Upon Reflection

*For those curious about the Meet The Character Blog Tour, to which I was challenged by Jagi Lamplighter, they are up at Amanda’s Post, Jody Lynn Nye Doug Dandrige and Dave Freer.  My own post is here:Meet His Grace, Seraphim Ainsling, Duke of Darkwater.

Because of today’s post, I feel required to say: I don’t know if any of these people agree with me politically, and I couldn’t care less.  (Actually I do know. Most of them don’t agree with me.  And I’m cool with that.)

For those who are looking for Kate’s post — she forgot and I forgot to remind her.  I’ll try to get one from her for tomorrow.*

Upon Reflection

I’ve been following #Gamergate with some interest. I’m not a gamer. I’m really an incredibly stodgy person – no seriously – who only reads for entertainment. Okay, reads, does carpentry and crochet and disturbs elephants and goes look at dino bones, and—

Right, but when it comes to the triad of entertainment of the modern age, the video forms leave me blah (my dad used to introduce this characteristic to people as though it were a handicap, which in the modern age it probably is: this is my daughter, and she doesn’t like television.) And games… well, the last one I got captured by that cost me a full year was tetris back in pre-history.

I’ve tried others, mind you, but they fall into two categories “failed to capture my interest” and “this is too much like work.” In the later category fall the planet and civilization building games and the array of sims. If I’m going to be creating civilizations, I d*mn well want to be paid.

The same goes for RPG games, btw. I once – for about two hours – “gamed” to get out of a tight plotting spot, but the problem there is more that I’d have to assemble a gamer’s group (I only ever had the one friend who did a demo game with me) and then I’d have to block out time. Last time I had a steady group for anything it was a writers’ group and politics done nuked that deep and hard.

Which actually brings us to the post.

In the triad of entertainment I indulge in video narration only while working out (and during summer I prefer walking outside) and for the rest I read. I’ve said over and over again that it was pretty pathetic that someone like me who ONLY reads for amusement (and enlightenment and learning, but that falls under “fun” too) spent so much time having trouble finding anything to read on the shelves of bookstores.

That’s okay. That’s past now. I have three books cued on the kindle to read right now.

BUT I want to emphasize one thing. When I wasn’t finding stuff to read, I wasn’t rejecting stuff on the basis of the author’s politics. I was rejecting it on the basis of being boring.

Now, often the boring bordered on politics. If the villain/murderer in every mystery is going to be the white/well off/guy who approves of commerce, I already lost significant enjoyment in that book. If every alien species we encounter is an ecological saint and the humans are always evil, then you already lost me. Because I’ve read that story fifty times before. If every love affair will end indeterminately because well, yes, that’s the approved ending, you already lost me.

I don’t read to be lectured at or to have my opinions confirmed. If my colleagues who agree with some of my opinions wrote books over and over again to make only one or two points I approve of, I’d also stop reading them.

In fact, I don’t understand the mind of the people who only read people who agree with them IN EVERY MINUTE DETAIL.

This brings us to #Gamergate and this post: #GamerGate–the free ride is over

I don’t know the author. It’s possible if I asked my sons, who are partly immersed in the gaming world, or some of my friends who are fully immersed (it turns out my peculiarity is still a handicap) they’d know exactly who this man is.

However I read his post and I discovered he’s my brother at heart. Particularly this:

For the past half decade, those cliques focused on “social justice” have been insulting, smearing and misrepresenting individuals or groups they decided represent “the other”. Because they received little or no push-back, they wrongly believed they represented the majority opinion on a given issue.

As someone who’s maintained a blog for 15 years, I’ve written a lot of words. Some of those words have made these guys angry and thus, at some point, they decided I was some sort of crazy right-winger.  I’m only a “crazy right-winger” if objecting to one group coercing another group is “right wing”. I don’t like telling people what to do and I don’t like being told what to do.

And this:

Remember, the abuse I received had nothing to do with the quality of the book. If books based on a video game were regularly pilloried we’d have a never ending stream of Reddits.

No, the reason I was targeted is because SJWs, the people who now represent the bulk of the “anti-#GamerGate” crowd, are perfectly comfortable with harassment and abuse as long as it’s the right people doing the harassment and abuse: Themselves.

Now, this man asks the one, most important question – why do SJWs class everyone who disagrees with them about ANYTHING as “right wing” and “the enemy”?

It gets to the absurd point of having a group of largely white females running around accusing people who are both darker and of far less privileged background than they are (Larry and I come to mind, for instance) of being privileged and lecturing them about suffering and discrimination and, oh, yeah, respecting the other.


Like TinyLittleFrogs, I have tons of things in which I probably agree with the SJWs. Not his ecological stuff, because that’s just crazy talk. (Yes, my tongue is planted so firmly in cheek, it’s almost poking through.) However, tons of my opinions agree with theirs – only not to the extreme they’d take them:

  • I think race is only a data-point about a person. Important if you’re discussing matters of oh, tanning (my poor child went to a baseball game with a family of blonds and discovered they had this thing “sun block.” He was six, and apparently had never noticed daddy used it. It blew his mind.) Or particular genetic diseases. Or to an extent metabolism.

This does not mean I think there are no genetic differences between the races. I’d have to be insane to think that. I live with a biologist and one of my best friends is a biology professor. HOWEVER those differences are in terms of statistical distribution. What I mean is “on the whole, if you are black, you will probably be a little taller than white people.”

In the case of “black” (African-American is crazy cakes, particularly when used for EUROPEAN people of dark skin. No, it’s not precise and no, no one is black – though a couple of my friends come close – but then no one is white either. Or yellow. Or red) this is a little more difficult, because there are more differences between different parts of Africa/tribes are bigger than between black and white people.

For instance, people whose ancestors were mostly hunter gatherers tend to ADHD. But in Africa, some people have been farmers for longer than in Europe.

Where I oppose the insanity: People aren’t widgets. As I said above, some people from Africa are more different from other people from Africa than from a northern European villager. And even in more uniform groups there is enough admixture and the statistical distribution is just a statistical distribution. It allows you to say “People of x race are more likely to—“ but nothing about an individual of that race. Because individuals are different.

As I said, race is a data point. In most cases an irrelevant one.


  • Another place I agree with them is that men and women should have the exact same rights and the exact same opportunities.

Where I disagree is the idea that gender is a social construct. This was a bit of insanity propagated by a literal mad woman in the seventies, and everyone has piled on, despite some tragic experiments with sex-changing babies and its not working as planned.

Sweden is now attempting this bizarre experiment of raising genderless children.

This is insane because any biologist will tell you men’s brains and women’s brains are different. No, seriously, they are. The hormonal baths in pregnancy change the brain. Also some hormones influence the brain. For instance estrogen gives women better memories.

On average. Comparing most women to most men. Now, this has nothing to do with liking pink or (for other cultures) wearing a burka. That IS cultural. But some things aren’t. You’ll find for instance that most men have better spatial reasoning than most women; most men are stronger than most women; most men are more physically aggressive than most women.

While this doesn’t describe any particular individual, it does describe the group and it accounts for things like young boys liking to play with noisy, moving toys like cars.

Also most women tend to be better at multitasking than most men.

These things have applications for some careers. The fact women aren’t equally represented everywhere is not evidence of sexism. It’s evidence of the nefarious work of hormones before you were even born.

Is there sexism? Sure. There is sexism both ways. In the US it TENDS to be more of women against men. In the rest of the world it goes the other way around.

But again, it’s a statistical distribution.

The thing I disagree with the most is this determination to treat sexes (and orientations) as though the individuals who had them were widgets. “You need this in perfect statistical distribution or you’re wrong.” It doesn’t account for individuals.

  • I even agree with them on gay marriage.

No, I don’t believe that every gay relationship is loving and perfect. I also don’t believe that of heterosexual relationships. At any rate I believe in the culture-changing power of a commitment taken in front of everyone who matters to you.

Relationships are never easy, and if we hadn’t been married, and if my parents hadn’t spent a ton of money on the wedding, I might have walked out that first year (about a dozen times) and missed on the glorious 28 years since.

Where I disagree with the SJWs is the giving gay relationships primacy over heterosexual ones. I have enough gay friends I can tell you that it’s not more stable or less power-oriented or any of that. No, not even between two females.

The other part I disagree with is forcing people to approve of gay unions, including forcing people to bake a cake (seriously guys, do you want people who don’t like you to make FOOD for you?) or otherwise cater to gay weddings when they disapprove. No, refusing to serve ANY customer is not “hate.” Hate is dropping walls on people or hanging them from cranes. Commerce is a voluntary exchange. If these people don’t want to work with gay couples, fine, there are others who do and who should get the gay couples’ money.

In the same way, I don’t approve of gay couples forcing churches to marry them/host the ceremony on their facilities. To be perfectly clear, I’d disapprove in the same way of a Jewish couple forcing an imam to marry them, or a mosque to host their wedding. I’d disapprove of Baptists insisting on being married by a Catholic priest. I’d disapprove of a re-marrying couple or those within the degrees of consanguinity Catholics have an issue with forcing Catholics to marry them. I’d disapprove of Catholics demanding a wedding in a Lutheran church.

Religions are allowed to exclude for all sorts of reasons based on their doctrine. They mostly exclude those who don’t follow their faith. “But it’s discriminatory” is not a good reason to force people to violate their conscience. AND running around demanding that everyone vocally approve of you makes it annoying for people like me who support gay marriage, and for normal, sane gay people who spend half the time hiding for fear people think they’re like the crazies.


Note that I agree with them on the main points. I just disagree with them about… MAKING SURE PEOPLE DO EXACTLY WHAT THE SJWs WANT THEM TO.


It’s not even that I don’t realize/understand that if we don’t force people to act in a certain way there are going to be injustices. Of course there are. But if you force people to act in a certain way, there’s going to be injustices to, just different injustices. So outside of laws against things like, oh, killing the defenseless, laws should be deployed very carefully. And harassment, whining and throwing fits at various industries, even more carefully. (Mostly because sooner or later people get tired, like the gamers seem to be. But also because overall it hurts the INDUSTRY when outsiders see these prosecutions of people over minor differences.)

Take for instance how we more or less ran men off teaching for fear of sexual abuse, and are now seeing women sexually abusing kids.

I think the fundamental difference between the SJWs and the people they disapprove of is this: SJWs believe the world could be perfect, if only they got to dictate what happens.

The rest of us know the world and humans are imperfect, and there will always be injustices. We try to combat injustice in our sphere, and among people we know, but don’t fight for “broad classes” out there because the outcome is messier, and (individuals being individuals) there’s a greater risk of unintended consequences.

The only other big difference is that the SJWs like power. They really, really, really like power.

While the rest of us think the best way to achieve the fairest world possible is to allow for individual agency and for people to forge their own path.

It is an irreconcilable difference, but it’s not the one they think it is. And it doesn’t make either side evil. It just gives us an unbridgeable philosophical rift.

That said, I’ve read books of people they approved of, and enjoyed them. I count both Phil Dick (or is he now excommunicated for having had a penis?) and Ursula LeGuin as favorite authors for some of their works.

You see, I only require that a writer be interesting, or challenging or fun. I don’t require they agree with me exactly. WHY would I? I don’t really care what a writer believes, provided the book isn’t boring, and provided that the book is not JUST preaching stuff at me. The occasional bit that betrays a view of the world I don’t agree with? Guys, I’ve always known people are different from me. I don’t require they be the same.


Demanding to read nothing but an echo of your own beliefs is a good way to lose touch with reality and go around calling “evil” to everyone who is not your exact reflection.

It’s a good way to lose touch with the world and a reality where individuals persist in being individual.

It might make you feel good for a while, but it’s like drugs. In the end, it will drive you insane.

357 thoughts on “Upon Reflection

      1. Although the response to ‘The Pre-Persons’ at the time was:

        “In this, the most recent of the stories in this collection, I incurred the absolute hate of Joanna Russ who wrote me the nastiest letter I’ve ever received; at one point she said she usually offered to beat up people (she didn’t use the word “people”) who expressed opinions such as this. I admit that this story amounts to special pleading, and I’m sorry to offend those who disagree with me about abortion on demand. I also got some unsigned hate mail, some of it not from individuals but from organizations promoting abortion on demand. Well, I have always managed to offend people by what I write. Drugs, communism, and now an anti-abortion stand; I really know how to get myself in hot water. Sorry, people. But for the pre-persons’ sake I am not sorry. I stand where I stand: “Hier steh’ Ich; Ich kann nicht anders,” as Martin Luther is supposed to have said.”

        So yes, he was excommunicated.

        1. Looking up Wikipedia: The Pre-persons yields this gem (emphasis mine):

          “The Pre-persons” is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, October 1974 shortly after the author’s mental breakdown in March 1974.

          I’m sure this note was added (anonymously, the logs show) purely for historical interest and not as an insinuation of anything… :/

          1. As if having a mental breakdown is a bad thing, as opposed to an opportunity to reintegrate philosophical, spiritual and emotional values?

            Seems to me a mental breakdown is only a problem until it is diagnosed, although reports of therapy in the USSR tend to incline me toward caution on that affront.

          2. Well… this was considered a breakdown by many because he was contacted by the entity in the pink beam. An entity which told him his infant son was dangerously sick, and gave him an exact diagnosis and told him to take the baby to the doctor and give the doctor this information. The diagnosis turned out to be completely correct, and the child was successfully treated.

            1. He said he first saw the pink light as a reflection from the Christian fish symbol worn on a necklace by the young woman who delivered a prescription for a painful dental condition, and he connected the pink beam with his Christian faith (he was churchgoing Episcopal) and this didn’t exactly help it go over well with the SF community.

  1. SJWs get their primary highs from hating all whites, especially white males,but even including white children. They didn’t really have a problem with Rotherham, for example. But that’s not enough, so they constantly need to expand the class of hated individuals, usually to anyone or anything who reminds them of whites or a normal middle class life.
    To summarize, SJWs are both evil and significantly crazy. The only good part is that they are not going to be much use in a war.

    1. You’re spot on. Remember, if you’re Black and you’re not a welfare-collecting White-hater or a socialist/SJW/etc., you’re an oreo or a house slave.

            1. This surprises me. There’s an assumption among some that asians are pre-inclined toward conservatism, possibly a hold-over from the anti-communism once found among some of the asian communities.

              1. As a group (which can be wrong), Asians haven’t drank the Kool-Aid that other minorities have. Basically, they work for their success. IE they don’t expect “hand-outs” from Lefties. Many university “quota systems” don’t include Asians because the Asians don’t need quotas to get into the good universities.

                  1. Though there was a bit of a break just recently between the asians and the rest of the Democratic Party just recently in California. If affirmative action keeps rearing its ugly head, then I think there’s a definite possibility of getting asians out of the “Democratic minority ghetto”. After all, since the primary reason most minorities vote Democratic is because they “know” that Republicans are racist, that reasoning kind of goes away when you know for a fact that the Democrats are trying to screw you over for racial reasons.

            2. orientals are considered white because they succeed due to an emphasis on education and hard work, which are the real anethema to SJW types.

              1. Well, duh, if you admit they are minorities, and in some respects treated worse than blacks — blacks were eligible for naturalization before Chinese and Japanese were — you face the dreadful possibility that the minorities are doing something wrong.

          1. Yes, I think they rank you with traitors and would so condemn you to the lowest level of hell. It’s just evil to treat people that way.

            1. If you don’t march in lock-step to the tune they play for you you aren’t a real asian/latin/black/whatever anyway. Thinking for yourself is only appropriate when you think according to their diktats.

              Remamber, in 2008 people who thought themselves enlightened demonstrated it by putting on their cars bumper stickers which read: Sarah Palin is not a woman, she’s a Republican.

        1. This attitude of theirs is so racist that it sickens me. Only government-dependent, sociologically pathological black need apply. They hate successful blacks.

        1. Well, I am editing the Magical British Empire to an author’s cut because pre-9-11 I was an internationalist libertarian, and it shows. but I’m only doing that (and adding a prologue explaining the parts that I’m not blaming Europe, it really was that bad) because I don’t want my current fans to feel ambushed.

  2. My daughter was asking me to explain gamergate the other day – but all I knew of it was through a couple of posts by people who were into the big organized game scene. As near as I can see those who specialize in reporting on the gamer world pretty much tried to do to gamers what the SJW/GHH tried to do with the science fiction and fantasy writers. Only with a bit less success and a LOT more noise.

      1. Gamers have a tendency to be somewhat action-oriented, while most folk tend to leave the crazy shouting person alone unless physically attacked.

        The trouble occurs when the crazy shouting people (or SJWs) get into position of control. They WILL save you from yourself, whether you want saving or not.

        1. Threatening to socially marginalize a demographic that is used to being ostracized, and treats this as a badge of honor, may not be the most effective means of social control.

          But when all you have is a hammer…

          1. Which is why the fate of Brandon Eich(?) is so chilling. The message is that social ostracism will translate to employment ostracism no matter what your skills are.

            1. That’s also why we can’t have mom and pop or other small businesses. Corporations don’t generally give the finger to people who threaten them with social ostracism. Small business owners WILL.

            2. It was a real clarifying event, for me at least. It made things very clear that, if you don’t think and act exactly they way they want you to, they will hunt you down and destroy you.

              I already know, I can’t toe their line, so, for me at least, my only option is to beat them, or be destroyed.

              That’s the problem with starting a war of extermination; the guys on the receiving end will fight until the very bitter end.

                1. The MOST dangerous man on the battlefield is the man with nothing left to lose.
                  The Knights Templar recognized this and incorporated it into their prebattle rituals. Beyond shriving even.

                  1. The Knights Templar recognized this and incorporated it into their prebattle rituals.

                    Then the Knigts got rich, got something to lose and instead of being dangerous became a target.

  3. I was reading a post on a SJW site, and they attacked anyone who didn’t agree with them. Tom Kratman was on there, and he kept giving reasoned arguments no matter how they attacked back. You could tell they were about to lose it because Tom, and some others, were not rising to the bait. It look like the best tactic, other than just, because F you.

  4. The SJWs cannot understand rational questioning/factual responses. Their default position is my way or the highway, and the fall back is loud emotional rants, neither of which works worth a damn. They are now beginning to see more and more pushback, because people are tired of their attack dog mentality and outright lies. Stereotypes are just that, stereotypes- They don’t resemble reality, nor the person from (insert country here)…

    Two of my co-workers pose an interesting problem for the SJWs, since one is black, from Ghana via France, and a PHD at a major research organization, the other is white, from Pretoria, also with a PHD. It just trips the SJWs off line when the white fills out forms as African American, and the black fills out forms as European… 🙂

    Since I’m a old WASP, I’m immediately painted as racist, sexist, and homophobic because I’m old and raised in the South. Those that know me, know better. Great post and thanks for the time and effort you put into this one.

    1. I didn’t add in the post, because most of you already know that, that for my views I’ve been called Fascist and “the world’s worst person” by the SJWs. The mind boggles.

        1. They know it means “label to apply to people they disagree with.” What more do they need to know? Sort of like many other words they use, that do have a meaning, but are actually used in place of the more accurate “we don’t like this person and/or their attitude.”

            1. But…but… Sarah, you’re a woman and European, you KNOW real facism because your family saw it, so how can they say that? Oh yeah, never mind…

              If only that worked Pam, usually what happens next is the ’emotion’ gets thrown in, and IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT (my fault because I don’t kowtow to them)… sigh

        2. I have heard people defend the welfare state on the grounds that it’s human nature to be willing to spend money on one’s fellow citizens but not on other country’s citizens — they get very snitty if you point out that’s a political philosophy known from the 20th century.

        1. Well, you have to understand that what Our Sarah does is worse than cutting people’s heads off; she makes heads explode.

          And instead of enslaving people to false deities she tries to liberate them to find their own ways to Truth.

          Although it probably should be noted that the competition to be The World’s Worst Person” is probably in a 30-million way tie at the moment. Sadly, the Stat-heads are preoccupied with Baseball and other sports to devise a proper ranking system. Perhaps the current administration could endow a research grant to establish proper standards?

          For me, The World’s Worst Person is kinda like Godwin’s Law, with the minor variation that the person denouncing someone as the WPP is probably more deserving of the title simply for having denounced another.

          1. Being accused of fascism for a mere fifteen minutes is the improvement anticipated. Currently half the human race is accused of fascism merely by existing.

        1. I like it when they misspell “Fascist” by leaving out the first S.

          I usually say that Face was okay, but I liked Howling Mad Murdock better.

      1. You can’t be the world’s worst person, I’ve had a lock on that title since 1992 when a SJW/GHH called me a misogynist for not supporting Feinstein and Boxer. Hmph.

        1. No, they literally called me “the World’s Worst Person” and said I made them want to change their gender. Then the next day they called my friend Kate The World’s Worst Person.
          You can go thirdies…

                1. Pish-tosh. Competition is only for those who feel a need to prove their CV. Those who already know their superior status don’t deign to engage in any thing so mundane as competition.

                  Requiring public recognition is soooo coarse.

                2. There’s no contest. Obviously, I am the Worst Person in the World. I’m a white, conservative libertarian from the border states of the Confederacy. I come from a family that owned slaves and I don’t care who knows it. I am not apologetic about any of the above, and they’ll get reparations when Satan skates to work.

                  Top That

                  1. Me.
                    How evil do you have to be to be Latina, immigrant, female, have an advanced literature degree, work in the arts, have a black ancestor (at least one in last 100 years) be married to someone with Amerindian ancestry AND still hate vile progs and Marxism with the fire of a thousand suns? And love the constitution and America with every fiber of my being?
                    Yeah, that’s me. And you know what else, I’m more talented and a better writer than all the SJWs put together EVEN when I’m writing froo froo literary carp. (It happens. Sometimes.)
                    THAT ladies and gentlemen is pure, distilled evil with evil sauce.

                    1. To that I’ll concede, You Evilness. That is also why we, the Evil League of Evil (reminds me of LOVEMUFFIN from Phineas and Verb), love you, our Beautiful but Evil Space Princess, so.

                    2. Incidentally, my family and I have always wanted to see a sequel where Kevin uses his picture of the map to start jumping through the holes in reality from place to place and maybe get back to ancient Greece.

                    3. That would be cool, but I doubt it’ll happen. Though given Hollywood’s demonstrated “originality”, a sequel several decades after the original story would be plausible at least. Then maybe they can do “Flight of the Navigator II: Invasion of Thaelon!”:-).

                      Regarding the kid in Time Bandits, I figured he was going to be adopted by the fire-fighter who was apparently a reincarnation of the Minoan king, at least to look at.

                    4. I never understood that either. Either it was pretty tricky compositing, considering how shaky the crane shot is, or the kid was walking backwards and they were lowering the camera.

                      I remember a similar shot at the end of “Penn and Teller get Killed” where there should have been a dead body on the street as they pulled away.

                    1. Nope I’m from Missouri. Kin to Jesse and Frank James as well as William Anderson. Family owned plantations in Georgia and Louisiana before the war. Proud to be a Southron boy.

    2. The SJWs don’t have to “understand rational questioning/factual responses” — they understand what truly matters, which is that those implements are tools of the patriarchy, used to oppress women.

      In the minds (or whatever serves similar purposes) of SJWs true knowledgte is gained by intuition (their intuition, to be precise) and all right-thinking people recognise their truth. Failure to recognize their truths reveals you as a wrong-thinking person whose consciousness needs must be raised through the traditional method of ritual denunciation.

      In essence they are a cult, fully as much as those folks “gifting” you with copies of the Bhagavad-gita — except more violent and with poorer personal hygiene.

  5. You state that no one is red. I beg to differ. If exposed to the sun for any length of time my Daddy is painfully red. 😉

  6. Being willing to read/view stuff that doesn’t echo your own beliefs or features characters who don’t share them, when there’s enough entertainment value in other respects to compensate, is one thing. Feeling *obliged* to read/view stuff that *denounces* your beliefs or portrays every character who shares them as loathsome or stupid, when there isn’t, is another.

    I can’t help but think that writers like Jemisin, Hurley, Leckie et all would have done much better saleswise if their enthusiastic fans had raved far more about the stories as stories than about the character/setting checkboxes or the prose gimmicks. The one thing guaranteed to ruin my willingness to enjoy a story is being browbeaten that I have a moral obligation to read/view it for its representational checkboxes, rather than being persuaded I’ll enjoy it for its inbuilt awesomeness. (To be fair, for the SJW crowd the featuring of a checkbox character is an awesome thing. But you’d really think people would have started to grasp what sales techniques work better than others by now.)

      1. And (if you’ll forgive me further bloviating) there’s also the fact that the more one advocates particular standards of analysis and critique, both explicitly in criticism and implicitly by personal practice thereof, the more one is likely to wind up being subjected to those standards even if it is to one’s disadvantage.

        As an example, in a recent interview for her new novel The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley described one of her setting’s original cultures as a “pacifist, consent-based” culture. Well, after countless articles exhorting us to pay attention not only to what’s stated but to what’s implied by a statement, to what’s implied by not being stated, and to the importance of representing that which hasn’t been represented yet, I have to admit that the first thing that came to mind upon reading that was, “Huh. So, Kameron, you’re saying that to be ‘consent-based’ is an original quality for culture, and most of the cultures we already know, both real and fictional, including presumably our own, haven’t been? That they’re based on non-consent?”

