Lessons in Masculinity From an Unlikely Source

Bill is right, I have to admit: as horrible this series was as a whole, the early episodes (in black & white) were not that bad, as TV science fiction goes.

My sophomore year in high school, this show was on the air when I got home on weekdays. My family never had cable, so choices were limited. I watched it most of the time simply because there was nothing else to do.

There was an upperclassman I changed next to in the locker room that year. He obviously watched the show a lot. His favorite character was Dr. Smith, and he hated Don West.

On the surface this seemed idiosyncratic because the guy was a loud, egotistical blowhard whose behavior bordered on bullying. In other words, what most people would assume to be alpha male traits.

Looking back, though, I realize the “alpha traits” were just part of the guy’s defense mechanism. It was a facade he put on, probably because he’d been victimized by the sort of males he was imitating by the time I met him. Peel the facade away, and he is pretty representative of males of my generation (and later ones). It makes perfect sense why he would choose Zachary Smith as a role model.

Thanks Bill Whittle, for your analysis.

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Book of the Year Award

We try not to pimp our Books all the time here, but Tier Zero is in the hunt for the Conservative/Libertarian Fiction Alliance Book of the Year Award.

This is the first such award, and allows entries from 2013 and 2014. So Tier Zero qualified, and was nominated. You do not have to be a member of the CLFA to vote. If you’ve read it, you can vote for it here. If that link doesn’t work (apparently it has trouble on some browsers) you can cut and paste this address in your browser’s URL bar: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F39TY7Q

Some of the other nominated books have a big fan base, so this is not a cakewalk by any means and your vote is appreciated.

If you have not read Tier Zero, Amazon links are below (paperback and Kindle…plus there’s an Audible version). And here are some excerpts from  Amazon reviews…which you can of course read in their entirety if you choose:

It would be difficult to exaggerate how good this book is as an adventure tale, or how much fun it is to read it. -Jim Morris

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, HELL AND GONE. As good as it was, TIER ZERO is better in every way. – James Reasoner

…Balls-out, full throttle action. …In this tough, gritty paramilitary thriller (sequel to the popular HELL AND GONE) author Brown harkens back to the “men’s adventure” novels that were so popular in the 80s and early 90s. – Wayne Dundee

As much as I enjoyed Hell & Gone, this book is better. …I can’t recommend it highly enough. – Peter Nealen

Tier Zero (a great play on words) harkens back to the classic bygone era of Men’s Adventure… Today the genre is enjoying a bit of a comeback and Hank is one of the authors driving that. – Jack Murphy

Although I have no doubt legions of Men’s Adventure fans have tried to imitate the writings of their favorite authors over the years, in Henry’s case, the student has definitely become the master. – Jack Badelaire

Now, I know Brown likes to call his work an homage to the bygone mens’ pulp-fiction genre, but it surpasses that. Sure, he hits on the essentials–the attractive women, the brave, rugged fighting men, and the unmistakably evil bad guys–but he’s a master storyteller, too. – Nate Granzow

…A story that is full of action, intrigue and Shock and Awe. Tier Zero is the best of both ages of Dude-Lit. – D.R. Tharpe

So go read it, already. Leave an honest review and vote for it, too.

(If you have not read it and don’t intend to, please don’t vote for it, as that would not be fair to the other authors with a dog in this fight. And speaking of other authors, you can vote for up to three different books. One of those nominated is Fast Cars and Rock & Roll. If you haven’t read anything on the list, we encourage you to pick one and do so–there are  a lot more non-leftist authors out there than there used to be, and you might enjoy their work.)

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Guide to Social Justice Newspeak

This is long overdue, and might turn out to be only Part 1.

You may have noticed that language is evolving, and words used by certain people don’t have the same meaning they do in the dictionary. Similar to individual rights vis-a-vis government regulation, what was perfectly acceptable yesterday might be forbidden today. So bookmark this post and keep it handy for reference.

