Trips Down Memory Lane

I must admit that though I learned to read sometime between four and six, I learned to read Disney comics.  it was easy, after having the stuff read to me so much to sort of remember the words that went with the actions.

My brother did character voices, which made it easier to remember.  After that I read Disney comics whenever I didn’t have much mental space for anything else.  This is weird since — unlike my kids — I never got into “people” comics, which included mystery comics (really big in Portugal) and romance comics.  As for superhero comics, I liked Superman.  Also, for a brief time there was a comic series that might have been Brazilian or Portuguese (or at least I haven’t been able to trace it in the US) called something like Heroes of Atlantis.  When Atlantis was doomed, a few people managed to save themselves in a secret base under the North Pole, while most of the survivors descended into barbarism.  Over time the ones preserving civilization (and living essentially forever) become “gods” of ancient myth and go around the world, doing good and having adventures.  By the time I read that one I was deep into mythology, and I liked the not-quite resonance, which you often also get in fantasy and science fiction.

But the duck comics remained favorites, because they’re introductions to “geek culture” as well as very easy to digest.  Whenever I was “fried” (and given my school load, I was often fried) I’d read the comics.

Years later, in the US, I found myself with the problem of getting younger son to read.  Because verbal is not his main thing, he managed to get past the complexity of books he could actually read.  What I mean is, he was at a level to read picture books, but they bored him stiff.  His mind was not interested in simplistic plots told in five pages.

So I thought of Disney comics.  I went through the net looking for who was publishing the comics then.  And I found that the company was going out of business and for 2k they’d sent you a copy of every book they’d ever published in like 10 years.

Well, I didn’t have that, but I had $500 which bought something like 1 thousand assorted comics.  I remember the day the box was dropped on the patio.  It was… interesting.  It worked too.  Within a year my boy was reading for fun, and getting upset because the comics didn’t last long enough, which is when I introduced Heinlein juveniles.  In the process I renewed my love for the comics, and his older brother became a fan too.  We still go into old comic stores and look through the used “trash” comics bins for old Disney comics.  It’s a part of our ritual in any new place.

So since my babysitters husband and sons decided I’ve been overexerting (they have some support for this in the fact that today I felt seedy as heck) and because the wild Sarah of the West is hard to restrain, younger son unearthed his carefully boxed collection and is letting me read it.

Yes, there is a point to this post.  Hold on, okay?

I like the really old comics — Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson and also Don Rosa, who is my sons’ idol — not so old as to be the daily strips or to have Mickey run around with only shorts, but old enough to have fun adventures.  Stories where Uncle Scrooge and the boys tumble into Atlantis were my first introduction to the mythical continent.  And Gottfredson wrote good mysteries with an edge of the fantastic for Mickey.

Now, I’m not going to say that all of the modern stuff is dross.  Obviously it’s not, though some of the writers seem to aim more at… well… children.  While the animal comics were always interesting for children, they always had more depth than that.

But a lot of the modern comics are from Europe and… oh, wally wally wally.

I think there is a reason these companies that publish the comics tend to go under when they start de-emphasizing the old stuff and pushing the new translation-from-Europe.

First, let me say that like all the other geek interests, from SF to gaming, Disney comics are our people.  In face when I first bought the old comics, I giggled at finding many familiar (fan and author) names in the letters to the editor.

And I think like the other parts of geekdom they were invaded by SJWs, only earlier, and through a strange route.

You see, in Europe most people read Disney comics.  Omnibuses(eseseses) of various kinds are published all the time, and they’re sold in train stations and airports.  Most of the writers are therefore European.  And Europe, poor sods, swallowed the SJW thing hook line and sinker much earlier and deeper than we did.

(I blame it on the shock from WWI and WWII.  But really, their schools teach stuff like patriotism is bad, making money is bad, etc. etc. etc.)

Anyway, when companies get the Disney license in the US they tend to first publish the classics, then slowly move on to European translations.  Then they go under.

Since mostly when I re-read (and there are hundreds, and I hadn’t touched them in 15 years) I read one or two and then store them again, I hadn’t noticed the pattern.  But I’ve spent days reading them, in order.

The recent ones don’t get thrown across the room only because they’re younger son’s and he’s parsnekity.

But…  I reached the culmination of a story and the hero walks away from a deal that would make a miserable little village rich because “money is bad and would just give them problems like ours.”  Then there are avowals that Scrooge would never deal in guns.  And…

And I realized the problem with the modern stories from Europe is not that I disagree with their “morals” (I mean, Scrooge keeping all his money in a megabin was not exactly a moral I agreed with either) but that they’re no fun at all.  Just when the action gets serious or the dilema important, instead of solving it, one of the author-puppet characters, which are usually the “women” or the “kids” stand up and do a little speech about how righteous they are.  Everyone agrees.  The end.

I sought out younger son to discuss this.  He said “oh, yeah.  The problem is I don’t think they know how to have fun.  The whole concept of “writing something fun which might have a moral in it” evades them.  They think lecturing people and preening on their superiority is fun, so they don’t get why you wouldn’t ENJOY being lectured.”

It was a bit of a shock, because it made sense.  These are people whose idea of “fun” is “being good little girls” (even the boys.  Particularly the boys) and being praised for it.

They honestly have no clue how one would have any enjoyment of life on one’s own. Fun must be had in the fashion currently approved of by the “better people” — this is, I think the reason why their doddering presidential heir presumptive thinks adults in the US need “fun camps” to regiment them into having fun.

We’ve often referred to lefty politics being a sort of religion, but the sad thing is that it’s not even an inner improvement religion, but the sort of religious practice you do in public so others might admire you.

Realizing this brought to mind years back, when for reasons known only to the psychiatrist I’ll eventually have, I found myself as a member of a Romance Writers’ group (honestly, the kids were little, we were (very) broke and I hoped to be able to write the stuff because it made more than SF ever did.)  When talk turned to heroes and characters that are ideal, I mentioned that my favorite type of man is the one who is introverted enough in the beginning of the book he might seem uncaring, until you find out that while he might despise beggars or phony “needy” people, he’s been secretly giving money to help single mothers with small children, volunteering at a school for disadvantaged children and giving poor people business loans to start their own business.

I expected maybe disagreement, but what I got instead was screaming and yelling and telling me my idea of a hero was “plain mean” and so was I.  Apparently these people thought what your left hand did without the right knowing was not only NOT more laudable, but was mean.  To be a good man/good person, you had to do the approved charities and TALK ABOUT DOING THEM AND ABOUT WHY YOU WERE SO GREAT FOR DOING THEM.

I still don’t get it, but I guess in a universe where lecturing people is the only worth in a story, bragging of your charity is the true charity.

None of which is going to convince me to like their “approved” stories; make me believe the color/gender/orientation of the author is more important than the writing; or give a good goddamn about their ideas of good and evil.

I have considered stories outside my opinion/comfort zone, and sometimes changed my mind because of a story (gun control.  Red Planet.)  BUT the story was first of all fun in the sense of being a narrative with beginning middle and end.  And then it had a message woven through, in a way that when I put the book down and thought about it made me consider the author’s point of view.

Now, I don’t require a message to enjoy a story.  My favorite (Don Rosa) Uncle Scrooge story is one in which under attack by Magica DeSpell, Donald and Scrooge forget the funniest things.  (The story is, I think, called Forget It.)  The spell is that if someone says your name, you lose all memory of the thing they mention next.  So when Scrooge says “Donald, open the door” Donald loses all memory of “doors” and can’t figure out how to get out of the room.  And when Donald shouts “Uncle Scrooge, the Stairs!” Scrooge forgets how stairs and falls.

Now, the story does have a message, though never brought home: in the end of the story Donald can’t walk or talk, so Uncle Scrooge, who also can’t walk, uses him as the log for log rolling and to stop Magica stealing the #1 dime.  So there is a “never give up, never surrender” moral to it.

Is that why I like it?  I don’t think so.  As a woman who is both enamored of words and scared of dementia, I found the premise turned something I flinch from as terrifying funny, which is one of the keys to humor, of course.

Now, the moral didn’t hurt.  The same sort of story that ended with “We must destroy all machines and live as primitives” as a background moral would probably spoil my enjoyment of it somewhat, though I might still like it at the “gag” level.

However, the same story with Magica taking time in the middle to explain that language is patriarchal oppression (in a non-funny way) would get tossed against the wall (and then I’d explain it to younger son.)

Is there anything we can do to redeem these people who think preening and doing the “approved” stuff is the “only” fun?

I don’t know.  I can’t even conceive their state of mind, so it’s hard to think how to reach them.

I guess I’ll keep writing stories that are both fun and non-preachy, even if there tends to be a background moral.

Eventually they’ll get tired of things that fall into their hands tanking and find something more in line with their talents.  Preaching or forming the convent of our lady of perpetual redistribution or something.

And meanwhile the rest of us will ignore their careful gatekeeping and read and write and have fun too.

… or I will once my jailors family lets me up and allows me to work again.

Until then, there’s Disney comics.  I haven’t even broken into the stock of Mickey Mouse from when Mickey ran around chasing ghosts with guns the size of his head.

And Carl Barks and Don Rosa often have more explosions than a Baen book.  Sometimes even rockets.

And hopefully next week I’ll be able to write without passing out for hours at a time.