        Which would normally be a ridiculous inference on the face of it, going solely by reading this level of intention into one throwaway phrase; but by SJW standards of analysis it’s perfectly reasonable. (In fact I am far from sure this is wrong, based on what I’ve read elsewhere, but the great advantage of deconstruction is that one doesn’t even need that backup.) Hence the irony: the very standards of selection one advocates in order to, one expects, encourage readers to pick up one’s book instead wind up working against it.

        1. So, if you follow that statement to its logical conclusion, all other speculative fiction cultures have been rape cultures, including those written by feminists.

          1. That was one of Kate Millet’s shibboleths. There has never been consent, because patriarchy denies consent. In fact, there is a straight line from the (literally insane) founding mother of modern feminism to Ms. Cabbage head “all penetration is violation.” Interestingly another of her bugaboos is that calling someone a “lady” is an insult. I think it’s time to restore mental health to this discussion.

        2. 21ˢᵗ-Century Western romance: “They leaned in toward each other, and their lips gently touched.”
          “Consent-based culture” romance: “They leaned in toward each other, and he whispered to her, ‘Please sign this form indicating your explicit consent to a kiss.’ They broke apart, looking through their pockets for a pen.”

          I exaggerate, of course. From reading the sample it seems all “consent-based culture” means is that verbal assent, not merely silent consent, is expected before entering another’s personal space or initiating or escalating personal contact. (So it should perhaps be an “assent-based culture”.) Effectively it’s just a culture where personal space is much more highly valued, but given a SJW-friendly name.

          (Playing Hal Clement’s game for a bit, I would expect even parents to feel awkward about holding infant children too young to explicitly assent, and therefore not hug or caress their children as much as we do. Extrapolate out to an entire culture of touch-starved children—this would be a self-perpetuating attitude—and you can come up with all sorts of cultural quirks, some positive some negative.

          (And how would this tie in to the culture’s pacifism and five gender rôles—how would one result from the others, and would they be mutually-reinforcing?

          (Perhaps Ms. Hurley is a skilled-enough world-builder that she has thought these through, and she is certainly being praised for the world-building in this story. Perhaps it is not merely a SJW’s cultural equivalent of a Mary Sue. But at least some of the voices praising the book would have praised a Sue Culture just as well.

          (I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve actually read the book.)

          1. I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve actually read the book.


            But seriously, let us know how you like it, should you get to it.

                    1. Not sure if it’s Clamps. He uses more than two sentences. Maybe it’s Clamps number one fan.

                    2. (When asked to actually read the story in question.)
                      “I’d rather kill myself.”

                      Such a tease, this Clamps person.

                    3. Hm. I have a little-used LJ account, but I think I’d rather not join in. Would be unsettling to have some stranger showing up, giving suicide advice to an annoying troll. O_o

                  1. Thank you! I’m hoping that I can link Amazon soon – I’m getting LOTS of queries about it for Amazon – but there’s a wait time for third party players like myself.

                    Despite that though it’s doing surprisingly well on just Lulu alone at the moment. I can’t wait to see how it’ll do on Amazon. I’ve also started hearing back from people who’ve read it, and I’ve been getting “Love the cover! Especially those glasses/goggles” and “I love the story! Going to read it to my kids / nephews / young’uns I babysit.” I’ve also been informed there will be a major review of it up on The Other McCain in a couple of days.

                    I can’t believe how exciting the last few days have been!

                    1. On the one hand, Congratulations! How Exciting!

                      On the other, I’m horribly disappointed to learn that your name isn’t really Cutelildrow. 😉

                    2. You know, I barely stopped myself from writing “Son of the morning, how hast though fallen” — and of course, if I were Shadowdancer, I’d do that to my kid every time he took a tumble… Because.

                    3. Soooooo, I’m the Light of the morning from the land of the morning and my son really is all arms and clumsy legs right now, with that growth spurt he’s undergoing.

                      Must remember to use that line next time he trips or falls off his bike. ^o^

                      (My family is Odd. We’d always ascribed a theory that Lucifer is doing exactly as ordered, to be the Adversary so that Mankind can surmount the challenges he puts before them, and he’s VERY GOOD AT HIS JOB.)

                    4. You’re entirely correct, Sarah. (About the rôle the satan plays in Jewish thought, at least; but we don’t associate Isaiah’s fallen morning star with God’s agent provocateur, so his name’s not Lucifer to us.)

                    1. Oh! Sorry for misunderstanding. It’s over at Jordan179’s blog. Jordan posted that he got a copy of Sparrowind and that he’s really happy for me and that he’d be reviewing it in a couple of days. The short replies following the first anon comment we’ve ID-ed from the comment style as being Clamps.

                      I guess he can’t say now that I haven’t ‘got anything out’ like he did on Brandon’s blog (Even though I’d co-authored three books) and he’s really angry about that?

                    2. Yama’s currently spamming my replies to Jordan but they’re screened right now so they can’t be seen until Jordan replies to them. But, so far he says that he’d rather kill himself than read my work and:

                      “I’m saying that I’m completely bewildered that anybody would be flattered by a comparison to Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”

                      and that “Self publishing has no standards. Any idiot who can save files in .epub or .mobi format can publish their garbage. Look no further than United Fleet and Seda’s Diary.”

                      It does not surprise me in the least that Yama fails to grok a book like Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

              1. Like cheap rotgut, continued consumption dulls the palate and corrupts the discernment.

                Sorta the way being saddled with first-rate debt for third-rate education in order to provide high salaries for assistant deans of student something-or-other enriches you.

                Dependency is liberty, spending is investment. and the product is free for just shipping & handling.

          2. Any agreement to a kiss should include terms regarding duration, suction permitted and whether (and how much) insertion of tongue is allowed.

            I suppose the ancient and honorable custom of permitting ladies women broads gals persons of vaginitude the right to define their personal space by means of a sharply delivered slap to the face … although I suppose they would complain about hurting their hands.

            1. We were told, when they wanted to detain my 9 (8?) year old for accidentally touching a girl classmate’s behind during a game, that they didn’t allow the girls to slap if they felt offended (which was my suggestion) because “violence never solved anything.”
              Yessshhhh. Involving security guards, a psychologist, the parents, and two administrator for an offense that was in the eye of the rather disturbed playground guard, THAT was perfectly sane and solved everything. If the solution involved bureaucracy and psychological counseling for the girl forever, of course.

              1. They claim that “violence never solved anything,” and then get security guards (whose presence is an implicit threat of violence if you don’t conform) involved in resolving a situation? They don’t even understand how hypocritical they are.

                1. “Violence never solved anything,”

                  Assertion in the absence of evidence never proved anything.

                  Particularly when there is an abundance of evidence to the contrary.

                  Further, to borrow from Dr. Sowell, they flatly reject similar assertions. “Education never solved anything” is far more supportable, given that abundant free education has proven ineffective at producing a literate populace (and besides, we have to continually do it — if education solved ignorance we wouldn’t have to do it again every generation.) Taken a step further, “Sex Education never solved anything” is demonstrated by the fact that there are still rampant STDs and numerous unintended pregnancies. Government welfare programs have clearly not “solved” the problems of a dependent underclass.

                  Violence is not supposed to be a solution, it is supposed to be an ameliorative treatment, reducing the incidence of all sorts of social ills, when applied by trained personal in prescribed manner..

                  1. Disagree! Sex ed did exactly what it was supposed to– spend at least half an hour a day for six years yelling variations on having sex while avoiding pregnancy at teenagers, with the obvious result of a yearly fresh harvest of young idiots who don’t object when used for physical gratification and tossed aside, plus look at how much money various “safe sex” groups get by getting deals with the gov’t to provide “health care” like $6 condoms.

                  1. Yeah, that’s kind of what I meant: that they have no understanding at all of their hypocrisy. “Realize” would probably have been a better word than “understand”, in retrospect.

                    1. Without going all Safire on you, while there is considerable overlap between the two (one man’s irony is another man’s satire) the effective distinction might be that irony is not necessarily mocking, while satire always contains an element of mockery. Satire requires a target, irony doesn’t.

                  2. They aren’t hypocritical at all! There are clear and important differences between hypocrisy and their situation, which you would understand if you weren’t such a big fat fascist. The contradiction exists solely in the feeble imaginations of those too unenlightened to understand how completely unalike these situations are, as unalike as peas and peanuts.

                    Hint: “When the State does it, it isn’t violence, per se.”

                2. “If you think that violence never solves anything, you’re probably just not willing to apply enough of it.”
                  -Schlock Mercenary

              2. Any time you get told that THIS kind of response is happening with your kid, your immediate response should be, “Then we’ll ALSO be involving my lawyer to look out for my kid’s interests, should the school do anything that may become actionable.” [EVIL GRIN]

                1. actually I stopped it cold by saying “you realize I can write this, get it accepted by Reason and make you a national laughingstock, right?” (I mean, a picture of my kid at the time would suffice. It was clear Mr. Hormone had not yet come calling. He was vaguely aware girls were different, but the difference was of NO interest.)

                  1. Wow. I would LOVE to have been a fly on that wall. Evil Space Princess strikes again! BWA HA HA HA HAAAAA…

            2. Any agreement to a kiss should include terms regarding duration, suction permitted and whether (and how much) insertion of tongue is allowed.

              In Imperial or Metric measurements?

              1. That would depend on the prevailing country’s standards. (Or lack thereof.) But the measurements must be done with two independent sets of recently calibrated gauges, with two independent teams of observers.

                And video of the test.

                  1. No, that would bias the test. Two people, lips osculating, with two separate sets of pressure gauges attached, and a minimum of four observers. With cameras recording the entire process.

                    We’d either end up with a generation of exhibitionists in college, or one where the major colleges collapse because nobody would go, and trade schools become the new norm.

          3. *snort* Unfortunately, the whole ‘consent culture’ seems to also allow the woman to retroactively decide that she didn’t want the interaction, up to a year later, and it seems to them even evidence of consent – such as texts of the woman inviting the guy for sex, or videos of such – ‘don’t count.’ Unless it’s to ‘prove rape.’ Double standards still hold true even there.

              1. And then women will wonder why they can’t find any ‘good guys’.

                Well hell, if the ones they encounter pretty much have a bright neon lit sign over their head saying “TRAP!” like a Death Note shinigami being able to see a lifespan countdown… I can’t blame ’em.

                    1. *rolls to resist urge to quote from Monty Python*
                      Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.

                      Launcelot: No, it’s too perilous.

                      Galahad: But it’s my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can!

                    2. Hang on, since when did we need to resist being completely geeky and nerdy around here? o_O I thought we needed to roll the dice only to find out if we make our willpower rolls on being dirty minded… or punning…oh wait, maybe not.

                      Never mind. Carry on. ^_^b

                1. I know it’s madness, but I’ve heard rumors that there are some men that aren’t interested in dating women that hate them because they are of the penis-possessing persuasion and demand that they repent for their very nature of being attracted to women. Crazy, I know. BADTHINK!

                2. Gals say they want a kind, considerate, romantic, sensitive, well-dressed, etc guy. The problem with them is – those guys already have boyfriends.

                  1. I know a few who fit the description. They can’t find a woman who isn’t a psychopathic hosebeast though.

                    I have vague memories of an article that was for local news, where city gals were finding love in the Outback with the men working there, saying that they were happy because “Men know how to be men, not women with”…. er, a dangle, “and know how to be a good man still.”

                    1. That reminds me of the cri de coeur of Eighties Womanhood here in the States, that “All the good ones are taken!” … and I would look at the crier and wonder, “what makes you think you merit a good one?”

                    2. Erm…. holy crap. The qualities they’re describing that ‘women prefer in men’ are…. NOT what I would look for in a guy for a long term relationship. If I were unattached, looking for wild sex, perhaps? I don’t know, since only had long term relationships and my preferences haven’t really changed.

                      Must be the circles we are in, but the guys and girls with serious Significant Others in our social circles are cuddlebugs. And happy. And funny.

                      The ones who aren’t in happy relationships tick all the boxes of what this says is supposedly ‘attractive.’

                    3. I don’t think these work for Odds. Or to quote older son “Yeah, I studied evolutionary biology. I knew this. But it doesn’t work for Odds. We have instincts, they just seem to be… well… odd.”

                    4. I refuse to click through and see if they actually offer a source, but it rather sounds like what you’d get if your sample size was taken from carefully selected college classes, no?

                    5. This is one reason why, for most of human history, the pairing of couples was not left to the couples but was left to the arrangement of those who only peripherally lived with the consequences.

                      At least this system gave you people to blame for the lousy match made.

          4. I’m waiting for someone to bring this up…

            Person #1: May I kiss you?
            Person #2: Yes, you may kiss me.
            (They kiss.)
            Person #2: You sexually assaulted me, now I’m reporting you to The Authorities?
            Person #1: What? You asked me to kiss you?
            Person #2: Just because I obtained your permission, doesn’t mean you obtained mine. Only yes means yes. Silence is not consent.

            …of course, it’s probably already been done.

        3. I’d read a rather in-depth review of TME and one of the complaints was the constant male rape and degrading treatment of men. NOT sure what Hurley’s or SJW definition of ‘pacifist’ or ‘consent’ is, but it’s not something the dictionary nor I recognize.

      2. And, of course, all of the above indicates a way in which I’ve been unfair to Ms. Hurley myself; my reaction against her book is not against the book but against her manner of promoting the book. But this is why salesmanship is so critical.

        (I am reminded, tangentially, of the Geek Fallacies, and I wonder if there is an analogous expectation here: do artistic Odds in the fandom community have an unrealistic expectation that people should be able to “see past” the limits of practical production and marketing to recognize quality, the same way some geeks stuck on insisting “appearance shouldn’t matter” can stubbornly refuse to do the things that improve said appearance?)

          1. Yes, that is what I was thinking of: for the record, summing them up quickly they are:
            1) Ostracizers are Evil — To exclude anyone designated as a friend or fellow from any social gathering for any reason (short of total collapse of the relationship/connection) is unforgiveable.
            2) Friends Accept Me As I Am — Anybody who criticizes you cannot be a real friend.
            3) Friendship Before All — Pretty self-explanatory.
            4) Friendship Is Transitive — All my friends should be friends with each other as well, and I should be friends with all their friends.
            5) Friends Do Everything Together — Everybody part of a particular circle should be invited to everything.

            In this context, the trait I’m trying to slot into this matrix is the immense resentment of particular advocates for being told that their styles or methods of promoting a cause (as opposed to rejecting the cause itself) are counterproductive, inappropriate or even unjustified, or for taking advice on what might make for a better approach; to me, this seems to have some overlap with the “Friends Accept Me As I Am” fallacy, the conviction that real devotees for a cause don’t make other devotees look bad in front of the undecided or the opposition, or that even trying to use salesmanship techniques or propose practical compromises is a betrayal of your faith in the cause’s self-evident rightness.

            I have absolutely no objection to broadening the demographic variety of authors, characters, settings and stories; I have every objection in the world to feeling pressured into making entertainment choices on that basis, whether by moral browbeating or stifling of the alternatives, rather than on what I think I’ll enjoy.

            1. And the thing that instantly popped into my head on reading #5 was the classic scene when the hero’s former friend turned villain leads into the rape (or attempted rape) scene by leering at the love interest and telling her, “Hero and I used to share *everything.*”

            1. Go ahead, phling your phunky phish! I’ve dug my way out of so many piscene inundations that I’ve acquired carpal tunnel syndrome.

                    1. “Don’t you people know what ‘restraining order’ means?”
                      “Yes. Come back with guns.”
                      -Schlock Mercenary

                    1. After that sort of crapping, the targets may be smelly but there won’t be anybody left to be corrupt. [Very Big Evil Grin]

            2. While your experience may have been more extensive than mine, I must somewhat disagree; I’m married to a geek and will agree in my experience they are not objectionable, but otherwise protest the characterization.

              1. Please note use of the qualifier “generally” — a “get out of jail free” card for all challenges lacking absolute documented survey data.

                From a strictly objective standpoint, one could argue that all phalluses are “small and inoffensive”* — it is the huge pricks attached to some of them that are a problem.

                *Also fairly silly looking. The male ability to take o’erweening pride in such an appendage (in any state) is proof (along with their fascination with boobies) that they are an irrational sex. … Not that there is much evidence of rationality on the female side …

    1. That reminds me of one of my complaints about recent fiction of the mystery and adventure stories set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (and in steampunk). It seems like there are characters of various types included to either (a)ensure the inclusion of a character of that type in the story, as per your “checkbox” description or (b) go into excruciating detail on the “violence inherent in the system” towards the character type in question.

      I do not deny the reality of discrimination and inequality actually present in the Victorian period, but the portrayal often rings false. For example, in stories, the female protagonist “just happens” to have a ridiculously high percentage of gay male friends. Opposition to women’s suffrage is even more widespread than in reality, all women crave a professional life and disdain the thought of children, and outright oppression and abuse of women are more prevalent than history suggests. All blacks everywhere in the US are constantly being subjected to uniformly-high levels of oppression, and none are allowed to achieve much. Industrialists are always oppressive exploiters of the masses; they are either evil villains or useful fools in service to the evil villains.

      This should not imply that every single work set in the 1870-1915 period, or every steampunk story, suffers from this. For example, Cherie Priest and Steve Hockensmith write stories that seem more reflective of reality. But a very high percentage of works do seem to suffer from this.

      1. I’m trying to avoid or subvert a lot of these in my own steampunk universe. It helps that it’s a full-on secondary world, not an alternate Earth.

      2. With respect — the magical british empire series was accused of this. While I was working within the system and couldn’t be very open, it is obvious my black girl character in first book is more racist than the Englishman, for instance. As for “one of each” I was trying to show the variety of cultures in Africa — under the “being sly exception — and then I went to India and China, because I could. I need to revise those tehings and get them up!

        1. Some of what I mentioned can be tolerable (not all – some is always bad), if well-written, well-plotted, and somehow explained. But when it starts getting so common as to be formulaic, and the inclusion of some aspects seems to be a “check the box” deal, it can make what would be an otherwise-acceptable story seem blandly unoriginal.

            1. You should — think how much fun could be had demonstrating a) her utter ignorance of the realities of past culture (e.g., you can’t just free your slaves) b) showing how effective the period rebuttals could be (they didn’t just hold those views of women because they were male chauvinists) c) how much her opinions are merely the fashions of her time d) how she would be locked away in an asylum for her own welfare.

              In the Kingdom of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is a dangerous lunatic. Declaring your ability to see octarine would not be an empowering act.

              1. One of my favorite scenes in Stirling’s “Island in the Sea of Time” involves the (ultimately fatal) education of Nantucket’s SJW crowd of exactly how noble the savages (Olmecs, as it happened) actually weren’t.

                My second favorite is the African American Coast Guard Captain noting that in order to get away from gangsta rap she “would have been willing to be sent back to the Jurassic in the middle of a velociraptor pack wearing white sheets.”

      3. And I forgot a related issue: the protagonist and her close associates will hold fully modern progressive views which were either vanishingly rare or absent altogether in the period in question. I’m not talking the basics (equality of race and/or sex, voting rights, etc.), but rather a fully-developed catalog of views that were not often combined in the time frame in question. In a steampunk world where there is an explanation of some sort provided it might be acceptable, but in a straight-up period mystery or adventure I find it jarringly anachronistic.

          1. I actually have a lot of mild fun, putting completely period-authentic attitudes and opinions in my own characters. I like to think of it as giving politically correct, SJW thoughts a swift kick in the nuts-or-wherever. Because then I can look at them with wide innocent eyes and claim that I am merely being totally authentic.

            One of my first volunteer alpha readers was horrified at how I described the Indians generally … and then she discovered some authentic accounts of the aftermath of Comanche raids on white settlements in Texas. I don’t think her head quite exploded, but it was a near-run thing. I got very little stick from her after that, about the poor, downtrodden, pathetic Indians…

                  1. Ready for them – I was a milblogger for years before I was a writer. I won’t go out of my way picking fights with the SJW -types but if they bring it to me – I am pretty well iron-clad against any kind of social-media cr*p that can be brought against me. In the words of William Lloyd Garrison – “I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—AND I WILL BE HEARD.”

      4. Not to mention that many Victorians would no more get worked up about these things than we would about rush-hour traffic. They weren’t obvious flaws, they were just life, and while worth grumbling about, not something you would bust yourself trying to eliminate.

        Just revised a section where a heroine bought a slave. . . .

  7. The thing that gets me about the “Gender is a cultural construct” nonsense is, this is supposed to make it easier to ignore? If you go around ignoring cultural constructs, you are gonna end up feeling like you got run over by a train. Biology os only a physical reality. It may kill you, but it’s unlikely to be vindictive about it.

      1. But not everybody dies the same way. How much that matters to you is your own lookout.

        (From The Lion in Winter:
        GEOFFREY: Why, you chivalric fool. As if the way one fell down mattered!
        RICHARD: When the fall is all there is, it matters.)

        1. What a great movie. O’toole and Hepburn, that is, not the miserable remake.

          Though I would have liked to see the original stage cast. Robert Preston as Henry? interesting!

  8. It gets to the absurd point of having a group of largely white females running around accusing people

    I think most of these types are weak-minded followers of fashion. If it because the in thing to have a boyfriend who beats them and makes them wear head-to-toe covering, they would accept it and look down on all who express skepticism about their lifestyle choice much less disapproval.

    When we accord the fools with honor we end up with what we have now.

  9. I AM a gamer. But what I am not is a follower of Gamer Blogs And Culture. So while I’m a little curious about #GamerGate and the brouhaha it’s kicked up, it doesn’t really ping my radar.

    And I suddenly realize that this is possibly the way most people feel about the SJW/GHH crowd and their influence on Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is a huge issue for me, but must be like some kind of dust devil a couple miles away to someone else.

    1. Most certainly. I wasn’t even aware that the PC stuff had a real influence on Sci Fi & F until I started checking out Hoyt’s blog – and that wasn’t too long ago.

    2. I’m not a gamer anymore, but I have dabbled in the past and family friends are still pretty heavily into it, but the thing thta grabbed my attention in #GamerGate is the pure dishonesty and gall of the thing. “Oh, there’s no conflict of interest or quid pro quo-ing; our game reviewer only slept with the game developer the day after the reviewer published that glowing review.” Gee, why didn’t you tell me before. Of course those aren’t the droids we’re looking for. No problem here, have a nice stay in Mos Eisley, move along, move along.

      Not that this is really all that different from the political press, with revolving door jobs in and out of government and the who-is-married/dating/etc-to-whom stuff that runs across DC power circles (“Which isn’t a secret, no, everyone already knows that – they were quite open about it at that last party in Georgetown…”).

      I guess the gamers were expected to be a rollover when it’s worked all these years at the higher levels of “journalism”, and the shock is that, in gaming, the peasants are not correctly minding their betters.

      1. In Gaming you have people who haven’t drunk the Kool-aid and will push push back strong against crazy feminazis.

        1. I think it’s more than that. Gamers argue. And they argue over *everything*. And given that almost all of those arguments happen over the internet, those arguments also tend to involve scorched earth, take no prisoners rhetoric.

          Calling a gamer the worst person in the world will elicit a yawn and disappointment that you couldn’t come up with an original insult instead of the same old tired clap-trap.

              1. I”m playing a game now called Avadon 2, with an interface that could have stepped directly from 1998.

                It’s holding my interest more than just about any modern game I’ve played, well, since Bioshcok II.

                No offense to the authors here, but I experience the same emotions towards games as I do to books. I think the best books still beat the best games but the average games beat the average books — or maybe its just that they significantly last longer hence hold my interest significantly longer.

          1. I think it’s more than that. Gamers argue. And they argue over *everything*.

            Usually about what is or isn’t “OP” or similar.

            (Or maybe I’ve been lurking in the ME3 MP forums too much.)

    3. Arthur Chu, that guy from Jeopardy, is also a big SJW. You may recall a few months back when he took an ill-advised swipe at Larry Correia and ended up in a day-long Twitter scrap with him and Paul S Kemp. He also takes swipes at Sarah and Baen in general. Anyhow, he’s gone completely bonkers about GamerGate and almost every one of his tweets from the past few weeks has been about how gamers are a hotbed of evil sexist so-and-sos.

      I bring him up because of the overlap between our SJWs and the ones plaguing gaming. I fear that gaming will suffer the same fate as SF. “We’ve purged all those white males, but now our sales are down? Why is that?”

      1. Someone else upthread already made the point.

        In fact, it was Luke, and it bears repeating.

        Threatening to socially marginalize a demographic that is used to being ostracized, and treats this as a badge of honor, may not be the most effective means of social control.

        And I’m not saying that maybe we shouldn’t have a discussion about sexism in general, or about race in general, but maybe we could do so while remembering that games (and books, but what do I know?) are supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to be entertainment.

        1. But they must be the proper type of entertainment: uplifting and ennobling, not encouraging baser instincts nor indulging misogynist, sexist, racist hatey-mcHate entertainment. Games are permitted so that they might train our young in proper ways, after all.

            1. An excellent point. Their sense of humor has been removed, (if it existed in the first place), and they insist that sneering and snark is an adequate replacement.

              And they seem to insist on everyone everywhere undergoing the same procedure.

            2. That’s an insult to Puritans. The Puritans were much smarter than these morons (and I may be insulting morons). [Evil Grin]

                1. I think Pygothereans might be overkill — “Troubles are good, but pleasures are always evil; for whoever has merited punishment must be punished.”

                  Note that by definition everyone alive has merited punishment; humanity is where souls are imprisoned for some crime.

              1. A puritan — Oliver Cromwell — could plea: I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.

                A SJW, even eliminating Christ’s bowels, never could.

        2. SJWs and GHHs as well as not having a sense of humor, don’t know how to have fun. Their ideology has consumed them. Everything must fit their ideas. Look at comic books. They used to be fun, but today they are mostly grey goo larded with social engineering.

  10. African-American is crazy cakes, particularly when used for EUROPEAN people of dark skin. No, it’s not precise and no, no one is black – though a couple of my friends come close – but then no one is white either. Or yellow. Or red

    Dear Husband’s protoworld has a species/race/group whose main defining characteristic is that they do actually have “red hair” or “green eyes.” Like, “blue as laser beams shot through sapphires” but for all eye colors, and “out of a crayola box” hair colors.

  11. The irony in Le Guin being a favorite of SJWs is that her novel ‘The Dispossessed’ is a good anti-Utopianism novel. The background on the protagonist’s planet is that the society is an artificially created communistic anarchic utopia, and one of the things Le Guin shows over the course of the novel is just how easily something like that is subverted by the usual suspects.

  12. On the matter of race, I think we can largely agree that a characteristic of SJWs is a poor grasp of statistical interpretation?

    On other matters I sense a trend on the part of SJWs to take a minor issue and inflate it all out of proportion. Sadly, in that they are not alone, although few match them in avidity for that practice.

      1. One might think they lack a sense of proportion — which might explain their tendency to append -phobic to anybody who demurs from their diatribes — except saying that would be sexist or racist or fascist or proportionist or something double-plus ungood badthink.

  13. When will you silly people figure out that females, homosexuals and minorities can’t be conservative. The Demonrats will never let you leave the plantation.

    1. Yes, they fought for your rights so that you could do what they told you to. As Nancy Pelosi warns: “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”

        1. Ain’t it though… We’ve had a great view of what they consider civilization over the last 6 years, and their complaint is that they haven’t gone far ENOUGH.


          What, they want to train us to jump into the woodchipper voluntarily? THAT ain’t gonna happen.

          1. Go watch MAJOR BARBARA (the bw British film with Harrison). First of all, it’s fun. But pay special attention to the “Model Village” attached to Undershaft’s factory. THAT’S what Sister Botox means when she,talks about Civilization. That’s what the Progs thought was going to come about after WWII, but then The Working Man abandoned them at the alter and ran away to Levittown and a car with tailfins.

            1. Every time I hear that song my unruly mind turn it into “All we are saying is f*ck off and die”

              Just as I hear the line from Blowing in the Wind as “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your a$$, the answer is blow it out your a$$.”

  14. That’s too bad. The first bit is almost always the slowest. It’s the “getting to know you” part. 20% ripped out of the middle would give a better taste of what the work truly is.

    1. I have to disagree here. The first 20% is the part of the book that should reach out, grab hold of your lapels, and say, “You *will* read the rest of this book to find out why so and so is doing this and that!” It’s possible that the start might actually be the slowest part. But whether slow or fast, it needs to be the part that makes you want to read the rest of the story as surely as an addict wants his or her next hit.

      1. Also, having been a beginner writer, and in a group with lots of beginner writers, the normal thing is to GET beginnings (and endings) long before middles. When you’re shaky on plot, your middle is “loop de loop run around.”

        1. Oh, no doubt. Just because a book has a good start doesn’t mean that the rest of it’s any good. From the video game perspective, Mass Effect 3’s climax is an excellent example of this. 60+ hours of excellent storyline (across all three games) utterly and completely destroyed by the fiasco known as the last ten minutes or so of the game.

          But if you don’t have a good start, then people probably aren’t going to stick around to find out whether you have a good middle and/or a good climax.

          1. Yeah… I just dumped the last ‘choice’ after seeing it on youtube. Far better to imagine a solution where a 100-gigaton anti-matter fusion device is picked up and transported to the corrupted Citadel, vaporizing it, and with the command center cut the enemy spontaneously self-disassembles.

            And Shepard retires and goes off to live happily with their particular choice of squeeze, their wedding plans indefinite.

            It’ll be interesting to see if a Mass Effect 4 comes out. I’m still waiting on a Fallout 4, myself.

            1. I was always in favor of what I referred to as the “Captain America” ending. Shepard – and Shepard’s ME1 love interest, assuming that Shepard remained faithful in ME2 – have a big fight against Harbinger (who was treated in a rather insulting fashion in ME3, imo), win, and beat the game. But they’re cut off, can’t escape, and are forced to crawl into a stasis pod together, which then drifts in space until it’s picked up 500 years later.

              But enough about that.

              ME4 is being worked on. I don’t know any hard details beyond that, but Shepard will almost certainly not be in it. I have no idea how the writers are planning to treat the wildly different possible changes to the setting that Shepard left at the end of ME3.

  15. SJW’s are would be totalitarians. Hence their need to compel all artistic works to conform to their politics.

    My opinion is that #PoliticsRuinsEverythingElse

    Novels, video games, journalism, even governance. As soon as it becomes about pushing an ideology and garnering power to push that ideology, the virtue and value of the endeavor is ruined.

    And it produces boring shit, as you noted.


    1. But what they practice isn’t “politics” per se. What they practice is Stalinism; the bending of everything to tne service of The Revolution … by which is meant the service of maintaining the self-selected Elite.

      1. I don’t know what other term you’d use to describe “A gambit to gain and deploy power to advance an ideological position”. But ideological content is pretty much the definition of politics in modern America.

        (Other definitions, like “small office politics” don’t revolve around attempting to capture the authority of the State, so aren’t germane. In this case, they’re attempting to seize control of a form of media, in order to advance a totalitarian agenda. See: journalism, Fine Arts, and academia.)

        The very fact that ideology is involved means its politics and hence political. “The Revolution”, by its very name speaks of a change in regime, that is, a change in which group controls the authority of the State.

        It’s not so much that I disagree with you, it’s that I completely don’t understand what claim you’re making.

        1. Politics is a game played among equals. They don’t recognize anyone as their equals. Stalinism is a technique for suppressing the inconvenient.

          You know…peasants, truths, facts….

          1. That’s impossible. No political movement is ever equally matched with another, nor political parties, nor ideologies.

            Politics involves change. Factions rise and fall and none are equal.

            And, if it’s status differences you refer to — they see non SJW people as lessers — that has no bearing on whether it is or isn’t political. Oppressing a group of people you see as less than you is a political act.

            SJW are totalitarian. That doesn’t mean they’re not political.

            1. The very fact that ideology is involved means its politics and hence political.

              The way I’ve always seen it is that some ideologies are totalitarian, as in they claim to have a stake in everything, so for them everything is society’s business and therefore political. For these, you can ask “is X good for society as a whole?” and if the answer is yes, it’s encouraged/mandatory and if the answer is no, it’s discouraged/banned. The problem is that what is ‘good for society’ can change over time and depending on the speaker (and the audience). In this case, to the SJW crowd, diversity is good, so it must be encouraged and consequentially, anyone who speaks out against diversity is bad and must be shunned.

              Some ideologies, like small-l libertarianism and ‘classical liberalism’ tend not to be totalitarian, in that there are things they don’t address. However, since they are opposed to a totalitarian ideology in the political sphere, they have to argue against restricting, regulating, and limiting individual freedom, so for the time being, everything looks political.

              1. “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” – Benito Mussolini

                Works okay on small scale (for certain values of okay) but is inevitably disastrous on larger scale where population actually is diverse. Please see earlier remarks about SJWs lacking a sense of proportion.

              2. Civilis: “The way I’ve always seen it is that some ideologies are totalitarian, as in they claim to have a stake in everything, so for them everything is society’s business and therefore political.”

                Yes. And that’s exactly the point.

                When you insert politics into the non-political, you ruin that other endeavor.

                Politics Ruins Everything Else or (in Twitter-speke)


                Academia, science, journalism, governance (really), gastronomy, novels, comics, movies, music, cinema, pedagogy, relationships, and on and on.

                Politics ruins all of these. *Politics ruins everything else.*

    2. They’re the Borg, and I’m too tired to come up with a sarcastic monotone monologuing to mock them with.

    1. “King overran Ireland with one blast of flame that should have been written in letters of brass for instruction to-day”

      Rudyard Kipling “The Popagation of Knowledge” (a Stalky & Co. story) from DEBITS AND CREDITS

      Like that?

  16. Didn’t California pass this law?
    These days I recommend that no young man have any contact with a female unless he has notarized documents of assent.

    1. I’m not sure if they passed it yet or not. IIRC, the consent would be supposedly acceptable via social media.

      Of course, what happens if the delicate maid says she was coerced or intoxicated when she made such consent?

      1. Then it’s all out the window, of course.

        As someone noted recently (elsewhere, I think), the irony of the current situation is that society spent a ton of effort (rightly) demonizing date rape drugs so that women could safely enjoy a drink without getting drugged by some jerk who wanted an automatic lay. But now society is claiming that having a drink in and of itself is essentially the same thing.

          1. You know what’s weird? This teacher was probably giving off all sorts of indications that she wasy not the best fit for educating kids but there was no way should could be fired, or even seriously disciplined, until she actually broke a criminal statute.

            Betcha the union is still going to try and save her career.

        1. isn’t that a choice she made? You need to take responsibility for your own actions. If you agree to have sex because you are drunk or stoned and you agreed to get intoxicated, you shouldn’t change your mind afterwards.

          1. Doesn’t matter. If she’d had anything to drink, then we’re told that she couldn’t give consent. This is so blatantly problematic that one university lawyer even had it pointed out to him that the university’s policy, applied fairly to both genders, essentially meant that if a guy and a girl both had drinks before having sex, then they would essentially be raping each other. But of course, the universities only apply it to one gender, and not to the other.

            1. “This is so blatantly problematic that one university lawyer even had it pointed out to him that the university’s policy, applied fairly to both genders, essentially meant that if a guy and a girl both had drinks before having sex, then they would essentially be raping each other. ”

              I made a comment on National Review to that effect and was told that I was in favor of enabling rapists….. headdesk

              1. I made a comment on National Review to that effect and was told that I was in favor of enabling rapists….. headdesk

                A good response to comment like that is “LOL. Brawndo. It’s what plants crave.”

                Let them see if they can figure it out.

                Works with all types of “progressive” talking points.

            2. It also means that if she had two drinks, drives herself and the guy to her apartment, does the deed, and drives back to the party, she’s responsible for the DUI but not her consent.

              1. Very true, my sister. But is it even fair it charge her with DUI? And as the Prophet (PBUH) notes if she cannot be charged with the DUI, is it not contingent for the sake of public safety she not be allowed to drive?

                Treat your maiden with a firm hand and she will be happy.

                The Iman (glad you asked)

  17. Good points on the importance of not staying in an artistic bubble. In terms of storytelling, the best way to get people interested in unfamiliar ideas and themes is to be enthusiastic and not didactic. Enthusiasm invites through its passion and curiosity; didacticism lectures and wears out its welcome.

    1. I was told in school that you start in medias res. Start with action then go back to intros. Best intros are from action not description. I’m a reader not a writer so I can’t say why sometimes spoken books work.

      1. Different style, and by and large an older one. You start the story by telling about someone and the very fact you’re telling about them prompts the question: what’s going to happen to them that makes the story worth telling? Done properly you can build up a lot of curiosity and suspense. (grain of salt: currently my most active venue is the verbal storytelling arena, so your milage may vary)

        Sometimes it’s a different kind of hook. “There once was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” Most people will have the immediate thought “what could he have done to deserve that?” The danger I’ve run into with in medias res is that very often I’m left wondering ‘Ok… why do I care that there’s a fire fight going on? none of the characters seems worth bothering about anyway/ the person they’re having me follow is doing a lot of whining (or interior monologue) for a firefight!’

          1. Lewis was right… the name is rather mean. If you must include a reference, tack on something more normal, or at least nicknamable, in there. 😉

            Though the worst name I have thus far seen in real life: Hilary Ichabod Negle (he went by ‘Sergeant’)

            1. The most unfortunate male name that I knew of personally was married to a friend of mine – Bruce Darling. Most people called him Colonel or Sir, but he would have had a bad time of it early on, if he hadn’t also been six-foot something and built like one of those concrete traffic barriers …

                1. Yeah, I’d’ve changed that. He only needed to take out one letter and suddenly he’s “Bruce Daring! Gentleman Adventurer!”:-)

        1. “There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself — not just sometimes, but always.”

          “Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed.”

          “I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal-minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour, but few people except perhaps the minister who had baptized all three of us remembered my given name.”

  18. The title of this post was tickling the back of my mind all day. Finally, I pulled a quote out from the back there, from an old short story: “Upon reflection, the enemy succumbed.”

  19. That’s a sensible line of thought though. Feminists have long advocated that women never be held accountable or responsible for any actions that make them stupid or careless or land them in trouble in any way or form, and so this is just another step in that direction.

    1. I have witnessed one feminists, in a book of essays, spit nails about the notion that men have appropriated credit for all women’s accomplishments throughout history AND imperiously demand that all power in women’s hands on the grounds that history and all its atrocities were man-made.

    2. I love to mention to SJW’s, “So women are just as strong, powerful, independent and tough as men… that’s why we need a written permission slip from a woman to feel a mild attraction to them, or they’ll get the vapors?” 😀

    1. Her lawyer talks with his lawyer, then the notary signs the resulting document after Party Of The First Part & Party Of The Second Part do. Isn’t that soooo romantic 🙂

      1. There was one fantasy story where a vampire had to stop his romancing of a woman to repeat a government warning about what would happen when he had his way with her.

        Finally, he decided to skip the legal warnings to “put the bite” on the woman.

        That’s when the private eye (hired by the woman’s husband) stepped in.

        The vampire was in big trouble. [Evil Grin]

        Oh, the private eye was safe because he had the proper counter-measures and a partner who was a Hellhound. [Big Evil Grin]

      2. Thing is, I’ve seen this kind of stuff as throwaway background info in a story somewhere. The POV character had been dating this girl for something like two years, and he was going to ask if they could talk to their lawyers about taking their relationship to the next level. Which I think included kissing. But the story itself had nothing to do with all that.

  20. From the BlogFather:
    GAMERGATE: Angry Feminists, Unethical Journalists Are the Ones Not Welcome in the Gaming Community. “To the feminist campaigners trying to ruin video games for everyone and a press that refuses to reform itself despite clear evidence of professional failure, gamers have responded with all the heroic defiance of Will Smith delivering a nuke into the mothership — and with just as much style. Through a series of fundraisers and lobbying efforts, as well as polite but firm advocacy on Twitter, they have begun to formulate a coherent intellectual and activist response to those who mystifyingly claim that their games and their culture are both somehow ugly, bigoted and evil. . . . #GamerGate has exposed both the feminist campaigners and even some gaming journalists as completely out of touch with the very reasons people play games. . . . The only group that genuinely isn’t welcome is that small but noisy battalion of social justice warriors, who bring nothing but gloom and despair, and their loyal band of incompetent, unethical bloggers, who are so desperate to advertise their upstanding moral virtue to the sisterhood that they have forgotten to check their consciences. We should resist this new tyranny.”

  21. >, but the problem there is more that I’d have to assemble a gamer’s group … and then I’d have to block out time.

    Ah…this is a deception. I do nearly all my games over email. This means that I dash off a comment to the player in the morning, and they respond at their conveyance. But then, the games I run are really more like playing in a favorite novel.

  22. And just to segue back on to the subject of predictable being boring, my kid brother got me watching a series, that a large part of the reason it is being as much fun as it has been is, they’ve taken a very cliche laden genre, and so far, manged to subvert, invert, or justify every major cliche in a way that works, even when, normally, the cliched response would be a perfectly reasonable and intelligent course for the major characters to take.

    A particularly fun scene they recently had, the villain has gotten a hold of the boyfriend of the girl he is trying to kill. The boyfriend probably knows where she is, and has no idea that this guy is the villain. The normal bad-guy move is to lie to the kid, and get him to help hunting her down, turning him into a wangsty wreck by the end of the series.

    What does the villain do? Tells him the truth: “I’m the guy who called the hit on your gf. Sorry. No, totally not sorry at all. Dude, we are in a slave rebellion. The monarchy must die. She is the princess; she is the monarchy, therefore she’s gotta go. Got it kid? Not even going to apologize.”

    Granted, he said it in somewhat more flowery language, that’s pretty much what he said. And, of course, up until that point, we’d thought the big bad was just trying for a power grab…

    1. RIGHT. Like we’re going to swallow the rationalizations of your evil acts. . . we know history. Slave rebellions are ugly for all parents, including the slaves.

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