July 11th, 2020

#7217: And it's more dry than yesterday out back

Woke up before dawn, figured I'd try to have a gander at the comet, so I went outside. Area by the pool still not squelching. This is a good sign.

As expected, couldn't see from the back yard, so I got into the Jeep and hit the road. Pulled off a side road about a mile east of the bunker where the nearest trees are miles away. I was in the right place but the wrong time: too close to sunrise, the comet was already washed out by sunlight.

Over at Space.com they recommend having a gander about ninety minutes before sunrise; I'll give that a try tomorrow if I can. Otherwise, the thing will be visible, I figure, about ninety minutes after sunset come Monday or Tuesday.

It's past the sun already (perihelion was July 3) so perhaps looking for it in the evening sky will be more convenient. I just need to figure out where is the best place around here to go to look for it.

* * *

As usual, it turned out to be a hoax. Black politician mailed himself a hate letter because no white people would.

* * *

This is very nice to hear.

Goya Foods' CEO praised President Trump and then told the asshats threatening a boycott to eat a dick.

Ford's CEO told the BLM/SJW crowd to go fuck themselves when they demanded that Ford stop making police cars.

Good. More corporations need to do this kind of thing.

* * *

Apparently Robert De Niro is having a bad year. It seems that if he is "lucky", he will somehow manage to eke out a $7.5 million paycheck in 2020, which is apparently a pauper's wage for him.

So I go to the article that discusses this issue and I am seized with the urge to punch everyone mentioned in it. Why? Well, for one thing, it seems that he's cut his estranged wife's credit card limit, and she was unhappy about it, and took the matter to court. You see, she's used to being able to spend $100,000 per month and deemed it "unfair" that the limit was cut in half.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper issued a temporary ruling that De Niro should keep [Grace] Hightower's credit card limit at $50,000 a month and pay her $75,000 so she can find a summer home for their two kids while De Niro and his other children remain in his three-house compound upstate.

"I am not requiring at this point that Mr. De Niro restore the credit card to $100,000," Cooper said. "$50,000 seems to be certainly enough to avoid irreparable harm."
$50,000 per month. Plus a check for seventy five large so she can find a summer home.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out how someone could possibly spend $50,000 a month without ending up with a warehouse full of stuff that's been used once. I suppose that you pay for a bodyguard and a chef and a personal assistant and rent some high-class digs, and after the usual living expenses, that does for most of that sum?

On the other hand, it's very easy to spend a lot of money on horseshit ("A fool and his money are soon parted") and the article even mentions that De Niro outspends his income. Of course, the article also mentions that he's worth $500 million, and because these assertions are made by lawyers on either side of a messy divorce, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

What I do know is that a celebrity who is careful with his money can amass quite a fortune while nonetheless living extremely well, and it would not surprise me at all to learn that Robert De Niro is not one of those types of celebrities.

* * *

God bless the Babylon Bee. I love that satirical headline: "Nation That Kills 3,000 Babies A Day Feels Morally Superior To Slaveowners From 200 Years Ago".

* * *

Anyway, up too early (or not early enough, depending) so I'm going to go back to bed.

#7218: I need an explanation for this.

Police confiscated their gun but they were not arrested, nor were they charged with any crimes.

Now--I know you can get a court order from a judge to do just about anything if you can convince him there's a good reason for it. The judge is supposed to apply his knowledge and experience in accordance with the Constitution and the extant case law, with a view towards upholding the law both as written and as interpreted by the courts.

Understanding that, though, I'm at a loss as to why the police were sent to confiscate a legally-owned firearm from a couple who had used it legally, in self-defense, and who themselves are not under any kind of investigation nor charged with any criminal acts, with or without a firearm.

From what I can tell, this is the local government saying, "We see that you have a gun. We're taking it from you because we don't want you to have it." Not because a crime was committed with it, making it evidence, but just because a government official didn't like the fact that those people had it.

It is a bald-faced denial of civil rights under the Second Amendment.

* * *

When a black person ends up dead at the hands of law enforcement it almost always happens because someone resisted arrest. In this case, the person who was being arrested surrendered peacefully. There would not have been an issue had his friend not pulled out a gun and started shooting at the police.

Of course the left is calling this moron an "innocent bystander" but he's not. FFS.

* * *

Thunderstorm, moderately heavy rain, and in fact it's still raining now. So much for cutting the grass today.

* * *

This is a good reason to remain optimistic.

The thing is, as an ideology, leftism is fundamentally weak. It can't be otherwise. It's why "thoughtcrime" is so rigorously punished. It's why there's propaganda, why it must regulate speech, why it must kill people in the millions to survive. It cannot stand, and eventually will crumble under the weight of its own corruption.

My fear is not that leftism will triumph and that there will be a boot stomping on human faces forever. My fear is having to live through the time when society descends into the "boot stomping" phase, because that phase will last scores of years before the totalitarian government collapses. But it will collapse.

But, yes: 1984 is a grim story because it only tells part of the tale. Like all leftist ideologies, the political structure of Oceania is built on a faulty premise, and ultimately that will prove to be its downfall.