 

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION – A policy to encourage compliance with the Civil Rights Act, which says employment decisions shall not be made based on race or sex. Wait…um, nevermind…

AFRICA – A utopian paradise where slavery and prejudice don’t exist and never have.  You can be sure any evidence to the contrary is the fault of a greedy, oppressive American.

AMERICA – A dark, sinister entity that invented racism, slavery, greed grimlibertyand poverty. It is still such an oppressive blight on the planet that millions from around the world take whatever action necessary, legal or illegal, to get within its borders and join their voices to those already shouting down its villainy. The final solution to the American problem is to transform this reprehensible nation into something more like the utopias all those millions of immigrants are so desperate to escape from.

“CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE” – Effective safe words to use when a fascist (see definition below) is oppressing you with inappropriate facts.

COMMUNISM – A trigger word (referring to an imaginary boogeyman invented by right-wingers) used by the enemies of progress, who try to make others believe that a system of government proposed by Karl Marx has been instituted in other nations, and failed miserably despite being subsidized via foreign aid and other handouts from U.S. taxpayers for half a century.

CONSERVATIVE – Anyone to the right of Piers Morgan.

CONSPIRACY – A doublethinkparanoid fantasy fabricated out of whole cloth by the vast right-wing conspiracy, used to justify their hateful, reactionary opinions.  We enlightened leaders should meet privately and decide what to do with dangerous individuals who entertain such notions. IT DOESN’T EXIST, understand? Exceptions include The JFK assassination, Tailhook, and the Patriarchy.

FACTS – clusters of data which are only relevant if/when they support an SJW position. They are invalid when they fail to support a current SJW argument, even when previously cited to support another SJW argument.

starwarsracismFASCIST – Someone who not only destroys an SJW argument (see “racist”), but does so via rigid, inappropriate use of facts.

HATE – Worldviews and ideologies that are a hindrance to progress. The worst is one particular  religion which teaches “love your neighbor as you love yourself,” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

HATE CRIME – A crime which makes a victim out of someone from a Recognized Victim Class. A murder of a homosexual, for instance, is hateful; whereas other murders are not.

HATE SPEECH – Something written or spoken with terminology which is not current; like saying “illegal alien” instead of “undocumented worker” or “socialist” instead of “liberal.”

HOMOPHOBE – Anyone who doesn’t automatically add the clause: “not that there’s anything wrong with that” after a reference to homosexual behavior.

HOMOSEXUAL – An outdated term (which should probably be classified as a trigger) for those who use the body parts they were born with in ways they were never meant to be used. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

LEFT-WING – A trigger word used by fascist hatemongers for an ideology that doesn’t exist. (We know it doesn’t exist because the term is never used on TV.) It doesn’t even exist in Marxist countries, where genocidal tyrants are merely “Stalinist.”

trueleftrightLIBERAL – An enlightened person or policy which recognizes that individual rights  should be infringed upon; that government should dictate how the proletariat spends their money and uses their “property” (an outdated concept); and that all this should be enforced with Executive Orders, unwarranted searches, drone strikes and indefinite detention without trial or charges.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE – A prestigious award, all the more prestigious in recent times now that it’s awarded for such achievements as leading terrorist organizations and being born a certain skin color.

PATRIARCHY – A conspiracy by men to oppress women (by forcing them to pay for their own birth control, for instance) which arosieriveterccounts for every female failure, and male success, in history. Its height of power was in the Dark Ages of the 1950s when most children had both a dad and mom; men opened doors for women; and females were safe walking alone at night nearly anywhere in America.

PRIVILEGE – Something enjoyed exclusively by those who disagree with SJWs.

PROGRESSIVE – (See “liberal”) A person or policy which marches forward to hope and change by gradual increments. Kind of like how you boil a frog, comrade.leftistargumentcycle

RACISM – A state of mind which often goes undetected until the one guilty of it effectively dismantles an SJW argument.

RIGHT-WING – A broad-brush umbrella term, under which fits all the dastardly villains who have ever lived. Including guys like Stalin and Mao (if they truly are dastardly villains; if not, then they are still left-wing…er, progressive).

