A Mystery Solved

Sure we're charmed. But writers and directors? Shakespeare had his own problems, but resenting the award academies wasn't one of them.

Sure we’re charmed. But writers and directors? Shakespeare had his own problems, but resenting the award academies wasn’t one of them.


Everyone’s abuzz with how few female Oscar nominations there will be. Somehow, there are supposed to be more women writers, directors, and producers who are really really good. Sorry.

It’s not sexism. It’s not a mystery. As all smart women will tell you, women are mostly not as interesting as men. The only interesting women are the women who understand how interesting men are. These are women who wouldn’t try to make a movie starring Meryl Streep. But that’s what Hollywood women are compelled to do. Even though Meryl Streep is the crashing bore to end all crashing bores, she’s the feminist unicorn. A golden icon that doesn’t actually exist. In talent terms, I mean. Ask any women you actually talk to. All men would pick Helen Mirren, who just couldn’t wait to be naked in front of a camera. Besides being such a great actress and a Dame and all. Absolutely nobody wants to see Meryl Streep naked. The same way nobody wants to see Lena Dunham naked. I rest my case.

Oh forget it. I never said anything. Noth-Thing. I know Noth-Thing.

Today’s college football highlight

Words Fail. Senses overload. Angels.

Words Fail. Senses overload. Angels.

At 3:30 this afternoon, Notre Dame will play Navy again. Snore.

What’s not a snore is that the Blue Angels will make their first return to duty since the sequester.

Hallelujah. We’ve seen the Blue Angels. They’re magnificent.

We heard the takeoff. It sounded like the naval guns beginning the bombardment of Normandy on D-Day. But still no sign of those blue and yellow machines we had seen lined up on the tarmac. “They can’t do all their maneuvers ten feet off the runway,” I offered lamely. “Of course not,” said Mrs InstaPunk.

By now the sound was firing at us from, seemingly, all points of the compass. We, and a few others camped pathetically in the parking lot, craned our heads in every direction. Where were they? Where was the sound coming from?

Then I saw them. Four planes climbing straight up to the north. At our distance from them, there was no separation among the triangular shapes. Each wingpoint was welded to another, and the ascending formation was but a single unit through which you could see small triangles of sky. Behind us a shattering engine scream announced the arrival of a fifth plane, and a sixth, returning to the airfield from the south at very low altitude. They disappeared, and apparently parted company, behind the hangars that blocked our view west, but after their exhaust blasts diverged, I suddenly saw them through a wide gap between the two biggest hangars — passing each other in opposing directions nearly six inches apart just a couple hundred feet over the runway. “There!” I shouted. “Jesus.”

There were seven planes in all, but it seemed like more. We got the feeling of being at the epicenter of a vast virtual armillary sphere, around which various combinations of planes were orbiting in all possible directions, in impossibly tight formations, to the limit of the invisible tether that bound them, until the gravity of the center pulled them back together at the reckless velocity of a brand new universe. When they converged and flew past one another, the colliding onslaught of sound resembled Stephen Hawking’s version of the Big Bang, an incipient mega-explosion that doesn’t ever quite happen because you can never get closer than a trillionth of a second to the birth of physics.

“We can go now,” announced Mrs. InstaPunk. “I’ve seen the Blue Angels.”

So we started the car and began the drive back home.

That should be the end of it. But it isn’t. When you leave the ballgame or the concert, you’re almost immediately outside the action and whatever you hear of it is muted, diminished, and subsiding. When you leave the epicenter of a Blue Angels performance, you are merely plotting the direction of subsequent, incredibly immediate encounters.

We hadn’t thought of that. But the residents of Millville and the surrounding rural areas had. We reached the heavily wooded main road that would lead us back home, and the first clearing we came to was lined on both sides by cars, pickup trucks, motorcycles, lawn chairs, blankets and dozens of people. We followed the direction of their upturned faces, and here came the Blue Angels again, four planes locked together as one, slowly rotating as they shivered the pine trees en route.

“Should I pull over?” I asked. “They’ve obviously got the perfect spot here to watch from. I don’t want you to miss anything.”

“No. Keep going. It’s okay.”

