What Went Wrong? Part 2

If you’ve ever dealt with a desouled female, you will hear her icy voice as you read this:

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The cynicism that aims in the direction of truth but lacks the range to embrace it: “Soul of a woman was created below.”

Complementarian realism has longer range: Men are expendable, women are perishable. A boy must earn his value, a girl must preserve hers. Men respect honor, women respect strength. Disown the faithless daughter, wait for the prodigal son’s return.

How to help prevent mudsharking: my guidance on raising a girl. It transcends its title.

How to repair a bad daughter: Begin by not petitioning her. She is sitting on that high perch and by extending unconditional love after she had already turned her back on you, all you do is validate her attitude. If she talks to you like in that screenshot, anything short of completely cutting her off will make her feel bottomless contempt for you. It’s not so much about the NPC idiot girl mouthing this or that ideological line she had been fed, it’s about the fact that she placed the abstractions that her little head can’t handle above family. If her rebellion weren’t about Trump, it would have been about something else.

Just looking at people I know… a good daughter, one that’s already a married mother, can be one of the brightest joys in life. A bad daughter, though, is a heartache best excised with no regret.

What Went Wrong, Part 1 is about the rebellious son.

500th Post

The comments here have been top caliber from day-one, when I started the blog in a fit of ire over an eaten comment at Chateau Heartiste in 2015. Graciously, CH linked to here on that same day, sending massive traffic my way. I will always be grateful to him for that and much more.

I read all of the comments here closely, no skimming. All 30,049 as of press time. Two recent short ones that blindsided me in a good way:

“Generally when internet characters get into a dispute that crosses a line, but otherwise seem to agree on the principles, it is to neither’s credit, and almost always reflects their [real-life] personal problems, which are typically frustration.” – Suburban_elk

“Don’t ever forget, they are all against us. Our only ally is the creator.” — Amon Ra

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The eight of the last 100 to revisit:

The Execution Of Franz Kutschera. The conclusion/coda of this article ties everything together, bringing it home to the concerns of the present day.

It’s great history, a great story. I did a ton of research for that post. Western Rifle Shooters Association distilled the four elements of the described whacking of enemy leadership: intel, adjudication, cached weapons and ammo, courage.

The next time I visit Warsaw, which is probably next summer, I’ll visit the site of the action. It’s not much different now than it was in 1944: the street looks mostly the same, as does the adjacent park. The SS Headquarters in front of which this happened is still there, though now the building houses the Hungarian embassy.

The sidewalk along the action route has plaques marking the spots on which two of the three signals-girls were posted ahead of the assassination. Both of them, “Kama” and “Dewajtis,” lived long lives, both passing in 2016.

I will then go to Powązki Cemetery where team leader Bronisław Pietraszewicz (pseudonym “Lot”) is resting. He died at age 21, several days after the action, of complications from the abdominal wound he took in the firefight. The more I read about him, the more of an ideal he is to me. From Lot’s father’s c. 1950 reminiscences on his son’s heroism under foreign occupation:

We couldn’t believe our eyes: yesterday’s children were suddenly so grown up. There was so much care and seriousness on their faces. They were now doing the thinking for us, their passive elders. And they acted in our stead.

Idle Thoughts: Songs About The City At Night. Here I shared the thoughts I had, in my early teens through my early twenties, on the subject of manhood.

Ghey Tales 2: Sapphic Slip. On telepathy. Also, my unlikely connection with a butch lesbian whose femme partner wanted me dead.

Remember The Greaseman? When they start making good comedians again, those comedians will be a bit like The Greaseman. Thanks for the laughs, Doug Tracht.

First-Person Account of The ’44 Uprising. My translation of 106-year-old Armia Krajowa (Home Army) veteran’s recollection of the Occupation years. It feels like you’re there.

Idle Thoughts On Pop Songs And The Seasons. Pop music as catalyst for a contemplative state of mind. Here, it’s about the cycle of American civilization.

Derb’s “Unpleasant Truths” 16 Years Later.  I traveled back in time to 2002 and recorded this conversation with a local man.

