Profile for Jonathan Armstrong > Reviews

Browse

Jonathan Armstrong's Profile

Customer Reviews: 22
Top Reviewer Ranking: 112,647
Helpful Votes: 617




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Jonathan Armstrong "enantidromian" RSS Feed (Denver, CO United States)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
Imperium: The Phliosophy of History and Politics
Imperium: The Phliosophy of History and Politics
by Francis P. Yockey
Edition: Hardcover
2 used & new from $60.00

5.0 out of 5 stars and those already predisposed to its way of thinking will probably find that reading this is tantamount to the scene in the "Wiz, January 2, 2015
There's not much point rehashing this polarizing, absolutely essential book, which has rightfully been called the pinnacle of 20th century political and philosophical thought -- even most Liberals begrudgingly admit that this book is a tour de force even if they disagree with much of it, and those already predisposed to its way of thinking will probably find that reading this is tantamount to the scene in the "Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy views the world in color for the worst time. With this in mind, this review is about this particular Wermod and Wermod reissue of the book specifically, not the book itself.

First of all, the price. Of course it's expensive, but if you're already here you should know what you're buying and $60 is, in my opinion, a pittance when you consider the knowledge contained herein. The book itself is handsome and the cover art is excellent. I was of somewhat mixed opinion about eschewing the introduction from the old Noontide Press edition (ostensibly penned by Willis Carto, although some suspect Revilo Oliver) which I considered to be extremely helpful in understanding and clarifying the text (even despite the author's twisting Yockey's explicitly anti-Darwinist stance into something more "palatable" to his taste). Nevertheless, the new introduction by Kerry Bolton is worthwhile. Serious students of this book would be advised to read the older introduction as well, which is undoubtedly available free online.

The real value in this book is in the explanatory footnotes. Even a scholar well versed in the entire canon of Western science and philosophy would undoubtedly struggle with some of the obscure historical figures that Yockey references throughout the text. Sometimes Yockey references so many historical events, philosophers, and scientists in rapid-fire succession that footnotes end up comprising almost as much page space as the actual text itself! Reading these footnotes is an education in itself and probably worth as much as the average B.A. in the humanities is worth these days. You certainly won't be stupider after reading this book.

Overall, this is for serious scholars and collectors. If you're not sure about the hefty purchase price, you can always read this book for free online.


Sportea Iced Tea, 7-Count Tea Bags, 3oz (Pack of 4)
Sportea Iced Tea, 7-Count Tea Bags, 3oz (Pack of 4)
Offered by Diya Mall
Price: $29.99
12 used & new from $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars there wasn't the absolute glut of different "sport' and "energy' products on the market like there is today, January 2, 2015
I've been drinking Sportea since it was suggested to me by a barista in college, back when (I think) it was a product made and sold locally in Colorado. I've been a loyal drinker ever since and have recently doubled back up on it again as I can now drink only minimal caffeine due to health issues.

When I first discovered this 20 years ago, there wasn't the absolute glut of different "sport' and "energy' products on the market like there is today, so this product definitely stood out. 20 years later, it still stands out. I can't think of anything else that is this tasty that has zero calories, almost no caffeine, and all of the other health benefits to it.


Natural Force Pre-Workout - RAW TEA - Paleo Friendly, Made with Organic Ingredients Net Wt. .26lbs [118g]
Natural Force Pre-Workout - RAW TEA - Paleo Friendly, Made with Organic Ingredients Net Wt. .26lbs [118g]
Offered by Natural Force
Price: $49.95
2 used & new from $49.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've tried many pre-workouts that have all been pretty good (Jack3d and Purple Wraath were two of my ..., October 14, 2014
I've tried many pre-workouts that have all been pretty good (Jack3d and Purple Wraath were two of my favorites) but came across this product when I was looking for products that were all natural (i.e., free of sucralose and other artificial junk since I'd been reading so many bad things about artificial sweeteners.) I wasn't sure if anything that was "all natural" would compare to those in terms of effectiveness but I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. This product has ginseng, royal jelly, guarana, green tea, yohimbe, and bitter orange extract so it definitely gives you energy but it is a "clean" energy -- you won't necessarily feel like you're bouncing off the walls but don't expect to go to sleep early if you take it in the evening, either. I find one heaping scoop (about 1 1/4 scoop) is the perfect amount for me but I'm a big guy (6'4") so you might want to start with half a scoop and just see how it treats you.

I was also scared about the taste, which I heard was not exactly the greatest. Well, I don't find the taste to be disagreeable at all. What I do is mix this with a hearty serving of Swanson's BCAA's (also made with stevia) and blend a scoop of each with a couple of ice cubes and water in the blender the result is a sweet/citrusy/cinnamony type of concoction that tastes quite pleasant. Even the powder by itself in water tastes pretty decent (I was expecting to have to force this stuff down.)

Overall, I can't claim that this is the most powerful pre-workout on the market, but it definitely does the job for me without feeling uncomfortably "wiry" and in any way like it might be dangerous to my heart. After having such good luck with this product I am also going to seek out other Natural Force products as well since there are so few workout supplement companies out there that are eschewing artificial flavors and sweeteners for natural. Big thumbs up to the crew at Natural Force!


The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating
The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating
by Kiera Van Gelder
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.32
102 used & new from $7.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for those who have been involved with BPD sufferers, August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Horror of Borderline Personality Disorder

If you're like most, you probably had not even heard of "Borderline Personality Disorder" until you came into face-to-face contact with it, and only came to understand it after watching its hellish, devastating effects in action on a friend or loved one.

Anyone that has been in close proximity to someone afflicted with this devastating disorder knows just how incredibly frustrating it can be -- to feel engaged in a constant "push and pull" type psychodrama that can bring about "compassion fatigue" in even the most saintly person. You probably will never forget that first moment that you read the characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder and it all "clicked" for you: the moment when you tied together all of the classic BPD loose ends: the abusive upbringing often marked by extreme physical and sexual abuse, the alcoholic father, the angry mother, the broken home -- an existence marked by never-ending torment growing up -- finally culminating in the incredible sadness knowing that you can do little to help that person. You undoubtedly felt completely and totally powerless as you tried to reach out only to have her push you away, leaving you with the feeling of utter helplessness and darkness. It's safe to say that most people involved in relationships with Borderlines, no matter how brief, can safely divide their subsequent lives into "pre-Borderline involvement" and "post-Borderline involvement" phases. Your life will never be the same again.

While there are some excellent books out there that write about BPD in a clinical, detached sense, this was the first one that I read that is a first-person account of it, and it's safe to say I'll always have a soft spot for the author. The book is extremely well written, evidenced by the fact that the author can write about even seemingly banal details of her dating life and arouse interest. You get a real glimpse into the chaotic nature of BPD that is difficult to pin down, and why this disorder is so frustrating because it can be so "chameleon-like" and take on so many different tones. So, if you're really just trying to unravel the Gordian knot that is Borderline Personality Disorder, don't necessarily start here. I recommend "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" by Kreisman and Straus to get a good overview of BPD, then diving into first-person accounts like this one.

I was really sitting on the fence about whether to rate this book four or five stars, but I opted for the former since someone looking for a work that fingers every possible cause of this disorder and attempts to synthesize some sort of "thesis" regarding it will end up frustrated: for starters, the author does not start the narrative until she is well into adulthood (this aroused some curiosity in me: she makes a reference to doing crystal meth as a young woman, but there's really a large blank space between her childhood and the time she starts to get treatment.) What happened in her 20's? Was that entire decade (certainly the most formative decade in terms of shaping adult identity) really worth glossing over? True to the disorder itself, even after getting a massive first-person account of it I was still left with an enigma.

Is BPD rooted in genetics, or is it strictly the result of a traumatic upbringing? Kiera undoubtedly had "issues" growing up, but her family life was still markedly less hellish than what I have witnessed personally. She seems to have at least a nominal support network in adulthood which undoubtedly helped quite a bit. One of the cruel ironies of Borderline existence is that they are people most in need of a support network, but usually come from unloving, abusive families that hardly provide support, and their penchant to "shut people off" immediately upon being threatened or hurt results in a trail of "burned bridges" in other interpersonal relationships as well.

This book ends on a cautiously optimistic note, but there are still no easy answers to the BPD puzzle. Hopefully, as this disorder becomes more understood more BPD sufferers will be able to get the help they need. This book shows that there are really some amazingly creative, artistic people out there that are suffocating without getting help. I hope Kiera Van Gelder can find some peace and joy in her life at least commensurate with the light she is shedding on this horrific disorder.


Enpac ENP OKL15 OdorKlenz Laundry Additive Liquid, 15 loads Can
Enpac ENP OKL15 OdorKlenz Laundry Additive Liquid, 15 loads Can
Price: $32.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked like a charm, August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was looking for something to remove those stubborn gym odors (that tend to get stuck in synthetic fabrics) that sometimes don't go away with a single wash. I haven't had any smelly shirts to clean lately but was eager to try this so I used it as an additive when I washed my dog's blankets the other day (that "wet dog" smell is never completely removed, even after washing multiple times.) I used some "ecologically friendly" unscented detergent with this and the smell was completely and totally gone after I removed the blankets from the dryer -- like I'd just picked up a new blanket off the shelf at Target!


The Hindu-Aryan Theory on Evolution and Involution: Or, the Science of Raja-Yoga - Primary Source Edition
The Hindu-Aryan Theory on Evolution and Involution: Or, the Science of Raja-Yoga - Primary Source Edition
by Tirumangalum Chrishna Rajan Iyengar
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.54
11 used & new from $11.52

5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of a book, August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Given the brevity of this little work, I won't offer up a book-length review here. I picked this book up since I have long been influenced by Guenonian metaphysics and nagged by the dichtomy of "devolutionary" and "evolutionary" forces in the universe. The "devolutionary" forces are easy for me to get my head around, but what about "evolutionary" forces? Most talk of "evolutionary spirituality" quickly meanders into pastepudding spiritualism based on poorly understood Darwinian evolution of the type you usually find in the half-off section of a New Age bookstore. In this slim little volume, pretty much any spiritual or metaphysical topic that an inquiring mind might be curious about is covered, from classic Freshman 101 questions ("If God can do anything, can He make an object so big he can't move it?") to life after death, to the proper conduct of life -- they're all covered succinctly in this little volume. There is no filler here: if you've got a lifelong interest in metaphysics, you'll undoubtedly find something new to think about here; if you're a new seeker, you could spare yourself a lot of time and heartache by assimilating the information here and dispensing with most of the fluff that is modern effeminate "spirituality".


Collapse!: How the Federal Reserve Created Another Stock Market Bubble and Why it Will Collapse
Collapse!: How the Federal Reserve Created Another Stock Market Bubble and Why it Will Collapse
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, tight, to the point -- worth reading even if you're bullish right now, June 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While I tend to believe that the stock market will drift quite a bit higher before it crashes down, I would still ignore this book at your own peril. David Skarica has a knack for distilling complex topics down into digestible pieces without "dumbing it down". This book is succinct, terse, and very "big picture" oriented. If the current stock market environment has you wondering if you're the only sober person amidst a sea of meth and Ecstasy-addled permabulls, this book will confirm everything you've suspected! I also recommend Skarica's "The Great Super Cycle", which I read two years ago and recently re-read and found nearly all of it to be extremely prescient.


Eternal Rhythm
Eternal Rhythm
Offered by Plantever
Price: $47.55
10 used & new from $43.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing record., January 5, 2014
This review is from: Eternal Rhythm (Audio CD)
I don't normally care for free jazz but this is one of the most amazing records out of my fairly voluminous collection in any genre, and the one that cemented Don Cherry as my all time favorite jazz performer. Any fan of abstract/world/ambient/avant-garde music would be best served by picking this album up -- it's easily worth the hefty Japanese import price.


