Don’t Be A Victim! A Blast From The Past from June 4, 2014

Don’t Be A Victim! A Blast From The Past from June 4, 2014

This is a post about victimhood: admiring, sanctifying, exploiting, parading and – strangest of all – stealing victimhood.

Guys, seriously, if aliens dropped in from alpha centauri tomorrow they would think we are very odd creatures. What is it with the big fights over who the biggest victim is, shaming and trying to make people feel guilty because they aren’t victims, claiming victimhood on behalf of anyone else and, most important of all, endowing oneself with someone else’s victimhood by white-knighting for them?

To define things: a victim is someone to whom, through no fault of his or her own, unpleasant things happen. Worse, in today’s lexicon, to cultivate the victimhood, a victim must remain a victim and allow bad things to continue happening to him/her. The minute he stops being a victim he loses all victimhood points.

So… who would WANT to be a victim. Beats me. I’ve been one at times, through no fault of my own, and it was pretty unpleasant.

Part of this, I think, is a perversion of the desire to help others. For instance, in books, it is easiest to gain sympathy with a character if pretty unpleasant things have happened/continue to happen to them. Anyone who has read my books knows I’m not above using those.

Here’s the thing, though, in a book worth reading, the character doesn’t come in whining and sobbing, doesn’t drape himself all over you claiming victimhood and REMAIN A VICTIM for the rest of the story. Instead, the character shoulders his or her limitations, grows and becomes admirable not by feeling sorry for him/herself, but by doing something worthwhile. If he or she does remain a passive victim, for this reader at least, the book takes flying lessons.

Mind you, if your ambition is to be assigned to a school’s reading schedule, then that’s exactly what the book should be. I don’t know how many of the kids’ assigned books could be described as “Downtrodden minority has a shower of sh*t rained on his/her head every page of the book, till the end when he/she dies a horrible death or achieves revenge in some stupid way.” It’s the plot of all of them I skimmed.

Add to that the strange concoction of sixties/seventies ideas that no one is ever guilty of anything and that even the most heinous criminal was driven to it by society, and we have… a fine mess, where being a victim gives you license to do whatever you want, and be as nasty as you want to perceived “evildoers” while remaining “saintly” because you are a victim.

As a confession, when I was in 9th grade, during the final exams (the ultimate accountability exam. It having come to someone’s attention that through the previous three years, the first years of the revolution, teaching had been spotty; days had been spent painting murals and having our “consciousness” raised and that some schools were never in fact assigned teachers, in 9th grade they made us take a nationally scored exam – ours was the first and weirdest year, since we weren’t prepared for it, but since then it’s become a national thing. You had to pass the exam to continue or, in fact, to have any chance at college.) which were stressful-crazy, since most of the stuff on them we’d never been taught, and “I haven’t been taught this” was no reason for the question not to count, one of the boys in the all-boy school across from mine committed suicide.

In retrospect, he must have been mentally ill. What he left behind was the usual “manifesto” bumble broth of complaints about how we were treating the environment and men’s inhumanity to men.

His letter made the rounds of both schools and more than one of us posted it in some public space, because of course, he was a “victim of society” and we identified with him.

This was foolishness. First, I’m fairly sure he was mentally ill (though it might not have been permanent had he survived. In the boiling broth leading up to those exams, all of us could be fairly overheated) and second, it was his decision to kill himself, not anyone in society.

But as adolescents we were primed to view “he was driven to it” as a reason enough and to lionize him. It was the spirit of the times. Nothing better than being the ultimate victim: a dead one.

It wasn’t always this way. One of my favorite books is A Little Princess, which is admittedly my most girlish taste in reading. I read it round about twelve, and granted, the girl is a victim. But the thing is, she doesn’t stay a victim. Through imagination and compassion, she builds a universe for herself that can’t be destroyed, and is ultimately rewarded. (BTW the movie is not like the book, and the book is better.)

And there were times, further back, when being poor or a “victim” in any way was proof that you were somehow evil. A bit of this mentality is preserved in Islam’s belief that Christ could not have been crucified, because that would be proof he wasn’t a prophet.

Yes, if you look further back, there are some hints of this in the Judeo Christian tradition. All the prophets of Israel seemed to be cast out and wander the wilderness doing the Biblical equivalent of eating out of trashcans, which was a necessary passage to their destiny, and of course Christian martyrs went singing psalms to the lions’ bellies. (Believe it or not, they did. It was a great factor in early conversions. Though I suspect now and then, one of them, faith or not, indulged in a good cry or scream. Who knows?)

What one is apt to forget in our secular days is the difference between dying in the FIRM belief in a reward on the other side, or suffering ill on Earth in the certainty that Himself will life one up after. The amount of certainty in the afterlife even among people in my village dwarfed my most faith-filled moments. They spoke of it incidentally and casually, as one plans a holiday or a trip abroad. I think that most of those days from which the stories of true martyrs come to us were more like that, and in face of the great reward promised, a passage through brief victimhood was acceptable.

It was perhaps predictable the tradition would get perverted by the romantics.

But it in itself, it wouldn’t matter much, hadn’t Marx got his foot in the intellectual door of the West. (Like a bad salesman. A little bearded ink blot, selling hatred and divisiveness.)
It was Marx who allotted victimhood out by classes and classes in a later evolution of his theory came to be apportioned by such weird characteristics as sex, race or sexual attraction.

According to the neo-Marxists what you are determines your victimhood. You can neither escape nor change it.

Take me, for instance, as a Latina (and fairly dark if I spent any time in the sun, which I don’t), an immigrant, a woman, I am by definition downtrodden and a victim. My days are filled with endless struggle and humiliation. There is no way to change that… unless of course, I declare non-Marxist opinions when the other side will immediately define me as white and call me names. They have to define me as white before they call me names, otherwise they just would add to my victimhood points. (No, I don’t know what you get if you win. Perhaps a set of matched shot glasses.)

