Friday, April 28, 2017

Pride 33: The Second Coming - A Ten Year Retrospective

A decade down the road, does Pride FC's swan song still sound as (bitter)sweet as it did way back when? Join The Internet Is In America as we take a fond look back at what very well could be the single greatest MMA card of all-time

By: Jimbo X

I love a lot of sports. Pro football. College football. Pro hockey. Boxing. Hardcore Japanese electrified swimming pool barbed wire battle royal death match 'rasslin. They're all just dandy in my books. But the world of mixed martial arts takes up a very special place in my heart. Unlike all of the aforementioned sporting competitions, I was actually around for the very first true MMA event in history. Granted, I had to watch Gerard Gordeau kick Teila Tuli's teeth out of his skull on the old fuzzy, scrambled PPV feed, but hey, I could still pick up the audio just fine. And you can bet your sweet bippy that as soon as the UFC 1 showed up at the local mom and pop video store in two-day-rental VHS form, I was there bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, just champing at the bit to watch Royce Gracie choke out motherfuckers who outweighed him by a good 100 pounds like it was no thang. 

There aren't a whole lot of constants in my life, but MMA has continually played a big role in my existence ever since 1993. I've never really lapsed as a MMA fan, even when the product got really, really shitty (i.e., the UFC dry run from 1999 to 2004 ... sheeeit, those were dark days, indeed.) And as much as I love the UFC - and despite my occasional bouts of frustration with the product, I still appreciate and admire the house Dana White built immensely - it'll perhaps always play second fiddle to my one true MMA beloved: the late, great Pride Fighting Championship.

I'm shocked and disgusted it's taken me this long to write about Pride FC in-depth. Basically, they were to MMA what ECW was pro wrestling in the mid-1990s. Well, actually, that's a pretty ill-fitting simile, but since I really, really like ECW, I'm going to keep running with the analogy anyway. 

Back in the day, the UFC felt really grimy and dirty. Pay-per-view events were broadcast out of 9,000 seat shit-boxes in Dothan, Alabama, and just watching the shows you felt like you were going to contract MRSA. Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that aesthetic, and I earnestly enjoyed it quite a bit. The thing is, the trappings started to become a little bit too familiar. All the fighters looked the same, their entrances were identical, the backdrops looked like they could've been behind a Piggly Wiggly somewhere and as the company tried to abandon its freak-show, human cock-fighting image by adopting incredulous things like "weight classes" and "judges," it just seemed like the UFC was losing its counter-cultural edge. 

And that's where Pride came in to save the day. If you're looking for a crash course on how Pride came to be, here's some handy dandy prerequisite readin' material. But just to catch those out of the loop up to speed: it was a Japanese promotion that took MMA out of the cage and put it in a standard 'rasslin ring. And instead of marketing the fights as Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome death struggles, they instead pumped the product full of all sorts of glitz and glamour, effectively giving the masses a more flamboyant type of vale tudo violence. Or to put it another way, if the UFC was the equivalent of watching Roadhouse, Pride FC was the MMA version of The Gong Show - you got a little bit of everything, and by golly, were those production values something else

Of course, the over-the-top spectacle of Pride FC - those huge arena shows, the fireworks, the crazy costumes, the absurd freak show contests that would never, ever get booked in North America for any reason whatsoever - give it a very memorable and distinct identity, but a lot of people still overlook the REAL reason people loved - and still adore - the promotion: the action was just fuckin' incredible

From 1997 to 2007, there's no denying that Pride FC had better fighters than the UFC, routinely put on better bouts and regularly produced much more entertaining fight cards. You pick any random UFC show from that same timeframe, and odds are, at least five times out of ten the card is going to be rather average. Flip the equation around, though, and I'd venture to guess that eight times out of ten any random old Pride FC show from that era was going to be awesome. And while there is much, MUCH debate about which Pride FC show was the best of 'em all, if I had to pick just one card to showcase as "exhibit A" for why the promotion was go fucking great, I'd prolly have to roll with Pride 33: The Second Coming.

Yes, it is a bit of an unexpected selection. After all, for a company as idiosyncratically Japanese as Pride, perhaps it is a little weird to highlight one of the very few shows they held in the U.S. (and under the unified rules, no less, meaning we didn't get to see any of those infamous soccer kicks and hellacious head stomp KOs.) Furthermore, this was literally the second-to-last show the company ever put on - indeed, I'm pretty sure the UFC had already assumed a majority stake in Pride by the time the show went on - so you really can't call it Pride at its financially independent apex. 

But what you did get, though, was probably the most satisfying series finale for anything ever. The card was just glutted with awesome match-ups from top-to-bottom, and virtually all of them were competitive, exciting contests or bouts highlighted by explosive KO or submission finishes. This was a card that never got anywhere close to anything approaching the doldrums, and its three-hour run-time seems to fly by in 30 minutes. And on top of that, it's a historically important show not just in Pride history, but MMA history as well, featuring a legit 2007 fight of the year contender (hell, maybe two of them, looking back on it) and the coronation of the first double weight class champion in sports history. Factor in an ultra-entertaining undercard - again, with absolutely no boring fights whatsoever - and you've got a swan song so tremendous, you can't help but want to play it at full volume over and over again

So with this being the tenth anniversary of the company's closing - and, appropriately enough, the tenth anniversary of this very card - how's about we take a step back in time to 2007 to relive the magic of Pride's last hurrah?

The unforgettable Pride FC theme plays over random shots of Las Vegas. Quarters fly out of slot machines as the disembodied announcer talks about this being the proving grounds of the likes of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson and how the city has "since opened its gilded gates to MMA" as the best MMA promotion in the world returns to the U.S. 

Our announcers are Lon McEachern (a.k.a, the guy who used to call poker games on ESPN back in the day) and Josh Barnett. They are surrounded by a bevy of (presumably) Japanese chicks wearing purple and gold kimonos. 

They sell hard for tonight's Wandy/Hendo main event, showing highlights of Silva kicking the dog shit out of Rampage Jackson. "He's the only middleweight champion Pride has ever known," Lon states. Then we see clips of Hendo just banging on motherfuckers, which as we all know by now, is precisely what he does best in life. 

The opening intro pipes the Pride theme through huge video monitors. The fans, naturally, go ape-shit as the Dragon Lady yells "we're back!" Pyro is everywhere as each fighter tonight is individually introduced. Frank Trigg comes out wearing a TRIGGONOMICS hoodie. Travis Wiuff comes out and nobody says anything or does anything, as they should. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou comes out in a red jumpsuit. Meanwhile, Lil' Nog has a head that looks like half of a chewed up cabbage. There's Alistair Overeem and Mauricio Rua, looking pretty much the same as they do now. Nick Diaz looks visibly high already. The audience pops big time for Takanori Gomi, who was considered the best 155-pounder on the planet at the time. Dan Henderson wears an American Home Mortgage shirt, perhaps portending the upcoming economic recession. And there's Wanderlei Silva, in a bright yellow hoodie and looking like a Bizarro version of Kurt Angle ... or, in other words, looking just like he always does

I think we can all agree - 2007 skanks are the greatest skanks of all-time.

Joachim Hansen vs. Jason Ireland opens the show. The Thomas & Mack Center is about 60, maybe 65 percent full. Steve Mazzagatti is the ref. Hansen gets some leg kicks early and Ireland returns fire. Ireland with a takedown. Hansen back up. Ireland with more leg kicks, with one of them almost taking Hansen down. The ref calls a timeout so Hansen can fix his wrist tape, and the crowd boos. 

You know, Hansen kinda reminds me of the dude who got toxic wasted in Robocop. We return from the timeout, and the two clinch, with a ton of knees and punches being thrown both directions. Remember, we're fighting under the unified rules, so the opening round is only five minutes instead of ten. The ref tells them to get off the fucking ropes, for God's sake. Ireland is STILL going for the low kicks. Hansen with a takedown and he's almost in the full guard. Now he is in side control. The ref's ass obscures the cameraman so we can't see shit. Ireland gives up his back. Ireland trying to fight out. Hansen still has his legs wrapped around Ireland's waist. He has a body triangle. Oddly enough, Ireland's pants read "Kiss me, I'm Irish." Both men back up with thirty seconds to go. Hansen lands a knee to the chest and a super-easy takedown. Hanson does this awesome roll on the ground to transition to getting Ireland's back. Now he's looking for a choke. Hansen still working on it with seconds to go. Ireland back up and Hansen is in the open guard. They stand up and swing like crazy as the round expires.

ROUND TWO. We go over the rules again, including all that stuff about the 10-point-must system and how you can't knee or kick a grounded opponent or bite their ballsack. Which means, sadly, there will be no soccer kicks to the face tonight. A bummer, I know. Ireland begins with some leg kicks. He whiffs on a high kick. Ireland with a running takedown. HE is just ELBOWING the fuck out of Hansen. But Hansen is right back up and he hits Ireland with a million billion knees and leg kicks. Hansen just unloading on that motherfucker now. Hansen with an easy takedown and he's in side control. Ireland trying to counter with a guillotine, but Hansen is already out. Hansen with a knee to Ireland's face as he gets up. Ireland using more leg kicks. Hansen responds with some HARD body shots in the corner and more knees to the schnoz. Hansen with a twirling takedown, and Barnett calls him a natural born killer. Ireland looks about as gassed as an Auschwitz prisoner right now. Hansen with punches to the kidneys in bunches. Ireland trying to smack Hansen on the leg with his heel. Ireland has Hansen's wrist tied up, so Hansen just keeps kneeing his body. Hansen gets a hand loose and now he's looking for a side choke. Now he's in the full mount. Ireland is FUCKED. Now Hansen has his back. One minute left. Ireland just turtled up. Dig those bright blue ROCKSTAR gloves. Hansen pops Ireland in the forearm. Now Hansen has Ireland locked in a sick armlock and he's just hammer fisting the fuck out of him as the round concludes. Yeah, Big Steve prolly shoulda stopped this one right then and there.

ROUND THREE. Hansen raises his arms in the air at the opening bell. Ireland is in the corner throwing straight kicks. Hansen already has a takedown. Well, more like Ireland just kinda' fell down, but whatever. Barnett just BURIES both guys by saying neither are strikers worth a shit. Ieland with desperation leg kicks. Hansen backs Ireland into the corner and Ireland, believe it or not, is somehow able to land a takedown. Hansen is working from the rubber guard. He's looking for a triangle. Hansen is just teeing off on the top of Ireland's skull. Hansen working that triangle even harder. More skull pounding. Now he transitions to an armbar. Ireland is fighting it. He grimaces in pain, and after almost 20 seconds in the hold, Ireland finally verbally submits. The official time is 2:33 of round three. In the post fight, a buncha' geishas give Trigg a crappy bowling trophy as ultra-triumphant music plays. All in all, that wasn't a bad little opener. Sure, it deteriorated into a squash in the second and third rounds, but at least the first five minutes were fairly competitive. 

