2014 And Limits Of New Romanticism

2014 And The New Romantics

We’re witnessing another New Romantic historical moment end. We see it wind down in domestic American politics, including L’Affaire Snowden. And in Kiev’s Streets. We turn our gaze from Syrian killing fields. Spontaneous, unorganized mass sentiment failed to create real change anywhere.

1848 Europe’s revolutionary, democratic moment and its lessons come to mind. Europe saw its widest ever democratic revolutionary wave quickly collapse into a Continental reactionary resurgence. Historical analogies should always be suspect, especially here. Yet, we can’t help but ask, “What comes next, now?”

The New Romantics Aren’t A Pop Group

Our last 15 years constitute a Romantic Moment. First it flourished with the Colored Revolutions’ early promise. Even elements of Americans’ manipulated arc in Iraq and Afghanistan floated on misguided sentiment. Mass sentiment erupted in Tehran, ignited the Arab Spring, Syria, rock both Thailand and now Ukraine, again. Obama’s improbable 2008 presidency and aftermath are part of the tableau, too.

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The Tea Party’s Answer For Newt’s Suckage At Sci Fi: Dan Simmons’ “Flashback”

Dan Simmons latest, “Flashback”, reviewed in mid Summer by the WaPo was declared a Tea Party manifesto. The plot occurs in a fallen U.S. some 30 years in the future, with Mexico occupying the Southwest, Japan in Hawaii directly and ruling the West and Midwest indirectly via zaibatsu viceroys. Israel is nuked out existence, and the Global Caliphate expands in Europe, Canada and even the remaining 44 1/2 U.S. states by Sharia Law.

The future U.S. is a broke, neo-totalitarian State, with cities and roads lawless. It rents out its poorly trained and equipped army as fodder to Japan and India to fight their wars. People deal with the catastrophes by abusing a drug called ‘Flashback’ that allows one to memory dive and relieve a past moment as new again.

All of the decline, this ‘appeasement’ occurred because of a man elected president in November 2008. His policies like ObamaCare, his speech in Cairo, it all started with one community organizer.

The lone, shining hold out of integrity and self-esteem? Why, the Republic of Texas, naturally.

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The Tea Party Zombie Game

Rightists have such glass jaws. Can’t take a punch. As you doubtless know by now they’re in a hissy fit over a zombie game about the Tea Party.

The news hit a fit days ago. You may be asking why write about it now? When the news hit, one senior Republican of our acquaintance asked us privately if we did it. Nope. But we can say anything that gets that thin skinned crowd up in arms must be doing something right.

We’ll be back to regular blogging this week.

Natural Disaster Summer Of Fear Edition

Share what’s on your mind. D.C. is rattled at the moment. The recent earthquake itself relatively minor. As a social lubricant? Big stuff — better than the Redskins. Plus, the upcoming hurricanes make for easy TV.

A more pervasive fear adds to tension. Only in August 2011 did the Imperial City Nomenklatura learn they are economically mortal. Their comfort while the Nation collapsed at risk. They may even be forced to share the indignity of lay offs with their subjects fellow Americans. There’s almost something biblical about the approaching reckoning.

We’ll spend some time working out initial ideas for a “The Summer of Fear” theme song. Or the Star Trek movie (Stiftung Style) we’ve mentioned before. And watch the weekend’s rain, mindful of the real oncoming storm.

JWB Shares A Summer Of Fear Theme Song Loop

Our mutual friend JWB kindly shares his initial mix of a Summer of Fear theme song. As he explains in the comments, he created this loop with specific political commentary in mind. Check it out.

JWB’s Loop


Summer of Fear, Stiftung Leo Strauss, Guitar, Loop

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Simulation of IJN Center Force vs. USN Task Force 34 Off Samar, Oct. 25, 1944

Will be setting up a simulation of this ‘What If?’ from the Battle of Leyte Gulf. There, Japanese battleships and cruisers missed their American counterparts. Here it will happen.

We are setting the Japanese force assuming Kurita’s fleet as attrited in the Sibuyan Sea on the 24th. When the Japanese fleet exits the San Bernardino strait off Samar to attack the American landing operation, instead of running into the unbelievably valiant but hopelessly overmatched Taffy 3 escort carriers and their handful of destroyers and destroyer escorts, now they encounter the American fast battleships of Task Force 34.

In history, Halsey took Task Force 34 with him away from Leyte Gulf on a goose chase after empty Japanese carriers. This left the incredibly brave and determined men of Taffy 3 to stand between Japanese battleships and landing area. If you saw ‘Hunt for Red October’, this is what the Scottish/Russian captain meant when he says to a young and thin Alec Baldwin that Halsey acted foolishly. (Adding to the ‘What If’ mix, Kinkaid now sends Oldendorf’s 77.2 battle line north behind Task Force 34 as a reserve (the old battlewagons had more AP shells than let on)).

Light posting/tweeting Friday night.

The Japanese fleet commander’s state of mind was critical to the American victory. Some overview discussion here. The references to Evan Thomas there are harmless. Kurita’s official post-war de-brief is also interesting between the lines.

Fortunately, it’s a non-issue now. In this simulation, the Center Force is programmed to seek the beach head decisively.

Record Industry On Limewire Infringement: $75 Trillion

Oh, we know there’s dithering amongst the detail weeds about NATO-this, Article I-this, but it’s all petty squabbling. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, ‘Half assed is as half assed does.” So far it’s been tawdry caviling.

Instead, as another tableau of the absurd, we present to you the Music Industry (Atlantic, Sony, Warners, Virgin, etc.). Before a judge overseeing the Limeware filesharing lawsuit, plantiff music companies were asked to proffer their estimate of damages incurred by people trading Hanson, Hannah Montana and Fatboy Slim mp3s, etc.

The music industry’s claim? $75 trillion dollars. Yes, Dear Reader, more than the entire world’s economic output.

Friendship And Tragedy Remembered

The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship. . . .

In 1967, both men [Komarov and Gagarin] were assigned to the same Earth-orbiting mission, and both knew the space capsule was not safe to fly. Komarov told friends he knew he would probably die. But he wouldn’t back out because he didn’t want Gagarin to die. Gagarin would have been his replacement.

The whole thing.