Thinking About Art

So, I’m still writing the novel. Just past 57,000 words, now. I figure I’ve got about 20-25,000 left to go. Very importantly, I figured out how it ends. Meaning, I knew in general how it ended all along, but now I know how to get there. I’ve re-read what I’ve written from time to time…make a few changes here and there, but the main thing is the story is compelling. At least, to me it is. I do hope other people like it. To me, it’s a real page-turner…and I already know what’s on the next page, being the author of it, and all. There will be a lot to do in the re-write after the first draft is done…increasing the descriptions, diving a bit more deeply into character development, making the overall Narrative flow better. I’m having a lot of fun writing it. Though it will take longer than I first thought – originally hoped to have it out in May, but now that will slip by several months. Partly because I got dragooned into working on another project which will absorb some writing time over the next month or so.

The other day the news did what Chesterton pointed out is the primary purpose of the news: telling people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive that Lord Jones is dead. In this case, Lord Jones was Ursula Le Guin. I had never heard of her until I found out she was dead. In case your ignorance matches mine regarding this lady, she was a famed sci-fi/fantasy author…writing lots of books and winning all manner of awards. Someone quoted a passage from one of her books and said this was the most beautiful opening paragraph he had ever read:

Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of the ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss. The light shines through it, and the dark enters it. Borne, flung, tugged from anywhere to anywhere for in the deep sea there is no compass but nearer and farther, higher and lower, the jellyfish hangs and sways; pulses move slight and quick within it, as the vast diurnal pulses beat in the moon-driven sea. Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for its defense the violence and power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will.

If you like that, then I’m afraid my novel is going to be a terrible disappointment to you. It is just a bunch of words strung together, in my view. I initially thought the guy who posted that on Twitter was joking – and maybe he was (it is hard to tell), but the comments from people about it indicates that some people actually think this is meaningful stuff. Deep. Thoughtful.

Its about a freaking jellyfish drifting with the tide! Its drivel!

It got me thinking about the whole concept of creative arts – and thinking that it is in a very bad way. Ms. Le Guin wrote that on purpose and people read it and gave it awards. I am flabbergasted. I’d be embarrassed if I wrote anything like that. I’m hoping that she wrote it as a joke – that the rest of her writing was better and that she merely put that out once securely rich and famous as part of an “I wonder if they’ll really just buy anything I write?” experiment.

Then I read a bit from Andrew Klavan about how he was viewing the upcoming Oscar awards:

The Oscars as a glamorous, televised, fun event are a relic of the days when film was the central American art form, the way America told stories to itself. When an art form is at its peak — which usually comes pretty early in its life cycle — the greatest works and the most popular works are usually one and the same. The movies, for instance, peaked around 1939 when the nominees included Gone With The Wind, Dark Victory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, and The Wizard of Oz. All are still rightly considered classics and all were in the top ten at the box office.

I’ll have to agree with that. My Mrs gently chides me for my preference for old movies, but I really find most modern movies unwatchable. There have been a few recent offerings I liked. In sci-fi, for instance, I liked Interstellar. It got panned, but I thought it the most interesting sci-fi movie since, say, Planet of the Apes in 1968. But, mostly I just keep watching old movies. They are just better, in my view. For instance, for most of my life I had ignored Citizen Kane: mostly because I figure a movie that praised couldn’t be as good as people were saying. Then I watched it all the way through. And then watched it again. It is the best movie ever made in my view. I’ve watched Lord only knows how many movies, but I’ve never seen anything as interesting as that – something so crisply done, such great dialogue, such phenomenal acting and cinematography. Klaven has hit upon something – the movies are worn out. So is fiction writing. So, too, is writing in general (Matt and I were most pleased with those who opined Worst was well-written; we really appreciated that…but, I can’t argue against the people saying it…most books written these days are simply badly written…I mean, just terrible, and they are written by people who supposedly went to school and learned how to write. I just started writing in 2003 and slowly got better at it).

It occurred to me that part of the reason I’m writing my novel is the same reason that C S Lewis wrote the Narnia series: he took one look at what people were reading, was appalled and set about trying to write something worth reading. So am I. I don’t know if anyone will read it; I hope they do. But my purpose is clear: to write a story which will be interesting and fun to read.

