Don’t Be A Victim!

This is a post about victimhood: admiring, sanctifying, exploiting, parading and – strangest of all – stealing victimhood.

Guys, seriously, if aliens dropped in from alpha centauri tomorrow they would think we are very odd creatures. What is it with the big fights over who the biggest victim is, shaming and trying to make people feel guilty because they aren’t victims, claiming victimhood on behalf of anyone else and, most important of all, endowing oneself with someone else’s victimhood by white-knighting for them?

To define things: a victim is someone to whom, through no fault of his or her own, unpleasant things happen. Worse, in today’s lexicon, to cultivate the victimhood, a victim must remain a victim and allow bad things to continue happening to him/her. The minute he stops being a victim he loses all victimhood points.

So… who would WANT to be a victim. Beats me. I’ve been one at times, through no fault of my own, and it was pretty unpleasant.

Part of this, I think, is a perversion of the desire to help others. For instance, in books, it is easiest to gain sympathy with a character if pretty unpleasant things have happened/continue to happen to them. Anyone who has read my books knows I’m not above using those.

Here’s the thing, though, in a book worth reading, the character doesn’t come in whining and sobbing, doesn’t drape himself all over you claiming victimhood and REMAIN A VICTIM for the rest of the story. Instead, the character shoulders his or her limitations, grows and becomes admirable not by feeling sorry for him/herself, but by doing something worthwhile. If he or she does remain a passive victim, for this reader at least, the book takes flying lessons.

Mind you, if your ambition is to be assigned to a school’s reading schedule, then that’s exactly what the book should be. I don’t know how many of the kids’ assigned books could be described as “Downtrodden minority has a shower of sh*t rained on his/her head every page of the book, till the end when he/she dies a horrible death or achieves revenge in some stupid way.” It’s the plot of all of them I skimmed.

Add to that the strange concoction of sixties/seventies ideas that no one is ever guilty of anything and that even the most heinous criminal was driven to it by society, and we have… a fine mess, where being a victim gives you license to do whatever you want, and be as nasty as you want to perceived “evildoers” while remaining “saintly” because you are a victim.

As a confession, when I was in 9th grade, during the final exams (the ultimate accountability exam. It having come to someone’s attention that through the previous three years, the first years of the revolution, teaching had been spotty; days had been spent painting murals and having our “consciousness” raised and that some schools were never in fact assigned teachers, in 9th grade they made us take a nationally scored exam – ours was the first and weirdest year, since we weren’t prepared for it, but since then it’s become a national thing. You had to pass the exam to continue or, in fact, to have any chance at college.) which were stressful-crazy, since most of the stuff on them we’d never been taught, and “I haven’t been taught this” was no reason for the question not to count, one of the boys in the all-boy school across from mine committed suicide.

In retrospect, he must have been mentally ill. What he left behind was the usual “manifesto” bumble broth of complaints about how we were treating the environment and men’s inhumanity to men.

His letter made the rounds of both schools and more than one of us posted it in some public space, because of course, he was a “victim of society” and we identified with him.

This was foolishness. First, I’m fairly sure he was mentally ill (though it might not have been permanent had he survived. In the boiling broth leading up to those exams, all of us could be fairly overheated) and second, it was his decision to kill himself, not anyone in society.

But as adolescents we were primed to view “he was driven to it” as a reason enough and to lionize him. It was the spirit of the times. Nothing better than being the ultimate victim: a dead one.

It wasn’t always this way. One of my favorite books is A Little Princess, which is admittedly my most girlish taste in reading. I read it round about twelve, and granted, the girl is a victim. But the thing is, she doesn’t stay a victim. Through imagination and compassion, she builds a universe for herself that can’t be destroyed, and is ultimately rewarded. (BTW the movie is not like the book, and the book is better.)

And there were times, further back, when being poor or a “victim” in any way was proof that you were somehow evil. A bit of this mentality is preserved in Islam’s belief that Christ could not have been crucified, because that would be proof he wasn’t a prophet.

Yes, if you look further back, there are some hints of this in the Judeo Christian tradition. All the prophets of Israel seemed to be cast out and wander the wilderness doing the Biblical equivalent of eating out of trashcans, which was a necessary passage to their destiny, and of course Christian martyrs went singing psalms to the lions’ bellies. (Believe it or not, they did. It was a great factor in early conversions. Though I suspect now and then, one of them, faith or not, indulged in a good cry or scream. Who knows?)

What one is apt to forget in our secular days is the difference between dying in the FIRM belief in a reward on the other side, or suffering ill on Earth in the certainty that Himself will life one up after. The amount of certainty in the afterlife even among people in my village dwarfed my most faith-filled moments. They spoke of it incidentally and casually, as one plans a holiday or a trip abroad. I think that most of those days from which the stories of true martyrs come to us were more like that, and in face of the great reward promised, a passage through brief victimhood was acceptable.

It was perhaps predictable the tradition would get perverted by the romantics.

But it in itself, it wouldn’t matter much, hadn’t Marx got his foot in the intellectual door of the West. (Like a bad salesman. A little bearded ink blot, selling hatred and divisiveness.)
It was Marx who allotted victimhood out by classes and classes in a later evolution of his theory came to be apportioned by such weird characteristics as sex, race or sexual attraction.

According to the neo-Marxists what you are determines your victimhood. You can neither escape nor change it.

Take me, for instance, as a Latina (and fairly dark if I spent any time in the sun, which I don’t), an immigrant, a woman, I am by definition downtrodden and a victim. My days are filled with endless struggle and humiliation. There is no way to change that… unless of course, I declare non-Marxist opinions when the other side will immediately define me as white and call me names. They have to define me as white before they call me names, otherwise they just would add to my victimhood points. (No, I don’t know what you get if you win. Perhaps a set of matched shot glasses.)

But don’t despair, if you’re born lilly white, and even – gasp – male, you can be a victim by proxy so long as your opinions are red. You become a champion of the downtrodden and from then on you can attribute everything that goes wrong in your life to political discrimination.

 

Sorry, I rolled my eyes so hard I dropped them. Will someone please retrieve them for me and dust off the cat hair. Right.

Do I need to tell you this is nonsense?

Yes, of course, some people are victims. In fact, I will pretty confidently state we’re all victims sometime. Sometimes it’s when we’re too young to know better. And sometimes it is because we love someone and allow him or her to take advantage of us. And sometimes it’s even because of our sex, color, or sexual orientation.

Most of the time, though we’re only victims for some time.

Even the people I know who grew up in the hardest circumstances imaginable, usually turned their lives around when they became adults/moved away.

In fact to remain a victim seems to take either mental illness or extraordinary effort not to improve one’s circumstances.

