Posts Tagged ‘ White People ’

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Man Is Depraved

So I’ve been on a blogging vacation. And the world kept spinning, who’d’ve guessed.

I’m reading The Wealth and Poverty Nations by David Landes currently, and although I find the writing style obnoxious, the history and the books is fascinating and his ideas about the history worth chewing on. It’s not a scientific approach to history like Guns Germs and Steel or Battle Cry of Freedom,; it’s more like an extended conversation with a brilliant old guy who’s read everything on the sun. He’s telling you what happened and his interpretation of it, a transference of wisdom moreso than knowledge.

He’s no Niall Ferguson (at least not from what I’ve read so far), that is he’s less an explicit apologist (colonialism was good for Africa, and they threw it all away pursuing a third way). Rather, he reminds me more of Edmund Burke, the English reactionary, or Gary Brecher, modern day (and disappeared) War Nerd, who have a dark view of humanity stemming from the Fall and an atheistic nihilism, respectively. If I had to guess, I’d say Landes lays closer to Burke, as he gives off that stuffy, gentleman conservative smell.

I’d sum up what I’ve read (I’m a little less than halfway done) as follows:

Centralized authority (empire) breeds stagnation, and centralized authority is the natural state of humanity. After the fall of Rome, Western Europe became a playground for military technology, spurring innovations in firepower and naval technology that lead to successive Western European countries colonizing the rest of the world. Continue reading

Is Nick gay in The Great Gatsby?

These past five weeks I’ve been (thus far successfully) engaged in a project to finish a book a week. Not necessarily read a book cover to cover every week, but that one of the books I’m reading transitions from my nightstand to my bookshelf.

  • It began five weeks ago with Anna Karenina, which I’d read fitfully over the course of a year. If you want to read it—if you want to read any Russian literature for that matter—please, for your own sake, read the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation.
  • Then The Scarlet Letter, which was better than I remembered from high school, but not by much.
  • Third: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman. A gem, and I can see how it’s so influential for high schoolers.
  • Next was World on Fire. Books like that are hard to judge—for me at least—I have to wait to see if it and its ideas seep into my thoughts and conversations.
  • Finally, I accidentally read The Great Gatsby for the fifth time. Just sat down to look at it and ended up finishing it over the next two days (at 189 pages, not exactly a challenge). Continue reading

Is Racism Wrong (morally, factually)? Part 1

1. What is Racism?

First and foremost, the word racism covers many distinct concepts all bundled into one imperfect, emotionally charged word. Such is English, and human language in general.

For this section we’ll use the belief of HBD (human bio-diversity), which I will summarize as:

a world-view/moral paradigm built on the belief that the worth of a human can be divined through the lens of a genetics-based, racial hierarchy.

This is modern, literate racism, and I would argue (and will argue) the above definition is as integral to modern racism as a belief in the divinity of Christ is to a Christian. This is the racism of fathers and of your nerdy, “libertarian,” college roommate. Two prominent evangelists: Half Sigma—whose belief in the inferiority of NAMs (non-Asian minorities) is obvious—and Steve Sailer, whose sophistry would make a Confederate blush. Half Sigma is a dumber Steve Sailer; Steve is better able to make his arguments sound sensible, while Half Sigma so pugnaciously ignores contradictory evidence it made my jaw drop on my first few visits. Continue reading

A Place to Bury Strangers @ Criminal Records, Atlanta, GA, 4/3/2010

A Place to Bury Strangers played an in-store at Criminal Records earlier today. I was pretty lukewarm about their last album, but they’re always great live. Honestly, they’re better at making noise than they are at writing songs, and I think singer/guitarist Oliver Ackerman knows it. Their songs are just vehicles for the noises he can get out of his guitar and effects pedals, which makes sense since his day job is building pedals that produce awesomely mangled noises. The music they make is always going to sound better live and loud as hell.

They played 4 songs, lasting about 20 minutes. It was a condensed version of everything I like about an APTBS live set. They opened with Ocean (my favorite APTBS song), they closed with a few minutes of noise and feedback, and there was lots of volume throughout. There could have maybe been more volume, actually, but they were playing in a record store, so I guess that’s understandable. Now I don’t feel bad about missing them tonight at the Masquerade. I’ve got too much real world stuff I need to get done this weekend, and I don’t like headliners The Big Pink at all.

