This is the first of two installments about saved comments from January 2016. I was traveling during the first two weeks of the month, so I saved my comments on my laptop, then transferred them to my desktop. Good thing I did; apparently the video card on that has failed. On the one hand, it confirms my feelings of urgency about posting my saved comments here, as they were driven by anxieties of hardware failure. On the other, I was hoping the laptop would remain functional longer so that I could post the comments I saved on it. Sigh.
I'm going to keep my comment on "Link round-up for 3 January 2016" at Infidel 753 above the cut, as it has a wider appeal for my readers here on Dreamwidth than the comments behind the cut. That's because it's about all three trilogies of the Star Wars saga.The New Republic is right about the Star Wars saga being a multi-generational tale of a dysfunctional family. However, I wouldn't call it bad parenting, at least in the first two trilogies. I'd call it absentee parenting combined with bad foster parenting (except in the case of Leia; I think the Organas were actually good parents). Obi-Wan screwed up with Anakin and was supplanted by Palpatine, who was even worse. Lars tried, but he wasn't suited to deal with his nephew by marriage, who had the family curse of being destined for greatness.
It wasn't until the current movie that a combination of an unruly child with parenting not up to the task became apparent. Leia, Han, and Luke all tried with Kylo Ren, and all failed. Smoke (sp.?) took over the Palpatine role and ended up being the evil foster parent. Thank you, J.J. Abrams for making crystal clear what George Lucas only implied.
The good news is that the foster parents can redeem themselves. Obi-Wan, with Yoda's help, succeed with Luke where they failed with his father. Anakin himself finally did the right thing by his son, although it took Palpatine doing his best to kill Luke to do it. I wouldn't be surprised if Luke and Leia do the same for Kylo Ren and Rey by the final film of this trilogy. There is a formula to these films, after all.
( Comments from Kunstler's and Greers blogs plus the old Michigan Liberal about energy, the economy, and the election behind the cut. )
Death to All Zombies!
“A zombie is a terrible thing to behold, but a zombie holding a bag of dog-shit is like unto the end of the world.” No, a zombie holding a bag of dog shit is funny. All that needs to make it funnier is setting the bag on fire. Of course, the zombie will still try to eat your brains, but you’ll get a good laugh out of it. Just don’t step on the burning bag once you shoot the zombie in the head.
( Comments left at Greer's and Kunstler's blog about progress, the economy, and the election behind the cut. )
( Comments I left at the blogs of Elaine Meinel Supkis, James H. Kunstler, John M. Greer, and P. M. Carpenter behind the cut. )
By the way, if one of the comments below looks familiar, it's because I recycled most of it into The Archdruid and I talk drum corps.
( Six comments from Greer's and Kunstler's blogs with Kustler's mostly about the election. )
The blog passed 800,000 page views about 8 AM on 12/7/16. It published its 3000th post on 12/8/16. The month ended with 37 comments and 36,117 page views, the second most of any month behind only October 2016.
( Most read, shared, and liked posts of December 2016 behind the cut. )
I've celebrated Wester online since 2007, most recently on Dreamwidth in 2012. I also celebrated Norther, a parody holiday created by John Michael Greer, who journals here as ecosophia, at Crazy Eddie's Motie News in January. Today, I'm celebrating Wombats and ice cream for the first Souther! Here's the blurb about the holiday I wrote for social media promotion of the post.
Today is the first Souther, the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Summer Solstice, a holiday created by John Michael Greer the Archdruid. Its mascot is the wombat. It's also National Ice Cream Day, so I'm celebrating with ice cream drink recipes from Tipsy Bartender and a video that's supposed to be a wombat eating ice cream. It's actually a woodchuck, but who cares?
Come over for the booze and ice cream recipes!
Me: @Armata: You were right to point to American popular culture for evidence that people are afraid that progress may be coming to a halt and soon, but the way you used your examples works against you with people who know television. In particular, your statement that "The most popular TV show right now is Game of Thrones, based on George RR Martin’s 'A Song of Fire and Ice' novels" requires closer examination. "Game of Thrones" may be the most award-winning drama on American television today with a record 39 Emmy Awards over its run, but if by "most popular" you meant "most watched," it most assuredly is not. According to Indiewire, it came in 38th among viewers of all ages and sixth among TV watchers aged 18-49 during the 2015-2016 season, the most recent in which the series aired.
The more popular show exemplifying Americans' anxiety about the end of progress is "The Walking Dead," which came in fourth among all viewers and first among those aged 18-49, making it, not "Game of Thrones," the most watched show on cable with nearly twice as many viewers. That's a fast-collapse show, but the series is now in its seventh season and has finally reached the stage where most of the rubble has stopped bouncing, so the conflict driving the drama has become a struggle for power among groups of survivors, including a barbarian warband that ironically (or maybe not) sees itself as the "Saviors of Civilization," instead of a fight for survival against the undead. That written, "Game of Thrones" makes your point that "Winter is coming" and people are aware it may be approaching in the real world as well. It's just not as salient an example as you made it out to be.
On another note, I'm a member of several "liberal prepper" groups on Facebook. I'll ask the members if any of them participate in the SCA and, if so, whether their historical reenacting has given them any survival skills. Coincidentally enough, one of the communities of survivors in "The Walking Dead" grew up around a park where Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century crafts were recreated for visitors. In the series, that was an intentional choice for those survivors, not an accident.
Justin: Pinku-Sensei, agreed about The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I watched the first episode of the current season of the walking dead, and wow, that was some brutal stuff. If sufficient transcripts survive, no doubt that future historians will study that show. Game of Thrones is interesting too. "Winter is coming" is certainly appropriate. Of course, the whole theme was thought up by GRRM in the 90's - although who knows what GRRM thinks about industrial civilization. He's certainly a smart fellow.
I've been a regular commenter over at Kunstler's blog for years, but I haven't been much of a participant over at The Archdruid Report until the past few weeks. There were three reasons for this. First, John Greer he Archdruid wasn't giving me what I couldn't already get at Kunstler's blog or The Oil Drum. Second, his comments are heavily moderated, while Kunstler's are only weakly so. Third, while he posts Wednesday P.M., he's just not a predictable as Kunstler. The latter two meant that I couldn't lure readers from his blog the way I could Kunstler's. So, I read when I had the opportunity, but didn't comment.
This year, that all changed. First, Kunstler moved from Peak Oil to finance. Then, The Oil Drum closed down. Finally, The Archdruid moved to a topic that he is uniquely suited to address, the role of belief systems in societies and how resource depletion would affect both societies and their beliefs. It was enough that, after two years, I finally found something of Greer's that I could feature on my blog, the description of civil antireligions in The Fate of Civil Religion that I excerpted and commented on to compose The Archdruid on Objectivism as civil antireligion. Then, he wrote an essay that I actually had something to say in response to, An Old Kind of Science, which I turned into A conversation with The Archdruid for the Solstice. The next week, he engaged in A Christmas Speculation, in which he called the GOP a bunch of closet Satanists who were hiding their true beliefs behind their devotion to Ayn Rand. I commented on that and converted the result into A conversation with The Archdruid about Objectivism, Satanism, and the GOP. I despise Objectivism, and couldn't resist a comparison between it and an unpopular religion. After all, two years ago, I posted Objectivism and Scientology: a sublime to the ridiculous comparison.
So, Greer isn't directly good for driving traffic. He is good for inspiring my writing, which is proving to be good for bringing readers in. I posted a link to the most recent entry about the Archdruid to Kunstler's blog this morning. So far, I've pulled in 400+ page views to that post, moving it up to the