But don’t despair, if you’re born lilly white, and even – gasp – male, you can be a victim by proxy so long as your opinions are red. You become a champion of the downtrodden and from then on you can attribute everything that goes wrong in your life to political discrimination.

 

Sorry, I rolled my eyes so hard I dropped them. Will someone please retrieve them for me and dust off the cat hair. Right.

Do I need to tell you this is nonsense?

Yes, of course, some people are victims. In fact, I will pretty confidently state we’re all victims sometime. Sometimes it’s when we’re too young to know better. And sometimes it is because we love someone and allow him or her to take advantage of us. And sometimes it’s even because of our sex, color, or sexual orientation.

Most of the time, though we’re only victims for some time.

Even the people I know who grew up in the hardest circumstances imaginable, usually turned their lives around when they became adults/moved away.

In fact to remain a victim seems to take either mental illness or extraordinary effort not to improve one’s circumstances.

And no, of course, victimhood doesn’t always follow the lines that people tell you should be victims. Say you grew up in a middle class community as a black person, in America. You might think you’re a victim – only because the SJW’s tell you that night and day – but the truth is that you’re nowhere near victimhood. The poor black baby born to a crack addicted mother in Detroit is. As is a white baby in similar circumstances. Notwithstanding which, they might both turn out all right and have a good life.

Because here’s the thing: this is America. We don’t have a caste system. As study after study shows, people move all over the map, not just physically but economically.

America is a country where you can reinvent yourself. Unless, of course, you’re wedded to your victimhood and think it confers something special upon you.

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. If you’re a victim, it doesn’t make you special, or good or full of human kindness. It is in fact likely to make you the opposite – human nature being what it is. But mostly, you’ll be the same human you were before you were victimized. And being victimized doesn’t excuse your acting horribly. Self-defense is not the same as hurting those who never did any harm to you.

Your “class of victimhood” doesn’t count in anyone’s mind but Marxists, and come on, those people are crazy cultists. It doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else.

And if you experienced a little pang at reading that, it’s time you came out of the dank darkness of Marxism and into the light.

You see, while being a certain color or orientation or sex might cause crazy people who follow a long-dead white-man (failed) prophet of doom to fawn upon you, refusing to be a victim, taking your lumps and learning from your experiences and battling on, makes you human, and an individual human at that.

And if you are an individual human, not trying to follow any script, the possibilities are limitless, and you decide where you go and – depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in – how far you go.

And that – that – is far more fun and more interesting than being a perpetual victim.

Stand tall. You’re a free man/woman. Despite what the Social Justice Warriors Whiners would have you believe, your future is not dictated by your skin color, sex, orientation, or even (within limits) your handicap.

Your future is yours, and only you can script it.

 

UPDATE: Today being Wednesday, I have a post up at Mad Genius Club.

 

198 responses to “Don’t Be A Victim! A Blast From The Past from June 4, 2014

  1. This is a post about victimhood: admiring, sanctifying, exploiting, parading and – strangest of all – stealing victimhood.

    Note to self: Until DEATH* come to take me make it a goal to always get up one more time than I get knocked down. Encourage others to do likewise.

    * I do wonder if he will will sound just like Christopher Lee.

  2. c4c

  3. “Today being Wednesday”?

    Checks calendar. It looks like it’ll be Tuesday all day. :puzzled smile:

    • She woke up, it felt like a Wednesday, and it’s Sarah. Cut her some slack.
      Names for days of the week are just suggestions anyway.
      Oh wait, it can’t be hump day. That would mean I missed Taco Tuesday.

    • But I like Wednesday. Wednesday refuses to be a victim.

    • The important thing is that today identifies as a Wednesday. Who do you think you are, imposing your demands of Gregorian Correctness on a poor little day who wants nothing more than to be associated with the All Father and cannot identify with Tyr of the Single Hand?

      #End Binary Septinary Identity Assignment

    • If you follow that link you will find Our Most Esteemed Hostess’ Mad Genius post of June 4, 2014, entitled The Battle of the Book, in which she discusses working on Through Fire.

  4. > long-dead white-man

    Uncle Karl was a Jew by the standards of his day, so “Jew” trumps “white” on the Victimization Scale, right? Or is it the other way around? Or are both trumped by the “Fat Dude With Beard” Value Adjustment? He still gets to keep his Suffering In Poverty points, right?

    [Man, someone needs to write an app for this sort of thing; the Race, Oppression, and Victimization scales change so fast it’s hard to keep track… ]

    • With a standard end of the result being the line, “You do realize this is all utter bunkum, don’t you?”

    • Assuming Sarah meant Jesus of Nazareth; while he would probably be classified as Caucasian, I doubt he’d be accepted as “White”.

      Jesus was only a “victim” in the sense that something unpleasant happened to him. It doesn’t really count as victimhood because it was a planned sacrifice that he willingly, if not happily, engaged in. After all, it was unpleasant, hurt like hell, and was ultimately fatal; but was necessary for accomplishing His goal.

    • Tom Lehrer put it well National Brotherhood Week:

      …and everybody hates the Jews.

      History indicates that this may be one of the few positions on which diverse population groups agree. 😦

    • Tom Lehrer put it well in his song National Brotherhood Week:

      …and everybody hates the Jews.

      History indicates that this has been one of the few positions on which diverse population groups agree. 😦

      • Dang dang dang dang double dang dang. Damn automatic computer maintenance… hangs head in shame for not reading all the fine print more carefully …

    • ” Or is it the other way around?”

      It Depends.

      What is most politically useful?

      “it’s hard to keep track… ]”

      Impossible. By intention. Ex post facto rule changes are the only way they can ensure you are ALWAYS guilty.

