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Corb Lund. I wanna be in the cavalry… See ya’ on “the Green” fellas.

Memorial Day Open Thread

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Classic Pick O’ the Day: May 25

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The Sand Pebbles (1966)
Engineer Jake Holman arrives aboard the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo, assigned to patrol a tributary of the Yangtze in the middle of exploited and revolution-torn 1926 China. His iconoclasm and cynical nature soon clash with the “rice-bowl” system which runs the ship and the uneasy symbiosis between Chinese and foreigner on the river. Hostility towards the gunboat’s presence reaches a climax when the boat must crash through a river-boom and rescue missionaries upriver at China Light Mission.
Cast: Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Claude Akin, Candaie Bergen, Mako, Richard Crenna, Gavin McLeod. Director: Richard Wise. TV-PG. TCM. 9:15 AM EDT.

One of my favorites in TCM’s slate of Memorial Day films tomorrow. McQueen and Mako are great in this — some real chemistry. McQueen is in full Steve McQueen mode here.

Sunday Open Thread

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My grandfather learned to love cribbage in England during WW2.

Saturday Song

Saturday Open Thread

Bill Bixby, Fred Roerrignogers, and Lou Ferrigno

Bill Bixby, Fred Roerrignogers, and Lou Ferrigno

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The Blues Brothers. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Friday Open Thread

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On this day in 1807, former vice president Aaron Burr was indicted for treason.

GamerGate and How Radical Feminism (Inadvertently) Broke the Left’s Grasp on Millennial Men

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So the GamerGate movement was recently in the news again after leftists, egged on by a liberal Salon columnist, interrupted a GamerGate supporters’ event in Washington D.C. by calling in a bomb threat. And this was after repeated unsuccessful attempts to get the event cancelled by harassing the venue owner. Now, you may have heard the term “GamerGate” bandied about on the interwebs on occasion, but if you’re like most people, you’re probably asking yourself, “self, what in the world is a GamerGate and what shenanigans could they have gotten into that would make liberals intimidate business owners and call in a bomb threat just to shut them up?”

Well, to explain that, a little history is in order. Here’s a very condensed summary:

The GamerGate movement officially started last year when an amateur video game developer and feminist “Social Justice Warrior” (SJW) named Zoe Quinn was exposed online by her boyfriend as a cheater. Quinn had developed only one game in her life, a dull and pretentious online game called Depression Quest that nobody asked for. She had convinced the popular gaming company Steam to distribute her game by (falsely) claiming she was being cyber-bullied by misogynists, thus making its release a feminist statement. However, that alone wasn’t enough to guarantee success, so in order to ensure the game’s proper distribution and promotion, Quinn provided sexual favors to her boss and several gaming journalists. (You can read a very detailed and blunt account of the whole sordid affair here).

Quinn’s boyfriend discovered her affairs and posted about them online, and before long the story went viral, spreading around the internet like wildfire. It became a common topic of conversation among young gamers, as it spoke to two major issues that were becoming increasingly noticeable to them: (a) the corruption of the game industry/journalism that led to unwanted games being foisted on the public and the crowding out of talented game creators, and (b) the tendency of radical feminists to force video games (and by extension video gamers) to conform to their ideology. These trends had been ramping up for a while but this story, which seemed to encapsulate both of them perfectly, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Video games were one of the few places where men in their teens and 20s are still able to be unapologetically masculine, but liberals were working on changing that, too. Gamers around the world were sick and tired of seeing leftists try to infiltrate and take over their beloved pastime the way they had so many other aspects of our culture, and decided it was time to push back in a big way. A new battlefield in the culture war had just opened up. A movement had begun.

GamerGate (which, for the record, was given that name by none other than web-savvy conservative actor Adam Baldwin) spread all over Twitter, Reddit and the blogosphere, and its members are now holding in-person meetups in Washington D.C., London and elsewhere. The movement represents a massive backlash against the corrupt game industry, unethical journalism, and liberals like Quinn and fellow SJW Anita Sarkeesian, who makes YouTube videos lecturing gamers about the inherent misogyny in their games, then cries sexism (and like Quinn, also makes up lies about being threatened) when criticized. This, of course, is standard operating procedure for third-wave feminists: act like a grrl-powered superheroine smashing the patriarchy, then suddenly become a helpless victim of (fictional) attackers when anyone disagrees with you.

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“You are all sexist for rescuing a fictional kidnapped princess in a fictional videogame!”

Liberals have made no attempt to understand what the GamerGate movement is really about, instead preferring to bully its members, call them sexist, get them banned from online forums…you know, the usual “tolerance” we’ve come to expect from them. Their allies in Hollywood went even further, making an episode of Law and Order portraying GamerGaters as “slope-headed SOBs” and equating them to ISIS. Seriously. And of course, we’ve got the aforementioned bomb threat a couple of weeks ago.

So, why is a bunch of gamers railing about feminist corruption of video games on Twitter such a big deal? Because GamerGate is just the tip of a much, much bigger iceberg. Young men are sick and tired of having their individuality and their masculinity stripped from them by the radical feminist Left, and they are organizing and fighting back in a big way. It started with the Men’s Rights Movement, which showed up the feminist Social Justice movement by using their own tactics against them. Predictably, the Left responded with nothing but mockery and the usual accusations of sexism, proving they were not interested in dealing with any of these men’s concerns. If you don’t march in lockstep with them, all that liberal “compassion” goes right out the window.

