The Experts

I reviewed the 1989 film, The Experts over at Aryan Skynet. I’m not sure this mediocre movie warranted having 1,300 words written about it, but hey that’s never stopped me before. The review can be found, here

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5 Rad Christmas Jams

1. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping

I used to always hear this song in department stores and never realized who sang it, though I recognized the singer’s voice as being similar to the girl who sang the “I Know What Boys Like” song, (which I hated and would instantly flee the dance floor when it would be played at mid 00’s hipster DJ nights.) Well, turns out it is the same singer and band, and I just couldn’t compute that a band that played a song I despised so much could have created one that is an absolute masterpiece. Christmas Wrapping is an amazing song, maybe the best Christmas song ever. Patty Donahue unfortunately died at a young age (only 40.) RIP

2. Taylor Swift – Last Christmas

I know I know, but seriously I prefer this version to the Wham! version. This song is just better with a female voice and preferably one that doesn’t morph it into some kind of excessive adlib R&B monstrosity with all kinds of extra eeee’s and aaaaaah’s (like what is commonly done to the national anthem when singers get unnecessarily creative.) Anyway, the first time I really began to appreciate this song was in 2012. I was in Las Vegas alone and miserable on Christmas that year in what I look back on as my favorite vacation of my life, and there was a band on Fremont St called “Candy and the Canes” which was playing this song in the Taylor Swift style. Now whenever I hear it, it takes me back.

3. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Christmas All Over Again

Admittedly, I have never been much of a Tom Petty fan. His songs typically remind me of a really horrible era in the early 90’s where kids in my class would randomly belt out lyrics to Free Fallin’ in phony southern accents. It was a dark time period. Christmas All Over Again on the other hand conjurs up an entirely different memory. In the winter of 1996, I was living on my own in Phoenix, coming into my (now long gone) prime as a young man. This song would play in a jam packed, Paradise Valley mall (now almost literally a shadow of its former self.) Melrose place reruns aired daily on the E! Channel, and most of the people in my family were still alive back then. What an exciting time it was. Also, RIP Tom Petty.

4. Captain Sensible – One Christmas Catalogue

Not much to say about this one. Another department store classic. I don’t have any personal anecdote that colors my perception of this song. It is just a really great song, and just has that “1980’s lost in thought on a drive in the middle of the night through the city” feel to it. If you know, then you know.

5. Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters – Mele Kalikimaka

Of course, this song always reminds me of the diving board scene in Christmas Vacation. That is reason to like it in and of itself. It’s also one of those songs where everyone butchers the lyrics and just mumbles something random at the “mele kalikimaka” part. What most people don’t realize though, is that this is a great tune to repeatedly sing when you want to annoy your girlfriend (perhaps second only to pretty much any song by Edd “Kookie” Byrnes.) I only say the main part correctly about 3% of the time, but she rolls her eyes, and pleads for me to stop (in an exasperated tone) no matter what kind of gibberish I try to pass off as the chorus.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism

Skirting the Issue With Tara McCarthy

For a long time, this site sported the tagline, “The Left Wing of the AltRight.” Not many people have noticed that several months ago,(around the time I wrote this article) I changed it to “The Left of the AltRight,” which signified a location change from the outer left ideological sphere of the AltRight, to the actual outside of it. This wasn’t due to any particular change of beliefs on my behalf, but rather the AltRight’s endless purges and the shrinking of the ideological sphere itself to a point where some of us suddenly found ourselves no longer within it. It has been reduced to mostly a club for a small group of relatively insufferable people who waste most of their time trashing and alienating their few public advocates.

It’s essentially become a bunch of snake handlers raving about sodomites and porn and women and “degeneracy.” Yeah if I wanted all that I’d just go downtown Friday night and listen to those annoying weirdos with megaphones that yell stuff all night and hand out those cheesy fake “million dollar bill” bible pamphlets. Imagine having those obnoxious busybodies as your neighbors, monitoring your interactions and peering in your window late at night. The “movement” as it is, is filled with such socially insufferable people who an ardent pro-white individual might even conclude that diversity and multiculturalism aren’t all that bad comparatively. It’s a group with strategy that seems limited to street fighting fantasies, reading old books and Little House on the Prairie LARPing.

This brings us to the case of Tara McCarthy, who (quite reasonably) is beginning to wonder whether it is worthwhile to publicly advocate for people who show nothing but disdain for her:

Here’s my unsolicited advice: Don’t bother, Tara. It’s not worth it. You’ll never appease these kinds of people and the only way forward is to become part of something that they would never want to be included in. The best way to get away from people you don’t want to be around is to set up shop somewhere they would never want to go. If you market your content to radical traditionalists and uptight sexual puritans that want “white sharia” (or a slightly milder version) and guys that don’t believe women should be involved in politics or speak in public without a male chaperone, then ultimately you can expect to clash with your audience as they inevitably begin to scrutinize you according to those same standards.

Better yet, just ditch “traditionalism” and avoid the confusion altogether. Then those annoying people can fight among themselves forever about what’s “trad,” and you can focus on creatively adapting to the future. Those traditions which you find aesthetically appealing or practically useful in a technologically advanced society can be retained, and those which are incompatible or no longer offer a significant adaptive advantage can be discarded.

The Golden One recent made a video coming to Tara’s defense, which she quickly touted on Twitter as validation. This was somewhat amusing though, because The Golden One’s rationale for supporting her is that he sees women like her essentially as “useful idiots” (though he does not use those words) toward dismantling the left’s narrative that the AltRight is nothing but bitter incel losers. He doesn’t truly *believe* women should be allowed or trusted to be involved in politics on any genuine level. He just sees it as temporarily useful for optics purposes. Once the march through the institutions has been completed, the law will be laid down and all women will be forced to remain barefoot and pregnant, and only their husbands will be allowed to do the talking.

Ramzpaul provided a much better and more authentic defense of women in the AltRight. He also indirectly addresses an issue that I find common in the AltRight, which is the frequent inadvertent signaling of their own lack of self-control. They seem incapable of mastering simple skills like multitasking and time management. According to them, you’re either a guy who sits home and jacks off to porn all day, or a married family man with six children. Does it not occur to them that most people are perfectly capable of being married, having children, working a full-time job and jacking off every few days? They take the same tact with just about everything. There’s nothing preventing a woman from working, taking care of her children and making youtube videos about politics or any other subject. Millions of women can and do manage their time just fine in this way.

A friend of mine and fellow blogger recently made a similar observation:

“I get the impression that a lot of trads have extremely addictive personalities, such that they’re incapable of moderation. ‘If you open up the door for just a little bit of muh degeneracy, how do you prevent yourself from sliding into a meth-fueled gay orgy?’ Gosh, I dunno, somehow I manage to avoid it. Using intelligence to determine that too much of behavior X might cause one problems in the long run is apparently out of the question for them. You have to have some sort of blanket prohibition passed down from on high.”

Anyway good luck with the AltRight, Tara. I think I’m about finished with trying to influence it though, so I shouldn’t comment on it much more, else I’m liable to end up some kind of permanent concern troll. I prefer to just quietly leave and do my own thing. I recognize that ship has sailed for good. AltRight is a basically Westboro Baptist and Return of Kings hybrid ideology now. You can be pro-white without being in the AltRight and having to entertain their pet add-on issues or be constantly weighed down by all their psychological baggage. There are a lot of creative paths toward securing a future, and there are allies to be found in unlikely places.

4 Reasons to Consider Squeezing Into a Micro Apartment

This article originally appeared in Force Fields, Feb, 19 2016

Much controversy has been generated by the recent development of micro apartments and tiny houses. These are smaller than normal living spaces, which in the case of micro apartments often means less than 300 sq ft. They have emerged as an option for environmentally conscious young professionals and students to live in parts of town where they would otherwise be unable to economically sustain themselves. The rent is just too damn high. A lot of people hate the idea of these micro flats.”How could anyone live like that?” some people wonder. “These new buildings are ruining property values!” real estate agents complain. If you have a family of 2 or require a lot of space for your hair dryer, I’m sure you’ve already concluded these little apartments are not for you. Not everyone needs or wants a lot of room though. Here are a few reasons why some of us(at least for a while) wouldn’t mind calling a micro apartment our home:

1. They’re Affordable
This is perhaps the most obvious selling point. In many thriving metropolitan cities, cost of living has long ago outpaced real wages. Places in the heart of San Francisco, Seattle and Portland are expensive and almost impossible to afford for many of the young single professionals work in the city. This tends to require people to make long commutes from far off suburbs or have to hunker down like turtles at the mercy of slumlords in nearby ghettos. That or they end up packed like sardines into an decent but “communal” apartment with bunch of random roommates of various quality and shadiness. Micro apartments allow you to sacrifice space for affordability, privacy and the chance to live in a small compartment in the best part of town.

2. Good for the Environment
No big surprise here. Micro apartment buildings are designed specifically to be energy efficient in all areas. From low-flow shower heads to compact fluorescent light bulbs, these were built for green living. The small area also requires less energy to heat, cool or light. There is so little to do in one of these apartments that unless you turn your room into a bitcoin mining outpost, it’s difficult to see how you could ever run up much of a utility bill. Also, the fact that you can live right where the action is(and likely close to work) means you’ll be using less gas and may not even need to drive an automobile at all.

micro apartment room with window

3. Minimalist Lifestyle
One might think of the idea of being cramped in a tiny apartment as being a stressful thought in and of itself. Instead of falling victim to an anxiety induced cheek bite, chew on this for a second. when I look around at all the junk I’ve accumulated over the years cluttered about, it stressed me out. Life is one’s head is complicated and heavy enough without having a ton of crap in the physical world to weigh you down(and yes I realize that thoughts themselves are technically a physical manifestation, but you know what I mean.) I have fantasies about chucking all my material possessions and going back to basics. At one time I lived for 2 years in a small studio apartment armed with nothing but a $20 cot from Target to sleep on and a Super Nintendo for recreational activity. Those were simple yet carefree times. Micro apartments allow for this kind of minimalist lifestyle. Small spaces can be liberating after all.

4. The Views
Believe it or not, many of these micro apartments come equipped with breathtaking views. The units are often situated in modernist mini high-rise buildings. One of the rare features these units have is large windows. After all, if there’s not room to do anything else your apartment, at least you can gaze outside from the 7th floor and stare at the Cascades all day.


Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism

Discussing Journey to Vapor Island on The Stark Truth

We discussed Robert Stark’s new novel, “Journey to Vapor Island” on The Stark Truth podcast.

Show is available here.

Topics:

Brandon’s review of Journey to Vapor Island (Contains Spoilers)
-The cover art by Mark Velard
-How listeners to the show will instantly recognize favorite topics when they make cameo appearances in the book or manifest themselves as part of the underlying themes
-Internet memes in the book (ex. the men in the frog masks)
-A disclaimer that this book is not for anyone that is squeamish about sex or easily shocked or offended
-Brandon’s observation that the sexual scenes in the book are more akin to the “random battles” in old school Super Nintendo RPGs like Final Fantasy IV
-The theme of how central sex is to people’s motivations, and the overall perception of status in society
-The main character Noam Metzenbaum who is a socially inept yet intelligent student with delusions of grandeur
-The Chads and the theme of the nerd getting revenge against bullies and the popular cliques
-Noam’s crush Natalie Bloom and his lifelong obsession for her
-The Retro-Futuristic surreal fantasy world in the book; an adult Never Ending Story
-The Roger Blackstone character who could represent a Trump-like figure, but could just as easily be a Ross Perot or even Willy Wonka
-The outrageous comic elements in the book
-The theme of the commercialization of tragedies and the celebrity status of mass murderers
-How the book is timely with the ongoing Hollywood sex scandals
-The theme of living in ones fantasies and being disconnected from reality

Journey to Vapor Island

Having known artist Robert Stark for about two years (he is still the only person from the political edge-o-sphere that I have met in real life,) I was anxious to finally read his long awaited novel, Journey to Vapor Island. I was of course interested to see how he might creatively incorporate his many personal obsessions, social observations and utopian visions into the storyline. On these grounds, he certainly did not disappoint:

As they approach the Galleria, they drive under a giant pink neon archway which leads to a corridor lined with Roman columns and statues. Noam wonders what the location looks like at night and wants to further explore the architecture of the Galleria, but Harry explains that the entrance to the Erotic Emporium is VIP only.
Carlos jokes, “Noam, you’re still such a nerd. The only architecture I’ll be exploring is that of the male anatomy.”

Frequent listeners to his long running podcast will instantly recognize his favorite topics when they make cameo appearances in the book or manifest themselves as part of the underlying themes: architecture, city planning, neon, Alicia Silverstone, Pepe the frog, “Israeli-Aryanism,” blonde Jewish girls, aristocratic individualism, Leisure Suit Larry (I’m proud to say introduced him to this game,) Roger Blackstone, futurism, vaporwave, Sarah Michelle Gellar, new urbanism, etc.

Before I start this review, I just want to say that this book is not for anyone that is squeamish about sex, and that includes probably most people that make up the current crop of the “AltRight” (aka the SquareRight.) If you’re an uptight prude, NoFap weirdo, LARPy tradfag or just use the term “degeneracy” unironically, you will probably not enjoy this book. Then again, maybe you will pull a dark sense of humor out of your ass for a hot minute and enjoy it…but if you decide to read “Journey to Vapor Island” don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The sexual scenes in the book strike me as being akin to the “random battles” in old school Super Nintendo RPGs like Final Fantasy IV. It’s like when you’re walking across the overworld toward the next town, eager to see advance the story, and every few steps you take on the map, there is one of those annoying random battles. “Ugh, not another of these stupid Were-rats.” Even though the battles feel like tedious chores, they still serve a purpose as part of the journey, in terms of leveling up the characters and making you feel that much more accomplished when you finally reach the end of the game. So, though the sex scenes are sometimes graphic and painful to read through (they definitely don’t seem intended to be arousing,) at a certain point in the story you realize their significance as part of an overarching, satirical social commentary on contemporary society’s obsession with sex. Their presence is a reminder of how central sex is to people’s motivations, and the overall perception of status in society. Now, on to the review.

BIG SECRETS, HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD!

The story itself could probably best be described as a “not quite AltRight,” hypersexed and homoerotic (to put it mildly) adult variant of The Neverending Story. Journey to Vapor Island chronicles the misadventures of “Noam Metzembaum,” a precocious young Jewish man with a dirty mind and delusions of grandeur. Another central figure in the book (but one who never actually appears) is Roger Blackstone, a wealthy and controversial outsider political figure whose bold ideas and futuristic visions align with Noam’s. It would be easy to say that Blackstone represents a Trump-like figure, but it could just as easily be a Ross Perot or even Willy Wonka. Roger Blackstone is in the same vein as these types, but really his political theories and ideas bear very little to resemblance to Trump’s aside from the public’s hysterical perception of them being “fascist” and all the rest.

The “journey” begins with Noam as a socially inept yet intelligent student at a ghetto public school, where he is bullied and tormented by brutish minority students. He thinks so little of them, that he often refers to them in animalistic terms like “beasts.” When these minority thugs see Noam striking up a friendship with a nice black girl named Vanessa, they promptly beat him up.

Noam develops a crush on a wealthy blonde Jewish girl named Natalie Bloom while attending a bat mitzvah and convinces his mother to let him switch schools to attend the prestigious “Chadsworth Academy” (the book is peppered with these kinds of meme references) where Natalie is going to school. Noam’s mother is too poor to afford the tuition, but luckily he is able to obtain an academic scholarship. While at Chadsworth, Noam finds that the girls have no interest in him, and he once again finds himself being relentlessly humiliated and bullied, this time by the “Chads,” a group of handsome and stereotypical 80’s-style, Aryan looking jock assholes (although their dialogue often more closely resembles that of 90s wiggers.) Stark seems unaware (or doesn’t care) that this archetype is itself a bit of a Jewish film invention…stemming from ethnic insecurity and resentment. Revenge of the Nerds (by Jeff ((Buhai,)) The Legend of Billie Jean (produced by ((Rob Cohen,)) written by Mark ((Rosenthal)) and Lawrence ((Konner,)) Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless (both directed by Amy ((Heckerling,)) Just One of the Guys (written by Dennis Feldman and directed by Lisa Gottlieb) and The Karate Kid (written by Robert Mark ((Kamen)) are all quintessential examples of this. I still maintain a nostalgic fondness for these films, but understanding writers’ and artists’ subconscious motivations and insecurities allows one to view their work with a cold eye and minimizes their capacity for emotional manipulation.

Noam’s humiliation by the Chads seems limitless, and he comes off as such a pathetic figure he seems irredeemable. While reading the first third of the book I often just wished Noam would just put himself out of his misery and off himself. One of the highlights of the Chadsworth portion though is the scene where they conduct a mock debate in class. Several students roleplay as candidates from various political parties, with Noam assuming the role of Roger Blackstone. What’s remarkable about this scene is the way the characters authentically argue each side. There is no straw-manning here. The participants state their case almost exactly the way they would in real life. It is impressive the way Stark manages this level of objectivity in crafting this scene.

Noam’s conflict with the Chads comes to a head (literally) when they defile the girl he is in love with at a party. Enraged, Noam actually murders and beheads several of the Chads. He then burns down the entire house. For me, this is where the book begins to get more interesting.

After a bizarre trial and a sympathetic judge (Noam had noticed a Blackstone bumper sticker on the judge’s car,) Noam only ends up being sentenced to about 15 years. The book devotes very little to the time Noam actually spends locked up. It is treated as a dreamlike, abstract blur (this time utilizing the familiar “pill” memes.)

After Noam is released, he discovers the world has changed dramatically. Roger Blackstone is now in charge and has since implemented many of his visions for society. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say the US has become a lot more retro-futuristic and sexually open minded. Much to Noam’s surprise, Noam also discovers that he himself has become viewed as a folk hero, with many people having been inspired by his manifesto. This is another part of the social commentary. Ahead of his time, Andy Warhol once remarked that even people like Charles Manson were considered “up there” in terms of celebrity status and stardom despite their fame arising from the perpetration of gruesome and heinous crimes. We now live in a world where spree shooters like Elliot Rodger have a substantial posthumous following and live on in memes. Twenty years after Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold have their fans. Some of the fandom phenomenon is just teenagers being edgy, but the darker part is that on some level there are a great deal of people that sympathize and identify with their struggles (even if most people wouldn’t go as far as to throw a violent public temper tantrum and murder people.)

In Noam’s case, he had unquestionably genuine grievances, as he was the victim of not just basic bullying but sexual assaults and torture. Whether or not his level of retaliation was justified though is up for debate. Of course, it doesn’t take long for Noam to continue his violent acts once released. He brutally attacks an old bully he recognizes from his ghetto high school and castrates a well-known Israeli pick up artist that goes by the name of “Moosh” (hmmm I wonder who could have been the inspiration for that character.)

In any case, the story continues with Noam traveling to “Vapor Island,” where a movie is being made about his manifesto and life. Constructed by Blackstone’s company, Vapor Inc, the island is a futuristic, fantasy city with an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from Greco-Roman to Art Deco to 80’s neon. The movie about Noam’s life is being directed by Ari Meschel, a greedy and sleazy director/producer cast from the same mold of Harvey Weinstein (Stark also claims he actually did have Weinstein in mind while writing this, even before the allegations recently came out.)

As Noam explores, Noam begins to notice that everything on the island isn’t quite what it appears to be. It was at this point in the book that I began to appreciate what a work of genius “Journey to Vapor Island” is. A cohesive, overarching narrative begins to emerge in what I had initially written off as a chaotic product of Stark’s often juvenile and depraved imagination. Many of the attractions and destinations on the island turn out to be large scale business ventures, which are based upon the tragic events in Noam’s life and ideas from his journal. The shameless, opportunistic, economic exploitation and commodification of horrific crimes and personal tragedies may seem absurd in this context, but they are all too familiar. How
many films have been made and books been written about The Manson Family or the Zodiac Killer? You can buy Charles Manson coffee mugs and Elliot Rodger t-shirts. Journey to Vapor Island is stacked with plot developments that at first glance seem totally unrealistic and off the wall, yet upon closer inspection are just slightly exaggerated caricatures of genuine phenomena that can be observed all around us, in the world we live in today. This is what the book gets at, the commercialization of everything pure (or impure for that matter.) Noam is disgusted by the commercial exploitation of his journal entries and actions as a young man, which he felt came from a private and genuine place in his heart.

In a bizarre turn of events at The Erotic Emporium (my favorite scene) Noam receives a map, which he follows and eventually finds his way to meet a bizarre ancient civilization of frogmen that are secretly living beneath the island. Weird, huh?

Noam gets wind of the fact that Meschel’s plans to twist the meaning of Noam’s manifesto and completely misrepresent Noam’s actions in order to substitute Meschel’s own narrative. Noam determines that he must prevent Meschel from making the movie. After one lengthy final humiliating femdom ordeal at the hands of Meschel’s sadistic teenage daughter, everything culminates in a climactic (albeit brief) battle between the frogmen and Meschel’s security forces. The island is essentially destroyed.

I won’t give away the ending, but ultimately Noam has to decide whether to stay in a state of fantasy or return to the “real” world. Noam is told that the longer he stays in “Vapor” the more difficult it will be for him to return and function in the world. He has no idea whether his life will be as pathetic and humiliating as it was before if he returns, or whether his experiences will have improved/altered it in some way. He decides to return, and we can only speculate as to what is in store for him.

I did not expect much from Journey to Vapor Island when I began reading it, but I will say this, it is not a misleading title. I definitely felt like I had completed a journey when reading this thing, and like a classic SNES rpg game, when I finally got through it, I didn’t want the adventure to end. Journey to Vapor Island is one of the most creative, imaginative, and depraved books I’ve ever read. It is a true contemporary classic that is plugged in to all the ills and frills which make up the surreal world young people are trying (and usually failing) to navigate their way around.

Journey to Vapor Island
By Robert Stark
340 pages