Outcasts and Wreckers


Anyone reading this blog knows that not only I but any number of my readers were childhood outcasts.

I spent vast portions of my early childhood walking in circles on a ledge that went around the playground.  You know, after that vital moment when I’d need to escape a locked room by walking on a tight rope.  And the very fact that I actually thought that told you why I was an outcast.

In a very traditional village where televisions were rare, and where most little girls playing at being grown women just like their mothers, and where most of their views of the world were created by mommy’s and neighbors’ gossip and (radio) soap operas, by six I had my had full of stories.  Sure, most of them floated in soup of my not knowing geography and history, so that Robin Hood could totally pick up the Three Musketeers on his way to an adventure with the Lone Ranger, but you know, that didn’t matter.  What mattered is that I had a head full of stories and ideas that didn’t fit.

Yes, probably — almost certainly — I moved weird.  I know I was incredibly, unbelievably clumsy, more like a toddler than a six year old.  Both the mind full of stories and the total lack of ability to perform normal physical actions, like walk a long time without falling were probably due to the fact that I’d spent most of my early childhood in bed (no wonder I being bored) because I got sick a lot and though we had antibiotics, the habits of the society were pre-antibiotic, meaning if you were sick you were sent to bed.  Yes, partly because you needed all your strength to fight the illness, but also because when you were in bed it was easy to isolate you and remember you were sick and people shouldn’t get too close.  (When we look down on, say, the ways that former centuries treated illness, we should remember that.  Over time, they developed practices that allowed the most people to survive. If they seem truly weird to us, remember they lived in a different time where they had no way of telling if someone was infectious, or how infectious they were.  In fact, they had no idea what caused illness.  All they had was these practices that had worked in the past. Societies that learned them had enough people to go on. That’s it.)

Anyway, so I probably moved funny. I used words they’d never heard and talked of things they’d never even thought of. The miracle is not that most of them looked at me askance and wanted nothing to do with me. The miracle is that I always had one or two friends, even in a class of 12.

The other — and I have no explanation for it — is that I more or less invented Live Action Role Playing Games which made me incredibly popular from the second through the fourth grade. And yes, gentle readers, we even had LARP nazis (not me. Making up the story line has its privileges) since I read a lot of military fiction set in WWII, so some of our games were spy missions and prisoner camp escapes.  Though the most popular were Robin Hood and the Three Musketeers.  (Plus que ca change.)

For fifth grade I went not only to a vast school but one divided in forms, and I couldn’t get anyone to play my “let’s pretend” games.  I think they accidentally put me in the “total lack of imagination” form.  No seriously. It was that bad.  Sure, it made the stories I was starting to write really impressive to the teachers but dear Lord, those were dreary two years. Partly because the female half of that form was ruled by two queen bees.  The fact that I know their background and where they could aspire to go, and if I remembered their last names (I don’t) and looked them I’d probably find they were low level office drones or housewives only partly makes up for the fact they made my life a living hell.  On second thought, those queen bees were probably responsible for the fact that I could not organize live action role playing games AND that I was ostracized and everything I said and did criticized, mocked and snitched on.  (My favorite was when I was practicing French verbs and the arts and crafts teacher was told I was swearing at these two under my breath.

These girls were the antithesis of me — of us — in thought and behavior.  They were only happy when the center of attention, and when dictating how everyone else should think and perceive things.

In retrospect, I was a very pretty little girl.  This is neither here nor there, as I did absolutely nothing to achieve that result, and most of the time wore my brother’s hand me-downs not only because it saved money, but because if my mom put me in a pretty dress she had to then watch me like a hawk to make sure I didn’t get dirty.  Sure, part of it was the lack of coordination, that had me spilling anything I ate or drunk and tripping over my own two feet.  Part of it though was that I was used to doing what I wanted with no regard for what I was wearing.  But the pictures show a rather pretty child with soulful dark eyes.  (Mind you when stressed I had eczema all over my face and looked like a third-degree-burn victim, but by then eczema was moving off my face and to my arms, and also becoming less frequent.  I guess being a tiny is very stressful.)

These two girls… One was conventionally pretty and blond, which in Portugal immediately makes you pretty.  But her cohort had buck teeth and a face like a spiteful monkey.  However one day I heard them (in a gathering of all the other girls in the form) laying down the law of who was the prettiest to who was the ugliest.  I was the ugliest.  And all the other girls agreed and acted accordingly.

Now, I know part of the reason they did this is because they were afraid to be the target next.  And the reason I was the target and never one of the mass was that while not interested in being a queen bee, I also did not go along with this type of order. I asked why.  I pointed out things that whoever laid down the law — other kids or teachers — didn’t want to hear.

This is why the only friends I had in the years from hell were outcasts as well: in that year, mostly kids with actual physical problems.  But also kids who were brilliant and tiny and subjected to bullying. Odds. Cast offs. The puzzle pieces that wouldn’t fit in.

I suspect this is what caused my RE teacher (the year before I was kicked out for talking back to a QUITE different teacher) to tell me I was G-d led and that He clearly had plans for me.  (In point of fact, yes, he told my 11 yo self I was on a mission from G-d. No, I still don’t believe me.) But I didn’t do it for charity or to be praiseworthy.  I didn’t even do it to follow commands.  I did it because these were my people: the nails that stuck out.

