On Being Lydia Bennet

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In 1997 my heart broke and I decided to give up writing.

Sure, you can read that again.

Look, I’d been at it for 12 years.  And I mean seriously, even though sometimes we couldn’t send novels out because we lacked the $8 for postage. But still, by that time I had written 10 novels (8 in the same universe) and come in second in two contests.

My first short story got a personal rejection, but after that I was stuck in bad-photocopy-land.  I used to fill a big plastic bin of rejections every March because I was circulating 60 stories on average.

And then our writers’ group decided to send out submissions to a writers’ contest (I think in NM) and I sent out two novels (both finished) that I’d worked on and polished.  They were both rejected in the elimination round.  Meanwhile my friend who had dashed off a proposal (and never finished that novel) won the contest.  She’d been writing seriously for … three years.

It wasn’t that I envied my friend.  I just decided that I was doing something wrong, that something about me was intrinsically non-saleable.  (I wasn’t even wrong, as such.  Friend’s proposal was far more accessible.)

I’d always wanted to be a writer, and now it was impossible.  So I gave up writing.

It might have been harder, honestly, but Dan was traveling five days a week and I don’t sleep when he’s not home.  So I was stumbling drunk with sleep.

But even though I’d realized that I’d never be what NY wanted (and boy, was I right!) I also wanted to be around writers, to write, to learn, to spend sometime with adults, even virtually.

I looked around for fanfic I could write.  This was a little problem, since I don’t watch TV.  And while it’s theoretically possible to write fanfic in a show you never watched, it would probably get weird.  (It got weird, anyway.)

I tried to find Three Musketeers Fanfic and ran away.  It was ALL slash and also let’s say “only fandom that runs to foursomes.”  But the worst part — which tells you a lot about me, alas — is what offended me: they were all about the Disney movie.  The idea that Porthos used to be a pirate, or that D’Artagnan had an affair with the queen (for heaven’s sake) was woven all through.  THAT I couldn’t take.

So I found Jane Austen fanfic, which is always mostly Pride and Prejudice fanfic.  For those of you who only know it through the execrable movie with Keyra Knightly she of the flat chest and stupid expressions, or from the movie set in 19th century TX, you’re doing the work the same disservice as if you only knew Starship Troopers through the movie.

Honestly,if I read one more fanfic that makes a comment about being fools in love, I’m going to reach through the screen and…. uh… nevah mind.  “Break fingers” is probably indicated.

Jane Austen wasn’t writing about being “fools in love.”  In fact, she was not a very romantic writer.  Or I should say her romance was more realistic in that people marry for all sorts of reasons, sometimes zany.  What she was mostly was someone with a sharp eye for folly, but one who still loved humanity nonetheless.

The book might be mostly inaccessible unless you’ve made a study of the era and/or are willing to work harder.  Even I find myself going “Wait a minute, why is saying that wrong? It’s the logical thing!”  Let’s say their manners and morals are sometimes bewildering.

I think well of the A & E miniseries which is fairly accessible and fairly respectful of the book.  I watch that when I have a cold or can’t function.

So I drifted into a fanfic group, and eventually got thrown out of it by implying that Mr. Crawford (whom I gang pressed to marry Kitty) might have a taste for being whipped.  No, it wasn’t even that blatant.  When they met I had established that he was excited, mostly by danger, which is why he had previously run away with a married woman.  And Kitty has gone bonkers and is threatening him with a gun which makes him fall in love with her.

I simply had a scene in which a married Kitty is coming into the house (secretively) with a whip and tells Lizzy that it’s to subdue unruly pillows.  (Honestly, I wasn’t visualizing S & M, just the threat.)

Apparently this was too hot for that site, the story was expunged and my log in terminated.  Which meant I bounced into another site and posted the same story.  (In retrospect, you can tell how not-sleeping I was.  Printed it out recently, and it’s borderline incoherent on the word level.)  No one cared about how risque I was.

I stayed with that site ten years, and I honestly learned more there not about writing per se, but about the tastes in story of normal human beings, than anywhere else, ever.

On the site I was “adopted” by a family of five women who’d taken on Bennet girls personalities.  Because they were all taken, I had to be Mrs. Bennet.

Honestly, they offered me the chance to be sensible.  Charlotte.  Sensible, me?

I became Mrs. Bennet because she’s sort of a grown up Lydia.

Today I was meditating on the book and the personalities of the women and I thought “Good Lord, I AM Lydia.”

Think about it, I open my mouth when I should stay quiet. I have a weird sense of humor.  I don’t bow to the dictates of my society. And I am running away with indie, which is probably as bad as running away with Mr. Whickam.  If not worse.  I understand ALL the proper society is VERY properly scandalized at me and after 18 years and 34 books I ADMIT TO including a for-hire book which made someone else’s career, a Prometheus, a Dragon, two collaborations with bestsellers, my first book being a finalist for the Mythopoeic, I’m not a real writer, and not qualified to be at panels at cons.

