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Do All White Award-winners Have to Apologize to Black Losers from Now On?

Back in 2009 at some music award show, Kanye West (who is black) charged the stage during (white) Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to announce — “I’mma let you finish, but” — that (black) Beyonce deserved to win instead.

Since then, it has become increasingly common for white award-winners to preemptively apologize from the stage to black losers for the obvious racial injustice of their victories, such as Macklemore to Kendrick Lamar a few years ago and Adele to Beyonce last night at the Grammy Awards (which pretty much kept the Oroville Dam off the national news).

Adele’s apology still didn’t keep the LA Times from running this op-ed about how blacks don’t win enough awards:

Op-Ed Beyoncé’s Grammy snub and the glass ceiling on black art

John Vilanova

Beyoncé and Adele went head-to-head four times at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. Both were nominated for album of the year, song of the year, record of the year, and best pop solo performance. In every category, Adele was awarded the Grammy. Every time, Beyoncé, the peerless pop music icon of our time, was told she was second-best.

This should be a shock. While Adele’s singular voice, talent, and devotion to her craft are undeniable, Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” was as complete an artistic statement as we have seen in our fractured pop moment — a one-of-a-kind visual album comprised of genre-crossing track after track, conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead. It was also a pitch-perfect rallying cry for black women to get in formation, their allies behind them, and forge a way forward despite the human imperfections of the men in their lives.

And yet, sadly, it isn’t. Unequaled artists have long bumped up against the glass ceiling that awards shows impose on black excellence.

Now it might seem to you that blacks win lots of Grammy Awards — e.g., Steve Wonder has won 25 Grammies — but that’s because you don’t understand the true meaning of diversity, which is: Blacks must win everything.

“Africa for the African worker, Europe for the African worker, Asia, Oceania, America, Arctic and Antarctic for the African worker.” — Scoop, Waugh, 1938

Diversity means Black Supremacy. Is that too much to ask? How can you white people not grasp such a simple fact?

For example, from today’s New York Times:

Screenshot 2017-02-13 16.30.12

For example, blacks make up about 2/3rds of the NFL. Now that’s pretty Diverse. but Tom Brady keeps quarterbacking Super Bowl winners. So Tom Brady’s existence is a crime against Diversity.

As a stopgap until we reach that utopia where blacks win everything, shouldn’t all awards come with a Best Black category so that blacks are assured of always winning something?

For example, say that next year Ta-Nehisi Coates publishes a 75-page memoir entitled Between the Escalator and My Black Body: More of My Thoughts about the Racist Atrocity that Was the Escalator Incident, but Robert Caro publishes the final volume of his biography of LBJ. And imagine that the book award judges think deep down that, really, Caro’s book is better.

And what if, in all the excitement, Caro forgets to apologize to Ta-Nehisi in his acceptance speech?

Uh-oh …

To preclude awkward incidents like that, they could give Genius T. Coates the super-prestigious Best Black award and everybody would be happy.

P.S.: One reason Trump drives the media so nuts is that he’s a white guy with a black-sized ego.

 
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  1. I think BET already has a “best black award” show for entertainment…not to mention the NAACP “Image Awards.”

    Now, I do feel compelled to say a) Macklemore really does suck, so without knowing anything about Kendrick Lamar, his album probably was better, and b) as nice as Adele’s voice is, her latest album is just a retread of her last two…but Beyonce is also overrated and only an idiot thinks she actually writes her own music or lyrics.

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  2. Since then, it has become increasingly common for white award winners to apologize from the stage to black losers for the obvious racial injustice of their victories, such Macklemore to Kendrick Lamar in 2013

    From what I remember at that time, it was widely believed that the only reason Macklemore won was that he had a song on his album promoting gay marriage and that he admitted as much later, which was why he apologized. Rather than have a best black category, why not stop pretending that there is artistic merit in modern pop music. The public might be heading in that direction based on the ratings for the show. Now if we can get retail businesses to stop blasting pop music at us in every store across America.

    • Replies: @artichoke
    For decades, the way to win an Academy Award was to make a Holocaust movie. You'd see people's careers. At some point they would do their obligatory Holocaust movie and collect their Oscar.

    It shows the tremendous integrity of showbiz that at least you have to do something, even if formulaic. You don't get an award just for being a certain race. Mostly anyway.
  3. That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    Also, I can bear that Beyonce album but I can’t picture anyone listening to Adele who isn’t an aging and lonely white woman.

    • Replies: @MC
    Adele's "21" has 6-7 ridiculously catchy tunes on it, is highly re-listenable. Nothing from "25" really caught on for me.
    , @Anon
    It amazes me that anyone on this blog would defend an album called "To pimp a butterfly".
    , @Jonah
    Seems an obvious troll, but I will take the bait.

    Kendrick Lamar has yet to produce a song that anyone will be listening to in 10 years, much less 20.

    Beyonce's last enduring tune was probably Single Ladies (nine years ago), which will haunt weddings for a long time. She had hits in that vein for a while, but no more.

    She's become a sort of fetish object for black and gay people, but she doesn't make memorable music anymore. Which isn't even really her fault -- she had 72 writer/producers on her last album. She makes zero decisions. She isn't an artist. She's just an empty vessel. One more thing to signal about.

    She's a total nimrod too. Here's her barely literate letter to Michelle Obama (whose Princeton thesis is written on roughly the same level):

    http://www.eonline.com/news/308547/see-beyonce-s-handwritten-letter-to-michelle-obama

    Adele is the creative force behind her songs. Rolling In The Deep and Hello will be getting covered and listened to long after we are all dead.
    , @Anonym
    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    I never thought I'd be defending the talent of wiggers on iSteve, but I was playing an internet racing game a few years back that had some pop songs on a playlist, and out of all the songs "Thrift Shop" got stuck in my head. I played a few other Macklemore songs from youtube and I have to say they were very catchy as well.

    I have listened to Eminem at the gym a few years back and have to say that he had undeniable musical talent. He could certainly write a hook.

    From what I've seen, when it comes to rap, the few white guys who have entered the fray have done it the best. Vanilla Ice is a punchline now, but practically every gen Xer can, if a gun was pointed at their head, sing a line of Ice Ice Baby.

    Maybe something of an exception that proves the rule, although not rap, Michael Jackson was legitimately huge, a massive talent. You had the genetics of the family and incredibly intense environmental push from a very early age to get him to that point.
  4. Why do blax get so giddy at winning these awards when they know damn well they won because black? BTW in a pool at work I went long on Beyonce. Racism.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    You way overestimate the level of self-awareness. They think white people win because they're white.

    (Get some black friends, or just lurk at Lipstick Alley; you'll get a much better understanding of their psyche).
  5. Rather than have a best black category, why not stop pretending that there is artistic merit in modern pop music.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Sorry to be obtuse, Truth, my friend - but were you trying to prove, or to dis-prove that there is artistic merit in modern pop music?
  6. The corporate propaganda apparatus can’t get over the White Ego of President Trump? Tough cookies!

    The Blacks that like President Trump have nothing but scorn for the etiolated propaganda whores who infest the corporate media.

    Ben Coates was a decent player for the New England Patriots back when.

  7. Well Peyton Manning didn’t hand the Lombardi trophy to Cam Newton last year and apologize, so we still have that.

    • Replies: @JohnnyD
    @Buffalo Joe,
    True. But last year, there were tons of articles explaining how it was racist to like Peyton Manning more than Cam Newton.
  8. You’re right about Trump’s ego. Trump reminds me of black rappers and athletes, when he boasts about his wealth and business successes.That’s probably why Terrell Owens, Mike Tyson, Kayne West, and Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, and Jim Brown like Trump.

  9. @Buffalo Joe
    Well Peyton Manning didn't hand the Lombardi trophy to Cam Newton last year and apologize, so we still have that.

    ,
    True. But last year, there were tons of articles explaining how it was racist to like Peyton Manning more than Cam Newton.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    There was an article 12 years ago arguing it was racist to like Peyton Manning more than Michael Vick. http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2005/11/no_passing_fancy.html
  10. Kanye West (who is black) charged the stage during (white) Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech

    Black block.

  11. Maybe White artists should simply decline to compete for awards? “In order to ensure that Black [ fill in the blank] receive all the honors that they rightfully deserve, I hereby refuse to accept any further nominations/awards.”

    • Replies: @syonredux
    Or maybe White people should just stop doing stuff for a century or so....Stop inventing things, writing books, composing music, making movies....

    After all, I'm sure that there's a vast reservoir of Black genius out there just waiting to pick up the slack.....
    , @Wade
    This would actually be a great idea if white artists all really followed through on that statement. Can you imagine what would happen to the Grammy's ratings and prestige if it became just another BET show?
  12. About what one would expect from a guy who studies the “coloniality of media systems and industrial organizations”……

    John Vilanova is a third-year PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication. His broad research and writing agenda focuses on the production, reception, and consumption of African American and Afro-diasporic music. His current research examines the contemporary Jamaican music industry, cultural industries development, and the coloniality of media systems and industrial organizations. John holds a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Kansas and an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an accomplished journalist who has contributed in various written and research capacities to a multitude of publications including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and Paste. He is a producer at Annenberg’s 3620 Podcast and the managing editor of MusiQology, the blog of esteemed music scholar Dr. Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr.

    • Replies: @Autochthon

    He is also an accomplished journalist....
     
    One cannot simply define oneself as accomplished in a field. Accomplished journalists include Robert Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Edward Murrow, Henry Mencken, David Brinkley, Hunter Thompson, and Walter Cronkite. Because of the importance of some degree of historical perspective to properly evaluate the lasting value of anyone's work, I posit it would not even be appropriate (yet) to deem otherwise acknowledged successes such as Steve Sailer, Diane Sawyer, Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings, or Mike Wallace as especially accomplished.

    Unrelatedly, but because I am too tired to make another comment, I give you modern music with irrefutable merit, though I cannot vouchsafe its popularity; in any event it won a Grammy, but then, so did The Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?" proving only that even a broken clock is right twice a day....

    To all a good night.

  13. It is as Alan Watts said: life is a game of hide and seek. In a computer simulation of hawks versus doves with ever increasingly nice forgiving strategies mutating to win be being self effacing are sweeping all before them, but if you introduce a hawk back into the game when doves in competition to be nice have taken it to extremes you change the whole terms of competition, and the hawk will destroy the opposition. Ensconced in his reality TV sinecure, Trump didn’t have to move with the times, that left him the only one who was still acting like that when he irrupted into politics.

    • Replies: @40 Acres and A Kardashian

    In a computer simulation of hawks versus doves with ever increasingly nice forgiving strategies mutating to win be being self effacing are sweeping all before them, but if you introduce a hawk back into the game when doves in competition to be nice have taken it to extremes you change the whole terms of competition, and the hawk will destroy the opposition.
     
    Huh?
  14. Do white award winners have to apologize to black losers from now on?

    Lord, yes!

    And I implore you, brethren and sistren: let’s hasten the day when this is as common as “gesundheit” (or whatever) when someone sneezes!!!!

    Then we’ll see what their little minds–or more accurately their handlers’–cobble together as the next level of reactionary demand.

    I think of it as the laser flashlight you use with a cat. Or the piece of wool roving on a length of monofilament. Granted, I lose interest in watching the cat faster than the cat loses interest in the Twitchy Thing. But it’s nice to move through life with such toys in one’s pocket.

    ProTip: if you carry a little piece of ripe banana in a Lock-and-Lock in your pocket, you can do interesting experiments on clouds of tiny flying insects. Their flight trajectories, e.g.

    Though I can’t say I’ve ever found anything quite that interesting involving humans with a mean IQ of 80.

    This could be it!

    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    Of course they should apologize. And Steve should apologize for even asking. I mean really.


    Reminds me of the old "Flying Circus" episode wherein the announcer says: "The BBC would like to apologize to everyone in the world for the next sketch."

  15. conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead

    congratulations! you have received the john vilanova award for journalistic hyperbole

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Chartres - Lame.

    The Sistine Chapel Frescoes - Eh.

    Richard II + 1 Henry IV + 2 Henry IV + Henry V - Whatever.

    Das Rheingold + Die Walküre + Siegfried + Götterdämmerung - Overrated.

    "Races of Man" sculptures - RU KIDDING? Chopped Liver. And Racist.

    Lemonade - "...conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead."
  16. https://youtu.be/lVCzR4jChu8 — TRUMP WISHES COUPLE WELL AT THEIR WEDDING AT MAR-A-LAGO AFTER GOLFING WITH HIS PAL SHINZO

    This is why Trump did well with Italians in Pennsylvania and Ohio. This is straight out of a Scorsese movie. Watch Trump graciously wish the wedding couple love and success. I was waiting for Joe Pesci to pop up. Love it! You can’t fake this stuff folks, and the voters know it.

  17. Beyonce had huge pop radio hits several years ago, like Adele has today. But I can’t recall hearing any of the songs from her latest album on the radio recently.

  18. Now even New York times reporters have to apologize!

    New York Times Reporter Reprimanded for “Hooker” Comment About Melania Trump

    “Gender specific attacks are disgusting sexist bullshit.
    — Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) February 13, 2017″

    I do not know if “Hooker” is “Gender specific.” Anderson Cooper has been known to act the part.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Round by here, it's invariably a short thickset Welsh bloke with no ears.
  19. Why is there more outrage over her loss to Adele this year than there was a couple years back when she lost to Beck?

    Basic Pokémon Point math would suggest that Adele, while white, is a more worthy opponent than Beck given that she’s (1) female, (2) somewhat chubby, (3) sings about vague female-themes like how awful men are to her.

    Was it that there were enough music snobs who recognized the travesty of Beck not winning a Grammy for Odelay, or did the militant black-themes that coalesced in Lemonade just demand recognition?

  20. Andrew Dice Clay wouldn’t.

    • Replies: @Days of Broken Arrows
    Andrew Dice Clay: A Jew whose entire career is playing a negative Italian-American caricature. I have no problem with people mocking Italians (I am one). The problem I have is would the reverse have been allowed? NO.

    To a lesser degree, this goes for The Fonz and the idiots in Sha Na Na, the worst TV show of all time.
  21. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Apologising for being White keeps producer/director/TV host/banker Mr/Miss Goldberg happy. Ensures more work in MSM.

  22. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Re the black category: the Grammy for best urban contemporary album that Beyoncé won last night is usually not televised but it was last night, presumably to placate her.

    The thing about all the Beyoncé love is that it is a glaring example of “The emperor has no clothes”. She is constantly called the biggest pop singer in the world, but her actually popularity does not back this claim up, yet every media publication and pop star repeats this lie. Case in point: Adele’s album sold 20 million copies, Beyoncé’s 1.5 million. That may not be an accurate gauge of artistic merit, but it is the definitive gauge of popularity.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    I've noticed that it's a thing among a certain sort of feminist to pretend to be a HUUUGE Beyonce Fan. They go out of their way to name check 'Queen Bey' - I guess it proves something or gives some sort of credibility.

    I've always seen Beyonce as an empty shell. She really doesn't seem to have a lot of personality under all the make-up and sequin outfits.
    , @jim jones
    People know that anything by a black woman is just going to be more complaining
  23. @anonitron1
    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    Also, I can bear that Beyonce album but I can't picture anyone listening to Adele who isn't an aging and lonely white woman.

    Adele’s “21″ has 6-7 ridiculously catchy tunes on it, is highly re-listenable. Nothing from “25″ really caught on for me.

  24. “One reason Trump drives the media so nuts is that he’s a white guy with a black-sized ego.”

