Virtue Signaling and Humble Bragging

by Anniel8/16/17
If there were ever two societal evils that belong together “virtue signaling” and “humble bragging” are them. Both sides of the same coin, as usual. After all, our betters must signal WHY they are our betters, and they must also let us know the depths of their humility in light of their great virtue. They do seem to have a very twisted path to walk.

Think how virtuous you are and what you can do to make certain other people will know how great you are, if that is your desire. Some folks can afford a publicist, even members of congress with known deficiencies in virtue can be made to look like choir boys by their “handlers” and staff. Would you, personally, like having a handler and having to live a lie that way?

There are people who seem to have a need to be acknowledged for their power and wealth, which they, of course, in their own minds, deserve. Look at Nancy Pelosi and her ilk in Congress, they have no self awareness at all. They are not bound by the same laws as you and I are, so even insider trading or taking bribes, excuse me, campaign funds, is no impediment to their acquisition of wealth. They must believe they deserve what they have.

Those in the Administrative state are no better, and could be even worse, since there are so many of them and they have been members of the deep state and learned its ways over long periods of time. John Koskinen and Lois Lerner are fine examples of virtue signaling. They are crooked and wealthy beyond belief, and yet willingly speak out on a continuing basis against others, such as the Tea Party groups, as being unworthy of tax fairness. All while preening their own law abiding feathers and being protected by the 5th Amendment, or whatever.

I do not believe the virtue signaling tiara sits easily on Lois Lerner’s head, she has not aged well and looks stressed. At one point even her neighbors wouldn’t open their homes to her. Maybe she’s moved now. But John Koskinen’s crown seems secure for the time being, despite his lack of sisu. One can hope he gets fired soon.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson, infamous race baiter that he is, “shakes down” his own people of color and demands their allegiance as he travels about with his armed goon bodyguards. They are quite visible as they roam the streets of Chicago terrorizing those who would toss them aside if they dared. Tales are rife of Jackson and his thugs’ boorish and sleazy behavior from people who have been unlucky enough to wind up on airplane flights with them where they trash their surroundings. But Jesse virtue signals always as he travels to “help” other blacks, and also humble brags every chance he gets. You’re wrong if you think he doesn’t have a lock on lots of crooked things in Chicago and he shares the wealth with his son (now that Jr. is out of jail and has the Coca Cola Franchise for the city of Chicago.) Money attracts more money for such virtuous people.

There is something in most of us deplorable people from fly-over country who still believe that only evil people refuse to acknowledge their own evil acts, or refuse to sustain the rights of others. People who think the laws do not apply to them. The ones with dead and ugly eyes, but who pretend humility enough to let you know how great they really think they are. Just ask Maxine Waters, or the fake Indian.

I am still baffled by people who think they will pay no price for the harm they inflict on their own country. People like Mr. Jonathan Gruber, who finessed Obamacare for the regime and then publicly laughed at the stupidity of the American people for accepting it. Does he really think that the people he laughed at will forget him? Will virtue signaling and humble bragging save him when push comes to shove and he is in the way of someone with more power? When gangs overrun the land? Or when patriots assert themselves and then he meets his deserved fate?

What happens when the hoi polloi want what they think of as theirs and storm the gated communities where the “better” people live? Where will the great get their food if there are no more farms or farmers willing to sell to them? Or no transportation to bring goods to market. Our betters might face a bare bones existence.

Since we are in the midst of Obamacare’s implosion and the destruction it has wrought on American families, thanks to Mr. Gruber and others like him, we need to be aware of what becomes of health care in the event of a break down of society for any reason. How long do you think your local hospitals will be functional if the transportation system fails and medical supplies cannot be delivered?

All you have to do is visit some local hospital and ask if they have a plan should a disaster or epidemic occur. Most hospitals have supplies of food, drugs and equipment to last for three, maybe four days at most. No more autoclaves to disinfect equipment on site, no sanitary linens and bandages.
No stoves to boil water on, no on-site laundry facilities. You will be better off at home because the spread of diseases is inevitable.

Once my daughter was hospitalized and needed some tape on a bandage. The doctor opened a large package to use only the tape and one or two other items from it. Everything else, including surgical grade scissors, was to be thrown away to be completely incinerated. One of the nurses slipped those scissors to me, plus the sterile mop up cloths which she said were the best and most absorbent cleaning cloths she had ever used. I wonder how many nurses would be fired today if caught giving such things away. Hospitals waste so many resources.

Storing some First Aid Kits and other medical supplies at home, even sanitary napkins and baby diapers might be a wise thing to do. When life saving medicines run out, many people will simply die. Life in the raw will come back with a vengeance.

Today I again heard the ultimate virtue signaling occur for the ex-president, Mr. Obama. According to his sycophants, Obama continually “reached across the aisle,” and had the “most transparent” administration in history. He said only nice things about Republicans and the police. Of course he never lied about the cost of health care and keeping your doctor either. Everything he did was for the benefit of Americans. And “fiscal responsibility” was his middle name, even as he enriched himself by raiding every trillion dollars he could. It would appear that the smartest man in the world is so humble he needs the help of his handlers to get the word of his greatness out.

Thinking about the arrogant virtue signaling humble braggarts in action around us makes one think of the fate of the useful idiots when their usefulness ends. There is ALWAYS someone greater waiting in the wings.
Even greater than swamp-dwelling ex-presidents, members of Congress and Bureaucrats.

Maybe there is a group of someone elses pulling the strings today. A group we know little or nothing about. But you can be certain the members are virtuous and humble, and want only the very best for you and me. When they unmask they will tell us so. • (757 views)

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85 Responses to Virtue Signaling and Humble Bragging

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, that person told the opposite of the truth regarding Barry Screwtape Obama. It makes you wonder what world he lives in. But as for why vermin like Jonathan Gruber think they’re immune, well, so far they gave been.

    • Anniel says:

      Our overlords do get away with a lot. And the anger and hatred seem so one-sided. Truth has no meaning anymore and the appearance of virtue seems to be all that is required.

  2. pstmct says:

    All of this now seems impossible to fix. Well it is impossible for man to fix, but with God, all things are possible. Man is broken, he cannot fix himself, no matter how many times he polishes the outside, he is still a wreak on the inside. Depressing post but so true.

    • Anniel says:

      Only the truth will save us, and that is definitely in God’s hands. For many souls the only truth they see is in their own beliefs, which tragically gets further distorted by politics, fakery and lack of critical thinking ability.

  3. David Ray says:

    I read that book about Jesse Jackson. He is genuine toilet film.

    • Anniel says:

      I once got to watch Jesse in action in real life. His goons were awful, and Jesse was appropriating gifts for children that were not meant for him. He stuffed his pockets and mouth with those gifts and dissed every white person in the place. That’s when other folks I knew began telling me about his groups piggy behavior on airplanes and no one has the courage to stand up to him. Toilet film? True.

  4. Anniel says:

    After I finished this article it dawned on me that I had not specifically added anything on GOPe members. We have so many of those deep in the sewers of Washington, D.C., and a lot without the desire to do anything brave or honest. Just looking at Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham makes me ill.

    What in Heaven’s name does Mitt Romney think he’s doing? And Paul Ryan was his running mate, what a revolting development that would have been.

    Lisa Murkowski is bought and paid for by Alaska Bush and Native Corporation interests. The natives don’t care if she voted to keep Obamacare, they all use the Native Hospital Service for free, including transportation.

    Everyone seems to be about greasing their own palms, at the expense of everyone else.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think it was Jay Nordlinger over at NRO who said he had only recently heard of “virtue signaling” and wasn’t quite sure what it meant. Nor did he think that displaying virtue was a bad thing.

    No one person gets to define a word. But I would say that “virtue signaling” is not hypocrisy, per se. The virtues being signaled may or may not represent a person’s personal beliefs and behavior. The basic point is moral exhibitionism, not sustaining and ratifying a particular virtuous belief. We know from those who do virtue signaling that the only ratification of any particular virtue is how it echoes in the echo chamber of the Progressive mob. There is often no underlying structure. What is virtuous today could quite literally be the opposite tomorrow.

    And the medium has much to do with the message. If someone Tweeted (and context for virtue signaling is everything…it has to be public, preferable social media) “I don’t beat my wife,” he is virtue signaling. First off, no one asked him, which is one component of virtue signaling. It’s gratuitous and general, not sincere and particular.

    “I washed my dog, gave him flea powder, and a good brushing,” even if aired on Facebook, shows the virtue of care and maintenance. But “I love dogs” is more about virtue signaling. You are establishing, via the echo chamber of the usually online mob, that “I’m one of you virtuous people too.”

    Indeed, I like dogs as well. But I would be more inclined to talk about experiences with particular dogs. Still, there’s nothing wrong with admitting an affinity for dogs in general. I am inclined to like them. But to get online where no one particularly asked you about dogs and to shout “I love dogs” is virtue signaling. It is gratuitous. It may not qualify as “moral exhibitionism” as much as “I hate Nazis” would. But it serves the same purpose. You’re saying, “Please, you mob out there, validate me.”

    Real virtue, of course, should be validated. But perhaps something written 2000 years ago shows that there was wisdom even before the time of the virtuous Social Justice Warriors. From Matthew 6:3: “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

    Perhaps virtue does not require a megaphone. Anyway, that’s the way I see it.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      As I see it, virtue signaling isn’t boasting of good behavior, but rather boasting of devotion to the Cause. For example, denouncing Confederate statues (or those of slave-owning Founding Fathers) shows one’s anti-racism, regardless of how one treats any blacks one encounters.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      What is virtuous today could quite literally be the opposite tomorrow.

      Here is a pertinent quote from Mr. Douglass,

      “There is no such thing as new truth. Error might be old or new: but truth was as old as the universe.”

  6. Anniel says:

    I had watched humble bragging in action for a long time, but virtue signaling was a relatively new idea I was just beginning to catch on to. It seems to me that they go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. I think a truly virtuous person really does not want attention drawn to himself. He doesn’t want the right hand to know what the left hand is doing. Virtue signaling is used to raise the “helpers” public presence, and also places the people being “helped” in a subordinate and inferior role. Then the helper gets the right to humble brag to that inferior subordinate, and to the other members of his cause. For him it seems like a win-win proposition.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Virtue signaling is used to raise the “helpers” public presence

      Annie, I agree. And I think two bible quotes explain it all:

      1) Ecclesiastes 1:9: “There is nothing new under the sun.”


      2) Matthew 5:16: “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others.”

      God bless the virtuous man or woman. They seem to be a rare commodity. Let us not underrate virtue, silent or seen. Our world would not be worth living in if we didn’t have even the little that we have.

      One can debate the value of Moral Exhibitionism. Perhaps in some sense, it’s the only moral virtue many can connect to in this culture of artificiality. It’s the finger-painting version of virtue for the simple. And maybe virtue signaling, although obnoxious and superficial, still acts as a way to keep people virtuous, if only skin-deep, which might be better than nothing.

      I can’t help thinking that virtue is its own reward, like many of the true, good, and beautiful things. They, of course, need emulating but we can give them little defense because they are much larger than we are. We don’t build them. They build us.

      In this Facebook world where every blessed act must be put on display and subject to (begging for, really) “Likes,” the idea of not letting the right hand know what the left one is doing makes no sense. Unless it is “shared” (and applauded), it’s as if it didn’t happen.

      “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

  7. Anniel says:

    Brad: Amen and Amen.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Speaking of virtue signaling, I think the question to ask is:

    Will it sell razor blades?

    It’s possible these Gillette adds will offend you or me, but what about those who actually buy razor blades? It’s easy to ball up your fists and shout “Those crazy virtue-signally corporations.” But what if it works?

    The irony is (as a poster at AT wrote):

    Haven’t these Ad Agencies spent the last 60 years selling T&A?
    Oh, but we’re the ones who need a lecture on how to treat women! Sheesh.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Gillette seems to be selling anti-masculinity. I wonder how much of a market that group provides for razor blades.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’ll be waiting for the Lady Gillette commercial that shows women doing their thing:

        “Why can’t you ever do anything right? I told you I wanted the large size.” “You’re going out with your friends again? That’s the second time this month.” “You never take me anywhere.” “My mother was right. You’re nothing but a bum.”


        • Timothy Lane says:

          That would be more appropriate for the regular Gillette if they could find a basis for doing it. How many of their customers would appreciate it, after all?

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I’m not going to get hot-and-bothered about this issue. These days, not getting drawn into all this is “The best a man can get.” Or at least a man who wishes to stay outside and above The Daily Drama.

