Friday Night Fragments #11

The shadow looms heavy. The scorpion bears the weight of the sting and will suffer the burn when the frothing mess boils into a river of blood. The boar will become the owl as the wrath of those who have been roused turns from a trickle to a river. The strings of the spiders cling to all in the dark as the hydra laughs from behind the veil hidden within the song of the night. Hidden deep beneath the steps of this dance, the portents of the coming fire are rousing from their slumber as foreshock to the rumbling that will shake the plane of the living and beyond.

Fractures. Fragments. Howls in the dark. What comes next is beyond what any of you will ever know.

Wikipedia, you’re nothing to me now. You’re not a brother, you’re not a friend. I don’t want to know you or what you do. I don’t want to see you at the hotels, I don’t want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won’t be there. You understand?

I would like to expand on a small point that SOBL made in that piece, one that was tangential to his point. Specifically, this bit:

I have never understood why NBA players and rappers idolize Scarface when Michael Corleone is the real kingpin.

I think this ties in to something I mentioned to a friend of mine recently: that the urge to dominate and the urge to succeed, while often manifesting themselves simultaneously, are not the same thing. They are rather correlated tendencies that run orthogonal to each other. Think of them as fire and ice. While they can certainly both be present in a particular individual, it is often the case that one tends to dominate.

Montana is all fire: filled with bluster and ambitious to the point of insanity. Corleone is ice: cool, calm, and calculating. One is driven by balls and bravado. The other relies on cunning as his weapon.

See how these two types might appeal to different types of people?

The type of person who wants to be the big man, the alpha male looming over his conquered lands, will tend to gravitate towards the fiery archetype of Tony Montana. It’s quite understandable why aspiring alphas like basketball players and hip-hop artists would idolize Scarface.

Different strokes for different folks. Everyone has their own tastes. Give me a moment, however, to defend mine. You see, Montana is a third-rate version of the Joker: all rampaging id and maniacal excess (you’ll note that the same tendency can be observed in fictional characters who are not bad guys, such as Hank Moody in “Californication”). The difference is twofold, however.

First, Montana is trapped in a prison of his material desires, which acts as both a leash that pulls him forward and the noose that hangs him. The Joker has no such weakness. Montana and the Joker may both little more than unshackled id, but Montana is an id driven by desire while the Joker is paradoxically an id without desire.

Second, while the Joker is devious and cunning enough (not to mention unscrupulous enough) to actually get away with his schemes, Montana doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together. He says it himself that all he has in life are his balls and his word, both of which get him in way over his head, at which point his own idiocy and myopic moral code sink him.

And Corleone? Corleone never puts a foot wrong. He out-thinks, out-schemes, and out-maneuvers everyone who threatens him, and he does it not for a pile of toys and a trophy wife but for The Family. Both families.

A great villain is one who entertains us and captivates us and makes us feel like the good guys. A villain who is good at being a villain is one who succeeds at what he set out to do while avoiding the “inevitable” fate of most villains. Tony Montana may be a great villain, but Michael Corleone is good at being a villain.

Aspire to be whichever most pleases you. Just remember that when push comes to shove, the Scarfaces of the world tend to meet nasty ends at the hands of the Godfathers.

Porphyrogenitus and I had a short discussion on Twitter earlier this week as to the struggle between secular progressivism and Islam. We’re both in a strange position in which we would prefer to live under neither system, but we realize that we would more likely thrive in a progressive state. Now, yes, there are a lot of ways to live under progressivism, and a lot of ways to live under Islam (just look at the differences between, say, Morocco and Saudi Arabia). Having lived under both Islam and secular progressivism, the thing that I’ve realized is I actually am better adapted to a secular progressive state. It is a bit weird at first to realize this, though unsurprising upon further consideration. After all, which of these two systems have I been raised in?

I have stronger dislike for the progressive agenda, yet my stake in keeping the racket going is much higher than any possible benefits I would accrue from living in a world dominated by Islamic law; even the loosest and least stringent interpretation.

Life is weird sometimes.

Speaking of Twitter:

If that’s the daily dose of funny, it’s now time for some whiplash. Let’s take a look at how civil liberties are doing!

Ouch.

I’ve got this idea bouncing around at the back of my mind that a bunch of us on the neoreactionary side of things should pull a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” when the “50 Shades of Grey” movie comes out. Great idea, or GREAT idea? Anyway, I’ve no idea how we could co-ordinate this (being somewhat geographically disparate), but consider this a trial balloon to see if there would be any interest.

The media really is a funny thing. One of its purposes is to brainwash you so you lose your mind, and the other is to tell you what the plan is so that you don’t lose your mind.

To clarify:

Try not to lose your minds out there.

SPQR

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2 thoughts on “Friday Night Fragments #11

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