Sunday, March 18, 2018

‘He Gave Me Water’

Ben-Hur: A Story of the Christ, 1959, Review by James LaFond

Ben Hur was one of my favorite movies in childhood and it was time to view it again. I was surprised at how the rather cartoonish depiction of The Nativity plucked sentimental strings in my mind even as the spotlight effect of the star above shone like God’s own spotlight on the stable where the god of my parents took human form. Despite the warm feelings the Holy Night prologue brought to me, welling up out of my childhood induction, the presentation did seem contrived for the benefit of the believer, certainly not for the non-Christian.

The style of the story, placing the fictional Judah Ben-Hur literally in the shadows of both Roman administration in Judea and the life of Christ, was very smartly done with the usual overreliance on serendipity. 

The most striking aspect of the film was its accurate portrayal of Caucasian slavery and its discussion as a blessed and brotherly institution of love, with Ben-Hur’s Hebrew slaves literally basking in the glorious light of his benevolent ownership. Certainly the best and most authentic aspect of the film was the hellish life of the galley slave. Unlike the classical Hellenes, the Romans used slaves to row their oared ships, as did European and Islamic navies up until the 1600s and 1700s respectively. The worst job in military history is richly depicted and starkly deprived by a Roman Consul, a brutally rational yet honorable and loving military man. 

The depiction of Jesus’s ministry, unlike the Nativity, was done in a more appealing fashion, particularly the early Hollywood custom of not showing the face of Christ, but presenting him in outline. 

As far as the presentation of masculine values, the Roman characters shine in their various shades: from red hot, to sterling to wilted gold. None are depicted as evil, but seem to be used to portray human behavior across its normal scale, where the Hebrew cast are one and all saints or martyrs. Almost all of the best lines are reserved for Roman characters, who are very well acted, with balance going to Ben-Hur, and Balthazar the wise man and the flamboyant Arab who provides Ben-Hur with a prize team of white horses for the iconic chariot race:

“…Until all men are like him [Jesus] we must keep out sword bright.”

The chariot races in the Circus were very well done and give the viewer a great appreciation as to why that was the longest lived sport in the ancient world, from at least 800 B.C. [probably centuries earlier] and continuing for centuries after the fall of Rome in the west under its continuation in Constantinople.

(c) 2018 James LaFond

Lockhart's Top LaFonds Volume 16

Weekend links, it's still the weekend!

Ex-cop finds a meaningful line of work.

A blustery day is a good day for a walk.

The Butthole Surfer gives his thoughts on the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and domestic unrest.  For an alternative view on the OBL op, I suggest reading Seymour Hersh's piece as well.

After concluding a decades-long civil war between Indian Tamils and native Sinhalese, Sri Lanka is now feeling the effect of the Religion of Peace, update from Fred Beare.

James gives a lesson on how to manage panhandlers, with an assist from Nero.

Flint is begging for a merry warband to seize it.

Hipster chick is begging for Mescaline to seize her.

The Checkered Demon offers many gems in this piece, like "trusting enough to cause a life."

Documentary evidence of the ancient practice of rioting in Baltimore.  (Forget about the comments, already scrubbed).

The absolute state of English policing, videos and commentary from Shep.

I am not particularly worried about the crackdown.  We are already on a lot of platforms and are adding more as fast as I can, and I back up offline frequently.

Well Read Ed is contributing to the science of anthropology with a new entry, coined the "Afro bugman" by Mescaline in the comments.

James takes a dip into the brainwashing matrix.

Tony Cox tells the fate of the late-in-life tweaker.

Advice on canine care from Big Ron.  For James' thoughts, see here.

James looks at the wars of pre-Revolutionary America.  Support this work through Patreon.

"Eventually, Bobby’s method will converge with resurrected techniques to form an art superior to either of its ancestral parts," bare knuckle fighting from Bobby Gunn.

Christianity & Pedophilia.  James makes the most important point, which is that sexual abuse in the Catholic church is about the same as any other large organization.  My comment is that the Catholic church has not so much a child abuse problem as a gay problem, which includes sexual abuse of children wherever it is found.  John Saxon may or may not be interested in the exploits of Mohammedans in this crime, but I understand it is rampant in shitholes like Afghanistan and the UK.

Interesting to think that the nations we think of as homogeneous are no such thing, and the implications for America.

A bonus link from John Paul Barber, boxing and writing have a good history together.

Well done Sean, Dennis, and corner man James!  Have a look behind the scenes of a sanctioned boxing match.

Evergreen urban combat advice.

James' strange lack of racial hatred has puzzled many.

James has a new roommate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

‘The Violence of Men’

James LaFond's review of Gunman’s Debt by Robert E. Howard

Pages 139-162 of The Last Ride, 1978, Berkley Medallion Books

John Kirby, a cowboy and gunslinger, on the lookout for men feuding with his kin down in Texas, rides into a fledgling Kansas town and politely gives over his gun belt to the sheriff. The nagging realization that one is at the mercy of corrupt society and the criminals allied with politicians—even when society only consists of a hopeful main street—nags Kirby as he enters a saloon where a man is beating a woman, a man wearing a gun belt.

Gunman’s Debt is too simple a story to give away any more of the plot. As in most western yarns—short or long—there is an unrealistic proliferation of serendipity. Howard's characters rescue the story from its own crude plotting by acting according to their various unharmonious natures.

Gunman’s Debt does not end as predictably as it begins, spends no time on sentimentality and roisters along, chaos building on every page until the surviving characters literally burn the curtain before it can come down. This would have been a great Spaghetti Western.

Over the course of the story, Howard ladles out bloody themes conveyed in blood:

-Women cannot be trusted in clutch situations.

-Hard men, especially loners, must make and maintain alliances with others of their kind, and that this may only be accomplished by adhering to a code of honor.

-That settled societies all become corrupt and the only way they can be cleansed is through reversion to barbarity.

-And, most importantly, that a society that bans men from arming themselves, never disarms all men, only those targeted for death and diminishment.

(c) 2018 James LaFond

Monday, March 12, 2018

Patreon Bonus Ep - Crackpot Podcast Ep 28

A special bonus episode, just for you!  Twenty minutes of Patreon updates and Trump love.

Please note, since we taped this podcast, James has figured out how to post written content on Patreon, so Patrons will continue to receive exclusive content.

If you wish to support James' important work revealing the truth about slavery in pre-Revolution America, please consider becoming a patron.

The Crackpot Podcast features Crackpot James LaFond and Podcaster Lynn Lockhart.

If you enjoy the podcast, please buy James' books through Amazon, pdf books through his main website, become a Patron, or donate straight to the man through Paypal.


(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Everything but the Shooting - Crackpot Podcast Ep 27

In Ep 27, James and Lynn discuss contributing factors to the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The Crackpot Podcast features aggression and violence expert James LaFond, and homeschooling mom Lynn Lockhart.


0:02:05  Advice for students from James in case of a school attack
0:06:00  Why aren't school shootings more common?  Drugs, illicit and prescription
0:08:35  An example of Feds setting up vulnerable people to commit crimes:  schizophrenic Oklahoma man duped by Feds
0:10:00  Kreepy Kid Krew for gun control
0:14:00  Abolish the schools
0:19:50  Do schools teach teamwork?  Mentorship, Big Ron, Malcom X
0:24:05  Intergenerational friendships
0:25:40  Courting in the Nation of Islam
0:27:15  Gender differences in treatment of servants in colonial America
0:30:40  The malleability of the youth vote
0:34:58  Dropping out as a safety valve
0:36:10  The joys of dodgeball and hazing
0:42:30  Dante & Vance
0:58:09  Megan
0:59:57  Disparate impact of school offenses
1:01:05  Externalization vs internalization of aggression
1:02:36  A punching bag or a gun safe
1:06:22  Coeducation as a risk
1:09:50  The right way to protest injustice
1:11:45  Atomization in the family
1:14:40  Pathological public schools

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart & James LaFond

Lockhart's Top LaFonds Volume 15

Links on a Saturday???!!!  Next post will be Crackpot 27, coming up in a few minutes.

Don't miss James' latest appearance on Myth of the 20th, covering Malcolm X.

Another snapshot of crime trends in Harm City and Harm County.  School shootings are decidedly a first world problem.

The candidate pool for the Baltimore Police Department is the population of Baltimore; no amount of testing, procedural reform, juries, will change that.

A Ghetto Grocer's initiation.

The Urban Anthropologist surfs a wave 20 years into the future.

Ghetto grocer and Harm City stories from Megan.

Shep speaks on feminized police departments on the Left Coast; I hope he speaks again soon.

I bet you always wanted to be some punk's daddy.

Some coaching and video and book links for stickfighters.

Tony Cox keeps tabs on the PNW version of the future, including homelessness in mild weather, mountain bikes, and of course, mushrooms.

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Monday, March 5, 2018

‘The Devil’s Children’

James LaFond reviews Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day by Wayne Vansant

2012, Zenith Press, NY, 103 pages

Normandy is a 6 by 9 inch comic with three to five cleanly depicted scenes on each page. The lettering is something I can actually read, unlike most comics. Each pages has at least one panoramic image from margin to margin. The soldiers and officers have individualized faces presenting a wide scope of personality types and emotions.

The action is covered in fifteen chapters, from D-Day, June 6, in Second Front Now! to “Aux Barricades!” which covers the liberation of Paris. The text was well-researched, the equipment authentic and the action so realistic it was not possible to follow a set of heroes through the many engagements. Every unit of Allies or Germans are depicted in a balanced and humane fashion, from slaughtered fools, to lucky heroes and diabolical meat-makers.

Wayne Vansant demonstrates a keen appreciation of the campaign to take and breakout from Normandy, from Omaha Beach, to the Bocage, the hedgerows, Cherbourg and on toward Paris. Unit types include GIs, Canadians, Scots, Brits and even Hitler Youth among the Germans. The author manages to show war as a brutal ugly business without demeaning the combatants.

Thanks to Mescaline Franklin for the loan of this book.

(c) 2018 James LaFond