Dirty Pictures
Dirty Pictures
DVD ~ Alexander Shulgin
Offered by out of this world
Price: $9.11
26 used & new from $5.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Let's hope we can blame the drugs for this one, December 1, 2013
This review is from: Dirty Pictures (DVD)
How could anyone make a bad documentary about a character as fascinating as Alexander Shulgin? Well, (is it Ms. or Mr.?) Etienne Sauret has managed to make a documentary that's not only bad, but it's downright painful to watch, and, would, given only a tiny amount of smart-alecky extrapolation, provide good evidence that psychedelic drug consumption might be best avoided by aspiring artists, in stark contrast to the commonly held myth that they aid artistic ability. I mean, usually psychedelic artistic output is usually just a little hokey at worst, like old Yes and Hawkwind album covers from the 1970's or maybe some black-light painting with an R. Crumb theme, not this incredibly confused effort that feels like it was scripted by someone who'd been watching _Memento_ repeatedly during a 72 hour meth binge.

Before you judge me, please let it be known that you'd be harder pressed to find a bigger fan of the Shulgins than I. I've worn out my copy of PIHKAL -- twice. I checked the website for this movie regularly and prayed that it'd finally make it to DVD. Trust me, I was looking for any possible excuse to like it, or even like a little bit or piece of it.

The directing "style" is a art-school sophomore effort (although I could not tell if it was intentional or not) that is somewhere between the disjointed narrative of Harmony Korine's "Julien Donkey-Boy" and the final "acid montage" scene of _Easy Rider_. Even if you have already have a fairly good idea of the story and characters before you watch it, you'll find yourself scratching your head wondering how the entire effort could be so disjointed -- there is almost zero continuity between facts, characters, places, and situations to the point where the movie is almost like a series of unrelated vignettes that could be shown completely out of sequence with no net overall loss of comprehension on the viewer's part -- because it's simply impossible for the viewer to have an idea what's going on (David Nichols is shown as some wacky harmonica player and little else, and I never did get who that hipster-biochemist with the pierced ears was, although he was apparently important for some reason as he seemed to get more air time than the Shulgins.

Actually, this movie reminds me of a specific drug experience from many years past. Back in my "party days" I did a bunch of Ketamine with several others, someone cued up _Planet of the Apes_ on the VHS player, and then I realized as the movie was ending that I had absolutely no idea what just transpired in the last two hours, since my memory had gone from Charlton Heston shooting up in his spacecraft to damning all the apes to hell with no narrative in between. The saving grace was that that two of my compatriot fraternity-house "psychonauts" had used another fellow's ketamine anesthesia as a good excuse to write a "Twisted Sister" logo on his forehead, which made for some good yuks after being effectively knocked unconscious by a strong dissociative anesthetic. Perhaps the director was trying to evoke a similar experience, as I found myself constantly waiting for the "punchline" in this movie, or the point it would "really get rollling", which never came. On the other hand, I still chuckle when I think about someone waking up in the morning with a Sharpied "TS' logo on his forehead, proving that perhaps it's much more rewarding to actually use drugs than to watch movies about people that make them. What does any of that have to do with this documentary about the Shulgins, you say? I can only respond that you're mired in the Old Linear Paradigm of 'Coherency Thinking': I'd try to explain it to you, but it's some of that deep quantum physics string stuff that you wouldn't understand.

My biggest pet peeve is the the constant use of Burning Man imagery throughout the movie. This is not to say that Burning Man itself is necessarily bad, as it is definitely the nexus of contemporary psychedelic culture and there are some cool people that go, sure: some would call it a profound spiritual event, or even a "movement"; others might just confuse it for a mass gathering of Bay Area IT workers in animal costumes on Ecstasy who take _Mad Max Beyond Thunderdrome_ a little too seriously: in either case, it's not interesting, relevant, or appropriate to insert non-sequitur shots from this festival constantly amidst the rest of the film imagery. Just when SHulgin starts making a reasonably interesting historical anecdote about how he, say, discovered 2-CB, it's back to Burning Man. Perhaps the whole movie was just designed to reinforce the notion that for all the potential of Shulgin's discoveries, they're really mainly just used to help hippies have sex and make seven days of nonstop techno tolerable?

