A Game Of Mirrors

I remember a more innocent time when we watched Law and Order AND didn’t snert behind our hands at “Ripped from the headlines.”

Now we don’t watch it, but my eyes on twitter has been branching out, and he told me their gamer gate episode was about how all these guys were upset at there being a female game developer, so they kidnapped her and raped and stuff.


How can they even? I mean, the worst PROVEN thing that happened to one of the SJW shills in gamergate was that someone wished she would kill herself, which she helpfully translated as “death threats.”

And Dan works in software and has for 30 years (though now the software has a math component at last) and the only time he hasn’t had a colleague who is in the same profession in his office and is female is for the last three years, and that’s because there’s only two developers. (They do have a female co-worker, but she does non-software stuff.)

Now, I know software isn’t the same as game design and gaming, but I’d be willing to bet there’s a massive overlap/similarity of conditions.

Female developers isn’t even a surprise. There might be fewer than men (not where my husband has worked, but hey) but not many fewer and they run the gamut. From what I understand, there are fewer in game development but if they are true geeks, they’re not only accepted but lionized. (I’ve experienced a similar effect as a space/science fiction true geek, (meaning I spaz on the concepts/science, not the feels) a community in which females are pretty scarce. Let me tell you, once a guy realizes I really am interested in space travel, it doesn’t matter how ignorant I am (and I am.) All their lives women have looked at them quizzically over this obsession. Finding out a woman shares it brings forth their very best.)

Besides, though I admittedly am not a gamer, I have skimmed enough articles to know that the problem here is not that WOMEN are writing anything, it is that there was suspicion of corruption in game journalism which happened to involve women. And also, as the catfight extended, that some gamers disliked a certain type of games they felt were getting unfair good reviews. Is that true? Don’t know. However, judging from the arguments the other side put out “games shouldn’t be fun” and “escapism is bad for you” I’d say whether journalists were corrupted by coochy or not, they’ve been corrupted by the same sort of “fake promise of prestige” that has seduced science fiction reviewers. In other words, they’ve become convinced of the rather juvenile idea that the purpose of entertainment (which is ultimately what science fiction and games are) shouldn’t be fun, but should be a lever for “changing society.”

And then I started thinking of other “moral panics” driven by the media (and they never tell you they were driven by the media, no matter what basis there was or wasn’t for things.)

Take the militia panic of the nineties. Every TV show, every conspiracy, the answer was “militias.”

There never was any real basis for it. Sure, there were crazy people. Fundamentalist cults. White supremacists hiding out in the country.

There always are. This is a very large country. There were even militias. We know. We were friends with a guy who was in one. He owned a large amount of guns and so did his friends. On the weekend they engaged in healthy exercise and shooting up targets.

Were they a menace to the government? Not any legitimate government. Not even Clinton. They were however concerned with the direction of the government expansion and they were survivalists preparing in the eventuality the S would hit the fan.

So, how to spin an entire moral panic out of this?

Well, you see, the media was guilty. To wit they were guilty of covering up for Clinton when his attorney general caused the death of the Korresh cult and when his ATF killed a family of white supremacists. [It has been pointed out to me Ruby Ridge happened under George H. W. Bush.  I checked and this is true. [And not a surprise.  H.W. or his son for that matter, were not exactly anti-statists] It is interesting in my mind I remember it as happening later, under Clinton. Now, I got my news at the time from TV and the papers.  It tells you something that when I heard a lot about it was under Clinton, to justify crackdowns on “militias.” The murders might have happened earlier, but the full court press was under Clinton.]

I’m not saying, understand, either of those sets of people were good people, but they were the victims here, not the perpetrators.

In this country there are always crazy people doing crazy things. There are very few crazy things anyone deserves to die for.

But under Clinton this stuff happened, and the only way to deflect it was for the press to go on an almighty panic about “militias.” Until people forgot what the question is.

Or take the “satanic child abuse” panic of the eighties. If you hear the media talk about it now, this was the result of some fundamentalist parents going crazy and stuff. (Rolls eyes.)

In fact I was there and lived through it. I remember the TV programs filled with speculation, when they weren’t trotting out psychologist-abused children to babble lurid details. I remember newspaper articles going on and on about ZOMG satanic cults, their history, etc. For pages and pages, and pages.

I don’t remember any PROGRAMS on it, but then back in the eighties I was new in the country and the shows Dan and I watched were mostly vintage star trek and old sitcoms. There probably were some, though. These things always seem to be a coordinated effort between news and entertainment, one winding the other up.

Anyway, just from the headlines/tv programs, one would be excused in thinking that every daycare was a danger. So everyday parents who had to work and put kids in daycare worried. As they should have, given the barrage of “truthful” and “respectable” sources claiming this.

The truth behind it was a little more complex, and has been swept very deep indeed. I don’t know how many of you even remember this, because possibly you might have needed to be in the circles I was at the time (mostly my brother’s circles, which were hippie/ex-hippie/avant guarde. I mean, in my teens we watched an Ingmar Bergman film cycle in the smallest theater in town. You know what I mean.)

There was a very hip, very transgressive, very intellectual and credited in intellectual circles, idea that children were (and should be) inherently sexual with adults, and that to withhold sex from them retarded their development and trampled their rights. (Now my brother’s circle – at least to my knowledge – never engaged in the active side of this, not being thus inclined. One of the fondest memories of my childhood was going to the beach at eight with a group of ten or so long haired (male) hippie freaks, and – since we couldn’t afford a changing booth and they just wore their swim trunks under their clothes – having them form a circle facing outwards, so I could use the center of the circle to change in.)

I heard an echo of that in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s testimony. It was clear she’d heard this theory and internalized it, which caused her to buy the excuses of her pedophile husband. Science fiction writers – and readers – being Odd are capable of convincing themselves of the strangest things. As in “you have to be very smart/an intellectual to believe that utter bullsh*t.”

And I can’t tell you this for sure, because a) I was very young. b) there was no alternative media and this stuff has been pretty thoroughly memory-holed, though you can sometimes find echoes of it, particularly in European stuff, but I suspect our media and intellectual establishment fell for that theory head over heels.

Then when they realized the absolutely horrendous results and that child abuse leaves the victims scarred for life, (if not in therapy.) they swung around and created a whole moral panic over those other people abusing children. In this case the “other people” being some sort of mystical believers, though at the time they weren’t bold enough to accuse Christians. But after all, Satanism if a co-dependent belief with Christianity, so that was fine.

And then when that panic was revealed to be crazy, they accused everyone but themselves of it.

Now the panic is that in these geeky/low prestige fields people the journalists don’t fully understand are afraid of “the other” be they women, people of other races or sexual minorities.

This one is so weird that it leaves me trying to grasp it. As I said, all the geeky fields I know are not just welcoming but ridiculously welcoming of women who are genuinely interested in their passion. It’s the only thing that explains why at my age and avoir du pois I count as “hot” in my circles. But not only is it what the other side believes and resets to, but it is clearly and obviously the “narrative” that will be pushed.

They want to believe the issue people have with the way science fiction has gone, the way games are reviewed, etc are because some imaginary troglodytes, in a cave, probably in Alabama, object to the fact the people creating sf/f and games have innies instead of outies.

The thing doesn’t pass the smell test.

So, what is the truth of it?

The press and the intellectual establishment (which includes the publishing establishment) have been pushing science fiction into an unsaleable/unpopular direction for years. They had, for a while, control of what ended up on shelves, and people didn’t see anything else. They still have control of news.

And the direction they’ve been pushing in is “it shouldn’t be entertaining. It should effect social change.” (But why must it always change TOWARDS Marxism? Marx is after all a dead white male. Eleventy ;))

That is the prestige position in journalism and academia, and so that’s what’s got pushed.

However it’s been disastrous for print runs. So, as the field lays gasping and they’re all out of excuses (indie has proven that people DO still read and no, the American public isn’t illiterate) they have to justify their stunning lack of success. “It’s because we have women and minorities! The evil troglodytes hate women and minorities.”

The fact that women writers are now a majority in the field (and have been my entire professional life) and that if you add in that most editors are women there’s mighty little difference between SF cons and RWA doesn’t even give them any pause.

They’ve got to convince the public that the problem is hatred of women and minorities, because then the explanation for the collapse of the field is someone else’s fault, and they’re the enlightened heroes.

And the same, of course, goes for the gaming field. “Don’t look at the crap we’ve been praising and pushing you to buy. Don’t look at how difficult it is to find something you actually want to read/play. Buy the stuff we tell you, because otherwise you hate women and minorities, you evil h8ter.”

In fact, it is the games books vehicles of social change they’ve been pushing that are excluding of “others” if the “others” are male, or working class, or religious (of a religion not Muslim) or most things that are not white females in an academic environment.

But they hope to make enough noise and use it as the plot of enough TV shows (ripped from the headlines! Eleventy) and movies and articles to convince us they were right all along, the collapse of the field is not their fault, and we should believe them, not our lying eyes.

But we have an internet. And pointing fingers. And laughter.

I don’t think it will work.

370 thoughts on “A Game Of Mirrors

  1. The Weavers were not “white supremacists”, any more than Timothy McVeigh was a “white supremacist” (as I was told five minutes after the news of his arrest broke.) They were racial separationists.

          1. You see they’re so conditioned to see the Palestinians as subhuman that raping one of their women would be like raping a sow or something like that. I don’t know how these people think, I just know that to them everything is evidence of racism.

            1. I’m more boggled by the fact that NOT raping is seen as a “negative trait” by these flaming morons.

              That or they’re THAT pissed off that they can’t display more anti-semitism because the Israelis aren’t being accommodating and fulfilling the delusions of barbarism the Left has of them. “How dare Israel be civilized???!!!”


              1. Some day, probably sooner than later, the Israelis are going to decide that nothing they do will ever be good enough for their critics. And the day that happens is going to be a very bad day to be an Islamic head of State with a record of attacking Israel.

                It boggles my mind. What can the Jihadis be THINKING? Systematically antagonising a people descended from death camp survivors? Why not take up juggling nitroglycerine? It would hurt less.

                1. My mom read about the history of modern Israel as a college student and related tales of Israeli/Jewish creativity during the war that happened right after their founding. It’d be interesting to see how such creativity could be reapplied.

                  She also likes to relate Bibi’s more pithy responses to idiot international reporters. One was something along the line of “No, I am not interested in committing suicide for their convenience.”

                  1. My mom tried to volunteer for the IDF in the seventies. Besides being bewildered, the people at the embassy thanked her for her support but told her in her forties, overweight and with a bad ticker she might do better by staying home… 😉

                2. What can the Jihadis be THINKING? Systematically antagonising a people descended from death camp survivors? Why not take up juggling nitroglycerine? It would hurt less.

                  You know that song, “Coward of the County”?

                  They don’t.

                  And the very concept is alien to them.

                  Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done; walk away from trouble if you can; it don’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek…. Son, I hope you’re old enough to understand. You don’t have to fight to be a man.— not a concept they’d imagine a father passing to his boy.

                  I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you’ve done; I walk away from trouble when I can.
                  Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek,
                  And papa, I should hope you understand
                  Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man”.

                  That’s not a turn-around they can imagine.

                  You’re right, it will be very painful when they get yet another lesson.

                  1. Then there’s the Country Yossi version:

                    He was only ten years old when his daddy died in Europe.
                    I looked after Moishe ’cause he was my brother’s son.
                    I still recall those final words my brother said to Moishe:
                    He said, “Son, my life is over, but yours has just begun.

                    “Promise me son, not to do the things I’ve done;
                    I ran away from trouble my whole life through.
                    Now I know I was wrong,K’lal Yisroel must be strong;
                    So Son, these are my final words to you:
                    Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a Jew.”

                  2. The truth is that the Arabs, in particular (more so even than other Muslims) have a very simple and brutal concept of manliness. A man abuses everyone who seems weak enough to abuse, so if he isn’t abusing them, he must be weak himself. This, coupled with the assumption that God will ensure their victory, makes it fairly obvious that Islam is very unlikely to become a dominant feature of the world in the long term, because this leads them to overreach.

                    Same mistake as made by the Nazis, who were in part IMITATING Islam.

                3. “And the day that happens is going to be a very bad day to be an Islamic head of State with a record of attacking Israel.”

                  The day that the Israelis finally snap is going to be a very bad day for a whole lot of people, and not just those in the immediate vicinity. The Jews aren’t going to load up on the trains in nice little queues, this next time.

                  It’s not a coincidental accident that the Israeli nuclear program is code-named Samson. There are a lot of fools that have been providing aid and encouragement to Israel’s enemies that are going to find out just what the Israelis consider a part of the temple worth shaking down, and I don’t think they are going to be confined to the Middle East, either. I’ve been saying this for years, having done a lot of studying in that area.

                  If I had to venture a guess, there are more than one or two European capitals that are going to go up in flames, and probably are higher on the list than the Arabs. A lot of Jews that I know regard the Arabs as no more than foolish children, and really pity them more than they hate them. The Europeans, on the other hand? Much, much different attitude. I think the majority of the Jews actually bear less angst and animosity towards the Arabs than they do some of the Europeans, because they don’t expect any better from Arabs than they’ve gotten. The Euros? Well, we’ll wait and see, and if Tel Aviv ever burns in a sea of fire, it will be quite educational to find out what targets were chosen as part of the Samson option.

                  Me? I’m very pro-Israel, always have been, always will be. Smart money goes on the smart people, in my book. And, I don’t have too much respect for a lot of the Arabs I’ve met, particularly in regards to their intellectual accomplishments. The Jews, on the other hand? I’m of the opinion that they make better friends than enemies. Much better friends.

                  Biggest bit of Arab stupidity in the last hundred years was in not welcoming home their Semitic brothers, and making them a part of their culture. Imagine what the world would look like, with Arab resources allied with the work ethic and intellectual capacity of the Jews? I don’t think it would be too hard to imagine that they’d have built a third superpower, between them, by now. More fools, they…

                4. They really and truly believe that God will give them the victory, in some cases. In others, it’s that their self-image is so built on the theory that they have the literally God-given right to abuse all non-Muslims that it makes them furious that Israel refuses to let the Muslims abuse them.

                  1. It is their duty to make all non-Muslims submit. And to make them pay the tax. And, it is specified, to make paying the tax humiliating.

                5. They’re thinking “This works really well – we kill Jews, everyone else lines up on our side, and the Jews can’t do anything about it. Yay!!!”

                  Of course, as Tom Kratman pointed out, eventually the Israelis *will* get over their distaste for mass slaughter, poison gas, and crematoria, and the whole thing will be over before *anyone* in Europe or North America can react.

                  1. You may be right about Mr. Kratman’s beliefs. My impression from that source (and more or less in line with my own expectations so perhaps I’m more likely to misunderstand) is that such things will be delayed indefinitely while the Israeli leadership values such acceptance as they still enjoy in the United States and parts of the Western world. See FREX

                    The Samson Option: Would Israel Really Use Their Nukes?
                    Mon, Sep 8 – 9:00 am EST | 5 months ago by Tom Kratman

                    .Read more: http://www.everyjoe.com/2014/09/08/politics/israel-nuclear-weapons-the-samson-option/#ixzz3RvxS4thr

                    1. Maybe, maybe not. Depending on just how exercised the populace gets, they may get a leadership that simply does not give a damn about that issue.

              2. It’s because they cannot ascribe positive traits to those they consider their foes. An act of virtue or civility cannot be viewed as such as they cannot see their foes as possessing virtue or civility, therefore there must be some other, sinister, reason for the actions taken.

                To tie it into gamer related stuff, it’s like how I left one forum because people genuinely could not wrap their heads around the fact that I actually liked the plot, characterization and story of Prototype 2. My fellow fans of the Prototype series thought that I was horribly mistaken or an outright troll. It was impossible for them to understand that I liked a game with a tight story and a main character that I could relate to.

              3. The speaker knows that if he had that sort of power over someone else, he would rape them.
                The speaker has an ironclad belief that he is more moral than other people, and is unwilling to question this assumption.
                He squares the circle by making a preposterous statement that allows him to keep his delusion intact.

                You see it all the time at anti-gun rallies.
                Few things will convince you that some people should not be allowed near firearms (or sharp objects, for that matter) quite so well or quickly as watching such a rally.

                1. You see it all the time where the violent say that other people would act like them if only they were not cowards.

        1. I remember that. I was thinking that perhaps that person should have established a charity to fund the rape of Palestinian women, if that was the main problem in the Mideast … 😉

    1. Not to mention that the warrant for failure to appear that sent Federal officers to his home was the result of a government error:

      Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Probation Office sent Weaver a letter which incorrectly referenced his trial date as March 20, 1991. After
      Weaver failed to appear for trial on February 20, the court issued a bench warrant for his arrest. Three weeks later, on March 14, a federal grand jury indicted Weaver for his failure to appear for trial. We found that: the government, especially the USAO, was unnecessarily rigid in its approach to the issues created by the erroneous letter; that the USAO improvidently
      sought an indictment before March 20, 1991; and that the USAO erred in failing to inform the grand jury of the erroneous letter.

      1. Not to mention that the case was quickly and forcefully declared to be entrapment. (Planting an agent as a neighbor, and spending years trying to have him convince an individual to make a technical violation of the law will do that. Especially if once you entrap the person, you try to force him to join a white supremacist group and act as your informant.)

        Hey, I live in Idaho. The news the local channels broadcast about Ruby Ridge bore little resemblance to what you folks in the rest of the country got.

    2. What’s the difference? (Sincere question, not rhetorical; I’m a parochial Canadian who only started paying attention to the news in the early 2000s.)

      1. Racial supremacists think their race is inherently better– like Germany with all their “master race” junk.
        Separationists think that things work out better when the various groups are apart, due to differences. As I understand it, there’s a lot of different groups with variations on this, from the “culture is inhereted” loons to folks who think that the patterns they find along racial lines are inherent to the race.
        (I think it’s a false pattern that is just strongly associated, but I also think that “race” is nonsense if you’re trying to describe something real rather than a glorified expansion of family tendency, so YMMV.)

        There’s also some overlap with political type seperationists who just happen to be of a race. (usually the same family, too, but that somehow never matters much)

        1. My thought was an ethnic supremacist wants that ethnic group to rule, an ethnic separatist wants a smaller country for that ethnic group. Both perhaps being subsets of ethnic loyalism, which might be think that alliances outside the ethnic group are less significant than those inside.

        2. For instance, you get racial separatists arguing against miscegenation on the grounds that no one would randomly breed his hunting dogs with his guard dogs, because he knew the puppies would be useless for either. And when you did breed in an outside strain, you were ruthless in culling the undesirable effects — obviously undesirable in humans.

            1. Oh, yes. Whenever I hear a discussion of eugenics that cites you wouldn’t let a sheep with a problem breed, my first thought is, “What am I in this analogy? A fellow sheep? How would I stop them? Or a shepherd, who breeds the sheep, as he raises, fleeces, milks and butchers them, for his own good?”

      2. A racial separatist is a racist who just wants to be left alone, and will happily remove himself from any prospect of racial tension.
        A racial supremacist is a racist who wants to dominate other (lesser) races.

  2. If the leader of the Waco group was going out jogging on a regular basis, why did the Feds have to burn down an entire compound of men, women, and children in order to arrest him? With incendiary devices they claimed they didn’t use – until the Texas Rangers found them? Not passing the smell test here either.
    Of course, all that info was from the web, where there are no layers of fact checkers (rolls eyes).

    1. Which explains why the Texas Rangers locked the Feds out of the next “militia” thing down near the Big Bend. IIRC “No, thank you, we’ve got it,” was the short version of what the Rangers told them.

        1. Actually I’m thinking something more like, “we live here and we’d really like to avoided the big splashy (yet photogenic on national new’s) mess”

    2. The Feds have a LONG history of such . The did the same thing to Gordan Kahl and his family. While I don’t agree with Kahl’s politics, the way it went down was totally the Feds fault, and then they railroaded his family into prison (some of whom are still there).

    3. We were living in Granbury during that fiasco, and knew a local attorney who dealt with the Coryell County Sheriff’s department on a regular basis. The Sheriff had told the ATF that if they had wanted to arrest Koresh, all they had to do was ask him, and he could have done it with no deaths. He even stated this to the press several times during the standoff too.

      1. Back hen Molly Ivins had not yet lost here mind to Bush Derangement Syndrome, who wrote an excellent analysis of the whole mess. I don’t have it under my hand (I got more than a little tired of her trying to out-NYT the New York Times, and got rid of her books) but if you are interested, it’s worth a read.

        1. Every time I run across a sticker or a T-shirt saying “Some town in Texas called; their idiot is missing”, I think “Molly Ivins, Please Call Home!”

      1. Can’t speak to Koresh’s state of mind, but the sect his group split from have lived peaceably and nearly unnoticed in Southwest Missouri for many years. As the two groups had amicable relations for some time after the split, I have trouble with the idea of Koresh as a loon.

        1. Funny dat. You know as much as some people wish it were so, and act like it is so; it isn’t against the law to be racist.

  3. I had a fascinating 90 minute phone conversation one night with a gent who was involved in the mess with the “Montana Militia.” It turned out, if you went back far enough, that a chunk of it stemmed from a feud between to families that had begun when one raised cattle and the other had some sheep, back in the late 1800s. And just kept simmering, until one side (and I don’t recall all the details) managed to bring the Feds in. Which led to my gentleman associate being called in, and he being a good Southerner wise to the ways of feuds, managed to help the cooler heads prevail.

    Between that conversation, and a decade later when I was reading about the theology guys who tried to explain what the Branch Davidians were actually saying to the Feds, and the Feds didn’t want to listen, I started taking any pronouncement about “militias”, “cults,” et cetera with a chunk of salt the size of Mt. Taylor. Ditto the conspiracy/anti-government/[group]phobia stories in the latest news exposé.

    1. One of the problems with passing a lot of niggling laws is that they may wind up being enforced by an assault force, no matter how trivial the matter of their purview. This is why one should never pass a law one is not willing to enforce by dealing death if necessary on a violator who is unwilling to immediately surrender.

  4. I have to say, my experience has been different from Dan’s. Women have made up about 10% of the software developers in the places I have worked. In the developer community (i.e., developers who attend conferences and user group meetings, the more motivated people), they might be 20-30%.

    I think a lot of women get the message that my niece did: it’s a boring job for geeks. (And considering that I was the one example she knew…) Then she took a programming class just to fulfill a math/sci credit, and she discovered that it was all about solving puzzles. She was good at it, it was fun, and it paid well. That was when she switched majors.

    Note that she wasn’t actively excluded or discouraged. Once she switched majors, no one tried to stop her. In fact, she was welcomed. But she just didn’t know what it was about. Is that somebody’s “fault”? No. Should it be “fixed”? Maybe. I’d like to see a way to expose kids of both sexes to more career possibilities so that they can find a good match for their interests and abilities. But I’m not sure our education system can do that today.

    1. I think that’s been a feature in the education world – make things as boring as possible. Then, if you really like the subject, you will educate yourself and not bug the certificate dispensors.

    2. *somebody’s* education system is doing it. The company I work for now has a very healthy, non-token percentage of women programmers. However, I’m the only American woman programmer. It puzzles me greatly. My guess is in their home cultures “computer programmer” means “good money” so it automatically has enough prestige. How we can encourage that thought in the US, or stop sending whatever negative message that’s getting out, will help girls realize what I and your niece did–it’s fun puzzles *and* they pay you!

      1. Yes, a large percentage of the female programmers I know are Indian.

        I’m hopeful this will settle out in upcoming generations. In my youth, computers were the exotic realm of the geeky guys in the corner of the classroom. Today they’re ubiquitous and used by everybody.

        1. Indian, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Croatian (I think), and somewhere South American (possibly Mexico). We’ve got the bleeping United Nations here 😉

          1. Worked an IT shop in a small N. Carolina mountain town. The contractor lunch get together was a UN gathering. Made life more interesting.

      2. Computer programmer=> typing => secretary type* and thus a very lady-like job.

        Which is why girls get scowled at for interest in it, here.

        1. The * was supposed to have a note that yes, long hours, lots of stress, translating common-talk into “what they actually want” meaning, and dealing with some folks who lack social skills ARE part of a secretary’s job.

          1. I’ve both been a programmer and managed programming teams, and I’ve made a regular practice of being friends with the “secretaries” * where I’ve worked. As a result, in addition to getting early exposure to all the best inside rumors that go around, I’ve heard a lot about what that job entails, and you could not pay me enough to do the “secretary” * job.

            *”Secretary” is a double-plus-ungood badthought word here in Silicon Valley – the job is called “Administrative Assistant” or “Executive Assistant” at minimum, and many places have even more lofty sounding titles for teh same job.

            1. Oh, and re genders in programming – over teh past 25+ years in industry I’ve never seen an all-male programming group. My last team ws majority women, and majority foreign-born.

              1. Damn, sounds like I got out of the Industry at the wrong time. (Tech crash).

                Although I’m given to understand it’s virtually impossible to date an Indian girl due to Culture. OK Cupid’s data agrees.

            2. I’ve always figured that there is a hierarchy of “secraterial roles”

              1. Receptionist: Answer the phones, not trusted with anything beyond that. Needs to be at least superficially pleasant, but not necessarily bright.

              2. Administrative Assistant: trusted to type stuff, format documents, run a few errands, that sort of thing.

              3. Executive Assistant: can be the boss’s delegate at 2nd tier meetings, manages his schedule, runs interference as needed.

              4. Secretary: as originally used, trusted with the boss’s confidential info (his secrets, as it were), used in the role of “crap, I’m too busy. I need another me!”

              Unfortunately, the Peter principle often applies, placing the people one level above their skills/aptitudes

              1. Yep. There is. I was a multilingual secretary, which technically meant I did all of my boss’s work, for various reasons (he was the official translator.) Due to lack of space, though, I worked in the lobby.
                They tried to make it obvious I wasn’t a receptionist, with partitions and my title on the cube wall. In vain.
                At one time a guy who was waiting to see someone and shooting me dirty looks told the guy who came out to meet him “I’ve been waiting for half an hour and SHE didn’t even offer me a cup of coffee.” To which the guy, one of the engineers, looked puzzled and said “See her title? She’s not supposed to offer you coffee. She’s translating some chemical research from German. I don’t think she knows where the coffee is.” (This was a lie, since I lived by coffee, but…)

          2. some programming jobs are road warrior jobs. Out of town more often than home. Domestic though not expat.

        2. Agreed when programming in high level languages the proportion of women industry wide reflects population statistics.

          When I knew something it about the proportion of women working with embedded devices and usually less abstracted language was never very high. I’ve seen some division in thinking among older men – including 2 count’em 2 Deans of the Emory University school of business – who considered big iron a proper male domain while desktop hardware is the secretary’s domain. When there were finer divisions I have no idea how they might draw the line for an Alpha Micro or a Super Mini what have you.

          I never knew women as a class to optimize for hardware as by timing a memory call to drum rotation. This say may something about independent even contrary thinking in dealing with issues as opposed to socially approved techniques.

      3. Maybe it’s as simple as that our societal focus seems to be on viewing education as some sort of exercise in personal fulfillment. I overhear other students talking and I often hear “well, first I was doing that but I’d have had to take math up to calculus 3…” and it’s not that they couldn’t have done calculus 3 just fine, but that every single degree is presented as equally valuable, so why would they? We tell young people they need a college degree… ANY college degree. The only way to value any degree over another is which one you actually *like* the best, that you find yourself most passionate about.

        That it generally adds a couple of years of mucking around to find yourself before graduation isn’t something that schools mind terribly much… six or seven years of tuition is better than four or five… even if what you end up with is a degree in sociology and studio art.

      4. is in their home cultures “computer programmer” means “good money” so it automatically has enough prestige.

        From my observation:

        “Computer programmer” evokes images of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, the guy who made Facebook, the shiny weatlh of Yahoo and Google and startup millionaires. Since girls are often expected to help provide for their parents/siblings/extended family before they get married, plus it’s considered a “smart person’s job” it has social acceptability plus prestige PLUS the likelihood of finding a nice young man in the field who may own his own business / is doing well enough so she can settle down to the business of marrying and producing grandkids… there is no stigma for involvement in STEM, especially a “clean white collar job” like computer programming.

        1. Well, THAT’s certainly a window opening on the change of viewpoint between generations. When I was growing up*, “Computer Programmer” meant learning esoteric math skills (binary logic), unusually-constructed languages, breaking problems down into ridiculously tiny pieces, and spending long hours reading paper printouts in order to find errors, and generally working for a large company.

          * I’m certainly not the oldest person here, but I grew up specifically during the transition period between mainframes and personal computers. The size changes across the years were REALLY visible then. When I studied programming in college, we were still doing a lot of things like storing true/false flags in single bits within one byte of data, to save memory.

          1. Yeah, these days they don’t even THINK about optimizing their loops, they just throw more memory and more cycles at the problems because computers have gotten so much faster. Fortunately the Compilers can help, but not enough. And the loss of efficiency results in some really bloated software.

            1. I remember back in my Atari days, all the weird timing hacks we had to do get speed enough for decent graphics. Typing in control characters to be able to run a string as an assembly routine. And then there were all the weird tricks to save a byte here and there.

              1. Back in the early Mac ][ Days, when developing a multi-screen briefing program, transplanting different internal data structures between the list manager like you’re not really supposed to do…. Just to save memory and processing so you could throw around images that took up 1/8 of all available memory.

                1. Atari Basic had a variable table that was accessible, so that you could build different screens in different strings, poke a couple addresses, and change the whole screen in nothing flat.

                  1. Yep, Apple II basic did the same, I wrote a fancy triple-buffering routine in high school that only ran well on the IIgs.

                  2. One of the fun things that had little use in most circumstances in the Atari was the ability to create screens that had different graphics or text modes on different horizontal lines of the screen. It could be used to make interesting game intro screens, though.

            2. I wouldn’t go quite that far; I get to do a lot of performance testing nowadays so components get tuned. Having said that, it used to be that hardware was expensive and programmers cheap; now that’s reversed.

              1. Well, they don’t trust programmers, which explains Java, at least in the early versions. It was a language only a manager could love, with rubber baby buggy bumpers on anything memory related, making it slow, and prone to doing GC at inopportune moments.

                I remember in a class trying to animate a ball bouncing around in a frame, and every 25 steps or so it would pause to compact memory or something. I had to add in an explicit call to the GC during the animation to smooth it out. I’m sure it’s better now.

    3. When I was in school, I thought industrial engineering sounded like it was outside my aptitudes, and boring. I had a position in a department where that was the focus, and found it was more interesting than I’d given it credit for. (I’d had some time, and was allowed to do some reading in the engineers’ library.)

    4. That’s endemic. I thought I hated teaching, for instance, until I TAUGHT in college. I hate teaching younger grades, which is all I knew of “teaching” when I had to choose a career. Also my idea of the the sciences was “does weird things in a white coat.” Yes, we absolutely should be more realistic in portraying professions, but you know, that’s where the media actually COULD help. They don’t.

        1. Don’t always. Really should. All an open lab coat protects you against is the over-air-conditioned atmosphere. 😛

    5. And mine is different( though only slightly) from Dan and Martin. I started at Digital (AKA DEC) in the early 80’s.. About 20-35% women at that time mostly of European extraction with a few Asian women. In general they’ve all been good to excellent developers and coworkers with really only 1 catastrophe (don’t let her touch the code anything but that). The male catastrophe’s are more common and actually more extreme. And the classic arrogant prima donna type (uber competent but smug and annoying as hell about it) seems to be a uniquely male archetype. Over time the women have actually seem to have become rarer and more likely to be from Asian or Indian sub-continent cultures. The other thing is that women have a real tendency to move into management. Not because they’re not technically capable, they quite good. Its just because they care more about things working and people working together than your MK1 focused male programmer who is basically emotionally indistinguishable from a high functioning person with Asperger’s.

      Why women don’t enter the field I don’t know. I’ve observed you really have to almost be insufferably cocksure but also simultaneously humble to be a decent programmer. This is because no matter what you do programs always fail. Its a struggle to write the code and get it to compile with all sorts of little failures along the way. Then you fix bug after bug knowing there are more there if the program is at all large or complex .If a lack of positive reinforcement is an issue you aren’t going to get very far. . It’s like programmers are rats in a Skinner box. We take lots of shocks, but when that treat comes along man its a humdinger. We live for that treat and it over shadows even nullifies the shocks for us. I’d say it was a sex related difference (yes such things do exist 🙂 ) but if that were so why all Asian/Indian developers or the women who were there when I started?

      1. My experience with technical writing has been very similar to Tregonsee’s in software development.

        Women gravitating towards management, guys tending to just wanting to solve problems, “check periodically to see if I remember to eat, otherwise let me alone” at the extreme end.

        1. Before he became my housemate, it wasn’t uncommon for the rest of our gaming clan to ask Aff any of the following questions:

          Have you slept?
          Have you eaten? The charcoaled remains of something forgotten in the oven does not count.
          Have you forgotten something on the stovetop/oven?
          Have you bought food lately?
          Did you remember — insert task/appointment/thing to do he mentioned over Ventrilo
          Did you injure yourself lately? / Are you bleeding?

          Recent convo: “Hey Shadow, do you remember what my password was for (something I didn’t even know about)?” Then being surprised that he hadn’t told me the password. In fairness, he hadn’t slept in 3 days working on a client project at the time.

          1. Snerrrrrk 😀 This is why my sister makes good money being, essentially, a geek whisperer. She can translate between geek and management-speak and everyone is happy…

      2. In my Grandmother’s day, programming was a job women were hired for.

        In the generation following, one male relative made a lot of money programming.

        I do a little, but I figured that that to be competitive, I’d need to put in the sort of hours that burn out regular people in their thirties, forties or fifties. My health simply would not permit that sort of time investment. I also figured that if I was not staying up all night programming in my teens, I was not interested enough.

      3. Heh. I remember when I was going to be a programmer.
        A 13 page Pascal program that wouldn’t compile because of an extra space (and the days of effort it took to find the error) was enough to convince me otherwise.

        Hats off to those of you who can do it. Personally, I’d rather sit on a hedgehog.

        1. It’s much easier nowadays. The compiler can usually tell you where the syntactical-type errors are, and turning on some of the options will identify some of the more common errors, like misspelling your variable names (it makes you declare the variables before you can use them when turned on). Also, most of the time, error messages during runtime are much more informative, too.

        2. Or an IF statement in C that never triggered because I put =.It took *days* to find that little bugger.

          1. A 5000 punch card (yep) COBOL program where I left out 1 period…. on the “Working Storage” section start. I’m pretty sure that set the record for most error messages ever, since they aborted the printout at 50 pages…..

          2. Applesoft Basic (don’t laugh, it was my first programming langauge). The following line:

            10 A=B=C=D=E=F=G

            None of the names used previously.

            What is the result of that line of code?

          3. Or a moron who gave a junior programmer a section of code that “worked” but it involved testing for values that were always “true”. There was not code outside the section that would change the values. The “kid” didn’t know why it did not work and the moron didn’t see the problem. [Frown]

            1. I once had a program that I was redoing and there were four variables used in if clauses that were never false.

              Also, three windows were used to enter, edit, and display data.

              By the time I was done, I had halved the size of the executable.

              1. What was “fun” in the situation that I was talking about, the COBOL compiler had “marked” some of the code “unexecutable” but the Moron told the kid to ignore those error statements.

                My “rule of thumb” at that time was “if the compiler marks code in anyway, find out why it did so”.

          4. And then you had the places that used polish notation to indicate what type the variable was.

            Those wasted time. The time saved in determining what type it was was lost when someone made an error, and it was wrong. The more careful people were about getting it right, the longer it would take for it to occur to someone that someone had gotten it wrong.

            1. Hungarian naming can be really useful when it’s done right. When it merely duplicates the language’s type system (“Systems Hungarian”) it’s worse than useless, but when it describes things the type system cannot—“Apps Hungarian”—that’s tremendously helpful. See Joel Spolsky’s Making Wrong Code Look Wrong for an overview.

    6. Well, programming *is* a boring job for geeks. 😉 Also, curiously, 10% is just about the percentage of women who volunteer for military service. (At least that’s the only number I’ve heard.)

      But I’m used to people reacting to my interests with “why would anyone want to do that” while the mere idea of being forced to teach kindergarten makes my flesh crawl.

      1. It’s a horrible, frustrating, soul-destroying job — unless you’re one of us freaks of nature who think it’s one gigantic game, and can hardly imagine doing anything else. I was warned by career advisors that it ranks among the highest fields for alcoholism, divorce, depression, and suicide; but I think those are mostly the people who just don’t have the right temperament for the job.

  5. Even the Weaver thing was warped. Shooting the dog, shooting the woman with the baby. What horrible thing was this guy going to do if you just set a warrant for him and arrested his butt when he left the homestead? And yeah, white supremacists, not the kinda folks I’d like to have a beer with, but DAMN, the ATF wiped out an entire family, for all intents and purposes, with no annunciation of intent (if I recall correctly). Way to prove Weaver wrong, there, ATF.

    1. Weaver was charged with illegally modifying a couple of shotguns for what turned out to be a government agent. The Feds tried to use the charge to make Weaver spy on a supremacist group, but he refused. They then sent him an erroneous order to appear that caused him to miss a court date, resulting in a bench warrant to pick him up.
      The eventual encounter at the Weaver homestead resulted in the deaths of one federal agent, Weaver’s son, his wife, one of their dogs, and the wounding of Weaver and a friend.
      The only charge Weaver was ever convicted of was the failure to appear. He paid a fine and served a few months in jail.
      In a civil suit against the Federal government each of Weaver’s three daughters was awarded a million dollars for their loss, Weaver himself got $100,000. A family friend involved in the altercation received $380,000.
      The FBI sniper who shot an unarmed woman holding her baby was never charged with anything.

      1. I am glad that he was not charged (if true). At the time he would have beaten it, probably with help from the prosecutor. If we ever take back our government from the bureaucrats and he is still alive, well there is no statue of limitations on murder.

      2. Actually Lon Horuchi was indicted for manslaughter for the death of Weaver’s wife in state court. It was removed to Federal court where a district judge dismissed the case. That dismissal was overturned by Ninth Circuit on appeal but he cases was subsequently dismissed by a successor of the orig state prosecutor.

      3. Which the agent had marked where he wanted the shotguns barrels shortened to, at that. If my memory serves, I wasn’t all that old at the time. I remember thinking that it was basically a charge for not using a tape measure.

  6. Geeks & nerds, and women. If one of those guys gets something like positive attention from a gal, he’ll mentally be doing the Snoopy Happy Dance.

    1. As I said, at my age and weight I still get guys dropping a wing and running in circles, when we start talking concepts and I’m less than a total idiot (though my education in things like space science is still sadly deficient.)

    1. Oh. H. W. — yeah, likely — but the smearing and insanity and “militias” and “cults” took place during Clinton’s. And let’s talk H.W.’s politics, for that matter…

      1. In your correction to your post, you got the particulars of the attacks wrong. Randy Weaver and his family were attacked by Bush I’s government at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The Branch Davidians were attacked by the Clinton Government at Waco, Texas.

                1. I am overly sensitive to caffeine and other chemical stimulants. I’m not even allowed chocolate!

                  1. I’m just the opposite. In navy A school, I used to drink a 44 oz. cup of coffee every hour for the first four hours of the day, and still had a hard time staying awake.

                    1. um… are you ADHD? My husband has a reverse reaction to both caffeine and codeine (i.e. caffeine puts him to sleep and codeine acts as a stimulant not akin to speed.) This is apparently typical of hyperactive kids and the adults who don’t outgrow it. Younger son has it too.

                    2. Ritalin is an upper, after all.

                      Got into an argument with a teacher in high school about that. Apparently “I’ve been taking this stuff since I was in sixth grade” wasn’t a particularly convincing argument.

                      The teacher apparently still holds a grudge against me all these years later. :/

                    3. Ritalin is an upper, it has a reverse affect on those hyperactive with ADD, those who take it without needing it (yes I have a problem with the current trend of prescribing it to every kid with normal amounts of energy that gets on adults nerves) actually has the effect of “wiring” them and causing them to show ADD like symptoms. On the plus side, if your kid doesn’t want to take chemicals, but you get him diagnosed with ADD and have Ritalin prescribed anyways; he can make gas money plus some by selling the Ritalin to his buddies at school, who will then crush the pills and snort them like meth. Nothing like teaching your kids to be entrepeneurs at a young age :/

    2. And if you believe that the Federal bureaucracy is not made up of Leftist SEIU members who can’t be fired no matter who is in office, I have a bridge or 6 to sell you.

      1. One of the folks I follow on Facebook, Craig “Sawman” Sawyer, has some interesting stories in that regard. Great guy. Does a lot of different projects. Highly recommended for checking out.

  7. How can they even? I mean, the worst PROVEN thing that happened to one of the SJW shills in gamergate was that someone wished she would kill herself, which she helpfully translated as “death threats.”

    Happen I havea niece, who is very petite as well as odd and grew up unhappy for many reasons, of whom it can be said:

    my family worries about me a lot because i have a dangerous job. what is it? oh it’s games journalism. ha ha ha. wait why is this not a joke

    True that.

    Anybody who really cares can follow up on that but I’m not using her as a specific case for extended discussion but as an existence proof of worse proven things happening in gamergate. Specific details omitted. For a truly petite woman who is easily picked up in a literal sense too many options are nuclear only despite a legit 2nd dan JKA.

    Consider that games played the part in my niece’s life – and for many other young women – that written SF played in Jo Walton’s book Among Others for another troubled (“the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF” editorial review) character.

    Likely troubled characters are drawn to fantasy and science fiction and also that troubled characters bring out the worst when predatory and nasty behavior is allowed and even encouraged. See e.g. Jerry Pournelle on Randall Garrett and where to draw the line. Some say it’s wise or perhaps gentlemanly to ask most any such question only when the answer is pretty well known in advance.

    I suppose the incidence of unruly and nasty behavior is no greater than it ever was. Perhaps there is more public behavior but no real change in the behavior. That said I certainly see a great deal more coarse behavior and foul language among the young today than I saw among my contemporaries when I was young. It’s not the language of flowers anymore.