* * *

As an aside, I keep thinking about a sequel to 1984. It would be grim and gritty but it would be about people who yearn for freedom, and who actually figure out how to defeat Big Brother and so forth, and who actually accomplish the task. In the end, IngSoc is no more and the light of truth is shed on all. Call it 1985.

The "faulty premise" I mentioned above is the notion that people cannot think about concepts for which they have no words. Just bear in mind that we invent words to describe things. One of the reasons some languages are so confusing stems from the fact that words get repurposed to describe new concepts.

...which is why "set" has the longest definition in the dictionary. According to the Guinness Book of World Records:
The word with the most meanings in English is the verb "set", with 430 senses listed in the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, published in 1989. The word commands the longest entry in the dictionary at 60,000 words, or 326,000 characters."
No way to predict which word in NewSpeak would get a new meaning, "freedom", but it would happen, and it would happen despite IngSoc's best efforts to prevent it.

The world of 1984 is a dystopia, and the government itself naturally assumes that it will continue as it is forever. But no government lasts forever.

* * *

The Sure Thing is the only movie directed by Rob Reiner that I like. I will not see Princess Bride and I never had any interest in This Is Spinal Tap; and all of his subsequent movies that I have seen were craptastic.

But somehow, The Sure Thing is my all-time favorite movie. For me, at least, it's the ultimate expression--the platonic ideal--of the 1980s teen romance comedy. I have a list of such movies, old favorites of mine, at which The Sure Thing is the top: Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, Secret Admirer, Can't Buy Me Love, Hot Pursuit. (There may be a couple of others on my list, but offhand I cannot remember them.)

Of the six movies I listed, John Cusak stars in four of them. I've said it before--I like his work, particularly in that genre...except for one example.

Say Anything.

SA was not really a comedy. It had some humorous moments in it, but the humor was a dry kind of "Heh heh heh" sort, and the laughs were few and far between. It was made when Cusack was trying to break out of the teenager movie star mold. His big thing at the time was "edgy", so he did movies like Grifters and Tapeheads and True Colors. And Say Anything.

SA was, as I recall, the first movie in which he wanted to play "an edgy character", and so Lloyd Dobler came across as this nervous kid in a trench coat. What he had to be nervous about, I don't know, but in every scene I find myself wanting to offer the guy a Xanax. I've seen it two or three times, never really liked it very much.

But I was thinking about something the other day.

Lloyd had no reason to be a nervous type, considering he's aiming to be a professional kickboxer (guys who fight other guys every day, for a living, are typically not nervous people). At the beginning of the story, all his friends are girls, yet he's never really dated anyone. ...but it's made clear halfway through the story that any of his female friends would gladly become his girlfriend if he wanted.

And I realized: what a gamma male fantasy THAT is. All his friends are female and any of them would willingly get romantic with him, but of course he only has eyes for the really pretty class valedictorian. Naturally his harem is composed of girls who are less pretty than the object of his affection. And then, of course, he gets the girl he wants.

His big chivalric moment is when they're walking across a wide-open parking lot in broad daylight, and they happen across a broken bottle; he stops her and shuffles the glass out of her path. That was the big moment for her, when she realizes she's in love with him? When he kicks a handful of broken glass aside with his foot? A gamma male's display of bravery in the face of danger!

Who initiates sex? She does. Not him. Oh, no, he's too sensitive to pursue that, he's happy just to sit there and hold hands and maybe kiss once in a while.

It just doesn't fit, not any of it. He's aspiring to become a professional in a sport which is the domain of alpha males, but Lloyd Dobler is a simpering gamma. He has no male friends; his female friends all like him because he's so nice and tame and sensitive. Then, when the girl breaks up with him, he starts doing creepy things. The movie's iconic image of him holding up the boom box--totally not creepy, right? But at the end, her father ends up in jail so she can be with him after all.

Also, now cannot stand to hear Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" because of that movie.

* * *

But I do like this one bit:

Lloyd visits girl's father in jail, to tell him of his intention to marry the girl. Things are quiet for a bit.

Lloyd: Are you all right, sir? You okay?
Father: I'm incarcerated, Lloyd!

I did laugh at that. Everything else, no.

* * *

So, sat down last night and watched Miracles out of Nowhere.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's nice to see the band members talk about the early days and how things came together. Of course it kind of glossed over some of their troubles and such. The result--I will admit--feels slightly whitewashed, but I don't really care.

The documentary covers the band's history through the release of Point of Know Return. That's reasonable; "Dust in the Wind" is an all-time hit single and both Point of Know Return and Leftoverture are the most important albums in the band's ouerve, anyway.

After Leftoverture came Monolith, and that's when things started to go awry, with disagreements about the band's direction starting to crop up, etc. The usual stuff that happens after a band hits the peak of success.

But I'll tell you what, I just could not get enough of it. It's nice to see a documentary about a band that I'm emotionally invested in, you know? Hollywood will never make a movie about Kansas like Rocket Man or Bohemian Rhapsody, of course, let alone a straightforward documentary about them. I'm glad the band itself did.

* * *

Well--that rain did for my plans for the day. Maybe get a nap....