The Sorting Myth

What people choose to do is often influenced by factors both external and internal. As is whether they succeed.  Temperament matters, sure, but so do life circumstances, ability and that indefinable thing called “drive.”  I have friends far more talented and brighter than I who aspire to be writers but who’ve managed at most half a dozen books.  And some who’ve managed none.  Some have good reasons.  Some have none – just the inertia of day to day living.

People have trouble enough accessing themselves and choosing what to do, but it’s worse to trust someone higher up to choose for them.  And I don’t envy the job of anyone in authority who has to pick whom to promote, whom to hold back.

Nine times out of ten, from my own experience, it’s not done as much through “this person can do this this and this and this one can’t” but through “this person causes me less hearburn.”  And while removing the process one step and getting a boss “higher up” who has had no contact with the person to evaluate can make it more based on characteristics and check lists (this is what the communist system is based on) you have to wonder who makes the original report saying what characteristics people have.  And if it’s a test?  Well, though in the US this has been abused to forbid even basic literacy tests, the fact is that you can’t MAKE a totally fair test.  For one, if you come across someone like younger son who freaks out at the very idea of a test, they’re going to test badly – and they’re not that rare.

This is why from our earliest stories and legends, humanity has been fascinated with ways of choosing and of sorting people.  Usually the means are utterly nonsensical, like, you know, people who happen to be wearing a certain thing that day – but it works because … magic.  Even Harry Potter has the sorting hat.

We don’t have a sort hat.

A persistent myth, on both the right and the left, though, is that they know the formula by which both “conservatives” and “liberals” choose their professions (and neither of these words are right, unless conservatives now suddenly means “those who want to upend the status quo” and “liberals” “Those who want to continue on to a neo-feudal society.” [And I don’t want to hear quibbles on that.  There is a reason everyone starts spouting “liberalism” after they make it.  It’s the chic philosophy, the approved one.  Ie the people in power.  No, it is NOT that they suddenly become enlightened and realize it was right all along.  Life doesn’t work that way.] So let’s call it right and left, though that’s not right either – but one has to use SOME words.)

The annoying thing – and by annoying thing you should understand it has often driven me to screaming between clenched teeth – about the myth is that it’s almost exactly the same on the right and left even though on the face of this it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

The myth goes something like this “The leftists dominate academia, the arts and teaching because they are more creative and less interested in money and worldly success than the righties.”

Last person caught subscribing to the last part of this myth (though not the first, at least not this article) was Stacey McCain, who at some point is going to owe me a desk, because of all the times I’ve pounded my head with it, or clawed at it in fury after reading something like this.

His quote is this:

Conservatives don’t become journalists because most conservatives are smart enough to pay attention to their high-school guidance counselors who advise any student who will listen to stay the hell away from this miserable low-paying racket. (My excuse? I was stoned most of the time in high school, and stayed drunk  half the time in college, besides which, I was a Democrat back then anyway.) So young conservatives generally don’t become reporters, and instead go to law school or get MBAs or do something else where they might actually hope to make a living. And liberals become journalists because they want to Make a Difference and Change the World.

[Unclenches hands from desk.  Notes furrows nails made, while screaming in incoherent fury.]

First, let’s start at the beginning, at “right” and “left.”

I know there have been “studies” purporting to determine innate characteristics that make one a liberal or a conservative.  (Rolls eyes.) Most of them are so easy to debunk as to be insane.  For one most of them are done by leftists (which psychologists tend to be) and assume that “conservative” means the dictionary definition, i.e. someone who wants to preserve the status quo.  So they look for characteristics like a fear of change.  Then they design the tests to find it.  The link between the test activity and what they’re looking for is usually at best incidental. (You know, it’s funny how all sorts of tests, even IQ tests and ability tests are just wrong and impossible to calibrate so they don’t discriminate against someone or other, but are okay and holy writ when they can be used to make some talking point.)

For another…  Leftist and Right wing WHEN?  And I don’t mean just in relation to society (though that too bears examination) but in relation to the person.  Take me at 22.  I hated communism, which made me unacceptable to the democrats as they already were, but other than that, having been raised in Europe my positions were much those of a well-to-do young person from the North East.  I believed gun control was good (till I read Red Planet, which didn’t happen till I was 26.)  I believed abortion was probably for the best (what changed that was getting pregnant. Mind you I had no intention of having one, not since my Advanced Biology teacher had described GRAPHICALLY how they were done.  But I bought into the “if they’re unwanted, they’ll be unhappy.”)  I believed in invisible institutional racism that must be corrected by affirmative action.  I believed men tried to hold women down (to be fair all I had was the public Portuguese culture – different from the private one – to go on, and Portuguese culture picked up quite a bit from Islam, particularly in treatment of women.)

If you’d got me earlier – circa 11 – I was a no-holds-barred anarchist.

I was precocious.  If you go down the list of my colleagues at PJM or any other “conservative leaning” publication, most of the people you find were left (and sometimes very left) till their thirties.

Even Stacey McCain admits that in his own case, he was stoned through high school.  (Actually I hesitate to say this outright because perhaps it’s my selection bias of my own friends, but most people I know who are now on the “right” – and in this I include libertarians because the left does – were once “wild children.”  And in a way still are.  This is logical, since the social power is on the left.)

So, since that’s when most of us choose at least the path we want to take, how could it be influenced by any innate characteristics of the right since we were then left?

Second, let’s deal with this “Right wingers all care about money and not about changing the world.”

I’m not stupid.  I’m more than three.  I’ve cut my wisdom teeth thirty two years ago.  I will grant you that I’ve come across people who fit all three of these and still didn’t understand “how to make it in science fiction and fantasy.”  These people are usually right wing idealists who believe what the left says: “write your passion and you will be successful.”

Insofar as I’m a right winger – libertarians are totally right wingers.  That’s why we want to dress in suits, then hang bureaucrats from light poles.  Trust me on this.  Of course the suits we want to dress in hark back to 1776.  VERY conservative – I’m a cynical one.

Vox Day is not the first person to figure this out – though he might be the first one to talk about it loudly – nor do you need a degree to realize from the tenor of the stories that win awards, from the tone of the books that get pushed, from the politics of the authors who get lionized that the way to get ahead in this field is to be as far left as you can, as loudly as you can, and then if you can – this is optional – be funny and stylish and debonair.

You know the thing in Jesus Christ Superstar when Judas sings “and add in a touch of hate at Rome” – well, a touch of hate at America will propel you to superstardom…

So, if I know that, and if I’m as good as I think I am at writing (which is competent) WHY in heaven’s name didn’t I take that path?

The right is all about the money, right?

No, of course not.  If we were I could have done that – but I couldn’t endorse an evil model of the world which malgre me, sounds uncommonly like idealism.

Third – as for the myth of the left being more creative… Oh, my stars and garters.  All you have to do is watch the fiftieth Hollywood remake or look at the bestseller’s list.  Please.  They have the one pony and they ride it to the ground.  (Granted, being creative while staying in the limits of the ideology is pretty hard, but it’s not impossible.)

 

So, how come some fields are completely left?

 

First, the left DOES NOT play by Marquess de Fantail rules.  Second, with them politics is very close to religion.  Politics is at least “morals”.  If you believe in a different means of solving the problem of poverty or illness, you’re “evil.”

Would you want to work with an evil person?  No?  Neither does the left.  So if they catch what they’d consider the slightest hint of sulphur about you they won’t hire you/buy your book/promote your book/give you that raise/advance your career.

The right, meanwhile, hires on ability and is known to say “I don’t care what his politics are, his books/movies/music are good.”  (Of course, it’s quite possible the reason we do that is that until recently we had no other choice.)

This is the process by which almost every publishing house, newspaper, movie making company, school turns hard left.  All it takes is ONE leftist in a position of power to hire or decide who gets push.  Since politics is religion, they don’t hire the “evil” or boycott them at every chance.

This is the process by which every foundation started by the right is left after a few years.  People talk about Alinsky, but it doesn’t take a conscious process or a conspiracy.  Only the firm understanding that “right wing is evil” – founded in part on having no idea at all what other people believe, and in part on the refusal to consider perhaps one’s solutions aren’t the best – and the decision to hire on the left and cut on the right, regardless of ability or anything else.

 

What if you sneak in, because you were leftist at the time?  Well, then you usually get tired of running on ice and being held in place and either drop out or content yourself with a little job somewhere.  (I have friends who should be staffing much bigger newspaper but who are working in back water towns, because – well – they can’t keep themselves stealthed that well.  Or they won’t.  Because they have a soul above money.

 

Now, can we stop buying and endorsing the other side’s myths?  They might not know anything about us, but surely we do.  And that myth, like most such, doesn’t even make any sense.

 

Be not afraid.  We’re more creative, we’re more used to adversity, and now that the tech discourages a monolithic culture and social games of exclusion, we can sort ourselves.

We will survive this.  And prosper.

387 responses to “The Sorting Myth

  1. If I bought into the game, I could be labeled a victim and let the system take care of me. But I refuse. I’m stubborn, independent, and surely creative enough to make my own way in the world without labels.

  2. What I have found is that Collectivists generally tend to go into fields where they can influence other people, while Individualists tend to go into fields where they work directly with the physical universe.

    If you look at the stereotypes that Liberals have about Conservatives you’ll see the contempt that they have for people who work with the real world–farmers, construction workers, mechanics, engineers.

    Liberals tend not to think about the actual mechanics of survival. For them food comes from a supermarket and water comes out of the tap, as if by magic.

    So if it comes down to a class war, they will have the media and the schools, but we’ll have all the food and running water and electricity. I’m okay with those terms.

    • But it’s not true. that’s the MYTH. Humans fall in all fields, regardless of opinion on politics. TRUST me on this. I’ve seen it from the inside. It’s just that in the fields already taken over conservatives are not ALLOWED to succeed, so you never heard about them. And I hate to tell you this, but the “elite” taking over the physical fields of endeavor is also hard left. Ask any graduate student in the hard sciences. If we don’t stop believing the myth and countering the nonsense, the hard sciences will go the way of Hollywood. And no, they won’t function, but they’ll also have political purity tests.

      • bretwallach

        …hard sciences will go the way of Hollywood. And no, they won’t function…

        That’s why they can’t go the way of Hollywood. I have to think about it a bit more, but I think I disagree with you. The less there is that ties a field to reality, the more appealing it is to those on the Left and the more important it is to those on the Left to dominate it because they have a harder time in fields where you have to deal with reality. Yes, there are communist business owners and conservative women’s studies professors, but that’s not how the cards typically fall.

        • Okay, but they’re trying to go that way. Look, writing interacts with reality, too — where it sells. But they found excuses for not selling, to push the right politics. In Islamic countries, where religion is the sine qua non of employment, they are willing to have TRULY CRAPPY SCIENCE and find excuses. Do you think the same won’t happen here with a different religion? If you don’t let other people in, how do you know anyone could have done better.
          And you’re going by innate characteristics again and ignoring “people change” and also assuming there ARE characteristics. Some people come to libertarianism in a blinding Road to Damascus experience (me) — some come to their background, some come through reason. Same with EVERY OTHER political belief. We can argue with the reason of communists, but some DO and can reason themselves into it. It doesn’t come through a fatal stain or a fatal prenatal predisposition. It comes the way other human beliefs come — inclination, circumstances, some amount of reasoning and self-identification. This applies across all party lines. I know hard headed, business like communist writers and fluffy headed “i do what I feel” libertarian writers (mote, in my eye? SHUDDUP). It is what it is.

          • bretwallach

            Sarah wrote: “And you’re going by innate characteristics again and ignoring “people change”…

            Some people change, and of those who change, they mostly become more conservative over time (Churchill’s “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains”). Gallup polls show “While a fifth of U.S. teens (21%) say they are “more liberal” than their parents and 7% say “more conservative,” 7 in 10 teens (71%) say their social and political ideology is about the same as mom and dad’s. So from my 1/2 century + of observations and various statistics, it looks to me like most fruit falls pretty close to the tree.

            Again, there’s a reason why most business owners tend towards conservative. Especially small business owners where not aligning very closely with reality means certain collapse of the business since there’s so little cushion for mistakes.

