2019/07/15

Star Wars Is now Disney Fanfic

YoutTuber David Stewart explains why there is no longer any reason to pay the least bit of attention to the Disney fan fiction masquerading as Star Wars
Disney Star Wars - it's not canon guys. It's unofficial. It's fan fiction. View it as such, treat it as such, talk about it as such; including not treating it as anything that needs to be paid attention to or be thought of as official. And anyone that says it is official, they're incorrect, right? Just as they'd be incorrect about Thor being a woman or anything else like that. 
Once you separate creator and creation, it's completely unofficial. It's a fan work. It's something like ... you go see a Dio hologram. You're not seeing Dio, that's obvious, but all of these things are like the Dio hologram. They're just continuations of something which has already passed on from this earth.
Watch the full video.


Our culture will begin the long road to recovery when most people accept that their beloved childhood IPs are dead. Luckily, there is a new generation of creators hard at work on new stories. If Western civilization can trudge on for another decade or two, perhaps some of the new storytellers' works will break out to entertain and inspire large audiences.

One thing's for certain: We can't succeed without readers. Set aside your fear, skepticism, or simple procrastination, and support independent authors today.

2019/07/12

Humiliation Rituals

Bug Burger Humiliation Ritual

People have slowly started to notice a new fad gaining traction among our ruling class. Check your social media feeds or the entertainment news, and odds are you'll see a piece extolling the virtues of eating bugs.

As if it had to be said again, you should never take our rulers' stated motives at face value. They don't think eating bugs will save the planet, nor do they think bug burgers are delicious. We know this because our betters won't be dining on meal worms. When the daily bug ration is mandated, they'll make unprincipled exceptions for themselves.

It's good to see people catching on to the real purpose behind pushing bugs as haute cuisine. They've seen enough humiliation rituals to know the next one when it pops up.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, the most commonly cited example of a humiliation ritual was Eastern Bloc shopkeepers being pressured to place "Workers of the world unite" signs in their front windows. If you didn't display the sign and the local party functionary stopped by, there'd be trouble.

Now, this practice continued well into the 20th century, when it had become obvious to anyone with a brain that there would be no global Communist uprising. We know the guys in charge knew it. That wasn't the point. They didn't think the revolution would come if only enough shopkeepers displayed little red stars.

They knew from history that forcing people to publicly state manifest untruths demoralized them.

That's how humiliation rituals work. If you can sap the people's fortitude until they'll willingly recite patent falsehoods, they won't have the fortitude to challenge the elite.

A good example of the Left's current favorite humiliation ritual came across my Twitter timeline yesterday. It's astounding that there are any Conservatives who still think the Left's noises about gay rights are on the level. Yet there they are, publicly endorsing butt stuff while wondering why it still hasn't won them any brownie points with the Death Cult.

The reason for these housebroken Conservatives' confusion is, as usual, their penchant for linear thinking. They can't imagine anyone having ulterior motives, or if they can, they imagine some deliberate mass conspiracy; the SJWs getting daily marching orders from the Central Committee.

In reality, the Death Cult works more like a school of fish. They're always sending subtle signals to each other to produce what looks like consciously coordinated movement.

That's why Conservatives trying to be more pro-LGBT/anti-racist/feminist than the Left never works. They forget they're dealing with a heretical religion, not a bunch of individuals who subscribe to an ideology.

To the Death Cult, a Conservative proclaiming his commitment to gay rights is LARPing with his fly open. He's burning his pinch of incense and professing Caesar's divinity while visibly crossing his fingers. The cult knows he's not one of them, so his attempts to placate them come off as sacrilege.

That's also why Conservatives lost the culture war. The point of a humiliation ritual is to make the enemy parrot your side's moral code. For decades, Conservatives have dutifully performed every humiliation ritual the Death Cult liturgists have devised.

This isn't a battle of divergent policies. It's a war of conflicting morals. In asymmetrical warfare, whoever captures the moral level wins. Accepting the Death Cult's moral framework is suicide, as Conservatives have proven. Beating this enemy will mean rejecting their morality wholesale.

2019/07/11

Hecklers vs Critics

I've been getting a lot of requests for writing advice lately. Knowing how to recognize and take constructive criticism is among the most important skills a writer can master, so I've dug this post out of the vaults.

criticism

Writers tend to be introverts. Most of us also crave external validation. Add in the fact that naturally shy authors seek approval by submitting deeply personal works for public consumption, and it's no mystery why many authors--and creative people of all kinds--are averse to criticism.

This aversion to criticism amounts to a fear of failure, which is a detrimental mindset for anyone; not just us creative types. Nobody likes being rejected, but unless you're putting yourself out there--and make no mistake; as an author, your product is you--and inviting rejection, you won't get anywhere.

Here's an uncomfortable fact that writers need to get realistic about if they want to improve as artists: accepting constructive criticism will teach you far more than will living in a hermetically sealed hugbox.

I understand that facing your critics can be an agonizing ordeal, but there are ways to soften the blow. Here's some advice on how to take criticism.

Know the Difference Between Criticism and Heckling
Criticism itself is a subtle and noble art. Unfortunately, the number of highly opinionated people with internet access far exceeds the number of skilled critics. As a result, most online critics are really hecklers.


In this clip, comedian Jamie Kennedy briefly discusses the difference between a critic and a heckler (he even made a movie about it). Whether you enjoy Kennedy's humor or not, he has some valid points.

  • Heckling consists of emotion-based, personal insults intended to tear the artist down; usually to inflate the heckler's ego.
  • Criticism is an honest effort to appraise the strengths and shortcomings of a work. Legitimate critics analyze books, movies, games, etc. based on accepted artistic standards. The aim of criticism is to help the artist improve, thereby improving the state of the art.

You can probably see from the definition of criticism alone how constructive critiques are invaluable resources for improvement. If you don't know something's wrong, you can't fix it. Luckily, a real critic will restrict criticism to your work. Someone making it personal is a heckler who can be safely ignored.

Find a Trusted Critic Whose Style Fits Your Disposition
If you're still not convinced that criticism is an invaluable tool for creative growth, consider The Lord of the Rings. By all accounts, the early drafts of Tolkien's beloved masterpiece sucked. Seriously, if he'd had his way, instead of the world's greatest fantasy epic we'd have gotten a thousand page account of Bilbo's 111th birthday bash. No orcs, no balrog, not even the titular Dark Lord; just a bunch of hobbits stuffing their faces and telling jokes.

C.S. Lewis single-handedly saved us from that adorable yet tedious fate. His advice to Tolkien that hobbits are only entertaining when they're doing unhobbitlike things is possibly the greatest piece of criticism ever given. Lewis deserves a Nobel Prize for that alone.

Yet Lewis' true genius didn't shine forth in the criticism he gave, but in how he delivered it. Knowing that Tolkien was among the shyest introverts of a notoriously shy and introverted breed--and since both of them were university professors--he framed his criticism of LotR by adopting Tolkien's conceit that it was a real history and critiquing the "translators" of "The Red Book of Westmarch".

