You'll never learn to argue well if all that you hear are things you agree with.

David Horowitz came to speak at UC Santa Cruz, a school he considers the "worst school in America". His aim was to direct the attention of the unwitting student body to the fact that opinion is being presented as fact in a majority (if not all) of the liberal arts and social "sciences" classes. No criticism of such teaching is offered. The university is now the religion-less version of seminary school, where you are certainly going to Hell if you don't believe all the world's problems are caused by rich people, capitalism, white people, men, Republicans, or the REAL troublemakers in the world - rich white male pro-capitalist Republicans. No ands, ifs, or buts.

Many of the classes center around political activism through creating a victim mentality: "you're black, so it's only natural for you to be oppressed by white people, and that means you need to do something about it because white people hate you", regardless of whether such a thing is actually occurring or not. If you don't believe me, pick up the course catalogue, or audit a class. I have run into the "whites/males/Republicans are to blame for all this country's problems" dogma in more than one of my classes here at UCSC. Criticism of such theories is truly slaughtering sacred cows. The idea that Robert Mugabe's seizure of land from white farmers and redistributing it to black Africans who have no knowledge of farming is the cause of Zimbabwe's (I still prefer to call it Rhodesia) problems of hunger and violence would be considered "racist" - a label leftists love to toss at people and ideas that threaten their comfortable political monoculture.

The university's student body has insulated itself from criticism with that jargon. A white person criticizing a black person's behaviour or policy? Racism, and you're a racist too if you don't agree with that assessment. What's that? Someone's critiquing leftism? Obviously a right-wing bigot, if you ask me.

Speaking of "racism" and other such ad hominem devices, the anti-Horowitz protesters chanted a familiar song:

"Racist, sexist, anti-gay
Right-wing bigots, go away!"

It's cute, really. If you're 12 years old and "Bushisms" still make you laugh.

Who are they calling racist? Don't they realize that their precious affirmative action programs only serve to treat minorities like children who need lower standards instead of expecting them to rise to meet the same standards as everyone else, or that they have no problem calling whites who criticize a black Presidential candidate "bigots" and black conservatives are "Uncle Toms" or "race traitors" because they don't tow the line of victimization at the hands of whites, or that the enslavement of blacks from 150 years ago doesn't necessarily mean that they themselves are disadvantaged?

Sexism. How is Horowitz a sexist? By declaring that the Feminist Studies has no internal mechanism of self-critique, ignoring the works of prominent feminists who have critiqued their own movements? Ohhh, the horror! How dare you tell us that our ways are wrong!

Hint: if you're an 'enlightened progressive', there's no need for self-examination, because your enlightened nature just means that everyone else is wrong. See, if everyone adopts the mindset of the 'enlightened progressive', there would be no argument about things. We could all get along peacefully, without any of those filthy ass-backwards right-wing bigots to ruin our beautiful ideological homogeneity!

They cannot claim he is "anti-gay", either. It's a common slur used against anyone even remotely identified with the right, whether or not they have any stance on homosexuality at all. Horowitz is outspoken among conservatives in his support of gay marriage.

As I've noted earlier, "right-wing bigot" identifies everyone who threatens the monoculture. More importantly, the ending to that verse "go away" demonstrates just how open and tolerant the leftist community is to opposition. They have a monopoly on dissent, and nobody is allowed to challenge it. It is their self-proclaimed sacred right. Just watch some ProtestWarrior vids, showing how the early pro-war demonstration groups were harassed and attacked by "peace" groups, for no other reason other than their presence at the big anti-war rally in 2004. "Go away" is another way of saying "get out" or "we don't want you here", as if to say "as a speaker paid for by public funding, you should not be allowed to speak at a public university because your statements and ideas shock and offend our delicate sensibilities".

Something that amused me in a manner most hearty was a leaflet that anti-Horowitz organizers passed out to students and guests. I'll see if I can scan it and post it here, because it's really a hoot.

The main thing I noted was the lack of quotes around a statment the activists claim that Horowitz said - something along the lines of Slavery was self-inflicted by Blacks [why is 'Blacks' capitalized? Did they mean the All Blacks?] and that reparations should be stopped. Instead, Blacks should be greatful [sic] for having been brought to America through the slave trade.

