2018/01/18

The Fake News Awards

President Donald Trump has announced the winners of his highly anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards.

Here are the fakest news stories of 2017:

1. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.

Krugman

2. ABC News' Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.
Brian Ross

3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.

4. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.

5. Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.
Weigel

6. CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.

7. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”

8. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.
Polish handshake

9. CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.

10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.

11. And last, but not least: "RUSSIA COLLUSION!" Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!
Collusion Hoax


And the fake news media's response?
Terrifying

Pay close attention to the legacy media's response to being called out on their deliberate and constant journalistic malpractice. Do they even try to back up their biased reporting with facts? No. Instead they whine that the President's just use of his platform to defend himself from their unremitting lies is "terrifying".

Of course the bullies are going to complain when the guy they picked a fight with punches back.

The corrupt news media is rightly terrified. Their credibility is tanking and continues to decline with each hysterically mendacious narrative they spin.

Mass media trust

Sad.

2018/01/17

Nerd Culture Is Dead

Ready Player One Movie

Over at the Emperor Ponders blog, the Frisky Pagan charts the decline of Western culture using the highest-grossing films of each decade as a benchmark.
Since there’s a lot to rant about this, I will focus on a single hypothesis: since the late 90s, there has been a divorce between quality and popularity. I’m sure you could go further back in time, but at that point is where it becomes evident. Before the mid-90s, you could go see the top box-office success of the year, and there was a high chance that you would see a competent or even a great movie. Even if the movie was boring or not your style, at least the movie would be a proper movie.
The following are the highest-grossing films per year according to Box Office Mojo. Underlined movies are those that filmsite ranks as the best of all time.

1950: Cinderella
1951: Quo Vadis
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth 
1953: Peter Pan 
1954:  Rear Window
1955: Lady and the Tramp
1956: The Ten Commandments
1957:  The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958: South Pacific (1958)
1959:  Ben-Hur

1960: Swiss Family Robinson
1961: 101 Dalmatians
1962: How the West Was Won 
1963: Cleopatra
1964: Mary Poppins
1965: The Sound of Music
1966: The Bible: In the Beginning and Hawaii (virtual tie)
1967: The Jungle Book
1968: Funny Girl)
1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1970: Love Story
1971: Billy Jack
1972:  The Godfather
1973: The Exorcist
1974: Blazing Saddles
1975:  Jaws
1976: Rocky
1977:  Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
1978: Grease
1979: Kramer vs. Kramer

1980:  Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982:  E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
1983: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi 
1984: Ghostbusters
1985: Back to the Future
1986: Top Gun
1987: Three Men and a Baby
1988: Rain Man
1989: Batman

1990: Home Alone
1991: Beauty and the Beast 
1992: Aladdin
1993: Jurassic Park
1994: The Lion King
1995: Toy Story
1996: Independence Day
1997: Titanic
1998: Saving Private Ryan
1999: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

FP posits that the decline began in the 90s. I see signs of cultural degradation as early as the 70s with garbage like Love Story and Kramer vs. Kramer. The 70s dip makes sense considering that the national mood was in the gutter. But Star Wars ushered in a brief renaissance that carried us through the 1980s and into the early 90s. After that, I'm with FP. American cinema became a sterile, blasted hellscape.

We rejoin the Frisky Pagan in the early aughts:
At first, it seems… OK-ish if you are into nerd stuff:
2000: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
2002: Spider-Man
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Shrek 2
2005: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
2006: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest 
2007: Spider-Man 3
2008: The Dark Knight 
2009: Avatar
But then...
2010: Toy Story 3
2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
2012: Marvel’s The Avengers
2013: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2014: American Sniper
2015: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
2016: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Besides a couple of standouts like Toy Story 3 and American Sniper, it's wall-to-wall "Read Another Book" crowd pandering.

Back to FP:
None of this can be considered a worthy cultural product and almost all are painfully recent. The most they can aspire to is to be mildly entertainment and then be forgotten in a year (like Avatar.) And I’m not sure about the entertainment bit.
There's much more in the OP. His Friskiness identifies likely causes for these trends, such as increasing reliance on the global markets and catering to women as the Next Big Thing. The latter represents a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein political and corporate interests pushed for the economic ascendancy of women and now tailor most pop culture products to them in order to suck that money back out of their wallets.

FP further makes some well-considered predictions about the near and medium-term pop culture landscape. The prognosis: not good--at least not until independent content creators can effectively circumvent the gatekeepers to reach mass audiences directly.

Thankfully, there is one corner of the entertainment industry where indie creators are successfully making an end run around the ossified old guard: independent publishing.

Take Galaxy's Edge by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole for example. FP foresaw attempts to rival Star Wars coming from overseas, but Galaxy's Edge is shaping up to be a homegrown answer to Disney's globalized, homogenized, and sterilized SocJus Wars.

Your humble host is also busy making whatever small contributions he can to the revival of Western culture. If you're looking for a somewhat darker space opera series with zero political preaching, check out my award-winning Soul Cycle, which is now complete at four books.

The Soul Cycle - Brian Niemeier

2018/01/16

Twitter Shadowbans Confirmed

In light of Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe's investigation proving that Twitter does in fact wield shadowbans to censor users, I thought it worthwhile to repost the well-documented account of my own deep shadowban.


No Twitter

Having written before about Twitter's nasty penchant for censoring and outright banning users who deviate from the company's rigid left wing ideology, I fully expected the Twitter thought police to come for me. Milo Yiannopoulos warned as much.

I just didn't expect them this soon.

Daddy Warpig tweet 1

Late Friday afternoon: friends on Twitter started complaining that they couldn't see my tweets. Daddy Warpig placed the blame on a shadowban.

NB: if you're unfamiliar with the concept of a shadowban, it's an unofficial and highly passive-aggressive method that Twitter uses to censor people who disagree with them, but who haven't broken any rules. By keeping the shadowbanned user's followers from seeing his tweets or even notifications from him, Twitter can say it's a bug and maintain plausible deniability.

Shadow bans usually last for 24; sometimes 48 hours.

Daddy Warpig tweet 2

Mine was still in effect a day later.

Keep in mind, this whole time I hadn't received any communication from Twitter. No prior warnings, no notice of a TOS violation, no explanation of what was happening or why. Nothing.

This wasn't a surprise, since it perfectly fits the kind of arbitrary censorious behavior that conservative and libertarian users have sadly come to expect from Twitter. I'm neither a conservative nor a libertarian, but Twitter just puts everyone to the right of Chairman Mao into the same badthink box.

The censorship continued through Sunday and into today. Lasting longer and with more extensive effects than ever before, this represents a new form of Deep Shadowban.

Rawle tweet 1

Brand visibility is a matter of life and death for a writer's career. Until quite recently, deplatforming an author could only hurt his career. That's clearly what Twitter was banking on, but for a social network they're pretty mired in analog thinking.

The shadowban's main effect has been to piss my followers off.

PoW tweet

I can't blame them for getting mad when conversations that look like this to me:

Convo 2

look like this to them:

Convo 3

But it's the unintended side effects that should really make Twitter rethink the wisdom of shadowbans, especially in this age of antifragility.

Convo 4

Greyed tweet

My number of followers before the shadowban: 970.

My number of followers now: 1,033 and counting.

And has this whole messy business helped me sell books?

You bet :)

I'm not upset with Twitter for censoring me. Like a small but growing number of independent authors, that only makes me richer and stronger.

I am upset that my readers are upset. I answer to them; never to Twitter. So I'd appreciate it if Twitter would kindly stop belaboring my bosses' social media experience.

Of course, I expect Twitter to double down. Again. They enjoy making people weaker than them miserable. Let's see how they like it when the tables are turned.


I just want to entertain people. A major media corporation wants to censor me. You know what to do.

The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier

UPDATE: Breitbart's Allum Bokhari has published an article condemning my shadowban.

If the purpose of a shadowban is to silence dissenters, Twitter should consider that a direct result of their censorship has been to catapult me from relative obscurity to international news in the span of 24 hours.

2018/01/12

Changing Perspectives

Point of No Return - #GamerGate

This incisive comment on my Fifth Columnists post by reader Constantin illustrating how #GamerGate gave many normies their first taste of the red pill merited its own guest post.

Here's Constantin:
This entire article summed up every change of perspectives I've experienced since 2014 until now. 
GamerGate opened my eyes that something bad is trying to infiltrate the video game industry, and from then onward my perspective broadened enough to realize that SJWism is a cancer that has infected the entire entertainment spectrum and really Western Civilization as a whole. It doesn't help that most of the debates that happen on the subjects described in this article are relegated to Social Media which is a place where people trade insults, not arguments, and since the left is king when it comes to snarkiness(having to compensate for their lack of arguments), most of the time they end up as winners and people assume their position is stronger even though they never made any arguments in the first place.
I'm really glad I started looking into the past for entertainment; it's not as if I've been pushed to a corner and am now scrambling for any bit of entertainment that doesn't contain SJW themes, no matter how badly is written; the Pulps had some genuinely fantastic stories from talented writers. Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs(who I had initially wrote off as childish, proving that it was me who was being a child), Clark Ashton Smith(underrated as hell) etc.
Couple all that with old movies where men didn't act like pushovers and women acted like actual women, I'm going to be occupied for a long, long time. That's not even taking into account the writings that came before all these.
Honestly, I've got no reason to complain; the Left can keep modern entertainment for themselves, it's garbage anyway.
And I have no sympathy for people who hate Social Justice themes but continue to support companies that promote them. You reap what you sow. Case in point; the Last Jedi. All the signs that this was going to be a SJW shitfest were there, but people, even those who were aware of it, still watched it, because "it might be fun". It's like they can't get their entertainment from something else. I didn't watch it and I didn't lose anything. Star Wars was dead since Disney bought the rights. Time to look for other alternatives.
My reply:

Thanks to Constantin for sharing his insights. He's not alone. #GamerGate opened many people's eyes.

There's not much to add to his excellent comment, except to assure him that SJWs are in fact losing in the public arena.

Taking the debate to social media isn't a handicap. It's been an overwhelming advantage since we finally learned to use the SJWs' weapons against them.

I sympathize with his disappointment over the failure of dialectic. But the fact is that logical argument has never convinced more than 10% of people, anyway.

The Left attained cultural dominance through rhetoric. They weren't even that good at it. As Constantin pointed out, they've since degenerated to nothing but snark.

SJWs have no answer for a taste of their own medicine. There's a reason that #TheLeftCantMeme has become a modern truism.

And if you want proof of our superior effectiveness, look at how Twitter, Facebook, and Google have been censoring anyone to the right of Mao. They can't control the narrative now that legacy media is on the decline and new media is ascendant.


And they're rightly terrified.

P.S. If you're fed up with political propaganda in your entertainment, check out my thrilling Soul Cycle series for 100% politics-free escapism.

The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier