Arimathea
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There is need in human life for levity. So, enjoy your time here in leisurely frivolity, where no Puritan can condem you.
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Monday, February 1, A.D. 2016
Rent a Jew

Kennen Sie einen Juden? Nein?! Mieten Sie einen!

Last summer, I read a blurb on Taki’s about a new cultural enrichment project in Germany:

Do you have any Jewish friends? If not, have you ever considered renting one?

A new program in Germany enables you to “Rent a Jew” at will. For a designated cost, you will be able to procure your own personal Jew for a prescribed period of time, during which that Jew will reveal that he or she is a human being just like you are. If you ask nicely, they might even allow you to touch their hair.

The program was launched by Munich’s Janusz Korczak Academy, with funding by the Nevatim Program of the Jewish Agency. According to a spokesjew:

There are 100,000 Jews in Germany, but very few people in this country know a Jew personally. We want to change that…to engage young people on the grassroots level…to build interpersonal contacts for young people…and break down prejudices.

What better way is there to build friendship than paying someone to be your friend?

The Rental Jews skew young; all are under 30. There are currently an estimated 20 young Jews available for rental in Germany. Unconfirmed sources report that many people are hesitant to rent Jews for fear that once rented, they’ll immediately raise the rent.

Human chattel slavery has been outlawed throughout most of the civilized world because it is considered barbaric, cruel, and, OK, even evil for one human to own another. But that doesn’t automatically imply it’s unethical to rent human beings so that they can lecture you about their culture while browbeating you about your history.

To prevent another Holocaust, it’s imperative that you rent your own personal Jew today.

It gladdens me immensely that my distant kin in the old country have kept their characteristic sense of humor. Wry devils!

This story really is too precious. It makes me think back to reading articles about the Jews vs. Nazis beer pong game (e.g. Daily Mail). Those reports were opportunities for well-intentioned goyim to rend their garments, don sackcloth, and rub their faces in ash. The comments sections bewailed racism, expressed fear of white supremacists, and generally resembled the fundraising newsletters of the Anti-Defamation League. By contrast, when I discovered the game, I laughed until I cried, and I knew that the game creators had to be of the Tribe. It is beyond obvious! Now, I see that I was correct, if we are to trust Metapedia (which never fails us!). Regardless, the truth has always been clear. The episode made me wonder how so many people could be so oblivious. Haven’t they ever met young, irreverent Jewish college students before? I suppose that these folks, like the perpetually atoning Krauts, require rented Jews’ services.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, February 1, Anno Domini 2016
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Monday, March 17, A.D. 2014
Pot of Gold

Remember to count your blessings and acknowledge your fortunes on the Western reckoning of Saint Patrick’s feast!

If one of the little people fails to visit you this year, here is a poor substitute:

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig dhuit!

Posted by Joseph on Monday, March 17, Anno Domini 2014
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Tuesday, February 25, A.D. 2014
About That Red Balloon

The Winter Olympics in Sochi ended this past Sunday. I posted several entries related to the Olympics, but here are some leftover reflections about the ceremonies that I did not fit in elsewhere. Like most leftovers, they lack an elegant presentation but hopefully contain some sustenance.

I really enjoyed the opening and closing ceremonies. The suspension mechanism and the floor image projection were amazing—especially the latter, as I have never seen anything like it before. I also liked the child’s dream narrative, which started with an alphabetical exploration of Russian history and culture. Д is for Dostoevsky! In the closing ceremony, we even got to see Fyodor Mikhailovich in the flesh (the actor looked just like him) along with other greats of Russian literature. The ballet performances were exquisite—War and Peace in the opening and a showcase of the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky in the closing. There were also the obligatory—and immensely appreciated—compositions by Tchaikovsky, including music from Swan Lake. It may not be the classical snob’s favorite piece (because the polloi fancy it so), but I have loved the Swan theme since infancy. That is no exaggeration. Swan Lake was probably the first music that I heard over and over as a baby that was not a lullaby. I still get goose bumps (swan shivers?) every time that I hear it. The melody calls deep into my soul.

The wicked Western press made an inordinate fuss about the opening ceremony’s ring malfunction—really the only problem in the program. So, it was quite amusing when the Russians made fun of themselves in the closing ceremony as performers temporarily recreated the malfunction in human form. Self-deprecation is disarming.

