Tribes and Clans

I am now reading An Air of Treason, the last of PF Chisolm’s Robert Carey mysteries.  Took a break in the middle to re-read Black Tide Rising.  (Bad idea btw.  As I’m still having auto-immune from hell and keep dreaming I’m a zombie.  Anyway…)

The Chisolm mysteries are interesting from a writer pov.  As she’s traditional, I wonder where the decision to take the characters to London and get them involved in the court came from.  Since it happened on book four it has that whiff of “we have to make this series ‘big’ by having important people appear.”  I could never understand this idea on the part of agents and editors, and I could never dissuade them from the stupid notion that “having important historical characters appear sells books.”  Particularly when the important characters are the center of the plot.  I kept telling them “but we know how it ends.  They weren’t killed.”

Anyway, I found mystery 4 and 5 set in London less enjoyable, partly because I have my own vision of Elizabethan England.  And while hers makes a certain sense with the remaining history and bits, her “sense” of it was different.  It feels more Marlowe than Shakespeare, as there are no clean people, not even Shakespeare.

This sort of thing depresses me, so even though I liked the main characters those two books left a bad taste.

The sixth book leaves the confines of London, though it’s still not back to Scotland.  I hope the next one will be, as I like those much better partly because it’s like the old west crossed with Elizabethan times.

Anyway, I came upon a chapter in which Carey’s Scottish lieutenant has been set upon by bandits on a lonely road, robbed and beaten within an inch of his life, and he’s thinking if he were in Scotland, he’d call the surnames (having a surname marked you as better than a peasant) related to him and burn out the bastages, and kill them onto the 7th cousins.

I was thinking about that, and the tribal nature of humanity came into sharp relief as something useful in building civilization.

Yeah, it’s barbarous to go and kill people related only vaguely to those who hurt you.  No, it is in no way “fair” or “just.”  You can see though how it would have helped build civilization — or perhaps we should call it “the self taming” of man — when any type of rule of law was at best weak and uninterested in “justice.”

Assume humans put out more violent (we’d call it psychopathic) people in the past.  We know psychopaths tend to be charming and therefore more likely to leave descendants.  So, imagine that you had a few of those in your tribe or clan.  Unless you were the strongest in the area (and even then, as the others could gang together and still beat you) you had a good incentive to keep the crazier people connected to you under control, lest death be visited upon you.

I have no proof of this, of course, but there seems to be proof, or at least indications, that we’re much “tamer” than people even four hundred years ago, and I could totally see this being one of the ways it came to happen.

On the other hand, we’re still tribal.  Which got me to thinking.  A lot of the fights we are involved in on the net are tribal.  And metaphorically speaking, one side involves itself in a lot more burning of towers while one side — ours — seems to want to fight by the Marquess de Queensbury rules and be strictly fair and honest.

Again, part of that is because we value fairness, honesty and the rule of law.  All understandable.  However, not only does it put us at a disadvantage, but it also might be unfair to our opponents.  By not hitting them on the nose with the rolled up newspaper when they — metaphorically speaking — mess the carpet, we’re training them on the idea that they’re so righteous that even their crazier members should be lauded, not restrained.

This leads to what someone has called “peak crazy”, as in, people like cabbage head, who can “talk to plants” and thinks all piv is rape are taken seriously and given university posts.  Or worse, government posts.  (Shall we count the members of the current administration wearing Che t-shirts?  In public?)

Worse than that, though, it allows all the “markers of respectability” to be concentrated on the other side.  What I mean is uninformed observers assume the side that isn’t being CALLED crazy and maligned in bizarre ways in public must be above reproach.  And this means when journalists, etc, need a quote they go to those people.

Now where they to uniformly report on the people they talk to this would be no problem.  I doubt cabbage head can hold it together and not sound like a psychiatric case for a whole interview.  However, journalists then discard the obvious nuts (a human think “ooookay, so, not airing that one.  She thinks women could ‘evolve’ a way to reproduce without men.  right.”)  So the ones they keep are the ones that while joining the crazy lynch mobs can appear reasonable for the purpose of being “experts” on air for twenty minutes.

Thus are info wars lost.  And this is why as much as I hate tribalism and clan warfare, we might want to consider burning a few towers now and then.  Metaphorically speaking.  Fairly, because we’re us, after all.  But you know, most of these people don’t have skeletons in the closet.  They have skeletons dancing in red dresses in the living room. Pointing out these skeletons and the peak crazy statements is just fair.  And it’s better for them.  We can’t complain they’re totally out of touch with reality when we make no effort to rein them in.

Clan warfare has its uses.  And hey, at least we don’t need to kill babies up to the seventh generation.  Just do a bit of research and engage in a cleaner and saner version of the mudslinging they do.

Because as long as we let them cover themselves in the mantle of respectability, that’s what interested observers see.  And it’s not good for anyone in any field of human endeavor.

174 responses to “Tribes and Clans

  1. Pointing out these skeletons and the peak crazy statements is just fair.

    and

    Just do a bit of research and engage in a cleaner and saner version of the mudslinging they do.

    Rebut with facts. I am not sure that using facts is actually mudslinging. Although I am sure that when facts are firmly and clearly presented to some parties they will call it mudslinging…and loudly denounce it.

