The Recursive Quest for Perfection

I don’t do my nails. by which I mean I cut them as close as they will go and I keep them clean. I don’t grow them, shape them or paint them.

The one thing my mom and now my late mother in law agreed on is that it was unseemly of me to wear my nails as I did ‘like a man.’ In fact a friend who is a profiler agrees with them. He says that only lesbians wear their nails as I do. Maybe that relates to the odd occasions of being hit on….

But here’s the thing: I wear my nails like that because it’s the only way I can wear them. Beyond the fact that I routinely go through periods of dipping my hands in bleach or solvent, there is the …. problem of the endless perfection recursion.

So, you know, I once sat at the kitchen table nine hours trying to paint my nails. And there was always a little imperfection. And when I fixed that I created another. And…

I eventually wiped my nails clean and went on with life.

It came to mind today as I was fixing the only room of the house cleaned, painted and staged so far: the downstairs powder room, or as some of you who’ve been to the house know it, the trilobite room.

For those of you raising an eyebrow, yes, I do realize that house buyers might look at this and see evidence of mental illness, but look….

It started like this: I bought a vessel sink. Which happens to be in tones of brown with flecks of gold. From that we did the walls to match, only more gold, because it’s a small room and brown (which was what was there, actually) feels claustrophobic.) From there…. Well, suggestions were made, I was tired. So there’s a frieze of trilobite stencils across the top…. The family loves it, because of all the years when our favorite treat was going to the natural history museum.

But this means I have melalic-ish gold walls, white vanity top, white trim, and dark cherry vanity cabinet.

All I needed to do was fix a couple of damage spots to the wall. But–

This morning I was fixing splats on the wall (from the white of the trim) with the tiniest brush and it occurred to me this is a problem in life in general.

Most people won’t notice pinprick sized droplets.

Weirdly, that’s part of my political philosophy. Nothing as complex as human society can be perfect. So, like my nails, let it be as natural as possible.

And having left you with that bizarre idea, I’m going out to pick carpet. Afterwards, I have writing to do.

Off to do what I can while I can. Catch you on the flip side.

NEKULTURNY -A Blast From The Past from September 2020

*Less than a year. So much has changed. So little has changed. Yes, there was fraud, and it was open and obvious and it red pilled some (but not nearly all) people. And the dems are going yet more crazy, mask on-mask off, do as I say even when it makes no sense (and it makes no sense. If masks worked, why do we still need them? If masks didn’t work, whey use them? If the vaccine worked, why do the vaccinated need to wear masks? If they didn’t, why try to push for everyone to get vaccinated? If illegals pouring in are “refugees” why do they keep coming? And how come we never heard of extermination wars south of the border? IF they’re not refugees, why let them in? If they become American by coming in, why can none of them speak English? If America is oppressive and offensive, why are they coming here “for a better life?” If Americans support this and it’s only fair why are they being secretly distributed all over the country? If there’s no crisis at the border how come no pictures? If we don’t have better batteries/way to get energy why ban fossil fuels? If we have these wonderful new means, what about the deep freeze in TX?
It’s gotten to the point even children can see the lies. And since those of us who saw them were already the majority, I wonder how bad it is now.

So, is it time? Magic 8 ball still broken. I was hoping enough people would wake up and be forceful enough we could pass this cup of blood without tasting of it. But–

Who knows? Perhaps that’s the push for locking us down again. As I told you before, lockdowns are a lousy means of disease control. They’re great for crowd and discontent control, though.

Shake the magic eight ball and ask again. I’m just hoping things hold till we’re moved and this house sold. I feel like I’m on the last train out from behind the lines about to go arrowy and pointy.

This is the sauve qui peut. Look to your six. Get out of danger. And fortify your position.

The waters are about to be mighty choppy indeed. Hopfully not for a few months. Maybe a year. But only G-d knows the future.

Even so, be not afraid. This is no time to go wobbly – SAH-2021*

NEKULTURNY -A Blast From The Past from September 2020

It’s hard to fight a culture war when you ain’t got no culture. The conservatives I knew in the arts, in broadcasting, in writing in the eighties used to say that and laugh bitterly.

Mind you we were a small group and had trouble finding each other. We had to first identify the other was safe enough to come out to, a process that involved mutual signs and countersigns, and straying ever so slightly into forbidden territory and seeing how the other reacted, always ready to pull back and say “it’s a joke.” Honesty, hanky codes would have been easier: yellow for slightly right of center, blue for old-fashioned so-con, purple for small l libertarian, psychedelic tie dye for the Libertarian party, black for Anarcho Capitalists, fluffy grey for OWL (Older, wiser Libertarians), pink for voluntarianists, chartreuse for “I’m just so tired of what pigs leftists are” and red for the blood of our heroes.

The problem of course is that if these handkerchiefs started showing up everywhere, the left, in their idiotic way would decide that they meant something else completely different, and try to destroy your life with it. Or worse, they’d know exactly what it meant but accuse you of meaning something different so that they could destroy you.

And they owned all the means of mass communication and signaling. Which frankly is why we used to say that. It wasn’t that we had no culture. It was that those of us who worked in those fields had to pretend to be on the other side so that we could work at all. And those of us who were socially smart enough knew it.

Weirdly a lot of the survivors were women of interesting heritage, (for this purpose being a first generation immigrant from a Latin culture and having been exquisitely “educated” in Marxism helped. I knew what to fake) or gay people (this probably helped me fly below the radar too. No, I’m not gay. I’m about as straight as the next person, and in this case the next person has a ram-rod for a spine. But there is no use denying that some part of my brain is devoted to “weirdness with sex, attraction and, yeah “gender””. Possibly because I read sf/f at an early age and therefore became interested in how things might change in ways that broke society/people and what came after. I don’t know. This thing isn’t exactly under my control. All I’m saying is that my first books published contained a gender-changing elf, and they weren’t by any means the most bizarre thing I’d written by then along those lines. I think I’ve figured out how to make my first world palatable to humans. We’ll see) or people whose day job/education was in other fields wholly controlled by the left, or well…. very odd people. (Raise your hands brothers and sisters, and say Amen.)

I bet you that’s why a lot of you managed to fly under the radar then, and maybe were not even aware of how bad it was. (“In the prison of the gifted, I was friendly with the guards, so I never had to witness what happens to the heart” – Leonard Cohen.)

Others had got into the field as extreme left, and then changed. So slowly, and so strangely, and along such paths, that the leftists never figured it out or couldn’t figure it out.

Part of it you have to understand, and yeah, studies have revealed this, but we didn’t need it, those who have lived in the dominated fields, and passed well enough to be sitting at revelatory conversations, is that the left has no idea what the opposition is. Absolutely zero. None.

They construct these straw men, and never actually seem to realize they’re completely wrong. You’ve seen the idiots who come spinning onto comments and insist we’re racist, sexist, homophobic, uneducated hicks, who’ve never left the American South. I mean it takes about three seconds to figure out that this is, a an acquaintance called it in the early days of my blog, Hoyt’s Refuge for the tragically gifted, and that education formal or not is what most of us have spent our lives absorbing. But their beliefs require them to see illusions, and humans will kill and die for the right not to break their easy assumptions.

One of my areas of interest, mostly because I saw an early boyfriend (I’m not even sure we were dating, just sort of vaguely sweet on each other. And we were very young) disappeared into a cult, forever, is to read about cults, both the ones that led their followers into horrible, tragic ends, and those that have adapted to something more normal (not going to name names, and no, I’m not being snarky about anyone’s religion. The ones I’d name flourished in Europe in the sixties and seventies, and still have enough power and influence, I don’t need that additional trouble.) One of the things I know is that it’s almost impossible to deprogram someone from a cult, unless there is a personal and Earth shattering event that causes them to want to change. It is in that way very similar to drug addiction. You have to hit rock bottom and realize everything you want and think is wrong. And then start to rebuild.

And the left is effectively a cult.

Sure we know how we got here. The left controls schools, entertainment, news, corporate management. They basically control all the centers of soft power. (How much of the hard power of the military they have gotten hold of, I don’t know. And I’m afraid to find out.)

Those of you who say it wasn’t as bad before are kind of right. But only kind of. You see, once they’d taken the universities, and the ways to signal “high class” (entertainment, the arts, the awards, the tv shows, the movies, the markers of success) they controlled everything. It was all over but the shouting.

Those of you who marvel as to why a self- made millionaire like the owner of Amazon, or any of the social media owners sing in the choir of the left are entirely missing the point.

The point is that THESE PEOPLE AREN’T POLITICAL. Yes, I know what social platforms have done. I know what insane things some of these people say and post. But the problem is not that they are political. Most of them are focused on their field, very good at what they do (which make money from the most unlikely things) and completely blind to political philosophy.

This is very hard to believe given the damage their do, their crazy donations, and the way they signal. It’s also very hard to believe they’re non-political, because let’s face it, you and I and the rest of the people here are as political as it’s possible to be. Either by a natural bend of the mind, or whatever (and note that I always assumed it was my early experiences, but I’ve seen normal, American people fall into this too) we have a passionate interest in politics and forms of government, and in my case an utterly paradoxical (if you know what I do for a living) hunger and thirst for the truth. (And yes, I have long, long wondered what is meant by “for they shall be satiated.” I’m not sure it’s a promise I’d want fulfilled, and yet I do. Yes, even so.)

But these people don’t care about politics. They’re making money, they’re successful, and like very noveau riche, they want the social acceptance, the “intellectual bling” that makes them accepted by the elite.

If this were the Victorian age, they’d found hospitals or libraries (if only the poor were educated, they’d be more like us!) or build hygienic villages, or send boat loads of pants and Bibles to Africa.

Nowadays, the culture, the social signaling, the ostensible admiration of the lumpen crowds, the certainty that they’re shiny and smart and brilliant comes from signaling left as hard as they can.

Yes, they’re doing horrible things for that. What? You think it never happened before in history? But they really have no idea. Even if they know what will result, they don’t know what will result. They might know they’re sweeping all those bad people from public life and silencing them, but they don’t know that in the end it will be them against the wall. And they have absolutely no clue what the policies they support will do, because the “smart” (smart in our day and age is determined by the fact you mouth the right or rather left platitudes, at least for purposes of recognition, jobs as, oh, respected public health experts, and/or experts of any kind) people that surround them have excuses for all the failures, assure them that Cuba is beautiful and quaint, and tell them paradise lies that way.