Man’s and Woman’s Best Years. When it’s said that late forties are a man’s best years, they’re talking about the optimal intersection of vigor and wisdom. Slide that point back to thirty or forward to sixty as you wish.

Women have their best years too, but not this broken elf:

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Bonus: Yes, elves are real and they launch the best comment threads.

Open thread.

What went wrong in this particular case?

Before going farther, listen to this song by Joshua Tillman, stage name Father John Misty:

It’s an existential contemplation framed by environmentalism. Excellent vocals. Expressive and earnest. From his online bio:

Tillman grew up in an Evangelical Christian household in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. He is the son of … an engineer at Hewlett-Packard, who met [his wife] at a Christian youth group. His mother was raised in Ethiopia, where her own parents were missionaries. The oldest of four children, he has a brother and two sisters. Before Tillman settled on a career as a musician, he briefly had ambitions of becoming a pastor because of the performance aspect when he was approximately six years old. He comments that his parents focused on the spiritual aspects of his upbringing, which he describes as “culturally oppressive”. They were estranged for many years, but they reconciled. After learning drums at a young age, Tillman learned guitar when he was 12.

Tillman was raised in a Baptist church, attended an Episcopal elementary school, then a Pentecostal Messianic day school. Tillman said he was naive when he was growing up because there was almost no cultural influence and no secular music allowed. Around the age of 17, there were new stipulations from his parents – he was allowed to listen to secular music that had a “spiritual theme”. So his early purchases included albums like Bob Dylan’s Slow Train Coming as he was able to establish that Dylan was classified as a “Christian artist”.

Inflexibility backfires. Going with the assumption that those biographical bits are true… You can’t beat a bright boy with an independent spirit into conformity and expect good results. He once said in an interview:

I was so angry and terrified that I’d been raised that way that, at some point, my number one mission became to make as big of a joke out it as I could.

If you wall your family off from mainstream culture, you have to connect yourselves with like-minded peers. Everyone needs a community, which is why the Amish are thriving as a counterculture.

***

Millennials are the hardest-kicked generation, which is also why Tillman is a blasphemer with gamma’esque antics in his live videos. But talent overcomes a lot. One of Tillman’s finest songs:

My love, you’re the one I wanna watch the ship go down with
The future can’t be real, I barely know how long a moment is
Unless we’re naked, getting high on the mattress
While the global market crashes
As death fills the streets we’re garden-variety oblivious
You grab my hand and say in “I-told-you-so” voice:
“It’s just how we expected”

The soulful voice, the lyrics about the simulacrum of private peace in the midst of social chaos. Good video, too. One of the best death-scenes in cinematography.

Every Man Needs a Companion is a similar slow-tempo contemplation. It lays bare his conflict with God, with his popular culture, and with his patrimony:

Joseph Campbell and The Rolling Stones
Couldn’t give me a myth
So I had to write my own
Like I’m hung up on religion
Though I know it’s a waste
I never liked the name Joshua
I got tired of J [his earlier stage name – PA]

Something went wrong. Heavy-handed parenting, unlucky “secular horoscope” a.k.a. generational cohort, or was Tillman born irredeemable?

What Went Wrong, Part 2 is about the rebellious daughter.

How?

A thought-provoking post on Gab from Tom Kawczynski:

Stop thinking of how to win the next election.  Start thinking of how to have a nation worth defending.

Winning the former at the expense of the latter is counter-effective.

In what ways can your/our nation be made worth defending?

History’s Frivolous-Heroic Cycles and “Ranczo”

On the centrally coordinated Third World invasion of Western countries. It’s World War III in every way but formally named as such in retrospect, and that’s only because “retrospect” is still in the future:

Hungary must protect its ethnic and cultural composition,” [Viktor Orbán] said at Kötcse… “I am convinced that Hungary has the right—and every nation has the right—to say that it does not want its country to change.” France and Britain had been perfectly within their prerogatives to admit millions of immigrants from the former Third World. Germany was entitled to welcome as many Turks as it liked. “I think they had a right to make this decision,” Orbán said. “We have a duty to look at where this has taken them.” He did not care to repeat the experiment. (Link)

Culture moves in Frivolous-Heroic cycles, you can also call them Comedy-Tragedy cycles. People immersed in the spirit of one such era will not understand the feelings and motivations of those who lived under the opposite spirit of its time.

