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  • Those Whom The Gods Would Destroy

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on February 14th, 2021 (All posts by )

    … they first make mad, or so goes the popular version of a concept which goes back to the ancient Greeks. They who are on that irrevocable final spiral towards destruction do seem addicted to self-destructive or at least counter-productive behavior – either of the personal or institutional sort. I can’t help wondering if the powers-that-be at Lucasfilm/Disney are entering that death spiral, what with firing Gina Carano from the cast of The Mandalorian for … well, nothing much more than pointing out that the Nazi genocide of Jews started with a program of determined “otherization.” Ms Carano merely drew a parallel which has occurred to many another so-called “Deplorable”, and it certainly has not escaped attention of sharper observers than myself that a chorus of so-called tolerant progressives have been clamoring for the punishment and erasure of Republicans, conservatives, Trump supporters and flyover rural residents, ever louder and with increasing urgency of late. Why she should be singled out for cancellation for pointing out the obvious parallel, other than being in a notoriously prog-sympathetic profession?

    Well, probably for that reason alone. She played a popular leading character with a lot of fans, in a show which may be one of the most interesting and most-watched series that Disney through Lucasfilm has produced of late. She refused to play the “woke” game, even mocked it on social media, and there is nothing the orthodox despise more than a stubborn and unrepentant heretic. Lucasfilm’s official statement on her firing contained the phrase: “… her social media posts denigrating people based on their culture and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable…” A statement which rather begs the question of exactly whose’ culture and religious identities were being denigrated here and suggests that whoever generated that ass-covering bit of corporate boilerplate was as on-target as the white-armored Star Wars stormtrooper shock troops customarily are. Three cheers for corporate culture traditions.

    As for the present downward spiral in the Star Wars concession and by extension, that of the Disney brand; it’s a bit sad, in my estimation. When I was growing up and well into my 20ies, Disney was the exemplar of wholesome (even sickly-sweet) family entertainment, where nothing in any of their genre movies, animated or live-action, would turn a hair on the head of the most hide-bound traditionalist in flyover country. That was their schtick – wholesome, traditional, patriotic, and ordinary. Not so much of that vibe in evidence of late, looking at some of the very public meltdowns of former Disney child stars. Something rotten in the Kingdom of Mouse, one might suspect, regarding it all from the far distant outside.

    As for Lucasfilm – here we have one of the most dazzling, profitable, and interesting-to-fans movie series franchises ever … and it shriveled into nothing much over the subsequent years since the original trilogy took the world by storm. The second trilogy had some life breathed into it by heroic efforts in media artificial resuscitation and the fond memories of fans who remembered the first trilogy, but now I suspect that the Mandalorian was the last hurrah; Star Wars by Disney might just prove to be a dead franchise walking. Discuss as you wish.

     

    44 Responses to “Those Whom The Gods Would Destroy”

    1. pouncer Says:

      “Disney was the exemplar of wholesome (even sickly-sweet) family entertainment, where nothing in any of their genre movies, animated or live-action, would turn a hair on the head of the most hide-bound traditionalist in flyover country. ”

      Disney is vacating that niche and the Hallmark Entertainment group is (while leaving greeting card publishing) moving in. Many of our woke betters sneer at Hallmark romantic holiday movies. There may be justified criticism of that (or any) genre’s intrinsic limitations. But experience and evidence strongly suggests there is profit to be earned from wholesome (even sickly-sweet) family entertainment, genre movies, and entertainments that turn no hairs on the heads of hide-bound traditionalists in flyover country.

      From a perspective in niche/indy publishing — which sells better? Dinosaur Porn or Amish Romance?

    2. Brian Says:

      Disney fell all over themselves to fire Roseanne as fast as they could. And they are completely in bed with the CCP. They’re trash who should be destroyed as soon as possible.
      It’s amazing in this day and age to remember that George Lucas walked away from 15 years of cashing in on Star Wars–no more sequels after ROTJ, no toys, etc. It’s quite remarkable. Too bad he ever brought it back…

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      *snicker*
      Dino-porn or Amish Romance? Probably neck and neck, as they appeal to a very specific and particular niche audience, who are perfectly willing to pay for a good engrossing read of their preferred kind of escape-read.

    4. James the lesser Says:

      I wondered about your statement that it was withering away–I still see yards of toys and whatnots–but as of last year apparently Disney hadn’t exactly recouped its investment. I gather the Mandalorian has been big, and that was too recent for the link above to really take into account. Still, I wonder how long they can keep making such decisions?

      There’s a market for the woke stuff. I know some consumers of it. I know others who won’t touch it, and others who I’m not sure have noticed yet.

    5. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Honestly, James – I believe that Star Wars is going on the last fumes in the tank; nostalgia from people my age and a bit younger. There’s not much enthusiasm left in the franchise itself to go on, really, and most of it seems to be self-generated from the fans themselves. The Mandalorian was the most promising … but I’m wondering if it wasn’t a swan-song.
      I see the toys and stuff too … but I see them sitting on the shelf, slightly shopworn and dusty.