    No, Trump drives the media nuts because he’s a white guy with a huge ego who’s done some pretty big things. The media hate Trump for accomplishing things that aren’t easily dismissed or disregarded.

    White guys are supposed to be modest or at least off-hand about their genuine accomplishments. Black guys are allowed to spout off endlessly about their genius and great artistry that produces little, if anything, of value.

  25. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anonitron1
    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    Also, I can bear that Beyonce album but I can't picture anyone listening to Adele who isn't an aging and lonely white woman.

    It amazes me that anyone on this blog would defend an album called “To pimp a butterfly”.

    • Replies: @anonitron1
    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever. Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up) or unbearably chauvinistic (as it does when rap music is the topic of discussion, in particular).
  26. The Film, Music and News industries are a toxic mix of MK Ultra mind control programming bombarding the masses 24 x 7. Now throw in the NWO education system recently renamed Common Core and I’m surprised one of these pathetic white guilt ridden slaves hasn’t committed suicide on stage to make amends for the sin of achievement or asked to be be beaten with a club by an equally brainwashed black person who incredible believes black people built industrial and modern America. A 4-H livestock show has more to offer than a Hollywood awards show.

  27. @syonredux
    Maybe White artists should simply decline to compete for awards? "In order to ensure that Black [ fill in the blank] receive all the honors that they rightfully deserve, I hereby refuse to accept any further nominations/awards."

    Or maybe White people should just stop doing stuff for a century or so….Stop inventing things, writing books, composing music, making movies….

    After all, I’m sure that there’s a vast reservoir of Black genius out there just waiting to pick up the slack…..

  28. Adele’s pandering was pathetic. Talent is not white privilege.

    Besides, if the Grammy she won had been made of chocolate, I doubt she would have been so eager to share it?

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    My dear sir,that last sentence of yours could be interpreted in more than one way...
  29. @Anon
    It amazes me that anyone on this blog would defend an album called "To pimp a butterfly".

    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever. Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up) or unbearably chauvinistic (as it does when rap music is the topic of discussion, in particular).

    • Replies: @Langley
    When you're right you're right.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aJOXTNdqrLo
    , @European-American
    Perhaps you could educate us and air out the echo chamber a bit?

    I remember the discussion here of Kendrick Lamar at some award show a while back, with the dancing on burning police cars and all. This video for Alright is pretty amazingly produced, and the music sounds good. Some images are disturbing or repulsive, and the lyrics, well, yeah I guess there's some kind of nuance or mixed message, but...
    https://youtu.be/Z-48u_uWMHY

    It doesn't seem likely to appeal to a wide audience, seems like a kind of self-absorbed beautiful/ugly dead end, but what do I know.

    King Kunta and i are pretty good/bad too.
    https://youtu.be/hRK7PVJFbS8
    https://youtu.be/8aShfolR6w8
    , @SPMoore8
    I am a big fan of classical music but I also have an interest in jazz as well as popular music; in jazz, and certainly in R&B, there are a number of outstanding AA musicians. So, why don't you bring some of them up, and we can talk about that.

    However, I am also old; I don't really relate to rap music (there are a few tunes I like, from Eminem to Tupac) and I don't even bother with modern pop.

    I don't understand the worship -- there really is no other word -- to describe the attitudes, especially among "intellectuals" for Beyonce. There was something like this 25 years ago -- e.g., Camille Paglia carrying on about Madonna -- but it was silly then and it's silly now.

    If Beyonce's albums don't sell, she will lose to someone who does. Let's not pretend that people will be discussing her art in 25 years.
    , @RudyM
    There's also an excessive reverence here for (generally white) punk, no matter how anti-social or three-chord. Punks who could barely play their instrument or sing at all are okay, but rap never involves any musical talent; or that's what I think Sailer thinks, reading between the lines. (For the record, I am not a fan of rap and find most of it unlistenable, but I think there is more talent involved, especially in terms of rhythm, than many here would give it credit for.)

    Sailer dismisses rap as essentially just being a matter of strutting around with lots of confidence (sorry, very loose paraphrase of what I remember reading), but I could easily imagine him rhapsodizing about that time Richard Hell passed out on stage or whatever.

    , @Anonymous

    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever.
     
    Agreed.

    Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up)
     
    This is nothing compared to how bad (and downright bizarre) this could get in the comments a few years ago.
  30. @anonitron1
    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    Also, I can bear that Beyonce album but I can't picture anyone listening to Adele who isn't an aging and lonely white woman.

    Seems an obvious troll, but I will take the bait.

    Kendrick Lamar has yet to produce a song that anyone will be listening to in 10 years, much less 20.

    Beyonce’s last enduring tune was probably Single Ladies (nine years ago), which will haunt weddings for a long time. She had hits in that vein for a while, but no more.

    She’s become a sort of fetish object for black and gay people, but she doesn’t make memorable music anymore. Which isn’t even really her fault — she had 72 writer/producers on her last album. She makes zero decisions. She isn’t an artist. She’s just an empty vessel. One more thing to signal about.

    She’s a total nimrod too. Here’s her barely literate letter to Michelle Obama (whose Princeton thesis is written on roughly the same level):

    http://www.eonline.com/news/308547/see-beyonce-s-handwritten-letter-to-michelle-obama

    Adele is the creative force behind her songs. Rolling In The Deep and Hello will be getting covered and listened to long after we are all dead.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    I find Beyoncé's note to Michelle to be typical of such notes to friends. Nothing wrong with it. You're reinforcing the point of comment 28.
  31. @JohnnyD
    @Buffalo Joe,
    True. But last year, there were tons of articles explaining how it was racist to like Peyton Manning more than Cam Newton.

    There was an article 12 years ago arguing it was racist to like Peyton Manning more than Michael Vick. http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2005/11/no_passing_fancy.html

  32. @passive-aggressivist

    conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead
     
    congratulations! you have received the john vilanova award for journalistic hyperbole

    Chartres – Lame.

    The Sistine Chapel Frescoes – Eh.

    Richard II + 1 Henry IV + 2 Henry IV + Henry V – Whatever.

    Das Rheingold + Die Walküre + Siegfried + Götterdämmerung – Overrated.

    “Races of Man” sculptures – RU KIDDING? Chopped Liver. And Racist.

    Lemonade – “…conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead.”

    • LOL: BenKenobi
    • Replies: @European-American
    Thank you. I finally understand.

    I shouted out
    Who elected the Trumps?
    When after all
    It was you and me
    (Who whom, who whom)

     

    https://youtu.be/aZlMilJs5NE
  33. @anonitron1
    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever. Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up) or unbearably chauvinistic (as it does when rap music is the topic of discussion, in particular).

    When you’re right you’re right.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aJOXTNdqrLo

  34. Seems that Blacks are looking to exploit the Holocaust gravy train……but some people are crying foul:

    Late last week, Variety debuted a first look picture (see below) from “A United Kingdom” and “Belle” filmmaker Amma Asante’s latest feature, a World War II-set interracial romance titled “Where Hands Touch.” The film follows the romance between pair of German teenagers — Amandla Stenberg as the biracial Leyna and George MacKay as Lutz, the son of a prominent SS officer and a member of the Hitler Youth — and it unfolds against the backdrop of the war and the Holocaust.

    The first look image was met with backlash across social media platforms, and various commenters loudly voiced their displeasure that, in crafting a story around a persecuted person and a Hitler Youth, Asante was “romanticizing” Nazis and otherwise diminishing the experience of those that suffered during World War II and the Holocaust.

    http://www.indiewire.com/2017/02/where-hands-touch-amma-asante-backlash-interracial-world-war-ii-1201782138/

    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    I don't know who "Kayleigh Anne" is, but I think she should get a life.
  35. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    To be fair, these awards are ridiculously subjective. If the jury had more blacks on it it is quite likely Beyonce would have won.

    I believe in HBD as much as the next guy, but music and movie awards are very far from IQ tests.

    • Replies: @unpc downunder
    Exactly, there are no objective criteria in determining the winners of popular music awards. And the judges don't even say how they determine the winners. Are the winners determined by album sales, music reviews, social media buzz, technical virtuosity, originality ?

    With such vague criteria its impossible to say that a particular artists is unfairly ignored. Usually with technically demanding types of music (classical, jazz, progressive rock etc) there is a high weighting on virtuosity, but as far as I know this has little bearing on popular music awards.
  36. @Father O'Hara
    Why do blax get so giddy at winning these awards when they know damn well they won because black? BTW in a pool at work I went long on Beyonce. Racism.

    You way overestimate the level of self-awareness. They think white people win because they’re white.

    (Get some black friends, or just lurk at Lipstick Alley; you’ll get a much better understanding of their psyche).

    • Replies: @Langley
    I thought we did win because we were white?!


    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/white-like-me/n9308?snl=1
  37. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anon
    Re the black category: the Grammy for best urban contemporary album that Beyoncé won last night is usually not televised but it was last night, presumably to placate her.

    The thing about all the Beyoncé love is that it is a glaring example of "The emperor has no clothes". She is constantly called the biggest pop singer in the world, but her actually popularity does not back this claim up, yet every media publication and pop star repeats this lie. Case in point: Adele's album sold 20 million copies, Beyoncé's 1.5 million. That may not be an accurate gauge of artistic merit, but it is the definitive gauge of popularity.

    I’ve noticed that it’s a thing among a certain sort of feminist to pretend to be a HUUUGE Beyonce Fan. They go out of their way to name check ‘Queen Bey’ – I guess it proves something or gives some sort of credibility.

    I’ve always seen Beyonce as an empty shell. She really doesn’t seem to have a lot of personality under all the make-up and sequin outfits.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    She's a hard worker.
    , @Alec Leamas
    I was always surprised that she was the one who made a great solo career from Destiny's Child. I always thought Kelly Rowland was much more attractive and more talented overall. I always thought that the public was force-fed Beyonce for some reason, like how we were told without end how Michelle Obama was the most beautiful woman in the world.
  38. We have had the thing of certain young white men referring to themselves as “white boy” for a while now. Grovel. Grovel. Grovel.

  39. @snorlax
    You way overestimate the level of self-awareness. They think white people win because they're white.

    (Get some black friends, or just lurk at Lipstick Alley; you'll get a much better understanding of their psyche).

    I thought we did win because we were white?!

    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/white-like-me/n9308?snl=1

  40. @Sean
    It is as Alan Watts said: life is a game of hide and seek. In a computer simulation of hawks versus doves with ever increasingly nice forgiving strategies mutating to win be being self effacing are sweeping all before them, but if you introduce a hawk back into the game when doves in competition to be nice have taken it to extremes you change the whole terms of competition, and the hawk will destroy the opposition. Ensconced in his reality TV sinecure, Trump didn't have to move with the times, that left him the only one who was still acting like that when he irrupted into politics.

    In a computer simulation of hawks versus doves with ever increasingly nice forgiving strategies mutating to win be being self effacing are sweeping all before them, but if you introduce a hawk back into the game when doves in competition to be nice have taken it to extremes you change the whole terms of competition, and the hawk will destroy the opposition.

    Huh?

    • Replies: @Sean
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Evolution_of_Cooperation#Axelrod.27s_tournaments

    Nowak did simulations whereby in an extremely long term run (with evolution of new strategies by mutation built in to the game), and the nicer strategies eventually come to dominate the mean ones like tit for tat. Eventually the quite altruistic strategies get taken out by aberrant uber-altruist never-bite-back strategies. At that point a punishing tit for no tat strategy can sweep all before it.

  41. @anonymous
    I've noticed that it's a thing among a certain sort of feminist to pretend to be a HUUUGE Beyonce Fan. They go out of their way to name check 'Queen Bey' - I guess it proves something or gives some sort of credibility.

    I've always seen Beyonce as an empty shell. She really doesn't seem to have a lot of personality under all the make-up and sequin outfits.

    She’s a hard worker.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    Her husband cheats on her like a drunken satyr. People love B for enduring this. Plus she does songs about the young black males and all their suffering and stuff.
  42. @anonitron1
    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever. Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up) or unbearably chauvinistic (as it does when rap music is the topic of discussion, in particular).

    Perhaps you could educate us and air out the echo chamber a bit?

    I remember the discussion here of Kendrick Lamar at some award show a while back, with the dancing on burning police cars and all. This video for Alright is pretty amazingly produced, and the music sounds good. Some images are disturbing or repulsive, and the lyrics, well, yeah I guess there’s some kind of nuance or mixed message, but…

    It doesn’t seem likely to appeal to a wide audience, seems like a kind of self-absorbed beautiful/ugly dead end, but what do I know.

    King Kunta and i are pretty good/bad too.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    This rap is funny stuff.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjfwsWkrI7SAhWHq1QKHXIcCzUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.biyokulule.com%2FIdi_Amin.htm&psig=AFQjCNFa84XsvKye4t_HhN7jR_iMKqLcUg&ust=1487119002670699
    , @vinteuil
    Young white kids love commercial crap like this. And their parents encourage them.
  43. @anonitron1
    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever. Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up) or unbearably chauvinistic (as it does when rap music is the topic of discussion, in particular).

    I am a big fan of classical music but I also have an interest in jazz as well as popular music; in jazz, and certainly in R&B, there are a number of outstanding AA musicians. So, why don’t you bring some of them up, and we can talk about that.

    However, I am also old; I don’t really relate to rap music (there are a few tunes I like, from Eminem to Tupac) and I don’t even bother with modern pop.

    I don’t understand the worship — there really is no other word — to describe the attitudes, especially among “intellectuals” for Beyonce. There was something like this 25 years ago — e.g., Camille Paglia carrying on about Madonna — but it was silly then and it’s silly now.

    If Beyonce’s albums don’t sell, she will lose to someone who does. Let’s not pretend that people will be discussing her art in 25 years.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    I don’t understand the worship — there really is no other word — to describe the attitudes, especially among “intellectuals” for Beyonce. There was something like this 25 years ago — e.g., Camille Paglia carrying on about Madonna — but it was silly then and it’s silly now.

     

    Yes, such overpraising of mediocre celebrities is always pathetic to see, but it's par for the course for deracinated, godless 'intellectuals' who don't know whom to worship.

    It's also sad to see how deeply into American culture Beyoncé worship has penetrated. I have a couple of midwestern, middle-aged, female friends who are social and political conservatives, but who still go gushy over how 'fierce' Beyoncé is.

    This is a good time to reprise a link I put up last year to an apposite article from Acculturated: Stop Overpraising Beyoncé. It’s Virtue-Signaling at Its Worst.

  44. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Beyonce = good looking rump shaker with a mediocre voice and an artistic impulse of pure narcissism, cheeseball production values

    Adele = more gooey production values, soundtrack for facebooking morons, ludicrously overrated vocals because they sound sort of black, crappy feelz songwriting, makes Lionel Richie seem like Wagner, this chick is the Phil Collins of her generation and, like Phil, nobody will listen to her in the future

    You can substitute these estrogen mimicker fanboy records for waterboarding and learn everything you need to know at Guantanamo.

  45. @syonredux
    Seems that Blacks are looking to exploit the Holocaust gravy train......but some people are crying foul:

    Late last week, Variety debuted a first look picture (see below) from “A United Kingdom” and “Belle” filmmaker Amma Asante’s latest feature, a World War II-set interracial romance titled “Where Hands Touch.” The film follows the romance between pair of German teenagers — Amandla Stenberg as the biracial Leyna and George MacKay as Lutz, the son of a prominent SS officer and a member of the Hitler Youth — and it unfolds against the backdrop of the war and the Holocaust.

