Watchmen: S01E07

For those keeping track, here are my quick notes on S01E07:

  • Episode opens with old newsreel footage of Dr. Manhattan’s origins. Against inspirational footage of the Statue of Liberty, etc., it is implied that he is the child of Jewish immigrants. “From humble beginnings, fraught with persecution in Nazi Germany, to the shores of New York, one small boy in a huddled mass, yearning to breathe free, Jon Osterman transcended pain, suffering, and even death itself to create a life the likes of which history has never seen. To some, the immigrant son of a poor clockmaker was the fulfillment of the American dream.”
  • Agent Blake tells Mrs. Crawford (widow of Don Johnson’s character) that Reeves (the now wheelchair-bound character played by Louis Gossett Jr) is her husband’s killer, and that he was the first masked vigilante: Hooded Justice. “He had to hide who he was,” she tells Mrs Crawford, because “white men in masks are heroes, but black men in masks… are scary.” In a big reveal, Agent Blake is surprised to learn that, behind her simple, humble persona, Mrs. Crawford is, in reality, a committed member of Cyclops. This is more fuel to the show’s central theme that all white people, no matter how nice and civil on the outside, are ‘white supremacists’ on the inside.
  • During Angela Abar’s (Sister Night) treatment for overdosing on her grandfather’s (Reeves) Nostalgia memory pills, which seem to be almost entirely consisting of ‘traumatic’ memories, the small Asian student with the big glasses (who works for Lady Trieu, the trillionaire owner of Trieu Industries) is giving Angela some visual cue card tests. The tests, however, have nothing to do with Angela’s treatment; rather, she says it is research for her dissertation. “It’s on the adaptive function of empathy and the role of rage suppression in social cohesion.”
  • The Evil White Southern GOP Senator Joe Keene Jr., who in an earlier episode we learned is heading Cyclops/7K, says to a captured Agent Blake: “You’re wrong about Cyclops. We’re not racist. We’re about restoring balance in those times when our country forgets the principles upon which it was founded. Because the scales have tipped way too far… and it is extremely difficult to be a white man in America right now.”
  • Lady Trieu speaks (holographically) to what appears to be an investor audience, but we are shown reaction shots from Angela, implying that Treiu’s message is oriented towards people like Angela (and her grandfather). After describing Trieu Industries’ successes, Trieu expresses what sounds like conventional Asian attitudes toward blacks (which resembles white conservative attitudes toward blacks): “But there were failures too… My gravest was Nostalgia. I gave people the means to visit the past so they could learn from it, so they could evolve, and transform, and better themselves. Instead, they became fixated on their most painful memories, choosing to experience the worst moments of their lives over and over again. And why? Because they were afraid… afraid that once unburdened by the trauma of the past, they would have no excuse not to move gloriously into the future.”
  • Lady Trieu tells Angela that Dr. Manhattan is not on Mars, but is here on Earth disguised as a human, and that he is here to try to stop the 7th Kavalry. “In less than an hour, they’re going to capture Dr. Manhattan, and they’re going to destroy him. And then, they’re going to become him. Can you imagine that kind of power in the hands of white supremacists? I’m sorry, Angela. I know you asked me not to say it, but I am saving f*cking humanity.”
  • In the middle of the night, Angela escapes from the Trieu Industries complex, drives home, and searches for a hammer, when her husband Calvin “Cal” Abar (nee Jelani… apparently, among woke non-white couples, husbands take their wives’ names) enters the kitchen, having heard the ruckus. “Cal,” she orders him, “I need you to stop talking and listen to me, okay? You’re a great husband, an amazing father, you’re the best friend I’ve ever had… Time to come out of the tunnel. Don’t be scared. We talked about this. We always knew that this day would come.” She calls Cal “Jon”, which confuses Cal. “My name is not Jon,” he says to her. (NOTE: Dr. Manhattan’s real name is Jonathan “Jon” Osterman). Angela then smashes him in the head with the hammer, killing him, and then opens his forehead to retrieve a blue, luminous, circular device. The implication here is that Dr. Manhattan (the spirit of the Enlightened Jew) has been occupying a black body. (After the episode’s credits, an “on the next episode” teaser shows flashbacks to when a Dr. Manhattan, is his total blue splendor, fell in love with a younger Angela.)
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The Wire (2002-2008)

Some high-level, overview thoughts on The Wire (2002-2008) —

After seeing this show often listed with The Sopranos and Breaking Bad as the triumvirate of the Third Gold Age of Television, I recently watched all 5 seasons of The Wire for the first time. I was a huge fan of both The Sopranos and Breaking Bad (both being shows that, intentionally or unintentionally, deliver conservative and even identitarians messages), so I figured it was time to check out The Wire, even though I’m highly averse to the police procedural genre. (I was drawn into the show by about S01E05. Sidenote: I was a big fan of David Simon’s earlier, short-lived HBO show The Corner, which was in many ways a test run for The Wire).

While it’s not up to the caliber of the former two shows, The Wire does provide something of a case study in how a liberal showrunner can inadvertently create content that buttresses conservative perspectives. The Dissident Right can interpret the same empirical phenomena (characters, actions, motivations) depicted in the show in a very different way, and that, more than anything else, is the show’s strength.

From his real-life experiences in the environs, creator/showrunner David Simon unsparing shows Baltimore as the cesspool it is: a city of drugs, murder, fried chicken, fast food, and littering, of endless boasting and quick-tempered violence from young black males, of hoppers and slingers. The Baltimore shown is a de facto Third World country, where warlords — whether in the form of the endless army of black gang bangers, seemingly getting younger and more ruthless as the years pass, or corrupt black politicians (like the fictional Clay Davis) – protect their own narrow interests or siphon as much of the public coffer for themselves as they are capable of. Trust and loyalty means nothing. Social capital is eroded to the bone.