Whereas Tolkien tended to flee from direct criticism, Lewis found that playing along with his friend's fantasy was the sugar coating that helped his advice go down. Brandon Rhodes gave an outstanding talk on how Lewis' mastery of wise and gentle criticism coaxed Tolkien out of his artistic shell. The whole video is well worth any artist or critic's time.


The takeaway: friends who will tell you the truth about a project you're emotionally invested in are rarer than pearls. Critics who can tell you that something you made sucks in a way that makes you glad to hear it are more precious than gold. Seek out both, and thank God if you can find one person who fits into both categories.

Sift Your Feedback
Not all critics are created equal. Not all criticism is equally useful. Learning how to sift feedback is just as important as training yourself to seek it out. Here are some reliable methods:

  • Assemble your own group of handpicked beta readers/first critics. As mentioned above, select for people who will tell it like it is without being jerks. This will take time--probably years--and will be an ongoing process.
  • Do not try to implement all feedback. Doing so will undermine your artistic voice and creative freedom. A solid rule of thumb is to take roughly 25% of the advice you get from readers--even your trusted beta readers.
  • Once is a fluke. Twice is coincidence. Three times is proof. Don't fret if a single, isolated review calls your protagonist one-dimensional. If several critics take issue with your characterization, strongly consider taking action.
  • Your target audience takes precedence over critics who aren't fans of your particular genre/themes/mood, etc. As a professional writer, pleasing your readers is your job. Treat repeated complaints from your hardcore fans much as you would critiques from your trusted beta readers. Likewise, if you write nuts & bolts hard SF, take a bad review from a self-described super squishy space opera fanboy with a grain of salt.
If They Really Bug You, Don't Read Bad Reviews
I know of several authors who just plain skip negative reviews of their work. That practice may sound detrimental based on what I've said so far, but there's sound reasoning behind it. Most of those writers already have solid beta readers--many of whom are also professional authors, and they run their work by pro editors.

Besides, someone who posts a one or two star review probably won't become a fan, even if you improve. Your fans are the folks you want to please, and they'll usually point out where there's room for improvement. So you can learn from reading bad reviews, but it's not mandatory.

I'm really grateful that my readers have given my work pretty high marks. Even those four and five star reviews can be mined for useful criticism, and I've learned a lot about my audience's tastes that way. Thanks to constructive criticism from my beta readers, editors, and fans, I've grown as an author and I look forward to improving even more.

To be sure, there've been folks who tried my writing and didn't like it. I'm thankful that they've all been super good sports and have explained their distaste in ways that made perfect sense. But even when someone's decided my work isn't for him, I've benefited when he told me why.

And if this article teaches you nothing else, I'm obligated to leave you with this one, crucial law:

Never, ever, under any circumstances, should you respond to a negative review.

As an author, defending yourself against bad reviews makes you look like an amateur, takes time away from writing you get paid for, and if the review is from a heckler, it gives him the grand prize: your attention. If you can't resist leaping to defend your precious book's honor, you should definitely stop reading negative reviews altogether.

So that's what becoming a professional author has taught me about taking criticism. If you're a working artist, I hope you'll confidently go and seek out feedback.

2019/07/10

Policy Rationale

Online dissident circles were abuzz yesterday with word that technocleric Mark Zuckerberg had issued a fatwa against the infidels on his company's index of Dangerous Individuals.

The uproar broke out when alt-lite journalist Paul Joseph Watson discovered an ominous update to Facebook's community standards allowing threats of "high-severity violence" against people who've been deplatformed from the site.

Community Standards

A tip o' the hat to legendary game developer Mark Kern.

Grummz Tweet

People recently kicked off Facebook for being dangerous include Conservative rabble rousers like PJW himself, his old boss Alex Jones, as well as Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, who both happen to be Jews but are tarred as Nazis anyway.

Predictably, Facebook walked back their new policy with a hasty update to the update.

Policy Rationale

The supposed clarification that Facebook's threat allowance is limited to, "aspirational or conditional threats directed at terrorists and other violent actors," is an obvious fig leaf. These re people whose whole ethos revolves around twisting language.

The same folks who call Milo, Loomer, Ben Shapiro, and Dennis Prager Nazis long ago abdicated all credibility to define "violent actors".

We already know that Zuckerberg and his fellow oligarchs define "violence" as insufficiently enthusiastic adherence to the Death Cult. Here he is bragging about interfering with the Irish abortion vote by blocking pro-life ads.

Facebook's policy rationale has nothing to do with stemming violence. The real purpose behind these guidelines is to make those deemed heretical by the Death Cult de facto outlaws who are fair game for any type of abuse, up to and including death.

The walkback is temporary. Expect even more explicit versions of these anathemas soon, along with their adoption by the rest of the Big Tech cabal.

Our rulers are conditioning the Left to regard anyone who disagrees with them as subhuman. Prepare for the intended results accordingly.

2019/07/09

Green Giant

Wild Green Man

My crypto-reader returns will a spiritual successor to the tale he shared last time.
So, I was just out visiting my cop buddy in Indiana for the first time in two years, and he was regaling me with the backlog of Tales of Rural Police Adventures while we're out target practicing in his field and had one that's right up our recent conversations' alleys.
There's this drug dealer he's mentioned a few times over the years. Mostly just pushes pot they grow in the woods out there. it's one of those everyone knows things, but nobody ever had enough proof at any given time to get a warrant and do anything about, and the guy's small enough potatoes and nonviolent so they had other priorities over actively sting oping this guy
about a year ago, they get a call from the adjoining neighbor saying there' a lot of shooting going on, and like 15 minutes later they get a call from this guy begging for as many police to come as possible. They're thinking gang drug war stuff, so everyone on duty rolls out
they get out there, and this property is just trashed...he said normally it's a little rundown, but in line with everything else in the area. But this is like barn door is knocked off, windows busted in and shot out, Someone's put a couple shotgun blasts through the front door
They find this guy and his girlfriend and a couple other guys holed up in the bathroom in the center of the house, freaking out
Everyone's saying they shot at what they thought was a guy near one of their illegal forest grows, and it turned out to be a gorilla that ran off into the woods and they say a group of gorillas came back and attacked the house that night
So all the cops going "yeah fucking right" and it's written up as they sampled some of the goods and got so fucked up they hallucinated monkeys and had a paranoid weed freakout over it and shot up the house
There was like 2 palettes of bricked weed bundles in the barn. So they finally got this guy after years because of this, heh
If I were my reader's cop friend, would I have written up my report as a case of a dealer getting high on his own supply and wigging out? Yes, I would.

And yet, I can't help but note the parallels between this story and the infamous Ape Canyon incident.

See for yourself.


2019/07/08

Dark Age Fantasy

Chartres Cathedral

Every religion provides its adherents with an origin story--an explanation for who the faithful are and how their creed came to be.

Nu-atheism is no exception. Some would argue that atheism isn't a religion but a lack of belief. Science and logic prove this claim false. Human beings are wired to worship. The only people who have no gods are nutcases who think they are God.

Listen to atheists spawned by Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and the like, and it soon becomes apparent that they worship their intellects and their egos. Like all faiths, theirs has a creation myth.