Perhaps I should tell you about the most 2020 week ever, in some ways (not I hope all the ways. No rains of fish today, please.) at least in the ideological sense. I’ll start with yesterday evening.

As some of you know I watch second-hand movies and television. This is not intellectual posturing, btw. Yes, much of what’s on TV is bloody stupid. But even for what’s good, I need to be doing something at the same time. I’m not visual enough for visual-only story telling to hold my interest. (To be fair, I also tend to do other things while reading, which is why my kindle often wears a ziploc and why paperbacks used to be covered in stains from cooking or from cleaning fluids.)

So, in the evening, I sit at the social-media laptop in the family room, and check in with my homies (shut up) or write non-fic (or lately edit Jane Austen fanfic) while my husband does his equivalent activity, which he does when his mind is completely exhausted: watch a movie or tv series. I will get bits and pieces, and sometimes look up to see what’s going on. Weirdly this is enough to get most of the plot, mostly because frankly my husband — by that time — isn’t looking for intellectually stimulating fare. (Younger son listens to political podcasts for the same “my brain is on spare cycles” function. Which is weird. And also, I’ve mentioned that one is mine, right?)

Yesterday husband said he really couldn’t even stand anything but rom coms. The first one he put up was SUCH a spectacular piece of lefty bullsh*t even he noticed. While I sat there horrified, for once actually watching, mouth agape at the non-stop bullshit, he was seemingly not reacting. And I know that though our political opinions are not that different, he’s by and large WAY more tolerant about this crap than I (to the extent that is a ton less interested in politics and thus doesn’t see them everywhere. He is in fact like those people above and was soft-left and thought his wife was insane until I came out politically and had to explain to him why. And why I believed what I did.) But fifteen minutes in, he got up and went “Well, that crap is enough.” And turned it off. For a gauge of what that means, he then proceeded to watch in full a rom com in which all the characters are democrat activists, and in which this is not only a good thing, but means they are GOOD people, and in which the most appalling leftist crap was celebrated throughout, openly and not, all of it wrapped in the veil of “these are normal people, and this is about their romance, and this is how everyone lives.” The most right wing people there might have been the ones who didn’t want to kill everyone to the right of Lenin. And it was a love story, played for laughs.

Afterwards I talked to him about it, and yes, he got these were all crazy bullshit points, but the fact that it was set a few decades ago, and that everything was presented as normal, including the pov on history from an exclusive left (and insane) stand didn’t kick him out of the story.

This morning he told me ruefully that the two most popular book genres (he reads both, because “spare cycles.” Mystery and sf/f are for when he can think) of thriller and romance don’t even bother with research, they just do “what everyone knows to be true” aka, what is on TV, and in the news, and in all entertainment. So, you know, Leftist Fantasy.

Note these are the most popular genres because most people who read them only read to decompress. They don’t want their views challenged or to find themselves researching what really happened in Bumf*ck Redistan 50 years ago, that everyone has lied about. So, just going with “what everybody knows” works. And what everybody knows are big, big lies. Things like every woman is discriminated against at work. People die on the streets for lack of health insurance. Leftists are the under dog. And everything wrong with society is brought about by greedy capitalists. (Not an exhaustive list. Dig far enough into what “everybody knows” and you find that everybody knows I’m a white Mormon male who is racist, sexist and homophobic. And that was my only reason to oppose the awards in my field going to sophomoric dreck dominated by one house.)

(“Everybody knows the war* is over. Everybody knows the good guys lost” -Leonard Cohen. *Yes at that time, it meant the cold war.)

This piled on on an …. interesting week. I found one of my remaining soft left friends has gone…. well, the way they go. And no, there will be no public breach. But psycologically this is not good for me. Not good at all. Other people’s friends might be redpilled, mine all seem to run screaming the other way. Which makes me wonder if I know how to pick them, or if this cult is impossible to recover from. Either way. That’s what we’re up against, and I’m not …. sanguine.

Two days ago, here, I posted about why I don’t want people to gleefully, joyfully join in saying “if the left wants a civil war, we’ll give them a civil war.”

As usual I got the strange accusation that since I don’t want us to jump into immediate chaos and violence (which, yes, the left is practically begging for, and yeah, they might think it’s better for them than it is, but after the last century I think you guys would be less sure that the other side doesn’t know what they’re doing, okay?) That I think all is lost. That other than voting, I want to lie here and just let it go into communist paradise without fighting back.

You have no idea. And the weird thing is that you have no idea, after all the years I’ve been fairly frank on this blog. Though granted I’m somewhat sparing with my history in public, mostly to protect the guilty. (The guilty who aren’t me.)

Suffice it to say I’m a berserker. I’m also, naturally, attracted to simple solutions, which are often violent ones. There is something simple and clean about physical fights. The pointy end goes in the other guy (Or the side that goes pew pew, but that’s a recent accomplishment for me.) And the other guy is the person physically attacking you.

It’s so simple, it’s so clean.

It’s so dangerous in the circumstances we’re in. Which brings me to the other two events this week that hit me hard psychologically.

One was a stranger’s death. An Omaha NE, bar owner who fought (physically) against an antifa attacker and for his trouble was indicted, maligned, lost his properties, lost his home, got so much hate and slander poured on him (guys, you have no idea, unless you’ve been on the other side of these campaigns, and frankly the one I fought in was beanbag compared to this. It will strip you bare and destroy everything you care about, even so. Most of my friends who fought that one alongside me have been suffering from it ever since, in career, in psychological wounds, in physical health.) that he killed himself.

This is a reminder of the power they STILL have. If you needed another one after this year of gross civil rights violations instigated by their “scientists” and “computer models” and crazy media. They still have the power to destroy completely random and innocent individuals, even if they fail sometimes, as they did with the Covington kids. Yeah, their power is no longer absolutely universal, and it won’t stick, but it will stick long enough to kill you. Or as I told the circle of guys with machine guns, while I held a (granted weaponized) umbrella “Sure, you can kill me, but I can f*ck up one of you before you do. Volunteers?” The left, metaphorically has that umbrella.

Their power is waning. They are in trouble. Probably in more trouble than any of us realizes, which justifies the measure of their insanity. But they still have the ability to destroy us if we do anything stupid, or even if we are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and they need to make an example.

Do I want to beat them all? Sure. Do I think many of the crazier ones are utterly nonredeemable? Sure. Do I think when it comes to the sticking point, we might have to fight physically? Sure. Do I think we should be prepared? Sure.

Do I think that time is now? Sure. If you wish to lose. Because right now they still have enough power to tar whatever you do as utterly unprovoked and evil. And to convince those “non political” people that everyone to the right of Lenin MUST be utterly destroyed. And then what comes out of that? Ah. Well, you know. Quaint paradises like Cuba.

And don’t delude yourselves that we’ll utterly destroy them, okay? I too have fantasies of beating them to death with their “institutional patriarchy” signs. But they’ve sold that fantasy to enough people. They might have sold the fantasy of “mostly peaceful protests” to enough “non political” people too. And even if you utterly destroy them, who is you? You are aware a lot of the younger people who are non leftist have totally turned leftism on its head. Which — because leftism isn’t the exact opposite of reality, but more like a vicious fantasy land — means they landed in a fantasy land of their own. Even if you — for values of you — win utterly, most of the readership on this blog will be as out of place. And most people will be as broken and poor in all senses, as if the other side wins.

No, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to fight.

(“I was handy with a rifle, my father’s .303. I fought for something final, not the right to disagree.” -Leonard Cohen.)

And no, it doesn’t mean I think everything is lost. I did at this time in 2016. You might not realize it, since I often post my most hopeful articles here when I’m most hopeless. Not exactly lying to you, honest. More lying to myself. Call it “Sarah’s depression management.”

I didn’t realize how much I thought everything was lost until Hillary didn’t win. The relief. The stunning, unexpected relief. I walked in a dream for a week, in fear it WAS a dream. And yeah, that’s a measure of how well they “sold” their narrative even to those of us who are politically plugged in and addicted to the stuff.

So, what do I think? What do I think our chances are? Do I think we shouldn’t bring the cartridge box out, ever? What would make me bring it out?

Ah. Shake the magic eighth ball and ask again. Right now? I don’t even know what the result of the elections will be. To be fair, I don’t think I’d trust any prognostications after 2016, but also…. well, they’ve pulled all the stops on the fraud. And I thought they’d already done that in 2018. And I can’t tell if we can beat the margin of fraud. I can’t tell if anyone could. Even if every living person went in and voted straight GOP. And you know they won’t. A lot of them are non political and believe the narrative.

So, why not go at them, now, before they fraud their way to power?
Partly? Because they want us to. Which means right now they have strategies in place. They are ready. Dear Lord, what do you think the Summer of lack of love has been all about?

(“Everybody knows that it’s now or never. Everybody knows that it’s me or you. And everybody knows that you live forever, once you’ve done a line or two” Leonard Cohen.)

Yes, they might be wrong. They’ve been wrong before. And yes their “troops”are pathetic, and the people who tell us “but they got bloodied” need to take a powder already. I do agree with you on that. Because most of their “troops”that are in anyway effect are violent criminals. They’ve long ago been blooded. But their ante-fa only gambols where authorities are friendly for a reason.

BUT–

The night between Monday and Tuesday my profile disappeared from Facebook, and yesterday I had to log on to FB TWICE and change my password twice. Apparently this happened to a lot of people on what I’ll broadly call “our side.”

Sure, it might have been a technical glitch, but wait: I also had to log onto WordPress TWICE. The chances of having a glitch hit both companies the same day is….. uh. lower. Though I’ll give you that tech in general is capable of a lot of that.

I don’t know, because I no longer have reliable sources on the other side.

And frankly that’s the biggest problem with going hot. It’s mutual assured destruction. Yeah, I know, a lot of you don’t use FB, I personally don’t really use Twitter, etc etc ad definite nauseum. But are you sure of your cell phone? Are you even that sure of your snail mail? (Were you ever? For those who think vote by mail is a good idea: take a $1000 dollar bill, but it in an envelope addressed to yourself, place the necessary stamp, and mail it to yourself. Go on. I dare you.)

No, they can’t black us out completely. As I’m fond of saying the photocopier and fax brought the USSR down. But organization will be interesting, and do you really want to bet the life of the republic on this leaky sieve before it’s absolutely necessary?

