Lady Bountiful and the Illusion of Heroism

So I promised I was going to handle what was fundamentally wrong with the argument between my “raccoon identifying friend” and the “white knighting for the leftist agenda” writer he was engaging on twitter. (Because it really even wasn’t white-knighting for minorities, as I’ll explain.)

I know some of you guys are too young to remember this, but there was this fad in the seventies where “feminists” (usually very young girls who had just been sold a load of goods at school by some angry female teacher) would turn and punch whichever man opened the door for them, because “you’re treating me like I’m not capable of doing it for myself.”

I remember this vividly because coming from a culture that had a lot less public politeness, it seemed just plain dumb to me.  Besides, now as then, I opened the door for EVERYONE if I was walking ahead, and I couldn’t understand why poor guys should get hit for being polite.

But there it was.  Women didn’t want doors opened for them by men, because they could “do for themselves.”

This brings us to the twitter argument my friend was having.  Because he just likes being a gadfly (what part of raccoon don’t you understand?) he was just trying to annoy her.  So he just kept telling her he didn’t care if a writer was any given color or gender or sexual preference provided it’s a good story.

Mind you, from the point of view of acting like a gadfly this was perfect and got her to call him racist, because of course, not giving a goodgaddamn about race is being racist.  Whatevs.

But this allowed her to go down the track of posing as greater and kinder and more caring by asking him “But don’t you want to open the door to minorities and the underprivileged?” or something like that.

Uh.  Note that this woman is so white that, like Jane Seymour (Henry VIII’s Wife) under certain lights she’ll look green.  Note also she’s comes from an upper middle class background and is “very well educated.”

Note also that she’s a feminist and about ten years younger than I.  I grant you that by the eighties, when she’d have become aware of the behavior of older feminists, the showy smacking of guys for being helpful was over.

But still, surely she heard of that trend.  Surely she read about it, if nothing else.

And yet, she can stand there and blithely declare that she wants to open the door to “disadvantaged others.”  And she doesn’t see any problem with it.

So, for her edification and those of other people like her, including the twits who run around saying that it’s time to bring “the world” into science fiction IN THE US (as though other countries didn’t have a science fiction community or for heaven’s sake, better things to do with their time than become known in another country, in a different language — and yes, I know what I did, but I’m not typical.  Or arguably all there.  Wherever there is.) and similarly crazy pronouncements, let me enumerate what is wrong with this:

1- I know you’re used to living in countries that immigrants aspire to enter, and so you’ve kind of grown up with the understanding that, of course, everyone wants what you have.  I also know that in kindergarten you got bonus points for being a good little girl (particularly if you were a boy) and sharing.

Having grown up in another country, a country of emigrants, where nonetheless the proportion of the population that did NOT want to go to another country was around 90%, chill.  Not everyone wants what you have, particularly when what you have is mild notoriety in writing in one of the smaller (commercially) genres in popular literature.

2 – The ability to make a living in this genre, or even to be published in this genre is not yours to give.  Not even if you are an editor.

Perhaps it was at one time, in the not too distant past, but I’m sorry, that ship has sailed, and it’s time you got over this idea that you can tell who should board and who shouldn’t, and you can pick people according to whatever crazy standards you’ve internalized.

People anywhere in the world, from any walk of life, who want (heaven knows why) to write sf in English and to make a living from this, have as good a chance as you do, if not better.  Right now my indie friends are doing a little better than my traditional friends in the money front.

REALLY if you’re a writer, there’s nothing really you can do to open the door or close it, or spin in circles screaming (which seems to be what most of the left does at any given time) because in the huge marketplace Indie has opened up, your help/push/award giving will be of limited help to your friends, and your bitching moaning and maligning will be of limited hindrance to your enemies, who, at any rate, can always change their name and evade you.

3- It is INCREDIBLY insulting of you to think that people of other races, creeds, orientations and/or genders need YOUR lady bountiful act to open the door for them.

By itself it arrogates to you a power that they lack.  If they had the power, surely they wouldn’t need your help to open the door, right?  If they really want it and are willing to work their behind off, what do they need you for?

By giving them “help” which they neither asked for nor required, you’re putting yourself in a position of power and superiority over them.

I don’t know if it’s true that Japanese has many words for thank you and all of them imply a degree of resentment.  I do know that this type of “help” breeds resentment in those who are truly capable and truly willing to work towards their goal.

Yes, I know, you are absolutely convinced everyone but you is a racist/sexist/homophobe who will throw obstacles on the path of the “other” trying to climb up the ladder, and that you’re the only one caring, understanding and enlightened enough to actually help them.

Most girls (I don’t know about boys) get over this at around sixteen or so.  You realize at some point that no, you’re not particularly enlightened, kind or understanding, and that people don’t need you to be an angel of mercy.  You learn that, yes, there is still some prejudice, but the prejudice is as likely to be from people wanting to “open the door” to the other, as from people wanting to keep them down.  You also learn that human beings are individuals and that among the “other” there is the usual number of grifters quite willing to coast on proffered help to get a leg up with minimal work, while genuine strivers would rather die than take your help, because of that implied power relationship thing.

And by the time you’re in your middle twenties, you usually have got around to just treating people as people, giving help where you can and when you can and not looking at whether the person is supposed to be a victim.  Because you see, in the real world, victims don’t always correspond to what your “Studies” teacher told you.  There is many a white male who in fact had nothing resembling privilege.  And if you think people treat them better just because they’re white or male, it is possible that’s because you’re a big, stinking racist.  Doesn’t give you the right to assume the majority of people are like you.  Not even a significant proportion.  Unless of course you happen to be standing in the middle of a KKK rally, in which case take off the sheet and join humanity.  We’re not perfect, but most people are trying the best they can.

4 – Realize in your heart that this is your way of propping up your self image.  No?  Imagine for a moment that these “others” for whom you want to open the door happen to disagree with you.  They think that promoting leftist politics and race-and-gender-pimping in literature is despicable.  They make fun of your degree.  They find your manners hilarious.  They think your American-feminist pseudo-superiority is a hoot. They think your condescension towards them is not only ridiculous but infuriating.  They know that if they want to write this sf/f thing and make it big they can make it without help, thank you very much.

Do you still want to open the door to that person?  You know in your heart you don’t, as I have proof daily. (And I don’t even think your manners hilarious, just a little … rough.)

So your motive in opening the door to others is what, but to think of yourself as perceptive, kind and condescending above all others?  Which of course attracts the attention of people like Requires Hate who LIVE for that type of “help.” And yet hate you for it.

FINALLY note that I’m not now nor at any time — because I know you’re going to claim that — telling you that writing/publishing/reading is a dog eat dog world.  I’d never do that because it’s not true.  I’m just going to say what you’re doing is not what mentoring/helping/paying it forward looks like.

I should know because I’ve been the recipient of real help and mentoring from people of all political descriptions who never ONCE bragged about helping a little Latina girl who is ESL and has no connections, or opening the door for her.  And I’ve given help when I can (usually little stuff, though I’ve done a deal of mentoring and reading and teaching — less these last two years due to health issues, but that will change — for beginners and midlisters, and even people well above me who needed a critique or a quick look over of something new they were trying.)  I’ve given help without caring what the person’s color, gender, orientation and/or social economic status is and truly without expecting anything in return.

This is the general opening the door to everyone that I found unexceptionable even in the seventies.  Let me tell you that even someone of my disposition would have slapped a guy who said “I’m opening the door to you, delicate flower of womanhood, so you don’t strain your little muscles.”

Yeah, so I give a little more help to people who are in a crisis, just like I open the door faster to people burdened with packages. Not because I’m special, but because they need it more.

THAT is what opening doors looks like.  You do what you can, and you don’t pose as superior and holding the power of career-making in your hands.

Because you don’t. And if that’s the source of your self esteem it’s time you found another.

Helping others is what humans do, and in this crazy field, it’s what writers do.  It’s not something that makes you kind and special. It’s the minimum requirement for “decent human being.”

Anything more than that is up to you.

596 responses to “Lady Bountiful and the Illusion of Heroism

  1. c4c

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Plus IMO Heroism implies doing something dangerous for a “good cause” and/or to “save others”.

    These people aren’t Heroes because *they know* that there’s no real danger involved in their actions.

    They would not be lynched (or threatened with lynching) by “helping” minorities.

    In fact they get praise from other idiots like them.

    • Actual danger, of course, like getting shot at by neo-Nazis — that’s not even evidence you aren’t a neo-Nazi yourself.

    • I don’t have any URLs immediately to hand, but I have seen reports of whites “helping” minorities actually get beaten up by them.

      Of course, it can’t be racism, because POCs can’t be racist towards whites. /sarc

      • Dan Poore,

        Racial status has nothing to do with it. People are people, and people (of all stripes, or lack of stripes) often end up hating those who helped them. It isn’t a racial thing at all, it’s a human thing.

        I think it has to do with being reminded that they needed help (or in some cases didn’t need help, but some jack-wagon butted in and decided they did anyway)

        s.

        • Race MAY have nothing to do with it. It can however be a factor in the exact details of being humiliated and an ingrate.

        • the last one is the kicker.

        • They can decide to look at the helpers as useful idiots to be milked out of everything possible, and if then the chance would come and tables are turned in one way or another, discarded like trash or maybe taken to the guillotine, figuratively at least but possibly also for real.

          And this is understandable in its way. Most people don’t like to depend on others. Some try to get out of this honestly, those who can’t or dislike the honest alternative enough that they will not even if they could may come to resent the help anyway and twist the situation, at least in their imagination, to something which doesn’t make the look like dependents but instead turns them into cunning con men. And some actually never were nothing else but con men. And helpers who are seen as at all condescending are more likely to get that than sincere ones but even the completely sincere ones aren’t even close to immune.

          • I’ve been “handicapped” since Aug. 1977, and legally “disabled” since Oct. 1994, so I “have a dog in the hunt.” Nothing *infuriates* me, and people like me, more than “Liberal Helpers.” People who _decide_ they “know what we need/want” and *will not* listen to us.
            Our _actual_ needs/wants are irrelevant to them. They have “God like ability to know.” Right. I have as little to do with them as I can.
            I do appreciate “help” that asks me what I need/want, and actually _listens_. They succeed in helping me.

  3. “But don’t you want to open the door to minorities and the underprivileged?”
    she remains me of the Ingrid Bergman’s Greta character on the movie Orient Express “I was born backwards. That is why I work in Africa as missionary teaching little brown babies more backwards than myself.”

  4. To the first of your points, I might add a phrase you may or may not have heard growing up in Portugal – seems to be an Americanism at any rate : “that’s mighty white of you.”

    As a former anthropology student, it has been horrifying to hear some basic observation principles used to remind anthropologists ( via Franz Boaz) that noblesse oblige is not a recommended analysis of differences be turned into a whomping mace for the use of social justice warriors. Im always telling people that the whole multi-culti movement is a grotesque corruption of anthropological principles.

    Either that, or I made the incredibly naive mistake of actually believing my profs when they admonished us to not repeat the mistakes of the ‘armchair’ anthropologists who made wholesale judgements of a culture based on what some hoary old sailor told them.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Minor nit, I thought “That’s mighty white of you” was British first. [Smile]

      • Paul – sorry – meant to reply to you – you are correct!

        • I dunno. I love saying things like, “Come, sit up front like a Christian” but mostly to see the blood pressure spike and the confused “does he think I’m a Christian/does he think I’m not a Christian/Is that a bigoted statement/is he pulling my chain”

          There is a lot of instant offense being generated by people who look at it as a form of social dominance – and like adolescents they don’t understand anything about it but seems to be a shortcut to being important. Cut the whole kabuki dance short, and if they get huffy, they get told to stay in the back where they don’t bother me.

          • Those phrases come from an age when people — all people — understood the vast perceived and real differences between each other.

          • My favorites have been “free, white, and twenty-one” (to describe why you’re not stopping someone being stupid) and “called her everything but a white woman.”

            Between those and “bless her heart” the South in my family gave me a great set of broadly applicable sayings.

          • But how can you “Sit up front like a Christian” when you are a “Back-row Baptist”???

            • Okay, “Backrow Baptist” is a new for one me…is that like a “Sunday School Christian”?

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                I’ve heard it as “back seat Baptist”. It’s about Baptists that prefer to sit as far away from the Preacher as possible. I won’t comment on their religious convection as I sometimes prefer the row farthest from the Preacher. [Smile]

                • Lutherans are also known to prefer the pews in the back of
                  the sanctuary. I seem to have been born preferring to
                  have a wall at my back and a view of what is going on
                  in front of me. My least favorite teachers in school were the ones who moved me to the front of the class.

                • So throwing aside all awareness of my own unlimited typos here in the face of a really wuite good one; skipping their religious convections, what about their religious conductions, not to mention their religious radiations?

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    GROAN!

                  • Typos are free to be mocked so long as the jokes justify (or, at very least, do not align Left.)

                    For such folk as referenced, their religious conduction is generally abysmal, more a matter of honoring in the breach than the adherence.

                    Their religious radiations, of course, can be quite deadly, inducing cancerous doctrine such as SJW Syndrome or Liberation Theology. Avoid their penumbras as well as their emanations.

                  • Religious radiations, from the alpha to the omega rays, huh?

                • Preferably the back row of the balcony. It wasn’t the preachers we were trying to avoid, it was the little old blue-hairs who stared daggers at us for the mere trifling of being hung over like dogs late on a Sunday morning.

              • It’s the opposite of the “Amen Pew”…

          • The funny thing is: go to church on Sunday. You’ll see. Christians don’t sit down front.

            M

            • At least in the parishes I’m familiar with, the front rows are either for people who are helping with the service, or for the old/disabled folks– the further back they sit, the further they have to walk for Communion.

              • I used to it being mostly for alter boys to sit during the homily and families bringing a child for baptism.

              • Growing up my family always sat in the second to back or occasionally the back pew. One preacher we got decided to save the back rows for latecomers. Eventually he gave up on that, because those of us who had always sat there simply took the ropes they put across them down when we came in, and ignored the signs, sitting there anyways.
                I found it quite comical when the next preacher we got (the one who wanted to save the back rows for latecomers was a temporary fill-in we had for about a year between long term pastors) blocked off the FRONT two rows for latecomers. I always wondered if someone told him the story of the previous pastor.

                • I choose to believe he had a great sense of humor coupled with an understanding of human nature. 😀

                  It’s embarrassing to come in late, especially if you don’t have a really good reason– such as several kids. (AKA, the people who should be allowed to be in a pew with good access to a quick escape, for everyone’s sanity.)

                  So if you reserve the front few pews for the folks who come in late, especially if the singers are on one side and the retirement home battalion is on the other….. *Grin*

    • I’ve thoght for a while that Multiculturalism sounded like an academic concept – appropreate for its proper setting – misapplied. I’m delighted to have confirmation.

      A lot of my Father’s work as a Historian of Science had to do with tracking the ways that scholarly ideas escaped their proppper settings and how the popular misunderstandings of them affected things. Look at how the popular idea that evolution is directional and always an improvement colored politics in Marxism.

      • That sounds like a fascinating topic. Is his work available for purchase outside of academic journal subscriptions?

        • My (late) Father was Robert Schofield, and he never got what he called his “Styles Course” written up (it needed to be a multimedia thing, and he was old enough to have served in WWII). The essence of the Styles theory was the idea that science is not separate from culture, so that at a time when you have Baroque music, and Baroque literature (and likely as not Baroque politics), you are likely to have Baroque science.

          His published work is out there, of course. I’m not sure how explicitly he goes into the Stayles theory in it. I wouldn’t have noticed it, when I tried to read his books. I grew up with the idea.

          THE LUNAR SOCIETY OF BIRMINGHAM

          MECHANISM AND MATERIALISM: BRITISH NATURAL PHILOSOPHY IN AN AGE OF REASON

          THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF JOSEPH PRIESTLEY: A STUDY OF HIS LIFE AND WORK FROM 1733 TO 1773

          and

          THE ENLIGHTENED JOSEPH PRIESTLEY: A STUDY OF HIS LIFE AND WORK FROM 1773 TO 1804

          are the major pieces.

          His last project, which I have in incomplete form, was an annotated publishers’ bibliography. A London publish named Joseph Johnson published many of the most important scientific and political works on the late 18th Century. So his publishing house was a confluence of important ideas, from the scientific work of Joseph Priestly to the feminism of Mary Wollstonecraft.

          If we can come to some terms with Father’s collaborator on the project (another old man, and in ill health, poor fellow), we intend to see it published, or at least posted on the internet. Father didn’t consider it an earth-shattering work (annotations, not in-depth analysis) but had done a great deal of the work already for various projects, and wanted to put out there so it would have to be done again.

          • That’s IT! SJWs are The Endarkened Ones

            • That grants them entirely too much dignity. They’re just one more bunch of would-be aristocrats who can’t STAND that most of the people in their society are literate, so being “educated” doesn’t really make them special. So they have to make up bogus “standards” for “Art” that ensure they are the only people who “understand” it. And then they get mad that the Great Unwashed don’t appreciate “Fine Art”.

              *Pfui*

              • This pattern has been going on for a more than a generation now. Your they who are presently trying to impose their enlightened views upon masses didn’t develop those standards which they embrace. This kind of thinking has become very well entrenched in academia.

                Academia’s claim to importance and relevance in today’s society lies in their perceived role as the arbiters of what is right and good. Academics, do their damnedest to make sure that this perception continues. They enjoy the sense of being the ‘in’ in the in-crowd. They appreciate whatever admiration, power and prestige it brings. They like feeling good about themselves. They want to protect their livelihood. They are all too human.

      • It is. Multiculturalism is the b*stard child of Cultural Relativism, the concept that all cultures are “relative,” equal, and must be judged on their own merits. Cannibalism? Cultural Relativism is pretty much okay with this, since that is their “culture.” Mead, Benedict, and several other notables in anthropology had a hand in the birth of this idea. There are also ties to feminism, but those are more tenuous and have less to do with how Multi-Culti turned out.

        Cultural Relativism was actually lifted from philosophy, where it was just “Relativism” (i.e., there is no universal truth, only subjectivity). Relativism grew out of post-modernist thought. Crick and Feyerabend are the ones I’m most familiar with off-hand, there. Professional anthropologists defend Relativism, saying they use it as a “methodology,” not a philosophy. To this simple-minded redneck, that’s nothing more than distinction without difference.

        Back to anthropology (I was also an anthro student, but I tended to hide away in the classification lab with the bones rather than deal with live people). Ethnocentrism is a word you’ll find bandied about a lot when someone wants to criticize another person for thinking their culture is better, or seeming to do so. It’s sort of the anthropological root of the “Privilege” movement. The idea, again, is you can’t judge the Molotov-wielding guy in a hoodie as “bad” or even “less civilized” than the shop owner whose business Hoodie is attempting to burn to the ground. Hoodie is “troubled” at worst, at best he is “punching up” to use the current vernacular.

        These kind of ideas are born in the minds of academics, whether they be conceived of in the field or no. The “truth” of the idea is too beautiful to be false, so they try to bend the world to their vision of said “truth.” You’ll see that word used in some pretty unusual ways sometimes. “Our truths,” “their truths,” most often. Rarely “The Truth,” and that usually means another Big Lie next.

        Multiculturalism and Relativism both tend to serve as tools for other ideologies more often than they are ends themselves. Taken by themselves, they get ridiculous quite fast. If there is no objective truth to be found, then there’s nothing really to make much fuss about… And pretty soon another ideology comes along and kicks the crap out of Relativism/Multiculturalism, unless it has a more practical big brother defending it, i.e., the one they are always calling imperialist, patriatchical, white-privilegey, racist, cis-normative, and quite possibly fascist.

        Sorry this ran a bit long. Wrote between work, and that gives me too much time to think.

        • Professional anthropologists defend Relativism, saying they use it as a “methodology,” not a philosophy. To this simple-minded redneck, that’s nothing more than distinction without difference.

          I wonder if this is itself an attempt to apply the physics principle of no privileged point/observer which itself has two versions, the specialized ones from relatively about frames of reference and the older, basic idea that universal physical laws are just that and unless we have reasons to the contrary things such as gravitation apply the same here as around Alpha Centauri. In physics it is a key component to getting a lot of word done.

          I can see where in anthropology at the data gathering and evaluation stage it could be useful. If your goal is to determine why some cultures engage in cannibalism you probably need to overcome your revulsion at the topic to gather your data and reach a conclusion.

          It is the failure to vomit afterwards that can be troubling.

          • I could keep going back through Mad Bishop Berkley, to Cartesian Dualism, but things get a bit murky when it goes all Classical Latin on us. I’ll not rule out the connection to physics, though, because that has probably been thought of at some point. *I* hadn’t thought of it, though, but I’m not all that bright anyway. *grin*

            Data collection in anthropology… Cultural anthropology, especially, has lots of guidelines for eliminating (reducing, because eliminating ain’t gonna happen) observer bias. It’s useful and prudent to set your past aside as much as you can, and record descriptions, not judgments. This is how anthropologists get let in to pretty much every culture on earth. At its best, cultural anthropology translates culture in such a way that the audience can understand it while keeping the essence of that culture intact. This is, to put it very mildly, not easy.

            Cultural anthropology has had some major missteps here. Mead, for one (and a *big* one). From the physical side (my area of study), “so open minded their brains fall out” is how we describe those who go to such lengths *not* to judge, they’re judging in an entirely different way. “Going native” is when the anthropologist abandons his former culture for the one he studies, he identifies with it so much he loses his past. This is a big no-no, even for a cultural anthropologist. Or it used to be.

            It takes strong moral grounding and a solid sense of self *not* to give in and be swayed by the group when you are literally the only one (or one of a very few) who think and believe as you do. That applies to immigration here in the U.S. as well. When we get *whole communities* uprooting and coming here, acculturation doesn’t happen. But that’s another rabbit hole…

            • The Other Sean

              Don’t forget Malinowski’s enthusiastic “participant observation” among the island cultures.

            • So agree with you on Mead – find it hilarious that she got proven to have been the ultimate goober i.e. how the “natives” told her wild stories to mess with her rather than what actually went on.

              • Oh I agree. The sad thing is, they’ve been trying to rehabilitate her in the last twenty years or so. You’ll find several places out there that tout her as the “most famous anthropologist of all time.” Without irony.

                They praise her work in New Gunea, where she “demonstrated that gender roles differed from one society to another, depending at least as much on culture as on biology.” This was in, late thirties, early forties? I think. Stuff we are seeing in modern feminism and social justice circles started back then.

                And yet, to folks who trained and learned anthropology or at least had the curiosity to go and look, we know she got hoodwinked by a bunch of pre-teen and teenage girls. *chuckle* Looked at in that light, “Coming of Age In Samoa” is pretty hilarious!

                • She probably is the “most famous anthropologist of all time.”

                  Velikovsky is probably the most famous astronomical theorist of all time.

                  They say “most famous” as if it were a good thing, or even an important thing.

                  • Indeed, good sir. And they totally miss the point. Derek Freeman pretty solidly debunked her main work back in the ’80s. And yet, fame goes on. *shakes head*

                    William Bass is a *much* better candidate, I think, but I’m a bit biased. *grin*

                    • It’s easy when they remove enough details that you can’t find out what the hey she was studying in the area they’re citing her– I’d seen folks cite her on “small, isolated tribes” in a serious way, although some of them may have been before the debunking was well known.

                      I didn’t know she’d been working on the FREAKING SAMOANS!
                      Insert the sound of a record scritching right about there, as the BS alarm goes off with great force.
                      Totally destroyed the arguments that folks were building on it- it’s like if someone claimed that a “group of country dwellers” didn’t drink, and then I find out they’re talking about ranchers.

                  • They say “most famous” when they should say “most infamous”.

                • And they say, of course, that she was attacked because she was a woman.

                • Well, I think she is. I can’t name another. Cool, that the girls were putting her on, and she bought it all.

            • And I spent quite a bit of time cleaning bones myself 🙂 Had a forensic anthro prof – one of fifty (in the 70s/80s) trained by Dr. William Bass at the University of Tennessee. Now my alma mater has the largest Body Farm in the US.

              • I visited once or twice. *chuckle* Can’t recall all my profs from back then (good lord, has it been seventeen years already?), but Simek was probably the one who got me interested. Nice campus down there by the river. Strange where they stuck the anthropology offices, though.

          • Science has always colored the understanding of other fields. Freud’s analysis was very steam engine appropriate with pressures and relief mechanisms and before that clockwork mechanical analogies. Modern wonder of the ‘multi-processing’ brain and the universe as a computer simulation are also examples.
            The problem with cultural ‘relativism’, is it takes the conclusion from Einstein’s relativity without bothering to examine the base requirements. Einstein spoke of an inertial plane of reference. There were very specific requirements for such a plane. There is also the conundrum that Einstein’s tests require the observer to be in an inertial plane themselves. It wasn’t a train racing down an Alpine mountain, twisting and curving, it was a train on a straight track traveling at a uniform velocity that Einstein used as his example.
            How might we define an inertial cultural frame of reference? It unfortunately contains ‘value judgments’ like ‘eating your neighbors is bad’, ‘selling women as sex slaves is bad’, ‘cultures surviving on rape and pillage (burning afterward) are bad’. Essentially, we first make an assumption that our own culture is a frame of reference. Back in the 50’s, that was valid, but we are in the ‘Crazy Years’. There is nothing ‘relative’ between Western Civilization and a bunch of crazed Iranian ‘death to the great Satan’ and their culture of stoning and sexist oppression. As George Bush declared, they are ‘evil’.

          • ” In physics it is a key component to getting a lot of word done.”

            In the social “sciences,” at least as much PowerPoint gets done as Word.

            It’s a pity that far too few who study the practitioners of the social “sciences” really Excel at anything. Perhaps if they knew how to use their Access to the scientific method when conducting research, it would help change their Outlook.

        • “Professional anthropologists defend Relativism, saying they use it as a “methodology,” not a philosophy. To this simple-minded redneck, that’s nothing more than distinction without difference.”

          I would propose a difference;

          If you are trying to understand a society that practices human sacrifice, or cannibalism, or mandatory incest between royals, unless you put aside your (quite right) judgement that such practices are revolting you will very likely fail to make the connections to other practices, and thus fail to understand the society. So long as your purpose is to understand such a society, reserving judgement on their morals is a plus. When you have analyzed the society THEN you pass judgement.

          The problem comes when you have people who fall in love with the exotic, and fail to make cold eyed judgement. Thus you get imbeciles decrying the destruction of the Aztec empire, instead of saying “Conquistadors vs. Aztecs; there are two concatenations of a$$holes who richly deserve each-other. Believe I’ll make popcorn.”

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            The more I hear people defending the Aztecs, the more I wish the Conquistadors were right and I wish the Conquistadors would pay the Aztec defenders a visit. [Evil Grin]

              • The Other Sean

                Agreed. And this is why, like Dan Lane up above, I concentrated much of anthropology courseswork on physical anthropology (or archaeology) rather than cultural. There’s much less need to forcibly exhibit non-judgmental behavior when dealing with bones and potsherds rather than cannibals.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  A few years ago, a “bones and potsherds” anthropologist found possible evidence for cannibalism among the Indians of the American (US) southwest.

                  He received heck-of-lot of shit from the PC idiots.

                  “How dare he claim that!”.

                  Oh, I seem to remember hearing that the “cannibalism” was finally blamed on Indians from what is now Mexico. [Sad Smile]

                  • He’s standing on firm ground, if this is what I think it is. Aztecs and Maya, for sure, and they had a pretty large spread back in Pre-Columbus days. Some evidence, I think, that they were even in the American Southwest.

                    Human sacrifice, high probability. Cannibalism… Structured is a possibility. When the Southwest was drying out, that may have been starvation, though, if I have the timing right.

                    • The Other Sean

                      If it was the late 1200’s through the 1300’s would correlate well with the extended drier climate conditions and collapse of the ancestral Puebloan communities.

                    • Not sure where to throw this in, but the northeast Indians practiced cannibalism. Mohawk means cannibal. (or flesh eater or man eater, depending on whose translation you want to use)

            • Patrick Chester

              Odd, I kind of wish the Aztecs would visit their defenders, since those defenders are such big-hearted people… *evil, EVIL grin*

          • I flummoxed a multiculturalist harpy in college who was complaining about me making a similar statement by pointing out that it was part of my cultural tradition to make moral judgments and so by her standards she had no cause to criticize me.

            • Patrick Chester

              Did she start self-destructing like Nomad from that old Star Trek episode?

            • That’s exactly why “privilege” has become such an important stick for lefties to beat their opponents with. Nothing may be better than anything else, but anything that comes from privilege can be discounted without requiring a value judgement.

              • Is not “holding doors open” part of the penance white males are required to pay for their privilege?

                Any woman who declines to allow a white male to pay that penance implicitly communicates that atonement is complete and no further obligation is due her to offset the advantages conveyed by his privilege.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I tend towards ‘Aztecs had it coming to them’.

          • That dovetails with Malinowski’s work that The Other Sean alluded to above. Keeping data collection and analysis was one of his things, though he *did* have his… quirks, let’s say. Have to be a bit bent to be an anthropologist anyway.

            You’ve got the basics down, though. Observe, record, *then* classify and analyze. Oh, and make sure you get funding. Time and money are the major restrictions of any anthropological study. Which is why better grant writers tend to get more fieldwork…

        • A lot of “culture” is necessity forced by circumstance. Live on an island peak with no convenient source of protein? Cannibalism. Lose a lot of men fighting over water rights and grazing? Polygamy keeps your population from a dangerous decline. Have no natural predators, no combat casualties, but losses from childbearing? Limited polyandry keeps the menfolk from fighting over the womenfolk.

          Most cultural mores had a valid survival value at some point. Carrying them beyond that point (e.g. keeping harems of 16 year old wives in trailers while you drive the young men / competition away) makes much less sense.

          Even slavery was a better alternative at one point. Would you prefer to be a slave or would you prefer the Aztec method of dealing with captives? Every era has bonded labor, so the problems neatly solved each other. (Our bonded labor goes by John Deere instead of Jim Crowe.)

          • Yup. Cultures are like bones, shaped by the soft tissue around them, yet the muscles rely on the bones for strength and mechanical advantage. There are usually *reasons* for cultural mores, but culture is layers upon layers of accumulated habit and tradition, stronger than law. To folks in the culture, these traits are invisible most of the time.

            Good ethnologies take this into account. Once you’ve gathered the data, once you know the what, who, when, where and how… Then is time to work on why. Sometimes you don’t get that far. And sometimes you get it wrong. Heck, ritual genital mutilation probably had a reason at some point- but the reasons for cultural traits are not *all* tied to genetic survival. Some a re just plain weird.

          • I dunno. As I get older I become more convinced that slavery was always a form of conspicuous consumption. Free men don’t need guards to keep them at their job, and have been shown to be more productive over and over.

            • Eh, it’s more humane than slaughtering your enemies. And there’s an ideogram in Chinese that once meant “prisoner of war” and now means “prime minister” after a transition through “slave.” of course, a Chinese slave was a household slave, since you had peasants to farm, but after a few generations of seeing their fortunes rise and fall with the noble house, and watching people grovel before them whenever they did the noble’s business, slaves were pretty attached to their masters.

            • In its African form, it usually was conspicuous consumption. The “slaves” worked four days a week for the bigwig who owned them, he took care of them in old age, and they took care of their own lives the rest of the time.

              The Mediterranean version was more one family of owners with a slave or two all doing the same work and living in the same hut.

              Chattel slavery as practiced in the Americas and ancient Sparta was a completely different animal. The Spartans were just armed snobs. But in the Americas there’s a reasonable argument to be made that African slavery had reason behind it. Resistance to tropical diseases (that had originally come from Africa) was what made an African slave more economically advantageous than an indentured European. The European – facing the prospect of freedom in 5 to 7 years – worked harder and paid attention. The African worked as much as you made him work, and not a jot more. (Why should he?) Free labor always outworks bound labor. But when only 10% of Africans are dying during “seasoning” of malaria, etc. and 40% of Europeans are, the African becomes more profitable. If they’d had quinine in 1500, we’d probably have never seen the Triangle Trade.

              The raging racism – above and beyond the normal disdain for the “other” – that came from trying to morally justify the African slave trade is an entirely different matter. Only a Christian culture would have felt guilty enough to even bother trying to rationalize it. Likewise, only a Christian culture would have abolished a millenia old institution. It’s hard to hold a man in chains when your God sees you as equals.

              • Interesting novel — go back in time with quinine.

                • “The Return of Jesse Jackson” where after going back to stop slavery he realizes he’s from Africa because blacks never came to the US, doesn’t own a suit, and lives in a mud hut?

                • The cinchona tree is native to the Andes, so the solution was right there all along. According to Wikipedia (because I’d forgotten the name of the tree and had to look it up) it was used medicinally by the Quecha and the Spanish were aware of it’s use against malaria by the late 16th century. From what I can gather, the slave trade (into North America at least) was really establishing itself about the time quinine was first being used by Europeans to treat malaria. (So I learned something today.)

                  It could have been available widely if there had been someone enterprising enough to set up plantations of cinchona trees. Unfortunately, it grew in Spanish and Portuguese territory. Present Iberians excepted, they weren’t exactly known for their entrepreneurial temperament. They needed a Spanish John Rolfe and got some don’s second son on the make.

      • CP, some day over beer/iced tea/soda pop ask me about the pasture, the historian, and the Heizenberg Uncertainty Principle. That was when I realized that some ideas probably should not be allowed out of the science building without an armed escort, to keep the liberal arts majors away from them.

    • Combtmissionary

      Maybe you guys should subtitle articles about the Hugos “Take Up the White Man’s Burden.”?

      • scott2harrison

        Shadowdancer might get pissed. Or she might not. Hard to know.

        • She’s married to one– she picks up a white man’s burden all the time, and that’s assuming that she doesn’t throw in to help her housemate as well, if we’re going to be veddy veddy literal serious.

          My bet’s on highly amused.

        • Pissed? Maybe, if I decide the entertainment requires copious amounts of liquor. Oh wait, not that type of pissed.

          I haven’t pissed myself laughing yet, but I have been cackling like a madwoman over the overt admission of racism by that poetry anthology editor, and gone ‘mua ha ha ha ha ha’ at that recent LA Times article about how hardworking Asian students are penalized for being hardworking Asian students because ethnic diversity.

          My very white husband (British descent, born in Australia) and the (very mixed race but looks white, apparently!) housemate listened to me read out that article. Aff/David the housemate nodded very slowly and said “So that’s why our tech companies refuse to accept American university degrees and insist on their taking up local TAFE courses.”

          He then proceeded to relate a story of how an American attempted to sue the Australian government for discrimination, to which the ruling was, “if you pass a local TAFE (technical) course we’ll pay your legal fees and the course fees.” Whereupon the person filing the suit failed to pass the TAFE course.

          We wonder if SJWs pick their surgeons based on how dark the skin color is and how unpronounceable the name, over skills and qualifications. If that is the case, well, there should be no issues about their convictions, right? ^_^

          As for the men, I don’t have to pick up after them. *grin* Rhys is military; he’s found it easier to keep things neat. If Aff’s room is a disaster area, that means he’s working on client systems and building computers for them.

          • What, you don’t have to carry in groceries?!? *jealous*

            • That’s an egalitarian job – EVERYONE carries in groceries. I’ll usually carry in some as I head down the hall to call for the rest of the household to help. On the big shopping days, my daughter and I sort out the groceries out of the bags and into the proper places while the lads bring them in – including the eight year old hauling stuff into the kitchen.

              When everything is brought in from the car, the lads help sorting stuff out (Aff / Rhys put the heavier things away, Vincent is usually deployed to put bathroom things into the bathrooms they’re meant to go to, putting canned goods into the pantry, etc)

              Rather organized chaos, really.

              • Division of labor works. That’s pretty much how we’ve done it in most mixed settings here, even family reunions where there’s upwards of a hundred not including munchkins running around (hard to count sometimes).

                • I honestly can’t imagine it being any other way. I’ve always been the ‘mom’s assistant’ being the eldest so … and for some reason Aff just fit into our family as naturally as breathing so we never noticed any problems. (he still thinks of my kitchen as the Zombie Apocalypse setup, but I’ve been watching Doomsday Preppers, and this is what I call only the MINIMUM. My urges to store and preserve food seem to date to a century earlier for some reason…)

          • Link to the LA times article, please?

      • Combtmissionary

        I just think it’s the perfect reply:
        “Open the doors to the minorities! ”
        “YES! TAKE UP THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN…”
        [RECORD SCRATCH]
        😀

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Take up the white man’s burden? I am NOT carrying around George R R Martin.

    • Wow, I didn’t realize there were so many people who had studied anthropology around here. I got my bachelors in anthropology and I always liked studying to find the practical survival level stuff behind the bizarre (to me) practices.

      • I started because it went well with philosophy, classics (Latin), ancient history, and math- all of which I was taking at the same time that year. Anthropology and history go well together (historical archaeology). Forensics was fun, too, if you have a strong stomach. *grin*

        The practical survival stuff, especially early hominid ancestry, is always good. Did you hear about the find on Crete? Pushed the earliest evidence of sailing (not just floating on a river) back to 130k years. Pretty interesting stuff.

      • I chose to major in anthropology because anthropology and geography were the only majors I didn’t dislike that offered a lot of online, weekend, and summer courses and did not have a large, awkwardly-scheduled laboratory time component. I was working full time as a software developer and while my boss let me adjust my schedule, there were a small number of meetings each week I absolutely could not miss frequently; every course with a lab component always conflicted with at least one of my required weekly meetings. Anthropology won out because the physical geography course had a lab component that conflicted. Physical anthropology did involve lab work, but it was all either during the normal class time, or anytime the lab was open or the professor, grad assistant, or department secretary was around to unlock the lab.

  5. Paul – you are probably right!

  6. Somewhere the other day I read a great line. It was that libs/progs/socs/coms(BIRM) are the most racist people in the world. And IF you think it through you pretty much have to agree with the sentiment

    • ARRRGGGH kil the email address if you can , Sarah/admin. The stupid is very strong in me today…

    • In America, maybe. Compared to Chinese attitudes? Maybe not.

      • It’s apparently not racism when it’s part of another race’s culture…

        • Remember, to the Progressive, Asians, not being white, are incapable of holding moral agency and must follow the strictures of their culture without assuming any blame. Slavery was a part of European culture for thousands of years, but whites bear an indelible stain on their souls because they should have known better.

          Or it’s all just crap the the Progs make up as needed to advance their political agenda.

          • Can I up vote this a few times and repeat it? This is one of the bestbest most succinct explanations of the concept that I’ve read.

          • And why should Europeans have known better? Because of Christianity.

            It’s the only religious system I can think of where everyone – king or pauper – is morally equal before the divine, where everyone is assumed to have moral agency. But, oh, how the Left hates the religion that forms the foundation of their moral beliefs.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              IMO they hate it because they don’t control it.

              Or to be more precise, they hate anything they don’t control.

              Of course, they don’t hate the “Religious Left” because the “Religious Left” has allowed Progressives to tell them what to believe.

              But it is “interesting” that from time to time, the “Religious Left” tries to take part in the “debate” (ie to attempt to counter the so-called Religious Right), but for some reason the “Religious Left” exists the “debate”.

              I wonder why.

              • I think it’s the hypocrisy of their own position that gnaws at them. Their “secular” morality rests on a Christian base. Without religion secular morality is nothing more than an abhorrent utilitarianism. (Peter Singer’s argument that infants are not really people until months after birth and can be justifiably killed, for instance.) In their guts they know this. But they can’t accept the judgement of their own impulsive behavior that comes with Christianity. So they lash out at their moral parent in a juvenile “Yes, I wrecked the car, but you’re not perfect!” tantrum.

                Progressivism started out as a religious movement, remember. A century ago it was the desire to do Christian good works that motivated them. At some point they lost the faith, but kept the impulse and the know it all, busybody meddling.

                Which is what happens when you farm your moral duty out to a third party, in this case the government. God is God and can feed the poor and shelter the homeless if He so chooses. He doesn’t need us to act as his agents; God’s a big boy. (Someone explain this to Islam, please.) When we delegate charity to the government it completely misses the point that serving the poor is for the moral benefit of those serving, not those being served. Yet the progressives actually seem to feel good about letting someone else do their duty. It’s like paying someone else to eat your broccoli then bragging about how you eat healthy.

                • In re: Peter Singer, I share his belief that not all become human at birth, that some require decades to achieve human status and some, such as Prof. Singer, never achieve humanity and may be aborted at whim.

  7. The degree of arrogance required to favor the Other <i.because it is the Other, over those more like oneself, has always astonished me. The Bountifuls clearly do not think there is any danger that the Others will outcompete themselves or their kin — the obvious thought in their minds is “They just can’t, the poor little things.”

  8. Helping others is what humans do, and in this crazy field, it’s what writers do. It’s not something that makes you kind and special. It’s the minimum requirement for “decent human being.”

    Indeed. And sabotaging others for disagreeing with oneself, which is what the Leftists consider reasonable, is vile.

  9. It is a lot like talking to dogs:

    If you are venting steam to the Huns, it is fine, they can understand rational discourse. If you were expecting any of the three-name SJWs to understand, “Stupid white B*TCH!” is shorter, and easier for them to process.

    • Actually, I think the dog gets the point better even if there isn’t understanding of the individual words.

    • yeah, but as Larry says, internet arguing is for the undecided. I want them to know that just because you say you want to help, it doesn’t make you admirable.

      • As well: There is a difference between giving someone a hand when and where they are need of it and giving someone a hand out that suits your own ego.

        • Very much this. Well said.

        • Another one into the book.

        • Progressives are guilty of giving a hand out to suit their own ego, but cunningly setting the requirements so that you and your descendants will fall into a dependency of the progressive system and always need them to ‘feel good’ about giving to you. And, yes, such a system just *might* foster a sense of resentment in those you are ‘helping’.

          • It’s almost as though they don’t see others as human beings but instead see them as tools as they claim capitalists do.

            Then again, seeing how liberals run their organizations from watching meltdowns at Pacifica Radio (very close up…Houston has a Pacifica station and we rented one of their shows at local community radio during part of it) and The Nation I figured out how they believe what they say about capitalists. I saw how they treat each other as employers (such as Acorn wanting a minimum wage exception to what they paid living wage advocates) and realized given how they were and they think of themselves as the good guys then how the “bad guys” treat their employees much be much, much worse.

            • Having seen this scene from a similar perspective, I have observed — or concluded — that most of what passes for activism among liberals is scamming a paycheck without having to do much work for it. You can see this even at the national level. It’s why, whenever a Republican administration takes over from a Democrat one, you get the impression that the adults have just moved in.

              M

            • …but instead see them as tools as they claim capitalists do.

              Why do you think that they believe capitalist see people as tools? Simple, because they themselves already recognize people as a means to an end. For them the collective is what is truly important. People are only so worthy, in their minds, as they serve to forward the glorious future of the progressive collective.

        • Working on this with our kids.
          First rule of helping, make sure it’s not making things worse.

      • Yep, fine post, and I had much the same thought reading it as Donald. Your words, had they ever reached your target recipient, would have rolled off her like water on a duck. Doubtful anything of meaning would have penetrated her deaf ears and entered that skull of carefully nurtured liberal mush.
        But then preaching to the committed is simply a device, a construct of language convenient for purposes of the laying of arguments. You know full well that the real target is anyone with a mind open enough for your words to enter and plant the seeds of reason and logic.

    • Or, rather, FAIL to process…….

  10. “…would turn and punch whichever man opened the door for them…”

    Being a child during the 70s, I remember this well. The same girls would get REALLY mad when you hit them back because “How could you hit a GIRL?!?!?!” and never see the irony in that.

    Please don’t judge me too harshly though, I was less than 10 years old after all, and girls were still yucky back then. One such girl told on me to my dad, I got a whipping because dad was an old-school “never hit a girl for ANY reason” type. He suggested the next time I should just let the girl hit me and then laugh. Yea… as if that would piss them off any less. 🙂

    s

    • I turned 18 in 1980, so I was a kid most of that time, too.

    • By the 80’s the punching had gone away (perhaps someone with a bit more predictive juice in the brain mix foresaw the difficulties with jumping feet first into physical altercation), but it had moved on to shrieking beratement.

      As a fellow of canted brain privilege I found these out of the blue assaults while I was studiously practicing the prescribed courtesies bewildering and hurtful. Later I was angry. Very angry.

      This does not serve me well faced with the modern screaming harridans.*

      Yes, I’m aware that such words, words limited to describing female traits, are often considered sexist. If people would like them to fade from use they shouldn’t so embody them. And I’m dreadfully tired of policing my language as a courtesy to those who extend me no such courtesy.

      • Come now, you know as well as i that “screaming harridans” describes many persons of penishood. (Not to be confused with persons of penis hood, a condition reportedly common in certain backward cultures.)

      • It has been my unhappy experience that for every pejorative stereotype in wide use there is a small but noisy sub-group of the group so stereotyped that is determined to live down to it.

      • Shrieking beratement started much earlier. I was a grad student at a large university, in STEM in the mid 70’s. I was sitting on the steps of the Nat Sci building in between classes, wearing the required dress–jeans, tshirt, khaki surplus shirt with long straight hair. I pulled a quilt square out of my surplus backpack (also required) to work on, since I had some spare time until class. A woman I assume was another grad student stopped and started screaming at me–I was undermining the the movement and betraying the fight by indulging in the domestic arts. I remember sitting there staring up at her, open mouthed and totally bewildered. She eventually stomped off, I shrugged and put a few more stitches in before going to class. Yes, I got the degree and yes, I still quilt. 😀

        • It will interest you that as a young mother in the nineties I got the same treatment from a fellow aspiring writer (now a bestseller) for crocheting. Apparently it betrayed how dumb I was. Go figure.

          • Actually, those traditional crafts often require mad math skillz … oh wait, they don’t value that, either … nevermind

            • In this case, I do fillet crochet with “scenes” which I do to help my visual memory/reasoning. Also, because it’s fun.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                But Sarah! You must never do something because it’s fun! Everything you do must be “for the good of the cause”! [Sarcastic Grin]

                Note, I think somebody has already commented that Old Screwtape criticized his Nephew for letting his “patient” do something for the “fun of it” instead of doing something for “social advancement”. IE getting in good with the “cool” crowd.

            • I pity the fool (only slightly — the same way one pities a person who tries to take a steak from a tiger) what attempts to berate Biochemistry degreed Daughtorial Unit over her knitting, crocheting or other forms of occupational therapy for dealing with dolts. They do not want her hands free to act on impulse, indeed they don’t.

            • I’d like to hand some of those types a bunch of weaving diagrams the “old timey” coverlets etc that are so valued today–not to mention try crocheting some of the patterns from Weldon’s (mid to late 1800’s).

              • I’ve used the 40 count–over two so it’s only twenty 😀 I like linen better than the aida and hardanger I learned on because visually the linen weave fades into background more than the other types. My daughter sticks with the Aida.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Shrieking beratement started much earlier.

          Yeah. It was established enough to be mocked on the Carol Burnett Show in 1975:

          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0536668/?ref_=ttep_ep23

        • It is striking how often those who fight, unasked, for what they consider our rights seem to think that in consequence we should surrender our rights to them.

          Didn’t never sign up fer no movement and cannot betray a fight I want no part in. But if you continue to insist I know on which side I am enlisting.

          • “Patriarchy” is the control feminists imagine men have over women. It’s actually their projection of their own desire to control us.

            • Patriarchy is the excuse women who haven’t learned to shave their pits or comb and wash their hair use to explain why they seem to have no power over men.

              At least it seems that way a good percentage of the time.

              Oh, and to the next feminist who complains about men not having to shave their pits I did when I was in the engineroom and in very hot summers.

              • Isn’t it amazing how so many women have apparently missed the fact that men come with a convenient handle?

                • That contains an small brain a smart woman can manipulate into taking over the male body…..

                • My dear man comes with the most convenient handle of all, and shaped just for me: the wedding ring. I don’t even have to be holding onto anything to have him love, honor, and obey me.

                  There’s one little catch to make the feminists would recoil in horror: it goes both ways. I’m wearing a convenient handle shaped just for him, too.

              • Rhys made the interesting observation that while he was in basic, a number of the new recruits started to shave their pits and groom their underwear area as well. The most common reason seemed to stem from it being easier to stay fresh and smell better after the post grueling exercises shower

                • The Other Sean

                  That would make sense. That’s where the major concentration of apocrine sweat glands (which produce the stinkier sweat) are located, so shaving there would mean the less hair to soak it up and keep stinking.

                  • That does make sense. He said even the guys who were not comfortable taking a razor near the family jewels started trimming (or at least, were asking advice from their mates. Yes ladies, even the men ask their fellow men about grooming tips it turns out. The more you know…!)

                • In my experience it went beyond smell. When I was an engineroom watchstander I got nasty prickly heat if I didn’t shave my pits and other areas. The hair traps sweat leading to the smell but also to a rash.

                  • I recall being told that some guys decided to just go ahead and all their body shaved/waxed for that reason. Rhys says he’s grateful he didn’t have that problem, because I would be quite unhappy if he had to shave his chest hair.

                    For the record, prior to meeting him I was quite averse to body hair, as examples thereof I’d previously seen made me think of steel wool. Bearing in mind the fact that I am short enough that my face tends to be level to chest and armpit areas… yeah my aversion has a logical reason. Rhys however, has softer body hair, so I didn’t end up with my cheeks being prickled or scourged off during snuggle time.

                  • The smell isn’t actually from the sweat itself, as I understand it, but from the bacteria that feeds on the sweat. Also, wet hair rubbing constantly against skin might have an impact all its own.

          • I tend to be a literal thinker, can get blind-sided/side tracked when what I hear makes no sense to me. In this case I couldn’t understand why a perfect stranger would be upset by something I was doing while waiting for a science class (probably grad level Cell Biology, I think). The one had nothing to do with the other and why should anyone else care?

            A few years later when the “I am Woman” and NOW really got going it still made no sense to me. It was supposed to mean that I had choices but it was becoming clear that there were “right choices” and “wrong choices” and the classification was not MY choice. I therefore made the choice not to be involved with them.

            • It was supposed to mean that I had choices but it was becoming clear that there were “right choices” and “wrong choices” and the classification was not MY choice.

              The real WHAM privilege is to not have your opinions assigned to you by skin color, installed fiddly bits, prefered fiddly bits, or ability to walk and see.

              I value that privilege immensely and I’m happy to share it with any non-WHAM willing to embrace it.

  11. “I’m opening the door to you, delicate flower of womanhood, so you don’t strain your little muscles.”

    1. I now know what I’m going to say to Larry the next time I open a door for him at a con. 🙂

    2. Womanhood?!?! WOMANHOOD!!! h8ter.

  12. Combtmissionary

    When my wife and I were newlyweds, she once observed that my parents hadn’t come to help us with some chore or another that, in her family, would have generated an all-female flurry of a hen party of support. I told her, “My folks didn’t show up because they figure we can handle this, and if we need help, we’ll ask for it. It’s a sign of respect. But to stick your nose in uninvited means you think someone is in over their heads and can’t handle their problems. It’s like saying they’re incompetent.”
    I’d have that conversation with the Left if it weren’t an exercise in futility.

  13. Gawd I remember the 70s and the “don’t open the door types.” They were so stupid and the men were so confused.

    • I grew up in the 80s and there were still a few. I had one friend who spent high school berating boys for opening doors. She also wore orange every St. Patrick’s Day, so.

    • Combtmissionary

      My wife’s dad got hit by one of these types, I think. He slapped her back, hard. It dropped her to her knees. The pastor came running up (this was in a church). Apparently he was a little outraged at my father-in-law, until he said, “She doesn’t get to lay hands on me. But if you expect me to allow myself to be assaulted in church, you’ll never see me here again. ” He started singing a different tune.

      I wonder if that’s why that movement died out? 😉

    • They still exist in California though it’s gone to tongue lashings. They weren’t happen when some of us female types lit into them while the poor kid (usually around 18) was still trying to process how to respond to the California girl in a way that would not violate his own well trained code of ethics. (Or in other-words ‘If I respond that way my mother’ll have my hide! And dad’ll help her.’) They were very confused little rich california girls. (In Monterey they were pretty much all rich little California teens. The poor ones had manners.)

    • Open Door; Pass Thru, Close and HOLD DOOR SHUT.

  14. An excellent example of the Lady Bountiful act in fiction is the really awful YA novel “The Drowning of Stephan Jones,” by Bette Green. A gay couple move into a bigoted small Southern town, and chaos ensues. Only the teen girl heroine can protect the two grown men from the rotten teen boys and the evil preacher, for they are too weak and scared to take care of themselves. (She fails to do anything and one guy dies.) And then to top it off, she enacts a revenge on the boys by planting fake gay love letters on them—because being thought to be gay truly is the worst thing that can happen to a person? Or something? Yep, that one struck a blow for tolerance and diversity, all right.

      • Says the woman who passed around that nightclub story 🙂

        • There’s physically gross which I’m okay with and then there’s morally gross. That story is all kinds of reprehensible and preening.

        • Not to ME! I wanna hear it!

          • http://nypost.com/2015/09/08/inside-the-worlds-most-secretive-sex-filled-nightclub/

            All ribbing of our hostess aside it was really the ultimate example of decadence. It sounds like exciting and transgressive and more boring and forced.

            Which, if you have a darkroom, is pretty impressive. Even the gay male part sounded boring (although having known people who had to clean up male only play spaces they must spend all five week days in there).

            • In defense of Sarah, that story was my fault; I spotted it in the NY Post and sent it to her, late at night when her coffee has largely lost its efficacy.

              Bob Roland: Ambassador Trentino is a very sensitive man. Perhaps if you insult him. He’s very easy to insult. Why, I said something to Vera Marcal in his presence once, and he slapped my face.

              Rufus T. Firefly: Why didn’t Vera slap your face?

              Bob Roland: She did.

              Rufus T. Firefly: What’d you say to her?
              [Roland whispers it in his ear. Firefly slaps his face]

              Rufus T. Firefly: You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Where’d you hear that story?

              Bob Roland: Why, you told it to me.

              Rufus T. Firefly: Oh yes, I remember. I should have slapped Mrs. Teasdale’s face when she told it to me.

    • I hope she included some slurs against that ‘Confederate Flag’, since she seems to have most of the other liberal slurs in place. Rioting white youth (that would be a news item in and of itself), Evil preacher (doesn’t follow the religion of Gaia) clinging to his Bible.
      She should have turned the heat up a notch by having a black and a white as the gay couple.

  15. But still, surely she heard of that trend. Surely she read about it, if nothing else.

    As have young men who, after a ride or two on the mean girl express, might go through a period of specifically not holding doors for women regardless of need but still holding it for men. The same goes for train and bus seats and other old social conventions.

    After all, if acting and doing nothing have the same punishment why bother being roused to action.

    The great humor in all this is you then get women complaining that chivalry is dead.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      The great humor in all this is you then get women complaining that chivalry is dead.

      Even better is when they do that immediately after espousing some action or principle that is directly in opposition to it. I can’t remember details, I just remember that I have seen it, and thought, “Did you read what you just wrote?”

      • I had a date who, doing dinner, said, “I’m a feminist and demand equality but I still expect to be treated like a princess,” in a completely neutral and non-ironic tone (and yes, that quote is correct, it was in one sentence).

        Never took her out again. Interestingly she complained about most guys who did date her more than once being jerks. Unexpectedly, I’m sure.

        • Reality Observer

          Had something like that. For some reason, she never called me back after I had the waiter split the check up.

          • I pay for this girl’s dinner (and ballet ticket before dinner and flowers) because, bless her heart, with that attitude she needed charity every now and then.

            • Also had a date like that, once. Not twice.
              She left thinking I was the nicest boy, but what I did all that evening was talk down to her like the kids I watched over (I was eldest male) when I was younger. Someone with that stunted mental growth is not someone I want taking care of *me* should, heaven forbid, I be laid up in the hospital or some such.
              Maturity and grace trumps adolescent pout and thoughtlessness every time.

        • A mere commoner does not date princesses without having slain a few dragons first, to prove his worthiness.

          • I’ve known a few of those princesses, and trust me I’d rather date the dragons.

            • Dragon’s more likely to have your back when you need it. In anything.

              • William O. B'Livion

                There’s a story in those three posts.

                • Look, don’t say things like that when I’m tired and can’t fight off the Muse, please?

                • “Yeeeessssss?” Lyrica lifted her head over the stack of books, and eyed the young warrior standing in the doorway. “Well, either in or out, but stop standing there like a cat!”
                  “I’m sorry, ma’am.” He shut the door quickly, and stood there with his eyes wide and sword drooping unheeded onto the carpet, shield almost forgotten. “Um, I’m looking for the Literary Dragon?”
                  “No such creature. I’m the library dragon.” She grinned, and he recoiled behind his shield at all the sharp teeth. “I’m afraid you’ll have to leave literary pretension to the professors.”
                  “Them.” He scoffed, and shook his head.
                  “What, you don’t like Professor Annealler-Haywright’s positions on women in the eastern provinces?” Lyrica angled her head so the small fireball of sarcasm merely puffed toward the central chandelier, and would harm none of the bookshelves lining the walls.
                  “I’ve fought in the east. That fat, puffy toad doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the wall.” He replied, and came out from behind his shield as her laughter died to chortles.
                  “Well put! Ah, well, what were you seeking? And would you like a cup of tea while you’re looking?” She put a bookmark in the text, and put it down carefully, coming out from behind the desk with slow moves. “And what is your name? I didn’t catch it when you came in.”
                  “I would love a cup of tea, ma’am.” He put his sword away, and nodded at her. “I am Sergeant Justinian of the Fifth Cavalry.” He hesitated, then. “Lately a student at the university.”
                  “Ah, sergeants. Old enough to have caught a bad case of uncommon sense.” She chuckled. “Come, I have chairs more sized for humans off in the tea room. I myself am a name unpronounceable by human tongue, but my first assistant nicknamed me Lyrica.”
                  “Pleased to meet you, ma’am.” He stopped, and stared as she shifted to human form before heading in the small door. A small heap of robes lay on a chair, and she shrugged into one patterned like a peacock’s feather, tying the belt tight. When he spoke, his voice was rather strangled. “Ah, ma’am, why Lyrica?”
                  “Because, as she said, I know all the words. A pretty creature, but rather a smartass, that one. I wish her husband the joy of her!”
                  “Was she a princess? This place is lousy with spoiled royalty.”
                  “No, I can’t stand the creatures, myself. She was a scholarship student, daughter of a glassblower. Lungs were too weak to go into the family trade, so she learned to keep the books and translate in three languages for her husband’s trade.”
                  “Oh, now that actually sounds useful! I was expecting a lot more useful information here.” He accepted the teacup from her, and watched her drop a cube of sugar into her own cup, then pick up a small pitcher and add cream. With very slow, precise movements, he imitated her.
                  “There used to be. I was overruled, so I am waiting the current infection in madness out.” She eyed him, noting the lines in the weathered face and faint sprinkling of gray at the temples. “They dare not come in here.”
                  “You’ll kill them?”
                  “Worse. I’ll mock them.” She grinned. “You’ve noticed, surely, that they cannot stand it?”
                  “Yes.” He laughed. “It makes sense, now, why they wanted me to kill you. Even if they’d been willing to offer their hand in marriage and half the kingdom like their parents would, I’d still have run.”
                  “Last I heard they were batting their big eyes and promising earthy delights between their thighs.” She arched an eyebrow.
                  “Yeah, now they have a habit of crying rape on any man who courted them, whether he took a tumble with them or not. Now no one will go near them, for fear of being imprisoned on false charges.”
                  “And they’re crying about the lack of suitors?”
                  “Oh, are they ever. How dare we not court them! How dare we think we’re too good for them! In the next breath, they’re all sweetness and cloying ‘I might if you’ll try…’ but no man’s falling for that trap, not when the bodies of his brothers are still rotting.”
                  “So if you’re not here to kill me, what are you here for?”
                  “Ma’am, if they hate your guts so much, I thought you must know a way to drive them off, or keep them off my back.” He set his tea cup down, leaning forward.
                  She laughed, then, delighted. “Ah! Welcome, Sergeant Justinian, to the Dragon’s University!”

                • scott2harrison

                  Opening to Blue Moon Rising by Green.

              • One of the nicest complements I ever got was when someone observed that I sure looked like a mouse, but was actually a tiny dragon.

                I still blush a bit. 😀

        • Check out “Dear Future Husband” if you want to see that attitude in the form of a one-dimensional pop song.

          • She at least is being honest, and apparently likes Pizza. All her husband really needs to know is that everything is about ‘her’.

            • She’s also clearly willing to put out which most of these Princesses don’t. I’m not saying that makes up for it but it at least indicates a realization that there is give and take in a relationship and it can’t be all about her (just 99% in the case of the song).

              Of course, I’ve heard feminists bitch about how that song portrays women as weak and the toys of men…go figure.

            • In the current competitive spousal marketplace, with the ratio of college educated women to men in the 25 – 35 age bracket running about 3 : 2 she is likely to discover this a less than optimal strategy. generally speaking, marriage needs to be mutually rewarding in order to work and it is difficult to see what her anticipated partner gets out of such a scheme as she proposes.

              Other women desirous of marriage should probably encourage this attitude.

              • I have often wonder how many early 20s feminists who are rilying up other women are engaging in husband hunting battle space preparation.

              • William O. B'Livion

                Your assumption is that “they” want or expect it to work for more than a few years.

                Marriage has, among a certain set, become a box that you check off and move on.

                • Yeah, nowadays once you’ve farmed him for guaranteed annual income, why bother?

                  Dr Helen the Instawife wrote a book on this little phenomenon. One of the upsides to the allowing of gay marriage is it allows that segment of the SJW clan to experience the fruits of their labor.

            • bad attitude to have if you want to be more than a hermit.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            It’s not quite as bad as that statement, though she does include some pretty one-sided things in it.

        • “I’m a feminist and demand equality but I still expect to be treated like a princess,”

          She wanted her father to marry her off to a much older man for political reasons?

        • “I’m a feminist and demand equality but I still expect to be treated like a princess,”

          So I’ll treat you like a prince.

      • Ugh. I was a young woman at that time, and something of a small “f” feminist, but I was never so deluded or doctrinaire to mistake the exercise of conventional and chivalrous good manners for anything but conventional and chivalrous good manners … or that the exercise of said manners had anything to do with political, legal and economic equality.

        • Thus we observe the insidiousness of microaggressivism that conveys the cultural messages of inferiority and second class status, subtly conditioning you to accept preferential treatment.

    • As Glenn Reynolds is fond of pointing out, chivalry was a system with privileges and obligations for both parties. You don’t get to abandon your obligations and still claim the privileges.

      • Yet they continually try to do exactly that.

        • If they weren’t vile, they wouldn’t be Progressives.

        • What, you want a cookie?

          (Standard SJW contemptuous line from anyone who thinks that a person who servilely complies with all the demands might be treated a little differently than some violent abuser.)

          • As one who suffers from biochemical failure which renders me unable to process carbs, that is an extremely offensive suggestion and represents an act of microaggression against the carb-limited community! That is a typical act of the carb privileged.

            • Here, have a thousand cookies. Now I’ve milliaggressed!

              • As a devotee of the Chrestomancy novels* I feel confident in asserting that Millie would never,/I> aggress in such a way.

                *Diana Wynne Jones. Read ’em and weep that there will be no more.

              • William O. B'Livion

                Megaaggressed.

                Millaggressed would be a crumb.

                • No, since one cookie is a microaggression, a thousand is a milliaggression, a million is an aggression, a billion is a kiloaggression, and a trillion is a megaagression — which, come to think of it, it probably would be, because of the resulting avalanche of cookies.

              • *eyes cookie jar with Oreos*

                *looks at empty mug of coffee*

                *sighs and gets up to make more*

                • It’s the “Ook” in “cookie” that shortcuts the brain wiring and connects directly to the primitive part of the brain, the part that never grew past “fire good” and “kill predator” that makes ’em so good. “Because its tasty” is so very basic it’s hard to get past that to “it’s good for me.” If they were called “arglebarglesnaffleumps” or something similarly silly, well, there wouldn’t be such a good explanation but you could probably eat one before you could describe it…

    • It’s probably because it’s an older selection, but almost all the guys I see pulling that shtick deliberately pick out the girls that aren’t like the ones who wronged them. It’s safer, after all.

      Which makes them exactly like the females they complained about, wronging safe, innocent targets because they feel slighted by someone slightly like them.

      Notice it’s the holding open doors, rather than getting grabby, which resulted in an attack.

      • Which makes them exactly like the females they complained about, wronging safe, innocent targets because they feel slighted by someone slightly like them.

        In general I don’t disagree. Soft targets are always easier. Plus, usually on something like this it’s not really possible to respond in the moment due to shock.

        As for your last point that’s one of the scary things. When holding doors goes into folklore as getting a nuclear reaction some segment of the population is going to decide if they’re going to get the full bore punishment why bother with the trivial crime and instead go full bore themselves. A parallel example is the continued downgrading of “sexual assault” is going to lead to bad things.

        • The redefining of “harassment” to include “said something I don’t agree with, according to fifth-hand sources” already has illistrated what will happen.

          “Oh, he harassed me (disagreed, elsewhere, possibly). So it’s OK to harass him. (Contact his work and lie, file police reports, hack into his computer, key his car….)”

          • I’m more worried about stupid people thinking, “well, if asking for a kiss is the same as an out and out assault I might as well just grab the grope…the punishment will be the same”.

            • The results are pretty dang horrific and predictable, no?

            • While there will likely be some of that, in general I think it will be limited (in the short term). Most young men still retain an aversion to sexual assault, despite the propaganda.

              I fear the true impact will be more subtle and the results devastating.

              This habit of drastically increasing the costs of interaction between men and women and destroying any remaining value in the relationships has already cost us greatly. Ramping up the pressure doesn’t seem likely to reverse the damage.

              • “I fear the true impact will be more subtle and the results devastating.

                Reducing the automatic respect and reverence for femininity is a *bad* idea. Bad for women- look at the world, and where a Western attitude towards women *isn’t*… And bad for men, because men need good *females* in their lives.

                They learn from their fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, and other role models as to what is acceptable behavior between the sexes, but they *need* that interaction with women to make it real. Do they respect her wishes? Or do they treat her with callous disdain? Does she manipulate them? Or does she instead respond with mutual respect and trust, giving like for like?

                Breaking the close bond between men and women seems to be a dedicated goal of some folk who bloody well ought to know better. The door holding, the attacks on courtesy of *both* sexes, and the mountain of other assaults on common sense serve to reduce trust… And that loss of trust leads us down a path to some pretty terrible things.

                Our ideals are there to lift us up. Attacking the roots of what a large section of the population believe in is a bad idea all around.

                • The door holding, the attacks on courtesy of *both* sexes, and the mountain of other assaults on common sense serve to reduce trust… And that loss of trust leads us down a path to some pretty terrible things.

                  Yes. The most terrible of which may be the desolation and isolation of individuals. I suspect we are our greatest selves within companionship.

                  Gutting the trust — it’s such a fragile animal to build lasting relationships on in the first place…

                  I do not foresee great times down this path.

                • Your comment is exactly why the misogyny in Islam never made sense to me. (and before any of the SJWs bleat, explain why women are separated from men, considered second class citizens and when it comes to doing the Haj, they cannot actually see the big blocky thing they pray toward)

                  • Combtmissionary

                    During some Army training once, we were simulating dealing with Afghan detainees. I had a rude one, and I mentioned the Hajj, and how I thought it was great that Allah fit into a box and was “travel sized for your convenience.” Several jaws hit the floor, and I almost got a counseling statement until I said, “Guys, I knew the actor wasn’t Muslim. You seriously think I’d say that to a detainee? Come on.” I still got some stern discussion.

                    😀

                    • Sad thing is, you’re NOT ALLOWED to say such things to detainees. God forbid, excuse, Allah forbid we insult them or their beliefs.

        • I’ll reiterate that the examples I run into are in their thirties and up, and I’m mildly suspicious they’re just looking for an excuse.

          There’s a whole lot of hurt people involved besides these jerks. 😦

          • Well, experiences change how people react. The issue is we seem to not teach people proportional response or good risk/reward analysis.

            Too many men who had a similar results on a date join the “if I buy dinner you better be dessert” club. That, to me, is creating new hurt people in response to your own by escalation. Which will, in all probability create a woman even worse our new revenge dater first encountered as a response to how men behave.

            Next thing you know relations between the sexes have devolved to everyone in their own little monk like cell complaining about the opposite sex online in between sessions of porn induced self-pleasure. Dante couldn’t have invented a better image of Hell.

            • Next thing you know relations between the sexes have devolved to everyone in their own little monk like cell complaining about the opposite sex online in between sessions of porn induced self-pleasure. Dante couldn’t have invented a better image of Hell.

              Yep.

              Makes the “turn the other cheek”– respond to an insult by disrespecting the insult, not by returning insult to the insulter– make a lot of sense, no?

              Don’t like someone holding open the door, ignore it; someone acts like a jerk when you open the door for them, ignore it. (Assault, obviously, can’t be ignored quite the same– but yelling? “I held the door because I have manners; I can see how you wouldn’t recognize it.” Or something similar, depending on how you can drill it– for me, cutting off at “because I have manners” works best, or I sound like a shrew.)

            • You’ve read Lewis’ Screwtape, then? With its perfect description of the art of getting each side in a dispute feel perfectly reasonable in their request and thoroughly abused by the response?

            • I’m actually told that this is a trend in Japan. Look up 2D girl waifu.

              Aff’s had a few bitchy types yell at him for playing an elf girl (in Lineage 2) ‘because you can’t handle real women’ or some such idiocy. Some of his stock responses designed to offend to the max include “Women like you are one of the many reasons why I never want to get married,” or “At least she looks pretty, unlike a fat whale like you” (I’m told that 99% of the time the response to that is “How did you know?!” – most of the women bitching about a FICTIONAL IMAGINARY CHARACTER’S APPEARANCE tend to themselves be unappealing in some way) or “Thigh gap.”

              There was this rather idiotic conversation once in clan voice chat where several of the women were arguing amongst themselves about whose voice Aff liked best. When he popped into channel, they asked him. He replied “Pixie.”

              “But she never talks, only types.”

              “Exactly.”

              Me, I’m the unhelpful female who laughs herself silly whenever this stuff goes on / gets popcorn.

              • *chuckle* That’s a good response.

              • William Underhill, Barbarian 1st Class

                I remember getting a similar response back in the day playing pen-and-paper D&D. I wanted a roleplay challenge, so I made up a female elven mage. (this was back when it was Basic D&D & AD&D 1st edition was still a Thing.)

                Two things I learned – it’s a great way to get labelled as gay/queer/fag (I was already labelled a nerd/geek); to be a guy wanting to play a female elf magic-user was pretty much a social death knell in school. Oddly enough, though, it was just fine that the one girl in our D&D group was playing a hairy-chested, clumsy, clueless barbarian – (STR 16, CHA 14, CON 11, INT 7, WIS 3, DEX 7 – she made it work.) It may have had something to do with her being the only girl in the group, of course. 🙂

                Two, it was an AWESOME way to try and see things from another person’s POV, though it took MUCH work. Laura (the young lady playing the clumsy, clueless, charismatic barbarian) coached me at first in how to literally play like a girl. 🙂

                Oh, and the last thing I learned? A slightly-buillt (5’3, 110 lbs) female elven mage should NEVER look a god in the eye and dare him to do his worst. That leads to Very Bad Things. 😀

              • Wayne Blackburn

                “But she never talks, only types.”

                “Exactly.”

                BWAHAHAAHA Thump! (Gets up from floor, sits more carefully, takes deep breath) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  16. For years I have asked the LIRPs to explain the precise moral difference between the smug Christian missionaries of the 19th century and the smug Liberal missionaries fo the 20th. To date, I have gotten to satisfactory answer …. and a lt of troubled silences.

    • That’s easy: The Christian missionaries built hospitals, schools, etc.

      Never heard of a Liberal missionary building a d*mn thing.

      (Not being whatever a LIRP stands for, I’d also point out the difference between preaching Christ and Modern Secularism, but, y’know, they don’t count that.)

      • LIRP is LIberal Intellectual Radical Progressive.

        Liberal missionaries have done LOTS of “good works”, on the order of building hospitals, etc. I mean, what is the Peace Corps if it isn’t a Liberal missionary organization?

        There is a practical difference; The Christians espouse a Higher Morality that, over time, appears to encourage mutual respect, freedom, and the creation of wealth. The LIPRs espouse a Higher Morality that, over time, appears to encourage mutual genocide, slavery, and the destruction of wealth.

        • I mean, what is the Peace Corps if it isn’t a Liberal missionary organization?

          *thinks about the stories her uncle told*
          Extremely ineffective.
          Missionaries wouldn’t have kept replacing the pipes in the well every three months, at great expense, as people stole them to sell for scraps. Probably would’ve done something like suggest that if the locals wanted the water, they’d better have a couple of households living next to the source to keep it from being raided all the time.

          • So I’d been married for about, oh, six months or so, and went to the local farmer’s market, and brought back a box of tomatoes and put them in jars, as one does.
            My husband watched me and said “Why doesn’t the Peace Corps teach this?”
            We finally decided it was because if you teach people to do for themselves they don’t need you anymore, and you can’t sell them tinned tomatoes in the dry season either. Also, if the Peace Corps actually succeeded, they’d work themselves out of a job, and what would be the excuse for taxpayer funding then?
            So I’m pretty sure the Peace Corps’ actual purpose is to let privileged young Americans feel good and condescending towards other folks, while extracting tax dollars from other Americans, all while failing to make any real improvements that would cause the next year of Peace Corps workers to be unnecessary.

            • This has long been my assessment too.

              • It’s a hard assessment to have to make: my mom was a Peace Corps worker back in the late sixties. Taught English. And that was probably a good thing. But. In those days she was an idealistic young Kennedy liberal (“Ask not . . .”) So I grew up hearing about how good a thing the Peace Corps was.
                But where’s the results? It’s been half a century. We should be seeing some amazing results. First World countries in Africa sort of thing. And they just aren’t there.
                And my husband’s question still stands: why doesn’t the Peace Corps teach those basic self-sufficiency skills?

                • Because self sufficiency flies in the face of the marxist narrative.
                  The original “from each to each” very quickly becomes, “we take it all, skim the cream because we care so much that we deserve it, then portion what’s left back out in whatever fashion we decide is fair.”
                  Peace Corps, yet another liberal progressive scam using good intentions as justification for massive incompetence bordering on evil.
                  Pop quiz: the UN, Peace Corps, assorted Christian charity organizations. Which of the three actually manages to help third worlders better themselves?

                  • Piffle – that one is so easy no thought is required: the UN, of course.

                    Look at the number of Third Worlders who have greatly beterred themselves via UN programs. Look at how many have been able to live in the First World at little personal cost, thanks to the UN. The UN has done more to greatly improve the lives of a few people than anything invented since tariffs.

                  • During one of the big “Fight AIDS in Africa” pushes, early 90s I think, the Catholic groups got a lot of flack– they were running their prevention efforts in line with Catholic teachings, rather than handing out a bunch of condoms. The various other NGOs (other than a few similar religious ones) refused to work with them at all, which resulted in one country not having any non-Catholic help at all.

                    Fast forward a decade, and the places that did the “approved” methods have roughly the same level of HIV infection.

                    The one that focused on “if you sleep around, you may get AIDS and die” have greatly reduced their number of cases, even though they identified the main vector– truckers that slept with a different woman at each stop– and it’s actually grown.

                    (There was an attempt to claim it was because the traditional Christian groups were letting people die which of course resulted in lower % being infected total, but the math didn’t support that line of attack.)

                    The other programs considered identifying risky behavior to be victim shaming.

                    This came up because the groups that had failed in other areas were pushing for more money to expand into the area where the Christian groups were having massive success. (They got it.)

                    It’s possible that part of the lower infection rate is that it made it harder for the “having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS” myth to get traction, but that would require more observation than is likely to happen.

                    • Also why telling women they shouldn’t get drunk at parties and always go with friends is Blaming The VICTIM.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              There are a lot of folks who want to ‘do something’.

              Get a bunch of kids fresh out of school with no other life experiences, and they will screw it up.

              There are tourist type missionaries, and there are the ones who are serious about it. If you are serious about it, you need to show people who you are, by your actions. This often means settling down for a time, living on about the local level of wealth. You learn something about a society doing that. Christianity also has a view on human nature that is useful.

              Folks who have done serious missionary work tend to develop a better intellectual foundation for helping than a college education does.

            • Sometimes it’s what the host country will allow/agree to. Had a sister-in-law in the Peace Corps in the late 70’s, in what was then Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). She was a French major, ended up teaching English to French speaking children at a private school where most, if not all, of the students were the children of the country’s elite. Private school got a freebie language teacher at our expense, ordinary citizens got…what?

            • “So I’m pretty sure the Peace Corps’ actual purpose is to let privileged young Americans feel good and condescending towards other folks,”

              Occasionally it backfires. My cousin was a young liberal (and vegetarian) who joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa for a year. She came back a raging carnivore, ended up marrying a heavy equipment operator, and is more conservative than I am.

          • Liberal missionaries are primarily concerned about doing good deeds (for certain values of “good” and of “deed.”)

            Christian missionaries are primarily concerned with achieving good ends.

            The difference is generally too subtle for most proglodytes to grasp.

    • The Christians either went on their own dime, or fund-raised from WILLING sources.

  17. I’ve thought in relationship to the “punching up” thing that it’s impossible to conceptualize that as “up” unless you’re looking down. And making excuses for behavior (punching) that’s not acceptable when a white person does it is like the worst thing Beale has supposedly said except expressed in real life with actions.

  18. I’d like to point out something. With internet access becoming common – much better actually in some other countries than here in the US – and thus access to Amazon. We face some serious potential competition.
    There are plenty of places in the world where English is common. I sell a LOT of books to Denmark in English. Often more than to Australia or Canada. The British left India a legacy of English. In the end that may matter more to the country than any colonial oppression or geographic location. I think the reason I don’t sell much to India is economic. There just isn’t as much cash floating free there as disposable income.
    However, that means that someone living in India can tap the other English speaking markets if they just have real fluency in idiomatic English. If they CAN then AND write well they can do very well.
    What I’m making on Amazon would be hard to live on and maintain a comfortable middle class life here. I’m pretty sure it would be a very comfortable living in India.
    However it requires real proficiency. If the accent of help desk workers is any indication the common English proficiency is barely able to deal with commercial transactions. So I guess we are safe… For now.

    • What I’m making would be a very comfortable living in Portugal. OTOH — a caveat — it’s not the language it’s the cultural story telling traditions that are hard. The change was hard for me and I mostly read American books for fun.

      • We need to talk about that more.

        • Cultural story-telling is a good topic for a post. There’s quite a bit of variation *within* the U.S. as well.

          • Oh – yes please! I’m not a writer but I love all that stuff about implicit cultural assumptions that affect how readers will process a story

          • Did I just hear someone volunteering to write a guest post for our dear, overworked host?

            Very thoughtful of you, sir, very thoughtful indeed.

            😈

            • I didn’t realize this was the “Don’t accidentally volunteer for something” game.

              Also, you do realize I am probably the *least* qualified to write such a post? And I have three jobs, when I don’t miraculously get a day off on all three at the same time, it’s like a zodiac holiday or leap year or something?

              Also, *peers* shouldn’t you be writing something, too? *feeds the muse behind Eamon’s back*

              • “We’re always playing that game.”

                Also — what’s that meaty tube you stepped on? ‘Twasn’t me offering up the proposal.
                Also, you can’t be the least qualified, I believe that would be me. I only had the one cult-antho course.
                Also, can’t have you falling into bad habits on your days off. Idle hands and all.
                Also, if you’re gonna feed the muse, can ya ply her with booze, as well? Wicked thing has gone mute on me — all while teasing with images and chatty characters…

              • You’re more qualified than me to write so you’re not the least qualified.

                In fact, here before all the Huns I declare I am not competent to write anything including this sentence and am thus the least qualified to write anything 🙂

                • Really, now? Hrm, that might mean you just need… more practice, then doesn’t it?

                  If there’s going to be a quibble, you, me, and Eamon can share the “least qualified” title, but somehow I suspect that won’t hold much water in the end. We’re all here for varying reasons, but I suspect we *stay* because this is a community where we are comfortable. It’s challenging (lotsa smart people in the comments, too), interesting, and relaxing by turns.

                  There’s news of good books that comes around fairly regularly, too. Whether you write or not, most of us are pretty solidly in the “read anything, up to and including shampoo labels in extremis, but prefer sci-fi” camp, in the much reviled Puppies (story first!) section, down between the barbecue pit and snickerdoodle ovens. Some are closer to the cookie ovens than the barbecue pit, but we don’t judge. *grin*

                  While you’re here, keep refining those thoughts. Practice makes, well, not always perfect, but usually less awkward. And if you screw up (as I do), it’s not that painful. Somehow I suspect, though, you’re not quite the naif you are making yourself out to be. Somewhat like that other Vowel Lettered Gadfly up above. *grin*

                  • Mmmm…snickerdoodles in the oven! Sublime aroma. Better than spare vowels, even! Besides — every BBQ needs a dessert.

                    I’ll share the least qualified title — as long as my name’s on the bottom.

                    • Snickerdoodles in my belly are much better than snickerdoodles in the oven.

                    • Gotta start with the one, then go to the other, while getting more going in the one.

                      It’s a vicious cycle, with a wicked payoff.

                    • It’s at least a tetrahedron, so someone’s name is always on the bottom. *grin*

                      Check your email, sir. Since it *was* your idea…

                      I’ll just guard these snickerdoodles till you get back. No need to thank me…

                    • Hm. Guarding the hosta… cookies, are you? Very well, do keep them safe.

                      I’ve counted them, you know.

                • Then that would make you highly qualified to write exemplars of how NOT to write things.

                  😈

        • Jonah Goldberg’s newsletter had a bit on that the other day– the cause-and-effect response can be incredibly different between cultures. Short version, in the US if we narrowly avoid a head-on, we avoid doing what nearly resulted in our death; in the African area the author Jonah was quoting studied, the response was more like “Hey, he swerved out of the way, and I managed to stay on the road, everything is fine!”

      • Reading books for fun is not sufficient reason. Reading American books is repudiation of your native birth culture and an act of cultural treason. Americans should be reading books by Portuguese (and other minority) authors (such as you and Larry) as acts of atonement for America’s sins of publishing the most fun books evah!

      • > storytelling traditions

        I recognize that such exist in both print and film… but more from my failure to recognize them than any real understanding.

        Most “literary” or “mainstream” novels are incomprehensible to me, as well as many movies. Some characters – mostly unhappy – move around and do stuff. Eventually they stop doing stuff. Story over.

        As to exactly what was going on, or why, I have only the idea that *someone* can figure it out, because I have no idea. All the Deep Meaning and Serious Art has already passed over my head at 20,000 feet and is still climbing.

        • Frequently, when I can get someone to explain the point, it’s not so much that it went over your head, it’s that it was basically pointless– either didn’t need to be said, or mistook a word trick for a deep conflict of meaning. (“Park on driveways and drive on parkways” level stuff.)

        • William Underhill, Barbarian 1st Class

          That was my impression of “War and Peace” the one time I tried reading it. I got about 50 or so pages in and put it down. I just could NOT wrap my head around it. I have heard it described (In one of Mr. Weber’s & Mr. White’s “Starfire” books, I think) as “700 pages of people with unpronounceable names doing nothing much, after which somebody’s aunt dies.” and that pretty much sums up my impression of it.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Well, there are foreign storytellers working off foreign traditions who can do very well with a US audience.

        Some of that may be because certain countries have covered the arts is less gray goo, and have paid more attention to commercial realities.

        • Mahou Sensei Negima proved that you could pack ridiculously detailed philosophical theories and discussions into the background and esoteric research into a manga and still have it incredibly fun. (Apparently, using the correct languages too – Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, ancient Japanese…)

          Its’ sequel, UQ Holder, delves a bit more into the displacement brought about by immortality. It’s not hamfisted about it either.

          • I’m used to anime / manga requiring a more thorough knowledge of historical Western culture than most Western works, and given Shakespeare’s influence on some of Kurosawa’s best works, I suspect Japan’s ability to absorb and use Western culture goes back a bit further.

            When dealing with cultural references, if I see a lot of references to something I eventually need to at least sit down and get a simplified Cliff Notes understanding of it if not actually read it. I’ve found myself having to do that for recent mass-market SFF (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), classical SFF (Lovecraft Mythos) and Asian classics (Journey to the West). I’ve had no reason to do that for any literary fiction of the 20th century or any of the recent literary Hugo winners (I’d read Small Gods and Diamond Age; Excepting Harry Potter, I have to go back as far as Hyperion (1990) to find one that I’ve had cause to look up because it was referenced). That really bodes ill for the influence of literary works on wider culture.

    • There is a difference in obtaining fluency in reading and writing a language and becoming a proficient speaker of the same. You can master the former without ever gaining the latter.

      • It’s not even that, though that took me about ten years and I’m aware my choices sometimes strike people as odd (unless they read a lot of British authors!) BUT the cadence of a story, and what’s an expected/unexpected ending and the cues and…

        • Having read books originally written in other languages — yes the cadence and manner of telling of a story. One of the most startling was the original Judge Dee mystery which included many significant dream passages … and what seemed a kind of inside out quality.

        • One that I’ve noticed is pacing is so very different between cultures (and eras for that matter).

          • VERY much so. At one point, about ten years after I moved here, I was reading a collection of “World science fiction” and I thought “Gosh, this story sounds Portuguese” — flipped to the end, where the bio revealed the English-sounding name was the pen name of a Portuguese author.
            What gave it away was the INCREDIBLY (to my newly-reformed tastes) SLOW PACE. This took me the longest to get over, btw. In fact I sold three novels before I could fully rinse that out. My second agent (had four before the market changed so I didn’t need one) at one time, long before he represented me, told me I’d never write well because my timing was off and that couldn’t be fixed. (rolls eyes.)

            • I don’t know when, in your stream, Draw One In The Dark was written, but I can say, having just read the first couple chapters, that slow pacing is not an issue with it. Things happen.

    • However, that means that someone living in India can tap the other English speaking markets if they just have real fluency in idiomatic English.

      Hm…. even if they don’t, they could tap into a nitche market that finds their flubs interesting or of added value, kind of like how Brit-isms are an important part of the old Dr. Who. (I don’t watch the new stuff.)

      I was actually just thinking last night about how I get mildly annoyed by the “make up a word and stick it here” method of making things seem exotic without making it hard to understand*, and all the examples I could think of where stuff WORKED it was really based off of an existing framework, like how Tolkien did his stuff.

      *I’ve never seen Clockwork Orange. Every quote I’ve seen I was able to understand what the character was saying, even if I didn’t know that this word was Russian, that was mostly made up, etc.

      • There’s a Filipina author making a really good living selling romance ebooks written in English on Amazon. The hiccup happens when her readers assume she’s living in the US. “Jap” is not a racist term in modern day Philippines, where we have shortened nicknames for most of the countries.

  19. Besides, now as then, I opened the door for EVERYONE if I was walking ahead, and I couldn’t understand why poor guys should get hit for being polite.

    Momma was a big one for politeness, arguing it made living with other people possible. She always said that it is only right to practice the little politenesses. So, whatever gender you might be, if you were capable of it and are first to reach the door — open it and hold it for those immediately behind you.

    Momma would also note that, whatever your perception of the intention of someone who a door held open for you, slugging them is unquestionably rude. It was NEVER polite to slug someone. There were a very few select circumstances where a one might slap a someone for being aggressively less than polite. But to escalate to slugging? This moved you outside the world of Emily Post into a more brutal one. Such actions were only to be resorted to when absolutely necessary for self-defense or in the defense of others.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Heinlein said that politeness and good behavior were the lubrication for the gears of civilization.

    • Reality Observer

      My mother’s rules were: Female – open the door and let them precede you. Male with arms full – open the door and let them precede you. Male with arms full – open the door and precede them, but hold the door so it does not slam in their face.

      Never got hit by any feminist in the ’70s, when I was learning those rules, but Mom did get in the face of one that tried giving me a hard time.

      • Modern architecture makes this rule less practical. Most commercial buildings have an “airlock” of two doors at the entrance, so if you hold the door open for someone and let the precede you, they have to deal with the second door. Not a big deal if they can open the door, but if their hands are full they end up struggling in the airlock.

        • Joy of children– I can open a door, have two of them hold it, and then hold the next to help someone who’s got a full load.

          It’s usually either someone else with a stroller, or the UPS guy with a big load of boxes.

        • Ahhhh. Momma had a difficulty with the effect of Christmas shopping crowds at the center city John Wanamaker’s across from City Hall. This lead her to seek out those entrances which had revolving doors.

  20. Christopher M. Chupik

    I’ve never once had a lady complain about me opening a door for them. Not once.

  21. You neglected half of the Lady Bountiful’s position, the implicit half: barring the door against beneficiaries of privilege. Because whether you are discriminating in favor of some or you are discriminating against others, you’re still manning occupying the barricades decreeing who shall and who shall not pass.

    As if the field needs self-annointed gatekeepers.

  22. Sarah,

    Since you mention giving back to fledgling authors in this post, I would like to request some guidance. I have three novels in a series (first edited, second in editing, third outlined and about quarter written) that I think will sell. My critique group agrees. However, that is part of the issue for me. My critique group has it in the mission statement that we are trying to be traditionally published.

    Between reading you, Larry, Mad Genius Club, Tom Knighton and JA Konrath, I am unsure of whether I should even query any agents and try pursue traditional publishing with the state of the market.

    Any advice? Should I comb your blog archives (I don’t remember seeing any such advice over the past year)?

    Thank you,

    Chris Scena

    • I don’t want to tell you to totally eschew traditional publishing, but the choice I made was JUST Baen and indie. (And not all novels are Baen appropriate.) Contracts are appalling, and you have a better chance of breaking in big if you go indie first. What I’m advising (obviously not with books all int he same series) is write a book for indie and one to shop around. It’s what I’d do if I were starting out now.

      • Thank you! Very much appreciated.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Indeed. There’s a trend emerging of indie authors doing so well that publishers pick them up. I expect a lot more of that in the near future.

        • Is that just a way of making eBook owners your slush pile readers?

          • Hey, if it’s crazy, but it works…

          • Yep.

            Apply whatever level of evil motive as is necessary per each TradPub house’s pattern of actions and predatoriness, but the result is a self-winnowing where the cream rises to the top, and other metaphors are mixed as needed.

            Now the question becomes, what of value can a TradPub house offer a successful Indie author?

            • Now the question becomes, what of value can a TradPub house offer a successful Indie author?

              Well, for starters, they can relieve you of the burden of spending your own money.

              They can also, in a pinch, relieve you of the burden of ever making any more money, or indeed writing anything for publication. This is done by forcing you to sign an unconscionable non-compete clause and then refusing to waive it.

            • This might provide some insight: http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/17/why-i-publish-with-baen-too/

              Especially for authors who are adequate at some aspects of publishing but lack a bit to make things REALLY pop? A house that runs like Baen could be a good deal. They get someone who bolsters their weak spots, and they get to really focus on what they do best. But that’s Trad publishing as it SHOULD work not as it all too often DOES work.

    • Chris,
      What is your ultimate goal? Is it to be published, or to actually make a living as a writer?
      Mid list advances from the traditional publishing houses are the next thing to a joke, particularly once your agent takes their slice, and baring the chance that your book hits a nerve with the buying public, reprints are few and far between.
      Baen, praise be unto Jim and now Toni, is something of a niche market and at best only does about 60 new books a year. I made a modest suggestion to Toni that she double that number and got the strangest look back from her. I think she thought I was joking. Still, Baen treats their authors well, at least in comparison against all but a tiny handful of best selling tradpub authors.
      And then, Baen or tradpub, you’re looking to at least a year, likely more, before your work hits the street. If you take your best current work, give it a full copy edit, create a decent genre specific cover graphic, take Dorothy Grant’s advice on marketing and promotion, slap that puppy up on Amazon, and in a couple of months at most you’re cashing checks. How big those checks get depends on the quality of your work and your ability to place it in front of the right audience, but I will repeat, years vs weeks.

    • You can always tell your critique group you’re trying to build a platform, and will write a second series to shop around… 😛

      ..and then when you get your acceptance letter for your book you’re shopping trad, congratulations, you know you’re good enough. Take the contract to an IP lawyer, learn a LOT about contracts and IP, and then pull the book and indie-pub it, knowing you’re good enough and can win that lottery, while still getting all the control, the income, and the work to readers.

  23. Sarah, you may be overestimating this woman and whether or not she shares any cultural or historical referrents with you.

    Most troglodytes have little or no sense of history beyond the talking points poured into their gaping ears by professors and pop culture. THEY DON’T KNOW LBJ and may not remember Bill Clinton, let alone Lincoln and Stephen O. Douglass. They ‘know’ FDR the way they ‘know’ Santa Claus (and for much the same reasons), and believe in Margaret Sanger the way they believe in the Tooth Fairy (again, for the same reasons).

  24. I know some of you guys are too young to remember this, but there was this fad in the seventies where “feminists” (usually very young girls who had just been sold a load of goods at school by some angry female teacher) would turn and punch whichever man opened the door for them, because “you’re treating me like I’m not capable of doing it for myself.”

    What, was spitting on veterans just too scary? Or were they too hard to find?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      The funny thing is that Joan Bez (think that’s her name) once said “when I’m carrying my kid and my guitar, any man who wants to open the door for me is very welcome to do so”. [Smile]

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Almost right. That was Joan Baez. [Smile]

      • You’re thinking Joan Baez, a woman who was thumped by the Left for looking at the damage done by our departure from Vietnam and expressing the opinion that perhaps it was not the best of all possible outcomes. Although an opponent of the war, she did display some moral integrity:

        Her disquiet at the human-rights violations of communist Vietnam made her increasingly critical of its government and she organized the May 30, 1979, publication of a full-page advertisement (published in four major U.S. newspapers) in which the communists were described as having created a nightmare.

        Baez was instrumental in founding the USA section of Amnesty International in the 1970s, and has remained an active supporter of the organization.

        Baez’ experiences regarding Vietnam’s human-rights violations ultimately led her to found her own human-rights group in the late 1970s, Humanitas International, whose focus was to target oppression wherever it occurred, criticizing right and left-wing régimes equally.
        Joan Baez wiki entry

        She has remained affiliated with all the trendy Leftist causes célèbre, including [younameit] rights, Occutards, Cindy Sheehan, Mikey Moore and the like. She has apparently acquired some perspective and a sense of humour uncommon in the aggressively self-righteous

        Cartoonist Al Capp, creator of the comic strip Li’l Abner, satirized Baez as “Joanie Phoanie” during the 1960s. Joanie was an unabashed communist radical who sang songs of class warfare while hypocritically traveling in a limousine and charging outrageous performance fees to impoverished orphans. Capp had this character singing bizarre songs such as “A Tale of Bagels and Bacon” and “Molotov Cocktails for Two”. Although Baez was upset by the parody in 1966, she admits to being more amused in recent years. “I wish I could have laughed at this at the time”, she wrote in a caption under one of the strips, reprinted in her autobiography. “Mr. Capp confused me considerably. I’m sorry he’s not alive to read this, it would make him chuckle.” Capp stated at the time: “Joanie Phoanie is a repulsive, egomaniacal, un-American, non-taxpaying horror, I see no resemblance to Joan Baez whatsoever, but if Miss Baez wants to prove it, let her.”
        Wiki, again

        It gives me pause to wonder how she views the (current) political message of this song —


        — perhaps her biggest commercial hit.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Baez’ experiences regarding Vietnam’s human-rights violations ultimately led her to found her own human-rights group in the late 1970s, Humanitas International, whose focus was to target oppression wherever it occurred, criticizing right and left-wing régimes equally.
          Joan Baez wiki entry

          http://www.humanitasusa.com/

          Da Fuq?

          • Nothing actually wrong with what they are saying there (eat well and exercise regularly to live a longer healthier life). But they need a huge international organization to promote that to people?

            Sorry but anybody who doesn’t already know that, is willfully ignorant.

            Res,
            I’m not sure that I had heard her version of the song before (possibly on the radio, but not to recognize it as Joan Baez) but that does seem to be a kinda odd song for an “unabashed communist radical” to sing. Maybe she was simply too tempted by the evils of capitalist profit?

    • I was in my twenties in that era, and living in northern Illinois far too close to Madison Wisconsin which was a hotbed of that very attitude. I always treated anyone with the same common courtesy, gender be damned. Verbal abuse at my manners I simply ignored. If it looked to become physical I was not above slamming a door in someone’s face. On one fine occasion I not only closed the door but locked it. No one ever punched me, at least not over door holding. I suspect my bearded biker look at that time in my life had something to do with that.

  25. How about to any of the Valkyries… I just wanna hear their retort…and if our

  26. It is INCREDIBLY insulting of you to think that people of other races, creeds, orientations and/or genders need YOUR lady bountiful act to open the door for them.

    I like to stress this part, and the sheer oblivious bigotry of it.

    I find the contortions of verbal yoga the self-proclaimed tolerant and inclusive crowd undertake to excuse their bigotry to be a fine exhibit for the jury. So I stress it.

    They are bigots.

    • Indeed. They’ve lost, or never learned, the principle of kindness we were taught growing up: You’ll never master a skill or learn a trade if someone else always has to do it for you.

      Most folk on the other side seem to think that kindness, courtesy, and good manners only require one to do the easy, shallow things. They go for the short term results. Give money to the poor, but don’t you dare allow them to fail, that’s privilege. Give jobs and scholarships to “persons of color,” but don’t you dare allow them to fail, that’s racist. And so on.

      If you never let someone take a chance on their own, it’s obvious you don’t think they can succeed on their own. One does that for children for a time, you steady their hand until they can feed themselves, you praise their efforts when they try to walk… But to *keep* doing it proves the objective *isn’t* to help them at all.

      A gilded cage may look enticing to the lazy and unambitious. But it’s still a cage. Bigotry, indeed.

  27. Speaking of the 70’s and women’s liberation, here is an old favorite of mine, Jerry Clower talking of his encounter with Gloria Steinem:

  28. BTW – Trump Trolls CNN
    Donald Trump wants CNN to donate all advertising profits from next week’s GOP presidential debate to veterans’ groups.

    In a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker released Wednesday, Trump wrote: “You should view the second debate broadcast as a public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate.” Instead, he said, “I believe all profits from this broadcast should go to various VETERANS groups, a list of which I will send to you in the near future.”

    And in case anyone wasn’t clear on why CNN’s advertising revenue would be higher from this debate, Trump took a moment to take credit.

    “While I refuse to brag,” he wrote, “and as you know very well, this tremendous increase in viewer interest and advertising is due 100% to ‘Donald J. Trump.’”

    Trump writes that he takes issue with how “the veterans of our country, our finest people, have been treated horribly by our government and its ‘all talk and no action’ politicians. In fact, some would say they are treated like third class citizens — even worse, in many cases, than illegal immigrants.”

    So Trump asks CNN to be the knight in shining armor and requests that Zucker “let me know what your decision is as soon as possible.”

    [SNIP]

    Here’s Trump’s letter in full. It’s a good read.
    — — —

    While Trump is decidedly not in my Column A of preferred candidates (nor column B, either) I admire the way he twists the media’s nose. Given that CNN is reportedly charging triple its customary ad rate for slots during this debate AND that CNN is a major repository of mealy-mouthed goo-goo governance, this is a terrific triple-whammy.

    Note how he poses as a white knight for veterans while clamping CNN’s balls in a vise — and he even guarantees two days coverage by delaying submission of his list of veterans’ groups until later.

    Masterful. Not presidential, but masterful.

    • Ignore your base while they give you second and third chances and you’re give someone like Trump an opening. It is hard not to watch the GOP establishment get confuzzled by him and wondering why screaming, “but he’s lying about being conservative,” isn’t working and not make lots and lots of popcorn.

      I’ve been waiting since at least 1992 for a GOP candidate to stick a thumb in the press’s eye like this.

      • Well, to be accurate, Trump is very much not conservative, small “c” or large. Comments about the GOP establishment raising that complaint, however, veer quickly from the pot/kettle realm and into the “streetwalkers complaining about sluts giving it away” territory.

        • I don’t disagree on Trump but as you said, streetwalkers complaining about sluts is not going to gain traction.

          One Senate parlimentary maneuver overcoming a filibuster to get a defund Planned Parenthood bill, Obamacare repeat, or something similar on Obama’s desk forcing him to veto it would probably halve Trump support at a minimum. Two such bills would end him.

          That the GOP leadership in Congress thinks that’s too much to ask tells me a lot more about them (that I admittedly already knew) than it does about Trump.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I think Trump is too much of a Democrat. I think there would be a significant down side to nominating Trump.

            You’d think I’d be most receptive to the Republican establishment?

            I greatly dislike the Democratic Party. While I understand the theory behind the excessive generosity exhibited by the Republican party towards the Democratic Party from the Civil War to the current day, and might even defend it, it is not where my heart rests. I understand that if I want the Republican party to better reflect my doctrinaire views on Lincolnism-Shermanism, I need to put effort into party politics and winning elections. The GOP has been disappointingly moderate for my entire life.

            I don’t want the PPACA screwing me over for the rest of my life. I don’t want recent FUBARs regularized as the new normal. I’m paying attention to how much Republicans are putting into causing Democrats pain and suffering.

            The establishment has not won my enthusiastic support.

            • I’m at the point re the GOP when I actually despise the party hierarchy more than the Democrats. Both are servicing me (to use a polite term) and the Dems are rougher about it but it’s not personal. With the GOP it’s personal.

              How is that? I got called mid-July about volunteering for the Isakson campaign for re-election next year. I did not work his 2010 campaign as I moved to Georgia on October 31 of that year. I did, however, make phone calls for Bill Flores to replace Chet Edwards in TX 17. I was making phone calls while packing to move to replace a Democrat in a district I would not live in when the new Congressman was sworn in.

              Yet somehow, I already have enough of a rep here for a Senate campaign to call me roughly 14 months out from the general to line me up (the nice lady who called said she got my name from my county committee).

              I think it is fair to say I have worked a campaign or two (not as much as many people but much more than the average person ever will).

              Dems pushing lefty policies…hey, they are leftists so that’s what you expect. The nominally right-wing party rolling over and playing dead at best (amnesty funding earlier this year for a recent example) or being leftists themselves (Medicare Part D, Walker’s “Repeal and extend” Obamacare plan) is a personal insult.

              There are days when wanting to watch them burn despite what it might do (and to me what it might do is the difference of 20 years to collapse instead of 30) is a hard temptation to resist.

          • Indeed, a presidential veto is saying “NO”. A lot of mileage can be gained by a savvy politician… ‘Well, we tried to defund, but apparently Obama’s fine with selling baby parts to the highest bidder’ makes a great sound bite.
            Republican control of both Houses should mean a bill going to Obama’s desk weekly, requiring him to veto. After a while, the comment on which party is the party of ‘NO’, would have been excellent GOP battlespace preparation for 2016. After enough vetoes, the public might not give Obama a pass on budget crises shutting down Government. Don’t want a shutdown, don’t veto budget bill.

            • That is way too much work for the current leadership.

              And that’s the charitable explanation.

              • Reportedly House conservatives have “persuaded” Speaker Boehner that this administration, having failed FAILED to provide Corker-Cardin mandated full accounting of the agreement’s documentation,

                sparked by a floor resolution filed by Congressman Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) that Congress cannot consider the Iran deal under Corker-Cardin since President Obama did not comply with its requirements to provide all documents associated with the agreement to Congress, including all side agreements. Roskam believes this includes the secret side deals between the IAEA and Iran.

                My source tells me House GOP opposition to going forward under Corker-Cardin is so strong that Boehner agreed to drop this process and instead adopt a different approach with three House resolutions.

                The first would declare that President Obama violated Corker-Cardin by failing to provide the side deals to Congress.

                The second will bar President Obama from lifting sanctions against Iran.

                The third will be a resolution outside of Corker-Cardin to “approve” the Iran deal that all Republicans will vote no on. Most Democrats will vote yes.
                http://www.nationalreview.com/node/423771/print

                Still have to get past a Senate filibuster, unlikely to overcome a veto, but maybe with enough practice the establishment will discover their spines they can not only fight and survive but grow stronger.

                • Oh, Vichy Mitchy has already said he won’t bother. I despise these people.

                  • Andrew McCarthy reports that Sen. Cruz has submitted a letter calling for:

                    1. Both of you should formally determine that, under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, also known as Corker-Cardin, because President Obama has not submitted to Congress the widely reported side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the President has not yet submitted the Iran agreement as required by Corker-Cardin. Therefore, the 60-day clock for congressional review has not yet begun to run. And, critically, as a result, federal law prohibits the Obama Administration from lifting sanctions.

                    2. Leader McConnell should introduce a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that, if the agreement had been introduced as a treaty, it should not be ratified. This will put everyone on record and will make clear that there is insufficient support in the Senate for approving the agreement as a treaty.

                    3. We can assume, based on his past practice, that President Obama will simply ignore the law and declare that he is lifting sanctions under the agreement anyway. On that assumption, we should make clear to the CEOs of banks holding frozen Iranian funds that their misplaced reliance on the President’s lawlessness would not necessarily excuse them from the obligation to comply with existing federal sanctions laws. And if they release billions in funds to Khamenei, they risk billions in civil (and possibly even criminal) liability once President Obama leaves office. Having spent years advising major corporations in private practice, I can tell you that their general counsels will likely tell them their legal exposure is real, which could well result in the banks deciding not to release the funds to Iran, the President’s lawless waivers notwithstanding. [Emphasis in original.]

                    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/423824/senator-ted-cruz-and-house-republicans-move-block-obamas-iran-deal-andrew-c-mccarthy

                    I am not sanguine about the willingness of the GOP leadership to effect any deterrence to the Administration’s efforts. Note that even Cruz’s proposals recognize the Administration is capable and willing to act in contravention of the Constitution. Short of impeachment (an unlikely prospect, given that only four Dems were willing to oppose this Constitutional obscenity) there seems little to be done.

      • If’n the Republican establishment would republicate, Trump would have no traction,

    • It’s amazing all the S*** Trump cares about that he never said anything about ever before.

  29. I have only had 3 people in my life really help me. One gave me the best career direction ever. One gave me a loan on very generous terms. One provided me a breakthrough treatment for PTSD (military related) and depression. I highly appreciate all of them for that. I guess that makes me completely abnormal.

  30. Realize in your heart that this is your way of propping up your self image.

    That is crimethink. Doubleplusungood! Even entertaining the first syllable of it requires the offender to wash her brain out with soap. Lye soap.

    We speak here of people who have wholly internalized the “assumption of differential rectitude” (Thomas Sowell), in their own favor of course, to the point where were they to be disabused of it, their heads might implode. There’s not much to be done for them.

  31. Sarah, I’ve just been over to Larry’s site.
    *ahem*
    Is there something you want to tell us?

  32. The funny part is, both you Sarah, and Francis Porretto above have helped me refine my writing. You are both proof that writing need not be some dog-eat-dog world. Indeed, the indie publishing phenomenon means that we’re likely to see more cooperation and mentoring in the future, not less.

    Would-be gatekeepers like the woman you describe are, naturally, annoyed by this. They would have us surrender our freedom to them, letting them censor and silence us as they please. Then they throw a temper tantrum when we disappoint them.

    I just wanted to say, publicly, that you have both helped and inspired me personally. Everything you say here is true, and furthermore, you practice what you preach. I don’t know if I’ll ever become a good fiction writer — it’s challenging for me in ways that non-fiction wasn’t — but if I ever get there, it will be due in no small part to the kindness you have shown to me.

    • Thank you. I don’t see why you won’t become a good fiction writer, but it might involve fighting your inner walls. I get a feeling reading your non fiction that you very much open a vein.

  33. I remember Kathy Keaton, Founder of OMNI and partner of Guccioni; she insisted that I escort her to an American Astronautics Society dinner one evening in Long Beach.

    She was one of the brightest and most forceful women I have ever known. If I hadn’t been married and she involved with Guccioni I’d have courted her. She wasn’t oppressed and didn’t feel oppressed.

    But she would have starved to death outside the banquet if I hadn’t opened the door for her. stood up all dinner if I hadn’t held her chair, died of nicotine deprival if I or some other guy at the table hadn’t lit her cigarettes, and I never in my life heard her say anything crude or unladylike.

    If girls want a role model, they should look to Miss Keaton, not Rosie O’Donnell.

      • Well I was hoping for some comment on my proposal of one of the most remarkable women I ever knew as a role model.

        • I was approving. I don’t have a problem with a woman being fully female and fully independent and powerful. 🙂

        • If she was like the women who instructed me in how to treat the female of the species – my mother and grandmother – there was probably a fair bit of “you will do for me, because I own you” in the expectation of a held door and a lit cigarette. I never understood why Western women would want equality. The CEO may as well demand the same rights as the mail clerk.

          Personally, my ideal female is more along the lines of Thatcher or Rice. Or the women my daughters are named for – Elizabeth and Catherine. None of them would be called more than handsome, but strength and intellect have a beauty all their own. (Of course, my daughters are adorable as well as cunning and well armed.)

        • I agree about her being preferable to Rosie O’Donnell, [Whoever] Kardassian, or any pop singer.

          I don’t know as I agree that people ought look to role models. Don’t recall ever looking for one myself, but I’ve blotted out forgotten much of my insufficiently misspent youth.

          Congratulations on avoiding the “lady” tag and saving the SFWA the inconvenience of drumming you out.

          • I tell my kids not to smoke. They won’t pay any attention to it. What will convince them not to smoke is the sound of me wheezing and hacking as I negotiate a simple flight of stairs. Role models are inevitable. They can, however, be negative role models.

            Nothing thrills a father like hearing “Ugh! It’s a Beiber!” coming from his offspring.

            • Eh, there are no smokers among me and my two sisters. Only my older sister is old enough to remember that he could cross our very small living room, provided he stopped for a rest in the middle.

    • *wistfully* I used to see that magazine when I was a kiddlywink.

    • The mind boggles at ANYONE looking to Rosie O’Donnell as a role model.

  34. Reblogged this on The Liberty Zone and commented:
    “It is INCREDIBLY insulting of you to think that people of other races, creeds, orientations and/or genders need YOUR lady bountiful act to open the door for them.”

    Sarah has it exactly right. It’s also incredibly conceited. It’s a belief that you’re so fabulous, that you must bestow at least some of that fabulousness, much like fairy dust, on those Great Unwashed.

    No.

  35. Wait…
    In certain situations Jane Seymour inadvertently displayed GREEN SKIN?!?!

    Would you mind sharing the source material where you found this interesting bit of knowledge?
    It’s definitely secret history, but I don’t know the material well enough (yet) to say if she best slides into alien, fae, or unholy abomination archetypes.

    • uh. “She was so pale that in certain lights she looked green” was the phrase. Search it.
      IF I didn’t find it on line it was in the history of the Seymours written by the current day earl. It stuck with me because my husband’s family is a sideways connection (married one of the daughters of the JS brother who immigrated with his family to Norwalk, CT) and that EXACTLY describes my father in law’s color.

      • Yes, I got the implication. 😉 But it’s so much more fun to take it literally. Especially since it would be something that she would’ve tried to conceal, it doesn’t even require hyperbole, just a bit of white lead. And already tired in with the wickedly wonderful Henry VIII? That’s catnip.

        Not tripping my search engine. I’ll have to investigate further.
        (Dang it! I was trying to finish the book I’d already started before finding another story to obsess about!)

        Isn’t Norwalk close to Innsmouth? (Ducks and runs)

        • Piffle.

          It is a well-established (albeit little reported) fact that the Seymours were descended from Lemurian snake-people, shifters who took the form of humanoid serpents, all of whom betray their heritage while in human guise by the telltale tinge of green, especially around the gills.

          Any rumours that Jane’s hold on the King’s attention related to her snake-like ability to unhinge her jaw and swallow objects of excessive size are completely unfounded and lack any support by available evidence.

        • Actually, if you look at some portraits, you’ll see that certain noble families look green. It’s not because of bad painting – a few did have a so-called chlorosis problem (a type of anemia).

        • Norwalk was founded by Husband’s ancestors (whom you’ll find under the name Haytte) and seven other families, one of whom was Jane Seymour’s brother under the name St. Maur. Their plots ran together.

        • Which btw, makes Dan, like fully 1/2 of Americans, descended from Edward III. Recently read an article making much of the fact that Trump and Hillary are both descended from that worthy and snort-giggled so hard I might have got concussion. The man had notorious problems keeping it his in pants, as well as a gay father to live down.

  36. Eh, some rather dark people can look green in the right light.

    Of course, I think it was fluorescent light.