  5. I have no problem believing that A Little Princess — a book where the main character employs fantasy to alleviate the effects of the reality she in which she finds herself, and who remains kind and generous towards others even as she suffered deprivations — caught the imagination of Our Most Esteemed Hostess.

  6. According to the neo-Marxists what you are determines your victimhood. You can neither escape nor change it.

    Which amounts to a tyranny of birth, a modern caste system.

    • Exactly! The central point being that the neo-marxists are Modern Intellectuals, and yearn for the days when simply being literate made you Important (because, really, that’s all they’ve got). And the last time that was true was when we all lived under a restrictive class system, so they are desperately trying to bring that idea back, by hook or by crook.

  7. OT(?)
    (BTW the movie is not like the book, and the book is better.)

    Has the opposite *EVER* been the case?

    • On occasion (Mame, for instance.)

      • Not the 1974 musical, as much as I like Robert Preston, but the 1958 film.

        I rather liked the book, but Rosland Russell owned the role. I wish I could have seen the stage production.

    • An argument has been made for “The Godfather.” Though I personally am annoyed with the movie for making Kay, a reasonably strong character in the book, such a ridiculously naive doormat.

      You could also say “Blade Runner” was better than “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.” They were very different stories, and I don’t think those who prefer the “Blade Runner” version have bad taste.

      And while I have neither read nor seen these, I’ve heard a number of people argue that many of the “Twilight” movies were better than their source material. Granted, these were also people who were of the opinion that there was nowhere to go but up from the source material, so take that for what it’s worth…

      • I think that the question of whether the book or movie was better often depends on whether you saw the movie or read the book first.

        • I have come to conclude that it’s best to let movies be movies and books be books. If the movie generally catches the spirit of the book, and as a movie it’s decent, I am content.

          This is what enabled me to enjoy “Jurassic Park” the movie as much as I enjoyed the book, even though I read the book first. Indeed, I had no idea that the landscape was supposed to be green! (For some reason, the first time I read it, I imagined it barren, much like Utah, I guess…)

          Having said that, I’ll cringe when an adaptation goes off the rails, or the movie or book is particularly bad for some reason or another…

      • Not to be confused with the novel “The Blade Runner” by Alan E. Nourse, about a world where the government controls all health care except for a few black market doctors who illegally provide care for cash. (Their bootleg medical supplies are acquired by blade runners.)

        “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” didn’t sound like a great movie title, so the producer bought the right to use the title in a movie from the person who had the movie rights to Nourse’s book. (I read somewhere that a movie of Nourse’s book was eventually made, but it stank. I’ve never seen it.)

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Jaws.

      • There was a book? Alright, that shouldn’t surprise me. Then, I’ve never sat down and watched the movie. Having lived through the hype, there really isn’t any appeal to bother. Then, although I’ve read the script for Casablanca and can see it’s a fantastic script, I can’t stand to actually watch the dang thing and walk out or switch away/off seconds (or fractions thereof) after the intro narration ends. Perhaps it’s that having heard all the now-cliche lines, it feels like a movie of cliches, though it is/was the source for them. Or it’s that hype, even this late, puts me off. Now, Citizen Kane I like… never mind any cinematic innovations it might have, the story speaks to me.

    • William O. B'Livion

      Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

    • Lord of the Rings. Honestly. The movies did exactly what I prayed they would. They cut out the irritating and unnecessarily details that added nothing to the plot or characters.

      • Alright, that I must grant, even not having read LotR nor sat through the movies. After.. slogging through.. The Hobbit, a movie would condense all that scene description into images and thus be much, much shorter.

        Still, I’d like a movie of Bored of the Rings. And for that they had best keep Tim Benzadrine in the picture!

        • *cracks up*

          For some reason Jackson added extra subplots and managed to make The Hobbit, which I find a relatively brisk read, as long a movie trilogy as LotR itself. If you want shorter… uh, there is a much reviled cartoon I haven’t actually seen yet?

          • Rankin-Bass Productions have to be appreciated for what they are, and the intended audience.

            • Though some scenes are too good to leave out of any version:

            • I personally don’t like the cartoon for various reasons, but I cannot argue with one thing: it stays true to the source material.

              I have sometimes wondered if Peter Jackson’s reasoning for what he did with the Hobbit went along the lines of “Well, there weren’t any halfway-decent adaptations of LOTR until I came along…and the Hobbit doesn’t have any particularly awful adaptations. It’s time I fix that!”

              Arguably, if things like the “Tolkien Edit” fixes the most egregious issues, Peter Jackson will have failed…but he nonetheless gave it a good college try!

      • There we have to disagree. The movie trimmed off the fat, then a chunk of the meat, and then sliced out some of the bone–and then had the temerity to try and replace some of what they cut out.

        • I’ll disagree with what you say, to some extent (to some extent I would probably agree that they didn’t handle certain things in the movies as well as they ought), but your imagery sparks a comment I cannot help but make:

          I’ve only seen the first of the three Hobbit movies, and while I aspire to see all three, I don’t expect much from them. It is my understanding that with the Hobbit, they did just the opposite: they fattened it up so much that we got a literal spherical cow that those physicists seem to be so enamored about…

          • (The spherical cow I’m imagining isn’t just a sphere in body with legs sticking out, either, but a sphere that pushes itself out to the hooves, so that it looks like a beach ball with a four hooves, a tail, a snout, ears and horns, all on the surface.)

          • Look up “The Tolkien Edit”. Someone went through and recut the movies into one four-hour length by following the book plot as best as he could while keeping the movie on track as a movie.

            As for LOTR, while I agree with many of the things that they did (and love, BTW), I am a bit annoyed at some other parts (like making the Ends foolish pacifists until they get smacked in the face.) Won’t keep me from watching and re-watching them. They’re a different beast from the books and the way they did Gollum was pure genius.