And no, of course, victimhood doesn’t always follow the lines that people tell you should be victims. Say you grew up in a middle class community as a black person, in America. You might think you’re a victim – only because the SJW’s tell you that night and day – but the truth is that you’re nowhere near victimhood. The poor black baby born to a crack addicted mother in Detroit is. As is a white baby in similar circumstances. Notwithstanding which, they might both turn out all right and have a good life.

Because here’s the thing: this is America. We don’t have a caste system. As study after study shows, people move all over the map, not just physically but economically.

America is a country where you can reinvent yourself. Unless, of course, you’re wedded to your victimhood and think it confers something special upon you.

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. If you’re a victim, it doesn’t make you special, or good or full of human kindness. It is in fact likely to make you the opposite – human nature being what it is. But mostly, you’ll be the same human you were before you were victimized. And being victimized doesn’t excuse your acting horribly. Self-defense is not the same as hurting those who never did any harm to you.

Your “class of victimhood” doesn’t count in anyone’s mind but Marxists, and come on, those people are crazy cultists. It doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else.

And if you experienced a little pang at reading that, it’s time you came out of the dank darkness of Marxism and into the light.

You see, while being a certain color or orientation or sex might cause crazy people who follow a long-dead white-man (failed) prophet of doom to fawn upon you, refusing to be a victim, taking your lumps and learning from your experiences and battling on, makes you human, and an individual human at that.

And if you are an individual human, not trying to follow any script, the possibilities are limitless, and you decide where you go and – depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in – how far you go.

And that – that – is far more fun and more interesting than being a perpetual victim.

Stand tall. You’re a free man/woman. Despite what the Social Justice Warriors Whiners would have you believe, your future is not dictated by your skin color, sex, orientation, or even (within limits) your handicap.

Your future is yours, and only you can script it.

 

UPDATE: Today being Wednesday, I have a post up at Mad Genius Club.

 

205 thoughts on “Don’t Be A Victim!

  1. I recently had a ridiculous amount of time on my hands, and read The Count of Monte Cristo. (apparently written in an age before editors. It is loooooong. 😛 But it was good too.)

    One of the most badass characters in the book, IMO, was Nortier. In the latter half of the book, he is paralyzed, trapped in his armchair with a family that has always despised him, and only able to move his eyeballs. (Think Stephen Hawking, without the technology or anyone who much cares about him except his granddaughter.) And yet, despite his horrible physical limitations, he manages to save his granddaughter from the literally poisonous machinations of his twisted family through cunning, manipulation of his son’s filial duty, and painfully slow and elaborate communication.

    Rather than being pitiable, he comes across as formidable.

    1. Dantes was also a victim but, (unlike in the movie version), he ends up carrying his revenge too far in the end, and his games ended up spilling over on some innocents.

            1. Hey! I resemble that! (Of course, it helps that I’ve discovered Kipling [better late than never] and a few other authors that others have mentioned, as well as the writings of several of the other Hoyt’s Huns.)

        1. Naw, it’s actually the perfect reference.

          “What don’t you represent _my_ flavor/fetish of {Insert TMI-nority Here}?!”

          “Because I’m not in that headspace enough, I’d have to do something like have them dream of turning into a dinosaur and eat people.”

        2. I’m not sure I get the reference, unfortunately. 😛 (Haven’t hung around enough perhaps?)

          //too far? Well, I suppose I should qualify that: His enemies were contemptible, and good riddance to them, but by the time the Count returned, they had families and innocent bystanders enmeshed in their lives. The Count too often assumed he had things so completely in hand as he was playing with the lives of his enemies that he didn’t see how disastrously wrong his revenge could go until his confrontation with Albert Morcerf and ultimately in the lethal self-destruction of the Villefort house that took Villefort’s son (the unpleasant, but still innocent child) with them.

          Dumas forshadowed this fairly elegantly IMO with how close things went to going horribly wrong with the Morrels – people the Count was trying to help

          Re: Jasini and Foxfier below – it seems to me that the Count (he certainly was the protagonist of the series) is a little more complicated than a traditional hero and villian. And he does see it in the end and undoes the damage to the best of his abilities.

          1. Google “Nebula winner “if you were a dinosaur, my love”” I apologize in advance for lost brain cells. fortunately the dratted thing is only 1k words long.

            1. Reading the comments on one printing of it, I was pleased to see that I wasn’t the only one who thought it ripped off “If you give a Mouse a Cookie.”

            2. The sad thing is that I suspect a majority of that story’s* readers have read because of references here.

              *Story might be more of a compliment than that jumble of coherent words, strung together in a semi-coherent fashion, deserves.

            3. That gave me one-quarter of a feel. Not even a feeling. Just a measly little feel.

              I guess I was supposed to weep for hydrangea-wife’s deep tragedy, right?

    2. Dumas was almost certainly being paid by the word. The people who wrote most of his books for him, not so much.

  2. I saw a survey yesterday (I wish I remember where) that said something like 61% of the people didn’t believe America was a place where upward mobility was possible. This must make it easier for politicians to convince people to vote for them as their Champion. Last I checked, if you have some talent and bust your butt, you can improve your lot in life. But I’m a straight white male, so I should probably check my privilege.

    On a different note, most SJWs sound like four year olds whining because their older sibling still has ice cream and they ate theirs already. “Why does Bob still have ice cream when I don’t. MAKE HIM SHARE!”

    1. Yesterday on Cedar Sanderson’s FB page some guy tried to lecture me on how we need to make sure to accept stories from under represented minorities, because they don’t have the contacts/don’t know the field/need a leg up to be published, as opposed to the rest of us, people of privilege. I had to point out I came to this country with no contacts, no help, as an ESL speaker, and even more ignorant of how things worked than an American born to a non-SF family. For instance, I had no idea SF conventions EXISTED much less that you could meet editors at some of them, or that this helped you sell.
      And I’ve done all right, with no leg up, and with a last name (married name) that betrays no ethnic origins.

      1. Y’know, it’s funny; five years ago, I thought cons were limited to things like comics and star trwars. I had no idea you could actually come face to face with the people who write the stories (this comes of growing up in the wooded rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, where owls determine whether towns live or die, and the rain stops two days a year. if you’ve made the appropriate propitiations). Let alone editors, cover artists, and other fans. And yet, straight white cismale gendernormative fascist (innakilt!) that I am, I theoretically started much higher on the ladder than someone who grew up in Manhattan, rubbing elbows with such folks on a regular basis. And all this simply because of the melanin content of my skin. And maybe plumbing fixtures.

        1. Well, I don’t know. Clearly you married a woman who is with the hagging, so you could probably invent for yourself a label “magicosexual” which makes you special…

        2. The first Con I attended was Norwescon 14 in Tacoma, WA. That was in 1991. How could you miss the ads? My daughter lives up there now, and she sees them, booth in print as well as televised.

          1. I can’t speak for the kiltedOne but I’m pretty good at completely failing to notice ads or even actual events if I’m not looking for them.

          2. I lived in Grays Harbor, about a two hour drive from Tacoma, and in high school, travel was … iffy. And no, the ads never made it to where I was. Also, no cable, so no television. I’m tellin’ ya, those little towns out on the coast are isolated. A lot.

            1. I grew up about half way between Grays Harbor and Tacoma, and until this moment had never heard of Norwescon. Where would the ads even have been at?

              1. Oh yeah, we had two (sometimes three if the weather was right) tv channels growing up, and I never bothered to watch them.

                1. And to be completely honest, I was too busy in high school. Between classes, the homework I didn’t really do, and activities, what spare time I had was devoted to RPGs with friends and reading.

          3. The first con I attended was one of the first, if not the first, Star Trek cons in Richmond, VA in… ’74 i think? maybe ’75. We went to hear (no offense intended) a black lady talk about being in Star Trek. I was three.Took me years to make the connection that i was Uhura.

    2. “…didn’t believe America was a place where upward mobility was possible.”

      This is sad. History is full of people who started from nothing and made their mark on this world. It is still possible today. All you need is hard work, determination, maybe some luck, but the harder you work and the more determined you are, the luckier you’ll get.

      I’m not saying this in a flippant manner, either. It is so easy to look at other people’s success and think it’s unfair how easy they got it or assume they must have this and this counting in their favor, or the latest, that they enjoy a privilege which, like magic, automatically bestows success and riches. But you don’t see the hours of toiling, the sacrifices are being made, time spent away from family and friends, etc. You only see the end result.

      1. Well, you can still fail. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, and I might never get there, but of all systems built by men, ours is the one that allows the most mobility.

        1. Yes, you can still fail, but you’ll have a fighting chance. And if you fail, you can try again, and again. I’m not saying it is easy, just that the possibility exists. Besides, people have different definitions of success. For instance, I’m under no illusions that I’ll ever reach King’s or Gaiman’s level, but if I manage to sustain my family with my writing, that would be a success for me. It might take a year, it might take five years. Once I’ve reached that position, hopefully I’ll be content, but knowing human nature, I’ll probably move the goal posts again. lol

          1. That story on Instapundit the other day? About how a lot of the Mexican vigilantes fighting the drug cartel gangs are ex-illegal aliens who worked in the US?

            They basically said that working as an illegal in the US is so much better than conditions in Mexico, that it made them wonder why on earth Mexicans weren’t fighting to make life more legal and steady like the US. So they are fighting, and a lot of US illegals are funding them because they have steadier jobs than the folks at home.

            Yeah, next time somebody’s talking about how horrible we are, remember that story.

            1. I have long believed that one feature of the out-migration, from the Mexican government’s point of view, was that it removed from society those persons most likely fight against the system’s injustice and corruption. Obviously, this was a benefit of limited duration.

              1. One of the reasons that I sort of liked Bush’s guest worker idea, at least in theory; Make it *easy* for people to go back home again.

              2. Why do you think the Mexican government has consistently opposed any form of border or immigration enforcement.

                It’s a major reason why I think we should solve the immigration problem by finishing the job we starting in 1846.

                1. I think that an American annexation of Mexico is pretty much inevitable in the long run, and am astonished that the Aztlan loonies imagine it will go in the other direction.

                    1. What’s in it for us to annex Mexico? I can see what the Mexicans will gain.

                    2. Ultimately, I think we’ll wind up annexing Mexico because we are strong and Mexico is unstable. Mexican instability will create (is already creating) a threat to our security on our southwestern borders, which will likely lead to our annexing at least a buffer zone at some point. This almost happened already, in 1916-17 — only our entry into World War One distracted us from doing so.

        2. The greatest factor in your failing is likely the system established to see that only “good” authors make it out of the mid-list ghetto. The system which evaluates your work not on how well-written it is, not on how vivid are your characters, how compelling are your plots, but on how high is your melanin ratio, on who you sleep with, on how out of touch you are with ordinary America.

      2. I’ve been part-time minimum wage as an adult. It’s not fun – but it’s not permanent UNLESS you want it to be and aren’t willing to change your life. I was having fun on it – but I realized that I wasn’t able to do what I wanted and that living constantly on the edge of financial catastrophe was wearing me out.

        To be honest, if I’d had a government stipend to make it more ‘comfortable’, I’d probably still be working part-time at the bookstore. (Oh, wait – that chain dissolved a long time ago… 😦 Well, maybe not. I’d probably be shoving boxes in a warehouse somewhere for a living, maybe even at full-time minimum wage!)

        Decide you want to change your life for the better – and it’s remarkable what can happen.

      3. Ran into a black guy I knew from my Air Force days on the Internet a week or so ago. We were talking about role models. His were Frederic Douglas, Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver. He now owns his own business, employs some 40 people (mostly vets), and hauls in a six-figure income every year. He applied what he learned from his heroes, and is a massive success. Great guy!

    3. If I didn’t know surveys were worth somewhat less than the time it takes to talk about them I’d splutter.

      Perspective. Useful thing.

    4. “61% of people not believing America is a place where upward mobility is possible.”

      According to IRS records, there is a 98% turnover rate in the top 1% over a decade, and 12% of Americans will make it into the top 1% for at least one year during their lifetime. Article here.

      You do not get 98% churn without upward mobility. I would bet that if you analyzed the data from the rest of the world, you would see something staggeringly different amongst the marxist utopias, and I doubt if you’d see anything nearly as staggering as a 98% decadal churn in the top 1%.

      1. If only WordPress had a +1 button… at any rate, thank you for posting this. I was wanting to post the same thing, but didn’t have the article at my fingertips, so you’ve just saved me several minutes of Googling.

      2. The critical question, of course, is how to be one of the guys heading up. 😛
        (Oh, there are themes to it, it seems. Starting five businesses one after the other, taking large gambles on ventures and ignoring any sort of traditional career ladder. “No one got rich working for someone else”. I’ve been looking into it off and on. I’m nowhere near on that sort of track in life right now though.)

        1. In my head (without a cite!) is a study from years ago that said the number one predictor of being the founder of a successful startup is the number of unsuccessful startups one had previously founded. This ‘times at bat’ metric apparently holds true across region and era, explaining why the first time startup success is so vanishly rare.

      3. I remember seeing prior statistics that divided income on a log scale into thirds. Of each third, in a generation about two thirds went to one of the other bins.

  3. Mind you, if your ambition is to be assigned to a school’s reading schedule, then that’s exactly what the book should be. I don’t know how many of the kids’ assigned books could be described as “Downtrodden minority has a shower of sh*t rained on his/her head every page of the book, till the end when he/she dies a horrible death or achieves revenge in some stupid way.” It’s the plot of all of them I skimmed.

    So, they’re teaching the story of Job in schools these days?

          1. He lives well, with his wife and his second crop of kids and his second fortune. And living well is the best revenge — particularly when God Himself vindicates you in the sight of the Devil and all your friends. (“Shut the freak up, friends of Job who’ve never really suffered,” is a nice paraphrase for certain bits said by God.)

            1. Yes. Exactly. HE WAS NEVER TURNED INTO A DINOSAUR WHO ATE PEOPLE. Being told to shut up is not a “I’ll kill you” type thing. Hence, Job is not depressing.

              1. ….there are people who think the verses talking about the behemoth’s are actually talking about Job having been turned into a dinosaur….

                @_@

              2. Not only did Job not get turned into an (anything) to take revenge, God specifically told Job’s friends, “I’m angry with you lot and I feel like punishing you, but if Job will pray for you, then I’ll forgive you.” And Job DID. That’s the opposite of revenge, and that contrast makes that idiotic dinosaur story look like what it really is: small, petty, and a portrait of humans at their worst instead of at their best. Which is not the kind of portrait we should be honoring with awards.

  4. I figure Marx was a necessary balancing act. The Almighty had just re-released His agenda, and now the Devil got a chance to once again present _his_ views on how to run things.

  5. There is a Yiddish word for a person who inevitably gets more than his share of whatever hits the fan; schlimazel. And I have to say that todays professional victims strike me as more schlimazel than martyr. They whine a lot, which makes me want to snap at them “Oh, shut up and eat your nice sh*t sandwich”. Hell, most of the time it seems to me that that sh*t sandwich is what they signed up for in the first place.

    Take the bozo from the “Occupy” movement who was bitching because of the debt load he had taken on to get a masters degree in puppetry. I have a tiny degree of sympathy for him, because every damn thing under the sun has an associated college degree that you are supposed to get, which flat out do not understand. But I am still stunned that hitching across the country to get a job fetching coffee at jim Henson Studios never occurred to him. And, ultimately, a big debt load for a useless degree IS WHAT HE SIGNED UP FOR.

    1. He should direct his bitching at his grandfather – who obviously never studied war, so that the father could then study commerce, so that the bozo could then study art.

      1. He should direct his bitching at his advisor. A DEGREE IN PUPPETRY!?! What happened to riding the rails to hollywood and hustling? Why is it “Get a degree!?!” for EVERYTHIng?

        1. I am imagining the HR department reviewing resumes:

          Hey, this guy’s got twenty years experience, working with kids hospitals, doing birthday parties and even some local TV and several independent films!

          Yeah, but he doesn’t have a degree. And look, he’s been doing weekly puppet lessons for some church Sunday school — probably a whack job. <This applicant, OTOH, only has two years of part-time puppetry at ChuckECheese but has an MFA in Puppetry! Call her in for an interview.

          1. I would be, and I am, very sympathetic to whining about the need for a degree or test or whatever for everything. I do a lot of that myself – it has been about a decade since I last worked as a cleaner, and as my current income is lousy I have started looking at job ads for cleaners first time after that decade, and guess what, more than half of them now say you should have something called ‘a pass’ to apply. Which is proof you passed some sort of test, right now I don’t even know what kind of test. For cleaning. Which I did for two decades, and damn it, all you need to know about it, for basic versions, takes about fifteen minutes of instruction. Maybe half an hour if you are really dense. Of course to be really efficient at it might take some doing, but then that needs doing it, and developing patterns for it, and getting some experience at it.

            And that ‘pass’ costs some money too.

            Idiotic.

            But whining because you can’t get a job with that degree you wasted time and money on is a bit different. Just keep on whining about the rules which demand that stupid degree before you can get a job or start working at it, do not first happily pay for that degree and then whine when the stupid degree turns out to be useless because you can’t automatically get a job with it.

            1. There was another one who whined about not finding a job — I forget her area — because what was memorable was what she thought was a clinching argument.

              “Aren’t you supposed to follow your dreams?”

              1. By all means. Follow your dreams. In the time during which you are not working to repay debts, put a roof over your head, food in your mouth, provide for spouse, family, etc.

                1. I’m living the dream. And looking forward to the part where I wake up screaming.

                    1. Evidently the only real accomplishment in the last five years is to utterly destroy the comedy model of The Onion.

              2. This is the sole area of sympathy I have for the OWS types. They have, in fact, spent their entire lives to date being systematically and ruthlessly lied to about how the world operates by precisely those whom they _thought_ (not without some reason, either) were on their side, such as parents and teachers. And then, in their mid-20s, they are summarily dumped out into a world for which they were promised preparation (for which they’ve been charged prices that inspire jealousy even in the hearts of dealers in real estate, luxury cars, and cocaine…mostly on credit, extended not by legitimate institutions operating in the open and judging and pricing risk according to sensible and fair practice, but by what are essentially mafiosi with the official protection of the US Government) but were not, by any means whatsoever, actually prepared.

                Some are luckier than others. For instance, there’s me…I got my first root account when I was 9, and my first paycheck for working as a sysadmin when I was 14, so when the career I’d gone to college to study for turned out not to be a viable option, I at least was able to get a job whose wages the collectors could subdivide among their multiplied selves. Had I not already had almost a decade of work experience by then? Yeah, I might have ended up in a place where I was so useless that I ended up camping out in parks as a political protest, too.

                So no, I don’t blame the kids who “followed their dreams” all the way into nightmare. I blame the adults who told them all their lives to do it. Particularly the ones presently in the 35-55 range, who ought to have known better.

                But even there, the time must come to get over it. Yes, it is manifestly and cruelly unjust how thoroughly today’s youth have been conned. In a world of divine justice they’d get their 20s back, while even merely human justice ought to be able to at least return their money. But the years and the money are both irretrievably gone, and all we can do is pick ourselves up and vow to appreciate the lesson which has been so very costly to acquire.

                Or…well, you know…keep whining and complaining about how hard your life sucks, and try to punish people who had nothing to do with causing it. See how well that works.

                Complain about your life, or improve your life. Choose one.

                1. They say it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I ask why not both?

                    1. Hearing this line about lighting a candle or cursing darkness reminds me of Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series. Book 3–Islands of Rage & Hope is out next month. The e-arc is up at baen.com. This phrase is often used in this series. “Light a fire rather than curse darkness.” John Ringo is so Human Wave that he can make a zombie apocalypse (traditionally grey goo) Human Wave and inspiring.

                      With individual effort and will, and luck or perhaps God’s providence, reforming the world with the crooked timber of humanity. It is a testament to the power of the individual to create home out of the crooked timber of humanity.

                      “It’s hard to light a candle, easy to curse the dark instead…
                      Riding the day, every day into sunset
                      Finding the way back home!”

                  1. I thought it went “It’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.”

                    1. Depends on where you are. Lighting off a flamethrower in a small space brings to mind many “th” words. Like thermobaric, third-degree, and thuck.

                    2. I was thinking of the Tao of Pratchett “Build a man a fire and he’s warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life.” The flamethrower quote was the funniest I ever read by Pratchett.

                    3. I believe it was from Men At Arms. And the whole scene it is part of is extremely funny. I’m smiling just thinking about it. 🙂

              3. Ah, so I should apply for a job where I lie on a cot watching TV and playing video games all day, while snacks are delivered to me by a bevy of beautiful office girls all of whom have secret crushes on me? Where do I sign up? 😉

                1. I’m going to put in my application to drive and maintain a supercharged bright orange ’69 Dodge Charger that is impervious to the laws of physics involved in jumping, and to spend my leisure hours in the company of a 21-year-old Catherine Bach.
                  [PAUSES THOUGHTFULLY]
                  The less realistic hurdle is getting my wife’s permission to do so.

    2. Finally I know what the 2nd word of the Laverne and Shirley theme song is, and the meaning even makes sense!

      You never know what you’ll learn on the old interwebz….

      z

  6. “According to the neo-Marxists what you are determines your victimhood. You can neither escape nor change it.”

    More precisely, the neo-Marxists believe nothing you can do as an individual can reliably change the conditions of victimization for you personally — if you do manage to escape victimization it must always be attributed to luck as much as effort — nor can anything a single person can do as an individual change those conditions in general for society. Our Gracious Hostess can never exemplify a principle of success because until everybody like her does as well as her, she is an outlier and a random aberration, not a proof of concept.

    Hence the predilection for mass solutions imposed from the top down, because those really are the only kinds of solutions the neo-Marxists think will work. (Sure, nobody who’s tried has succeeded yet — but nobody who’s tried anything else has “succeeded”, by their definition of success, either. I sometimes think the saying “Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good” was invented for this mindset.)

    1. I have heard with my own ears a leftist lamenting that too many books had individual actors solving their own problems; they should all depict collective action.

      1. Bingo! that’s the problem with Marxism. They focus on the collective rather than the individual.

      2. Ah, yes — I remember reading ERB’s Tarzan novels and thinking how much better they would be if Tarzan would arrange hostage release negotiations with the Oparians instead of busting in, viciously assaulting poor, underpaid guards trying to earn a day’s pay, destroying valuable property and humiliating the Oparians by rescuing Jane.

        And of course, in Door Into Summer the scene where the hero negotiates with Miles and Belle is the highlight of the book.

          1. Having recently “re-read” the Skylark series (thanks, Audible!) I am compelled to point out that the deletion of the Fenachrone was a collective, not an individual, action.

            Considering his serial eliminations of the Eich and the Chlorians a strong argument can be made that Smith (and his fans) suffer a particularly virulent form of amoebophobia, although some will no doubt understand that this antipathy is actually a displaced homophobia, rejection of those who do not conform to society’s rigid roles.

            1. Now, now. Destruction of the Eich was proof of his hatred of cryogenic, hyperdimensional creatures. You’re thinking of the Eddorians.

              Of course, Nadreck’s destruction of the Onlonians was proof that, even though he was a cryogenic, hyperdimensional creature on the outside, he was really a species traitor and a warm-blooded genocidal maniac on the inside. 🙂

              1. Umm, yeah. Eddorans. I did say it was the Skylark books I had recently revisited.

                I think you may be missing the subtler point about Nadreck’s Inlonian eradication, though. This is clearly a metaphor of America’s Founding Transgression of using the Amerindian tribes against one another, allowing White Male Euroimperialism to spread its manifest destiny of denying our Amerindian predecessors their accustomed access to the North American lands (we could not, as some accuse us, have “stolen” those lands because the land cannot be owned.) In this way Nadreck is inheritor of a long line of American fictional characters, one which extends all the way back through Tonto to Chingachgook in the Natty Bumpo quintology.

                  1. It is a simple technique. I just ask myself “What is the stupidest, most inane possible interpretation that allows the critic to denounce the USA and/or author as imperialistic, racist, sexist, fill-in-the-blank-ophobic?”

      3. Just this morning I read something on a forum where someone’s son had earned a field trip by getting homework turned in on time, various things signed, whatever, throughout the school year. A friend of theirs did not earn the field trip. She (the mother of the child who won) thought the whole setup was fair.

        Half the comments seem to think this was no big deal, half think those sorts of things should only be won by the whole class or not at all. And one person is mortally offended at the thought of doing anything fun on school time.

      4. Wow. That caused a flash of fairly unreasonable ire. As if a group wasn’t made up of individuals. As if each individual wasn’t making their own choices to assist, move forward, help.
        I mean, the Battle of Endor was group action, but it boiled down to the actions of certain individuals to bring it off as a success. Bah.

  7. … shaming and trying to make people feel guilty because they aren’t victims …

    I say it is well past the time we should put a stop to privilege-shaming! Unlike sluts, the privileged are not responsible for their privileged status, they have done nothing to earn it and are being attacked for things over which they had no control and often suffer greatly from the lack of hardship. These mean-spirited attacks on victims of privilege must END!

    1. No one should be asked to lock their doors at night. If they are robbed and their failure to lock their doors is mentioned, that is burglary victim-shaming. I can’t imagine why anyone should challenge our right to not have to lock our doors, or be told not to dress in a skin-tight mini and then binge drink in a frat house. Unthinkable. Do we not have rights, such as the right to poke at bears with sticks and dance on the edges of gorges? Only the other day I drank some lava with no ice cubes and was told by St. Peter I was an unflinching fool. I spurned him and fled to the safety of Hell.

      1. Should we be asked to find out what plants are poisonous and which ones aren’t if we want to forage in the forest… How about safe forage areas, where all the poisonous stuff gets removed daily?

        1. We’d also have to train the wolves, bears, cougars, etc. to not eat meat. I’m sure that project alone would create many jobs. And since they’d be serial, the payroll would remain manageable.

  8. The subject is exaggerating victimhood and I know you folks have an abiding interest in history. I also know you’re tired of being called racists that alter history to make whites look better. But what about when people claim that and do the opposite themselves? John Scalzi recently promoted a racial revenge fantasy anthology called Long Hidden edited by two people who never shut up about the immorality of straight white males – Daniel Jose Older and Rose Fox.

    One of those stories is “Dance of the White Demons” that takes place in Guatemala in 1524, 3 years after Cortes conquered Tenochtitlan, 5 years after he first landed in Mexico. The story is written by Sabrina Vourvoulias and concerns the conquest of Guatemala by one of Cortes’ lieutenants, Pedro Alvarado. Vourvoulias wrote this about her story:

    “I even changed the weapon with which Alvarado purportedly killed Tekún Umám — in popular telling, a spear — because the Spanish are recorded to have used early firearms in the invasion, and not only do I consider it unlikely the leader would have been fitted with anything else, but believe it to be a revisionist attempt to make the face-off seem less lopsided.”

    Now, that paragraph screams to be historically fisked. Have at it.

    1. Early firearms took a long freaking time to load and fire. Most of those Spanish conquistadors were coming off the end of the Reconquista in Spain, they weren’t from rich families, they earned their bread by fighting, and they knew and used a buttload of weapons that were cheap but effective, as well as the more expensive ones. You could make spears or lances or javelins in-country in Mexico, especially if you had a load of spearheads or a blacksmith.

      And just because we have nukes doesn’t mean the SEALs didn’t do a cavalry charge in Afghanistan. You use the best available weapon for the time and place, not the really good one that’s under your bed at home.

    2. Indeed, early firearms weren’t always reliable. Reloading could take 1-2 minutes and unlike in Hollywood, people usually don’t drop stone dead after one gunshot. It’s not like swords and spears vanished immediately the instant gunpowder was invented. There was a very long transitional era (and I should know, I’ve been researching it lately).

      What really gets me though is how she responds to what she believes to be historical revisionism . . . with historical revisionism.

      1. And the powder was sensitive to humidity, both general atmospheric and as precipitation (especially since I doubt Cortez was using stuff from the highest bidder). Spear, crossbow, much more reliable in warm, tropical environments.

      2. Just try using a period matchlock effectively in Guatemala. (I’ve been a competitive muzzleloading shooter off and on for about 20 years. I *like* flintlocks, but have no illusions about how much harder a matchlock would be to employ effectively as part of a trained team, forget fighting individually against a motivated and trained opponent.)
        And I would *not* like to have to go up against someone in heavy forest or tall grass, for that matter, if all they’re using are spears and knives.

        If the humidity doesn’t muck up your powder or put out your match, you might not get your opponent to form up in neat lines across a flat open field, etc etc etc.

        It sure looks like too many writers don’t bother doing their homework, on top of believing that firearms are MagickalDevices(tm).

        1. There was a Nickoloadan (?) cartoon series called IIRC “Cities of Gold”. While I somewhat liked it, I hated the scenes where the Spanish soldiers keep shooting their muskets *on the run* and never needed to reload. [Frown]

            1. It’s true. They only run out of ammo at dramatically convenient moments.

          1. That show was a lot of fun. Also Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea. Both, I believe, from a French studio. (Just looked ’em up. The Mysterious Cities of Gold was a joint venture between a French studio and Studio Pierrot, a Japanese studio. There is a sequel series in the works right now, which is fun. Spartakus is from a different French studio. Still fun.) The Cities of Gold had a lot of great elements. The Spaniards were evil and rapacious (Pizarro and various flunkies) and searching desperately for El Dorado. The protagonists were a young Spanish boy looking for his father, an Incan girl who is the only person (in the world, apparently) who can still read quipu, the last living child of the Mu empire (after its destructive final war with Atlantis) and some treasure-seeking Spaniard adults. The Olmecs are a faction, as well, and are the degenerate survivors – via cold-sleep – of the aforementioned war (who I, as a child, mistook for aliens). Spartakus was a bit more fantastic, dealing with a civilization that fell into the earth during a Great Cataclysm(TM) and whose artificial sun is dying. Children from the civilization create an artificial envoy and send her to the world above to find someone to save them. Shenanigans ensue. Divers alarums. A chicken.

        2. Not all of Guatemala is humid — not by the longest stretch of the most imaginative imagination — and the plain of Olintepeque (near Quetzaltenango) is in the highlands, foothills of the Cuchumatanes (a volcanic mountain chain with peaks up about 12,500 ft.). BTW, I agree that early firearms must have been a bear to deal with since even modern muzzleloaders make for a slower, more considered hunt — and still some of us choose to hunt with them anyway, no?

    3. Even a century later, we call the military tech of European armies “Musket and Pike” for a reason …

    4. To expand, in the early part of the 16th Century, a Spanish army would have few arquebusiers relatively. Probably no more than one-fifth. Further, an officer would never be so armed. One would have to wait until a century later, during the 30 Years War, to see a significant fraction of troops armed with firearms. Among the innovations introduced by Gustavus Adolphus (Swedish king leading armies on the Protestant side) was to increase the percentage of his infantry armed with muskets versus pikes. Together with his innovations in the field use of cannon, shifting his army from dependence upon shock tactics to firepower.

      1. I think there’s an alternate history by another Baen author that deals with Gustavus Adolphus and the changes to the forces taking place during that time. If only I could remember what is called. 🙂

        1. Oh, yeah, that series that nobody reads, the one with four digit numbers instead of normal titles. Can’t remember the name either. 😉

        2. yeah, great series, set in 1632 or thereabouts? Wish I could remember the title 😛

        3. Isn’t it called something like… The Book Series What Ate Manhat… er… Magdeburg.?

    5. Well, what I took away was there was no such thing as pistols. Officers were at all times mounted during a battle. The idea of using a 4 ft. arquebus on horseback is absurd. Even if not mounted, officers didn’t use an arquebus – period. It was a volley weapon used at a distance and in concert with defensive pikes, crossbows, canon and cavalry – all in formation, all mutually supporting.

      This supposedly happened in a pitched battle with at least 8,000 Mayans. Spanish cavalry’s No. 1 weapon was spears. Alvarado would’ve been part of the cavalry. When Cortes first landed 5 years earlier, less than 2.5% of his men were musketeets. The weapon was very expensive. I’m not surprised to see racial revisionism from an anti-racial revisionist in the context of a racial revenge fantasy. History is worthless to the PC unless they are molding it like clay to make the straight white man a villain.

      1. Sounds like she wanted to shoehorn in an anti-gun statement too. Historical accuracy is a secondary or tertiary concern, at best.

        1. Could be. She’s typical of the PC: if you’re from a place like Guatemala (and she is) you’re endowed with a PhD about pre-Columbian history at birth and all others must listen. Well, how many Americans can tell you why Gettysburg was important, or what kind of tactics they used at the time? The obvious fact knowledge comes from study isn’t obvious to the PC. I was once in a hotel in a foreign country and a guy from there asked me, as a kind of example, if I could name that country’s famous ruins in paintings on the walls. I did and he started to go on a mini-rant about “How come you know that and my own people don’t?” Racism poisons everything and it’s why these people have to be called out and called what they are: they are racial and gender supremacists hiding behind accusing others of that who aren’t. They sure as hell aren’t “liberals.”

          Who the heck accuses 96% of the world of having too many heterosexuals in their fiction and then populates the vast majority of their work with non-heterosexuals who make up the other 4%? Am I supposed to buy that as anything but supremacy and narcissism being projected onto me? It’s just nuts how contrary the logic of these folks is.

          1. You’re surprised that they reject reality and statistics that don’t support their ideal utopian society? I mean, come on. Everyone knows that “reality” is a tool of the white privilege patriarchy, as are logic, hard work, perseverance, patience, appreciation for beauty, study, effort, self-improvement, repentance, and the list goes on and on.

            I mean, sure, a discriminating taste used to mean that one had a sense of what was best, but what’s this whole “best” thing mean, really? As though there were some kind of objective reality, or a set of standards by which one might judge his or her circumstances or attempt to improve the same.

            Oh… Oh wait. That’s just it, isn’t it? They have to accuse people of color or women who don’t agree with them of being various kinds of traitors – false dealers – because if they don’t, then their very existence and success is a de facto refutation of the assertion that one can overcome one’s circumstances, and does not have to remain a victim, meaning that they don’t need the help of the political class, the white-knighters, the grievance-mongers, etc.

            Holy crap. The whole thing is some kind of bizarre psychodramatically twisted version of white man’s burden.

              1. Almost. They reject OUR reality. As in, it’s their reality also. They reject the very possibility of an objective reality in favor of a unproven disproven theory that was old before my dad was born.

          2. They call it fairness, but it’s not supposed to be fair. It’s called “it’s MY turn now.” The really sad part is, just how stunted one has to be, to only identify with people who are the same skin color you are, or the same sexual orientation, or the same sex, or…

            My favorite pastime since I can remember is to read… for the sake of seeing life from the perspective of somebody really different from me.

            1. The really sad part is, just how stunted one has to be, to only identify with people who are the same skin color you are, or the same sexual orientation, or the same sex, or…

              Except, as Clarence “Uncle Tom” Thomas, Sarah “She’s Not A Woman, She’s A Republican” Palin and many conservative gay men have learned, the only orientatio that truly matters to these people is the ideological one. Support Progressivism (aka, putting people in castes) and you’re free to depict black men as dangerous (see JC Watts first campaign), harass, assault and rape women (too many to cite) or vandalize a gay (Republican) candidate’s HQ and nobody blinks an eye.

        1. Some Polish horse units even used during World War 2. Admittedly they weren’t supposed to be using lances… but some of the units still had them around, and a lance is handy in certain situations.

          1. They tried to get rid of the cavalry during the Korean war. Then somebody really needed one for logistics purposes, so they reinstated it. They still use hurds of donkeys for getting things to places in afganastan… where you can either get there on foot or with animal transport. THough they do have some pretty amazing climbing tools… but I suspect horses/donkeys are cheaper– even with the care and feeding requirements.

            They also used homing pigeons as late as WWII. For all I know they STILL use them somewhere– for something.

          2. Some US SF units went horse-mounted in Afghanistan in the early days of the war. It makes sense for the mountains. I had a discussion with a Lieutenant once where I said a horse-mounted column would be a lot more survivable in a firefight with IEDs, etc than up-armored HMMWV’s, and would have a lot more reach into the Hindu Kush due to their adaptability to rougher terrain. “Primitive” tech isn’t useless. It’s just less applicable to urban settings. European war doctrine falls flat when society goes primitive; just because you control Asadabad doesn’t mean you control one square inch outside of Asadabad in a subsistence-level society. It just means your supply lines got a LOT longer. I also asserted that we could learn a lot about fighting in Afghanistan if we read up on how the US won the Indian wars during the Western expansion.

    6. In the really, really unlikely event anyone wants (or like me needs) to know more about guns, gunpowder, and military tactics of the late Renaissance, I highly recommend Bert S. Halls’ “Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe.” His last chapter is pretty much about the whole fight over the “military revolution” of the 16th-17th century and what really brought heavy cavalry to an end in western Europe. Hint: it was a type of pistol, not muskets and pikes. The book is available used and by inter-library loan.

      1. Actually, I have a question that I’m sure someone here can answer: with a muzzle-loading musket, is the ramrod used to pound down the ball *and* the wadding together, or do you ram down the wadding first and drop the ball on top? I’ve heard it described both ways, and I’d like to know definitively. Thanks.

        1. Depends upon the era, and the type of firearms and the application. Paper wrapped cartridges had a charge of powder and a ball wrapped in paper. The common loading technique was to tear open the wrapping with one’s teeth, pour in the powder, push the paper wrapping atop it and follow with the ball. The ramrod then pushed down the paper/ball column. Without much effort as the ball was nowhere near the dimensions of the bore. If firing a rifled firearm, before the invention of the Minie ball, the ball was wrapped in a cloth patch, where the cloth patch actually engaged the rifling, and pushed down with more effort than the smoothbore. Sometimes the cloth patch also had some lubricant added to it to soften and remove powder fouling.

          The Minie ball was loaded more like a smoothbore musket, except that the Minie bullet was conical and so had a base. It fit without a patch, and easily pushed down because the base was hollow and expanded under pressure to obturate the bore / grooves of the rifling.

          1. This procedure is ably demonstrated int he TV movie Sharpe’s Eagle. Acquire it and learn.

    7. The Conquistadors were tough, “natural killer” military veterans, and Sabrina Vourvoulias is obviously thinking of modern semi-automatic weapons or at least the relatively-reliable flintlocks of the late 18th / early 19th century. Early 16th-century firearms were matchlocks, which tended not to work so well in wet conditions, such as one might encounter in freakin GUATEMALA.

      The big technological advantage the Conquistadors had over their native foes was steel — they wielded steel swords and polearms which could go right through native cotton armor without blunting, while they wore steel helmets and breastplates which were proof against most native weapons. This doesn’t sound like much to a writer who is probably proud of her ignorance of military history and technology, but in the actual Conquest this was a decisive advantage — it meant that Spaniards would likely kill their foes on a successful hit, while the natives would usually just wound Spaniards.

      1. They demonstrated the thing about weapons on “Deadliest Warrior”, where they made one of the native weapons, which was basically a stick with obsidian pieces fastened all down the side, and they whacked a pig carcass with it. It did some nasty surface damage. Then they hit a piece of armor with it (can’t remember if it was a breastplate or a shield); the obsidian broke all over the place, and the entire weapon basically became worthless. When they used a sword on the pig carcass, they nearly cut it in half.

  9. Suspending policy against typo-shaming:

    … days had been spent painting morals …“?
    That would explain why some are bright, shiny and glittery while others are dark and subdued.

    1. I prefer to think of it as poetic license. It seems to fit in well with the reference to consciousness raising.

  10. … the difference between dying in the FIRM belief in a reward on the other side, or suffering ill on Earth in the certainty that Himself will life one up after.

    It would have been their era’s equivalent of a minor surgical procedure: some brief period of pain and discomfort with a great improvement the other side.

    I find the “Himself will life one up after” a charming meta-typo, expressing a deeper truth through its parallelism of the common phrase “sex you up.”

    1. Well, a lot of the martyrs’ experience was not all that brief. St. Blandina, for example, went through pretty much everything available to the Romano-Gaulic imagination, but still lived and sassed for quite a while. And she was a slave and notoriously frail-looking.

