Tag Archives: Usonia

The American culture of politics: a case study

Clone High

Main characters:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Joan of Arc
  • Mohandas Gandhi
  • Cleopatra VII
  • John F. Kennedy

Supporting characters:

  • Julius Caesar
  • Catherine the Great
  • Genghis Khan
  • Marie Antoinette
  • George Washington Carver
  • Jesus Christ
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Marie Curie
  • Thomas Edison
  • Paul Revere
  • Nostradamus
  • Elvis Presley
  • Isaac Newton
  • Buddy Holly
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Juan Ponce de León
  • Moses
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Eva Perón


Main characters:

  • Oda Nobunaga
  • Jack the Ripper
  • [spoiler — go watch it and you’ll know who I mean]
  • Mohandas Gandhi
  • Isaac Newton

Supporting characters:

  • Geronimo
  • Antoni Gaudi
  • François Vidocq
  • John Hunter
  • Galileo
  • the Count of St. Germain
  • Robert Capa

I don’t remember these people but Wikipedia says they were there:

  • Dai Zong
  • Georg Hackenschmidt
  • Cesare Borgia
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Alfred Nobel
  • Nostradamus
  • Babe Ruth
  • William Tell
  • Grigori Rasputin
  • Christopher Columbus

Clone High: 80% of main characters and 48% of supporting characters are political figures.

Nobunagun: 40% of main characters, 0% of supporting characters, and 18% of bit characters are political figures.

And that’s what’s wrong with America.

Note that Nobunagun’s percentage is higher than it would be if I grouped the characters myself: I don’t remember Newton or Gandhi being that much more important than Galileo, Gaudi, or Geronimo. If Newton and Gandhi aren’t main characters, it’s 33%; if those other three are main characters, it’s 25%.

Some categorizations can be disputed — maybe Nobel was political or Rasputin wasn’t, maybe Joan of Arc was or Paul Revere wasn’t — but the numbers are different enough that the point still stands.

Haushofer in America


[Haushofer] justified lebensraum, even at the cost of other nations’ existence because conquest was a biological necessity for a state’s growth.

It is not controversial in this country to say that our growth depended on our expansion into the frontier, or to say that Europe’s growth was greatly aided by the existence of the colonies and the New World.

It should also be noted that exit is impossible without a place to exit to.

Was Haushofer right?

Secessionists and seasteaders take the argument halfway to its conclusion: if greater experimentation leads to the potential for better results, and greater experimentation demands political escape from currently-existing centralized powers, then expansion into new autonomies can grant strength. Even if the acquisitions of land empires would be governed similarly to the capital (which is not necessarily the case, especially if the 山 are 高 and the 皇帝 is 远—as was and is the case in the States, where the imperial capital and the opposite cultural capital are even today separated from the steppe empire by famously ornery ranges of mountains), the settlements of sea empires were not.

No Wave

Other White junkies and degenerates of New York City’s Lower East Side embody what Robertson described as well. The purposeful atonality of the No Wave music scene (complete with a jazz influence), and the sophomorically pornographic Cinema of Transgression movement were both in full swing as the city its adherents inhabited began to look more and more like wasteland somewhere in the third world.



No Wave led to Swans and Foetus. Swans and Foetus led to Wiseblood, which set out to create, in their own words, “violent macho American music”. Those three bands, especially Swans, were influential in the creation of a new American (or Usonian, if you prefer) style of music, which is best exemplified by Cobalt’s album Gin.

Swans also inspired The Young Gods, a Swiss band (interestingly, Roli Mosimann, an early Swans drummer who went on to form Wiseblood, was also originally from Switzerland), which influenced bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry — and Agalloch, the best-known Cascadian black metal band.

Are you SWANS fans? Perhaps it sounds strange, but AGALLOCH reminds me of this band…

Anderson: “I am flattered that we remind you of SWANS. I have to say that SWANS is one of the most important bands in my life. I think they are absolutely brilliant and one of the most prolific bands to ever grace this Earth. When I saw a solo performance by Michael Gira, I gave him a copy of ‘The Mantle’. When I handed it to him I told him how much of an influence SWANS has been on all of us. He was very nice and seemed flattered. However, I doubt he would be into it. He seems to be more into American roots and folk music now.

Now, it’s true that No Wave also spawned a load of garbage, like Sonic Youth and all its tedious, limp-wristed imitations (Pavement, for example), but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have some very beneficial effects.