    6. Anonymous Says:

      Aside:
      I think the “Hallmark” channel is becoming a touchstone – I noticed when Hawley’s wife was talking about being besieged in Washington D.C., alone with their infant; she described herself as cuddling in the basement for a “girl’s night in” watching Hallmark movies. Suspect she was signaling what my friends who are delighted by these value. And it isn’t antagonists of a husband banging, but rather the protection of the family’s home and respect due a mother and her week’s old child. God knows we need something pleasant somewhere to lose ourselves in for an hour or two.

      I wonder if there will ever come a time when people who came up with that 2-bit, trite bit to justify her firing ever really look at what she said and feel embarrassed for their quite public stupidity. Sure deplorables understand it personally but in actuality how could anyone take their meaning from it that wasn’t really, really stupid? But the strange thing is that when it was discussed on Fox, with appropriate irritation at double standards at Disney, they avoided giving what she said as if it would brand them.

    7. Kirk Says:

      The reality is that they have been looking to get rid of her since the beginning–You have to wonder why on earth she was ever even cast.

      Gina Carano even being in the Mandalorian has to be a huge “WTF”, because casting her goes against everything these corporate cretins supposedly believe and value. By rights, her role should have been played by some diminutive little waif whose hand-to-hand combat skills defy physics and reality, so as to “own the boys” at their own game. Putting her in that role was something I looked at and went “Well, that ain’t going to last…”.

      It’s kind of like with the casting in the Expanse. The Martian Marine Bobbie Draper is described in the books as a hulking Polynesian woman of significant mass. They cast a slim and feminine Frankie Adams for the role, when the character is described much more along the lines of a Genah Fabian, especially in terms of muscularity and mass.

      The disconnect these people have with regards to what female combat soldiers should or would actually look like is literally palpable. If you’re going to posit a woman going toe-to-toe with male combatants, then she’s going to either be dead in short order or physically close to the same size and muscularity. No amount of waif-fu can compensate for small size and low muscle mass, and it’s just not credible or realistic to even suggest that the typical Joss Whedon fetish-fantasy is even remotely believable.

      I liked casting Gina in that role; it was believable, and she was someone I could look at and suspend disbelief with regards to what her character was supposed to be. With Frankie Adams? No way. I like her as an actress, but not in that role.

      I see good things in Gina’s future, though. Being cancelled by Disney is likely to be a “Banned in Boston” sort of affair in very short order–Something these people running the show seem to forget. Let us consider just how the current crop of auteurs got to where they did, after the great blacklisting of the 1950s. Americans love underdog stories, and underdogs–And, note that the current crop of “geenioouus” types are creating more and more of them from people who formerly weren’t even particularly right-wing. My reading about Gina is that she was formerly not really a big person for politics, but ya know what? I bet that she is… Now.

      Futzing idiocy, all over the place, on the left. With Trump, they could have oh-so-easily co-opted him and taken advantage of his popularity. I’ll lay you long odds that in the alternate timeline where they did that, they could have rolled him, and rolled him good, making him drag the Republican party way over to the left with him. He’d have sold it as “bi-partisan”, and meant it. Instead, they went out of their way to alienate him and the people who voted for him, and what is it going to get them? Epic, ‘effing disaster, as I strongly believe that all the chickens are going to come home to roost in these next four years of the Biden-Harris Interregnum. The whole scam is going to blow up in their faces, because they can’t possibly keep all of the balls up in the air at the same damn time. Watch what happens with Cuomo–He’s their canary-in-the-coal-mine. Pelosi is going to have a public mental melt-down, and I don’t really give her all that much time, either–I’d lay good money she’s either dead or in a rubber room before 2024. Maybe even 2022.

    8. Brian Says:

      You could probably write an interesting study tracing how many fights in movies involve women beating up men over the past several decades. I don’t think that was a thing in the 80s, because people still lived in reality somewhat then…

    9. Sgt. Mom Says:

      From Kirk: “The disconnect these people have with regards to what female combat soldiers should or would actually look like is literally palpable. If you’re going to posit a woman going toe-to-toe with male combatants, then she’s going to either be dead in short order or physically close to the same size and muscularity. No amount of waif-fu can compensate for small size and low muscle mass, and it’s just not credible or realistic to even suggest that the typical Joss Whedon fetish-fantasy is even remotely believable.”
      Indeed. I was strong enough and tall enough when I was twelve or thirteen to go toe-to-toe in backyard wrassling with my brother and his friends of the same age. Not at any point after that. Not just to believably happen.
      OTO – the one actress that I totally found credible in the role of a tough street cop was Molly Price, in “Third Watch“. She had the right kind of physical presence and believability – it’s hard to describe, but yeah – she looked right. She had the right kind of presence and swagger as a cop.

    10. Xennady Says:

      The only reason I consented to watch The Mandalorian was because I had heard that Disney had refused to bow to SJW pressure to fire Gina Carano. I was entertained, although it struck me as a rather too obvious setup for a video game franchise. Anyway, it was also nice to see two people I recognized- Carl Weathers and Ming-Na Wen- in the show. Well, I’m out. Again, the only reason I watched this show was because I thought that someone had finally stood up to the Hollywood left.

