Monday, October 26, 2020

The Dark Gauntlet Rises: A Happy Gauntlet of Balthazar 40,000th Page Visit!

Welcome back to the Gauntlet of Balthazar for this little post celebrating our 40,000th page visit. 

I have to admit that I've sometimes been confused, but more often very pleased, at the growth of this blogs audience. And while I'm fairly inconsistent with the frequency of uploads, as well as the content itself shifting gears based on my whims, I nonetheless appreciate each and everyone's time spent visiting these pages. So, whether you first came here for the the writing, the politics, the music, the art, or the reviews, I hope that at the very least you've found the diversity of content respectable and of interest.

Saying this, I'd like to turn to the Gauntlet's readers in Hong Kong, who have recently supplanted the United States as the dominant supplier of page visitors. As I've mentioned before, I've never explicitly penned an article in support of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Hong Kong, but I expect that the consistency of the Gauntlet's anti-Communist messaging and disparaging of Marxist Intersectionality, Post-Modernism, Critical Race Theory, Regressive Progressiveness, and the historical hypocrisy of the American Democratic Party, as well as the UK's Labor Party, has made this abundantly clear.

As a Right-Leaning Libertarian, or as I like to deem it a "Neo-Whig", I must say that I am overtly adoring of the accomplishments of American founding fathers like Jefferson, Adams and Madison, as well as the U.S. Constitution. This has led me to be, let us say, highly critical of Marxism, Socialism, and Communism, which I might add, I was fairly intrigued by when I was but a lad. 

Likewise, as a Jewish kid growing up in New York, (like most Blacks, Latinos, Irish, Asians, Women, Gays, etc.) I was expected to be a lifelong Democrat, regardless if they as a political party didn't reflect my core beliefs in any other arena, let alone if they overtly conflicted with principles that I had come to feel were more important to my overall identity. 

The Democrats, specifically in their 1990's Neo-Liberal "kleptocrat" manifestation, told me to keep voting for them, even as they contradicted not only my beliefs, but their own. Soon after, the DNC started to embrace the  same far-leftist doctrines that I had moved away from as far back as the middle of my college years. Much of this was later called "identity politics", which seemed to be designed not to help different people to get along, but rather to divide them, not to mention attempting to force me to feel apologetic, embarrassed, or even hateful, towards what I was, or held dear - yet, keep up the good votes, sucker. 

One could say that the dissonance I felt is what led me to resist further the media brainwashing that I experienced and saw all around me as par for the course. I imagine that people supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong can easily relate to this. as they were expected to slowly abandon the society and principles they had lived under for a century, and let it give way to the slow creeping entrenchment of Chinese Communist Party surveillance, social media scoring, and repression of free speech.

In recent years we have seen Big Tech, Big Government, Mega-Corps, and the Media, all fall under the shared spell of far-leftist ideology, ushering corporate and globalist political interests to overlap. While we have seen agreement in that they all like money very much, these once-disparate forces nonetheless appear to prefer forced "equality", authoritarianism, and censorship far more.

Though Hong Kong had incorporated some aspects of British and Western society, they also never left behind their Chinese culture. One could in fact argue that China's "Great Leap Forward" attempted to destroy and rebuild Chinese society in order to create Marx's "New Man" - a goal that is highly questionable, and is as unattainable as the false utopia proposed by misguided street thugs the world over for upwards of two centuries. 

This is indeed why the most infamous, so-called "right wing dictators", such as Hitler, Mussolini, Ataturk, etc. were all actually products of Communism, Socialism, and Progressive politics, no less than Mao, Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot, and Chavez. It is absolutely amazing that academics and the media were even able to get us to accept the notion that a Socialist like Hitler - who believed in gun control, abortion, universal health care, the influence of the state on the entrepreneurial economy, and was anti-church and anti-free speech, was on the right side of the political spectrum. Nonsense!

Thus, we Classical Liberals, Pro-Democracy Protestors, Moderates, Skeptics, Independents, Libertarians (right and left), Republicans, Conservatives (religious and not), and the true working classes, need to support one another in resisting the expansion of Communist authoritarianism and the leftist-brainwashed "latte liberal resistance" - who are in  actuality the establishment they have long protested they stand against.

I hope that the future holds in it a greater day for liberty. 

Thanks again. Till next time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Not So Electronic Music Album of the Day Give-Away: "Working Backwards - A Collection of Collaborations"

Hear ye, hear ye, and welcome to, or back to, the Gauntlet of Balthazar for another installment of the Bandcamp hosted Electronic Music Give-Away of the Day feature. 

This release marks a departure from the usual 391 & the Army of Astraea electronic fare of the last few years, as the recordings included in today's new release, are dominated by guitar, bass, vocals, drums, etc. It is also comprised only of collaborations, is archival (1980's-1990's), and features Punk, Post-Punk, Power-Pop, Alternative, Industrial, and Soundtrack pieces.

The tracks included on this album have been culled from a number of collections of digitized and re-mixed recordings, and is being released today under the title, Stubborn God Productions - Working Backwards: A Collection of Collaborations

For the most part I'm pleased with the general quality of the tunes as they turned out, but in some cases the original sound has been long lost or (if a live performance) may represent the only existing recording of track in question. I'm likewise very happy with the cover art for the project, as well as the album art of the various collections the tracks have been taken from.

Below is a composite of the individual track art, and below that the embed of the album. So enjoy, share, and "follow" 391 & the Army of Astraea on Bandcamp if you can. Thank you all for your support, and as always, till next time.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Electronic Music Give-Away of the Day: An Existing Release Release

Hi all.

I just thought I'd check in for a bit in lieu of tomorrow's release of Stubborn God Productions - Working Backwards: A Collection of Collaborations, with a retro-active update to a previous Stubborn God release - The Sovereignty Soundtrack Extended Play Single, which was uploaded in December 29th, 2019. 

"Sovereignty" is a hard-science-fiction episodic series designed by the award-winning and multi-nominated screenwriting and media content company, Nevekari Enterprises

The audio release originally contained four tracks, but over the course of the last year, others were begun, and I must admit that I started to conceive that a "Sovereignty Volume II" might be in hiding in the wings. However, at present, I have decided to augment the album into a five-track sampler instead.

The additional track in question is now the finally of the album, and it is the overtly bombastic anthem for a fictitious crypto-fascist entity within the series called the "New Order Earth Sphere Government" - which is a global-military administration that is dominant on Earth, and on colonies in space, in the story now of 2158. The exact title of the piece is "Renovare Et Supra" - which is a neo-Latin phrase for something like "Rebirth and Beyond" - which is a palpable element to the characters of the post-dystopian reality they inhabit.

Anyway, the embed is below, so listen, enjoy, share, and if you'd like - click on the "follow" button on Bandcamp - from whence the album, and all the others, have their primary home. 

Till next time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

September Hiatus Complete: Upcoming Album Release Announcement

Welcome back O mighty Gauntletarians!

From the top I must apologize for my the lack of posts logged here through the month of September - especially in light of the incessant political and media manipulation, as well as social chaos, originating from those beholding (knowingly or not) to the utopian religious tenets codified by that misguided authoritarian (and self-hating Jew) Karl Marx. Oh well, there goes the culture war!

Likewise, while I often pondered over the last month which bit of film media to rake over the review coals (then again I repeat myself about Marx's insidious influence), or which aspect of screenplay writing I might feel like dissecting, I instead spent the last few weeks finishing off a series of final mixes for a collection of music tracks I decided would be released this October. 

Unlike the last few electronically-driven outings by 391 & the Army of Astraea, this forthcoming release is a very different kind of animal. First of all it features mostly guitar, bass, and vocals. Second of all it's historical and represents some of the earliest analogue recordings Stubborn God Productions ever made - dating as far back as the summer of 1984. Third and last of all, the collection features no solo work - only collaborations. And so, it's mostly duets, but also trios and in a few cases four-part band. Genre-wise we've got Punk, Post-Punk, Alternative and Power-Pop, Industrial / Electronic, and some very embryonic Soundtrack works. 

While I had literally dozens and dozens of source tracks to choose from, I eventually settled on just twenty that I feel cover the period in question nicely. Needless to say the repair work required to force many of these pieces up to suitable audio quality was extensive, and so in some cases they are as good as they will ever be. 

The album, Stubborn God Productions - Working Backwards: A Collection of Collaborations, will be released on Bandcamp on the morning of October 13th, 2020 (Yeah, I'll admit it - I'm a sucker for the long since replaced record store Tuesday release day), and will be embedded here on the Gauntlet. It may or may not be uploaded to Soundcloud or other platforms, so if you think it's worth sharing, please forward the link to people you think might appreciate it. 

Anyway, I have a few other posts ruminating in the corners of my mind for after the release, so hang in there figuratively and literally...Yes I'm talking to you Hong Kong. Keep up the good fight!

Till next time.