There’s a good amount of gritty, politically incorrect elements expressed in the show, and while liberal platitudes may be placed over these expressions in order to condemn them, this attempt largely fails relative to the rival explanatory power of conservative theory towards making sense of the same phenomena. In this sense, I don’t believe The Wire would be made the same way today. Wokeness has gotten so stifling, self-censorious, and out of control that the degree of ‘white saviors’ in the show would be found problematic, as would be the very depiction of urban black pathologies.

With respect to the character of unscrupulous, shyster, drug lawyer Maurice Levy, it is quite telling how much Jewish publications were kvetching heavily about this character. “Why, in a show so concerned with race and ethnicity, is the only identified Jewish character a stereotypical money-grubbing, scumbag lawyer?” asks Seth Madej in a piece titled “Is ‘The Wire’ Anti-Semitic?” (See also: “Network Jews: Maurice Levy, the Jewish Lawyer from HBO’s ‘The Wire’” by Dov Friedman).

“Why did we make this guy Jewish?” responded David Simon, who is himself Jewish, “Because when I was covering the drug trade for 13 years for the [Baltimore] Sun, most of the major drug lawyers were Jewish.” [See
The Politics of Brisket: Jews and ‘The Wire’” by Keith Kahn-Harris].

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Watchmen: S01E06

I have been keeping up with this show, as a sociological curiosity. Last night’s E06 was over-the-top in terms of white hatred & fantasies of killing whites, even more so than E01. Some of my observations about E06 are below.

When the season ends, I may try to merge some notes I’ve taken into a 2nd essay on the show. (I discuss E01 here.)

  • Angela has swallowed her grandfather’s memory pills, which is a hackneyed device intended to connote a black woman discovering the ‘true history’ of her ancestors. This includes the ‘true history’ of the so-called ‘Tulsa Massacre’, of which we see more flashbacks more hilarious than the ones from E01. In the E06 flashbacks, we are shown a young white man in full KKK robes discharging his shotgun against a defenseless black woman on the ground.
  • Upon graduation from the police academy, the Angry Black Cop (Reeves) is warned by a black police captain to “beware the Cyclops”. The expression of the Cyclops hand-symbol – which we see various, dastardly, KKK cops do as a password for secret meetings entry — is very similar to the “It’s okay to be white” symbol.
  • Considerable effort is made to depict the white cops as ostensibly and overtly following the rules of law in public, but then in private circumventing judicial process to help fellow KKK members from jams, attending KKK meetings and the like.
  • Reeves’s wife calls him an “angry man”.
  • We learn that the Hooded Justice is actually Reeves, who has carefully disguised himself to appear white, by using white face paint around his eyes, which are his only facial features revealed when donning his hood. We see Hooded Justice applying this white makeup in his bedroom mirror, with some newspaper stories taped to his mirror: one story is of a Nazi march that took place in Long Island; another is about the 22,000-strong Nazi rally (German American Bund ) held at Madison Square Garden in 1939.
  • Via flashback, Captain Metropolis is depicted as a blonde, Aryan-looking, homosexual white ally to black homosexual Hooded Justice’s cause.  He invites Reeves to join The Minutemen. Captain Metropolis knows full well that Reeves is Hooded Justice. Then we cut to a graphic scene of Reeves f*cking Captain Metropolis from behind, as we saw depicted on the fictional TV show. Make no mistake of the significance of – in both the earlier fake TV show incarnation & here in this ‘real’ flashback — it being the black guy f*cking the white guy in the ass and not the other way around.
  • After Reeves arrests a fat white racist guy, whom he caught nonchalantly torching a Jewish deli – some young white police officers (who are secretly KKK) string Reeves (who they know is a fellow police officer) from a tree with a noose, as a warning, but then release him. This leads Reeves to stagger home with the cut noose still hanging about his neck, looking quite a bit like Jussie Smollett.
  • A black film theater in the city — which is showing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Danny Kaye — experiences a (black) riot, which involves blacks attacking each other and destroying the theater. A white cop tells Reeves something to the effect of “This is what happens when you put a bunch of these animals in one cage together.”
  • Reeves then singlehandedly uncovers a KKK factory operation, wherein nefarious KKK-Cyclops members insert subliminal, mind control celluloid frames into Hollywood films vis-à-vis manipulated film projectors, these subliminal messages designed to trigger blacks into attacking each other.
  • When, over the phone, Reeves tells Captain Metropolis what has transpired at the theater, Captain Metropolis calls this a “conspiracy theory that is unfounded”, and then says how “black people in Harlem cause riots all on their own.” But Reeves has saved the book that the white KKK Cyclops members left on a desk, a fictional book called Mesmerism for the Masses by W.C. Florentine. Reeves asks Captain Metropolis to bring the whole team to help him, but Captain Metropolis says this is “not our cup of tea” and that “you’re going to have to solve black unrest all on your own.” Reeves is let down by his gay, white ally.
  • The episode then becomes a black revenge fantasy of blood lust, like a first person shooter game, as Reeves (donning an impromptu Hooded Justice hood) begins shooting all the evil white people at the ‘implant-subliminal-messages-into-film-projectors’ factory: first, the fat racist guy, then in the warehouse Reeves starts popping off all of the white employees one by one. After all, we know they are all clansmen, which makes it okay. In the factory, these white guys were putting together the doctored film projectors. Reeves even walks into a projector room where one white guy is actively implanting voice-over elements into various films and/or projector devices, saying things like: “Do not harm any white man, woman, or child. Only harm each other.”
  • We then have a flashback to Reeves today (Louis Gossett Jr) in his wheelchair, on the side of the road, intentionally giving Judd Crawford (Don Johnson) a flat tire at night. When Crawford gets out of his vehicle, Reeves flickers his flashlight like a strobe light, triggering magical mesmerism to Crawford. We then see Crawford follow his every command. Reeves asks him why he has a Klan robe in his closet. Crawford tells him it was his grandfather’s, and that it is part of his legacy. Reeves then leads Crawford up to the tree on the nearby hill and commands him to hang himself, which Crawford proceeds to do. The allegory here uses mesmerism as the Left’s requisite X factor – a phantom entity, much like ‘institutional racism’ – that is required to explain away black pathologies. Leftists think they can similarly deploy this mesmerism against white people, which is actually an apt allegory, as the Left has largely succeeded in getting whites to buy into a self-flagellation ideology of self-hatred.
  • Angela wakes up sweating, having experienced all these memories, with the song “Living in the Past” by Witch playing.
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Survey of Expert Opinion on Intelligence (2020)

Rindermanna, Becker, and Coyle. “Survey of expert opinion on intelligence: Intelligence research, experts’ background, controversial issues, and the media” (2020).  

This sociology-of-science study is fascinating, filled with gems, and provides numerous promising roads for further research. Among those surveyed, the g-factor model of intelligence (vs the ‘specific abilities model’) is the dominant view, quite amazing given how the field of psychology is, overall, very left-wing.

Some choice quotes:

  • “16% of experts favored a specific abilities perspective (1–4), whereas 76% favored a general factor perspective (6–9; 8% scale average 5). There was little to no support for separate subgroup norms for different racial, ethnic, or social groups or for people with different nationalities (natives vs. immigrants), with the percentage of experts favoring separate norms below 25%.”
  • “Experts attributed nearly half of the Black-White difference to genetic factors, with 51% attributing the difference to environmental factors and 49% to genetic factors.”
  • “Experts believed 45% of SES variance was explained by intelligence and 55% by non-IQ factors (Table 3). 51% of experts believed that the contribution of intelligence (to SES) was below 50%, 38% above 50%, and 12% had a 50–50 opinion.”
  • Compared to males, females (N = 12, 17%, vs. male N = 60, 83%) were somewhat more likely to have a “progressive” or “left” perspective (Table 6), favoring a specific abilities view rather than a g factor view (r = .19, d = 0.52). 2 Females were also more likely than males to favor separate test norms for different ethnic, racial, national, and social groups (rs = −.12 to −.37), 3 and to endorse an environmental (rather than genetic) view of US White-Black IQ differences(r = .48, d = 1.29; males 61% heritability vs. females 23%). Finally, females were more likely to assume bias in cognitive testing (rs = −.21 to −.49) and less likely to favor cognitive testing in immigration decisions (r = .43, d = 1.14; on a scale from 1 to 9, males M M = 5.67, SD M = 3.14, and females M F = 2.00, SD F = 1.34). Female experts were younger than male experts (r = .29, M M = 50.90 years, SD M = 14.86, and M F = 39.50, SD F = 9.89).
  • “46% of the experts argued against the use of IQ in immigration policy, whereas 48% argued in favor of its use.”
  • “A small number of experts declined to work with the media.” (Which way do you think *they* lean politically? – LM)
  • “Left experts were more likely to report positive experiences with the media and in public debates, while right experts were more likely to report problems in publishing research.”
  • “According to Duarte et al. (2015, their Fig. 1), the leftward tilt in psychology emerged over the last three decades, leading to a 14:1 ratio of left (progressive, democratic) to right (conservative, republican) psychology faculty. More recent data show an even larger disparity (16.8:1, Langbert, 2018).”
  • “It could be argued that science should be oriented toward epistemic rationality, i.e., toward reasonable and well-founded methods and truth, and that other issues such as political orientation or gender representation are not important. However, as noted by Duarte et al. (2015), the current imbalance of political orientations in psychology can undermine the quality of psychological research. Possible consequences comprise political bias in all stages of research. Examples are given by Buss and von Hippel (2018), Ceci and Williams (2020), Jussim (2012), and Stevens et al. (2018): Political bias impacts selection of research topics, decisions by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to perform studies, funding of studies, interpretation of research, publication of research, reception and citation of studies, and promotion of researchers, all of which distorts the scientific process and perceptions about science. Jussim described such bias for the specific example of research on stereotypes resulting in limited support for research on stereotype accuracy, which usually confirms the accuracy of stereotypes about group differences. Despite receiving limited attention in science and the media, stereotype accuracy has been replicated in independent studies, reported in preregistered studies, and published in diverse outlets (e.g., Ashton & Esses, 1999; Johnson & Wilson, 2019; Jussim, 2012; Kirkegaard & Bjerrekær, 2016).”
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Who Watches the Watchmen?

As much as I feared this series, which departs significantly from the Alan Moore canon, would be weighed down by the usual PC nonsense, I never imagined its very first episode would revel in visceral anti-white sentiment and leftist Id-expression fantasies. If we extrapolate from this show’s first episode, HBO’s Watchmen may turn out to be the Left’s spin on the imagined future events of The Turner Diaries. At a minimum, Watchmen (2019) appears to be a continuation of what we have seen to an alarming degree in the past year or so — an acceleration of the cultural normalization of various Leftist positions which, cumulatively, form the new culture war against whites:

  • The curtailing of free-speech for non-liberal whites;
  • The failure to distinguish white supremacy from white nationalism and white identitarianism;
  • The categorizing of white nationalism as ‘terrorism’, from which constitutional due process will not be required;
  • The notion that possessing certain thoughts and beliefs (not just acts) are sufficient to make one guilty of ‘terrorism’;
  • The continuous, surreal rewriting of history to fit Wakandan-like fantasies;
  • The framing of History as that of White Rage, that is, of whites perpetually victimizing, and inflecting pointless violence against, blacks;
  • The depiction of black bodies as innocent, and relatively agentless, victims of the white patriarchy.

“‘Watchmen’ Is a Spectacular Assault on White Supremacy,” screams a review from The Daily Beast:

Unlike in Moore and Gibbons’ antecedent, it’s race, rather than sex, that’s warped the country and its masked inhabitants. That’s the biggest thematic alteration Lindelof makes to his hallowed source.[1]

That a Daily Beast writer, who like other critics appears to have seen the entire season in advance, finds the series a ‘spectacular assault’ is a woeful clue of where this series is headed.

