The New Counterculture (yeah, really) and its Chief Guru

What used to be mainstream progressive values are now enshrined establishment values. This means that rebellion (always of interest to the young) cannot really be productively pursued by advocating for ever more progressive values. That way madness lies.

This means that youth rebellion will be channeled in different directions. It’s not the Conservatism is the New Counter Culture but that ‘conservative’ is the closest name we’ve got so far for the  New Counter Culture which is embodied in the memo – which, nota bene, is causing disgust and distress among the establishment which is reacting like all establishments when a younger generation rejects their reality.

The guy who wrote it seems to have been listening to a lot of Jordan Peterson (much of the language is more or less taken verbatim from his online lectures).

I’ve been thinking for some time now that Peterson is, overall, the most articulate and impressive spokesmen for the New Counter Culture. He’s just announced a whole bunch of new projects which promise to have a very big influence on a lot of people.


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Why does the BBC Want to Normalize Burkas?

Who knows? But they sure do.

What’s interesting is the phrasing, burkas are re-imagined as perfectly normal and those who find them alien or offputting are wrong and half to follow a specific etiquette in speaking of them. How on earth did the UK get to such a low point? What’s next? Things not to say to an honor killer? Things not to say to a cannibal?

One flaw (of many) with multi-culturalism is that absent assimilation as a goal diverse groups want to maintain and preserve their distinct identities because that’s where respect comes from in multiculturalism. In order to do this they may well end up mining their culture for things that will purposefully antagonize other groups.

Of course Saudi evangelism is another factor in spreading the burka, but the desire to maintain distinct identities (embodied in diverse cultural practices) is another.

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I Have Friends

The songs on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are a mixed bag. I sometimes appreciate the idea more than the execution (like the Sexy Getting Ready Song), but at it’s best it’s freaking brilliant. This is one of my favorites which should be the national anthem for the permanently socially awkard (or those of us who were misfits at school).

I have friends!

I have friends, I definitely have friends!
No one can say that I do not have friends!
I have friends, I definitely have friends!
Friends, friends, friendly friends, time to meet my friends!

I’m Patti!   LouAnn…   Jason! And I’m super into Dance Dance Revolution!
Girl with mustache! Boy with port wine stain.
Janitor who lives in an RV behind the school.

I have friends, I definitely have friends!
Oh yeah! I have friends, I definitely have friends!
Objectively, I can say that I have all the friends!
I have friends, I definitely have friends!
Friends, friends, friendly friends, time to meet my friend!

I’m Paula!   Darryl!   (Mrs. Hernandez, and I’m here to raise the roof!)
Lady who hit your car!   Friend of friend from law school…?
Grocery clerk with half an eyelid!

We have friends, we definitely have friends!
No one can say that we do not have friends!
We have friends, we definitely have friends!
Friends, friends, friendly friends, we have all the friends!

Most people like Grocery clerk with half an eyelid (he is all in!) and some like Friend of a friend from law school? But my favorite is Louann. She knows how important this is to young Rebecca and she still totally half asses it. That’s the kind of subtle touch that the true social outcasts pick up on….

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It’s Whose Party?

More on background of the PRL (Communist Poland) that influences the current political situation. I don’t know how much of this is shared with other post WWII European communist countries. Comparative info would be appreciated. I should also mention that some of this is not official history but things I’ve noticed and/or intuited from things I’ve observed or read.

So first, in addition to the actual communist party (actually three parties, but the important one was the PZPR – Polish United Workers’ Party) there was a large…. grey area of what might be called party allies or party associates. I’m not talking about people who were trying to join the party but people who remained outside the party officially while working together with the party or party members in various capacities. Some of these allies even served public roles, so the communist spokesperson Jerzy Urban for example was never actually a party member. But there was also a network of people with party…. connections who would receive some of the perks of party membership in exchange for occasional services. It is almost certain that Jarosław Kaczyński’s father had this type of unofficial party connection, as much of his biography simply doesn’t make any sense otherwise (that’s a subject of another post).

This leads to another interesting point, that a surprisingly large number of anti-communist activists in Poland hard party connections. I don’t mean they were government agents but they either like Bronisław Geremek they were affiliated with the party for a time, became disgusted, resigned and started working against it or, like Adam Michnik, they came from families with party members or like Lech Kaczyński  came from families with party…. connections (Lech was active in the dissident movement, there’s no real evidence that Jarosław was).

Both of these situations have had an influence on how the country dealt with dissidents during the PRL and how party members were dealt with afterward.

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Here on Beautiful Ethnic-slur Island!

I often like to listen to languages I sort of know and/or am learning as background noise. Youtube is great for this because they have whole audiobooks in dozens of different languages.

