You Were Expecting Someone Else: The Blood Cell

For all that the Capaldi era marks a golden age for the series, it also marked a heavy decline in the show’s mass popularity. This was, contrary to paranoiacs on GallifreyBase, not a precipitous decline into crisis—the revived series has still never gone below 30th place in the weekly rankings, which puts its cultural footprint in the general vicinity of the Letts and Hinchcliffe eras. But this is still quite the falling from being the biggest show on television. And the fall is visible outside of ratings. The merchandising explosion that peaked around Series 5 had well and truly dried up by now, with only a handful of action figures for the Capaldi era ever filtering out. (So far as I can tell, Bill never even got one.) The rush of shorts that accompanied all of the Matt Smith seasons and peaked with Night of the Doctor abruptly stopped. Even the tie-in novels, which had released at a rate of at least six a season since the show’s debut, dwindled to three per year. This is admittedly still three more novels than Line of Duty or Call the Midwife put out in a year (although Broadchurch turns out to have ...

Rothbard's Conflationary Universe

‘Return of the Irrepressed’, my overview of Rothbard, will probably return next week.  It occurred to me that I should get more specific in my response to Rothbard, as I have been with Hayek and Böhm-Bawerk.  So I decided to critique something of his in detail.  Here’s what happened. My Patreon sponsors got advance access to an earlier draft.  Sorry about the length. I would have broken this up into several posts but it’s too unitary for that.

 

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In his essay on conservative thought, Karl Mannheim argued that conservatives have never been wild about the idea of freedom. It threatens the submission of subordinate to superior. Because freedom is the lingua franca of modern politics, however, conservatives have had “a sound enough instinct not to attack” it. Instead, they have made freedom the stalking horse of inequality, and inequality the stalking horse of submission. Men are naturally unequal, they argue. Freedom requires that they be allowed to develop their unequal gifts. A free society must be an unequal society, composed of radically distinct, and hierarchically arrayed, particulars.

- Corey Robin, The Reactionary Mind

 

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One of the things that has always driven institutional racism is the notion that ...

Guest Post: Jordan Peterson - Bumbling Cult Leader or Delightful Satire?

Eruditorum Press is delighted to bring you a guest post from the esteemed Institute of Gremlins 2 Studies, which easily the most intelligent and erudite voices in media criticism and indeed any field working today. You can read their output on their Twitter feed

As the director of the Institute of Gremlins 2 Studies, I know a thing or two about pseudo-academic nonsense.  I am not talking about the beloved Institute, of course, we are 100% serious about our work and hold ourselves to extremely high standards.

No, I’m talking about other academics.  Especially Toronto-based professor Jordan Peterson, who has in recent months became a media sensation.

When I first set out to write this piece, I expected to be penning a vicious takedown.  But after watching hours and hours of videos, I remain in awe at Peterson’s accomplishment.

Never before have I encountered such a complex, intelligent, and daring work of satire.  This “Jordan Peterson” character is the most cutting-edge performance art I have ever encountered.  No sincere leftist commentary has ever exposed the link between seemingly banal conservativism and borderline-fascism in such an easily understandable way.  This one-man-show is the bumbling Canadian answer to Laibach. As an ...

Permanent Saturday: Cat's Cradle

There is possibly no relationship in Garfield that better exemplifies the classic “Love/Hate” dynamic than that between the titular cat and The Dog Next Door. Much as he does in his other work relationships in the strip, Garfield dutifully clocks in to go over to Jon's neighbour's yard and get violently and angrily barked at by their dog. Absurd, yes, but how many of us work eight (or twelve, or eighteen) hour days in a job where we're only disrespected and demeaned? Some people are particularly unlucky enough to have a boss who seems to do nothing but scream and verbally abuse them. Those sorts of people might as well be a dumb, vicious guard dog with an explosively hair trigger temper.

But Garfield does still have an amiable relationship with The Dog Next Door. His design shows him to be a friendly chap when he's not on the clock, and he and Garfield have shown on multiple occasions they can get along just fine if they want to. Indeed, I think they not-so-secretly enjoy the unique relationship they share: They will speak of love and hate as if they're interchangeable emotions (and in ...

What's a Tree Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (Robot of Sherwood)

As absurd conceits in Doctor Who go, the fact that Clara can spontaneously grow several feet of hair ranks among my favorites.