      Shrug. I’m a fan of The Fourth Turning hypothesis- which I know has been discussed here at this site- and I’ve long thought that not much of the present pop culture will survive the turning. But to be honest, I didn’t think pop culture would disappear because the executives in charge would be so jaw-droppingly stupid- and firing one of your most popular actresses because no real reason is amazingly stupid.

      But also utterly typical. I should have seen this coming, because incompetence is a primary reason for all manner of things to fail, especially badly managed corporations that are very deeply in debt.

    11. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      My sons and granddaughters have stayed with the Disney/Star Wars franchise. The girls love it. I don’t even pay attention anymore. I started the boys off, but was strictly a First Trilogy fan only. Now, not even that.

      Microaggressions against liberals are serious business, but getting conservatives (or libertarians, or Grey Tribe) fired is not even a side effect but an actual goal. Intelligent businesses are finding ways around this, and are also getting smart enough to avoid detection. It will take a while, and I’m not going to blow their cover, but it is already happening. Woody Allen’s “The Front” is turning out to be the inspiration for another politically oppressed group.

    12. Mike K Says:

      This discussion reminds me of how old I am. I saw maybe two movies a year until the virus hit. We saw “Dunkirk,” which was OK, and “The Cold Blue” which is good but a WWII film using footage preserved and restored of actual combat footage. We saw “They Shall Not Grow Old,” twice.

      I am a movie fan and have a large DVD collection but it is mostly classics like “Topper” and “My Man Godfrey.” I also have a collection of books about movies but none about what passes for the industry today.

      One time about ten years ago, I sat my kids down to watch the original “Thomas Crown Affair” with Steve McQueen. They could not believe how good it was.

      Oh well, I don’t watch TV either. I do have a houseful of books, many of which I buy used and almost all hardcover. The local theater in Oro Valley (a suburb of Tucson)does show revivals at times but I have not been in a year. I suspect their customer profile resembles me.

      My wife and I were musing about what the kids will do with our possessions when we die. We were undecided between Ebay and Craigs List. Laughing about it.

    13. MCS Says:

      I am at a loss to rationally imagine what it was she said that was remotely controversial let alone objectionable. That is, outside of the German analog to the Confederate “Lost Cause” apologists. Reminders that the Nazi enterprise required not just the blind acquiescence but the active support of a great many more Germans than ever wore an SS uniform or ran a death camp are decidedly unwelcome in some quarters.

      Disney seems a strange place to find a nest of Holocaust deniers. I suppose we’ll just have to wait to see if someone can back Disney into enough of a corner that they try to explain what was so objectionable.

    14. Jester Naybor Says:

      Something rotten in the Kingdom of Mouse, one might suspect, regarding it all from the far distant outside.

      There’s a new Pooh Bear in the Kingdom, calling the shots as a condition of the corporate suits’ having access to his Hunny Pot, and the 1.3 billion bees who keep it stocked.

    15. Christopher B Says:

      MCS – what she did that was objectionable to any ‘Woke’ institution such as Disney and LucasFilm was point out that Jews were not ‘Othered’ because they were physically different from any other German citizen but because Hitler and his regime found their beliefs, in a word, deplorable.

    16. Del VArner Says:

      As has been discussed on many of the youtube popular culture channels (nerdrotic, The Quartering, Overlord DVD), there is a “civil war” going on at Disney between the makers of the current excrement movies and The Mandalorean (and looks like spinoffs). Who will win? The makers of the Mandalorean respect the fans and the Star Wars canon, the maker of the excrement movies don’t. It is sort of like what happened to Doctor Who. The new show runner wanted to subvert 60 years of Doctor Who canon, and has taken the show down. I would be surprised if there is a new series with a new doctor after the current one ends. This is epitomized in the expression: “Go Woke, Go Broke”

      As for Frankie Adams, I think she’s doing a marvelous job in the role. You will find it many times hard to match a literary description to real person. How many weight lifting Maori women are you going to find afterall? Do you like the show “Bosch”? Titus Welliver does not look like the literary description of his character, yet Connelly chose him to be the lead anyway.

    17. Brian Says:

      Disney does seem to be particularly infected by lunacy:
      https://www.dailywire.com/news/bachelor-host-chris-harrison-steps-aside-over-accusations-of-perpetuating-racism-for-speaking-out-against-cancel-culture
      “The host of “The Bachelor,” Chris Harrison, announced this weekend that he was stepping aside “for a period of time” following accusations that he perpetuated racism when he asked that an embattled contestant be given “grace” and an opportunity to explain an allegedly racist photo.”

      Note that no conservatives have ever attempted to seriously back conservative news/entertainment outlets, the way that rich lefties have. The one exception is Fox News, which was always amusing because the Fox channel was known originally for being especially raunchy, and the new generation of Murdochs is clearly intent on destroying it. The time is well past for active measures to destroy establishment news and media sources.

    18. Linda S Fox Says:

      Sgt. Mom, I completely agree with you – that moment when girls are poised on the cusp of adolescence is the last time in their lives when they will be physically comparable to boys. After that, the odds favor even scrawny men beating athletic women like a gong.

      Women have to be unusally muscular (as many Women of Color are, compared to the standard of most White women, however fit) to be competitive with men. The push to bring in Trans/Men will be the death of women’s sports.

