Monday, January 28, 2013

New World Order

This map gives us so much to talk about:

At first glance, it looks remarkably like that mythical Nazi map detailing their planned takeover of the world, you know, the one that doesn't exist.

The mistake is easy to make; this is a map drawn up by would-be conquers of the 20.4st Century world, just not the sharply-dressed kind.

Of course, Gomberg, so far as we know, was not involved in government at any level, and he was probably some American Nazi sympathizer. In fact, 'Maurice Gomberg' was probably the pen name of Charles Lindbergh. Our cathedral still stands, a house of stained, graffitied concrete, and our dinosaur bones remain fake.

That is, as long as you can ignore the FDR quotes plastered across the bottom of the map.

All joking aside, what's remarkable about this map is how wrong it is. If this were a Nazi map, a good Prog could sit back in their chair with a satisfying sigh and grin, and ruminate over how we did it, we stopped them, that this map is representative of a terrible reality that we prevented coming to pass!

But... The victors shown in the map did win the war and did carve up the world according to their whims... So then, why doesn't the map of, say, 1968 look at all like Gomberg's opus?

It's probably because Gomberg was crazy and not at all because Azathoth, being a blind idiot, doesn't organize his universe along rational, organized lines that suggest central planning to the casual observer.

Or maybe he does, and he just finds it amusing to publish arbitrary "national" boundaries to confuse and bewilder his subjects.

P.S. It leaves me completely in stitches that this map was completed before Pearl Harbor.

(Yes, I've been reading the Radish. It's better than it sounds. fr srs)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Studio Killers

I didn't know Roissy had a band:

Naturally, feminists in the year 37013 will cite Cherry's fat arms, pig thighs, cankles, lazy, easy-access dress, runny eyeshadow, and dead whore eyes as typical of male taste in women in the 21st Century.

The three men who make up Studio Killers have an extremely subtle and funny sense of humor.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tolkien was a racist

Aaron Diaz has a post about racism in Middle Earth. Relevant quote here:

It’s also important to keep in mind that none of the races in Middle-Earth are meant to literally correspond with those in the modern world. Hobbits are inspired by the rural English, but modern English people aren’t descended from Hobbits, nor are brown-skinned people from Harad actually ancestors of modern people from North Africa.  My point is that modern or historical allegories are rare, if ever, present in Tolkien’s writings. Tolkien hated allegory, and it would be poor critical analysis to search for deliberate real-world comparisons.

Here's a video in which Tolkien describes the gold-loving dwarves thus: "Couldn't you say in many ways they remind you of the Jews?" (6:58) In that same video, you hear him describe hobbits as "rather like an allegory for the human race" and "suggest rustic English people."

Tolkien was absolutely a racist by today's standards, and the various races of Middle-Earth are absolutely allegorical representations of different ethnic groups from Tolkien's time. To say that Tolkien hated allegory is a bit of a stretch; he was best buds with C. S. Lewis, after all. There is that one quote about him "cordially disliking" allegory, but I wonder how he would have reconciled that with the above audio clip. It is perhaps using allegory to instruct that Tolkien disliked, because he seems to use allegory often to observe. I'm no scholar of Tolkien, having read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, and that's about it, so I'll stop there in my dispelling of Diaz's notions.

Progs, of which Diaz is an almost exemplar specimen, love Tolkien, though, and simply couldn't bear the idea that he was a racist.