Housekeeping

Stuff salvaged from posts I never published.

Maus:

In the 21st century, we have reached the point where Pius X’s observation that modernism is the synthesis of all heresies is beyond dispute. We’ve got Arian’s denial of Christ’s divine nature (I’m spiritual, not religious); Pelegian’s salvation by human effort (CRT, taking the vaxx jab); gnosticism (trust the experts because they F*cking Love Science™); and a soupçon of Donatism (evil white cis-het men are evil just like those icky pedo priests). It’s not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea.

Continue reading “Housekeeping”

Poetry corner: in memoriam

Joyce Kilmer, updated by John Leo:

Versified and rhythmic non-prose verbal arrangements are fashioned by people of alternative intelligence such as myself, but only the divine entity, should he or she actually exist, can create a solar-shielding park structure from low-rise indigenous vegetative material.

John Leo, a very funny, very serious writer whose columns were among the few things worth reading in the newspaper1 before the turn of the century, died earlier this month. His collection Two Steps Ahead of the Thought Police2 is fun to browse through.

(Via Kim Du Toit.)

More yellow

One of this year’s experiments started blooming this week. Mentzelia lindleyi is a hardy annual from California that I seeded outside in early March, along with poppies and Phacelia1. The flowers are about two inches in diameter. They’re supposed to open in the evening and close in the morning, but these have done the opposite — not that I’m complaining. The plants are about a foot tall and probably will grow taller, though I doubt that they’ll reach the three feet that some sources claim. The leaves are long, thin and deeply lobed; they look skeletal, and the plant overall is scrawny. Should you grow it in your garden, I suggest giving it leafier companions.

Mentzelia is a genus of the Loasaceae, a family known for fine flowers and stinging hairs.2 Mentzelias don’t bite, but they do have barbed hairs that can cling to fabric and fur. The stems and leaves feel like sandpaper.

Mentzelia lindleyi is supposed to be heat- and drought-tolerant and bloom for two months3. Summer is nearly here. We’ll see how it does in Kansas.

Four months in four days

Thursday it was March outdoors, chilly, windy and wet. Yesterday it was a much milder April. Today it’s May, warm and breezy. Tomorrow, if the weatherman is right, will be a hot June day.

Despite the meteorological shenanigans, the plants in my garden continue to thrive. The first California poppy opened today. Phacelia campanularia, probably the most intensely blue flower one can easily grow in Kansas, has been blooming for a week now. There’s much more coming soon.

Continue reading “Four months in four days”

The purple onion

The Allium christophii I found at Walmart last October are now blooming. The flower heads are supposed to get eight inches in diameter, but these look like they’ll max out at about five. They’ll be followed shortly by another variety of allium, and then peonies and an early lily. The phacelia, poppies and other annuals will start blooming shortly.

My lilac — something I haven’t been able to say since I was fourteen — put on a fine, fragrant show despite years of neglect.

When I lived in Wichita, I didn’t have a proper yard. There was a plot about the size of two postage stamps out front where I could grow a few things, plus a strip maybe eight inches wide along one side of the house. Now I have a quarter-acre lot. Mowing that much grass every week is tedious, but it’s worth it for the buffer zone between me and my neighbors (who are actually mostly nice people). The main garden south of the house alone gives me about four times as much room to work with as I had in Wichita. I’ve also established three small beds on the north and west sides. This year I’m relying on annuals for color, but over time the perennials I’m putting in will establish themselves and take over. In a few years, the gardens will need little maintenance beyond weeding, watering and occasional fertilizing.

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Lost years found

For quite a long time, the four years from April 2012 to April 2016 were missing from the archives of Pixy Misa’s mee.nu weblog ecosystem. A few days ago Pixy ran a script to restore the absent pages. At last one can once more read everything that the Brickmuppet, Wonderduck and similar eccentrics posted back then.

I am particularly pleased to be able to read all of Steven Den Beste’s Chizumatic again. Finally I can review his observations on Mouretsu Pirates, Girls und Panzer and Gate, as well as the frequently extensive discussions in the comments. There are also occasional trenchant remarks on the political clownshow mixed in with the anime cheesecake. The restored pages start here and run through here.

Timely question

Robbo:

It’s been a long time now since Uncle paid any attention to the notion that you only buy what you can pay for and that there should at least be some rational relationship between federal outlays and federal revenues. He simply prints the stuff now. (Inflation? Never heard of it!) That being the case, why am I still paying any income tax at all?

(… and Revolver is indeed the best of The Beatles.)

***

Yesterday the high was 89°F. I just looked out the window and saw fat snowflakes blowing in the wind. Yep, it’s springtime in Kansas.

The end of anime

Crunchyroll has changed its policy on watching shows for free. Hitherto, those without accounts could see episodes of current shows after a week’s embargo, albeit with six minutes of dumb, loud commercials inserted at awkward moments. Since there are too few good new shows to justify spending $95.88 plus tax for a year’s membership — in all of 2021, I found only two worth watching all the way through — that was acceptable. However, Crunchyroll recently changed its policy. From the spring season on, people without paid memberships can watch only the first three episodes of any new show some new shows. The hell with it.

Since I no longer download fansubs1, this means I won’t keep up with what’s current. Yeah, there are plenty of older series on Crunchyroll and elsewhere I can still view (with commercials), but while the online collections may be more extensive than mine, they’re mostly junk. My own library is better. I will keep an eye out for further work by Masaaki Yuasa, Hiroyuki Imaishi and Kazuki Nakashima, Kenji Nakamura and a few others, and purchase hard copies when they are available for reasonable prices2, but at this point I’m pretty much done with Japanese animation.

My streaming history does end on a fairly high note. Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department is the funniest show since at least Endro. There are screencaps below the fold to suggest why I found this study of tokusatsu and corporate cultures from the point of view of the bad guys so entertaining, despite its limited animation budget.

(I can’t quite give the show an unreserved recommendation. One of the characters is a wolf boy who is stuck in a girl’s body because of executive meddling. The writers spend too much time finding ways to make him blush.)

***

I also watched the rest of Life with an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated as a Total Fantasy Knockout. It never quite fell through the thin ice it skated on, and some of it was clever, but despite better animation, it was not in the same class as Kuroitsu. It’s a tolerable waste of time, and that’s it.

Continue reading “The end of anime”

Hmm

Perhaps I shouldn’t have formally disaffiliated myself from all political parties. Dutch:

I don’t really vote any more, but I keep my Repub voter registration. The reason is this—the single strongest factor in vote results is the party breakdown of voter registrations. When a precinct has 65% Repub voters registered, but the Dem wins the precinct with 55%, the game is obvious, for someone who is actually paying attention and knows how things work.

The relationship between voter registration percentages, at the precinct level, and actual vote tally percentages was tight, very tight, until 2008. That’s when precincts tallying 65% or 70% Republican registrations started going for the Dem candidate 50% or more. There’s your break, and that is where Dominion entered the picture, 2008.

This seems all too plausible, but I would like to see the documentation.

What is a conservative?

The Z Man:

From time to time a debate breaks out in outsider politics between those who prefer meta politics and those who prefer activism. The former takes the view that it is ideas that drive history so getting the ideas right is the priority. The latter notes that we live in the real world not the world of ideas. Keeping the groomers out of the schools, for example, is what matters now. You are not going to talk them out of it so you have to get involved in order to solve the immediate problem

This is a debate that has haunted conservative politics and it was something that haunted radical politics until the 20th century. Conservatives never solved the problem and it eventually ruined them. The reason is they committed to participating in a political system that leaves no room for conservative ideas. Once you sign onto the long list of left-wing taboos and mob rule, there is nothing worth defending. Conservatives became the tax collectors of liberal democracy.

William M. Briggs:

Another non-surprising discovery is that [Bätzing] describes himself as a “conservative.” This is so if we take the word in its modern connotation as one who surrenders, gracefully, to the left. Surrender is precisely what he wants, saying he wants the Church to “change.”

Just wondering

Does this distress you?

From the Daily Mail:

A University has slapped a trigger warning on some of Britain’s greatest Romantic poets because their work contains ‘representations of sexism and misogyny’.

Bath Spa University has told students that poems by William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and Alexander Pope have the potential to ‘disturb’ or ‘distress’.

Is there any writer worth reading, anyone at all, who will not “trigger” some ideologue?

(Via Kim Du Toit.)