“Watchmen Is a Blistering Modern Allegory,” is the title of Sophie Gilbert’s review in The Atlantic: 

Watchmen is set in a world where there is no internet. But Watchmen itself is the internet. It’s a fictionalized manifestation of the things life online has begotten: polarization, anonymity, doxxing, red-pilling, weaponized nostalgia, conspiracy theories. The supposed imposition of cultural orthodoxy. A sense of victimization that’s twisted into racist resentment.[2]

In terms of how this series fits in with previous incarnations of Watchmen, as well as our contemporary times, Gilbert asserts “the big cultural anxiety of the moment is an overdue reckoning with white supremacy,” the reckoning here being previous subcultural interpretations of Rorschach in particular. “The new HBO series is a stunning, timely departure from its graphic-novel origins,” reads the byline to Gilbert’s piece. The sentiment behind framing the show as a ‘timely departure’ needs no explanation, but despite giving the series kudos, Gilbert worries that Lindelof may have laid on the liberal platitudes a bit too thick:

Almost as often as the show thoughtfully parses the legacy of racism, it digs at what it sees as liberal overreach. Watchmen is audacious enough to imagine sweeping legislation that tries to right historical injustices. It also portrays the ways in which such attempts at reconciliation force Americans even farther apart.

Now it is no secret that the traditional fan base of Watchmen consists disproportionately of young white males, arguably (and much to the chagrin of the liberal Alan Moore) with a conservative slant to their worldview. It would stand to reason, then, that viewers of the series premiere were skewed towards this demographic. With this in mind, and after just one episode, it is worth noting that, at the time of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes feedback is showing an extraordinary discrepancy in ratings between critics and users:

SPOILERS AHEAD —

The pilot episode of Watchmen begins with a small black boy alone in a movie theater, watching a Birth of the Nation­-type silent film, with the hero Bass Reeves (“the Black Marshall of Oklahoma,” hooded, wearing all black, and riding a black horse) taking down a villainous white sheriff (dressed in all white and riding a white horse) for having, apparently, stolen the white, churchgoing townsfolks’ cattle.

We are then presented with a fanciful depiction of the 1921 Tulsa race riot, but with none of the details inconvenient to The Narrative. There is no depiction that the riot began after 19-year-old Dick Rowland (black) was accused of assaulting 17-year old Sarah Page (white). Similarly, there was no depiction that the initial round of violence in Tulsa – which killed 10 whites and 2 blacks — appears to have been initiated by blacks, this being the incident that sparked the ensuing riots. Instead, we are shown blacks (some with firearms, but not really seeming to use them) cowering in fear, as marauding whites, some in Klan robes, wantonly kill various black men, women, and children.

Cut to the present day. As this alternate-reality rendition of America has progressed, we have an all-black cast singing “Oklahoma!” to a largely black audience of theatergoers.

Robert Redford (who is not featured in the show) has been President of the United States for 30 some-odd years, his signature achievement having been reparations for blacks, a massive redistributionism that some whites pejoratively refer to as ‘Redfordations’. Vietnam has become a state in America. A new incarnation of ‘white supremacists’ called Seventh Cavalry (likely an allusion to the 7th Cavalry Regiment, formed in 1866, whose most famous commander during the Indian Wars was the ‘racist’ George Custer) are a throwback to the KKK, but one can make the case that this group is a barely disguised impugnation of the Alt-Right, or, to cast a wider net, white male MAGA types.[3]

The police, who appear to be majority-black, are required to wear masks to cloak their identity and, we presume, to minimize anti-police violence and assassinations. An allusion is made to an incident called the ‘White Night’, when many police officers were killed by Seventh Cavalry in coordinated assassinations, which we will likely learn was by the dastardly white supremacists.

As policy, those who are employed as cops undergo a series of elaborate steps to hide their job occupation. Police sidearms are mandatorily immobilized in their holsters, unless and until the individual police officer (during actual individual situations, as they unfold) requests and then successfully obtains permission to gain access to the firearm. This process typically entails a blasé lawyer or sergeant on the other end of the phone reading through a canned script of questions: “What is the probability of drugs or alcohol in the vehicle?… What is the probability of firearms or explosives in the vehicle?… What is your overall perceived threat level?…”, etc.

This hindrance is illustrated when a black policeman pulls over a white country redneck (complete with the American flag on the redneck’s baseball cap) driving a truck full of lettuce at night, while bopping along to ghetto rap on his truck’s stereo. With the masked cop at his window, he opens his glove compartment to retrieve his registration. The cop gets a visual on a Rorschach hood/mask in the redneck’s glove compartment, which causes him to tense up. Simple possession of this mask is sufficient evidence for being a ‘white supremacist terrorist’. (In a later sequence, we see Seventh Cavalry members donning the Rorschach masks, which appears to be a meta-level riff on the rather based philosophy espoused by the Rorschach character in Zack Snyder’s film Watchmen (2009)).

With the redneck’s license and registration in hand, the cop goes back to his car and immediately radios in, requesting access to his firearm. Alas, while responding to the litany of questions from police headquarters, the black cop is shot by the white redneck via machine gun, which we gather was hidden, likely with other firearms, underneath the lettuce.

The episode contains many other deliberate incongruities, particularly with respect to race. Against news footage of a building structure being demolished on Mars, and a chyron that reads “Dr. Manhattan on Mars”, we hear the voice of the episode’s black female protagonist — Detective Angela Abar (Regina King) – speaking before a class of young, primarily non-white, middle school students. She is in civilian clothes and, with eggs in a bowl, is giving a hands-on demonstration on how to make Mooncakes:

Egg whites are made of protein. When we whip ‘em, we get bubbles, and it’s the proteins that form the walls of those bubbles. If we don’t have walls, it all comes tumblin’ down. Now, those walls are strong, but they won’t stay that way if just even a little bit of yolk gets mixed in with the whites. So, that’s why we gotta separate ‘em.

That the police are supposed to wear yellow masks is a point not lost among the show’s many didactic allegories.

