Monday, December 30, 2019

Midsommar



Midsommar is a folk/pagan/occult horror film, along the lines of The Wicker Man (1973), the most seminal of all films within the niche. As this is more of a commentary than a review, there will be an ample amount of spoilers. I'm trying to avoid writing about movies, but in this instance I can't help myself because of the very Jewish nature of the social commentary that's taking weasely jabs at European culture and sane right-wing populist shifts all over the continent.

Part melodramatic breakup film and part horror, it begins with Dani, who relies heavily on her boyfriend for her emotional needs and family issues, and she is afraid he'll leave her as a result; Christian, the boyfriend, wants to break up with her and is encouraged to do so by his group of friends, but he's too guilty to go through with it. 

Once Dani's sister kills herself and both parents die as well (it's not clear if the parents willfully killed themselves, but they also died of carbon monoxide poisoning), he feels obligated to stay with her, though his feelings are not explored much later in the film, and the movie is experienced largely through Dani's perspective. Similar to the director's last film, Midsommar is an exploration of grief and family, but unlike Hereditary, all of the main character's family members are dead before the story can really develop, but by the end there is the promise of a new family to enter into.

Christian's friends all seem to be sociology graduate students, and Pelle, a Swede, invites them to visit a rural part of Sweden where he grew up. What awaits them is a nine day midsummer festival that occurs every ninety years. As is usual for the typical horror film with the much repeated premise of a small group of American friends heading to a rural, exotic, or foreign locale, the details he provides are vague, but it's clear that things won't end well as we're introduced to the unusual customs and rituals of the Hårga—the name of Pelle's village and the people who inhabit it. It's actually a real location in Sweden, but obviously the group in the movie is fictional and the buildings were made for the film.

The Hårga seems to do away with the discrete family, perhaps more formally known as family as a model for the state, an old political theory harkening back at least as early as Aristotle; instead, it's a commune seemingly without individual property and the adults act as parents for all the children, much like Plato's Republic, with its orderly and tight-knit community. The Hårga share a common system of values and they experience the violence of the eventual burning sacrifice as a unit; while social cohesion is something to be strived for, perhaps the Hårga are a bit too in-tune, and Svensson says they're based on bees.

Trailers 1 & 2

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While it's mostly predictable as a horror film and the dramatic elements, characters, and script are on the shallow and undeveloped side (to be fair, I've only seen the theatrical release, not the extended cut; here's an article detailing what the director's cut will restore), the imagery, especially the art direction, clothing of the commune, and the choreographed sequences are wonderful to behold.

Throughout much of it, I wondered how the horror could develop, because the setting was so pristine, the sun was almost always shining (I've seen it dubbed as the brightest or whitest horror film), the people were healthy and beautiful; or rather I wondered why it had to be cheapened by Ari Aster's typical graphic gore and puerile horror; it actually had a lot of potential for the creation and exploration of an ancient tribe, spanning back perhaps centuries or even millennia, as their eccentricities were unraveled. The team clearly researched a vast array of pagan practices throughout the European continent to create the culture and people who inhabited the locale, only to make them a murderous cult and inject an unneeded, "subtle" political statement.

To begin with, it doesn't necessarily bother me to see pagan traditions depicted in a negative light, after all, I quite enjoyed the aforementioned The Wicker Man, with its battle of wills between Christianity and paganism; much like The Exorcist, it's sometimes thought of as an anti-Christian movie, but it really appears to be more the opposite, or at least neutral or acknowledging Christianity's importance in society and how it has developed western culture rather than taking an anti-Christian stance. The people on the island in The Wicker Man resemble the hippies of the counterculture period around the time the movie was made, who descend into savagery and debauchery and the most base of superstitions by the end. Either they remained a relatively primitive people or they regressed into a pre-Christian primitivism, replete with human sacrifices. There is nothing celebratory about the ending when paganism emerges as the victor of the two. The film is merely a depiction of the secularizing and de-Christianizing trend in the west.

It's true that some Asian countries are quite stable despite being mostly secular or adhering to religions that may more aptly be referred to as a philosophy than a religion in the same sense that Christianity is a religion, but the developed western countries haven't found anything else to fill the rapidly widening void, and they're preyed on by the plague of liberal ideology and the whims of internationalists. Liberalism, egalitarianism, consumerism, and climate alarmism are clung to so as to alleviate the lack of meaning we crave, but it's no adequate replacement and has led to a momentous schism through factional politics.

Gone is the clash between paganism and Christianity [1]. In Midsommar it is western secularism (notably the boyfriend IS named Christian, but America is a country of casual and cultural Christianity without any strict adherence to the actual values to be found in the NT) versus neo-paganism, in tandem with ethnocentricity and homogeneity, and perhaps even a dash of fascism for good measure. 

Many have noticed the political overtones, whether it be from the left, the right, and wherever else in-between or off the conventional spectrum of political beliefs. 

A sample from Truthdig:
Yet in the dozens of reviews about the film, few have acknowledged or appear to have even noticed that the world of the Hårga—the Scandinavian cult at the center of the film—is a white supremacist’s wet dream. Based on mostly overlooked comments by Aster, the film may even intentionally be a satire of the neo-pagan and anti-immigrant teachings employed by some on the far right.
Yeah, they probably didn't notice because they were looking for a new horror film to entertain them, and Aster (the director/screenwriter) was wise enough not to be too blatant and shove leftwing politics directly in the average movie-goers' face.

Saying it's a white supremacist's wet dream is a very tiresome demonization of a white ethnic group. The author of this dreck would probably be sacked for saying the same about any non-white homogenous group. When a tribe or homogenous culture is depicted in fiction, we are not usually primed by the authors to feel hostility for non-white groups of this sort, but for white ones of any ethnic group it is becoming increasingly common.