            But it does leave me with some questions:

            + Are these commercials meant for women because they usually buy the razor blades at the grocery store?

            + Do these insults even register anymore with men? Are they incapable of hearing (or being bothered by) the implicit message of: “We’re such an unsavory sex that you can’t even sell razor blades to us without taking a moment to remind us not to beat our wives.”

            I honestly don’t know if today’s men can be insulted away from purchasing a product. Those who want to boycott Procter and Gamble products, I say, “God bless you. Please do.” But most people today have shown themselves unable to be insulted by these types of things — at least insulted to the point of changing a buying decision at the grocery store.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Also, my brother pointed out to me that the video of this commercial on YouTube is getting an enormous amount of down-votes. Let’s hope that translates into an uptick in Schick razor purchases.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Nice to hear, not that it matters much to me (I have no idea what brand the nursing home buys anyway). I have no emotional connection, though I do think the commercial idea is full of Schick. (Sorry, just had to.)

    • Gibblet says:

      The prevalent negative response to this ad may be an understandable knee-jerk reaction to the bombardment men have been subjected to regarding their masculinity. We, the viewers, can hear the conflagration of common accusations during the “man in the mirror” opening sequence. From my point of view, Masculinity-as-a-weapon is being called out in the scenes featuring bullying, predation, and unwarranted aggression. It illustrates the cultural shift, whereby “boys will be boys” has morphed from describing Johnny’s innocent adventures, into a poor excuse for Johnny’s bad behavior.

      Watch again and see if you can spot the contrast, toward the end of the ad, where men depict examples of masculine behaviors which are neither “toxic”, nor “snowflake” (as some may describe it, erroneously).

      These men are standing for, and exemplifying, Godly characteristics of masculinity. They are taking action to better society, while you (the viewer) are being encouraged to do the same. They are men who are displaying a form of masculinity accomplished through their understanding of justice, mercy, righteousness, and love; masculinity characterized not by bullying, belittling, sexual or predatory aggression, or intimidation. They are men not swayed by public opinion or directed by hormones, nor do they compensate for feelings of inferiority through aggression. They are men who have been taught, and are passing along to their sons – because it does not come by human nature – the better characteristics of masculinity. And, there is a man-in-the-home training his daughter to withstand the inevitable wounds resulting from a degraded culture.

      That all being said, I doubt this specific example of corporate advertising will do much to sell razors. It brings to mind ads for a company identified as “ing” or “img” that was on TV many years ago. The slogan was, “We don’t make (various product examples), we make them better”. I still don’t know what they were trying to sell, but they spent a lot of money doing it. It seemed pointless to me.

      At least the Gillette ad has a point: to encourage men to posses and display the best characteristics of masculinity, for the betterment of their children, and society at large. This ad, however, is too busy and confusing to effectively convey the point. Therefore, some people may think men are being targeted for punishment and condemnation.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        This is analogous to the difference between denotation and connotation. In a cultural vacuum, this would be an acceptable ad, though your doubts about its effectiveness would still be reasonable. But in today’s culture, it’s a surrender to femocrat misandry, and that’s why many men are reacting so negatively to it.

      • pst4usa says:

        Giblet, I Agree with your take on leading by example and men being men of character. I guess I am too busy being disturbed by the feminist attach in the first two thirds of the commercial to accept any of the messages that might be contained in the latter portion.
        Men do need to stand up for the little guy; stand up and defend women, and to teach their children to be better people than their peers. But men also need to teach their kids, their boys for sure, to stand up for themselves. That sometimes in life there will not be someone there to take care of you. And if they cannot stand up to that bully, they will not be able to stand up for anyone else.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        to encourage men to posses and display the best characteristics of masculinity, for the betterment of their children, and society at large.

        You think that the advertising industry, which is full of leftists, is actually interested in the above goals?

        How is it that the left which has no problem with illegitimacy, fatherless homes, multiple genders, which has no problems promoting the most worthless and immoral garbage on TV, which has not stood up for “family” values for decades is now advocating what you claim they are?

        Sorry, I don’t buy it. I have to agree with Tim that this ad must be given context. It is not something which dropped out of the 1950’s ether. It seems to be another leftist piece of propaganda in which masculinity is toxic because it is not perfect when compared to a feminist utopian idea of what men should be like.

        If it were put out by the Knights of Columbus, I might believe it was sincere. As it is, no way.

        • Gibblet says:

          “This ad, however, is too busy and confusing to effectively convey the point.”

          Looky there, I quoted myself.
          Are you saying, KFZ, that they made the ad intentionally busy and confusing so it appeared to say, “Men are toxic”, while not actually saying it? How dare they!

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I have to admit that I am a little more cynical than just to think that PG is only trying to belittle men.

            Advertising is all about misdirection, subconscious messaging and trying to tie a product to some sort of virtue/good. “listen you guys, you are sorry sobs, but if you shave with a Gillette, you will become virtuous men.”

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              What we see from this man-hating advertising hag, Kim Gehrig of Grey Advertising, is a very good example of toxic femininity.

              Of course this ad was not done in a vacuum. Someone at Gillette thought it would be good for their product image. And this was obviously combined with the motives of a dried-up man-hating feminist hag who happened to work at an ad agency.

              The battleground is whether we will allow these feminist hags to set the new normal. The only push back allowed to the average person is to make damn sure you buy as little as possible from Proctor and Gamble while sending them cards and letters telling them so.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Of course this ad was not done in a vacuum.

                What too many people do not seem to understand is that everything effects everything else, particularly in a era of mass-media which are at your fingertips 24/7.

                This ad cannot be seen and analyzed simply as a discreet/free-standing event anymore than the Battle of Gettysburg can be seen as a discreet/free-standing event. Both are parts of a much bigger war. We must push back.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        One commenter to this article at Daily Mail says:

        Gillette did say bullying, demonizing and harassment is wrong yes…..then they went and did ALL of that to straight white men in the commercial.

        A couple more choice quotes from that article:

        The lesson: Don’t ask women out, especially if you’re white, males are toxic, BBQ’ing is bad. Please buy our razor.


        I’m waiting for the one that has a go at women for their failings. I’m not holding my breath.

        Gibblet is not wrong (if Gibblet were to phrase it thusly) that even a good message can come out of the mouth of a man-hating feminist advertising agency hag: Play nice. Be respectful of women. Settle disagreements peaceably. Don’t barbecue.

