Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
The Black Hills forest, the prairie riparian forest, and other forests of the western United States can be separated by the distinctly different combinations of species they comprise. It is easy to distinguish between prairie riparian forest and Black Hills forest -- one is a broad-leaved forest of ash and cottonwood trees, the other is a coniferous forest of ponderosa pine and spruce trees.
Today I checked Vox Day's blog and skimmed some of his recent posts. One of them had the title "Time to build up the repertoire."
Immediately after that, I decided to look through the unpublished drafts for this blog and clean out the ones that weren't going anywhere. One draft I found, from August 24, 2020, was a note about a dream I had had back then.
I was wandering the streets of what I took to be New York City, and everywhere I went, I kept running into Weird Al Yankovic strolling down the sidewalk strumming a guitar and singing. He seemed to be cycling through the same two or three songs, so I kept hearing them again and again. (I have no real sense of what songs they were; I don't really know Yankovic's work.) Finally, I went up to him and said, "Hey, if you're going to sing on the street, maybe you need a bigger repertoire. People will get tired of hearing the same songs." He accepted this helpful advice graciously.
Monday, March 29, 2021
|A tombstone is exactly where this belongs.|
- God, seeing that this world could be better, put us humans into it to change it and make improvements.
- God, seeing that we could be better, created this world for us, optimizing it for our spiritual needs, so that we could live in it and learn from our experience.
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Knowest thou that old queen of the world who is on the march always and wearies never? Every uncurbed passion, every selfish pleasure, every licentious energy of humanity, and all its tyrannous weakness, go before the sordid mistress of our tearful valley, and, scythe in hand, these indefatigable labourers reap their eternal harvest. That queen is old as time, but her skeleton is concealed in the wreckage of women's beauty, which she abstracts from their youth and love. Her skull is adorned with lifeless tresses that are not her own. Spoliator of crowned heads, she is embellished with the plunder of queens, from the star-begemmed hair of Berenice to that -- white, but not with age -- which the executioner sheared from the brow of Marie Antoinette. . . . When she goes by, doors open of themselves; she passes through walls; she penetrates to the cabinets of kings; she surprises the extortioners of the poor in their most secret orgies; she sits down at their board, pours out their wine, . . . takes the place of the lecherous courtesan hidden behind their curtains.
Friday, March 26, 2021
BIDEN: “With regard to the filibuster, I believe we should go back to a position with the filibuster that existed when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago." pic.twitter.com/UbNpOpVCWF— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 25, 2021
Diversity? Comme au courant! Well, you know I like to cover all the bases.
There are (or were when I was in college) three types of ecological diversity: alpha, beta, and gamma. Let's say we're talking about a territory in which there are a number of separate forests, each of which contains a number of trees which may be classified into discrete species.
Gamma diversity is the total diversity of trees within the territory. If we select two of the territory's trees at random, what is the probability that they will be of different species? That number (a "diversity index") would be a quantification of the territory's gamma diversity. You can think of the gamma as standing for global; we're looking at the diversity of individuals (trees) in the entire territory, without considering any of the smaller subgroups (forests) among which those individuals are distributed.
Alpha diversity is the diversity of trees within each forest. If we randomly select two trees from the same forest, what is the probability that they will be of different species? This is an index of alpha diversity. Think of alpha as representing the article a -- the internal diversity within a single forest. We can calculate a diversity index for each of the forests in the territory, and the mean of these numbers will be the alpha diversity of the territory as a whole.
For maximum simplicity, let's just look at territories that have only two forests (Forest 1 and Forest 2), which each have the same number of trees, and only two tree species (redwoods and bluewoods).
- gamma = 75%
- alpha = 72.7%
- beta = 18.8%
- gamma = 75%
- alpha = 57.8%
- beta = 52.1%
- gamma = 75%
- alpha = 75%
- beta = 0%
- gamma = 75%
- alpha = 0%
- beta = 100%
Thursday, March 25, 2021
|In case you're having trouble visualizing it...|
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Howard University has announced a very special virtual event that will be broadcast to college students this week. One of the hotly anticipated discussions will feature Kamala Harris and Harvey Weinstein as they talk about empowering women and girls."Listen-- I like girls. All kinds of beautiful young girls-- empowering them, I mean," said Weinstein, who will be broadcasting from an upstate New York prison where he's serving time for empowering too many girls.Female VP Kamala Harris, who is empowered, also expressed excitement about the upcoming talk, saying: "HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! A-HEE HEE HEE!"The conversation will last 1 hour, and then Cruella Deville and Michael Vick will hold a special live discussion on humane puppy treatment.
