Japanese invasion

ORLANDO

It’s difficult to describe just how weird this band is, but let’s give it a try: Three young Japanese women dressed in matching black frilly party dresses, doing choreographed dance moves and singing — in Japanese — in front of a hard metal band, all of whom are dressed in ankle-length white robes and wearing white face paint. Someone described the resulting sound as Elmo fronting Metallica, but that doesn’t quite capture the weirdness of Babymetal. When the band broke into a couple bars of “Sweet Home Alabama,” maximum weirdness was achieved. Oh yeah, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were there, too.

JACKSONVILLE

Light shows aside, did the Chilis get as weird as they used to back in their punk-funk heyday? Nah. These are older, gentler Chili Peppers, distinguished elder statemen of rock, men who cordially invited former drummer Jack Irons to kick off the night with a 20-minute solo set. The group that really brought the battiness was opening act Babymetal, a Japanese pop-metal phenomenon combining an assembly-line girl group with white-robed thrash metal demons. Technically engrossing, in terms of both metal musicianship and ritualistic choreographic discipline, it was exactly the sort of fantastical freak show that might’ve accompanied the Chilis on some sweaty Lollapalooza back in the day. The heck if they didn’t have the arena lit up and singing on their anthemic Karate.

CHARLOTTE

On the subject of opening acts, Irons’s solo drumming didn’t leave much of an impression on me… but Babymetal? I don’t think I’ll ever forget them. You should do your own poking around about this Japanese girl group/(very) heavy metal band, but let’s just say it’s like Dr. Frankenstein stitched together parts of Britney Spears, Megadeth, Nintendo’s stupidest games, “The Ghost in the Shell” and “Saturday Night Live.” I scratched my head, a lot. I laughed, a lot. But I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, and on the drive home after the show, it was Babymetal I was listening to on Spotify, not the Chili Peppers. Mostly, I think, because I needed to make sure I hadn’t dreamed the whole thing.


MIAMI


You think it can’t get any crazier? Babymetal picked up four new additions: Nate-METAL, J-METAL, Flea-METAL and Chad-METAL.




AKASAKA – TOKYO – NAGOYA – OSAKA

J-pop metal group BABYMETAL have parlayed their meteoric rise into tour dates alongside Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now, they’ve announced plans for their very own Five Fox Festival set to take place in Japan over nine days this summer. In an interesting twist that could only come from BABYMETAL, there are strict conditions required to attend each of these dates. Specifically, the festival is broken down into categories by age group, gender, and dress code. For example, one date is reserved exclusively for males, another for females, and another for teenagers. Even more randomly is the day when only elementary school children and people over the age of 60 (um, what?) will be granted admittance. 


I have to admit, this is the most tempted I have been to return to Nagoya in decades.


Antifa and the unamenable authority

Antifa is upset about the fact that the Alt-Right is both a) law-abiding and b) working closely with the police to disrupt their criminal and terrorist activities.

Recently, Denver’s antifascists kicked off what will hopefully be an aggressive campaign against alt-right infiltration of their community. During a demonstration against Turning Point USA and their guest speaker, Ivan Throne, five antifascists were arrested, at least three of whom spent the night in jail. Independent media group Unicorn Riot was there to capture the unfolding events.

As part of their coverage and analysis, UR mentioned a convoluted tangle of associations between the police and the conference attendees, which vaguely hints at underlying conflicts of interest for law enforcement officials who defend pro-Trump individuals and organizations.

The Denver Police Department appears to, at the very least, have a vested interest in pushing the agenda of the Trump administration, and therefore its supporters. But this is no dimly-lit conspiracy orchestrated behind closed doors; this is the expected, natural course of events during times of proletarian insurgency and fascist uprising, demonstrated throughout the 20th century. To understand this dynamic, the following essay will vivisect what will be referred to hereafter as “essential collusion,” a repressive form of symbiosis between the state, a far-right entity, and the public supporters of both.

It might seem a bit ironic that the state-worshippers of the Left are attempting to complain about the state actually fulfilling its primary role of maintaining public order, but then, if they were intellectually coherent, they wouldn’t be antifa. And nothing upsets leftists and SJWs like the knowledge that the authorities aren’t running cover for them.

