@George_E_Hale's banner p


insufferable blowhard

1 follower   follows 12 users  
joined 2022 September 04 19:24:43 UTC

The things you lean on / are things that don't last

Verified Email


User ID: 107


insufferable blowhard

1 follower   follows 12 users   joined 2022 September 04 19:24:43 UTC


The things you lean on / are things that don't last


User ID: 107

Verified Email

Yo, since you're calling me out: A) What post are you talking about where you "explained what the problem was"? I didn't see it or read it. Perhaps you're right that I could have or even should have. I didn't. You're assuming.

You're apparently pattern-matching me to someone who denies there's a problem with media. I do not deny this, as my post history indicates.

The initial post by @FaibleEstimeDeSoi was about video games and a black/white pairing, which didn't and still does not strike me as odd. The issue is not with one game. The issue is larger, as with the tide that goes out--it lowers all boats. For whatever reason I did not make that connection to the post and I felt the issue was with the interracial pairing in and of itself, not a symptom of a larger issue (i.e. focusing on one boat instead of the tide.)

Dase decided to go for it and get personal. That's what I take issue with--well, that and his general writing style, which I find tedious but not because I think he's a liar or cretin. I don't think either of those and he seems quite intelligent. He was also rude and thus far in his interactions with me does not seem to be interested in changing that tack. So be it.

I'm not blind and I'm not lying. I spent three years in Africa and most of my life in Alabama--black men with white women is a thing. That is the issue I was bringing up. I am not Gillitrut.

(Edit: I'm probably one of the most normie dudes in here and need to adjust my expectations. Absurd really how thin my skin is at my age.)

Strange to think that in a few years this space, too, will be a memory for most, possibly all of us. We'll move on to whatever (if we are lucky) and The Motte may or may not continue in some form, but not like this.

(edit: by "if we are lucky" I mean if we continue to live and have fulfilling lives where we interact socially)

Very first post I made here was on a related topic . I'm not blind to the idea of this propagandistic swing in media, not am I its defender in some sort of fair-is-fair way. I won't say "the way OP presented the point" because I seem to be the only one who misconstrued, rather "the way I took it" was a focus on one affair as a plot device that happened to be between a black man and white woman. That this has become a widely-played trope I have not myself perceived but I chalk that up to a certain isolation (obviously I don't live in a hole so not complete isolation). Mea culpa.

You may be right that this, along with my use of quotes, fired up a reaction. But so what? Part of the ethos here at least by my understanding is that we suppress the heat and aim for light, or at the very least keep it non-personal. I wasn't trying to piss anyone off despite suspicions otherwise, certainly not OP, who had the humility even to doubt whether his post was low effort (I think it was perfectly fine). Even here you've very clearly explained to me the issue with civility. In any case I've let this irk me way more than it's worth. Thank you for your input.

The relevant point is that this appears to be widespread, and I apparently, to echo the OP's post title haven't noticed, but then I see about 85% Asian (Japanese, more Korean now than previously) in my print ads, my commercials, my news, my tv shows, the Youtubers my sons watch. My consumption of media is probably, compared to that of most here, therefore skewed, or at least not the usual. Thus my reaction.

It may be that because of my physical distance from US advertising (I don't really have US commercials, do not see print ads or whatever is on billboards, etc.) I am out of touch to a degree on what is or isn't common in English language advertising.

I'm honestly not sure where your apparent hostility is coming from here. Obnoxiously obtuse? Jesus. I wrote a pretty benign comment that I didn't see how having a couple of characters where one was a white woman and the other a black man was in some way propaganda or odd. Were this everywhere, in every episode and story and book and TV show, sure it would be notably odd. Also, if this were a game made in Japan for Japanese people (a country where as you say I do live) I'd see it as a bit odd. The fact of the matter is, however, in the US and elsewhere (presumably the primary market for this game, Fallout, though I admittedly do not know and am assuming) these types of pairings do happen and have happened. It's not as if the characters are a trans woman and a gay man somehow finding love, where I'd think there'd be more of a point to be made.

