2021/04/21

Ringmasters

Ringmaster

With the Trump phenomenon gone the way of the Reagan Revolution and the Death Cult's shock troops strangling alternatives in the crib, we've gained enough distance to place the past five years in context.

One of the most tragic yet edifying spectacles of the last two presidential elections was the gang of oddballs that emerged from the woodwork to support Trump. In a parallel universe, some of them might have had careers at Fox News. Most missed their calling as circus ringmasters. All of them put all their chips on Trump, and all of them went bust.

Milo Yiannopoulos is the model of a cancelled MAGApede. With his Breitbart column, Twitter accounts, and college tour, he arguably moved the needle for Trump more than anyone but Ricky Vaughn.

By his own admission, MILO also fell the farthest. The Death Cult even used him as an example in their witch burning manual.

There's a wealth of other examples. Gavin McInnes went from an edgy ex-punk turned Proud Boys ringleader to a guy streaming out of a closet. Self-styled philosopher Stefan Molyneux has rebranded as a bitcoin bug. 

Don't forget eternal moderate Scott Adams. Browse his Twitter feed, and you get the impression it's all that's keeping him from bugging out to the desert to start a UFO cult.

Now, most of these MAGA camp followers weren't malicious. By and large they were niche figures kicking around social media in 2015 wondering why they didn't have Fox News sinecures. A handful were talented enough to have gone mainstream in a saner world.

What they couldn't have known was how gravely mistaken their conception of the world was. Back in 2015 everybody still thought we were living in a somewhat dysfunctional but ultimately salvageable democratic republic. We've now learned that we live in a banana republic instead.

Under the old assumptions, which were drilled into most of us since grade school, it made sense to think that betting big on Trump would land his coattail riders an equally big payoff. 

Instead, Trump did the political equivalent of buying the Washington Generals and hiring new players and coaches to break their losing streak. We've since found out there's no trophy, no endorsement deals, and in fact, no game. The team Trump nominally captained has no incentive to win, since they make more from losing.

Conservatives love poking fun of Leftists' self-proclaimed psychological problems. But they miss the beam in their own eye: crippling abandonment issues that have them perpetually in search of a daddy figure.

Americans hate hearing this, but Daddy left for cigarettes years ago, and he's not coming back. No strongman is coming to turn the clock back to 1988. This isn't your country anymore. It's not a country at all. It's a giant international airport concourse.

The cultural, political, and economic institutions are fully in Death Cult hands. That Cult will not countenance heretics in their ranks.

We can't overthrow the Cult's anti-morality at the ballot box. Nor will arguing on their terms defeat them. We were warned where abandoning Christianity would lead. Now we've arrived at the inevitable end of that road.

America is under divine judgment. The chastisement can no longer be averted. But it can always be mitigated if we repent and turn back to Jesus Christ.

Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/20

Illusionist v Wizard, Part 2

The Prestige

"It is more than entertainment," the stage magician Vinovich declares in Lord of Illusions. "We are bringing miracles back into their miserable little lives."

Fellow illusionist Robert Angier, villain-protagonist of the aforementioned film's spiritual successor, echoes that declaration in his parting words to archrival Albert Borden.

"You never understood why we did this. The audience KNOWS the truth. The world is simple. It's miserable. Solid... solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second... then you can make them wonder. "

In 1995's Lord of Illusions, Clive Barker explored the dichotomy between prestidigitation and real magic; between illusionists and wizards. Christopher Nolan presents an even deeper meditation on the personal consequences of blurring that line in his 2006 psychological thriller The Prestige.

Long regarded as the black sheep of Nolan's catalog, The Prestige depicts an atypically gray moral universe instead of the clearer delineations between right and wrong most of his movies make. In that regard, it's inferior to Barker's tawdry yet objective mystery play about the moral hazards of dealing with demons.

That's not to say The Prestige descends into relativism. As far as magic is concerned, Nolan's cautionary tale presents clear right and wrong answers. What it doesn't do is take sides. Unlike knight in tarnished armor Harry D'Amour, Robert Angier is a scoundrel driven by envy and vengeance. He is only a protagonist by virtue of his all-consuming drive to achieve his goal, and that obsession compels him to cross a number of irrevocable lines.

For whatever reason, Hollywood seems incapable of making an easily intelligible magician movie. Whereas Lord of Illusions suffered from most of its expository dialogue ending up on the cutting room floor, The Prestige labors under a sometimes literal flashback-a-minute story structure.

The plot of Nolan's film is actually quite straightforward. Aspiring illusionists Robert Angier and Alfred Borden work for a C list magician in Victorian London's cutthroat theater scene. The two part ways when Angier blames Borden for his wife's onstage death.

Potentially significant observation: The Prestige shares an end of Act I pinch with Lord of Illusions in the form of an illusionist's death in a dubious trick gone wrong.

Now bitter rivals, Angier and Borden strive against each other to perfect the ultimate magic trick. Despite his superior showmanship, Angier finds himself outmatched by Borden's total commitment to the craft. Spite moves Angier to instigate a ruthless war of tit-for-tat that leaves both men physically and spiritually scarred.

In desperation, Borden unveils the trick he's been working on his entire professional life. His "Transported Man" causes a sensation that catapults him to the top of his profession. Mad with envy over his rival becoming the toast of London, Angier stoops to copying Borden's trick. 

Angier's more commanding stage presence initially gives him an edge over his enemy, but his vanity precipitates unforced errors which deliver Angier's secrets into Borden's hands. His act in shambles and his career hanging by a thread, Angier makes the fateful decision to cross the line about which Lord of Illusions warned.

Realizing he can't defeat Borden in the realm of illusion, Angier seeks out a wizard. In an odd turn, the forces of true magic are here represented by real-life inventor Nikola Tesla.

Nolan's framing of Tesla as an actual wizard seems strange at first, but to his credit, he manages to sell the conceit. Angier finds the eccentric genius sequestered atop a remote peak in Colorado. 

Consider the reason Tesla gives for his exile:

You're familiar with the phrase, "Man's reach exceeds his grasp"? It's a lie. Man's grasp exceeds his NERVE. The only limits on scientific progress are those imposed by society. The first time I changed the world, I was hailed as a visionary. The second time, I was asked politely to retire. The world only tolerates one change at a time. And so, here I am, enjoying my "retirement". Nothing is impossible, Mr. Angier. What you want is simply expensive. 

At first glance, Nolan seems to be appealing to Clarke's "any sufficiently advanced technology" handwavium to ground magic in physics. But The Prestige's portrayal of "real" magic hints that the relationship may be reversed.

Edison's men react to Tesla's wizardry exactly as Swann feared the world would react to his in Lord of Illusions. They even go so far as to burn down the inventor's lab.

Angier, Borden, and Cutter acknowledge Tesla as a wizard in direct contrast to their status as illusionists. Tesla himself acknowledges that distinction in his conversations with Angier, going so far as to proclaim, "Exact science is not an exact science."

In meta terms, Nolan is probably referencing The Wizard of Oz, whose title character is widely theorized to have ben based on Nikola Tesla.

Then there are the effects of the machine Tesla builds for Angier, a demonstration of which leaves a jaded London booking agent humbled.

"Forgive me," Ackerman, the world-weary sophisticate implores a triumphant Angier. "Real magic is so rare. It's been years since I've seen ..."

Nolan deftly conveys that if real magic exists in the world of The Prestige, this character would be the one to have seen it. He tantalizingly never tells us what Ackerman saw those years ago which he recognizes in Angier's act, but it convincingly places Tesla's machine among marvels.

And in using that marvel, Angier removes himself from the ranks of illusionists and steps into the boundless - and dangerous - realm of the wizard.

Lord of Illusions mainly shows the illusionist's view of the wizard. The latter are despised, even feared, as freaks meddling with forces beyond human ken.

The Prestige gives insight into the wizard's view of illusionists. In sharp contrast, the wizard respects the illusionist as a fellow craftsman whose trade takes the utmost dedication to master. Tesla gives the impression that he envies Angier's ability to bring people joy by showing them false miracles that can never really challenge their conception of reality.

This point is reinforced when Ackerman tells Angier to disguise his miracle with stagecraft. "Give them a reason to doubt it," he warns the fledgling wizard.

And still, when Angier debuts the Real Transported Man, the audience is too stunned to clap.

In contrast to Barker, Nolan depicts the evil which taints the wizard's art as a subtler vice than trafficking with demons. Tesla sees in Angier a reflection of the obsession that drives him and warns him to destroy the machine. 

Like Barker's Nix, Angier makes a terrible choice that renders him a monster. His magical power wins him worldly success, but it also incites his descent into mass murder, including framing Borden for Angier's own.

Also like Nix, "a man who wanted to be a god ... then changed his mind," Angier's sweet victory turns to ashes on his tongue. In terms of quantity, his evil exceeds that of Nix, even if his foe proves much less righteous than Harry D'Amour.

Taken together, Lord of Illusions and The Prestige present two parts of a trenchant morality tale with the same dire warning: Don't traffic with diabolical forces.

Including those now in charge of Hollywood

Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/19

Illusionist v Wizard, Part 1

Lord of Illusions

The illusionist who simulates preternatural feats through sleight of hand and the wizard who actually wields powers not intended for man - both loom large in the human imagination. Since one is a deliberate counterfeit of the other, those occasions when illusionists and wizards share the spotlight in one story always present a fascinating contrast.

"I've always loved illusionists," Clive Barker told Fangoria in a 1993 interview. "There's always a dark side, and illusionists present them to you. It's very much life-and-death illusion - you sawed the woman in half, but she's still alive. They're presented as breezy, funny, entertaining pieces - but, subtextually, they're stories of death and resurrection."

It's fitting that Barker's own tale casting illusionists skilled in misdirection and showmanship against real practitioners of forbidden arts features death and the cheating thereof as central themes.

That story is the 1995 feature film Lord of Illusions. Loosely based on a Barker short story, "The Last Illusion", this film is the third which the author adapted from his own work and also directed. It's also arguably the most controversial.

Lord of Illusions was released in 1995, so I consider the spoiler statute of limitations to have run out on it. Plot synopsis follows.

Reeling from his involvement in a Brooklyn boy's exorcism, private eye Harry D'Amour takes an insurance fraud case for a change of scene. He tracks the fraudster to Los Angeles but chances upon a ritual murder connected to Philip Swann, L.A.'s premiere illusionist.

Swann's wife hires D'Amour to rule out any danger to her shaken husband's life following his associate's murder. Instead, Swann's death from a magic trick apparently gone awry lends posthumous credence to the illusionist's fears.

D'Amour continues investigating the mounting rash of strange deaths, despite his client's stonewalling. Papers purloined from one of Swann's professional rivals reveal Swann's former membership in a cult back in the 80s, along with his suddenly deceased friends. D'Amour suspects a surviving cultist named Butterfield of inciting the mayhem in his fanatical quest to raise Nix, the group's leader, from the grave.

This new evidence leads D'Amour to confront Swann's widow, who admits she married him out of gratitude for saving her from Nix's cult thirteen years before. D'Amour's fling with Swann's wife precipitates the discovery that the illusionist is still alive. When confronted, Swann confesses that he staged his death to divert Nix's attention from his wife, who helped Swann kill the no-doubt vengeful cult leader. Swann's guise as a stage illusionist turns out to be an illusion; his powers revealed as actual magic.

Which proves to his and D'Amour's benefit, since they'll need all the help they can get to rescue the girl from the cult and its power-mad leader once again.

It's easy to see why a cloud of controversy hangs over Lord of Illusions. Extensive cuts by the studio resulted in a blink-and-you-miss-it plot that can be confusing if your attention wavers for a second. The visuals are a mixed bag, with the CG unable to withstand modern scrutiny while the practical effects hold up quite well.

There's also the matter of writer/director Barker being unable to rein his personal demons in, which can make for some distracting - sometimes laughably so - gratuitous displays of degeneracy.

That said, Lord of Illusions makes no secret that its real magicians' powers come from infernal pacts. Demons are shown to be real - and terrifying - threats to ordinary people. Heaven is also acknowledged as real, and D'Amour even crosses himself upon a supporting character's death. He also makes sport of a pompous illusionist who declares all miracles fakes which he himself could replicate with sufficient preparation.

The same character does make a point that comes up in another illusionist v wizard film, that being the self-described purpose of illusionists to give people temporary escape from the drudgery of modern life by restoring their sense of wonder. Swann's widow quotes him as saying that the flesh is a trap, and magic lets us escape.

That admittedly gnostic statement highlights one of the movie's main themes: death and resurrection. Nix begins as an utterly uncharismatic cult leader who nonetheless commands his followers' slavish devotion with promises to break the illusion of death. The horrific results when he keeps his promise - "The grave is lonely, but living is worse" - render a decisive verdict in the Illusionists' favor while condemning real magic as evil.

In the end, Harry D'Amour - think John Constantine by way of Sam Spade - emerges as the movie's true hero. Swann wasted his gifts on personal fame and fortune. Nix let his degrade into murderous nihilism. Butterfield abused his skills in service to an unworthy master. It's D'Amour, untainted by the corrupting touch of magic, who repeatedly risks his life for others.

