This You Cannot Think

Recently, in a fit of my own form of quixotic insanity, I posted the following in my facebook page:

What did I want? I wanted a Roc’s egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist, and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get up feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a likely wench for my droit du seigneur – I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the albatross that had been pacing us the last thousand miles. I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, “The game’s afoot!” I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and Lost Dauphin. I wanted Prester John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and to eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be the way they had promised me it was going to be, instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is. I had had one chance – for ten minutes yesterday afternoon. Helen of Troy, whatever your true name may be – and I had known it and I had let it slip away. Maybe one chance is all you ever get.Oscar Gordan – Glory Road – Robert A. Heinlein.

That passage stirred me when I read it at about 14 or 15, sitting at the kitchen table in my mother’s kitchen.  That’s what I wanted to.  Oh, not the harem as I had no use for odalisques, but perhaps a group of oiled barbarians to carry my chaise over the heads of my adoring subjects.

I knew I was a reprobate, steeped in sin and malice from early on — I don’t lie to myself as much as most people.  I try to be good.  It’s much harder than being nice.  But I also know what lies beneath my attempts — but I didn’t realize how much of a reprobate until I posted this on facebook.

Before the metaphorical ink was dry on the post, I had realized that I was — apparently — a dinosaur come from a much freer past into a Brave New World.  (Which, btw, was NOT an instruction manual, no matter how much people want to make it so.)

Among other things, it was pointed out to me that odalisques didn’t consent, that wanting an harem was sexist and that dust beneath your chariot wheels meant you weren’t a nice person, or an elected ruler or something.

In the Don Camillo books by Giovanni Guareschi, there is this persistent scene, when the village priest is engaged in a feud with the local communists, or the local, ammoral gentry, where he spots one or more of them in the front row, turns the crucifix on the wall so the Christ faces the wall (and doesn’t hear him, is the understanding, though the character has enough depth we realize it’s a respect thing, not a literal thing) puts his hand on his hips and speaks in his own way.

I am now turning the portrait of Heinlein to the walls and putting my hands on my hips.

What a generation of mewling babies, with the intellectual rigor of a drunken sot.  Their inability to even imagine something that might potentially be offensive to someone, somewhere has so restricted their little pea brains that they are functionally historically illiterate.  They not only are unable to imagine that someone, somewhere, might not have believed as they do; they don’t think anyone should try to imagine believing or living differently than the morals of our times.  This at the same time they enjoin us to respect as our equals cultures that are far worse than those imagined far-off ones.

My grandmother used to say “There’s willfully blind, and then there’s those who erase the place where the eyes go.”  And that’s them.  A willfully blind generation of moralist scolds, stumbling blindly towards a future they refuse to comprehend is different from their imaginings, and does not, in any way, care about their scolding.  They wander around the world in a cloud of self-regard, unable to comprehend that other people don’t see them as brave pioneers but as crazed censors with nothing to contribute to either culture or society but a hand held up and  wagging finger and the word “no.”

They don’t realize they are midgets, standing on the shoulders of giants.  Because they can piss down, they imagine themselves superior, unable to see their product is nothing but a yellow streak on the face of civilization.

They’ve built nothing and understand nothing.

So, I’m saying it’s okay to portrait slavery and sexual abuse, war and criminality without making it clear in the books I disapprove?

I’m saying that most of the history of mankind is slavery and sexual abuse, war and criminality, and that in those times, and in those  days there were degrees of evil.  Sometimes a man made a very small advance towards what we now consider a better world.  A tiny one, by the skin of his teeth, and that was enough for us to consider him a hero, and to remember him through the ages.

A friend once pointed out that by our rational, present day morals, Ulysses was a despicable human being.  And my friend is right.  He was a brigand and a thief, a killer, a sea raider.

On the other hand he was in tune with the morals of his time, where hospitality was sacred over property or even self-determination, and he stood out from his time as a cunning one.  In a place and time where most people died within five miles of their birthplace and never broke the rules of his time, this fictional hero had traveled the world and outwitted supernatural enemies.  So.  He was remembered.  His adventures were chanted around fires for millennia and gave the pulse of those who heard it a pleasant rush.  “What if I did? What if I could?”  Even in the nineteenth century, as distant from his morals as from ours, his adventures thrilled many a school boy.  In the sixties, now as distant from us as the face of the moon is from the Earth, his story translated into Portuguese even thrilled a very small girl who’d just learned to read and who didn’t know this was the legend of a lost civilization.

Odalisques?  Well, when I was little, some of the still preserved legends from the Moorish occupation  spoke of good harem masters and bad harem masters.  Everything is relative.  The good ones were often remembered for centuries.  Which in turn helped a new generation of boys grow up with the idea of “what was acceptable.”

Yes, sure, women were always equal to men and blah blah blah.  And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.  It leads to nowhere.

Sure, women have the same rights as men, and are their moral equals.  Unfortunately, human civilization doesn’t proceed wholly in a world of spirits.  While there are undoubtedly some beliefs and conditions that are better than others and while by and large the civilization of humans — with some truly disgusting back sliding — proceeds to freer, less violent and generally better lives for all, in primitive conditions, or even very difficult ones, men tend to revert to the law of the jungle.  This is not ruled by some imaginary noble savage, but by physical force.  And in physical force women drew the short straw.  Meanwhile we’re also the producers of babies, the resource that gives a tribe a future.  Throughout history this combination made us THE most valuable resource, something to be stolen and hoarded and kept captive.  Yes I used “something” because caught in endless pregnancies and vulnerable to attack, through most of human history women weren’t treated as human.

They had a power of a sort.  A power that I’ve seen in action, and which is used — I understand — all over the Arab world.  While there was no such a thing as solidarity among women, each being too interested in the survival and prospering of their children, and therefore often helping in the virtual enslavement of other women (or worse. The history of China is … eye opening) women could and did have power.  A woman with a strong personality could influence a man all the more as she was held to be incapable of it.

If you don’t see the inherent dramatic tension of a story on such lines, it’s because you’re too busy shouting slogans.  Take off your “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and take your foot out of your mouth and the plugs from your ears, and try to actually pretend you were born and raised in such a society.  No one is going to listen to you if you preach feminist power, and the men of the time will knock you about if you attempt to.  But you can have power by whispering in his ear.  And if you don’t see yourself as the woman who controls the empire with your whisper, if you don’t understand the power of it, your imagination is dead.  Put away the paddles.  Stop trying to restart it.  If it weren’t nailed to its perch, it would be pushing up daisies.

But isn’t it immoral to think, write, create such art?  Wouldn’t it be better if we wrote only about the world as we wish it would be, where men and women are completely alike save for some externals, and where there is no such thing as non-consensual sex or slavery?  Or at least, if we have to write about such a time, shouldn’t we condemn it loud and clear?

Ah, you lotus eaters.  You have no idea how most of the world lives even now, much less in former times.  You don’t understand the GLAMOUR of evil, even as you feel it — or do you really think your little witch hunts are inspired by loving kindness?  Do you think we believe you don’t feel the thrill of the hunt, the joy of sadism? — and you can’t comprehend not scolding when something is not right in tune with your quite up to the minute “morals.”  You lecture us on tolerating “the other” while completely incapable of grasping what “the other” is.  You think if someone is a darker tan or comes from far away, they are moral imbeciles who must be tolerated because they’re too stupid to reform.

And in that way you tolerate the unthinkable, even while refusing to think it or to understand how your ancestors built the civilization you’re now gleefully tearing apart.

You’ve been so rich so long you don’t realize your willful mind-castration is taking you back to a place where YOU will be dust beneath some barbarian’s chariot wheels.

But wont reading about such things make people do them?

Really?  You think your fellow humans are so feeble of mind they’ll be unable to help themselves but will do something because they read about it?  Honestly, is this projection?

There was this theory about movies and video games, both of which being visual probably have more chance of doing that.  It turns out Tipper Gore was wrong.  Actually kids who play violent video games and watch objectionable movies tend to be — on the whole — less violent than their generation.  The operative word is “their generation.”  If you have an entire generation raised by hired strangers who are not allowed to teach them morals, you are going to end up with more violence and amoral behavior, regardless of what they play, watch or read.

As for violent reads: between the ages of ten and twelve, I was fascinated with a book on the Adventures of Captain Morgan, which I BELIEVE had belonged to my great grandmother (unless dad bought it used in one of his ubiquitous old book stores, or as they’re known in Portuguese, Alfarrabios.)  It was a set of leather bound volumes, with original and rather bloody litographs.  I remember particularly Captain Morgan, trying to kidnap a princess, cut off the head of her slave sleeping in the antechamber, while the slave slept, with a blade so sharp the poor woman never woke up.

I mean, these were nineteenth century books.  The killing of innocents was part of the thrilling adventure and you read that scene thrilled that his sword was so sharp he could pull off the unbelievable.

You didn’t read it for the blood, though that gave you a range of the danger he faced, for others tried to do onto him what he did to that salve, but for the fact that the man for his time had an inflexible if idiosyncratic honor and, as written, was a protector of the weak and the oppressed.  (No, not in real life.)

Strangely, though this inspired many dreams (and a very bad novel written at 16 or so) about being a female pirate in the age of sail, I never actually felt the need to cut someone else’s head off as they slept.  Even as a pre-teen, I could get a sense for “that was a different time and place; they did things differently.  Didn’t mean they were right or that I should do them now.”

People who demand either whitewashing or preaching against the past in their stories, lose that sense.  They turn the vast and interesting history of mankind into a flat canvas with themselves in the center dictating what is light and what is dark.

The hubris of it is only half of the evil in this.  The wilful blindness is worse, because by losing sight of the past, they can’t see the future they’re shaping.


472 thoughts on “This You Cannot Think

  1. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be the way they had promised me it was going to be, instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is.

    This is why I read.

    Because such sentences strike such a cord in me, provide such sustenance for the brain to chew upon.

    And because, if I choose the right story, in the moment I am reading it I can escape the tawdry, lousy, fouled up mess of this world for any of a wide range of dreams , and that can, if I am lucky, enable and inspire me to continue in this world – even try to make the small corner I occupy a bit better.

    1. Indeed, it’s a bit like throwing pearls before the potato beetle larvae or termites.
      It’s not like they cannot perceive the pearls, it’s just that their supraesophageal ganglions aren’t really up to the task of drawing much conclusions from the sight.

  2. Sigh. I, too, wanted the Roc’s egg. And I think the majority of the complaining useful idiots will pass into that same abyss as the people who supported Father Coughlin, Savonarola or Robespierre . Some hoist by their own petard and some slipping shamefacedly into oblivion.

  3. What they don’t get in their little hemmed-in-by-political-correctness minds is that the same righteousness they feel when they claim the virtual scalp of some hapless white male unaware of the new rule they just made up for the occasion, is exactly the same righteousness the Pirate king, or the harem slaver, or bold adventurer felt doing what he did.

      1. The SJWs just like to think they’re better than that.

        (Well, we all individually like to think we’re better than everyone else, but SJWs like to do it as a group.)

        1. Well, that’s the whole appeal, isn’t it? As C.S. Lewis spells out in his quote about the tyranny of “for your own good”. Devilry with an angelic veneer. Brutality with none of the calories. Be a bastard and still believe you’re doing good.

          That’s my problem with the Robin Hood legend. You might be robbing the rich to give to the poor, but your still ROBBING someone.

          1. I thought robin hood stole from a thieving government and gave back to the overtaxed peasants.

            1. Actually, it IS pretty apt to say a lot of vileprogs imagine themselves as Robin Hood when they’re actually playing the Sheriff of Nottingham’s role.

              1. Not to mention the fact that in at least some of the Robin Hood legends he was a nobleman–son of an earl, no less–who had his property forcibly taken away from him and redistributed to those deemed ‘worthy’ (ie, those who supported the ‘correct’ politics). Which would be why he got into the whole ‘rob the rich’ thing–it was revenge (not to mention far more sensible. Why the hell would you rob a serf with nothing?).

                I always loved the Patrick Bergin Robin for the exchange between him and Little John. One of them (I think it was Robin) comes up with the idea to give some of their take to the poor. John protests that this sounds like a stupid idea, and defeats the purpose…until Robin points out that if they share the take, then the peasants won’t turn them in and may actively help them.

                So not altruism, but enlightened self-interest (which is one of the cornerstones, I believe, of our country). “I help you because helping you makes life easier for me.” (And for many there is the religious/charitable element, but the end result remains: fewer people suffering means a somewhat lower chance of me suffering.)

                1. During the Great Depression here in the US, certain bank robbers and organized crime figures gave a good bit of their ill-gotten gains to ordinary people in bad straits. (Al Capone organized soup kitchens within his territory in Chicago). Given that there was a feeling that the Crash was the result of financial shenanigans at the top levels of finance, a lot of people were a lot more willing to take money they previously would’ve regarded as “dirty,” and to cover for the bank robbers instead of turning them in.

                  1. Still today. Well, even in recent decades, anyway.

                    A lot of the Vietnamese and other Oriental organized crime syndicates in Dallas policed their own areas in the 70s and 80s, and maintained charities and other similar organizations. A lot of them oriented toward assisting newer immigrants and refugees.

                    Practicalities: a local populace safe(er) from petty crimes and what have you was more kindly disposed to you. Having your local populace well disposed toward you meant that they were less likely to turn you in or cooperate with the cops – and you always had the steel fist to back up the velvet glove as needed. But it’s just good business to rely on the velvet more than the steel when you can.

                    If I have my history correct, I understand that that’s how the Tongs, Triads, and Yakuza originally got started, IIRC?

                    1. Even the Mafia was originally a Sicilian self-help/defense organization.

                    2. I hadn’t studied the history of the Mafia in Italy and Sicily prior to their manifestation in the U.S., but that doesn’t really surprise me, Joe.

                    3. *nods*

                      The problem with gangs isn’t that they’re gangs, it’s that they’re mini-governments inside of a normal one– parasite gov’ts. They get the benefit of the gov’t, but don’t abide by the rules; the people they benefit also unfairly benefit from their behavior.

                      Contrast with, say, church groups– which also benefit from the behavior below the gov’t level, but don’t involve violating the over-arching agreement.

                      BAsically, gangs are tribes, with all the good and bad.

                    4. “The problem with gangs isn’t that they’re gangs, it’s that they’re mini-governments inside of a normal one– parasite gov’ts. They get the benefit of the gov’t, but don’t abide by the rules; the people they benefit also unfairly benefit from their behavior.” – Foxfier

                      I semi agree, yes and no, but I’m going to have to think about it a bit before I fully unpack that, and you don’t mind.

                      It’s…. hrmm. (This is going to require more thought than I thought. *grin*)

                      This is one of those where the analogy works, but not 100%, as I think I mentioned on something else in a different comment substring, and possibly in a different thread?

                      It’s similar in ways and at times to the black market – apt, since O.C. tends to get heavily involved in controlling black markets.

                      Black markets parallel legitimate markets in the same way that you analogized O.C. and governments. Black markets come into existence, in whole or in part, because they’re able to provide goods and services that legit markets cannot, generally because those goods and services are illegal or otherwise restricted or unavailable for various reasons – but they’re still goods and services that people want and will pay for. (Drugs, sex, alcohol during Prohibition, tax free cigarettes… whatever)

                      Now, I can’t speak for the Mafia example that Joe Wooten mentioned because I haven’t studied them enough, and I haven’t had any real personal experience there – just what I’ve read.

                      In the case of the Vietnamese and Oriental gangs and organized crime in Dallas that I mentioned, I have had some (limited) experience and knowledge. (Very limited.)

                      In the case of the Vietnamese community in Oak Cliff and Southwestern Dallas at the time, they were having not only internal street crime and petty crime and violent crime problems, but also bleed over from the surrounding/bordering black and Latino communities. That was coupled with the fact that the DPD and the Dallas County Sheriff’s departments of that decade weren’t policing those areas for various reasons. Plus, this was before CCP in Texas, so residents didn’t have many options for effective self-defense…

                      So for a number of reasons, inclusive of business interests, the various inherent crime syndicates and gangs took it on themselves to fix the problem. (With all of the spill over issues that happen when O.C. fixes a problem in their own way, of course… ) They did a pretty damned effective job of it, too, I understand, to the point where when the Little Saigon areas eventually migrated up to the Richardson areas of Big-D, that area was still one of the safest and lowest general crime areas in that end of Oak Cliff.

                      So yes, parasite government – they collected “taxes” in the form of protection money for their services. So no, also parallel or supplementary government as well, because they were doing a job and providing a service that legitimate government was failing on, or had failed to provide.

                      And yes, they don’t “abide by the rules” – but O.C. has its own internal rules, and they’re fairly strict and ruthless. It was within those internal rules as well as just good business sense to protect the people that their businesses and livelihood depended on, and the neighborhoods in which they lived.

                      And yes, the local citizenry did benefit from dropping street crime rates and lower incidences of outside crime… but I’m not sure that “unfairly benefited” applies. They got a very real benefit, and it was not a benefit nor a service that they were getting from legitimate government and law enforcement at the time.

                      So… yes and no. And I’m still not sure if I unpacked that fully enough. Screw it – hopefully it was at least semi-sufficient.

                    5. That has got to be the nicest way to say that “they took stuff the guy over there had and gave me some” that I have ever heard.

                    6. The Free Breakfast for School Children Program was a community service program run by the Black Panther Party as an early manifestation of the social mission envisioned by founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale along with their founding of the Oakland Community School, which provided high-level education to 150 children from impoverished urban neighborhoods. Inspired by contemporary research about the essential role of breakfast for optimal schooling, the Panthers would cook and serve food to the poor inner city youth of the area. Initiated in January 1969 at St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland, California, the program became so popular that by the end of the year, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across the US, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school.

                      … any insinuations that they just did it so as to have a larger pool of able-bodied young men and women to draw from for their Thugs ‘N’ Hoes programs are just too low to merit response.

                      The idea was to keep the kids “away from crime and bring them into the class war.” So, in other words, to get them involved in crime at a far more profitable level.

                    7. Oh, of course, RES. Of course there’s always an underlying or side reasoning that directly or indirectly benefits the organized crime group. Did I imply otherwise?

                      I guess maybe I really didn’t unpack fully enough, then.

                    8. “That has got to be the nicest way to say that ‘they took stuff the guy over there had and gave me some’ that I have ever heard.” – foxfier

                      Okay, I definitely didn’t unpack that one thoroughly enough, then. Either that, or we’re both talking at cross purposes.

                      Lemme think this through… *drums fingers on keyboard* Hrmmm…

                      All right.

                      Actually, before I rattle my keys too much, could I get you to expand that comment just a little bit more, so I’m sure what I’m expanding on?

                    9. You can go back over the conversation again, if you feel like it– we hit the wall, and I’m tired of rephrasing over and over while you just repeat points that have already been said, answered, and the answer ignored or misunderstood.

                    10. “You can go back over the conversation again, if you feel like it– we hit the wall, “

                      Nah. I think we embedded so deep that I lost track, and couldn’t figure out where and to what comment the reply referred to. When it gets to that point, it’s probably best to just move on to another comment string and topic.

            2. That’s the most common take I’ve heard both new and old. (Not the only take.) And most of those say he ended his spree when a legitimate authority returned to England. On the other hand, individuals who actually do such things rather than claim they are going to do them are rather rare.

        2. The proclaim themselves the peak of civilization, while having abandoned self control, and given themselves to the chase and tear instincts.

  4. … by losing sight of the past, they can’t see the future they’re shaping.

    For example: given the inherent differences in physical strength between men and women, feminism is only possible at the sufferance of men. If the men in a society listen to their wives saying “Women should have the right to vote, too” and say, “You know what, she’s right; it’s not fair”… then women will be given the right to vote. BUT… if the men in a society hear a woman saying “women shouldn’t have to cover up their entire bodies and wear thick veils” and their collective reaction is “Shameless hussy! Stone her to teach the other women what happens when you step out of line!”… then guess how much equality there’s going to be in that society?