An integral part of the atheist creation narrative is belief in the Christian Dark Ages. During this benighted period, the story goes, Europeans lost the advances of Greece and Rome. Stifled by the Church, further technological advancement would have to wait for the Renaissance, which was mainly a warm up for the Enlightenment.

Most religions' origin stories are set during purposefully vague past epochs. When a time frame is given at all, it's in nebulous terms like, "a long time ago," or, "in the primordial chaos before time."

Nu-atheism is one of the few religions that sets a key part of its origin story during a concrete span of time. The "Dark Ages", in the original Medieval usage, referred to either the 13th or the 10th and 11th centuries, but Reformation and Enlightenment writers later expanded its duration from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance.

Conveniently, the concrete historical setting of this particular creation myth allows us to conclusively debunk it.

Any historians worth their salt have been disavowing the concept of the Dark Ages for years.

So have honest atheists, for that matter. Here's Tim O'Neill's review of Hannam, wherein he demolishes the internet atheist dogma that scientific advancement stalled in the Middle Ages.
It's not hard to kick this nonsense to pieces, especially since the people presenting it know next to nothing about history and have simply picked up these strange ideas from websites and popular books. The assertions collapse as soon as you hit them with hard evidence. I love to totally stump these propagators by asking them to present me with the name of one - just one - scientist burned, persecuted, or oppressed for their science in the Middle Ages. They always fail to come up with any. They usually try to crowbar Galileo back into the Middle Ages, which is amusing considering he was a contemporary of Descartes. When asked why they have failed to produce any such scientists given the Church was apparently so busily oppressing them, they often resort to claiming that the Evil Old Church did such a good job of oppression that everyone was too scared to practice science. By the time I produce a laundry list of Medieval scientists - like Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, John Peckham, Duns Scotus, Thomas Bradwardine, Walter Burley, William Heytesbury, Richard Swineshead, John Dumbleton, Richard of Wallingford, Nicholas Oresme, Jean Buridan and Nicholas of Cusa - and ask why these men were happily pursuing science in the Middle Ages without molestation from the Church, my opponents usually scratch their heads in puzzlement at what just went wrong.
If there were no Dark Ages, why is belief in the Dark Age myth so widespread? First, people need stories that reinforce their identities. A story that reaffirms who you are over and against someone else is especially powerful. Knowing you're not them is vital to knowing who you are.

For atheists who get their medieval history from Family Guy, an essential part of who they're not is the superstitious rubes that razed the ancient libraries and burned free thinkers at the stake. To them, it doesn't matter that that those rubes never existed.

Second, the black legend of the Dark Ages is another Christian own-goal. It was Protestants who took the ball from Petrarch, ran with it, and passed it down the field to Enlightenment secular humanists. Much like the campfire tales about the Crusades, propaganda spread by the Reformers as part of their own origin story came back to bite them.

This post isn't to knock all religious origin stories set during a concrete point in history. The existence and ministry of Jesus, for example, is better attested than the lives of Socrates, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar.

2019/07/03

Together or Separately Again

This post would be evergreen even if current events didn't make it especially timely. Word to the wise.

noose

The legacy media propaganda machine is currently mobilizing for a two minutes hate against Dr. Jordan Peterson. Apparently the good doctor went on the Beeb to point out some basic facts about economics and human psychology that your average high school student used to take for granted.

The journo they sent in to trap him ended up turning herself into a living example of Peterson's points. That's not surprising, because the anti-intellectual cult the Left is beholden to requires them to take it on faith that anyone outside the cult is either stupid, insane, evil, or all three.

I didn't watch the debate itself. Though I've sampled my share of "must-watch" Jordan Peterson videos, I've never heard him say anything particularly interesting. His specialty is doling out what used to be called common sense to young adults whose society has utterly failed them on every level.

That's not a knock against Peterson. We've had a couple of generations raised without fathers in deed or in fact, and he fulfills the vital role of imparting useful life skills and counteracting media and academia-inflicted brainwashing. Which is why the media has to destroy him.

As others have pointed out, the press is geared up to run the MILO script on Peterson. They know that further debate is useless--not that they ever meant to beat him in a good-faith contest of ideas; rather they tried and failed to trip him up. So they're trotting out the tactic that's been their go-to gambit since #GamerGate: make vague, unsubstantiated claims of harassment, blame Peterson's fans, and smear him by association. His continued presence is a painful reminder of their humiliation, so the game now is to get him de-platformed and disemployed.

I hate to break it to the hacks in the press penning their hit pieces as we speak, but it won't work this time. Peterson has two things that past conservative victims of the hate mob lacked: tenure and his own massive platform that doesn't rely on old media.

That's good for Peterson, but what about past and future casualties of SJW shriek swarms who lack the same protections? As I've noted before, they're pretty much screwed. After all, the Left wouldn't bother trying to disemploy and de-platform hatefact purveyors on the Right if Conservatives didn't indulge them.

It's been said before, and it bears saying again: Conservatives' main weakness is their critical lack of solidarity. It comes from the nasty individualist streak in their capitalist and Liberal influences. I've seen right-leaning business owners flatly refuse employment to like-minded friends because the job-seekers' unemployment exceeded an arbitrary 18 month limit. Even an otherwise solid guy like Stefan Molyneux, who speaks passionately about the need to put winning first, says he won't hire people who've "lost momentum".


One big advantage of being on the Left is that, if you check the right boxes and recite the proper credal formulas, the cult looks out for you. Note the curious phenomenon of lefties in media and business "failing upward". SJW editors from protected groups who bankrupt venerable sci-fi magazines don't have to apply at Target. They're given cushy writing assignments at Marvel Comics. When their unreadable books are inevitably cancelled, there'll be junior college associate professorships waiting to break the fall.

Conservatives who publicly speak uncomfortable truths are in for a rougher ride. First, the bow tie-bedecked moderates can be counted on to show up and virtue signal at the victim's expense. "Sure, he denounced the harassment," they'll say, "but if he meant it, he'd disavow his unruly followers who're causing all the trouble." Always conveniently forgotten is the fact that it's the Left who are stirring up fake outrage to distract from their loss.

After that, the employer will decide it's best to discontinue their working relationship with the victim because nothing says "sound, long-term business planning" like sacrificing a productive employee who reliably adds value to the company for the sake of dispersing an angry mob that would've lost interest and gone away on its own if management had just ignored them.

The abandoned ex-employee whose name is now mud in the industry where he was a twenty-year veteran is then told to apply for a minimum-wage job so he can at least "re-enter the workforce". At that point, one of two things happens:
  1. He finds that all available entry-level jobs have already been filled by women, minorities, and illegal aliens thanks to affirmative action laws that Conservatives were too spineless to repeal and immigration laws they were too lazy to enforce. (And capitalist employers love them because they're cheaper!)
  2. He gets the minimum-wage job, earning less than he did on unemployment and food stamps. The aforementioned factors keep him from getting promoted, and he's right back in the unemployment line in a few months when the almost certainly temporary job ends.
But at least the disemployed hate mob victim is doing his best to avoid relying on collectivism and pull himself up by his bootstraps!

