Why We Call it the Death Cult

Screw it. here we go: I’m not the only one who calls the vast pseudo-religious motivation and activism the “Death Cult.” I saw last year (or so) that fellow Christian author Brian Niemeier was using the same terminology to describe the same things, and every day I see more people either getting very close to the terminology or pegging it outright. By why do I specifically call it the “Death Cult”? Why not the “woke cult” or just “Social Justice Warriors”? The short answer is because they are obsessed with death. They want you dead. Every so often the mask…

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The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas – Compact Analysis

I’ve seen some posting on “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” Ultra-compact analysis: 1. Le Guin asks YOU to imagine a Utopia with whatever in it YOU think would make people happy 2. This Utopia will have all those pleasures (including sinful ones) with NO DOWNSIDES. 3. You don’t believe it, obviously. 4. She creates a negative condition that magically eliminates the downsides: constant neglect and abuse of a single innocent child. 5. Most people in Omelas end up accepting this, despite not liking it. 6. Post-hoc rationalizations are given – the child can’t really be saved because of…

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Covid Baby

“Covid Baby” is a term my wife used recently to describe our daughter. She just turned two, and since it’s been more than a year of “two weeks to flatten the curve,” she’s lived a life that that is very different from my son when he was the same age. We noticed this when we recently travelled to Texas. She won’t sit for long at a table in a restaurant without getting bored and wanting to get up and move, even if she has toys. She doesn’t know what to do at a supermarket or a mall. She doesn’t like…

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Low-Trust America and the State

It’s easy to blame the state. After all, it was state enforcers that shut down the girls’ egg operation. But let’s not forget… American society, even in a supposed “red state” is now a low-trust society, but it’s a very odd version of such a society, quite unlike third-world countries. In America, the state itself has replaced the social fabric and trust is concentrated, at least in the corporate/imperial side of society, in the state rather than in other people. Somebody saw the egg business and decided they would sick the state on them, meaning they had no sense of…

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Show Trial

I’m writing this before the Chauvin verdict comes in, because there is a real question, and one that may not even be answerable: Is it a criminal trial, or is it a political trial – a show trial? This is one of those points in time where politics penetrates both culture and civics. At least for the actors outside the courtroom, the trial is not about “justice” in a particular case, which is what our criminal court system is supposed to decide in the lower courts, but rather a competition between “friend” and “enemy.” Chauvin represents a member of the…

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Blind Spots on the Right

Again, “left” and “right” are outdated, but quickly get to the point – friends and enemies. The American right has a huge blind spot, and that is the near-religious support of certain elements of the state, specifically the military and enforcement wings of the state, even when these elements are acting against their interests. I pointed this out in “Republican Bugmen” – that the republican bugman is still obsessed with state solutions to personal problems, just with a different focus – and it ruffled a few feathers. The defense of these parts of the state is a natural reaction, due…

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It’s Random

My phone vibrated in my shorts pocket. I was honestly surprised I felt it at all, given how much my motorcycle was shaking beneath me. The dirt road that wound up the hill had gone washboard after the recent storms and the constant passage of tourists on trucks and dirt bikes. My old Yamaha was made for smooth pavement, and it punished me for taking it off-road by shaking my hands numb. My phone buzzed twice again, and I knew it was Devin’s girlfriend, probably frantic or furious – or both. She would have to wait. Maybe all night. I…

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Republican Bugmen

I wrote a recent article on the profile of a bugman. Because this included many traits that have been recently associated with “the left” (for lack of a better term), a few people have wondered whether there are bugmen on the “right,” or as part of the republican party. There absolutely are. Not only are there Republican bugmen, they are a very large and vocal part of the Republican apparatus, which explains to a large degree why we are where we are. The real divide is between the corporate and the local, not right/left. That’s why we have the modern…

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Little Blessings

My daughter had a hard night. She couldn’t get to sleep until after midnight, then she woke up at about an hour later scared and crying. That woke my son up. I really hadn’t hadn’t slept at all, but I stayed up all night with them. I spent a few hours playing King’s Quest, a Sierra adventure game in the tradition of… Sierra adventure games, with my son, and we all had a blast with it, despite the fact that I was so tired. I was reminded of how things were two years ago, right after my daughter was born.…

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2007: Gaming Ground Zero

Maybe you’ve heard of cultural ground zero: 1997. Now let’s talk games, because unlike other institutions of culture, the games industry kept on growing and innovating for another 10 years. Then 2007 happened, and as far as the bigger publishers are concerned, games reached their peak and no more change or risk was required or even advisable. Gameplay seemed to stop changing almost entirely after 2007, and the extent to which it did change is usually in the negative, involving the watering-down of mechanics and general reduction of difficulty. Of course, there were plenty of amazing games prior to 2007,…

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