So when will it be absolutely necessary? When you have a reasonable expectation that it’s either the Glorious People’s Republic of Bumf*ckistan or the regime in Starship Troopers. Because in those circumstances, yeah, Starship Troopers is preferable. (And those who think that means I want it need their heads examined. But it’s still preferable to communism. [And for those who’ve never read the book, read it. The bullshit in the MOVIE wasn’t preferable to communism. It also wasn’t Heinlein’s ideas.]) Because it’s quite likely at that point it is our best case scenario and our best hope: that the veterans will have had enough. It won’t be the Republic, though. Remember that. They can’t win, but we can lose. And we probably will, for a definition of losing.

And yes, it might all come to a head in less than a month and a half, though things usually take longer to percolate.

I wish I could tell you it won’t be needed. I wish I could say those of us who have been fighting the cultural civil war are winning. I wish I could tell you that it won’t come to the death of the Republic in both constitution and territory, or that we’re not in danger. Or that the dread fourth box won’t be needed. But I only lie in fiction and this ain’t fiction.

I came out of the political closet in what can best be described as a Road to Damascus experience. Some of you know what I’m talking about. Some don’t. Let’s say it was a very bizarre thing to happen to completely non-mystical me who dreads woo woo stuff even from the religion (s?) she was raised in (it’s complicated.) Let’s say I didn’t rush out of the political closet. I was shoved. Or drop kicked. In a way impossible to resist. I’m not a happy warrior. Not intellectually. And only some of you know how hard those first steps were. I’m conflict averse, and I used to cry while writing. And shake so hard it was hard to type.

I just had to, and resisting it would be harder than doing it. Kind of like when I was giving birth to second son, and they told me not to push because the doctor wasn’t there yet. Worst half an hour of my life. And it only kind of worked.

But I’ve been doing this now for what? A decade? And yet…. well this year. Despite me and all like me who scream in the desert.

(“Me I’ve broken every window, but the house, the house is dark. I care but very little what happens to the heart.” – Leonard Cohen.)

So am I saying we’re winning the cultural war, and even if the left frauds their way to power we can’t lose?

Tickle me. See if I laugh.

I’m saying the nihilist Marxists had won the culture so completely by the time I was born, that we are a rearguard action, a regiment of the damned, the crazy Nekulturny bastages willing to take what they fling at us, willing to give up on the cocktail party circuit, or more importantly on acclaim, security, respectability, because we think Marxism is that bad, and that the future and civilization are that important.

Yes, people like us win. Sometimes. That level of insanity commands its own respect, and wins its own victories. If we have enough time.

Do we have enough time? Who the heck knows. We might. Miracles do happen. We saw one in November 2016 and honestly, back then I didn’t even know what we were handed. I expected at best that we’d slowed down the death camps and our utter destruction. Because well… Himself chooses the strangest instruments. (Yes, I know, Noah was a drunkard, Moses was tongue-tied, and the list goes on. Sometimes I think He delights in contrary plotting. Yes I do keep telling Him He needs a writers’ group. He’s becoming predictable. Speaking of miracles, still not charred here, on this side of the screen.)

In case anyone is keeping score at home, lately — like the last three weeks — I’ve been getting the sort of push I got towards coming out of the political closet, but this time it could briefly summed up as “Write fiction and release it as fast as you humanly can.” And “Make all your friends on the side of light do the same.”

THIS part is true and puzzling. I mean, that’s a true push, and not just from my broken mind. When it’s …. THAT, whatever it is, it’s undeniable.

What does it mean? Heck if I know. Do I look to you like I have special knowledge? It could either mean that “we win they lose” and He’s moved on to incite warriors to win the culture fight. OR it could mean all is lost, and perhaps a fragment of a novel or two will be needed ten thousand years from now. I’m just passing it on, because if I seem less stable than usual, for the record, it’s really hard to go about our lives “in these trying times” while a divine boot is being applied repeatedly to one’s backside. And because it maybe means something good. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m not writing this novel.

So, we could get a miracle. Or not. I’ve now for some time been getting the sense I should leave my beloved Denver. For, oh, a little over a year, now. At the same time events have conspired to make it impossible for us to leave under two years.

Is that feeling right? Well, it’s coming from ME and my back-brain, not from whatever it is that pushed me out of the political closet. And who knows? All we can do is make preparations and set things in order so we can leave in two years, if we can leave then. If it waits that long.

And in the end, that’s where we are in the largest sense. Will this whole thing go hot, and go up like a Roman candle?
I don’t know. And neither do you.

Will we prevail when we’re forced to fight? Will what emerges be at least as good as Starship Troopers? Will a miracle occur and we get to keep the republic?

Magic eight ball is broken. You’ve poked it way too much. My friend to whom I’ve been pasting this as I write it, because this is the longest blog post in history, has just sent back “This too shall pass, possibly through the plumbing system, all things considered, but still…” And she’s not wrong.

So I am saying there’s nothing we can do?

No, no, I’m not. Remember half of this blog is me talking to myself. Besides, making use of the wonderful term one of you dropped in comments yesterday, I’m not Martyrbator. I don’t expect to be glorified through holy martyrdom. Nor do I want it or wish to hasten it. I’m not the type to sing hymns and turn my eyes to heaven as I’m herded into a place filled with hungry lions. By genetics and disposition, I have a dream of going out as I came in: screaming and covered in someone else’s blood. (Naked at this point would be sad for everyone’s sense of aesthetics. And hopefully not prematurely.) At least if I don’t get the option to go quietly, at an advanced age, surrounded by my children, bio and adopted, including those adopted as adults (ever so useful. No diapers to change) and their tribe of children and grandchildren.

I’m saying the time is not yet. I’m saying now is the time to prepare on all fronts. You know what they are, and if you’re smart, you’ll include ways to communicate with and help those you trust.

And that the time might be very short indeed. Or not. Because miracles do happen. No, you shouldn’t count on them. But at this point well…. even I have had to admit they happen. Call it quantum uncertainty. Call it life being whimsical. But they do happen.

Prepare for the worst. No, worse than that. No. Even worse. Look, just prepare for the worst you can imagine. Then grab your most pessimistic friend and ask them what he can imagine. Then have him get his most pessimistic friend….. You get the point. Prepare for THAT.

And if that doesn’t happen, be aware you’re not off the hook. We have to change this ridiculous culture, or our kids will fight this with fewer resources. Or their kids after them.
So, physical or not, as is needed at whatever point, fight now. No matter the cost. Even though the cost of the culture war is all out of proportion to the rewards any of us will see.

Fight as you can, while you can. And remember, physical or metaphorical, the pointy end goes in the other guy. And if you can, poison it. And if appropriate, break it in there.

This is no time to go wobbly. Be not afraid. And do prepare.

And now I’m going to finish one of those novels, a fragment of which might be needed — and completely misunderstood — in ten thousand years. Because Someone refuses to join a writers’ group and is fond of convoluted plotting. (Still not charred. Winning. But you might not want to stand so close to me.)

Waiting for the Chirp Chirp Chirp

I hate in between states.

I don’t know anyone who loves them, to be fair. Oh, maybe kids because they’re not aware of everything that can go wrong.

And yeah, grandma used to have her hens hatch chicks, and I can’t tell you the number of times we spent waiting for the little chick to peck its way out and the chirp chirp chirp.

Apparently, btw, you’re not supposed to help them, because they’re more likely to die. The effort of pecking to get out and what not actually releases some kind of hormone that helps them survive. (Yeah, you could make tons of comments on kids from that, but more importantly on nations, and on free nations most of all.)

Now, most chicks, like 98% of them just peck peck peck and then you hear the chirp chirp chirp.

But sometimes…. Well, sometimes the chick is too weak. Or malformed. Or whatever. And it can’t make it out. It won’t live even if you lend a little bit of help. Other times, for whatever reason the shell is too thick. And the chick, though perfectly normal, doesn’t make it out before running out of oxygen.

I don’t know — though I’m sure people here, better informed than I — what makes the chick up and start pecking one day. Perhaps it’s running out of nutrients. Or getting just a little too tight in the egg. I suppose it’s the same sort of thing that causes kids to be born. Not that I would know much about that, mind you, since both of my kids were induced (arguably the second one didn’t need to be, as I’d gone into labor early in the morning of the day he was born, it’s just that the doctor believed his colleague’s (lying) description of my first birth, and thought it would stop for no reason, so gave me pitosin…. and the kid was out in an hour, with a perfectly round head, and in former days I would probably have died. (Then again in former days they wouldn’t have given me pitosin, right?)

I know that from the outside, you’re never sure when they’ll start fighting their way out. If the nest is near you, you’ll hear the chirp chirp chipr very faintly sometimes before they peck.

As a little girl, with more misguided compassion than brain, I often tried to help the stuck ones. (Do you know that a hair pin is fine for pecking a hole from the outside. Though you have to be gentle, so you don’t stab the chick.) Sometimes it worked. In one signal case, a little fluffy yellow chicken born on Easter morning practically on my hand became one of the ugliest (though not mean) naked-neck roosters known to man, who had an habit of following me around, and head bumping my leg for pets. (Yes, I’m allergic to feathers. But I didn’t know it. Also I was so sick all the time that it was assumed to be a cold or flu or something.)

The ones who lived after being helped were usually the ones who had got stuck because the shell was too hard or they were too big, of course. (They need to be able to move their head to peck.) I think that was my pet chicken’s issue. He was a massive boy.

I didn’t understand, and grandma might have, but didn’t want to tell me, the evolutionary/breeding reasons not to help THOSE. Because when you help those, and they reproduce, you get more stuck chicks. I’m glad if grandma knew she didn’t seek to balance it by sending my rooster to the pot before adult age.

Anyway: as we sit here, in this ridiculous summer of 2021 (or at least you sit there. I’m sitting now to type this, but will be on my feet and finishing packing the art area before long) a lot of us wonder when the pecking will start. And is that chirp chirp we hear coming from inside the egg? Oh, and will the chick survive. And is it an eagle being born?

Sure, it was an eagle once. And now looking back, of course, we knew it would be an eagle and it would live. It’s always easy when you are holding the chick and it’s fluttering its little wings and looking for something to peck to say “it will live.” And of course it’s an eagle.

