Category Archives: Culture

For Chinese, no escape from government control even when six feet under

Elaborate private funeral rites, which can last days with chanting monks, dancing strippers, and wailing mourners, are now banned in parts of Wenzhou, a southeastern coastal city of nine million.

Starting this week, wakes must be state-sanctioned. Families can choose from luxury, mid-range or discount government funeral packages. Even the number of floral wreaths in each mourning hall are now capped at five, and a new 24-hour funeral consulting service has launched for help on all things death-related, such as body transport and storage.


How to ‘Christine Blasey Ford-Proof’ Your Daughter

Frankly, the interest in the article shocked me. How can “be moral, don’t drink, and don’t blindly trust women” be so controversial? How can human nature be so hard to grasp? Why isn’t everyone asking how it’s possible that anyone #BelievesAllWomen? Lots of women lie, murder, steal, cheat, and all you have to do to verify that is read the news or any history book.


Heavy metal fans communicate like remote Papua New Guinea tribes, study finds

Heavy metal fans have evolved to communicate with each other like remote tribes in Papua New Guinea, a study by UCL anthropologists has found.

They have rules for behaviour in the front-of-stage “mosh pit” that are passed down by “elders”, there are gift-sharing rituals at concerts and dark cathartic music, which mirror rites among Papuan tribes that have changed little in 40,000 years.

Lindsay Bishop, a researcher, has spent 10 years studying heavy metal, the loud, pounding style of music that has grown from early followers of the band Black Sabbath in Birmingham into a worldwide culture with millions of fans in almost every country.


Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and thinking about the future

…When the calendar actually caught up with the title of Kubrick’s film, 33 years after its release, the world looked little like the sleek one imagined by Kubrick and his team of technical wizards. That year was, in sombre fact, defined by a terrorist attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center, which only broke ground halfway through the production of the film — another vision of the future that didn’t survive the brutal reality of actual history.

We are 17 years beyond the film’s “expiration date,” and the world doesn’t feel very futuristic unless you’re looking at the screen of your smartphone – the only piece of contemporary technology that matches or even exceeds the sort of thing dreamed up by Kubrick and his wizards back when phones had curly cables, TVs flickered in bad weather, a GPS was a map folded up in the glove box and people bought music on vinyl LPs. In some ways the world we live in often feels stuck in a circular loop spinning back as far as the time of 2001’sfilming, picking up detritus to recycle on its way.


Christie Blatchford: Mass killings are not new, but our violence-drenched society’s response is

“No one ever became famous by beating his wife to death in an alley,” wrote Elliott Leyton, the Memorial University anthropologist whose book, Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer, was first published more than three decades ago. It was updated in 2005.

Leyton’s point — and it’s complicated and thus not easily done justice — is that the mass killer is granted both a degree of celebrity denied the common man and a degree of affirmation, if not support, from the culture.


What’s Left to Say About Psycho?

I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Psycho (1960). As a teenager, I even watched it with subtitles, twice: On my Canadian province’s mandatory French channel, and then, in a Paris (yes) hotel room. It’s the only thing I remember about that entire trip. (I am a very strange person.)

I never found Psycho scary. I feel the same way about The Exorcist (which is basically just The Searchers with vomit) or most of the usual All Time Most Frightening Films.


Bette Davis Lies

My grandmother was a Bette Davis impersonator.

Not professionally, and barely amateurly, either: She only entered, and won, a single look-alike contest, well before my time. But previously, and forever after, she’d played up a natural resemblance — the eyes, of course, but also the less-remarked-upon nub-tipped nose — by styling her hair like Davis’ too: perilously side parted, raked stringently across, with an anti-climactic finale of stubborn, tiny curls. It helped that she was so short.

Hilariously — that is, if you watched FX’s mini-series The Feud, or have even a passing familiarity with pop culture lore — she named my mother “Joan.”


No Substitute for Total Victory

As the Left continues to spiral out of control — foaming, spitting, frothing in rage — it’s time to state the obvious: that in the battle for the soul of America, there can be only one winner. Either we retain as much as possible of the country-as-founded, including its national character, or we watch it “fundamentally transformed” into a “social democracy” of the kind envisioned by the adherents of Critical Theory, and brought to us courtesy of the Frankfurt School’s ideological seizure of academe. Although some might wish otherwise, there is no middle ground, no accommodation, no splitting the difference.