292 responses to “Trips Down Memory Lane

  1. When I was a little tot, my Father had become embarrassed that he, a husband in his late 20’s would still subscribe to a comic book, so he changed the subscription to my brother’s name. They were indeed the first thing that I read. We migrated upward through DC comics, and into kiddie and Tom Swift Jr. then Heinlein and Asimov young adult.
    I used to claim that for everything Disney and Warner Bros did to elevate cartoons to an art form, Hanna-Barbera came along to destroy. (Did you know that all their explosions use the same screen filling cloud animation?) Then, along came ‘modern’ cartoons, and even H-B could be considered quality. I guess it is like news, when you have 24/7 airwaves to fill, anything works. Of course, children are not allowed to see most ‘classic’ toons, as the social message may be improperly interpreted or result in a hostile environment.
    Now, I would have thought Niven’s “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” would have been the end of the discussion, but I notice (through the web, certainly not reading them anymore) that all the super-heroes are ‘coming out’ with a vast cornucopia of sexual preferences they prefer. Now, anyone with ‘super powers’ and a mission to ‘save the world’ is certainly going to be socially aberrant, and in need of massive therapeutic counseling, but that is best done in the privacy of your Shrink’s office.
    Part of the problem is our education system and the environment of the modern SJW. The social rewards today are for conformity to the standard party line where saying what the clique believes is socially uplifting is far more important than how you live your life. Whine piteously about carbon footprints as you GulfStream cross country. Put down hard working, God fearing, gun toting flyover America, and feel good about yourself.
    Uncle Scrooge was clearly a ‘gold standard’ type. No paper/electronic money for him. Now, it was never an issue as to how Scrooge got his money, or what wonderful social causes he contributed to. Apparently, Donald, and the 3 nephews were doing well enough without his help. (And there is a fascinating social structure in itself, A Great-Uncle and an Uncle raising triplets? Where are the mother and father? Victims of Elmer Fudd’s hunting season? Not to mention the subtle social smears… Scrooge McDuck. Clearly a Scot, known to be ‘mean’ (tight) with their money.)
    None of that mattered. All I saw was an admittedly non-nuclear family that loved each other and helped each other in to or out of trouble.
    Contrast Scrooge to Obama. Scrooge’s Nephew has a nice house, cares for his three Nephews, has good food on the table. Obama’s brother lives in a cardboard box.

    • ” but I notice (through the web, certainly not reading them anymore) that all the super-heroes are ‘coming out’ with a vast cornucopia of sexual preferences they prefer.”

      I understand Captain America can only have sex with someone sleeping to his right…

    • Should get more superheroes who have given up sex altogether and decided to live like monks and nuns… considering how important ‘Save the World’ should be in comparisons. 😀

      Come to think of it, I might even read that. Adults who take their chosen missions that seriously. One reason why I dropped superhero comics in the late 80’s was that too many of the storylines had them acting like hormone addled teenagers. Not just the sex, not even close, but all the chips on the shoulders and misunderstandings and temper tantrums because they didn’t bother to look beyond the surface of a situation or then unwillingness to handle responsibility on a mature level but instead getting into a funk for about forever… fine with the supervillains, but not so great with the presumed superheroes. And fine if it had been some superheroes, or even some otherwise upstanding one having one story sometimes, or as an origin story (and sometimes should not be at least once every year, or for lasting a decade), but when it seemed it started to be about all of them, all the time, I got enough.

      Bah. So far the movies seem to be a bit better, more like the older comics where the hero had gotten his personal problems solved and seemed to be more mature by the end than by the beginning. Maybe because the time is constrained. I am worried that we will end with an unholy mess with half of them corrupted or otherwise messed up though (and dead, too), considering how many of those movies seem to be in the plans right now.

      • BTW, all that melodrama you started to get in the superhero comics, all the personal stuff, is that something men and boys like in general (some do, but soaps are still more of a women’s thing than men’s…), or is it perhaps one symptom of the feminization of our culture in general?

        • Personally, (not a spokesman for my gender, nor do I play one on TV) I have little use for melodrama unless it does something to advance the plot, or reveal more about a character. Melodrama for its own sake turns me off quickly.

      • Agreed on them having the emotional maturity of fresh mutton; one of the things that makes me love a show– Justice League Unlimited, Agents of SHIELD, even Arrow– is the mild shock when the characters act like humans with their backgrounds, not stupid high schoolers with less life experience than a mildly observant geek, and all the emotion stability of an exhausted pregnant lady who’s been dealing with idiots she’s not allowed to fight for the last 14 hours. At best.

        If anything, I’d expect the supers to end up with team mates– that tends to happen in real life, too. At least with, say, the secretary at the clubhouse!

    • The current revelations about their alternate preferences was edgy… when it was done with Northstar of Alpha Flight in 1989. Now its just yawn.

      • I love how the reaction to that has changed… did you know folks have complained about Northstar being gay because he’s a total jerk?

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          He was also a cheater. He wasn’t a “great” skier until after his mutant powers developed. After that, he was a champion skier. [Wink]

          • In what way is that cheating? Most people can’t compete with champion skiers because they don’t have the talent; once he developed the talent,why not use it? It’s not like he was using machinery, or even drugs, in enhance his abilities.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              He was a super-speedster and was using his super-speed to make up for his lack of great skill.

              Think of Peter Parker (Spiderman) getting into a boxing ring. His super-strength and enhanced quickness would “overpower” a boxer with greater skill in boxing.

              • So what? Is it unfair for a normal human to defeat a person with MS in a race? Of course not. All athletes rely on their innate abilities. His just are better than most.

                • Yes, if the race is supposed to be for people suffering MS. While they don’t currently say so, there is an expectation of ordinary sports being between “normal” humans. If someone was given an extraordinary ability, it would be unethical to use that ability to win at “normal” sports.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Correct.

                    In boxing, you have “light-weight”, “medium-weight” and “heavy-weight” categories.

                    Few people would consider it a “fair fight” if a heavy-weight boxer went up against a light-weight boxer.

                    The problem with people with super-powers going into sports is that it isn’t obvious that they are “heavy-weighters” going up against “light-weighters”.

                    • If your sport didn’t have those categories, would it be fair to declare that someone who would be in “heavy-weight” if you had those categories is cheating when he goes up against someone who isn’t?

                      It’s one thing to disallow superpowers in special, protected categories — if you define clearly what the powers are — but until you do so, you have no right to discriminate.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In other words, there won’t be cheating if there are no rules?

                    • In other words, there won’t be cheating if there are no rules?

                      Are our current Olympics cheating? Even if I’d started as a small child, there’s no way I’d have become an Olympic gymnast. I simply don’t have the genetic background.

                      There’s no cheating when no rule was violated. If the rule was “all genetic advantages except those presumably linked to the X-gene are alright,” then it would be cheating. But that’s not the rule; the rule is that you can’t artificially improve your abilities– so no Captain America, or one of the magically based heroes.

                      There is a presumption that those competing will be human, so Superman wouldn’t be in, same as one of the Android folks wouldn’t. (has there been a half Kryptonian yet? If there has, then it disappears.)

                      Even those guys whose ancestors were genetically engineered to become mutants wouldn’t be excluded without a rule change, because THEY didn’t do anything– but the group that has people jump into a machine to release their potential would, on the artificial improvement grounds.

                    • “one of the magically based heroes. ”

                      Depends. If the ability to wield magic is dependent on genetics (fairly common in Fantasy), it would be just another natural ability. Even if it isn’t a genetic ability, why would the natural willpower and intensive training to use magic be disqualifying any more than intelligence and a college education?

                      Captain America would still be disqualified because his abilities are based on something someone else made for him.

                    • I don’t know what the new continuities are, but Marvel magic use to be something that has to be either acquired from Beings of Power or taken from an imbued source. (ring, helmet, location)

                      The traditional form of magic, in other words, rather than either the “science” or the “genetics” fantasy standard of these days.

                      ******

                      Well, other than the “magical beings” type folks, where even the characters were arguing if they were just mutants or actually inherently magical beings.
                      I think Magneto even had one sub-plot where he added “Homo Magica” to his “Homo Sapen” and “Homo Superioris” thing, in connection to his daughter’s powers maybe being magical instead of strictly mutant….

                    • Dr Strange never worked that way; he was always the product of at least a few years of intensive training.

                    • According to the Dr. Strange wiki, his powers are from calling on the Vishanti, and before he figured out they were evil, various demons.

                    • Some of his abilities are inherent to him, some work by drawing on local energies, and some work by invoke greater powers.

                    • I don’t know what the new continuities are, either, but as somebody who was reading Dr. Strange from the first appearance, Marvel magic used to be pulled from the writer’s nether regions. There was no attempt at logic or consistency in the derivation of magical power. The apparent rule was that it took great training and focus to learn spells which could invoke magic, and whether the use of objects (such as the orb of Agammatto) or invocation of beings was essentially as a focus for the spell-binding.

                      Any and all “rules” about use of magic was an after-the-fact imposition as geeky readers demanded greater consistency from the writers.

                    • So there was never any indication it was anything besides the classic “calling on Powers” magic, as opposed to the more “Gandalf” style, prior to fan demand?

                      (I prefer the Gandalf style myself, but that’s a cultural bias– a variation on the “anything strong enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take it all away,” so I can’t really relate to “hey, I’ll make a bargain with a power that I know is screwy!” thing.)

                    • You’ve gotta remember that, when originally written, those comics were simply an effort to tell stories that would interest children without making the adults selling them too bored with the concepts. All ret-conning of rules and limitations were similarly efforts to make the stories more interesting to the people telling them and to satisfy a vocal lobby of readers who are most accurately depicted in the person of Justin Long & Friends in Galaxy Quest. People need to be aware that these were barely respectable product produced on tight deadline without a great deal of thought about deeper implications than the story at hand and avoid the Thermian Error.

                      It was only after Marvel became successful for its soap opera continuities that the whole meta-story element became important, by which time Marvel had several years worth of stories and casual continuity to explain.

                    • Green Lanterns don’t usually need to do any additional training after their initial training. I love Green Lantern but I wish it wasn’t just keep ring charged and any wish you make will come true. I wish it was like gun and martial arts skills. You have to keep practicing to maintain your level of skill.

                      Off to one side. I wish would not have characters be evil in one issue and then allies in the next. Also they have a hideous time with endings. They just sort of dribble away.

                    • Gandalf was both trained and called on powers (considering he was a Maiar himself). But he himself was remembering dozens of lock spells trying to open Moria.

                    • I know he was basically an angel, but he’s still the most commonly known example of “inborn talents” I can think of. (Often Merlin is, but there’s so many versions of Merlin that it’s just confusing.)

                      It wasn’t a spell to open Moria, it was just a key word. That reminds me, I need to get that inscription for the kids’ bedroom door….

                    • “I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs that was ever used for such a purpose. I can still recall ten score without searching in my mind.”

                      Gandalf the Grey, Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 4, “A Journey in the Dark”

                    • It’s not cheating if, in fact, there are no rules against what is done.

                    • I didn’t realize you were a hair-splitting lawyer. There is an implied rule against competing against people who are so far out of your league that there is simply no point in them trying to win against you, because your “mail-it-in” level is going to beat everyone even if you start late.

                    • I didn’t realize you were a hair-splitting lawyer

                      You’re the one inventing categories that don’t in fact exist, to justify what you feel should be the rules.

                    • For instance, Sad Puppies is not cheating, because there is no rule against any of the things people did, whether collecting suggested nominations or urging others to vote, or voting themselves.

                    • ” There is an implied rule against competing against people who are so far out of your league”

                      Why, yes, which is why most of us don’t even try for the Olympics.

                    • I don’t know how to respond to a deliberate misinterpretation (as in, complete reversal of) of what should have been an obvious meaning, given the context of the discussion.

                    • I pointed out that what you actually said was in fact the rule in every other category. That you think it an injustice in this particular situation is not something you’ve supported very well.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Maybe it’s the problem of you thinking that since there’s no rule against a man who can fly and run an one second mile competing with non-fliers who can’t move at that speed, then it’s OK.

                      In short, you haven’t thought about the impact of super-powers in the sports setting.

                    • <IMaybe it’s the problem of you thinking that since there’s no rule against a man who can fly and run an one second mile competing with non-fliers who can’t move at that speed, then it’s OK.

                      There’s a difference between someone flying to run a race, and someone who is just faster; conflating the two seems to be the basis of your objection.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In Northstar’s case, his flight power could assist him in skiing.

                    • Doesn’t actually answer the objection.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In story, it is definite that he was using his speed and flight ability to make himself a world-class skier.

                      In any case, it seems that you and Mary believe that “being concerned about super-powered beings competing with non-supers” is bigotry.

                      So I quit this discussion.

                    • It should be quit. Guys, you’ve descended to the level of my kids when they argue comic retcons. So you guys disagree. Great. When superheros exist you can revisit this topic.

                    • I took a week off and my, what a silly argument I missed!

                      Do you notice that this argument is divided along gender lines, with guys arguing in support of the concept of “Implicit Fair Play” and gals taking the “anything not explicitly forbidden is permissible” side?

                      When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
                      And the women come out to cut up what remains,
                      Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
                      An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

                      One observation on the disparity in views: Without competition there is no victory; there is no competition when one party is fundamentally advantaged. If the goal is simply winning, then the ladies’ argument prevails, even if it means taking candy from babies.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      “even if it means taking candy from babies”

                      I think Robert Asprin had an “interesting” saying in one of his books.

                      It went “Anybody who thinks it’s easy to take candy from a baby wasn’t tried to take candy from a baby”. [Very Big Grin]

                    • Of course it’s okay. The game is defined by its rules. That which conforms to its rules is by definition the game.

                      “This has a big impact” does not mean “this is against the rules.” (Otherwise Knute Rockne would have been in big trouble.)

                      Especially since we are, in fact, not given any such discriminatory rules that are in effect in the Marvel universe.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      IMO Marvel (like most superhero comic companies) hasn’t put a lot of thought in how superpowers would impact sports and other areas.

                      On the other hand, if a child lost a sport race to a kid with super-speed, I doubt that “it wasn’t against the rules” would matter to the first child’s parents.

                      On the gripping hand, if super-powers aren’t wide-spread, then society wouldn’t have rules relating to use of super-powers in sports.

                      On the other gripping hand, comic book stories can’t deal easily with issues that written stories can deal with.

                    • On the other hand, if a child lost a sport race to a kid with super-speed, I doubt that “it wasn’t against the rules” would matter to the first child’s parents.

                      When a kid who did in fact cheat loses, it doesn’t matter to the parents, either.

                      Heck, the only race I ever won, I was given second place because the girl who actually came in second had parents that constantly threw fits.

                      You can always find parents that find any contest their child loses is thus automatically unfair– it has nothing to do with the validity of the rules, and doesn’t indicate an unstated rule beyond “I want my Little Timmy to win.”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      An intelligent person who know that most everybody watching that race would be agreeing with the parents who were upset.

                    • Thank you for finally admitting that you are attempting to justify an impulse-based personal belief, rather than actually make an argument.

                      Not only did you digress from the original idea of the Olympics, you just invalidated anyone who disagrees with you by fiat.

                      Shocker: no, not every “intelligent” person who watched Dash win a race would agree with those parents who might get angry that he is naturally faster than their kid.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In other words, I’m a bigot. Good Bye.

                    • No, you’re being irrational and just decided to claim that those who disagreed with you are lacking in intelligence, after rather consistently failed to answer the objections when people pointed out the issues with your arguments. Deciding to attack the intelligence of those who disagree with you, based entirely on them not agreeing with you, was simply sufficient demonstration that you’re not being rational.

                    • Which is one of the things I like BEST about the Wearing the Cape series.

                    • “An intelligent person who know that most everybody watching that race would be agreeing with the parents who were upset.”

                      Whether people are upset doesn’t tell whether they are upset because of cheating, or because they are bigots.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      And since “there are no rules against it, they can’t be upset over cheating” therefore they must be bigots. [Sarcasm]

                    • Sarcasm is not an adequate substitute for an argument.

                      Scientists have found that some marathon winners are genetically different from the rest of us. Let’s ban them from races!

                      Have you any argument that will draw a legitimate difference between that and his?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      I use sarcasm for people who have shown that they don’t want to understand my position.

                      Basically you are saying that any point of view different from yours is bigotry.

                      Sarcasm is politer that what I’m tempted to say.

                    • I understand your position perfectly. You think that you are entitled to declare that something’s cheating even it’s not against the rules.

                      You know, most people think THAT is cheating.

                    • BTW, you either don’t understand my position or are willfully lying about it in order to insult me. Sarcasm won’t help you there.

                    • “It should be quit.”

                      Sorry. Missed this in the comment stream. Will be quiet now.

                  • No Olympic athlete is, by any stretch of imagination, a normal human. All of them have extraordinary abilities that a large chunk of the population could not develop by any means at all.

                    Furthermore, it is unethical to draw arbitrary lines to exclude from what is supposed to be the very best, not the very best of an artificially limited subset.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      So heavy weight boxers can be allowed to go up against light weight boxers?

                    • Draw categories or don’t draw them. Don’t say that purely hypothetical categories can make the actual situation without them cheating.

                    • We’re not talking about “a little bit better” here. We’re talking about, “toddlers vs Olympians”. Yes. Olympic athletes are normal humans.

                      If someone wants to compete UPWARDS, that’s fine, and more power to them, but it’s completely wrong for someone to compete DOWNWARDS, simply because they can beat everyone in that category.

                    • It is unfair to discriminate against people because they are a lot better than the competition.

                  • IF.

                    there is absolutely no indication that in fact, the Marvel universe has Olympics that aren’t for the best without condition.

                  • I can’t agree with that– even when I was a kid, there was a debate going on about the height of the basketball rim because in pro basketball, the “normal” range is so tall that it fundamentally changed the game.

                    In a non-sports area, look at fashion: there’s the “real women” model fad because the pool that the average model is selected from is so huge that it has no relation to the norm.

                    • You’re applying “little differences” standards, but given that I’ve given plenty of examples of how it’s in a different category, I’m not going to bother giving any more.

                    • You’ve given examples that you think prove your point, but haven’t drawn a distinction besides asserting there is one; saying this one is OK and that one isn’t, when you can’t actually lay out an inherent difference between the two genetically based differences, doesn’t establish what you’re claiming.

              • That’s actually what Peter Parker first did with his powers. Professional wrestling. Of course, this led indirectly to his uncle’s death, just because With Great Power Comes a Scripted Life.

          • Bah, that’s not cheating…

            It does make him being an ass even less understandable, though; “Oh, look! I got mutant powers that let me fulfill my goal!”

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Of course, he could be an ass because “in the back of his mind” he believes that he cheated. [Evil Grin]

              • Inferiority complex?

                Could work.

                Still, it’s a bit like looking at Shaq and going “oh, you’re only great because you’re bleepin’ HUGE.” It’s as much part of him as an x-gene mutation would be. (I was going to digress into various other things that are biological, but… the danger from the X-gene is basically just an exaggeration of the threat I’d face from a really big guy, or someone who’s a functioning psychopath. As long as they do still have rational abilities, they’re just people who can do something I can’t.)

              • …which triggered the “and that’s why the fantastic racism of Xmen doesn’t work, too many other people would have that same line of thought,” which lead to “so the only people who’d act the way they have EVERYONE acting would be actual bigots,” which lead to “…so, wait, Northstar is an anti-mutant bigot?”

                Not sure how well it hangs together.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  IMO the anti-mutant bigotry has a certain degree of reasonability. An asshole who has the powers of Magneto is more dangerous than a “normal” asshole.

                  • Goodness, yes it has a degree of rationality– but so does my dislike of standing next to people that are bigger than I am. Anti-Jock Prejudice, likewise; they’re larger, stronger, faster…..

                    Heck, if one wants a clean category, anti-male bigotry. A violent ass that’s male is going to be more inherently dangerous than a female one.

                    Any shtick that requires that people react to all guys like they’re one of those huge football players known for being violent is simply not going to last in the long term unless nobody knows a normal guy. Right at first, when mutants were new and rare, it’d work; when it’s been reverse established that mutants have been around forever, and there are enough to have huge groups living under major cities? Not so much….

                    • To be just, the most dangerous football players can’t obliterate a mob (or a city, depending on the writer) by accident. . . there would probably be immense screening programs designed to prevent such things.

                      But as someone once observed, X-men is not about persecution but persecution complexes.

                    • If I remember right, they had to create the guy for that plotline and then have him blow up in an unusual situation; previously, the danger was more along the lines of Rogue’s backstory, where she was accidentally taking out one or two people at most.

                    • Er — I was talking about Magneto.

                      True, the amount of damage he did when his daughter died seems to depend on the author — whether it was the whole city or just the mob who kept him from rescuing her — but they didn’t create him for that.

                    • The only versions I know, that was definitely not an accident– and he knew enough about his powers to do a really good job of being deadly, and it was his wife and children.

                • There is no reason Northstar couldn’t be an anti-mutant bigot. I know plenty of Jews who are, deep down, anti-semites and I dare say you know a number of Catholics who object to the Church and violently dislike those adhering to its precepts.

                  • I know you saw Sarah say to can it, you responded to the post in which she did so prior to this comment.

                    • My comment was merely an observation on human (presuming mutants are human) nature and in no way an effort to take a side in the argument. Thus i felt it was not restricted by Sarah’s ban.

                      Just so was my comment in response to Sarah’s ban an observation about the argument rather than a position taken in it.

      • Now they want to normalize it by creating a statistically disproportionate number. Or perhaps they really do think that you need one in every book for role models or something.

  2. “However, the same story with Magica taking time in the middle to explain that language is patriarchal oppression (in a non-funny way) …”

    Oh, my goodness… Someone at work did just that in a meeting a couple of weeks ago, I almost lost it. But I managed to keep my mouth shut, so I’m still employed.

  3. “I blame it on the shock from WWI and WWII. But really, their schools teach stuff like patriotism is bad, making money is bad, etc. etc. etc.”

    I think this is pretty close to right: “Europe” (meaning the core part, France/Germany/Italy/Austria/Hungary/Rumania/Poland and minor nations in between) was ravaged by war twice in thirty years. Both times it had its roots in nationalism, which too many people think is the same thing as “patriotism.” So after WW2 they got pretty down on the whole idea. Also after WW2, pretty much the only powerful political creed left with followers was socialism.

    And socialists are so bent on making everybody conform — which is a 24/7 job — that they have no time or energy for having fun. Some people are like that: their job is their life.

    “Is there anything we can do to redeem these people who think preening and doing the “approved” stuff is the “only” fun?”

    I can’t think of anything … unless perhaps we could introduce them to something that is undeniably fun and yet has absolutely nothing to do with everyday life. Photography. Flying. Sailing. Whale-watching. Studying wildlife — not in the serious “For Science!” sense but just sitting and watching.

    Or I suppose you could try what I still think of as “the Dream-of-Jade therapy” (after a series of three children’s stories I read … well, when I was a kid): force them to do some basic things for themselves in such a way that they realize “doing it for yourself” can be fun and healthy and energizing no matter what “it” is. Fun is where you find it.

    • Wolf, I’d add something I read in Chesterton last night. He posited that (we’re before WWI) Christianity is the unifying philosophy of Europe, the one “coherent” set of ideas that the Continent and Britain share. When that shattered, or rather got tossed out in part after WWI and even more after WWII, it left a hold that Socialism tried but failed to fill. Note I’m not arguing that all Europe and Britain need is a giant tent revival to make everything better, but that without the basic idea set (including belief in a better future, in the value of the individual), things start falling apart. Bring in post-war hardship, the Cold War, the apparent idea that there is no joy or fun in a workers’ paradise, and grey blah follows.

      • I think a lot of the rot goes all the way back to the nonsense, born in the early 19th Century, about The Artist™ being the True Arbiter of Society. Paul Johnson covers this well in his THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN. The intellectual class got rather full of itself, amd has been seeking, ever since, for some way to take Their True Place In Society.

        *spit*

      • There is a natural human need for religion. Why else would people have invented it in the first place? Christians meet Saint Peter at the pearly gates (I remind my Aunt that Heaven is a ‘gated’ community, just like where she lives now.) Buddhists and Hindu are rewarded with a better life in their next incarnation. In all cases, your reward for good deeds is not dependent upon the publicity it receives.
        Now, having thrown God out with the wash water, Europe only has the ‘State’ to aspire to. Good deeds are measured by how loudly you praise yourself. Praise for right thinking equals praise for good results. Lives are a single linear event. All that awaits you is dust, maggots, and darkness. How can anyone living with such a belief system believe in fun?

      • Lots of truth in that, I think. Though I would take it one step farther, and connect it with emigration from the Old World to the New. The people who rejected conformity and thought about things — the Odds of the time, if you will — tended to be the people who emigrated to the New World. Whether the tendency to Odd-ism is cultural or genetic I don’t know, but either way the result was that generation by generation, the tendency to Odd-ism slowly faded in Europe even as it was building in the Americas. That loss weakened the whole structure of European culture, including European Christianity. Socialism couldn’t fill the void left behind by the slow fading of Christianity in large part because socialism doesn’t value original thought, and running a modern society becomes impossible when you have no one who can think creatively about what they’re doing.

        One of Robert Heinlein’s great quotes boils down to the idea that Odd-ism is critically necessary for a society to advance. A society without Odds is a stagnant society, and a stagnant society will soon collapse through sheer entropy. As you say: without the belief that the future can be better, it all falls apart.

    • Didn’t England have roughly the same percent of that generation killed-or-maimed that the US had in the military at all? I know they’re rather small, and *cough* not known for taking the better part of valor in military situations, but if their losses were that outsized it would probably be mentioned so… Two different wars, about a generation apart, that had a sizable chunk of the male population dead or damaged. (It’s hard to lose a leg now, when most jobs don’t require one– imagine it then?)

      So maybe we should mentally model it more like… “They had the US Civil war, twice”?

      • There is a subtly different mindset in America. Sherman intended to teach a lesson so harsh that Georgia would never consider war again. Instead, Georgia and South Carolina took the lesson to be “This is how war is fought.” Total war, to the hilt. The years immediately after the war convinced many that the South should have fought on. Had there been two US Civil Wars thirty years apart, the likely result would have made Ireland look like a slap fight.

      • According to what looks like a pretty reasonable Wiki page, the British deaths (not injured or died later from injuries) came to roughly 2% of the population, or 4% of all males, which means a higher percentage of the age 18-45 cohort. IIRC that was not evenly distributed, as some social groups suffered more losses than others. The US comes in (per Wiki) as 0.13%.

        In contrast, the Austro-Hungarians lost around 4% (8% of all men) and the Germans over 4%.

        • I do remember the easy rule of thumb that their deaths-from-combat where about the same as their deaths-from-everything else….

          The US put 15-16 million people in uniform, about 8% of our population. (Mostly male, of course.)

          They had a standard of nobility types becoming officers, didn’t they? I just bet that made things worse….

          Plus they lost tens of thousands of civilians.

          *shudder*

          • Nobility, and then lots of the middle to upper-middle class volunteered. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire a high percentage of Jewish men volunteered in part to show their appreciation for the protections and civil rights the Habsburgs had granted them. There were also regions that sent more men than others, or that ended up with their versions of the JROTC fighting (the White War in the Alps, for example). One terrible thing in England was the Pals Brigades, where a bunch of young men from the same town or school enlisted and served together. You can imagine what happened.

            I’m about (as in within 16 hours) to dive back into WWI in Central and Eastern Europe, research-wise. It’s not as grindingly depressing as the Western Front, but it’s still not the most enjoyable stuff I’ve studied. If it weren’t that I get to tweak things in the books, I’m not sure I could make myself push through to 1922 (yes, 1922 is when the fighting stopped – civil wars, land grabs, revenge raids.)

            • Good luck. *ugh*

              I know just enough to know I don’t want to look too hard. (And to get pissed when people use it as a mine for emotional manipulation.)

            • One terrible thing in England was the Pals Brigades, where a bunch of young men from the same town or school enlisted and served together. You can imagine what happened.

              J. R. R. Tolkien had a group of friends he hung around with in his youth. He, and they, all joined-up.

              Aside from Tolkien, there was only one other survivor. And that survivor was psychologically-damaged.

              Tolkien worked it out by writing his fantasy war epics.

              • I think, rather, he worked it out by diving into his philosophy– religious and other– and that working it out resulted in his fantasy war epics. Possibly with a few more steps in there….

            • You could also argue that the fighting really started in 1912-1913 with the Balkan Wars. In Eastern Europe, the Great War essentially lasted ten years.– and in many parts of Eastern Europe, petered-out in post-apoclyptic anarchy.

      • “Two different wars, about a generation apart, that had a sizable chunk of the male population dead or damaged.”

        Yes, and not just in England. France and Germany lost similar numbers in the First War. I’m not sure what France’s casualties in the Second War were like, but Germany had very few men “of military age” – basically 18-40 – left by the time it surrendered. Worse, in the First War there was little attention given to protecting men with special skills, so who-knows-how-many brilliant engineers and technicians and scientists and political leaders died in the trenches, taking part in stupid, suicidal mass infantry charges against enemy machine guns.

        It can be argued that the European population never fully recovered from the casualties of the two world wars. It’s not hard at all to see why Europe turned so aggressively anti-war in the 1940s and 1950s. It was a mistake for them to do so, but it’s an understandable mistake.

        • It’s not hard at all to see why Europe turned so aggressively anti-war in the 1940s and 1950s.

          Do not discount the cause-and-ffect relationship of being very heavily infiltrated by agents of the USSR. It was very much in teh interests of the Soviets to pre-break the will to fight of Western Europe.

          • Agreed, the Soviets had a lot to do with it. On the other hand, propaganda can’t succeed without a receptive audience, and the European public was a very receptive audience because of WW2. Allied bomber fleets leveled industry all over occupied Europe, while a lot of farms produced no crops in 1944 or 1945. It was many years before Europe recovered from the destruction of the war. Even in Britain, which was on the winning side, food rationing didn’t end for something like five years.

            “A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies,” said Lord Tennyson. In this case, the lie was the position that Europe needed to be anti-war – all war, forever, for any reason whatsoever. The “half a truth” part was that doing their damnedest to avoid another war was a very sensible position for the European nations to take in the 1950s and 1960s. They lost a great deal from war in the previous half century, and stood to lose even more in the event of a war between the Warsaw Pact and the West. Those tanks and bombs and shells and possibly even tactical nukes wouldn’t be fighting on US (or Russian) territory, now would they?

            (By the way, I hope you understand that for me, the above is something of a devil’s advocate argument. I myself happen to believe the European “no war no way nohow” position was and is foolish, and played directly into the USSR’s hands. I simply recognize that America did not directly experience the catastrophe that was WW2, and it’d be pretty damn arrogant for me to criticize them that did for not wanting to experience it again in the future.)

            • Hmm… Rereading the above I’m afraid it could come across as snarky or talking-down, or an attack on someone who believes differently. It’s not meant to sound that way. It’s just an attempt to explain my own position. No offense to anyone is intended; I hope none is taken.

              • I keep thinking back to the aftermath of the US Civil War. The age for service was lowered to 12 or 13 and raised to 60, and some counties canceled terms of court because there were not enough men for jury pools. Afterwards, just about all industry and rail transportation was destroyed, and there were hard farming times thereafter. But the South in general and Georgia and South Carolina in particular never had this anti-war sentiment that Europe embraced.

                True, the US didn’t have back-to-back Civil Wars. But it did have smaller action, from the famed Lincoln County War to the more obscure and violent “Land Troubles” in Georgia. But then there were the various Indian Wars, and the Spanish American War that put former Union and Confederates fighting side by side for the same causes. Even the earlier Virginius Affair had NB Forrest tendering his service to General of the Armies William T. Sherman, and Sherman writing back that had it come to war, he would have surely accepted Forrest.

                In other words, even after taking the brunt of a major conflict and smaller ones, the South was still willing to consider war. That’s a difference from Europe. The question is why.

                • Maybe because America has more aggressive people?

                • “In other words, even after taking the brunt of a major conflict and smaller ones, the South was still willing to consider war. That’s a difference from Europe. The question is why.”

                  Because they were practical, common-sense-rich people who didn’t over-generalize. They understood that the villain of the piece was the enemy, the “damyankees”, and not the whole concept of war.

                  • Clark E Myers

                    I would say rather a different concept of war frex

                    when Frederick the Great could boast that the peasants in the fields and the tradesmen in the towns would neither know nor care when the nation was at war.

                    that says something about the nature of war and the meaning of the word. Resolved this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country is a rather different thing than this house will not fight for its neighborhood.

                    One of the issues of the War of 1861 is fighting for Virginia or fighting for the South or fighting for the Confederacy?

                    From Shelby Foote:asked him what he was fighting for, he said I’m fighting because you’re down here with maybe a parochial view of here

                    What some might call Jacksonians down to the present day IMHO do not necessarily go out of their way to pick a fight but won’t back down and will escalate without limit as they see fit.

                    On the other hand sound academic studies in the past see e.g. Wright-Rossi from the early 80’s of the last century found no correlation between guns and violence in the United States nor indeed much correlation between anything and violence save the percentage of Southern heritage in the population. Uptown Chicago, full of shuttle migrants from the Southern Appalachians was as violent a place as any of the black youth gang infested neighborhoods. And see Thomas Sowell supra op.cit for Southern Heritage and that violence as well.

                  • Because they were practical, common-sense-rich people who didn’t over-generalize. They understood that the villain of the piece was the enemy, the “damyankees”, and not the whole concept of war.

                    A bit more complicated. I had ancestors who saw Sherman’s March firsthand, and ancestors who fought in skirmishes, and ancestors interred in POW camps. There was a remarkable lack of malice toward Yankees. There was one consistent thread running through the stories: It was war. The Bummers carried off all they could find in the smokehouse: “It was war.” Treatment of prisoners declined during the war: “Folks just got meaner and meaner,” was the assessment. There was good-natured joking about Yankees, and Damnyankees, but that was it.

                    Now, the term Carpetbagger and Scalawag was another matter, the general take was that war was one thing, but taking advantage of people is quite another. Considering that some Georgia politician said “A Yankee’s worth more than a bail of cotton, and twice as easy to pick,” there’s some question of who took advantage of whom.

            • “and possibly even tactical nukes wouldn’t be fighting on US (or Russian) territory, now would they? ”

              In one of Sir John Hackett’s Third World War books, he has a briefing of the East German head of state by his generals who are quoting some Rand study that basically East and West Germany would be LESS damaged, especially long term, by a 50-100(?) tac nuke warhead exchange than they would a typical planned chemical weapons exchange, to the point that just to get crops to grow they would have to replace / restock all the soil bacteria. worms, etc. over all of Germany.

        • My pet theory is that between the two wars, Europe lost a significant part of their ‘brave’ and ‘aggressive’ types…

      • What’s worse, the deaths were disproportionately among the brave. And England’s toll, because she was an island natioin never occupied by any foe, was light by the standards of the World Wars — France, Germany and Russia suffered far worse losses as percentages of their populations.

  4. “-the sort of religious practice you do in public so others might admire you.”

    Jesus advice not to go blowing a trumpet ahead of you when you go to give gifts of mercy must look plain stupid to these folks. If you don’t have a press conference and get a receipt so you can deduct it from your taxes – what was the point?

    • While not deeply versed in the tenets of Islam, I have gathered the impression that alms-giving is a requirement — that is to say, the public giving of alms is what matters. I expect other Faiths have similar strictures. People like to see what their neighbors are up to, after all.

      Secret giving of alms (Saint Nicholas, e.g.) is a Christian concept that makes the deed, not its public recognition, the important element.

      Yeah, I know: if we can’t make “doing good things” a public competition, how can we ensure that people will do it? Stupid effing Christians.

      • The giving of alms is one of the five Pillars of Islam – the things every Muslim must do to be considered a good Muslim. If the description at wikipedia is correct (a big if, I know) it’s more like a religious income tax than it is like Christian gifts to charity.

        “Yeah, I know: if we can’t make “doing good things” a public competition, how can we ensure that people will do it?”

        Actually the fathers of the Church were quite clever about this: they said that whether you gave publicly or privately, God would always know. In this way the giving of charity became a status symbol in the eyes of God, not the eyes of man, and so it didn’t matter anymore whether other men knew about it.

        I have occasionally marveled at how well the fathers of Christianity, and of Judaism before them, must have understood basic human nature, to create a religion that so neatly uses that nature to push the religion’s own validity and power.

        • I also understand there are cultural differences between a ‘face’ culture and Western ‘guilt’ culture. To us, the motivation to give is internal, i.e. not feeling ‘bad’. To Islam, how you appear to others is how you measure self-worth.
          I think with SJWs, our culture goes off the rails when you become an athiest, because then internal ‘guilt’ is a moot point. Probably why Progressives are seen to give little to charity as per tax forms.

          • And why they’re so into various forms of “shaming” as a bad thing.

          • Progressives give MUCH more to charity than do conservatives. It’s just that so much of what they give wasn’t theirs.

        • The zakat (alms-giving) is also restricted to Islamic charities – your mosque, your mosque’s benevolence society, believing widows and orphans. As I understand, you don’t get as much, if any, credit for giving to things that also assist non-believers. (This is probably not as tightly applied in the currently-considered-borderline-heretical versions of Islam, but a Salafist is not going to donate to the SPCA or Doctors Without Borders.)

          • You forgot the sultan, and active jihadis. Which is why it is so common for Muslim charities to turn into jihad funding.

            • But to be fair, it is deemed okay to assist unbelievers who are in need, at one’s own discretion. Some strains of Islam think you definitely have to take care of the benighted infidel in your midst, but they are not the shooty strains.

    • THIS. People trying to tell me I must support government redistribution of wealth in order to be a Christian are a recurring source of my vision becoming a Red Curtain Of Blood (RCOB).

  5. The modern SJWs are pretty much generational clones of the Victorian Moralists they openly mock. Their writings tend strongly towards the ERIC, OR LITTLE BY LITTLE genera, their buttinskiism has exact parallels among the Ostentatiously Christian of the 19th Century. And what is funniest of all is that their programs seem to assay out to about as much good vs dross.

    They are exactly what they accuse everybody else of being.

    • SJWs are many things, but creative is not one of them.

      • They can, in sad fact, be rather doggedly creative when it comes to taking things the wrong way, focussing on nonessential issues, or explaining away unpleasant consequences. However this sort of creativity is more tiresome than not.

        • Indeed, the ways they can be offended are often quite imaginative.

        • Not sure I agree. Seems they apply pretty much the same algorithm(Al Gore rhythm? scary visual) to every situation. E. G., find minor element that can possibly be misinterpreted, blow it out of proportion, maximum effort wail.

          • I agree it’s stupid, but they put one hell of a lot of effort into that stupid. Kind of like the common petty criminal who works much harder to get his ill gotten gains that he would if he would simply get a job flipping burgers and show up for work on time.

            And in its silly way it IS creative. Just because they are applying a formula doesn’t mean it isn’t. A lot of moderately god (and some great) art is to a formula. Check out Italy’s miles of Madonna and Child paintings.

            The thing is, they never engage in self-criticism unless it is an all out attack-to-destroy, so they never get better. They just either plod along or get thrown under the bus.

            Even if I agreed with their stated goals, I wouldn’t become an SJW; I’ve seen them eat their own. Alive.

            • I agree that things done to a formula aren’t necessarily bad. On the other hand, those Madonna and child paintings are the ones that didn’t get painted over, or burned to keep someone warm, so only the better ones survived. Truly creative application of a formula requires attention to detail and persistence, which most SJWs don’t seem to apply to what they’re doing. Maybe I’m not paying them enough attention, but it seems to me to be the same old drone, over and over again. If they were truly doing anything new and different, it wouldn’t be nearly so easy to tune them out. My $0.02

              • Schofield’s Law of Popular Culture; we remember the popular culture of eras past so fondly because, mercifully, we don’t actually remember that much of it.

                I can’t help but wonder what effect the present widespread preservation of all kinds of ephemeral drek is going to have.

                • Which opens the question: How much of what we think we know about historical cultures is the result of attempts to sell “Bob’s Wonder Liniment”?

                  • I’m not a professional historian, much less historiographer, but the impression I have is that much more in the way of primary sources survives vs. ephemeral bumph than you might suspect. in the first place, people throw out (or wipe themselves with)

                  • Cntd.. (Sorry) liniment fliers, but they save gandpa’s letters home from The War. In the second place, primary sources are all different, but all 5000 copies of the Dr. Smithrace’s Efficatious Liniment For Man And Beast flier are the same and so the second through five thousandth to survive are still only counted as one piece of evidence.

                  • Don’t forget “Carter’s Little Liver Pills” or Geratol, for Iron poor blood.

                    • Doan’s pills for backache (never seen today, used to be advertised during the afternoon TV shows.) Lydia E. Pinkham’s vegetable compound (Cue Irish Rovers fans singing the chorus to “Lilly the Pink.”) Mother’s Little Helper. Beecham’s Pills.

                      When someone had an over-abundance of something, my Great Aunt would say, “She’s got more of those than Carter has liver pills!”

                    • Mom had a Doan’s pills can she used to cut holes out of pop biscuits to make donuts.

                    • RealityObserver

                      Heh. The ads are around any more, but the products are. (Although the FTC did force Carter to take “liver” out of the name – since they have no effect whatsoever on the liver.)

                    • RealityObserver

                      Sigh. Trying to type around a bowl of chicken dip…

                      The ads *aren’t” around any more…

          • eh, it’s like rejectomancy. Just because the end result is pre-determined doesn’t mean creativity isn’t needed to get there.

          • The Other Sean

            Gore probably would have been more profitable running music than lefty politics on his channel.

    • “The modern SJWs are pretty much generational clones of the Victorian Moralists they openly mock.”

      Bingo. Anglosphere Progressivism is a fusion of Continental socialism with Victorian morality. Underlying both is the belief that “the aristocracy knows best, always.” The only difference between feudalism and Progressivism is that they value an aristocracy of education rather than one of blood. If you didn’t go to the right schools and learn the right things, you’re a peasant to them and barely qualify as human.

      And American Progressivism is the ungodly result of a backyard cross between Anglosphere Progressivism and the Puritan work ethic: you must work as hard as possible at enforcing the rules on everybody, while spending money on earthly pleasures is a sin.

      • I think there is a system of “indulgences” in there somewhere, because the likes of Al Gore certainly don’t stint themselves, and pointing this out to the lower level True Believers doesn’t phase them one bit.

      • they value an aristocracy of education rather than one of blood.

        1.) They call it education but what it is is indoctrination.

        2.) Funny how it is that “blood” — the right families, the right connections, the right recommendations — does more to get you into the “right” schools than any achievement on your part. And consider how much of that achievement is comprised more of checking the right boxes than of actually achieving anything.

        3.) example: Chelsea Clinton or any Kennedy.

        4.) The trick is to make it seem to be education while assuring that only the proper people get “educated.” Back in the Sixties they ridiculed this practice amongst the powers that were; now they have occupied the institutions and are raising the drawbridge.

        • Any established system of education will tend towards the less subtle forms of indoctrination over time. That’s why so many of the better scientific minds of late 18th Century Britain were “Dissenters”; people who would not publicly adhere to Anglicanism and who were therefore barred from the established Universities. They went to “dissenting academies” or were tutored or self taught.

          Most of them would go through the present crop of “intellectuals” like a cuisinart turning cabbage into slaw.

          • RealityObserver

            I make my slaw by hand.

            Come to think of it, I like my image better…

            • The tact remans, though, that if you put Joseph Priestly in a room full of SJWs, he would emerge in fine if somewhat angry fettle, amd they would need to be escorted by the hand, stunned and bleeding from the ears.

              My Father was an authoritty on Priestly, and when he was teaching at Iowa State the Ames Iowa Unitarian Church heard about him. Since Priestly founded the Unitarians they wanted Father to come and give them a nice little talk.

              Now, the modern Unitarians are the respectable end of the New Age Religion of the Month Club. Priestly, OTOH, was a primitive Christian. Father gave then a Priestly sermon, all hellfire and brimstone (Father was the adopted some of a Methodist Minister). He told me you could hear the eyeballs bouncing on the floor.

  6. They think lecturing people and preening on their superiority is fun, so they don’t get why you wouldn’t ENJOY being lectured.”

    Well, duuuh. Lecturing at os far more fun than being lectured >I>to. That is why they go so ballistic over “mansplaining.” Remember, whenever they say “We need to have a conversation” what they actually mean is “You need to listen to me.”

    • Which is why when they say “we need to have a conversation” to me (it has actually happend a couple of times!) I say “NO. You need to shut your stupid mouth and let the adults talk”

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        But but… They are the adults!!!!

        Seriously, one liberal gentlemen on Baen’s Bar once asked “when were the adults going to take over the Republican Party”. While this was during George W.’s administration (long before Obama), plenty of the more conservatives laughed at the idea that the Democrats were the “adults”.

        Still, I’ll admit that that gentleman was more of an adult than the SJW.

  7. check

  8. Christopher M. Chupik

    Government run “fun camps”. What could possibly go wrong? I mean, the government usually does such a wonderful job of running everything else . . .

    • It is the ‘persuit of happiness’ thing. It is your right so the State will define what is fun and what makes you happy.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Nowadays you are pursued by happiness. Whether you want to be or not.

        • And they will, by God, tell you what you enjoy! I had some anti-smoking zealot tell me I didn’t enjoy smoking cigars, I just thought I did. I asked the prat if he thought he could explain the difference to me without resorting to psychobabble or jargon. He was still trying, and signally failing, when that thread closed.

          • I love all the whoop-la about e-cigs. Apparently the one and only danger is exploding in the user’s face. No second hand dangers, no smell. But still the Nanny State can’t tell the difference between them and the real thing. (all the while his Oneness is sneaking smokes behind the oval office.)

            • That’s because anti-smoking stopped being a legitimate health movement and turned into a Crusade sometime in the early 1980’s. The percentage of adult smokers had dropped from around 60 in 1964 to around 20 in the late ’70’s … and it stuck there. At the same time the methodology for “proving” that substances were cercinogenic that had carried the Health Fascists through the ’60’s and ’70’s came under question. Somebody demonstrated that if one put experimental rats through the usual testing song-and-dance with distilled water, they grew tumors at rates not statistically distinguishable from those claimed as “proof” that cyclamates, saccarine, and tobacco tar were carcinogens. So, where they thought they hand a handle on echanism, they found they didn’t.

              From there on the anti-smoking movememt has grown increasingly shrill and fact averse. The evidence that smoking a pack of cigarettes a day contributes HEAVILY to certain diseases is pretty solid. The evidence that secondhand smoke does anything worse than annoy non-smokers is flimsy as hell. Campaigns about secndhand smoke are as full of exxaggeration and baseless horseshit as the late Victoria. Hysterias about “White Slavery”. The campaign against e-cigs is the anti-smoking movement flopping on the ground and drummng its heels.

              Somebody throw a bucket of water on ’em.

              • Somebody demonstrated that if one put experimental rats through the usual testing song-and-dance with distilled water, they grew tumors at rates not statistically distinguishable from those claimed as “proof” that cyclamates, saccarine, and tobacco tar were carcinogens.

                Oh, gads, don’t remind me… I’ve got an aunt who won’t drink distilled water because of that. Seriously, you HAVE to show her that it’s not labeled “distilled.”

            • They don’t avoid the biggest danger of smoking a cig: looking like a total idiot.

              Seriously, what is it about some young folks that makes them strike a pose like horribly bad actors because they’re smoking? One young idiot thought I was intimidated by his rude rump, because I couldn’t make eye contact… I was trying not to laugh at him trying so desperately to look cool…..

          • You only think you enjoy those things you like.

            You really enjoy those things that the elite have sanctioned for you.

            And the zealot couldn’t explain it because he’s absorbed the distinction into the depths of his thoughts.

        • In Soviet Russia happiness pursues you.

    • Do I detect a subtle hint of sarcasm? For certain values of subtle…

    • Well, the Germans ran Auschwitz rather efficiently. Not my idea of fun, but perhaps it’s Hillary’s.

      • Actually, the historical evidence is that the Nazis did NOT run anything verey efficiently. Brutally, yes. With no thought given to common decency, yes. Efficiently? Not so much.

        The history of planning failures in the USSR and Red China would seem to back this up. Top down regimes are not efficient, they simply make complaining a fatal mistake.

    • Yeah. Why am I picturing Belsen with morning calesthenics?

      • I was thinking of the film from the Kraft durch Freude (strength through joy) holiday camps, but those were probably too loosely-structured for what Shrill Hill has in mind.

      • Think Maoist PRC, or modern day North Korea, with the masses performing synchronized calisthenics (in the approved uniform) and singing the praises of the Dear Leaders.

        • And now I’m picturing Shrillery, in a private screening room, watching video of that with her hand jammed under her skirt.

          Sorry, but sharing was the only way I could think got ridding myself of the image.

    • One man’s “Fun Camp” is another man’s “Work Makes Free.”

  9. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Treating one’s charitable activities as secret information is one of the principles of Lincolnism-Shermanism Mitt Romney thought.

    Of course, so is getting into the boxing ring with professionals.

  10. So long as it’s agreed this is just for fun and all punches are pulled. Bob.

  11. MadRocketSci

    I found those old Don Rosa Scrooge McDuck comics online somewhere. Very nice – I liked them a lot. Especially the Western ones.

  12. I remember when you were buying the trash bin Disney comics. I’m sorry, but I mildly scolded Godson for messing up his nice comics, and Godson being Godson, he didn’t bother telling me where they came from and why they were damaged.
    On the fun camp issue, I haven’t noticed anyone even mentioning that the political mentor of this administration was planning to send a huge portion of the United States population into desert camps sometime in the 70s, post-revolution, from which a planned 25 million were not to return alive.

      • Its easy to find “Prairie Fire” the Weather Underground manifesto cowriters included Ayers and Dorn.

      • Good reaction– I wish folks would put names on this stuff.

        I could think of at least three different groups that had proposals that could be rephrased that way and they could all, with various levels of conviction, be linked to Obama…..

      • Here’s some:

        http://spectator.org/blog/54386/patriot-larry-grathwohl-65-infiltrated-weather-underground-indicted-bill-ayers

        I brought up the subject of what’s going to happen after we take over the government: we become responsible then for administrating 250 million people. And there was no answers. No one had given any thought to economics, how you’re going to clothe and feed these people. […] They also believed that their immediate responsibility would be to protect against what they called the counter revolution and they felt that this counter revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing reeducation centers in the Southwest where [they] would take all the people who needed to be reeducated into the new way of thinking and teach them how things were going to be. I asked, well, what is going to happen to those people that we can’t reeducate that are diehard capitalists and the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers. And when I say eliminate I mean kill – 25 million people. I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well known educational centers and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people and they were dead serious.

        • And the thing is, these effete college grad nitwits actually thought they were going to end up in charge of a revolution that was sufficiently competent at violence that it overcame the strong objections of millions of military veterans. That either they were going to be good enough at volence, or that thempeople who were would just let them be in charge.

          Lefty radicals are really very stupid.

  13. Just a comment from a freelance translator who worked on European Disney comics over a twenty-year period. Several publishers in different countries had the license for creating new Disney stories because the supply of American imports had long dried up. The Italian office generated the most new material by far, and was something of a world unto itself (if the Money Bin has a Moorish dome on top, it’s probably Italian), followed by Denmark and Holland. What I remember from discussions with the editors at the Danish office was that Disney comics were very conservative (in the non-political sense): most series followed models established in the American flagship comic book WALT DISNEY’S COMICS & STORIES in the 1950s. Carl Barks’ Duck adventure stories and Paul Murry’s Mickey Mouse serials were still the gold standard decades later. There was no push that I recall for conscious political correctness, though younger writers may have unconsciously reflected the trends of the times.
    There had been some attempts to revise some of the female characters that had formerly done very little and make them more prominent, but even there the idea was more to make stars that could be promoted out of them. An attempt to make Minnie Mouse more assertive had resulted mainly in even little girl readers complaining in surveys about Minnie suddenly being mean to Mickey. Daisy Duck’s nieces, April, May, and June, three of the more obscure and seldom seen characters, were revamped and given distinctive personalities so they could appear in their own stories, and that was probably the best thing that had ever been done with those characters.
    Maybe I was too close to it, but I didn’t see much or any SJW-ism in Euro-Disney comics up to 2008, when I left that particular business. Where there was some axe-grinding was environmentalism — Junior Woodchuck stories often emphasized that, and Scrooge with some new forest-cutting-down or environmentally-waste-laying new enterprise would often be the villain who either had to be thwarted or shown the error of his ways. Even there, it seemed as though the stories had evolved that way due to the nature of the material itself (mid-Sixties Woodchucks written by Carl Barks himself were like that), since the Woodchucks were nature lovers who would inevitably collide with Scrooge, combined with European preoccupations about the environment, rather than any conscious effort orchestrated in the front office.
    Overall, I remember the editorial direction was for funny stories about familiar characters that would entertain readers and sell more comic books, but would not deviate too much from what had been established in previous stories. Do the same thing over again, but differently. There was no dictate handed down from above for political content that I was ever aware of.

  14. Our April book is Tunnel in the Sky.

    Meanwhile, it’s time for our May theme nominations:
    https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2264230-may-2015

    • Great. I’d recommended The Mote in God’s Eye… but honestly Tunnel in the Sky is a great book for discussion. But dangerous too… I could get sidetracked on what equipment to take for weeks. 🙂

    • I LIKE the hero of “Tunnel in the Sky.” I don’t care if he does run around with a “kick me” sign on his back.

  15. News on Neoneocon: Michael Lookofsky AKA Michael Brown, who wrote the music to “Walk Away Renee,” passed away at the age of 65. Yes, 65. The kids in that band, the Left Banke, Lookofsky and the kid who wrote the words, were unbelievably young.

  16. Request for help from fellow Huns. I’m writing out copybook headings for my 5 year old to practice penmanship with. I’ve got “The map is not the land”, “Don’t carry a lazy man’s load”, “Use the right tool for the job”, “If you’re going to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk”, and “Measure twice, cut once.”

    What are some other good gods to put at the top of a 5 year old’s copybook page?

    • Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
      A stitch in time saves nine. (I have no idea what this means)
      An apple a day keeps the Progressive away.
      Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
      You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, but nothing attracts them more than horsesh*t.

      • A stitch in time will keep the entire seam from unraveling and requiring at least nine stitches to fix. Also applies to darning socks, repairing button holes, and so on. Basically, if you mend things when the problems are small, it will take less effort and time than if you ignore the tear/leak/gap.

      • Sara the Red

        Also making sure you pay enough attention to save that dropped stitch before it’s twenty rows down and your project is unraveling too fast for you to save it…which isn’t saving nine stitches, it’s saving your sanity by not having to rip that project apart for the fifth time… 😀 And yes, I suppose that could be translated to real life, ie, pay attention.

    • Have you considered paging through the Psalms and stealing some of those?

      I’m horribly fond of the Proverbs 26 “answer a fool/don’t answer a fool” thing, myself.

      Oooh!
      http://www.currclick.com/product/14781/Happy-Scribe-Copybook–Classic-Copybook-Sayings

    • overgrownhobbit

      He who handles pitch besmears himself.
      Morning hours have gold in their mouth
      Hunger drives the bratwurst down
      Wise men learn from others’ mistakes, most men learn from their own mistakes, fools never learn

    • The customer is not always right, but nobody ever won an argument with a customer.

      The first law of thermodynamics
      Heat is work and work is heat

      The second law of thermodynamics
      Heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body
      Heat won’t pass from a cooler to a hotter
      You can try it if you like but you far better notter
      ‘Cause the cold in the cooler will be hotter as a ruler
      Because the hotter body’s heat will pass through the cooler

      Heat is work and work is heat
      And work is heat and heat is work
      Heat will pass by conduction
      And heat will pass by convection
      And heat will pass by radiation
      And that’s a physical law

      If that seems difficult to remember, try putting it to a tune —

      — like so.

    • All that is gold does not glitter
      Not all who wander are lost
      The old that is strong does not wither
      Deep roots are not touched by the frost

      And the converse: All that glitters is not gold.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Perfection is the enemy of good enough.
      All models are wrong, but some are useful.

      A sword is not a killer, it is a tool in a killer’s hand.

      Friends come through the gate, enemies come over the wall.

      All medicines are poisons.
      Toxicity is in the dose.
      How a little helps is how a lot will hurt.

      All men die; what matters is how you do it.

    • (Some of these might not be best for a 5-year old, use at your discretion)

      It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.
      (But that’s because he’s poor, and has crappy tools. 🙂 )

      If you can’t laugh at yourself, someone else is going to do it for you, and you’re not going to enjoy it nearly as much.
      — Harry Ugol

      Galbraith’s Law of Human Nature:
      Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.

      The thing is not to die for your country. The thing is to make some other poor bastard die for *his* country.
      — Patton

      Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.
      — Ronald Reagan

      Once a mind has been stretched by a new idea, it will never again return to its original size.
      — Oliver Wendell Holmes

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
      — Thoreau

      Hanlon’s Razor:
      Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

      Quigley’s Law:
      Whoever has any authority over you, no matter how small, will attempt to use it.

      Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.
      — Frank Zappa

      If your happiness is entirely dependent on the actions of other people, you’re going to be unhappy.
      — Richard Chandler (Yes, I’m quoting myself.)

      It is the mark of a true gentleman to always provide covering fire while a lady reloads.
      — Ted Nugent

      The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
      — George Orwell

      In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.
      — Thomas Sowell

      A communist is someone who reads Marx. An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx.
      — Ronald Reagan

      Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
      — Philip K. Dick

      Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.
      — John Wayne

      The great thing about worshiping trees is that trees rarely ask you to do anything.
      — Scott Ott

      There are only three things wrong with socialism: theory, practice and outcome.
      — Kim du Toit

      The chains of defining yourself as a victim are a tourniquet wrapped around the soul.
      — Sarah A. Hoyt

    • Duty. Honor. Country
      There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. TANSTAAFL!
      It’s easier to keep up than to catch up.
      Clean up your own mess.
      When in doubt, do the right thing.
      Bad news does not improve with age.
      Women and children first.
      Men rule the world. Women rule the men.
      Progress happens when somebody gets upset enough to do something about it.
      An attack upon my culture is an attack upon my people.
      The goal of parenting is to teach children to be good adults.
      Never cause avoidable harm, but kill quickly when you have to.
      Shame the devil and tell the truth.
      The nation is not the dirt beneath our feet, but the people standing upon it.

      • I can’t believe I forgot these-
        Character is who you are in the dark.
        You are what you do.

  17. Hm… that which is not said, isn’t seen, isn’t displayed, didn’t happen?

    That would explain a lot….

    (I, too, favor those who don’t show off how nice they are. This is probably because of too much exposure to folks who show how nice they are to manipulate you– ie, not nice at all– and the folks who don’t tell everyone how nice they are, because they know it attracts people who not only don’t need the help, but will actually be harmed by the “help” while taking everything they can get.)

  18. I confess to having a wrong impression of Disney comics. First, we thought they were little kid’s fare, like Harvey Comics. Second, during the Carter Administration, Disney produced one or more comics to sell things like energy conservation. The one I saw had Mickey and Goofy doing a hard sell, passed out to the younger set at school. All the faults of message fiction, in spades.

    It wasn’t until maybe the last ten years that I learned that the comics worked on two levels. Such as Scrooge’s relationship with Goldie during the Alaskan Gold Rush days, and the strong possibility that post-WWII Donald was meant to have PTSD. Seriously: Some have compared the pre-WWII Donald with the post-WWII Donald. Such as bit where a sleep-walking Donald thinks his nephews are Japanese soldiers, and reacts accordingly. There was also a story where Donald enters Scrooge’s dream, and which suspiciously sounds like Inception

  19. Clark E Myers

    Given that a lack of fun is diagnostic for drug problems in youth – the lack of fun is I think important. Children (of all ages and that’s a great short story) who don’t have something else they like to do – no distraction, no reward and no joy – will fall back on drugs as the only fun in their world.

  20. I have not yet figured out how to put comments in the thread, plus I’m entering this late, sorry. in the comments about the recovery of Europe after wwI & II, the united states lost about the same amount of men in both wars (percentagewise). Plus the battlefields were mostly in Europe (including the battle of brition) one of the major differents was (in percents) we lost signifigantly less of our overall economy. Their wars made them poor. the same wars cost us dearly, but… farmers were farming, factories were facting (my word), ect. plus with women entering the work force in larger numbers (at least staying) our economy took less time to recovery, and grew much quicker. I am not saying that this is the only factor, or even the most major factory as to why “no war no more no how” plus the usa will protect us. but it does have some bearing on this

    • Hi Greyratt. Do you have a source for your WWI casualty info? I ask because it seems a little low compared to what I’ve seen in Keegan and a few other sources, given the very short time the US was involved. (We were talking combat fatalities above, not including the influenza, accidents and other causes of death). Thanks.

      Does your browser show the “reply” button beside comments? That’s the fastest way to join a thread. (If you are following via e-mail it gets a little trickier sometimes.)

  21. never date a women crazier than you are (glen cook)
    never get involved in a land war in asia
    never anger a wicked witch, evil queen, or evil space princess. (please note, evil stepmothers are fighting for their own never)
    never argue with a fool
    never argue with the man on stage (he controls the mike)
    never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel (but don’t back down if he picks a fight with you)

  22. Never get into a pissing match with a skunk.
    THINK about what you’re doing. If the job didn’t require thought, a machine would be doing it.
    Never forget your assumptions.

    And one of my favorites, from my collection of Nancy Lebowitz buttons: Implementing a specification is like walking on water: it’s much easier when it’s frozen.

  23. It was a bit of a shock, because it made sense. These are people whose idea of “fun” is “being good little girls” (even the boys. Particularly the boys) and being praised for it.

    A world made up of Sydneys? With room for a few Toms? Most certainly not a single Huck? Ewwwwwww.

  24. I remember quite specifically the day (rather, night) that I decided to learn to read. I couldn’t date it, but from context, I think I was between 4 and 5. I had just bought a new comic book, and my mother had promised to read it to me. Well, she had friends drop in, just before my bedtime. When I pointed out that she was supposed to read to me before bed, I was unceremoniously tucked in, lights out, and left to stew.
    I decided that I wasn’t going to be at the mercy of random people showing up, so the next day, I had her sound out the letters for me. I could sound out (and therefore read, or guess the meaning of ) that comic book within 2 months. I entered first grade reading well, and by the first ‘official’ (standardized) reading test at the beginning of 3rd grade, I tested at 375 wpm, and 9th grade+ comprehension level.

    Which is why I’ve always defended comic books from sanctimonious busybodies who claim that they’re useless, if not actively hurtful.

    • Sounds like how I learned the sewing machine. Mom got too busy to patch my favorite jeans anymore.

  25. To be honest, I like your idea of a male Romance character. My favorite stories start out with the guy having a widespread reputation, often earned, of being a huge jerk. They also loyal, kind to children and animals, and ready to teach their chosen ladies how to defend themselves from danger. Whatever charity they do is from habit, an impulse to be generous, and they’re embarrassed if it’s mentioned. Totally swoon worthy.

  26. to TXRed, no and no… all I have, button wise is the your turn down at the bottom. and no about WWI I realize that we were in for such a short time (had to get a seat at the peace/piece table that our loss were much small. WWII our loss were much higher… hey diddle diddle, straight up the middle.
    I was referring to jointly (both wars) were our loss were at or about the same percentage wise. i’m using memory of a life time of reading. I could very well be wrong. the point I was trying to make was not the loss of life that the us and Europe, but the loss of land (farming, housing ) loss of employment (no factories, no jobs) ect. the time between the wars, lead to facism, commies, and socialist. As evil as Hitler was … he did get he trains to run on time. it was the time after the second war when it was really really BAD. but in the us, war did not touch us directly (ok… pearl harbor Hawaii was not a state at the time) after the war we still had our farms, factories, cities. and we could now sell to Europe, since they were having trouble making stuff. (see above missing parts/whole cities. it was the economies I wished to point out, since mankind can recovery much more quickly from loss of life rather then lack of food, ect. hope I was able to answer your question

    • OK, thanks. I wasn’t certain if you were combining both World Wars or if you were using a different WWI data set.

      On Firefox and Safari, beside the commenter name and between the time/date stamp and Gravatar image, there’s a little pale underscored “reply.” That’s how you can reply to a specific comment in a thread without having to try and connect back up the main thread. If the nesting gets too deep, it may be easiest do a fresh comment and say something like “OK, going back to Shadowdancer’s comment at 10:22 about teething and political affiliation” so everyone knows where the connection is.

  27. Test post, PLS ignore