    • Facts and a little sizzle. Remember, we’re fighting (metaphorically) against a confederation of tribes for whom teh Feeeeelzzz are more important than mere data and truth. As much as I prefer dispassionate discussion of data points (real data, not “pulled out of magic carpet bag” data), there is a point where we do have to scream louder, laugh harder, and produce wittier cat-caption memes.

      • I have a number of acquaintances — it’s getting harder to call some of them friends — whom I believe to be… sincerely trying to be good people but working from extremely bad premises.

        Sometimes I think I should acknowledge that, and you catch more flies with honey, etc. Other times I wonder if they honestly think it’s all insincere rhetoric because they wouldn’t rub shoulders civilly with people they thought were supporting horrible things even out of error, and it would be more effective communication to just rip into them….

    • Facts are tools of the oppressor class imperialists, used selectively to browbeat and discredit opponents. In the new socialist order all will have their own facts and be able to defend themselves against the capitalist running dogs who presume to exercise private ownership of facts.

      One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter, after all.

      Except for white people (especially for white male people), in which case collective guilt is presumed as all have benefited from privilege. When a Black man resists arrest it is not African-American culture of lawlessness (especially when their gangs riot in protest, looting shops and businesses of African-American entrepreneurs) it is resistance to an oppressive and racist system; when a white man shoots a collective of people of color it is not an individual act of derangement, it is an expression of the dominant culture’s hatred for non-racially conforming sub-cultures.

      Sheesh. How do they keep these rankings straight?

      • It takes work. Somewhere I used to have a print-out of Dr. Sanity’s Hierarchy of Victimhood. IIRC white gay men are the lowest ranked of the victim groups, with points being awarded for skin color, sexuality, place of origin, and group history of oppression. But the list is probably out-of-date, and certain groups are automatically given maximal victim points simply because it cheeses off “the Euro-patriarchy.”

        • I think the current version may resemble a random encounter table more than an actual coherent list.

          • Probably one of those stereotypical Chinese restaurant menus: two from Column A, One From Column B. Or perhaps a flow chart with a few randomizers thrown in. I sense a market opportunity for the person who can develop this as one of those handy, laminated sheets such as Kinko’s sells for Physics formulae.

            • Professor Badness

              Nah, it would have be an app so it could update regularly. Anything hardcopy would be out of date in a matter of hours.

          • Roll a D20 to check for Wandering SJWs

            • Randy Wilde

              Hmmm… didn’t an early printing of one of the AD&D rulebooks include a “% liar” chance? I’m guessing it would be pretty high for these…

            • Whatever you do… don’t nat 1… Only Wendell can survive that nat 1.

      • They don’t. They rearrange them to suit the occasion.

      • RES, they have a list. A very looooooooooooooong list, with gradations, valuations, and interpolations, for Woe Betide Them for getting it wrong.

      • How do they keep things straight? Simple answer: The white male is always wrong, even when he’s right. Everything else flows from that.

        • Randy Wilde

          C’mon, RES, you’re being overly simplistic.

          The heterosexual white conservative/ libertarian Christian/ Mormon male is always wrong. White males who do not check all those boxes (or have the boxes checked for them) may occasionally be right.

          • Randy Wilde

            (meh, meant Kirk, not RES, of course. but it goes to show… as a heterosexual white conservative/ libertarian Christian male I had to get SOMETHING wrong)

      • Facts are tools of the oppressor class imperialists, used selectively to browbeat and discredit opponents. In the new socialist order all will have their own facts and be able to defend themselves against the capitalist running dogs who presume to exercise private ownership of facts.

        Stuff and nonsense do not deserve to be taken seriously and should be dismissed for just what they are, fantasies.

      • Patrick Chester

        Sheesh. How do they keep these rankings straight?

        Didn’t Orwell call it double-think? Though I’m thinking triple- quadruple- and quintuple- should be thrown in.

    • Telling the truth to harm someone can be wrong. Example, the habit on the left of exposing those who are homosexually inclined and conservative, but don’t support the “gay agenda.” It’s…well, none of their damn business, they’re just using it as a way to hurt someone.

      Thing is, we need to remember that harm to the person who did wrong doesn’t outweigh the harm to those who are being wronged by not knowing it.

      • I don’t advocate ‘exposing people’ who wish to be private. (But, as you have observed, right or wrong, there are people in this world just don’t give others who are in the public eye private lives.)

        I suggest that the way to rebut nonsense is to calmly and clearly respond with truth. One truth is that there are things, so long as they are kept private, that are nobody else’s business.

        It might be better if so many tribes were not inclined to eat their own…

        • Maybe use the rule of thumb of putting ourselves in all places involved and deciding from there?

          It’s HARD to thing of a rule that works in all cases– that’s why the “don’t be rude” version is so common, and why those who expose information that isn’t theirs for their own advantage don’t bother.

          • Hey, they are the ones who think there should be hard and fast rules that govern each and every encounter.

            The Golden Rule seems good to me — but not the interpretation that advises, ‘do unto others before they do unto you’, rather the one that encourages, ‘grant others the same and more grace that you hope and dream others might grant to you.’

  2. We have little need to kill their children _anyway_. They already do that for us. We just need to keep them from stealing away the minds of the children of others, and they’ll shrink into irrelevance in a generation.

    • Which is exactly why they have targeted education and the popular media. They must proselytize in order to grow their ranks, so that is where they expend the bulk of their efforts.

