How We Got So Far So Fast

Yesterday, due to something other than raging allergies (I’m almost sure it’s not a cold, but if I don’t hit the antihistamines, I will have an ear infection again) I got really depressed.  So depressed I gave up on writing and went to see elephants.

I got really depressed because I called mom, (to see if she’s gone to the doctor yet. No, of course she’s hasn’t. She’s calling HER doctor next week when he comes back from vacation because the other doctors have cooties, and her follow-up can wait till then. Why does she have to be so stubborn?) and caught up on a lot of old classmates/relatives/acquaintances.

No, it wasn’t the usual “and then they died screaming” though when I go over I always find some number of my contemporaries, and even some of my old students have.

No, this was in a way worse.

Look, indulge me, will you? I’ll explain why this isn’t just “Hey kids get off my lawn” afterwards.

It just seems that every woman my age has been divorced three times, or is shacked up with some guy half her age who is eating out her savings. Every younger woman is having kids out of wedlock starting well before seventeen. And I keep thinking: Oh, h*ll. When did everyone who grew up with me become… low class?”

Look, the village was poor as Job, and financially we were probably the wretched of the Earth. Things I remember from my childhood could fit in a documentary on “growing up in the third world.” Stuff like getting clothes stolen from the line, because there were people who genuinely couldn’t afford clothes for their kids; stuff like eating day old peasant bed fried in lard for a meal, to stretch out the grocery money of the household; things like getting the toes of my shoes cut off when I outgrew them, so I had ersatz sandals for spring. Other things, like playing with empty containers, or thinking the days the crops were irrigated (not with water!) ideal for cork boat races (disposable, thank heavens, but…)

We weren’t rich, and my family was relatively well off.

But dear Lord, we were middle class, no matter what our actually available money was.

Middle class consisted of this, in the end: if she was pregnant, you married her; if the marriage wasn’t unbearable, you stayed married; if there was an oopsie, there might be gossip about it, but neither the husband nor the wife admitted to anything, and save for the older women everyone pretended the kid was legitimate. (And the older women just LOOKED;) men had jobs (they might not be very good at them, but they had jobs,) and most women had jobs (working in the factories was declasse, unless you were a young woman saving for a trousseau, but cleaning houses, or having your own craft business of some sort, or even “buying and selling” were normal,) kids went to school and stayed in school till 4th grade, (that is something that’s way better now) and then were encouraged to get jobs; kids behaved well in public (and when they didn’t, there were a hundred grannies to punish or report to the proper punishment authority).

If you’re thinking that sounds like a lot of hypocrisy. Yeah, a lot of it was, but not quite hypocrisy. People had an image of themselves as decent people, and if they failed they tried to fail in private and show the proper image in public.

Look, I have absolutely no clue whether Heinlein was right, and whether most marriages are rife with adultery. How would I know? Mine isn’t. My friends don’t seem to be. Maybe it’s a function of his having lived in a bohemian class for a time. For all I knew everyone in the village was beating mattresses with everyone else’s wife. The old women sort of assumed so, which was why if your distant cousin they’d never seen called on you and you were alone in the house, you had to talk on the front stoop or risk everyone thinking you were an abandoned woman. And why I was ipso facto an abandoned woman because I thought all of my brother’s friends, who’d known me from birth were as brothers to me. Being left alone with them just meant they lent me comic books. But the old women in the village knew better. (Insert the knowing ah! Here.)

And I’m not going to lie and say that all things that went on and the established mode was the best one. It very well wasn’t. For one, it was a genuinely patriarchal society in the sense that women had almost no power. And before you think this is good, think domestic violence; think someone married to someone who is a genuine head case; think child mortality that might or might not be infanticide (that was normally women, but); think having to get a letter from your husband before you find a paying job (you could start your business without any of that, though,) think being judged on whether your stoop and your curtains were QUITE clean, even though you might be starving; think having your head shaved because your dad caught you smoking; think being grounded because you let a guy walk you home from school at 10. Think too that the only case of genuine immorality in which the woman didn’t get blamed, regardless of the age difference/circumstances was the farmer’s mentally disabled daughter to whom a passing stranger “did a favor” (read, raped, since she was at best around age 4 mentally.)

And the men didn’t have it all their own way. A known adulterer might (probably would) be ambushed by the married women of the village late one night and beaten (the caveat there is that if he was looking after his wife and children they turned a blind eye to his having another arrangement on the side. But neglect or leaving the wife and children destitute wasn’t tolerated) and if a man was genuinely horrible with money, the men in the village would try to have a talk with him. And if the parents had issues, somehow their kids would always be invited to play at someone else’s house all afternoon and stay for dinner. You had to be really far gone/aggressive/scary to be left on your own. Some people managed it. (More on that later.)

It wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t in any circumstances ideal. But it was “decent.”

As I said, regardless of the fact we were all very poor, even those of us who thought (by comparison) we were well off, we were decent folk. We looked after ourselves and we looked after our own. And our clothes were clean, and so were our kids, and if a kid was sent home with lice, his mother couldn’t raise her head for a year.

To quote from Pratchett, there might be nothing to put on the table, but at least the table was well scrubbed. (And in the village most people made their own soap.)

There were people who were unhappy, of course. And there were people who managed to fall through the cracks. Women who lived in shacks and had a dozen kids by different men, and who spent their entire day drunk. Men who were horrible people and drunkards and whom the rest of the village had learned to leave alone. Maybe ten people or one per thousand.

But those were the people we looked down on “low class” people; people “without standards.” People like us, who were properly raised, even those whose parents were separated (or later divorced) or who were very, very poor, were never going to be like that. We had standards. We were middle class.

So –

Look, I’m open to a lot of alternate societies. I grew up reading Heinlein. I confess I don’t like the idea of polygamy because someone always ends up with the wrong end of the stick. (And even Heinlein saw the potential for that to happen. Think Friday.) BUT—

But even in Heinlein’s type of group marriage, there were laws and there were protections. I didn’t know how they could work, exactly, but I kept an open mind that a way could be found to make them work.


That’s not where the future went. All my old classmates, all my old acquaintances – or a significant number of them – are living in arrangements that are more similar to those of the “low class” people, the “people without standards.”

The standards of the middle class, narrow and blinkered and often unjust as they were had one thing in common: they protected women. Given a state much less willing to pay for illegitimate babies, it did its best to encourage the father to marry the mother (or SOMEONE to marry the mother) and to form a family and to at least PRETEND to be decent people, while they raised the kid in habits of social politeness, thrift and diligence.

Kids aren’t being raised that way now and my kids’ generation (I had children late) are loitering around their parents’ (mostly their mother’s) house, with no job, no degree, no future. Part of it is the economy, which sucks, of course, but the economy also sucked back when I was little and it sucked, yay, mightily in the late seventies, as my generation started selling handicrafts and tutoring and doing other minor work so as not to be a burden on anyone. Because we were raised to be decent.

And young women are being taken advantage of, because being promiscuous is hip, and guys can have kids with them and promise marriage eventually in a future that never comes. And women my age will fall for young men who just want them to support the young men in idleness and to eat out these women’s savings. (Can I say it disturbs me that a number of these are immigrants from Islamic countries? Before you call me racist – and some glittery person will – remember that Islam is not a religion. It is, however, a culture, and by and large a misogynistic culture and one hostile to protecting women – yes, whatever they say. I’d rather be homeless on the streets of New York than a princess in a palace in Dubai.)

The “middle class” standards weren’t there because people were perfect, or because people wanted to look down on those who failed to keep them. At least in my experience we were not puritans, and no one got branded with a scarlet letter. Yes, the people in the village (particularly the old women) glared at anyone they thought was doing anything wrong, but give it enough time and a slip up would be forgiven, if you went ahead and kept the standards in everything else.

The standards were there, evolved over time, because they protected women and children. A man who left his wife for the new new thing was as looked down upon (and possibly smacked) as a woman who slept with married men and lured them away from their wives. That meant when you were older, and you gained a little weight (who am I kidding? Mediterranean. We explode outward and grow a mustache!) your husband was encouraged to stay with you anyway, and your kids had their parents together to look up to, and you had someone to look after you in your old age. That meant if a man did you “an injury” and it could at all be managed, he married you and supported the kid. And if (we weren’t Jane Austen either) it was clearly statutory rape or any other form of rape, very often someone else who hadn’t dared approach would step up to keep up appearances or the child would be found a family, and you took a visit to the country and came back, miraculously still a virgin. It meant that young men who loitered idly living off a woman’s income, be she mother, mistress or wife, got the glare and hints to shape up, and fell at least for a while out of the “decent folk” category.

Restrictive? Of course they were. The standards were supposed to be restrictive. They were a rail that kept you from losing track and living out in the wilderness, with no protection.

Most of the standards were to protect women, though I suppose the ones relating to honesty in your dealings also protected men – at least in business. And the ones about respecting your elders meant that one school mistress could hold 30 unruly teenagers under her spell.

But mostly it was there to protect women and children, to provide them with face-saving stories, with ways to go on living “decent middle class lives.” Even if those were a lie, the encouragement to look after yourself and your kids and stay solvent would – I’m guessing – keep many people from living as horribly as they’d otherwise have done.

Look, human beings aren’t saints. Whatever the romantics believed, man in state of nature isn’t an angel. Man in a state of nature is in fact a savage. Man who doesn’t need to work for a living is at best a wastrel, and at worst wasted. Some exceptions who work when they don’t have to to maintain more than a minimal level of living (Hi guys) are clearly the head cases. Evolutionarily, saving your strength is what pays off.

So if the community doesn’t set standards – of clean clothes, of decently looked-after kids, of being out of bed early morning, of not spending all your money on wine, of not sleeping with every guy who comes around – who does? And why keep them?

If there are no standards, who looks after the girls and the older women? Who looks after the children had in hope of luring some guy to marriage?

The state? Ah, that’s a laugh. Who will do that when (as there as it seems) the majority of people are living without standards, and not looking after themselves or theirs.  And besides bureaucracies mostly serve themselves.

Yes, part of it is enabled by greater wealth. If someone had let things slip like that back when we were all poor, they’d have died of starvation.

But does the wealth stay once the habits that brought wealth and decent living fall? Do the walls collapse and the roof stay miraculously up?

And what about all the foreign men of a machistic (totally a word) religion who are coming over and preying on women when the local men no longer have standards and no longer look after their women? Are they becoming women of the veil? (I’d bet you a few are.)

Are people, in fact, after losing their standards taking up the standards of a civilization that produces nothing, creates nothing, and which hates modernity and its wealth and blessings?  They will you know, because multi-culti and no one wants to be “racist” so they swallow ridiculous standards and tolerate child rape and elder women exploitation and cruelty to everything from women to animals to other men.

Again, I ask you – can the roof stay up when the walls fall? Will we turn in the “middle class” standards so many found so oppressive for medieval standards that bring poverty and misery? For places where women and children are only safe while a man is willing to defend them; where the bad men aren’t looked down on by other men?

Is this what we want?

And how is it possible we came so far so fast? How did we tumble to this?

I’m not saying the village was a bucolic land that time forgot. But it was that compared to most of the US. And how did it tumble further than most places in the US?

Socialism; statism; constant propaganda about liberation from standards and how freeing that was, and also the injustices of middle-class judging; just enough wealth to be stupid, and not minding what the kids are/were learning; vast waves of immigration (both intranational and international) with no time to acculturate and no encouragement to; multiculturalism; you’re all right, I’m all right.

I’d have been all right if we had evolved a different type of standards — if we’d evolved some legal way to make polygamy work; if we had some kind of arrangement to raise the kids to be decent people; if it were understood that you looked after yourselves and your own, even if it were quite different from what I grew up with.  What I grew up with wasn’t great and it wasn’t paradise.  It just… did the job.

Don’t get off my lawn. Stay right here and answer. Are we now all Rotherham? And is that what we wanted to be?

If it isn’t remember – it’s no longer fun to make fun of the “squares.” “Squares” might be our only hope of surviving this without devolving to medieval (or worse) life standards and having to claw our way back up again for a thousand years or so.

440 thoughts on “How We Got So Far So Fast

  1. Sarah, I’ve been reading the UK’s Daily Mail web edition for quite a while. (That’s how I already know what’s coming when the US health system morphs into a “NHS”-type system. ) Plus politically incorrect stories ignored in the USA often pop up in the Daily Mail!

    The Daily Mail had a huge write-ukp on the Rotherham story and it made me gag. Poor poor lower class white girls, their own social services and police policy makers took Beelzebub’s side, told the young girls they were liars or kooks, & took the side of nasty Asian rapists and panderers,, men who correctly see the West as weak, stupid, and unwilling to protect their own.

  2. Quickly, because I am playing hooky from WIP…

    Exoskeleton vs. endoskeleton. I think that’s the issue. For robust strength, growth, and stability, a culture needs to really understand both the rules and why they are there. When you have a “because that’s the way we’ve always done things” culture, it’s an exoskeleton. Hard to change when growth occurs. Deathly when the shell is cracked. But, really pretty and efficient and protective until then.

    Endoskeleton cultures are messy. You get bruises, and cuts and scrapes all the time. But you can grow all the time. You can decide you are going to be stronger, more flexible, less *cough* mass 😉 But, messy. Untidy. Unruly. Some people will make the wrong decisions, in public. No gutters, no spaceships.

    We’re in trouble in this country now because we have a bunch of people at the controls who think all our strengths are baked in and can be whistled up without maintenance or cost. That we are an exoskeleton country. That we can be kept in a tiny cage, muscles wasting and joints stiffening, and then let out for five minutes and still be strong and flexible as before. That people can make bad decision after bad decision and face no consequences.

    Public rules. Public enforcement. Allowing people to fail. No system works without honest feedback.

    1. …shacked up with some guy half her age who is eating out her savings.

      That’s a interesting euphemism.

      Every younger woman is having kids out of wedlock starting well before seventeen. And I keep thinking: Oh, h*ll. When did everyone who grew up with me become… low class?”

      Birth rate statistics belie this. It might be the occasional girl, but Portugal’s birth rate is about 1.35, *almost* a full point below replacement.

      Girls might be having their savings eaten out at younger and younger ages, they aren’t carrying to term.

      Then again it’s about perception as much as reality, right?

      If you’re thinking that sounds like a lot of hypocrisy. Yeah, a lot of it was, but not quite hypocrisy. People had an image of themselves as decent people, and if they failed they tried to fail in private and show the proper image in public.

      It’s not hypocrisy. It’s being human. You set high standards because in trying to meet those standards you become a better person. If you set low standards most people will STILL fail to meet them.

      …I have absolutely no clue whether Heinlein was right, and whether most marriages are rife with adultery. How would I know?

      There as a genetics study done that showed that, in the selected group in the 1950s/60s about %15 percent of the children did not share DNA with their mothers spouse. This suggests IN THAT COHORT that infidelity was common, but that “most” was probably stretching it a bit. I also can’t find the study to double check the grouping.

      On the other hand a friend of mine who played Mr. Mom for a while frequently got hit on/flirted with at germ swaps. He found it a bit offensive, or just maybe found the women doing the flirting…not to his taste).

      1. the birth rate issue is that women MY AGE had almost no children. As in most married couples have one, if they have children at all. The younger kids however seem to have kids “to attract him to marriage.” Also, granted, it is a small group.

        1. As my sister pointed out (works for the Canadian Federal Gov’t): “the wrong people are having kids”.

          This is the inevitable result of feminism: restrictions on female sexuality are lifted and human nature being what it is…

      2. “It’s not hypocrisy. It’s being human. You set high standards because in trying to meet those standards you become a better person. If you set low standards most people will STILL fail to meet them.

        Yes, this!

      3. It’s not hypocrisy. It’s being human. You set high standards because in trying to meet those standards you become a better person. If you set low standards most people will STILL fail to meet them.

        I’ve noticed “hypocrisy” as a common accusation flung by vile progs, usually at any sort of moral failure. Except hypocrisy isn’t failure to keep a moral standard, it’s failure to try to maintain it. Usually while demanding it from others.

        Which means the usual projection habit of vile progs is in use whenever they do this.

        1. One buzz-phrase I used to hear was “be your self”. I wondered why that always seem to mean being a jerk.

          1. It’s an excuse to be a jerk.

            Though you may notice that in Tangled, Flynn’s lesson to learn was to be himself. Without anyone ever phrasing it that way.

            1. Besides “be yourself”, I also hear, “I don’t care what anyone else thinks or says about me”. The people who spout these phrases never seem to examine the repercussions of someone following them to the hilt. Unfortunately, anyone who fully embraces both of those philosophies will almost always be some of the most unendurable jerks around.

              There is a core of meaning in those statements, but stated so baldly, they are counter-productive in the extreme. One does need to exert their individuality, but it needs to be tempered by an examination of the surrounding culture, and the edges filed off so as to not cause the alienation of everyone around one. Likewise, there are times when one needs to have the conviction of their own thoughts, but also need to examine why others might disagree or have a poor opinion of your choices, and make an informed decision of whether that is worth the hassle. Not merely dismiss others’ opinions out of hand.

        2. Hyopcrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue.
          But virtues – justice (consequences for failure), temperance, prudence, and fortitude were turned into vices by the state.

          The glaring grannies have been replaced by government goons with guns.

          Even children – respect for parents was the first authority, and only trickled up to the nation. Now the nation demands no one to be honored above itself, not even parents.

          Pregnancy was also a deterrent. Contraception and abortion removed the big penalty, but that wasn’t the only problem with promiscuity.

      4. I don’t think that’s a euphemism. She means literally that he is not working, he is living on the money that she has saved. No doubt there is sex involved, but when she runs out of money, he’ll be gone and she’ll be trying to figure out how to retire on the dole.

          1. I disagree on ‘entertainment’ – she’s buying companionship that she can’t get otherwise. People who are anxious/insecure attachment use money and sex as a way to try to get people to not leave.

            1. And a lot (most) women want a man in their lives. Not just for companionship but as you age for security. I’m saying this as someone who has seen a lot of desperate divorcees and widows.

              1. I’ve read that statistically, more women prefer to remain single as they age, and that it’s more typically guys who want to get into relationships as they age. But that’s just stats, and I don’t know if it’s 49%/51%. The other problem is that guys die younger, so it may be just that everybody wants that companionship closer to death, and it just happens sooner for guys.

  3. Look, the village was poor as Job, and financially we were probably the wretched of the Earth. Things I remember from my childhood could fit in a documentary on “growing up in the third world.” Stuff like getting clothes stolen from the line, because there were people who genuinely couldn’t afford clothes for their kids; stuff like eating day old peasant bed fried in lard for a meal, to stretch out the grocery money of the household; things like getting the toes of my shoes cut off when I outgrew them, so I had ersatz sandals for spring. Other things, like playing with empty containers, or thinking the days the crops were irrigated (not with water!) ideal for cork boat races (disposable, thank heavens, but…)

    Sounds like the USA in my Grandma’s day.

    Remember, when you don’t write, you are missed.

    Regarding the collapse of values, when people are more dependent on other people, people will behave in a way to maintain their good will. When people no longer have this concern, many, many, many people will say F em and I “do as thy will”.

    Of course, many will not as well and do what’s right even if it hurts.

    Maybe God’s final plan is to give everyone a clear cut choice.

  4. Hahaha.

    I suspect I that I am somewhat in the area of where you are now.

    I remember statements of yours that seemed to come from a different place.

      1. There is a collapse of values in some places in the US. slums and rural areas in Blue states. Not every but in many. In the black ghettoes in Big cities women have been married to the state for 5 generations now. No one even thinks of marriage. It’s where the term baby-daddy came from. It’s also in seen in CA near Fresno and other places. There was a well-known in the community book talking about this several years ago. I can’t remember the title or author. of it. It’s a common theme and topic in City Journal.

        We don’t know how far we’ll fall. If we have an ice age and possibly treatment resistant diseases, we may fall far and fast. We just don’t know what’s going to happen. The only thing I am sure of is that it will be bad. mild or severe, short or long, we will find out. I am not counseling pessimism, things can be done. Eventually things will get better.

        1. The State is a peculiarly jealous husband, too. He doesn’t mind her having a fling or two, but if she gets caught shacking up with a guy she gets cut off right quick.

        1. “…and we’ll learn from their failure….”

          Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

          1. Look at the defenses now; contrast to if there’s no way to deny it– not “no way to deny if you accept it, all things considered,” but REALLY no way to deny it.

      2. I wasn’t talking about the States or Europe, specifically.

        I dunno about the one, and don’t really care about the other.

        I was thinking more about mores and human systems. That cultivated habits are the limiting factor for what the future may hold, not technology.

        The tech to pop a functional effective well adjusted human out of a box at the push of a button seems fantastical.

        Absent that, we need to get them the old fashioned way.

        I think the industrial revolution was a result of slowly accumulating good habits for getting things done. That these are complicated things which we do not understand fully, and which each generation must learn anew. That no matter what capital equipment we put together, it will be more important fifty years from now whether the workforce wants to come into work sober.

        I don’t have certainty about what lessons the future generations will take to heart.

      3. Seems to me the common theme in your argument and comments is that the conventions & traditions are there to preserve the kids, more than the adult young women – who are presumed to mostly make adult choices & be responsible for them. But when those choices affect kids – theirs impending, present, future, or everyone else’s in the community (because example) – then the conventions kick in. Because it preserves what we call ‘civilization’, which often boils down to better options for the kids and incidentally for us.
        Thus, current culture which devalues making kids and raises the value of entertaining ourselves is a dead-end path both for us as individuals and for civilization.

        1. Precisely. This does not require women be subjugated or (as we seem to be trying, disastrously) that men be subjugated. What it requires is that self control and looking to something greater than the self be taught.

            1. Personal responsibility is the Kryptonite to big government. Do you expect that big government would support that which would end a need for big government?

                1. Sarah, I suggest adding your tagline to the masthead (Ok, I know you have more than one. I meant this one): “We’re going to take over the world, and ruthlessly leave you ALONE.”

                  1. Um… I should totally do that.
                    The problem is the alpha game guys honest to bog believe at religious fervor level that all women are statists. Why they believe that is beyond me, except that they don’t think women are individuals.

                2. Sorry – my point was that government needs to teach dependency, so that people need government. No government is going to teach independence to the populace. That would be suicide. To paraphrase that old saying: if people fixed the roads themselves on their own initiative, would they feel a need to pay for a government to do it?

                  1. Heh. When I responded to Sarah, I had forgotten the comment she was referring to. Yours was intended as sarcasm, right? Sometimes the sarcasm detector goes on the fritz around here, as it tends to get overloaded on occasion, even though it’s a beefed-up industrial model.

                    1. Why on earth would you think I was being sarcastic? All organisms have, as their first priority, survival. For government, that means a population that’s dependent on it.

                    2. Why? Because if you think that growth is the proper function of government, you are definitely in the wrong place. Government should be kept pruned like a Bonsai to keep it from becoming a smothering mass like Kudzu.

                    3. My point was that growth was what all governments aim to do. Not that it’s a good thing – just that it’s their #1 imperative. So you have to plan for that.

                    4. Well, at least we clarified that you misunderstanding my statement, and not asking for clarification before telling me I’m wrong, is all my fault.

                    5. even when slightly wet and somewhat cold, they were nice and full of loony folks who are, much like the group here, a form of entertainment (not every day you see someone drunk and sleeping on gravel .. then “try to catch up with their head” as they bend to unzip their tent … he blames the new Honey Whiskey trend), and all around a good group.
                      The Wilds did try to break me! A deer went for a shoulder block but I dodged it. I was camping at a nice place called The Jack Pine Lodge on M94, north of Manistique, Mi. 3 fine days of blue skies and 3 of rainy stuff. Met up with an old friend I had last seen 30 years ago. Lots of lies swapped. Much good food ate. 3400 miles of motorcycle riding in 7 days time.
                      Behind my back? Nothing! **hides Vernors and pasties stash** Nothing at all

                  2. Why do you need the government to do that? The culture wasn’t changed by the government, though the government is taking advantage of it. It was changed by fifth columnists, a loose confederacy that had an allegiance to another power.

                    1. My point was generic: all governments at all times need dependent people. It might be that the people need the government priests to tell them when to plant crops (ancient Egypt). Or gifts to the government church to ensure that the soon-to-be-deceased is sure of going to heaven (Catholic Church), etc. Or that the only sure way to get a job is to never say anything that disagrees with government personnel or policies (pretty much any dictatorship, all Communist governments)

                      The fundamentals of the survival of organisms never change.

                    2. I fail to see what in heck this has to do with the price of potatoes.
                      If you want to register that governments are hard to shrink — YOU THINK WE DON’T KNOW THAT?
                      Honey child, grandma was plucking chickens before you opened your eyes.

              1. Tom,

                FYI, I’m the Anarcho-Capitalist around here.

                My moto is, “Government is never the answer. Ever!”

                Not sure if you were expecting to defend Govern, you are sadly mistaken.

                Sarah was this what you were refering to in your response to my Bastiat video?

        2. Over the long term the only thing that matters is the emotional health of the kids (who will in turn become parents). The current generation is far more expendable than the next generation.

  5. A few thoughts:
    First one is I hope you’re feeling better!

    On a partially related note, middle class in the United States has always seemed to have a different meaning to different folks. Like my family when growing up for example. Middle class yes, comfortably well off like some of these leftwinger ninnies think… Eh. My parents had to file a bankruptcy almost 14 years ago now, because we got hit with a large amount of medical bills and there was *no* catching up. We were starving? No, we had a garden (and buddy did we get into so much trouble when they found out we ate all the cherry tomatoes one day in one sitting…and no, we never ate that many again at one time).

    Hell, there are some idiots who call my parents rich. Both of them work, they have their dream home built (it took after me and my sister moved out and were on our own for several years first), but their medications are getting more and more expensive.
    That whole re-finance your mortgage jazz? Yeah…that was a straight scheme. My parents have been trying for almost two years now IIRC.

    I’ve always associated class with how a person behaved. That’s what I was taught. For lack of a better example, Me. The most I’ve ever made in a year was 17k. (I couldn’t do college past a year and a half, and the waiting lists for the trade schools in my area were over four years long.) I’ve had folks tell me I’m below poverty line.
    Um… no, I have a roof, I have food, I have things to keep my hands busy, my mind sharp and good friends. How is that poverty? How is it that people confuse wealth with money all the time?

    Fast forward to when my fiance and I moved in together. Due some problems, I have very serious trouble working “normal jobs”. So I knit, crochet, sew, etc. to help make ends meet. Only now with the economy the way it… those items are “luxury” items. My best time of the year, is Christmas. I’m still in a way better boat than most of the world.

    I suppose it’s the sadist in me, whenever I point out the “anti-capitalism” crowd, that because the US is a capitalistic entity in as many regards as possible, that this *everyone* in the United States legal or otherwise, is the 1% compared to the rest of the world. They tend to turn a lovely shade of spluttering purple.

    (…damn that was a long post, sorry about that!)

    1. Poverty line– it’s semantics. They’re talking about the level at which you qualify for gov’t “aid,” and you’re talking about the level at which your lifestyle is impoverished.

      The first is, of course, an attempt to make a standard to identify those who fall into the second one.

      There’s a reason I snarl when people dismiss semantics.

    2. “middle class in the United States has always seemed to have a different meaning to different folks.”

      Absolutely. My family was definitely middle-class according to the numbers but I thought of us as upper-middle-class in spite of my classmates, who had the huge houses and whatnot. You see, my parents were very smart in how they spent their money, so we would go to museums (science and art) all the time (annual passes, natch). We’d do interesting things like camp and learn about geology (or as I like to say, we used to go on vacation to look at rocks.) Basically, we would get every ounce of possibility out of as few dollars as possible, and as I’ve realized lately, our backyard garden means that we were up nutritionally from most of my generation. And of course we had thousands of books. You can’t be anything but upper class if you have books.

      And yet I always had a consciousness about money that most of my classmates didn’t share. I always knew that things cost money, that if you broke something, it didn’t magically fix itself, and so on. Honestly, I think it kept me out of major financial trouble more than once, especially when the mortgage debacles were underway. (That doesn’t sound right. How can people afford that? *rummaging around for numbers* Oh, people CAN’T afford that. Guess we’ll wait to look for a house. (And we did, and we actually hit near the bottom for our area.))

    3. There is no poor in the United States. Those who say otherwise base their claim on income.

      Living on a (globally adjusted) $2 per day is considered to be the standard for poverty. While there are many in the U.S. who have incomes of less than $2 per day, when poverty is considered for other nations, the criteria is consumption.

      Nobody in the U.S. has a consumption of less than $20 per day unless it involves mental illness, personal choice or being a child with horrific parents. The global standard for “middle class” is consuming between $12 and $50 per day.

      If everything is factored equally the poorest of the poor here are solid middle class based on global standards.

      And it should be noted that government assistance is never counted as income.

      1. And yet leftists will get haughty on that. I’ve read one say that those figures are not “useful”.

        I’ve also heard one say that we should care about our countrymen before anyone else. They get very annoyed if you comment that was indeed a political philosophy in the 20th century.

        1. I know. We have to turn it around and say things like “Don’t you care?” and “Why do you hate?” and “I guess you got yours”.

          It drives them crazy when you do it.

    4. How is it that people confuse wealth with money all the time?

      Money can be measured and makes a convenient, easily understood yardstick. What you’re metaphorically calling “wealth” includes many intangibles that cannot be measured or are incommensurable.

  6. It will swing back– is already doing so, although the folks who aren’t burdened by taking care of the next generation are doing their best to drag it further and feather their nest. In the long run, we’re all dead, right?

    Folks are noticing that the momentum from being a “square” is wearing off, and as the counter-culture has become/is becoming the culture, the bad aspects are showing. It works if there’s a small enough group that they can live off the rest, but it consumes rather than producing.

    I think it will get a bit worse, but by the time my kids are starting families? It will be swinging back, barring some kind of a change.

    1. I think so too, for the US. Europe? I hate to say with Oriana Fallaci (Colonel Kratman obligates me to say here “of blessed memory”) it might already be too late.

      1. It’s not like it’s the first time there’s been a lot of barbarians that kill lots of people rather horribly in Europe.

        I believe the traditional response is for a lot of missionaries to head out, and a lot of saints to be made.

        It’s not popular to point it out, but Christianity is rather good at picking up the broken bits and tossed-aside folks and fixing them up, then ending up with a much bigger, stronger group than the users.

        1. It’s not like it’s the first time there’s been a lot of barbarians that kill lots of people rather horribly in Europe.

          And we’re willing to go back and do it…Well, no, we pretty much aren’t.

      2. Europe attempted to replace the children they should have had with immigrants from a culture that absolutely despises them and everything they stand for.

        We’re not doing that her. Oh no, not us.

        1. For many Americans, what we love about Europe is the cultural history represented there. Given what Islam did to Constantinople, et al, I shudder to think what will be left if Europe doesn’t get its cultural self-defense organized until too late.

    2. The “march through the institutions” was premeditated. If we want to save civilization we have to march back.

      Schools teach lies and courts back them up. This has to change for there to be success.

      1. Taking back the institutions is playing to their strength and our weakness. They’re a lot better at playing bureaucracy than we are. Our strength is in creating new institutions to replace the old, corrupted ones.

        Luckily, today we have the technology to do it.

          1. True, I was thinking mostly about education. For courts, the only thing that might work is binding arbitration, with social ostracism as the enforcement mechanism. Worked for Orthodox Jews for centuries.

  7. I read the Daily Mail also – and the Rotherham thing about made me want to vomit; the ruling class handing over the daughters of the ruled class to a kind of sexual Moloch, all so that the ruling class can feel virtuous and tolerant and all, and glory in their vibrant diversity. It’s horrific – and I do not see how the ordinary Brits can let the ruling classes escape all penalty for it, unless they have truly been beaten down to the level of serfs, tugging at their forelock and saying, “Yes, me Lord, whatever you say, me Lord.”

    Middle class in America is a state of mind, I guess – and my daughter was asking me about it the other day; what class are we, Mom? It’s not income, certainly. The late writer Paul Fussell wrote a lovely screed about class in America, a book called Caste Marks – retitled as Class in the most recent edition. (I highly recommend it, BTW, although I think he had a bit of a sting in the tail for those trying to figure out what was the best class to be in).

    Income considered, I think that my daughter and I are barely above working-class, even in some years having slipped into near-poverty. There was one year where I had the good jewelry in at the pawn-shop so many times I joked to the desk clerk that I ought to have frequent-flyer miles on it. It’s a bit better now, actually – what with the Tiny Bidness, and having paid off one or two big, big, unavoidable bills. But then … I had good jewelry.

