Thursday, September 20, 2018

No Brainers: Walkers and Graphic Novels

I used to be an occasional viewer of The Walking Dead (TWD), a series which depicted the efforts and determination of a group of people to survive an apocolypse in a newly hostile and dangerous world. It was fascinating chiefly because of the character development of two of the principal characters, Carol Peletier and Daryl Dixon (played by Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus). The conflicts and problems they encountered teased my interest. Although attached to the group, Carol (Peletier) and Daryl (Reedus) were essentially loners who made their own decisions and took their own and often controversial actions, often conflicting with those of the leader, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who often wavered between being a man of forceful action and a backsliding, mentally unstable wacko. Grimes swore to kill the super villain, but instead commits him to a jail cell, much to the consternation of some of his friends, who lost friends to Negan’s bat and whimsy.

I gradually lost interest in the series when Carol and Daryl were sidelined by the showrunner and his writers to inconsequential subplots, and when Negan, the glib super villain, debuted with his barbed-wire baseball bat at the end of Season Six and became the series’ plot focal point from there on. The series struggled to “humanize” Negan and make him acceptable as the series went far off the narrative and plot rails, complicating what ought to have been a simple, vertical story flow, introducing new survivor groups, “communities,” and characters, and stirring into the basic story more ingredients than in a bowl of Carol’s casserole (which became a running joke) .  An unhealthy obsession with Negan and the allegedly metaphysical potency of evil has been a leitmotif of the series from almost the very beginning (although Negan did not become the series pièce de résistance for several Seasons; Rick didn’t kill him, as he promised to but bloviated and made an empty threat when Negan was about to bash Carl’s brains out).

Another development that turned me off completely from TWD was that Rick, who, for moral guidance, quotes from the Koran: “Let my mercy prevail over my wrath.” (First spoken by a Muslim in the opener of Season 8.)and later when he’s waking up years later. See my Rule of Reason column, “CAIR : New Showrunner?” from October 2017, and also “CAIR: The Walking Dead’s New Showrunner?

I should mention here that I am not a fan of Stephen King type “scare” or zombie movies (though I did watch iZombie, on Netflix, because a female zombie solved murders in Seattle; this series was occasionally amusing, and also because Rose McGiver, the star, was rather fetching and huggable). But the whole idea of zombies is a legitimate possibility as a theme. But  zombies are metaphysically impossible and ridiculous. They exist only in fiction or literature.

I stopped watching this series when Susan Rice was appointed to the Netflix board, and when the Obamas were contracted to produce “original” shows for the channel.

A few of the inconsistencies in the series are: in a very early episodes, zombies could pick up things and use them as weapons or tools, such in as in Season 1,when one uses  a rock to break the glass of a department store door to attack the living inside. Throughout the rest of the series this kind of behavior does not happen. Also, early in the series a single shot from the gun would stop or kill one. Throughout the rest of the series it was the head that had to be shot or knifed (especially in the temple by the ear) to terminate a zombie; bullets did not stop “the walking dead.”). Obviously, the later writers for the series were not on the same page as the early ones.

In Season 1, episode 6, a pseudo-scientific explanation of how zombies move and act is offered by Dr. Jenner of the CDC (in Atlanta, where the group has found refuge) about how a person  is transformed into a zombie (which is eerily analogous to the Trump Derangement Syndrome in Democrats and Social Justice Warriors; their brains are rendered inoperative by hatred for Trump).  Zombies in TWD also automatically develop an insatiable appetite for living flesh (animal or human) as well as acute senses of smell and hearing to detect the living. Regular fans of the series take all this seriously without question. See my Rule of Reason column “Parallels in Evil II” from October 2016. In the Jenner/CDC YouTube segment, all of the characters, except for Rick, Daryl, and Carol, later die, usually horribly, from walker bites, including Carl and Sophie, the kids.

The roaming “undead” are called “walkers” by Rick’s group.

It’s not so curious that Gale Ann Hurd, one of TWD’s producers, was also an early co-producer of The Terminator, a story that has lent itself to Graphic Novel treatment (there are several knock-offs of the story in four subsequent film versions). Given the simplified dialogue in all the films, except for some semi-moralistic dialogue in TWD, it is also not surprising to learn that the films have spawned dozens of Terminator comic books and graphic novels.

But, then, the series is based on a comic book or what is now called a “graphic novel,” Robert Kirkman’s TWD series.  Graphic novels existed decades ago when classic or popular literature appeared in comic book form (not as books), and were not called “novels.” As a kid, I read a few of these; they introduced me to stories that I would later read in their literary entirety, without the aid of connect-the-dots visual illustrations: War and Peace, The Time Machine, Notre-Dame de Paris, Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking- Glass, The Last of the Mohicans, even the Bible, and many more.