Yes, Lord of Illusions contains its share of gore. It includes Cinemax-tier indecency and a strain of borderline SMRT syncretism fashionable in certain occult-tinged 90s comics. At the same time, it partly balances these strikes against it by driving home the rare and important warning that evil is real, and bargaining for power with its agents must end in spiritual disaster.

Next time, we take a look at an unlikely spiritual successor to Lord of Illusions by an even more unlikely director.


No movie is likely to warn you off consorting with demons today - quite the contrary. That's why it's vital to not give money to studios that hate you.

Read it now:

Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/16

The Other Amazon

Amazon Diablo II

Original Diablo developer Mark Kern calls out Blizzard's woke revisionism in Diablo II: Resurrected.

Kern 1

Kern 2

Mark is better qualified to take Blizzard to task than most, being a pre-Ground Zero game dev from the days when developers made games for players, not for themselves.

Author Adam Lane Smith sums up Blizzard's aesthetic malpractice in one picture that speaks a thousand words.

Adam Smith Caesar

Caesar and the Amazon: separated at birth?

The evidence speaks for itself. AAA game studios no longer put serving their customers first. They haven't for a long time.

Instead, they serve the precepts of an inhuman cult that hates beauty - especially feminine beauty.

Playing Diablo II: Resurrected is tantamount to participating in a humiliation ritual. Don't give Blizzard the satisfaction.

Best-selling author Nick Cole offers firsthand testimony from AAA's fellow travelers in Hollywood.

White Christian Trash

2021/04/15

Combat Frame Exceeds 10K

It is both gratifying and humbling to announce that the Indiegogo campaign for Combat Frame XSeed: SS has crossed the $10,000 mark.

Combat Frame XSeed: SS 1005

This record-shattering crowdfunder already took the top spot as our highest and fastest-funding campaign in its initial 30-day run. But we went into overtime because I had a hunch that XSeed: SS could go the distance and pass the 5-figure milestone.

Success speaks for itself. The Combat Frame XSeed brand has grown to the extent that it's ready to branch out into other media.

Our first foray into into XSeed adaptations will be 3D printed miniatures. Our team of steely-eyed mecha men is currently calculating the logistics for producing mesh files that will enable backers to print their own mechs. While there's not enough time left to offer the Print-a-Mech perk as a reward for this campaign, it will be featured next time.

Meanwhile, we'll run polls here and on my other social media accounts to choose which combat frames will get the Print-a-Meh treatment.

What we'll definitely be doing between now and the Combat Frame Ƶ XSeed campaign is focusing our efforts on getting the CFXS: Pocket War card game off the ground. Stay tuned for updates.

And just to spitball a bit, leveling up into five-figure territory meets the minimum threshold for professional quality indie comics. This shouldn't be construed as a promise, but CFXS comics - or more appropriately, manga - are worth looking into at this point.

After that, who knows? The sky's the limit.

Thanks to all our awesome backers, signal boosters, and support crew for making the Combat Frame XSeed: SS campaign a triumph. As of this writing, there's still a few hours left on the clock, so if you haven't gotten in on the campaign yet, now's the time!

Back it now:

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/14

The Disney Hole

Disney Black Hole

Spend any amount of time studying history, and you'll soon find it rarely follows a straight path. The past takes all kinds of twists, turns, and switchbacks from one event to the next. 

This phenomenon makes no exception for movie history. It's unimaginable now that Disney has become the world's dominant cultural force, but back in the early 80s, the Mouse was on the ropes.

In a twist of high irony, Disney owed its financial woes in no small part to Star Wars. Lucas had conceived of his space opera romp as filling the void left when Disney had abandoned children's pulp matinee fare. In fact, the House that Mickey Built was among the first studios he shopped Star Wars to.
“This is a Disney movie,” Lucas said at the time. “All Disney movies make $16 million, so this movie is going to make $16 million. It cost $10 million, so we’re going to lose money on the release, but I hope to make some of it back on the toys.”
When Lucas' little B picture vastly exceeded everyone's expectations, it got Disney president Ron Miller thinking. He correctly concluded that Lucas had tapped into a huge underserved market, and he decided to chase the same puck.

Unfortunately for him, Miller completely misunderstood the reasons for Star Wars' success. Assuming that audiences wanted darker, more mature film experiences, he spearheaded several live-action movies--and at least one animated production--aimed at satisfying moviegoers' more sophisticated tastes.

Here are some of the more prominent live-action movies produced under Ron Miller:
  • The Black Hole (1979)
  • The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
  • Dragonslayer (1981)
  • Night Crossing (1982)
  • Tron (1982)
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

Film buffs can point out a few cult classics on that list, but obviously, none of them fulfilled Miller's hopes for a Star Wars-sized blockbuster. After narrowly fending off a series of hostile takeover attempts, Miller was removed in 1984.

The former president had one final trick up his sleeve, though. An animated feature whose rather troubled production had begun in the previous decade finally saw release after Miller's exit. Though heavily edited by new CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, The Black Cauldron would become the last cult favorite from Miller's reign.

It would also nearly bankrupt Disney and sow serious doubts about the viability of their animation division.

While Disney ended up abdicating its live-action family film market share to Lucasfilm, developments that arguably proved even more interesting stepped up to fill the Disney hole in feature animation.

It's unclear whether the Mouse's experimental phase created an opening for relative upstarts to carve out a piece of the animation pie, but the fact remains that some genuinely fascinating cartoon movies conquered the box office in the 80s.

None of which were Disney productions.

Here's a sampling of animated hits in the Disney Hole:

  • Heavy Metal (1981)
  • The Secret of NIMH (1982)
  • An American Tail (1986)
  • Fist of the North Star (1986)
  • The Land Before Time (1988)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Akira (1988)
A cursory glance at that list turns up three key takeaways.
  1. Don Bluth and Japan dominate.
  2. 1988 was a monster year for non-Disney animated films.
  3. It's a pretty even mix of challenging; even shocking, adult animation and classic kids' stuff. Lucas and Miller were both right.
But if Ron Miller correctly surmised that audiences craved darker stories, why did his projects flop at the box office? Some industry pundits pin the blame on early 80s Disney CEO E. Cardon Walker, who hated Miller's new direction and refused to approve sufficient ad budgets for his rival's films. 

Ominous foreshadowing for John Carter. It's like poetry; it rhymes.

Actually sit down and watch the Miller-era films though, and another answer presents itself. Though he had the guts to acknowledge Lucas' success and rethink his company's direction in light of it, Miller clearly misunderstood the Star Wars phenomenon.

How anybody watches  A New Hope, misses the swashbuckling pulp adventure, and concludes that the scant horror elements are what's resonating with people, boggles the mind.