  3. Because of the nature of dependence upon one’s clan/tribe it is easier for the clan/tribe to identify and restrain their crazies. Outsiders have difficulty knowing which clan/tribe members are most likely to engage in “let’s you ‘n’ him fight” behaviour.

    Put into another context, almost all teenage groups have their bad influences, their members adept at stoking grievances and most likely to come up with / push the sorts of ideas guaranteed to get you in trouble. Often these are the ringleaders but this is not always the case; sometimes they are just the ones most likely to start trouble that the others will have to finish.

    Left unrestrained, such persons will invariably push the boundaries of what outsiders are willing/able to tolerate, compelling the group to impose appropriate behaviour upon its membership or suffer collective guilt. It might be noted that this is the premise for rules of warfare: the concept that officers and commanders exercise control over and are responsible for the actions of subordinates.

  4. c4c

  5. People keep telling me, when I point out how very foolish it is to hold to the Marquis of Queensbury rules when in a knife fight in an alley that “we have to be better than them.”

    Well, there’s a whole world of range between “as bad as they are” and the kind of patty-cake playing that so many seem wedded to. You can still fight aggressively and effectively while being “better than them.” If nothing else the simple fact that you are responding to their attacks is a point of moral superiority.

    “The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” In like vein, evil is aided by mealy-mouthed weak responses that don’t effectively counter it.

    Be better than them? Of course. But remember that losing because of a weak response is not better. It’s worse.

    • And I forgot the “notify” checkbox again.

    • “Be better than them”?

      Like, by not starting “a knife fight in an alley”?

      We have proven we are better than them … by finishing those fights, as quickly and efficiently as possible and them picking our opponents up, dusting them off, providing medical help is necessary and binding them to us as allies to be defended — rather than looting their corpses then going to their homes to rape their wives and daughters and then selling their boys into slavery.

      LOOK at what ISIS is doing and consider how low we can go while still being better than they are. Being better is not simply about how you fight, it is also about why and what you do afterward.

      • I would modify that with “picking our surviving opponents up” Here in flyover country “they just needed killing” still has a certain logic to it. Unlike both coasts and der Leader and his ilk who seem bound and determined to out french the French.

      • Like, by not starting “a knife fight in an alley”?

        Well, even if we are hankering for a fight we really have no need to start one. Seems that they are picking plenty on their own account to keep us plenty occupied for quiet some time.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        I’ve heard it said that the best way to win a knife fight is not to get into one. That said, you get into one, you’d best know how to win it the second best way.

        • You win a knife fight by taking a gun to it and shooting immediately. Keep shooting until he stops moving.

          • As an aside: I imagine countering hollywood here is likely one of the hardest things that firearms trainers have on their plate.

            Stopping to have a dialog (or to stand there and listen to a monolog) when one is in valid fear of imminent bodily harm is something that TV and movies love, and is one of the main causes for me of television-induced-tourettes – mostly when our hero stops, gun drawn, to exchange some lines, triggering an involuntary “shoot him in the face!” This of course should be “…in center of mass until the threat goes away” but hey, it’s involuntary.

            • that’s a case of ‘dunno ask Larry’- aka the ‘subject matter expert’ discussion under beta readers.

              • snelson134

                Or, you can consult a real expert….

              • Back when Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books were more action/adventure than S&M romance, she credited Massad Ayoob for helping with gun stuff.

            • The idea that you can draw, fire, and SURVIVE WITHOUT A MARK ON YOU when someone is ten feet away and already has the knife out, and is charging…. oy.

              • You better be fast, a good shot, and packing a gun with some punch, or your assailant better be slower than molasses in January.

                It is amazing how many people never do the computations ahead of time. I’ve stared down a gun barrel at that range and told the person behind it that they better kill me with the first shot, because if I got my hands on them, they’d be dead before I let go. Looking back the look on their face, as they realized that if they didn’t stop me instantly with that first shot, they wouldn’t have time for a second before I got within reach of them, and that I was dead serious; was kind of humorous. I was so mad at the time though, that I not only couldn’t see the humor in it, but I didn’t really care what their decision was.

              • With a couple of years practice you can get down to one second, give or take.
                Without a mark? Seems like everything leaves a mark these days.
                ;o{

              • Which brings to mind:

                James Coburn demonstrates the fine art of arguing with a fool. Rebut politely but firmly (the three minutes of the movie before we join this clip.). Avoid bloodletting if at all possible. If forced, to do so with dispatch.

                On the other hand, if feeling a bit catish, you can always toy with the target a while…

            • snelson134

              Headshot shouldn’t be a problem; look at all the aiming time you’re getting.

            • Hey, the face is a mass. massist!

    • “The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” In like vein, evil is aided by mealy-mouthed weak responses that don’t effectively counter it.

      I would think that part of being better is displaying better behavior, having stronger arguments and not letting them ‘get to us.’ (Isn’t allowing ourselves to be ‘shamed’ into being mealy mouthed in the name of their vision of politeness is letting them get to us?)

      Does this allow up to be at times sharp? Sure! How about witty? Oh, definitely! But anyone who has encountered a southern grand dame on the warpath knows that you can be terribly proper while being cutting — in fact it helps.

      But always remember, sometimes the only appropriate answer to the manure being spread is a horse laugh or raspberries.

      • (I am having growing doubts that I should be allowed to self edit today….)

      • Isn’t allowing ourselves to be ‘shamed’ into being mealy mouthed in the name of their vision of politeness is letting them get to us?

