One of the weird habits of writers is that every few years we go and get our trunk stories and read them and go “Wow, I really am better now.”
We’ve done this recently as a family (hey the family that picks scabs together stays together) and laughed heartily at some of our early stuff. (BTW if you’re a working writer — meaning you didn’t take some long hiatus in between and you read stuff from ten years ago and say “wow, I was good” this is a bad sign.)
So it occurred to me this little cell of dissidence — or as a friend calls it, “Hoyt’s home for the tragically gifted” — needed to do the equivalent.
I “came out” of the political closet roughly five years ago. This was done in stages, so it’s hard to pinpoint a specific date. To be fair, I don’t think it was possible before in the sense that not only would I have been black llisted with the main stream publishing left, but also with the right, who would have viewed me as extreme and “crazy.”
In fact, when we first started out, after I’d come out of the political closet, with people saying stuff like “I couldn’t come out in mainstream publishing, or people would have never published me again.” Or “I can’t come out because I work in Academia” we got commenters in here — not all leftist — accusing us of being paranoid and crazy.
No one can honestly say that, after the battle for Berkley, the Sad Puppies insanity in which one of the major publishing houses in the business called in favors in mass media to tar a movement with artistic and aesthetic differences as “racist, sexist, homophobic” and “trying to keep minorities and women from writing science fiction.” Also, at various points during the kerfuffle those of us who were involved got told we’d never work/be invited to cons in this town again. (BTW being invited to cons might seem to beginners to be part of the pomp and circumstance of being successful as a writer, but those of us to the right of Lenin — meaning we weren’t talking politics to begin with — have gotten used to surviving without big con presence, and frankly, from observing my indie sales, I’m not sure cons were ever useful for sales, unless you were front and center on the demographic that attends cons. Since I’m aiming for younger readers that don’t have a lot of time for non-paying activities… meh.)
What if I’d decided to say that the left would weaponize the IRS and other governmental departments? Well, in 2011 we might still be called crazy. After Lois Lerner not so much.
What about when we said things like the Clintons being corrupt? Well, back in 2010/11 a lot of people were still talking about what great Americans the Clintons were, and how the only reason the Republicans didn’t like Billy Jeff was his peccadilloes. But the election in 2016 — despite all the vari-colored hairs sporting Hillary t-shirts — proved that most people don’t buy their innocent act. Despite all the mass-media burnishing of their image and their “achievements” enough tarnishing information has come out, that no one buys it anymore.
How about that global warming, eh? Yeah, I know. In 2010 at a company dinner for a friend’s job, we spoke in hushed tones about how it had some flaws. Now most people roll their eyes at the media when they push this crap, and the more alert have started to say “so, it’s climate change now? Why do you keep changing names like a bad Chinese restaurant?”
What about some of my “kookier” ideas like that world population is not as big as I think it is, and that there is no possible way to tell how big it actually is, since even in the US — which has, arguably one of the most reliable censuses in the world, we “estimate” people and “count uncountable population” and other political ways to inflate population. (Much less in the countries which receive international aid per-capita.) Well, when I first mentioned it in passing, here, my comments were full of “no, no, we know exactly how many people there are, and the world population is climbing terrifyingly.” Now I can say that we don’t know how big the world population is but that it doesn’t seem to be as big as we’ve been told, ON PJMEDIA and the comments don’t yell at me for being paranoid.
What about having a general doubt of things reported in one of the Mass Media outlets? Sure in our councils, as it were, we’ve made fun of MSM all along, but people used to assume if the NYT said it there was some fire beneath the smoke.
Yeah, after Russian pee pee gate and the determined attempts to NOT report on Hillary’s multiple liabilities That is gone, baby, gone. In fact, it was people at large attaching “fake news” to the MSM that caused MSM to try to walk back this cute meme they’d started. (too late.)
Then there was their attempt to Mau Mau (Mao Mao) the rest of the US with the idea that every white person was racist, the police was hunting for black men, and BLM were going to burn our cities until we admitted our guilt. Then there was their screaming about global warming, while jetting around the world. Oh, and let’s not forget Occupy Wall Street, which, in each of our cities translated to “crazy half dozen and clearly dangerous homeless people standing on the corner being crazy” while the MSM treated it as a respectable movement.
Oh, and let us not forget “Summer of Recovery.” Which the unemployed read amid shuttered store fronts and thought “that’s funny.”
There are a ton more examples. It’s Saturday morning, and I’m not awake enough to list them all. So, I’ll let you hunt them down.
How did we get here from where we were 5 or even 6 years ago, where the left commanded the heights of culture, moved the overton window at their pleasure, and were considered “sane” and “mainstream”? Well, it was a bit of this and a bit of that.
First of all it was the fact that when Obama got reelected despite a — charitably — lack luster and uncharitably bizarrely disastrous (in economy, in world prestige, in pretty much everything) first term, the left thought it would never lose again. So they leaned way out the Overton Window and REACHED for what they thought was within their easy grasp.
Second there was the New Media and the fact that everyone has a camera on their phone. You do realize that in the 70s we all — not just the crazy and biased left — would believe “hands up, don’t shoot” right? And that Antifa were pure-halo-knights of the resistance, right? But alas the man on the street can now record masked thugs bashing women’s faces in, and the halo is tarnished forever, no matter how much the MSM tries to burnish it.
Third, there is the development of what I’d call “right wing talk backers.” and a right wing culture. Indie publishing has allowed a bunch of leans-libertarian (and right) authors to self-publish. Yeah, a lot of them are awful, but not all. And you can’t hide the ones who aren’t. And that means those of us who used to swallow the left politics with our entertainment because it was the only game in town no longer have to. Which means that the mass-industrial-entertainment complex is losing money. (And just you wait till our people take the movies!)
The leftist and dysfunctional view of the world can only persist while it’s unopposed. Now, it’s not. Now it has a million dissident, not particularly organized voices talking back to it.
Recently, an episode of Right Angle at https://www.billwhittle.com/ talked about how 1984 might be impossible with the level of communications and internet we have NOW. I think they’re right, because to make the world of DST (first written in 1998) fly, I had to add in a disabling of the internet and peer-to-group communications.
And that’s my scattered Saturday morning thoughts.
The election of 2016, with a not terribly appealing anti-left (we can’t call him right) candidate wouldn’t have gone the way it did if tuning out the leftist entertainment/news/intellectual complex hadn’t become the norm.
The left wouldn’t be running for safe rooms and complaining of trigger words if they were still in control.
More importantly they wouldn’t have tried some of the crazy gambits they’ve tried, in terms of telling us to believe their words over our lying eyes (really, Don Junior violating his “oath of citizenship”? REALLY?) if they weren’t in a panic.
Ride right through them, boys. They’re demoralized as hell.
In the end we win, they lose. And we’ve come a lot further towards it than I bet you realized.