Category Archives: Culture

Culture for the cultured and uncultured alike.

Animal’s Daily Icons of Rock News

With all the Social Justice Warriors and virtue-signalling in the entertainment industry today, it’s fun to take a look at some songs from back in the day that would be considered “hate speech” today.  And the fun thing is, most of them are nothing of the sort.  Here are a few.

The first selection here may not be considered PC today, but it was and is one of the greatest rock&roll tunes over written.  The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down is a paean to a brave man who fought and lost in America’s only family war.  And no, the song never mentions slavery.  It’s a sad, touching song.  Forget Joan Baez’s middling cover; here, from Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz is the song’s originators, The Band.

And how about Sammy Hagar’s response to Imperial blackmail to force the states to the old double-nickel speed limit?  Here he is, pre-Van Halen, with I Can’t Drive 55.

Speaking of Van Halen; around 1982, they did a cover of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman.  The video was yanked from MTV; here is it in its entirety.  Take a look and see if you can tell why.

The penultimate selection here would be abhorred were it released today, due to a flurry of teacher/student “relationships” in recent years.  Van Halen touched on the subject with Hot for Teacher, but it was the Police with Don’t Stand So Close To Me that really nailed it.

Finally, from early 70s folks singer Melanie, this tune really fits only in the non-PC selection because of one line; listen, and see if you can guess which line I’m referring to:

On that musical note, we return you to your Thursday, already in progress.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Today’s  happy juxtaposition of fundamentalist Islamic shitbaggery with the usual Hump Day totty is completely intentional.

Our allies the Saudis have detained a Saudi woman for a heinous breach of morality – she posted a video of herself wearing a crop-top shirt and a miniskirt.  Oh, the horror!  Excerpt:

The woman in the video has not been identified, but she’s being called “Khulood” online. The country’s religious police said that her attire is “offensive” and promised to investigate the matter. In Saudi Arabia, women are supposed to wear an abaya, which is a loose-fitting, cloaklike garment, over their clothes, and their hair should be covered in public. These laws do not apply to foreign women, which is why female members of President Donald Trump’s delegation to the country did not cover their heads during their visit.

First things first: that outfit is in no way offensive for walking around a city on a hot summer day. It wouldn’t be out of place in any American shopping mall.

Second: it’s absolutely abhorrent that a woman could be detained by the police for walking around outside. She wasn’t in a religious site or in some other area like a workplace where one could reasonably expect a dress code prohibiting crop tops. She was outside.

Third, there’s this gem from Linda Sarsour:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Fucking savages.

It’s hard to form an opinion from a few seconds of grainy video, but the person in question appears to be a lovely young woman in the prime of life, a picture of the Feminine Aesthetic that we adherents to Western civilization love and revere.  But in the Kingdom, she is now in jail for wearing an outfit that would not be out of place in any high school in the United States.

That’s not morality.  It’s bald, unadulterated oppression.  Real oppression, not the hysterical “I’m oppressed because the government won’t pay for my birth control” kind of oppressed.  This is real, not-allowed-to-drive, not-allowed-to-speak-to-an-unrelated-male, not-allowed-to-speak-unless-spoken-to oppression.

So, in response, let’s remind ourselves what a real, self-confident, capable American woman looks like.

Animal’s Daily Snake Oil News

First of all, our hearty thanks once again to The Other McCain and Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

Moving on:  Gwyneth Paltrow is a fair actress and she’s pretty hot, but when it comes to “alternative medicine,” she’s barking nuts.  Excerpt:

This week, Gwyneth Paltrow’s high-profile lifestyle and e-commerce site, Goop, gave birth to a beautiful gift to the Internet—and it wasn’t a moon-powered vagina egg that invigorates our mystical “life force.” No, it was a perfectly crafted reference guide for how to sell snake oil.

It’s really quite impressive.

Read the whole thing; but if you’re pressed for time, here’s where it gets really funny:

But before we take a dive into how Goop makes its money, it might be useful to run through the inventory of ridiculous products and practices that the Goop brand has peddled. This way, you can have an idea of just how much legwork might be needed during a sales pitch to move these types of products.