We still hadn’t gotten it. Nobody had to go to the air show to experience the power and majesty of the Blue Angels. As we proceeded down what I’d always known as a back country road, every gap in the trees, every crossroad was jammed with cars, bikes, and people. Where there were houses, there were crowds, and the American flags flew, and the Blue Angels obliged by flying past and back again, showering us with waves of sound that rattled windows and rippled the wading pools.

Through one stretch of pure woods, we experienced a flyover so low that both of us ducked inside the car. The sound of the plane overhead was like a a yard of duct tape being ripped off your naked eardrums. Farther on, more people, more cars, more flags, the occasional, helplessly grinning state trooper guarding an intersection, and oddly unhurried traffic away from the show. I drove just under 50 and was astonished that an old biker who could have been Paul Teutle, Sr, made no effort to pass. When he finally turned off, I tossed him a wave, and he gave me a nod.

So I’m giving you a nod now. Watch the game and hope NBC has the wit to give us a glimpse at least of the angels in navy blue.

The Short View

Now we have our own Gargantua.

Now we have our own Gargantua.

The MSM is looking at a huge dilemma.

ObamaCare isn’t going to do anything but make health insurance more expensive, the quality of healthcare worse, and the contact of individuals with the federal government more necessary, time-consuming, frustrating, and, yeah, hurtful.

The all-important ‘narrative’ for liberals isn’t going to get better. The longer the website fails to work, the more people will encounter firsthand the incompetence of government. If the website does get fixed, the more people will discover that the government has hurled them into a state of anxiety and unwelcome choices, if not economic ruin.

Liberals like to filibuster about kitchen table issues. You know, they’re the ones who understand what affects ‘working people’ with bills and kids and needs, while the Republicans talk about capitalism and raising yourself by your own bootstraps.

So the MSM have succeeded throughout the Obama administration in supporting the Dear Leader by perpetuating the narrative that Bush is responsible for all our current ills and Obama is doing all he can to help average people by playing golf, doing black tie functions with Hollywood celebrities, refusing to meet with anyone in Congress until there’s some kind of dire deadline, doing endless deals and political job swaps with Wall Street billionaires, and blaming Bush for everything that’s not better.

Undeniably, the MSM has succeeded spectacularly in providing cover for the One. Rotten economic performance has been explained away in a blur of numbers. Scandals have been buried. Corruption has been unreported or yawned away as a transaction over our microcephalic heads. Throughout, the MSM elite has been encouraged by the fact that what they choose not to report at all never gets any traction. That’s how they got him reelected. They had high hopes for the second term.

But that’s all over now. It doesn’t matter what the MSM choose to report or suppress about ObamaCare. This program is so huge that it’s going to affect almost everyone, one way or another.

As it unfolds it will increase the fear and uncertainty throughout the nation of even the most comfortably employed middle class citizens. As the Medicaid sign ups roll up and as employers bail on their traditional coverages, the middle class will see that they, the 80 percent who pay the freight for everything, have been subjected to a huge tax increase and ballooning deficit liability on behalf of some number of uninsured, about 10 percent of the population, many of whom will remain uninsured because of the unintended consequences of the law.

This can’t be blamed on poor economic conditions generally. It can’t be blamed on Republican obstruction because the most outstanding examples of Republican obstructionism have to do with Obamacare. It can only be blamed on the Obama administration. Specifically, blame can be reduced in the ignorant, public mind to the succession of sound bites in which Obama told people that they wouldn’t be negatively affected by government’s sudden massive injection of itself into healthcare. “You can keep your health plan. Period.” How many times did he say these words? The exact number doesn’t matter. What matters is that everyone heard him say it at least once. And it was a deliberate lie.

NO REPORTING WILL BE NEEDED. The MSM can remain utterly silent about the implementation of ObamaCare. All the people who are suddenly thrust face to face into the dumb, unfeeling, hapless jaws of the federal government will have had a personal experience they won’t need Matt Lauer or Scott Pelley to explain to them.

