Commenter Archive

On “The Video of Our Moment – This is America

Don't know whether I'll start blogging again, or why exactly this video led me to post again after such a long hiatus.

Not sure why you would or wouldn't get rap/hip-hop, but this video is as much a movie, a little piece of Gesamtkunstwerk. That it's to me the video of our moment doesn't mean it's a good or enjoyable video, necessarily, but I think it probably is. I threw in the CMM mash-up because within a couple of days of my offhand remark, the thing was coming in over the twitter transom.

These two pieces might help you get why if not necessarily get it.


New Yorker:


so I've been listening to a lot of music, got a turntable and went through to my entire vinyl jazz collection, lots of cd's pre brain injury, lots of stuff Karen got post BI, plus classical, electronic and general strangeness, bought a bunch of new cd's, and I'm still not really getting rap and hip hop. I can appreciate, even admire some of it (my daughter was especially taken by my description of Notorious BIG as the Chaucer of rap), but just not feeling it. So TIA falls in that category of appreciating, even admiring, but the CMM sendup is pretty dumb.

In any event hope you're well and ready to resume posting.

regards - bob

On “Holy American Major League of Nations (Notes on Baseball and the Re-De-Nationalization of Americanism)

[…] This 2012 post from CK Macleod on baseball and the American sense of being is a really good […]

On “Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress

BTW, I recently upgraded some this and that on the back end of the blog, and it does seem to make comments post much faster - and unanticipated benefit.


For WordPress self-hosted people, there is already a "restore legacy editor" plugin, even though Gutenberg hasn't been installed yet as the default.


I thought you were on, not self-hosted WordPress. I can't find any info on and Gutenberg or Gutenbergerish editing, so I don't know what to tell you. It may not be an issue for you at all.


so how worried should we be?

the Gutenberg post makes it sound like if would be all but unusable for me. the image discussion is really distressing. I haven't paid that much attention to their upgrades - I've gotten used to the changes they've made in various things altho they mostly seem cosmetic to me. but all this seems pretty user unfriendly.

how responsive have they been in the past to negative feedback? are they likely to go ahead no matter what anyone says, or work hard to fix the problems?

On “Holy American Major League of Nations (Notes on Baseball and the Re-De-Nationalization of Americanism)

…the desperate last-gasp radicalism of American reactionary conservatives before the demographic deluge and the expected relegation of white-European Americans to “minority” status in “their own” country. (Geopolitical theorist George Friedman, in his book The Next 100 Years, describes the Latino-ization of the United States and eventual total breakdown of the southern border as the one “threat” of them all that ascendant white-imperial America will eventually prove unable to defeat.)

One readily detects the hint of relish in CKM’s anticipation of “white-European Americans” (in other words, authentic Americans) being relegated to minority status in (scare quotes) “their own” country. A passage remarkable for its undercurrent of malice and resentment.

Now one can’t plausibly suppose that even a fellow as determinedly obtuse as CK MacLeod really believes that the “Latino-ized” USA of his rejoicing will continue to be the bedrock and pillar of the “liberal international order“--for which he otherwise professes such love and attachment--or any domestic liberal order, for that matter--and thus one is forced to conclude that MacLeod’s animus against “white-European Americans”--authentic Americans, as apart from the multitude of pseudo-Americans whom we’re constantly pressured to acknowledge and acclaim--is so spiteful as to be self-destructive of his own professed support for liberal political arrangements here and abroad. How to account for this strange paradox?

Incipit nihilismus

On “German Trust in America – the Trend (#OAG 12b)

Speaking of George Friedman...

The party of Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer uses the word “friend” to describe the United States in its platform. But in fact, Merkel has blamed Trump for a rupture he has little to do with. At issue are the national interests of both countries. Germany needs for the European Union to be economically healthy enough to buy the exports on which its economy depends, but the United States, which has little leverage or stake in the European Union, sees its disintegration as a European problem.

The divergence between the United States and Germany has been growing since 2008, and there is little Trump could have done to change things.