Tomorrow is Ted Leo, Screaming Females, and Gentleman Jesse. That should end a pretty solid weekend of music on a high note.

Lyonnais, Abandon the Earth Mission, and Brainworlds @ 529, Atlanta, GA, 4/2/2010

Brainworlds started things off just before 11 with a set of solo guitar drone that sounded a bit like Emeralds without the synth. It was really good. Big, shimmering sounds that flow intuitively from one movement to the next. It was a focused set that built and ended at exactly the right time. I’m honestly surprised this guy isn’t a bigger name in the drone/noise/ambient/whatever scene.

Abandon the Earth Mission (including the Brainworlds guy on guitar) was next. I don’t have much to say about them. They do a spacey, electronic ambient thing that occasionally gets more song-oriented. It makes for a pleasant enough 30 minute set, but I can’t imagine picking up one of their records. The rest of the room seemed less impressed than I was – maybe a third of the smallish crowd left for the patio about halfway into their set.

This was my second time seeing Lyonnais. The first time I saw them they opened with a gradually building 15 minute drone that reminded me of Fuck Buttons’ “Sweet Love for Planet Earth” in its accessibility and precision. The second half of the set was noise rock. Both halves were great, but neither of them was much like what they played last night.

The lineup was different this time around. I can’t remember whether they played as a four or five piece last time, but they definitely didn’t have any women in the band. Last night there were three guys plus a female vocalist who stayed seated on a stool and occasionally added some vocals to the wall of sound they were churning out. No drums, and only one guitar that was abandoned mid-set. The drone material I had heard them play previously was much cleaner and more mannered than what they did for this performance. This felt more organic. They played in front of a video projection, but I’ll let DA say something about that if he feels like it. He was pretty preoccupied by it.

I’ve really enjoyed Lyonnais both times I’ve seen them, and I like that they’re willing to change things up. They’ve definitely become one of my favorite Atlanta bands. Both Brainworlds and Lyonnais open for Growing at he Earl on May 11th. That show should be great.

No Apology: No One Read Mitt Romney’s Book

America is the greatest country in the history of the world.

-Mitt Romney

Yesterday, I saw Mitt Romney promoting his new book, No Apologies: The Case for American Greatness.

If you’re wondering what the book is actually about, like I was after hearing him speak, good luck finding someone who will tell you. I looked at four worthless reviews, and came to the conclusion that journalists don’t know how to gloss a book. Nothalffull thinks they are a bunch of lazy assholes who couldn’t be bothered.

Time’s review: Romney is running for president, and I wrote this review after reading the book jacket and the first and last chapter. I’m probably a youngish reporter who went to an elite liberal arts school, and is too cool for this shit. Fuck it, conservatives can’t read anyway.

The Author.

The Boston Globe’s Review.: Romney thinks populism is misguided. How? Doesn’t say. He’s trying to be an economics wonk. How? Doesn’t say. Romney doesn’t talk about social issues. Romney thinks Obama is weakening ‘Murica by apologizing. Romney thinks the gubmint can help people. How? Doesn’t say. The rest of the review is itinerary bullshit. Continue reading

Critical Mass and the White Moderate

Ok, we’ve got some different threads going on here, I think they all tie together but let’s just see how that plays out.

If I were a talented writer, I’d be able to weave all of these different link into a beautiful, poly-paragraphic blog post. As I am instead an uneducated boor, here’s what you get instead.

First, a nice quote. It’s my favorite MLK Jr. quote, but I don’t see it used often. It’s from Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate.

I was talking to Nothalffull yesterday, and he was telling me about some drummer bro who’s been responsible for the death of two bands because apparently he rapes/tries to rape girls.

We had a discussion about this and yada yada, he asked me if I’d continue supporting an artist I liked if he used racial epithets or is a rapist/pedobear.

If you’re wondering, yeah, I would.

He went to take his turn drowning American culture in a bathtub of inanity while I spouted off on the hypocrisies of the American middle class.

I didn’t think much of it; we can’t all be scions of taste and enlightenment. But then, while indulging my addiction to the most depressing website on the internet, I found two wonderful submissions.

Full disclaimer: I’m not a cyclist. I don’t even know how to ride one, and so I stay up all night crying over attendant Daddy issues. Continue reading