I’ll start off with the jade egg, which is, of course, intended to empower women when inserted into the vagina. According to Goop’s “beauty guru/healer/inspiration/friend Shiva Rose” it can improve your sex life and “detox” your lady bits, among other things. It sells for a mere $55 to $66 on Goop’s site.

To be fair, some women might feel emboldened by shoving an expensive rock in there. But there is no evidence to support—or even reason to believe—the health claims. For one thing, unless your kidneys are failing or you have been poisoned, you do not need to detoxify your body. Detoxing is not a thing. Plus, as Dr. Gunter and others have pointed out, keeping a porous egg that may harbor bacteria in your vagina has the potential to spur an infection. Similarly, Goop has also recommended vaginal steam cleaning, which is unnecessary because the vagina is self-cleaning. The steaming could also encourage infections, as well as burns.

Holy.

Effing.

Shit.

Question, True Believers:  Is it fraud if you actually believe the bullshit you are spewing to sell your useless crap?  Because this smells like fraud to me.

Don’t get me wrong; I do actually believe that, at some point, fools and their money deserve to be parted.  But really, horseshit like this strains credulity.  What’s really disappointing, what really shakes what little faith I have left in my fellow man, is the fact that some people actually believe in and spend money on this absolute codswallop.

Seriously, Ms. Paltrow – you should be ashamed of yourself.  You are taking advantage of people who (I’m guessing) don’t have two IQ points to rub together, and you’re doing so by selling them the biggest line of horseshit since the Greeks convinced the Trojans to roll an enormous wooden horse, big enough to contain a few hundred Greeks in full armor, inside their city gates and all go off for an early night.

Rule Five Sex Robot Friday

Not a robot.

This seems an appropriate subject for Rule Five Friday:  Reuters says we need to have a talk about sex robots.  Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into the global sex market, bringing with it a revolution in robotic “sextech” designed to offer sexual gratification with a near-human touch.

In a report on the growing market in sex robots, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics said rapidly advancing technologies have already led to the creation of “android love dolls” capable of performing 50 automated sexual positions.

They can be customized down to the nipple shape and pubic hair color, and can cost between $5,000 and $15,000.

Still not a robot.

The increasingly life-like robots raise complex issues that should be considered by policymakers and the public, the report said — including whether use of such devices should be encouraged in sexual therapy clinics, for sex offenders, or for people with disabilities.

Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at Britain’s University of Sheffield, said it was difficult to predict how far or fast the market would grow, or what its effect on societies might be in years ahead.

“Will these robotic dolls be niche? Or will they change societal norms and become widespread?,” he asked at a news briefing. “How would (sex with a robot) equate to a truly human intimate relationship?”

Flesh and blood.

It’s easy to think that someone who may shell out big bucks for a sex-bot is pretty pathetic; to be honest, I’m inclined to think that myself.  But is it a possible answer, say, for a man whose wife has a terminal illness – a man who still has physical urges but no desire to cheat on a wife who is no longer able to engage in sex through no fault of her own?

Maybe so.  No matter how realistic, sex with a robot can’t be considered an act of infidelity; it’s just masturbation with a fancy toy.

Still; consider the last question quoted above:  “Will these robotic

Not mechanical.

dolls be niche? Or will they change societal norms and become widespread?”  My prediction:  They won’t change societal norms, any more than the Fleshlight (Note:  link NSFW!) did.  Sex-bots are just another fancy sex-toy; more expensive and more complex than most, but still just another sex toy.  

Even the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the sex-bot bill of materials wont’ change things much.  The most sophisticated AI still won’t be able to experience the wide range of human sensory input, of emotion, of tingling nerves and twitching muscles that makes up an act of consenting sex between two willing people.

Humans have been using sex toys since they started using tools.  The advent of complex, even AI sex-bots is just another aspect of an old, old theme.

A real girl.

Animal’s Daily Icons of Rock News

Joan Jett!

Here’s another interesting sub-genre of rock & roll, one that I’ve always enjoyed – bad-girl rock!

The whole genre really got going with the lady pictured here, Joan Jett, when she and Lita Ford started The Runaways.  (Don’t bother seeing the biopic of the same name; it was well and truly awful.)

Joan went on to have a substantial career of her own, and she can well and truly be described as the founding lady of bad-girl rock.  So here, on this sunny California Thursday, I present a few examples of bad girls rocking!