    The first look image was met with backlash across social media platforms, and various commenters loudly voiced their displeasure that, in crafting a story around a persecuted person and a Hitler Youth, Asante was “romanticizing” Nazis and otherwise diminishing the experience of those that suffered during World War II and the Holocaust.
     
    http://www.indiewire.com/2017/02/where-hands-touch-amma-asante-backlash-interracial-world-war-ii-1201782138/

    I don’t know who “Kayleigh Anne” is, but I think she should get a life.

  46. @European-American
    Perhaps you could educate us and air out the echo chamber a bit?

    I remember the discussion here of Kendrick Lamar at some award show a while back, with the dancing on burning police cars and all. This video for Alright is pretty amazingly produced, and the music sounds good. Some images are disturbing or repulsive, and the lyrics, well, yeah I guess there's some kind of nuance or mixed message, but...
    https://youtu.be/Z-48u_uWMHY

    It doesn't seem likely to appeal to a wide audience, seems like a kind of self-absorbed beautiful/ugly dead end, but what do I know.

    King Kunta and i are pretty good/bad too.
    https://youtu.be/hRK7PVJFbS8
    https://youtu.be/8aShfolR6w8

    This rap is funny stuff.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjfwsWkrI7SAhWHq1QKHXIcCzUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.biyokulule.com%2FIdi_Amin.htm&psig=AFQjCNFa84XsvKye4t_HhN7jR_iMKqLcUg&ust=1487119002670699

  47. @Sandy Berger's Socks
    Adele's pandering was pathetic. Talent is not white privilege.

    Besides, if the Grammy she won had been made of chocolate, I doubt she would have been so eager to share it?

    My dear sir,that last sentence of yours could be interpreted in more than one way…

  48. @eah
    Andrew Dice Clay wouldn't.

    Andrew Dice Clay: A Jew whose entire career is playing a negative Italian-American caricature. I have no problem with people mocking Italians (I am one). The problem I have is would the reverse have been allowed? NO.

    To a lesser degree, this goes for The Fonz and the idiots in Sha Na Na, the worst TV show of all time.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    If Italians act like Jewish stereotypes, does it balance out?
    , @Citizen of a Silly Country
    De Niro has done some good parts playing somewhat stereotypical mobster Jews - but back in the day, mobster Jews kind of acted like Italians so it get confusing.

    Also, De Niro is only a quarter Italian so he's been faking it all along.
  49. @Steve Sailer
    She's a hard worker.

    Her husband cheats on her like a drunken satyr. People love B for enduring this. Plus she does songs about the young black males and all their suffering and stuff.

  50. @anonitron1
    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    Also, I can bear that Beyonce album but I can't picture anyone listening to Adele who isn't an aging and lonely white woman.

    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    I never thought I’d be defending the talent of wiggers on iSteve, but I was playing an internet racing game a few years back that had some pop songs on a playlist, and out of all the songs “Thrift Shop” got stuck in my head. I played a few other Macklemore songs from youtube and I have to say they were very catchy as well.

    I have listened to Eminem at the gym a few years back and have to say that he had undeniable musical talent. He could certainly write a hook.

    From what I’ve seen, when it comes to rap, the few white guys who have entered the fray have done it the best. Vanilla Ice is a punchline now, but practically every gen Xer can, if a gun was pointed at their head, sing a line of Ice Ice Baby.

    Maybe something of an exception that proves the rule, although not rap, Michael Jackson was legitimately huge, a massive talent. You had the genetics of the family and incredibly intense environmental push from a very early age to get him to that point.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I like Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" because a few years ago I was going to give my visiting nephew $200 to go get himself some new clothes to wear, but he told me he'd been listening to this new rap song about how you can get great deals at the Thrift Shop, so he only needed $50 to buy about a week's worth of clothes.

    Thanks, Macklemore.

    , @Anonymous
    MJ had talent, but I can think of other black performers who had as much or more. The recently deceased Al Jarreau, for example.

    While I would never argue MJ was a media creation, I would argue that his ascent from R&B act to megastar had elements of coordinated big promotion. The concentration of big name, first tier engineering, producing, arranging and composing talent he received early on and the major guest artists he attracted equally relatively early on point to industry backstage career sponsorship, and it's equally significant that there was a general consensus that rock radio needed a major black act lest the Feds get involved.

    Does anyone think that Eddie VH played on 'Thriller' because he liked MJ's pop music?
  51. @Jonah
    Seems an obvious troll, but I will take the bait.

    Kendrick Lamar has yet to produce a song that anyone will be listening to in 10 years, much less 20.

    Beyonce's last enduring tune was probably Single Ladies (nine years ago), which will haunt weddings for a long time. She had hits in that vein for a while, but no more.

    She's become a sort of fetish object for black and gay people, but she doesn't make memorable music anymore. Which isn't even really her fault -- she had 72 writer/producers on her last album. She makes zero decisions. She isn't an artist. She's just an empty vessel. One more thing to signal about.

    She's a total nimrod too. Here's her barely literate letter to Michelle Obama (whose Princeton thesis is written on roughly the same level):

    http://www.eonline.com/news/308547/see-beyonce-s-handwritten-letter-to-michelle-obama

    Adele is the creative force behind her songs. Rolling In The Deep and Hello will be getting covered and listened to long after we are all dead.

    I find Beyoncé’s note to Michelle to be typical of such notes to friends. Nothing wrong with it. You’re reinforcing the point of comment 28.

    • Replies: @Jonah
    Harry,

    Is a beautiful commenter. But he thinks it is normal for people address each other in the third person. He also thinks RANDOM CAPITALIZATION and poor penmanship are normal, while at the same time a jarringly awkward shift in diction like this is normal too. He loves exclamation points!!!!!

    Love,
    Jonah

    PS - Get real, bro.

  52. After years of trying and billions spent, they haven’t been able to do much about test scores, black innovation, relative crime rates etc

    But you CAN do something about who wins yearly awards, movies about ‘history,’ and what actors you hire to portray computer nerds, street muggers, home invaders and so on. Seriously, has anyone ever seen a home security system ad that DIDN’T feature white burglars?

    One way they could win more acting roles is by letting blacks be the bad guys in movies, but it’s not worth the hassle for the film makers.

    Also, pull down the statue of Robert E Lee in C’ville, dig up Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bones, and build a statue of MLK in DC larger than any statue of anyone else in US history.

    Rename schools, streets, ditch that nobody valedictorian, Senator, Vice President, Secretary of State, War, Congressman John Calhoun from Yale and rename his building for another trans/lesbian black poet.

    They’ve lowered their expectations so that they can WIN at these things. The constant failure in objective areas, the stagnant test scores especially, must be very demoralizing.

    • Replies: @Saint Louis
    If you're looking for a home security commercial with a black burglar, see the remarkably-aware-for-a-liberal show 30 Rock.

    https://youtu.be/axDJLPiSWh4
  53. Off-topic,

    Razib does ten questions with David Frum:

    Next came the financial crisis of 2008. The radical actions taken then first by the George W. Bush administration, then by the Obama administration, were necessary to prevent the crisis from accelerating into a global economic collapse. In this crisis, mainstream conservatives clung to ideological precepts irrelevant at best, potentially catastrophic at worst. In the long dismal recession afterward, their solutions seemed to me inhumane, perverse, and dangerously destabilizing. Trump is part of the price, it seems to me, for the mistakes of that period, including the Gang of 8 mistake of trying to open immigration even wider during the most protracted unemployment since the 1930s.

    https://gnxp.nofe.me/article/5891da565394dc2f2e00000c?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RazibKhansTotalFeed+%28Razib+Khan%27s+total+feed%29

  54. @Anon
    Re the black category: the Grammy for best urban contemporary album that Beyoncé won last night is usually not televised but it was last night, presumably to placate her.

    The thing about all the Beyoncé love is that it is a glaring example of "The emperor has no clothes". She is constantly called the biggest pop singer in the world, but her actually popularity does not back this claim up, yet every media publication and pop star repeats this lie. Case in point: Adele's album sold 20 million copies, Beyoncé's 1.5 million. That may not be an accurate gauge of artistic merit, but it is the definitive gauge of popularity.

    People know that anything by a black woman is just going to be more complaining

  55. @anonitron1
    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever. Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up) or unbearably chauvinistic (as it does when rap music is the topic of discussion, in particular).

    There’s also an excessive reverence here for (generally white) punk, no matter how anti-social or three-chord. Punks who could barely play their instrument or sing at all are okay, but rap never involves any musical talent; or that’s what I think Sailer thinks, reading between the lines. (For the record, I am not a fan of rap and find most of it unlistenable, but I think there is more talent involved, especially in terms of rhythm, than many here would give it credit for.)

    Sailer dismisses rap as essentially just being a matter of strutting around with lots of confidence (sorry, very loose paraphrase of what I remember reading), but I could easily imagine him rhapsodizing about that time Richard Hell passed out on stage or whatever.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "but I could easily imagine him"

    Yes, I suppose you could.

    , @Anonymous

    Sailer dismisses rap as essentially just being a matter of strutting around with lots of confidence (sorry, very loose paraphrase of what I remember reading), but I could easily imagine him rhapsodizing about that time Richard Hell passed out on stage or whatever.

     

    Perfectly describes so many people I know, I had to chuckle. Well, we like what we like, I guess, but, from what I can remember, Steve's actually pretty objective about this stuff most of the time.
    , @Anonymous
    It's interesting to note that although rap started as guys talking over Chic records, Nile and Nard never heard of it themselves until a couple of their new wave friends (Chris and D of Blondie) took them to a place in the Bronx to show them what was going on. At least according to Nile in a recent interview.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-SCGNOieBI
  56. “One reason Trump drives the media so nuts is that he’s a white guy with a black-sized ego.”

    Lol, so true – That’s why we pay you the big bucks Steve.

  57. @RudyM
    There's also an excessive reverence here for (generally white) punk, no matter how anti-social or three-chord. Punks who could barely play their instrument or sing at all are okay, but rap never involves any musical talent; or that's what I think Sailer thinks, reading between the lines. (For the record, I am not a fan of rap and find most of it unlistenable, but I think there is more talent involved, especially in terms of rhythm, than many here would give it credit for.)

    Sailer dismisses rap as essentially just being a matter of strutting around with lots of confidence (sorry, very loose paraphrase of what I remember reading), but I could easily imagine him rhapsodizing about that time Richard Hell passed out on stage or whatever.

    “but I could easily imagine him”

    Yes, I suppose you could.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Rudy, you should be using a gerund ("I could easily imagine his rhapsodising..."). I'm not sure if that is Steve's point or not.
  58. All Nobel Prize winners need to preemptively apologize to their overlooked black peers (to be represented by Morgan Freeman) before accepting their awards.

  59. @Anonym
    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    I never thought I'd be defending the talent of wiggers on iSteve, but I was playing an internet racing game a few years back that had some pop songs on a playlist, and out of all the songs "Thrift Shop" got stuck in my head. I played a few other Macklemore songs from youtube and I have to say they were very catchy as well.

    I have listened to Eminem at the gym a few years back and have to say that he had undeniable musical talent. He could certainly write a hook.

    From what I've seen, when it comes to rap, the few white guys who have entered the fray have done it the best. Vanilla Ice is a punchline now, but practically every gen Xer can, if a gun was pointed at their head, sing a line of Ice Ice Baby.

    Maybe something of an exception that proves the rule, although not rap, Michael Jackson was legitimately huge, a massive talent. You had the genetics of the family and incredibly intense environmental push from a very early age to get him to that point.

    I like Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” because a few years ago I was going to give my visiting nephew $200 to go get himself some new clothes to wear, but he told me he’d been listening to this new rap song about how you can get great deals at the Thrift Shop, so he only needed $50 to buy about a week’s worth of clothes.

    Thanks, Macklemore.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    The funny thing is that if you delve into the back story, the "thrift shop" items they are wearing on the clip are actually tailored. I agree though, the song has a great message.
    , @Abe

    I like Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” because a few years ago I was going to give my visiting nephew $200 to go get himself some new clothes to wear, but he told me he’d been listening to this new rap song about how you can get great deals at the Thrift Shop, so he only needed $50 to buy about a week’s worth of clothes.
     
    Yeah, but another song on that same album fulsomely praises a certain Malcolm Gladwell book (the song is even called- yup- 10,000 HOURS). So isn't it a wash in the grand cosmic scheme of things?
  60. @SPMoore8
    I am a big fan of classical music but I also have an interest in jazz as well as popular music; in jazz, and certainly in R&B, there are a number of outstanding AA musicians. So, why don't you bring some of them up, and we can talk about that.

    However, I am also old; I don't really relate to rap music (there are a few tunes I like, from Eminem to Tupac) and I don't even bother with modern pop.

    I don't understand the worship -- there really is no other word -- to describe the attitudes, especially among "intellectuals" for Beyonce. There was something like this 25 years ago -- e.g., Camille Paglia carrying on about Madonna -- but it was silly then and it's silly now.

    If Beyonce's albums don't sell, she will lose to someone who does. Let's not pretend that people will be discussing her art in 25 years.

    I don’t understand the worship — there really is no other word — to describe the attitudes, especially among “intellectuals” for Beyonce. There was something like this 25 years ago — e.g., Camille Paglia carrying on about Madonna — but it was silly then and it’s silly now.

    Yes, such overpraising of mediocre celebrities is always pathetic to see, but it’s par for the course for deracinated, godless ‘intellectuals’ who don’t know whom to worship.

    It’s also sad to see how deeply into American culture Beyoncé worship has penetrated. I have a couple of midwestern, middle-aged, female friends who are social and political conservatives, but who still go gushy over how ‘fierce’ Beyoncé is.

    This is a good time to reprise a link I put up last year to an apposite article from Acculturated: Stop Overpraising Beyoncé. It’s Virtue-Signaling at Its Worst.

  61. @Days of Broken Arrows
    Andrew Dice Clay: A Jew whose entire career is playing a negative Italian-American caricature. I have no problem with people mocking Italians (I am one). The problem I have is would the reverse have been allowed? NO.

    To a lesser degree, this goes for The Fonz and the idiots in Sha Na Na, the worst TV show of all time.

    If Italians act like Jewish stereotypes, does it balance out?

  62. The second black people (or their “allies”) make arguments in favor of a black person based on their race or percieved racial discrimination, it just invites ridicule.

    I think Beyonce deserved several of those awards over Adele because Lemonade was her most original album while 25 was just another Adele album. Lemonade took chances and came with videos with edgy choreography. “Sorry” was an amazing song because it departed from the expected pop structure (verse chorus, verse chorus bridge etc)- Sorry contains a combination of spoken word and a melody that keeps evolving. Still the whole song feels coherently held together.

    And Bey deserved the grammy over Taylor swift even more. Kanye was practically right to grab the award from Taylor Swift. And some of swift’s work is better than much of Beyonce’s, but that particular video was laughably inferior to Beyonce’s. Swift’s video was just another music video- there was nothing impressive about the content and the song was just some catchy tune. Single Ladies had a video with impressive dancing and shooting and the song made use of angular modern classical chords in the chorus, which took it from sounding Andrew sisters-like to sounding dark and modern. Choosing Swift over Beyonce was just choosing mediocrity over the challenging. This happens a lot, which is why pop music is the way it is.

    I honestly don’t like Beyonce much- in fact I prefer Adele, but I give credit where it is due. I don’t really understand how Adele beat her in so many categories.

  63. @European-American
    Perhaps you could educate us and air out the echo chamber a bit?

    I remember the discussion here of Kendrick Lamar at some award show a while back, with the dancing on burning police cars and all. This video for Alright is pretty amazingly produced, and the music sounds good. Some images are disturbing or repulsive, and the lyrics, well, yeah I guess there's some kind of nuance or mixed message, but...
    https://youtu.be/Z-48u_uWMHY

    It doesn't seem likely to appeal to a wide audience, seems like a kind of self-absorbed beautiful/ugly dead end, but what do I know.

    King Kunta and i are pretty good/bad too.
    https://youtu.be/hRK7PVJFbS8
    https://youtu.be/8aShfolR6w8

    Young white kids love commercial crap like this. And their parents encourage them.

  64. @Anonymous
    Beyonce = good looking rump shaker with a mediocre voice and an artistic impulse of pure narcissism, cheeseball production values

    Adele = more gooey production values, soundtrack for facebooking morons, ludicrously overrated vocals because they sound sort of black, crappy feelz songwriting, makes Lionel Richie seem like Wagner, this chick is the Phil Collins of her generation and, like Phil, nobody will listen to her in the future

    You can substitute these estrogen mimicker fanboy records for waterboarding and learn everything you need to know at Guantanamo.

    LOL!

  65. @Steve Sailer
    I like Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" because a few years ago I was going to give my visiting nephew $200 to go get himself some new clothes to wear, but he told me he'd been listening to this new rap song about how you can get great deals at the Thrift Shop, so he only needed $50 to buy about a week's worth of clothes.

    Thanks, Macklemore.

    The funny thing is that if you delve into the back story, the “thrift shop” items they are wearing on the clip are actually tailored. I agree though, the song has a great message.

  66. German Linke Party campaigns with the slogans “Germans Out” and “Finally End White Dominance in Germany”:

    http://www.pi-news.net/2017/01/die-symbole-der-unterwerfung/

  67. Speaking of black supremacy, ‘The Simpsons’ went full White Hate last night, implying strongly that if you are a Patriots fan you hate blacks, and also that a majority-White team, like the Patriots, must cheat to win against mostly-black teams. In other words, we all know that blacks are better athletes than Whites regardless of meaningless, racist things like, you know, the final score.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    People still watch The Simpsons? It became fat Elvis decades ago.
  68. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Adele is the creative force behind her songs. Rolling In The Deep and Hello will be getting covered and listened to long after we are all dead.

    NUCKING FUTS

    Jonah, the new world order has got so many female hormones into your system that you literally can’t think straight.

  69. P.S.: One reason Trump drives the media so nuts is that he’s a white guy with a black-sized ego.

    A small-handed white guy with a black-sized ego and a Jew-sized bank account … not bad.

    Speaking of black-sized egos, I keep thinking about the guy who played Tubbs on Miami Vice. He famously predicted (on the Johnny Carson show, no less) that he would hit the EGOT quadfecta – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony.

    In the end, he won nothing, and was reduced to hosting infomercials for the “Philip Michael Thomas International Psychic Network”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndOuljsBH6o

    (If you read through the YouTube comments, you can see the predictable claims of “RAY-CISSM!”

    Dionne Warwick sued him for making her look like even more of a D-grade celebrity than she already was.

    EDIT: Apparently he sued her. Or something.

  70. @Truth

    Rather than have a best black category, why not stop pretending that there is artistic merit in modern pop music.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyaLJFPQ-48

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3LvhdFEOqs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZwgsJweeE4

    Sorry to be obtuse, Truth, my friend – but were you trying to prove, or to dis-prove that there is artistic merit in modern pop music?

  71. I’m sick of the appalling Beyoncephobia on iSteve today.

    Don’t you all know she invented twerking? Twerking! I dare say not one of us keyboard warriors round these parts can lay claim to such accomplishment.

  72. @Days of Broken Arrows
    Andrew Dice Clay: A Jew whose entire career is playing a negative Italian-American caricature. I have no problem with people mocking Italians (I am one). The problem I have is would the reverse have been allowed? NO.

    To a lesser degree, this goes for The Fonz and the idiots in Sha Na Na, the worst TV show of all time.

    De Niro has done some good parts playing somewhat stereotypical mobster Jews – but back in the day, mobster Jews kind of acted like Italians so it get confusing.

    Also, De Niro is only a quarter Italian so he’s been faking it all along.

  73. A related phenomenon is the Hollywood tendency to blacken remakes of old movies and TV shows.

    I just saw a commercial for the new Baywatch movie, starring Dwayne Johnson, followed by a promo for the new Good Morning America show, starring Michael Strahan. Strahan joins fellow African Robin Roberts, who at 6′ barefoot makes George Stephanopoulos look even more dwarf-like than he already does. (She wears monster heels, as you can imagine.)

    Strahan replaced the venerable Regis Philbin on his talk show some years ago. Reportedly, the strain of having to deal with that nasty witch Kelly Ripa was teeth-grinding.

  74. Interestingly Kanye was not the first African American to storm the stage in protest at a white music award victory. After Shawn Colvin was announced as Song of the Year winner at the 1998 Grammys, rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard (no relation) grabbed the mic and explained that he had bought an expensive outfit because he thought his group was going to win the award. Video of the incident exists:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7duVmArLZH8

  75. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Just give everyone a participation trophy- its what the liberals have turned everything else into. If blacks are going to act like children, treat them like children.

  76. @Steve Sailer
    I like Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" because a few years ago I was going to give my visiting nephew $200 to go get himself some new clothes to wear, but he told me he'd been listening to this new rap song about how you can get great deals at the Thrift Shop, so he only needed $50 to buy about a week's worth of clothes.

    Thanks, Macklemore.

    I like Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” because a few years ago I was going to give my visiting nephew $200 to go get himself some new clothes to wear, but he told me he’d been listening to this new rap song about how you can get great deals at the Thrift Shop, so he only needed $50 to buy about a week’s worth of clothes.

    Yeah, but another song on that same album fulsomely praises a certain Malcolm Gladwell book (the song is even called- yup- 10,000 HOURS). So isn’t it a wash in the grand cosmic scheme of things?

  77. @gruff
    Interestingly Kanye was not the first African American to storm the stage in protest at a white music award victory. After Shawn Colvin was announced as Song of the Year winner at the 1998 Grammys, rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard (no relation) grabbed the mic and explained that he had bought an expensive outfit because he thought his group was going to win the award. Video of the incident exists:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7duVmArLZH8

    Thanks, I’ll post.

    • Replies: @BigBlueArseOfNeptune
    One of the mulattoes from Rage Against the Machine climbed up on the rafters of the 2000s MTV VMA when they lost best rock video to the all white Limp Bizkit.
  78. @Steve Sailer
    Thanks, I'll post.

    One of the mulattoes from Rage Against the Machine climbed up on the rafters of the 2000s MTV VMA when they lost best rock video to the all white Limp Bizkit.

  79. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @RudyM
    There's also an excessive reverence here for (generally white) punk, no matter how anti-social or three-chord. Punks who could barely play their instrument or sing at all are okay, but rap never involves any musical talent; or that's what I think Sailer thinks, reading between the lines. (For the record, I am not a fan of rap and find most of it unlistenable, but I think there is more talent involved, especially in terms of rhythm, than many here would give it credit for.)

    Sailer dismisses rap as essentially just being a matter of strutting around with lots of confidence (sorry, very loose paraphrase of what I remember reading), but I could easily imagine him rhapsodizing about that time Richard Hell passed out on stage or whatever.

    Sailer dismisses rap as essentially just being a matter of strutting around with lots of confidence (sorry, very loose paraphrase of what I remember reading), but I could easily imagine him rhapsodizing about that time Richard Hell passed out on stage or whatever.

    Perfectly describes so many people I know, I had to chuckle. Well, we like what we like, I guess, but, from what I can remember, Steve’s actually pretty objective about this stuff most of the time.

  80. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    After years of trying and billions spent, they haven't been able to do much about test scores, black innovation, relative crime rates etc

    But you CAN do something about who wins yearly awards, movies about 'history,' and what actors you hire to portray computer nerds, street muggers, home invaders and so on. Seriously, has anyone ever seen a home security system ad that DIDN'T feature white burglars?

    One way they could win more acting roles is by letting blacks be the bad guys in movies, but it's not worth the hassle for the film makers.

    Also, pull down the statue of Robert E Lee in C'ville, dig up Nathan Bedford Forrest's bones, and build a statue of MLK in DC larger than any statue of anyone else in US history.

    Rename schools, streets, ditch that nobody valedictorian, Senator, Vice President, Secretary of State, War, Congressman John Calhoun from Yale and rename his building for another trans/lesbian black poet.

    They've lowered their expectations so that they can WIN at these things. The constant failure in objective areas, the stagnant test scores especially, must be very demoralizing.

    If you’re looking for a home security commercial with a black burglar, see the remarkably-aware-for-a-liberal show 30 Rock.

    https://youtu.be/axDJLPiSWh4

  81. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anonitron1
    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever. Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up) or unbearably chauvinistic (as it does when rap music is the topic of discussion, in particular).

    It amazes me how many people use iSteve comments to unilaterally, arbitrarily, and (often proudly so) ignorantly dismiss anything done by any black person, ever.

    Agreed.

    Someone should be around to puncture the bubble when aesthetic discussion turns grandmotherly-prude (as it does anytime popular music is brought up)

    This is nothing compared to how bad (and downright bizarre) this could get in the comments a few years ago.

  82. One of the biggest media dudes who, while not overtly racist, absolutely refuses to pander to blacks is Rush.
    It is quite impressive in modern day America that he gets away with it.
    Remember when he got fired or resigned about the Donovan McNabb comment.
    If you listen to Rush a lot, it is actually quite amazing.

    Clint didn’t take any shit from Spike either.
    Can’t think of anybody else really big who isn’t afraid.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Rush used to be even a little more "direct" when he was on WABC in New York but had not yet gone into national syndication.
  83. @Anonymous
    To be fair, these awards are ridiculously subjective. If the jury had more blacks on it it is quite likely Beyonce would have won.

    I believe in HBD as much as the next guy, but music and movie awards are very far from IQ tests.

    Exactly, there are no objective criteria in determining the winners of popular music awards. And the judges don’t even say how they determine the winners. Are the winners determined by album sales, music reviews, social media buzz, technical virtuosity, originality ?

    With such vague criteria its impossible to say that a particular artists is unfairly ignored. Usually with technically demanding types of music (classical, jazz, progressive rock etc) there is a high weighting on virtuosity, but as far as I know this has little bearing on popular music awards.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Pop music is about who you identify with. I identified with Elvis Costello, David Byrne, and Joe Strummer, so I wanted them to be more prestigious so I'd be more prestigious.
  84. It’s also very rich for Kayne West to complain about white people winning music awards when he sampled Robert Fripp’s music without permission. Fripp could probably have sued him but he’s probably not that sort of guy:

    http://ultimateclassicrock.com/king-crimson-robert-fripp-quits-music-business/

    • Replies: @Arun
    Fripp could have sued him, if Kayne would have been White.
  85. @unpc downunder
    Exactly, there are no objective criteria in determining the winners of popular music awards. And the judges don't even say how they determine the winners. Are the winners determined by album sales, music reviews, social media buzz, technical virtuosity, originality ?

    With such vague criteria its impossible to say that a particular artists is unfairly ignored. Usually with technically demanding types of music (classical, jazz, progressive rock etc) there is a high weighting on virtuosity, but as far as I know this has little bearing on popular music awards.

    Pop music is about who you identify with. I identified with Elvis Costello, David Byrne, and Joe Strummer, so I wanted them to be more prestigious so I’d be more prestigious.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    But, surely not, was the young Sailer ever a Sandinista sympathiser?
    , @Malcolm X-Lax
    We should all think of these supposed snubs of black performers as vengeance for A Taste of Honey's beating out Elvis Costello for the 'Best New Artist' Grammy in 1979. (Confession: At the time, I was 12 and far more into Boogie Oogie Oogie (Don't Stop!) than Two Little Hitlers.

    Speaking of David Byrne. I'm sure you've probably seen this. Great performance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxu5dKqEmZM

  86. @pepperinmono
    One of the biggest media dudes who, while not overtly racist, absolutely refuses to pander to blacks is Rush.
    It is quite impressive in modern day America that he gets away with it.
    Remember when he got fired or resigned about the Donovan McNabb comment.
    If you listen to Rush a lot, it is actually quite amazing.

    Clint didn't take any shit from Spike either.
    Can't think of anybody else really big who isn't afraid.

    Rush used to be even a little more “direct” when he was on WABC in New York but had not yet gone into national syndication.

  87. @syonredux
    About what one would expect from a guy who studies the "coloniality of media systems and industrial organizations"......

    John Vilanova is a third-year PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication. His broad research and writing agenda focuses on the production, reception, and consumption of African American and Afro-diasporic music. His current research examines the contemporary Jamaican music industry, cultural industries development, and the coloniality of media systems and industrial organizations. John holds a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Kansas and an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an accomplished journalist who has contributed in various written and research capacities to a multitude of publications including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and Paste. He is a producer at Annenberg’s 3620 Podcast and the managing editor of MusiQology, the blog of esteemed music scholar Dr. Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr.
     

    He is also an accomplished journalist….

    One cannot simply define oneself as accomplished in a field. Accomplished journalists include Robert Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Edward Murrow, Henry Mencken, David Brinkley, Hunter Thompson, and Walter Cronkite. Because of the importance of some degree of historical perspective to properly evaluate the lasting value of anyone’s work, I posit it would not even be appropriate (yet) to deem otherwise acknowledged successes such as Steve Sailer, Diane Sawyer, Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings, or Mike Wallace as especially accomplished.

    Unrelatedly, but because I am too tired to make another comment, I give you modern music with irrefutable merit, though I cannot vouchsafe its popularity; in any event it won a Grammy, but then, so did The Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” proving only that even a broken clock is right twice a day….

    To all a good night.

  88. […] Steve Sailer asks, in discussing the recent Grammy awards, ‘Do all white award-winners have to apologize to black losers from now on?’ […]

  89. As a stopgap until we reach that utopia where blacks win everything, shouldn’t all awards come with a Best Black category so that blacks are assured of always winning something?

    Nah, that wouldn’t work, due to an insatiable need to be able to claim they’ve outdone white people. Mind you, they wouldn’t want the “Best Black” category eliminated, they’d just continue to insist on getting the overall “Best X” award all the time.

  90. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anonym
    That Macklemore won over Kendrick that year is an honest-to-god travesty. It was silly for 1989 to win over To Pimp a Butterfly but at least you can attribute that to a pro-pop/anti-rap bias among voters. Everything Macklemore has ever done is genuinely execrable.

    I never thought I'd be defending the talent of wiggers on iSteve, but I was playing an internet racing game a few years back that had some pop songs on a playlist, and out of all the songs "Thrift Shop" got stuck in my head. I played a few other Macklemore songs from youtube and I have to say they were very catchy as well.

    I have listened to Eminem at the gym a few years back and have to say that he had undeniable musical talent. He could certainly write a hook.

    From what I've seen, when it comes to rap, the few white guys who have entered the fray have done it the best. Vanilla Ice is a punchline now, but practically every gen Xer can, if a gun was pointed at their head, sing a line of Ice Ice Baby.

    Maybe something of an exception that proves the rule, although not rap, Michael Jackson was legitimately huge, a massive talent. You had the genetics of the family and incredibly intense environmental push from a very early age to get him to that point.

    MJ had talent, but I can think of other black performers who had as much or more. The recently deceased Al Jarreau, for example.

    While I would never argue MJ was a media creation, I would argue that his ascent from R&B act to megastar had elements of coordinated big promotion. The concentration of big name, first tier engineering, producing, arranging and composing talent he received early on and the major guest artists he attracted equally relatively early on point to industry backstage career sponsorship, and it’s equally significant that there was a general consensus that rock radio needed a major black act lest the Feds get involved.

    Does anyone think that Eddie VH played on ‘Thriller’ because he liked MJ’s pop music?

  91. @unpc downunder
    It's also very rich for Kayne West to complain about white people winning music awards when he sampled Robert Fripp's music without permission. Fripp could probably have sued him but he's probably not that sort of guy:

    http://ultimateclassicrock.com/king-crimson-robert-fripp-quits-music-business/

    Fripp could have sued him, if Kayne would have been White.

  92. Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” was as complete an artistic statement as we have seen in our fractured pop moment — a one-of-a-kind visual album comprised of genre-crossing track after track, conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead.

    Are they high?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeonBmeFR8o

    Whatever you might say about Beyonce, she knows how to write a catchy tune. The mere fact that she has turned to writing bizarre crap like this, let alone the fact that it was nominated for a Grammy, is testament to the degree to which high-status blacks are insulated from criticism.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    This is a pretty funny parody of 21st Century black songwriting:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4Zcjm8WypI

    It's satirizing the Think I Can Fly guy's Trapped in the Closet "opera."

  93. What’s this I hear about Jared Taylor Swift drinking dank milk and upsetting the SPLC?

  94. @Gabriel M

    Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” was as complete an artistic statement as we have seen in our fractured pop moment — a one-of-a-kind visual album comprised of genre-crossing track after track, conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead.
     
    Are they high?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeonBmeFR8o

    Whatever you might say about Beyonce, she knows how to write a catchy tune. The mere fact that she has turned to writing bizarre crap like this, let alone the fact that it was nominated for a Grammy, is testament to the degree to which high-status blacks are insulated from criticism.

    This is a pretty funny parody of 21st Century black songwriting:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4Zcjm8WypI

    It’s satirizing the Think I Can Fly guy’s Trapped in the Closet “opera.”

  95. First some facts.
    Kendrick Lamar 1 album GOOD KID, M.A.A.D. CITY was released in 2013, and has sold 1 million copies it has 2 singles which sold 1/2 million each. To PIMP A BUTTERFLY came out in March of 2015, and has gone 1x Platinum, and has 1 gold single. that means he has sold 2 million albums, and 1.5 million singles in 4 years.

    Frank Ocean his latest album BLOND came out in August So far there is nothing about it on the RIAA site. His first album CHANNEL ORANGE came out in 2013 and has so far only gone Gold. It did produce 2 1x Platinum singles and 3 Gold singles. That means he has sold 1/2 million albums, and 3.5 million singles.

    Beyoncé Her album Lemonade came out in April 25 2016. It has sold 1x Platinum, and has 1 1x platinum single, and 2 Gold singles. that means in 10 months (on the 25 of February) it will be 1 million for the album, and 2 million for singles.

    Taylor Swift Her album 1989 released Oct 27 2014. 9 weeks later when the year ended, it had sold 3.6 million copies becoming the best selling record for the year. By January 18 2015 it had sold 4 million copies, and Shake It Off The only single that had been released September 2014 had topped 3x Platinum). Which means after 12 weeks she had sold as many albums as Ocean had sold combining his albums and singles. Now the 1989 album has sold 6 million copies 27 million singles sold from it Plus Shake It Off has been viewed 1.9 billion times on YouTube.

    There are a number of conclusions you can draw from this.
    My opinion is “The African American artist write music for a relatively small audience. If that is the case and if they are any good, they can start doing music for a wider audience, or accept that they are not going to get as may votes or as much money and continue to write and preform for their reduced audience. The people who do the voting at the Grammys are just people, if they find what they have to listen to hurts their ears or mind, they are not likely to vote for it.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Do blacks not sell as high a proportion of records as they used to?

    Motown sold a huge number of records over 50 years ago. The Supremes were usually said to be the second most popular group to the Beatles in the mid-1960s. (But blacks usually were better at singles than albums back then.)

    My vague impression is that black musical skills have been in decline: e.g., blacks do much worse at winning Oscars for scoring movies than a generation ago. Blacks don't even seem to have as much of a knack for writing melodies anymore as they did in the Holland-Dozier-Holland era. Thus, the highly unexpected rise of Swedish pop songwriters.

  96. @Langley
    Now even New York times reporters have to apologize!

    New York Times Reporter Reprimanded for "Hooker" Comment About Melania Trump

    "Gender specific attacks are disgusting sexist bullshit.
    — Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) February 13, 2017"

    I do not know if "Hooker" is "Gender specific." Anderson Cooper has been known to act the part.

    Round by here, it’s invariably a short thickset Welsh bloke with no ears.

  97. @Earl
    First some facts.
    Kendrick Lamar 1 album GOOD KID, M.A.A.D. CITY was released in 2013, and has sold 1 million copies it has 2 singles which sold 1/2 million each. To PIMP A BUTTERFLY came out in March of 2015, and has gone 1x Platinum, and has 1 gold single. that means he has sold 2 million albums, and 1.5 million singles in 4 years.

    Frank Ocean his latest album BLOND came out in August So far there is nothing about it on the RIAA site. His first album CHANNEL ORANGE came out in 2013 and has so far only gone Gold. It did produce 2 1x Platinum singles and 3 Gold singles. That means he has sold 1/2 million albums, and 3.5 million singles.

    Beyoncé Her album Lemonade came out in April 25 2016. It has sold 1x Platinum, and has 1 1x platinum single, and 2 Gold singles. that means in 10 months (on the 25 of February) it will be 1 million for the album, and 2 million for singles.

    Taylor Swift Her album 1989 released Oct 27 2014. 9 weeks later when the year ended, it had sold 3.6 million copies becoming the best selling record for the year. By January 18 2015 it had sold 4 million copies, and Shake It Off The only single that had been released September 2014 had topped 3x Platinum). Which means after 12 weeks she had sold as many albums as Ocean had sold combining his albums and singles. Now the 1989 album has sold 6 million copies 27 million singles sold from it Plus Shake It Off has been viewed 1.9 billion times on YouTube.

    There are a number of conclusions you can draw from this.
    My opinion is "The African American artist write music for a relatively small audience. If that is the case and if they are any good, they can start doing music for a wider audience, or accept that they are not going to get as may votes or as much money and continue to write and preform for their reduced audience. The people who do the voting at the Grammys are just people, if they find what they have to listen to hurts their ears or mind, they are not likely to vote for it."

    Do blacks not sell as high a proportion of records as they used to?

    Motown sold a huge number of records over 50 years ago. The Supremes were usually said to be the second most popular group to the Beatles in the mid-1960s. (But blacks usually were better at singles than albums back then.)

    My vague impression is that black musical skills have been in decline: e.g., blacks do much worse at winning Oscars for scoring movies than a generation ago. Blacks don’t even seem to have as much of a knack for writing melodies anymore as they did in the Holland-Dozier-Holland era. Thus, the highly unexpected rise of Swedish pop songwriters.

    • Replies: @artichoke
    But blacks and Muslims are taking over Sweden, so real Swedes need someone to appreciate them.
    , @Corvinus
    "Now it might seem to you that blacks win lots of Grammy Awards — e.g., Steve Wonder has won 25 Grammies — but that’s because you don’t understand the true meaning of diversity, which is: Blacks must win everything."

    Well, one figures that since white Europeans created everything nice in the world that SJW's and their darkie allies seemingly destroy, one would think that given blacks inherent knack (it's in their DNA) to make music (think Fiddler in Roots) for white audiences, we as Americans ought to recognize, however grudgingly, their supremacy in this area. At least we can thrown them a bone or two. You know, so we are able to legitimize some nobody columnist like John Vilanova' personal interpretation as to what was the best album of the year. Not that someone of your stature would make any similar pronouncements lest you appear to be subjective when it comes to popular culture.
    , @Earl
    Motown records were recorded for the majority audience. You know the one where you can actually understand what the song is about, with out going to a print of the lyrics, the one that enjoys a song havening a melody, the one that did not refer to women as whores, or solicit murder.
  98. @40 Acres and A Kardashian

    In a computer simulation of hawks versus doves with ever increasingly nice forgiving strategies mutating to win be being self effacing are sweeping all before them, but if you introduce a hawk back into the game when doves in competition to be nice have taken it to extremes you change the whole terms of competition, and the hawk will destroy the opposition.
     
    Huh?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Evolution_of_Cooperation#Axelrod.27s_tournaments

    Nowak did simulations whereby in an extremely long term run (with evolution of new strategies by mutation built in to the game), and the nicer strategies eventually come to dominate the mean ones like tit for tat. Eventually the quite altruistic strategies get taken out by aberrant uber-altruist never-bite-back strategies. At that point a punishing tit for no tat strategy can sweep all before it.

    • Replies: @Autochthon

    Most of the games that game theory had heretofore investigated are "zero-sum" – that is, the total rewards are fixed, and a player does well only at the expense of other players. But real life is not zero-sum.
     
    Rubbish. Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another's family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Don't cite fairy tales as science.

    TL;DR = "Assume a can-opener...."

    Let me be clear: I'm not critiquing Sean; the nonsense quoted is from the piece in Wikipedia.

  99. @Steve Sailer
    "but I could easily imagine him"

    Yes, I suppose you could.

    Rudy, you should be using a gerund (“I could easily imagine his rhapsodising…”). I’m not sure if that is Steve’s point or not.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It's easy to imagine things but it can be hard to come up with a URL of me saying something like that.
  100. @vinteuil
    Chartres - Lame.

    The Sistine Chapel Frescoes - Eh.

    Richard II + 1 Henry IV + 2 Henry IV + Henry V - Whatever.

    Das Rheingold + Die Walküre + Siegfried + Götterdämmerung - Overrated.

    "Races of Man" sculptures - RU KIDDING? Chopped Liver. And Racist.

    Lemonade - "...conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead."

    Thank you. I finally understand.

    I shouted out
    Who elected the Trumps?
    When after all
    It was you and me
    (Who whom, who whom)

    https://youtu.be/aZlMilJs5NE

  101. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Steve Sailer
    Pop music is about who you identify with. I identified with Elvis Costello, David Byrne, and Joe Strummer, so I wanted them to be more prestigious so I'd be more prestigious.

    But, surely not, was the young Sailer ever a Sandinista sympathiser?

    • Replies: @Eric Novak
    Hard to imagine Steve wearing a Strummer "Rebel Rouge" shirt or a biker leather with "Hate and War" on the back, so he probably just recognizes Uncle Joe's serious songwriting talent. After years of being a Clash fan, the realization that I was singing along for the glory of fighting for the left in the Spanish Civil War in the song Spanish Bombs caused a serious rethink of what enters my eyes and ears. Perhaps Steve had similar revelations in his development. I still have high regard for The Clash because they were representatives of the white working class, but the line of acceptance has thinned greatly.
  102. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The Stranglers were one of the better edgy British bands of the late 1970s.
    Never ones to be pigeonholed as ‘punk’ or to wear silly clothing for the sake of wearing silly clothing, The Stranglers never quite achieved the kudos or respect they deserved.

    A lot of this stems from a hate campaign waged by Britain’s oh so trendy, hard left, polemical music press – the papers of those days read more like Marxist tracts than music papers.

    The Stranglers great sin, in the eyes of the lefty music press, was to perform a stage set, in Battersea Park back in ’78, in which the band shared the stage with a troupe of strippers.

  103. @Autochthon
    Rudy, you should be using a gerund ("I could easily imagine his rhapsodising..."). I'm not sure if that is Steve's point or not.

    It’s easy to imagine things but it can be hard to come up with a URL of me saying something like that.

  104. @Barnard

    Since then, it has become increasingly common for white award winners to apologize from the stage to black losers for the obvious racial injustice of their victories, such Macklemore to Kendrick Lamar in 2013
     
    From what I remember at that time, it was widely believed that the only reason Macklemore won was that he had a song on his album promoting gay marriage and that he admitted as much later, which was why he apologized. Rather than have a best black category, why not stop pretending that there is artistic merit in modern pop music. The public might be heading in that direction based on the ratings for the show. Now if we can get retail businesses to stop blasting pop music at us in every store across America.

    For decades, the way to win an Academy Award was to make a Holocaust movie. You’d see people’s careers. At some point they would do their obligatory Holocaust movie and collect their Oscar.

    It shows the tremendous integrity of showbiz that at least you have to do something, even if formulaic. You don’t get an award just for being a certain race. Mostly anyway.

  105. @Steve Sailer
    Do blacks not sell as high a proportion of records as they used to?

    Motown sold a huge number of records over 50 years ago. The Supremes were usually said to be the second most popular group to the Beatles in the mid-1960s. (But blacks usually were better at singles than albums back then.)

    My vague impression is that black musical skills have been in decline: e.g., blacks do much worse at winning Oscars for scoring movies than a generation ago. Blacks don't even seem to have as much of a knack for writing melodies anymore as they did in the Holland-Dozier-Holland era. Thus, the highly unexpected rise of Swedish pop songwriters.

    But blacks and Muslims are taking over Sweden, so real Swedes need someone to appreciate them.

  106. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    Speaking of black supremacy, 'The Simpsons' went full White Hate last night, implying strongly that if you are a Patriots fan you hate blacks, and also that a majority-White team, like the Patriots, must cheat to win against mostly-black teams. In other words, we all know that blacks are better athletes than Whites regardless of meaningless, racist things like, you know, the final score.

    People still watch The Simpsons? It became fat Elvis decades ago.

  107. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Like in every relationship: if they do (apologyze/comply/…), they will have to (apologyze, comply, …).

    How long? Till they keep doing it.

  108. @Sean
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Evolution_of_Cooperation#Axelrod.27s_tournaments

    Nowak did simulations whereby in an extremely long term run (with evolution of new strategies by mutation built in to the game), and the nicer strategies eventually come to dominate the mean ones like tit for tat. Eventually the quite altruistic strategies get taken out by aberrant uber-altruist never-bite-back strategies. At that point a punishing tit for no tat strategy can sweep all before it.

    Most of the games that game theory had heretofore investigated are “zero-sum” – that is, the total rewards are fixed, and a player does well only at the expense of other players. But real life is not zero-sum.

    Rubbish. Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another’s family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Don’t cite fairy tales as science.

    TL;DR = “Assume a can-opener….”

    Let me be clear: I’m not critiquing Sean; the nonsense quoted is from the piece in Wikipedia.

    • Replies: @Gabriel M

    Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another’s family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.
     
    Food is a finite resource? What is not a finite resource according to you?

    Life most certainly is zero-sum.
     
    That explains why the productive capacity of the world remains the same as it was hundred years ago.

    Don’t cite fairy tales as science.
     
    Not everything *gritty* is necessarily realistic.
    , @res

    Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another’s family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.
     
    Interesting. Agree with you about many things, but not this one. First, I do agree there is a large zero-sum component to natural resources as you observe. But, even there there is a negative-sum aspect (e.g. contamination or wastage) and a positive-sum aspect (e.g. new technology improving production and/or usage efficiency).

    But the human interactions are where things become non-zero-sum (both positive and negative) very quickly and decisively IMHO. Before going on about this though, I'll first ask: do you disagree with my preceding sentence? If so, I'd be interested in hearing an elaboration of how you see things.
    , @Sean
    Michel de Montaigne, who lived at a time of violence, thought differently. He did not have the guards that other landowners employed but his manor house was not raided as frequently as theirs. On the other hand when captured and robbed by bandits who were considering whether to hold him for ransom, a bound Montaigne piped up and told them they had already got all they were going to get.

    Montaigne never came to a conclusion about whether direct confrontation (risking escalation) or forbearance was the best strategy. I think Nowak's work shows that the context is everything, because a brutal strategy can win big when it is not up against its own kind. Trump came to the front when his style was seen as archaic, no one else was acting like that. But everyone will be now and so it will not work because they'll be up against each other.

    , @Anonymous
    You're thinking like a lawyer. Not like an engineer.
  109. Last good pop singers: Ella Fitzgerald (a Negro, for those of you who didn’t know) and Frank Sinatra. Last good pop songwriter: Johnny Mercer (a redneck).

    This really is depressing.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Mercer was hardly a redneck. He was from a society family in Savannah, Georgia, and anyone who knows anything about Savannah knows what that means.

    He was, in fact, an extraordinarily sophisticated person.

    The most sophisticated "country" songwriter, Harlan Howard, openly aspired to the kind of wit and sophistication guys like Mercer and Carmichael-and ((the other ones))-exhibited. By his own reckoning, he came a little close once in a while, and that is a very perspicacious self assessment.

    Compare Howard's last (or nearly last) country hit, " Blame it on Your ( lying, cheating, cold dead beating,Two-timing, double dealing Mean mistreating, loving) Heart" (Patty Loveless, vocals) , with Mercer's meisterwerk "Something's Got To Give".

    Mercer's is a Grand Prix Ferrari of the front engine era as opposed to Howard's pretty good hotrodded Model A. Yet, Howard was no redneck.

    David Allan Coe, that prodigal son of Akron, Ohio, on the other hand is a redneck. See any of his (composed) chart singles on the country charts-or his legendarily filthy but well crafted biker albums for proof.

    (Note that Coe often had hits as a singer with other people's songs. He is in fact best known for singing ((Steve Goodman's)) "You Never Even Call Me By My Name", the 'perfect country and western song'. )
  110. @Steve Sailer
    Do blacks not sell as high a proportion of records as they used to?

    Motown sold a huge number of records over 50 years ago. The Supremes were usually said to be the second most popular group to the Beatles in the mid-1960s. (But blacks usually were better at singles than albums back then.)

    My vague impression is that black musical skills have been in decline: e.g., blacks do much worse at winning Oscars for scoring movies than a generation ago. Blacks don't even seem to have as much of a knack for writing melodies anymore as they did in the Holland-Dozier-Holland era. Thus, the highly unexpected rise of Swedish pop songwriters.

    “Now it might seem to you that blacks win lots of Grammy Awards — e.g., Steve Wonder has won 25 Grammies — but that’s because you don’t understand the true meaning of diversity, which is: Blacks must win everything.”

    Well, one figures that since white Europeans created everything nice in the world that SJW’s and their darkie allies seemingly destroy, one would think that given blacks inherent knack (it’s in their DNA) to make music (think Fiddler in Roots) for white audiences, we as Americans ought to recognize, however grudgingly, their supremacy in this area. At least we can thrown them a bone or two. You know, so we are able to legitimize some nobody columnist like John Vilanova’ personal interpretation as to what was the best album of the year. Not that someone of your stature would make any similar pronouncements lest you appear to be subjective when it comes to popular culture.

    • Replies: @artichoke
    Not sure if you're joking or not. I prefer the white European classical music tradition over any of the popular stuff here, but within US pop culture, there's MJ and then a bunch of white performers. I don't even particularly like any of the blacks except MJ.
  111. @Autochthon

    Most of the games that game theory had heretofore investigated are "zero-sum" – that is, the total rewards are fixed, and a player does well only at the expense of other players. But real life is not zero-sum.
     
    Rubbish. Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another's family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Don't cite fairy tales as science.

    TL;DR = "Assume a can-opener...."

    Let me be clear: I'm not critiquing Sean; the nonsense quoted is from the piece in Wikipedia.

    Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another’s family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Food is a finite resource? What is not a finite resource according to you?

    Life most certainly is zero-sum.

    That explains why the productive capacity of the world remains the same as it was hundred years ago.

    Don’t cite fairy tales as science.

    Not everything *gritty* is necessarily realistic.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Ah, the ole Socratic method. Do let's!

    How many people can the Earth provide with food and water? Ten billion? A hundred? A hundred trillion? An infinite amount? (You do realise what finite means, don't you?)

    The productive capacity of the world is the same as it was a century ago? It has the same amount of fossil fuels? The same acreage of forests? Of potable water? Of fresh air? Of unpolluted wilderness? Aside from these questions, has the planet's actual productive capacity not changed, or has the share thereof used by humanity merely increased?
  112. @syonredux
    Maybe White artists should simply decline to compete for awards? "In order to ensure that Black [ fill in the blank] receive all the honors that they rightfully deserve, I hereby refuse to accept any further nominations/awards."

    This would actually be a great idea if white artists all really followed through on that statement. Can you imagine what would happen to the Grammy’s ratings and prestige if it became just another BET show?

  113. @Anonymous
    But, surely not, was the young Sailer ever a Sandinista sympathiser?

    Hard to imagine Steve wearing a Strummer “Rebel Rouge” shirt or a biker leather with “Hate and War” on the back, so he probably just recognizes Uncle Joe’s serious songwriting talent. After years of being a Clash fan, the realization that I was singing along for the glory of fighting for the left in the Spanish Civil War in the song Spanish Bombs caused a serious rethink of what enters my eyes and ears. Perhaps Steve had similar revelations in his development. I still have high regard for The Clash because they were representatives of the white working class, but the line of acceptance has thinned greatly.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Perhaps Steve had similar revelations in his development."

    No I was a sophomore or junior in college, a history major, when The Clash albums finally got to Houston. I liked Strummer's leftwing early Orwell-Kiplingesque hybrid as an artistic project.

    I'm still finding out details that round out my 1978-80. For example, Strummer called his dad a clerk in the diplomatic service, but he really was in MI-6. He was the man who decoded and encoded messages for secret agents. His dad was good friends with Kim Philby. His dad was born in the Indian city of Lucknow, where Kipling went to school. The last song Strummer recorded was "Minstrel Boy," which Sean Connery and Michael Caine sing (with different words) in Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King.

    This stuff isn't exactly intentional but it's not all coincidental either.

    I could probably come up with a bunch of similarities to George Orwell as well: expensive boarding school (Joe was head boy) but not then going to Oxbridge. Orwell became an Imperial policeman in Burma, which is kind of Strummeresque. Kipling and Orwell are kind of right and left matched products of the Empire.

    I also really like Mick Jones, even though, yeah, I know, he's kind of a comic figure, a bald, drug-addled Jerry Seinfeld.

    , @Kyle McKenna
    God bless you. I've been searching for "Spanish Bombs" for decades, mis-remembering it as "Spanish Nights in Andalucia" and thinking it was a song by Squeeze. Finally I can die happy.
  114. @Harry Baldwin
    I find Beyoncé's note to Michelle to be typical of such notes to friends. Nothing wrong with it. You're reinforcing the point of comment 28.

    Harry,

    Is a beautiful commenter. But he thinks it is normal for people address each other in the third person. He also thinks RANDOM CAPITALIZATION and poor penmanship are normal, while at the same time a jarringly awkward shift in diction like this is normal too. He loves exclamation points!!!!!

    Love,
    Jonah

    PS – Get real, bro.

  115. @Eric Novak
    Hard to imagine Steve wearing a Strummer "Rebel Rouge" shirt or a biker leather with "Hate and War" on the back, so he probably just recognizes Uncle Joe's serious songwriting talent. After years of being a Clash fan, the realization that I was singing along for the glory of fighting for the left in the Spanish Civil War in the song Spanish Bombs caused a serious rethink of what enters my eyes and ears. Perhaps Steve had similar revelations in his development. I still have high regard for The Clash because they were representatives of the white working class, but the line of acceptance has thinned greatly.

    “Perhaps Steve had similar revelations in his development.”

    No I was a sophomore or junior in college, a history major, when The Clash albums finally got to Houston. I liked Strummer’s leftwing early Orwell-Kiplingesque hybrid as an artistic project.

    I’m still finding out details that round out my 1978-80. For example, Strummer called his dad a clerk in the diplomatic service, but he really was in MI-6. He was the man who decoded and encoded messages for secret agents. His dad was good friends with Kim Philby. His dad was born in the Indian city of Lucknow, where Kipling went to school. The last song Strummer recorded was “Minstrel Boy,” which Sean Connery and Michael Caine sing (with different words) in Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King.

    This stuff isn’t exactly intentional but it’s not all coincidental either.

    I could probably come up with a bunch of similarities to George Orwell as well: expensive boarding school (Joe was head boy) but not then going to Oxbridge. Orwell became an Imperial policeman in Burma, which is kind of Strummeresque. Kipling and Orwell are kind of right and left matched products of the Empire.

    I also really like Mick Jones, even though, yeah, I know, he’s kind of a comic figure, a bald, drug-addled Jerry Seinfeld.

    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    B.A.D. remains under-rated. Whatever happened to those guys?
  116. @anonymous
    I've noticed that it's a thing among a certain sort of feminist to pretend to be a HUUUGE Beyonce Fan. They go out of their way to name check 'Queen Bey' - I guess it proves something or gives some sort of credibility.

    I've always seen Beyonce as an empty shell. She really doesn't seem to have a lot of personality under all the make-up and sequin outfits.

    I was always surprised that she was the one who made a great solo career from Destiny’s Child. I always thought Kelly Rowland was much more attractive and more talented overall. I always thought that the public was force-fed Beyonce for some reason, like how we were told without end how Michelle Obama was the most beautiful woman in the world.

  117. @Autochthon

    Most of the games that game theory had heretofore investigated are "zero-sum" – that is, the total rewards are fixed, and a player does well only at the expense of other players. But real life is not zero-sum.
     
    Rubbish. Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another's family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Don't cite fairy tales as science.

    TL;DR = "Assume a can-opener...."

    Let me be clear: I'm not critiquing Sean; the nonsense quoted is from the piece in Wikipedia.

    Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another’s family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Interesting. Agree with you about many things, but not this one. First, I do agree there is a large zero-sum component to natural resources as you observe. But, even there there is a negative-sum aspect (e.g. contamination or wastage) and a positive-sum aspect (e.g. new technology improving production and/or usage efficiency).

    But the human interactions are where things become non-zero-sum (both positive and negative) very quickly and decisively IMHO. Before going on about this though, I’ll first ask: do you disagree with my preceding sentence? If so, I’d be interested in hearing an elaboration of how you see things.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I won't say I categorically disagree with it, in all possible contexts. As to a fixed quantity X divided between persons A and B, I contend what B gets, A does not, and vice versa.

    That's the Malthusian death match closing upon us in tbe rearview mirror.

    I agree that if A and B cooperate, say, farming Blackacre, they may obtain a greater harvest from it than either could alone; but diminishing returns and declining marginal utility dictate that bringing in a million more farmers will make for insufficient gains in the yield to offset the added hungry mouths.

    Do you have a concrete illustration of your theory in mind?
  118. @Autochthon

    Most of the games that game theory had heretofore investigated are "zero-sum" – that is, the total rewards are fixed, and a player does well only at the expense of other players. But real life is not zero-sum.
     
    Rubbish. Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another's family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Don't cite fairy tales as science.

    TL;DR = "Assume a can-opener...."

    Let me be clear: I'm not critiquing Sean; the nonsense quoted is from the piece in Wikipedia.

    Michel de Montaigne, who lived at a time of violence, thought differently. He did not have the guards that other landowners employed but his manor house was not raided as frequently as theirs. On the other hand when captured and robbed by bandits who were considering whether to hold him for ransom, a bound Montaigne piped up and told them they had already got all they were going to get.

    Montaigne never came to a conclusion about whether direct confrontation (risking escalation) or forbearance was the best strategy. I think Nowak’s work shows that the context is everything, because a brutal strategy can win big when it is not up against its own kind. Trump came to the front when his style was seen as archaic, no one else was acting like that. But everyone will be now and so it will not work because they’ll be up against each other.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    It seems the bullies went a bit easier on Montagne because he didn't make a fuss. However, if he'd shot the bastards, he'd have gotten off easier still. Sure, it's better to be robbed than murdered, and better to be robbed of $5.00 than $500.00. If being a patsy gets one the former instead of the lattter, it's preferable within the false dichotomy presented. Better still, though, to slay the marauder in the first instance and keep all your money and your health.

    One could rightly argue that for the weak and the cowardly that last choice isn't avaialble. Patrick Henry concisely expressed my own philosophy of the matter.

    I'm not entirely (and foolishly) idealistic. I choose my battles carefully. But I do fight them. Physically when called for.

  119. @Olorin

    Do white award winners have to apologize to black losers from now on?
     
    Lord, yes!

    And I implore you, brethren and sistren: let's hasten the day when this is as common as "gesundheit" (or whatever) when someone sneezes!!!!

    Then we'll see what their little minds--or more accurately their handlers'--cobble together as the next level of reactionary demand.

    I think of it as the laser flashlight you use with a cat. Or the piece of wool roving on a length of monofilament. Granted, I lose interest in watching the cat faster than the cat loses interest in the Twitchy Thing. But it's nice to move through life with such toys in one's pocket.

    ProTip: if you carry a little piece of ripe banana in a Lock-and-Lock in your pocket, you can do interesting experiments on clouds of tiny flying insects. Their flight trajectories, e.g.

    Though I can't say I've ever found anything quite that interesting involving humans with a mean IQ of 80.

    This could be it!

    Of course they should apologize. And Steve should apologize for even asking. I mean really.

    Reminds me of the old “Flying Circus” episode wherein the announcer says: “The BBC would like to apologize to everyone in the world for the next sketch.”

  120. @European-American
    Thank you. I finally understand.

    I shouted out
    Who elected the Trumps?
    When after all
    It was you and me
    (Who whom, who whom)

     

    https://youtu.be/aZlMilJs5NE

    Okay, that was brilliant.

  121. @Steve Sailer
    "Perhaps Steve had similar revelations in his development."

    No I was a sophomore or junior in college, a history major, when The Clash albums finally got to Houston. I liked Strummer's leftwing early Orwell-Kiplingesque hybrid as an artistic project.

    I'm still finding out details that round out my 1978-80. For example, Strummer called his dad a clerk in the diplomatic service, but he really was in MI-6. He was the man who decoded and encoded messages for secret agents. His dad was good friends with Kim Philby. His dad was born in the Indian city of Lucknow, where Kipling went to school. The last song Strummer recorded was "Minstrel Boy," which Sean Connery and Michael Caine sing (with different words) in Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King.

    This stuff isn't exactly intentional but it's not all coincidental either.

    I could probably come up with a bunch of similarities to George Orwell as well: expensive boarding school (Joe was head boy) but not then going to Oxbridge. Orwell became an Imperial policeman in Burma, which is kind of Strummeresque. Kipling and Orwell are kind of right and left matched products of the Empire.

    I also really like Mick Jones, even though, yeah, I know, he's kind of a comic figure, a bald, drug-addled Jerry Seinfeld.

    B.A.D. remains under-rated. Whatever happened to those guys?

  122. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Autochthon

    Most of the games that game theory had heretofore investigated are "zero-sum" – that is, the total rewards are fixed, and a player does well only at the expense of other players. But real life is not zero-sum.
     
    Rubbish. Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another's family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.

    Don't cite fairy tales as science.

    TL;DR = "Assume a can-opener...."

    Let me be clear: I'm not critiquing Sean; the nonsense quoted is from the piece in Wikipedia.

    You’re thinking like a lawyer. Not like an engineer.

    • Agree: res
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    You are communicating like an engineer, not like a lawyer.
  123. @Steve Sailer
    Do blacks not sell as high a proportion of records as they used to?

