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Saturday, March 11, 2017

s.junger's "tribe"


S. JUNGER’S “TRIBE”
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note: got Amazon prime?  Of course, the great survival bunker movie "10 Cloverfield Lane" is free for members ( I don't pay for it, I'm on my stepdaughters plan as a second viewing device-the reason I got to watch The Soprano's ).  But I just found another that was incredible.  "Captain Fantastic" is a well acted great scripted look at a guy raising his kids in the wilderness who has to come back to civilization.  Many prepper aspects, but mainly just a great movie.  A touch of humor so it doesn't get morose.  Recommended.
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note: guest article tomorrow.  Gun porn, yo!
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Sebastian Junger was the author of “The Perfect Storm”, a best seller that got turned into a movie that seemingly everyone watched because it had a Hollywood hunk in it.  I never read the book or watched the movie.  Okay, just because you know how a movie is going to end or that it is the favorite of hormonal teenage girls doesn’t make it a bad film.  I enjoyed “Titanic” although I did get to watch it at a discount theatre so there wasn’t much of an investment to mar any pleasure from its viewing.  Not that this matters as I’m essentially watching free movies on Netflix and a lot of those just plain suck.  But to me, already knowing everyone dies in “Storm”, and the whole movie being about, you know, a storm, was just off-putting.  It could have been a great movie, but I’ll never know.  My point is that the movie disinclined my reading the book.  When I did get a cheap copy of his book “Fire”, I was not impressed enough to get past the first chapter.  So, when “Tribe” came out, I didn’t exactly rush to the nearest Amazon “Buy Now” click button. 

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The idea interested me, as I enjoy non-educational institution books on anthropology and I’ve been fascinated with the whole cultural and psychological aspects of our artificial modern petroleum age existence.  This book seemed just what I’d love reading on.  Of course, I’m rather spoiled as a modern American consumer and in books I demand both quantity and quality.  I want a cheap book well written, and lots of them.  And at barely over a hundred pages, this book was a bit of a rip-off at $15.  Worse, no one wanted to give up their copy on the used market and hence there was little discount there.  And if I sacrificed by foregoing dead trees, my Kindle copy saved me a paltry zero in savings ( compared to used plus shipping cost ).  Plus, I was just burned by that damn Redneck Elegy book where everyone seemed to love it for no reason and I mostly wasted my money.  I was VERY leery of getting my own copy for all the above reasons. 

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And guess what?  I was right.  The thing pretty much blew chunks.  I went to the library and checked this out, and I was far from impressed.  It is a paltry 33,000 words of mostly regurgitated ideas I’ve run into before, with just a few original, or at least less explored, ideas.  If you’ve read up on the culture of American Indians, and any generalized anthropology, you don’t need this book.  The premise was sound, and welcome.  American culture blows, and is giving its veterans a raw deal in yet another way.  And humans are still at heart naked apes and hunter/gatherers.  But to pay $15 to be reminded?  What I would like to do here is to take his thesis  and generally critique it.  His idea that situations that duplicate tribes, such as combat, and that once that tribe dissolves mental disruption occurs is good enough.  True as far as it goes.  And while it was in fact observed that primal root cultures are natural, I think the analysis didn’t go far enough.  It isn’t just a close knit community that is important, but WHAT we do in those communities that should be paramount.

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In other words, the community is the surface.  Under that, how and why we live is just as important.  The author touches on Indian cultures that incorporate warrior ethos, but his whole narrative distracts from that by focusing on non-combatants far too much.  So, while small unit community is needed, what we also need is a return to our natural occupation of warrior ( again, this is BRIEFLY touched on, but as a side note rather than focus ).  Junger mentions the shared trait of self-sacrifice but again, includes that with Peace Corp workers, wartime civilians and the like.  I wonder how much returning vets miss that small unit cohesion, or how much they miss the actual return to sanctioned violence.  Because just belonging to a small unit doesn’t seem to be sufficient.  My military unit of a mere squad was a great bonding experience, but it was a passing pleasure I was unaffected in leaving.  It was my experience that the military has crappy unit cohesion.  Far too many of the members are Politically Correct assignees, and far too many more are career goal ass kissing talent-less bureaucratic candidates.  If that unit is involved in combat, I’d imagine the cohesion came from that rather than just by virtue of being a small group. 

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Feminists and ZPG’s ( Zero Population Growth’ers ) disparagingly call mothers “breeders”.  It is a funny label, on par with otherwise worthless males baring the name “sperm donors “.  But essentially that is what women of a certain age are, what they excel at and what comes naturally to them.  It is what evolution/Creator designed them for, optimally ( all biologics being compromises, plus with the understanding culture and tools allow other tasks ).  Similarly, males are at heart warriors.  I find little problem with glorifying activities that in which we were designed for.  If an airplane can taxi down a roadway, it isn’t a very good car.  But it still flies real well.  Gender roles are similar.  I don’t find it difficult to believe females are really here for little else than to spawn, nor do I assume killing other tribesmen is a bad thing for males to do.  But of course, nationalism demands we don’t glorify the warrior, just the soldier.  Males must be meek and mild until we give them license by issuing a uniform, then after the uniform is retired he must return to glorifying his quasi-female role.  And we wonder of the mental confliction that results?

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“Tribe” could have been a lot better than an extended magazine article that it is ( said with the understanding that magazines are following their newspaper counterparts in publishing less and less in depth knowledge and instead barely entertaining on a primary school level to attract readership from the mostly illiterate ).

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8 comments:

  1. Huh, ZPG? Never heard of that before. People who think that we should stop population growth?

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    Replies
    1. Big back in the day. Not sure if I got the name 100%.

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  2. I would like to remind everyone here to not forget about abebooks and alibris. A couple of years ago Survival Blog mentioned Taylor Caldwell's book The Devil's Advocate, so I go to Amazon to look for a used copy. There was nothing to be gotten for under $15. I looked on abebooks and there were dozens for 99 cents.

    Good luck on your new life-chapter without the job. I lost my $15/hr job two years ago and realized that I'm better off not working. I now see that what it did to us in taxes and the cost of a second vehicle to drive to work meant that I was actually only making less than $6/hr. Like Gary in Bama said: "No profit in working".

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    1. Amazon is cheapest the majority of the time. But, of course, shop around. Like Wally, some day you turn out to become the High Price Leader. Thanks.

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  3. The ending of 10 Cloverfield lane ruined the whole movie. Just like the end of Balboa which would have been ruined had they gone with the alternate ending. They didn't and it's one of my favourite flicks ever

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    Re: Lord Bisons military service. In the UK I believe you join a specific unit and you remain with that unit. That unit has ties with the local area that stretch for a significant amount of time (late 1800's). I'd imagine that would change things as far as life long "mate ship"

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    Re: Tribes

    I found Jack Donovans work (The way of Men & Becoming a Barbarian) to be very informative. Basic version is that MEN naturally form groups (10-12) for mutual defence, ergo FORM a gang / tribe of loyal men who have your back.

    Of course he goes into more detail than that ;-)

    http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2011/03/violence-is-golden/

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    Replies
    1. 10 Cloverfield had an odd, out of place ending, but I submit to you it wasn't bad enough to ruin the whole movie. To me, it was more a tie-in to its mothership movie. Almost every country has better unit organization than the US. I think it is because our elite lust after the Junker model rather than the German model of military everything. Donovan's work IS very good. Worth the money and time.

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  4. http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gear/a22952/opinel-no-8-knife-geek/

    A testimony of an epiphany, or in other words from the Yuppie Approach to the BIC Approach.

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    Replies
    1. Good article-nice to see a common sense approach to anything anymore.

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