First up is the lady herself, Joan Jett, with a rendition of her Runaways hit Cherry Bomb.

Now Joan had a bigger solo career than her former Runaways partner, but that doesn’t mean Lita Ford didn’t do some rocking too.  Here she is with her song Hit and Run.

 And here they are together!  Going back to 1977, here is a performance of the tune Wasted by The Runaways.


Joan and Lita kick-started a genre.  They did it without auto-tune, while actually playing instruments, by doing live shows without lip-syncing.

How many young women performers now can say the same?

Rule Five I, Claudius Friday

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson presents an interesting historical comparison to President Trump.  Excerpt:

Claudius was an unusual emperor, the first to be born outside Italy, in Roman Gaul. Under the Augustan Principate, new Caesars—who claimed direct lineage from the “divine” Augustus—were usually rubber-stamped by the toadyish Senate. However, the outsider Claudius (who had no political training and was prevented by his uncle Tiberius from entering the cursus honorum), was brought into power by the Roman Praetorian Guard, who wanted a change from the status quo apparat of the Augustan dynasty.

The Roman aristocracy—most claiming some sort of descent from Julius Caesar and his grandnephew Octavian (Caesar Augustus)—had long written Claudius off as a hopeless dolt. Claudius limped, the result of a childhood disease or genetic impairment. His mother Antonia, ashamed of his habits and appearance, called the youthful Claudius “a monster of man.” He was likely almost deaf and purportedly stuttered.

That lifelong disparagement of his appearance and mannerisms probably saved Claudius’s life in the dynastic struggles during the last years of the Emperor Augustus and the subsequent reigns of the emperors Tiberius and Caligula.

The stereotyped impression of Claudius was that of a simpleton not to be taken seriously—and so no one did. Claudius himself claimed that he feigned acting differently in part so that he would not be targeted by enemies before he assumed power, and to unnerve them afterwards.

Contemporary critics laughed at his apparent lack of eloquence and rhetorical mastery, leading some scholars to conjecture that he may have suffered from Tourette syndrome or a form of autism. The court biographer Suetonius wrote that Claudius “was now careful and shrewd, sometimes hasty and inconsiderate, occasionally silly and like a crazy man.”

Sound familiar?

It is an interesting comparison.  I’ve read a fair amount of Roman history myself, although most of my reading has to do with the Republic, not the Empire, as in prior to the second Roman Civil War.  But I agree that there are parallels between President Trump and Claudius.

Both were/are political outsiders.

Both were/are considered rude and uncouth by the political elites of their times.

Both were/are the subject of relentless attacks by those same political elites.

Of course, there is one major difference; President Trump was elected to office by the citizens according to a republican Constitution in place for nearly two hundred and fifty years.  Claudius was installed in office by the Praetorian Guard, over the objections of the Roman Senate, who were the last badly weakened vestige of the old Republic.

No comparison is perfect.  But this is an interesting one, and it’s important to note the road the Romans went down – and it’s not dissimilar (especially in fiscal matters) than the road the United States is on now.

Animal’s Daily Icons of Rock News

Genre music has always been a thing.  One of my favorites, country rock, had its roots in the Cajun music of Louisiana, in blues and jazz from all over the South.  But it took the artists of the Sixties and Seventies to make Southern Rock great.

One of the pioneers was Tony Joe White, a purveyor of what was then known as “Swamp Rock.”  Here’s his best-known work, Poke Salad Annie.

The Sixties gave way to the Seventies.  Southern Rock exploded onto the scene, and one of the pioneers was Black Oak Arkansas.  Here is their iconic Jim Dandy.

Another pioneering group was The Allman Brothers Band; here, from a 1970 show, is their song Whipping Post.

As the Seventies progressed, more and more examples cropped up.  Here are two; first, Molly Hatchet and Dreams I’ll Never See.

And one of the greatest, of course, was Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Here they are in 1977, performing what is perhaps their best-known tune, Sweet Home Alabama.

Enjoy!

Animal’s Daily Icons of Rock News

It’s become apparent that it’s time for another Icons of Rock post (because I decided it was) and for this one, the theme is going to be, well, sort of a best-of collection.  These are well-known and talented artists, and the videos presented represent works that are (in my opinion) the very best of their portfolios.

