Thursday, March 12, 2020

Some Tab Clearing

     I’m in a “writer’s post partum” phase at the moment, as my Gentle Readers will surely understand, so for today, have a few squibs rather than another long essay.

1. Clowns Gotta Clown.

     The market for information is worldwide. That includes easily transmitted entertainment of all sorts. Which compels us to ask: Could John Oliver really be that stupid?

     A recent episode of “Last Week Tonight”, in which Oliver criticised the Indian government’s recent policies and its leader, Narendra Modi, never aired on Hotstar, which is the exclusive syndicating partner for most of HBO’s content in India. [The same episode is available unedited on YouTube.]

     Oliver also referenced an episode of the show from late last year where he had mocked Disney, a segment he said was cleverly edited before streaming in India. And then, another instance in a segment focused on China’s one-child policy in which he joked about Donald Duck’s penis. That was also edited before going up for streaming in India, Oliver said.

     “They cut out a joke about Mickey Mouse being a cocaine addict. Why would they do that? It’s hard to say. But it might be because Hotstar is owned by Disney and they seem extra sensitive to Disney references,” said Oliver.

     If I were responsible for protecting Disney’s worldwide reputation, I’d have censored the show in its entirety, canceled Oliver’s contracts with Disney, and arranged for the miscreant to be garroted in some quiet place. But this supposed funnyman can’t imagine why jokes about beloved cartoon characters or mockery of the premier of a nation of a billion-plus people don’t pass muster with its protectors. Then again, this is the man who said that America didn’t want Donald Trump to be president, isn’t it?

2. And Haters Gotta Hate.

     Some have nothing else:

     In his new opinion piece entitled “I tweeted ‘whiteness is terrorism’ and was condemned for it. Here’s why I’m right,” [Trinity College professor Johnny Eric] Williams writes that white is not a race but a socially constructed category designed to oppress minorities. He also denounced the concept of individualism in this context:
     But white supremacy is not merely confined to openly bigoted whites but also people who see themselves as individuals, rather than a member of a socially constructed racial group and system. Individualism denies the very existence of systemic white racism by reducing it to individual hate and discrimination. People immersed in individualism claim innocence or refuse to consider how the cultural environment of white supremacy we inhabit shapes our racial identities and world views and further informs how we perceive and interact with others within a hierarchical racial order. To overcome this obstacle, it is imperative that people who imagine themselves as white, grasp how their socialization into whiteness guarantees their participation in everyday systemic white racism. . . .

     Whiteness by its very definition and operation as a key element of white supremacy kills; it is mental and physical terrorism. To end the white terrorism that is directed at racially oppressed people here and in other nations, it is essential that self-identified whites and their whiteness collaborators among the racially oppressed confront their white problem head-on, unencumbered by racial comfort. Such comfortableness enables folks immersed in whiteness to disregard their complicity in systemic white racism, forestalling the destruction of white supremacy.

     You can’t get any more hateful or race-obsessed than that. But accuse Williams, a colored man, of racism? Of course not! Members of historically oppressed minorities can’t be racist! What’s the matter with you?

3. The Privatization of LEO.

     Just as with the privatization of access to low Earth orbit (LEO), private footholds in that realm are on their way:

     I learned today that SpaceX has signed a contract with Axiom Space to provide launches for space tourists to the International Space Station using their Crew Dragon capsule, perhaps as early as a year from now. These will be private citizens flying a private company's spacecraft, a world's first. The first flight of Crew Dragon carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS for the agency is still looking to be No Earlier Than early May. This comes less than three weeks after SpaceX and another company, Space Adventures, revealed tentative plans to launch space tourists on a record-breaking Crew Dragon flight, using the Crew Dragon to take tourists to orbital heights only surpassed by a small number of flights in the Gemini and Apollo programs.

     Then I learned that Axiom has been talking about creating a private space station for years - that article is dated 2017. Their plans aren't a completely independent station the size of the ISS, that would mean raising billions of dollars, but a module that could become part of the ISS, and that would be leased to anyone who had work they need that can best be done in space.

     Now, this is only a first step, but it’s an important one. The most difficult challenges of LEO tenancy include long-duration life support. Others, including LEO access and mastery of the orbital mechanics involved, are of at least equal importance but are already being addressed. However, you can count on the governments of the world to oppose a private foothold in LEO.

     LEO is the ultimate "high ground" over Earth-based conflicts, and every spacefaring government will want a monopoly over it. They will not want private parties to have free access to it. The argument will (of course) be about “national security.”

     Way back in the Paleolithic Era – i.e., 1967 – writer J. W. Schutz foresaw this eventuality. His story “The Bubble” is a half-monitory note about the subject. If you’d like a copy of that story, comment to that effect here -- and include a functional email address!

4. A Courageous Young Woman.

     This sort of courage deserves widespread acknolwledgement:

     Evita Duffy, a conservative Hispanic woman who attends the University of Chicago, signed up for the University’s Institute of Politics (IOP) to participate in a digital initiative, called “I vote because…,”

     Evita Duffy, a conservative Hispanic woman who attends the University of Chicago, signed up for the University’s Institute of Politics (IOP) to participate in a digital initiative, called “I vote because…,”

     The examples they gave were left-wing and included Medicare for All and children shouldn’t be kept in cages.

     Expecting a lively debate, she wrote, “I vote because the coronavirus won’t destroy America, but socialism will.”

     A believer in free speech, she never expected the response she got.

     Her fellow students attacked, “my character, my intellect, my family, my appearance, and even threatened me with physical violence, using foul and offensive language. I was called a racist and a xenophobe. Some compared me to animals. Others declared that they would personally stop me from voting, and many defended the personal attacks, saying I deserved to be bullied and that I don’t belong at the University of Chicago on account of my beliefs. I was told by many that I was the most hated person on campus. It was frightening. It was also hurtful since some of the attacks came from people I considered friends.”

     “The fact is, as awful as the coronavirus is, killing a total of 12 people nationwide and over 3,000 globally, its number of victims pales in comparison to the tens of millions of people who have died at the hands of socialism and communism,” she writes in an article at ‘The Chicago Maroon.’

     One student said she was entitled “to a brick wall,” in other words, execution if she doesn’t believe in a system — socialism — “that eliminates violence on a systemic level or face the consequences.”

     Once more, with feeling:

The fascists cannot argue, so they kill. – Victor Marguerite

     And university campuses, sadly now including the University of Chicago, have been entirely colonized by the ultra-fascist Left. I hope Miss Duffy has some reliable protectors.

5. Feminism Is Marxian Socialism Writ Small.

     This hardly requires comment from me:

     When I first stumbled upon this Vice article titled “We Can't Have a Feminist Future Without Abolishing the Family,” I thought this was just another story about a lunatic, fringe, radical feminist. Vice is, after all, struggling to keep its lights on, so naturally they would resort to sensationalist click-bait type of stories in order to bolster their readership. Nothing sounds more outrageous than a feature story on a feminist thinker who calls for the abolishment of families, as well as the right to abortion (specifically as the justifiable killing of babies).

     Wait, what?

     As I dug deeper into that story, I came across feminist thinker Sophie Lewis’s radical defense of the right to abortion from the position of actually viewing it as a justifiable act of killing a human life. Pretty much like Communist China’s justification of forced abortion as they implemented their one-child policy.

     Please read it all, especially if you’re an American woman who’s ever flirted with the possibility of calling yourself a feminist.

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. It’s time for me to go back to “Marvin the Depressive Robot”mode for a while. Have a nice Thursday.


Linda Fox said...

I'd like to read The Bubble.

B Woodman said...

Mr Porretto
No bombs. I promise.
I also would like to read The Bubble.
I am a self admitted SciFi nerd and junkie since grade school, and found the early RAH juvies (among other authors and books) on the school library shelves.

Thank you
Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman
(I checked the box "email followup comments to....." I hope that suffices for the email address you requested)

Francis W. Porretto said...

BWood: sadly, Blogger / Google prevents me from accessing your email address through the blog. Just email me at morelonhouse -at- optonline -dot- net and all will be well.