition, a woman is a victim of a man; a gay is a victim of a Christian; a Jew is a victim of a Nazi. This is mostly for the purposes of prosecuting “offensive” speech. My traffic accident comparison was intended to point out the difference between real law and “human rights” law. But, as Ezra says, Bernie Farber’s moral compass has been so corroded by the whole ugly “human rights” racket he now apparently thinks that its affronts to justice should be extended to real crimes, including crimes of violence. If you get beaten up, all that counts is what identity group you belong to.

And, of course, he’s too dull-witted to think that fashions in victim groups might change – indeed, are already changing. As I put it two years ago:

It’s foolish to assume the abuses of the CHRC will always be confined to folks you dislike.

Look at Farber’s line again:

‘A Nazi can never be a victim but only a victimizer.’

Doesn’t that sound awfully like the reductive claptrap you hear on any old campus during Israeli Apartheid Week (Canada’s gift to the world – thank you, Bernie Farber)? When it comes to “Palestinian occupation”, “an Israeli can never be a victim but only a victimizer.” At the University of Calgary, a prolifer can never be a victim but only a victimizer. This is where the kind of thought-crime regime promoted by Farber’s CJC always leads.

Mel Brooks had better think twice before opening his new play “Springtime for Hitler: Can’t We All Just Get Along?” in Toronto.

Does this mean we can have Nancy Pelosi and all those Democrats arrested for calling Tea Partiers ‘Nazis”? And are all those “Arizona=The Third Reich” “Papers, Please”-protestors now human rights abusers themselves? Maybe we could set up an international tribunal for them…in Nuremberg.

This is what happens when we abandon true Constitutional equality before the law in favor of identity politics, multiculturalism, professional victimhood, ThoughtCrime and state-sponsored pigment preferences. This is the logical outcome.

I often say “Don’t joke around liberals–they legislate the punch lines.”

Damn, Mel–it really is Springtime for Hitler.

(A big tip of Helmut’s helmet: Reason)

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Law & Order Now, and you’ll also receive these other fine shows as our bonus gift to you!

JUST ADD SHIPPING AND HANDLING

But wait, there’s more!

Just One Minute:

Law & Order has been canceled after twenty years, although yes, it seems like much longer.

In related news, let me just say that the revised “Law & Order – Criminal Intent”, with Jeff Goldblum replacing Vincent D’Onforio, is unwatchable. And I say that as a fan of Jeff Goldblum going back to the Big Chill.

In this incarnation Goldblum’s character is so low key that after I flip the show on at night I find myself wondering – did I decide to stay up for a bit of television, or am I already in bed, asleep, and having a tedious dream? Somewhat disorienting.

Kathy Shaidle at NewsRealBlog:

Law & Order promoted its storylines as “ripped from the headlines,” but the show’s hate-on towards social conservatives was actually sourced from liberal op-ed pages, where paranoid (and inaccurate) predictions about “Tea Party violence” and ever-looming “Christian theocracies” have enjoyed an equally long run. …

Frankly, my favorite episode had something to do with “crazed white supremacist militia” members (yawn), because (to the profound irritation of the lawyers and cops sworn to preserve and defend it) said “ignorant” militia members kept quoting bits of the Constitution at them. You know, the parts about overthrowing tyrannical governments, and owning guns and stuff. Those 44 minutes were the closest millions of liberal viewers got to hearing accurate citations of America’s founding documents on national television until Glenn Beck moved to Fox.

Clearly, what we need is a new spin-off of the spin-off of the spin-off to Law and Order.

Some suggestions for the next Law and Order:

Law and Order: Read the Bill!
Law and Order: The Tonsil Surgeon Gang
Law and Order: Either/Or
Law and Order: This Time, Starring JERI Thompson!
Law and Order: Must We? Really?
Law and Order: SUV–Sport Utility Unit
Law and Order: Trial by Times Headline
Law and Order: Life on the K-Street
Law and Order: The Charlie Rangel Files
Law and Order: Criminals in Tents
Law and Order: Loss, Angeles
Law and Order: Except for Arizona!
Law and Order: Arrest CSI: Miami Now!
Law and Order: What the Heck is an “S. Epatha”, Anyway?
Law and Order: Ripped from Today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer Minneapolis Star Tribune San Francisco Chronicle Rocky Mountain News The Philadelphia Daily News The Miami Herald The Detroit News The Boston Globe Newsweek Headlines!
Genocide: Life Under Jan Brewer
Law and Order: If the ACLU Approves
Law and Order: Kennedys–The Next Generation
Law and Order: Sam Waterson, Energy Expert
Law and Order: Gitmo 4Ever
Law and Order: I Still Haven’t Read It!
Law and Order: The Vice, Bunco and Spitzer Squad
Law and Order: Check Page 2,738, Sect. 3, sub-paragraph (f).
Law and Order: Hawaii 5-7
Law and Order: Naked Gun .45–Quick, Find Grandma’s Robe!
Law and Order: “Is this because Dick Wolf is a lesbian?”
Law and Order: The al Qaeda Bar Association
Law and Order: Dean Kagan Bans ROTC, not CAIR
Law and Order: The Great Clinton Pardon Sale
Pesticide: Life With DDT
Law and Order: Even Bennett Knows 20 Years Are Enough

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Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit. Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) and...you won't.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." -Bill Whittle

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