        YES!

        Mustn’t let them manipulate us into applying high manners when they apply none. Basic decency, yes– but not getting the bread without helping Henny Penny plant, weed, harvest and grind the grain.

    • First and foremost one must win.
      On the field of battle, Chivalry is owed only to the chivalrous.

    • In a fight for cultural survival, the only acceptable goal is victory. The only acceptable strategies towards reaching that goal are those that have a high percentage chance of success. There are three targets in this sort of conflict – the opponent, who wishes to destroy you. The undecided middle (most of the people), who is watching, and tends to believe what it is first told, facts coming out later notwithstanding. The third target is those nominally on your side, who are working against you, or at cross-purposes. (They may be fifth columnists, or they may be clueless, or any of several other shades of difference.) This category unfortunately tends to attract the most attention and vehemence, as nobody likes a perceived traitor. They may be exposed as traitors, educated to better enlightenment (for the friendly but clueless), enjoined as allies, or tolerated as rivals working towards a common goal.

      When working against the opponent, the first principle is to remember that the middle is always watching, and always believes the first impression. Thus, you must control the ‘optics’ of the engagement. Massive retaliation is quite effective at intimidating the enemy, but if they successfully portray themselves as the oppressed underdog to the onlookers, you may have won the engagement but lost the battle. Thus, your battles must always be against an easily identified and labeled aggressor.

      This is our opponents true strength. Having controlled the press and the educational establishment for nearly a century, they have preset the optics of any engagement so that we are automatically assumed to be the evil aggressor. This works to make us play defense, as any offense is perceived to be bullying a helpless opponent, rather than engaging a mortal enemy. Until we can change the general perceptions, this will almost always be the case. And very few wars are won by playing nothing but defense.

      So, we must logically play a strong defense, protecting what little is left to us, while simultaneously engaging in a consistent, long-term effort to change the culture back so that the general population switches to thinking of us as the good guys (helpless oppressed, if you will), and our opponents automatically assumed to be the evil aggressors in any given engagement.

      It’s not going to be quick, and will take at least two generations. The only way it could possibly go any faster than that is if the cultural cold war goes hot. In that case, it will all be over in a decade or two, but even if we prevail, much will be lost. And even in this case, the optics are still everything in engaging the massive middle. (See the recent news reports of a white killing multiple blacks, and compare/contrast to the almost total lack of news about the cases of blacks killing multiple whites. It’s all about the optics.) Always remember this: the US won on the battlefields in Vietnam, but lost on the 6:00 news.

      • Agreed – Optic Matter.

        As is so often suggested around here, compare and contrast MSM coverage of the Occupy Wall Street Protests and the T.E.A. Parties. Do you recall any homophobic slurs directed at the Occupants from mainstream political and cultural leaders? The T.E.A. Party rallies were generally organized and run by women (rough estimate was above 60% of T.E.A. Party leadership and speaking roles were women) yet reported as sexist and racist. We need not discuss the (unreported by MSM) roles in which the Occupants cast women.

        Or consider the Wisconsin Walker Riots in which, according to MSM reporting, Gov. Walker metaphorically hit civil servants repeatedly on the fist with his nose, mouth and forehead.

        Nobody avows the Emperor is unclothed when the cost of such declaration is being branded stupid, disrespectful and even lunatic. See: http://www.steynonline.com/7036/the-stupidity-of-sophisticates

        The solution remains, as it always has and ever will be: To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.

  6. The mistake we make is that we assume that because we have honor, our opponents do as well. They on the other hand, knowing they have none, attribute none to us. But because they have no honor, they have no problems lying, whereas we who value truth “surely do hate a lie”. Our problem I think is that we have yet to internalize the unofficial motto of the US Army, “If you find yourself in a fair fight, you’ve already fucked up”.

    Personally I think more of us need to read “The art of War” and “The prince” and to realize that unless we understand our enemies as we understand ourselves for every battle we win we will also suffer defeat. The problem is we buy into the lie that in using the tactics of our enemies is to lower ourselves to their level. In truth the only way to fight a pig is to get dirty, the difference is that we only visit the mud pit, they live there.

    See “The dark knight returns” for a vivid example of this principle in action.

    • Allowing an enemy to think he can attack you with impunity is not fair. it leads to such festering problems as afflict Israel, who has the capability of not just defeating its enemies but doing so in so crushing a manner that those foes’ noses are rubbed so deeply in their defeat that they will smell the stench of their impotence for generations.

      In all but a few cases it is kinder to defeat your enemies so soundly that they will never again harbor illusions of matching you in combat than it is to let them up with only a bloodied nose and a black eye, convinced they could have beaten you except for your lucky punch. That route is the mistake made with Carthage in the first Punic war and with Germany in the War to End War.

      • Personally, I don’t care which is kinder. I subscribe to Enders philosophy (before Card pussied out IMHO with “Speaker for the dead”) You don’t aim to win THIS FIGHT. You take the actions that ensures there will be NO next fight. Or as my step daddy taught me, you don’t just hit them till they’re down, you keep hitting them until they will never even think about getting up again, and then you explain that the only reason they are even still breathing is because you allowed them to continue doing so, and that you can change your mind on that point at any moment,. But then, as my screen name may suggest, I have a very Roman viewpoint on these sort of things.

        • Alas, so do I. Finish it so thoroughly there is no “next fight.”

