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NSFW Witch after the break.
I was confused and thought that it was National Beer Day, but it isn’t – National Beer Day is April 7th here in the USA, and June 15th in the UK. National Drink Beer Day is September 28th. International Beer Day is August 5th.
However, it is National American Beer Day, which was set up to celebrate American brews.
… and Steven Den Beste was one of the greatest. Sadly, he’s now gone. His site, USS Clueless, was one of the first websites that became a daily stop – I set up a bookmark for it, but I went there so often that it actually became faster for me to type the URL. His server, which was in his home, apparently died around the same time he did, but there is an authorized mirror available.
Bill Whittle described USS Clueless as the internet’s Krell Mind Machine, and that was an apt description. His long-form writing was well-researched, well-thought-out, and left you better informed, even if you weren’t actually smarter, for having read it. He was an engineer, and his posts on engineering topics, particularly things like alternative energy, were and are worthwhile references. His posts on politics earned him a position in “the Four Horsemen of the ABlogalypse.”
He retired USS Clueless in 2004, because he suffered from a genetically-caused degenerative disease, and the medications he took to allow him to do the in-depth posts became too much for him to want to handle, not to mention that his emails were filled with attacks and nitpicking, which became discouraging.
He continued blogging, but limited himself to anime, personal topics, and the occasional topical post. Chizumatic was never a regular stop for me, but it was a pleasant diversion on those occasions that I went there.
There are many tributes to him that have been posted already, and I’m sure more will be posted in the next days. There is a roundup post here that covers all the ones I’d found myself, and then some.
Farewell, Steven. I’m sorry you’re gone, and I hope you’re feeling better.
UPDATE: Steven talked about whether he’d made an impact here. Given the responses to his death, I feel confident in saying that he did, even apart from his engineering work.
Well, it’s new to me, at least. Via Gerard Vanderleun.
Here is his post on why he moved from the political left to the political right. I’ve read several of these from different people, and they’re all interesting. The key paragraph for me was this:
This was the final straw, to see that all of the things that a kind must do in order to continue to persist are exactly what liberalism condemns. That if you have two groups, one of which refuses to do what it must in order to persist through time, and another group which does, the latter will inherit the Earth. In fact, the Earth will always be inherited by those groups who take the effort to persist. These considerations are detailed in “The Ultimate Guide to Cultural Marxist Genocide.” I wrestled with these implications for a long time, for over a year actually. But in the end I could not get over the conclusion that, whatever moral or political theory you prefer, it can’t, like the Shakers, lead to the extinction of those who practice it. Values have survival value. On the other hand, liberal values are “Deathwish Values,” they lead to the extinction of those who live by them, and can not endure through time. If you adopt liberalism, you go extinct (see “The Shakers, Deathwish Values, and Autonomy“). This is what is currently happening to all the ancient people’s of Europe due to their adoption of liberalism. The world will always be inherited by those who live by values that ensure the survival of their kind.
He also has a good post about the push to declare sexual differences to be “social constructs.” He’s responding to someone else who lists a number of abnormal conditions as reasons to discard the normal. Again, there is a paragraph I find key:
The problem is that biology does not work on this essentialist basis; it works on the basis of function/malfunction, normal/abnormal. The real lesson to draw from examples such as those presented by EvoX is that sex is a functional biological norm, and individuals can deviate from this norm in many different ways. “Biologically normal” means working as designed by natural selection, or being in the condition it is supposed to be in, where “design” and “supposed to” means that the item is in the condition its ancestors were in on those occasions where they actually were selected for by natural selection. I will use “design” and “supposed to” since they are more intuitive to grasp and easier than writing out “as happened historically when the mechanism was selected for” each time.
I’m looking forward to spending more time reading what he’s got on the site.
What with all the brouhaha concerning clowns in the news recently, I thought I’d dust off a song I wrote a few years ago and post it. I had run across a graphic showing a young boy crying, with the words, “Can’t sleep. Clowns will eat me.” It’s from a Simpsons episode, apparently, but I didn’t know that. I also started off with a blues joke, because it seems that most of the old-time blues songs start with, “I woke up this morning, and <something bad happened>.”
In any case, the following goes to the tune of “Heartbreak Hotel.”
Well, I didn’t wake up this morning,
‘Cause I never slept last night.
The clowns were coming to eat me
And you know that just ain’t right.
And I’m getting so tired, baby,
So frightened and tired.
I’m getting so tired, I could cry.
Well, they’ve got those big, red noses,
And they wear those floppy shoes,
And the way they paint their faces, Lord,
It just gives me the blues.
I saw that little car coming,
With twelve of them inside,
And when they started to pour out
Well, I tried to run and hide.
They had loaded up big with weapons –
Cream pies and squirting flowers.
The fighting was hot and heavy
And the cleanup just took hours.
So I’m watching for polka-dot jumpsuits,
Balloon animals, as well.
I want you people to know
These clowns are making my life hell.
At least, that’s what the indications are. The vehicle had a Star Trek logo on one side of the rear window, a Tardis police box on the other, and a personalized plate with the name, “Tiberius” on it (missing one vowel so that it would fit in seven letters).
Seems pretty obvious to me.
Yesterday, I had a growth cut off my nose. I had thought it was a wen, but I appear to have been wrong. I’d been referred to a dermatologist, because the techs in my doctor’s office felt that they couldn’t deal with it without causing a significant scar.
The appointment was in the middle of the afternoon, so I went back to work afterward. Unfortunately, it bled enough that the bandaid they put over it was useless. When I got home, I pulled it off, which wasn’t hard because the blood had undermined the adhesive. I cleaned my nose and put a new bandaid on.
Tonight, I had dance classes – samba and west coast swing. I perspired so much in class that the new bandaid came off. Not fun. I’ll put another one on before I go to bed, to reduce the chance of bleeding on my pillowcase, but I’m not sure how long I should expect it to last.
Prior to the samba class, the instructor was teasing one of the women about a book she was reading. During class, I asked her about it (we switch off every few minutes, so every man dances with every woman), and she mentioned that it was a story called “The Lottery.” Apparently not the Shirley Jackson story by that name, because she mentioned that one separately. I told her that my favorite Shirley Jackson story was “One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts.” She hadn’t heard of it. I guess she’ll have the fun of reading it for the first time.