August 02, 2016

Red Krypton; the Arkansas of the Universe


Timothy Birdnow

Last night the THIS TV network ran a pair of old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. Now, I can't imagine who could pass up a chance to see A Fist Full of Dollars or The Good the Bad and the Ugly, especially on a Monday night when nothing of any interest is on the rest of the illusion machine, so I flipped it on, planted my keister firmly in my chair, and enjoyed the show.

But THIS has an annoying number of commercials, and when a break comes you have a sizable chunk of time wasted on things you simply cannot live without; Flex Seal rubber coating, ambulance chasing attorneys, dish soap, and everyone's favorite - acne cream. Now, I enjoy tales about acne as much as the next man, but eventually one tires of the sight of pimply pusses. I had my fill so flipped to the WB network, which is one click down the dial (and the sister station to THIS).

Well, the WB is a station for kids, and it did not disappoint as it had that bratty Supergirl playing. Supergirl wasn't so super; she got booted from CBS, likely due to poor ratings and stupid plot lines. But I watched a little of the Girl of Steel (or is it Steal as she's trying to steal the Big Dog's thunder? She was definitely stealing time from the viewers) between the killings of Italians pretending to be Mexicans.

Now, I've never been a big Superman fan because he's a dope. With his godlike powers he should have no trouble whatsoever, but he's always in peril because, well, he's an incompetent. A boob. A man so stupid he wears his underwear on the outside of his pants and thinks a pair of glasses is a good disguise. Granted, I wouldn't tell him that; he might blow me down with that horrible halitosis breath of his, but were a mere human to copy his approach he would be put in the State School for the Mentally Handicapped. It's only Superman's enormous power that prevents his attending special ed classes.

I think the Kryptonians must have interbred terribly to produce a guy like Kal El. I fear Krypton was the equivalent of Arkansas, and was probably led by the equivalent of the Clintons.

And Supergirl is the bratty late-teen early twentysomething cousin of the Man of Steel. It's bad enough we have an omnipotent not so bright adult, but a kid without the benefit of being raised as an American is intolerable.

And make no mistake; she isn't an American. Unlike her cuz, Supergirl was raised - at least in her early years - on Krytpon. Now, Krypton has a red sun, which apparently mirrored it's political and social views. We learn this when SG tries to comfort the hip, tall, dazzling urbanite who they used to replace the pasty white nerd Jimmy Olson.

Here was the money quote from the show last night:

Olson: I was famous not for anything I did but for who I knew. I wanted to do something on my own.

Superchick: On Krypton we believe that it is noble to ask others for help. We have a saying "together we're stronger."

End

So Krypton is a socialist society where "you didn't build that!" but rather you ask for help from others at all times. Someone really should tell Kal El; he has always been leading by example, trying to get people to act for good individually. But did you get the last? Yes, Superchick actually used the Hillary Clinton slogan "together we're stronger".

I'm telling you, Krypton was Arkansas writ large.

And I burned with the desire to make the obvious rejoinder:

Tim: "and yet, despite being stronger together, Krypton was destroyed and the Kryptonian People became extinct, or nearly enough."

Yes, that is the lesson that should be learned here. Kryptonian philosophy was a trap. Clearly a trap. They should never have become extinct from one planetary event, but they did. Why? Because they were weak and decadent - the product of over-reliance on society and social constructs. Their People had lost the spark, the drive, the genius that comes from individual initiative and independent thought. Theirs was the society that our liberal friends demand for us; carefully planned, collectivist, regulated, ordered and structured. With Kryptonian technology they should have spread out, colonized a large swath of the Galaxy. They had interstellar capabilities, after all, but did not use them. Heck, they didn't even colonize their own solar system. As a result, when their planet blew up the only survivors were the El cousins and General Zahn's criminal exiles. That is what overspecialization gets you. And that is what "together we're stronger" led to on Krypton.

Their society was decadent because, like the old Soviet Union, everyone looked to the rest to accomplish anything. Jar-El was the only Kryptonian who still had the spirit of old. And Supergirl is preaching this failed philosophy to Earth.

Needless to say I turned back to my spaghetti western. Clint Eastwood and the men of the Old West may have been brutal and life may have been hard, but they lived life on their own terms. The Western is a genre that celebrates individuality, faith, moral character, and grit. Too bad Krypton didn't see A Fist Full of Dollars.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:50 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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August 01, 2016

Blacks Eschew Federal Parks Because of Racism, Researchers Claim

Timothy Birdnow

Blacks do not go to National Parks as much as whites because of racism, a new study from the University of Missouri Columbia.

