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People Age Slower Today Than They Did 50 Years Ago: Nov 19, 2017

November 19, 2017 5 comments

As I once mentioned in an older post, one of my favorite pastimes involving searching for photos and videos for anything which might catch my fancy. Because of this habit, I have spent many thousands of hours learning about stuff which I would not have otherwise encountered. A side effect of this habit is the ability to discern patterns of human activity and behavior that are not otherwise not readily obvious- including insights into what people are thinking.

For example, no west-european backpackers trip to India is complete without dozens of photos of garbage, stray cows and beggars. What makes this a bit odd is that it is obvious that they went to considerable lengths to find the right spot and angle to take those photos. So why go to such lengths just to get those photos? Especially when they take care to not take or post such photos from their trips to African countries.

But this post isn’t about insights gleaned from looking at a shitload of photos from white west-european backpackers. It is about something far more substantive and supported by other independent lines of evidence. I am sure that many of you might have also noticed that people look younger in photos from the last 15 (or so) years than their similarly aged counterparts from 50 or even 30 years ago. Why is that so? And, is this effect illusory or real?

I first noticed this effect when looking at unretouched photos of famous older actors and musicians taken when they were much younger (often in their late teens, 20s or 30s). In almost every single case, celebrities who were in that age group during the 1960s-1980s timespan looked about a decade older than their equivalents today. Initially, I thought that it might be linked to how people dressed or styled their hair during that era as compared to today.

However this effect is also apparent, to the same extent, in photos of non-celebrities from that era. While certain styles of dress and makeup do accentuate it, it is hard to deny that people born after 1970 do look about a decade younger at the same chronological age as their parents. I mean, it is obvious when I look at photos of my parents and their cousins versus myself and my cousins. But is that enough to make the case that people age about a decade slower than 50 or even 30 years ago?

For this, we have to start looking at the incidence of aging-related diseases- specifically outcomes rather than by some vague criteria as defined by “experts”. We can also look at career longevity of athletes in physically demanding sports at international levels. While I do not have the time or motivation to post the statistics, it is clear that the careers of athletes in a range of sports such as basketball, tennis and swimming are noticeably longer than in the past.

While some of this increase can be attributed to improvements in sports medicine, the effect is spread across a wide number of sports rather than being concentrated in those which provide huge monetary rewards to players. So clearly, something else is at work. And coming back to the issue of aging-related diseases in non-athletes, they too tend to be noticeably lower in the younger cohort than their parent’s generation at the same age. Is it just a “healthier” lifestyle or something else?

While people will try to make the case that it is about a “healthier lifestyle” or “healthier choices”, I think it has something to do with the lack of certain things rather than following any guidelines. For example- the rates of cigarette smoking, exposure to lead and other heavy metals, exposure to other hazardous chemicals, poor working conditions etc are far lower for those born after 1970 than those born before that date. The same is true of many other sources of chronic stress such as extreme poverty, periods of material deprivation etc.

Maybe part of aging is due to chronic exposure to adverse conditions and less than optimal nutrition and medical care. Note that I am not claiming that aging is mostly due to external factors- but it is pretty clear to me that a decade or two of supposedly “normal” aging comes down to less than optimal living conditions. This is especially obvious when you compare people who are biologically related but then end up living in different countries and environments.

There is also the other issue of jobs becoming less physically demanding and damaging over that time period. We cannot also forget that women who have few or no kids tend to age at a noticeably slower rate than those with many kids. But my general observation and theory still holds. The slower aging of people born after 1970 is real and has something to do with experiencing significantly fewer stressors and noxious insults to their body in comparison to previous generations.

What do they think? Comments?

On the Conflation of Flirting with Sexual Harassment: Nov 16, 2017

November 16, 2017 9 comments

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of (mostly) women publicizing their past experiences of being sexual harassed and assaulted by powerful men from a wide cross-section of society. While the current spate of accusations started with revelations about Harvey Weinstein- men in sectors as diverse as entertainment, venture capital and politics have now been accused of being serial sexual predators.

To be clear, most notable accusations made to date are clearly undefendable. I mean.. jerking off in front of unwilling women trapped in rooms is pretty beyond normal flirting behavior. Forcing your erect penis into the mouth, or any other orifice, of an unwilling woman is also not defendable. There is of course the question of how many other woman went along with such behavior and saw it as the cost of career advancement.

But that is not what this post is about. Instead, we will talk about the odd response of both MSM and the internet to this turn of events. After a couple of days of the initial Weinstein allegations, the conversation shifted from how this was about an abuse of power to how almost men are sexual harassers and potential rapists. So what is behind this rather perplexing shift in focus? Why go after made-up problems than tackle real ones?

At the risk of sounding cynical (lol), it appears that “feminists” and their “male allies” are using these events to push their old agenda- namely, the criminalization of normal male sexuality. So how did I come to this pessimistic conclusion? For starters, I looked at a number of recent articles, posts and tweets about the causes of such behavior. The majority (over 80%) of them blamed all men for the abuses perpetrated by a rather small percentage.

A significant percentage of those articles also appeared to be rehashed versions of previous material by the same authors. In that respect it was very similar to how anti-gun media types keep on publishing the same old crap after every new mass shooting. In other words, the response of media types to such events is similar to how 9/11 was used to introduce security theater and legitimize mass surveillance in USA

So, what does any of this have to do with attempts at conflate sad attempts at flirting with sexual harassment or even assault? Are people stupid enough to believe that a drunken attempt to grope a woman’s tits or ass in a crowded bar is the same as making her suck your dick at gunpoint (real of financial)? Surely people are not stupid enough to equate a woman having regrets about having sex with some guy to him sodomizing her by force? Right??..

Except that they are and always have been that stupid. Between justifying mass murders because of their belief in an invisible sky friend or the defense of some equally ludicrous ideology, human beings (as a species) do not exhibit much rational behavior- even in 2017. A large percentage of people will go along with anything that seems popular regardless of its inherent stupidity or impracticality as long as it does not hurt them immediately.

Consider for example, how each new publicized incident of obvious sexual assault is used to push further for concepts like “affirmative consent”. Some of you might have seen many posters and signs on large university campuses about how consensual sex between two somewhat inebriated people is equivalent to violent rape. Other posters approved by university administrations suggest that male students could be prosecuted as rapists unless their female partner provides continuous “affirmative consent”.

What is a bit less obvious is that every publicized incident of overt and obvious sexual assault is used to push for more funding for such “programs” and regulations. It is basically the equivalent of using the publicity generated by bank robbers to pass laws for prosecuting panhandlers. However such ‘mission creep’ is to be expected when impersonal institutions of any type pretend to act in the “best interests” of the public. It is really about accumulating more power and jobs, rather than doing the right thing.

The careers of an increasing number of people under late capitalism depend on enforcing often totally arbitrary rules and regulations. They will continue doing so regardless of the consequences of their actions. Treating a drunk guy who feels up some woman as a sexual deviant rather than a sad human being should therefore be seen as an attempt to increase the power and job security of some people, rather than making society a “better and safer place” for women.

Curiously, all of these rules and regulations seem to be for ordinary men without much power or status. I should remind you that people like Weinstein, Spacey and a host of other powerful men got away with far worse behavior for decades in spite of older versions of those rules and laws because none of their victims were willing to follow-up on their accusations for reasons ranging from effect on career prospects to lack of money.

In that respect, the situation is a lot like how the police are willing to kill innocent black men holding cellphones while giving a pass to a bunch of racist white men walking around with AR-15s in some cities. Or how financial crimes worth billions of dollars are either never prosecuted or legalized in contrast to the system going after small time offenders over sums of money often less than a hundred dollars.

In a future post I will explore the likely consequences (intentional and unintentional) of ongoing attempts to conflate, what is at most, occasional unpleasant behavior with much more serious accusations such as sexual assault.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Nov 13, 2017

November 13, 2017 2 comments

These links are NSFW. Will post something intellectual tomorrow.

Beach Cuties with Sunglasses: Nov 10, 2017 – Beach cuties wearing only sunglasses.

Doggystyled Cuties: Nov 13, 2017 – Amateur cuties getting it, doggystyle.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

Why do Supposedly Mighty Hollywood Men Jerk Off in Front of Women?

November 11, 2017 17 comments

One peculiar detail common to the many recent claims of sexual harassment by supposedly powerful men in the entertainment industry aka ‘Hollywood’ concerns the unusual prominence of an otherwise uncommon sexual act, namely masturbating in front of a woman. It seems that others have also noticed the unusual prominence of this act in the seemingly endless flow of accusations against supposedly powerful men in that industry.