The reason for this reversal really boils down to being not about any mawkish "morality" such as the "horrors" of racism, xenophobia, or intolerance, but instead it's about the needs and desires of two groups (which often overlap): capitalists who want more cheap labor, and Jews who want more multiculturalism in pursuit of their own ethnic interests. 

But the author is correct to say the film is a mockery or demonization of paganism (especially neo-paganism or any white ethnic culture), anti-immigration sentiment, homogeneity, etc. [2]

And, the polar opposite, from Renegade Tribune:
New Horror Film ‘Midsommar’ by Subversive jew Demonizes European Heathens.
That's the title of this very pithy submission, and it's an accurate enough summation of the movie. 

Ari Aster, the director, is a Jew, and he has an accurate description of himself:
...But yeah, I guess nothing is really sacrosanct for me. I know that with Hereditary, I just didn’t want to do the devil because that’s been played out. There was no reason for me to be reverent about it or reverential because I’m a Jew, so for me, it’s about, what can I do to enhance the story and give it the best legs to stand on?
Yes, I'm a Jew. No reverence here. Let me just wreak havoc on your culture and everything you hold dear, just as my co-ethnics have done, because I'm not the same as you.


Ari Aster

If it looks like a weasel and squeaks like a weasel, then it is a weasel.

From Esquire; the second paragraph is a direct quote from the director Ari Aster:
There's also the question of the predominate whiteness of Midsommar. As my allotted time with Aster nears its end, I make sure to ask about the whiteness of the film, of which there are only three people of color [GASP]. Aster chooses to be late to his next appointment to chat about what's a pretty blaring asterisk hanging over the film.
"You will notice that the white members of the visiting community are used for more than just their bodies to be sacrificed, whereas the others are thrown aside… It’s in the margins of the film and it’s kind of consistently in the periphery, so I don’t want to talk too explicitly about it because the film is not a polemic, although there are politics strewn in. But, yes, there are illusions 
[sic] to Swedish history, especially the last century,” Aster says. There is a Nazi book on prominent display in an early scene. The banner that you see in the trailer as the group travels to the village says, “Stoppa Massinvandringer till Hälsingland,” Stop Mass Immigration to Hälsingland. “That’s definitely there,” Aster says. “I’m glad people are catching it. It’s an important part.”
Aster makes three points here:


1: Racism and Xenophobia

The non-white characters are there to show the "inherent racism and xenophobia" of the Hårga. While Christian is allowed to mate with one of the women, and perhaps Mark, who is also white, mates with a girl as well. Mark is certainly killed for his transgression and used for the sacrifice, and Christian is chosen as a sacrifice by Dani instead of Bjorn, one of the Hårga. The three non-whites are not used for the purpose of mating. Josh is killed for behaving against the rules, Connie is killed offscreen, and Simon is killed in an especially brutal fashion. They're all used as sacrifices. Only Dani is allowed to become part of the Hårga by the end.

The point made here is that if anyone from the outside joins, they must be white, and the Hårga will only mate for the purpose of procreation with other whites. Yeah, yet again, directors usually only include minorities so they can point out that the white characters are racist. We get it, Shlomo, the schtick is getting old. Of course, Jewish people and the Jews who write this kind of schlock are actually much less likely to marry outside of their in-group than whites are and are highly ethnocentric, so the hypocrisy is sickening.

The Hårga's choice is logical. Marriages with ethnically or racially similar people have a greater chance of success, just as societies benefit from being homogenous. Why the Hårga should welcome in people dissimilar from themselves and become less like their ancestors is a mystery, and it's equally bizarre when the Swedes do the same. Would anyone blame Africans or the Chinese for only marrying within their group?

2: Attempting to Link the Nazis With Runes

Secret Nazi Language of the Uthark

It's difficult to make it out in the screen cap, and not much easier in motion, but I was able to read the title of that orange book on the table while watching the film. This is an attempt to connect Nazi fascism with the runes and the neo-pagans who use them in the film. Any attempts at finding an entry for this book led me to articles on the film, and it doesn't seem to be a real book, meaning they probably created it as a prop to convey their message.


3: Taking Note of Anti-Immigration sentiments

Here is the banner Aster is talking about. It's very difficult to notice this while watching the movie because Aster chose to film this upside down (I flipped the image) while the camera was moving, and being in Swedish doesn't make it any easier; it's a very disorienting scene set to portentous music, and it's meant as a dividing point between the outside world and that of the Hårga


Jews and Hollywood

Clearly Ari Aster is a liberal Jew who is pro-immigration, and probably specifically for European countries, maybe even developed Asian ones as well—but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't apply the same standards to Israel—I couldn't find anything on the internet about his views on that matter, unfortunately, but he weaves the same messages in his oeuvre as his tribe advocates through activism, philanthropy, NGOs, media, the education system, etc. 

From an interview about Aster's previous film, Hereditary, in which Aster additionally refers to himself as a "neurotic Jewish guy" with "Jewishness being a big part of his identity..." although he doesn't practice very actively, and "...I'm hypochondriacal, my imagination goes immediately to the worst-case scenario." He also apparently is obsessed with Freudian psychoanalysis in the context of art, has the feeling family ties take precedent over romantic relationships, and is preoccupied with the idea of "home.":
At one point in the article Stephen Applebaum, the reviewer for the JC, asked Aster if he sees any Jewish influences in his movie. Could the movie, asked Applebaum, “be touching, in a metaphorical way, on Jewish post-Holocaust anxieties about the possibility of society suddenly rounding on Jews” and the idea that Jews are never truly safe in the diaspora? “Maybe, yeah,” responded Aster, seemingly mind-blown. “You make a very good point, and what you just said touched a chord,”
This same sentiment can be found in An American Werewolf in London, a film about an American Jew visiting the UK who turns into a werewolf (Not a bad metaphor!). He's not only a foreigner hailing from a different country, but he's also distinctly a Jew within a gentile country. It plays upon the fears the Jewish minority has of being persecuted by the majority population. It was directed by the Jew John Landis, and this dream sequence from the film features mutant Nazis butchering the main character's family, replete with fire imagery to evoke the holocaust.