        The basic problem has already been brilliantly (and I don’t use that word carelessly) by Tim, Mr. Kung, and Pat. There’s nothing more I can add. (That’s a rare damn thing, I can tell you.)

        If we were to parse this one step further (as my brother did), notice that it’s usually a black guy restraining the white guy. This is reminiscent of all the home security adds that always show white guys prowling around the home.

        And it would appear that one of the black guys (as one of the commenters to that article pointed out) is restraining a white guy from pursuing a women he’s seen on the street. There’s no indication he wants to do anything than just say hello. Think about how toxic that message is: Men, do not in the least show initiative in regards to a woman. Not only (as one commenter noted) would man cease to procreate, the central issue is: “It’s not toxic masculinity they are trying to eradicate, it’s all masculinity.”

        Love this comment:

        If Gillette is so “woke” why are men’s razors in blue packages and the lady’s in pink? Hmm?

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          If Gillette is so “woke” why are men’s razors in blue packages and the lady’s in pink? Hmm?

          Apparently, some femi-nazi has already called Gillette out for doing this.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          They use pink and blue because that’s traditional. Of course, Gillette’s commercial is based on attacking male tradition, so perhaps it’s time to change colors.

          Of course, pink suggests socialism, and blue has become the color associated with Demagogues (appropriate, since they do suffer badly from the blues). They get you both ways (which suggests another interesting association with the color blue).

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a list of Procter & Gamble brands. Some notables include:

    + Bounty paper towels (already use Brawny)

    + Charmin (already use Scott)

    + Crest (already use Colgate and others on sale)

    + Dawn/Tide/Joy/Ivory/Bold/Cheer/Gain (use Ivory dish and bar soap…Ivory is P&G…need to change this)

    + Vicks (I’ll try to remember this)

    + Bounce (already use Arm & Hammer or other fabric softeners)

    + Old Spice (I use this occasionally and must find another)

    Someone mentioned Dove bar soap as an alternative to Ivory. Sounds a bit girly. My main issue is having no dies or perfumes.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Back when I was buying, I got Colgate toothpaste (for anti-tartar) and Irish Spring soap (due to its deodorant properties). I’m not sure what cleaners and paper towels Elizabeth got. Much of this is no longer handled by us, though paper towels would be another matter.

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This ad cannot be seen and analyzed simply as a discreet/free-standing event anymore than the Battle of Gettysburg can be seen as a discreet/free-standing event.

    I agree, Mr. Kung. And I think you have made Gibblet well aware of that point.

    One of the inherent problems is that we humans tend not to be strategic thinkers. We react to the battlefield at hand. I have no problem agreeing with Gibblet that there’s nothing wrong with a message aimed at men to not bully people (unless those people, of course, deserve it). There’s nothing wrong with advocating a message to treat women with respect (unless, of course, some women are not deserving of it). And there’s nothing wrong with an overall image being broadcast to men which strives to get them to control and tame their wilder selves.

    Unless, of course, those wilder selves need to be put into service to protect the weak and the innocent. Pat made the brilliant observation in this regard:

    Men do need to stand up for the little guy; stand up and defend women, and to teach their children to be better people than their peers. But men also need to teach their kids, their boys for sure, to stand up for themselves. That sometimes in life there will not be someone there to take care of you. And if they cannot stand up to that bully, they will not be able to stand up for anyone else.

    What these evil, dried-up, angry, man-hating hags want is total and complete acquiesce of the male species to the goals and desires of the feminists. This is the aspect that taints the message and that Gibblet completely missed.

    We need good, strong men for a culture to be descent, just, and safe. Weak, effeminate, fragile men who acquiesce as a habit to those amongst us with the bitchiest and shrillest voice is not a good thing for any of these societal goals.

    • Gibblet says:

      “We need good, strong men for a culture to be descent, just, and safe. Weak, effeminate, fragile men who acquiesce as a habit to those amongst us with the bitchiest and shrillest voice is not a good thing for any of these societal goals.”

      Please, please, please! GOOD. STRONG. MEN!
      A friend and I made a list of all the manly traits we admire (in our husbands). It was a good exercise and helped us to appreciate and encourage those traits, even when it means things are not necessarily done “our” way. God established the husband as the head of the wife. Let the pink-hatted heads explode!

      “Don’t BBQ”
      What? We would starve.

      Product alternatives:
      biokleen: household cleaners and laundry.

      Tom’s: Toothpaste (I use the poison free, uh, fluoride free)

      Dr. Bronner’s: I use the Lavender liquid for shampoo and body wash. Mr. Gibblet likes the Almond/Hemp Bar Soap.

      Schmidt’s: Stick deodorant. (best price at Costco)

      I get most of these at a Kroger store, but they are available many places.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I knew you’d have some good suggestions, Gibblet. Here are some biokleen items listed at Amazon. I will keep these in mind.

        I also found out that my Downy liquid fabric softener has to go. I usually use the dye-free unscented Arm & Hammer dryer sheets. But hanging towels up to dry in the summer makes the liquid fabric softener useful.

        Here’s some unscented Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap. That’s kind of pricey though.

        I’ll keep these and the other brands in mind and see if Winco has any of them. The alternative is just to not sweat and get dirty.

        I don’t use much deodorant (I find that taking a bath does wonders for not stinking). But if I really want to “stick” it to Proctor & Gamble, the Schmidt’s stick deodorant sounds like a good alternative. Old Spice tends to be a bit overpowering even on a good day. I had been using the “Arctic Force” flavor which wasn’t too obnoxious.

        • Gibblet says:

          Brad, I’ve found that Fred Meyer has the best prices around on those items, much better than Amazon. They are in the Natural section, up near the produce.

          I quit using fabric sheets several years ago after realizing that even the unscented choices affected my sinuses. I have no problem with static. And if I want some foo foo, I put a few drops of lavender oil in the wash cycle.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I don’t go by Fred Meyer too often but I’ll keep their natural section in mind. Sometimes I sneeze and I don’t know why. Who knows sometimes? But I remember getting a free bar of Irish Spring soap in the mail years ago. I tried it. I was soon itching all over and had to quickly take another shower. That stuff is just loaded with garbage.

            It is beyond doubt that we are overloading our immune systems with this kind of garbage. This has little to do with sensitivity to some things, per se (although that often pertains). It is just (or should be) common sense to remove as many perfumes, etc., as possible.