    The modern, guano-insane feminists* (perfect example: the woman who earned herself the nickname Trigglypuff) are creating a massive amount of resentment, and they don’t see it. They think they’re the Pure Ones, the Enlightened Ones, the Good Women**, and therefore anyone who opposes them MUST be an Evil Misogynist. But there are more and more signs of men whose resentment is hardening into hatred. When the next candidate comes along who’s even more extreme than Trump, and who openly says “We’re going to repeal the Nineteenth Amendment”… these feminists aren’t going to see it coming when he wins in a landslide. INCLUDING about 20% of the female vote, because by that point there will be LEAST that many women who are sick and tired of feminism and GENUINELY want to bring back a patriarchy. But it won’t be a nice, genteel patriarchy like they’re hoping to bring back, not with the levels of hatred that will have built up by that point. And it’s today’s guano-insane feminists

    * There are other kinds, but it’s the guano-insane ones that seem to make the news all the time. Ratings-seeking isn’t a process confined to TV, though on the Internet it’s usually called “clickbait”.

    ** And we know where THAT one leads.

    1. … who are making that future more and more likely to come to pass.

      (Missed a sentence somehow in my above post).

      1. Yeah. There are more and more places on the Internet where you can see people who seem to have read Outlaw of Gor and decided the ending was a Good Idea and should be implemented ASAP. Right now they’re still just fringe, but if things keep going too far, they could easily become mainstream.

    2. And that’s what drives me nuts about modern feminism. All this power, and they haven’t made women stronger. They’ve made them weak, dependent on government to protect them from the ever-multiplying evils of Man’s World.

      If I were a raging misogynist, I couldn’t have created a system more harmful to woman than modern feminism.

      1. It’s not about rights. It’s about power.

        Anyone who doesn’t knuckle under is their enemy, no matter which sort of wedding tackle they have.

        “Come, comrades! We will march in lockstep toward our individually glorious free future!”

      2. Chris, I think the question has to be raised… What was the point of modern feminism, in the first place?

        Most of the proponents thereof that I’ve met were all seriously “f**ked in the head”, as the charming assessment a friend of mine made of one–And, I think that we have to entertain the possibility that the movement is a twisted expression of a bunch of people’s psychological problems, not a valid social scheme.

        Examine, for example, the German situation with regards to one Frau Stefanie von Berg:

        Yeah, it’s Infowars, but it’s also the only version of this speech I can still find online. If this woman is sane, I’m a doorknob. She’s acting out some self-hating, self-destructive issues with regards to her role in society, and from my perspective, what she really wants is Daddy to show he loves her by beating her ass to show he cares. And, that’s a huge part of this stuff, I think–Many of these women are fundamentally uncomfortable being responsible for themselves, so they seek a couple of things with regards to the vicious masculinity of the third-world “primitive male”–They want to be dominated, and they hate the fact that the “white male patriarchy” of the West has (weakly, in their eyes…) given in to them.

        There really isn’t any other answer that makes sense to me, with regards to the pathology of the whole thing. These women are essentially committing civilization-level suicide, as they simultaneously demand that the men of their own culture comply with their every whim (sitzpinkel, anyone…?), and then bring in thousands of out-culture immigrants to supplant them–Immigrants who do not share the culture these women have demanded change, and who are going to put these women right back into the gender-cage they’ve railed against. It’s fundamentally insane, and I can’t figure out what the hell they’re thinking, unless it’s this sort of passive-aggressive reverse-thinking bullshit I’m laying out here. I’m open to other interpretations, but there’s something severely pathologic about von Berg’s mentality, and I can’t even follow the ins and outs of the way she’s thinking without reluctantly coming to the conclusion that she’s squirrel-crazy along the lines I’m speculating here.

        The whole thing is very, very strange–It’s like they’re inviting in the “destructors” of their way of life, deliberately. And, seeking among the most misogynistic cultures in the world to do it. Flat-out ‘effing bizarre, just like the hyper-feminist I knew from going to college classes with her, that wound up married to and totally subservient to her Guatemalan peasant husband, who personified every single negative male image I can think of. Hell, he was screwing half her friends before the marriage, continued on after, and regularly beat her ass for “disrespecting” him. She loved it. Pathologic, I’m telling you.

        1. Some of them may be naturally crazy, but some would seem to be artificially induced.

          How would I end up if whenever I got unexpected experimental results, I then interpreted them as part of the conspiracy against me, specifically? I suspect such strategy might tend to make even someone without inherent severe mental health issues pretty crazy.

          The word ‘neurodiverse’ raises another possibility. We know the third wave intersectional variety promotes lesbianism as the natural order of the world. What happens to someone with very mild, barely detectable, issues having nothing to do with sex, if they are misdiagnosed as stemming from sexual deprivation, and prescribed sexual activity? There is political utility in artificially inflating the numbers of LGBT by convincing, say, people with very mild autism that they are really LGBT. If I had been convinced to treat my own issues by practicing PUA womanizing, I think I would have been harmed.

          Thirdly, the ideas of modern feminism can be traced to a very few intellectuals. I have to wonder about the possibility of soviet agents of influence. Could a woman in Soviet intelligence have invented modern feminism as a way of tricking other women into making themselves less attractive?

          1. My first reaction to feminism as Soviet agitprop was laughter. But if one thinks of culture as a human operating system, then then then agitprop is a virus let loose by hackers.
            Hmm… progressives have been overwriting the operating system subroutine by subroutine for a century. What a mess.

          2. The Soviets may have helped push things, but I don’t think they’re responsible for the start of it. I think it was an outgrowth of the original feminist movements that pushed for things like the right to vote.

            The problem is, there’s always someone who wants to push further. The reason for pushing might vary. Some might think that it isn’t enough. But others have entirely more sinister reasons, driven either by a warped sense of justice, or out and out hatred. So the adopt the name and banner of a movement that everyone recognizes as good, and keep pushing. And because there are still some males who are legitimately sexist, they get at least some attention when they push.

            Currently, I think society is starting to recognize that the pushing may have finally gone too far. And I think the publicizing of the privilege nonsense (which has existed – albeit not under that name – at least as far back as the ’80s) is the last gap attempt of the pushers to try and justify their actions in the face of mounting resistance.

            1. Feminism pretty much dissolved after the 19th Amendment as women put their energy into non-gender-specific politics.

              Second-wave feminism sprang from the civil right movement, which was chockful of nasty, sexually exploitative misogynists. At least some feminists simply assumed these were typical men, or even better than average. (Ha. It has been shown in the lab that if you give people a chance to buy “green” products, they are more likely to lie and cheat in a subsequent game, apparently thinking they’ve already been good enough for the day. Imagine what delusions you can give yourself when you’re an activist. Intellectuals by Paul Johnson is interesting on the topic.)

              1. Ayup. Liberals know themselves to be the Enlightened Ones, and they know how low down miserable they are — so conservatives must be far far worse.

                Why, when people are confessing theirracism sexism WHATEVERism sins in public do you realize that many conservatives think they’ve nothing to confess? They don’t even subscribe to the proper journals to enable them to keep up with the latest self-condemnations!

        2. So, you’re saying that John Norman was right, Kirk?

          *grin* I think you just triggered the 10% of SJWs who actually know who John Norman is, all at once. I thought it was a seismic event.

          1. No, I don’t think John Norman was “right”, but I do think that he’s the other side of this sick and depraved coin.

            Just as I would not be a slave, I wish to not to own any, either. These lunatic dominance games that so many on the capital-F Feminist side are into just disgust and dismay me.

            And, I think that a large part of what is going on here is precisely what I’m suggesting. These specific and particular women are not comfortable with the idea of being truly independent or self-defined, which is why they’re so dead set on defining themselves not as what they are, but what they are not, in opposition to their perceived “patriarchy”, something the existence of which I’ve never seen real signs of ever having been a real thing. At least, as they define it.

            I suspect that at least some of the whole thing is sourced in Soviet agitprop and deliberate intelligence operations, but it has now taken on a life all its own, as the various parties engaged in this crap have slipped the surly bonds of sanity, and gone completely off the deep end. And, I have to blame them for being sufficiently credulous and crazed that they never once stopped to think about what they were buying into, and realized they were being played.

            1. “Just as I would not be a slave, I wish to not to own any, either.”

              Precisely this.

              “These lunatic dominance games that so many on the capital-F Feminist side are into just disgust and dismay me.”

              Based on observations of female behavior and the stories I’ve heard, I’m convinced that “lunatic dominance games” are endemic among women, unless every woman in the group has received the sort of upbringing that repudiates that behavior.

              (The women are free to disagree with this as they see fit.)

              1. It seems to be the girl version of guys chest-thumping.

                They can be perfectly fine– in their proper place, these stupid games let you dance around between really painful subjects without hurting anyone, which is really important when you’re likely to have to be in close contact and work in-depth with people, but avoid the big messes from everyone trying to quietly get things done without it being obvious. (Ever been to a potluck where everyone brought a beans dish?!)

                1. Ever been to a potluck where everyone brought a beans dish?!

                  10 different bowls of three bean salad to go with one bowl of potato salad and the dogs/burgers…… 🙂

                2. That’s why a good potluck organizer assigns a food category to different segments of the alphabet: A-G brings entrees, H – N brings salad, M – Z brings dessert, for example.

                  1. Bah, too artificial– I much prefer the “this is MY dish” organization.

                    Even if ti does involve some drama, up to and including “their mother died and the girls had a huge fight about who got to claim Mother’s Dish.” (my mom swears that’s why she moved away)

                  2. I just gave up and started bringing things I liked that nobody else was going to bring, like japchae, or chana dal. Introducing rural Minnesotans to doenjang jjigae should be interesting…

                    Actually, it’s been pretty well received so far. There’s still hotdish from others to fall back on if things get too weird.

                    1. Ooh, that is a FUN niche to fill! Although you don’t want to get too hemmed into “it’s something different every time,” or it causes stress– but just “hey, nobody makes this!” is an awesome one.

                    2. I’m a big fan of finding two dishes people tend to ask me to bring. That way I can mix it up myself and not be bored but always have something people will eat.

            2. Sorry, I neglected to c4c on that, so I haven’t been getting alerts and really haven’t been following the discussion.

              I’ll just nod in agreement here and click the notify me checkbox this time.

              Your comment on the Gor novels just caught my eye. As a long time Gor reader (I enjoyed the first five, then they got boring and repetitive), I’ve been watching the SJW/Leftist Feminist embrace/excuse of Muslim male behavior while they excoriate traditional Western male behaviors and seeing intriguing traces of some of Norman’s thesis played out there.

              I don’t think he was right, like you – but I do think that he hit upon a significant vein of sexual psychosis in some women, notably the more insane of the radicalized feminists.

              It’s been interesting and a bit scary to watch play out, regardless.

              1. John Norman was one of those authors I read once, discarded, and then remembered for freakin’ ever. I had always thought that he was some crazed nut-job, like the guys who were writing all those crazed white supremacist novels about post-apocalypse America. Then, a few years back, I found out who he actually was, and I’m going “HUH?!!? He’s a damn college professor…? In the humanities, no less? WTF?”.

                I am now torn between thinking Norman is still a nut-job, just of a really unique sort, or that he’s the world’s greatest troll, one who happened upon a great insight, and has been milking it for commercial success.

                Either way, I think he’s on to something. Could be a case of a crazy clock being right once a day, or it could be he’s crazy like a fox. Regardless, you look at women like von Berg, and you suddenly start to wonder if Norman isn’t on to something profound.

                Of course, like I say, two sides of the same coin of crazy. I want nothing to do with that crap–I don’t have time for playing silly-ass and childish games of dominance in my personal life. Unfortunately, that’s what most women of my generation seem to want, and I’ve yet to run into one that was both interested in me, and interesting to me. At this point in my life, celibacy is a freakin’ blessing. Life is too short for the crazy.

                1. “Then, a few years back, I found out who he actually was, and I’m going “HUH?!!? He’s a damn college professor…? In the humanities, no less? WTF?”.” – Kirk

                  Forgive if I’m misremembering,as I’m typing off the cuff and off the top of my memory rather than looking at his bio, but I seem to recall that he was not only a humanities professor but he also had a doctorate in either psychology or psychiatry? Been awhile since I looked at the author blub on the inside cover of one of his books, and I don’t have any hard copies handy. Too lazy to hit wikipedia and check.

                  “or that he’s the world’s greatest troll, one who happened upon a great insight, and has been milking it for commercial success.”

                  I believe that it’s that latter, having read some of his non fiction stuff and comments. IIRC, he took a single element of socio-sexualism, magnified it, and then used it as the basis for creating the central theme of a fantasy society in a series of planetary romances that he wanted to write. (He also stated once that he was an actively interested cultural historian as a hobby, IIRC, and was fascinated by the research and the cultural aspects of world building in a fantasy setting, which shows.)

                  And then was highly bemused when it took off and also became so controversial. So he stuck tongue in cheek and amped it up to eleven. (While still remaining fairly mild on the pornographic and S&M scale for fiction, which is the funny part.)

                  *shrug/ As an old, old Barsoom and planetary romance fan from way back, I really enjoyed the first five from Tarnsman of Gor through to Pirates of Gor. After that, I found them repetitive and becoming author tracts – and worse, boring, as they devolved into chapters of “Gorean philosophizing” broken up by a few pages of action and adventure here and there. So I lost interest.

                  “Either way, I think he’s on to something. Could be a case of a crazy clock being right once a day, or it could be he’s crazy like a fox. Regardless, you look at women like von Berg, and you suddenly start to wonder if Norman isn’t on to something profound.”


                  There is something… weird and profoundly disturbing going on in the minds of those women. The parallels to Norman’s insights in Gorean philosophy regarding feminists as stated in the contexts of the Gor novels is freaking spooky.

                  I think that it may be something as simple as that Norman identified the “SJW intersectional feminist” mindset before the rest of us even recognized it, and then diagnosed it – something his psychology background equipped him to do – and incorporated the socio-sexual pathologies into his Earth captured and transplanted Gorean slave girls. Being an academic and in the university environment, he was well placed to see it developing from the ground up, as it were, long before it came screeching and boiling out at the rest of us.

                  And then he snickered at all of the ruckus he raised, and laughed his way all the way to the bank, soon to be a very wealthy man.

                  It’d make him the very first Anti-SJW, a thought that I find both highly amusing and aesthetically pleasing.

                2. IIRC, he wrote the first novel because he bet someone that he could write a sci-fi/fantasy novel. So I’m going with the troll theory.

            3. > patriarchy

              I have the gray hair, the beard, and the bifocals, and I *still* haven’t found the patriarchy.

              You’d think they’d at least send a card or something…

              1. I’m still waiting for my check from Big Oil, and I understand from friends that the checks from the World Zionist Conspiracy are still lost in the mail.

              2. Hey. I sent in my entry fee and all of my box tops, and I still haven’t gotten my membership card in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. So whatchew bichin’ about? 😉

                1. There has been considerable confusion resulting from the fact that, when the decoder ring is properly used, it reveals that what conservatives say and what they mean are exactly the same.

                  (BTW: for those who have not yet discovered it, the “dog whistle” component of that ring actually is silent — there is no hyper-sonic functionality.)

                    1. Oh, do fucking hush with the bullshit. An honest man would acknowledge that Bush was maneuvered into breaking his pledge deliberately and with malice aforethought by the Democrats in Congress, who then delighted in calling him a liar. If anything, that’s not an example of Bush being a liar, it’s an example of him being an honest man and not looking out for Lucy to be moving the football on him.

                      You grow to be an annoyance, and I suggest that if you wish to continue to engage here without receiving automatic dismissal, I would strongly suggest you rectify your conduct.

                    2. Hughes-amendment?

                      “I would strongly suggest you rectify your conduct.”

                      I’ll give the suggestion all due consideration.

                    3. Are you seriously trying to asset George H W Bush was a conservative, a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?

                    4. “Are you seriously trying to asset George H W Bush was a conservative, a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?” – RES

                      I’ve not ever really been under the impression that either Bush was especially conservative, not in the Kirk, Buckley, Buchannan, or even Reagan sense of the word as I understand it. Republican, yes, but there’s a difference.

                      Wellll… GWB was a lot more conservative than Ann Richards when he ran against her for governor of Texas. But it was Ann Richards… being more conservative than her didn’t take a massive jump.

                    5. Then your quoting of Bush ’41 in response to a claim that the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy decoder ring works by producing a decoded message identical to what had been said constitutes somewhat of a non sequitur.

        3. There was an essay by Kate Millet’s sister Mallory, posted and linked to by Insty – about some of what she saw going on, in the early days.

          Yes, there are some horribly damaged women calling themselves feminists – I call them Capital F feminists. They have done horrible damage to themselves, and to others, and most of all, those modest small-f feminists who only wanted equal opportunities when it came to schooling, to job opportunities and professional advancement. Not equal outcome – just equal opportunities to have a go at trying for them.

          1. Read that, and it confirmed a lot of what I suspected about the milieu these women were in. Most of them should have been institutionalized, and kept in therapy until they figured out that their persecution complexes were based on fantasy, not reality.

            I knew one young lady who was convinced she’d been sexually abused by her father, and managed to convince me of the same thing. Right up until her sane sister showed up, and I found out that the poor man had been dead since the sister I knew had been a toddler; the tales of teenage sexual abuse were entirely figments of her fevered imagination. And, yes… Big-F Feminist, in ideology. Were her delusions connected? Dunno, but it sure makes for a compelling theory.

            1. You have to wonder if those tales were externally induced, which can be done, especially to younger people who don’t fit in well. The likelihood of someone inventing those kinds of stories themselves is pretty low.

              1. Her older sister, who at least seemed saner, was pretty emphatic that the sister I knew had come up with them on her own, and without real encouragement.

                When she was younger, she’d always made up these stories about how her daddy loved her, and all the things he did for her–When, in fact, there was no way she could remember him. There were no other male figures in her life, mom having taken the “tragic widow” path, and not sought out any other male company in her life, turning him into a plaster saint on the mantle.

                Which was why, when the younger sister started telling people that daddy had sexually abused her…? Yeah. Cue familial estrangement. As in “She’s dead to me…”.

                Older sister said that she thought the one I knew had been nuts for a long time, like her mother–It was just that they manifested the insanity differently. Mom turned dad into a saint, and for some reason, when she hit mid-teens, the younger sister found she got sympathy from others by telling horrible stories about her dad. Which developed into the “he sexually abused me…” thing, eventually.

                If I hadn’t looked up the poor bastard’s obituary (hero cop shot dead by bad guy), I’d have had a really hard time picking out who was telling the truth. Older sister seemed really sane, but when you were talking to the younger one…? The crazy carried you along. She was a consummate actress.

                She’s actually the reason I refuse to take anything I hear as a sob story as being “real”, until I see some corroboration. You go through life thinking “Nobody would, or could, lie that convincingly…”. Then, you actually meet someone like that, get taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride with them, and conclude afterwards that they were doing it solely for the entertainment value…

                You sorta develop a more objective outlook, and a lot of cynicism.

                1. I used to think the plots of soap operas were totally unbelievable. But I have met people who you couldn’t use as a character they were so weird. Some plotlines I’ve seen in real life would be rejected as unrealistic.

                  1. Oh, you ain’t never lyin’, brother. Soap operas separate from real life because scripts have to make sense. There has to be a comprehensible narrative, for it to be entertaining.

                    Real life, on the other hand? Oh, my… A palimpsest scrawled upon by a madman, over and over again, different every time in particulars, yet the same in every significant way…

                  2. Or as the old writer once said, “Fiction has to be believable. Truth only has to be true.”

                    I look at the news, and there’s a lot of stuff there that would break the suspension of disbelief in a novel…

                    1. I wonder how many times the writers for The Onion look at actual headlines (especially from colleges) and throw their hands in the air saying, “Dang it, even we can’t get away with this kind of shtick!”

                    2. Sigh. I look at the (Ben Rhodes can kissen mir tookis) news and think “They’re writing bad fiction and calling it truth.”

                      I learned over thirty years ago that any news item is merely what some reporter and editor want me to believe happened.

                2. That’s…wow. Just…wow.

                  I hear ya on the ‘be wary of sob stories’ moral, though. I learned swiftly to be wary of any man who opened up a first date with “crazy ex-girlfriend” stories, when I realized that the second man telling me this had a story nearly identical to the first. (And I heard a third, nearly identical one, via email from yet another guy.) Now, I don’t deny that there are plenty of crazy exes out there–of ALL gender stripes–but…either I managed to hit some astronomical odds, or it was a made-up sob story. ::squints suspiciously::

                  And then there was the mother of my baby brother’s ex girlfriend, who did indeed tell all who were listening (and even those who weren’t) that her father sexually abused her, as a means of softening up her next sucker. My younger sister pulled the same schtick, but it didn’t work so well because this is far too small a town for that, and even if my family are not the most social creatures, her stories were so patently lies that only a couple of people (equally as crazy/manipulative) bought into it at all.