Enjoy.

First up is an artist that I generally don’t listen to much.  Billy Joel is an undeniable talent, but his normal style doesn’t appeal to me as much as some other rockers; I’m more the head-banger type.  But Piano Man is undeniably a masterpiece, and undeniably his best work.

Next up; Bob Dylan is best known as a folksinger, and in these virtual pages is generally (and justifiably) referred to as America’s Songwriter.  But he could turn in some pretty good rock & roll when he put his mind to it, as he did in his 1976 Rolling Thunder Review.  Here, from that bicentennial summer, is one of my favorites; Shelter From the Storm. 

Jim Croce was a musical talent that was taken from us far too soon.  Here’s what I think is his best tune, I Got A Name.

Moving back a little into head-banging territory; Foghat was a big deal when I was in high school, and they occasionally still pop up here and there at small venues.  Their best tune was undoubtedly the bangin’ Slow Ride.

Finally, from the folks who gave you the Armageddon soundtrack, comes one of their very best tunes – and this band gives you a lot to choose from.  Here is Aerosmith with a full instrumental cut of Dream On.

And on that musical note, we return you to her Tuesday, already in progress.

Rule Five Civilization Collapse Friday

Could Western civilization be on the verge of collapse?  It’s probably not imminent – but it could happen.  Excerpt:

The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth. Should that forward-propelling motion slow or cease, the pillars that define our society – democracy, individual liberties, social tolerance and more – would begin to teeter. Our world would become an increasingly ugly place, one defined by a scramble over limited resources and a rejection of anyone outside of our immediate group. Should we find no way to get the wheels back in motion, we’d eventually face total societal collapse.

Such collapses have occurred many times in human history, and no civilisation, no matter how seemingly great, is immune to the vulnerabilities that may lead a society to its end. Regardless of how well things are going in the present moment, the situation can always change. Putting aside species-ending events like an asteroid strike, nuclear winter or deadly pandemic, history tells us that it’s usually a plethora of factors that contribute to collapse. What are they, and which, if any, have already begun to surface? It should come as no surprise that humanity is currently on an unsustainable and uncertain path – but just how close are we to reaching the point of no return?

While it’s impossible to predict the future with certainty, mathematics, science and history can provide hints about the prospects of Western societies for long-term continuation.

The BBC article here points out the similarity of events today with the times of the fall of the Roman Republic, and that’s a fair comparison; but they (not surprisingly) get a few things wrong.  For example:

Meanwhile, a widening gap between rich and poor within those already vulnerable Western nations will push society toward further instability from the inside. “By 2050, the US and UK will have evolved into two-class societies where a small elite lives a good life and there is declining well-being for the majority,” Randers says. “What will collapse is equity.”

This widening gap in and of itself means little or nothing, except that it provides fat paydays for those in the business of promoting the politics of envy.  What matters is how that lower portion is living.  One of the things unique to Western civilization, at least the portion that still has more or less free markets, is that the it has produced the richest poor people in world history.  In the United States, for example, there is little or no abject poverty, only relative poverty.  “Poor” people in the U.S. have air conditioning, microwave ovens, cellular phones, automobiles and cable or satellite television – luxuries unheard of among the well-to-do only a generation ago.  And while this is the case, the gap between rich and poor really doesn’t matter a damn.

One more thing the BBC misses, and it’s a doozie; the BBC doesn’t mention the most virulently anti-freedom, anti-prosperity, anti-Western force afoot in the world today, that being fundamentalist Islam.

It’s amazing that the Beeb overlooks this – or maybe not, given their European location and the fact that Europe is well on its way to being assimilated into the Islamic world.   Maybe there is some self-preservation in play, although it’s more likely that it’s just run-of-the-mill political correctness.  But fundamentalist Muslims are the greatest existential threat the West faces today, especially for the slow-breeding Europeans.  Demographics, as they say, is destiny, and the destiny of ethnic Europeans appears to be to fail through apathy.

The article concludes:

“The question is, how can we manage to preserve some kind of humane world as we make our way through these changes?” Homer-Dixon says.

The biggest challenge will be dealing with the one thing – the one deadly, dangerous, civilization-destroying thing – that the BBC fails to even mention.

Absent that, Western civilization will go the way of the dodo.