It's the Bradbury adaptation that betrays the flaw in Miller's approach. He missed the pulp thread that tied Star Wars' influences together. Bradbury, though he traveled in some of the same circles, was not a pulp writer. He was a surrealist. Still, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the best Disney Hole movie - because its source material is at least pulp-adjacent.

One wonders how Disney's fortunes - and pop culture as we know it - might have changed had Miller succeeded where George Lucas failed and acquired the Flash Gordon rights from Dino De Laurentiis.


To support an independent project that combines elements of pulp ad anime, back Combat Frame XSeed: SS on Indiegogo. Just three days remain to claim sweet perks, get a FREE short story, and help us Print-a-Mech.

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Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/13

The Washington Generals

Washington Generals

Frequent readers of this blog know I've dedicated a number of posts to exposing the faults inherent in Liberalism

I don't mean "liberal" as in the rhetorical shorthand invoked by the Washington Generals to mock the Harlem Globetrotters. It refers to the broad category of Liberal political philosophy of which Conservatism itself is a subset.

The fatal flaw of Liberalism--aside from its failure to secure long-term material prosperity, never mind maintain the West's social cohesion--is that it's based on the false notion that freedom is an absolute good to be pursued for its own sake.

What gives the game away is that any appeal to freedom is susceptible to the question, "Freedom to do what?" Absent an objective good toward which it's directed, the concept of freedom is without content. The value of a given freedom entirely depends on the inherent value of the goods you can get with it.

Freedom detached from any grounding in the good has no limiting principle. That's the slippery slope the West has slid down from yeoman farmers defending private property to men in dresses demanding everyone call them Ma'am. If freedom is absolute, then any boundaries placed on individual self-expression--even the truth--must be a tyrannical imposition.

That's why the real opponents of Liberalism aren't Conservatives, but what author David Stewart has termed Optimates--men who primarily seek the common good. The Optimate response to wacko Liberal demands isn't, "How does this promote freedom?" It's, "How does this advance the common good and help people cultivate virtue?"

Inevitably, when this question is asked on social media, sufferers of a mutant strain of Liberalism will come out of the woodwork to utter predictable knee-jerk objections. The most common names for this disorder are Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism, but they both boil down to selfishness masquerading as a political philosophy.

A reliable way to set your watch is to make an argument for the common good and wait till a Libertarian shows up to disqualify the whole concept on the basis that different people define the common good differently.

Anyone who outgrew the Gen X coffee house hipster phase will immediately recognize this objection as an appeal to moral relativism, and a self-defeating one, at that. The whole point of politics is to decide how best to order society for the common good. By declaring their ignorance of what constitutes the common good, Libertarians admit that their political philosophy has no idea how to achieve the common end of all political philosophies. They forfeit the match before they even take the field.

Next, the Libertarian will try to handwave his way out of the corner he painted himself into by pointing out that a lot of evil has been done in the name of the common good. This is an even more glaring self-contradiction, since evil can't by definition be good. In effect, this argument is another appeal to ignorance bundled with a straw man that tries to conflate pursuit of the good with evils committed under the false flag of the good. It's the defining Libertarian category error of equating abuse with legitimate use.

To throw a wrench in the gears, simply point out the evils enabled by gun ownership.

As a last ditch defense, the Libertarian will try to define away any distinction between Liberalism and the Optimate position by redefining the common good as the cumulative result of each individual pursuing his own self-interest. Rather than resolving the Libertarian's problems, this argument only multiplies them.

First and foremost, this tactic is simply dishonest. It pretends that the Libertarian and the Optimate differ only on matters of semantics, not substance. That claim is ridiculous on its face, since one side bases its whole worldview on the premise that individual freedom is absolute, and the other insists that freedom is contingent upon the good. Attempting to equate the two just demonstrates the Libertarian's inability to critically examine his a priori assumptions.

Related to the preceding, the claimed equivalence is just plain false. When an Optimate argues for the common good, he doesn't mean the aggregate good of each individual in the society under discussion. The Libertarian views society as an epiphenomenon of individuals pursuing their own self-interest, that is, as a social construct. In contrast, the Optimate recognizes that society is not a social construct. He knows that families, neighborhoods, and nations are real things with their own purposes and destinies above and beyond those of their individual constituents.

Another fundamental difference between Liberals of all stripes and Optimates is that the latter rightly acknowledges the basic unit of society as the family, not the individual. Just as no amount of free electrons can form an atom, no number of individuals acting for their own exclusive ends can form a society.

This where the Libertarian will jump up and accuse the Optimate of wanting to impose tyranny on the individual by coercing him into subordinating his will to the whims of the mob. But that's another straw man--one that hinges on a false binary.

The Optimate affirms both that the common good is more than aggregate enlightened self-interest and that it is fully compatible with the individual's good. He squares this circle by rejecting the Liberal conceit that each individual lives solely for himself. Instead, the Optimate affirms that each man's life is naturally ordered toward the good of others. Unlike the Liberal, the Optimate can define the good and consistently assert that the individual good at least partly consists of serving the common good.

Think of a sports team. The New York Yankees are a ball club--a small but real society composed of individual players, coaches, and support personnel. Yankees society is directed toward achieving a particular common good--victory in baseball games. The individual players engage in activities such as practice, exercise, and dieting which advance each man's particular good while helping the club attain the common good of winning games. There's no contradiction between the two.

That's why Liberalism can't produce the conditions required for human flourishing in the long run. The Clown World we currently live in is the direct result of that inevitable failure.

To break through the societal dead end we've run into, we'll need a political force capable of shifting the paradigm away from the figment of absolute freedom and toward the reality of the common good.

You can make a small but significant start by withholding money from those who hate you and supporting people who are committed to your good.

Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You - Brian Niemeier
Read it now!

2021/04/12

eBook Zombie Memes Won't Die

If recent events have taught us anything, it's that we can't trust experts or establishment media. Independent journalists and internal whistleblowers caught Google manipulating search results around the 2016 election. More than one online consumer revolt disclosed that journalists maintain secret email lists to collude on disinfo ops.

All of which makes it increasingly tiresome to see people in the dissident scene falling for old oldpub zombie memes.

Google "What percentage of the book market are eBooks?" and you'll get this:

19 percent

Why anyone would trust Google is beyond me, but it still happens for some reason. Sure enough, a little digging into the subject reveals that the 19 percent figure comes from market research firm NDP.

And digging one more layer down exposes NDP's numbers as garbage.

First, even by their own skewed sample, NDP reports that eBooks make up forty-four percent of all adult fiction sales.

Second, the American Association of Publishers that the decline in eBook sales significantly slowed during the same period covered by NDP.

But even that's a moot point, since both NDP and AAP track only book sales by the Big Four New York publishers. 