                  1. It’s easy to forget that both halves of the gender equation pull this kind of crap on a routine basis. I think the whole vampire myth is actually a metaphor for these situations, with sex being the goal of a male “drama vampire”, and women having a desire for emotional attention and drama being theirs.

                    Looking back on it, the stories some of my peers used to tell about ploys they used to get laid…? Yeesh. The word “shame” has nowhere near the amount of emotional weight describing such things would really require.

                    What’s really bizarre is to reflect that a lot of the behavior on both sides of the line isn’t really that much different than what a child molester does with the old line about “…help me look for my puppy…”. The only real difference between a lot of “pickup lines” I’ve seen used is the age and emotional maturity of the intended victim, and the “puppy” that the perpetrator uses in their little speeches…

                    Gaaah. I think I just figured out why I loathed the dating scene, and was such a horrid participant in it. I think too much…

              2. I have heard of girls getting involved in “I’m more a victim than you” shticks and it getting heard by the wrong person, who takes it to therapists and…well, I guess it’s not brain washing when it’s loosely based on something you said?

        4. What was the point of modern feminism, in the first place?

          You know how when you’re a kid, and admire something about a character, so you dress up like the character?

          And you notice how modern feminism seems to focus almost exclusively on “success is EXACTLY what powerful guys do”– guys sleep around, so gals must; guys are macho jerks, so gals must. Always picking the stuff that only the most powerful can afford to do, because it’s stupid and destructive and not infrequently leads to you losing that power, but it is stuff that guys do.

          Heck, even Buffy type characters: they’re impressive because they fight just like a guy.

          1. Guy, girl, what’s the difference? Isn’t that one of the AXIOMS of feminism? Therefore successful women should copy successful men’s traits. It is a logical corollary of the axiom.

            Note. I didn’t say sane.

            1. The biggest flaw in the whole concept isn’t so much the magical thinking that goes into emulating what they perceive as “successful male behavior”, it is the fact that the behavior they’re emulating is precisely what they decry the most in men. And, then… They go seek that sort of treatment out deliberately, from some brute, because they’re insane. I’ve never witnessed so much disconnect between word and action than in the Big-F Feminist community. If they’re not going after some third-world thug that gets their panties wet, then they’re actively seeking out some woman that does the same thing to them. God forbid, however, that a male of their own background ever so much as verbalizes either criticism or interest in them. Then, it’s game on.

              I’d be willing to bet that a huge chunk of the current supposed “male reluctance to grow up/marry/settle down/become domesticated” issue stems from just this syndrome. You watch your dad get thrown out of the house he worked all his life to pay for, and then watch Mom take up with some “playah”, or a succession of same, and suddenly, matrimony doesn’t look like such a hot prospect.

              Not that things don’t go the other direction sometimes, either. It’s just that when it is your potential ox that’s getting gored, it becomes something you find personally compelling. Young men don’t put themselves into mom’s place, when she’s the one that’s been betrayed, but they do put themselves into the place of the dads they’ve seen this happen to.

              Big-F Feminism has fundamentally screwed up gender relations for generations to come, and we’re only beginning to comprehend the outlines of the implications. Was this whole thing part of a plan, by the KGB? Who knows, but the effects are pretty hard to ignore. It might as well have been, for all the damage it has done.

              1. This also relates to that Green Party politician in Germany who welcomes the loss of German culture because of large scale Muslim immigration.

                1. Yeah, I made that same point up above. von Berg is objectively someone who should be called “functionally insane”, because she’s saying her own culture should be supplanted because it’s evil and masculine, while importing another culture that’s exponentially more so…

                  I could see if she were supporting the importation of some lotus-eating female-dominated culture from a tropical paradise, if there were such in any significant numbers, but… Muslims? From the Middle East? WTF? You’re trading the so-called “asshole German males” for these specimens, that are objectively far, far worse? How the hell does that even make sense, in her obviously addled mind?

                  Like I speculate, this is evidence of some psychological pathology that I’m not even equipped to define or understand, but I know “batshit crazy” when I see it.

                  1. she’s saying her own culture should be supplanted because it’s evil and masculine, while importing another culture that’s exponentially more so…

                    That ranks up there with using Heroin to get addicts off Opium.

              2. Was this whole thing part of a plan, by the KGB?

                I used to think that that sort of thinking was paranoia ungrounded in reality. Then I read L. Jagi Lamplighter’s post about School of Darkness, an autobiographical account by an ex-Communist woman named Bella Dodd:


                What struck me particularly was the quote in that post from the sister of Kate Millett, a major feminist leader (and a Communist):

                It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China. We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

                “Why are we here today?” she asked.
                “To make revolution,” they answered.
                “What kind of revolution?” she replied.
                “The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
                “And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
                “By destroying the American family!” they answered.
                “How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
                “By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
                “And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
                “By taking away his power!”
                “How do we do that?”
                “By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
                “How can we destroy monogamy?”

                Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears. Was I on planet earth? Who were these people?

                “By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.

                So to answer your question, Kirk — yes. The whole thing was part of a plan by the KGB. Though since I’m a Christian, I believe the KGB didn’t come up with the plan themselves, but were merely pawns in a plan from Hell — and I mean that literally. God created marriage and the family, and there’s nothing the Devil hates worse than something God created. So he tries his best to screw up God’s creation — and since anything that screws up marriage and the family ALSO screws up society in a big way, that’s a bonus from the Devil’s perspective.

            2. Especially not given the markers they choose.

              It’s like all those horrible Saturday Morning “very special episode” things where the nice geek who is always abused gets turned into a jock– and suddenly he’s acting like the worst of the jerks that abused him, rather than like himself.

            3. You assume that feminism has axioms. Those would be constraining.

              Are women as aggressive as men? Well, now, are you asking whether they can fill the highest positions with the most demands for aggressive action — or whether they might commit domestic violence (at all, not just as much as men do).

              Do children belong with their mother? Well, now, are you asking whether women are entitled to custody over the father — or whether a woman are entitled to park them in day care while they dedicate themselves to the job?


          2. It’s always interesting to note how much of modern feminism is wrapped in the notion that women must become men with vaginas in order to be equal to them.
            This seems like a very bad idea.

              1. The point they miss is that in order to be successful in a “traditional male role”, like combat leadership and combat, they are going to have to adopt many of the same traits and behaviors that the males in those roles have. It’s gender-independent; you’re not going to have a nurturing mother-type as a successful combat leader, because she’s not going to be able to handle the stress of sending her “children” off to die–Which is really the main role of a combat leader, when you get down to it.

                So, yeah… You hate the idea of “men with breasts”? Too bad, sweetheart–You want the reality of that situation, you’re going to have to accept that the women cast into those roles are going to have to behave an awful lot like those “depraved males” you’re always going on and on and on and on about…

                I’ve tried, and failed, to come up with a realistic idea of how a “traditionally feminine” combat leader might operate, and I have about come to the conclusion that she’d either have to start out nuts, or would become so, very rapidly. You can’t be the sympathetic “mother thing”, and still do what is necessary to succeed. Well, you could, but the sheer emotional stress of having to be like that would probably induce suicide in fairly short order, unless you were either a sociopath, or became one.

                Of course, to be quite honest, most male combat leaders that don’t wind up curled into a ball in some corner somewhere are kinda-sorta actual sociopaths, already, but that’s just the rules of the game, and that’s what men do in these roles. You can’t stop and think about it, and most don’t, but the whole milieu of military leadership technique at the low level consists, in essence, of being the ultimate Judas Goat, and manipulating your subordinates into doing things that are not only quite against their interests, but likely to kill them. Which is why so many effective combat leaders are asshole sociopaths either before they get started on their careers, or become such. Or, they go mad, one of the two…

            1. Which makes it “funny” to hear criticisms by Feminists of several strong female characters as being “Men With Breasts”.

              IE Characters like Honor Harrington aren’t “Real Women” but are “Men With Breasts”. 😦

              1. What’s even funnier is that Vox Day has made precisely the same criticism of some of those authors and characters, Weber in particular. But don’t tell the feminists that!

                On second thought: Please do. Just let me fetch more popcorn first.

                    1. I warned her as graphically as I could that she was already well down the slippery slope leading to poverty and misery—that, as I knew from the experience of untold patients, she would soon have a succession of possessive, exploitative, and violent boyfriends, unless she changed her life. I told her that in the past few days, I had seen two women patients who had had their heads rammed down the lavatory, one who had had her head smashed through a window and her throat cut on the shards of glass, one who had had her arm, jaw, and skull broken, and one who had been suspended by her ankles from a tenth-floor window to the tune of, “Die, you bitch!”

                      “I can look after myself,” said my 17-year-old.

                      “But men are stronger than women,” I said. “When it comes to violence, they are at an advantage.”

                      “That’s a sexist thing to say,” she replied.

                      A girl who had absorbed nothing at school had nevertheless absorbed the shibboleths of political correctness in general and of feminism in particular.

                      “But it’s a plain, straightforward, and inescapable fact,” I said.

                      “It’s sexist,” she reiterated firmly.

                      Theodore Dalrymple

                    2. Similar term. IIRC, Waif fu is a small woman using improbably powerful martial arts (like River Tam wrecking all those Reavers in Serenity) and such.

                      Waifu is from here:
                      (Search for “waifu” under “Other” and it’s “mai waifu!” from something called Azumanga Daioh. Though I’m amused there’s a “mai husbando!” also in use.)

                      Example: That hilarious “Hitler Finds Out About The Hugo Awards” video where Hitler says George R.R. Martin is spending too much time talking about the Puppies instead of writing more of ‘The Adventures of Khaleesi Sue’ and one of his generals protests, even claiming Khaleesi is his “waifu”.

            2. Not so much men, as the “Alpha”/Machismo/cads.

              They never aspire to be the awesome family guy who coaches three teams and takes his wife out for thoughtful dates kind of men.

              1. And, notably, they’re not attracted to those, at all, because they make liars of them when they claim that all men are “evul”.

                I’ve watched the mating behavior of some of these women, and it’s so… Twisted, that it’s not even funny. They’ll walk right by the guy who is attracted to them, and conventionally “nice”, to get to the “playa” who is almost guaranteed to treat them like crap. And, then they bewail the “power of the patriarchy”, and how men are all messed-up.

                Sweetheart, let me explain something to you (speaking to those crazy chicks, not Fox…): You get what you reward. You want to have sane, decent men in your life? How about you actually date some, instead of insult them when they ask you out? You keep dating the cads, and then you’re surprised when you wind up married to one? Having kids with one? While that boring “nice guy” you wouldn’t give the time of day to is with someone else, when you could have had him, just for reaching out and reciprocating something genuinely human?

                A lot of these women are, I fear, seeking out exactly what they get. Which is why I have zero sympathy for them.

                1. And you’ve probably watched them bounce off the last cad, sink their claws into the nice (er) guy….just long enough to destroy the relationship he’s in right now.

                  Then it’s back after the jerks.

                  Leaving BOTH of the relatively sane people wounded, and more likely to hurt others in their pain.

                  1. Yep – just watched enough of those horrible people, stomping flat-footed over perfectly innocent and defenseless significant others … I was wondering why on earth these Sexual Horribles couldn’t have some kind of dating service, so that they could merely make each other miserable, instead of traumatizing relatively innocent second parties…

                    1. Your mouth, God’s ear, and all the rest of that particular old saw…

                      And, don’t get me wrong–It is not an entirely female sin, or a male one. Horrible people seem to happen to “nice people” a lot more than would be statistically likely, but the real reason isn’t strictly the fault of the ‘orrible ones: All too often, the “nice guys/girls” are actively seeking their own misery.

                      For every genuine victim of genuine bastardry I’ve ever met, male, female, gay, lesbian, whatever, there have to have been two or three of the same group that have been flippin’ active participants in creating their own nightmares. “Oh, Susan, darling… Did you really think that the prick who left his then-girlfriend to fool around with you was really all that likely to be faithful to you? What are you, stupid? It’s what he does–He did it to half-a-dozen other girls you knew about, and you thought he’d change for you?”.

                      Doesn’t leave apart the fact that the guy who Susan married was an utter shiite, but… Dear God, let us not forget the willing role that Susan played by even starting a relationship with the cad in question. That old Aesop’s fable about the frog and the scorpion? Yeah… Entirely pertinent, here. And, always, always ignored.

                    2. There’s also the ones where someone did something stupid, the other person responded in at least a normal way, but it’s not what the “victim” wanted.

                      I found out I was the latest in a string of women to do a nice guy– and he was very nice, in both the actually nice and dish-rag sense– wrong. He had some epic stories; his prior girlfriend had been getting him to drive her to the college every weekend, and long story short he walked in on her in an, um, very in-depth birthday suit study group of two, y’know?

                      Well, kind of wondering about those stories, at least now. (about a decade later– at the time, I was just shocked and hurt that there’d been such a big misunderstanding and he hadn’t said anything, just one of his female friends decided to enlighten me about how horrible I am)

                      My side of it, we had a nice long chat one night, walking around the ship after a group dinner out, and he very round-about asked if I’d be maybe interested in a relationship. After a positive response… he didn’t speak to me again for at least two weeks. And then seemed to be avoiding me. So I got the hint, he’d come to his senses and realized I’m me, and I stopped trying to meet up with him for liberty groups or seek conversation at game groups, slowly he started talking at least as much as he had before, all good, I move on.

                      After I’m dating the man I eventually married, have moved out on town, and he’s transferred, I find out that I’m the newest on his list of Done Me Wrongs. (In his version, he had to work a lot more the next few weeks.)

                      What the hell I was supposed to do when he didn’t respond to email, didn’t speak in the galley, and was frankly avoiding me like you do someone who will not DROP some annoying topic, I don’t know…..

                    3. A dating service for Sexual Horribles? *tries to think what categories it would used for matchmaking*

                    4. @ Fox,

                      Don’t let it worry you. Some people, mostly really passive-aggressive men in my experience, live to create situations where they can play out their preferred roles as victims of persecution. The behavior you’re describing hits all the markers I’ve encountered with such people, and there’s really no good way to deal with them, aside from hurriedly and completely cutting them out of your life. Believe me, the biggest thing you did for this guy was provide him with a suitable “other” to use as his straw-man punching bag, and that probably provided him with more satisfaction than an actual real relationship with you would have provided.

                      Just pray he never actually finds someone to “get real with”, because I predict a nightmare for that poor woman, and any children they manage to produce. Ask me how I know…

                    5. Just pray he never actually finds someone to “get real with”, because I predict a nightmare for that poor woman, and any children they manage to produce. Ask me how I know…

                      You have my sympathy.

                      One upside, his personal narrative requires that he “Stay friends” with us until there’s a big to-do, and… well, this is the guy I’ve mentioned that thinks he’s conservative, because he thinks Obama is a moderate, not a far-right-wing nutjob. (He even lives in our area, sort of—Seattle. College blob Seattle.)

                  2. I’ve watched men do it too–the clearly nice, decent guys who walk right past the sane, nice women and straight for the high maintenance, will-treat-you-like-crap ones. It makes NO sense to me.

                    1. See, the thing is, I think that the situation is that the average man or woman is effectively blind to the flaws in their potential partners that members of the same gender would note instantly. My dad, for example? Yaaaa… I’m like “Mom, what the ‘effing ‘ef were you thinking? He’s mental… The signs are obvious…”. And? To her, they weren’t. My dad is a male that sets other male’s teeth on edge. He engenders an almost automatic suspicion and dislike, like he’s some kind of all-purpose used car salesman. The men who he’s managed to make friends of? They’re all like him; emotionally destructive men with no centers, cardboard cutouts of human beings.

                      And, my mom? Never saw it. Ever–Until she decided she’d had quite enough of his bullshit, and divorced him.

                      Seen it with women, too–My friends would be dating these girls they met, and be completely oblivious to the implications of the fact that those girls were universally disliked and outright hated by all the girlfriends and wives of their other friends. And, nine times out of ten, when the time came? Yep, she turned out to be a complete and utter psychotic raving bitch.

                      Here’s a clue, people: If the other people of the opposite gender in your life dislike your potential partner, or actual partner? That might be what the specialists call a “clue”. Men see things in other men that women don’t see; if the men in your life dislike the guy you’ve picked out, you need to step back and evaluate just what the hell is going on. Very occasionally, it may be something like them being jealous of the guy, but in general terms, and the most likely ones? He’s a jerk you just haven’t cottoned on to, yet.

                      Same-same with the ladies: Guys, if your friends girlfriends, your sister, your mother, and everyone else in your life doesn’t like “the bitch”? Yes, she’s probably a bitch, and she’s gonna make your life hell.

                      One would do well not to frame these matters as mergers of one man and one woman into couplehood; you’re better off figuring out if your circle of friends and her circle of friends would mesh well, and if the answer is “No”, take that as a warning. If it’s yes, well… That, too, could serve as a warning, a harbringer. But, it generally isn’t.

                    2. @60Guilders,

                      Or, a sign that you’re merely a bastard among utter bastards.

                      I had an acquaintance that had an epiphany like that, once. Changed his life, actually–He got shafted by the girl in the question, fundamentally betrayed, and all of his “friends” and all of hers were like “So? What? You have a problem with that…? What did you expect? What were you thinking, she loved you? Fool…”.

                      Cue him waking up, smelling coffee, and literally start finding other friends. Fundamental betrayal has a way of doing that, sometimes.

                    3. Apparently my niece learned something after her first marriage. i saw no reason to try to tell her how obvious it was that the guy she was marrying wasn’t going to work out, since it was obvious she wouldn’t listen, and a year later, she divorced him. A few years after that, though, she married a new guy who seems to have his life together quite a bit more (in spite of managing a Whole Foods store), and they now have four kids.

                    4. My sister in law is a similar story, but minus the marriage.

                      Dude ditched before my niece was born. Went it alone for over a decade.

                      She now has an (even his big sister will admit) quite decent dad, a little sister and a little they’re-not-going-to-cheat on the way. 😀

                    5. Oh, she ditched him, after he moved her from here in KY to the house next door to his parents in TX, and turned out to be a complete mommy’s boy who did whatever she told him and had to talk to her like 5 times a day.

                    6. “Men see things in other men that women don’t see; if the men in your life dislike the guy you’ve picked out, you need to step back and evaluate just what the hell is going on. Very occasionally, it may be something like them being jealous of the guy, but in general terms, and the most likely ones? He’s a jerk you just haven’t cottoned on to, yet.

                      Same-same with the ladies: Guys, if your friends girlfriends, your sister, your mother, and everyone else in your life doesn’t like “the bitch”? Yes, she’s probably a bitch, and she’s gonna make your life hell.”

                      IIRC, John D. MacDonald had his main character codify that principle in one of the Travis McGee novels in almost the same phrasing: that one should watch the behavior and the reactions of the other women to a woman, and that if they had no use for her, then it was best for a man to steer clear as well. And the corollary: that a man that other men had no use for was a good one for women to steer clear of.

                    7. Seeing as how we’re now a wide range of cultures in one area, I’d suggest: check that the folks like and get along with approve of your potential mate, and if not, find out why.

                      And I just realized this is a variation of my military-born advice of “only marry a good friend” advise– folks are unlikely to have a good friend that NONE of their other friends can stand.

                    8. straight for the high maintenance, will-treat-you-like-crap ones

                      Maybe it’s like the “only guys who are psycho abusive show they care” thing?

                      Maybe these guys are trained to think that the high demand thing is “showing interest”?

                2. Part of it might be “crazy’, but part of it is not having learned the right signals that denote “strong” male types. The guy who is willing to come out in the rain and change her tire* is not seen as “strong”, he’s seen as a “sucker”, while the one who tells them to take care of it themselves is seen as “strong”, because he’s not “knuckling under” to her request.

                  *Lest someone take me to task for this, yes, I know most of the women here who are not functionally handicapped for such activity can probably change that tire just fine. Please work with me here, it’s just an example.