Individualism is poison. It was introduced into right-wing thought by the enemy, and they count on it to keep their opposition atomized, cut off from support, and vulnerable to their Alinsky tactics. 

Don't play along. Are you a business owner or manager who knows someone who's been disemployed by SJWs? GIVE HIM A FUCKING JOB.

But what if he's been unemployed for two years?

It doesn't matter.

But what if he drinks?

Doesn't matter.

But what if he stole from his last company to buy meth?

Who gives a shit?

If you're hiding behind any of these excuses, you clearly don't understand that this is bigger than him, you, or your precious little company. Culture warriors need something to fight for and resources to fight with. Yes, the ideal is planting oak trees we'll never live to nap under. We still need a reliable support structure to have our backs while we're digging.

Standing up for the truth at grave personal risk is heroic. But imagine if it didn't have to be. Heroes are always a tiny percentage of the population. The easier you make it for ordinary guys to speak plain, obvious truth, the more soldiers we'll have on our side. 

Still don't feel comfortable offering Frank an internal position now that he's been out of the game for a while? Come up with a make-work position and give it to him on a contract basis. Let him know it's temporary, and he'd better leave any bad habits he's picked up at the door because you're doing him a massive favor. Unless he's a total screw-up, he'll get the hint. That way, Frank can fill the employment gap on his resume with a job that's technically in the industry. He can use the time and money you're giving him to hone his skills on the job or get more training. If he puts in any effort at all, he'll be able to get a real job in his field before the contract runs out.

Or you can throw Frank to the wolves and hope they don't come back for you next time.

With this final novel, Mr. Niemeier has created a work of art and beauty that I believe will stand the test of time.

2019/07/02

Crotch Worship

Let this recent Twitter exchange serve to remind you that atheism is incompatible with traditionalism and nationalism.

Crotch Worship 1

Crotch Worship 2

Crotch Worship 3

Crotch Worship 4

Crotch Worship 5


Crotch Worship 6

Materialist atheists are not of the Right because they do not share the Right's essential motives.

Historically, the Right were defined as those who supported throne and altar against rebellion. They know that Christianity is an essential pillar of all Western nations because only Christianity offers a coherent national origin story that also reinforces each nation's unique identity.

Atomized, hedonistic atheists, on the other hand, at best view the dissident Right as a vehicle to bring them a homogeneous high-trust society where they can indulge in recreational drugs and unfettered crotch worship.

They're barnacles hoping to ride out the storm on Peter's Bark while openly plotting mutiny as soon as they reach the shore.

As for my interlocutor's question, Who cares if Poland, Russia, and China stay Polish, Russian, and Chinese? The answer is Poles, Russians, and the Chinese.

Another reminder appears to be in order. Once again, atheists seeking to hitch themselves to the new Right's wagon have four choices--because late Moderns are all about choice.

  1. Confess that Jesus is the Christ and God has raised Him from the dead, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior.
  2. LARP for an hour each Sunday at the church of your choice.
  3. Shut up.
  4. Join the Left. They have all the sexdrugs anyway.

P.S. A few other Twitter users asked me for citations on China going majority Christian by 2050. I originally stumbled upon the prediction while doing research for Combat Frame XSeed. Those notes are on another device which I haven't had time to dig up yet, but another user and I found the following:

First, a 2014 article in the Telegraph titled, "China on Course to Become 'World's Most Christian Nation' within Fifteen Years"
Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world's number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.
"By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon," said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.
"It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change."
Next, a report from Pew Research which corrects for under-reporting on the part of China's officially atheist government to indicate that Christians may not be 2% of the population as was thought, but 5%.

Christians in China

That number may seem small, but bear in mind that A) Christianity has only been allowed in China since 1976, yet rose from zero to 5% in 35 years.

And that growth was mainly due to conversions. Religions have another, more effective method of propagation, which was largely denied to Chinese Christians--until 2015.
The first day of 2016 marks the end of China's controversial, 40-year-old one-child policy.
Although families will still require government-issued birth permits, or face the sanction of a forced abortion, couples in China can now request to have two children.
Based on historical trends, who is more likely to take advantage of the allowance to have a second child--atheists or Christians?
By 2030, China's total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.
"Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this," Prof Yang said. "It's ironic – they didn't. They actually failed completely."
As do all who scheme to lay violent hands on Christ's bride.

Far, far better men than our effete ruling class have tried and failed to destroy the Church. Does Tim Cook think himself the equal of Julian the Apostate? Does Mark Zuckerberg fancy himself a new Napoleon? Can Merkel hold a candle to Mao?

The Church is the rock that endures while nations crumble. But she is also the eternal spring that nourishes those nations which remain in her embrace.

To weather the storm on the red horizon, we must repent and return to Jesus Christ through his bride the Church. Any other way leads to destruction.

2019/07/01

How to Twitter

Twitter instructions

Embarrassing admission time: I have a chronic case of boomer tech when it comes to social media.

Longtime readers know I relentlessly advocate for elevating publishing out of the oldpub tar pits and into the newpub promised land. I'm the first to ditch obsolete publishing bromides and embrace newly emergent best practices.

Yet is was recently pointed out to me that my Twitter game was amateur hour. In effect, I'd been using the platform without reading the instruction manual.

In fairness, it's not as if they issue the manual to everyone who signs up for an account. If Amazon obsessively fixes things till they're broke and Facebook is a Byzantine confidence scheme, Twitter is so badly programmed and managed that its incompetence is indistinguishable from malice (h/t Daddy Warpig).

That last point seems like a strike against using Twitter in the first place, but the prevailing state of chaos down at Twitter HQ can work in your favor. As the redheaded adopted stepchild of Big Tech, Twitter is often the last to get the memo when a dissenter is sentenced to techno-exile.

Anyway, the first step is admitting the problem. Many people forget that you then have to take the other steps.

I'm pleased to report that I have at long last entered Twitter noob recovery with the help of savvy creators like Adam Lane Smith, Jeff Putnam, and Jon Parker.

Which Twitter vices have these gentlemen helped me identify and overcome?

First and foremost, they made me realize I'd been stuck in the Oldpub Marketing Department Mindset. My approach to Twitter used to be mechanistically tweeting A, B, C, & D type tweets X times per day. Straight out the legacy media marketing playbook.

What my fine colleagues helped me realize was that by taking this approach, I'd been talking at potential readers instead of talking with them.

Hang around the indie publishing scene for any length of time, and you'll hear authors--even some big names--swear on a stack that Twitter is death to book sales.

Try an experiment and check out the timelines of authors who say they can't sell books on Twitter. Nine times out of ten, they're not engaging with readers in optimal ways for the platform.

If, like me, you've heard it said that the key to Twitter success is authentic engagement, but you didn't have the first clue what that meant, allow me to expand on the concept.

A couple days ago, I sent out this tweet using the engagement philosophy I'm learning from my author friends.

Result: My sales that day were five times higher than average.