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? After Pride folded, Joachim Hansen is prolly most famous for his stint in Dream FC, in which he shocked Shinya Aoki to win a tournament to declare the promotion's first lightweight champion. He lost a rematch to Aoki just five months later, but remained a stalwart in the upstart promotion all the way until its final show in Sept. 2011. Since then, he's fought sporadically, accumulating a 1-3 record fighting for promotions like ROAD FC and Shooto. Ireland spent the rest of his career fighting for King of the Cage. He hasn't had a fight since 2012, so I guess it's safe to assume he's called it a career at this point.

Yeah, I know - it don't look right to me either.

Up next it's Frank Trigg vs. Kazuo Misaki. Trigg wears a shirt reading "black belt in bullshit," which makes some muscular dudes in the crowd applaud. A few fans cheer Misaki coming out, prolly outta' just common decency, but you can tell they don't really give a shit. The ref is a Japanese dude who looks like he could probably be your calculus teacher. Misaki circles Trigg. Trigg looking for a takedown. He bullies Misaki into the corner. Misaki reverses it. He hits Trigg with a short knee to the strike (yep, just like Gary Coleman woulda' done.) Then Trigg fires back with some small knee shots of his own. Trigg responds by landing the world's slowest single leg takedown. Trigg in side control. Misaki has him in a headlock, but Trigg pops right out. Trigg is in side control again. He knees Misaki's side and pillow fists his back. Trigg almost in the full mount now, but not quite. More elbows to Misaki's back. Now he has Misaki's back. Trigg with a body triangle around hsi waist. Now Trigg is punching the hell out of his face. Misaki trying to snake his way out. Trigg still doesn't have the chock sunk in. Now Trigg is working a face lock, of all things. Misaki is out. One minute left. Trigg with more punches to the face. Trigg going for another face lock, and he fails to lock in the choke as the bell sounds.

ROUND TWO. Misaki with a hard body shot. Trigg with a spinning body lock takedown. Trigg is in side control again. Trigg using shoulder butts because that's pretty much all he can use right now. Trigg has Misaki's back AGAIN. He spins out and he's back in the full mount. Now he has him flattened out on his back. Trigg with a hard shot to the head. Both men back up now. Misaki throwing the leather. He fucking POPS Trigg with a hard right. And another. Misaki with an aborted jumping knee attack. He pops Trigg AGAIN. Trigg can't hit shit standing. Misaki almost hits a huge knee, but he feigns at the last second and Trigg lands a MASSIVE double leg takedown. A minute left. Trigg in the full guard, but Misaki is landing some good shots from the bottom. Trigg lands a big shot, but both men look gassed as fuck. A very hard round to score, but I'd give it to Trigg in my book. 

ROUND THREE. OK, now I am wholeheartedly convinced, Frank Trigg and Matt Serra ARE THE SAME PERSON. Trigg with leg kicks early. Misaki lands a few soft shots and then Trigg takes his ass down again. Trigg in the full mount. He's peppering Misaki with pussy-looking hammer fists. The ref stands them up and makes them scoot back over to the middle of the ring. Barnett says Misaki should kick off Trigg like he was his little sister. Uhh, whut. Trigg in side control again. Trigg with knees to the side. Misaki ain't doing much of shit here. "No knees to the head!" the ref warns Trigg. Trigg has Misaki's back again. He has the body lock in. Both men back up. Misaki with a flying knee that barely connects. Trigg with what Barnett calls "a skipping knee." About a minute left. Misaki with a one-two combo and yep, Trigg takes him down again. Trigg with soft serve punches to Misaki's side. And we end this fight with Trigg just towering over Misaki, like he's determined to impregnate him on the next hump. So this should be a unanimous decision for Trigg and what do you know, it is 30-27 across the board for Trigg. He gets a participation trophy, while Misaki gets nothing but fucking shame over his shitty ass performance.

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? After his win here, Trigg spent a good two years dicking around in every promotion in the world that wasn't called the UFC before finally getting called back up to Zuffa World in 2009, where he promptly got his ass slain by Josh Koscheck and Matt Serra (in what was basically a Mortal Kombat mirror fight) in back-to-back bouts. After that, he had one fight Israel FC and two bouts in BAMMA, but he hasn't fought since 2011 so he's prolly done fighting for good. Meanwhile, Misaki spent another five years fighting primarily for World Victory Road, with a couple of detours in Strikeforce and DEEP. He hasn't fought since getting decisioned by Paul Daley in early 2012, but he's still alive, though. I think.

Up next, it's Travis Wiuff vs. James Lee. Both of these lightweights are making their Pride debuts tonight. Mario Y. is the ref. Lee comes storming out the gate and WALLOPS Travis with a huge right and he just pounds the fuck outta' that white nigga on the mat. Lee looks for a guillotine and he fucking gets it and kills Wiuff dead. The total time? Just 39 seconds. On the replay, Travis is shown leading with his chin, which isn't even a rookie mistake, that's like a one-second-old newborn baby mistake. And it cost him dearly

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? Lee had two equally impressive submission victories fighting for King of the Cage in 2007, but unfortunately, his big UFC debut in Jan. 2008 didn't exactly pan out the way he wanted - the dude got knocked out by Alessio Sakara in a minute and a half. Four years later he won a fight in Triple X Cagefighting, but that appears to be the last time he ever competed in the sport. Conversely, Wiuff has had 44 fucking pro fights since this loss, complete with some surprisingly lengthy winning streaks in YAMMA and Bellator. His last fight was for KOTC in Oct. 2016. If your town has a shitty, scummy MMA promotion, odds are he'll prolly be fighting for it soon enough.

The man who made the term "one hit wonder" hyper-literal.

Now it's time for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Lil' Nog is 7-0 and Soko is making his Pride debut. This is a light heavyweight contest. In case you are wondering, Soko is from that MMA hotbed ... Cameroon. Hey, look at those white ho's drinking liquor out of those brown Popeye bottles in the front row! Nobody on the announce team can pronounce Soko's name correctly. Soko comes out with a leg kick. Soko bobs and weaves and outta' nowhere he just fucking FLAT LINES Nog with a lightning fast left uppercut. Lon says Soko used "African Magic" on his opponent and I laugh my ass off. The official time of the gargantuan upset? Just 23 seconds. 

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? Soko followed up this incredible KO with another knockout victory over Ricardo Arona just two months later at Pride 34. Naturally, this made him a big get for the UFC, but he under-performed during his one-year stay in Zuffa Land, going 1-2 with BAD losses to Lyoto Machida and Luiz Cane. Since then, he's fought for pretty much every major MMA promotion out there, including Affliction, Dream, Strikeforce and Bellator. His last fight was a loss against Thiago Silva in a Brazilian promotion last November. Meanwhile, Lil' Nog has been a UFC stalwart since 2009, chalking up some impressive victories over Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans (along with some VERY bad losses against Phil Davis and Ryan Bader.) As of April 2017, Lil 'Nog is still on the active UFC roster, although at 40 years of age, you really have to wonder just how much gas is left in his tank ... that is, if he even has a tank left at this point.

Alright, now its time for Mac Danzig vs. Hayato Sakurai in a catchweight contest. Sakurai is 7-3 in Pride competition. This is Danzig's company debut. You have gotta' see how unimpressed this one guy in the crowd is looking at Sak. The ref is some Japanese guy - let's call him "Kyle." Sak with leg kicks early, but he whiffs on a head kick. Sak with a big shot to the head, a knee and ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a slugfest. Sak throwing vicious knees in the corner. Danzig in the open guard. Sak lets him right back up. Sak with another good shot to the stomach. Sak with a leg kick. He's trying to close the distance on Danzig. Sak with another hard Sak leg kick. Danzig keeps his distance and tries to make this one a striking competition. Too bad Sak is one hell of a counter-puncher. Danzig tries to take down Sak, but Sak shakes him off and gets in the full guard. The ref tells them to get in the center of the ring. Sak lands some HARD shots to the head. Danzig tries to tie him up, but it ain't working. Danzig is still stuck with his back on the mat with a minute left. Sak lets him get back up. Sak with a leg kick. And another. Sak with a SWEET judo toss. He has Danzig in a headlock and is looking for a straight armbar (you know, as opposed to the homosexual ones, I suppose.) Just ten seconds left. And Danzig, miraculously, makes it to the bell.

ROUND TWO. Frank Trigg has now joined us on commentary. Goddamn, do I LOVE these 38-year-old looking blonde hos in the front row. Danzig with some good punches to begin, but Sak pulls him down with a nice leg trip. Sak looking for an armbar. He punches the fuck out of Danzig's head but let's him get back up. Sak with a STIFF left hand. Both men have slowed down considerably at this point. Sak whiffs on a low kick, and then he feeds Danzig a hard chin burger (of the Japanese variety, of course.) Sak with another solid jab. Sak grabs his leg on a spinning kick to the midsection. Sak dodges Danzig's jabs like they aren't shit. He lands another hard leg kick. Then another. Here comes Danzig with the WORST Superman punch attempt you've ever seen in your life. Sak with another hard leg kick. And one more. Danzig looks wobbly as fuck now. He is just CARVING that nigga up with leg kicks. One minute left in the round. Danzig connects with a light punch. AND SAK FUCKING MURDER DEATH KILLS DANZIG DEAD WITH A LOOPING RIGHT! He gets one free shot on the ground and the ref, mercifully, waves it off. 

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? Despite his impressive track record in Pride, Sak never got called up by the UFC. Instead, he spent the rest of his career fighting in Dream, where after knocking out Shinya Aoki, he inexplicably lost four fights in a row against guys like Jason High and Akihiro Gono. He appeared to have his last match in 2013, but he came out of semi-retirement in 2016 for a one-and-done appearance in Rizin; at age 41, though, don't expect him to have many more appearances in the ring. Danzig immediately jumped ship to UFC after this loss, where he had 13 fights - which included both solid wins over Joe Stevenson and Mark Bocek but mostly really bad losses against the likes of Melvin Guillard, Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller - before finally calling it a career (seemingly) in 2013. 

Who's ready for heavyweight action? Now it's time for Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mike Russow. Sergei is 7-3 in Pride, while Russow is making his company debut tonight. Sergei is wearing this rather homoerotic black and white tank top an emo teenage girl prolly would have worn in 2007. We have ourselves an AWESOME mean mug stare down. Mario Y. is the ref. Russow is pretty fat, but that doesn't prevent him from getting an early inside leg trip. But Sergei is right back up. Russow whiffs on a jab. This leads to Trigg delivering the line of the night: "Most Americans are used to seeing heavyweights that are slow and lethargic. These guys are extremely, very athletic." Sergei with a good uppercut. Russow catches Sergei's leg on a failed high kick. Russow angles the takedown and now he's in side control. Now Russow looking for a little ground and pound. Looks like he is going for an armbar. There's the "USA" chant I've been waiting for. Sergei gets Russow in a bodylock. Russow lands a HUGE slam, and he's back into he full guard. Trigg says he likes how nationalistic the U.S. fans are and Barnett makes a crack about Brazilian fans trying to stab people. Sergei looks for an armbar. He has it in deep and the ref waves it off. Russow is pissed as shit, saying he didn't tap. Well, let's look at the replay. Yep, Russow tapped like a little bitch, alright. Barnett accuses Russow of poor sportsmanship and says he'd like to see the fight restarted so Sergei can punch him in the face and make him bleed all over the ring. And that, my friends, is what you call "totally objective commentary."

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? Despite being a top ten worldwide heavyweight fighter for at least a good five or six years, the UFC never gave Sergei a phone call (well, that, or he turned them down like a dumbass.) Instead, he opted to stay in Japan and fight in Dream FC, before hopping on over to Strikeforce for their Heavyweight Grand Prix. After that he fought exclusively in M-1, but he did make his Bellator debut last November (spoiler: he got his ass knocked out.) After this loss, Russow managed to chalk up seven consecutive victories over two years in the indies, and got called up to the UFC in 2009, where he went on a four-fight tear before dropping back to back losses to Fabricio Werdum and Shawn Jordan. He hasn't fought since 2013, so I guess we can just go on ahead and say he's retired from fighting.

Overeem learns the hard way that steroids alone can't prevent your face from being smashed open like a pinata.

Time for Alistair Overeem vs. Mauricio Rua - a current heavyweight taking on a current middleweight in Pride's Light Heavyweight division. Hooray for those lingering shots of those drunk blonde hos in the front row. Hell, considering it's Vegas (well, technically, Paradise, Nev., but nobody ever checks that shit), they probably ARE legit hookers. Steve M. is our ref, but I'm distracted by the girls sipping on Bud Light whose boobs are bouncing up and down like skank-flavored Jell-O.

Shogun with a leg kick. He's chasing Reem down. Reem with a flying knee. Shogun with a high kick. Reem with a good one-two combo. Clinch against the ropes. Reem breaks free with a knee. Reem catches Shogun's leg on a high kick. Reem lets him right back up. Reem with a low kick. Another clinch. Reem with knees and punches that really aren't connecting. Reem throws Rua to the mat like a sack of potatoes. Another clinch. Reem with more knees. Reem has Rua face down on the mat. He's looking for a double wrist lock. Rua trying to reverse. Reem desperately trying to hold on to his foe's arm. Reem sprawls. Both men back up now. Shogun with a straight right, then a single leg. Now he has Reem in the open guard. Shogun lands a huge punch and he hops right into the full mount. He lands another huge punch from the top and he just UNLOADS a barrage of overhand rights that puts Reem FUCKING OUT. "That punch was not fast, it was sudden," Barnett comments. Lon then takes the time to let us know how gravity works by saying getting hit from a dude falling down at you face hurts more than just being whacked by a guy standing right in front of you. Anyway, that was a fucking explosive fight and it had me on the edge of my seat for all four minutes or so it was going on. When people opine with widened, nostalgia-sick eyes about how great Pride was, trust me - it's because of awesome shit like that last bout. 

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? Hey, what do you know, both of these fellows are STILL in the UFC today and have won at least one world title since this bout. Shogun is 9-6 in the Octagon since 2007, including a Light Heavyweight Championship win over Lyoto Machida in 2010. He's currently riding a three fight winning streak, with his latest win an impressive TKO finish of Gian Villante in March 2017. Overeem would go on to win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship in 2007, a title he at least linearly took with him when he jumped ship to the UFC in 2011. While his attempt to take home the UFC Heavyweight title at UFC 203 came up well short, he did chalk up an impressive KO finish of Mark Hunt at UFC 209. And considering how thin and injury-prone the competition is in the division, methinks old 'Reem is never more than one or two wins away from another crack at the title.

Our co-main event is  a hell of a lightweight scrap - Takanori Gomi vs. Nick Diaz. At this point, Gomi was considered by many to be the best 155-pound fighter on the planet. Yes, even better than BJ Penn. Conversely, Nick Diaz was considered to be nothing more than a journeyman fighter who fucked up a lot - thus, you can understand why so many MMA purists initially wrote this one off back in the day. 

Just so you know, our ref is a Jap, so he might be biased towards Gomi. He pantomimes stomping the mat and tells both fighters to not do that shit. Diaz is taken down right off the bat, but he counters with a SICK flipping arm bar. Gomi is on top and he is smashing the shit out of Nick's face. Gomi with more jumping punches in the open guard. Gomi is CARVING him up now. Diaz is up and he's looking to clinch. The ref moves them back to the center of the ring. Gomi with another hard punch in the guard. Gomi peppering him with shots. Diaz tries to lock in a triangle, but Gomi is right back up. Diaz with a considerable height advantage here. Diaz pops Gomi with a good one. AND GOMI FUCKING DROPS HIM! Gomi hops in the open guard and is trying to get his back. He's not even trying to get his hooks in, he just wants to smash that motherfucker's head in. The crowd is chanting "Gomi, Gomi" loudly. Gomi is in the full guard. The ref orders them to stand up. Another slugfest ensues, with bombs flying in both directions. Diaz hurts Gomi with a flurry of punches. Gomi is tied up against the ropes and Diaz is landing a ton of knees in the clinch. We get ANOTHER awesome slugfest, with Diaz peppering Gomi with shots back into the ropes and Gomi trying to fake Diaz out so he can counter-punch his lights out. This is just a goddamn war right now. Gomi's not even trying to defend against Diaz's stand up anymore. Nick's dirty boxing like a motherfucker. Diaz clips him again. Either Gomi is trying to fake Diaz out of his shoes or else he really is fucking half dead as the bell sounds.

ROUND TWO. Understandably, the crowd is going wild. Diaz is bleeding under his right eye. Diaz looks fucking anorexic. Diaz with some good shots early. Gomi swinging wildly. Diaz with a kick to the midsection. "Gomi looks like a wet rag out there," Barnett states. Now Diaz is bleeding HEAVILY. Like, enough that he would probably need the super-absorbent kind of tampons if he was a vagina. The ref calls a timeout. Gomi's shorts are sopping wet with his opponent's blood. Timeout over and both men are just swinging for the fences in the middle of the ring. Gomi lands a good shot and Diaz bangs him right back. Gomi shoots for a takedown ... and he falls right into Diaz's guard and he locks in a FUCKING GOGOPLATA. There ain't no way Gomi is getting out of that one. Gomi taps, the ref jumps in and the audience goes shit, primarily of the ape variety.

Who'd thunk THIS moment would be stolen for the finish of a WrestleMania main event?

This was a COLOSSAL upset at the time. The official time of the tap is 1:45 of the very first round. The announcers wonder if Gomi took the fight seriously as Diaz lifts his trophy in the air, his hair all bushy and his eyes nearly swollen shut. This was definitely the last truly great fight in Pride history and a legit fight of the year contender. In fact, the only bout from 2007 I can think of that is on par with this one just in terms of nonstop, bell-to-bell action is Silva vs. Liddell at UFC 79 (or maybe that one Chris Horodecki vs. Shad Lierly bout in the IFL, but fuck, like I expect ANYBODY to remember anything about the IFL.) Of course, the victory was later changed to a no contest by the NSAC, because - I'm not surprised, motherfuckers - Diaz couldn't prevent himself from puffin' on the chiba before struttin' out to the ring.

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? After this bout Diaz did a tour of duty in EliteXC with a one and done appearance in Dream before winning the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship in 2010. He was consolidated into the UFC a year later, where he beat BJ Penn at UFC 137 ... only to lose three consecutive fights against Carlos Condit, GSP and Anderson Silva afterwards. He is currently wrapping up an 18-month suspension for a failed drug test at UFC 183 - and if you think that's harsh, just remember the penalty was originally a five year ban from the sport. Gomi spent another three years competing for World Victory Road and Shooto before finally signing with the UFC in 2010, where he has gone 4-7 under the Zuffa banner. His last appearance in the Octagon was at UFC 200, where he was TKO'ed by Jim Miller in under two minutes. 

And now, it's time for the main event - Wanderlei Silva vs. Dan Henderson. Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson is moving up a weight class to challenge long-term Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva for the title he's held for almost six full years. Silva is 22-3-1 in Pride competition while Hendo is 12-5. You really need to see these two guys fighting back in their heydays to truly appreciate them. We've got five five-minute rounds to determine this. Hendo begins with leg kicks early. Silva stalking him down. Hendo throwing some BOMBS. Hendo slips and Silva jumps on him. Silva gets in the full mount. Hendo elbows him in the thigh. "Silva isn't called 'the Axe Murderer' because of his kind disposition in the ring," Barnett states. Hendo grapevines the leg and the crowd boos the momentary inaction. Hendo holds on to Silva for dear life, lightly tapping him with punches to the temple. Crowd is still booing. The ref stands 'em up. Hendo throws knees and short hooks up against the ropes. For whatever reason, Barnett said that's like something you might see in a L.A. Kings game. Silva backed into the corner. The ref puts both men back in the middle of the ring again. Hendo with a leg kick. Trigg talks about this one time he saw Silva knock a dude out in practice with a headlock, but he's mum on the details. Hendo throws some wild punches in bunches. Silva seems content playing defense. He survives about three or four huge straight jabs in an exchange. One minute to go in the first round. And we have ourselves another wild exchange. Silva's legs buckle, but he shucks Hendo right off of him. Silva delivers a TON of huge punches in the final ten seconds. 