                  1. They *can* change it. But a surprisingly large number of people – both male and female – don’t actually know how to…

                    1. I was taught how to, but that was almost twenty years ago and the only flat tires that have happened to my vehicle(s)…have only happened when someone else is driving it and I’m elsewhere. So I know the theory, and could probably figure it out, but would just as soon not have to try and remember.

                      (Anyway, I’ve done more than my share of helping un-sink large vehicles sunk axle deep in mud–THANK you, various male relatives who thought driving over those mud puddles whilst out hunting would be ‘fun’ [and wonder why I’m somewhat less than enthused about the idea of going hunting again]–that I would be more than happy for some kind soul to help me should I ever get a flat tire.)

                    2. I not only know how, but I was the only one in my mostly male driving class who could and would attempt it… and the only flat tire I’ve ever had was on my new car, catty-corner of the country from home, 20 miles from base and in a neighborhood that I knew zip about, but which happened to be majority Black and… well, Vimes (of Pratchett fame) class. If they weren’t doing well, you sure as blazes wouldn’t know by looking.

                      On a late Sunday morning, and my phone had no service even if I had a clue who to call, as a 19 year old newbie sailor who hadn’t even hit the fleet yet.

                      I parked, got out, verified that yes, the screwdriver HAD gone completely through my tire… and then the Baptist church across the road let out.

                      Three very nicely dressed older men changed my tire while half the population of the…whatever you call a Baptist parish… clucked over me and thanked me “for my service” while I tried to die of blushing.

                      People are awesome.

                    3. That’s pretty funny. I have literally no idea how many times I’ve changed a flat tire on the side of the road, including one where I had to get a ride home in order to make something to pry the damn wheel off the Ford Escort I had, because apparently after they are on for a few weeks, it takes even tire stores a few minutes to beat the wheels loose from the hubs.

                      The funniest one, though, was the one where my tire blew as I was passing a cop writing someone a ticket and it sounded like a gunshot.

                    4. Baptist church in a majority-Black neighborhood? Yeah, I didn’t need to read the rest to know how that story was going to end. In my experience, you WILL NOT find a nicer bunch of folks than that. You may find other groups that are EQUALLY nice — Black Baptist churches don’t have a monopoly on nice — but you’re not going to find NICER anywhere.

                    5. I can change a tire, and I’ve had to twice. The second time I ended up creating new maledictions to describe the flippin’ idjit who developed the Subaru tire-tool and who said the lug nuts had to be tightened to 60 (or was it 80? its been a while) foot-pounds. 140 lb of TXRed on 12″ of lever could not break the nuts loose. Thanks be for nice guys in trucks with pipe. He had a piece that made a perfect cheater bar to add to the official tire-tool.

                    6. Service centers are known to sometimes tighten the lugs, shall we say, a wee bit tighter than the specification calls for, with their impact wrenches.

                      This is obvious, because even 210lb me was occasionally unable to loosen lug nuts with my weight alone. This is why I invested in a 4-way lug wrench, so I could brace myself against the ground and turn with both hands.

                    7. Typically, over-torquing of lug nuts or bolts is the result of the service center/tire shop using what the trade refers to as a “torque stick” on their impact air guns. You see them doing that, especially on aluminum rims, it’s time to deliver an ass-chewing unto the manager, and leave that shop. A torque stick will almost always result in over-tightening, and if you manage to get the damn lug off by hand afterwards, it’s only because you’ve either exerted hysterical strength, or you’re a muscle-bound idiot like myself. And, hell–I’ve had trouble doing the necessary on borrowed cars, after those idjits mounted the wheels. One time, on a Toyota Celica, I’m having to get a 60-inch cheater pipe and place the lug wrench on a jackstand to keep it aligned, and then jump up and down on the end of it to get the damn nuts loose. And, joy-of-joys, it actually turned out that they’d friction-welded most of them, and I had to break the studs to get the wheels off. Turned a 15-minute job of swapping studs out for summer tires into a six-hour nightmare of “Who has the studs in stock?”.

                      Tire shops, “service” stations, and oil change places are bastions of incompetence and woe. Do not use them, unless you have no other choice–The people likely to be working there will almost never qualify even as low-rent flying monkeys.

                    8. Except for the extreme example you had, though, I’d prefer over-tightening to the opposite problem I had once, though. Got a new tire on a mini-van to replace the one that had a bolt through the sidewall, and they didn’t tighten the lugs all the way on, so it started vibrating down the road.

                      The Tire Discounters I use here is pretty good. I haven’t had that kind of problem with them, and they found my bad control arms when I had my Jeep in a couple of weeks ago for an alignment to rule that out before going to the dealer to find out what was causing the car to jink to the side when I put on or took off the power.

                    9. My dad had a rule that none of his kids (4 of us) could get our license until we could demonstrate changing a tire, checking the oil and topping it off, check the transmission fluid, read our gauges and understand what they told us, and check/fill the radiator. If we wanted to learn more than that, we could, and 3 of us did.

                    10. A friend got his daughter a car when she was old enough to drive. He drilled her on checking fluids, tire pressure, and how to change a tire, by making her do all those things under supervision.

                      She went off to college later, and they got a phone call; she was three hours away, just off campus, and had a flat tire. Her father told her to change it, then. No, she couldn’t possibly. He hung up. She called her mother, who started a Major Marital Scene. So he wound up driving three hours to get there and change the tire.

                      He got there… and Daughter had forgotten to mention she had two male students with her. Neither of them could be arsed to read the directions prominently displayed on the sticker under the trunk lid either.

                      He wound up changing the tire and driving back. I told him that at that point he should have turned around and driven back home. Eventually the news would report three rotting bodies in a car…

                    11. Finding that after driving three hours, I would have lost my mind and started ordering all three of them around like a drill sergeant until they had the car up on the jack and at least one lug nut off, then I would have gotten in my car and driven off.

                    12. And a lot of newer cars – my current ride, a 2012 Hyundai Elantra, being a prime example – don’t even come with spare tires anymore, just a fancy Fix-a-Flat setup. (And you can’t use a regular can of actual Fix-a-Flat because it’ll supposedly ruin the TPMS sensor.) The “spare tire kit” was another $250 from the dealer. Sigh.

                      Yes, you’d better believe I bought an actual spare tire and jack for it, along with a good four-way lug wrench and (for emergency use only) a longish Craftsman breaker bar with an appropriately-sized socket for the lug nuts.

                  2. > women here

                    The women *here* are pretty far off the end of the bell curve.

                    At least I note the absence of crazed feminist, victim, and troublemaker bitch behavior.

                    I can see why Sarah has social problems. When she runs into that sort of “normal” female, she probably trips every “ENEMY ALERT” trigger their tiny brains have.

                    1. Hey, *I* was just trying to stave off a whole slew of comments, like, “Why the hell would I wait for someone ELSE to come out to change a tire? I can change it myself and be back on the road faster.”

                    2. The gals here probably would be problems, in at least some other groups– but because Sarah is a clear final authority, without being a smothering one, things shake out.

                3. And then it doesn’t take a long for those guys who were attracted to her to figure out that she’s bughouse crazy/stupid, and then they’re not attracted to her anymore. Then, when other sane guys come around, they warn them off of her.
                  Results? Not good for her, and if all the unattached females in the particular area are either like her or already attached, not great for the guys either. However, monkhood is better than living with crazy.

                    1. No, after awhile, even nice guys start wondering “Where’s the catch? There’s gotta be a catch…”. Piss-poor treatment breeds cynicism, cynicism breeds… Nothing, really.

                      Most marriages I’ve observed seem to run on, or at least, begin with, a whole bunch of delusion. Some manage to overcome that sort of start, but… The end is usually nigh when one party takes off their blinders.

                      Fox makes a good point, in that the assholes tend to create more assholes, when they run into and abuse a decent human being. Watched it happen to multiple men and women I know, and it’s a sad thing to observe. There’s a good analogy in subatomic physics, where you see one decaying atom breed more, by way of the decay particles hitting the stable ones. Life is unfortunately analogous.

                  1. In my experience warning guys off never works. It’s pheromones or something.

                    “Dude, she’s crazy. Stay away.”

                    “But she’s available!”

                    And the wheel turns once again…

                    1. Old sponsor of mine in AA put it as the Toxic Honey Alert, similar to Marc McYoung’s “Poisonous F*ckbunny”.

                      Can be in a gathering with a hundred absolutely wonderful and sane women and one single Toxic Honey mixed into the bunch.

                      ping… ping… ping…. ping… PING! That’s the one! Never fails, zero in on the toxic one every time, and make a beeline straight for her.

                      Some guys eventually learn to ignore that “PING! Found one!” alert. Some guys just never do.

                    2. Our son seems to have been cured, by the Evile(tm) Girlfriend. Which every single one of his friends, and his sisters, decided almost instantly was a complete toxic nutball.

                      He, being inherently patient and loyal, tolerated her behavior for what seemed like a very long time, until she finally tripped one of his most basic triggers; she lied to him. He called her on it, and instead of backing down and admitting to it, she did the “take it or I’m leaving”.

                      So he rented a van, helped her pack up, and drove her half way to Oregon to her mother’s place, and took the Greyhound back home. After which he told me, “that’s it, no more repair projects, ever”.

                      He’s now married to one of the nicest girls we’ve ever known, who he’s known since middle school. And they’re doing fine.

                    3. I have to wonder how long it took her to realize that he was serious about “moving her back to her mother”. 👿

                    4. Nothing like returning a defective product to the factory for rebuild or reset… 😉

                4. “Many of my violently abused women patients have told me that they find nonviolent men intolerably indifferent and emotionally distant, rage being the only emotion they’ve ever seen a man express. They leave them quicker than they leave men who have beaten and otherwise abused them.” Theodore Dalrymple (Also from the same essay I’ve linked already)

                  1. I had a girlfriend once who was needy, sarcastic and passive aggressive. Everytime I tried to break up she would guilt trip me into staying. One drunken night just decided to go full rough and domineering, which is not who i am. Her reaction shocked me. Suddenly she was respectful and sweet. As long as I alpha a-hole.

                    We finally broke up by my staging an argument and walking out of a bar in a huff. Essentially leaving her to an oilfield trash coworker. They got along great.

          3. Fighting vampires, zombies, demons, and miscellaneous hungry Things with fangs, I figure “effective” would be more important than “maintaining gender diversity in combat.”

        5. One should consider the possibility that their hatred of Western civilization is such that they don’t care how it is destroyed, only that it was.

      3. Isn’t it Glenn Reynolds who says that we should assume any organization is controlled by the cabal of their enemies? No one else could do the amount of damage that they do to themselves.

      4. And those of us who point out that, as an example, I’ve gotten more flack for wanting to be a mother (and *gasp!* wanting more than one kid!) than I ever got either in the army or as a woman in a science field. Get shouted down as being either traitors or not ‘real’ women.

    3. I call this the Gandi Paradox. I.E. Shaming tactics only work if the target is decent enough to feel shame. Non-violent resistance only works against foes who won’t laugh and hose off the treads of their tanks afterward. You can’t demonize actual demons. So long story short, tread carefully while you’re still dealing with rational actors.

    4. It is note-worthy that in Charles Laughton’s classic The Night of the Hunter the same townspeople who pressured the Widow Harper into marriage to the Rev. Harry Powell are later at the forefront of the mob calling for his lynching.

      They know know rule but that of “respectability” and heed no voice but their own demons’. Having torn down every fence and hedgerow in the land to get at the Devil they will find, when the Devil turned ’round on them, nowhere to hide

      the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

      With no guiding principle beyond their own conception of “Justice” they perpetuate injustice with everything to which they turn their hand.

    5. In the last chapter of the Colplatschki novel running on my blog at the moment, one character says exactly that – without high tech and machines to even things out, women can’t do as well without men (and both without animals for more than eating). And men need women, but in different ways than when all the equipment and switches worked. And he freely admits that his wife is what makes it possible for him to do what he does. *cue feministas lurching onto their fainting couches*

    6. The rabid feminists like the screaming baby beluga whale known as T_______ff aren’t the only ones outwearing the tolerance of flyover-country, working-class Americans, and severely underestimating the fury felt about the ruling class, and their lickspittles among the media and educational clerisy.
      I wrote about this some months ago at chicagoyboys, and it started an enormous comment threat. I can see a new civil war happening, or at least a bloody revolution, if and when that patience snaps … it will not be a good thing. And the usual lefties seem to be happily unaware of how close to the breaking point ordinary people are.

      1. And the usual lefties seem to be happily unaware of how close to the breaking point ordinary people are.

        Nod, one person elsewhere seems to believe that I was calling for a backlash instead of warning of a backlash. 😦

        1. Something like:
          “If you keep kicking that jar of nitroglycerine it’ll explode.”
          “YOU WANT IT TO EXPLODE!!!”

          1. “If you keep kicking that jar of nitroglycerine it’ll explode.”

            “YOU WANT IT TO EXPLODE!!!”

            *cocked eyebrow* “These days? I’m starting to think ‘yes’.”

              1. At the very least, it’s self correcting stupidity. Lethal, too, which adds to the amusement factor.

                Just let me step waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy back over here first before you give it another good swift one, m’kay? 🙂

            1. Ah, yes. “Concern trolling.”

              (Not that I’m saying it isn’t a thing. Pretty sure people come do it here. And yet.)

              1. I’m… unsure if that meets the definition of concern trolling? But if not, yeah: it’s a related phenomenon.

          2. “If you keep kicking that jar of nitroglycerine it’ll explode.”
            “YOU WANT IT TO EXPLODE!!!”

            “Not yet. But you’re pushing your luck.”

          3. According to their belief system, your saying it makes it more likely to happen. Only so long as we think positive appropriate thoughts will the magic work and the nitro remain inert.

              1. Hey, we had a political party that believed in levitation here in Canada.

                Wish they were still around. I mean, they couldn’t be worse than what we got, right?

                1. Well, the Monster Raving Loony Party is a registered political part in the U.K.

                  Seems to be particularly active in Wales.

            1. “Massive internal slaughters aren’t that harmful.”


              Hasn’t worked yet.

      2. And then a hundred years after it happens the beautiful people will be writing about how the evil bourgeois snapped and murdered all those helpless sensitive artists and freethinkers and loving concerned social justice workers for no reason whatsoever. NO REASON… those poor victims where just minding their own business and WHAM! the bourgeois just jumped them when they weren’t expecting it ans slaughtered them just for loving each other and wanting a better world. And we can NEVER let them forget how horrible normal people like them are. We all know they are evil terrible murderers and must always browbeat them with that and shame them in all our art and education lest they do it again. And let’s take their guns away while we’re at it. What, they’ve said “from my cold dead hands” and begged us not to push them to defend themselves? We can just lie and story our way along and they’ll stay asleep while we slip their power away. It’ll work this time…

    7. I don’t know if it’s a “gift of prophecy,’ or an ability to think clearly, but I see the same *potential* future, as you do, and it terrifies me. The biggest “problem” is the “people” who *want that kind of society.* Probably because they think they will survive and prosper in it. They have no concept of what it will take.
      Just as they scream “Racism” at every turn, when they’ve *never* seen the real thing. I have. I grew up in the South in the 1950’s and ’60’s. I traveled around Florida, Alabama and Louisiana during those years, as a child. I *saw* Blacks considered to be so “inferior” that they could be killed, without remorse, by “ordinary” people. The literal “man on the street,” not bigots like Wallace.
      These fools will being back a return to the worst of the Pre-Christian society.

      1. At least part of the problem is going to stem from the blacks themselves, a significant chunk of said demographic seems hell-bent on providing real-world objective proof that every calumny ever voiced against them by the racists is actually a ground truth. And, then, once enough are convinced, the fact that they never learned enough math to understand that a minority of only 13% of the population is reliant on the good will of the other 87%… Yeah, well, things happen on the way to the future. In this case, mostly bad ones. Ferguson happens near some majority-hispanic area, and you’re going to see some really bad things happen, while the rest of us are standing by wringing our hands.

        I’m not an optimist about the future of the American black sub-culture. I think that once there is a high enough ratio of Hispanic to traditional white, things are suddenly going to shift, and shift hard against the blacks. I’ve met zero men or women that identify as “Hispanic” who have one ounce of sympathy for American blacks. Zero. They all think that the “crimes” perpetuated against the blacks by whites are things they have nothing to do with, and they passionately hate the blacks for how they behave, and react really, really badly when the blacks try the traditional ploys of claiming “white guilt” against them. When the ratios finally get to around 50-50 white/Hispanics, a bunch of bad things are likely to start happening to American blacks. For harbringers, see Southern California.

        1. I remember during the post Rodney King trial riots, blacks were looting all the local stores. At the same time Hispanic gangs were protecting the stores where their families shopped. Immense cultural differences. Johnson’s great society programs destroyed the existing black culture in America and replaced it with a welfare plantation that incentivised unwed motherhood.

          1. I recall the news stations showing blacks ranting about the racist Koreans who were armed and protecting their shops and stores from the looting.

              1. You want “racist”? You really need to try mediating between actual African blacks and American blacks in an EO setting.

                Closest I’ve ever come to dying in a “race riot”, that was.

                1. My brother was with a relief mission to Kenya in the 1990s when he was in the USAF. He had to work shorthanded since the black airmen were restricted to the base camp after some incidents with the locals.

                  These were trained airmen trying to do their jobs, but the Kenyans knew what American blacks were like; they had movies and some American TV programs, and knew that they were all shiftless hiphop gangbangers. This was some of the black airmens’ first *real* encounter with racism.

                  My brother had to rescue one of his guys who had been cornered by a mob of screaming Kenyans; “YOU! YOU HAVE EVERYTHING! AND YOU THROW IT AWAY!”

                  No, they were weren’t Welfare thugs, but the locals weren’t discriminating that finely.

                  (and doubtless most people knew better, but the country was going through a particularly rough patch at the time)

            1. There’s video of those news broadcasts on YouTube. Lots more than was shown locally at the time.

              I don’t care where they came from, or if they were naturalized or on green cards; that was what the Second Amendment was for.

              1. Amen! Police apprehend perps after the crime. That is their job. Protecting yourself and your property is on you.

          2. Keep in mind that Maxine Waters directed millions in post-riot Federal aid to the Bloods and Crips while Blacks who lost their businesses in those riots (e.g., Star Parker) got squat.

            You get more of what you reward.

            Black kids who study hard and apply themselves to their education get crushed for “acting white” (or perhaps, in California, acting yellow.)

        2. I suspect that part of the problem for the blacks that are pushing that nonsense is that they’re stuck in their bubble. All they ever see are black or mixed communities in which blacks make up a decent-sized part of the population. Even when they’re an actual minority, they usually make up a sizable minority. The problem is that they can’t see the big picture.

          I remember reading something a while back about a guy who took some black youths into a part of the country that had virtually no blacks in it. There are quite a few areas like this throughout the country. But the youths had never seen such a thing, and as a result they literally could not accept it. The youths were apparently convinced that the reason why there were no black locals in that area was because of mischief on the part of the white population.

          I suspect that it’s the same for many of the modern-day minority rabble-rousers. They see numbers bandied about regarding how small a percentage of the population their ethnic group is. But they can’t mentally wrap their heads around it because they haven’t actually seen any evidence of that in the areas that they’ve lived in.

          1. That may have been Kirk’s story. I know he told one that fit that description here some time back. IIRC, it wasn’t teens, it was people from the Army.

            For population statistics to be meaningful, one must be numerate and consider the source trustworthy. Very many people in our society are innumerate. If you think institutionalized whiteness (or patriarchy) is causing all the problems in your life, are you going to believe information suggesting your position is weak if it comes from a source you can consider to be controlled by institutionalized whiteness.

            1. Yeah, that was me. Couple of young “urban youth” going North to Bellingham from Fort Lewis on a funeral detail.

              Biggest way the system has failed young black Americans? Failing to teach them math in school, so they can comprehend what 12% implies…

              1. It also pretty badly fails young Americans in general that way. We haven’t even seen the people started on common core math leaving highschool and college yet.

                1. “One, two, many…”

                  Hey, Congress can’t balance its budget. If a bunch of “lawmakers” can’t handle such complicated things, it’s unreasonable to expect an 18 year old to know how to handle a checkbook or debit card.

