Bitter Clingers

For those of you living in a hole, who haven’t read about how Damien Walter, who for inexplicable reasons is taken seriously enough by The Grauniad to be given column space, has so far pursued his fascination with Larry Correia as to indulge himself with a fishing expedition on Twitter, trying to find “proof” of whatever crazy prejudices he attributes to Larry.

He also indulged himself – poor man – with yet another column Whining the Future, and explaining to the world how everyone who disagrees with him (the problem is it’s so hard to agree with someone who says crazy stuff like “the future is queer” – which leads one to add “and short”) is a dinosaur clinging to his guns and religion – oops, sorry, that was another person running his mouth about people who didn’t agree with him and whom he didn’t understand homophobic/racial/cultural/purple dinosaur privilege/prejudices, and how little Damien’s way is the way of the future. (No, I have no idea how large this man is, but reading him one can’t help imagining him about four feet tall and wearing short pants. For some reason, I also see him holding a lollipop, but that’s unlikely.)

I’ll leave the detailed fisking to the professionals: John C. Wright and Larry Correia. Really, when they were done there was nothing but a few scrapings of “progressivism” on the floor, and to attempt to revisit the column in detail would go way beyond beating a dead horse, to attempting to reconstitute the horse from a few strands of DNA. I’m not so ambitious, so I’ll merely note, as Larry did, that my experience too is that these loud-and-proud social workers who mistake themselves for authors are running people off reading in droves. They might be – some of them are, at least on paper – bestsellers, but this is a much diminished bestsellerdom compared to even the midlisters of the seventies.

And please spare me the excuses publishers made for years: it’s the movies, it’s tv, it’s the internet.

As someone who is hopelessly old-fashioned in her choice of entertainment, preferring reading over just about anything else, and who is friends with a great many similarly unnatural people, for years we’d gather together and lament the lack of anything to read, no matter how we looked. Also, as the mother of two young men of this our present time, who have had the net at their fingertips since the age of three, I can tell you that the internet never stopped them from reading. On the contrary, they’re likely to have one eye on youtube and one on a book – provided the book is interesting enough. And incidentally neither of them found it hard to get into Agatha Christie or Robert A. Heinlein or even C. S. Lewis, language conventions and a bygone mode of life notwithstanding.

Rather the problem has been that for the last fifty years or so, publishers and not a few writers have confused the production of stories for sale with a sacred calling of pushing “progressive” opinions, situations and narratives down people’s throats, whether the buying public wanted the narratives or not. Because they believed that this “future” is inevitable, and also just (in the sense it would destroy many people who are better off than these writers and a few who are worse off, but whom the writers imagine despise them, anyway) and therefore must be pushed.

The public responded well enough to an extent, while those narratives were somewhat understated, but the problem is that given the monopoly of the big publishers over the culture, and their ability to control the laydown on a book, they lost track of the fact that the progressive narrative was not … ah… universally acknowledged, and that the impression that it was was something they themselves fostered. And so they decided to push ever outward, and more bravely towards ever more “progressive” public re-education.

Which is why at this point reading some of the more “daring” fiction, you have to go and check the copyright page, to make sure it was published in the same universe you live in. It is also why, in despair, many publishers have turned to pushing porn, er… I mean paranormal romance (or heck, most romance) and outright “uh?” like Fifty Shades of Grey, because sex still sells. At least sort of.

But never mind all that – though it should be obvious to a blind man, at midnight, in a coal cellar.

What struck me about Walter’s article was his unshakeable certainty that he and other “progressives” are the way of the future.

Look, I know that’s what they’re taught in Europe. Well – I was taught that in Europe too. Unfortunately for my teachers, it was a bad idea to teach Marx to someone who read History in her free time, and Shakespeare for relaxation.


Because I knew that each era had a way of conceptualizing life and the cosmos by the “science” and “philosophy” of the time.
Thus the Victorians – like Marx – had great faith in science and what I’d call “social engineering” but not in the sense we use it. More in the sense that various parts of society constituted well-oiled parts, working in interlocking harmony.

Well… I could see the philosophy of the time all over Marxist ideas, like the idea of finite pie economics, the idea of an inevitable triumph of proletariat, the idea of proletariat: of people as widgets that fit into certain “classes”. Oh, come on. It was like the great drive to classify the natural world that did so much good in the Natural sciences. And also left us holding the bag on some particularly funny classifications, like pachyderms, which really have a lot less to do with each other than they thought.

Marx went splat a bit more because humans are a moving target, our culture and opinions ever moving, each generation reinventing the same things in a slightly different way. And economics was never a finite pie, which Marx might have known if he hadn’t cadged a living from Engels. Never mind.

I could see that the philosophy behind Marxism was already outdated. In the sixties and early seventies, we could already see that so many of the things Marx had predicted just had failed to materialize, that “classes” were ever harder to classify, that socialist paradises had a lot to hide behind the glitzy façade of the Soviet Life magazines sold at every street corner. I mean, I might not say it aloud, because I wanted to pass my classes and enter college, but no matter how much my teachers assured me that the Soviet Union was a beacon of civilization and the United States was like the Roman Decadence but not nearly as much fun, even I, at fourteen, knew which way people fled even at the price of leaving everything behind, including family.

Took me a long time to internalize it, though, because it’s hard to believe that everything you were taught (or almost everything) in school was a lie.

Since then Marxists have got more defensive, and spend most of their days explaining to us why every instance of Marxist failure is not real, and why socialism/communism/progressivism have never been tried.

Considering how much of their time this explaining takes up, it’s amazing that they still believe, unblinkingly that the future belongs to them and that it underlies things like their analysis that those who cling to their guns and religion their stories about monster hunters and spaceships are the outdated ones, instead of the incoming wave, ready to replace the tired and nihilistic view of the world fostered by that old dead white guy, Marx.

As we know indoctrination works. That and the fear of no longer being in step with the “good people.”

Which means that they don’t even think about the likelihood that the future isn’t “queer” or “feminist” or belongs to the classes that the new Marxists have decided are downtrodden, in place of the “proletariat” that disappointed them by getting cars and homes of their own and wanting to be well off more than they wanted proletarian revolution. (And before one or several of you comes and beats up on me because these people really are “downtrodden” – Quatsch. Yes, yes, victimhood, etc, but most people have at least one characteristic that was discriminated against at one time or another somewhere or other. Yes, there are broad classes of people who were very badly treated by Western civilization and who are still badly treated by every other civilization. But people aren’t “classes” of people, and being a victim is ultimately a matter of choice. Are there people who look down on me because I’m female and have an accent? Yep. And most of the ones I’ve run into are “progressive” but never mind. I am me, and not “designated victim of the week” and most people eventually figure that or they’re too stupid to live, and I don’t care.)

Anyway, “progressives” are absolutely sure that the future is somehow not-capitalist (even though capitalism is not so much a system as what people default to, and breaks through even in the most totalitarian of systems, under the guise of the black market), and belongs to whatever the minority of the day is. Even though there is no proof of this. And they’re convinced that white people are losing “privilege” (does Harry Reid look like he’s looking anything to you? No? Nancy Pelosi?) and therefore are “scared.” (Okay, Bill Clinton does look scared, but that’s because I think he knows he’s getting too old for random tosses in the hay.)

Like the long dead nineteenth century white men whose philosophy they parrot unthinkingly, they view civilization as having a direction, and – in a leap of faith – see it as moving in the way they want it to.

Considering the wonders their beliefs have done for sf book circulation and, more materially, for the economies of Europe and the United States or the standard of living in Cuba, say, this is faith indeed, faith that challenges reality. It is also of course, a sign of undigested and unexamined beliefs.

So if they can look at science fiction – which has been mostly female for at least twenty years – and see it as a long slog of the downtrodden, if they can look at a field that has lionized every writer of color who was willing to parrot the party line, and see white male supremacy… well, they’re not at war with us. They’re at war with reality.

But they never give up, because they were told history comes with a “this end up” arrow and theirs is the end that is up.

Yet, when I made the journey from the left in my mid-thirties, I found it very freeing. What we forget is what a dank no-hope philosophy Marxism is. The idea of a finite pie leads inexorably to the idea that fewer humans is better and no humans best, and eventually to self hatred and hatred of humanity. And the idea of classes and that the better off are better off because they took advantage of the system or were born with “privilege” makes you envy everyone better off than you, a destructive emotion at best. It also leads to guilt about every good thing you have. And to fantasies about a future in which all the good things go away.

It was a revelation, suddenly, to realize that it wasn’t scripted that we’d overpopulate the world and destroy ourselves; it wasn’t scripted that third world cultures would win out and that the future would be poorer and harsher than the present; it wasn’t scripted that crime would always increase, and human life become cheaper. It wasn’t true that the future was like Soylent Green but less fun.

None of it was scripted. There was no arrow saying “this way up” in history. I was free to hold what elements of the past I wanted, and to give up the ones I wanted. I could work towards a better future. I was free to think whatever I wanted without fears of being excommunicated.

I think people who cling to their Marx and Engels accuse us of being afraid, but I think they’re the ones who are afraid. Afraid everything they “know” is wrong. Look, we’re not the ones excommunicating people who cross over. Like the old Soviet Union versus the United States, movement is much greater in the direction from “progressivism” to “freedom” and when movement in the other direction takes place, we might wonder what happened, but we don’t obsess about it, and we don’t character-assassinate. We talk back to them, sure, but we don’t spend our time calling them names. (Oh, fine, I called Damien Walter short or at least juvenile, but note I said he just gives me that impression. For all I know he’s seven feet tall and doesn’t even like lollipops.)

They do. Because unless they keep that fence of rigid belief around the herd, that certainty that it’s their way or the highway, and their demands that you fall in line or “shut up and go away”; unless they metaphorically stone everyone who walks away or dares to disagree with them publically, people who’ve been indoctrinated just might smell the freedom outside and realize none of these dismal predictions are “inevitable.” They might realize that the future is theirs to create. And that they did build that. And that there’s nothing sacred about victimhood. And that they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in a world that is an infinite pie.

And then, they will be done.


453 thoughts on “Bitter Clingers

  1. A propos of this column, there’s a piece today about how the military has spent bilions of dollars on “green” technology based on the predictions of a 2004 report that “it was plausible” that by 2010 global warming would be so bad that California would have an inland sea, low-lying cities like The Hague would be unlivable, hurricanes and tornadoes would have reached devastating forces, the North Pole would be ice-free during summers, yada yada.

    Of course none of this has happened, hurricanes are at an all-time low for devastation, people are not swimming to the International Criminal Court, and polar bears not only have plenty of ice to wander around on but seem to be having a population boom. And yet. . . we are still wasting incredible sums on “greening” the military (it’s a color, people, not a freakin’ verb) instead of, say, taking care of sick vets and reinvesting in ugly planes that have served us remarkably well for decades.

    Too many Americans who have NOT developed a taste for Kool-aid are still slumbering, unaware of progressivism’s devastating consequences not just on the storytelling world but on our nation’s safety, our health, our lifespans, our way of life, and our ability to make other people’s lives better. The coming alarm clock will constitute a harsh awakening, I fear.

    1. It couldn’t have happened. My GOOD LORD are these people ignorant of geological processes? Or the type of catastrophe needed to speed them up? EVEN were global warming true, that couldn’t have happened. These are the fantasies of idiot children.

      1. We’re also supposed to believe their CO2 predictions while simultaneously ignoring the volcano in Indonesia that has dumped more CO2 into the atmosphere over this weekend than the past several years of ‘anthropogenic CO2’.

        Again. and another volcano in the same area did the same thing in 2010.

        1. While there has by their own data been effectively zero change in overall global temperature for going on seventeen years now.
          That reality, she can be a stone beyatch, now can’t she?

          1. There are two scientifically literate, intellectually honest things that can be said about the state of climate science:

            1) We have determined a firm upper limit on the forcing function, and the more catastrophic outcomes from increased atmospheric CO2 are extremely unlikely. Further research is required.