Thursday, March 18, 2021
To the ones who have slipped into the mirror,
And the ones who reflect it in their eyes.
To the ones who must hide everything,
And the ones who lose what they hide.
To the ones who cannot be silent,
And the ones who must lie.
Over at Winking Back from the Dark, I discuss this cryptic dedication.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Here's the Fake President speaking on March 11, 2021, to mark the one-year anniversary of the birdemic coup.
Photos and videos from 2019 feel like they were taken in another era. The last vacation, the last birthday with friends, the last holiday with extended family.
And here's an email from a friend, dated March 8, 2020, three days before the revolution.
This isn't quite a synchronicity but I was very struck throughout December by the number of times I heard 'Last Christmas' by Wham being played on radios, in shops, building sites, etc. It's the kind of tune you hear a lot every Christmas, of course, but I really did seem to hear it everywhere I went.
I found it odd at the time, but it's only just stuck me that maybe there's something in it - some kind of coded message from the powers that be perhaps - that 2019 really was the 'last Christmas.'
Or is that me just 'over-imaginating'?
My reply, sent the same day:
Okay, the synchronicity fairies have officially been summoned! Just hours after reading [your] email (and mentioning it to no one), I was in the car with family, and [someone] started singing "Last Christmas" -- in March, apropos of absolutely nothing.
Remember this was before anything was shut down -- and when it was, it was just for a few weeks, to flatten the curve. No sane person was predicting that it would go on for a full year, let alone that we were permanently entering a totalitarian twilight zone where it was always flu season and never Christmas!
There are always signs.
|Virgil in Hell, with Homer and other poets|
(Barry Moser, illustration for Mandelbaum's Inferno)
Monday, March 15, 2021
And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the Telestial, which surpasses all understanding; and no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it.
-- D&C 76:89-90
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
-- 2 Cor. 1:19
Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
Warning: This is going to be one of those posts -- yet there is method in't.
Degrees of glory
Joseph Smith, the Prophet, wrote of three "kingdoms" or "degrees of glory": the Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Telestial. Celestial is self-explanatory: Heaven. Terrestrial refers not to the Earth as we know it now, but to the Earth as Moses tells us it was first created: Paradise, the Garden of Eden. "The world in which we now live" is a fallen one, no longer truly Earthly, and is given the designation Telestial. If this coinage of Smith's is not simply an arbitrary one made by analogy with Celestial and Terrestrial, it is presumably intended to evoke the Greek tele or teleos -- the Distant Kingdom, the Last Kingdom. The very outskirts of God's creation.
These "degrees" are not to be thought of as specific places, but as kinds of worlds, states of existence. People, and even entire planets, can and do pass from one of these states into another.
After death, some "go to Heaven" -- a Celestial glory. Others inherit a Terrestrial glory, perhaps along the lines of the Elysian Fields of Homer or the Paradise of Muhammad. Liars, adulterers, and other such riffraff go to the Telestial. This could be, but traditionally is not, interpreted as reincarnating back into "the world in which we now live"; at any rate, they remain at this world's general niveau -- and even this Last Kingdom has a glory "which surpasses all understanding."
Beyond the Telestial, "a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory" -- for "the light shineth in darkness," and God and God's creation are not in the last analysis truly omnipresent. The nature of this "outer darkness" is not known -- that's kind of what they're getting at with that term darkness -- but might be conceptualized as chaos, or nothingness, or an illusory dreamworld of untethered solipsism -- if those are indeed not three ways of saying the same thing. Only the very damnedest of the damned wend their way there -- those "wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." None has been observed to return. Are they well and truly lost, those "sons of perdition" who sail off the edge of the cosmos and disappear into the black? Will nothing of value ever come bubbling up from that vasty deep, world without end? It is my rather unorthodox opinion that not even God knows the answer to that. They, no less than the rest of us, are sailing uncharted waters, and "it doth not yet appear what we shall be." I know what my own hunches on the matter are. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio -- yes, and in outer darkness, too. Even in outer darkness, Horatio, even in the abyss.
Worlds without number
The Book of Genesis is traditionally attributed to Moses -- but how did Moses, who by his own reckoning lived 24 centuries after Adam, know anything about what happened "in the beginning"? Joseph Smith must have asked the same question as he was doing his "translation" of the Old Testament, and the answer came in the form of an inspired prologue to Genesis, in which God appears to Moses and reveals the Creation to him. This has since been canonized as Moses 1 -- one of the most important and idea-rich documents Smith ever produced, and well worth reading in its entirety.
At first God says, "And now, behold, this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son, for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee" -- just this one little thing, the world! But after Moses has seen "the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created," God decides he is ready for a glimpse of the big picture.
And he beheld many lands; and each land was called Earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.
And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: "Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?" . . .
And the Lord God said unto Moses: "For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me. And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; . . . And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many."
And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: "The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine. . . . and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory -- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
At first the reader thinks the "many lands" must be the many populated regions of our own planet, and that each land is called Earth for the same reason that every tribal people calls itself The People. Or perhaps the reference is to the innumerable other planets with intelligent life which must exist somewhere out there in space. As we read on, though, it seems more and more as if God is talking about parallel universes.
Many "Earths" -- inhabited planets -- is understandable enough, but many heavens? This surely means more than the trivial fact that each planet has its own atmosphere. Heaven, in this context, means "outer space." And there are many of them? Explain that without invoking parallel universes. And what are we to make of the strange statement that "the first man of all men have I called Adam" -- clearly a unique individual -- "which is many"?
The first man is called Adam, Moses -- but there are many Earths that have an Adam. Millions of them, quadrillions, numbers you can't even begin to fathom. Many of them have an Abraham, many a Melchizedek, many a Moses. Thou art Moses, but there is a larger Moses -- one who, like me, belongs to many worlds. For ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.
Remember the old legend of Jacob, and the mysterious man who wrestled with him until the breaking of the day? (You should probably write that down, by the way, for posterity.)
And Jacob asked him, and said, "Tell me, I pray thee, thy name."
And he said, "Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?" And he blessed him there.
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
Now why would Jacob say that? Surely he didn't think he had beaten God in a wrestling match! And notice what the wrestler said: "Wherefore is it that thou" -- thou of all people! -- "dost ask after my name?" Give it some thought, Moses. It shouldn't be too hard for a folklorist like yourself to figure out the man's name, and who he was, and what it all meant, and in what sense Jacob had seen God.
And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: "Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed."
"O Solon, Solon, you Greeks are always children," said the learned Egyptian, "and there is not such a thing as an old Greek."
"O Moses, Moses," the Lord had said, "you learned Egyptians are also children. Come and enter into the kingdom of God."
God's friends, God's enemies
God has called many people his servants but only Abraham his friend. Ever wonder why? Because he pled for Sodom. Sodom! -- a city so cartoonishly wicked that when they were visited by heavenly messengers, the very angels of God, their first thought was, Let's gang-rape them. But when God announced that he was going to wipe them out, Abraham didn't say "About time! Deus vult!" Instead he said, "That be far from thee to do after this manner! Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" and he started bargaining. Sodom, Lord, I know, I know, it's a horrible place, corrupt beyond imagining -- but isn't there some good even in Sodom? A few dozen righteous men, perhaps? Okay, probably not that many, but maybe ten? Five? And how heroically righteous they must be, to remain uncorrupted even in Sodom! Isn't that something beautiful, something that adds to your glory? Doesn't the city deserve to go on existing for the sake of that?
Well, God still ended up destroying Sodom -- sometimes these things have just got to be done -- but he thought, This Abraham guy really gets it! And that's the story of how God and Abraham became friends.
Those who harp on the Problem of Evil -- Voltaire and all his myriad spiritual progeny -- aren't they (aren't we) sort of anti-Abrahams? Abraham looked at Sodom -- hideously foul Sodom, the earthly City of Dis, the very embassy of the bottomless pit -- and said, "There is still good in it. It should be spared." We look at this vast, beautiful universe -- this Telestial world whose glory surpasses all understanding -- and say, "There is still evil in it. No good God would have created it." When God wanted to destroy Sodom, Abraham played the role of counsel for the defense. And we -- well, we play the other role, that of prosecutor, accuser. There's a Hebrew word for that role, a rather memorable one. It later came to be used as a proper name. The word is satan.
Peter was the first of the disciples to suss out that Jesus was the Messiah. So, after charging him and the other disciples to keep the secret, Jesus laid out his grand Messianic plan: Step one, ride in triumph into Jerusalem. Step two, get stripped naked, beaten bloody, and nailed to a cross. Step three -- but I see Peter's raising his hand. Yes, Peter, did you have a question?
Peter took Jesus aside and said -- in language strangely similar to Abraham's when he pled Sodom's case, as if subconsciously aware that he was playing the anti-Abraham -- "Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee!"
That didn't go over so well. "Get thee behind me, satan," said Jesus. "Thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God."
What the whirlwind said
But don't we Voltaireans after all have a point? As wonderful as this universe of ours is, shouldn't a perfect God have created a better one -- a perfect one, even?
Well, in the context of Moses' vision of worlds -- universes -- without number, the obvious answer is: Yes. He did. And he created this universe, too. Should he not have done so? This is the essence of the Lord's reply -- as imagined by Scott Alexander in Unsong -- when he spoke out of the whirlwind to Job.
It is true that I could have limited myself to creating universes where no one ever became covered in boils, and I did not do so. For the universes where some people get covered in boils also have myriads of wonders, and joys, and saints, and I will not deny them existence for the sake of those covered in boils. . . .
Have you beheld the foundations of the Earth? Seen its footings and its cornerstone? Watched as the sons of God all sang together and the morning stars shouted for joy? Have you seen the doors of the sea? The chains of the Pleiades and Orion's belt? The lions, the ravens, the young of the doe and the bear? Behold the Behemoth, which I made beside you, and the Leviathan who resides in the sea. Can you say that all these wonders should not be, so that you could avoid a case of boils? Shall I smite them for you? Speak, and I shall end the world with a word.
For a nominal atheist, Alexander can be remarkably serious and sincere when it comes to theodicy, and I find his reading of Job a compelling one. The Book of Job as we have it is a bit of a letdown. Job asks an important question and steadfastly refuses to take sophistry for an answer -- but then he is satisfied by a reply from God himself which seems to be nothing but bluster: "I'm much more awesome than you. Do you know any science? Can you catch a whale? Have you ever even seen the doors of the sea? How exactly do you think you have the right to question anything I do?"
But what if all that rhapsodizing about Behemoth and the morning stars wasn't bluster? What if it was context? "And now, behold, this one thing I show unto thee, Job, my son, for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee."
And Supergod is back in the game
When I wrote my anti-Supergod manifesto -- my explicit rejection, as a Christian, of the all-powerful, all-knowing God who created absolutely everything out of absolutely nothing -- the main reason I gave for rejecting Supergod was the Problem of Evil -- to which, I asserted, "every proposed solution is pure, unadulterated sophistry."
But in my brief and (justifiably!) dismissive survey of theodicy, I had missed something essential. Like almost everyone else who approaches the question, I had been asking why Supergod would have created this world rather than a better one. It didn't cross my mind to, as the popular cliche has it, "embrace the healing power of and." It is supremely ironic that I should be guided by Joseph Smith (a believer in Mere God) and Scott Alexander (an atheist) to the one theodicial argument that -- maybe -- lets Supergod off the hook.
That argument is this:
- Supergod is not limited to creating just one universe.
- There are many possible universes that, though far from perfect, are "net good" -- that is, the good in them outweighs the evil.
- For any such net-good universe, it is better for it to exist than for it not to exist.
- Therefore, Supergod (who is perfectly good and thus always chooses the best possible course of action) would have created them all -- including this very imperfect universe in which we find ourselves.
One may reject this argument -- I think on balance I do reject it, and in any case I have other reasons for not believing in Supergod -- but it is more plausible than any other defense of Supergod I have encountered, and makes the Supergod hypothesis, if not necessarily true, at least intellectually respectable.
When I looked up the Job episode in Unsong so I could quote it above, I was surprised to discover something I had forgotten: that it, too, refers to the story of Abraham and the destruction of Sodom, but gives it a very different interpretation from my own.
"How many wonders and joys and saints is one case of boils worth, God?"
"Be careful, Job. I had this conversation with Abraham before you. He asked whether I would spare my judgment on Sodom lest fifty righteous men should suffer. When I agreed, he pled for forty, thirty, twenty, and ten. But below ten he did not go, so I destroyed the city. And if I would not restrain myself from destroying for the sake of a handful of righteous men suffering, how much less I should restrain myself from creating."
In Alexander's reading, the point of the story is the number ten. (Not five. I had misremembered the final figure in my own retelling.) Whatever good was accomplished by destroying Sodom, it would have been outweighed by the premature deaths of ten -- but not nine -- righteous men. God replies to Job's sarcastic question as if it were not rhetorical, as if it had as the correct answer some particular finite number -- as if there were some equation into which one could plug the numbers of wonders, joys, saints, boils, and so on, and which would then output the correct decision as to whether or not that particular world ought to be created.
No. This is as far as I am willing to follow this line of reasoning. If you wish to continue, you'll have to go on without me. Einstein famously resisted the idea of God playing dice; how much more should we resist imagining him with a calculator! King David was an adulterer, a murderer, and a man after the Lord's own heart; which of his many sins did he feel the guiltiest about?
And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly"
"Net good" is a category error. Good and evil can't be thought of as if they were the same sort of thing as weight or income. There are infinitely many qualitatively distinct goods and infinitely many qualitatively distinct evils. Few of these can be measured at all, and those that can are mutually incommensurable. Even in the super-simplified Utilitarian version, where all good is reduced to pleasure and all evil to pain, the "felicific calculus" of Bentham remains a pipe dream. Good and evil cannot be expressed mathematically and are not susceptible to mathematical operations. "The good in this world outweighs the evil" is not a statement of a mathematical fact; it is an expression of a moral choice -- the choice we all made when we chose to incarnate into it, though some of us later have second thoughts. We, each of us, choose to exist and choose what worlds to enter. That -- not math of all things! -- is the foundation of the justice of God, and the only theodicy with which we have to do.
Note added: As a draft, this post went through many provisional titles before I settled on the one it has now. I chose it simply because it suggested the scope of what I was discussing -- something for which even Douglas Adams's famous phrase "life, the universe, and everything" was too narrow unless pluralized. (Pluralizing such familiar expressions as "eternal life" is also a classic Joseph Smith move; see D&C 132.)
Not until I received an email from a reader -- "By the way, happy birthday. Is the title of the post a pun on this particular birthday?" -- did I realize the full appropriateness of the title I had chosen. In the Adams story, a supercomputer thinks for seven and a half million years and concludes that "the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything" is the number 42. And, yes, it just so happens that the day I finally finished and published this post was my 42nd birthday.
Furthermore, the conclusion I reach in the end -- that numbers can have nothing to do with answers to ultimate questions -- is eloquently expressed by Adams's joke.
Finally, even the name of the author I allude to in my title is relevant -- the plural of Adam.
None of this was on purpose. I take it as a gesture of encouragement from the synchronicity fairies.
Friday, March 12, 2021
|Endorsed by Sogo department store?|
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know I have a tendency to quote from anything and everything -- Dante, the Beach Boys, Sigmund Freud, Pleiadian Perspectives on Human Evolution, it's all fair game, and I like to think it shows how admirably well-rounded my education has been. But there's one bit of dialogue I don't quote nearly as much as I would like to -- because citing my source would mean acknowledging the shameful fact that I once watched several uninterrupted minutes of (cough) Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.
So, here it is. In the future, I can just discreetly link to this post instead of having to mention what movie it's from.
Deuce: TJ, thank God you're here.
TJ: How'd you find me?
Deuce: It's the only chicken and waffle place in all of Holland.
TJ: So a black man's gotta be at a chicken and waffles place! That's racist!
Deuce: But you are here.
TJ: Yeah . . . but figuring it out is racist!
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
|Dude, shut up.|
(No, no, I mean the title of your book. You spelled it wrong.)
|Gustave Doré, Dante in the Gloomy Wood|
When I had journeyed half of our life's way,I found myself within a shadowed forest,for I had lost the path that does not stray.Ah, it is hard to speak of what it was,that savage forest, dense and difficult,which even in recall renews my fear:so bitter -- death is hardly more severe!But to retell the good discovered there,I'll also tell the other things I saw.
You ask me where to beginAm I so lost in my sinYou ask me where did I fallI'll say I can't tell you when
I cannot say how I had enteredthe wood; I was so full of sleep just atthe point where I abandoned the true path.
My sun shall rise in the eastSo shall my heart be at peaceAnd if you're asking me whenI'll say it starts at the end
You know your will to be free
Is matched with love secretly
The time was the beginning of the morning;the sun was rising now in fellowshipwith the same stars that had escorted itwhen Divine Love first moved those things of beauty;so that the hour and the gentle seasongave me good cause for hopefulness
Your friend is close by your sideAnd speaks in far ancient tongue
Native these words seem to meAll speech directed to meI've heard them once beforeI know that feeling
Ultravox coming right after Vangelis is a further coincidence, since I had recently read a post by Vox Day called "The new Chariots of Fire."
Saturday, March 6, 2021
The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom has been doing Banned Books Week every year since the 1980s.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
It publishes lists of banned or challenged books, encourages people to read them, and encourages libraries to prominently display collections of these books near the entrance, with an ironic "warning" that some people consider them highly dangerous. Because to hell with censorship, right?
So these guys are definitely going to come out with a strong statement supporting Dr. Seuss and condemning the evil jackasses who want to cancel him for daring to celebrate diversity -- right? Right, guys?
Here's the stunning and brave anti-censorship statement the ALA OIF saw fit to release.
How libraries approach the Dr. Seuss books is going to differ, said OIF Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone, based on individual guidelines for collection curation and community demand for certain books. https://t.co/rJdEQJGmr2— ALA OIF (@OIF) March 3, 2021
Wow, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, way to let these shitbirds have it with both barrels. Nice to have someone standing up for the freedom to read.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, no content-neutral "anti-censorship" movement actually exists. "Supporting banned books" means supporting the sort of books that usually get banned. Any guesses as to what sort those are? Well, the ALA has prepared a helpful infographic.
See "racism" there in the word cloud showing the reasons for book challenges? You might need a magnifying glass. Oh, and be sure to zoom in and read the yellow light-bulb thing in the lower right corner.
The "censorship" these people oppose is, overwhelmingly, opposition to the sexual revolution and to the glorification of sexual neuroses. That's it. That's what they stand for. They want children to be exposed (against their parents' wishes; see the third green square) to LPGABBQ propaganda -- not, Moloch forbid, to the obscenity of a Qing-era Chinaman wearing traditional clothing and eating rice with chopsticks! When they say they support books "some consider unorthodox or unpopular," they mean unpopular among benighted proles. (What, you didn't think "unorthodox" meant heretical, did you? They obviously don't support crimespeak!) They speak power to truth, not the reverse. They deserve no one's support.
Friday, March 5, 2021
|Obligatory one-eye photo. Illuminati confirmed!|
Mo Willems is one of the ringleaders of the movement to cancel Dr. Seuss.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts museum dedicated to Dr. Seuss has replaced a mural that included a stereotype of a Chinese man.
The mural unveiled Tuesday includes illustrations from several of Dr. Seuss’ books. The original mural in the entryway of the Springfield museum featured illustrations from the author’s first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” which included the stereotype that some found racist.
The original mural became the center of controversy when children’s authors Mike Curato, Lisa Yee and Mo Willems said they would boycott an event at the museum because of the “jarring racial stereotype.”
Well, two can play at this game!
What the AP didn't tell you is that Mo Willems is the author of a collection of racist cartoons called You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons -- published in 2006, not 1937! The cover shows an Indian man with a big black mustache, hairy arms, and a stubble-covered chin; and an Indian woman with a sari, a nose piercing, and a dot on her forehead. How is this different from "a Chinaman who eats with sticks"?
And here he hurtfully stereotypes Sikhs as rippers-off of tourists, insensitively depicts a Christian devil and angel as Sikhs, and shows by his use of the Mexican term gringo in an Indian context that all Brown cultures are the same to him.
He also lets us know that the Chinese are lazy, grovel before "superior" Westerners, and (like Dr. Seuss's objectionable Chinaman) have lines for eyes!
Sorry, Mo, what was that you were saying about the mote in Dr. Seuss's eye again?
Thursday, March 4, 2021
In “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” a character described as “a Chinaman” has lines for eyes, wears a pointed hat, and carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice. (Editions published in the 1970s changed the reference from “a Chinaman” to “a Chinese man.”)
|Mike Curato, Lisa Yee, and Mo Willems hate the Chinese.|
Monday, March 1, 2021
This is one of the most seamless mashups I've ever heard.
Following up on the idea that the pecked are no longer alone in their bodies , reader Ben Pratt has brought to my attention these remarks by...
Artflow is an AI that creates portraits from text descriptions, and I thought it would be interesting to see how it depicted men and women ...
I hadn't made this obvious connection until I watched this video by Jonathan Pageau, in which he gives an extremely insightful analysis ...