After the shooting of the black cop, the police are sent a video by Seventh Cavalry, which begins with the main speaker (in a distorted voice) wearing a Rorschach mask. As the speech in the video progresses, the video reverse-tracks, revealing about a dozen other Cavalry members, all wearing Rorschach masks, as well as the American flag and a cross behind them (subtle):

Cop carcass on the highway last night. Soon, the accumulated black filth will be hosed away, and the streets of Tulsa will turn into extended gutters overflowing with liberal tears. Soon all the whores and race traitors will shout “Save us!”, and we will whisper… No.

We are the Seventh Cavalry. We are no one. We are everyone. We are invisible. And we will never compromise.

Do not stand between us and our mission, or there will be more dead cops. There are so many deserving of retribution and there is so little time. And that time is near.

Tick-tock… Tick-tock…

After watching the video, Police Chief Judd Crawford (Don Johnson) declares an “Article 4”, emergency 24-hour release of the gun-locking regulation, as well as a relaxation of standard search warrant requirements. “So roll into Nixonville and round ‘em up,” he tells his police, “and drag their asses into the pod for interrogation. One of them’s gonna give up the shooter.”

Det. Angela Abar (Sister Night)

While future episodes are said to focus on other characters, Episode 01 clearly focuses on Angela Abar, a former cop who may or may not still be one, but who definitely assumes the persona of a vigilante known as “Sister Night” and who cooperates with the police when she feels compelled to. Angela is the Strong Black Female with a de-nutted, stay-at-home, Mr. Mom husband (which is itself a one-upsmanship of woke intersectionality fantasizing)[4]. Naturally, despite her genteel nature, she is able to handily kick the asses of grown men twice her size (a now-standard cinematic archetype), and when in uniform adorns more black clothing than a Black Panther.

After seeing the Seventh Calvary video, Angela takes it upon herself to bust down doors, smack a trailer park redneck up aside the head, and throw his ass in the trunk of her big black car. There he stays until she gets the green light to put the no-good, suspected white supremacist into ‘the pod’:

Angela: There’s a guy in my trunk. I knew you were gonna tell us to round up the likelies. I just got a jump on things.

Judd: You knew?

Angela: Yes.

Judd: How do you know he’s Seven K?

Angela: I got a nose for white supremacy, and he smells like bleach[5].

Angela’s redneck is then brought into the ‘pod’, an interrogation chamber that monitors and measures one’s verbal and nonverbal reactions to a series of questions and on-screen images, a technique that harkens to both A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Parallax View (1974). An early exchange in this sequence serves as a possible harbinger of things to come for the Alt-Right here in the U.S.:

Redneck: I want my lawyer.

Det. Looking Glass: Yeah, we really don’t have to do that with terrorists.

As a series of images rolls by the large, encircling, monitor screens, Looking Glass weaves innocuous questions (“What did you have for breakfast?”) with targeted questions designed to elicit certain responses (“If I took a shit on the American flag, how would that make you feel?”).

The questions that the show’s writers have Looking Glass ask this white male is an object lesson in liberal assumptions about flyover America, and also reveal how non-racial conservative positions (for example, about taxes) are construed by liberals as tantamount to ‘white supremacy’:

Det. Looking Glass: Do you believe that transdimensional attacks are hoaxes staged by the U.S. government?

Redneck: I dunno, maybe.

Det. Looking Glass: Should all Americans pay taxes?

Redneck: Yes.

The associated images seen on the screen also provide an avenue into the paranoid liberal imagination, the sort of mind that sees “OK” hand gestures and milk as secret, party-membership communications between white supremacists. When, for example, the seemingly innocuous breakfast question is asked, we see an image of a milk advertisement from yesteryear, with a young white boy drinking a glass of milk next to the ad’s phrase:  “The Perfect Family Beverage”. Other images flash by quickly: the Confederate flag; Mount Rushmore; astronauts planting the American flag on the moon; cowboys on horseback; Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic” painting from 1930; George Custer; Harriet Tubman; the Twin Towers; a KKK cross burning; a wholesome hot dog ad; a black power salute; blacks in U.S. military uniform; a picture of Malcolm X; a swastika, followed by the American flag; etc.

After the interrogation, Looking Glass leaves the pod to converse with Angela and Judd:

Angela: Well?

Looking Glass: He knows.

Angela: You sure?

Looking Glass: He’s not gonna talk sans motivation, but he was off the charts on the bias questions. Eyes dilated on all the Rorschachs… Yeah. I’m sure.

Angela (turning to Judd): Like I said… bleach.

And – presto! – just like that, between an interrogation method of dubious methodology, and a black woman’s intuition, a white man is ‘proven’ to be a ‘white supremacist terrorist’.

Judd then gives Angela permission to beat the shit out of the redneck in a basement cell, in order to extract information from him, which she does with zeal and no hesitation. (We see blood rush from underneath the door).

Another harbinger of things to come.

A nighttime police raid, led by Angela of course, takes place on a cow ranch with Seventh Cavalry connections. (Is the placement of cows with the bad guys a nod to #ExtinctionRebellion? Who knows. But would it really surprise you?) Upon realizing the police are raiding them, the dastardly Cavalry members prep themselves with suicide pills; one of them who is wounded by Angela promptly takes one with a smile, vowing unspokenly not to be taken alive.

Remaining Cavalry members hastily board their hidden prop plane and proceed to escape, but not before Judd and a POC female pilot, helming a futuristic aerial craft, shoot the plane down into smithereens, to everyone’s glee. No calls for aerial backup, air traffic support, or satellite surveillance to aid in capturing them. Just shoot the plane out of the sky and kill the inhabitants (it’s not clear what they did to deserve death) simply for attempting to escape.

Damon Lindelof as Showrunner

A natural question is: Who’s behind this crap? The showrunner for HBO’s Watchmen is Damon Lindelof, whose forte is science fiction, having been the co-creator and showrunner of Lost (2004–10), as well as having co-written Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Prometheus (2012), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and Tomorrowland (2015). Lindelof’s socio-political views are no doubt shaped by the quintessential Hollywood content-creator arc of his family, upbringing, schooling, and residencies. From his Wikipedia bio:

Lindelof was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, the son of Susan Klausner, a teacher, and David Lindelof, a bank manager. He attended Teaneck High School, a school whose diverse student body he credits with expanding his horizons as a writer. Lindelof’s mother is Jewish, whereas his father was of Scandinavian descent.