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SEXISM – The narrow-minded insistence that there are differences between males and females.

SOCIALISM – A brilliant, equitable form of government which results in utopia. Not that anybody here believes in it, of course. We are “liberals,” not “socialists.”

SOCIAL JUSTICE – An enlightened mindset which helps one understand that every rape accusation by a womyn is true; that a fair, equal society can best be accomplished by institutionalized discrimination against white male heterosexuals (see “Affirmative Action”); and that any criticism of someone in a Recognized Victim Class is motivated by bigotry.

TRIGGER WORD – A clue that you’re dealing with an enemy to progress. Examples include words like “the Constitution,” “free market,” “liberty,” “founding fathers,” “individual rights,” “personal responsibility” and “republic.”

TRUTH – A trigger word which refers to invalid data (see “facts”) used to oppose progress. It can sometimes be invoked (with caution) by SJWs in its older definition: information which advances the progressive agenda.

50 Shades of Hoopla

What is so bleeding “hawt” about an S&M chick-lit novel, anyway? Haven’t those been around since Victorian times?

As authors (and aspiring full-time authors) here at VP, we take an interest when success stories are waved in our faces. Whiletemp3 getting work published is easier than it’s ever been; the writing racket is also tougher than ever before. Fewer and fewer people read; yet there’s more and more competition from other authors to capture the (mercurial) attention of that shrinking pool of readers. And those readers, by-and-large, don’t necessarily care that much about the quality of the material.

It’s worse than that when you’re a man, writing books for other men. Why? Because men have never been the avid readers women were (on average). Fewer still read fiction. Here are a few distractions contributing to this imbalance:

  • Work (even in this age of “equality,” men still put in more hours than women).
  • Movies (they’re everywhere, now–you don’t need to visit a theater).
  • Video/computer games (often they’re written better anyway).
  • The Internet.

When the New York Publishing Cartel abandoned male readers in the 1990s, the male population abandoned literature in a mass exodus.

temp1(Anybody remember how J.A. Konrath snuck by the NYPC gatekeepers to get published in the first place? The fact that he used the androgynous “J.A.” in lieu of a first name was no mistake. Neither was the “strong female character” orthodoxy.)

So when 50 Shades or some other literary fad comes along and makes big money, we pay attention, but generally don’t learn anything useful from it.

What this bestseller-turned-blockbuster(?) movie teaches us has more to do with the state of our culture than anything else. And I’m not even referring to the kinky sex fetishes. I’m referring to the fact that 50 Shades of Grey is just a hyped, edited work of fan fiction derived from the Twilight series.

 

 

 

 

How Will the Mainstream Media Spin This One?

Some scumbag in the college town of Chapel Hill, NC, murdered three Muslims over a parking dispute.

Of course the press would have a field day if the perpetrator was a Tea Party gun nut. But since he instead is a goose-stepping pinkshirt homophile Obamunist, ya gotta wonder: will they just ignore it? Or will they devise some creative technique to make it pay political dividends to their Marxist agenda somehow?

There’s really only two labels they can stick on him over and over and over and over again which are both accurate and don’t contradict the state-approved narrative:

  1. White
  2. Male

But this is the mainstream media, so why should we even entertain the notion they’d attempt to be either accurate or honest? After all, merely calling him a white male doesn’t come nearly close enough to presenting the Greater Truth behind the story! Let’s get creative:

3. Did he ever attend church in his life—even if it was something like Jeremiah Wright’s Sacred Tabernacle of Race War? Then he’s a Christian! A Christian white male.

What’s that you say–he’s an anti-theist? Well we don’t care what kind of theist he is; they’re all dangerous! (Except Jew-hating Muslims, of course.)

4. If not a church, then how ’bout a Bhuddist Temple? A Sikh or Hindu Ashram? A Mosque, like his victims? An Obama rally? Then he’s religious, by gosh. Hmm. “Religious white male.” Doesn’t quite sound marginal enough, does it?

