Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Thoughts of the Year 2014
Well I'm glad this year is over and a new one is beginning.
Pierre Cloutier

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Some Art
Here are some pictures of some art I saw in New York City.
Greek Vase
Showing Orestes murder of Clytemnestra

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Journalism as It Should Not Be
Janet Malcolm and Jeffrey MacDonald

Janet Malcolm

The following is an expansion of a comment I made of an article I founded at the Los Angles Review of Books website by  Jess Cotton.1

In the review Mr. Cotton examines several books by Janet Malcolm that touch on legal matters and shows a starry eyed, fan worship of Ms. Malcolm. Here I will only discuss Mr. Cotton’s treatment of the case of Joseph McGinniss and Jeffrey MacDonald. 2

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two Stories of Sismance1

Movie Poster
Recently Disney gave us two different stories based on classic fairy tales. In the case of Maleficent it is the Disney retelling the tale of its own Sleeping Beauty. This time from the point of view of the central villain, Maleficent. In the case of Frozen we get the story of the Snow Queen suitably and quite thoroughly disneyfied and turned into a tale of two sisters.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A few thoughts

One of the annoying things about our society is the way it deals with sex. Frankly it is both repulsive and annoying how our society overtly sexualizes so much.

Since our society at least in the west is obsessed with sex in the sense of sexualizing so much, waning interest is frequently viewed has some sort of calamity, a disaster to be thwarted, retarded and reversed. Even societies that make much of a premium on female modesty and repress overt sexuality in fact obsess over sex.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Responses to a Book Review
Map of China
In a previous posting I put up a slightly modified brief review of a book by the ideologue Thomas Sowell, Conquest and Cultures.1 Which I had posted at In that book Thomas Sowell regurgitated a basic late 19th century Whig interpretation of History view of the development of various societies. The book was in my opinion seriously flawed and basically danced over the fact, and it is fact, that Western Dominance was not just the result of the accumulation of “Cultural Capital”, (Thomas Sowell’s use of this phrase is an excellent example of the tendency of such ideologues to commodify things that are not commodities. In other words an excellent example of the commodity fetish.), but also of exploitation of others through coercive violence, fraud and exploitation. In other words straight forward imperialism. Instead Sowell argues that it was largely the result of what amounts to moral superiority. That is pure hogwash. Some people responded to my opinions of this book. Here are their comments with my responses, here expanded.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Very Brief Look at Homeopathy

In the late 19th century the German Doctor Samuel Hahnemann devised, or more accurately pulled out of his ass the pseudo medical practice of Homeopathy. Dr. Hahnemann decided by fiat that a substance that would cause the particular symptoms of a disease would if given in small amounts treat beneficially the same symptoms of an actual illness. The idea was that like cures like. Now so far it doesn't sound too outrageous even though it smacks just a little like sympathetic magic. But then the major woo started to be added.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The O. J. Simpson Fiasco 

Simpson Murder Scene
It has been 20 years since Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were brutally murdered and the whole O. J. Simpson farce was started. If the coverage of this anniversary is anything to go by it appears that little to nothing has been learned from the media circus that was the O. J. Simpson trial.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Note on Nietzsche
and Protestant Christianity

Friedrich Nietzsche
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche has had over the years a up and down reputation. That his philosophy contains many dangerous and questionable elements is obvious.1 However a couple of things are usually forgotten or not noticed in his writings. I will deal with here an aspect of Nietzsche's philosophy.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Witch Doctors

Greek Doctor and Patient i.e. Victim
One of the most closely forgotten secrets in the history of civilization is that the conventional story of the history of Medicine is largely a crock. That is the story of the long slow advance of Medical science over thousands of years, which saw the steady accumulation of knowledge and with Medicine steadily advancing and getting better and better until today, is largely false. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Freeing the Mind
Part I
The emergence of Religious Toleration in the West

Book Cover
One of the most important features of our modern Western societies is religious tolerance. In fact it is such an intrinsic / organic feature of our societies that it gives the appearance of always being so. Well that is not the case at all.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Barnum was an Optomist
Glycon Coin

In the second century C. E. there lived in the Roman Empire a man named Alexander from the city of Abonoteichus on the Black Sea in modern day Turkey who was a wonder worker who established in the city of Abonoteichus a new Oracle that could answer questions and foretell the future. Of course Alexander was a fraud and so was his Oracle.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Late 19th Century Imperialism
in the Hellenistic World
Map of Hellenistic World
There are many tiresome tendencies in scholarly writing, but one of the most tiresome is the Imperialist Judge scholar. This is the writer who judges resistance to what he/she views has progress has illegitimate and beyond the pale. In fact the very notion of resistance especially armed resistance to the "new" "progressive" order is by definition utterly wicked and unacceptable. That this is a reflection of contemporary attitudes reflecting a basic contempt for those of the present day resisting "progress" and "development" is rather painfully obvious.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Revenge Fantasy
The Left Behind Books Part I
The Background – Hating America

First Book of the Left Behind series

Almost 20 years ago Tim LaHaye and his writer Jerry B. Jenkins started putting out one of the most successful publishing successes of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. This was of course the Left Behind series of books which sold in the millions upon millions and helped to make Tim LaHaye a major player in the Evangelical movement in America. What is of interest in this series of books is that they are a revenge fantasy of murderous wish fulfilment.1

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Perry Mason
God’s Son Incarnate

Raymond Burr has
Perry Mason

Between 1957 and 1966 there appeared on American TV screens the legal drama Perry Mason.1 The show was hugely popular and had a very long life in syndication. The series has not aged well however and it shows its age quite plainly. I mentioned Perry Mason in a previous posting2, in passing; here I will go through some of the aspects of the show.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Literate Babylonians

Cuneiform Tablet

One of the conceits of much scholarly literature concerning the ancient peoples of Iraq was that the overwhelming majority of the population was completely illiterate in the cuneiform writing system used. The idea is that the writing system was so complicated and difficult to learn that only a few scribes could possibly have been able to master the system.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Silly Series of Lists
Part 1
Last year Entertainment Weekly published a special issue called The 100 All-Time Greatest. The issue was composed of several lists, of “Best” movies, TV shows, music, plays and novels.1 Now to be blunt top 100 lists are basically usually little more than indication of personal taste. And this magazine of lists is little better than that.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Hannibal’s Mistake?


In Livy’s series of books about the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.E.) there is a scene in which after the battle of Cannae in which a commander of the Carthaginian cavalry Maharbal has a conversation with Hannibal, who was in command of the Carthaginian army in Italy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Of Tyranny

Henry VIII

Henry VIII has been one of the most studied of English monarchs; a man who was indeed larger than life. In popular lore he is one of the best known of English rulers. Certainly he has been filmed multiple times. From the film The Private Life of Henry VIII, to Anne of a Thousand Days, to A Man for All Seasons and The Other Boleyn Girl there is an army of film portrayals of Henry VIII.1

Sunday, March 23, 2014

“Freedom” Under a Tyranny

Isaiah Berlin

One of the most important attributes of tyranny and living under a tyranny is that intelligent people are forced to “trim their sails” in order to survive. Thus they are forced to compromise their intellect in order to stay both safe and alive. The corollary  that goes with that is that the holders of power can dictate what is “reasonable” and “rational” and their holding of power over people enables them to enforce their views against the will and intellect of others.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Waiting for Godot
The von Daniken Version
of the Mayan Collapse

Erich von Daniken

In a previous posting I briefly reviewed Erich von Daniken’s monumental best seller Chariots of the Gods? Of course I concluded that the book was incredibly silly, basically stunningly wrong, but great fun as a puff piece of absurdest “explanation”. Since then we have seen the creation and broadcasting of the idiotic Ancient Aliens, a show that uses the Ancient Space Aliens nonsense and puts the critical facilities to sleep. Von Daniken along with other “experts” has appeared often on the show promoting his idiocies. However the bottom line was that von Daniken simply didn’t and doesn't know what he was talking about.1

Monday, March 10, 2014

and “Truth”

France in 1429 C.E.

In a previous posting I took apart the book Conquest by Juliet Barker,1 about the conquest and loss of Normandy during the Hundred Years War. In the posting I criticized Juliet Barker’s book for being “Patriotically Correct”, and frankly biased and anti-French.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Battle Of Oriskany

When I was 10, (1969) years old my parents purchased a World Book Encyclopedia. In the volume for the letter R was a entry on the American Revolutionary War. That entry described the various campaigns and battles of the Revolutionary War. Included was a description of the Saratoga campaign.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The End
Nevil Shute’s On the Beach
Book and Films

Book Cover

In 1957 Nevil Shute, 1899-1960, 1 published his novel about the after effects of nuclear war and the immanent coming of human extinction in the aftermath.

The novel is in many respects typical of the end of the world novel but in other respects it is not typical. For one thing this novel is very bleak it ends quite emphatically with the certainty of human extinction. There is in other words no hope of human survival whatsoever.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Homer and The Song of Roland

Bust of Homer

The following is a brief look at some of the anachronisms and errors in the Epic The Song of Roland. I have in previous postings mentioned that Homer’s Iliad is not a valid guide to the social, much less historical aspects of Mycenaean society. It is extremely unlikely that given that we know that the epic is a very poor guide to Mycenaean social realities that it is a better guide to Mycenaean history.1 We know about the social reality of Mycenaean society through the decipherment of Linear B. The tablets contain no historical data or literature but they provide a clear glimpse of Mycenaean society and that society is not the society of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. In fact the society is very different from the society described in Homer’s epics, to such an extent has to be qualitatively different.2

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Rob Ford
A Musical "Tribute"

Rob Ford
Mayor of Toronto (UGH!!)
Here in Toronto we have been "Blessed" with having Rob Ford as Mayor of our fair city. The "acclaim" and "welcome attention" we have gotten because this "esteemed" person is our Mayor have inspired me to rewrite a lyric to a well known song.  
The song is Climb Every Mountain from the Musical The Sound of Music.

Smoke Every Crack pipe,
 Snort many lines,
 Follow your Drug Dealer,
 Everywhere  he goes
 Smoke Every Crack pipe,
 Mainline all that shit,
 Hallucinate your rainbow,
 'Till you find that stash
 A stash that will give
 All the highs you can take,
 Every day of your life
 For as long as you live 

 Smoke Every Crack pipe,
 Mainline all that shit,
 Hallucinate your rainbow,
 Till you find that stash 

A stash that will give
 All the highs you can take,
 Every day of your life
 For as long as you live
 Smoke Every Crack pipe,
 Mainline all that shit,
 Hallucinate your rainbow,
 Tell you find that stash!!

 Pierre Cloutier