    Agreed that people we by convention call SJW behave foolishly in advancing a variety of somewhat contradictory social objectives. Perhaps the appropriate response is the classic pretty to think so

    Further that say Anita Sarkeesian was more seeking to push a gun control objective than acting rationally in support of gaming issues when she said

    “Not being able to do something about that, or take precautionary measures, in terms of preventing firearms in the lecture hall, is completely outrageous,”


    The two major sides in Gamergate are each following the classic rule of weak arguments and yelling.

    But there are some sad outcomes

    1. Gamergate: World War I on the internet.
      Starring Zoe Quinn as a much lousier Archduke Franz Ferdinand, her ex-boyfriend as Gavrilo Princip, the initial anti-Quinn forces as Serbian nationalists, the gaming journalism industry as Austria-Hungary, the gaming community as Russia, the MSM as Germany, and Breitbart, Adam Baldwin, and the Evil League of Evil as Britain and France.

    2. I suppose the incidence of unruly and nasty behavior is no greater than it ever was. Perhaps there is more public behavior but no real change in the behavior. That said I certainly see a great deal more coarse behavior and foul language among the young today than I saw among my contemporaries when I was young. It’s not the language of flowers anymore.

      I don’t know about raw percentage, but it’s more wide spread– I know that some of my relatives have been utterly shocked when they did stuff they’d grown accustomed to at family reunions and ended up dumped in a stream because that kind of behavior is not accepted in these situations.

      The hippy activists mainstreamed it, as best I can tell, and I’ve complained about it before– exploiting manners to be able to say what you want while silencing others. The “feminist” activist subgroup, the ones that attack guys for being polite, do it– the anti-war sub group that spits on soldiers, the various sub-groups that spit on cops.

      They exploit the system to be able to act without consequence; it will, in time, wear away the system and they won’t be able to do so. Just like those cousins of mine who were use to exploiting a formalized system, and tried it in an informal system that has active enforcement.

      (At least one of those cousins, it fixed– he’s a great guy, now. Partly because the guy who dumped his athletic, six foot six tail in the creek is foot shorter dad, who was under 100 pounds when he graduated high school and hasn’t gotten any bigger since….)

    3. “Perhaps the appropriate response is the classic pretty to think so”

      The problem with that is that it ISN’T pretty to think so. It’s ugly. Also demeaning, counterproductive, divisive, and dumb.The whole of the SJW creed is offensive and poisonous twaddle. AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT!

      1. For the record I disagree.

        I’m a free speech absolutist including letting people yell fire in a crowded theater because I do not choose to delegate the power to regulate speech to anybody and I’m not going to assume the power myself. I do however prefer politeness up to and including the famous When you call me that, smile! Owen Wister print edition varies in the movies. I might even enforce time place and manner rules at the point of my own guns.

        When a SJW crusades for politeness I think that’s a good idea when the crusade is for censorship in the name of politeness not so much.

        When the crusade is for equal treatment I remember equal men are not free and free men are not equal and I stand against it. But I believe there is an appealing sound to the cry of liberte, equalite fraternite such that it is indeed pretty to think so.

        I have enough distaste for aspects of the open carry movement and its recent impact on Texas politics that I wish the people involved had refrained. This compels me to feel sympathy with the folks saying please don’t though I stand firmly against those who say thou shalt not. Pretty to think of a society that lived up to dreams of the SJW – but that’s not what the Polite Society after Tom Givens is about.

        1. Oh, I don’t wish to see them censored. I just want to see them called on it, broadly and consistently. I want to see Professors who teach what is demonstrably untrue fired, because if they comtinue at that institution the Alumni will stop giving (Ward Churchill was a start). I want to see women who make false rape charges imprisoned and the enablers who cosset them sued. I want to see the twaddle spewers held to some kind of mnimal standards, instead of lionised and given awards.

    4. That’s ridiculous. #GamerGate’s arguments are not weak, they are unimpeachable.

      We will make the games we want to make, we will play the games we want to play, and we will not compromise on those positions. If you want social justice message games, make your own damn games. Also, most game journalists are corrupt political activists.

      With what aspect of that argument do you take exception?

      1. You may be right.

        For my sins I see the subject list as more of a statement of principles than a reiteration of any arguments such as I observed when I was still reading all I could on the subject and following up all the links. In any event I’m not going to argue here that your side is anything but precisely correct so the other side must be perfectly wrong in all respects. You may be right, let it be.

        Although his paying markets have dried up over time Jerry Pournelle once had a regular column on games from Avalon Hill days IIRC collaborated some with Alex Pournelle on a regular games column at one time and continues to review games. Be hard to argue in this company that political activist though he be Dr. Pournelle is corrupt. There are others.

        1. VD here apparently has been a games journalist, and has given examples of what he considered the ethical way to do so.

          There is a lot of money in AAA games. How much money can be strongly impacted by reviews. Given that early reviews are easier if the developer does favors, why wouldn’t corruption among reviewers who let most of their income depend on such be rampant?

          tl; dr: VD said ‘most’. Your anecdote does not seem to describe the bulk of modern games journalism.

        2. The SJW transformation of Games Journalism is a fairly recent Phenomena, roughly the last five years or so. You could tell when the coverage went from saying that arguments that Feminists made about games being sexist were ridiculous changed to making those arguments themselves.

    5. Clark, when it comes to “death threats” being reported by various SJW types, I may live in Texas, but my attitude is pure Missouri: “Show me.”

      Way too often (75% plus) of the time lately, when the so-called threats are investigated, we come up with things like this via Instapundit:

      A UT-Arlington student who claimed she was threatened at gunpoint on campus this week admitted Friday that she’d lied, a university spokeswoman said.

      The student told police she hadn’t even been at the school the day she said the incident occurred.

      Original report:

      The Muslim student told police she was followed by the man for six miles before reaching campus. The man who followed her was driving a white Ford pickup with a Texas flag on the antenna.

      When the student parked her car about 9:15 a.m. in Lot 49 at South Cooper and West Mitchell streets, she said, the suspect got out of his truck, yelled a threat and pointed a gun at her. Afterward, the man left the scene.

      The suspect was described as a white man in his mid-30s wearing a camouflage baseball cap, a short-sleeve blue shirt and bluejeans. He also wore a black bracelet and a wooden bead bracelet on one wrist.

      1. There was also one wannabe SJW on twitter who provided a tweet with the avatar and name blocked out where someone threatened her.

        Too bad people already had a screenshot showing that it was she who’d “issued” the threat.


  8. Correct that the Weaver family was assaulted during the term of Bush I. Correct that the underlying legal issue was ATF related although the actual assault was a combination of the Federal Marshall’s Service and the FBI HRT. Jeff Cooper used to include a note in his Gunsite Gossip the Lon Horiuchi is still walking free – much like the current use of drones the rules of engagement were: “deadly force can and should be used against any armed adult male if the shot could be taken without a child being injured.”

  9. Small thread hijack – my son is back to good health, and has returned to the country he’s been living in. Thanks for the kind words, wishes, and prayers from all y’all.

  10. Or take the “satanic child abuse” panic of the eighties. If you hear the media talk about it now, this was the result of some fundamentalist parents going crazy and stuff. (Rolls eyes.)

    Could’ve knocked me over with a feather when the cousin panic of “D&D is satanic” got pinned on “Fundies.” Uh… right, Mazes and Monsters is just totally the first round of writing for the “Left Behind” types. Uh-huh. Pull the other one, it has bells on.

    Hm, stranger abduction is about the same risk as accidental gun death for kids… I wonder when they’ll start pinning that on whoever they pick as the fall guy?

    1. “Hm, stranger abduction is about the same risk as accidental gun death for kids… I wonder when they’ll start pinning that on whoever they pick as the fall guy?”

      Didn’t you know that’s the reason some folk will call CPS if you let your children play alone in the front yard (with no adult present)? “What if somebody abducted them?” Let alone playing at the park without direct supervision.

      Note that I don’t agree with this view even as someone who knows of an actual case of stranger abduction—one of my brother’s classmates, lured away by a man who offered to show her his baby ducklings, per the siblings. My mom still refuses to go to the park where they found her, thirty-odd years later.

      “Abduction by stranger” may be one of the top five fears people have, but four of the top five actual dangers are from people known to the family (most often from a male unrelated but dating someone.) The other one is car accidents.

      1. Our area is currently in a cycle of “mock anybody who admits that strangers can ever be a risk”– the current justification is that the kids will kill themselves by sheer stupidity if an adult isn’t actively playing with them. (Which has the horrible side-effect of making it so the kids are either in need of constant attention or so that they’re desperate to get out of it– both of which are not healthy in the long run.)

  11. My sister is a software engineer. She’s dang good too. (And blonde–ish.)

    I remember the militia thing and the Satanist thing. And the recovered memories thing, remember that one? In fact, maybe some of you can help me figure out a weird mystery in my life. It’s puzzled me for almost 20 years now. Storytime? Read on.

    When I was a young teenager in the mid-80s, I lived in a medium-sized town where most of the moms still stayed home and the population was mostly blue collar, I guess. At any rate there were not a lot of super-highly-educated people around. I suppose the Satanist rumors must have been swirling around, but nobody I knew was talking about them, and day care was not really a thing that people did. (I do well remember one lady who was dismayed to hear that my brothers played D&D, but she was always kinda loopy. She also tried to get the Rock Lobster banned at church dances.) There was a neighbor family who also attended my church, and whose many kids I knew well–the two oldest were friends.

    I don’t even know how to say this next part, but here’s how I heard it. The family’s life was torn up, they said, when their 4yo daughter was abused by neighbor Satanists. I heard about this straight from the mother, in a living room, with several other people present. She said that the girl had started acting oddly–for one thing she was hysterically terrified of some things all of a sudden–and the mom had gotten her to explain. A neighbor family, well known for being friendly and outgoing, had abused her and threatened her. What form the abuse took (even whether it was sexual or physical) was not told me. They posed as nice Catholics but in fact belonged to a network of people who did black masses and all that. Soon after, the family was so persecuted by this network that they moved away–away from extended family, from a good job, from a whole life–to try to get away from it. Nobody except the grandparents knew where, and from then on, every once in a while, we would hear that the network had found them again and they were moving again.

    It was years later that I found out that Satanist child abusers had been a hysteria thing. I’ve never known what to make of it. This family–a sane and normal, nice couple–truly believed that they were being persecuted. They moved many times, and did not tell people where they were; even years later, when I visited my hometown and ran into the mom’s parents and asked after the family, they told me the news but clammed up over the location. I have a hard time believing that they moved all the time for no reason. I have a hard time believing that they suggested all this to their daughter and pressured her to say these things; I heard the mom tell about how she found out. Nowadays, I wouldn’t believe such a story if it was told me second-hand; I know it sounds bizarre. But I heard it first-hand, and I know they believed it. So…what the heck??

    1. Can’t prove a negative.

      Never heard a reported case of any Satanist conspiracy beyond a small group – Manson family style and individuals who would not have described themselves as worshippers of the Christian Devil per se – but perhaps enticing the curious and the Goth crowd – From Ritual to Romance is more romance than anything else but romantics do flourish ever.

      The world is however full of evil and sadness FREX a long time ago a lot of law enforcement at the south end of Lake Michigan put a lot of effort into freeing a cute little charmer of a young girl who was sexually abused on tape over a number of years – called the Sunny case/files because she tried so hard to please her abusers. No success and some haunted dreams for those who encountered the tapes professionally.

      but I have heard officially of larger anti-Satanist conspiracies who owed their continued existence and whatever egoboo they got from tilting at windmills.

      Many people are known to go from wouldn’t it be terrible if to and it’s true very quickly. 12 step groups see a lot of this behavior. One of these days I’m going to copy an old Webster cartoon of the country cousin dropping by the city cousin’s office where the country cousin has to wait a few minutes for the city cousin to free up. The waiting country cousin – per the cartoon – goes from what if I’m imposing to if he feels that way about me I’m leaving in a rage in a few sequential panels. Last panel the city cousin is quite pleased to see his country cousin.

      1. Lovely line oft repeated in Terry Good kind ‘ s “Sword of Truth” series: “people are stupid; they will believe a thing be a use they want it to be true or because they are afraid it might be true.”

    2. I have known some people who claimed to have been satanists.
      Of course, they were also pathological liars. (I’m still undecided as to whether the fact strengthens or weakens this particular testimony.)

      I know some people who have claimed to have seen satanic rituals in public places. Some of them I’m virtually certain are false, but some of them…
      (Well, let’s just say I’m never stopping in Amboy, California again. And I wouldn’t, even without several of my friends having witnessed torchlit processions up the cinder cone on the outskirts of town. Or knowing that the the “ranch” where Charles Manson brainwashed his followers was just a couple of miles away. Or having a California Highway Patrolman escort a couple of my friends who’d stopped for gas out of town “for your own safety”. Or knowing of the number of “disappearances” in the area, some of whom were eventually found to have “fallen down a mineshaft”. Even before all that, the town just seemed wrong, like something malevolent was watching. There are very few times when my hair has stood on end. Two of them were in Amboy.)

      1. Oh, I think there are some few Satanists, at least of the Anton LaVey flavor–I always figure their main aim is to really, really annoy their parents, or society as a stand-in for their parents. But…a whole network, dedicated to abusing small children and tormenting their families for decades? Put that way, it sounds ridiculous.

            1. Maybe. The ability of humans to organize when they wish to engage in malevolent behavior is not to be sneezed at–particularly when it’s a reasonably small group.
              However, I am also barely out of college. So I will bow to your superior experience of human lack of organizing.

              1. The “reasonably small group” is the key.

                The larger the group, the less able they’d be to continue unnoticed/secret.

                Of course, time is a factor as well.

                A small group likely wouldn’t be able to operate secretly over several years especially if they need to recruit new members as the original members age.

                1. Recruitment might not be that difficult, if you bother to have kids. Raise ’em to be as bonkers as you are, and arrange tragic accidents for any who balk.
                  (This only works, of course, if the group members have all lost nearly all human feeling. We’re assuming, given the premise, that they have.)

                  1. ‘Human feeling’ here may be at least partly dependent on culture and religion.