While we're at it, your link to the tweet about IQs strikes me as dubious. Mankind Quarterly? Forgive me if I don't immediately rush out and subscribe. And hauling in the other ideas of propaganda re: girlbosses and dumb males (where I see the point, and agree) seems disingenuous of you. When I've read your comments elsewhere dealing with others you've seemed both better reasoned and more polite.

It's true I don't use terms like "miscegenation" and to me it's not something I give much thought to. I probably should assume that there is at least a certain number of posters on the Motte who think I'm dirtying the gene pool (presumably of the Japanese). It's a bit close to home for me to feel like having that conversation, however.

Barring that, however, normally, as people do on this forum, I'd be interested in discussing the topic with you. But as you're now suggesting I'm a liar and probably a cretin, you're probably right that conversation is hopeless.

Sure, but has anyone suggested that this is the most common or ideal pairing?

The white woman/black man "pairing" as you put it is not, as far as I am aware, a particularly new concept, though you may be correct in suggesting it has not long been mainstream in terms of characters in film (or games, or whatever, though I am out of my element there.)* In other words, while I do not deny that there may be propagandistic moves made by popular media in the service of progressive goals, and that often these moves are ham-fisted and disrupt story narrative, this does not seem like such an example to me. I agree with @Gillitrut in this regard, unsure where the propaganda angle is, unless seeing such an interracial coupling itself is jarring to you. (Again, based on my ignorance of this and pretty much all games I can't speak to how odd it is in that context.)

*Edit: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was released in 1967 and was presumably a shocker then.

  • -10

What is it that allows some of us to remember names and faces? In university I was roommates with a guy who had his own band and was very gregarious and beloved. I would regularly be out with him and people would approach, I'd whisper ("That's John Johnson you met him last year at X's party, he's with Debbie Debson she's Y's friend) and my friend would proceed to say their names at their greeting and thus become more beloved (I myself was not remembered by said John and Debbie).

I have been teaching for more than 20 years and I can name every student in my first class in Japan in 1998. I am not exaggerating. I have upwards of 300 students now and although classes began on April 2nd I know probably 60% of their names. I saw a girl (woman I suppose) whom I used to teach probably in 2010 the other day and although I would not have summoned her to memory had I not randomly run into her, I knew both her first and last (maiden now) names, and said them immediately. She did remember me by name, as well, but it's not so hard to remember the guy who stands up and lectures for 90 minutes twice a week.

Prosopagnosia is when you cannot recall faces. I suppose there's a lite version as well. I am whatever the opposite is.

Have never heard of this. Was this another splinter site that happened concurrently with The Motte's leaving reddit?

Okay we'll stay away from taste, I guess.

Far be it from me to force anyone into a discussion they find tedious. I would suggest that although I'm doubtless shaped by my American somewhat egalitarian upbringing in the 70s and 80s and therefore am steeped somewhat in an individualistic worldview, that doesn't make me blind or delusional. And it doesn't wipe from discussion the argument that individuals should have value outside their collective group. In any case cultures, like people, change. They're both fluid, at least over time. Presumably you agree with this. That doesn't mean you're not without a Russian identity (or whatever, I am assuming Russian), but I would suggest we are not intrinsically defined by nationalist or even cultural traits. You may reject this ability to transcend culture, I don't know. That's a big suitcase to unpack.

I live in a highly collectivist culture where people routinely fall back on Nihonjinron concepts and declare that Japanese are unique, for the same reasons you're describing. I know a girl who was born and raised here and speaks Japanese with the same degree of nativeness as her Japanese peers, but is also blonde and blue-eyed due to her parentage (both caucasian). The various arguments against belonging here (can't speak, weren't born here, don't understand Japanese culture, etc.) do not hold for her (although Japanese "blood" is also a criteria often suggested, Brazilians of Japanese parentage are often denied membership for the reasons of the previous parenthetical list, as are any children who do not have two Japanese parents, e.g. if one is Zainichi Korean). The lines always change, as the tribalist winds fluctuate for whatever is needed to keep the lines drawn. It's tiresome. I stopped caring long ago, though such attitudes still do, or will, no doubt affect my sons (whose mother is Japanese.)

The sort of essentialist view you're suggesting wipes actions and character from the equation, does it not? And in answer to the "what of it?" well, on the small scale quotidian stereotyping of people with whom you daily interact (not you, but one, with whom one daily interacts) and on the largest scale: War without sympathy for your enemy because fuck the Other.

I took it as a metaphor.

As I sit here of a Friday evening and reduce the bolognese sauce (avocado salad, a kind of coleslaw, buttered garlic baguette--these are the other parts of the dinner not the makeup of the sauce) I reflect that I have gained much from my time on the Motte. I don't know or interact with any of you on a personal level, but then I am in an environment where apart from my family I interact with precious few in that way (there's something called tatemae in Japan that means basically "outward face that you show to the world" that I keep on most always.) I probably express myself on this site more than anywhere else, in some ways. Though to be honest am probably polite here to an effete degree that belies my face-to-face persona, where I am an unremitting ass.

This to say I appreciate everyone here, even the wackadoos whose opinions I disagree with vehemently. Everyone here, regardless of viewpoint, seems really intelligent and talented at expressing themselves in writing. So thank you. And I mourn those who've left, or who rarely post for whatever reason, in particular a few people who I won't name.

Once again, not fun. But I appreciate all y'all's input and I value the active participation here. I disagree with those who've said this place has ossified.

Happy Friday, all.

Thank you for your response. It's true, I've made no argument, but I gave a reason why I felt to do so would be pointless. There's no reasoning one's way forward in this. You're dug in.

Still, I respect that you own up to a subjective viewpoint and stand by it resolutely. Few do.

I also admit to sentimentality, and a staunch view that Kulak rejects in his blogpost (or whatever we are calling substack posts), namely I think that we are all God's creatures, that we have value inherently as humans. And I believe this is true even when I personally find any particular person irredeemable. To me it the dismissal of an entire race, or large group, is outside my ability to sympathize. I just don't get it. Is not individual interaction relevant? Do you have no (Indian) friends or acquaintances whose benevolence (or whatever) gives you pause in your wholesale rejection? Is it so easy to categorize people into groups and be done with it?

I have lived since around the age of 21 in cultures not my own (a country in Africa, Japan) but I somehow assume you, as well, have had firsthand experiences on the ground, as it were, with, possibly, Indians, that have allowed you to form this worldview, or Weltanschauung as you say (though you use that to describe the other, not yourself.)

What do you have against a good curry, by the way? That seems an odd point to fixate on. What are you views on cilantro (not Indian, but disliked by many, particularly in Japan)?

I ask these questions but you've earlier expressed a desire to avoid elaboration or extended discussion on this topic, so if you don't want to say anymore, fine. Also if this response also doesn't pass muster, well. I'll try again, but a bit occupied at the moment.


Another swing against pedantry.

The French. Actually I don't hate any group, but there are one or two individuals out there that I have no use for. (I'm sure there would be more but something something Dunbar number.)

Upvotes don't necessarily mean "Agree with everything stated in the post", especially, possibly, with posts by Kulak, who can be relied upon to post passionately held, longform, brave, and often objectionable posts on a periodic basis. I could be wrong and there are several people who buy into the Indian hate, but that's not my experience here.

Edit: People are free to hate whoever the hell they want. Not trying to suggest there's a Motte consensus.

So if I'm getting you, your view is that the kind of music video you've linked is, in your view, not just distasteful to you personally, but is in fact objectively bad--bad as an adjective here not quite capturing the really badness of it. It's an abomination to proper values and taste. Ruskin would be spinning in-his-grave-bad. And further, the fact that such a video is popular (or this is how we are proceeding, because probably it's popular) is symptomatic of the badness of those who like it or watch it, or for whom it was meant, its target audience. Those people (Indians) are bad, too. But not only do they have poor musical taste, they're actually Bad. I am not using other adjectives here because I don't want to put words in your mouth. (You used garish, tacky, bitter, and one of my most loathed words: cringey or cringeworthy). You further suggest that this is not just a cultural difference between you and them. It's a deep gulf, a difference in fundamental make-up, something neurophysiological that causes them to be that way, a way that to you is revolting. (I am using that word but you didn't. But I think it's a fair assessment of what you are expressing--revulsion.) This same quality (if we can even use that word, maybe condition or state) in these repulsive beings is what also compels some of them to behave in unhygienic and woefully ill-mannered ways. It's just who they are, it's what they are.

If all of this is an accurate, perhaps less lyrical but more succinct crystallization of your views, I think I've got you. I disagree entirely. I also think sideswiping other users of the Motte to make a point is something we might do without and not be the less for it.

I don't think I'm going to convince you of anything and unless you invite that dialogue I won't even try. Please do however correct me if I've misconstrued your intent.

Thank you! I will have a go later.

wasn't describing the same viewpoint though

No, she was much more clear and readable, for one, and made reasonable points that could be supported. I appreciate that link, by the way, it was an interesting read. Am I correct that DLtD is formerly Ilforte? I remember that name from the reddit days, but I really need to start a notebook where I keep track of who is who and what post has made me remember them.

Interesting. I was under the impression from the finality of your earlier post (and its abrupt "You don't get it" rhetorical move) that you were suggesting insight into Japanese national character specifically. It seems you're just generalizing on the brutality of man during wartime, and suggesting in a deterministic way that we are all William Calley (or whoever) under the wrong circumstances. Correct me if I've misunderstood.

Care to elaborate?

I prefer @2rafa 's explanation of your viewpoint to your actual viewpoint, which I am not sure I even understand, mainly due to its vague word salad. I'm sure you have a point but I don't understand it yet beyond what seems to be a visceral disgust you have for India, and something to do with I presume Hinduism.

This "talking to the poor bastard" seems to me the point of the profession, or at least, to my mind, should be the pointy edge. The first step. The main thing.

I have precious little faith in psychologists, having known several in my life, but more in psychologists than therapists. Psychiatrists I would hold in highest regard; if there's a hierarchy in my mind they'd be up there at the top of the pyramid.

I suppose your speaking of cure here is relevant. There is this sense that we need cures and of course for many things cures are exactly what we need. I'm just as interested in causes and possible reversibility. Like when your liver is going, taking drugs to help the liver is less of a helpful strategy than quitting alcohol or whatever else you're doing to destroy your liver. That one is doing. Not you in particular.

I don't mean to come at you like this in any sort of aggressive way, I am just a skeptic of drugs in general, as I've said/written to you before.

Really? It takes all kinds, I guess. I was on the train this morning, enjoying a rare day of sunshine (it's been very rainy) and I had to stop the wave of nausea before the title card when I think I saw some kid fellating a dog. Maybe it wasn't a dog. Maybe he was biting. Biting is worse, but just barely. (Edit: Or is it? I don't even want to know.) The perverse part of my soul that I try to keep down as much as possible wanted to pause and rewind. Better Me won. I dragged the bar a bit and then saw what looked like a few snapshots of men with malformed faces, I guess to show, what, malformed faces are bad therefore Indians are bad? And a woman getting kicked very hard in the stomach to the point that she went flying. I saw a man dying as he was struck by a train.

I stopped after that. I probably didn't flinch, but revolted seems like the right word.

I stand behind the notion that you shouldn't dismiss a whole piece of art unless you've watched/read/listened to it in its entirety, so I won't dismiss it, but damn.