They Live as an Allegory For Neo-Nazism

They Live begins with the hero, “Nada,” coming to LA after leaving Denver, Colorado(this was the 80s, remember) with work having “dried up.” Nada is disenchanted with the capitalist elite, but is nowhere near taking up arms against it. Then he comes to posses some sun glasses that allow him to distinguish the goulish-looking aliens from humans. He is at first confused and disoriented, but it “clicks” when he sees that the aliens are the rich and that Reagan is an alien. He almost immediately goes on a one-man final solution campaign killing the aliens. One might argue that the aliens, by disguising themselves as human civilians, are illegal combatants in an undeclared war and thus are deserving of execution. But he doesn’t ponder the moral dilemma nor does her ever ask himself whether there might be “good aliens.” It is simply accepted that moral standards that apply to humans do not apply to aliens. “How many people did you kill,” he is asked. “Not people,” he responds. There are no alien children, so that particular moral dilemma does not come up. 

Physical disgust plays a major role in the devaluing of the aliens. Though we assume Nada is animated by a hatred of Reaganomics, the first thing that he says against the aliens is not a condemnation of their “exploitation,” instead he attacks them for their ugliness. Speaking to a human woman and an alien woman he can now tell apart, he says:

You know, you look like your head fell in the cheese dip back in 1957.

You? You’re OK.

This one?

Real fucking ugly!

You see,

I take these glasses off,

she looks like a regular person,

doesn’t she, huh?

Put them on ? formaldehyde face!

Later, an alien tells him: “You look as shitty to us as we do to you.” “Impossible,” he scoffs. We’ll come back to this point later.

As he is going on his execution spree, Nada gets away by kidnapping a pretty woman named Holly and forcing her to drive to her apartment, where it’s evident she has money. He tries to get her to wear the sunglasses, but before he can she pushes him out a window, nearly killing him. She calls the police and then picks up the glasses. 

Nada gets away and eventually makes contact with an anti-alien resistance group. During the group’s meeting, there is an argument reminiscent of that between mainstreamers and vantardists:

Time to stop talking about it,

trying to figure out how it happened.

– Now we start spilling some blood.

– Yeah!

– No!

– Wait a minute, wait a minute!

It’s not working!

We don’t stand a chance

with a few guns and grenades.

So, what are we supposed to do?

We bide our time.

We seek out and locate their signal

and shut it off. Wake people up!

Nobody stops to consider if the other side might have a point. No one asks the question “yes, there is unemployment, recessions, etc., now, but didn’t those bad things happen before the aliens came? Are things actually getting worse?” When Nada sees an alien and a human co-worker talking about how the alien got the promotion and the human didn’t, he assumes it must be the aliens helping their own kind. But maybe the aliens are just smarter? After all, they developed starfaring technology.

It wouldn’t be an allegory for neo-nazism without Feds and incompetence in regards to recognizing them. Remember Holly? Nada meets her at the movement meeting, where he assumes she must have used the glasses and learned the truth. The meeting is then raided by the Feds. Nada escapes, but the viewer assumes most at the meeting were killed or captured. At the meeting her learns that Holly happens to work at the place where the alien brainwashing transmitter is. And she somehow got away when the meeting was raided. But Nada doesn’t suspect a thing until she betrays him.  The viewer is thinking, well of course she’s a fed, why would a pretty woman with money involve herself in the movement? Nada fits the neo-nazi stereotype much better:

My old Daddy

took me down to the river,

kicked my ass,

told me about the power and the glory.

I was saved.

He changed when I was little.

He turned mean

and started tearing at me.

That’s why I ran away

when I was 13.

He tried to cut me once.

Big old razor blade.

He held it up against my throat.

I said, “Daddy, please ?”

He just kept moving back and forth ?

like he was sawing down a little tree.

Maybe they’ve always been with us,

those things out there.

Maybe they love it,

seeing us hate each other.

Holly aims her gun at Nada, but he shoots her first and then destroys the transmitter. The aliens have never heard of building redundancy into their systems and so everyone can now see the aliens. In the final scene of the movie, a blond woman is shtupping an alien she can now “see” and screams in horror at the Rassenschande, confirming that the aliens, like the Jews as neo-nazis see them, regard Aryan women as most beautiful, but, it is implied, only see them as fit for short-term relationships. As one of the resistance members says:

‘Deplete the planet,

move on to another.

‘They want benign indifference.

They want us drugged.

‘We could be pets.

We could be food.

‘But all we really are is livestock.’