              2. Well, serial killers do seem to have crossed paths at a higher rate than you’d expect. (Which may be just an statistical anomaly, but it doesn’t *have* to be.)

                There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of pedophile porn rings. The members somehow manage to find each other and organize.

                And history tells us that there have been conspiratorial groups (many if not most of them evil) that have been very successful in seizing power.

                I’m skeptical, but I can’t dismiss it out of hand.

                1. There’s also the uncounted serial killer question.

                  The existence of the Italian mafia has been fairly well established.

                  Similarly, we can learn from the examples of Democratic Parties of the South.

                  It is most doable if they sell themselves as persecuted, intimidate some, offer others a political goal, and nurture an alternate system.

                  Take a look at the ‘wider conspiracy’ model of BBC pedophilia. All the elements are there. ‘Socialism is a heresy of Christianity’ and ‘that flavor of Atheism is too insistent’ for the matter of taxonomy.

      2. Damn – that’s a bunch of creepy stories, that.

        I take it not well known outside of the immediate area?

        1. I’m pretty sure nearly everyone who has been stationed at 29 Palms has stories about Amboy.
          But for most people, it’s just a wide spot in the road off I-40, out in the middle of nowhere. If they’ve heard of it at all.

          Granted, it’s the Mojave. Weirdness abounds. Nearby Joshua Tree is home of the “International Institute of Mentalphysics”. Gram Parson’s corpse was cremated nearby after being kidnapped. Yucca Valley is famously “Where the Streets Have No Name”… It’s not the sort of place that attracts the stable and well-adjusted.

    3. Clearly, without being able to interview the people involved, this is only a speculation, but here is a plausible scenario:

      1) Child is traumatized in some fashion (I say some fashion, because at that age it could have been sexual abuse by an adult, or a children’s practical joke badly planned and gone wrong, or even having watched a horror movie at someone’s house).

      2) Parents query child about sudden odd behavior. Being a child, probably embarrassed, she does not give good answers to questions.

      3) Thinking that they need to give the child options for answers, parents start asking leading questions, (“Did so-and-so do something to you?”, etc.) This is the type of questioning that leads to false results, because teh child wants to please the adults.

      4) Because parents have seen the hysteria about Satanic Cults in the news and such, they lean towards sexual abuse and the Satanic ritual thing. Child, still wanting to please adults, agrees.

      5) Satanic cult involvement now confirmed, adults start seeing many things as indications that they are being targeted (seeing the same person looking at them more than once in the store, or in different places in town; finding their tire flat; dents or scratches showing up on their car; thinking they see a car following them, etc)

      6) Even after moving, they see these same signs as evidence that they are being followed and persecuted, and likely will for the rest of their lives, and their daughter probably will, too.

  12. They’re starting it with the anti-vaccination panic. Never mind that that one was started by a bogus study in the Lancet claiming vaccines cause autism, and never mind that the easiest place to find parents who won’t vaccinate their children is a Whole Foods grocery. Obviously it’s the ignorant hillbillies who vote Republican and hate science who were responsible for the whole thing.


    1. They are certainly trying but I’m not sure if it will get traction this time. There is definite push back from alternative news on the fact that it is the blue state whole foods crowd and not the back country ignorant hillbillies (::rolls eyes::).

      1. No, it’s a different narrative the lefties are pushing. They’re claiming the right only gets vaccines because they believe anything authority figures tell them.

    2. Saw this today and my coffee almost got my keyboard

      “I went into a Whole Foods and got to hear a woman arguing with a guy at the meat counter because she wanted grass fed organic chicken and he was desperately trying to explain to her that chickens don’t eat grass.”

      1. That woman is fortunately she lives in a civilization that shields her from the consequences of her stupidity. People in pre-industrial societies had no time for that crap.

      2. Yeah… Along the lines of “chicken”, here’s something that just pisses me off, no end:

        Currently, the price of eggs is going up here on the West Coast, and it’s entirely because of the laws that the idjits pushed through in California that banned battery-style egg farming and mandated “free-range”-style farming in its stead.

        My beef? Have any of these sanctimonious asses ever actually, y’know, raised ‘effing chickens? Do they have any flippin’ clue what those nasty vicious brutes are like, when run free-range?

        I don’t think they have. Free-range chickens in an industrial-style farming system means that the farmers don’t have the time to supervise the little darlings and put on those blinders that prevent the chickens from attacking their fellows. And, there will always be a chicken hierarchy, one where the least chicken in the flock is abused to death over a lengthy period. Remove and/or quarantine that chicken, especially in crowded conditions like you find on an industrial farm, and that flock will simply pick another bird to screw with, until it dies. This is a fact of life.

        Upshot? All these nice, humane people that did away with battery farming by legislative fiat basically condemned large numbers of chickens to death by torture. Same way the idiots banned hog farmers from penning up sows, and now there are huge losses stemming from crushed piglets when the sows roll over on them. Enjoy! Morons are making decisions for you, and you’re letting it happen by not running them out of town on rails when they propose this utter moronicism.

        The key thing that these farming justice warriors miss is that the farmers are motivated by the idea of profit. Profit means that you set up your farm to ensure that the chickens and hogs are profitable. The abused “bottom of the pecking order” (where, oh where, do you suppose these idiots think this term originated from, I wonder?) chickens and crushed piglets are all losses for the farmer (and, us, oh-by-the-way–Did you notice what your breakfast cost to buy, lately?) and are why those battery farms and hog crates were developed in the first damn place.

        If I don’t know about something, I leave it to the experts. I don’t pontificate and try to make laws about issues that I know nothing of, and then get up on my high moral horse and proclaim my superiority to the world because I believe that white is black, and black is white. What on earth is it that makes these people that are behind these things so damn arrogant and self-assured?

        I think it’s a mental illness that hasn’t been classified, to be quite honest.

        1. Oh, it’s been classified, all right. The problem is that it has also become terribly fashionable. It’s called Liberalism. There is no sure cure, but people with the syndrome do occasionally respond to a brisk mugging.

          1. Oh, there is a sure cure, but nobody wants to fill out the Environmental Impact Statement for streets running red with blood. That, and most people who oppose Liberalism are far too nice to actually take care of the Liberal problem, while Liberals are quite happy aiming the force of society and government against those who oppose them.

        2. Similar with fur farming. As far as I know the small cages came to be used because the animals stay healthier in them, and the fur is better, than if you use large enclosures where they have more room and can do things like dig. And I think I have seen something about a study done some years ago which claimed that the animals also seemed to prefer the cages, if given a choice, but I’m not sure of that, and if it was done whether they used animals which already had spend a long time of their lives in cages, animals usually seem to prefer what they are familiar with.

          1. The one I know of was chickens– they hatched chicks, divied them up and checked for stress.

            The small cages were the least stressed; the truly open range ones were the highest, because chickens are prey. Every freaking cloud across the sun is “AAAAAHHHHH GONNA DIE AAAAAHHH!!!!” to them, even before death-by-pecking-order.

            IIRC, chicken farmers’ response was something to the effect of “Yeah, no kidding– we noticed that we got better quality animal products, less waste and less loss. That’s why we do it. Are you going to check the sky is blue, next?”

              1. I kept pet chickens when I was little and that was quite the learning experience when it came to animal behavior. It took constant effort to prevent them from ripping each other up and even then my favorite of the bunch spent a few years missing most of the feathers off her back. The others only started leaving her alone after the whole bunch of them got into a huge fight that left enough feathers for me to assemble a new chicken blowing across the yard. Foxes, hawks, and raccoons were drawn to our yard and our little dog had her work cut out keeping them away. I swear that little hairball didn’t sleep at all and even then the chickens got badly injured or killed by wild animals and wandering dogs.

                Being out in the open is not a happy life for a chicken.

        3. They’re not morons– they’re willfully ignorant.

          I know it looks a lot the same, but folks who are really just stupid can’t help it. These folks have decided that their feelz are more important than actual animal welfare; sometimes it’s even a deliberate tactical move, deliberately setting up a lot of innocent animals for really nasty death so that when this is done they can then campaign against the horror they created and further restrict animal husbandry.

          I use to think they were stupid, too– then I got to know some folks who are just stupid, not malicious. (It’s amazing how uncommon the really dumb are, y’know?)

          1. Louis Armstrong quote: “There are some people that if they don’t know, you can’t tell them.”

            1. *shrug* It took me forever, and a nice but dumb as a rock lady in WoW, to realize there was a difference.

              I guess I should add a third category, “can’t tell because they seem to believe whatever is easiest for them.”

      3. Ah… actually there IS a class of chicken raising that is *pastured* chicken. As in, the chickens are kept “free range” with the additional stipulation that the *range* they are kept on actually has plants on it. There are two sorts of weeds (mallow and tumbleweeds) that my chickens won’t eat. They eat every shoot of anything else green in the whole back yard. Eating grass is what gets you nice dark yellow to orange egg yolks. (I will also get the chickens alfalfa hay and they eat the leaves for the same results.) They can’t live on nothing but grass, of course, but they do eat it.

      4. Um… this is not true. Chickens eat grass, but only the seeds.

        But they really prefer bugs and worms. Or mice, or snakes, or pretty much anything off your dinner table…

      5. Chickens love to eat grass, but it is not their favorite food. Bugs are their favorite, with grains and seeds second. My birds will follow the lawn mower to get the grasshoppers I stir up and to eat some of the clippings.

  13. been noticing lacking coverage of the UNC shooter and his political beliefs, but did recently see a Blame The Others headline where the sister to one of the victims is blaming the Kyle movie. because the shooter was obviously moved to hate islamics because Left Wing, 0bama loving, Evangelical Atheist Zealots (which is the reason why the press is shying from the story and certainly are not pointing at) are easily steered by such things.

    1. Yeah, the Left is focusing hard on the Muslim angle to avoid scrutiny of the shooter’s actual politics. Unfortunately, the dead aren’t even cold before their deaths are politicized.

      1. Reading that just made me madder. How desperate must the Left be for some blood libel to hang around the neck of Christians?

  14. Feds of whatever flavor do not see the law as rules, but as license, simply defining what they can get away with and how to go about it.

    But never mind this frivolity, I’ve got a serious issue to resolve for my annual Valentine’s day celebration; Should I wear the squid or octopus costume when I crash Hooters?

    1. Octopus. Add a bit of fur here and there and you can go as the Northwest Tree octopus and play the endangered species card if someone complains.

  15. I saw the Law and Order episode you mention AND I have renewed my pledge NOT to watch anymore of their shows and NOT to watch their old shows on Netflix. It really offended me. AND yes, they DID go there. If I hadn’t had escapism, I would have been a more violent person than I am today– So this “effect social change shit” should be exposed for what it is– Power hungry people who want to tell us what to do.

    So there is my two-cents and I can’t afford anymore even though the prices are probably in the two thousand by now (the non-inflation index)

    1. Anything that can be misrepresented for entertainment can and does get hit that infernal show and others. I couldn’t watch CSI after they did several episodes in a row in a 50-shades-of-grey-esque gone wrong. Its bad enough that the books exist.

      1. I notice we’re getting CSI: Cyber soon. I imagine they’ll do a GamerGate thing too.

          1. I need to send them my pitch for a season-long story arc about a troll from hell . . .

          2. CSI: Cyber.

            Either lots of forensic accounting, or watching them grab coffee while status bars progrss on their screens.

      2. Surely you don’t mean Lady Heather? She was one of their more interesting characters, I thought.(stopped watching when Marg left, so not up to date)

    2. This is one of many reasns I gave up on TV. The casual ostentatious stupidity of Hollywood,combined with their rock solid conviction that each hackneyed old plot they dredge up is new and brilliant.

      People,kept telling me I HAD to watch X-Files. As somebody who read ILLUMINATUS years ago, X-Files made me giggle.

    3. You wrote:
      “Power hungry people who want to tell us what to do.”
      Textbook definition of lefties and other control freaks. If I hadn’t had escapism as a teenager, I certainly would have committed suicide.I was and am Odd. Both my sister and my brother thought running my life for me was fun for them and necessary for my well being I might not have succeeded in committing suicide but I certainly would have tried. Escaping into books was my salvation from my home life. I was not abused but I was extremely emotional labile, needed to be on medication and was clueless as to how one acted in society. Getting away from my family (thousands of miles)! and being married to another odd and on meds and becoming more experienced in the world has made me the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. .

  16. Regarding militia, at the time the Constitution was written the unorganized militia consisted of all able bodied male citizens between 16 and 45, unless serving in the military or exempt due to health or religious reasons.
    I have always been of the opinion that the militia clause of the Second Amendment was put in solely to justify the requirement that all citizens maintain training and equipment so as to be prepared should they be called up to the militia.
    One could I suppose make the case that the National Guard and the Reserves take the place of the organized militia, but not that unorganized pool of armed and trained manpower. I can also see a valid argument for striking the males only provision.
    And too, IMHO the militia clause is still an add on to what is a fundamental right of all citizens to have access to the means of self defense. Citizens, unless very narrowly restricted for legal reasons, should have available to them the same individual weapons as do our soldiers. That was the original intent at the time, and I see no reason it should be any different today.

    1. The militia clause came directly out of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, The RTKBA clause was inserted to clarify that the RTKBA was a right of “the people” (citizens) not of the state, and came obliquely from the 1689 English Bill of Rights. The Founders at the Convention had recent experience to draw on as related to having militias, and the government attempting to disarm them, and wanted that not-so-fine distinction in there.

    2. Uncle Lar, the unorganized militia is STILL defined that way in Section 10 US Code. That’s the actual law.

      1. Which is why Common Core needs to be modified to include safe weapons handling and basic marksmanship.

        1. Have never understood why age appropriate gun safety and handling instruction is not mandatory at all levels of public education.
          There are an estimated 300 million plus firearms in private hands in the US. You can either attempt to shield your precious flowers from any and all possible exposure to any of those, or with just a bit of common sense instruction THAT ALREADY EXISTS you can protect your children from any accidents through ignorance.
          If it makes sense to instruct grade school kids about safe sex, why is it so terrible to teach them about safe gun?

          1. Leftists argue that teaching kids gun safety is somehow endorsing the ownership and handling of guns, and they certainly don’t want to encourage that, on the other hand, they teach them about how to have sex at a very young age….

            1. It actually makes sense if you think about it. Kids who know how to handle guns will grow into adults who are not as easily frightened of guns, thereby being less receptive to the Left’s message on the matter. Kids who engage in sex, OTOH, will be more sexual, will spend more of their time with sex, will be more receptive to the Left’s messages on sex, and will be too busy playing musical beds to realize that the country’s going to pieces.

              1. Exactly, I just point out the irony of the rationale behind it. Unfortunately, the SoCons have the same contradictory rationales, but the positions are reversed.

                1. (Waggles hand) Speaking as a SoCon–at least for a millennial, which I admit isn’t saying much–it’s not quite the same.
                  Mostly because, by and large, we can live with people doing sexual nonsense we don’t approve of, just so long as no one expects us, or society at large, to approve of it.
                  The Left, however, cannot abide the thought of things happening that they do not approve of.

                  1. I’m just saying, a lot of the argument from the right against sex ed (“It will encourage them to do it”) is the same argument the left is making against gun education.

                    1. Ah, okay. I thought we were talking broader policy. (Facepalms)
                      Yeah, sex ed unfortunately needs to be a thing. Just don’t start recommending stuff.

                    2. Even if we had the NRA and all the major gun manufacturers setting up the gun classes, it couldn’t be as screwed up for achieving the expressed purpose of a healthy and happy life as sex ed is; it doesn’t matter if the argument against them sounds the same, because they are inherently radically different.

                      Gun ed is more like driver’s ed, though going slightly more towards home economics in terms of “things you might need to know even if you don’t ever plan to buy one.”

              2. They will also have a better idea of what guns can and can’t do, which means they are more skeptical of the notion that guns in the hands of authority are an unfightable force.

          2. Because if you teach kids gun safety then the number of accidental gun deaths falls off sharply. It becomes much harder to pass gun control when almost all of the dead “children” are 19 year old gang bangers.

          3. Had someone a couple weeks ago, after I said that teaching kids about firearms would be a better way to cut down on injuries/deaths than just locking them away, reply that “Finally, you also seem to think that children have the cognitive ability to deal safely with guns when not in the supervision of adults, that if we teach them to handle them and clean them correctly they won’t use them irresponsibly but instead use them like an adult would.
            Meh, I think we’re done here.” Apparently all those kids growing up in the great plains and mountain west who go varmint hunting aren’t a reasonable demonstration of what happens when kids get educated on firearms. Whenever they harp on about firearms they always overlook the fact that the places with the really high firearms ownership rates have very little firearms violence, and little violence in general.

            1. I’d bet money that the twit belives that those self-same kids are mentally and emotionally competent to make decisions about sex, orientation, gender, and education.

              1. Absolutely. because guns are self-motivated, but raging hormones, activist teachers, and peer-pressure are natural and thus to be celebrated. Aaaand excuse me while I go wash my hands after typing that last bit.

    3. Sounds like the situation Israel has today. Everybody goes into the Armed Forces after high school. Then money permitting tours around for as while before coming home and settling down.

    4. If I recall, at the time the Constitution was written, there was no such thing as the ‘unorganized militia’ or ‘organized militia’. That portion of the USC was part of what they wrote in when they created the National Guard.

      1. Just a quibble – prior to the writing and ratification of the Constitution and the formation of the United States of America there were plenty of organized and unorganized militias – all associated with then existing political entities of a sort from more or less formal colonial militias to informal neighborhood associations for some value of neighborhood e.g. Green Mountain Boys. Frex

        The “Act to Regulate the Militia of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” passed 17 March 1777, and the subsequent Militia Act passed March 20, 1780, together with their amendments, required all white men between the ages of 18 and 53 capable of bearing arms to serve two months of militia duty on a rotating basis.


        It’s no problem at all to find prior usage and definitions of the term militia – it did not spring full blown from the early Congress.

        No Army of the United States nor United States Army or national militia but there was plenty of service by militia troops under Washington including at Valley Forge. Even some recognition of prior militia service in later years.

    1. And I guess these alleged (never mind trial, representation by counsel, cross examination of witnesses, or any of that “due process” stuff, you know so just just forget all that) “underage sex slaves” about which you are so concerned deserve to burn to death too.

    2. This is exactly what I was talking about upthread (even though it appears the comment above was written before mine): For some people, the legality of what was done doesn’t matter, because they think it was deserved.

      For myself, I don’t want the government thinking that the law doesn’t matter, if the person they are after, “deserves it”. Because many times, the government is WRONG in who they go after.

      1. Because we’ve known about Hitler and Stalin and how everyone believed their victims “deserved’ it. My husband got in an argument with his sister over the film maker blamed for Benghazi on this point. “But he was a scum bag. He deserved to be arrested.” “Don’t care” quoth the husband. “The only reason he was arrested was as a convenient fall guy. Otherwise no matter how scummy he’d never be arrested.” But she was willing to throw him to the wolves because he wasn’t above board. Stones. First. Throwing. Etc.

        1. Does she imagine that if the film-maker had been a nicer guy, he wouldn’t have been arrested on one trumped-up charge or another. Someone was imprisoned for political dissent in America, in order to appease foreign tyrants and terrorists. I’m surprised that more people aren’t horrified by this.

          1. You had me nodding along, until I came to “appease foreign tyrants and terrorists.” That is not at all why he was imprisoned, those foreign tyrants and terrorists didn’t have a clue about some stupid youtube video. He was imprisoned in order to shift blame off of domestic tyrants and terrorist sympathizers.

            1. No, they also tried to appease tyrants and terrorists because they thought if they threw someone to the wolves the idiots wouldn’t do that again. And they made public apologies. Oh, my sore feet. These people HURT me.

          2. I am horrified too. BUT yeah, she thought as long as you’re a well behaved boy or girl you’ll be safe. I heard Dan shout across the house (and he’s the calm, non-political one.)

            1. And when it does happen to well-behaved girls and boys, the response is, “If only the Tsar/Stalin/Hitler knew!”

              (Sometimes, of course, it’s true. When Grant issued his order banning all Jews from a region, the Jews’ reaction was “Lincoln can not possibly know about this” and the telegraph office. It worked.)

    3. I have no idea if he had underaged sex slaves or not. The Feds claimed he did, but then we know they lied about all sorts of things in that incident; including the fact that they used incendiaries to burn such alleged slaves alive. They proved themselves unreliable and untrustworthy, so with corrobating evidence and trustworthy witnesses, everything they claim is suspect and not to be believed.

      1. Since When has having sex with under age girls been a FEDERAL Crime.
        I lived in Waco. From the Corner Off from where I worked we could see the compound. I have a copy of the Search Warrant. The biggest pile I have ever seen. The ATF through the Child sex thing in so the Judge would give them the warrant. Yes, the ATF got a warrant because of child sex.
        Oh, please remember, when the ATF arrived and exited the Cattle Trailers David Koresh WAS UNARMED OUTSIDE THE FRONT DOOR and THEY SHOT HIM!.

  17. Ripping things from the headlines can be pretty useful. In my superhero roleplaying campaign, the players were just being astonished that a storyline I started late last year, about a supervillain working to bring about widespread anti-Semitic rioting by France’s Muslim population, had turned out to be disturbingly similar to current European news. What a coincidence, they said! Of course I had been glancing at the British and French news about problems of that sort for quite a while, but I didn’t tell them that; it’s my job to entertain them, not to teach or preach. . . .

  18. FWIW, I played Zoe Quinn’s game, Depression Quest. I’d heard about GamersGate and read the positive comments of the game, so I wanted to play it and see for myself.

    It was the first game that made me want to lose.

    It’s not a “game”, but a digital version of the “Choose your own adventure” books I remember as a kid, but without any discernible iota of entertainment value. I understand why people figured that Quinn gave up a little something-something to get those positive comments.

    Oh, but it’s “important”.

    Bull. Choices are blocked out in that game, which are choices I’ve made while dealing with my own depression. She didn’t, so she didn’t figure other people would. It’s her own narcissism put on display for the entire world.

    But it’s “important”. Kind of like the quote James May put up somewhere (MHN, maybe?) where someone commented that they weren’t sure the book was good, but it was “important”, so they were going to nominate it for a Hugo.


    1. OK, it’s kinda like I said in a piece I wrote for Sarah. In history, there are “good bad books” that make people go “what the fuzz?!?” and lead to a whole bunch of research and a lot of really good books refuting the bad book. The original work is bad, but the final result is good for the field. This does not apply to fiction, unless you count the occasional “If you were a Dinosaur” => “Queen of the Tyrant Lizards” instance.

      Message or not, bad writing is bad writing and should not be granted an award. There are awards given out by [social justice group] for message. Spare the Hugos that, please.

      1. I was mostly kind of shocked that someone would come out and say that the book wasn’t that good, but they were going to nominate it for a Hugo anyways because “important”. Honestly?

        And they think Sad Puppies is out of line because we just want fun books?

        1. You want enraging hypocrisy? See “Brianna Wu” and why s/he went after TFYC for ‘transgender discrimination’ in a contest aimed at encouraging women game developers, and then look at the game s/he produced while screeching about hypersexualized, unrealistic looking women in games.

          1. I’d only seen Quinn related to that, and TFYC had a transgender policy that Wu would have qualified for. If you weren’t actually living as a woman, you didn’t get to play. I have no idea how this could possibly have been controversial.

            1. I haven’t the foggiest either, honestly. TFYC’s transgender policy made sense, but somehow, it was spun to make them seem like anti-transsexual haters.

              You might be right about it being about Quinn not Wu so I may be mistaken, but I’m wondering now why I put those two together related to TFYC. It’s been some months since I last read about the incident.

              In fact, isn’t Quinn a female? How the heck was she able to make a drama hash of TFYC’s transgender rule??? Wu would have made sense… somewhat.

    2. I think I’ve said before that the disability experience that the SJW wish to package is not terribly representative of the real world disability experience.

      The disabled who react ‘I am fortunate to have things as good as I do, and if I have to take some effort and care to do what comes easily to others, everyone faces challenges’ are not well represented, which undermines the under served demographic argument. Picking the wallowing, pity party, other people have to fix things sort does not help teach people to function either.

      SJW(disability) is a wholly inadequate substitute for character.

      1. Some of the examples, IIRC, were an option that you couldn’t select where you could choose to explain to your mother that you’re feeling depressed. Quinn apparently thinks this is completely unreasonable and therefore shouldn’t be a choice.

        Of course, the fact that I could do that quite readily is completely irrelevant.

          1. Edit: Reactor Incremental. Of course, this is one of those low on the gamer totem pole, if at all games.

  19. My first question would be why do SJWs think either SF or gaming should be an enlightening commentary on the ‘injustices’ of the world. Last time I checked, SF and gaming were considered ‘entertainment’. I do not want to be morally uplifted by what I read, I want a good plot, good characters, perhaps an intriguing concept or devious plot twist.

    As such, I would not immediately condemn law and order, it is ‘entertainment’ and I’m sure a story about a crazed geek out to kill a brave transsexual SJW for her/his/its rejection of Marxist dogma is a much more exciting show than if all the crazed geek does is post something bad at her/him/it.

    Perhaps some of you don’t realize it, but this site is incredibly rare in that the commenters don’t engage is ad hominem attacks on things they disagree on. Calling Sarah caffeine-deprived seems to be the worst dig in the comments. For compare and contrast, check the comments of any Washington Post editorial by Jennifer Rubin, and see if you can stomach the bile they dredge up. By the way, there you can also consider that the coarsening of civility and dialogue comes from that same socialist side.

    While there are occasionally games like sim city, (which incredibly illustrated the pathetic limitations of solar and wind power) the basic genre for games is DOOM. Find the bad guys and kill them all. For games, it is called replay ability. Gamers like to play the same game over and over until they are very good. In contrast SF certainly has some novels with the plot is find the bad aliens and kill them all; however, most people don’t reread the same novel repeatedly until the pages wear out.

    Of course the women depicted in games are hot, young and half naked. Although I would enjoy the game where you go to the local Wal-Mart and get to run over/kill all the rude fat ladies on electric carts (Lady, you are not handicapped, you are fat!), I’m not confident that it would be all that marketable. Hot, young and half naked women in games are marketable.

    Of course, that is a big problem for the Socialist Justice Warriors, like all the followers of Marx, they just do not understand economics. Historically, ‘from each by their ability, to each by their need’ quickly morphs into ‘you pretend to work and they pretend to pay you.’ Unmentioned is the part from Orwell about some being more equal than others, but like all progressive failures, they try hard to sweep the failures down the memory hole.

    1. Perhaps some of you don’t realize it, but this site is incredibly rare in that the commenters don’t engage is ad hominem attacks on things they disagree on.

      I think most of us know and value that– I know it happens because Sarah will, as last resort, use the banhammer, and it doesn’t matter which direction the fire is coming from, and because she won’t use it when folks hit back, or just vehemently disagree, or occasionally snarl.

      In return, we try to be decent folks, and drop stuff she asks us to; prevents both blowups and winnowing of those who are willing to talk.

      Plus, Odds– 90% of the “discussions” are more like “look at this shiny, interesting thing!” than “I smite you with my factoid of You So Dumb!”


      1. I used to hang on the ‘John Carter’ movie forum pages on IMDb for years before the movie had been made. Mostly very polite discussions about ERB’s stories. Then they made the movie… 😀

    2. My first question would be why do SJWs think either SF or gaming should be an enlightening commentary on the ‘injustices’ of the world.

      A lot of the classic type stuff does touch on the deeper truths of reality– something as simple as the Spock/McCoy/Kirk friendship interactions. Doesn’t matter that they’re two and a half humans in space, one growls a bunch of silly insults at another and the third makes time with space girls, they speak to human nature in a powerful way.

      If you don’t believe that there is an ultimate Truth, that there is no inherent Human Nature, then what works to “advance” one view should work just as well for any other.

      Terry Pratchett, for example, has some “speak truth to power” type token junk– but he also has a lot of Truth in his writing. Often from the long way ’round, and all the more interesting for it. Joss Whedon is notorious for making very powerful stories that are conservative, and then gluing The Correct Thoughts junk on it– lots of other good story writers, too. Their stories have different ideologies than they profess, because they are making good stories.

    3. “My first question would be why do SJWs think either SF or gaming should be an enlightening commentary on the ‘injustices’ of the world.”
      It’s simple. To an adolescent self-absorbed narcissist everything is about them and their focus of the moment. And too they have prima facia evidence that such an attitude if played right can win you a Nobel Prize, world wide acclaim, and election to high office.

    4. They believe, and loudly state, that the personal is political.
      Politics is the exercise of power over others.
      So everything they do, is done with an eye towards gaining power over others.

      Which is pathetic and sad.
      And it only gets moreso when they project their delusions onto us.

    5. “My first question would be why do SJWs think either SF or gaming should be an enlightening commentary on the ‘injustices’ of the world.”

      Because they think EVERYTHING should be reflective of their politics, even whom they choose to bed. “The personal is the Political”, and therefore they also feel the need to tell us all about it, ad nauseaum.

    6. Just an aside;

      While many fat people have done it to themselves, in a significant percentage it is a symptom, not a character flaw. My Lady is fat because of multiple problems including an odd eating disorder that expresses itself the opposite of the classics.

      So, the womem in the electric carts MAY be handicapped.

      Develop,a little charity in your soul. There are more than enough genuinely poisonous twunts in the world without assuming more. Wait for proof, it’ll save you on ulcer medication.

      1. It is the attitude that bothers me. Most of the ones I encounter have the attitude “I’m special, get the Heck out of my way.” Now, by my standards, I am walking around the store, they are sitting down. They should be glad to patiently wait their turn. They aren’t.

        Indeed, some of the ladies in the carts are polite and considerate. I remember one who announced “Watch out, I’m not sure I can drive this thing” in an especially crowded aisle. It’s the ones that wear their special ‘privilege’ on their collars (and cart bumpers) that bother me.

        Don’t worry about medication. The non-medicinal solution to the ulcers is to shop Food Lion and Amazon. I last visited a Wal-Mart last May. I try to keep it down to one or two visits a year. While I consider them a valuable business, who have perfected ‘just in time’ inventory, truth be told, the stores are too big. The typical visit starts going to the left hand front of store to get dog treats, then wandering across acres of ‘stuff’ to get to the right hand rear of the store for Coca Cola.

  20. For once, I’ll spare SVU the long essay. Aside from the Trayvon/Dean mashup, I *still* have a hate on where they setup the (black) male for rape charges, turned out the women were lying, paid off by the white racist dude who was pissed he was dating his daughter. (I called the real culprit, and the guys innocence, from the trailers)

    And get this… despite an open-and-shut perjury case for confessed false rape accusations, no trial or charges. “Might keep women from coming forward”

    And not two weeks later rolling their eyes at “false rape accusations happen”

    So… gamergate.

    Yah, it was about ethics – said poor ethics being inspired by a need to teach those heathens (by their obvious betters). Games should be ‘significant”, etc.

    So Anita already had been an object of ridicule for piss-on-your-leg and tell-you-it’s-raining levels of BS (making shit up, while the video she’s backing up her narration with disproves her claim…). The other chick – Zoe – had a long and checkered past, with close (and closer) relations to people helping push her “games”. She even tanked and backstabbed another “get girl game developers in the biz” project to then fail at her own.

    So.. when the whole adultery thing about Zoe came out, and was promptly hushed up, it grew from a “geez, that’s personal” to “the coverup is worse than the crime” because it was obvious SOMETHING was going on.

    Outlets like 4Chan that normally allowed bloody near anything shut down threads.

    And then, in the face of accusations of collusion, ALL the gaming outlets near-simultaneously published something along the lines of “gamers are dead”.

    And its obvious many of them aren’t gamers. Anita completely dropped the ball on that while on the Colbert show. Leigh Alexander (?) – despite “just wanting to have games made that women might enjoy playing” can be found giving speeches about fundamentally wanting to change the nature of games, remove aspects that are currently fun, and that games should not BE fun, but significant.

    Some on the pro-GG side, like Brad Wardell of Stardock (one of their games, the project lead was a woman), just want to make good games and not have a muted palette of gender options. (He’d also been persecuted with a false sexual harassment suit, that was misreported with glee in the same gaming media)

    And the name calling? Calls to bring back bullying? Gas chambers? Calling gay people, minorities, and women names?

    That was anti-GG towards the #notyourshield gamer gate supporters… some of whom were on major game developer teams, or high up in the Gawker/etc. food chain.

    There is a (long) and satirically named “peoples history of gamer gate”

    Oh – and we should always believe women…. even if our eyes tell us otherwise.

    Sargon of Akkad has some good videos too.

    1. It is coming to the poit where, when I read about some poor innocent woman horribly persecuted by nasty males, I automatically assume that she is a lying twunt.

      I didn’t used to be like this. But time and again the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressive left has demonstrated that they have no legitimate causes, no real complaints.

      It makes me feel all hot and bloodthirsty in my head. I don’t like it. I suspect that some day, when ordinary people have had. Enough. Of. This. Shit. the LIRPs aren’t going to like it either.


            1. Twent is also short for twenty, which is twice ten, a offensive term for a female ninja.

  21. What I want to know is what is at the root of all this crap, by which I mean the generalized Western self-hatred that the GamerGate and Sad Puppies issues are merely symptoms of.

    I get Gramsci. I really do, and I completely understand that a lot of this “stuff” is residual bits and pieces of the 20th Century Marxist campaign to destroy Western Civ. But, what I don’t get, and fail completely to comprehend, is the why of what makes it the popular thing that it is. What is it that makes the average person so susceptible to the propaganda and indoctrination? Why is it so damn attractive?

    I grew up with having my stepdad and a bunch of his friends as influences. They were a rather odd lot–Mostly Eastern Europeans who’d come over to the US, and who had internalized the Balkan memes from the 1940s, simply because that was what they were exposed to, and it was a matter of survival for them. First, the Nazis, then the Soviets and Tito–Talking to them, I later decided, was like doing mental archaeology. The belief patterns were there, and you could damn near dig through them and see the why/where/when they got the influences they did. My stepdad and quite a few of his friends were instinctively anti-Semitic, for example. As a kid, I asked a lot of questions about fairly deep stuff, being a precocious little shit that read a lot. One thing I learned was this: None of these guys had ever really been around Jews of any sort, at all. It was always about the landlords from the next valley over, or something. I’d occasionally ask a question of them in all innocence, and you would then see the narrative stall out, because I’d just asked a question that caused severe cognitive dissonance.

    Despite this background, the influence never took. Mostly, because I looked around at the world, and looked at them, and said “Hey, if things are so much better back in the Old Country, with the free medical care and college… Why the hell are you here, then?”. And, yeah–I basically grew up arguing with pretentious left-ish intellectual and indoctrinated peasant adults, and wound up turning into their worst nightmare, an unabashed American patriot of the more traditional sort. What was so damn funny to me over the years was watching these guys talk crap about the whole US system, and then gradually work their way up the ladder of success into the American Dream, all the while bad-mouthing the whole system. One of the most amusing ones was the guy who married a very feminist American girl who went into banking and wound up retiring a few years ago as a fairly high-level bank executive. Considering that he was one of the most sexist, anti-banker types I ever met in my life, the humor of their whole relationship was just one of those things. It was like he didn’t even realize he was sleeping with the enemy, if you catch my drift.

    So, what I want to know is why the hell there are all these people out there whose minds are such fertile ground for this dreck? Why do they go off to college, and are so easily influenced? There is obviously fertile ground for all this crap, because the seeds flower so abundantly once they’re planted. And, the thing that absolutely amazes me is how rapidly and thoroughly it takes place with a lot of these folks. I’d almost posit “pod people”, to be honest, because I’ve watched so many friends and acquaintances change as they pursue post-service education.

    The issues we have with the left’s delusional thinking don’t just start from Marxism, or any particular school of thought. The root of the issue is something deriving from a deeper source than intellectual pretension, and I’ll be damned if I can put a finger on it. Compare a lot of what passes for intellectual culture today with that of other eras, like the late 19th Century, and you’ll look long and hard for any real equivalent to the Horatio Alger attitudes that made his works so popular. Something shifted, something changed.

    One thing I do wonder about is the influence of all these female hormones we’ve pumped into the environment and our food chain. Note the behavioral patterns that are so prevalent in many of today’s young males, and also note how similar they are to typical female patterns of the pre-birth control era. My mom has even commented on it, noting that the play which took place in schoolyards when she was a young teacher in the early 1970s has changed so that now kids don’t roughhouse as much, or take as many stupid risks as they used to. Her comment to me about this was that “The boys are playing more like the girls used to…”.

    There is something to all this, a common thread, but I’ll be damned if I can follow it back to where it comes from, and try to figure out how to keep it from unraveling the substructure of our civilization–Because, taken together, that’s precisely what is happening in slow motion around us.

    1. It’s not just birth control hormones. Many pesticides are estrogen-mimics, designed to disrupt the target organism’s hormone balances — and runoff from the fields gets into the watercourses and aquifers that supply our cities. Then there’s the estrogen being produced by any farrowing or cow-and-calf operation where you’ve got a lot of pregnant female livestock, which probably ends up as runoff one way or another. Not to mention the estrogen-mimics in various plastics.

      I’d love to see a study on the relative contributions of various sources of estrogen, estrols and estrogen-mimics to human environmental intake, but given how many groups have a strong commitment to the answer coming out a particular way, I don’t know how one could set up an honest study.

      1. As strongly linked to behavior as hormones are, you really have to wonder if this isn’t at least partially what’s behind some of the pathologies of modern culture. My personal bet is that the casual use of hormones and hormone-mimic chemicals is going to be seen as our civilization’s “lead pipes” when someone decides to do a 30th-Century Decline and Fall of the United States of America. I won’t be around to see it, but that’s the way I’d put the money down for the bet.

        As to what to do about it? HellifIknow… The stuff is so spread through our ecosystem that it’s not even funny. I was talking to the guy who runs the local fish hatchery, and he tells me that there’s so much of the human female hormone they use in birth control pills in the effluent from the city sewage system that they can’t afford to let that stuff get in with the water they use for the hatchlings or they’ll start having developmental issues. And, then there are all the other drugs whose by-products and actual residuals are being found throughout the environment, as well. What happens when there’s enough Prozac in the water system to calm the fish into inertia, I wonder?

        To some degree, I have to wonder if this isn’t at least somewhat deliberate, in a misguided attempt to socially-engineer a less-violent society. The issue is known, but nobody wants to do a damn thing about it. You see casual mention of things like reduced sperm counts in the West, and nobody makes a big deal out of it, at all. They reserve the outrage for silly shit, and you make the comparison and start wondering if there aren’t some dots to be connecting, there.

        Throw a lot of testosterone-antagonist hormones into the general system, and you should see less aggression, no? Forget flouridation, this sort of thing is flat-out scary.

          1. Hormones are frightening things when you get down to it. Do you suppose all the exposure to excessive/artificial hormones from a young age is why there seem to be so many teens now who have gender identity issues?

            1. *shrugs*

              I know over-indulgence of soybeans acts as estrogen in male systems. However, any kind of speculation beyond that would require a lot more research with a computer. :/

              I’m going out on a limb here by suggesting such actions as pushing soybean for food usage is very, very deliberate.

              1. And frustratingly enough it’s not the sort of research that’s being done since it seems that implying that there are any outside forces acting that result in abnormal sexuality/sexual development in humans is unthinkable.

                1. Yeap. Still needs done though. I’m starting to be privy so a couple of stories of folks who after they went paleo, suddenly were incredibly confused on their sexuality. Again.
                  It’s actually rather heartbreaking because there’s not enough information on outside forces to help folks get through this crapp.

                  1. Like in what way confused? More aware of what they were attracted to or are we talking a total 180 in terms of orientation?

                    1. 180 degrees.

                      There’s one who is so confused they went celibate….much to the annoyance of their partner.

                      As for more aware… I haven’t heard or seen anything from those folks other than ” OMG I ❤ this diet!"

              1. I’m betting on social pressure being the big thing– you can’t touch anybody but close family, and often not even then (I know a guy whose daughter got harassed by the school therapist into believing being hugged goodbye in the morning by her dad was sexual assault, inducing issues both legal and emotional), you can’t be just friends it’s all about sex, and if you enjoy physical contact with anyone it has to mean you’re sexually attracted to them.

                Like the blankers who decided kids had a “need” to be sexualized, we’re all paying for the dumb-blank theories that are mangled, reheated Freud.

                  1. Bad social group– family friend refers to it as the “I’m more traumatized” club– and being basically assured in “strong terms” by the school councilor that she was. Basically she just had been socially persuaded that contact with a male had to be sexual, she’s at that age, and then a hug from her dad felt funny.
                    There’s a special word for the “becoming aware of your parents as members of their sex” and having trouble placing them, but I can’t remember it… and apparently the councilor that talked her into believing it was assault didn’t bother.

                    (The one who was not legally allowed to be “treating” her, dragged her in based on a misunderstanding from another group member, and withheld evidence that would’ve prevented the dad from being charged. And still has her job, although not the trust of her supervisors or the cops. Seattle, ugh.)

                    It’s not exactly unknown of– a lot of “recovered memory” folks exhibit psychological symptoms of the trauma that never happened, because outside of the physical effects, they have. Brainwashing is UGLY, especially when it works.
                    Seem to remember there have been some lawsuits based on “therapists” that convinced their subjects that they were abused, when they weren’t– it can destroy your life.

                    1. Worse, it drowns out those who WERE abused. My Lady was, and did supress the memories for years. The difference being that she always displayed behaviors that now make sense (aversion to certain mouthfeels), we always knew she had very few memories from the years in question, and the person she remembers abusing her was always a known creep.

            1. Some of you might have seen a Beastly long thread (666 comments and counting 😈 ) on Brad Torgersen’s Facebook page where some charming fellow maligned everybody associated with Sad Puppies. The conversation was dying down (Larry blocked him & Brad asked him to shut up) so he invited us to his page to continue the conversation. Anyway, it turns out that he hates The Wheel of Time, everything by Jim Butcher, Harry Potter—but he loved, loved If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love—and then someone made a Firefly reference.

              Mr Charming: Dave – I think I hate Firefly more than I hate Harry Potter.

              Dave ——: Well, neither had sexy vengeful dinosaurs.

              Me: What are you talking about, Dave? Do you really think “Curse your sudden-but-inevitable betrayal” was the last act in that drama? No, there was vengeance, and feuding, and a doomed cross-species romance. (Too bad the creator got skewered by overzealous critics before he finished his story.)

              1. WHAT?

                HE. DISSED. FIREFLY?

                Oh, he’s just lucky I didn’t take him up on his invite to go to his wall.

                Three things you don’t diss in Tom’s universe.

                1. His Mom (God rest her soul) 2. His wife and kids 3. GORRAM FIREFLY!

                TOM SMASH!!!!!

              2. Why on earth would anyone hate all three of those things and love the dinosaur revenge porn?
                Does he just hate white people without college degrees?

      2. Soy mimics, too– that and hormonal birth control would probably be the two biggest sources, since they’re not set up to break down like either natural estrogen or pesticides.

      3. Back when NexGen first came out, one of the gaming magazines (The *Dragon*, I think) published a tongue-in-cheek supplement to *Star Trek, the Roleplaying Game*, in which they ascribed most of first-season Federation culture to the widespread use of “anabolic estrogens.”

        This included the weakened racial characteristics of Klingons. A member of that species who wanted to be part of the Federation took large doses of anabolic estrogens to keep his urges under control. They were referred to as “caffeine-free Klingons.”

    2. Quick one before I take my needed nap of sleep deprivation:

      “Hey, if things are so much better back in the Old Country, with the free medical care and college… Why the hell are you here, then?”

      This is why the bullshit NEVER took with me.

    3. It is a form of tribalism and classism. In America we don’t have a noble class but there are all these people who long to belong to the noble class. Since it doesn’t exist they have to create an artificial one where everyone knows the right behaviors and cues.

      The problem is that the rest of us aren’t giving them the respect they need and desire and the more and more they try and force it from us the more and more people thumb their noses at them and tell them to get lost git.

    4. Outrage is Power.

      That works here because we have a “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” culture, instead of the Japanese “The nail that sticks up gets hammered.”

    5. The Root Cause? I don’t know. But my own take on it is that it’s more of an emotional need for a certain subset of people. Both the left and the right have issues with Totalitarianism (it may just be that politics in general attracts that mindset). But it seems that once one side or the other gains power they tend to become quite shrill anytime they _perceive_ that a significant portion of the populace doesn’t buy into the schtick they are peddling. Regardless of the reality, it’s the perception that counts for these people.

      Currently it’s the ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’ that are bent out of shape that not everyone believes the way they do. Having gotten their most recent tastes of power with Clinton and Obama administrations and majorities in the House and Senate under them. Now that some people are finding those political philosophies not as wonderful in reality as was predicted by the theories upon which the laws were enacted and are throwing their support in other directions the lib/progs are throwing their hissy fits because not everyone has the ‘goodthink’ like they do.

      And the ‘goodthink’ has a way of twisting perceptions of reality into pretzel shapes that would make a master contortionist grimace. You can see this in their statements, which in the age of electronic communication means they are readily accessible to anyone willing to search. A certain liberal epic fantasy author said a few months ago that it was his side that freed the slaves and if another civil war happens it’s his side that would win because that’s the way history is progressing. Which completely disregards the actual history that it wasn’t the Democrats who fought against slavery, and it’s not the Democrats who hold most of the guns should the Government decide to come a confiscating, nor the fact history doesn’t have an arrow pointing one way or the other politically. His delusion is so grand that he actually said that before last year’s Nebula awards women were shut out of SF awards. He’s by no means alone, his comments are in step with the current lib/prog leaders and their narrative. And the narrative is all important and must be hammered home over and over again because when the populace decides they aren’t buying anymore, their side is doomed for a generation or more.

      1. Let’s assume, for a minute, that he’s right and history is progressing his way (which it might be–every civilization falls, after all).
        Why on earth does he think his side will not have reverses? Does he think they will win every battle merely because justice?

          1. ….and since it’s all inevitable, we mere peasants and proles should not resist and meekly comply.

            Hm. No.

  22. It helps (for some value of the word help) that the rules are such that any claim of oppression can’t be examined but must, by definition, be accepted at face value. If someone *says* they experience science fiction as a random punch in the face… you’re not allowed to question that person’s experience. Convenient, that.

    With games I’d almost suggest that Wu is amongst the least offensive of those usually identified. Maybe she’s actually the best programmer among them, too, who knows. I did notice, though, that when ever we see a picture of what seems to be presented as one of Wu’s creations that the female models have really big breasts. That doesn’t bother me at all, of course. The art style is attractive and distinctive. But I’m not sure how this plays into all the outrage over women in games being sexualized (men are too, but in *man* ways) or if Wu just gets a pass from the others. We all know how easily that can change, though, and I don’t wish that on anyone.

    Haven’t watched any Law and Order franchise since Bush’s second term.

    1. My cynical 2 cents: gets a pass because m-t-f transgender who is often assumed to be an “Asian woman” because of the name. Until I saw pictures, this was my assumption because if you don’t see pics and only read text, well…

      Seeing the Twitter ID pic had me think “She doesn’t look Asian… Looks white. Half or married to an Asian?” and thought nothing further on it.

      Then saw pictures of “her” in an interview whimpering about discrimination against women.

      VERY cynical thought that came after: talentless hack who couldn’t get into the industry as a guy because he’d be expected to perform based on skill and merit riding the women studies grievance gravy train.

      Initially I thought the huge boobs on the characters and costumes would not bug me… until the creator weren’t constantly bitching about the sexualization of women characters. Before that, I just thought that the character models were badly made/designed and ugly (Seriously, 1990 game graphics look better) and looked amateurish – almost beginner level low rez 3D model attempts.

      But that is after reading Wu’s behavior online.

      1. Oh, and having seen pictures recently, I was struck by how radically asymmetric “her” face is. People generally react less well to that, it’s considered less attractive. Wu, being an Entitled Egotist, Superior To All, did not take that very well and lashes out at an “Unjust” world angrily, hysterically, and senselessly.

        And shouting about “her” victimhood is the road to power.

      2. Gosh, nothing makes me value somebody’s opinion quite as much as being delusional with a side of self-mutilation.

        Of course, for refusing to applaud the daft bugger, I’m worse than jihad.

      3. If I saw more of the art maybe it would start to grate on me. But really… HUGE boobs. Just about smack you in the face. I’ve been known to create busty avatars, but supposedly the games I play are evil when they make that an option.

        1. I’d seen enough initially to go “nah, not playing it, character models suck.” The heads look like someone reshaped the back by means of car accident, then forgot about it. I did not find out about the hypocritical whining about impossible to achieve body shapes in video games by the creator of the thing my brain remembered as ‘game with fugly girl like avatars’ until muuuuuch later.

          That’s the kind of hypocrisy that makes sure I won’t play or buy that game.

            1. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/02/13/the-wacky-world-of-wu-the-tortured-history-of-gamergates-self-styled-feminist-martyr/
              Well, Wu’s getting a lot of Patreon mileage out of being a self-styled feminist and misandrist apparently. *shrug* Hey, if there are people who wanna spend money on supporting someone’s strangely conveniently timed European vacation, and giving 3k+ USD a month for ‘developing’ nothing… they can do whatever they want with their money.

              Oh and a certain social disease has been misrepresenting me in FSTDT again, trying to pretend to be a pro-feminist, pro-…something… advocate. The hilarity ensues when most of the comments seem to condemn Wu for what Wu’s been pulling (which is what we were discussing – ‘why is she given so much of a pass for their behavior?’), and Yama’s attempts to pull conversation towards Vox fail utterly.

              It’s funny how the stalker of actual Asian women is trying to defend someone who has been allowing people to believe that they’re a persecuted Asian woman and getting money from them.

              1. Yes, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m not really involved in GG, I was tempted to tweet something to the effect that “All the anti-GG boys leaping to Wu’s defense because they think they’re white-knighting a hot asian chick are in for a nasty surprise.”

                Also, FSTDT?

                (And of course, you’ve provided a link for Vox to collect, right?)

                1. “Fundies say the dumbest things” is my guess.

                  Want amusement? Yama is rewriting what I say to make himself seem like he’s a suuuppper nice person who doesn’t stalk women and crowdsource harassment by lying about what they’re saying. He deletes “the stalker of actual Asian women” and puts ‘Yama’ instead. This is not the first time he’s done this, nor is it the first time he’s tried to use that site to get people to harass or condemn me.

                  The last time, some people there ACTUALLY read what I wrote and said it was being taken out of context. That lead me to think the folks there may not like being used, so I let them know that Yama was using them. They weren’t happy to say the least. I wonder how long before someone googles my handle and finds out about Yama stalking of me and repeated threats against my kids.

                  I’m not really involved in GG either. I notice bits and pieces of it when it crops up on John C. Wright’s blog, or Larry’s, or other places, so my original thought about the whole fiasco was “well… let the market decide,” re: Wu’s and Quinn’s games. I didn’t even really care that they were very obviously trying to ride the common misconception that zomg rampant misogyny EVERWHERE and NO GAME HAS GOOD FEMALE/MINORITY CHARACTERS (and NO MENTIONING FINAL FANTASY IV AND VI AND XIII OR METROID, -or a loooong list of games- EVER THEY DON’T COUNT) to try push their games because I figured, to a certain degree of being proven right, the people who actually play and buy games will go ‘bullshit’. When I heard of #NotYourShield I just laughed, and paid less attention from that point on, except for the occasional amusement derived from the anti-GG upholding Wu as some kind of minority feminist martyr – especially after I found out that Wu isn’t what I thought she was – she’s neither born Asian, or a woman.

                  I just figure nobody on that side dares to publicly criticize a recent male to female transgender suddenly embracing the feminist victimhood narrative, being a hysterical tumblr style feminist, and supposedly a misandrist now (…yet, married to an Asian man?) out of fear of being accused of transphobia.

                  Me, I’m too busy to do more than peek in on the latest hysteria occasionally, for a few minutes. It’s my equivalent of ‘the local radio station in the car.’

                  1. Hey, He’s throwing me in there too now.

                    Wu managed to piss off all the trans people by basically insisting that once “She” made the transition, she’s not “Trans” any more but a full-fledged woman, and that anyone who calls themselves Trans is basically a coward. So they said Fine, and kicked her out of the community.

  23. Science fiction writers – and readers – being Odd are capable of convincing themselves of the strangest things. As in “you have to be very smart/an intellectual to believe that utter bullsh*t.”

    I no longer believe that it’s necessary to be either an intellectual or very smart to believe utter BS. Not after my friend’s husband tried to convince me that most of our health problems today are caused by fungus. He claimed yeast makes you fat (he compared it to rising bread – clearly not understanding the concept of density); he said that giving antibiotics makes problems worse, not because it might create resistant germs, but because, “antibiotics are fungus”; he even went on to claim that “a lot of what doctors say is cancer is fungus”.

    Needless to say, after having spent over a year taking care of my wife during her period of receiving chemotherapy, and her main surgery and several follow-up surgeries, I had to work hard not to throw down with him right there. I reminded myself that he was a relatively uneducated twit who was conned by this dude that had a snake-oil solution to sell. But damn.

    1. Wow. I’ve heard and read a lot of BS about diet and disease, but that comes close to taking the cake right there. *shakes head* I admire your self control. If someone had bleated that at me while my close relative was recovering from chemo/stem cell transplant, I probably would have gone Scots-Irish berserker.

      1. Had it been during her recovery, I might have, but the last of it is 3 years in the past now, and she’s been in remission for 4. Besides, I didn’t want to have a big blowup in my other friend’s house, since we were both guests.

    2. So actually it is the yeast in beer that gives you a beer belly? Silly me, I always thought it was the calories. And I’ll be sure to take 500mg of Tinactin twice a day, the next time I get sick.

  24. I also remember in ’99 how Goths were going to be the Next Bad Thing and how Goths were planning on shooting up their schools, etc, etc… and ‘suburban goth gangs’ were going to be a problem, etc… 20/20 did a episode on it. The Denver PD Gang Unit detective they used in that segment isn’t working in law enforcement anymore….

    1. It totally happened that way. Black trenchcoats are the traditional Southeast Asian garment. When the SEALS got Bin Laden, they also scored some Metallica LPs in very good condition.

    2. I’m trying to imagine the Goths I know forming a gang to do anything other than carpool to a concert or club. It’s just not happening for me.

        1. Yeah, well, that was a while ago, and Rome totally had it coming. All that Imperialist macro-aggression, it was triggering, you have no idea how triggering.

  25. Started working on my first game (a visual novel). Been digging deep into places like /r/gamedev and gamasutra to pick up insights. Came away with a renewed conviction in my beliefs that I’ve nothing to worry about from gamers. If anyone is going to attack me for being a female game dev, it’s more likely to be a SJW than anyone else.

    1. Sweetie, she’ll only attack you because you’re being female THE WRONG WAY. (Rolls eyes.)

      Good to know you’re alive With the great move, I haven’t checked, but I’ve thought of pinging you a lot.

      1. Yeah – that’s pretty much my expectations. XD Shouldn’t bother me in the long run, but if it happens, it won’t be fun. Cross the bridge when I come to it.

        No worries. I’ve thought about poking you to touch base, but I didn’t want to add straw to the camel’s back. You are quite sturdy, but I haven’t had much of interest to share to make it worth it. Have been off and on sick (mostly “on”) since October, so I’ve been mostly passive learning since there wasn’t much creative in the well. And now you’re caught up. XD

      2. Since we’re mentioning wondering about people – anyone know anything about Jamie Wilson? I saw her icon in one of those, “Here’s a group some of your friends like” ads on Facebook the other day, and realized that I hadn’t seen anything from her in a long time. Went to her profile and she hadn’t posted anything since November.

      1. Yep! Ren’py is free (plus requires no royalties or upgrade to a commercial license like some “free” beginner engines I’ve seen) pretty easy to use, even for someone with no burning passion for code/languages.

        Genre of the story is on its face “romance” or “supernatural romance”, depending on the route. But there are going to be non-romantic routes too, so I suppose “drama” fits best. Oh – male protagonist + female love interests. My otome games will come, but I always build them up into something beyond beginner in scope.

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