What's more, those sales were overwhelmingly books from my older Soul Cycle series. That tells me this was new readers discovering my back catalog.

In light of these results, what actionable advice can I give hungry young writers looking to build a Twitter following who will actually buy their books?

Authenticity is key

Most importantly, but perhaps counterintuitively, you've got to be genuine in how you present yourself.

People are so inundated with fakes and prefab personalities that they're starving for interactions with real human beings.

A lot of brand gurus will tell you to put up a slick front that portrays you as some kind of infallible ubermensch. That kind of public image comes off as dull. In storytelling terms--and marketing is storytelling--it's the Mary Sue of branding.

Flesh-and-blood human beings who encounter everyday challenges--and sometimes fail--resonate with people far more than unblemished bronze idols.

If you want to build trust, you have to present yourself on the level, warts and all.

Converse, don't dictate

As for the nuts & bolts, you foster engagement by adding value.

  • Retweet quality content.
  • Don't just RT. Include our own insightful commentary. It's gotta be more than, "Agreed" or "Concur".
  • Like and RT anytime someone comments on and RTs your tweets.
  • Don't be afraid to tag in users with bigger followings than yours.
  • Don't argue with users whose followings are smaller than yours.
  • Talking politics is a double-edged sword. You'll gain followers, but they'll expect you to talk politics all the time.
  • If you do go the political pundit route, stake out a position, be willing to change your mind when new information presents itself, and be up front with your followers. Don't shill.
That about exhausts my current level of Twitter boomer recovery. What other tips do the Twitter virtuosos out there have to share?

2019/06/28

How Does Your Magic Work?

A loyal reader writes:
Slowly developing world, characters, etc., but in Reddit's /r/worldbuilding, someone came up with this prompt: How does your magic work?
https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/c6csar/how_does_your_magic_work/
I (/u/Alkalannar) make the comment that goes with your old-school Actual Magic definition from How to Design Magic Systems. It has twice the number of upvotes as the next-most-popular. I am astonished, to be honest.
It's just a small thing, but finding this in Reddit of all places...are people finally admitting that they crave stories of good and evil, where magic is dangerous to the soul?
That encourages me to keep writing and listening to the muse.

Magic System

Magic System 2

Congratulations, dear reader. You're off to an excellent start.

People are tired of pink slime generic fantasy.

Sandersonian nuts 'n' bolts magic systems are wearing out their welcome.

The soul can't subsist on a steady diet of Gray and Grey or Gray and Black morality.

I used to think the key to creating a standout magic system was putting all the parts together like a Swiss watch.

Years of experience have taught me that magic's moral dimension and how it affects character is the most important consideration.

To see the culmination of multiple magic systems in apocalyptic conflict with moral stakes most modern novelists won't touch, read the epic conclusion to my award-winning Soul Cycle.

The Ophian Rising

2019/06/27

Worth it Just for Wright's Story

Professional philosopher Dr. Eve Keneinan recently tweeted her review of Forbidden Thoughts from Superversive Press.

Here are some selected highlights.

Forbidden Thoughts 1

Forbidden Thoughts 2

Forbidden Thoughts 3

Forbidden Thoughts 4

Forbidden Thoughts 5

Forbidden Thoughts 6

Eve dispenses gracious praise and fair criticism. What more could a prospective reader ask for?

On a personal note, it was a total blast and a career highlight to work alongside all of my fellow Forbidden Thoughts collaborators. Readers will find a wealth of excellent stories inside, but I second Eve's assessment that John C. Wright's offering stands above the rest. He's on another level.

In defense of the editors, they purposefully arranged the stories in the order they appear for ease of reading. In retrospect, a premiere star-studded anthology may not have been the best place to experiment with story order. Hindsight's 20/20.

Of course, I too heartily recommend Forbidden Thoughts. John and Jagi's stories alone are worth the price of admission. Fans of Niemeierian fiction also get a coveted look at some of the back story for my award-winning Soul Cycle.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, and you haven't read Forbidden Thoughts, you're strongly encouraged to amend that oversight now.

2019/06/26

They All Float

Johnston Profile

In the midst of a recent Twitter debate with author Jon Del Arroz over the comic book industry's blacklisting of Conservative Christians, Bleeding Cool Head Writer Rich Johnston made himself the latest candidate for the Witch Test.

Johnston Confession

Johnston Confession 2

Johnston Confession 3

Once again, the pure element rejects those who consort with evil. The Witch Test continues batting a thousand.

To Rich's credit, he didn't turn tail and run like all the other failed test subjects--at least not permanently. He's come back to snipe at my Twitter mutuals every few hours in the course of the day I gave him to make that simple profession of faith in Christ Jesus. Yet he refuses to say the words.

Neither Rich, nor any other Death Cult camp follower, can unironically make a positive statement about Jesus because they're painfully aware of the social costs incurred by openly practicing Christianity.

Rich spent a great many words denying Jon's assertions that anti-Christian bias exists, but his actions speak far louder. No man can serve two masters, and he's chosen his.

And despite his feigned principled exception to making public credal statements, his own Twitter bio contains brazen PopCult and Death Cult self-identifications.

The Death Cult is a heretical, Christianity-profaning religion that currently wraps itself in political trappings out of convenience. That's why Jon's valiant attempts to argue on the Left-Right spectrum just let Rich lead him around in circles, whereas applying the Witch Test shut him up for hours.

Don't bother debating politics with death cultists. Go straight to religion.

2019/06/25

Theodicy

Aqedah

The defining claim of atheism is that God doesn't exist, but if you listen to them long enough, you come to realize that atheists never argue against God's existence.

In fact, there are really only two basic arguments atheists make. The first rests on the observation that the universe seems to work just fine without divine intervention.

Not only is this a straw man, since Christians do not in fact deny secondary causes, it reinforces the cosmological arguments for God. Rules imply a rule-giver. Once the atheist grants the existence of universal principles, he can't deny that they have an origin without violating the law of cause and effect he's arguing from in the first place.

The other argument in the atheist's bag of tricks, and by far the weaker of the two, relies on appeals to the problem of evil.

Philosophers and theologians have been engaging with the question of why a good God allows evil--theodicy, to use the fancy term--since before biblical times. But as they do with the question of God's existence, atheists pretend Christians didn't come up with numerous solutions to the problem centuries ago and forge ahead as if they've discovered a silver bullet "gotcha" question everybody missed for years.

I've heard a lot of smart people say that the problem of evil posed a serious challenge to their faith. That's because arguments for atheism based on theodicy are rhetorical devices masquerading as dialectic. They derive all of their punch from evoking an emotional response in the target.

The question, "How could a good, all-powerful God allow children to starve?" doesn't even address the issue of God's existence. It assumes God exists and instead casts doubt on His goodness and/or omnipotence. Again, it's not really an argument for atheism. The point is to give believers a case of cognitive dissonance.

Now, one might argue that a creator who lacks perfect goodness and power leaves us with an imperfect demiurge. The obvious objection to that line of reasoning is that it just kicks the can one step further down the road, because a contingent demiurge still requires an Absolute First Cause.