      While I understand those who will miss out on that opportunity, perhaps this will also bring in some common sense on the other kinds of activities that young women could focus their adolescent energy on:

      – Homemaking skills – not only the traditional cooking/sewing/housework, but also small appliance repair and maintenance, nutritional knowledge, gardening/small animal raising, and enough about running a small business to permit them to bring in some income during periods when they are not able to work at outside jobs, but need additional income.
      – Tech/coding/electronics – that part of high-tech is well-suited to women. Few of the jobs require extraordinary intellect, and women’s smaller hands make assembly/upgrades easier. Many of the jobs can be done freelance or part-time.
      – How to teach kids from birth through literacy/numeracy, in a home environment. All after that can be picked up in online/virtual school, alternative schools, or – if the public schools ever get their act together – in part-time physical attendance at schools that are BOTH academic and vocational.

      Rather than taking up after-school time with sports, women could benefit from time spent on those and similar activities.

      Perhaps we should use this forced-upon change in sports to re-design a women’s sports program that is fit for them. One that doesn’t push women into an insane level of competition that destroys their knees (a common body part injured in sports), but builds a body for lifelong fitness, including preparing for healthy pregnancies, and
      restoring fitness after birth.

    19. Pettifogger Says:

      “Many of the jobs can be done freelance or part-time.”

      Grafty Joe is making sure freelancers will be out of work. It’s all part of turning us into beggars, so we’ll be easier to please.

    20. Anonymous Says:

      @Del VArner,

      Ordinarily, I would agree with your point about “actor not matching character description”. However, huge ‘effing comma, when the actress in question does not have the sheer physicality to be credible in the role…? Yeah; willing suspension of disbelief becomes completely impossible. It’s as egregious as having someone pull out a Glock and the sound track provides the typical “click-clack” of the double-action revolver…

      Do you see my issue? Numerous times in the books, Bobbie is seen in the gym, working out and “keeping up with the boys”. There’s no way in hell that Frankie Adams can pull that off convincingly–She literally does not have the “guns” for that. Her upper arms and upper body do not convincingly say “infantry grunt” in any way.

      On the other hand, Gina and Genah? Both of them look like women I’d not want to follow down a dark alleyway with malicious intent, were I of that sort of mind. Matter of fact, if I were a Honolulu cop responding to a domestic violence call, and encountered someone looking like Genah…? I’d be calling for backup. Lots and lots of backup…

    21. Sam L. Says:

      I am not one who will attempt to tell people that they should not shoot their feet off with a 105mm howitzer, it that’s what they want to do. After all, the STUPID is STRONG in these ones, and this will improve the gene pool.

    22. Occasional Commenter Says:

      “there is a “civil war” going on at Disney between the makers of the current excrement movies and The Mandalorean”

      Pournelle’s iron law of bereaucracy bureaucracy. A smart, young upstart uncovers a profitable niche. A few folks in suits climb aboard to help reiterate the initial success (while sucking down big bucks). Eventually, the upstart is bought out by a major corporation, and Important People in suits, who Know Best What The Public Wants, milquetoast the new acquisition into the very pablum that caused some upstarts to try something new.

      “Everything begins as a movement, becomes a business, then degenerates into a racket.”

    23. Brian Says:

      Honestly, I’m not an expert in this, but I kinda like the concept that we abolish corporations. Keep partnerships, LLCs, etc., but when the founder dies, the company dies. That would at least strongly minimize the bureaucratic takeover of the modern world. Steve Jobs adds value, but what does Tim Cook have to offer the world? Ditto for Walt Disney and…whoever runs Disney anymore.

    24. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Linda S. Fox: “… perhaps this will also bring in some common sense on the other kinds of activities that young women could focus their adolescent energy on: …”

      Let’s hope so. One of the strange features of feminism is that it has denigrated women’s irreplaceable role as mothers — quite unnecessarily. If a particular woman wants to become a welder or a physicist, a carpenter or a CEO — and she has the ability and the drive — that is great! All power to her. But there is no need for those women to disrespect as “breeders” their sisters who choose a different course. The human race has climbed to where it is today thanks to the essential role of women in not only giving birth to babies but also raising those children to assume their responsibilities as adults. A society where women willingly trade all of that for the ephemeral fun of marching through the DC Swamp wearing a pussy hat is not a society with any long term future.

    25. Doctor Weasel Says:

      Disney stopped Lucas from destroying his own creation, only to destroy it themselves.

    26. David Foster Says:

      Brian….pretty sure that LLCs can be inherited, as can plain old sole proprietorships. (I’ll note that the preferences that one gets as an alumni of an ‘elite’ university are also effectively inherited, and are not even taxed!)

      And if businesses disappeared with the death of their owners, what would become of railroads, pipeline companies, etc?

    27. Kirk Says:

      @Gavin,

      See, here would be the thing, though… We’re still at that awkward phase where aspiration and the effects of improved medical technique have obviated a lot of the iron-clad rules that society had to build around sexual roles, and yet we’re not at the point where the science is actually there to be able to do away with them. We’re still a sexually-dimorphic species reliant on natural means of reproduction, and we’re still constrained by biology and our natural life-cycle.

      However, it has changed, but only just enough to give everyone the merest hint and taste of what the future might hold. The realities are still there, underneath it all.

