Category Archives: Culture

UPDATED (2/17): China’s Disease-Breeding, Barbaric Wet Markets Are Hell On Earth For Animals

China, Conservatism, Culture, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Media, Science

China’s “wet markets” are hell on earth for animals: They are tied up, stacked in cages and slaughtered on the spot for “freshness.”

Here is an objective news report-–yes, these still exist—of the nature of the typical Chinese “wet market” scene, where filth and unfathomable barbarity combine to breeds diseases like the Corona Virus syndrome, which came out of Wuhan Province.

AP: “Virus renews safety concerns about slaughtering wild animals

The Wuhan market was also like many other “wet markets” in Asia and elsewhere, where animals are tied up or stacked in cages. Activists say it’s difficult to distinguish between those that were legally farmed and those that may have been illegally hunted. The animals are often killed on site to ensure freshness. The messy mix raises the tiny odds that a new virus will jump to people handling the animals and start to spread, experts say.

“You’ve got live animals, so there’s feces everywhere. There’s blood because of people chopping them up,” said Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, which works to protect wildlife and public health from emerging diseases.

UPDATE (2/17): Where’s the moron US media?

Some ethical truths can’t be denied: However well-regulated and legal, abattoirs are also hell on earth for animals.

UPDATED (2/17): NEW COLUMN: Incompetent, Imperial Neocons And The Permanent State (Part 1)

Conservatism, Culture, Donald Trump, Government, Neoconservatism, Politics

New column is “Incompetent, Imperial Neocons And The Permanent State (Part 1).” It’s now on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

An excerpt:

Mr. French, on the other hand, appears to take a bow for a philosophical bent that belongs to classical conservatism: “The culture is upstream from politics.” Or, as Russell Kirk, the father of American conservatism, put it, “At heart, all political problems are moral and religious problems.”

Relinquish the ego. Quit letting your reptilian brain lead you, and allow, in a sentence or two, that the stuff “I THINK” in “MY WRITING,” to parrot Mr. French, belongs to a proud conservative tradition.

That tradition might need revision. For the world, political and cultural, has changed, metaphysically.

Although a man of the left, Canadian columnist Rick Salutin had, without doubt, advanced astute observations about the relationship between culture and politics. Because they comport with the metaphysical changes alluded to, Salutin’s observations are the better ones.

Back in 1998, Salutin offered up a prescient, if distressing, view of politics as culture, following “the capitulation of most sources of opposition to the neoconservative … agenda.”

Wrote Salutin: “In a culture of imagery and spectacle, politics has become mostly a show, entertainment.”

“[F]or the moment, politics in the democratic, electoral sense, is no longer about making choices [left or right] regarding social and economic direction.”

“What’s increasingly clear to voters is that they are not choosing the direction of their society—that has already been settled; they are voting for a cast of characters who will play the role of The Government on television and on [Capitol Hill] for the next [couple of] years.

The scrip is set, but you get to decide who plays the parts on TV.”

If Deep State durability has proven anything, it is that not even a fire-breathing political dragon like our president can fumigate the snake pit that is the Permanent State. …

… READ THE REST. The complete column is “Incompetent, Imperial Neocons And The Permanent State (Part 1).” It’s now on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

UPDATE (2/17): Glad you liked it!

Comedian Ricky Gervais Brings Back REAL, Roasting Satire

Celebrity, Comedy & Humor, Culture, Ethics, Film, Hollywood

Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue at the 77th annual Golden Globes was neither left nor right, it was just right: uproariously witty.

Here is the full transcript of Ricky Gervais’ roast of Hollywood, courtesy of The Daily Mail. The best parts I highlighted

Hello and welcome to the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel here in Los Angeles. I’m Ricky Gervais, thank you.

You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards, so I don’t care anymore. I’m joking. I never did. I’m joking, I never did. NBC clearly don’t care either — fifth time. I mean, Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars for some offensive tweets — hello?

Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English and they’ve no idea what Twitter is, so I got offered this gig by fax. Let’s go out with a bang, let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, so remember that.

But you all look lovely all dolled up. You came here in your limos. I came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman. No, shush. It’s her daughter I feel sorry for. OK? That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her. And her dad was in Wild Hogs.

Lots of big celebrities here tonight. Legends. Icons. This table alone — Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro … Baby Yoda. Oh, that’s Joe Pesci, sorry. I love you man. Don’t have me whacked. But tonight isn’t just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world. People from every background. They all have one thing in common: They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for ya. Talking of all you perverts, it was a big year for pedophile movies. Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, Two Popes. Shut up. Shut up. I don’t care. I don’t care.

Many talented people of color were snubbed in major categories. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about that. Hollywood Foreign press are all very racist. Fifth time. So. We were going to do an In-Memoriam this year, but when I saw the list of people who died, it wasn’t diverse enough. No, it was mostly white people and I thought, nah, not on my watch. Maybe next year. Let’s see what happens.

No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone is watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out, going, “Well done Netflix. You win everything. Good night.” But no, we got to drag it out for three hours. You could binge-watch the entire first season of Afterlife instead of watching this show. That’s a show about a man who wants to kill himself cause his wife dies of cancer and it’s still more fun than this. Spoiler alert, season two is on the way so in the end he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up. I know he’s your friend but I don’t care.

Seriously, most films are awful. Lazy. Remakes, sequels. I’ve heard a rumor there might be a sequel to Sophie’s Choice. I mean, that would just be Meryl just going, “Well, it’s gotta be this one then.” All the best actors have jumped to Netflix, HBO. And the actors who just do Hollywood movies now do fantasy-adventure nonsense. They wear masks and capes and really tight costumes. Their job isn’t acting anymore. It’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids, really. Have we got an award for most ripped junky? No point, we’d know who’d win that.

It’s the last time, who cares? Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. Well, you say you’re woke but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?

So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and f*** off, OK? It’s already three hours long. Right, let’s do the first award.

Chile: A Well-To-Do People That Wants MORE … Socialism, Not Capitalism

Capitalism, Culture, Democracy, Economy, Egalitarianism, Elections, Free Markets, Race, Socialism

Chile is the country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America,writes Pat Buchanan. “Yet the protesters have succeeded in forcing the elected government to capitulate and write a new constitution.”

The economic issues propelling workers into the streets to protest inequalities of wealth and income are occurring at a time when our world has never been more prosperous. …
Neither authoritarians nor the world’s democracies seem to have found a cure for the maladies that afflict our world’s unhappy citizens. …

What we have in reality is what Pat Buchanan has always warned of:

The ethnic and racial clashes within and between nations seem increasingly beyond the capacity of democratic regimes to resolve peacefully.
As for matters of fundamental belief — political, ideological, religious — the divides here, too, seem to be deepening and widening.

The Economist concurs that Chile has it quite good, writing that it “is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector”:

Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s centre-right president, at first took a tough line with the malcontents. “We are at war,” he declared during the rioting. The state’s response was heavy-handed. Although most of the deaths occurred because of arson …

What the people of Chile want, it would appear, is less capitalism and MORE socialism:

Under a model developed by free-market economists during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990, citizens are expected to save for their own retirement. … In many other countries, public pensions are financed by taxing current workers and giving the money to current pensioners—a system that comes under strain when the population ages. Chileans, by contrast, invest the money they save in privately managed funds. This system has helped Chile manage its public finances and encouraged the development of long-term capital markets, which in turn has boosted economic growth.

IS this good? You bet it’s good.

The conservative Mr Piñera is unlikely to scrap a system which in many ways has served Chile well. It is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector.

BUT the people are not interested.

* Image courtesy The Economist.