Even more damning to the atheist wielding theodicy as a bludgeon, arguing from the problem of evil also assumes Christian morality. Blind evolutionary forces don't care if children starve. Such cases are neither good nor bad. They just mean those kids didn't have what it took to survive.

But our atheist takes it for granted that children starving is wrong, even as he accuses God of hypocrisy in order to undermine the believer's rationale for judging child starvation to be evil.

If we grant the premise that evil's existence refutes God's goodness and/or omnipotence, then God is not God. Therefore, His precepts do not bind in conscience. Therefore Christian morality is wrong. Therefore the believer was wrong to be scandalized by starving kids in the first place.

It's self-negating.

How do Christians resolve the problem of evil? As I mentioned above, scholars have had a long time to work on theodicy, and myriad solutions exist.

The simplest is this: God exists, and evil exists.

That answer might sound facile, but remember, it's up to atheists to prove those statements contradictory. They never actually do. They just glibly assume it.

They also pretend like there's some Scripture passage where God says evil isn't real, and His people will never suffer. In fact He says the exact opposite time and again. The Bible is the story of God's tireless efforts to deliver His people from evil, culminating in the Passion of Jesus Christ, which solves the problem once and for all by giving men a way to make suffering redemptive.

"But God created everything, right?" I can hear some of you say. "Doesn't that mean He created evil?"

The first part of that objection is correct. God alone has the power to create something from nothing. But whereas I've affirmed throughout this post that evil exists, that statement is only true in a metaphorical way.

It's the inverse of how God is said to exist as a matter of convenience. More properly speaking, God is Being. Since God is good, and God is being, good is being.

The flip side of that syllogism is that evil has no independent existence. Instead, evil is an absence of the good; a lacking of something that should be.

Where does evil come from? Remember that only God can create things. Men can't create anything. Or, phrased another, equally correct way, men can create nothing.

Human beings--and unfallen and fallen angels--are agents of causality. While we can't create ex nihilo, we can mar and destroy already existing goods.

It's men and fallen angels who bring evil into the world, not God. It's all on us.

Happily, bringing something out of nothing; good out of evil, is God's specialty. He's already taken the worst evil ever committed--His own sorrowful Passion and death--and turned it into the salvation of mankind.

O happy fault, that gained for us so great a Redeemer!

2019/06/24

It's All on You

Mid-2019

Best selling author Jon Del Arroz delivered an urgent plea for sanity on the part of comic book fans in a recent Periscope.

Here's a sampling of Jon's wisdom, somewhat redacted for time and clarity. Be attentive!
Marvel made this announcement about...they're giving JJ Abrams and his son a miniseries Spider-Man book or something like that, and they hyped it as some big thing. They put a pretty good artist on it, etc. And everybody went ballistic...and they tie it into the Star Wars outrage and all that. And it's just like, geez, guys, why do you care what they're doing with their books at this point? Why are you still buying their books? Why are you still reading their books? It makes no sense.
It's a habit. It's like a nicotine addiction, and it's showing your weakness at this point if you care about what they're doing with a freaking Spider-Man book. It doesn't matter anymore. None of it matters anymore.
There are alternatives. You can go do something else. The fact that you as a 30 or 40 year-old man care about this is just a sign of being a loser...You need to stop caring about this. It doesn't matter anymore. We have solved the problem.
That's what I've seen with the general comics culture. It's a bunch of dudes who are 30, 40, 50, whatever, who are addicted to these properties which are just brand names that were purchased by Disney and Warner Brothers, that you read...when you were a kid. Those don't exist anymore...You can move on at this point. Or, you can go back and go buy those old collected editions of those old books and reread those if you like them so much. Whatever.
***
It's fan fiction, right? Stan Lee is dead. Steve Ditko is dead. This is not their character anymore. It's Disney's licensed property at this point. Which, because of our weird copyright laws in America, they can keep these in perpetuity as long as they keep publishing this stuff. That's all they're doing is maintaining copyright by pushing these out to 10, 20 thousand people. Who cares? Doesn't matter. Don't read it.
[Abram's book] is gonna sell because there's a celebrity name and because it says Spider-Man on it, right? And all the little gamma losers are gonna buy it...because  "I bought every Spider-Man since 1972!" Well, great. You're part of the problem. It doesn't make any sense that you're still doing that.
That is just the biggest waste of money I could ever imagine and the biggest loser behavior I could ever imagine. How could you still be invested in that?
The next level of marketing is because you guys are outraged and you are promoting the book over and over and over and over again...All you're doing is amplifying their message that this book is coming out. Now this book, which was not a big deal...is now going to be a big thing because everybody's talking about it. And now it's a political tribe cause. You made it into a political tribe cause because you are signaling that your #ComicsGate, or whatever you want to call it, tribe, is anti-this book. And because you're anti-this book, you're signaling to the other people on the internet that they must therefore be for the book, and therefore these people who wouldn't have even cared about it whatsoever...now it's a cause.
Same with the movie Captain Marvel. You already did this. You propelled this movie from a B movie to a billion dollar property.
The outrage stuff, the clicks, need to stop. You need to stop clicking on videos that talk about this or that DC book or this or that Marvel book, or "Oh, my gosh! Maybe they're gonna have a gay person in this next movie!" Nobody cares. It's not interesting. It is not helping anything. It's not helping the culture, and it's time to move on.
There are lots of good cultural properties out there now. I have a ton of them. If you hate me because I tell the truth or...because I won't sugarcoat stuff for the YouTube guys who you're big fans of, that's fine. Don't buy my books. Go buy somebody else's. But stop talking about this stuff, and start talking about the new stuff in culture. 
Because the old stuff is just old, guys. It's over, alright?
It's a lie that was sold to you by the comics industry to care about these "legacy characters" no matter who the writers were. And they did this, and they kept that numbering system going as they changed these things through the years, so that you would keep buying this, and you wouldn't actually care about the creators or care about the stories themselves. It's a corporate shill thing, and of course the corporate shills are going to bring in the big name corporate shills. That's it.
They're never going to change that. You're never going to have an impact on that. It's not going to stop that, so it's time to change your behavior, because that's the only thing you can control.
Stop caring about whatever Spider-Man thing is happening. Stop caring about whatever Batman thing is happening. Start caring about real creativity and real content. It's on you. Trust me. It's hard. You gotta rip the Band-Aid off. You gotta go to your comic shop and say, "I'm cutting all Marvel. I'm not doing this anymore." 
Stop reading that stuff. Disconnect from all of it, and just get into stuff that's actually gonna change the culture and actually gonna do something positive for once. You can do it. I believe in you!

Watch the whole video.

The comic book-reading and moviegoing public has been meticulously conditioned by mass media and now ubiquitous machine learning algorithms to self-sequester within PopCult ghettos.

Whether the original motive was mere profit-seeking, the results have been disastrous as people increasingly invest the sort of passion and energy rightly reserved for religion into various pop culture-based identities.

Jon is right. With indie offerings of higher quality and in higher supply than ever before, there's no excuse for giving money to people who hate you.

The key to rooting out vices is to perfect the opposing virtues. We'd all do well to start exercising more fortitude.

