Charlie's Blog: Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 64

5.27.2018

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 64


I've been accused of vulgarity. I say that's bullsh*t.
MEL BROOKS


Ann Barnhardt can be dismissed as a crazy person. But if you choose to not go down the ad hominem path and listen to what she says, it will trouble you because her arguments are forceful and persuasive. In this case, she makes a compelling argument that Benedict is still the pope while Francis is an antipope. It is worth your time to read and consider her argument.

The one thing that she has convinced me on is that there can be no such thing as a "Pope Emeritus." Ratzinger has blundered mightily in this regard. Had he donned a simple black cassock and gone back to Germany to retire, this would not be a debate. But the man did not do this. In addition, people give Benedict a deference as if he is still the pope. Even Francis does this. The fact is that Pope Benedict XVI could issue a single sentence and turn the Catholic world upside down. It's as if Francis serves at the silence of his predecessor.

So, is Francis an antipope? Barnhardt certainly thinks so. For me, I think it is above my pay grade. But I absolutely agree with her that there is no such thing as a bifurcated papacy. Pope Benedict XVI erred when he thought such a thing was possible. This leaves the question of the validity of his resignation. Does a half-ass resignation count? This is the part of the Barnhardt Thesis that I find weak. She says it doesn't count.

If you were to ask Ratzinger who is the pope, he would most certainly point to Francis. The man might be mistaken about his current role, but I don't think he was mistaken in the expectation that another man would take his place once he vacated it. Ratzinger believed and intended to relinquish the papacy.

Ratzinger's obvious objective with the emeritus scheme was to establish an option for future pontiffs to relinquish the office while retaining some of the dignity of their former position. This is done for priests, bishops, and cardinals. Should it be done for popes? After watching the pitiful decline of Pope St. John Paul II from Parkinson's disease, Ratzinger clearly thought something should be changed to allow a pontiff to retire.

Assuming Ann Barnhardt is totally correct in her thesis, it doesn't change anything because it is above her pay grade as well. This mess will have to be sorted out by a future pontiff and/or council. But I would not be surprised at all if Francis turned out to be an antipope. He is certainly a disaster.

2. COBRA KAI

The 80s are being strip mined for material for new movies and television shows. One of these artifacts being revisited is the Karate Kid saga and the Cobra Kai series on YouTube Red. I haven't watched any of the episodes as I prefer to not pay for television. But you can get the entire plot on Wikipedia. I've watched the trailers and read what some critics had to say. It is an interesting series.

It is easy to see that Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kai dojo/creed is basically the alt-right today. In the original movie, Johnny and the Cobras were just cartoonish bad guys. In the new series, Johnny is portrayed in a sympathetic light. In a world of pansies, it is refreshing to see a display of manliness even if it is the warped and merciless manliness of the Cobra Kai dojo.


You would think that the defeat of the Cobra Kai dojo in the original movie would have spelled the end of the Cobra Kai philosophy. These guys were essentially karate Nazis replacing virtue with raw aggression. This is to be contrasted with the Daniel/Miyagi way of virtue, character, and balance.

Whether intentional or not, the Cobra Kai series reflects the cultural tensions we see today. SBPDL picked up on this and argues that the Cobra Kai were actually the good guys. And that, Gentle Reader, is a problem. There is a big difference between a knight and a barbarian. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people have forgotten this.

3. FREEMIUM

I understand that it takes money to produce and host content on the internet. But I grew up watching television and listening to the radio for free long before there was the internet. The only thing you subscribed to in the old days were newspapers, magazines, and HBO. The internet slaughtered the old media with an unbeatable advantage. It was free. Granted, you had to pay to get online either through dial up services or cable providers. But you had all that free content once you paid that initial toll. Now, they want to charge you again for content.

High traffic websites find it easy to pay the bills. They offer advertising. The Drudge Report has no problem making money. Of course, Drudge doesn't actually produce content but selects content others have produced. Naturally, he likes to puts links to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other outlets that have paywalls. Some paywalls are harder than others. I think Drudge's days are numbered. Those paywalls will make his deeplinking an exercise in frustration.

Most outlets today are going with the model known as "freemium." Basically, they offer some content for free to bait you then try and sell you premium content. YouTube does this with its Red service. The New York Times and other outlets give you so many free articles per month.

Does the freemium model work? The New York Times currently has 2.33 million digital subscribers. That is roughly the same number of subscribers that Alex Jones has on his YouTube channel alone. Jones pays for his operation with a store offering his own products. Basically, you can watch and listen to Infowars and Alex Jones for free. You have to pay for the Times. I think the Alex Jones model is way better.

People are willing to pay for media, but they have higher expectations when they shell out cash. I think Alex Jones makes awesome money from his venture while the NYT struggles. Everything I read about the Times says it is not doing so great. Most of its revenue comes from readers now and not advertisers.

My issues with freemium are personal. I don't want to pay for this information, and I am not going to pay for it. I'll pay for products on Amazon, but I am never going to pay to watch cat videos on YouTube. I certainly wouldn't pay to read a blog and that includes my own. The simple fact is that the internet is finally rectifying its economics, and it looks almost identical to the old media. Netflix is HBO. Alex Jones is the new Rush Limbaugh. And all of the word based websites want to make money off both readers and advertisers just like the newspapers and magazines. What was the point of having the internet?

4. ABORTION IN IRELAND

The people of Ireland have voted to legalize abortion in their country. Meanwhile, Pope Francis has said and done very little to prevent this calamity. This is a sad time for Ireland and for the Roman Catholic Church.

The first thing that needs to be addressed is Francis. I just find it staggering that our bishop in white has said and done so little in regard to this referendum. Remember, this is a guy who has railed about migrants and took Trump to task over immigration and building walls instead of bridges. Yet, when it comes to the unborn, this guy caters to the left wing. This is a disgrace.

The second thing is that the people of Ireland who have voted for this evil can safely be considered to be in a state of mortal sin. It is unlikely that any of them will confess this sin and repent of it considering for themselves that this wrong is actually right. Since their repentance is unlikely, they will certainly die in this state of mortal sin and damn their souls for eternity. Unlike the USA where abortion was legalized by a handful of Supreme Court justices, the Irish people own this. This is on them. God have mercy on their souls.

The third thing is that this is a major blow for the pro-life cause. When a majority Catholic country that already outlaws abortion votes to legalize it, what reasonable hope do we have that we can get it outlawed anywhere else? In the USA, Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for virtually my entire life. What have all of our prayers and political action amounted to?

The reality is that abortion exists in this dark world because it is a dark world indeed. The rock band U2 came out in favor of abortion which shocked many of their Christian fans who were under the delusion that the members of U2 were actually Christians. The reality is that they are hypocrites and have damned themselves along with the majority of Ireland. And the moral light from the Vatican is nowhere to be seen.

5. ODDS AND ENDS

--If you're going to make a Han Solo movie, you need to hire someone who can actually play the part of Han Solo.

--The NFL finally decided it wants to make money again by clamping down on anthem kneelers. Meanwhile, many Americans have discovered they have better things to do with their lives than watch spoiled athletes disgrace our nation.

--Leftists need to be reminded that Obama never had North Korea begging for peace talks. Trump can't mess this up because he made it happen where others didn't.

--I wonder if Morgan Freeman will be sharing a cell with Bill Cosby.

--God does not make people gay. Unfortunately, Pope Francis thinks He does.

--MS-13 gang members are human beings, but they behave like animals. They are evil. Yet, people are worried that these rapists and murderers might be offended by some truthful remarks. Somehow, Trump is more evil than these animals. The mind boggles.

6. LINKS OF INTEREST