A State of Fear

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Should we agree right here and now that people’s political opinions have nothing to do with how they do their job? Even when their job has an intellectual and emotional component.

There are — or should be — good teachers of all political stripes, more or less in proportion to those political stripes in the nation.  And there are — or should be — artists of all political stripes, more or less in proportion with the existence of those politics in the nation.  Also same proportion of psychiatrists, technicians, mathematicians, etc.

It doesn’t mean that the teacher wouldn’t, at times, let his politics influence him.  A leftist teacher, for instance, might give more group work.  But if he is a good teacher, he’ll balance this with experience, so it wouldn’t impair learning.  In the same way a good artist might be a leftist, but his work will still mirror the real world and have enough insights about it that non-leftists can appreciate him.  I give you sir Terry Pratchett, or Early Heinlein.

However, if you look around the nation, at artistic professions, news reporting, entertainment, art, education, some tech sectors, what you find is that the people there are either 99.9% leftist, or that the right is very, very quiet.

Several excuses have been adduced for that.  My favorite, which even people on the right in my field were using as little as ten years ago was “the right is not creative.  They just follow what they’re told.”  As indie has revealed, that is not only not true, it’s a damnable lie.  In fact, because the right is NOT the establishment, but the left is, the mavericks are almost all on the right.  But they were being determinedly kept out by the gatekeepers.  As they are in all these fields.

We could spend several posts analyzing (debunking) the left’s tendency to equate their political opinions with both moral superiority and intellectual superiority.  At the root of it it’s a refusal to look at how their ideas have played out in the world, but most of all it’s a brandishing of politics as a positional good that excuses you from actually having any accomplishments/making any sacrifices for others.  But it is real.  What I mean is that, against all sense, they REALLY believe that they are the good, moral and smart people.

Their illusions were abetted, once a certain critical mass had been reached, by the way they were portrayed in all media/entertainment/news and particularly the way their opponents are strawmanned in those same outlets.

How it started I don’t know, but probably with a little bit of agitprop to make the “progressive” view hip back in the days before WWII.  And with the taking of key positions.

But now?  Now it’s not a conspiracy.  It goes on its own.  When one of the prominent puppy kickers said that they didn’t have to give us a seat at the table, because they also wouldn’t give child molesters a seat at the table (he was probably wrong on that second one) he was absolutely sincere.  To them, when you advocate a cut back of onerous regulations, a flat tax or abolishing the department of education, it’s the equivalent of saying you want to have sex with toddlers.

Now this doesn’t make sense in any way, shape, form or even vague suspicion.  It’s not a rational thing.  It’s an emotional thing.

They KNOW they’re good and want all the GOOD things.  So if you don’t agree with them, you must want all the BAD things.

They never articulate it, of course.  If they did, even they would have to laugh at it.  They just conveniently project all their sins onto you and, no matter how little sense it makes, call you racist, sexist, homophobic.  And knee-jerk believe you are that, with such fierce intensity that no amount of proof would convince them otherwise.  This is how they call claim a man in an interracial marriage had planned this twenty years ago to cover up his racism.

The problem is that this non-conspiracy but sincere belief results exactly in the type of injustice that shouldn’t happen: competent or even brilliant people kept out of fields dominated by the left because they’re on the right.  (Or, in recent years, because they’re insufficiently left.)

It doesn’t happen the other way.  We on the right, because the left controlled all arts and entertainment learned to like the product and despise or even dislike the artist’s opinion.

But the result of that imbalance, while there are gatekeepers, is to make everyone to the right of Lenin, in a field dominated by the left, live in a state of fear.

You double think.  You watch your mouth.  You control everything you say and almost everything you think.

As someone who has been there, this isn’t good for you.  Little by little it poisons your soul, your ability to enjoy life, your ability to create anything new.  You become obsessed with detail and manner, so as to keep yourself from thinking heretical thoughts.  You become a little crazy.  Your health suffers.  You have bills to pay and people who depend on you.  You need the job.  You keep quiet.

I don’t know the percentage of people who — in America of all places — are living like this, every day, but I know it is staggering.

It has two effects: in fields totally taken over by what I’d call the punitive left, those who examine every moment and every gesture and every look for signs of deviance from the orthodoxy, whatever it is this week, creativity dries up.  People are afraid of where the slap will come from.  There are no true friendships.  And the product becomes an endless rehash of things done before, whether books or movies or, really, anything else.

And the other effect is that no one in the field, not even the most zealous keepers of orthodoxy know what people’s opinions really is.

In a totalitarian regime, you say what the top people want to hear.  Really — trust me, I’ve been there — you talk yourself into thinking what they want to hear.  You lie to yourself, first of all.

It hurts you.  But it also means they have an illusion of conformity, of uniformity.  They think they’re secure.

Until things turn.

I know that a great part of the reaction to Sad Puppies was that they didn’t know there were any dissenters in their ranks.  We’re not even all in any description “right wingers.”  (I’m… I’m for liberty.  Which means I’m against big government and its intrusive grip.  I never understood how the people with the bumperstickers enjoining us to “question authority” can be such lovers of big government.  Never mind.) But what we are is sick and tired of posturing fiction, giving itself airs of relevance.  And we’re tired of there only being one type of expression allowed.  They didn’t know that.  Because they’ve demanded the external rituals of compliance.  To step out of line, to be the nail that sticks up, was to get pounded.  Still is.  I mean, they’ve brought their full machine of slander against us and can’t imagine why we won’t shut up.

We won’t shut up because the mechanics of their power in my field are crumbling.  They can no longer gatekeep either distribution or even publication.  And so we’re free.  And they’ve found their hold is not absolute.  In fact, if more people were attuned to Indie and knew they don’t have to kowtow, they might find they’re a minority.

The thing is that pretty much all of entertainment, teaching, industry is going that way.  The industry of our time is an industry of personalization, of individualization, just as much as the industry of the fifties and sixties was a “mass” industry.

Which means more and more industries will be escaping their grip.  The shock the other side got when the Sad Puppy Movement talked back?  They have a lot of those in stock, in the years ahead.

And that should be some comfort for those of you who still must keep your mouth zipped and live in shadows.

Technology is running our way.  It’s freeing more people from the totalitarian control of the left, their dead ideology and their anti-competence policies.

And thinking how shocked they’ll be should make all those times you have to swallow your words easier to bear.

Be Not Afraid! In the end we win they lose.

 

 

428 responses to “A State of Fear

  1. Yes!!

  2. Sarah said: “But the result of that imbalance, while there are gatekeepers, is to make everyone to the right of Lenin, in a field dominated by the left, live in a state of fear. You double think. You watch your mouth. You control everything you say and almost everything you think.”

    Unless you’re a bit aspy. Then you just die. The inability to shut up and keep your head down, the driving need to know “but WHY, goddammit?!!!” is a guaranteed death sentence in any field dominated by the Left. Like hospitals, just ferinstance.

    Ask me how I know. (It’s a familiar situation to many here. You have seen this elephant, and measured his tusks.)

    After 59 years of this shit, I do not contribute much to the general public. They managed to make me shut up, finally. Congrats, gatekeepers. The nail that sticks up took his bat and ball and went home, the place where he can stick up in peace. I’m still sticking up, just from behind the battlements where they can’t break their mallets on my head.

    The problem for the Left, as I see it, is that they’re killing all the people who make and invent stuff. The weirdos who talk to their imaginary friends all day and write it down. Then they actually dare to show it to their friends, as if such scribblings might be entertaining. Those people don’t tow the line, they must be purged. Of course then, as Sarah says, everything is a rehash of some approved trope. (If I never read another post-apocalyptic Mad Max grimdark Lefty moral tale, it will be too soon.)

    Now Sad Puppies, the nail that sticks up in your face.

    I’ve been having this Sad Puppies conversation with the retards at Camestros Flopatron’s blog. The jist of the conversation is:

    1) “How dare you come into my house!” One of the commenters actually said that, how dare we come all burly into his house. Like SF is his, somehow.
    2) “What makes you so special that -your- taste should get an award over mine?” And of course when you give examples of your taste the rest of the conversation is how stupid you are for liking that.

    I told them to suck it, that was when they declared victory.

    Because that’s where they live. They like to ‘win’. They consider 5 awards to Noah ‘winning’ because at least the Puppies didn’t get a rocket.

    AKA: Shut the fuck up, non-conformist scum!

    It’s like highschool all over again. The cool kids playing torture the nerds, writ large.

    Lucky for me the Interwebz allows me a nice playground where I can punch the mean kids in their metaphorical faces. Lucky for me there’s someplace I can publish my scribblings about my imaginary friends where some bully can’t push me around. Which I shall presently do (if I can get them to stop screwing around and do something constructive for five minutes).

    • It’s like highschool all over again. The cool kids playing torture the nerds, writ large.

      I recall those horrible days… and then the mainstreaming of some, with Revenge of the Nerds.. and now the movie is oh-so-dated. Gee, who won? And history rhymes.

      • I’m lucky. The worst thing that happened to me in high school was that my mom died. I don’t know whether it wasn’t there or I didn’t see it. There was no hazing or any kind of intimidation. On the other hand it was a very small private religious school. There were about 200 students in it. About 50 per year. I was in the last graduating class.

        • For various reasons The Parents decided to send me to a small Quaker boarding school in a small village in the mountains of eastern Tennessee for my last two years of high school. The total student body my senior year was 70. There were only 10 in my graduating class, which was one of the last. A dating couple was about as close to a clique as we ever got.

          Anyway, I had culture shock when I arrived, it was very different from center city Philadelphia. There were these ladies who looked and sounded to me like they came straight of the early episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. All things considered, I must have been a shocking sight to them.

          It was there that I discovered that my learned northeastern assumptions about the rest of the world weren’t necessarily so. While these ladies had their beliefs – Christian and conservative – and they held to their principles of right and wrong, they also proved to be some of the most fair and open minded people I have ever met.

    • Phantom, we’re all at least a bit aspie in this field. That’s why this is so pernicious. I thought I was deep undercover, and have since found out I wasn’t.

      • Or ADHD (raises hand). Or tend to attract aspies (my ex-girlfriend was on the spectrum. It’s a lot easier to start dating someone when it’s obvious that they’re into you).

        • I categorize my ADHD as a super power.

          It’s a damn annoying one, mind you, but it’s a super power. 😀

          • I characterize it as a g-ddamn pain in the @ss. I’d happily be rid of it like a troublesome priest.

            • It’s all a matter of perspective. 😀

              • I’m a big enough @sshole without the mood instability my ADD brings with it. Even treated I doubt I’m that tolerable…when I’m not I’m surprised I’m not committed.

                Any measure of creativity it brings is overwhelmed by the social damage.

                YMMV.

                • The key is to find a job where being an a$$hole is part of the job description.

                  • It’s why I moved into software testing. 😎

                    Someone has to tell developers that this precious codechild they birthed is actually a Spawn of Satan.

                  • I always wondered why my job description seemed to morph to include “complaints department,” “designated bouncer,” or “training supervisor.” *chuckle*

                  • Like a Rad Protection tech????? Or QA Auditor????

                  • I’m a bankster…best job I’ve ever had.

                    • So how do you blow up the economy? Is there a lever or a big red button?

                    • It’s a video game called “World of Moneycraft”.

                      As a quant that’s how I feel about our models sometimes (and my standard line when people are pushing for conclusions I don’t think we can reach or forcing inputs I think are stupid).

                      I just want to know how to get those big bankster bonuses I read about (not that I’m poorly paid but nothing like you hear in Bernie Sanders speeches).

            • Eh, it’s good and its bad, has its good points and its bad points.
              It does make it hard to read and comprehend engineering texts and Dash Ones though.

            • I don’t generally buy into the theory that untreated mental illnesses make people more creative, but if I didn’t have ADHD, I doubt that I would have ever become a writer. That said, my ADHD is mild enough that I don’t need medication to function normally in society.

              • Eh, one theory is that artist is a job that people with mental illnesses can hold down.

                (The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain by Alice Weaver Flaherty is good.)

                • It was a fairly long held tradition among the Celts that a bard had to be a little crazy.

                  • ” That showed me in an instant that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them.” Plato, Apology of Socrates

              • There is serious reason to question whether ADHD constitutes a mental illness. Equally valid is the argument that it represents a failure of the modern school paradigm. ADHD can readily be argued as a form of adaptation to an environment in which awareness of minor environmental fluctuations is critical. See A Hunter In A Farmers’ World for expansion on this theme.

                • modern school and workplace</b paradigm…adults on various ADD meds are becoming more common.

                • Does it outline lack of physical activity? I grew up in a farming community and and on a small farm. There was always manual labor to be done (throwing hay, digging fence posts, actually chopping wood with an axe for the wood burning stove). I find that going to the gym and moving lots of heavy weights around helps me stay focused during the day and focus on my job. If I don’t get the physical activity I tend to be irritable and easily distracted. For some reason I’m much more creative if I run. Some of my best ideas have come to me after I’ve been out for a run. It’s about the only thing I miss about living in CA, the weather was almost always perfect for throwing on shorts and shoes and hitting the trail.

                • This –^
                  I speak from both direct, and indirect experience (my kids, my father, and his father).

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I think the theory is flat out wrong.

                There seems to be a very common condition with statistically lower creativity, more stability, and lower costs to maintain mental health.

                You sound like you are in the category that has more creativity, but whose higher maintenance costs can still be easily handled by habit and being a bit better informed when making cautious choices.