    Motown sold a huge number of records over 50 years ago. The Supremes were usually said to be the second most popular group to the Beatles in the mid-1960s. (But blacks usually were better at singles than albums back then.)

    My vague impression is that black musical skills have been in decline: e.g., blacks do much worse at winning Oscars for scoring movies than a generation ago. Blacks don't even seem to have as much of a knack for writing melodies anymore as they did in the Holland-Dozier-Holland era. Thus, the highly unexpected rise of Swedish pop songwriters.

    Motown records were recorded for the majority audience. You know the one where you can actually understand what the song is about, with out going to a print of the lyrics, the one that enjoys a song havening a melody, the one that did not refer to women as whores, or solicit murder.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Berry Gordy was a smart guy who understood his black talent and understood he could with a little molding and shaping make them into acts that would appeal not just to blacks but everyone.

    He kept them in the black wheelhouse while getting them to produce what were good pop records by any standard. His studio crew were jazzers, most black, some white, that could play what he wanted and he provided the local talent with the direction and the infrastructure-Hitsville USA, his studio-to make them into worldwide successes.

    He did sign them to contracts that were favorable to himself, but he also gave them important guidance and discipline, and took care of expenses other labels didn't.
  124. @Steve Sailer
    Pop music is about who you identify with. I identified with Elvis Costello, David Byrne, and Joe Strummer, so I wanted them to be more prestigious so I'd be more prestigious.

    We should all think of these supposed snubs of black performers as vengeance for A Taste of Honey’s beating out Elvis Costello for the ‘Best New Artist’ Grammy in 1979. (Confession: At the time, I was 12 and far more into Boogie Oogie Oogie (Don’t Stop!) than Two Little Hitlers.

    Speaking of David Byrne. I’m sure you’ve probably seen this. Great performance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxu5dKqEmZM

  125. @Gabriel M

    Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another’s family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.
     
    Food is a finite resource? What is not a finite resource according to you?

    Life most certainly is zero-sum.
     
    That explains why the productive capacity of the world remains the same as it was hundred years ago.

    Don’t cite fairy tales as science.
     
    Not everything *gritty* is necessarily realistic.

    Ah, the ole Socratic method. Do let’s!

    How many people can the Earth provide with food and water? Ten billion? A hundred? A hundred trillion? An infinite amount? (You do realise what finite means, don’t you?)

    The productive capacity of the world is the same as it was a century ago? It has the same amount of fossil fuels? The same acreage of forests? Of potable water? Of fresh air? Of unpolluted wilderness? Aside from these questions, has the planet’s actual productive capacity not changed, or has the share thereof used by humanity merely increased?

  126. @Sean
    Michel de Montaigne, who lived at a time of violence, thought differently. He did not have the guards that other landowners employed but his manor house was not raided as frequently as theirs. On the other hand when captured and robbed by bandits who were considering whether to hold him for ransom, a bound Montaigne piped up and told them they had already got all they were going to get.

    Montaigne never came to a conclusion about whether direct confrontation (risking escalation) or forbearance was the best strategy. I think Nowak's work shows that the context is everything, because a brutal strategy can win big when it is not up against its own kind. Trump came to the front when his style was seen as archaic, no one else was acting like that. But everyone will be now and so it will not work because they'll be up against each other.

    It seems the bullies went a bit easier on Montagne because he didn’t make a fuss. However, if he’d shot the bastards, he’d have gotten off easier still. Sure, it’s better to be robbed than murdered, and better to be robbed of $5.00 than $500.00. If being a patsy gets one the former instead of the lattter, it’s preferable within the false dichotomy presented. Better still, though, to slay the marauder in the first instance and keep all your money and your health.

    One could rightly argue that for the weak and the cowardly that last choice isn’t avaialble. Patrick Henry concisely expressed my own philosophy of the matter.

    I’m not entirely (and foolishly) idealistic. I choose my battles carefully. But I do fight them. Physically when called for.

  127. @Anonymous
    You're thinking like a lawyer. Not like an engineer.

    You are communicating like an engineer, not like a lawyer.

  128. @res

    Life most certainly is zero-sum. Land I inhabit is land others do not. Food and water for my family and my people is food and water another’s family and people do not have. Likewise with every finite resource on this finite planet.
     
    Interesting. Agree with you about many things, but not this one. First, I do agree there is a large zero-sum component to natural resources as you observe. But, even there there is a negative-sum aspect (e.g. contamination or wastage) and a positive-sum aspect (e.g. new technology improving production and/or usage efficiency).

    But the human interactions are where things become non-zero-sum (both positive and negative) very quickly and decisively IMHO. Before going on about this though, I'll first ask: do you disagree with my preceding sentence? If so, I'd be interested in hearing an elaboration of how you see things.

    I won’t say I categorically disagree with it, in all possible contexts. As to a fixed quantity X divided between persons A and B, I contend what B gets, A does not, and vice versa.

    That’s the Malthusian death match closing upon us in tbe rearview mirror.

    I agree that if A and B cooperate, say, farming Blackacre, they may obtain a greater harvest from it than either could alone; but diminishing returns and declining marginal utility dictate that bringing in a million more farmers will make for insufficient gains in the yield to offset the added hungry mouths.

    Do you have a concrete illustration of your theory in mind?

    • Replies: @res

    As to a fixed quantity X divided between persons A and B, I contend what B gets, A does not, and vice versa.
     
    It's hard to argue with that. I agreed with the lawyer/engineer comment above (and LOLed at your rejoinder, hope I'm not being too much the engineer here) because it helped me think about our conversation. I do think lawyers see zero-sum games in practice more often than most professions (and I assume that impacts legal education/philosophy? excessive engineering technical optimism would be the flip side of that IMHO). To my mind the interesting question is how relatively often do zero/negative/positive-sum interactions/problems occur? On reflection, I think US politics being dominated by lawyers has some interesting implications viewed through this lens (especially when contrasted with relative engineer political dominance in China), but need to think about that more.

    That’s the Malthusian death match closing upon us in tbe rearview mirror.
     
    I share that fear. To my mind the big question is: what will be the critical factor? I'm betting water or hydrocarbons (both as fuel and as chemical feedstock, e.g. fertilizer). But I am made more cautious by the failure to date of the Limits to Growth (etc.) projections. Though I still think there are valid arguments there and my biggest takeaway from those works was that with exponential growth things look OK until suddenly and irrevocably they are not. The key question to my mind is whether the feedback mechanism of the market combined with the available alternatives are enough to control (without wild and/or fatal oscillations) the inherent instability in the system (OK, that was probably too much engineer ; ).

    but diminishing returns and declining marginal utility dictate
     
    These are a common iSteve theme and I can't agree enough about their importance. Not to mention the stunning lack of awareness of them in most public discourse.

    Do you have a concrete illustration of your theory in mind?

     

    I mentioned enough things I'm not certain what you mean. I'll sketch some things and perhaps you can choose what to explore further or let me know what I missed.

    I think the expansion of my resource examples is pretty straightforward. Another example would be resource substitution. For example, firewood to animal/plant oils to petrochemicals to sufficient electricity as substitute for almost anything.

    The human side is more complicated, but I also thought more obvious to anyone who has spent much time in the world. The obvious negative-sum example is war. Not coincidentally I think that is the greatest cause of unnecessary resource consumption, contamination, and wastage. Technology (as a human endeavor) provides some good positive-sum examples. For example, the lighting efficiency increases moving from wood to hydrocarbons to incandescent bulbs to fluorescents to LEDs.

    IMHO the better (and more interesting) examples lie in the differences between cooperative and adversarial human interactions. Perhaps the difference between the use of arbitration and the adversarial legal system is a good example? I think this also highlights the lawyer/engineer differences being alluded to here. Although sometimes necessary, I think the expense of both sides mobilizing for and fighting an adversarial battle creates a fixed cost guaranteeing a negative-sum result. I also think the defensive requirements of the adversarial interaction make it more difficult to achieve a near-optimal compromise when such a thing is possible. Probably not coincidental that all of this is a decent analog for war/conflict compared to political negotiation.

    For a final example, I would use viewing commenting here through the lens of the prisoners dilemma in game theory. I get more out of conversations like this (positive-sum) than I do from pointers to facts (much as I value those) and certainly much more than content-lacking sniping (negative-sum). The issue is how to maximize the good interactions while preventing the comment section from being overrun by the bad (both my own and others).
  129. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @TheOldOne
    Last good pop singers: Ella Fitzgerald (a Negro, for those of you who didn't know) and Frank Sinatra. Last good pop songwriter: Johnny Mercer (a redneck).

    This really is depressing.

    Mercer was hardly a redneck. He was from a society family in Savannah, Georgia, and anyone who knows anything about Savannah knows what that means.

    He was, in fact, an extraordinarily sophisticated person.

    The most sophisticated “country” songwriter, Harlan Howard, openly aspired to the kind of wit and sophistication guys like Mercer and Carmichael-and ((the other ones))-exhibited. By his own reckoning, he came a little close once in a while, and that is a very perspicacious self assessment.

    Compare Howard’s last (or nearly last) country hit, ” Blame it on Your ( lying, cheating, cold dead beating,Two-timing, double dealing Mean mistreating, loving) Heart” (Patty Loveless, vocals) , with Mercer’s meisterwerk “Something’s Got To Give”.

    Mercer’s is a Grand Prix Ferrari of the front engine era as opposed to Howard’s pretty good hotrodded Model A. Yet, Howard was no redneck.

    David Allan Coe, that prodigal son of Akron, Ohio, on the other hand is a redneck. See any of his (composed) chart singles on the country charts-or his legendarily filthy but well crafted biker albums for proof.

    (Note that Coe often had hits as a singer with other people’s songs. He is in fact best known for singing ((Steve Goodman’s)) “You Never Even Call Me By My Name”, the ‘perfect country and western song’. )

  130. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Earl
    Motown records were recorded for the majority audience. You know the one where you can actually understand what the song is about, with out going to a print of the lyrics, the one that enjoys a song havening a melody, the one that did not refer to women as whores, or solicit murder.

    Berry Gordy was a smart guy who understood his black talent and understood he could with a little molding and shaping make them into acts that would appeal not just to blacks but everyone.

    He kept them in the black wheelhouse while getting them to produce what were good pop records by any standard. His studio crew were jazzers, most black, some white, that could play what he wanted and he provided the local talent with the direction and the infrastructure-Hitsville USA, his studio-to make them into worldwide successes.

    He did sign them to contracts that were favorable to himself, but he also gave them important guidance and discipline, and took care of expenses other labels didn’t.

  131. @Eric Novak
    Hard to imagine Steve wearing a Strummer "Rebel Rouge" shirt or a biker leather with "Hate and War" on the back, so he probably just recognizes Uncle Joe's serious songwriting talent. After years of being a Clash fan, the realization that I was singing along for the glory of fighting for the left in the Spanish Civil War in the song Spanish Bombs caused a serious rethink of what enters my eyes and ears. Perhaps Steve had similar revelations in his development. I still have high regard for The Clash because they were representatives of the white working class, but the line of acceptance has thinned greatly.

    God bless you. I’ve been searching for “Spanish Bombs” for decades, mis-remembering it as “Spanish Nights in Andalucia” and thinking it was a song by Squeeze. Finally I can die happy.

  132. @Autochthon
    I won't say I categorically disagree with it, in all possible contexts. As to a fixed quantity X divided between persons A and B, I contend what B gets, A does not, and vice versa.

    That's the Malthusian death match closing upon us in tbe rearview mirror.

    I agree that if A and B cooperate, say, farming Blackacre, they may obtain a greater harvest from it than either could alone; but diminishing returns and declining marginal utility dictate that bringing in a million more farmers will make for insufficient gains in the yield to offset the added hungry mouths.

    Do you have a concrete illustration of your theory in mind?

    As to a fixed quantity X divided between persons A and B, I contend what B gets, A does not, and vice versa.

    It’s hard to argue with that. I agreed with the lawyer/engineer comment above (and LOLed at your rejoinder, hope I’m not being too much the engineer here) because it helped me think about our conversation. I do think lawyers see zero-sum games in practice more often than most professions (and I assume that impacts legal education/philosophy? excessive engineering technical optimism would be the flip side of that IMHO). To my mind the interesting question is how relatively often do zero/negative/positive-sum interactions/problems occur? On reflection, I think US politics being dominated by lawyers has some interesting implications viewed through this lens (especially when contrasted with relative engineer political dominance in China), but need to think about that more.

    That’s the Malthusian death match closing upon us in tbe rearview mirror.

    I share that fear. To my mind the big question is: what will be the critical factor? I’m betting water or hydrocarbons (both as fuel and as chemical feedstock, e.g. fertilizer). But I am made more cautious by the failure to date of the Limits to Growth (etc.) projections. Though I still think there are valid arguments there and my biggest takeaway from those works was that with exponential growth things look OK until suddenly and irrevocably they are not. The key question to my mind is whether the feedback mechanism of the market combined with the available alternatives are enough to control (without wild and/or fatal oscillations) the inherent instability in the system (OK, that was probably too much engineer ; ).

    but diminishing returns and declining marginal utility dictate

    These are a common iSteve theme and I can’t agree enough about their importance. Not to mention the stunning lack of awareness of them in most public discourse.

    Do you have a concrete illustration of your theory in mind?

    I mentioned enough things I’m not certain what you mean. I’ll sketch some things and perhaps you can choose what to explore further or let me know what I missed.

    I think the expansion of my resource examples is pretty straightforward. Another example would be resource substitution. For example, firewood to animal/plant oils to petrochemicals to sufficient electricity as substitute for almost anything.

    The human side is more complicated, but I also thought more obvious to anyone who has spent much time in the world. The obvious negative-sum example is war. Not coincidentally I think that is the greatest cause of unnecessary resource consumption, contamination, and wastage. Technology (as a human endeavor) provides some good positive-sum examples. For example, the lighting efficiency increases moving from wood to hydrocarbons to incandescent bulbs to fluorescents to LEDs.

    IMHO the better (and more interesting) examples lie in the differences between cooperative and adversarial human interactions. Perhaps the difference between the use of arbitration and the adversarial legal system is a good example? I think this also highlights the lawyer/engineer differences being alluded to here. Although sometimes necessary, I think the expense of both sides mobilizing for and fighting an adversarial battle creates a fixed cost guaranteeing a negative-sum result. I also think the defensive requirements of the adversarial interaction make it more difficult to achieve a near-optimal compromise when such a thing is possible. Probably not coincidental that all of this is a decent analog for war/conflict compared to political negotiation.

    For a final example, I would use viewing commenting here through the lens of the prisoners dilemma in game theory. I get more out of conversations like this (positive-sum) than I do from pointers to facts (much as I value those) and certainly much more than content-lacking sniping (negative-sum). The issue is how to maximize the good interactions while preventing the comment section from being overrun by the bad (both my own and others).

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Yours is such a thoughtful and courteous note I wanted to await time to respond properly, via computer, but that's unlikely to happen this year (seeing my note about General Lee this morning, I realise I must stop commenting via telephone when tired, lest people think I'm illiterate; I type poorly enough in ideal conditions with a proper keyboard...).

    The stereotype about lawyers seeing everything as a winner-take-all, zero-sum game has validity; but it comes of the large number of mediocre lawyers—the fat middle of the bell curve. The best lawyers seek and usually find compromises whenever these are in their clients' best interests. Even among the mediocre, this is sought more often than not; it's just that the mediocre ones achieve compromises that split the difference, often such that, once transaction-costs (lawyers' fees) are accounted for, one may as well ot have even sought recourse to the law. In any event, settlements (and plea-bargains) – not trials – are the outcome of the overwhelming majority of civil (and criminal) disputes.