Once again, the deception lies in what the experts aren't telling you.

According to independent market research site Author Earnings, which examined the same sales period as AAP ad NDP before it closed up shop, the latter outlets' highly selective sampling left out roughly two-thirds of US eBook purchases and perhaps half of all dollars spent on eBooks.

Which means the US eBook market really looks more like this:

eBook Market Share

Current eBook sales might be even higher than in 2017. That's because audio books had started cutting into eBook sales.

SFF Trad eBook Sales

Yes, those are oldpub figures, but that drives the point home even harder. Oldpub has indeed seen a decline in eBook sales. Much of that decrease was self-inflicted due to price gouging, but more recently, audio had been cannibalizing eBook sales.

And then the lockdowns happened, and people were laid off or switched to working from home.

Which meant a drastic drop in commuters and a corresponding nosedive in audiobook sales.

Now, some indie authors have reported print book sales picking up the slack left by the audio decline. But being anecdotal evidence, I can counter with my own anecdote, which is that eBooks still account for something like 90% of my business.

The eBook zombie memes - they just won't die, not matter how many times I debunk them.


On the subject of eBooks, the digital editions of my thrilling Combat Frame XSeed books are not only the most popular option on Amazon, they're a hit with Indiegogo backers, too. Support indie science fiction, claim sweet rewards - including a great deal on CFXS eBooks - and help us unlock our Print-a-Mech goal.

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Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/09

Secession from Megacorps?

secession

As the United States descends further toward becoming a banana republic, support for secession from the union reaches new highs. 

Monied interests obsessed with important unlimited peasant labor and unending war abroad have seized total control in Washington. Even democrat voters who'd been promised a minimum wage hike, student loan forgiveness, and no more foreign wars are feeling buyers' remorse.

For the Right, the situation is deteriorating even more rapidly into an existential crisis. The country which, within the living memory of generation Y and older, denounced the Soviet Union for consigning dissidents to gulags, now holds and tortures political prisoners.

Meanwhile, America's rulers huddle behind barbed wire and draft proposals to crack down on the invisible army of Nazis they blame for a protest whose only proven homicide victim was one of the protesters.

Amid all the confusion, the only certainty is that our rulers no longer share the least shred of commonality with the people they ostensibly represent. The government is already waging implicit war on its citizens. We can no longer trust our rulers, while they in turn hate and resent us.

That the time has come for a clean separation is a rational conclusion.

The problem is, a political divorce from Washington, even if it's possible, may not resolve these conflicts.

It's often remarked in dissident circles that a second American Civil War would bear little resemblance to the first. Instead of a first-generation conflict fought with cavalry charges, cannon, and bayonets, we could expect drone strikes, partisan guerrilla raids, and house-to-house urban warfare.

And though some or all of that would probably happen, contemplating those eventualities overlooks the main impediment to escaping the totalitarian regime that now controls America.

The phrase "totalitarian regime" probably conjured images of martial law, midnight knocks at the door, and work camps. 

What you probably didn't think of, but should have, is this:

iPhone

Equating oppression only with state power is a relic of obsolete Conservative and Libertarian ideology.

It's not the government that's censoring dissent online and exiling people from the economy with no recourse. Neither has popular media been reduced to nonstop Death Cult propaganda by official fiat.

The madness sweeping the country is being driven by corporate culture run amok. It's not the secret police commissar who's out to crush all deviation from the secular cult. It's an unfettered managerial class of HR directors and woke executives.

Membership in the Death Cult is now required to remain a member in good standing of the managerial elite, and that twisted culture now permeates every company over a certain size.

Perhaps a peaceful break with the federal government is possible. What about a personal break with your iPhone? With your Disney+ subscription? With your XBox?

The Death Cult hasn't needed state power to enforce its hegemony for a while, now. Thy have the entertainment and tech industries, which are all based in coastal blue states.

Political secession will not be enough to escape Clown World. Free states would have to somehow prevent their populations from consuming mass media and tech products.

Change the poll question to, "Would you favor secession if it meant giving up Monday Night Football?" Then watch those pro-secession numbers in the South evaporate.

Political separation may be necessary to avert total disaster, but it will not be sufficient as long as the Death Cult controls the megacorps that really hold the reins of power.

2021/04/08

MS Gundam: 0083

Gundam 0083

With innovation and originality in legacy entertainment now relegated to the past, I've been getting my fix from pre-Cultural Ground Zero properties. 

The best part of revisiting the classics is sharing hidden gems with friends who'd missed them the first time around. When it comes to anime, the late 80s to early 90s is a dragon's hoard of forgotten treasures. 

That was back during the Bubble Economy, when animation club otaku working out of a shed could get real estate speculator sugar daddies to fund their splatterpunk OAVs. That era was the last time anime as a genre took risks, and it gave rise to an unmistakable aesthetic never seen before or since.

For those who are unfamiliar with anime, the closest American analog to the Bubble Economy startups would be the mafia-financed 1970s film scene. The key difference being that 90s anime looks timeless, whereas the 70s mob kitsch looks dated.

One of my personal favorite early 90s anime series is Mobile Suit Gundam: 0083 - Stardust Memory. Admittedly, this OAV series from one of the biggest franchises around flew under my radar on its first release. Like most American viewers, I didn't catch 0083 until its US cable TV debut on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim in 2002. The mechanical design, slick dogfights, and jazzy pop score hooked me right away.

0083 is remarkable for having had an unorthodox production at a time when weirdness was the norm. The series switched directors halfway through its thirteen-episode run. The results aren't remotely subtle, either. As a prime example, two characters who obviously don't recognize each other in episode one turn out to be former lovers in episode thirteen.

Contemporary viewers used to safe, by-the-numbers plotting might be thrown for a loop by 0083's tendency to fly by the seat of its pants. Being a meticulous outliner myself, the series' midstream tone and character shifts caught me off guard the first time around. But on rewatching, there's no question that the changes introduced by the second director turned out to be for the better.

Stardust Memory is thirty years old now, well past the spoiler statue of limitations. There's no need for a book-length plot synopsis, though. Three years after the original Mobile Suit Gundam, the victorious Earth Federation sends two new Gundam prototypes to Australia for testing. A Zeon remnant led by One Year War ace Anavel Gato steal the second prototype - which happens to have nuclear strike capability. Feddie test pilot Kou Uraki swears to Gudam engineer Nina Purpleton that he'll recover her lost pet mech and sets out in Unit 01 to confront Gato.

That would be a pretty typical Real Robot style story if not for that fact that Kou utterly fails his mission.

He goes multiple rounds with Gato, and the best result he can manage is a draw. Every other time the Nightmare of Solomon takes the plucky Ensign to the woodshed for a thorough ass-whuppin'.

