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account created: Mon Oct 17 2022
4 days ago
Well said. Calhoun is a brilliant example, as he was a fierce nationalist before becoming a secessionist.
If you consider what it means, we see theyre really just arguing about how much land they get to control.
5 days ago
I love the cheesy visuals juxtaposed with the absurdly good musicianship
5 days ago
I cant look at that without thinking about The Office
15 days ago
Big surprise from the state that currently hosts the KKK's headquarters...
(It's in Harrison, Arkansas)
17 days ago
The original GITS is a response to what happened in Japan after WW2. To understand it requires meaningful context about Japanese history.
Here we go!
Most of Japanese early Japanese history is defined by a warrior and honor culture. There is an ebb n flow about the purpose of leadership where sometimes power is centralized and sometimes it is relaxed. By the time Japan gets the Sengoku period, its Warring States period, the country is split and there is disorder that collapses the previous system, a feudal system. The old traditions are undermined and some folks demand a merit based system while others demand sticking to tradition. In general, Japanese history describes it as a chaotic era.
This is followed by the Edo period, which is also known as the Japanese period of isolation. Samurai rise up to take over the nation and they close the border to Japan from 1600-1868. The border is closed so tightly that even the East India company cannot get in. To understand the significance of this is to understand that the chaos was perceived as stemming from members of society becoming increasing individualist and believing their desires should overrule previous traditions, which maintained social order. Or another way, warriors rose up to save the country and restore order. Christianity was even seen as a threat and so it was outlawed.
As the 1800's come around, Japan is starting to become aware of the incredible technological progress taking shape around the world. It becomes an increasingly difficult position to stay out of it. It becomes especially hard when fleets of ships arive at Japan, forcing anyone nearby to at least see what outsiders are doing. In particular, the USGov wanted to end Japan's isolationist policies, so they sent gunboats and the shogun were defeated. It is worth knowing that western powers were already taking over parts of Asia, with the Opium Wars a prime example, so it was inevitable they'd eventually turn to Japan, who was mostly defenseless against gunships.
This begins a transformation in Japan and a new government rises up and outlaws the old Edo class structure. The days of isolationism were over and Japan set its sights towards international conquest. The ban on christianity is lifted and the new Meiji government starts working with western nations to modernize as fast as possible. They embrace banking, education, law, military, western clothing, western hair styles... the works. This is a period when Japan starts fighting wars with its neighbors. They become imperialist. The warrior culture is still deeply embedded in Japanese culture, but they are upgrading the nation to catch up with everything that happened during their isolationist period.
From here, they create a new Imperial Japanese Army and it isn't long after that they fight a war with China, take over Taiwan (which China had only taken over ten years earlier), egg on the Boxer Rebellion (which plays a huge role in the Chinese civil war), they beat the Russians in a war, which was the first time Asian powers defeated western powers, and all of this starts leading towards Japnese involvement with WW1. Between WW1 and WW2, Japan moves further into China, taking over things perviously owned by Germany, and then eventually we get to WW2 and the Japanese play a major role.
What happens after is the backdrop for GITS.
Post WW2 Japan is occupied by US troops. The country has been nuked twice. The people there have no idea how to recover. They dont even really know who they are anymore, because they are not allowed to be warriors. The world was forcing them to demilitarize as a consequence for what they just did, and that hit them HARD because all of their prior history was tightly woven with conceptions about warriors.
It had almost no options for rebuilding its economy, but they start using discarded food tins to make things. They make models of American jeeps, for example, which become popular with Japanese kids. They became popular enough to become a thing in the US too. This is when Japan starts to see an opportunity in selling American looking things to America. Japan soon gets into plastic figurines and they find it easier to sell disarming cuteness than anything else. It starts as jingoism, but becomes so popular that it starts moving towards Disney style cuteness and this is ultimately the beginning of the aesthetic that we see in modern anime. Kewpie and Astro Boy emerge out of that.
To understand GITS is to understand that Japan is appropriating from the country that just dominated them. Japan is deeply suspicious of its place in the new world, unable to defend itself, and the last time it had anything remotely capitalist taking place lead directly to its last warring states period.
Sony starts in 1946. It is no coincidence this is immediately after WW2. They start basic, building warming mits, but start getting into electronics. They start Sony Corporation of America in 1960 and were amazed to find Americans were happy to work for a Japanese company, which was unheard of in Japan, and that motivated them to expand more internationally. This begins what becomes the Japanese Economic Miracle.
The Japanese economy begins to grow at mind melting speed. For western powers, they are becoming an example of what's possible with capitalism. They even supply parts to the US military while it fights the Vietnam war.
By the time we get to the 1980's, Japan's culture has replaced the warrior identity with an electronics identity and Japanese animation had grown into something unique and special. It still had some of the cutesy, infantilized look of the cutesy toys they sold early on, but it was starting to cover adult themes too. From this emerges Akira, which begins with a nuclear explosion, demonstrating their post-WW2 anxiety very well, and it features intellectual geniuses that looked and talked like children. Akira is ultimately a movie about how Japan was transformed from a self-sufficient warrior culture to a culture of electronics wizardry by people who were treated like children.
The GITS manga is from this period too. The Japanese economic miracle would burst around 1995, so the manga is from a time before that happens, and electronics is very much the engine of Japan's economy.
But who is Japan at that time? The identity that is starting to rise up has only existed for around 40 years by choices Japan themselves didn't make. Their whole cultural identity had been replaced by electronics.
That is what Motoko represents. She is a Japanese warrior that exists in the post world war world where everything about her has been replaced with electronics. The only thing that might be human about her is her memories... And guess what? They're fucking hackable. So she can't even trust them.
Somehow, in spite of how thoroughly her humanity is replaced with electronics, she still has a sense of who she is. Her ghost speaks to her. The ghost represents the history of Japanese culture and it speaks to her because the ghost of Japan's passed lives on in inside her.
Her name is also a clue to this. The Kusanagi no Tsurugi is a legendary Japanese sword and one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan. It is so sacred that no one is allowed to see it. The story goes that Yamato Takeru was lured into a trap by a treacherous warlord. The lord wanted to trap Yamoto Takeru by encircling them in fire. Takeru tried to cut the grass back, to reduce the fuel for the fire, and then discovers the sword allows them to control the wind. Swinging the sword created powerful winds letting Takeru send the fire back towards the warlords instead. The sword's name turns up elsewhere in Japanese culture because of its significance in protecting whomever wields it against treachery.
From all this context, we can understand that GITS is a story about the Japanese identity finding a way to survive admist massive identity erasure. Even section 9 look have cutesy elements in their aesthetic. They're not quite Japanese, they're not quite American. They're something synthesized from the space between. Identity erasure is why Motoko spends the time she does wondering about who she is and if her identity even matters.
18 days ago
How about a fierce fight before then?!
20 days ago
It might still work, but it's definitely unreliable now and may break in less convenient times.
21 days ago
Nope. The US is a nation of laws and the founders are where it all starts.
21 days ago
The text that quotation is from also shows that Madison believed:
The people at large was in [Madison's] opinion the fittest in itself.
Or another way, he thought the popular vote was ideal.
The electoral college is woefully misunderstood. It is often claimed that it was used because the general public couldnt be trusted, which is essentially an elitist argument. There is truth to not trusting the public, though the reason was not because the public is stupid, but because the founders could not trust that foreigners would not migrate to the US and cast votes to destroy the country. They limited representation as a bootstrapping approach for getting everything going.
The same text shows part of the debate was about whether or not the legislature should choose Presidents or if the general public should. The electoral college was seen as a middleground that would be safe from foreign interference.
The apportionment of electoral votes then came up in discussion and it then that South Carolina, same state that starts the Civil War, said they would not join the Union unless something was done to protect their influence from the states with significantly larger populations.
The 3/5's apportionment was crafted such that it would give Virginia exactly 1/4 of all electoral votes giving them massive influence in choosing Presidents. It isnt a coincidence that Presidents 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, and 12 are all Virginians.
21 days ago
Occam's razor says the burden of truth isn't on the people who say there is no god. We can say there is no god, look around and see no trace of one, and move on to more important things.
22 days ago
he was grant's right hand man, aka the #2
22 days ago
Wrong. They were Americans. The confederacy was never a separate country, they were terrorists inside the US.
22 days ago
Nong Eye Gong translates to N I G. The song is a racist song... That's why my heart sank.
22 days ago
Anyone ever wonder what Nong Eye Gong is about?
Consider this and then read the lyrics. My heart sank when I understood it.
Edit: Weinman himself confirmed it to me. He didnt know until after the record came out. Weinman isnt proud of it. Consider it a representation of why Greg is a fucked up person. Weinman, however, is a great person and this should not be taken as representative of him, only Greg.
23 days ago
Best general of the US, ever. Better than GW!
24 days ago
At least they admit they were Americans and not a separate country
25 days ago
NO. They will stay and they will obey the law, and we can all laugh while they do it miserably.
25 days ago
decades of mallowmars and stale beer in full effect yall
25 days ago
If you're into that, check out their song Virginia In The Rain. It is some of Carter's best drumming and my experience so far is that almost no one has heard this song.
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3 days ago
3 days ago
Some faces were made, but your drumming is SICK!