If one is cognizant when watching Jewish/Hollywood (seldom can they be separated, and saying Jewish Hollywood films is rather redundant) films, these same kind of themes are threaded throughout, sometimes subtly or not so subtly, and it becomes apparent that even gentiles have grown up viewing the world through a Jewish lens, which shapes our world view and corrupts our morality into... perhaps not Jewish morality, but a morality Jews feel gentiles should foster to benefit their own tribal interests. This is where the term Judeo-Christian values/ethics comes from—nevertheless, the term is a perversion of the very clear divide between the morality of Judaism and Christianity. Christianity is contra to Judaism and vice versa; to merge them together is Jewish chicanery at its finest.


A24

The production company responsible for producing Aster's Hereditary and Midsommar is the NYC-based A24, founded in 2012. It was founded by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges. Katz was part of the film finance group at Guggenheim Partners, Fenkel was a former president and partner of Oscilloscope Laboratories, and Hodges was formerly the head of production and development at Big Beach Films. Hodges left the company in 2018. I can hardly find any information about either Katz or Fenkel, but they appear to be Jewish based on their names and roles in Hollywood. A list of movies from A24 can be found here and here.


Guggenheim Partners, a company partially founded and donning the name of the wealthy Jewish Guggenheim clan, provided the seed money for A24.


Sweden and Right-Wing European Populism

First of all, while the script was written by Aster, the barebones of the idea for the film was pitched by the Swedes:
This Swedish production company came to me with a one-page kind of outline, not even really an outline as much as a concept, which is basically—they had read Hereditary, and they said, we’d love for you to do what you did with Hereditary with the “Americans going to a foreign country and getting killed” genre. And we’d like you to do it in Sweden.

It was the Swedish production company B-Reel that approached Aster with a request to make the film. The specific people who approached him were Patrik Andersson and Martin Karlqvist.

The Thrillist comments on the racial homogeny of the Hårga:
But both Aster and Svensson have said there is a political allegory at play. "There are a lot of parallels to the history of Europe over the last hundred years," Aster says. "They're not the most diverse community." Indeed, the creepiness of the Hårga is augmented by their Aryan-ness and the fact that they dispose of anyone who comes to their community who doesn't physically fit in. 
Svennson (the production designer for the film) also notes parallels in the Hårga and the rise of "far-right extremism" in Sweden and the "recent disturbing success of the historically white nationalist Sweden Democrats." 

Some information about the Swedish Democrats:
The Sweden Democrats, founded in 1988, is a social conservative party based on nationalism. The party is first and foremost associated with the issue of migration. The Sweden Democrats believes that Sweden’s immigration policy has been too generous, that the many migrants coming to Sweden have put huge social and economic strains on the country. The party’s policies are based on protecting the ‘national identity’ as a way of sustaining the Swedish welfare state.
In the 2010 election the party gained seats in parliament for the first time, with 5.7 per cent of the votes. At the 2018 election, the Sweden Democrats gained 17.5 per cent of the votes.
A 2018 article from DW indicates that the Swedish Democrats had their first true bout of success with the election of several mayors, and the county of Skane going almost completely yellow (the color of the Swedish Democrats, though I think blue is also one of their colors, fittingly enough for Svennson)They currently have 62 out of 349 seats in parliament. 

The Swedish Democrats are not popular with a large swath of the very liberal Swedes.



They're called racists and "neo-nazis" regularly enough. In reality they have a pretty lukewarm but decent (at least compared to the other silly parties that aren't AfS) limited migration platform, and they certainly aren't anywhere near as fascistic as, say, Greece's Golden Dawn party. Still, even Sweden's prime minister refers to them as "a neo-fascist single-issue party" with "Nazi and racist roots." The Social Democrats and the Moderates, the two leading parties, refuse to work with them.

The allegations of a neo-Nazi or Nazi background stems from many founding members being drawn from the organization Keep Sweden Swedish, which disbanded in 1986. The Swedish Democrats' first treasurer was Gustaf Ekstrom, a former member of the Waffen SS, and their first leader, Anders Klarstrom was active in the Nordic Realm Party, the Nordiska Rikspartiet.

I'm not going to figure out whether it's correct to call those two groups neo-Nazi or not, because I don't care, and those groups are obviously much healthier for Sweden than letting in African and Muslim migrants, along with the implementation of more socially conservative policies. 

A summation of how tame the Swedish Democrats actually are, according to Ann-Cathrine Jungar, a researcher of "radical-right parties":
“They have over time … moderated themselves. Now it’s more cultural nationalist.” Åkesson has shifted the Sweden Democrats away from their neo-Nazi–linked past, making the party more professional, recruiting promising members, and formulating a zero-tolerance policy against racists and racist behavior. He has expelled more than 100 members since 2012—though revelations about the neo-Nazi ties of some of the party’s candidates this week showed just how much work remains to be done.
The Sweden Democrats now present themselves as a law-and-order party that backs traditional family values. In the European Parliament, they have allied not with other far-right parties, but with mainstream conservative ones like the United Kingdom’s ruling Conservatives. They are strong supporters of the welfare state and have accused the Social Democrats of betraying its ideals. “They say that welfare is threatened by immigration. That it is costly. And immigrants require a lot more from the public welfare than ordinary Swedes,” Jungar said.
Many of the purged members went on to the far more nationalist Alternative for Sweden, a party that unfortunately is still quite small in its influence and power. "If there's any sign of xenophobia or racism, we immediately expel those representatives," said Karlsson, the parliamentary leader of the Swedish Democrats. Essentially this means a greater leftward slide for the party and less fanaticism about actually solving the issues of migration or other important but less pressing issues. They're already quite liberal in many ways, such as spreading homosexuality at the behest of the U.S.'s GOP; an additional concern is they also exhibit many pro-zionist tendencies, which is not helpful at all to Sweden.