One of those stalemates also ends with both Gundams Kou vowed to bring back exploding.

Right after Kou shows up too late to stop Gato from nuking two-thirds of the Federation fleet.

Even then, the uncaring universe isn't finished spitting on Kou Uraki, who suffers his crowning humiliation when he fails to avert a colony drop because Nina cucks him with Gato.

After that, being sentenced to a year's hard labor is an uptick in Kou's fortunes.

That's right, Gundam 0083 pulled off the "Slimy, backroom-dealing brass totally shafting their valiant frontline troops" plot in a way not seen again Until Galaxy's Edge.

Because 0083's special role in the Gundam canon turns out to be as an origin story for the main villains of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, the tyrannical Titans.

NB: I hadn't yet seen Zeta the first time I watched 0083. This time around, the cornucopia of Zeta Gundam Easter eggs bowled me over.

Fresh off another viewing, Mobile Suit Gundam: 0083 cements its place as step two in my recommended Gundam newbie viewing order. If you're new to Gundam, watch the three original series compilation movies first, then watch 0083 before diving into Zeta. The peak early 90s look and killer action are well worth the price of admission.

Just don't expect a happy ending. After all, this is war.


They may not make 'em like they used to anymore, but I do. To scratch your High 90s mecha itch, claim your copies of my military thriller saga Combat Frame XSeed on Indiegogo. Every backer gets the two newest eBooks, plus a free short story. The Pocket War card game playtest is still open, and we're closing in on our Print-a-Mech stretch goal. Help indie mecha break into the mainstream.

Back it now!

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/07

Perpetual Revolution

Institution

The Death Cult's sole means of interacting with society consists of plunging it into a state of perpetual revolution. That's why the Cult is incapable of building. It only ever parasitize existing institutions. 

Meanwhile, their self-styled opponents in the Conservative camp have proven incapable of conserving a single institution. In hindsight, it should have been obvious that a loose mob of individualists and free market fanatics whose battle cry is, "Every man for himself!" had no chance against the Cult.

The term gets thrown around so much that it's worth defining what an institution is. It's not a big building downtown with the company name in shiny letters over the door. To get an idea of what an institution is, consider the microcosm and model of all institutions: the family.

Institutions exist to serve people. If enough people believe a particular institution is of benefit to them, they'll give their time, treasure, and talent for it. Marvel, Disney, and oldpub failed as institutions because they stopped providing value and thereby stopped justifying their existence.

Conservatism's Libertarian influences blinds it to the true nature and origin of institutions. Embracing individualism precludes viewing the family as the fundamental building block of civilization. 

The same goes for Conservatives' devotion to Mammon. The actual Right understands the difference between worshiping the market like an Aztec god - which California public schools now require children to do - and recognizing market forces as emergent phenomena of human interaction. 

Seeking personal success in novel or comic book publishing isn't at odds with establishing new cultural institutions. In fact, they're complementary. Tor and Marvel were founded by entrepreneurs whose products attracted enough customers to make an enduring cultural impact.

Creating a lasting institution is a black swan event. Anyone else who tries to do it on purpose is like the guy who meticulously plans a party to recreate last weekend's spontaneous fun. You can't catch lightning in a bottle. All you can do is create favorable conditions and hope for the best.


The Cult-infested institutions aren't about to help fun, honest entertainment get noticed. That's why it's crucial for dissenters from the Death Cult to support indie science fiction like my mecha thriller epic Combat Frame XSeed.

The saga's latest installment is currently funding on Indiegogo. Back it now!

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/06

Gaming Ground Zero

Gaming Ground Zero

In which author David V. Stewart takes the Cultural Ground Zero ball and advances it ten years down the field:

Maybe you’ve heard of cultural ground zero: 1997.


Now let’s talk games, because unlike other institutions of culture, the games industry kept on growing and innovating for another 10 years.

Then 2007 happened, and as far as the bigger publishers are concerned, games reached their peak and no more change or risk was required or even advisable. Gameplay seemed to stop changing almost entirely after 2007, and the extent to which it did change is usually in the negative, involving the watering-down of mechanics and general reduction of difficulty.


The stats bear David's theory out. Compare annual US box office receipts to yearly video game industry revenues:

US Box Office

Annual US Video Game Revenue

Throughout the late 90s and early aughts, the movie and video game industries were pretty much neck and neck in terms of revenue. That intra-entertainment industry competition stopped being a horse race in 2007, when gaming pulled decisively ahead - doubling Hollywood's take that year.

Don't think for a second that video games' passing of this benchmark escaped the suits in the corner offices. Attaining twice the moneymaking power of Hollywood marked vidya's graduation from a niche hobby to a serious business. They money men had found a new golden goose, and they stepped in to make sure it kept laying the exact same eggs forever.

And like David observed, it all happened in 2007.

What we're seeing the results of now is big game studios throwing pretty much every hit game franchise into the corporate IP death cycle milking phase. All major game IPs from Call of Duty to WoW are endlessly riding a loop from the milking to death to reboot phases.

And it's working. What was a $20 billion games industry at Gaming Ground Zero has grown by an order of magnitude.

Which goes to show once again that, "Get woke, go broke" is a cope. The more gamers complain about the declining quality and innovation in video games, the more money AAA studios rake in.

The same goes for Hollywood. People want their bread and circuses. They know the bread is adulterated with sawdust and the clowns hate them, but they don't care.

All is not lost, however. Consistent personal experience has shown that the main reason normies continue subsisting on thin corporate gruel is they simply aren't aware of any alternatives. In my own market of sci fi publishing, I've seen readers ditch the Wendigs, Scalzis and Kleins of oldpub for masters like Gibson, Howard, and Merritt the second you slap a pulp novel in their hands.

That's not even mentioning contemporary newpub authors like David himself

Gaining visibility, especially bereft of institutional support, has been a long row for indie creators to hoe. But signs are emerging that newpub is achieving significant market penetration.

Consider my Combat Frame XSeed: SS crowdfunder, which Indiegogo backers made my highest and fastest funded campaign yet.

If you missed the campaign's initial run, I've extended it a few more days. Crossing the $10K milestone will be a strong bellwether of indie sci fi's growth.

Help us reach our goal and expand into the card game and 3D printed miniatures arena.

Back XSeed: SS now!

Cobat Frame XSeed: SS 869

2021/04/05

Chronology

Chrono Trigger Day of Lavos

These decades later, 1995's Chrono Trigger stands as the capstone of the 2D JRPG genre. You could argue that Final Fantasy VI, released the year prior, is the better game on aesthetic or technical grounds. But at least in North America, CT marked the end of an era when console gamers rightly expected Japanese developers to outdo themselves with each new release.