I was impressed by the way the opening ceremony’s historical exposition handled the twentieth century; it treated the revolution and the Second World War in a very tactful manner. The presentation also made an argument of which intellectuals often need reminding—that human life is not absolutely consumed by ideology. We thinking types tend to reduce epochs to their ideological content, and it is important to reflect upon world views and how they shape the societies that hold them. However, most people in every time and place are not intellectuals, and though their lives are influenced by the reigning ideas, they are not totally dominated by them. Depeche Mode is right—people are people. They care about the little and great things that make up one’s day. The ceremony’s depiction of Soviet life was not all hammers and sickles—but students and bobby socks and guys in cruising cars and mothers and the baby boom and strolls through the park on a Sunday afternoon. This is important for us anti-Communists to understand as we consider how the Russians reflect upon their past. Should the Russians have repented of Communism? Indeed. However, generations of Russians grew up in the Soviet Union, and they remember much of their life dearly. For it was theirs. One’s nation is like one’s family. Indeed, a nation is a rather extended family, as Steve Sailer likes to remind his readers. And families are sometimes dysfunctional. But your family remains your family, even (especially) in bad times, and you love them despite their shortcomings. Similarly, the Soviet period involved extreme evils and political perversion, but seventy years of human life cannot be reduced to Marxist ravings. It is for such a reason that I empathize with the Russians who wanted their old Soviet national anthem rather than its short-lived replacement in the nineties. Yes, it was Stalin’s song. Yes, it was the anthem of a vicious regime. However, it was the most patriotic song for millions of Russians, and it is understandable that they loved it.

Besides, it is a sweet anthem—one of if not the best among national anthems. The Sretensky Monastery Choir did it justice during the opening ceremony. Beautiful!

As a side note, I shared soup (borscht, of course) with those young men who sing in Russia’s best choir. During their tour of the United States, the Sretensky Monastery Choir sang for four and a half hours at a liturgy in D.C. It was awesome. Following their feat, the men dined with parishioners in the church hall. They earned their хлеб that day.

Anyway, I think that we need to keep in mind the human factor when we consider Russians’ ambivalence toward their Soviet heritage. We traditionalists rightly despise many things about contemporary America (“America 2.0” as named by Lawrence Auster, which featured prominently in Chevrolet’s commercials during the Olympics). Yet, who among us does not think fondly of so many aspects of our culture—even national elements that have been marred by the evil times? What American wouldn’t feel pain to witness the U.S.A. vanish? A father might be a worthless scoundrel, but his son may still remember him with love and grieve at his passing. Such is the reality captured by the red balloon at the end of the opening ceremony. It was not a red-washing of Soviet horrors. Rather, it was an endearing reminder of the everyday, everyman dimension of life.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, February 25, Anno Domini 2014
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Friday, February 14, A.D. 2014
Sports Progress

The Winter Games continue, and I am pleased to report that Nick Goepper from Lawrenceburg, Indiana (over the state line just west of Cincinnati) won the bronze in the men’s slopestyle freestyle skiing event yesterday. Indeed, three Americans swept the competition, and we saw three American flags flying (well, sort of flying) during the medal ceremony, which has only happened twice before in Winter Olympic history. Kudos to him and to his teammates Joss Christensen (gold) and Gus Kenworthy (silver).

During the Summer Olympics in London, my brother sent me a link to a video that compares every Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meter dash. The featured graphic shows how far the gold medal winner from the year listed would have run by the time that Usain Bolt won the race in A.D. 2012 in 9.63 seconds.

It is a clear example of how an art (or sport) may progress over time as subsequent practitioners build upon the accomplishments of the past. Another example from history is the progress of building techniques during the medieval period. Later Gothic cathedrals during the High Middle Ages incorporated many technical and artistic innovations that builders had developed as they pushed the boundaries of the possible to glorify God—and their hometown. One may also look to high culture music to see such progression—until the mid-twentieth century, when the high brow musical world turned its back on the past with the rest of the West’s art scene to focus on “originality.” For a good summary about this sad revolution in the arts, I recommend an Intercollegiate Review essay that I read six years ago by Webster Young: “Can There Be Great Composers Anymore?”

Modernists seem to believe in progress in an inevitable Hegelian absolute manner, as if it were a constituent force in the world. They are chauvinists of the present, and they are mistaken. Rather, progress may occur within a community, discipline, or civilization with respect to certain things—especially when folks build upon the tried and true knowledge of their predecessors, but such is not inevitable. Men foolishly choose to take inferior paths at times, and disasters occur that force such decisions at other times. Pride, sin, stupidity, plague, war, and the cycle of human vanities ensure that progress is always a struggle against decay, and we are fortunate when we witness progress for as long as we can. The modern Olympic Games provide a bounty of progressive examples over the last 118 years. Let us rejoice in this marvel of our age.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, February 14, Anno Domini 2014
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Thursday, July 25, A.D. 2013
Lufthansa Geography

About one year ago, my father sent me a link to an online game where you have to “land” Lufthansa aircraft by clicking on a given city: Virtual Pilot. The video game tallies up the distance of your chosen spot from the correct city. The smaller the distance, the more points you receive. It is a crash course in geography.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, July 25, Anno Domini 2013
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Thursday, June 27, A.D. 2013
Good Times at the Great American Ball Park

