2018/04/24

What We're Really Up Against

The Greatest Showman

...Is revealed as Vox Day attempts to explain the Right's dire need to produce cultural products that can counter the Left's highly effective propaganda.
It's hard not to be stirred by the new SJW anthem, THIS IS ME. It hits all the right rhetorical chords. Only if you understand what the composer and lyricist are doing, and what their underlying purpose is, can you grasp the pure and unapologetic evil of the song. It is literally a celebration of sin and an assault on Western civilization.
And yet, most of those who consider themselves firmly anti-SJW will be tempted to deny the possibility of any ill-intent and to defend it, in much the same way they defend Hamilton, Let It Go, and other weapons of cultural mass destruction, despite the fact that the message of hatred, defiance, and opposition is openly declared.
Another round of bullets hits my skinWell, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink inWe are bursting through the barricades andReaching for the sun (we are warriors)Yeah, that's what we've become
My first response to hearing the song and seeing the video was to feel the profound and programmed emotional stirring. My second response was to put that emotional effect in intellectual context, and think, kill it with fire. And my third response was to reflect upon how good these evil rhetoricians are, and realize how far we have to go in order to effectively counteract their influence on the mass culture.
Don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling oddly defensive of the song. That defensiveness you are feeling is testimony to the power of the rhetoric. But review the lyrics and analyze the imagery. It is powerful cultural programming, but it loses its power and becomes transparent when viewed through coldly dialectic analytical eye. "Reaching for the sun" indeed.....
The Disney paypigs who continue subjecting their children to satanically inspired princess movies no doubt blissfully hum this song to themselves as they wait in the drive-thru at Starbucks. But among the disaffected engineer types who, while smarter, tend to make a vice of excess pragmatism, the equal and opposite problem emerged.

VD This Is Me 1

VD This Is Me 2

VD This Is Me 3

VD This Is Me 4

VD This Is Me 5

Sometimes we're called to make noble sacrifices for the greater good. P.S. would pay to watch!

There's a serious point behind Vox's semi-facetious lament about possibly having to write musicals. If you want to convince a man, you've got to meet him where he is; not where you think he should be.

Galaxy's Edge co-author Nick Cole has repeatedly pointed out that authors must be market-facing to succeed. The fact of the matter is that our deteriorating education system, demographic shifts, and the SJW convergence of show business have rendered much of the public ill-disposed to buy season tickets to the opera or contemplate the layered meanings of Philip K. Dick style novels.

I'm not just poking fun at right-wing elitists, here. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn from the Soul Cycle was that what I considered rather light entertainment fit for mass consumption proved too complex for casual readers. Experience has taught me that Nick is right. Today's readers want simpler stories they can easily binge on at lunch or on the bus.

Assuming that others' marketing resistance is as high as yours is a major blind spot that's obstructed my vision, as well. The Left's propaganda pieces may seem trite, formulaic, and banal, but there's no denying that it works. They won the culture a while ago. If we want to take it back, we absolutely must stop writing tomes that fly over the masses' heads and producing sanitized Christian films that don't even appeal to Christians.

Many of the commenters above who argued for the song's ineffectiveness based on its objective lack of artistic merit probably fall into the ranks of people who lack the dispositions to make new pop culture. That's perfectly fine. Those people also tend to make up for it with more technical expertise and better-paying jobs--which perfectly positions them to support dissident creators.



The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier

39 comments:

  1. From the comments:

    "I'm beginning to think that pop culture was the primary front in the war."

    It was, and you all not only fumbled the ball but kicked it into the opposing team's hands.

    Think about it. What did Baby Boomers spend most of their time reshaping? Entertainment. What did they put their kids in front of to educate them? Entertainment. In turn, what did those children they do to their kids? They put them in front of the television and computer screen.

    So what would the biggest influence in shaping opinions of this younger generations? Entertainment.

    You called it childish and a waste of time and it ended up destroying everything you love.

    Not so worthless now, is it?

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    1. "I'm beginning to think that pop culture was the primary front in the war."

      Our enemies are stupid and crazy. Unfortunately, our allies with the most resources tend to be solipsistic and oblivious.

      Delete
  2. It is funny to watch Vox declare "it is irrelevant" and "we don't care" only to later turn around and declare that maybe it was relevant and we should care a little.

    There's two catches. The first, is that if people are only swayed by rhetoric, then at best you don't have anyone on your side, you just have temporary allies - at least until the opposite side figures out better rhetoric than yours and gets them back, etc etc. It's like trying to recruit an army of leaves. Dialectic may be harder, but those you convert will be far more loyal and fiercer warriors.

    Second, while pop stuff is fine and all, one shouldn't forget that it's junk food and lasts like junk food. (i.e. can you name any of the top hit songs from 5-10 years ago?) Artists of both stripes should not scorn each other because they do need each other. You need the gateway art, and the richer, meatier art to sustain the fandom.

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    1. "The first, is that if people are only swayed by rhetoric, then at best you don't have anyone on your side, you just have temporary allies - at least until the opposite side figures out better rhetoric than yours and gets them back, etc etc."

      Dude, I know for a fact you've been paying attention, so it's baffling that you apparently don't understand that the situation you just described is EXACTLY the state we're in and, moreover, the absolute state of human nature.

      "Dialectic may be harder, but those you convert will be far more loyal and fiercer warriors."

      It's not a matter of dialectic being harder. It's the fact, which should be obvious to anyone without his head firmly jammed up his posterior, that 90% of people cannot understand it.

      I spent a significant amount of time and tens of thousands of dollars being trained by Dominican theologians who were sure we could win back the culture through dialectic. How's that working out?

      Meanwhile, "This Is Me" has reached 30 million people, and Frozen has influenced 1.4 billion.

      To reiterate: Just because you think dialectic should trump rhetoric doesn't mean it does. For crying out loud, you're on a fiction author's blog. If you think fiction primarily appeals to the intellect, you're beyond hopeless.

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    2. Nate, the majority of the people have been taught to feel with their heart and not think with their head. It's in all their entertainment and has been baked into their thought process. They do not think--they feel. I know because I live among them and was just like that once.

      You will never get through them by logic. It has to be emotion. It has to be pop.

      If you want to win you have to stop downplaying the importance of emotion. The reason they're winning is because they understand that to get around the head you go for the heart.

      Delete
    3. Did not mean to take so long to reply.

      Then someone pretty much wrote what much of my reply would be:
      http://thedeclination.com/easy-rhetoric-is-easy/

      For crying out loud, you're on a fiction author's blog. If you think fiction primarily appeals to the intellect, you're beyond hopeless. -Brian Niemeier

      If you think that, you need to reread The Abolition of Man. The rest of a reply is folded together with a reply to JD below.

      You will never get through them by logic. It has to be emotion. It has to be pop. -JD Cowan

      I agree with that. But you're still caught in a problem, as eventually there is going to be a conflict between truth and feelings. Then what? If you abandon Truth, then you're no longer on this side. If you abandon feelings, then you've forfeited the match.

      If you want to win you have to stop downplaying the importance of emotion. The reason they're winning is because they understand that to get around the head you go for the heart. -JD Cowan

      I actually don't want to downplay emotion. I want Brian to stop downplaying intellect. We need to have a two front attack. Emotion to take the beachhead, intellect to secure the position. I actually want both divisions of the conservative army to stop sniping at each other and actually work together.

      Hasn't anyone else noticed that the Left uses this all the time? Open with an appeal to emotion, then they follow up with some nice sounding "facts" (properly cooked) to cement the idea. How do you think they even get away with sayings like "reality has a liberal bias"???

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    4. "Did not mean to take so long to reply."

      No problem.

      "If you think that, you need to reread The Abolition of Man."

      No, I don't. I think that because I am a professional, award-winning, best selling fiction author. I know my business, and my business is to engage my readers' emotions.

      "I actually don't want to downplay emotion. I want Brian to stop downplaying intellect."

      Says the guy who constantly posts Star Wars memes.


      "We need to have a two front attack. Emotion to take the beachhead, intellect to secure the position."

      Yes. But again, logic will never secure more than 10% of the position. You keep ignoring that most people can ONLY be convinced by appeals to their emotions. Your're effectively saying, "To convince all these Chinamen, we need to establish a beachhead by speaking Chinese. Then we'll switch to German to secure the position."

      "I actually want both divisions of the conservative army to stop sniping at each other and actually work together."

      Then go tell it to the conservative army. How many times do I have to explain that I am not a Conservative, I have not been a Conservative for at least a decade, and except for a few points on which our objectives align, I am opposed to Conservatism?

      "Open with an appeal to emotion, then they follow up with some nice sounding 'facts' (properly cooked) to cement the idea."

      1) That's not what the Left does. They open with quasi-dialectical rationalizations for their emotions, e.g. "We just want those poor oppressed gay couples to receive equal treatment under the law," which is still mainly an emotional appeal. Then, once they've pushed the Overton Window far enough, they drop their rational facade ("Bake the cake, bigot!")

      That's what you conservatives never figured out. The Left is not interested in reasoned dialogue. They never bother explaining themselves to you because they understand there's no need. They gave pseudo-dialectical feints when their position was relatively weaker, but their sole driving force has always been blind will to power. They are all offense, and they succeed by putting their opponents on defense.

      Do not try to convince them. Do not try to fix them. Use every legal means at your command to defeat them, especially rhetoric.

      "How do you think they even get away with sayings like 'reality has a liberal bias'???"

      If you don't recognize that "Reality has a liberal bias" is pure rhetoric with zero factual content, it just means you're rhetorically illiterate. Which explains a lot.

      Look, man. When Lefty spouts a "fact" like that--which your scare quotes correctly identify as BS--he's not attempting a logical argument. The words' definitions are of no concern to him. Do you still not get that these guys never mean what they say?

      For a Lefty, blurting out "Reality has a liberal bias" signals his membership in the Leftist Death Cult to other cultists. It's a credal statement.

      Why do they get away with it? Because Conservatives let them.

      Delete
  3. There's definitely something going on here. The weirdest comments I've received on my novels is that they're too complex and cluttered with characters and ideas. I write the sorts of things I like to read, and I've always favored Great Big Sagas like Skylark, Lensman, Dune, and (of course) Soul Cycle. The difference may be that today's readers just need something to pass the time, whereas in times past, readers were reaching for immersion, and new vistas/ideas to make them gasp. (That was me, coulda guess?) Not sure what's to be done. I'm not sure I can write simpler novels. They mutate on me. But it would be an interesting experiment.

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    1. You're on to something, Jeff. Our tastes align almost exactly. I love The Cunning Blood and found it to be a rather fast-paced, straightforward adventure with genuinely fascinating Big Ideas seamlessly worked into the story. Then again, I'm always nonplussed when people refer to the Soul Cycle as this deep, labyrinthine enigma. To me, it's crystal clear and childishly simple. I honestly did rigidly restrain myself while writing it.

      Look, I'm no genius. Empirically verifiable. But if folks think my catalog thus far is complex, they should see what I *really* wanted to write.

      It's looking more and more like we're not just heading into a new Dark Age, we've already been there for some time. Have you ever talked with a Millennial or Gen Zed about Western lit or history? They're fundamentally ignorant about things we take for granted, and it's not comical ignorance. It's terrifying.

      Now, it must be said in no uncertain terms that younger folks' lack of knowledge is not their fault. The education system did this to them, and did it on purpose. Like JD mentioned, their parents' habit of letting the Tube babysit them didn't help matters.

      What's to be done? What we should have been doing for at least twenty years now: what works. Guys like Nick Cole and Jason Anspach have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that to reach postmodern readers, you need to write simpler, more action-intensive stories, and you need to write them fast. Call it pandering. Call it lowest common denominator. But the enemy rode that horse all the way to victory.

      I empathize with your doubts. I'm not sure I can do it, either. But I have to try.

      Delete
    2. And I think that gets to the root of why comic books are so popular. In my day job, FedGov insists that all materials for public consumption be written at a fourth grade level.

      We have the Idiocracy, but that doesn't mean that we can't still move the masses to our side with rhetoric.

      Even in Christianity, I would bet many initially responded to the gospel at a base emotional level thankful for the release from sin. The dialectic or doctrinal gateway is less common in my experience (see John C. Wright for example), but I certainly don't disdain either approach.

      Delete
    3. "Even in Christianity, I would bet many initially responded to the gospel at a base emotional level thankful for the release from sin."

      Yes. Paul says to meet the man where he is. Right now, the man has been conditioned since youth to emote instead of thinking. That's why the Dominican approach is doomed to failure. The New Evangelization needs rhetoric.

      Delete
    4. Brian and Jeff,
      I think i might have a very modest suggestion: take a look a Jordi Sierra i Fabre's books of Insector Mascarell series. He publishes the books at near Nick and Jason's Galaxy's edge pace.

      The stories are fast paced and do an excellent job of commenting and reflecting post civil war Barcelona without being a history lesson.
      The stories track accurately with what my grandparents and parents said of the times.
      They're well researched.
      Another one is Capitan Alatriste. Sorta like a 3 musketeers during Spain's Golden age. Perez Reverente does an awesome job of ambience and the stories ate often based from a memoir of a soldier during that time period. He's got tons of other books and one was even turned onto a TV show which was very popular throughoutthe Spanish speaking world

      I suggest we go abroad and take a look at how others tell stories and adapt the storytelling to our situation.

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    5. Brian and Jeff,

      My TL;DR suggestion: Bring back the feuilleton/weekly chapter serials that Dumas, Dickens and others used very effectively.
      xavier

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    6. Brian:
      Shout outs to Benjamin Cheah and Bradford for their feuilltons. I highly recommend them.
      xavier

      Delete
  4. The new dark age is the result of dumbing down school, teaching to the lowest common denominator, and insisting that following your heart is the way to happiness instead of hard work.

    Sad and terrifying!

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  5. A comment on G+ on a related post by Del Arroz boiled down to:

    Nobody is fighting on my side, Jeffro, least of all Jon Del Ego. He's a huckster, just like Vox Day and Larry Correa and Sarah Hoyt. The fact that I share some opinions with those folks doesn't change the fact that they are all primarily interested in promoting their own work. That's the nature of the business--writing fiction isn't a writing job, it's a sales job that includes some writing.

    I don't feel any need to talk bad about people who are making money or to say that the gimmicks they use to sell their work are bad--but that's all this "culture war" BS is, a gimmick.

    "Buy my work to support the class struggle!" is a line no matter who is saying it. I don't buy coming from Margaret Atwood, and I don't buy it coming from John C Wright.


    There are times where I swear some people just don't want to get it.

    Yes, they're all hucksters, and they sell stories, but WHAT KIND of stories, what kind of myths do we teach them to tell about themselves in a day and age when the stories and myths we grew up with are being butchered and buried, preferably too deep to inspire anyone?

    In short, they are not JUST Hucksters.

    What kind of generations will we raise without Horatius at the bridge, but with a girl named Ed who's in touch with xir feelings?

    And no one is claiming it's a class sturggle on our side - we're saying that we need to create the stories and myths that we want pass on, to put our stamp on the culture, and stop funding the people who want us exiled, dead, unable to make a decent living.

    So yes, I'll take a good/decent story from someone I support over a finelypolished poisonous piece of crap from someone who allies himself with the gulags.

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    1. "that's all this 'culture war' BS is, a gimmick."

      Yes, Larry, Vox, Sarah, and Jon are reacting to nothing. SJWs are boogeymen they made up to sell books. People certainly aren't being doxxed, fired, and exiled from the monetary system for, say, calling a mentally disturbed man in a dress a man.

      Where have I heard that line of irrational emoto-spasming before?

      Delete
    2. So the hucksters on the right then get no sales and fall to obscurity, but the hucksters on the left keep getting sales and continue asserting cultural control?

      I fail to see the winning strategy here.

      Delete
    3. Conservatives' besetting vice of radical individualism strikes again.

      What you have here are too cool for school would-be iconoclasts preening, "Those hucksters' carnival barking might work on collectivist rubes, but I'm a free-thinker who marches to the beat of my own drummer!"

      All that kind of posturing does is further convince me that we have to deal with the Conservatives before we can effectively take on the Left. Now that some people on the Right have actually shown up to fight, the LoserCons' token resistance to the Left has been exposed as the front it always was. You can tell by the way all their efforts are now directed at binding our hands lest we actually land a punch on the Lefties they want to impress.

      Very well, then. Deal with them we shall. Conservatives are driven by two contradictory urges: individualism and submitting to authority. The "no leaders" philosophy failed #GamerGate, and it's now failing the larger Right. We need competent leadership with a clear vision who can make definitions and exile counterproductive hangers-on. Conservatives cave to whoever's authority they most fear. Better ours than the Left's.

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    4. I've read a bit of the blogs of all the authors mentioned in that post, and most of them do have a salesmanship element in their styles - however I don't see that with Wright. Maybe I'm biased because I find his blog consistently interesting and read it often but he doesn't come across as a salesman *at all* IMO.

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    5. Sales is simply persuasion. We'd better be good salesmen if we want to win.

      Delete
  6. Brian Niemeier [April 24, 2018 at 3:27 PM]
    What's to be done? What we should have been doing for at least twenty years now: what works. Guys like Nick Cole and Jason Anspach have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that to reach postmodern readers, you need to write simpler, more action-intensive stories, and you need to write them fast. Call it pandering. Call it lowest common denominator. But the enemy rode that horse all the way to victory.

    I empathize with your doubts. I'm not sure I can do it, either. But I have to try.


    You and Jeff can do it! You might not hit on the first pitch, but keep swinging!

    Go, dudes, GO!


    Jeff aka Orville [April 24, 2018 at 4:36 PM]
    And I think that gets to the root of why comic books are so popular. In my day job, FedGov insists that all materials for public consumption be written at a fourth grade level.

    We have the Idiocracy, but that doesn't mean that we can't still move the masses to our side with rhetoric.


    And *this* is why we are gonna win!

    "Classics Illustrated" got me reading those classics!

    Heian-kyo Dreams [April 24, 2018 at 6:02 PM]
    The new dark age is the result of dumbing down school, teaching to the lowest common denominator, and insisting that following your heart is the way to happiness instead of hard work.

    Sad and terrifying!


    And thus, why I am doing comics now!

    Last Redoubt [April 24, 2018 at 6:38 PM]
    Yes, they're all hucksters, and they sell stories, but WHAT KIND of stories, what kind of myths do we teach them to tell about themselves in a day and age when the stories and myths we grew up with are being butchered and buried, preferably too deep to inspire anyone?

    In short, they are not JUST Hucksters.


    Yeah, they're all so evil! Makes you want to go home, grab the vacuum hose extension and run it from the tail pipe of your car to the cabin. Hopefully, this guy does it. Despair is the last thing we need! Fight ON!

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    1. Thank you for the vote of confidence. Best of luck with your own endeavors!

      Delete
    2. Taking back the culture isn't going to be easy or obvious to most of us, but you, Jeff, Nick, and Jason are right:

      "Convince them where they live!"

      Paul didn't get to do all his teaching in Rome where it was convenient. I remember at least one bumpy ocean voyage and impromptu beach barbecue.

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  7. The more and more I see people on the right resisting the call to fight on even ground the more I believe they are controlled opposition or cowards. Take D&C and the ComicsGate crowd.

    Jawbreakers had a huge successful fundraising campaign. Couldn't be happier for Zack, and I really mean it. Man's living his dream. Why is it then that he and others are still sniping comments about AltHero? They are so committed to the neutral ground they'll actively attack their own putting forth works to challenge the prevalent left-wing bias.

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    1. Why sniping? Fear of failure. No skin in the game, so easy to armchair quarterback.

      Take names and drive on; once battle is done, ensure these people have no power or say in things that matter. These critics will never be anything but backbiters in life.

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    2. Thus they'll be confined to the footnotes of history.

      Wanna get my skin in the game eventually, got a concept targeting the young adult market. Sadly I'm restricted to a tablet currently but I'll keep working on it with pen and paper until I get a laptop. After all my boy Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the first Pellucidar novel in 90 pages and it was AMAZING!!

      Delete
  8. This is why I’ve never been as hostile to the idea of “message fiction” as many of my peers. The big question is: “what’s the message?” Also, “Is it good?”

    Of course, the right scoffs at the idea of any message whatsoever. Yet another way it unilaterally disarms itself.

    (Many conservatives will likewise see your post, tut-tut that you quoted Vox, adjust their respectable bow ties, and walk away nose held high).

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    1. I think a lot of it is that people have been inoculated against message fiction after 30 straight years of post-modern subversion infecting the arts. Just like they were taught that pulp and adventure stories were mindless and unimportant because they teach nothing when in fact they do have messages that mean something.

      What is different now is that simple allegories and analogues aren't good enough to fool even the casual observer. They can see through it. I don't think the backlash against The Last Jedi would have been anywhere near as strong even five years ago. But now the people see what they're doing.

      Every story has a message and a moral. They just have to come across as natural in the story. And if you're telling a story of good against evil honestly then it is very difficult to avoid teaching truth.

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    2. The original meaning of "message fic" was instantly blurred by the Puppy-kickers to mean "any fiction with a message".

      Obscuring meaning with word games is a trademark tactic of the Left, but like you said, lots of Conservatives who accept the Leftist frame as the default bought into it. Getting the enemy to disarm themselves was precisely their objective.

      I remember Larry having to constantly explain that SP wasn't against stories with messages. It was against lectures thinly disguised as stories.

      Delete
  9. I gave Soul Cycle a try. I got halfway through Souldancer and set it aside for later: I quickly realized it would be a demanding book and I'd have to set aside reading time for it rather than grab a few pages here and there, and I've got a day job.

    Admittedly I started with the second book, since I understood it was written first, and took place some years after Nethereal and had a completely different cast of characters, so I took it to mean the 'real' story started with Souldancer. So maybe I just lacked grounding going into it.

    I've found with many of these types of books, much like with Gene Wolfe's New Sun, an audio version is helpful, particularly when you can get a talented reader who can give the proper shades of emotion as an added cue.

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    1. Thank you. That is solid gold feedback right there. It's especially useful hearing the opinion of someone who started the series with SD. I'm humbled by any comparison to Gene Wolfe.

      Everybody take note. This is exactly the kind of reader we need to focus on satisfying. They have jobs, families, and responsibilities. They want straightforward, entertaining books they can read in short bursts on break and before bed. And they're a majority of Amazon customers.

      Anonymous, please send me an email via the link at the top left corner of this page. I want to send you a copy of my new short story collection Strange Matter. It's much easier to digest than the SC.

      Delete
  10. I can't see Hamilton in the same class as the other two, for the simple reason that it recognizes reality.

    That includes a portrait of eighteenth-century courtship and marriage. The comparison between the American Revolution and the French. The great humility of Washington. The matter of adultery taken very, VERY seriously. And the one great no-dry-eye-in-the-house line? Forgiveness.

    Lin's intent is as you say, but he's too honest to let these things fall by the wayside, and it's sparked a thirst for knowledge that would never otherwise have been there. Remember, truth is on our side, no matter who speaks it.

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    1. Washington was a power-grabbing personality cult leader who plundered his men's pensions to line his cronies' pockets.

      And who is this "our side"?

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    2. The side of Christ. Vox Day isn't speaking from a place of ardent monarchism here, so that seems summation enough.

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    3. "The side of Christ."

      Then I pray for your perseverance in faith. The side of Christ is the side of Truth.

      And don't give money to people who hate the Christ.

      Delete
  11. SJWs Always Lie:The Musical. I’d see it. Heck, I’d audition for it.

    ReplyDelete