The only mildly redeeming part of the movie is when Shulgin is actually given a bit of space to talk about some of the compounds he's discovered, but he's hardly given any space to talk at all and (do you notice a pattern here yet?) the disjointed (a word that any review for this film would max out available synonyms for) editing immediately pulls another character, event, or situation in for some anecdotal, who-what-the-heck-was-that clip which is only half-explains (at best) before shifting gears again. Actually, maybe this is really a movie about Burning Man, and the French-sounding director is taking a clue from the likes of Deleuze and Guattari's _A Thousand Plateaus_ or similar French postmodern philosophy?

Trust me, I would love to at least say this movie is for "completists" or "diehards" only but I really cannot see anyone with even the slightest sympathy towards coherency being anything but annoyed with this film.


The Reign of Quantity & the Signs of the Times
The Reign of Quantity & the Signs of the Times
by Whitall N. Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.76
39 used & new from $8.63

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Pole Star" That Navigates The Chaos Of The Modern World, November 3, 2013
There's very little that I could add about Guenon's seminal The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times that hasn't been eloquently stated by some of the other excellent reviews, so let me not rehash this book yet another time.

First, a minor point of disagreement with most of the reviewers here: while Guenon's style is admittedly opaque and at times difficult, I do NOT think that one should necessarily avoid this book as an introduction to Guenon as long as the potential reader is already comfortable with dense, academic prose and forewarned about Guenon's discursive page-long run-on sentences. This book is not an easy "airport read" but it's certainly comprehensible to a committed dilettante: personally, I found Guenon's Man and his Becoming According to the Vedanta and Mircea Eliade's Yoga, Immortality and Freedom to be much more difficult (the extensive use of Sanskrit terms requires a bit of patience with both Guenon and Eliade.) Odds are if you're encountering Guenon for the first time you've already made a wide number of excursions into "undergraduate level" spiritual topics already and have been left feeling somewhat unsatisfied, so don't be too scared off: this was the first Guenon book I ever read and I subsequently went on to read most of his output. That being said, if you just want to "dip your toes in the water" you should probably start with Guenon's The Crisis of the Modern World.

So what could I possibly add with yet another review? Out of the hundreds of philosophical and metaphysical texts I've read over the past couple of decades, this book stands out as the single most poignant thing I've ever read, and if its lessons are properly assimilated, it will change your life forever. Why? Because far from being just a collection of antiquated Sanskrit terms and concepts that are "neat to know", it contains knowledge that will allow you a universal key to make sense of world events and the chaos and confusion of the modern world.

Whether it's crass materialism, the "virtual casino" composed of electronic zeroes and ones that is the modern world economic system, the elimination of the soul and spirit in modern scientific inquiry, the confusion of the sexes, or just the general trend towards ever-more garish and bizarre behavior, you'll find an answer for it in this book. You'll understand why male hipsters are wearing women's jeans, why religion has been relegated to the status of an embarrassing anachronism, and the metaphysical consequences of mass consumption of Internet pornography. Note that Guenon is not some two-bit "moralist" social conservative of the Robert Bork variety; he simply lays out the metaphysical process of devolution in painstaking detail.

If you've long known that something just wasn't right with modernity but couldn't quite put your finger on it - and you tried flirting with various modern spiritual "paths" and found them all to be exceptionally wanting - then you'll probably find that Guenon is doing little more than clearly articulating thoughts that you've had for a very long time. On the other hand, as one reviewer put it, this book is "a masterpiece for the elect and an enigma for others". If your idea of "spirituality" is something more along the lines of easily digestible, thinly-disguised self-help Spirituality Lite like Barbara Marx Hubbard, John Spong, Neale Donald Walsch, etc. this book will leave you confused at best, and agitated at worst: note that this book contains only five- and one-star reviews, with no middle ground at all.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3