The Left Seeks One Thing: Power

  • by Gitabushi

There are always different ways to look at things.  You can look at things from a different angle or from a different paradigm.

Take the human body. A doctor learns many things about you by looking in your ears, throat, eyes, taking your blood pressure, blood sample, etc.

Or he could do a CAT scan or MRI.

Or he could consider your health from a system perspective: endocrine system, nervous system, vascular system, etc.

Or he could cut you into 1″ slices and learn from that perspective, but that’s usually only done to cadavers, in my experience.

So to understand the Left and how it acts in the US, there are different ways to look at it and attempt to understand it.

I could say “them”, but the Left does aspire to Borg-like levels of collectiveness.  And they do act as a group in a manner different than on the individual level, and I think it is useful, at times, to treat the Left as one entity.

So I can say that the Left is dened by its committed and earnest belief that everything in the world is Rule or Be Ruled, and they intend to Rule you.

I could note that the Left doesn’t believe in democracy at all, despite talking about it all the time, because to them, democracy is just a tool to get what they want.  This doesn’t contradict that they fervently want to enact a Rule or Be Ruled paradigm everywhere, it’s just a different aspect.

I could also say, as I do in the title, that “the Left seeks one thing: Power” and still be fully accurate.

Or I could point out what they want the power *for*.

The motivation for the Left wanting power is they want the power to avoid unwanted consequences and, whenever and where-ever possible, shift all negative consequences onto their enemies…which is anyone that doesn’t join their hive-mind collective.

See, the Left doesn’t like consequences, accountability, or democracy.  So they set up the CFPB to exist and act outside of federal control.  That way, their loyal Leftist CFPB director could punish capitalism, reduce freedom, and fund Leftist activities without any way a pesky GOP POTUS or Congress could do anything to even slow it down, much less stop it.  It is a travesty that it even existed this long, and it is a travesty that it isn’t a slam dunk the SCOTUS will strike this anti-democratic institution down.

The Left doesn’t want accountability for when its leaders engage in unethical or illegal behavior, but exploits its claims of love for democracy to protect its potential POTUS nominees.  Because Trump is automatically wrong and anything he does automatically violates norms and is impeachable, and the only thing that ever needs to be done is to figure out how to characterize his statements or actions in a way that proves his perfidy, even if it is exactly like what every other POTUS has done in office going back several decades.

We really need to crush the Left, because they are going over the Cliffs of Insanity and taking the nation with them.

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Bands with Multiple Lead Singers

  • by Gitabushi

After going through Survivor’s discography (and mostly liking it), I have continued to explore other Jim Peterik bands.  I do not recommend World Stage, but I generally don’t like recordings of live performances, and that’s what World Stage seems to be.  But I digress.

I have started listening to Pride of Lions, and just like World Stage, it features Jim Peterik sharing lead vocal duties with someone else who has a higher voice.

Jim Peterik was the lead singer of the Ides of March, so that’s his voice you hear on “Vehicle.” When he formed Survivor with Frankie Sullivan, the intent was he would share lead singer duties with Dave Bickler, but Frankie put a stop to that fairly quickly. Still, it’s Jim’s vocals on “Love Has Got Me” (which sounds like it was a hit song you never actually heard of, but it never charted).

 

The singer-with-a-higher-voice in Pride of Lions is Toby Hitchcock, who quite often sounds like Dennis DeYoung of Styx.

Which made me think:

Styx was fairly unusual in that it had multiple lead singers, and all had major radio hits.  Most of the time, like Survivor, the band coalesces around a main front man, the face and voice of the band.  To the point that people don’t realize that, say, J. Geils was the guitarist, not the lead singer.

styx

That made me think: what other bands had multiple lead singers?

Roger Taylor and Brian May both sang some lead on Queen Albums.  Roger Taylor sang “I’m in Love With My Car,” which was a fan favorite, but wasn’t really a charted hit. Freddie Mercury was the lead singer for that band.

I’d heard a story that Hall and Oates started when Oates was leading a band and getting heckled by someone in the audience. Oates said, “If you think you can do better, come up and do it.” And it was Hall, and he did, and he became the main lead singer. That doesn’t appear to be a true story, but I still like it. In any case, Hall was the front man. Oates still sang a song or two occasionally, but Hall was the face of the band.

Yes was always led by Jon Anderson, but when Trevor Rabin joined, he started sharing some of the lead duties.

Genesis was Peter Gabriel,until he left, and then Phil Collins became the lead singer.

So all these kind of apply, but none really have the “Multiple lead singers, each getting their own hit song opportunities.”

the cars

The first band I thought of that fit the bill was The Cars.  Rik Ocasek was the main lead singer, but Ben Orr sang “Just What I Needed” and “Drive” and shared lead singing duties with Rik in General.

Then I thought of Triumph, which had Rik Emmett singing most of the lead, but the drummer sang quite a bit, too.  Just Rik had most of the more famous songs, I think.

Heart sort of fits the bill. Both Ann and Nancy Wilson had big hits, but Nancy didn’t really do much lead singing before the huge hit “These Dreams”.  She followed it with “There’s the Girl”, but Ann was still the main lead singer. In fact, their vocal styles were so similar, unless you saw who the singer was in the video, you might not have realized it wasn’t Ann.

Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship had a number of lead singers, I guess, but they were mostly sequentially, until Grace Slick shared lead singing duties with Mickey Thomas in Starship. Not sure how much that counts.

None of these bands share lead singing duties to the level of Styx, however.  The Cars come the closest, perhaps.

Then I thought of Night Ranger.  Kelly Keagy and Jack Blades. They shared lead singing duties quite a bit. Pick a song you like from Night Ranger, and it has about an equal chance to be sung by Kelly as by Jack.

Then:

chicagoband-56aaebcd5f9b58b7d0091924

Chicago fits. Peter Cetera was the known lead singer, but keyboardist Robert Lamm sang lead on a bunch of songs (like “Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is?”, and in my research, I found out guitarist Terry Kath sang lead on “Color My World” and “Make Me Smile” two of my favorites).

Then I thought of a band that exceeds what Styx did with 3 lead singers:

kiss

Kiss.

Sure, Paul Stanley sang most of the songs, but Gene Simmons sang quite a bit of lead, too. And while those two are the nucleus of the band, they sought out both Ace Frehley and Peter Criss because they could sing lead. And Criss sang lead on their mega-hit “Beth.”

And then I thought of the band that had the ultimate mix of lead singers:

Photo of Glenn FREY and Joe WALSH and Don HENLEY and Don FELDER and EAGLES and Randy MEISNER

The Eagles.

Don Henley. Glenn Frey. Don Felder. Joe Walsh (“Life in the Fast Lane”). Timothy B. Schmidt (“I Can’t Tell You Why”). Randy Meisner (“Take it to the Limit”). Bernie Leadon.

Every single one of them (members at different times) have lead singing credits for the band.  The only one that didn’t have a huge hit for the band is Bernie Leadon.

What did we learn from this?

I think the casual fan wants to associate a band with a lead singer, someone who is the face of the band, and a consistent voice. Also, if the lead singer has nothing else to do but sing, they will be more jealous of the lead singing duties. The bands who were most successful in sharing the lead singing duties were those where the lead singers were also major instrumentalists, who contributed to the band’s success with their songwriting and instrumental skills, regardless of whether they were singing any specific song.

The Eagles, Kiss, Chicago, and Styx. In pretty much that order.

Who did I miss? What other bands had success with multiple, simultaneous lead singers?

 

 

Science Fiction Topic: Longevity and Maturity

  • by Gitabushi

The other day I shared that I think the Left, and particularly the US Left, are politically children.  This isn’t a political post…I bring it up as an introduction: I identify them as immature because they are only concerned with some power giving them what they want, without costs or trade-offs.

This is from my assumption that with maturity comes wisdom. Chesterton’s Fence is a good example of how a mature mindset plays out in real life. The more times you’ve been around the sun, the more times you’ve seen well-meaning policy changes founder on reality, due to unintended consequences or short-term thinking. After all, we haven’t needed this fence within the last 10 years or so of memory in the person wanting to tear it down…it is only the aged that realize the fence was established to prevent or ameliorate a once-every-twenty-years event.

barbwire fence on wheat field
Photo by JACK REDGATE on Pexels.com

Game of Thrones includes the warnings of wisdom in its repeated reminder that “Winter is coming.” Most of the people battling for power and control had lived their whole lives in one of Westeros’ sometimes decades-long summers.

We are creatures of experience, and we doubt our parents. We consider them moribund, hopelessly behind the times, and clueless about the way the world works now.  This is one of the themes of Generation Ships, or even of interstellar colonies in which civilization collapse: the parents have stories of Old Earth, and the Old Ways, and technology, but the children consider them fairy tales and society devolves to a lower level of civilization in ignorance.

So there is a a good story topic, if you want: We haven’t had a new Generation Ship story in generations, I don’t think. Except instead of writing how children dismiss the stories of their parents and civilization devolves, you could write a story of what the on-ship society does to prevent the devolution of technology and civilization. Instead of what goes wrong in a cautionary tale, explore the obstacles and propose solutions. There is still a good story in the drama of overcoming obstacles to retain civilization, and of the people who live through it.

The reason I have been thinking about “generation” ships, however, is because the pace of counter-aging research appears to be picking up. I think this is because Moore’s Law means computing power has advanced to the point that we can actually begin to control for all the variables in the aging process. We can actually track the degradation of cell functioning, and how the decline of one cell, or one tissue, or one system, impacts and affects others.  The human body is so complex, and so the aging process is so complex, it makes sense that the computing power of 10 years ago might still be inadequate.

In any case, there are reports that some researchers are already conducting trials on counter-aging of pets, like dogs.  Researchers already have a better grasp of how telomere length impacts aging, and the problems of artificially lengthening the telomeres. We have enough modern data to know how exercise and learning help preserve and retain youthful health so that fewer years are spent in mental and physical decline…this is important, because with lifespan extension, you want an increase in enjoyable years, not an increase in years spent in a nursing home, or attached to a machine.  Even a few years ago, researchers discovered that you can extend both life and functional youth by at least a decade with just a combination of two substances that clear out senescent cells, which prevent aging damage to nearby cells.  Of the two substances, one is cheap (you can get sufficient quantities by eating a spoonful of capers every day), and the other is rare enough to cost $50k/dose (which I think is every month).  Obviously, the goal is to reduce the cost of the second substance to a realistic number. And even aside from that, there is some compelling evidence that simply getting transfusions of young blood can help delay aging…but I’m not sure if it can actually reverse it (can it cause hair gone gray to begin to recolor?  Doubtful.)

As I like to say, I originally thought that aging, and thus most disease (which if often aging-related, as body systems that prevent disease break down), and even natural death would be fully solved in my grandchildren’s lifetime.  Then I began to think my children might have a shot at it. Now I believe that if I keep myself in good shape, staying as mentally and physically young as I can, they will conquer aging in my lifetime.

I *hope* it will end up as the ability to select the age you you want (and I would probably choose late 30s…just before presbyopia set in), but even if it just ends up at only being able to slow aging to the point that we have extra decades, I have made it my goal to live to age 130, with enough health and vigor to enjoy it.

grayscale photography of man sitting on wheelchair
Photo by alexandre saraiva carniato on Pexels.com

But what would that do to society?

Tolkien’s elves live for centuries. He then posited a lower birth rate, or else elves would have choked the world with their numbers, and I think that is probably correct.

Larry Niven had boosterspice in his stories, and it was the key to one of his plots, in that a woman was concealing her advanced age as part of a scam, and had to “pretend” to trip…Niven assumed that with age and experience would come grace that would arise from greater experience on how to avoid things like tripping.  [shrug]. I guess I can understand that, from the standpoint that kids are clumsy…we even call teenagers or young adults coltish, in that they aren’t yet accustomed to new height after a growth spurt.

Some vampire stories certainly try to display the increased knowledge vampires have from centuries of experience on the earth.

But for the most part, I am not really impressed with the maturity shown by most of the long lifespan individuals in most science fiction stories.

This is a problem for writers: how do you write beyond yourself? Can you only write at your own intelligence?  Meaning, how can you write a genius character if you aren’t a genius yourself?  I think this is easier than it sounds: most of intelligence is speed.  The more intelligent you are, the fewer repetitions you need to learn and understand something, the more quickly you learn when and where you can take mental shortcuts, etc.  Intelligence doesn’t always mean insight that leads to wisdom. So you can write a brilliant character merely by thinking things through, and having the character able to make leaps of logic or grasp things immediately, that other people would need more time to get.

But maturity….that’s another problem.

Some maturity issues are easy to see and understand. Obviously, children want immediate gratification, so you can write a mature character by having them delay gratification, see the long view.

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

I know I’ve matured quite a bit since age 25. But I also think I’ve matured quite a bit in just the last few years. I understand so many more things about my wife, about relationships, and about male/female differences in just the last five years, and I’m over 50.  So what insights will I have when I’m closing in on 100?  Can I imagine those?

One aspect of maturity is because you’ve seen it all before, you have more patience in frustrating situations. On the other hand, with age comes an “I’m too old for this crap.” impatience.  I’d argue the first is mature, the second is merely advanced age immaturity, but that’s an aspect worth considering more deeply yourself.  But I do think if we had leaders with three centuries of experience, there would be an increased willingness to let things play out on their own, to not see urgency in most crises, because intervention too often makes things worse.

The vampire stories posit that with age comes an understand of human nature that makes it easier to manipulate people.  That might be true.

But I’d counter an inability to remember immature mindsets seems to come along often with maturity. The adults cannot remember the angst and worries of youth. The elderly don’t have the interest in keeping up with fashion, and trends, and fashionable thinking. It is possible to keep tabs on modern thought, but is it possible to do so well enough to be master manipulators?  Without seeming out of touch?  I’m not sure.

In any case, this is the science fiction topic you could tackle: if/when humans no longer *must* die (although accident, murder, suicide, and some illnesses will still result in death), how does it change society? Do people suicide when they get bored? Do we finally have the longevity to make terraforming Mars and colonization of interstellar systems possible (imagine a “generation ship” that takes two centuries to reach a Alpha Centauri, crewed/populated with people who fully expect to make the return trip within their lifetime). Do the aged withdraw from society as they grow bored with the immaturity of the young? Does the birth rate plummet?  Or does colonization of the moon, Mars, Jupiter’s moons, and interstellar systems create enough room that we have a population explosion? Do the elderly ensconce themselves as leaders, guiding all of society with their greater knowledge?  Do the young now chafe at the reduced chance of earning key roles, since no one ages out of a prominent position anymore?  Or do they win key positions in corporations and government due to youthful exuberance and innovation?

If nothing in society changes except for everyone alive suddenly having a realistic chance to live for 500 years or more, what happens?  There are a hundred different story possibilities to explore right there.

Go do it. I want to read some good stories that explore this issue, that will help us be prepared for it when it eventually happens.

Working Toward a More Complete/Accurate Understanding of the Left

  • by Gitabushi

A few issues have been in play lately in the news, as I’ve seen mentioned on the few accounts I still follow on Twitter and on Instapundit.

This all revolves around people “on the right” trying to get a grip on what’s going on with the US Left.

For instance, several large US corporations have knuckled under to China’s propaganda. The NBA pushed back on the Rockets’ GM showing support for Hong Kong, because the Houston Rockets are one of the most popular teams in China, and if China is angry at the Houston Rockets for supporting the pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong, then the NBA will lose lots of money.

Blizzard then kicked out a popular gamer who supported Hong Kong. Blizzard then tried to keep gamers from quitting in protest by refusing to authenticate their attempts to quit.

ESPN then pushed Chinese propaganda on their territorial claims.

There are many more developments I could cite. The point is, China has used its economic might to gain the power to dictate to US companies.  The result is that US companies that try to display the correct stances, that trip over themselves trying to woke, are doing the bidding of a nation that puts millions of people in concentration camps due their religion, and has a history of violent suppression of human rights.

tourists at forbidden temple
Photo by Sabel Blanco on Pexels.com

This causes a conundrum for some people.

The original idea was that if we engaged economically with China, we would export our liberal views to China. Instead, as the thought process goes, China has exported their totalitarian views to the US. Here’s some of the discussion:

Also here:

Here’s the thing. I don’t think this is accurate.

Meaning, yes, I agree that was the *argument* used to engage with China economically. But I do not think there was really any hope, or even intent, to liberalize China. The intent was to get rich.

Here are a few things I’ve identified about the US Left, and the Left in general.