So the Men’s Rights Movement took on a whole new dimension: men simply “going Galt” and giving up on any aspect of modern society that radical feminism has corrupted. This phenomenon has many names; its members tend to call it Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) or the Red Pill movement (in reference to the pill that Neo took in The Matrix to see the world as it really was). Dr. Helen calls it Men on Strike. Breitbart calls it The Sexodus. Call it what you will, it’s big and it’s happening all around the world. Tired of being shouted down online by angry feminists and their male “white knights” in online forums, they have carved out their own territory online known as the “manosphere”, where they can share ideas and spread their influence. From blogs like Return of Kings to YouTube channels like Sandman and The Internet Aristocrat to online communities like Twitter and Reddit (a Red Pill subreddit has over 100,000 members alone), the MGTOW movement has a robust and formidable online presence.

But beyond that, its members have been taking their philosophy into their real lives, refusing to support the media and culture that treats them as villains and fools, avoiding feminized white-collar jobs, and choosing the hook-up culture over dating and marriage (and women wonder why they are increasingly unable to find husbands nowadays). Some of these trends do not bode well for society as a whole – particularly the choice by millennial men to shirk dating and courtship, which will only further degrade the traditional American family – but who can blame them for checking out? They have grown up in a society and culture that treats them like oppressors and potential rapists, merely by virtue of their gender. Why voluntarily remain a part of something that judges and emasculates them, that has nothing to offer them but undeserved shame and expected submission?

And radical feminists have no one but themselves to blame for making these men who they are. Having taken over the media, the education system, the arts and pop culture, the Left was well on its way to owning the millennials lock, stock and barrel. But their feminist wing overreached. They pushed young men too hard, expecting them to cave and turn into obedient little feminized dupes, but instead inadvertently created their own Frankenstein’s Monster. They can’t control these men, can’t tell them what to think, can’t intimidate them and can’t shut them up. Like a cult whose members have been deprogrammed, the Left has lost them, for good. The Democrats’ grip on this subsection of the young vote has been broken. And their loss is our (potential) gain.

Now, does that mean that these young men represent a group of rock-solid faithful Republican voters? Eh, not so much. The MGTOW community is more libertarian/independent than anything else, and they despise Republicans nearly as much as they do Democrats, not only for their inability to stand up for real conservative principles but their pandering to special interest groups. Hillary may not have their vote, but without a truly viable GOP candidate they’re more likely to sit out the 2016 election than vote Republican. However, Republicans do have the opportunity to earn their votes, not by pandering but by speaking honestly to the issues that matter to them – more creation and promotion of the kinds of jobs that men are interested in doing, more emphasis on individual self-reliance and less on the collectivist nanny state, and education reform that encourages STEM studies and trade schools rather than the social sciences would all be a good start. And while having a presidential candidate that’s an alpha male is probably too much to ask in this day and age, having someone with a little self-confidence who unabashedly embraces his masculinity the way Ronald Reagan or Teddy Roosevelt did wouldn’t hurt, either.

The bottom line is, the feminist Left has ingrained itself into every aspect of our society – just a cursory glance at recent news yields the following examples:

*Taylor Swift declares that misogyny is in our blood from birth.
*Feminists, including Sen. Claire McCaskill, are upset about a rape scene on Game of Thrones even though they apparently had no problem with a man recently being castrated on the same show.
*Columbia University’s “Mattress Girl” is carrying her mattress during her college graduation, having faced no penalties for accusing an innocent man of rape.
*Boy Scouts are now banned from having water gun fights, because that’s too much male aggression.

Men and masculinity are under attack every day, and there are hundreds of thousands of smart, savvy, and surprisingly conservative young men out there who are fighting back against the onslaught any way they can, GamerGate being just the latest example. The question is, will Republicans give them a candidate worth voting for in 2016, or will they leave all those votes on the table? The ball’s in your court, GOP.

Of Two Minds

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Megan McArdle has an interesting article on “The Great Reset” at Bloomberg Review and who is to blame for the worsening conditions in the American workforce — lower pay and benefits overall.

College professors. Manufacturing workers. Recent college graduates. What do they all have in common?

They are all, as a group, seeing the terms of their employment reset downward. The average package available to those people is worse than what similarly situated people got a generation ago, Tyler Cowen writes in the New York Times. Tenure lines are being dropped in favor of adjunct jobs that pay worse and have no protection from firing. New manufacturing workers get lower wages and benefits. Recent college grads find fewer well paying, steady jobs. This is the end of a long process, not a sudden bump, but as Cowen notes, “Such processes are scary because we may be watching the slow unfolding of a hand that, in its fundamentals, has already been dealt.”

As this hand is played, the common response is to demand that we go back to the last hand, which was much better. It has become customary, almost a required ritual, for any academic writing about adjunct faculty in any context to insert a call for their work to be done by well-paid tenure-track faculty. No meditation on “American manufacturing” is complete without explaining why those workers need stronger unions to get them higher pay (or at least an explanation of why that won’t work). And I don’t need to tell you how much ink has been spilled on the plight of college graduates and their student loans.

The average American is at the heart of this story — as the victim and as the perpetrator. We suffer as employees because we exert influence as consumers.