                1. First: I know this is a joke.


                  Some folks do not.


                  If they taught those kids math who would play the lottery? (taken seriously)
                  is a golden example of assuming motivation on an action.

                  I have never paid to enter a lotto where I had even a vague hope of winning; if it’s important enough for me to pay, I recognize that there’s very little chance, so it’s either to support what it’s raising funds for or a ticket to daydream, if not both. I don’t have the money to enter the “Bragging rights” lotto groups– you know, “buy a ticket and your name will be listed” type things, sort of like bidding on a 4-H steer.

                  I guess that somewhere, someone probably buys tickets seriously thinking it’s an investment worth making… but they’d be way below the folks who count their winnings from a trip to Reno int eh gross, rather than the net.

    8. “For example: given the inherent differences in physical strength between men and women, feminism is only possible at the sufferance of men”

      I feel compelled to point out that this isn’t necessarily the case anymore. A trigger doesn’t care how much you can bench, and likewise the powder is going to impart the same amount of energy to the bullet regardless. Which is why I’ve always thought it odd that the people who are pushing total gender equality are also some of the most strident voices pushing gun bans control. After all, God made all men men, Samuel Colt made them equal.

      1. True, a hand-gun can be an equalizer.

        However, the same people who “hate” guns are often the people who completely hate the idea that men, on the average, are stronger than women.

        Somewhere, a person was telling the story of some woman in a serious argument with a man of the subject of greater male strength.

        IIRC she basically said that she could take him on in a real fight so he picked her up and carried her out of the room even when she tried to fight him.

        Strangely, she still didn’t get the message. 😦

        Oh, I agree about the strangeness of their anti-hand-gun mentality.

        1. I kind of gave an unintentionally-humiliating demonstration of the strength differences to a female coworker one day. I had picked up some rocks from my creek to give her for stepping stones to put in her flower beds. I made the mistake of telling her that I had handed them off to my then-12-yo son (who was pretty beefy already) as a check to make sure they were not too heavy.

          She immediately told me that she was no weakling and didn’t need such treatment. I casually handed her the first one, reaching it out to my arm’s full extension so she could see I wasn’t working too hard to do it. I made sure she had a grip on it, so she couldn’t say I had dropped it into her hands or anything, but I just let go instead of letting it down gently, and she nearly dropped it. She quietly admitted that maybe it had been a good idea to make sure they weren’t too heavy.

        2. So it’s more a case of “this is how I think reality should behave, therefore that is exactly how reality really does behave” willful blindness. I find that depressingly easy to believe.

      2. That is both true and false. It is true that in individual cases, a woman can successfully defend herself against a male attacker if she has a firearm and knows how to use it. But in any kind of group-combat situation, endurance and brute strength come into play. Leaving aside military questions (where highly-motivated women fail the Marine endurance tests because their bodies just can’t take what men’s bodies can), let’s look at a situation where one woman with a gun is facing four or five attackers who rush the lone person: not an unlikely scenario in a “punish the shameless hussy” culture. If she is caught unaware until her attackers reach 20-25 feet away, she might not even be able to get the gun out in time. But let’s say she does, and manages to shoot two, or maybe even three, of the attackers, before they reach her. Now she’s only facing two men in hand-to-hand combat — but hand-to-hand combat is precisely where she’s going to lose.

        Incidentally, this is why the “cower in place” school-shooting defense doctrines make ZERO sense. All it takes is a concerted rush of the shooter, and you WILL stop him at the cost of no more than two or three move lives. Of course, nobody wants to be one of those two or three, and so the concerted rush rarely happens. But it happened in France when the terrorist showed up on the train with an AK-47: he managed to shoot one (or two?) of the people rushing him, but that’s it. And that was someone who had come prepared to kill, and who already had his weapon out. A woman who’s not expecting to be rushed by her attackers would probably fare far worse.

        So as I said, it’s true that individual women can usually defend themselves against individual attackers, or even groups of attackers who weren’t out to kill her*. But it’s still true that feminism is only possible at the sufferance of men — because if the men in a society don’t want to allow feminism, they’re not going to be attacking women in one-on-one situations. They’re going to be attacking them in mobs, and nobody, no matter how skilled with a pistol, will be able to defend themselves against a mob with that pistol. You need a team of defenders to stand up to a team of attackers, and then you’ve entered the military realm, where endurance and strength really count. (Who’s going to carry the ammunition to the next fight? Ammo is HEAVY. And so on.)

        * An attacker who’s out to rape or rob a woman will probably be deterred by a gun — because taking a bullet would ruin the fun he was planning to have at her expense. But an attacker who’s out to kill someone out of a sense of personal hatred is probably going to be willing to take a bullet in the process of killing his victim. Different attacker motivations lead to WAY different self-defense outcomes.

        1. I’ll admit I hadn’t thought beyond one-on-one confrontation. Now I have to actually think and add nuance to my position. Thank you sooo much 😉

        2. Anyone who tries to pen you in with an “active shooter” is your *immediate* enemy. it doesn’t matter whether he’s another “shooter” or if he’s wearing a uniform.

          The whole “lockdown” concept is batshit insane.

          1. I think it’s wrong, but it’s not insane because active shooters walking the halls aren’t the only threat– look at tactics for terror attacks over seas, or at prior school attacks.

            They’ve set bombs in choke points, shut doors to control flow of people, had accomplices who sit in reserve to shoot, tried to set things up to panic people (causing damage that way) and then there’s the tactic of having a secondary explosion for when the emergency responders get there…..

            Most of the successful attacks have been “lone loon with a gun walking the halls” because the other major threats were already countered.

            Very, very, VERY slowly, advice to counter the “lone guy” is getting going, thanks in no small part to people rightly praising the folks who charge shooters. I’ve actually seen advice to basically run, find a defensive point, and prepare to take his head off with anything you’ve got.

            The next predictable style of attack, assuming this becomes popular, will be false friends– have your accomplice in the targets and attack from the rear.

  5. I remember reading that post, and thinking ‘Yeah, me too!’.

    I didn’t pay attention to the comments, though. I guess I missed all the entertainment.

  6. > What a generation of mewling babies

    That’s it in one.

    They’re children. They’ve never had to face responsibility for their own actions. They’ve always had a safety net; a place to go, someone to feed them and give them a free cellphone and an EBT card and free medical care. They’ve never faced a future where they were dependent entirely on themselves and their own actions.

    We have a whole nation of children now, who have always gotten what they wanted by screwing up their faces and squalling, or simply demanding. And now the whole rickety structure is swaying in the wind, and if they can squall louder and demand more, maybe they can get their way a little longer. They want their safe spaces, and outlawry of anything that might be even vaguely threatening, and guarantees of free goodies forever, starting right now. Or they’ll go into a rage and start smashing things.

    1. And they think a safety net is a trampoline that one bounces right back up from. But in a reality, the safety net keeps one from hitting the ground hard. One still gets out of the net and descends to the ground – but not having gone *SPLAT* retains the ability to climb up again. But one does ones own climbing.

      Yeah, yeah, analogy and analogical imperfections, still…

      1. The analogy is better when you add in the idea that the “safety net” is coated with thick and sticky tar. Extremely difficult to get yourself back out of it.

        Which is by very deliberate design.

        1. Hoo boy is that ever the truth. Some time ago, due to a perfect storm of bad luck, bad timing, industry turndown and health crisis, I found myself getting food stamps for my family. A bitter pill to my pride, but I figured, I’ve been paying taxes for years, whatever it takes to keep food on the table for my family. I managed to get work a few months later, and no longer needed or qualified for the food stamps. I kept getting letters, very abusive in tone, telling be I was remiss for not coming down and picking up the stamps. For months this went on, I would get the letter and I would respond with the info that showed I was no longer qualified. It didn’t stop until I threatened to go the the local paper, claiming I was being kept on the rolls to keep the case load up. Everything magically stopped.

    2. Children who much resemble that caricature of the sanctimonious scolding church lady from the imaginary 50’s, only in real life and with somewhat different issues.

      Or only somewhat different, several of the issues actually seem to have somehow migrated back to same issues – sexy women dressing sexily in order to appeal to men seems to be equally loathed by the church lady and by the modern scolds, for one thing.

      1. The folks that is based on would probably be these guys, if they’d been born as Boomers or later.

        The church of Alinsky…..

    3. While packing up an leaving con yesterday a friend of mine said we all had to bring horse costumes next year so we could all be “Triggers”.

      Asked what pushed her over the edge on this she said someone on Facebook was complaining not everyone has good relationships with their mothers and people needed to not post “Happy Mother’s Day” on Facebook as it could trigger people like her.

      Even as recently as five years ago I would have immediately considered the person a troll but yesterday I had no trouble believing they were serious.

      1. Both are possible. That person could be entirely serious, and be best treated as you would someone trolling: immediately dismissed as unworthy of serious attention.

        1. I thought about making “kidding” posts about “stop talking about Mother’s Day Because Mom Is Dead And I Miss Her”.

          Unfortunately, with those sort of nut-cases around, somebody might take me seriously. 😦

          Note, I do miss both of my parents but WTF should people shut up because of that? 😦 😦

          1. A few year’s back someone published a trolling article about eliminating Father’s Day because fathers were often bad for children. Feminists trampled each other signing up for it and amplifying it. One of the greatest trolls of all time.

        2. Maybe, but I still like the idea of filling Frolicon with triggers next year.

          Probably won’t, though, as I’m not much of a costume guy and not interested in starting sh*t at the con…this is the first year I’m actually looking forward to next year’s con (after my first I’ve mostly gone because my wife wanted to go).

            1. I will pass that on.

              I am hoping to be doing something a bit different in terms of non-standard dress next year…depending on weight loss.

      2. This seems the moral equivalent of the “if there isn’t enough for everybody, nobody gets any” attitude commonly found in kindergarten.

        Or in government queues.

  7. Someone in a conversation with me stated: ‘She should not be allow to think that.’

    To think that it is possible to regulate what other people think! One of the most shocking things I ever heard come out of a person’s mouth. It might not initially strike others as so bad, but to my mind it lies at the center of so many evils.

    People will still think what they think. You can try to ban the expression of ideas. To successfully suppress ideas requires the full force of government and society down upon the society. That is tyranny. And I think that tyranny is unacceptable.

    I guess that according to the speaker, ‘I shouldn’t be allowed to think that.’

    1. Consider “hate crime” laws. A dozen states have them now, where the crime is what the prosecutor can persuade a jury what you *might* have been thinking while you did something.

      And then there’s the whole “burn the [whatever] denier” thing.

      “Mr. Orwell, your future is here.”

      1. One man shoots another dead. A second man shoots a gay man dead. One is a crime, and the other a hate crime? Sorry, dead is dead. I don’t see the distinction. If a serial killer of women kills because he likes the kinky feeling he gets or because he hates women, is there really a significant difference?
        I understand the big gay hate crime in Montana or some such, the one that was a poster crime for ‘hate’ turned out to be a crime between two cocaine dealers, one which happened to be gay.

        1. Yes, the Matthew Shepard case was more complex than the Approved Narrative allows. But black-and-white sells better!

          The only time the idea of “hate crimes” should be an additional crime is when it’s a conspiracy to terrorize a group — requiring more than one person, communicating to decide to go after victims they think are members of a group they want to make afraid. So a KKK burning cross is a “hate crime,” or a black gang beating up whites at random after talking about getting back at whitey is a hate crime. The idea you could somehow determine that a crime of passion was motivated “improperly” and make that another crime is — strange, and easily abused.

          “No, we tortured and murdered Matthew because he was a hateful snitch, not because he was gay!” – “Well, that’s okay then, you’re good to go.”

          1. And when the most comprehensive argument that it wasn’t merely an anti-gay crime is published in the Advocate (for those not familiar the nation’s largest gay oriented magazine) it tells just how far the approved narrative strayed from reality.

        2. Reminds me of the movie Equilibrium. At one point, the endlessly lecturing Big Brother type on the TV mentions that it was the invention of the idea of a “hate crime” that helped pave the way for their emotionally-suppressed society. After all, if you can criminalize one emotion, why not more? Why not all?

          1. Okay, I’ll admit the thing I remember the most from that movie is the “Not without incident” scene.

            Oh, and the puppy.

          2. I love that movie. Yes, the gun-fu is ridiculous, but I don’t care. I love that movie SO much more than the Matrix.

            1. I’d like something like whatever holds the guns and reloads ammunition from the sleeves, though I suspect I’d need a bigger coat.

              1. Oh the heck with it, what I really want is Violet’s hyperspace arsenal from Ultraviolet.

        3. *You* don’t see a difference because you’re sane.

          (or, given current company, sane enough to fake it)

            1. I once reduced a person to incoherence by pointing out that by definition, if you support hate crime legislation, by definition you think that non-hate crimes are ordinary, ho-hum, run-of-the-mill crimes.

              1. I once asked a gay kid and his mom why it was somehow worse to kill him because he was gay as opposed to killing him to rob him of the $40 he had in his pocket, and got in return “You just don’t like gay people!!1!”
                So even though the words were in themselves coherent, the thought process is not.

                1. Exactly the same thing with “gun-related”.
                  It’s plain old schizophrenia.

        4. There was another one that I read about several years ago – student shoots and kills openly gay fellow student.

          Delving a little deeper into it, though, turned up the minor detail that the gay student had apparently been repeatedly hitting on the shooter, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. And the adults at the school weren’t any help (at least one might have actually been encouraging the gay student).

        5. Yeah, but this way the prosecutor has something extra with which to threaten you into accepting a plea deal

    2. Funny – her expressed opinion is just the sort of thing I believe people should not be allowed to think.

      Mind, I think the corrective is not delivered by empowering the lawful authorities to punish bad think.

      It is much more fun to address such bad thought with proper thoughts, which demonstrate to all the foolishness of the bad thoughts. Mockery and humiliation, in such cases, constitute fitting the punishment to the crime.

  8. “They don’t realize they are midgets, standing on the shoulders of giants. Because they can piss down, they imagine themselves superior, unable to see their product is nothing but a yellow streak on the face of civilization.”


    Although I think you may do them too much credit, Sarah . . . 😛

  9. IIRC Plato’s Republic banned story-tellers because the stories they told weren’t what the Philosopher-Kings wanted people to hear. IE the stories held ideas that the “Good Men” didn’t like.

    Note, plenty of people have read Plato’s Republic and claim that Plato “couldn’t have really believed that Republic was a Good Idea”.

    IE “The Republic” was such a bad place to live that this “Good/Wise Man” couldn’t have supported it. 😦

  10. > that most of the history of mankind is slavery

    Slavery was a force multiplier. What stamped it out wasn’t morals, or ethics, or laws – it was the development of the steam engine and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

    All those Greeks and Romans who wittered on about democracy and citizenship… somehow, people keep forgetting it was the slave infrastructure that gave them the leisure to contemplate such things. It was simply part of their world, like the mysterious force that makes the lights come on when you flip the switch, or connects your phone to someone else’s. Nobody notices. That’s what infrastructure *is*, the part that nobody notices.

    The people who want all that nasty industry and technology to go away never seem to realize that, should they survive, their role in life will probably be stoop labor since their Gender Studies degree isn’t going to put them in the new ruling class.

    1. Yep. It was the industrial revolution that freed slaves. It was capitalism — by making it so food and hygiene were so good children survived to adulthood most of the time — that freed women. they were no longer bound to continuous pregnancy in order to keep up the population (the pill was sugar on that doughnut by allowing willful control, but the freeing of women started with the rhythm method and the fact it could be employed without condemning the users to extinction)
      These children who rail against industry and capitalism are in fact desiring the shackles their ancestors threw off.

      1. I have to question this … I am not inclined to do the research but it seems to me that technology did not render slavery obsolete in those nations which banned the practice until after slavery had been banned — at which time there was economic need for technological alternatives.

        Planting, cultivation and harvesting of cotton or sugar cane were labor intensive activities for which technology offered poor alternatives to human labor. Nor were household slaves easily replaced with machinery. There are doubtless many more examples of this consideration.

        Nor can technology provide a satisfactory alternate for the pleasures of lording it over one’s fellow man. Much as we may dislike this, it seems to be an innate aspect of human nature that we like bossing others about, putting on airs and declaring ourselves morally, intellectually and culturally superior to others. One way or another we always find ways to subordinate others to our ideas of what comprises good and evil and technology is a force amplifier at least as much as it is an equalizer.

        Just look at those who would use technology to subdue all humanity and impose their ideas of Justice — they are not substantially distinct from the slave-owners of yore.

        1. Which is why Abolition was *forced* on the South, and on Jamaica. By outsiders who didn’t need slaves to weed and harvest *their* crops, and so couldn’t imagine why anyone else would. Obviously those nasty plantation owners were just evil monsters who reveled in their power over the helpless and oppressed.

          Slavery has always been in the “necessary evil” category, which is, I believe, why it’s never condemned in the Bible. Once technology makes slavery no longer *necessary* in a particular context, you’re left with the *evil* part. And a decision has to be made.

          In the Nineteenth Century, for perhaps the first time, you had people living “next door” to each other–some of whom still needed slave labor while their neighbors didn’t. And many of the ones who didn’t were possessed of all the self-righteousness you find in any group condemning a sin to which they are not tempted. And the ones who did reacted to the preaching and the legal sanctions much the way you’d expect.

          Sarah is right, and so are you. Technology cleared the way for an end to slavery. But not all at once, and not everywhere. The result was bloody.

        2. Perhaps, although I would point out that there existed Southerners who were abolitionists on economic grounds and believed that the existence of it was retarding the economy of the states where it was allowed. I don’t know if, given enough time, they might have prevailed.

          1. Sadly, I’d like some evidence for the existence of such Southerns.

            There’s plenty of evidence for Southerns “defending their peculiar institution” against anybody, in the North or in the South, who were against it.

            Basically, to be a True Southern, you had to support slavery. 😦

            1. Hinton Rowan Helper, The Impending Crisis of the South


              “Freesoilers and abolitionists are the only true friends of the South; slaveholders and slave-breeders are downright enemies of their own section. Anti-slavery men are working for the Union and for the good of the whole world; proslavery men are working for the disunion of the States, and for the good of nothing except themselves.” (p. 363)

              Also, a lot of Southern Unionists were also antislavery, although on economic grounds rather than any moral opposition.

              1. Thank you.

                Of course, the article also points out the “general” Southern attitude to anybody who was anti-slavery.

            2. The state of North Carolina, which had the fewest slave-owners, contributed the largest number of soldiers to the Army of the Confederacy (or so I’ve been told.)

              That those NC soldiers were largely from the western Carolina mountains, a region largely settled by Scots-Irish families might explain that to those familiar with that particular breed. They weren’t so much pro-slavery as they were anti-being lectured to by Yankees.

            3. Well, I disremember if his justification was economic, but Cassius Clay had to buy two cannon to protect his newspaper. (Explains a lot to me about Ali changing his name. I wouldn’t want to be named after the fella that owned my grandpa, either.)

        3. Technology goes both ways. I’ve heard that slavery was on the way out in the South during the early nineteenth century. The economics just didn’t justify it on the big plantations. And then Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, and economic numbers changed dramatically.

      2. Technology made the practice of slavery a losing proposition from a purely economic aspect. The fact that it still exists in many parts of the world speaks to a greater evil in some men’s souls.
        In our society women are equal to men, so long as equal does not mean identical to. Those who deny that the sexes have differences are fools and fighting nature.
        Women owe their current position of equality primarily I believe to two technological breakthroughs, birth control, and advanced weapons.
        One raised them from the status of owned baby machines, cherished in many cases, but owned none the less. The other took away the advantage of superior strength and muscle mass in a one on one conflict. A 95 pound woman can now effectively overcome a 180 pound football player. Samuel Colt and John M. Browning made it so.

        1. I’m not entirely sure of that. There’s some very interesting research, most of which is still untranslated, about the serf-staffed factories in Russia and their economics. Peter Kolchin, who has probably done most of the comparative work that I’ve been able to find, suggests that the US South might have gone that way had slavery been allowed to expand out of the cotton belt. Serfdom and slavery both got nixed before the industrial system really got going in slave/serf regions, so we’ll never know, but the hints are . . . intriguing.