ROUND TWO. Hendo walks to the wrong corner. This blonde ho in the front row claps nervously. I think she might be his wife or mistress or something. Oh god, you HAVE to see these two fedora wearing guys going crazy in the crowd. Hendo with a leg kick early, and Silva counter punches. There's a clinch against the ropes. Hendo with more knees, and then a takedown. Hendo is caught in A DEEP CHOKE, but he escapes - just not before getting kneed in the head a couple of times. Hendo lands another takedown. The ref moves them back to the middle of the ring. Hendo is in the full mount, and Barnett makes a quip about Dan having "baby making hips," later implying that he's able to shoot out sperm like one of those automated tennis servers. No, for real - he really does say that. Hendo with some short range punches. Hendo has Silva's arms tied up. Hendo starting to land some big hammer fists. Silva wraps his legs around Hendo's waist but Dan continues to drop those heavy, heavy hammer fists on him. Silva is starting to bleed now. Hendo blasts him with huge shots in the full guard. Silva is just getting grounded out now. Hendo with more bombs from the top. Silva just trying to stay alive now. Silva goes for a shitty armbar attempt and Hendo falls back into the full guard. One minute left. Hendo with another big right from the top, and then another. Hendo ready to jump straight into Silva's face. He gets one or two good shots in, but not enough to finish Silva off. The ref moves 'em back to the middle of the ring with 11 seconds left. Hendo whiffs on a huge right, Silva goes fro the armbar again and Hendo lands one more huge overhand right as the bell sounds.

ROUND THREE. On the replay, it looks like a shoulder butt almost knocked Silva's mouth guard out. Silva with a leg kick and a knee to the midsection. Hendo keeping his distance. Silva with a leg kick. Then another. Hendo whiffs on a right and Silva hits a nice one-two counter punch combo. Hendo goes for a takedown and Silva has him briefly locked in a nasty headlock. Hendo right back up. Silva trying to get his back. Silva pushes Hendo into the neutral corner. Both men in the middle, throwing jabs and low kicks. Hendo with a spinning back fist. He clinches Silva up against the ropes. Back to the middle of the ring again. Silva lands a jab, Hendo lands a jab, Silva whiffs on a wild punch and HENDO PUTS HIM ON HIS BACK WITH A SATANIC LEFT HOOK. Hendo gets a free elbow shot on the ground and the ref jumps all over Silva's carcass. Confetti falls from the rafters while Henderson lays on the canvas licking his bloody mouth guard. We watch that unholy left hook land again - it is NASTY. Hendo wraps his new belt around his waist as the Pride geishas wave towards the camera. "How could you not but loooove tonight's action?" Lon states as the PPV feed fades to black.

SO, WHERE ARE THESE GUYS NOW? Hendo came to the UFC as Pride's Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion analogues, and he promptly lost back-to-back unification matches against Rampage Jackson and Anderson Silva. After landing the knockout of all knockouts against Michael Bisping, Hendo spent a couple of years in Strikeforce before returning to the UFC fray in 2011. His retirement bout was at UFC 204, where he dropped a unanimous decision loss to Bisping. Silva jumped ship to the UFC and had an all-time barnburner classic against Chuck Liddell in his promotional debut. Alas, he would go 4-5 in the Octagon, with his final fight in the promotion taking place in 2013. He is expected to come out of retirement at Bellator 180 to fight Chael Sonnen, but yeah - we'll believe that when we see it.

The agony of defeat. The ecstasy of victory. And of course, an outrageously bloated party supplies budget - three things that made Pride FC fucking amazing.

I vividly recall checking out Dave Meltzer's site after the PPV aired and the headline was something along the lines of "DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO CATCH THE REPLAY OF PRIDE 33." Well, I don't always agree with the Meltz, but in this instance, I definitely concur. This is a three hour long show that feels like it flies by in 30 minutes. There isn't a single bad match on the entire card, and throughout the show you get a very nice mixture of types of fights. The Hansen/Ireland curtain jerker was a fairly competitive lightweight bout that kinda served the same purpose as the old cruiserweight PPV openers back in the heyday of WCW - something fast and frenetic to keep you glued to your seat that further elevated the stock of a young up-and-comer. The Trigg/Misaki bout was probably the closest the show got to an underwhelming match-up, but it still served a utilitarian purpose - it made a UFC import look like a bad motherfucker without really diminishing the company's homegrown talent (the inverse of that being the Sakurai/Danzig bout - where the homegrown talent was made to look like a BAD motherfucker by pretty much drubbing a UFC castoff.) You had two STELLAR squash matches in the form of James Lee taking Travis Wiuff's head off and the super-duper upset of Soko over Lil Nog - hardly fight of the year contenders, but bouts that still had you jumping out of your seat yelling "holy shit!" all the same. The Sergei/Russow bout was a good "cooldown" bout that did a good job demonstrating what made Pride's Heavyweight division different from their competitors' heavyweight divisions, and it was a nice lead-in to a fantastic triple main-event line-up. Overeem/Rua was just an awesome five minute back-and-forth war, Gomi/Diaz was quite possibly the most energetic MMA fight of 2007 and the Hendo/Silva bout was competitive as fuck, loaded with drama and complete with one of the greatest feel-good endings in the sport's history. The whole show just left you wanting more, which is the tell-tale sign that promoters definitely did something right booking the product. That it more or less represented Pride's swan song just makes it all the more transcendent as an MMA show. 

I'm generally hesitant to declare one show the "best ever," but I really can't think off the top of my head of any MMA PPVs that left me more satisfied, start-to-finish, than this one. It just gave you everything you could want out of a mixed martial arts show, including this weird sense of closure. By now we all knew Pride was about to get bought out, and this show was sorta' like the last Monday Nitro - the last go-around under the original company banner, that one final opportunity to see the product as itself before it became consolidated with the competition. This was Pride, essentially, being Pride as hard as it could before the lights shut off for good, and it just plain fuckin' delivered.

Yes, there are more idiosyncratic Pride shows out there - and yes, give me enough time and I'll get to those, too - but as far as pick-up-and-play, instant MMA gratification goes, this might just be the best a la carte card out there. If you haven't caught this PPV before, for shame. Not only is this essential watchin' for all MMA enthusiasts, it's also a great entry point for UFC nuthuggers to dive into so they can understand why so many Pride fanboys continue to wax poetically on the long-dead promotion to this very day. Simply put, this is a tremendous fucking show, and if you haven't seen it, you don't deserve the right or the honor to declare yourself a mixed martial arts fan.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Tried The 1-Pound Vegan Celebration Roast ...

And basically, it was like eating one of those giant meatballs they used to put in Franco-American pasta back in the day.

By: Jimbo X

Although I haven't been a vegetarian in several years now, I still have something of an affinity for vegetarian meat alternatives. Pretty much anytime I go to a sushi place or one of the more hippie-ish pizzerias I opt for the tofu subs instead of the real deal, and as crazy as it may sound, I still prefer veggie hot dogs to the authentic pork and beef ones. Ironically, I think it's the semi-synthetic blandness of such foods that appeals to me. They have a very unnatural smoothness to them, but I actually kinda' dig the slightly tasteless tofu taste. It just feels like I'm eating something futuristic - artificial meat, cooked up in some sort of state of the art lab somewhere where there's probably UFOs and shit under a couple of tarps in the basement. That it's probably healthier for you in the long haul, I assure you, is merely an aside in my case

Which brings us to the Original Field Roast Grain Meat Co.'s Celebration Roast, the latest in a long line of special edition, extra-hearty faux-meat monoliths a'la the Tofurky Roast and the Gardein Holiday Roast. Whereas its predecessors were all about being passed off as seasonal experiences, it looks like the Original Field Roast Grain Meat Co. (henceforward referred to by the slightly more manageable acronym OFRGMC) wanted their roast to be something of an evergreen supermarket staple. For one thing, it doesn't have any sort of holiday dressings to it whatsoever. This thing would look in season just as much in April as it does in November, which, if nothing else, should guarantee it a spot next to the Smart Dogs in the barely opened vegetarian meat alternative section at your local grocer for quite some time to come. Secondly, OFRGMC didn't even bother putting the thing in some oversized shoe box like the competition. Instead, the vacuum sealed their shit in a plastic wrapper, chucked in a paper sleeve and said "eh, good enough." And that sort of marketplace minimalism/not giving a shit in general is something I just HAVE to applaud as a jaded, 30-something consumer.  

I've been meaning to give the roast a try for quite some time, but it wasn't until my local grocery store marked the price down to half what it was a couple months back that I decided to bite the (vegetarian) bullet and finally allot it a taste test. Alas, as you will soon see, that drastic markdown in price was for a fairly good reason ... 

I've always thought it was hilarious how vegans always railed against "modified foods" when vegan shit like this is pretty much the least natural shit on the planet. Just take a look at all the ingredients it took to make this thing a reality: butternut squash, apples, mushrooms, lemon juice, safflower oil and the one that really jumps out at you, Irish moss sea vegetable extract. When you're eating cross-pollinated seaweed, fungi and fruit for lunch, I think that pretty much negates you ability to complain about anybody else eating "engineered" foodstuffs, don't it?

But where things get really suspect is the nutritional data. The entire loaf is a good 1,050 calories, which would represent about half a day's worth of food for most folks. The rub there is that in 425 grams of roast, just 115 are protein. Almost three quarters of the roast is synthetic carbohydrates and fat, with the whole shebang packing a walloping 2,600 milligrams of sodium, which is about 300 more milligrams of sodium than is recommended for daily consumption. So yeah, while these guys can stake at least some claim to manufacturing a healthy meat alternative, at the same time they're also pumping your ass full of so much salt that it probably negates whatever health benefits you would've gotten from eating it in lieu of a regular old hot dog or hamburger.

The thing that really gets me, though, is how the company tells you you can eat the thing cooked or uncooked. Right off the bat that lets me know you don't really have that many volatile ingredients (meaning, anything that would probably give you botulism) in it, but then again, this stuff is put in the refrigerated section for a reason, ain't it? At my grocer, it's not even hanging out next to the cheeses, it's in one of those artificial climate control deep freezers with the ice shelves and shit. Does that mean I can just slap off the particles of supermarket snow on it, take a knife to this sumbitch and make me a sandwich right then and there? Let me tell you kids, I was tempted to make about three or four different snacks involving the myriad ways you can (purportedly) prepare this stuff. Grilled in a pan, nuked in the microwave, broiled in the oven ... hey, don't ever say the guys who made it didn't give you plenty of options on this one. 

Alright, so about that reduced price thing I was alluding to earlier. Well, as you can see here, the "enjoyment" expiration date (which I'm not entirely sure would hold up in a court of law as the same thing as a straight up expiration date) was Feb. 11, 2017. That's more than a little, uh, odd, seeing as how I bought the thing more than a month later. You think I kid? Hell, I even saved the receipt for you ...

Naturally, this leads me to believe one of two things; either there's a Kroger in metro Atlanta that doesn't give one iota of a fuck about selling foods that have been expired in excess of 30 days to its customers OR this vegan roast thingamabob is so devoid of real food ingredients that it's expiration date is merely nominal, like a Twinkie or a Chocodile. Either way ... I'm probably putting my stomach in serious jeopardy moving forward with this article. Regardless, I already paid my three dollars for it and I've already put this much effort into explaining to you good people what the roast is, so I might as well keep chugging along, shouldn't I? 

So here's your full vegan roast, after a good three minute bombardment of radiation in the microwave. You really can't tell too much from the photo, but the roast itself is insanely greasy. Except it's not really grease, it's this liquid smoke extract thing that is just all over the fucking thing. As soon as I pulled the thing out of the microwave (by the way, am I the only person who HAS to hit the eject button when there's just one second left on the countdown just to avoid hearing the timer buzzer go off?) I was immediately assailed by a scent I hadn't smelled in nearly 20 years ... the downright unmistakable scent of Franco-American pasta. You remember that shit, don't you? You know, that preservatives loaded kids stuff that sometimes came gussied up like Sonic, Waldo, or God help us, animated Louie Anderson? Well, that is PRECISELY what the scent of this thing reminded me of. Maybe it's because of that same liquid smoke additive or maybe it's because of all the preservatives used for this dish, but damn ... that smell really took me back.

Now, I could've just eaten the thing raw out of the box, but that's both gross and hardly photogenic. So, ultimately, I decided to make myself a very, very basic sandwich. There's nothing at all fancy here - just two slabs of bread, one giant translucent green tub of artificial animal meat and one butter knife I really hope is sturdy enough to do the job. Let's dig in, shall we?

I'll be honest with you kids, I have NO idea what sort of things are the inside of the roast. You can see some flakes and strips of something, but that stuff could be practically anything. Chunks of apple, mushrooms, onions, squash, like I said, anything. Overall, the product's consistency is ... well, pretty consistent, I guess, although the exterior coating of whatever the hell that stuff is supposed to be is pretty tough to saw through. If you're keen on carving up some sandwich slices, do not expect to cut off some perfectly circular in-tact pieces right out the gate - if ever, for that matter.

And there's your Celebration Roast, in its natural habitat taking a nap on a piece of Wonder Bread. As a general rule, it's pretty hard to describe what these faux meats taste like because you really can't liken their taste to any naturally-occurring meat out there, but I'll give it a try. It's a little chunkier than the Tofurky Roast and slightly spicier than the Gardein Holiday Roast, but it's also dryer than either (thanks in no small part to all that damn salt and no gravy lubricants to soak the dish in.) While the liquid smoke coating gives it a mildly tingly flavor, it doesn't really taste like barbecued anything. Remember earlier, when I said the thing smelled just like a bowl of Franco American pasta? Well, maybe it's my mind playing tricks on me, but I thought this thing tasted JUST LIKE a gigantic version of one of the meatballs you'd find in stuff like Spaghetti-Os (which, for the record, always kicked the shit out of those crappy meatballs you'd find in Chef Boyardee's competing canned pastas), right down to the soupy tomato-and-MSG aftertaste. Right then and there you KNOW whether or not that's the most appetizing thing in the world or the most disgusting - and while your mileage will almost certainly vary, this product - inadvertently, advertently, words don't mean anything anymore - gave me the gustatory sensation I've been secretly lusting after for almost 25 years. Frankly, I fucking loved it and if you think its gross or undesirable, you're probably some sort of bourgeois prick and I wouldn't have anything to do with you, anyway. 

At the end of the day, I could see most consumers getting a pretty good amount of mileage out of this thing. Right off the bat I can see its value as pizza toppings, soup and salad add-ins and pasta adornments, and it probably works just as dandy in burrito form as it does sammich style. There really aren't too many side-foods at all I can think of that this product wouldn't complement fairly nicely - you know, except for the obvious shit, like ice cream and Sour Patch Kids. And yes, even eating it as standalone meal is pretty great, just as long as you have SOMETHING on hand to counteract the deluge of sodium. Might I recommend Mae Ploy's Sweet Chili Sauce? Pour a couple of spoonfuls on your roast and it tastes JUST like a vegetarian General Tso dish at an Asian restaurant that isn't that good but you go to anyway because they're two dollars cheaper than everybody else and there's hardly ever a line. And if you think that's a backhanded compliment, congratulations on being an elitist sack of shit, you ivory-tower-dwelling, no-commiserating-with-the-common-man-and-his-economic-shortcuts motherfucker. 

So, all in all, this one gets a big thumbs up of approval from me. Although I am still confounded by one thing: just why is it called a "Celebration Roast?" Are we only supposed to eat it on special occasions? If we're feeling dejected and defeated, are we still allowed to eat it? Am I prohibited from eating it after attending a funeral or watching a sad movie or after my sports team loses a game? Or is that just the marketing agency's oh-so-clever way of working the roast into any and all holidays and special seasonal supermarket sections?

Hell, maybe just eating the thing itself constitutes a mild celebration. I mean, you are essentially eating a giant Spaghetti-Os meatball, after all - if that's not a reason to break out the confetti and slide whistles, I don't know what the fuck does.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: 'Suicide of a Superpower' By Patrick J. Buchanan (2011)

If Pat hasn't written the greatest anti-globalism screed of the 21st century, he's certainly given us one of the greatest arguments in support of economic nationalism ever put to parchment.

By: Jimbo X

-  Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio (2016)

"Religion, race, culture and tribe are the four horsemen of the coming apocalypse."

- Patrick J. Buchanan, Suicide of a Superpower (2011)

In 2011, former U.S. presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan had a pretty cushy job working for CNBC or MSNBC or one of those other stupid 24-hour cable news networks. And I still recall the hoopla that stemmed from his tome Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Make it to 2025? Indeed, the contents of the book were considered so incendiary that MSNBC/CNBC/Who-the-fuck-ever fired Buchanan shortly after the book was released, fearing some sort of populist backlash and of course, a whole lot of "guilt-by-association" bad publicity.

But no, Suicide of a Superpower didn't become this generation's The Bell Curve. It caused no riots, no protests, no one-sided diatribes and dissections on TV talk shows across America. No one threatened to boycott book stores that sold it ... in fact, it doesn't look like anybody with more liberal ideologies even bothered reading it. So what was it about this book that MSNBC considered so disturbing that they had to shitcan Buchanan as a public relations preemptive strike?

One of the things I've learned as I've gotten older is that "public outcries" aren't exactly based on a disdain for disinformation or even full-fledged lies. People don't raise a fuss over allegations they think are exaggerated or untrue, simply because if a claim is patently, objectively false, surely, anyone with half a brain can dismiss it as bullshit. No, when people protest and bitch and bicker and demand something be banned - and hoo boy, are we seeing a lot of that these days - they're not trying to stifle something untrue, or prevent people from being exposed to something false. Rather, they realize something or someone is saying something glaringly true that runs counter to their own ideology - and mayhap even reveals one of their own ideological tentpoles to be a big, fat, morbidly obese lie.

And that, effectively, is why Pat Buchanan lost his job. The powers-that-be didn't want him outta' the henhouse because he was preachin' nonsense, they wanted him shipped off the plantation because he was spittin' out too much sense, and they knew if enough people heard what he had to say, it might just 'cause 'em to second guess everything THEY'VE been telling them is the guldarn truth.

That's why college kids firebomb their own school when Milo Y. comes a knocking and why public-subsidized shit heads throw stuff at the podium during Charles Murray lectures. These lunk-headed wannabe-dissidents KNOW what the speakers are going to say is going to discredit and dismiss their own dogmas, and they honestly have no reasonable rebuttal to save face. These neo-McCarthyists don't want their ideological foes silenced because they are "offensive," they want them silenced because, for lack of a better term, they're RIGHT, and if their ideas start circulating around in the mass consciousness, they KNOW their own ideological Tao is going to be exposed as phony, hypocritical and/or hilariously detached from reality.

It took me a couple of years to get around to reading Suicide of a Superpower, but I'm kinda' glad I waited, since U.S. society - as evident by the election of Donald Trump - has changed quite a bit since the book's original publication. In a way, this book sorta retroactively outlines why Trump won the election, tapping into the real underlying causes of the dreaded angry white man complex. The funny thing is that there's absolutely nothing revolutionary at all about Buchanan's reactionary traditionalist rancor. Indeed, Suicide of a Superpower pretty much paints anti-globalist, anti-open-border and anti-statist-ideology as the natural, default settings for all healthy societies, with more than enough historical data and sound future projections to back up his assertions that the anti-capitalist, super-duper-multiculturalist welfare dream state isn't just a terrible idea, but a virtually impossible one that has no successful precedent ANYWHERE in human history. Basically, all Buchanan's doing is telling us what's already happened when people tried to push open-trade, open-border and anti-nationalist policies in the past, and the retrudging of their cataclysmic failures is apparently more than enough to get the mainstream media to scramble to hush him up quick.

Reading Suicide of a Superpower now, it seems like an eerily prescient little tome. Not only did it more or less predict the rise of Donald Trump-flavored populism as a reaction to the Bush-Clinton-Obama globalism-uber-alles doctrine, it seems to have predicted the rise of the anti-white SJW voting bloc AND the mass exodus of Muslim immigrants into the European heartland. And as on-the-nose as those predictions were, that certainly makes Pat's predictions concerning the fate of our post-White, post-Western global order all the more intriguing - if not downright alarming

Dedicating the book to "the old right" and declaring the present (that being, the present of 2011) as "the Indian summer of our civilization," Buchanan wastes no time at all before he declares "centrifugal forces have become dominant" in U.S. culture. He brings up the death of James Pouillon in 2009 and trudges up Roosevelt's warnings about the perils of "hyphenated-Americans." With white deaths expected to eclipse the number of white births in the country by 2020, Buchanan takes a gander at our apparently more multicultural future and asks "today, one see the pluribus; but where's the unum?"

This leads to our first chapter, titled "The Passing of a Superpower." Buchanan notes that the U.S. somehow managed to go from having a surplus in 2000 to running a $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009. During that same timeframe, the IMF says that U.S. GDP fell from 32 percent of the total global product to just 24 percent. As to what caused that to be the case, the author suggests globalism - taking the form of NAFTA and GATT - defeated good old fashioned American economic nationalism, thus allowing China (after devaluing its currency 45 percent and almost doubling the entry price for U.S. goods in 1994) to ring up a $266 billion trade surplus with the States by 2008 - complete with an advanced technology product trade deficit of $95 billion by the time 2010 rolled around. 

The numbers, Pat says, get worse. Thus far in the 21st century, the U.S. has lost 42 percent of its semiconductor and electronic component production jobs, 48 percent of its total commercial production jobs and 63 percent of its textile jobs, all while bringing in 10.3 million foreign workers to compete with American employees. And just a year after the U.S. manufacturing trade deficit hit $440 billion in 2008, the federal government issued an additional 1.13 million green cards in 2009 alone

Indeed,  the total number of government employees in the U.S., at 22.5 million, is easily double that of the total number of manufacturing employees in the entire country. The national economy, Buchanan observes, has gone "from makers to takers." 

More damning stats follow. From 2000 to 2010, the U.S. lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs, representing roughly a third of all such jobs in the nation. Of the United State's total $6.2 trillion trade deficit, about $3.8 trillion comes in the form of - you guessed it - manufactured goods. Which brings us to the touchy subject of our $2 trillion deficit with China; as it turns out, to finance this debt, the U.S. has since borrowed $1.5 billion from other foreign lenders EVERY DAY for ten years.

At this point, Pat says China is practically America in the 19th century. They're not engaged in any wars, just focused on nation-building. While China's stimulus funds went towards building infrastructure, the U.S. - what else? - used its stimulus money to save preexisting government jobs

"Welcome to 21st century America," Pat states, "where globalism has become the civil religion of our political and corporate elite." He trudges up how subprime mortgages targeted minorities, pointing out George W. Bush's White House Conference on Increasing Minority Home Ownership in Oct. 2002, in which Dubya said he wanted non-white home owners in the U.S. to increase by 5.5 million by 2010. From there, we get a hail storm of statistics that paint an indisputable path from W.'s racially-tinged social engineering policies to the great housing bust of 2006. Pat explains how all the mortgages for these minority-owned homes were put on Fannie and Freddie's tabs, which were later sold as securities to Wall Street banks as real property holdings. As a result, federal home loan debt exploded $184 billion from 1998 to 2008, with home costs in general skyrocketing 107 percent from 2000 to 2006. With AIG payouts too large, the Federal Reserve had to keep rates dangerously low as home prices continued to surge by 20 percent annually (made worse since Moody's and S&P actually give these super toxic loans AAA ratings.) And that, in a nutshell, is how the Great Recession really started - not with greedy Wall Street bankers trying to fuck over the little man, but with a REPUBLICAN-controlled congress trying to expand economic opportunities for historically marginalized and oppressed peoples. 

Then there's David Walker of the Government Accountability Office's statements on the U.S.'s unfunded entitlement liabilities - a sum that comes out to only $62 trillion. While the average private sector worker made $61,000 in total compensation in 2009, Pat wonders aloud why the average federal worker was getting $123,000

Then Pat gives all of us some real talk on taxes. He trudges up how the much maligned top one percent of earners actually pay 44 percent of ALL U.S. taxes, with the top 10 percent of owners paying 71 percent while the bottom 50 percent of earners are responsible for only 2.89 percent. (Note: please bring this up the next time you engage in conversation with anybody who voted for Bernie Sanders.) Oh, and just for shits and giggles, he hits us with the following numbers on entitlements in these United States:

  • From 1985 to 2006, Earned Income Tax Payouts grew from $2.1 billion to $44.4 billion.
  • In 2009, 51 percent of all wage earners in the U.S. paid ZERO federal taxes
  • In 2011, 44.2 million Americans were on food stamps (costing taxpayers about $77 billion a year.) 

Next up, we get a lengthy passage on what "debauched currency" is. Since 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost more than 98 percent of its value. Why? Because of federal inflation, that's why. That puts any political leader in a precarious situation, Pat says, where they have to do as much as possible to stimulate rapid job growth to increase tax revenue and reduce safety net spending, but at the same time, they're STILL going to have to increase taxes and try to whittle down federal spending to keep the nation from going insolvent. Which, naturally (well, not really) provides a perfect segue for the next chapter, "The Death of Christian America."

You know how people always say America ain't "a Christian nation?" Well, Pat rejects that on its face, saying the 1892 Supreme Court decision Church of the Holy Trinity vs. The United States makes it explicit that we are a peoples of the Judeo-Christian God and not nobody else. From here, Pat hits us with all kinds of shit, running the gamut from reminding us that the D.C. City Council won't even submit gay marriage as a referendum issue and that black churchgoers pretty much single-handedly 86'ed gay marriage in California to letting us know that Hitler preferred Islam to Christianity and that one of Stalin's first executive decisions to galvanize the masses at the start of World War II was re-opening Russia's churches and freeing imprisoned bishops.

So, naturally, Buchanan equates the downfall of the American church with the general "decomposition" of American society (the 41 percent illegitimacy rate, the 550 percent increase in violent crime from 1960 to 1992, married families making up just 21. 6 percent of U.S. households in 2006, etc.) As an interesting aside, he brings up a study that found a third of all 11-year-olds in the U.K. have been drunk at least twice already, which yeah, doesn't really surprise me at all, actually. 

Buchanan quotes the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, who said that Marxism can only succeed by rooting out and replacing Christianity in educational and social institutions. Pat follows that up by citing a study that found that, today, just 20 percent of American youths attend weekly religious services, but they tend to be less fat, less depressed and more educated than their counterparts who do not. And since those youths without religious affiliations aren't finding any kind of core, intrinsic meaning at church, they are instead trying to gain insight and a sense of community from secular ideologies, most significantly racially-tinged identity politics.

But you see, people INHERENTLY want to believe in something transcendent, Pat says and since they turned their back on Christianity, these kids are desperately yet fruitlessly trying to cull the same existential meaning out of stuff like socialism, environmentalism, feminism, consumerism and "occultist pop culture." Thus, he argues that we've gotten to a point where identity politics enclaves like sexuality have kinda sorta become the new wave nationalism. Alas, to quote Belloc, "self worship is not enough," and that's where Pat thinks we might be getting into some serious trouble down the road.

With 1.57 billion adherents in the world (60 percent in Asia alone,) Pat believes "an increasingly Islamic world is inevitable." It's already the predominant religion in 48 countries, which is equal to about a quarter of the United Nations. There are more Muslims in China than Syria, more in Germany than Lebanon and twice as many in India than Iran. With the native European birth rate on a terminal free fall and immigration from Islamic countries already on the upswing in 2011, Buchanan pretty much predicted the takeover of Europe a good three or four years before the big refugee brouhaha came to exist. (He still ain't got shit on the predictive powers of the dude who wrote The Camp of the Saints, though.)

With Europe becoming "re-paganized," Pat says Catholicism (the world's largest religion for the time being) is quickly on a path to irrelevancy. In the U.S. alone, mass attendance is down two-thirds what it was in the 1950s. Half of all Diocesan high schools closed from 1965 to 2002, while parochial schools have dwindled from 4.5 million to just 1.5 million. Pat cites research that predicts, by 2020, Hispanics will make up half of all Catholics in the U.S., which apparently explains why so many Catholics interest groups seem to be so gung-ho about immigrant amnesty. Essentially, Pat boils it down to this: it's only a matter of time until Catholicism has to go toe-to-toe with Islam for all the proverbial marbles, and as things stand now, there ain't no way in Hell the Pope and pals can win.

By 2050, the native Western population (a.k.a, the global "white population") is expected to make up just 10-12 percent of the world populace. Meanwhile, the native African and Latin American population is expected to make up a good third of the planet's inhabitants. "Catholicism," the author says, "is well on the way to becoming a third world religion."

And now we arrive at "The End of White America." Per Pat, white Americans are destined to become a minority by 2041 (representing just 46.3 percent of the total U.S. population) with white Americans under 18 becoming a minority among their age group by 2019. By 2020, the number of whites ages 65 and over are expected to outnumber the total number of whites in the country ages 17 and younger. Meanwhile, 50.2 percent of the Texas public school population is already Hispanic. 

"Among our best and brightest, many anticipate with delight the day that white Americans become just another minority in the country their forefathers created 'for ourselves and our prosperity," Pat declares. He follows this up with a quote from Susan Sontag, which more or less capsulizes the modern SJW mindset - "the white race is the cancer of human history."

Buchanan highlights data showing that 57 percent of all jobs lost during the Great Recession belonged to blue collar white men; while 1.2 million native Americans lost their jobs in total, 656,000 foreign-born workers gained new jobs. Portending the emergence of Donald Trump's ethno-identity populism, Pat asks whether this demographical slap in the face will eventually lead to white Americans building their own tribal in-group voting bloc.

The author brings up Schlesinger's "cult of ethnicity" model, describing the deleterious effects of a national ethos in which group rights take precedence over individual rights, ethnic ties trump national identity and ethnic communities are tasked with defining the structure of society and the very meaning of history itself. And to prove his theory that the post white state is more of an ethnoracial apocalypse than a multicultural utopia, Pat turns his peepers towards the Golden State,where Hispanics have just recently eclipsed whites as the predominant statewide racial group. So, what has all that wonderful de-whitening brought California? Pat rattles off the laundry list of accomplishments: the nation's lowest bond rating, a 10 percent state tax with sales taxes almost as high, 12.4 percent unemployment, multiple designations as the worst state in the country to conduct business and unfunded state pensions and health care costs exceeding $500 billion. From 2000 to 2008, 1.4 million Californians left the state while 1.8 million international migrants came marching in. Today, nearly 10 percent of all California jobs are held by illegal immigrants and almost a quarter of the state's adults can't speak English. And then there's all of that glorious black on Hispanic violence going on in the state's inner cities that the national media, for some reason, keeps ignoring. Surely, it's not because the vivid reality of tribal warfare in the slums of Los Angeles paints a bleak picture of what real globalization looks like, is it?

"Tribal politics is not unusual, tribal politics is eternal," Pat writes. "Jim Crow is back. Only the color of the beneficiaries and the color of the victims has been reversed." Pat notes that from 2001 to 2009, Hispanic employment grew by 3.6 million jobs while the number of jobs for non-Hispanics decreased by 1.3 million. "They have seen trillions of dollars go for Great Society programs, but have seen no Great Society," Pat says, "only crime, rising illegitimacy and rising dropout rates."

This leads to a chapter titled "Demographic Winter," which is about as cheery as it sounds. "One day millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere of this plant to burst into the northern one," Pat writes. By 2050, 54 percent of the total U.S. population will be African, Asian or Latino-Americans. He parrots the words of Houari Boumedienne in 1974 - "victory will come to us from the wombs of our women."

But this isn't just happening in the U.S., Pat notes. Birth rates are plummeting in virtually all of the OCED countries. Simply put, there are not enough young workers to fund pensions and health care for the aged in damn near any of the developed countries. The ultimate nightmare scenario is playing out in Japan, where the national populace is expected to decrease from 127 million to 95 million in 2050. If that rate holds steady, about one-in-ten Japanese will be OVER the age of 80; by 2010, Japan's population may be just 20 percent what it is now. 

Oh, and the populations are also falling in South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. The U.K. birth rate is holding steady, but - surprise, surprise - that's almost solely attributable to its surging Muslim migrant population. Indeed, Brits may be a minority in their own country as early as 2066. Pat brings up the words of Andre Neather, who said the Labor Party literally tried to social engineer "a truly multicultural" society via unfettered mass immigration. Long story short? The Muslim population in the U.K. exploded from 500,000 in 2004 to a whopping 2.4 million in 2008.

And just in case you are wondering? The combined population of the world's largest Muslim countries - Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey and Nigeria - will be about 1.36 billion people in 2050. Y'know - just a reminder. 

Pat then turns his attention towards the coming demographical plights of several other countries. It's probably easier to just do this in quick hit form: 

  • In Israel, the Muslim birthrate is RAPIDLY outpacing the Jewish birthrate, which is leading to the de facto population growth of the Orthodox Jewish community. With the enemy states of Israel swelling in population (Syria and Saudi Arabia, for example, will see their populations explode, respectively, seven-fold and nine-fold from 1967 to 2050), Pat says the Chosen have just three options on the table: annex the West Bank and add another 2.4 million Muslims to the national populace, expel ALL Muslims from the country or try to establish permanent control of Gaza and the West Bank, which almost certainly would require the establishment of a separate, militarized apartheid state.
  • From 1991 to 2050, the Russian population will likely fall from 148 million to just 116 million. By 2040, half of the Russian populace will be Muslim. With no young men around to power the national military and economy, would China possibly consider invading the weakened state for its resources?
  • By 2040, China will have about 440 million people to take care of who are older than 60 - basically, one fourth of the entire country. Oh, and there aren't enough women around, with about 30 more million child-siring-aged men in the country than there are child-bearing-aged women. "The child-centered society has been succeeded by the self-centered society," Pat writes. "The purpose of life is the pursuit of pleasure, not the sacrifices required in the raising of children."

In the chapter "Equality or Freedom?," Pat argues that the Founding Fathers never believed in democracy or diversity, but instead championed the idea of equality of God-given rights. After all, he says, the words "equality" or "democracy" don't show up anywhere in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution as a whole. He trudges up all the shit Lincoln said and did that supported slavery - you know, like that time he said he never wanted blacks to be equal to whites, socially, and that time he proposed shipping all of them back to Africa as a larf - and then he argues that Brown vs. Board of Education was a SCOTUS ruling based on sociology, not a priori law. Then he brings up the Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke ruling and says unemployment and income inequality in the black community has only gotten WORSE since integration. And the educational outcomes of minorities seems to verify his stance. In 2007, just 69 percent of American high school seniors graduated (comparatively, the national graduation rate in 1969 was 77 percent.) The likeliest explanation? As of 2007, 44 percent of Hispanic students and 46 percent of black students couldn't graduate from high school in only four years

"Freedom produces a hierarchy based on intelligence, talent and perseverance," Pat writes. "For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails, the other dies." Pat then rails against all of the following - bussing, diversity quotas, affirmative action, taxation inequality, hate speech codes, the purging of Christianity from public life, Title IX, women in the military, gender-based unemployment disparities, federal oversight of local laws, Baker vs. Carr, the "publicization" of private schools, LGBT marriage, subprime loans AND the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 - as examples of egalitarianism subverting individual liberty. 

And here's the part where Pat starts spitting out the kind of data you're not really supposed to be spitting out. You know, like the data from Herrnstein revealing that equal expenditures on students still results in "hereditary meritocracies," or Robert Weissberg's more than well-thought-out argument in favor of kicking the bottom quarter of 8th grade students out of public schools or ESPECIALLY the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment report, which found that if ONLY white U.S. students were counted, the U.S. would rank no. 3 in global reading scores, while U.S. black and Hispanic students - if counted individually - would rank no. 31 and no. 33 in international reading scores. Pat quotes Razib Khan, who said that "when you remove the environmental variance, the cognitive variance remains." Then the author puts his own spin on the research findings: "if brains and a desire to learn are absent, no amount of spending on schools, teacher salaries, educational consultants or new texts will matter."

And just because I thought they were funny, here's a couple more one-liners from Pat Buchanan on the subject of equality:

  • "The family is the incubator of inequality and God its author."
  • The reverence to establish equality for all invariably ends up establishing the dictatorship of the few."
  • "Sports are too important to America to indulge such myths as the equality of all men."

Hell, I don't know about you, but I'd buy a shirt and bumper sticker with all of those messages scrawled on them. Next up, it's a chapter called "The Diversity Cult," which begins thusly: "the melting pot was about the abolition of diversity and the Americanization of immigrants, which is why our multiculturalists reject it as an instrument of cultural genocide."

Pat rails against colleges and universities, describing them as "madrassas of modernity," where history is taught as nothing more than "a series of crimes against people of color." He notes that black self-segregation is actually intensifying coast-to-coast and tells a great story about his one time Jesse Jackson's car was stolen in Detroit in 2010. Then he turns his attention towards Naval Academy policies as "exhibit A" as to why multicultural policy-making is a load of it.  There, Pat lets us know, white students have to have all As or Bs plus SAT scores exceeding 600 to even qualify for a slate of ten applicants from which just one will be chosen. Meanwhile, minorities with Cs and sub-500 SAT scores are DIRECTLY ADMITTED TO ANNAPOLIS, with some minority applicants with Ds and sub-300 SAT scores getting in after a year of taxpayer subsidized remedial school

And then, there are the admission policies at gay old Harvard, where you know something is up 'cause Asians make up 20 percent of the student body even though they barely make up just 3 percent of the total U.S. populace. Oh, and Jewish students represent anywhere from 25 to a full third of all students, this despite representing just 2.5 percent of the overall U.S. population. Meanwhile, whites - who represent 70 percent of the U.S. populace - make up just 25 percent of the Harvard student body, a statistical under-representation of nearly 300 percent.

Which brings us to the findings from the Espenshade-Radford study from 2009. While Harvard required Asian applicants score 1550 on the SAT to be considered, whites had to only score 1410, while Hispanics only had to score 1230 and blacks only had to score 1100. Which means, effectively, that black students are given the equivalent of 550 free SAT points for just signing their names on the application, while Asian-Americans have 550 SAT points subtracted for simply being Asian-Americans. 

Enter Russell K. Nieli, whose work shows that Harvard actively descriminates against poor, rural whites in its application processes. Having the 4H, ROTC or FFA listed on a resume reduces an applicant's chances of being selected 60 percent, with minority students seven to 10 times likelier to be accepted over poor white students with the EXACT same test scores. 

And now we come to Pat's take on Robert Putnam's "social capital" theory, which, as you would expect, entails LOTS of parroting of his E Pluribus Unum study that found more diverse neighborhoods have lower levels of trust and cohesion than more homogeneous ones. "Our elites who vacation at beaches and ski resorts and send their children to schools that are predominantly white celebrate a racial diversity that 50 years of white flight, common sense and social science tells us may make and end of their own country," Pat writes. Then he reminds us that the Army knew Fort Hood mass shooter Nidal Hasan was radicalized, but they kept him hired on anyway JUST so they could meet their diversity quotas.

In the chapter "Triumph of Tribalism," Pat makes the argument that ethnonationalism was the underlying catalyst for both World War I and World War II. "The call of socialist solidarity was drowned out by the the calls of tribe and blood," he writes. He argues that Woodrow's calls for "self-determination" actually backfired and put millions of Germans and Hungarians under alien rule, which in turn amped up nationalist furor. Indeed, Pat brings up the long-forgotten fact that Hitler attacked Poland not because he wanted lebensraum, but because the Polish government wouldn't return about 350,000 Danzigers to German rule. Oh, and he also lets us know that 15 million Germans were ethnically cleansed at the end of World War II, but shhh ... nobody's really supposed to remember that WWII had victims that didn't wear Star of David patches

Artificial lines don't create nations, Pat says - rather, what holds people together is language, faith and, yes, racial identity. Sans a dominant ethnocultural core OR an authoritarian regime, he says no multi-racial, multicultural or multilingual society can survive, citing the U.S.S.R. and the Balkans as exhibits A and B. 

This leads to a discussion of the nativist resurgence in Europe, which he reckons is a consequence of E.U. leaders being unable to manage the continent's debt and immigrant crises. He notes that Greece tried to build a wall to keep people from hopping over the gate in Turkey and India actually DID build a 2,500 mile fence around Bangladesh - huh - I wonder why nobody ever brings that up in contemporary political discussions about that wall? And that's our cue for a brief round-up of all the ethnoracial hostilities going on in the world. Here's the abridged list provided by Buchanan:

  • In Belgium, there's a huge cultural divide between Flanders and Wallonia and it's probably only a matter of time until they split off into two different countries.
  • There's a shit-load of unrest in Xinjiang, a predominantly Muslim region in China. Also, the Chinese government is flooding Han Chinese into Tibet, Manchuria and Inner Mongolia as part of some suspicious social engineering schemes. 
  • In the Indian Subcontinent, the Tamils, Nagas, Naxalites and Talanganas all want their own country. The Burma government is fighting a three-front war against the Kokang, Wa and Kachin rebels, while Islamic Malay separatists gave killed more than 120,000 people in Mindanao since the 1970s.
  • The Baluchs hate the fuck out of the Iranians and probably want their own country ... and so do the Kurds and Pashtuns. 
  • And hold on to your hats, the shit going on in Africa might take some time. We've got millions dying in the Ibo secession during the Nigerian Civil War, Mugabe's Mashoma killing Matabeles by the truck load in Zimbabwe, Jomo Kenyatta ethnically cleansing the Luo in 2008, Nuers and Dinkas duking it out in Sudan (which has actually turned into a triple threat match between Christians, Muslims and native animists), and Sanhan, Marelo and Jahn separatists trying to gain independence in Yemen (with Marxist separatists in Aden and Houthi rebels in the north).
  • Do we really need to even talk about the Middle East? You've got radical insurgents in Saudi Arabia, Arab vs. Druze conflict in Lebanon and Turkey actively trying to shed its secular facade to form a real Islamic nation state. Oh, and Yisrael Beiteinu wants to expel all Muslims from Israel, but that's hardly a surprise at all. 