            • Oy. You don’t know the business owners I know. People who are perfectly LOGICAL and lean conservative in their personal life but will vote the looniest socialist stuff.

              • bretwallach

                Yes, I’ve seen that too.

                So, just to be clear. Are you saying that there’s not even a hint of a tendency for business owners to be more conservative than those in professions where the bottom lines doesn’t matter at all?

                • I’m not sure. I haven’t seen it among the people I know. They just compartmentalize things and keep on trucking. I’d suspect there are more right business owners simply because at some point we fling out of established modes and go it on our own — but in my acquaintance I haven’t seen it.

              • When a business owner is conservative and the regulatory environment is liberal, the liberal will prevail. See: Politics/Chicago-style.

                • bretwallach

                  That’s a good point. Of course, that might explain lingering high-unemployment. Potential business owners see that they will be beholden to the liberal political process and decide to forego starting businesses.

                  • I think a Insta-reader had a note published t’other day, pointing out that new businesses are commonly financed by home second-mortgages, and the collapse of the housing market (thank-you kindly, Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae) has blocked that financing opportunity.

                    Existing businesses are prone to use regulatory and political leverage to block competition from developing. This is especially the case in highly regulated communities where existing businesses have already absorbed the cost of negotiating the (often oxymoronic) regulatory environment, figured out who to bribe and how much and become known as reliable.

                    Look at current efforts focusing on food trucks or on internet taxation.

                    • bretwallach

                      Sure. There are a lot of factors. I started my current company 13 years ago and there’s no way I’d start it now due to the regulatory environment, the politics, and general attitude towards businesses even if I could raise the money.

                      Regarding general attitude towards business, Deirdre McCloskey makes some very interesting points in Bourgeois Dignity regarding the role of rhetoric in economic growth (though she’s a little too wordy as a writer for my tastes).

            • (Churchill’s “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains”).

              Just so you are aware, from Wikki Mis-Quotes:

              “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.”
              Often attributed to Winston Churchill. The phrase originated with Francois Guisot (1787-1874): “Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.” It was revived by French Premier Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929): “Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”

              I should note that in using republican Guisot did not refer to the American political party we know by that name.

          • Science becoming a politically correct bastion of the left won’t happen because we’ll fund alternatives and defund the unproductive. Even the GOP is starting to wake up and go after that source of money. Go take a look at Watts Up With That to see how you can take an extraordinarily political correct notion and insist that it can’t play fast and loose with the facts. CAGW may or may not be true in the end but it’s hugely hamstrung at the moment because people are starting to notice, and objecting to, the fact that they are cheating.

        • When there are objective measurements of success you will find out-of-the-closet conservatives more common. When the winner is determined by a stop-watch instead of a group of judges (speed-skating vs figure-skating) it is harder to keep conservatives out.

          But even so, there are all sorts of ways to rig the game. Funneling support to skaters with “compelling” stories, or “more promise,” or “superior potential growth” can all help the more fashionable skater outpace the less fashionable one.

      • When I first came to North Carolina, forty-plus years ago, one political argument frequently made was that, because the legislature was Democrat controlled, you needed to vote for a Democrat or live with your potholes unfilled. And it is true that a frequent charge against any Republican was that he was “ineffective.”

        OF COURSE he was ineffective: any good idea a Republican came up with wasn’t going to get through the legislature until his fingerprints had been scrubbed and the idea thoroughly rubbed with Democrat scent. The self-fulfilling prophecy of the process was feature, not bug.

        A second method of Vile Prog entrenchment is the use of different “strike zones.” Democrat pitchers not only have a much more generous strike zone, their batters are allowed six strikes and are awarded a walk after only two balls. Democrats’ mistakes are forgiven, Republicans’ “insufficient success” is punished. Contrast economic reporting during the Bush administrations versus that of the Clinton & Obama administrations.

        Frequently, when conservatives are successful the liberals often get the credit, such as when the Gingrich Congress brought Washington kicking and screaming to budget surpluses, in large part due to lower capital gains taxes.

        What this means, of course, is that conservative politicians who succeed do so by being very, very good, while Democrats promote their Harry Reids and Nancy Pelosis. In the long run this breed very strong conservative candidates and very weak Democrat ones.

        • Jeff Gauch

          Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, the CO legislature, we seem to meet your latter condition. Please sir, can I have some strong conservative candidates?

          • Glares at Jeff Gauch. I don’t care how much you reprobates say I should run; I’d rather write novels!

            • Jeff Gauch

              How about Mr. Hoyt? I imagine a Senator’s wife would have plenty of time to write, and access to plenty of interesting people to write about.

              • Good heavens, man. He’s a mathematician. He has a tendency to say exactly whatever crosses his mind and not to suffer fools gladly. No. I shall have to groom the younger boy. He’ll do.

                • Jeff Gauch

                  I suppose that sums up how we got into this mess. We’ve always got better things to do, while the vile progs are just champing at the bit to do their Hajj to DC.

                  • Yes. This is a huge issue. But in Dan’s case it’s the “in brain out of mouth” that’s worrisome, particularly because he will often speak too slowly for his brain, so what comes out is stuff like “If humans were ducks.” Because he thought something like “if humans were aquatic, we’d all have pet ducks.” — this is oversimplified, I mean he never thought something that dumb, but… I’m very good at speaking Dan, it’s why he married me. I can fill in missing words, sometimes without noticing. But if you think George Bush made “gaffes”… (And btw, he sounded just like younger son — including the malapropisms. I suspect he had a strongly math-inclined brain. They tend to pure words.)

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      In my experience smart people are usually poor speakers, they get sidetracked or start thinking about boundary conditions and their mouths get confused. Eloquent speakers, on the other hand, don’t have too many brain cells to interfere with the words as they make their way to the mouth.

                      Of course, there are also the Biden-level idiots, where the words become lost and afraid in the ravaging voids in their heads and panic, tumbling out in any random order.

                    • George W Bush’s gaffes were largely a MSM artifact. Few people, however intelligent, can do as much public speaking as a president(ial candidate) does without committing the occasional malapropism. It is statistically meaningless. Even our current glorious leader, widely renowned for his oratorical abilities* flubs his lines from time to time (especially working without his teleprompter.)

                      BUT, the MSM exaggerates the Bush gaffes and suppresses the Obama ones. It acts as an echo chamber tuned to amplify Republican verbal errors and to deaden those of Democrats. On top of that, they manufacture (If I had known I would go to Latin America I would have studied Latin in school) and misrepresent (Murphy Brown’s choice represents an unrealistic option for most people) what Republicans actually do say.

                      *stipulated. Personally, I find him banal, tedious and jejune, prone to attacking strawmen and incapable of constructing a valid syllogism — but plenty of Lefties were deaf to Reagan’s metaphors, so mileage may vary.

                • How can you even think of doing that to a child you love? 😉

                • Well mathematicians tend to be capable of balancing checkbooks, which is more capability than most politicians have.

            • Well since you can’t be President, we’ll let you write. [Wink]

          • Don’t look at me, I couldn’t run. I don’t know enough influential people, don’t know any rich people, my past can’t stand scrutiny, and in extremis, I’d really like to grab some of those smarmy sonofa’s by the tie and head-but them in public.
            Lack of impulse control only works if your name is Clinton or Kennedy and you have the ability to ladle the gravy to the deserving.

            • Jeff Gauch

              It is a source of constant frustration that I cannot vote for Bill Whittle.

                • As much as I wish for a president who sounds like Whittle his ability to manage an administration has not been demonstrated, a task which challenged even Ronaldus Magnus.

                  This is not to disparage the importance of clarity of thought and expression, but that is only an entry level requirement. American conservatives have seen too many standard bearers who sounded great but were ultimately captured by the institutions they were elected to govern.

              • I heartily endorse Bill Whittle for President, but only if he’ll make it legal for me to shoot a few of the nation’s scoundrels. I have a list…

                • I’m sure they’ll none of them be missed!

                • FlyingMike

                  [Cue “I’ve Got a Little List” from ‘The Mikado’ featuring that new phenom, Mike Weatherford]

                  • Wouldn’t that require that the rest of us be in costume?

                    Can Kimonos and such be worn with kilts? Or by cats with wings?

                    • Don’t know about kilts, but possibly you could substitute the kilt for hakama? As to cat girls with wing wearing kimono? I thought you watched Anime. Of course they can! 😉

                    • If I’m supposed to draw this stuff — am I supposed to draw this stuff? — you’ll have to send me a reference picture.

                    • No one said you had to draw this, it is not like you have any spare copious time to take up with Anime or Manga. If you did those of us here would start asking where you came upon your time turner. (Can we have one too? 😉 )

                    • Stephen Green (of vodkapunditness) has promised me a tardis…

                    • The Family needs a tardis to store all the books, music and other media. (And yes, Dearest Friend, the crafting materials, but consider I would no longer complain about a lack of room for laying out patterns and cutting fabric!) Further it might make travel far more acceptable to The Spouse — well — at least it would render so many of The Spouse’s objections to travel untenable. 😉

                    • Tell me about it. I’ve been trying to get through Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood for what feels like forever.

                    • The Daughter, who has read the Manga and novels for FMA tells me that Brotherhood is far truer to the story, if that helps. I found that there were a number of the story threads made more sense than had in the first production, which, because it had been done before the written story had been finished had come up with its own conclusion.

                      If FMA Brotherhood feels like forever don’t start on One Piece, I believe it is as close to forever that anything can be. With 69 volumes and over 590 episodes, with both still in production, and numerous other media formats, it might well be the never ending story.

                    • Blew through four episodes over the weekend, 14 to go.
                      Incidentally, for values of “forever anime”, we’ve been watching Naruto since episode 1. We’d get the fan-subbed episodes on the computer, and every Sunday night we’d swing the couch around, pop some corn, and sit down for a 22 minute episode. Me, my wife, and my then-four-year-old daughter. We’d sit together and watch this crazy show, reading the subtitles to the kiddo. (for the curious, Naruto’s original series had about 300 episode, and the follow-up series, Naruto Shippuden is on episode 312.)
                      Heck, we dressed as ninjas for Halloween back in the day. http://www.flickr.com/photos/zjricks/8734848799/

                    • Good choice of characters!

                      Did you pack a romance novel?

                    • That is simply marvelous. 🙂

                    • Yes.
                      The question is what you will look like, wearing them.

                    • THANK YOU SO MUCH! For making me picture a hairy guy wearing a kilt and a kimono, while riding a Harley. I think I just lost my appetite.

                    • Ooh, Samuri Viking Bikers from Reno…..

                    • With great horned helmets! Yeah!

                      Thank you, Foxfier, my imagination feels so much better now. 🙂

                    • Write it! Write it! Write it!

                    • OK, just so I am sure you get this correctly, you do know that the kilt is being worn over a somewhat shortened kimono?

                      O? Dear me. I see … never mind.

                • Jeff Mauldin

                  However, I have noticed that its typically leftish governments that shoot their political enemies.

        • FlyingMike

          Under this theory, California, with it’s Dem-supermajority legislature and Dem-superdominated politics statewide, should have the world’s strongest non-Democratic candidates.

          [peers about]

          Nope.

          • Fallacious reasoning.

            1. the system, now that it established, is able to sic their poisonous serpents on conservative politicians in the crib, before they gather strength.

            2. give conservative politicians time — as the fledglings learn to fly against the headwinds they will grow in strength.

            3. as the benefits of Democratic management become more undeniable the market for conservatives will grow.

            4. you may be right — in NC we were able to elect Jesse Helms in spite of the Liberal smears because we still only counted ballots actually cast by legitimate voters; that is a mistake they aim to correct in Colorado and may have already corrected in CA.

            • FlyingMike

              California is just following along behind Detroit et al. on much the same curve. There are occasional signs of sanity, mostly via the somewhat unique CA state initiative process (which itself is much abused by the state legislature – often more than half of the initiatives put to direct statewide vote are things the highly paid year-round state legislature voted to not decide themselves, but instead to punt to the voters), but the track always returns to the curve. I expect another voter revolt against the Dem domination (which is how Ahnold was elected, via successful grass roots recall) sometime in the next few years, but all that will likely yield is another centery-leftish nominally-“R” governor (another Chris Christie) and a return to “balanced” 55-45 split in the state senate and assembly, whereunder the Dems will still protect all the spending that’s sending the state over a cliff.

