Thursday, April 20, 2006

Defending Western Civilization

In "The Camp of the Saints" by Jean Raspail, Western Civilization is destroyed by an invasion. Not by aliens, although the invaders were alien in every way. Not by military might, although the invaders resembled an army in many ways. Not by deadly disease, although the invaders had much in common with the plague. No, Western Civilization is destroyed in Raspail's harrowing book by teeming hordes of Hindu have-nots, an alien species of designated inferiors who take their revenge on the haves, the arrogant, educated and refined designated superiors of the world.

The plot is simple. It begins at a ship breaking yard where wretched laborers without hope or future find inspiration in the appearance of a charismatic mutant without arms or legs but possessed of a spirit that foments rebellion. As word spreads of this "least of the least," a sympathetic power reaches critical mass. The teeming hordes board a fleet of derelict ships, packing them with the filth of humanity and the simmering resentment and bitter anger that binds them together and drives them on a deadly quest.

The ships set sail, a flotilla of fetid wretches that blackmails "civilized" governments with the pity they prompt among the liberal, "humanitarian" types and the reflexive horror of conservative, "pragmatists" both seeking the ways and means of passing on this plague on to the next potential port of call. As the fleet enters the Indian Ocean, the Pope reminds the "faithful" that "the meek shall inherit the earth." Arabian governments send helicopters with food and water while "steering" the raft of riffraff south and east. Australia, in a bold preemptive move threatens military action if the ships come anywhere near its territorial waters. The "family of nations" condemns this posture while keeping its fingers crossed. The ships move steadily south and make their way around the tip of Africa, receiving "offerings of humanitarian aid" as ransoms of "reason." The Americas recoil with the thought of receiving thousands of refugees and dispatch hospital ships with Naval "escorts." But no one can predict the destination of these desperate and determined devils.

As the fleet turns into the Mediterranean Sea, the French are struck by a paralyzing "social conscience," unwilling to defend themselves from a pacifistic, yet potentially brutal, invasion. To make a longer, but fascinating story shorter, France is overrun, beginning with the beaching of the wretched on the Riviera. The teeming hordes take their revenge on the wealth of the Western World, destroying every vestige of civilization and setting the stage for a modern Dark Age. In the triumph of altruism and inevitability, Europe and America are dragged into the rest of the world's squalor and wretchedness.

The Camp of the Saints has been denounced as a "racist" book by reviewers who subscribe to the noxious double standard to which non-white and anti-white racism are inconceivable, or impossible, or excusable, or their moral judgments are worthless and sickening. In fact, Raspail has written an allegory in which the actors and cultures are symbolic. Western life is depicted as science, industry, democracy--the real sources of its wealth and power--and culture, the fruits of our civilized domination of the world. The enemies of the Western World are white, non-white, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist, but embodied by the symbolic Hindu ship breakers, arguably the most wretched of the have-nots. He presents them with a leader in the form of the "Beast," a powerful Christian symbol of nihilism and damnation. Raspail never preaches his tale as a "lesson" with reasons why this invasion is happening. He poses many possible explanations along the way and leaves us to pick the one that resonates.

One is left exhausted and shocked by this book. No one who reads it will fail to substitute raving, radical, ruthless Islamic terrorists for the Hindu ship breakers. This fact brings a book written in the early 1970s right up to date. Read it at your own risk and pray you are gone before the teeming hordes mount their reclamation of the earth.

The stickler

Monday, April 03, 2006

WormTown Rich and the ARTexchange

Loving brushstrokes to all you artistes out there.

I am convinced no one is reading this except the Action Geek, who has no choice since he receives instant e-mails of every Stickler post to this blog. Of course, it is possible that there has been a tumultuous response to The Stickler Posts and they are all being sent to the Action Geer who has chosen to withold any sense of acclaim that might be due. But, I doubt this scenario. It is likely I am, as they say, pissing in the wind. Nevermind.

Behold the lowly art trading card

Art trading cards are 2.5" x 3.5" miniworks created for trading between artists. Inspired by the sports trading card, a Swiss artist introduced the art trading card in the mid-1960s. Since then it has been an open secret among artists of all genres and even taken the craft world (rubber stampers) by storm. Yet, the art trading card still has a relatively low profile outside of the starving artist community. Of course, the Internet has spurred awareness and participation in this unique exchange medium, but my take is the artist trading card, despite being a genuine original work of art, gets virtually no respect.

Perhaps ATCs, (accepted acronym) are considered "amateur" since they are generally traded not sold. Or, maybe they get dissed for being tiny since there is a bigoted view that art must be larger than, say, 16" x 20" to be considered "serious." It is also possible that ATCs are not taken seriously because artists trade and collect them like kids with baseball cards. They store them in binders with plastic protective pockets and they trade in organized swap meets or subscription swaps on the 'Net that require the submission of 16 to a central administrator who divvies them up and returns 16 different cards from other ATC artists. Very cool and fascinating since you never know what you will get.

As a recent ATC aficianado, I was struck by the commercial novelty of an ATC vending machine that dispenses ATCs for, say, a buck each. Most people will blow a buck on a chance. Just look at the lottery lovers out there. Investing a dollar in an art card doesn't hold the possiblity of winning big money, but, who knows, that miniature original might someday sell for thousands at a Sothebys Auction. It could happen should the starving artist catch on with the trendy art mavens out there.

Interested in ATCs? Google "art trading cards" and check this out for yourself.

The Stickler