On Reviews and the Indie Movement – An Optimate Memo

I haven’t done much in the way of book reviews, either here or on my YouTube channel, but I’m reconsidering how I approach this. First, take a look at this blog post by Alexandru Constantin, regarding where he has settled on book reviews: There are few things I want to cover here related to all this, before I get to prescriptions: Tradpub may be a facade, but it is one that normal folks think is real – and perception matters What is the point of a book review? Is there any point to negativity? The “political right” doesn’t think strategically…

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Don’t give money to people who hate you

Brian Niemeier’s new book is out now, and it’s a number one best seller: Let’s address one 100 IQ level comeback I see frequently when talking about shutting your wallet to the mega-corporations who not only don’t give a shit about the franchises that you grew up with, but actively hate you and your culture and want it (and you) dead: bUt yOu Use AMaZon/yOuTUbE/fAcEbOok/PAtreON First, this isn’t an argument against the basic thesis at all, but an attempt to make an argument for behavioral consistency (otherwise known as the hypocrisy fallacy or “tu Quoque” – you can’t say something…

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It Doesn’t Affect Me

Except through the people I know who are affected. I’m talking about Corona-chan and all the mess that has gone along with it – wearing masks, social distancing, quarantine, etc. I realized talking with my wife tonight that she, along with most “normal” people, have strong emotions regularly as a result of this pandemic – anxiety, dread, general worry, even anger. I have none of those feelings whatsoever. I’m not worried. I’m not panicked. I feel absolutely know anxiety about getting the virus, nor what would happen to me if I did get the virus. Part of this is that…

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Numbers make people stupid

As soon as you introduce numerical data into an informational vector, you are going to confound people and turn them from rational into irrational. Some people get numbers. Some people understand what math means in a practical sense. For others, statistics turn them into idiots. Ex. 1 – IMPACT Coronavirus is 98% survivable (ignoring distribution). No big deal, right? Why is everyone freaking out? Would you play Russian roulette? The odds of winning are pretty good – 80%! Most people would say no, because they aren’t idiots. How many cylinders would it take for you to gamble? 20? 50? 98%…

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Aesthetics MATTER

I’ve been travelling lately, so I’ve missed some on-point commentary by my contemporaries. Alexander, who I’ve had on NewPub Talk before, nails it once again: Within that article is one things that I’ve been trying to hammer for years: Aesthetics Matter. Aesthetics are powerful. Aesthetics have meaning. They aren’t just arbitrary window dressing, as some post-modern critics would have you believe. My YouTube subs often take exception to my heavy weighing of Aesthetics as a category when I review movies and games, but I often feel like I give them too little weight. Good aesthetic presentation can save a sub-par…

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Using Your Children to Grift is Child Abuse

I’ll be honest. Years of existing on the internet, with hoax after hoax pulling on people’s heartstrings and then being shown to be a grifting operation, my heart has hardened. I didn’t believe this story from the moment I saw it. Why? Because it’s too good. It’s too on the nose. Aboriginal dwarf getting bullied hits waaaay too many checkboxes for me to not put on my skeptics goggles. As my friend Michael Brown points out: And yes, this setup was a grift, one that this mother has been pulling for years. In fact, the kid is an actor. This…

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The Epistle of Captain America – The Pop Cult is Truly a Cult

If you needed more proof that the obsession with fictional corporate franchises has a religious overtone to it, here is a major filmmaker advertising just that. When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney makes a Star Wars movie that undoes the stories of the Lucas era, it really is like…

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It’s about dunking on you

I didn’t watch the super bowl. I haven’t in some time; Even if I wanted to, I lack the means, but as time goes on I’m ever more thankful for this. The halftime show, as usual, was a debacle of sorts. Two (middle-aged) women went on stage in skimpy attire and danced erotically for the biggest TV audience of the year. I saw some clips after the fact; I won’t link them here for reasons that will be clear. As usual, most people are missing what such a display is really about. It’s about dunking on you. It’s also about…

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5 Minute Abs

If you grew up watching 80s and 90s commercials, you undoubtedly have seen countless devices for getting abs for “only 5 minutes a day!” Rational, experienced people know this is bullshit. If you could get abs in only five minutes a day, we’d all have them, right? In truth, you can get abs for five minutes a day – five minutes planning your diet to lose the fat covering the ab muscles you already have. This is the perfect metaphor for anyone looking to accomplish something difficult. Everyone wants to sell you some special method for getting what you want…

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Jealousy among artists

At the age of 36 I’ve been involved for multiple years with several big artistic “scenes,” including authors of various genres, classical musicians (particularly guitarists), flamenco musicians, and peripherally visual arts scenes such as comic artists. In all of these, there is a character flaw that seems to occur at much higher levels than the background (and I have personal points of comparison – I’ve been lots of other things besides an artist). That flaw is jealousy. Artists are insanely jealous of one another. The worst is probably in the visual arts, but certain music scenes are simply intolerable once…

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