“Classic” comic books – and now graphic novels – save a reader the trouble of reading a story and allows him to skip time- and attention –consuming descriptions of characters, motives, and action. The novels omit the “meat” of a story (provided the story is worth telling) and offers instead a bowl of white rice. Often the original stories were “adapted” to simplify a story line, change the story, or were adulterated to protect young readers from allegedly prurient material (I remember that the Garden of Eden illustrations of Adam and Eve in the Bible comic book I flipped through back then. They were suggestive; they piqued my curiosity, causing me to wonder; Did Eve really look like a fashion model but sans fashion? Was Adam really a “hunk”?)
Peter Strzok, AkA Negan, shaved

The ubiquity and popularity of graphic novels today – there are separate sections of bookstores devoted to them, with cramped shelves occupied by Kirkman’s TWD novels – underscore the prevalence of semi-illiteracy and mental laziness in the culture. Why read about conflicts in The Count of Monte Cristo or The Man who Laughs when one can read dialogue balloons and text beneath cartoons to grasp a story, helped by the illustrations that stand in for one’s own imagination and replace one’s capacity for objectification and discovering one’s own first-hand values? Publishers Weekly, the leading U.S.  book review magazine, has an entire section about graphic novels and comic books. Doubtless, given the state of the study of literature today, there are college courses on graphic novels; why study Shakespeare, Aeschylus, or Mark Twain? If they are studied, they are excoriated from the lens of the post-modern anger of “dead white males” and the so-called patriarchy of minority oppression.

American students, from K-1 to post-graduate studies, are being tutored and “entertained” by Marxist, Progressive, walker-terminators. They mean to darken every brain they can infect.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Laughing at Islam

I am not going to take the bait and spend time trying to ferret out the identity of the New York Times’ “anonymous” letter writer  who claims that he is a member of the Trump administration and that he and several other members of the Trump staff are “resisting” the President.

“I am part of the resistance inside the Trump Administration. I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” For the past few days, the world has been engrossed in an elaborate guessing game to unmask the author of the now infamous anonymous September 5th NY Times Op-Ed.

Enough said. As a kid, I didn’t much like the game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, either. So, I’ll go directly to the subject, which is the many ways that Islam  can cause laughter.

I opened my last column, “Casper the Unfriendly Ghost” with:

To get to the nub of this column, Allah is a “nothingburger,” a ghost, much like Robert Mueller’s pursuit of a connection between Donald Trump and the Russians.  Allah is as much a creation of man as is Casper the Friendly Ghost, a cartoon character drawn on boards by illustrators who have shot glasses of whisky at hand, for films, comic books, and newspaper panels.

There was no connection between Donald Trump and the Russians for Mueller to uncover (fruitlessly and tediously for over a year now, an investigation that  hovers in cost between  $17 million and $30 million), but there is at least one definite connection between Russians and presidential candidates, between  Hillary Clinton,  Barack Obama, and the Russians worthy of investigation (Uranium One), but which Mueller and his Deep State colleagues refuse to launch. Then FBI Director James Comey spiked any legal actions against Clinton. Mueller and his cohorts would rather chase after ghosts and imaginary specters and protect their contemptible ilk than search for justice. 

Just as Muslims prefer to believe in a ghost. Perhaps the most hilarious ritual is the salah,  when Muslims remove their shoes or sandals and “pray,” and then fall to their knees and  bow and flash their derrieres to Allah in “submission.” Aside from raising their hind- ends they also are obligated to bang their foreheads on the ground. The person with the most visible black and blue mark on his forehead is considered to be very devout.  I know that the “submission’ to Allah is the standard explanation for the ritual, but it still strikes me as Muslims offering their butts for Allah to kiss, or they are mooning the deity, or the West.

Mass mooning the West, or inviting Allah to kiss their butts?
Of course, Islam is no laughing matter, when one recalls all the jihadi attacks on the West and around the world in the name of Islam.

And then there’s Wuḍū, a ritual – not to be confused with The Twist performed in preparation for prayers, typically done in preparation for formal prayers (salat) and also before handling and reading the Qur'an. Impurifying activities that invalidate Wuḍūinclude urination, defecation, flatulence, deep sleep, light bleeding, and sexual intercourse. Many businesses and schools have had installed special bathrooms where Muslims can wash their feet and other parts of their anatomy without interfering with non-Muslims needing a restroom.

One must ask oneself: “Does it really matter what a Muslim washes if he cleans his derriere with a bare finger, and leaves the filth on a wall as though it were chewing gum left on the bottom of a movie theater seat? Is this cultural enrichment, or is it restroom diversity?”

Lacking water, it is permitted for a Muslim to use stones to wash any part of his body, especially his private parts and armpits.  Allahu Akbar! If you believe in something, do it for Allah! It will please him. Ouch!”

Islam also has the voluntary, slap-happy ritual of female genital mutilation or (FGM), which is practiced to rob women of sexual pleasure with government sanction just about everywhere. Women enjoying sex is verboten; in the Islamic universe, it’s assumed this is a Muslim “man’s world.”

In addition, Islam is noted for spreading peace and goodwill. Its St. Franicis of Assisi- like record is indisputable, as meticulously detailed in Robert Spencer’s The History of Jihad. The Koran, the Hadith, and Reliance of the Traveler (the latter not to be mistaken for an AAA tour manual) are replete with glad-handing homilies to Muslims to befriend an infidel and join a Jew in the Hebrew hora.

