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San Francisco: The Holy City of Progressivism

For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.  — Yeats

Seen here are a number of lifestyle enhancements this street-junkie has at his camp on the sidewalk:

  1.  Cans in the sack as an emergency cash reserve.
  2.  Spare shoe for those carefree barefoot days in the sidewalk camp.
  3. Personal security guard so no other junkie can interrupt your live-saving shot of Narcan.
  4.  Outdoor kitchen and dining area with condiments and sauces du jour.
  5.  Armchair for watching the passing parade from the gutter.
  6. Neighbor junkie looking around to see if there’s anything he can steal.
  7. Personal paramedic to make sure you get all the Narcan you need to breathe and move and shoot up and shit on the sidewalk for one more glorious day in San Francisco, that heaven for the homeless.

ELSEWHERE: MAKING HOMELESSNESS SUSTAINABLE WITH YOUR OVERPRICED PURCHASES

Last weekend at ye olde Cost Plus World Market Chico located on [naturally] Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Parkway  I came across this example of sucking profits out of rich white progressives’ feel-good guilt.

The “marketing” bumpf-bullshit-BS copy tells you that if you blow a hundred bucks on this feeble and highly overpriced blanket, the company behind it will send some sort of Progressive cocaine-dusting helicopter to coke dust the streets of San Francisco with blankets of a quality to be determined later from its profit and loss statement.

One thing you can know from this is not that a blanket will actually make it to somebody in San Francisco whose lifestyle includes smoking crystal meth, sleeping in a piss-soaked tent, aggressive panhandling for drug money, and defecating in the street. All that is obscure and not easily verified.

No, one thing you can know is that if you buy it World Market and the blanket company both have their margins and profit margins guaranteed.  You will note that the company has thoughtfully trademarked the phrase “Sackcloth and Ashes” as in Sackcloth & Ashes™ .

I particularly have to admire the gorge-rising statement on the sell card:

“Box reusable for donations of items that shelters need.”

Yes, just take this second-rate blanket out of the box and then walk about your city home tossing in odd crap that you can dump on the doorstep of the homeless shelter as you drive-by en route to your beach house.

The marketing bullshit bobs soft and feculent on the web-page of these shameless white folks profiting off guilt.  For instance, here’s a hot item from the blanket scammers: Leather Blanket Roll | Sackcloth & Ashes™

Handcrafted with full-grained, vegetable-tanned leather, this embossed Sackcloth & Ashes blanket roll is perfect for bringing your favorite blanket on your next adventure.

“vegetable-tanned” No sweet animals such as cows were harmed in the tannery by the use of gentle tanning acids featuring veggies.

“embossed”  Just so you know how “aristocratic” the look of the product is.

“next adventure” Oh yes nothing beats feeling good abouty your guilt than wrapping this blanket around you and getting cozy around the campfire at your catered $25,000 African safari.

We are proud to partner with DECE, a Romanian organization whose mission is to empower, educate, and employ Roma families in their community. They are one of the only two World Fair Trade Organization approved producers in Europe and adhere to all Global Organic Textile Standards.

“a Roumanian organization”  i.e. One far away and very, very difficult to audit.

“Roma families” i.e. Gypsies with their own centuries long legacy of theft, scam, and fraud as family values.

all Global Organic Textile Standards.”  i.e. A group you don’t know from nations you never think about that are , really, just making such standards up.

Leather is a natural material and if taken care of, will only grow more beautiful over time. Do not immerse or soak your leather products in water. Do not machine wash or dry – instead hand wash them using a soft cloth dampened with saddle soap or mild soap and cold water. Let them air dry.

“Leather is a natural material…”  Who knew?

Do not immerse or soak leather…” Who knew?

hand wash them using a soft cloth dampened with saddle soap…” Who knew?

Let them air dry.” Translation: Our guilt-drenched customers are so effing stupid they’d put a leather coat in the drier when they should be putting their guilt-drenched heads in ovens.

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The City of Political Distinction by Ambrose Bierce

JAMRACH the Rich, being anxious to reach the City of Political Distinction before nightfall, arrived at a fork of the road and was undecided which branch to follow; so he consulted a Wise-Looking Person who sat by the wayside.

“Take THAT road,” said the Wise-Looking Person, pointing it out; “it is known as the Political Highway.”

“Thank you,” said Jamrach, and was about to proceed.

“About how much do you thank me?” was the reply. “Do you suppose I am here for my health?”

As Jamrach had not become rich by stupidity, he handed something to his guide and hastened on, and soon came to a toll-gate kept by a Benevolent Gentleman, to whom he gave something, and was suffered to pass. A little farther along he came to a bridge across an imaginary stream, where a Civil Engineer (who had built the bridge) demanded something for interest on his investment, and it was forthcoming. It was growing late when Jamrach came to the margin of what appeared to be a lake of black ink, and there the road terminated. Seeing a Ferryman in his boat he paid something for his passage and was about to embark.

“No,” said the Ferryman. “Put your neck in this noose, and I will tow you over. It is the only way,” he added, seeing that the passenger was about to complain of the accommodations.

In due time he was dragged across, half-strangled, and dreadfully beslubbered by the feculent waters. “There,” said the Ferryman, hauling him ashore and disengaging him, “you are now in the City of Political Distinction. It has fifty million inhabitants, and as the color of the Filthy Pool does not wash off, they all look exactly alike.”

“Alas!” exclaimed Jamrach, weeping and bewailing the loss of all his possessions, paid out in tips and tolls; “I will go back with you.”

“I don’t think you will,”, said the Ferryman, pushing off; “this city is situated on the Island of the Unreturning.”

 

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Strange Daze

“My mother says that violence never settles anything.”

“So?” Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. “I’m sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that. Why doesn’t your mother tell them so? Or why don’t you?”

They had tangled before — since you couldn’t flunk the course, it wasn’t necessary to keep Mr. Dubois buttered up. She said shrilly, “You’re making fun of me! Everybody knows that Carthage was destroyed!”

“You seemed to be unaware of it,” he said grimly. “Since you do know it, wouldn’t you say that violence had settled their destinies rather thoroughly?

”I was not making fun of you personally; I was heaping scorn on an inexcusably silly idea — a practice I shall always follow. Anyone who clings to the historically untrue — and thoroughly immoral — doctrine that ‘violence never settles anything’ I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon.

”Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.”  —- Starship Troopers” by Robert A. Heinlein

The World’s Largest—and America’s Priciest—Home Is Ready for Its Close-up | Set on a five-acre parcel in the posh Los Angeles enclave of Bel Air—and aptly named The One—the 105,000-square-foot property’s interiors have remained a closely guarded secret. Until now. AD has been an exclusive look at what’s inside this record-setting property—and the design and aesthetic minds that made it happen. Beyond the eye-catching design are the home’s equally jaw-dropping stats. There are 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms, a 5,500-square-foot master suite, a 30-car garage gallery with two car-display turntables, a four-lane bowling alley, a spa level, a 30-seat movie theater, a “philanthropy wing (with a capacity of 200) for charity galas with floating pods overlooking Los Angeles, a 10,000-square-foot sky deck, and five swimming pools.

There is probably no subject in recent American history about which more nonsense has been talked [than the internet]. From its inception to the present, we have told ourselves that a communications technology that has destroyed the attention spans of billions, a surveillance tool that even the imaginary totalitarian dictators of Orwell and Huxley could never have dreamed of, a vast repository of pornography and terrorist correspondence, ennobled the human race. We have perpetuated myths of the hucksters and tinpot messiahs who made billions from it as Promethean fire-bringers rather than sordid tycoons. And, most foolishly of all, we have insisted that there is almost nothing that can be done to regulate it. — Matthew Walter, ”Slashing big tech’s Gordian Knot”

The Unlikely Pulp Fiction Illustrations of Edward Hopper For the first 25 years of his career, Eliot related, Hopper had failed to support himself solely on his painting and therefore paid his bills drawing covers and interior art for publications like Hotel Management, Everybody’s Magazine, and the Wells Fargo Messenger.

[continue reading…]

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“For my purpose holds…”

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The Pretender by Jackson Browne

An old song from 1975 sounds fresh for these times. Pay attention. It will be on the Final.

Jackson Browne told Mojo magazine in 2015: “It’s grappling with the question of whether the life you’re living is the life you thought you were heading for. ‘The Pretender’ is an open question: Do you find life’s best qualities by having children and a job, or in tearing those things down?”

But now the song is about so much more than that question alone. And the question is still open.

“The Pretender”

I’m going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
Gonna pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I’ll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I’ll get up and do it again
Amen.
Say it again
Amen.

I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening?
I’ve been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it’s the wink of an eye
When the morning light comes streaming in
You’ll get up and do it again
Amen. [continue reading…]

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Strange Daze Illustrated

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Boomer Ballads: Sailing

Because it’s not far down to Paradise and the canvas really can do miracles…

Or… in another more literal variation…

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Strange Daze

Moldbug is writing a book and this part is called,Big tech has no power at all – Gray Mirror

For example: why the heck is everyone and everything getting all woke right now? No one ordered them to change their minds in this direction. Are they just opening their souls, independently, but at the same time, to the lovely light of reason? If so—why didn’t we all do that a long time ago? Maybe after that ‘80s Coca-Cola commercial?

Perhaps here we see another case of attractive coordination. Nazi Germany had a process called Gleichschaltung—which is sometimes even translated as coordination, and which simply meant forcing everything to be Nazi. There could be no soccer—only Nazi soccer. Soccer fans today are not at all familiar with this process.

Just kidding! Actually, as a proud American, who nonetheless lets his son play soccer, every Premier League game today opens with a kneeling benediction against racism, which is at apparently as dangerous as drugs were when I was his age. At least, we’re supposed to say the same word to it. They also wear armbands, etc—full Pyongyang.

What caused this to happen? Who is the Nancy Reagan of racism? Who ordered everyone to agree that racism is way worse than drugs? What would happen if Man United, Chelsea or even Brighton Hove Albion was like: “erm, actually, we’ve ‘ad a meetin’ and desoided as, drugs is woise. We’ll ‘av ‘at on the shirts, guvnor, eh?” And finally: what could this possibly have to do with anything that happened in Wisconsin? There are no good or obvious answers to any of these questions.

ΤΟΥΣ ΜΕΝ ΚΕΝΟΥ ΑΣΚΟΥΣ ΤΟ ΠΝΕΥΜΑ ΔΠΣΤΗΣΙ ΤΟΥΣ Δ’ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥΣ ΤΟ ΟΙΗΜΑ

As the wind puffs out empty wineskins, so pride of opinion, foolish men.Wolstenholme Towne, Virginia (USA), one of the first English settlements in the New World. Built on the banks of the James River in around 1619, it was destroyed by Indians a few years later and lay forgotten until archaeologists rediscovered the site in the 1970s. [continue reading…]

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Something Wonderful: The Sound of Silence

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JWM REACTS TO “Two riders were approaching:” Isaiah and All Along the Watchtower

Saturday was our monthly bike club. No one came out to ride with us, and one of our guys was a no show. But we rode. Despite lockdowns, mandates, or whatever, we ride. The Vietnamese, God bless them, were rallying for Trump again at the Huntington Beach pier. They’ve been there every weekend since October. They know what it’s like to lose a country.

Sunday was quiet, sad, and empty. Deep haze and clouds buried the winter sun. I took my stretch cruiser, the show bike, out early, put on my club shirt, and took a slow morning cruise. The streets were all but deserted. The few people out were slouching along with their muzzled faces shoved into cell phones, ears jammed shut with blue-tooth plugs.

Luckily, there was no one at the park, so I sat at my favorite spot, and knocked back a couple of bowls. But that served only to deepen an overall sense of gloom. So I saddled up, and just wandered, turning here or there with no thought of getting anyplace.

I cruised down Whittier Boulevard, passed the Whittwood shopping center, and slid down the side streets into the neighborhood.

I passed St. Bruno’s Catholic Church. The haze rolled in deeper, and the silver morning light grew dull.

The sun rays turned the pewter sky into the iris of an immense leaden eye with a bone white pupil staring down the world.

I rolled around the corner, and stopped, just to look at the sky. Across the street, I could see St. Bruno’s holding outdoor mass in the lunch area of the parish schoolyard. Recorded music started as the congregants lined up in their face masks to receive communion. Each received the host in his cupped hands, turned from the altar to face the street where I sat on the cruiser. Each took several steps to ensure a safe social distance, and lifted a corner of the muzzle to slide the host into the mouth, and onto the tongue.

There was something furtive and broken in the gesture. The whole scene became surreal, almost frightening. I was standing inside a tarot card. That moment could have been painted by Breughel, or Bosch.

I rolled on home and put the bike up. Buddy the Cat was in the yard, snoozing on the table in the gazebo. The haze was breaking up and the ol’ guy was enjoying the thin warmth of the January sun. I re-heated some stale coffee, sat down, and joined him.

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