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Messages - Weltmacht

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Interzone / Re: Unemployment
« on: August 14, 2011, 05:13:03 PM »
Yes so many companies are understaffed, they cannot find anyone decent out of all those who apply, I mean it's not easy to flip a burger you fucking idiot.

While I can't speak to the relative difficulty of flipping a burger, I can tell you that I have accumulated close to 400 applications since the start of this year; of those, I have been able to narrow it down to approximately 15 that I would consider interviewing for a position at my business. I am not understaffed, but I would be interested in bringing on a couple of people if only I could find ones that weren't retards, total flakes, or otherwise incapable of the basic level of human interaction required to close sales.

One thing I find kind of funny is the tendency (in the US) that you're beginning to see in management, human resources, and recruiting relating to the refusal to consider people who are either currently unemployed or who often have long and unexplained durations of unemployment in their work history. Much hand-wringing has been going on lately about "discriminatory" hiring practices that deliberately exclude people who are conspicuously unemployed. The theory is that all the best people already have jobs; these are the people of quality who were able to survive the layoffs and cutbacks and the lean years starting in 2008 who really demonstrated through their work ethic and performance that they were worth keeping around despite the overall struggles of many businesses. Employment is looked at through the prism of an investment; you're not just paying someone to perform a task, you're paying them to perform a task better than anyone else so that they generate through their efforts more revenue than they take. If someone was not good enough for Company A while they were in a pinch, why would they be any better at Company B and could they be relied upon to produce positive results in a tough climate? (Note that I'm not 100% behind this idea since I know very well that sometimes workers that you as a manager or business owner would like to keep around simply have to be let go because of legitimate economic concerns unrelated to their actual ability as employees. Likewise, it happens that mediocre "team players" get kept around by employers because they're sycophantic push-overs.)

Quote from: Vigor
take a shower, shave your face, dress nice and go talk to a manager somewhere. use a little charisma.

This can't be overstated. I can tell within less than 30 seconds which applicants are serious and which ones aren't. Someone truly interested in a job will be professional, outgoing, and demonstrate the core competencies expected of the position within a short period of time (chiefly strong and clear communication skills). Conversely, the less serious applicants will almost always be slovenly dressed and hygienically challenged with desperate or passive attitudes. I'm not going to hire someone who can't make the basic effort to make a good first impression on me, or worse, someone who thinks that wearing a pot leaf shirt with barbecue sauce stains on it is making a good impression. After all, if they're willing to present themselves in that fashion to the person giving them their income, how in the world are they going to present themselves to customers/clients?

Quote from: Umbrage
Yes, everybody should work, I agree with being a productive citizen. But a job shouldn't be worn like a badge of self-entitlement, there's enough thoughtless over-consumers already. Hell, if only most of the "job refusers" weren't thoughtless over-consumers themselves they might even be able to stand for something. But let's face it, the majority of people in today's society are useless whether they work at McDonalds or sit at home playing WoW all day long or have their own pool cleaning company or have a PhD in feminist art.

Ideally, everyone should be doing something that they are good at and good for. In the US (and presumably elsewhere), one of our biggest problems is people who go to college/university for degrees they aren't ever going to use simply because they think it makes them more marketable. College attendance among high school graduates is the highest it's ever been, which is all great in the lovey-dovey abstract sense, but does nothing except cheapen the value of a degree. I don't think everyone should go to college; I don't even know that everyone should have the opportunity to go to college. One of the biggest problems with the consumption economy is that it leaves little room for unskilled manual laborers to ply their trade(s) since these jobs have largely been exported elsewhere. It's funny to look at the trade deficits and surpluses that exist between the United States and China; we send them a ton of great raw materials like soybeans and crap like yarn while they send us all our wonderful gadgets and toys and appliances. Which produces at the level of an industrial superpower and which produces at the level of a third world colony?

In any case, assuming that the political/business class ever wakes up (or finds itself obsolete and replaced) and decides to aim for something resembling self-sufficiency, the country would benefit greatly from a more robust system of vocational schools and programs. I think all students should take an aptitude test (or a series of them) throughout high school to determine what their ideal career placement should be and that they should then be put on that track. It would cut down on degree inflation and actually place people in positions where they can find meaningful and fulfilling work doing something they're good at.