And I think that is where the modern arts have gone wrong: they aren’t trying for interesting and fun. They are trying for something else…a message, or a moral, or simply to be as weird as they can, because that is where the awards and book contracts are. I’m writing a fairy tale – and that means I’ve taken some average folks and put them in strange, dangerous situations where they can only rely on their courage and each other to triumph over evil. You know – it is a story which you can imagine yourself landing in, and then imagine how you might react. There is no sex in my book; though there is love. There is violence, but not gross violence. No one is depressed. They are, at turns, afraid and unsure…but they aren’t wallowing in self-pity and trying to get to some cosmic truth because they have it hard. Having it hard is just part of life, and you take it with as much grit and good humor as you can.

We need to recapture the sense of wonder and hope which art is supposed to provide us. We’ve had quite enough of weirdos and psychopaths. Maybe my book flops. Doesn’t matter. I’m writing it because it is fun to write…and I’m going to keep on writing it. I just hope that other people will join in – we’ve learned that our experts in most areas are rather dumb. The experts in the arts are no less so. If you’ve got a song in your heart, a story in your mind, a painting that is waiting to be done…do it. After all, the really great art wells up from the people…and perhaps it is time for we, the people, to take back the arts, too.

30 thoughts on “Thinking About Art

  1. Amazona January 28, 2018 / 1:39 am

    I don’t think I would brag about not knowing of Ursula Le Guin . Yes, as a stand-alone paragraph that one is pretty pretentious, but she created some fascinating worlds, vivid and detailed and mysterious. I don’t know the source of that quote, but if it is the beginning of a book about the power and mysteries of deep space and the vulnerability of earth-born men floating in it, at its mercy, it is not “drivel” but a poetic introduction to a theme.

    Her husband is a poet, which might help explain some of her prose style.

    I hope your book is wonderful, but you will have a long way to go to match the record of Ms. Le Guin. From Wikipedia:

    In 2016, The New York Times described her as “America’s greatest living science fiction writer”, although she said that she would prefer to be known as an “American novelist”.

    She influenced Booker Prize winners and other writers, such as Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell, and science fiction and fantasy writers including Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks. She won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each more than once. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2003, she was made a Grandmaster of Science Fiction, one of a few women writers to take the top honor in the genre.

    You may not like the genre in general. I love good sci-fi, not the monsters from outer space kind of sci-fi but the way it works when it creates an entire world, with an entire culture, out of whole cloth. To me, that is the height of literary genius.

    • M. Noonan January 28, 2018 / 2:01 am

      I concede she might have some better stuff…but that is along the lines of the old Peanuts bits where Snoopy is writing a novel: “It was a dark and stormy night; a shot rang out, the maid screamed, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon.” I certainly hope she wrote some better stuff than that. But I think what got me going is someone claiming it was the most moving opening he’d ever read…and then other people chiming in with the same opinion.

      Of course, all fiction is a matter of taste – some things you like, might dislike and vice versa, with no one being able to say definitively that one is bad, the other good. Music is also like that. But the general degeneracy of all art is, I think, abundantly clear. I think if I were to write a paragraph trying to give some impression of the ocean I’d go along the lines of…

      The sun shimmers off water turning from iron grey to brightest green as the ocean rolls on, never beginning or ending. Adrift in the great waters, a jellyfish basks in light and shadow, having no direction or purpose but what the power of the ocean provides.

      And that took five minutes to write. I think it better; others will take their own view of it. But one thing I can’t stand in writing is piling up word count…

      • Retired Spook January 28, 2018 / 11:07 am

        I tried to write children’s stories about 15 years ago, finally gave up after 3 or 4 years when it became obvious, at least to me, that I wasn’t very good at creating vivid mind pictures with words. To me, one of the most successful attributes of a good writer is making the reader want to get to the next paragraph and the next page, and the next and next. I think it has a lot to do with an individual reader’s tastes, at least as much as it does with the author’s talent. But, in the end, I don’t care for a writing style where I find myself reading the same paragraph 2 or 3 times just to get the gist of it. A good example of that was Thomas Sowell’s Conflict of Visions, which I read on Amazona’s recommendation. While I DID gain some insight into the difference between the mindset that drives Conservatives as opposed to that which drives Collectivists, the book just explained that difference from many different historical perspectives, basically saying the same thing over and over — at least that was my reaction, and I like and admire Thomas Sowell as much as any contemporary figure.

      • Retired Spook January 28, 2018 / 11:31 am

        one thing I can’t stand in writing is piling up word count…

        I have always been a subscriber to Thomas Jefferson’s, “never use two words when one will do” philosophy. But communicating well in writing and telling a compelling and captivating story are two completely different things. I probably would have made a good newspaper reporter.

      • Amazona January 28, 2018 / 3:31 pm

        There is certainly room in literature for a straightforward narrative style: He did this, she did that, and then something happened. Your submission of how the Le Guin paragraph could have been “improved” involves shifting it to a more linear narrative style. It could be summed up as “the light changes the color of the sea and the jellyfish floats”. If your goal is to describe the ocean and the image of a jellyfish floating with no means of its own propulsion, it works just fine.

        But there is a literary style which asks the reader to immerse himself in an emotion, which is felt and not simply described to him, to more fully experience a sensation and become part of it instead of simply viewing it from the outside. It requires a slight untethering of an attachment to analytical perceptions so the person can slip into the sensation of being part of what is happening.

        Some great literature manages to evoke that sense of “being” in the moment of the story while employing a more narrative style. I think Patrick O’Brian was a genius at this, using the actual logs of real British naval officers and a narrative about sailing and navigation and battles and 18th Century politics yet creating characters, and more important creating relationships among those characters, that draw the reader into a powerful emotional connection with what is going on. Brad Taylor uses a narrative style but also, though his use of humor and characters relating to each other, creates an emotional connection with the narrative.

        Then there is the Jackie Collins style of narrative, in which you know a character is charismatic because she tells you so—“she was very charismatic”—without an iota of character development or relating to other characters to let you draw your own conclusion about whether or not she had charisma.

        But back to the Le Guin paragraph and the style of inviting the reader to set aside his own reality and enter into the one she is creating: She uses powerful word imagery to do this. wave-flung— tugged hugely— the whole might of the ocean— the tidal abyss— the vast diurnal pulsemoon-driven sea“. These are emotionally powerful and evocative words which go levels deeper than a mere narrative stripped down to “floating on big ocean in the moonlight”.

        Yes, you can say “tides in a deep ocean” but there is something emotionally evocative about “tidal abyss” and “vast diurnal pulse” and “moon-driven sea” that add texture and depth and emotional meaning to an otherwise rather sterile concept of an ocean that is deep and has tides.

        She goes on to emphasize the fragility and vulnerability of the organism she chooses to illustrate her concept: Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for its defense the violence and power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will. When she is writing about a human organism, vulnerable and insubstantial compared to the majesty and power of its medium (deep space) and leads you to understand that this organism has submitted itself to that immense mystery and power and potential violence, she could say from the most basic narrative form “space is big and scary and dangerous” or she could paint an almost visual picture of a massive, dark and intimidating world shot through with flashes of light, in which life itself is not a given but is vulnerable and subject to a violent end at any moment. To me, this leads to a sense of relating to how it must feel to be that vulnerable organism, if it is sentient, adrift in this wholly alien world and at its mercy.

        There are times when I personally prefer a straightforward narrative style. I read a lot of it. But every now and then I am in the mood to simply immerse myself in an alternate reality, and really FEEL it, and then someone with the word art skill of Le Guin is just the ticket. Sometimes I just want to see a snapshot of a person and sometimes I want to immerse myself in the nuance of a great master’s painting in which the very angle of the lighting on the face conveys a message about the subject’s relationship with God and everything in the painting is symbolic of something deeper than just the superficial appearance.

      • Amazona January 28, 2018 / 3:42 pm

        “ thing I can’t stand in writing is piling up word count..”

        I agree. I see a lot of that in books I read. Stephen King is the master of “too many words” and every time I try to read a King book I think that he badly needs an editor. A really really tough editor.