Finnish Karelia

It’s often said that after the Winter War, the inhabitants of Finnish Karelia were offered Soviet citizenship and the right to stay in Karelia, and that almost all left.

Given the not inconsiderable proportion of Finns who were communist sympathizers,(The communist-dominated party won 23 percent of the vote in 1945) and the natural attachment to home people, and in particular peasants, have, I rather doubt they all left voluntarily.

A Modest Proposal For The British Monarchy

The Economist had a hilariously prescient take on the subject back in 2020:

Already Harry and Meghan are rewriting the rules of royalty, so that they can behave as celebrities rather than as public servants. They are planning to abandon the system of royal reporting, whereby royals put up with journalists chosen by the papers, who share their material with the rest of the press. Harry and Meghan intend to back out of that, in favour of choosing their preferred media toadies—though since it appears that they want to continue to receive money from Prince Charles, the older generation has a certain amount of leverage. Negotiations are under way. The Palace held a “crisis summit” on January 13th to try to work out a peace treaty between the Crown and the Sussexes. Ms Markle, who is in Canada, did not attend, leaving Harry to defend the Sussexes’ corner against his grandmother, father and brother.

Branding experts purr that Harry and Meghan have an interest in preserving the integrity of their brand. But the logic of 21st-century capitalism is against a peaceful settlement. They will need more than Prince Harry’s inheritance, which is estimated at £20m-30m, to keep up with the global super-rich. Ensuring that their brand remains hot and providing their “distribution channels” with “content” will require them to extract more and more value from the monarchy—perhaps including revelations about racism and sexism at the heart of the royal family. The daylight that Walter Bagehot said should not be let in upon the magic of monarchy is as nothing to the glare of 21st-century capitalism.

One can imagine the pretenders to the thrones of various European countries having a conversation in 2100:

French pretender: we lost our throne because we lost the Franco-Prussian War.

German pretender: we lost our throne because we lost WWI.

Italian pretender: we lost our throne because we lost WWII.

British pretender: we lost our throne because one old person wasn’t entirely thrilled at having a half-Black grandson.

But there’s a bit of a snag, the British monarchy brings in a lot of tourist dollars. Granted, choosing your form of government on the basis that tourists like these quaint old traditions is the kind of thing you expect from some Himalayan mini-state rather than a world power, but it’s apparently a real issue. So, I propose the Vatican City solution. Buckingham palace becomes its own independent Kingdom, while the UK becomes the UR. The Queen is still Queen, the castles are still castles, everyone wins.

The Right’s Most Significant Strategic Miscalculation

Is the following logic:

  1. The only reason people would dislike the cops is because they subscribe to woke ideology.
  2. Woke ideology is unpopular.(See Liz Warren’s poor performance in the Democratic primary as the candidate of woke vocabulary.)
  3. The few that subscribe to it would never vote for Trump anyway.
  4. Therefore, Trump portraying himself as the pro-cop candidate cannot hurt him.

The problem is that statement 1 is jus not correct. A large fraction of the country hates the cops for reasons that are totally orthogonal to what the media is blathering about at the moment. If you struggle to understand why, just think back to when you were 7 years old. Think back to the other 7 year olds. The bulk of them didn’t like the “tattle-tales.” If you were one of them, you probably grew out of it, but many people never did. Cops are killjoys.

I’m not saying that Republicans shouldn’t take action against the 99.999999999% peaceful protests. Rather, I want much more than all-talk-no-action Trump did. But that I have sympathy for the victims doesn’t mean I must see my preferred policy as a guaranteed political winner. I think in the long term, it probably will be. People will get sick of the 99.999999999% peaceful protests, just as they got sick of the last experiment. But in 2020, it won’t be enough to counteract Trump’s manifest failures in building the wall, deporting the illegals, and combatting coronavirus.

How to Fix a Drug Scandal

[spoilers ahead]

How to Fix a Drug Scandal is a fairly good work of art, though if interpreted as a documentary it suffers from rather glaring bias. It documents extreme misconduct of Massachuesets prosecutors, who, on the discovery that a woman in the drug lab had been using the drugs she was supposed to be testing, covered up evidence of the scope of her behavior so as not to jeopardize convictions. It then features interviews with those convicted using the drug lab tests of this lab worker and their lawyers. You expect the lawyers to be typically lawyerly in the defense of their clients, but the producers of the documentary never give them the chance, never ask the hard-hitting questions: “your client was accused of selling X grams of cocaine to an undercover cop. The ‘cocaine’ was then tested in this unreliable manner, we all agree on that. If it wasn’t cocaine, what was it? Was it just white powder that was being fraudulently sold as cocaine?” Maybe they should make that have the same penalty.