There will always of course be people who are just completely useless and unable to contribute to society in any economically meaningful way; they can fend for themselves.

Metal / Re: Why the 1990s were good for metal
« on: August 09, 2011, 04:16:38 PM »
1980s showed us our future: bad politics, endless racial conflict, corruption and failure.

That's why Generation X was so fucked up. They saw the last dregs of beautiful innocent America and then right about when they hit 16, they saw the coming storm.

Millennials/Y have no clue.

Just out of curiosity, do you think it's possible for the current generation to come to a similar realization down the road? The type of ugliness Generation X was exposed to is something generally celebrated today, so perhaps that numbs the current group a bit. The hysteria surrounding terrorism is both similar and dissimilar to the Cold War milieu, but I think as the international stature of the US begins to slip away, younger people today will have the same feeling that many in Western Europe would have to have had at the end of the 5th century: the uneasy feeling that what had been there before was imperceptibly but irrevocably gone and that things would never be as good as they once had been during a golden age that nobody then living was old enough to remember.

Metal / Re: Why the 1990s were good for metal
« on: August 09, 2011, 04:08:25 PM »
How important do you think the secularisation of Europe was in terms of the decline of the civilisation?  It seems to me that it was the Enlightenment, and the subsequent chic of Atheism amongst the educated, which allowed for the masses to fly in the face of Divine Right and kick their (in many cases arguably shitty) nobles out.

Personally, I think it was very important. I'm not the type of person to regularly sing the praises of Christianity, but its decline clearly contributed to upsetting the entire social order of Europe. The old French expression ni maître ni dieu succinctly expresses the feeling. Industrialization and the emphasis on "scientific" modes of thought removed the veil of mystery surrounding European civilization and its system of governance. The events of 1789, 1848, and 1917 display the consequences of this thinking quite well.

That being said, it doesn't necessarily help that much of the European aristocracy was decadent and fragile. The French noblesse d'épée (lit. "nobles of the sword") were the descendants of knights and lords whose titles were almost nonsensical, given how far removed they were from the function (i.e. soldiery) of their ancestors. An aristocracy founded on military grounds ought to at least maintain that tradition if it's worth anything, in my view.

Metal / Re: Where did it all go wrong?
« on: April 15, 2010, 04:34:01 PM »
Check out this "Twilight" inspired (?) shit (signed on CM).

Everything sounds better with autotune! There's probably a pretty decent amount of money to be made by playing this sort of stuff. It seems like it wouldn't be any big deal to make a bunch of music like this under different pseudonyms (gotta keep that street cred, after all) and spend the cash on stockpiling weapons for when this civilization finishes going down the fucking toilet.

Interzone / Re: Distortion Pedals
« on: December 28, 2009, 07:50:02 PM »
Trusting reviews on Musician's Friend is like trusting an angst-ridden 13 year-old coming out of Hot Topic to know what Metal is. You shouldn't.

It's not much for in-depth analysis, but it's a good starting point for at least seeing what's out there and how much it costs.

Interzone / Re: Where are all the intellectuals?
« on: December 28, 2009, 07:47:49 PM »
Progression of ideas is approaching a near end, and to distinguish oneself from the works of the past is near impossible.

I wouldn't despair too much over that. Virtually all ideas, not matter how radical they seem, are all essentially rehashings of older thoughts. For example, Machiavelli's "the Prince," while undoubtedly a classic of political philosophy, didn't say anything new (Plato used the character Thrasymachus to describe many of the same concepts in "the Republic" and Sun-Tzu's "Art of War" examined many of those ideas on a macrocosmic scale). Nietzsche's Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy is definitely interesting, but the concept is as old as time itself. What we typically see is this:

- Application of old ideas to fit new realities (Marx applying Hegelianism to Industrial economics, Lenin applying Marxism to a semi-feudalistic society, etc.).
- Dialectical synthesis of different concepts to create a new field of inquiry (Marcuse applying Marxism to popular culture, Spengler applying Nietzsche to historical analysis, etc.).