5. Was he ever heard quoting anything from a rule or scientific principle that could be considered fundamental to a field of study or discipline? Then he’s a fundamentalist! Aha, now he’s starting to sound appropriately threatening. But still…

6. We can do better. Did he live or work in a building with long rectangular sections? You know…wings? Could that wing he lived or worked in be considered on the right if you’re facing the building from a certain direction? Then of course HE’S RIGHT-WING, which explains everything!

7. Combine for extra Greater Truth Narrative points! Do both #3 and #6 apply? Then he’s religious right! #1, #2 and #5? Then he’s a white male fundamentalist!

You get the idea. Now get your creative cap on and help the press craft this narrative.

A picture’s Worth 1,000 Divorces

Spoiler Alert: You should go read the article and look at the pictures before you come back here and read the next paragraph. When you find the “clue” (it’s more of a smoking gun), it might give you a case of the creeps. But in a fascinating way.

Maybe the picture was photoshopped and this viral story is all a hoax. I haven’t heard as much, but anything can happen in the Information Age. It’s still very plausible, though. So I’m gonna treat it like it’s real unless told otherwise.

So this guy leaves for a business trip or something (I guess). He comes home without warning to surprise his wife. He takes a picture of her, still chilling on the bed, evidently happy at the surprise.

For some reason (and this is the part I’d like to know more about) he later takes a closer look at the picture. Maybe he caught a wierd vibe off his wife, or she said or did something suspicious. Maybe his subconscious mind picked up on what was semi-hidden in the photo.

The back door man that wifey had been screwing while hubby was gone happened to be hiding under the bed. And he might never have been caught, but I guess he really wanted to see the expression on his victim’s face (so he could gloat about cuckolding, perhaps) so he positioned his head for better viewing. And the camera flash penetrated the shadow he probably assumed would mask him.

Here’s what you should take away from this story, though (especially if you believe in the inherent purity of the female heart): Take a look at the wife. Does she look any less than utterly sincere in her joy at hubby’s return? What picture of innocence and love…if you don’t look too closely.

Not many women become movie stars; but nearly all of them are talented actresses capable of Academy Award performances.

The English Language and the Right to Bear Arms

While collectivists evidently have no problem with weapons in the hands of those who would use them to murder and for other crimes (Mexican drug lords carrying their gang wars across the border; Islamic Jihadists, etc.), it has always driven them batty that non-criminal American citizens are armed. Especially non-criminal American citizens who prefer to live in a free state and who would participate in the militia if necessary.

Left-wing politicians have concocted miriad schemes over the years to infringe on our right to keep and bear arms, but that pesky Constitution (which they swear to uphold) keeps getting in their way. Of course, in every other instance that doesn’t even slow them down. They’ve got armies of lawyers paid (with your tax dollars) to interpret away your protections and come up with brilliant arguments like “We have to pass (this horrific new legislation) to find out what’s in it.” But for some reason, there are people left in our mind-numbed population who still understand English enough to recognize what the 2nd Amendment means.

Lots of well-made points in the video, but I like best the grammatically indentical sentence from the 2nd Amendment applied to something else:

A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.

That’s one for the Goodreads crowd to chew on.

Great Moments in Stupid Coaching

Wow. Just, wow.

What a wild finish to an epic see-saw battle where the outcome was always in doubt.

I have not been pleased with the NFL for a while now, and hadn’t watched a game for a few years.  The league’s agenda conformity of late has pretty much guaranteed I will never be a fan again. So normally I wouldn’t have watched the Superbowl. If it wasn’t for an invitation from friends this year, I probably wouldn’t have.

So because of my NFL boycott, I knew nothing about Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch. But based on what I saw last night, he runs a lot like how I described John Riggins and Natrone Means in my last post. He’s a bigger, stronger Bronko Nagurski.

Which brings us to the play that will be talked about for years to come, that Seattle’s offensive coordinator may never live down: You’ve got a back who can gain at least three yards a play regardless of how a defense is stacked against him. Certainly you just hammer the line with him until he punches it in, right? No, as it turns out you call a pass play and your talented young quarterback throws his only interception, a hockey-style brawl breaks out on the field, and the repeat championship is ripped from your grasp in the final seconds.