There are so many twisted and wicked developments in the world, I would rather avoid giving them more consideration than I already do. Instead of commenting on the latest social breakdown, here is a pleasant hometown story from April in the Daily Mail: “The touching moment Down syndrome batboy greeted MLB player after home run.” I am glad that our city’s team gets such enthusiastic support from folks like Teddy Kremer.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, June 27, Anno Domini 2013
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Thursday, March 14, A.D. 2013
Buckeye Arcade Halftime

Though I am an Ohioan, I have never been to an O.S.U. game, and I have never been a fan. As noted in “Cincinnati Yesteryear,” denizens of the Queen City find their identity in the polis, not the State. I did have an Ohio State Buckeyes sweatshirt when I was in elementary school, but that is because I fancied the buckeye and leaf design. However, after I watched the following clip, I want to make hajj to the Horseshoe. For I have never seen a more entertaining halftime show. Here is the Buckeyes’ tribute to video game history:

Who would have thought that music dorks would celebrate gaming geeks in the holy temple of American jockdom?

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, March 14, Anno Domini 2013
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Wednesday, November 14, A.D. 2012
Caine’s Arcade

In yesterday’s post, the selection that I copied from Mr. Brown Thumb mentioned Caine’s Arcade. If you did not follow the provided Caine’s Arcade link, you may wish to do so. Evidently, the story went “viral” this past spring.

A little boy named Caine Monroy decides to build his own video arcade at the front of his father’s automobile parts store in Los Angeles. He uses boxes and random supplies from his father’s business along with old toys to construct his own games. Unfortunately, the father does most of his business online; so he gets very little in store customer traffic. Nonetheless, the boy waits patiently for patrons while he improves his arcade. Then, a man named Nirvan Mullick who happens to be a documentary filmmaker finds the joint while buying a car part, plays in the arcade, and decides to make a short film. He uses social media to invite all the S.W.P.L. adventurers in L.A. to Caine’s arcade. Voilà—a great story, a fun afternoon for Etsy-shopping, community oriented do-gooders, and a claim to fame for a savvy philosophy grad. director. Either the director or Caine’s father (or both) have had the good business sense for Caine to profit from the episode. Caine now has an impressive educational fund that will pay for his schooling in a decade as well as program offers from prestigious schools. A foundation is matching all funds donated for Caine’s future education to establish a scholarship fund for other youth. The film has also inspired creative programs around the world to get children to construct their own arcades—Caine and Mullick are proselytizers for engineering. The New Yorker offers more about the story in “The Perfect Moment Goes Perfectly Viral.” Human beings can be pretty cool.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, November 14, Anno Domini 2012
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Tuesday, May 25, A.D. 2010
Nanooks Nuke

Over the last decade, I have read several sports commentators lament what they call the “N.B.A.-ization” of school and professional sports. By this, they mean the multi-media, flashy entertainment and commercial complex that has been built around the games, where athletes have their own theme songs, various plays have their own large screen “whoosh” animations and soundtracks, and the atmosphere at the ballpark or stadium resembles more a tacky, low brow yet epic brawl of the World Wrestling Federation than an old fashioned match between talented athletes who excel at their particular sport. Indeed, George Will must weep every time M.L.B. plays “We Are the Champions.” What happened to sports as sports?

Maybe, that is why golf and tennis have become more mainstream. It was not simply that Tiger and the Williams sisters made their sports more accessible to the younger and darker colored. Rather, golf and tennis remain some of the few remaining sports where the spectator experience remains focused on the sport. The “N.B.A.-ization” process has reduced athletic competition to the maturity and aesthetic level of adolescent boys and left everyone else behind.

However, in a Hemingway sort of way, I have some sort of perverse respect for the vicious who take their vice to superlative levels. So, allow me to share a few game opening videos of the Alaska Nanooks hockey team. They are a masterful pandering to the American teenage boy’s soul.

A.D. 2007-2008 season:

A.D. 2009-2010 season:

I have read elsewhere that the creator must be a Michigan alumnus, given the targets. Maybe. Anyway, the baser part of me loves these bears—funny, ridiculous, over the top, and . . . totally awesome!

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, May 25, Anno Domini 2010
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Friday, May 7, A.D. 2010
Simpsons’ Character Recognition

It is Friday, the Brits have a hung parliament because David Cameron is a wussy, Tory-lite joke, and many of you are looking forward to the weekend. Here is a time waster game to take you through an afternoon break: “Can you name the characters from The Simpsons?”

Having been on the air for two decades, The Simpsons has populated Springfield rather fully. However, the game only asks you to identify sixty-three faces. Cake, eh?

Posted by Joseph on Friday, May 7, Anno Domini 2010
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