            I get a kick out of those product where you either spray an air freshener in your room or have one of those wall plug-in types. Good god, man (or woman), vacuum, dust, and clean the damn place once in a while. Just don’t bury one odor with another. I just don’t get that.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Long ago I started buying Arrid deodorant, and never stopped. A friend who bought some for me (this was when I preferred not to leave the house so as not to risk falling) got a stick, and that’s what I used until I ended up here.

      • Gibblet says:

        YouTube: HAKA dance New Zealand

        Great footage for some beer commercial. (Good dark beer, that is. Not that sissy beer you can see through, unless it’s a Corona. But I digress…further).

  11. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The Official StubbornThings Guide for Men

    + Be true to your woman through thick and thin

    + Don’t beat your children unless it’s at Parcheesi

    + Don’t beat your wife, but neither accept a situation where she is constantly scolding you and making your life miserable. You deserve better. Move out or move on.

    + Hold courage, truth, and hard work as your highest values with the highest of all (wisdom) cultivated so that you can know to what ends to put your courage, the truth, and your efforts.

    + Forgive easily, find fault slowly, be long-suffering and indulgent, but know when to draw a line in the sand so that you don’t increment your life and your society to evil purposes.

    + Buy Schick razors

    Please add to this list as you see fit

    • Gibblet says:

      ” Don’t beat your wife, but neither accept a situation where she is constantly scolding you and making your life miserable. You deserve better. Move out or move on.”

      You deserve better, indeed. Stand up for yourself, and the position where God has placed you as head of the family. Stand firm. Teach your wife how to treat you. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        “No man is so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” The reality is that courage of any type (bold or gentle) is being wrung out of men. What it’s being replaced by is the cheap and easy “courage” we call “virtue signaling.” Often it is just going along to get along.

        To actually disagree with someone in a principled way takes not only courage but a certain amount of thought and knowledge. Given the profusion of dumbed-down idiocy people inoculate themselves with via TV, music, and movies, there is a very good reason people “virtue signal” instead of engage in principled and courageous disagreement. And that is because the former requires but the instincts of a parrot and little thought at all.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Toothpaste – Tooth Suds which is produced by a small company named Hopewell Essential Oils, in Waco, Texas. Tooth Suds contains no fluoride, sodium laurel sulfate, sugar, synthetic compounds or colors.

      When I need it, I use Speed Stick by Colgate Palmolive.

      Razors – I haven’t bought Gillette for some years as their prices are insane. Schick and some generic brands are quite good.

      I have grilled food for many years and have no plans to stop. I have also occasionally smoked meats in the past, but have started to smoke all sorts of things since receiving my electric smoker from Santa Claus.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Speed Stick sounds like a good alternative. I’ll try that or some other when this Stick Made by the Devil runs out.

        Tooth Suds appears to be a very popular brand on Amazon. I may give that a try next time I order something from Amazon.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I like the “dry core” Speed Stick.

          We find Tooth Suds very effective. My wife is convinced that since we started using this, we have had fewer colds/etc.

          She is in direct contact with the owner who ships to us directly and my wife then sends a check for payment.

          • Gibblet says:


            Thanks, KFZ. Looks like good product.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              You’re welcome.

              We previously used Tom’s Toothpaste as well. But somehow my wife found this product, (I think because she was looking for a local supplier of natural oils) and we have been very pleased with it. It doesn’t take as much quantity as regular toothpaste to do the job.

              You can also used a little baking soda every so often if you want to.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Once I started shaving, I got an electric razor. The most recent model was a Norelco, but it seemed to wear down after MANY years of use. At the nursing home they use disposable razors; I have no idea what brand.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I use an electric razor as well. It’s just less bother. It’s also less manly. But with Gillette now going all girly-man, I feel much better about my Braun Series 3. And it’s a “Braun.” I think even Pat would agree that’s not a girly-man sounding word.

          I use to associate “Gillette” which really hot blonds and men hitting each other. I believe it was Gillette who regularly sponsored boxing events when I was a kid. You got a testosterone jolt on both ends, so to speak.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            They certainly advertised on baseball. I once saw a copy of the actual broadcast of a 1955 or 6 World Series game while attending a SABR convention. There was one ad for baseball in general (the commissioner showing a photo that included the Polo Grounds and a bunch of baseball diamonds for amateurs), but every other ad was for Gillette.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      As for nagging, Elizabeth and I never had a problem with that. Though we both have choleric tendencies, they don’t show up between us. One reason we never married was that our situation worked so well as it was. If it ain’t broke . . .

      Otherwise, I can certainly find fault very easily, but I generally am quick to forgive. I get plenty of opportunities for both in the nursing home.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        God bless that man who can take time to show kindness to his wife.

        Double God-bless the woman who doesn’t nag.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      + Take note of, admit to and learn from your errors.

  12. Gibblet says:

    “To actually disagree with someone in a principled way takes not only courage but a certain amount of thought and knowledge”

    I couldn’t agree more, Brad. Going along to get along is a great way to avoid conflict and make friends, but it can facilitate the erosion of standards in a relationship and is a potential breeding ground for abuse toward the passive party. Like you said, it takes wisdom and courage to confront the status quo. It is a vital necessity, however, where a positive outcome (happiness, joy, love, growth, prosperity, generosity, world peace) is desired.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It is a vital necessity, however, where a positive outcome (happiness, joy, love, growth, prosperity, generosity, world peace) is desired.

      Agreed. And to know where to improve we first must know what to fix. A primary fault of men is their propensity toward violence. I have no problem with messages steering men to become better men in this regard.

      One of the primary faults of women is to stir up drama everywhere. That’s what this man-hating feminist advertising chick did in this instance. All a guy wants to do is shave his face. Do we really need women to be nagging us through advertising?

      Unfortunately, with single-parent families running amok, many boys don’t have a father at home. They never learn the basic lessons of how to be a man. (Perhaps nor do the girls learn how to properly relate to a gentleman.)

      Well, nature (and dried up old hag feminists) abhors a vacuum. The sad truth is that there are a lot of immature boys out there (quite into there 30’s and beyond) who don’t know the first thing about behaving like a man. So in steps these man-hating dried-up old hags who are more than happy to tell everyone else how to live.