Lindelof celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in Teaneck, where he attended synagogue for the Sabbath; he has stated, “I was a Jewish white kid growing up in Teaneck, but at the same time, I had African and Filipino and Asian friends and to have that experience all through high school while getting an awesome education was wonderful.” Lindelof attended film school at New York University, performing briefly in the band Petting Zoo, and moved to Los Angeles after graduating.

In creating and rolling out the show, very much on Lindelof’s mind was the cultural readings of the Rorschach character. In many ways, the show’s handling of Rorschach is a counterpoint of sorts to the liberal imagination’s interpretation of Todd Phillips’ Joker. On the eve of the latter film’s debut, liberal media outlets were practically salivating at the prospects of white incels being inspired to go on shooting sprees, something which did not materialize. Regarding this yin-yang of Joker vs Watchmen, one liberal film critic writes:

Rorschach is by far one of the most misunderstood characters in comic book history.

Plenty of fanboys have put the so-called hero up on a pedestal for sticking to his morals, despite the fact that these ‘morals’ include killing animals and terrorising people – not to mention his prejudice against women, poor people and the entire LGBTQ+ community…

Much of Rorschach’s incel leanings (for the want of a better descriptor) are captured best in the journal he writes throughout the original comic book arc, and even though three decades have passed within Lindelof’s show, the impact of these scribblings are still very much represented by the ideologies of the Seventh Cavalry.

Positioned as a modern-day successor to the Ku Klux Klan, Watchmen’s white supremacist group wear the same mask as Rorschach and directly quote the most frightening aspects of his manifesto. In less-careful hands, the ideals spouted by the Seventh Cavalry could inspire viewers with similar political leanings, but Watchmen never glorifies their position in quite the same way that Joker does. While the following cultivated by Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is accidentally established at first, he absolutely revels in this adoration by the end, drawing in angry, misogynistic men who feel like they’ve been wronged by society and are therefore entitled to fight back with violence.[6]

In a Vulture interview that addresses the show’s inception, Lindelof notes:

Certainly, the first ten to 12 weeks that we spent in the writers’ room, where we started talking about the vision for the season, that was immensely challenging and not fun. It was work. And, obviously, we’re talking about white supremacy.[7]

In a nauseating Fellow White People move, the interviewer actually poses a question to Lindelof in the following terms:

Q: Given the racial and gender politics of the show, I didn’t want this to just be a conversation between two white men. So I reached out to a group of women of various ethnic backgrounds who wrote a series of essays called “Women Watch the Watchmen” to ask them what they’d want to ask you. The first question comes from Chloe Maveal: “Do you feel like this show is something that can help redeem Watchmen to literally anyone who’s not part of a straight white male audience? Do you, as both a fan of the comics and showrunner of the TV series, feel like the comic books here need redeeming in the first place?”

Note the unquestioned presumption here that, as a storyline and as characterization, Watchmen needs to be redeemed, that it somehow ‘sinned’ in the past. Lindelof’s response to this question is simultaneously respectful of Alan Moore’s original work, but also genuflects towards requisite Woke virtue-signaling:

I don’t think that the original Watchmen requires redemption on any level. In any way, shape, or form. I accept it in its totality as a staggering work of art. I also acknowledge that my relationship with Watchmen is that of a hetero straight male who read it as a 13-year-old, which may be the perfect sweet spot. I am not in a place where I can be critical of Watchmen. I am in a place where I can acknowledge criticisms of Watchmen. I will say that a number of the women who worked on Watchmen — wrote Watchmen, produced Watchmen, directed Watchmen — had found the treatment of women in the graphic novel to be less than ideal…

I get to have those debates in the writers’ room. Those other writers get to say, “Well, here’s how I feel about it.” Of course, in the writers’ room, there was a wide range of whether or not Rorschach was a white supremacist. I said, “That’s not relevant. He’s dead. What’s interesting is that you can make a compelling argument that he was and I can make a compelling argument that he wasn’t.”

Q: That gets to a question from Sara Century: “Why is it important to reimagine Rorschach?”

I don’t think that we are reimagining Rorschach. I think that we are interpreting Rorschach. The meta-ness of Watchmen was critical, I think, to its success.

Time and again, the interviewer returns to the theme of white supremacy. This is insightful in revealing not only liberal anxieties over Watchmen but also Lindelof’s liberal bona fides. How one today views the police seems to be the inflection point:

Q: I worry that the first six episodes, in some ways, can almost be read as a white-supremacist militiaman’s vision of America. Like, “Cops care too much about black people, and they’re cracking down on proud whites like me who just want to see a pure country.” But in reality, the much bigger problem is cops not caring enough about black people. Was that something you thought about? Was that something that worried you?

Yes. I’m not even going to use the past tense. What we’re really worried about, in my opinion, it’s not the television show. What we’re really worried about is a reflection of the real world. The paradox is: How do we feel about the police? When you say “the police,” you can mean it quite literally, which is just people wearing police uniforms. But how do you feel about authority? How do you feel about the law? Is the law just? The answer to the question, “How do you feel about the police?” Well, are you white? Are you a man? Are you a woman? Are you a person of color? What part of the country are you living in? Those are all questions that you should be asking.

We understand that being a police officer is a dangerous job. At the same time, we understand that there are police officers who are not following the law, who cannot be trusted, who do not behave in ways that are demonstrative of equality. This is demonstrated for us over and over again, to the degree where I think anyone who says that there is no issue in the United States in terms of policing and race is a crazy person. That isn’t to say that all cops are racist is any more

We’ll have to see how the series unfolds, and I’m not at all sure I’m going to stick with it, but the action will no doubt involve a second iteration of White Night events, a face-off between the police and Seventh Cavalry, and further caricatures of white nationalists. The plotlines will likely focus on various competing interests within the police force as well as government. Also, given the show’s deliberate association of Rorschach with ‘white supremacy’, will the legacy of Rorschach himself be reframed within the show’s narrative?