      Eventually, however? Facts are that woman as the sole means of reproduction and child-bearing will change, just as the male as sole source of fertilization will change. What comes after all that? It’s going to be completely unrecognizable, in some ways, and entirely the same in others. My guess is that as we shift to artificial wombs, more women are going to blow off the idea of “ruining their bodies” in order to achieve motherhood, and quite a few are going to see it all as “someone else’s job”. Likewise, with the men. Parenting is going to be something that people only take up when they really want to, and the rest of the reproductive cycle is going to cease to be wrapped up in everything else.

      Factor in increased lifespan, and it’s pretty obvious that an awful lot about the “human condition” is going to change, and hopefully for the better. People are going to have the option of being a lot more mindful about reproduction, and there is going to be an enormous shift in social mores as this all comes in. Women have a huge value right now because they’ve got a monopoly on controlling reproduction. What happens when that monopoly is broken? Where do we go, from there?

      I suspect that a lot of the usual suspects are going to freak right the (insert obscenity of choice) out, and we’re going to hear several generations of angst and anger over that whole aspect of life being overwritten by the new reality. They’re able to breeze right by the implications of accurate paternity testing, but when there’s an option for men to chose their own path via the artificial womb? LOL… Yeah. Watch the fur fly. The first thing that’ll die will be the right to have an abortion because only the female doesn’t want the kid; a simple doctor’s visit will enable the embryo’s removal to an artificial womb, and the father will have the ability to carry out his own choices absent the “forced enslavement” of a woman. This is going to be a paradigm-warping change of the rules, and will leave an awful lot of women to face the realities of what true sex-role equality actually implies.

      My guess is that an awful lot of women in future generations are going to look back on the transition and wonder what the hell the idiots who forced the change were thinking, and they’re not going to be real happy at the prospects they face in a truly gender-blind reality. Egalitarianism won’t be as delightful as many theorize on this side of the paradigm-shift…

      Of course, there are a lot of men who’re going to feel screwed-over, as well, but since we’re pretty much used to the concept, I don’t think there’s going to be all that much angst about it all.

    28. Brian Says:

      David: Like I said, I dunno the details. But we gotta do something, innovation and entrepreneurship are, if not dead, getting strangled.

      Kirk: “My guess is that an awful lot of women in future generations are going to look back on the transition and wonder what the hell the idiots who forced the change were thinking, and they’re not going to be real happy at the prospects they face in a truly gender-blind reality.”
      Our society is dying. Gender-blind nutters aren’t the ancestors of the future society. Those who have kids are.

    29. Kirk Says:

      @Brian,

      You let that one whiz right past your head, my friend. The point I’m making is that the whole reproductive paradigm is going to shift, and in entirely unpredictable ways. Today, women are the gatekeepers–They decide who has kids to go on into the future. What happens when the males they look at and say “Yeah… No.” have the option of going down to the local clinic and starting up their own baby-making factory with either donated eggs, or with some other source of ova?

      If you think that’s not a significant shift in the way things are, you’d be delusional.

      Also, consider the “birth dearth” wherein nation-states like Japan and Germany are facing drastically lowered female fertility rates, and are having to jump through hoops in order to get women to perform that biological function. Build out your artificial womb capacity, and you can make up for that 1.17 fertility factor with ease, and then have the kids raised in creches.

      Of course, if you’re not forced to carry the embryo for nine months, maybe women will have a lot more enthusiasm for raising the kids they won’t have today.

      No matter what, we’re due for some changes coming down the line. What happens when there are real, significant changes to lifespan?

      I could foresee a situation where people would put off reproduction until much deeper into their lives, hopefully after achieving some real maturity. I could also foresee situations where societies would go through periodic “reproductive phases” where people are cranking out the kiddies, followed by fallow years. Consider the social effect that would have…

    30. Mike K Says:

      Kirk, you pretty well summarized “Brave New World.” I think as likely is that women who have adopted the “Woke” theme, we used to call them leftists, will avoid parenthood at all. We already see “The Roe Effect,” in which those most enthusiastic about abortion don’t breed at all.

      Now, the “Assortive Mating” described by Murray gives us intact families by the rich and elites but the recent New York Times kerfuffle tells us that these kids raised by those elite parents are weird.

      And then there was the trip to Peru that summer. The parents of adventurous young meritocrats paid $5,490 (plus airfare) for two weeks studying “Public Health and Development in the Andes.” On that trip, the reporter, Donald G. McNeil Jr., got into a series of heated arguments with students, none of them Black, on the charged question of race. Their complaints would ultimately end his career as a high-profile public health reporter for The Times, and again put The Times at the center of the national argument over journalism and racism and labor.

      These teenagers, students at a high school where tuition is $58,000 per year, went on a $5800 trip to Peru that included climbing Machu Picchu and sounds like a vacation, not a learning experience. On the trip, one of the kids got into an argument with the adult leader, a Times science editor and long time reporter.

      “I’m very used to people — my grandparents or people’s parents — saying things they don’t mean that are insensitive,” another student, who was then 17 and is now attending an Ivy League college, told me. “You correct them, you tell them, ‘You’re not supposed to talk like that,’ and usually people are pretty apologetic and responsive to being corrected. And he was not.”

