Why Do People Laugh at Sports Cars?

This morning, I ended up behind a Monte Carlo in traffic. I had to squint to make out the stylized letters on its decal, because at a distance, it looked like it said, “Idiotmaster”.

It wasn’t until a red light that I made it out. It said, “Intimidator”. And a right bang-up job it was doing.

People who spend something like $100,000 on sports cars have no idea how much the rest of us laugh at them. Like when they blow all that squishy money on some expensive brand name that can go 200 mph.

When is anyone going to drive at 200 mph?

What kind of yutz would spend that kind of money on a car with a benchmark that cannot even be lawfully attained? Even if they were to find the hypothetical stretch of road where such a rate is legal, they’d likely end up behind someone moving at a reasonable speed, because not everyone wants to die in a fiery wreck.

I know that some people would attempt to use “impressing the ladies” as a justification. Trust me, a woman isn’t worth spending time with unless she gives a care how you piss away your money. If you really want to attract women, get a roomy back seat.

Speaking of ridiculous cars, there was a red Jeep that I was stuck behind on a couple different days on the way to work. Maybe it was because the driver thought his Jeep was a truck, because in both cases, it was on a stretch of road where trucks had a reduced speed limit. A Jeep isn’t a truck, it’s more like an ATV with a tarp over it.

But hey, way to live up to that manufactured sense of adventure. Your ability to buy stuff makes you almost as manly as someone who shaves with a straight razor.

While I’m busy criticizing everyone’s choice in automobiles to a greasy pulp, the other day, I saw in the corner of my eye as a car attempted to “rev that engine”, except the loud popping sound came out of their muffler. I know that’s supposed to be impressive, but if it comes from your muffler, it means your heap urgently needs work.

Can we agree at this point that the sports car is not really peak automobile? And that it doesn’t indicate status in the way it once did? Because if we can agree on that, perhaps everyone can stop pretending their pitiful little sedan is something it’s not.

Worse yet, the car smelled really, really bad. As though they tried using the wrong fuel. The pump is a bad place to pretend to drive something you don’t, don’t be stupid.

For the odd idiot out to justify their purchase, no, I’m not picking on sports cars because I can’t afford one. I can afford one. Because they can be financed, nearly everyone can afford them. People laugh at sports cars because they’re ridiculous. It’s as simple as that.

Do Current Events Reflect an Old Simpsons Halloween Special?

In what may be the most famous Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror episode, the animated sitcom parodied Soylent Green.

The episode started with Bart being sent to detention. But because detention was getting to be too full, the staff decided to get creative in how they punished miscreants.

One thing led to another, and the students soon discovered that “Sloppy Jimbo” was on the cafeteria menu, while Jimbo himself was nowhere to be found. Shortly afterwards, another student was sent to detention, and the menu afterwards featured an item seemingly named for him.

What was happening was that the staff had decided to deal with detention students by adding them to the menu. Worse, they were developing a taste for them.

Soon, the few students that were left were gathered together in the same room, overseen by an overweight teacher. At this point, the students were being sent to detention over the slightest infraction, because the faculty had tasted blood, and couldn’t get enough.

By the time the few students left had realized what was going on well enough to do anything about it, there wasn’t much they could do.

Sound like anything that’s happening today?

This E3, Nintendo pretty much won. Here is my opinion of what’s coming for Switch.

The Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is easily the biggest video game industry trade show of the year. The big console manufacturers and software publishers save some of their finest to collectively show that the future of gaming is bright.

As usual, a curious eye is on the Japanese company that only grudgingly participates, preferring to do things their own way. Even though Nintendo would rather do things on their own time, that doesn’t mean that they don’t take E3 seriously.

It’s been years since Nintendo adopted a hybrid system approach, but it still comes off as weird to me that they have only one main system to present upcoming software. But with what we’ve seen this year, it’s still going to be quite the system.

Considering this, I’ve decided to do less of an analysis and more of a trash-post about my opinions of software coming for Switch. After all, what would a person come to my blog for rather than my opinion? To regurgitate the observations that the news sites are making would be boring.

