Stories in your Head

There’s only one thing writers do – this weaving of words, this thinking of characters, this reaching for stuff that might surprise you are incidentals — What we do is make sense out of nonsense. We weave reality into a sequence where there’s a beginning, middle and end, where actions have consequences and where, at least if we’re human wave, the good are rewarded and the bad are punished at some level. Even if the level is that the good die heroically and the bad have to live with themselves.

And even though it’s a limited format, quickly ended, we get a satisfactory reward from the story, and we hold onto it.

We know it’s not true, but we also know parts of it are.

It is my belief that the reason Indo-European civilization (it appears not to have been a race so much as a culture that co-opted other cultures) beat the pants (and there’s another way to spread your culture) all their neighbors and has survived through the ages and spread like wild fire is that, at least according to some linguists, they really liked their sagas.

These sagas, often told at banquets to display wealth, also incidentally hammered in the values of Indo-European culture. It is believed that the Iliad and the Odyssey are much like these sagas and probably fairly watered down/mishmashed versions. Which means that the sagas propagated values of courage, standing up before the gods and screwing everything that moved and some things that might have been standing still. But as weird as they seem to us, clearly these values were an improvement on most of their neighbors who wanted to imitate them.

Or perhaps there was the fact that they were sagas – coherent stories that could be memorized and had satisfactory logic (for the time.) Not all cultures developed that, and clearly the culture that did had an upper hand.

Because we like stories, we do. The world is a confusing mishmash of inputs and often not satisfactory at all, so we like having a place where it is satisfactory and makes sense.

This is a good thing in terms of teaching things like delayed gratification and kindness to others, things that are good long term civilization wise, but aren’t really very good short term, for the individual – or at least are not immediately, obviously good.

It is also, at least if it’s decently written fiction, good for building empathy. We can’t be anyone else. We can’t experience anyone else’s life, and we live only in our own time, but I tell you I’ve stood guard at the palais royale with Athos, I’ve flown through space with Lazarus Long, and I have most assuredly gone into hell with a werewolf and his witch wife in search of our child.

All these are good things. But stories like all potent medicine have side effects.

Which means that stories get in your head, and it’s all too easy – if you don’t take care to also study history and, you know, have a life – to forget that things that work in stories don’t work in real life. This is, I think, particularly true when you realize that most story people consume these days – particularly incurious people like our politicians and other poseurs – are told on TV, which is a very limited and simplified format. (Yes, they SAY they read all the literary stories. Sure I believe them, don’t you?)

This is a problem because not only doesn’t real life work like stories, but because in real life things that work in stories can be downright stupid. Or, of course, horrible.

I got in an argument recently in a closed Facebook group I belong to with a man who thought we shouldn’t write any women at all except those like Jane Austen’s characters or Shakespeare’s heroines. Besides displaying a stunning lack of understanding of the conditions of that world or the fact that those characters were in rebellion against it, he went on to state that women are, NATURALLY not prone to violence, so not only shouldn’t they be in an army (something that can be debated ad nauseum. I note Israel has women in the army) but that they shouldn’t fight at all. Women’s proper role is working in the home, and being excellent housekeepers and mothers.

We’ll leave aside what would IDEALLY be the role of women, shall we? I mean, ideally, come paradise, yes, woman as an archetype, not an individual, is supposed to be a wife and a mother. Or at least, evolutionarily we are sorta kinda designed for that. Or at the very least, and despite the semantic contortions of our language, it would be impossible for a biological male to give birth and absent bio-wombs someone has to do it.

Where this man’s vision turns horrible is when it runs right up against the fact that humans are not ideal – they’re not a model, stamped from a factory – but real, breathing individuals.

What Jane Austen was capturing, and why her books are far more than the fluffy romances those who don’t read them think they are, was the very real danger women stood in if they didn’t find anyone SUITABLE whom they wanted to marry and who wanted to marry them. Then there were women not allowed to marry, women in awful marriages, women who were sterile…

The list goes on and on. The IDEAL of woman might be to be a wife and mother, but the way that works out goes wrong in a myriad ways. And because this is not a story in that man’s head, but the real world, and there’s ways for things to go wrong that would never fit in a story, if someone tried to enforce his system, we’d end up in a horrible dystopia where women were forcibly married off and by necessity we ended up with something like sharia law. I’m sure that’s not what he wants. (Well, at least I hope not, though I’ve wondered if he’s a false flag operation.) But in his head, since feminism is wrong, we just reverse everything they say, and confine women to their role as housekeepers and mothers and voila, everything is fine and dandy.

He’s read too many stories.

Then there’s our president. I read this article by Michael Ledeen, which unfortunately might very well be a good analysis of the truth. He thinks the president is trying to establish détente with Isis before joining in the fray as an ally of Iran.

From things I’ve heard, this is already going on to an extent, behind the scenes. But here is where it all goes wrong. I don’t think that’s what Iran wants. Or could take even if offered. And I don’t think when it’s out in the open, it will be accepted by the US either.

I think the president suckled a narrative with his mother’s milk that told him that everything America did was wrong and in particular everything Reagan did was wrong. (To be fair, it was from the perspective of a red diaper baby.) So, as he announced, he intends to reverse everything that Reagan did and everything America does abroad. Because if that was wrong, then this will bring peace everlasting, right?

To make it worse, being a man of my generation (groan) I think he’s imbibed too much of what I call the style of plotting of “Kirk’s trick.” You know, faced with a centuries long problem, Captain Kirk finds the one facile trick that fixes everything.

It’s a beautiful story, but that’s not how real life works.

I think it was this bizarre idea of Kirk’s trick that led him to traipse into Fast and Furious, because finding that our guns were killing Mexicans we’d give up our guns – of course! – and that of course would make it easier for the government to fundamentally transform us.

I don’t know what he thinks he can do to make us think an alliance with Iran is acceptable, or if he just hopes to somehow subdue us into compliance.

What I do know is that the story in his head is very seductive (to him) but the real world has a hundred different ways to balk it. And then he gets upset, because stories tell him this should work.

It goes without saying that having a man who thinks in stories in power is a problem. But it is important too to strive to write “realer” stories. I say that as someone whose son yelled at her recently that what’s wrong with her current novel is that she forgot the world outside the seacity existed. (I’m fixing it, I’m fixing it – grumble.)

But more important, we must remember that there are stories and there is reality. When the all pervasive stories of the left are wrong it’s important to remember that doesn’t mean the opposite is right. It’s entirely possible for just as solid a narrative to be wrong. In fact too solid a narrative will be wrong. Real life is composed of millions of individual stories and therefore unpredictable.

And it’s important to remember that, as we head into interesting times.

UPDATE: I’ve changed To The Dragons so that it snow feels “Tuned” right.  I spent the entire friggen night dreaming of the care and feeding of dragons, so I hope it’s right.  It’s up in the subscriber space. It will have to fit around the other stuff, but I’ll try to update semi-regularly.

225 responses to “Stories in your Head

  1. and I have most assuredly gone into hell with a werewolf and his witch wife in search of our child.

    You have intrigued me. Where may I find this?

  2. Kirk’s tricks work because the authors are on his side.

    I’m reasonably sure the Author is not on Obama’s side as much as he thinks He is.

    • Kirk’s tricks work because the authors are on his side.

      Author fiat. Characters like The Punisher (or to a lesser extent Batman) work because Author Fiat says they’re never wrong. The Punisher never targets an innocent. Well, unless it’s an “object lesson” issue in which case he’ll have a close call where he almost kills an innocent person and gets to feel angtsy and question his mission for the rest of the issue. A couple of issues down the road, all is forgotten.

      Author fiat. The most amazing, unlikely economies can “work” because the author said so. The most amazing political systems can avoid collapsing into chaos or turning into brutally repressive dictatorships.

      All because the author said so.

      And I’ve been guilty of it too. I think we all have, all of us who set finger to keyboard in order to string words in a row. But, so long as you tell an interesting story, and don’t try to pretend it’s reality, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

      And I’m not sure what I’m meaning to say here, but there it is.

      • Telling the stories is NOT wrong. Believing them to be reality is.

        • Telling the stories is NOT wrong. Believing them to be reality is.

          [whew]. I’m glad of that. Because it’s kind of what I do. 😉

        • Thos of uys who remember the Eighties remember that one of the Left’s (and the MSM’s, but I repeat myself) criticisms of Reagan was that he tended to interpret the world according to old Warner Bros. plots (probably a better idea than referring to MGM plots, but that’s another day …)

          Whether or not that was correct, Reagan knew The American Public wanted to interpret the world according to those old film and TV plots, so he used them to shape the public’s understanding and opinions.

      • Is that like Plot Armor?

      • When done right it is Author Fiat. Otherwise you’re talking Author Trabant and driving grey goo.

        And it works because we go away and don’t see the long-term consequences, the people reverting to old habits and interpretations of others’ actions.

        Because Culture is not a canoe, it’s a barge, always striving to return to its natural course.

        • In books, Fiat would be “Fix it Again Toni”. Well, if Baen is your publisher.

        • …I’ve seen Trabants up close. How they functioned is a mystery. While I was a kid in East Berlin, my father, brother and I were on our way back from a visit to the playground and we were walking through our apartment building’s parking lot. Someone must have had a bad day because there was a hole in the door of one of the Trabants parked there. The piece of the door that fit the hole lay on the asphalt next to the car, and to our bemusement we learned that the outside of the car was basically made of thin … well, it wasn’t wood. It looked like wood chips, sawdust and shavings mixed in with a clear plastic and pressed out into sheets painted on one side. Dad thought it might have been a temporary fix that came off but nope, a look at the rest of the door showed it was made of the same stuff.

          That explained why most mornings when Dad came down, he’d find the air let out of the tires of his BMW. To this day we doubt that you could get anyone killed in a Trabant car accident. They were 1 horsepower things that went “put-put-put-put.”

        • I think where I was heading in my rambling (Which Sarah clarified) is that while all stories have “author fiat” (which can be done well or can be done poorly–parodied in “The Last Action Hero” with the protagonists. “This is an action movie. I’m a good guy. This has got to work.” right before he realized “I’m a comedy sidekick!”), in the real world we don’t.

          And, yes, dystopias and “gray goo” where everybody miserably proceeds in their miserable lives going about their miserable world is as much an “author fiat” (or “author trabant” as you put it, or maybe “author ladia”?–I had to look that up to get it. I’m so ashamed.) as are “Kirk tricks” and no more a necessary reflection of reality than are those tricks.

  3. Of course Obama believes in stories, and simple, obvious and logical solutions for complex problems that are absolutely, catastrophically and completely wrong. I am certain this is why he is becoming increasingly detached – and pettishly bad-tempered when faced with the undeniable proof.

    I’d enjoy the public melt-down of an arrogant, entitled puppet, fed on the milk and delusions of his commie mommie – but likely a lot of other people will (and have already) pay a very high price for his delusions of adequacy.

    • Obama apparently thinks of other people (and nations) as bit players in his story — expecting they will react as he wants them to. When they go off script he lacks the flexibility to adapt. When dealing with folks he has cast as villains (Conservatives, the G.O.P, non-compliant media, Binyamin Netantahu) he is prone to tantrum; when those whom he has cast as supporting actors (Putin, Iran’s mullahs) his reactions are more like those of Margaret Dumont in a Marx Brothers film — stark non-comprehension of what is in front of his nose.

      Like many contemporary intellectuals, Obama lacks the imagination to truly empathize with people “not his class” and thus he projects his own worst attributes and prejudices onto them.

      • thinks of other people (and nations) as bit players in his story — expecting they will react as he wants them to. When they go off script he lacks the flexibility to adapt. When dealing with folks he has cast as villains (Conservatives, the G.O.P, non-compliant media, Binyamin Netantahu) he is prone to tantrum; when those whom he has cast as supporting actors (Putin, Iran’s mullahs) his reactions are more like those of Margaret Dumont in a Marx Brothers film — stark non-comprehension of what is in front of his nose.

        *lightbulb*

        Y’know, thanks for that. Not only does that make sense re: Obama, but Yama and every single GHH and SJW out there.

      • That allows him to be to be the hero in the story. The issue, as always, is that other people are not on the same page – or even in the same book.

      • Well, duh. It’s the same philosophy that lets socialists assume away the collective action problem in their utopia — not to mention they refuse to believe in the most obvious reactions to their programs, even when they happen, such as people changing their acts to minimize their tax liability, when they aren’t what they planned for.

        • He believes his own propaganda. This is characteristic of third rate communists like Kim Jong Starvemall and Hugo Chowtime. Another characteristic is the inability to bear derision. He seems to present this as well. Thus, if it walks like a red and talks like a red, it must be a ?

          • The real problem, of course, is Social Media.

            The Soviet Union did just fine until social media like samizdat undermined the people’s confidence in the government lies statistical reports, reports that proved everything was just hunky-dory, better than it ever had been and that the purely local disruptions in the supply chain were just the new normal hiccoughs.

            Same thing in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and the Chinese People’s Republic. So long as the masses only receive responsible reporting there is no general panic, panic which is the real source of entirely ephemeral social unrest.

            So just go back to sleep, have some tasty croissants and enjoy the football season now starting, and don’t let rumour mongers disturb you. Our leaders are the wisest and most enlightened of people, who believe in governmental transparency … so long as that transparency is put in its proper rose-coloured contexxxt.

  4. I hate to admit it, but I’ve found the suggestion that Obama does have a strategy, one he knows not even his allies can accept, a better explanation than that of all his people being caught off guard by something people (even on his own side) have predicted would happen the moment the US withdrew from Iraq for a decade.

    Valerie Jarrett is there for one reason, and one reason only: Relations with radical Islam.

    • Eamon J. Cole

      It’s getting hard for me to believe in master plans and devious manipulations when the entire administration is so badly — um — administered.

      I’m not sure I can by the idea “we’ve caught on to the peripheral plots, perhaps because we’re meant to, but the larger central plots yet lie unknown…”

      Not to say I don’t think there’s bad faith activity going on. I’m just not convinced it’s masterful. Or particularly competent.

      • Incompetence and evil are not mutually incompatible. I don’t think you place an Iranian sympathizer as your chief foreign policy adviser and then not sympathize with Iran. Yes, that takes some backchanneling. But it’s not impossible, and it has been taking place to some extent.

        The only question is why? It sure hasn’t been to punish them.

        • Eamon J. Cole

          Oh, I don’t doubt bad faith, betrayal, loathing of American exceptionalism, intent to foul… any of it.

          I just doubt competent Machiavellian strategy. I can’t see anybody over there tapping their fingers together rhythmically and muttering “it’s all coming together exactly as I planned…”

          Which is not to say bumbling incompetence lead around by blind adherence to ideology won’t do tremendous harm. Or, really, continue to do tremendous harm.

          • This is my thinking as well. Like I said, I don’t think incompetence and evil are mutually exclusive. Not with this administration. I wasn’t going for Machiavelli. They don’t understand the real world nearly well enough to accomplish RealPolitik.

            But they are sufficiently insulated from the consequences of their stupidity to allow themselves to lie blithely about their strategy, and unamerican enough to pursue something blatantly outside our interests.

            • Eamon J. Cole

              …they are sufficiently insulated from the consequences of their stupidity…

              Oh, very this.

              • For the nonce.
                But the simple truth is that one may poke the badger for only so long before said badger rips your bloody face off. I see more and more indications that a day of reckoning cannot be all that far away.

      • It’s getting hard for me to believe in master plans and devious manipulations when the entire administration is so badly — um — administered.

        Not so much “master plans and devious manipulations” as… well, there’s a reason nobody on his side is trying to hold Obama’s feet to the fire about homosexual marriage, and it’s not just political expediency. Nobody that cared about it believed he was against it.

        They just say whatever is expedient.

  5. MadRocketSci

    I say that as someone whose son yelled at her recently that what’s wrong with her current novel is that she forgot the world outside the seacity existed.

    I thought you had stuck something in “A Few Good Men” that explained that through some sort of nasty bioweapons and bio-experiments gone bad, the continents were rendered uninhabitable somehow. (Though not devoid of life – whatever it is, by implication, must only attack humans.) That leaves the world rather cramped and underpopulated, I suppose, but then I didn’t imagine your future-Earth was supposed to be a fun place.

    • MadRocketSci

      Speaking of which, do you have anything else in that universe being written? I liked the whole Darkship series.

      • I’m finishing both Through FIre (Please keep me in your thoughts for not getting sick/having someone die/get terminal so I can finish it by Monday) and about halfway through Darkship Revenge.

        • masgramondou

          Joss sticks and other offerings to gods will be made to ensure that good fortune will abide by Hoyts and known to them until Monday. If it works then Tuesday OTOH is probably shot

    • No. The continents are returning. In fact, Nat and Luce end up farming in the northern US.
      But more importantly for Through fire, I’d forgotten there were about fifty armies about to descend on a seacity in disarray. Which is why the climax is needed.

  6. MadRocketSci

    Operation Chaos. Pol Anderson. The BEST Heinlein story Anderson ever wrote.

    I’m reading Star Trader by Anderson now. There is a lot of good, fun, space-operatic stuff here. I happen to like Falkayn quite a bit more than Anderson’s Flandry character. I suppose it’s partially because I like what Falkayn does a lot more than Flandry. One is his own person, out for adventure, discovery, and profit, and the other is an agent/footsoldier of a corrupt empire.

    • I would hope you’ve read Ensign Flandry where Flandry was young and altruistic.

      • MadRocketSci

        Nope. Haven’t gotten around to that one yet. Poul Anderson is interesting – he writes a galaxy with some elbow-room, and has a lot of interesting and uniquely different characters.

        Van Rijn is a hoot. For some reason (shared nationality? sanity deficit?) this game-composer’s song got associated in my head with the character: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD7lpHkcx2s

        • MadRocketSci

          Some scenes/characters in books acquire unofficial soundtracks in my mind. Does anyone else do this? 😛

          • Me – although the music is usually classical tracks, or often sound-tracts to recent movies done in the classical tradition. (John Williams, John Barry, Maurice Jarre, Ennio Moricone, and whoever did the soundtrack for Last of the Mohicans… ) I try not to to think of the heroine in Romancing the Stone, who wrote … with movie sound tracks on her headset as she scribbled improbable romantic adventures.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              One that character in “Romancing The Stone”. She had one of her book characters kill a bad guy by throwing a knife. Later in the movie she tried that stunt herself. Need I say that it didn’t work? [Very Big Grin]

          • I do it. “Defenders of the Earth” by Two Steps from Hell is Rada Ni Drako and Joschka von Hohen-Drachenburg waltzing. “Hymn to the Fallen” by John Williams from “Saving Private Ryan” is a pivotal scene in the next Cat novel.

          • Some fanfic authors give chapter soundtrack suggestions.

            • Eamon J. Cole

              Ringo has listed the songs/albums he wrote given books to. IIRC, Baen included a mix CD in the hardback version of at least one of his books.

              • Which is the only reason I gave Nightwish’s latest album a try. Ringo’s right – it improves with listening. (It’s just not quite the old Nightwish, though. *Shrug*)

          • Ringo does this big time. He has list of associated tracks for his Black Tide Rising series.

    • According to a recent WSJ review of the latest entry in NESFA’s compilation of the Complete Poul Anderson (might just be his complete short fiction, but still contains such novellas as Three Hearts and Three Lions, IIRC), Anderson was one of five authors to make a living solely off writing SF in the Fifties … and the only one to make a good living.

      I cannot confirm and merely pass it along.

      Ah-ha: Google shoots, Google scores:

      Book Review: ‘A Bicycle Built for Brew’ by Poul Anderson
      The funniest sci-fi story ever imagines an anti-colonial asteroid insurgency and a beer-powered spaceship.
      By TOM SHIPPEY
      Aug. 1, 2014 4:23 p.m. ET
      In the 1950s there were only about five authors who made a living from sci-fi without needing a day job, and only one of them made a good living. It wasn’t Asimov or Heinlein. It was Poul Anderson (1926-2001), whose work had consistently high quality coupled with unpredictable variety.
      [MORE: http://online.wsj.com/articles/book-review-a-bicycle-built-for-brew-by-poul-anderson-1406924607 ]

    • let us be just. Flandry is the agent/footsoldier of a corrupt empire who knows that the collapse is going to harder than the empire itself. And knows he’s just putting it off.

      Anderson can do bleak like nobody’s business. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis might admire the northern hardness, but they knew that hope is a virtue. Anderson — did not.

  7. Not only that but stories end (well hopefully they end, there’s a reason I’ve never gotten into comic books) but life goes on. There is no magic solution that will solve all problems forever. And the solutions we do come up with, even if they were the best option at the time, often carry the seeds of future problems. Every generation needs its own heroes.

  8. Our great and glorious leader spent his formative early years living in foreign lands under Islam. He returned to the States to further his education with his path greased by affirmative action. His grades in school were of such magnificent achievement that they have been sealed from our eyes to protect our fragile egos. Upon graduation rather than stoop to the practice of law he chose instead community organization, followed almost immediately by state and then national politics. He was swept into office on a wave of change, a great desire for something, anything, new and different, and by gum that’s exactly what we got. What wasn’t ever made clear was that change isn’t always positive.
    To put things bluntly, Mr. President never worked an honest day in his life, never managed anything, and never encountered the sort of fundamental truth that couldn’t be talked over or away. Until now.
    He is in every regard an empty suit, pretty and eloquent when fed by a teleprompter, but hopelessly outclassed as a world leader.

  9. masgramondou

    Kirk tricks! That is an insight I had not thought of, for which many thanks.

    It occurs to me that O is not alone in his overindulgence in belief in the magical properties of Narrativium, many others of the same stripe do likewise. It is, I think, why they mistake words for actions.

    • You know, I think it’s a function of our being wealthy enough that people have experienced way more stories than real life. All the old kings and emperors we thought were crazy might simply be the only persons wealthy enough to believe narrativium. In fact Don Sebastian, the Portuguese king, very much did, and died with the best of Portuguese nobility trying to invade the North of Africa, because of all the stories he’d been told.

      • I don’t think the wealth helps belief. I think the wealth helps opportunity. If you’re a poor subsistence farmer, then you encourage hearing the old stories because it provides a break from the daily grind. But you can’t do anything more than listen to the stories (or repeat them to others). It’s not until you’ve got some money that you can attempt to emulate the various protagonists.

      • While narrativium grants god-like powers to its ingesters (sorta like LSD without the weird camera tricks) it is counteracted by realitonium, which is to narrativium smokers what kryptonite is to Superman.

    • Well, if you think of postmodernism and its ilk, words and feelings are everything, and you understand words the way you choose to understand them. So when someone else says “we want to blow your country off the planet,” then you take it to be an example of the rhetorical exaggeration and use of dramatic phrases in their culture, rather than taking them at their word. In a like way, if they say they are talking to the Mahdi, of course they can’t be serious because you wouldn’t take religion seriously; it’s obviously that lovely native rhetorical style again. It’s a strange way to try and think, and reminds me of descriptions of how people functioned under the Soviet Union and the Eastern European Communists.

      And I’m going to go finish packing before MY head starts aching from trying to think like that.

      • “So when someone else says “we want to blow your country off the planet…” the most important thing is to figure out their motivation, to put yourself in their shoes, and try to figure out why exactly your country DESERVES to be blown off the planet, so that you can express sympathy to them, and maybe work cooperatively towards a common goal, like destroying one’s country and handing it over to them.

        Sudden Neologism: Sympathological.

  10. So what you’re saying is that Obama thinks he’s learned One Simple Trick that will bring about World Peace?

    Sounds like one of those weight loss banner ads.

    😛

  11. You underestimate the Left.

    What they intend–and what they will almost certainly succeed in accomplishing–is, first, to engineer an absolute victory for the terrorists; and, second, to work with their terrorist allies to do a number of spectacular and absolutely successful terrorist attacks within our nation. In the horror and confusion of those attacks, declare martial law and a ban on all civilian firearm ownership. With the Millennial generation entirely on their side, they will be 100% successful at the genocidal war that follows against American gun owners. History will be rewritten, and our names will be sullied forever in the neverending Communist tyranny that follows.

    There is one and only one name we can prevent this neverending Hell. We need to declare war on these cowardly, draft-dodging TRAITORS and eliminate them NOW.

    • Eamon J. Cole

      You overestimate the efficacy of a small handful of delusional twits.

      Communist revolutions and full-on follow-up communist governments with massive military support didn’t manage such against populations of isolated peasantry (or close approximations thereto) and the bumbling American left is going to accomplish it here?

      I have my doubts.

      • How long did it take the Reds to beat the Whites in western Russia? 1918 to 1922, IIRC, and that’s against an under-armed to unarmed population with at best a limited tradition of self defense. And then things simmered well into the 1930s.

        Here I’d expect a response along the lines of “You F’ed this up, go back to DC and get the F out of the way, we’ll deal with it. Us and our army, you f-ing excuse for a piece of whale crap,” and so on and so forth.

      • This.

        There may very well be intelligent schemers that have a brilliant and most clever plan to achieve something like this, but they have no more chance of actually accomplishing anything more than some nasty criminal acts than The Weathermen or The Symbionese Liberation Army did back in the most revered 1960s and pre-disco 1970s.

        Even if they have installed themselves in positions of power, they are only individuals, with no vast network of minions to call upon, and there’s a lot of good or even neutral people, many with guns and tanks to hand, and others with control of the levers of the bureaucracy, who would oppose them, if only to protect their sinecure jobs.

        And then you have the lazy, self indulgent, not really all that briight folks who are convinced they are the smartest people in any room they enter, who are the schemers nominal superiors that they have to “handle”. Guess what happens when the superiors stop listening to all that nagging from their “handlers”?

        Oh, wait, you actually don’t have to guess.They go play more golf.

      • William O. B'Livion

        (1) Ken is clearly a tinfoil hat goofball.

        (2) THEY ARE DOING IT HERE. By dribs and drabs, by inches. They are doing it with envy and greed, with lies and half truths.

        • Eamon J. Cole

          (1) Can’t argue with the evidence so far.

          (2) I’ll give you dribs and drabs. Inches even. In several sectors they’ve snagged feet and are working for yards.

          But there’s some distance yet to travel. I’ve still got doubts.

        • 1) Or a Moby. This comment could have been posted so that it could be quoted elsewhere as an example of what horrible Right Wing Militia Freaks we all are.

          2) Headless Conspiracy. As I’ve suggested before.

    • With the Millennial generation entirely on their side, they will be 100% successful at the genocidal war that follows against American gun owners.

      ….since when? Did I hallucinate joining the Navy, with a wave of other Millennials before (my husband and myself) and especially after 9/11?

      Six out of ten is not “entirely on their side,” especially not when that’s even after the oh-so-brilliant on our side keep insisting on telling the remaining 40% that we agree with the loudest of the Boomers on everything. You’d be more accurate to say that the folks in cities are “entirely on theirs side,” at 69 and 58% support.

      Or it could be that city folks and the 30-and-under folks are exceptionally good targets for voter fraud, both on the part of others and themselves– not like it’s hard to find stories of folks publicly bragging about casting multiple votes.

      • Eamon J. Cole

        I chuckle when folks bring up the Millennials and some disparaging silliness. And I always think: “I’ve known/served with some folks that would like to talk to you about your assumptions.”

        It’s done to every generation, and it has all the applicability it did with the previous generations. Which is to say, none.

        If this guy is counting on the Millennials marching in lock-step toward his genocidal war… Well, you and I know how that’s gonna play out.

        • If this guy is counting on the Millennials marching in lock-step toward his genocidal war… Well, you and I know how that’s gonna play out.

          Especially once they figure out that a lot of the “liberal” in our generation is basically modern manners.

          Manners drop really fast when it’s a matter of something important.

      • No matter how it turns out, it’ll be bloody and unpleasant getting there.

        • The bloody and nasty bits upcoming are unavoidable I haven’t read the posleen series..

          • The Posleen War series is entertaining and somewhat cathartic. Military SciFi with a realism that can be somewhat painful.

        • William O. B'Livion

          It’s bloody and unpleasant in most of the world. You/We have been sheltered here.

          “Reverting to Historical Norms”, also known as “Bad Luck”.

          • True, I guess the real question is do YOU have enough ammunition? Because nobody is coming to help.

            • I have not read all of “The Last Centurion”, but have read snippets. John Ringo has some interesting things about culture and who do you help.

            • William O. B'Livion

              I don’t currently have “enough” but that stuff us heavy and movers won’t knowingly ship it. So now I keep it down to about 8k rounds usually.

  12. That does explain a lot of things about the current White House resident. *sigh

  13. “women are, NATURALLY not prone to violence…they shouldn’t fight at all. Women’s proper role is working in the home, and being excellent housekeepers and mothers.”

    Your associate has never met a mother whose child is threatened, has he?

    • Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

      The Female of the Species

      WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
      He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
      But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
      For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
      He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
      But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
      For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
      They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
      ‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
      For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
      For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
      But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other’s tale—
      The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
      Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
      Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
      To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

      Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
      To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
      Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
      Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

      But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
      Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
      And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
      The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

      She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
      May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
      These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
      She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

      She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
      As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
      And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
      Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

      She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
      Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
      He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
      Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

      Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
      Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
      Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
      And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

      So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
      With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
      Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
      To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

      And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
      Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
      And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
      That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

      • You beat me to it.

      • Or, C. S. Lewis theorizing on men vs. women:
        A woman is primarily fighting for her own children and husband against the rest of the world. Naturally, almost, in a sense, rightly, their claims override, for her, all other claims. She is the special trustee of their interests. The function of the husband is to see that this natural preference of hers is not given its head. He has the last word in order to protect other people from the intense family patriotism of the wife. If anyone doubts this, let me ask a simple question. If your dog has bitten the child next door, or if your child has hurt the dog next door, which would you sooner have to deal with, the master of that house or the mistress?

        *snerk* That one makes me chuckle.

        • And Modern Feminism is building walls between women and their spouses and children. Does this actually make them weaker?

          • It appears to me that a great deal of a woman’s nontangible strength is in her emotional connections. If this is so, isolation will most assuredly make her weaker.

          • yes. It keeps them wailing infants their entire lives, demanding the world revolve around them.

          • William O. B'Livion

            A single soldier is easily overwhelmed and killed.

            A soldier who works with his squad members well can dominate a group much larger than the squad. A platoon even more so.

          • Firsthand experience – yes. Modern feminism even seeks to divide women against each other. That lecture where old, ugly, fat women were railing against beautiful, young college students for their beauty and how they’ll never be free forever sticks in my head as the truth of feminism. It’s purpose is now overtaken to serve the jealous, bitter grievances of those ugly and deformed and stunted in both physical attributes as well as spiritual and moral.

            • Recent government studies have found that around 75% of Lesbians are Obese. Gay men on the other hand have a much higher tendency for being fit.

              • I suppose pointing out that men tend to care about what our Significant Others look like more than women do would be sexist or something…

                Not that women are completely indifferent, but they definitely seem to rank appearance lower when seeking a mate than men do.

                • Studies have shown that men are far more visually stimulated than equivalent women.

                • More emotionally malleable; there are some folks who have gone from attractive to not (and some back again) based on how I feel about them.

                  I believe men do this, too, but it’s not as quick.

                • It’s a trait of maleness that transcends orientation, I guess, which is why we straight males can sometimes get away with being fat, but emotionally supportive slobs.

                  And why all the women up here, once they’ve decided they’ve had enough kids, cut their hair short, and get really fat, so their men lose interest in sex but won’t leave them because they’ll get killed by the divorce. (Seriously, when you see the 350 lber with three kids at Wal-mart, you wonder how it’s physically possible, then go to the brain bleach aisle.)

                  • Um… I know some of those women.

                    They’re frequently not married, and they do still seek and receive male attention.

                    I don’t wanna think of it, either.

                    • ……….. *shudders* Goddamnit I hate my brain. I didn’t have to think of it, and it gave me ideas anyway.

                    • Please I beg you no further down that rabbit hole.

                    • There’s a reason I’m not describing the male version who DEFINITELY isn’t getting by on personality and yet has children with at least two women.

                    • Foxfier, I’m on my knees here. I beg you no more. I was cursed with an exceedingly visual imagination, which is why I enjoy SciFi, and I don’t want the nightmares. I throw myself on whatever mercy you may have, O generous Lady

                    • I have one of those, too, but mine is generally so used to the abuse that I delight in giving overly-detailed descriptions of horrendous visual to people.

                      🙂

                      So, let’s imagine… Um, wait. There’s no need for that supersized carp, really! I’ll just toddle along, whistling a nice tune…

                    • I welcome the Carp of Oblivion! It will make the pictures stop. Bless the Beautiful but Evil Space Princess for her fishy Gift of Annihilation.

                    • Hence the Fat Acceptance movement. “We don’t want to lift a finger to make ourselves more attractive, so please alter your standards of beauty so they include us, or we’ll call you a bigot or shallow.”

                      I’ll believe these FA people actually think Fat is Beautiful when they give Rosie O’Donnell crap for being hot.

                      Brain Bleach! Stat!

                    • *signals the tanker full of brain bleach to the appropriate parking slot*

                      *rushes Dr. Mauser to the tank* Good gods man, why did you go there?! The mind cannae stand such horror for long!

                    • The Rosie O’Donnell reference was a crime against humanity. I demand the doctor be remanded to the Hague for trial and sentencing.

                    • I’m a Mad Scientist. This is how I maintain the insanity.(Seriously, you have to be pretty bent to set up a story just so you can have a punchline like “I guess Avogadro’s number was up.”)

                    • They wouldn’t get traction if they didn’t have a point; when a classic howl-at-the-sight lady (the one from Mad Men) is sure she’s fat, or guys expect a woman who has had kids to be built like a teen….

                      Add in hormone manipulation and the idiots get support by hitching to a reasonable cause.

                    • Some people who are fat, are so despite their best efforts, e.g. people on meds that cause weight gain. etc. There are some people who are physically fit and healthy even though they are heavy. I’m not saying that these are the majority. but they are a percentage of heavy people.

                    • Goodness, yes, but I do get tired of the “everyone I classify as fat is immoral” angle, especially when females over 12 are pretty much universally pressured to begin hormone manipulation that even the most positive studies link to a 15-30 pound weight increase. (“When” depends on the woman.)

                    • Me too. Fat is one of the new sins along with smoking.

                    • Part of the problem here is that “normal weight” has currently been mis-classified as equivalent to anorexic. When teens are obsessing over “thigh gap” — an anatomical irregularity which few normal humans can achieve — and competing over who can look most skeletal, fat-shaming is not the question.

                      Say what you will about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, give it credit for attempting to present women with actual curves and musculature.

                      When females are pressured to attain a level of body mass so low that menstruation stops there is insanity ongoing. Most people intrinsically know what a healthy body is and ought not be trying to determine it through BMI references.

                    • One part of the weight issue is that “BMI” which may be valid for one particular body type has been used as a general rule for how much someone “should” weigh.

                      I’m not skinny (no kidding). At 5′ 10″ and 240 lbs, BMI has me well into “obese.” However my body fat is only 22%, which is nudging at the edge of “healthy range” and “overweight”.

                      Back when I was seriously training for competitive bicycling I was down to 175. My sister’s response, on her visit from college was “what is he doing to himself!” BMI would still have had me overweight.

                      Totally ridiculous.

                    • BMI had me bordering on obese when i was able to do 52 pushups in 2 minutes, 90 situps in 2 minutes, and run two mules in just over fifteen minutes. At the time, i was 6’2″ and 192 lbs.

                    • Were the mules in harness?

                    • *miles*

                      Alas, there is no edit function.

                    • No, he ran them Roman Style.


                      [Shakes fists at the heavens, cursing youtube for having deleted the clip of Ben Johnson and Harry Carey, Jr. riding Roman Style in Rio Grande]

                    • Okay, better video:

                      Don’t you hate finding a better link just as you post a comment? Trick riding, pretty blonde, flaming obstacles and flag-waving: what more can you want, America?

                    • Well, in this event I must ask:

                      Draven, are there pictures? Is there video? If you can run two mules Roman style for 15 minutes, you should share.

                    • But the ones who claim they have a slow metabolism have never been to an endocrinologist….

                      There are some medical causes, but there’s a lot of self-diagnoses – i.e. seeking excuses to not do anything because losing weight is hard. I know because I have some to lose.

                    • A lot of the self diagnosis is because going to a doctor doesn’t do any good.

                      I know I’ve got an efficient metabolism. Doctors already respond “diet and exercise,” and if you don’t respond as they expect– well, then clearly you’re lying, rather than the theory being flawed.

                      I’m not huge, but until recently I was theoretically obese. (I started taking a B complex and taking my walk every day, instead of every other. The weight is coming of pretty dang well, especially with a fiber supplement. Should hit the wall pretty soon…or be pregnant again, or my hormones will go back to “normal.”)

                      It’s rather like the women who go in to get fertility help and are sent to IVF specialists instead of fixing their @#$# hormone problems or even looking for them.
                      The only time you find out they even HAVE fairly easily diagnosed hormone issues is if they’ve got a moral objection strong enough to keep looking and happen to find a doctor who actually tries to fix what’s wrong.

                      With the majority of the female population having had their hormone system deliberately slammed with what amounts to a sledgehammer– a whole lot of women are going to have a whole lot of hormone issues.

                      Sure, there are folks who are obviously making excuses– then there are ones who are just sick of being lumped with a tiny sub-group.

                    • (inadvertently laughs at the last line).

                      The thing that bugs me the most here is just how often I hear about doctors completely misdiagnosing women, and not listening to a thing they say or the results of their treatment.

                    • Do they do that to guys, too?

                      I use to think that doctors were just putting down everything I said to pregnancy brain and playing the odds– but they do it for EVERYTHING that I’ve been in for. I know I don’t seem stupid, and I’m not that sleep deprived….

                    • There’s a reason guys don’t go to the doctor nearly as much as women do….

                      It seems that each doctor has his or her own particular hobby horse to ride, and they give the same advice to most of their patients.

                    • Ugh, if I didn’t have to for pregnancies (and the Navy’s requirements before) I probably wouldn’t go at all.

                    • Yes they do it to guys too. If you are not standard they have no idea what to do. The chances of finding a doc to listen are not good.

                    • Odds tend to have odd bodies too.
                      My favorite was when Dan went in ACTIVELY COUGHING BLOOD with pneumonia and the doctor said “the problem is that you’ve gained 40 lbs” Well, hell no, doctor. The problem is that he’s coughing blood.
                      Well, I know what my body was made for — sunup to sundown extreme physical exertion. That’s the ONLY time I feel WELL and sleep WELL. Can’t do it and write. So, treadmill desk is being improvised this weekend. We will see.

                    • I personally love cascading cures. Meds for one condition triggers another and the meds for that one cause another and so on.

                    • Treadmill desk? I’d love to see that!

                    • I’m going to imitate Dorothy Grant and create one from modular shelves and a treadmill.

                    • Doctors are under tremendous pressure to move patients through. This happens for a variety of reasons, including low reimbursement rates (requiring more through-put to cover your base cost) and such inanities as the new Obamacare (and insurance industry) pushed standard models of treatment. Any doctor who actually listens to a patient and prescribes other than the standard dictated course of treatment is just asking for trouble.

                      Additionally, doctors are humans (in spite of their delusions) and thus prone to skimming problems and reflexively prescribing a course of therapy. They are also do not have a very good grasp of Statistics, which has effect upon those who are more than standardly deviant.

                    • sigh. They assume you’re sneaking food. I was gaining ten pounds a month while pregnant and the only reason they checked for pre-eclampsia (my blood pressure is normally extremely low so it didn’t show there) was that a nurse had had it. For four months they just yelled about my eating too much. (I was barely eating.) Right now, am I eating too much? Depends. For me, or for everyone? I’ve fallen off the wagon on the “Stay around 1k calories a day) because … well, probably menopause cravings. But it’s still not sane that I’m gaining at the rate I’m gaining. And yep, I walk every day. My gynecologist is having the same issue, so she doesn’t yell, but she also doesn’t help. She suggested an endocrinologist, and I really should…

                    • When I need to lose weight, (Well, I always need to lose weight) what seems to work is to skew my diet heavily towards protein, and do my best to stay away from my beloved Coke.

                      Call it Paleo, Atkins, or Zone, it works.

                      (My mom lost 40 lbs on a diet with the simple rule of No Flour. Which severely cut her carbs. OTOH, she also lost 40 lbs on a diet of “Salmonella Poisoning won’t let you keep anything down for weeks”. – Not recommended.)

                    • I am more low carb than atkins I STILL need to starve to lose weight.
                      Maybe I should try Salmonella…

                    • well. They were endemic where I grew up. Which I think is part of the issue. What my body considers “starving, so I can’t think” is what I should eat without them.

                    • If you’re not already taking them at like at least 300% of the advised amount, I really urge a “B complex” supplement and maybe Konjac fiber. (Amazon has it.) It’s ground up root, but has supposedly been linked to altering how your body deals with glucose and it has, ahem, end results that are not bad for those on high fiber, too.

                    • I’m not taking either at all.

                    • Not even a multivitamin?

                      Then again… before I got married and was worried about my then-future kids, I didn’t, either….

                      Not sure it will work like it did for me, but you might consider an expensive “B complex” one. Our grocery store has them in the supplement isle.

                    • And if you want to try it, this stuff:
                      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AQLGI3Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                      It’s sold in slightly bigger pills for three times the price as “Liposine” or something.

                    • 1,000 kcal/day sounds really low. When I was consulting a nutritionist he said that insufficient caloric intake would cause a starvation response, resulting in the body trying to build up its reserves. IE, you’d gain weight. Obviously this tendency has its limits, but my own personal experience is that my weight starts drifting back up when I cut down on my food intake too much. Part of which is the junk-food cravings I get when I don’t eat enough healthy food.

                    • Yeah, 1k is VERY low.

                      Quick reference I used was http://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/resources/nutrition-guidelines but it struck me as very low (given they like to put kj and calorie counts on everything here if you’re out at fast food places.) Of course, the averages don’t take into account things like height/size/weight, age, body build and such, but they’re really meant to be guidelines, not a strict rule. Whenever I boggle at how much food the Wilders were described to eat in Farmer Boy I remember that they had longer work days than we do and all that was lots more heavy physical activity. I’m no nutritionist so I can only talk about my own response when I’ve had more constant physical activity (post pregnancy)- I’m hungrier, eat more, but lose weight and tone up.

                      I’ll also agree on the ‘starvation response’ thing. Every time I’ve been prodded into a diet I end up gaining weight, constantly feeling hungry and thus unable to concentrate on anything because my brain’s going ‘need food’.

                      A number of modern ‘nutritionist’ (note the scare quote) advice I read or seems popular these days is to ‘eliminate’ things like ‘sugar’ or ‘salt’ intake, which is such seriously bad advice I’m surprised the people who follow that – especially the super physically active – don’t end up brain damaged somehow. The brain needs sugars to function! You need to replace salts when you sweat and they’re part of the chemicals needed to move your muscles! I seem to annoy relatives who are constantly after me to be more healthy, reduce what I am eating, and tell me eat less of meat and fats and sugars because you’ll get diabetes and cholesterol … and my blood sugar always stayed stupid low, and I’ve been asked if I was moving to a vegetarian diet because my cholesterol is low.

                      Looking back over the years my ‘amount of food eaten’ stays roughly the same but what I eat has been changing, but I can’t attribute that to preference, more ‘ready availability.’

                      On that note (and I’ll admit that this is a tangent rant that is something that annoys me a lot) that’s something a lot of these ‘global nutritionists’ kinda don’t have a grounding in reality in. I hear constant complaints that ‘people in xyz country don’t drink water, they drink soft drinks! They eat junk food!’ they fail to consider things like ‘is drinkable water readily available, as in out of the tap, or do you have to buy it out of a bottle? And is the water more expensive than the soft drink?’ Yes, by all means, push for people to drink the water that isn’t clean even after boiling, and filtering is expensive and difficult to maintain. Cholera still exists in those parts of the world.

                      “Junk’ food is cheaper than the healthy meal these days, at least from listening to my mother fret about how it’s so expensive to buy vegetables and fruit, thanks to rising taxes and the rising cost of everything.

                    • why does it bug you? Are you an MD?

                    • Probably because it’s so wasteful, and dangerous– who’d go to a mechanic that insists that you just need to flush your transmission when the clutch is going?

                    • I am loath to criticize typing, but high-jacking is not spelled hitching to.

                      Regrettably, few reasonable causes are not high-jacked. Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, Gay Rights — it is easier to list the causes high-jacked by the extremists than those which have evaded such hitching to. The T.E.A. Party may be the only one of recent memory, and that likely only because the MSM and Democratic Party (no, I can’t tell you how to distinguish between the two, other than there are some members of the Democrat Party who are not members of the MSM) have screamed to high heaven that the Party was already high-jacked by extremists, thus leading extremists to believe it was too late to wrap themselves in such a stolen cloak.

              • This probably explains the tendency of young women to extrapolate that a handsome man is gay.

                • That, and the principle expressed by Aesop in his fable of the Fox & the Grapes.

                  • Unfortunately, experience also leads one to think that any attractive woman is likely not an SF fan, nor interested in hearing about all 100 possible kinky uses of a rubber duck.

                    (Disclaimer, I don’t even OWN a rubber duck. Well, I was given one recently, but… no, don’t even go there.)

                    • Attractive varies widely but you predict future events by the witchlight of past experience. The average SciFi fan (male) has a social/body image construct built in high school out of bad experiences. It takes a lot of heart to keep swinging for the fences when you’ve been out at first in every play.

                    • I’ve decided the bench is quite comfortable, as much as I’m still interested in playing.

                      Actually, with all the changes to the rulebook lately, it doesn’t seem like it would be fun anymore.

                      On the other hand, “League, I didn’t sign up for any league.”

                    • I hear ya about the rule changes.
                      Whatever happened to the sweet girls who had the bust and hips of an actual woman, as opposed to a 12 year old boy, who had a smile that lit the room?
                      If you see her let me know. My wife passed almost two years ago and I think that I could enjoy the Lady’s company now

                    • The composer, an old line liberal if not out-right socialist, wrote some good songs (and some of which are hauntingly prescient — try: What Did You Learn In School Today, then invert the politics — about our current occupant of the White House.) He also wrote some great non-political songs, such as this one:

                      I think this performer may have more covers of Tom Paxton songs on youtube than does Paxton.

                    • Well the inverse is true as well. I was born and raised in NYC, the fashion capital of the US. When every man you meet expects a woman who is skinny poised and perfect it can get depressing. I met the love of my life through a mutual friend at the 2000 Worldcon ion Chicago. I went and was involved in the cons near me. I was on the concom for LunaCon for a few years, I wrote the restaurant guide. All I expected from a guy was that he be clean and tidy and had minimal manners. IOW if he was dressed and acted good enough to be employed somewhere it was good enough for me.

                      I discovered what many businesses discovered: Things are MUCH better in the South. I moved to the South in March 2001 and haven’t looked back since. Since I moved to a suburb of Dallas in 2006 I haven’t missed a thing. The only thing NYC has that Dallas doesn’t are: higher crime, higher taxes and insane government. I can find anything I want or need in TX. Usually in Dallas, but sometimes in Austin or Houston–or their surrounding areas: like the Hill Country or Galveston
                      There are lovely places to visit all over the South:. LA to FL

                    • When every man you meet expects a woman who is skinny poised and perfect it can get depressing.

                      Skinny? I’d rather see some curves. Poised? That would be awesome, but I’ll settle for someone having a feminine walk, instead of clomping down the street like a man. Now, everybody wants perfect, but expecting that as the default is kind of stupid, in my opinion.

                    • Ah-ah-ah; you missed one other thing NYC has in excess of Dallas: higher Welfare rolls.

    • He probably hasn’t spent much time in any of the modern practiced martial arts.

      The ones I’ve either studied and practiced, and the ones I’ve been exposed to usually are male dominated. But women aren’t rare in them. And many of them are very good.

      Its been seven years since I spent any time around one of the local Japanese Sword Arts, but of the twelve students, three were women.

      At roughly the same period, rapier fencing was the most common of the Western Martial Arts. I’d say that women were roughly 1/3 of the numbers.

      Lately I’ve hung around a longsword group {made most of their longsword trainers at one point}, and there are a few women involved their. I’d say the percentage is down from the others, more like twenty percent, but if you don’t have the training, and think you’re going to pick up a longsword trainer and “school” one of these ladies, you’re going to be embarassed.

    • He apparently wasn’t familiar with KATE….

      What? *spreads hands* Someone had to say it!

    • My guess is that the arguer was simply tired of Action Girls in his action stories (and being denounced as a hater for not liking Action Girls), so he wanted to run to the other extreme. And if he wanted to implement his system in real life? Good luck with that, even among those who dislike modern feminism.

      I wasn’t in the conversation, though, so I don’t know.

  14. Sarah, I thought the seacities were established along the lines of the Mycenaean period citadels/acropolis/tenemos (whatever the term is), where the lord and his retinue had military and economic stranglehold on the cities, the residents of the seacities were the essential economic drivers for the maintaining of the technological side of the culture, and the hinterlands that the lords claimed (the continents) were the place where boring stuff like wheat and dairy came from, and where uncontrollable madmen roamed and gave the peasants a reason to ask for the lords’ protection. I thought it was intentional and was a foreshadowing the other path to liberty that the Greeks had originally taken when they seized the powers of the King in Athens and replaced it with a form of elected republic.

    • The seacities originally start as tax havens. Sigh. I need to do some future history posts, don’t I? And the anthos.

      • My question was not clear. I was aware that they were originally tax havens but I thought you had based their organization on the Homeric Greek city/citadel template. Where all the rulers consider themselves related to one-another, the main goal is managing trade and and resources, with the lord and his retinue being a military elite to maintain his influence. The cut-throat competition between cities is moderated by blood ties and formal interactions like the Olympics. It allows a basis for the various cities to combine to fight exterior threats, but there is also the threat that one part will see an advantage and turn on the rest so they all watch each other like cats.

        It was the term Homeric type sagas that made me start thinking on that again.

  15. I must admit that when Amanda posted about this the other day, I had some considerable confusion for a while. She started with the guy’s lament that modern female heroes were “men with boobs”. Given the discussions that have happened here lamenting the tendency of female heroes in recent years to be, “men with breasts”, I was befuddled.

    Later, of course, more details came out, and I understood the fact that he had gone far beyond the complaints that have come out here, so I mostly sat back and watched.

    • Yeah, I figured it was just a really extreme reaction to the “men and women are interchangeable” ideology of modern progressivism.

      • I think that modern progressivism that all people are interchangeable robots–that if you could just find the right (computer) program people would do what the self proclaimed “elites” thought best.

        BTW, nice to see your phosphors again rawlenyanzi! I hope you and yours are well..

        • And it’s great to be back. I comment whenever I have the time, or if something really tickles my fancy.

  16. Women are not naturally prone to violence?

    HAH!

  17. Going back to the first paragraph… One thing I see I’m having a bit of trouble with is holding a whole book’s plot in my head. Individual scenes and how they connect, or a couple of chapters, I can hang on to that (and hopefully get a chance to write before I lose it), but a whole book, I’m not sure I can grasp the whole thing.

    I want to expand Necessity into a novel, it’ll probably take a sort of “Hero’s Journey” form. But I don’t want it to just be a series of random encounters as they go where they need to go. But an overarching plot just isn’t quite coming to me. There’s the McGuffin, the skull, and they have to get to point A so they can go to the Demon dimension unobserved, then they have to traverse that to get to point B, where they can ditch it. There’s a complication that changes the mission, but what happens during the hike and keeping it interesting is tough.

  18. Eamon J. Cole

    Of no relevance to the current topic:

    HuffPo link, by the by.

    Article on art. Doesn’t add a great deal to previous discussions, but I thought it was interesting to find the criticism in the mainstream.

  19. I hope the OT is okay but this bit of news was just TOO GOOD not to share. Really it is.

    http://www.nymeta.co/15-year-old-swatted-gamer-convicted-domestic-terrorism-25-years-life-federal-prison/

    *punches fist in the air* Righteous justice!