          • I’ve often found that Floridians and Texans have very similar views on things, despite the wildly different histories. One of my best friends is a fairly liberal democrat from San Fran who always says that if the zombie apocalypse ever happens hes going to live with his old service buddies in Texas. He doesn’t seem to understand that Florida is just as viable (so long as he’s got friends there) Y’all might have a bit longer history of being “crazy” but we’ve managed to catch up in our slightly shorter history. Plus we got gators, and that is some damn good eatin.

            • IIRC, gators like their meat somewhat rotted, so it seems they would be particularly attracted to zombies. Marshlands with boggy areas seem very well suited to fighting a brain-dead enemy, so that suggests two strong strategic advantages for Florida.

              Then there is DisneyWorld which, if reports are true, has experience handling tens of thousands of zombies daily.

              • Rob Crawford

                And that’s just on “it’s a small world”.

              • You know, that never occurred to me. (gators not Disney world) Now I cant help of thinking of of how the suckee or the noles might have dealt with a zombie Apocalypse. And I’m still trying to figure out how to write ” Ceaser and the zombie/gallic wars” which is an idea that been percolating since I realized the roman legions would be better equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse than a modern military.

                And now I want to write “its an undead world afterall”. Can you imagine holing up against zombies in the small world ride? If the zombies don’t kill you that f’n song will.

                • The norse have a tradition of grave guardian undead. Have some Gaul sorcerer pollute the draugr into frenzied berserkers, then have them get out of control. Suddenly Caesar is fighting the zombie apocalypse.

                  • That is basically the idea. ( and here I thought I was such an original little snowflake 🙂 ) The problem is I’m trying to fit it into the context of Ceasar’s “The Gallic wars” and that is hardly light reading. Plus I’m trying to point out the issues a modern military would have with such an enemy, and I’m not sure how to do that. Do I juxtapose it with a Spec-ops team dealing with the same problem or should it be a Turtledovian alt-history. At the moment its still just a “grit” idea, but I reckon if I let it percolate enough enough It might become a pearl.
                    ,
                    Then again my reach may be exceeding my grasp. Or as my momma used to put it, maybe my eyes are just bigger then my stomach.

                    • Well, if you look at the La Tene culture and their burial practices, it might work to pull the idea of Ceridwin’s Cauldron (which brings the dead back to life – see also the Gundestrup Cauldron), except tweak it a little. Something from up in the Alps (Helvetians and their allies) that they are willing to pass on to the Belgae and Gauls. We don’t know exactly how much of what cultural practices the Celts/La Tene/Hallstatt/Gauls shared, and you could probably do a little tweaking here and there. (Why apparently no druids in eastern Gaul/Germania? Because those groups supported different gods and their priests could raise the dead if the dead [and their weapons] were not killed just right, or were not cremated. People thought the zombie plague had ended, and so they stopped cremating [transition from Urnfield to Hallsttat culture] but in a small pocket of the western Alps . . .)

                    • Look at how Turtledove handled this in his “Lost Legion” Cycle, or at what Daley did with Doomfarers of Coramonde (in which an APC and crew get shifted to another, more primitive dimension.)

                      Possibly take a modern Green Beret unit, tasked with uptraining allied “primitives” (say, from Afghanistan) to Caesar’s Gaul. Their first effort would be to introduce modern tactics, then to adapt them, then to adopt and improve Roman methods. Successfully defeating the z-hordes (zhordes?) is necessary to reaccess the portal through which they entered.

                    • The other thing is that of course the Romans had very strong feelings about the dead and ghosts and various portents and omens. So you could periodically have them try something else from Roman lore or surrounding areas.

                      And I’m pretty sure the Sybil said something about it! (Alleged Sybil literature is a fairly large sector of surviving Latin poetry. Of course it was pretty much all made up for other political and religious purposes rather than for explaining zombie wars, but I’m sure you can figure out a prophecy somewhere…)

                  • Warning: if going this route, read the original stuff, and then play Skyrim (or at least read up on it) so you can avoid people going “Hey, he ripped off Draugr!
                    (well, other than the folks who will think that based on “undead in tombs”)

                    • Why bother? There will always be those who think that Star Wars and Dune and the legend of Perseus are the same story because of Campbell.. If there is one thing I know for a fact, its that critics are irrelevant. Fuck em. Those who can create do, those who can’t criticize.

                      . “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

                    • Because the folks who like actual lore will get annoyed if you do second-hand ripping off instead of calling back to the classics, and they’re a really good fandom to have on your side.

                      The “Lord of the Rings totally ripped off World of Warcraft” guys, not so much.

                    • Oh, yes, yes, a thousand times yes – having a well-respected and influential expert on your side as a fan is huge.
                      When the Adelsverein Trilogy was still in draft, a local bookseller referred me to a local historian (now alas, deceased and greatly mourned), saying that this man knew more than just about anyone living with regard to local history. I took a chance, emailed the gentleman, and asked if he would be so kind as to review the MS. He was enormously kind in agreeing to do so, but later confessed to me that he took it on initially as a grim kind of duty.
                      And then he read it, and LOVED it, and become almost my biggest local fan. (The only goofs that he found were some misspellings of some German words … well, it’s been about … a long time since my college-level German classes.) He was a big wheel in the local historical society – and I was able to do all kind of events with them, because of his good word.