(Note: Not all these titles may have been shown at E3 this year)

Metroid Dread

This years surprise of the show is the long-thought-cancelled Metroid Dread, AKA Metroid 5! It’s welcome news that Metroid is returning to its 2D platforming roots. The trailer showed a suspenseful scene in which Samus encountered a robot that was immune to her weapons, leaving the hunter powerless to do anything about it but run.

The gameplay showed a chase scene reminiscent of the SA-X scenes in Metroid Fusion. I’ll be honest, I’m not too jazzed about this, as those were my least favorite parts of Fusion. But if Dread allows for plenty of exploration and sequence breaking, it’ll be interesting to see the playstyles that develop when people start speed-running this one.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (tentative title)

A new trailer showed that the upcoming BotW sequel will have a heavy emphasis on being airborne, with travel to landmasses suspended in the air. It’s reasonable to suspect that this game would sell millions of copies if all it did was provide the same basic experience as BotW, but with a new scenario, so it’s great that they’re willing to go beyond. The trailer concluded with Hyrule Castle being lifted up by dark tendrils, reminiscent of Ganon’s malice.

The trailer showed a release date of 2022, which is still potentially a while away. Have you beaten Ganon on BotW’s Master Mode, yet?

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

If all they did with this one was a couple straight ports of the GBA originals, that would have sufficed for me. Not only that, it’d be great to see one of my favorite strategy games getting some attention for the first time in years. But that in itself wouldn’t justify a $60 price tag.

So, they updated the visuals. And, to be honest, I’m not really that impressed. IMO, I think the anime portraits would have been just fine if they just presented sharper, less aliased versions of the originals. But I find how campy the new portraits look to be a bit distracting.

Oh, please.

There’s a lot to Advance Wars to love, but $60 is a lot to ask for a graphically-souped-up bundle of two GBA games.

Metroid Prime 4

We still don’t have anything to show for this one besides its logo. I know Nintendo likes to throw out the assets and restart development on games that stall, with only the ideas of the game developers to go off of (a practice colloquially referred to as “flipping the table”). I’m suspicious that that’s what happened with this one, and it’s difficult to tell when we might see more of it.

Pokemon D+P Remakes, and Legends: Arceus

I’m still looking forward to the upcoming Pokemon offerings. Because of course. Even at it’s weakest, Pokemon is still fun to play.

As much as I’ve criticized the artistic direction of the D+P remakes, they’d be what I’m looking forward to. Having said that, they definitely could use outlining and cel-shading, so they’d look like the anime-style games that they are.

Splatoon 3

I passed on the first Splatoon, but when I broke down and decided to try its sequel, I found out I was missing out. Splatoon has the potential to rival Mario Kart as the Nintendo party game. But more people need to give it a chance.

And why not? If you bought a Nintendo system, why would something that’s weird and different be off the table?

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

I’ve already given an opinion on this one, but I’m a bit more open-minded about it now. The gameplay system doesn’t seem like it will change much, which is to be expected. But by the looks of it, you’d have far better animated character models to look at while engaging in hours of repetitive grinding to stand a chance against Tyrant Baal.

Why wouldn’t it be that guy again?

Axiom Verge 2

Thomas Happ is a total badass, and I recommend playing the original before the sequel drops. It’s been delayed multiple times, but I’m still looking forward to the sequel to one of the all-time best indie games.

Happ has pointed out that, if players desire, they could play the sequel first and still enjoy the first when they get around to it. Early material was vague as to whether the second game is in fact a sequel, or a prequel. With how clever Happ has proven himself to be, it’s reasonable to expect something special.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

This game is already out, so why the mention? Because they’re still releasing fighters for it (this time, Kazuya from Tekken). Also, believe it or not, I still haven’t gotten it. Even though they made my dream come true and brought Sephiroth to the fray. Maybe I need more money.

Guardians of the Galaxy

This multiplatform game is also coming to Switch. A noteworthy thing about it is that it will be a streaming game, like something you’d play on Stadia. Personally, I’m not that fond of that idea, as I’d prefer to have a version to play offline, and the knowledge that I’d have a copy of the game that survives the server that hosted the original.

I’m normally somewhat suspicious of licensed games, but I liked the movies, so I might find something endearing, here. Even if just for the duo of Rocket and Groot.

I doubt I’d buy all these games. To play through them all would be a tall order. Sometimes, you gotta choose, and the choice is not easy.

How to Get Moral Busybodies Off Your Entertainment

Their first-century equivalent

From time to time, you hear about someone who criticizes entertainment, but with a twist: they’ll attempt to use religion in an attempt to prop up their smug sense of self-righteousness.

It’s usually something inane, like ignorantly accusing Pokémon of being satanic, or some other mainstream video game of having harmful moral side-effects.

Oftentimes, gamers will cite studies that conclusively show that such claims are bogus. This is an effective defense, but in the long run, the busybodies keep coming back, and that’s because they love picking fights.

This can leave quite a few people perplexed. Just what does a person have to do to drive these people off, and keep them away?

The problem is that people respond to them by remaining on the defensive. In order to have a lasting effect on these people, you have to go on the offensive, with a counter-argument that’s especially designed to make them sorry they messed with you.

Here is what you say: You point out that they are complaining about specks that they perceive in other people’s eyes, when there are beams in their own eyes (figuratively speaking, probably).

Point out that if their own Christianity is like what most people call Christianity, then it has the following doctrinal problems:

  • They observe Christmas, Easter, and a handful of other holidays with obvious pagan origins rather than what the Bible says they should observe,
  • They likely also ignore the fourth commandment, and observe Sundays instead,
  • They likely believe that God is a trinity, a concept the Bible nowhere teaches,
  • Their church likely demands more in tithes and offerings than they are entitled to.

There’s more, but that would usually suffice. Then you follow up with this:

That your entertainment wasn’t intended to inform a person as to what their religious, ideological, or philosophical ideals should be, so your entertainment is actually more harmless than their religion.

That one-two punch scores a knockout, in most cases. The first argument wouldn’t work so well on the few Christians that actually do keep it Biblical, but they should also be smart enough to understand that going after a person’s entertainment is actually counterproductive.

After delivering this, you’re done talking to them. They might try to bait you or argue against what you said; it’s a fight they’re after, after all. At this point, they’d be looking for any way to save face. So, don’t take the bait. By engaging them no further, you deny them that opportunity, and their main takeaway becomes what their religion gets wrong.

This works as well as it does because it forces the false Christian to confront what they’re afraid is true about their religion, and the possibility that the truth about it is no longer being obscured by the dark mists of history.

In case any of you are wondering whether I’m Christian, yes, I am. But I’m interested in seeing the Christian world return to the real thing. Also, it would be better if those who claimed to be Christian stopped bothering with pointless, counterproductive fighting over stuff that isn’t causing any harm, anyway.

Spiritual bullies are like any bully; if you’re only on the defensive, they can just keep going at it without any repercussion. To defeat them, you need to dish out a strong counterattack, preferably one that highlights their shortcomings and makes them learn some respect.

Then you leave them to contemplate what just happened.

Review: Nendoroid #167b: Suntanned Cirno

It happened one hot summer day: A knock at my door. Then, as I opened it, in came an ice fairy. “This is great!” I thought. “With my own ice fairy, I won’t have to pay as much to keep this place cool!” But then, she sat herself down in front of the air conditioner. This was not what I had in mind.

I decided to go for my first Nendoroid, Cirno from the Touhou Project series of video games. This would be the suntanned variant; the ordinary Cirno has lighter skin, doesn’t have the little decorative sunflower, and doesn’t come with the vine.

Here is the back of the box:

One might wonder what the significance of this character would be to me that I’d choose her out of the hundreds of Nendoroid characters available. Come on, it’s Cirno. If you’re familiar with Touhou, it won’t take long to figure out why she’s the most popular character. I liked the suntanned variant because there is a certain irony in that even an ice fairy can only do so much to cope with the hot weather.