                Way past that are the people with high maintenance costs, high productivity hits from maintenance shortfalls, who sometimes have very high creativity, intelligence, or both. Raw creativity and raw intelligence are not that useful without the productivity to apply them.

                Psychiatric drugs are nasty. In situations where using them is appropriate, the person may not be able to judge the variations in their mental state or their artistic ability. Illness this severe can wear out the brain if untreated. Even if the drugs objectively hurt creativity and ability a little, compare a productive lifetime of five years to twenty. The advantage of being able to work longer is more learning, which may offset or exceed the hit to ability.

                I think increasing the effective level of impairment does not increase creativity.

                I think it is physically possible for extremely poor life choices to prevent someone with your maintenance needs from being able to write.

                • Speaking of psychoactive drugs and art, younger son tells me that when he was on Adderall, his sketches went from realistic to abstract. Which seems backwards, to me, but what do I know? I’m a frustrated Physicist who does database work, neither an artist nor a psychiatrist.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            You could kind of categorize it like Cyclops from the X-Men: Randomly destructive when uncontrolled, but when tamed and directed appropriately, can be very useful.

  3. “he was provbably wrong on that second one”

    Given Marion Zimmer Bradley and Delaney. didn’t you leave out a “v”?

    • Catticus Finch

      And given that, at least according to some of my acquaintances who were active in SCA and cons during the early days, much of that behavior (at least in the matter of Walter Breen) was no secret. It was why my acquaintances left SCA and stopped going to cons once they had kids and why, to this day, they participate in HEMA but refuse to be associated with SCA.

      • I wonder if that was endemic across the SCA or relegated to specific Kingdoms, or specific Baronies within Kingdoms?

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Yet, who here really fear “Fed The Fred”. [Smile]

    IMO that shows how much the SJWs have failed. We can joke about “Fed The Fred”. [Very Big Grin]

    • It’s not Fred I’m worried about.

      It’s Joe the guy who’s responsible for properly filing a form I turned in who thinks my husband and I have way too many kids to be responsible enough for the job we applied for, so the form gets mislayed.

      It’s Suzy, the nurse at the dentists’ office, who decides that the Duchess’ lisp means she must be given speech therapy and thus shouldn’t be home schooled, so she files a report that we’re not educating the kids.

      It’s the cousin who feels bad about a choice they made that’s opposite of what we did, who starts the concern-trolling and whisper campaign.

      It’s the coworker that creates a sense of personal superiority by finding something private they can use to tear others down– no matter how much context they have to strip away.

      It’s the self-rightious lynch mobs that take a half truth, flanderize it and howl for blood.

      It’s the predators that pat themselves on the back, because their victims deserve it.

      • they tried to take Marshall from us over his speech impediment. We moved.

        • The most offensive aspect of that (which is a rather high bar, so give them credit) is that on those occasions when they do extract a kid there is no duty to repair or even treat the problem which “justified” their intervention. Nope, just yank the kid and warehouse him in a foster home where the money for his care will be pocketed and he’ll learn the basics of criminality.

  5. There are — or should be — good teachers of all political stripes, more or less in proportion to those political stripes in the nation. And there are — or should be — artists of all political stripes, more or less in proportion with the existence of those politics in the nation. Also same proportion of psychiatrists, technicians, mathematicians, etc.

    I could agree in theory with the “should be” part. In practice, though, I find that leftism requires you to subordinate “doing the best job I can” to “producing politically-correct output”. So the more someone values doing a good job above being politically correct, the more they will be pushed to the edges of their profession, even if they hold leftist views. So in practice, there are proportionally fewer good left-leaning artists than there are left-leaning people in the nation, because many of the really good ones get filtered out. (Until they discover indie, and start to restore the balance).

    • There is also a certain culture of despising application and competence. But that’s a post for another time.

      • I think the point about the Nebula for “If you were only a dinosaur, my love” was not that it hit every PC point but that it did absolutely nothing else. For it to have been witty or genuinely moving would have been disqualifiers.

    • Certain professions tend to inculcate their practitioners in modes of thinking which tilt their membership Left or Right. In my experience, such fields as Engineering, Contracting, Accounting, Plumbing tend either to attract more Conservatives or make their practitioners more conservative, while fields more involved in symbol (language) manipulation — Law, Advertising, Teaching — skew similarly to the Left.

      Of course, such external factors as the presence of unions can tilt an otherwise Rightward trade to the Left, by imposing a regime in which adherence to Leftish principles is necessary to advance, along with a heavy layer of propaganda.

      • Law, advertising, and (arguably) teaching also are similar in that they reward the ability to convince the objects of the craft to believe things that aren’t demonstrably true. These things play to the strengths of the left. Many of the rest of us have an at least mild aversion to lying. Those on the left seem to think takiyya is a virtue.

      • I’ve known a few politically lefty engineers in my time, and they were some of the most emotionally screwed up folks I have ever been associated with. I think their problems were rooted in the conflicts between the trained tendency of engineers to go for the optimum conservative solution and their political views that conflicted with it, especially when it came to trying to resolve a political demand for 2+2=5 and the real answer.

      • Perhaps, but in my experience the advancement path bias is towards selection of those who are leftward-tilting, so the power structure within engineering-heavy companies shifts away from the underlying engineer population.

        Maybe this is some corollary to the Peter principle, where the really talented engineers stay in jobs that let them do engineering, while the mediocre to poor engineers go get their MBAs and become managers.

        In any case, empirically I see most of the execs out here in tech-land are pretty much aligned with the famous tech mucky-mucks like Zuckerberg et al. – financially capitalist while politically really quite leftward.

        • In some Navy situations, they’re actively selecting against people who do the job.

          Getting college, special qualifications and volunteering all improve your eval more than doing a good job, so the guy who actually does all the work in the shop while everybody else is off doing college ends up separating when he hits the advancement wall.

          And yes, this was still happening years after 9/11.

          • Oh, it was happening well before that, Fox. I rated one of my troops while in Spain 84-90; he was a wonderfully skilled, hard-working, expert troop, cheerful and a joy to supervise … but when I gave him a firewall-9 rating (then the highest) all I got from my own higher command was sniveling about how he should have been more involved in the community, should have been volunteering more, doing extra duties, etc. Me saying, essentially in response, “But he doesn’t have time for all that if he is doing his job!” buttered no parsnips with upper command.

            Also didn’t butter any parsnips when my supervisor said the same thing to me. Yeah, working supervisor, single parent, especially when I had to give up the one outside volunteer duty I did have (Brownie Troop leader) when Desert Storm kicked in … because I didn’t have the time any more. Wartime requirements of the job, and all.

            And people wonder why I still liked working freelance, and in owning my own Tiny Bidness. Because I no longer have to answer to idiots. (Insane clients, though – but that’s a walk in the park compared to Idiots in Command.)

            • I specified that it’s still going on because every dang time I mention it, folks give me the stuff about how a “wartime army” wouldn’t possibly do that.

              I mean, I know I’ve looked older than I am since I was about 14, but good gravy.

            • Management by checklist, aka a reason all HR administrators ought be shot. Okay, maybe burying alive in a mass grave is more cost effective — the floor is open for debate on that topic.

          • Happens at the University here as well. HR ranks someone straight out of college with no experience higher than someone with 20+ years experience but no degree. It’s frustrating as hell.

            • They have to, you know. Credentials are necessary in a diverse society, for the sake of diversity.

            • When I was first a manager at a big semiconductor company the ‘book’ (big thick 3-ring binder, had to be locked up in my cube when not in use) had an equivalence defined for advanced degrees vs. experience which was reflected in the pay structure tables – basically after 4 years on the job with a BS degree you were supposed to be at equal pay levels to a Masters new hire, and I think the PhD new hire evened out at 5 or 6 years experience with only a BS.

              In real life, I was never able to rank someone with ‘only’ a BS even with any of my MS employees – things always got adjusted by the pay people in HR.

              At more recent employers even as a manager I never saw the ‘book’ that detailed the pay ranks and rates, but empirically they had a ‘advanced degree’ and ‘snotty school’ pus up for new hires that was steeper than the one above.

        • Anonymous Coward

          Spent 30 yrs in the semiconductor industry. Quickly found out that advancement goes to the guys who consistently show ‘up-and-to-the-right’ charts, even if it requires 2+2=5. I believe a lot of this is due to the reward system used in management, If company does well, it is due to brilliant leadership and big bonuses are handed out. If things go badly, it is due to Vast, Uncontrollable Forces of the Marketplace (ie: what the ancients called the Will of the Gods) and somewhat smaller bonuses are handed out. You could often get the same results by putting a potted plant in charge. I would also observe that hardware engineers tend to be more grounded and conservative, while software ‘engineers’ (sic) tend toward the left.

          • If things go badly, it is due to Vast, Uncontrollable Forces of the Marketplace (ie: what the ancients called the Will of the Gods) and somewhat smaller bonuses are handed out.

            You forgot the layoffs – err, “Reductions in Workforce” – err, “Rightsizing” , which this time will be the last for sure, until the next time.

            And the same Directors and VPs and EVPs and up stay until they find another gig and abandon ship.

            I have to say the last place I was at they RIFed everyone up to the senior VPs when it was acquired – I think that surprised a lot of the execs, that they weren’t immune..

            • “rightsizing”, a term no doubt brought to you by the same newspeak bureau that came up with ‘funemployment’ and ‘staycation’ to try to make us forget how miserable we were in 2009.

        • Yep, spent most all of my career(~35yrs) as a field engineer. The ones who couldn’t cut the mustard in the field – that is get the job done on time and on budget – were generally pulled back to the office and promoted to supervisor.

  6. > “the right is not creative. They just follow
    > what they’re told.”

    Designing and building your own aircraft is not being creating. Daubing random patterns of paint onto canvas is creative.

    • Pretty much…the first is engineering and any nerd can do that but it takes a special snowflake to put random patterns of paint onto canvas and take it seriously (that said the random comment is unfair to Pollack).

      • The creativity in Modern Art lies not in the putting paint (or various disgusting fluids) on a medium, but in the explaining what the damn thing “means”.

        • In other words, in BS. 🙂

        • Free-range Oyster

          If you have to explain to everyone what a piece of art means in order for it to have any interest for them, you have failed as an artist. Art must be interpreted, and some people may not “get” a particular piece, but if no one gets it without it being explained, it’s a failure. If every work is that way, you’re not a genius, you’re a fraud. Even some modernist and abstract works appeal to me personally, despite my rather traditionalist bent; but there must be some beauty, something that touches the human spirit, not merely an amalgamation of shapes and figures labelled and explained like a shoddy editorial cartoon.

          *looks down* Oh, that’s where the soapbox got to!

          • This Mollusk speaks for me.

          • What about art that speaks only to people in the same field. I thinking mostly of Pollack here (although Cage is probably a good example). I intellectually understand why oil painters go gaga over Pollack (I’d explain it as painterliness without subject) but I don’t “get” it.

            I think such art has a place but I won’t look down on those who don’t see it as art. I also tend to find it is something best done once and then be done (see 4’33” for a prime example).

            • Free-range Oyster

              Sure, shove me back on the soapbox! *grin* I’ve actually been pondering on that for a while, and I’ve been stumped because I lack sufficient vocabulary to make necessary distinctions. Roughly, not all art is Art (not to be confused with Aht, which is a positional good, usually a subset of art, and may once in a while overlap with Art). Does that make any sense? Our terms are overloaded. There are pieces of art that may be of academic or practical value to a student of the form, but that have no Art in them, or that have Art so subtle that it holds no interest for someone without the background to find it. There are some creations that some people may not get or that may be impactful to an individual only once. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taste: I was a musician for most of my life, I’m very fond of jazz, I deeply enjoyed Coltrane’s early work, but I cannot stand his Jupiter, or most of the other stuff from his later period.

              Your suitable audience, for lack of a more elegant term, is comprised of those who can see the Art in your art without being beaten on the head with it. The size of your suitable audience will vary – and may change as people enter and leave it as their tastes and sophistication change – but if no one can see the Art, you need to take a good look at whether you’ve really created something worthwhile or just a piece of visual or auditory onanism.

              One more note, because it’s connected, is that to me Art requires an element of beauty. Something may be interesting without beauty, intellectually or technically impressive, but that art does not rise to being Art. I’ve yet to make the time to study and form a more universal application, but since philosophers and their aesthetic descendants have being working on that for millennia, I’m in no rush.

          • I thought the premise of Deconstructionism was that the meaning of anything is dependent upon and imposed by the perspective of the observer. Wouldn’t that mean that to explain what a given work of art means is to impose one’s own perspective on others, thus engaging in artistic colonialism?

            • That is what the Deconstructionists CLAIM it is, but in reality, the subtext of their subject is that hoi polloi can’t actually interpret even their own utterances — it requires a trained professional to decrypt the secret bigotry — just as a trained auspex is needed to read animal entrails.

      • “it takes a special snowflake to put random patterns of paint onto canvas and take it seriously”

        or a toddler

    • As is throwing a can of paint onto a fan.

  7. But but but! How can a second rate artist with all the right connections and education, all the right ways of thinking be someone?

    This stuff smells like the imposition of a class system. A useless and stupid fool could do well if they were of the right class and birth, and they would be the most vigorous enforcer of class privilege by necessity. This dynamic happens in unions as well; the most useless and unproductive wouldn’t be there without the union protection, and become it’s vigorous defenders.

    The proposition that something be judged on it’s quality and whether people enjoy reading it is profoundly subversive. Even that it be enjoyed is a challenge to a century of literary criticism tradition.