        It also happens when a book depends on the stupidity of its character(s). When a book is 300 pages long and you realize it would have been 30 pages long if the main character had recorded a phone call and then reported the threat to the police, it’s a great example of “piling up word count”.

        But I also think that Le Guin mercilessly edited her work and that every word she left in was there for a purpose. When I read that paragraph I didn’t see any extraneous wording, given what I think she was trying to accomplish.

      • M. Noonan January 28, 2018 / 5:37 pm

        It might well be that I’m being unfair to her – recommend one of her works to me and I’ll read it. Whichever one you think her best effort. But that passage just irked me…as I guess you can see.

        I, too, have tried to read Stephen King books and simply couldn’t get past a chapter or two…they bored me, intensely. That could be, partially, the genre he mostly writes in. I’ve never got the appeal of being terrified. I guess a lot of people like it, but I’d rather a book bring me to tears than to fears.

        My novel got its inspiration from a short bit in the novel Phantastes by George MacDonald. First published in 1858, I had heard it was a major inspiration for C.S. Lews, J.R.R. Tolkien and G. K. Chesterton. Given these are my three favorite authors, I had to read it. And I can see where all three of them drew inspiration. And, now, I have. The book is very short, especially by today’s standards…and we cut the author slack because he did have to write it all by hand. It is a difficult read for the modern mind – it is written in a style to appeal to readers in the mid-19th century and so some of the structure of the sentences seem odd. I was able to get it in because I’m very familiar with the time frame…but even for me, it took some doing. One of the more interesting bits is the passage from which you can tell Tolkien drew his concept of the Ents. But MacDonald gets to the point – even in the parts that are written in poetry, with an economy of words that I wish more modern authors would emulate.

      • Amazona January 28, 2018 / 3:55 pm

        Spook, I too got bogged down in Conflict of Visions, It is the reason I would like to start, or join, a conservative book club, because I thought that it was a book that called for discussion. My reaction was not that it was too wordy, but that it was too densely populated with ideas for me to deal with on my own and it would help me to talk it out with others to get their input on how they were processing what he was saying.

        Back to the comment about analyzing great art——I am a total novice at that, but I have seen just enough of analysis of great art and music to be aware of how little I know and how much more there is if I could only understand it.

        I recently listened to an audio book on great music, and while it was fascinating I probably assimilated about four per cent of it. But my admittedly vague overview was that I was really surprised to learn that much of the music we just think is cool, like the 1812 Overture, is packed with political symbolism and strongly influenced by the culture of the time. I will never develop a fondness for, or even a tolerance of, medieval madrigals,but it was interesting to hear them analyzed for their cultural and political influences. I feel the same way about a lot of art—-being aware of deeper significance is not the same as being able to recognize it or analyze it. But I like knowing that depth is there, think it fascinating that it is there, and in the meantime I can just look at it and think “Gee, that’s really pretty”.

      • Retired Spook January 28, 2018 / 4:22 pm

        I’m not sorry I read Conflict of Visions,, but it was clearly written for someone much more intellectual than I am.

      • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 10:24 am

        Spook, I have no doubt that you could have slogged through the rest of Conflict of Visions if you hadn’t just decided it wasn’t worth the effort. I admit to wondering if there were nuggets of brilliance buried in the complex verbiage, but I just didn’t feel like trying to find out. It had turned into more work than I was willing to do at the time.

      • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 11:23 am

        Mark, I agree with you about books (and movies) that are based on trying to terrify me. Many years ago a friend who had seen The Exorcist said, afterward, “I can’t believe I just spent three dollars (this was a long time ago) and two hours of my life just to be miserable”. That’s the way I feel about Stephen King. Dean Koontz has some King-ish books, but some of his are more gentle, and a partial autobiography, about his first dog (“A Big Little Life”) is lovely.

        There are just different tastes in literature. Some people love the stripped-down prose of Hemingway and value thriftiness of words. Some people love words and love to see them used like paint in a portrait or notes in music. Someone who puts a high value on “economy of words” is probably always going to be annoyed by writing where this is not a priority.