But it could be a turkey. Or a malformed chicken. Perhaps one of those with extra legs or something. (watching village chickens gives you a practical view of the problems with inbreeding.)

And even if it gets out of the egg, it might flop on its side and die quietly.

Look, I don’t think so. Not for us, not if it is an eagle.

But this is worldwide, and let’s face it some of those countries out there started out as deformed chickens with eight legs, no wings and a row of teeth. And some might be trying to be mini-dinosaurs. And the time for dinosaurs is past.

Look, guys, since the middle of the 19th century, the idea of “scientific government” has been running around with pants on its head screaming insults at passerbyes.

I like to say we’re still suffering from the consequences of WWI, but things were if not terminal very ill before then. Kings and emperors and Lord knows what else had got the idea of “science” and “permanent progress” stuck in their pin like heads, which frankly couldn’t retain much more than the correct fork. And there were pet “scientists” and philosophers (the distinction was sometimes arguable. I mean, after all while doing experiments on electricity the 18th century was also fascinated with astral projection and other such things, and made no distinction. And the 19th was not much better.)

By the 20th century with mechanics and the Industrial Revolution paying a dividend in lives saved and prosperity created, these men of “science” were sure that it was only a matter of time till humanity and its reactions, thoughts and governance were similarly under control. And in the twentieth they expected us to become like unto angels.

Now, is there science that saved lives and created the wealthiest society every in the 20th century. DUH. Who the hell is arguing it. Oh, wait, there’s an entire cohort of people denying it. Not so many in the US — I think it’s hard to tell the real thing from foreign idiots posing. But in any case a minuscule contingent — but in France I know there’s a ton of them. They’re running with the bit in their teeth against rationality (I swear to bog) and thought and science. And trying to rebuild the religion of the middle ages. I read them and shake my head.

You see, you have to separate rationality and science from what the government and experts TELL you it’s rationality and science.

Yes, I know that France built a “Temple to Reason” and you know what? That by itself tells you their revolution was self-copulating and not right in the head. But you don’t need to go that far. Anyone who says they’re “for science” and want equality of results among disparate humans is not reasonable. Or reasoning. Or rational. They are however for sure completely and frackingly insane.

But I do understand the temptation, because so much of what’s being sold as “science” in the schools is not science but the worn out dogmas of people too stupid to know science if it bit them in the fleshy part of the buttocks.

I mean, never mind 2020. Which…. you know? Remember how the flu vanished? Turns out the rat bastards were using a test that diagnosed flu as COVID. No, seriously. Malice of stupidity? I don’t know. And neither do you. Probably yes in most cases, though a lot of people have a ton of “learned stupidity.”

Even before 2020 a lot of our ideas on how things worked were lies, particularly those that hinged on or supported the leftist ideas of human kind. Things like Zimbardo’s (Is he dead yet? I need to know when to mark myself safe from being kidnapped by Zimbardo for crazy experiments. No, he really did that.) prisoner experiments; or the rat habitat experiments that supposedly showed that overpopulation had all sorts of bad effects, and therefore we should stop having kids. Turns out those effects are from the loss of social role. Which honestly, anyone who has looked at a conquered country could tell them. Of course, anyone who had looked at mice would also know they’re not humans, but never mind that. (And no, I don’t have time to look for the links today — no, you don’t want to know how far behind I am on everything. But Foxfier found them before. (And hopefully doesn’t kill me.))

In fact, practically everything we think we know about psychology or sociology is likely to be a load of crap, if not outright faked.

And history, which is not really a science. Oh. Dear. Lord. Like, you know, the early form of internationalism, with international supply chains and empires caused WWI and…. nationalism was blamed for it. Makes perfect sense…. in hell.

In fact all this “science” stuff needs to be judged on one thing only: Does it make human lives better/save them? Or is it the astral projection of economics, sociology and psychology? By their fruits, etc….

The fruits are in. And they’re pretty rotten. What we have right now, across the world, is a science as religion priesthood who hates the people who live in the real world, because the real world keeps proving them wrong, over and over again.

And they’re outright trying to do away with us, because being as stupid crazy as the kings of old they don’t realize they need us to survive.

Here’s the thing, even a chick knows when it’s starving int he egg, or it doesn’t have enough oxygen.

And then the chirp, chirp, chirp starts.

We are not as…. tight or starving as the rest of the world, which has put up with a ton more crap than we did. (Don’t argue. It’s all relative. I’ve been known to say that for the lack of one particular publishing house, science fiction would be as badly off as mystery. Now, it’s all relative, and that house too partakes some of the problems of traditional publishing. But the difference is startling and in the absence of other options — like indie — enough to keep the field going. In the same way, the US has been taking in more and more poison, but compared to the other nations, what a difference.)

And now, particularly for the touristic countries, with their own governments trying to cure the common cold by keeping tourists out, they have to rebel. They really don’t have any other choice.

And whether you realize it or not, because the newsmedia is a mess, the rebellions have been happening and picking up speed.

Now the thing to remember is that …. well…. these world wide movements tend to seduce even sane countries into their embrace.

It’s important not to be France (yes, France in particular. Deal. Lovely country. Lovely people, even (one of the ancestries husband and I share) but that culture has been running around sans coulottes, because they wear them on their heads since Louis XIV at least, and probably before that) and not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Real science matters. Real science matters when it’s not corrupted and swayed by politics. And it should be judged by its results.

But it should be questioned relentlessly and examined. Questioning, doubting and examining is not being anti-science. IT IS THE PROCESS OF SCIENCE.

Science is not a religion with dogmas to believe in. It’s a set of steps for finding out the truth. Or sometimes, for finding out what we believed was the truth …. isn’t.

And no laws should be made that impose this “science” on others, particularly when recommendations change every week with no reason.

Done now.

Whatever the global grand pubahs think, it’s hot enough to hatch a stone, let alone an egg.

And we ain’t talking “climate change.”

Ça Ira!

Be not afraid.

PS – Totally unrelated: boxes being assembled. The follies medicinales of the last two days have set the schedule a leetle back. But it will happen. Soon.

Alive Okay?

There was a hospital thing not-for-myself and not life threatening except in the sense I might end up killing someone.

I am all right, but we need to take things to the storage unit. So just letting you know I’m alive.

Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM SABRINA CHASE: Sky Tribe

Engineers always find a way!

Jens-Peter Oberacker thought the secret research facility for magical craft would be peaceful and quiet–the perfect place to finish his engineering research paper. He didn’t expect a violent gang of thieves to have their eyes on the ships, or having to escape to save his life. Worse yet, he’s now being blamed for the entire thing!

On the run in the last, badly damaged ship, an unexpected encounter with a housemaid on a mansion rooftop saves him from immediate disaster. But why would she lurk on a roof at night? And where did she learn her utter fearlessness of heights?

Perhaps unwisely, Jens-Peter ignores these questions—and the housemaid’s unexpected knife—desperate to find someone, anyone, who can clear his name. And let him finish his paper…

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: The Gear Engages.

It takes more than a single terraformer to start a new world.

The human colony on the lost world of Not What We Were Looking For faces fracture and schism. On one side of the river, the settlers from Earth remember what it means to live in a free society. In the Marss-controlled city, the governor cancelled elections long ago and strives daily to cement his grip on the inhabitants.

Thaddeus Dawe and the Hudson cousins, including the one who agreed to marry him, save the colony’s last terraseeder from the governor’s political grandstanding, and head for the secret northern enclave started by Thaddeus’ brother. But all Thaddeus’ careful planning takes a wrenching turn when not one but two parties race in pursuit.

Thwarted in his original goal, faced with repairing the consequences of what he does to escape arrest, and besotted by the discovery of newspapers, Thaddeus wrestles with new ventures and roles in which he dare not fail. He must save not only Earth’s microbial legacy but its knowledge base as well. Not to mention, he’s getting married.

But when the governor’s chief of staff decides to weaponize Thaddeus against both the city’s farmers and the newspaper’s publisher, Thaddeus must fight the governor’s attempts to steal the farmers’ land even as someone destroys everything Thaddeus himself tries to build. In the end, he must do what he can to save those his own betrayal put at risk.

Picking up where Under the Earthline left off, The Gear Engages is the fourth book in the gripping science fiction colonization series Martha’s Sons. If you like action, political machinations, and a driven hero, you’ll want to dive in heart-and-head first.

Pick it up now to join the fight for a lost world!

FROM J.J. DI BENEDETTO: Mr. Smith and the Roach.

John Smith has a problem. He’s a retired cop whose pension just got wiped out, and he doesn’t know why or how. Now he needs to find a roommate to help pay the bills.

Sam has a problem. He’s a six-foot-tall talking cockroach and he doesn’t know who created him, or why, or how. Now he needs a place to live.

Thrown together as roommates and amateur detectives, Mr. Smith and the Roach realize their problems might be related.

But those problems are far more complicated than they imagined, and before all is said and done, they’ll run afoul of a Russian gangster, an imprisoned Mafia don, a crooked Wall Street banker, a mad scientist and, maybe worst of all, Mr. Smith’s baby sister.

Can they get to the bottom of an unbelievable plot before someone exterminates the Roach – and Mr. Smith – for good?

FROM NITAY ARBEL: Operation Flash, Episode 1: Knight’s Gambit Accepted.

On March 21, 1943, one man came within a hairbreadth of blowing up nearly the entire Nazi leadership.
In timeline DE1943RG, he succeeded.
Then the conspirators discovered that killing Hitler and his chief henchmen was the easy part.

FROM BLAKE SMITH: Test of Valor

Alain de Kerauille wants to be a knight more than anything in the world, to win as many jousting tournaments as he can, become wealthy and famous, and gain the hand of the fair lady Emma. As a squire in a noble household, he’s well on his way to success, and when he’s chosen to joust in a celebratory tournament, all of his dreams seem within his grasp. Until his rivalry with a fellow squire reaches the boiling point, threatening to destroy everything Alain has worked for and send his future crashing down around him.

FROM ANNA FERREIRA: The Flight of Miss Stanhope: A Short and Sweet Regency Romance.

Marianne Stanhope is in trouble. Her family is urging her to accept the attentions of a most odious suitor, so she turns to a gentleman of her acquaintance for aid. But Mr. Firth has his own reasons for assisting Miss Stanhope, and it falls to her childhood friend Mr. Killingham to convince her that she’s made a dreadful mistake.