On “Holy American Major League of Nations (Notes on Baseball and the Re-De-Nationalization of Americanism)

just a note on your observation about the whiskey rebellion

On “Charles Pierce: This, Right Here. This Is Where Obama Choked. – Esquire

This, right here. This is where they choked.

This, right here. This--here, right here.

“I don’t get it. You’re saying ’this here’ in response to ’this here’.”

Well let’s try again, shall we?

This, right here. This is where they choked.

This, right here. This--here, right here.

“I see. You’re making fun of the fellow for writing like this. It’s a silly way of expressing oneself.”

That, there--right there. This.

“And I suppose one who writes like that can’t be taken seriously…”

This. Right here. That.

“Well, what can you expect from a political movement whose central mythology is Star Wars? Juvenility is sort of baked into it.”

That. Right there. This.

The American people had damned close to an absolute right to the information their government already had.

In other words, they didn’t have an absolute right.

The most fundamental act of citizenship is the right to cast an informed vote.

Hm, I didn’t realize a right was an act--but perhaps I’m missing the “theological” significance of the term “right”.

The idea that the Obama administration withheld the fact that the Russians were ratfcking the election in order to help elect a vulgar talking yam, etc.

Surely I’m not the only one who sees the grotesque paradox of this sentence.

What’s more, it almost perfectly encapsulates the history of the United States over the past fifty years or so--whereby a cultural revolutionary “progressive” movement has dedicated itself tirelessly to the coarsening and vulgarization of our national life, but is now mortified at a coarse and vulgar President Trump.

Incipit nihilismus.

Would Donald Trump have raised hell if the White House released what it knew? Of course, he would have.

And he would have had an absolute ratfcking right to do so.

But, as it was, the American people went to vote with only about half of the information they needed to assess his candidacy.

They had all the information they needed and they made their choice--to reject Crooked Billary. (You remember Crooked Billary, doncha? He’s the one who had such a sense of the dignity of the Presidency as to diddle some intern’s twat with a cigar in the Oval Office.)

This was a terrible decision.

Sheez, “Mr.” Pierce--you’d think somebody grabbed your pussy or something.

On “note on anti-Americanist conservatism in re Obama in Israel

(Well, I didn't, four years ago, call Daniel Larison a vulgar ideologue. I suggested that his polemic on that occasion stooped to that level, in a way I found typical for American Conservative conservatism. Since then, I've rather lost touch with his work, so have no fresh opinion on it.)

On “Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

Thanks, Mr. McK. I don't see the Rs in any better a position, nor the independents for that matter. All the People's Political Scientists and all the People's Political Consultants can't solve the peculiar form of paralysis built into America's contradictory constitution (not the same as, but certainly including the form of its written Constitution). It seems to take catastrophe to do that work, but the great news is that we are sure to get catastrophe. Indeed, we may already have gotten it, and may just be waiting for the larger waves to reach the shore.

On “note on anti-Americanist conservatism in re Obama in Israel

It's a common tactic in scholasticism (vide Edward Feser) to take a term of religio-philosophical significance (such as "creation" or "eternity") that has a commonly understood meaning (the kind of meaning that one will find in the dictionary definition of such terms) and lend that term a specialized meaning--one that serves the purpose of making something that is intrinsically implausible to common sense seem less so--then proceed to characterize those who don't use the term according to its specialized meaning as unsophisticated vulgarians and ignoramuses.

The tactic has more to do with rhetorical legerdemain than philosophy and we see it employed here with supremely eloquent cheek.

That being said, Larison certainly is an ideologue--though "bourgeois" strikes me as a better adjective than "vulgar".

On “Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

I don't know, CK, if you or anyone reading along has had a chance to see this yet, but it's so relevant to the discussion you and bob and I were having here, that I'd like to append it to the thread if I may.

I think it squares nicely with the position I took in the exchange--especially the idea that the Democratic Party is deeply troubled electorally, and that the roots of that trouble lie in the party's subscription to alienating ideologies.

Sifting through the wreckage of the 2016 election, Democratic pollsters, strategists and sympathetic academics have reached some unnerving conclusions.

What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide.

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.