The series might very well appropriate more plot points from The Turner Diaries. It’s worth noting that Episode 01 ends with a ‘Day of the Rope’-type incident for a key white ally, putting a rather quick end to Don Johnson’s involvement in the show.

In summary, if this first episode is any indication, HBO’s Watchmen will be a noxious brew of political correctness and Jewish Hollywood virtue-signaling, and will stand as an opportunity squandered.

Endnotes:

[1] Schager, Nick. “‘Watchmen’ Is a Spectacular Assault on White Supremacy,” The Daily Beast, Oct 21, 2019.

[2] Gilbert, Sophie. “Watchmen Is a Blistering Modern Allegory,” The Atlantic, Oct 21, 2019.

[3] Several online reviewers have used the spelling “Seventh Kavalry”, presumably due to this having been revealed in episodes HBO has not yet aired, but which critics have already seen.

[4] Ever see a black couple raising a little white girl? Of course you haven’t. But you will see it in Watchmen, with Angela the loving adoptive mother. Apparently, a future episode will convey that Angela adopted the white girl after her police partner (and his wife) were both murdered during the White Night incident.

[5] As takes place in this scene, it is worth pointing out the little flourishes in the show that embody the disrespect black women have for white male authority figures, such as when Police Chief Judd Crawford enters his office to find Angela with her feet up on his desk, reprimanding him. “Wanna take your feet off my desk, please?” he says to her. She completely ignores his request and the scene continues.

[6] Opie, David. “What Watchmen gets right that Joker got wrong,” Digital Spy, Oct 21, 2019.

[7] Riesman, Abraham. “Like It or Not, Damon Lindelof Made His Own Watchmen And he’s pretty sure Alan Moore put a hex on him for doing it,” Vulture, Oct 17, 2019.

 

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Joe (1970)

This is a really bad movie.

Given its premise, I wanted to like it, but it is just plain terrible, greatly impeded by its low budget and hackneyed direction. Joe (Peter Boyle, who while competent here, is unable to do anything with such a poorly written role) is a cartoon caricature of the Angry Blue Collar White Guy circa 1970, when welfare abuse and affirmative action were really cooking.

Dennis Patrick (as the wealthy WASP Bill Compton) gives one of the worst performances I’ve ever witnessed an actor make. Audrey Caire plays Joan Compton, the snooty, fur-wearing WASP wife, who looks down upon Joe and his Edith Bunker-like wife.

Written by a 180-IQ, manic depressive Jew (Norman Wexler) and directed by the second rate John G. Avildsen, the film is sociologically significant for its theme of white backlash against Great Society programs (as manifested in the 1970s heyday of systematic abuse). Joe and Bill team up for a bloodlust killing rampage against sexually licentious, faux-Zen, junkie hippies, not before hypocritically first tasting the fruits of such licentiousness themselves.

As written, the character of Joe predates Archie Bunker (Jewish activist Norman Lear’s contemptuous depiction of the white Christian working class), but is written so over the top — the American flag & “Honor America” poster in his man cave on prominent display; his gun collection; his use of ‘racist’ language; his doting and submissive wife; etc. — that he makes Bunker seem like a moderate.

When Bill first meets him in a bar, Joe goes on a long diatribe that – much like Dirty Harry’s lines, albeit courser and more direct – draws the ire of liberals while conservatives are more likely to silently nod in approval:

The niggers are getting all the money. Why work? You tell me, why the fuck work, when you can screw, have babies, and get paid for it? Welfare. They got all that welfare money. They even get free rubbers. Think they use them? Hell, no. The only way they make money is making babies. They sell the rubbers, and then they use the money to buy booze…

All those social workers are nigger-lovers. You find me a social worker who ain’t a nigger-lover and I’ll massage your asshole… I ain’t queer.

I sweat my balls off 40 hours a week in front of a fucking furnace, and they get as much money as I do, for nothing. They got them living in hotels at $50 a day… $1,000 a month.

Now they want charge accounts. Charge accounts! I ain’t even been inside Macy’s, and they want charge accounts!

All you gotta do is act black, and the money rolls in. Set fire to the cities, burn a few buildings, you get paid for it…

If you can’t read, you got a better chance of getting hired.

And the kids, the white kids, they’re worse than the niggers. Money don’t mean nothing to them. Motorcycles, marijuana, $5 records…

My kid ain’t dumb.  Couldn’t get into college ’cause they let the niggers in first. That’s how they’re saving the cities. They keep the smart niggers busy wrecking the colleges.

Joe then articulates the disastrous effects that ensues when upper class white bohemianism trickles down to the lower classes:

And don’t tell me about communists. How can a kid be a communist? Kids are idealistic… The rich white kids. The worst, hippies… The cars, the best colleges, vacations, orgies… Christmas, Easter… They go to someplace, like a fancy resort, and have orgies… Easter orgies. The day Christ rose, they’re all screwing one another. And the poor kids and the middle-class kids, they’re all copying the rich kids. They’re all going the same goddamn “screw America” way.

Lastly, if you enjoyed the climactic scene of David Fincher’s superb movie Se7en, where Gwyneth Paltrow’s head winds up in a box, then you’ll similarly enjoy the ending of Joe, which was the first movie role of a young, 24 year old Susan Sarandon.

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The Implicit Whiteness of Rod Dreher’s BenOp Recommendations

A fun game is to spot the implicit whiteness in Rod Dreher’s various BenOp recommendations, which isn’t all that hard to do. (Locations and/or activities that are comprised almost entirely of whites tend to be relatively peaceful, well-functioning, and high-trust, hence contain high levels of social capital).

For example, upon visiting the Bruderhof community in rural NY, Rod was positively ecstatic. But all indications point to Bruderhof not being very diverse. (Rod gets irate when people call him out on this.)