FROM T. L. KNIGHTON: The Last Champion (The Champion’s Cycle Book 1)

When the kingdom of Altria falls before an expansionist lord, the champion Korr is tasked with spiriting off the next in line to the throne as well as a princess who could be used to legitimize the duke’s claim to the throne. Joined by his childhood friend, one of the legendary Rangers of Altria, Korr seeks shelter with the man who trained him to fight many long years ago.

Korr is charged with raising the young king and readying him to take back his kingdom, but a chieftain of the Bohgan people becomes something of an obstacle to that purpose. Can Korr keep King Darvos and Princess Lauranna safe?

FROM KAL SPRIGGS: Valor’s Child (Children of Valor Book 1).

Be careful what you wish for.

Jiden’s parents barely scrape out a living on the dry, dusty world of Century. Jiden wants more for herself and she is ready to step into a bright future, one which may lead her far from the frontier world of her birth. She has no dreams of following in the footsteps of her military family’s heritage, no desire to live a life of hardship.

She’s just got one obstacle in the path to her dreams: five months of military school. She’ll be away from her friends, subjected to long hours and a crushing work load. She’ll learn to shoot, to fight… and how to kill.
Jiden will need every skill she’s learned, because her family’s enemies have put her in their sights. She’s going to have to rise to the challenges in order to survive. She soon learns that her dreams might not be as good as she imagined. With her life on the line, Jiden will need to fall back on the skills she learned and prove that she’s a child of valor.

FROM CEDAR SANDERSON: Vulcan’s Kittens (Children of Myth Book 1)

12-year-old Linnea Vulkane is looking forward to a long, lazy summer on Grandpa Heph’s farm, watching newborn kittens grow up and helping out with chores. That all goes out the window the night Mars, god of war, demands her grandfather abandon her and return to Olympus for the brewing war.

Now Old Vulcan is racing around the world and across higher planes with Sehkmet to gather allies, leaving Linn and an old immortal friend to protect the farm and the very special litter. But even the best wards won’t last forever, and when the farm goes up in flames, she is on the run with a daypack, a strange horse, a sword, and an armful of kittens. Linn needs to grow up fast and master her powers, before the war finds the unlikely refugees…

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER: A Hop, Skip and a Jump (Family Law Book 4).

Lee has a lot going for her, tons of money, true friends who will stand by her, an unexpected bonus of extended life from advanced medical treatments, and a start at unraveling some of the pesky secrets in the stars. But there is so much to do to take advantage of all these opportunities that she’s overwhelmed.
Keeping all they’ve gained may not be easy. Their new allies have received a follow-on delegation from their home world who seem determined to undo everything they accomplished. The Earthies seem inclined to oppose their new exploration claims, and even her helpful new friends from Central are a problem. They seem less forthcoming than she expected, and the fellow Gabriel who lent them a hand turns out to be entirely too friendly for her taste. Eventually everybody is going to find out Lee isn’t just a sweet little girl if you keep getting in her way.
This book continues the merging of the “April” series of books with the “Family Law” series.

FROM CYN BAGLEY: Tiny Joe and the Green Knight Terraforming Co.: Cases 1-3

Most customers are extremely satisfied with the job “The Green Knight Terraforming Co.” does to refurbish their planets. However when there are customer complaints, then the human Joe called Tiny is the person who solves those problems.

Joe’s backup muscle, Donald is there for the occasional times when Joe touches before he looks. Joe, Donald, and the lab animals troubleshoot those problems that need a delicate touch with a hammer. There is a one hundred percent guarantee that this group can fix any customer problem– or fix the customer.

A collection of short stories

FROM AMIE GIBBONS: Scorpions of the Deep (The Elemental Demons Urban Fantasies Book 1).

If you like subtle psychological horror in your urban fantasy, check out this thrilling tale of a war of the human heart vs. evil in “Scorpions of the Deep,” the first book in Gibbons’ new Elemental Demons Series.

There are more things in Hell and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy…

Sarah Blakely is in survival mode after her breakup pulls her life out from under her and sends her scrambling back home, depressed and broken after college. She is determined to build a new life and find a new direction. But it’s hard after losing her love, the man she’d planned on marrying. And the refuge of her childhood home, where she should be able to heal in peace, is being disturbed by one weird occurrence after another.

Sarah is not religious, but she is about to find out there are more things in Hell and Earth than are dreamt of in her philosophy.

Backed by her brave, loyal, and god-fearing friend Beau, she must face her fears and find her strength again, before one of those dark things she does not believe in uses her broken soul against her.

FROM CHRIS KENNEDY ET AL: In the Wings: An Anthology of Four Horsemen Universe Secondary Characters (Four Horsemen Sagas Book 7).

Fifteen outstanding authors. Fourteen extraordinary stories. One bestselling universe.

It’s the Twenty-Second Century. The galaxy has opened up to humanity as a hyperactive beehive of stargates and new technologies, and we suddenly find ourselves in a vast playground of different races, environments, and cultures. There’s just one catch: we are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.

Enter the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Enter a galaxy not only of mercenaries, but also of aliens, hired assassins, and accountants. Accountants?

Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, “In the Wings” brings you a variety of all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe showcasing characters that—until now—have always been one step out of the lime light. The fifteen authors bring you looks at some of the universe’s minor characters, giving you additional insight into what truly makes the universe tick…and some additional information you won’t get anyplace else!

FROM BRAD TORGERSEN: Lights in the Deep.

Ten astounding tales by triple award nominee Brad R. Torgersen. Go on fantastic new adventures at the bottom of Earth’s oceans and at the edge of the solar system. Meet humans who are utterly alien and aliens who are all too human. Originally featured in the pages of Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine as well as Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, these stories are gathered here for the first time, along with anecdotes and other commentary from the author.

Features the stories Ray of Light (2012 Hugo & Nebula nominee), Outbound (2011 Analog Readers Choice Award winner), and Exanastasis (2010 Writers of the Future Award winner).

Introductions by Stanley Schmidt, Mike Resnick and Allan Cole.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: NUMEROUS

I’m Going Slightly Mad

So, here we are, and this post is just a little late…..

Er….

So, what happened was I slept late, then I was trying to figure out what could get done today, then friends called because they were waiting for us at the restaurant, which I’d completely spaced, then we had to go pick up packages for business stuff, then I went by pharmacy who mis-filled my prescription and this time they’d…. lost it? and then–

So. Hi. I still have most of my hair. Didn’t pull it all out. And we’re trying to figure out sort of “Potluck boxes” so we can sell some of the …. piles and piles of books and promo materials (most of it stuff like bookmarks and postcards) of my work, sitting around the house, and maybe finance the flooring (or part of the flooring) for the new place, because we think that would be better done up front, before we move all our crap in. Because current owners have cats. We have seen that movie, so….

I mean we’ll probably have the money after this house sells, but flooring will be much harder after.

And anyway, we have a ton of boxes of books.

So, we’re now going to figure out shipping, so we an figure out what to charge for what we’ll call “Boxes from Sarah’s Garage.” (Most of them were actually piled in the corner of the library. I’m not sending you stuff from the garage, because that would be gross. Dust and insects and stuff. Also most of what’s there are about a million copies of the same tool, because ADD. Lose tool, don’t remember buying it, buy again.)

Will post those Monday. Probably. And we’ll definitely have these books at low prices. (And yes signed. And signed postcards, coverflats, whatev. It’s just you can’t choose what particular books go in your box, because we can’t take time to track those, not right now. Later there will be a store, probably attached to the site, but that will be…. close to if not cover price per book. This is just a major simplification.

Anyway, that’s what I’m going to do next. Right after I take a deep breath. (Probably.)

Then I need to go get paint, but it might be tomorrow, because today I got to edit.

Uh. Doesn’t sound excitin, but you know. It’s just busy.

I go. Zooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom.

It’s Not The Worst of Times

It’s not the best of times. It’s not the worst of times.

And curse you and fate for putting me, a chronic depressive, in the position of giving you reality checks, over and over and over again.

I’d much rather be in a corner moping or as mom used to call it “Being all three ravens.” (No, I have no idea what she meant by that, and I’m afraid to ask.)

No, correction, I’d much rather not be in a corner, moping, because that leads to suicide, or suicidal depression, and I’ve been managing my tendencies with strict thought-hygiene for years, and am not about to give up now.

So you get the thought hygiene inflicted on you. It mostly consists of reality checks.

Catastrophism is not reality. Catastrophism is the reverse image of the triumphalism of the left which goes something like this: Stop everyone from saying they disagree with us — ?????? — victory.

So take a damper, and some reality checks, will you?

Yes, the left thinks they’re on the road to communism. That’s why you’re recognizing some of the guide posts we pass, and some of their actions.

But just because they’re stupid and uninformed, it doesn’t require you to be the same. You can be alarmed and disgusted at their attempts without assuming “all is lost, abandon ship. Communism wins forever.”

Because that’s not how the world works. That’s not how the world has ever worked. If you think communism is that fatally attractive that everyone will fall in with it, or that it is pre-ordained they win, you might be my age or older and have been indoctrinated into this belief EVEN FROM THE RIGHT. Which btw is what created the eGOP: “The same only slower.” Note the real right is not like that now. So, ignore them. It’s cultic beliefs that have been imposed on you and you never examined.

Yes, some of the kids believe that shit. What did you expect when you sent them to public school and didn’t pay attention to what they were taught, or teach them to question everything? They’re indoctrinated and inducted into a cult. Most of them will shake it off. Some of them already have, but know better than to talk aloud. Give a kid a copy of Peterson’s “rules.” I’ve seen it make a big difference and start a turn around. And remember they’re kids. And also that this isn’t the world Heinlein envisioned. There aren’t enough of them to make a difference. And most of them have never been told no/punished. They’ll change when they’re scared.

Now, the for reals, okay? The reality check for you to pay attention to when you start swallowing that poison black pill. (And it’s important not to swallow the black pill. The black pill means you, personally, have stopped fighting and might want to burn it all down and thereby become a tool of the puppet masters trying to destroy Western Civilization. It’s cowardice and desertion in the face of the enemy. Is that what you want to do?)

1- No country has gone communist or stayed communist without massive help from the free world. This is because economically and at a functioning level, communism is basically feudalism with more bureaucracy and more stupidity and fiefdoms corrupting the information flow.

Feudalist societies can’t support societies as complex, populous and prosperous as ours. If communism lasts long enough — North Korea — the feudalism becomes obvious. As does the grinding poverty.

But here’s the thing: even with that communist countries wouldn’t survive if the surplus of the free world weren’t feeding them. Also, if the fighting of the free world didn’t afford them protection. North Korea survives because of China. China survives because we feed them. Just like the USSR did.

China’s attempts to take us down betray both insane hubris and an utter lack of understanding of economics and how the world works. It’s what we expect from China, because they’re xenophobic, isolated, and — like all very old societies — mildly insane.

They won’t succeed because when America sniffles, the world catches pneumonia. Long before we fall, they starve.

2 – No country has ever been taken over and stayed communist that is as varied, as rich, as huge and as populous as ours. Or, btw, as well armed.

If you’re going to make noises about Russia or China, go teach your grandma to suck eggs. Russia was never as populous, and China is not diverse. Besides having a culture of collective guilt/responsibility that led them directly into communism.

We don’t have that. And our base culture is “you and whose army?”

3- “But Sarah, they’ll do it through the insurances, through economic controls, through–“
They’ll TRY. Oh, they’ll try, because they’re stupid and overconfident and basically cultists.
BUT like China, they need us more than we need them. They just haven’t realized that yet, because people are still in the “putting up with it” phase. Because things aren’t bad enough.
Though notice how scared corporations are of CRT indoctrination leaking, or how quickly Coca Cola tried to walk back the “too white” bullshit.
When people have had enough, they’ve had enough, and outside the fast-emptying big cities, people have just about had enough.

4- Yes, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. If we’re all very unlucky, it will get as bad, economically, as in the seventies. Maybe.

In the seventies, Jimmah Carter was fucking up by the book. He was doing exactly what people at the time thought should bring about a prosperous society. (For the record I think Obama was doing the same only he thought it would bring about a prosperous WORLD.)
When it failed he was baffled, and his followers spent the next twenty years explaining how it would have succeed if only we’d given it time.

But by then we knew better. We knew decline and poverty were not inevitable. They were the result of progressive policies. Up with which we would no longer put (;)). Reagan burst that soap bubble. It remains bursted. Even China tries to implement marketing stuff. (Stupidly. Badly.)

We are now not looking at the crazy that Carter 3 is turning into and going “well, that’s the logical thing to do” — well, outside academia, and those people are nuts — we’re looking at it and going “Oh, you want to destroy us. No.”

But still, they’re running around with a hammer, and it will get worse before it gets better.

5- A lot of the worse is a good thing. No, listen to me. Two generations have been indoctrinated on how progressives are so caring and nice. And how refusing illegals is racist.

Experiencing just a bit of the chaos won’t hurt anyone. And it will give them a clear view of what this brings. just like Jimmah Carter destroyed the idea of controlled economy.

6- Yes, they’re going to do stupid sh*t including trying to lock us down again. My guess is outside the big cities it will back fire, and make them lose power and face. Note they’ve lost a lot already.

Yes, in the middle of it all, some people will be caught in the maw and have their lives destroyed. Try to make yourself as safe as possible, but remember there is never safe enough. And some things are worth dying for.

7- Most people will just go through a bad patch. And get vaccinated. Oh, no, I don’t mean against Wuflu. I mean against a lot of the spectacularly bad ideas that the 20th century infected us with, from “scientific government” to “centralized control is better.”

8- Stop swallowing the black pill. You’ll be needed for the rebuild.

Communist/fascist push will fail, because it always does. It will fail faster and harder because we’re American.

It needs to fail here and in public, before it’s fully discredited.

NOW: Be not afraid and get back to work. Work at making you and yours safe. Work at communicating ideas of liberty and hope for the future. Work at pulling brands from the fire.

Work while you can. Because, yes, night is coming. But no night is permanent and I’m betting this one will be brief. And after that, the light will be clear and blinding.

When The Music Stops

Musical chairs is one of those “mythical common experiences” that I never experienced except between the pages of a book.

Some of the other mythical experiences are due to my clumsiness. Like for instance jump rope. I’m sorry. I’ve seen other people do it. At one time, in fact, after trying to teach brother and I to do it, mom — then in her forties. We needed it for some physical for sports thing — tore the rope from my brothers hands and jumped rope for ten minutes to show us how easy it was.

Cool. I’ve seen other people do it. So I know it’s not invented. But my hands and feet do not coordinate their movements at all (I once reduced a driving instructor to tears because he was trying to teach me something that required hand – foot coordination. Thank heavens for automatic) and it must be hereditary because no one in Dad’s family can jump rope… or ride a bicycle. Oh, we can learn. But then our brain erases it, and next time we meet a bicycle we have to learn again. So we walk everywhere. Curiously, that side of the family also hates driving enough that many of the men have their wives drive them life-long, which if you know Latin culture says a lot.

Anyway, after that long digression: I don’t remember ever being offered a chance to play musical chairs. If I had been, I probably would have balked. Like other things, such as dodge ball it seemed like a set up in which smaller, more agile kids would be able to laugh at me, taking revenge on all the times I showed them up in class. So, hard nope.

I did play Simon Says, but only electronically.

Musical chairs and Simon Says are both games in which to succeed best you must turn off your brain and just play along to the external cues.

As such I suspect a lot of us who “think too much” or tend to analyze everything, or have a big disconnect between pilot and meat-bot don’t excel at those. Which, frankly, it’s pretty terrible for social apes, right?

Hence why Dave Freer refers to people like us as “goats” in a flock of sheep. And he says every social species have some of us, and we’re necessary. If a band or flock runs off all its goats, it’s susceptible to being stampeded off a cliff, because they all turn off their brain and follow.

People like us are needed to tell the dear fuzzy brains “No. Stop that crap. It makes no sense.”

Even when it gets really tiring, like over the last year and a half.

But it is the last year and a half I want to call your attention to.

Look, if you’ve lived under a rock till this moment, this is how musical chairs works. There’s a group, and there’s a number of chairs that’s one less than the number of butts to sit on them.

When the music plays, you all run around in circles. When the music stops, you’re supposed to secure a chair. The one who didn’t secure the chair is eliminated.

Most top-down totalitarian societies are a game of musical chairs. They need the eliminated ones, the enemy. And they need the chairs to be short.

Hence the lockdowns bringing dire shortages and poverty are an intended feature, because the current regime needs to create scarcity in order to get people to act like sheep just to “get a chair.”

The big problem they have? it’s not working. Not in the US. Sure, there have been shortages, and losses. But the country is so vast, so immensely wealthy, that we’re relocating and retrenching at speed, and there are still chairs leftover.

What is worse for them, is that the ability to make people run and stop by playing their senseless music is breaking down.

And it’s not even the internet. It’s people’s back-brain sense that they’re being taken for a ride.

It would be like the music plays, then they stop to laugh, then it plays again, then they tell us stopping doesn’t count unless it’s three in a row, then they tell us that when the music plays it’s not playing. Then while we’re all seated, they insist there’s someone standing, then….

One summer, when my friends and I got together, and we were all incredibly non-athletic, we played a game that can only be described as Calvinball. Even that had to have internal rules. Such as “you don’t retroactively invalidate someone’s play.” Or “you can’t make rules unless you have the ball.” And even then the sheer inconsistency of the rules and the play meant that within days we had to stop it or never talk to each other again.

There are two things that get the flock riled up — and by flock I mean no insult, I mean the group of people who are normal social apes who “follow the leader” by instinct — one is constant rule changes and HISTORY changes; the other is knowing they’ve been taken for a ride.

There are signs the flock is catching on to this with a vengeance. The media needed full control of communication to be able to sell certain rather impossible things, like the idea that Obama was some kind of savior, or the idea that Hillary was a role model. But they added in things that were gratuitous stupidity like that Michelle Obama is a ravishing beauty. Or that various non-entities are geniuses, or–

Their ability to carry a unified story broke down during the Clinton’s reign, which is why most people would go along with the narrative, but felt there was something skivvy going on.

As bad as that was, their powers are much diminished now. Despite screaming 24/7 that Trump is the debil, a majority (more and more looking like an overwhelming majority, or as I told a friend “If Colorado won’t allow an audit, Biden didn’t win Colorado fairly. And if he didn’t win Californicated Colorado, he might have won one state. MAYBE.” Because guys allowing audits of states they KNOW Biden won would be the way to counter the bad publicity from the ones that endured extreme cheating. If they won’t do that? They won nowhere.) of Americans hunched their shoulders and voted for Orangemanbad. Some probably out of no more than a mulish certainty that if the left says something, it’s wrong.

Or look at their attempts to sell the vaccine, and how many of us shrug and go “Whatevs.” To the point they’re now threatening to make us take it by force and dreaming up totalitarian ways to do it.

And that’s the problem, see. There was a post in American thinker about how we couldn’t do anything now but fall in line and be subsumed (that’s not what the writer thought he was saying) because communists had the institutions, and we all knew there was no getting off.

Bah.

These communists are sad critters. We made them fight us long enough that when their long march succeeded they were already a) in charge mostly of bypassed or ignorable institutions (like universities. Sure, they control them, and most people say what they have to to get a sheep skin, but only crazy people believe it.) b)at the fourth generation promoted through having the correct beliefs and connections, not being good at anything (look, this is a group among whom Obama is a genius, okay? And Occasional Cortex is “Normal”) c) their leaders have no understanding of anything, up to and including how people work.

So….

Look, they stumbled on this one trick, which was locking everyone down, using our basic decency and our safetyism against us. You want other people to be safe, right? so, you’ll simon-says whatever you think.

And for a while there they got near complete compliance.

Until it became obvious there were no bodies on the street corners. Before the “all clear” sounded and the mask mandate revocation, the enforcement was breaking down. We might grumble and wear masks in church because you don’t want to have an argument with a little old lady, but we’d rip it off outside, no matter what governor fumduck said. And the people wearing it while driving got laughed at.

In fact, the “Okay, you don’t have to wear masks” looked uncommonly like running to catch up with where the people were going and placing themselves at the head.

The problem is they know ONE TRICK. That’s the only thing that’s worked for them — other than massive cheating, of course — in a decade.

And people aren’t obeying. Hell, even the story that January 6th was as bad as the civil war is getting no traction. In decades past conservatives would pile on it themselves. But now we’re not. We’re laughing at them. We’re pointing out nothing much happened, and people were right about the fraud, anyway.

They know one trick. Hence the “delta variant is scariest ever” and “We must lock down again.”

Look, they’re not very bright. They don’t get that on the third time of “Okay, okay, that stop of the music doesn’t count” people just sit and glare at you.

And once it becomes obvious that in fact you’ve been doing this to mess with people and make them play the fools, so you can enjoy yourself, you’ll be lucky to escape with a severe beating.

Or to put it in flock terms: herbivores are trivially easy to stampede. What you might not realize is that if they perceive what is in the middle of them is not in fact a predator, just something looking like a predator to scare you, they will turn and kill it. In fact, they might very well eat it.

People haven’t been buying the narrative for a while. Oh, they might buy that Delta is scary, but the reaction is not “we must mask and lockdown and have a new vaccine.” It’s “Well, if none of that worked, then we won’t do it again.”

The left doesn’t get that. They are fourth-generation-of-communist stupid. And because they took the prestige institutions they also think they’re very very smart. And everyone else is dumber.

They’re going to keep pushing their one trick, and trying to get people to fall into line. They’re going to amp up the screaming about things people can SEE aren’t so. They’re going to continue playing the music, thinking this time it will work.

And they don’t realize every lie loses them credibility. Every attempt to get us to buy ridiculous bullshit (CRT) by force, or to be vaccinated by force, or every threat to nuke us, just makes it less likely we’ll ever do what they want.

So…. They’re going to keep pushing and pushing. Until the herd turns.

It’s not us the goats they should be afraid of. It’s the herd turning, in sudden unreasoning fury. (So should we. Some of us will get caught up in the right’s horrible lack of targeting ability when it comes to profiling the left.)

It’s getting closer every day.

But the left, in lieu of real achievement and power has fallen into the habit of telling themselves self-soothing lies, and ignoring inconvenient facts. Which is why no one is talking about the massive and extreme movement of Americans all over the country, but generally from less free to more free.

Just like they ignored the falling numbers of book printing after they take over that, they’re coming up with strange and bizarre excuses for what is in fact the herd putting its head up and sniffing the air.

This won’t end well. Next time the music stops, or the next, the people playing musical chairs are going to get up and grab the chair.

And then the music will be rough and awful. And final.

All of which could be avoided, if the left didn’t think that resistance is an invitation to push harder, or that no really means yes, or that it’s foretold they win in the end.

As it is though, not much even we goats can do, except get to a secure place until it’s said and done.

Because even the gods can’t save fools from their folly.

Strange Ideas

I greatly dislike when people refer to the things the Junta that has seized control of our institutions do. I was rather disappointed to find Victor Davis Hanson doing that.

With due respect, America hasn’t descended into anything. We didn’t vote for these derriere buffons, and pretending we did is just adding insult to injury.

Frankly, if the numbers don’t convince you this insanity is an illegal take-over of our institutions (partly by corrupt traitors within. Hey, anyone know how many lampposts there are in the continental US? Asking for a pissed off We The People) look at it from the psychological side: the only way a major party would run Joe and the Ho from a basement, with virtually no appearances in public, and on a platform of “we’ll open the border so you’ll be invaded, and tax you till you teeth hurt, oh and take away your fossil fuels too” is if they knew, because they’d been cheating for years, that they’d finally achieved a level of cheating in which they didn’t need any input from We The People, and no matter how we voted, their side would win. It was a potemkin campaign leading up to a grand theft election. (Or do you think they’re fighting so hard against election reform because they care about the individual? Ah!)

Even so, it backfired, because they don’t know us very well. In the face of their barrage of propaganda and demonization, the American people hunched their shoulders and voted for Orangemanbad in numbers that we probably can’t even guess at (since well, you know, totally unhackable election machines and all that. Yeah. Right.)

The people are all right. The people who have seized control of and squat atop the institutions we created for our self-governance, OTOH are loons running with ideas that they think explain everything.

I would shy away from calling them foreign agents, except of course that they are foreign agents, as we know from Hunter’s laptop that the corrupt press and social media conspired to hide. The only question about Zhou Bai Den is whether he’s a wholly owned franchise of Winnie the Xi or if he also allows Ukraine and Russia voting minorities. And yes, Commie La Whorish was involved in it to her eyebrows, probably the reason she was chosen as fake-VP.

I would shy away, simply because their ideas of the country, while they were acquired from Russia and China, were acquired via our schooling, which was taken over by the agit prop of those countries over the last several decades.

But they are almost certainly ALSO taking orders from their paymasters (which explains the terrible need to kiss Iran butt, since Iran is a Russia client.)

Anyway, the madness is all at the top, though frankly the rest of us are mad too, in another sense. In the sense of barely controlled rage, that is.

And their madness is by definition a hodge podge of foreign ideas, the ideas of the people that only know the country through the distorting lens of Hollywood. I’ve run into this when interacting with foreigners, who frankly have no clue who we are and what we do.

And btw, the foreign ideas are bloody stupid, which is how you know they come from Winnie The Pooh’s murderous brother. The complete idiot is in the late stages of Roman-Emperor madness where he thinks there is no point taking reality into account.

One reality he’s forgetting or never knew is that we own them.

Oh, sure, they have loaned us their play money in vast quantities. But that doesn’t matter. They need to keep growing their industrialization and production. It’s their only actual route to power.

Unfortunately to get there they really need to SELL to us. Which they can’t, if they destroy our economy and/or our interest in not boycotting their skanky asses. In other words, that ain’t gonna happen. Oh, and money we theoretically owe them? How are they going to collect? with their army of little emperors.

Sure, Xi might be stupid enough to try bombing us into submission. If that worked — it won’t. If he does it, it will unleash the fury of the US in a way never seen — they would be left with a ruined country that they still can’t force to buy their crap, or to pay back money we won’t have. (You can’t take money from a stone.) And if he tries to hold our territory…. Well. Look, even our government has trouble doing that. (And more trouble coming up.)

So, we own them. He just doesn’t know it. Yet.

But there are some things the Junta is doing that are so strangely bizarre that they only make sense through the eyes of the Chinese.

You see, they are a very uniform country, genetically. Or at least they think they are. So they have great trouble understanding a multi-racial society except through the lens of “subjugator and subjugated”

Hence, the pushing of CRT and trying their level best to foment a race war.

It’s stupid, bordering on the retarded. All it will do is ruin the lives of inner city blacks some more and piss off the rest of them.

But the Junta’s pay masters think of the trouble they’ve had with insurgent racial minorities, and they think — some of the Junta and certainly their supporters might also — that the US is about 50% black (Hollywood and TV you know?) so they think that they can get us involved in an endless race war while the scoop up the world.

In reality CRT is just exposing how the left views the schools and animating more parents to get involved than ever before. This doesn’t end well. For them. Its also completely discrediting Academia, which frankly wasn’t very credited before.

Or the way they keep changing history and demands. This works — sort of. Xi probably thinks it does — in China, because they have one dissiminator of news.

Yes, they’ve caught on this isn’t working, so now they want to control social media (what more than they did before?) and spy on our texts. It will just cause an exodus to the things they don’t control, but they don’t get that.

Other things they don’t get — and I’m guess Colorado’s governor fumduck is also getting paid by Xi — is that they can only destroy that on which they squat: their city, their state, their department, their institution, their credibility.

Americans are moving, adapting and changing. I mean, we are a nation descended from immigrants who had to adapt and overcome.

Oh, and yeah, the whole “White Supremacy” thing, where anyone who opposes them is a white supremacist, is coming from a country in which they are, yep, racial supremacists. So trying to instigate race war, but they know that the country is evenly divided, and yes, we’re racial supremacists. In fact the rest of the country not in the pay of Xi is looking at this obession with something that, while I’m sure it exists in tiny amounts, is less of a problem than oh, UFO believers (And those aren’t a problem) and going “What in heck is wrong with you?”

Then there’s the insanity of opening our borders, which would in point of fact destroy China, but which is only going to be a temporary inconvenience for us, because eventually we stop paying welfare to invaders (have to) and well, the economy is being killed by Xiden. So there are no jobs. And there will soon be no money. And everyone flooding over the border are an innovative form of stupid, unable to sniff the air and see how things are changing.

Above all, though, how we know the left is taking its ideas (not just its orders) from Xi is their reaction to the Xi-flu. They really thought it was going to be horribly lethal.

I’m going with planned lab release. Yeah, the “design” on the virus is laughable, but anyone who has worked with Chinese scientists and/or reads their papers expected that. I have a friend who keeps them as comical bathroom reading, in his field of specialty.

BUT it still did damage in China. It would. Because their living conditions suck. Their people are malnourished, their public hygiene is a joke.

So the left was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, because they don’t know this about China. They take the Xi lies and projections and swallow them whole. So they think that China really is a first world nation, and therefore as good to live in as the US. Since they had advance notice (What, you doubt it?) they were panicked, and sure that it would kill millions in the US. Now, Xi probably thought it would kill mostly people in the backwaters and hinterlands, because again, projecting his facilities and people on us.

They’re still disappointed, and madly trying to impose the idea it was really really really a killing plague. Bah.

Oh, and that’s the other way you know they’re running on Xi ideas. The left will label most of this “conspiracies form Qanon.” (I didn’t know what Qanon was until someone accused me of believing in it/him/they and I had to ask someone what it was. And then I looked at it and thought “If this exists it’s run by the other side to keep people quiescent.)

This is a Chinese technique, because their people hate to be identified with a…. less popular figure or movement.

Because Chinese culture as a whole is one of trying to fit in and being just like the rest. The nail that sticks up will get pounded down.

Americans work on…. different parameters. We do care for others and for helping others, which is why the early mask mandates and such stuck. But once it becomes obvious what the crowd is doing is crazy cakes, we’re perfectly willing to spin out on our own and not give a hanging fig about what the crowd thinks.

The fact that the Junta doesn’t see that, and is now trying to accuse the “unvaccinated” of making the “vaccinated” sick which frankly is a gross violation of science and sanity. This is the kind of crazy cakes that gets people to go “We’re not stupid and we’re not going. Buzz off.” Only more forcefully.

Because we’re not Chinese.