              I think the “Churchill in the wilderness” philosophy is only valid where things are mostly in balance, or when a world war erupts. It’s the political equivalent of the Andromeda Neitzschean mythos, where ‘that which does not kill you makes you stronger’ only works on someone starting from a point of good health. Otherwise it’s entirely possible that the truth is ‘that which does not kill you weakens you enough so that you catch pneumonia, which is what kills you’.

      • One image hit the news this week that supports the supposition that the progressives have started to take over in the sciences at the universities. Two professors from San Jose State, one holding a book which the present the anthropogenic climate change dogma, while the other, the chair of the department of meteorology and climate science holds a match to it. They posted this on the university web site with what they thought was a clever caption about something like testing the fire resistance of the materials. It has since been scrubbed.

        If the professors think images of threatened book burning an amusement, what do you think their attitude is to any student who wishes to study meteorology but doesn’t support the theories that bad weather change is the result of man’s abuse of the world?

  3. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Hey, I was right by around 16 or so. Yes, when I was younger, I held excessively leftist views for a time, but I eventually realized that they conflicted with more bedrock principles from an earlier time.

  4. Personally, I was raised as a Democrat (Texas in the 50’s & 60’s) and remained that way into the early 80’s. Never voted or supported any political party.

    Then Reagan was shot in an attempted assasination, I I was very much impressed by this guy who, facing a rather iff’y surgery, still managed to joke with his surgeon. Anyone who can maintain a sense of humor under such circumstances has a courage I would want to emulate. So I became in effect a Reaganite, if not a Republican.

    Over the years my political beliefs have developed, and while I tend to vote R, my preference is conservative. I’ve voted D at times, for candidates who I believed had a solid ideal. And sometimes been extremely vexed when said R’s turned out to be very L (liberal, not Libertarian).

    And if my political beliefs cost me publication – fine. It was my choice. But even so I’m glad the Indie movement is going strong.

    On another note entirely, last night I had a minor epiphany. The story I’ve been struggling over for months suddenly started speaking to me. It’s requiring major re-writes, but the bit of plotting I’ve written up should allow lots of pantsing along the way.

  5. It’s almost a ritual at the Libertarian Futurist Society: We announce our list of nominees for awards (Best Novel, for a novel published in the prior year, and Hall of Fame, for a work released at least five years ago), and people start commenting on Kipling or Tolkien or MacLeod or Walton or Pratchett not being a libertarian. We’ve said repeatedly that the award is for the work, not the author, and that we don’t try to keep a list of officially approved libertarians, but simply look for books that have something to say to us (Tolkien’s story about the addiction of power and the temptation of good people by it; Walton’s account of the moral corruption of law enforcement in a fascist society; Pratchett’s story of the danger of hypertrophied law enforcement)—but it doesn’t seem to sink in. Apparently a lot of people imagine that libertarians can only find value in a work if it comes from an approved libertarian source.

    • Keeping a list of approved libertarians is an idea that makes me giggle. I’m not sure I approve of ANY libertarians, myself included. Even I have some beliefs I’m not sure about 😉

    • Stoo-pid Libertarians! Don’t you know that the purpose of awards is to recognize meritorious artists, not meritorious works? How are the Powers That Be supposed to put their “Sanitized For Your Protection” seal on individual works when an artist might produce an equally compelling work taking the opposite tack (e.g., Heinlein’s defense of bureaucrats in Star Beast) and profit from slapping “from the blank-award-winning author” on the cover?

    • Birthday girl

      You’re talking about Ritual Purity then.

  6. Amen Sarah. It’s important to remember that we’re not beaten… yet. We need to keep fighting the good fight. Write what you want to write for as long as you can because changing minds has to be the goal.

  7. I don’t know from right or left, both sides have idiots. I know the left has more annoying i9diots normally but the right has their share. I managed to score perfectly yesterday. I was labeled both Arch-Conservative and Libtard by nuts on both sides.. What I find most annoying from either side is their bind conviction that their view is the only possibility and any deviation , no matter how little makes you anathema.

    • So, walk a mile in my boots, since I often find myself walking between worlds. That thing in Human Wave yesterday disappointed me. I was expecting the cartoon character to come back and say I didn’t collaborate in the Card smear because I was homophobic. I was waiting to pounce with evidence of my upfront support for gay marriage. Sigh. Cartoon character disappointed me.

      • Irony – card’s treatment of the homosexual scholar in his return to earth series was one of the first places I really was made to think about the implications, both in being treated as people, and for survival/etc…. I can lay a good deal of my accepting attitude on Cards doorstep.

        And yeah – I started out with a grandad who was born in Lithuania and lived through the Russian revolution, raised by very right wingers, went very left, gradually wobbled back to republicanish, then libertarianism. In each case the change spurred by not being able to accept the contradictions I saw (Nuke power, energy economics, the soviet gulag/etc. for leaving the left…)

    • yea– I know what you mean– been conservative until I realized that I wasn’t a true true believer, but I am a less of a believer in liberalism as practiced by the American political left. I thought I found a home in libertarianism until I realized that it had been infiltrated too. I just consider myself a Constitutionalist (lets get to the basics– and no I don’t agree with the slave trade in any form.)

    • As I’ve said before (and unfortunately will say again), it would be so much easier to be on my side if it wasn’t for a bunch of the people who say they’re on my side.

  8. I have despised cartoon character since she was a troublemaker on the bar

    • aye. I’ve had run ins. I’ve been informed I’m jealous of cartoon character’s superawesome talent, too. 😛

      • Ok, people are speaking in code again, and I’ve lost my codebook.

        • They’re afraid they will invoke her. PM me on FB and I’ll ‘splain.

          Also, perfect example she brought up of bigoted, intolerant bullying. Real shame what they’ve done to Card.

          On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

          > ** > Jasini commented: “Ok, people are speaking in code again, and I’ve lost > my codebook.” >

          • I’m also lost. Would you mind sending that explanation to robin.munn@gmail.com as well? (I’m not on Facebook, so a FB PM is out.)

          • email me too? someone? (mostly I wanna know where Human Wave got discussed, not Drama) Sabrina dot Chase at the gmail thingy.

            • Human Wave is a group on face book. If we’re FB friends, I’ll pull you in.

            • Okay, which of the ten Sabrina Chases are you?

              • I will contact for official permission to join. Yes, there are a few of us. I adore getting confused with the *other* Dr. Sabrina Chase, who is a sex therapist at Rutgers and ALSO has a book (nonfiction) on Amazon. To be fair, she’s probably pretty peeved at me too 😉

                • Yes, I found that one. Considered tweaking you on it. 😛
                  As I said, the realtor Sarah A. Hoyt, whose son Robert went to school with mine, who gives speeches for a group called Americans Against Taxation, and who, notwithstanding being a member of the League of Black Voters looks enough like me that our pharmacist confuses us (and so do casual acquaintances) must ADORE getting my books shoved at her to sign. (But, hey, she divorced HER Dan/or became widowed. He disappeared from the listing. And she never had a Marshall.) I wish I were joking. They traveled to Col Springs from NC ahead of us, with their infant, Robert, and their black cat. (I don’t know if the cat was named Pete. I don’t want to know. They stayed at the same hotels, but that might have been dictated by having a cat with them. We’d walk into the hotel and people would say “You’re back? Is something wrong.”) Were it not for that divorce/widowood thing and lack of a second son, I’d be afraid to meet her. Talk about an Earth Shattering Kaboom.

                  • Sorry to butt in /wiggling into the conversation. There is a realtor with my name with even the same middle name– wrong part of the country though. Plus there is a Cynthia who is a pastor, but she is the wrong color. 😉 And then when I was on Ramstein AFB people I never met before greeted me with my name. There was another woman who had my same name and looked like me. These people who didn’t know me would ask about my son Ed (my hubby uses a different nickname, but he would tell people who didn’t know him that his name was Ed). Plus the hubby doesn’t look like my son– *ding– either I am crazy or there is really a doppleganger out there with part of my life. lol

                  • Yay! I am not worthy, I am not worthy… right, now where is the fire alarm? 😀
                    Oh, and I nearly got Sabrina Chase #3 to pay for a flu shot. Went to the same clinic she was a long-time patient at, they say “we’ll bill your insurance” and I sez “I never told you about my insurance”. And given where I was at the time, statistically probable #3 was black, too…

                  • Birthday girl

                    Gosh, if you could find a way to partner and synergize with her … imagine the …

                  • After bootcamp, when I was in AT school, there was an AE who looked enough like me that my assigned roommates would mistake us if I wasn’t wearing my glasses; same first name, same last name, and she has the middle name I was going to have if my mom’s favorite aunt hadn’t died just before I was born.
                    We spent a lot of time walking to each other’s room to trade our mail back.

                    • I’ve heard of two women with the same name going to the same college and were asked whether they would be willing to be in the same dorm.

                      They wanted to be roommates, to sort out the mail issues.

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    While I have been “seen” in several places I was nowhere near at the time (Still don’t know what’s going on there. Once it was a group of my friends who maintain to this day that I was at a strip poker game with them – I only wish.), there are precious few Waynes in my area, and none with my full name.

                  • OK, that’s just creepy.

                    The closest I come to that is a musician with exactly my name who lived within commuting range of where I used to live, until a couple of guys murdered him. (Which means that now, when you google my real name, all but one of the links on the first two pages are about him and/or the consequences of the crime against him (ie, him being missing, him turning up dead, the hunt for the killers, and their arrest, trial, and sentencing), instead of me. Which, given what used to come up out of the same search in the days before getting killed made that dude a lot more famous than playing music ever had, is probably a blessing for me in the modern job market.)

                    But a person with my name, whose ex-spouse had the same name as my current one, who lived in the same metro area, had a kid with the same name (if I had any kids) and had roughly comparable political beliefs? _That_ would keep me on a 24/7 hunt for Rod Serling.

                    • As I said, we could probably meet her with a little effort, but it scares me. The first hint we had she had come here — not Denver — was that people kept congratulating me on the speeches I’d given. So we researched.
                      BTW, we’re fairly sure her husband got the job Dan applied for and got told in a baffled tone “But we’re already hiring you.”
                      My theory is that we somehow twined coming here. Some DanandSarah from another dimension crossed over. This of course makes me wonder what happened to Dan.

                    • He had a goatee.

            • Sabrina, link emailed…

            • Since everybody else has a copy of the codebook already, could someone send me one so I don’t feel left out? 😦 travisletteer-at-yahoo-dot-com.

          • I’m on facebook (spike.souders) but don’t know who you are on facebook. Can I get a copy of the code book also.

          • can you let me know what was up too? my name as seen above @ gmail. Thanks

        • Cedar responded to me. It wasn’t the first person who came immediately to my mind, but it was the second, unfortunately. She is still on the bar, with a different name, but rarely posts as far as I can tell.

      • Seriously, You are jealous of HER!?!?

  9. I’ve pretty much always been conservative, except for that one semester in college that I leaned a little left out of self-defense (my roommate, bless her heart, was a sociology major). I tried to at least try to act like I was following the approved thoughts but I found that my tolerance for BS was too low and I ended up arguing. A lot. What I learned was that a lot of professors get really irritated if you actually have evidence for your argument they haven’t pre-approved. And, also, if you make a habit of arguing with your professors in class, other smart-asses will start bringing in popcorn.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m just an odd duck but I never really had much interest in “making it” in any traditional sense in a traditional field. If I was going to do something, I was going to do it on my terms and the rest of the world can either come with me or screw off. Yes, this makes things about 10 times harder and I get tired but the results are much more satisfying.

    What I’ve seen, and this may be colored by the myths you talked about, is that the so-called “liberals” are more vocal. I know I wasn’t terribly vocal about my political beliefs until recently and I’ve surprised a few friends who knew I was a Republican by fighting back against some of the incredibly ignorant, hateful things they’ve said.

  10. William O. B'Livion

    I have a Bachelors of Fine Art from a rather prestigious art school. Prior to transferring to that school I was studying Poetry.