Though a stunning artistic and technological achievement, Chrono Trigger owes its enduring legacy to its generational themes - and the uncanny foresight with which it anticipated the future of gaming and the world.

Chrono Trigger Good Music

Perhaps it's inevitable that a game about time travel would deal with cultural transmission - or the failure thereof - between generations. But it's hard to revisit the game and not pick up a number of plot threads that resonate today.

Consider the recurring theme of intergenerational conflict. Marle's rebellion against her emotionally distant father is her impetus for getting involved in the story. The same goes for Magus and his mother, whose power lust rapidly plunges her into madness. A later side quest even reveals tension between Robo and his "mother", who's intent on destroying all humans.

Time and again, the protagonists are shown to be children of an older generation whose failure to master their vices led to global disaster.

Chrono Trigger was released in 1995. Its target audience of late life cycle SNES owners mostly belonged to Gen X and Gen Y. The question that arises now is, did Square Soft create one of the first and grandest anti-Boomer memes?

Consider the game's main character, Crono. He's shown to have been raised by a single mother with no mention made of his father. His mom is consistently depicted as oblivious to the earth-shaking events surrounding her son's destiny. Instead, she's wholly engrossed in a solipsistic world of domestic trivialities. Crono himself is a blank slate who never speaks a single line of dialogue. He's a screen onto which the player projects himself.

And the only time he overtly reacts to a story event is when his mom stumbles into a collapsing time gate - at which point he performs his battle victory animation.

That's not even touching upon the apocalyptic threat looming over the entire game. The characters' jaunts through time eventually reveal a hellish future where mankind, and the whole planet, are slowly dying in the aftermath of a nightmarish cataclysm. 

The cause of the apocalypse is finally identified as Lavos, a parasitic alien that burrows deep into its host worlds like an interstellar tick. There, Lavos feeds off the planet's mineral, biological, and energy resources, growing and building copies of itself, only to burst forth eons later in a civilization-ending event.

Anyone under 60 who's spent time on the internet lately can see clear parallels emerge. Not only is Lavos a parasite that greedily consumes the earth's resources, he stands atop the pyramid with a tyrannical grip on power. Lavos' arrival warps society to unconsciously feed his lusts, forever altering the course of civilization. 

It gets worse. Later generations who set out to end Lavos' destructive reign face a terrible dilemma. Their only hope of defeating Lavos lies in their recently awakened magical powers. However, the source of those powers is strongly hinted to be Lavos himself. The power upon which mankind's most advanced civilization rests will depart with the parasite which is slowly undermining the same society.

If Chrono Trigger has one flaw, it's that the game hand waves that compelling dilemma away. Xers, Ys, and Zoomers won't have that luxury as we grapple with the multifaceted disasters unleashed by the Boomers.


Rebuilding Western culture isn't easy, but we have to try. Support the Combat Frame XSeed multimedia project on Indiegogo and claim bargain-priced books, a free short story, plus a chance to playtest the Pocket War card game.

But that's not all. Help unlock the Print-a-Mech perk and launch CFXS into the miniature model space. Back it now!

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/04/02

The Successful Failure

Christ Crucifixion Successful Failure

Holy Week is upon us again. It's become something of a cliché for Christian commentators to describe the current era as the Long Lent, and Satan always doubles his attacks leading up to the anniversary of his defeat. 

The diabolical sore loser spirit is hard to miss once you've been clued in to it. Charlatan film makers drop cable TV documentaries claiming to debunk the Resurrection. Oldpub dumps hastily cobbled together books by pseudo-intellectuals denying Christ existed in the first place. The mainstream news outlets dutifully hype both, sometimes at the same time, despite their contradictory premises.

Recently, the spirit of sour grapes has taken up residence among certain factions of the dissident Right. You see at least one of them pop up to comment on almost every Christian-themed thread or post. The usual gripe goes that Christianity has somehow failed. The exact failure conditions, and the terms of the conflict, are left unsaid.

That's how you can tell that these heel-nippers are projecting. For all the promise it showed five years ago, the dissident political moment achieved precisely nothing. The remnants of the wignat crowd are taking potshots at Christianity as a misguided way of coping with the world's descent into a post-political age.

It's worth noting that the self-appointed coroners calling the Church's time of death all adhere to a specific spiritual profile - that being cringe atheists. These are the guys who started out as basic Libertarians whose political aspirations - in addition to smoking weed, banging hookers, and not paying taxes - included living in ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods. 

In short, they realized that the Libertarian paradise would be an ethnostate. When their dream turned out to be impossible, they took out their frustration on the Church.

Which, in an irony so twisted you know it has to be demonic, is exactly what the Death Cult wants the wignats to do.

The sharper tacks among them can even follow the chain of causality that led to Clown World, which is essentially the West's abandonment of Christianity. Yet they're so frozen in their pride that they can't bear the thought of returning to the Church. They're the stereotypical coomer that left his doting wife to have a fling with a Vegas call girl, only to wind up hungover in an ice-filled bathtub missing a kidney. Instead of looking in the mirror, they blame the wife for not being sexy enough to keep them interested.

"The Church failed to keep me from going apostate!" they whine.

And without merit.

Have Christian teachers done a dismal job when it comes to catechesis and faith formation? Yes.

Are there corrupt, cowardly members of the hierarchy who've scandalized the flock? Certainly.

Do nominally Christian organizations even assist the Death Cult's plan to turn Western countries into open air prisons/shopping malls?

No doubt about it.

Yet in all intellectual honesty, sins committed by members of a Church which broadcasts the fact that it's made up of sinners does not justify apostasy.

Truth binds in conscience. If you conclude that the Church's teachings are true, you are morally bound to submit to her authority. The original throne and altar Right understood as much.

Proving a single Christian dogma false would suffice to invalidate the faith and release everyone from the moral obligation to be Christian. But no one even attempts this line of argument. They just complain bitterly about pedophile priests and sellout evangelicals.

Those are simply childish bad-faith arguments. Christ never promised that individual Christians would be without sin. On the contrary, He prophesied that the wheat and the tares would grow side by side until the end.

If the whining wignats understood the first thing about Christianity, they would know that declarations of the Church's failure are patently ridiculous. The complaint's framing gives away their false assumption that the Church exists solely to maintain their consumerist lifestyle.

Here is why the Church did not - and cannot - fail: because her Head, Jesus Christ, met the ultimate failure by all worldly standards. He was arrested, publicly disgraced, and executed. The small following He'd built was scattered.

But by definition, God is that which brings something out of nothing. The Father chose to let His Son's earthly life come to nothing so that by His Resurrection, Christ's claims to divinity would receive definitive proof: the ultimate success produced ex nihilo from the ultimate failure.