Which dovetails into a discussion about wealth transfer. Pat quotes author Amy Chua on the rise of socioeconomic redistribution throughout the third world, who describes such as "an engine of potentially catastrophic ethnonationalism, pitting a frustrated indigenous majority, easily aroused by opportunistic vote-seeking politicians, against a resented, wealthy ethnic minority." It's happening writ large, she says, in places like Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Venezuela, Malaysia, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Rwanda. In Bolivia, for example, Evo Morales tried to craft legislation that legally dispossessed whites, while in South Africa, the mass slaughter of white farmers has become a nearly endemic facet of the cultureIn the U.S. Pat says he sees this slowly coming to a boil in the black community, particularly noting African-American resentment of Korean business owners (and boy, who ever thought they'd see the day when Pat freakin' Buchanan quoted an Ice Cube song!)

And that's our segue to the chapter titled "The White Party," which is probably the most interesting/prescient chapter in the whole book. Here, Buchanan reminds us just how fucking racist Democrats have been throughout the 20th century, noting the aggressively anti-black stances of Harry Truman, John Sparkman, James Byrnes, James McReynolds, Hugo Black, John W. Davis and Adlai Stevenson. Indeed, EVERY single signer of the 1956 Southern Manifesto save two were democrats - meanwhile, Pat reminds us that Barry Goldwater, long remembered as one of the most bigoted presidential candidates of all-time, was actually a member of the NAACP and was responsible for desegregating the Phoenix public school system.

The electorate was greatly shifted, Pat says, by civil rights and immigration legislation in the 1960s, as well as the vote being granted to 18-year-olds in the 1970s. Naturally, this decreased the white voter share of the electorate; indeed, by 2020, he says whites will make up 66 percent of the electorate while non-whites will make up 34 percent. Rather than attempt to win over minority voters, Pat suggests it's wiser for Republicans to simply aim for increasing their overall share of the total white vote - an approach that, surprise surprise, was a huge factor in Donald Trump's election. "The Republican road to recapture of the White House lies in increasing white turnout and raising the party's share of that turnout - three fourths of the entire electorate - from McCain's 55 percent closer to the two-thirds won by Nixon and Reagan," Pat writes.

And as for the future of the right, Pat cites a 2010 Harvard University Institute of Politics youth survey. 57 percent of respondents said they were against affirmative action, 34 percent said they thought even legal immigration was harmful and 50 percent said illegal immigrants shouldn't get federal aid at state universities. "Despite the cult of diversity in which they are immersed from day care centers to college dorm," Pat writes, "America's young yet believe in equal justice for all and special privilege for none."

The section on the balkanization of the democratic base is definitely worth reading too. Here, Buchanan describes the liberal coalition of competing special interests groups as "a gathering of warring tribes that have come together in the anticipation of common plunder." He notes that blacks and Hispanics are generally opposed to abortion and gay marriage, while Asians hate the shit out of affirmative action and diversity quota policies that rob them of jobs and educational opportunities. Pat sums up the Democratic gameplan as an effort to "de-Christianize" America, promote multiculturalism and unrestricted immigration and stoke racial politics like a motherfucker. 

In "The Long Retreat," Buchanan lists seven causes of America's imperial downfall:

  1. The War on Terror cost $1 trillion and royally fucked up the Middle East
  2. Our imperial arrogance has pissed off all our allies and jeopardized our global hegemony
  3. The financial meltdown, the housing bubble collapse and Wall Street generally being allowed to run around like a bunch of wild, coked-up coyotes
  4. Our trade policy with China effectively ending our national economic independence
  5. The broken Mexico border leading to a "poor people's invasion" 
  6. The rise of nationalism abroad
  7. Our leaders buying into the sham of globalization

Pat calls for the U.S. to immediately suspend the G.W.O.T. "They come to kill us in our country because we will not get out of their countries," he writes. "We will never end terror attacks on this country until we remove our soldiers from those countries." Rather, he says he'd like to see those troops placed where they are really needed - at the U.S./Mexican border, to fight off Central American drug cartels suspected of having 100,000-man strong armies

Nationalism, in general, Pat says is a natural reaction to the formation of the ICC and the WTO and the Kyoto protocols. "Identity is local," he quotes Jude Daugherty. "It is the characteristic of a people who have inhabited a land over a period of time, who have developed certain collective habits, evident in their manners, their dress, the feasts they collectively enjoy, their religious bonds, the premium they put on education." This is something, Buchanan writes, that no one in their right mind would abandon for some sort of interdependent globalist order.

In the final chapter "The Last Chance," Buchanan comes to terms with the perhaps inevitable shift from the U.S. being a white, Western, Christian republic to being a multicultural egalitarian democracy. He quotes Duncan Williams' Trousered Apes: "No stable society can be built upon a theory which runs counter to reality. The harsh but unavoidable reality is that men are unequal in terms of hereditary abilities. Some are born with a greater degree of intellect, a greater capacity for sympathy, a greater ability to succeed than others." 

The old U.S. order, Pat says, was killed by a number of ideological movements. The 1960s sexual revolution destroyed the nation's formative Christian values. Feminism undermined the traditional family structure. The anti-war movement made patriotism unfashionable and the civil rights movement eventually led to the erection of a permanent white guilt state. The egalitarian socialist ideals of LBJ, Buchanan writes, are now "dominant in the culture, the arts, the academy and the media. The Fifth Column of the cultural revolution is entrenched in the courts, where judges and justices routinely discover that the Constitution they are sworn to uphold mandates the revolution they seek to bring about." This over-culture, Pat writes, simply cannot tolerate the legitimacy of white anger. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this better than a quote from Barack Obama himself: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

After namedropping Carl Rowan, author of 1996's The Coming Race War in America, Buchanan warns that multiculturalism isn't going to do much of anything except lead to deeper ethnic enclaves and more pronounced societal withdrawal. He refers to Obama and Palin as antipodes of the culture war, ultimately declaring "ideology was the poison, reason the antidote."

And now's the part where Pat tells all of us what HE thinks ought to happen to fix all this shit. First, he wants a two-year salary freeze for all federal employees, then a two-year suspension of cost-of-living adjustments to all entitlement programs (after that, we can switch to inflation based C.O.L. adjustments for social security.) Speaking of S.S., he wants to raise the age to 64 for early benefits and 68 for full benefits. He don't want no federal bailouts for state governments and absolutely ZERO foreign aid doled out for anything unrelated to national security. Then he wants rate reductions to replace the mortgage interest deduction and taxes on turnaround stocks and commodity trades (which he likens to taxes on gambling.) 

America, he argues, has to be re-industrialized. The U.S. lost 6 million manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2010, and notes that manufacturing employees make twice as much money as service workers. "If we do not cure ourselves of this obsession with free trade, the industrial evisceration of the U.S. will continue until we make nothing the world wants but Hollywood movies," he writes. Pat says put tariffs on ALL imports, then use that money to reduce U.S. producer taxes. He proposes a 25 percent tariff on manufactured goods, food and fibers, which he says would generate $600 billion in revenue and allot for the total elimination of the corporate tax rate. The general idea, he says, is to get capital investments to swing from China to the U.S. "Equality and reciprocity, not globalization and free trade, should dictate the terms of trade," Pat writes. If the U.S. lost 100 percent of the world market but regained 100 percent of its OWN market, Pat says the U.S. would be $500 billion richer. "We have nothing to lose," he writes, "but our trade deficits." 

Pat says he wants immigration suspended until the national unemployment rate falls below 6 percent, and then we ought to emphasize English-speaking Christians with degrees and technical skills. He don't want no amnesty and no anchor babies, and goddamnit, somebody better start building that wall ASAP. Yeah, a little foreboding in hindsight, ain't it?

And then, there are Pat's parting shots on the culture war, which he seems to accept as at least partially unwinnable. Alas, he floats up a couple of ideas, including restricting the jurisdiction of federal courts "rested and rusted in the seaboard," urging congress to add riders declaring laws are not subject to judicial review and adding Ward Connerly's  Califonia Civil Rights Initiative into federal law and maybe even the Constitution. "When judges become dictators," he concludes the tome, "citizens become rebels."

What do you mean American society is falling apart? Surely, you have no examples to back up THAT absurd claim, do you?

I've read plenty of conservative and liberal screeds over the years, and Suicide of a Superpower is definitely one of the best I've picked up from this century, regardless of political ideology. The author makes a very strong, heavily evidence-supported case as to why globalism and multiculturalism will inevitably lead to the U.S. losing its economic independence, and why Republican pandering to the white vote isn't just a sound strategic initiative, it's practically a necessary political survival mechanism. Admittedly, Buchanan's tangents about the culture war tend to drag a bit, but beyond that, it's hard to find any faults with Pat's logic.

Of course, if you're a dyed-in-the-wool conservative you'll eat this shit up, but from my perspective, this is a book that transcends political ideology. Like Robert Michels Political Parties and Norman Angell's The Great Illusion, it connects the dots to a much, much larger picture than simply what's going on concurrently in society. This is a book that sees the unavoidable outcome of blind allegiance to globalism, open borders and open trade. Instead of making us a more interconnected world, Pat surmises all it's really going to do is make us more interdependent, which in turn, will inevitably result in America become indebted and eventually indentured by foreign powers. He also had the foresight to acknowledge economic nationalism as the only safeguard against not only creeping globalism, but ethnoracial identity tribalism. Never in history has a multicultural society succeeded without some sort of overarching ethnic majority in power OR expansive government control. The end of white America, he forewarns, means but the beginning of massive ethnoracial balkanization throughout the United States - or even worse, the emergence of a large scale political behemoth the likes of which America has never experienced before to keep the multilingual masses in check.  International economic combat and tribal strife, he reminds us time and time again, sparked two world wars; call me crazy, but there's something about old man Buchanan's ominous declarations that strikes me as eerily, eerily ominous.

Depending on your personal political  ideology, you'll either love Suicide or hate it with a fiery passion. Ultimately, however, you're going to be loving it or despising it for the exact same reason: because it lays out some oh-so-palpable truths about human nature and the forgotten lessons of history involving the making - and breaking - of cultural hegemonies.  

Make no mistake, Suicide is a supremely important book, and one that certainly transcends the meager arch-conservative propaganda label so many people would like to slap on the cover so they can discard it as worthless agitprop. Perhaps one day, 40, 30 or even just 20 years into the future, we're going to be able to look back on Buchanan's work and appreciate it as one of the most accurate works of speculative "fiction" ever penned. As with the works of George Friedman, this is a must-read for anyone who ever wonders what society will be like once they perish from the Earth; and in that, old Patty Boy here may have just penned the greatest "I Told 'Ya So" story any future generation could ever read on the downfall of the America you and me knew.