On “Thesis on the Great Trumpian Victory (OAG #6)

Thanks, Will H, for the thoughtful comment (which, in addition to being correspondingly thought-provoking, also happened to reveal a coding error making comments on this type of post unreadable on my phone).

Not sure how the process you describe lands us on the Right, however, since the process itself is Whig history, classically on the Left or, as later, "progressive." So, even if the process itself somehow favors the Right, the presumption is of an under- and overlying Left/progressive tendency. Specifically in regard to voting rights, extension of the franchise has been a demand against whichever powers that were, even if the King and the People may have been from other perspectives or in other epochs allies vs. the lesser nobility and the church, and even if the further-Left has critiqued the vote itself.

A realignment based on the general trend is still resisted by the American Right for different, possibly complementary reasons. The Democrats consistently support extending the vote or ease of voting, and tend to support the popular voting and proportional representation. You might say that friction over the general trend favors the Right in a certain sense, in that it leads to greater intensity of feeling on the part of those who perceive a threat to their positions of relative privilege, but the victories of shrinking minorities over increasing majorities are unlikely to last forever, and defending for too long or too fiercely may make the eventual winners less forgiving.

But I'm not really sure what this all has to do with Trump specifically.


A few different trends feed into the Trump phenomenon.

One of the primary characteristics of digital media (1994 - ? ) is that the "official" position is no longer the official position.
The Law of Large Numbers and Second Law of Thermodynamics both make the unlikely more likely.
There is also a general trend toward greater rights for an ever-greater share of persons, dating from approx. the Elizabethan era. This led to greater autonomy of the merchant class, the English colonists to the New World, to suffrage for unlanded males, etc. Perhaps the seeds were in place before E.'s defiance of the papal bull; but the general trend is undeniable.

I see a realignment of the parties.
As far as I can tell, the realignment favors the Right, generally.

On “While 2017 happens…

I suspect that as you may suspect that lawn obsessed behavior correlates poorly with more general rightish political tendencies in the general pop. As the older generation of local lawn obsesses bow to their infirmities, the new generation, so far somewhat less obsessed, seem more mainstream politically. While still susceptible to the siren call not only of overly frequent mowing, but to fertilizers and weed killers, they seem to be otherwise agreeable humans.


Yes - that is very un-sympatico reactionwise, bob. Which is unusual for you. Though Joni Mitchell might once have sympatico'd your unsympatico-ness kind of maybe, at least in the Summer.

Main problem in my neighborhood, now that the drought is officially over, is the most lawn-obsessed near-neighbor loves his leaf-blower fiercely, meaning early wake-ups on a regular basis. He also happens to the only neighbor who throws loud latenight parties. I am thankful that he doesn't connect the two practices, or at least hasn't so far: Loud latenight party followed by early morning leafblowing.

I don't know whether he supported that fellow. It would surprise me for various reasons having to do with ethnicity. Might seem too personal a question for me to ask him, as we're just neighbors, not friends, even though it might be interesting in relation to your theory, if not obviously definitive evidence in isolation - I mean as to whether relative lawn-obsession correlates more strongly with that-fellow-support than ethnic factors. We may never, sadly, know the answer, what with so many skilled researchers devoting themselves to tired, over-researched subjects like climate change and species extinction and such.


I had a more specific, very un-sympatico reaction. In the recent past, my neighborhood was populated by several lawn obsessed types who mowed their lawn 2, even 3 times a week. Imminent rain, especially thunderstorms (tornados are fairly rare here), seem to cause in them an uncontrollable urge to mow, lest the unmowed grass grow too much from the fresh rain to be outside acceptable limits. So it can be fairly common for them to mow through approaching lightning and thunder, right up to, and frequently past the arrival of downpours.

This is only part of a larger pattern of annoying behavior, including lecturing lawn slackards and remowing their lawns whenever neighbors have outdoor gatherings. Lawn signs seem to indicate a high correlation with Tea Party politics and a fondness for that fellow.

So I took this guy to be merely marginally more committed to the project of the perfect lawn (and by extension, the perfect libertarian world) than my neighbors. That is, anything but sympatico.