They quote no actual sources - just baseless opining and conjecture. Holding an "anti-racist day of action" after accusing someone based on what may be fabricated quotes only further damages the reputation of the academic left.

The flyer then quotes Horowitz, correctly identifying the nationwide Muslim Student Associations as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group affiliated with Hamas (with whom Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama are hunky-dory having non-binding talks and agreements). Pointing out this accurate connection is "racist" because Islam is a race (however that works) and associating any part of Islam with terrorism (however accurate and true it may be) is also "racism"/"bigotry"/any of the other overused leftist buzzwords.

The presentation itself was fairly civil once Mr. Horowitz got started. There were some goons banging on the windows from outside, but it was only occasionally that they did this, along with posting signs - "Kill Whitey", "Free Speech =/= Hate Speech" (the left has a nasty habit of labeling all criticism as 'hate speech'), among others. Horowitz looked quite disheveled and I could tell he was definitely not on top of his game. I'm not sure what was causing this, as numerous of his previous speeches have been much more rowdy and chaotic than this one. Maybe it was because he was deep in "enemy territory", I don't know. He verbally stumbled on occasion, and I felt his lack of anecdotal evidence (for instance, speaking with only 4 or 5 students instead of 40 or 50) and lack of ability to put forth a clear, concise and persuasive argument weakened his thesis regarding the consequences of political homogeneity in higher education.

The 'Indoctrinate-U' film by independent filmmaker Evan Coyne was much more persuasive and its "on-the-ground" approach would have made a more significant impact on the audience.

His conduct towards the hooligans outside was derisive - for instance, calling security instead of ignoring them. The left thrives on attention and martyrdom - give them an inch, and they take a mile. Another disruptor attempted to walk down towards the front of the room, holding a large sheet of paper on which was written 'Liberal Bias' with the rest of the sheet blank, as if to suggest Horowitz's claims were baseless by virtue of writing two words on paper and that blank space. If I had been the one speaking, I would have stared him down, asked him politely to explain his arguments in a civil and reasonable fashion. I would have made an example of him to the left, that shouting and theatrics do not take the place of rational discourse, but I suppose common sense is lost on too many these days. I would have told the audience "See how they react when I say things they don't like? That's what happens when you spend so much time in an environment that is only critical of everyone else. You don't learn to debate, but instead priority is placed on shouting, disrupting, and stamping out all views contrary to your own. Welcome to college, where everyone else but you is wrong." Talk about your tax dollars at work.

One girl in particular stood up during the Q&A period at the end, ranting about free speech, as if to suggest shouting matches in a crowded lecture hall where a paid speaker was trying to conduct affairs in a orderly manner was appropriate free speech. Horowitz made the point that allowing everyone in the room to stand up and start shouting just as she did would eliminate actual speech and replace it with a cacophony of unintelligible voices. I wonder if she stands up in class whenever she pleases and shouts out questions and comments when her professors are lecturing. Maybe it's different because it's "ol' racist Mr. Horowitz, who said mean things about our school in a non-mainstream news source". I think that deserves an epic 'BAWWWWW'.

Another question during the Q&A session concerned conservative favoritism at universities, but all the examples everyone came up with (including Mr. Horowitz) were private colleges, such as Pepperdine, Hillsdale, and Brigham Young. Horowitz has no problem with the existence of a private "Marx & Engels School of Revolutionary Thought", however oxymoronic such a thing would be, but when public universities not only favor leftist groups on campus, but also make it more difficult for rightist groups to obtain funding/secure a location for a lecture or meeting/etc., that is not what taxpayers should be funding. If a public institution was heavily subsidizing Christian campus groups, all the while only giving the bare minimum to other religious groups, or only giving them meeting times early in the morning or late at night, the uproar over such a thing happening at the taxpayers' expense would be enormous.

This is called a double standard. Favoritism. Hypocrisy.

Then again, did you expect any less from people who are quick to label critics of Barack Obama as "racists" yet do not consider people like Ward Connerly, Condoleezza Rice, or Thomas Sowell to be "real blacks" because they don't subscribe to the typical agenda of the black community?