Excessive Foreshadowing Is One of Aster's Trademarks

Foreshadowing is common in art and can add tremendous depth, but I can't help but question if something is lost by foreshadowing every single event that will occur in the movie before it happens. The reliance on copious amounts of foreshadowing was also present via the dollhouse in Aster's previous film, Hereditary. 

Before the sombre winter introduction set to female acappella, much of the entire film is foreshadowed in the tapestry that represents the four seasons. The seasons are a cycle of renewal and very important to the pagan beliefs of the Hårga. Dani's family is soon to die, and a cycle of renewal will grant her the possibility of the birth of a new family with the Hårga.



The order of the seasons appears to be incorrect for effect, since I assume summer is the section with the sun. But these obviously all represent one of the seasons and it follows the four arcs the movie has. 

In the winter scene of the tapestry is Dani connected to three people, obviously her sister and parents, through what appears to be pink (similar to the yellow hose leading to death) umbilical cords. One way or another, they're all connected to death, portrayed as a reanimated skeleton, except for Dani, whose cord is severed by a swing of the saber in the skeleton's hand.

Next in line is a scene with Christian comforting a crying Dani, while Pelle watches unseen from the security of a tree's canopy, suggesting a love triangle. 

Pelle can be seen leading the group with a flute, like the pied piper. Other notable imagery is the bear, the chair the mayqueen sits in, the maypole, Mark's jester hat, nine skeletons/skulls to represent nine sacrifices. The cliff seems to suggest Ättestupa, where ritual suicide is performed by the elderly, and beneath it are two winged characters, a male and a female. I'd assume the significance of the wings is to denote that the young are not to partake in this activity, and the old would be metaphorically wingless, and subject to the practice. 

The bear shown in the opening tapestry is also featured throughout the movie, first in a painting in Dani's apartment. 

John Bauer - Princess and the Bear


The above painting is a girl confronting a bear, and the bear pertains to Christian in the sacrificial scene, where the bear is gutted, and Christian's paralyzed body is placed inside.
When the characters are strolling around the village on the first day, the bear is again shown, and a series of paintings depict the mating ritual of the village, which is shown later when Maja pursues Christian.





According to Aster, the bear skin is a reference to Norse warriors known as berserkers, who allegedly would be buried in bear skins on some occasions. There's most definitely evidence of graves being dug up with pelts made of bear hide, although I don't know the extent of what he meant by "bear skins." It would seem bears were the totem animal of the berserkers and quite significant to their culture, whether these proposed burial ceremonies were performed or not.
This is some of the heaviest foreshadowing in the film. There's also a scene featuring a banner of a grotesque courtship ritual, featuring a woman who offers a cake with her own pubic hair and a drink with her menstrual blood to her lover, revealed through multiple paintings as the camera moves along in a dolly shot. 

There are symbols and paintings spread throughout the interior of the houses that depict many, if not all, of the future scenes. 


Color Symbolism



When Dani calls her parents and the camera revolves around her parents room, floral imagery is myriad in this scene, but also notable are the prominent yellows, even in the gloom. Yellow is an important and recurring color. The hose used to administer the carbon monoxide is yellow and evocative of the umbilical cords in the tapestry. The liquid-based hallucinogens are a gold/yellow color. The cake with the single lit candle Christian gives Dani for her belated birthday offering is yellow; its shape and color is reminiscent of the yellow A-frame building that is burned at the end. The yellow A-frame building is the boldest yellow and frequently is seen looming in the background. There's the golden sun and the sun-like imagery at the entrance of the village, and the haphazard yellow blooms of Saint John's wort all around the village.



What is it that makes yellow so important in the film? Well, to understand that, it's best to look to Henrik Svensson, the production designer for the film, who says that blue and yellow are important colors in the film and are associated with death. Yellow is obvious as it's featured so prominently and the hose funneling deadly CO is yellow. But what about blue? The film begins with icy cold winter scenery and many cooler tones and low key lighting. Winter is equivalent to death. The A-frame building is yellow, but the inside of the doors are blue.



This image depicts Ättestupa, with the flowers, both blue and yellow, representing "fertility and regeneration." For birth or renewal there must be death, and this is, to them, a natural part of their culture. The figures here have little blushing cheeks and look exuberant, despite death often being contemplated with trepidation in the rest of the world.



Above is the Swedish flag and the primary motivator for choosing blue and yellow as important colors, according to Svennson:
More and more things along the way made me want to make the yellow and the blue our signs of death — our bad signs; The main reason being it is the colors of the Swedish flag, and I wanted to make the point of how wrong nationalism is.
There's no point in harping on how nauseating I believe this sentiment to be, as it sounds like a hatred of one's own culture at best. Why shouldn't Sweden remain a nation with a distinct people? Why should the country not make choices based on what is in their own interest?

Nationalism is often sold as "the great evil" that led to WWII, and by dismantling nationalism, all countries will be harmoniously coordinated through globalism and peace will reign. Of course, that's not how it works out at all. There hasn't been the all out battle of superpowers like in WWII, but we've had many smaller scale wars, frequent regime change in a plethora of countries to install puppet leaders and governments and subvert their way of life, economic sanctions eroding the middle class, and endless war in the Middle East and other regions. Developed countries are flooded with migrants that are different racially, ethnically, and culturally, and the host population is expected to shut up and are denounced as racists and xenophobes if they dissent. 

Ättestupa
The most important scene to progress the story is that of Ättestupa; being that the Hårga are viewed as having four arcs in their life, based around the seasons, each one consisting of eighteen years, this would mean they're fated to die no later than the age of seventy-two. Ättestupa is ritualized senicide in which the old throw themselves off a precipice. The entire village attends and watches them plummet to their death. Should they survive the fall, their head is smashed with a mallet.

Obviously, while this may be a natural and perhaps even a joyous occasion for the Hårga, this is very traumatic for the outsiders, especially Dani, who experiences a sequence involving the elderly dead man and woman being replaced by her parents, her sister appearing, and black smoke being expelled from her lungs. 

With this experience, she must confront the death of her parents, and once she is to become one of the Hårga herself, she will have to confront her own death.


The runes smeared with blood, the R and the up-arrow, are both featured on the Hårgan clothing of Dani and Christian, tying them together as a couple, and also broaching the question of their future, which is directly confronted by Pelle when he speaks with Dani, and he presents a choice between the Hårga and Christian to Dani. 


Christian's symbol is chosen because he is sacrificed.
There’s the upward arrow / T-shaped rune known as Tîwaz or Teiwaz that represents the Norse god Tyr, a brave and powerful male deity who sacrifices his arm to the giant wolf Fenrir.

Perhaps it's a bit more ambiguous for Dani, but it's simple enough.
The R-shaped Raido represents a journey, but the reserve of it cam symbolize crisis or even death. The hourglass-like Dagaz suggests a new beginning, but since it’s drawn on its side, it may represent the loss of hope; this particular meaning is also up for interpretation. Dani’s journey throughout Midsommar certainly leads to a new beginning. Whether that new path is one of freedom and hopefulness or just a different sort of cage is up to each viewer to decide.

Ruben

In an article confronting the supposed eugenic themes of horror, physical and mental disability is proposed as a metaphor for trauma and familial dysfunction. The deformed or dysfunctional body often represents a greater illness in the environment external to the subject in question. This does seem to be one of the intents with Ruben, the deformed child and oracle of the village, bred for a special purpose through incest. He is meant as a conduit for the word of the gods; he has unclouded judgment and is considered pure because of these circumstances. His role seems to be painting on blank pages and the scholars of the commune interpret his work.


Ruben is considered "a very important character" by Aster, and his importance stems from his usage as a symbol or an idea. It's obvious that Ruben represents a fixation on racial purity; they fetishize purity to such an extent that they deliberately inbreed children with severe deformities; his ugliness is a demonization of racial or ethnic purity in a world pressured to become multicultural, and the nonsense art that he produces because of this purity has no meaning, though the elders take pride in what he divulges and painstakingly interpret his color blots. The whole thing seems no different than a subtle take on "whiteness studies," wherein Jewish academics attempt to deconstruct "whiteness" so as to ridicule it.

While the Hårga is a homogenous group that doesn't appear to breed outside of their race, they do sometimes bring in people of European descent for their festivities; Dani is allowed to become part of the Hårga, and Christian mates with Maja; it's implied, though not confirmed, that Mark also mated with Inga, so there is an outward flow of racially similar, but not always ethnically similar, genes.

There are politics woven into the film and Reuben is about as close as we get to that being articulated explicitly, what is happening. And then if you also consider Swedish history, it is a very closed society and what does that really mean? There are things happening in Sweden right now that are echos [sic] of things that happened in the second World War. So I'm sort of loathe to expound openly about these things because I'm not making a polemic, but Rebuen [sic], he's like the full articulation of whatever the film is saying politically.

Sweden is actually NOT a very "closed society," really, is it? At least not anymore. Their liberal policies, globalist-minded government, and propaganda are intent on putting an end to any attempt at remaining a "closed society."

19% of Sweden's population is foreign-born; some of these are European immigrants, but Sweden accepted nearly 163,000 migrants from mostly Islamic countries in 2015 alone, and Voice of Europe claims they have as many as 145,000 Syrians and 190,000 Iraqis.


Obviously attempting to integrate migrants from third world countries who are racially, religiously, and culturally dissimilar, with different values, higher levels of crime, lower IQ, etc, is going to lead to great internal problems for Sweden.

Not to mention, a certain ethnic group wants Sweden to be a very, very open society.


This clip of Barbara Lerner Spectre (very aptly named) is ubiquitous on the net when it comes to pointing out Jewish behavior. I'm not certain how much influence she has in Sweden compared to other Jews, but her words are a good summation of the predilection of international Jewry. She says Europe must learn to be multicultural and its countries cannot remain monolithic; Jews will be a leading role in this process, and they will be resented for it. This resentment, I assume, is what she would refer to as anti-semitism, which is an acknowledgement that anti-semitism is a gentile response to Jewish behavior. What she says is actually very similar to what Aster articulated, if you gather his various quotes and read between the lines a little.


And what of "There are things happening in Sweden right now that are echos [sic] of things that happened in the second World War."? He's talking about Germany and other countries embracing a greater level of nationalism, expelling or persecuting Jews, and attempting to throw off the shackles of western modernity with its decadent capitalism and globalism during WWII. There is a contingent of the Swedish population that wants to remain an actual nation and is taking a stance against the globalists of their country. He is concerned Sweden and other European countries will reject the current destructive values of the west, and this is bad for his tribe: both the diaspora living in these countries, and for Israel, which benefits from a confluence of parasitic zionism.

A New May Queen Is Crowned

The Hårga is unified through drugs to such an extent that Dani even has a moment where she understands Swedish and speaks it fluently.


This painting is a depiction of the maypole dancing ritual. The intent of the performance is a plentiful and successful harvest, and it also pertains to fertility and renewal. 

The dance ritual is explained as having originated from a legend, with a figure referred to as "the dark one" or "the black one." This idea was derived from Hårgalåten, The Hårga Song, which is a folk melody based on a legend dating back to at least as early as 1785, referred to as Hårgadansen or The Hårga Dance: it tells of a devil disguised as a fiddler who forced the children of the village to dance to their death


The May Queen is decided by who is the last standing when dancing around the maypole, driving "the black one" out, and Dani is crowned as the May Queen and performs the tasks associated with the role.
When there is an ultimatum between choosing Bjorn, one of the villagers, or Christian, for the 9th and final sacrifice, Dani chooses Christian as the one to die; Joining him will be two votive figures; the volunteers from the village, Ingemar and Ulf; and Connie, Simon, Mark, and Josh, who are already dead.


What is it all about, anyway, these sacrifices, this situation? For the pagans it's clear enough and has already been stated, but what about Dani?

Aster: "We begin as Dani loses a family, and we end as Dani gains one. And so, for better or worse, they are there to provide exactly what she is lacking, and exactly what she needs, in true fairy tale fashion."

For Dani, Aster says, the journey of the film is a wish fulfillment fantasy and fairytale. He wrote the film after a breakup, and sees a little of himself in both Christian and Dani. If it's a horror film, he posits that it's one about codependency. Dani is in a dysfunctional codependent relationship with Christian, and at the end she's in a more functional, yet still just as codependent arrangement by becoming part of the Hårga community. "But it's going to work this time," he states, perhaps ironically. The Hårga, in one sense, are meant as a fulfillment of all of Dani's needs above all else.

Additionally, Dani has to face death and even when the people around her die, she still has family because the entire community is her family, and they share a much closer connection than she would have with the people she knew from the external world. Her boyfriend was too weak or indecisive to part ways with what was a fruitless relationship, and her family chose to commit suicide in a manner that was selfish to the rest of the family, specifically Dani. There was no greater purpose to the act than, presumably, to relieve their own suffering.

On the other hand, everything the Hårga does is deliberate and with a purpose dictated by a long line of tradition. There is the promise of reciprocity which was sorely lacking in all of Dani's past relationships.

Aster has gone so far as to state that the village is a metaphor for codependency, "but at the very heart of it," he says, "is tribalism. And I think tribalism, the more and more we see of it, can be really, really bad and dangerous." This is, again, in response to the rise of right-wing populism in America, Europe, and other locations.

Since there are political barbs directed at ethnocentrism, and the Hårga are depicted in a negative manner because of their abuse and murder of the outsiders (and racism since that's the greatest sin from the modern liberal perspective) I can't help but think this is also the Jewish director's warning about alienation and dysfunction in modernity and its potential costs for the status quo...

Seeking a group similar to the Hårga does not mean one is co-dependent, but it does indicate a yearning for tradition or homogeneity and the benefits derived from this return to order. That is tribalism, and their is meaning to be found in a cohesive tribe.

We seek meaning and community, and if those needs are not being met, we will seek it elsewhere. It's difficult to get to the heart of the manner with Aster's weasely nature, but like he states above, the film seems to be a message about tribalism at its very core, warning about being careful of the new family you join, because beneath the appealing veneer, there may lurk something sinister.

The fact that people are attempting to return to their roots is a testament to the failure of modernity to instill meaning, and a host of other problems associated with ideological shifts in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Hårga are just a caricature created by an element of the Jewish fifth column embedded deep in the west like a tick, taking all of the good things people strive for and making it ugly.
Footnotes


[1]: It's worth considering that there are many references to St. John's Day, which has many ties to both Christianity and paganism; biblical names, many of which are common to begin with, also abound: other than the most obviously named, Christian, there's Dani—a diminutive of Danielle, the female variant of Daniel; Mark, Josh, and Simon; Pelle is pretty much a Swedish form of Peter, but this may have other meanings since he is the one of the pagans; Ruben is a variant of Reuben. There may be a lot of symbolism I'm missing or that is only apparent in the director's cut.
[2]: There has been a resurgence of paganism in recent years in Europe. It's an attempt to reclaim the roots from the distant past and return to some form of stability in an increasingly unstable world. Some dissident right groups or individuals have also adopted these practices as an alternative to the Christianity that swept across Europe. The merits or demerits of a reformed neo-paganism, as opposed to the Abrahamic or Dharmic religions is not something I'm terribly interested in exploring, although for those who want a Catholic perspective with a strong opposition to paganism, there's this article excerpt by E. Michael Jones. It seems to me the actuality of what occurred in various pagan societies is steeped in uncertainty and some of the sources he uses, I'm unable to verify because of a language barrier. It's also possible that many of the extant historical accounts we have are Christian propaganda, as many of these accounts are solely or mostly from Christian sources rather than the pagans themselves.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Drag Queen Story Hour Part 3: The Funding of DQSH and RADAR Productions, and Other Updates

Recent Media Attention

Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare company, cobbled together a series of vignettes in an advertisement. The narrator says, "There are those who will say you're too fat. Too skinny," and it goes on and on with a laundry list of potential criticisms people might have about others while generic, "uplifting" music is played.



It's innocent enough, if a little cringeworthy and saccharine, but at the thirty second mark it becomes one of the early attempts by a big corporation to promote and normalize Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), when the narrator continues her litany with "too much," and we're shown a scene of a drag queen performing in front of children. By the end, the narrator says, "And to them we say, too bad, because at Kaiser Permanente, we believe everyone deserves the right to thrive." The DQSH segment is sandwiched between multiple other clips and played quite briefly; a drag queen is mixed into the many faces at the end of the ad as the music reaches a crescendo. The scenes shown are all meant to be positive and showing people overcome their problems, but there is nothing positive about a drag queen presenting for young children, especially not with the subversive agenda behind DQSH and the various LGBTQ organizations attempting to groom the next generation of children. And if you don't want that, their response to you is simply "too bad."