            2) We know #$!#-all about the climate system, so any policy prescriptions we might make have just as much chance of doing harm as good. Further research is required.

            Of course, either of those statements would make climate science useless to the fascists running the Democrat party, so I don’t expect them to be forthcoming.

            But hey, bolting on epicycles can be fun!

      2. Of course they are.
        Geology has the decency to state its basic assumption right up front as the doctrine of Uniformitarianism, that is “the same natural laws and processes which we observe today are the same natural laws and processes that have operated in the past”.
        That’s obviously a transitive statement. And one that the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming is fundamentally incompatible with. For AGW to be true, Geology must be false. If Geology is false, then the geologic past of our planet is unknown (and for the moment, at least, unknowable).

        1. I think the real reason to decrease mining coal is to raise the cost of energy, punish America for being successful and accelerate our immiseration. However that’s not going to happen the way they think. They are going to get one nasty shock!

    2. I am disappointedthat NONE of teh media who repeat the Obama administration claims for why we need to cut down on coal emissions are called out for the falsity they are. Several times yesterday I heard both Obama and his mouthpiece say American doesn’t hve to choose between dead children and impacting the environment. But so far ZERO children have been killed by breathing < 0.5% CO2. We already fixed most of the NO2, PM10 and PM2.5, and the other noxious elements from the old coal generators. But if you invoke "the children" no one can question the logic.
      (Not sure if that is directly on point, but it is a timely rant of the foolishness of the administration, their lapdog media and most of the american mindless followers.

    3. I’ve gotta admit, those scientists have to be golddarn clever to determine a shrinking polar bear population based on a single freakin’ count — if that!

      From the Powerline blog:
      The Settled Science of Polar Bears
      … A prominent advocate for the endangered polar bear theory has just admitted to an actual scientist that he made the whole thing up:

      Here is the statement that the PBSG proposes to insert as a footnote in their forthcoming Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan draft:

      “As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic. Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand. It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated. Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations. Consequently, there is either no, or only rudimentary, knowledge to support guesses about the possible abundance of polar bears in approximately half the areas they occupy. Thus, the range given for total global population should be viewed with great caution as it cannot be used to assess population trend over the long term.” [my bold]

      For a more comprehensive review of the polar bear fraud, along with many other topics, check out the Congressional testimony of Daniel Botkin, Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara, President of The Center for The Study of The Environment, and author of Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century and the textbook Environmental Science:

      I have sought the available counts of the 19 subpopulations. Of these, only three have been counted twice; the rest have been counted once. Thus no rate of changes in the populations can be determined. The first count was done in 1986 for one subpopulation.

  2. I think that one thing they fail to grasp is that it is the PURSUIT of happiness that is a right, not the happiness its self. That and they seem to assume they will be the ones in charge, making the decisions, not the ones doing the work. I look back on the Occupy movement and laugh. These guys wanted to show us they were the future but they could not plan a camp out in a city park. Sanitation? Food? All this should have been thought about ahead of time. It’s all theory but when you put people in it it falls apart.

  3. The funny thing is that the Three Stooges of the Apocalypse that oppressed something or other, are following every word of this on Twitter, including you. They are Herr Cora Buhlert, Turnips Deletes Natalie Luhrs, and the charming Ann Somerville. There are more too. All angry on Twitter and won’t go to The Guardian because they are brave ninja girls who have always fought and have the paintings to prove it.

    Those PC sob sisters are reading this right now. Then they’ll angrily Tweet.

    They are accusing us all of being stupid cowards while they wouldn’t dare come here to debate. They wouldn’t do that because they have no facts to support the white menz march to the sea through Golden Age SFF which interned all gays, non-whites and womenz. The PC have no facts about that because they are willful liars. Except for the dotty Ann Somerville, they won’t even show up at a neutral space like The Guardian.

    They will only chat where they can block, delete and ban. Because that’s where they feel safe and secure, because when kids break a window and point to another kid and get caught, they need a safe quite room after a tremendous spanking. Fail has delivered a tremendous spanking to feminists at The Guardian and now they’re roiling like an ant hill one steps on.

    Ann Somerville ‏@ann_somerville Jun 2 this guy is really, really determined to dismiss any author who’s not a SWM.

    Cora Buhlert ‏@CoraBuhlert 11h @ann_somerville Do we have any idea who this Fail guy really is? He keeps popping up all over, so I suspect he’s a sockpuppet.

    Ann Somerville ‏@ann_somerville 11h @CoraBuhlert no idea. He’s a coward, like they all are – hiding behind supporters and insults and socks. Manly men indeed

    Ann Somerville ‏@ann_somerville 11h @CoraBuhlert absolutely pathetic. I should warn you and @eilatan I dropped some more links to your blogs in a couple of replies

    Cora Buhlert ‏@CoraBuhlert 11h @ann_somerville @eilatan No problem. “Fail” has found my blog before and I have comments set to manual moderation anyway.


    Hahahah. They are prepared for Fail. Double firewalls on high-alert.


    Ann Somerville ‏@ann_somerville Jun 1 @eilatan @CoraBuhlert I’m damn sure portuguese is white!

    Cora Buhlert ‏@CoraBuhlert Jun 1 @ann_somerville @eilatan As his pal SH (Sarah Hoyt) would be only too happy to remind him.

    Cora Buhlert ‏@CoraBuhlert Jun 1@eilatan @ann_somerville At any rate, she’s always yelling about straw communists, when the dictator was rightwing.

    Cora Buhlert ‏@CoraBuhlert Jun 1@ann_somerville @eilatan Never mind that there are plenty of Portuguese who manage not to be jerks.

    1. Never mind that there are plenty of Portuguese who manage not to be jerks.

      In other words, #NotAllPortugese.

      (BTW, Sarah: if you haven’t yet, check out #YesAllCats for a few laughs. For extra laughs, find all the snowflakes and GHHs who are so terribly offended that anyone dares make a joke on #YesAllWomen.)

      1. How about this: #NotAllWeThePeople #NotAllWeHoldTheseTruths #NotAllMenAreCreatedEqual #NotAllWhites

    2. Poor things — the more their philosophy fails, the more they cling to their Marx and their political shibboleths and a fear of people who aren’t’ like them.

      1. Gads, me too. And I knew they were because people report what they say back to me. I live rent free in their heads. And as for Larry, they want him BAD, particularly the males 😉

            1. Nah. Larry’s too masculine to require a peroxide dip. He just goes shooting and comes home covered in sweat and gunpowder residue: guaranteed regressivist repellent.

        1. “Paul Weimer ‏@PrinceJvstin 22m @eilatan oh reading comments on Sarah’s blog and getting pissed”

          Weimar and his partner Shaun Duke are the two biggest feminist ass kissing PC little shits in the SFF community. Weimar once almost fell to his death trying to keep Natalie Luhrs on the ground in high wind. Duke is such a stiff redneck.they wheel him around on a dolly.

          1. I don’t suppose this Weimer fellow explains what might have been said around here to wind him up?

            Or should I just feel disturbed that something might have been said that pisses someone like Weimer off?


            1. Probably because we have the absolute nerve to oppose being put “in our place” like good little peasants.

              Hey Paul? Kiss my ass.

              That is all.

              1. “It has been said that the people are revolting.” “You said it, they stink on ice!”

                1. Senator Reid said it best:

                  This is also why he wants to rewrite the First Amendment, so that he no longer feels “dirty” and “unclean” having to raise funds for his reelection campaigns.

            2. Weimar and Duke worship PoC like they’re lucky leprechauns. I’m not sure what their actual deal is but massive retardation is a safe bet when it comes to morons who think racists are transformed into heroes with a bit of bootblack.

              Next on their list of idol-worship are rancid insane feminists, who Weimar and Duke kowtow to with averted eyes and rumps held high. My suspicion is there is a dominatrix in someone’s family history, perhaps in a circus – with a beard.

              They have this podcast called The Skiffy and Fanty Show. Unbelievably, their site’s blurb is “Running away from the thought police on wings of gossamer and lace…” Christ, they ARE the thought police. You often see them crowding around Scazi’s Twitter saying “Yes, master” in a voice like Renfield.

              They’re up for a Hugo this year for best fancast, mebbe for interviewing the most racists in a single year ever or something. If there are two more PC fans in SFFdom, I don’t know who the hell it would be. They are definitely Class A bunda-kissers. I imagine they sound like Rocky and Bullwinkle, but with much less real personalities. The are equally definitely like kids in my old neighborhood who everyone thought walked on stilts cuz they got kicked in the basket so much.

              1. Nah, that’s not offensive enough, it needs to be: “To those I haven’t offended yet…PISS OFF!”

          1. When my undergrad class had our “Junior Show”, we prefaced it with a caution that if you weren’t offended at the end, come see one of us and we’d be happy to correct the omission. We were successful, just not in the way we’d planned. (The forces of PC were starting to crack down about the time I was a junior.)

    3. Oh noes, the poor little dears might get comments in their blogs! Isn’t that kind of like rape only just not like it? Or something! Evil patriarchy!

        1. …but not as bad as chewing gum in line.

          (Not sure how I ended up dragging something in from Blazing Saddles into this sub-thread, but it’s there.)

            1. Our chief addiction is Blazing Saddles.
              Blazing Saddles and puns… puns and Blazing Saddles… Our two addictions are puns and Blazing Saddles.
              And ruthless capitalism… Our *three* addictions are puns, Blazing Saddles, and ruthless capitalism… and an almost fanatical devotion to Kipling.
              Our *four*… No… *Amongst* our addicitons… Amongst our addictions, are such vices as puns, Blazing Saddles
              I’ll just come in again, shall I?

    4. What are these twits talking about?

      Somebody’s damn sure Portuguese is white? Sorry, let me rephrase, some ignorant, awfully-pale Euro-twit is damn sure she gets to redefine as she sees fit?

      Guess that explains how the “dictator” was right-wing. Whatever, pardon me while I dismiss the irrelevancy of whatever spills outta their heads. They make me weary.

        1. For instance, the half-white, quarter-Arab Barack Hussein Obama is “black,” while the almost entirely black Thomas Sowell might as well be “white.”

          1. Or how Damien assumes anyone who sides with Larry Correia, John C. Wright, et al, simply must be a straight white male, while Larry notes that he’s had people tell him that Damien’s been wrong on that count.

            I know at least one person who says they pointed out to Larry how they might be a white male, but not straight, so I can kind of verify that one. It happened.

            But it’s really kind of funny. They bitch about our prejudices, while showing all kinds of prejudice. The hypocrisy would be funny if it wasn’t so damn sad.

      1. Hispanics are white now. So are Asians.

        Now all we need is for black people to become white.

        1. Black men become “white” all the time. All it takes is getting a good job and raising their children, and the race-baiting twits suddenly call them “Oreos”.

          1. I remember a group of SF writers discussing the “proper” term to insult people for “acting white” for all sorts of racial groups as if it were fun.

        2. Haven’t you heard? Race and Gender Status is no longer awarded these days on such outmoded characteristics as race or gender. George Zimmerman is a white hispanic, Sarah Palin is not female, Ben Carson, Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas are not Negro Colored BlackAfrican-American because they do not fit into the box of stereotypes our intellectual betters have decreed for them — they refuse to remain in their place.

          Determining Race and Gender by external attributes is so last century, Dude!

          1. So they’re judging people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin?

            (Note: there isn’t a /sarc tag big enough to contain this comment, so I didn’t even try.)

  4. Off-topic, but sometime ago I mentioned on another thread my plan to insert a few Heinlein juveniles among the books at a book fair at middle school where I work. This Friday is D-Day. I’ve got Space Cadet, but couldn’t find any others on the shelves of the local bookstore. May add Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Possibly a Pournelle or two. Doubt they’ll get past the checkout desk, but maybe . . .

    1. I loved Star Beast as a teenager and still enjoy it as an adult. Starman Jones was also good. You should be able to find them in a brick & mortar store since they’re available at our local indie store.

      1. My kids adored Star Beast. I never liked it, but I think I came at it too late. I LOVE Red Planet which is TMIAHM for YA. Starman Jones is #1 son’s favorite book.
        BTW, if you email me, I can put you in touch with people at Baen who have reprinted a lot of these and might be able to get a package to you.

        1. Love Red Planet. Among the first Heinleins I read in English, and I was still a teen (if barely).

          May have had some effect on how I think about guns. 🙂

      2. About the only brick & mortar stores hereabouts are a pair of Barnes & Nobles. They have Heinleins, but that one copy of Space Cadet was it for the juveniles. Plenty of used bookstores here, but their stock tends to look used; I want the ringers I’m planting to escape the eye of the excise man.

              1. You just need to set your mind right– Manly Men read westerns, right? Even the ones that put Baen MilSciTech levels of attention to the horses?

                Well, most teenage/tween girls love books with horses.

                I know some girls read westerns.

                So, you’re just doing the Traditional Very Manly thing of having over-lapping loves…..

              2. There is nothing, nothing wrong with questioning your masculinity. You only have a problem when your masculinity answers back.

                Or when your spouse questions it.

                  1. That…may pose a problem. How well do you know her? Any long trips to Thailand in her past? 😉

                    1. When I had pneumonia and they couldn’t figure it out, they tested me for an illness of Jewish Russian males.
                      Jewish — opens hands — at genetic level for sure and no contention; Russian, okay, I know, anyone who hears my accent thinks I must be. MALE? I had two children. Surely my husband who was at the births knew this? There is no trans operation that makes you fertile.
                      It was… weird.

                    2. Desperate times demand desperate acts. Just because a syndrome only ever has been identified in one sub-population doesn’t mean it has only ever been in that sub-pop, does it? Maybe it was one of those things that presents differently in different groups!

                      Besides, two out of three ain’t bad.

        1. I’ve never read it When I was a tween I was reading “guy” books only. Girl books had cooties..

              1. I grew up in New York City so I wasn’t exposed to Westerns much. I found other interesting stuff though. Alan E. Nourse. Paul DeKruif’s Microbe Hunters. Run Silent Run Deep. Danny Dunn. The Mushroom Planet.

                1. I found all those Bantam pocket histories of WWII about the time I hit my early teens and imprinted on them. And Mercedes Lackey’s first Valdemar books, DeKruif, Andre Norton, C.S. Forester (Hornblower and “The Good Shepherd”), Kipling, and I was a rabid Whovian (classic series) for a while.

            1. Babysitter’s Club. I read and enjoyed many of those when I was younger.

              To include some of the mystery side series.

    2. What about Between Planets, where the high school boy gets caught up in the first interplanetary war where colonists break free of the opressive earth.

    3. Podkayne. One of my favorites as a kid. I identified with the bratty little brother.

      1. Yes, to all of the above, and many, many more. I wiped out the local library’s supply of science fiction, everything my high school had, and anything else I could find to read that might interest me. “Lucky Star” books. Definitely Mark Twain, Zane Grey (“Shane” is my favorite). Wasn’t much Kipling in our libraries, I’m sorry to say.

        TXRed — you might enjoy the books of Douglas Reeman, mostly set in WWII. I still read quite a few books from that era, both fiction and non-fiction.

  5. There is an aspect of Marxism that has interested me for years;

    My Father was a Professor of the History of Science and Technology. One of his main points in teaching was that the style of an era affects everything. If you have Baroque painting and Baroque music you very likely also have Baroque politics and Baroque science. This insight lead me to the further realization that much of what society TAKES from the science of its day is based not so much on the science but on the science AS IT IS MISUNDERSTOOD.

    Marxism is based on the common misunderstanding of the theory of Evolution. Darwin never said that Evolution was directional, or that it moved from the flawed to the perfect, but that is the understanding that society took from it. And the idea of such directional evolution has terrible fashionable throughout the 19th century, and even through to today. The Social Darwinists misused it to justify they wealth and social position (we are wealthy because we deserve to be wealthy, because our success demonstrates that we have evolved was more or less their position). And Mark appropriated the language of Evolution (again, as misunderstood by society) to make his economic prejudices sound scientific instead of simply the rantings of an intellectual malcontent.

    Pull the pseudo-evolutionary jargon out of Marx and his “theories” collapse.

    I sometimes wonder if this is behind the way that Progressives (see! Evolutionary jargon right there!) fanatically attack anybody who questions evolutionary theory. I don’t really see why they would give a good goddamn about the actual development of species. But if the iconic nature of evolutionary theory is vital to their image, that’s another matter. Without it all their pretensions become blindingly obvious and they are revealed as the halfwit wannabes they really are.

    1. AFAICR, “Social Darwinism” was the slander Progressives applied to anyone who didn’t want to go along with eugenics. The idea being that it was heartless to “depend on survival of the fittest” and let people control their own lives (and sometimes make bad choices) and instead we should be mandating their choices via sterilization and “nudging” others to have the Right Kind of Babies.

      Frankly, I hear the same rhetoric from today’s Progressives — they’re more circumspect when it comes to their eugenics program, but the same terms and attitude comes out in their discussion of economics.

      Further evidence that their “belief” in evolution is skin-deep is their attitude towards spontaneous order — they simply do not believe it possible. Again, it shines through in their economic blather, but is apparent in everything they touch. In any conflict, they instantly search for the organizing hand, and when shown there is none, they simply promote the puppet master they know is there and repeat.

      1. Notice also that they think the future belongs exactly to those groups that reproduce the least.

        1. That was a major eugenic belief, wasn’t it? I recall reading something (believe it was by Wells) that was essentially saying… Don’t you realize how outwardly and obviously ridiculous it is to say that the lower classes are “less fit” when they outproduce you, not to mention doing so in harsh and filthy environments?

          But the idea that humanity was evolving *upward* as represented by the upper classes was blindly accepted. These days you point out that “progressives” don’t and never have actually believed in any sort of equality and you’re the one who is supposedly racist or classist.

          But who uses “trailer trash” as an insult? Progressives. (Regressives.)

        2. This actually makes a sort of sense if you consider the effects of Victorian (and other) families having so many children that estates become badly diluted.

          Mind, applying it as they have makes about as much sense as trying to fly like a jet by eating copious quantities of beans and lighting your farts.

      2. The progressives didn’t invent “Social Darwinism” (no surprise there; they are deeply uncreative) there were wealthy people during the latter half of the 19th century, and right up to WWI, who asserted that they were the beneficiaries of social evolution. The Progressives may have taken that and run with it.

        But there really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between one lot of self-anointed Top People and another. They’re ALL guillotine bait.

    2. Progressives tend to deeply misunderstand how evolution works — they have to in order to avoid the obvious lessons from evolutionary theory as to why their hobby-horse theories can’t work. This has become increasingly the case as Progressivism has become anti-human and nihilistic: it advocates policies which evolutionary theory plainly shows to be dead ends.

      1. Progressives tend to deeply misunderstand how EVERYTHING works. Nor is this uncommon in would-be elites as they roll on toward obsolescence. 19th century European Aristocracy was much the same. Superficially over-educated, but fundamentally ignorant, privileged nitwits.

        1. They seem to be locked into static analysis. Never do they take into account the fact that their changes will cause people to react to protect their interest.

      2. Progressives tend to deeply misunderstand how evolution works

        Yep. In another location someone tried to make the argument that evolution is why the 2nd Amendment is no longer relevant.

        Yeah, about that, Sunshine, we’ve had maybe 8-12 generations since the 2nd was written and adopted. You don’t get a whole lot of “evolution” in that short a span.

        1. Most folks forget that the mutations inherent in evolutionary drift are random, not targeted. So not only do we not see much drift in such short spans, but there’s no expectation of “progress” in said drift. Environmental suitability tends to trump, but only insofar as it’s coincident with breeding success and long-term superiority within the environment.

          We’re as likely to see subjectively undesirable mutations succeed, or subjectively desirable ones fail, based on the whims of breeding preference and the long-term prospects of a particular mutation.

          If it ain’t planned, folks, it ain’t planned.

          1. Then there’s my personal, probably heretical, belief that in such creatures as the giraffe and the duck-billed platypus we see an intellingence with a sense of humor fiddling with the sliders,on the “evolution” tool.

          2. IIRC, the majority of mutations tend to be inconsequential or adaptively negative. For example, “evolving” the ability to breathe sulfur-dioxide is only beneficial in various relatively brief (so far — wait until the Yellowstone Caldera blows) periods.

    3. I’m convinced that the notion of evolution having an “upward” direction was borrowed directly from ancient Platonic hermeticism as it informed the medieval Western mystics, becoming an entrenched belief that all things will try to become more like the perfect form of themselves. Hence alchemists attempted to make lead into gold (a more perfect metal), because that is the natural evolution from base toward divine for metals.

      In other words, Marxism is not just derived from a misunderstanding of Darwin’s theory, but from a mystical tradition that had lost face because of the advancement of both science and philosophy. I think that adds some background to the Marxist penchant for ignoring reality and (symbolically, at first) stoning any dissenters.

    4. I sometimes wonder if this is behind the way that Progressives (see! Evolutionary jargon right there!) fanatically attack anybody who questions evolutionary theory.

      Nice theory, but it gives them too much credit. I’m persuaded that it’s simpler than that. Without evolutionary theory, the only other rational explanation for the existence of life would be a God of some kind. (Which religion’s God is a different question.) And to them, that is a completely unacceptable idea, therefore evolution must be true.

      That does not account for the Progressives who subscribe to a religion of some kind, of course. At least, not on the face of it. But if you look at the ones I’m most familiar with, the ones who call themselves Christians… well, they tend to show by their actions that they don’t actually believe in God. (Nor, as Mary Catelli has often pointed out, including just upthread in this discussion, do they actually believe in evolution.)

  6. As I understand it, the only limited good is intelligence, with the followup observation that population tends to increase. 😉 And its corollary: The two universals are hydrogen and stupidity.

  7. I found a new insult to apply to Damien Whineybutt. Verily here it is.. “I often watch people and wonder how some of them ever made it out of the birth canal”

      1. There is the possibility of C-section.
        If his perception is of NHS saving his life at the most formative point of his life, that would explain much.

        (Yes, my tongue is firmly lodged in my cheek.)

  8. Funny– I just found an article where a woman who is doing her DNA found that she had about 14 percent that looked like African DNA (or what ever they are calling it these days). Even better the person who contacted her for checking DNA sequences was a black woman. They were definitely cousins (third or fourth). The article went on to say that race is a construct and that many people are actually mixed. (Of course we all come from Africa if you trace the DNA migration far enough).

    Anyway, when I was growing up, there was a saying that if you had one drop of African blood then you were black– therefore may people who are being accused of “white privilege” are actually black. This logic gives me a fit of giggles.

    The article was actually going in another direction– how the genotype reacts to environment.

      1. You have no idea how funny my wife thinks it is that I have .2% more Neanderthal DNA than the average European, since she has been calling me one for the last 20+ years.

        Looking in the mirror, I’m shocked that I tested out as 99% European, with 92.8% being Northern European.

          1. So who’d you all use for DNA testing? 23andMe? My husband’s thinking about getting his done as my father-in-law says his paternal great-aunts were ‘White Women.’ In context, this would be darn near anything not Bantu: possibly Arab, or given the location, a good chance of French, German, or Portuguese.
            Which any of would explain why son #4 has nearly straight hair, and would make husband three times as much white as I am gypsy. I suppose that would also explain Husband’s non-lefty gun views and why he thinks being an American is a pretty good idea. . .

            1. “Husband’s non-lefty gun views and why he thinks being an American is a pretty good idea. . .”

              No genetic testing needed. As all the SJW’s will assure you, your husband is white. 😉

            2. Yep. 23andme test is only $99 and they do a detailed regional origins breakdown. Then you can go over to Promethease and get the health-related analysis that 23andme was forced to stop doing, for only $5 more (at least, that’s what the price was when I did it).

        1. I am pretty high as well. 😉 Mostly Northern European, but depending on which classification, I also show Mediterranean and a percentage that seems to correspond to an Asian mix, with NA myopathy (I think) it points to NA as well.

    1. If “our betters” discovered the white hispanic (not by anything so sophisticated as you are saying, Cyn) they can find the white portugee… 🙂

  9. I do think Damien stumbled across the truth *once* in his column: “And that irony is only made stronger when 2014 has proved to be a pivotal year in liberating science fiction from its own innate political biases.” He may be right, but not in the way he expects. 🙂

    1. He may, but I’m not sure.

      Then again, I tend toward pessimism about the world around me. It’s part of why I like Human Wave so much. With pessimism about the world, I need some optimism in my life. 😀

        1. I embrace Human Wave and optimism about the future because I’m fully aware I can see the world through a dark and angry lens with a strong tint of misanthropy. Experience has shown a fair amount of the horrific, the step from there to pessimism is short.

          I was forced to ask myself what bitter pessimism and doubt accomplished, how it moved anything forward, where it made anything better.

          Given the answer, I decided that regardless which way the world might tumble I’d consciously devote my energy to envisioning a better future and taking what steps I could to build it.

          The whole thing may come down in fire and blood and death, but I’ll spend my last drop of sweat opposing the outcome.

          I’m certain it sounds overblown and silly to many, but I’m cool with it.

          1. I’m a firm believer in the power of negative thinking.
            I expect the worst, so all my surprises are pleasant.

            😉 But there remains a major difference between pessimism and nihilism. And pessimism need not be bitter. Mine is quite cheerful. Worse things happen at sea, you know!

                1. *poke poke* Story won’t write itself, ya know! Those characters want to live, and those readers-who-don’t-know-it-yet need that book to satisfy their story cravings. Because otherwise we sink to muttering about politics and grasping at torches and pitchforks, and nobody likes a mob (much prefer reasoned, even vigorous discourse…).

                  1. Oh, like I needed the poke! Those ‘characters’ are rattling around inside my head looking for the exit. And (somebody tell me how this works) inviting their friends over for spelunking in the dark crevasses. ‘Cause somehow I needed more folks tromping about the internal landscape…

                    I’d almost (in the astronomical family of almosts) wish for an angsty character who’d spend all his time in the corner contemplating the lining of his inner tube. These action types — they’re all about the doing, and how about now? Sheesh.

                    Gotta get by the time store and pick-up the extra-large pack of minutes.

                    As an aside, hoping to wrap up the Baen short this week(endish), you interested in a beta drive? I’ve got one other (poor sap) on the line and hoping to hook her SO in for a read, but I need some eyes…

                    1. Send it on, good sir. Can’t say for any smart comments or suggestions, but I never say no to a good story. *grin*

        2. I write Human Wave because I want to live in a world where the Good Guys win, the Hero gets the Love Interest (if there is one), and if the winners don’t exactly live happily ever after, at least their good days outnumber their bad days and they have a comfortable retirement. And there’s no existential angst, no long screeds about being victims of the Universe, and the people who get awards actually worked hard to earn them. If I can’t live there (yet), then I can create those kind of worlds.

          As an aside, beware, be very ware. I started reading a new-to-me book of folk tales from Frankonia (the real one, in Germany) and I’m getting all sorts of interesting fantasy-story ideas.

          1. Cool. I myself am reading through great batches of fairy tales at the moment. I recently got through Grimms’, and am now on Calvino’s.

          2. The Three-Decker

            “The three-volume novel is extinct.”

            Full thirty foot she towered from waterline to rail.
            It cost a watch to steer her, and a week to shorten sail;
            But, spite all modern notions, I found her first and best—
            The only certain packet for the Islands of the Blest.

            Fair held the breeze behind us—’twas warm with lovers’ prayers.
            We’d stolen wills for ballast and a crew of missing heirs.
            They shipped as Able Bastards till the Wicked Nurse confessed,
            And they worked the old three-decker to the Islands of the Blest.

            By ways no gaze could follow, a course unspoiled of Cook,
            Per Fancy, fleetest in man, our titled berths we took
            With maids of matchless beauty and parentage unguessed,
            And a Church of England parson for the Islands of the Blest.

            We asked no social questions—we pumped no hidden shame—
            We never talked obstetrics when the Little Stranger came:
            We left the Lord in Heaven, we left the fiends in Hell.
            We weren’t exactly Yussufs, but—Zuleika didn’t tell.

            No moral doubt assailed us, so when the port we neared,
            The villain had his flogging at the gangway, and we cheered.
            ’Twas fiddle in the forc’s’le—’twas garlands on the mast,
            For every one got married, and I went ashore at last.

            I left ’em all in couples a-kissing on the decks.
            I left the lovers loving and the parents signing cheques.
            In endless English comfort by county-folk caressed,
            I left the old three-decker at the Islands of the Blest!

            That route is barred to steamers: you’ll never lift again
            Our purple-painted headlands or the lordly keeps of Spain.
            They’re just beyond your skyline, howe’er so far you cruise
            In a ram-you-damn-you liner with a brace of bucking screws.

            Swing round your aching search-light—’twill show no haven’s peace.
            Ay, blow your shrieking sirens to the deaf, gray-bearded seas!
            Boom out the dripping oil-bags to skin the deep’s unrest—
            And you aren’t one knot the nearer to the Islands of the Blest!

            But when you’re threshing, crippled, with broken bridge and rail,
            At a drogue of dead convictions to hold you head to gale,
            Calm as the Flying Dutchman, from truck to taffrail dressed,
            You’ll see the old three-decker for the Islands of the Blest.

            You’ll see her tiering canvas in sheeted silver spread;
            You’ll hear the long-drawn thunder ’neath her leaping figure-head;
            While far, so far above you, her tall poop-lanterns shine
            Unvexed by wind or weather like the candles round a shrine!

            Hull down—hull down and under—she dwindles to a speck,
            With noise of pleasant music and dancing on her deck.
            All’s well—all’s well aboard her—she’s left you far behind,
            With a scent of old-world roses through the fog that ties you blind.

            Her crew are babes or madmen? Her port is all to make?
            You’re manned by Truth and Science, and you steam for steaming’s sake?
            Well, tinker up your engines—you know your business best—
            She’s taking tired people to the Islands of the Blest!”

            ― Rudyard Kipling

        3. Yes. If you are truly depressive, not just the emo(-ish) pretend version the only sensible way to deal with it is trying to be as optimistic as possible. Should never try to play with that. I have gotten to where it started to be serious, and it’s damn near impossible to get out of that without help – and even then it can take years.

          1. But… depressive is more HONEST about the world. (cough)

            That’s our beef with the “message fiction”, right? With the *literature* and high-brow “right side of History”… right? I’ve been planning to put this comment at the bottom but I’ll put it here (and I actually hope the idiots see it and spend even a single brain cell to *think*).

            Who… EVER… reads one of these approved “SF has outgrown their white male blah blah blah” stories… the queer SF future… and thinks… “Wow, that’s the awesome future I want to be part of! This was a FUN story! I feel excited about the future of humanity. Onward! The STARS!!!!”

            Right… NO ONE. Not that someone isn’t writing exactly those types of stories with *exactly* those types of protagonists… but they’re all on OUR side. Because it’s not about trying to keep non-binary gender expansive inclusive current minority people OUT… it’s about not mistaking depressive clap trap for ART. It’s about Human Wave instead of Human Misery. It’s not about proving that I (as an author) am writing deep important shit, and it’s not about proving that I (as a reader) am reading deep important shit. It’s not about proving that I’m better than you because I have all the correct concerns about all the correct problems facing all the correct people.

            It’s about not wallowing in depression, misery, and anti-human “enlightenment” and calling myself a good boy.

            1. If you start to wallow in depression that will be all you do. Nothing productive, nothing to improve the situation. You just sit there and feel sorry for yourself because after a while that is going to be all you CAN do. Unless you can both get that help and actively try to get out of it yourself – and while that help may be necessary the latter part is way more so, it’s impossible to save somebody from a serious depression unless they work at it themselves, and work hard.

              Way better to do all you can to avoid going there in the first place.

              I guess that is what happens in communist countries. The whole country gets depressed. At least that was always the feeling I got on those visits to Soviet Union. General depression.

              1. And it’s a faux-intellectualism, isn’t it? It’s that old tribal signaling again, it’s the whistles and clicks that you give before approaching the fire so that when you walk out of the dark they don’t mistake you for an invader.

                If you say the proper anti-human things… if you believe the proper “science” and approve of the right politicians and drive the right car… you get to be an *intellectual* by proxy.

                Faux-intellectualism currently (always?) rests on a laundry list of pessimism because to be other than depressed and *oppressed*, is to be dumb and happy. And being *dumb* is unacceptable.

                Why else get so completely BENT if Sarah or someone else mentions IQ?

                It only hurts if your identity (by proxy or otherwise) is based on some odd notion that you’re smarter than other people.

                1. Yep. And when they run all of us out, they’re left with people who simply CAN’T create. If they ever HAD it, it was beaten out of them. I mean they’ll turn even on lefties who CAN create. Look at Hollywood. Now stuck on the remake of a remake of a remake track.

                  1. It’s not a derivative remake because we’re completely out of ideas, it’s a Reboot! See, the 3d effects are newer, and the costumes are now mauve instead of purple! It’s, like, totally different!

                    1. Nope, you do a “reboot” because the original creator didn’t “DO IT RIGHT”.

                      [Channeling a certain SJW author] That idiot Piper wrote a story where the Corporation wasn’t COMPLETELY EVIL. Piper’s corporation was only “evil” because those cute Fuzzies threatened the corporation’s charter to the Fuzzies’ home world. I’ll just make that corporation completely evil to the point of having it try to cheat “Good Old Jack” until Jack starts quoting those “rules and regulations”. Oh, can’t have the Federation Navy helping the good guys. The military is evil. [End Channeling]

                    2. I read a review of LIttle Fuzzy that, I kind you not, put front and center that the characters smoked and drank.

                    3. Did anybody else get the idea Scalzi was rolling characters together in hopes of a movie deal? His version of Pappy Jack obviously had Gus Branham thrown in. It seemed more like a screenplay to me.

                    4. And mining coal to ship through interstellar space, don’t forget.
                      coal? COAL? I thought it couldn’t get worse than changing a prospector to a lawyer. I am so glad I’ve never read that retrash of one of my favorite books.

                2. Yep. And as I have said before, when it comes to dissing people’s opinions because they are not formally educated, the progressives usually condemn that loudly in public, but while I have never gotten much of that so far the the few times it has happened to me have happened with individuals who are very PC, once they find out that I have wrong opinions. After that the fact that I’m just a paper carrier can become a point against me to them.

                  Well, one shouldn’t care, but I have to admit being dissed that way can sting. Especially when it comes from somebody who pretended to be oh so egalitarian at first. Oh, you are blue collar? How cool, salt of the Earth and so on. Oh, you don’t think the way you should? Bah, what do you know, you are not educated… 🙂

            2. It’s not about proving that I (as an author) am writing deep important shit, and it’s not about proving that I (as a reader) am reading deep important shit. It’s not about proving that I’m better than you because I have all the correct concerns about all the correct problems facing all the correct people.

              Thank you. Emphatically, yes.

              All the idiotic parroting of high brow/low brow commentary in the various arts makes me grind my teeth. Leave aside any actual discussion of the function of art in various forms within culture, I’ve been on the inside of art production. Pretentious twits chasing themselves up their own alimentary tracts and managing to dupe the credulous into praising utter shyte by appending some idiotic essay to the work.

              If you find you need to tack on an explanation, it’s not about whatever ‘high brow’ nonsense popped into your head. It’s likely not about anything, a result immediately derived from no-talent hacks wishing desperately to partake in the mystique of ‘art,’ and able only to blather obscurely.

              Note: The distinct possibility exists that this has been a festering irritation since some fleshy rod decried LC’s work as low brow and not deserving of the Hugo.

              Season with salt to flavor.

              1. My idea of Modern art is to put a blank canvas in a Gallery and title it “TENC”, and unlike most Modern art, not have a little plaque next to it explaining what it means. At least not until they all try to out intellectualize each-other and finally hand me an award. At the banquet, I will finally announce that TENC stands for The Emperor’s New Clothes.

                  1. But of course, with Modern art, it’s not the painting, but the “Story” behind it.

                    But I’ve long held that if a piece of art needs a little plaque next to it explaining what it means, then it has failed as art. And if the artist’s explanation is “It means whatever you want it to mean.” then he has failed as an artist.

            3. I realized today that the issues I have with this book is that I started it while profoundly depressed and it bled through to the main character. Fixing now. I hate fixing, but it will be much better when I’m done.
              Meanwhile, seriously, anyone who accuses me of only having straight characters has never read my work. My writer gateway lands in the lavender zone in character world to the point it sometimes annoys the heck out of me. (I mean, between Witchfinder, AFGM and Shadow Gods, all started years apart, but all coming out clumped together, people are going to think that’s ALL I write. And it’s not. But the characters are who they are.)

              1. Meanwhile, seriously, anyone who accuses me of only having straight characters has never read my work. My writer gateway lands in the lavender zone in character world to the point it sometimes annoys the heck out of me.

                *mock serious*

                That is because you do not write homosexual men. You write cis-male heteronormative sex traitor female characters who have a male appearance– self-insertion fic with characters that you, being a sex traitor, actually identify with.

                They’re not homosexual, they are heterosexual conservative women with socially constructed male-ness!

                    1. Yeah, giving birth three times is proof that you’re a gender traitor, and endangering the earth with the overpopulation of icky humans.

                  1. The mind boggles at that event! What would Luce say/do? More importantly what would Nat say? I think that Nat would dismiss it all as rubbish.

          2. If you are truly depressive, not just the emo(-ish) pretend version the only sensible way to deal with it is trying to be as optimistic as possible.

            Worse, I’m Irish….

            K, unpacking that: the little snippet about how “they say the men of Ireland are the men that God made mad/ for all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad” has a lot of truth.

            If you are that kind of halfway point, wallowing in the Noble Tragedy of Doom type stuff is useful– it says that the stuff that feels like it’s dragging you down is just normal, and normal you can deal with. Big Major Problems (like war) are a call to joyful action– get it DONE! type things.

            It works if everybody around you also kicks in, although it confuses the @#$#2 out of my very Italian husband. (I’m always so depressing, from where he stands, about every little difficulty… but then something really big, bad and hard hits and I’m putting on work gear and attacking it like a puppy with a roast. Closest I came to giving him a breakdown until I got it across that for real problems, we solve and then can bemoan and wail.)

            1. A thought:
              “Country” music takes a lot of Celtic themes;

              The Celtic depressing-as-heck stuff has a strong vein of “If you’re going through hell, keep on goin’.”

            2. A wedding of Irish and Italian is just so completely American that I’ve got to call it out for notice and celebration!

              Don’t mind me, I’m geeking on the joyous country I live in.

              1. You shoulda seen Mass the Sunday before the Monday off for Memorial day.

                Samoan priest, lots of Samoan, Thai, Korean, Vietnames, German and such still-have-an-accent folks, plus the more normal American selection from ebon to blinding, all mangling “Proud to be an American.”

                  1. I recently heard a stand-up comic say he was three-quarters Irish and one-quarter German, which makes him a very meticulous drunk.

                    1. My doppelganger is German.

                      (Same height, same look, almost the same rate, joined the Navy at the same time, same first name, same last name, and she had the middle name I would’ve had if mom’s favorite aunt hadn’t died right before I was born, and the “from” addresses were similar enough that we kept accepting each other’s mail.)

            3. Pfagh, Irish. I am Slavic-Judaic. Or Judeo-Slavic, depending on which side of the bed I climbed out. My people deem Eeyore a bleedin’ optimist. On our best days “merely depressed” is what we hope, but never expect, to attain. When I drink strong black coffee it complains about me being bitter. We used to import the Irish for our jesters but they eventually refused to take the gigs, complaining that we were bringing their spirits down.

              Your ancestors may have invented Whiskey; mine invented Vodka.

              1. Where are your ancestors from? Mine most recently came from Russia (via Canada) and Lithuania. Born and bred Litvak even though my husband is a good ol’ boy of Celtic (Scots-Irish) descent.

                1. Of the four family roots I know of (it being of about as much personal interest as water that has passed the mill) there would be, I vaguely recall, one Russian, one Lithuanian, two Latvian.

                1. My relatives made a better living off of it. (Considers offering a list of Jewish comedians, realizes that I don’t actually care if a comic had a bris but knows there were plenty of them and eventually comes up with Sammy Davis Jr. Well, okay: Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart … boasting points for first to say what they have in common besides trimmed willies.)

        4. Currently I am reading Michael Barone’s history, The First Revolution (England, 1689-90). In describing the lead up to that event he describes Charles II as a pessimist and younger brother James I as an optimist, with the subsequent consequences:

          Charles, skeptical and aware that so much had gone wrong, was wary of risk. James, fervent in his beliefs and pleased that so much had gone right, was eager to take risks that ultimately brought him down.

          Those optimists will lead us to destruction every time, I tell you!

            1. I enjoyed him when he was writing for National Review … he is no longer published at the sites I visit and I usually barely have time for those. I long treasured his dismissal of Palestinian “Woe-is-Meism” by noting that the inhabitants of Hong Kong have far less natural resources with which to work but seem to be doing all right.

              1. But but… THEY HAD THE BRITISH HELPING THEM OUT1! That’s why they’re so much better off! The Israelis have everyone helping them and we don’t so waaaaaah woe! WOE! is Palestine! / mock

                Ah! My eyes! They’ve rolled too much again!

  10. There can be no more thorough and complete fisking of such bitter clingers than that offered up by Mary McCarthy of Lillian Hellman: “Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the.”

    Concise & comprehensive.

  11. You may not want to call Damien names, but I sure do. Of course, for me, it’s personal. I tried to engage him in honest debate, and was actually polite despite knowing how he did Larry Correia, and I get maligned and blocked.

    Kind of pissed me off, mostly because it was clear he wasn’t able to actually debate and defend his ideas, and I was hoping for the easy win.

    1. No, see. These poor children believe all conservatives are the TV and movie “conservatives” made up by people like them. They have no clue what we really think or why or how many of us used to be like them, then grew up.
      I “love” the accusations of stupidity. I’m not bragging, but I DO have proof of IQ and would stake mine against any two of them any day of the week.

      1. I don’t have proof, but I’m smart enough.

        Damien told me, after just a few tweets back and forth, that I wasn’t “open” to discussion, then blocked me. I hadn’t insulted him or anything at that point. Hell, I was being pretty damn nice.

        I’m sorry, but please tell me I’m not the only one who sees the irony in that?

        For the record, I keep talking about this thing with Damien, but I do it simply because I just can’t help but feel like it calls serious attention to his character. Oh, he won’t block Larry or some of the other “poorly known” writers because he knows he can’t really get away with that. Me, on the other hand? Oh, he can treat me with impunity because I don’t have the right thought process. I’m not a big enough name to warrant anything approaching civil treatment.

        And that sums up so many on the left. “Oh, you disagree with me? Then you are scum.”

              1. No no no, the cisfemale heroine would never have the opportunity to ovecome her oppresion and recover her sympathetic nature if the entire boatload of Colonial Marines didn’t take every darned person on board down to the unresponsive colony, leaving not even the handy dandy android ir even Private Game Overman back on board the transport to hit the Nukem button if an …infestation problem developed.

                Oh, wait, were talking allegory. Nevermind.

              1. Great, now I have “napalm sticks to kids” with converted words stuck in my head, probably for the next shift. Oh thank you.


        1. I’m sorry, but please tell me I’m not the only one who sees the irony in that?

          Nope. You’re the only one. Nope, nope, nope. No one else sees any irony ther – Thwap!

      2. It’s been tested in the lab. Jonathan Haidt found that the farther left you are, the more false beliefs you have about your opponents.

        1. Now that is an interesting article.

          So is the one where he argues that liberals develop their beliefs based on only two of the moral foundations from his theory while conservatives base theirs on all five foundations. Translation: conservatives are considerably more complex moral thinkers than liberals.

      3. “Natalie Luhrs ‏@eilatan 27m @PrinceJvstin @timata87 god i hate her ‘i’m smarter and better than all of you schtick so much gaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh”

        Oh please can’t I ban them using my porta-potty internet connection or something? Oh, mein gott, Natalie needs a drink. Please get me a drink, dear. There’s a good fellow. HONK!!

        1. I wonder if it occurs to the echo-children that making a case might take more than 140 characters?

          Perhaps it does, and this explains why they’re enamored with the platform. No room, no expectation, no need to make a case.

            1. I disagree. Iowahawk has always been a very good writer, but when he moved to Twitter is when he really came into his element. His wit condensed to 140 characters is sharp enough to slice atoms.

      4. Not telling you anything you don’t already know I suspect, but I have found a depressing number of Mensans who have bought the progressive kool-aide hook line and sinker. IQ does not from my observation serve as an indicator of possession of common sense.
        Or as I’ve been wont to say on occasion: most of your average clutch of Mensans could not pour piss out of a boot if the directions were printed on the heel.
        From a once proud, but now sadly disaffected Mensan.

        1. Well, of course, because they would realize that the boot had something in it, and carefully lift it up to read the directions from underneath. Some might even craft a blocking mechanism of some sort first.

        2. Oh, sure… there’s nothing about being “smart” that keeps anyone from being wrong. There’s that bit about all that “smart” gets you is that you get to be wrong in far more spectacular ways…

          But when the whole of the other side’s argument is that the truth is obvious so you must be *dumb*, it totally justifies hauling out proof of IQ.

          1. The piece of paper upon which my IQ is written is more intelligent than some of these folks. But it’s a learned stupidity; their intellect has been turned off by their own choices and attitudes.

            The good news is that they can potentially turn it back on again. Sin slowly snuffs out the intellect, but virtuous behavior kindles it again. If you’re not spending all your time being nasty and flippant about the important things, you can actually find time to think deeply.

        3. Uncle Lar — there is one reason we left Mensa, too. I think it was the bulletin talking about how wonderful the Clintons were. But seriously, I only bring it up because they think the fact I disagree with them means I’m dumb or uneducated. (I’ve read more in one month than they have in their sad little lives, I bet.)

          1. You would think that such BRIGHT people, such wily Super-Geniuses, would eventually suss that argumentum ab auctoritate is logically extremely weak, and that argumentum ad hominem is pretty stupid. Those blinders they wear are obviously quite thick, almost as thick as most Mensan egos. Their tautological fallacies contradict their presumed abilities (eventually, truly smart people realize that wise beats smart every day of the week and twice on Sundays. And that the two are not synonymous.)

          2. The only reason I have stayed with Mensa was the availability of discounted life insurance for members. Though, having watched Mensans for decades now, how the actuaries concluded that Mensans are a better risk group than the general population is beyond my ken.

        4. Possible way to get it:

          IQ is a measurement for how good you are at recognizing, building and continuing a latticework; it’s not a measure of how good you are at realizing roses don’t grow 600 feet out sideways in a cup of dirt, or that you might need to tie the rose to the lattice…..

        5. You do realize that Mensa is comprised only of those dumb enough to think being in Mensa matters?

          I have a Phi Beta Kappa key and a Church Key — guess which is more useful?

        6. What do you call a Veyron with my grandmother behind the wheel? A slow car.

          You can have all the mental horsepower you like, if you’re not willing to use it you’re being dumb.

          1. If you do not challenge it, exercise it, and make use of it daily, you will soon lose it, I sincerely believe.

            It can be re-trained, but that takes time and concerted effort. Willful stupidity causes a lasting harm. It is part of why I think the converted show such fervor- awareness of what was lost, feelings of betrayal, etc.

            1. There is some truth to that, but it can be a good thing.
              Being intelligent often simply means you’re able to rationalize things that a less-intelligent person would balk at.
              Recognizing the limits of knowledge and acquiring a sense of humility has been enough to apply the label of “anti-intellectual” to me.
              I don’t believe my IQ has dropped, but there are certainly a lot more people willing to denounce me as “stupid”.

              1. “Being intelligent often simply means you’re able to rationalize things that a less-intelligent person would balk at.”

                Intelligence gives you options that don’t always occur to the less intelligent or experienced, I think. Some of those options, like rationalizing the unspeakable, are bad. The word “intelligence” implies a broad range of concepts, too.

                Recognizing one’s own limitations and having a sense of humility sounds more like wisdom and common sense than something I’d put under the label “intelligence,” but that may just be the old RPG gamer in me.

                Intelligence as used by some folks on the left seems to mean clinging to doctrine or rote repetition of things they are “educated” to believe. Twisting and changing the definitions of words is a favorite tool of the political class. “Intelligent” implies you agree with them, while “stupid” connotates quite the opposite (if you are a “climate denier,” you quite obviously can’t be intelligent, it seems).

                I don’t think simple common sense makes you stupid. I *do* think that it ain’t very smart of them to go calling anyone who disagrees with them “stupid.”

      5. “They have no clue what we really think or why…”

        You’d think someone would *ask*. Instead Damien (quite stereotypically) suggests that if Larry just issued an apology and clarification that it would all be OK again.

        “I’m sorry you never bothered to ask me what I really think or why and that you just made up this big narrative about me, but I’d much rather have a great deal of fun with the meme of International Lord of Hate than give even the smallest credit to your little fantasy.”

        1. They have no interest in what we think or why. It is more affirming of their innate moral superiority to imagine those reasons. The actual “Reality-Based Community” is sufficiently in touch with reality they don’t have to assert their basis.

        2. Even if we tell them what we think, they will misinterpret it. Then they will impute dark and dire motivations for the interpretations they assign to our words, and produce what would be a laughable mockery, if they weren’t so serious about it.

          1. That is because it is well known on the Left that Rethuglicans use “dog whistles” when we speak. You know, like when Tim Geithner wrote in his book that

            I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday shows, I objected when Dan Pfeiffer wanted me to say Social Security didn’t contribute to the deficit. It wasn’t a main driver of our future deficits, but it did contribute. Pfeiffer said the line was a “dog whistle” to the Left, a phrase I had never heard before. He had to explain that the phrase was code to the Democratic base, signaling that we intended to protect Social Security.

            Emphasis added.

            1. They claim it’s a “dog whistle” but somehow no one’s supposed to ask why they hear it.

              1. The whole premise of Dog Whistles and Speaking in “Code” is to translate the things we say that are unassailable into straw men they can easily knock down.

              2. As has been said before — if you’re the only one hearing the dog whistle… you’re the dog.

                And just as with the famous saying about poker, “if you don’t know who the mark is, you are the mark,” the person who the saying applies to never does figure out that they’re the one it applies to. The people who hear “dog whistles” of racism everywhere? None of them, NONE, realize how racist they are showing themselves to be.

                1. The way I heard it was:
                  “if you’re the only one hearing the dog whistle… you’re a son of a bi…”

    2. I tried to engage him in honest debate, and was actually polite despite knowing how he did Larry Correia, and I get maligned and blocked.

      Kind of pissed me off, mostly because it was clear he wasn’t able to actually debate and defend his ideas, and I was hoping for the easy win.

      It’s always bothersome when you extend an honorable hand and get slapped for it; not sure if it’s more or less annoying than someone making a bunch of noise about how they’re extending an honorable hand while they slap you.

      1. Which is why using a donkey for their symbol is pure hubris on the part of the Democrat Party.

  12. I the “scrapings of progressivism” have been left upon the floor, somebody better send in hazmat team for cleanup. They can be so dangerous that they cause entire countries to wither and die if not disposed of properly.

  13. It’s amazing how in one year the PC have gone from being an echo chamber of banning, shaming and witchhunts to being publicly drowned in their own rancid quotes – internationally! Support for the SFWA by normal people has evaporated. Not even the crazy feminists will want it now they’ve been exposed. The Nebulas are now nothing more than a self-writing Monty Python sketch. No one will take them seriously. It’ll become a laughing symbol of worst-of, not best-of. For racists who like to talk about white straight dinosaurs, they don’t realize their credibility is extinct, but fanatics can’t help themselves, and so the Nebulas will keep nominating gay-fem lit or close. They certainly aren’t advocating for writers or their literature, unless one sees burning crosses as a form of advocacy. Their own terrible fiction will doom them if nothing else.

    The PC may think I’m happy to say that, but as someone who got that happy warm feeling from the SFWA initiated SF Hall of Fame books, it’s not a happy feeling at all. It’s more like looking at a house that’s burnt down and having at least identified the arsonists.

    Whether we may fully realize it or not, new institutions are being formed that will act as a gathering space for fun, humor and literary art and entertainment. No one’s going to be dumb enough to take in racist sexists a second time. Now we know what to look out for, and it’s their strange obsession with race and gender hiding as “social justice.” One whiff of that and it’s “No thanks – been there, done that.” Oddly enough, just as in the case of larger America, bigots hiding among marginalized people are only ensuring a marginalization worse than when they started complaining. Who trusts GLAAD or the NAACP in 2014? Who trusts Carl Brandon? They’ve spent the goodwill a new generation of Americans showed them – shit on it – called it hate. I say fine – call a man a dog long enough and they bark.

    I think it’s pretty plain to see now this was never about politics. These are bigots who hide in that stuff. The credibility they get for their hate comes in maintaining an aura of victimhood. Once that’s been exposed they’re toast. And… now they’re toast. Like I said, they’ll never quit because they’re fanatics, but we see them very clearly now, and so do thousands of readers who never knew about their distaste for whites and men and heterosexuals in movies, books, film and TV. “White saviors.” Pfft! Who but a racist talks like that?

    To me this whole thing is the KKK and their helpers, and that’s the way I look at them. White supremacists have kids who love them and wives and pet their dogs and are affable in person – so what? They can take their PoC dinners and shove them, and hope and pray white dinners don’t start popping up as a result of their own stupidity. They’re daring people to do as much. How in the hell can you argue against segregated high school proms now? Kids are going to point to those morons and say “What about them?” What am I supposed to tell them? No? “But my favorite Dr. Who writer does it.”

    1. There were “blacks only” tables in the dining hall in Commons at Yale in the early ’70s, and I guarantee no one else was welcome there.

      1. One of our local (latino) radio stations has bumper stickers and signs that say “La Raza!” (the race) The term expresses ethnic or racial pride–according to Wikipedia. In practice, it is the slogan of the hispanic supremacists and the “Reconquista” movement. Imagine a similar bumper sticker for a country radio station and the resulting outcry. But for latino pride, OK!


        BTW It’s usually followed by “rising up” as in “Our RACE, Rising Up!!”

    2. It might be interesting to run the numbers and determine the effect a Nebula has on sales. I suspect that if there is any effect it is sales-suppressive. Careful experimental analysis would likely be needed; it might be difficult to find valid comparatives.

      1. It’s also going to be hard to filter out random noise in sales numbers that small.

        1. Checking post-Award sales might not be practical, but I wager that sales, period, are lower for Nebula nominees than for novels not award bait. That would seem to be an easily verified factor. Simply checking Amazon and B&N sales numbers in first year after publication against the median SF novel in that year? Although that tells us about the demand for Nebula-type novels, not whether the Nebula boosts sales.

  14. It is sad to be incapable of seeing where the path you choose winds up. Their reason is beyond misinformed– but malformed, so making the short logical steps from “progressivism” to marxism and serfdom are entirely opaque to their own wisdom. They are not only incapable of seeing the truth but of ever discovering it with the so-called tools given to them by the malevolent, so-called education system. What they receive as wisdom– what is called “critical theory” is an elaborate formalized ritual based on playground insults. It relies on an axiom they deny exists, that is, the flawed nature of all mankind. You can win an argument against anyone, because all men (and women! and other humans, too!) are flawed. But because they claim to believe otherwise, they are somehow exempt from truth. To cover their tracks, they must banish even the playground.

    All who disagree must be shunned and shut down, before they reveal the seeds of reason.

  15. Too bad they don’t realize, the more they upend Christian principles, the less power they have. The social acceptance of abortion is leading to the dying off of leftists. Odds are, the future belongs to the orthodox Christians and Jews. Of course, they have to fight the Muslims…

    1. It used to be that the mid-east was a center for scientific discoveries and advancement. The spread of Islam appears to have curtailed that. I have often wondered what that has cost us as a species. If it has to come down to a fight, being the side with the more robust, advanced technological base could have some advantages.

      1. You have things slightly out of sequence. There was a time when the Muslim middle-east was a center for scientific discovery, but Islam went rancid somewhere along the way. Islam didn’t destroy the middle easy immediately. For a few centuries it was a notably more educated and intellectually free society than Christian Europe. But out didn’t STAY that way. And I don’t know enough of the history to even GUESS why.

        1. Eh, well, actually, if you read the new (as in last 10-15 years) work coming out of Europe about early Islam, all the major intellectual, medical, and scientific work was done by recent converts or by Christians and Jews and Zoroastrians. The Muslims used it, spread it around, but did not develop 99% of what later scholars attributed to them. Ditto the bit about preserving Greek and Roman classics. Christopher Luxenburg’s work, and the essay collections his shorter pieces are in, are fascinating, but hard to get. (I’d be more specific but this is a really, really touchy topic in certain religio-cultural circles, as you can well imagine.)

          1. Do you know enough to give a brief summary of the origins of algebra? That’s the one I see quoted most often (what with its Arabic-origin name and all), and I’d be curious to learn more. Especially whether the popular view of its origins is roughly correct, mostly wrong but gets a few facts right, or entirely wrong.

            1. Most of what I have is on theology and general culture, but let me do some digging and I’ll get back to you. If our fair hostess prefers, I’ll post what I have over at my place.

              1. Nah. You can post it here, or even do a guest post. as for some people being upset — I ain’t afraid of nobody! (Okay, I’m afraid of tons of people, but they won’t object to that.)

        2. For a few centuries it was a notably more educated and intellectually free society than Christian Europe.

          If I remember right, wasn’t that while they were still doing the empire building thing?

          Note, not an expert.

          Basically, a lot of stuff coming in– I vaguely remember someone doing a chart where a large number of the things that were “Islamic Discoveries” were “countries being taken over by Islam” discoveries.

            1. Oh, gad, now I’m envisioning some sort of compare/contrast between Islamic science centers (bring loot in) and how we’re now discovering the Monasteries worked (find a good technique, spread it to the far ends of everywhere. Ironically, was discovered because historians were trying to figure out why the slag at a place in England had so little iron in it… the monks had figured out a way to get more iron out of the ore, but had been, er, “disbanded” before they could spread the technique.)

                1. Reparations? HAH! Don’t get me started!!!! First, the Egyptians owe back wages for uncompensated slave labor (and a royalty on all those tourist trips to view the pyramids), the Romans (or their heirs) stole our land, drove us out and renamed the place Philistenia, for gawdsake — think a little something ain’t due for misappropriation of property?

                  Then there is Spain and their repudiation of loans made in good faith.

                  I’m willing to cut then a break on interest compounding, I’ll figure it monthly rather than daily compounding … I’ve got a tally book here somewhere …

                  1. I actually believe in reparations. I think anyone who believes that their ancestors were unfairly treated should be able to petition the government and receive a DNA test to determine which area of Africa most represents their ancestral homeland. We should then do everything in our power to return them to that state of being. All they must do in return is renounce any and all claims they once had as American citizens.
                    Seems fair to me. Make them all better, don’t cha know.
                    And the program would even pay for itself since any property they held was obtained by way of slavery so should in all fairness be liquidated, sold off to fund this noble effort.

                    1. Bludgeon.
                      Typos must be beaten into submission, staked out in the sunlight, then allowed to wither and expire.
                      Die, thou spawn of my most disobedient fingers, die you ungrateful wretch!

      2. Yeah the Mideast being a center for technological discoveries ended somewhere around 700 AD.

        1. Credit where it is due: the did invent nothing, which has proven useful to mathematicians ever since.

          1. Actually they got it (along with “Arabic Numbers”) from India. [Evil Grin]

            1. But they did invent the Janissaries.
              Granted, it’s hard to see that invention as anything but the blackest evil, but it was an actual innovation of theirs.

    2. The social acceptance of abortion is leading to the dying off of leftists.

      Yes, literally. To speak more broadly, they have an anti-child, anti-reproductive attitude that ensures that they have less children and less surviving children than do non-progressives. And, do what they like with the school curricula, the fact remains that short of rearing children in creches, their parents will always have more influence on them than will anyone else.

      This is one of the examples of them not grasping the implications of evolutionary theory, which are far more wide-reaching than merely pointing out “humans are apes.” Darwin made one of the great discoveries of science — up there with heliocentrism or the Laws of Motion — and he made it after Marx had formulated most of his ideas. Socialism is a child of the pre-Evolutionary intellectual world.

      1. Pardon the pedantry, but Darwin published and publicized after Marx published his tripe, but much of the actual work was done well before Marx published.

        1. OK, for the pedantic (or just curious), “On the Origin of Species” hit the shelves on November 24, 1859. “Voyage of the Beagle” was 1839. Marx’s first longer monograph, more or less, was “Theses on Feuerbach” (later part of “The German Ideology”) published in April 1845. Marx’s first published work was 1842 (newspaper piece) and the You-know-who Manifesto was 1848.

          1. Regency Marx. Marx can be the annoying guy. (Because he was a leech.)

            Admittedly, Brust and Bull already did magicpunk Hegel. Mostly it taught me that I didn’t like Hegel much. But yeah, it’s Bull and Brust so it’s not a total waste of time. The main chars are cute.

    3. The social acceptance of abortion is leading to the dying off of leftists. Odds are, the future belongs to the orthodox Christians and Jews. Of course, they have to fight the Muslims…

      We arm our women, we don’t kill our females that have been alone with unfit males (although we might help her kill them) and our women tend to enjoy sex.

      Add in the whole conversion factor and I know where I’d bet.

    4. Leftists don’t reproduce normally, they use our schools to convert our children into leftists, kinda like some species of parasitic wasp.

  16. “The idea of a finite pie leads inexorably to the idea that fewer humans is better and no humans best,…” – for many, who are at root self-centered, the idea is of one human (themselves), who have the whole pie.

    1. I like pie, but can I have cheesecake instead of pie? I’d really rather have cheesecake. I have this recipe for cheesecake with buttershots (amaretto works well, too!). If I have to have pie, can it be huckleberry? I think I have a copy of my grandmother’s huckleberry pie recipe that is to die for. And ice cream. I want ice cream with my pie.

              1. The Word Tech Manual (AKA dictionary) on my ship had the entry for gauche highlighted because it defined it as “socially awkward.” I like to think that one of my ancestors made quite an impression on the French.

  17. I would never have come up with the idea to apply the “bitter clingers” characterization to Marxists. It’s so true, though.

    I remember going to leaft-leaning Quaker meetings and Mennonite churches in the mid-nineties. They would have these stale tracts in the back about overpopulation (leftover from the seventies, no doubt), most people would average over age 55, there would be at most one baby crying out of the entire congregation, and there would be one teenager that was currently majoring in women’s studies at a small liberal arts college.

    Bitter. Clingers.

    Being from “plain” traditions, they would all know about the Shakers… and have not one iota of awareness of what they’d done to themselves. If a family with three or more children showed up to visit, they’d be distinctly uncomfortable– almost the exact same attitude described in Ender’s Game. (The third child really was a tipping point for them.) The happier the mother, the greater their rage. “You’re using more than your fair share of resources!!!”

    Incredible. Who can possibly imagine such people owning the future? It’s preposterous.

    1. The happier the mother, the greater their rage. “You’re using more than your fair share of resources!!!”


      Is THAT the trigger?

      1. Heaven help us! There’s no such thing as fair share of resources. It’s expanding not finite.

  18. I sat down the other day and did a quick calculation, based on the currently popular progressivist privilege/disadvantage demographic dichotomies, of exactly what a “non-default” or “queer” literature would look like, using the extremely blunt tool definition of “into what group does the protagonist fall”. For reference, these dichotomies were White/PoC, Straight/Queer, Male/Female, Christian/Non-Christian, Upper/Middle/Lower Class, Able/Challenged, and Mono/Poly (-gamous/-amorous).

    The upshot is that for a truly non-default distribution in this imaginary corpus, your classic “The Man” hero — white straight monogamous middle-class Christian able male — can only be 1 out of 192 protagonists. And no other protagonist type can occur any more frequently, either. (The number only goes up if you realize how many real-world distinctions go into groups like “Christian” or “Non-Christian” or “PoC” or “Queer”.) That’s what’s needed to be able to pick up a book in that body of literature and genuinely have “no default” in what your protagonist will be. Can one ever imagine this actually happening naturally? Can one imagine any methodology by which this could be deliberately engineered that will not utterly ruin this literature as a body of art about human beings?

    What truly flummoxes me about this is that for a philosophy supposedly priding itself on seeing nuance and shades of grey, it’s amazing how black-and-white its thinking is when you get down to brass tacks.

    1. What you’d have to do is develop software to generate semi-random characters, so that if your hero is a mixed-race woman with an arm that was withered in utero, no other mined-race, handicapped characters appear. (A bit like doing creation rolls for a table top RPG without choosing the species/race first.) And then write the story you thought you wanted to write, with only the computer-generated characters. It might be an interesting challenge the first time, but only the NY publishers and SJWs would use the software for very long.

      1. A variant of the Traveller RPG character creation rules?

        (Traveller: The RPG that can kill your characters off during character creation.)

    2. Ugh — and I can’t believe I forgot “Cis/Trans”. Right; that means “The Man”, white straight monogamous middle-class Christian able cis-male, can now be only 1 out of 384 protagonists.

      No wonder intersectionality has become fodder enough for a whole university department.

      1. Epicycles.

        Just as they kept adding epicycles to the Ptolemaic system to keep predicting the planetary motions, they keep adding groups to their “intersectionality” to ward off the notion that people can have problems either because it is human, or because of their individual selves, which is anathema.

        The difference is that since adding epicycles is a Fourier series, it can actually predict planetary motion to any desired precision if you add enough.

    3. The Sophisticate: “The world isn’t black and white. No one does pure good or pure bad. It’s all gray. Therefore, no one is better than anyone else.”
      The Zetet: “Knowing only gray, you conclude that all grays are the same shade. You mock the simplicity of the two-color view, yet you replace it with a one-color view…”
      —Marc Stiegler, David’s Sling

      They are gray people in a gray world living gray lives writing gray goo. They are fighting a gray battle to make the world a little grayer. Once everyone is gray, then we’ll all be happy and celibrate our diversity by being gray together.

      1. “It’s all gray.”
        “Knowing only gray, you conclude that all grays are the same shade.”

        Reminds me of a line I came up with as an answer to Solzhenitsyn:

        “The line between good and evil cuts through every human heart.”
        “Of course it does. But it doesn’t cut every heart into equal halves.”

        1. And I don’t think Solzhenitsyn would disagree with that for a moment. Those who quote him out of context, I can’t speak for.

        1. *musing*

          Black and white, properly done, has everything– white split into bits gives you the colors. Bits of black makes them darker, or the colors can be engulfed in white.

          Unless you get really, really, really close– you’ll never know it’s black and white. But that really really close level is where theory operates.

      2. I am reminded of the 70s PBS production of le Guin’s Lathe of Heaven. In the part where George’s dream turns everybody gray so that there would be equality, the actors all have disturbing red eyes, because the cheap grease paint they used was very irritating.

  19. Remember the words of Professor Bernardo de la Paz, as approximately related by Manuel Garcia Kelly-Davis: the first step in Revolution is to make things worse. You can’t get people to revolt unless things are really (perceived as) really bad. The SJWs are making bigotry worse and blaming their opposition for it, just like a good Revolutionary movement would.

  20. More in the sense that various parts of society constituted well-oiled parts, working in interlocking harmony.

    You know, you reminded me of a scene in The Incredibles, where Bobb “Mr. Incredible” Parr is being raked over the coals by his boss. Said boss describing society as a “clock” where all the gears (people) have to mesh together.

    That movie is delightfully subversive, actually.

    “When everyone is ‘special’, no one is.”

  21. Read this and realize it is not a Samuel Delany haha look how funny the future is story from 1968. This is how these folks drive even other’s nutiness nuts.

    I actually don’t care what people do but keep in mind this is being mainstreamed right into the heart of science fiction literature as “must-do” and ending binary SFF. If I write a dystopian SF story what do people do – act normal and happy and stumble onto natural pregnancy in the ruins of a basement?

    1. WTH was at that link? It makes not a bit of sense to me. Is it some sort of writing experiment? WTF is a “genderflooomp?” Google isn’t even a help there. I mean, the words are mostly english, arranged in mostly a conventional way, but I need a whole lot more context for it to make sense. It almost reads like one of those spam-bots that mash up sentences to avoid the spam filters. There was a lot of it for a while. Some of it almost seemed like machine poetry. That post, however, is nonsensical.


  22. “The first step in a revolution is to make things worse.” are things going to get worse? We almost had Concord Bridge in Colorado. All it is going to take is one shot the next time. Who do you want to be the next multi-millionaire president? I would do it. $450,000 a year is damn good money. benefits are good too. Saving the A10 would be on my short to do list.

  23. Delany, isn’t he the guy who wrote Dahlgren? I think that is the one… I fought my way thru it, looking for the ground breaking, heights of SF, but instead found about 100000 pages of the protagonist having sex, fixating on his smelly sticky genitals, and then finally wandering out of the woods, with the word “quotidian” used on every other page? That guy?

    I can’t check because I finally got rid of the book in a purge of cr@p I was sure I would NEVER want to re-read.


    1. I thought that getting to page 60 of Dhalgren was like getting to lightspeed. Impossible in this universe.

      1. I made it all the way, past the event horizon, through and out the other side. Can’t really say I’m better for it.

        It was pretty sticky, if I remember….


        And I have a hard time (well HAD) believing it could really be that bad. Then it was finally over and it was that bad.

        Like reading China Meville. bug headed girlfriends and all. All the way thru to the end of the fractured earth, and in the end, totally MEH.

    2. Someone has pointed out over at Correia’s blog that Delany’s work goes… light years beyond… ‘having sex’. I’d never heard of him before and I think I don’t want to read his stuff now.

      I’m quite squicked right now… but apparently SJWs are totally okay with Delany because of his Glittery Hoo-Haa rainbow flag and not-whiteness.

      …My skin won’t stop crawling.

      1. I confess that despite growing up with him being acclaimed as one of the greats of SF I could never like his work. It seemed… odd. And this from someone (me) who loves Philip K. Dick.

      2. I recall very much enjoying his earlier work. He wrote several pretty impressive novels up to 1968 —

        The Jewels of Aptor (1962)
        The Ballad of Beta-2 (1965)
        Empire Star (1966)
        Babel-17 (1966)
        The Einstein Intersection (1967)
        Nova (1968)

        — then took a break until to forget how to write, at which time he published Dahlgren.

        As Sarah indicated, people will differ. I will also allow as I was still somewhat young in the field and possibly an even poorer judge of good writing than I now am. Even at his most accessible Delany was an author of … particular appeal, like Aldiss, Budrys and other highly stylistic authors.