The Islamic doppelganger of that hora is the Sufi version, which is about as joyous as undergoing amputation on a battlefield. Complimenting that is another Islamic, collectivist “ring around the Rosy May poll” version, also of Sufi origin. To participate in this men-only dance one needs to have imbibed at least a spoonful of L-dopa to get one into the dance mood and become “hip.” Flawless footwork and deodorant are very crucial; shoes optional.  Not exactly the Gym Dance in West Side story (women need to be added in place of the wide skirts worn by the dervishes) but it might do for the time being, although it’s not the Mambo.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Your culture or social milieu

So, you were curious about Intersectionality and how it works? This is Intersectionality 101; we're here to help you learn how powerful and influential you are. Especially if you’re white. Intersectionality is closely connected to the Catholic doctrine that a newborn baby is automatically stained with a sin even though he is patently blameless. That doctrine is a partner of intersectionality, which may even derive from the notion of Original Sin.

I left this comment at the end of my column on “Whiteness.”

Not discussed here is how “whiteness” is inexorably linked to the bizarre idea of “intersectionality” which is a sticky sump of Marxist thought, in which “whiteness” is a culpable “power broker” in how it contributes to the oppression of minorities, gays, women, and people who wear blue socks. A description of intersectionality resembles instructions on how to assemble a jigsaw puzzle of one of Jackson Pollack’s canvases of smears, streaks, drips, and blobs.

The first thing is that you are probably white and can read this before your mind grows dull and you nod off. But read in full, it will nevertheless cause you to experience an epiphany and ignite excitement in your synapses and urge to tell your friends about it and refer them to this column. That’s you exercising your white privilege. You’re sharing your experience, for good or bad. You cannot predict where or when your experience will affect others. News of it might wind up in Sweden or the Sudan or affect someone in Indianapolis.  And mysteriously oppress a “marginalized” person who is not white.

And if someone sees this and objects to it, he might go on a stabbing or acid-in-the-face attack, but you would be to blame, you and every other white who exuded his vile, white cultural imperialism. So many other colored jigsaw pieces are interlocked with your white one, and with countless other white pieces, that even if you did not intend to influence a colored piece’s mind or actions, it can happen nevertheless, because of the sheer volume of white influences.

As Wikipedia points out:

Intersectionality is an analytic framework which attempts to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those who are most marginalized in society.  Intersectionality considers that various forms of social stratification, such as class, race, sexual orientation, age, disability and gender, do not exist separately from each other but are interwoven together.

Thus, your recommendation can influence the thinking or values of someone who is “pro-gun,”  is an advocate of freedom of speech, is pro-capitalism, against open borders, an opponent of unlimited Mexican and Islamic immigration, and supports a host of other “white” ideas and causes. You never know how your agreement with them will serve to sustain the ubiquity in society of those ideas and causes throughout the culture. The prevalence of such ideas can smother the values and practices adhered to by “marginalized” groups, such as Muslims.

The religious beliefs of Muslims can be unjustly marginalized by the constantly voiced assertion that Sharia, an integral element of Islam that governs Muslim lives, is incompatible with the Constitution. The assertion can come in many forms, all calculated to belittle Muslims and their beliefs: cartoons that mock Mohammad, editorials that criticize certain Islamic rituals, its treatment of women,  books that examine Islam and its history, and vociferous speeches that denigrate Islam and Muslims (intentionally or not)  – a Muslim is surrounded by these things every day. He has Muslim organizations that answer these phenomena (such as the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR) with the goal of having his beliefs accepted as normal and in some cases even adopted by non-Muslim institutions. But the Muslim is touched by white jigsaw pieces wherever he turns. It is continual vilification and denigration to reduce the stature and esteem of being a Muslim, or to make him think he is backward and a third-class citizen and persuade him to keep his place 

The religion of Scientology is also subjected to the same malign intersectional process in the name of white ”civilization.”  And the Amish. And Kabbalah. There are numerous other kinds of intersectionality—black, Asian, Jewish, Hispanic, Indian, Middle Eastern, and so on – and while they exert  some power, they all default insidiously in little, hard-to-trace ways but often in blatant, imperious, and arrogant condescension, to the white. 

Civilization – an arbitrary construct, at best – owes everything we take for granted today, in medicine, science, technology, the arts, politics, to whites, and the white narrative pointedly neglects to mention our heritage in marginalized and vanished societies of color, such as the Black Athena of Egypt and ancient Timbuktu, where surgery, agriculture, and astronomy were first pioneered and developed, among many other fields of endeavor.

It is time for the bias of white intersectionality to be knocked from its prominence and hubris and reduced to a just relation to the balance that would be fair to the diversified mosaic of modern culture. Our college professors and the MSM are hard at work to imbue the virtue of white humility in the next generation of Americans, if not eradicate whiteness altogether.