What I find worrying in the context you're talking about is the consensus that exists in contemporary "philosophy." Academia is dominated by "critical theory," which is basically cultural Marxism. One reason you can't find much of worth out there is probably because "everyone agrees" that this is the only way to examine the world in anything but the most superficial way. When "everyone agrees" on something, there's no reason for anyone to talk about it except for mutually congratulatory intellectual masurbation. The free exchange of ideas is alive and well as long as it fits that paradigm; if it doesn't, it's not "serious."

As an aside, something to note is that a lot of the people you mentioned were not particularly famous or well-regarded during their own lifetimes. It might very well be the case that the next great thinker won't be discovered until well after he's dead and someone finds his essays on some obscure internet archive fifty years in the future.

Interzone / Re: Distortion Pedals
« on: December 28, 2009, 07:14:33 PM »
I have a Jackson KE3 Kelly and a Jackson RR3 Rhoads. I use the Digitech Distortion Factory, which offers 7 pretty serviceable metal distortion presets (with room for some customization). My only gripe about it is that the tone is sometimes considerably more trebly than I would like, but for under $100, it's a minor complaint.

Pedals are only part of capturing a good sound, though. You can have the best distortion pedal in the world, but if your amp and your guitar's pickups blow, it's going to sound like shit regardless. I was never fully satisfied with the sound of the Dinky that I had previously owned, which I later discovered had a lot to do with the quality of its pickups (though the model I played was not the DKMG). YMMV, but something to consider, anyway.

Reviews of various distortion/overdrive pedals

Metal / Re: How to Start a Record Label/Music Company
« on: December 17, 2009, 06:06:49 PM »
If you intend to start a label, you need to figure out what you want to get out of it. Do you care about making a profit or do you just want to break even and release music? Are you going to physically manufacture the albums or just distribute them? Do you want it to be a vanity label (i.e. the artists pay you to release their material) or a more traditional one? Do you want your label to attract attention or do you want it to be super underground and inaccessible?

A good second step is to look at the things that infuriate you about already existing labels and (a) understand why those problems exist and (b) see if you can avoid them or even if they're worth avoiding at all. Merchandise that is constantly out of stock is annoying, especially if you've already placed an order for a particular item and you have to find out three weeks later that you won't be receiving it because it's been sold out for two years and nobody bothered to update the goddamned catalogue to reflect this. But maybe the catalogue didn't get updated because it came in an old release and it would be prohibitively expensive to open every copy of every album (or whatever) and put an entirely new run of catalogues in there because of some sold out t-shirt.

General tips:

* A website is a must. It should be easy to navigate with meaningful descriptions of all items and clear directions for ordering them.
* Get a business PayPal account or something similar.
* Don't send anything to anywhere in Asia other than Japan or Singapore. Don't send anything to anyone who won't pay you in the manner(s) with which you are comfortable.
* All written agreements are contracts, regardless of the presence or advice of a lawyer. Read up on contractual law, especially as it relates to the distribution of products.
* On a similar subject, there are basically two types of distribution agreements. The first is where a band brings you a demo and you agree to distribute a particular quantity of it (or at least a more polished version of it) through your label. The second is where you sign an agreement with a band to distribute a certain number of releases within a certain period of time. The first is pretty simple; you've heard the album and you are going to produce 1,000 discs and sell them. The second can be complicated. Let's say you agree to release three albums by a band within three years. The first album is great and you sell out of the first run. The second album comes the following year and it's actually a three-track EP that consists of a 30 second intro, a cover of a Sisters of Mercy song, and a spoken word outro. What do you do? Do you even want the third album at this point? For a small label, it's just easier to only release what you've heard or to at least make the artists agree that you have a say in what gets released (there are many stories about bands quickly recording shitty albums for contractual purposes and then moving on with the good stuff to other labels).
* Unless you want to potentially pay a lot of royalties, dissuade artists on your label from doing cover songs or using other copyrighted material (i.e. samples from movies or similar things).
* Compilations are a great advertising tool for your label, but only if they don't blow.
* If you're going to actually pay to have the albums pressed and put together, remember that buying in bulk is cheaper on an item-for-item basis, but keep realistic expectations in mind. You might get a great deal on ten thousand CDs and jewel cases, but it probably won't be appropriate to choose that package for a dark ambient album that features spoken passages in Orcish.
* Don't agree to do something that you know to be impossible or highly unlikely ("you'll be on tour with Incantation by this time next year!" or "I can get Darken from Graveland to play session keys for you" or "yeah, I'll fly you guys in to record at my bad ass studio" when really it's just a 4-track recorder in your dad's garage).
* Don't make a shitload of merchandise like shirts and bumper stickers if there is absolutely no demand for any of it.
* Don't sign a bunch of shitty bands just to do it.
* Don't spend money you don't have.
* In fact, make sure you personally have a fair amount of money that you can afford to lose and never recover because that's what is likely to happen at the level you're talking about. Don't bank on the Diarrhetic Excretion of Bile/SS-Hitlergott-88 split being able to make you a fortune.

Interzone / Re: Research Paper
« on: December 10, 2009, 06:48:02 PM »
Quote from: I Am The Black Wizards
Mightiest am I, but I am not alone in this cosmos of mine
For the black hills consists of black souls, souls that already died one
thousand deaths
Behind the stone walls of centuries they breed their
black art
Boiling their spells in cauldrons of black gold
Far up in the mountains, where the rain fall not far, yet the sun cannot reach
The wizards, my servants, summon the souls of macrocosm
No age will escape my wrath
I travel through time and I return to the future
I gather wisdom now lost
I visit again the eternally ancient caves
before a mighty Emperor thereupon came Watching the mortals "discovering" my chronicles
guarded by the old demons, even unknown
to me
Once destroyed their souls are being summoned to my timeless prison of hate
It is delightful to feast upon the screaming souls
that was destroyed in my future
How many wizards that serve me with evil I know not
My empires has no limits
From the never ending
mountains black, to the bottomless lakes
I am the ruler and has been for eternity's long
My wizards are many, but their essence is
Forever there are in the hills in their stone homes of
Because I am the spirit of their existence
I am them.


Quote from: Ozymandias
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Interzone / Re: The Return of the "Nativists"
« on: December 06, 2009, 04:28:44 PM »
I think one of the most interesting places where this issue has sprung up in Europe is the Netherlands. Parties who lean both to the left and to the right see Islamic immigration as detrimental, but for different reasons: on the left, Islam is seen as standing against the tolerance and hippie-like atmosphere upon which these people pride themselves; on the right, it's an issue of incompatible traditions and cultures.

France had a chance to effectively address this problem but failed to do so. As a result, roughly 10% of the population adheres to Islam, with the majority of these people being first and second generation immigrants living in urban areas (where they naturally account for a higher proportion of the populations of those areas). I also once read that Germany now has almost twice as many Muslims as Lebanon does. Note that the Muslim populations in all of these countries are outpacing those of the respective natives, the latter of whom do not reproduce even at the necessary rate of population replacement.

The Swiss vote is perhaps a positive first step, but I wonder how long it will take for an Islamic "Civil Rights Movement" to sweep the continent and be met with teary introspection and promises to make things right.

Metal / Literary influences on metal
« on: December 06, 2009, 04:10:41 PM »
I know the subject has been discussed before on this board, but a quick browse of older topics didn't bring up any threads specifically dedicated to it. Metalheads read a lot of the same stuff. Here are two writers that should be obvious:

* J.R.R. Tolkien
* H.P. Lovecraft

The former's influence can be seen in band names like Gorgoroth, Uruk-Hai, Ohtar, and Isengard while lyrically and thematically, he has influenced bands like Summoning and Burzum (also a somewhat indirect name reference). The latter has influenced artists like Morbid Angel, Therion, and Samael, as well as even the most mainstream of all, Metallica; there are also tons of bands out there with names like "Cthulhu" and "Shoggoth."

I've noticed that Tolkien gets a warm reception from both power metal and black metal while Lovecraft seems to be beloved mainly by death metal. Tolkien's stories are the closest thing the West has to a modern mythology and I think power metal bands use them for cheesy heroic effect while black metal bands (usually) use them for their emphasis on a pre-industrial (and fundamentally anti-liberal) world. Lovecraft, on the other hand, was the master of indescribable horror removed from morality; entities and concepts outside of humanity's normal frame of reference are right at home with death metal.