Maybe I observe here only a local correlation between excessively committed lawn behavior and excessive political beliefs.

On “German Trust in America – the Trend (#OAG 12b)

Congratulations on at least admitting when you, or your source, sbeen touched!

Thank you, CK. I blame my source--he fucked me.

...that plunge at the end of the opinion chart strikes me as a bit more like a total sudden collapse, or fall off a cliff, than the emergence of enthusiasm for Hula Hoops or nose-rings...

When sales of Hula Hoops or nose-rings or Beatles records undergo a total sudden collapse--or a total sudden increase--geopolitical realities remain unaffected. Phony Trumpmania will have the same non-effect. The faddish politics of baizuo don't matter to the mountain of Kunlun.

Another way of looking at the contretemps between Trump and das deutsche Volk is that it really doesn't matter regardless of one's analysis, since there isn't anything going on in Europe at the present time that need worry us or them. So what if they strike the obligatory pose of baizuo vis a vis Trump? Europe is at peace--and the bogeyman Russia, with one-tenth the GDP of NATO-Europe (one-tenth!) isn't really a threat.

The other part of President Trump's trip--the Middle Eastern part--seemed to highlight an improvement of relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel, in a region where improved relations with our allies might actually make a difference, given that region's continuing turmoil.

Having said that, I think you do make an interesting point about the latent instability of the United States and the prospective effect of that instability on geopolitical arrangements.

So long as we're having recourse to the figure of relations between states as marriages, the United States themselves are like a marriage--and an abusive one at that. Long ago, one party to the marriage--let's think of it as the wife--decided she couldn't stand to be married to her husband anymore and she upped and left. Unfortunately for her, her husband tracked her down and beat her to a bloody pulp, until she agreed to come back. The couple hasn't exactly lived happily ever after since and one might suppose that on that basis they never will.


Congratulations on at least admitting when you, or your source, sbeen touched!

As for the faddishness of disapprobation of Donald Trump, that plunge at the end of the opinion chart strikes me as a bit more like a total sudden collapse, or fall off a cliff, than the emergence of enthusiasm for Hula Hoops or nose-rings among some sector of the populace. That's a general opinion poll, not a sales chart. The only time you see action like that in stock-trading, for example, is when the FBI arrests the CEO, or the company declares bankruptcy out of the blue... and the CEO is arrested.

I think the Germans correctly understood the 2016 election as to have revealed something which previously only a few thoughtful observers had noted about the vulnerability of the American electoral system to unexpected outcomes. The system was revealed to be unreliable in the process of producing an unreliable leader running on a platform of decreased reliability. The possibility that his personal unreliability would help defeat the unreliable platform is only one of several.

It's a bit like a marriage after the discovery of an affair or occurrence of some other disruptive event. It was always a possibility, and there may be a home, children, and any number of other factors to consider before leaping to divorce, but, even if the marriage continues, with what may be called greater realism, it still won't be or feel the same.

On “Counter-Drizzle on the Hypothesis of the End of the American World-Historical Era (OAG #12c)

…After the Trumpian interregnum is over, the bodies buried and costs tallied, a more mature "condominium" ought to be achievable.

Or to put it only slightly differently: pace bohemian bourgeois Schwärmerei, the Trump presidency isn't liable to do much damage, if any, to the present world order. Everything depends on that mountain of Kunlun, and the boutique attitudes of baizuo won't even put a dent in it--one needs an infinitely sharper sword than that.

On “German Trust in America – the Trend (#OAG 12b)

Touché, MacLeod.

But let's not forget Bhadrakumar's overarching point--that geopolitical constraints will compel the German government to seek a close relationship with the dis-United States, regardless of the superficies of German public opinion's disapproval of NSA overreach and Donald Trump.

Disapprobation of Donald Trump is currently a Western fad, a kind of political fashion among the bohemian bourgeoisie, about as substantive as Beatlemania. Those sorts of voguish enthusiams don't compete well with geopolitical necessities.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.


From the Featured Archives


Extraordinary Comments

CK's WP Plugins