Anyhoo, I decided to listen to this Italian versionItalian version of Agatha Christie’s “And then there were none” (Dieci piccoli Indiani). Imagine my surprise when I realized they were using an earlier version of the work with the original geographic names. I’m listening along and suddenly there’s “Nigger Island” (untranslated) popping out of the stream of Italian. In later versions it was renamed “Indian Island” or “Soldiers Island” in English but here they keep repeating “Nigger Island” about 80,000 times.

To be clear I’m not complaining or saying that’s wrong, it’s extraordinarily ethnocentric and xenophobic to expect the rest of the world to keep up with and follow English speaking neuroses and changing taboos. It’s just… different and a rather odd translating choice. Quick checking showed that Spanish versions use “Isla del Negro” (Island of the Black Man?) and a German version I could find used Soldatensinsel (Soldiers Island) so it’s weird to use Indiani ‘Indians’  in the title of the book but then not translating the place name at all.

Also,  IINM in the UK of the time the novel was written ‘nigger’ was used more to refer to those from South Asia rather than Sub Saharan Africa.

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Stuck on the Night Shift

Here’s an abbreviated version on the real source of the current problems with judicial reform in Poland.

First two bits of background. A parting gift of the communists was an unwieldy electoral system with no practical electoral threshhold. This meant that there was a glut of “pocket parties” in early parliaments until the situation could be fixed and a 5 % threshhold was introduced. The other is that the early system, for a couple of different reasons not only had a Prime Minister and President but they were both more or less co-heads of state. At the time the balance of power was almost not spelled out at all which meant that getting a working relationship between the two was often a chore (this still remains a fault line in Polish politics as the line is more defined but still only partly so).

In December, just before Christmas of 1991, a guy named Jan Olszewski became the Prime Minister of Poland heading a minority government.  It was a minority government because he lost too many parties on the way to becoming Prime Minister because he had to compromise on his two big issues – undoing the “Shock Therapy” economics of the Balcerowicz plan and decommunization of public life.

Right from the beginning it was a rocky road between Olszewski and Lech Wałęsa, by that time the first post-communist President, more on that in another post, for now, all you need to know is that Wałęsa, especially as president, tended to be confrontational and always spoiling for a fight, didn’t matter with who, he would get into an undignified wrangle with them.

Olszewski was an economic washout as any attempt to mess with the Balcerowicz plan made foreign investors and creditors very jittery. His de-communization efforts centered on the military where he essentially wanted a purge of the leadership while at the same time Wałęsa wanted to bring the military under Presidential control.

This all reached a crisis by lat eMay of 1992. Wałęsa started actively working against Olszewski. In this environment Antoni Macierewicz, the then Interior Minister, released a list of 64 names of supposed collaborators with the communist secret police to members of parliament which quickly found it to the press. The list included a member or two of the governing coalition and other prominent politicians and was followed by a second list including Wałęsa himself.

This was the last straw and a no-confidence vote was scheduled and held on June 4, 2992 preceded by an unscheduled TV address by Olszewski defending the release of the unverified lists.

The vote itself took place after midnight, an event that has come to be known as the nocna zmiana (night change or night shift, hence the title here). Olszewski lost and was replaced by a politician Wałęsa could (sort of) work with.

Essentially, Jarosław Kaczyński (who did his fair share of undermining the government) never got over the no-confidence vote it marked the beginning of his violent hatred of Wałęsa. He has since worked to turn the event into some kind of major conspiracy by communists to hold onto their privileges and power and talks of the event as a coup…. Ironically Macierewicz supposedly did try to talk the military into staging a coup…. against Wałęsa to keep the Olszewski government in power.

Whether he sincerely believes this or just is cyncially using it, the “night shift” has become one of the founding myths of Kaczyński’s electoral base – which is rock solid. Ironically, many of this same base are prone to be nostalgic for communist Poland and the relatively security they had. Kaczyńsnki’s goal then is essentially to take the entire country back to 1992 so that he can redo the night shift and get the result he wants this time. That’s one reason that so many PiS initiatives end up being voted on late at night – dress rehearsals for his final late night triumph over the communists…

The fact that majority of the country doesn’t want to play along is of no significance to him.

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Not Making the Connections

I find it perversely funny when someone has put the pieces together and still doesn’t see the picture.

Bulgarian women have the same traditional male pleasing qualities of Ukrainian women.

Bulgaria has the same type of problems of corruption and poverty as Ukraine.

The working hypothesis (from this any many other examples) should be – when large numbers of women prioritize maximizing their physical attractiveness and seductive manner to an excessive degree, that’s a very sure sign of deep societal dysfunction.

It’s like a society where men go out of their way to appear tough and dangerous.

No, it’s not any kind of natural order of things, it’s a crude burlesque of healthy relationships and produces societies of  people who are miserable and want nothing more than escape.

But PUA’s tend to burn any capactiy for normal human relationships out of themselves and then blame everyone but themselves for the result. The idea that they have useful ideas for societal reform is beyond ludicrous.

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