At the risk of turning into this, who are some other fiction writers that have had a direct and perceivable influence on the development of metal and why?

Metal / Re: Why metal bloomed in the 1990s
« on: December 03, 2009, 05:15:46 PM »
Actually, I think the entire internet is amateur philosophy. The concepts that I was talking about have been casually discussed by amateurs like Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Plato, Parmenides, Hegel, and Machiavelli. And thanks for noticing that I'm smart; I think you're pretty smart too! :)

And I don't know that I agree with you. At the risk of playing word games with you, could you flesh out your theory of freedom and metal's place in it? After all, you've said that the hippies wanted to bring freedom to the masses at the expense of the individual (prompting early punk/metal reactions), but you've also said that individualism is not in and of itself a desirable thing. Is it desirable then to curtail certain freedoms? If so, why oppose hippie utilitarianism? Alternately, are we looking for a certain class that is worthy of individuality and another class that is not? You have also pointed out that distinctions between different types of freedom are not valid in the context of this conversation, however, so I'm not sure what your overall contention becomes.

To return to the initial point regarding the changing standards in permissiveness and the structure of social orders, I am curious to see at what point the wheel will come around again. If we take a look at the last 50 or so years microcosmically, we can see certain trends that have repeated themselves over time. In antiquity, the quality of Western art precipitously declined after the third century. A stable order was disrupted for half a century, during which time no important works of art or learning were created. A form of stability returned within another century, but came with the added cost of the ultimate hippie amateur philosophy, and culture again took a nosedive after this new system eventually bred anarchy and fragmentation, the recovery from which took centuries more. Are we going through the same thing now on a smaller scale?

Metal / Re: Why metal bloomed in the 1990s
« on: December 03, 2009, 03:42:10 PM »
Quote from: FenrizTheBrazilianTranny
You should leave the computer more often when you're tired ;) What I read is a long statement why 2+2=4. I think I understand what you're trying to say but I don't understand why you are saying it. Was there anything I wrote that you disagreed with? Because the topic seems to be drifting atm.

I think the point he's trying to make is that freedom (existentially) and rights (societally) are two distinct concepts and that metal is a reaction against the forced melding of the two. A person in North Korea is just as free to complain about the government as a person in Canada is, but only one of those people has the right to do it. Metal (well, meaningful metal) taps into a growing feeling that the industrialized world has replaced freedom with rights and that some people are (sometimes literally) dying to look behind that veil. Metal gives a voice to that frustration with society.

Metal / Re: Metal shams
« on: December 03, 2009, 03:33:01 PM »
Hey, I specifically said that I don't have anything against all of the bands. "Remains of a Ruined, Dead, and Cursed Soul"  and "March to the Black Holocaust" are definitely both in my top 20 favorite black metal recordings. My only contention was that the whole organization as an idea descended into parody, regardless of whether the works were intended for public consumption or not. I also wasn't trying to present anybody with a lame comeback, it was a serious question. Beleth and Meynach were specifically mentioned, so I just wanted to know if there was some common ground to be had there. If so, cool; if not, we're all capable of rational discourse and I don't think (or hope) that agreeing or disagreeing on this point will do anything to improve or lessen a person's standard of living.

I expected a reaction but I didn't know I would stir up such a hornet's nest! But the fact that this thread became so popular in so short a period of time (that is to say before my post) really says something about people's passion on the topic. If we're working toward a more refined, canonical list, it's obvious that not everyone agrees, so I'm content moving on to the next subject and trying to parse it down.

Conservationist, are you working on a specific project with this or was it just a good thread idea?

Metal / Re: Metal shams
« on: December 03, 2009, 08:34:00 AM »
Would it have made you feel better if I had just said Torgeist or Billy Boy Roussel instead of the Black Legions?

Anyway, to contribute something other than an argument that probably won't ever be resolved, I think Dragonforce and all bands of that nature could be considered shams.

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