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Heroic state of mind

Fifteen or even ten years ago, frivolity was the the state of mind in east-central Europe, specifically in Poland. Popular culture from that time reflects the enthusiasm for the newly-joined European Union. It was a materialistic period. With that thought in mind, I recently re-watched the first five seasons of the popular comedy series Ranczo (The Ranch), which premiered in 2006. It’s a well made, engaging show set in a fictional village in rural eastern Poland.

The main character is a young American woman who unexpectedly inherits a dilapidated country manor in that remote Polish village. Newly divorced and jobless at that point in her life, she travels there with the intention of selling the manor to a ready buyer, who happens to be the town’s strongman Mayor. But she sees the property in its bucolic setting and her plans change. She becomes enamored of the house and to the Mayor’s chagrin, decides to keep it, renovate it with the money made from the sale of her Manhattan apartment, and live there on that manor. That’s the shows premise, established in the first episode.

Cynically, I can say that Ranczo was a vehicle for feminism that intensified as the series went on, as well as a little bit of multicultural propaganda. Generously, however, I will qualify that judgment by adding that its politically-correct messages were more of a reflection of Poland’s upbeat attitude about the West and “progress” during that decade.

This fan-made video in (American) English nicely introduces the series:

Here is a behind-the-scenes video about the series. No subtitles unfortunately, but you can see the actors/characters on the set in high definition. Good commentary by the creative team, if you understand the language. The actor who plays the lead male character Kusy says:

It’s a great joy for an artist, the feeling that, at that one moment in your life, you took part in something that gave so many people pleasure. We did it nobly, thoughtfully, from the heart, always respecting our viewers as thinking, feeling, sensitive beings.

And in the words of the actress who plays the coquette waitress Wioletka:

I started acting in Raczo after my first year of college. I remember when my mom asked me after the first day of filming the first season: “What kind of a show is it?” I told her that it’s a strange show, there is nothing like it on Polish television because up until then, everything was kind of an imitation of what’s in Europe but nothing that really spoke of Poland. So I told her: “Mom, it’s such an odd show that it will flop after the first season. Nobody is going to watch it.” Well, I think my intuition was off. I had no idea that I’m taking part in something so exceptional.

The series in fact turned out to be spectacularly successful. It ran for ten seasons, from 2006 through 2016. I only saw the first five seasons, which my in-laws gave me as a gift DVD set.

National survival strategies

European nations are not easily absorbed into larger empires because the differences in language form a barrier that protects the integrity all of the other aspects of national identity: religion, blood, temperament, folkways. That’s unlike America’s experience of growing into its contiguous 48-state country, which was facilitated by the common English language of its settlers and assimilated European immigrants.

Where there are unique languages in proximity to one another, there is a resistance to a multi-ethnic togetherness under a singe point of political control. This is Europe’s kaleidoscope of its many different nations. On such a polyglot continent, the strong nations will jostle against one another until a continental balance of power is found, the weak ones will go along with the dominant powers as long as their distinctness is respected.

And here is modern Poland’s uncommon condition: too strong to bend to the will of its larger neighbors, too weak to be a continental power in its own right. As a result, the country has availed itself of each of these three approaches to national security:

1. The Faraway Ally. One strategy has been to ally with a more distant power, with mixed results. Nationalists’ alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte during the Partitions era did bring about a short-lived independent Duchy of Warsaw but at too great a cost of life on his Russian campaign. An alliance with France and England in 1939 failed to deliver when it mattered. And since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the non-regional ally, and not without benefits: NATO membership modernized Poland’s military, including combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the alliance also makes Poland subject to US cultural hegemony with its homosexual and anti-racist agenda.