The current favored explanation by “credentialed experts” is that masturbation in front of an unwilling woman is some sort of dominance move, like a dog pissing on some tree down the street. But there is a small problem with that explanation. It is.. you see.. totally made up bullshit without any connection to reality. If the “expert” explanation was true, this act would be far more common- especially in a country as full of dysfunctional relationships as USA.

So why is this otherwise uncommon sexual act so common for supposedly powerful men in Hollywood? I mean.. what sexual pleasure can you get out of jerking off in front of an unwilling woman? More curiously, why are there so few accounts of white or non-white sport-stars, actors or musicians jerking off in front of unwilling women? Why don’t they have to jerk off in front of women to establish dominance?

Part of the answer is obvious once you look at photos of those accused of that sexual act. Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, Mark Halperin, Brett Ratner, James Tobback etc are not what you would call handsome or physically desirable to most women. They are just plain middle-management types who happened to get lucky and become powerful in that industry. Their social status and alleged importance is linked to the position they have come to occupy in the hierarchy of late capitalism.

In other words, they have virtually no intrinsic sexual appeal to women. If it were not for a lucky break or two, these men would have been the semi-castrated money earning “yes, dear” slaves found within stucco suburban shitboxes and office parks all across USA and pretty much every other ‘developed’ country. In an older post about why women prefer “bad boys” over “responsible men”, I talked about why men who display autonomous agency are far more attractive to women than those who are, for all practical purposes, well-paid slaves.

All these supposedly powerful men in Hollywood derive that power from working within a matrix of rules, regulations and conventions. For all their alleged power, they are completely subservient to the system. In that respect, they are comparable to powerful eunuchs who served in Chinese imperial courts over the centuries. Between that and their rather mediocre physical appearance, it is no surprise that most women do not find them sexually attractive.

Readers can now see why uncompensated sexual advances from such men might cause outright revulsion within most women. In contrast to this, most women would be quite happy to receive such attention from men who are either good-looking, display some degree of autonomous agency or both. That is why sport stars, music stars, physically attractive actors, “criminals”, drug dealers and narcissistic sociopaths do not have to jerk off in front of unwilling women.

But we are still left with the question about why these mediocre middle-management types jerk off in front of women rather than physically threaten them to have sex or have sex with them by force? What stops them from pointing a gun at the head of some woman and asking her to suck their cock or take it in the ass? Why do almost none of the women allegedly harassed or assaulted by these men report feeling afraid of being killed? Also, why didn’t these men just hire escorts to act out their fantasies?

The answer to that set of questions requires us to first confront an unpleasant fact about living in decaying societies full of institutions. The thing is.. large and hierarchical institutions of any type are full of spineless men (and women) because only they will willingly take stupid orders and endure humiliation from their immediate superiors who have to endure if from somebody above them, ad infinitum. It is therefore not surprising that such spineless behavior manifests itself in other aspects of their life.

That is why physical assaults are far more common in dysfunctional blue-collar marriages than their white-collar equivalents. That is why most people living in suburbs and working in office parks threaten legal action than beat the crap out of someone offensive. Now, we can certainly argue if this is good thing or bad thing. My point is that this type of systematic passive-aggressive behavior is not natural to human beings. Anyway, the consequence of living in such a society is that the most supposedly powerful people in it are almost always the biggest pussies.

To make a long story short, all these supposedly powerful men in Hollywood were jerking off in front of unwilling women because they were mediocre men without intrinsic sexual appeal who were also too chicken to actually physically force themselves on those women. Personally, I find all of this darkly comic and absurdist rather than tragic.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Connection Between ‘Hollywood’ and Establishment Democrats

November 8, 2017 7 comments

One interesting feature of the so-called “#resistance” formed in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral victory concerns its highly skewed membership composition. Most readers might have noticed that almost every single person associated with that useless hashtag is from either the entertainment industry and mainstream media or is a political consultant of some sort.

While it is easy to figure out why opportunistic cocksuckers.. I mean political consultants.. have jumped on the “#resistance” bandwagon, the extensive support for such useless “activism” within the ranks of the entertainment industry and mainstream media is a bit harder to understand- especially since their fortunes have not been negatively affected by Trump’s election.

And yet, not a day (or hour) goes by without some “celebrity” from one of those two industries making some negative or controversial statement about Trump which is then widely circulated on Twitter, FaceBook and other social media platforms. This is followed by another “celebrity” doing something similar resulting in another wave of worthless online activism, seemingly ad infinitum.

To be clear, Donald Trump is a shitty president. However his actions and decisions to date have not been significantly different from his equally shitty predecessors such as Clinton42, Bush43 and Obama44, to name a few. He has yet to pass sweeping neoliberal “reforms” like Clinton42, start large disastrous wars like Bush43 or enable systemic abuses of the 99% by the 1% like Obama44.

So what is the real source of the profound hatred towards Trump from members of the entertainment industry and mainstream media? Why are they so anti-Trump? Also, why are they still pro-HRC and supportive of democratic party establishment? And why were so few of them pro-Bernie during the democratic party primaries or even after Trump defeated their anointed candidate aka HRC.

Now, it is well-known that the entertainment industry aka ‘Hollywood’ has always been a strong supporter of the post-1940s democratic party. But why is that the case? And has the nature of that support changed over time? Conventional explanations for this phenomena have ranged from percentage of Jewish people in that sector, the high degree of unionization within some parts of that industry to the republican party supporting socially regressive causes since 1968.

While there is some truth to all those common explanations, they cannot explain the incredibly high levels of support for the democratic party establishment (especially the establishment) within that industry. This level of support is especially apparent once you start looking at the amount of money contributed by people within that sector to the democratic party establishment. So why is that industry so eager and willing to support the democratic establishment?

In my opinion, a comprehensive explanation for this phenomena can be divided into two components. So let us begin with the first and easier component of the answer, namely why the industry favors the democratic party over its republican counterpart. The answer to that question is fairly easily and comes down to the profile of those who vote for republicans and the type of people they elect.

Simply put, average republican voters (despite what they might themselves believe) are not the sharpest tool in the shed. Almost nobody who works in an industry that is highly image conscious wants to be associated with fat, bland and mediocre white working class types or suburbanites. This is doubly so if the group in question also openly professes to belief in traditional religion, white supremacy and other retrograde beliefs.

The people elected by republican voters are no better. Have a look at both elected establishment republicans and tea-party types. Would anybody possessing even a moderate degree of image consciousness want to hang out with them? And what would you talk about with them, anyway? How about crowd pleasers such “jesus wants to ban abortion” or “let people die on the street because medical care is a privilege, rather than a right (as it is in every other developed country)”.

My point is that associating with republican voters or elected representatives is bad for your image especially in a sector as heavily dependent on image projection and public personas as the entertainment industry. So that explains why the entertainment industry does not spend much time trying to appeal to republicans. But why are they so willing to support the democratic party establishment?

One of the more amusing features of the 2016 presidential election was the degree to which “celebrities” supported the stale and unpopular neoliberal aka HRC over the democratic socialist aka Bernie Sanders. While it is true that a few celebrities did support Sanders the bulk of such endorsements and more importantly fundraising by Hollywood-types was directed towards the spectacular failure of the HRC campaign. But why did that occur? What did so many Hollywood types see in an unpopular neoliberal politician?

Alternatively, why were Hollywood types still so eager to promote the presidencies of Clinton42 and Obama44? Why did HRC have no problems raising tons of money from the entertainment industry? Why were so many Hollywood-types despondent after she lost on Nov 8, 2016? As I have pointed out in previous posts, the policies and actions of neoliberal democrats have not significantly better than their republican counterparts. Why the love for establishment democrats?

Well.. it comes down the fact that the entertainment industry aka ‘Hollywood’ was always a fair neoliberal place and has become more so in the previous two decades. The structure of that industry- from a few powerful gatekeepers, their flunkies, good unions for a small percentage of people in that industry on top of a large and poorly paid workforce which does most of the real work is a microcosm of neoliberal society.

The entertainment industry also promotes the false ideology of meritocracy, when in fact sucking the cock of somebody like Harvey Weinstein is what really makes your career. The neoliberal ideology of democratic party establishment is, therefore, a perfect mental fit for people who run ‘Hollywood’. Their mutual association allows for many cross promotion opportunities and allow both to feel important, current and popular. Because, let us face it, both groups are into promoting and celebrating neofeudalism which is a little less socially regressive than their competition.

What do you think? Comments?

The Modern ‘Western’ Nation State Does Not Have a Viable Future: 1

November 4, 2017 20 comments

A couple of years ago, I first considered writing a series on the many, and now very apparent, failures of USA as a nation-state. However, every time I started writing, it became obvious that the failure de jour was not unique to USA. In fact, every single type of systemic failure attributed to the american system can be found in one or more other western-type nation states. It is just that the american state exhibits more signs of systemic dysfunction and failure than other similar nation states.