According to the article:So

"For the study, Lee, an assistant teaching professor of parks, recreation and tourism in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, interviewed African American residents in the community of Cedar Hill, Texas. The community is predominately middle-class, African American and located close to Cedar Hill State Park. Despite the proximity, Lee found that very few African Americans visit the park. During in-depth interviews with members of the community, Lee found that most African Americans had no interest in park visitation or chose to avoid the park due to a history of racial discrimination in the area and concerns about how they would be treated if they visited the park.

"Many of the adults I spoke with were raised by parents who experienced discriminatory Jim Crow laws which prevented or discouraged African Americans from visiting public parks,” Lee said. "Park attendance in America is culturally embedded, meaning children who are raised going to parks will grow up to take their children. Many African Americans do not go to parks because their parents and grandparents could not take their children. In other words, many African Americans’ lack of interest in parks or outdoor recreation is a cultural disposition shaped by centuries of racial oppression. While Cedar Hill is a unique community, these issues are prevalent around the country and applicable to many national and state parks.”

End excerpt.

So this fellow (whose specialty is more in line with food and beverage scholarship than with a rigorous statistical research program) interviewed a couple of people outside ONE National Park and was able to reach these far-reaching conclusions. This is terrible methodology

Lee continues:

"Lee says that Cedar Hill State Park was once a large plantation run by a family who owned slaves. The historical sites at the park make no mention of this history, which Lee says adds to the resentment from the black community.

"Researchers have documented that the omission of African American history is quite common at public parks and recreation areas,” Lee said. "So the question is: whose story needs to be told to the public and future generations? African Americans I interviewed firmly believed that African American history needs to be told at these parks.”

Lee suggests that public officials partner with schools and youth development organizations to encourage children to visit parks at early ages. He suggests hosting field trips and picnic days. He says exposing younger generations to parks will help them develop an interest in the outdoors, leading black children to revisit the parks when they grow up"

End excerpt.

So the land was once a plantation; so what? Ever land in America has some sort of history that isn't mentioned because, well, what does it matter? How many people know that the city of Hazelwood in north St. Louis County was owned by the Commandant of Camp Jackson, the state militia training ground that was raided by Union irregulars on the eve of the Civil War? Frost's farm was called Hazelwood. Nobody much cares, though. Or how many people know about the Republic of West Florida? These are pieces of history that are largely forgotten, and have more pertinence to America than the fact that a Federal park was once a plantation with slaves.

The reality is most blacks aren't that excited by parks. Just as a while ago there was hand wringing about the lack of black bird watchers, so too there seems to be concern about a dearth of black folks in National parks - as if it matters. Why can't they do what they enjoy? If they want to go to the parks, fine, but why care if they don't?

But in modernity racism is the eternal reason for everything that makes black folks who they are. We cannot ever say that perhaps they just aren't that into it; it must stem from the evil white man's enslavement and subsequent discrimination. So we have to take action to fix a problem that is no problem at all.

America has become the Mad Hatter's tea party.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:50 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Missou Creates Separate and Unequal Educational System

Timothy Birdnow

The University of Missouri Columbia has got their "surrender to Black Lives Matter" division up and running. Here is the bootlicking plan:

# Access and Success – higher graduation rates for a more diverse student body; increase diversity among faculty and staff.
# Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations – create a welcoming environment to acknowledge and celebrate diversity; provide opportunities for groups to interact and communicate.
# Education and Scholarship – prepare students for the global marketplace; support the curricular/co-curricular efforts of faculty and staff; provide support for research on diversity.
# Institutional Infrastructure – create an infrastructure that supports diversity goals within the University’s strategic plan and ensure that policies and processes reflect diversity and inclusion goals

[...]

Effective immediately, the following departments will report to the new MU Division:

* Accessibility and ADA Education office
* Gaines-Oldham Black Culture Center
* LGBTQ Resource Center
* Multicultural Center
* Office of Civil Rights & Title IX
* Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center
* Women’s Center

Additionally, staff from the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative program and staff will be folded into the new Division.

The budget for the Division will include $1.5 million for the 2016-17 fiscal year that will support and build infrastructure and create new initiatives.

End excerpt.

Soooo...

Grades are going to be assigned based on race, sex, etc. The University is going to be fundamentally restructured to give special privileges to minority students.

Now THAT'S what a college education is all about!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:15 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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