Have You Seen the Well To Do?

A friend sent me the following, yesterday and I liked it so much I stuck it at the end of the Friday Bookplug, which, btw, is here.  It sort of fits if you squint.

What it does fit is the modus operandi of the SJWs with their continuous whine and claims of being discriminated against and suffering micro-agressions.

Robbing the Midlist
Have you seen the well to do?
Walking down Marx avenue
Crying that everything’s unfair
While their butlers do their hair
High-toned, caterwaulers
Condoned with lots of dollars
Spending every dime
Made on other guy’s lines!

If you’re blue, and you want dough
Why not lean on someone you know
In the pubbing biz?
Robbing the midlist

Different types will write a dystop-
ian cliché or bash on the pope
It all fits
When you’re robbing the midlist

Cashing in their six-figure advances
Even if their book has got no chances
Of a profit

Come let’s mix where pampered authors
Politic to get job offers
Hope they’re picked
For robbing the midlist

Tips the scales to favor their own voices
Tries to “Push” to cover their bad choices
Disappoint us

NYT Bestsellers topping the list
Make readers stop or numb their wits
Robbing the midlist
Robbing the midlist
Robbing the midlist!

I’ll point out that Baen’s NYT bestsellers are genuine.  The others… (waggles hand.) And my friend is exactly right that it’s all in displaying the right (left) colors.  As for robing the midlist — well, some day over some wine I can show you statements where the print run changed over time…  Yeah. (And btw Baen beating them by playing fair at their rigged game is a “yay” — no wonder they hate Baen.)

As for why these people who are on top, who are “power” think they’re speaking “truth to power” and keep trying to push the envelope with little orphan Annie short stories on how the minority they belong to is soooo discriminated against, I direct you to this article at Powerline:

Rob Stein is the founder of the Democracy Alliance, an umbrella a group that organizes the funding of left-wing causes by rich liberals and interest groups. In The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer, at page 7, Stein explains candidly what politics is all about for the Left:

“The reason it is so important to control government is because government is the source of enormous power,” Stein continued. “One president in this country, when he or she takes office, appoints…5,000 people to run a bureaucracy, nonmilitary nonpostal service of 2 million people, who hire 10 million outside outsource contractors–a workforce of 12 million people–that spends $3 trillion a year. That number is larger than the gross domestic product of all but four countries on the face of the earth.”

“So the reason we’re doing what we’re doing…and the way we get progressive change, is to control government,” Stein said. “That’s what this is about.”

This will to power explains why the Left, a clear minority among Americans, consistently punches above its weight, politically.

Read the whole thing.  A stunning admission.

And it is the same in publishing.  Not, mind you, that publishing has the kind of power or money that government does.  But it has enough.  And the multinationals run by Europeans like the idea that they’re helping enlighten those backward Americans (who man on man and woman on woman are far less racist, sexist or culture-supremacist than ANY European you’d care to name.)  For that they pick editors indoctrinated educated at our “best” (europhile) colleges.

The hierarchy of publishing is so steeped in Marx that parroting Marx is the way to gain access to money and power.  Whining about Marxist class/race oppression is the way to be fawned upon.

And while publishing doesn’t have the money government does, it has enough.

Of course all this produces very bland and same-old, same-old literature.  Perhaps I tired of it earlier because I had already had my full dose of Marx.  But even in SF/F Social Justice Warriors are best known for making people stop reading the stuff.

The precipitous decline in print runs from the seventies till now tells its own tale.

When they whine about Amazon, they have only themselves to blame.  They left a vacuum of unmet demand and indie publishing found it.

Now, I’m not a gamer.  I am strictly a reader and a writer.  I don’t even watch much TV.  BUT years ago, I can’t remember why — it must have involved being confined in one of their rooms while something was done to the rest of the house — I watched my boys play a game and I thought “That’s where fun, adventure science fiction, space opera, military SF, the stuff people read to enjoy and not to be lectured has gone.”

Which explains everything about what is going on in games, now.  They want to close off that avenue of escape and stop people having fun their way.

It’s not event hat your having fun annoys them — though since they’re sourpusses that tends to be part of it — but that the big money, now that printruns have crashed, has moved to gaming.

They want to be able to command the kind of money from gaming, for their regurgitated Marx, that they once commanded from publishing.

The social justice warriors are about two things, none of which are social nor justice: money and power.

They will follow the money and they’ll do anything to get some of that sweet power and money without having to have a single original thought or do a serious day work.

I’m glad to see that in gaming they might have met their match.

Have you seen the well to do?
Walking down Marx avenue
Crying that everything’s unfair
While their butlers do their hair
High-toned, caterwaulers
Condoned with lots of dollars
Spending every dime……..



520 thoughts on “Have You Seen the Well To Do?

  1. I think that, with gaming, the SJW types finally overreached. They made two mistakes. 1. the went after consumers as well as producers. 2. They didn’t understand where the money was. They treated games and games journalism as just another form of publishing. But book publishing doesn’t require hardware. Games do and that hardware is expensive and requires a lot of investment on the part of the hardware manufacturers. So, once they attacked game consumers and the game consumers responded by sending letters to the hardware producers who promptly killed their advertising the game was over. The capitulation editorials are getting pathetic.

    1. Also, the gamers are unapologetic in doing it for fun. Literature always had a veneer of intellectualism, so they could get in, even in fields like SF/F by appealing to “you could be REAL literature”.

          1. I love the reviews “Kim” used to get (before they just said Kipling’s fascist so nothing he wrote can be good) that observed, clearly it’s a masterpiece, but, but, it was written for kids and where’s the politics and psychology?

            1. Lots of the once-well-regarded writers have been struck with this snootiness. Used to be, the worst anyone said about Poe was that reference to him copying Dickens, “Here comes Poe with his Barnaby Rudge, three-fifths genius and two-fifths fudge.” Can you imagine any Lit Prof now saying that Poe was 3/5 genius?

          2. You mean like Brandon Sanderson at BYU? The Way of Kings, The Alloy of Law, they really didn’t strike me as being all that Mar—

            Oh, right. Sorry. Not what you meant.

            1. In case this is a serious comment and not a troll — I meant the professors of literature at places like Harvard and Oxford, the ones who look down their nose at SF and say it’s not really literature and therefore not worth it. I.e the people the SJWs want to please.

              1. Actually, it was neither serious comment nor trollbait.
                It was a joke.
                Carefully, but clumsily, indicated by the em-dash at Mar[xist] and use of following space (as against the “CANCEL REPLY” link).

                “Those who can, do.
                “Those who can’t, teach.”
                But sometimes, those who can — like “official” multi-bestseller Sanderson — also teach, at least if years of bio-blurbs are to be believed (from a non-Baen publisher). And that sounds to me very much like something that would actually be worth learning.
                We need more like him, we do.

                Years ago, I discovered Jerry Pournelle’s “A Step Farther Out” in Jim Baen’s (now-forgotten?) “bookazine” called “New Destinies.” And found things like Baen’s description of the “literary” (ach) side of “Speculative Fiction” as “a perfect gelded literary trotter” there too. That was a breath of fresh, non-fictional air in a stale time.

                Your Web site here is the closest thing I’ve come across since to having the same kind of overall effect. (Though some of David Drake’s later stuff, here and there, has come pretty close.)
                We need more like it too.
                Especially right now.

      1. They’ll say that they’re not trying to take away anyone’s fun… that what they’re against are the death threats that developers get, the rape threats, and things like Grand Theft Auto… and that anyone who complains that SJW’s in gaming want to wreck their fun are really defending the death threats and rape fantasies.

        But what are complaints about fantasy armor then? Or complaints about rescuing a damsel in distress? Or complaints that games are aimed at guys and not aimed at girls? What are the negative comments about guys wanting to imagine that they’re bad ass heroes? None of those things are rape or death threats.

        It’s as if Hines’ tried to claim that his “funny dumpy bald guy posing like sexy book cover women” wasn’t actually about not liking sexy book cover women but was really about crazy nut-jobs sending death threats to authors.

        Who’d even believe it?

        But the thing about denouncing death threats or rape fantasies or GTO is… there’s no power to be had when everyone pretty much agrees with you. It’s only when the fight is moved to “this game is aimed at guys” and well over half of the people say “Waaaa?” That you can begin to wield any power. *Power* is when you can destroy someone else’s efforts to “include women in game development” by withholding your endorsement of their transgender policy because they’ve said that the trans-women who enter have to actually be trans-women and not men.

        Had they not said so, you can withhold your endorsement by claiming that they’ve allowed men to enter a women-only contest.


        1. “denouncing death threats”

          Denouncing death threats against anti-Gamergate people, mind you. Anti-Gamergate efforts are not tainted by any death threats against Gamergate people.

            1. The first instance of doxxing I’d ever heard about was of a social justice weasel dropping a detailed map of how to get to a certain pair of young girls’ home – because the girls were singers for white supremacists. The girls just liked to sing and were still obedient to their parents since they were minors, but to the weasely disease of a critter, that didn’t matter, it made them ‘acceptable targets’, unworthy of being protected and acceptable of putting into harm’s way.

              That was almost ten years ago now.

            2. “Wow, this really horrible person (full name, DOB, birth place) lives at 123 45th street N, in the blue house, and drives a blue 95 ford bronco with the license plate ABC 123, and his employer is The Bob Company of Jones City, phone number 123-4567. He’s a really horrible person!”

              Two days later: “Oh, but I didn’t SUGGEST that anyone do something…..”

              1. Blame NAACP. That used to be illegal, but during the civil rights movement, some activists were unwilling to take their medicine when they violated the law. The courts, being spineless, let them — and, alas, let everyone else, too.

            3. Griping here, on an open #Gamergate thread, since I can’t comment where I really want (someone I follow on FB, but can’t comment on her page, since we’re not “Friends”).

              – claims to be about “ethics in journalism,” but willingly and intentionally spreads both unchecked rumors and misinformation that has already been definitively debunked. (Where is their own journalistic integrity when it comes to reporting information?)
              – claims to have nothing to do with the sexist and misogynistic “radical element” that are sullying their campaign, but a) to date, they have targeted only women, and b) they have not done A SINGLE THING OF VALUE related to either ethics, journalism, or even standing up to the arsewaffles who think that death threats are an acceptable form of discourse.
              I call BS on this “movement.” They are nothing but self-entitled chauvinists who have acted in the most vile and deplorable manner, hiding behind a shield of logical fallacies and internet anonymity. Ethics are important, alright, and if Gamergate had any, maybe I would take them seriously…

              In the interest of unbiased reporting, it seems that Gamergate did have one male target, a comedian who writes for Gawker. They took issue with his sarcastic tweets that lampooned their movement, and campaigned to have big name advertisers like Adobe remove their funding from the site. Ironically, Adobe cites the reason for their departure as *not wanting to be even peripherally associated with either sexism or cyberbullying.* Way to go Gamergate, I’m sure you just made the world a better place. /sarcasm

              Hey, at least they didn’t attack the writer personally, or share his personal details online, or spread sexual-based rumours about him, or threaten his life… you know, like they did with all of their female victims… somethingsrotteninthestateofdenmark

              Me again. As far as I can tell, the majority of the “attacks” of the GamerGate side have been of the “how dare you hit me back!” variety.

              I just needed to gripe somewhere.

              1. “or even standing up to the arsewaffles who think that death threats are an acceptable form of discourse.”

                Except that GamerGate has an anti-abuse group within it that gets death threats and Doxxes taken down. Which is more than can be said for the Antis who are doing the same things.

              2. The anti-GGers also seem perfectly okay with abusers.

                Which is why, no matter how much they insist I should support Zoe Quinn’s games, I won’t. Someone who ‘frames’ their stances in one way to present themselves publicly as ‘good’ then lives a different way in her private life – cheating, abusing, wrecking marriages – is a hypocrite.

                And there is nothing wrong with what Gamergate is doing. As a recent Forbes article points out, Gamergate is really a consumer movement, one with the ability to tell the actual real heavyweights of the industry “You don’t want to be represented on these guys’ pages, and we don’t either.”

    2. They’ve gone against consumers generically– “if you do X then you’re evil” type thing, such as various stores “asking” customers not to CC in their establishments in response to direct assault by a small group of anti-gun activists– but it was never a group that is familiar with bullying as a whole.

      Good heavens, they really think calling a gamer a “sloppy nerd” will do more than make them snort or roll their eyes at how pathetic the attack is?

      1. I had a hard time of it, but I successfully resisted the urge to take on Will Wheaton on Twitter after accidentally reading some of his anti-GamerGate tweets. I wanted to post:

        “Congratulations on finally becoming one of the cool kids. You only had to trash the geeks and nerds you came from.”
        “It’s a rush, isn’t it? Now you know why they spent so much time making fun of you.”
        “Of course, they won’t forget where you came from, and your former geek friends won’t forget what you did to them.”
        “And they probably still won’t let you touch a cheerleader.”

        1. Will Wheaton actually has a very very cute wife.

          In any case, I reserve my jumping on his dumb when he posts stupid anti-Keystone or other climate/enviro stuff. Everyone who follows him on G+ is sick to tears of me popping up and saying (again)… “Nuclear or you’re lying.”

          1. Yeah, the problem is, the people who follow him actually LIKE that kind of BS, and unlike Larry, I don’t have the time for a Twitter War with his fanbase.

            Although I did kind of invite one with the meme I posted this morning. (If you don’t want to go to Twitter, I also posted it on my wordpress linked in my name.)

            1. I donno… every time I get into the “nukes or you’re lying” fight I get three more people who add my Google Plus. But yeah, his political BS is followed by people who like his political BS.

          2. “In any case, I reserve my jumping on his dumb when he posts stupid anti-Keystone ”

            I could understand his anti-Keystone stance, that stuff is like watered down horse ….

            Oh, you meant the pipeline, nevermind.

      2. I actually see it as the gamers of BOTH genders refusing to let a seamonster like Zoe and Anita do more than clan destroying – and in the case of Zoe, outright c-mongering – do more than be destructive in their own small circles. But unfortunately the creature’s already gotten her hooks into too many metaphorical clan leaders cocks, as it were, and so they have to white knight it for her.

        The only good thing is, this is exposing outright poisoning of the pool for the rest of the gamers, and they’re now looking at those people with vast disgust and suspicion. Gaming is an industry where people vote with their wallets – and they’re going to vote as they always have with that. By spending their money where they will enjoy spending it.

          1. Yep. I’d watched a few influential people and guild leaders fall for that manipulation – and suffered for it badly when the backlash happened.

            In a game, generally, if you’re lucky, a loss of reputation is the the ‘worst’ that happens, and the now tarnished knight hopefully learns the lesson. In the case of Gamergate though… it’s got far more long reaching consequences, and the loss of trust has a worse backlash.

            1. My first major ‘social’ interaction online were the Mucks. I don’t know how many of you know of them, but they were multi-user social/rpg systems online that were entirely text based. sort of like the old ‘adventure’ computer game (which a friend of mine wrote).
              The amount of manipulation I used to see on their was astounding. Yes, I saw people set up and driven into deep depressions, there were probably even people who suicided over what was done to them. There are evil people out there, who like to find weak people, slowly build them up into a dependency, and then cut them off at the knees and destroy them. And they think that’s fun.
              Compared to them, the garden variety manipulators were bush league. For ten years I ran the most popular establishment on one of the most popular mucks in the world, and trust me, I’ve seen it all. There were even people who came into my RL to try and win favors from me on line. At least they knew better than to mess with me (I had a very nasty reputation and that really helped to keep the worst crazies at bay).
              It is very much like the old ‘C.B.’ phenomenon, when people know they can’t be physically punished for their behavior, the truly bad ones let it all hang out.

              1. Funny, it’s us ‘old school’ online RPGers and gamers who recognize this kind of thing. (I will grant that as a MUCKer / MUDDer, you’re senior to me on that respect. I started with online forum RPG and mailing list writing)

                Kinda terrifying that it’s now the thing that is being ‘normalized’. Cyberbullying, twitterstorming, en-masse harassment… *shudder* This is not a good thing.

                1. Tsk — such things are always a good thing when the right people (us) are targeted. It is only when the wrong people (them) are targeted that there is any basis for complaint.

                  That is why the SJWs do cricket imitations when Michelle Malkin publishes threats received in her email.

                  These people were racists when racism was cool, sexists when that was acceptable and remain bigots today, which is why they scream first when accusations fly today.

                  As I learned in school: she who said it let it.

                    1. Yep. And for all the howling the SJWs do about doxxing, the Gamergate side has actually been working on actually condemning the people who are trying to cause harm.


                      *slight smile* Mere speculation on my part, but I can think of a reason why the anti-GG side would not want to try police those who are allied with them. Wounded Gazelle Gambits, as I’ve noted before, are something the weasels are fond of doing.

                    2. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of not moving to the defense of kin And kith. I just don’t understand.

                    3. Yeah.

                      Though it’s rather cute he points oh-so-piously to the police report. As if:
                      1. That makes it all okay.
                      2. People with a grudge would never lie to the police about anything.

                    4. The police show up just in time to draw chalk outlines.
                      IOW when seconds count, the police are minutes away.

                    5. In my previous neighborhood, the response to a shots fired call was at least 30 minutes. If they bothered to show up at all.
                      They apparently didn’t want to be shot at. Better things to do, and as the 911 operator said ‘they’re busy, and shots happen all the time’.

                    6. Officer (after Arrival): are you SURE it was shots fired?
                      me: Yes.
                      Officer : How are you sure?
                      Me: can we walk to the end of my driveway?
                      Officer: Sure
                      me (pointing into street) one… two… three… four… five…
                      Officer (oblivious): what
                      Me: I count five shell casings in the street that I can see.

          2. The painful part is watching people fall for the manipulation when you know they’re smart, honorable folks.

            Case in point: I have a great deal of respect for Howard Tayler, the author of Schlock Mercenary, and I generally find I agree with him. But the other day he linked to an article about Gamergate that was one of the most one-sided treatments I’ve ever read — and it was obvious that he’d seen that article, not seen any counterpoints, and believed that it was correct and an accurate summary of the controversy, rather than the hit piece it really was.

    3. I, frankly, delight at the simple reality this presents.

      Gamers, and nerds, and so on and so forth, are often derided for their hobbies and passions… for the ‘useless’ things they spend their money on. Well, yes, that’s one way of looking at it – if one is a person who is empty themselves and tries to fill the void with adulation and circle-leading.

      But a gamer and nerd with the ability to spend the money on their hobby is someone who is, usually, well to do, wealthy enough to be able to spend the money on gaming rigs and very often will do MORE than just build the rig, they’ll tweak it to get better performance. They’ll secure it against other gamers who may be script kiddies or hackers from being bitter losers (The things one discovers once one joins a serious PVP clan…!)

      And frankly, the whole thing that started gamergate – or rather, one of the things – the serious clan gamers deal with regularly.


      We run into the emotionally abusive and manipulative types. We watch them take over a clan and destroy their personal competition and create server-wide wars – and to clarify, while the tendency is seamonsters are usually women, there are MEN who are these as well – the clans that survive are the ones who learn to identify and ‘harpoon’ the seamonsters – e.g. expose them for what they are and try to prevent them from doing much damage.

      cmonsters tend not to actually be there for the game, but the social aspect of it – the potential power, the potential circle of gamer worshippers, even the financial aspect outside of the game (I’ve heard many a tale of a particular clan leader who took what a seamonster offered, flew her up to the state where he lived, and had sex with her for a week in return for the top gear of the game at the time.)

      Heck, there are two types of seamonsters in fact. There’s Type A, who doesn’t mind effectively whoring themselves out – male or female, really – to get what they want in gear and gifts and support, but don’t do much damage otherwise. Couldn’t care less and my reaction to that kind is ‘whatever floats your boat and whatever makes you enjoy your game, as long as it doesn’t wreck my game.’ They can be… disturbing… (See my Deviantart and look for the FML strip called ‘Camshow Suck’ for an example) but are seen as a ‘meh, it’s part of the political dynamics of an MMO’ feature.

      Type B is the destructive kind – the kind that look for influence and power and the ability to destroy people and their reach of destruction goes far outside the game itself. I watched a seamonster attempt to destroy not just clans, but marriages and families for the most petty of reasons, call child services on the friends of their victims if the latter tries to escape the control of the seamonster / try to stop the financial drain, and be horrendously abusive all in all. Wounded gazelle gambits are common and often very transparent but there are plenty of hero-wannabes who fall for them. Yes, they suck the life out of a game, destroy the enjoyment of others because ultimately that’s what they get off on.

      SJW tactics? Are nothing new to the gamers. They recognize it from the Type B Seamonsters they’ve run into. Zoe and Anita sadly just have a fertile ground for their user-friendly tactics, but they tried it a bit too late – gamers are aware of such people now.

      That’s what the whole Gamergate thing translates to to me. A seamonster trying to turn her harpooning to her advantage.

      1. The pattern shouldn’t be new to anybody who’s spent time dealing with abused spouses. Before the abuser in a long-term-abuse situation ever raises their hand on their victim, they make the victim think they deserve it.

        Doesn’t always work. Works better if the victim loves or deeply respects their abuser.

        1. Which is why I recognize the pattern – been there, have been the victim. Nothing enrages me more than the abuser pretending to be a victim, making it harder for real victims. And ultimately, that’s what all this really is – the Type-B seamonster acceptability ‘as long as it’s done for the right cause’, and similar SJW movements and causes translate to the enabling of the REAL abusers.

          1. Some people are WAY too afraid of being alone, It’s hard enough for them to find somebody in the first place that they put up with the worst crap in the world rather than be by themselves again.

            In college, I used to tell people that the most important word in dating was “Next!” (said like the guys running the campus food trucks), that they should stop dwelling in the girl that just dumped them and look forward to someone new.

            Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t help to say “Next!” when there’s nobody in line.

            1. Just my own experience talking here, but the price either way was a form of death of the self, of ‘me.’ I could have stayed… probably wouldn’t be here now and maybe wouldn’t even be on this earth still.

              An emotional abuser is not a far step from someone who actively harms – directly or indirectly. More common is the one who doesn’t directly harm these days, but that doesn’t mean they hurt ‘less’ or are ‘less damaging.’ Quite the contrary… they often are much more damaging than the one who raises a hand to the victim, because they’re able to harm the victim for longer. (As noted by Foxfier below.)

        1. The secret is a) a proper mordant to prepare the fibers, and b) don’t boil your bachelor too long, he will shrink.

          Keep in mind you need to make sure all the creases are swished out well so the dye takes evenly without being blotchy.

          1. And follow the directions about the first rinse/wash after the dye takes, so you don’t get excessive fading. I am SO tired of seeing pale, washed-out young bachelors. .

              1. night shift worker here too, plus I spend most of my daylight outdoors time wearing a helmet. so I can get some strange coloring. Even the occasional Red Neck.

              1. I’m too old for flattery. At this point, if a sweet young thing were to come on to me, I’d probably first put my hand on my wallet.

                I do not expect this to happen.

                1. Having had the hand on the wallet reaction myself I understand and agree. Still wound up being caught by a different sweet young thing. Sometimes you get much better than you deserve.

                    1. I must be doing something wrong. I’ve been on the internet since 1991. I did a bunch of personals sites. I even wasted a lot of time on OKCupid. All in all, I managed to get ONE date off of Craig’s List with a paranoid Iranian girl who wouldn’t even let me drop her off on her same block.

                    2. I met Cedar on the old bar in passing, enough to have a vague recollection of the name. Saw her comment on FB, checked to see if she was a ‘Fly, and friended her. much later I started chatting with her. I was in a bad situation and needed a friend and flirted because it was safe. After all she lived 800 miles away and had a family and work and talent. Next thing I knew I was asking her to move in. We are getting married at Liberty-con in June. I am not sure how it happened. Just make friends and do some harmless flirting and you too can have a future

                    3. Maybe I should see about crossing the country for LibertyCon next year then, if they haven’t hit the attendance cap already. (I heard there was one).

                    4. There is one, 500 paid in advance and 250n for those who just show up, total 750 attendance.. Last year there was at least one very eligible single lady. I am sure there were more but one that I knew personally.

                    5. If that’s where they’re keeping the good women maybe I should too.
                      Want to set up some sort of cost sharing?

                    6. I met the love of my life at WorldCon 2000 in Chicago. It was a fix-up Maybe you need a Hun or Hoyden to matchmake for you?.

                    7. *limpets onto mine* This one’s taken! My nerdy, geeky Aussie hottie! I got him through the Wired myself and … mine!