In his recent piece “‘Great Awokening’: A New Religious War”, Rod excitedly points to another BenOp institution with great potential, the school where his kids attend:

I urge you to consider seeding efforts to found new institutions within which the traditional scholarly life can endure this new Dark Age… When I tell people about what the classical Christian school my kids attend, Sequitur Classical Academy, is able to do despite the fact that it operates on a shoestring budget, they can hardly believe it. Just think what Sequitur could accomplish if it had donors? Our little school has 150 or so kids — ordinary kids, not a gifted-and-talented superschool population — who are being taught the Western humanities tradition, from the Greeks and the Romans down through the ages.

Yes, the success of Sequitur has nothing – nothing, I tell ‘ya – to do with the overwhelming whiteness of both the faculty and the student body. (As with Bruderhof, I can find no information at the Sequitur site, or elsewhere online, discussing the institution’s demographics. However, pictures are worth a thousand words. Photos of the boys’ uniforms — khaki pants & white shirts – could pass for a 2017 Alt-Right rally.) This looks, and sounds, like a Non-Sequitur to me.

Repeatedly, Rod will occasionally dip his toes into the water, but then quickly retreats to the banalities and pathological altruism of unreconstructed late Christianity. As such, he is a wonderful barometer of the Death of the West.

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XTC – Easter Theatre (1999)

It’s an annual LM tradition to repost this gorgeous, Easter-related song by XTC. It is, in my humble opinion, the absolute high point of Andy Partridge’s stellar songwriting career (which I once told him in person.) From the song’s melody, to the instrumentation and production choices, to the earthy lyrics rich with pagan imagery and symbolism, the song never fails to give me goosebumps and, occasionally, a teary eye.

Odin mounts the tree
Bleeds for you and me
Splashing on the lamb
Gamboling with spring’s step

Buds will laugh and burst
Racing to be first
Turning all the soil
As the promptress’ fingers through her spinning script… 

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Dragged Across Concrete (2019)

S. Craig Zahler, who wrote/directed Bone Tomahawk (2015) & Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017), is an important filmmaker for the Dissident Right to consider. I previously wrote an essay on Brawl at Counter-Currents, and my essay on Zahler’s new film Dragged Across Concrete (2019) is at The Occidental Observer.

One further aspect of Dragged not included in the TOO piece pertains to the film’s indictment of feminism:

SPOILERS: An interlude in the film begins and ends with a focus on the brief character of Kelly Summer (Jennifer Carpenter). Ostensibly intended to humanize the victims of a violent bank robbery, Kelly’s character also serves as a devastating indictment of feminism and neoliberal materialism, an observation I have not seen a single liberal critic of the film make. When we first see Kelly, she is looking anxious waiting for the bus that will take her to work. When the bus arrives, she cannot get herself to get on it, and instead runs back home to the well-to-do apartment she shares with her bearded, hipster-looking husband Jeffrey (Andrew Dunbar) and their newborn son, Jackson.

In the hallway outside of her apartment door, Summer finds that Jeffrey has chain-locked the door from the inside, so that she cannot enter. With the door slightly ajar, as far as the chain-lock will allow, what follows is a gut-wrenching exchange which emphasizes how profoundly unnatural it is that our contemporary socioeconomic model, in a wholesale gender reversal, routes mothers away from their newly born children and emasculates men by disincentivizing their natural role as providers:

Kelly: Jeffrey, let me in. Open this!

Jeffrey, Jackson, & the consequences of feminism.

Jeffrey: Kelly, please stop yelling… Why aren’t you on your way to work?

Kelly: You are not allowed to answer a question with a question.

Jeffrey: Don’t shout at me, okay? Just… You need to go back downstairs, get on the bus and go to work.

Kelly: Open this right now.

Jeffrey: I can’t.

Kelly: What do you mean you can’t? Of course you can.

Jeffrey: I want to, I really, really do, but I can’t. The maternity leave ended four weeks ago. You’ve used all of your vacation and every single sick day staying here with Jackson.

Kelly: He needed me!

Jeffrey: I’m taking good care of him, and I will continue to do so until you’re home from work.

Kelly: I hate you.

Jeffrey: And I love you twice as much. You need to go to work… today.

Kelly: My job is so stupid. I go there and I sell chunks of my life for a paycheck, so that… rich people I’ve never even met can put money in places I’ve never even seen. How am I supposed to sit at my desk and talk about bank accounts, when my baby is here!”

Jeffrey: Jackson needs diapers, and clothes, and gourmet baby food. Eventually, he’s gonna need school supplies and, if he’s anything like me and my brothers, he’ll need braces too. Now, all these things cost money, and you make way more than I do.

Kelly: Yeah, I know… Can I see him though?

Jeffrey: Just through the opening.

Kelly: I promise, I’ll go if you let me see him just for a second. I need to touch him.

Jeffrey: Kelly, please…

Kelly: I… Just for a second. I swear I’ll go.

Jeffrey: You’ve broken that swear before and recently. Do you swear on the life of our baby that you will leave after you’ve touched him?

Kelly: No, no, no.

Jeffrey: Say it out loud for it to count, that’s how swears work.

Kelly: I swear on the life of our child that I will go to work after I’ve touched him.

Kelly reluctantly goes to the bank where she works. Upon arriving, her fellow employees come out to warmly greet her, but the over-exuberant tributes from her boss Mr. Edmington (Fred Melamed) exudes a phoniness borne of obligation, and expresses the transvaluation of values which attempts to align family formation with the interests of late capitalism, both being symbolic forms of the faux-concern for families that neoliberal capitalism articulates:

Mr. Edmington: Good heavens and praise be to Him. Can that radiant vision of maternity that just walked through our front doors possibly be our beloved Mrs. Summer? Welcome back. Welcome back and congratulations on bringing such a lovely boy child into this world.

Kelly: Thank you, Mr. Edmington.

Mr. Edmington: All of us in the bank have great expectations for your boy, wondrous expectations, on a global scale.

Kelly: So do I.

Mr. Edmington: Well, in that case, our expectations are aligned… Mrs. Summer, your absence was a weight upon us. Your return is a divine blessing.

The fates of all involved here are soon changed forever by the violent forces of nihilism.

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The Venom

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