I didn’t buy this just to leave it in a box in a closet. I intended to open it. Here are the contents:

Included is a set of faceplates and limbs, giving this expressive character’s figure a variety of possible poses. She also comes with a couple accessories, including an icicle lance, and a small frog encased in ice. If you’re wondering about the bloomers, she comes wearing another pair, which allows for different poses.

Changing the faceplate is a bit of a process. Apparently, the neck (which is articulated) is a part of the faceplate, and changing her faceplate takes undoing her hair.

I didn’t have it out of the box for long before some of the plastic showed signs of stress. Particularly, on a couple of the icy “wings” indicated in the picture above. I’m a little concerned that they might break if I mess with them too much, and goes to show that Nendoroids are mainly just for show, and not so much for the kids to play with.

There she is, set up on the stand! Cirno is adorable, even with her cocky smile. For most of the figure, the paint job is pretty basic, putting aside her hair, which has a nice subtle gradient.

One of Cirno’s accessories is a frog encased in ice. It’s easy to forget sometimes that Cirno can have a bit of a naughty side. She views frogs as inferior creatures, and believes that she has the right to freeze them if she wishes to.

And this is Cirno looking not-so-happy. Perhaps Suwako found out what she’s been doing to the frogs? It’s a bit more obvious in this picture, but the legs bend at the knees. What’s more, they also pivot where they meet her bloomers, so they’re pretty well articulated. But the feet? Not so much. It’s the stand that keeps her upright.

Notice the lack of footwear? Perhaps, when you can fly, shoes are kinda superfluous.

Here’s Cirno in an action pose! I decided that I’d go with this one, and it’s currently sitting on my desk, where the added personality is much-needed.

Now to give Nendoroid #167b: Suntanned Cirno a score. To be honest, I didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth. A typical Nendoroid would set a person back $60, or even more for highly-sought-after characters. That seems like a bit much for what basically comes down to a collection of delicate pieces of plastic.

But because I like the character, I think I can give this product a 7 out of 10.

And I think that’s really the point. A Nendoroid isn’t so much about collecting every single one as it is about having a highly-collectible figure or an attractive conversation piece depicting a character that you really like. If you don’t like the character, then really, what’s the point?

But to be blunt, I think it might be a while before I spring for another one. Marnie from Pokemon, maybe?

Why I’m Not Looking Forward to Disgaea 6 (or If Madden Were a JRPG)

Sometimes, you come to be known as that guy that likes something obscure. I’ve picked up a few obscure likes, and one of them has been a JRPG series known as Disgaea.

Disgaea is a strategy RPG developed by Nippon Ichi Software (NIS). While most strategy RPGs have exquisite political stories and intricate mechanics, Disgaea deconstructs those by starring bratty characters and by embracing imbalance and over-the-top complexity.

The main characters of the first installment (Disgaea: Hour of Darkness) are motivated by things like money and power (except the foil character, Flonne), but there is a certain morality at play that isn’t immediately evident, and though many of the characters claim to be demons, the true nature of what they are becomes apparent as the game progresses, and factors well into a subtle lesson about how good and evil aren’t necessarily evident by aesthetics.

The main characters of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Laharl (center), Flonne (left), and Etna (right)

However, Disgaea isn’t for everyone. Some people might be lured in by the stylistic charm, but quickly be turned off by the over-the-top complexity that quickly becomes evident just on the surface. What’s more, the pacing might be a little slow, even for what basically rewards power-leveling and gaming the system.

I’ve played most of the games, and of them, my favorite is Disgaea 3 (the one that takes place in a college). That one does the best job of catching the charm of the originals, while at the same time doing the most to bring the series forward.

Sadly, by the time of Disgaea 4, things started to go downhill, and I wasn’t the only one who thought so. It’s main draw was that the sprite art was redone for HD. However, that was the only positive thing about the fourth one, as the game system hasn’t changed much compared to the previous installment. Mechanically speaking, each of the more recent games have resembled the third, which means that they haven’t really done much to justify making new installments besides making up new characters and new stories to go with them.