      Also, they did sing, but they also took the opportunity to say home truths to the Roman crowd, often in a way that resonated with traditional values of gutsiness. Like the guys who said nothing but “Christianus sum,” which was taken off the guy who said nothing but “Civis Romanus sum.”

        1. Thank-you. It is often easy to forget that fact, just as it is easy to forget how nasty, brutish and short life tended to be back in those days before anesthesia, antibiotics, antiseptics, hygiene and other features of modern medical care … such as sharp instruments and knowledge of such things as the circulatory system,

          1. I’ve sometimes wondered how much an ancient monarch would have been willing to give up just for a climate controlled throne room.

            1. It’s amazing how sulky a leftist gets when you point out that there are no poor people in America today — that a homeless shelter requires, under the law, amenities that kings and queens and emperors did without two centuries ago in order to be fit for human habitation — and that their “relative poverty” is nothing more than undiluted spite and envy.

              1. If you look at the details of 17th-18th century aristocratic life, the homeless shelter isn’t even that much more violent a place, either.

  11. At this table the game is call “Life is not Fair”, there about 80 card in a hand, give or take and the game is rig, whose the mark you ask, it’s the guy wearing the V metal on proudly his chest.

  12. Something that profoundly shocks me about the public schools where I’ve worked is the apparent attitude that helplessness is a virtue. I saw it in kids and teachers alike. My impression of the school system admins was that they didn’t share this belief, but were perfectly happy to foster it.

    1. Credit where due, such a policy was inculcated by the French schools during the two decades after The Great War and they suffered no ill consequences if it.

    2. If you believe you’re helpless, you’re much easier to manipulate and you will gladly accept ‘help’ – even if its not in your best interest to do so..

    3. If you are the one profiting from having the “helping hand”, then you need lots of “helpless” folks.

      What better place for them to learn than in a school? Add in the draconian results of “zero tolerance” policies, throw in a pinch of violence or the threat of violence, stir together with a Kafka-esque bureaucracy, and you get a nicely dysfunctional child, simpering simmering in learned helplessness. For added spice, mix in some psychotropic drugs!

      It’s a wonder that anyone emerges even relatively sane and whole from modern schools.

      zuk

      Oh, and don’t get me started on the prison aspects. They use the language of prisons, and accoutrement of prison, you are forced under threat of state violence to attend, your rights are non-existent, and the only guarantee of release is the passage of time.

    1. Yup. I work out with a guy who has a pretty thick subcontinental accent, but he’s as American as they come. Entrepreneur (him and his parents) and friendly, interesting, outgoing. Great work ethic. Rides a Harley, too, I think.

  13. “No, I don’t know what you get if you win”

    Only the best career it’s possible to have without first having either beauty or marketable skills. Which explains why victimhood is so much more attractive to the ugly and useless.

    1. Personally I find the millions dead to more damaging, but the Cult of Victimhood might qualify for second place.

      1. I’d figure it has millions of dead from just the “I’m a victim” thing– both in what it makes folks feel free to do to Acceptable Targets, and in how it tells people not to defend themselves from real threats.

      2. Well, its not that the hundred million plus dead didnt happen, but they are dead. Going forward, the Cult of Victimhood is damaging our entire culture.

  14. I always thought the funniest thing is how libprogs think of ‘victim points’ like they do money: there’s only so much of it and if someone has lots that means less for you. So they gotta catch all ‘em victim points, old school Pokemon style.

    1. I’ve kinda thought about it sort of like buzzword bingo. Once you fill up five-in-a-row, you’re golden. (Which does discriminate against the linear-ly challenged, but hey, even though lines are an invention of the patriarchy, we have to work with them Until the Revolution Comes.)

  15. Amen and amen.

    It’s weird that we live in a society where even speaking up for the traditional culture gets you shouted at/shouted down/accused of some flavor of bigotry.

    Yes, I’m biased. I’m biased towards people who try to DO something to CHANGE their lot in life. I’m biased towards people who WORK hard and struggle, and I WANT to see them succeed. That doesn’t make me evil. It makes me a fan of human beings, dagnabit. Human Beings. Not stereotypes, not classes, and certainly not whiners and whimperers.

    1. Advocates of the traditional culture must be shouted down.

      Because every immigrant group that’s come here and adopted that culture has been phenomanally successful and brought in to the American fold.

      And that invalidates everything they’re on about.

  16. I just love, Sarah, how all these perpetuators of the victimhood pandering will tell the downtrodden women and minorities that they are there because of evil white males, not because they’re incompetent, uneducated, undisciplined, lack healthy adult role models in a healthy marriage, etc. They’re EQUAL, dammit! Just as strong, smart, etc. as those evil white males. It’s only luck that continues to put Western society at the top of the social ladder worldwide for millennia. Right?
    Oh, and by the way, vote for that white male who’ll give you more welfare dollars, because you’re too stupid, weak, incompetent and abused to be able to fix your problems without the same white males who robbed you and put you where you are.

  17. “A Little Princess: — one of my favorites (and all the movie versions are terrible). “Freckles”, too, for similar reasons.

      1. I’m guessing that’s the version that my sisters watched over and over and over and over again… I’m slightly biased against it as a result.

        😛

  18. This is good stuff, but let us not lose sight of one of the most important areas of victimhood: unintentional victimhood. The protagonist of my (to be published REAL SOON NOW) novel is a guy whose friends, enemies, circumstances and the gods all conspire to make him a victim. Then, much hilarity ensues. That is really kind of the whole point of the book. Oh, I mean there is some other stuff, too, but the most interesting part of the book is watching the dude get dumped on.

    But, yeah, purposeful victimhood does seem a bit counterproductive.

    David

  19. Being a victim is essentially allowing other people to define who you are because of something that has happened to you, or some easily-quantified thing about you. This puts you into a box, with readily-written label on it.

    Ages ago, I fell into a situation that I could have played for decades as a victim if I had the inclination towards; I fell in love with another member of the military, came up pregnant by him – and he vanished in a cloud of dust. (No, no great reveal here – I’ve written about this rather shattering experience over the last decade or so, and put it into one of my own books, somewhat disguised and in another century.) But I couldn’t abide being defined as the ‘poor widdle wronged and abandoned girl.’ I just couldn’t – and I could absolutely not let that define me for the rest of my life. And – yes, I was in some single-parent groups early on where this was the understanding.
    No – I went for the “Yeah, I did have that moment where I was naïve and trusted a guy who was totally unworthy of my affections and trust. But I got over it – and I got my most precious daughter out of the experience –so not all, bad, eh?”
    Really – if he had stuck with me, I would have seen him retire at … well, really more than the rank that he did.
    No, not a victim. Though, I will admit to processing the raw material of trauma into literary finished product – and thinking that if he ever reads any of it, he will be squirming.
    Dish served cold, and all of that.

Comments are closed.