        1. Um… I don’t think I’ve ever seen those. The first one to be translated to Portuguese was Dahlgren.
          It now occurs to me I might never have read either Aldiss or Budrys in English and that for stylists translation can be an unkind friend. I might have to give them another try. When I read them while young I didn’t care for them.

          1. Someone got paid to translate that goat-gagger?????? I hope they got a harsh-duty bonus. Perhaps the book was translated by a team so as to protect anyone from over-exposure, just as the killing joke was translated into German.

      3. You’re not alone on the skin crawling thing. The fact that Damien Walter wants to lump Larry in with Vox based on allegations alone is bad, but Damien misses that he’s holding up a guy who’s publicly supported NAMBLA and wrote Hogg…I’m sorry, but if every word they said about Vox were absolutely true, I’d still rather associate with him than a man who seems to see no issue with sexual intercourse with children.

        1. Heck, he probably wrote favorably about the Occupy Oakland protest against the National Human Exploitation And Trafficking Watch Conference. A group dedicated to fighting against sex slavery.

  24. , but no matter how much my teachers assured me that the Soviet Union was a beacon of civilization and the United States was like the Roman Decadence but not nearly as much fun, even I, at fourteen, knew which way people fled even at the price of leaving everything behind, including family.

    Just more evidence that they are insane and should be locked up for their own protection.

    In case it’s genetic, anybody related to them that’s still in country should be locked up, too.



    1. “No more let it be said, ‘The father has eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.'”

      I’d be opposed to locking up the families on general principle, without them having done something first.

      1. Sorry, should’ve put a “creepy propaganda explanation” thing there.

        I can see situations where you’d want to lock up those related to those with mental illnesses– but they’re all at such a barely-able-to-survive level that killing the insane is defensible. (Sorry, but that’s what “expelling” a crazy person when you live in a tribe sized group that barely scrapes by is…. Ugh, I’ve been reading too much historical theory stuff.)

  25. OT as is it seems to be a WP issue – o.O It says my username does not exist when I try to log in to reply at Master John C. Wright’s blog. Nor does my password, or email address. Yet I just went to my own account and it’s definitely there… even changed my password. And it works. o.O

    Wanted to ask since I suppose I’m part of the Minionship of the International Lord of Hate (nominally? By association? Because I buy the books?) and a Hun (am I?) would it be too untoward to be the person who keeps the glass of the Brain in A Jar clean. Or be part of the Evil League of Evil.

    1. I believe that he’s got a “” (or is it org?) blog, the one where they host it– so you have to register separate. Sometimes you have to re-register, too.

      1. No, I mean where they DON’T host it!

        I know I don’t get updates via the chrome dongle when I get responded to there, anyways.

          1. It’s not a problem loading, it’s just a difference between and; the one that’s the “host” will update the Chrome ap or extension or whatever it is, while the other one is under total control of the site owner.

              1. That was such a cheerful article. I’ve read it twice and I just . . . One is tempted to return to pen, ink, and ledger book.

                1. *looks over at husband, the military IT guy*

                  Well, you’d PROBABLY be fairly secure with a computer that’s not on a network…..

              2. That was such a relaxing and comfortable read, I wanted to drop you a line and thank you, deeply, from the bottom of my stuttering heart.


    2. At this point you can’t escape being a Hun, hon.
      … and I’m afraid I have several brains in jars. (That’s what we call my pen names.)
      VERY weirdly last night, I dreamed I met you, at some party. Odd, uh?

        1. No worries about calories. Alcohol is a fuel, fuel burns things, like calories, so the more you drink, the less the food “counts.” *looks all serious like* Really. I read it on the Internet so it must be true.

          1. I’m gonna have a bourbon later so this pie is totally okay…


            I’m gonna have two bourbons later so…

            1. Chocolate fondue is made with wine, but it is a dry white, and the alcohol cooks off anyhow, so this red will be just fine, and I can have that beer later if there’s any left…

        2. Add in quite a few of us have that Southern value of “bring food” to *everything.* Funeral? Cassarole. Wedding? Pastries. Get-together? Clean out the fridge, buy some other stuff, dragoon random guests into watching the grill, oven, stovetop, crock pot, and so on.

          Then again, there are kids with hollow legs, fast metabolisms (skinny folks with black-hole appetites), and of course food goes with alcohol goes with food… *grin* Telling tall tales gets one thirsty. Or so I am told.

            1. Do you have good neighbors? My grandma always had about twenty or so for dinner, about half related and in-laws. Gran lived through the depression on great-grandad’s farm. Farm food, always a garden, always made extra “because someone’s always hungry.” And usually, there was.

              I’m still working on my bachelorfood ways. I was raised with the stockpot and forever stew, and tend towards “a little more,” more often than not. I’m not so good with one, maybe cooking with two will be easier. We’ll see, someday. *grin*

              I have a cousin who married a nice young lady from Ukraine. She was utterly unsurprised by our food habits, and told us if *her* family had such abundance as our little mountains did (and, I think, the U.S. in general), they’d have ate as well every chance they got.

          1. “Hey, glad you could make it! Nice to see you, parties in the back. Stick the cobbler in the kitchen. Here’s a beer — and spatula, turn the burgers.”

            1. *snrk!*

              You have no idea how accurate. Last get-together I ran, I press-ganged two guests into cooking duties. No complaints, and the chicken turned out just fine (makes mental note to use guest #3 for grilling in the future). I need to get more of those plastic containers to start pressing leftovers on guests again, I’m running low…

              1. SOP, man. These parties don’t throw themselves. A fair portion of the guest list ought be based on the relevant skills of guests or SO’s.

                “Oh, they gotta come, she got her grandma’s pecan pie recipe…”

                ‘Tis why I laugh when fancy eaters go on about ‘fusion’ meals.

                We call that a good turnout. If somebody’s not whispering about recipes over by the buffet, something went wrong.

                I’m short on opportunity of late, now I’m nostalgic!

            1. Note my reference to fusion food over there somewhere. And I’ve heard you talking recipes. You have an automatic invite to any get-togethers I throw.

        3. Well, if you or your family are ever going to be in Thailand, shoot me an email beforehand (firstname dot lastname at gmail) and I’ll see if we can figure something out.

        4. I couldn’t claim to be good company, but my recipe for Disappearing Baked Beans is awesome. Although my wife thinks it’s gross that we like to dunk our pizza into the beans. But all that bacon, onion and brown sugar is perfection in a dish… 😀

          1. I dunno…. I think I’d need some kind of proof that these beans really disappear… maybe some sort of experiment that I could try at home, which would (ahem) require maybe a recipe of some sort…?

            1. Ask and ye shall receive. The best things in life are meant to be shared…

              Disappearing Fatlicious Baked Beans
              1 3-lb can pork and beans
              1/2 cup ketchup
              1/2 cup brown sugar
              1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
              2 tsp mustard
              1 sweet white onion (sliced)
              10 strips pre-cooked bacon (chopped)

              Set on low heat in your crock pot for about six hours. Can eat by itself or by dipping supreme pizza into the beans. Also good with cornbread.

              Eventually I’ll stop being so lazy and modify it to make from scratch, but for the time being, it’s hard to get out of your recliner with three or four bowls of this in you. 😀

          1. Well, now someone else came up with the name.

            Now, I’ve got to get some fans. Can you buy those on Amazon? (And no, not the mechanical things that move air. I know you smartasses too well 😛 )

            1. I like the idea of just calling Knighton’s fans Crusaders, sameway we’re all Huns.

              Oooh, hun crusaders…

              *now picturing her minigun wielding mascot on a short, shaggy pony and wearing a Cross.*

          2. Hunh. I came up with The Knights of Knighton … you know: Knights of the Round Table, Knights of Malta, Knight of the Woeful Countenance.

            Sub-group: Knighton’s Kobolds, for doing the wet work.

          3. Knighton’s Knights — and he could write a kiddies going to bed book titled Knighton’s Knights Say Nighty-Nite.

            1. You must not have read any of my stuff.

              My stuff tends toward violence. In other words, Knighton’s Knights say Nighty-Night because they’re slaughtering something. 😀

              1. Nah, you can say “nighty night” to the kiddies because you’ve killed the monsters under the bed and in the closet. [Very Big Grin]

                1. By the way, I read a “boggy man” story where the child was worried about Mommy because Mommy had gone into the child’s bedroom to see about the monster. Mommy comes back out and says something like “those monsters should know better than to scare my child”. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                  1. I blessed their toy swords, and my husband has taken his sword in once or twice when there are complaints of monsters.

                    Haven’t gone all Major Pain and emptied a gun into the closet yet, though. 😀

              2. Well, of course. You said Nighty-night to monsters as you send them off to their eternal sleep.

            1. I got called Weiner Wayne. Figured out the opinions of assholes don’t matter. But I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it being a tender subject, I just simply don’t hold onto things like that for long unless they are reinforced regularly, and never have. I know other people aren’t like that.

            1. I considered Knaves, cause then you could stick ’em in a cave and arm them with witty staves and just accept they’ll misbehave because of all the things they crave…

              Then I kicked myself.

                    1. It’s all in how you prepare (for) it. I’ve seen your recipes, I know you can fix up a mean fish dish.

                      And really, after the number of fishy compliments lobbed your way, I’ve got to believe you’ve got the pan-fried, the baked, the deep fried, the cream soup, the…

            1. The guys in the 160th might quibble a bit. Maybe. But I thought Knightstalkers might put you off your feed.


            1. Nah, you’re looking at it wrong.

              An organized army that’ll scale your foundations and tear down your house of lies…

  26. “Ann Somerville @ann_somerville · 4h Protip – if you can’t cope with minority groups wanting a small amount of time to chat together once in a while, you’re soaking in privilege”

    Mindtip – if you lie about the difference between formally declared racial segregation at WisCon and an informal chat you’re a liar. Or it could be you’re stupid enough to believe in your own propaganda. Enjoyed raking your empty mind over the coals at The Guardian. Too bad you actually didn’t have a mind to appreciate the spanking.

  27. I wrote this on a thread at PJM:
    What a horrible degradation of the term “science”. The current level of CO2 is ~400 ppm (0.004% of the atmosphere). Carbon dioxide is essential for life on Earth. It’s ranged from ~120ppm to 30,000 ppm (0.3%), yet the planet didn’t “burn up”, nor was it “tipped into an unstopppable disaster”. Below about ~120 ppm all plant life would die.

    Carbon Dioxide provides about 4% of the “greenhouse effect” the Earth experiences. Water vapor provides 95%, and all other sources provide the other 1%. The “warming” provided by CO2 is logarithmic – beyond about 650ppm there is no additional “warming”, regardless of how much CO2 is dumped into the atmosphere. Paleochemistry has dertermined that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has ranged from about 450 to 1650 ppm for most of the planet’s existence. Plants and animals are still here.

    Scientists have estimated (God, how I hate that word! It means “I pulled the numbers out of my butt”.) that man adds about 5% of the increase in CO2 that’s been observed over the last 150 years. Yet 5% of 4% (0.2%) are supposed to be driving “cataclysmic anthropogenic climate change”, raising the sea levels six feet, causing runaway heating, and extraordinary weather events. Anybody see a problem with this?

    There are plenty of places where one can learn the truth about the great climate change fraud. I recommend Anthony Watts’ “Watts up with That (WUWT)”, “Bishop’s Hill”, Dr. Roy Spencer’s website, Dr. Fred Singer’s excellent site (linked from WUWT), the Global Warming Policy Foundation page, Dr. Judith Curry’s site, and a dozen or so others that totally destroy the made-up “science” of “Glowbull Worming”. The actions of the EPA have no foundation in science, and and need to be reversed immediately before they destroy the United States.

    There was a VERY interesting post on WUWT earlier from one of the scientists that spoke at the Congressional hearings on AGW. I highly recommend it.

  28. “What struck me about Walter’s article was his unshakeable certainty that he and other “progressives” are the way of the future.”

    Whenever I hear some lefty claim that they are the future, I’m reminded of “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” from “Cabaret”.

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