It remains to be seen where the limits to the positives in this alliance are encountered. There is always the peril of insufficient cynicism about the US government among the older generation of politicians, whose Russophobia is a relic of the Communist decades.

2. Regional Coalition. The second security strategy is a central European alliance. The great statesman Józef Piłsudski (1867 – 1935) wanted to create an Intermaerum of east European countries from the Baltic to the Black Sea as bulwark against both German and Russian territorial ambitions. This alliance would include a number of small nations peeled away from Russian Empire’s (and later Soviet) control on the model of the 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Visegrád Four alliance with culturally-kin Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary today serves a similar purpose, as does the Three-Seas Initiative of twelve east-central European countries.

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Three Seas Initiative (dark blue)

3. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. A third strategy is to join the strong neighbor. The Communist era was, in effect, a forced partnership with Russia that in retrospect delivered long-term blessings. And afterwards, Poland’s joining of the European Union was a voluntary indenture to Germany, with its short-term costs and payoffs.

A balance of strategies. Poland presently plays a tripartite balance of foreign policy:

  • A relationship with the United States as leverage contra the EU and Russia.
  • Subordination to Germany as an EU member state for the sake of economic benefits.
  • And an increasingly meaningful partnership with east-central European states in reaction to western Europe’s migrant-insanity and America’s globalism.

The optimism and the wariness

A dialogue in one of the early episodes of Ranczo caught my attention. There are four Village Drunk characters whose function is part comic relief, part meta-commentary. One of them is Stan Japycz, an old man who’s seen his share of historical changes. By unspoken hierarchical order, he sits at the right end of the storefront bench (from viewer’s perspective) as the elder of the group. His drinking companions are talking about the EU’s lavish financial investment in Poland. As a witness to history, he expresses his wariness of such generosity. Paraphrasing the dialogue:

“So, what will the EU want from us in return for all that free money?”
“Maybe they are just generous”
“There is no such thing as something for nothing.”
“But what about the [post-war Communist] land reforms? That was something for nothing.”
“It’s easy to take someone’s stuff and give it away to someone else. Here, the EU is giving us their own money. Mark my words, one day they’ll come to collect.”

The EU “visited to collect” in 2015, in the form of European Commission’s directive to eastern European states, including tiny countries like Latvia, take in their massive quotas of Muslim immigrants. Thank God for Viktor Orbán, who was the first to say No and stand firm on his refusal. From what I observed in Poland, remotely from here as well as during my visit three years ago, is that the Frivolous era has passed. Ranczo’s sanguine westward longing feels anachronistic today.

The idealism of its time

Imagine a television comedy series made for three-digit IQ audiences united by a common culture. No vulgarity, no gratuitous innuendo, slow narrative pace for people with normal attention spans, camera that captures the pastoral beauty of its setting. And zero Diversity; even the foreign characters were played by Polish actors, which no doubt helped foster good chemistry on the set.

I haven’t decided if the feminism, which is laid on thick in certain episodes, is conscious subversion or if it’s that era’s faith in Progress as personified by the EU. It was a campaign of eliminating (highly exaggerated) national pathologies such as wife-beating, drunkenness, laziness, corruption… things that you could say festered in the less advanced parts of Europe. But now, knowing what we know in 2019, it’s complicated because we know that thots aren’t gonna patrol themselves. Some girls like to be choked and we need them in our social fabric too. We need men who aren’t afraid of a little prison time in our social fabric too.

People who subscribed to Ranczo ideals thought that you could create a better world by eradicating common human vices. They were wrong. Pride, as all of tradition teaches us, is the downfall of the ambitious. No, dear reader in 2006. The EU will not make Poland better. It will instead try to send inbred brown rapists to your daughter’s middle school under the full protection of the state.

In another dialogue, the four storefront drunks talk about how EU will one day exploit them as cheap foreign labor and on top of it, ban their favorite activity. Which of course is open-air drinking as long as they hide the bottle from the passing village policeman. Who in turn, in accordance with prevailing social mores, pretends to not-see them drinking illegal moonshine. One character drives his point home: “Have you ever heard about open air drinking in the EU?”

Ten years later, the EU murdered the eleven-year-old Ebba Åkerlund in a country where there is no open-air drinking of moonshine. It humiliated our entire civilization in Rotherham and ignited the Gilet Jaunes uprising. No, reader from 2006, the EU can’t fix Poland’s problems. The EU is the enemy.

The characters

Ranczo is an allegory for Poland itself, with the various the characters representing certain national archetypes.

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Kusy and Lucy

Lucy. The main character, who is a young, recently-divorced Polish-American woman who moves into the village and brings Progress with her. She teaches English to children and birth control to teenagers. She solves everyone’s problems with her cheery can-do attitude. She’s Poland’s westward gaze, a hope that “this half” of our identity will lift us above the eastern backwardness.

Kusy. Her eventual love interest; they get married and have a baby in a later season. An artist earlier in his life, he works as Lucy’s handyman, self-destructively haunted by his past tragedies. He represents the national spirit over the rocky course of history. Lucy soon discovers that despite being at a low point in his life, Kusy is a brilliant, educated man of high character and she inspires him to overcome his personal demons.

The Village Mayor and the Parish Priest. My favorite characters, in a way. They are twins, played by the same actor. The Mayor represents the Communist-era despotism, corruption, and atheism. The Priest represents, of course, Roman Catholicism and the compassionate but straight-and-narrow moral code. And this is important: the twin brothers despise each other, but they often find themselves in situations where they have to work together.

Other primary characters. A few of them start out as comic-relief figures and some as villains. But each develops into a fuller character who finds redemption and of course, love:

  • Wealthy owner of a construction company, adept at greasing the right palms.
  • His wife, who owns and runs the village store in front of which our four favorite philosophers spend their days drinking.
  • Speaking of, the four storefront drunks: the venerable Stan, the two middle-aged petty criminals, and the young sometimes-employed construction worker who dreams of taking control of his destiny.
  • A highly literate but easily-led journalist.
  • An airhead coquette waitress at the local watering hole.
  • An accident-prone policeman who takes his job very seriously.
  • A destitute farm family with seven children, all prodigies. The mom is a simple woman who speaks with a backwater accent. The dad is an ex-con, along with being one of the four storefront drunks.
  • The Priest’s stout housekeeper, a pious but highly opinionated woman.
  • The Mayor’s spoiled, nagging wife.
  • The Mayor’s flaky teenage daughter Klaudia.
  • The female accountant with the Mayor’s office, a hopeless-romantic spinster.
  • A talented young intern to the Mayor, with ambitions of his own.
  • An old, reclusive herbs-woman and traditional healer.
  • The doctor and his class-conscious wife, and their rocky marriage.
  • A Machiavellian schemer who almost gets away with ruining the village; when he’s run out of town, it really had the feel of one of the 109 past (((expulsions))).

A globalist Blue Pill

One of the regular characters is Klaudia, the Mayor’s teenage daughter. She adopts a different subculture in each episode, according to an always-off-screen new boyfriend. She goes through a Punk phase, Goth, morose existentialist, vegan, Hare Krishna, businesswoman, Feng Shui enthusiast, Grunger, etc. etc. In one episode, she dates a Skinhead and as expected, shows up dressed like one. She tells Lucy about this latest thing she’s into. Lucy is Klaudia’s confidant through her normal teenage stuff.

Lucy listens with a worried look on her face as Klaudia tells her: “You know, my boyfriend says things that make a lot of sense.” She then summarizes his nationalist case, nothing more extreme than what Marine LePen would say. Overhearing this, Kusy gives Klaudia an enraged earful about hate being bad.

Kusy’s heavy-handed appeal to tolerance is a product of the Frivolous era, incomprehensible to today’s audiences in the Heroic era. The upside to having had to stomach this moment of vile globalist propaganda wrapped in such a nice television show and think about all the other viewers who saw that, is the fact that the West has now seen the fruits of tolerance and those fruits are crawling over with worms.

A nationalist Red Pill

The village Priest is in a bit of a panic because the Bishop from the big city had called him, informing him of his of his plan to visit the village. He tells the Priest not to tell anyone that he’s in fact a Bishop; he wants to come off as an ordinary Priest so that people act naturally in his presence. He wishes to see the parish as it really is, and also to take a break from the trappings of rank he deals with daily.

Beside himself with anxiety, the Priest arranges things so that the village is on its best behavior. The church dignitary arrives. It’s worth noting that the he is a tall, distinguished man with an authoritative voice. He is also a sympathetic one-time character.

Meanwhile, word gets out that the visitor is a Bishop. Oops, the priest’s housekeeper may have let that slip. So all of the townspeople prepare themselves to pretend they don’t know who he is when they meet him. The village policeman, out of uniform for the sake of being inconspicuous, trails him on his solo walks around the village to ensure his safety. The Bishop quickly notices that he’s being followed and assumes the worst: secret police surveillance.

He then runs into Kusy, whose odd words as he contemplates his next artistic project deepen the Bishop’s paranoia. Finally, Lucy approaches the Bishop in a friendly manner. Because of her foreign accent, she mentions that she’s American. But by the workings of verbal comedy, the Bishop concludes that she’s a US intelligence agent. So now his conviction that he’s under surveillance becomes more than he can stand: it’s not just domestic security organs any more, it’s now a foreign superpower that spies on an incognito clergyman visiting an obscure village. The memorable moment when the Bishop sternly lectures the bewildered Lucy:

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Before, it was the KGB that persecuted us. Now, it’s the CIA. Well, let me tell you something, Missy! This here is a free, sovereign nation. We’re not some damn colony of yours. Are we clear on that?

World War III

Our civilization will get through it if we enforce the words of Victor Orbán: “Hungary must protect its ethnic and cultural composition. Every nation has the right to say that it does not want its country to change.”

The village in Rancho represents our respective homes. This is why Lucy held on to her inheritance.

Singin’ the Blues

A conversation starter I use sometimes: if you had to listen to only one narrow genre of popular music for a road trip / year / decade — basically, for a very long time — what genre would you choose? Now, you will certainly tire of that style, so you’ll need a chaser. Pick a second genre of music to complement your first choice.

For me, it wouldn’t be Blues. My shot would be early ’90s rock; Grunge, GNR. My chaser: ’70s pop such as ABBA and various mellow US/UK acts such as Little River Band and Christopher Cross. Levity to relieve the heaviness.

Still; sometimes there’s a perfect moment for Blues. Such a moment described in an earlier contemplation on music:

I once passed through a town in northwestern Tennessee, humming Dwight Yoakam’s “Thousand Miles From Nowhere” as I drove. This was midnight, 1995. With a cigarette in my hand I searched for radio stations, hoping to get lucky and catch Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” but instead, found a vintage Blues song. I left it on because the ghost of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who still watches over his folk in that little town, listened with me and because that recording, which lasted as long as the night, was a different kind of Clair de lune.

I know nothing about music but it’s my favorite blogging subject. Blues were developed by blacks reinterpreting Scots-Irish folk ballads. White artists who did great work in the genre:

The Crowes’ song above… I linked to a live performance. You decide if it works for you. It’s very passionate. A consummate performance by the entire band. The studio version is a great obscure song of the early 1990s.

  • Izzy Stradlin “Shuffle it All” (solid rebound after getting fired from Guns N Roses; my often-played song in 1992)

And this one below. It’s by Czesław Niemen. Here is an older post with some background on him and my favorite of his songs, “The Flowers of my Land.” He’s best remembered for his Sixties’ hippie aesthetic along with signature jazz- and blues-inspired music. Most of his music is in his native language, but he also recorded three albums in English.

“Why Did You Stop Loving Me” — I discovered the song a couple of days ago. A free-flowing twelve minutes of experimental, psychedelic Blues from the late ’60s or early ’70s. It starts out conventionally for the first minute-plus, and then: