We Are the Field

*First, an announcement Witchfinder is on Sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for 2.99 electronic through noon on Monday.  It’s 2.99, so less than a half but a little more than 1/3 the price.  Please share the news as much as you can.  Much appreciated.*

 

My Eyes on Twiter TM (he can identify himself if he wants to) informs me that the usual suspects were blathering last week about how it was really bad that we not only wanted to publish to our little niche, but we also wanted to “take over the field.”

So who is “We”? Well, the think it’s the “conservative” writers, and given the brilliant understanding they have of our side this means mostly – they think – killjoys with an agenda of “do not trespass.” This was obvious since the conversation then went on to say that the dangerous ones on our side were people like me and Larry and Ringo who “pretend to be moderates” and therefore might “attract a following.”

First of all on the “pretend” – no, thank you, I’m quite done pretending, and I wasn’t very good at it to begin with.

Second of all on the “moderate” – I am offended. Since when is someone who wants to hang the komissars from lampposts using their own guts as ropes a moderate?

Oh, yeah, sorry, I forgot. I’m a “moderate” because I don’t fit the view of “conservatives” (which for these purposes is everyone not to the left of Lenin) shown on tv, books and movies for the last forty years or so. You know, someone who is a cross between the SNL “church lady” and Sam the Eagle from the Muppets, and who folds like a cheap lawn chair at the first sign of opposition, or even the first cliché thrown at them by a “smart” liberal. You know, things like “War hurts children and other small things” and “We’re all naked under our clothes.”

Once you understand that this is what the left thinks the “opposition” is (poor things, their control of the media and entertainment has done them a very great disservice) is, you start understanding why they’re such hidebound, cliché-ridden fanatics.

You see, they think the choice is between two sets of beliefs, both monolithic, whole and undigested. Part of the reason they believe this, of course, is that the left has always, either by reason of policy or on their own, cracked down pretty hard on “deviationism” and insisted on “party discipline.”

This is something the communists brought with them, and it allowed them to pivot over say the Hitler-Stalin pact. But it also means that for people to consider themselves on the left, they must believe three thousand contradictory things before breakfast and lunch and dinner.

Some of the minor ones include:

The idea that we should be free to do what we want to with our bodies, but that we all “belong” to the government, who can order us to stop eating unhealthy food, or NOT exercising. (Why they don’t realize this will eventually, given enough governmental power, extend to things like abortion or gay sex is beyond me. It not only requires them to believe that government will self-restrain, it also requires them to ignore the history of China and the Soviet Union and Cuba.)

The idea that women are the exact same as men, or perhaps more able, but at the same time they need protection at all times, and men can talk them into anything with their “superior” male minds.

The idea that every culture is the same but ours is uniquely bad.

The only way they can believe this is because they’ve gotten used to the idea that their beliefs come into a block – that if you believe in one part of the agenda you have to believe in all of it.

This is also what keeps them in line and from even considering conservative agendas. For them to accept, say, the idea of fiscal responsibility, they think they’d have to stop talking to all their gay friends, stop making off color jokes, or whatever the hell they think conservatives are.

In that light, of course I’m “pretending” to be a dangerous “moderate” who might seduce people over into accepting my dangerous agenda and believing in the constitution and disbelieving in Marx. According to what these poor bunnies have been taught, this means they’ll need to dress modestly, go to church every Sunday, support racial segregation, etc. etc. – ie. An agenda that no conservative has supported in totality EVER.

So, I’m here to inform them that it’s not like that. They really need to get past their binary view of the world. Most – not all, but most. There are some who are on this side simply as knee jerk rejection of everything the liberals say. Which can get bad because most of what the liberals say is internally contradictory – of us are on this side because we didn’t get our beliefs ready-made off the shelf.

We couldn’t, see, because tv, radio, movies, news, books, didn’t present anything we believe in as a coherent wholesale agenda. Instead they presented us with two alternatives, one pushed as right and the other as wrong, and both internally contradictory, laughably incoherent, and out of touch with reality.

This means when we saw all the cracks in the agenda being shown as “right” (I believe for me that started when I saw how they reported things I’d been present at. And there was no resemblance) we started examining positions and beliefs by themselves, individually, testing them against reality and choosing what to believe in and what not to believe in.

And eventually we arrived to a set of beliefs we’re okay with. Some we might not be as attached to as others. And some are not for public consumption. Oh, and our politics and religion might not have anything to do with one another, except in the sense that sincerely held religious beliefs will influence politics, but that doesn’t mean even that is taken wholesale. Look, I’m sincerely religious, and I hold myself to a set of beliefs and behaviors that I believe move me towards salvation. This doesn’t mean that I believe everyone should be forced to do the same. I know this is hard to believe, but my Mormon friends don’t think coffee should be outlawed (which is why they’re still my friends.) And my gay (conservative) friends don’t believe churches should be forced to marry them. (Most of them would prefer to get government out of marriage, too, but that’s something else.)

It is possible to be pro-freedom and not religious at all, in fact. Or to be religious but to be rigorous with oneself but not with others. For instance, my religious beliefs are very much anti-group-relationships but I don’t think people should be punished for this (they might be their own punishment!) and in fact I’m reliably informed that some of my friends are in those. They’re still my friends. (And not to the left of Lenin.)

It is this flexibility that allowed us for years to read what the publishers put out, despite the fact that most of it was not only steeped in the vilest Marxism, but also spent quite a bit of time denigrating things we believed in, like fiscal responsibility or gun ownership. We even enjoyed some of it. You see, I can say that Terry Pratchett was one of the best writers (in any field) ever, while thinking his views on guns and monetary policy – were it not for the fact they are standard European views and therefore part of his environment – are crazy enough that people proclaiming them should have to wear tinfoil on their heads as a warning.

They can’t. Because their beliefs are a monolith of fail that they can’t examine without falling apart, they can’t even read Heinlein. In the middle of the free love and group marriage, they might come across a paragraph about fiscal responsibility or lack of respect for government, and then their brittle façade would crack.

This is why one of the usual suspects was giving thanks on Twitter for the fact that her bookstore refused to stock “right wing” science fiction, so she was never exposed to “fascist” ideas. (Yes, this is the East German, who manages to be completely oblivious to what “fascist” really means, and thinks libertarian fits there. Because, you know, “Achtung, vi vill take over the vorld and leave you RUTHLESSLY alone.” [Cackles at the thought of the screams of outrage at fake German accent.]) Because you see, ideas are a sort of contamination. If you read the wrong ideas, you might find yourself agreeing with some of them, and then, no matter how minor your agreement, you are forever corrupted. You are no longer “one of the good people.” The thought crime no matter how momentary will cast you into outer darkness.

Is it any wonder that under them most of science fiction has become about as daring as the Baptist Single Woman’s Social? (Probably less. Some of my friends are Baptist.) Is it any wonder to be accepted as a “progressive writer of science fiction” you have to “speak truth to power” (circa the imaginary fifties that live only in progressives’ heads) in exactly the same way everyone else does, and be forever afraid of putting a foot wrong or having a wrong thought, lest you’re thrown out?

To the scaredy ( and conformist) cats on the other side of the political fence, I bring good news and bad news.

The good news is that most of us do not want to “take over” the field. You see, most of us – not being a monolithic block – would have trouble organizing our way out of a paper bag. A lot of us still read people well to the left of us. Heck, to a lot of the right in sf/f, I am well to the left. To others I’m unimaginably right. Oh, and sometimes I’m both to the same person.

Not having a rigid set of beliefs, if we tried to take over, the Federalists would get in a fight with the Nationalists, the Nationalists would beat the One-Worlder-Libertarians over the head, and the anarchists would denounce all of us.

So, no, we’re not stealing your trick of proclaiming a platform and demanding everyone follow it.

The bad news is that we don’t need to take over the field. We’re already here. Science fiction has always attracted people who like to turn ideas over in their minds, think on them, sometimes try their flavor. Sometimes these ideas are dangerous enough that the rest of society thinks we’re nuts. Sometimes we are nuts.

You – the academic Marxists, the rigid thinkers – have managed to run most of the Odds – in the sense of people that don’t fit on either dies from official fandom, and from publishing houses, and from official publishing circles, mostly by pointing your finger and screaming about thought-crimes.

But with indie, that tactic won’t work. We’ll still get out there. We’ll still publish. And yep, we’ll still “contaminate” new generations with dangerous thoughts and ways of looking at life. Ways that shatter your conformist, block-think.

Dangerous visions, you could call it.

We’re here, we’re diverse in thought. And we ain’t going anywhere. Get used to it.

213 thoughts on “We Are the Field

  1. Quick pop in because of this:

    and given the brilliant understanding they have of our side

    A study was done not to long ago where liberals, libertarians, and conservatives were given questionnaires. They were asked to answer not only for themselves but how they think the other two groups would answer.

    One group did significantly worse at predicting how the others would answer. As I’m sure comes as a major surprise, it was the liberals.

    Liberals, as a group (some individuals might be exceptions), simply do not understand how conservatives and libertarians think and believe. They apparently have this image in their head of how conservatives and libertarians would address certain things that bears little resemblance to reality.

    Neither conservatives nor libertarians are so blinkered.

    1. That’s because they filter our positions through their own lens. For example, they support welfare because of their feelings, so they believe we oppose welfare because we dislike poor people.

      Meanwhile, we know what lens they use, and can adjust accordingly. We can understand why they support what they support (even if it’s logically inconsistent), and make reasonable assumptions based on that to accurately predict where they stand.

      Or, the study was racist and it’s all Bush’s fault.

      1. The study was done by a Liberal.

        IIRC Tom Kratman said that Jonathan Haidt (the author) might have to turn in his Liberal badge. [Evil Grin]

      2. And we’ve heard all their arguments (over, and over, and . . .) but they won’t listen to ours. Then they’re surprised when we can cite their numbers, and top them, with citations, sources (their own documents and writers, no less!) and examples.

          1. Oh, gads, reminds me of my least favorite trick– they make a claim and then want ME to research it for them, give citations, and then disprove it! (And when you find stuff they’re talking about, and they were misrepresenting it, they’ll claim that you didn’t find the right one. I’ve started insisting on people proving their own @#$@# point.)

            1. As you should.

              If you make a claim, and someone asks for a citation, it’s not on them to find it. You made the claim, you need to be prepared to defend it. It’s just that simple. After all, how are you supposed to know what they read?

            2. I liked one response to that seen earlier – “I am not your Magic Answer Machine. There is this thing called the internet. Use the search engine of your choice and look it up yourself.”

              1. Vague paraphrasing: “You vaguely remember that? I vaguely remember you’re wrong. Find a source with details and I’ll do the same.”

              2. God help us, we’re stuck in such a dilemma now possibly with many lives and literally trillions of dollars in the balance. The 2000 page mess congress was expected to pass without reading it has impossible contradictions, and the Bomabots want everyone else to interpret the law based on what they SAY they MEANT. They were sure they had bullied most states into adopting an Obamacare clearance line, so the law says if you don’t have a state clearance mechanism you don’t get federal benefits to pay for insurance for the poor. It say so without ambiguity, no way around it, they can’t give out benefits.36 stated said **** you, no, or just could not manage to get it done.

                1. It is worse than demanding we interpret according to what they SAY they MEANT — they are also claiming that what they said was not what they meant, they were guilty of multiple speak-os and they demand the right to keep revising until they get the results they want.

            3. Hee hee, That’s the nastiest trick in the Right’s arsenal — making them PROVE what they’re saying. Can’t usually be done. It’s kinda like the glowbull worming crowd citing MODELS to prove the world’s getting hotter. Forget that the models are based on estimates, not specific values — the liberals do. I hate to admit I love to see their pointy little heads explode, but I do…

              1. making them PROVE what they’re saying.

                Point out to them that “that which has been presented without evidence can be dismissed the same way” and then do so (dismiss it).

              2. They don’t need to prove nothing, they know through intuition, they feel truth (it makes their hoo-has all glittery) and resorting to such mundane ploys as “facts” or tricksy “logic” is employing the Patriarchy’s tools. Besides, the MSM, Science and four out of five doctors told them so, so if you argue the claim it can only mean you are anti-doctors.

                You do not debate fine theological points with The Devil, you tell Him to get behind you.

                  1. I noticed the House of Representatives server has been blocked from editing Wiki for 10 days . . . again. Apparently saying that D. Rumsfeld is an alien lizard being isn’t conducive to advancing the field of knowledge, or something.

                    1. But saying ObamaReidPelosi is an alien entity is facts.
                      Btw iinm, Pelosi=hairy one=medieval term for the devil. The author is sometimes rather obvious.

                    2. That was likely staffers or even interns (probably from Alan Grayson’s office) but it really does tell you all you need to know about the level of maturity and how heavily felt is the burden of responsibility in the Halls of Congress (where they are known to have congress in the halls.)

                      It also gives pause to consider how much the subtler editors had been getting away with.

        1. Then they’re surprised when we can cite their numbers, and top them, with citations, sources (their own documents and writers, no less!) and examples.

          And we, in turn, are surprised when their response is not further conversation… but changing the subject in some way. Few options: call us names, lecture us on a supposedly overlooked misdefinition (it’s easy, since they tend to equivocate), or accuse us of a wrongdoing.

          1. Well, of course. After all, the only reason you could *possibly* have for opposing them is because you are a hating hater who hates.

            1. Obviously. Who else could hate their wonderful wonderfulness and marvelous marvelousness?

              1. The lack of empathy and/or intellectual flexibility is the disturbing part. Some folks work very hard to never be able to see from another person’s point of view.

  2. I’m really just looking forward to the lefty brigade to start complaining about me.

    I expect a massive boost in sales at that point. 🙂

    1. You know how some indie writers trade book reviews? We could trade denunciations to get the lefties after us 😉

        1. 😀

          Hey! Can I start?

          That Sarah Hoyt, she’s…

          Never mind. I’ve just been informed the carp shield is down for repair. I’m just going to meander on down the road. Quickly.

  3. To be a true non-conformist, you have to have the proper beliefs. [Very Big Evil Grin]

    Note, too often the kooky Progressives consider themselves to be non-conformists. [Sad Smile]

    1. I was reading the comments on some punk videos on EweTube (no, not the corn-cam channel) and shaking my head. The punks violently protest . . . stuff that hasn’t been around for a couple of decades. They’re rebelling against the Man . . . who in one case has been dead for a century at least. And screaming at each other in the comment section over if a singer used the t-word in a derogatory sense or not. So much for bringing down the Establishment.

      1. t-word? what’s the t-word? I’m aware of the c-word, the f-word and the n-word but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the t-word (unless it’s different slang for the c-word).

            1. Bwahahaha . . . .err, you did add the BBQ for comedic relief, didn’t you?

              I mean, I totally agreee that some people are WTF, but BBQ?

          1. Tranny is derogatory; but how are you going to drive down the road without one?

            1. You know, there’s a potentially off-color innuendo about people who don’t know how to use a stick, and shifting, and I’m not going there. Nope, no, so not gonna.

    2. Stasheff’s “Escape Velocity” had the observation that non-conformists tend to conform far more tightly to their own group fashion and shibboleths.

  4. They down’t get it. They’ll never get it. It’s cecause they won’t listen. Seriously. In order to learn what the other side believes you have to listen to what they say. The Left brags about how they refuse to listen to or read anything by the Right. It’s the mark of purity for them. It’s also their most worrisome attribute.

    There gas been a recent push by rank and file leftwards to ban “hate-speech” which equates to anything they disagree with. They are removing language they don’t like and limiting free speech to places where they can’t hear it. Oberlin College was the first scholl in the US to admit Black and White and male and female. Noe you can’t hand out copies of the Constitution there if you’re not standing in the correct place. Free speech is under attack. A movement that prohibits its enemies form speaking would only do so if they plan to eliminate it by force.

    1. “In order to learn what the other side believes you have to listen to what they say.”

      Listen and actually appreciate the fact that people have different priorities in life. Seriously, I’ve run across so many people from all stripes of life who don’t understand that something near and dear to their hearts is totally irrelevant to somebody else. Maybe I don’t care about your pet cause because it’s so far down my list of what’s important that I just don’t have enough energy to give a care…

    2. “They down’t get it. They’ll never get it. It’s cecause they won’t listen. ”

      Technically it’s because their not getting it is tautological. Once they get it they are no longer the leftists they were. Happens from time to time.

  5. Good post. And yeah, I remember some of Heinlein’s works as being a combination of Hippy Flower Power and Teddy Roosevelt’s Big stick policy. He certainly didn’t fit any preconceived notions of right or left, though some people today seem to grab just one of his points and try to tar the man with the whole brush. I really can’t get into either side myself, and so I am a moderate. Not religious at all, and believe that people should make their own choices about things like marriage, and, dare I say, abortion. Some people need to be executed, but that doesn’t include anyone who only engages in political rants. Basically live and let live, as long as you don’t completely crap in my pool (read Country) and don’t even think about taking away my firearms.

  6. I’m Mormon, but I wasn’t always, which gives me a unique perspective, especially in Utah. Most of the non-Mormons here complain bitterly about the restrictive alcohol laws in this state, which makes me laugh. You see, I grew up in Dallas, which is a dry county (or used to be–it may have changed in the 25 years since I lived there). I never saw beer in a convenience store until I was 18 and driving through Louisiana. And here they sell it in grocery stores, right out in the open, usually down the aisle from the Sobe and Snapple. But you can’t buy liquor or wine in the same place, so come and see the oppression. Oh yeah, they also limit the alcohol content in the beer. For shame.

    Everyone’s perception of freedom has some bias. It just helps to admit that up front instead of pretending you have none.

    1. Yup, I don’t recall Utah drink rules to be any more stupid than some states in the east – e.g. Kentucky with dry counties and (IIRC – I could be confusing it with some other state) laws that booze could nto be sold on Sundays. And I think there are US states that are like Ontario where you have to go to the state alcohol store for pretty much everything boozy (except possibly weak beer?).

      1. In ND, anything with alcohol has to be purchased in a ‘liquor store’, which is probably why we have so many liquor stores and bars. One of the little towns down the road from where I grew up had less than a hundred people, a post office (now closed), a gas station (now closed) and two bars (both still open last time I was through) that also had off-sale.

        1. Washington JUST closed down our liquor stores– the liquor board stayed in power for a year or two, I kid you not, to take over pot– and replaced it with the world’s highest liquor taxes. (Alright, maybe it’s only 10% higher than anywhere else. It’s something like three 10-25% taxes on top of a big charge for having a place that sells liquor. It’s still less expensive in most cases, although folks always remember the state sales as a baseline.)

      2. Until the mid ’80s I lived in Illinois on the Mississippi river with Iowa just a free bridge trip away. At that time in Iowa spirits, any beverage with an alcohol content greater than about 12%, had to be sold in a state store, and only one of those was allowed per zip code. OTOH, beer and wine was freely available in the super markets. And no sales tax on food, though they did tax the beer and wine. So naturally folks burned up that bridge to buy booze and lottery tickets on the Illinois side, and get their groceries over in Iowa.
        Today in Alabama you must purchase alcohol from either a state store or a private store licensed by the state, and private stores must purchase their booze through the state controlled distributor. Thus, in north Alabama you make the occasional booze run up into Tennessee, where at least in wet counties it’s way cheaper.

    2. Where I am, in Ky, you can buy beer in the grocery store, but for anything stronger you have to go to a liquor store. Across the river, in Ohio, you can buy beer, wine, and liqueurs (Up to 42 proof, if I’m not mistaken – someone from Ohio may want to correct me) in the grocery store, but have to go to a STATE liquor store (unless they’ve changed the State ownership requirement since the last time I checked) to buy anything stronger.

      1. You don’t have to go to a state liquor store in Ohio anymore, nor for many years. (Thank God. Those places were depressing. The state wasn’t good at making you interested in buying liquor.) The store just has to have a liquor-selling license appropriate to the proof of stuff it wants to sell.

        So there are a lot of wine and beer stores, and drive-thrus, and grocery stores and even drugstores with extensive craft beer selections; and then there are places that have a wider selection, like Arrow Wine which sells pretty much everything that’s not cruddy. (I used to live in walking distance of them. Now I get excited about the drugstore craft beer selection. Sigh.)

        The only thing we lack is the ability to order alcohol over the Internet to be delivered from out of state. You can order it from out of the US, but not from other US states.

        1. Thanks for the update. My experience buying alcohol in Ohio was very limited. If I want anything more than the intermediate-class beers I can get at the grocery, I go to the Party Store in Florence, where you can get pretty much anything from the low-end beer to $2000/bottle Cognac.

          1. Many people I know here in “Greater” Cincinnati drive to Kentucky to buy their alcohol at the Party Store in Florence, or the place right off that first exit off I-75/I-71.

            1. Going to Florence to buy alcohol is some kind of Cincinnati tradition. I think it has something to do with blue laws back in the day. (Which were weird because it was a town full of Germans, so how did they let it happen?)

        2. It has been conclusively proven that the government couldn’t make money running a house of prostitution. I’m not surprised they couldn’t make money selling liquor.

          FWIW– you can buy beer and wine at a gas station, here in Indiana. But you can’t buy it chilled– gotta go to a liquor store for that. Also, you can’t ship alcohol into the state unless you have a coveted liquor license. Makes being a wine connoisseur kind of difficult.

            1. IIRC, NY State found ways to lose money with Off Track Betting (translation: bookies) — solid evidence of the greed of unioins and incompetence of bureaucrats.

      2. That was the way Washington state was. And the state liquor stores were not open on Sundays or holidays (I don’t remember if they were open on Saturdays). Also you couldn’t buy any alcohol between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM. Idaho and Oregon you have to have a state liquor license to sell liquor (I believe this is a national law, but am not positive) but the ‘liquor stores’ are privately owned, and can be in other stores such as grocery stores. I have never seen a dedicated liquor store in Oregon, but in Idaho most big towns have a dedicated liquor store (or possibly more than one) while the small towns like the one near me have the local Merc/grocery store that has a liquor license and has an aisle of liquors suited to whatever the locals drink. Montana also has liquor in the grocery stores, and I assume requires a license to sell it.

        Oh, and at least in Washington any place that SERVES hard liquor is required to serve a certain amount of food (more than frozen pizza, pickled eggs, and hot mamas) so you have quite a few bars that serve only beer and wine. (and yes a few have a jug of moonshine under the bar, but that is usually only offered free of charge, and to friends of the bartender/owner)

        1. It’s very odd to consider that in some cases, California is actually sane about some things. Basically, if you have a license to sell liquor, it’s all kinds, and if you have a license to serve liquor, it’s all kinds. Which is why Trader Joe’s has “Two-buck Chuck” and my relatives from Oregon send down an alcohol list when my MiL visits so she can go to Costco and get the good stuff cheap.

          1. But CA isn’t compeltely sane. It’s liquor regs say that if you move you place of business you have to get a new license whihc requires a mandatory comment period of 30? days (and it seems you can’t apply in advance of the move because you already have the license at the old place and you can’t have 2).

            So as a result if a restaurant moves across a parking lot as it is expanding it immediately takes a 30+ day hit to sales because it can’t serve booze at the new place….

        2. I have never seen a dedicated liquor store in Oregon, but in Idaho most big towns have a dedicated liquor store (or possibly more than one) while the small towns like the one near me have the local Merc/grocery store that has a liquor license and has an aisle of liquors suited to whatever the locals drink.

          Go to Bend, drive past the hospital like you’re headed to California, take a right at Costco and it’s before the car store.

          Not positive about any others, that’s the one my family goes to when they don’t just place an order with family and or friends to hit Reno.

          1. They are state run and they all are listed on the state website.

            http://www.oregonliquorsearch.com/

            It has a map, hours of operation and available stock for each store too. Oh, look, there is a liquor store in Fields, OR! Didn’t know that.
            But if you live in Dufur you have to go to Wamic or The Dalles to get a fifth.

            You can also find out what store has how much of what, too.
            Used to be, pre-computer, that if you wanted something that wasn’t on the state register of available liquors you had to collaborate with the store owner and pretty much fill out all the paperwork yourself. And then the owner would have to import a whole case and would probably make you buy it all. Dad once strove mightily to buy Newfoundland Screech (rum bottled for the Newfoundland Liquor commission) in Oregon.

            1. No offense, but not knowing about Fields just means you haven’t driven through there recently… there’s a lot of signs about their liquor stores. (I think they’re aimed at folks who don’t understand Nevada laws; it’s like the adds that Spokane, WA use to have near the boarder where the Idaho side store had the highest sales in the state.)

              1. None taken, that is very true. Last time I spent a lot of time in that side of the state I was traveling between Ontario and Burns, and that was a while and a half ago.

                1. And Burns (at least used to, I haven’t been there in at least five years) sold liquor in their grocery store, just like the little towns. Nearly all the little towns in Oregon the little grocery or Merc has a shelf of liquor for sale, which is the reason (and I thought I recalled a cashier telling me this, but it is possible I was confusing which state I was in) I didn’t think they were state run, but just state licensed.

                  1. I had to look it up in the administrative rules – because I’m an idiot who likes that abuse. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission can determine there is a need for a store and then advertise for an agent to run it. The agent, after the selection process, is responsible for renting or leasing a premise and getting and maintaining all facilities. If the Agent cannot start operations on the commission’s stated date the commission has the option to choose another agent from the other finalists in the selection process. Stores can either be exclusive, in that they only sell liquor and related stuff, or are part of another business like a store and can sell stuff like groceries. The OLCC decides which is to be established and may change the type of store based on input from the operator or other factors. (OAR 845 division 15 )
                    It sounds like a franchise agreement to me.

  7. “My Eyes on Twiter TM”.

    Eye have no idea whom you’re referring to . . .

  8. Because, you know, “Achtung, vi vill take over the vorld and leave you RUTHLESSLY alone.”

    Or you could go with, “Ve haff vays of leaving you alone!”

      1. even if you beg. (For some reason late at night at world fantasy or world con guys will ask me to dominate them. They did this before I came out of the political closet. It’s not a joke. I’m almost sure some of them aren’t even into women. It freaks me out.)

        1. *blinkblink* Um… OK, for some reason that is the most my minds been blown this week. Maybe I can’t imagine a random stranger walking up to someone they’ve never met and asking them to do something like that. Heck, I can’t imagine someone walking up to a complete stranger and asking to snog but I’m a simpleton.

          1. Based on some videos I’ve seen, some people think that conventions are places where they can really let their hair down, and not necessarily in a sane fashion.

            1. Good point. I was also kind of thrown when I went to DragonCon and they had to spell out that nudity was NOT a costume. But apparently strategically placed electrical tape is. Still, a complete stranger? Yeah, I’m naive.

                1. And what happens if you can’t get all the sticky residue off? There are places I’d think one really, really should not be using solvents. (Says she who washed airplane parts in MEK without wearing gloves. My liver probably hates me.)

                  1. Hair conditioner. Really.

                    I could leave it at that, and leave you wondering, but it was in the hair above my right eye, after I accidentally sprayed Spray Tack in it.

                    1. I was going to refrain from asking what if they had already shaved, but Foxfier had to bring up shaving.

                  2. The preferred solvent is MPK now. MEK is strictly controlled. Even WITH gloves though, it’s an issue. I try to use as little as possible, which actually makes cleaning up sealant easier.

                1. A few years back, there was a guy going to cons and had a “body paint” Star Trek Next Generation uniform. Oh, he did wear a jock strap and I did see him up close once. It was very hard to tell that it wasn’t a “real uniform”. IE not body paint.

            2. I can reliably say that such behavior would generally be unacceptable outside of the play room at a Leather convention. While certainly a lot of people are there for S&M play just walking up to a woman and saying “Dominate me” without any sign she was interested is not going to go well.

              1. Actually, I’m not sure how well it would go inside most playrooms.

                Then again, from what I can see the typical pink sci-fi fan who is supposedly into kink wouldn’t survive most Leather events I’ve attended. The pink sci-fi are way too PC.

                1. Because Leather conventions and the BDSM community understand their communities and there are rules for behavior. There are no free-for-alls without prior definition of terms and agreed upon scenarios. And safe words as necessary.

                  The people outside of those communities know nothing about the contract negotiation side of the party, and think they can just throw it all off and go crazy.

                  1. So shorter version: communities have standards which those champions of communities, the left, can never bother to learn.

                    I’m not sure which would be worse, though, someone who just comes up and asks or someone who asks to negotiate via those filled out checklists on the internet.

                    What happened to go, watch, learn, and the do something (I know, I know, the Internet).

                    1. Rules are oppressive, see? And people who are exploring the sexual boundaries are all about not being oppressed, see? There’s no need for random strangers to learn anything about the community because it’s all dedicated to being free!

                      And I say: Yeah, go try playing dom to an unwilling sub and see what happens. I promise to run you by the emergency room to get that thing pulled out of there.

                      Regarding checklists: *snort! chuckle. giggle.* That could be — interesting.

                      “What? You checked the box! It’s a broad category, if you didn’t realize that maybe you shouldn’t have checked the box! Okay, hang on, lemme plug the winch back in…”

                  2. Anyone just wishing for a peek into that culture should simply read “Ghost” the first book in John Ringo’s Kildar series. Particularly the middle scenario. More than enough information to satisfy the merely curious.

                    1. Disclaimer, I have not read Ghost. That said, I have yet to read anything in the fiction world that does a very good job of matching up to my actual experiences. I’m sure it exists but I’ve yet to run across it.

                      If someone really wanted to learn nothing works like watching and listening politely anywhere from the SCA to Leather to tennis.

              2. Oh, certainly. However, while that particular request is a little out of the norm, the number of female cosplayers who have had numerous incidents of random ass and boob grabs is rather disturbing, and I suspect that any female (and plenty of males) who are attractive and dressed well are possible targets for such.

                Hell, I’m 6′ and over 300lbs, and *I* had my ass grabbed in Wal-Mart!

                1. I’m an over-weight Hobbit and some loons did wolf-whistles at me when I was out front weeding.

                  There are some strange folks out there. (My husband gets a pass, he’s clearly deluded by our kids.)

              3. It strikes me that an appropriate response to such a request is “Go eff yourself.”

                It’s win-win, baby.

          2. I was complaining to a friend who was like “What? You imagined it” so we walk down the hallway, and this guy comes up to me and begs, and her eyes got huge. She was convinced I’d set it up. (I didn’t even know who the guy was!)

              1. Considering the fact they advertise Russian girlfriends all over the internet; yeah, that is a little confusing.

            1. That’s never happened to me. Though there was this time I danced with a young lady wearing a leash and collar. And another time I was seated next to a married woman in her underwear. I think we even managed to have a conversation.

              1. I’ll bite: what were you doing in her underwear?

                As for the young lady dancing in leash and collar, obviously she was a dog.

                1. Hm. I thought he was wearing the collar and she was holding the leash. That’s how he ended up in the other lady’s undergarments. Orders from the young lady holding the leash.

                  Or was it not that kind of party?

                  1. Clarification: the young lady was on the leash willingly, but I was not the one holding it. Long story.

                    But what I was doing in her underwear, I’ll never know!

  9. “Oh, yeah, sorry, I forgot. I’m a “moderate” because I don’t fit the view of “conservatives” (which for these purposes is everyone not to the left of Lenin) shown on tv, books and movies for the last forty years or so.”

    It’s been tested in the lab. They don’t know what we are like. There is a direct correlation between your degree of leftism and how badly you understand your opponents.

    It’s amazing how delusional they can be. I recently cited Haidt on the topic online, and someone else countered that in reality, both the far left and the far right are, and then he had the nerve to say he was arguing for his view as I was for mine, when he cited not a scrap of evidence.

  10. The “little niche” comment really set me off.

    Fine. We’ll stick to the writing-stuff-people-actually-want-to-read niche. You can stick to yours. 🙂

      1. I’m all for that. One of my HS English teachers called Stephen King a “literary prostitute” for abandoning teaching and succumbing to the lure of lucre. She also put a confiscated Danielle Steele novel into the trash, carrying it at arm’s length with two fingers. I’d love to have a quarter of the money either Steele or King make in a year.

        1. Ohhh … so would I! I could write a book a year easily, if I had nothing else to do to keep food on the table and the wolf all the way down at the end of the road next to the community mailbox instead of sitting on the doormat eying me expectantly.

              1. Let me preface: This is not a knock on Nora Roberts. I like Nora Roberts, she does believable and enjoyable contemporary characters that are quite fun to hang out with for a bit.

                That said, she’s writing to a pretty strict formula with clearly defined expectations in the audience. There are some fiddly bits outside of the formula that she gets to play with, but — her books are not difficult to plot.

                Still not a knock, her skill in her genre has made her ridiculous amounts of cash. I could be quite happy with the spare bills fluttering off the top of that pile.

                  1. Yeah, but I suspect you (and Nora Roberts) are outliers.

                    I may be wrong, and it’s a nice target to aim for, production wise!

                  2. Just looking at what I do now (in and around all the other stuff) I can sorta see 4 books a year.

                    Double that? o_O

                  3. When I’m grinding along I’m producing enough copy to do 3-4 books per year (or the equivalent in shorts). That is, I would be doing so if I had enough time in the day to also do ideation on the front end and editing/revising on the back end in parallel. Back when I was writing “full time” I was able to do all that so the capacity is there.

                    So dreaming of the day when I go back to being “full time writer” without it being a euphemism for “unemployed” is a reasonable ambition. Providing, of course, that I can write stuff that people want to read.

      2. That’s almost pithy enough to work as a slogan. If we get a Human Wave icon to put on book covers maybe we can also get a “Selling Out (for commercial success)” icon, too.

        1. That’s almost pithy enough …“??? How long have you been typing with a lithp?

  11. This means when we saw all the cracks in the agenda being shown as “right” (I believe for me that started when I saw how they reported things I’d been present at. And there was no resemblance) we started examining positions and beliefs by themselves, individually, testing them against reality and choosing what to believe in and what not to believe in.

    It was the Stupilahs– oh, sorry, Stolpa– that made me realize my folks’ “what might the other side be?” exercises were very important. (Took me a good two decades to realize that might have been on purpose!)

    It’s a young idiot couple that ignored the directions they were given that you do not try to drive across a gravel road in Nevada in the middle of winter and were only saved because Dave at the corner store figured out that they’d blown him off and one of the plow guys went and checked and found signs they’d driven off the road around the “THIS ROAD CLOSED, DO NOT DRIVE PAST” sign.

    They found the car that the double idiots had abandoned. Then the guy, and in one of the Indian Caves they finally found the woman and baby, alive.

    Some relative was a movie guy, so they made a movie about it… and slandered the people who’d risked their lives to get them, including Doc Roberts, who they recreated as an idiot and blamed for the frostbites where she couldn’t save them.

    I get enraged just thinking about it, and that was ages ago.

  12. I really don’t know how Butthurt and her ilk can keep going on with the fascist nonsense. Except in the realm where it’s become just a random insult denoting the really bad with no other definition.

    They might as well be calling us gocklecreedles wherein the definition is “the worstest thing EVAH!” for all the relationship it has to real world meaning.

    1. What annoys me is how many English words have been abused into utter meaningless. I’m fascist. You’re fascist. Everyone’s fascist. Your haircut? Fascist. The weather? Fascist.

      1. It’s very fascist of you to note this. Besides, you’re purple and everybody knows purple is fascist.

        On top of all that, you have two horns! Vikings had two horns! Vikings were fascist!

        Now I’m going to go ice my brain. The swelling’s bad. The throbbing’s worse.

        1. Actually, by having two horns like Vikings*, I’m guilty of cultural appropriation.

          *(Note: Vikings did not, in fact, wear horned helmets. By perpetuating this myth, you are guilty of fostering Nordic stereotyping)

          1. You’re an inappropriate cultural appropriator fascist! And you don’t approve of the wonderful Native People’s mythology? Oppressive fascist.

            I don’t ski, so I don’t know what you think I’m guilty of, but I’m not.

            1. I saw a news item about some rock festival* in Canada advising potential attendees that they would NOT be permitted to attend wearing Indian headdresses (I know, they needed to be more specific; Amerindian headdresses are not all alike.)

              Which left me wondering about those poor First Nations fans intent on displaying their cultural pride at the concert.

              *Sorry – don’t recall where I read it, where it is (besides Canada) nor its official name, other than it is something like Bass Mountain, Bass Lake or possibly Bass Ackwards.

              1. A California sports team recently banned wearing Indian headdresses to their stadium. Because a couple of squaws complained about a guy wearing a headdress to a game; DURING NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE WEEK!

          2. But Loki has horns on his helmet!!!! Surely the comics and the movies won’t lie to me!!!!! [Grin]

            1. I thought “Nordic cultural appropriation” meant raiding and pillaging. (I’d hate to be pillaged.)

          3. I’m willing to bet that some vikings had horns on their helmets. Other vikings said we don’t need no stinking helmets, we’re scarier running half naked into battle. Other vikings said, if we call it greenland we can sucker people into moving here.

            Vikings were good at the mind game part of things. That’s why I figure that at least some of them probably did fancy up their gear to look bigger and more frightening.

            As for that cultural appropriation stuff… vikings call that Winning.

                  1. Well, Iceland was more green than Greenland. [Smile]

                    Still, it’s obvious that Greenland was more livable then than it is know.

          1. 😀 😈 😀

            I try to suppress the evil cackle, but sometimes it slips out

            Note: for this to make any sense you have to click through to the website.

              1. Whaddya mean? It was perfectly clear. To me. In my head.

                Sorry. Click through to AtH, so that you see the actual emoticon and not just the WP code for the actual emoticon, which is all you get in the email notification. (Or all I get, anyway.)

  13. One of my fondest desires is to be hated by liberals. I will have arrived at that point. As it is, at this point I annoy them when I laugh at them.

  14. “We’re all naked under our clothes.”

    Wait, what?

    Why didn’t someone tell me? All this time, I’ve been going around naked over my clothes.

    No wonder they looked at me funny.

    1. You should have watched the Muppets more. Sam the Eagle had a speech on that once.

    1. Oh, some of those are really cute, and funny, and probably don’t quite make the point intended. 🙂

      1. There’s a link in there to the blog of the guy who created that site, and he appears to have been inspired by the “Women Against Feminism” site.

        1. I *think* they’re meaning to make fun of “Women Against Feminism”, which is what I think some of them miss by actually being funny (except for the ones where a “feminist” humor impaired “that’s not funny” applies.)

          1. Yup.

            I’ve read a fair number of articles explaining why women are not feminists. What they all had in common was that not one author found it necessary to speak to even one of the women she was so condescendingly explaining.

            1. Why would they want to do that? What purpose would it serve? Such women are obviously too close to the matter to be able to see it, much less understand it.

              Sheesh — might as well ask a cat why it licks its butt.

  15. I’m a fan of several artists that I think are batshit crazy in real life. There are lots of authors and actors like Tad Williams and Jim Beaver that I really respect in their fields but whose political beliefs I fined numbingly stupid. Same in real life. I have friends that are great in their chosen fields and to go out to the bar/movies with, but their politics is so far to the left any political discussions usually end with me walking away shaking my head. Separating someone’s art from their other stuff is usually quite easy for me. I’ve never understood why someone would care what a writer/actor thinks about something outside of their chosen specialty (no offense meant to our host).

    1. I’ve never understood why someone would care what a writer/actor thinks about something outside of their chosen specialty

      And especially about something scientific/technical. But yet somehow actors that spout the right line get interviewed all over the place and asked about the topic du jour when their knowledge of it is pretty much limited to a couple of soundbites they heard on TV one morning

    2. One doesn’t, until they put that mind-numbingly stupid political belief in their books, and then either my suspension of disbelief crashes and burns against the cliff of reality, or I want to strangle the character for believing such mind-numbing idiocy.

      Some leftist authors are quite good, like Flint, he writes good books, but I still occasionally bounce fairly hard when I run into the occasional Marxist idiocy he includes in them. But all to many leftist authors write nothing but the idiocy, and there just ain’t enough story there to drag me through the idiocy.

      1. One danger of discovering their views is that being primed, you can see them more easily.

  16. ” Look, I’m sincerely religious, and I hold myself to a set of beliefs and behaviors that I believe move me towards salvation. This doesn’t mean that I believe everyone should be forced to do the same.”

    As a matter of fact, my religious beliefs, believe in free will. You CAN”T force anyone to salvation, they must choose it voluntarily.

  17. I’ve been lurking here for a few months. This thread seems and opportune point to go active. I once found (and promptly lost again) a website that had a political attitudes survey on it which, once completed, placed you on a grid. It was very similar to the Pournelle Political Axes Chart only this one had famous writers and politician placed on the grid, too, so you could see who was keeping you company and be pleased or outraged as you saw fit. If anyone can tell me where to find it again I’d be most grateful. I want to retake the test every few years (maybe just prior to presidential elections) so I can have a record of how my views change over time. Many thanks in advance!

    1. Welcome, we growl a lot, but save the biting for specific conditions. Alas, I have not seen the test, just wanted to offer a welcome (though I’m new-ish myself).

    2. Hmmm, another redhead. We may be about to hit critical mass. Critical numbers, make that critical numbers.

      I think I remember seeing that diagram, but I can’t remember where, either. I was link-hopping at the time.

      1. You better watch that mass when you are hopping around, if you don’t things could go critical.

  18. “…anarchists would denounce all of us.”

    Denouce? For me at leat it’s more of a headshake and a soft sigh.

    “…anarchists would denounce all of us.”

    Denouce? For me at leat it’s more of a headshake and a soft sigh.

    And it’s mostly when I come a cross, what I feel is, our own doublethink of believing we are adult enough to live without government interference, except for when we are not.

    😉

  19. “We’re here, we’re diverse in thought. And we ain’t going anywhere.”

    Ah – a manifesto. This one I can stand by.

    The problem has been that I don’t like monolithic, knee-jerk anything. I know my positions (for myself – I try not to judge others unless there’s something positive I can do there, and even then tread lightly) – and I know how much I have been influenced by, for example, always having enough to eat, and my parents being still married after 65+ years, etc. – but I also have gay friends, children who don’t do what I expected them to, and issues of all kinds.

    As long as people can be civil, and talk things out, many problems can be, if not solved, ameliorated. Half the time I don’t know what to think (so go back to writing my own little world).

    Diversity I get. Cliques ruling – not happy with. I don’t think there’s ever been a truly benevolent dictator.

    1. I don’t think there’s ever been a truly benevolent dictator.

      You run into some No True Scotsman there: because of modern parlance, no one benevolent will ever be classed as a dictator. I have heard tell of historical monarchs wielding significant power who were benevolent; some dynasties managed to go as much as three generations before you got a power-hungry maniac who made life a living hell.

      1. We were taught in school in Mexico that Benito Juarez was the ‘Benemerito de las Americas.’ He is quoted as having said, ‘Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz’ (between individuals, as between nations, respect for the rights of others is peace).

        As of all benevolent dictators, there is good and bad said about him, but he did succeed himself twice, and died of a heart attack.

        My cynical side always wondered whether he would be remembered as fondly if he had governed longer – dictators never seem to know when to quit.

        I don’t know. He is so revered it is hard to say. Nobody’s perfect, but the problem with this kind of government – whether by hereditary kings, kings by force and their families, or ‘elected’ dictators – is often that they ruthlessly suppress opposition (or their underlings do), and that things fall apart catastrophically when they die or are deposed.

        So there may be a period of relative peace, but the people are basically being ignored, and it always ends badly.

        NOT a historian here, as you are – just educated in Mexico, so that’s what I know a bit about.

        1. Old Russian proverb:
          The best form of government is good Tsar. Worst form of government is bad Tsar. Problem is: more bad Tsars than good Tsars.

          The other problem is that a bad Tsar can do much more harm in a short time than four good Tsars can undo in a long time.

  20. You – the academic Marxists, the rigid thinkers – have managed to run most of the Odds – in the sense of people that don’t fit on either dies from official fandom, and from publishing houses, and from official publishing circles, mostly by pointing your finger and screaming about thought-crimes.

    And yet they do this, and then bemoan no one buying books anymore.

  21. Ah, “Dangerous Visions”. Bought it in paperback in 1970 and wore out my copy with re-reading. Consider the list of authors: Asimov, Silverberg, Dick, Niven, Sturgeon, Leiber, Laumer, und so weiter. Ellison didn’t give a rat’s patoot about their politics; all that mattered were the stories.

  22. One of the themes of the new Cat collection is what a good (OK, chaos good) individual does when faced with a corrupt government – RES’s bad Tsar.

  23. You see, I can say that Terry Pratchett was one of the best writers (in any field) ever, while thinking his views on guns and monetary policy – were it not for the fact they are standard European views and therefore part of his environment – are crazy enough that people proclaiming them should have to wear tinfoil on their heads as a warning.

    I remember being somewhat perturbed when reading a Discworld book recently. (The Fifth Elephant, I believe), where the protagonist Sam Vimes (being a police officer, working with weaponry of various sorts all the time, dealing with dangerous criminals, and in this case foreign enemies via violence) had a visceral over the top reaction to an ersatz gun that struck me as completely inconsistent with everything else about his attitudes and situation. (Some sort of concealable single-shot crossbow). Somehow that wasn’t okay, while the hand ballista that his troll sgt used for direct fire artillery support was just fine. It made no sense. The assassin character that used it called Vimes out on it making no logical sense to object to it and not the others or the necessity of violence when dealing with violent people. But it was never addressed in the book. The weapon continued to be uniquely evil and sinister, despite the fact that all weapons are designed to kill people. (head-desk).

    1. Maybe the assassin character was Terry Pratchett’s acknowledgement that he knew it didn’t make sense, but Vime’s (and presumably the author’s) subjective opinions have some degree of inertia.

      Anyway, I like Terry Pratchett, and I love his books – he can build some interesting worlds and funny characters. Having some fundamental points of disagreement doesn’t prevent me from enjoying his work.

      1. Sir PTerry’s govt-induced anti-gun sense at work, I suspect. Given the British government’s dreadful fear that its citizens might have thoughts about trying to defend themselves against intruders/rapists/arsonists/jihadis/ New Labour.

    2. Yes, apparently possession of crossbows at one point in medieval Italy was an ex-communicable offense. The aristocracy didn’t like the idea that the peasants could kill them just as easily as they could kill the peasants.

      1. It was also a capital offense, if I am to believe the historical romances I’ve read, for infantry troops to (be caught trying to) dispatch an unhorsed knight.

        1. It certainly didn’t stop them from doing it, though. The idea was to keep the nobles alive so the king could get their ransom, but POed infantry looking for loot apparently weren’t always quite as interested in long-term investments.

    3. There has always been a weird dichotomy in Pratchett’s work but these days who knows who is really writing them.

  24. Okay, it is the Washington Times, so their presentation is going to be less than charitable toward the administration, but does anybody else get a sinister frisson over this:

    Obama: U.S. should ‘embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together’
    By Dave Boyer – The Washington Times

    President Obama said Saturday that a loophole allowing companies to dodge U.S. taxes by moving their headquarters overseas is unpatriotic.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/26/obama-us-should-embrace-economic-patriotism-says-w/

    Is it just a trick of the camera and shadows, or has Obama grown a little brush mustache?

  25. Dear Ms. Hoyt:
    I would just like to say THANK YOU for the stand you, the Mad Genius’s, and Larry Correia have taken these past few months. Reading your blogs lately have been a true breath of fresh air. I’ve been a long time reader of SF/F, and lately I’ve just been shaking my head in disbelief at some of the stuff I’ve been reading. Its been great to find that I’m not the only person who has been just appalled at the direction the genre has been taking these last 15 years or so.

    I’m heading for WorldCon in London this year (and yes, I’ve already voted). Not sure what I’ll find when I get there, but I suspect it will be… “interesting”.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. And he got it completely wrong. And yes, I’ve emailed and told him so. Or rather, he got it so weird it’s not even wrong. I don’t write politics, save for my blog. I emailed him about it and he said “Well, yes, but they think your politics are why you hate their writing.” Oh, hell, no. They’d think that because it saves their pride. They’d think that even if I were a ton more to the left than I am. (As is I’m fairly undefinable in the current spectrum.) Look — what worries me about that article is that ESR has a shouty microphone so people will think I write “right wing” SF, whatever that is. And then they’ll be shocked when they hit on a book with a gay main character, or one of the more experimental books which toys with future societies that aren’t on the right. (Yes, that book is started.) And they’ll fall on their can when they read my Shakespeare Series which is “Literary Fantasy.”
      I object to having a caricature of me presented to the reading public, because it will attract readers who’ll hate me and keep away readers who’ll love me. Yeah, this is fine for the other side to do. It’s WHAT they do. But getting this from friendly fire is a pisser.
      Oh, and I don’t care what the left writes. I just want them to stop yelling they’re the “one true SF” and let me do my thing in peace.

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