I submit that the pass play was not the most stupid play call ever. I don’t know what the most stupid of all time is; but I know which one takes the cake that I’ve seen.

You are head coach Denny Green. Your team has gone 15-1 in the regular season, easily marching to the NFC championship despite some horrible officiating in the playoffs. Your key defensive player, John Randle, is hurt and won’t be able to anchor the defense in the game, but you’ve kept that a secret. You’ve got homefield advantage and the crowd noise in the Metrodome is a potential extra player. Up to this point your boys have blown out everybody except your one (close) loss to the Buccaneers around mid-season. But your defense is especially porous in this game (you’ve lost five starters to injuries), and you’ve botched a few drives by throwing deep down the field for big scores instead of just getting first downs. Now you’re tied at 27-27 with 49 seconds left to play. It’s first-and-goal and you’ve got the most prolific offense to ever play the game. The formidable weapons your red-hot quarterback has at his disposal are Chris Carter, Randy Moss, Jake Reed, a healthy Robert Smith in the backfield and an offensive line like the Great Wall of China. You can put the game away by a score–all your mistakes and the uncharacteristic flubs by your players will be forgotten. What do you do?

You have your QB kneel on the ball to end regulation. At least that’s what Green chose to do.

You could have put the game out of reach with a chip shot field goal in your last drive, with a kicker who has been perfect all season. That’s right–he has not missed a single FG or PAT all year. Guess when he decides to miss a kick? The other team’s kicker doesn’t miss in overtime, and they advance to the Superbowl.

That missed kick is the only thing people remember about the game, saving the coach from scrutiny when it should have never come down to the kick in the first place.

Back to Seattle-New England. So far as stupid calls go, I wouldn’t even put it in the top ten. In fact, it may not even be a stupid call. Had the right guy come down with the ball, it would be considered a stroke of genius. The same people bitching about the call now would be trash-talking about how the Patriots were punked by the potential threat of Lynch, giving up the pass while focusing on the run. Oh, how brilliant a strategy! Oh, how clever!

People will also probably forget that the only reason Seattle got to the red zone in the first place was the ridiculous bobbled bounce-off-the-knee reception. It even reminded the commentators of the helmet catch a few years ago that ruined New England’s perfect season. New England fans were sure that the jinx was still in effect.

But Lady Luck was a fickle, two-timing slut last night.

Life Lessons From the Superbowl

The Washington Redskins first Superbowl appearance was in VII. Under head coach George Allen, with a team roster infamously called “the Over-the-Hill Gang,” they were dominated by the undefeated Miami Dolphins.

Ten years later the head coach was Joe Gibbs, but the scenario was similar. The team had to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship, just like 1972, and they had to face the Miami Dolphins in the Superbowl. Not only did the AFC dominate the big game (the NFC had only won twice in the 1970s), but there was the psychological disadvantage of playing a team that had beat them the last time they met in the championship. This is a difficult disadvantage to overcome (Dallas had failed in their rematch with Pittsburgh; Cincinnati would fail in their rematch with San Francisco; and more recently New England would choke twice against New York).

Psychology is a huge factor in team sports, and not to be underestimated. It can be a little like morale in a military unit. That’s probably worth a post of its own, so I’ll move on.

The game Didn’t go well for Joe Gibbs. By the Fourth Quarter the Redskins were down 17-13 when a pass from QB Joe Theismann was deflected into the air by a Dolphin defender. An interception at that point might have crushed team morale–we’ve seen disastrous plays crush morale many times, and one of those I’ll talk about in this post. But Theismann himself kept the pop-up from being grabbed by Miami.

It would become obvious in retrospect, that was the turning point in the game. Why? Because Gibbs was forced to adjust his tactical doctrine. The Miami defense was shutting down his passing game. He was lucky Theismann was able to break up that play, but he needed to use a different weapon if he was going to change the momentum of the game, and avoid the sort of catastrophe his team had so narrowly escaped.