      It reminds me of that old saying by Mark Twain: “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” Many of us would not be so annoyed if we saw an equal number of commercials dealing with the faults of women.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Unfortunately, with single-parent families running amok, many boys don’t have a father at home. They never learn the basic lessons of how to be a man. (Perhaps nor do the girls learn how to properly relate to a gentleman.)

        One of the biggest problems in single-parent families is that children do not see how adults interact with each other. Not all adults are mature, but most find away to peacefully coexist with each other even if there is tension. Not only is compromise necessary, taking note of one’s spouse is key. What are her likes and dislikes. What makes her happy, what upsets her. Etc. Getting along with others is something which must be learned.

        It is a bonus if children are raised in a normal family in which mom and dad love and respect each other.

  13. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Kurt Schlichter has an interesting article on Gillette’s demonizing of males: We Need to Retoxify Masculinity. He makes some fair points.

    Mona Charen’s myopic take is that Gillette is Not Wrong. Oddly, she lays out the active narrative and then refutes that it is applicable in this case:

    Feminists see culture as a Manichean struggle. It’s women versus men. Women are benign and men are malign. For society to progress, men must change. We must extirpate “toxic masculinity.

    As one commenter implicitedly noted (and which I think is the central issue), these politically correct messages are about promoting lies:

    The Gillette ad is destructive to our comity and polity because it sets up a straw man to divide us once again. In this it falls into the same category as “Black Lives Matter” and those obnoxious yard signs that say “Hate has no home here”. Exactly how many people do they think invite hate into their home and value black lives less than white lives? Implicit in these battle cries is that those proclaiming them honestly feel themselves surrounded by the most horrible kind of biggot. Either of those battle cries would have been very courageous and timely in the Jim Crow era South. They’re ludicrous, divisive, and insulting in suburban Maryland circa 2019.

    It is a lie to suggest that all behavior issues are owned by straight white males. And that is exactly what this racist and sexist ad is proclaiming.

    Had this advertising bitch shown one woman berating her man with a typical (for women) litany of down-putting insults while another woman stepped in to try to stop it, then I would not so much call a commercial like this a lie. Had a white guy stepped in to counsel a black guy about using language such as “my bitch,” then I would have liked it even more. Had a woman been wolf-whistled on the street by a man and the woman walking with her noted, “Honey, if you’re going to dress like a tramp, expect to be treated like one,” you would see Gillette razor sales go through the roof.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, this is the problem. The points Gillette makes are good ones, but they do them in a politically correct fashion (all the bad guys are whites, all the blacks are good guys, no woman does anything at all bad). How about if they showed the difference between beating up a woman for berating her man, and simply walking away from it? (That happened to me once with me brother. He was berating me for something, and for once I simply ignored it. That was unacceptable to him, so he stomped on and smashed a chess piece, the set being on the floor. My mother got a replacement for it.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The points Gillette makes are good ones

        They would be good if they were general points. But the points they made in that commercial are about white males as the holders of toxic masculinity. Nothing is said about black men (who fill the prisons in a much higher percentage). Instead, they are shown as the ones showing ol’ toxic whitey how to behave.

        Men should not hit a woman. The reality is that women contribute to what men do. They help to set the stage for a lot of the stuff that men are merely reacting to.

        This Bill Burr comic routine is probably too much for most. But he makes a vital point: Male actions do not happen in a vacuum. I love his point that even the NHL has a rule for instigation.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I’m not going to get all hot and bothered over that one. But it seems to me he was jumping from a height where you would gain enough speed to make it dangerous. It appeared that he hit the water okay.

            I think it’s kind of funny in a Jackass (the movie) sort of way. One of the commenters to the article says “He must have been a Republican.” The retort from another was likely the more accurate answer: “Odds are 80:10 he was a Democrat.” Who knows? But he certainly doesn’t look like the kind of pansy who runs for safe spaces.

            One comedian said:

            With so many cruise ship mishaps, this should be required preparedness training when you have to abandon ship.

            Someone also noted in the comments section that he had jumped from such heights before. I’ll just note that if we are going to defend attacks on “toxic masculinity,” we may be tasked to occasionally defend acts that could only have been powered by testosterone.

            Steve Irwin lost his life getting a bit too close to nature. But that’s the life he chose to live, and he made a good living at it. He was not a snowflake.

            As for feeding a crocodile, that’s obviously a very dangerous thing to do. These things are real, live monsters in the truest sense. The article said that they kill 1000 people a year. Make that 1001. Yikes. The horror of it all.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              An SF panel on dragons I once attended suggested that the description of a dragon sounded like a Nile crocodile with wings and spitting fire. They do indeed kill a lot of people.

              Falling from a considerable height onto the water is very dangerous because the water resists the fall enough to break bones, especially vertebrae. The climax of an Alfred Hitchcock episode involved such a fall.

              Then, there’s the matter of skip bombing, which isn’t exactly the same thing but relies on the same property of water.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Another case of toxic stupidity which was self-correcting.

          The guy jumping off the ship also had the potential to be self-correcting.

  14. pst4usa says:

    As one commenter implicitly noted (and which I think is the central issue), these politically correct messages are about promoting lies:
    One of the traits of being a good man should include telling the truth, even when it hurts. So I’m going to throw some out there about masculinity. When you see a group of puppies or cubs or most any other mammal youth, you will see that bulling is part of setting the pecking order, to establish the alpha dog, and to cull out the weak. Now I admit that that is in nature, and we are supposed to be civilized, but as children, bullies are necessary in in us humans.
    Why does a bully pick on others? At some deep animal nature he is doing what puppies do, finding the weak ones and showing his dominance. And what kid that had a father that was not a leftist, did not here these words; If that kid shoves you down you get up and shove him back, if he punches you, get up and hit him in the face as hard as you can. The service the smaller kid provides to the bully is invaluable, he tells him in no uncertain terms that he is not as weak as the bully thought and that he will fight back. For those that had never been punched in the face, let me tell you it hurts, it even hurts coming from my 5 year old grandson.
    If we eliminate fighting from young males, who will be there to step up in the future when human nature kicks in for one of our enemies and they decide we are weak enough to take out, sending in hordes of alpha males to kick the crap out of out of beta males or these metrosextuals?
    As Brad’s video points out, is there never a time when a woman should be hit? I have not found one yet. But I have a scenario I lived through while in high school. I was working as a cook in a chain restaurant, when a dishwasher lost it for some reason and had a small busboy cornered with a large knife pointed in his direction. I heard the commotion and went to see what was going on. So I grabbed the dishwasher and spun the dishwasher around, (only then seeing the knife), as the dishwasher spun around the knife was swinging in my direction. I jumped back as the knife cut through my starched cook shirt, only scratching my chest. As you can imagine my adrenaline kicked in and as the dishwasher bent over from the out of control swing, I grabbed the dishwasher by the collar and belt and crashed the dishwasher’s head into the freezer door and proceeded to climb on top and continue to punch the dishwasher’s face until I was pulled off the dishwasher. The dishwasher was unconscious from the first crash into the freezer door, but I was too jacked up to stop.
    The reason I share this, (true story), this way, referring to the dishwasher instead of using pronouns was that had the dishwasher been a woman, I do not think my reaction would have been or should have been different.
    Rape and real sexual assault come from an illness or drugs or alcohol and are not part of masculinity, none of that is an excuse, but it is not about masculinity; enough said. Being crude and making comments or noises comes from a lack of maturity, and I have to say that has been women and leftist that have caused too many men to stay childlike for extended time. Obama did not start this by a long shot, but he summed it well with, “You can stay on your parents healthcare until you are 28 years old” ~BO
    Everything about the left has to do with denying self-evident truths and facts. Your biology does not determine your gender, your feelings do, but your biology does determine your age, height, weight, race and a few others? So this ad is just another brick in that wall. I will stop my rant here, I have rambled long enough.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      these politically correct messages are about promoting lies:

      Absolutely! And while the left is no stranger to bald-faced lying, I find their lies of exclusion more dangerous. They are able to ride on people’s ignorance and present utopia as reality. As Brad noted, this commercial has the white guys as the bad guys, but if one looks at the statistics, it is clear white guys are considerably less violent percentage-wise, than black guys.

      There are so many instances in TV and film in which pure propaganda is promoted that one could write volumes about the subject. One could perhaps even earn a PhD, but of course one would have to find a university which would sponsor a candidate willing to touch the subject.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I grabbed the dishwasher by the collar and belt and crashed the dishwasher’s head into the freezer door and proceeded to climb on top and continue to punch the dishwasher’s face until I was pulled off the dishwasher. The dishwasher was unconscious from the first crash into the freezer door, but I was too jacked up to stop.

      I’m reminded, for some reason, of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer is trying to rush someone’s severed pinky to the hospital so that it can be surgically re-attached. He gets on a bus. But then someone tries to hijack the bus. So Kramer battles this guy so the driver can continue. But then the driver keels over and Kramer, because he knows time is critical, takes over driving the bus. And then the one guy he had knocked down earlier gets back up and tries to wrest control from Kramer.

      Kramer is relating this story and said that he was eventually able to kick this guy off at the next stop. And Jerry said, “You kept making the stops?” And Kramer said, “Well, they kept ringing the bell.”

      The pinky got back to the hospital in time and all was well. And while reading this account from Pat, I kept thinking, “Did the dishes continue to get washed?” With Pat kicking ass and taking names, I’m guessing they did.

      FYI, John Dempsey has an excellent article on the subject.

      Whatever the immediate tactical considerations and thoughts that go through a feminist’s head when it creates advertising like this, there is no doubt of the strategic point (offered in this above article): It’s to take away and neutralize the only power that can stand up to the socialist nannies, and that power is men standing up for their freedom and against dependency. This advertisement is part of an ongoing attempt to politically and socially castrate men. Period.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        John Dempsey hit the nail on the head in that article.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          National advertising campaigns are generally written by companies located in New York City. Naturally they’re heavily influenced by urban elitist leftism. So are many of the large corporations they advertise for.

      • pst4gop says:

        The dishes were not done for a few hours, until we got another dishwasher in, but we shut the restaurant down for a hour or so while the police investigated. They did decide not to charge me since they could see the blood running down my chest and the giant slice in my shirt. They were able to deduce that it was self defense.

        Although I agree with a lot of the Dempsey article, I find the yeah but women do it to part weak. This is a leftist movement and to point out that women could be perpetrators of this would undermine the whole victim status for women from toxic masculinity. Why would anyone assume they would do such a thing?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It was but a flesh wound, as Monty Python would say.

          I heard a bit of Mark Steyn today filling in for Rush. Man is this guy a clear-thinker. He was brilliant.

  15. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One of the interesting and important aspects of this whole Gillette thing is: Women don’t understand what it takes to be a man. They don’t get it. They can mouth some words. But at the end of the day, they have no idea what makes a man. (And this adds further emphasis to the tragedy of glorifying single-parent families where boys have no father at home.)

    And that’s because it’s the job of men to make a man. The definition may vary (some good, some bad). But we are out of their ken (and Ken). They haven’t a clue.

    Joseph Campbell, hardly to be mistaken for a conservative, makes a fascinating note about the sexes (one he would be castigated for today by the feminazis). He notes (in his books and in his well-known PBS special with Bill Moyers) a deep truism about men and women that he witnessed by this one tribe (and I forget which tribe).

    When a girl in this tribe starts to menstruate, she is taken to a hut to sit alone for a week or so and contemplate what it means to be a woman. Campbell noted that no one had to tell them how to become a woman. It was something that happened to them automatically.

    For men (and boys) it’s completely different. There is no clear dividing line. They achieve manhood via often harsh rituals whereby they are welcomed into the cast of men and assume new responsibilities and privileges. The boys are taken (often kicking and screaming….they are terrified) physically from their mothers (who resist, if only symbolically….they know what must happen) and are put through various rituals. When they are done, they are no longer their mother’s sons. They are their father’s sons.

    Nothing would please man-hating feminists more than to disrupt this process, for to concede that men and manhood is something important and distinctive is to reveal a very large crack in their fascist ideology.

    Now, we can argue over what boys should be made into, about what definition of a man is best. But it is wrong to just make girls out of boys, no matter the language these liars use to try to justify it.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      So your suggestion is that transgendered males are simply an extension of the leftist goal of creating androgynous people, especially males (e.g., Pajama Boy). That makes a frightening amount of sense. It would also explain, perhaps, why they put so much effort into creating transsexual bathrooms.

