Le grand Jeté

Apparently we have now entered the era of the grand jeté.  In ballet this is means a jump starting in a high kick in which the dancer leaps off from one leg and lands on the other.

In real life it means someone hears that a friend is supporting a cause they heard is racist, sexist, homophobic, and after demanding explanations and a grand Maoist self-examination, picks up her tulle skirts and LEAPS into deciding the friend is really an enemy in disguise, I guess having been taken over by pod people.

This didn’t happen to me.  I only saw the leaper’s announcement — rather proud — of her grand jeté.  The person she was sure was now an enemy and had changed beyond all recognition is a friend of mine, one of the most honest, decent people you’ve ever met, who has, in many ways paid for his high principles with a slow career and monetary loss. (Yes, as have I in a way, only my principles aren’t as high, I just can’t look at myself in the mirror after supporting a cause that killed a hundred million people, so I don’t, even by inference.)

Now, I’m handicapped here by having seen only one end of the conversation — i.e. this person’s claim she’d asked my friend for explanations, and that his response was “underwhelming” — and so she was unfriending him, denouncing him, burning him at the stake. Okay, I made that last one up, but only because they aren’t close enough geographically for her to do that.

Knowing my friend, I’m going to guess the “underwhelming” came from the fact that this fan who had been a friend was asking him to renounce and denounce positions that had never been his.

For some reason, more than the creepy pasta of Entertainment Weekly (Creepy pasta, as I understand from hearing my kids talk is an internet horror story, designed to disturb and frighten the readers. It often involves monsters and it’s set in the modern day and often around geek preoccupations. It is also understood that it shouldn’t be believed. I mean that’s the underlying assumption of the genre. The term comes from copypasta — a block of text that gets copied and passed around — and I’ve never seen a more perfect description of what Entertainment Weekly did, telling a scary story about racist/sexist/homophobic monsters in science fiction in a way unbelievable to anyone who did even a modicum of research); more than the professional colleague unfriending me over my support of Sad Puppies; more than the twitter sh*tstorms in which I was proclaimed a white mormon male, this made me incredibly sad.

It made me incredibly sad because this person was a friend’s friend and I remember when she was sane. It made me sad, because she swallowed whole the lies of a howling mob, rather than think first “this person I know, he is sound.  If the strangers are all howling in unison, maybe there’s an agenda.”  It saddened me because my friend is less involved with this than I am, and the level of character assassination over casual assassination is scary.

It saddened me because of this are things like the cultural revolution woven.

When I posted about this on FB, one of my “friends” came forth to howl that you know, people would think I was homophobic, since I’d put so much effort into getting a Hugo for Vox and John C. Wright.

I’m pinching the bridge of my nose and bowing my head and betting G-d to give me patience.  This is what I meant.  If you’re inclined to the Grand Jeté, you should at least do a modicum of googling to prove your facts before you leap.  Vox is nowhere near Sad Puppies 3.  Yes, his house is, but none of us writers has full choice over the houses we get bought by, nor do we police our publishers’ beliefs.  We’re in this to make a living.

As for John, he doesn’t need me to defend him, but I’ll just say his beliefs are more nuanced than his posts often give the impression, but even if they weren’t I am not in the habit of evaluating authors by thought-crime, imputed or real.  If I were there are lots of my colleagues I couldn’t read since they are at least soft supporters of communism, an ideology responsible for the death of a hundred million people.

But I’m not in kindergarten.  I don’t demand artists I enjoy be carbon copies of me.  I can read around the parts that offend me.  I can also understand how sheltered Americans, misled by their excellent educations can have come to believe communism was good.  I don’t assume these people are evil, nor do I scream to burn the witch.

The other side, on the other hand, seems bound and determined to set fire to the world to defend their right to keep rigging the Hugo.  They seem to want to implicate us in all sorts of crimes, explicit and implicit, of association and of declaration, for the sake of making sure they keep control over science fiction.

Science fiction, people.  The backwater of the genres as far as sales.

This where this grand battle is taking place.  It would be like fighting world war three over someone’s backyard.

It would irk me less if they hadn’t been taking science fiction down the sucking drain hole of “literary cred” (which in the modern age largely means Marxist utilitarianism.)

As it is, though, we don’t have a choice.  Because they’re fighting for what is our home, what we believe in, we must stand and fight.

I suspect, my friends, that this fight — oh, not over the Hugos, but over something else equally small that you care about passionately — will come to you.  Into your hobbies, into your job, into your home and into your friend circle.

When it does remember that you have no choice but to fight.  The end gambit the other side is aiming for is a Cultural Revolution of Chinese proportions, in which all dissenters, and eventually members of the revolution themselves perish.  If we let them continue with this, if we let it have its way, the grand jete will go on, jumping to conclusions and creating exclusionary tribes out of out of context quotes, wrong words, wrong thoughts, wrong associations.

It might seem what you’re fighting for is too small to bother, only remember they’re fighting for this because they already control the large arenas.

And we must fight now, now that we’re driven to the narrow personal spaces.  We must push back and take the larger institutions from them too.

It won’t be easy and it will hurt like hell, partly because humans are social and tribal creatures, and many worthy but not very bright people will swallow the slander, the out of context quotes, the guilt by association and because the other side fights by all of those means and always have.

But a human being has to stand somewhere.  And standing on the side that isn’t howling for absolute compliance in thought as well as in did seems like a good place to me.  Because I’ve seen the other side in action, and they can’t run their own heads, much less the world.  And because they are working from a set of assumptions that has nothing to do with reality.  And because their beliefs always end in mass graves.

In the end we win, they lose.  Because the very devices that allow them to win the war of words handicap them in reality.

Stand and don’t give an inch.

325 thoughts on “Le grand Jeté

  1. America (all nations) goes through these periods from time to time, the political equivalent of financial panics. Generally, the more loudly those losing power screech, the more tenuous is their grip.

    Having a generally dyspeptic view of humanity is an aid in such times, figuring that it is better to know which so-called friends will turn on you and how cheaply they will sell their souls.

    1. Yes.

      Fanatical true believers are dangerous things. History is full of examples.

      Thomas Paine, on fleeing charges of sedition, arrived in Calias to find out that he had already been elected to represent Calias in French National Convention, the new post revolutionary government. The French Revolution, sick with blood lust and running out of nobles, began to target and to eat its own. Before long Paine ended up in prison, denounced for not being true enough to the cause.

      Was the life of the general French under the royal government good? No. Was it improved by the Revolution? No. Ultimately the French, weary and broken embraced Napoleon. Did that improve their lot? No.

    2. Recognizing there is a temptation to think the situation is different (rather than cyclical) because this is what we are living through, this does seem different to me. There is a sense of increasing the decibels because the tipping point is within reach and they just need that last oomph to get there.

      1. Maybe some of both?

        There’s always a tipping point– a point it’s hard to come back from– ahead. How close it gets matters, but the folks who want that can’t-easily-come-back point want it because they don’t have as much support as they’d like. The resistance increases as they reach the ratchet point.

        On the flip side, the ratchet-switch is also rather hard to use, and has the big danger of going too far back– but it does exist.

    3. When I took physical anthropology in College (I know. I know. But the College of Arts and Sciences required six credits of “social science” and this was the least annoying option–or would have been. Despite the title it was actually more “cultural anthropology”) one of the topics was “revival movements”. It was noted that these were often the last gasp of a dying culture–cultures on the way out, in a desperate bid for survival, will return to some interpretation of “traditional values” and “turn them up to 11”. The example of the Ghost Dance of certain Native American tribes was given.

      So when people on the other side get shrill and start going over the top following reversals, that can actually be a good sign.

      1. I’m certainly tempted to take it that way.

        I’ve been watching straws that I think show which way the wind is blowing for a while. I’ve commented here and elsewhere on the signal turnaround on Gun Control that I’ve observed since I started following politics in the middle ’70’s. Then there’s the shift in political debate. For the last few decades the Usual Suspects have been wringing their hands over the way that politics has become polarized and nasty, and a lot of credulous twits have taken this seriously. As the son of two history teachers, I can assure you that the acrimony we are seeing today is NORMAL. This is what political debate looks like when the organs of debate are not controlled by one side. Of COURSE the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives are shocked at it; they thought they had it all locked down. And at one time, they pretty much did. But that time was very brief, and their control has been gone for a while.

        My thesis is that the LIRPs power peaked with the ousting of Nixon. That was a fairly nasty example of LIRP hypocrisy; in terms of domestic policy he was pretty much as Big Government as any of them. His “crime” was the ordinary day-to-day behavior of the two previous Presidents, both Democrats and one of them a LIRP saint. I’m not sorry he went, I think he was a a creep. But it was a petty display of power that showed the LIRPs thought they could have it all their way.

        So, at the end of Ford’s replacement term in office, the Democrats could have run a talking dog and won. And they could’t agree on which faction’s Messiah it should be. So they ran a compromise candidate, and we got Jimmy Carter, who rived in Washington without any allies IN HIS OWN PARTY, because every Democrat faction in Congress thought THEIR man should have been moving into 1600 PA Ave. Four years of political failure and flailing around later, Carter gets skunked by Reagan. And from that moment on, the LIRPs have had to expend more political capitol than they get back for pretty much everything they do.

        Oh, they are still making “progress” of a sort. They had a lot of momentum, and that energy can do a lot of damage. But the engine of LIRPdom has been sputtering for a while, and their front is falling apart.