They’re particularly concerned about Ivan Throne and Violent Solutions, because they know that they can’t operate effectively if they are systematically unmasked and identified.

Most recently, Ivan has unveiled a project entitled “Violent Solutions,” which at first analysis appears to merely be a database through which antifascists will be identified and reported to the FBI. Although mostly empty bluster (like everything Ivan does), this eventuality presents a unique threat to Antifa in Trump’s America: this is a concrete example of essential collusion between the state and the far-right. Communication between America’s police, military, and intelligence community is at an all-time high, with various state organs sharing information even with completely unrelated sister forces. Arrests are made public, with the suspect’s full name handed out to multiple agencies and, most importantly, to the alt-right, whose main weapon continues to be the threat of doxxing. 

It’s cute that they think “the threat of doxxing” is our main weapon. Sure, doxxing is probably sufficient to get Mommy and Daddy to cut them off, or for their university to terminate their part-time teaching contract, but that’s mostly projection on their part. It’s also amusing that they can’t resist their urge to minimize and discredit even while trying to paint the subject as a dire and pressing threat.

No doubt the police will be interested to know that antifa has concluded that, like Black Lives Matter, they have no option but to wage war against the police.

There is no plausible route forward that does not include, not just resisting, but actively opposing the efforts of the police. Not only are they vocally supported by the regime, but the very authority with which they simultaneously abet the alt-right while restraining social movements is granted by the state itself. Their monopoly on violence, their access to military equipment, their communication with intelligence agencies, and their carte blanche regarding brutality are symptomatic of their ultimate function: maintaining the status quo.


Failure at Fox News

As a general rule, when your management decisions are being met by the news that your competitors “smell blood in the water” and “are moving to take advantage”, you should probably rethink your overall strategy:

The profitable, influential, seemingly impregnable Fox News is suddenly vulnerable.

In a massive disruption for right-wing media, Fox talent is on the market, the purge of the old-boy clique may continue, and there’s huge internal paranoia about further lawsuits and revelations.

On top of that, there are episodic pushes from the next generation of Murdoch leadership for changes in culture and personality.

So at a time when all of cable is vulnerable as viewer habits change, Fox is caught between the America-first instincts of its base viewers, and the globalist impulses for Rupert Murdoch’s sons.

A woman to run Fox News? The Hollywood Reporter reports that James and Lachlan Murdoch have quietly put out feelers for a new head of Fox News to replace Bill Shine, the Roger Ailes consigliere.

“[T]he preference … is that the new leader be female.”

And competitors are moving to take advantage.

Perhaps they could hire Marissa Mayer. I understand she is available these days.


Why aren’t YOU buying ebooks?

Ebooks sales have declined over the last two years. While Castalia has been growing 100 percent year-on-year for more than six straight months, we have seen our ebook sales decline in April, possibly because we haven’t released anything new in ebook – although John C. Wright’s City Beyond Time is now available in trade paperback.

Britons are abandoning the ebook at an alarming rate with sales of consumer titles down almost a fifth last year, as “screen fatigue” helped fuel a five-year high in printed book sales. Sales of consumer ebooks plunged 17% to £204m last year, the lowest level since 2011 – the year the ebook craze took off as Jeff Bezos’ market-dominating Amazon Kindle took the UK by storm.

It is the second year running that sales of consumer ebooks – the biggest segment of the £538m ebook market, which fell 3% last year – have slumped as commuters, holidaymakers and leisure readers shelve digital editions in favour of good old fashioned print novels.

“I wouldn’t say that the ebook dream is over but people are clearly making decisions on when they want to spend time with their screens,” says Stephen Lotinga, chief exeutive of the Publishers Association, which published its annual yearbook on Thursday.

“There is generally a sense that people are now getting screen tiredness, or fatigue, from so many devices being used, watched or looked at in their week. [Printed] books provide an opportunity to step away from that.”

Sales of consumer ebooks hit a high water mark of £275m in 2014, when they accounted for half of the overall ebook market. The decline in consumer ebooks has been led by a slump in sales of the most popular segment, fiction, which plummeted 16% to £165m last year.