    I never had a heart. I’m comfortable with that.

    I don’t do that stuff for a living because I was lousy with clients (the Art Degree) and I want to eat (poetry).

    And yes, Mr. McCoy, we are beaten. We’ve been out maneuvered, out organized and out propagandized. We’re low on ammo and our walls are breached. All that’s left is to fix bayonets and go down fighting.

    • This is not what beaten looks like. Beaten is the Gulags. We are not beaten. Get up out of the floor.

      • William O. B'Livion

        No, beaten is not the Gulags.

        Beaten is not needing the Gulags.

        • H*ll, William, the Gulags STILL weren’t beaten. They still tried/are trying to get freedom back. You’re spitting in the eye of everyone in other countries in much worse situations who kept on fighting. Get up off the FLOOR!

          • Some of my best friends and coworkers are escapees from the Soviet block. You have to keep fighting or the whole thing is pointless. If you get a chance to have contact with the reality of the end state of the left yo come to understand that.

              • Don’t thank me, thank all those people with the courage to escape that kind of tyrrany and talk about it. I think that if yo can’t live it, at least you should have long conversations with those who have. My friend Art, who came from Communist Poland is a case in point. He is the biggest NRA Member gun owner, Republican, Tea party type you can imagine simply becuase he knows where the other side will end up. It was my pleasure to share an office with him for three years.

                • Yes, but thank you for saying it.

                • William O. B'Livion

                  Where are we going to escape to?

                  And how do *their* children vote?

                  My wife’s family emigrated from Poland in the 50s or 60s.

                  Some of them ARE STILL SOCIALISTS, and they’re kids are serious liberal/progressives.

                  • We’re not going to escape anywhere. Look, the reason it looks this bad is that they know they’re losing. Yes, they’re indoctrinating kids. It’s not taking. Not after thirty. It never does. About 1/4 will always be socialists. Europe is different. We subsidize them so they can be “progressives” — this too shall pass.
                    When the left is losing it gets loud and aggressive. I’ve seen it over and over again. They know they’re losing. The new tech is stacked against them, and genii never go back in the bottle.
                    I am not done with America — it is, it always was, it remains, the last great hope of mankind. Fight for it, stop weaseling.

                    • Jeff Mauldin

                      I have to admit that it bothers me how “in the tank” lots of silicon valley types were for Obama. And boy did Romney’s crew bomb with social media and GOTV. On the other hand, it may have been superior GOTV that defeated dems in 2004.

                    • Sigh. I think ORCA was infiltrated. I have reason to think that and will discuss in PM. It’s not a wonder, Jeff. when I came here 28 years ago, it was already bon ton and a mark of social advancement to believe “progressive” stuff. Even those who don’t are afraid to get caught not believing it. But it’s breaking, you know — I’ve said it before, the civil war in SF is a sign of this. Ten years ago, Card would just be blacklisted. Ten years ago, this administration would be considered the greatest success evah — and it might sound like that if you listen to the mainstream media, but it’s not playing well in the trenches, if you listen at your grocery store.
                      Right now they still have the power to destroy, but if it worked as well as it used to, things like the CO law wouldn’t be pushed through. They cheated massively and won by just over 100K votes in CO — my guess is the real victory went massively the other way. They know it. They’re scared.
                      Back in 04 a good friend of mine from Heinlein fandom told me “They always scream loudest and sound most confident when they’re losing.” — I’ve since had occasion to see he was right.

                  • One thing I will never get. Growing up with a Lithuanian grandad who got stuck living through the russian revolution and parents who were brought out out one step ahead of the Russian army at the end of WWII, is how many of the “kids” my age and younger are very, very liberal/socialist in their acceptance of big government/etc. Their parents and grandparents had run away from “the govenrment knows better than you do” to the tune of tens of millions dead, and they couldn’t draw the connection.

                  • Some of them ARE STILL SOCIALISTS, and they’re kids are serious liberal/progressives.

                    There are people who still think that the moon landings were faked. Attributed to President Lincoln:

                    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  A former co-worker of mine, who is from Russia, is largely the same way.

            • Birthday girl

              Yes, thank you, maybe we’ll go down, but it will be fighting. Who wants to look God in the eye and say “I gave up” or “I was too tired.”

              • Or worse “what difference does it make, anyway?”

              • If nothing else, it remains better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

                I for one am hoping it doesn’t come to martyrdom. But if it does…well, so be it. No surrender. No retreat.

                But I’m with Sarah. Nobody who’s actually strong ever spends as much effort and time in pounding their chests as the progressives are doing now.

            • Ah, well, from someone who escaped the Commies in the Spanish Civil War:

              At any rate, spring is here, even in London N. 1, and they can’t stop you enjoying it. This is a satisfying reflection. How many a time have I stood watching the toads mating, or a pair of hares having a boxing match in the young corn, and thought of all the important persons who would stop me enjoying this if they could. But luckily they can’t. So long as you are not actually ill, hungry, frightened or immured in a prison or a holiday camp, spring is still spring. The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it. George Orwell

              Great against totalitarianism, not so sound on economics. Pity he died when he did. Given that his letters and essays show he could revise his views under pressure, who knows how he would have ended up?

              • Dunno – but even now the myth of “Spanish fascists bad, commies good” lives on. Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark – and eventually nihilistic fairy tale, but well told. The background assumptions and characters definitely take sides in the fascists vs communists though.

                • When escapees from Communism wonder how he could grasp the atmosphere so well. . . .

                  On the other hand, Franco’s side was indeed staging a military coup.

                  On the third hand, the reason why they were staging them was the cold-blooded murder of a prominent conservative politican by policemen who were never punished.

                  • IIRC that murder was the tip of the iceberg. The Lefties in Spain, prior to the start of the Spanish Civil War, were using intimidation tactics against Spanish moderates. Franco himself wasn’t a fascist but while using the Spanish fascists kept them under tight control. Unlike the “Republic Forces” who even when the war was going on purged their own side of people who weren’t “True Lefties”.

                    Interestingly, any help the “Republic” got from Stalin was paid for in Spanish Gold. Franco only had to promise to repay Germany and Italy.

                • And this is why we need to write stories and put pins in those balloons.

                  • Bingo. We don’t fight this with bullets. We fight it with words – with good stories told as well as we can.

                    • My only regret is that it’s a slow fight. We might not see the other side.

                    • Slow fight, yes, as its gone on for pretty much all of recorded history. Same old story, different milieu.

                    • Gnardo Polo

                      Despair not, Sarah. All theses fights seem agonizingly slow until some critical point is reached, when everything changes in an instant. Think Berlin Wall. All the stories we put out into the world just add pressure to make that sucker fall, and when it goes, it will shock the world.

          • William O. B'Livion

            The last battle hasn’t been fought, but the troops are on the field of battle and the order is set.

            We have Republicans in congress about trying to legalize 11 to 30 million new center to hard left voters.

            We have scandals like LIBOR coming out once or twice a year.

            The amount of regulation in this country is *staggering*. HIPPA, SOX, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, etc. etc. etc.

            The SCOTUS hasn’t even ruled on Gay Marriage yet, and the poly crowd is starting their push for legalization–which means 2 generations until child brides.

            The Left has given up everything but the pretense of legitimate elections, and as this becomes more clear people will continue losing faith in the process and in the results.

            China is starting to both break down economically AND trying to take a more aggressive “world power” stance. But they can’t (or won’t) even control that little starvation hole next door.

            “We” have lost the Universities, then we gave up the primary and secondary schools.

            Our government has decided that Muslims need more guns, but evangelical Christians, TEA Party types and people like me are Terrorists.

            Our President and his sidekick the Secretary of State LIE TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC about an easily verified event AND THE MEDIA REFUSES TO CALL THEM ON IT FOR 8 MONTHS, and are STILL trying to cover for them. That 4 American citizens died just makes it worse. Another US resident remains in jail because he had the temerity to oppose Islam w/out having a perfectly clean record. And the media is COMPLETELY silent about this.

            Two American Libertarians consider buying a major market newspaper and the chattering classes go of the deep end.

            It is now almost *routine* that leftists in the media ranging from Warmists to anti-gunners call for those of us on the “right” to be interred in Gulags (http://www.aurorasentinel.com/opinion/perry-we-can-only-save-ourselves-from-kidnappers-at-the-nra/ for a local example).

            The idiots in the Treasury “stress tested” a bunch of community banks under the “Too Big To Fail” crap and shut them down. These were the banks that primarily serviced the small and midsized companies, who are now having a HELL of a time finding money to grow their businesses. Big companies don’t create many jobs–they move them around and “create efficiencies” which means they either shed jobs, or they move the jobs around.

            We’re not training nearly enough STEM types to keep up with demand, but every time we try to correct that the weasels on the “soft” side whine because Art is important too.

            No one ever died because the quality of a painting wasn’t up to snuff. Well, except maybe the artist. But bridges? The code that runs an MRI or a pacemaker?

            No, we’re well and truly screwed.

            And no, I’m not “on the floor”. I’m getting ready to raise the Jolly Roger. It’s over, America is *done*. I’m heavily armed, and I’ll fight, but not for this country any more. I’m fighting for my family and my tribe.

            These loser idiots aren’t my tribe.

            • We have Republicans in congress about trying to legalize 11 to 30 million new center to hard left voters.

              Of course they are; they’ve been told on one side that this will make the illegals love them, or at least not hate them so much, and on the other they’ve been told that SoLib/FisCon is the future, and those guys don’t like borders. (And, honestly, the loud Libertarians support that.)

              We also have Republicans fighting them instead of going along to get along.

            • When you are in the middle of a fight it can be very hard to see what the actual outcome will be. Ever consider how it looked to the founders when they saw the position of their forces as the fall of 1776 drew to a close? Frankly, even after the victory at Trenton things were not much improved.

            • Rob Crawford

              “We’re not training nearly enough STEM types to keep up with demand…”

              Ask around, you’ll be told that’s what China and India are for.

              Then you’ll hear the same people rant about how there aren’t any decent, high-paying jobs in the US anymore…

              • William O. B'Livion

                I’ve worked with those “engineers” from China and India.

                Phuq No I’m not driving on that bridge.

          • Did the gulag beat Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn or did he beat them? 😉

            • Gnardo Polo

              Remember the Alamo. The Texans went up against the Mexicans, and lost and lost. But all it took was one final battle to change everything.

              • In spite of wins for the Texans at Concepcion and the Siege of Bexar the previous fall the Mexican government was not about to release the Texas territory. A determined Santa Ana marched a sizable army across a desert during winter for a spring reprisal. When they hit they hit hard. For weeks while the spring rains came pouring down Sam Houston had the Texans retreat before the far greater forces of the Mexican army under Santa Ana, which had plowed through from Goliad to the Alamo. Meanwhile Houston reorganized, trained and collected supplies for his men. Eventually Santa Ana’s army was caught in a position that was favorable for attack and the Texans routed them.

                Yet another lesson in not judging the conclusion of a matter while still in progress.

    • Andrew Drummond

      “All that’s left is to fix bayonets and go down fighting.”

      Contra that, Chamberlain at Gettysburg. By all means fix bayonets.

    • If that’s true then make mine a K-Bar and I’ll see you on the other side. OTOH I don’t think it’s too late. Pick yourself up, grab onto something that matters to you and stand your ground, friend. We’ll be right there next to you helping you hold on.

    • “All that’s left is to fix bayonets and go down fighting.”
      A couple of weeks late for Camerone day. c.f. Pournelle(or wikipedia.)

    • Jeff Gauch

      “We’ve been out maneuvered, out organized and out propagandized. We’re low on ammo and our walls are breached.”

      The poor bastards.

      • They’ll never see us coming!

      • “They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor bastards.”
        General Creighton Williams Abrams Jr.