      • M. Noonan January 30, 2018 / 12:43 am

        The only scary movie that I can look back on and say “I like it still” is the Sixth Sense…trouble with that one is you can really only watch it once. I watched them, of course…especially the slaughter flicks when I was of the age when the “cool” thing to do was watch them (13 to 15 years old, mostly). But, also, death isn’t a game – there’s a place for it in movies, of course, and if done right it can move your soul in strange and beautiful ways…but, these days, I can’t stand to watch brutality of any kind.

      • Retired Spook January 29, 2018 / 12:17 pm

        Spook, I have no doubt that you could have slogged through the rest of Conflict of Visions if you hadn’t just decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

        Oh, I read the whole thing. In fact, by the time I was finished I had probably read it 3 or 4 times.

      • M. Noonan January 30, 2018 / 12:39 am

        Sowell’s books tend to require several readings before you can get all he’s trying to say…thing about real genius is there are layers upon layers of it.

      • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 2:05 pm

        Now you’ve got me discouraged. I just quit when I got bogged down and decided to look for a discussion forum in hopes it would help me clarify it. But if you didn’t get it after several readings I am sure I wouldn’t.

        I still got a lot out of what I DID understand, which is a perspective on why people end up conservatives or Liberals.

      • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 3:54 pm

        I am reminded of some examples of bad writing I read when I was about 12, that had me laughing hysterically.

        (1) Two shots were fired. One of the robbers fell dead and the second went through his hat.

        (2) He ran from the house, leaped onto his horse, and rode madly off in all directions. (When I grew up I realized he was a Democrat.)

  2. Cluster January 29, 2018 / 8:22 am

    There is a reckoning coming. The lines have been drawn and a civil war is on the horizon.

    Following last nights completely unwatchable and political Grammy awards, the MSNBC panelists including turn coat George Will are calling the President “remarkably ignorant” and questioning not only the integrity, but the intelligence of Devin Nunes. They are claiming that the memo is nothing more than an attack on Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, because he wont fire Mueller as requsted by Trump. In other words, they are laying cover the firmly entrenched progressive deep state, meaning they are complicit. I am convinced all of them are in on it. They are all aware that the federal bureaucracy is populated with partisan hacks who do the progressive bidding behind the scenes and they will risk their careers to deflect attention away from this fact. A fact which is well articulated in the following article.

    It is becoming clearer by the day, after over a year of investigations, that the Obama administration did indeed weaponize the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA, the ATF, the IRS and the NSA. Over those eight years, each of the above agencies was transformed into an arm of the Democratic Party tasked with crippling the opposition and abrogating the Constitution.

    • Retired Spook January 29, 2018 / 10:01 am


      The last two paragraphs of your linked AT article still have me laughing:

      Shouldn’t the Democrats be as angry about this as Republicans? (why would they be angry about simply using their playbook?) Has their hatred for Trump so impaired their judgment (Judgment? What judgment?) that they have sacrificed their integrity (integrity? — puleeeeeze), their respect for ethics and the law? (ROTFLMAS!!) How else to explain their full engagement in the cover-up, fueled by their wholesale denial of the facts? (the phrases, “by any means necessary,” “whatever it takes,” and “the ends justify the means,” come to mind)

      Once DOJ IG Michael Horowitz’s report is released, and if the FISA memo is made public, much more will be clear to everyone. One has to wonder how the Democrats will recover their lost dignity. (dignity? What a howler!) Their many months-long defense of the indefensible will have done significant damage to their brand (their brand? Their “brand” is doing exactly what they’ve been doing.) unless Democrat voters are as unscrupulous, as unconcerned about honor and ethics (it’s pretty obvious that a lot of them are.) as their elected representatives have proven to be.

      • Retired Spook January 29, 2018 / 10:11 am

        And WRT a civil war, I’m less concerned than ever. The Left has no troops, no arms and no ideal worth fighting for, unless you consider tyranny an ideal. But, if it’s war they really want, then, in the immortal words of Captain John Parker at the battle of Lexington, “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

    • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 10:56 am

      Cluster, I think we are in the middle of the civil war that has been, for some time, the result of Leftist efforts. I just don’t think it is, or will be, a shooting war.