After the question period had ended, most of us applauded for Horowitz (it's nice to know there are at least a few UCSC students who can be civil towards people they oppose), after which he just about bolted from the room. I made my way down the stairs to see if I could have a word with him, but he was long gone before I even got to the front of the room.

It was a fairly productive night, and the leftists who are roosted comfortably in the rafters of academia consistently fulfill my expectations of them.


Some silly survey.

Name - If you know, great. If you don't, it's actually not all that relevant anyway.
Gender - Male.
Age - I am only a few days away from buying booze and handguns.
Screen Name - No.
Birthday - May 27th.
Race - Genetically-modified human.
School/Grade - Junior at UC Santa Cruz
Job - Retail.
Status - Solitary, but not in confinement.
Hometown - None.
Current Town - Santa Cruz.
Parents Still Together? - Yes.
Siblings - One brother.
Pets - Cats!
Smoker - No way in the Nine Hells.
Drinker - Very rarely, and hardly any when I do.
Virgin - Absolutely.
Orientation - Straight.
Drugs - I need not chemicals to be enlightened.

Hair Color - Brown.
Is It Dyed? - No.
Eye Color - Grey-blue, like rolling fog.
Height - 3.95 Roman cubits
Style - I have it.
Glasses/Contacts/None? - Glasses.
Freckles - A few.
Body Type - Athletic.
Shoe Size - Small.
Piercings - None.
Want More? - No.
Tattoos? - Hopefully a Valknut this summer.
Want More? - Not after that.
Braces? - Used to.
Overall Best Feature - Everything.
Overall Worst Feature - None.
Do you get most of your traits from mom or dad? - Neither/both.

Favorite Color - Black.
Worst Color - Every colour is fine by itself, but there are some particularly horrid combinations that people enjoy wearing for some reason.
Favorite Animal - Cats.
Least Favorite Animal - None.
Favorite Flower - Orchid.
Favorite Food - MEAT.
Worst Food - Asparagus, only because it's stringy and makes my pee smell.
Favorite Junk Food - I really like Girl Scout cookies - Samoas.
Worst Junk Food - That "deep fried Pepsi" that Kaylah was talking about yesterday.
Favorite Restaraunt - Caffe Allegro back where I used to live, La Fornaretta (RIP), and anywhere that has decent food for a reasonable amount and a good view of the outdoors.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor - Chocolate, caramel, and almond.
Favorite Candy - Ice cream.
Favorite Alcoholic Drink - George Hornsby's Hard Cider.
Favorite NON Alcoholic Drink - Water.
Worst Alcoholic Drink - Anything that smells like a solvent. I don't drink paint thinner, do you?
Worst NON Alcoholic Drink - Cold V8.
Favorite Genre of Music - A merging of 20th-century atonal/arrhythmic classical and extreme metal.
Worst Genre - I'm not familiar with bad music, because I only know good music.
Favorite Band/Artist - TÝR, !T.O.O.H.!, Duobetic Homunkulus, Turisas, Cannibal Corpse, Spastic Ink, Blotted Science, Koenjihyakkel, Arnold Schönberg, Giovanni Palestrina, Mats/Morgan Band, Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects, Echo of Dalriada
Worst Band/Artist - There are far more than I care to write down.
Favorite Song - Many.
Worst Song - Also, many.
Favorite Radio Station - KZSC.
Favorite Book - The Art of War - Machiavelli
Worst Book - I don't read poor-quality books.
Favorite Type of Movie - Bond movies, foreign films about war, film noir
Worst Type of Movie - Adam Sandler.
Favorite Movie - Many.
Worst Movie Ever - Many.
Favorite TV Show - Mail Call.
Worst TV Show - Many.
Favorite Season of the Year - Winter
Worst Season - Summer.
Best Friend - Heather, Karen, Rose, Wayne, Aaron, Austin, Kateri, Rachel.
Worst Enemy - People are generally friendly towards me.
Favorite Day of the Week - Wodensdag.
Least Favorite Day of the Week - Saturday.
Favorite Sport - Fencing, polo, cricket, rugby, weightlifting, futbol, cycling.
Sport You Hate - American football.
One thing you cant get enough of - Trust.
One thing you hate more than anything - Having to excrete bodily waste.

Are You Single? - Absolutely.
If not, who is your bf/gf? - N/A
How Long Have You Been Together? - N/A
If You're Single, Do you Like It? - I can honestly say that I completely distrust 99.9% of all women.
Do You Have a Crush On Anyone Right Now? - No, but I do love her dearly and await her return.
First Kiss - Best friend.
Ever Kiss in the Rain? - See above.
In a Movie Theater? - No.
Underwater? - And get water up my nose? You're out of your mind.
First Love - Reading.
Have you ever Cheated on Anyone? - No.
Been Cheated on? - No.
Used Someone? - No.
Lied to your bf/gf? - N/A
Ever Made out With Just a Friend? - Not "just a friend". That's a little dismissive.
Ever Had Sex With Just a Friend? - No.
Are You a Tease? - No.
Do you Flirt a Lot? - I am incapable of doing so.
Longest Relationship - No idea.
Shortest - Hah, two weeks.
Have you Ever Gotten a Poem? - I keep it close to my heart - quite literally.
Ever Get Flowers? - Watercolour.
Sweetest Thing You've Ever Gotten - The card is beautiful, not sweet. Children's valentines are sweet.
Do you Believe in Love at First Sight? - No.
Do you Believe in "The One"? - Neo? That's just a movie.
Do you Fall in Love Fast? - I don't actually fall.
Are you a Player? - Of video games.
Would you ever Hook Up With Someone of the Same sex? - No.
Have You ever Kissed 2 People in One Day? - No.
Kissed 2 People At One Time? - No.
Had Sex with 2 People in One day? - No.
Had sex with 2+ People at One Time? - No.
Ever cried over someone of the opposite sex? - No.
Ever Been Dumped? - Not really. We're like brother and sister now.
Ever dumped someone? - No.
Ever been rejected? - Oh, yes.
Do you have a lot of ex's? - No.
Are you a slut? - No.
Ever been called one? - No.
Ever dated someone more than once? - No.
Do you ever make the first move? - No. The patient hunter gets the prey.
Double dates or single? - Single, unless it's at a restaurant or the beach or something like that.
Do you want to get married? - Sure. I think it would be a lot of fun, especially because I'd have a gym spotter who lives with me.

OPPOSITE SEX (what you're attracted to)
Hair Color - RED HOLY CRAP RED HAIR. Also, I like dark/brown hair, too.
Short or long? - Any works for me. Even shaved.
Eye color? - Any.
Style - Non-trashy, preferably sticking to the "form follows function" adage. Military gear is awesome.
Age - I choose maturity over biological age.
Height - Doesn't matter.
Weight - Athletic, preferably someone who can keep up with me at the gym.
Muscular or skinny? - Muscular is preferred.
Boxers or Briefs? - She can wear my boxers, as long they fit okay.
Do you care about looks? - Of course. We are aesthetic beings. Though, it gets back-burner'd in lieu of more redeemable qualities.

Can you drive? - Yes. Do I like to? Absolutely not.
Do you have a car?- Yes.
Do you have a cell phone? - Yes.
Are you online a lot? - Yes.
Do you like gay/bi people? - I don't choose the company I keep by sexual orientation. It's irrelevant.
Can you speak another language? - Español. A veces yo hablo español en casa, o con un jefe cuando estamos trabajando.
Do you do well in school? - Yes.
Do you collect anything? - Books, CDs, knowledge.
Have an obsession? - Yes.
Do you hate yourself? - Why should I?
Ever smile for no reason? - No.
Talk to yourself? - Of course.
Do you have any regrets? - No.
Believe in magick? - No.
Do you support gay marriage? - As I am neither gay nor married, I care not.
Sex before marriage? - I don't care.
Do you trust people easily? - No.
Forgive easily? - A moment of laxity spawns a lifetime of heresy.
Do you have a secret no one knows? - Yes.
Do you get along with your parents? - Sometimes.
What about other people? - No.
How do you vent your anger? - .
Do you like George Bush? - I wouldn't want to work in his cabinet, but I'm sure he's a pretty cool guy. He seems like the kind of guy you'd want to go skeet shooting with.
Goal Before you die? - Own and become proficient with several firearms, survive the impending apocalypse and repopulate the planet, own that damnable Canon 40D!
Biggest Fear - None, for I am fear incarnate!
Biggest Weakness - None.
Do you play an instrument? - Guitar, bass guitar, vocal cords.
What do you want to be when you grow up? - A good husband and a good father.