  1. They are basically children. They can summon up endless arguments for whatever they want. It doesn’t matter if the arguments are self-contradictory, they merely want what the want. They have no concept of trade-offs or earning what they want.  They just want it, and will argue and fight and throw temper tantrums until they get it.
  2. At the same time, the whole point of the Left is to gain the power to ignore, sidestep, or gain compensation for negative consequences.  Hillary Clinton and her cronies do what they want without fear of jail time.  Democrats in Congress want to impeach Trump without accountability of an impeachment vote. Not one person in Obama’s administration has paid any price for IRS targeting of conservatives participating in the political process, or Benghazi, or the Benghazi coverup, or Fast and Furious, or for lying about Obamacare, etc. No one at the FBI or CIA or DoJ has faced any criminal charges (yet) despite a plethora of rule breaking.  Or for violating our rights, for that matter. This is the point of the Left: escaping negative consequences. The powerful break laws, the rank/file grassroots wants to escape negative consequences of bad personal decisions (that doesn’t rise to criminal behavior)
  3. The Left sees everything in society as a zero-sum Power Game: Rule or Be Ruled. They don’t care about China’s human rights abuses, because they aren’t being abused. They only care about human rights abuses when they can be tied to Republicans, because: a) Power means evading accountability, and b) whatever it takes to smear non-Leftists to gain power to achieve “a)”.

So China can put Muslims in concentration camps because there is no way to use that to hurt Trump, and because if Democrats don’t raise a stink about it, China will continue to fund their political campaigns so they can get re-elected to keep skimming money from US taxpayers to be rich and powerful enough that laws do not apply to them, so they can get what they want without having to accept trade-offs.

There’s no surprise there for me.  Everything the US Left is doing is right in character with what I understand about them.

The only question is, what do we do about it?

I’m all in favor of disengaging with China and urging all our allies to do so, as well. It will collapse China’s economy, which will create additional misery of a different type in China, but it might just be the medicine it takes to cure the Leftist Totalitarianism crippling their people.

The only thing is, we’d better be ready to help them establish a Rule of Law based, democracy-based Republic with strong checks and balances, or they’ll just go Left again. That’s all the Chinese people have ever really known: exploiting and being exploited by their fellow citizens.

“Story”

  • by Gitabushi

“Story” is about what happens internally, not externally.  Not fully grasping the importance of this is what tanks countless novels.  We don’t [read a] story simply to watch the events unfold; we come to experience them through the protagonist’s eyes, as she struggles with what to do next.  This is what mesmerizes us: it’s what we’re curious about, it’s what gives us the inside information we’re hungry for.

I agree with this wholeheartedly.

What do you think?  Want to debate?

John Hayward Nails it Again

  • by Gitabushi

I recently realized that if I “logout” from the twitter page I had autoloaded upon opening my browser, I can go check certain accounts.

So there are a few I check on.  One is John Hayward.  I find his thoughts brilliant and insightful. Nearly every day he has a tweet-thread that makes me think, or states a non-obvious truth with more clarity than I’ve seen anywhere else, or both.

This is what I tried to do on Twitter, to varying levels of success.  That is what I am now trying to do here on the blog, and what I will try to do in my fiction writing.

However, this post is to call attention to John Hayward’s thread yesterday:

I find this whole thread completely correct.

The thing I wish he would have added (and I’m sure he would agree with) is that his thesis is fully demonstrated in the Democrat Party POTUS campaign, particularly in the debates.

Moderates are appalled by the blatant Leftist proclamations, while conservatives are chortling with glee as they plan meme and advertisement campaigns.  Both treat the open Leftist campaigning as some sort of Kinsleyan gaffe.

It isn’t.

This is the nature of politics today. They aren’t campaigning for voter support, much less grass roots support.  They are campaigning for donor support, and propaganda editorial support.

Trump winning was a victory for the Right in rolling back Obama’s transformation of the US, but it was also a victory for the Left in that it fully implemented their tribal allegiances and alliances.

They don’t have to convince Democrat voters. Democrat voters will vote for who they are told to vote for. They need to be chosen by the Elite. If chosen, the Elite will give them money (most of it skimmed from taxpayer-funded Leftist programs and insider trading from same) to broadcast propaganda, and the Leftist propaganda machine will have an easier time lying and distorting in their cause.

They don’t need to have a good plan or a good program, because their cause is just. They are opposing White Supremacists, Racists, Sexists, and Trump.

They are justified in subverting and betraying the Rule of Law, because Trump. They will get all the LIVs, all the GOP who hate Trump, all the Democrats who vote as they are told to keep the gravy flowing, and the Leftist bureaucrats will manufacture more Democrat voters from the illegal alien pipeline.

That’s why the Democrat POTUS campaign seems crazy.  They aren’t.  They just have their anti-democratic system fully up and running now.