      This refers to a discussion he was having with another student/tourist. The dreaded “N Word” came up and he repeated it. She was outraged and wrote a letter to the Times. He was forced to retire.

      So much for the new generation and humanity.

    31. Brian Says:

      You can’t extrapolate the current social trends out for another few centuries, as they are headed for obliteration. The ancestors of historians of the future will be those women who have 5 kids, not those who have none, let alone those who say they are men.

    32. David Foster Says:

      I have to note: I know quite a few women who are ‘progressives’ and who do have kids…some of them attended the march to protest the Trump inauguration and some of those posted pictures of themselves making Pussy Hats.

    33. Mike K Says:

      David, I have a “progressive” woman in the family (for now) married to my trial lawyer son. She has been odd all along, demanding that he see less of his family, for example. They have two daughters who live with the mother in Oakland and I never see them. From what I hear, the mother sits them down in front of a TV and that is how they spend their days. The girls are odd. They were down for Christmas a year ago and one told her cousin that she would like to drown her in the toilet. Other odd behavior although one might be autism spectrum.

      My son had to move to OC for his law practice and the wife would not move. She teaches Psychology (of all things) at a small college in the Bay Area one day a week.

      His brother, whose kids are teens, is doing well and all the kids, even though school is screwed up, are also doing very well. They are also conservative and church goers, when allowed.

    34. OBloodyHell Says:

      Brian:

      You heard what that “racist photo” was, right?

      She had the awful temerity to wear an antebellum gown at Halloween some years ago.

      His “defense” wasn’t even really a “defense”… He just said peeps should allow her to wail, weep, and gnash her guilty teeth instead of being instantly decapitated.

      Outrage for the sake of outrage. You can’t make this shit up… Because they’ll do it for you.

      SMH.

    35. OBloodyHell Says:

      What’s actually ha-ha-only-Wow-Irony is female waifs beating men in combat in movies, even as ersatz females are destroying women’s sports…

    36. Brian Says:

      OBH: I don’t watch TV, or browse the crazier parts of the internet, so my first exposure to the “controversy” was seeing some twitter accounts I follow post the host’s self-denunciation, but yes, the story is stupidity all the way down, her actions were fine, the picture was fine, his defense of her was fine. It’s long past time where someone in Hollywood needs to have a “have you no shame?” moment and make the monsters fire them, rather then defenestrate themselves.
      The problem of course is that only a few people are powerful enough to tell the mob to pound sand and survive at the moment, like JK Rowling. Most people aren’t, and so will keep their heads down. Gina Carano wasn’t big enough, and she got shoved out, so it certainly is not without sacrifice.
      Speaking of which, now they’re trying to go after Dana White for being a monster, because some idiot MMA reporter criticized her and then White called him a douche, and now the nutters are getting the vapors and going after him.

    37. Kirk Says:

      @OhBloodyHell,

      I once got to induce an instance of brain-lock cognitive dissonance in one of those “Women can do anything, anything at all…” types who was telling me that women belonged in the infantry, and then about ten minutes later was bitching about how her daughter had to compete with transgendered boys in track and field…

      All I had to do was point out the inconsistency, and she wound up sputtering incoherently. Highly entertaining, but I don’t think that the two mutually opposing worldviews were ever reconciled or recognized as being such in her mind.

    38. Kirk Says:

      @MikeK,

      The thing is, you’re already living in that Brave New World nightmare. The left doesn’t breed; instead, it takes up the reproductive strategy of the cuckoo, stealing the effort of others to raise their new members. How else to describe the effect of a university education?

      Things are going to change, because what doesn’t work, won’t go on. The inflection point of failure is reached, and things change.

      I look at the whole issue of sex and gender in our society as a reflection of adaptation to circumstance. Once upon a time, before Ignace Semmeweiss had his epiphany (and, wound up persecuted for it…), the attrition rate and the necessities of reproduction mandated a separate and circumscribed role for women–What sense was there in spending the resources to educate a girl, or train her for a career, if she were likely to die in childbirth? Who was going to raise the kids or make the home, when that was a nightmare of labor?

      Circumstances changed, and the societal adaptations lagged. Still lag, as a matter of fact, for a lot of our customs, mores, and attitudes are still driven by need and necessities that haven’t prevailed since the last century.

      As things actually adapt to that change, you’re going to see the social conventions shift accordingly. Granted, it’ll be a generations-long affair, but the day is going to be coming when it won’t be “Women and children first…” but “Parents with minor children first…”, and single women without dependents will be expected to do the Birkenhead Drill right along with their male counterparts. You’ll also likely see a state of affairs where the current prevailing sexual bimorphism actually starts to shift towards a situation where biology no longer demands the adaptations we have to carrying a fetus for nine months–Why on earth would a woman want to go through all the changes and damage to her body that pregnancy after about the first trimester incurs, when she can offload all that onto what Bujold calls a “uterine replicator”?