    But I think Sarah is right – it’s the standards that matter. Not so much education (which according to Paul Fussell were a large part of it in America as long as you had the status of having attended an Ivy, not so much for the rest of us, although the education acquired was likely just as good, if not better, only without the status indicator attached)

    What you do for a living? Independent small business is middle class, even it it’s just a small pittance earned from it. Intellectual work – read artist, writer, creator of some kind – that’s middle class, mostly, or at least, according to Fussell, standing aside from the whole class concept.

    The suburb that I live in – even attached to a pretty good-sized city – is a very middle-class/working class place. Other residents do note things – how you keep your house and more especially your garden, how you maintain your car, your pets, and your children. They won’t be all gotch-eyed, like the old ladies in Sarah’s home village – but they do notice. And in my suburb, I am one of the old ladies, casting a judgmental eye.

    Don’t get shirty with me, sunshine – it’s for your own good.

  8. I grew up in the 60’s, my parents were children of the great depression. While we did not live in the level of poverty it sounds like your village did, we were in my family, lower middle class. But many people thought we had way more money than we did, because my parents were incredibly frugal and smart at managing what we had. Waste in my family was always a sin. So I can relate to some of what you say.

    My father would say that all of these problems are because people are turning away from God, and you know what? I’m starting to think he may just be right. Women maintained their virtue for a number of reasons, and let’s be frank and honest here, men do most everything they do to get laid. When women, who are the gate keepers on sex, were interested in a family life, with one man, who would have to marry them, and raise a family, a lot of men signed on to that life.
    Why? Because in a world where a woman will give it up with no concerns about herself or her future, she’s going to give it up to the ‘alpha’ male (It doesn’t matter if he is, it just matters that she perceives him as that), and guess what? The alpha male is only interested in getting laid, not in raising a family, especially when he can sow his seed in a hundred women.

    The ‘beta’ male, in the old system he ties himself to one woman, but he gains reproductive rights by doing so. A deal he’s happy with. But in the new system, he gets nothing. As he gets nothing, he has no inspiration to do anything or be anything, because he’s never going to get laid. So why bother?
    This is why morality is important to society, and morality comes from religion. I never got married because my work kept me moving around too much, and I had enough money to pretty much get laid whenever I wanted, because women wanted my money. (I still run into that today, I’ve made comments on this in the past and boy have I gotten flamed over it, but if women think you’re rich a LOT of them will throw themselves at you). Now I do regret not having settled down and raising a family at times, life would have been different, but there was no need when I was younger, because I got sex without having to commit to get it. Also it can be hard to want to be in a relationship with anyone whose foremost concern is your paycheck.

    As for women cheating on their husbands? Depends on the culture I think. I know it goes on, I’ve seen it. But it goes on the least with women who believe that they’ll be punished for their actions in the afterlife, and that said afterlife might arrive a lot sooner than later if they are caught. As for men straying? ‘Beta’ males don’t cheat (well some do, but the incidence is rather low), most women who are willing to step out are looking for the ‘alpha’ males. Alpha males do cheat, because women throw themselves at them, it’s hard to refuse. That’s why I laugh whenever some big male celebrity’s wife catches him running around (think tiger woods). Unless he’s gotten it ‘out of his system’ and found religion, he’s cheating.

    So I do think a lot of it comes down to the ‘loose’ morality so many societies are pushing. I think people are joining islam because they perceive they will get the rewards that they no longer are getting in society. But islam isn’t a religion, it’s a culture, and one that does not protect women, or the beta male. So sadly, the people joining it are not going to be happy when they realize just what they got themselves into.

  9. Remove the shame, make it pay, and people will do it. Make a career of it. A couple of generations later you’ve got Miley Cyrus setting an example for young girls to follow. Modern tech is having an interesting effect on the last two generations. And shows no signs of stopping.

    In reaching for greater freedom in our sex lives, we’ve done considerable damage to our family lives. And it all started out as a way to cure poverty.

    I really don’t know what to say. A lot of it was my generation being gullible to “rebels” a half a generation older than themselves and embracing Marxism veiled as an anti-Vietnam war movement, “free love,” music-our-parents-hated, and unicorn farts.

    But we still got married, mostly before the baby arrived. Except we were also the generation of ZPG and Saving the Earth. So some of us got married and _didn’t_ have babies. Scary to think that that has become the respectable thing for a large chunk of the West. That shame is loaded on women with three or four children. That we are referred to as “Breeders” in tones of scorn. Unless we’re poor and belong to a victim class. Then children are apparently all right.

    Perhaps the problem is not that the acceptable behavior and shame for lack of same, has been abandoned. Perhaps the problem is that “acceptable” is being redefined.

  10. Rotherham reminds me that there’s a reason I reserve the right to go berserk. One of the reasons I don’t run red lights at 0’dark hundred is that when I start enforcing my own laws it will be for something more important to me than saving a few seconds or minutes. – in those circumstances from my cold dead hands just might apply. At least it’s a good excuse to keep some components around and maybe night vision and plates to go in a plate carrier as well.

    I wonder about the sometimes shaming culture of the Iberian peninsula? Seems to me some Englishman, it might have been Maugham, quite some time ago, maybe deserving the name the old days, used a framing story to write the tragedy of a man whose wife stayed home sick from a party on the same night one of his good friends also missed the party for good enough reasons. The coincidence of those two both being absent with the implied appearance but not the fact of impropriety shamed the man and blighted the couple’s life. Maybe pendulums in a social sense have swung too far the other way.

    Certainly in this country (U.S. of A) aspirations to the middle class life after WWII were realistic and a life style revolution of rising expectations arose. When my eventual wife started community college after high school she had a little money every day and the choice of lunch or bus money – with a ride home she could buy lunch that day otherwise not (and no brown bagging it was not a useful general solution for her although as a struggling student I’ve lived on hard boiled eggs and boiled potatoes cooked in the same pan at the same time). By the time her youngest sister started college it was with her own car at a name 4 year school. Today those changes remain as aspirations but rational expectations have reversed.

    Expectations may well drive actions – as well hung for a sheep as for a lamb perhaps.

    Seems to me a lot of small town north Idaho society has fallen apart after diminished job expectations in much the same way. In a high school graduating class with maybe twenty women all but one or two married at least once and divorced at least once by 30 usually younger. This followed the end in about 1980 of a brief period of any warm body with no education can make a living working in the woods and maybe poaching for extra money.

    But looking around I see many analogs of Jared Diamond’s conditions for collapse

    The root problem in all but one of Diamond’s factors leading to collapse is overpopulation relative to the practicable (as opposed to the ideal theoretical) carrying capacity of the environment. The one factor not related to overpopulation is the harmful effect of accidentally or intentionally introducing nonnative species to a region.

    If jobs be defined as carrying capacity of the human ecosystem and refugees rather than immigrants be defined as nonnative species the analogs do I think lead to analogous results.

    1. Re: extra-legal enforcement of standards – when I was growing up, one of the stories told (no idea if it was true, but could have been) was of a group of fathers confronting the rapist of one of their daughters. No, didn’t kill him – that would have caused too much legal problem. Just removed one testicle with a pocket knife, in the park, at night, under a flashlight. Warned him that if they ever had cause to think he was going to try it again, he’d lose the other.
      Good story for teen boys to share around – what you don’t do as a lad, how the community is likely to feel about it if you do, and how in extremis you too can be part of the solution.

  11. Evolution favors those who successfully reproduce. If family men out reproduce “love ’em and leave ’em” men, then whatever genetic propensity toward that behavior will increase in the population as a whole. Aided and abetted by the cultural feedback. Same with the women.

    The recent (in species terms) ability for the irresponsible men and women to successfully breed by means of other people’s taxes supporting their babies means that the genetics of the whole are tipping that direction. Genes or culture, it’s going to be difficult, when times get tough and there’s no money to spare.

    1. Men are a breeding experiment run by women.
      –Lionel Tiger, anthropologist and author

      And social standards, even the ones dubbed “patriarchy” are imposed and enforced by females. Sisters, if you don’t like what the men are doing, look to yourselves and what you are doing.

      There’s a reason the “old women” get a lot more mentions in Ms. Hoyt’s essay than “old men”. Think about it.

  12. Oddly enough I was noting something about this today. I was in a store and it was crowded. A black family was coming down the aisle I was in and the mother told her teen son to get out of the way . When he seemed to not get it she made him get behind her. Black middle class families get this. I noticed and appreciated the mother’s attitude and was saddened by the thought that white middle class children today are little princesses today (both genders) they aren’t being taught

    1. I try to make sure my (still small) kids do this.

      Got tired (so very, very tired) of people assuring me that I didn’t need to– or shouldn’t— do that, so I’ve started replying (with a smile…or at least a tired attempt at one, depending on the day) that I’m trying to make sure they turn into decent human beings.

      Reassuringly, a lot of the time I get a laugh and some variation of “Yeah, I hear ya!”

      1. My older boy has an unerring draw to tech, and still sometimes gets in the laps of complete strangers when they’re playing on smartphones (he’s six.) When he’d do that when he was younger, and I’d tell him to stop, people would say, “He’s not bothering me.” And I’d explain that it takes years to get some things through this child’s head, so I was starting while it was still cute. Usually this ended with a look of comprehension—it’s not that I was being overly strict to a toddler, it’s that I was heading off bigger problems later. I think a lot of people don’t understand that concept until it’s pointed out.

  13. “But does the wealth stay once the habits that brought wealth and decent living fall? Do the walls collapse and the roof stay miraculously up?”

    I think what’s happening is not that the walls are collapsing, but that advances in technology and productive efficiency have enabled thinner walls to bear the same weight and size of roof. To some extent this may also help mitigate the situation, because the fewer people involved in the work that keeps the roof up the more aware those people become of their own necessity to sustaining said roof; one of the biggest factors in people choosing whether or not to abandon behavioural standards is a sense that it won’t make any difference if they do, and it’s always easier for the early abandoners to think that than it is for the later ones.

    The fatal weakness of that change — of learning to make do with thinner walls under the same roof — is the same weakness of specialization efficiency vs. generalized redundancy, i.e. lack of the capacity and flexibility to absorb unexpected outside forces or costs. This, I think, is the source of the Rotherham disaster: the civil control mechanisms became so highly specialized against such a fine-tuned “danger” to society that they lost the ability to deploy effectively against more brutal dangers. (The impersonal sound of this should in no way be taken as an excuse for the individual failures of judgement and cowardice involved, but it is nonetheless, I think, a useful image: like white blood cells so strictly limited in when and how they could activate, for fear of damaging healthy tissue, that they lost the ability to activate against genuine pathogens — a set of instructions that can only come to pass among “programmers” who genuinely think the former a greater danger than the latter.)

    This, perhaps, is our problem: we have forgotten the virtues of being generalists in the convenience of mutually-dependent specialization.

    1. This, I think, is the source of the Rotherham disaster: the civil control mechanisms became so highly specialized against such a fine-tuned “danger” to society that they lost the ability to deploy effectively against more brutal dangers.

      That…SOUNDS right.

    2. Metaphor: when safety systems work consistently, there will always be pressure to assume they exceed the need and are therefore wasteful, so resources get pulled out of the safety systems (to do more attractive things) until they begin to fail. So, society and civilization, and social responses to threats and harms.

  14. Bearing in mind that this is the internet where people disagree just to be polite I disagree

    – I suggest the walls were built with a safety factor and we are now doing what we hope will be non-destructive testing of the safety factor. It may well be a test to destruction as we get into shifting ever heavier loads on the roof with ever thinner walls.

    On the specialization of the civil control mechanism I don’t see where the civil control mechanism controls are fine tuned for much of anything at all. My own belief is that the civil control mechanisms have taken advice from a noted Italian. When your real enemies are too strong find weaker enemies The girls here are about as weak as humanly possible.

    1. No need to apologize for disagreeing; that’s how we get to the truth of things. I will thus take advantage of that latitude to disagree in turn. 😉

      I can see how the trends going on now may resemble non-destructive testing, but the whole point of testing is that you preserve the original unaltered structure as something to fall back on once your testing finds the failure point. I don’t see that degree of self-protection or organization in the status quo. With regard to the civil control mechanisms that are meant to protect children, what I meant by their being counterproductively “fine-tuned” was that these people were being so careful not to commit actions appearing racist or ethnocentrist, for fear of their careers, that they allowed genuine abuse and exploitation to go unchecked; they were so afraid of being the Boy who Cried Wolf that they couldn’t muster the nerve to risk giving the alarm about actual wolves. I don’t think that involved finding “weaker enemies” so much as it involved basic externalization of costs and risks.

    2. …the walls were built with a safety factor and we are now doing what we hope will be non-destructive testing…

      In my engineering experience, proposing an approach like this would spark a ‘counseling session’ regarding the appropriateness of “what we hope will be non-destructive testing” of support structures in an occupied residence.

      And re the Rotherham travesty, it’s pretty clear to me what happened – the standard bureaucratic imperatives of “maximize growth of this bureau, both in budget/headcount and area of jurisdiction” and “minimize work that has to be actually performed” ran up against a constituency that, by being the noisiest and most difficult to deal with, had increased the bureaucratic cost of doing anything the constituency didn’t like above any and all other actions the bureaucracy could take. This is an extreme form of the “hecklers veto” that doesn’t just prevent unwanted speech by being loud enough, but prevents all unwanted actions.

      The solution? Fear. Incentives (positive and negative) must be structured such that fear of discovery and the resulting punishment, not just of the individuals involved but also of the bureaucracy itself, outweighs any possible pain from dealing with a noisy constituency.

      1. “The solution? Fear. Incentives (positive and negative) must be structured such that fear of discovery and the resulting punishment… outweighs any possible pain from dealing with a noisy constituency.”

        The problem is that on both sides of this tension, the consequences of being wrong have been deemed “unacceptable” by society. Give the legal authorities charged with protecting children enough immunity from consequences that they don’t have to worry about tanking their careers over being wrong, and sooner or later they inevitably turn into tyrants who will rip apart innocent families on mere suspicion. Enforce enough penalties for being wrong that we can be sure those authorities won’t use their power arbitrarily, prejudicially or casually, and you will make them so cautious and fearful that sooner or later they will inevitably let real atrocities go unpunished, as happened in Rotherham. Which alternative is worse tends to be a highly subjective matter, and often depends on which one a person has most recently seen happen or suffered most from personally.

        Now that said, Rotherham in particular seems to have been a direct result of a very specific and arbitrary constriction of judgement: one subgroup of society got exceptional protection out of (I choose to believe this of at least some of the legislators involved) sincere fear that without it they would be unjustly harassed and disadvantaged. But this is just another example of the same paradox: any law created to provide exceptional protection from abuse for a particular subgroup will inevitably be exploited to an abusive end by that subgroup.

        All of which is a way of complaining that in the end I see no perfect “solution” to the difficulty, other than people deciding that a job is important enough to try to do right that one is willing to accept the risk of being wrong and the consequences of making a mistake. But if people with that kind of courage went into bureaucracies in the first place they wouldn’t look much like bureaucracies, ultimately.

      2. Real solution?

        A genuine bona-fide truth-detector. Possibly predicted on the way that lying and telling the truth appear to use different mental skills and so different portions of the brain. SF to the rescue! Get cracking, you inventors!

  15. I think there are a lot of circles to this as well—in the circles of folk I associate with, fidelity is the norm, parenting skills are discussed and we attempt to raise well-behaved children (without being so repressive as to create monsters), and we try to basically have what you would call a decent lifestyle. I live in a neighborhood with folk who try to know one another and look out for each other, and they’re nice to me in spite of the fact that my house is currently the scruffiest on the block*.

    In general, the folk who live in range of my kid’s school seem to be well-adjusted, no matter their original culture (and I say that because we have Indian immigrants, Sikhs, and a family from Cameroon in just my eldest’s grade level—the last have triplet boys, oh my.) My neighborhood seems to be just a bit higher-quality than the one just to the east (size-wise a bit smaller and no sprinkler systems), but people care about their houses there as well.

    I also know some circles where the manners are a bit different. Some of my high school classmates have been divorced more than once; some other folk I know have much stranger priorities. But even my theater friends are not so lax as to have their values slip. So I’m hopeful rather than otherwise.

    *Severe drought this summer means I haven’t turned the sprinklers on all year. We let the lawn die and then painted it green (yes, there are paints for that.) However, I didn’t count on bermuda grass, which refuses to believe it’s dead. The stupid thing needs severe trimming, which my heat-sensitive, plant-matter-allergic husband is unable to do. And I wasn’t able to do it by reason of advanced pregnancy. Oh, and on that note, Padreic was born yesterday (Saturday) at nine pounds, seven ounces. Still smaller than my first. Speaking of hope for the future.

      1. And yes re Bermuda Grass. I’ve see it grow up through a foot and a half of overlaying dirt and mulch, with no water whatsoever. Out back I eventually just gave up and reclassified it from “weeds” to “lawn” accepting that it turns brown in the winter (which other grasses don’t do when dormant out here in CA).

        1. Oh, our lawn is brown now too. Out front at least. back is greened because neighbors water our pack yard- cause they want the oranges.

  16. Posted before reading other comments, because … look at the time stamp.

    There is a word you have avoided, one which is synonymous with Middle Class and which has acquired a disreputable tarnish since the Sixties: bourgeois. The peasants and the Aristos could typically afford the sort of low standards of behaviour which you’ve decried — the one because they couldn’t afford better, the other because they could afford to pay for their byblows.

    I could quote extensively from the philosophical sayings of one Alfred P. Doolittle but shall, in interest of brevity, leave those as an exercise for the readers.

    Oh, one additional point: there be good reason that a gigolo has traditionally been held in lower regard than the female equivalents of gold-digger and prostitute, and that reason is rooted in the need for society to protect women and children. (N.B., prostitutes tend to diminish the value of female chastity, forcing other women to compete in the same marketplace; why do you think Cosmo’s cover always features multiple lurid headlines advising on new ways to rock his world in bed? And when you glance through the advice it is mostly horribly sad.)

  17. And I’m not going to lie and say that all things that went on and the established mode was the best one. It very well wasn’t. For one, it was a genuinely patriarchal society in the sense that women had almost no power.

    There is your answer right there, Sarah. Civilization depends entirely upon the restriction of female sexuality and the limitation of female power. It’s not the only factor, but it is a necessary one. The restrictions can be cruel and enforced primarily by men, as in the case of Islamic semi-civilization, or they can be soft and enforced primarily by women, as in the case of traditional Western civilization. Or something in between, such as you describe. But the restrictions must exist.

    There is no equality. Not when young men are willing to build, steal, or kill for sex. Unless sex is primarily made available to young men through forcing them to jump through various hoops that help build civilization, it’s back to barbarism and grass huts for everyone. And that process is what you are describing.

    1. Civilization depends entirely upon the restriction of human desire and the limitation of willingness to use power.

  18. I think there are two items in particular worth noting regarding what was described at the top.

    The first is the almost complete removal of “shame” as a cultural thing. Shame was, in essence, a method used by society to regulate itself. Don’t look after your wife? Then everyone will look down on you. You’re leeching off of others instead of supporting yourself? Then you’ll be viewed with contempt. Shame does have problems. But it also worked as a method of enforcing effective middle class standards. Unfortunately, shaming for those reasons has gone out the window, and been replaced with whatever the latest SJW fad happens to be.

    The second is a bit more involved. In one of my college classes, one of my fellow students mentioned that if your problem is the fact that dogs aren’t treated as well as humans, then there are two ways to solve that problem. The first solution to the problem is to start treating dogs like people. The second solution to the problem is to start treating people like dogs. There have been many instances of people noting that one gender or the other had additional impositions that the other did not. The universal solution to these “impositions” seems to be to remove them. But no one’s ever bothered to stop and check whether the more appropriate solution to equalize things might be to impose on both genders instead.

    1. A third solution is to realize that dogs and people are not equal and therefore equal treatment would be perpetration of injustice. For, as it is unjust to treat similar beings dis-similarly, so it is also injustice to treat dis-similar beings similarly.

      As men and women are not comparable but complementary, it is necessary to recognize fundamental differences in their natures* and treat them accordingly. As Anatole France noted, “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.”

      *all appropriate caveats for statistical variances not being determinative and the importance of treating people as individuals rather than as elements of a class.

  19. Dunno. The old days, with the torture and child abuse, were not optimal. That makes for less productive citizens too… (Watched my in-laws…)

    But, really, this all looks like a side effect of allowing women to work outside the home. Thing is, outside of manual labor, women are arguably more productive than men, so adding them to the workforce arguably benefits society.

    Now, male laziness and lack of ambition is part of it…but we have transitioned to a society that doesn’t value manual labor…so don’t be surprised when a lot of women end up supporting men. And, honestly, this wasn’t that rare in much of the world in the old days either.

    Lastly, with the foreign men, based on my observations, by and large, the men were more likely to need protection from American women than anything else. Seriously. Saw a couple of lives ruined. Poor innocent buggers. A man is terribly vulnerable to any woman who knows how to work the system. Another reason to avoid marriage.


    1. er… men are only good for manual labor? Women are better at anything not manual labor?
      Sir, I’d like to know in what world you live. Must be interesting. According to tests and statistics, when it comes to INTELLECTUAL labor women are mostly MIDDLING. Men cluster at the extremes, so they have a higher number of morons but also a higher level of geniuses.
      The differences between the sexes aren’t all muscle.

      1. Men are evolutionarily programmed to think spatially in order to best appreciate the curvature of breast and derriere. There is no comparable encoding in female minds, so (statistically speaking) more men will rise in fields — such as engineering, piloting, mechanical design, theoretical physics — which rely on spatial reasoning.

    2. This is absolutely incorrect. Women are not only less productive than men, but they also reduce male productivity just as they reduce male wages. That’s why real wages are lower in 2014 USA than 1973 USA.

      This creates a Catch-22. Even women who want to stay home and raise families cannot afford to do so, because the men they marry don’t make enough money, in part due to the doubling of women in the workforce.

      Remember, one-third of women have always worked. What is new is young, educated women working rather than marrying and having children. If you look at the statistics, young women are working so old men can stay home and collect Social Security while overall wages are suppressed.

      1. The statement “one-third of women have always worked” only works if you limit work to that which brings in outside money. Idle women are a thing of the past aristocracy, and _very_ recently, welfare queens and bored housewives.

        1. Egads yes. My mother could only run a (successful) business, which supported us until dad’s job started paying enough to do so when I was 16, because she had a cleaning lady. Until I was six we didn’t have indoor plumbing/water and until I was 8 we didn’t have a vacuum. We lived in a tiny place and keeping it clean was a full time job. We had a daily who did that and dishes and such. And my grandmother also worked at home, and did endlessly fascinating stuff like keep the well mini-farm for lack of a better word, and look after the “creation” (the animals) having retired from her home business after her kids grew up. So, child care was not a problem as mom told me to go bug grandma. Absent those two resources, I found when the kids were small that house/child care was more than a full time job. Sometimes I got in an hour of writing a day, if that.

        2. From what was stated, I’m pretty sure that he meant, “work outside the home”, though I would have thought it was fewer than that until the past century or so.

              1. One of the guys from Monty Python did a hilarious history series– EduTainment, not pseudo-documentary– that was both not nearly as biased against the Church as I tend to expect from anything in the UK, but more importantly for this discussion looked at a bunch of stuff that “everyone knows” about the middle ages.

                He went through the historical records of a lady in the middle ages who started a brewing empire because her husband didn’t want her spending HIS money on fripperies. *grin* I believe at the end of that he then added that the thing that was interesting about the records about her is how they were impressed at how incredibly successful she was, not impressed because “wow, look, a woman making money!”

          1. Found it!

            Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives– there’s one that indicates it’s about women. I believe the other Big Reveal is that they had naughty poems.

    3. The wrong is strong with this one, Ergo i will do a point by point discussion of it.

      “Dunno. The old days, with the torture and child abuse, were not optimal. That makes for less productive citizens too… (Watched my in-laws…)”
      Torture and child abuse? As if those were rampant? Yes, it happened, no it wasn’t anywhere near the norm. This is straight Kool-ade drinking

      “But, really, this all looks like a side effect of allowing women to work outside the home. Thing is, outside of manual labor, women are arguably more productive than men, so adding them to the workforce arguably benefits society.”
      Right, women are better than men at anything other than brute strength, More Kool-Ade

      “Now, male laziness and lack of ambition is part of it…but we have transitioned to a society that doesn’t value manual labor…so don’t be surprised when a lot of women end up supporting men. And, honestly, this wasn’t that rare in much of the world in the old days either.”

      Men are lazy and have neither ambition nor any value other than brute4 labor? Maybe you are projecting too much? People are lazy, both genders. People have varying amounts of ambition, Some men would be content to not be able to fix the roof when it’s raining and not need to when it isn’t. That doesn’t describe most men, let alone all

      “Lastly, with the foreign men, based on my observations, by and large, the men were more likely to need protection from American women than anything else. Seriously. Saw a couple of lives ruined. Poor innocent buggers. A man is terribly vulnerable to any woman who knows how to work the system. Another reason to avoid marriage.”

      This one at least has a modicum of truth to it. Yes the system is set up so that a woman can screw a man with little evidence or reason. That is almost entirely the product of the last thirty years, with the exception that men have never had much right to their progeny.

      All in all this is one of the most misandristic concern trolls I have seen in a while

      1. On the men are lazy and less productive point — it has long been established (Michael Medved went on and on about it back when I could listen to him regularly, some fifteen years ago) that men’s productivity goes up significantly once they become fathers.

        Whether true or not, it suggests that dis-aggregating the category “men” would be appropriate.

        1. Re lazy men – It’s also valid here to point to RAH’s contention (I recall it in his LL backstory re flying patrol planes equipped with autopilots in WWII, among other instances) that it’s to the lazy engineers we owe all our technical advances – As someone who has done both in my life, I will attest that it’s oh so very much easier to sit and cogitate and fight with a designs to improve the whatsis or invent a new whosit than it is to dig a ditch or push a full wheelbarrow around.

          The lazy engineer will work long hours and put in skull sweat in order to avoid physical labor, and as long as the engineering incentives are there, society benefits.

          1. Said “lazy engineer” is oft motivated by wanting to not do the same job twice, thus invents a way to do it once and automate that way for future repetitions.

        2. Kind of like how they love rolling part-time workers into the whole thing– which is a group that is largely female, thus letting them “prove” that women are paid less?

          1. Yes, or teens working at Ben & Jerry’s in support of their claim of vast numbers struggling to get by on the minimum wage.

            Or the way they ignore the number of people working multiple part-time jobs when they make up employment statistics.

            Or the way they skew the “Gender Gap” by including African-American women, a group voting >90% Democrat. Assuming they comprise 13% of the female electorate (proportionate to their share of total population) that creates a gap of 11.7 points even if all other women are split down the middle.

      2. “Dunno. The old days, with the torture and child abuse, were not optimal. That makes for less productive citizens too… (Watched my in-laws…)”
        Torture and child abuse? As if those were rampant? Yes, it happened, no it wasn’t anywhere near the norm. This is straight Kool-ade drinking

        Thank you, I got so distracted that I didn’t even get around to that the first time, and then you said it better.

    4. But, really, this all looks like a side effect of allowing women to work outside the home.

      Women have been “allowed” to work outside of the home since my grandmothers were children.

      Perhaps you mean “pretending that only work that you get paid for is work”? Maybe “denigration of traditionally female work”? “Insistence that women must have the same goals as men”? (Example, look at DINKs, used as the personification of intelligence at the start of Idiocracy.)

      1. Women have been allowed to work outside the home ever since — a sharp distinction was drawn between the home and workplace.

  20. I suddenly find myself thinking in terms of spaceships.

    We have a culture on ours of “crew,” “passengers,” and “cargo”.

    “Crew” understands their obligations and works hard to keep the whole thing running. Sacrifices for the greater good even.

    “Passengers” are willing to pay their way, observe the rules, and live their lives, but other than providing revenue, are not willing to do the work of keeping the ship flying.

    “Cargo” is just along for the ride. They don’t work to keep the ship alive, they don’t pay their way or follow rules. They are largely interchangeable units of consumption and mass.

    I’m sure the analogy could be expanded.

    There has also been a lot of discussion lately of “makers” and “takers” or of their being “two worlds” that people live in, where the two groups (however they are defined) occupy the same physical space but have very different experiences and day to day lives. I see a lot of truth in the “two worlds” idea. Certainly in my neighborhood, the cashiers at the local grocery store and the middle age mommies shopping at 10am have very different lives. The differences would not have been so extreme in the past.

    For me, it comes down to culture, and we have at least two majority cultures in the US. We have one culture that believes in self regulation, hard work, playing by the rules, the benefits of education, planning for the long term, and for lack of a better signifier, “traditional” or “family” values. We have a second culture that believes in self gratification, doing as little as possible to get by, living off the hard work of others, that education is valueless, that has poor impulse control, and a very short-term outlook. Additionally, violence is rare for the first group, and an everyday reality for the second. The groups are almost polar opposites, and yet we move thru the same space, living simultaneously but only rarely more than peripherally aware of each other.

    The reality is that the second group could not exist in large numbers without the first. But the first doesn’t need the second. Our experiment in seeing how many non-productive individuals can be supported by (extraordinarily) productive individuals is about to come to an end. In a world where the top 1% of income earners provides 50% of the tax revenue (state of CA, NYC for examples, per and it won’t take much of a decrease in income or numbers for the 1% to no longer support the non-productive. Unfortunately, the non-productive are also well acquainted with violence and poor impulse control.

    I once watched large portions of a modern American city burn out of control for days over a relatively minor issue. (Minor compared to watching your kids starve.) It can and will happen again. It IS happening.

    Take care people, there are real world implications to this discussion.


  21. My great-grandmother, who knew poverty up close and personal, used to say that ‘poor folks has poor ways.’ That is, poor had a lot more to do with behavior than it did with money.

    Her marriage must have been pretty unbearable, though. She did the unthinkable and left her husband soon after my grandmother was born, and tried to earn a living on her own. It pretty much couldn’t be done back then (right after WWI) and relatives talked her into letting them care for her little girl until she could–and then adopted the little girl. She kidnapped her own daughter back, ha. She wouldn’t tell anyone her husband’s name until just before she died–he was that awful.

    1. Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy and The Millionaire Mind, would have agreed with your Granny’s opinion. It is arguably the primary reason that winning “the Lottery” so rarely effects significant long-term change in people.

      It also seems your grandmother had direct experience with the different personas adopted when courting and once married. A man (or woman) grows up with certain established benchmarks of proper behaviour, taken at mother’s teat, which dictate the expectations of what constitutes a proper marital relationship. That is one reason why youngsters contemplating macrame are advised to closely observe how the other knotter’s parents interact.

      1. I’m not sure how long they courted. She married him to get away from her parents, and thus we all learned that that is a bad plan. (I don’t know how difficult her parents were to live with, but evidently pretty dang difficult. The only fact I know is that she had to beg and plead to be allowed to go to high school. College was her life-long dream and she finally did it in the late 60s, anticipating the “little old lady taking college classes” trend by a couple of decades.)

  22. To protect women, men must control women, because you can’t protect what you don’t control. If I ask you to “protect” my hamster while I’m away, will you let it run free, or keep it in a fishtank with a heavy lid?

    Upon becoming President, Obama expressed surprise that he was no longer free to go where he pleased. If his bodyguards said, “you can’t go there”, he couldn’t go there.

    1. –To protect women, men must control women–

      That’s like saying government must keep men from drinking Big Gulps to protect them.

      Men don’t need to control women to protect them. Women, by definition, are adults. As long as everybody is on the same page as to what the goals are and keep egos in check, everything will work out without anybody being pushed around.

      Frankly, I think it wise for women to know how to use firearms and keep a few. And I’d never discourage a woman from learning martial arts or studying law.

          1. I think we got linked somewhere odd. I’m too lazy and rapt in my work on Through Fire to check.
            It gets like this every time we touch on sexes, though. I think a lot of people have decided since the feminists are wrong, the islamists must be right. Which was one of the points of my article, though I thought of female converts. Though frankly, given how we treat boys, I’m sometimes astounded they don’t convert to Islam en masse.