          1. Wasn’t it Ely Whitney’s cotton gin that increased demand for cotton. King cotton required more slaves to keep up with the demand. Technology can work both sides of the freedom equation. At least for a time.

            1. The Cotton Gin did made it easier to met the demand for cotton.

            2. I was going to mention Mr. Whitney and his quite simple device, but I was once again beaten to the punch.
              please note: I have (finally) learned to read all comments, before adding my own.

              1. There were a fair number of Southern factories staffed by slaves, just as many slaves were sent out job hunting by their masters or used as temps for other people, with the masters collecting all the wages.

                Actually, with all the fasting from sex that Catholics and Orthodox were supposed to do, prior to the relaxation of fasting statutes, there was not much chance to be barefoot and pregnant all the time. (Of course, there were people who broke the fasting rules, and breaking the weekday rules you could get away with; but everybody in town could count if you were having sex during Lent, Eastertide, Advent, or the Tweve Days of Christmas.)

                1. Richmond Verginia’s Tredegar Iron Works was one such facility:

                  Incorporated in 1837, the Tredegar Iron Works of Richmond began as a small forge and rolling mill. The railroads and canal brought with them pig iron and raw materials that supplied the Iron Works. Under the supervision of Joseph R. Anderson, the Iron Works expanded. Anderson was able to secure contracts with the federal government, and the once-small mill became a foundry, producing cannons for the country’s armed forces.

                  In 1847, in response to striking white workers, Anderson introduced slave labor into his facility. This controversial move helped cut costs and contributed to the Iron Works’ continued growth. By 1860 the Tredegar Iron Works had become the largest producer of iron in the South, with a complex covering nearly five acres and employing close to 800 laborers, both black and white, free and slave.

                  On April 17, 1861, three days after the fall of Fort Sumter, Virginia left the Union and joined the fledgling Confederacy. The importance of Richmond was not lost on southern leaders. Virginia, the “Old Dominion,” was the most populous of the Southern states. It represented revolution and freedom, being the home of Madison, Jefferson, Washington and Monroe. From a strategic standpoint, however, Richmond was in a poor location, easily threatened from the northern capital in Washington, a mere 100 miles away. Surely Richmond would become a target for the invading armies and its loss would greatly hamper the Southern war effort.

                  As an industrial center, however, Richmond had to be protected, for in the spring of 1861 the Tredegar Iron Works was the only facility in the South capable of turning out heavy ordnance or munitions. On May 29, 1861, the Confederate capital moved from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond. By shifting the seat of government, the Confederacy declared its commitment to the defense of Richmond and the city’s vital resources.

                  Tredegar proved invaluable to the Confederacy. Despite shortages in labor and raw materials, nearly 1100 cannon were produced in its foundries, while the rolling mills turned out iron plating for Confederate naval gunboats. Although numerous efforts were made to capture Richmond, and many battles fought on the city’s doorstep, it never fell to Union hands, and Tredegar never ceased operation until April 2, 1865.

                  Because the work involved skilled labor, slaves employed there would have been treated relatively well and (as was customary) paid for their labor, with a portion of the pay being accorded their owner.

                  Generally speaking, slaves enjoyed few material benefits beyond crude lodgings, basic foods and cotton clothing. Still, some plantation slaves were able to earn small amounts of cash by telling fortunes or playing the fiddle at dances. Others sold poultry, meats and liquor or peddled handicrafts. In some cases, slaves could earn money from their master if they performed tasks with particular skill.

                  The masters, for their part, saw small cash incentives as a way to encourage productive work habits. In the towns, cities and manufacturing areas of the Upper South, slaves were able to earn money thanks to another way to manage labour: the hiring-out system. Contracts differed in terms of food, conditions and treatment, but most slaves hired out to work for others could expect to earn wages for working beyond what was considered a working day. In the tobacco factories of Richmond, Virginia, for example, they would complete their daily quota of work and receive ‘bonus pay’ for anything after that.

                  Some were also allowed to hire themselves out. Brokering their own deals, they paid their masters a monthly fee and kept anything they earned above the amount. Wages varied across time and place but self-hire slaves could command between $100 a year (for unskilled labour in the early 19th century) to as much as $500 (for skilled work in the Lower South in the late 1850s). Skilled cabinetmakers and joiners could sometimes earn as much as white workers; a select few could even afford to buy themselves out of bondage.

                  It would require a foolish master to abuse a slave capable of earning such monies.

                  For the most part the operation of the institution of slavery was far more complex and nuanced than imagined by oour SJWs (quelle surprise.)

                  1. Yep – a fair amount of pre-civil war slavery in Texas was of the ‘hire out as skilled labor, turn over a certain amount to your owner, keep the rest’ variety. Quite a few so situated had substantial nest eggs. There is an account that Margaret Houston was approached by one of the Houston family slaves who had been working for hire for many years, before the death of Sam Houston. The ex-slave had heard that Margaret Houston had been left very badly off by her husband’s death, and offered her his savings – she refused, absolutely, and told him to use the money to get his children an education.
                    Yes – it was a much more … complicated and nuanced a situation. I still think that the reason Texas was not left so badly off by Reconstruction is that there were a good few native and respected Abolitionists to draw on for leadership, and that a fair number of former slaves had good professional skills to fall back upon. YMMV, of course.

                  2. Nod, I laughed when people talked about the foolishness of enslaving somebody like Scotty (from Star Trek).

                    A slave with the knowledge and skills of Scotty would be treated much differently than a slave who worked in the cotton fields.

                    Maybe a Scotty would do better work as a Freeman, but a Good Slave-Master would still get good results from him by rewarding good work by him.

              2. Helpful Trick: When checking to see if a topic has been broached, CTRL-F is your friend. Simply type in a key word (e.g., “Eli” or Whitney” or “gin”) or phrase and if the response is a null set you own the point.

                Tip: Make note of the time-stamp on the comment you’ve last read and CTRL-F will return you to it after you’ve posted.

                This useful bit of advice is brought to you by the Federal Department For Pointing Out The Unconcealed Stuff, commonly referred to as POTUS.

          2. “The North doesn’t need slavery. It has the Irish.”

            That was the stone truth, though it wasn’t just the Irish who were exploited.

            Slaves cost money, and had to be fed, housed, and doctored on occasion. But up north foremen just passed out chits to the men standing in the line at dawn, and at dusk he took the chits back and gave them money. He only had to pay for the labor he needed that day, and only when he was using it, and only enough to beat any competitors.

            In practice, it was cheaper than slaves, and they had the pick of the labor pool.

            1. Especially since if you killed one, his master wouldn’t come looking for damages.

          3. And yes, Russia between Peter and Alexander was much like American South: the economy was both raw resource based and export oriented.
            Which is why the peasants traditionally supported monarchs, even as loonie as Paul I (and which is why he was assassinated, too) – it’s all about the struggle against the land-owning aristocracy.

            Those serf factories were better than nothing, but evidently not good enough to compete with the cities. Alexander II had to overhaul everything to get significant improvements, and the Emancipation Manifesto removed several big sticks out of the wheels. Which of course is also when the whole bomb-throwing thing came into fashion – the “will of people” et al were those dispossessed slave-owners. As usual.

        2. Contraception and a nickel will get you a cup of coffee. If you have contraception and high infant mortality rates, what happens is that the only societies that will survive are those that coerce women into having children anyway.

    2. I’m a heretic here. 😉

      Technology made it easier for Ethics/Morality to end Slavery, but without the Ethics/Morality that said “Slavery Is Wrong”, Technology didn’t mandate the end of Slavery.

      People living in a time and place where Slavery is seen as Acceptable would not accept new Technology on the basis of “We won’t need Slaves anymore”.

      They would likely wonder “But what would the Slaves do”. 😦

      1. Slaves were livestock, like oxen or horses. Sure, they could “reproduce with unskilled labor”, but it took time to raise them to a working age, and they had to be trained, and supervised, and they had to be kept up even when there was no work for them to do, and then they eventually died.

        Wherever a machine could replace a slave, it made economic sense to go for the machine. Because the machine could work 24/7, and when there was no work for it, it just sat there instead of racking up food and supervisory expenses.

        > What would the slaves do?

        Sell them downriver quick before their value drops any more…

        1. Sell them downriver quick before their value drops any more…

          IE Slaves are not “real people” so they’re disposable.

          Morality/Ethics would say “Free them and teach them to be Free Men”.

          Technology alone would say “They are worthless so kill them or sell them off to some sucker”.

        2. Same thing is happening today with the mandatory $15/hour wage laws. Make unskilled labor expensive enough, and you can afford a robot to do the same labor.

          1. and the people passing these hours are ignoring tech and econ sites saying that at $12/hr it becomes cost effective for McDonalds to spend the money developing a burger assembly robot…

            1. IIRC development is done, they just haven’t scaled up production. It’s already waiting in the wings for the humans to screw up the show.

      2. Economics is a powerful force. When it’s more profitable to use a machine than keep a slave for the same work the slave is more prone to be ‘released’ from such duty. Whether such release involves a different duty, released into the world or released from the world is a roll of the dice. If they are lucky, slavery will come to be held as unnecessary in the culture. It seems many times they just get ported to a new activity.

        1. If Slaves aren’t Real People, then Technology/Economics doesn’t make them Real People.

          Only Ethics/Morality makes people believe that Slaves are Real People.

          1. Only Ethics/Morality makes people believe that Slaves are Real People.

            And they are wrong. A slave is by definition not a person. This is why Heinein was right when he said that it was not possible to free a slave or to enslave a free man. One wonders where and how he had encountered slaves.

            1. So if you saw a person who apparently accepted his slave status, it would be ok for you to kill him?

              Sorry but I will not accept the idea that a person who hasn’t forced a would-be slave-master to kill him, is not a Real Person.

              RAH was not a God who is Never Wrong.

              He was just a man who was never put in a situation where his life and the lives of others depended on him “bowing his head to a would-be slave-master”.

              It’s easy to talk about “it was not possible to enslave a free man” when we will never be in that situation.

              Yes, I would chose death over slavery but I lack anybody close to me who would suffer due to that choice.

              How many people close to you are you willing to see suffer due to your defiance toward the would-be slave-master?

              Would they deserve death or worse if they refused to submit or if you refused to submit?

              I hated S. M. Stirling’s Draka series but I had little problem with the idea that people submitted to the Draka because of the fear of what would happened to the people they loved if they hadn’t submitted.

              “Death Before Slavery” is a Good Slogan for people fighting against would-be slave-masters, but not so great when people face the consequences to loved ones due to their defiance that wouldn’t stop the slave-masters.

              1. I suspect we’re running into the “No True Scotsman” issue, here. A man who has truly accepted his lot as a slave, and would not take freedom even if it were offered because he believes that slavery is all he will ever be fit for–which, I suspect, is the definition Scott’s using–no, that man cannot be freed, because his chains are in his mind as well as on his body. He will have to become a different man before he can be free.

                1. Sorry, but what Scott is saying sounds more like “if you allow yourself to be enslaved, then you can’t be a True Free Man and aren’t a Real Human”.

                  There may be “broken people” who can’t imagine being free, but blanket statements like his should always be spoken against.

                  1. What I meant was more like 60guilders’ post than your interpretation Paul. I cannot (and really do not want to) get my mind around how a slave thinks, however the very concept of rights is alien to them. I can see how you came to your conclusion though and am happy for you.

    3. Slavery is a very poor force multiplier. It’s much more effective to have at least serfdom, where the serf has some interest in his results, because he has some stake in it.

      1. In many societies slaves got to keep part of their work or earnings.

        What you have to watch out for is that the English word “slave” conflates many different social and legal constructs into one. That’s why English speakers go WTF?! when they read about “slave” policemen and soldiers.

        Slavery as portrayed in the Old South wasn’t the only way the system worked.

        1. You got it. It’s just that the Puritan concept of slavery isn’t quite the same as others – say, what Semitic nomads, or Russian serfdom (q.v.: “Yury’s Day”).
          But then, this can be said of property in general (q.v.: Leviticus 25:23-28).
          Which is a big part of why a lot of the others could and did see the Manifest Destiny crowd as something akin to two-legged locusts. With this approach there’s no reason to not run in, log and strip mine the place and run away. And that’s not what a gardener, a nomadic herder or a land-owning noble would consider normal behaviour, for obvious reasons.

          1. Which is a big part of why a lot of the others could and did see the Manifest Destiny crowd as something akin to two-legged locusts. … And that’s not what a gardener, a nomadic herder or a land-owning noble would consider normal behavior, for obvious reasons.

            What do you mean by ‘manifest destiny crowd’? Because, specifically, many of the folks involved in the expansion across North America *were* gardeners or nomadic herders (how else are you going to describe either the sheep or cattle factions, ESPECIALLY the sheep?) , and the land-owning noble would be unfamiliar with the idea of there being anything like that for expansion.

            None of which is the two-legged locust thing, unless you’re looking at some of the abuses for the nomadic herders; now the nomadic tribes, that might work…..

            1. I mean that while it’s visible to me that there was (and still is) difference between the different groups of the Protestants, what generally did make the first glance impression are not the Quackers and Amish. The most visible were (and are) the most twisted (witch-burning, sex-obsessed ever more as they pretend they are inanimate objects, etc) sorts of Puritans, Predestination as refusal of responsibility and “the entire world belongs to me because I am SPESHUL”, etc.
              It pops up even in “Musketeers”: everyone’s tired of this mess enough to quietly admit there is no noticeable difference between a common Catholic and a common Hugenot, but look at that English guard…
              And it’s not some special American thing. And “One View of the Question” is not the only one in this.
              Catholics? Well, there were those wars, so this time may or may not count. But they woke up again (like Chesterton) when the same wave spilled into secular movements.
              Orthodox view? Ivan IV decried Catholics as too cruel even by his standards (being quite well aware that he isn’t a good man himself), but Peter I for adaptation of Protestant quirks was dubbed “Antichrist”, and it was he who created the chasm between europhilic and native camps that gradually became impassable later, which contributed to the unrest getting uglier until things gone all-out Red.

              1. ::Needs more coffee before dealing with this much nonsense::

              2. I’m not sure if you were trying to respond to me or not….

                You claimed that many saw the “Manifest Destiny crowd as something akin to two-legged locusts;” I asked for you to say who on earth you meant by “the manifest destiny crowd,” and gave you the reasons why.

                Your writing isn’t entirely clear as to what you’re even talking about, not too surprising for posting at three in the morning. 😀 Maybea cuppa coffee or something and try again?

                1. The answer is simple: pretty much EVERYONE, except those who didn’t give a damn in general or were but one step from it and thus sorta-kinda-used-to the ugly parts, because they didn’t have much of a choice (i.e. other Protestants).
                  That gives two big parts of the problem: first, easily swallowed assumptions, as the previous orator noted.
                  It’s not really a triumph of propaganda, as being too far down a rabbit hole to see it as a rabbit hole.
                  But there’s also the second: even if you realize you’re down a rabbit hole, what would you do? We all ended up this deep not in one day.

                  1. First thing to do, when someone is claiming you’re down a rabbit hole, is to check if they are blowing smoke.

                    You’ve got copious amounts of cloudy stuff and mirrors, but can’t even answer a direct question, when asked twice, just say some vaguely religious stuff that insults or attacks those who do not agree with the position you can’t even state.

                  2. Can I get a nice Italian dressing with that word salad? Or at least come croutons?

          2. Turbo, do you have a source for the bit about the “two-legged locusts?” I ask because that doesn’t jive with what I’ve read about Anglo and Hispano ranching in the US West, and I’m curious what you found that’s different.

            I’m familiar with the problem of open range and the “tragedy of the commons,” but that developed in part from federal regulations made back east that failed to take into account that 160 acres of eastern Colorado cannot support a family farm.

            1. Of course, it wasn’t all-encompassing. It’s not like all Protestants actually caught the worst and acted the same way. It’s just where a particular sort of delusions stuck for the late centuries (they weren’t the first, of course).
              And for an outside eye, if repeated reports of a plague come from some place with a name, the whole area is “plagued”.
              Something similar happened back when the Catholics caught that Manichaean bug, and the Muslim got their hashishins: even those who actively sought whom to join took a good look at either and said: “See that thing out there? Yup, that one. Hell, no.” – because how they will tell where the healthy parts end and rot starts, if the locals themselves cannot?
              If you know some place got mad cows, you don’t pick apart and study every one, you just go buy meat elsewhere – it’s common sense. But if you live next door and don’t have much choice in the matter, even if you didn’t get a mad cow, there’s another risk: permanently lowering standards for your food.

  11. > he was in tune with the morals of his time

    And if it was *my* home he trashed and my property his gang was carrying off, he’d have an unpleasant encounter with whichever of John Browning’s inventions I was carrying at the time.

    We got the “his culture” thing in high school, which got me an “F” in that class. I didn’t buy it then, and I don’t buy it now.

    “His culture” might have thought theft and vandalism were fine entertainment, but by the standards of most of the rest of history, that sort of thing was criminal.

      1. That’s probably why nobody wanted Greeks for neighbors, and the Romans spent most of their time trying to stamp them out.

        1. Oh, no. The Romans thought that was a fine way to go. They just thought it should be Romans doing it…

  12. Mea Culpa – I’m the evul bear who brought it up. I did have a point I wanted to make, before the personal attacks started and the venom began to spew. Nowhere in Oscar’s daydream does he mention a wife, or a throne – but that’s exactly what he gets, in the end. And he cracks and runs from it. How many people would do that? Turn their backs on having their every material whim catered to for life? Lots of people do give up when they get comfortable. Also, lots of people do sacrifice their dreams and slog down thru the weary years supporting their spouse, moving when their SO get promoted, etc etc. Curious to see if it’s possible to discuss this, or if the knee jerk reaction is label a dissenting voice and throw a rant? WB

    1. No. But you didn’t make that argument. And you weren’t the only one. We got some very odd finger-pointing. If you’d made that argument it could be discussed.
      You realized however you’re repeating what Homer asked? After all Ulysses ran away from the island where the nymph (whose name evades me this morning) made his life PERFECT.
      Or to quote Heinlein in red planet (well, sort of quote, I didn’t memorize it): Humans are born to strive. If strife is lacking in their lives, they create it.

      1. Humans are born to strive.

        Wasn’t that a theme of about a third of the episodes of ST:TOS?

        It might also be noted that Oscar’s dreams are those of an overgrown adolescent male and should not be confused with the desires of a mature man of the world? Heinlein was expressing that longing en route to demonstrating its fundamental fallacies.

          1. That was TNG. By then, Roddenberry had forgotten all those TOS episodes that taught that humans weren’t perfect and not meant to live in paradise.

      2. Calypso. She promised him immortality and eternal youth, but he longed for his wife and son. Seven years on the island, Athene finally persuaded Zeus to send Hermes there to let him free. Which he did, with some difficulty.

        Odysseus did not trust the goodwill of the immortals, and made Calypso swear a mighty oath that she was not attempting to deceive him. In the end, he did leave, and made his way home- not without troubles, of course.

    2. Several Soviet defectors, apparently of their own free will, gave up a UK or US stipend and all the benefits of Western society to return to the USSR, where they usually wound up going to prison or internal exile.

      One of them told his CIA handler “Here, I’m nobody. But there, I have a place.” Even if that place was “prisoner.”

      Oscar was in the same situation. He had no power of his own. He was in a society too alien for him to adapt. He could see the points of friction, but he couldn’t do anything about them. So he went “home”, and found out he no longer fit there, either.

    3. Who was it that said adventure was much more fun when experienced between the covers of a book?

      We evolved to both seek out adventure–hunting is a dangerous business, after all–and to seek out and enjoy the leisure that comes with plentiful food and good weather.

      In modern times, the feast never ends and the AC and furnace take care of the weather. And so the other side of our nature goes unsatisfied, and so many of us are poorly trained to indulge it, even in sports.

      I think this thwarted subconscious drive to swap risk for reward comes out in modern times in gambling, substance abuse, risky driving, affairs and divorces.

      I think the “weary slog of supporting ones spouse” is made weary by the unsatisfied need for adventure, not by some “patriarchal suppression of women.” Some people need to get out of the house and have some active fun.

      1. I consider ‘slog of supporting spouse’ along the same line as ‘burden of children’. The people speaking are totally clueless to what a life of shared love and personal treasure are really like. And the ones that feel that way deserve neither spouses or children.

        1. On “burden of children”, they ignore the reward of having children.

          I feel that it would be very hard for me to be a parent, but I also know that I’d “miss out” on the reward of being a parent.

            1. Smiles that you know to be innocent but still make her look like she’s planning something.

              Making a joke about “I believe in Santa Claus, but he doesn’t believe in me” only to get a serious response of “Santa Claus believes in you”.

              Having your nephew ask to use those “looking things” and when he’s told to ask for the binoculars, he responses politely about using the “noculars”.

              Note, since he tried, we let him use those old binoculars. [Wink]

              I’m not likely to be a father, but I am an uncle. 😀

              1. Our crazy-child asks for “A med-ick-you-lus ‘nal-is-us of histeree” very frequently these days.

                Yep. Is adorable.

      2. My mother had no sense of direction. She would often get lost. However, she had a great attitude. My sister would state that we were lost again. My mother would correct her. “No dear. We’re having a new adventure!”

          1. Shuntpiking. (Which other people apparently call shunpiking.) Whenever my dad got bored by the highway, or we wanted to avoid a traffic jam, or we were trying to find a shortcut, we went shuntpiking. And we were never lost. 🙂

            1. Back before the automobile age, turnpikes were just like other roads (except often maintained slightly better), except for the presence of toll gates (or pikes) periodically. Locals often built short bypasses around them, known as shunpikes, because it allowed them to shun the toll collector at the gate/pike.

        1. I never get lost. From time to time I engage in spontaneous exploration. Of course such exploration is always more fruitful in places like Colorado Springs where there is alays a landmark to guide off.

          1. I don’t get lost either. Becoming designated navigator at seven probably helped.

          2. “Park rangers are never lost. We do, on occasion, get geographically embarrassed.” A park ranger leading a star hike in Ularu, Australia.

          3. “I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.” -Daniel Boone

      3. My maternal grandmother would say, “When you’re safe at home, you dream of adventure; When you are having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home.”

        1. Trust me on this one: Adventure is someone else, far away, having a really, really shitty day. And, you hearing about it third-hand, long after the fact. That’s “adventure”. Anything else is just “life lived rough”.

          When it is you that’s having the shitty day, it’s no adventure, it’s an ‘effing nightmare you’d trade anything to get out of or avoid. And, when you eventually run into the asshole lauding the “high adventure” aspect of it all, at some suitably removed date, it’s about all you can do to restrain yourself from killing them, out of a desire to stop them from tempting anyone foolish enough to emulate you into doing so.

    4. Oscar was in a very unusual situation. He was like a retired prizefighter who was only retired because he won his big fight, and was married to the CEO of a Fortune 10 company. He was still young and still full of the drive to go out and do dangerous things, but his background told him that was not the way to treat a marriage. His wife was like the businessman who brings his work home with him (yes, she actually only did that once, but those minds she was absorbing were a similar thing), and has to work hard to try to make his spouse feel wanted. Who was also a swinger and couldn’t understand why he didn’t embrace that lifestyle.

      Yeah. That might be a little hard to take for someone like that.

          1. Sorry, it probably wasn’t relevant but swinger is just one that squicks me (and no, no apologies to the handful I consider friends, they know my opinion although I will admit the local community of that sort is probably a huge part of it).

  13. …by losing sight of the past, they can’t see the future they’re shaping.

    And that’s the frustrating and infuriating part for those who can see, if not the exact details, at least that “something just ain’t right” about it all. It’s always, “This time for sure!” but it’s always the same old hat, and that trick never works.

    1. I make it a point to joke to my students, whenever we talk about the evils inflicted by communism, by wrapping up with “But don’t worry, next time they’ll get it right.” But they are already a pretty cynical lot (alas) when it comes to political systems. Which is depressing in a way.

  14. O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
    Offensive to the vision impaired and discriminatory against late-risers

    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
    Encourages vanity and nationalism

    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
    Glorifies warfare

    O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    Glorifies warfare

    And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Glorifies warfare

    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
    Glorifies warfare and nationalism

    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    Flag waving

    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
    Offensive as propaganda — many are not truly free — and discriminatory toward people who are bravery-impaired

  15. Strangely, though this inspired many dreams … about being a female pirate in the age of sail, I never actually felt the need to cut someone else’s head off as they slept.

    Stranger yet, I find that increasing experience of these scolds inspires fantasies of that sort in a way such tales never did.

      1. Kim, far be it from me to criticize your taste in weapons, but I have to point out that the M3 bayonet is peculiarly unsuited to “…cutting someone else’s head off…”. Takes too long, and requires way, way too much personal involvement in the act. You want something a bit bigger, something you’re not going to find yourself sawing at necks with. Perhaps a nice khukri, or bolo? Failing that, I’d suggest a good sharp cleaver from the kitchen.

        An M3 is really just good for sticking in people, and pulling out. And, to be honest, it’s not even really ideal for that, either–You’d do better to find a Lebel or Berthier cruciform bayonet, because those don’t get hung up on rib cages quite as badly as the blade of the M3 has a deplorable tendency to do.

        1. For the Model 1903 rifle, the US Army offered a long bayonet, a short bayonet, and a machete with a bayonet fitting. The machetes were issued to “native” troops in the Philippines.

          There were troops all over the Pacific theater who would have appreciated those during WWII…

    1. I’ve always been fond of the (legend? story? account?) of the Gurkhas who cut the throats of the two enemy sleeping on the outside of the trio, leaving the guy in the middle to wake up and discover . . .

      1. Historically documented TTP (Tactic, Technique, Procedure) of the North African Goumiers that the Free French provided the Allies in Italy. The Gurkhas were supposedly known for this, but I have my doubts about it–They’re really too friendly a group of people to mess with the enemy’s minds like that. Now, chopping the heads off an entire machine gun team they found sleeping? Sure, that’s Gurkha. Head games like leaving one alive? Goumiers. Those guys are a bunch of nasty bastards who delight in playing games like that.

        You want a Gurkha anecdote, the one you want is the one where the Gurkha squad was tasked with burying German dead in some Italian mountain town. Midway through the job, they found that several Germans were merely feigning death.

        It took the intercession of one of their English officers to prevent them from making the Germans nice and cooperative with the whole burial detail thing by killing them out of hand with their khukris. They weren’t going to be so crass as to bury them alive, but… They had been ordered to bury the Germans, so bury the Germans they would.

        Cue the complaints to the Red Cross by the Germans, once they reached the confines of an actual POW camp, which is where this got documented. Can’t remember where I saw it, but I did see a reproduction of the actual Red Cross complaint, which the nice Swiss evaluator sent back with something essentially saying “Hey, if you’re gonna feign death, don’t be surprised when someone takes you at your word…”.

        1. IIRC a Gurkha got into a “little” trouble in Afghanistan by hearing that the NATO types wanted So-and-so’s head, and he went and got it for them. *Sigh* Only bureaucrats or people with zero sense would say something like that around Gurkhas and then be surprised/appalled/dismayed by the result.

          1. I love the Gurkhas. Such cheerful, friendly people, who happen to be some of the deadliest soldiers on the planet. You tell them to do something, and by God, it’s gonna get done. Little thing like a recalcitrant German “corpse” climbing back out of the burial trench? Well, we know how to fix that, don’t we? And, no doubt, they were smiling the whole time, and just playing with the Germans for the fun of it. Maybe. Be interesting to know what would have transpired, had there been an absence of British officers in the area. Gurkhas really like their problems to stay solved.

            Very hard-core little guys. I did a lot of reading about them, and I can’t say that the British Army ever got less than good value from having hired them, no matter how many times the British bean-counters screwed the Gurkhas in return. An amazing people.

            1. I keep wanting to write something where Commander Ni Drako and some Gurkhas get together. OTOH I’m not certain the planet is up to that much “fun.”

  16. I never got a chance to make any argument – I tried, and got endless rounds of “stupid motherfucker” thrown at me. But, let it go. Oscar could have HAD the harem – Star wouldn’t have minded, and clearly there were more than enough interested people to keep him hip deep in lovelies. It’s the diff between what he said he wanted – the first two things he brings up are wealth and sex – and how he acts when he gets a blank check good for that part of it, at least, in any mount he can stomach..

    1. Well, if you’d put in the comment you put above, you’d have got this discussion and not screaming. Unfortunately the way you presented, you were mimicking the reason the SJWs hate Heinlein.
      BUT it is inherent in that quote, dear Bruin. It shouldn’t be a surprise. What Oscar REALLY wants is the fantasy and the adventure. Not the harem, given painlessly.

      1. Also a bit of difference in that the later possibility of a willing harem was due to the stature of Star – they wanted to “get the same thing as the Empress.”

        Whereas earlier, on Jock’s planet (sorry, can’t remember the name right now) – the willing harem was due to his stature as a Bona Fide Certified Hero.

        1. Early on in the book Oscar refers to sex as that ‘biological itch’. (or something close, it has been a few decades) his problem with performing the services of a certified hero are limited first because of his fidelity to Star. After he is told ‘open marriage’ he has no problem with the duties aforementioned hero is required to perform.
          Oscar can tell the difference between love and sex. Something too many of those modern sophisticated SJW are totally clueless.

      2. Oscar could, perhaps, in some ways be seen as an adrenaline junkie. He wants to feel strongly, he wants the thrill of the close calls and narrowly won victories, not a victory given to him on a plate.

        And while most people would not willing court that type of danger in real life we all still are that to some extent. Safety becomes stifling when there is nothing else but safety. What makes it highly desirable is when it gets juxtaposed with at least some sort of occasional danger. Danger, real or imaginary, is stimulating. Real life danger can to some extent be substituted with the fictional variety, but not completely, there should at least be some occasional risks if not actual dangers to be faced in real life too or we stop feeling well in the long run.

        1. Has anyone ever compared Oscar to Simon Tregarth? It may not be possible, since they have such different motivations for leaving “our” world, but it might be interesting to look at Simon as the older, wiser Oscar.

    2. how he acts when he gets a blank check

      Recognizing the inherent fallacy of argumentum ad Brooksum doesn’t render it ineffective or false, merely invalid reasoning.

      1. Why am I reminded of the story of Rabbi Gamzu? (He got that nickname because his answer to every disappointment was “gam zu le-tova” — that too is for the better.)

  17. If we are so advanced then how come we tax every dollar of every worker’s wages? How come in this glory of freedom and equality the government takes about 30-40 percent of the nation’s income by force and spends it on the regime’s supporters? How come…

    Government is force; politics is violence. And the bigger the government the more force.

    1. Government is force. So is gravity. Both are equally optional. Every* worker’s wages are taxed because There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. I agree with you that 30-40 percent is too high, but to think that the rate will ever reach zero demonstrates a great deal of ignorance and magical thinking.

      *not every worker pays taxes, the very bottom of the income distribution actually has a net negative tax rate.

        1. Now, this is for all federal taxes:

          It has the bottom 40% paying 4% of the taxes.

          This is also the group whose state taxes are not going to be subsidized, because they don’t make enough to make itemizing worth it. (Our family is just about dead median income, and even owning a house, donating and with serious medical itemizing doesn’t make sense to not take the default deduction.)

          Be prepared for friendly fire if you point this out, though– a lot of people take any resistance, no matter that it’s factual, as an indication that you’re one of the folks who makes a living off of exploiting the system.

          1. But he was referring to the “net negative” tax rate, and whether that was true even after including SS and Medicare.

            The Earned Income credit, and especially if you also qualify for the Child tax credit, can result in a refund greater than your total taxes, even including your employer’s contribution to those taxes.

            1. It can but the question is where it DOES.

              Especially if you don’t read “taxes” to mean only “federal taxes,” much less “federal income taxes.”

              We’ve got four kids this year, nearly dead median on the household income.

              The 47% thing folks quote is based on “federal income tax.”

              The bottom 40% still pay 4% of the federal taxes, period, so it doesn’t carry over, and– like I said– the default deduction means that local taxes are going to be in addition to that percent. (I’m at the median and itemizing isn’t worthwhile, so it’s very unlikely to be the case for those households who make less; you can deduct state income taxes.)

              Now, trying to do a tail-yank of stats, if 4% of the income is from the bottom 40%, but then it gets complicated because this is going to include the folks with social security……

                1. Can you check your story and see if it ends with this? Important part bolded.

                  Why is the share of income taxes negative for 40% of Americans? In recent decades Congress has chosen to funnel important benefits for lower-income earners through the income tax rather than other channels. Some of these benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Credit for education, make cash payments to people who don’t owe income tax.

                  People receiving such payments do pay other federal taxes, of course, such as those for Social Security and Medicare. If these taxes are included, the share of federal taxes paid by the lowest two quintiles turns positive.

                  The share of tax paid by the top 20% of Americans also changes when such social-insurance levies are included: It drops from more than 80% of income taxes to about 67% of all federal taxes.

                    1. Hmm… Missed that “turns positive” part the first time through, but they don’t really address that bottom 20% again, do they? I don’t know. I’ve been in a position where I very much did receive more back than I paid in, counting ALL taxes, including SS and Medicare, but I would guess that’s an unusual situation for the bottom 20%, which is likely mostly single people.

                    2. Not addressed at all, which usually means either no data or data is messy; the only thing I can find is that the CBO says the bottom 20% as a whole gets 1% more than it pays in.

                      Click to access 44604-AverageTaxRates.pdf

                      This is NOT to be confused with “everybody below 21% gets more than they pay.”

                      So I guess that answers the question…something below 20% of the population is a net zero or better for federal taxes.

      1. I dunno, it seems the country got along fairly well without an income tax for @ a century-and-a quarter (outside the ‘Civil War’), relying on duties, imposts, and excises to fund its limited legitimate activities. No magic thinking, just a slight knowledge of history.

        1913 was a Very Bad Year for American liberty.

        1. You mean the period where we were largely free-riding off the Royal Navy and the British Army?

          Saying that government is inescapable is not the same as endorsing a specific form of government or a specific manner of funding said government. Income taxes have significant problems. So does any other form of taxation. My point is that taxes are inescapable, so we should discuss the relative merits of the various forms of necessary evil.

          1. Yes, the British Empire, against whom we fought a war in 1812 – without an income tax – and almost fought a war in the 1840s over Oregon, and with whom we almost traded blows during the ‘Civil War’. That British Empire. And who led the struggle against the Barbary pirates? Who opened Nippon to Western trade? Free riding off Britain’s coattails my @ $ $.

            As to your more fundamental statement, “Government is force. So is gravity. Both are equally optional.”, and the follow-on, ” . . . government is inescapable . . . taxes are inescapable . . .”, well, I’d say you’re about half right. Government is force, and old G. Washington agreed with you; gravity is a force. Government is a social construct; gravity is a natural phenomenon. If you refer to ‘government’ as a manner in which humans can peacefully interact with one another, then yes it is inescapable. But if you mean that ‘government is the current State or regime under which we exist, it is certainly optional, and escapable, and taxes as a means of funding same are negotiable as well. Gravity one can never fully escape.

            I also perceive that you seem to be clouding the issue. Your initial point to which I responded was, or at least implied since it was in response to a post about income taxes, that that tax rate could never be zero. I responded that for a goodly part of the nation’s existence there was *no* income tax whatsoever. Note that I did not say there were no *taxes*, only that there were no *income* taxes.

            The only right answer to the question, “So, how much did you make last year?”, in a free country, whether that question comes from a nosy neighbor or a fe(de)ral revenuer, is “None a your farkin’ business!”, or no answer at all. In our day, it’s only the revenuer who claims the ability to stick a gun in your face and demand a response.

            1. Government has nothing to do with people peaceably interacting. The peaceable types don’t need government, government exists to deal with those who disrupt the peace.

              Government is inescapable, that means taxes are inescapable. Taxes mean that at some point someone is going to have to answer the question “how much did you earn?” You have assigned income taxes a unique evil that is simply unsupported in reality.

              1. Taxes which are based on consumption — sales taxes, tariffs — do not entail such nosy questions and are more readily managed. Instead of taxing investments which create jobs or the income resulting from jobs such taxes raise the cost of expenditure on consumption without requiring taxpayers to provide the government data which is not theirs by right.

                1. They require questions to be asked of those running businesses. If it’s immoral to ask a random citizen how much he made it is immoral to ask a business owner. It’s also much harder to make consumption taxes non-regressive. And TANSTAAFL is still in effect, pulling money out of the productive economy at the sales till does just as much harm as pulling it out at the paycheck.

                  1. Aha! Here we come to the nub of the issue: the income tax is popular because it can be made ‘progressive’. Though I still find it difficult to understand how punishing the productive is progressive. I guess that’s why I will have to be re-educated when the revolution comes. Unless, that is, as was promised by one young lady I met in a used book store, I’m one of the first against the wall for being an incorrigible reactionary. And they wonder why we cling to our guns.

                    Every time I get a progressive to try to explain to me how it is fair to make the rich pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than the ‘less fortunate’, it devolves into an endless round of, “”Because they can!”; “But why should they?”

                    1. Every time I get a progressive to try to explain to me how it is fair to make the rich pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than the ‘less fortunate’, it devolves into an endless round of, “”Because they can!” “

                      But try arguing that all women ought sexually satiate multiple guys “because they can” and you get condemned as a sexist pig.

                      Ability does not equate to obligation.

                    2. There’s a reason I used the word I did, and obfuscation wasn’t it. Try again. Here’s a hint: There’s a difference between positive numbers and non-negative numbers.

                    3. Oh, and the argument for a Progressive tax code is pretty straightforward. It’s not so much that the rich are paying more as the poor are paying less. You cannot get blood from a stone, there is an effective tax rate that people simply cannot pay. So you have two choices: Either limit your taxes such that the poorest of the poor can pay their fair share, which will mean a government lacking the resources necessary to do its job, or accept some degree of progressivness in your tax code.

                    4. [Bob stops beating head against wall]


                      Okay. You made the assertion that THE INCOME TAX COULD NEVER BE ZERO. I pointed out that for a good portion of the nation’s existence THERE WAS NO INCOME TAX.. I did not intend to get into a wide-ranging discussion of taxes, the size of government, etc. So:

                      You win! Yay for you. Congratulations.

  18. “They turn the vast and interesting history of mankind into a flat canvas with themselves in the center …”

    The money quote.

    1. Well of course they do. They look at themselves, and realize that all of their accomplishments are molehills.
      So instead of striving to make mountains, they decide that everyone else did nothing at all.

  19. You’ve been so rich so long you don’t realize your willful mind-castration is taking you back to a place where YOU will be dust beneath some barbarian’s chariot wheels.
    Mind-castration: what a wonderful description.
    This wealth is the enabler of the excessive mind rot, especially in ivy league, coastal, progressive feminist. Ice Cream every day, fresh fruit and vegetables year round, meat at every meal? These are not the standard situation for even the elite of the days of yore. After a while, it isn’t just that no one believes their parents walked 5 miles to school, in the snow, uphill both ways; they become incapable of imagining it as well.

  20. “There’s willfully blind, and then there’s those who erase the place where the eyes go.” I’m soooo stealing that!

    And can we officially call SJWs “mind-castrists”?

  21. One interesting question: how do you bring up children in a wealthy and privileged family, but immunize them against the mindrot? I have in mind the House Atreides in Dune — discipline and responsibility are always reinforced; the family business is survival, and while they may run a planet and have every material need satisfied, their cultural backbone trains the children up to be strong and handle anything that may come their way. Which pays off when Paul and his mother take over a barbarian tribe by winning their admiration.

    I know modern families who have this kind of backbone. But not many.

        1. You seem to have done a good job. And you still see it in political dynasties. But the broader middle class is suffering an erosion of values, created by perverse incentives. School vouchers would help a lot — then the busy parent (in urban areas, at least) would have some choice and influence over the schools.

    1. One also remembers a certain Barrayaran admiral.

      “You are Vor. You must not distress your liege people with this display of uncontrol, Lord Vorkosigan.”

      But how do you do it without the appeal to *noblesse oblige* or ruthless outside threats?

      1. It can be done with many religious rituals, also, if approached right. Every last one has fasting in some aspect or another.

        Technically (or so I am told) yeast is purely symbolic for “sin” – but the feast of unleavened bread is a good lesson on “see how you have it so good – your ancestors did not – they had to run for their lives with whatever they could grab.”

    2. We’re trying the “get a job” method – this summer’s job for the last kid at home is Wal-Mart. And glad to have it.

    3. Step one, have a family… not just mom and dad, but extended. Doesn’t have to be blood, although most of it should be, because of the “you can’t just quit” aspect. Active philosophy, I’d go with that strain of American conservatism that’s compatable with orthodox Catholicism, but most variations that accept natural law should work.

    4. Discipline and responsibility are in incredibly short supply, especially in wealthy families.
      Instant gratification and easy credit make discipline a tough following act. Get a deferred student loan, and use it for 4 years for tuition, boarding, and pizza delivery 7 days a week.
      Government fecklessness means never having to say your sorry, but even worse, it means never having to acknowledge that you were at fault. Point in case: Obama. Has that man ever claimed responsibility for any of his vile deeds?

      1. Government fecklessness means never having to say “I’m sorry.” It also means never hearing the end of how sorry you are.

  22. Yes, sure, women were always equal to men and blah blah blah. And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. It leads to nowhere.

    I bought that bridge as a teenager. You are right it leads to nowhere. It took me too long to realize that I was swindled.

    1. I was just reminiscing with Beloved Spouse, t’other day, about how we were assured that the Equal Rights Amendment would NOT lead to mixed sex toilet facilities.

      I wonder what rules govern toilet and locker room usage in the White House, Congress and Federal Courts buildings.

      I bet higher-ups get private lieus and private locker-rooms dressing chambers.

  23. People who do not know ‘what’s a heaven’s for”. Goodness, the quote is from Glory Road where the male hero (Oscar) became the literal kept man of his romantic interest (Star) with the primary responsibility of being her sex object. It isn’t even a question of time and place, biology created deep in the human heart a core of primal wants but to acknowledge that those wants exist is not an endorsement of them.

  24. I knew I was a reprobate, steeped in sin and malice from early on — I don’t lie to myself as much as most people. I try to be good. It’s much harder than being nice.

    *wanders off to left field* Depends on which you have a natural talent for. I have a heck of a time being nice- but being good? That’s just doing what’s right.

  25. The newest generations growing up here in the USA have known only great affluence and never experienced real hardship or existential risk. They have been brought up in an environment devoid of struggle and the opportunity to grow strong by overcoming serious challenges. In the absence of trial by fire, their innate survival spirit has atrophied and been replaced by hypersensitivity and the habit of shrieking complaints more loudly.

    Parents did not set out to abuse their children in this fashion, but were misguided by the belief that more affluence made for a better life and a superior nurturing of their young. In reality, the death of hardship has turned them into cripples. We have now reversed the course of evolution and incentivized weakness of mind and body.

    1. The newest generations growing up here in the USA have known only great affluence and never experienced real hardship or existential risk.

      From the cold war bombing drills to school attack drills to 9/11, all the risks that have been pretty…well, things you can’t really do anything about.

      I really need to get that dang article about the similarities between “duck and cover under your desk” and the school attack drills….

      1. One considerable difference is that “duck and cover” is a pretty good defense for nuclear war but terrible advice for a mass murderer with a high capacity rifle or pistol.

        Sure getting under the desk won’t do any good if you are in the region close to the blast, but there is a much larger donut shaped area around that kill zone where the blast won’t kill you but it does cause considerable damage to structures. If you are in THAT zone then getting all the kids under the desk will prevent lots of unneeded deaths and injury (and in a post nuclear world injuries are a lot more likely to eventually become fatal) from flying glass, falling debris, etc. And for most yields the area where getting under the desk is a good idea is actually larger than the area where it does no good (area being a function of the square of the radius and the second region being further from the blast). But the cool kids mock it try and show how smart they are. Pfth.

        1. One considerable difference is that “duck and cover” is a pretty good defense for nuclear war but terrible advice for a mass murderer with a high capacity rifle or pistol.

          Problem being that school attacks aren’t all gun wielders actually aiming, that is a secondary threat.
          The primary threat is bombs (do any of you older folks even remember that the Columbine attack had those, although they failed? It’s not like the obsession with bomb threats came out of nowhere) and wild spray attacks.

          That would be why I didn’t say “school shooters,” even though that’s the more common formula.

          Much like if you’re in the region close to the blast, duck and cover doesn’t do much. It’s all about secondary damage.

          1. The domestic attack on a school with the highest casualty count was perpetrated by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan, killing 38 elementary schoolchildren and six adults and injuring at least 58 other people.

            Pretty much ignored by commentators these days.

            1. In fairness, it is old– similarly, I can’t remember a school attack involving a bomb where there were more injuries from the bomb than from guns. (IIRC, the Columbine bombs all failed. Thank God, because they were tactically sound in placement.)

              Unless you were actually in school during the drills, the main thing you’d hear about would be the active shooters, or an occasional “school shut down because of threat, bomb team went in” thing.

  26. But wont reading about such things make people do them?

    Really? You think your fellow humans are so feeble of mind they’ll be unable to help themselves but will do something because they read about it? Honestly, is this projection?

    Thought of a way it might make sense– because reading about things CAN make you want to do them.

    Same way that hearing arguments can make you change your mind.

    Entertainment is– can be– a powerful argument to change your mind. If there’s a disjoint between what you think must be, and what is. You can figure out where the difference is, which requires a lot of poking at what you think, and what they think, and which is a lot of work and they’ll probably ignore… or you can scream and shout that it’s evil, and most of the time you’ll win. (Or at least you seem to– they stop talking, right?

  27. I started watching the Vikings (I’m really behind the curve on that and have only watched most of season 1) and this reminded me of that because, you know, Ragnar is really horrible by modern standards. He’s pretty good by the standards of his time as portrayed in the show. But it’s really what makes the show as good (what I’ve watched) as it is. Because you can’t use modern sensibilities to figure out who the good guys are or what they will do. Because of that, at this point, I have NO idea if his brother is the biggest evil SOB who will betray him, or if he’s a good guy. NO idea. I have NO idea if the prior Earls (Yarls?) wife is an evil SOB who will kill them all in their sleep or if she’s a good guy. NO idea. Go massacre a bunch of English monks? Yeah, well… all in a day’s work. And Ragnar doesn’t kill the monk he captures… but it’s got nothing to do with compassion. The monk asks him why it’s wrong to rape the upper class women but okay to rape the slaves and Ragnar looks sort of confused and says… “They’re slaves… what? You’re weird.” Early on the Earl kills a man through judicial shenanigans in order to get his land. This is bad, but not *that* bad if the man dies bravely. But then the Earl condemns the convicted’s soul. *That* was bad.

    It makes the whole thing far far more interesting than it would be otherwise. But you still can’t say it’s interesting because the main character is *bad*. He’s not. He’s incredibly heroic and brave and quite pious and fair.

    But you still don’t watch it and think that maybe the killing is okay or raping slaves is okay. If you do there is something wrong in your own head. If you think that while *you* don’t, that other people are weak minded and so much be protected, then you’re a condescending church lady.

    1. One of the delights of the Brother Cadfael books is how Ellis Peters is true to the values and motivations of that era while enabling modern eyes to understand their operation.

    2. One item worth noting is that Ragnar and Rolo are loosely based off of historical figures. I doubt that the writers paid too much attention to the brothers’ early history. But if you recognize who they are, then you know where they’re going.

      Ironically, Rolo’s probably the better known of the pair.

    3. A large swath of the ah, more seasoned members of the English department at my school binge watch the Vikings, for the languages. They are Old English junkies, I kid you not. And yeah, they also like the portrayal of the “past as a different country,” as historians say.

  28. I think folks here might appreciate the skill in this totally unrelated response:

    Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!
    O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can’t slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil excretes, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we’ve no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck your mother.
    You Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw your own mother!
    So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!
    – koshovyi otaman Ivan Sirko, with the whole Zaporozhian Host

  29. The interesting thing about the story of Odysseus is he is the only Classical hero mentioned as being primarily an archer. Archers and peltasts (sling-wielders) were considered not quite the thing, both for the ability to kill from a distance (not noble, you know!) and frequently being slaves or foreign mercenaries. This tells me the historical person providing the foundation must have been *damn* wily, and so good at his job his “dishonorable” weapon was excused. In addition, it might have been a subversive legend to help the archers and peltasts put up with all the bad press.

    In a similar way, the fairy tale insistence on the youngest son/daughter being the hero is subversive against primogeniture. It was deliciously wicked for the youngest to triumph in a time when the eldest got it all 😀 The urge to tell stories where *your* tribe/subculture triumphs is very old.

    I blame the SJW and other wailings on the parents who never let their children fail at anything. If reality never intrudes on your dream of launching into flight armed with nothing more than a blanket cape, there will be broken legs in your future. Or, never realizing that yes, there will ALWAYS be someone who is better or knows more than you, in any field. That is NOT an excuse for giving up and not learning. Kids who fear failure, though, will say “look, patriarchy holding me down because that old white guy!” Instead of going up to the old white guy, who in my experience is tickled pink to have a young person (especially female) express an honest interest in his field of knowledge and desire to learn. You can’t shut up all the gun instructors if you Shoot While Female, trust me … Yes, you will make some embarrassing newbie mistakes. I guarantee Old White Guy did too, and if you get to know him he’ll tell you some of the really funny ones.

    1. I suspect that the “youngest son is hero” thing came about because the member of the household most likely to go off and have adventures was the youngest son. After all, the youngest son was the one that needed to find his own way in the world.

      1. Depends on the society. In a lot of peasant cultures, they practiced ultimogeniture. The farm wasn’t big enough to support two families, so the oldest son couldn’t marry and raise his kids on the farm while his younger siblings were still there, and had to find his means of support elsewhere. The youngest son could marry and support his children because his siblings were grown, and probably the parents would die before his youngest was born.

  30. Yes, it’s interesting that when Oscar is confronted by the “Three Graces” his first reaction is to turn them down – hardly what you expect if he really did want a harem and was only interested in collecting notches for his bedpost. Yet, once he knew he’d created a major incident he was willing to play stud – as was pointed out up-thread. Stud, yes, boytoy, not so much, so it’s all in the spin of how it’s presented, I guess? And yes, I think Oscar didn’t want the things themselves that he named so much as the feelings they brought forth.

  31. Sorry! Forgive the double post – but – O Beautiful But Evil Space Princess, how i originally presented was MEANT to be the way you refute a theory – state the theory – then give examples that break it, thus demostrating that the theory is not valid.

  32. That quotation is one of Heinlein’s jewels!
    I grew up reading the Von Braun articles in Collier’s Magazine – the ones with the beautiful Bonstelle illustrations of space stations and moon rockets and I wanted that. Instead They threw it away and had some wars instead. I feel I’ve been cheated out of my legacy. Thank God for Space X, maybe my grandchildren will get to do it for real if we don’t blow it again.

  33. A rather late comment, having just seen this (and, no, I did not give the Idiots Of Nine any clicks, this was on PV).

    Who needs heroes when you can read about “…matriarchal bisexual polyamorous flying lizard-lion-bee people…”? Eh?

    There are just some things I really, really, do not want to think. I’m an old man, I need my sleep at night.

  34. Pardon the caps, but this was AWESOME! And the reference to the Dead Parrot Sketch just clinched it. I think I’ll bookmark this for rereading whenever I start feeling morose about the future. Awesome. God bless! 😀

  35. That’s how it worked for Jesse James and his gang in Missouri too. They were also taking advantage of holdover hard feelings from the Civil War, only striking Union associated targets.

    I do recall some retellings of Robin Hood lean fairly heavily on the Saxon/Norman divide (Although my English history’s a tad rusty. I dunno how long Richard III was after the Norman Invasion. Was it still actually a thing by then?)

    1. This was a reply to the Robin Hood discussion above. Thanks, WordPress, for making me look like more of a doofus…

    2. The first connection of Robin Hood to the Saxon/Norman thing was Sir Walter Scott’s version. (All the odder in that one of the most certain sources of the legend was Hereward the Wake, who was a Saxon resisting Normans.)

      And the first legends that mention a king, mention “Edward our comely king.”

    3. Well, in Jesse James’ case (also riffing on Foxfier’s response, as well as BigFella’s comment) some of those “holdover hard feelings” also persist to the present day. A couple of weeks ago I went to the original Bass Pro store in Springfield, MO, which among other attractions has a largish NRA-sponsored firearms museum above the guns and hunting gear section. One of the numerous historically-significant firearms on display there is one of Jesse James’ personal revolvers.

      I later got into a discussion with a staffer, who professed amazement that a good many Missourians still consider Jesse James a hero instead of a killer and a villain. You’d think somebody who worked in a history museum would know that often that’s a pretty thin line, and depends entirely on one’s point of view. And from my readings of Border War history, it was damned hard to tell the difference back then, too . . .

      Some years ago I had the opportunity to visit Brice’s Crossroads National Battlefield while visiting relatives in Mississippi. I found it hilarious that even the national historical markers had a gloating “Yeah, Forrest sure whupped those Yankees, didn’t he?” sort of tone to them.

      1. I’ve heard that Harry Truman couldn’t wear a National Guard uniform in front of his mother or MIL because it was a “Damn Yankee Uniform”.

  36. Moved down from above

    See, the thing is, I think that the situation is that the average man or woman is effectively blind to the flaws in their potential partners that members of the same gender would note instantly.

    I think this might be part of the fruit of the “putting everyone in the same year-group” issue.

    To identify the flaws you can’t see, you’ve got to have someone you trust and who’s judgement is better than their own.

    For an example, my own husband– first time I met him, I thought he was kind of scary. He set off all the alarms.

    This happens to also be rather sexy, if you don’t identify it as a threat.

    And he is scary. To licit targets. 😀 My training, from my folks and family friends, identified him as a possible threat because of that ability; if he DIDN’T have that limit, then he’d be a really, really bad guy.

    People who aren’t trained that way– and training is basically advice from folks who aren’t there– have to be fended off by some of his other behaviors. (which were taught to HIM by his grandmother and father; they combine to indicate “not a good target” to various users, although that’s not the only purpose)

  37. Last night I re-read “Glory Road.” Last time I had read it was probably 30 years ago. The first time I was in my early teens, and I probably read it four or five times after that.

    So, it was with relatively fresh eyes that I revisited the novel. And… boy is it preachy. And the whole last third has a bad case of the slows.

    I grew up reading Heinlein, but… somewhere along the way I outgrew Heinlein, for reasons I am only now becoming able to articulate.

    1. I never really cared for “Glory Road,” perhaps because of age and sex. I love TMIAHM, and other books. *shrug*

      1. It’s not just age and sex; I tried to read it back in high school, and dropped it after the “offer your daughters as hospitality” scene.
        Oh, and I’m male.

        1. It might not be my least favorite Heinlein (I’d have to think) but it shares with a couple of others the complete lack of interest in revisiting it which it shares with a lot that came after. By the time we get to the 70s only Friday and Job really stuck with me as a whole and Number of the Beast hangs around in large swaths.

          I find now going back to Heinlein either means a grounding reading of Starship Troopers or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (which usually comes with more arguments today than 20-30 years ago) or re “get back my optimism” rereading of a juvenile or the future history stories.

        2. I thought it a weird but valid way to present culture shock. He wasn’t promoting that lifestyle. Just showing that others are possible. The “Line Marriage” in TMIAHM is also odd, but it is voluntary. The GR situation seems to regard women as chattel.

          1. But the whole “having the get of a hero in your household” seems to have a place in human history. Then again, so does regarding women as chattel.

            What shocked me more was how insulting his refusal was considered to be. That, more than how the women were viewed, really threw me when I read the first time (which was as an adult but before 30 if memory serves).

            1. Yeah, Ringo sure plays up that angle. I read the book back in junior high, so I didn’t remember that.

              What has stuck in my head from the book was the the concept “there outta be a law” was bonehead stupid. It’s why I see Congress in gridlock as a “Good Thing.”

            2. We have direct evidence of the “having the get of a hero in your household” attitude at least as far back as the Greek myths.
              The “women as chattel” complaint overlooks the fact that most men were chattel in that culture and assumes that all women (including Star) were chattel — an assumption somewhat challenged by the text of Glory Road. Throughout History and even in the present, all subjects of the crown (members of the Tribe/Clan/Whatever) are chattel, including the King, Queen and/or Chief/Clan Leader/Patriarch/Matriarch. The chains simply chafe more for some members.
              As for the insult … the clan was willing — eager — to take on the burden of raising any offspring, what they were asking from him would have cost him nothing to give, and the implication that the clan’s women were unattractive … well, try telling an even moderately good-looking gal as much and see how well it goes over. Different cultures, different mores; how many times must RAH tell us that?

                1. Sigh. That was supposed to have been sent myself, for posting when I was safely back on my home computer. I’d no idea it would go live on the site.

                  I deeply regret the lack of proper paragraphination and any inconvenience caused the casual reader. All non-casual readers are advised to review their life priorities.

                  As for the email address, well, it’s nothing those here haven’t seen the like of before and while not especially proud of it I am not embarrassed to display it in public.

            3. I had problems with that too. The Nevians were certainly familiar with travelers; the subject even came up in the story.

              Still, at the level of insult Oscar supposedly gave, I would have expected the Doral to either demand to know why Oscar had reneged on his part of the deal, or chained him up until he performed as agreed.

              *All* of the Doral’s people knew of the supposed insult; everybody else would have known in short order. To maintain the honor of the house, it would have been simpler to cut Oscar’s throat and then say he’d unfortunately broken his neck while tripping over a puppy. Nobody would have called the Doral on it.

              1. Mrph. Another part of the Nevian honor code was the “guest in the hall” – also one from our past (and still practiced today by some). Once you had accepted them into your hall as a guest, they were off limits no matter the mortal insult they might give. (Injury being different.) Once they left your hall (or your lands, in this case) – they were fair game once again.

                Actually similar to a couple of situations that I have had in the past. I have told people to get out of my house for serious insult (usually not to me, but others) – and told them that if they ever showed their face again, it would be creatively rearranged for them.

                1. This circumstance is milked for great comedy by Buster Keaton in Our Hospitality, (1923):

                  Synopsis: For decades, two Southern families, the Canfields and the McKays, have been engaged in a bitter feud. In the prologue, set in 1810, John McKay is killed during a shootout at his cabin and his wife leaves for New York with their infant son to spare him from the feud. In 1831, the now adult William McKay is informed of his inheritance of his family’s estate (in reality a dilapidated shack) and takes a trip down South to administer it. During the long and bumpy train ride he meets Virginia, a pretty young girl who invites him to her house for dinner. Little does William know that his new girlfriend is a Canfield, and that her father and brothers are lying in wait to shoot him. Only one thing spares him that evening: the rules of Southern hospitality forbid killing a guest in one’s home. Once he discovers their plan, William must contrive to stay in their house at all costs and to dodge their bullets when he’s finally forced to leave.

                  Buster Keaton’s Our Hospitality (1923) remains one of his very funniest films, but it was also a groundbreaking work of silent film comedy at the time of its release. Not the least of its triumphs is its careful integration of gags into a dramatically coherent storyline. …

    2. And… boy is it preachy. And the whole last third has a bad case of the slows.

      I joined this thread in the middle, so I missed that line. But yeah, it starts off as high adventure and devolves into a political tract. As much as RAH is justly revered here, he occasionally lost the narrative and fell into message fiction.

      My biggest problem with RAH is that some novels seem to be brought to a conclusion rather abruptly. It’s as though he saw a scheduled submission date coming up and said “Time to finish this up.”

    3. I still like Glory Road. Yes, he pushed a lot of philosophy into ALL his books, and that one is is a little shaky. but I didn’t find the end slow. ARGUABLY he’d have done better to make the book two books.
      None of us are perfect.

      1. No. And I bought everything of his that I could find when I was much younger; RAH might as well have been a foster parent. But I’m a lot more sophisticated and critical than I used to be.

        As a writer you have to connect with your readers. Back then, I was smack in the middle of the RAH bullseye. But now in many ways, I’m no longer part of his target audience.

        The words are the same, but the reader is not.

  38. “Wouldn’t it be better if we wrote only about the world as we wish it would be,”

    Gosh, you’ve invented Socialistic Realism, welcome to the USSR’s of the thirties !

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