    Remember that a gatekeeper is someone whose wages are the first line item on the budget. A position to preserve at all costs.

    • Of course it’s an imposition of a class system. Progressivism is nothing more than feudalism with the serial numbers filed off. Progressives want everything to be run by government experts. What they seem to forget is that English already has a long list of words to describe government experts. Lord, Knight, Duke, Earl, etc.

      • The problem with comparing Lord, Knight, Duke, Earl, Baron, etc., with government experts is that, at least to start with, the ‘noblemen’ did serve a purpose — they protected and fought for their king, and protected their land and their people. That was how they earned those titles. Of course not all of them fulfilled their responsibilities well, but that was the idea of those positions.

        • Nominally the various government agencies serve a purpose. Unfortunately for the Progressives, reality has veto power.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Well, In Theory government experts get their positions because they are knowledgeable in their fields while nobles get their positions because their parents had that position.

          Of course, many government “experts” aren’t true experts as they become “experts” by toeing the proper political line.

          We haven’t yet reached the point where people are called “experts” because their parents were called “experts”. [Sad Smile]

          • And at this point many government experts are the scions of prior experts who used their parents’ positions as leverage to get into the right schools to get said expertise in government.

            Is Harvard or Yale anymore really that different from the fostering of noblemen in each other’s households to be trained as knights?

          • Not really on nobles. hereditary nobles had to be confirmed (certified as being knowledgeable) by the house of lords in order to assume a title. mind you this process was to an extent pro-forma as many not-qualified relatives of nobles were allowed to succeed to titles because they toed the proper political line. throw in the fact that children of nobles had educational opportunities unavailable to the masses such that even a mediocre scion of the nobility was more qualified at running the government than almost everyone born into other classes and the way skilled monarchs promoted the cream of the other classes into the nobility, and the system of hereditary nobility really isn’t that different from the government-of-experts one.

        • Reality Observer

          It is an excellent analogy – the operative phrase is “to start with.” The civil masters we have these days did start out (for the most part) as civil servants.

          I suppose there is one small difference – there was at least the concept of “noblesse oblige” floated among some of the old aristocracy.

        • They also had a code of honor “nobless oblige” which the current bastages lack.

          • Sort of lack- “nobless oblige” has warped into “social consciousness”, which means they do it with other people’s money.

            • Eh, yes and no, I think. The way noblesse oblige worked from my dim understanding of it was a marriage of power with responsibility- you have the power of life and death over your peasants, but the responsibility to treat them as a valuable resource rather than as disposable Kleenex. That binding of power and responsibility was *essential.* Every time you split the power from the responsibility, it ends badly. Usually sooner, but it gets worse the longer it goes on.

              Social consciousness is functionally a code word that means the same thing as virtue signalling and political correctness. Say the right things, and you will be accepted. Misstep badly enough, and they will eat you. Oh, I grant that they might *like* to draw some connection between the two, whilst simultaneously talking up how brave and independent women were in ye olden tymes, how little brown people were ever and only completely innocent victims of imperialist patriarchy, etc. But noblesse oblige seems to have a more solid lineage in modern chivalry than in crocodile tears and false grace.

          • Somewhere I read a description of communist governments was that they had all the power of absolute monarchies without the nobless oblige…

        • In democracy, you spend your life learning how to get a job. You need not know how to do it. In an aristocracy, you spend your life learning how to do the job, but you don’t get it until you are old, or if there is a war.

          Obviously some lordlings spend their lives frittering away and cannot do the job when they inherit. In democracy some learn how to be community organizers and apply that experience in governing at whatever level they achieve. Heaven and Hell are rumored both to be absolute monarchies.

          • Eh, in most aristocracies in history you were more likely to get while still a child. Most early Scottish kings were not followed by their own sons because the law required the king to be twenty-five, and you usually died before having a son that old. (The scene in Macbeth where Malcolm is declared Duncan’s heir is anachronistic — he was too young.)

    • William Newman

      “This stuff smells like the imposition of a class system. A useless and stupid fool could do well if they were of the right class and birth […]”

      Know your enemy: there are class systems and there are class systems, and they are not all the same. E.g., does the class system gravitate to prestige-generating customs that are lazy-moron-friendly (like conspicuous consumption, immoderate holiness, reckless gambling, posh accents, inbred cant, or pilgrimages to venerate sacred relics or ecoprojects or Potemkin villages)? Or does it prefer PGCs that tend to let capable people show off (fluency in court languages, wittiness, excellent musical performance or calligraphy, mastery of a large literature, swordsmanship, musical performance)? Or perhaps PGCs tailored for some alternative like bold people (conspicuously reckless horsemanship in impractical hunting) or reasonably patient disciplined people (basic competence in musical performance and court languages and dance)? Or some mix of actual competence and shallow fake-able credentialism (like engineering degrees having a curious symbolic role in various Communist and third world governments)?

      And how tightly sealed are the classes? E.g. I have seen it claimed, and tend to believe, that the English class system was substantially leakier than the French from fairly early on (before 1500, but I dunno how much before), so that e.g. on a given battlefield there were many more blood ties between the bloody infantry and various higher-class roles (like top officers, or ordinary officers, or some kinds of cavalry) than between their French counterparts.

      • I recommend Life in the French Country House and Life in the French Country House by Mark Girouard for a look.

        The big difference was that there was an abyss between the nobles (everyone of noble descent) and everyone else in France, whereas in England, there was a graduated ladder — partly because only those who held the title were noble.

    • Lena Dunham’s parents. For “second rate artists born in right place and time.” And then the kids are even more clueless and more strident.

  8. Why are most intellectuals of the Left? Hayek famously wrote an essay addressing this question, which boils down to this: in school, the Smartest Kids In The Room ™ got all the accolades and the awards. Once they got out into the Real World, they were shocked to discover that being one of the SKITRs wasn’t all that, indeed it might be counterproductive. Worse, those dullards who were on the football team or who went to business school (ack!) might actually be the most successful by the criteria of the Real World (e.g., money)! So they imagined a world where things were like they were in school, and then tried really hard to make the Real World conform.

    Why are so many organizations dominated by the Left? To some degree this is an obvious fallout of the problem Hayek describes: so much so that Robert Conquest formulated it as the second of his three laws, namely, that all organizations that are not explicitly conservative eventually become liberal (see, e.g., the AMA, the CoC, and other “traditionally” conservative organizations: heck, see today’s world of SF).

    Finally, there is the issue of the Great Sort, as one author called it: the increasing tendency of Americans to self-segregate by demographic, including–crucially–political and ideological criteria. When your neighbors are a diverse group, ideologically speaking, it’s very hard to demonize them as a group: when you never meet anyone who disagrees with you, it’s much easier (and there are other consequences, like a broken feedback loop that leads to what a friend once dubbed “spending too much time drinking your own bathwater.”).

    In 1976, a moderately conservative (by the standards of the pre-Reagan era) Republican came within a few hundred thousand votes–a percentage point or two–of carrying New York and winning reelection. Fast-forward forty years to the present day, and I beg leave to doubt that even Trump–or for that matter Giuliani–could carry New York for the GOP. Similarly in that election, a Southern Democrat who was a former governor of Georgia was the last Democrat to win the South as a region (others have picked off a state or two at the edges, much as Eisenhower did).

    Can we win? Sure we can. But bear in mind, the Long March Through The Institutions began after the revolutionary effort of the 1960s, and has gone on unabated–and largely unopposed–for fifty years. If we are to recapture the commanding heights of our society–the schools, the churches, the media, the entertainment industry–the makers and shapers of opinion–it will take at least as long, because the other side had the benefit of operating in a tolerant, liberal environment: we won’t.

    In saying this, I don’t mean to pour cold water on the aspiration: just to remind people that it’s not going to be a process that provides instant gratification, nor is it about winning an election or two or even taking over a political party. As someone recently reminded us, politics is downstream of culture: until and unless we act accordingly–by reclaiming the culture, one small bit at a time–we are simply tilting at the windmill.

    • > Why are most intellectuals of the Left?

      Most “intellectuals” are also academics. Which almost always means someone else paid for their ride through the collegiate system. They moved from kindergarten through postdoc, and they never went out into the real world. They’re still in school.

      I guess it’s hard to avoid an entitlement mindset when the system has always taken care of things for you. And no need to think for yourself when you have a vested interest in a system that tells you what to think.

      “I’m no intellectual; I try to think for myself.”
      – Steve Matuchek, in Poul Anderson’s “Operation Chaos”

      • If that’s true, then the digital disruption of education by MOOCs and the suchlike is going to have a tremendous societal effect one or two generations from now.

        • Yup! And it’s already starting to show up a little if you look around at the high school generation. Look at all the home schoolers out there now. Even my very left wing neighbors did it, because they realize that the schools weren’t teaching their kids how to be successful.

          • Yup. One question that floats up at faculty meetings as “are we that good, or is [public system(s)] that bad?” I fear the latter, because I can compare the work the students do to some stuff I found in the back of a drawer, and [double digit] years ago, the public school taught the same material as [private school.]

        • Which is why the Left is trying so hard to kill or coopt it.

          I’ll also add that even nominally “conservative” fields like Engineering, Accounting, or Plumbing can quite easily be controlled by the Left if they can force unionization, various forms of professional association, or regulation upon them.

      • There’s another factor in why academics are of the Left: a good portion of the job of an academic is begging for government money. Those for whom this begging is distasteful tend to leave academia and do something for which others will pay them. Of those that remain, even those who aren’t radical leftists are going to push for increased government spending out of simple self-interest. Thus, it’s almost impossible to be a small government advocate in academia.

        • Considering the awarding of government money is not typically based on the merit of a proposal it is easy to understand why people who are able to find market-friendly ways of developing their ideas would flee the one-hand-washes-the-other realm of government granting.

    • I don’t think the countermarch through the institutions is going to take nearly as long, mostly because we aren’t going to be marching through the institutions, we’ll be creating new ones. The Left had to take the institutions because they were relying on the reputation of those institutions to sugarcoat their patent idiocy. By now decades of control by obvious idiots has damaged the reputation of the institutions to the point that even if quickly recapturing them were feasible, there would be no point to it.

      About the only institution I think is worth capturing rather than replacing is the GOP. The country needs a conservative party to counterbalance the Democrats who have been mostly Progressive since the 1970’s and wholly Progressive since 2010. Building a new party from scratch would take too long, especially since killing the GOP would take quite a while, so turning the GOP into a conservative party is necessary. The good news is that we’re almost to the point where the Democrats were in the late 70’s. Trump’s popularity is the conservative equivalent of the ’68 Chicago riots. It’s also the establishment’s best shot at survival. When Rubio is seen as the viable establishment pick you know the Bush-Nixon-Rockefeller wing of the party is in trouble.

      • At the rate they’re going, I’d say the GOPe will finish killing themselves in the next year. Everything’s faster in the Internet Age.

        • The GOP establishment has been losing power for almost 10 years now. 36 years ago they were able to get their candidate on the ticket alongside Reagan, now they’re being forced to settle on Rubio as their candidate with any traction.

        • “I’d say the GOPe will finish killing themselves in the next year.”

          Yup.

        • No they wont. If Trump is nominated, they just become “democrats” Because that’s what he is. So it will stop the idea of an opposition party forever.

          • Given the GOPe has already started adopting Trump to avoid Cruz I’d say the idea that they are anything other than democrats, which I considered long disprove (see Cochran, Thad, for a recent example) to be beyond debate.

            The GOP’s Powers that Be would rather Trump because the joyride of corruption and graft will continue under him than Cruz because Cruz might actually mean what the GOP has mouthed to get votes for 40+ years.

            I’m actually starting to think compared to the GOP the LP is run by responsible adults…that’s pretty scary.

            • I used to be an LP party officer. I won’t go that far, Herb, but you MIGHT be right. (Shudder.)

              • Mildly responsible teenagers? Like the ones you’d leave home alone for a few hours but not a weekend?

              • I had half of my (forked?) tongue in check there but day by day I wonder.

                Or we can pick one of several other minor parties. The Constitutional Party which is mainly a hard core evangelical party.

                Actually, no, the Connecticut Right to Life Party. They really impressed me in their usage of CT ballot access laws. If you got 1% of the vote in an election you automatically had ballot access for that office next time around. They ALWAYS had candidates for offices they’d previously gotten ballot access for so they never had to petition those again. Petitioning took 1% of the prior vote total in signatures so it was a good idea not to lose it.

                The CT LP pulled off getting a petioner on the ballot for Senate and then didn’t bother to field a candidate in the next Senate election so to get a Senator on the ballot they had to start all over again. It is one thing to field a candidate and not hit the threshold but to not bother to field a candidate and lose it by default told me how serious the CT LP was.

                • Sometimes I wish for the SOML party to be real, not imagined. It was profane, arrogant, standoffish, and rude… but the slogans! *chuckle*

                  “If I can’t see it, hear it, feel it, or smell it, and it hurts nobody and nuthin’ but you, it ain’t illegal!”

            • Things are so messed up in this election cycle, that I think it’s still too early to declare winners, or even what will happen if any particular candidate wins.
              I mean look at the democrats, they’re running freaking socialist/communists! HARD CORE ones too! The leading contender had committed numerous felonies, and does not have a single accomplishment in their entire life at -anything-, and people are attracted to vote for this?
              We are in ‘the crazy years’, there is no doubt about it.