        We’re going to see a lot of desperate and vicious attacks before they’re gone. They won’t go quietly; dignity in defeat (or anything else) simply isn’t in their nature.

        What we want to watch for is what replaces them. If we are very, very lucky it might be Libertarianism. There are indications that way. But it could also be the country going full bore Imperial. A major terror attack could do that easily. And the terrorists are certainly stupid enough to do it.

        1. What if the jihadis misread the US due to Obumble and set off one or several NBC attacks here? I’m sure that losing a city or losing millions of people to Bio or Chem warfare would have a major impact on our foreign policy.

          1. I’m expecting a radiological bomb; uranium or such around conventional explosives. That seems to me tech they could manage without contaminating themselves so thoroughly that they died before they could set it. But I suppose chem is possible. Bio is, I hope, a distant ouside chance.

            What I expect is that they will hit a city like Detroit, where (LIRP) mismanagement has caused serious social breakdown, so nobody would notice them. They think in symbolic terms, not strategic ones. So they destroy Detroit (or someplace like it), kill may 100,000 people, and then America gets mad.

            Don’t make us angry. You won’t like us when we’re angry.

            All through Bush’s terms I had people telling me we were “Lashing out in unreasoning anger”. Bullshit. Mecca still stands. But get us really angry, and hell will go out for a stroll with the sleeves rolled up.

            The LIRPs will HATE it. For one thing, if the country really loses its temper, anti-war protesters who break he law (and they can’t help themselves, they will push it) are going to get slung into jail so hard they bounce. Bush never went after the LIRP idiots who spent the last several decades playing Radical Chic games with groups like Hamas. Get America boiling mad and a lot of those fools are going to be facing trials.

            We won’t make a good Imperial Power, and I don’t think we are going to learn. It’s likely to be a real mess, and last for a long time.

            I’ll be comfortable enough; I’m male, caucasian, and in by 50’s. I’ll be dead before the rot spreads far enough to affect me. And I’ll get to watch the nitwits who complained of Bush’s “fascism” deal with the real thing. But it ain’t gonna be good.

            We can, I suppose, hope that whoever decides to ride the headless monster in the aftermath of the attack takes his lessons from the British Raj. If that happens it might not be too awful.

            Meanwhile, let’s concentrate on working for another future. Maybe the Islamotwits will blow themselves hop with their own damn bomb before it gets in place.

            1. Considering their track record with explosives, the liklihood of some Islamist bombing himself is probably rather good. Not high enough to make me comfortable, but if a dirty bomb goes off in, say, Lebanon, I’m going to be pretty dang sure the Israelis had nothing to do with it.

            2. Do you mind if I hope you wind up being wrong? I may be past the sell by date but I’ve still got young daughters and I hope and pray they never face what you listed. It scares the h/ll out of me that they might no matter what I do or don’t do. So I sincerely hope you get to be wrong. No offense meant.

              1. Oh, I hope like hell I’m wrong. There’s a fraction of a percent chance that Imperial America would follow the path of the British Raj, which would be not too bad. But every other possibility I can see sucks mucky moose feet.

                Not that there won’t be compensations. I imagine that Imperial America will invade Cuba in fairly short order, and we might sort out the odds and sods in Mexico. If we put the passel of highbinders and swine currently mismanaging New Jersey in charge of those two countries they could line their pockets beyond the dreams of avarice, and the governance in BOTH places might still improve. But the credits won’t come close to outweighing the debits.

              1. The Islamofreaks are as riven with schisms and such as Christianity, and haven’t had the thirty years war (and some subsequent idiocies) to knock the “kill all heretics” nonsense out of them. I’m sure there is some madman out there who conceives of himself as the new Caliph. And I’m equally sure that there are six more just like him that will tear him down long before we have to.

              2. Tom Kratman hates the world that he created in that book. IIRC he stated that he would be in the trenches fighting against that world coming into being.

            3. Frankly, if they really get the US mad, anti-war protestors who last long enough to be handled by the courts will be the lucky ones. I don’t think they realize exactly what a mob of people would do to them. Protestors often need the *protection* of the police from the public.

              If it was your family member in an ambulance stuck in traffic because some trust fund baby decided to chain themselves to a block of concrete – what would you do?

              I ferverently hope it never comes to this. When a society goes into gorilla mode, it takes generations for it to calm down. And I also have young daughters who I would like to leave a functional society to.


            4. A radiological bomb is no threat. Dilution is the solution. In order to get even a relatively small volume of open space contaminated to the EPA airborne limits you would need a huge amount of radioactivity. Several curies, which is more than enough to kill you dead before you get it put together, and would literally set off every radiation detector for miles around. And even then, the EPA airborne limits are based off of workers inhaling that air constantly 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year and still receiving an insignificant dose compared to the exposure limits, which in turn are set such that the (assumed) risk is small compared to everyday risks.

              If a radiological bomb goes off nearby, get indoors, try to refrain from eating or drinking (but don’t endanger yourself in doing so, passing out is far more dangerous than ingesting a few microcuries), and follow directions. Eventually someone like me (it could very well be me, I guarantee that a radiological attack on US soil would shut down all of the nuclear yards and get every RadCon tech on scene PDQ) will survey you, get you decontaminated, and get you out of the area.

              1. That’s why I always laughed at the fake concerns over recycling power plant used fuel rods. Anyone who managed to steal a transport container full of used fuel bundles would die almost instantly upon opening the container. Plus, you need a HUGE industrial complex to separate the fissionables out of the pellets. One so large as to be impossible to hide.

              2. The thing with a radiological bomb is that something radioactive enough to be dangerous in a bomb is going to be that much more dangerous when concentrated to put into the bomb in the first place. It takes pretty sophisticated tech to handle that with anything approaching safety.

                Given the “efficiency” of most terrorist organizations, your would-be bombers are going to be dropping dead simply from attempting to build the bomb.

                Therefore, not high on my personal list of concerns.

                1. On the subject of terrorist competence, did anyone ever get to the bottom of that suspicious outbreak of bubonic plague a couple of years ago?

                    1. What kind of contact with coyotes do you have to have do get bubonic plague? Coyotes have seen in my town(city).

                    2. Emily – close enough contact that the fleas on them carrying the plague will bite you. Or, if the animal is infected, for it to bite you. This usually involves handling a dead coyote, sometimes handling a live one. Don’t do that.

                    3. Yep, it generally is passed by the fleas, but can be passed by a bite of the coyote itself (not common, because not too many people get bit by coyotes) or by an exchange of bodily fluids… no not sex, get your mind out of the gutter people, getting saliva or blood from a coyote in a fresh cut (such as cutting yourself while skinning a coyote) can potentially transmit it.

        2. We’re going to see a lot of desperate and vicious attacks before they’re gone.

          And they’re going quickly — two thirds of partisan state legislative chambers are Republican controlled. Think about the implications of that come redistricting time.

          As for the nastiness in politics, I don’t recall any such pursing of their lips when Bush & Cheney (nor Reagan and G.H.W.B. before that) were in office. Imagine if Reid & Pelosi were subjected to the calumny they regularly hurl at McConnell, Boehner and Ryan (and Gingrich in his term.) The Proglodytes make spoiled four-year-olds look responsible in comparison. All praise Scott Walker for not letting them intimidate him — his success paves the way for even more Republican governors to find spines.

          1. More importantly, I think, is that along with the idiological arguments against Progressivism we are seeing more people arguing from a practical POV; “We tried your way, and gave it a good long chance. Now we’re going to try something else.”

      2. It was noted that these were often the last gasp of a dying culture–cultures on the way out, in a desperate bid for survival, will return to some interpretation of “traditional values” and “turn them up to 11″.

        What was it when it didn’t work?

        I suspect it would be a “revival”.

        Reminds me of an old joke about how you know when you should stop torquing down a bolt– it’s half a turn before it snapped on you. 😀

  2. Thank you, Sarah. In recent years books have started to come out for younger readers that portray what living under various communist regimes has been like. For decades there have been the Cold War stories, but now it is possible to read about Cuba, Vietnam, China. That they get through the publishing process surprised me.

    1. like the story of the guy who escaped from North Korea. Why isn’t it in all the majors? I mean even some leftoids think the place is fruitloops.

      1. There are no enemies to the left of even a slightly left centrist. For most of them it’s like pulling teeth to get them to admit Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot were psychopathic killers.

        1. Even when they do, they claim it’s the fault of the US. [Frown]

          1. I’m sorry, I still don’t get how someone can be so disconnected from reality.
            But then, I was raised by people who knew history. If I was raised by the TV and minimum wage daycare, I guess it would be easy to convince me of lies too.
            *Shakes Head, Grimacing*

            1. The most effective thing I found for that is that whenever they blame the US for the crimes of people not even nationals is to observe that if they really are no more responsible for their acts than infants or lunatics, then colonization is our duty; as the sane adults, we are in charge.

              1. Ha ha! That tickled my funny bone! But you’re right, and I think that it could go even beyond “mere” duty…after all, we have to think of the childrenz!

            2. By not being exposed to that aspect, and all the trustworthy sources saying roughly the same thing.

              Imagine if the moon was, factually, a decommed space ship. If you looked at the “dark side,” you’d even be able to make out the ship’s identifying marks– NCC-0-NO in Klingon script, let’s say. It’s not an Earth language, but if you look at it, it’s way too regular.

              But everyone was being taught the various theories of lunar origin that we have right now, and the regularity is only mentioned in conjunction with “and that is obviously caused by….” (aspect of theory)

              If someone actually visited there, they’d be able to see various ship stuff. There’s even photos. But you’ve got to search them out, and– dang it, out of time to try to make the metaphor work and think up why they wouldn’t want to recognize that, let’s just say it would demand some kind of an action that they don’t want.

              Folks are very, very good at lying to themselves if it’s not in their face, and doing so means avoiding something unpleasant.

              1. You know, some hack writer wrote a story something like that, I think he might be related to that guy who makes barbeques, or something.

    2. My son’s 8th grade class read “Breaking Stalin’s Nose.” (He loved it, and read it again for pleasure.)
      My daughter was excited about the 5th season opener of My Little Pony FIM (stop laughing) – it was a two part episode about the dangers of enforced equality. It gave my wife and me chills, it reminded us of East Berlin so much.

      The push back has begun.

      1. Best part about the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service is the impression that a) maybe at least some people who want to provoke have finally figured out what actually is provocative right now (hey, let’s make the villain a rabid Green, and the good guys are kind of old-fashioned, they wear suits and all that…) and b) they could get a big budget movie like that made.

        1. Among other issues with the film, Kingsmen painted a gross stereotype of theologically conservative Protestant Christianity by depicting a nice, pleasant country church with lots of crosses and Bibles in the foreground, and once that was established only -then- did it show the actors playing these people opening their mouths and turning out to be raging, bigoted, anti-abortion homophobes, and revealing to the audience that this supposedly nice group of Christians that look like any other Christians you’d find on Sunday is the hate group briefly mentioned earlier. The depiction had all the trappings of my own church but the sentiments of the actors playing these people were wholly foreign. The Hollywood writer’s snuff film fantasy that followed shortly thereafter sent it over the top. I’ve never had cause to walk out of a movie but I wanted to then.

          I agree that the film does make fun of global warming alarmism. But if Kingsmen is revolutionary at all, I liken it more to the sort of subversion you see at the end of Matrix 3; one designed to reboot and prop up the system that it apparently was crafted to look like it wanted to overthrow.

          1. Aha. To me the church part suggested something like that lets see if we can sue somebody W group, maybe because if you mention ‘hate group’ and ‘church in America’ together that is probably the first thing that comes to mind here. I hardly noticed what the church itself looked like, I just assumed that it was the one they had talked about before and pretty much waited for something stereotypically hateful to come out of the preacher’s mouth. Could be an European thing, since that hate group is the only Christian associated one usually in news here, it’s most likely the one anyone here would think about, and then they just made the church look like a stereotypical church and never thought anybody would think it was anything else but the place of that certain hate group.

              1. I know, but I read a bit more than just the main news we get here. Somewhat telling that during the last decade that IS the only ‘Christian hate group’ which can be proved to exists. But since it does exist of course it’s very popular when somebody wants to talk about Christian hate groups. (see! there’s one!)

                1. Remember that the Southern Law Poverty Center, which does much of the tarring of groups as “hate groups” means by it, “people who disagree with US.” You don’t have to have incited a single act of violence to fall under the rubric — unlike the SLPC itself, which has incited violence.

                2. Isn’t the only, but the rest you have to dig for. The others don’t court publicity. I suspect that since each is a cult that is run by a leader who is very controlling- that there is probably some sexual hanky panky going on involving said leader. A commonality in most cults.

      2. I watch the ponies with my 9-year-old daughter and started quietly cackling to myself about the time I saw the giant equals sign. 🙂

      3. My daughter was excited about the 5th season opener of My Little Pony FIM (stop laughing) – it was a two part episode about the dangers of enforced equality.

        I saw “The Cutie Map.” I was astonished and gratified to see that My Little Pony was doing something that brave,under an Administration that’s been willing to imprison dissenters, and in a field where “think of the children!” has frequently trumped the First Amendment in practice. Restored some of my faith in the courage of Americans.

          1. Why would they? The episode is obviously about the evils of imperialist-imposed false equality—the town chief kept her cutie mark, after all—not real universally-imposed true equality.

  3. I don’t think the devices are as helpful to them as you seem to think. Yes, they can spread their “message” farther, but, alas for them, the people they are trying to ostracize are able to see father as well, see they do not stand alone. I doubt you would stand so tall, speak your mind so honestly (As you have admitted in the past), were it not for friends you have never met in person……..

    And this is a war we are well equipped to win. It is the Right that gives out of their own pocket, as shown many times, many studies. The Left expects the Government to do that. Alas, money is always tight on the Government side, because buying votes as the Left must is like paying the Danegeld, and even when they can get money out of the system, it’s oh, so slow. As opposed to the Right saving a tiny pizza place from the “Two Minute Hate” overnight……..

  4. I lost a friend to a Grand Jete (hers) over ten years ago. I was in the middle of a flare and high dosages of Cytoxan so it hurt pretty badly. She decided that I was insensitive (most people are when they are fighting for their lives) and basically told me how dare I talk to her again. I had no clue why she was mad. When I figured it out, I was kind of surprised– and immediately took her out of my friend lists. I figured that that kind of crazy was not something I could deal with when I was having mental issues from the meds. I haven’t talked to her since. I feel sad for your friend, but even sadder that the other friend has shown that she is nuts.

    1. Not “lost” but there is a girl I know online who lives in Chicago. She was relating how her mother had some form a fast cancer and how hard treatments were etc. Later, she was ranting on how she really wanted Ron P(aul, because his full name draws the loon crowd) to be the Repub Nom, and if he didn’t, she was voting 0bama …because she wanted single payer healthcare. Um, yeah. After pointing out the cognitive dissonance and that her mothers cancer was of the type people in Canada were coming here to treat because in Canada, it took so long to get treatment you died, and folks in the UK getting it went to private care (unavailable to Canadians), took a helathcare vacation somewhere to get treated, got me a “How dare you bring my mother into this.”
      I told her sorry that mentioning facts upset her (I provided links at the time), but it did not change the lunacy of being a ronulan and an 0bamazombie at the same time.

      1. One FB friend dropped and blocked me because I had the gall to believe that GE restructuring their income reporting to avoid paying Corporate taxes in the US was because the taxes were too high, and that we needed to reduce the taxes rather than create some new law forcing them to pay taxes here anyway.

        Another friend dropped me but didn’t bother to block me when I expressed a belief that the story told by a boat owner doing wildlife rescue during the Gulf oil spill was not completely true, largely because 1) There was only one version of the story out there that I could find in two hours of researching, 2) that BP owed him money, and 3) It’s REALLY unlikely that the largest numbers of sea turtles he was seeing in the areas where he was working were the MOST ENDANGERED species of sea turtle out there.

        1. I think I recall your story. Either the guy was lying, or the turtles are not nearly as “endangered” as is claimed

          I spent some time driving around Cajun Country (nearly every workday for 6 years) and when they were forcing the shrimpers to install TEDs (Turtle Exclusion Device) one shrimper I knew with a huge boat told me in 30 years of shrimping, he had caught exactly one turtle, and it was alive, all the others owned smaller boats and none of them had caught a turtle ever, but they mandated a device that in video let a large part of the catch go, and often did damage to any turtles it “saved”.

        1. Yes — Ron Paul thinks you should pay for your own demned health care. That’s single payer!

  5. I detest purity tests. Historically they have never faired well. They cheapen life. They destroy creativity.
    They destroy joy.

    I have a couple of treasured friendships developed over the years. We certainly don’t agree on everything and we don’t expect we will. This includes some things we personally hold dear. Yet we have been able to support each other through sickness and other challenges. It saddens me to think that an insistence on conformity on any of our parts could have eliminated these treasures from my life.

  6. I’ve been seeing this sort of thing happening, A friend of mine has lost some friends after congratulating someone for his nomination. How much sense does that make?

    1. a friend of your discovered who his friends were after congratulating someone for his nomination.

      The truth of which does not make it less painful.

      1. Mind you, I also discovered I had a pair of unexpected allies during the past week and a half.

      2. I think I got my name on Facebook reported after congratulating people in the Diner and to Larry. I have been using an alias, I know I know you aren’t supposed to, because I started on facebook only to keep in touch with fellow SCA people. Then I’ve slowly added others like the diner and Larry etc. So now I have this stupid provide them 2 forms of ID uploaded to FB to prove who I am. Bah… I’m debating … change my FB name to my real name or just dump it… except I like the ability to see notes from various authors using FB…… Oh well. 😛

        1. That no alias’s crock by facebook is just that, a crock. It is just like the immigration laws, they ignore them until they come up against someone they want to enforce them against. Last I knew Bandit Six had his own facebook page. 🙂

            1. When I was doing some testing work on a website my company has, I created something like half a dozen bogus accounts, and as far as I know, none of them has received any notifications about proving who they are.

            2. Only a page? My last cat wanted a whole retinue, pages, maids, ladies-in-waiting, valets, serving wenches and chief stewards of the privy.

              We drew the line at allowing him trumpeters to announce his entry into the lists.

        2. Just forge your IDs. It’s been done before; it’s even been done to prove how stupid Facebook’s policies have been!

  7. “Watching a new thought pass through a Marxist gathering is like
    watching a breeze blow across a field of corn: The breeze passes, and
    the seried ranks of minds return to their original position.” ~ H.G. Wells

  8. … more than the twitter sh*tstorms in which I was proclaimed a white mormon male, this made me incredibly sad.

    I am sure that it would have saddened Dan greatly if you suddenly became what your accusers asserted. 😉

    1. I was going to ask if Dan knew. Or if the church knew. Of if it was grounds for false advertising. And we’d have to change Sarah’s name from Beautiful but Evil Space Princess to Beautiful but Evil Space Queen.

    2. Imagining a world in which your skin color & sexual characteristics conformed to what “everyone knew” about you… thus the people passing as male (or female) became so, until they were demasculated or defeminized publicly…

      1. I guess I kind of fell into that trap. When whats-her-name declared that she was no longer going to read anything by a white male author, I was so inspired by her call to support women that I resolved to read nothing but fiction by women who were at least a 36DD for the next year. Of course, in order to make sure that I was not straying from my resolve, I was going to need pictorial (or in-person, I’m flexible) that the authors in question met those minimum requirements.

              1. Well, if you do go that route, you could claim that anyone disagreeing with you is body shaming. I hear that’s all the rage amongst 3rd wave feminists.


                (Seriously, I’ve no idea about your weight, nor do I think it’s relevant to much of anything. Then again I’m not a SJWimp, either. 😛 )

      2. So now I picture it…. Your sitting comfortably at home doing a task when your body ripples and you find your self some random other only to change a few minutes later and again and again…. 😉

    3. But, HEY! You could have more wives than Dan! (Insert multiple mothers-in-law jokes here.)

      1. In a moment of inspiration I once told someone who had raised my ire:

        May you have one hundred wives, each one more beautiful than the next. May they each desire to please you and you alone, submiting to your every whim.

        And may each one come to you with a strict and judgemental mother.

        1. Most wise men would hear the sage words of Admiral Ackbar before you got to the last part.
          “IT’S A TRAP!!!”

  9. Well now is the time you find out who you real friends are. It seems the Daily Kos has weighed in to the Hugo situation. Well I was surprised to see that a person I knew as Reverend Bob from who I met at Libertycon had weighed in also. He was quite insulting to a number of people at Libertycon or Beacon has he called it.

    1. Reverend Bob? I remember the gentleman. He and Larry were doing arguing as a spectator sport until The Lovely Mrs. Correia and I got tired of waiting for the argument to finish. Alas, his arguments didn’t hold up at all to the Grant/Correia ladies’ team, and he started shifting goalposts and “what I meant was” so fast and frequently that quail could admire his jinking and dodging.

      Unfortunately, the inability to admit he might be wrong meant that he just kept arguing and arguing well past absurdity. Which is when the lovely Mrs. Correia and I decided this was stupid, and went to do something sensible like go to sleep.

  10. It’s not surprising to see so many of these mainstream hit-pieces sourced to people who already hated us. Kameron Hurley in The Atlantic, Arthur Chu in Salon AND the Daily Beast. Apparently Scalzi was contacted by the media about the kerfuffle, but not Larry or Brad.

    If we had journalists, maybe they would have looked into the past of these people and their history with us before uncritically swallowing their claims.

    If we had journalists. But we don’t.

    1. Note that Kameron Hurley not only won a Hugo last year, but was considered a contender for this year.

          1. For some reason the scene in Star Wars I (Phantom Menace) when Obi Wan tries to use the Jedi mind trick on Jar-Jar to get him to calm down actually knocks Jar-Jar out. Seems there really wasn’t much there – like using a 50 cal to knock down soda can – vast overkill.


        1. Not a Martian heat ray?

          (If You Were A Martian Tripod, My Love… ew, that could be misinterpreted in so many wrong ways.)

  11. I tend to think that if folks are that easily swayed, are they really friends? More like aquaintances, imho.

    As to those who consider themselves our “betters” – they try to “rule” using the Tarkin Doctrine. Fear through social shaming, othering and screeching whatever -ism is the flavour of the day. That only takes you so far, especially in a civilisation where theres largely free and open communication. Trying to rule through fear using a platform totally out of their control (the internet) is the height of folly.

    They should take Princess Leia’s advice – “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

  12. And related, recently our book club read Toxic Charity.

    (Highly recommended by me and my husband)

    A few days after the club meeting, one of the ladies sent out an email blast saying that she figured out what had bothered her about the book, the author is a fan of Ayn Rand. Then she put in several Rand quotes, etc. (Probably out of context, but I don’t care enough about Rand either way to look them up.)

    I haven’t responded yet, but my first thought was “Guilt by association? Really? That’s the best you can come up with?”

  13. Reposted without link, to get around the moderation notice:
    And related, recently our book club read Toxic Charity, by Robert Lupton.
    (Highly recommended by me and my husband)

    A few days after the club meeting, one of the ladies sent out an email blast saying that she figured out what had bothered her about the book, the author is a fan of Ayn Rand. Then she put in several Rand quotes, etc. (Probably out of context, but I don’t care enough about Rand either way to look them up.)

    I haven’t responded yet, but my first thought was “Guilt by association? Really? That’s the best you can come up with?”

    1. May or may not be, in this case, but I had an interesting experience recently.
      I love the MH books. They’re fun, easy reads. So of course I pre-ordered Nemesis in paperback. I started reading it and it creeped me out. Throw-the-book-out creeped me out. What the heck? Mr. Correia is a good writer. I like his writing. I wrote a post on his blog asking what was up with this book then decided shutting up was the better part of valor and hit cancel. I slept on it, tried it again the next day, and realized what the problem was.
      It’s LDS theology. I’m not LDS, but I grew up in a very LDS community. I lost my friends to their church as a teen. All my LDS friends were busy doing the LDS teen stuff. I lost them. (I’ve reconnected casually with a couple as an adult.) It’s only sort of the LDS church’s fault–they run a great youth program. That’s why their youth retention is so good. A lot of it was just teen girls being what teen girls are. But, since I wasn’t willing to become LDS, I got shut out. Abandoned.
      And Nemesis hit just that spot. The spot where I learned what the LDS believe, eating lunch with my friends in their seminary classroom at fifteen just before they stopped hanging out with me. Every bit of teenage angst and rejection, and Nemesis managed to bring it back.
      Once I figured out why the book bothered me, I could enjoy it. It’s a fun book. You should all read it. I’m sure I’ll pre-order the next one.
      Bet Mr. Corriea had no idea he was writing religious psychological horror, did he?
      So, if your friend had issues with one or a group of Rand fans, I could see her saying she’d figured out that was what bothered her about the book. That’s exactly how I feel about Nemesis. And now I understand that, I can get past that feeling. I hope she can, too.

        1. And he did them right. Nothing against that at all. Just couldn’t figure it out at first and apparently teen girls are real good at aversion therapy or something like that.
          It was kind of a surreal experience. I love this guy’s books, so why is my skin crawling?

      1. That’s really interesting because I liked the religious themes in Nemesis. Of course, I am a Mormon so it makes sense that it wouldn’t bother me.

          1. I had a little list of that’s orthodox, and that’s orthodox, and that’s out in left field, while I read.

        1. I personally found the religious themes kind of “Huh. That’s a pretty strange worldbuilding – almost normal but then completely going off in an unexpected direction.”

          Given I know next to nothing about LDS or Mormon theology, that makes perfect sense. Of course, this does mean that if I ever talk to a patient mormon about the differences and similarities in our theology, the words “Oh, so that part of Agent Franks’ history is actually what you believe?” might yet escape my mouth.

          1. “Huh. That’s a pretty strange worldbuilding – almost normal but then completely going off in an unexpected direction.”

            I’m no expert on Mormon theology, but have worked around a couple, and have some family that are. That is pretty much my thoughts, kind of like talking to one those “dope smokin’ Jesus freaks”* that used to be a fringe around the Hippy/flower child crowd. You are nodding your head along think, “I agree with that, yep that’s the same as my beliefs… wait, huh? That came out of left field!”

            I probably wouldn’t have recognized it as Mormon theology, except for the fact that I knew the author was a Mormon. But I did sort of recognize it as such, and so I just let it flow on by, but it is possibly why I thought it was a good book, but not quite as good as the others.

            1. I had a similar “Yeah, yeah, yeah…. what?!?” with… I think it was that Maker A-something series by OSC?

              I was impressed with the Christian based world-building until I found out that most of what I’d noticed was Mormon theology; then I was impressed that he’d made it fit so well. (It’s not easy, via either the Tolkien or the Lewis route.)

      2. I read it and saw generic Christian theology—a bit unorthodox, perhaps, but not more so than in, say, The Dresden Files. Then again, I’m far from the world’s greatest Christian theologian.

        1. I don’t worry about “strange theology” in stories.

          I only worry about authors “bashing” religion and/or religious people. [Smile]

          1. Correct, it wasn’t standard.

            But as I said before, Strange Theology can be OK.

            Attacking Religion and Religious People isn’t OK.

            Mind you, I’ve seen some crazy ideas about what Religious People believe.

            In some cases, it’s just ignorance that can be corrected.

            In other cases, it’s arrogant ignorance where the person doesn’t want to hear the facts. [Sad Smile]

            1. An awful lot of the time, it’s plain old miscommunication or– this one is really common for middle ages stuff– not getting the joke.