This is an impending disaster of Gargantuan* implications An unnecessary disaster. Maybe Bush got done in by Katrina, as lefties have lately been using as a point of comparison for the threat facing Obama, but Katrina was a natural disaster, an Act of God as insurance companies define it. ObamaCare was an act of man, a completely unforced error with millions more potential victims than Katrina ever had, including insurance companies who have been more reliable to their clients over the decades than the federal government looks like being ever.

A point I’ve made before but will repeat again because it’s so important. This is the kind of monumental, long-term screw-up that will cost people’s lives. Come January 1, some millions of people will have no insurance, having failed to fight through a dead website to enrollment in a plan or, worse, unable to enroll in a plan they can afford. They can still go to an emergency room, sure. But how many of them will have lost access to the doctor who knows their history or the hospital that’s closest? And at the moment, they’re still looking at an IRS penalty for the bureaucratic incompetence that kills them.

Does this mean the Democrats who passed this horror movie of a law will be thrown out of office? No.

But we can hope. Hope that passengers on the boat deck of the Titanic will vote against the crew members who loudly and boastfully lassoed the iceberg and winched it into the hull for the mortal blow. Although who do we expect them to believe? Obama or their lying eyes?

Well, the MSM will obviously have some role to play in people’s perception. They have a decision to make. Keep protecting Obama or start serving the American people after a lapse of five years, or more, or even more years than that. When does the whore discover the heart of gold that makes her the third act heroine? The question is, though, whether they have control of any perception but the one of themselves vis a vis the people. I’m thinking people will decide about Obama and the ObamaCare advocates without their help. A word to the wise. But they’ve ignored my advice many times before.

Somehow, it looks like we all might lose, and all in the worst possible way.

[See the Long View post below.]

**********

*Bakhtin explains that carnival, in Rabelais’ work and age, is associated with the collectivity; for those attending a carnival do not merely constitute a crowd; rather the people are seen as a whole, organized in a way that defies socioeconomic and political organization (Clark and Holquist 302). According to Bakhtin, “[A]ll were considered equal during carnival. Here, in the town square, a special form of free and familiar contact reigned among people who were usually divided by the barriers of caste, property, profession, and age” (Bakhtin 10). At carnival time, the unique sense of time and space causes the individual to feel he is a part of the collectivity, at which point he ceases to be himself. It is at this point that, through costume and mask, an individual exchanges bodies and is renewed. At the same time there arises a heightened awareness of one’s sensual, material, bodily unity and community.

The Long View

Of course it’s our duty to fight the battles of the present day, protect our nation and our children to the extent we can by opposing each malevolent change and threat.

But we owe a larger debt as well. We have to acknowledge that we are on track for an imminent Dark Age, not only consenting in it as a culture but officially hastening and promoting it.

The supposedly most intelligent, highly educated, and privileged among us are engaged in a relentless assault on the culture that begot their presumed talents for insight and global wisdom. They control and are our future, which means that in the long view we are doomed.

Because there are enemies who desire to sack our cities and undo our achievements, the most notable of which is consciousness itself. They are the primary cowards of life as we have become the secondary ones. They don’t want to be self aware in the first place. We, in all our pseuodo-intellectual vandalism of our own heritage, want to undo the pain of consciousness and become obedient mediocrities, indistinguishable units, equal drones in a global hive (unless, of course, as in all cultures from the beginning of time, we can be one of the “more equal” drones in charge.)

Only one strain of civilization has ever aspired to individuality as an ideal and defined human rights in those terms. All the ascendant rivals have an ideal almost exactly opposite.

Specific discussions of world politics aside, the rivals are poised to win in the near term. We are too civilized to prevail against them because we have forgotten, or chosen deliberately to overlook, what barbarism is. The barbarian does not care about the individual except as a statistic of ergs or casualty totals. If the individual does not submit to the uniformity of the hive, he is a target for extermination or failing that, abject subjugation, cruel punishments, and arbitrary executions.

We have lost the cultural consensus that might enable us to defend ourselves against those who don’t care how many of their own they kill to inflict unequal damage on us. In our silly delusional tower, we are unable to detect the intransigent murder in their eyes and the single-mindedness of automatons with a mission. Instead we kid ourselves that there is some way to placate them, make deals with them, and hope that we can counter malice with benevolence to good effect. And so we make excuses for them and demonize the ones in our own camp who see an avowed enemy as exactly what that enemy avows he is.