                      You know the funny thing? After Rhys and I got together… even though it was a long distance relationship… girls started noticing him. The guys would get irritated that the girls paid attention to the man who wasn’t flirting with them and said “Oh, I have a missus.” *proudly show off photo*

                      And no, I don’t understand it either, despite my being a woman.

                    8. *grin*

                      Rhys cheerfully recounts that the first job he got was how he paid for his phone bill… and saved up to fly overseas to visit the Philippines. Several times.

                      …the glares I’d get from the women my age and younger on the arms of older Caucasian men were terrifyingly venomous though. My mom used to make sport of walking just a few meters behind us on outings, to watch, count how many she’d see, and laugh.

                    9. I think the lack of what’s perceived to be the ‘appropriate interest’ is what does it.

                      Which probably explains why so many women where I come from are attracted to men in the seminary. And yes, they try to – and successfully on occasion – woo one from the calling.

                    10. It is a complex open mystery of being human male. Being “taken” by one woman is generally considered to do two things.

                      1. It indicates the male in question is capable of being lived with by a woman has been Beta-tested for living with a woman, so other women won’t have to teach him about the toilet seat, foreplay or other items not natural to the undomesticated male.

                      2. It serves as confirmation that the man meets somebody’s criteria for desirable. Many women are conditioned to view possession of a male as a form of status confirmation … they don’t want a guy until somebody else has proven him desirable. Think of it as an more adult version of the child who has no interest in a particular toy until spotting some other kid playing with it.

                      There are additional idiosyncratic components involved, such as the “reward” of taking something away from somebody else (one way in which some women are especially competititve.)

                      For guys it is a different version of the “forst job syndrome” — you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job.

                    11. *dry* Since I’m teaching my son about the whole toilet seat thing, that makes him +1 on desireability already? (And no, he’s only 7, he’s not going to be ready for a girlfriend for at least a decade or more, and given how horrible girls tend to be these days… I’m more than protective.)

                      I wonder how many women find themselves feeling very secure about the man they’ve successfully stolen? I mean, to me, a man who is steal-able either wasn’t happy in a previous relationship, or isn’t as faithful. They will never feel secure in the love and companionship of a stolen man or woman, and will probably demand lots and lots of constant proof that the thief is the only person that the man is looking at/paying attention to.

                      That wears down on the man, or woman who was ‘stolen away’… and becomes, inevitably, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

                      It does not to me sound like a recipe for happiness, especially if the person ‘stolen’ wasn’t looking for a way out of a bad relationship.

                      Talking as someone who was flat out rescued out of a very unhappy, emotionally abusive marriage, so…

                    12. I don’t recall suggesting such people were finding happiness. For many of them it is self-defeating, pursuing happiness in ways that ensure they will never get it (this is particularly a problem of contemporary Western women and likely a part of the underlying attraction of 50 Shades fantasies — a very extensive topic we need not explore at the moment.)

                      I have never quite understood a woman who would “steal” another woman’s husband except that they must think they are better able to “keep him in line satisfied happy.”

                      Of course, the other side of the argument is to let somebody else knock off some of the rough edges so that you can concentrate on the final polishing. Men and Women both tend to need a little edge-knocking before they accede to the facts of a relationship being a working together rather than a power tussle.

                    13. I’ve always thought that a woman who would steal another’s husband to prove to herself that ‘she is more desirable’ than the other woman is a fool. After all, there is nothing now to hold the man back from dumping the thief later on when a different, younger woman tries to steal him again in turn.

                      (Which is why I made the particular distinction between stealing someone, and someone looking for a way out of an unhappy marriage or relationship.)

                      I’ve never understood how people keep thinking of a relationship being a power tussle. That was one of the problems with my ex, and one I don’t have with Rhys. I’ve never thought of relationships as a power tussle, and Rhys happily says he got ‘lucky’ with me ‘as his first girlfriend/relationship/partner for life’ because I don’t see it as a power struggle.

                      I mean, geez. There’s enough problems for everyday life. No need to make it more of a headache than it already is, that’s what I think.

                    14. Rory, I think the thing is that if someone has someone, it’s proof that they’re worth having, and it attracts them like a sort of pre-screening.

                    15. In fairness, this works with both genders. After I got my first boyfriend when I was muuuuuuch younger, I actually heard “Well, shit, you CAN be courted and wooed! Dump your boyfriend so I can try!”

                      I retorted that he clearly had more balls and spine than the other boys did, so hell no.

                      Doesn’t make sense though when the Significant Other is in a different country and not physically present. Not sure how that get sussed out…

                2. Piffle. You’re never too old for flattery … but the definition of flatter does change, and some forms of flattery become insulting.

                  I was never much of a fan of Two And A Half Men, but you occasionally tune through it in syndication and I have to give credit for this line, delivered by Jon Cryer to a prostitute: “I’m not even the biggest I’ve ever seen and I haven’t seen that many.”

              1. Eh, I appreciate a good Goth, SCA version as well as the later editions, but in small doses. Pointless angst gets boring after a while.

                1. I personally have a liking for what is termed elegant goth. When I have a chance I will happily leaf through the Japanese mags devoted to such. (While I have yet to cos-play or costume I am tempted.)

                  The Daughter has informed me that the angst is EMO, not properly goth.

                  1. Alas, most of the proto-Goths out here are really emo. More than once I’ve had the urge to go all Kate on them. “You want dark? I’ll give you dark,” but I’m told that scaring the children is in poor taste.

                    1. I used to love dressing up in Elegant Gothic Lolita / Aristocrat styles. Hell, my mom was so happy with the style she’d buy me clothes. She liked that I had taste.

                      And EGL/A isn’t just a style of dressing up, it’s an attitude. Emo was considered very bad behavior.

                    2. Bet you were one hell of a butler.

                      Was one of the kids dressed as Ciel?

                      OK. Yes. The Daughter has shared Kuroshitsuji with me.

                    3. The Black Butler “comic” is available in the Nook Store. Finished the first volume last night.

                      I’ll likely be purchasing a few more volumes “just to be sure” it’s any good. [Very Big Grin]

                      I’ll will admit that I’m not sure I like the rest of Ciel’s household staff. Mind you, Ciel and his “butler” make up for these goof-balls. [Smile]

                    4. *grin* As much fun as it would have been to dress my adorable little boy in the kinds of outfits that Ciel wears, it would have been too hot for him – so I settled for putting him in a long-sleeved white shirt and black pants… shirt adorned by lace, and a frilly cravat like thing. Daughter was easier – EGL headdress and dress, and lacy wrist cuffs, frilly socks.

                      I was really, really lucky and was able to get my hands on a Yana Toboso artbook. So much prettiness!

                      The whole scene in the manga where the line, ‘WIFE OF THE QUEEN’S WATCHDOG!’ is said? Pure badass.

                    5. The manga / anime Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) has a good mix of Elegant Gothic Lolita and Aristocrat styles drawn in.

                      The Wikipedia article is not too bad, also has a link to the Aristocrat version of Elegant Gothic styles.

                      Lolita fashion is thought to have been partly created to react against the growing exposure of the body and skin in modern society. Adherents fight this with modesty, presenting themselves as “cute” or “elegant” rather than “sexy”.

                      Definitely did not have a problem with regard my clothing preferences as a teen or young adult with my parents, though my overwhelming preference for formal, clean cut and unrevealing-of-skin lines seemed to annoy people I worked with. It puzzled me, since the businessy cut of my clothes certainly suited the workplace… they were mostly black though – a helpful thing when you’re getting up at 3 am in the morning and aren’t very awake. I never had to worry about color coordination.


                    6. Googled EGA lovely clothes. The guys modeling the mens clothing were universally ick but the clothes were nice. My opinion is that EGA is Steampunk in Black

                    7. Quite. I especially loved the outfit I put together for a particular Victorian – EGL/A party several years ago. The skirt was practically a hobble skirt though and I am surprised I didn’t tear seams walking.

                      I’m quite proud of that hat. My hairdresser had LOTS of fun with my hair and makeup. It’s coiled in loops on either side of my head and fell in that ringlet spiral.

                    8. That is cute. If you’re interested my Facebook photo is of me in full Scottish formals that have their birth in the same period

                    9. I don’t have a facebook, because I have a ridiculously persistent, and vicious stalker, who we all refer to here as a Social Disease.

                      I loved that blouse. It was thin enough that I could wear it outside of the freezing temps of the office, but gave me the coverage I sought to stay out of direct wind chill.

                    10. Very pretty. And proves yet again that I have absolutely no clue when envisioning people I have never seen before. 🙂

                      And yet (and I say this to nearly half the people I meet) – those pictures remind me of someone, but I can’t place who it could be.

                    11. Thank you.

                      I’m told that most people imagine me being taller and more intimidating, as opposed to “Tiny and cute” – as one very surprised person once said. Even knowing what I look like from a photo doesn’t seem to help.

                      Once I open my mouth though, I go back “to being scary” again… *smile*

                      Housemate has remarked on more than one occasion that Rhys and I are surprisingly no different from how we are online. He finds it odd.

                    12. Actually, you look more intimidating in those photos than I had imagined. I used to work with a Vietnamese woman just slightly taller than you, and patterned your image off of her. At least to some extent. I wouldn’t want to piss her off, either, even though I once picked her up by the elbows and moved her (I could get away with it because of the whole Teddy Bear thing that a lot of women and children seem to see me as).

                    13. Now all here (or at least those clicking that link) can honestly answer the Post’s title inquiry: Yes, we have seen the well to do.

                      For certain pulchritudinous values of well to do, at any rate.

                    14. *grin* Would you believe the whole outfit was the result of me hunting through secondhand shops that got stock largely from China and Japan? The hat I made out of stiff cardboard cut out of a document folder and skirt lining. Total cost of clothes was less than $10. The hairstyle was probably twice the cost of the clothes. I got better clothes buying second hand Japanese stuff than buying new from the department store.

                    15. … my overwhelming preference for formal, clean cut and unrevealing-of-skin lines seemed to annoy people I worked with.

                      People who rely on social confirmation tend to react very negatively to anything which challenges their assumptions. It engenders self-doubt, which for them can be extremely painful.

                    16. The ‘not revealing skin’ was actually more of a practical work thing than anything else. Philippine call centers tended to be anywhere from 10 to 15 or more degrees colder than the outside. I bundled up because it was cold in the office – I wore this blouse to work because yaaaaaay my neck wasn’t cold, used leather gloves to type so my fingers wouldn’t stiffen up from the cold, and my father in law bought me a thick Russian-style wool coat that I could turn the collar up on from Zara because he heard from Rhys how COLD it was in the office.

                      Then whenever I had to leave the office I had to unwrap myself from layers and layers of cold weather clothes to face 30+ degree heat and humidity.

                      My concession to try fit in once was to wear a skirt that had a knee-length hemline instead of slacks. I still got bitched at for wearing stockings. Because cold, damnit. Unfortunately for the floor manager, one of the higher ups heard her ranting at me, and asked what I usually wore. When I replied pants, he said “I think she’s jealous of your legs.”

                      I hate workplace environments. I’m there to freaking work, not play social pissing contests.

                    17. While I am a huge fan of all the (attractive female) skin I can lay my eyes on, in a business* setting, I’m very much of the opinion that showing too much is a very bad thing. It leads to too much distraction in the menfolk, as well as considerable friction between coworkers.

                      And I’ll take a look at the link and look up the other descriptions.

                      * The term “business” used here to mean professional work not of the “entertainer” or “sex worker” variety.

                    18. Yeah, you’d think that at least smart casual dress would have been fine in a banking call center. One of my friends finally said it’s how I carry myself that intimidates the insecure. I don’t stand like I’m trying to disappear into the crowd, or cower as if expecting to get yelled at. I just… stand straight and just … am.

                  2. Oh, there are plenty of angsty goths, we just don’t go whining about it to everyone.

                    I’ve seen some interesting studies on Goth subculture back when the Gov’t was trying to implicate Goths as the Next Big Threat (see “Leave Me Alone (Shaft 20/20 Mix)” By The Cruxshadows- it features clips from a 20/20 episode that I’m sure ABC would rather have people forget). They spent a bunch of money on ‘studies’ (Post-Columbine) to determine what ‘makes Goths kill’ (even though the … people involved in the instigating incident weren’t goths and had publicly stated their hate for goths, and were more into the metal/hardcore culture than goth… but anyway).

                    Studies determined that people involved in the Goth subculture come from across the religious, social, political , and economic spectrum. They are no more or less ‘racist’ (one accusation I’ve heard) than any particular segment of the population. (Anyone that thinks goths are only white kids has clearly never been to Goth events in L.A.)

                    wow, brief response turns into long speech…

                    1. I would expect Goth beachware to look more like a Goth-ed version of something you would see from the 1920s.

        2. Eh, as I’ve noted, I’ve been seeing this behavior from both men and women, regardless of sexual orientation. There’s prey aplenty for the predator, regardless of gender or orientation – after all, human predators are not limited to males, despite what the SJWs and feminists would like to have the world believe.

          I have no such illusions.

          1. Anybody claiming “women don’t lie” needs to explain make-up & foundation garments — as much lies as guys driving cars they can’t really afford or packing their wallets with monopoly money (albeit much more socially approved.)

            As was asserted during the Clinton impeachment (and by Gregory House): everybody lies.

            1. *dry* I stopped listening to feminists back in college. That screed against beautiful women never ever being ‘true’ feminists was delivered with the very strong implication that the girls in that audience needed to physically disfigure their faces to be considered ‘true’ feminists.

              I’m well aware of the hate of the have nots for those who have – have anything they don’t. Beauty, talent, skill, friends, happiness… name it, and it will be envied by someone simply because it is something the envier does not have. I’ve found that it is not necessary for the person who is jealous or envious to actually want the thing, it’s enough that ‘the other person has it and I don’t. Therefore it must be taken away.’

              +1 for the House reference 🙂

            2. As was asserted during the Clinton impeachment (and by Gregory House): everybody lies.

              Is that true?

            3. As was asserted during the Clinton impeachment (and by Gregory House): everybody lies.

              Had a troll use that “defense” on me. Perhaps people do lie, but that doesn’t mean the troll is going to get away with lying about me.
              *evil grin*

              1. The fact that everybody does something not mean that it is acceptable. So, yes, people lie. This does not mean that one should put up with being lied to or about.

          2. For me, getting to know somebody who emotionally abused, and even if she was somebody I didn’t see all that often she was also somebody I was not able to completely walk away from due to the fact that she was attached to somebody I would not leave, has probably been among the reasons for spinsterhood. I was pretty naive in several ways before first meeting her, and the behavior was a shock (even if I had been aware of the type on an abstract level) – there really are people who do not behave rationally? I mean, just remaining polite would have made things so much easier for everybody concerned, but she would not stay on that level, I don’t know if she really even ever tried. Like that damn story about a scorpion and a frog, maybe she just couldn’t help herself because it just was her nature. Especially since it probably was a nature she, unlike the scorpion, was quite unwilling to admit to. I suppose she has gone through her life assuming that she always has had completely rational reasons for her behavior, and it always really was the fault of the other person.

            Meeting one of those types in real life scared me since one other thing I found out was that you really can’t tell at first. Not before they start the manipulation and attacking. So the scary part, what if you fell in love with a male variety, getting attached to somebody like that, and trusting him but then finding out he was one would hurt so much more…

            1. So the scary part, what if you fell in love with a male variety, getting attached to somebody like that, and trusting him but then finding out he was one would hurt so much more…

              I did that. He hurt me, but he didn’t break me. It wasn’t easy to break away from the cycle of emotional abuse, the lies and fighting. It came down to ‘No, I don’t deserve to be treated and distrusted like this. I deserve better. And there is nothing I can do to show I have done nothing of what you accuse, then why should I not do exactly as you keep saying I have? Someone out there values me more, respects me more, loves me more than you do.’ Someone who didn’t want to keep me in a cage to perform only for his own pleasure, and wouldn’t hurt me if I didn’t measure up to ever-shifting standards and goalposts.

              My ex wanted me to stop writing.

              Rhys worked hard to show me he wasn’t anything like that – a reasonable fear because at first my ex was not very different from Rhys.

              I am happy now, beyond my wildest dreams that I could ever be. Happier than I thought could be possible. No matter how stressful, hair-greyingly hard this life is, there are, somehow, little pockets of joy, when I didn’t have that before.

              1. No, I don’t deserve to be treated and distrusted like this. I deserve better.

                A longtime friend was one of the kindest and most capable people I knew, except that she had a propensity of choosing utterly charming but mean manipulative men. Eventually she married one. States away, I watched on the sidelines as the effect of living with his words and actions took hold and she began to loose all trust in herself. It was a great day when she finally realized that, whatever her faults might be, he was the one that was wrong. She is still rebuilding her life.

                I am glad you got out. Kudos to you.

                  1. Because they have no right to my life.

                    No they don’t.

                    The problem comes when they convince you that what is going on is that you are giving your life up — when it wasn’t and would never have been your idea. Whatever the reason they give you for steeling it they just don’t have that right.

            2. Hmmm … I have gone through life utterly confident that I have completely rational reasons for my behaviour. The psychologists told the judge and the panel that my reasons were completely rational, granting my premises. And yet here I sit, wearing this absurd canvas jacket (the overlong sleeves make typing extraordinarily tedious) and besides, white is just not in season.

              No matter. I have a plan, a completely rational plan, and soon Everybody will share my reasoning. You’ll see — I shall prove that I am rational, completely, wholly, utterly and totally rational.

              1. Tisk, wearing white after Labor Day….

                I liked the idea that Dorothy was actually in a madhouse. A Kinky madhouse that replaced her regular straitjacket with a black leather one. After the switch, she said to her little stuffed dog, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Canvas any more.”

                1. After the switch, she said to her little stuffed dog, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Canvas any more.”

                  “But I still love hemp.”

        3. I plan on dying with a glass empty of whiskey in one hand, and a mostly burnt cigar or cigarette in the other.

            1. Nah. A gun fight between the liver and the lungs with the heart standing in the middle.

                1. I have a friend with that shirt. You wouldn’t happen to work at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin, would you?

                    1. I meant Renton but was graced with the autocorrect fairy.
                      He lives up in Marysville so he could be at a different plant. We met when I lived up in Burlington.
                      The 777 still giving y’all trouble?

                    2. Never mind then and please accept my sincere apology for delving into personal affairs too deeply. I sometimes forget that this is a public forum and not just some people chatting with a reasonable expectation of privacy.

                    3. Yes, remember that one of our regular posters has a stalker that monitors these forums and then whines about her on the few that actually allow him to post.

                    4. Yes I forgot and she explained it to me quite recently too. It’s really to bad you can’t just call people out and challenge them in such a way that they would be ruined of they didn’t back up their words.

                      If hr wants me, come and get it. I’m in Nevada.

                    5. Nope I look like I should be working for Duck Commander. It has been said that he likes to splatter onto friends and associates. I consider myself her friend, and every attack on me is one not on her. Can va?

                    6. I grew up around several people who worked for Boeing, but I don’t know any right now (other than Mauser of course). I have three family members who are currently working on the same building for Amazon, however. For three different contractors, and two of them didn’t know each other until they met I my house when the both went on vacation and traveled over to visit me at the same time.

                      Yep, sometimes it is a small world.

                1. In the last segment, the girl could have come straight out of Real Genius.

                  I may have to see this movie.

  2. I am trying my best not to wander off and look for a performance by Mr. Astaire, or maybe Wilder and Boyle, to post.

      1. Oh now I am hearing and seeing in my mind’s eye the incredible Gwen Verdon perfrom Whatever Lola Wants….

        1. So I ask Dearest Friend is this how you spell incredible? And completely overlook perform. … Dang dyslexia.

      2. Some inexplicable lyric modifications …

        But what can you expect from Russians? They probably don’t even know who Gary Cooper was, much less why he would have been a fashion icon, poor things.

              1. There’s a news feature online with video of LA dedicating Mel Brooks Street with a big mural of him and “Young Frankenstein” images.

              1. It starts with a very young and very cute Jackie Chan so it can’t be all bad… Okay, so I think I got to the “can’t unsee” part.

                    1. Oh! Yes. I sort of thought that whole thing was ironic and the guy was laughing his butt off at everyone for buying it. Now, this is funny, my son just told me that it was meant as a *criticism* of the person who bankrupted themselves trying to act like the upper class. He said, in Singapore and I said, hey, that’s Korea, so maybe he was thinking of the wrong artist instead of just the wrong asian country. If so, though, it quite amazingly ties in with “Putting on the Ritz” except that the Ritz presents it as a desirable entertainment while Gungnam style presents it (if we’re not making stuff up) as looking like an idiot.

                      There are similarities with Yankeedoodle, too, if you think about it.


        1. Are you trying to give me nightmares? My family left Russia a century ago. I’ve no wish to Ever return.

          1. Great grandmother on the mama’s father’s side left the Russian Pale when there was still a Tsar. Family didn’t like it then. They don’t call it a Tsar anymore. I still wouldn’t like it now.

          2. No intent to inflict nightmares. The image is a visual pun, intended to bring chuckles, given the title of the post and the various musical clips that’ve been presented.

  3. Choke points — that’s what the Left is very good at. By grabbing control of choke points in the route of commerce they are able to extract disproportionate payments for their power.

    A few hundred years ago their ancestors occupied mountain passes or swamp trails, exploiting their position to extract tolls from travelers and merchants. These days they occupy cultural institutions such as publishing, universities and the MSM, where their lack of productive activity does not affect their ability to rob passers-through. They also have taken root in the trade unions where they leverage their power to broker jobs and labor to feather their own nests, and feather them very well, too.

    Look for a financial or political choke point and you are likely to find Progs and Leftists striving for primacy. They toil not neither do they spin, but they are very adept at making money off those who do.

    1. Choke point? Is that when they push you to the point that you feel an overwhelming need to choke them?

  4. Author Andrew Klavan who writes and games has expressed the opinion that some of the best writing is being done for games. The best games involve character & plot to create their storylines in ways that involve the players’ imaginations.

  5. It always cracks me up to see millionares like Russell Brand calling for Marxist revolution from the comfort of their mansions. Not that a call for Marxism makes any more sense from any other source, but people like him make the hypocrisy blatant.

    1. Hm. They either think that if a revolution like that happened it wouldn’t touch them. Or maybe they actually think it may happen, and want to be on the good side of the inevitable (in that theory) winners.

      Or most likely, they are just trying to look good and to appeal to both their bosses and their fans, both groups which likely have that worldview, without really thinking any more deeply about the whole thing. And when it occasionally backlashes they are so, so deeply shocked. As if the solid ground – what they thought was solid ground – had suddenly moved…

        1. Heh… well, from what I know exactly that happened in Soviet Union in the beginning a lot, probably in most other countries which went that way too.

          1. Well, the Soviet Union may have wanted to turn all art to propaganda purposes, but that meant, among other things, that art had to be intelligible to the masses. Imagine that!

        2. Based on what happened elsewhere, there would be a lot of A-listers (and on downward) bundled off to the reeducation camps, along with buses full of academics and union leadership, all of them protesting that there must be some mistake, they had been on the winning side all along!

          1. They’re not the right type of SJW. But they ARE useful to shovel off highways in Alaska, to reduce pollution from snowplows. We can have a Siberia too, under SJW rule.

    2. The loudest voices calling for Marxism are the first ones to say, “It’d help everyone else, but I’ve already been helped. I should have this because I’m smarter than the peasants, and Marxism is the best they can do.”

    3. The traditional term, from the 20’s, was Parlour Pink. While sipping fine brandy and smoking fine cigars, wearing fine clothing and sitting warm in a comfy chair he gets to prove how with it he is by explaining how much better the proletarian revolution will make everything.

          1. It’s been a while since I offered, but any Hun or Hoyden in prog-controlled territory who needs help getting to the free world is welcome to my couch. With enough notice, I might even be able to get the spare bedroom usable. 🙂 I’m especially enthusiastic about getting folks out of Cali (only one member of the Oyster Clan left there!), but you’re all welcome if it helps.

  6. When everyone cheats it fades into background noise and eventually becomes business as usual. When some small upstart specialty house (can you say Baen? I knew that you could.) operates to a different standard, well then the great unwashed have a point of reference for comparison now don’t they. If TradPub were as powerful as they’d like to be they would have destroyed Baen long ago. Now of course they no longer have just the piddling upstart to contend with, but a looming giant that really doesn’t give a flying flip about all their literary pretensions. All Amazon wants is to be the Wal-Mart of the internet. How crude, how crass, how rude, how American.
    Said before and will again now, tradpub is in its death throws, helped along by all the petty vicious sniping from the SJW and GHH crowds that continuously demonstrate their total lack of relevance or connection with reality.
    Then too, there is considerable overlap within the gaming and hacker communities. Piss off a gamer and no telling what interesting things might just happen to you in cyberspace. About as smart as bad mouthing Islam to a jihadi.

    1. Dids’t thou see the recent Paul Krugman column attacking Amazon? Aside from ignorance errors of fact, his complaint basically boiled down to Amazon’s shoving aside the NY Times as arbiter of American Taste. Not that Krugman admitted that the Times, by its manipulation of Best Seller lists and choices of what to promote review, acted to shape what people read buy.

      But Amazon acts to empower the consumer, and we all know that allowing people to choose what they like rather than what is good for them, is A Bad Thing, for they might choose WRONG.

      1. That’s Paullie “The Beard” Krugman, to me. Too hoity-toity to mix (or even approach within 100 yards) with the plebes. And Hey!, we can dress any way we like to shop at Amazon–and no one will put pix of us on the web.

    2. I think we all need to badmouth islam whenever and wherever possible. The religion of pieces gets way too much deference and needs to be ridiculed and exposed as pure evil.
      One of my heroes is Anne Barnhardt who burned a koran on youtube and then published her home address, saying here I am, come and get me. She’s still alive and kicking.

      1. I’d do that, but I’d hate to come home and find that my wife had to shoot someone.

  7. I’m watching with some interest the SF authors which are suddenly getting the Hollywood greenlight. Scalzi is getting THREE TV shows (and the first hasn’t even come out yet), while Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice may be coming to the small screen. Not the most popular series, you note, but the work of the most vocally PC authors.

    1. Scalzi was already plugged in to the Hollywood scene, so I’m not surprised the studios turned to someone they know.

      I’ll reserve my surprise for when I see the Evil Lord Of Evil’s optioned work ever making it to the small screen.

      1. Know how he’s going to get on screen?

        Watch for Amazon or NetFlix to start crowd-sourcing TV programs. I think we’re going to start seeing things like KickStarter and IndieGoGo move over into the space currently occupied by the networks, especially when it comes to creating TV programming. I think that what will happen is that you’ll have groups of enthusiasts come together, fund pilot TV shows, and then the shows will get optioned by either Amazon or NetFlix, based on how well the pilots do with the public.

        The old gatekeepers have lost their jobs; the masses are no longer hemmed in by the walls, and it’s just going to take some time for that to be realized. I would bet money that a show like Firefly wouldn’t get cancelled, in this day and age–Fox might have optioned it, but the viewing public wouldn’t have stood for them doing what they did with it, and their timing would have been irrelevant, anyway–With NetFlix and Amazon out there, it would have meant nothing when they screwed up releasing it.

        I think that you’ll see Correia’s work get developed by a group of enthusiasts, and then you’ll watch what happens when the numbers reach critical mass. What’s happening to the publishing industry is just starting to take off in the rest of the media world, and the same syndromes are going to take place. Amazon is going to change a lot more than just book publishing, I suspect.

        1. Look at the kind of stuff people can do without official resources, right now:

          And geeks have a REALLY high tolerance for funky special effects, if you frame it right– we “just” need somebody to find out if, say, this SirConnorAnderson fellow is a Correia fan.

          Wasn’t “The Guild” done as a fan work to start with?

          1. I don’t know if “The Guild” counts as fan work, but certainly an indie production. Correct me, but I think Felicia Day did Dr. Horrible before the Guild and probably other stuff so I figure that’s “indie in the industry” rather than “fan production.” *shrug*

                1. Thanks, must’ve gotten it crossed wayback when.

                  On the upside, some one in EQII confused her with the journalist today and tried to state that gamergate consisted of her being doxxed…. (minds out of gutters, folks! Means ID exposed.)

                  1. Apparently Felicia Day was doxxed right after she posted something anti-gamergate. Her opinion is no surprise because she’s spoken out about things like sexist fantasy armor. I just wish they’d make the effort to *catch* whoever does it because as long as that person is anonymous it can be presented as “of course” coming from gamergate.

                    1. It’s entirely possible that she doesn’t particularly WANT to catch them– as the “I’m being threatened!” (by a guy from Brazil. For years, now.) woman knows, it’s much more useful to have victim creds, and publicity is publicity.

                      Not that we’d find out if they were caught, barring more gamergate folks spilling the beans.

          2. look up Portal CGI and live action on YouTub. There is stuff coming out that would have made Lucas bow his head and give up trying to make it look right

            Here is an example. Three guys and a camera and rendering software.

            1. keep in mind the software these guys used is the same professional software (and techniques) used for TV and movies, not something they bought for $100 in the software section at Fry’s.

              1. Agreed, but 20 years ago you would need a full studio to do this short. Now you just need the cost of a new Corvette.

                1. naah, just a healthy used car cost. $2400 (Maya) + $700 (ZBrush,, he sepecifically mentions using it in the comment thread) + $1000 (camera, pretty sure he used a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera) + $200 (camera lens) + compositing, video editing and photo processing software (Adobe CC subscription, $50/mo)… of course, likely spread across several people. Oh, and some lighting gear…

                  1. I’m looking for some cheap video editing software. Back when Adobe left all their old stuff wide open to download, I tried a copy of Premiere 2.0, but it freezes on my machine, even when set to XP Emulation.

                    1. Win 7. I wonder if that ancient version of ULead that came with my first webcam would work….

                      Basically I got a nice little dashcam a couple weeks ago and I’d like to edit stuff I got.

                    2. Any reasonably current version of Premiere runs fine under Win 7. IF you want cheap, look at Premiere Elements.

          3. Older son says that several online cartoons are already better than most of the things that get to the networks today.

        2. The key thing is eliminating the number of “middle men” taking a piece of the pie before it gets served. It won’t be long before there are dedicated channels for streaming content available at a low cost per user (lower than what you now pay for cable.)

      2. The Evil Lord of Evil and HBO seem like a good fit. Maybe not on the sex side, but it can be made up with gore.

        Also, I do believe that Steve Stirling is getting some HBO love.

          1. Uh… I sort of liked this thing about tech dying. Much better than my impression of the TV show “Revolution” which made no sense whatsoever. (Yes, the evil militias get all the guns and take over because that’s what evil militias do.) Stirling at least has people behave like people do and doesn’t have cardboard bad-guys and cardboard bad-groups. And even the evil dudes are trying to create societies that genuinely function.

            My husband won’t even start reading the series because they depend on physics not working. Meh. That doesn’t bother me at all. FTL anyone?

            1. I haven’t read Dies the Fire, although the concept was interesting, as well as the way (spoiler alert)

              he incorporated the series into the ISOT series.

              That having been said, he has a thing for kinky sex for the sake of kinky sex. And I really don’t want people to think that Alice Hong is the sort of villain you’ll run into all the time.

              1. Be grateful that you’ll probably never see the Draka in movie/television format…

                That’d break some minds, I think. About like putting Ringo’s Kildar up on the silver screen…

                1. A Kildar book? I would go see that. Of course the rating would have to be Z x isn’t strong enough

                2. I read one of the Draka books (the one where one of the Draka makes it to our Earth?) and I was so freaked out I took a really long time to read anything from the guy. I probably finally did only because he’s “local” to our con and I saw him and went to a reading or two. (He and his wife are awesomely nice people.)

                  1. Ja, that’s one of those series I keep looking at and keep thinking “But you need to stay kinda sane and grounded,” and put it back on the shelf.

                    1. IIRC Stirling has said that he was in a “dark period” of his personal life when he wrote the Draka series.

                      Mind you, in the fourth book written sometime later, the Draka lost. (That was Drakon, the book where a single Draka came to our world but one of the “good guys” followed her to our world.)

                    2. I have read that last one (or was it, what Drak is talking about?) and it was okay, but I didn’t get any urge to find anything else by him. Was something from a sale in one of the local stores which stock English paperbacks, I think. I’m a sucker for cheap books.

                      (Drak, did you eat one of the Draka or is your name just a reference for dragons?)

                    3. Drak comes from the Latin (or Greek I forget) for Dragon. In story, the “Draka” colony was named for Sir Francis Drake. “Drake” also refers to Dragons. [Smile]

                      While I had read the Draka series before I started using “Drak Bibliophile” (the Bookloving Dragon), I was thinking of Dragon not Drakas. [Smile]

                    4. 🙂

                      Well, if we get problems with the Drakas one of these days we do expect you to eat at least a few. Of course the way things are we will more likely get troublemakers who just _think_ they are Drakas, but don’t actually have any real superior traits. But feel free to eat them too.

  8. Kinda on topic, kinda off, but of all the posts I’ve put up on my blog, the ones that get the most hits are the natural history posts. I wonder if there’s an untapped market of people who are interested in science and natural history, but who do not want it with the usual lacing of “bad human, evil capitalism, woe, woe” and who are not interested in reading all the specialist literature. Perhaps the genre is being pushed off the shelves by the PC types (and overspecialization, so that you don’t have that many people with a broad enough knowledge base to write good natural history.)

      1. I too LIKE natural history. Beloved Spouse & I also like physical science museums. (When you were in Charlotte did you ever get to Discovery Place? Lots of people would drive the 100 miles down from Greensboro for Carowinds, we drove it for Discovery Place.)

        I have other peculiar tastes. We shall not engage in further discussion of those. Pay no attention to the Popeil Pocket Proton Accelerator. You di’n’t see nuthin’, y’unnerstan’?

      2. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll dig around and see what additional research I’d need to do a natural history of the western Plains (start with what I know). The only big problem I can foresee is the cost of illustrations, and I could probably find public domain botanical illustrations for some of them. OK, the cost of illustrations and the time required to do the research. Microbiology and entomology are not my favorite subjects.

        1. You might want to look at The Shaping of America, A Geographical Perspective on 500 years of History by D.W. Meinig, Yale University Press, four volumes, the first published in 1995.

          I only have the first three, and have only used them as reference so far (they remain designated as to be read). I cannot speak fully to the political interpretation, particularly to the later period.

          1. Thanks. He’s been gone for a while, but I know he’s on social media, and I don’t want to rekindle his interest. It took a fair bit of effort to shake him off.

            1. I am sure you have nothing of the sort in mind and wouldn’t ever even consider this, but just so you know … there are arrangements that can be made to deliver a personal and anonymous and highly persuasive message to such a person, should you need it.

              Or so I’ve heard.

    1. Curious but what do you mean by “natural history”? Sarah said “dino thing”…

      I’m just looking for greater specificity because it does seem like an audience is waiting for science… something. Not to dis fantasy but that seems to dominate just now but I know lots of people who *say* they prefer science fiction to fantasy.

      1. I was thinking of the older style science writing where you take an ecosystem, say the tall grass Konza Prairie, and describe how it works and developed, from the microbes and bugs to the plants and animals, and then how people use the land (if they do/did). Madsen’s _Where the Sky Began_ is one example, except he covers all tallgrass prairies, and goes into restoration/preservation efforts. It’s botany, zoology, climatology, everything in one book, for the interested non-specialist reader. Sarah might be more interested in something like Carlson’s _Deep-Time and the Texas High Plains_, which focuses on an archaeological site (Lake Lubbock in this case) and goes from the Ice Age to the Comanche. If there’s a site where you have enough geology, you could do something similar from the dinosaurs to the first Anglos.

        1. Hey wait, I’ve got this start where this old biker dodges a reenactment of the end of Easy Rider at the junction of Oklahoma/Texas and runs through a dimension gate to meet some German/Irish immigrants that came through in 1842 and he can’t tell if it’s a time distortion gate or a planet gate. He needs that background data…

      2. All the pop science places are soaked in “scientism”– folk science. The sort that will tell you that of COURSE first cousins marrying will always have retarded children, global warming is man-made and a fact, and no real scientists are religious because that’s flying spagetti monster.

        No place for folks who just like real science, not science with agenda.

    2. I fondly recall The Making of a Continent from BBC / WTTV Chicago, a six episode production aired in 1983.

      “The series is perfect for the geologist and non-geologist alike. It paints a large-scale picture that reveals the tectonic development of North America. Panoramic filming, thoughtful narrative and detailed descriptions trace natural events and forces that shape familiar landscapes ad human history. A comprehensive view of the origin, structure, erosion, deformation and marginal renewal of the North American continent.”

      – Journal of International Geoscience

  9. Games are not just where the fun books went – they are where most of the fun movies went too, and the folks with the real money switched where they spend their money to the games industry years ago. Look at the promotion efforts, development budgets, and even big name actors that have moved from Hollywood to games.

    Midlist books and movies used to be where people who are now gamers spent their money. The desperate “Hollywood tentpole” blockbuster phenomenon, where only the most extravagant production (in big screen 3D!) has a chance of pulling enough eyeballs away from the games, is an artifact of this shift.

    The blockbuster novel, promoted to death and stacked ceiling-high in the bookstores, may have been where the main effort of the publishing houses went, but the bread and butter of their bottom line was the midlist. Now that’s gone for all the reasons Sarah has explained, and the publishing business has moved to mirror the movie business, with the only thing holding up their tent being the rare big budget hit that draws people in, while the gaming industry is more a whole bunch of small tents, some of which are getting bigger, and normally all full of customers..

    1. One thing the publishers (and those within who decide what to publish) is that the mid-list is where the money is. (Hollywood lost sight of this as well, especially as the studio system broke down and “stars” became necessary to bankroll films … sorry, wrong rant.)

      Best sellers, prestige books, celebrity tomes may get the attention, the big publicity, the high return on the dollar, but the mid-list is where the cash flow lies. It is there where you get your regular book-a-week buyers; Harry Potter and the Latest Installment may drive traffic to the stores, but it is the quality mid-list that keeps them coming back again and again. ‘Tain’t glamorous, ’tain’t showy, don’t kick up big sales numbers but it turns a profit and does so on a consistent basis. Killing a mastodon allows the tribe to gorge itself, but tending the garden and knocking off rabbits & grouse is what keeps it going.

      1. Right. And for movies it’s really obvious this year – they had one of the biggest grossing movies ever in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and yet this year’s total box office is down, with wailing and gnashing of teeth in Variety.

        Both the big movie production and big publishing industries are stuck, though – the midlist they abandoned has picked up new entrants to consume that disposable income, and the new stuff from the game developers and self-published-ebook-authors/Amazon better meets the needs of the market.

        There’s no way the Baen model of concentrating on midlist can now be replicated, since the overhead they’ve accreted is too great for the big traditional publishing houses and movie studios to be able to do anything but bet on the blockbuster, and live or die in the end of year financials by the results.

        1. I want a hula-dancing Potted Groot for the dashboard of my car. They completely dropped a GOLDEN marketing opportunity, and for why? They didn’t think the movie would sell?

          1. Apparently there was significant doubt that a Marvel property without main line lead comics characters would engage the audience.

            Also remember this is Disney, with the corporate pain from the John Carter of Mars release still very fresh.

            I think the prerelease promotion was a wee bit tentative due to just these fresh scars. I don’t know what the resulting internal shifts in prestige insode Disney will lead to other than a certain Guardians sequel.

            1. That’s ridiculous, but makes perfect sense.

              The folks I know who loved John Carter the books hated the movie; the folks I know who loved Guardians the books love the movie. OF COURSE they’re going to be different…but I don’t have much confidence in the folks making movies being able to tell fanboys from activists.

                1. No, but if they decided to use that Mars for a Space 1889 RPG campaign based movie they would have The Mummy all over again. There are also a lot of Burroughs pastiches, or for that matter the Stark books by Brackett that call out for that environment and that level of tech.

                  1. How about Stirling’s In the Courts of the Crimson Kings?

                    Just the right mix of modern tech with… Really weird stuff. The feral engines, for example.

                    And, yes… I really wish he’d do some more work in that universe.

                    1. Here! Here! Those were good fun. I got bogged down on the After the Fire, too much of a downer, but the Diadem tales need another sequel.

                    2. Don’t hold your breath. He did those as love letters to the old pulps, but they weren’t commercially anywhere near as successful as his Dies the Fire books, and he writes for the money. Nothing wrong with that, but it means that interesting storylines don’t get followup if they don’t pay well enough:-(.

              1. Here *waves hand*

                John Carter the movie wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t even close to the fun the books are. For one thing, it was too serious. With the novels you get the impression that most of the time the main character was rather enjoying himself – there may be moments when he gets down, but he never stays down, and he attacks every new problem with enthusiasm and self-confidence. The movie version was, well, like all the other reluctant heroes you have seen in most of the movies you see nowadays, they are almost always reluctant and there aren’t that many different shadings one can give that. I think the movie almost completely missed what is the big draw in the novels, the joy of exploring, the joy of doing something important, almost all the really fun aspects of the stories.

                It was fairly pretty to look at though. Except even there it missed – the cities, both the abandoned ones the Green men used, and the ones of the Red men, should have been magnificent, places one could get lost in – and use not only days but weeks and months to explore without running out of new surprises – not those small shabby ruins which were more rubble than buildings, and little village sized ‘cities’ in the movie.

                The movie was hobbled with some quaint idea of ‘realism’ – and the liberal version of realistic at that – when it should have gone full speed into fantastic. Those who had already been to Barsoom walked in expecting to find the treasure caves of Ali Baba, only to realize they were instead just on the market place of some smallish Moroccan town, and the few jewels for sale were just colored glass, there for the benefit of the tourist buses stopping there on their way somewhere else.

                1. John Carter gets super-strength, gets to kill things with his phallus sword and scores with Dejah Thoris — of course he is having a good time. Sure, there’s no pizza nor good Szechuan carry-out, but otherwise what’s not for him to like?

                  Only Hollywood Progtards could find a way to kill the joy in that.

                    1. At the very least, it’s having fun, or so my husband has said; I’m looking forward to seeing it when it comes out!

                      WHY it’s so hard for folks to figure out “people like good emotions,” I can’t understand.

                    2. But of course, you must understand. It’s not thought out, and I don’t know that they could explain themselves, but it’s a function of their prime motivating emotion – envy.

                      You’re having fun? Feeling uplifted, edified, happy? That can’t be allowed. Because they aren’t.

                      Because they can’t. They’ve traded their joy for guilt, and they cannot abide seeing it in another.

                      It’s also a function of the… motivating force they list to obey, let’s call it, that joy cannot be allowed to exist. It makes it harder to wear people down or lure them to certain action if they’re happy, optimistic, looking-up and all that.

                    3. Where’s the like button?

                      All that you said is true. Envy, jealousy, spite… how dare we be happy? How dare we not feel guilty like they do? How dare we not have them as the centers of our universes, our lives, our every single thought and emotion?

                      How dare we think they’re not in any way or form important to us?!

                      So we must be destroyed! Our joys removed, our happiness belittled and made ‘nothing!’

                      And we blink at them and their one-sided competition and wonder why they’re having pissing contests and then complaining that they’ve pissed on their own feet because nobody wants to play with them.

              2. I own that no man has a greater love for that fighting Virginian than my self, and, well, I admit I liked the John Carter movie. Liked it a lot. Would have liked to see where they were headed with sequels.

                Ah well…


                1. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the sequels either. For one thing, the movie version of John Carter actually seemed to be shifting towards the original version of John Carter towards the end of the movie, so we might have seen somebody who actually felt almost like the Warlord in the sequels.

                  And as said, I didn’t think the movie was bad per se either. I found it a disappointment when compared to the novels, but if I had not been familiar with the novels I would have liked it. Not loved, though, just liked.

          2. Then you probably want this:

            Instructions: nypdecider[DOT]files[DOT]wordpress[DOT]com/2014/10/groot[DOT]pdf

              1. I first read that as Grout, and wondered why you would want a bobbing pot of mortar on your dash.

                1. Well, you never know when you go to a protest (say, over an offensive internet video) whether you might have to pull out your mortar before all is said and done.

                  1. Ooops forgot to add … that is not my project, not my Ravelry account … it’s just a nice example of the type of thing lots of crafters are doing with Groot …

      2. My young adulthood focused on finding those yellow-back DAW books. I miss those. 120 pages at a price that was worth giving up even if it wasn’t exactly fabulous. Stableford, Goulart, Llewellyn, Anvil. Those are just the ones I kept. But I spent more money on those than I did for any of the high-end expensive books.

      3. Exactly – been saying so for years as an indy author. No, I probably won’t get any blockbuster book associated with my name … but I will keep on selling books regularly, year in and year out. Spent yesterday at the Texas Book Festival in Austin – two hours plugging my own books in the Author Association booth (because we are all indy authors and self-or subsidy published, we don’t really count on the same level as the real, establishment published authors, so we had to enter as exhibitors and not authors. (A sore point, since the big book events still have not caught up.)

                1. I’ve got to go to Corpus Christi for a meeting next spring, and I may be driving (takes me around/through San Antonio).

                2. I can see the gathering now. Odd looking ducks wandering into The Alamo. Suddenly one of them starts to sing , then the rest join in. Straights run screaming in terror as the chorus to The Huns Of Texas Are Upon you is belted out of the throats of the most heavily armed group in the state. 🙂

                  1. Shucks … didn’t scroll far enuff down down the comment tree.

                    Oh well, deranged minds think alyke.

                  2. Sounds awesome to me – a meet on the Riverwalk by the entrance to the Hyatt, at some odd hour. Early morning, or late at night – walk up through the hotel lobby and into the Alamo Plaza… that’s the best way to come on the Alamo for the first time. An odd hour, though – early morning, or after sunset. Best time to see it for the first time. I’ll be your guide. You’ll hear so much about the Alamo and the Texas war for independence that you will run screaming …

                    1. I do not have saddle-sores, my dear sir … and when I talk it is more in a accent that people tell me sounds more English. Which sounds more erudite and rather distinctive, so I have cultivated it. It works for me, so I continue with it. John Wayne’s delivery and accent worked for him … and mine works for me. I would rather strike out on my own path, than badly ape a master…

              1. That calls for a song …

                The Huns of Texas are upon you
                All the live long days
                The Huns of Texas are upon you
                And you cannot get away

                Do not think you can escape them
                From night till early in the morn
                The Huns of Texas are upon you
                Till Gabriel blows his horn

                The Huns of Texas are upon you
                All the live long days
                The Huns of Texas are upon you
                And you cannot get away

                Do not think you can escape them
                From night till early in the morn
                The Huns of Texas are upon you
                Till Gabriel blows his horn

    2. The fun books went to games… and I’m not prepared to say that’s a problem. Yes, I think the shift was helped along by books abandoning the “fun” all on their own, but figure what the games offer which is (often) a social aspect (one reads books alone) and a longer engagement per property. There’s a fun book, lasts all of four hours. (I’m sorry for the pain that caused all the authors here who spent months and months on it!) The game lasts for hours a day for weeks or months or, for some MMO’s, for years.

      How well do game tie-in novels do? There certainly seem to be a lot of them. So gamers must read, yes? Even so, I don’t think that *competing* with games is an idea that makes practical sense.

      At some point I lost my train of thought…

      1. Telling one story or interconnected stories across multiple media is one of the great things that the modern world offers storytellers. I believe “transmedia” is the buzzword for that process. I know Blizzard is a master of it, particularly with their WarCraft IP, and Games Workshop has moved in that direction a little with WH40K (I’ve yet to read any of them, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Black Library books). What impresses me with Blizzard is that not only do they leverage multiple media, but they interconnect the stories they’re telling. Playing the games, you get most of it, but there are troves of more entertainment, information, and character development in their novels, comics, free short stories, and now animated pieces (the Lords of War shorts, which were really good in their own right).

        1. Secret World does an amazing job of weaving… can’t remember what it’s called, where they have fake websites and “live video” and stuff that weaves into the story, with amazing puzzles. (I can’t do horror, and it’s so dark that even my husband called it quits, but they’re AMAZING storytellers in that game. There’s just no good shown.)

  10. Look at the ten million Hillary got for her book. That was a flat out bribe, it sold probably less than a 100K copies. So how many mid-listers were punished for that?
    And if you want to learn how the book companies fix the NY Times Bestseller list, run over to Vox Day’s website, and in one of his posts he explains it in great detail, as well as how to tell real best sellers to the fakes.

    Yes, a lot of leftists really are evil people. Sadly too many people never realize it until it’s too late and they’re being shuffled off to ‘re-education camps’ or concentration camps. Remember, FDR did it here. Do you really think Obama or others wouldn’t do it too, if they could?

    1. 250,000 for her latest, according to Politico. So, figure she got paid forty dollars for every book sold so far.
      And, of course, she isn’t one of the people the game is rigged for, because she’s a female liberal Democrat.

      1. Hey, you — ya wanna check your privilege? She is a victim of oppressive cismale dominant culture. Or something. I heard she was forced — by the Republicans, no less — to live in substandard government housing with a known serial rapist. She earned whatever she’s gotten for that book. What — ya think it is easy coming up with titles like that?

                  1. *giggle*


                    *eyes minnow thrashing on top of my head, wonders if it’ll catch me a monkfish to turn into daing na bangus.*

                    … As a completely tangential aside, I rather miss eating fish. A nice foot-long yellowfin tuna freshly caught from the sea, grilled over coals, rubbed with salt, squeezed with calamansi limes, with white rice, on a banana leaf. Eaten with one’s hands pinching rice and fish together.

                    (The only thing I seriously miss about living in the Philippines, and France? is the food. siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh)

                    *toddles off to look for a can of tuna and cook some rice for lunch*

                    1. Yep the one thing I miss about living on the coast, you just can’t hardly get good seafood here.

                    2. Dad came from an island province. I remember going to the beach, us sticking our bottles of coke into the water to cool, Dad catching fish that was gutted, salted and then cooked over an open fire, rice in pot… Utensils? what utensils? Knife used to cut fish into portions, fingers for shredding the meat and picking out the bones, banana leaves for plates, messy, but oh so relaxing…


                    3. You have to admit our esteemed hostess has a daft hand when it comes to heaving fish. Such a small fish, such a long distance, such a small target — and so accurate a landing.

                  2. Don’t you see? It was a cunning plan, hoping to lure them into a battle to the pun.

                    I killed you too quickly the last time.

                  3. Oh, come now, you know we don’t need encouragement. To prove it: My privilege is so low, my dipstick is dry.

                    Wait – that doesn’t sound right…

                    1. Where do you think I am, bearcat? The “here” is the general vicinity of the commenters.
                      And besides, for such a case as our hostess, who does not usually have glitter where glitter should not be, optical and auditory application will get things done much faster.
                      Anyone have Road to Serfdom on audiobook?

                    2. Both Road to Serfdom by Hayek and Daniel Hanan’s New road to Serfdom are available as downloads at Audible.

      2. I have serious doubts as to those numbers. I’m willing to bet they just wrote off a lot of the print run and claimed they were sold, right after they buried them next to the atari cartridges in the desert.

        1. A fair number were probably sold to bulk buyers (a number, I gather, not usually disclosed) such as unions, the DNC, the Hillary 2016! campaign PAC and the Clinton Foundation. Many were likely also bought for giving as gifts, awards* and the like.

          *Organizations such as the ACLU often give books as “awards” for service (e.g., fundraising) in much the way PBS and NPR award a $15 CD in return for a $75 donation. (Raising the question: what is the difference between PBS and Hare Krishnas?**)

          **Answer #1: Hare Krishnas don’t demand taxpayer support.

          1. Just about every cube on the office I work in has a copy of the CEO’s book.

            And *no one* paid for it.

        2. I wouldn’t be surprised, but when arguing with leftists, I’ve found that just using the publically available numbers makes my point well enough.
          I only break out the “does not account for x, y, and z” when they do.

  11. Publishers like Marxism because it implies control. They hate the indie market because those darn peasants just aren’t playing by the rules any longer!

    It’s about control – nothing more, nothing less.

    1. “We few, we hoppy few, we . . .”

      Oops. Sorry, that’s the speech for the tapping of the first keg at Oktoberfest. Right, I’ll just go back out and try again.

      1. Sure glad I checked the comment tree before responding to the emailed comment. You took the words right out of my mouth. And they wwere tasty words, too.

        Nothing left for it but celebrating diversity.
        (crap – I hope the j-peg works.)

          1. Not only that, I think the autos are all Browning action variants. There should be a Steyr GB, an Astra 400, a Roth-Steyr, a Savage 1907 and CZ-52 in there to make it really diverse …actionwise.

            1. There’s a Beretta with the falling-block Walther action in there, too. And, the little .25 ACP Beretta is pure blowback, no locking mechanism at all.

              Token, I suppose…

              1. well, to be honest, the Astra and the Savage 1907 are really just blowbacks too. Just, they are so intricate.

                The only problem with the Browning action is that it works so well. Anything that efficient stops being interesting. For this reason, Austrian pistols are fascinating.

  12. Perhaps we need one with Alec Baldwin in one panel, Adam Baldwin in a second, with the legend Diversify Celebrities.

      1. If he was or need to it would be with the Kick Starter Backers.

        He already has 600,000 backers and raised over 57 million to make the game and persistent universe.

        So, I ‘m pretty sure he doesn’t need to.


  13. Life After the Death of #GamerGate

    The reign of the SJW, as foreshadowed by the adventures of the Evil League of Evil.

    Kick Ass Geek Cast
    Monday, Oct. 27 7-7:30pm Eastern

    Tune in!

    (This is the show the gracious Sarah Hoyt would have been on, had not a crucial piece of equipment broke, forcing me to push on alone. All four members of the ELoE will be highlighted, and their struggles against the SJW.)

  14. With regards to #GamerGate, I think that, unfortunately, Ben Southwood is right: “Why gamergate will lose.” The reason:

    Because gamers are a late hold-out in the culture war that is raging. Like it has won almost every major political battle since the Glorious Revolution (if slowly, sometimes) the left is going to win this one because it controls the commanding heights of the media, allowing it to bring the mass public on side, and because its adherents follow their faith with a religious zeal.

    1. I don’t think so? They USED to hold the commanding heights of the cutlure. Even in Science Fiction, all they managed to keep is the appearance of power. In gaming, they’re going to get their arses handed them on a platter.

      1. I’m sorry, but I don’t see any basis for this optimism of yours. The megaphone is still clearly in the hands of the Cathedral. Pieces friendly to #GamerGate are rapidly declining in number, while those hostile keep coming. “Gamergate” is synonymous with “vile misogynistic pig loser” in the minds of an ever-growing proportion of the population.

        We’ll see how events play out as to which of us is right. I’m pretty confident in my prediction. In the long run, the Left always wins. Always.

        1. The Left won in Italy and Germany in the Forties, they won in Eastern Europe for a while, too. The fallacy of your argument is that the Left inevitably destroys the ground upon which they stand, raping the soil which gave birth to the riches they’ve co-opted.

          In the long run the Left has yet to win anything more than a few temporary victories; those victories always prove their undoing.

          That is the problem with being a looter: eventually you run out of other people’s money.

          1. Yes, in the long run the Left will collapse, destroying “the ground upon which they stand”. However, the ground in this case is most of the civilized world; before they are done, the “other people’s money” the Left will have looted the “seed corn” of industrial civilization. And once our carefully built and fragile energy and resource extraction systems are damaged to the degree that they cannot extract the sizable resources needed simply for their upkeep, the decline into pre-industrial conditions becomes irreversable and permanent; the resources extractable with positive EROI by pre-industrial technology are all tapped out.

            And as for your historical examples, I’d say that these represent left-on-left victories. WWII was the defeat of German and Italian Leftism by Soviet and Anglo-American Leftism, with Stalin and Mao the biggest winners; the authentic European Right was crushed in WWI. Similarly, the Cold War was HYP defeating the Kremlin.

            1. the authentic European Right was crushed in WWI

              The European Right were monarchists, not anything resembling the right-wing philosophies of the US. My ancestors left Europe for the Americas to be rid of that sort of nonsense, so a pox on both their houses, I say. What the Ivy League has to do with the Cold War, I don’t know.
              As for your assertions about the inevitable decline of our infrastructure and technology, phui. You assume a great many facts not in evidence. Your reasons are your own, but either you have succumbed to the black dog (in which case you have my sympathy and prayers), or you are a fool accepting other’s assertions of disaster uncritically, or you are a knave and trying to drag others down deliberately. You remind me a great deal of the depression patients I have known and been, determined to find doom and disaster everywhere to make the world match their own misery. Get thee behind me.

              1. The European right is still monarchic/romantics in a way. They call themselves social democratic, but heaven,s, these people are my family.
                As for the infrastructure of the technology, yes, indeed. We are all out of horse stables, for instance, and no one is making buggy whips. Oh, my, oh, no, how will we survive.

              2. Actually, I’m on two different depression medicatios; you should’ve heard me when I wasn’t on them. But haven’t you heard of depressibe realism? And has no one here read John Derbyshire’s “We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism” (though I find Derbyshire a bit too optimistic and insufficiently cynical)?

                I simply just don’t see sufficient evidence to rationally support the hopes I see expressed here that, despite the trends of centuries, things are suddenly about to miraculously turn for the better.

                1. So whose ink have you been drinking? Red ink, in quantity to judge by your tone.

                  To start with, nobody is talking miracles. It’s all about slow, painful, and ultimately successful. Emphasis on the slow and painful.

                  For seconds, you don’t see evidence because the gaslights are being dimmed. It’s the same as the time towards the end of the communist era in Eastern Europe when you could cut the tension with a knife and nobody knew for sure which way things would go – then suddenly the kind of “miraculous turn for the better” that you’re claiming can’t possibly happen and there’s no evidence for happened.

                  You know why? The outside looked fine and there wasn’t much getting past the walls. But inside was completely rotted out, so in the end one push sent the whole thing cascading down.

                  Some of us with the ability to look past what the enemy wants us to see are recognizing the parallels.

                  You, however, may well be utterly shocked and wonder where it came from.

                  1. Twisty errs in the basic matter of perception, thinking that what we here express are hopes when what they are are intentions. We do not hope Civilization will survive, we intend to fight to preserve it.

                    Twisty has also failed on that what he posts are his own fears and (flawed) perceptions. He offers no facts nor evidence nor arguments, merely his assertion that “we’re all doomed, doomed!”

                    If we take his counsel we are indeed doomed, but as proud inheritors of the Viking berserkers, we know that a good death is all that ultimately matters, and so we are determined to go down fighting, to make them pay dearly for the ground on which we stand. Twisty has lost because he has no will to fight, more shame him. But the will to fight is what matters.

                    And yeah, I’ve read Derbyshire. So what? One old depressive Englishman is supposed to persuade me that our principles are not worth fighting for?

                    I don’t think so.

                    1. Looking at Puddleglum‘s example, I think an important part of the Wet Blanket Englishman has been missed. And I don’t mean the “put a brave face on it” part, though it seems to have been removed as well….

                      One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.

                    2. …and he seems to think he’s the only person who’s wandered onto a forum or blog with lots of classical liberal views saying what he’s said.

                      Though the ones at the other blogs at least claimed to be “leftists” when they did so.

                    3. I see is his doom and gloom and raise him the Chorus if the Battle of Maldon:

                      For are hands shall be the harder and our will shall be the wiser
                      And our hearts shall be bolder as our strength must end.
                      Come and follow me to glory so that when they tell the story
                      We will not be forgotten in the halls of men.

                      If things are as bad as he says (and I don’t think they are) this us how I plan to go down.

                    4. Ah well, y’know, some people watch Braveheart, 300 or hear the tale of The Alamo and all they can think is Losers.

                    5. a particularly bad example i’ve heard:
                      “But rock s don’t come with labels on them that say ‘I am Six Million years old!'”

                    6. Those types don’t like when I explain radiometric age dating in layman’s terms nor explain that carbon dating is not the only form. (If they want an age dating head-scratcher they should look at the sphinx.)

                    7. Let’s hear it for epic and glorious defeat. A strange phenomena that motivates certain cultures more than a famous victory.

                    8. Epic glorious defeat sometimes (sometimes) leads to epic glorious victory. 😉 Which is part of what makes it epic glorious defeat rather than stupid futile defeat. What can I say… I’m a Bard.

                    9. As a bard, epic and glorious defeat is quite literally your bread and butter. Mine too, as a meather. The mead flows like water with a good tale of epic defeat. I think the phenomena may be explained as the only time when your weakest personality traits are exposed and subjected to stress is in defeat. If you can still exemplify the treasured traits of your culture at such a time, you are a true hero.

                    10. And heroes perish but the people, the culture, the hope carry on. And often they stand as reminders that even the greatest hero CAN perish (and eventually will, so don’t get too cocky kids!)

                    11. Anybody can keep fighting when they’re winning.

                      It takes real character to keep fighting when you’re losing, right up to the end.

                      That character also makes it so that you get a lot more fights where you win, even though it looked like you were losing at one point. 😀

                2. “I simply just don’t see sufficient evidence to rationally support the hopes I see expressed here that, despite the trends of centuries, things are suddenly about to miraculously turn for the better”

                  Eh, the trend of centuries has always been a turn for the better. You just blew your own argument to hell with that statement.

              3. Surely we’ve managed to promote the gloomiest man on this continent to the head of our troops. Those dispatches are the most depressing accumulation of disaster, doom, and despair in the entire annals of military history! And furthermore —

                It has been said that President Washington never won a battle until he won the war.

                (Well, he did win a couple of minor ones, but really.)

                    1. That’s true. Glad that Congress never had to replace Washington — he recommended Greene if that happened, but Congress wasn’t strong on that.

            2. decline into pre-industrial conditions becomes irreversable and permanent

              And now that mighty Egypt has fallen the world shall never recover.
              or is it
              And now the mighty Egypt has fallen again the world shall never recover.
              or is it
              And now that glorious Rome has fallen the world shall never recover.
              or is it
              And now the Great Khan has fallen the world shall never recover.

              oh never mind…

              1. Oh noes — Bonaparte is Unstoppable!! We is doomed!

                Oh noes — Der Kaiser is Unstoppable!! We is doomed!

                Oh noes — Hitler is Unstoppable!! We is doomed!

                Oh noes — The Soviets are Unstoppable!! We is doomed!

                  1. Ah, but let us not forget that once Poland stood …

                    Oh noes — The Ottaman Empire is Unstoppable!! We is doomed! Oops.

                    1. While territory had been lost, the Poles chose not to accept this. Under Polish commander King Jan Sobieski (who had been elected to the position) the Ottoman Turks were defeated at the Battle of Vienna. Poland eventually recovered the territory that had been lost.

                    2. I remember President Ford’s 1975 debate “gaffe”: “There is no Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe.”

                      Left to folk like Twisty that would still be true. Fortunately, the Poles took not counsel of their fears.

                      In a related note, the 1980s called: they’ve GOT their foreign policy back.

                      A major intrusion into the Executive Office of the President’s computer system is huge news, with potential implications for national security, among other things. The EOP’s web site identifies the many agencies that are part of EOP:
                      The administration tells the Washington Post that the hackers responsible for the White House computer outage are “thought to be working for the Russian government.”The administration tells the Washington Post that the hackers responsible for the White House computer outage are “thought to be working for the Russian government.”

        2. What you say hasn’t been my impression.


          In the long run, people will still purchase what they want to purchase. No amount of whining and bitching or slander claiming that I’m a horrible person will make me want to buy Depression Quest. (I spotted it while trying to see if there are visual novels in English on Steam.) And I will LAUGH if they try to take on Steam, and prepare myself a lot of crunchy snacks to watch the fallout.

          I’d rather spend my money on this – yep, a hundred dollars or more, with shipping – because I bloody goddamn enjoy it. (Another thing I’m saving up for? Go run a search on the same site for: Sebastian Michaelis (Fashion Doll) – take a gander at the price. )

          Let the mewling horde who think they’re entitled to my money while calling me and fellow gamers no-life losers scream about how I’d much rather spend over two hundred dollars for a doll from Japan than their pissant, unentertaining games. I’d rather shell out the cash for a Larry Correia book or any of the fine authors I see here regularly, because I KNOW my money will have gone toward good entertainment.

          I have no interest in spending my very little free time and indulgence funds, on something that I don’t enjoy, and in fact wants to tell me how much I suck as a person. BSDM doesn’t work that way and it isn’t my thing either.

        3. Twistedone151,

          Us getting bored and start ignoring them is not them winning. Will still make the games we want to play and write the books we want to read. Whether or not they approve of it or not.

          Starting a fight and the other side refusing to participate is not them wining. It takes two to tango.

          Our only mistake in all this has been giving them legitimacy by treating them like adults. Our response should have been to laugh uproariously. Not indulge them in their fantasy.

          1. Stamping feet and yelling that we have to care because….? is supposed to work ….? Why?

            The recommended thing to do for a child throwing a tantrum is to ignore them. Or push them into a room where they can scream to their heart’s content but not bother the rest of us while we’re busy doing more important things. And not speak to them until they freaking apologize for their disgraceful behavior.

            No spanking – and goodness knows how much they HATE that, because oh the beatings they’d get otherwise – involved.

        4. Pfui. Gamers have been pushing back against all kinds of flack for so long that this is probably more of a game to them than it is a serious issue. Oh, sure, they’ll post some pretty worked-up rants against such things, but that’s just the way they roll. There are only two ways to keep going in an environment where the average person gives you grief on a regular basis about your habits – live in your parent’s basement and ignore the rest of the world, or engage against all comers, and there are plenty of gamers out there perfectly willing to do the latter. And they have more experience at winning against bigger numbers. The Left is getting sloppy because of their perception that they have the upper hand.

        5. Just what they want you to think. ‘Be a good boy, do what I want’:

          Whatever Lola wants
          Lola gets
          And little man, little Lola wants you
          Make up your mind to have no regrets
          Recline yourself, resign yourself, you’re through
          I always get what I aim for
          And your heart ‘n soul is what I came for

          I always get what I aim for
          And you heart ‘n soul is what I came for
          …Lola wants
          …Lola gets
          …You’ll never win
          I’m irresistible, you fool,
          Give in…Give in…Give in.

        6. “In the long run, the Left always wins. Always.

          Well, duh. When they lose, they re-write history so that the losing side was no longer left. Prohibition? Segregation? Involuntary eugenic sterilizations? Not us — nope, the Ministry of Truth will see to that.

        7. That there are favorable pieces at all is an improvement, not a decline. The mainstream media being enemy-occupied territory.

          1. For that matter, the fact that the News Media is reporting the “discontent” with Obama is interesting. Some in the News Media are showing their discontent with Obama.

          1. Second poster who thinks the Left Winning Is Inevitable in about a week or is it the “second” poster. [Frown]

            1. Good question. They want to give up, depart from us in peace. As for me, I’m a Usaian. To quote our very own Jeff Gauch, while I’m alive, THERE IS a free America. Even if it’s just the confines of my heart.

            2. Ah, does our resident Dragon catch the scent of a false flag operative?

              The thing that makes no sense to me is this:

              What makes them think that if they were the only source of entertainment – which is not a feasible thing, really, because unless they completely outlaw people talking to each other people will tell each other stories… or hold plays and make their own music, or draw their own artworks and write their own tales – I will have no option but to turn to THEM?

              That requires a level of control that even the socialists were not able to do. One that has NEVER existed. Small wonder they love the concept of thought policing and thoughtcrime! They’d love nothing more than to own everyone and have themselves be worshipped as god-emperors of nothing.

              (And good gracious never before has the machinations and corruptions of Hayll, Dorothea and Hekatah been more relevant outside of a fantasy novel*)

              *The Black Jewels series

              1. The whole “left ALWAYS wins” sounds like either someone who has already given up, or someone who wants those opposed to the left to give up.

                (Or both?!) *confused look*

                1. I’d say both.

                  The first would like the second to happen because then they’re not the only one who were so weak/stupid/insert flaw they are hating themselves for here to have given up something so precious. It affirms their wrong choices, and also then they’re not alone in bemoaning what they lost and gave up so quickly.

                  Pfah, I say.

                  1. I prefer Malcolm Reynold’s “Darn” response.

                    Though I guess if one of the “surrender now avoid the rush” types gets the reference they’ll get all hysterical about it.

    2. Ummmm…is the left of its day winning the Glorious Revolution, the American Civil War, and Civil Rights movement supposed to be altogether bad?
      Because I despise the Divine Right of Kings in all its forms.
      Which, by the way, is the problem the Left is going to run into, and soon. The Left was once opposed to the Divine Right of Kings. Now they are the kings. They will, eventually, lose, if for no other reason than that they have most of the vices and almost none of the virtues possessed by James II Stuart, Jefferson Davis, and George Wallace.

      1. The Civil Right Movement was a reactionary movement. Its purpose was to roll back the Progressive segregation laws enabled by that great Progressive Woodrow Wilson, to the status quo of the Reconstruction and the subsequent eras.

        QED, not left.

        As for the other two, the idea that the same political distinctions applied two centuries ago is silly.

        1. No, the difference between left and right is not reaction vs. progressivism, although those are the forms it takes these days.
          The good Colonel Kratman’s definition, and I think it’s a good one, is thus: the right believes in perfectibility through bloodline, the left in perfectibility through education. Neither, in its purest forms, makes any sense whatsoever, although both hold a grain of truth. Good raising is very important to raising functional human beings without massive psychological hangups, while possessing knowledge is important to avoid making the same mistakes everyone else has.

          1. This is not true. The left has at several times and now again, with their push for abortion and euthanasia believed in perfectibility through bloodline. The right believes men are inherently flawed and can’t be perfected.

            1. The abortion thing I’ll grant you, but (as an American right-winger, which is, on the historical scale, a overall on the left), I suspect the historical time scale extreme right does think man can be perfected.
              Note: when I say “historical time scale,” I refer to all of history.
              The current American political right and left are both, historically speaking, to the left. That, if our current lords and masters get their way, the current will be in the center on the time scale, is indicative of why we need to keep fighting.

              1. There may be a few kooks out there, but whether they are really extreme right is eminently open to debate.

              2. Note: when I say “historical time scale,” I refer to all of history. The current American political right and left are both, historically speaking, to the left.

                The only way that such a thing could be said is if you craft the definition to do so– making it a circular definition, and one which requires redefining the words it’s supposedly defining.

              3. Also, the idea that both the left and right in America are on the left does not work well with this:
                the right believes in perfectibility through bloodline, the left in perfectibility through education

                because the left has a very long history of eugenics– trying to breed a superior person, and eliminate those who are “unfit.”

                About the only way I can see it working is if you’re trying to justify the old Soviet setup of the Nazis being on the right, because they weren’t useful to the Soviets anymore. Pretty sure the Soviets still did eugenics, though.

                1. Several minor quibbles…

                  To the extent the terms matter, I would say that in America The Right tends to be concerned about process and The Left is concerned with results. Thus The Right is inclined to ask “Was it a fair trial?” while The Left inquires “Was Justice served?”

                  I am inclined to agree with Sarah’s comment about The Right not believing in perfectibility. One expression of this is “We live in a fallen world (and it can’t get up)” or alternatively, what Thomas Sowell refers to as The Tragic Vision, that we live in a world of constraints such that we cannot eat all we wish and still lose weight (absent external circumstances, such as tapeworms, which typically have unintended consequence.)

                  And, without going all Pournelley 2-Axes on you, people are complex. Few are actually Left or Right consistently or even coherently. There are far more than one or two axes in our political tilting (one reason conservatives endorse process is that focus tends to mitigate motivational fluctuations) and they vary in salience by the moment.

                  1. I agree in general, but– rather fitting for your “process” note– think that it doesn’t matter if you think that it’s ever possible to reach the goal, it matters if you think that it’s something youneed to try to do vs something that can be done to people.

                    Plus, it avoids the oh-so-predictable annoyance of Really Bad Theology from people who will go “oh yeah, what about Jesus!?!?” (Or Mary, for some.)

            2. Forgot forced sterilization and ever increasing testing for “genetic defects,” support of lawsuits for “wrongful life,” (IE, I would’ve killed you if I’d know you were defective, my dear child) open attacks on those who have children when they “have bad genes,” ever increasing talk about requiring people to have a license to reproduce…..

              1. Note that can be “wrongful birth” — where the parents sue on their own behalf — or “wrongful life” — where the parents sue on behalf of the child on the grounds that not being torn to shreds before birth was an injury to the child.

            3. The right believes men are inherently flawed and can’t be perfected.

              Maybe “The left things people are perfectable; the right thinks a person can work to perfect himself.”

                1. While the left —
                  “They constantly try to escape
                  From the darkness outside and within
                  By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.”

          2. In “A Conflict of Visions”, by Dr Thomas Sowell, The Unconstrained vision believes in the perfectibility of mankind. The Constrained vision doesn’t. It believes that we live in a world of constraints.

  15. Print runs have gone down, but titles have gone up. To quantify whether a particular movement in writing has turned people off, we probably need to compare SF books printed per capita.

      1. A lot of the words printed these days are useless filler and ought count against the writer. 😉

        I would amend the first suggestion thusly:
        compare SF books printed per capita as a percentage of total per capita books published.

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