It reminds me of this whole Hunter Biden brouhaha. The Democrats rarely bother arguing Hunter Biden got his job with Burisma on merit. They say, instead, that if he wants to make money off his last name, there’s nothing illegal about that. But what, exactly, is being sold? While you can believe that an American company would hire the President’s son just to signal prestige to other firms, it’s harder to believe a Ukrainian company would shell out for that. They wanted a real “return on investment,” but, the Democrats say implicitly, “who knows if they got anything? Maybe Hunter was just selling the wink-wink nudge nudge idea that he was gonna provide some kind of influence. And what’s wrong with that?”

I don’t think, though, that this will do much harm to Biden. If anything, the voters will empathize with him, since many of them have to deal with failure relatives who are a constant source of headache and embarrestment.

Donald Trump

Will be the first President for whom serving four years in office without being impeached and removed or thrown out in a coup is treated by his fans as some sort of accomplishment.

It would be like if the hero bragged he was gonna go to the city, slaughter the dragon, and rescue the princess. Then, he went down to the city to do it and emerged several days later, wounded and bloody, with no princess. He then declared victory as he made it out of the city alive and called you a shill for asking where the princess was.

Million Dollar Idea

Suppose you’re a greedy college administrator. (But I repeat myself) The dorms are a profit center, at least from the POV on your stakeholders. (The employees.) You want to keep them open, but on the other hand, your employees rather like working from home, and there’s not much point of moving to the dorms if the students are gonna attend lectures in their rooms anyway. Sure, many kids will want to party and be away from Daddy, but Daddy ain’t paying for that. How do you square this circle?

Initially plan to have classes on campus, lure the students into the dorms and wait two weeks for the checks to clear. Then, a case of corona is found on campus. (Who could have predicted that?) So you do what any responsible person would and shut down classes.

There are some things to look at if you suspect your local college did this. Did the standard dorm renting agreements change from last year to enable this strategy? A lot of colleges have a half-and-half model, some classes are gonna be online and some in-person. Are the classes freshmen take disproportionately likely to be in-person?

Clevons Marching On the Linguistic Treadmill

As the Right increasingly abandons the White middle class for the Clevons, the vestiges of the old ideology hang on, with the incoming denizens too stupid to see the incongruity between ideological foundations and the policies being demanded. Case in point is the “Center for American Liberty,” some kind of Right-wing group that is suing the state of California:

Nine California parents are suing the state over a plan announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week that would keep most schools closed for the beginning of the coming school year.


Dhillon and her nonprofit group Center for American Liberty have also challenged a number of Newsom’s early pandemic restrictions on churches, beaches, protests and other measures.

“I frankly thought we were reaching the end of having to litigate these issues in the courts,” she said.

But the San Francisco attorney and Republican Party official argues her group’s litigation strategy has worked.

“In response to our lawsuits, the Governor of California and the state have, in some cases worked with us, [and] in other cases, unilaterally gone and changed their orders” on churches, protests and certain businesses, Dhillon said.

The lawsuit argues distance learning adversely affects racial minorities, lower-income families, and special needs children.

Christine Ruiz says services for her severely autistic son, including speech and occupational therapy, ended abruptly when schools closed. Her son, identified by his initials, Z.R., is also listed as a plaintiff in the suit.

“Regression in special education students is dangerous and profound when their services are cut off,” Ruiz said, adding that her family has begun paying for private services in the meantime.

When conservatives and libertarians have talked about “liberty,” traditionally they have been referring to negative liberty, the right to be left alone. Those challenging the restrictions on churches, protests, and certain businesses are fighting for negative liberty. In contrast, the demand for schools to be opened is a demand for positive liberty, the right to have something provided by the government. While this is the Left’s conception of liberty, it is jarring to see it coming from an allegedly Right-wing group. But it’s hardly without precedent. The whole word “liberalism” made this same transition long ago, such that it seems no contradiction to hear someone identify as both a liberal and a socialist.

I think for most of the donors to and employees at the “Center for American Liberty,” there is no contradiction. They were raised in the public schools, where the Left’s conception of liberty is what is taught. Liberty means getting what you want. If you want to be left alone, your liberty is violated if they don’t leave you alone. And if you want them to give you something, your liberty is violated if they refuse to give it to you. It’s a juvenile ideology for an increasingly dysfunctional, low-IQ group. To those at the “Center for American Liberty,” there is no contradiction in opposing “socialism,” since they see socialism as the government giving you what you don’t want.