It’s September 6th, 2014. Lilly Wood and Robin Schulz are at number one with “Prayer in C,” with Maroon 5, Sam Smith, and Taylor Swift also charting. In news, a poll showing majority support for Scottish independence sends just about everybody into one sort of frenzy or another. And a massive cache of nude photos hacked from celebrities’ iCloud accounts, most notably and vocally including Jennifer Lawrence, hits the Internet. (Lawrence eventually offers the entirely sensible response that “anybody who looked at those pictures, you're perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame.”)

While on television, the inauguration of what we might call late Gatiss. This is not a term or concept we think about as much as late Moffat. Part of this is simply a matter of volume—pinning Robot of Sherwood as the commencement of Gatiss’s late style is, in terms of episode count, equivalent to declaring that Moffat hit late style with The Eleventh Hour. But more of it is simply a general disinclination to treat Gatiss with the sort of seriousness ...

Return of the Irrepressed (Part 1)

We all float down here, Georgie… no government to hold us down, you see…

With thanks to @gerofalltrades for creating this post’s accompanying cursed image for me.

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Whereas many of today’s libertarians and ‘classical liberals’ like to present their doctrine as somehow above or beyond the left-right divide (even as they enable fascists and agree with everything they say), Rothbard indulged in little such pretence.  He was cynical and opportunistic.  He was inconsistent and incoherent.  But he wasn’t confused.  For him, libertarianism was, essentially, a reiteration of what he called ‘the Old Right’.

For more on this, see a flatulent, blithering essay he wrote in 1992 called ‘A Strategy for the Right’.  You can read it at LewRockwell-dot-org.  I won’t link to it (because, while the SPLC might not come right out and say it, as far as I’m concerned LewRockwell-dot-org is basically fash) but you can find it… if, y’know, you want to.

In this essay he praises the extreme libertarian anti-New Dealers such as Garet Garrett and H. L. Mencken.  Garret was a conservative who thought the New Deal was a neo-Marxist revolution against American individualism.  Praised by Mises, one of his books – an anti-government, pro-gold ...

Cultural Marxism 7: Look to Windward

Banks published the Culture novels in essentially three chunks during which he’d write one every other year and between which he basically didn’t touch the setting. The first, consisting of everything through Use of Weapons, is dominated by already drafted material that Banks wrote prior to The Wasp Factory, and consists of Banks establishing the Culture in all its glories and problems. The second, beginning with Excession, but aesthetically encompassing The State of the Art, sees him testing the limits of the concept, pushing it to various breaking points to expose new faces of the idea. And it reaches its conclusion with Look to Windward. Whereas Excession and Inversions tested the limits of the format with massive high concept ideas like “what if the Culture met a vastly technologically superior civilization” or “what if you took the Culture out of a Cuture novel,” however, Look to Windward opts to break a far subtler rule: it’s a sequel to a previous book.

The clue’s in the title, which is a quote from T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”—”O you who turn the wheel and look to windward.” The next line? “Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you ...

It's a Game! They're Taking Me For a Ride! (Into the Dalek)

WE ARE THE DALEKS. WE HAVE INTERIORITY.

If you want any Eruditorum Press books that aren't Neoreaction a Basilisk, they'll be going off sale around 2:00 EST this afternoon. This means it's your last chance ever to buy Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons.

It’s August 30th, 2014. David Guetta and Sam Martin are at number one, with Taylor Swift, Magic, OneRepublic, Wankelmut, and Union J also charting. In the last week, Modern Family and Breaking Bad won at the Emmys, while Amazon purchased Twitc. Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling debated Scottish Independence, Douglas Carswell defected from the Tories to UKIP, and Kate Bush staged the first concert of her Before the Dawn series, marking her first live performance in thirty-five years.

On television, meanwhile, Peter Capaldi climbs around inside a Dalek. On one level, this is another example of playing Capaldi’s rollout inordinately safe, going from a conservative Robot-inspired debut immediately to a Dalek story. On another, however, there’s a compulsive strangeness to this Dalek story. It’s based on what is clearly a kind of batty idea. Fantastic Voyage with Daleks is several miles from the sanest Doctor Who pitch ever. This is ...

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