What a feeble grasp of history these wretches have. Christianity was brought far lower than this many times before. The Death Cult are amateurs compared to Stalin, Napoleon, and Nero. It was Pilate and Caiaphas that brought the fledgling Church to nothing. They failed to reckon with the fact that nothing is all the building material God needs to raise His temple, as He can raise sons to Abraham from stones.

Christianity is the original successful failure. The Church's foundations are not in the earth. She is grounded in Heaven, like a mountain whose snow-white peak touches the ground from the sky.

The Church of Jesus Christ has buried political parties, armies, and empires. She will carve the Death Cult's headstone. The question that dissident Rightists who throw stones at Christianity should ask themselves is, "What epitaph will the Church write for us?"

2021/04/01

XSeed: SS After Action Report

Combat Frame XSeed: SS

The results are in! Not only did our amazing backers make Combat Frame XSeed: SS our fastest-funding Indiegogo campaign, you made it our biggest yet!

XSeed SS 861

XSeed S 821

Over an identical time span of 30 days, XSeed: SS raised $395 more than XSeed: S, with 13 more backers. Big thanks to everyone who's contributed!

To keep CFXS aficionados informed of the brand's status, here's an after action report on the initial leg of the campaign:
  • Combat Frame XSeed has legitimate juice as a brand. 
  • The current level of buzz & momentum it's generated mainly comes from the military thriller/sci fi market.
  • So far, significant penetration into the mecha sector has proven elusive.
  • Nevertheless, CFXS is approaching momentum levels sufficient to break into one or more new target markets.
  • That expansion will require adapting the IP into a new medium, specifically a visual one with a much lower end user time investment than books.
  • The Combat Frame XSeed: Pocket War card game is a prime candidate for that breakout adaptation.
  • Therefore, I have extended the campaign by 16 days, with a focus on drumming up card game playtest backers. This extension will hopefully fund the 3D-printed CF model stretch goal as well.
Combat Frame XSeed: Pocket War

If you're interested in card games that painstakingly simulate mech combat and reward sound tactics, we still have 3 Pocket War playtest perks left. Claim your seat at the table, and help Combat Frame XSeed reach the next level!


2021/03/31

The Great Bookshelf Hunt

great library

Superversive SF announces their Great Bookshelf Hunt of 2021.

So here’s the drill: Write in the comments the name of any work that came out in 2020 that you enjoyed. Then, read our list. If you see works on the list that you didn’t think of but that you have read and enjoyed, put the title of those works into a comment, too.

List anything you enjoyed that fits one of the categories. You can say why you liked it if you wish. Please list the title and, if you know it, the author’s name. Finally, please share this list around! Urge others to comment. The more people participate, the more chance we will all be able to find a hidden gem on the list!

The final list will be compiled such that the works with the most recommendations will go at the top. This is not like a nomination form. You may list as many works as you wish, but please make sure that they are works you truly enjoyed.

Please list your selections in the comments on Superversive SF's original post.

It's an honor to see Combat Frame XSeed: S on the suggested list. My goal with CFXS has always been to make a positive cultural impact on an underserved market, and every sign indicates that we're succeeding. 

A major indicator that augurs well for XSeed is the smashing success of our crowdfunders. Combat Frame XSeed: SS became our fastest-funding campaign on day one, and now it's just 4% away from overtaking XSeed: S as our biggest yet.

As of this writing, XSeed: SS has just 16 hours left on Indiegogo. Help make mech history, choose from our vast selection of sweet perks, and unlock the revolutionary new Print-a-Mech perk.

Don't miss out! Back it now:

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/03/30

Gen Z Blackpilling

As a counterpoint to some of the recent blackpilling about Generation Z, I went back and dug up some data pointing to encouraging trends among Zoomers.

Look closely at this chart by Audacious Epigone. Pay particular attention to the generational trends in attitudes toward pornography.

Porn Chart

"This is terrible!" you may say. "More Zoomers want porn to stay legal than any other generation polled!"

But on closer inspection, a couple of remarkable data points stand out:
  1. More Zoomers than Millennials want porn banned outright.
  2. This stat marks a reversal in the trend that started with the Boomers of each successive generation favoring porn bans less than the last.
Perhaps most fascinating is how split Zoomers are on the porn question--more than any prior cohort. Factor in people's reliable tendency to grow more conservative with age and the high likelihood that many pro-porn Gen Zeds are having their freshman fling with Libertarianism, and odds are good that their green bar will shrink to the red bar's benefit.

Lest you still doubt the Zoomers' budding reactionary streak, take a look at another AE chart, this time on gun laws.

Georgia Gun Law

Note that the age categories above lump Gen Zeds in with some Millennials. It's a good bet that support for C&C is even higher among 16-20 year-olds.

Now, a common mistake older folks make is to impose their Left vs Right filter on groups that eschew that paradigm. By and large, Zoomers who reject the Death Cult's vision are ambivalent or even hostile toward Classical Liberalism, unrestricted free marketism, and government noninterventionism. The see those 20th century ideologies as failed pipe dreams that have no relevance in the post-Western world they've been relegated to.

What does interest Zoomers on our side is the family and faith life their grandparents took for granted and they themselves never had.

I can hear the objection. "But Zoomers are the most irreligious generation ever!"

Allow me to cast glimmers of hope on that dire pronouncement.

First, in terms of religiosity, Zoomers are tied with Millennials.

Zoomer Affiliation

Just as the decades-long trend toward greater acceptance of pornography stopped with the Gen Z, the Zoomers have also arrested the decline in religious practice. The fact that Zoomers aren't less religious than Millennials, in spite of how they were raised, qualifies as a minor miracle.

And those numbers are a couple years old. They don't take into account the rising interest in religion due to Covid

Nor do they show people's general tendency to become more religious with age. Consider that Zoomers as a group are much more religious than the Boomers were at their age.

Religious Intensity

And yes, I know that chart doesn't mention Gen Z by name. It does lump them in with Gen Y and the Millennials. But as we've seen, religiosity among those cohorts is pretty much the same at present. Given that piety among all generations trends upward over time, and factoring in the severe hardships that are almost certainly around the corner, we can expect Zoomers to surpass the Boomers as they navigate the Clown World hellscape.

No more Gen Z blackpilling. Our duty is to guide them through the spiritual minefield we've made, and that means leading them into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

For a glimpse at a post-future where most people take religion seriously, check out my thrilling mech saga Combat Frame XSeed. Our latest crowdfunder is nearing the finish line, so don't miss your chance to get the whole CFXS saga thus far for less than you'd pay on Amazon. Plus, backers get the new book before anyone else.

Time's almost up! Back the project now:

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier