Saturday, May 25, 2019

Lawyering the mistletoe

“Fridlysta växter” is a book in Swedish about plants and somewhat-allied organisms protected by law in Sweden. As usual, illustrator Bo Mossberg´s name is more prominent on the front cover than that of the actual author, one Hans Rydberg. The reason is Mossberg´s local fame in Sweden – I suppose we could call him “the Lars Jonsson of plant and mushroom illustrations”. The book, published in 1995, was a collaboration with the Swedish “Sierra Club”, the Naturskyddsföreningen (NF). It´s both a field guide of sorts and an extended pitch for the specific form of environmentalism represented by the NF. Since the work is in Swedish, it´s of limited use to outsiders, but could perhaps be an interesting collectors´ item if you like plant illustrations. A weird detail is that the list of protected plant species at Swedish Wikipedia is from 1996, suggesting that very few updates have been made since the time this little book was published!

Rydberg argues that the entire system of making specific plant species “protected by law” doesn´t really help much. The right of landowners to exploit their land always takes precedence, and the best way to save threatened plant species isn´t to protect them one by one, but rather to shield entire areas from outside exploitation. After all, plants are part of wider eco-systems while being less mobile than many animals. Also, most of the legal protection is local or regional rather than national. Only the orchid family is protected all over Sweden. Nor is there a correlation between a plant being rare and a plant being legally protected!

That being said, Rydberg is strongly into the myth of “biodiversity”, something Nature is not (despite the romantic conceptions of many Green activists). He admits that floral diversity is often the result of *human* activity, most notably certain old fashioned agricultural practices. Take away these, and Nature suddenly becomes more homogenous (butterflies follow the same patterns). But if so, eco-activists must admit that they are making a human-centered choice between two human-created landscapes, not choosing “natural biodiversity”.

Otherwise, I loved the book for all the weird facts (or factoids?) it contains. Thus, it turns out that a species of bacteria is protected by the Swedish nanny state. Well, almost: Nostoc zederstedtii (the scientific name of this Something) is a blue-green alga and visible to the naked eye, but research suggest that these algae are actually closer to the kingdom of the bacteria, where they form a sub-group all their own known as cyanobacteria. The species in question can´t be plucked (or whatever it is humans do with cyanobacteria) in Lake Vettasjärvi in Lapland. Skipper, you have been warned. The lichen Letharia vulpina is protected, which makes me wonder, since it was used in bygone times to poison wolves – another protected species and apparently a favorite of the Swedish conservationist movement. Could there be a connection, LOL? Many of the protected species grow at the small island of Rörö off the Swedish west coast, including a highly aberrant variety of raspberry, known in proper Latin as “Rubus idaeus f. anomalus”. Hybrids where one of the parent species is legally protected are sometimes also legally protected – and sometimes not. (I suppose we could call this the “one seed rule” or something to that effect.)

There is also an interview with a bureaucrat at the agency responsible for environmental protection. It, too, is fun reading. Thus, you can´t remove orchids – unless you mow the lawn (or, I suppose the golf course) when it (weirdly) suddenly becomes OK to simply move on over the damn things. “Remove” is to be interpreted very broadly in other contexts, though. Thus, you can´t take a legally protected species even if it has been removed by somebody else and then simply left for dead. You can pluck the flowers of a legally protected species at your own backyard, provided *you* planted them there from seeds bought at a respectable vendor, but you can´t remove them from areas outside your private property even if you suspect they are feral descendant of your own legally reared plants. In the county of Västmanland, landowners can remove and sell mistletoe from their trees, but in the rest of the country, they can only fell the trees and destroy the mistletoe, but not sell it…

If you are a Paleo-Pagan Druid living in Sweden, the pro tip would be to buy land in Västmanland...


Wow, do you need to be a lawyer to sort these things out? Gotta love it! OK, I admit. I read books like “Fridlysta växter” mostly for the entertainment factor…

Bogus social workers?

Could there be a natural explanation to this? Please leave your comments below... 

They are all in on it

“Konspirationer” is a Swedish book by Gunnar Wall, a left-wing radical writer who could be seen as a “moderate” conspiracy theorist. I´ve previously reviewed his book “Konspiration Olof Palme” on the 1986 assassination of controversial Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. He reaches the conclusion that Palme might have been killed by elements from the Stay Behind organization, rogue or otherwise. The Swedish government, police and secret service covered up the whole thing since too many awkward questions about “neutral” Sweden´s role in NATO operations and Palme´s opposition to the same would have been aired had the investigation been conducted on proper lines. I believe Wall might very well be on to something, maybe even the truth. In this case, it´s obvious that *somebody* was conspiring somewhere, since people connected with the government secretly continued to harass the militant Kurdish group PKK (the supposed assassins) even after the prosecutors called off that particular angle of the investigation. (Nobody today believes the PKK did it.)

One of the chapters of “Konspirationer” also deals with the Palme case – I admit I didn´t read it. Instead, I concentrated on some of the other sections, all of which deal with US conspiracies: the JFK assassination, Watergate, and government foreknowledge of 9/11. The two latter are well-argued, while the JFK chapter could perhaps have needed a better editor, with too many facts or factoids presented in random fashion. Also, Wall is unsure whether Lee Harvey Oswald was a genuine leftist critic of the establishment or just an agent provocateur. That being said, few people outside the mandarin conspiracies-never-happen intellectual “elite” would question that of course Oswald didn´t act alone (or at all), JFK probably being killed by Cuban exiles and the mafia. Wall believes the rabbit hole goes deeper: it wasn´t simply revenge for screwing up the Bay of Pigs invasion. Rather, the JFK assassination was part of a broader agenda from the side of the military-industrial complex to get rid of a powerful politician deemed “too soft on Communism”, most notably in Vietnam. (Wall believes that Kennedy wanted to leave Vietnam.) Wall believes Palme and Dag Hammarskjöld were murdered for the same general reasons.

The most shocking chapter in the book deals with 9/11. It seems al-Qaeda´s “unexpected” and “unprecedented” attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 wasn´t so unexpected and unprecedented after all. Quite the contrary: the US administration had received multiple warnings of various kinds shortly before the event from foreign intelligence services, “war games” featuring hijacked planes and attacks on landmark monuments had been conducted for years by various agencies, and al-Qaeda was publicly acknowledged as one of America´s top enemies. Yet, it´s as if the entire US administration simply looked the other way when the warnings of an impending major attack grew louder and louder. This is in stark contrast to the actions of the Bush-Cheney administration *after* the attack, when they suddenly showed firm resolve to go after al-Qaeda and “the axis of evil”. And even then, the resolve was selective: Afghanistan was attacked, while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (two major al-Qaeda sponsors) continued being treated with kid gloves as valuable US allies. Iraq was attacked, too, despite having nothing to do with al-Qaeda (nor WMD´s). But they sure as hell had oil… 

Wall doesn´t believe that the 9/11 attacks were “planned” by the US government itself, nor that they had direct foreknowledge of the terrorist plans. Rather, by deliberately lowering America´s guard, the administration made it easier for al-Qaeda to strike, an event which could then be used as an excuse to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, get the “Patriot” Act adopted, strengthen the military-industrial complex and perhaps line the pockets of senior officials with shares in oil companies. It was a kind of false flag operation by default. One reason why al-Qaeda could be used in this manner were the cozy relationships between the United States (including the Bush family) and various Saudi oil interests (including bin-Ladin´s family). Also, the Islamist militants themselves were “assets” of the Agency since at least the 1980´s war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. 

While Wall´s scenario may seem outlandish to some – he implies, after all, that Bush-Cheney didn´t give a damn about 3,000 dead on Manhattan – later events in the Middle East (not mentioned in the book) certainly point in the same direction. In Syria, al-Nusra (really al-Qaeda) controls a buffer zone around the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. Even establishment media admits that Israel is really collaborating with al-Nusra, and it´s difficult to believe that the United States aren´t aware of the situation. Note also how US ally Saudi Arabia brokered the rise of ISIS and how NATO member Turkey bought oil from their faux caliphate in northern Syria. Some American foreign policy experts have proposed *not* to destroy ISIS, rather using the terror cult as a geopolitical counterweight to Iran. Somehow, all this sounds vaguely familiar… In the murky underworld of the secret services, with all their provocations and counter-provocations, the Islamists (perhaps a bit like Oswald) are both assets and potential patsies at the same time, while the Straussian Princes of Darkness spin their geopolitical (and lucrative) cobwebs. It´s not a pretty picture of the United States of America that emerges out of these pages…

In the case of Watergate, we know pretty much what happened, so here the conspiracy-deniers are on very thin ice. Wall points out that the pundits use a different strategy to minimize the conspiracist impact in this case, essentially trying to portray Watergate as a quixotic burglary attempt somehow connected to Richard Nixon´s election campaign. To Wall, Watergate in this strict sense was simply a smaller part of a paranoid presidency gone completely out of control in a situation in which political and social tensions in the United States had reached a boiling point due to the Vietnam War. Part of that war was in itself a “conspiracy” of sorts, since the bombings of Cambodia and Laos were initially secret!

In an introductory chapter, Wall discusses the notion of conspiracies in general, including a few others which have been revealed and well-documented, such as MK-ULTRA. I use to be a de facto conspiracy denier myself, but I now think it´s obvious how extremely weak this position is (except on the highest level of history – I don´t believe in the Babylonian Brotherhood or David Icke´s reptoids from the 666th dimension). Wall points out the paradox that conspiracy-deniers use “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as an example that conspiracy theory is fake. Yes, the Protocols were a forgery by the Czarist Russian secret police, the Okhrana. But the success of the Protocols, and the fact that millions around the world believe it to be authentic, is *in itself* a successful conspiracy, precisely the thing deemed impossible by the literati. It struck me when reading the book that another argument often used by conspiracy-deniers is equally paradoxical: the claim that conspiracies, if they do happen, are always exposed in Western liberal democracies. Watergate would be an example of this. But isn´t it strange that the *exposure of actual conspiracies* is used to deny conspiracy theory…? 

As a radical leftist, Wall believes that even Western democracies have powerful elites, often with hidden agendas. These clash with the stated liberal goals of Western political systems, especially when the secret services and various vested economic interests are involved. Indeed, Wall frequently just appeals to our common sense: do we *really* believe that the people in charge have nothing to hide? How naïve and trusting are we, in the god-forsaken year of 2019? (Or 2014, when the book was published.) A funny thing about “Konspirationer” are all the proven conspiracies it doesn´t even mention. Thus, during the 1980´s, people in the Swedish arms industry really did smuggle weapons to nations deemed beyond the pale by the proper authorities (Kuwait and East Germany if memory serves me right). Meanwhile in the US, Oliver North and other elements in the Reagan administration were busy carrying out their end of the Iran-Contragate conspiracy. Perhaps the chapter on Palme mentions all the revelations surrounding Stay Behind?

To crack a joke: Where are all these non-existent conspiracies, anyway?

A sequel to “Konspirationer” would be interesting. Today, even mandarin liberals believe in (or at least pretend to believe in) at least one conspiracy theory. Yes, that would be the Russian collusion narrative according to which Trump stole the presidency with the aid of Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange and a Twitter troll named Natasha Trolska Twitterskaya. And no, this one I don´t believe, but it sure is interesting how *fast* it infected all the conspiracy-denying liberal and Neo-Con circles. It´s almost as if some kind of conspiracy is being hatched here, although not the one we´ve been led to believe… 

It will be interesting to see if a leftist such as Gunnar Wall will tackle this problematique.

Titta vem som försöker brunsmeta Stefan Löfvén (sic)

"Löfvéns hyckleri avslöjas"

Är Löfvén socialfascist nu också, efter att ha varit rasbiolog i en vecka? Projicering, projicering... 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Heja Norge

Vi kan väl passa på att hylla Norge (eller var det Nordnorge? Nej, det var ju Makedonien). Det gick ju lite bättre för deras disco-jojk än förra gången de jojkade i en ESC-final circa 1978 eller så. Sedan är det ju kul att de ural-altaiska språken gör comeback i ESC-sammanhang, jag har noterat att varken Finland eller Estland vill sjunga på sina modersmål numera, ha ha. Synd bara att finalen var på den 18 maj, inte 17 maj, men man kan ju inte få allt här i världen.

Inte ens i Keiino sameby.

None dare call it Satanism

This clip from Thomas Sheridan inadvertently shows that occultism is cultish, Satanic and that the fair Christian knights had a point when destroying the pagan sanctuaries. Almost made me reach for holy water...and a sword. (He mispronounces "Iamblichus", by the way.) 

Ställ upp för San Marino eller håll käften

Helt gratis foto från Wikipedia

Ursäkta, men fick Madonna verkligen 14 miljoner kronor för det där usla framförandet i Jerusalem?

Hade jag varit ESC Big Israelish Boss hade jag sagt åt "världsstjärnan" att vill hon vara med får hon ställa upp för San Marino, och därmed basta.

You gotta be hard on the divas!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Diversity training

The diversity of the Alt Right is truly stunning. I´m beginning to suspect that the Alt Right is more diverse than the liberals at this point. I mean, the main representatives of the Alt Right are: an Azerbaijani immigrant from Iran, Barack Obama´s Kenyan brother, a White supremacist claiming to be an American Indian, another supposed White supremacist who works with Jews, gays and Sikhs, a pro-Muslim Serbian-American Jew, a Catholic Jewish homosexual poser with a Black boy friend, a Green frog, and a 14-year old girl who is really a boy (the latest addition to the Alt-bouquet). 


Somehow, I suspect that this is a transitional phase we´re going through, and that the real beast, if and when it comes, will really be blonde!

A blonde female, perhaps? :P 

"De kan väl köpa elbil istället": Varför arbetarklassen aldrig kommer att stödja radikal miljöpolitik

Min rubrik är medvetet provokativ, men den här typen av problematik är knappast lätt att lösa... 

Priviligierad politiker uppmanar fattiga arbetare att köpa elbil

Friday, May 17, 2019

Heil Schicklgruber

Hopefully not an urban legend 

This is a review of a Swedish book titled “101 Historiska Myter”. The authors, Åke Persson and Thomas Oldrup are two history nerds who previously edited, respectively, the Swedish and Danish editions of the magazine “Allt om Historia”. Their book, published in 2010, busts (or supposedly busts) 101 historical myths, urban legends and misconceptions. Or supposed myths, urban legends and misconceptions! Inevitably in a book of this type, some claims are stronger than others, many are nit-picking, and a few are flat-out wrong. Conversely, some popular urban legends about history are not covered, such as the claim that Sweden and the micro-nation of San Marino have been technically at war for the past 400 years or so. Is there a sequel somewhere? Still, the book *is* good and I recommend it both as light bedtime reading or as a passage way to more serious research on the topics covered. And no, I haven´t double-checked every claim by ÅP and TO, so I presumably have something to do this summer, as well…

Some of the tall tales covered are well known and apparently still quite common, such as claims about Napoleon´s diminutive height, Marie Antoinette´s splendid recommendations concerning finer pastry (actually a double tall tale, since the statement falsely attributed to her wasn´t originally about cake!), the existence of Pope Joan, Mussolini´s expertise in making trains go on time, or the idea that people during the Middle Ages assumed that the Earth was flat. Others strike me as more “nerdy”, such as the claim that Hitler´s real name was Schicklgruber (used to believe that myself – imagine the comedy if Nazis at Nuremberg would shout “Heil Schicklgruber”). I was disappointed to learn that Henry VIII only executed two of his queens – he has nothing on George R R Martin! It also turns out that Greek and Roman art wasn´t all white marble, nor did most Romans wear white togas. Wow, does this mean that all of Neo-Classicism is based on a ridiculous misunderstanding? Another red pill: ÅP and TO claims that Albert Einstein, wait for it, was *good* in school! Blasted. I *did* know that you can´t see the Chinese Wall from the Moon, or that Vikings didn´t have horns on their helmets.

The book becomes more problematic when claiming that no matriarchy has ever existed, as if the term “matriarchy” only means one thing, or archeological excavations could only be given one possible interpretation. The authors take a surprisingly positive view of the Viking Age, claiming that the Old Norse were really a bunch of rather nice chaps all things considered, a claim I think could be problematized by some competing archeology nerd. Their foray into the morass of Bible interpretation also strikes me as perhaps a bit too daring, since the source material (the Bible itself) is highly contentious in its own right. But the biggest howler is surely the bizarre claim that the US Civil War wasn´t for or against slavery! No?! What was it about, then? And why did the slaves mysteriously become emancipated at Union-held territory? Of course it was about slavery. Only Kluxers and ultralefts deny it. Another howler can be found in the chapter discussing Muhammad´s supposed pedophilia. There are indeed different ideas within Islam about when Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha, but the authors end up claiming that pedophilia is essentially a social construct. (Perhaps slavery and trafficking are other ones?) Ahem, no guys, pedos are pedos…

Finally, I noticed that since the book was written, Sweden has gotten another “real” saint: Elizabeth Hesselblad, properly canonized in 2016.

With that I leave you for now. Almost. I already mentioned that the book, surprisingly enough, doesn´t mention the “state of war” between San Marino and Sweden. Here are some other claims which may or may not be true, but which certainly merits a mention in a book exploring urban legends about our past: Lenin or Stalin called pro-Soviet fellow travelers “useful idiots”, Khrushchev threatened to nuke Amerika hard by saying “we will bury you”, Hitler was an occultist and Satanist, George Orwell was anti-socialist, Alexander the Great was homosexual (or Greek), the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD, the Soviets defeated Hitler all by themselves, Swedish king Karl XII brought the Travelers to Sweden, St Erik led a Swedish crusade to Finland, Karin Söder was the first female party leader in Sweden, well, you get the drift…

Thursday, May 16, 2019

There will be thirty years of war

“Ett stort lidande har kommit över oss: Historien om trettioåriga kriget” is a 600-page book in Swedish on the Thirty Year War (1618-1648). Who would read it? Since its been published in a paperback edition, probably quite a few. The author, history professor Dick Harrison, is well known for writing huge popularized tomes about everything from Swedish medieval history to global slavery. He at least indirectly inspired Jan Guillou´s popular Arn novels, the plot of which is set in Sweden and Palestine during the time of the crusades. It seems Guillou was drawing heavily from “Jarlens sekel”, a Harrison book about 12th and 13th century Sweden, for the historical information in his novels. If anyone will turn “Ett stort lidande har kommit över oss” into a novel remains to be seen – a horror story would perhaps be more natural! That said, I suspect the book will become a classic in the popularizing genre, not least because of Harrison´s extremely fluent style of writing.

The Thirty Year War wasn´t a pretty story. Harrison, who is a left-liberal pacifist, is equally critical of both Catholics and Protestants, painting a picture of an extremely brutal and many-sided conflict in which the civilians always ended up on the losing side regardless of religious affiliation. The Thirty Year War was fought with large mercenary armies, and the soldiers systematically plundered and laid waste to both enemy territory and “friendly” regions. After three decades of armed conflict, large portions of Germany were virtually depopulated, and it took almost a century for the country to recover from the blow.

One thing I didn´t realize before reading Harrison´s book is how broad in scope the Thirty Year War actually was. It was really a series of partially interlocking conflicts fought in many parts of Europe concurrently. And not just in Europe – the newly minted European colonial powers also took their conflicts to South America, Africa and Asia, making the Thirty Year War the first “world war” in human history. I knew that the Portuguese and the Dutch were fighting it out on the Gold Coast, but I never made the connection to the Thirty Year War before. It seems you learn something new every day! In Sweden, of course, the war is mostly associated with our very own warrior-king Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf) who was killed in combat with Catholic imperial troops at the battle of Lützen deep inside German territory. “The Lion from the North” indeed was an important player in the war, Sweden becoming a regional great power in the process, but Harrison broadens our vision…

Despite being 600 pages long, the book nevertheless feels only half-done, probably since it contains relatively little analysis, the emphasis being on the mere facts of the war: the battles, the shifting alliances, the constant war crimes. The author has tried to combine a perspective “from above”, from the world of kings, emperors and military commanders, with a look “from below”. How did everyday life look like during the war for mercenary soldiers, people traveling in the rear of an army, civilians in cities under occupation, or people of the wrong faith caught behind enemy lines? I´m frankly surprised anyone survived this orgy in bloodlust, rape, brigandage, famine, cannibalism and pestilence. If the author has any theory of history, it seems to be that the chain of events is propelled forward by a combination of chance and the sheer will of strong personalities, until everything gets out of hand and the events acquire their own (often bloody) logic. Only after the Thirty Year War, when strong modern state institutions emerge, does the role of the individual in history diminish. 

In his other books, Harrison seems to reject grand narratives and all-knowing theories about the “meaning” of history. Often, we don´t really know what happened at all, due to the paucity of reliable sources. Prestige or ideological conviction (sometimes fanatically held) plays a more central role than material factors in the strict sense. But ideological conviction is, presumably, idiosyncratic. In “Ett stort lidande”, Harrison suggests that the Thirty Year War might have stopped much earlier than it did, if chance factors had turned out differently or cooler heads had prevailed.

With these caveats, I recommend this doorstopper to my Swedish readers. Welcome to the world of Wallenstein, Ferdinand II, Frederick the Winter King, Cardinal Richelieu, WIC, VOC, Gabriel Bethlen and, of course, Gustavus Adolphus…

Vilken annonsbyrå ligger bakom det här, då?

"Fria Tider" lackar ur på att USA-vänstern vill censurera en 14-åring. Okej, men hur var det nu med högerdrevet mot Greta Thunberg? Borde inte Soph (som 14-åringen heter) också stanna hemma och läsa läxorna. Eller?

Fria Tider hyllar baserad 14-åring

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Next time, just run

Interesting clip from YouTube about martial arts and why they *don´t* work. In real life, just running away is a far better "technique" in many situations!

Macron eller Orbán?

Varför anses det vara en stor skandal om man inte anser sig kunna välja mellan Macron och Orbán? Macron, är inte det den där presidenten som skjuter demonstranter på Paris´ gator? Han som försöker censurera sociala medier inför EU-valet? 

Varför är han "bättre" än Orbán? För att han är "folkvald"? Tja, det är Orbán också, för att inte tala om Donald Trump! 

"Men de vann inte the popular vote". Nähä. Och? Polens regering vann "the popular vote", detsamma gäller regeringarna i Italien och Österrike, och hur var det egentligen med Janukovitj, Erdogan, Hamas och Bolsonaro? 

Så återigen undrar jag: Varför är Macron bättre? Och vi vet alla svaret: för att han vill privatisera och antas stödja massinvandring. 

Vi inväntar med spänning resultatet i franska EU-valet. Apropå "folkets röst"... 

Back in the high life again?

Is Steve Bannon back? I just found this on YouTube...

Can Q-Anon please comment?

Does Steven Seagal´s Aikido Work?

A criticism of Aikido and Steven Seagal. Quite interesting... 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Dreams of Great Cthulhu

“Weird of Hali” is a series of fantasy novels written by John Michael Greer, who also stints as operating mage, archdruid emeritus, translator of grimoires, and peak oil blogger. Yes, really! This is the fourth volume of the “Weird of Hali” saga, subtitled “Dreamlands”. The novels are very freely based on H P Lovecraft´s fictional universe, with nods to other authors (including C S Lewis, Clark Ashton Smith, J R R Tolkien and Robert W Chambers). “Dreamlands” is apparently based on Lovecraft´s “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath”, which I haven´t read (yet). Some parts of the plot *did* seem eerily familiar, suggesting that I might have read another pastiche of this material. Unless I too really belong in the Dreamlands…

The main protagonist of the story is Professor Miriam Akeley from Miskatonic University in Arkham (supposedly in New England but actually a fictitious place in Lovecraft´s novels). In previous volumes of the series, Akeley is a minor character, but now she takes center stage. In secret, Akeley has studied Lovecraft´s most obscure sources and realized that the tales of the Eldritch and Great Cthulhu are *real*. This knowledge is also known to a secret society known as the Radiance, opponents of the Old Ones. The Radiance has made several bids to take over Miskatonic University, but are stopped by Akeley, who has realized that the Great Old Ones are the *good* guys, while the “scientific” Radiance are really black magicians. Chased by the thugs of the Radiance, Akeley manages to escape to the mysterious Dreamlands through a supernatural portal between dimensions. There, she meets the American fantasy writer Randolph Carter (a fictional character from several of Lovecraft´s stories) who has somehow managed to become king of a portion of the imaginal realm. Unfortunately, a Radiance operative carrying the enchanted Blade of Uoht has also managed to enter Dreamlands with the mission to destroy it and thereby depriving humanity of its capability of dreaming, and the stage is set for a final cataclysmic confrontation at the Temple of the Flame…

“The Weird of Hali: Dreamlands” is very well written, indeed it might be the best volume of the series so far, at least as far as writing skill goes. Several previously unknown aspects of Greer´s in-story universe are revealed. Thus, it seems that Great Cthulhu isn´t entirely passive during his deep sleep until the stars are right. Dreamlands are actually Cthulhu´s dream, and inside the dream, Cthulhu is alive and a being of immense power. Small wonder the Radiance wants to destroy it! Dreamlands are also necessary for humanity, and one of the points of the story is that dreams are real or “real” (an occultist would presumably call it the astral world). Cthulhu is said to be a puny being compared to even more powerful entities as high above the Eldritch as the Eldritch are above humanity. While the Great Old Ones are “gods” in one sense, they are not particularly similar to the Christian God. The Old Ones are neither all powerful nor perfect, and the story reveals that they sometimes fight each other. In other words: they are pagan gods. The evil of the Radiance entered the world when Cthulhu and the King in Yellow had a violent disagreement, leading to a kind of “fall” within the cosmos.

Another interesting facet of this series is that the human protagonists are invariably rather dull everyday people (or seemingly dull and everyday people!). Professor Akeley, an old lady suffering from cancer, is an unlikely heroine, and so are her former students. The pagan networks worshipping the Old Ones have most of their supporters in obscure and seemingly run-down communities in “fly over country”. Many belong to ethnic minority groups. The superstitious common folk turn out to be more knowledgeable about how the world *really* looks like than the elitist scientists and professors. I´m not sure if I buy the author´s worldview, but there it is, warts and all. The only elite type in the story (on the good side) seems to be Randolph Carter, who turns out to be a flamboyant homosexual!

Recommended. Three additional volumes are set to be published already this year…

None dare call them demons

Thomas Sheridan ("Oumuamua Guy") strikes again, this time he is giving a frightening perspective on ghosts and hauntings. Or maybe he just got it from a classical episode of "Star Trek Voyager"... 

Don´t watch this if you haven´t prepared yourself psychologically by reading H P Lovecraft for 15 years!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Paleo-Phoenicians did it

The grammatical parts of this presentation are way above my head, and so is the Gaelic pronounciation, but the archeological speculations are interesting... 

TL;DR. Celtic and Semitic languages share many similarities in grammatical structure, despite not being closely related. Why?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Gud hör bön

Gud hör bön. Det är bara det att han tar väldigt lång tid på sig att svara. En hel mahakalpa, närmare bestämt. Men när han väl svarar, då jääävlar.

Be careful what you wish for, supplicant! 

Present at the Death

Good analysis of the present political situation in the United States by John Michael Greer.

Present at the Death

Första Maj: Det internationella proletariatets MÖNSTRINGSDAG

Jag glömde visst uppmärksamma Första Maj. Så jag gör det något försenat nu istället. 

Fast om "arbetarklassen" inte gör Revolution typ imorron så är det nog dax för ännu ett litet experiment med caesarism-bonapartism...


Is this beluga whale a Russian spy?

Strangest news item this month... Will Mueller probe?

The Gadfly on climate kids

Somewhat surprisingly, based leftist Slavoj Zizek seems to support Greta Thunberg and the climate kids. From a feature at RT, of all places! Funny detail: Zizek assumes that Thunberg is only 10 years old!

Varför stödjer Telefonplans-Pravda Greta Thunberg?

Varför stödjer DN och etablissemangsmedia Greta Thunberg? Eller låtsas stödja. En vänsterinriktad analys av detta från Aftonbladet. 

Hycklarna älskar när klimatfrågan blir symbolisk

Jag noterade förresten av DN på ledarplats tar avstånd från pilotstrejken. OK, djupare än så satt inte deras "flygskam", alltså...

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

American Atlantis

What´s the fuzz all about, old boy? 

Graham Hancock is a British explorer, documentary film maker and bestselling writer. Most of his books touch on alternative history or forbidden knowledge: Atlantis, the Sphinx dating controversy, the face on Mars, Masonic conspiracies…you get the drift. The books often come with excellent photos made by professional photographer Santha Faiia from Malaysia (also Hancock´s wife). I find Hancock´s tomes on “Atlantis” or the Lost Civilization to be his most interesting ones. While a few real scientists have teamed up with the intrepid explorer, most of the scientific community apparently still regards him as something the cat dragged in. I consider this unfortunate – in my opinion, both scientists and perennial gadflies are necessary parts of the intellectual ecology.

Graham Hancock´s latest book “America Before: The Key to Earth´s Lost Civilization” covers a lot of ground. It feels like three or four books under one cover. (Apparently, the Barnes & Noble edition, which I haven´t seen, contains some extra material not included in the main edition.) In his bestselling “Fingerprints of the Gods”, Hancock speculated that the Lost Civilization was in Antarctica. In this new book, he rather places it in North America. “America Before” could be seen as a sequel of sorts to both “Fingerprints”, “Magicians of the Gods” and “Supernatural”, the latter work being Hancock´s exploration of shamanism and psychadelics.

Parts of the book deal with “official” scientific theories and speculations about American pre-history. Hancock points out that Clovis First dogma (the idea that the so-called Clovis culture were the earliest humans in the Americas, migrating from Asia around 12,000 years ago) is basically dead, many pre-Clovis sites being discovered all around the New World. The current consensus is that the earliest humans arrived in the Americas around 25,000 years ago. This too has been challenged by the recent find of 130,000 year old mastodon bones in California which seem to have been worked by humans. While that find is still controversial, the time frame for human habitation in the New World is clearly being pushed back, millennium by millennium. And where did the earliest human settlers come from, anyway? DNA research shows that certain Amazonian tribes have “Melanesian” and “Aboriginal” genes! How such genes could end up in the middle of the Amazon in pre-historic times, but nowhere else in America, is an interesting question…

Hancock spends considerable time describing the latest sensational archaeological finds in the Amazon, which proves that this supposed “counterfeit paradise” was home to a relatively advanced culture until the Conquista, with city-states capable of fielding large armies. A number of large geoglyphs (broadly similar to those found at Nazca in Peru) and megalithic sites have been unearthed in the Brazilian jungle. As usual, Hancock proposes that this high culture was much older than mainstream archeology dares to claim. He also discusses the mound-building cultures in North America, again proposing that the sites are substantially more ancient than mainstream scientists allow for. One chapter deals with parallels between Native American (American Indian) spiritual traditions and ancient Egyptian religion. They seem to be substantial. Thus, as the book progresses, it becomes less and less mainstream. No hard feelings!

Hancock´s thesis is that a relatively advanced civilization, on the level of late 18th century and early 19th century United States, existed before the end of the last Ice Age somewhere in North America. If I understand him correctly, he holds that this culture originally came from South America and even earlier from Southeast Asia or Indonesia. It reached America by simply sailing the Pacific – Hancock believes that these were the “ancient sea-kings” also described by Charles Hapgood (he believes in the anomalous origins of the Piri Reis map). I´m not sure why he doesn´t engage with the work of Steve Oppenheimer on this point. Oppenheimer wrote an entire volume about the Lost Civilization being at Sundaland in the ancient East Indies. One obvious problem with Hancock´s idea is that literally no traces of the Lost Civilization have been found, at least none which are entirely uncontroversial (the controversial ones are described in his earlier book “Underworld”). The clues to its existence are indirect. For instance, why are there striking parallels between Native American and Egyptian religion? Why are there similarities between ancient monuments on different continents? Why are there legends about a lost civilization submerged by a gigantic flood all over the world? If you accept the Piri Reis map as anomalous, that´s another clue.

Hancock believes that the ancient high culture he is looking for was completely destroyed by a vast cataclysm which occurred around 12,900 years ago. Here, Hancock joins forces with a faction within the official scientific community: the proponents of the “Younger Dryas impact hypothesis”. Or almost joins forces, since some of them have apparently disavowed Hancock for fear of being ostracized by the establishment! According to this neo-catastrophist hypothesis, Earth was hit by a comet, or perhaps bombarded repeatedly by many comet fragments, at the end of the last Ice Age. This led to the return of a cold climate, the extinction of the Paleolithic megafauna, and the demise of the Clovis culture (dramatically described in the book). In Hancock´s scenario, it also wiped out the Lost Civilization and indeed drastically changed the face of North America, making it downright impossible to find any traces or remains from it. Or *almost* wiped out, since some of the Atlanteans must have survived in refuges around the world, helping to restart civilization. Unfortunately, most of *this* knowledge was lost when the Spaniards burned virtually all Aztec and Maya manuscripts during the Conquista. Hancock believes that we are soon about to be hit by another huge comet, giving his books a slightly apocalyptic feel…unless we mend our ways and build an international space station with the capacity to fend off killer comets.

In this book, Hancock comes clean about what he believes concerning the technological know-how of the Lost Civilization. While its nuts-and-bolts technology resembled that of an advanced civilization at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, its real achievements were more “supernatural”. They mastered telekinesis of an advanced kind, with the help of which they could raise gigantic stones and build huge walls and temple complexes which still baffle us today. The telekinetic abilities came from “the gods” or the spirits, contacted by Lost Civilization shamans through the psychedelic drug ayahuasca. Here, I have to say that I´m perhaps a bit more conventional than the author…

My guess is that official science will soon accept both that humanity is much older than expected, that the human story is “multi-regional” rather than strictly “Out of Africa”, and that the Americas were settled very early, probably by more than one ethnic group. They will probably accept the Younger Dryas impact event, too. However, the Lost Civilization as such – the central idea of Graham Hancock´s life long quest – won´t be accepted any time soon. Unless something really interesting comes up when those cursed Greenland ice caps start to melt by the time Greta Thunberg turns 30…

With that remark, I close this review.  

The Debate of the Century: Basic Bitch Cold Warrior versus Full Loco Zizekist

This is the so-called “debate of the century” between supposed Alt Right icon Jordan Peterson and real gadfly Marxist Slavoj Zizek. 

I never seen Peterson in action before, but if this is representative, I honestly don´t understand what the fuzz is all about. Peterson comes across as a basic bitch non-conservative conservative from some of the more boring phases of the Cold War. His defense of free market capitalism and criticism of socialism is the usual one, and why on earth is he attacking Marxism anyway? Nobody cares about classical Marxism in 2019. And why does he start a debate with Zizek by a 30 minute attack on “The Communist Manifesto”? Zizek couldn´t care less, and neither could his fans. Also, Peterson sounds like (and sits like) a typical shrink, even psychoanalyzing Zizek at one point (LOL). 

Peterson isn´t Alt Right, he is simply a main-line Republican circa 1980 or 1990. I wouldn´t be surprised if the AR finds *Zizek* more interesting, I mean a “Marxist” who opposes immigration, has a soft spot for authoritarianism (despite claims to the contrary in this debate – unless you read the fine print) and doesn´t like post-modern political correctness. Even Peterson´s “conservatism” is really American individualism with some nods to family, community, Church and country – once again, nothing new or radical. (For the record, I know that Jordan Bernt Peterson is actually Canadian.)

In the debate, Zizek (who is quite the character – Peterson is right, there!) jumps wildly from topic to topic, indeed it seems as if he changes topic with *literally* every new sentence. Listening to him and his Slav-accented English was a mental exercise of major proportions. Still, he does make some interesting points. China disproves both the classical Marxists and the free market liberals who claim to believe in “democracy”, since its combination of state authoritarianism and markets is immensely successful, more so than any other form of capitalism today (or socialism, for that matter). The left´s obsession with identity politics and political correctness has nothing to do with Marxism or class struggle, but reflects the impotence of the left in actually changing the economic base of society, and is therefore a product of the left´s *defeat*. (Peterson rather believes that there is a direct line from Marxism to post-modern identity politics – this may be true of academic middle class Marxism, but hardly of the classical version.) The ecological crisis is real and difficult to solve, since the people doesn´t understand the issues and hence wouldn´t vote for radical eco-change if given the chance to democratically do so. Liberals who oppose Trump can´t explain why their own system can give rise to people like Trump in the first place. Opposition to Trump is therefore a "fetish". The contradictions of globalist capitalism is the real problem and can´t be solved by simply attacking "Trump".

Less convincingly, Zizek argues that Marx didn´t really believe in equality, that there will be hierarchies even in a classless communist society, that Hegel wasn´t teleological and hence can be used as an antidote to deterministic Marxism, etc. I won´t comment his bizarre theological meanderings. Funny detail: at one point, Peterson calls Zizek a “Zizekist rather than a Marxist”.

And yes, somewhere in there Jordan and Slavoj actually talk about “happiness”, the ostensible topic of the debate…