2019/06/21

Combat Frame Data: AZY-002 Heavy Armor Y


AZY-002 Heavy Armor Dolph Y
  
AZY-002 Heavy Armor Y

Technical Data

Model number: AZY-002
Code name: Heavy Armor Dolph Y
Nickname: Heavy Armor Y
Classification: prototype heavy armor attack combat frame
Manufacturer: Zeklov Corporation/Astraea
Operator: SOC Transportation Ministry
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19.5 meters
Weight: 145 metric tons
Armor type: laminar graphene over palladium glass/titanium/ceramic composite
Powerplant: x2 cold fusion reactor, max output 1796 KW and 967 KW, respectively
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 36,615 kg, 4x 15,785 kg, 2x 20,000 kg, 2x 15,875 kg, 2x 11,750 kg; top speed 2387 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 21, 180° turn time 0.81 seconds; legs: top ground speed 188 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted behind visor in head
Fixed armaments: x2  large plasma sword, power rated at 1 MW, stored in charging racks on back;  x2 double shoulder plasma cannon, fire-linked, output rated at 4 MW total (2x 2 MW); x2 plasma autocannon, output rated at 3 MW, mounted on left forearm; heavy plasma cannon, output rated at 5 MW, mounted in chest; x6 laser cannon, output rated at 12 MW total (6x 2 MW), mounted on chest; x3 cutting laser, output rated at 3 MW total (3x 1 MW), mounted on left forearm.
Hand armaments: double-barreled heavy plasma rifle, output rated at 7 MW total (2x 3.5 MW), stored on back, powered by reactor contacts in fingers or graphcaps, hand-carried in use.
Special equipment:  BCI control system

General Notes

As soon as they were assigned to develop prototypes for Astraea/Zeklov's new flagship Dolph concept, the aptly named Heavy Team became embroiled in an internal debate. The question that divided the team into three competing factions was the age-old riddle of which was superior: offense or defense.

The three factions split into working groups X, Y, and Z. Each group resolved to settle the issue by producing a Dolph prototype that embodied its core design philosophy.

Group Y embraced the theory that a good offense is the best defense and the best offense. They started with a CF-015 Zwei Dolph and added as many integrated energy weapons as the frame would hold. Then they bolted on another layer of armor--more for the additional weapon hard points than for protection--and crammed in as many weapons as it would hold. These weapons included myriad plasma cannons and a sextet of powerful lasers based on data acquired from the enigmatic Harvester CF. A pair of large plasma swords each as powerful as the XCD-101 Ezekiel's signature melee weapon and a double-barreled plasma rifle capable of dishing out 7 MW of destruction supplemented the unit's integrated arsenal.

The group dubbed their creation the AZY-002 Heavy Armor Dolph Y. Though optimized for all-out attack, the CF's layered armor gave it XSeed-class protection. Though it incorporated a dual-reactor design similar to the simultaneously developed AZZ-003 Heavy Armor Dolph Z, The Heavy Armor Y proved somewhat slower due to reserving the lion's share of its massive generator output to powering its weapons. Thanks to its two powerplants and internal capacitors, the AZY-002 could fire its entire weapons loadout at once, though doing so left it completely drained.

Even with the help of an onboard A.I., the AZY-002's test pilots found its vast arsenal hard to manage. Group Y custom-tailored a batch of nanomachines that could be injected directly into a pilot's brain. These nanites would form a second neural net, enabling direct brain-computer interface with the AZY-002's A.I. In effect, a pilot using this system could operate the Heavy Armor Y's integrated weapons by thought alone, drastically reducing reaction times.

Though its exorbitant cost and extremely complex operation disqualified the AZY-002 from mass-production, Astraea/Zeklov managing director Sullia Zend assigned the sole existing Heavy Armor Y prototype to her executive CF team.

2019/06/20

Deus Vult Wastelanders

Deus Vult Wastelanders

Put your hands together for the latest exciting project from author Adam Smith, Deus Vult Wastelanders Book 1 - Gideon Ira: Knight of the Blood Cross.
Gideon Ira: Knight of the Blood Cross is the first novel in my new series of Christian Pulp stories, Deus Vult Wastelanders. The initial books follow Gideon Ira, a young knight in power armor as he traverses a post-apocalyptic wasteland America full of demons, necromancers, warlocks, vicious bandits, and savage warlords.
The Church has unified into one community of believers, though friendly denominational factions remain and support one another because this is not a time to be divided. Gideon Ira is Catholic himself while his best friend is a member of the Assemblies of God. Holy knights guard the huddled masses of survivors in the shelter of walled city-states. Mankind has largely forgotten the ability to forge advanced tech, so they preserve the existing power armor, plasma swords, and heavy weaponry like holy relics.
Gideon Ira: Knight of the Blood Cross opens with the wandering knight in desperate battle against a demon of pride. He's tracked the hulking monster to its lair, and the audience gets to see a range of special abilities supplied by Gideon's power armor. He takes the severed head back to the nearby border village where the hunt was commissioned and dumps it off at the local church for cataloging and disposal. When he hears the resurgent cult of Ba'al up north has laid waste to an entire village in order to harvest their children for living sacrifice, Gideon sets off on a journey across the wasteland.
The entire journey takes him to many locations: The ruins of a megacity populated by demons and cultists, the holy city of Belltower run by the Church, the demonic mirror world which lays beneath our own, cracked highways turned into gory battlefields, and across the flowering wasteland of a broken America. Several battles are gritty and brutal, real slugfests with huge swords and claws, while another adventure requires Gideon to work with a team of stealthy fellow knights operating with military precision as they seek to abduct the wicked Blackthorne. Gideon faces angels both fallen and faithful, articulate demons who seek to destroy his soul, and witches and warlocks commanding unholy powers.
The goal of this series is to create stories to inspire Christians with a new wave of heroic figures living out their faith in uncompromising ways. I'm studying the pulp writers who brought us Conan the Barbarian, Solomon Kane, Tarzan of the Apes, and John Carter of Mars, and my goal is to write blistering page-turners to keep Christian audiences begging for more.
Not so long ago, there was no such category as Christian Fiction, because most fiction written in the West was informed by a Christian worldview. Consider Solomon Kane, Puritan adventurer, whose creator wasn't even a believer.

We've fallen quite far since the heady days of the pulps. Most stories marketed today as Christian fiction are by turns saccharine, twee, and insipid. All too often, they're all three. Without fail, they preach only to the choir.

Adam has taken it upon himself to address the sorry state of Christian fiction by returning to the winning formula of writing a pulp adventure story undergirded by Christian morality and cosmology.

I'm especially pleased to announce that Knight of the Blood Cross will be my third editorial collaboration with Adam, alongside his prior two breakout adventures Making Peace and Maxwell Cain: Burrito Avenger.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Adam again:
The rough draft of the story is already finished and currently stands at around 53,000 words prior to self editing and professional editing. My tendency as a writer is to increase the number of words during self editing because I leave description out of the rough draft, so that word count is likely to increase. The professional editor for this novel has worked on a wide range of novels and is already booked for August. He also holds a degree in theology, and I've got several members of multiple denominations ready to review the final copy and make sure it's friendly for all Christian audiences.
Support a rising star author who's already established a solid track record for pleasing readers. Help rescue Christian fiction from its literary ghetto. Back Gideon Ira: Knight of the Blood Cross now!

2019/06/19

You Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

Nor can you fight a holy war without a religion.

Holy War

Yet the Big Brain Nietzsche Bunch remains in steadfast denial of this incontrovertible fact, as James Giuran demonstrates in his hot take on Sohrab Ahmari's righteous smackdown of David French.
Sohrab Ahmari, who previously wrote a decent takedown of the exemplar of nominative determinism Max Boot, but who I’ve otherwise never heard of before, wrote an article in First Things opposing “David Frenchism,” a “persuasion or a sensibility” that he names after the National Review writer who Bill Kristol named as the ideal #NeverTrump candidate for president.
The “Frenchist” disposition, according to Ahmari, is a nice, liberal one. It sees politics as a matter of procedure, institutions, and ‘decency’; it seeks to defend the conservative cause by appeal to the liberal logic of autonomy, and it inherits from its English nonconformist roots a “great horror … of the public power to advance the common good,” leading it to insist that political challenges be solved by the depoliticized measures of “personal renewal” and somehow-organic cultural change.
In contrast, Ahmari advocates acknowledging hostility, valuing victory above civility, and “defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils in the form of a public square re-ordered to the common good and ultimately the Highest Good,” and blames “Frenchism” for the crushing defeat of conservatism by “the libertine and the pagan,” exemplified by… a ‘drag queen reading hour’ in a California library, for which Ahmari saw an ad in his Facebook feed.
Show me where Ahmari's wrong.

Wait. Giuran is actually going to attempt it?

Let's hear him out. Maybe he's developed better counterarguments than appeals to materialist consumerism and mad at Dad atheism.
Ahmari’s position, however, is equally untenable. Using the state to forcibly reorder the public square toward the (Christian if not specifically Catholic) “Highest Good” would require a higher level of religiosity, and, more importantly, a higher level of willingness to dispense with old American liberal principles, than can be found in America today, where only half of the population is even nominally Catholic or Evangelical, fewer than two fifths claim to go to church every week, and the single largest religious group is ‘none’. The integralist Adrian Vermeule has argued that the election of Trump demonstrates that the American political landscape can change on a dime; but that doesn’t imply it’s likely to change in that direction. It’s true that the Fifth Great Awakening, or the sixth or seventh ones, could produce mass conversions to Catholicism and usher in an integralist America, but it’s equally true that it could produce the revival of the cult of Tengri and the remythologization of the United States as the greatest steppe empire since the Yamnaya expansion. Get ahead of the curve  — buy your cowboy hats now!
Never mind. And here I had such high hopes.

Right out of the gate, Giuran misunderstands, or willingly misrepresents, Ahmari's position. It's not that he finds trannies grooming kids distasteful and wants to use state power to direct society toward the highest good--which is indeed God; fight me.

The position Ahmari carefully lays out in his original piece is that Liberal absolutization of freedom as the highest good is a one-way ticket to Clown World.

Any strategy for fixing Weimerica must start with restoring the Good to its proper place above freedom in the public zeitgeist. Anything less inevitably lands us right back in Brave New World.

Giuran hand waves Ahmari's main point away by citing polls that he claims prove America is too irreligious and liberal to ever reorient public consensus away from radical autonomy in favor of the Good. This argument has two main defects:
  1. It admits defeat from the outset. Ahmari points out that Liberalism invariably leads to Clown World. Giuran doesn't refute that conclusion. Furthermore, he asserts that Americans lack the will to give up Liberal principles. By Giuran's own logic, we're irrevocably screwed.
  2. His glib declarations of America's lack of faith just ain't true. American religiosity has dipped only slightly, and American adults are the most religious in the developed world.

But let's grant Giurn's premise. He says America isn't currently Christian enough to reorient public life toward the Good. Fine. We've got evangelizing to do. The Church started with twelve. This is gonna be easy by comparison.

Besides, dismissing a Christian reorientation of the public square because it can't happen right now is a bogus standard. No dissident movement's program could be successfully implemented right now.
The conservative debate thus far has been premised on the idea that the proper response to Trump, the proper way forward, is to simply revitalize the platform of the Moral Majority. Not only does this fail to address many of the problems facing our country today ⁠— it has little, if anything, to say about immigration, which is necessarily the most pressing issue because its effects are permanent and irreversible  —  it offers little potential for attaining true hegemony. The conflict between moralists and libertines in America predates the United States itself and is unlikely to result in a decisive victory anytime soon (in other words, it’s Lindy), and it’s sufficiently orthogonal to the main dimension of American politics that there are strains of progressivism that have evolved to accommodate both. Many progressives even oppose drag!
Giuran's charge that Christians of the Right like Ahmari advocate reviving a Moral Majority platform that fails to contend with immigration is insultingly disingenuous. It's Ahmari's nemesis David French who epitomizes the moralizing but ultimately toothless religious right of yesteryear.

It's as if Giuran forgot in the space of twelve paragraphs that Ahmari, unlike French, is determined to win.

Speaking of immigration and winning, Christian nations like Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Italy have become the envy of nationalists worldwide. So much for Christians being soft on immigration.

See, having a strong shared sense of national identity is what gives people the will to fight for their nation in the political arena. A people's religion is how they explain themselves to themselves. Strip their faith away, and the nation becomes an easy mark for globalist grifters.

What does Giuran prescribe as a more workable substitute for shared faith and common understandings of the Good?
But simply banning drag queens from California’s libraries won’t make America great again. The question of what will remains open, but here are some components of a new conservatism that will be necessary: an end to mass unskilled migration, stricter immigration controls, and an uncompromising defense of borders and the nation-state system; the establishment of policies and culture that support marriage, family formation, and homeownership; a serious drive to retake cultural hegemony from the progressives; a willingness to combat the conspiratorial demographic hatred which casts men as sub-rational pigs and whites as the nefarious, scheming villains of history; and the abandonment of the dead consensus of social conservatism and little else, in favor of a new nationalism that protects both Christian and ‘pagan’ Americans and works to preserve the civilization they have built.
Translation: "I don't have an answer, but I want to indulge in hard drugs and deviant sex in an environment populated mostly with white people. Let's somehow implement the Christian Conservative political agenda without the buzz-killing Christianity that's necessary to drive it."

And don't think I missed that sly attempt to slip "pagans", i.e. "atheists who pretend to worship trees" into the set of "people who built America".

The American nation is a Christian nation. Any attempt to say otherwise is crass historical revisionism every bit as cynical and coercive as the multicult nutbars who claim Shakespeare was a black woman.

There is one way out of Clown World; only one, and that is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Once again, right-wing atheists have four options:
  • Repent, and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • LARP for an hour in the church of their choice on Sundays.
  • Shut up--seriously. You're not helping.
  • Join the Death Cult.
Choose carefully.