Therefore we lose. The nightmare slaughter and oppression will come, and many of our children and their children will not survive, at least in any form we envision. That’s how the odds look right now, anyway. Time to prepare. It needs must be.

What to do?

I have two suggestions. One requiring deep personal commitment and a second requiring deep personal commitment, technical skills, and clever organization.

The first is a kind of proclamation of individuality. For the record. Whoever you are, no matter how mundane you think your life is, get a blog or write a journal. Don’t think in terms of building an audience. Think of documenting the individual experiences of you and your family, what you think about them, what you believe, what you treasure from smallest to most life changing. If you blog, make paper copies. If you do a journal or diary, make photocopies. Think of how you might preserve your record through a long long darkness of barbarian rule.

The second is an adjunct to the first. Think about creating a large population of time capsules. Sink them deep enough into the ground to remain unfound for 200, 500, 1000, 2000 years. Stuff them with the evidence that you existed — your journals, your family photos, your favorite music, the books that contain your beliefs and emotional touchstones, everything from baseball cards to prom corsages, miniatures of Michelangelo or Rodin sculptures, newspapers, jewelry, rosaries and dashboard Jesuses.

No, I have no idea what the technical solutions are. What kind of container can preserve paper and other perishables for a millennium, how deep the holes must be, but I keep thinking of the archeologists I have followed all my life. Their like will come again. They do the best they can at decoding the ancient civilizations of Egypt and the Maya. Do the hard work of trying to make it easy for them. Make sure your capsules contain English-Arabic dictionaries, English-Persian dictionaries, English-Russian dictionaries, English-Chinese dictionaries. Whatever it takes to communicate to the distant future. Work out how to give them a Rosetta Stone that shows them you and yours and ours.

That’s how we win in the long view. No matter how catastrophically we lose in the next decade or two.

Sorry. A dark rainy day and a recognition that the trench we’re in is filling mighty quickly with foul, death-poisoned water. We’ll be going over the top again in the morning, but for now give some thought to what I’ve said.

Extract from the Comments

Veteran IP/DD reader Tim offered this:

Btw, thought you might be interested to read the comments on a recent anti-Steyn moment from your old pal Glenn Reynolds at InstaPundit.

OCTOBER 28, 2013

BUSTING MARK STEYN for doom-mongering. I like Steyn, but more than most, he reminds me of why despair is a sin.

Apparently Glenn loves that same Tamny piece (linked in an earlier comment). Yeah, you had this guy’s number years ago, as do many of his commenters.

I responded:

Good catch. Reynolds is the Henny Youngman of bloggers.

(Don’t be nonplussed. Google and Youtube him. You’ll see what I mean.)

Okay. Don’t hunt. Go here…

Do read the comments at InstaPundit. Maybe the peanut gallery is finally getting tired of him. He’s always been more aggregator than thinker, law professor or no. His wife, Helen Smith, seems more thoughtful and interesting than he is. Cue the Youngman joke, “Take my wife, please!”

Reply ↓

Fly Away Home


The song that undergirds the soundtrack of the movie.

I watched the Sebelius hearing as long as I could. Rush’s first comment on his show said it all. “Were there any Republicans there? Did anyone ask her, if you can’t build a working website, why should we trust you to run one sixth of the American economy?”

Uh, no. They didn’t.

Why I’m offering up a distraction from the post-hearing commentary, which will undoubtedly be even more wearisome, tedious, and annoying than the hearing itself.

Fly Away Home is playing on the Encore Family Channel tonight and is available elsewhere, I’m sure. Girl raises geese, leads them on their first migration. I won’t direct you to the trailer because it’s designed to make you take your kids to a children’s movie. Except that it’s more than that. Here are a couple of comments from IMDB’s user reviews.

One of the reasons I was sucked into this wonderful family movie was the photography. It is National Geographic quality. In fact I was so impressed with the cinematography that I had to look up who did it: Caleb Deschanel. The setting, a farm in Southern Ontario, allowed him to become intimate with the geese and the natural setting. Another reason I couldn’t stop watching the movie was the stunning performance by Anna Paquin, the 16-year old girl who played Amy…

The story, ‘Fly Away Home’ is touching because she’s not the kind of Hollywood-trained child actor you find in most movies. A surprising thing happened as I watched Amy and her geese. I could sense a startling serenity from her as the bond had developed between them. I wondered how she could manage that. She was only a 16-year old actress then but she conveyed a mothering instinct that goes back to the ageless beginnings of life on this planet. When the goslings were following her around, much of the photography was from ground level. Later when they were all flying, the photography was right there in the flying formation. You were seeing the birds, in flight, right next to you. The beauty of motion was unbelievable.

And this one:

I don’t have much in the way of feelings so usually stick to science.

An engineer by trade I used to subscribe to a “tecchie” aviation magazine. One issue had this incredible story by some kindly if eccentric Canadian folks who had raised a gaggle of baby geese, and you know the rest. Details of aviation aside, the story warmed my heart. Most Unusual.

A year or so later I took my kids to see “Flyaway Home” expecting a mildly entertaining nature documentary, like Disney’s old “Prairie Dog Town” with an aviation twist.

What I saw was a superbly crafted and deeply touching little masterpiece. I was in tears by the end.

Metaphors of kindness aside, this film will touch any heart however hardened or scarred.

And the kids liked it too.

A few klunky plot twists aside, it’s a breath of fresh air and a fine escape from the poisoned atmosphere of our national political climate. If there’s no way you can get hold of the movie tonight, here’s a lengthy trailer of the kind I normally despise because it gives away so much of the movie. But there’s no narration, just a sequence of cinematography highlights.

Best I can offer today. Though I recognize the possibility nobody’s up to it. My better half just texted me, “Not in a feel-good kind of mood.”

Raebert’s all growly and grumpy too.

Uplifting cinematography can only do so much.

Lou Reed is dead.

Go listen to his Top Ten songs. My own favorite is shown above.

I won’t make up stuff about what a great guy he was. He probably wasn’t. But when a large, bright candle goes out, there’s an odor of burning wax in the air. I smell it now.

Enjoy your new dirty boulevard, Lou. We’ll be there with you, soon enough.

Our 48th President

President Malia.

Her parents’ daughter, a bored and sullen autocrat. President Malia.

Let’s see how it’s going to go. First, Hillary, 70-something at her inauguration. Then Michelle. She’ll be a peach. Then Chelsea. (Face it. The Bushes are the Plantagenets in this story, and the Kennedys might as well be Aelfric the Obsolete. All those penises and things.) After Chelsea has finished turning the United States into the Politically Correct States of Ghana, Malia can become the new Madonna of Argentina. It’s going to be great.

After she marries Chris Brown and gets beaten to a pulp, the country will rally around her and she can sing…

It will probably replace the Star Splattered Banner at games of the national pastime, girls’ soccerbasket.

By then, thankfully, I’ll be dead as a fucking doornail. Can you make the same boast?

Don’t be fooled.

image

I am in a state of fury. I may be resorting to old tools of humor and satire, but that’s only to dilute the bile and spleen in my gut.

What is happening in the nation now is a crime of earthshaking moment. This administration has committed so many impeachable offenses their best defense is that no one could agree on which ones should lead the bill of indictment.

This is not politics as usual, not business as usual. This is an atrocity, a hate crime against the people who built and maintain this country.

Turning away is no answer. Silence is no statement. I post and post and post, and post some more, because those of us who know how bad it is must speak. If you can’t speak here, speak somewhere, and be loud. Even if it’s only to the twerp across the table from you in the break room.

We are losing it all. Everything we’ve ever been. Fight for us. Fight for yourselves and your children. Time to be a Furyan.

My wife is especially fond of Furyans. She thinks she married one. which is convenient, because she’s one too.

As is Raebert. Don't mess with us.

As is Raebert. Don’t mess with us. The eyes have it. His middle name begins with an R.

In case you forgot.

Fast on the draw...

Furyan.