Are you... A bitch? No. I am a man.
Shy? No. Standoffish? Yes.
Talkative? In the right company.
Energetic? I can be.
Happy? Not always.
Depressed? No.
Funny? I can be.
Slutty? No.
Boring? No.
Mean? It happens.
Nice? No.
Caring? No.
Trustworthy? Yes.
Confident? Normal.
Friendly? No.
Smart? Intelligent and wise.
Sarcastic? A veces.
Dependable? Yes.
Quiet? Yes. That way, you'll never hear me until it's too late.
Weird? According to the general consensus.
Adaptable? Yes.
Strong (emotionally)? More like dead.
Strong (physically)? Yes.
Mature? I am serious.
Logical? Yes.
Religious? Yes, but privately.
Modest? Yes, but I won't try to cover up what I'm proud of when it comes to my accomplishments.
Indecisive? No.
Sympathetic? No.
Polite? And dismissive.
Creative? I try.
Fun to be around? According to those close to me.
Loveable? I don't know.
Easily Amused? No.
Outgoing? Yes.
Daring? Yes.
Clumsy? Not as much as I once was.
Lazy? It happens.
Scary? Yes.
Optimistic? Yes.
Persuasive? Yes.
A good listener? Yes.
Curious? Yes.
Determined? Yes.
Artistic? Yes.
Honest? Yes.
Respectful? Yes.
Conceited? No.
Cocky? No.
Controlling? No.
Playful? Not really.
Easygoing? I give off that appearance.
Carefree? No.
Hot Headed? No.
Serious? Yes.
Thoughtful? I can be.
Considerate? Yes.
Stubborn? Yes.
Romantic? I'd love to learn how to be that way.
Ambitious? Yes.
Jealous? No.
Insecure? No.
Obsessive? A veces.
Attentive? Yes.
Helpful? When it's deserved.
Punctual? Yes.
Rational? Learn all the rules so you can break them in better ways.
Sincere? Yes.
Tolerant? "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without conviction." - G.K. Chesterton

The Failure of Capitalism in Russia

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, soon followed by the Soviet regime itself, Russians were clearly sick and tired of Communism. Under perestroika, Western influence was allowed into Russia. This influence came in the form of pop culture - fashion, music, cinema, and food, among others. This was all fine and dandy in and of itself, but the commodities did not bring with them the Western concepts and values that allowed aviator glasses, Converse sneakers, Levi jeans, and Paramount films to be created the way that they are in the West.

The national mindset of Russia may forever be locked in a binary. Iu Lotman and Boris Uspenskii wrote an excellent article explaining the origins of the Russian binary model. It is largely based in the heaven/hell dichotomy of the Eastern Orthodox church, which has no concept of purgatory that the Catholic church adopted. The opposite of heaven is hell, and vice versa, so when Russian society seems to be in "hell", its opposite - "heaven" - will be implemented by force. The October revolution was a "revolution from above" - party elites implemented the mechanisms of communism and kept them in place. The same was done for "capitalism". It was shoddily implemented by people who are still caught in a binary, elite as they are.

In the West, the rise of capitalism and industrialism did not come from government mandates and elites governing the situation. It was a direct result of the endeavors of common people, engaging the in the free flow of goods and services. A lack of state ownership preceding the concretization of the concept of free market principles was the framework (or lack thereof) that allowed capitalism to flourish and benefit Western societies. Like democracy in the majority of the Middle East, capitalism cannot expect itself to change anything in Russia unless the mentality of the Russian people changes. Only binaries exist: leading and following, complaining and making jokes (which is manifested in the differences between women and men in Nancy Ries' Russian Talk), among others. There is no concept of the 'individual' undivorced from some sort of collective, and thus Russian individuals are more subject to a herd mentality. That mentality is absolutely incompatible with real capitalism, which requires individual effort and sacrifice, the decision to take risks and accept the consequences, and to go out on a limb and make something different and unique.

