Ça Ira

I grew up thinking of myself as privileged. Heck, my childhood was privileged compared to most of the village we grew up in. That we were one of the biggest targets of “stealing wash from the line” was a clue, because we had better clothes.

In a place and time where people often wore clothes remade from clothes their grandmas had (Mom bought a knitting machine to fill in the blanks between her contracts to design garments for such people as the wives of famous soccer players to take on world tour and/or the richer persons from the region. While mom consistently made more than dad that was only because dad made VERY little. And her income was as irregular as mine is. So a knitting machine, with which she could work for the village and not just the occasional rich person meant regular if tiny pings of income. I was pretty old before I realized what it meant that this job came with “undo and dye old sweater yarn” preliminaries. Yep, people were that poor. Wool often got made into three and four different garments, until the yarn held no longer.)

But dad worked a white collar job and had white shirts (five, so that they could be washed/starched on Saturday wash day. Ironing in the early days, when I was very little was done with a coal-filled iron. On white shirts. If you got a smudge on, you had to start from the beginning. And startch… let’s not go there.) And mom had his pants made by a real tailor, again, in a time and place where moms made most of the clothes. Inexpertly.

OTOH I had a huge wardrobe, both of everyday clothes (since mom was convinced that air on my legs made me ill, I wore pants at time and place no GIRL did that) mostly cut down from dad’s and my brother’s and of special dresses, which mom made mostly I think because she could make much of tiny (expensive) scraps of fabric.

So, that, and the fact dad had a real job, paid in money, and the fact we owned land and houses made us way wealthier than other people. And we took baths. Every week. With store bought perfumed soap. Which just shows you how posh we were. Our laundress loved doing our clothes “because they smell good even when dirty.”

As for the rest, we had our chickens and rabbits, and our own wine and potatoes. So we were rich.

My first culture shock was when I entered elementary school and found the language I spoke was not only different from most of my classmates but was considered low class.

Mind you I knew dad – white collar job – spoke differently from grandma and grandad, and everyone spoke differently from mom (there was a running joke about making a mom-ctionary) but I had no clue the way I spoke was considered low IN THE VILLAGE. After the class burst out laughing when I used the wrong word to ask to go to the bathroom, I weighed my words carefully and used only those dad would use. Over time my vocabulary became almost entirely his, which didn’t save me from being ridiculed in college.

Why? Apparently the village has a completely different accent from the rest of the North. First time I opened my mouth in college, the teacher looked like he couldn’t believe what I was saying, then said “Are you from Aguas Santas?” For the rest of the year I was “the young lady from Aguas Santas.”

Look, this isn’t claiming hardship or victimhood. The way to deal with obstacles in my book is to fight them. It’s who I am. I was born crosswise to life. The more I’m told I can’t the more I want to do something.

But the reason my accent stood out is that there weren’t too many of us around.

Portugal when I came along had education like ours is becoming. If you wanted to enter college and do well, you’d BEST go to the good private schools. (There was no homeschooling.)

I knew a family who, in deference to the fact that they only had little money and many kids sent the boys to private school and the girls came in with us in public school. (Yes, sexisss. Or bowing to the realities of the time and Latin culture, where men were still expected to make the most money in the house. Though expectations weren’t always the truth. See my mom.)

So each level of education you went up after the mandatory 4th grade I found myself with fewer and fewer people like me.

It wasn’t as bad as in my brother’s time, mind – or perhaps it was that he was a boy – who complained he was the only one in his high school senior class who didn’t get a car for his birthday. (He wasn’t so much complaining. He knew DAD didn’t have a car, but took the bus to work. He was making a joke about being a fish out of water. We immediately got him a matchbox convertible for Christmas. He still has it, and shows it off to people as “my first car.”)

And often, in frustration at our classmates’ stories of their grandparents we mentioned ours were both bankers, a terrible pun based on the carpenter’s table – banco, same word as for money bank – since both our grandfathers were in fact carpenters.

Mom’s dad – who came from money but blew the family fortune on women of ill repute and poets ditto – had an entire routine he worked up when we had classmates visiting the house and which embarrassed mom mortally. Now, you’d have to know he was better read than most of our professors, and spoke Latin and Greek so by then our classmates were openmouthed with awe. I wonder how many of them took the routine at face value. The only part I remember was “And my children were kept barefoot summer and winter, which many health experts say is the best way to combat weakness of the lungs.”

So I was RELATIVELY privileged in relation to the village, but conscious of how other people lived, and also that I was a pauper in rags compared to most people outside the village and also still conscious that my parents had had it much worse growing up. (My dad walked to the city for everything over 4th grade. His bookbag was made of cloth by grandma. He was even more of a fish out of water because in his time only the children of white collar workers were groomed to be white collar workers. Now, mind you, on his dad’s side there were doctors and engineers and lawyers, but grandad had (I think) same issues with words as younger son (from interaction with him, even in later years) and same sensory issues that made writing and reading difficult. In those days and with a ton of other kids, he was assumed to be “stupid” and apprenticed to a carpenter. His family was rich but we weren’t and in grandma’s family – where grandad moved upon marriage – dad was the first to attend anything past 4th grade.)

There were moments when I realized the world I lived in wasn’t even what my classmates lived in. Like, my clothes were usually avant-garde and stunningly original. By the time I hit college and had stopped shunning dresses and skirts, my mom took great pleasure in designing clothes for me, and all I had to do was dream up something and she’d make it because she was retired by then (heart issues don’t do well with deadlines.) Those who know my older son will giggle at the fact I MOSTLY wore thirties-style clothes with some improvements/modifications.

BUT in college that cut no mustard, because my clothes were not designer. People would show off and squee over clothes not according to how they looked but to the label. And each of those cost more than my parents paid for my entire wardrobe.

What I’m trying to say is that I was both conscious of privilege and OBJECTIVELY what my brother calls “poor as Job.” (Though the only time our beasties died was when mixie swept the village. We lost all our rabbits.)

Like my kids, never thought of myself as poor. Because what money there was went to books, and I could never be persuaded to give a good g0ddamn about designer labels. I had what I wanted to have and if what I wanted to have was trips abroad, it just took being a little more creative.

And because I never let school stand in the way of my education (thank you, Mark Twain) I could easily out compete people from “the best schools.” Partly, frankly, because it was simply expected. There was never “oh, you had a c, you poor thing.” Dad put us in school with the assumption we’d be the best, even though at the same time he and mom thought I was mentally retarded, because that’s what idiot doctor told them when I was born extremely premature. There was this “if you can’t get it at first, work harder” which btw was the treatment offered for both my lack of hand-eye coordination and my digit dyslexia. Weirdly, over time, it worked.

To me it was a matter of course to out-compete people who had come from private school. Dad expected it, after all. And he couldn’t be wrong. It’s only in hindsight I realize in saying “you will do well, and you will enter college” (In brother’s time by exam, in mine by exam and grades, but both only admitting half of one percent of those who tried. The others went to professional training of various kinds.) my parents were shooting at the moon.

When my brother first got good enough grades to enter high school, mom didn’t have the money for the books (which used to cost like college books here) so she tried to get them used from my aunt whose son was a few years older. Aunt, who came from money said “if you can’t afford the books, send him to learn carpentry.” Fortunately mom got a job in and bought the books.

Even in my time when things were supposed to be more inclusive, when I b*tched at the cost of a book my Sociology professor insisted on, I was told that “The children of the poor shouldn’t aspire to college. They should become seamstresses.”

I’m saying this not to show that I was a poor victim. Mostly such slights infuriated me. I’m saying this to show that I was a fish out of water both above and below my “station” at the same time, and therefore keenly aware of how strange people both positions were.

The assumptions of the other kids in the village (none of which I was ever really close to after 10 or so. My best friend was from an “outsider” family and way better off than us) baffled me. Like when they spoke of being beaten for eating fruit their mom had bought for company. Mom always had fruit and it was a “grab at will.” “For company” was the good cheese, the chocolate and the “bought biscuits.” Or their casual assumption that of course their parents would file papers saying they were developmentally disabled so they could work in the factories at ten.

And the assumptions of my classmates baffled me, the more so after 9th grade when, by grades, I got tracked to the “college preparation” track. Vacations abroad, really? Designer clothes? Eating at restaurants more than once every few years? WHAT?

This was exacerbated by being in languages where a lot of the people had ties abroad and came from very wealthy families.

I swam between these cultures, able to fake it (mostly by misdirection and not mentioning my vacations reading atop the garage, mostly, when it came to college) but never belonging and therefore seeing all their assumptions as a little nuts.

Becoming American was relatively easy because the “rules” are more permissive and laxer and coming from nothing is not a problem.

This long preamble is to explain why the comment left by the Fail 770 troll was bizarrely odd, but showed what is going on in their heads.

One thing you have to understand is that the establishment in SF is incredibly sincere. What I mean is they REALLY want to bring in the “victims” they perceive and give them places of honor. They do. And they want to read about “exotic” things and places, and people they consider victimized heroes.

The other thing you have to understand is that entering SF as an author (what, as an ESL for whom English is a third language and who had no contacts in the field? Bah, it took a little long, but listen, I entered college in Portugal. Coming from the village, and often not owning any of the books I was supposed to have because they were too expensive. If I had a motto it would be “I contrive.”) was like entering college in Portugal.

Most of these people –Definitely MOST of the editors – came from families where ALL generations had gone to college as far as they remembered (kind of like my husband’s family. It amuses me that paternal grandad would have bowed and scraped and been speechless before my inlaws.) More than that, they’d gone to prestigious colleges. For 99% of them, if they had an ancestor who worked with his/her hands, it was buried in the mists of time.

There were exceptions, of course, but those were often “fallen from grace” families, like my paternal grandfather’s.

Some of the older editors were the first in their families to go to college, but they behaved and integrated as being more papist than the Pope. They had something to prove and were too la-di-da for words, and would never admit to a childhood of scrimping and saving.

And almost none of them had ever known many people outside lower middle class.

This is understandable because in America you usually move only within your “class”. (We don’t, but we’re weird.)  Unless you’re an odd, or military or another group that walks between worlds.  Your business associates and neighbors, in the age of suburbs seem to all have “close enough to mine” backgrounds.  (Where “mine” is whatever yours is, not mine obviously.)

What I mean is these are people who not only have never associated with persons of other races and cultures (except those who went through the same schools and thus while externally different are exactly the same inside) but to whom “lower class” or “poor” is like the other side of the moon. They know it’s there but they’ve never seen it.

They exhibit great nostalgie the la boue because they have never experienced real mud and real hardship, so to them this is interesting and exotic, and they don’t realize it reads dreary and grey to us.

They casually demonize the working class they are trying to help (and they really think they’re trying to help them, mind) because they’ve never had to do menial, back breaking work, and they project themselves onto the poor. The poor are, of course, just like them, so the only way to explain that they are poor is that they have been misled, told lies, and stolen from by the rich.

Marx fits into this type of mentality like a glove. To a person unable to understand true human variety of drive and need and guilt, Marx “explains everything.” Like, say, generational poverty.  It never occurs to them that so does a horrible culture.  Oh, they also fail to understand “poor” isn’t the same for everyone.  My brother and I might have been “poor as Job” compared to our classmates, but we were wealthy and pampered beyond the dreams of avarice compared to our parents’ childhoods. I doubt this distinction would even be apparent from sufficiently above us.

These are the people who favor raising the minimum wage because in their world this means that poor people will have more money, completely missing the fact that most poor people will lose their jobs and most jobs that aren’t worth minimum wage but still need to be performed will go to illegal immigrants who will become an unassimilated under class in our midst.

Meanwhile, never considering drive or need (which weirdly is different for everyone) to succeed, they explain poverty (besides by theft from above, which two seconds thought would show makes to sense) they assume that people of other races/classes must be stupid and need help from above.

Oh, they don’t ASSUME it ALOUD. No, it’s just built in in their cures. Say, why aren’t there more minorities in science fiction? Oh, because people want to read about people like them, and if you don’t PORTRAY minorities, then they won’t read the genre.

Cupcake, as a kid from the village I read American SF with no issues. Minorities and the poor are no more stupid than you are (in general) and don’t need you talking down to them and trying to be like them so they’ll like you. In fact, Sweetie, having someone who has Latin blood three generations back, if that, write coy little stories about the plight of speakers of Spanish and Portuguese does NOT in fact attract me so much as make me want to break into the village patois, “Oh, morcona, deixa-te das fitas. Anda ca pra minha rua, que eu dou-te um pimpim que ate ficas a deitar verniz.”

Our lotus eaters in publishing (and entertainment and academia) don’t understand that. Their need to relate only to those who are “good people” i.e. who’ve internalized their version of the world as they think exists, means they lionize external minorities who have the same internal make up they do.

People like Larry and I? We’re utterly baffling. They can only explain our inability to conform to their internal picture of the world by refusing to go on about victimhood and refusing to stay in our assigned places by thinking we’re evil and class and race (and in my case gender) traitors.

I remember the precious flower who told me I didn’t like current feminism because I grew up with the gains of feminism. Poor darling didn’t know I grew up in a time and place where a woman needed her husband’s signature to get a job, where “family passports” were a thing, female suffrage wasn’t and where EVERY teacher told me of course I wasn’t as smart as the boys. Yes, in public. Aloud. I’m here to tell you it didn’t break me. I just made sure I was better than every boy. It is BECAUSE of my background that I don’t think we do girls any favors by protecting them from “micro aggressions.”

Humans who haven’t been ruined by wealth and Marx (a lethal cocktail) thrive on adversity.

And it is because of my background that I do see the good intentions AND the bafflement from the left side of writing, entertainment, politics.

They’re trying to help us, honestly. Why aren’t we grateful? (eh. “You should be thanking me.”) They want more minorities and poor people in science fiction, because that’s the decent thing to do. And of course they don’t want minorities and poor people who don’t agree with them, because, as Marxism explains they’ve been colonized by the oppressive culture. And why would you want to propagate the oppressive culture.

This is why no matter how many times we explain to them that we are not sexist or racist or homophobic, they come back to the same. Because if we weren’t we wouldn’t oppose them.

And that’s why we must want to take sf to “the fifties” which never existed outside their heads. (I suspect and have heard from people who lived it, the fifties were more like the village than like June Cleaver.)

They’ve never read those books, of course, because they’re full of false consciousness and might infect them, or something.

It’s not the lotus eater’s fault. They are the 1% of the 1% who had the money, the contacts and the connections to either be NY editors (Baen excepted, as always) or to be picked by their former college roommates/distant relatives/friends of friends as the next best thing.

They all speak the same new-Marxist language, and they all want to improve the world.

Those of us who climbed hand over hand into being published and who refuse to hide our origins and cater to their monolithic world view are like a fart in church. We disrupt their perfectly formed, carefully maleducated perceptions.

They don’t understand that in a world of online and indie publishing with no gatekeepers, and the inability to shut us up/keep us from the public by having a word with someone, we’re the forefront of a coming wave.

The poor things don’t understand they’re the French court circa 1780. Aping the revolutionaries in the US and trying to be hip and speaking truth to imaginary power. All unaware of the coming change.

Ça Ira

352 thoughts on “Ça Ira

          1. Full fathom five thy battleship lies;
            Of its beams are coral made;
            Those are pearls that were its windows:
            Nothing of it that doth fade,
            But doth suffer a sea-change
            Into something rich and strange.
            Sea-nymphs hourly ring its knell:
            Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

          2. Playing a game today and not only has my battleship been sunk, but so have my cruisers and destroyers. My ships keep sinking. 😦

  1. No point TRYING to fit in either, because it’s still up to THEM whether they want to accept you. Better (and more interesting) in the long run to set your own course and let it attract the people worth attracting. I’ve met a lot of people I would never have had the pleasure of knowing otherwise, most of whom chose the same tack.

    1. And interestingly enough when we do that we wind up with a much wider variety of people around us (by pretty much any measure) than they who claim to seek ‘diversity’.

  2. c4c. My dad immigrated to the US as a toddler. He lived in NYC his entire life, so no animals. He worked very hard all his life. If he’d been something besides an Orthodox Rabbi he’d have made more money. Despite that he was an entrepreneur when he wasn’t a Rabbi. He ran a nursing home and then he invested in Real Estate.As a boy he shared a bed with a brother. He supported himself from the time he was 14. He left a $2 million legacy. My mother was careful with money, but we always had everything we needed and some things we wanted. My parents did this while paying for my mom to be treated for breast cancer at a world class hospital (Memorial Sloan Kettering).

          1. I had to walk home from school in a blizzard!

            (This actually happened, I missed the school bus and walked home instead of going to the office and calling mom to come pick me up. I got a case of frostbite and an object lesson about pride.)

              1. It was Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, school closures for snow were extremely rare.

                  1. OTOH, my sister observed that it was just as well that Washington DC closed for every flurry, because they had no clue. (And worse, couldn’t pick up a clue over a very snowy winter.)

                    1. Interestingly we had more snow days where I went to high school in Kansas than we did in elementary school in North Dakota.

                      Part of that may have been due to the Air Force.

                    2. Me too. In DC you have bad drivers from all over the country, heck, the world, so you have no idea what kind of idiot maneuver they’re about to perform in front of you. (Diplomat plates are a warning to other drivers). Anywhere else at least the locals have fairly consistent bad habits (In Washington state it being utterly unable to merge, and being self-appointed speed limit cops in the left lane.)

                    3. I’m assured by AlGore and others that snow is a thing of the past, so this issue should resolve.
                      and if you believe that, I’ve a bridge in New York you might be interested in

                    4. Worked in Dc for a few years. You’re correct. Those fools can’t even drive when the roads are dry. In snow they speed up to get home sooner…

                    5. An additional factor, cities that very rarely have snow/ice conditions don’t have the equipment/supplies on hand to deal with it.

                    6. Montgomery, AL. When I was living there the equipment for salting the bridges / roads was 2 guys in the back of a flatbed with a shovel apiece and a pile of sand/salt.

            1. In the 12 years I attended public schools, I never, ever rode a bus. The longest walk was about 1.5 miles. This was in Minnesota and South Dakota. The long walk during a snow storm took about 45 minutes.

              I don’t remember schools ever closing for snow. Of course, this was in the 40’s and 50’s before kids didn’t know how to walk.

              1. it was about a mile to school from my house, until 7th grade, then some genius plan from the board has me and my sisters riding for an hour or so to get to another school some 10 miles from the house.
                There were kids who rode for quite some time, because we were quite spread out.

                1. I remember walking to 1st grade over the top of 4 feet of snow in Chicago, since that was “the blizzard of 79.” School was only 3 blocks away when I was that age, though. K-4 was the close school, but then 5-8 was a mile to the south, then 9-12 was a mile to the north. Bike or walk, rain or shine, snow or sleet. Usually in winter temps would be in the upper teens/low 20’s and there’d be a foot or so of snow on the ground. You simply dressed for it and it wasn’t a problem. ON the colder days, you usually had gloves and boots and a scarf along anyway, so walking home when it was -4 (not counting wind chill of course, which took it even lower) wasn’t unheard of. Hell, I slept outside with the Boy Scouts in -4 at times.

                  Honestly… wasn’t fun then, but now I can look back and reminisce and say to myself that it shaped me into who I am now.

            2. I grew up in the Homestead road and Hopper road area of Houston. Blizzards? For some reason we never had that worry.

              1. I’m sure you had school closed due to hurricanes. I live in Dallas and the most snow I’ve seen was couple of inches.

                1. I had to think about it for a minute, but.. none that I recall. The closest was when Alicia hit in ’83, but I wasn’t in school or living in Houston at that point.

    1. Of course I must be one of the privileged. My grandfather immigrated from Ireland in the around 1900 or so and owned one of the first dry cleaners in Virginia. Unfortunately my Dad was a bit of a riffraff being the youngest son. He crossed the US around 1930 as a co-driver for Navy dependent wife and then returned using the hobo route after he ran out of money and work in San Diego. He also quit school after 9th grade. After that came 30 in the US Army as an enlisted person. He ended up putting 1 daughter through UC at Berkley, sending 1 son through the USAF Academy and me the black sheep who managed to do 20 Years in the USAF as an enlisted. So I must have been privileged since I am White.

      1. That was the privileged part of my heritage. Now the unprivileged. My Dad’s 4 brothers all died in their 50’s in part due to the Dry Cleaner chemicals. Now my Mom was German who lived through WW2 and was an only child raised by her Father and her Aunt. She was so privileged that around 1924 when family couldn’t afford to feed a second child her Mother had the cheapest possible abortion.(Using Mercury) Unfortunately that was also the most dangerous method which is how my Mother ended up being brought up by her Aunt. But Mom was white so she must have been privileged.

        1. I actually heard this from one the other day: “Priveledge is not about your background it’s about how other people see you.” in trying to shut down people saying “I’m not priviledged” expecting that to be a ‘yes you are’ answer.

          1. If others perceive you as privileged, and therefore suppress you for their perception, doesn’t that amount to anti-privilege, aka bigotry?

            This is the problem with their house of mirrors logic; the circularity of its reasoning inevitably results in their heads being up their behinds.

            1. Yeah, she got her head handed to her with a bunch of “So why am I responsible for their opinions which are based on nothing I have any control over?” style responses.

              1. A certain individual said that “being white is living life on the easy setting” but looking briefly at his bio I suspect that he’s assuming all whites live a life similar to his own.

                IE, he was a child of Upper-Middle-Class parents so *did* live life on the easy setting.

                1. Speaking Standard English, dressing in socially appropriate manner, maintaining one’s person and hygiene, treating others with courtesy and respect, restraining one’s impulses and deferring gratification (to cite a few of the behavioural principles of the Upper Middle-Class) — that’s the easy setting. Not skin melanin ratio. “The content of our character, not the colour of our skin” as the phrase indicates.

                  Talking in dialect (Ebonics, Southern, Yoopie), walking about with your trousers falling down (or you knockers about to spring from you boob top), ignoring common courtesies and politenesses — that life on the hard setting.

                  This life’s hard, man, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.

                  1. In his case, (reading between the lines) his family had the money to make his life easier than most people’s lives.

                    1. Here’s one way to make your life easier that doesn’t require money.

                      When pulled over by the police, do not say:
                      Howcum you racissssss Crackers be allatime hassling us [n-word]s? I gonna bust a cap on yore ugly [tushie]!

                      Instead, try:
                      Good morning [afternoon, evening, as appropriate] officer; I’m sorry, is there some problem?

                      and try to conclude by saying:
                      I’m very sorry, officer; I’ll [take care of the broken taillight/other mecahanical problem] or [drive more carefully].

                      Chris Rock has made an instructional video.

                2. Yeah, if that individual is interested, I could tell him all about MY life on the so-called “easy setting” sometime. And since I had far from the worst childhood of folks I’ve met, that should tell that individual a little something.

                  1. Have evidence that he was talking about his own life? For that matter, he’s a writer and writers lie for a living. So while that “sounds” good, I’m not buying it without more evidence.

                    1. Yes, it’s about him. He’s said so multiple times. Search his blog, or Google, for the phrase “Being Poor,” and you’ll find plenty of references.

                      As for the other thing, if you’re going to accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a liar, it’s quite impossible to debate with you about anything, so I’ll just bow out and leave you too it.

                    2. That’s pretty a pretty weak sauce accusation of lying.

                      The definition of writing fiction is making stuff up.

                      Also if you’re going to make the statement, you need to produce the evidence to back it up. Telling someone to “Google it,” is the purview of anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists.

                  2. He collected a bunch of platitudes (which all confirm the progressive POV BTW) about being poor, that proves nothing.

                    Hey, but he left off this one:

                    Being poor is standing in line to buy a few groceries with change you scrounged from the house and getting stuck in line behind the person struggling to figure out how to pay with their EBT card, but can’t be bothered to take their iPod ear buds out to listen to the cashier.

            2. The actual existence of White (Cis-gendered Male) privilege is irrelevant. The concept merely exists to shut down discussion by implying that the “privileged” person lacks the right to speak on a subject.

              1. By asserting the privilege of another you deny that privilege, thereby disadvantaging them in order to privilege yourself. It is Möbius strip logic, a rhetorical card claiming that “The other side of this card is false” while on the other side asserting “The other side of this card is true.”

                See Kafka Trap. The trick is to call them on it by pointing out that your experience is being dismissed because of superficial attributes. Asserting your presumed privilege in order to disadvantage you is prejudice in the extreme, something that reveals the opponent as a bigot/racissss/sexissss chauvinist.

    2. Whereas I’m the grandson of Arkansas farmers and a sales clerk at a five and dime. All of them made it through the Great Depression, sent their kids to college, and those kids worked and saved and sent all 4 of their kids through private school, and college.

      Privileged? SJWs don’t have a clue.

    3. I’m not privileged: I am blessed by God to have been born into this family.

      My grandpa’s father died when he was 13. Grandpa was the oldest. Worked his butt off every day of his life. He and Grandma were both school teachers. Had four boys. Lost one to lieukemia when the boy was 16. Grandpa worked as a photographer and handyman on the weekends during the school year and in the summer. He and the boys would weld sheet metal over the rusted-out holes in the family’s old Dodge so it would pass inspection. Managed to put his three surviving sons through college.

      Dad started out on the bottom rung. Worked his way up the ladder by working his @$$ off every day. Never bought anything he didn’t need to (at least until he got married: he’d be very happy if TV had never been invented) and researched the ever-loving hell out of everything he did by to make sure he was getting the best deal for his money.

      My mom’s father, otoh, was a drunken, wife- and kid-beating degenerate who walked out on his family. Took the house, car, and savings with him. Mom-Mom and her kids were then thrown out of the Catholic church because “they should have put up with it.” This in the 50s, when women didn’t work. Mom-Mom taught herself to drive, taught herself to type, found her way into the travel agency business, and worked her ass off. So did her kids: they had after-school and summer jobs as soon as it was legal. Mom worked her ass off, put herself through college, got her Masters, married a good man, left work to have 2 kids, then went back to work part-time once they were in school.

      Never bought anything they didn’t need, sacrificed so my brother and I could have good lives and make it through school debt free.

      But we’re all white, so I guess none of that actually counts.

  3. Aristos gonna ariste. And if you try to break into their cliques they’ll try to have you arristed.

    N.B. Hmmmmm … I thought the word aristo might have one of those accent marks over a vowel, the sort of think I’ve never learned to make WP accept except by copy/pasting, so I types the word into my search engine and what does I find but:
    Aristo is a slang term for a wealthy man who offers to support a typically younger woman or man after establishing a relationship that is usually sexual.

    Surprisingly apropos.

    1. I’ll have to remember that one; it will probably be useful. I am trying to prepare my kids for their future – the future when the bar runs out of booze and the binge is over (the last call has gone out already).

  4. You may have been unfortunate in your meeting of editors. They do not all come from Princeton. Bob Gleason got his MFA in Indiana, and worked his way through public college by puddling steel in Gary. Fred Pohl was a USAAF weather draftsman, trained by the Army; he never went to college. But as publishing changed over the years, the editorial staffs changed with it, and there probably are more Bryn Mawr and Briarcliff editors now than there were in the old days.

    About the time you got into this racket things started to change a lot, I guess.

    1. Jerry, I think it’s a generational thing. Mine were mostly female and ivy league. Weirdly, the ones who ENCOURAGED me early on were what remained of the old guard.
      Is this an appropriate time to thank you for a detailed and far too kind rejection letter for a story I’d forgotten and which in retrospect was a hot mess?

      1. There was a time when noblesse oblige was more common, if only because many people recognized that a bad turn of the wheel could easily have them under its treads.

        Nowadays it seems more like a demand that the downtrodden are obliged to be grateful for the crumbs from the nobles’ tables.

        1. Perhaps because the lives of the nobility and peasantry differed mainly in whether their roof was thatch or stone?

      2. Based on my reading for reviews they are universally inept. Compare any decent craftsman of either sex (Rusch, Bujold Cherryh, Butcher etc.) And what you do not find is that odd tedious slog in the middle, wherein I would stop reading if (1) I weren’t stuck reviewing it (Tor’s a prime offender btw, and Scholastic isn’t, so YMMV) or (2) The author hadn’t done something so right that I decide to give it another shot. E.g. Goblin Emperor. If Addison had sold to a team that spent its resources on competent editing that book would be Bujold/Cherryh level brilliant.

        I swear to Strunk and White I may have to learn to edit in self defense.

    2. Could it be that science fiction was more ‘disreputable’ in the golden age? After all, they were the pulps, barely a notch above comic books and all those bad monster movies. The haughty will not demean themselves with the ‘common’ folk, so until science fiction was considered respectable, the patronage racket would not be sucking up positions.

      1. Ties in with what somebody (Eric S. Raymond?) called LPE (literary penis envy) — the desire of craft/entertainment writers to have their work be taken seriously as Real Literature.

      2. Science Fiction has been considered disreputable. In High School I told Mr physics teacher that Fred Hoyle had written Science Fiction (in this case “The Black Cloud”) He could not accept such a travesty.

        1. One of my college teachers mentioned considerable agonizing in the literary world by some over Ursula K. LeGuin, because she wrote science fiction. Apparently those doing the agonizing thought she should have been writing more important stuff.

            1. Pretty much anything but, according to most of the gatekeepers. I suspect even Romance would have been treated with more approval (though not much more).

          1. Heck, when I was in college in the early 90’s, the likeable English prof teaching the sf class was unaware that LeGuin wrote sf, because she wrote pure lit or magical realism as far as he knew. Not a bad guy but sadly ignorant.

            Didn’t bother taking that class, after this came up in conversation at the English department talk and reception.

            1. Heh. Back in 72? 73? I knew a psychiatrist who argued A Clockwork Orange wasn’t Science Fiction.

              On his side of the ledger, IIRC, the novel’s author shared his opinion.

              Vonnegut used to claim he didn’t write SF, either. Hey, if it helps sales and brings a higher $/word, call it whatever you like, right?

              1. I remember when the Euro doucheoisie were praising some work of “literature” to the skies (“The swimming pool library” by Alan Hollinghurst). I started reading out of curiosity: it was basically ghey pr0n. (Emphatically not my thing ;)) But of course if they had honestly called it exactly that, then the “bien-pensant” couldn’t pat themselves on the back for satisfying their pornographic cravings with “transgressive” “art”.
                In music (art vs. entertainment) one has similar phenomena.

        2. My English teacher tossed one of my book reports in the trash because it was on a science fiction book, and SF “wasn’t real fiction.”

          I was pretty much tired of the daycare/indoctrination system by then, so I simply stopped doing book reports. Did odd things to my English grades for the next five years, but I didn’t care.

          1. and SF “wasn’t real fiction.”

            So SF is non-fiction?

            Anyone know where I can catch the Gay Deceiver? I want off this rock.

              1. Oh. Well, everyone knows that surreal fiction isn’t worth serious study.

                In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
                A stately pleasure-dome decree:
                Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
                Through caverns measureless to man
                Down to a sunless sea.

    3. That fits into my understanding of the business. in the same way there were few “journalists” and the news business was mostly comprised of “reporters” who had served their apprenticeships sitting in police precincts and preparing obits and worked their way up into the heights of the business — until HR started using college degrees as a screening mechanism.

      Magazines were probably ahead of that curve, typically being ventures of a certain type. Go back a generation or two to the pulp era and you find a different reality. Competition for scarce resources has a way of eliminating invalid standards.

      America long had a much greater indifference to issues of class, and often found the pretensions of somebody “forgetting where he came from” a suitable subject for mockery. Sure, we had the Vanderbilts and Astors and their like, but most of the country knew whence that money came. Talking posh, or putting on “U and Non-U” airs was not deemed as important as “being a regular Joe” and there were ways to bring wives who thought themselves something special back down to earth.

      Our colonial forefathers rebelled in part because they resented Brits treating them like second-class citizens … and of course we do the same here now, as anybody with a Southern drawl or Yooper accent can attest, you betcha.

      1. Before the Gilded Age, actually, there weren’t really rich people in America. There were middle class people who had lots and lots of money, to be sure.

        1. I’m not so sure of that. I’ve been reading The Gentleman’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness (that’s the abbreviated title) published in the US in 1860, and while it is more egalitarian than you might expect from a Brit or Frenchman of the day, there is still a distinct class-consciousness. Granted it encourages the gentleman to treat all men respectfully, especially ladies of any station or race, but it still bears the firm assumption that there are differing class and stations.

          On a side note, I thought it amusing that the author made special note of how ridiculously prideful and strict of etiquette were the Spanish nobility, and that they were beyond all others for pomp and self-importance. The historical case that resulted in a king dead of heat stroke because of rigid court customs was amusing and horrifying.

          1. This is at least somewhat a regional thing. The South, with its plantation culture influence in many areas had a greater tradition of this classification. Philadelphia, with its Quaker traditions, was much less inclined. In places like Austin, Dodge City and Abilene the distinction was less class based than influenced by other factors.

              1. “…that Austin reference was Celia-bait…”
                Me? *innocent look, chewing bashfully on the end of my long pioneer-girl-style braid*

                Actually, the big-house intensive-style Southern Plantation style just did not carry out very far into West Texas. Frederick Law Olmstead observed in his horseback tour of Texas in the mid-1850s, that most slave-owners in Texas lived in pretty close association with their slaves — like practically under the same roof. No Big house, with a row of slave quarters out behind. There is an exhibit in the Fort Bend County Historical museum which maps out all kinds of things, such as livestock ownership, and ownership of slaves. Most people who owned them, only owned a few, maybe half a dozen at most. In the last census before the Civil War, the biggest single slave-holder in Texas owned 300 slaves. Number two and three owned considerably less.

                An interesting sidelight of slavery in Texas was that many slaves were permitted to hire out, and earn a wage for that labor. And it was considered quite mean for their owner to lay claim on any part of that earning.

                And then there was the case of a free colored man in Parker County who chose – in the last year of the Civil War – to make himself the property of his white daughter-in-law in order to protect himself and his family property …

                Yes, racial relations on the frontier were a great deal more … complex than you might assume.

                Sorry you have put out the Celia-bait yet?

                1. Sorry you have put out the Celia-bait yet?

                  Never. It always catches something interesting.

            1. Hardly surprising, considering how many major cities in the South were founded by Spanish and French nobility. Demopolis, AL, for example, was founded by a group of French Aristos fleeing the Terror.

            2. I just checked: written by Mr. Cecil B. Hartley of Boston, with extensive quotes from American and European authorities on the subjects. New Englander; it figures. *evil grin*

            3. Some say the South paid more lip service and less attention.

              See e.g. Gone with the Wind and Mr. O’Hara’s rise and marriage for a description of rising into the landowning class.

              For scholarship see W.J. Cash The Mind of the South where the reader is reminded that folks like (book precedes these examples actual examples omitted for clarity) Jimmy Carter are beloved leaders, folks like Billy Carter aren’t. William Jefferson Clinton and his wife are American aristocrats – his daughter by inheritance. Roger Clinton not so much.

              Nobody, nobody at all from Dodge or Abilene approached upper middle class during rush week in Lawrence for a hundred years. I can’t speak for today.

      2. This article is an evergreen:
        The author distinguishes three main types of career path in the USA:
        * talent: having some skill that can be (almost) immediately verified, be it playing a musical instrument, acting, salesmanship, or whatever. Performance in the here and now gets you hired or fired.
        * lifer: dedicating oneself to a large organization, getting in on the ground floor or a bit higher and climbing up the rungs. One is evaluated on service record,seniority, and dedication to the organization.
        * mandarin: entering certain rarefied professions by acquiring credentials. Typically these are professions in which immediate verification of skill is impossible or impractical.

        Your “reporters” turned “journalists” are a bit of talent with a lot of lifer. What we see today is the increasing “mandarinization” of more and more professions where this doesn’t belong. To a large extent this results from managers and HR types increasingly being MBA etc. types without any hands-on experience in the relevant business. I have no problem hiring an IT person who didn’t finish high school, because I still remember enough that in an hour I can tell whether he knows his stuff or is a clown. The HR pen-pusher wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, so goes by the parchment only.

        1. A friend works for a major airline. He hired in as “maintenance” for some of their non-flying equipment. He had four years of experience in a similar job in the Air Force.

          Over the years he watched as HR kept tightening the screws on qualifications. When they made the minimum requirement an BA in mechanical or electrical engineering he realized he couldn’t even bid on his own job. A few years after that, they wanted ten years of experience as an engineer in a related field.

          Two things happened: they found a shortage of experienced engineers who wanted a job where they had to climb into rubber coveralls and climb down into a pit to change hydraulic fluid, or climb four stories up on trusses in 140+ heat to trace electrical faults. The second thing was, despite his experience and proven skill, he got bumped from his job into management.

          Since the “qualified” engineers absolutely would not do the necessary work, a new “technician” job description was created to do the job, and the engineers became another layer of termites, pulling down sizeable salaries but not actually performing any useful work.

          That’s a pretty good example of headcount bloat.

          1. The more I work in engineering the more I have come to the conclusion that it’s attitude, not credentials that’s important. 90% of the stuff you get in a degree is mostly useless in the work you do and that 10% that is useful is the stuff that you could pick up by doing.

          2. Regulation and so bureaucracy to achieve fairness, i.e. Rawlsian justice, in hiring impacts this as much to our detriment as to our economy’s advantage. HR is an operative word in this context.

            Time was engineering types could be aero-braceros moving from St. Louis to Southern California to Puget Sound working with many of the same people on each new project and relying on contacts and experience to make each move. Although this system worked fairly well it did make it hard to break in. Very much an old boy’s network if not all ring knockers.

            Hence frex a Chicago company then headquartered in Puget Sound entered into a Consent Decree for blind hiring entirely mediated by HR – and HR was and for all I know still is a pink collar ghetto of folks who call themselves people persons because they surely are nothing else if not a people person.

            I worked with a onetime service brat

            (later officer and flight instructor – his joy was transition training where he would take the student to the field to watch a flight in which flame outs and flat spins and falling leafs and maneuvers I don’t know the name for were demonstrated to both test the individual airplane and show the student that the very same airplane the student was about to do the same thing in was good to go – inevitable promotion had no appeal hence a flying connected job in Puget Sound)

            who on the economy had attended a technical high school in Germany.

            He eventually found a slot in customer service dealing especially with customers in German. He had an almost standing order with HR for a German fluent assistant. HR kept sending him fresh from college young ladies well prepared to discuss the Sorrows of Young Werthe. Shockingly the man kept saying no, not what I had in mind and not even close to what I, and the company, need.

            Similarly, I worked with a small group on the structures of the YAL-1 (great potential but a Bhopal in waiting as actually done in major part because an ad hoc team didn’t know what they didn’t know – frex about the difference in what works between a college chem lab on a fixed pad to bedrock and the effect of water hammer on a flexing airframe that grows and shrinks with pressurization).

            One of the key players had been out of work until rehired for this project despite a good history and interesting background. He knew the hiring manager from past work and the hiring manager knew him – they did not directly communicate about the YAL-1 which at least enjoyed security by obscurity but was pretty secure just the same. Time was perhaps a hiring manager would target the job description but at the time HR wrote the ad with sanitized guaranteed job relevant wording after interviewing the hiring manager.

            It took 3 iterations of refining input from the hiring manager and the response from the future employee before HR brought the the two together for an immediate hire of the employee who was exactly what – and who – the hiring manager had in mind. The hiring manager was of course the man the employee was expecting for the given job. HR negotiated the salary and paid much more generously than necessary as the job was obviously hard to fill and the prospective employee had been billing top dollar as a consultant for the few hours he actually worked independently.

            Your tax dollars funding the EEOC at work have unexpected consequences to go with the good intentions.

    4. Jerry, I’ve watched the changed happen as I went to consecutive Lunacons over the years. Round about 1995 or so, all of the people in the panels for aspiring authors, IE editors started to change from aging men to women of a leftward bent. I will NOT discuss the increase in tonnage on those panels.

      1. A few years ago I made a tour of my bookshelves and made a list of authors who had written stuff I’d really liked, but I hadn’t seen anything new from in a long time. Then I went to the web to check them out.

        A few had died. The rest apparently all ran into that same editorial shift. Five to ten books, solid midlist sales… their email and phone calls were never returned, or they got offered insultingly small advances and ridiculous contracts.

  5. I “love” the “Speaking Truth To Power” idea because in most cases the ones doing “it” are as powerful or more powerful than the ones they are talking to. [Frown]

      1. How do they fight The Man when they ARE The Man? Same story with all the ex-hippie radicals now holding senior positions in Academia, the gov’t bureaucra(p)cy, the media, and the “helping” professions (all together known as the New Class)…

        1. Well, then, since they fight THE MAN they must not be him. Witness that the same people who drive white men from their jobs will say, straight-faced, that they have no power and white men do.

        2. There was a great early cell phone commercial with the CEO of a big company talking about how the new low cell phone rates let you “stick it to the Man.” When his subordinate pointed out that he _was_ the Man, the guy made a sheepish gesture and went back to praising the phone. I thought of that often while listening to tenured profs talk about things like “shaking up the institutions and overturning the hierarchy.” Yeeeaaaaaahhh.

    1. The American Left has never, ever figured out an “end game” for their machinations. There has only ever been The Struggle. Nobody ever sat down to hammer out what would happen when they won — when they became The Establishment. For the American Left, they only know how to be angry activists, and when all the boxes next to all the objectives have been checked, they invent new objectives and new enemies to fight, because The Struggle is eternal and everlasting. People are more in love with being activists — or at least, in love with their self-perception as activists — than they are with achieving something concrete. One isn’t committed to The Project until one eats, drinks, and sleeps The Project 24/7, all year every year, for a lifetime. Just look at all the modern radical grandpas and grandmas from the late 50s and 60s, like Steinem and Chomsky. They’ve held the heights of cultural power for decades — and they still act like they’re fighting The Man.

      1. Very true — and further, their very concept of being a $_GroupVictim is entirely dependent on being a victim. As a writer, a thought-experiment I suggest is “If your LGBTBBQWTFOMG character were alone on a desert island from the start of the story, how would the reader know what they are? If there is literally no one present to oppress that person, how can you show that?”

        I’m sure they’d try to cheat with flashbacks, but you get the idea. 😉

        1. “The trouble with basing your identity on fighting discrimination is that if you run out of discrimination, you don’t know who you are.”

          – Fred Reed

          1. There are still people who have dedicated their lives to hunting for Nazis to bring them to justice.

            They really are going to have to start getting lives soon.

              1. Well, there’s no need to CREATE new ones… except that the lib-left is for the most part uninterested in fighting today’s true incarnation of totalitarian collectivism (i.e., radical islamism)… 😉

                If the Nonaggression Pact of 1939 had held and Hitler (y”sh) and Stalin (y”sh) had divided most of the world between them, a nontrivial part of today’s left would be making excuses for National Socialism 😉

        2. Easy. He/she/it blames every problem he/she/it has on oppression and speculates on the horrible prejudice of inanimate objects. All while using the proper social-justice rhetoric, of-course…

      2. I recall seeing an interview with an FBI Agent who infiltrated the Weather Underground. According to him, the group had no plans for how to actually govern the country once they took over: the only plan they had come up with was to re-educate the populace and “eliminate” any and all who opposed re-education. They estimated that 25 million people would need to be “eliminated.”

        Actually found the relevant clip on YouTube: https://youtu.be/XBtANp4IKVk

        The Left is currently The Establishment. And they still worship the ground that Bill Ayers walks on. And my family wonders why I have trouble sleeping at night.

        1. > And my family wonders why I have trouble sleeping at night.

          5 mg of melatonin, 800mg ibuprofen and 2 shots of whiskey,

        2. I still wonder if, had Ayers been an average Joe Schmoe rather than the son of the CEO of a large utility company (and chair of the board of governors of a major university), if he’d rotted away in prison or had a fatal encounter with a police bullet…

      3. The issue that they have is the same issue that non-profits and government agencies have. All three exist to solve a “problem” of some sort. If they ever do solve the “problem”, then they immediately start looking for more problems to solve. To do otherwise would be to admit that they no longer serve a purpose, and everyone working there should be let go.

        1. March Of Dimes, IIRC, was formed to find a cure for polio and a vaccine to prevent it. MOD is still going, of course.

          1. Have they moved on to other diseases? Because if they want to work on, say, eliminating endemic malaria, and put the majority of their work and funds into that, I’m fine with them sticking around.

              1. Notice that birth defects is much vaguer than polio. As usual, the goal becomes harder to clearly reach.

              2. One of the reasons I do not give to the MOD.

                The same reasoning applies to United Way too……

            1. Now a days they’ve moved on to birth defects. I wish them luck but I don’t see hiw that’s possible. Polio is caused by a germ. Birth defects have many causes. At least this way they won’t succeed themselves out of a job though.

      4. Mr.Torgersen, that makes so much sense.

        Inactivists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your–oh never mind. Time for a nice cuppa and a sit down.

        As a side note: My elephant’s child wonders: which do you prefer: Care Bear w/a flamethrower or an otter with a cluestick.

      5. This has sort of been how I distinguish between (traditional) American thought and (common?) European thought: Europeans seem to want to manage things, so the issue must continue so it can BE managed. Traditional (old time…) Americans don’t want to manage the problem, they want to _solve_ the problem and be done with it.

  6. A lot of us betwixt-and-betweeners, here, I’d guess. Maybe that is what is baffling the SJW element so much. I was raised in a blue-collar, working-class suburb, where we stood out because we had books, there was the classical music station on the radio always, and Dad worked a white-collar job, even though it brought in an income much less than many of our neighbors. Then, into the military, where honest-to-murgatroyd you do associate at close quarters with all sorts. You can go skipping merrily up and down the social ladder, and be perfectly at home and comfortable at all levels — and better yet, all the people on those various steps are comfortable with YOU.
    Poor little SJWs .. their experience of life has been so limited.

    1. Yup. I’m white collar raised and trained, but my folks have a blue-collar mindset and I’ve worked blue collar jobs. Confuses the heck out of people. 🙂

  7. “And my children were kept barefoot summer and winter, which many health experts say is the best way to combat weakness of the lungs.”
    There is an element of truth to that. There are certain parasites you pick up by going barefoot that will provoke an immune response that helps control allergies and asthma.
    My mother was from a Pennsylvania Dutch family with three daughters. The father who worked laying pipeline died young, and there was no such thing as a social safety net.
    I remember a story about laundry being stolen. That did happen in their neighborhood and when my grandmother found bloody pants in the wash she immediately said the neighbor lady was stealing them off the line. The oldest sister Queena said – Mother, if she were stealing them do you really think she’d bring them BACK? It was classic irrational delusion. She simply refused to accept the 2nd daughter Betty was old enough to menstruate.
    Neither my mother or father finished high school. We lived in a shack in North Carolina that was held up on each corner by a concrete block. But like Sarah’s neighbors ours regarded us as affluent because we had HOT water.
    Some of the choices they made were strange. They both smoked and that was first item in the ‘budget’ even before buying food. But we almost always had a full box of ammo each on weekends to go down to the outer banks and shoot on the beach and in the dunes. I was drilled and drilled until I could shoot without conscious thought. It has been a handy skill and ports to other things. I can shoot a camera at a very slow shutter speed without blurring – because of learning pistol.
    If a young person has grown up in one culture and region and experienced no adversity – what can they have to write about? It seems to me the best writers are all outiers of some sort.

    1. Robert’s has started. Marshall’s starts in a couple of weeks. The header is by Larry’s friend Jack Wylder who was infuriated (I think) at my bad lettering and nicely made me a new one. (I knew the lettering was bad, but I wanted the new image and was to tired to fuss with it.)

  8. to whom “lower class” or “poor” is like the other side of the moon. They know it’s there but they’ve never seen it.

    *Raises hand*

    I grew up in a small, and fairly rural (suburban, actually, but without an urb to attach to), university town, where “poor” meant “college student”, and the janitors were, like as not, working on their PhDs and therefore more highly educated than you.

    Most of the poor that we saw were transitory poor (i.e. only poor for the time in which they were at school), rather than generational poor, and even the ones living in trailer parks did their best to dress neatly and act “respectably middle class”.

    Moving from that to a city like DC, with actual poor people in actual poor neighborhoods was…. an experience.

    To be fair, I’m not sure the city had an actual upper class either. Maybe the tenured faculty at the university and the local doctors counted?

    1. There was probably a country club – with politicians, the university management, and local business men from the bank/auto dealer and insurance agents/investment advisers. That would be your small town upper class.

    2. Working class. Mother was a seamstress – well, top end for that profession, during the fifties she worked in a small salon which made evening gowns for women in what was high society in this country then, and in a good enough relationship with the owner of the establishment that the owner was one of my godmothers. But still, a hired seamstress. And father worked in ships’ engine rooms during the fifties, then started his own garage during the sixties and even had a couple of men working for him for about ten years or so, but didn’t do so well he could have kept them after it became more expensive to have hired help during the seventies with things like more social security contributions etc were demanded from employers. So after that just an auto mechanic working for himself.

      Well, I did get into university, but dropped back into blue collar when I couldn’t graduate. But I guess I have always had some level of arrogance or something because I have never felt particularly intimidated or anything by the people from higher crust levels. Maybe because I had become pretty widely read (mostly on my own) before I needed to interact with any, and possibly partly because I do have a fairly high IQ and although I didn’t know that before I turned 40 and took a few tests, well, lots of people I met always did seem a tad slow to me, and that didn’t always correlate with their position in the social hierarchy, and I always preferred to associate with the less slow types, regardless of that social hierarchy position (or listen to… the only ones who really intimidate me are the ones who sound as if they can think rings around me, and then I usually prefer to listen rather than risk sounding slow to _them_. Okay, when met in person, online it’s easier to take risks like that. 🙂 ). So… IQ snob?

    3. There’s citified poor and then there’s small town / village poor and they are very different animals. The latter tending to have a whole lot more self respect and personal initiative not beaten/”educated” out of them.

  9. Neither of my parents had an iota of the social class stigma concept, even though my father came from a fairly upper crust New York family. He liked people and could strike up a conversation with *anyone*. So I tended to not even notice such things, to the consternation of many. “So what if Joe only has three teeth–he’s an AMAZING machinist! Of course I’m going to his BBQ party!” A good friend of the family was a garbage collector who looked like a shaved gorilla (but really nice guy). “If you can be friends with us we can be friends with you”, that’s our motto 😉

    Wouldn’t it be terribly bland, only hanging out with people exactly like you? (shudder)

    1. Oh, I don’t know, I have a tom cat that thinks I’m the coolest person in the world to hang out with…which is why I can’t even close the door when I go to the bathroom.

    2. It is possible to see this change in the film/TV industry. The founders were rough and tumble who learned their trade by renting an empty store front, tacking a sheet up and throwing images against the wall to see what would stick. Many of the early studio execs were notoriously crude but they knew what audiences would pay to see.

      Over time the business was taken over by their sons and grandsons (still notoriously unwelcoming of women, they are) who were often embarrassed by “the old man” and more easily swayed by artistes and intellectual pretensions (probably a consequence of having been sent to schools that emphasized false values — one real problem of the fraternity ans sorority systems was their control over campus social life and social competition.)

      So you take a lot of indulged kids, send them into an environment where they are “tolerated” but have their noses rubbed in their backgrounds and the inevitable results.

      1. A fairly large number of the founding directors, scenarists, screenplay writers, etc. were women, but the percentage hired got lower with every generation in Hollywood. Anita Loos’ prologue explaining the genesis of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is informative.

    3. I come from a largely-blue-collar-for-many-generations family myself (my parents were really the first folks in their respective families to attend college in…at least several generations, if not the first ever). But for various reasons, folks always assumed my parents (and at least some of us kids) came from money. (I suspect it was our excruciatingly correct grammar. The parents were very big on that–though it didn’t stick with some of the sibs.) But they were much like sabrinachase’s parents, in that by and large they didn’t give one damn about ‘social standing,’ and taught us (or tried to–again, I wonder about some of my sibs) to do the same. And it’s really stuck with my youngest brother, who was homeschooled for many years, and is comfortable talking with pretty much anyone at all. I have fond memories of him–at the age of twelve or so-having a good 45 minute chat with an honest to goodness mountain man…

    4. I’m reminded of something the International Lord of Hate posted during the 2012 election season. He explained that Romney had been a lay Mormon minister for many years, that a large part of that was counseling and assisting people with family or financial difficulties, and all but laughed in the faces of people who claimed Mitt didn’t understand what less affluent people went through. I’ve had the same sort of experience with religion myself: I’ve gotten to know multinational executives, craftsmen, investors, day laborers, and some of the finest artists I’ve ever seen or heard by way of the congregations I’ve been in over the years. Paul’s analogy of the parts of the body seems apropos, especially that a body made up of only one kind of member wouldn’t be a body at all.

      1. Here’s the thing … All Romney knew was the reality of what poor people’s experiences were like. He knew nothing about The Theory.

  10. I think a big part of the problem with the do gooders is that they don’t understand that the struggle is part of life. It’s what makes us who we are. I’m all for keeping folks fed and out of the elements here in America but beyond that life is what you make it. I’ve never been rich. Honestly, I don’t think I’d like to be. It seems to cause too many complications. But we are comfortable (as long as nothing blows up too badly) and it took a lot of struggling to get here. It’s the whole “pride of accomplishment” thing that builds a person’s character. If everything is handed to them, then there’s nothing to be proud of. It comes to be expected that sugar Daddy will take care of everything. Don’t you worry, you pathetic little poor person. I actually find that attitude condescending.

  11. Do-gooders – particularly do-gooders who plan to do good with someone else’s money/resources – often completely fail to think through the consequences of their actions, and get all upset when you explain the likely consequences to them.

    And I’m sure that’s in some large part because they never actually meet or talk to the people that they are planning to help. If they did they might actually provide remedies that work.

    Though it might not work, as they often seem to be wilfully blind to basics like: “If you subsidize something you get more of it, more expensively” . Even as they complain about the cost of college or whatever.

  12. When I had history of the Soviet Union and history of Modern China in college one of the things that always amazed me was that the leaders of the “movement”, Mao, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, even Marx and Engels all had affluent backgrounds, and no idea what it was like to be truly poor.

    1. See also most if not all of the leaders of Islamic jihad. OBL was a pampered, privileged young man, and have you *sees* the pipctures from Choudary’s college years? The front line troops, the disposable ones, are generally poor and less educated, but the men winding them up and pointing them at the Great Satan are usually well-to-do as I understand it.

  13. Ha! Workers are too busy surviving to revolt – unless there is literally no bread. It takes the bored rich to revolt for ideological reasons.

    1. Case in point: the sociological profiles of suicide bombers here. It used to be received wisdom that those were the very poor: turns out that, in fact, they predominantly came from “educated” (read: credentialed), well-to-to backgrounds. No better breeding ground for revolutionaries than overcredentialed, underemployed college graduates with frustrated egos.

      1. Or take it the other direction: the assumption that terrorists act as they do because of impoverishment when the evidence all indicates that the fosterers of terrorism come from privilege (although perhaps less privileged than they think they ought be.)

        Fools project their own perspective on their assailants in the same way they anthropomorphize pets. Rather than put themselves inside the heads of others they don those heads like a costume, retaining their own perspective.

      2. Don’t forget that they also have as a class been taught narcissism and that life is an empty thing. That makes it easy to wind them up and set them off. The actual poor generally have better grasp of life.

    2. Well, it’s my understanding that some revolts were lead by people who had some degree of wealth/power but weren’t considered part of the elite.

      These may have added an ideological reason to “kicking out the old elite in order to become the new elite”.

      On the other hand, these “middle class” revolutionaries may actually had more in mind than just replacing the old elite with a new elite.

      1. IIRC, the leaders of the French Revolution were mostly lawyers, journalists, and others who felt locked out of the aristocracy and the “white collar” professions they’d been trained for. Kinda like what happened in so many places in the 1950s-70s – too many attorneys, political scientists and other jobless professionals (in the old sense of the word.)

  14. I suspect people have much in common even when they don’t.

    I attended one snobbish high school, probably snobbish through insecurity, where folks were excessively and unkindly brand and label conscious.

    But to my eye the brands were nothing special – department store brands rather than Sears and Penny’s and discount store. Though time was the great department stores – great each in an individual context – were great places to shop. Marshall Field’s in Chicago had annual visits from the English gun makers. Lazarus in Columbus Ohio had as good a book department as any store in the city before big box bookstores and Rich’s in Atlanta really merited the practice of southern ladies wearing (short) white gloves to shop there.

    I attended another high school where impoverished was more like Hong Kong tailoring instead of the real thing – though as often accomplished with an annual stop over as with a trunk show.

    Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Larry Correia trod much the same path in opposite directions on religion. Patrick has been known to be sensitive on formal education – though like Pohl (and equally a fellow traveler in economic notions) as well read as need be. Too fond of his own ideas IMHO perhaps lacking broad exposure to and forced respect for the broad sweep of history.

  15. Lately, I have thought this: if conservatives believe the purpose of government is to preserve liberty, liberals believe the purpose of government is to perfect the human condition. One of these goals is achievable. The other is a well-intended road to Hell.

    The Futurians were an egg-headed bunch of ambitiously political chaps who thought the purpose of science fiction should be to proselytize Marxism, and extoll the virtues of a Marxist future. Many of them went on to be important writers and editors in the field. The consciousness of the field is therefore strongly shaped by these overtly politicized beginnings — to include the Marxist mindset that art should serve the project of improving society.

    Now, these weren’t cynically malevolent Stalinists. Rather, they were starry-eyed Walter Duranty-type believers in the inevitability of the redistributive “scientific state” which would end poverty, end wars, end classism, and other “isms” as identified during the Long Struggle to make the world be “better.”

    The Futurians — in 1939 — did not have our 20/20 hindsight of the Soviet Experiment, with its gulags and mass graves.

    The rage-inducing part is that the great-grandchildren of the Futurians do have that 20/20 hindsight, and they learn absolutely nothing from it. They want to repeat the horror: the intrusive and omnipresent state control, the armies of Cheka police enforcing state-mandated doctrine, the unpersoning, the ritual Mao-style shamings and reeducation, the use of “fair game” tactics against designated targets; and the associates and families of same. Destroying businesses. Destroying lives. A mass chilling effect. And so much worse.

    People think gulags can’t happen here.

    Most of the Commissars of the new Cheka — the Political Correctness zealots — would happily see camps opened and filled to overflowing. They’ve already figured out how to manipulate campuses with political courts that operate in place of the actual law. They are actively working within the political framework of cities and states and the federal government, to get the laws perverted so that political courts can operate with full state authority. “Hatred” is the new enemy, and HATRED is the label that is applied to “Anything and anyone we don’t like,” according to the Commissars.

    Columnist Cathy Young, who saw the Soviet system from the inside, recently excerpted a startlingly grotesque — and increasingly familiar — chapter from a novel, regarding the days of the Soviet world at its terrifying zenith.

    This is the passage that caught my eye the most:

    what sort of things was he saying before? No, comrades, expelling Shevchuk is easy, but it’s not enough. Not enough! We have to investigate the entire teaching staff and the school administrators, we need to find out how the school could have allowed an unhealthy environment to thrive in which this Shevchuk could operate with impunity. I think, comrades, that we need to send a Party commission to the school. And to identify all the unhealthy elements that may be present.

    Let me re-fiddle that for you:

    What sort of things were they saying before? No, expelling Correia or Torgersen is easy, but it’s not enough. Not enough! We have to investigate the entire science fiction field and the publishers, we need to find out how the field could have allowed an unsafe environment to thrive in which these cisnormative, sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic authors could operate with impunity. I think, comrades, that we need to send a Hate Crimes commission to Worldcon. And to identify all the unsafe elements that may be present.

    So, the field is essentially returning to its Marxist roots. But the starry-eyedness is mostly gone. Now we’re down to the raw hate of the thing: the vengeance-minded outliers and weirdos, determined to punish wrongdoing and wrongthinking and wrongfeeling. Which means, of course, smoking out all the wrongfans having all the wrongfun with their wrongstuff.

    If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat.

    Because — by golly! — somebody has to make things be safe!

    1. Minor quibble (because I quib) —
      Not: “HATRED is the label that is applied to ‘Anything and anyone we don’t like,’

      But rather: HATRED is the label that is applied to “Anything and anyone who does not acknowledge our moral superiority.”

      Because the can only be one reason for you to fail to recognize and agree with them.

      1. You left out one entire category of people that the SJWs don’t talk about. The Jihadis: The J’s are barbarians and worthy of all kinds of ire. The SJWs don’t say anything to or about the Js because they’re scarred that the J’s will kill them.

        Like all bullies, the SJW’s are cowards. They only attack us because they know we won’t go berserker on them.

        1. To quote the Instapundit: “Incentives matter. Be careful which behavior you reward.”

        2. I don’t know about y’all, but when I say “Social Justice Warrior” the “Warrior” part is sarcastic.

          I’ve known warriors. Them ain’t it.

          1. That’s the beauty of the phrase “Social Justice Warrior”: It’s three lies in one tidy package.

            It’s the “Holy Roman Empire” of personal epithets

          2. I think of it as Social Justice bullies much though I sympathize with some of them. There are those who never did fit in and suffered deeply and continue to suffer. And those who may have ended their suffering in death or maybe not for all I know – despair maybe is a sin however justified it might appear of be.

            In my view the demand is that the universe restructure itself so that no one and especially no child should ever again suffer as they have suffered.

            A noble cause but very much a reverse Pareto optimality in which the greatest good for the least number means the suffering is to be shifted to the majority.

            Sadly the whole world is Salem Oregon but there’s no place to walk to. The Lottery is the reality and the Hunger Games is one unexpected consequence of trying to impose a better world from the top down.

        3. No, Emily, we just haven’t gone berserker on them YET. I refer you to Kipling and his Wrath of the Awakened Saxons…

    2. No one is going to put me or my hubby in a boxcar. If it’s me or them. Them first, last and always. Marxists are a cancer upon the soul of America.

    3. I once read a Facebook posting by an acquaintance of mine who posted that (and I paraphrase) that those crazy Republicans ought to be rounded up and put in camps. An anecdote is not data, but once you get enough anecdotes then the data isn’t far behind.

    4. Fail 770 is strapped for Puppy content, because they quoted the last three paragraphs of this comment.

    5. Brad.

      Your comment got me to do the impossible: To return to Sarah Hoyt’s blog, to comment. I’ve a history here, as Sarah, as Chris, and others well know. But you moved me to action.

      My prayer and hope,Brad, is that this is just hyperbole, that you are “ginning up the faithful” and you don’t really believe I mean you harm. You can’t honestly think that I, or any other non-Puppy, really dreams at night of doing harm to you and yours.

      Do you?

      Seriously, all this has ever been about for me, and I bet for 99.9% of the voting fandom of the Hugo awards is the ****** slating. That you, and the rest of the Cabal (including and especially Theodore Beale) slated your way to dominate the Hugo award ballot by logrolling a slate. When no one else slates and just votes their preference, a slate disenfranchises everyone else who won’t and wouldn’t do it.

      That’s the only beef I have with you and yours. I’ve read Sarah’s books, John’s books and stories. Your stories, too. Some I like. Some I haven’t. It’s not your style of SF that I have a problem with. It’s not even your politics. That’s your own damned business.

      I’ve tried to engage with the Puppies, tried to see their point of view, expressed my attempts to bridge and see common cause–the love of genre. Mostly my efforts get me derision, scorn, and outright hatred.

      But…if you really think that I mean you harm, or secretly dream of it, then how can I possibly ever engage with you?

      1. Paul have you explained how TOR editors won the long form Hugo 5 out of the last 8 times without voting slate wise? Hayden got himself 3 Hugo’s out of it. Have you explained how Scalzi won the Hugo for a novel with Redshirts a Star Trek fanfic without slate voting. Or how If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love won a Nebula and got nominated for a Hugo without actually being SF or Fantasy without slate voting?

        1. Then there’s the little thing that Hayden knew three days before the announcement who two of the nominees were — and that all the others were Sad Puppies. Also denies this was a leak.

          Given that the Sad Puppies were unlikely to call him up and tell him, one can only conclude that he reached it by process of elimination, which meant that he knew a short, secret slate of candidates were the only “real” candidates.

          1. More than three days, I assure you. Rumors were flying two weeks beforehand.

            1. Three days was when we had the infamous posting grousing about it.

              And contained the fatal admission that they KNEW Sad Puppies had been nominated.

        2. Someone I trust to know the inside business of the thing, told me that Chris Barkley was Patrick Nielsen-Hayden’s stalking horse, for getting the pro editor category split — Patrick was tired of seeing Gardner take it every year. So, the long-form is born, and not coincidentally, TOR editors begin taking the trophy.

          Now, a long-form editor split was a good decision. I don’t think the decision to split was bad at all. But let’s not kid ourselves: TOR’s people have had their fingers in this pie, up to their elbows! Which is why I don’t feel bad about Sad Puppies 3 inviting people to come have a say.

          Who knows? Maybe Toni Weisskopf won’t have to retire before being recognized for her work — the way Stan Schmidt had to retire, before they deigned to notice his effort. Stan had only birthed, I dunno, a few hundred careers? Some of whom went on to be major? Somehow, that was never good enough — until the man cleaned out his locker for the final time.

      2. Paul, I don’t think you and I have ever specifically had a “face-to-face,” either on the internet or in person. Perhaps I can put it like this:

        Since the release of the Hugo final ballot in April, I’ve had the following happen to me:

        – I’ve been called a liar.
        – I’ve been called a cheater.
        – I’ve been called a coward.
        – I’ve had my career as an author threatened.
        – I’ve had my military career threatened.
        – I’ve had my civilian career threatened.
        – I’ve been called a racist.
        – I’ve been called a sexist.
        – I’ve been called a homophobe.
        – I’ve had a small press get bullied into removing me from a project.
        – And, I’ve been sent death threats. To include threats against my family.

        Now, I don’t blame Worldcon fandom specifically for the death threats. Those happened about the time Arthur Chu was attacking me, and since Arthur’s fans are into that kind of thing, I chalked it up to Arthur’s fans just doing what they do best. Arthur doesn’t give a damn about science fiction or the Hugos, and neither do his fans. Arthur is in it for Arthur — the runaway ego who thinks he can call the whole world names.

        Still, my wife’s been taking shooting classes, is getting a weapon, and also a concealed-carry permit. Anyone who tries to hurt her or our daughter while I am away on deployment, is going to get properly capped.

        Hopefully you’ve not been involved in any of the items I listed. If you were, I hope perhaps you’ve had second thoughts about it?

        It’s difficult for me to remain civil, when some of the people who compose the opposition resort to smear campaigns, slander, and threats — in order to try to make me go away.

        As for slating, it’s not like this hasn’t been happening forever anyway — the direct application of “methods” to get things onto the ballot.

        Locus does it every year with their own list, and nobody bats an eyelash. Bloggers aplenty also do their own lists. TOR has been very actively pushing to get its overtly political authors — Leckie, Scalzi, Hurley — rocketships. Seanan McGuire got on the ballot five times in a single season and nobody said shit about it. Or if they did, nobody pitched the kind of fit they’ve pitched this year.

        So far as I can tell, the only real difference between what Sad Puppies 3 has done, and what TOR or the McGuire lobby have done, is that Sad Puppies 3 was a fully transparent effort operated completely above-board with ample lead time and fully within the rules. We didn’t want to be a “quiet manipulation” as most other Hugo logrolling efforts are. In fact, Sad Puppies 3 didn’t want to be a “manipulation” at all. We wanted to be in broad daylight. No hiding. No pretending.

        And we succeeded precisely because of that transparency. We threw the tent flap wide, yelled, “Come one, come all,” and we didn’t do sniff tests, and we didn’t give a damn if anyone was the “right” kind of fan.

        I’ve said it elsewhere: Sad Puppies 3 demanded nothing, and threatened nothing. We invited people to vote. We suggested what we thought would be good for the ballot. Nothing was commanded.

        The opponents of Sad Puppies 3 have demanded and commanded a great deal. Lies and slander and threats, and much worse, have been directed at Larry Correia, myself, and most other notable Sad Puppies players, for months. Make it years, if we go back to the hatred directed at Correia specifically in 2014 — when Larry got death mail too.

        If the response of some Sad Puppies opponents is to make death threats — because a democracy was exercised democratically — this says far, far more about the hearts of those opponents, than it does about us. We’re having fun. The “wrong” fun if you ask many sourfaced Trufen. But it’s still fun.

        People who make threats? Against life, limb, property, and profession?

        There is nothing “fun” in that mentality. Just the opposite.

        If you’re spending a lot of time with the anti-Puppies — with the people who are committed to stopping Sad Puppies at all costs — Tend to your own house, sir. There are some dark souls dwelling there. Maybe not you specifically, but those who walk around you and mutter, “Something must be done.”

        Because If you think Sad Puppies 3 was bad for the well-meant (but ultimately naïve) reliance on a tacit understanding of the hands-off traditions and expectations of the Hugos, just wait until the Social Justice crowd really gets their legs under them. Sad Puppies could go away forever. The rules could be changed to get rid of us — many want that. But the Social Justice wing of SF won’t be satisfied. Kicking puppies is just their warm-up act. They learned all the worst lessons of Marxism and Marxist tactics, and they’re determined to take over.

        Thus, the actual evil is coming in the future. And I mean the actual evil. And it won’t be us. We’ll have long since been evicted from the space — we ultimately don’t care who calls us bad. It’ll be the people who hate you, Paul, for not being a good enough “ally” according to the solipsistic rules of the Victim Heirarchy, so they will invent all kinds of bogeyman bullshit about why you’re a secretly horrible person, and an oppressor, and they will start the threats and the slander all over again. And no matter how much you try to appease them, they won’t be happy with you. Until you’re shut out and erased from the equation.

        1. The problem with the Paul Weimers of the world is that they haven’t yet to realize that when they lie down with the dogs of the left they will get up with fleas. And one has to treat all fleas the same.

          1. And for the smartasses over there, I mean Brad’s comment I’m replying to, not my own comment.

            1. For a SF/F fan you display very limited imagination. They can just summarize it, thusly:

              “Brad Torgerson made a lot of near* paranoid allegations at Sarah Hoyt’s blog, claiming persecution over his participation in Sad Puppies slating of the Hugos, offering zero actual evidence to support his wild claims. He compounded his delusions by threatening that he and/or his wife would shoot what he termed SJWs. It is hoped that the deranged extremists at Hoyt will not take his whining as an incitement to violence.”

              *Requisite weasel word

        2. And a LOT of us took one look at the “slate” and read the suggestions and nominated perhaps half of it.

          I voted the straight JCW ticket (including Mrtachronopolis for best novel. In a just world the only SF novel that would beat it to the Hugo is The Martian.) Because that’s what I love and the vitriol, the sheer HATE that landed on SP2 got me to un-GAFIATE in a big way. Word of mouth? A half dozen of my friends. Who knows how many of their friends did likewise.

          If we all perused Brad’s suggested slate, and voted for at least 1/3–? Well. Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt and the usual clique of Johnny-come-latelies get to see what it feels like when our faves sweep the Hugo noms.

          Slate? My granny’s left foot.

          1. Paul,
            had you not mocked Brad’s response at your blog two days ago, some might actually imagine you capable of integrity.

            You, know, I try so hard to see the other side. I try my damnest.

            And, then a comment from Brad Torgersen at Sarah Hoyt’s blog makes me wonder–what the hell is the point.

            I suggest damnedest accurately describes how you try.

            Any comments I might add regarding your honor, personal habits and good faith would seem superfluous.

            The cumulative (and apparently willful) ignorance expressed by your commenters and friendly links (“Brad Torgersen, I invite you to fuck all the way off.”) indicates a black hole of pusillanimous malevolence.

            1. Mock?

              I published Brad’s comment in full and openly wondered, in a world where I was accused of dreaming of boxcars and gulags, if engagement with the Puppies was even possible.

              That’s not my definition of mocking. There was no scorn in that comment. There was sadness and despair.

              1. You will understand, I trust, if I doubt your sincerity. There was nothing in your address to Brad to attempt to engage or reassure him. No response to the comments in your blog to suggest that people should not be sending him death threats nor threatening his family nor pushing to boycott him and his publisher. You did not even ask for evidence his concerns were not chimeras of his own imaginings.

                Instead you dismissed them as lunatic ravings.

                Put on airs about being a diplomat and a peacemaker only after you’ve engaged in good faith diplomacy or tried to make peace — even if that effort consists of simply shutting your trap and letting others vent their emotions, even if you imagine them over dramatic.

                Given the darkness of the demons in my own heart and their whisperings in the still, wee hours I sympathize with your struggles but suggest you get over yourself. It hardly seems reasonable to dismiss Brad’s concerns so cavalierly that you encourage friends who respond to his concerns for family and career by saying such as “Brad Torgersen, I invite you to fuck all the way off.”

                Perhaps you are unaware of the eliminationist rhetoric, calls for boycotts, threats to publishers, threats of swatting and bomb threats issuing from the anti-puppy side, but those in Brad’s position cannot afford such sang froid in light of actual attacks they and friends have experienced.

                While I am sure you will dismiss this as over-the-top rhetoric, your dismissal of Brad’s concerns as illegitimate rather sounds like a German citizen on 11-12-38 reassuring his Jewish neighbor.

                1. Yes, I meant Brad was not eliminationist, not that there haven’t been eliminationist threats against us. There’s a reason I don’t publish my kids pictures, ever, even though they’re burly men.
                  In this very blog, I was threatened with rape.

      3. I wonder… if part of the disconnect is that SJWs say things that they expect will not be believed, so they don’t believe the things that other people say, and non-SJWs say things that they expect will be believed, so they do believe what other people say.

        “But…if you really think that I mean you harm, or secretly dream of it, then how can I possibly ever engage with you?

        The same way porcupines mate, I’m sure.

        1. This is actually a very apt observation of human nature, Feather. Almost everybody expects the rest of the world to act and behave and respond in the same manner as themselves. So, if you’re forever speaking and thinking in hyperbole, you assume everyone else does too. Then you get shocked when you discover that a) people take you seriously, and with still greater shock when you realize b) the other guy was serious the whole time.

          1. Our Beloved Hostess has commented on how that leads to a great deal of misperception of American circumstances by Europeans. Assuming that American media are subject to the same censorship that theirs is (whether it be official, social pressure, or “don’t air dirty laundry in public”), they assume that things must be horrible here, because we show our flaws (especially the clerisy) quite readily, and if that’s our *public* face…

            1. That reminds me of an explanation offered Daughtorial Unit when she was first inquiring about economic systems:

              In planned economies the costs are covert but the benefits overt; in Free Market economies the costs are overt but the benefits are not. We see all the confusion and fuss while the way these result in significant benefits are not obvious.

              1. Hmph. He phrased it better than did I, but I put it up first! LOOK at the timestamp:

                NASSIM TALEB: “The free-market system lets you notice the flaws and hides its benefits. All other systems hide the flaws and show the benefits.”

                Posted at 8:06 pm by Glenn Reynolds

                (Checks Twitter feed timestamp on Taleb’s and discovers it was 27’41” prior to above link and says, “Oops. But I still said it decades ago, Ah swar!”

        2. My approach to this is to say that everyone is really sensitive to incoming rounds.

          But when you shoot off a mortar round it is really cool to see it land and explode off in the distance.

      4. Paul,
        Regarding your prior efforts, I can only speak to your prior efforts here, efforts which I recall as condescending, patronizing and not reflective of reality.

        Derision and scorn are the coin normally paid for such approach. I can’t recall expressions of “outright hatred” although I’ve noticed that sometimes folks with inflated opinions of themselves mistake utter contempt as such.

        If you are not willing to accept that intelligent, informed people can listen to NPR and detect at least as much inherent bias there as can be found at (for example) Fox News then you are probably best off not engaging people who hold such a view; your only recourse is to challenge their intelligence, perception or how well informed they might be — each of which tends to come off as insulting and thus evoke insults in response.

        As for your claim that “all this has ever been about for me, and I bet for 99.9% of the voting fandom of the Hugo awards is the ****** slating.” — do you not perceive a slight flaw in that math? If 99.9% of voting fandom oppose slating then you are asserting is that a practice employed by a mere 0.1% of voting fandom was able to sweep the Hugo nominations. You will, I trust, accept that I find such a thesis dubious.

        I also find it doubtful that the libelous articles in EW, the Guardian and other venues were merely an expression of antipathy toward slating, especially as the attacks were specific, vile, egregious and calumnious. (Details available, see Brad’s reply.) I presume you do not wish here to defend, for example, Irene Gallo’s expressed view of the Puppies as (IIRC) “ranging from extreme right-wing to neo-nazi” and works of utter crap (including some published by her employer)? I do not ask you to condemn her statements, nor even her laughing kittens; merely to acknowledge that their anticipatable effect might be provoking of anger?

        I am curious at the underlying assumption that any appreciable number of voters followed a slate rather than read the available stories, considered the works recommended, and agreed such works were outstanding. Even if one votes a slate, does it necessarily follow that the person voted those nominees because they were on a slate — rather than independently concluding the works were indeed deserving of recognition?

        Even if you accept that significant numbers of fans did not think independently but spent $40 each for the privilege of voting as instructed, it provides a useful auditor’s experiment by demonstrating that the counting is honest but the voting procedure subject to manipulation.

        1. “you are asserting is that a practice employed by a mere 0.1% of voting fandom was able to sweep the Hugo nominations. You will, I trust, accept that I find such a thesis dubious.”

          Of course he can assert this: in his view anyone and everyone supporting Sad Puppies is Not A Fan. We’re just wreckers destroying for the love of destruction; you know, orcs.

          1. I just spent 12 hours straight nurturing the next generation of fandom in their very own con, watching in love and delight as these kids rose to the occasion and SOARED.

            But I’m wrongfan and my Hugo noms are a sin and a heresey.


            1. You encourage kids to read for pleasure, excitement, for stimulating their imaginations. This is not good, this is prewenting them from proper learnings.

              You should be them teaching to learn ways of wictim, to read so to better identify with oppressed, rejecting decadent reading as pulpy relic of bland wersion of stultifying bland 1950s promulgated by the party’s premier propagandists. Childrens must learn to recognize and revile wrong fen for wrong fun, to only be reading works bearing party approval.

      5. I don’t think you mean us harm, Paul. I don’t think every single person the anti-Puppy side means us harm. But it should be apparent to anyone not wearing blinders that some of the people on your side mean to harm our careers, our reputations, and maybe more.

      6. > My prayer and hope,Brad, is that this is just hyperbole, that you
        > are “ginning up the faithful” and you don’t really believe I
        > mean you harm. You can’t honestly think that I, or any other
        > non-Puppy, really dreams at night of doing harm to you and yours.

        Not really a big Christian, but the compendium of of wisdom they call the bible suggests:

        ‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’

        1. Heh. All calmness and reason there. Lots of sympathy for individuals as opposed to abstract groups.

          Polite in her disagreement and logical in making her points.

          Hope she doesn’t get hurt falling off her high hobby horse. Weimer’s preference to mock rather than address any of Brad’s points says pretty much all that need be known about his character. It is sad when people project their own rage so facilely.

        2. I’d also like to tell Paul Weimer that even if we had insulted him (we didn’t. I think we were gentler to him than most people here are to each other. ALAS pointing out that listening to NPR isn’t PROOF is a genius hurt him so much he felt it like an insult.) He’s spent the last few months fanning flames of hate to puppies and me personally with Natalie Luhrs and Ms. Butthurt and that I have those tweets and WILL post them if he makes anymore ridiculously butthurt (you are what you like) accusations.
          He was all over making like a big hero who was banned here because we couldn’t endure his truthiness.
          EVEN AFTER I told a hun to tell him he wasn’t banned, and feel free to debate us HERE — and the hun did.
          THAT is whom we’re dealing with ladies and gentlemen. And then we’re the ones who are mean, as in his last blog post he was whining we called him CHORF.
          Man up Princeling. I’ve been called racist, sexist, homophobic AND ignorant of American history. CHORF? That’s practically a caress.

          1. Here’s his problem in 1,021 words:

            Brad has put his ass on the line to see the elephant in defense of others. Paul Weimer has blown hot air through his. Paul Weimer runs to his friends to smack-down Brad because Paul thinks himself accursed he was not there, and holds his manhood cheap whiles any speaks, that fought for us upon that day.

  16. It occurs to me that in America we did not see much in the way of entrenched wealth until the last century. Typically a family’s status would rise and fall over a few generations, so that while your grandparents may have been rich/poor it was quite common you were poor/rich.

    This seems to have changed with the advent of government efforts, such as Income Tax, to address “income inequality” which typically exacerbate it. Taxes on income (rather than wealth) tend to encourage accumulation and preservation of wealth, meaning that those what have keep and those who are trying to get pay. Like most Liberal Progressive theories, the effect seems to be opposite to the goal.

    1. Unintended consequences. The American Left does not believe they exist. Or if they do, they only exist for conservative policies and programs. Never, ever for liberal policies and programs. The only problem with liberal policies and programs is that they never have enough money.

      1. The left does not use the word ‘unintended’, perhaps in an outbreak of unconscious honesty. The left’s pet word is ‘unexpectedly’, as in, for example, correcting thee deliberately distorted economic figures, e.g., “long-term unemployment increased unexpectedly in the last quarter.”

      2. I’d amend that last bit to “never enough money or enough targets”. Because whenever they run out of targets, they paint new ones.

    2. The Income Tax is SPECIFICALLY intended to PREVENT the accumulation of wealth, especially when “progressive”.

      1. Thus it represents a drawing up of the drawbridge by which one enters the castle of the establishment. It is only by the favor of those already within (e.g., Billy Ayers) that entrance to the halls of power is granted, and they only favor those who join their vanity.

        1. I think the “drawbridge” is why all the philanthropic groups founded by the “robber barons” have always had a socialistic bent. It’s a means of consolidating and holding power.

          Now excuse my while I adjust my tinfoil…

          1. Not necessarily “always”; certainly ultimately, once the people who ran them were co-opted.

  17. I was raised by a cop and a bookkeeper. No one in my family has been wealthy since at least the Civil War so far as I can tell.

    I’m still trying to figure out how I have any privilege by virtue of birth. Hell, the way my week has gone, I’m trying to figure out how I have any privilege at all.

    1. Why that there’s your privilege, not having to notice it. . . .

      That’s why it’s a kafkatrap.

        1. YOU can walk into a convenience store, slap the clerk silly, grab a handful of cigars and walk out, and when a cop stops your walking down the middle of the street to ask you to move to the sidewalk YOU can tell him to F— off without any consequences.

          That’s your privilege, honky.

            1. What about Redneck? I’m fond of that term. Dearest is a high tech redneck. He also literally has a red neck.

              1. He also literally has a red neck.

                Hey, what you two get up to in private is none of our business! 😀

              1. I prefer Septentrional-American, but I never use it because people always want to know what that means.

          1. My son witnessed a black lady and her daughter in line at a WalMart in TX talking very loudly about white privilege. The guy behind him whispered, “Just watch this.” When they got to the cashier, he jumped in front of them, dropped his few items in front of the cashier, yelled “White privilege” I’m in a hurry, you gotta check me out first. White privilege, white privilege!” Everyone was stunned speechless, and probably thinking they were dealing with a crazy person. He got cashed out, went on his merry way, and smiled back at everyone he had whispered to. (Wasn’t only my son.)

            There will be backlash to liberals not believing and practicing “E Pluribus Unum”, but rather the exact opposite. It won’t be pretty.

        2. Sure. Being expected to dress like middle class folk rather than wearing baggy shorts hanging at their knees, forced to speak standard English instead of Ebonics? Oppression, man, serious denial of their authenticity that a privileged ofay like you could never appreciate.

      1. I think privilege just means someone the SJW’s don’t like. They dislike everyone that isn’t them or one of their mascots.

        1. They are thus guilty of privilege privilege, where they can argue using the term to say, in essence, “You must listen to me and believe me, but I am free to ignore anything you might say.” And that’s the worst privilege of all.

  18. Um — am I the only one who remembers how the French Revolution turned out? (And I’m not just referring to what happened to the French ship-of-the-line _Ça Ira_ when it ran across HMS _Agamemnon_, commanded by some little dude named Horatio Nelson….)

    ‘Tis a pity the American Revolution didn’t generate any usable slogans; it would be nice to be able to reference A Revolution Which Succeeded, rather than a violent bloody abortion whose only accomplishment was to kill half of Europe.

    1. No, you’re not the only one, although I suspect if you ask the graduates of [university] School of Social Work or Education, first they’ll look at you as if you had antlers (assuming you don’t already have antlers) and they’ll probably stop at the removal of Louis the something-or-other. The Terror, Directory, and subsequent wars will have escaped their ken.

    2. How about that famous line attributed to Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or give me death!”

      Course, he didn’t specify *whose* death…

  19. I have a friend, a nice guy, but very left-wing. His family had money and he attended a private school before going on to college.

    Me, my father stopped attending school when he was 10 years old so he could work to help support his family. My mother quit school after 7th or 8th grade. Both had menial jobs all their lives and keeping a roof over our heads and keeping us fed was a constant struggle. I have been poor. I have lived poor.

    So anyway, my friend gets angry with me when I try to discuss poverty and state that simply giving poor people money with no incentive to work is counter productive. That we, as a society, are rewarding the sort of behavior that we should be discouraging.

    The reason, I think, for this situation is that he has an idolized view of the “poor” as an undifferentiated mass of victims who, due to their status as victims, are morally superior to the rich and middle class.

    Me, when I think of the poor I think of the guys who would gladly steal the money I had worked for so they could use it to buy drugs and thought me a sucker for working. I think of my sister who took on debts she never intended to pay, planning to declare bankruptcy. I think of lawlessness and irresponsibility. I think of disparagement of learning.

    Of course, not everyone was like that. But a lot of people were. And the upper class people who romanticize poverty do almost as much to propagate it as the poor themselves.

    1. There’s a world of difference between being poor and having no money., and it’s largely attitude: Give a poor man five bucks, he buys a McBurger and a lottery ticket or a pack of smokes, and is no better off than before. Give a man with no money five bucks, and he’ll buy a week’s worth of groceries and have a dollar left over to put in the bank.

      When I was growing up we had no money (in fact we had less money than anyone I knew) — but we were *never* poor.

        1. Don’t fret over it — if our lot has its way you will be a real millionaire … and permanently embarrassed.

  20. “This long preamble is to explain why the comment left by the Fail 770 troll was bizarrely odd, but showed what is going on in their heads.”

    Serious question, but which one? I’m guessing it was in the “The Goat Kicks Back” article’s comments, but there’s 665 posts there as of this post, and without something a little more specific ctrl-f (or cmd-f for the mac freaks 😛 ) isn’t of much help.

  21. Having a bit of a problem with drawing a straight line though the following statements.
    “Becoming American was relatively easy because the “rules” are more permissive and laxer and coming from nothing is not a problem.”

    “This is understandable because in America you usually move only within your “class”.”

    I guess the middle class is bigger than I thought.

    1. Lower class is people willing to make government assistance a permanent part of their lives or people who steal for drugs. Upper class is wealthy who don’t see any consequences for doing drugs. Everyone else is middle class.

      1. It has been noted in some sociological works that the very rich and very poor both have more in common then either have to do with the great middle class. Most of the really poor I know/have known consist of a single mom with multiple kids, each with a different father. (And all the fathers have more then one kid, with different baby mommas.) And amongst the very rich, you can pretty much assume the husband has a mistress and the wife a lover. A rich man who doesn’t have his kids DNA tested at birth, especially if he’s got a trophy wife, is foolish. Drug and alcohol abuse in both economic classes is much more common then amongst the middle class. The kids failure rates in schools is pretty similar; the rich more insulated against the consequences by virtue of lots of money and private tutors. That and at least the rich kids who are school failures learned to read before they entered the failure path. Illiteracy among the poor in America is far higher then official statistics. Remember high school student Rachel Jeantel’s testimony during the Trayvon Martin trial? Illiterate, but in the 11th grade. The poor (and the middle class) suffer the consequences of misbehavior, but the poor are already poor, so so what? The rich have money to pave over the consequences of misbehavior, so so what? The middle class BECOME poor if they misbehave. Pretty powerful incentive to follow the rules.

        The middle class, follows the rules and the law as long as it’s tolerable. As long as the upper class at least pays lip service to the rules and law, and are held accountable for gross indiscretions or violations, the middle class is OK with their hypocrisy. Most middle class can be entertained by reading about Paris Hilton and her antics, but don’t want to BE Paris Hilton or her male equivalent. Ultimately, it’s not a happy lifestyle with a good ending.

    2. In America class is less a matter of “family” or birth than a matter of choices made and association. Almost any town has its class structure — the array of churches, country clubs and swim clubs, even the bowling alleys — which enable people to associate with like-minded folk. One reason the current administration is pushing their Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing agenda is to eliminate such voluntary affiliations typically achieved through choosing which neighborhoods in which to live.

      It isn’t the size of the class that matters most, but your willingness and ability to meet the class’s social standards. We’re largely Jacksonian* in that way.

      *See Walter Russell Meade’s “Four traditions”

      1. I recall my father saying of the town I grew up in/near, “Merrill doesn’t have an ‘upper class’. It just has some people that drink more expensive alcohol.”

    3. In America almost everyone is middle class. No, what I mean is you tend to meet a certain type of people who share with you and if you’re not curious…
      OTOH every goes “oh, you grew up aboard? Whatevs.”
      Except the liberals who tell me how beautiful and enlightened Portugal is…

      1. This may be “off topic” but I’ve heard it said that almost no Americans will publically say that they are “Upper-Class”.

        Most of the Rich will say that they are “Upper Middle-Class”.

        1. Upper-class has certain implications above and beyond just income. The US may not exactly have blue-bloods (though some families do try). But the term implies it nonetheless. And if you’re on the prog side of things, it implies that you’re part of the 1%.

        2. Trash is as Trash does.

          Firstly, a fair amount of the wealthy have to, or got that way by having to, maintain their wealth and financial assets. This is a legitimately middle class mind set.

          To get beyond the scope of that, you get into the territory of people who don’t have to maintain their assets. These may divide into those who has mastered their appetites, or been mastered by them. The latter may be heavily druggies, and hence not really care about social status so long as they keep getting their fixes. As for the former, they probably have enough self control to assess whether a course of action will have the results they want.

          What is the point of telling someone you are upper class? Probably making them take it as truth. Is this likely to have this effect with Americans? Is saying so verbally in public going to be anymore convincing than putting an ad in the paper? Is John W. E. Forsmythe III going to satisfy his ego by buying pop up video ads on the internet? The arrogant suits who aren’t simply rich trash probably chase after egoboo in ways that aren’t in my face, so I can’t do the same merely by getting my hands on money, and Sarah doesn’t bother making duck noises.

          Then there are the rich who are actually part of American culture, as opposed to responding to it. Why must I care what class I am? Why must I get my egoboo from how wealthy I am?

          1. I am reminded of the story (joke? source long forgotten) where a couple very ‘uppercrust’ travelers were conversing while traveling to the USA and remarked, “The problem with the United States is that it has no leisure class.” And a flight attendant/porter/fellow traveler responded, “Oh, but we do have a leisure class. We call ’em ‘bums’!”

  22. The biggest cultural oppressor is Marxism. Naziism tried to get bigger, but failed. Started too late.

    1. The Nazis did not fail because they started later. They failed because they tried to get big too fast. If Hitler had been a tad more patient, Nazi Germany might have survived long enough to have failed financially, just like the Soviet Union.

  23. In this discussion, I haven’t seen the notion or equality that permeates American life, so much more so then anywhere else. We don’t view our political class as rulers. They’re more or less temporary administrators of the law, because someone has to be. Most people don’t want to be President, or even Mayor. Too many headaches go along with the job. Most people running the small community organizations in small towns aren’t doing it because they want to; they’re doing it because no one else wants to. Those that thirst after power and show it are not viewed favorably. Obviously, to be President, you have to really want the job. But you had better show the right reasons for wanting it.

    The limo driver who ferries a Rockefeller around considers himself an equal, though there’s a huge difference in income. Without the driver, Rockefeller wouldn’t be able to use his commuting time to study the markets and figure out his plans to make more money. Without Rockefeller, the limo driver would be unemployed. (well, maybe not, but…) Each person does their job, and ultimately, they all contribute.

    In most of Europe, and especially in any Communist country, no two people are equal. Either you’re above or below someone, you are never equal. A lot of time is wasted figuring out which is which.

    I’ve been at hotels where Bill Clinton’s wife has appeared to address union meetings. Staff at those hotels (I talk to staff) are routinely instructed NOT to look her in the eyes, and to turn away from her if they encounter her entourage walking down the halls. That’s behavior of Royalty, not Americans. look at how carefully scripted her appearances are with the hoi polloi. She is truly uncomfortable with us. If the MSM were to report this, she’d drop even lower in the polls. Her script is- she cares about us. Her behavior is- avoid us if at all possible.

    1. True enough but mostly an extension of big city manners for a crowd combined with rules for living with the servant class worked out by English society.

      In a small town it’s possible to acknowledge everybody. At State and Madison in Chicago the general rule is no eye contact with anybody anytime. Possibly the people share the sensitivity to being looked at common among folks high on recreational drugs.

      The only way to have the illusion of privacy in the middle of a crowd is such rules. See e.g. one of Drake’s elements books where Heda is having sex with her husband when a fantasy element intrudes and a slave holding a towel opens her mouth at the risk of her life. The only privacy is psychological.

      Jackie O’ treated the Secret Service like servants in an English household – use the backstairs, avoid family quarters and face the wall when a member of the family passes. An example was the guard who carried a S&W Model 39-2 with sharp checkering on the backstrap. To minimize wear on his jackets the agent would expose the pistol until Jackie forbade any open carry in her presence. Ronald Reagan on the other hand at least once carried a late night coffee service by himself around to the perimeter guards – sheriff’s deputy’s – while Reagan stayed with friends on a large estate in California. The deputy who tells the tale said Reagan seemed to him to be a lonely man who felt the burdens of his office. I doubt that would ever apply to Hillary.

      Upper middle class is a hangover/imitation from the English usage where it takes time and a connection with the Peerage to be upper class regardless of money, fame or education.

      1. Hadn’t heard that about Camelot. What I have heard through multiple paths is that all the Secret Service detail for Ford and Reagan and the Bush’s are/were volunteers. And that all the Secret Service detail for both Clintons is assigned, and that to date every agent assigned has requested transfer away from said detail as soon as eligible. Haven’t heard anything either way about Carter.

        1. I’ve heard some 3rd/4th hand stuff that whatever his ideological foolishness, Carter is at least a pleasant-enough human being.

      2. In properly ordered America one moves from daily work where one Sirs and Maams ones employers because they rank you. Midday, midweek one takes a lunch or dinner break where you’re the boss: to be sir’d and ma’am’d inyour turn. In small town America these sets overlap. Heavily. One of the reasons Marxism has a hard time taking root there.

    2. Staff at those hotels (I talk to staff) are routinely instructed NOT to look her in the eyes

      Where’s Perseus when you need him?

    3. I have a relative who is a high union official in a very powerful blue state.
      His assessment of Hillary was pretty much the same.

      1. That’s almost curious. Where I observed her behaviour was at a union convention when I was a union representative.

  24. America used to be the kind of place that an Admiral’s daughter or wife would be ashamed not to scrub her own floors: what? Your arms and legs aren’t broken are they? Jack Vance had a fun story about that – a place called Kirstenville in (IIRC) Big Planet – that was the USA spirit personified.

    btw Ms Hoyt finally trumped my mom in backward Portugee village life. My grandma had the newfangled irons made of solid, well, iron with the hook thingummys, so you could have one sitting on the stove getting nice and hot, whilst ironing away with the other. Once it began to cool, grandma put it back on the stove, slid the solid iron off the handle to reheat, and slid the hot iron back onto the handle. Repeat as needed until the laundry’s done.

    Otherwise: oh yes, you were rich. Mom went hungry from time to time.

  25. Sarah – returning to your original thread, and regarding the last line about all that self-appointed aristocracy being unaware; I’m building a log splitter in my backyard… looks remarkably like a guillotine, it does, heh, heh,heh.

    1. Dang. That sounds like a good idea (I say, eyeing yonder dead tree waiting to be cut up). Not to mention making a smashing backyard conversation piece.

  26. This one’s for all the obedient Flail 770 Cheka who follow me around the internet, like blind rats — sniffing and nibbling at a trail of crumbs. This one’s also for the nobody who is most famous for shitting on my Writer Dad — Mike Resnick — who was subsequently proven right about liberal fascism when they kicked him out of the SFWA Bulletin for calling them “liberal fascists.”


    (drops mic where Sarah dropped it earlier)

  27. “These are the people who favor raising the minimum wage because in their world this means that poor people will have more money, completely missing the fact that most poor people will lose their jobs…”

    Correction. Most poor people will not “lose” their jobs. A job is not a thing you can misplace, or that can fall through a hole in your pocket and vanish down the back of the sofa. What you mean to say is “if the government orders employers to pay their workers barely enough to live on, those employers will take away their workers’ jobs out of spite and to show the government who’s boss,” and that you approve this course of action as right and proper. And once you’ve said that, you’ve pretty much said enough.

    1. Have you ever run a business? For instance, right now I could afford an employee, but not social security. I could USE an employee, but I can’t afford to pay the onerous stuff put on by a third party that both of us could do without.
      I come from a line of workers, sir. You clearly don’t. A job is something you do for someone who agrees to pay you an amount you’re okay with it. If the government makes the employer pay you what he can’t afford, he’ll let you go. And often the business will close shortly after, and both you and your former boss become government dependents.
      Now, in your universe, sir, the government shits money as a function of existing, so that’s fine and dandy. In my universe, men without an occupation lose their reason for existing and their pride in supporting their families.
      And sometimes to survive the employer (like in restaurants where they run close to the bone) hires illegals at a pittance and truly exploitative wages, because they have to cover the risk they’re taking of being busted.
      In your world, sir, law is magical and makes money appear. And employers don’t pay “a living wage” because they’re mean sonabitches and not because they lack the money themselves.
      And once you’ve said that, you’ve established yourself as an upper class idiot and a moral imbecile making life difficult for other people in the name of your compassion.
      You need say no more.

    2. So what you’re saying is that a company that is operating a little over break-even should be happy to raise the pay of their workers and then operate in the red?

            1. I thought “Worldcon” and “news of importance” had become mutually exclusive sets, but given the way Sad Puppies have made a mess on their floor it is possible the sets* are merging.

              (Sigh. I wanted to reach out for apocalyptic Crisis-On-Infinite-Earths imagery and just couldn’t grasp it. If I don’t get adequate sleep tonight I shall surely sleep tomorrow, perchance to dream of ledgers unbalanced, debts unreconciled and assets unassed.)

              1. Please, do!

                For every sane person that turns up and votes, the puppy kickers will have to bring twice the stupid to get their way. Given that they’re a tiny minority no matter the outsize tantrum they’re throwing, they can’t do that for long.

              2. I have a Howl’s Moving Castle program to run on Weds. evening, so we won’t get to Worldcon until Thursday (we’ll miss business meeting #1, darn it) but I at, least will be at all the rest.

                If I see you there, ask for a Tempest in a Teardrop button: I’m making some this afternoon after I finish cleaning the bathrooms. Which means I’d better go start 🙂

        1. Hmmmm … I thought he was engaging in parodic channeling of Leftist conceptualization, and going a trifle over the top with it for comedic effect.

          Shirley you can’t believe he was serious.

        2. What’s scary is how many people believe this.It’s also frightening how many people in this country are innumerate and economically illiterate.

            1. That is imo strictly a racket. They see how much money they can squeeze out of people for little or nothing value. Actually it’s actually detrimental, not just of little value. This is Not value for value. The money paid is good money, but the so-called education is of negative value. Not only doesn’t it have any value (let alone the equal of the money paid), it is actively detrimental.

              1. For items of abstract value the worth of the “goods” received is not implicit but inherent. Presumably what many of these people are purchasing at these institutions has more to do with catering to their conceits than resolving their actual problems.

    3. Go hire them all, then. You will make a mint off their labor and show all those spiteful employers what’s what, because such a marvelously marvelous person as yourself won’t lose his shirt in the process.

        1. You didn’t know? They’re not “lost” but stolen by greedy bastards who labor under the mistaken belief that they’re entitled to make a profit.

    4. “if the government orders employers to pay their workers barely enough to live on, those employers will take away their workers’ jobs out of spite and to show the government who’s boss,”

      Wow, just wow; I almost can’t form a coherent sentence in response to that.

      You obviously have no concept of what happens in the payroll department of a small to medium sized business; and by payroll department I mean the owner slaving over a spreadsheet or Quickbooks late at night, or a part-time bookkeeper or the employee who adds accounting to I.T. and/or marketing and/or whatever other jobs they do at the business.

      People seem to think that business owners take the profits of the business and place them in a vault to swim in them like Scrooge MacDuck. (Speaking of Scrooge, I ultimately blame Charles Dickens for this trope.) Nothings farther from the truth, especially at the small business level. A small business’ profits are often what the owner lives on, and if they have extra it gets put back into the business in some way. If the government forces a business to pay employees more, they have to make the difference up somewhere, either raising the cost of their goods/services (which erases the benefit of that increased minimum “living wage”), or eliminating hours for employees, or eliminating employees, or having less to live on for themselves.

      You realize that in a small/medium size business, that the boss is working side by side with the employees and has a relationship with them, often as friends outside of work; why do you think these people would fire their friends just to spite the government.

      Lose your cartoon view of the world and learn some basic economics.

    5. Do you know why I patronize the three local small businesses near me that hire teens? Even though the quality of service often sucks and the product they produce is sometimes inferior to that I could get at the larger national chains that do not?

      Because many of these people could never get a leg up without a shot at a job if we were forced to pay them what they’re actually worth to their employer. Every time the minimum wage notches up, these employers are forced to hire fewer entry-level barely competent employees or GO OUT OF BUSINESS.

      But I know these kids. They’re friends and neighbors. I’ve seen what happens when they cycle through the jobs, how they go from practically unemployable, to people with a shot at a future. That’s also why when I buy crap fast food, the crap fast food I buy is from McDonalds (I also approve of them using their corporate weight to force human killing of beef cattle across the industry, but that’s another story).

      So yeah. They don’t LOSE their jobs, those jobs are taken away from them: By people like you who write spiteful screeds and live in a fantasy economic world. And all the people who get hurt by your insistence that we all live in imaginary economic land where Math Is Hardtm, and command and control governments MAKE IT BETTER DAMMIT! Didn’t you see the village at Ptomkin?? IT WORKS!! , well they can just go hang. You probably don’t even think they’re real.

      I recommend Thom. Sowell’s Basic Economics. Then come back and comment.

          1. That is only because they are driven by a selfless desire to ease our human burdens by providing a life of leisure and comfort. Why, their favorite book is To Serve Man, so you know their intentions are for the best.

    6. A job is not a thing you can misplace, or that can fall through a hole in your pocket and vanish down the back of the sofa.

      When is the last time you hired a blacksmith, or a scribe?

      Sure, you say you can read and write and don’t need a scribe to do it for you, but is that any reason to take food out of some poor scribe’s mouth, to starve his family? Have you paid dues to the Scribe’s Guild, or penalties for your use of scab labor?

      1. No. 2 Son is apprenticing as a blacksmith. It’s a niche profession, but fairly profitable.

    7. Can I shoot you a little? After all, you won’t lose your life. A life is not a thing you can misplace, or that can fall through a hole in your pocket and vanish down the back of the sofa.

  28. I struggle with depression, and sometimes suicidal thoughts. My brain is a dark place. Self abnegation is something I fight. Currently I’m winning, since I am still alive. But the despair runs deep within me, and the comment by Brad, by the casual eliminationist rhetoric, makes the darkness rise up again within me.

    If I thought that killing myself would, by dark magic, bring peace even to the small field of science fiction…I’d do it. It would be a rational transaction, one life (and probably, damnation, suicide being a mortal sin after all) for a greater good.

    1. So, if it would bring peace to fandom, you’d kill yourself?

      Paul, if you think the stakes are that high, then you have more problems than depression. Seriously. Nothing in this fiasco could possibly be worth a human life. Not mine, not yours, not anyone’s.

      I love science fiction and fantasy. I always have, and I always will. I’d love peace in fandom. But even if I knew that killing someone, with no repercussions for me, would end the strife, then the strife would continue. It’s. Just. Not. Worth. That.

      1. I have some really dark thoughts, Tom. I’m a peacemaker, a diplomat by inclination. And in the deep dark nights when the darkness rises…yes, I do sometimes think that my life is worth so little that it would be a fair trade. Even if its only the peace of the field science fiction and not for larger stakes.

        The rational part of my mind realizes this is magical thinking, and a monkey paw’s bargain. The irrational part of me wishes I could make that deal. Because it would mean that my death and damnation did something good thereby.

        So, no, I don’t fantasize about putting Puppies in boxcars. I sometimes fantasize about doing good by my own ending.

        Today…I’m okay. It’s not always the case.

        1. Then, if you’re not getting help, please do so.

          Nothing in this whole mess has truly disturbed me until I read that post. No amount of geeks arguing over which books suck is worth any human life. Ever.

          1. I’d also recommend he hang with us, who might disagree with him, but who actually hate no one and make fun of everyone.
            The other side are dour puritans with an ever changing book of rules, who smack you for being slightly wrong.
            Here we’ll just point out where you’re wrong, but we’ll still go out for a drink after the argument.
            And Paul, stop with the two faces. Janus sucks as a friend, even on the net.

        1. If the house AC were not malfunctioning (that’s my excuse for consecutive nights of less than four hours sleep, and I’m sticking to it) I would offer up a scathing turn of phrase to the effect fandom has ALWAYS been at War with Eastasia.

          Alas, I’m to tired to scathe.

    2. Paul,
      As a depressive to another you need to find a place where you can balance the exaggerated reactions your brain is feeding you to reality. That or go on medicine. I watch myself all the time so I don’t need meds.
      I’ll say a few things: Brad had no casual eliminationist rethoric. That is taking his comment out of context and twisting it. It’s not like, say Luhrs and company wanting Vox kicked out of the human race. (I have no use for the man, but Alas, he’s human alright and we’re not going to kill him or declare him non-human. In my case I just ignore him.)
      Second point, your hissy fit here those years ago upset me because you were one of my favorite commenters up till then, even if I knew we disagreed on almost everything.
      Your scathing hateful and fanning the flames comments on various places since then, and your infantile sending me a message with a dollar, was a step on my journey to believing there’s very few people on the left I can trust not to turn on me for nothing at all.
      Third, stop dramatizing yourself. Your death would accomplish nothing except make you a martyr to the left. Maybe that’s what you want, but to quote Reiner Kunze who lived in the DDR and knew, speaking about Lenin “even if he wanted to be remembered that way, it would be an insult to do so.”

  29. Could you mention which universities the editors went to? As far as I can tell, you’ve got a more prestigious education than a lot of the people you seem to be talking about.

    A lot of the people that you perceive as SJWs grew up in poverty. In many cases, if their parents didn’t work with their hands, it’s because there was no work to be had.

    Heck, Jo Walton comes LITERALLY from a family of poor Welsh coal miners. “Poor Welsh coal miners” is a term that people use as a humorous exaggeration for “humble beginnings” — but she actually DID.

    Honestly, as far as I can tell, you had a more comfortable upbringing than a lot of the people you’re talking about.

      1. Possibly he thinks owning land and houses makes us rich… except this was Portugal with rent control. The houses paid barely enough to repair them, and the land was put to the plow, mostly for potatoes and “novelties” (vegetables. Don’t ask why they’re called novelties in Portugal. I don’t know.)

    1. What prestigious education did I have lovey? State college in Portugal?
      Let me see, Tempest attended NYU. Most of the editors who were younger than sixty had gone to the ivys.
      POVERTY? You’ve got to be kidding me. So you picked up Jo Walton…. okay.
      Yeah, my upbringing was tremendously comfortable. Did you read the post? We had running water… in the kitchen. And a bathroom — outside the back door.
      Now take poor Tempest Bradford — she was forced to take a soulless job after NYU. I cry, I do. Or take Natalie Luhrs, or Cora Buttlert (sp?) or any of the others who have ridden up in their pony to confront us. Victims of poverty ALL. Oh, and of course Anne Leckey worked as a waitress. I is sad face for her.
      Cupcake — my privileged background included that too — and it was indeed miles above Larry’s, but only because Larry Correia’s was one of the hardest backgrounds I’ve ever heard of.

    2. I suggest Jo Walton is a poor example to make the point I suppose intended here. Definitions of comfortable vary. Perhaps because people can be comfortable in radically different circumstances. See .e.g. Among Others. For some comfortable might be defined as having access to books of choice.

      More to the point I would never use Mrs O’Brien as an example of the group I associate with SJWs.

      Perhaps social justice was the goal of pouring Coke on David Brin? Jo’s opinions on What Makes This Book So Great are I suggest much in line with those arguing that there has been a discontinuity in genre fiction and award winners to the point that pre-discontinuity works were pointing in a different more popular direction.

      For my money, and my vote, all of Jo’s many awards are fully merited and a credit to the genre – not that any particular one would necessarily have been my first choice. If the awards of the past few years had all gone to books of equal merit the puppies might have all been happy – I would have been,

      Most emphatically The Just City and The Philosopher Kings to my eye embody a wisdom and understanding of the issues of the just city or the just society that is social justice far beyond any understanding or belief I can find in the folks I do call SJWs.

      Fair warning, I was a beta reader on those. The only nit I could pick was a bit of sailing terminology and I may well have been in the wrong on that.

      1. I confess I was a little confused by his lumping Jo Walton in with the SJWs. If she’s been supporting them, I’m sad and confused and I haven’t run across it. I’d lump it in with Connie Willis, another excellent writer, seeming to think we are coming for her and not for the utterly unreadable.
        My list of SJWs mostly confines itself to people who HAVE defined themselves as such, prior to the appellation becoming tainted at least. Tempest in a B Cup, Karmon Hurling, Ms. Butthurt and Ms. Luhrid who are frankly QUITE a bit more noise than achievement.
        Even Mary-Three-Names at least writes something that at least SOME people seem to enjoy on a I-don’t-agree-with-her-opinions-but level, even if her opinions of history and the role of women therein are between laughable and “wut?”

        1. Speaking of Connie Willis did you ever visit the Little Bookshop of Horrors in Arvada? Just as she really did keep SF circulating in her college library so the books would stay in the collection she was both gracious and generous in supporting what was a remarkably fine specialty bookstore.

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