Are we putting out too many books too fast? Are we not putting out enough new books? Is it hatred for Amazon? More than enough Kindle Unlimited? Or are people simply getting tired of reading books on screen? While we’ve seen growth on the print side, it’s not enough to support the theory that people are switching from ebook to print.

This is not a complaint, you understand. We are profoundly grateful for the staunch support we have enjoyed from Castalia House’s readers, and we are striving to improve our catalog as it grows. Not every book is going to be a great one, but I believe that our percentage of “yes, that book was worth reading and I’m glad I read it” is relatively high for the publishing industry.

Anyhow, if you haven’t delved into Selenoth yet, perhaps Didact Reach’s reaction to A Sea of Skulls will convince you to do so:

Having read through your superb new book, A Sea of Skulls, right at the tail end of last year, I found myself left with more than a few questions as to how the overall plot of the Arts of Dark and Light series tied together. And so I went back and re-read A Throne of Bones last week, which I had reviewed back when it was released, to fill in my remaining gaps in memory.

I was truly delighted to find that the first book was actually even better after reading its sequel, four years later. Having finished it off, I went through ASOS again in fairly record time as well, and am now fully convinced that what you have created will stand the test of time as one of the best high-fantasy series ever written. I stand by my opinion that you have surpassed George Rape Rape Martin and left him panting and wheezing in the dust.

Overwrought and excessive praise from a fanboy? Or well-merited approbation? There is really only one way to find out.


Brainstorm tomorrow

I’ll send out the invites tomorrow morning, but this is a head’s up that we’ll be doing the Closed Brainstorm for April tomorrow night. We’re going to discuss two of our upcoming games and Brainstormers will be able to access the playable pre-alpha of one of them.


The omni-nationalist option

Omni-nationalism is not a zero-sum game. Your nation does not have to lose in order for my nation to survive and thrive.

Imperialism is a zero-sum game. Civic nationalism is a zero-sum game. In both cases, a nation has to lose in order for another nation to benefit.

And both multiculturalism and globalism are negative sum games where almost every nation loses.


Hey, I don’t criticize YOUR hobbies

This is really the last chance we have short of a “mountains of skulls.” 

He says that like it’s a bad thing. Some people collect stamps, some people collect shells, some people collect other things. I just happen to find the collecting, and sorting, and stacking to be a peaceful and relaxing pastime after a long day of tormenting SJWs and directing raids into enemy territory.


Immigration and disease

A measles outbreak in Minnesota is the direct consequence of immigration:

An outbreak of measles is sweeping through a community of Somali refugees in Minnesota and the growing number of cases may be starting to test the limits of the Hennepin County healthcare system.

According to reports from the health commissioner’s office, there are now 30 cases of children in Hennepin County who have been diagnosed with measles, and 28 of them are Somali children who have not been vaccinated. All of the cases involve children 5 years of age and younger.

There have been 10 new cases of measles reported in Hennepin County in just the last four days. What’s worse, the outbreak has now spread to Ramsey and Stearns counties, where two more cases have now been reported, making a total of 32 cases in Minnesota as of 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The first Minnesota case was reported in March and has been steadily growing each week. It is the worst measles outbreak in Hennepin County, which includes the city of Minneapolis, since 2011, when 26 cases were reported. That outbreak also involved unvaccinated Somali children.

“Eleven of the 30 children have been hospitalized,” Doug Schultz, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health, told WND. He said he did not know how many of those cases have required intensive-care treatment. “But it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some,” he said.

WND received unconfirmed reports Friday that pediatric cancer treatments at Children’s Hospital Minneapolis were postponed Thursday due to the presence of measles patients at the hospital.

The parents of the cancer patients either “opted out” of their treatments when they were told of the measles outbreak, or had their treatments postponed, a healthcare worker told WND….

Measles were declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, But Minnesota and other states see sporadic cases, typically linked to international travel and the influx of Third World refugees and asylum seekers.

Now, we’re told that it is immoral for parents not to vaccinate their children, even when there is almost zero statistical risk of them contracting the diseases that are vaccinated against and there is a small, but real risk of harm from the vaccines.