Disgaea 5 held up pretty well (by sticking to the formula), but the writing early on was so cringe that I found myself glad that I had the option of skipping the cutscenes and going straight for the stages. I feel like I’ve enjoyed the game more for it, and I still don’t have any idea what motivates any of the main characters in Disgaea 5 (aside from that Usalia and Majorita can’t stand each other).

Overwhelming to most, but series veterans will feel at home.

So, what do we have to look forward to in Disgaea 6, as far as gameplay mechanics go? By the looks of it, it’s pretty much more of the same. On the one hand, one can point out that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. On the other, one can also point out that if an identical game already exists, then it becomes hard to justify spending an additional $60 on what is basically the same experience.

Then there’s the DLC abuse. If NIS weren’t such an obscure game company, it wouldn’t do such a great job of avoiding the criticism it should be getting for its DLC practices.

If you’re familiar with the Disgaea series up to this point, you know that it’s almost certain that most main characters from previous games will be present in Disgaea 6. The only question is, which characters will be available in the base game, and which ones will be withheld for release as DLC? At this point, we already know that Mao, Rasberyl, Usalia, and other characters are already being planned for DLC, even though the game hasn’t been released yet, which looks suspiciously like they’re being arbitrarily used to further drive up the profitability of the game.

If the characters weren’t complete in time for launch, that would be understandable. But when it seems like a game company knows just what they intend to release as DLC, that’s suspicious. But hey, Disgaea is supposed to be a deconstruction of Strategy RPGs, so maybe a pretense of DLC abuse is part of the humor, and when gamers buy the DLC, they’re participating in the joke.

Pleinair is the mascot of character designer Takehito Harada, and is frequently featured as DLC.

Another reason I’m not looking forward to Disgaea 6 is because my taste in games has changed quite a bit since I was first introduced to the series.

When I first played Disgaea, I was a poor guy. I don’t mean the kind of poor guy who collects hand-outs while at the same time could somehow afford all three major game systems and an enormous screen with which to play them. I mean the kind of poor where you work at a grocery store, and actually attempt to live off what you make. I had little flexibility in my budget, so when I did buy a game, I had to make my choice carefully. So I sought out games with high replay value for the price of admission.

At the time, Disgaea was just the kind of game I was looking for. I liked my games complicated, and with tons of replay value, even if that replay value was artificially inflated by hours of repetitive grinding.

Since then, my budget has been much kinder to me. Not only that, I feel as though my taste in video games is shifting towards the experiential and somewhat away from the strategic. I still enjoy strategy games, but I enjoy them in a different way; not out of a desire to extract as much replay value out of them as I can, but for the fun of exercising my judgement in intricate game systems.

For one thing, it’s great that NIS has discovered that people with Nintendo systems are actually interested in their games. It took them a really, really long time to figure it out, and it wasn’t much help that they tested the waters with droll stuff like Phantom Brave for Wii. It’s kind of ironic, considering that NIS is about as prolific as Nintendo when it comes to sequels, remasters, and generally playing it safe.

However, I would’ve been more excited about it a decade ago. As it is now, I don’t feel much excitement for a game series that I was once really into. While that might sound depressing in a sense, I don’t think so. Sometimes, change is an opportunity to discover something new. And the way it’s looking, Disgaea 6 doesn’t look like it will be doing much of anything new.

Also, it stars a zombie. And I don’t like those.

Manga Review: Made in Abyss (volumes 1-9)

One magnum opus, please. Hold the mayo.

Author: Akihito Tsukushi
Status: Ongoing
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror
Localization: Seven Seas Entertainment
Rating: Older Teen
Available to read online on BookWalker, fees may apply.

(This review consists of general impressions and is spoiler-free)

See that cover up there? If that alone were to cultivate your expectations, it might not take long reading Made in Abyss to discover that it’s a serious case of artistic style dissonance. That’s putting aside, of course, the many warnings circulating the web.

Made in Abyss is an excellent fantasy adventure and is one of the best examples of worldbuilding I’ve ever seen. This review is just getting started, let’s dive into it.

The story begins in an island town surrounding a deep abyss. The town’s economy depends on treasures discovered in the Abyss, with even residents of an orphanage participating in treasure hunts.

The Abyss itself is home to many monsters and other life forms, which makes trips to the abyss dangerous. However, the Abyss has an enigmatic “curse” which makes raiders experience deleterious effects when they attempt to ascend upwards. The deeper the expedition, the worse the effects.

The main character is Riko, an orphan girl whose mother is a famous raider. One day, when on a raid with others from the orphanage, Riko is attacked by a monster, but saved by a mysterious robotic boy with no memories of where he came from, or even why he attempted to save Riko. The robot boy then lived among the orphans, passing himself off as a human boy.

One day, a celebration was held in honor of Riko’s mom, who went on an expedition she did not return from. However, Riko did not give up hope that her mother was still alive. One day, she was shown a message from among her mother’s effects:

Come to the bottom. There I’ll be waiting.

If you guessed that Riko escaped with the robot boy into the depths of the abyss to reunite with her mother, knowing that she’s embarking on a journey from which she can never return, then you’re getting the hang of this “manga” thing.

As Riko and Reg journey through the Abyss, they encounter numerous life-forms that range in danger from benign to the kind of thing that even a man with a death wish would want to avoid. So nightmarish are the denizens, that this manga might even ruin leaves for you.

Much of the progression of the early story has to do with how the group copes with the dangers of the Abyss, as well as how they find the basics for survival, such as food, shelter, and water.

In the instances in which there is danger, there is a sense of something at stake, since Riko’s party isn’t just some assemblage of generic character classes (warrior, healer, wizard, etc.). Riko and her friends are dripping with personality, further supplemented by moments of levity which serve to further characterize the cast. Because, you know, just because the plot isn’t being advanced doesn’t mean the story isn’t being meaningful.

What’s more, there is a connotation of lasting consequence with every possible thing that could go wrong. For example, if someone were to fall over and hit their face on something, they might have to wear a bandage on their face for a very long time. If an artifact slips out of someone’s hand and they end up losing it, it’s gone. If someone ends up injured or poisoned, the agonizing choices that have to be made for one’s immediate survival are just the start of it.

And that’s just what nature has to throw at the heroes. Once other humans are involved, the stakes get higher over whether they are friend or foe. For example, once this guy starts showing up:

…That’s the last chance for anyone who is faint of heart to take a hike. Over the course of the series, the only one who has managed to outdo Bondrewd’s horrors was Bondrewd himself.

To describe the art style in just a few words, think Ichigo Machimaro meets Tony DiTerlizzi. The stylistic design of the characters is a stark contrast compared to how gorgeous the environments are, whether they are of the island town or the majestic landscapes of the deep abyss.

The way the characters are stylized seems to follow their intended effect. Children and more sympathetic characters tend to be portrayed with softer, rounder features, while adults generally have sharper, more angular features. While the manga obviously stars the children, the adults are in a class of their own, as they exude a certain world-weariness that would be difficult to find outside of fast-food staff.

One thing I found kinda surprising was that there was nudity. Not just that it was there, but also that it was treated as a matter-of-fact thing. It was mainly the tip-of-the-mountain that was showing; I didn’t see any tube steaks or roast beef sandwiches. But if you’re mature enough for boom sticks, grown-up beverages, and movies where things get killed, you could probably handle it.

Made in Abyss has an intellectual element, as well. A few volumes in, and the birth allegories start to become more obvious. And the more you think about it, the more you start to notice. Or is that confirmation bias at work?

From what I’ve seen so far (up to volume 9), this manga series seems excellent, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next. New volumes seem to come once every few months to about a year. That’s fine, considering that it’s more likely to be a better product if it’s not rushed. Still, volume 9 ended with a cliffhanger, which doesn’t do much to make waiting easy.

There is already an anime adaptation underway, but I’m kinda on-the-fence as to whether to give it a look. It’s not that I have a problem with knowing what’s going to happen; it’s that I know what parts of it might be difficult to watch. It’s one thing to read the difficult parts, but seeing them in motion might be emotionally draining.

But hey, the warnings aren’t to discourage you, they’re to make sure you’re mentally prepared. Still, Made in Abyss wasn’t made for everyone. Some audiences might find this one disturbing.

But now onto it’s score. Made in Abyss volumes 1-9 get a score of a satisfied Nanachi out of 10.

Which, as you might guess, would be a 10 out of 10. It’s outstanding.

By the way, I wonder whether Akihito Tsukushi has heard of Cave Story?

(The art provided in this review is snippets from the reviewed manga, to give an example of the work. These are used for review purposes, and therefore fall under Fair Use.)

Vogue Posts Article Questioning Whether Childbearing is Environmental Vandalism

There is an old technique used when questioning captured terrorists: While detained, they’d be exposed to news stories showing things going badly for their movement. This inspires a why-not-tell-all attitude in the terrorist that they might not have developed if not provided with this perspective.

Recently, legacy media outlets have come to the awareness that birth rates are falling to crisis levels. What’s more, the current government of China has come to this same awareness.

In light of these developments, the uber-environmentalist neo-eugenic depopulation movement has suddenly found itself under pressure, and we’re starting to see the quiet part spoken out loud.

A contributor to Vogue, Nell Frizzell, has straight-up declared her doubts as to whether her pregnancy was environmental vandalism, declaring in no uncertain terms that she viewed her first-world child in terms of the resources that he would eventually consume.

Does anyone have any doubt that this poor child will turn out normal?

Here’s a blurb from the article:

For the scientifically-engaged person, there are few questions more troubling when looking at the current climate emergency than that of having a baby. Whether your body throbs to reproduce, you passively believe that it is on the cards for you one day, or you actively seek to remain child-free, the declining health of the planet cannot help but factor in your thinking.

If by “scientifically-engaged” you mean someone who consumes data presented through the opaque lens of environmental activism, which is usually distorted or outright misleading.

If science did factor into a person’s thinking, their question is how to achieve the breakthroughs to ensure a brighter future for a child born into a world which, at the bare minimum, has the ethics to permit his birth.

And, make no mistake, if it so happens that the world is ethically-lacking, that concern takes priority over any scientific development. Every single time.

Nell is pretty far from the first person to make the claim to be scientific insofar as science can be tortured into a neo-eugenic worldview, but if I were to hear that she were the last, this would be news that I would welcome.

The food he ate, the nappies he wore, the electricity he would use; before he’d even started sitting up, my child would have already contributed far more to climate change than his counterpart in, say, Kerala or South Sudan.

But rather than make the move to South Sedan, where she and her child could consume few resources (largely because South Sudan has few resources), she prefers to remain in the developed world, where she can continue to consume as many resources for her child, and herself, as she wishes.

Apparently, Nell is okay with continuing to live in the world of Big Macs, high-speed internet, SUVs, and air conditioning, and I suspect that this has a lot to do with the fact that that very society provides her with a platform she can use to continually complain into the digital abyss on the off-chance that her inanities will be read by someone. And, to my vexation, I was among those who happened to find them.

What I’m about to share may not sound very romantic, but it’s an observation that’s easy to make. In today’s connected world, there’s a new form of “natural selection” which, rather than going specifically for the physically unfit, instead weeds out the gullible. Due to the nature of today’s world, the ones more likely to have their genes passed on to successive generations are those less likely to fall for bullshit.

Considering this, there is a certain irony in that the depopulation movement, due to its intrinsic nature, removes from the gene pool those who believe in it with sincerity.

They will be the architects of their own destruction.” -Grand Admiral Thrawn

CCP, Do You See What I See?

It looks like Western legacy media aren’t the only ones who see a problem with declining birth rates. So does the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and they are taking pro-active measures to combat the problem.

The CCP has apparently recognized that feminist groups are bad for marriage and birth rates. Now that they’re recognizing the looming crisis with declining birth rates, the CCP is reversing course the way one would expect communists to do: by banning the groups that are no longer serving their purpose.

Once the “useful idiots” are no longer useful, the very people that they’ve propped up have turned on them and dumpstered them. Who could have seen this coming?

In the western world, we’ve come to the understanding that birth rates decline as the prosperity of the people increases, paradoxical as it may seem. This means that if you’re one of those sickening eugenicists that think that there are getting to be too many human beings, your intentions would be more likely to come about if you were to just shut up, piss off, crawl into a corner, and leave the rest of us to act in our own interests. Which is exactly what we’d want you to do, in any case.

While I’m not a fan of the CCP, I do recognize that there is a certain efficiency with which they can reverse course. When the higher-ups decide that it’s time for society as a whole to change, they can just give the word, and everyone is expected to act in unison. The US is a much better place to live, but the government is huge, inefficient, and bureaucratic. It’s because of this that, when there is to be a change in focus, there can be some inertia. When there are a few government agencies involved in surveillance, for example, they might not all know to look for the same thing.

The recent discovery that birth rates are declining in most places in the world goes against the dated wisdom that population growth is exponential, and considering that birth rates are declining to crisis levels, it’s going to be interesting to see how various groups that have challenged traditional gender roles cope with shifting government interests. In some cases, it might mean that the left-wing groups that propped them up will no longer do so. But as we are now seeing out of governments which, like the CCP, act with little restraint in their own interests, to silence those groups is not off the table.

This development is going to be troubling, not just for feminists, but also for the various elements of the LGBT+ community. Particularly so for the Trans community, whose leaders, such as Rachel Levine, has advocated for sex reassignment surgery for children, permanently sterilizing vulnerable members of the population who are too young to fully understand the consequences of their decisions.

What’s interesting is that the CCP is now more strongly backing traditional families. It doesn’t seem like an accident, as traditional families are among the ingredients of healthier birth rates, others being strong, masculine men, and supportive, feminine women. These are the very virtues with which the gender fad movements have long held an adversarial relationship, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens to these movements when they no longer have government support.

“We cannot afford the luxury of men whose minds are so limited they cannot adapt to unexpected situations.” -Grand Admiral Thrawn

The US Post Office is Now Yet Another Surveillance Agency

A package that I’d ordered from Canada has been sitting in Chicago for about nine days. I’ve wondered what was going on, but now it seems like the Post Office has better things to do.

Like spying on your social media posts.

It seems like the Post Office is now yet another agency of the US government that spies on US citizens, because apparently it’s not enough that we also have the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. doing just that. But the Post Office? What gives?

Email and social media has done a lot to push the Post Office to obsolescence. People have even wondered when the institution would die out, altogether. But the thing about government is that it seldom allows itself to shrink, even when what’s propped up loses its value. That’s because the government is an employer, and employers are made up of people. It’s the tendency of people to stick to their own, and they usually prefer to keep their own employed, if they can help it.

Interestingly, some Republicans have expressed concern that the Post Office has taken to spying. No surprise there. Republicans are the party that has long run on the position of limiting government, and for there to be yet another addition to the collection of massively inefficient government agencies that spy on ordinary people is just superfluous.

The World Atlas lists the US Federal Government as the largest employer in the world. Yet, the government doesn’t usually produce its wealth by offering a service or product, as the Post Office does; rather, the government extracts its wealth through taxation. As a private employer, the Federal Government is an interesting case of a special interest which has an interest in maintaining high tax rates. Because the Republican party has historically favored reducing taxes and limiting government, things that government agencies can be threatened by, it’s easy to see how government agencies wouldn’t be politically impartial, and why the likes of the IRS have historically acted in clear left-wing interests (targeting conservative groups in particular).

And, what do you know, the surveillance is of social media posts, which were already a hostile environment overseen by social media outlets and a tech industry which already have a clear left-wing bias.

At this point, leftism has infiltrated society on just about every level, almost to the point that they can push through nearly anything on their agenda. The only things that slow them down in government is the courts (which they threaten to pack) and the filibuster (which they threaten to do away with). If leftists were to have their way with them, the inefficiency of the government would be the only thing that could slow them down.

And if you think that sounds ugly, think about what it would take for that to change.

Hey, Post Office, thanks for reading my stuff. I like having an audience and all, but do you think you can get back to shipping my package to me?