              And I think we may be focusing on the wrong thing. It’s not so much what the federal government does, it’s what the states do in response to it.

              • When the UK Independent had the headline: “Man with bionic penis to lose virginity to Dominatrix who ran for Parliment” I realized in mapping out The Crazy Years Heinlein had suffered a failure of imagination.

                • I saw that article and wondered how much NHS spent on that. A little research revealed that his “bionic penis” was nothing more than a penis implant, covered with a graft of skin taken from his arm. No sensation, no gratification possible for him. All they had done was install an inflatable sex toy where his happy place should have been. And they didn’t even spring for the battery-powered design.

                  Bad headline and dishonest reporting — the MSM’s stock in trade.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Even if he had imagined it, would he have been effective in communicating it to his contemporary readers?

                  • William Newman

                    “Even if he had imagined it, would he have been effective in communicating it to his contemporary readers?”

                    I am not sure RAH had the knack for communicating what “a little research” on this subject on this subject implies in this day and age. HP Lovecraft, maybe.

              • And I would not be surprised if one (or both) of the “leading Democratic candidates” keeled over from a coronary or something. Which would make the current mess into a Mount Tambora eruption sized mess. 😀

                • Why do you think Martin O’Malley is still in the race? That’s his whole strategy at this point.

                  • Don’t overlook Biden either. He still has things in place that he could declare tomorrow. I figure he goes over to Obama’s house every night and begs Valerie Jarret to indict Clinton, so he has a clear shot at it.

                    • Unless Sanders keels over, don’t expect Biden to jump in. The Berniacs already consider themselves hard done by the DNC. If Biden jumps in a snatches victory from their idol, they’ll probably go back to their parent’s basements to sulk, and that would be the end of the “Permanent Democrat Majority.” At least for this cycle.

                      No, I think the Obama wing is writing off 2016. Barry hasn’t won over nearly enough people to support a third term, so they’re going to let their competitors in the DNC waste themselves this year so that four years from now either Biden or Michelle (likely both) can come “rescue” us from those dastardly Republicans.

                    • Biden and the late entries have another big issue. Ballot access. I suspect in most states you have to have done the registration by early January. Biden et al didn’t so that route isn’t open to them. I think one of three things happens
                      1) The Obama DOJ finds some intestinal fortitude and at least indites before major primaries (super tuesday) for the classified email stuff. Hilary can put jam in her pockets she’s toast. Bernie wins by default. final Race unclear to me, very dependent on Bernie getting turnout.
                      2) DOJ wimps out. The infighting in the Obama gets dialed to 11. Hilary is the nominee but you could run Stalin or Hitler (or even Jeb Bush) and win
                      3) after major wrangling DOJ indites. Hillary is still toast but convention goes bonkers. Democrats do some serious back room voodoo and some dank creature (e.g. Biden, Gore, Warren aka Princess Liawatha) shambles towards D.C. Democrat turnout is awful, result likely similar to 2.

                      In the words of Arte Johnson “Very Interesting”. Obama and his team have little love for Clinton Inc. This is the most intriguing (and terrifying) election in my lifetime

                    • Ballot access for the primary or the general? or does primary automatically carry general?

            • A blogger who’s so far into Trump he can look out past his tonsils tried to say that because James “Snakehead” Carville said something vaguely complimentary about Cruz, Cruz was bought by the “establishment”. It almost prompted me to say “Of course he said that; he thinks Cruz voters have enough principles to be bothered by it and knows that Trump supporters wouldn’t care; if they were uncomfortable with a candidate who’s a long-term Clinton Crime Syndicate associate they couldn’t have ever started supporting Trump.”

            • I’ve read of rumours that Cruz already has in mind a list of appointees to Cabinet positions, Bureau management and judgeships … which would go a long way toward explaining why the establishment is so scared of him.

              • I notice there is a groundswell of Cruz=Nixon articles at places like NR.

                • The Other Sean

                  So far, nothing suggests any of the front-runners are likely to be less into being a Nixon-style Imperial President than the current occupant of the White House.

                • The Nixon analog is already in the Whitehouse. Except Nixon was competent and intelligent and had some vague respect for the Costitution (at least he felt bad when he violated it).

                • I read NR faithfully and have for thirty years. I have seen no such articles AT ALL, let alone a “groundswell” of them. In fact, some NR writers have openly endorsed Cruz.

            • The GOP’s Powers that Be would rather Trump because the joyride of corruption and graft will continue under him than Cruz because Cruz might actually mean what the GOP has mouthed to get votes for 40+ years.

              As someone that frequently has to translate libertarians and conservatives for quasi-GOPe voters to try to bring them around, I feel compelled to put up a defense here, because the sides seem incapable of communicating. The GOPe voters have several problems understanding us.

              First, they either (or both) believe the media spin that has Trump to the right of Ghengis Khan and Cruz to the right of Trump and an Evangelical Nutcase, or they believe the average voter will believe the media’s spin.

              Second, they’re fixated on having GOP candidates staying in office. Better to fix a little bit of the problem and get re-elected than to try to fix all the problem and lose the office without doing anything. Further, much like another established bureaucracy, the teacher’s unions, seniority plays a major role, so better to have a long-term GOP officeholder as a known item (who is almost certainly establishment) than an outsider that may flame out once in office.

              Third, and related, getting stuff accomplished is a matter of networking and back-scratching; it’s corrupt, but not necessarily illegal corrupt. You could throw the bums out and get a whole new group in office dedicated to the change you want, only to see them not actually fix anything because they didn’t know they needed to submit form XYZ123 and didn’t have anyone they could ask for help. It would be possible to fix this so DC politics doesn’t require so much back scratching, but doing so will require a lot of support from people that currently benefit from backscratching.

              Fourth, in addition to the media spin pulling to the left, and the pollsters pulling to the left, politicians would willingly give up one fringe right (or left) voter for one centrist voter, because the centrist voter is one that isn’t then going to vote for the other guy.

              Fixing these problems is going to take getting the media out of the picture first of all, and that’s happening, but not fast enough. It’s a lot easier to fix things without the media selling the public a sob story every time you propose cutting a government program. GOP voters, even the squishy centrist ones, want to win, they’re just inclined to believe that conservatives are unelectable because of the media environment, and the leftist media goes and makes that Big Lie a reality.

              • Better to fix a little bit of the problem and get re-elected than to try to fix all the problem and lose the office without doing anything

                This is where I through the BS flag. What problem was “solved” by Medicare Part D that required government to solve it. What problem was “solved” by the H-2B visa expansion in the Omnibus.

                I bought that line from the GOPe up to and through the W. years. No more.

                If you not only fail to move forward with your agenda but actually move in the opposite direction when you have it all (and don’t give me the filibuster excuse…that might explain no forward motion but not continuing the status quo direction) than it is reasonable to conclude your agenda is different from what you claim.

                • And I’ve made this argument to the centrists myself. I don’t necessarily agree with the following arguments, but they are an attempt to Devil’s Advocate the positions I find myself trying to rebut.

                  There’s a lot of older voters that are used to getting their news from the big three networks. I’m related to a few, and I cannot budge them. All they see is their bad experiences with Medicare and what the media tells them (that fixing it is going to be ‘easy’ and cost them nothing). You either do something to appease them, which gives you votes, or you hand a large number of votes and a couple of Senate and House seats to the other side, then watch as Obama-Medicare gets passed. It’s a lose-lose situation.

                  The H2B situation is similar, though more legal-but-corrupt. It takes money to get elected. You also need to prove you aren’t anti-immigrant, just anti-illegal-immigrant thanks to stupid Republicans that give the media sound bites they can use to sell the Republicans as racist. Approving H2Bs gives you money to get re-elected (which you aren’t getting from all the unions on the Democrat side) and gives you something you can use to ward off the racist label. Appease the people that give you money to get reelected (at the expense of democratic-leaning tech workers), rebut the anti-immigrant label, overall it may be worth the minor corruption.

                  The real way of keeping score, to the squishy centrist GOP types, is Supreme Court justices. One more liberal and the Democrats / Progressives win the whole thing, and thanks to the media giving cover to Borking anyone they can, GOPs can only get what seems like a 51% chance of nominating an actual conservative. 5 reliable liberals and you can kiss your rights goodbye. Weaken the media and put more GOP in congress, and that 51% goes up, but you still need a GOP president, and anything that reduces the chance of the GOP taking the White House risks losing it all.

                  • You either do something to appease them, which gives you votes, or you hand a large number of votes and a couple of Senate and House seats to the other side, then watch as Obama-Medicare gets passed. It’s a lose-lose situation.

                    If we don’t pass new entitlements the Democrats will and then who will be left to reform entitlements once the people who rely on entitlements are dead.

                    Appease the people that give you money to get reelected (at the expense of democratic-leaning tech workers), rebut the anti-immigrant label, overall it may be worth the minor corruption.

                    If we don’t pass amnesty the Democrats will and then who will be left to oppose amnesty once businesses don’t want cheap labor.

                    Both of those arguments amount to “the most important thing is we should be in power and what we do with that power only matters in terms of keeping us in power.”

                    They DIABLO (Democrats In All But Label Only) with that thinking.

                    If I want to vote Democrat I’ll just vote Democrat. At least they are honest about what they will do to stay in power.

                    That’s right, I consider the typical Democrat candidate more honest than the typical Republican candidate at this point.

                    That’s a great way to keep winning votes.

                    The real way of keeping score, to the squishy centrist GOP types, is Supreme Court justices.

                    You mean the squishies want me to support their Democrat tomorrow agendas so I can get another O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, or Roberts (the biggest intellectual fraud in American life as on the same law (Obamacare) he has refused to overturn it because it isn’t his job to protect us from a stupid Congress and then ruled it clearly doesn’t mean what it says because Congress isn’t that stupid).

                    • If we don’t pass new entitlements the Democrats will and then who will be left to reform entitlements once the people who rely on entitlements are dead.

                      Like I said, lose / lose. Sometimes you’re left with a situation where all the options are bad. Americans want to be good people, We see destitute old people and desperate immigrants and hear the sob stories on the media, and, emotionally, we want to help them. Because the media and the Democrats are smart enough to play off of that, it’s an uphill struggle. The average American still wants the country to be the land of opportunity for truly desperate refugees and still wants a safety net for the truly destitute, and as long as they want that, their representatives will give it to them (good and hard, in most cases). They don’t trust us conservatives to make a smaller, better government (I usually counter that they won’t let us show them a smaller, better government). The media is the root of the problem; until they realize there’s a choice besides starving old people and democrat Medicare expansion, they’ll keep demanding democrat Medicare expansion.

                      You mean the squishies want me to support their Democrat tomorrow agendas so I can get another O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, or Roberts (the biggest intellectual fraud in American life as on the same law (Obamacare) he has refused to overturn it because it isn’t his job to protect us from a stupid Congress and then ruled it clearly doesn’t mean what it says because Congress isn’t that stupid).

                      With Republicans, you at least have a chance at getting a Thomas or a Scalia. The other option is more Ginsbergs. Further, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy; the less the Republicans hold together, the more liberal a nominee by a GOP president needs to be to get through congress.

                      The game is stacked against conservatives and libertarians, the electoral playing field isn’t level. The problem is, giving up and going home makes the playing field more tilted, and in order to change the rules you need to win the game. Perhaps completely smashing the system is the only way out, but as our hostess pointed out, there’s no guarantee that a revolution won’t make things much, much worse, and things can get much, much worse. And, as I’ve said to the people on the other side, making needless enemies of people that could be on your side makes things even harder.

                    • The other option is more Ginsbergs.

                      Optimist!!!!

                  • Medicare Part D was, IIRC, an attempt to adjust Medicare for the fact that medical care had radically advanced from what existed when Medicare was established, thanks largely to the major advances in pharmaceutical therapies/treatment of illness. When the program was established drug therapies primarily consisted of pain-killers and insulin.

                    A proper “repair” would have required changes in Medicare to rebalance the approved treatments, but no way the Dems were going to allow Bush to do that, so they had to install Medicare Part D as a supplement to Medicare, rather the way some homeowners tacked on water closets.

                    • So because the Dems said so we created a new entitlement instead of fixing an existing one (with the implied assumption by the GOP that no entitlement can be eliminated).

                      Again, we already have one party for that. Why do we need a GOP?

                    • Not because the Dems said so but because they had the votes (and MSM megaphone) to block any direct reform. That means your preferred option was NOT on the table, even if ALL GOP elected officials voted en bloc. Rather than deny blood pressure medicine and let Medicare pay for heart valve & kidney replacements, the best available option was a patch. It was a “new entitlement” that reduced the financial and personal costs of the existing entitlement because ELIMINATING THE EXISTING ENTITLEMENT WAS NOT FEASIBLE.

                      You want to eliminate the old entitlement, get to work replacing Socialists in Congress.

                    • So the solution to not being able to eliminate entitlements is more entitlements.

                      Have you considered this: if instead of creating a new medical entitlement, and thus reinforcing the idea it’s the government’s job, after all even the Republicans agree with that, and instead fighting for reform even half as hard (remember, the Medicare Part D vote is still the longest House vote in history given the arm twisting required to pass it) that Obamacare might have been a harder sell.

                      Plus, no one has address what the selling point on Medicare Part D was to conservative resisters in the House: it would ensure a GOP majority for a generation. Which, apparently, is now three years.

                      But I’ll give you Medicare Part D. It was a compromise the GOP had to make to hold Congress and the White House. What did we get in exchange for that?

                      Did one Federal program get eliminated?
                      How about one executive department (we did get a new Cabinet level department)?
                      Do we perhaps start block granting other funding to the states?
                      Did we lower the debt or set then record levels for it?
                      Did we end a single Cold War military commitment that no longer made sense?

                      We have to do Medicare Part D/No Child Left Behind/record debt to keep the GOP Congress so we could start to fix things.

                      Fine, in those four years, what did we fix? What was the half a loaf conservatives got?

                    • You want to eliminate the old entitlement, get to work replacing Socialists in Congress.

                      The fundamental problem in this is the GOP has a litany of excuses.

                      From 1981 to 1985 it was “we don’t have the House” so we have to give the Dems what they want.
                      From 1986 to 1992 it was “we don’t have Congress” so we have to give the Dems what they want.
                      From 1993 to 1994 it was “we having nothing”.
                      From 1995 to 2000 it was “we don’t have the White House” so we have to give the Dems what they want (but, wait, when you had the White House it was Congress that matters).
                      From 2001 to 2002 it was “we don’t have the Senate”.
                      From 2003 to 2006 it was “we lack a filibuster proof majority”.

                      No matter what they control they are powerless in the face of the media and the Democrats.

                      The game is stacked against conservatives and libertarians, the electoral playing field isn’t level. The problem is, giving up and going home makes the playing field more tilted, and in order to change the rules you need to win the game.

                      Gee, we’ve won quite a bit this century and the rules are still the same. My choices are “vote for the GOP and get the Democrat policies of ten years ago” or “vote for the Democrats and get the Democrat policies of today”.

                      Now, I’m of an age and health where I think voting GOP might be the difference between dying before it all falls apart and dying after. That’s great for me who lacks kids to give a damn what the futures looks like.

                      What is the rest of the GOP’s excuse?

                      At this point, I don’t believe the GOP will change the course of government until the have 101 Senators, 436 House members, 10 Justices, and both Presidents.

                    • That’s the same problem the Brits had with their National Health system. When the entirety of medical technology consisted of simple surgery, splints, sulfa, penicillin, and X-rays, it didn’t cost that much. By the 1970s the proliferation of diagnostic tools, drugs, and more-complex surgical procedures had driven the costs through the roof.

            • With all the current talk about Trump, I’ll point out that less than fifty percent of non-incumbents who have won Iowa since it became the first to caucus in 1972 have gone on to win the nomination.

          • Will we get a President Sanders? What is his background?

          • I think the facts are fairly clear: We need to supplant/replace the parties. Period.

            The GOP is just the Democrats Light, and they appear to be run by people who’ve locked themselves into the control room, and refuse to respond to the concerns of the passengers. So, as to continue the metaphor, the passengers need to jump ship.

            I’ve looked into it, and from the looks of things, the only thing these assholes want from rank-and-file Republicans is money and time. They don’t listen to us, they sidetrack all our concerns while patting us on the head, and are like that entitled jackass that put himself in charge of the high school reunion–All that matters is them.

            So, a pox upon all their houses. I personally will not vote for a Democrat, period, and it is becoming clear that I may need to extend my policy to the GOP candidate, as well. The crooked bastards all need to go away, and take their unelected power-mad bureaucrats with them.

            Unfortunately, the more I see, the more I fear that this isn’t going to be resolved short of an outright revolution. They’re too glued to the levers of power, and are rightly afraid for what happens after. They should be, because I suspect that if the average American citizen had confirmed knowledge of just what these crooks have been doing in our names, we’d be decorating the lamp posts in Washington DC in some rather macabre themes.

            The next ten years are going to be very interesting, in the Chinese curse meaning of the word.

            • The Tea Party has been working on making the GOP into a conservative party for almost a decade. This year was going to be great with Perry, Walker, Cruz, and Jindal all throwing their hat into the ring. And then Trump happened. Instead of months of intelligent debate presenting the conservative case to the American people we got talk of a “yuuge wall that Mexico will somehow pay for” and hanging a “No girlsMuslims allowed” sign on the border.

              Historically neither the GOP nor the Democrats were a conservative or liberal party, both parties had conservative and liberal wings. Starting with 1968 the Democrats became more and more Progressive – there was a minor tack back towards center under Clinton, but only due to pressure from Gingrich – until by 2010 there really weren’t any Democrats who weren’t Progressive. Certainly not in the leadership. In order to restore balance, the GOP needs to become a conservative party. And that’s happening. But it’s going to take time. My fear is that Trump is derailing a process already well underway. Either he gets beaten in the general and the establishment says “see, you need to let the adults (i.e. us) pick the nominee*” or we get four years of Trump that tarnishes the Republican brand for a generation. A generation we cannot afford to lose.

              *Yes, the establishment’s picks have been universally bad since Nixon, but if they could think logically they wouldn’t be establishment.

              • I’m still waiting for it to be explained to me, based on the GOPe’s criticisms of Trump, why he’s not the ideal GOPe candidate.

                I get why conservatives don’t want or trust him but I can’t figure out what about him is anti-GOPe. Their criticisms of him mostly amount to “but he’s not a real conservative” which seems to be their first filter in selecting candidates.

                • Because he’s not THEIR man. He doesn’t owe them a thing. He hasn’t kissed the proper rings or paid his dues. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having him in the future, but THIS year was supposed to be Jeb’s.

                  • Oh, I know that and you know that but I want them to own it. Their attempts to condemn him do his lack of conservative bona fides when screaming Cruz (and other conservatives) are unelectable is actually one of the more amusing part of Trump madness.

                    • I’ve never paid much attention to what the establishment voices are saying, but it appears that they are now starting to come around to Trump. Maybe they’ve just resigned themselves to the inevitable, maybe there have been some back-channel deals brokered, but it looks as if the establishment will be happy – for sufficiently low values of happy – as long as Cruz doesn’t get the nomination.

                    • Oh, I know that and you know that but I want them to own it.

                      If they were willing to own it they wouldn’t be GOPe. Cripes, next you will want the Dems to own the fact that they’re okay with using young women for humidors so longs as they can get abortions. After that maybe union bosses will own that they don’t care what happens to anybody so long as their members’ jobs are protected.

                    • The Dems have more or less admitted that, remember Gloria Steinman’s “one grope” rule and the argument it was fine because she was consenting adult. Add in the reporter who said she’d happily give Clinton and blowjob for keeping abortion legal and you are there.

                    • Oh, and the Dems aren’t coming to me and asking for money and my vote because this time it’ll be different.

                      That’s a big part of it.

              • Which is why more and more of the GOPe is deciding they’d rather have Trump than someone with icky principles like Cruz.

    • Another aspect of the Great Sort is the reduction of news sources. Until the last decades of the 20th Century most towns that had any local paper had two, typically a morning and an evening, with each one “choosing a side” politically. News coverage in both tended to be very similar, but the editorial page of the Leftish paper had liberal voices and the Rightish paper ran the various conservative columnists. This also resulted in one of the papers defending the current administration while the other took it to task. Thus a reader could, with relatively little effort, catch both sides of an argument.

      Nowadays, with most communities serviced by a single news outlet an administration is simultaneously more powerful and more vulnerable. More powerful because, like a rider on a horse, the reins are in the administration’s hands: they can limit access in a variety of ways. More vulnerable because, like a rider who has dropped the reins, they can be subjected to relentless harsh coverage and investigation, with no way to present their side of a story.

      Look at the recent kerfuffle over Ted Cruz’s use of “New York Values” to see how a monolithic media allows such hard left politicians as NY Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to wrap themselves in the cloak of regional vanity even though they had until recently been full-throated advocates of the precise values referenced by Senator Cruz: intrusive government regulation, unhampered access to abortion, generous wealth transfers, etc.

      The problem in such regions is that for a Conservative to win a Liberal administration must have conspicuously and almost completely collapsed (viz., NY City pre-Giuliani.) Because Conservatives still hold to a standard of personal deportment as a component of political accountability, they are slightly less subject to such bias, as witness the recent Louisiana gubernatorial race where the personal failings of the conservative candidate proved to outweigh the policy failings of the liberal aspirant.

  9. > But it also means they have an illusion of conformity,
    > of uniformity. They think they’re secure.

    It’s not an illusion. It’s their reality. The modern world lets people select their workplace, their social interactions, and their entertainment pretty much as they please. So most people self-select for people they agree with or want to emulate. Their whole world is a nice solid interlocking structure. At least until they see barbarian heads looking over the top of their wall, at which point they freak out. Because *everyone* – everyone they know – agrees with them, any dissenting viewpoints must be, not just incorrect, but actively hostile.

    Back in the 1990s James Lileks wrote an article about how people were moving in online echo chambers; no matter how crazy you were, you could find people who agreed with you, and you could create little online enclaves where you didn’t have to listen to dissenting viewpoints. The internet, instead of being a place where people could learn new things and have their viewpoints broadened, became a tool where everyone could be the only frog in his own pond. Lileks said it a lot more eloquently than that, though. The article disappeared on one of his website remodels, unfortunately.

    • I’ve noticed this tendency too, which has led me to ask two rather disturbing questions:

      How can you tell when you’re the one stuck in an echo chamber? When the online communities you run in are just parroting back the stuff you want to hear, and you’ve unwittingly drifted off from reality?

      and

      What do you do when you’re the only sane one in the world and everyone else is crazy?

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Look for predictions that are physically testable. Look for falsifiable predictions, keep records, and see what happens.

        If you hear someone say what you think is bullshit, it may be worth analyzing, and remembering to see if it turns out to be correct.

        Example: I do not favor Trump. (I find Cruz’s manner congenial.) I’ve entertained a number of theories about what Trump’s intentions are. We should have substantially more evidence by the end of the year. I will be checking, in case I should owe Trump an apology.

        I’ve never answered ‘am I crazy, or is the world’ fully to my satisfaction. I’d note that you can be responsible for your own decisions, but neither you nor I have the ability to be caretakers for the whole of mankind. Lying to yourself to match crazy people will not do you or them any good.

      • One of the few nice things about being a political extremist is that when anyone agrees with you, you tend to look for ulterior motives.

        “No matter who you voted for, the Government got back in.”

  10. I have this theory that the reason you find such a disparity of leftist in certain fields is because their worldview will lead them to take lower paying careers in the name of making the world “better”.

    Meanwhile, conservatives and libertarians, whose worldview is how it’s not anyone else’s responsibility to take care of us, tend to seek out professions that will enable them to take better care of themselves and their families.

    As a result of that, you tend to find more leftists in professions where idealism is common among those entering the field. Journalism, for example, as well as social work and education. While some in the journalism field make great money, they’re outliers and everyone knows it. Education and social work are like flames, calling to the leftist moths.

    They don’t keep conservatives and libertarians out, necessarily, and depending on where you live you may actually find a majority of right leaning educators, for example, but those places are the exception, not the rule.

    The tie in to creatives is simple though. Most right leaning creatives tend to do it on the side, working their responsible day job until/unless their creative efforts pay off. Meanwhile, a leftist creative is more likely to seek out employment in that field without any real safety net in place, being perfectly content with welfare while they create, regardless of whether they’re any good.

    Just my thoughts on it.

    • They DO keep right wingers out and actively, if they can help it. If you’ve ever heard them when they think they’re secure, you know that. (And puppies should have told you that.) I’m also not sure about the idealism thing, Tom. There’s a lot of us who ARE idealistic. And a lot of us whose talents predispose us to the liberal arts. The “right wingers are greedier” is a leftist thing, soaked into the culture. I think what you’re seeing is just gatekeepers in action.

      • My experience with the medical profession agrees with you Sarah. They do try to discourage and weed out anyone with a ‘bad attitude’, there’s no question. ‘Bad attitude’ and ‘not a team player’ most assuredly include voting for the wrong party and raising objections when the next round of idiotic bowdlerization comes around.

        Example, I remember not that long ago, the 1990’s, when the terms ‘physically challenged’ and ‘mentally challenged’ became forbidden BadSpeak, replaced by ‘differently abled’. I recall laughing out loud at the lecturer and observing LOUDLY that “able” is not a verb. They were not amused.

    • Perhaps it is less a matter of taking “lower paying careers in the name of making the world ‘better’.” than it is a issue of finding payment in terms other than money, such as status (see: virtue signalling.)

      The Arts has the attraction to Liberals that everything works out according to plan: President Bartlet gives an inspiring speech and the public overwhelmingly supports his policies. When you are able to write the dialogue for your foes you rarely meet an argument you hadn’t expected and prepared a counter for, when your enemies are straw their opposition usually fails. But in the real world when you raise the costs of employees (more generous benefits, higher mandated wages) without proportionately increasing productivity … policies fail.

      In a story, young Wesley learns to become a master swordsman; in reality he is skewered in his first real battle and becomes just so much chum. Is there any doubt which appeals more to Liberals?

      • You say “virtue signaling” and I say “in the name of making the world a better place”.

        To-MAY-to, To-MAH-to.

        Seriously, we see it as virtue signaling, but in their minds, most of them justify it as making the world better. Even if they hate it for whatever reason. If they get out of it, they still use it as proof they were altruistic and weren’t worried about money. After all, they taught social studies in an inner city high school.

        The two are really interchangeable. It’s more a matter of perspective.

    • Tom, I no longer have it in my files, but 5 years ago, a college in Illinois advertised for a history professor and the ad said, “conservative candidates may not be comfortable at [college name]” or “may not find [college] a supportive environment.” I don’t recall the exact wording. I was amazed, not by the ad, but by the honesty.

    • One thing I would say is that those of us evil “right-wingers” don’t see a contradiction between “making the world better” and “seek[ing] out professions that will enable [us] to take better care of [ourselves] and [our] families” (which I assume is your way of saying, “making money”). Taking a job that pays well means that you doing something that society values highly and is willing to spend resources on. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in making money, and arguably you’re doing just as much if not more to “make the world a better place” by running a bank and helping people with their investments as the guy who forwent his opportunity in the bank so he could write poetry that no one ever reads.

      • Arguably you’re doing just as much if not more to “make the world a better place” by running a bank and helping people with their investments as the guy who forwent his opportunity in the bank so he could organize protests demanding banks stop “red-lining” and instead give loans according to people’s “needs” rather than their ability to repay.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        When I was young, and talking to someone about picking a career, I told them that I thought I could benefit society and satisfy myself if I spent my energies on valves. (Defense was what excited me the most, but there are a lot of simple things that need someone doing them well.)

    • I would speculate that many of the folks on the Right who “want to make the world a better place” are probably more likely to go with a religious organization instead of a government institution.

    • So… what does it say that I lean right and am pursuing this writing thing without a safety net or a responsible day job? :p

  11. In a totalitarian regime, you say what the top people want to hear. Really — trust me, I’ve been there — you talk yourself into thinking what they want to hear. You lie to yourself, first of all.

    A number of years ago a woman, a northeastern lawyer, who I think of as intelligent and have observed be very kind and considerate, made a statement that floored me. In reaction to a comment that another woman had made about the role of women in society she said, ‘She shouldn’t be allowed to think that.’

    I was flabbergasted. How in the world could you allow or not allow what a person thinks? Says? Maybe under certain narrow circumstances, although that idea makes me decidedly uncomfortable. Does? Well, most certainly that can be limited. But THINK?!?

    Oh thank you. This helps me accept how it happens that good people can have developed such blind spots.

  12. My favorite, which even people on the right in my field were using as little as ten years ago was “the right is not creative. They just follow what they’re told.”

    I have seen this in my own family. My Daddy once dismissed my opinion on a controversial political matter with, ‘You only think that because your pastor had told you to.’ I had to laugh, had he ever found me that easily manageable? Later he tried suggesting that my opinion did not matter because I did not have the credentials to have standing in the matter, and that if I were to obtain them I would understand how I was wrong. He just could not see how anyone of intelligence, once provided with information, could not have come to the same conclusion that he had.

    For many people it is hard to imagine how anyone who thinks about it can have come to a conclusion other than that which they have embraced. As a result it is easier to believe that those of a significantly different leaning have to be uninformed or be a puppet or be stupid or be evil, or some combination of the above — how else can they come to such a different conclusion?

    • Normal people manage to get their heads around the idea that other people don’t think like they do by the time they are seven years old.

      • It is not that people are unaware that other people have other opinions. It is that they do not give credence to the opinions that differ from theirs.

        When you live in such an intellectual echo chamber you may see that people hold other to opinions other than you and those around you. What you don’t necessarily learn is that other opinions might actually be correct. In fact, you are constantly being told that they are not.

        Consider: When you hear the left talk about multi-culturalism is it about differences of substantive opinion or is it about about surface things — like food, hair and clothing.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          It was funny to hear Hillary Clinton (as First Lady) at a conference on Violence Toward Women give a nod toward multi-culturalism but claiming that “violence toward women” crosses cultures.

          The “fun” is that different cultures think differently about “violence toward women” than her culture but she couldn’t accept that difference was OK.

          Of course, the very concept of “Human Rights” is a Western Concept, but multi-culturalists had no problem forcing that concept onto other cultures. [Sad Smile]

          • “Of course, the very concept of ‘Human Rights’ is a Western Concept, but multi-culturalists had no problem forcing that concept onto other cultures. [Sad Smile]”

            To be fair, neither do it. They can build their pyres, we will build our gallows. That’s multiculturalism, right?

          • What is really a hoot is Hillary Clinton (noted rape apologist) attending a conference on Violence Toward Women.
            As for Human Rights, all cultures believe in them, they just have a very different definition of Human. As in, I and the men of my tribe are human, our women are highly valued property, and everyone else is “other” with no rights according to our laws.

            • To term Hillary Clinton a “rape apologist” is unfair by half. She enabled and abetted Bill’s rapes by actively crushing any woman who dared step forward and accuse him of his crimes.

              • You’ll get no argument from me on that score. I was merely making a feeble attempt to tone down my rhetoric a bit.
                I despise and loathe that woman. She looked the friends and family of the brave men killed at Benghazi straight in their eyes and lied through her teeth. Not you understand because of any compelling national security interest, but to protect her boss from looking bad eight weeks before a contentious reelection.
                Add on that she swore to have sent or received no sensitive e-mails on a server she set up specifically to protect herself from FOIA visibility, only to now find a multitude of top secret and even top secret/SAP communications on those drives. All I can say is how would anyone else not already be incarcerated for anything approaching such actions?

          • That Hillary Clinton can get away with denouncing any criticism of the administration as racist, sexist, homophobic — that she can declare “what difference, at this point in time, what difference does it make” — while having this sound clip in her record


            pretty much says all you need know about her integrity and that of the mainstream media. Funny how disagreement with her or Obama is unpatriotic, while suggestions that their actions encourage our enemies in time of war might be harmful to the nation are unAmerican.

            I do not endorse Trump, but I do not doubt that (if he seeks to defeat Hillary in the presidential race) he will not shy away from highlighting her manifold contradictions.

      • “Normal people manage to get their heads around the idea that other people don’t think like they do by the time they are seven years old.”

        Perhaps because of the leftist domination of the media and intellectual elite, conservatives and libertarians tend not to be able to avoid seeing leftist arguments.

    • I did not have the credentials to have standing in the matter, and that if I were to obtain them I would understand how I was wrong.

      In this he was certainly correct, as nobody guilty of such wrong think would ever be allowed such credentials. That his argument was tautological is not likely something he could accept, but it generally is true of credentialing institutions that a certain bias tends to accrue in favor of the conventional wisdom. Back before Pasteur it is unlikely any medical board would have certified (except as insane) any practitioner espousing such outlandish and unsupportable theories as microscopic organisms (after all, it was well-established that illness was a result of an imbalance of the humours of the body.)

    • I have a friend that is the same way about global warming… insists that I can’t (and he can’t) have an opinion contrary to the groupthink because we’re not credentialed climatologists,, even when the point i am trying to get him to analyze is statistical analysis not ‘climate science’

  13. I disagree with the initial premise. Perhaps leftists are as good, or even better, as individual artists. Having managed people in the workplace, however, I can tell you that leftists are not as good at workplaces requiring teamwork. Even if their skills are equal the leftist is corrosive to morale and good teamwork. They clique up and gossip and and find excuses for themselves and friends, and blame for their ‘enemies’, and so divide the team up and stir up ‘drama’. If you’ve got a well run dept. the quickest way to poison it is hire two leftists. (one is bad enough but it’s exponential). No wonder leftists are convinced business must be evil… Look at the group dynamics of fields they dominate.

    • I read multiple horror stories about management and treatment of workers at leftist bastions like The Nation and Pacifica Radio. ACORN tried to get a minimum wage waiver for workers campaigning for a living wage in California.

      Which seemed weird because I can’t remember more than one work place (which had 250% turnover annually) that even approached the multiple stores coming out of those icons of leftism.

      Suddenly all these stories coalesced in my head and I had an epiphany. Leftists know they treat their workers like that and they know they are the good guys therefore how much worse than a Lovercraftian nightmare in the world of Dickens must all other work places be.

      Of course, if they left their lefty enclaves just once they’d release that they were the nightmare bosses, but then they’d have to admit they weren’t “good people”.

      • Feather Blade

        That makes a frightening amount of sense…

        • It also explains why leftists think conservative areas are No Woman’s Lands, as TvTropes refers to it.
          They observe how women are treated in the areas and professions the left dominates–academia, the entertainment industry, and big cities–and, since they are enlightened and feminist and whatnot, think conservative areas, on the whole, are even worse.

          • Which groups have been trained to believe that you should not even allow representatives of the other to speak on campus?

            And I recall that once upon a harmonic conversion we were told the reason we did not get universal peace is too few of us really believed.

            I think that somewhere deep down some of the leadership knows that they are living in a house of cards.

  14. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    Not only do they allow child molesters at their table, they give them the best chairs.
    http://www.castaliahouse.com/safe-space-as-rape-room-science-fiction-culture-and-childhoods-end-part-1-of-5/
    This is something that needs to be brought out of the closet.

  15. The industry of our time is an industry of personalization, of individualization …

    It has been a cause for bitter amusement in me that, at a time when we finally are approaching the capability of personalizing health treatment for individual biochemistry we are seeing the imposition of a health care policy imposing uniform standards on everybody. Or, at least, everybody reliant upon the general health care system.

  16. You double think. You watch your mouth. You control everything you say and almost everything you think.

    The thing that confuses me is the number of people who, if you judiciously comment outside of what they agree with, will scold you to “think before you speak.”

    I already do that, simply because I do try to be polite– and I hate hurting people with my awesome skill at finding their sore spots via stepping on them. So I walk softly try to walk softly.

    Those who guessed that there’s a relatively large number of these folks who appear to believe the job of thinking twice is relegated to others get a golden e-ticket.

    • I already do that, simply because I do try to be polite– and I hate hurting people with my awesome skill at finding their sore spots via stepping on them. So I walk softly try to walk softly.

      The problem is that politeness only works when it’s reciprocal. I expect that if I’m polite to you (generic you, not Foxfier), that you’ll be polite back, and lectures about how I’m not being polite are much less polite than my mistaken assumption about, say, what holiday you celebrate in December.

      • I figure that goes beyond failure to be polite and into active abuse of it– one can (and generally should be, from a charity, which is the root of manners) be excused, the other is an actual attack on the concept of being polite.

    • People who know me quickly learn not to ask me a question unless they want an honest answer. I’m too proud to lie and too lazy to shade the truth.

      Apparently some people are discomfited when they get what they asked for…

    • Foxy said: “I already do that, simply because I do try to be polite– and I hate hurting people with my awesome skill at finding their sore spots via stepping on them. So I walk softly try to walk softly.”

      You’re a better person than I am.

      I used to try too. Now I not only don’t try, I put on my hobnailed dirt-kickers and look for a soft spot.

      The nail which sticks up gets an attitude about guys with hammers after a while, know what I mean?

      • The problem is when the nail assumes anything that thumps is a hammer. I’ve been on the receiving end of folks making that assumption, quite a bit.

      • Long ago when it was called slam dancing you stayed near your friends because falling down was an invitation to be kicked and stomped.

        Mosh pits, however, go out of there way to help people up.

        Yet the latter result in much more injuries. Makes you wonder.

        • Seems like it would fall in the ‘cows hurt more people than sharks do’ category.

          The number of people who will go into a situation where there’s deliberate attempts to do harm is going to be much smaller than those who will go into a situation where accidental harm is possible/probable.

          • That is a big part of it in two ways. First, sheer numbers. Second, because you were signing up for nasty violence (instead of friendly violence) fewer people where out there. The lower density let you take a lot of collisions as a change in direction instead of being set and having to absorb them.

            That said, moshing with derby girls at a fund raiser is one of the best times I’ve had this century.

  17. Even though I’m not a writer, I have experienced the exact same issues in the fiber artist world. I had to quit the KC Fiber Guild because it was so full of leftist Obama worshipers that I could no longer stand to go to the meetings.

    I had to quit the Leavenworth County Artists Association because I could not stand the fact that only those who made damn sure that everyone knew they support all leftist ideals where able to discuss what we might do as a group. They made it quite clear to me that anyone who was not a Democrat in good standing was not worth talking to or listening to.

    Even on the internet – fiber groups, fiber animal breeder groups, even just groups for people who spin yarn and dye fiber – politics got involved and honestly upset me so much that I dropped out of those groups.

    However, I have found that I can sell my creations on Facebook and through word of mouth, even if I am not of the leftest persuasion.

    And it did follow me into my old, very good, tech job. I was laid off because I did not fit into their corporate image of a young, vibrant, left-leaning person.

    This is why I often prefer my angora goats to the company of an awful lot of humans.

    • This is the thing about leftists that annoys the piss out of me:

      Even on the internet – fiber groups, fiber animal breeder groups, even just groups for people who spin yarn and dye fiber – politics got involved and honestly upset me so much that I dropped out of those groups.

      There is nothing the left will not try to make political. When you start seeing RPGs being racists because orcs=blacks and adventures about hunting Cthulthu in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness being cancelled because it is “cultural appropriation” things are out control.

    • Were you one of those people who got kicked out of Ravelry?

    • I grew up in the South, back when it was solidly Democrat. There being no (public) political differences to speak of, the us/them divide was across religious lines.

      According to my parents, what church you went to pretty much defined your social limits; if you weren’t going to the right church you weren’t welcome in various places. I was in grade school; the teachers segregated students by church.

      The SJWs fill the same slot the churchies did back then; they’re the same sort of people, as far as I can tell.

      • I’m not really surprised to hear that. I’m pretty old, and I had an experience in Texas back in about 1970 that startled the heck out of me.

        I worked at 6 Flags over Mid America outside of St. Louis, and they took a busload of us down to Six Flags over Texas and assigned us to stay at the homes of kids who worked there.

        I was assigned to a home of a baptist family. The father was actually a minister. When he met me, he immediately asked if I was Irish Catholic as my full name (which they got) was Mary Elizabeth Healy. He was very unhappy with having to host a Papist. Then he asked what my father did for a living. When I told him that he worked for a brewer, the man lost his head and would not allow me to stay in his house.

        It has taken me years to get over that and to appreciate Texas for the great state it is.

        • what a jerk!

        • /SIGH And this is why the Baptists and the bootleggers are in bed together: neither one wants legal booze.

        • Gee, doesn’t that sound so awfully familiar? I’ve seen that exact reaction when some people find out I target shoot for fun. The blood drains from their faces sometimes, as they realize “Oh my ghod, he’s one of THEM!!!”

          Then there’s nothing left to do but discuss the terminal ballistics characteristics of 5.56 NATO vs. .308 cal. for hours. Yes, I’m that guy. ~:)

          • Yuppie calibers, those. I seem to have an excess of rifles whose cartridges were designed when the first two digits of the century were “18”.

          • My poor husband has had to prove to a bunch of people in a service organization that he is not a crazy man because of our extremely large gun collection. Some said he was not fit to be a district governor because of his love for those evil weapons.

            Many of them are so on the left that my husband is the first person they have ever met who owns not only one gun, but several hundred.

          • Have I seen you at Mischa’s? The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

            • Probably some years back. Neither of us blog much anymore. My husband’s blog (military and gun blog) is still out there, but he quit writing over a year ago. Yes, we know Misha – my husband was called The Armorer by him.

        • There are some Baptists like that. This Christmas one of the couples in the Church my FiL is Minister at was supposed to come over for dinner, so we weren’t going to have wine

        • *dang fumble fingers*
          -because she was very vocal that drinking wine was a sin. I _so_ wanted to ask her about that whole wedding thing where Jesus turned water into wine. Not just any wine either, but the best they had ever had. Or even the last supper.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I heard that some claim that Jesus turned water into grape juice. I heard it from a Baptist or at least raised Baptist who did not approve of the dishonesty.

          • As I understand it, the argument goes that what he transformed the water into was not true wine but “live” grape juice. Yeah, even as they were complimenting on serving the really good vintages when most hosts would be passing out the just this side of vinegar.

            It is likely I have their argument phrased wrongly because it made so little sense I made no effort to grasp it. Some folks’ minds are not just closed but hermetically sealed and it doesn’t matter which side of the political divide they line up on (although if anybody here wants to make an argument that on one side it is policy and on the other it is just part of what must be borne, make it with somebody other than me.)

            • The version I heard is based on there not being a way to describe grape juice, because it turns to wine so quickly that it wasn’t a thing before pasteurization — so Jesus would have made a huge amount of the best wine-which-was-pressed-instants-ago.

              In defense of the idea, we made wine this summer and that stuff was amazing good.

              Against the idea, it wouldn’t do much to get you drunk enough not to notice the next-thing-to-vinegar wine.

              • This is poppycock. There was no word for grape juice, but I bet there was a word for newly made wine. In Portugal it’s vinho doce (sweet wine) oh, and it causes diarrhea in any quantity. so, making vats of it? Oh, hell no.

                • Going off of other new testament phrases, I’d guess that they would have described it as “new wine.” (The stuff you don’t put in an old vessel.)

                  It doesn’t answer the issue that Jesus was Jew, and IIRC there are several yearly feasts where you’re supposed to have wine, no?

                  And that’s BEFORE the issue of “the water ain’t safe.”
                  Sure, He’s God, he could fix that…but wouldn’t someone have noticed, and mentioned?

                  • yes. Because new wine, while fermenting bursts the casks if they’re old. And yes, on the wine at feasts, and no prohibition of alcohol in religion.

                  • Yup, new wine. Which incidentally was only available at certain times, something that the “it wasn’t real wine” advocates seem to fail to grasp. Without a way to preserve it (except to make wine out of it) grape juice is going to ferment fairly quickly in the middle east, so your options are wine or vinegar, and grapes are only ripe at certain times of the year, so the rest of the year you are going to be drinking “preserved” juice.

                • Probably having something to do with lots of unfermented sugar for the bacteria and not much alcohol to kill them off.

                • making vats of it? Oh, hell no.

                  Hrm.. not for friends, family, tolerable acquaintances. But it raises an interesting, if some distance can be had, idea for those falling outside that category. But that wouldn’t be very nice.

            • Setting aside for the moment the motivation for the idea, the notion that everybody would delightedly call really good unfermented grape juice a superb wine strikes me as the equally strange inverse of the weird trope I’ve seen where some naïf gets drunk on wine thinking it’s — yes — superbly good juice. OK, yes, they both taste like grape. But I question how many people, however drunk or inexperienced, could possibly take the one for an excellent example of the other.

            • Baptist communion, done once a year at Easter, is saltine crackers and thimbles of Grape juice…..

              • I’ve never been to a Baptist church that had communion less than once a month. I’ve heard of places that had it once a quarter.
                And it’s wafers, not saltines. Saltines would have more taste. 😉

                • They all do it differently. Maybe the one I went to in Garden City does it monthly now, but back then, it was only on Easter Sunday.

                  Saltines were cheaper too……

                  • I know of one nearby that did not do a communion service at all, they considered it a papist tradition…..

                    BTW…I married a Catholic girl (still am)….

                    • That’s funny. They take everything literally except one of the most important parts of the New Testament.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      The problem with Baptists is when you get two Baptists, you get three opinions.

                      Note, I am American Baptist and I’ve heard the above as a joke from other Baptists.

                      Note 2, any Jews who think we stole the joke from you, IMO there’s worse things we could have stolen from you. [Wink]

                    • In this part of the country, there are a lot of independent Baptist churches. Some of them call themselves Bible Baptists. They seem to be the strictest when it comes to be anti-evolution, anti-papist and anti-wine.

                      But that’s just around here.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      The fun thing about Baptists that our basic unit is the local church which is controlled by the congregation.

                      While there are Baptist Denominations, they are still associations of various local churches.

                      The Denomination leadership has little control over local churches except for setting standards for if a local church can be part of the association. The leadership can’t even stop a local church from leaving the association.

                      As you said, there are “Free Baptists” or “Independent Baptists” that are just one congregation.

                      About the only thing all Baptists have in common is the idea that the congregation rules and the practice of adult baptism via immersion.

                    • I wondered why there are so many different Baptist churches. I guess any disagreement in the congregation could result in another congregation forming.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      My Baptist church was originally formed when one of the Baptist churches here went Southern Baptist and part of the congregation disagreed with that decision.

                      Note, this split was over 60 years ago.

                    • Almost as old as me! Have there been subsequent splittings?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      No more “splitting” (although I don’t remember hearing if the other Baptist Church had split), but I’m sure that there have been people finding other local churches “more to their liking”.

                      Oh, as for the age. My parents joined the church just after the “founding members list was finalized” (they had moved here from another town) and just before I was born. IE Mom was pregnant with me when she joined. [Smile]

                    • Pretty much, yeah — the formerly funny and passively nastily aggressive so-called humorist Garrison Keillor remarked upon various Lutheran-Protestant-Eccentrically Evangelical congregations splitting into smaller and smaller congregations, until the one that his own family belonged to consisted only of his own family, IIRC. I haven’t listened to Prairie Home Companion since about 2007, since the bile about conservatives and flyover country people generally got to be too acid for me to stomach.

                    • I used to listen to it until about then, too. I even donated money to our local PBS station for years. Until about 2005 or 2006.

                      I thought Lake Woebegone was supposed to be in Minnesota – isn’t that flyover country? I know it’s not rube flyover country like we are here in Kansas, but…

                    • Me, too. And then NPR began to slant more obviously left and left and left again. PHC did likewise. I honestly began to doubt that Garrison Keillor ever care much for flyover Americans at all.

                      In about 1985 I was (as the NCO who did programming for the AFRTS station that I was assigned to at the time) bidden to appear at a grand conference of mid-level AFRTS staff. I did — since I had a megaton of leave days that I had to use and I hadn’t been back in CONUS for longer than a couple of weeks in six years. One of the things that the management poo-bahs at the AFRTS Programming center asked us — was, “Are there any radio shows that you are aware of who would be wonderful additions to the radio package?”

                      I suggested Prairie Home Companion – it would be a fantastic weekly add to the programs recorded and sent to us for broadcast overseas. Nope, said the authority who had asked us. Nope – already asked him. Doesn’t want to touch AFRTS with a ten-foot pool. Doesn’t want to have anything to do with the military, with the US-Gov. Nope. Unclean, cooties and all.

                      I remember reading that Garrison K. also didn’t want to have anything to do with observances of the 4th of July in Denmark, back some time ago — I think he was living there at the time. Nasty nationalistic American cooties, you know. So I wasn’t surprised. Much.

                    • “I guess any disagreement in the congregation could result in another congregation forming.’

                      They have a certain insurmountable problem with saying that schism is wrong.

              • I just recently saw those little plastic thimbles – a local shop that sells fancy olive oils and vinegar uses them for tasting. I asked the proprietress where she got those little, itty bitty containers. She said they were from her church, which had ordered more than needed for a communion service.

              • Well, the Catholic Church teaches that it’s licit to do Communion with “new wine.” Grape juice that hasn’t fermented — and hasn’t had anything done to it to stop fermentation.

                • That’s interesting. I have never heard that, and I can guarantee that all the Communion Wine I’ve ever had was decently-fermented wine.

                  • In Portugal they use Port Wine…

                  • Licit but not common.

                  • It’s kind of like the chalice can be glass, if it’s of appropriate beauty and value, but the metal ones are much more popular.
                    (I only remember because somebody got in trouble for using a normal wine glass for communion and they had to clarify that no, Dollar Store glassware in normal situations was NOT appropriate.)

                    • but the chalice from the palace…

                      n/m it just make me think of that.

                    • And yet some protestant denominations use itty bitty plastic cups for their communion. I guess they were running as far from Catholicism as possible by doing that?

                    • I know the protestant “Sunday school” I went to didn’t believe it’s really the Blood of Christ, so their goal was more to emphasize whatever they thought was the most important part of the Last Supper.

                      (I don’t know what their goal was, because that was the last time we went. It was supposed to be a “teach all the kids the Bible parts we agree on” class, but the new Protestant pastor decided he needed to subvert the parental authority by teaching us his faith under false colors. Managed to piss off the Church of England type Protestants and the home-brew protestant groups, too, so they went from having most of the kids in the valley show up to only having the handful that actually belonged to their church.)

                    • Lots of politics in that Sunday School class!

                    • Heavens, yes– especially since we weren’t “diverse.”

                      I mean, we had Scottish, Irish, Spanish Basque, French Basque, English, Italian, Mexicans, some place way below Mexico in South America, two different tribes of Indians that lived on a reservation, some Indians who did not live on the reservation, some French and some folks that I now think were probably German, some other folks who were just ranchers, plus all the various mixes since they’d all been at least in the area for two generations…

                      But no “diversity.” *laughs*

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      My church’s view is that the contents of the cup and the bread symbolizing the Blood and Body of the Christ.

                      We view the purpose of Communion as “doing this in remembrance of His Sacrifice”.

                      Don’t know the Catholic view of the purpose of Communion.

                    • The Catholic view is literal. “This is My Body. This is My Blood. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

                      So itty bitty plastic cups don’t seem appropriate to us.

                    • If I remember correctly from teenage catechetical class – there were several ways of regarding the Communion: one was that it was Memorial, (the standard general Protestant version) one that it was actually transubstiation (the traditional Catholic) and the final was Mystery — that IIRC was the Lutheran take on it.

                      Anyone whose memory of Catechism class is better than mine is perfectly free to add corrections.

                    • Transubstantiation; becomes the actual body and blood.

                      Thus the different level of respect involved.

                      Luckily, you wouldn’t have priests, so it’s not even a worry that your way would be disrespecting Himself. Which is nice in a religious discussion.

                    • Been by turns a staunch Lutheran and a High Church Episcopal … the practice varies actually. The Lutherans generally favored those little glasses, although I believe it wasn’t a matter of doctrine, but rather of sanitation. Other Lutheran congregations and the Episcopal ones (hey, I was overseas a lot, I had to take what communion was going!) favored the communal chalice … although, wiped off, between congregational sips.
                      The alcohol content does — or so it has been told to me — mitigate against the usual germs. Although — it was suggested in the service folder on Communion Sundays that the ladies be punctilious about blotting their lipstick.
                      Lutherans – communion once monthly, the High Episcopals that I favored – every Sunday, without fail.

                • I have heard (and find it plausible though I don’t vouch for the story’s accuracy) that Church officials asked Rabbis regarding what would have been acceptable for religious use in Jesus’s day.

                  • They might have. In our area priests and Rabbis are often friends, and there are often “cross-understanding” talks, if that makes sense.
                    Of course, I knew this priest who was a biker, and was in “Heaven’s Angels” with the local Rabbi and a couple of protestant ministers. Seeing them going down the highway on a Sunday afternoon was fun… 😛 Black leather jackets and all.
                    And yes, they were probably nutty. All of them.

          • I have a Baptist friend who told me that Jesus really turned water into grapejuice, because God Does Not Drink!!

            • It seems something peculiar to some Baptists.

              • Can’t be if the Last Supper was a Seder. Jews don’t drink much but the law requires 4 cups of wine at a Seder.

                • I’d ask if they allowed new wine, but the time is off I suspect — it would have fermented by then.

                  • If it’s not fermented it’s not wine.

                    • I remember reading that grapes have yeast naturally occurring in the skin of the fruit, and that there is pretty much no way to smash grapes and not have fermentation.

                      Then some a Methodist named Welch decided to keep the evil alcohol from forming by pasteurizing the grape juice.

                      What a sad, sad day. 🙂

                    • Hence the “new wine” — because it take a while for it to ferment.

                      This is true of just about every beverage except water prior to refrigeration and pasteurization.

                    • I could go for a fermented Root Beer float, I think.

                    • Root beer with whipped cream flavored vodka tastes much like a root beer float. This is pretty much the only use for whipped cream flavored vodka. (You can also mix it with orange soda and get something a kin to a creamcicle.)

                    • Thank you, that’s good to know! I’ll have to make a visit to the liquor store!

                    • Make it yourself, and it will ferment. Guarantee – had a good few recycled soda bottles we used for a batch of root beer prove it by exploding. The ones which didn’t explode did provide a mild buzz when consumed.

                    • I have noticed that stores now offer root beer with alcohol content. I have not tried any of these products, nor do I know anybody who has.


                      One brand reviewed. AC 5.9% They also appear to offer a ginger ale under the same “Not Your Father’s” brand identity.

                      Offered for informational purpose only, no product endorsement either written or implied. YMMV, not for use by minors, objects in mirror may be approaching faster than they appear.

                    • The alcoholic root beer is… okay. The alcoholic ginger beer is pretty good.

                    • That must have been a sticky mess.

                    • You have no idea … we were clearing up the sticky crusted remains in the pantry for months. And one of the bottles actually exploded in my daughter’s hand, and drove a fragment of glass into her palm.

                      I gathered up the rest of them, very carefully, into a box and put them into the trash. If the rest of them exploded on being dumped by a mechanical arm in the back of the garbage truck … well, THAT was heavy metal and away from any humans.

                    • Your poor daughter! Around here, we find occasional eggs that were laid by our guinea hens in the garage – from last summer, when the garage door was open.

                      That’s a little stink bomb waiting to happen, but one of those exploding is nothing compared to glass root beer bottles!

            • which is why they were surprised that they hadn’t gotten the wedding party drunk on it first, to bring out the inferior brews when they were too sloshed to notice. . . .

          • The Temperance Movement were early SJWs. They begat policies against drinking alcohol, gambling, dance halls, public baths, and motion pictures they didn’t like, plus involvement in the various suffrage movements. The Southern Baptists more or less absorbed the entire lot before WWII.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Not SJWs IMO.

              The founders of the anti-alcohol Temperance Movement were people who had to deal the results of alcohol abuse.

              IE many were wives of men who abused alcohol.

              A strong case can be made that they attempted to deal with the problem incorrectly but unlike the modern SJWs they were fighting a real problem.

              Hey! Where did this soap-box come from????

              PS, I’m a beer drinker but drink responsibly.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I’m teetotal.

                They were speculating wrongly about part of the problem. They thought everyone could develop alcoholism. We now know that only a few people are that prone to it.

                They probably did not have the social dynamic that seems characteristic of the SJW. I think this because they won converts I don’t think they could have if they were a combination of a witch hunt and a lynch mob.

                The story of what exactly was going goes back at least to when Appalachia was the frontier. As the frontier was pushed to the other side, people grew corn, turned it into whiskey, and sold it down the river. It was rough place, and the women and preachers were generally not shrinking violets. The river culture and that of initial settlement resource extraction towns was not to the genteel tastes of Eastern big city society.

                Early attempts to fix things with a whiskey tax increased production capacity and switched it over to beer.

                Rail meant that women and priests who grew up in very settled areas could move directly to newly settled areas. It also meant that the highly competitive beer industry could set up single manufacturer outlets in these towns. When the women’s husbands squandered the family wealth, they blamed the outlets, and tried to get rid of them. Things escalated from there.

        • I do that to Baptists too. It is amazing that in a small town how clearly the religious boundaries are drawn. Oh and in a small Christian college as well.

        • Beth, I grew up in a county in West Texas that was half hard shell Baptist Anglo ranchers and half German Catholic farmers (I was raised Baptist).

          The dichotomy was interesting. All of the kids were friends, and all of us Baptist boys were always invited to the monthly CYO dances out at the St. Lawrence church hall. We would go and join the party on Saturday night, and then got dragged to church Sunday by our mothers. We’d sit in the back pew, all tired and hung over and have to listen to the pastor chew us out for being out dancing and drinking with those papists at St. Lawrence.

          Fun times…..

          • To be quite honest, I grew up in a Catholic and Jewish neighborhood in St. Louis County. I did not know any protestants – this was my very first experience with a Baptist! LOL!

            They must have thought I was the Whore of Babylon right there in their living room in person!

      • I grew up in the north. Classes weren’t segregated by church groupings. But my public school kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade teachers were my church choir director and 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School teachers. I think the day things really started to change in society was the day my 2nd grade teacher came in, took the Bible from it’s stand, placed it on the shelf, and never read from it again.

      • It happens up north in small towns.

    • This is a huge portion of the reason I’m not in the filk community any more.

      • Free-range Oyster

        Well, put your stuff online and let us throw money at you on the Internet, then! I mean, a crowded hotel room is traditional, but it’s certainly not the only venue for filk. 🙂 I want more filk in my life anyway, and I wish more of it were readily available online. For SF people, the filk community seems to be awfully hard to find on the intertubes.

      • I’m embarrassed I had to look up filk. It sounds like a neat idea.

        • It can be great, it can be, um, ah, a valiant effort best restricted to one’s shower.

        • It is, but remember Sturgeon’s Law that 90% of everything is crud (egad, puts my comments as a whole into a nasty light, huh?) and recall how The Doctor Demento Show had a lot of.. stuff… and a few gems. I’ve likened listening to a recording of the full 2 hour program back when to see if anything was worth dubbing off to keep as being perhaps like pearl diving in a cesspool.

          • Oh, I still sing, “Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads. Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up, yum”.

            That and Making Love In A Subaru.

            • Oh sheep, I had not thought of that song in years. Arrrrrgh!
              “I took a fish head out to see a movie. I did not have to pay to get it in.
              Fish head, fish heads, roly poly fish heads . . .”

            • Actually, I have come to loathe that tune as one of the overplayed things, and I still don’t get the alleged of ‘Dead Puppies (Are No Fun)’ which also got a lot of play or seemed like it. Now, if I could find a full and undistorted version of Final Hymn of the Republic… which was played on the air exactly once[1], and I only heard it as $SISTER hit [REC]ord when she realized what it was.

              [1] So it’s probably unfair to ask the “I have all the 1980’s music” DJ to play it, but if the DJ insists they have all of it, well, I gotta check. And if they claim to be unstumpable, well, that’s just silly and asking for it.

  18. We could spend several posts analyzing (debunking) the left’s tendency to equate their political opinions with both moral superiority and intellectual superiority. At the root of it it’s a refusal to look at how their ideas have played out in the world, but most of all it’s a brandishing of politics as a positional good that excuses you from actually having any accomplishments/making any sacrifices for others. But it is real. What I mean is that, against all sense, they REALLY believe that they are the good, moral and smart people.

    Some years ago, the great Marshall Fritz, founder of Advocates for Self-Government, used a simplified version of the Myers-Briggs personality inventory to get a handle on why:
    1) Certain fields are dominated by one political orientation;
    2) How libertarians can appeal to persons of various mental types.

    He partitioned the gross mental types into:
    1) Green: Idea oriented.
    2) Brown: organization oriented.
    3) Blue: emotion oriented.
    4) Red: action oriented

    His first conclusion was that the communication-oriented trades — education, journalism, media — were the natural grist of Blue types. Blues, being more affected by emotional aspects of a situation than any other, are far more susceptible to the emotional appeals of the “compassion”-oriented Left than to “Green” reasoned analysis, “Brown” rule-and-regulation approaches, or the “Red” free-swinging “Ready, fire, aim” inclination of action-oriented persons.

    What Marshall didn’t say, though it was implied by the rest of his research, is that Blues not only respond to emotional appeals above all else; they tend not to grant legitimacy to other mental types and the approaches they take to a situation. In other words, if you don’t “go with your heart,” the typical Blue will scorn you at best, despise you at worst.

    Marshall believed that libertarians’ paramount challenge was to convert the Blues, because they dominate the communication trades that hold all information-dissemination in their grip. But to the best of my knowledge, no one has cracked that nut — possibly because libertarians are overwhelmingly more likely to be Greens, who are the least talented communicators, or Reds, who have no taste for persuasive undertakings.

    • Interesting correlation to Jonathan Haidt’s work, such as Haidt’s Six Moral Foundations: The ‘Real’ Issues Lying Beneath the Surface of Political Debate, which argues that Liberals only recognize half the moral sphere experienced by Conservatives. Rather than recognize their own shortcomings they deride those values they cannot appreciate.

    • So, I’m a unicorn?
      I still doubt it. enough non-leftists are surfacing with indie, I think it was all repression.

      • You are not a unicorn…trust me.

      • Well, Sarah, the effect you cited — that once the Left attains dominance over a field, it militantly acts to expel and exclude non-Leftists — kicked in at some point, and freedom-leaning educators, communicators, and entertainers were excluded by a mechanism other than personal preference.

        There’s no question that there exist capable, quite talented conservative and libertarian communicators, educators, and entertainers — there had better be, for my sake — but the emotional predilection of Leftists is to gravitate toward those fields. It’s not that they’re better at them; it’s that they find them more appealing to their own sensibilities. After that comes the repression/exclusion effect we all know and hate.

        • They also tend to gravitate toward fields where success in an endeavor is measured in subjective rather than objective terms. A bridge either stands or it falls, but whether or not it is beautiful is a subjective conclusion. A math proof is either valid or it isn’t — but when you evaluate it according to its elegance rather than its validity you are employing a subjective standard.

      • I thought you more draconic than monoceroid.

  19. Cultures based on groupthink and ideology based conformity will fail after a while. An interesting case in point is the Royal Navy during the Victorian era. The officer culture of the time was almost Stalinist in it’s devotion to Tradition, Spit & Polish, and Unthinking Obedience to Authority. Officers who dared to question this order of things could and often would be dismissed, or passed for promotion and left to stew as a lower rank.
    As time went on, it became obvious to many that the RN was becoming stagnant, and would be destroyed should an actual war broke out.
    Thus, a maverick like Jackie Fisher was not only able to make himself heard, but also able to rise to the absolute top of the organization and birth the modern navy.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      To be fair, Militaries are very Conservative because if you try something different from “we know this works” and you’re wrong, people get killed and battles get lost.

      Of course, the Royal Navy was in the position of “We Are The Biggest & Best” for so long that they had little reason to doubt that “their way of doing things” were the correct way.

      • See Weber’s Solarian League Navy.

      • Funny enough, it got to the point where naval gunnery practice was disdained, as it would ruin the carefully applied paintwork on the ships.

        But, the funny thing is that you will often see similar outspoken mavericks arise and flourish in cultures that should have utterly and totally beat down any non-conformist.

        • The Other Sean

          During the latter half of the 19th century, Royal Navy captains (and admirals) could be very eccentric characters, even while the rest of the officers and men under them were forced to conform. I recall both Massie’s Dreadnought and a biography of Prince Louis of Battenberg mentioning some interesting examples.

  20. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Off Topic but I’m wondering if I’m the only person not able to get into the Facebook private/secret groups, including Sarah’s Diner on Facebook.

  21. I am very attuned to your view that much of modern, secular culture is Marxist. To its core. As in theological Marxism — a secular, fundamental religion. Disguised Marxism, denied Marxism, cloaked Marxism, clandestine Marxism.

    It is so pervasive that many of its practitioners have no idea what they are practicing, no idea of Marxist history, no understanding of its fundamentals. They only respond to the vaporous, feel good slogans of equality and justice and progress. They are ignorant of nearly everything that they espouse…perfect proles or members of the Outer Party.

    And it is very difficult to combat a belief if the believer does not know that he believes it.

  22. John R. Ellis

    It’s interesting to watch the “insufficiently left” thing play out now, with this year’s “Oscar Boycott”…turns out there might actually-still- be some voters on the Academy who vote for films based on those they genuinely liked them rather than how the performers involved looked or thought in the real world. Horrors.

    One would think the way to bring in more “diversity” would be to suggest films they believe have genuine merit, not attempt to shame Chris Rock into breaking his contract just so they can blow a raspberry and bask in an unwarranted sense of righteousness.

    …the thing that really gets me is, at heart, I agree. Hollywood is dominated by a very narrow, lean, incestuous club that needs an injection of TRUE diversity. As in ALL the underrepresented groups getting to join the fun and make some dreams.

    But, nope. Some of those groups are WRONG and EVIL and anyway, this isn’t about a true desire for diversity, it’s about making an exclusive club even more exclusive. *sigh*

    • If only the Oscars had Noah Ward options…then the SJWs could strike against the all white Oscars.

      Then again, maybe it is good they don’t. I can’t afford that much popcorn.

  23. 1. We love you Sarah.

    2. Per Kevin D. Williamson: Politics is violence; government is force. This explains why everyone in the politics game needs an enemy, because otherwise they don’t need government’s force, and they don’t need the politics that mobilizes violence.

    3. I’m reviewing a young lefty’s manifesto for 2016, item by item, as an exercise in getting inside his mind. Google “contra deBoer”.