      I believe that at one time the Left thought it could push the country into a shooting war, but depended on it being a race war after they got enough black people inflamed by their rhetoric to openly form gangs and go after white people. They were getting uncomfortably close to achieving that goal. I believe that if Obama had managed to get a third term, it might have happened. Even with Hillary as president it was a possibility. But electing Trump pulled the plug on that, and now it is just a sputtering annoyance of verbal dreck.

      I don’t see a shooting kind of civil war any more, though for a while it sure looked like it could happen. For one thing, the Left oveplayed its hand, in several ways. The NFL take a knee antics were, I think, supposed to fire up the nation, but all they did was tick people off and when they had to pick sides they picked the flag. It was an experiment to see which way most of the public would go, and the outcome did not indicate a willingness of most of America to go against the country. Instead of firing up enough people backing the symbolic attack on the country to encourage escalation, the Left watched its puppets, the NFL players and owners, take a major hit, one from which they may never recover. (We’ll have to see what the Super Bowl figures are. I’ll be watching the Everly Brothers special on PBS. I already saw part of it, and there was enough music in it to make it worth watching again. Did you know that early in their careers the Rolling Stones were the opening act for the Everly Brothers?)

      The Left has, I think, backed off its efforts to spark a real civil war in which the country is divided enough to take up arms, one side against another. They are, at least for now, working on splintering the country, hoping that eventually when they think the time is right they will be able to unite the splinters into one big mass fighting against conservatives—-because that is the real breakdown.

      The whole black-rage-against-all-white-people thing has calmed down a lot, which shows us how much it depended on support and participation from the administration. The efforts to continue it by portraying Trump as a white supremacist Nazi haven’t really been very effective because all they have to back it up is a speech where he said there were some good people in the marches in Charlottesville. BLM took a hit when the NFL theatrical posturing took a hit.

      I for one am not worried about a war that depends on sad, confused people more worried about whether a pee-pee means they can’t be women than about violently overthrowing the government. I don’t see a charismatic leader on the horizon who might be able to unite and inspire such disparate groups as females intent on killing their babies, the gender-bewildered, Hollywood playactors who think public temper tantrums are meaningful, Leftist “educators” who think people will get responses from 9-11 if they report someone stapling an offensive poster on a notice board, the simpering talking heads of Leftist TV, or any of the other splinter groups of the Left. People who fall to the ground in quivering sobbing heaps at seeing the terrifying specter of a banana peel, or who protest against cotton because it is racist, don’t make me feel I need to spend more time at the shooting range. When I look at the numbers of Leftists who are totally freaked out by the very IDEA of guns, I don’t fear that they will suddenly overcome this and become armed enemies.

      There is a civil war going on right now, but it is between the rational and the irrational. It’s a media war, a war of emotion and invective and hysteria on one side and bored dismissiveness on the other. The Left is gaining ground in some areas, but I don’t see those areas as threatening. They merely provide numbers and noise–fewer numbers than the Complicit Agenda Media would like us to believe, and noise that seems pretty confined to their areas of indignation. I think the NFL “protests” really shook up the Left, I think they believed that vast numbers of Americans would join in disrespecting the flag and indicate a pool of possible recruits in an anti-American movement, and it just didn’t turn out that way. The only true heroes in this country, its pro athletes, were mostly seen as fools and morons, and for the most part the country sided against them and their silly antics. If that had gone the other way, I would be more worried.

      Spook’s point is a good one. People who are willing to fight have to have a belief to fight FOR. And the potential fighters for the Left have no coherent ideology.

      • Retired Spook January 29, 2018 / 1:05 pm

        People who are willing to fight have to have a belief to fight FOR.

        And THAT really is the bottom line. There is literally nothing that is part of Leftist — whatever they believe in; as you say, it’s not a coherent ideology, that will attract a significant number of people to go out and risk or even sacrifice their lives for. And we really have the hierarchy of the Progressive movement itself to thank for the current state of the very young people (Millennials) that they would use as cannon fodder. They’ve been taught that words with which they disagree are actually violent assaults. Most of them are afraid of their own shadows. I guarantee you that people who are fighting to preserve freedom will be a much more formidable force than someone who is fighting for the right to not be offended.

      • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 2:11 pm

        I can just imagine a Leftist “army” with each platoon fighting for its separate cause, without a unifying ideology. There is a strong dislike among black people in general for homosexuality and in the mainstream black community a sense of dignity, so the LGBTXYZ platoons would probably not be very welcome in the BLM/Black Panthers groups, and the howling females dressed as genitals would probably not have much in common with mainstream black culture.

        As an example, I have read of some “Dreamers” who are quite happy with the idea of a border wall as long as they get their own immediate needs satisfied.

        Tunnel-vision, issues-based ideology doesn’t hold up well in a big picture scenario, and Identity Politics is, obviously, based on Who more than on What.

      • Cluster January 29, 2018 / 6:43 pm

        Did you know that early in their careers the Rolling Stones were the opening act for the Everly Brothers?

        Very cool trivia.

        I wasn’t worried about a war starting this morning …. I was openly advocating that we start it LOL

        I am fed up with the dishonest and relentless attacks against this administration when IN FACT there are some real concerning issues with our government. Many federal agencies have been weaponized by the Democrats and the left; ie: George Soros, Tom Steyer, etc. by staffing them over the years with deeply partisan and unethical people who willingly break the law to achieve their goals. The ends justify the means. And in the process they are destroying the Constitution and threatening our Republic. This is a hell of a lot bigger then just election tampering.

      • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 9:39 pm

        Laughing along with you, my friend.

        But we have to remember, there are different kinds of wars, and the Dems are stuck in the middle of one that they started, that can best be described as a circular firing squad. As far as we are concerned, as long as they keep this up we win no matter what happens, so just sit back and pass the popcorn….

        …and maybe wear a splatter shield or raincoat, like the front rows in an Orca act at Sea World.

        Chuck U Schumer goes after Trump, and Libs applaud and throw roses. Chuck U Schumer gets his heinie handed to him by Trump and is reviled, picketed and slimed by howling mobs of Liberals who demand that he resign. Does it get any better than that?

        Females howl at the moon because Trump used a word often associated with kitty cats. Too vulgar, too sexist, too misogynistic! And within months those same females are strutting around wearing vagina hats proudly identified as p**sy hats, and proud of it. Pass the popcorn.

        Hollywood types squeal in outrage at the lie that Trump “bragged about grabbing a woman by the genitals” and then the tape proves he only said he could if he wanted to, if the woman made herself sexually available to him because of his status—-and then photos surface of them proudly posing with a man who actually DID this, to countless women, and everyone knew about it including those who carried on about Trump and ignored it in their own industry because ignoring it advanced their careers. Ooops

        The Left loves Hillary—till she stabs a Farther-Lefter in the back, and then she is slime and must be stopped. But then she is stopped and they hate the guy who stopped her. Hilarity (or should we say “Hillaryarity”) ensues and we sell tickets.

        Building a border wall is viciously racist, bigotry against Mexicans—but then Trump offers to trade amnesty for some illegal Mexicans for support for the wall and suddenly it ain’t racist against Mexicans after all, it’s a pretty sweet deal, according to the Mexicans who will benefit. Refill on that popcorn, please!

        We don’t need to fire a shot. We’ve got the Left alienating millions of Americans, who vote with their football tickets and TV viewing, by attacking the nation of the United States of America instead of a few miscreants who do repellent things. Out of the way, folks—the pandering spineless anti-American NFL is falling, and we don’t want to be trapped in the wreckage.

        Oh, S**T !! The Olympics are coming! And it’s the Winter Olympics. so we won’t have bunch of black track stars and basketball stars pumping fists in the air! What to do, oh what to do? Cheer for the flag? Can they do that? Change channels to watch the Mad Cow? Would they do that? Arrgghh! Brain cells (shriveled as they are) are exploding! Hit Pause and Record, I need to make a pit stop.