Alien concepts, no matter how much they have benefitted others, cannot be forced upon a population by mandate. Give democracy to the Palestinians, and they'll elect Hamas again. Give copies of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations to Russia, and they will commission all sorts of committees and ask party officials to implement the ideas that sound good, defeating the whole purpose. The 'invisible hand' becomes visible, and continues to manifest itself in incompatible ways as long as the state and the fundamentals of a free market are intertwined.

Now playing: Duobetic Homunkulus - 'Části a mechanismy strojů'



I attended a 4-hour Krav Maga seminar taught by a student at the university who's been studying Krav for a few years.

We started with the basics - punching, groin kicks, and a few defensive moves. Then we moved along to knee attacks, knife attack/defense, elbows, and then bat defense and long gun defense.

My knees and elbows are fairly skinned up, but I feel great. It's nice to know that I could seriously kick someone's ass if I have no other recourse. It's a lot easier than trying to get a concealed-carry permit in this state of hoplophobes.


Inaugural Post - Masculinity and Viking Heavy Metal

Well, I had a wonderful time last night.

Why, you ask? PaganFest 2008, of course! I got to see two of my favourite bands play right in front of me over the course of an hour or so. My voice is still hoarse from shouting along to TÝR's and Turisas' sets. I was a bit miffed that TÝR's set was so short ('Sinklars Vísa' from their upcoming album, 'Wings of Time', 'Hail to the Hammer' and 'Ramund Hin Unge'), but I chatted a bit with Terji at the bar over a $3 bottle of water. Turisas had an impressive set as well - 'As Torches Rise', 'Holmgard and Beyond', 'A Portage to the Unknown', 'In the Court of Jarisleif' (of course featuring some mad accordion-shred by a very attractive Finnish female), 'Rasputin', some awesome ballad that didn't have people jumping and smashing into each other as much, and then 'Battle Metal' to finish (Finnish?) off the set.

Some of the folks there were pretty cool. I sang 'The Wild Rover' along with another guy, and I was surprised that he knew all the lyrics to it. Truly, it is an amazing time when young people know Irish folk songs, and sing them at concerts where bands from the Færoe Islands are playing.

I think it's absolutely shite that so many venues don't allow cameras, as people like me won't be using the photos to sell and distribute, no matter how good my work is. [One thing to note is that I'm not going to be modest about things I am good at, like photography.] However, Warlord Nygård of Turisas had his first on-stage drink on the US tour. I guess indoor clubs don't allow alcohol on stage. Obviously, these men are Vikings, so they can certainly hold their liquor and it's also just something they do - Vikings are going to drink as much mead or ale as they please, unless you'd like an axe to the skull or something equally painful.

[This blog revolves around the theme of masculinity, so I'm going to try to work that theme into just about every single one of my entries.]

Metal and its various sub-genres (except for nu-metal, because that stuff is for losers) bring something unique to the realm of contemporary music in the West. It is harsh, aggressive, often offensive (both aurally and subject-wise), and a lot of it, especially that from Europe, is trying to revive the warrior spirit that man has traditionally been known for. That's why many of the bands that played last night and others in that genre have had such an effect on me. They speak of preserving one's culture, not allowing outsiders to dictate without question that what you hold dear is wrong and evil, or that fighting for what you believe in and standing out from others is something to be proud of. A lot of these bands are quite nationalistic in their subjects, choosing to sing in their native language or to arrange traditional melodies instead of just writing music in English that will land them on the 'Top 40' charts across the globe. They're a slap in the face to the multiculturalist/anti-Western movement that seeks to emasculate, oversocialize, water down Western culture and recast it as shameful and despicable. The message that TÝR, and others like them, send is that it's good to hold onto your roots and respect your native ways. There's nothing shameful about rejecting alien cultural impulses. In fact, it may be the only thing saving you from assimilation and eventual destruction.

The warrior mindset is prominently displayed in this music. Songs of triumph, great battles, exile, and survival are common. There's no talk of "peace and tolerance", like the notoriously-horrid early 90's alternative movement. One of my favourite quotes is as follows: "It doesn't matter how loud you play. If all you do is sing about racism and saving the whales, you're just a hippie in a leather jacket." - Joey Ramone

Well, that's it. I'm off to bed. I may have a photoshoot tomorrow, and after that I'm going to a 4-hour Krav Maga seminar. Wish me luck!