THE SINISTER DR. MARX: How Marxist-Consumerism Has Wrecked Christianity

“…The ideas of Marx also have won the “culture war” (something James Davison Hunter missed) by creating a mindset which encourages the West to abandon its own history, which is portrayed as an unending process of oppression — so much so that being Christian is no longer easy, because it’s trivialized as taste, or personal preference. Those people who claim Christian allegiance only do so within the logic of Marxist-consumerism, as they don’t know how to escape relativism. The common practice of Christianity is Marxism-compliant.”


Barbara Kay: The male crisis that’s ruining our boys and no one cares about

Father’s Day approaches and with it the opportunity to consider the importance of fathers to their children.

It is difficult to overstate both the positive effects of growing up with a father and the negative effects of father absence, especially for boys. These myriad benefits and perils are on record, undisputed and easily accessible. But in this gynocentric era, what is good or bad for boys does not seem to attract the interest of our cultural elites.

Boys are in crisis everywhere.


The More Young Men Are Bathed in Femininity, the More ‘Toxic Masculinity’ You Will See

One of the most ironic things about the constant “toxic masculinity” complaints that we hear these days is that we live in an overly feminized culture where most of the “toxic” males seem to have either been raised without fathers or claim to be adherents of feminism. The statistics on men raised without fathers are grim almost beyond belief.

Read on…


West goes south

Last November I was lucky enough to have been invited to the Sydney launch of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. John Howard was there. Kim Beazley was there. Canada’s former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was there. Much of the talk was about which Australian universities could be potential partners to run this program on Western Civilisation, and with a lot of money on offer plenty seemed very interested.

Now let me tell you that a good many people on the right side of politics were sceptical that this idea of running a degree program through an established Australian university could work for the Ramsay Centre. And they were sceptical for this simple reason. Australian academics, especially in the Arts and Social Sciences, lean massively to the left side of politics.


The Left And The Right Aren’t Hearing The Same Jordan Peterson

A New York Times Magazine hit piece says more about the mainstream media than it says about Jordan Peterson

Dr. Jordan Peterson, who has enjoyed a surge into fame over the past year, has become a bit like the Yanny and Laurel audio meme. People listen to what he has to say but disagree wildly about what they are hearing.

Some hear a man with important ideas that can help people live a more fulfilling life, others hear a dangerous misogynist who wants to set back the cause of liberated women, trans people, and the rest of the cast(e) of oppression. In a feature for The New York Times Magazine this weekend, Nellie Bowles clearly came down on the latter side.


Horvath Will NOT Have Alcohol Sold in Corner-stores

And that is why she will lose votes:

The current system of restricted retail beer and wine sales in Ontario works well and is socially responsible, New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath said Saturday.

Campaigning in Thunder Bay, Ont., Horwath said there’s no need to allow convenience stores to carry the products — a perennially favoured if never-implemented idea that once helped propel the Liberals to office in the mid-1980s.

“I’m going to be straight up about it: I don’t think we need to have beer and wine in the corner stores,” Horwath said. “I don’t think this is a broken system in Ontario. I don’t necessarily think that we need to mess with it. It’s working fine for people.”

The prospect of liberalized sales surfaced during the June 7 campaign when Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford said he would allow corner-store sales of beer and wine if he’s elected premier.


Granted, alcohol being sold to children is a great concern but it is also a red herring.

Teen-agers are experimenting with synthetic drugs and are using prescription drugs they’ve taken from relatives. Are parents stepping in to stop this?

An LCBO (an approved alcohol purveyor) was once caught selling alcohol to a minor wearing a burqa. Is that “socially responsible”?

I find it absurd that the same party that approves of so-called safe injection sites and a sex ed program designed by a convicted child pornographer now decries the sale of alcohol anywhere but province-approved establishments “for the good of the children”.

A post-modern West that holds self-indulgence in any respect as the highest societal good has much bigger problems than where alcohol can be sold. If people raised their children well and didn’t drink and drive, where alcohol can be sold wouldn’t be a problem.