How, then, can anyone possibly argue that immigration is moral when it clearly poses a direct threat to the health of the native population? And what is the point of working to eliminate diseases if you are simply going to import them later?


Mailvox: moderates never learn

You don’t win by running from your extremists and stabbing them in the back in order to try to win the approval of the center. See: Sinn Fein. And yet, it appears elements of the Alt-Lite intend to make exactly the same mistake that Bill Buckley and his followers did when they banished dissidents from the conservative movement and created the Alt-Right in the first place. A report from Berkeley from someone who has been active there since the start:

Antifa’s tactics rely heavily on police non-involvement. In this case, police arrested Antifa wearing masks and also patrolled the nearest parking garage, allegedly catching a truck of Antifa with explosives as a result. They also did NOT disarm our side nearly as much and allowed us to wear masks since they weren’t for identity concealment.

While Antifa’s tactics are somewhat sophisticated, they don’t appear to be flexible or adaptive. 2/1, 3/4, 4/15, and 4/27 were all the same. There were more Antifa present than a first glance suggests, as many of them came in quietly to check out our supplies and our numbers. They must have decided we were too well prepared to attack, at least without their explosives.

One big question of the day was who would the 2 PM start time hurt more: us or them? There are various factors, so can’t say for sure, but it would appear to have hurt them more. The numbers we got were key, but that may not be repeatable as the urgency will fade the longer we go without violent confrontation.

I see a disconnect between the rank and file and the leadership, particularly the Oath Keepers and Kyle Chapman. The rally attendees are mostly there to push back and to support free speech. They either don’t mind or LOVE Nathan Damigo and the TRS/IE/TDS guys, who literally saved lives on 4/15. Kyle and the OK, on the other hand, actively conspire to prevent any white nationalists from speaking on the open mic and don’t want them at the events.

For now, no question, everyone is following Kyle, which makes perfect sense. So far we have the fighters, the medics, and the lawyers working under Kyle’s banner.

There’s a delegation issue on our side, likely the result of not yet knowing who can be trusted to get things done. I do my own thing with my own group but found it was very difficult to make use of volunteers who didn’t have an extraordinary amount of personal initiative bc every decision had to be run by Kyle and Kyle never had time to respond.

The Oath Keepers are a pain in the ass to work with. There was some confusion in the morning bc they were telling people that “the neo-nazis” had been arrested, giving the impression it was Nathan’s group. Turns out they use neo-nazi as an all-purpose slur and it was actually Antifa who were arrested. In general the OK have survived by being extremely decorous when it comes to the law, so they are basically the nagging mom on the scene, “I don’t like this group, I don’t like that group. You can’t do X, can’t do Y [when actually X and Y are perfectly legal].” Understandable but annoying.

I didn’t see this “Millennials vs Boomers” thing at all at this event. The Boomers who showed up are much further right than the youngins. I’m curious to see what comes out of the ghetto going forward. After both events, I ended up talking with young black men from Oakland who consume a ton of YouTube and were hella woke, perfectly happy to embrace TDS guys bc they said people in the hood are sick of the discivic antics of Antifa and BLM.

They aren’t the only Alt-Lite group about which I’ve heard the same failed strategy of running to the center being embraced. The thing that is so stupid about the strategy is that it is bound to fail because it is based on a false assumption that people want to be chased rather than led. The moderate conceptual model can’t explain why Ronald Reagan got more votes, and was more popular, than the more moderate George Bush. They can’t understand why people will respond so much more positively to those whose nationalism is outside the framework that the mainstream media deems to be reasonable. They can’t understand what Osama bin Laden meant by “the strong horse”.

And they’ll never see it coming when, like the Tea Party, they suddenly find that the parade they think they are leading has abruptly gone in another direction. If it didn’t work for the mainstream media, if it didn’t work for the American political establishment, if it didn’t work for the British political establishment, or for the European political establishments, it certainly isn’t going to work for them. These massive waves of social mood cannot be managed, muzzled, or controlled.