      • If we are truly conquered, I shall go to ground, where I shall raise up an army that cannot be defeated — an army strengthened by the words of the Founders, and armed with the banners of justice.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          a) The clip Kratman sometimes pulls up for times like this, from, IIRC, Galaxy Quest, is appropriate.
          b) The United States, originally and at heart, is a mental quality. As long as I cultivate this in myself, the United States cannot fully pass from this world so long as I live.
          c) I am not on this Earth to cleave to my enemies, to make myself easy meat for them to prey on. I am not here to lift a finger helping them in their work.
          d) I have long standing deep and fundamental philosophical disagreement with certain actions. I am the only one who can compromise my own principles by endorsing them. No one can coerce me if the things under their power are not things that I let myself care about to that degree.
          e) When has giving up merely because things are difficult ever done any good? Paine on the fair weather friend, and the summer soldier. We may love winners, but someone who does stuff when they win, and gives up when they lose is a loser. Also appropriate may be that thing that Caesar arranged for one of his Centurions to say during one of the mutinies of the civil war.

    • Jeff Gauch

      So, Willy, what was it you were saying about us being beaten?

  11. Of course the suits we want to dress in hark back to 1776. VERY conservative – I’m a cynical one.

    I want to see this! Dressing your men in lace ruffs, knee breeches, stockings and pumps, with pegged hair? Are you going to opt for formal frock coat and weskit are layers of embroidered silk or do you lean towards plain Quaker woolen broadcloth? (I admit that I can’t quite see you embracing the restrictions of stays.) 😉

    • Dorothy Grant

      Why do I now want to confuse the steampunk cosplayers by showing up with a period-appropriate costume for 1776 the musical?

      • Robert is drawing an awesome poster, called Three if by air, with British airships looming behind Paul Revere. We’re considering doing an anthology of revolutionary era steampunk… Possible just en-famile, because of time stuff.

        • Possible just en-famile, because of time stuff.

          I know your workload is crazy, and I would never want to burden you with more. HOWEVER — revolutionary steampunk is a concept made of pure win, and I would certainly purchase such an anthology if it were made available to the general public. 😉

          • We’re thinking four novellas of around 20k words each. I mean, we have four writers in this family…

          • Can I either throw money your way or some such?

            • No, no. It’s a project for the summer. The kids’ classes end this next week, and then depending on summer classes (the younger one decided he’d like to finish course in three years for various reasons, and older one needs to take some summer stuff so he can take another bs in a year — chemistry) we’ll get started on it.

              • Dorothy Grant

                Good luck to them on their finals!

              • You mean he doesn’t get enough bs at school, so he has to go back in the summer to get more?

                • LOL. Well, younger son found that since he took his last two years in high school as dual college (the only years he was happy in k-12. I.e. not bored silly) he has most of a year’s credits already. If he takes one or two classes in summer, he can then graduate in two years, instead of in two. Since he’s hoping (supposing his issues with tests don’t derail him) to get a masters in aerospace engineering this would give him the chance to be done at around 22. It seems worth it. On the other hand the older one is hoping to enter med school but thinks it worth it to have a dual bs in bio and chem (chem is in demand for the petroleum industry among others) so if he doesn’t enter or if laws make it untenable to have a career in medicine h has a fall back point. He can do that in a year, but it requires a few credits in summer.

        • Ooooh… make the submarine steampunk-y, and it’s even cooler….

          • Faex sanctus! How did I not know about the Turtle before?

            Thanks, Foxfier; you just made my day.

            • Hunley may be more appropriate.

            • Yay! The Navy’s history classes came in useful!

            • (….is my search translation of “holy poop!” roughly accurate?)

              • Yeah. I sort-of stole this one from someone (I think it was Howard Tayler), except that he used “Sanctum Excrementum” and I figured if I was going to swear in Latin, I wanted to swear in grammatically correct Latin.

                Besides, quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur, so I’ll probably be able to get away with this one in most places. I’ll just keep an eye out for who collapses with laughter nearby — I figure the phrase’ll be a decent Odd finder.

                • Or home schooled Catholic finder, at least. (I kinda hope for my girls to be able to “get” it by the time they graduate. Note: the eldest is practicing kindergarden school on the TV computer and failing to recognize the number six, or the concept of math beyond “I want more jellybeans.” There’s time.)

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  I think your grammar is wrong.

                  Per my dictionary, your shit is female.

                  So, if the adjective needs to agree in gender, and I think it does, I suspect sancta is more correct.

                  • Hmm, a quick burst of Google-fu suggests you may be right about that. I’ll double-check as best I can (I do have a friend who’s actually taken Latin*) before I use this one in public.

                    * I remember him showing off his copy of Cattus Petasatus, and reading a few pages to our circle of friends. Very fun evening, that was.

        • ooooh. . .

          (My muse is naturally off chasing butterflies rather than finding it an interesting notion. Muses!)

          • my muse is busily writing poetry (is not interested in story right now — ARG) and I am battling my insurance company—AGAIN

            • I’m FINALLY writing again. Downside of being female — I’m hitting hormonal squid patches. Possibly worsened by the fact that my hormones were ALWAYS iffy. I’ve spent the last month or so unable to read something more than four pages long — I couldn’t remember it. And while the writing was there, it wouldn’t come to fingers. ARGH.

        • I can help put the steam in the steampunk, though I will have to dig deep to get the references I would need. About ten years or so i went on one of my book buying binges for steam eninges, early industrial revolution and the people involved. A lot of interesting stuff happened just after the Revolution.

          • My younger son has been addicted to books on how things work, including but not limited to steam engines since he was about six.

            • My book at six was of all things a WW2 book on air strategy and tactics. So, by seven or so I knew how to ambush out of the sun, break flight for an attack and line up bombing runs for the greatest effect. I threw the book out in my teens, ripped to shreds and haven’t been able to remember the title. I think it was an air force training manual becuase , but I haven’t run into since. Was nicely illustrated with comic style art.

      • I will be played by William Daniels.

      • Oo! Oo! Oo! Mr. Kotter! I got a clever and cunning plan. (OK, that is a mixed cultural reference if ever there was one — so sue me, sue me, what can you do me…)

        Flash mob 1776!

        • I have the garb (correct to the F&I era) so where are we meeting?

          On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 10:12 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

          > ** > CACS commented: “Oo! Oo! Oo! Mr. Kotter! I got a clever and cunning > plan. (OK, that is a mixed cultural reference if ever there was one — so > sue me, sue me, what can you do me…) Flash mob 1776!” >

          • Suspect the best candidate as a place for it would be LibertyCon. I wish I could join. For reasons too numerous to explain, The Family would not be able to join in the foreseeable future. Sigh.

      • There was a decidedly steampunk Anime, Last Exile, that had a steam powered airship manned by soldiers whose uniforms resembled those of the European late 18th century.

        • With refereed warfare. That’s a cool series, taking place on a generation ship that’s lost the fact that the people are on a gerneation ship for the most part, with the war over control of the enviromental systems that have broken down.

          • Ack! Spoilers!

            Wait, that was a ship? Because everything I’d read on the ending said that it was a crazily shaped planet. But a ship makes so much more sense.

  12. I think that one reason that the left seems to have the creative side is they control the outlets for entertainment and the arts. But you get into engineering, say and you clusters of a more conservative outlook. I’m an engineer, but that isn’t all of me. and even then there are jobs I have to be leary of. I would love to work at Fisher Price, say, but will my attitude and politcs work against me or will i have to worry about stealthing myself. What happens if they find my online self? That’s the mess all creatives have to face. We have to make ourselves less than we are to work in a society that doesn’t want excellence, but does want widget people. I don’t think that it’s an accident that everything the mainstream produces is so bland.

    • This is the question, isn’t it? Stealth yourself or be out in the open? I think my own limited openness may have had an impact on me getting work here in the area, but… (Yeah, there may be a youtube video out there of me on the Texas Capitol steps.)

      But screw that. My pioneer ancestors would be ashamed of me if I rolled over. If anything, it’s time to be out: loud and proud. And a good example for others who need our support.

      I come here because occasionally I need encouragement – and have been reading our fair hostess’s blog posts for months before I started commenting. It becomes, at some point, our responsibility to do as much of that as we can for others. Not necessarily through blogging, or through stories, but as we each individually know how and are moved to help.

      • That’s what I thought — that the time had come where if I didn’t stand now I wouldn’t be able to look my hypothetical grandchildren in the eye when they asked “how did things get this bad?”

  13. A chance encounter: A woman who scheduled my next appointment with the doctor mentioned that she liked old sci-fi (Asimov and Heinlein) so I gave her a bunch of people who wrote human wave sci-fi including Sarah– She was so excited. Last remark was how much she hated the NEW dystopia sci-fi.

    • Darkship Thieves, available in a handy convenient mmpb edition, makes a lovely gift for family, friends and chance acquaintances. Check with Sarah or Baen for possible bulk purchase discount.

      • I’m Sarah A. Hoyt, and I approve this message. Also, I did not pay this wallaby to say this.

      • ROFL– do you know how many people lately I have been pointing towards Human Wave sci-fi/fantasy? a lot Do you know that I am not supposed to be around large groups of people? 😉

        • Dorothy Grant

          I have been pointing people at Sarah Hoyt and Larry Correia… if one doesn’t get ’em, the other will!

          • thumbs, toes, fingers, unknown digits up 😉 (don’t ask)

            • Dorothy Grant

              And then, once they’re hooked, I recommend Mike Willianson. Taking him cold if you’re used to leftist scifi is like giving a glass of good whiskey to someone used to soda pop; it’s better to ease ’em in with a rum and coke, and then introduce them to the wonders of good bourbon.

              • Sniffle. I’d say I was at least port. SNIFFLE. My oldest thinks my books are libertarian tracts. (Rolls eyes.)

              • Ummm.. I haven’t read him.

                • Start with Monster Hunter International, Buckle your seat belt and hang on. Unless you meant Williamson, in which case start with Freehold

                  • Just finished MHI (and sequels) got the hubby interested in it as well. 😉

                  • I approve this message. I actually think MadMike may be more prone to causing liberal heads to explode than the Colonel, because they can simply write the Colonel of as typifying everything they hate. While Mike agrees with enough of their ‘claimed’ ideals that they can’t understand how someone can do that and still hold the other beliefs he holds.

          • And some might like us both. Good strategy that.

  14. I have to say that, although my parents, my Catholicism, and a friend in a different grade influenced me in conservatism, it was Allan Drury’s novels that are really at the root of a lot of my politics.

    The man was an old Washington reporter, and although he wrote satire/adventure novels, they were pretty much grounded on real things that had happened o the way things tended to work in politics in his day. (He was also one of the few to predict the fall of the Soviet Union, although he hedged his bets by ending his main series with two alternate world novels: one where the USSR collapsed and freedom won; and one where we got conquered and had to fight back, which allowed him to kill off a lot of his annoying characters in a fitting way.) Of course, the treat for any USAian is the lyrical passages of love for America in all her flaws and glories.

    You’ll probably only be able to find Advise and Consent, but there’s a lot of good stuff. His nonfiction is also excellent.Check your library’s back stacks.

  15. You would post this the day I wanted to hurl a world history textbook out a window. Not only does the format leave a lot to be desired, but the tweaking of history makes my jaws ache. Since I’m subbing, I can’t tell the students flat out “this, this, and this are incorrect” because then they’ll do badly on the tests. But I’m trying to nudge them to look more closely. Blagh, textbook writers who grind axes.

    • I don’t know, I once had a sub that said, “this, this, and this are incorrect; but since the test was written by people who read this book instead of actually knowing their history you need to answer this, this, and this, to pass the test.” At the very least it made the students perk up and pay attention, and probably stuck in their mind strictly from the novelty of having a teacher tell them the book was wrong.

      • Other lessons were taught. The authorities do not always have or hold to the right answers, so don’t believe everything they tell you. Those in authority want the answers they want, therefore the right answers will not always get you good grades. So, sometimes, in order to get your certification, you give them what they want and get out of there.

  16. The downside of my starting to think about (US) politics (which didn’t happen until I was 23, newly married, unemployed, with a lot of time on my hands to think) is that I’ve gotten hyper-sensitive to any whiff of a political agenda in my entertainment. Sometimes I’m able to push past it, other times I’m completely turned off by an unnecessary line that’s only there to score a political point.

    DH and I are watching Dr. Who (the new series) recently. I can’t help the eyeroll whenever Dr. Who extols the virtues of the NHS or shudders at the thought of Margaret Thatcher. Seriously? You’re a thousand-years-old alien lifeform and you hold all the in-vogue politically-correct ideological positions of a liberal Englishman?

    • Of course. Because they’re “correct” see? Head desk — oh, look, dent.
      I have serious issues with stupid politics in my entertainment. I’m very sensitive to them. This means most TV can’t be watched…

      • Rob Crawford

        “You’re a thousand-years-old alien lifeform and you hold all the in-vogue politically-correct ideological positions of a liberal Englishman?”

        A sign of regeneration dementia. The Fourth Doctor thwarted a closet-fascist group of “scientists” intent on ruling the world; the latest one would listen to them blather about Global Warming, get all angsty, and help them.

        • Well, the earlier Doctors were used to do a bit of puncturing of everybody’s sacred cows (most of the time) and were sort of Chestertonian about it (which is probably why Ian the companion had that last name). Every so often they’d do something “hip,” like the Erich Von Daniken thing from the Third Doctor or the horrendous candy episode in the days of the Seventh, but usually the political position was Puckish.

        • Oooh, “regeneration dementia”. I like that!

          A month ago I picked up what looked like a promising series of SF novels about exploring/colonizing some of the other planets and moons in the solar system. Silly me, what they were *actually* about was the evils of global warming and religious people. Totally disappointing.

          Science books and documentaries are also big offenders. Can’t I just enjoy a show about penguins or whales or Venus without being made to feel guilty for being human and using up gas to drive to the store for milk?

          • The “future evolution” show was repulsive. GRRR.

          • Dorothy Grant

            Are we really sure this is the Doctor? GIven some of his latest actions, I’m going with the theory that the Master had regeneration-induced trauma and amnesia, and has decided he is the Doctor. Explains a lot of “Doctor Who’s” actions lately…

            • Was it as obvious with the 9th and 10th Doctors? At least in the episodes Stephen Moffat wasn’t involved in?

              • OMG! Somebody else who believes in the “really the Master” theory! Yay! (It’s the delusions of grandeur that give it away. And Moffat’s novel claimed that the Master _also_ kinda liked Sarah Jane, so there’s absolutely no obstacle there.)

      • Jeff Gauch

        I recently started watching “Continuum” on Netflix. It’s a future-cop-in-the-present show that’s fairly conservative politically. The bad guys are a gang of OWS-style terrorists (in the future the government is totally captured by the corporations – due to budget crises, natch – but isn’t dystopian by any stretch) and the most recent episode I watched had the main character talk someone out of an abortion. Of course, the fetus in question was the main character’s mother, but it still showed that being single and pregnant wasn’t the end of the world.

        There are some severe plot holes, like a preternatural knowledge of the day-to-day events of the past and odd tech vulnerabilities, but for TV sci-fi it’s pretty good. Doesn’t hurt that the main character also played Uhura’s roommate in the recent Star Trek reboot (alas, less green and more clothed).

        • Rob Crawford

          “like a preternatural knowledge of the day-to-day events of the past”

          Access to a Twitter archive, obviously.

          • Jeff Gauch

            I would actually like it if a later episode showed the bad guys had brought some kind of archive back with them. The level of detail they have about the past is seriously bugging me, if the writers deliberately set up and then solve the plot hole I will make a pilgrimage to their offices and make many burnt offerings.

      • I imagine that by now the surface of your desk resembles hammered metal.

        • fortunately it’s oak. He who looks after ditsy writer — husband, not G-d. I mean, they both qualify, but… — got me a GOOD oak desk seven years ago. Harder to dent, dents smaller.
          I once did break a walnut chair with a punch after receiving a stupid rejection. It was a very stupid rejection…

          • Ah, so now I am left with the conclusion that you are hard headed, as well as stubborn. 😉

            It must have been a very stoopid rejection to sacrifice a walnut chair to it.

            • Worse, it was Dan’s grandfather’s desk chair. (We still have the desk.) I didn’t think it would break.
              It was. It told me there were no ruins in Greece in the first century AD and a lot of like stuff…

    • Among its other flaws. . . you know in the old series, the plots were more ramshackle, they never had enough extras to make any crowd scene convincing, the settings were terrible, the FX were a joke, and they had a heck of a lot more fun.

      Also, you had a lot more variety in the companions.

      • Much the same thing happened to Star Trek as it became more successful and got more financial support. TOS had some pretty flimsy settings and effects, but the stories challenged accepted wisdom and made you think. And you *cared* about the characters. But when ST:TNG came out, while the effects were better, the corners all seemed to be rounded off the storylines. And it just kept getting more and more politically correct with every iteration, with nothing that made you really feel any passion, until I found I simply couldn’t care about it enough to spend my time watching any more. I couldn’t imagine Enterprise coming up with an equivalent of “Let This Be Your Last Battlefield.”

        • stephaniesouders

          I’m going to have to disagree somewhat with your assessment of the Trek franchise. There were quite a few DS9 episodes that were FAR from “politically correct” (for example, any episode that featured Kira being religious WITHOUT her being painted as mentally deficient). You’re basically right about the other modern Treks, though.

          • ST:DS9 was a different Trek, alright. NG had some fine episodes — I particularly enjoyed the deeper explorations of Klingon culture and concepts of Honor. But DS9 enjoyed a general complexity that merited it being considered “Casablanca in the stars.” It’s explorations of the Ferengi (originally a crude antisemitic cartoon), Bajoran, Cardassian cultures, as well as those on the other side of the wormhole.

            A particular favorite episode is “Tribunal”, wherein Chief O’Brien is subjected to a Cardassian trial and where we learn the Cardassian purpose for trials is not Justice but political order. While I felt the mirror universe storyline was revisited too often and the Bajoran mysticism a bit heavy-handed, the recurring exploration of the consequences of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor and the delicate dance of codependency in the face of a mutual enemy.

            DS9 expressed a depth and complexity generally missing from post-OS visions, a fact which may have contributed to its being, according to Wikipedia, “the most commercially successful Star Trek series.”

      • Rob Crawford

        “Also, you had a lot more variety in the companions.”

        The male companions weren’t universally losers, the female companion’s love interest, gay, or all of the above.

        Also, most of the story lines were “here’s this problem, minor on the scale of all of time and space, and the Doctor sticks in his nose”. There WERE epic, “or the universe ends” stories, but not every season.

  17. Stephen J.

    “Nine times out of ten, from my own experience, it’s not done as much through ‘this person can do this this and this and this one can’t’ but through ‘this person causes me less heartburn.'”

    But what if the two reasons are, in fact, correlated? And not arbitrarily so? “Leftists are more creative” is a dodgy statement; “The experiences that facilitate artistic creativity have a non-coincidental overlap with the experiences that foster leftist politics” I would say is less so.

    I wrote once on why I thought many SF&F fangeeks found leftism so appealing, as follows: “A sizeable number of them [including myself here] were pariahs among their school-age peers, which tends to instill a contempt for popular opinions and tastes, and got along better with their teachers than their peers and sought refuge with those teachers from bullying, which tends to instill a liking for the idea of elite authorities who can regulate undesireable behaviour. A smaller but still depressingly significant number come from broken or unhappy (sometimes even abusive) homes, which tends to instill a disgust with the notion of ‘traditional families’. All these reactions can be aggravated if the nascent fangeek is (like most fangeeks) genuinely smarter, or more imaginative and creative, than the peers or family members who tormented them. As a result, fangeeks tend to be quite instinctively sympathetic to the idea that a small group of gifted people can do a better job running society than the general public can if left to itself, and to the ideas of paying restitution to marginalized minorities and using the law to compel de-marginalization. ‘We would never have done to others what you ‘ordinary people’ did to us,’ goes the instinctive reaction, ‘and we will change the rules so nobody can ever do it again.'”

    If one views leftism as, essentially, technocracy — the belief that society will work better with “experts” in charge — then the overlap between those excluded for their creativity or unusual interests, and those who see that exclusion as a fundamental injustice in society and adopt law as the process of redeeming it, is fairly blatant, I think.

    • Yes, but no. I had all those experiences backwards and sideways (I was the scourge of bullies because my dad had instilled knightly ethics in me — :/ and while the family wasn’t broken there were reasons that I grew up a lot on my own, and also that I was ostracized in middle school. The thing is almost everyone but a small minority had these experiences. And the ones who weren’t bullied tend to be left, anyway. It’s impossible to tell because of the tragedy of the squid farms (i.e. if something was prevented from happening, you can’t tell if it would have happened) but I would make a strong bet that creativity and arts are divided equally across the spectrum. The ones that stay in, the ones you hear about are left, but judging by the pathetic levels of achievement there … well… they’re not being picked for quality!

      • Stephen J.

        ” The thing is almost everyone but a small minority had these experiences. And the ones who weren’t bullied tend to be left, anyway.”

        Are you talking about people in general, artists in general, or SF&F geeks in general?

        “I would make a strong bet that creativity and arts are divided equally across the spectrum.”

        They are, in potential at least; but I have to say that in my experience and observation, a profound dissatisfaction with the world as it is is something of a prerequisite to getting into creating fictional ones for a living. The leftism comes in when one buys into the convictions that (a) the source of the dissatisfaction is other people being stupid (which is very easy for artists to believe as most of them have lots of experience to this point) and (b) it is possible to make people better, or get the right people in charge if you can’t, by telling a compelling enough story (which is very desireable for artists to *want* to believe, as it gives them a sense of personal purpose and importance). Not a necessary or causal connection, but certainly a very strong and non-arbitrary correlation, I’d suggest.

        • I meant with people in general. As for profound dissatisfaction with the world, you just described people who are NOT teacher’s pets. I.e. conservatives, who had to hide and stealth to even get diplomas if they woke early enough. (And being anti-communist in Europe, I count.) You’re going with the very odd idea that conservatives are happy with the status quo? WHY?

          • Stephen J.

            No, I said (or meant to say, evidently not thinking things through enough) was that dissatisfaction with the status quo drives you into *both* art *and* politics, but that if you want to use your art *in* your politics, radical leftism (with all its entailed theories of how image is reality and language controls thought and truth is only what you can make people believe it is) gives you a much more well-established theoretical matrix to combine the two.

            If one believes that leftist progressivism is about trying new things and traditionalist conservatism is preserving the old ones, then artists and intellectuals who value novelty for its own sake also have a natural orientation towards the former over the latter. (These beliefs are not necessarily *correct*, but they are how many novices to the positions perceive them; bear in mind that “conservatism” is often come to in later life, only after people have made enough mistakes to start appreciating the tried-and-true.)

            And believe me, it is *very* possible to be a teacher’s pet and still be miserable about the world; good relationships with authority figures don’t compensate for poor peer relationships, they only mitigate it somewhat. One thing that fosters the leftist affinity for totalitarian authority is a profound distrust for peer-cooperative relationships, and that distrust very often comes from personal bad experience with the latter, or even just lack of experience.

            • Yes, but trust me — when people in the old days (pre blogs) reached the point that they went “I don’t care if I’m the only person who thinks this, the status quo is WRONG” they don’t really care what the models are, and they’re going to go out there and kick butt. Given the same innate creativity, a few of them would have burst big on the scene, and my guess is would have but for gatekeeping.
              It’s all theoretical, of course — I mean, I can’t prove that the money we’ve spent on welfare would have funded squid farms to feed the hungry. And you can’t prove it wouldn’t have.
              However, let indie find its feet. (Remember even I was only turned on to this less than 2 years ago.) We’ll see who the first goat to emerge is.

            • By our Institutions d’Arte defining “Art” according to edginess and challenging rather than uplifting the human condition, we ensure that only certain types of artist will be financially secure (and those who are will remain so only so long as they toe the line.)

              You want real edginess? Put on an exhibit a la Mapplethorpe or Ofili using exhibits from the Gosnell facility. Sit back and await the critical accolades for challenging society’s self-satisfaction.

              • Why am I suddenly reminded of the rant on art from the “Guns of Two-Space”?

                It violates the First Law of Art, Carmack’s Law, which says, ‘If I can do it, it’s not art.’ How many years of art school did you have to go to to learn to splash paint on a canvas like that? If someone studies music for four years, they walk away with an ability to play an instrument and can do something I could never do or imitate. But you walk away with an art degree, and the best you can do is this? Something any fool can imitate?

                ‘If the artist has to explain what it means, then it’s not art.’ It’s not art, it’s a failure. Instead of universal symbolism or universal language, it’s gibberish. Or a con job!”

        • Art is using craft to display your vision. It does not depend on what party or philosophy you follow. The politics come from the need of the artist to conform to the markets’ expectations (which is a form of winnowing) – and by the pressures brought to bear in the areas where you learn your craft (which is also a form of winnowing).
          For the first, the majority of high end art – actual artsy stuff – is bought through galleries and through state and local “arts support” programs and the people doing the buying will look for themes, styles, and artists that will make the buyer appear more cultured – and cultured means themes that reflect currently accepted pre-conceptions as to what it means to be cultured. A lot of really fetching stuff does go for lower prices at Saturday markets and arts fairs – and for advertising (and traditionally book covers), and because of that is sold on “looking good”, but it is considered low class. If you can show artsyness as defined, you tend to get a better price for your daubs or scribbles or tunes.
          The second, where you learn your art, well, it used to be that if you went to most art programs or schools and said you want to do advertising, you tended to get a lot of negative feedback since art is supposed to be for art’s sake, not prostituting it for filthy lucre.
          I admit that things may have changed since I had any contact with any art program.
          Art is also about fame. To get fame you have to be acceptable. To be acceptable you have to make it through the seive that keeps out the unacceptable.

          I’m sorry Sarah. I can’t keep down to short responses.

          • I don’t recall requesting you to?

            • I’m terrified of filling up the internet.

              • Dorothy Grant

                Bob, the finite pie theory is tool of the leftists, used for economics, wealth, happiness, water, and internet. Free yourself of the worries – there are terabyte drives being churned out right now by factories in China, that will continue to hold the ever-expanding internet.

              • Well… I’ve not been billed for the blog overrunning “due to that fellow, Bob, and his long-winded comments.” So…

              • Jeff Gauch

                If we do start running out of space we’ll start deleting things like the NYT and MSNBC. It’ll be win/win.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Fear not – the increase in drive space is rising even faster than the increase in computing power. There’s already more space out there than a billion people typing 200 WPM could fill up in a lifetime.

                Bandwidth, now, is a little different. If you were to drop a 20,000 word essay in the comments on a post that generates over 1000 comments, then you might be doing something to worry about, because it might cost our erstwhile hostess more money for hosting the site.

          • Control of the culture is enabled by establishing Maxwell’s Demon at the gates to the kingdom.

            One reason Liberalism works is the Arts primarily work at the level of emotion, which is where Liberalism lives.

            As Thomas Sowell pointed out long ago, it is very easy for the TV newshound to put the camera in the face of a grieving parent and ask “if guns were banned, do you think your child would still be alive today?” Or to put an autistic child on screen and intone compassionately about risks of vaccinations. It is much harder to exhibit the assaults that didn’t happen because the perp thought he saw a gun on the intended victim, nor to display the people who aren’t in iron lungs because of the polio vaccinations.

            The news profession rewards bathos and practitioners such as John Stossell are rare. Writing is an arena where such manipulation works equally for Left & Right — with the Right having the advantage of better understanding reality.

            • I was more heading to the idea that if you have lumpy flour, do you blame the flour or the seive you used to sift it? The arts as instructed and consumed are designed so only certain types get through – unless they are really good or come in by the side door when no one is paying attention, and get vested by accident

          • I hate to think of the damage the New York gallery scene has done to our expectation of art. I compare what I see in the galleries and the stuff I see in cons and places like this:http://theartofanimation.tumblr.com/
            The quality of work for next to nothing puts to shame the rot that comes out of the galleries. To say nothing if no being as stupid. I have never underestimated the gullibility or stupidity of our aristocrats

            • I was intrigued to read a few years ago that the market for western art (cowboys, landscapes, wildlife, that kind of western art) has been low-key but strong for several decades, despite (to spite?) being poo-poo’ed by the “real art scene.” I’ve got a few small Tim Cox prints, and while they ain’t Rembrandt or Van Eyck, they are very well done and a pleasure to look at. Unlike 99% of what I’ve seen in ads for NYC galleries.

              • The same reason I buy — and draw — fantasy art. It’s stuff I like on the walls. We stood in line for hours for Vallejo prints, signed.
                My art is nowhere that level, but it’s what I’d like to do.
                BTW same in lots of “literature” — Heinlein is still in print for a reason. And outselling many new authors. And I found out there’s such a brisk market for “oldfashioned regencies” — with sizzle but no sex on screen — that people are on waiting lists for them.

      • Lefty organizations (like unions) tend to say, “you want to be our friend? Here is your place, here is your shovel, and these nice people will show you what to do and what you can talk about – you’re one of ours now, you belong here.”
        This is a huge draw to the needy and outies.

        • Yes. Of course. But my point is that if Heinlein were writing today he wouldn’t be. He’d have been marginalized at the first peep of independence and eventually starved out.
          So, we don’t know how many of the outies who are not needy — the Odd With A Vengeance — types they would get, if they were allowed.
          I also maintain that while you can get pretty good journeyman work from the outies and needies, for truly memorable art, you need the “Odd and proud of it” true outliers. The ones who will do what is “right” — to them, not in absolute moral terms — and d*mn the establishment. And here’s the thing — we’re not getting them. All our arts are in a repetition loop and dying. (btw, the … goats. The outliers who aren’t needy in most cases can’t produce anything anyone will care to pay for — they’re too creative. WAY out there. BUT a few of them will outshine the collective of “artistic” sheep. And those few are needed. For pollination, say.)

          • Rob Crawford

            ” All our arts are in a repetition loop and dying.”

            Lord, yes. With all the advances in effects, and the lesson that audiences WILL sit still for long stories told in multiple, long movies — IF THEY’RE GOOD STORIES — Hollywood just cranks out “remake” and “reboot” and rehashing of the same ol’ same ol’.

            I know they’re just movie adaptations of books — but would it KILL them to make a GOOD Ringworld movie? Or Mote in God’s Eye? Or Footfall? Lord, I bet a Footfall movie would be HUGE — the lefties get to see the red-staters smacked around, the red-staters get to be the “fight until the end” heroes. The rest of the world gets to see the US beaten up, again.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Footfall? Oh, heck yeah. That would have something for everyone.

              I’m kind of surprised no one’s done Lucifer’s Hammer, given the love affair they have with post-apocalyptic dystopias.

            • Even World of Tiers. And I’d love to see a movie of Door Into Summer.

              • I had such hopes for _On Stranger Tides_ since I loved the book so much.
                There was a clip on Youtube that some – I think it was Russian – put together as either a faux teaser for Zelazny’s _Nine Princes in Amber_ or to publicise a translation of it.
                I was afraid I was going to have to learn Russian until I figured out it was not a real movie.

    • One could also note that leftist policies push live people around like a writer pushes his characters around. It’s easy to write a novel based on any given theory of life. (Less easy to write a good one, but a lot easier than in real life.)

      The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit;and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

      Adam Smith

      • To be honest, Mary, every time I have to take the real world in account in my writing, it makes everything far more difficult 😉

        • Just so long as you take real life into account in real life.

        • That’s because fiction has to make sense.

          Real life … not so much.

          • Real Life often tests my suspension of disbelief.

            On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

            > ** > SPQR commented: “That’s because fiction has to make sense. Real life > … not so much.” >

            • You too? I was chatting with a friend last week and we both agreed that if you’d tried to sell a thriller based on the past 9 months’ events in the States, you’d be laughed out of the office, after they hurled the manuscript at your head for writing something so far-fetched and foolish. I get the sense that Clive Cussler looks at politics and mutters “at least my stuff is logical.”

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Take over a longer time frame, and half of it is that it is really contrived BS, and half is the pacing issues it has as a story at the rate at which we are experiencing it.

                That said, some of that might be the lens that I am using to interpret things.

              • Robin Munn

                Just as a for-instance: try — just try — writing a novel in which the following events happen:

                1) One Tuesday in September, which seems (at first) like any other day, the New York Times publishes, on its front page, an interview with a no-longer-active (not “former”, there’s a difference) terrorist who expresses no regret for his previous actions.
                2) A few hours after that publication hits the newsstands, the most devastating terrorist attack in U.S. history hits New York, though the terrorist from event #1 is not involved.
                3) Seven years later, a politician (whose political mentor was the terrorist from event #1, and who got his political start in the living room of said terrorist) is elected President of the United States.

                I mean, seriously. Who’d believe such an contrived set of circumstances could really happen?

                • Robin Munn

                  Argh, missed a tag there. Sorry about the extraneous bold.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Exactly.

                  If one focuses on even more of the positive associations with terrorism, well, the situation looks even more contrived. Maybe even on the order of the wars and peaces in Gundam. Looked at in certain ways, Obama appears cartoonishly evil.

                  The real world has enough data that my official conclusion is that I am confused, and need more actual information. A fictional depiction of a character necessarily provides less data, cannot require as much in the way of analytical ability, and a writer who is confused about their characters, who hasn’t drawn firm conclusions about them, is more likely to write an incomprehensible book.

                  The other issue is pacing and narrative. Yes, plenty of bad events traceable to President Obama, in part, have happened. However, they don’t really hang together into a coherent narrative that comes to a firm conclusion. Yes, we have ‘Obama is comprehensively a fool’ and ‘Democrats will be Democrats’, among many other options for coherent narratives, but neither is building to anything at a decent pace, apparently. Five, a dozen, and hundred and fifty years into the narrative, and where is the climax?

                  The wheel of civilizations seems to still be turning. Is that wobble important? I don’t know, but it gives me the heeby-jeebies.

                  • … and where is the climax?

                    The climax of the narrative happened around 30 A.D. — we’re in the dénouement now. 🙂

                    Though come to think of it, the author broke all kinds of rules of narrative in the process. I mean, an authorial self-insert character, who’s a total Marty Stu (the male equivalent of Mary Sue)? Who, when all the characters around him are clamoring for him to ride victorious into the capital and take over, instead goes and lets himself be betrayed by one of his closest associates, when he knew the guy’s plot all along? What kind of a main character is that? And what kind of author kills off his protagonist unexpectedly like that (yes, I know the protagonist kept predicting his own death, but nobody was taking him seriously), then brings him back to life (in a total deus ex machina, too — though I suppose deus ex sepulchrum might be a more accurate phrase)… and then has him vanish completely from the narrative just a few pages later? And then the bumbling, foot-in-mouth best-friend character suddenly becomes the leader, and a few pages later the primary antagonist does a complete 180 and becomes not just a co-leader (with no foreshadowing, by the way — all the foreshadowing was that this guy was going to be Villain Number One of the rest of the story), but actually steals the show from the best-friend character? I mean, this antagonist-turned-protagonist has pretty much the rest of the narrative parts of the book devoted almost entirely to him. What’s up with that?

                    … I mean, seriously, who wrote this story?

                    😛

                    (… Most of the regulars here know me, but for anyone who might happen to read this without knowing who I am: I’m a devout Christian, and this whole post is entirely tongue-in-cheek. I’ve seen enough jokes misunderstood on the Internet that I felt I wanted to make that clear.)

                    • As C.S. Lewis put it, it is a very *long* story, and we are not the most attentive of readers.

                      On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > ** > Robin Munn commented: “… and where is the climax? The climax of the > narrative happened around 30 A.D. — we’re in the dnouement now. 🙂 > Though come to think of it, the author broke all kinds of rules of > narrative in the process. I mean, an authorial self-insert chara” >

                    • Oh, yes. Himself needs to attend some writing workshops. Sheeesh. I keep telling Him that, but I get the impression He just laughs at me.

                    • Oh, and there’s also the sequel he promised. He tells us it’ll be way better than the current novel, but he never seems to get around to starting it. People keep seeing plot threads in the current novel and saying “See? See? That bit, right there, is going to lead directly into the sequel…” and then it doesn’t, and the current storyline continues unabated.

                    • Yeah, the sequel. I understand that the Author’s PR people really need to check in with the Author about when that sequel will finally be out. They keep offering dates, building up the pre-release hype and . . . 😉

                      (Yes, I’m teasing, a little.)

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      The PR people should reread the last book. The Author said in the last book that He’s the only one who knows when the sequel will be out until the sequel *is* out. Then everybody will know the sequel is out. [Grin]

                  • The problem is that The Author is apparently a pantser who is allowing the characters to write the story.

                    After all, the primary challenger whose most effective attack ad warned against Obama being unready to handle a phone call at three in the morning becomes his SecState (and heir apparent) and is apparently being undone by a two AM phone call? At this point, what difference does it make?

                    I look forward to the GOP 2016 ad, using clips of Hillary declaiming on her past successes and achievements, interspersing each clip with her “What difference does it make?” footage. (Yes, in my imagination the GOP actually runs a candidate with the will to win.)

                    • The problem is that The Author is apparently a pantser who is allowing the characters to write the story.

                      Also a prankster and a punster.

                    • With a low sense of humor.

                    • I think we might appreciate the Author’s work more if we understood his Intended Audience better. 😉

                    • The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag?

                    • (Yes, in my imagination the GOP actually runs a candidate with the will to win.)

                      When Romney held the press conference by the shuttered Solyndra building, my hopes rose despite my better judgment. I thought he might actually fight.

                      What gets me is not just that the GOP has almost always let me down since 1988; it’s that they keep finding original ways to do it.

                  • Allen Drury wrote novels where stuff like that happened. But Allen Drury was constantly criticized for his melodramatic plotting….

                    He was a reporter when that meant something. He knew that all kinds of crud can hit the fan all at once, either on purpose or by chance.

            • Arwen Riddle

              There need to be more song and dance numbers.

              • True.

                If you listen very carefully, though, you’ll find that there’s usually background music.

                And if you’re absolutely silent, you might just hear the rocks cry out.

                On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                > ** > Arwen Riddle commented: “There need to be more song and dance numbers.” > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > New comment on *According To Hoyt * > > > > *Arwen Riddle* commentedon The > Sorting Myth . > > in response to *Jasini*: > > Real Life often tests my suspension of disbelief. On Thu, May 9, 2013

        • To oversimplify, hopefully not fatally:

          A work of art, being embedded in reality, is necessarily a subset of reality: a minute one. Yet its creators and users often find it more satisfying than reality, and enthralling in a way that reality is not. So it’s not surprising that they try to mold reality itself to conform to an esthetic vision.

          Which, surprise surprise, at some point requires force.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      A sizeable number of them [including myself here] were pariahs among their school-age peers, which tends to instill a contempt for popular opinions and tastes, and got along better with their teachers than their peers and sought refuge with those teachers from bullying, which tends to instill a liking for the idea of elite authorities who can regulate undesireable behaviour.

      Uh… I don’t see it that way. I think you’re putting the cart before the horse on this one. it’s more likely that talking with the (already leftist) teachers instills the “…liking for the idea of elite authorities who can regulate undesireable behaviour.”

      In MY school, where we’re behind the social curve, teachers were more likely to encourage a bullying victim to kick the crap out of the bully, instilling a liking for taking care of yourself and making your own self-respect.

  18. It is important to recall that when the Right held the reins of power in the culture and the arts they, too, exsanguinate d those who were “not our kind.” Look at the Hollywood black list.

    A gimlet-eyed view of History indicates that Vile Progs do not so much have problems with black lists as they object to being the targeted rather than the targeters.

    • Yeah, well they were Communists. That is, not deserving of being treated with the courtesy one gives to a normal human being.

    • Look at the Hollywood black list.

      Which one? The one that the media is still whining about, generations later, or the one that Hollywood instituted ASAP?

      I hold “working with a foreign power that wants to kill us” as worse than “worked with Congress.”

      *leaves that straightline for anyone who’d like to play with it*

      • Sigh.
        But Congress is a foreign power that wants to kill us! (runs.)
        Of course, so is the white house.

        • Rob Crawford

          On of the guilty pleasures in last summer’s fight in Wisconsin was hearing the Democrats once again whining about “out of state agitators”.

          That they were busing people in from Chicago just added a bit more icing to the treat.

          • Personally if I would have been a Wisconsin voter I would have been more concerned with ‘out of state legislators.’

            • Out of state legislators are easily handled. Pass a law stipulating that:

              Any legislator who voluntarily leaves the state while the legislature is in session, in the event that the legislature is unable to assemble a quorum, will be determined to be in violation of state law requiring a quorum, in consequence of which the absent legislator shall be deemed to have resigned the seat, reducing the number of legislators required to meet quorum by one; furthermore, this process shall be continued in order of most senior legislator to least until such time as quorum is achieved. Replacement of such dismissed legislators shall be achieved by statewide at-large election without regard to district at the earliest reasonable time not to be less than eight weeks nor more than fifteen.

              In addition, such voluntarily absent legislators (a category which will not include those serving in the military) shall forfeit all property (real, personal and chattel) within the state, with the proceeds from sale at public auction of said property to be contributed to the state treasury. In addition, should there be evidence that two or more legislators conspired to obstruct the orderly execution of the people’s business by the legislature, all registered voters of the state shall be entitled to smush a cream pie of no larger than 12″ diameter nor less than 9″ and a depth of from 2″ to 3″ into the faces of said conspirators for a $1 per pie contribution to the state national guard during the next state fair.

              • Gnardo Polo

                Is smush a proper legal term?

              • Robin Munn

                I was about to suggest making another exception for family emergencies, e.g. grandmother’s funerals, but then I realized how easily it would be abused:

                “But, Representative Jones, this is the third time this year you’ve taken leave of absence to go to your grandmother’s funeral.”
                “See, my grandmothers on my mother’s side were a lesbian couple. Do you have a problem with that, you homophobe?”

                • Robin Munn

                  And then there’s Keith Ellison, who would probably claim that he needed to attend eight grandmothers’ funerals. (Or even twenty… working out the math on this one is left as an exercise for the reader.)

  19. Pingback: Teaching Your Kids to Hate You : The Other McCain

  20. Apparently a lot of people imagine that libertarians can only find value in a work if it comes from an approved libertarian source.

    With all due respect, Mr. Stoddard, you are describing precisely what Sarah is pointing out is a serious problem. You’re giving libertarian awards to non-libertarians, while ignoring the actual libertarians. You can certainly rationally defend it – you’re awarding the work, not the author – but that completely misses the point of giving out the awards in the first place.

    It’s not a question of finding no value in non-libertarian works, it concerns understanding the symbolic nature of awards and their purpose. The Communists understand this, apparently the Libertarian Futurists don’t.

    The biggest problem I see on the Creative Right is that most of it doesn’t understand the nature of the game being played. Giving out libertarian awards to advocates of big government is not going to raise awareness of libertarian fiction or even libertarian ideas. It’s merely going to ensure that one day, the “Libertarian” in Libertarian Futurist will be about as meaningful as the “Science Fiction” in the Nebula award given out to a ersatz Regency romance with a light sprinkling of fairies.

    • If that’s what you think Sarah’s take on this matter is, then one of us has seriously misread her.

      On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 4:49 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

      > ** > VD commented: “Apparently a lot of people imagine that libertarians can > only find value in a work if it comes from an approved libertarian source. > With all due respect, Mr. Stoddard, you are describing precisely what Sarah > is pointing out is a serious problem. You’r” >

      • Well, it is and it isn’t. We do need to start lending more support and aid to others of like mind, and we should engrave on our foreheads “no enemies on the right.” We can have our fights on the existence of G-d later. Right now we need the boot off our necks. Certainly, if interviewing two candidates of like ability, (like, even if not exactly the same) I’d lean to the one who signals libertarian/conservative even if he was SLIGHTLY inferior. (I wouldn’t otherwise, of course.) At this point we have to. It’s self defense.
        OTOH for art, give it to good art. It’s a well known fact in the field that winning the World Fantasy award LOWERS your expected sell through. I don’t think the others are far behind that stunning effect. So…

        • Rob Crawford

          I’m one of those oddballs who avoids things the more critical praise they get.

        • If the award is simply being given for art, then what does Libertarian Futurism have to do with it? I’m a libertarian, obviously, and I’ve never considered the awards to have any libertarian credibility because they have been given to writers such as Charles Stross, Ken MacLeod, and Terry Pratchett. Why not give one to China Mieville too? I mean, he’s one of the best in the genre and there must be some thread of libertarian thought that can be located in one of his novels somewhere….

          Now, don’t get me wrong, I quite like both Stross and Pratchett and consider them both to be underappreciated in their respective genres, but giving them a libertarian award is as absurd as giving me or Sarah a communist award because one character in our novels happened to share his lunch with another.

          It’s not about purity. It’s about what the point of a self-styled libertarian award is. The fact that a socialist might see some problem in one facet of the enlargement of the state or another does not make a work libertarian. This is similar to the debates that pervade the Christian fiction community. What makes a work X does not mean that it is written by an Xist or that it contains certain points of X dogma, but if it is written from a perspective that fundamentally assumes X.

          I’m not saying libertarian awards should be given to authors who are registered Libertarians, I am saying that the definition of “libertarian work” being utilized is observably a deficient one, as evidenced by some of the past winners. Night Watch is a great book; I would argue it is Pratchett’s best. I would even argue that it should have won the Nebula that year. But how is it a “libertarian work”?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Night Watch can be considered an attack on secret polices. As such, maybe Libertarian, for certain values of Libertarian.

            That said, I identify as an enemy of libertarians, so what do I know? Maybe libertarians aren’t allowed to think that there is legitimate room for a functioning police organization, as opposed to a secret police.

    • But the problem is on the other foot too: if you talk about an author as a libertarian, L. Niel Smith comes to mind, you wind up with a deluge of criticism that his books are stupid, or that he really isn’t a Libertarian.
      Ann Coulter (who says she isn’t a libertarian and claims to have proof) indicated in one of her book that the tragedy of being a conservative leader is that not only the liberals hate you, but your own followers can barely stand you. I suggest this also applies to libertarians with bonus points.
      I don’t have anything to do with Libertarian Futurists, but I would think that if they were to adopt a strict criteria or test to make sure that only true libertarians can win an award it would create just the same situation as the SF nebula awards for erzatz regency stories since you would be awarding prizes based on purity instead of content.

      • It would seem that the purpose of awards is a) for the awardee, increased sales and b) for the awarder, increased attention to the ideas and standards the group wishes to promote. Any other purposes would have to be a distant second.

        If the Libertarian Futurists want to promote their members, the award should be called “best work by a Libertarian author.” If they want to promote Libertarianism, then the award is properly called “best libertarian work.”

        Marginalizing the award by limiting the pool of awardees diminishes the value and significance of the award, defeating both purposes. If the awarding organization exists only to give awards to members of the organization they are engaging in a form of masturbation. While it may make them feel good, it is off-putting to the general public.

        • Why is it that you say what I wanted to say, but better?

          • RES is like that most days, as are a lot of commenters here. 🙂 It ‘s why I keep falling behind. I don’t want to miss any of them.

  21. Heh. I got the chance to explain the “little problems” with communism today, at the students’ request. I managed to do it so the students got my point without preaching or stepping on too many toes. Sacred cow – it’s what’s for dinner! 🙂

    • Ummmm … sacred cow, it’s the tenderest meat. Makes Wagyū taste like shoe leather.

      When Daughtorial Unit was up to needing the pocket explanation, this was what we gave her: Under socialist systems, the benefits are visible and the costs concealed; with free markets the costs are visible and the benefits hidden.

      Expand as necessary, some assembly may be required, but with that basic structure the rest falls in place pretty readily.

      • When Daughtorial Unit was up to needing the pocket explanation, this was what we gave her: Under socialist systems, the benefits are visible and the costs concealed; with free markets the costs are visible and the benefits hidden.

        Took me until I was 30 to figure out that one of the benefits of working in a factory– vs working on a farm or a collective– is that unless it goes totally out of business, you still get paid. In the other cases, you take the same risk as an owner.

    • Good GIRL! I’m proud of you. I do that too, every chance I have.