                  • Sara the Red

                    Caesar vs. zombie draugr apocalypse…

                    This book needs to happen. NOW.

                    • If you want it now, bug Marsulter13. Me, if I did it? I wouldn’t exactly throw out the Gallic campaigns, but I’d have the zombies throw things into enough confusion that the historical events would stop being played out very quickly.

                      And if I wanted to criticize modern Spec-ops, I’d do it by having some Gaul irregulars ally with Caesar against the zombies, and make them act suspiciously parallel to whatever I wanted to criticize.

                    • And does G. J. C. send word back to Rome about what’s happening – and what he’s run into – or keep quiet so his rivals can’t take (further) advantage of the situation? And what if some idiot decides to bring a captured “zombie” back to Rome (or at least into Italy) to show it off/for study/to see what the priests can do about it?

                    • And bear in mind that you aren’t talking about strictly Roman gods, here. The Romans actually were fairly tolerant. What would Egyptian priests do with zombies? and how would that affect their ability to revolt?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      The Romans had a tendency to think of “foreign gods” as their gods under a different name.

                    • As I understand it, one of the chief complaints the Romans had with those stupid, intolerant, racist, unsophisticated, ignorant Semites was their insistence that their god not only reigned supreme (shucks, didn’t the Romans offer to place him at the Right Hand of Jupiter? What more could they expect) but was the only god!!!!

                      A-holes deserved their dispersal.


                      As for Egyptian priests, likely they would think zombies merely under-dressed mummies.

                    • Or for the games!

                    • Interpretatio romana. Of course, then you find they identified Mercury with both Thoth and Odin. . . .

                    • I must admit that reading this too quickly put “Caesar vs. zombie drag apocalypse” into my brain, which brought strange images to mind in because of something else I saw recently, which pointed out that due to current funeral practices, a zombie apocalypse was likely to be a fairly formal event.

                    • Oh dear — embalming would affect the likelihood of their falling apart, too, wouldn’t it.

                • Big cats and bears will also bury their kills to “soften up” for a while– it’s part of why it can be hard to find people killed by them. (Although you won’t see that mentioned on the nice Disney show I learned that from.)

                • I dislike most of Max Brooks’ zombie series, but the two books dealing with past, forgotten zombie plagues are entertaining. They have stories about the Legion battling zombies. But do it, he just did a sketchy short story, and a graphic novel version, limited by the assertion that the attacks occurred in this world and were forgotten.

              • Reminds me of the sharks in the “Black Tide Rising” series

            • Joe Wooten

              Plenty of gators in SE Texas too……..

              • No shit? I never knew that. But then my only experience of SE Texas was in a little town called carrvelle. ( or something similar, I cant remember exactly as I’d hitchhiked there from N.O. )

                • Joe Wooten

                  30 years ago, the gators were pretty much extinct in Texas outside zoos. The endangered classification allowed them to spread back down the coast. I’ve heard gators being seen in the Brazos and Colorado rivers as far as 50-60 miles inland.

        • Or as my step daddy taught me, you don’t just hit them till they’re down, you keep hitting them until they will never even think about getting up again

          “Never do your enemy a small injury.”

          As someone put it back in the eighty’s “When you use military force, the response you’re looking for is not ‘Gee, that wasn’t so bad” but rather ‘My God! I don’t want to see that again.'”

          • Heh. I always thought the proper was response to effective military force was …………….

            Cause the dead don’t speak.

            Again that may the Mars side of me. He was rather fond of decimations, then again, Im working on a space opera project tentatively tilted “The Books of Genocide”

      • snelson134

        And Korea. And Vietnam, And the Gulf War. And Iraq.

    • I read The Art of War as a teen; wanted my own copy… and eventually found it in the business admin section of the bookstore. Along with the Book of Five Rings, and The Prince. Not the politics section, or history. Or philosophy. Business. Administration.

      o_O

    • Love that motto.

  7. Randy Wilde

    As I’m still having auto-immune from hell and keep dreaming I’m a zombie.

    That sounds horrible.

  8. Rob Crawford

    I believe marginal personalities and totalitarian ideologies feed off each other. The not-totalitarian will always be behind the curve when it comes to having violent lunatics at hand.

    • Totalitarian ideologies always proffer special privileges to the anointed. Marginal personalities are especially in need of special privileges and are demonstrably adept at transforming ideologies into the means to achieving their needs (See recent Breitbart articles on Randi Harper, aka @freebsdgirl.)

      It is the nature of (almost*) any movement that it attracts and depends upon the marginalized, the people whose lives are otherwise so unsatisfactory that they are willing to invest countless hours and energies into doing the scutwork of the movement. Somebody has to have evenings free to attend meetings planning strategy, somebody has to have weekends free to spend distributing leaflets at fairs and rallies. People with fulfilling lives have neither time nor energy to invest in toppling a system they don’t find oppressive.

      *almost: the one exception that comes to mind is the T.E.A. Party movement, largely a defensive action against an encroaching Leftist State and which has now largely dissipated its force as members attend to the demands of daily lives. An argument can be made that the Pro-Life and Anti-Slavery movements were similarly not driven by the clinically insane marginal personalities if only because they were motivated by an outrage against blatant immorality.

      The rule of thumb that this suggests is that the exceptions occur when the movement is motivated by resistance to an ideology that is itself madness.

    • Well, yes. We have lives and jobs.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      “I believe marginal personalities and totalitarian ideologies feed off each other”. That would explain the nasty nobodies we’ve been dealing with of late.

  9. I’m sorry, but Sarah is being too rational here. Now, reason and logic may seem to fight irrational emotional behavior, but they are not very effective.
    Case in point: The Sad Puppies list of white Mormon male writers. When it was pointed out (logically) that the bulk of the list were non-white or non-male, and heck, no one had asked their religion anyway, did that stop Irene Gallo from continuing to spread the lies as truth?
    There is a reason for killing up to the 7th generation. It is only irrational and illogical acts that mean anything to these people. This country never fought a ‘civil war’. There is nothing ‘civil’ about war. Any change that will make them retreat from their position has to hurt deeply. They consider themselves more ‘civil’ (or ‘tame’) in the sense that they don’t personally commit the violence like the old-fashioned and honest Scots, but at least the Scots had the blood on their own hands, so they made sure it was important. How hard is it to doxx someone or sent a SWAT team in the dead of night? Or line up a busload of protesters and pay them $5.00 to ‘support’ your cause.
    Part of the purpose of ‘tribes’ and ‘othering’ is to contain the emotional damage to your tribe for the actions and forces that have to be brought to bear on the ‘others’. That this is a part of human makeup is a sad but honest testimony to the only effective means to ‘tame’ the ruthless outliers.
    We used to have religion and an afterlife in judgement as an ultimate bludgeon; however, since many of them see this corporeal existence as all they have, unfortunately, a fight to the death is the only punishment they will understand.

  10. William O. B'Livion

    > And this is why as much as I hate tribalism and clan warfare,
    > we might want to consider burning a few towers now and then.

    It’s not whether to burn the tower or not, but *why* you burn the tower.

    If you decide you need to burn that tower because it’s full of *them*, that’s wrong.

    If you decide to burn the tower because they’ve been calling one of your tribemen a child molester AND HE IS, you’re wrong.

    If you decide to burn the tower because it’s full of people who tried to burn your tower, well, Choices have consequences.

    Oh, and sometimes you burn it just because it’s dark outside and a fire would be nice right now. Besides, got graham crackers, dark chocolate and marshmellows.

    • Point of order. There are perfectly good reasons to burn towers full of *them*. When *they* are trying to take your land and your children from you, abrogate your ancestral laws and customs in favor of their own tribal traditions, and even replace your language with theirs, then burning their towers and stealing their cattle is perfectly acceptable.

      An attack upon my culture is an attack upon my people. The major difference between the peoples of the world is culture – therefore, culture is the primary difference, and the only thing besides wealth (territory and resources) worth fighting wars for. (Wars of national honor being truly rare and exceptional.)

  11. TXred. I didn’t have the option of replying to your last response, but since you were referring to cultures I I wasn’t familiar with I was hoping you would be willing to tell me more about them. Or at the very least to provide me with links so I could try to educate myself about them. Please contact me at Mars underscore ascendant at yahoo dot com.

    • Done. Two e-mails, since I forgot one kinda major author. Like, really, really major guy. Who also writes pretty darn well.

  12. Damn it Foxifier! I was all ready to go to sleep,. (long over due) and then you had to post something intelligent.
    Please send me any lore you have. Seriously. I love it when someone else has already done the hard work of thinking up the cool stuff,

    I swear, someday I’m, gonna nuke this site if only because you geniuses keep me up too late. Beware the overtired man, for he presses the red button not out of ,malice, but because he has nowhere else to lay his head.

  13. Clark E Myers

    I have no proof of this, of course, but there seems to be proof, or at least indications, that we’re much “tamer” than people even four hundred years ago, and I could totally see this being one of the ways it came to happen.

    Maybe so. Myself I’d say rather that changes in life expectancy and so the aging of the population is likely a better explanation for changes over a mere 400 years.

    And of course expectations about the behavior of a society largely composed of children and single males might be based on that fact alone.

    It’s been seriously suggested that in some periods of history, by current standards, the elites were children raised by children and behaved accordingly.

    Then again it’s also been said that a lot of mature wisdom is being too tired.

    I’ve always sought to avoid knife fights – even the survivor is likely to be a bloody mess. That’s why I carry a gun – and an appropriate first aid kit. It may be that the legal notion, or perhaps fiction, of an appropriate response – de-escalation before escalation – is a good idea.

    If I had to wade into every fight I’d carry – as those who can’t walk away do – a staff, a spray, a couple of Kubotans and a lapel camera. As it is I can often either walk away or engage in massive retaliation. But not much in between. Maybe there is nothing in between.

    Still one of our modern theorists on building small unit cohesion or tribes if you will suggests I think that what appear to be (and would be I think) trivial transgressions in society at large demand the most severe punishment within the small unit – and the whole unit must – on pain of expulsion and death themselves – apply the punishment. There are no trivial crimes against unit cohesion.

    Invites the question of how to create the overlapping groups of say 200 people each to link everybody who is in a variety of small tribes to the whole of society. Actual degrees of separation are small numbers but they add up to a big divide.

    • Life expectancy may indeed make us ‘tamer’, simply because as the average age of males increases, the average level of testosterone decreases.

      • as the average age of males increases, the average level of testosterone decreases.

        You know, they have supplements for that now, whether topical creams and gels to be absorbed through the skin or direct injections. 😉

        • FlyingMike

          And such treatments for “low-T” have become the latest target for banning due to “abuse” by men who don’t want the associated effects of aging.

  14. David L. Davies

    Always question their morality and intentions. I went back and forth on Facebook with a former fellow worker on the subject of the ‘minimum wage’. I would always end my posts with “Gail. Why do you hate poor kids?” She eventually unfriended me. Of course. LeftProgs cannot take it.

    • I have long pointed out that the corporations that the Proglodytes love to attack are ones that make up the bulwark of the sort of pension funds commonly referred to as “widow and orphan funds.”

      When I ask why they hate widows and orphans and want them to starve … crickets.

    • You should have called her a LIC-denier (as in: Law of Unintended Consequences) 😉

  15. Joe in PNG

    Read the following on the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-33450391
    The SJW’s are pitching an outrage circus because wearing a kimono ala Monet’s “La Japonaise” is somehow racist and culturally bad and stuff.
    These people are nuts!

    • So much for The Mikad, I reckon. Future productions of Romeo & Juliet will require Italian actors? Only Danes permitted to perform Hamlet?

      I don’t want to think about what they will demand of all future productions of Richard III.

    • Joe! What do you have against nuts?

    • As for SJW outrage, there needs to be less indulgence of their tantrums and more responding that their outrage does not mean a thing is outrageous, it means that they’re hyper-sensitive idiots,

      They need to be told they are bullies, too stupid to understand the nuance and symbolism of that which they decry.

      • I do wonder what percentage of this lot of protestors:
        -is actually Asian
        -has a mix and match set of differing Asian religious beliefs
        -attends Yoga or tai-chi classes
        -cooks Asian food on a regular basis
        -reads manga
        -has a poorly researched Kanji tattoo
        Remember, if a SJW does it, it’s only a sign of superior broad cultural horizons. Anyone else, it’s a case of racist cultural appropriation.

        • I wonder how many tosspots with Kanji or Hanzi tattoos actually were taken in by the artist and have tats proclaiming “my mother was a turtle” 😉

          • Or “Stupid Round Eye.” One of Sib’s college friends did yeoman service triple-checking Kanji for other students who wanted tattoos.

            • If Islamist tattoos in Arabic ever become popular here, I’d love for some to tattoo “koos emek” (your mother’s [censored]), “ana habil” (I’m an idiot), or “gazma alak” (my shoe upon you) on the deluded tools.
              In Texas, Hebrew tattoos have become common among non-Jews. I hope nobody pranks them by tattooing “ani okhel batakhat” (too rude to translate)…

              • This is why you always, always, always, get a native speaker who you know doesn’t have that kind of sense of humor to confirm translations for you BEFORE getting it tattooed on yourself.

                • But I WANT a Tattoo that says “Hot and sour soup”! (Actually coming from a family that had a long involved debate on whether ear piercing was mutilation — with different conclusions, which made my poor cousin endure clip ons for most of her young life. perhaps in rebellion she now has multiple ear piercings — I can’t imagine getting a tattoo. The idea just doesn’t apply to Sarahs, though I have nothing against people doing it if they so wish.)

              • Seen around the internets recently:

            • I used to have a T-shirt that read ‘ichiban sukebe gaijin’. Always had plenty of elbow room at anime cons.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                “ichiban sukebe gaijin”? I know that “gaijin” means foreigner (might not be the polite term) but what does “ichiban sukebe” mean?

                • “ichiban” means “number one”. “Sukebe” (the “u” is generally not pronounced) means “pervert” (one of several words). So “ichiban sukebe gaijin” means “#1 pervert foreigner.

                • I think it means “Number one Dirty Old Man,” after a little searching.

                  • One of the problems inherent to English is the effect of sentence positioning. You may not know what was done in German until you reach the sentence end, but you by Jove know who it was done by and to whom it was done.

                    That acknowledged: I wouldn’t care to have to make an extensive search to determine a thing like that.

                • big perverted round eye?

          • The ones my husband has, they used as a test for translators.
            Closest anybody got was “well, if there was an accent here, it’d say ‘hope’….”

            (They also pulled double-duty as a “why you don’t get tattoos while drunk” teaching aid.)

    • It kind of makes sense….
      what do they hate?
      Traditional Christians. (Note how horrific murders of traditional brown Christians all over the place gets not a whisper.)

      What’s the major strength of traditional Christianity? It soaks in and absorbs the good aspects of cultures it encounters– that’s why we have Europe exercising a middle eastern religion!

      So, how to attack traditional Christians? Attack that strength, make it not OK to do anything with other cultures, traditions or similar.
      And then attack the Christians for not being “diverse” enough.
      (Christians that adapt to their views are, of course, just fine– see your nearest Democrat extremist giving a talk at a church for examples.)

  16. A question: how does one go about contacting the proprietor of this fine establishment?

  17. Completely off-topic: am rewriting/restructuring On Different Strings (formerly: When The Heart Rules The Mind) from almost scratch. Will post unedited chapters of the rewrite on my blog sometime next week. Comments will be welcome. There are a number of “Easter Eggs” for scifi fans 🙂

    • PS: was quite happy with the developmental edit by Nassau H. of Indiebooklauncher. He took his time, but his report was at a detail level that made it worth the wait.

  18. Wow guys. Thanks for all the links. Its gonna take me a while to get through them all but it’ll help eventually.