      It’s going to happen, in all likelihood. What the world looks like, after? Hard to say… I think the whole “everyone born in factories and raised in creches” is probably a non-starter, given the general human tendency to screw up large hierarchical organization over time. Not to mention, I strongly suspect that the advent of artificial uterine technology is going to turn up a whole lot of things we don’t know about pre-natal development. My guess is that the first generation of kids out of these things is going to look really weird, in terms of missing out on things like the mother’s constantly changing chemistry and surrounding environment. Exactly how much brain development is due to the embryo being exposed to the mother’s environment, and what is the effect of having zero cues from that environment going to be…? Will there be a much higher incidence of social detachment disorders? Will the resulting kids be mostly autistic, or unrecognizable as humans?

      There will probably be a market for devices built to monitor a mother’s environment, including sounds and everything else, which will provide that experience remotely to the developing fetus. As such, there’s probably going to always be a need for the bespoke solution, if only because people aren’t going to want to be raising someone else’s kids.

      You can only attempt to work out the full ramifications of it all. I can certainly see most people going the traditional route, but when you try to extrapolate out to small, remote human outposts deep in space, the likelihood is that there’s going to be a whole lot of really odd (from our point of view) adaptation to make up for the lack of genetic diversity. Banked germ cells will probably be a commodity; people will select those based on performance-based metrics, and you’ll see a lot more attention paid to long-term eugenics that are actually based on non-ephemeral things and fads. It’s not that human breeding programs wouldn’t work, it’s that the idiots who’ve been trying them were utter dumbasses trying to do things in the short term, and paying attention to nothing past surface appearances. Blond hair and blue eyes aren’t a marker for anything other than adaptation to a low-sunlight environment, with our biology, and yet the “genius” idiots who were behind most of the eugenics movement in the early 20th Century thought they were meaningful. In the future, you’ll likely see people examining real health and performance records before deciding to use a particular set of genes–And, probably generations after the owner of said genes died.

      I’m actually sort of surprised that we haven’t seen a market for “celebrity sperm” open up, and that’s probably due to the whole issue of who’d wind up paying for the kids and inheritance. Separate that issue out, and I suspect there’d be tons of women who wanted to (for example…) carry Elvis’s babies. Or, some other flavor of the month. Eventually, male reproduction and genetic propagation is going to be separated out from today’s situation, and you’re going to see a lot more “celebrity success” rewarded with more of those genes going out into the general gene pool. You’ll also see cases where women might look at some notorious figure, like a firefighter who died going into a burning house, and then decide to get the federal birth subsidy using his genes…

      Whole thing is going to be freaking insane, from our perspective. People might think things are weird and really messed up today, but let me tell you what, we’ve only really scratched the surface. Semmelweiss was naught but a snowflake, in terms of the coming avalanche of change that we’re going to be forced to adapt to.

    39. Brian Says:

      Kirk: My guess is your interlocutor didn’t view the army as being any sort of competitive endeavor. It’s just a job, like a teacher or a nurse or a lawyer, or whatever, so of course men and women should be given equal access to it. Seems crazy, but I honestly think that’s the way that a lot of people look at it. Which to be honest, you kind of have to blame the military leaders of the past few decades, since that’s basically how they’ve sold themselves.

    40. Mike K Says:

      Kirk, you raise a lot of good points.

      1. stealing the effort of others to raise their new members. How else to describe the effect of a university education?

      I agree to some extent.Universities have served their purpose and what we have now is useless; a finishing school for rich kids. Oxford was similar in 19th century England and they fell way behind Germany as a result. We may see something similar with China.

      2. What sense was there in spending the resources to educate a girl, or train her for a career, if she were likely to die in childbirth? Who was going to raise the kids or make the home, when that was a nightmare of labor?

      I kind of disagree here. Boys could work in the fields and support the parents while girls required a bride price and joined another family if they married. I think that had more to do with the practice of infanticide. The family that invented the obstetrical forceps kept it secret for generations.

      Girl children were not taught the secret as they would marry into another family and betray the secret.

      3. you’ll see a lot more attention paid to long-term eugenics that are actually based on non-ephemeral things and fads.

      There is already a Nobel Prize winner sperm back. I doubt celebrities are thought by most to be paragons of intelligence. Charles Murray has written about the “assortive mating” in elite colleges. Doctors no long marry nurses. They marry other doctors.

      It’s been a while since I read “Brave New World” but, as I recall, the small colony of “normals” who bred traditionally was described as superior.

    41. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Kirk: “… when she can offload all that onto what Bujold calls a “uterine replicator” “

      That is a very interesting thought. Let’s assume it is technically possible — now how would it work in practice?

      The uterine replicator is unlikely to be a domestic appliance like a bread-maker or a toaster. It probably will require a lot of services, 100% reliable (i.e. non-Green) electric power, 24/7 personnel in attendance. In short, it would require an expensive industrial-scale installation, in which the parents would rent a uterine replicator.

      The process is unlikely to take any less than the established 9 months. And at the end of the 9 months, there is a baby which will die almost immediately unless given a high level of 24/7 care for a period extending to a year or more. The investor in that factory is going to need two things for the process to be economically viable: (1) payment for the full 9 months in advance, and (2) a rock solid method of making sure that the baby will be taken off his hands at the precise moment of “birth”. Consequently, the process is going to be very expensive!

      Given the high upfront cost, it is likely that the process would make sense only to movie starlets and female CEOs who have the capacity to earn large amounts of money during the 9 month avoided gestation. For the average upper middle class woman emerging from university with her degree in Lesbian Dance, it is not going to be feasible.

    42. Kirk Says:

      @Gavin,

      Early adopters will have experience the issues you describe; celebrities and so forth will no doubt be among the earliest users, subsidized by their sponsors. After all, if the flavor-of-the-month starlet gets preggers, the idea of not having to disrupt multi-million dollar schedules becomes awfully attractive.

      From there, the same thing happens in a trickle-down sort of way; high-octane female executives first, then valuable specialists, and eventually, the wives of male employees will be offered it as a perk.

      Eventually, the cost will come down to something that government programs and the average person will be able to afford as an alternative. Even today, surrogacy is pretty widespread, with all sorts of people doing it at many socio-economic levels.

      Aside from that, the sort of thing I’m describing is going to come in as a necessity in the future, particularly when it comes to isolated deep-space situations. You’re not going to be able to afford the time away from duties for specialist personnel in order for them to reproduce, and you’re going to need them to reproduce. A uterine replicator is going to be seen as a godsend for societies that are suffering the effects of the latter-stages of today’s “birth dearth” among the “educated elite”. You want to solve that, then you’re going to need to do two things: One, mandate that the people with those gene sets procreate, contributing back into society, and two, come up with a way for them to do it without obviating the work and position they’re in.

      Longer lifespans would do a lot, but who knows which will come first? I could see Japan eyeballing this situation, looking at the 1.14 fertility rate they’re experiencing, and then going “Hmmmm…”. Not to mention, think of all the potential for the control-freak types to get their jollies from telling everyone what to do?

      Anyway you look at it, conditions obtaining in the future are not going to be those of the past, or of today. I don’t advocate for it, at all, but I can read the handwriting on the wall, and it says “You want true egalitarian equality between the sexes, sweetie…? OK: Here it is… Enjoy!”.

      The leveling of the field stemming from the introduction of the artificial womb is going to be amusing as hell to observe, for a given value of “amusing” that Coyote would appreciate. I don’t think it’s really a good thing or a bad thing, but a thing it is going to be, nonetheless.

      Reading Bujold, I think she got a lot of things right, but there are some social implications that breeze entirely overhead of what she wrote. For one thing, the whole paradigm of abortion-on-demand goes right out the window, along with the “woman’s right to chose whose fetus she carries to term”. Create a viable embryo, and you’re going to be charged with murder, should you decide to terminate it. A society living within the constraints of a below-replacement fertility rate and low population cannot afford such a policy; if you allow a gestation to begin, then you’ll need to allow it to come to full term, either artificially or naturally. Who pays for it will become the big question, with included implications of how that’s going to be worked out. I could see law being written such that there’d be a differentiation between “used birth control measures that failed” and “didn’t bother…”. The first would likely mean full subsidy from society in general, and the second…? Yeah, you’re paying for it, even if you don’t raise the resultant kid.

      We’re still in that awkward transitional phase, between traditional society and whatever the hell comes once all this is more than mere speculation. We’re still working out the societal implications of things like mechanization and automation, with regards to the roles of the sexes. There’s a hell of a lot of ground between the conditions that obtained back when you had to be “six foot tall and full of muscle” to wrestle a team of horses around as a teamster, and the ones where a diminutive five-foot-nothing chicklet with no muscle mass at all can operate a truck or delivery van to move ten or twenty times the goods in the course of a work-day. This is a fact we still haven’t really adapted to, beyond paying it lip service.

    43. Brian Says:

      Anyone familiar with Burton Klein?
      https://scottlocklin.wordpress.com/2021/02/17/planning-of-invention-part-1-burton-klein-and-dynamic-economics/
      “Klein was interested in innovation (his word, more or less, is “dynamism”) during a time of obvious American cultural, economic and technological stagnation; the 1970s…Klein predicted the sclerosis that would hit the over-all American economy; everything from affluenza among the middle classes, to soaring real estate prices as a form of inflation, to the inability of corporations to deal with changing conditions without government interference. He even predicted the growth of microstability; predictability in the returns of large corporations, mostly due to rent-seeking parasitism, pushing risk taking off on poor people, and making for social unrest and macro-instability (aka the last 20 years in America). We should learn the lessons of his work in building new companies.”

    44. Helian Says:

      @Kirk

      “The thing is, you’re already living in that Brave New World nightmare. The left doesn’t breed; instead, it takes up the reproductive strategy of the cuckoo, stealing the effort of others to raise their new members.”

      It seems they’re playing a losing game from a Darwinian point of view. The Left is responding blindly to moral and other emotions that worked fine a hundred thousand years ago in small groups of hunter-gatherers. Their reaction to the same emotions in the radically different environment of today, has resulted in what may be called morality inversions. You might say these innate predispositions have become “dysfunctional.” Instead of enhancing the odds that the responsible genes will survive and reproduce, their behaviors will ostensibly accomplish the exact opposite. In short, leftists in today’s environment are failed biological units. I personally don’t have a problem with leftists promoting their own extinction. The problem is that they’re doing their best to drag the rest of us down with them.