Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Prologue: America is Liar Country

You can tell America is fucked because people like stonetoss get popular. 

The secret to his success is clear: he's right-wing, not afraid to tell some of the truth, but relatively mild mannered. Serves an underserved market but doesn't want to make too much of a fuss.

For contrast, I say violence is very obviously the answer. It is rare when a criminal doesn't deserve the death penalty. Any country which doesn't lay waste to its criminals will end up Americanized in one way or another.

Stonetoss endorsed Invincible. He said it was good, though somewhat Woke-ized. Problem: [good] is not the right description for a train crash. Fascinating, yes, but after a short time watching it becomes perverse at best. Invincible has no likeable, competent, or even nice characters. There's a noticeable trend toward portraying more-powerful as more-asshat. The most sympathetic character is literally a demon. Bit of a hint. 

Another hint: lots of gore, entirely gratuitous. You know how it's fun when you pop a demon in DOOM? They have a satisfying death sound and animation. In Invincible the folks going pop are instead innocents. The target audience likes seeing people die messily, especially people who don't deserve it. It is not there to portray the reality of combat or war. It's gory for fun. You can tell for sure because it's hardly impossible to do both, but Invincible sticks to the gratuitous. 

Just because: imagine an uncensored, anatomically-correct Wolverine show. Horrible, educational, fun if you're into that. Can portray the reality of modern weapons and poor tactics on Wolverine without the show ending that episode, and likewise can portray the real effects of Wolverine winning a fight with his claws without having to make every enemy a robot. Invincible's protagonist is, predictably, almost invincible. And wins using sanitized punching. His psychology is all wrong too. E.g. gets PTSD. Next day, over PTSD. He got a pep talk, you see.

Spoiler: the first episode contains a mass murder by a traitor. More spoiler: eventually the traitor gets away with it, finding redemption (probably, I'm not going to check the details). "Nolan is subsequently crowned as ruler of the Viltrumite Empire." Invincible is especially kind to the vile, and vile to the kind. At least when Game of Thrones - another ode to sadism - does this sort of thing, it portrays it as the result of a crapsack world. Invincible is straight sympathetic to the worst of humanity, and only the worst.

Liking this sewage is not good enough. It is not even remotely good enough.

The people who follow stonetoss are not doing so by mistake. Stonetoss' endorsement of Invincible is not some kind of slip-up or error. Stonetoss is there to reassure "decent" people that they're "decent" even if they're "right"-wing. They want to rehabilitate criminals instead of executing them. That's how you know they're "nice" people.

It's well-drawn though. In places, at least.


Alrenous said...

GoT is instead propaganda making sure nobody realizes the middle ages were much less crapsack than America. If you could feel what it was like to live in the middle ages and compare it to what America feels like, you would abandon America without hesitation. Your little voice tells you this, and tells TV producers the same, which is why they know they need to drown out that voice with prime-time TV.

P.S. Nick Land is also aware of several of these unfavourable pathos-comparisons, which is why he refuses to acknowledge that consciousness is real. If they're spurious they don't need to be addressed.

Alrenous said...

Bad habit: I keep implying things I should state.
TV producers have a wealth of shows they could pick up. They pick up GoT because drowning out the instinctual affection for the middle ages gets to the top of their priority list. This mechanic is what defines pop culture in America. America does sometimes produce worthwhile art, but it will never get promoted. By contrast, a real country has the opposite mechanic, since they can celebrate what they're in fact doing, rather than having to constantly denigrate those who compare favourably.

Moldbug also benefits from this. Merely a particularly hard variety of copium, for folks who need to be reassured that they're tough-minded.

Parisian said...

Nick Land is also aware of several of these unfavourable pathos-comparisons, which is why he refuses to acknowledge that consciousness is real. If they're spurious they don't need to be addressed.

I read this over and over, but am still not sure how it follows that the "unfavourable pathos-comparisons" would make him think consciousness is not real. Would the other way be seeing that, although different, one was not less favourable than the other? Would he not want to address them because something other than ever-faster deterioration might be reversed, or at least slowed? If consciousness is real, is he actually capable of thinking it isn't, or does he want to think it isn't (he's been something of a chameleon, to say the least, over the years, so I have never been sure what he thinks.)

I think I've heard throughout my semi-adult and then adult life that "consciousness is there, but neuro-transmitters", etc., but that doesn't seem to make it real or not. I suppose the common perception is that it must be real because it seems like it is, and nothing else does.

I recall your saying something about how he thought *the 1900s* were the more realized time, and I think you said something to indicate you agreed. I think of the 18th c. among recent times, but what I've recently read of the Knossos Palatial Civilization in the Minoan Civilization sounds rather awesomely attractive and rather lusty in various ways. I don't really know enough about the Middle Ages except Gregorian Chant, Organum, and Chartres and Notre-Dame and the others to have an idea of what the Middle Ages were like, because I've never thought to be interested in them compared to other periods. You must have if you think that life then would have been particularly good or much better.

I guess I don't understand why you think consciousness is real (I think you've indicated before that you do) and he doesn't (I didn't know he did think that.)

Alrenous said...

The term [pathetic] is supposed to refer to that which has pathos, emotional appeal, as opposed to ethical appeal or logical appeal.

Hume was correct*, IQ is there to serve the passions. Having unlimited IQ is useless if your passions are disordered. Nick believes unlimited IQ would rectify the passions, but this is cope. I'm not 100% sure why he doesn't study how to rectify passions, primarily Stoicism.

*(Which is a rhetorically useful thing to say despite the fact Hume never wrote proofs and was thus scholastically worthless.)

Parisian said...

I thought that was what you meant from early on (this session, starting about mid-fall, I think?) I was surprised you said it, and had somehow assumed you agreed with him that it was only IQ. Isn't the drive toward accelerationism as destruction something he actually likes to see (I mean to a greater degree than I thoroughly enjoyed the zigzag boat, the hilarious way it 'didn't fit', and signified *pain* in an almost overt, clumsy-symmetrical way)? I think he stops just short of saying that, but doesn't say anything to lead you to believe it's really ever to the contrary.

Doesn't he also try--with the "Coldness be my God" to presume that passions can be easily discarded and necessarily weak, that passions are not so important that they need to be rectified, as if they don't even need to be dealt with by those with the requisite super-high I.Q. I was glad you told me that the first time, because there were a number at 'Outside In' who totally supported him on that "intelligence optimization is all that matters".

Alrenous said...

Coldness is anti-nihilist.

If you like coldness, then cool. If not, then sweet.

As it happens, at present most liars are all warm and fuzzy, so being anti-warm is a nice anti-liar measure.

On the other hand, why not simply be anti-liar directly? Why we have to pretend warmth is always bad?

I'm a huge fan of both the iciest cold and the most searing hot.

"Of course, I’ll be guilty of this same crime myself if I harp too much on the “women and minorities hardest hit” line. What’s really wrong with callous altruism? It’s a damned lie, that’s what’s wrong with it. It steals charity’s good name and makes Randroids condemn charity and communism in the same breath."

Even a fan of the regular warm, when it's not a fuckin' lie.

Anonymous said...

I've always been a little disturbed by the popularity of game of thrones. From what I've seen of it it is a totally miserable story about very vile, dirty characters. What is there to like?