    As to what is the limiting reagent (food, fuel, etc.) I don't know. I don't think it matters much: all are finite, and all are needed for civilisation (most for life itself). As brown people – and it is, specifically brown people; at ten percent of the population and plummeting, whites are not culprits here – stratospherically multiply and tax the Earth's limits, very terrible things will ensue. Far better men than I have painted compelling visions of the outcomes: George Miller, Aldous Huxley, Cormac McCarthy, etc.

    The idea of engineering around the planet's capacity is muddle-headed. Sure, one can burn vegetable-oil instead of petroleum, one can genetically modify corn to increase yields, and so on. One only increases the limit, but the people, and the misery, keep increasing. It's the opposite of suicide: applying a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

    People have to stop having ten damned kids. They have to stop having four. That's not a normative statement by me; that's a positive law of nature.

    As to this or that transaction's being not necessarily zero-sum, there are many (hence my example of the farmers); those situations don't concern me. Mediation is preferable to litigation, peace to war. But on the current trajectory of events, there will be blood. When there is no longer enough clean water for me and Abdullah; when our families both need the limited amount coming from the well into a depleted aquifer, I will kill him unless he is able to kill me. Those who think I am being melodramatic should study history, or take a trip to Africa.

    Political negotiation is all well and good until it is not. The Santa Clara Valley is on track to become as densely populated as Hong Kong, Mumbai, or Shanghai. Likewise for L.A. Even California's Central Valley is now overpopulated. How many such megalopoli can the planet support? I don't know what that number is, but it is not ∞. It probably isn't even one thousand.

  133. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @RudyM
    There's also an excessive reverence here for (generally white) punk, no matter how anti-social or three-chord. Punks who could barely play their instrument or sing at all are okay, but rap never involves any musical talent; or that's what I think Sailer thinks, reading between the lines. (For the record, I am not a fan of rap and find most of it unlistenable, but I think there is more talent involved, especially in terms of rhythm, than many here would give it credit for.)

    Sailer dismisses rap as essentially just being a matter of strutting around with lots of confidence (sorry, very loose paraphrase of what I remember reading), but I could easily imagine him rhapsodizing about that time Richard Hell passed out on stage or whatever.

    It’s interesting to note that although rap started as guys talking over Chic records, Nile and Nard never heard of it themselves until a couple of their new wave friends (Chris and D of Blondie) took them to a place in the Bronx to show them what was going on. At least according to Nile in a recent interview.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-SCGNOieBI

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I someday might write that story up of the white people in Blondie introducing the black guys in Chic to rap music.

    Back in the late 1970s, it seems like there was more white-black interaction in pop music. Or at least Blondie could pay a lot of attention to edgy new stuff being done in New York by both whites and blacks and then Blondie would turn the new styles into hit records.

    That was considered cool back then and not Cultural Appropriation. That Blondie was paying more attention to the next big thing in black music than Nile Rogers of Chic, the guy being sampled by the young rappers, was fine with everybody. Hey, it's a free country. (Funny how you don't hear that much anymore.)

    Blondie, Talking Heads, and The Clash all put out rap songs in late 1980.

  134. @Anonymous
    It's interesting to note that although rap started as guys talking over Chic records, Nile and Nard never heard of it themselves until a couple of their new wave friends (Chris and D of Blondie) took them to a place in the Bronx to show them what was going on. At least according to Nile in a recent interview.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-SCGNOieBI

    I someday might write that story up of the white people in Blondie introducing the black guys in Chic to rap music.

    Back in the late 1970s, it seems like there was more white-black interaction in pop music. Or at least Blondie could pay a lot of attention to edgy new stuff being done in New York by both whites and blacks and then Blondie would turn the new styles into hit records.

    That was considered cool back then and not Cultural Appropriation. That Blondie was paying more attention to the next big thing in black music than Nile Rogers of Chic, the guy being sampled by the young rappers, was fine with everybody. Hey, it’s a free country. (Funny how you don’t hear that much anymore.)

    Blondie, Talking Heads, and The Clash all put out rap songs in late 1980.

  135. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Wordy Rappinghood?

    Rap parodies were common on Dr. Demento by 1981 or so, so it wasn’t that new. And recently it came to my attention that many blacks and urban whites of a certain age consider rap to have been invented by the Gallos. Not the Mob Gallos, the wine Gallos.

    What’s the word? Thunderbird!
    How’s it sold? Good and cold.
    What’s the price? Forty twice.
    What’s the reaction? Satisfaction!

    Debbie was pining for Kanye West to work with the band in interviews, as recently as last year, but it looks like the new album is going in a more classic new wave direction, with Joan Jett and Johnny Marr (who was a Pretender for a while after the Smiths) contributing.

  136. @res

    As to a fixed quantity X divided between persons A and B, I contend what B gets, A does not, and vice versa.
     
    It's hard to argue with that. I agreed with the lawyer/engineer comment above (and LOLed at your rejoinder, hope I'm not being too much the engineer here) because it helped me think about our conversation. I do think lawyers see zero-sum games in practice more often than most professions (and I assume that impacts legal education/philosophy? excessive engineering technical optimism would be the flip side of that IMHO). To my mind the interesting question is how relatively often do zero/negative/positive-sum interactions/problems occur? On reflection, I think US politics being dominated by lawyers has some interesting implications viewed through this lens (especially when contrasted with relative engineer political dominance in China), but need to think about that more.

    That’s the Malthusian death match closing upon us in tbe rearview mirror.
     
    I share that fear. To my mind the big question is: what will be the critical factor? I'm betting water or hydrocarbons (both as fuel and as chemical feedstock, e.g. fertilizer). But I am made more cautious by the failure to date of the Limits to Growth (etc.) projections. Though I still think there are valid arguments there and my biggest takeaway from those works was that with exponential growth things look OK until suddenly and irrevocably they are not. The key question to my mind is whether the feedback mechanism of the market combined with the available alternatives are enough to control (without wild and/or fatal oscillations) the inherent instability in the system (OK, that was probably too much engineer ; ).

    but diminishing returns and declining marginal utility dictate
     
    These are a common iSteve theme and I can't agree enough about their importance. Not to mention the stunning lack of awareness of them in most public discourse.

    Do you have a concrete illustration of your theory in mind?

     

    I mentioned enough things I'm not certain what you mean. I'll sketch some things and perhaps you can choose what to explore further or let me know what I missed.

    I think the expansion of my resource examples is pretty straightforward. Another example would be resource substitution. For example, firewood to animal/plant oils to petrochemicals to sufficient electricity as substitute for almost anything.

    The human side is more complicated, but I also thought more obvious to anyone who has spent much time in the world. The obvious negative-sum example is war. Not coincidentally I think that is the greatest cause of unnecessary resource consumption, contamination, and wastage. Technology (as a human endeavor) provides some good positive-sum examples. For example, the lighting efficiency increases moving from wood to hydrocarbons to incandescent bulbs to fluorescents to LEDs.

    IMHO the better (and more interesting) examples lie in the differences between cooperative and adversarial human interactions. Perhaps the difference between the use of arbitration and the adversarial legal system is a good example? I think this also highlights the lawyer/engineer differences being alluded to here. Although sometimes necessary, I think the expense of both sides mobilizing for and fighting an adversarial battle creates a fixed cost guaranteeing a negative-sum result. I also think the defensive requirements of the adversarial interaction make it more difficult to achieve a near-optimal compromise when such a thing is possible. Probably not coincidental that all of this is a decent analog for war/conflict compared to political negotiation.

    For a final example, I would use viewing commenting here through the lens of the prisoners dilemma in game theory. I get more out of conversations like this (positive-sum) than I do from pointers to facts (much as I value those) and certainly much more than content-lacking sniping (negative-sum). The issue is how to maximize the good interactions while preventing the comment section from being overrun by the bad (both my own and others).

    Yours is such a thoughtful and courteous note I wanted to await time to respond properly, via computer, but that’s unlikely to happen this year (seeing my note about General Lee this morning, I realise I must stop commenting via telephone when tired, lest people think I’m illiterate; I type poorly enough in ideal conditions with a proper keyboard…).

    The stereotype about lawyers seeing everything as a winner-take-all, zero-sum game has validity; but it comes of the large number of mediocre lawyers—the fat middle of the bell curve. The best lawyers seek and usually find compromises whenever these are in their clients’ best interests. Even among the mediocre, this is sought more often than not; it’s just that the mediocre ones achieve compromises that split the difference, often such that, once transaction-costs (lawyers’ fees) are accounted for, one may as well ot have even sought recourse to the law. In any event, settlements (and plea-bargains) – not trials – are the outcome of the overwhelming majority of civil (and criminal) disputes.

    As to what is the limiting reagent (food, fuel, etc.) I don’t know. I don’t think it matters much: all are finite, and all are needed for civilisation (most for life itself). As brown people – and it is, specifically brown people; at ten percent of the population and plummeting, whites are not culprits here – stratospherically multiply and tax the Earth’s limits, very terrible things will ensue. Far better men than I have painted compelling visions of the outcomes: George Miller, Aldous Huxley, Cormac McCarthy, etc.

    The idea of engineering around the planet’s capacity is muddle-headed. Sure, one can burn vegetable-oil instead of petroleum, one can genetically modify corn to increase yields, and so on. One only increases the limit, but the people, and the misery, keep increasing. It’s the opposite of suicide: applying a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

    People have to stop having ten damned kids. They have to stop having four. That’s not a normative statement by me; that’s a positive law of nature.

    As to this or that transaction’s being not necessarily zero-sum, there are many (hence my example of the farmers); those situations don’t concern me. Mediation is preferable to litigation, peace to war. But on the current trajectory of events, there will be blood. When there is no longer enough clean water for me and Abdullah; when our families both need the limited amount coming from the well into a depleted aquifer, I will kill him unless he is able to kill me. Those who think I am being melodramatic should study history, or take a trip to Africa.

    Political negotiation is all well and good until it is not. The Santa Clara Valley is on track to become as densely populated as Hong Kong, Mumbai, or Shanghai. Likewise for L.A. Even California’s Central Valley is now overpopulated. How many such megalopoli can the planet support? I don’t know what that number is, but it is not ∞. It probably isn’t even one thousand.

    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I agree with most of the points you make. Part of my reaction comes from trying to counter my own instinctive pessimism about all of this along with a desire to do what is possible even if of questionable efficacy in the end.

    Regarding "It’s the opposite of suicide: applying a temporary solution to a permanent problem."
    Yes, it definitely has that aspect (and I enjoyed the witticism). The flip side is the hope that if we can delay breakdown long enough perhaps we can muddle through. The Oroville dam is a timely analogy. It looks like the muddling through will work, but IMHO they are one spillway problem (e.g. erosion restarting on the primary spillway) or warm heavy rain away from disaster. At least the rain isn't increasing exponentially, unlike population/consumption : (

    P.S. Another part of the reason for my initial strong reaction is I consider "Life is not a zero-sum game." something of a personal motto and guide to action. Hopefully my earlier comments make more clear what I mean and that I do recognize the limits to that somewhat Pollyanna statement. (also, to be very clear, it's not all Pollyanna, sadly there are all too many negative-sum interactions in life, minimizing those is important)
  137. @Autochthon
    Yours is such a thoughtful and courteous note I wanted to await time to respond properly, via computer, but that's unlikely to happen this year (seeing my note about General Lee this morning, I realise I must stop commenting via telephone when tired, lest people think I'm illiterate; I type poorly enough in ideal conditions with a proper keyboard...).

    The stereotype about lawyers seeing everything as a winner-take-all, zero-sum game has validity; but it comes of the large number of mediocre lawyers—the fat middle of the bell curve. The best lawyers seek and usually find compromises whenever these are in their clients' best interests. Even among the mediocre, this is sought more often than not; it's just that the mediocre ones achieve compromises that split the difference, often such that, once transaction-costs (lawyers' fees) are accounted for, one may as well ot have even sought recourse to the law. In any event, settlements (and plea-bargains) – not trials – are the outcome of the overwhelming majority of civil (and criminal) disputes.

    As to what is the limiting reagent (food, fuel, etc.) I don't know. I don't think it matters much: all are finite, and all are needed for civilisation (most for life itself). As brown people – and it is, specifically brown people; at ten percent of the population and plummeting, whites are not culprits here – stratospherically multiply and tax the Earth's limits, very terrible things will ensue. Far better men than I have painted compelling visions of the outcomes: George Miller, Aldous Huxley, Cormac McCarthy, etc.

    The idea of engineering around the planet's capacity is muddle-headed. Sure, one can burn vegetable-oil instead of petroleum, one can genetically modify corn to increase yields, and so on. One only increases the limit, but the people, and the misery, keep increasing. It's the opposite of suicide: applying a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

    People have to stop having ten damned kids. They have to stop having four. That's not a normative statement by me; that's a positive law of nature.

    As to this or that transaction's being not necessarily zero-sum, there are many (hence my example of the farmers); those situations don't concern me. Mediation is preferable to litigation, peace to war. But on the current trajectory of events, there will be blood. When there is no longer enough clean water for me and Abdullah; when our families both need the limited amount coming from the well into a depleted aquifer, I will kill him unless he is able to kill me. Those who think I am being melodramatic should study history, or take a trip to Africa.

    Political negotiation is all well and good until it is not. The Santa Clara Valley is on track to become as densely populated as Hong Kong, Mumbai, or Shanghai. Likewise for L.A. Even California's Central Valley is now overpopulated. How many such megalopoli can the planet support? I don't know what that number is, but it is not ∞. It probably isn't even one thousand.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I agree with most of the points you make. Part of my reaction comes from trying to counter my own instinctive pessimism about all of this along with a desire to do what is possible even if of questionable efficacy in the end.

    Regarding “It’s the opposite of suicide: applying a temporary solution to a permanent problem.”
    Yes, it definitely has that aspect (and I enjoyed the witticism). The flip side is the hope that if we can delay breakdown long enough perhaps we can muddle through. The Oroville dam is a timely analogy. It looks like the muddling through will work, but IMHO they are one spillway problem (e.g. erosion restarting on the primary spillway) or warm heavy rain away from disaster. At least the rain isn’t increasing exponentially, unlike population/consumption : (

    P.S. Another part of the reason for my initial strong reaction is I consider “Life is not a zero-sum game.” something of a personal motto and guide to action. Hopefully my earlier comments make more clear what I mean and that I do recognize the limits to that somewhat Pollyanna statement. (also, to be very clear, it’s not all Pollyanna, sadly there are all too many negative-sum interactions in life, minimizing those is important)

  138. @Corvinus
    "Now it might seem to you that blacks win lots of Grammy Awards — e.g., Steve Wonder has won 25 Grammies — but that’s because you don’t understand the true meaning of diversity, which is: Blacks must win everything."

    Well, one figures that since white Europeans created everything nice in the world that SJW's and their darkie allies seemingly destroy, one would think that given blacks inherent knack (it's in their DNA) to make music (think Fiddler in Roots) for white audiences, we as Americans ought to recognize, however grudgingly, their supremacy in this area. At least we can thrown them a bone or two. You know, so we are able to legitimize some nobody columnist like John Vilanova' personal interpretation as to what was the best album of the year. Not that someone of your stature would make any similar pronouncements lest you appear to be subjective when it comes to popular culture.

    Not sure if you’re joking or not. I prefer the white European classical music tradition over any of the popular stuff here, but within US pop culture, there’s MJ and then a bunch of white performers. I don’t even particularly like any of the blacks except MJ.

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The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
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