      Of course, the situation of women in primitive tribes is very different from that of men. Mike Resnick has pointed out that the Swahili word for “women” (manamouki) actually refers to any female property. It could be a cow, a jenny, a she-goat, or a woman. But Swahili is actually a trade language owing more to Arabic than to African tribal languages.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        So you’re suggestion is that transgendered males are simply an extension of the leftist goal of creating androgynous people, especially males (e.g., Pajama Boy).

        I think it’s pretty clear that female fascism is rampant in our society. If you uphold the idea of a male as anything but a made-over female who is improved by being feminized, you’re socially castigated.

        This is a power struggle. Women have made great gains (many of them deserving). But now the pendulum has swung too far.

        As for the gender-benders, there has always been a “spectrum” regarding sexuality. In gentler terms, men will eff anything. It’s always been that way. Ordered societies worth living in put limits on our wilder instincts and behavior.

        Now this gender-bending Genie has been let out of the bottle. In terms of gender, these types are not men. And they are more than glad to say so. Any standard or traditional definition of being a man is considered toxic. As a group, they are near perfect leading-edge anarchists for the Leftist agenda which is to elevate the freak and punish the normal. This is a great technique for smashing the existing Christian/Western/capitalist order.

        Should some things be smashed or changed? Sure, that is always the case. But the ideological zeal of the Left knows no limits and is not rooted in much more than a base anarchism — a desire to tear things down and apart in the name of “equality,” “freedom,” or whatever the slogan of the day is.

        The long and the short of it is that a society without good and strong men is a society that is adrift. Such a society can have no rule or standard other than the emotion of the minute and the drivings of the mob.

        As far as lessons to be learned from primitive tribes, I would take few of them as exemplars. Most are crude, stupid, and brutal. And as we in the West devolve to small idealogical tribes, the same thing happens.

        But I do think there are some interesting and important insights that can be gained from studying man in a state closer to nature. One of those lessons is that men have to be made. What are women trying to make of them now? We will soon face a holocaust of social disorder and violence because of the seeds we have been sowing for decades now.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          You’re making a similar point to one Edmund Burke made in his study of the French Revolution. Change is always needed, but you don’t want to go overboard on it — such as the decision by the Jacobins to change their system of measurements (this led to the metric system, for good or ill) and even the calendar (junked by Napoleon at some point).

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            And you get to the reality of why “democracy” is to be avoided.

            Our constitutional republic is a very wily mix between the rule of an oligarchy (the Senate) and that of the mob (the House). When we went to direct-selection of Senators, we veered aware from back-room power brokers playing to industry (who actually produced something) to front-room demagogues playing to the mob (who tend to only ever tear things down).

            At least it can be said the back-room power brokers had achieved something in life in order to get to the back room. They didn’t pick George Washington out of a lineup of farmers for a would-be commander of the Continental Army, for instance.

            But that’s just how we tend to choose Senators now. Washington State’s Patty Murray remains a textbook example. And although our Chief Executive has gained too much power and prestige over the years, our system also shows the need for a strong leader.

            Nature abhors a vacuum. And although it would be wrong to call the power-grabbing Federal, state, and local governments creating a vacuum (it’s more like a pressure-cooker), there is a vacuum of virtues in our society. We have become a social mob who now can only be ruled over and controlled by various forms of an oligarchy.

            We can now fully understand Orwell’s sarcasm of “war is peace” and Hitler’s cynicism of “Work will set you free” over the gates of some of the concentration camps. Our dumb masses are even now being sold the idea that they can have freedom if only they will relinquish most of the control to the state. “Regulation will set you free.” And they’re buying it. And they will perish by it, if only spiritually, but very likely bodily as well some day.

            One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Tolkien’s work has a very libertarian aspect to it. On the other hand, “the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie” is more totalitarian, though Tolkien denied that Lord of the Rings was an allegory of World War II and even described how events would have been different if it had been.

              The Founders knew their classical history, such as Xenophon’s Hellenica, which included the Battle of Arginusae and its aftermath. The Athenians, having pulled off a seemingly miraculous victor over the Spartans and their allies, proceeded to execute the victorious admirals. Executing losers is hardly uncommon, but executing the winners may be unique in history, or close to it.

              That was not considered a good advertisement for the virtues of democracy.

              The Athenians actually chose many officials by lot, on the basis that ability wasn’t relevant. Only the most important were actually elected. Of course, election by lot is even more democratic than election by mass vote.

              I once read that the Constitution was intended to mix together elements of monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. This remains true, though now the oligarchy is SCOTUS.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I’ve read both books by Tolkien. And I’m in the midst of re-watching The Hobbit trilogy. The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is pretty good. The Hobbit movie trilogy generally sucks. I liked the book when I read it. But the movie didn’t capture much of the charm.

                Middle Earth in the Third Age is a land of kings. The Shire itself, however, had a very minimalist amount of government. They had a post office (Message Service) and some light law-and-order folk including the Shirriffs “whose chief duties involved rounding up stray livestock.”

                The Shire was an idyllic place. The Hobbits were peaceful. I think this is one reason Gandalf liked them so much, although (and I don’t remember the exact details….there’s a lot of material in this stuff) I think Gandalf had a general inkling or even knowledge of a prophesy that caused him to involve a few of the Hobbits in the master goings-on of Middle Earth — in which, of course, they were crucial.

                I still couldn’t tell you what the Tolkien writings are about. You could name a hundred sub-themes. But I’m not sure what the main theme is. It seems to come together as more of a spectacle — an adventure for the sake of adventure (there and back again) — more than anything else. Perhaps that’s why these stories are so popular. They’re definitely not preachy.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I’m sure one reason The Hobbit trilogy wasn’t as good is that it was padded out so much. The Lord of the Rings is 3 books that I think average longer than The Hobbit. Making 2 movies of it might have worked (less would be excluded than in LOTR), but 3 was too much.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Tolkien denied that Lord of the Rings was an allegory of World War II

                As I recall, when asked about the allegorical aspect of the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien denied any allegory and went so far as to say he disliked allegory of any sort.

                I still couldn’t tell you what the Tolkien writings are about. You could name a hundred sub-themes.

                I believe I recall that Tolkien took much from Norse Sagas and a Finnish epic which, I believe starts with a K.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                The Kalevala, I think. One of the stories in the Enchanter series by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt is set in that world.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I’m sure one reason The Hobbit trilogy wasn’t as good is that it was padded out so much.

                I think you are exactly right, Timothy.

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