      1. WT is awesome – that song is awesome, and I also highly recommend their album “The Unforgiving”. I think of them as “the perfect band for Underworld soundtracks…

        NightWish also rocks, and Sabaton – esp the album “Heroes” (and most especially “Resist and Bite” from that album)

          1. Unforgiving is a thematic album tied to a graphic novel – but still great stuff/good workout music.

            Also have the US album with Stand My Ground (The Heart of Everything) which was originally on Silent Force as I recall. – and spotify is your friend for checking this stuff out.

          2. I’m not certain if this blog is worse for “ooh, gotta get the book” or “gotta get the album/song” moments. 🙂

        1. I like Nightwish. I would never have found them in a million years except that they were Ringo’s playlist for Under A Graveyard Sky. IMO he did the amazing, he wrote an upbeat zombie series.

        2. I am the Fire from Halestorm’s newest. There are about three or four songs on there that are rather explicitly anti-groupthink

          1. “Hearts of Iron” is especially epic, because it marks the moment when the Germans began to re-enter the Western European mainstream. I like to listen to Sabaton’s songs as if they were parts of a story arc, and this one comes right before “Light in the Black” and “Panzer Battalion” (celebrating the deeds of the postwar Bundeswehr against the Terrorists of various stripes) as the tale of Germany’s Redemption.

  14. I’m fortunate. Most of my “fan” friends are on this side of the fence in the issue. My liberal friends aren’t into this sort of thing, so there hasn’t been any issues so far.

    However, I’ve seen it, and it’s pathetic.

    Go ahead, unfriend me if you want. I won’t lose any sleep over it.

    1. Advantage of being younger than a lot of the folks– all my geek friends that can’t stand open conservatism already unfriended me when they discovered separation hadn’t turned me into a liberal. 😉

  15. The grand jeté can be done by family members too. I’ve been jetéd away from by my sister, who bounced off into the distance (lept over the cliff?) screeching that I was “delusional” and “mentally unstable” because my opinions didn’t fit in with her Seattle democrat crowd.

    Of course the family is also beginning to think that there is some form of mild mental illness at work there too. Who shows up on someone else’s facebook wall to engage with a third party (who they don’t know) and says to them “I don’t know you so I’m inclined to impugn your intelligence?”

    Though I suppose that sort of behaviour is also a variation of the grand jeté, leaping past doing drive-by hate, which certainly fits in with her political world view. To this jaded observer, it does seem that the primary performers of the grand jeté are on the socio-political left.

    1. The grand jeté can be done by family members too.


      My sister unfriended and blocked me on FB when I pointed out that, no the small string of broken windows after a Democratic win at the polls (later turns out that it was a “false flag” operation by democrat party workers) was not “Krystalnacht” in that Krystalnacht was an action by the then ruling party to terrorize and continue a pattern of oppression against a minority group. The broken windows were, at most (not even that–see previous parenthetical comment) a small group of protestors against the party in power.

      And, bam, she vanished right off my feed.

      1. I don’t have a lot of family on my feed, in part for just that reason.

        The other part is that I just don’t have that much family left anymore.

        1. I have two sisters, the one in Seattle, who fits in there perfectly, and the other who views herself as a nice little socialist. The funny thing is that I get on fantastically with the latter, and when she’s in town we go out for drinks and solve the problems of the world. We’ve discovered that we have pretty much the same goals in mind, just different ideas of what should be done to get there. She suggests something, I say, well this bit might work, but not that bit, how about changing it to this other bit?, and so forth, and in the end we have a workable edifice we both agree on. As opposed to other sister who thinks we should be playing jenga, and it’s always the other person’s fault when her edifice falls.

          Of course socialist sister also wants a pickup truck with a gun rack and she’s much younger than I am, so I figure there’s hope for her yet.

          1. If she *truly* wants solutions, and not just power to drive her world view, then all that needs be done is to repeatedly show that large scale government interventions tend to have the opposite of the intended effect.

            1. That’s the thing about socialist baby sister, she can actually look at results, and she admits that what she likes about socialism is the ideal, NOT the way it tends to work in practice, particularly if it starts leaning more communist, or nationalist. Seattle sister just wants things her way, and she’s bought into the whole leftie thing hook, line, and sinker. That we were raised in university towns by academics doesn’t help. (I’m sure my parents have no idea where I came from, their little conservative black sheep.) When you try to show Seattle Sister how big government doesnt work, she starts going on about how “The only reason republicans don’t want to pay more taxes is that they don’t want their money to help poor brown people”. She can’t point to a single major republican who’s said that, but when I called her on it, she told me that of course they didn’t say it that way, but it was what they believed, without (of course) being able to provide any evidence to support that. She also doesn’t believe that anyone on medicaid ever abuses the system (I used to work in hospitals, she’s never worked in the medical field), nor that there has ever been vote fraud committed by Democrats. Even my parents aren’t that far gone.

              I think she truly believes if we just did what the Democrats in Congress wanted us to, we’d have heaven on earth, and everyone would be healthy, wealthy, and wise. And yet I’m the delusional one. /snort

              1. My limited understanding of the amedicare system is that it is so byzantine that it is next to impossible to JUST get what you need that you are entitled to out of it. You either get less, or you “abuse” it.

                1. I think that’s a pretty fair description. On the one hand you have folks who need medications/treatments/surgeries who don’t get it, and then you have folks who show up to the ER for every sniffle, even after they’ve been signed up for the local clinic. I had ER nurses at the hospital I worked at in the early ’90s tell me about girls coming in at 3am for a pregnancy test. The hospital does the exact same test that you can buy at the pharmacy for $10-$15 (then) but with all the extra costs of the ER. But folks do this because it doesn’t cost them a cent, so they don’t care how much it costs the taxpayers. And of course the government payment rates are below the cost to the hospital to provide the service. The whole system is massively inefficient.

    2. Of course the family is also beginning to think that there is some form of mild mental illness at work there too.

      If she’s in one of the more extreme Seattle social groups, I’m not sure if it’s a real mental illness, or just that they’re that far out– the metaphors that come to mind involve cultural distances on par with that between this group and someone who was born and bred in Iran.

      Not needfully mutually exclusive, but attacking is a means of removing discomfort.

      1. I suspect it’s a bit of both. When your friends call you in a hysterical, hyperventilating, crying panic about why you would let a “delusional” person post what is a not-that-rare opinion on abortion in a discussion of the topic on your facebook wall, you travel in some pretty strange, isolated circles.

        She also is (or was) a low level Democrat party apparatchik. But she’s been going through a fairly severe mid-life crisis for a few years now, getting more “shrill” and “bitter” (other family member’s terms, not mine), so you have to wonder.

        1. *headdesk* Yeah, that sounds like the “I’m not a liberal, I’m a moderate– because I don’t think Obama is on the far right” guys.

          I really wonder about some of these places– how they’d line up to a decent book on cults, that kind of thing.

        2. She also is (or was) a low level Democrat party apparatchik. But she’s been going through a fairly severe mid-life crisis

          I’ve been meeting a lot of Cook County refugees lately. There have been a LOT of folks moving out from Chicago in the last few years to get away from the coming financial apocalypse. They get out here, and then (most of ’em) start whining about “government services” they cannot get. When you talk to them you begin to notice that culturally, they are on (mostly) the conservative side, and politically, (mostly) slightly right of center, but they will vote and many are members of the democrat party, and vote that way because that’s the way mom and dad and granny and grampa voted, they way all their teachers voted and told them to vote.

          I’ve gotten more than a few to reconsider and think about what not only what do the politicians say, but what they do. In almost every case, they begin to notice a really big disconnect.

          There’s also the problem of the Catholic Church here in Illinoisy, with a socialist-bent hierarchy who will not call supposedly “good Catholic” politicians on their very public violations of Catholic dogma, but that is a whole ‘nuther topic I do not have time to go into here, other than to say we have not been to mass a whole lot lately. The few conservative priests are too spineless to challenge the leadership.

          1. My daddy voted Democrat and that’s good enough for me is a problem, though I don’t think her’s. My parents revere JFK, and I’ve almost managed to get them to admit that if he was a live today with the same politics he’s be to the right of some of the establishment Rs, but they still will not even think of voting R except for the rare local election when they’re voting for the person rather than the party.

            1. Pay close attention and you notice how much of the Democrats’ campaign strategy depends on spreading the meme that Republicans are poopy-heads racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-immigrant in spite of all lack of supporting evidence. It is only Democrats standing between America and theocratic subjugation by the White Evangelical Menace, clinging bitterly to their guns and their gawd.

              Surveys have proven that policies receiving better than 80% public support can drop precipitously when labeled as Republican or Conservative.

              Utter nonsense, but advertising (especially the unpaid ads run by the MSM and in 99 out of 100 hours of popular entertainment) tends to be effective, at least on the margins. The Democrat Party is running on fumes so far as policies go (cede more power to unelected, unresponsive bureaucrats is a message with limited shelf-life) so their only option is emotional appeals amounting to “Republicans are worse.”

              1. Oh yes — also, Democrats promise to reverse entropy, redistribute wealth without diminishing its creation and a free lunch that is more filling, less fattening and tastes great.

          2. There’s also the problem of the Catholic Church here in Illinoisy, with a socialist-bent hierarchy who will not call supposedly “good Catholic” politicians on their very public violations of Catholic dogma, but that is a whole ‘nuther topic I do not have time to go into here, other than to say we have not been to mass a whole lot lately.

            Things might get better– I’m pleasantly delighted at how much better the Seattle bishop’s office is than the Spokane one I grew up with. (I still visit my folks’ parish. It’s the same. So this is ACTUALLY BETTER.)

            It doesn’t pass on well.

            1. Father Michael Pfleger has done more to persuade me of the attractions of Protestantism than any Protestant leader. Most Protestant leaders tend to make me think well of the Catholic church.

            2. The RC church in Ireland was a major reason I became an Anglican. (Hypocrisy and really, really bad music.) Of course now the Anglicans and the Episcopals are just as bad. And while I’ve found an episcopal church whose community I love, I’m getting more and more disturbed by the hierarchy and I still miss the music. (I spent three years singing Tallis, Tomkins, Morley, Byrd, Bruckner, etc. as a (often the) cantoris alto at ChristChurch in Dublin. Most of the modern stuff isn’t fit to touch the paper those were printed on.)

        3. “She also is (or was) a low level Democrat party apparatchik.”

          In Seattle? Well by that standard, the behavior you describe is unbelievably mild.

    3. ” Who shows up on someone else’s facebook wall to engage with a third party (who they don’t know) and says to them “I don’t know you so I’m inclined to impugn your intelligence?””

      Somebody who isn’t smart enough to lie?

        1. But dear, you aren’t owner of that wall — it is a public accommodation provided by the sweat of many brows other than yours. Frankly my dear, you didn’t build that.

          Her wall, on the other hand, has been carefully tended and nurtured by her graceful hand, striving to provide a safe place for friends and the public to meditate; therefore any contrary thoughts must be ruthlessly expunged and their authors driven into the desert.

            1. sigh

              They don’t even belong in the file labeled, “Villains, for inspiration of” because putting them in a work would instantly get it labeled as wildly unrealistic.

  16. Last time I made a comment here y’all said I should stop lurking and join in, incoherent or not. Well here goes nothing.

    I’ve been on the receiving end of a small part of that a few times. It came about because my old twitter avatar was an upside down GOP elephant and the acronym DeRP(Dead Republican Party). A friend, that has since passed on, made that for me as a joke since I was always posting about the rubber backbones in congress. Someone on twitter saw that avatar and decided that I was a leftist commie pinko f.g that wanted to end the US of A and proceeded to inform me about everything he thought I believed and lived for. Shoot I got called a few things that I hadn’t heard since I quit working in corrections and got a real job. The funny part was that if he’d taken an even cursory look at my bio he’d have known that he was making a fool of himself and that we were by and large on the same side. A few of the people asked me about it, some unfollowed over it and apparently some followed me because of it (they must be bored to death by now). I don’t get involved in twitchings or rage mobs, I tweet news, politics, and guns. And news about guns and the politics of guns. That’s my preferred niche and other than that I don’t interact much. It was just a blip I really wasn’t expecting, but it ended with no real damage done.
    Fortunately I no longer have a career that can be damaged. Unfortunately I no longer have a career that can be damaged. Retirement sucks.

    1. I’m sorry you ran into one of the many idiots that don’t have a sense of humor, or the ability to think and ask before leaping. And I’ve never understood the point of drive-by hate. Do they really think that attacking someone who doesn’t know them will make that person see the error of their ways and repent? I’m ornery enough that total strangers attacking me tends to make me more intransigent on whatever the topic is, whether, politics, sad puppies, or whatever.

      1. “Drive-by hate” is a form of road rage: a build-up of pressure from frustrations that blows out at random innocent passers-by.

        It is particularly virulent among the Proglodytes because theirs is a politics of anger (constantly told they’re being discriminated against, denied fair treatment, cheated out of their just due and otherwise handed the nasty end of the stick) which depends on generating hatred toward some imagined other. Keep in mind that Obama was reelected in large part by making Romney unacceptable; it was not affirmation of Obama but rejection of Romney which was the primary Democrat theme.

        Because these people are threatened by the ever-changing rules of reality (well, the rules remain the same: everything changes) they clutch at “formulas” ever more tightly, like a superstitious baseball player on a hitting streak: do everything exactly the same way every day and success will follow. When their formulas begin to fail they flail about desperately, striking out at those variants telling them things like “just try writing well; brown-nosing editors and reviewers by pandering to their prejudices is no substitute for good writing” because deep in their hearts they know “I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star” is the truth.

        The problem with winning fixed fights is that deep down you know you’ve won nothing. And that scares you.

        1. Eh, “a build-up of pressure from frustrations” does them too much credit. May be that. May just be a love of cruelty for its own sake.

      1. I’m an undereducated overfed East Texan with a neck so red they use it for comparison work, and that was the first time that I had ever been called a communist. I’ve been called a f***ot (I’m straight) because I was with an uncle(rip) that was my favorite aunt, a n***er (I didn’t understand that one since I’m white), a cracker(of course), a reactionary, a coward(I got tired of fist fights a long time ago, ie I kept losing), a belligerent a##hole(by the cops), and lots of ,ahem, other things. But that was a first. And truth be told, that was a depressing thing to be called. Petty or not that one still bugs me.

          1. Always consider the source when evaluating such accusation.

            Frankly, i am charmed anybody these days still thinks that is a rude thing to call somebody. I share the sentiment but expect anybody I would address as such would be complimented by the appellation.

            1. Sometimes it seems that the anonymous name caller is most effective at causing me to want to… I don’t know. Hide, become invisible, disappear. I guess that’s a relic from my youth and where and when I grew up. Insecurity rears it’s ugly head way too easily for me. That’s what I like about the gun blogs and the associated gunnies, And it took years before I ever made a comment on those sites. I wrote plenty, but I always deleted them before I made a fool of myself.

              Dang it, this kind of thing is hard for me to express. I don’t know the right words, or how to use the ones I do know, in a way to not sound like I’m trying to whine. I shoulda stood in bed.

              1. You seem to be expressing yourself just fine.
                I think a lot of us could understand insecurity, at least at a young age. It’s the callous of bitterness or experience that distances most of us from that unique pain, but we don’t forget it.

        1. a n***er (I didn’t understand that one since I’m white)

          In some more traditional contexts, the word isn’t about skin– it’s about “class.” Think “white trash” but a bit nastier, and all one word.
          (Mom learned that from a rather old black guy who called one of my uncle’s friends that, IIRC.)

          1. Well then it was the most ironic use of the word possible then. She was holding a gas jug when I drove by, so I stopped to see if she wanted help. She called me that after I found out the jug was a decoy and she was selling what I didn’t want.
            That was the last time I stopped to help anyone that didn’t have a kid with them.

  17. Sarah,

    Not everyone believes the EW story. I came into Puppygate by reading the EW article, but – as I’m a former journalist – I did my own research. It swiftly became apparent (within one click) that Rabid and Sad Puppies were different entities, and there was a character assassination.

    I’m a casual SF reader and I’ve bought a Worldcon supporting member for the voting packet, to see what all the fuss is about. I genuinely thought the Hugos got voted on by tens of thousands of people, and didn’t believe there was non-literary SF&F getting published anymore. It’s been a revelation to me. I guess it’s rekindled my passion for the genre. Both as a reader and as a writer.

    I’m visiting blogs and looking for books to read. I’m currently reading Blood Rites by Jim Butcher…


    1. Sir or madam, if you email me at my two first initials at hotmail dot come, I will gladly mail you a copy of Darkship Thieves which is very much non-literary Science Fiction. Also, my urban fantasy Draw One In The Dark in its first edition (it was written when I had concussion, so I got to revise it for reissue) is permafree on Amazon.

      1. Maybe it’s because I used to read the Complete Works of Shakespeare for fun (in the Army… confused the Sergeant Major in one inspection to see a Private reading that), but of what I’ve read of yours so far my favorite is Ill Met By Moonlight. Now I just have to decide if I buy the next two books individuals or the trilogy all in one, since both options cost the same for the Kindle. 🙂

          1. Would the next level up from “macro-aggression” be “meta-aggression”?

            1. It is true that John Ringo has a special suit to protect him from Dragon Fire.

              However, it is an insult to Dragons to imply that SJWs are Dragons.

              For one thing, we’re more dangerous (as well as smarter) than SJWs. [Very Very Big Dragon Grin]

                1. They died out (with our help) before humans came down from the trees. Call it Evolution In Action. [Very Very Very Big Dragon Grin]

                2. Don’t mention them around our local dragon. Modern-days wyrms think all proper wyrms are anti-social, to protect the hoard better.

                  1. “Non Social” please. Not anti-social. Anti-social (among Dragons) refers to those who seriously annoy their neighbors (dragons and otherwise). Smaug got what he deserved.

                    As for our hoards, if asked nicely, we may be willing to share our hoards. Of course, some of us like to “show off” our hoards in hopes that other dragons may want to trade something in their hoards for something in our hoards.

        1. I don’t see it on Twitter. Might you be mixing it up with Facebook?

      1. and the rest of the Baen stable, John C. Wright, and a bunchaton of people that comment here – I have yet to read something from you people that I haven’t enjoyed!

        Welcome to the party, Vee!

    2. I recommend a quick google search of the words “Baen Free Library” – and if you kindle, they’re all available on Amazon for free as well, but the Baen free library will give you a very big reading list of awesome books.

      The catch? Why, most of them are the first in an excellent series, and only the first one’s free…

      Also, if you head over to Mad Genius Club, the posters there (which include Sarah) have some great books available. I say that not just as the wife of one of the authors, and not just as friends of quite a few of them, but as a reader who enjoys their work.

      1. Heck, if you look here on Saturdays, we have a long standing tradition of promo posts for the people you see commenting here, now.

  18. The Left are totalitarians, they MUST infiltrate and corrupt every part of society / culture / humanity in order to validate their ideology. Everyone must be SAVED, no matter the cost! All must assent to and participate in the glorious world of Next Tuesday, and don’t you dare notice the legacy of terror, famine, mass murder and endless failure. No scrap of virtue, honor, goodness, truth, beauty or love can be allowed to stand as testimony against them.

  19. I have ancestors who were driven from their homes by mob violence which developed in a climate of unreasoning hatred. Some of us have seen this before, at least within historical memory. Mobocracy is the bane of all civilization, and I do not expect it to be long before it crosses over from the virtual to the physical.

      1. Ayup — mob violence which developed in a climate of unreasoning hatred has driven my ancestors out of all of the best (and all of the worst) neighborhoods in the world and I’m darn proud of it. Don’t want to live amongst such folks no how.

    1. In some ways, it’s already begun.

      Only the special-snowflake SJWs don’t get their own hands dirty with the vandalism and mob violence. Oh, no! They just play a little prank. If someone gets hurt, why that’s just so unexpected!

      It’s called SWATting.

  20. Okay, dang it, Sarah, you made me start thinking again. I’m guessing it started when the last Amazon review (before the one I just put up) for “Witchfinder” said he didn’t like gays in his fantasy, and that there were no sex scenes. So I don’t really know what that means, but it got me thinking about diversity in sci-fi, and so that’s what I wrote the review thinking about.

    1. Do I have this right: He’s complaining about gays being in the story, and there are no sex scenes? Is he asking for gay sex scenes? And, did you ask him if that’s what he meant? OK, now I’m tired of question marks.

    2. If it’s the very long one that mentions the Hugos– check the star rating. He liked it, and was mostly just pissed about the whole agenda junk and got kinda ranty.

      I don’t much care for homosexual characters in my reading, either, for moral reasons; Sarah’s characters are characters that happen to be homosexual, though, which is quite unusual.

      Usually there’s just a lot of focus on, ahem, exchange of bodily fluids. To the point that if there’s mention that a character is gay, you’re almost assured several yaoi scenes. (If I wanted that, I could get it for free in the slash archives.)

    3. Hm, nevermind, that was yours– odd, it’s the only one on the “recent” page that mentions anything about gay or homosexual.


      1. Athena T. Cat is wondering when I’m going to stop laughing and start feeding her. Great photo and caption. 😀

  21. I guess I’m fortunate, the vast majority of my family live to the right, though a couple are rabidly to the right. This is noteworthy because I am extremely conservative, and I can sometimes find their views a little uncomfortable.
    (Like the brother who was a screaming liberal as a teenager, but has since become a bit of a bigot in his middle years. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering how bigoted the left “secretly” are.)
    It’s coworkers that have bought into the narrative that are my problem, and they can’t unfriend me.

  22. *sigh* Just ran across a link to a post by David Gerrold on my feed, with the approving comment “I can’t wait to gloat when Brad and Larry’s lives turn to shit.”

    Well, good for you. That must make you such a good person.

    Note that I have been dropped by a few people, mainly because I refuse to let opprobrious epithets pass unmentioned. I lost one (with whom I’d had productive discussions in the past) because of “Teabagger” and got dropped by a young male relative when I pointed out that the negative phrase “that’s so gay,” was unacceptable. Whatever. The things you post stay there forever; I was trying to do you a favor.

    1. David Gerrold is another one who doesn’t get it even when they spit in his eye. I was there the day he stood up in the hearings for the last CA gerrymandering. I stood up and agreed with him, as did most everybody of every race, creed, color, and credit rating… but unlike David, I was not surprised when the commission of Northern California Democrats blew the rest of California off to protect some safe Democratic seats in Los Angeles and the surround communities.

      1. A commenter to his post. Mr. Gerrold was posting about how something he’d long dreamed of had turned to ashes. (Further comments on *that* subject deleted from my reply. I’m not getting into it.)

    1. From what I understand, Annie’s been catching hell for a while now, despite her standing on the other side of the fence politically. It’s GOT to be hard when your normal allies all turn against you and the people you usually rail against are the only ones standing with you.

      1. What a shame.

        I just can’t deal with how rude and awful some people seem perfectly happy to be. Gleeful to be, even.

        And as most conservatives know by now, once someone has deemed you guilty of badthought there is literally no defense possible. The only way to deal with that is to say to hell with those folks, stop apologizing, don’t play their game.

          1. I’m a little disappointed with his decision. I’m also intrigued by all the new names that popped up in his comment section congratulating him and saying that they will buy his books because of his decision. (FWIW I’ve followed his blog since not long after it started.)

            1. I’m more disappointed in the people who doubtless shamed him into this, and who are celebrating right now.

          2. A curious stance. “I cannot in good conscience accept an award nomination that I feel I may not have earned solely with the quality of the nominated work. … I want to be nominated for awards because of the work, not because of the “right” or “wrong” politics.

            Presumably he was fine with the way the system previously worked: works only getting nominated because they had garnered the approval of the “right” people. Or perhaps he was in denial even deeper than GRRM’s?

            His argument is a tacit endorsement of the SP rationale, even if Kloos is unable to recognize that.

                1. Um…I’m talking about Marko who didn’t like it. He was apparently fine with Sad Puppies, but not Rabid Puppies because HE wants it to be story over politics too.

                2. I’m sorry Marko made that choice – it’s his to make, but given the load of sh*t he and other’s have received for the wrong people liking them (and keep in mind the lies they’ve said of Sarah, Brad, Larry, etc…) – I understand the need to back out.

                  I’d say that this is more a case of them being unable to recognize the TYPE of politics.

                  VD’s helping organize people. That is de facto politics. Yay…

                  But political choices of authors? His slate had 90% or so of the Sad slate, and a few additions. Maybe skewed more conservative, but not by terribly much. The slate he proposed was still more about getting good writing on, even of people he disagreed with.

                  What seems to have pissed them off are the promises – VD doesn’t threaten in my experience – to treat this in the same manner as the prisoner dilemma. Play honest. Or burn us. Do the latter, and he will make sure there are consequences.

                  That crowd doesn’t seem to think in terms of violence as a tool, or civilized people using force to punish uncivilized behavior. Same idiots who cooked up zero tolerance fighting/bullying rules at schools that have, if anything, made things worse.

                  Me? I agree with this crowd more. Worse – the SJW crowd is going to give us full measure of exactly where they stand.

                  And if it turns out they don’t want to accept us in our club, and don’t pull back from the efforts to destroy our reputations and careers? If they nuke the hugo’s because they can’t stand the wrong crowd making suggestions?

                  Well – there must be consequences, and a threat must be credible. Never point a weapon, metaphorical, moral, or otherwise, you don’t intend to pull the trigger.

              1. I think Vox DID create his list, by listing those works he liked best, frankly so do the SJWers. Both tend to like works that support their own politics and beliefs. Nothing wrong with that, the Hugos is a popularity contest after all.

      2. Hard, but inevitable.

        The Machine must run. The first victims are NEVER those who opposed building it in the first place – they’re already gone, or else the Machine would never have been built. No, the first into the hopper are the last to have come around. And when the Machine runs out of Approved Victims, it consumes its own gears.

        In this case, though, there’s an extra reason for the SJW’s to turn their anger on Ms. Bellet, beyond the usual “prove I’m purer than my neighbor” self-preservation – it’s that her presence on the Sad Puppies slate proves that the SJW’s have been lying about the Hugos and the Puppies from Day One. That the Puppies nominated her and others like her, regardless of politics or demographics, proves the SJW’s are in the wrong and they can’t stand it. It’s too embarassing.

      3. There is no crime on the Left greater than breaking party discipline; while the Right may criticize and mock your opinions your right to express them is staunchly defended. I’ve been following politics reasonably closely for over three decades and cannot recall anybody on this side ever being “Juan Williamsed” while it seems a regular occurrence on the Left.

        One of the reasons Christopher Hitchens was so beloved on the Right was his refusal to abide party discipline.

        1. In her own blog post, she said she’s sick of being a ball in someone else’s game or something. Mostly, I think she’s just tired of this whole thing.

          Which will be turned into “Look at what you Sad Puppies did”, and it’s BS.

          My blog post on the topic.


    2. Annie Bellet seems to be a victim of “friendly fire”, whose crime is that Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies liked her work. Marko Kloos seems to be afraid that people recommended his work only because the Rabid Puppies liked it and were voting politically, not because the majority of fans had read it and liked it.
      It’s a tough position for an author to be in, as one Hugo winner has commented, and I must sadly agree, but the feminist/gay/”liberal” wing of Worldcon is bent on convincing the world that anything liked by such rabid xxx-ists as they paint Vox to be cannot possibly be enjoyed on its own merits.
      That sounds at least as political as they accuse the Puppies of being, not to mention nastier and decidedly nonliterary, but then I’m in the wrong tribe anyway and have been since I was about twelve and started paying attention to such things.

    3. I am listening and wondering why they would even think of withdrawing. I understand Larry’s reasoning after I went and read his post; however, I didn’t agree with him. But then I am of warrior stock and “cold dead hands” is a phrase I use a lot. 😉 And so, someone yells at them… and they have become outsiders WAAAA. Some of us don’t know what it feels like to be in the “clique.”

      1. Maybe they anticipated dire things happening to them or felt that they couldn’t look themselves in the mirror if they didn’t withdraw.

      2. I’m trying to figure out why they even CAN withdraw. I can see them refusing to accept the award if they win, but the Hugos is a fan voted popularity contest, and they have already entered by publishing their work. It is already out there in the public, just because somebody they don’t agree with likes their work, or somebody likes their work for a different reason than they think people should like their work, it doesn’t matter. They are in effect saying, no you can’t like my work unless I say you can. Too bad, you already published it and put it up for sale, if somebody nominated it for thehttp://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/worst Worst Books List* you wouldn’t have the option of declining the nomination, so why should you have the option of declining it when someone nominates you for the best books list?

        *Not necessarily a bad thing, I notice that Twilight manages it make either first or second place in nineteen out of twenty-five categories. So being the worst book is apparently fairly good for your bank account.

  23. “The other side, on the other hand, seems bound and determined to set fire to the world to defend their right to keep rigging the Hugo. They seem to want to implicate us in all sorts of crimes, explicit and implicit, of association and of declaration, for the sake of making sure they keep control over science fiction.

    Science fiction, people. The backwater of the genres as far as sales.”

    I’ve read, in re: battles in academia, that the biggest battles and highest anger involves the most insignificant things. Kinda like, well, Sad Puppies and sf/f. “Purer than thou”, since those folks seem not big on “holy”.

    1. Evil Rob phrases it thusly: “The smaller the teapot, the bigger the tempest.”

  24. My online name is leaperman. As in Baen’s bar. I am assuming leaper or leaperman is not me you are talking about. Could you talk more about this?

    1. Yo! Leaperman! Johnny still hammerin’ you with the PT? I’m pretty certain leaper was used in the context of the person that leapt off the cliff of reasonableness. Besides, I doubt anybody would mistake you for a she…

      1. No lately bruce. He has a new job…and a new little girl to take care of. he’s not in that bar too often now…which is a shame. I like his friday briefs.

  25. What I find amazing and disheartening is to find out how intolerant some progressives can be toward their Others. Like drag queens who despise drag kings, and radical feminists who openly hate the transgendered. It’s as if they have no other agenda than to obtain power and use it to keep out people who are not like them.

    1. You wrote:
      “It’s as if they have no other agenda than to obtain power and use it to keep out people who are not like them.”

      Got it in one!

  26. The one thing I have going for me is that my kids (4 of them) are always telling me they can’t believe how ignorant the people they deal with are. They grew up in a house where we watched the news and talked about it all the time. I forced them to know history!

    I started out very liberal (democrat) and over time have become more and more conservative. I knew I made a mistake voting for Jimmy Carter and even through he was only a dumb actor, I voted for Regan.

    My life would never be the same. The more I learned about communism, the more I moved away. I think Maggie’s quote that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money was what turned me radical.

    1. As the old saw (often attrib. Churchill) goes, “If you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.”

  27. Sarah, due to your metaphor of the grand jete, today, for the first time ever, I spat my beverage at the monitor …

    … and I can’t get the image out of my head … oh my …

    The only thing I would add is that this is that it is so very very 14-years-old to drop a friend and be loud and floucing in telling everyone how AWFUL the (former) friend (ewwww) was and how this confirms one’s own wonderfulness. There is a certain blogger of politics crossing with Catholicism who has said America is being run by 14-year-olds … well, it’s not just the government, it’s this teacup of fury also … when did so many people stop growing up?

  28. I had the same thing happen to me, Sarah, after I defended my friend Jason from the accusations that he was somehow a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot. I was immediately unfriended and told by a *very* long-term friend that we were no longer friends.

    I’m sorry this is going on. But as I said on my own blog, I refuse to cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions. (And I’m not even a “Sad Puppy.” I just think the Sad Puppies should be left alone and that they’re not doing anything objectionable. I know full well that Vox Day’s “Rabid Puppies” is a wholly different animal from the SPs, even if VD did nominate many of the same people for whatever purposes of his own.)

      1. I agree with you.

        What gets me about all of this, Sarah, is that these are other writers and editors who are getting this upset. They aren’t paying *any* attention to context here. And context *always* matters. I am tempted to send them a copy of “Situations Matter” (a very good non-fic book I reviewed at SBR a few years ago), just to get them to understand that what they’re doing is taking part in mob behavior — something they _say_ they abhor!

        1. Yep. This is where I’m getting heart broken. One of my favorite authors took the Daily Kos for an unbiased source and decided it was a good time to punch down.

          1. We knew it was bad – and ARE still considered fools for thinking there’s a problem, by people who cannot see the calls for down voting, changing the rules, the libel, etc. as symptoms that there even IS a problem of intolerance and bigotry opposite their suppositions.

            And it apparently runs deeper than even we thought.

            1. Any rules change which could actually succeed in excluding the Puppies (of either stripe) would pretty much reduce the Hugos to a minor club award — and I think most of the Worldcon organizers realize this. They don’t want to admit to themselves what their losing control so quickly implies about their relative (lack of) importance to the future of science fiction, they can’t see any good way out of it for them, so they’re expressing rage.

              1. Many people calling for vote changes are also aware of it. It can be comic reading the pussy-footing around of how to exclude people without suffering the stigma of being exclusionary.

              2. I’m not sure the Worldcon organizers are against Sad Puppies; it seems more like the ones going ballistic are the people who thought they had successfully managed to hack the award.

                I suspect the Worldcon organizers are wondering WTF happened and how do they get their nuts out of the vise. It seems likely they would be delighted for the Hugo to regain some of its prior status and they are probably exalted over the jump in subscriptions even while fearing it won’t last.

                1. That’s a very interesting point. If they don’t change the rules so as to exclude the Puppies, then the jump in subscriptions might actually last, because what will happen is that the Hugos will actually regain their former status, with Hugos now going to better work than before. Many of those buying the right to vote might also decide to attend, as well.

          2. Yes. I saw that, too. It was sad, and I don’t understand how even gifted authors who usually do understand context aren’t seeing it here. There are at least two sides to every story, and for some reason, that isn’t being discussed. Even by gifted authors, who in theory should know better.

            What you have to hope, Sarah, is that eventually these folks will wake up and realize what they’ve been doing. It’s kind of like being out at a stadium during a football game or something; many get caught up in the crowd, and do things like cheer, “You stink!” (or much worse than that), while in that crowd. Then they go home and think to themselves if they’re honest, “Why did I do that?”

            A less nice and more violent version of this happened in Los Angeles a few years ago at a Dodgers-Giants baseball game. Dodger fans nearly beat a Giants fan to death; that Giants fan had substantial damage, and will be disabled the rest of his life. And I’m betting that at least one of the two-three people who beat this Giants fan up (for the temerity of being a Giants fan at a Dodgers home game) probably is saying to himself today, “What was I _thinking_?”

  29. After reading some of the comments at Larry’s & Marko’s from people on “our side” regarding Marko’s withdraw, I had a belief confirmed-
    Mindless, stupid conformity is bipartisan.

  30. Mindless, or rather heartless, and stupid yes. Conformity, not so much. Larry asked people to be kind.

    1. There’s a strange, Stalinist-turning-on-Trotskyites vibe I’m getting from the comments against Marko. I am getting really really annoyed at seeing Wrongfan Wrongthink post from our side.

      1. C.S. Lewis pegged it well in asserting that the Devil don’t care whether we are Patriots or Pacifists:

        I had not forgotten my promise to consider whether we should make the patient an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist. All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged. Not always, of course, but at this period. Some ages are lukewarm and complacent, and then it is our business to soothe them yet faster asleep. Other ages, of which the present is one, are unbalanced and prone to faction, and it is our business to inflame them. Any small coterie, bound together by some interest which other men dislike or ignore, tends to develop inside itself a hothouse mutual admiration, and towards the outer world, a great deal of pride and hatred which is entertained without shame because the “Cause” is its sponsor and it is thought to be impersonal.

        Either way, we are damned.

  31. I’ll just point out that I never payed much attention to Vox, until they threw a screaming tantrum over him being nominated Last year. Their screaming fits over him, not what he wrote, caused me to a) take a look at what he actually says, since what they say he says tends to not make sense, and b) actually try the story that was nominated, since he did put it up for free after being nominated.

    I found that what he actually says, tends to make sense, and he reminds me particularly of younger self, who would intentionally word something as provocatively as possible. And that the only thing the Hugo should be judged on, the story, was very different than I expected, but good enough I ended up buying the rest of the fiction he has written.

    Now I’m still not a regular reader of his blog or anything, but from the occasions I have read him there and other places, they are welcome to throw me in with him. We can spend some quality time arguing over minor differences in opinion, since we both like to argue, but on the whole I find that I mainly agree with what I have read of him.

    1. Heh – lotta people I’d never been aware of until they got theirselves declared thought criminals by all the right people. By their enemies shall ye know them.

      As John Wright has noted, every one-star review has sold a half dozen of his books.

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