              1. I hadn’t even heard of them. Having looked… I don’t know. I’m always suspicious of these. They’re way overpriced unless you’re already a going concern or have ten novels ready to publish. (And then they’re way overpriced because with ten novels you get to real money.) Perhaps it’s just me, but I’d prefer to spend $500 or so in WGM workshops and read Cedar’s and Dot’s stuff, and then go in by myself. Of course, that could explain why I’m permanently short on time?

                1. OK, thanks.

                  A friend just used them and she was praising them to high heaven. Of course, she didn’t have anything to compare it to (and she hasn’t sold anything yet).

                  What is a WGM workshop and where can I find Cedar & Dot’s stuff?

            1. Are you “rapt” in you work, or “wrapped” in your work? Or possibly “rapped” in your work? I do hope it’s the first. 😉

                1. Hate-followers, most likely. You are not yet evil enough for more than a handful—you haven’t even caused anyonething to resign herits gender in months!—but I’d guess Vox has lots of ’em.

          2. Take a walk on the weird side …

            Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
            doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
            doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
            doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
            doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
            doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
            doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

            1. It’s been like decades since I even thought about that song.

              I once bought a Lou Reed album called Metal Machine Music. Reed and whoever else it was that ended up with my money must still be laughing their a$$es off.

              1. You bought the wrong album. I have Rock and Roll Animal. He’s not a great singer, but this one shows that he (or his producer) knew how to hire sidemen. The 6 or 7 minute instrumental intro to Sweet Jane is an object lesson in how to play rock and roll electric guitar. BTW, it’s a live album, from 1974, so there’s none of today’s “let the engineer fix it” sh… stuff.

                  1. This –

                    – is probably the one you wanted. Although Lou’s albums could be somewhat uneven peculiar idiosyncratic.

      1. If it were the government’s responsibility to protect us from diabetes, outlawing Big Gulps would be a perfectly sensible policy.

        If women are fully competent adults, completely equal to men, they don’t need my protection any more than I need theirs. Which is good, if it’s true.

        My mom thought it stupid that some states made it a crime to have anal sex with your wife. But what if women really are the weaker sex, and some wives dare not refuse their husband’s desires? Perhaps protecting women from potentially injurious activities outweighs the benefits (??) of anal sex.

        The point being, treating unequal persons equally is as bad as treating equal persons unequally.

        1. Sir,
          We are all unequal. Who measures?
          Women are not “incompetent by virtue of vagina” the protections in place are designed to protect the sex that bears the children, because that’s in the best interest of society and of men too.
          And anyone sticking his/her nose in a marriage bed has gone WAY too far.
          If a woman is unable to say no to a man, she shouldn’t be allowed out alone.
          This is a feminist lie, that men have some special kind of influence. The men have no more than the women do. In a marriage you both do thins you’re not quite interested in to please the other (and I don’t mean particularly sexual things.)
          Does that make either of them “non functional adults.” No. it makes them human. And humans should be allowed to be human without government interference.
          Yeah, women aren’t equal in the sense they’re not the SAME. Most (accounting for outliers) women have different priorities than men. To believe that makes one inferior to the other is the error of statists, Marxists and power-seekers the world over.

          1. Would it perhaps be better phrased as “the protections in place are designed to protect those who raise the children”?

            For good and obvious reason (complain to Darwin) that tends to be women, but the protections seem to me to be there because of their role as child rearers, not child-bearers. The limitations on mobility and sacrifice of time that could be spent in self-support would seem to be the justification for Society taking an interest.

            1. Yes. And that’s fine by me. But the whole “Men should own you because you’re inferior” should be reserved for members of ISIS. Am I inferior to some men? Of course. Some women too. To all men? Oh, please.

              1. Egads! What sane man would want to own a woman? For one thing, the depreciation is terrible, almost as bad as for men. (For that matter, what sane woman wants to own a man? The fact that few if any women do suggests women are intellectually superior.)

                Any man who thinks women are inferior is dumber than three bags of rocks. They are different, and only a fool thinks mere difference translates into superiority/inferiority.

          2. Although he suffers no diagnosed mental defect, my half-brother is not competent to manage his own affairs. Had he not found a responsible master (an older gay man with money), he’d surely have overdosed in a gutter a long time ago.

            Are you competent? If not, who will take responsibility for you? Such decisions must be made wisely and locally, by people who know the parties well. When the Civil War freed four million slaves, as many as one million of them died in the chaos that followed. Agricultural work is seasonal, and free men don’t get free food during the off-season. There may be a bigger death toll when our welfare state collapses and its wards are left to fend for themselves.

              1. Well, Aristotle did. Those who lacked the deliberative faculty were slaves by nature. Considering that he explicitly compares this to children, who have a deliberative faculty, just an immature one, he is talking about the seriously mental deficient.

                He also observed that this bore zero relationship to the actual institution.

                1. Yes, but since we haven’t talked about the SERIOUSLY mental deficient, but the people mentioned have been women and someone the commenter deems to be incompetent, I don’t think we’re in Aristotelian territory. More the wishful of being on top and lacking the native wit to get there normally territory.

      2. –To protect women, men must control women–

        That’s like saying government must keep men from drinking Big Gulps to protect them.
        Bill Lawrence

        No it’s not. Context and semantics, hon.

      1. Forgive them — some people don’t grasp the moral lesson of Lord Darcy’s actions in Pride & Prejudice.

        Probably because they never read the book, lacking as it is in rocket ships, explosions and BEM. I wonder whether it could be rewritten transcribed re-imagined as Space Opera?

        Or send a modern maid back in time to try wearing contemporary mores in 1813 England. Perhaps that explains Mr. Wickham’s behaviour — he had somehow slipped back in time from our era … ?

        1. I read the briefly popular Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I should have walked away once I read the author’s statement that he’d “made it interesting.” Horrible lack of world-building, incorrect culture assignments (everybody was obsessed with Japan, and then Darcy had a housekeeper with bound feet… um…) The core issue was that the adapter did not like the source material.

          I could see a much better adaptation done by somebody who loved the original material, and who was willing to do the research necessary to make it work—space opera, intersection with the modern world, whatever.

            1. Space Opera would be fun. The sisters must marry, because they cannot inherit the family spaceship. That will, of course, go to the male cousin.

              1. Very good practical reason for that– on a spaceship, you REALLY need people to move around to avoid genetic issues, and moving women makes more sense (because they can pass on mitochondrial DNA) than moving men around.

          1. The core issue was that the adapter did not like the source material.

            The thing that sinks a lot of reboots and genera novels, and drives the readers into fan fiction…..

          2. Well, I’ve heard some good things about Mansfield Park and Mummies. For one thing, the author picked mummies precisely because that was the era in which Egypt was becoming a cool. exotic place — not like Greece and Rome, which were a mainstay, but not like China and India and Japan, which were still too far off to be much more than Cloud-Cuckoo-Land with a few elements from the original.

            And you know why Lady Bertram is so languid? It’s a side-effect of the mummy.

        2. MR. Darcy please. Whatever the source of the Regency genre’s overpopulation with lords, it’s not Jane Austen.

          Me, I’m playing around with some ideas springing from Goodread’s April Fool’s (Mirth and Mischief by Jane Austen), and ripped off from Persuasion. But lacking her genius I will probably swing them definitely toward the more intrinsically dramatic.

          1. Oops — brain spark jumped a gap and conflated Austen and Garrett. I gather it tends to happen as the brain ages and the insulation wears thin.

              1. Oh. I wasn’t censuring you. Or maybe I out-pedanted you. I was just trying to explain why I didn’t correct it.
                On Lords in the regency: I had a friend writing for harlequin who ran out of lords names and she was writing so fast she thought two of her guys were AT LEAST bigamous… 😛

                1. Most pedants are not issued hats; instead they are given sticks to put up their butts. We are fortunate to have capped pedants in this venue.

                    1. You could always go find Jeff Dunham and steal the one that Jose Jalapeno uses…

                      Now for the pedant theme song*:
                      Pedant, pedant, pedant-pedant-pedant-pedant Pedaaaaaaaannnt!

                      * In case I’m too lame for that to be clear, yes, it’s intended to be the Pink Panther theme.

                    2. Ooh! That’s an idea! Someone could take one of those pictures of Obama with his nose in the air (preferably with one of his “halos” behind his head) and ‘shop a set of bifocals on him.

      2. Semi-agreed. Societal rules are necessary but not sufficient; individual circumstances dictate whether individual protection is necessary in relationships.
        E.g. – IF I have greater upper body strength than a given woman who is in relationship to me (spouse, friend, whatever), and she needs some form of defense against harm (could be physical attack, could be just a too-heavy load) that is enabled by upper body strength, there’s no point waiting for some societal rule to function to protect her. I’m here, I do it.
        OTOH, if I’m not ‘here’ where the need is, she depends on the societal rule (in this case, probably for the closest person, usually a man, with greater upper body strength to volunteer that protection.)
        The societal rules tend to have less motivation and more delay in operation (when seconds count…), so .. maybe individual men don’t always HAVE to, but it’s often better that we do.

    2. The problem with your post is that women aren’t hamsters, and are nothing like them.

      While I will not comment on the degree of similarity between Obama and a hamster, you might want to familiarize yourself with the situation between a bodyguard and a the one they are protecting. It’s a good example, but you don’t seem to understand it– even on the level of, say, basic familiarity with recent news stories about the Pope.

      The bodyguard is there to prevent threats from succeeding.

      If they are lazy or very worried, they will try to do this by controlling the one they are protecting to an extreme degree, even to the extent of destroying the ability of the one they are protecting to do their job.

      If they do their job correctly, they will be mostly focused on outside threats and communicate with the one they are protecting; it becomes a team effort, as illustrated by the famous video of Bush noticing his guard wasn’t near him, turning around and dragging him out of the group that “accidentally” blocked the security detail.

      1. (for those wondering what I’m talking about with the Pope and his body guards– the Holy Father keeps trying to make his guards go gray by, say, jumping into a private vehicle for a quick spin or walking out into utterly unsecured crowds)

        1. The current one? Or Benedict, who would sneak out so he could play with cats?

          *laughs* They’d’ve freaked out at John Howard, one of the former PMs here. He loved to run and jogged a LOT. (I think it says something about Australia that our Prime Ministers can go places by themselves and not be harmed – as far as I have been told, the only fisticuffs fight a PM’s ever gotten into was because of a heated football argument.) A frequently told tale I hear is that on the way to some conference the car broke down and Howard shrugged and started running, startling his security detail. 7 km later, he was waiting for his detail to catch up, and promptly fired them all. His next security detail were able to keep up with him.

          Actually I wonder how the Pope’s security detail would handle a physically active Pope… *grin*

          1. B16 apparently organized it ahead of time– knew how to warn people so they’d set things up.

            Francis is… impulsive. 😀

            Given their backgrounds, it makes sense– the “authorities” that B16 has been dealing with for the last several decades are benevolent (and he’d be able to identify the malevolent ones from firsthand experience), and the ones Francis has been dealing with are somewhere between nasty and malevolent, haven’t studied enough to be sure.
            It would be tough to correct the reactions too quickly.

          2. iirc, Pope John Paul II once used his crucifix to pick the lock (from the inside) on the Popemobile and go mingle with the crowd.

            1. Oh, that’s chuckle-inducing!

              Dad was a beat reporter when Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines for the first time. After getting crushed by the crowd and stuck in the press of humanity he was able to push his way to the church and ducked into an open doorway. It was cooler inside and he walked in enough so he could catch his breath. He looked up when he heard footsteps and saw the Pope himself with his entourage. The Pope spotted him leaning against the wall and went to bless him. The traditional greeting is to kiss the ring of office (I can’t remember what it’s called right now. no coffee yet) but Dad shook his hand instead, which he said made John Paul II smile. The Pope blessed him and went on his way.

              Mom was quite pouty at my Dad for not having his photo taken with the Pope – as proof that he’d met JP2. XD I reckon it happened too quickly for anything to be done.

                  1. Not to be confused with the Ring of the Fishermen, a secret criminal organization that began 1600 years ago on Sardinia.

                    I would love to tell you more, but were I to do so my life wouldn’t be worth >SNAP<

  23. What of those who think that the “gay agenda” in “celebrate diversity” is part of the problem? Mere tolerance is no longer tolerated. You must actively support and celebrate it or you’re a hating hater who’s deserves (and is facing) unemployment you evil bustard–get your hate off my page!

      1. Some (me included, obviously) view faith as a critical pillar in our society. We view it as one of the walls holding up the roof. Now, stating the belief that those things enumerated in the New testament as sinful are sinful, is frowned upon. Vigorously. There is a cost for us, for holding that opinion.

        Further, the not-so-minor wall of tolerance of those holding other views, as long as there is no attempt to force them upon others is *gone*. I am condemned as a hater for believing the New Testament. I am also condemned as an evil-right-wing-fascist for having lead a Tea Party. It’s so bad that those at the top of our government felt free to call me and mine “terrorists.”

        It appears you believe that my idea of faith isn’t a bearing-wall, but rather a sack of potatoes in the closet. OK, that’s clear. Live and let live. If only those who are in charge of our culture would take such an attitude. THAT is the point!

          1. Actually, I was asking what I thought was a serious and relevant question in the larger context of walls and ceilings. Look up and please note it started with “What of those who think that the “gay agenda” in “celebrate diversity” is part of the problem?” Now we know the answer, as other comments have ascribed malice of intent on my part and used some interesting descriptors, especially in one 1/2-logical and 1/2-rancid response. Seems there is no place for the likes of me in a civilized society.

            Goodbye, ma’am; doubt I’ll bother you again.

        1. Dear me. I really should not read Sarah’s comments at this time of night. I’ll come across something that demands my attention.

          Robin, was there any real reason to throw the “gay agenda” into a discussion of class and behavior? Or is this just your pet hobby horse?

          It’s incredibly rude to throw try to derail a discussion to meet your personal prejudices, and even more rude to go on and claim that the host of the discussion holds views she has never expressed (mostly because they’re not actually her views).

          Now, you are certainly correct that those in power seem to think that those of us who believe that we are capable of leading our own lives without being buried in rules (honestly, instead of using rocks to press prisoners to death they could have used the US legal code) are dangerous and evil and horrible. If that was the actual discussion at hand, you would have made a reasonable point, and even got some agreement.

          *However*, from the start this country has not *ever* been explicitly tied to any religion. Implicitly Christian in outlook, certainly. But that outlook has also been informed by Freethinkers, deists, and of course the works and mindset of Classical antiquity which was quite emphatically *not* Christian. If you were to remove any of those inputs, you would not have the Constitution that was originally envisaged, the one that was ultimately accepted, *or* it’s flawed but still damn solid descendant that we currently – at least in theory – live with.

          *That* Constitution is about the *minimum* necessary laws to maintain a functioning nation and society. It is not about ensuring that things your faith says are sins are banned. That has never worked and will never work.

          Now that I’ve given you far too much attention for your rancid attempt to derail the topic, I suggest you stop and think about good manners and when it’s polite to inject your pet hobby/phobia into an unrelated topic.

          1. Please, it’s not an attempt to derail the topic. Re-read the last paragraph of the original post:

            If it isn’t remember – it’s no longer fun to make fun of the “squares.” “Squares” might be our only hope of surviving this without devolving to medieval (or worse) life standards and having to claw our way back up again for a thousand years or so.

            No, the original post was not about gays per se. But it is expressly ‘on point’ to note that expressing ‘square’ opinions on that topic are increasingly forbidden. It’s entirely probable that this topic will follow the same deliberate societal anesthesization that we experienced years earlier with respect to divorce, fornication, abortion, and so on. So the apologia for ‘square’ opinions reads somewhat falsely, when coupled with progressivism in closely related matters. (It has been observed that many of today’s self-described conservatives are merely interested in conserving the liberal position of thirty years ago.)

            ‘Square’ opinions don’t exist in a moral or rational vacuum. There is a rigorous intellectual tradition underpinning Western civilization, and its name is Catholicism, particularly as filtered through the school of thought known as Scholasticism (i.e., Aquinas et al.). The same road of reasoning that leads to defending family integrity and protection of women also takes you to currently-unfashionable ideas about sexual immorality. You can’t be traveling the road in opposite directions at the same time. (And while there is a strain of evangelicalism that disdains any hint of Catholicism, including its intellectual rigor, they still derive most of their moral beliefs from it anyway — it’s just that they think it is simply ‘common sense’. People have to be immersed in non-Christian society for a while before they can see how medieval Christianity shaped the West.)

    1. I am trying to decide what you are. see anyone who brings up something utterly unrelated to the topic at hand sets off alarm bells in my head. I am not disagreeing with your point BTW just wondering why you need to force it into this discussion. It obviously doesn’t fit. Seems top me that there are four major reasons for you to do this.
      1 Is a blind unreasoning hatred of the gay community, in which case your point is invalid
      2 you might be driven by the androgynous nature of your name, again a reason to ignore you
      3 you may be a follower of the Nehemiah Scudders of the world, again…
      4 you may be a gay agenda troll trying to get someone to say something incriminating again…

      Here we have open discussions of many things but, we dislike trollish behavior and try to eliminate it. I think you need to reassess your ideas and try again. Either that or go away

    2. If I understand you correctly, you are decrying the methods currently being used by such as those who want to cram through not mere tolerance of such things as gay marriage, or at least open declaration of homosexuality and insist on active support for them, lest one be accused of being a bigot?

      If so, then that has been decried here before. Not because of any intolerance of gays or any other particular group who does not directly harm others against their will, but simply because of the force and requirement that tolerance is not good enough.

      However, this is not really apropos to the post above, as it has to do with community standards geared toward protecting women and children, since gays have no particular place in those standards, except possibly in the case of lesbians, because no women or children are harmed if a gay man becomes a drunk slacker, unless he targets someone who is not part of his “family”, and if he does, the standards apply whether he is straight or gay.

      If I unpacked your rather disjointed comment correctly, then I think this is the source of the misunderstanding. The comment appears to come out of nowhere, and makes no sense in the context of the current conversation. It is not impossible for threads here to meander into such territory, but to go directly there was way overboard.

  24. As Patton once wrote, “Not to perform to a standard is to set a new and lower standard.”

    People seldom replace a rejected standard with something better. Replacing black poverty, for example, with LBJ’s Great Society did nothing to reduce the poverty level (we know that now, incontrovertibly) and did instead exchange the possibly-remedied poverty of black life with guaranteed poverty for generation after generation, in the process destroying the black family, churches, and other social institutions.

    To give an example within the science fiction/fantasy purview, Norman Spinrad once wrote a short story about designer drugs (I think for one of the Dangerous Visions but don’t hold me to that) in which the user could tailor his or her reality with a chemical cocktail guaranteed to erase the existential angst of contemporary life.

    In reality, what we got was newer and more immediately destructive ways to a faster and more intense rush, with concomitant destruction of the brain. We didn’t get Dream No, 7, we got bath salts and Krokodil.

      1. Nit, IMO separating religion and state is a Judeo-Christian thing. Older systems didn’t separate them. Islam is playing by a different “rule book” than Christians and Jews.

        1. Some systems, Drak, not all. Islam though seems weighted more on the political and “how to live every day” than religious side.
          BTW that was why Christianity made such inroads. It’s overlooked the tyranny of every day ritual that paganism encourages (and the rule of chieftains, etc.) In that sense Islam is more “pagan” though it started more than a thousand years after Christianity.

          1. Point taken,

            I’m just saying “Islam being more a political system than a religion” ignores how mixed “religion and state” were in some older systems.

            The idea that there are “secular” areas of society isn’t something that was common in the past and is missing in “mainstream” Islam.

          2. “Islam is more “pagan” though it started more than a thousand years after Christianity.” … that startled me.
            Mohammed was born ~570AD, and the history (at least the Wikipedian one) of Islam says a century after the death of Mohammed, the Islamic empire stretched from Spain to the Indus. Seems like rather less than a thousand years. Sorry for going off-topic, but you’re a much better historian than I so: I wondered where that date came from.

            1. Oh. no. I’m just a lousy typist and the typo was strong. I meant “about a thousand” I knew it was seventh century, but the codification, at least in my head hardened around 1k

          3. …Islam …started more than a thousand years after Christianity.

            For negative values of “more than”, perhaps.

            According to others, the Moros brought Islam to Spain by the sword in the 8th century.

        2. If we’re going to strive to use accepted definitions for words, you’d have to call Islam a religion.

          Religion is a word that should have a neutral connotation. It can be good i.e. encourage people to love one another and remind all that there is a purpose to existence; or it could be bad and demand bloody sacrifices of children to objects made of stone (or the doctrine of population control or the destruction of Israel).

          Islam leans to the bad side. So does progressivism for that matter.

        3. Judaism is a lot closer in Islam than to Christianity. It is a political system, with religious rules for what are considered temporal affairs in Christianity. You just don’t see it so much because:

          1. Judaism doesn’t claim universal jurisdiction, the way Islam does and Christianity used to do.

          2. The Romans taught us to be good neighbors and subservient subjects, by crucifying those Jews who weren’t either.

          1. With Judaism, I’m thinking more of the expressed separation of the authority of the High Priest and the authority of the King.

            IIRC Islam doesn’t have that separation.

            1. The separation existed as long as we had kings, but that ended close to two thousand years ago. We haven’t had a high priest for over nineteen centuries. Since then, it had been rule by religious scholars.

  25. “Look, I have absolutely no clue whether Heinlein was right, and whether most marriages are rife with adultery”
    I believe that among his chief influences were Kinsey and Margaret Mead, both of whom ended up being discredited.

  26. “But does the wealth stay once the habits that brought wealth and decent living fall? Do the walls collapse and the roof stay miraculously up?”

    Great point.

    How did you get so far so fast? You (plural) embraced secularism. The values that your community ran on were grounded (imperfectly) on Christianity. For a while, like the Wile E. Coyote you can hang in mid-air running on the fumes of the previous legacy. But then comes the crash.

    I don’t believe this is the first time Britain has been in a bad shape. William Wilberforce, besides abolishing slavery, led for a reformation of manners for a reason. Before a spiritual awakening in the late 1700s or so Britain was in pretty bad shape in that regard, or so I’ve read. I wasn’t there obviously.

      1. Yes secularism. How many actually go to church any more? Not that just going through the motions and being nominally Christian and attending will avail someone much.

        A society can only run on the fumes of previous religiosity for so long. One generation built on solid rock. Future generations began building on sand but kept the form of morality but not the power behind it. The generations after them are swept away, metaphorically speaking. And that’s what you are seeing.

        1. It’s far more complicated than that. Religion in Portugal had probably been from-the-lips out since the middle ages when it was enforced by law, which, btw is a good way to kill a religion. It was secular “decency” that kept people on the straight and narrow, not religion. As an example, men were allowed to have many lovers, provided they looked after their wives and people might snigger if those lovers were male, but it wasn’t the end of the world. And that had been so for centuries.
          Americans have a silly view of this because they have NEVER experienced theocracy in fact or even in manner. PLEASE take it from me: legislating religion never works. You think religion is needed? Go an evangelize.
          (And before you start screaming I’m an atheist, I am myself religious, I just don’t view it as a panacea against being human.)

        2. How many actually go to church any more?

          Pray tell, why is going to church necessary? Jesus said to do your prayers in private. Now, going to church may be an easy to get periodic discourses on the meanings of various passages in scripture, but it is hardly necessary to prove someone religious.

          1. “We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near”

            Also it is the only way to receive the Blessed Sacrament, without which “you do not have life within you. “

            1. I remembered about the Sacrament after I posted the comment, and there is also the function of Baptism, but still, going to church is hardly a measure of being religious, even without mentioning all the hypocrites who merely go to be seen going, and nothing more.

              1. I recall a comment to the effect of: just because you go to church doesn’t make you a Christian, just like walking into your garage doesn’t make you a car… And yes, if you need encouragement or education, Church (of whatever religion) is a great place to go. But it’s by no means an indicator that you’re a good person.

                1. Whether you are a good person is not what’s at dispute. It’s whether their Christianity is anything other than nominal.

                  1. Here we should add the fact that many Portuguese Catholics stay away because the church is solid liberation theology (understood as reading from the little red book, instead of the Bible and not whatever theologians think it is). It was bad when I was there, seems to be worse now. How do you even classify that, Mary? How do you stay a practicing Catholic when the church leaves you behind and worships something that is not religion?

                  1. Another translation, which makes that point clear:
                    “And let us not neglect our meeting together, “

                1. Oh, please. When someone acts like a complete asshole, and does all manner of things that are against the precepts of his religion, whenever he’s not actually inside the church, he’s not religious. He’s only pretending, no matter what he thinks he is.

                  1. And what concern of YOURS is that? Shouldn’t you be worrying about your own soul rather than spending your attention on noticing that the parable of the wheat and tares is true?

                    1. Well, same as it’s my concern when the SJWs grab awards and present themselves to the world as the face of SF/F. If “religious people” everyone knows aren’t, well… what does that do for the reputation of the community of believers.
                      Giving scandal, etc.

                    2. Well Pope Mary The First, since when did we become members of your congregation giving you the moral authority to censure us for not believing as you do. I am happy you have a religion that suits you. I am happy that you have a vagina, I don’t like to have either shoved into my face

                    3. If you look at what I was responding to originally, Geoff was decrying secularism and comparing that with how many people attend church. I’m pointing out that mere attendance in the building doesn’t prove anything. I’m not personally concerned with it, except for the implication that you have to walk through a particular set of doors to be considered religious, and that no matter WHO walks through those doors, he is also considered religious.

                      This kind of ludicrous thinking is one of the reasons I’m agnostic.

                    4. I point out some of Jesus’s most basic and straightforward teachings, and you resort to obscenties?

                    5. ” If “religious people” everyone knows aren’t, well… what does that do for the reputation of the community of believers.
                      Giving scandal, etc.”

                      Deplorable. Unfortunately, we have been solemnly promised that the wheat and tares will grow together until harvest. Any attempt to evade that brings down the wrath of the Gods of the Copybook Headings.

                    6. Mary, it isn’t whether people living scandalously should attend church. It’s whether the congregation should let them.

                      I guess it’s kind of like posting on a website almost.

                    7. ” for the implication that you have to walk through a particular set of doors to be considered religious,”

                      To qualify as practicing a religion, yes, you do have to adhere to its quite explicit tenets, including those that command certain acts.

                      “and that no matter WHO walks through those doors, he is also considered religious.”

                      No one said that but you. A condition can be necessary without being sufficient.

                    8. No, it was yours. Geoff cited the failure to do so as proof of irreligion. You were the one who made the leap from “necessary” to “necessary and sufficient.”

                      If I say that a certain town is full of irresponsible people, because they don’t pay their bills on time, it is no refutation to say that many irresponsible people do pay their bills on time and, instead, drive drunk.

                    9. ..or maybe more to the point, being concerned about the speck in your brother’s eye & ignoring the beam in your own. True enough; to a large extent the gathering of the faithful in a church is a hospital of the walking wounded, seeking fellowship and encouragement from one another, while working at healing their fellowship with God by prayer & the Word & the act of worship. I have known a few who didn’t seem to need the fellowship of other believers; most do better with it.

              2. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. – Matthew 6:5

  27. This might be a nice essay if it weren’t so damn wordy. Yappetty yappetty yappetty yappetty yappetty yappetty STOPPIT !!!

    1. Kindly go soak your head in lime, preferably. I write these for free and early morning. I don’t have time to cut them down to size, as I work for a living.
      Don’t like it? Put it on the side of your plate and go write your own.

    2. Not sure I’ve seen you around before. I would hope that you are socially awkward and trying to be funny. If so, please quit, it isn’t being taken that way. If you aren’t trying to be funny, please quit. We like Sarah’s rambling stories, she is family telling family stories.

      1. I second this comment: there are some things in life that cannot be summarized into a 140-character tweet. Nuances can’t be compressed into witty remarks.

  28. Sarah,
    I’ve not read any of your books but if they’re anywhere near as good as your politico-social commentary, I’ve got some fine reading ahead of me.

    As for your description of life in your village, I experienced something of the same lifestyle in far northern coastal Maine in the 1970’s. People used to know what was right and what was wrong and shame did play a big part in how people lived.

    As an example, I was sleeping with my high school girlfriend for the last two years of high school. Both of us were college-bound honor students; she was a cheerleader and I started on the hockey team. I would have endured bamboo slivers being put under my nails and set on fire before I would ever have admitted the depth of our relationship to anyone on Earth. I knew it would have hurt her reputation and her family to have that knowledge become public. One could see that from the way people talked about other young women who were known to “put out.” Consequently, protecting her from that kind of talk was extremely important to me. Had she become pregnant, there would never have been any doubt of us getting married; it would have happened as quickly as possible so as to make the birth look only slightly premature. If I had a dollar for every time I denied laying a hand on her when I was in high school, I could take us both out to an extremely nice dinner at a very posh restaurant. People could think what they wanted but all they ever heard out of my mouth was that she was a perfect lady, the nicest person I had ever known, and far too good for me.

    Hypocritical? Maybe, but I always thought that I was doing my best to protect her in a matter that was extremely important to her at the time. That was what I was raised to think that decent men did for women in general, much less women they actually loved. Somewhere in the 1980’s and 1990’s our society lost the idea that such thinking–yes, I guess you could call it chivalrous–was good, or even desirable. Maybe women were no longer supposed to need male protection. I do remember the first time I got told off for holding a door open for a woman. I remember thinking that possibly that woman’s behavior was aberrant and then later coming to realize that what was anachronistic was my thinking. There were a lot of women out there who had come to think that polite men were either “sexist” or just saps and fools open to being suckered. As Glenn Reynolds keeps saying, chivalry is dead but it was women who killed it.

    I’m an old man now but I still remember how much I wanted not only to have sexual congress with the woman I loved but to have her respect and admiration as well. I’d have taken a bullet or stepped in front of a bus for her because that’s what I was raised to believe men would do for the women they loved. Now it appears that both men and women just “hump” and find themselves befuddled at the emotions that go along with the physical sensations. This talk of “the walk of shame” just makes me feel so sad for these young people. It used to be that for a young man to be taken into a young woman’s life in that way was a huge step toward a probable lifelong commitment. Now it seems like sex has about the same significance as casual friendship. That’s bad for everyone involved and even worse if children should be the result of such a relationship. They will undoubtedly suffer more than anyone involved from a situation not of their making.

    Maybe women don’t need men very much now. It surely seems that way. Lots of women certainly seem to truly dislike men and act like they think they’re worthless. My observation on that behavior is that nothing good will come from that animosity and that a world where men reciprocate that dislike is going to be a pretty awful one for women. I have a young daughter and I actively fear for her future because I’m afraid she’s going to grow up in a world where men both dislike and distrust women. The juxtaposition of a collapsing moral structure and an increasing amount of intersexual contempt isn’t going to be good for anyone. However, I suspect it’s going to be a great deal worse for women. I also suspect it’s not going to be a whole lot longer before we find out if I’m correct about these concerns.

    1. Great observations and a great post.

      Lots of women certainly seem to truly dislike men and act like they think they’re worthless.

      I think it’s a two-way street with the “H8ers” (love that term) of whatever sex having the megaphone. You have women saying men are not needed (and young males hearing this and believing it) and young men praising porn queens, “swingers” and pornographers (and having young women hearing it and taking it to heart).

      Just look at how heroically Larry Flynt, one of the most despicable people this nation has ever produced, is portrayed by our major cultural outlets.

      1. Just look at how heroically Larry Flynt, one of the most despicable people this nation has ever produced, is portrayed by our major cultural outlets.
        Bill Lawrence

        Larry Flynt was a useful tool and easily at hand for the kneepads generation of females to grab and use to bash at anyone critical of their Romeo, the Arkansas hound dog, bill “Slick Willie” clinton.

        1. Hey, guys, I get the impression that Micha is under the misguided impression he’s in a quite different site and attempting to start a fight. It’s almost — but not quite — endearing.

        2. Micha, on the chance you’re not trolling, Flynt — just like those loud “feminists” — supported and defended Clinton.

          Flynt and Gloria Steinem, no matter how much they claim to hate each other, are on the same side.

          (And Larry is the one getting what he wants)

    2. “I do remember the first time I got told off for holding a door open for a woman. I remember thinking that possibly that woman’s behavior was aberrant and then later coming to realize that what was anachronistic was my thinking. …chivalry is dead but it was women who killed it.”

      Mac – I was in the same stage of life in small-city agricultural part of the state of Washington just a few years before you; parents from the Mid-west. I understand those values perfectly, although I didn’t have the fortune to meet my wife until college. Difference is, maybe, I’m more quick-reaction rebellious: for those values I’m sure of, such as the value of showing chivalrous respect, I’m more likely to laugh at (or ironically bow to) the poor, deluded feminist who is only hurting herself by rejecting a courtesy. Chivalry is only dead in those individual relationships where it is allowed to be.

  29. Sarah, I think you note (but miss) one huge, critical point. The village model allowed kids with messed-up parents to go spend time with normal parents. This allowed them to grow up normal. The single-parent model (or married-couple working two jobs ) causes the parents to have no time to actually parent; the lack of extended family (or well-known neighbors) means the kids have no place to go: quite literally, many are trapped in hell.

    In psychology, ones ‘attachment’ is set by the time one is 3-4 years old; kids with anxious/insecure attachment aren’t able to form stable long term relationships: they don’t know how, and even if they fall into one, because they’re anxious, they’ll keep on testing how strong it is until it falls apart. So they wind up with a lot of shallow-relationships, a string of boy/girlfriends, and typically will have kids sooner rather than later (because the kids can’t escape, so they’re guaranteed to be around for at least a decade).

    This attachment is permanent – and I see people who are highly successful in business have a string of divorces or bad relationships, or no relationships at all.

    When things get pushed really far, then kids can become borderline, which is signified by huge abandonment issues. Borderlines will say anything and do anything to get into a relationship, and then do/say anything to keep the other person from leaving – including perjury, destroying the other person’s relationships with their family, etc. They are massively destructive.

    Quite literally, we are establishing a society of emotionally maladjusted people, and the problem will last at least as long as everybody alive today is alive.

    The solution is that village model: people with attachment issues are going to feel more secure in them (so fewer single-parent families), but most importantly the kids will be able to be raised with fewer of them having attachment issues. It took a couple of generations to create the problem, it’ll take a couple of generations to fix it.

    Once you study psychiatry, the problem is both far worse than you thought, yet happily far simpler to solve – but it takes time. And some effort.

  30. Late to this party, I guess.

    I see a serious lack of self-respect in the ‘low-class’ behavior. It is sad to see women degrade themselves. Men, too. I don’t know how it happens other than they are not taught those principles in the home or church or school or society. It seems as though the glue has been lost and we are seeing the results. I know that some might argue that this underbelly has existed all along, but that now with 24 hour press, etc, it is not hidden. However, it seems as though it is much worse than I would have imagined in general – I’m not naive, however, I am disappointed.

    Personally, it makes me damn glad my parents had very high standards and enforced them….the enforcing is what made the difference. Also, my respect for them…I’m in late middle age and still don’t want to disappoint them.

    Your point about the grannies enforcing the civilization aspect is spot on. As we go through a round of societal deconstruction, it seems we are learning there are good reasons for many of the things we’ve done in society that seemed merely knee-jerk or rote. I hope that we don’t destroy things altogether and have to relearn all of it.

  31. I was raised in an East European immigrant community in the U.S., and my wife was raised in a traditional society in Asia. Both have enough similarities and enough differences with the village you describe to make me wish there were a book that covered enough case studies to extract some common principles. We would certainly buy it as we wrestle with the question of how the heck to raise our kids in the Bizarro World of today’s America: we had kids late in life, and unfortunately my community has been completely assimilated and my wife’s country thoroughly colonized by modernity.

    On another note, am I the only person who doesn’t know what the heck is “peasant bed” in the context of “day old peasant bed fried in lard”? And by the way, mmmmm, lard.

      1. Nice dodge. The older generations always point the wagging finger at the younger generations. Some people maintain traditions and others don’t as you so aptly are lamenting. That those who maintained them are the same age as those who refused to maintain them but then judges those that don’t, does not allow you to get off the hook for generational discrimination. Social mores and norms change over time. Your rigidity in judgement and finger pointed is barely to left of Phyllis Schlafly.

        1. Please get over yourself. Or at least try not to fling wild accusations in the blog of a libertarian who doesn’t particularly care what “the young generations” do unless it’s seriously detrimental. I have no idea how old you think I am. Hint, not-a-boomer.
          I think you should take a good look in the mirror and realize you’re not a special snow flake and that a society that hates itself will not last.

          1. Ah, Libertarian. That explains your confusion whereby you write a lengthy piece about people not maintaining standards and then reply to me that you don’t “particularly care”. And yes, you are a baby boomer because you were born between 1946 – 1964. That also explains a lot. You’re no different than all the other grannies extolling the virtues of the 1950’s. Have a nice day.

            1. I am not a Libertarian. I’m a libertarian. World of difference. As for baby boomers:
              Look, you idiot, baby boomers are a media category which is why it makes no sense. My life doesn’t fit any “boomer” stereotype. No one’s does, except maybe Kerry’s and Clinton’s, but even so. in 1662 I was being born and in 1968 I wasn’t protesting anything. By the time I hit school, classrooms were being shuttered. There were too few of us. WHAT BOOM?
              We didn’t go to the sit ins. We didn’t get anything handed to us. OUR PARENTS WERE OFTEN BOOMERS.
              The 64 nonsense is an extension by the boomers to seem relevant. We came after. They’ve tried to tell us we’re the “jones” generation, hankering after what they have. PFUI. The boomers were conceived after WWII. What kind of WWII ended in the sixties? The one in your ignorant mind? How can you buy that nonsense?
              As for hankering for the fifties, you didn’t bother even glancing at other posts on this blog, did you? HOW THE HELL COULD I HANKER FOR SOMETHING I NEVER LIVED IN? And which never existed except in TV land.
              You might be too stupid to live. Don’t forget to inhale after you exhale, okay?
              As for “extolling the virtues of grannies” — note that I left the country. And I’ve written about how restrictive a village is.
              I just think going through life stupid and hating your own culture so much you leave the road open for barbarians is no way to go through life, son.
              I’ll have a nice day. You on the other hand, you poor child, might be beyond redemption.

                    1. Seems right to me. Insty as the Puppy Blender, Larry C as the Evil Lord of the Evil League of Evil, Sarah as the Vampire Queen. Characters for a heroic graphic novel!

                    2. Sarah’s tytle is getting wordy… Vampier Princess Space Queen…

                      Wait! Is that the correct order or am I confussed as usual?

                    3. Vampier? Than whom? Admittedly she can Vamp with the best but, always let people know who she is outdoing

                    4. Now, now. She was the Beautiful But Evil Space Princess (not Queen), so to add the new title, I believe she would become the Beautiful But Evil Space Vampire Princess.


                    5. Not really, somebody could be a Princess in one Kingdom and be the Queen of another Kingdom. [Wink]

                    6. Ooh, or maybe Queen is the job and Princess is a description of her rank– kind of like how Kazul is king of the dragons, even though she’s female? (Queen of the Dragons is a dull job.)

                    7. That makes it look like she’s a space vampire, not a vampire princess….

                      Beautiful but Evil Space Princess Vampire?

                      Beautiful but Evil Space Princess,EOV*?

                      Beautiful but Evil Vampyric Space Princess?

                      Beautiful but Evil Vampieric Space Princess?

                      There’s gotta be something we can do to spice up the vampire thing….

                      *Eternal Order of Vampires, of course.

                    8. WHY can’t she be Beautiful AND Evil!!! The two are not (pace Elizabeth Bathory) mutually exclusive or even slightly contradictory.

                      Sure, they don’t go together like “handsome” and “devil”, but that is because of deep-seated societal biases.

                      Besides, I just don’t think it a prudent strategy to begin the catalogue “Beautiful but …”

                    9. Why, because a woman being evil is unusual, of course, and beautiful comes first because that is likely what will be noticed first.

                      *nods wisely*

                    10. Hai desu. And I’m on Cold Days right now, since I’m doing a pleasant re-read of what I have of the Dresden Files (which seems entirely necessary after a new book is released. At least once.)

                      … *mournfully* I’ll have to get new copies soon. My first set is well loved and as much as I’d like to have them in hardback for durability, my hubby notes that the shelves are bowing in the middle as it is…

                    11. If you must buy new you could always buy e-editions; that way you can enjoy them in a way unavailable to Dresden.

                      The audiobook editions are superb.

                    12. I’ll have to consider the audiobook editions sometime – mp3 CD on Amazon doesn’t seem too bad, costwise, but I’ll have to consider shipping costs, which tend to kill my wallet, because I live outside the US/Canada.

                      I might be able to get some from Book Depository – Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril and Summer Knight are available for less than 10 AUD each but the more recent ones are listed for fifty or so dollars (which is why I never went for it before) and I tend to listen to music, as opposed to talk radio; hence being unsure of getting an Audible membership.

                      But even if I did get audiobooks I’ll probably still end up buying new copies. (I’m still working on getting The Belgariad and Malloreon omnibuses, and I’ll have them hardbound.)

                      I like buying new to support authors. ^.^ I think I killed my ‘buy books’ budget for two months and a half though, buying books off of Amazon last night (The McGuffey readers. I really don’t want my kids to become someone who doesn’t like reading and is too lazy to do it.)

                    13. I dunno — I could build an argument that Amoral is functionally equivalent to Evil, but that’s thirsty work and I have many a mile to go.

                    14. Mab and the Leannansidhe are not amoral. They have a moral code. It’a just not the one you or I live by. No more evil than a cat playing with a mouse. Not to conflate their nature with their morality.

                      The way they see it (I think having never been a Sidhe) is it’s not their fault if you do not know the rules and get yourself into trouble.

                      Hell! Their morality is their weekness.


                  1. Definitely the cats. *nods sagely* Though back in the day for me it was ‘try to type past pet chicken perched on wrists.’

                    (Aside whisper) You could always write a fictional interview – that’ll definitely throw them, Sarah! (and we’d totally buy it. Bookish vampires ftw?)

            2. OMG, are you for real? You come in and act like 1) you actually read and understood what Sarah wrote and 2) then condemn her for things she never said. Then, when you rightly got smacked for it, you started moving the goal posts and accusing Sarah et al of being in the wrong for not asking you to clarify your comments. First of all, you should make sure your comments make sense and are clear before hitting the frigging enter button. Second, you need to grow the hell up and get over yourself.

              As for your comment about her being a baby boomer, sorry but no. If you actually did a little bit of research and didn’t rely on wiki or other dubious sources, you would see that the year range for boomer births has changed as advertisers have needed it to. First it went to the mid to late 50’s. That made sense because what were the baby boomers? They were babies born as soldiers returned home from World War II. Later it expanded to 1960 because the advertising demographic became more important than anything else. It went to 1963/64 because Kennedy’s assassination became a good place to cut off because that was the end of Camelot.

              Another thing, the baby boomer generation generally only applies here in the States, iirc. Something you seem to keep forgetting or not understanding is that Sarah wasn’t born here. She didn’t grow up here.

              As for her extolling the virtues of the 1950’s, where? I don’t see her saying we all need to become June and Ward Cleaver. Nor do I see her saying we need to put women back in the proverbial kitchen — oh, wait, I think that was you and a couple of others who at least alluded to that. Maybe you’re the granny.

              I suggest before you bother responding to this or anything else on ATH that you go back and actually read some of Sarah’s other posts and the comments. You might learn something. Until then, shut the hell up and work on your reading comprehension.

            3. The fellow who write this:

              Oh the kids these days and other forms of generation discrimination?

              Unblinkingly followed up with:

              You’re no different than all the other grannies extolling the virtues of the 1950’s.

              So sneering generation discrimination is fine for thee, but not for Sarah? Your minders put a cork on your fork so that you don’t put out your own eye, don’t they?

              1. Is it hypocritical of me to find this dust ups funny and intereting reading from the outside. (Adressed to no one, just asking in general.)

                Cork… Fork… good one.

                  1. Wayne,


                    Work on it. I think that was a lot of my problem. I’m working on seeing the humor in myself and the situations I find myself.

                  1. I especially enjoy the examples of precision marksmanship, since I tend toward overkill-a-fly-with-a-hammer myself.

            4. Aaaand someone goes and shows when “you are a flaming moron” is the most rational response.

              Waaa waaa waaa, how dare you not fit in my neat little boxes, here wait while I show that I can’t recognize that some libertarians aren’t just whining about being told what to do, here let me accept the BS that the guys I’m complaining about put in.

              Quit being an embarrassment to my generation. If you’re a millennial or not, you come across like an especially spoiled example.

              This might be enlightening reading… if you can manage to understand what is said, something your prior behavior here does not suggest you will manage:

              I’ll start with a clarification – I’m not sure when in heck the media started defining boomers as going from 46 to 64, but they can stop it already. I was born in 62 and until the nineties no one ever referred to me as a boomer. This was when boomer was a proud designation, all the good people in movies and sitcoms were boomers. We were… something else. We never joined communes, the ones of our generation who smoked A LOT of pot were usually troubled (not just part of what everyone was doing.) We – as PJ O’Rourke says at one point and I wish I could remember where – were dragged to the sit ins and didn’t sit down. We were lectured about the age of aquarium and kind of nodded. Then we cut our hair, put on our suits (in girls’ case skirt suits.

              My generation – those born, say 57 on to 67 – had no name. We still don’t. The ones the media has tried to put on us, when not claiming we’re boomers, are repulsive. “Jones generation” because they said we had a “jones” for what the boomers had is just silly.

            5. Oh Jesus Hopping Christ on a skateboard. You really are a special kind of stupid aren’t you?

              No, Sarah is not a boomer, she’s in that weird generation between the boomers and Gen-X.

              Are you capable of reading for comprehension? I mean obviously, you odious little turd, you are at least semi-literate, but can you understand what you read?

              Sarah did not extol the virtues of any one set of standards, twit, except to suggest we need SOME standards. Moron.

              If there are no standards, then anything goes. How then, oh pimple on an abscess, if anything goes do we know right from wrong?

              Moreover, oh spawn of a $2 whore and a syphilitic goat herder, a community without standards _must_ eventually fall to anarchy. Where we differ with the left, is not only in what the standards should be, but who enforces them and sets them. What Sarah pointed out to anyone with a I.Q. higher than a retarded amoeba’s is that this works best when the members of a community sets and enforces the standards, not the bloody government. However in a free society, you are certainly free to seek a community where the standards match yours — which Sarah DID.

              Do you get it now? Fuckwit?

              1. I think the issue Sarah raised is not that anything goes in the way of standards, nor that a particular set of standards is optimal, but that a community has to have some set of standards that works. As in, works to preserve the future of the species and of its civilization. If you lose/don’t care about that, you fail.

              1. On the other hand, I know a woman younger than you (or me), who has at least three grandchildren, one of them being something like 10 years old.

                Let’s see, though – if you’re two years younger than Sarah, that makes you my age, and I have two boys, 21 and 18, so yeah.

              2. My older son is 23. I COULD be a granny, I suppose, but not with college kids who intend on complex specialties. I adopted a practice grandson, but even he is very new — 3 months old, so granny… um… no.

        2. Dodge? She answered your question. As for the rest of it, I suggest you go back and read the post. Make sure you have your dictionary close by or someone to explain the big words to you since you obviously have trouble understanding what was written. Better yet, spend some time reading other posts on this blog. I have a feeling if you do — and if you do so with an open mind — you will see just how wrong you are with the insult you’ve just flung her way.

        3. The fail is truly strong here. Sarah has not said the government should step in and enforce standards, she has said that in the past individual communities enforced the standards, not by law, but by custom.

          She also rightly points out that the degrading of standards has led us to a terrible pass.

          She has not stated what those standards should be, nor has she suggested that every community hold to a specific set of standards.

          There is, however, one rather specific set of standards — call them “Western Values” — which have worked over the centuries to create a civilization the likes of which the world has never seen before — enlightened, tolerant and mostly benevolent.

          The “values” and lack of standards the left would — well not enforce, but I suppose impose — upon us all will be the destruction of that civilization.

          Whether the world Sarah grew up in is the best of all possible is debatable. What is not debatable, sir, is that the world as it now exists, Western Civilization as it now exists, is not conducive for any number of reasons to the health, mental or otherwise, of it’s citizens.

          The key, I think — and that which leads to Rotherdam — is the refusal to acknowledge that some systems, some cultures are simply better than others. Simply work better. Simply protect their people better. Which, in the end is the reason we band together into communities.

          In short sirrah, you are an arrogant lackwit who knows little of to whom he speaks or for that matter of history.

          1. Sarah has not said the government should step in and enforce standards, she has said that in the past individual communities enforced the standards, not by law, but by custom.

            Sarah has many a time said that government imposed standards will fail, ought to fail and are as bad as the lack of standards.

            The key, I think — and that which leads to Rotherdam — is the refusal to acknowledge that some systems, some cultures are simply better than others.

            The truth the MultiCulties refuse to recognize is that a point in every direction is the same as no point at all. In a world where one party preaches coexistence and other parties preach dominance, somebody will be dominant — so y’all best participate in the decision, else the dominated be you. As Heaven is not available, best plan to rule in Hell.

  32. I think we’ve come full circle: Being ‘square’ is now transgressive, and “1950s household” is a recognized kink in the fetish community.

    How to make polygamy work has a solution that’s simple but not easy: Make everyone a genius. That’s the one Heinlein used in his works, or at least hinted at.

    But a big piece of the real-world problem is how to make monogamy work without having “a genuinely patriarchal society in the sense that women had almost no power,” without forcing everyone into what would now be called a serious, full-time BDSM relationship. Even if it’s ‘only’ a 1950s household fetish sort of BDSM relationship. If that problem could be solved (other than by the ‘solution’ of “don’t have monogamy”) then I think a lot of the other pieces would fall into place.

      1. But the point of your original post is that you’re an exception: Monogamy has worked fine for you. Not so much for all those other people.

        I believe that the old patriarchy was essential to the old system for making monogamy the general rule rather than an exception. So if we want monogamy to be the general rule again, WITHOUT bringing back the old patriarchy (or something like it) then we need a new system. I don’t believe that simply bringing back the old system “only with the harsh patriarchal bits removed” will work.

        1. It works fine for tons of people in the states. MY FRIENDS ARE MONOGAMOUS. It takes a deeply sick culture for monogamy to become abnormal. France after WWII for instance.
          If you think that’s the point of my post, you’re insane.
          Harsh patriarchy doesn’t SOLVE ANYTHING. You people who think turning feminism on its head = true are fugging bog nuts.
          Islam has higher rates of adultery than any other culture and most hymen reconstructions than… anywhere ever.
          Please take a look at history instead of thinking that because everything you were told is a lie, then the inverse must be the truth. HUMANS ARE NOT THAT SIMPLE.

          1. To put it a different way, the community standards Sarah was talking about, as well as the way they were enforced, were there to guide those who DID stray from their path back onto it, not to dictate how everything should be done.

            What is not quite as obvious there is that there would have been (I’m guessing here) a certain tolerance for minor misdeeds which were kept quiet and did not do serious harm to anyone, as long as it didn’t slide into more serious things.

            1. There were. No one was expected to be perfect. You were just expected to be “decent.”
              But it takes a culture that has lost its head to no longer teach these guidelines to the young. And it’s the beginning of a slide that could end up with people picking far less lenient/human rules.
              I must stop writing posts in Mandarin Chinese.

              1. You might be better understood if you did write in Mandarin Chinese. [Sad Smile]

        2. But the point of your original post is that you’re an exception
          Say what? Did you miss the part where Sarah said the people who got a grounding in a sane culture are continuing to live sanely, but the ones who got fed the massive pile-o-bull can’t keep relationships going and are making a total mess of things.

          That does not mean “an exception”. It means there’s a class/ cultural split that’s causing massive issues as it migrates from its original source (lower class without aspirations of better) through an increasingly stressed and weakened middle class (and the aspiring working class and the professional upper middle class, and… well, pretty much everything except the very top and the very bottom).

          What made monogamy the rule rather than the exception wasn’t the “patriarchy”, it was the social cohesion that meant that someone who didn’t follow the social norm was frowned on and to some extent frozen out. Those who followed the norms in most cases were allowed their eccentricities on the grounds that “they might be a bit odd by their our odd”.

          The most rigidly patriarchal societies today don’t have that, and they don’t have monogamy.

          1. Part of the problem is a culture which actively misrepresents what love is. It is not the hormonally driven lust which gives rise to soppy poetry, deep heaving sighs and calf-like mooning.

            Love is the confidence and security that develops and replaces that delirium, feeding on the confidence generated by the knowledge that you have somebody who has your back, who is committed to building a life (not just an orgasm.)

            We’ve given our kids cherry lifesavers and told them that is what a cherry tastes like.

            1. “attachment” (a psychological term) is set by the time we are 3 or 4. People how are insecure/anxious attachment never believe that anyone will actually ever be there – they are, unfortunately, incapable of it. It’s like being colorblind. Pretty depressing thought – to spend your life living like that. Once I came to understand it, I’ve noticed a lot of people who show those symptoms. People who have serial marriages, or parallel boyfriends/girlfriends, or who are very promiscuous, who join gangs (as teens) or cults (as adults) or who are 50 years old and party with their kids, to name a few examples.

              Since so many problems stem from attachment problems, and it’s set at such a young age, I’ve been talking with various psychologists and sociologists about how to set up some sort of housing that would give very small children more access to safe adult parenting – so that the kids will develop secure attachment, and not display all of those self-damaging behaviors.

              1. Didn’t you say you were leaving because everybody here is just a bunch of poopy heads?

                Boiling complex social issues down to a single variable is sloppy psychology and sloppier sociology.

                1. I am unaware of making any claim that attachment was the only factor. I certainly don’t believe it to be true. That’s something you chose to see, that I hadn’t said.

                  Conservativism is doomed.

                  1. I suspect you don’t write half so clearly as you imagine you do.

                    Nor leave as fast as you promise to.

        3. I think you missed that imagining a system that didn’t have monogamy as a general rule is what caused the problems– few generations late for the whole “overturn monogamy” bandwagon. Generation before our Hostess hopped on that, and– mixing metaphors– left us with the tab.

    1. But a big piece of the real-world problem is how to make monogamy work without having “a genuinely patriarchal society in the sense that women had almost no power,”

      How about people just loving each other and putting the other ahead of themselves? How about people putting God first?

      Traditional sex roles were not created to oppress women. When life expectancy is 40 and the only child birth is natural and there is no electro-magnetic motors or internal combustion engine, the tradition way really does make a lot of sense.

      OTOH, when the life expectancy is about 80 and grueling and dangerous physical labor is relatively rare, they start making less sense.

      Regarding political power, the way to handle it is to find out who really, really, really wants to be the boss and then do everything you can to keep that person from being it.

    2. After 50 years of married life, the only thing I find doesn’t fit well in a traditional monogamous household is two adults with different strong career interests that would necessarily cause them to spend most of their time too far apart to have an actual relationship. Emphasis on ‘necessarily’ – generally depends on priorities, whether marriage or career comes first; this should be thought about before creating the marriage.
      Everything else, with mutual love and genuine respect, can generally be worked out.

    3. How to make polygamy work has a solution that’s simple but not easy: Make everyone a genius. That’s the one Heinlein used in his works, or at least hinted at.

      (Shudder) Heinlein’s characters, who did indeed tend to be geniuses, were remarkably well-adapted geniuses, and unlikely to be found in the real world in quantity. Geniuses have a tendency to be maladapted, and often have personality quirks that would strain Mother Theresa.

        1. Yeah. I think too many school professionals still haven’t gotten over their resentment of the bright kids.

    4. I think we’ve come full circle: Being ‘square’ is now transgressive, and “1950s household” is a recognized kink in the fetish community.

      So… it’s hip to be square?

      *runs for cover*

  33. Women decided (not men) that they do not wish to be bound by (or to bind other women) to the standards that the old ladies did in your village. Women have decided they want to be free. And they have gotten what they asked for.

    Case on point: My stay-at-home wife never cleans up the house for herself or for me. She cleans it up for other women. If I ask her to clean the house, she goes off on a “female oppression” shtick. But if other women are coming over, she cleans it thoroughly and without prompting. When women decide they want to enforce social norms, then decent behavior will return. Not until then. Right now they are enjoying their freedom.

    Case on point: I have never heard a man call a loose woman a “slut”. They call her “fun”. It is women who call each other “sluts” and thereby enforce female norms of behavior. Only now they don’t.

    1. women decided, did they? There was no indoctrination — rather determined — by the agit prop of another country.
      And what the heck? I clean so the family doesn’t die. I clean extra hard for anyone male or female I’m not familiar with. It’s called “putting your best foot forward.”

    2. I have read that control (i.e. restriction) of women who were “loose” or beautiful was long done by the other women who felt threatened by them. If you do game-theory on the idea, it makes perfect sense: the last thing a woman wants in town is a woman who’s somewhat free with her favors, or who is beautiful and can’t be controlled in some way.

      In a similar vein, as the joke goes: women dress sharp for other women. If they dressed for men, they’d just go around naked.

      There’s a lot of psychological studies out there that back this stuff, but it’s definitely not PC. So everybody quietly ignores it. But ignoring truths doesn’t make them go away.

      1. Oh, good heavens. We know about those studies, and if you think we’re PC your reading comprehension is lacking.
        THAT is still happening, malgre the feminists.
        But it’s hard to counter it when the culture in general starts telling a woman doing anything to please her husband is wrong. That staying at home with her kids is wrong. That having more than two kids is wrong.
        And at the same time, culture makes it very easy for her husband to replace her when she’s old/ugly.
        Do you understand this? Let me speak in small words: the place to fight is the beachheads of culture, music, literature, even news.
        It is not government. Nothing is lost yet. We’re a bit wobbly over here, yes, but not lost. Europe is something else. THEY TRUSTED GOVERNMENT.
        The problem is not men or women: it’s the culture and a government that makes women a special interest group. This is not going to be cured by making men a special interest group. That’s Marxism and the way for government to control you.
        We’ve not always been at war with Eurasia. READ history and learn it. And stop assuming things are that simple.
        Women are not other than humans. They’re not alien creatures. They respond to the same things men respond to more or less. Yes, there are differences. I will have a neuro-specialist discuss the differences, soon. (He promised.) BUT they’re NOT what you expect.

        1. I believe you completely misunderstand me. I’m in complete agreement with you. However, since you feel the need to talk to me with “small words” – if the best you can do is imply people who disagree with you are stupid, then you’re no worse than the liberals you criticize. I would propose instead that you ask for clarification and show respect. You know, taking the high road, being better than your enemies, and all that.

          I’ll now bow out of the site. Best of luck to you all. I lasted less than a day.

              1. Your Bonsai analogy was quick to the draw – so fast that you didn’t bother to understand me, before claiming that I was saying something that I wasn’t, then making a snarky comment.

                At least the liberal sites have better insulters. Conservativism is doomed if this is how you treat people who agree with you.

                1. Oh, I thought I had understood you when I asked if you were using sarcasm, because that was the natural use of the comment I was referencing, but since you said you were NOT using sarcasm, I reinterpreted it in that light.

                  1. This one is a puzzler guys. Throw him behind the fridge if you wish. He keeps saying outrageous stuff and complaining we didn’t understand him. Any of us. Must be his superior intellect blinding us.

                    1. I thought I was being pretty straightforward. I didn’t say I thought big government was good, just that big government’s primary focus was on making government bigger, and people dependent on it. But somebody decided to claim I said something I didn’t, then said I was wrong, and thought he’d been really cute with a Bonsai comment. But snarkiness isn’t the same as citing “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

                      Then I got confused with some guy who’s married and whose wife apparently only cleans house when her friends or guests come over. And I got blamed for that.

                      Anybody here actually interested in conversation and figuring out how to make things better, or is it all just put-downs and blaming X for something Y said?

                    2. OK, time to step back a moment.

                      Here’s the comment I started out referring to:

                      Personal responsibility is the Kryptonite to big government. Do you expect that big government would support that which would end a need for big government?

                      After some confusion in responses there, I asked if that was intended as sarcasm, because at that point, that would be expected to be sarcasm from a person who actually believes in smaller government. When you said it was not, the implication became that you considered larger government to be the proper thing. If that is not what you meant, then you have a misunderstanding of communication conventions, which, frankly, is not all that uncommon. I am not claiming a guru-level of understanding, myself, here, either. Just that I’m more familiar with this facet than you appear to be.

                      I’m perfectly willing to backtrack and consider that you’ve been misunderstood, and go forward with it.

                    3. I think we are all a little burnt out on this thread. And the locals are having an overload problem from too many people from the earlier mentioned game site. Come back another day when things aren’t quite so nutso and see if we understand you then. So much bull has been flung the last couple of days we can’t find the cow. I even snapped at someone who is a well meaning ditz for being a well meaning ditz

            1. You state that you don’t understand me, don’t ask for clarification, and just say that because you don’t understand me, ergo I’m wrong. Sounds like Bill Maher.

              1. Go back and READ everything you wrote. why should I ask for clarification? From my perspective, you came in, insulted me and all my commenters, and then flung off in a huff when offered the mildest of rebuffs.
                I’m starting to see why your wife doesn’t clean for you. You probably come home and say “Hey, lazy slut? Why you no clean” and then act offended when she’s upset. “You didn’t ask for clarification.”

                1. Umm… Sorry – you need to go reread the threads. I made no comment at all about wives not cleaning for me. I’m not married, for starters. You’ve confused me with someone else.

                2. It was Big Bill, not Tom, who claimed his wife didn’t clean. Tom jumped on the thread immediately afterwards, though. I don’t think Big Bill reappeared. (I’m not going to insist that they are entirely separate individuals, though.)

                    1. Heck — he insisted he was gone but apparently got his butt caught in the door for twenty minutes on the way out.

                      Apparently he is sufficiently accustomed to getting bounced from sites to keep metrics on it — but insufficiently thoughtful to ponder that it might be him what’s out of step, not the world.

                  1. I’m definitely not “Big Bill” – LOL. You must deal with a lot of multiple personalities or something – this site reminds me of a Philip K. Dick novel. he continually explored what was reality and what was identity – what makes you, you.

                    1. I’m starting to think meds are involved, and/or someone attempting to troll with all the success of a toothless wiener dog trying to maul a Saint Bernard. I know my response is roughly on par with the StB in that case….

          1. Aww, hast thou hadst thy widdle fewwings huwt?

            Dost thy mangina hurt?

            Hast thou sand in thy privates?

            And in fact Sirrah we were not implying you were stupid, but stating such explicitly.

      2. If they dressed for men NO woman would go around naked. She’d wear just enough to make men want to see what’s being hidden, and just enough to ensure that his eye doesn’t notice figure flaws — such as a harter belt to hide the fact she’s got scarcely any waist, high heels to hide the cankles, french cut briefs to elongate the legs and hide the razor burn …

        What holds a guy’s attention is not what he sees, it is what he thinks he might see.

    3. So… you married a woman that you then whine about not cleaning the house when “prompted” by you, and you have such poor taste in male friends– note I do not call them “men,” as you do; I think that implies something a bit more noble– that they think a slut is “fun.”

    1. The ones I’ve seen with similar names have been common names like Tom and Alan. If we get in a troll named Cutelildrow or Jasini, I’ll be more suspicious.

      1. I did have one troll try to imitate me after he finally snapped. It was not an enjoyable experience, though his whingeing when I pointed it out to the admins and his account got banned was oddly soothing. (He had to make a brand new account just to whinge at the “oppression”.)

    2. I have this sudden Wizard of Oz-esque scene where whomever coordinates the SJW ranks pointed at this blog and screeched.

  34. I remember Brad Delong from years ago on the Bar. I don’t think he’s exactly a troll. Though he doesn’t exactly listen either.

  35. Sorry to be late. As a guy from Spain, who has your age, I can relate to what you say. I saw how the “old system” worked. The “old system” worked for multiple millennia (since the invention of agriculture. Yes, it was not perfect (nothing human is) but it was decent. We are only a few decades into the “new system” and the cracks are showing. See the black ghetto or the Indian reserve to see where our society is going.

    The old system had aspects that were considered unacceptable. For example, the regulation of sexuality. We, modern people, were happy to discard them basing on some half-baked ideas (reject oppression, be your self, follow your bliss) that looked good on paper but with really bad unintended consequences in practice. We were not aware that these aspects were there FOR A REASON. When we discarded them, we discarded the basis of civilization and the protection of women and kids.

    We were know-it-alls. We were moderns. Everybody before us was dumb and oppressive. We were enlightened and we were going to reject the hard lessons painfully learned during millennia and start from scratch. How proud of us. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

    Our civilization is declining because some

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