Fortunately, he had another weapon. The weapon was named John Riggins.

Riggins was a veteran, in what would normally be the twilight of his career for a running back. In days of yore he probably would have been called a fullback. He ran like a tank–not record breaking fast, but he routinely went through defenders like an 18 pound ball though bowling pins. Not many ball carriers have his kind of power. Natrone Means and Adrian Peterson are two rare backs who did (Peterson having the speed, too). Behind a formidable offensive line called “the Hogs” or “Riggo’s Rangers,” Riggins set the scoreboards on fire during the playoffs of that strike-shortened season.

Theismann began to call “the Diesel’s” number play after play, and #44 romped down the field, putting Washington in the lead to stay. It was like watching a bulldozer plowing Volkswagens. Riggins was voted MVP for the game, and the Redskins finally won the Lombardi Trophy.

Behind Theismann and a still-strong Riggins, Gibbs generalled the Redskins through an impressive season and back to the Superbowl the following year where they faced the outclassed Raiders. Up to this point in Superbowl history, no defending champion had ever lost.

Early in this game, though, Theismann failed to convert on third down, and the punting unit went in. The Raiders blocked the punt and went in for a go-ahead touchdown.

The Washington Redskins fell completely apart. The psychological damage was instant and visible on faces and in body language. After that it didn’t matter which team was better. The Redskins were doomed, and played like it. They only managed one touchdown the whole game (by Riggins, who rarely got the ball, since Theismann went all-pass, trying to catch up), and were crushed 38-9.

It was ugly.

Upsets are nothing new. It’s always been true in the NFL that on any given day the worst team in the league might beat the best. And that day the superior team was so psychologically destroyed after the blocked punt that even a high school roster would have given them a pasting.

How could a team of champions, so full of talent and confidence, crumble so thoroughly because of one play? There are so many variables, perhaps the best we could ever manage are wild guesses.

The next time Gibbs brought his team to the Superbowl, it was against the Denver Broncos and their cannon-armed QB John Elway. It looked like Gibbs would be a victim of another hopeless shellacking when, on the very first play from scrimmage, Elway threw a long strike that went all the way. The Redskins sputtered on offense (predictably, after a devastating play like that), and the First Quarter ended with Denver leading 10-0.

But something was different this time. At some point since that embarrassing loss to the Raiders, Joe Gibbs had taught his team to overcome adversity. Or, as we put it in the Airborne, “Suck it up and drive on.”

The Redskin defense didn’t allow Denver to score another point. Meanwhile, they lit up the scoreboard in a record-setting Second Quarter in what turned out to be a convincing blowout victory.

I’ve decided that the greatest teams are not those who win championships; but those that can rebound off stunning setbacks to win championships. It’s fighters like Joe Louis and Evander Holyfield or the glass-jawed Tommy Hearns who get knocked into queer street, but push themselves off the canvas and fight through the fog of pain and shock and fear to hammer the other guy until he goes down…they are the champions most worthy of admiration.

One of the most tragic teams in history were the Buffalo Bills under Marv Levy (that should also be a future post of its own, perhaps). They attempted to use this sort of psychological devastation (Raiders blocking the punt; Elway’s long bomb; etc.) on Dallas in their first Superbowl showdown, blocking a punt deep in Cowboy territory and sending Thurmon Thomas in for the first score on the next play. But Dallas never lost confidence, turning the tables in an ugly one-sided game forcing a storm of turnovers. Then in the rematch the following year, after leading 13-6 at the half, the Bills succumbed to emotional collapse themselves when that same Thurmon Thomas (so rock-solid dependable on a normal day) fumbled deep in his own territory. The Cowboys took it in for the score and never looked back. The Bills didn’t score again and lost 30-13.

You could argue that Chuck Noll, Vince Lombardi or Bill Walsh were the greatest head coaches in NFL history, and numbers would back you up. But to me the most inspiring were guys like Tom Landry and Joe Gibbs. Especially Joe Gibbs, who not only redeemed himself, but taught his players to do the same.