Sep 242017
 

So, Star Trek Discovery plopped onto the airwaves tonight. My review:

It was certainly pretty, but all those visuals were spoiled by a whole lot of “WTF am I looking at?” Especially with the “Klingons” who bore almost no relationship to any prior iteration of the Klingons, in biology, aesthetics or culture. Heck, they even have Klingons  hating on other Klingons based on skin color, something that has *never* been indicated before. And of course they have cloaking devices, ten years before the Romulans invented the friggen’ things.

And Star Fleet bridge officers who attack other officers and try to mutiny. Yeah, sure, happens all the damn time in Starfleet. The rest of the story just didn’t really inspire much interest.

The first episode ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. Of course if you want to watch the second episode and those beyond, you’re supposed to pay up for the CBS All Access streaming service. But the episode left me cold, no more interested in shelling out to stream the episodes than before I saw it. So…

At least there’s still “The Orville,” a show that actually seems to get Star Trek.

 Posted by at 9:41 pm
Sep 212017
 

UC Irvine aims to transform public health with record-breaking $200-million donation

The donation comes with a bit of a hitch: it’s to be used to promote homeopathy.

On Monday, UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman announced that the Samuelis have donated $200 million to launch what he billed as the nation’s first universitywide enterprise to embed integrative health approaches in research, teaching and patient care.

“Integrative health approaches” in this context means “alternative medicine.” You know what we’d call “alternative medicine” if it actually worked? “Medicine.”

I suppose if it’s used to actually do good science on crap like homeopathy and reiki and psychic vampire repellent sprays, sure, fine, whatever. But I suspect that it’ll be used to ram woo into the medical industry *despite* the science.

 Posted by at 11:54 pm
Sep 142017
 

The post-war German “Hoffman” looks like it was wrong on every level. I gather that  in various countries and at various times there have been laws that have provided advantages to three-wheeled vehicles… easier registration, lower legal hurdles to ownership and operation, etc. But three wheeled “cars” have all seemed to be just terrible, terrible designs.

 

 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Sep 082017
 

Everything about Star Trek: Discovery has screamed “trainwreck.” But this latest nugget tells me that the people behind the show are actively trying to sabotage it. Is it possible that at some point the producers of the show realized they had a disaster and rather than going to the considerable expense of scrapping and retooling, or just plain scrapping, they decided to make it an unwinnable suckfest? Is there some Hollywood-advantage in making it so bad that the studio pulls the plug with extreme prejudice?

New Star Trek show has modeled its Klingons on TRUMP supporters and ‘racial purity is a big theme’

Who actually thinks that insulting approximately half your potential audience is a good idea… especially when you have to convince that audience to *pay* to see your show?

 

 Posted by at 6:01 pm
Sep 082017
 

“Close Encounters” is wrapping up its one week back in the theaters, and according to Box Office Mojo it’s only made about $2.5 million. I bet they spent more than that just on ads. It’s a pity… had it done well, perhaps it would have spurred more re-releases. Let’s face it, we’d probably all rather see “Jaws” back in the theater than a remake of “Jaws.”

Anyway, at least I finally got to see “Close Encounters” on a big screen. I was going to write “the way it was meant to be seen,” but I suspect it was meant to be seen on a drive-in screen…

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Aug 252017
 

Been away from Ye Olde Internet for much of the day… hey, I’ve got other stuff to do. When I checked email there were a few notifications of comments on this here blog; I normally give them a quick glance and reply… or don’t. As I hope seems fair and accurate, I generally let people say whatever they want, whether I agree or not, so long as they don’t go bonkers.

One of the notifications was from a commenter I didn’t recognize, commenting on the recent ANTIFA issues. The comment was one of those Tolstoy-esque wall-o-texts that usually go by almost utterly unread, because, really, who has the time. But I scanned through it and promptly decided that it needed to be countered. I opened up the relevant post, but the comment was gone. I assume the commenter deleted his own post. Shrug.

What the commenters point was, I’m not entirely clear… remember, wall-o-text. But it ended off with the sort of thing that makes me go “oy,” sigh, and shake my head. In short… all the troubles in society today are the result of DA JOOOOZ. Apparently they are deviously working at eliminating the white race and installing a multicultural dystopia via the forces of ANTIFA and similar left-wing fascist organizations.

Ummm… yeah, no.

Sigh.

As startled as some have been by the existence of a few hundred neo-Nazis out in Virginia, I’d like to say I’m as startled by the existence of a *lot* more anti-semites still spouting really, really wacky late 19th century conspiracy theories. Sadly, I can’t honestly say I’m that startled; I’ve seen this sort of nonsense for *decades.* If you believe these loons, an astonishingly small cabal of Jews control the whole world.

You’d think that if Da Jooz were that good at that sort of thing, there’d be more of them, and they wouldn’t be under perpetual assault by idiots and savages. Conversely, if they were this good at controlling the world while leaving no actual evidence whatsoever, maybe we should let them. Because they must be pretty damn good at it…

What gets me is just how all-purpose the Blame-The-Jews conspiracy is. At the same time that the Jews are blamed for killing Christ, they are also blamed for *creating* Christianity as a way to trash the native European religions. Way to cover all those bases, guys.

Also of head-scratching interest is just how much overlap there seems to be in anti-semitic conspiracy theories and Russian interests. Basically, Russian Nazis. This is, of course, not new; I’ve yammered about Russian pro-Hitler neo-Nazis before. And whole it’s not new, it remains utterly perplexing.

Russian Nazis. RUSSIAN NAZIS. At the same time Russia was invading, occupying and annexing chunks of Ukraine because the Russian government was supposedly concerned about supposed fascists in the Ukrainian government, the Russian government was loading up with fascists. Weird.

There are lots of problems in the world, and a lot of problems in American culture and society. But the Jews? Sorry, no. Jewish theology impresses me as little as most other religious theologies, but you know what? Unlike some religions I can name, the era when the Jews were a threat to outsiders is *long* over. A few hundred years of getting smacked around by the Babylonians and the Egyptians and the Romans pretty much put an end to that nonsense, and for the last few millenia they’ve not been troublesome. Why the hell the Jews continue to get the blame for things that are clearly not their fault is confounding. It’s a bug in the human operating system, the same bug that results in people screeching about 9/11 being either a hoax or an inside job, school shootings like Newtown being carried out by “crisis actors,” aliens being responsible for everything that the Jews weren’t (and, I suppose, often enough responsible for everything that the Jews are also responsible for), Apollo being a hoax, Fukishima dumping so much radiation into the environment that California was doomed, AIDS was created in a CIA lab, that the Earth is flat, that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that the Earth is the center of the universe. We are a buggy damn species.

I suppose that’s the Jews fault too.

Sigh.

So I suppose the short form is: if you come here to blame DA JOOZ for the problems of the world, or for your own damn failings… bugger off.

 Posted by at 1:07 am
Aug 212017
 

As well all know, the war crime known as “soccer” is just about the dullest thing in the known universe (“it’s worse than watching paint dry, it’s like watching paint play soccer”). However, it’s hardly the only crashingly dull sport to watch. I’ve never been any sort of fan of football (“American,” not “weeny”); it doesn’t interest me at the best of times, but it seems like every time I’ve turned on a football game, they weren’t actually playing football. Turns out there’s a reason why I have that impression:

An average NFL game: more than 100 commercials and just 11 minutes of play

The 11 minutes of action was famously calculated a few years ago by the Wall Street Journal. Its analysis found that an average NFL broadcast spent more time on replays (17 minutes) than live play. The plurality of time (75 minutes) was spent watching players, coaches, and referees essentially loiter on the field.

An average play in the NFL lasts just four seconds.

Feh.

 Posted by at 2:57 pm
Aug 202017
 

I keep telling myself I’m going to stop posting about identity politics for a little while, to give this nonsense a rest. But the social justice warriors keep sucking me back in…

American Blackout

It has been dubbed the Great American Eclipse, and along most of its path, there live almost no black people. … Presumably, this is not explained by the implicit bias of the solar system. It is a matter of population density, and more specifically geographic variations in population density by race, for which the sun and the moon cannot be held responsible. Still, an eclipse chaser is always tempted to believe that the skies are relaying a message. 

The message: there’s nothing so unrelated to race-based politics that it can’t be used to buttress race-based politics.

“Sun Goes Supernova, Exterminates Humanity: Women, Children, Minorities Affected Most.”

 Posted by at 12:29 pm
Aug 162017
 

The fallout from the National Socialists Vs. Socialist Socialists kerfuffle in Virginia continues. One event was a group of people pulled down a 90+ year old statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, North Carolina. This is one of those “yeah, but on the other hand” sort of things.

Arrests Begin Following Durham Confederate Statue Toppling

On the one hand, monuments to the Confederates are akin to the Germans setting up monuments to their wartime military. The Confederates were losers in every sense of the word… they were fighting for an immoral and fundamentally doomed cause and they were fighting a bigger, richer, more powerful and industrialized neighbor who effectively surrounded them. Even had they won their independence the CSA is unlikely to have long survived as their cultural basis was weak at best and they now had no way to retain states that decided to go their own way. And, of course, they were losers because they *lost.* Waving Confederate flags proudly always struck me as being on the same level as proudly displaying your straight-F report cards, or the arrest record of your idiot grandfather who was a drunkard and an incompetent bootlegger.

On the other hand… tearing down statues that YOU DON’T OWN is necessarily criminal. If you were to do this and get away with it – and if you read the article, there are people DEMANDING that those arrested be given amnesty – then if the statue is replaced by something you *do* approve of, then someone else can come along and tear *that* down.

But here’s the real head-scratcher – the name of the person arrested: Taqiyah Thompson.

Taqiyah?

That’s, ummm… a little strange. I’m not sure if it’s ironic or on the nose to be named after the Islamic principle that it’s ok to lie to non-Muslims for religious purposes (some claim that it’s only ok to do so when they are in immanent danger of bodily harm, but then they also claim that “Jihad” is only about a spiritual struggle within yourself, not blowing yourself and a whole bunch of innocent bystanders to bits).

Also, who is Taqiyah associated with? Why, the Workers World Party, of course! These folks aren’t “Socialist,” they are all about Marxist-Leninist Communism. Of Course they are. How adorable to complain about the evils of the Confederacy while supporting the evils of Communism, a system that enslaved and murdered many more millions than the CSA ever dreamed of.

I’ve heard a lot of hysterical screeching since January that the US today is “a lot like 1930’s Germany.” Yeah, but it’s not. A far closer analogy would be *1920’s* Germany, which saw the rise of Fascism as a response to the Communists, with street battles between national socialists and outright communists. *THAT* seems like about where we are these days. So, congrats, Workers World Party and fellow travelers: like your ancestors of 90 years ago, your idiocy has helped foster an equally idiot fascist response.

 Posted by at 8:41 am