I have a remedy for this. I advise the Junta and their faithful lackeys to take over China. Crazy cakes though they are, they’re probably better than bloodthirsty Winnie the Pooh. And at any rate they won’t last long, even if their ideas of the country and the people are more in line with there than here.

Most of all, though, I advise them to leave us alone. Everything they say and everything they do only diminishes their credibility. And it wasn’t high to begin with.

The herd is restless, moving, trying to find places of safety. (I think this must be one of the biggest if not the biggest migration in America. This will be visible to historians. We had a heck of a snapshot while looking for houses that tripled in price before our eyes and then sold, in little towns that frankly hadn’t had anyone move in in 20 years.) We’re sniffing the air, and we don’t like the smell. Most experienced woodsmen know what that means.

But people whose ideas come from the elite of China have no clue.

Which is a bad thing. And will end badly. I advise their lackeys in the various institutions to consider that they are standing on less than stable ground. And underneath it is a powder keg. It would be a good idea to abandon ship. Or at least stop tap dancing.

Simple Rules For Life

Let me start by saying that none of us is safe. Or to put it in grandma’s and mom’s words — words I recently threw back at mom, btw, when she was panicking about Winnie the Flu, which is probably evil of me — “we all serve at pleasure.” At any minute our number could be up, and we might have no idea why or how. In fact, we might never know, though those left behind might figure it out.

I don’t think it’s likely for instance to be struck by a meteorite and meet your end that way, but it has in fact happened to a vanishingly small number of people. As has death by slipping in your own shower. Death by choking on a peanut, and other ways to die while engaged in activities that should theoretically be absolutely safe.

However, recently I was struck by how the means to be UNsafe are the same through the ages.

I am engaged in as much house repair/upgrade as I can stand before I can’t do anymore for the day. Unfortunately this means that my editing of Darkship Thieves to go back up (I would skip it, but I’ve found actual for real spelling mistakes somehow missed in the published edition, so–) and my finalizing of Bowl of Red (and others) have pretty much stopped. I’ll come and sit in front of the computer, but then just sit here going “derp.” and nothing happens.

For reasons known only to the psychiatrist I don’t have, yesterday, while in that state I fell into a Jack the Ripper rabbit hole.

Now, this might be a symptom of deeper depression, as “true crime reading” is about as low as I can get before having to pull myself up. But I don’t think so, because I don’t feel the slightest need to read about contemporary crimes. And I fell into it via “what new weird theories have cropped up?” (Van Gogh, really? Are all of them insane?)

One of the new things out, from a would-be intellectual source — which, like most of these are actually just posing-as-smart — related to the BBC is about the victims of the Ripper and how the true facts of their lives are nothing like we’d expect, and how it will blow your mind.

Do I need to tell you it won’t blow your mind, and they are precisely what we’d expect?

I didn’t buy/read the book because honestly, no. But I was less than impressed by the teaser-facts that the author gave that not all Victorians were prudish, and that people often entered in what we’d term common law marriages. This would only surprise the idiot left who thinks that no one before the 21st century ever had irregular relationships, and that they were all stuffy moralists. I mean, really. What are these people, 2? Humans are humans throughout the ages.

But this led me to reading about the Ripper’s victims, and life in Victorian tenements, and realizing a lot of what we knew of them is filtered through the lens of well-intentioned moralists who were trying to drum up charity, or airy-headed socialists like Dickens who were trying to drum up “paradise.”

That the Victorian tenements, lodging houses and slums (a continuum that was a big fuzzy in “person”) were less comfortable and savory than our present lodgings goes without saying. So were their mansions and palaces. Lest we forget, Queen Victoria’s husband died from typhus, a disease connected with bad drains and water contaminated with sewage.

However…. well, the description of them as hell on Earth seems about as accurate as the description of “dark satanic mills.” Yeah some — a lot — of these places were insalubrious but the only truly appalling ones were the province of what we’d today classify as “homeless”. People flocked from the country into tenements, because rickety and shoddy as they were they were probably better than picturesque cottages with vermin living in the thatch and gaps between the stones. I mean, people make their decisions for what’s best for them and more than a hundred years later, it’s impossible to figure it out for sure, from where we stand.

Except to say that yeah, it was very hard and we’re unimaginably rich by comparison. But then we’re unimaginably rich in comparison to rich people, too.

Having lived closer (though not too close) the middle class Victorian, trust me on this. The difference between them and the poor of their time was far smaller than the difference between them and us.)

But the bottom — well, the bottom is almost exactly the same as in our time. Which frankly was shocking and surprising.

I want to make it clear I’m not blaming these women for being the victims of the Ripper. Even if their lifestyles predisposed them to that type of end, it was still fairly rare even at that level and the guilt for the sin lies with the murderer alone.

But as I said, I read a lot of true crime novels. And while middle class people of decent living standards can and do often fall victim to killers for reasons ranging from “was related” to “lived next door” to “was in wrong place at the wrong time” I have to say, in terms of at least reading about real cases, that’s far rarer than “people lived a life that will predispose them to this sort of thing.”

In an age of rising crime (mostly because fargin idiots let criminals out of jail so the poor darlings wouldn’t die of Winnie the Flu) there are things that are important to remember:

One of the best ways of ending up the victim of a crime is to live in a criminal millieu or to be a criminal oneself. (And I’m not talking of fuzzy political crimes, here, but of things like murder, rape, larceny, etc.)

Another of the best ways is to be someone no one cares about. And by this I don’t mean living in an unhappy marriage, or whatever. I mean being homeless, having no connections to any other human being, living at the margins of society where no one GAF if you live or die.

This is honestly fairly rare and more difficult than it sounds like. It’s not a matter of simply “drifting down.” Humans are social animals and, by default, form connections. It’s almost impossible to go through life without someone caring if you life or die, and it usually involves active (if sometimes subtle) discouraging of connections ranging from “toxic personality” to “active malice towards others” to “addiction and other issues.” Or the popular all of the above.

Looking at the victims of the Ripper, and even taking in account that women had far fewer rights and choices than today, it is obvious that they were living at the bottom of society, yes, but that they both needed to continually choose to be there and reinforce that choice.

Most of them had started as fairly average middle class daughters or wives, before falling prey to addictions — alcohol or sex or whatever — which eventually forced their families to break with them. Now, was the family being judgemental? Sure. But if you’ve lived with an addict, you probably understand at some point it’s separate from them or go down with them.

The funny part is at least one the family didn’t kick her out and kept trying to get her back (I don’t remember if that was one of the known or one of the simply suspected additional victims.) But for whatever reason, she preferred to be where she was.

The other thing that became clear is that the women and men at that level of society were all much of the same cloth. Yes, they had had several “what we’d term common law marriages” and often there were kids abandoned with relatives in rural locations. But again, what also quickly becomes clear, even if you “just” read between the lines of the moralists and socialists accounts of the time is that a lot of these people made the choice to remain mired at the bottom daily.

One of the things people will tell you is “the only thing she had to sell was herself.” And that’s pretty much bullshit. The fact one of the presumed victim’s common-law-husband had given her money to buy “stock” (i.e. small things to sell) tell you it wasn’t the only thing. More importantly, as I said, I grew up closer to this, in a place and time where a woman needed a signed permission from her husband to get a job, and women left by their husbands, or women left destitute by the passing of their father or husband, still contrived to make a living — and sometimes to become very comfortable indeed — through buying, selling, making or hiring out as craftspeople, rather than selling themselves. The Victorian age was a time when a pair of hands and a mind were more valuable than now (as opposed to specialized training) if that’s what you were willing to do.

Most of the people using dossing houses seemed to be at the very least petty criminals, more often addicts and almost always people who had alienated anyone who even tried to care for them.

And they were subject to horrible lives, yes, even if not victims of a mass murderer.

But again and again in reading about them, one realizes they chose that life daily. At any time — and sometimes, much too rarely it happened – they could have picked themselves up, shaken up the dust and decided to live by the common rules of their time and place, and claimed for themselves the respectability and safety of at least lower middle class.

There were, if nothing else, charitable people standing by to help. But there was also much more flexibility in such things as starting a business, and selling things (one way they were superior to our own time.)

All it took was deciding to live by “middle class” rules: monogamy, sobriety, hard work. And above all responsibility for self.

Which arguably is the same today or thereabouts.

These people 100 years ago, much like the homeless of today choose not to. Particularly on the hard work and responsibility for self.

Yes, a lot of them are mentally ill, then as now, but that’s a different discussion.

Just like the moralists and socialists of the time blamed “society” for the terrible living conditions of these people at the bottom, so we now are turning society inside out and destroying what works in the name of helping those who either don’t want to be helped or are unable to take advantage of the opportunity.

And in the end destroying society does nothing. And destroying the “oppressive” rules (and while their rules were more oppressive than ours, the MINIMAL rules for decent living weren’t. Victorians it turns out were more tolerant than the left thinks. Though not preaching socialism at your neighbors is a good idea, then as now. People have limits.) does nothing but cast more people adrift who don’t even know what to do to raise themselves up out of purposelessness. Now most of these people won’t be wretched. I mean, we have a fund of both wealth and knowledge that makes them merely unhappy and aimless. But a few will fall all the way down and have nothing to seize hold of to raise themselves up.

Particularly since the echoing chamber of pudding heads insist if they’re not thriving it’s because they are victims and “the man” is holding them down. Most of the time that man (or woman) can be found in the mirror, but no one tells them that. No victim blaming. Even if they are self-victims.

And that is also a constant. A continuing current from the Victorian age till today. A worm gnawing at the foundations of decent living and society.

And seeking to bring down the best and most able, in order to show it’s really no one’s fault.

I’m tired of it, and wondering why people can read these accounts and not see it.

In the end your life and that of those closer to you is your responsibility. It might be better or worse depending on the times you life in. But it is always yours to waste or save until the end, which of course you have no control over most of the time.

Whether you live well or badly and are happy or wretched are ultimately a choice. Sometimes it takes more effort than others (and in totalitarian societies those might be relative) but there’s always something you can do not to be the most absolutely wretched in that society.

And the skills are the same throughout time.

Those who obscure this from the young and hapless are monsters too cowardly to commit active murder and destruction, but committing it every day by different means. No matter how much they scream they’re “helping” they aren’t and it is obvious they’re lying. It should be obvious to them too.

Be not afraid. And keep raising yourself up. Make your gut into a new heart and keep working.