            • I’ve been thinking for a while that something like that probably ought to be done for the Hobbit.

              • The Hobbit is what was cut down; sorry if that were unclear.

                • I’m afraid it was my comment that was unclear.

                  I have read about the Tolkien Edit, and it shows promise. I’ll have to look at it at some point; I’ll still want to watch the original movies too.

                  I *did* see a review where someone asked “Why doesn’t anyone do something similar with LOTR?” The answer, of course, is two-fold: first, you have things like the stupid thing with the Ents, where the problem is that the Ents were driven to fight out of anger, rather than made the ponderous decision that it was the right thing to do (and a hobby editor *can’t* redo the acting to make it right); second, the other major complaints concern what was left *out*, and without the actors, costumes, sets and CGI, it’s difficult to put in stuff that you want to be in there, but isn’t. There’s a third thing that I seem to recall that was brought up, too: there are a handful of stupid scenes in LOTR than would be nice to cut out, but they are short, and they don’t intrude in the story all that much.

                  And while there’s debate about what should and should not have been cut out of LOTR, there’s quite a bit of logic in what was left out for cinematic purposes.

                  The Hobbit, OTOH? A cow is supposed to have legs! And a neck! Not these little black hooves that look like ornaments on a beach ball… When something is this bloated, it’s relatively easy to suck out the bloat, and make it look somewhat like a cow.

                  (In looking at the Tolkien Edit info, apparently there’s plans to take some of that stuff and make a movie about Gandalf going into Dol Goldur to fight the Necromancer…apparently there’s enough footage — that doesn’t belong in the story of the Hobbit — to make a nice little movie in its own right!)

                  • When I say “I have read about the Tolkien Edit”, I think I’m making myself unclear again. I should have said something like “Now that I have read about the Tolkien Edit, I see it shows promise”, because I didn’t know about it until you pointed it out to me.

                    Oh, and thanks for pointing it out! I appreciate knowing about these efforts!

          • Many of the people who didn’t like the movies are crushed that Tom “Deus Ex Machina” Bombadil got cut. I didn’t even remember Tom Bombadil until reminded he got cut.

          • What they did is take all the backstory Tolkien wrote to integrate it to LOTR (some in the LOTR main body, more in the Appendices) and pulled it into the limelight.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        There’s some bits I was happy to lose, like Boromir’s extended funeral. It’s nice that you went out of your ways to honor your fallen comrade, but shouldn’t you be chasing after the Orcs who took Merry and Pippin?

        And I never liked Tom Bombadil. Come at me, bros.

        • I kindof liked some of that stuff, but I definitely agree that it wouldn’t have worked very well in a movie.

          OTOH, the movie really fumbled the Palantir. They needed to go into more detail about why they were important, and why using them could drive a king mad.

          • I should also add that a the Palantir would have made a *whole* lot more sense if just a handful of sentences were added to the dialog.

            Yeah, that’s one of the big things that bugs me about the movies. It makes sense to me, but that’s only because I’ve read the books and can fill in the gaps.

    • Clive Barker’s ‘The Hellbound Heart’, was turned into the horror movie series ‘Hellraiser’. Not all of the movies are great, but 1,2, and 5 are all better than the book. My tradition for October is to watch horror movies and a Hellraiser movie always makes it onto my list of movies to watch. The book though, even Kristy, who’s supposed to be the one sympathetic character (I think she’s supposed to be sympathetic since she’s the more pathetic, less idiotic of the two characters who aren’t horrible people) is so hard to care about because of what a wet dishrag of a person she is, letting things happen as they happen and hardly trying to do anything to better herself, which is impressive given that she’s a character in a horror story.

    • The Book and Film of THE GREAT ESCAPE compliment each-other nicely; they are really two different takes on the same event. The Book goes into the details of technique. The film focuses on personalities. Which one is better depends on which you want.

      BED KNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS is better in film form. It just is. I feel sure that there are any number of godawful books that inspired terrific films. BEN HUR springs to mind; it ay have been a great read to people accustomed to the rhythms of Victorian prose, but to modern readers it’s pretty flipping’ impenetrable.

      Tarzan is a better book….when you are twelve. Much older and the author’s clunky writing style starts to intrude on his GREAT storytelling ability. So, best is having read them early, and then remembering them without ERB’s godawful writing. Nevertheless, several of the films are better than the actual text, as opposed to the STORY the text tells.

    • I think I could make an argument for the movie being better than the book for The Thin Man and for The Maltese Falcon.

      As movies and books are different experiences, and books contain considerably more data, those of us who enjoy reading are bound to prefer books in most cases. These days I gather that a script rarely runs more than seventy-odd pages, so any novel will require considerable trimming to fit the film format unless the author indulges in large amounts of descriptive prose.

      Any reasonably sized book, such as The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (which runs 300 pages) requires a TV mini-series to avoid excessive abridgment. There are also the problems caused by the fact that every reader has a slightly different envisionment of the Cosmic All various characters, such that whoever might be cast as Manny, Wyoh or Prof faces an incredible challenge.

      Even though I have never seen frame one of the Game of Thrones adaptation, I am confident it is superior to the books.

      • I’d hold out for Exodus being a better film than as a book. It cut out great chunks of back-story in favor of the main characters and plot.

      • “Even though I have never seen frame one of the Game of Thrones adaptation, I am confident it is superior to the books.”

        The big difference is that the adaptation is going to have an ending in another year. The books may or may not ever get an ending, but they certainly won’t by next summer.

      • Sometimes it depends on *which* film adaptation we’re talking about. The famous “Maltese Falcon” movie with Bogart, etc…, was not the first film adaptation Heston’s “Ben Hur” was not the first time Hollywood made that story into a movie (nor the last – the most recent one was released just last year – and promptly dropped from sight).

    • The Last Ship is an excellent TV series with Adam Baldwin and an awful book.

  8. Also, sort of related to the victim thing, a friend has a great saying regarding medical diagnosis and (mis)behavior: “A diagnosis is NOT a license to asshole.”

    • This, this right here. I’m hitting the invisible like button as hard as I can because this is something I’ve regularly had to tell friends of mine. They get their diagnosis and then use it as an excuse to stop trying.

    • Except that we now have a legal system which means it is a license to asshole: service pigs on airplanes, suing businesses who don’t have the right size ramp, demanding your disability be “accommodated” even at the expense of others, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam, ad infinitum nauseam..

  9. Looking back at Stop, Thief! from the linked related posts:

    A couple of years ago, a male friend who wrote from a female POV got back a letter telling him this was unethical. Not just bad writing, mind – which knowing my friend it wouldn’t be – but wrong on a moral level. He couldn’t write women, because he wasn’t one.

    Obviously such people have been drawn into a great conspiracy to eliminate reading. If it is immoral to write characters that are not of the same identification as our-self and books are only to be judged acceptable on their proper inclusiveness then nothing but prescriptive committee written material will be available. The resulting product should convince people to stop reading in no time.

    I refuse to become a victim of such a conspiracy. Thankfully there is indie.

    • Dear Humanity (and felinity, draconity, etc.):
      You do NOT need to be a minotaur to write of us.
      Write us good.
      Write us evil.
      Write us anywhere between.
      Write us with flaws.
      Write us kind.
      Write us vicious.
      Write us in, write us out, write us friend, write us foe, write us with wanton disregard if that advances plot.
      Write us tragic, write us comedic, write us straight-“man.”
      Just, please, do not write us “literary.”
      Thank you.

    • You have just described the rationale behind trad pub book choices and that whole Hugo thing over the past few years. One of their agents will stop by shortly to escort you to one of their reeducation camps.

      • “Reeducation camps”
        That phrase just raises the hackles on my neck’ and make me want the feel of gun metal in my ands and the smell of gunpowder in my nostrils.

        • Camp?

          ‘Wednesday, look at all all the other children, their freckles, their bright little eyes, their eager friendly smiles. Help them.’

          • Scenes like that, as well as Phy. Ed. “classes” convinced me that “Listen up!” translates as “I have nothing of value to say.”

            • Yup. I, too, learned to translate it as they have nothing of value to say. As an adult something about seeing children treated as fools sets me on edge.

      • There won’t be reeducation camps in America. Look at the mischief we get into when we’re spread out across a continent. Now imagine what we’d do if you concentrated us and gave us a common enemy.

        • Alas, I suspect there are a few stupid enough to attempt such. Attempt. Any alleged success would be short-lived.

          • I suppose it would have been more accurate to say “there won’t be reeducation camps in America for long.

            Though I do think think several camps will remain, they just won’t be reeducation camps. I don’t think many Americans can resist the urge to LARP Hogan’s Heroes.

        • I have heard that in Communist China they had a great problem with the Christians who refused to adopt the party philosophy and insisted on continuing in their faith. When the benevolent government offered these Christians government over-sighted churches they refused them as well. These ungrateful Christians were rounded up and sent off to camps in order to be productive while learning to become proper citizens of the new China. For the most part they failed to conform. Instead, when they were kept together they encouraged each other, when they were spread out they converted others, when placed in mixed camps they encouraged each other and converted others. This continued even when the Christians were faced with death.

          I would hope that those who carry the Usaian faith in their hearts would do likewise should the circumstance arise.

    • If he had done that, and written all characters as male, then the fury that descended on him for having NO FEMALE (and likely, no POC) characters (need I go on? Naaazaaahhhhhh,)

    • Which would mean that Ms. Bujold could never write another Miles Vorkosigan book. Or an Ivan Vorpatril book, for that matter. F that.

      • It is different for women because their experience of being oppressed accords them insight and empathy for shut up.

        • Indeed. Ms. Bujold’s a woman, so she’s oppressed, so she can do anything she wants (include oppressing other people, *particularly* oppressors like men) so she’s good to go!

          (What’s *really* bizarre is if Ms. Bujold decided to become a Mr. Bujold, even though she’d be a he now, she-now-he *still* won’t be able to oppress anyone, and so she-now-he’d *still* have full license to oppress everyone…)

    • Oh, it gets worse. http://www.vulture.com/2017/08/the-toxic-drama-of-ya-twitter.html

      TL;DR – Someone got her knickers in a twist, pulled quotes out of context, and a tweetstorm ensued that got really nasty. Again. Because YA books must be PC-Pure.

      • I did read all of it – and oh, my dear Ghod! That comes so close to malice by the reviewer who did that, and to a new author as well.

      • Egad. These people really need to be deported to somewhere with real issues to contemplate – like the Sahara desert, or the highlands of Cambodia, with nothing but a knife, a loincloth, and 10 feet of rope.
        (Or, for sf fans, sent to the moon with a shovel and a machine for turning water into oxygen. They just have to dig deep enough, fast enough, to have some water to use to replenish their oxygen….)

        Unfortunately, THIS is what will really happen when our society evolves to the point where we’re all laying around, eating grapes, while robots do all the work. You won’t get incredible works of art and prose and music. You’ll get crap because everyone will have nothing better to do than whinge about how that work or the other microaggresses them or some such bovine excrement.
        Instead of great works of beauty, we’ll get blocks of sandstone, with the corners rounded off (for safety!), and stories where there is no conflict because antagonists might make the reader feel bad, and music that is 3 notes repeated endlessly with no lyrics but “ohm”.

        (Maybe this is why the machines revolt? They can’t stand the incessant whining and decide to just be rid of this pathetic biological infestation.)

        • Nah, under those conditions, I wouldn’t expect robots to revolt. I’d expect the population to collapse out of sheer whiny boredom, before the robots get annoyed enough.

          • You’re giving robots more patience than I’m willing to. 😉

            • I’m not sure if I’m giving robots more patience than you’re willing, or if you’re giving more stability to the society of whining than I’m willing to give…

              Either way, though, I think both of us would expect the robots (and the few humans who figure out how to get away from the society*) to win.

              *Actually, these humans will probably be on the moon, on Mars, on Venus, on the asteroids — pretty much any place where it’s hard for humans to live, because they have gotten tired of everything being given to them on a silver platter, and decided to go seek out a challenge for a change.

            • They’ll be programmed for it, remember.

        • Long before that we would have been relegated to life in a barco lounger for our own safety and hooked up to droougs. Then the machines will harvest our dreams for energy.

        • All authors ought spend a little search engine time looking for bad reviews of classic books …

          15 Scathing Early Reviews of Classic Novels
          [SNIP]
          “The Concord public library committee deserve well of the public by their action in banishing Mark Twain’s new book, Huckleberry Finn, on the ground that it is trashy and vicious. It is time that this influential pseudonym should cease to carry into homes and libraries unworthy productions… The advertising samples of this book, which have disfigured the Century magazine, are enough to tell any reader how offensive the whole thing must be. They are no better in tone than the dime novels which flood the blood-and-thunder reading population… his literary skill is, of course, superior, but their moral level is low, and their perusal cannot be anything less than harmful.” From The Springfield Republican, published in The New York Times, 1885
          [SNIP SNIP SNIP]
          On The Catcher in the Rye: “This Salinger, he’s a short story guy. And he knows how to write about kids. This book though, it’s too long. Gets kind of monotonous. And he should’ve cut out a lot about these jerks and all that crumby school. They depress me.” — James Stern, The New York Times, 1951
          [SNIP SNIP]
          On Madame Bovary: “Monsieur Flaubert is not a writer.” — Le Figaro, 1857.

          Okay, sometimes the reviewers are right.

        • Perhaps the robots will be chanting, “Ohm”.

      • Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. The YA set of puppy kickers went completely off their meds!

    • Also writing, because of the obvious bigotry in excluding marginalized people from your work.

      If you are in the middle of the park when suddenly the heavens open, you WILL get wet. If you write, you WILL write something that the SJWs find offense in, if they have torture sanity to do it. Don’t fret about either one too much.

  10. Today is Tuesday. Or was it Wednesday when you first posted it?

  11. “usually turned their lives around when they became adults”

    That right there is the key. Those indulging in victimhood are those stuck in immaturity, mired in childhood patterns. Magical thinking about the way the universe should be, that it owes them; rather than the reality that they need to dig in and work for everything if they want it.

    I suspect many of our children that are or were in victim mode got there from only observing the good things we as parents enjoy; without having seen what we actually had to do to get them. And the situation appears to be even worse for children of helicopter parents. Swaddled in bubble wrap, they never toughen up enough to endure the rest of the universe.

  12. But I wanna be a victim! All the really cool kids are victims, and teacher lets them get away with anything!

    • Well, there are some genuine victims. Fewer and fewer all the time. You can spot them by the numbers crudely tattooed on their arms. Yet it seems the ones I’ve heard the most about have the ones who didn’t dwell on that, and – having managed to hang onto their lives – got on with their lives.

      • There are other sorts of victims too, harder to recognize, because like the sort you mention, they don’t advertise their victimhood, but if get to know them or even pay attention to little details you realize, based on their age and where they were born that they must have seen some shit.

        The problem is that elsewhere in the world victims don’t work the way the leftists want them to because idealized leftist victims can only survive in places like America, where people are tolerant to a fault. Everywhere else they either get killed without us hearing much about them or fight back, at which point leftists get confused about whether they’re a victim or not because leftists don’t really like the notion of people protecting themselves.

        • … elsewhere in the world victims don’t work the way the leftists want them to

          #BringBackOurGirls (pouty face) has proven about as effective as the recent experiment to raise male awareness of the offensiveness of crotchpix by that woman sending unasked for pictures of her privates.

          • Because #Terroristshaming works as well as #dogshaming.

            • Though no one *expects* dog shaming to work. That’s just an excuse for posting cute pictures.

            • It does with the proper delivery mechanism.

            • I was holding this for other purposes, but …

              ‘Hug a terrorist’ program hopes to stop spread of extremism
              As governments around the world scramble to stop the spread of radicalization and terror attacks one country is going against the grain and trying something different.

              In Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, police have set up a program referred to by some as the “hug a terrorist” model of de-radicalization, t.

              They are trying to steer those who have been radicalized down a different path by offering them kindness.

              Police told Dateline that after receiving numerous calls from parents whose children had fled to Syria they knew they had to do things differently.

              “We could prosecute them all if we can find evidence, however those we couldn’t prosecute, what should we do about them?” Superintendent Allan Aarslev said.

              Police also realized that many Muslims whose parents were born overseas felt like outcasts in society and this was driving them to extremism.

              [END EXCERPT]

              I am sure we all hope this will work.

      • I knew an old lady with said tattoo.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      If you’re that eager, there’s no shortage of people willing to help you in your ambition.

      • It is my considered opinion that, like the daughters of our recent president, I should not be required to suffer any actual harm in order to claim the perquisites of victimhood. It is not my fault I have never suffered actual harm.

        #EndVictimPrivilege!

  13. I think it was Jonathan Haidt but some professors did paper about microaggressions and it was ever so interesting.

    Before 1800, there was a dueling culture where the victim would challenge someone to restore their honour. Then we moved to dignity culture, slights are ignored and any serious actions, you take someone to court. Now we shifting back to honour culture where every offence, no matter how minor, has to be acknowledged but only through the bureaucracy.

    And people are lining up to be victims, especially at universities, so some of the most blessed people on earth are convinced they are being suppressed.

    • ESR has pointed out that dueling fell out of favor as firearms not only took over from blades, but became accurate enough that it was unlikely both parties would walk away.

      How long before the result of the current mess is bloodier than some imagine?

      “There is a place for #Antifa rioters.”
      “You mean protesters.”
      “No, rioters.”
      “So you think prison. Well, they aren’t going there.”
      “Alright, that place isn’t prison then.”
      “Uh… what is it?”
      “Downrange.”
      “Oh s***!”

      • I don’t expect large scale violence but you never know. American middle class is large and comfortable, I don’t think they looking for civil war, there would have to be quite a cataclysm to make people ready to fight.

        I am Canadian who watching Americans go crazy since election of President Trump, I hope you guys can calm down and find equilibrium again.

        • A few minor points in response:

          1. Americans have not gone crazy subsequent to the election of President D. Trump. Only some Americans have, and they comprise a distinct minority of the population.

          2. Those Americans having been driven crazy by the election of President D. Trump were already crazy prior to his ascension. See: Obamadolatry

          3. Those crazy Americans are disproportionately loud in comparison to their presence in the polity. See, for example, Wisconsonite tantrums about Scott Walker and their inability to vote him or his supporters out of office.

          4. Those Americans tend to infest certain critical portions of the country, such as the Media and Universities, which amplify their tantrums volume but not their effect.

          5. Such Americans tend to become louder and shriller as their actual influence wanes. See: More cowbell!

          6. The “crazy” you are witnessing is largely a Russian operation intended to diminish respect for America and its political institutions. You can be sure of this because the people complaining about “Russian collusion in the election of D. Trump” not only previously defended every Russian action ere now but by their protests are creating the impression that Russia can effectively tamper with our elections, elections which they have previously adamantly assured the nation were immune to voter fraud and other forms of malfeasance. Then there is the 1984 effort of Teddy “Lion of the Senate” Chappaquiddick to collude wth Russia to defeat Reagan’s reelection, about which there have never been protests from the presently outraged.

        • That’s just it. Most likely things will settle. But there is a line of.. criticality.. and even we don’t know where it really is. Something seemingly minor and insignificant might be a ‘last straw’ – while seeming outrages get mostly ignored as being, well, too outrageous to really believe.

          “It’s the little things” has been said.

          And it’s like we can (almost?) all hear a ticking sound. Of course, the trouble really starts when the ticking stops – or, rather, is stopped.

          • It was a couple of percent tax on the tea that sent the Boston Tea Party a-raiding.

            • Well, it wasn’t the amount of the tax but the fact that Britain didn’t give us a say in raising the tax amount. 😉

            • It was more than that. We were only allowed to buy tea imported through British agencies. Previous to the Intolerable Acts we were free of any such taxes imposed through the Parliament. We had no representation in said Parliament. And Samuel Addams and friends had been for some time looking for a reason to through a monkey wrench into the works.

          • I think for some people it was that Google memo being made much of today. The smear job is so egregiously over the top, I expect there are an awfully large number of resumes getting polished up.

            Also a lot of people quietly re-evaluating their stock portfolios.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Soft conflict, maybe, but that incident alone isn’t enough for what jwl implies.

              Google is fairly bad, and as a political force is up to no good. I doubt anyone is thinking about killing Google execs now who wasn’t already thinking about killing Google execs.

              Now, someone pro-Google may have been involved in taking down that website with the scientists saying “The science in the memo was legit”. That may escalate things, but I’m not foreseeing anything beyond soft conflict just yet.

        • Do not believe the media, sometimes referred to as “the enemedia”, for they lie to us, to you, to all. Trust them not. As the revered, puppy-blending professor, Glenn Reynolds, tells us, they are Democrats with by-lines.

        • Patrick Chester

          So, not this sort of equilibrium?

          • Pff.

            With their love of high emotion and craving for sensation?

            The TDS brigade would be the first into the incinerators.

    • It depends. We live in a mixed culture, in which conservatives are required to abide by the standards of dignity culture but the woke and the oppressed get to apply the standards of honour culture. Thus when Donald Trump or his family respond to such as Kathy Griffen (Griffith? Don’t Care) or other (Progressive) critics they are demeaning the dignity of his office or punching down or bullying.

      Roughly, it is the modern equivalent of the playground rule: You can’t hit me, I’m a girl (typically expressed by somebody who has just asked, “Can we get some muscle over here?”)

  14. Take me, for instance, as a Latina (and fairly dark if I spent any time in the sun, which I don’t), an immigrant, a woman, I am by definition downtrodden and a victim. My days are filled with endless struggle and humiliation. There is no way to change that… unless of course, I declare non-Marxist opinions when the other side will immediately define me as white and call me names.

    You would be guilty of accepting False Consciousness and would require reeducation. If that is not obvious and self-explanatory then you must already be guilty of accepting False Consciousness and require reeducation.

  15. I had some [stuff] happen to me when I was a teenager. I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor. I write about survivors. I like reading about survivors, be they individuals or cultures.

    O/T Today is international Cat Day.

  16. (No, I don’t know what you get if you win. Perhaps a set of matched shot glasses.)
    Generally, in Marxist systems, it ends up just being a single shot. No glasses necessary.

  17. August 26th is International Dog Day.

  18. and of course Christian martyrs went singing psalms to the lions’ bellies. (Believe it or not, they did. It was a great factor in early conversions. Though I suspect now and then, one of them, faith or not, indulged in a good cry or scream. Who knows?)
    ——————–

    A bit of this has survived to this day with the “Laughing and quipping in the face of death” attitude that many believe themselves to have. Of course, 1.) most of those modern individuals haven’t actually been confronted with certain painful death, and 2.) most of those individuals would probably mock the stories of the martyrs.

    • I still remember the leftist who announced that carrying a gun made you less safe because every time he saw one, he fantasized about taking it away and using it on the carrier, and one day he would do it.

  19. “(and fairly dark if I spent any time in the sun, which I don’t)”

    You don’t spend any time in the sun? What a coincidence! Neither do I.

    But in my defense, I haven’t figured out how I’m going to get my submarine past the corona.

    Maybe someday I’ll get into the sun, and see what everyone seems to like about it….

  20. A couple of days ago I came across the idea that liberals think in terms of “victims vs oppressors”, conservatives in terms of “civilization vs barbarism”, and libertarians in terms of “freedom vs coercion”.

    I remember Bill Whittle talking about how a civilized man can be barbaric whenever the occasion calls for it, but a barbaric person cannot be civilized without extensive training. In this view of the world, it’s pretty clear to see that, in general, I can be only one or another, and I know which I’d rather be: I’d rather be civilized.

    With libertarians, you are either coerced or you are free. You either coerce other people, or you respect the freedom of others. It’s also easy to see that there’s a strong dichotomy in this viewpoint: either you support coercion, or you support liberty. I, for one, wish to be free, and I do not wish to coerce anyone to do anything else.

    In both cases, there is a rather stark choice, and there’s a certain continuation as well — you can be somewhat civilized, you can resort to coercion in certain situations but not others — but there’s room for everyone.

    Then there’s “victims vs oppressors”, which implies opposites, but are they really? What if I refuse to be a victim? Does that make me an oppressor? What does it mean to “oppress” someone, anyway? I suspect that it’s to cause harm to someone, ideally for your own profit. But what happens if I refuse to harm people — and choose to help them instead? What happens if I refuse to let people harm me, to my greatest extent possible? And what happens when I forgive those who hurt me, and move on with my life?

    To further complicate matters, it’s clear that a victim can also be an oppressor. Indeed, the claim that society creates poverty and crime explicitly implies that victims oppress others *because* of their victimhood!

    In other words, under the liberal point of view, if I refuse to be a victim, and refuse to oppress people, there’s no place for me in their world — yet I’ll still be shoehorned somehow into some sort of “victim” or “oppressor”, because I can’t be anything else…

    • That’s why the SJWs and their allies turn so hard and fast to attack “victims” who won’t stay victimized. Black conservatives, rape-survivors who teach others to fight back and who don’t wallow in victimhood, former Muslims who insist on pointing out all the nasty bits in Islam… They must be forced into a category, and if they refuse, well…

  21. *Cough* I am confident all here also routinely visit Larry Correia’s blog, which makes this link superfluous:

    Interview with author Sarah A. Hoyt
    Hey all, Jack Wylder here. With Larry still out on book tour, I thought this a good time for another exciting writer interview. (We did this one a few months back, but I’ve been waiting for the right time.) This time we’re talking with Larry’s Co-Author on the upcoming Monster Hunter Guardian (Julie Shackleford’s book) and author of everything from Shakespearean Fantasy to Space Opera. Questions in bold, her responses in italics.

    0 How did you get involved in the MHI universe?

    0 What is the most challenging part of writing a book in someone else’s universe?

    0 What part are you most proud of?

    0 Who is you favorite MHI character and why?

    0 If they made a movie of this, who would you cast?

    0 What’s something most people don’t know about Larry?

    0 You write a lot of different things. Of all the series you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?

    0 When Guardian is finished, what’s next for you?

    For those of you who’ve finished Monster Hunter Siege and want to know what happens with the ending, Monster Hunter Guardian will answer that question (soon-ish).The ‘Grant Fan-Fic’ she mentioned is available on her blog: www[DOT]AccordingToHoyt[DOT]com Do a search for ‘Dark Fate’- it will help fill the time until Guardian drops! At Larry’s signing in Austin, he mentioned that the reason he chose Sarah to write the voice of Julie is that her character Athena Hera Sinistra from the Darkship series sounded just like her. To see for yourself, check out the first book in the Darkship series, Darkship Thieves.
    -Jack Wylder, signing off…

    Let’s all help Sarah by crafting proposed answers for her. On question ! I suggest:

    There I was, standing on the corner, minding my own business, when all of a sudden these monsters ran up.

  22. At its core, Social Justice is the idea that it’s OK to treat one group like crap because their ancestors were right bastards to other people. It isn’t justice, it’s Corruption of the Blood writ large.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Plus, if guilt can be heritable, how is heritable slavery necessarily wrong? One could postulate imaginary crime x for which the southern institution of slavery was just punishment, and for which the descendents of those original slaves could be justly re-enslaved.

      Reiterating my usual twofold position. I don’t consider guilt heritable. I also think that only cherrypicking and ignorance supports the theory that anyone has entirely clean ancestors. There’s such a lot of evil in human history and prehistory.

      • Just as everyone can say that their ancestors were oppressed and enslaved, anyone can accurately be accused of being descended from oppressors and slaveholders.

  23. Turbo Beholder (@TBeholder)

    Same old – Phariseeism. Entitlement through sanctimoniousness.

    > Worse, in today’s lexicon, to cultivate the victimhood, a victim must remain a victim and allow bad things to continue happening to him/her.

    That’s another thing – being good cattle. But since Big Bros give pats and snacks to good cattle, it became something to be advertised (whether it really applies) and competed for.
    And since Phariseeism mainly consists of advertisement and competition for “holier than thou” to grab some bonuses already, saving efforts by proclaiming that to play victim is to be virtuous was a no-brainer.

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