        OK, I’m back. The poor Left is in a tizzy. They are reduced to SNL skits about—-get this—George W. Bush! Why? Because people are starting to admit they like him after all! But SNL has to acknowledge the IQ if its average viewer, so instead of just presenting a skit that shows a fake Bush acting stupid they have to have the fake Bush say “You do realize I was a really bad president, don’t you?” Double points for us on that one—they are still freaked out by W. and their base is so profoundly stupid they have to explain the joke. OK, it was a bad joke, but still….having to explain it? Why not bring out a whiteboard and draw arrows? At least they know their base, and its intelligence. Got any Red Vines left?

        It goes on and on. Jimmies, Kimmel and what’s his name. Maddow. Pelosi. Schumer–again, but it’s so much fun. Crumbs. Armageddon. Extinction of all life on Earth. Rosie breaking federal laws by promising to bribe federal employees. Russian collusion morphing into Dem/Russian collusion faster than Dems can keep up. “Lost” email recovered.

        Want to see the Dem Party in action? Watch this:

        A fighting war? I can’t keep my ammo dry, I am laughing so hard I am crying. I can probably be more effective with a slingshot launching banana skins and cotton balls!

  3. Cluster January 29, 2018 / 8:55 am

    And even more reason for war ………

    The Democrats are at war with the very system of federalism that is our system of governance. They are nullifying federal rights when they should be supporting them, as required by the U.S. Constitution. This is surely a despicable attack on our legal system and the foundations of our republic. Nullification has been going on for a long time, but it has been weaponized by the Democrats to destroy the institutions we love.

    • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 11:42 am

      Most who vote Democrat don’t even know what “federalism” is. They don’t understand that the nation was founded on, and structured around, a balance of federal and state powers.

      What I have noticed is that when it comes to expanding the size, scope and power of the federal government to advance Leftist agendas, there are no limits—the federal government should take over health care (going beyond merely controlling contracts between citizens and companies that pay for health care, to actually paying directly for health care) and education and pretty much every aspect of life in this country—-but should have nothing at all to say about who can live here or under what restrictions.

      The federal government should be able to dictate what kind of light bulbs we can use, what kind of toilets we can buy, what kind of cars we can drive, how fast we can drive them, how many miles per gallon they must get, how warm or cool our houses should be, how we heat or cool those houses, whether or not we can mine coal or drill for oil, how our food should be labeled. what our children can’t read in school and what they must read, what our children must be taught about sex and gender and values and the family, what we pay for gasoline, and so on. Federal judges should be able to tell states, and the people in them, that their rights to religious freedom are limited, that they should not be able to demand photo IDs to vote, and override state and local legislations at will.

      Leftism is all about increasing the size, scope and power of the Central Authority. But when it comes to laws established by the Central Authority that conflict with another Leftist agenda (vote mining by importing voters) suddenly the federal government should be powerless to enforce its own laws.

  4. Amazona January 29, 2018 / 11:48 am

    (Venezuela) has officially lost half of its economy since 2013.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela’s inflation is at an all-time high with the prices of goods expected to skyrocket by 13,000% and unemployment will reach 30% this year.
    Last year alone, inflation rose above 4,000%.

    “This year will mark the third consecutive year of double-digit contractions in Venezuela’s gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity. The nation’s GDP declined 16% in 2016, 14% last year and it’s projected to fall 15% this year, according to the IMF,” writes CNN Money.

    The socialist country has been in a state of chaos ever since Hugo Chavez introduced the socialist political system back in 1999 and President Nicolás Maduro has followed in his footsteps.

    What do Lefties think of the socialist takeover of a once-flourishing nation?

    One of my biggest inspirations is President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Yea, President Hugo.
    Cindy Sheehan

    • Cluster January 29, 2018 / 6:49 pm

      Well to be fair, Cindy Sheehan has the IQ of endangered Salmon, so not a very good source. However, many leftist politicians, including Obama once marveled at the deft political acumen of Hugo Chavez. And keep in mind, Venezuela owns of the worlds largest oil reserves.

      • Amazona January 29, 2018 / 9:48 pm

        When I went through my list of the world’s s**tholes, every one of them was a place of at least adequate and often extensive natural resources capable of sustaining a decent quality of life, until it was destroyed by the Left.

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