As many of you also know, predictions about the looming demise of modern (post-ww2) nation states have been a staple of libertarian public figures and their corporate funders for the past decade or two. It is therefore necessary to be very clear about what I am talking and how it is different from what those idiots and shills are peddling. Hence, I have compiled a short list of the precise meaning of each term being used how it differs from other usages and interpretations of that term.

So, let us begin..

1] Readers might have noticed the use of a peculiar word construct (modern ‘western’ state) in the title. So, what am I talking about? It goes something this.. the first iteration of the state as we understand it today came into being in nascent industrializing west-european countries during the early 1800s. This iteration accepted or tolerated slavery, had very limited electoral franchise, possessed limited bureaucracy and perhaps most importantly lacked the ability or desire to provide public goods and services to the majority of people living within its boundaries. In other words, it was a slightly more representative version of the previous setup.

The second iteration, which started appearing in the mid-1800s, was the first version that would be somewhat recognizable as a state to most people living today. Its most relevant advancement over the previous version was provision of some public goods and services such as clean drinking water, public sewer systems, free basic education etc. The third iteration, which started appearing towards the end of 1800s was marked by even greater public access to goods and services and the beginning of universal suffrage. It is also most associated with nationalism and the two world wars caused by that ideology.

But what does any of this background information have to do with the concept of a modern ‘western’ state’? and why put single quotation marks around the word ‘western’? Well.. it comes down to defining the fourth (post-ww2) iteration aka the modern nation-state which has become the default for all major countries in the world today. While it may have originated in western countries, this type of nation-state organization is now seen in countries as diverse as Russia, China, India. So what made it acceptable to people in so many different countries, some of whom never went through the first three iterations?

It comes down to an implicit deal offered by this particular mode of organisation- to all parties involved. The ruling elite of a country and their flunkies can maintain popular legitimacy as long as they can provide (or facilitate the provision of) extensive public goods and services including an environment conducive to continual increases in material well-being of the general population. In return, the general population provides a safe and predictable environment for elites and their flunkies to live big and lord over others. This deal is how things used to work in USA from 1945 to mid-2000s and is still how things work (for the most part) in many other countries.

In future parts, I will explain the many interconnected systemic contradictions which unraveled this deal and why the rise of neoliberalism is more of a symptom rather than the main cause of the slow motion demise of modern ‘western’ nation states.

2] The other somewhat odd term used in the title is ‘does not have a viable future’. While it does sound a bit like ass-covering legalese, that term is used to convey a very specific concept. Unlike many libertarians and other assorted retards, I do not think that modern ‘western’ nation states will collapse all over the world within a very short timespan. Nor do I think that they will be replaced by largely autonomous and small libertarian city states. In fact, it is quite possible that nothing will be able to fill the giant gaping hole left in the aftermath of their slow demise.

What I am trying to tell you is that the current system will lose viability as it loses popular legitimacy. Think of it as analogous to people slowly losing faith in a religion which no longer provides a believable explanation of the world around them. Or people slowly losing faith in a god or deity who has apparently stopped answering their prayers. But how can the most successful system of socio-economic organization in human history lose popular legitimacy, especially given lack of a well-known alternative? Well.. for starters, the legitimacy of a system or belief in it are not linked to the availability of alternative options.

As mentioned earlier, popular legitimacy of the current setup is almost completely linked to its ability to provide an extensive list of public goods and services in addition to continual improvements in living standards. Consequently the inability of provide them, even if that occurs gradually, will result in the system losing popular legitimacy. Note that I am talking about actually providing public goods and services, rather than simply possessing the means to provide them. Observant readers might have noticed that I have not linked a government being democratically to it being perceived as legitimate by the general population. Once again, I will explain that concept in more detail in future posts.

I will try to make future posts in this series sound less stilted and explain each concept with multiple contemporary examples.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Nov 1, 2017

November 1, 2017 2 comments

These links are NSFW. Will post something intellectual tomorrow.

Doggystyled Cuties: Oct 25, 2017 – Amateur cuties getting it, doggystyle.

Doggystyled Amateur Cuties: Oct 31, 2017 – More amateur cuties getting it, doggystyle.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized