Rotten Daffodils

By Thomas Jones

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There is a tendency among the Welsh to show great pride in the deeds of past ancestors who fought against English conquest; of men who wanted to force the English back, the championing of a distinct Welsh identity, the preservation of the nation’s culture, it’s heritage and it’s language. However, as with so many of the Scots and Irish, such fervour doesn’t appear to extend to the current and even greater invasion coming from third worlds. In fact, it would seem that the political leaders of modern Wales are, in a complete volte-face from those of popular heroes like Owain Glyndwr, actually making it easier for foreigners to undermine and displace the Welsh people in their own homeland.

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The Logic of Modern Art

By Integral Axis

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The essence of modern art is the negation of beauty. The value of beauty – along with its association with the sacred – is inverted. Ugliness and vulgarity are now put forward as ‘art.’

The method for how this is done:

Beauty has two forms: 1) beauty-without-form (generalised beauty), 2) and beauty-with-form (the beauty of particular things.) There is, additionally, the perennial connection between the aesthetic and the sacred.

This gives three means of inverting beauty:

  1. Inversion of beauty-without-form
  2. Inversion of beauty-with-form
  3. Inversion of aesthetic/sacred link

We will begin by looking at 1) beauty-without-form.

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Modern Architecture and Ugliness

By Edwin Harwood

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The Barbican Centre, London

It has been voted the ugliest building in London, a city which has had
more criminally distasteful erections than Jimmy Saville. I attended a
debate at the Barbican centre for the battle of ideas conference on
the subject of conflict between architectural modernisation and
preservation. As I approached the sprawling, barbaric, Brutalist
beast, whose concrete entrails spill forth in every direction, I was
deeply disgusted in a palpably physical sense. The only redeeming
features, the conservatory and ponds, are those which rely on the
inherent and eternal beauty of nature. The building itself wilfully
ignores the history of the land it was built upon; its construction,
therefore, was an act of hatred.

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Arrogant, Brazen Turks

By Thomas Jones

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Throughout its history, Turkey has been the scene of many an invasion and migration of peoples moving west-east and vice versa. The Ottomans absorbed many cultural aspects of the various regions they conquered, often added new dimensions to them. As such, the Turks are predominantly a mix of West Mediterranean, West Asian (Semitic) and even Central Asian ethnic backgrounds; all since unified by a common tongue and faith.

The historian Andrew Mango, noted for his biographical work on the Turkish Republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, describes the Turkish nation as such:

“The Turkish nation took shape in the centuries of Seljuk and Ottoman power. The nomadic Turkish conquerors did not displace the original local inhabitants: Hellenized Anatolians (or simply Greeks), Armenians, people of Caucasian origins, Kurds, Assyrians and—in the Balkans—Slavs, Albanians and others. They intermarried with them, while many local people converted to Islam and ‘turned Turk’. They were joined by Muslims from the lands north of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, by Persian craftsmen and Arab scholars, and by European adventurers and converts, known in the West as renegades. As a result, the Turks today exhibit a wide variety of ethnic types. Some have delicate Far Eastern, others heavy local Anatolian features, some, who are descended from Slavs, Albanians or Circassians, have light complexions, others are dark-skinned, many look Mediterranean, others Central Asian, many appear Persian. A numerically small, but commercially and intellectually important, group is descended from converts from Judaism. One can hear Turks describe some of their fellow countrymen as ‘hatchet-nosed Lazes’ (a people on the Black Sea coast), ‘dark Arabs’ (a term which includes descendants of black slaves), or even ‘fellahs’. But they are all Turks.”

Prior to Ottoman defeat in WWI, giving way to language reforms initiated by Atatürk, the Turkish language was heavily influenced by both Arabic and Persian. Turkey’s largest religion, Islam, is in many ways an expression of Arab culture. Indeed, Atatürk, a secularist, claimed it was a form of Arab nationalism. Atatürk tried to eradicate the old Arab-Persian cultural dominance and Islam in favour of a renewed Turkish language, culture, and French-style laïcité secularism. It didn’t work.

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A Manifesto for Living, In Short

By Badb Catha

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I. Humanity

The human condition is unalterable. Unless mankind in its totality is profoundly altered by some artificial or supernatural means, the fundamentals; his motivations, instincts and behaviours will remain set. There is no linear line of progress and there is no ‘right side of history’. Civilisations can only ever progress to a peak point of stability and material prosperity. In order to survive any great test of time, efforts must be made to preserve the foundations, limitations must be placed on further developments, and unnecessary experimental alterations must be avoided. As with any important piece of architecture, structural integrity, stability and longevity should be treated as paramount. If not, boundlessness will give way to ruin, paradise is lost, and the once lofty civilisation will plunge itself back into the primordial swamp from which it sprung. Unfortunately, a conservative attitude is no guarantee of a continued existence. Civilisation is the product of exceptional individuals, and exceptional individuals are rather few and far between.

As man is neither perfect or indestructible by design, a perfect or indestructible man-made system or civilisation is not possible. A stable and orderly system, built upon man’s immutable nature and functioning in accordance with it, is.

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Danes Lead the Way?

By Thomas Jones

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Dannebrog falling from the sky during the battle of Lyndanisse, Christian August Lorentzen

Sweden has become rather notorious in right-wing circles of late. Their quest to become the progressive jewel in the crown of the EU has led them to become a joke in the eyes of many, with the ‘Captain Sweden and ‘Sweden Yes’ memes being good examples. It is a shame that a country which could produce men like Gustav II Adolf could become a nation ruled by people who become upset when they realise they can only play host so many Somali and Arab migrants. Sweden is much like Canada or Germany in this regard. Although, in all fairness, the dynamics are quite different. Germany is in a stranglehold, supposedly indebted, endlessly apologetic, and crumbling under the weight the greatest guilt complex in Europe. Canada, meanwhile, anxious to atone for its own colonial origins, finds solace in PR campaigns designed to promote itself as niceness and humility incarnate. Indeed, Justin Trudeau, a man with maple syrup for blood, makes the job a fair bit easier. Sweden carries a much lighter load. Pure as its own driven snow, this is a nation at the bottom of the list for finger pointers, and yet it insists on outdoing everyone else in the competition of self-destructive tolerance.

In Norway, another nation subject to only a small measure historical grievances, constitutional monarch Harald V recently decided to (perhaps, under duress) declare his support for the usual policies of multiculturalism, endless mass immigration, feminism, LGBT pandering, so on and so forth.

However, not everything is so bleak in Scandinavia, as Sweden’s historical rival and Norway’s former master, Denmark, appear to have taken some positive steps forward.

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Rejecting the Heroic

By Badb Catha

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The Hero’s Journey (aka The Monomyth), as outlined by Joseph Campbell

Culture may be described as a product of both logos and mythos, with both modes of interpretation and understanding working in synthesis, or with one as a product of the other. Artists, musicians, poets, philosophers, theologians, political theorists, statesmen and others rely on the tools of logos in order to create their own works of mythos. While some my favour and utilise one to a greater degree than the other, the realm of culture is a playground of both the concrete and the abstract, the rational and the intuitive. The academic study of mythology itself may be best understood as the application of logos to the products of mythos. This is nicely illustrated by the term’s etymology.

A theme of particular prominence and endurance in the mythological canon is that or the hero and his journey. The hero, upon hearing the call to action, typically embarks upon a dangerous journey into the unknown. Often, this journey is a descent. Often, as with Psyche, Horus and Christ, it is a descent to the very bottom of the pit, down to Hades, the Egyptian underworld, to Hell. Christ shares common themes in the unlikely form of Dionysus, who, like Shiva and many other deities, exemplifies the long tradition of the dying-and-rising God of life-death-rebirth. The hero who returns from the underworld expresses a number of eschatological themes, with the cyclical nature of time and existence being one of the most prominent.

“In imitating the exemplary acts of a god or of a mythic hero, or simply by recounting their adventures, the man of an archaic society detaches himself from profane time and magically re-enters the Great Time, the sacred time.” – Mircea Eliade

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EYE OF THE MAELSTRÖM: A Tribute to Wyndham Lewis

By David Yorkshire

Originally published on the Mjolnir Magazine blog.

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Mr Wyndham Lewis as a Tyro, self-portrait, 1921

The artist and writer Wyndham Lewis, born Percy Wyndham Lewis, styled The Enemy, was born on 18th November 1882 and is still very much alive, even if a cross-section of his brain has been dunked in a perspex case of formalin and stored in the Pathology Museum now in Hammersmith. A naturally rather antagonistic chap, he hit the London art scene like a dishevelled brick upon his arrival from Canada in 1908, and, while his effect on mainstream culture was extremely limited in his own time, his influence on the modernist movement from the 1910s onward has transformed contemporary art both in terms of succession and reaction to his life, politics, and work.

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Meddling Websites and Stupid Frogs

By Badb Catha

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If it isn’t Russians, it’s the internet. It was the internet that caused Brexit, the internet that cost Hillary the US Presidency, and it was the internet that transformed multitudes of docile rabbit-people into rabidly xenophobic, uh… Frogs. “And we would have gotten away with it, too, if not for…” Right, gotcha.

While Dems have been bumping into admirers in the woods and scheduling emergency talks with Uriah Heap, Twitter, well known for suppressing trending hashtags, have begun purging the accounts of popular figures guilty of badthink, hatefacts, and other inconvenient blasphemies. Over in Berlin, Angela Merkel and Barack Obama recently teamed up to discuss the problem of social media and who chews over what. The war on ‘okey-doke’ and heresy looks to be stepping up a notch.

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Genetic Testing and Identity

By Thomas Jones

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23andMe, a personal genomics and biotechnology company, has been much discussed since its launch in 2006. In 2008, when the company was offering estimates of “predisposition for more than 90 traits and conditions ranging from baldness to blindness”, Time magazine named the saliva-based personal genome test ‘Invention of the Year’. By 2012, the company had doubled its existing capital. In 2015, that capital hit $241 million.

When I first saw the adverts for 23andMe, it seemed that the primary purpose was to assess the customer’s predisposition to certain diseases and health problems, such as certain cancers, coronary heart disease, possible drug responses, and the possibility of various inherited conditions. This is the first advertisement that I ever saw from them. One of the last lines is “learn more about your health” as if to imply that medical testing is the primary function of their product and services. However, the company’s marketing has since changed with a greater focus being on ancestry and ethnicity. The latest version of the website now features two major services; one is for ‘health and ancestry’, while the other simply concerns ‘ancestry’.

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