Isn’t it amazing that the people who fancy themselves anti-establishment are the most hide bound of mannered ladies, just in a different way.  “No, no, deary.  You must challenge convention like everyone else.”

All the PROPER LADIES will look down on me.  Why, I have no reputation left! (Snort, giggle.)

Oh, yeah, the rest of the story: eventually I decided to try my toes in the publishing water again (seriously, if I had the ability to send my younger self a letter.  Never mind.)

I wrote Darkship Thieves, which was rejected sometimes with furious letters, and I had NO IDEA what they objected to was the Libertarianism.  Eh.  I iz dense and don’t get these social signals well.

Eventually I went to a workshop met an editor and sold the Shakespeare trilogy and since then we’ve been trundling along in this hell-bound basket.

I’m bringing some of my Austen stuff under Alyx Silver.  Only one out right now.

The whole point of this post, though, is that while most women of an intellectual bend identify with Mary Bennet, I am apparently and forever much closer to the scandalous and imprudent Lydia.

Well, you know, if you can’t fix it you must embrace it.  I’ll snort giggle in the face of the proper ladies of science fiction and go on in my socially-unapproved way.

Because sometimes, it’s the best you can do.

For Various Reasons…

For various reasons, I can’t write a post today.  So I’m going to give you a picture (hopefully not repeated, but who knows) and let you play.

At some point I had some idea of doing noir mysteries in space.  Then I was playing with Daz and this happened.

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It was supposed to be called “the Dame and the Bot.”

Lift That Light High!

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I don’t think I told any of you — have I? — the sequence of events that propelled me out of the political closet.

It started with my publisher Toni Weisskopf asking me to write an intro to Robert A. Heilein’s Puppet Masters (and as much as I loved Bill Patterson both as a person and a writer, I think what they’re now doing excerpting the bio as an  intro is a great idea.  Calling a book a “hack” book and part of the fear of the reds or whatever might be good literary criticism. It also fails to do that book justice.  It is the book for our times as we live through the masquerade.)   I didn’t want to, because doing it was enough to propel me out of the closet.  On the other hand, I could see that of course Baen wouldn’t care if I made myself persona non grata with other houses. Why should they? And what the hell, did I want to work for other houses?  By that time I was crispy-brown and smoking around the edges the burnout was so bad, and having committed Magic British Empire, I knew I’d have to up the ante on “sounding lefty” to stay in the closet, and that was making my auto-immune crazy.  So I said sure.

I also started opening the louvers of the closet here a little bit.  I needed it, particularly since my younger kid was going through a form of harassment no longer rare for boys in our public schools, in which girls accuse them (falsely) of harassment in order to harass.

And then Breitbart died, and I realized “if his voice is silent, who’ll take up the torch?”

I kind of — rightly — doubted my ability to make that kind of splash particularly since this is not my main job and I’m NOT a happy warrior.  But … could I do something?

Yes, I was risking losing my career such as it was (I was right on that too) as well as the remaining friends I had in the field.  But…

But the times were dire and a voice was needed.

My first posts made me so neurotic, I used to run them through friends before putting them up to make sure I didn’t sound insane except in the left — the USSR was like that too — sense of “does not support socialism, must be mentally ill.”

Do I like it?  I think I’ve said I’d much prefer to cocoon with my writing and ignore politics.  But politics rarely ignores me — or any of us anymore — and the alternative to listening and talking is to let people like me think they’re alone.

There is much despair on the right over “demographic change.”  I need to write a post for PJ about it.  Believing that the demographics changed that much in two years is touched in the head.  And it doesn’t even take in account the fact that no, even illiterate peasants AREN’T “naturally socialist”.  That’s a leftist myth.  Not only are you not required to believe it, you should naturally be skeptical of anything they believe because in general they’re at war with reality.

If “third world peasants” really take over the country, the left will get the shock of their lives. These people prefer the alt-right version of things, with everything that implies, including, yes, belief in their own racial supremacy (what do you think that La Raza is about?) Even the South American regimes that look leftist to us are mostly alt-right (which is leftist, yes, but not in the way of our hippie dippie internationalist multi gendered left.)  As for feminism… they’ve convinced themselves that people who are brown are less patriarchal.  See what I mean about at war with reality?

But our real danger is not third world peasants (though for f*ck’s sake, we still need to defend our borders and also a welfare state is by nature incompatible with open immigration.  Also large enough numbers will import their culture.  I didn’t leave the culture to have it follow me, so can we stop that sh*t already?) but our own, homegrown, indoctrinated children.

I am arguably the first indoctrinated generation.  At least my husband was. Took him ten to twelve years to realize they’d lied to him in every possible way.  It took Reagan followed by Clinton to knock it out of his head.

But the left has gotten better at indoctrination.  There’s political correctness, as a tool to teach people not to think, but to flinch mindlessly from words, phrases, thoughts.  Note that the bizarre and evil anti-cultural-appropriation mind set is designed to make NO ONE examine other cultures too closely, which would put paid to the brilliant idea of no borders, for instance.

Then there’s the idea of privilege.  If you notice that “victims” are just as evil as anyone else, you get told they can’t be because they don’t have privilege.

Then there’s invisible harm caused by words.

ALL of this is designed to make people unable to think or examine reality, or even consider history.  Because the left is at war with reality, they try to remove any signs of reality.  Yes, history is part of this.

So….

Imagine you came back from a future Socialist States Of America. Or worse, from a United States which, in reaction to that is nationalist, racialist, feudal-like in nature…. Think China.  Why worse?  Because that might be sustainable. Communism isn’t, and there’s the hope we’ll do a Poland, sometime.

Imagine you could just send your mind, not your body.  What would you do right now, today?

I know if I could go back to the eighties I would be a lot louder and more outspoken.  (I’d keep my name and my work name separate maybe, at least for a while, but I wouldn’t stay quiet.)

I think a great part of this is to lift the light, to let others who doubt the narrative know they’re not alone.

The left — for all their efforts — can no long fully wrap us in a united front of narrative.  It’s driving them insane.  When they’re insane they’re dangerous.  And because they’re dangerous we must continue to thwart their efforts.

For those who weren’t alive then, dissenting from the political — left — narrative REALLY made you feel like you were going crazy. You couldn’t even say anything to your friends, because they’d accuse you of being a conspiracy theorist or worse.  Even in the nineties, it was that bad.

Not true any longer.  I’m starting to think I need to read up on cult deprogramming to get to the younger kids — they were basically programmed into a cult. Including the idea of evil phrases or thoughts.  And you don’t want them to drink the final koolaid — but most of all we need to not stay quiet.

This applies particularly to those of us who are …. unusual and who stick out a mile from their idea of what “right wing” is.  Which honestly is most of us, but particularly those of us who are creative, or honestly “bleeding hearts” (just on our own time and dime.) Those who are women, or tan-enhanced, or —  you figure it.  All the groups that they naturally claim.  If you’ve ever been called a race/gender/orientation traitor? Lift up that lamp. Let your light shine.

Recently a friend told me I drive the left insane because I contradict their narrative just by existing.  Good, I say, and lift the lamp a little higher.

Yes, I know, some of you think you’ll lose your jobs/careers by speaking. You might even be right. (I was. At least without indie.) But you can have assumed personalities.  No one is holding you down.

If you came back from say twenty years in the future, where everything had gone pear shaped, what would it be worth to you to avoid it? Short of targeted assassinations or illegal acts? (If the rough music will play, let the other side start it.)

Your light might be small, and it might seem insignificant to you, but light feeds on light and it multiplies.  And light always vanquishes the darkness.

Light your lamp and hold it, that others might find the way.

Do it now.  Do it like you mean it.  Let the light shine through.

 

Pulpy Things! by Julie Doornbos, a Blast From The Past From August 2015

*I should be writing a real post, because I have things to say.  But frankly, I also have things to say for pay for PJMedia, and more importantly, I have a novel that I need to finish. So, I thought it was time for a little fun in our lives, and to remember it’s not just indie covers that can misfire horribly.  I do have a post on words in Mad Genius Club. If you can’t do without my writing, you know? -SAH*

Pulpy Things! by Julie Doornbos, a Blast From The Past From August 2015

Greetings! I’m Julie. I live on a mountain and do the art thing. And I have a thing for campy illustrations. Sarah has asked me to show you my embarrassingly huge collection of pulp fiction covers! You know you want to look.

*flashes trenchcoat*

I kid. Today’s post is (mostly) safe for work. So long as you work for yourself and/ or your boss can’t see what you’re browsing on the internet. I’ll leave the extra naked covers for another day. You’ll be fine!

Probably.

For educational purposes [delicate-lady-snort], I’ve divided these into three categories. The first category needs no introduction, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Covers With Scantily Clad Women That Don’t Need to Be Scantily CladImage1

Plutonians, gold bikinis, AND three sexes? Well hell, that has nebula award written all over it.

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Her: Mildly irritated to have a man fused inside her bathroom wall.
Him: Deeply disturbed by that sparkly pink shower curtain.

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For just a moment, please ignore how completely awful these space suit designs are. You see their belly buttons? No?

That was done for decency sake. That little bit of covering is the difference between Space Ladies and Space Hussies, my friend. (just ask Jeannie…)

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Speaking of improbable spacewear…

Space Pasties! With tubing. For reasons. SCIENCE reasons.

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My favorite part about this cover?

The little blurb telling you that it is complete and unabridged.

Somewhere out there is a heavily edited version. It’s just slurp noises.

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That bit of red drool on the monster and the woman’s neck means he deaded her.

You’re totally oogling a corpse. You freak.

Speaking of freaks, our next category is

Covers With Monsters!

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This is the far more terrifying version of Harry and the Hendersons in which I burn the movie theater down and everyone thanks me for it.

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Art DIrector: “The book is titled WHAT? Don’t we have something ominous and mostly naked we can put on the cover instead?”

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Somebody do something! That dinosaur is taunting Kenny Rogers!

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I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, but I think they’re forcing her to listen to a dramatic presentation of Fifty Shades of Grey as read by Gilbert Gottfried. (I’m… just going to let you google that one.)

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Somebody do something! That bear is spooning Richie Cunningham!

Which neatly brings us to our third category…

Covers With Men Being Attacked By Things

This category brought to you almost entirely by whoever was in charge of the covers for Man’s Life, True Men, Man’s Conquest, Stag, Man’s World, and the simply named Men magazine.

Attack fish!

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Attack snakes!

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Attack otters!

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Attack eels!

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Attack bats!

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Attack crabs! (with bonus incorrect usage of the word “cannibal”)

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Attack rats!

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Attack weasels!

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Attack flying squirrels!

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(and my favorite) Attack turtles! With bonus cleavage!

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You didn’t think I was finished, did you? I told you my collection was huge.

Surprise fourth category!

WTF Pulp

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“…and arsonists are my bread and shoplifters are my pickles and bank robbers are my condiments! It’s a whole crime sandwich!”

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I wasn’t aware that the CIA was hiring teeny-boppers…

This is my horrified face. Moving along.

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Oh good. A palate cleanser.

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You laugh, but Spinrad was nominated for a Nebula for this.

You think I make this crap up, I know it.

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That’s hot.

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I think the author must have described the entire plot of his book out loud and then finished up with “do you think you can fit all of that on the cover?” and the illustrator was all like “yea, brah, I got this.”

That’s all for today! Next time Sarah leaves the door unlocked, I may sneak in here and show you my collection of sexy 80’s com-pew-turr ads. [I keep hoping she does, but she says she’s been too busy.  Busy, ah! She just wants to keep all the attack crabs for herself.  Wait, that came out wrong – SAH]

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You only wish I was joking.

Toodles!

Julie

*You know guys, I think I should leave the door unlocked more often.  What say you?*

External Conformity and Inner Truths

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I’m always surprised when I hear someone refer to me as a happy warrior (which happens about once a week.)

I’m not a happy warrior.  I try really hard to be a nice person.  I know my anger can cause a lot of harm to me and others, so I try to keep it in check, to the point of inducing depression to stop myself expressing it.

I’d prefer, by far, to live as so many female writers in the past, dreaming up nice stories and never pronouncing on politics.

Unfortunately I was born too late for that.  Even more unfortunately I was raised by a father who belonged in the Republic of Rome, when it comes to holding fast to a set of principles, and having a weird, inflexible idea of honor, particularly his own honor, and how he had to behave in an honorable manner.  (When I was little, and understood less of the world than I do even now, I thought dad was Roman, mom was Spanish and my brother was French.  In retrospect, I might have been right, in ways deeper than mere reality.)

My father believed everyone should be raised to be a gentleman of honor, genitals not withstanding, and he raised me that way.  (Yes, there are different female civic virtues.  Very different.  I learned that from his mom.)  And one thing a gentleman can’t do is let evil flourish under the sun, without attempting to fight it.

Which is why I was an anti-communist even when I was a — I know, Bob the Registered still thinks I am — soft liberal, which is the natural consequence of being raised in Europe.  In fact, those opinions — such as on gun control, say — changed through examining how these opinions HELPED communism.  To this day I feel icky if I have some opinions in common with the left, and I examine them extra hard.  (Though to be fair even when I agree with them on something, I neither agree on what it does to society, nor how it should be fixed.  So, there’s that.)

Why talk about this now?  Because every time I come across that “happy warrior” thing, I smile a little, because it’s so wrong.

I’m an unhappy warrior, who often triggers her auto-immune through anger and frustration.  But we weren’t put on this Earth to be easy and besides, they wouldn’t let me do the one thing I wanted to do in peace, without bringing politics into it.  So I fight.

In the same way, when I was young, stupid and an exchange student, I once heard my fellows talk when they thought I was asleep, and they all agreed I was a conventional, sheltered young Latin girl.  Something about “must have been raised in a convent.”  In fact, I was a young hellion, with acidic opinions and at the time had ideas of how things like the relationship between the sexes should be that would have made most of them not just blush but run and hide.

It took me a while to realize that the fact I was an introvert, and thought most of them were too dumb/young/conventional to have a true discussion/argument with meant I rarely said much, and what I said was usually of no great consequence, so externally I presented as they expected a nice Latin girl to present.

I think it was part of how people misjudged Cruz — tying in to what Amanda said last night — versus Beto.  You see, I’m 99.9% sure Cruz is one of us.  It’s not just the weird affect which would pass unnoticed in an sf/f con.  It’s weird things he lets drop, when he quotes Star Wars or the Princess Bride, for that matter.  I think he knows how weird his points of reference are, so he keeps quiet, so he’s not one of those “out there” sf/f people, who are, as everyone knows, crazy.

I think he should put on a costume and hit comicon.  Sure, pay attention to the costume so it’s nothing the left can pick on him for, but let people see him having fun.  He underestimates to what extent the geeks have taken over the culture.

But besides that, I think it’s also why we miss-perceived Trump.  At least I hope we did, and I hope my suspicion is right.

Because the left enforces conformity in areas — physical or professional, or even creative — that they control, a lot of us keep/kept under very deep cover, even going to the point of sometimes saying things that could be perceived as supporting lefty povs.  (Or writing. There’s a reason the Magical British Empire is still under revision.  It gets tiresome.)  OTOH every time you bow, every time you scrape.  Every time you’re forced to pretend to be something you’re not the resentment grows.

If I’m right, Trump was under deep cover, and now, having won a measure of power, he’s going to take revenge.  All the revenge.  Which suits me fight.  And I sympathize with.  If I’m ever in a position of power in my field, whatever that position is now, in the changed climate, it’s going to be interesting.

I never understood the left’s belief that if they stop opponents from talking, or even force opponents to behave as though they agreed with the left, the opposition will go away.

It leads me to believe either they’re incredibly shallow thinkers, or they think that any opposition is lack of information (they do. Hence the ubiquitous “educated yourself” from the indoctrinated, ill-educated left) OR they’re aliens and have no idea what people really are and think.

Sure, run us from the public sphere. Make our believing in your weird cult, or at least expressing outward belief, a condition of working or prospering in the areas you control, people will conform outwardly.  Sure, some of them, those who want to go along to get along, might even change their minds.

But there are many who will keep quiet and hate you all the harder for what you’re making them do: for making them complicit in evil.  And sooner or later they’ll get power.

Also, when they do, not only will those like them join them, but so will the go along to get along.  This is how you get black swans.  This is how people in Romania turned on their brutal leaders in the course of a day.

You can tell the left is no longer sure what hold they actually have on the country.  You can tell they know the counts are corrupt, because they, like us, are trying to read the tea leaves.

But because they’ve isolated themselves so thoroughly from who their opposition is and what they believe, preferring to view them instead through flawed Marxian lenses, their attempts are almost bizarrely strange.

Such as… there was some idiot saying there must be more of them than of us because more people did Yoga than watched Nascar.

Uh…. and?  I have never watched Nascar.  I’ve never watched any car racing, unless forced.  Just a total lack of interest. I’ve done yoga once or twice — it was a class in my high school.  In the seventies. In Portugal — though granted, I never stay with it, because it’s too woo-woo for my tastes (though one of the times I lost weight it was yoga that did it.)

The point is, what the heck does either of those have to do with believing in individual liberty, right to property, and the constitution of the united states?

And, at any rate, isn’t Nascar a regional thing?

Well, it has to do because in their hearts they KNOW we are all redneck hicks, and therefore we need to behave like redneck hicks.  In their minds, too, Yoga is new and daring and therefore lefty.  (Memo- Neither the left nor Yoga are new and daring.  In fact, they’re both conventional and mainstream.  I.e. you ARE the man.)

Why does this matter?

In 2008 we voted early (I was still not aware of the amazing levels of fraud) and so we voted in downtown Colorado Springs, early one morning.  I stood in line looking at all the people around me and going “hell, they’re all libs.”  You know, women with short hair, men with long hair, sloppy in their attire, etc.

Then I realized I presented more or less the same way.  I tend to forget to dye or cut my hair.  (I’ve been grey since 28 and right now the “time to stop dyeing” is “when I have first biological grandchild”.  Because it’s as good as any.) So I often have half-grey, long, and pulled into a mommy bun hair.  In the dark and in a hurry, I’d dressed in one of my Indian skirts and a peasant blouse.  And I had a bag with my artwork, and another with my pastels, because I was walking to art class after voting.

To anyone who watched I was one of them.

More and more I see the right making target acquisition errors that mirror the left and the left’s weird assumptions.

Does most of the right live rural?  Some, surely, though I know my share of farmers who are all for subsidies, my share of postmen in rural areas who are all for unions, my share of–  You get the point.

Are the cities/creative professions/educated people overwhelmingly leftist?

Oh, for fuck’s sake.  Seriously, guys.  The left might have a majority of those. MAYBE.  I was always shocked when I stepped out of line in sf/f and people in deep cover sent me support…. privately.  These are people who were way better than I at faking it, many of whom I thought were darlings of the left (many of whom WERE darlings of the left.)

The problem with the left suppressing dissenting opinion, is that a lot of people not only keep quiet but pretend.  To be allowed to do what they want, they have to.

And of course, vote fraud is easier in cities, so cities present a uniform lefty front.

But is it true?  BAH.

Don’t fall for the lies of the left or the enforced conformity they create.  You could be wrong about half or even a majority of city dwellers/creative people/young people/minorities/etc.

And if I may, if it comes to hell and high water, you guys are going to need US.  We know how to talk to the middle squishes, and we reassure them that the right are not all REALLY hicks.  And we know how to talk to furriners too, which will be needed in the future.

Yes, I am sure that if the rough music starts to play, I and others like me will be killed in red-on-red violence.  I tan, I’m urban (well, suburbanish now), I have an accent, and I speak in big words.  Depending on the day, I might or might not have pastels or watercolors on my fingers. The left thinks I naturally belong to them.  For our sins, so does a lot of the right.  And when the rough music plays no one stops and thinks. I’m not even trying to stop that.  It might be a reason I don’t want this to devolve to mass violence, but I also know there are worse things than mass violence.

But let’s suppose I’m lucky and escape that first impact. (I live in a semi-hidden suburb, judging by friends who have tried to find us and get confused.  And the neighbors are simpatico.  Guys, you’re going to need me. You’re going to need others like me. If for nothing else than you’re going to need shapers of ideas, people who make sure what gets passed to the next generation isn’t as crazy as what this generation has been taught.  Sure, you need me less than you need farmers, mechanics and cooks.  Weirdly, though, I can also cook and sew and in a pinch I’m a more than decent jack leg carpenter.  But I don’t think civilization is going to devolve to the point ONLY those are needed.  And I definitely don’t think they SHOULD.

Sure, the founding fathers were men with the practical skills of their time — farmers, and cobblers and the like — but they also had lawyers.  And almost every founding father was a man of the intellect and the mind.

Without it, the left, however many of them remain, will shape the future. They’ll just couch their ideas in a different way and have a go at the kids again. Because they have the words and can create the narrative.

Let me remind you that while national socialism (Germany excepted) is less lethal than international socialism, it’s still lethal, particularly to the human spirit, to innovation, to freedom and particularly to people like us who stick out.

Stop stereotyping us just as the left does.  Stop buying the stereotype.  Yes, this is also self-aimed.  I almost didn’t vote for Trump.  I bought the cover.  Many on our side still do which is something we need to fight.

The fact their stereotyping us is so powerful tells you the power of the narrative.  Be aware of it, but don’t buy it.

Oh, sure, if the rough music starts to play people like me are gone.  Most of them.  Depends on when it hits.  Like a tsunami, it’s not controllable and can’t really be planned for.

But if we are lucky beyond our deserts and this can be turned slowly, in debate and opinion, in daily work, in education, in words, in diplomacy, be aware the left is wrong about the opposition, as they’re wrong about almost everything.

We might — and will — find allies in the weirdest places.  Don’t be too trusting, (note I’m still not sure about Trump) but don’t write them out.

Remember external conformity is not conformity of thought.  Only a fool or a leftist (BIRM) believes that.

 

What happened?- by Amanda S. Green

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What happened?- by Amanda S. Green

That’s the question so many of us have been asking since last week’s election totals began rolling in. It is a question we’ll continue to debate over the next two years. We need to look at the close races as well as the races we should have won. What went wrong? Then, in those races we shouldn’t have won but did, why?

Let’s get one of the reasons out of the way right now. The first is that we saw a standard mid-term response to the party in office. Historically, the party in power loses ground during mid-term elections. So we should have anticipated at least some of the shift we saw. “In midterms since 1862, the president’s party has averaged losses of about 32 seats in the House and more than two seats in the Senate,” according to Mary Jordan in this post for Politifact.

Part of the reason for this is because fewer people, often far fewer, vote in mid-term elections than in presidential election years. Another part is the “X-Factor”, X being whoever the president is. We saw it during the Obama administration and we are seeing it now. It is especially prevalent when you have a president who actually does something, whether it be good or bad. With Obama, we had it with Obamacare and some of his other policies. With Trump, we have it with his economic policies and with his personality. That “X-Factor” tends to motivate folks to the polls, as it did this time.

There might have been a record number of voters for a mid-term election in a number of areas around the country, but those voters were not conservatives or libertarians in all too many instances. Too many sat back and rested on the wave of votes that brought Trump into office. The liberals, on the other hand, used Trump as the motivator to get the votes out (legal and not).

But there are things we, as conservatives and libertarians, need to be aware of and watch out for in the future. One of the reasons the Democrats managed to get so many folks to the polls (and I mean living, breathing folks and not the dead and buried) is because they put forth candidates that enticed younger voters. They beat the gun control drum as well. They talked about issues young voters, without any real life experience thought sounded “awesome” but never talked about how they’d pay for those issues. Because so many of our youth hasn’t figured out politicians lie, they bought it hook, line and sinker.

How else do you explain someone like Occasional-Cortex—sorry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—winning not only her primary but the election? Here is a young socialist bitching and moaning now because she can’t afford an apartment in DC until she gets her first congressional paycheck in three months. Where is all the affordable housing? We have to take steps to make it more affordable for the pols to live. Whine, bitch and whine some more.

The younger set is eating it up. Why? Because they aren’t looking at the fact that Occasional-Cortex quit her bartending job a year ago to go on the campaign trail. How did she live during that time? Oops, let me rephrase that. She lived on other people’s money, just as she plans to now.

I don’t know about you, but she is the perfect example of what we need to vote out of office and keep as far away from any political office, or classroom, as possible.

Then we had Beto O’Rourke. As a Texan, I can only thank God he wasn’t elected and it was a damned close thing. Beto came out as an everyman. He wore jeans and rolled his sleeves up. He wore ball caps. He rode skateboards. He was the “young” candidate, the voice of our youth.

Except, he is only one year younger than Ted Cruz. But to look at them, to listen to them, you’d think there was at least a decade difference in their ages.

The Republicans fell down on the job—hell, let’s be honest. They were asleep at the wheel—where Beto was concerned. They didn’t bring out his history, criminal and otherwise. They let him be this generation’s JFK, exactly what the DNC wanted. And it came too damn close to working.

Instead of reminding folks, especially those in El Paso where Beto started, that he married into money and, as a city councilman, voted on issues that at least seemed to benefit his real estate developer father-in-law, they let him be the boy child. The Republicans forgot history, specifically the 1960 Presidential election.

Now, I’ll admit there were other issues with Cruz. He doesn’t come across as warm and fuzzy, far from it. That might play well against most candidates, but not against someone like O’Rourke. He needed to loosen up some.

But let’s not forget the real issue: voter fraud. There is fraud in every election. But it appears to be at a record high this year. One Georgia county had twice as many votes cast as they have registered to vote. Yesterday, while at a concert, I received a news push from our local ABC affiliate that almost half the provisional votes in Fulton County would need to be tossed out. There were hundreds of duplicate votes. There were votes cast by people who didn’t live in the county and then there were votes by those not eligible to vote.

And people wonder why we need Voter ID laws.

There are some who want to count votes by those who are not only NOT citizens of this country but who are here illegally.

Yeah, there’s a problem and we need to deal with it. Not only do we need to apply the law, to its fullest extent, to those who vote illegally, we need to do so to those who facilitate them in doing so. [Hanged, cut down before death and their entrails burned before their eyes? –SAH asks eagerly.]

If the Republicans are smart, they will take a long, hard look at what happened in this election and be prepared for much the same in two years. They will learn from campaigns like Beto O’Rourke’s. They will encourage the liberals to put Pelosi back in as Speaker of the House. She is one of our most effective weapons because she is so disliked, not only by conservatives and libertarians but by many in her own party. Let Maxine Waters keep running her mouth. She’s another one who will, eventually, do her party more harm than good.

But we need to take a page out of the other side’s playbook. We need to quit being the nice guy. While I don’t encourage public displays like what we’ve seen at Tucker Carlson’s home or at the country club with his daughter, we do need to stay in the face of the Dims who have been voted into office. Every time Occasional-Cortex opens her mouth, we need to point and laugh. She really can’t help herself. She provides such good comedic fodder.

We also need to keep an eye out on those candidates like Beto who lost but who were so clearly being groomed for bigger and better by the Dims. [I am sure that includes Occasional Cortex, sadly. –SAH] Whether they continue to tout their golden boy in the future is something we will only have to wait to see. If we’re lucky, they will tell him to go back home and figure out what he did wrong. At the same time, they will run someone like HRC or Biden for president. Both wouldn’t argue if offered the nomination.

The Democrats made the play for the young vote and, for the most part, got it. Again, much as they did in 1960 with JFK. While what they do in 2020 is important, it isn’t the most important. That falls directly at the feet of the Republican Party. They can’t wait to respond to the DNC, as they pretty much did this election. They have to get out in front now. Analyze and plan, learn and implement.

If not, heaven help us all.

(I will be back the end of the week with the regular book review/commentary. No, I’m not going to do Michelle Obama’s book. You guys don’t buy me enough booze for that. Also, apologies for the break in posts but family obligations had to take precedence for a while. – ASG)

Veterans Day Post

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I apologize for not doing the vignettes and promo post.  I’ll do it sometime this week.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading of books (mostly mysteries, which are an amazing recreation of every day life and what people thought because their thing is to immerse you in daily life and sound plausible/likely) written in the early 20th century.

The bad ideas that are devouring Western civilization were there before WWI, but it was only after WWI that they took hold of population at large and went viral.

Now, there are tons of reasons for that. Technology allowed for faster, better and cheaper manufacturing, which in turn grew cities and shrunk the countryside, weakening family bonds.  Transportation also became faster, cheaper and easier.

Oh, and we finally had enough surplus that you could be very, very silly without starving to death.

Oh, yeah, and the mass production led to mass distribution of ideas.  The strongholds of transmission of those were immediately seized by the crackpots, who are the people who can devote their entire lives to very silly things.  (I should know.)

None of that, however, justifies the corroding self-hatred of the west.  Posturing against the past generation does not justify deciding every civilization is better than yours, that criminals are the only people worth helping (if you want to study those ideas, and also the protests against them you could do worse than reading Agatha Christie’s They Do It With Mirrors.  Christie was a thoroughly conventional middle class woman, and so her opinions are worth reading.  Though the book was written in the fifties, it “feels” older, because we all preserve something from the times of our upbringing.)

No, that was learned in the battle fields of WWI, where industrial civilization turned to mass killing in batch lots.

The fact the rot took hold in Europe first, where the destruction of WWI was more obvious would support the trauma theory.

Rivers of ink were spilled on WWI, and I haven’t read enough to tell you how much is true, and how much is ideological distortion.

I just know that somewhere after WWI and its echo WWII the bien-pensants in the west switched to thinking loving your country was a sin and that people who loved their country were war mongers.

Perhaps it is a way to justify the cowardice of the chattering classes who hoped the Soviet wolf in its inevitable victory would eat them last.

To my mind the West is still bleeding from a gaping wound inflicted by the long war of the 20th century.

It is important to neither romanticize war nor to demonize it.  War is a function of being human.  Yes, WWI might have been a senseless war (how do I know? All the materials on it have a point of view, and much of the later ones are corrupt) and it was certainly approached in a spirit and in a way that maximized both trauma and numbers of dead.

Was that because Western civilization is inherently bad?

Ah. I shudder to think what other civilizations given the newness of the mass-killing tech would have done.

Is industrial mass production inherently bad?  Well, it lifted most of the world out of famine and dire poverty, so no.  But applied to war it can be horrific.  We simply didn’t (to an extent still don’t) have the technology to fight smarter.

I suspect it’s likely given that stage of civilization and production, the war would have happened, more or less as it did.

And I imagine it would have been worse if it hadn’t happened.

Which is hard to understand, or picture for us.  The path not taken is ever sweeter.  But real life doesn’t work like that.

On veterans day let us contemplate that war is terrible (and to be avoided if at all possible) but it’s not the most terrible thing.

And that sometimes it is needed for people to sacrifice themselves, if not for a cause or an idea, for their homes and those they love.  Or as Heinlein put it “Roman mothers used to tell their sons ‘come back with your shield or on it’.  Then they stopped staying it.  Rome, itself, did not last much longer.”  (Note I’m quoting from memory of the first time I read it which was in Portuguese. Errors of expression all mine, not RAH’s)

To be human (or really animal and from Earth) is to war.  To war is to risk death.  There are things worth dying for, else there’s nothing worth living for.

Our civilization has run away from the idea of things worth dying for (possibly because of the trauma of WWI) and therefore no longer knows what’s worth living for.

On this day let us remember those who gave their lives for home and country, so others could live free and flourish.  Whether we are descended from them or not, their blood shaped the world we live in.

Ours it is to make sure their sacrifice — whether now viewed as futile like WWI or vital like WWII — is not forgotten nor cheapened.  The left cheapens their sacrifice because they don’t understand there are things more important than self.  Things worth risking sacrificing self for.  It’s a strange and myopic view, one that leaves them stranded in a formless world in which only the wants and transient wishes of the self count.

We do not know, yet, the ramifications of the wars of the 20th century.  It is therefore impossible to know which were vital or which were disastrous.

All we know is that without men willing to fight to protect others, only evildoers would fight — and win — and shape the world in their image.

Those who served and lost their lives are beyond thanking.  But not beyond remembering.

Those who served and fought for my country and made it possible for my country to survive in a world inimical to our ideals and envious of our wealth: you have my gratitude.

May we have many more like you in future generations, and not suffer the fate of Rome.