I appreciate what the moderates of the Alt-Lite are trying to accomplish, but the current trend is very clear. Nationalism is rising. Not civic nationalism, not paperwork nationalism, not state patriotism, not any other facsimile, but real, genuine, linguistic-religious-genetic nationalism. And the post-It’s a Small World Happy Time Credit Boom pendulum has barely even begun swinging back. Anyone and anything that stands in the way of that is going to find itself going by the wayside sooner or later.

Omni-nationalism, not civic nationalism or imperialism, much less multiculturalism or globalism, is the future. The world will be a confederation of nations, not a global federation of denationalized, deracinated, demoralized states. Which, of course, is why the Alt-Right is going to subsume the Alt-Lite, at least, those elements which don’t wind up drifting to the Left like the Never Trumpers did.

It is, of course, more than a bit ironic that self-appointed “free speech advocates” are themselves attempting to prevent others from speaking. You’d think people so obsessed with optics would be capable of grasping that they are creating a serious credibility problem for themselves.

UPDATE: To quote Cernovich, few understand this. Almost all the rank and file and 100% of those vying for leadership positions believe appealing to the center is the key. Long run, it won’t matter.

Ye cats. To think some still can’t understand why I have zero interest in leading anyone anywhere. MPAI. If you learn nothing else here, remember that.


Rape Rape can’t finish

In light of new rumors concerning the completion of The Winds of Winter, a number of people have been reminding me that I have been predicting that George Martin would not be able to finish A Song of Ice and Fire for several years now.


I generally enjoy the Fire and Ice series, but I thought the last book, divided into two, bordered on the tedious and didn’t advance the story much. Like pitchers, writers tend to lose their fastball abruptly, and often without any warning. I suspect Martin’s inability to finish the book in a reasonable time frame after turning in a relatively mediocre, (in comparison with the standard he’d previously set, you understand) prior novel doesn’t bode well for A Dance with Dragons, but I will be pleased to be proved wrong in July.
– March 4, 2011

At this point, our best hope for ever seeing the series resolved may be for him to kick off sometime after the next book is released, somehow leading to me being asked to finish the series by Harper Collins.  I’ll have to think about how I’d go about fixing all the unnecessary loose ends he created in tying the Mereen Knot, but I think the first thing I would do is kill off Reek and the Bastard of Bolton in an unfortunate accident involving chicken bones, a rich cheese sauce, and a sadistic feast-orgy.
– May 6, 2013

Of course, now that many readers are comparing Arts of Dark and Light favorably with A Song of Ice and Fire, I’d much rather finish my own series than clean up after the gargantuan hash Martin has made of his own books, but apparently someone else is willing to attempt to clean out the fat man’s stables:

George R.R. Martin’s “The Winds of Winter” is one of the highly-anticipated novels and fans are hoping to get their hands on it this year. It is the sixth novel in the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” and HBO has previously hinted that it’s one of the priorities as a wild card. Recent reports say that the author has been busy finishing a charity work as well as a film studio in Santa Fe, Mexico. However, a new report is claiming that “American Gods” author, Neil Gaiman is now the one writing the novel on Martin’s behalf.

Earlier reports from Celebeat suggest that “The Winds of Winter” might be out in June, which is at least a month before “Game of Thrones” season 7 premieres on July 16. It is said that Martin is just finishing a charity work and then he will focus on writing the novel. Now, it is said that Gaiman has been spotted at Martin’s hometown many times, leading fans to believe that he has been writing the novel.

There are also reports suggesting that Gaiman might be Martin’s editor for “The Winds of Winter” and this could be the reason of his visits at Martin’s hometown. However, these claims are yet to be confirmed and the fans should content themselves for now that the novel should be out within this year. Apparently, Martin is busy at the moment with his film studio in Mexico, which will be available to Hollywood production as well as film entrepreneurs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that “The Winds of Winter” author’s film studio is housed in a 30,000 square-foot non-profit building in Santa Fe, Mexico. Martin has previously indicated in his blog that he is still focused on a different project, but has made progress in the novel. He also said that he will announce the completion and delivery of the novel.

I have to admit, I laughed at the idea that Martin has been reduced to resorting to a ghostwriter in order to simply complete his own series. How pathetic is that? At least Robert Jordan had the excuse of being dead. The American Tolkien indeed….