Kaiser Permanente is known to fund liberal, SJW, and LGBTQ groups, according to NewsBusters, Such as GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, and the National Urban League. A more detailed account of whom they fund can be found at 2ndVote.  

General Funding

Where does the funding for DQSH come from?

The basics are summarized here, with some additional information about CDC grants:
Some of these events are paid for by the libraries themselves, through funds provided by the American Library Association (which stem from taxpayer-funded federal grants). Libraries also use state and local taxpayer money to host and promote the events. In other instances, the events are privately funded, but most event sponsors take advantage of federal grants from the CDC for comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention. In these cases, community healthcare organizations and LGBTQ-advocacy groups use CDC grant money to bring the events into libraries. An example of this relationship was recently uncovered in Ohio, when Equitas Health used part of its HIV prevention grant from the CDC to support a Drag 101 event at the Licking County Library. The event was promoted as a “safe-sex for teens” workshop by the Newark Ohio Pride Coalition. It was cancelled after a large public outcry led to the Ohio House Speaker’s involvement in shutting it down.
Some DQSH branches are using GoFundMe or other crowdfunding platforms to cover some of the expenses, although based. The NYC branch in particular received a generous donation of $5,000 (based on information provided below and a statement about council members on the DQSH NYC page, it's most likely a councilman)  from an anonymous donator at the end of December, 2019; and they've so far raised $9,950 in one month from this source alone. 
RADAR Productions, the Group founded by Michelle Tea in 2003, created DQSH with Tea in 2015. This organization is responsible for DQSH's proliferation, and they've received funding from  the California Arts Council, the Horizons Foundation, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation, among others.

Most of these are confirmed by RADAR Productions' about page on Facebook, and the rest can be confirmed from looking at grants allocated by these NGOs. In addition, they list California LGBT Arts Alliance, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the James Hormel Center, and the Queer Cultural Center all "generously sponsored and supported" RADAR Productions. Some of these may have provided hosting or other support rather than funds to RADAR Productions, or both monetary and non-monetary support.

It's important to mention that much of the funding to RADAR Productions, as opposed to DQSH directly, is not specifically for DQSH (for example, the Zellerbach Family Foundation donated to very specific events that were not DQSH), but any proceeds to the organization led to their expansion and the creation of DQSH; even still, I'm not certain of how intimately connected the two are at this point, as DQSH has become its own NGO rather than just representing a portion of RADAR Productions' degenerate offerings. Funds received by RADAR Productions in the 2016-2019 period may have very little relation to DQSH; while it's true DQSH was created by RADAR Productions, the DQSH website states: "DQSH is a global network of local organizations, each of which is independently managed and funded." I have found funding for some of the DQSH branches, and it's quite possible this deeper look at the funds of RADAR Productions does not correspond to DQSH at all, except money received prior to DQSH's development.

2018-2019 records show that the California Arts Council awarded a grant of $16,200 to RADAR Productions, $17,100 in 2017-2018, and $16,200 in 2016-2017.

The Horizons Foundation (there seems to be a separate entity called the Horizon Foundation) gave grants to RADAR Productions for 2007 and 2010-2012. $7,500 in 2010 and $5000 in 2012. I wasn't able to find the exact amount for the other years, but it's safe to assume they're also in the $5,000-$7,500 range.  


The Walter and Elise Haas Fund granted a total of $37,500 to RADAR Productions according to annual reports from 200920102011, and 2018; they've also donated generously to the ADL and other problematic organizations relating to LGBT, immigration, or social justice.

Both Walter and Elise Haas are Jewish. Originally Elise Stern, who is a relative of the founders of Levi Strauss & Co., where Walter Haas was president of the company from 1928-1955. On their website, they support Jewish causes and social justice. By browsing through the website, one can find plenty of propaganda concerning pro-immigration and refugee policy propaganda, criticism of Trump's travel ban, and promoting garbage like Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow.

The Zellerbach Family Foundation (ZFF) has funded Radar Productions in the past, though not as recently as 2019, according to their website. They have donated $31,900 to RADAR Productions from 2011-2018. ZFF has donated millions to immigrant and refugee-oriented NGOs and social justice causes. The Zellerbach's are a Jewish immigrant family who made their fortune through the ownership of a pulp and paper conglomerate; notably they also possessed a lot of land and timber.

RADAR Productions received grants from the San Francisco Grants for the Arts. $21,080 for 2015-2016, $16,200 in 2016-2017, 16,200 in 2018-2019, and $22,140 for 2020.

The James Irvine Foundation allocated a grant of $30,000 to RADAR Productions in June 2010.

The San Francisco Arts Commission donated $25,000 in 2014, $18,000 in 2015-2016, and $20,000 in 2017-20182018, and 2019.


Funding Specifically Provided to DQSH

New York City granted $25,000 to the NYC branch of DQSH as part of an expansion of library funding.




The two old men featured are both Council Members, both homosexual: Jimmy Van Bramer on the left, and Daniel Dromm on the right.

Dromm (D-Queens), chair of the Finance Committee, and Van Bramer each contributed $5,000 toward Drag Queen Story Hour funding for programming in their respective district libraries. They are listed on the DQSH NYC page along with several other council members who have provided funding to DQSH. Aside from Bramer and Dromm, Ben Kallos, Carlina Rivera, Keith Powers, and Laurie Cumbo, have all provided funding. 
There are also many private sponsors: 
Sports teams in Atlanta are responsible for co-sponsoring DQSH at Atlanta's City Hall as part of Pride Month. The basketball team Atlanta Hawks is owned by Antony Ressler, a Jewish billionaire, who has donated as part of the Ressler/Gertz Foundation, from what I've seen, to mostly "normal" sources, but also some questionable Jewish elements, such as Wilshire Boulevard Temple (B'nai B'rith connection) and Simon Wiesenthal Center (Holocaust Industry).


Harry the Hawk, the Atlanta Hawks mascot, present at the DQSH event.

The Atlanta Falcons are also owned by a Jewish billionaire named Arthur Blank who co-founded Home Depot with Bernard Marcus. Through the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation he has funded many organizations, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and 6.8 million to CARE "in support of programs aimed at empowering women and girls through micro-savings programs." Micro-savings is a sub-branch of micro-financing, the latter of which has largely led the impoverished to become even more impoverished in most instances, not to mention fueling third world immigration to other countries. It's just repackaged usury.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms invited Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker (Steven Igarashi-Ball) to perform at City Hall, after another DQSH event was cancelled or ceased to be promoted.

Source: CBS 46

“We’re a lesbian couple so we like our kids to come out and interact and see that there are other kids like them,” one commenter says in the video, in another demonstration that they want their lifestyle to be normalized, and the more visible it is, the better they feel it is for themselves and their children. The mayor also rambles on with the typical nonsense about diversity and inclusion.

Georgia Beverage Association and Whole Foods (owned by Amazon) also co-sponsored the event.


Funding in Sweden

Sweden is also no stranger to DQSH. The Swedish branch is set to receive $175,000 (U.S. dollars or 1.7 million Swedish krona, which actually seems to adjust to something around $181,000 U.S. dollars, rounded). This money was derived from the Swedish Inheritance Fund, a program setup to account for the money of those who die without a will or family to inherit their wealth, and they have appropriated a grant to MUMS Cultural Association (Kultureföreningen Mums) for the organization of a show called "Among Dragons and Drag Queens" in Stockholm. 

MUMS Cultural Associations is, according to Pink News UK, "a politically independent association in Stockholm that aims to broaden Sweden’s cultural offerings with a special focus on LGBT+ issues, diversity and equality." The Swedish Inheritance Fund will also dole out generous funds to other left wing causes and at least one that has "a higher climate commitment."


Recent Backlash Against DQSH and Others Associated With the Organization

One Million Moms—a division of the American Family Association (AFA)—specifically boycotted Whole Foods because of their connection to DQSH. Unfortunately, the name is a tad bit of a misnomer, wishful thinking, or an attempt to look more intimidating. Their Facebook has about 90,000 people who like/follow (and who knows how many of those still/ever engage), and seeing as they are associated with AFA, one would assume they were also signatories for the petition on the AFA website, but as of December 9, 2019, there are only 43,965 signers; there are 12,125 signers on the official One Million Moms website. These are decent numbers, but it takes a lot of pressure to win against "big gay" and their monied elites (for what it's worth, there are only 20,000 followers on DQSH's Facebook page).

The ALA also received a petition from about 100,000 Christians concerning DQSH.

Amidst controversy following Chick-fil-a no longer funding Salvation Army and other Christian or worthwhile causes, despite a continuance of funding for LGBT organizations and the Southern Poverty Law Center, it also turns out Chick-fil-a is funding Covenant House, which sometimes hosts DQSH events and is very pro-LGBT.

Other petitions, according to Church Militant:
Petitions protesting DQSHs have also sprung up — one sponsored by Personhood Alliance and signed by 43,000 people and another sponsored by a partnership between CitizenGo and the Activist Mommy which was signed by 56,000 people — both delivered to the ALA on July 11.
More ALA Shenanigans

The ALA is also obviously aware of how unpopular this program is amongst the general public and has taken prophylactic measures to protect their program: here and here. Most heinous (or hilarious) of all is a page on ALA that must be accessed with the Wayback Machine: Tips and tricks to being a secret librarian advocate operative:

The most classic excerpt:
Sneakily fit stuff into current programs. So you’re not doing Drag Queen Storytime (yet), but you’re probably doing Regular Old Storytime, right? Try to “sneak” inclusive messages into your current programs. For instance, if you’re reading a book about a Mama bear and a Papa bear, maybe when you read it you just change it to be about 2 Papa bears! Or if you’re reading a book about a rabbit who likes to get dirty and play sports, maybe when you read it you pointedly say it’s a girl rabbit. If there are characters in a book where the gender is unidentified or irrelevant, feel free to play and change it up! Chances are kids and families won’t even notice, but for that same-sex family or gender-nonconforming child who does, it will really mean a lot to them to know their librarian has their back.
Another Drag Queen With Suspicious Behavior Involving Children

It's well known that many of the drag queens exhibiting their deviance to crowds of children either publicly displayed obscene sexual material on their social media, at least one was convicted of prostitution, and two for the sexual abuse of minors, so it's not much of a surprise that Mama G, another in a long line of creepy drag queens, this time from a branch in the UK, appeared to be soliciting children for their emails.

Mama G Describing how to Twerk:
"All you need to do is you just need to stand with your feet sort of shoulder-width apart like so…and then you crouch down in this sort of position, so you’re bump’s [your bum is] sticking out,” Mama G says, briefly looking back to ask someone off-camera if they’re “taking this all in.” And “then you just move your bum up and down like that. And that’s twerking.”
After the controversy broke out, Mama G changed his Twitter profile so only approved followers can see it, but not before critics saved screenshots – including one of a tweet in which Mama G appears to ask children to send him their email addresses.
“You could always do some Mama G inspired arts and crafts!” he says. “If you want one of my colouring sheets for a rainy day, DM me your email!” Suffolk Libraries UK later put out a statement that Mama G claims the message was intended only for parents:
On behalf of Mama G, this was denied by the library, of course, but it's hard to believe this is the truth.