As mentioned in a previous blog, I have become increasingly disinterested in the entertainment industry. Watching the Oscars, the only award show that I pay any attention to, was a surreal experience this evening. And I am not even talking about the Will Smith assault on Chris Rock’s face for his funny joke about Smith’s “untalented” wife. The whole night felt like one long hazy dream. As an example, there had never been more movies nominated in one year that I HAD NOT SEEN. Every time any political issue was brought up during the telecast, I could not help but sarcastically smug. Who really cares about what Sean Penn thinks? Or the fact that most actors think about the complexity of geo-political issues about as often as they think about anyone other than themselves. A big thanks to Will Smith also for showing his incredibly, indomitable ego mixed with remorse once he realized that his one violent action may have fucked up his career. Because nothing is more vital than maintaining that feeling of inflated, narcissistic, fake self-importance to a Hollywood actor or performer. Going along with the narrative is all these people can do. Spending three hours of time with these ‘elitists’ felt untimely in a world that is rapidly descending into a hellscape.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started a few weeks back, I have been very quiet about my personal opinion on this ongoing tragedy. War is never an enjoyable topic of debate. While the United States government and its supplicant media promote stories about this war that almost seem like they were pulled out of a Marvel comic book, the Russian media (Until it got censored by all the United States media and tech companies) has also dived head first into the propaganda narrative. The first casualty of war before any blood is spilled is always the TRUTH. The truth will eventually come out about the events ongoing in the Ukraine that will likely be different from both the geo-political narratives bombarding our brains. Many of my closest friends know my opinion on war. As an American, every war or conflict we have engaged in since World War II was very much avoidable. After September 11, 2001, we went into Afghanistan (Which can be considered a legitimate invasion since it was a direct result of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil). But overthrowing the existing Afghan government (Which stormed back into power in 2021) and engaging in regime change never should have been the goal. Once Bin Laden was killed, the occupation of Afghanistan should have ended. Then there is Iraq, Libya, our support for the Syrian rebels against the Syrian government, and our quiet support for the Saudi Arabian massacre of Yemen. Over the past 20 years, there has been no country that has spilled more blood than my beloved United States. All these wars could have been avoided if saner minds had prevailed.
This brings me to the Russia-Ukrainian War. My preferred opinion on this conflict is Swiss-like neutrality. Because unlike the LORD OF THE RINGS-type “good vs. evil” narrative coming out of the West regarding Russia’s actions and the “there have been no real problems with our military plan” Russian denials, the realities of war are never clear cut. The events of war always live inside a world of grey. As a person who studied World War II religiously during my junior high years, I have never agreed with many of the historical narratives that came out of that war. Because like war narratives, history is very malleable. Governments and individuals seeking power can choose to use history for their own personal advantage. Here are a couple of examples that directly relate to the ongoing Russia-Ukrainian War and the ongoing misunderstandings that have polluted the narrative ‘waters.’
First, what is a Nazi? According to the Oxford dictionary, it has two specific meanings. The first one is its historical meaning of being a member of the National Socialist Party, the ruling party affectionately called the Nazis when they ruled Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. National Socialism is an embrace of a collectivist mindset wrapped around extreme pride in a nation. It is an ideology that takes the worst elements of the left (Authoritarian Collectivism) and the right (Racist Nationalism) and combines them into one authoritarian ideology. But the second meaning is the interesting one, “A person who uses their power in a cruel way; a person with extreme and unreasonable views on race.” This aspect of Nazism could also be defined as racism. Per the education system of my childhood, Nazism gained its power through the subjugation and demonization of Jews which is historically accurate. Six million Jews perished in World War II, often in brutal concentration camps. But as the war expanded, two other ethnic groups also suffered devastating losses. One was the European Romany (Known in the derogatory term as “Gypsies”). With a population of 1 to 1.5 million on the continent of Europe, the Nazis managed to kill anywhere between 250,000 to 500,000 Roma. But another genocide is often overlooked. The Slavic genocide during World War II may have very well exceeded the number of deaths committed on the Jewish people. As many as 11 million Slavic people were likely slaughtered during World War II. This number may actually be low. Estimates put the war dead of the Soviet Union at 8.7 million and the total dead at just under 27 million. Since the Nazis controlled most of the Slavic territory during World War II, it would be a proper estimate to assume that the majority of these deaths were Slavic. So why do I bring this up? Why does this also lead to my personal non-recognition of the Ukrainian president as a hero?
Since 2014 when an American backed coup led to a pro-NATO government that had “Nazi” support, Ukraine has been at war with the Russians. First, Russia democratically annexed Crimea, a historical port dating back to the time of Catherine the Great. This also led to a Civil War between the Eastern regions of Ukraine that are a Russian majority (the Donbass and Lutansk). The Ukrainian government has killed at least 14,000 people since this war started. They have also passed laws that basically outlaw various aspects of the Russian language and culture in their society. So who are these Nazis? A recent article by Pepe Escobar dives into this debate. When people hear the term “Nazi”, they usually assume that it is referring to right-wing nationalists who have an irrational hatred of Jews. And this is a proper definition. But as history has shown, Nazism can also be an irrational hatred of the Slavic people especially ones of Russian origin. That is why Israel has defended its support of the Ukrainian Nazis. Because that movement is not anti-Jewish, it is anti-Slavic. This dates back to the World War II era and the history between Nazi Germany and the Ukraine. Stepan Bandera, a hero to many right-wing nationalists, joined forces with Adolf Hitler due to his hatred of the Poles and helped lead the invasion to capture Poland at the start of World War II. It expanded to Lvov, Ukraine where a pogrom was put into place to execute and eliminate the remaining Poles (Slavs), and Jews in the territory. After Ukraine declared independence, Germany arrested Bandera. He was later released to help fend off the advance of the Soviet Union in 1944 as Germany began losing the war. This is when the hatred of the Russian people became engrained into the mindset of right-wing Ukrainians. Right now, one of the leading battalions of the Ukraine, the Azov Battalion, recognizes Bandera as its “hero” in their fight against the Russians. This battalion is also filled with Nazis. The same type of Nazis that consider the Slavic people as second-class citizens. Nazism has a dark history with other Slavic people too. The Ustase militia during World War II may have been one of the most brutal and racist Nazi collaborators. The movement was composed primarily of Croatians who executed hundreds of thousands of Serbians, Jews, and Romani.
Ukraine has also been the home to lots of wonderful political ideas. The 1905 anarchist revolution led to a rise in anarchist political movements in various cities including anarcho-syndicalism in Odessa and anarcho-individualism in Kyiv. The whole movement also committed many violent acts during the time of World War I before it was finally crushed, and the country of Ukraine was placed under the control of Josef Stalin in the new Soviet Union in 1921. This is also where the existing borders of the Ukrainian state were drawn as the new Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. This is how Crimea, a province with a majority of Russians living inside of it, became part of the Ukrainian territory. If Ukraine can be compared to any state in the United States, it most resembles the open, agricultural fields of Iowa. But those fertile fields of the Ukraine have been a warzone for many centuries of human history.
So as you can see, the history of the region is quite complex. Like all human stories, there are no real “good” guys and “bad” guys. The Ukrainians and the Russians have committed awful crimes. But both groups of people have also done wonderful things for our world. In addition and as an American, why should my opinion on this war even matter? Even if you count the death toll from this Russian-Ukrainian War, neither country does not even come close to toppling the amount of people the United States has killed since September 11, 2001. So why are we even giving an opinion on this war anyway? Russia and Ukraine have a complicated history and it is none of the United States business to take sides in a war that the majority of our citizens have no understanding.
Justify what I've become
Sanctify what I've become
LAMB OF GOD "WHAT I'VE BECOME"
Now that all the boring statistical analysis is out of the way, there is actually nothing for anyone to learn from my previous two blogs on sports-related information. Expert of Some is just very good at gathering statistical information, doing research, and collecting this information into a project or blog. Talking about batting averages, league records, and sports history tingles an itch inside my body that has existed since my childhood years. I can remember Eric Dickerson rushing for 2105 yards (An NFL record) for my Los Angeles Rams in 1985 like it happened a few months back. Not to get too philosophical with this blog but maybe because of my advancing age or my constant need to learn new and exciting things, my interest in sports has waned considerably over the past decade. I believe there are two primary reasons for this.
First, as your life evolves and the complications of a family and those increased responsibilities begin to become the priority, many of the things you once deemed important as a youth begin to have less relevance as you age. Looking back on my teenage and college years specifically, I took a lot of comfort in things like the film industry, sports, and cultural attractions. These things still mean a lot to me. But my need to go to a sporting event, the latest premiere of a new comic book movie, or a rock concert have receded in importance. As a 47-year-old man, I got to experience SO MUCH of these events in my younger years. You can knock out a good portion of your bucket list before the final bill comes due and your body begins its inevitable decline. But watching the latest, hip movie, experiencing a brand new billion-dollar stadium, or buying the most popular recent music album no longer means anything to me. That need for cultural fulfillment has been satisfied and my mind is craving new and different opportunities for the future.
Second, as my previous blog stated, almost all my goals have been accomplished as a sports fan. Once the pinnacle has been reached, that feeling of happiness that you have been craving for decades has finally been accomplished. Similar to my college years when I experimented with a few drugs just to see how it felt, once you achieve the euphoria of that “high” or “being buzzed” on liquor, the experience really does not change much when repeated. It is the same “high” or “buzzed” feeling every time. This is why I never became an addict with anything (Including sex. Once you have one perfect experience with a partner, how often is that going to be repeated?) This is my problem with culture. How do you maintain the motivation (Other than financial) to make another movie when you already made a Best Picture film? Do I really care if my Los Angeles Rams repeat in 2022? Does it matter? The journey to the top is a fascinating and interesting one. But my motivation to be a hardcore Los Angeles Rams fan is fading away. Because finally received the satisfaction I have been craving for over 40 years is just another checkmark off my personal bucket list. Now that all my sports teams (Minus the Padres) have reached the apex of the mountain, in the elusive words of Oingo Boingo, why should I care anymore?
So what exactly are you trying to tell us Expert of Some? Basically, the things that once made me the entertaining, semi-knowledgeable idiot that everyone has come to love has changed. Instead of watching sports on television. I am much more interested in reading educational research (Mostly 20th Century since the 21st Century research is mostly trash). Instead of reading about technology and becoming advanced on the Linux command line, I would rather take an ATV and drive on some sand dunes. Why watch a movie when I can camp and go on some beautiful five-mile mountain hikes? There may also come a time in my life where all of these new interests no longer matter to me. But until that day, this is the man I am starting to become. Give me a mid-20th Century science fiction book over the latest, overrated video game. Would you like to come along with me on this new journey? Feel free to let me know.
C’mon Expert of Some! Why would you use the opening song off Depeche Mode’s VIOLATOR album to title your new blog? Everyone is waiting for the Final Part of your elaborately boring statistical series of posts on sports. Well, creativity and inspiration come from many unlikely sources. While driving home from seeing THE BATMAN (More on this later), the Depeche Mode song WORLD IN MY EYES popped on the radio. This song came out during my sophomore year in high school. While I am not a huge Depeche Mode fan, there were two things I took away from this album after buying it. First, the lyrics of their songs is the true highlight of their musical output. The more famous songs from this album, PERSONAL JESUS, THE POLICY OF TRUTH, and ENJOY THE SILENCE are catchy, danceable tunes but the lyrics are what makes each of them memorable. Second, going to a Depeche Mode concert (As I did with a date in 1992) was an incredible experience. Not because of the music, oh no! Because to this day, I have never been to a concert that had more beautiful women in attendance. It made me quickly realize that being a Depeche Mode fan was never going to be boring for my rapidly developing dating life.
The lyrics to this song remain my favorite. Art is always an experience that is highly personal to the individual. But the WORLD IN MY EYES is fantastic in its subtlety. Here are the lyrics.
Reading people’s perception of these lyrics, the majority see this as an allegory for sex and romanticism. Most people see the song in a positive light. But I have a different opinion about this conclusion because of the chorus. My perception of the song is about a man trying to impress a girl through his own ego and arrogance with the final goal of having sex with her. But in reality, he is nothing but a smooth-talking con man. These lyrics at the beginning prove this point.
Let me take you on a trip
Around the world and back
And you won't have to move, you just sit still
Now let your mind do the walking
And let my body do the talking
But the chorus hits you with the twist.
That's all there is
Nothing more than you can feel now
That's all there is
Once you cut through all the bullshit, there is nothing impressive about the individual being sung about. They misled, misinformed, and misguided this person into making love with them. This individual is nothing more than an egoist with an inflated self-esteem just looking for their next conquest.
So why am I bringing this up and what did this song trigger in my brain? With the bombardment of information that pounds us over our heads at record speed, this song could be used as a symbol to describe many of our current so-called leaders and politicians. Has there even been a group of people filled with more self-righteousness and delusions of grandeur than the individuals we have chosen by an election to lead us (As an additional tidbit, add the career bureaucrats appointed by these elected politicians into this charade). How many promises have been made over the past forty years that led to nothing but ultimate disappointment? Is there anything special about any of them? Are they actually stupid? Maybe,
That’s all there is
Recently, the “doctor” in charge of the CDC admitted via an interview that the hope for the vaccines was based on a false optimism. Despite the fact that millions of people around the world who did their research and were skeptical of these vaccines were fired and disappeared from society. The fact that the promotion of these vaccines was the largest propaganda operation of my lifetime. The fact that the CDC director went along on “faith” with these vaccines should be a criminal offense. A vaccine requires years of testing, trials, and research before they get approved for human consumption. None of these things happened. Here is her incredibly stupid statement taken from this website.
I can tell you where I was when the CNN feed came that it was 95 percent effective, the vaccine. So many of us wanted to be hopeful, so many of us wanted to say, okay, this is our ticket out, right, now we’re done. So I think we had perhaps too little caution and too much optimism for some good things that came our way. I really do. I think all of us wanted this to be done.
Nobody said waning, when you know, oh this vaccine’s going to work. Oh well, maybe it’ll work – (laughs) it’ll wear off. Nobody said what if the next variant doesn’t, it doesn’t, it’s not as potent against the next variant.
In a normal world, this woman would be dismissed from proper society. So why have we been lionizing this woman as a hero? A person who believed the effectiveness of a vaccine based on “her faith” in a corporation, a truly scientific concept. As Depeche Mode’s example tells us,
That’s all there is
Since the vaccines were introduced, there has been an increase in life insurance claims by 37.7% over the 2nd Quarter of 2021 according to some insurance companies. This is an increase over the period of time since the 2nd Quarter of 2020 when the virus was raging around the world and there was no “vaccine.” Read this here. Also, the Bayer CEO spoke recently via an interview and admitted that these vaccines were never actually ‘vaccines’, but gene therapy shots that can alter your DNA permanently. Read here.
Finally, I have had a realization about a political issue that deserves ridicule. That would be the debate about climate change.
Here is the problem when discussing an issue that is so controversial. I am a CONSERVATIONIST. I want to preserve and protect as much of nature as possible. But I am NOT a believer in GREEN ENERGY or CLIMATE CHANGE. For a little background, since working in television operation and engineering from 2002 to 2014, I had to change my career upon returning to California. I have become a certified utility design engineer through years of hard work and a slight three yearlong diversion of working at a tech company as a Linux technician. This experience has made me aware of what a fucking joke the green energy movement really is. Just ask Californians in 2020. Or Texans last winter about how effective green energy can be in a time of crisis (Even though this was more likely due to the lack of winterization of the delivery mechanisms. But freezing windmills did not help either).
I have recommended PLANET OF THE HUMANS before. I recommend it to everyone because of its importance. This movie was actually blacklisted by Hollywood due to its subject matter and can only be watched on this website despite Michael Moore producing the film (Yes, he is anti-green energy also). Even Elon Musk TODAY has come out in support of more oil and gas drilling as well as re-commissioning and re-opening nuclear power plants. Because even he is starting to realize that a grid run on 100% green energy will never be a stable solution.
First, wind, solar and volcanic power are intermittent energy producers. Storing the energy after production is an incredible business expense that will inevitably hit every consumer’s wallets. Most of the power generated by clean energy usually goes directly into the grid. This is what led to the California blackouts. The amount of energy needed was deficient to the demands being put on the state because of a heat wave. So the state had to call for rolling blackouts.
Second, the biggest con of all is that the solar panels, the beloved Tesla vehicle, and the windmill turbines and almost every other tool and device needed to generate power needs some form of fuel to create the product. Solar panels are not just built from healthy, thriving plants. They are created through a complex industrial process. When the solar panels need to be replaced, they create an environmental hazard if not properly disposed. So the cost benefit analysis of this equipment seems very high (Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of birds sliced to pieces by windmill turbines every year).
Finally, if you are serious about saving the earth, then you need to put away your technological devices. Your phones, tablets, and PCs that help keep the world economy afloat are the biggest polluting devices of all. Crypto currency, which the environmental-loving youth worship, is one of the largest polluters of energy. Lathanides need to be dug out of the ground to help create these devices. In fact, the United States only has one “Rare Metal” mine and it is in a familiar place for anyone who has done the drive-up Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Mountain Pass, the almost 5000-foot peak that resides on the Nevada border, has the only functioning ‘rare earth’ mine in the United States. Because of incredibly stupid California environmentalists who shut the mine down in the 2000s for alleged pollution related problems, Depeche Mode says;
That’s all there is
The mine was recently re-opened after the Chinese bought the land. My favorite energy bloggers, Doomberg, have a fantastic article about this mine. If you are really concerned about the security of the United States, you will demand that this useless government find a way to purchase this mine off the Chinese because of its geo-strategic importance in mining the vital minerals needed for our technological economy. I mean honestly, how is the government going to spy on us if all our devices don’t have the proper lathanides needed for them to work?
That’s all there is
Recently, our California governor issued an executive order to begin the phase-out of gas-powered cars by 2035. Do you know what needs to happen for this to occur? For every car to charge in the evening is going to REQUIRE A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF POWER GENERATION. How and where is California going to get this energy? Our last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, is due to be shuttered in 2025. Wind and solar are not going to be able to handle the increased load. So there is likely only two possible solutions. Either coal and natural gas will begin a massive comeback in the golden state which will put the final nail into this idiotic green energy movement or Diablo Canyon, its sister nuclear plant San Onofre (RIP), and many other new nuclear plants will need to be built or re-opened post-haste. California is looking at an energy crisis in their near future that will likely devastate the state for generations to come if they continue down this insane path towards 100% clean energy. Because when it comes to good intentions,
That’s all there is
there really is no one dumber than a California liberal environmentalist.
We need to stop treating politicians, CEOs, and other "leaders" with so much respect unless it is rightfully deserved. The majority of these individuals above are exactly like the con artist represented in the Depeche Mode song. They offer you nothing despite talking up a good game. Because if we continue to follow these individuals blindly,
That’s all there is
EXPERT OF SOME