This habit persisted long after I’d left that ridiculous school and the two spiteful little girls behind. I was actually fairly popular in High School — for values of popular, other discounts do not apply, void where prohibited — at least if one takes in account that I was put in one of three forms for gifted misfits, so I was pretty much average.  I still collected those who didn’t quite fit in, who did the unexpected, who, in fact, were the goats in the sheep flock of humanity.

I was very popular in college, mostly because I’d learned to dress well and had enough practice being on my feet not to trip every two feet.  And frankly because I took too many classes, worked on the side, and generally was on the go the whole time, which I’ve found is the only way to keep me from being a neurotic loon.

I’d also learned to pass, which is an important skill for Odds to have, if they are careful not to let it fool them into thinking it’s the real them.  Because then they’re miserable, and they don’t know why.

It taught me to pass politically — had to. Would never have finished college otherwise — which in turn taught me how to pass in the writing field, until, that is, things got crazy enough that the mean girls of the left required positive affirmations of allegiance. Because that would make me lose myself, and I knew were that ended.

But all along, I kept collecting the ones who didn’t quite fit in, because they are my people.

I didn’t have a name for them — for us — until one late night talk with Dave Freer.  We used to talk late into the night a lot. Late into the night my time.  Early morning his time.  We stopped because the state of both our careers just depressed us and vehemently agreeing with each other we were burned out and screwed didn’t help anything, and made us more despondent.

Dave is a biologist.  His doctorate is in marine biology, specializing in sharks, because he lived on a graduate student’s stipend and wanted to be able to eat the leftovers of dissections.

But as I know because older son’s undergraduate is in biology (and another in chemistry, because my kids cannot take one single undergraduate degree.  Not sure why.) They study all sorts of different animals, particularly if they study animal organization, psychology and/or evolution (and all of them do, at some point.)

Dave Freer explained that in any social species, which great apes are (and we’re great apes.  Oh, okay, pretty good apes, if you prefer) there are “goats.”  These are animals that stick out from the bunch, that don’t quite fit.  In healthy bands they’re allowed to persist, because they’re the ones who try out new things.  Say, there is a drought.  They’re the ones who try that weird foliage or that strange berry no one has ever eaten (or maybe seen, if conditions have changed) before.

Yes, the vast majority of them die shortly thereafter.  In a lifetime of befriending the odd, the despised and the bullied, let me tell you that I’ve found many of these people are despised for a reason.  And yes, sometimes I was taken advantage of.  In one singular situation for over a quarter of a century.  Also many of them are spectacularly unsuccessful and you figure out the reasons fairly soon, and it’s not being odd, it’s other stuff like baked-in laziness, or avoiding anything unpleasant until eventually they avoid anything uncomfortable, which includes learning or thinking.  (In the case mentioned above, I can pretty much keep myself from failing completely by asking myself what he would do and doing the opposite.)

However, sometimes the gamble pays off.  And sometimes the little kid who will not shut up or go along with the crowd is saying what the crowd needs to hear.  This was codified in the story of the little boy who says the king is naked.  Which I suspect is an incarnation of a very old story.

The goats are needed because the sheep are too social.  I don’t know if it’s true they’ll follow their leader over a cliff, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Sheep ain’t too smart.

Nor are humans.  Sure, we’re cock of the walk, top of the tree, etc.  Maybe. But there’s the social ape thing. Where people would rather have a little girl with a face like a monkey tell them how pretty they should consider everyone in the class.  Because otherwise they might be the target, and they really wanted to be part of the group.

Now, other than making my life miserable, Irene (yeah, I remember her first name) didn’t do too much evil in the world. The rest of the class seemed pretty happy, at least from the outside.

But when you put this on a national scale, it’s a terrible thing.  We’ve seen exactly how horrible it is over things like the Cultural Revolution, or under Stalin, or for that matter under Hitler, or, in a smaller scale — it was a smaller time — the French revolution.  Because people will do horrible or destructive things rather than buck the group under any circumstances.

Yes, the goats are often wrong, but they are also the only breaks humans have against really bad ideas.  (And keep in mind a lot of odds have really bad ideas.  A ton of them are socialist because they think it will force other people to like the/accept them/behave like they’re normal.  That’s not the way that works, that’s not the way any of that works.  But being a goat doesn’t mean you don’t long for the acceptance of the flock.)  The few that actually dare grouse often don’t do it properly or clearly, or … but they are the only brake.

Instapundit has left twitter because the boss is sick and tired of the drive for unified leftist speak.  Honestly, so am I.

On that same day I got a private message from a facebook “friend” whom I’d never talked to or even paid much attention to besides accepting her request.

She sent a meme some guy put up making fun of a transwoman. In this case, the “transwoman” is in some question, but that’s a long story.

The message said the person who sent it had unfriended this guy and that as I could see what a horrible person he was, if I were a decent human being I’d unfriend him too.

This didn’t work on me at 11 and it doesn’t work on me now.  I researched what this person was talking about. The meme was basically accurate, even if stated in the most shocking terms possible, as memes usually are.  It was who this person was and the article he/she/it wrote for the NYTimes that was a true shock.  If I can stop being ill when I read it, I’ll write a post about it for PJM. (The link is not to the actual article.)

Here’s the thing: that private message was more chilling and horrifying than any meme, even if the meme really had been mean and about all transsexuals and not just crazy-talking-looks-like-bag-lady-guy-with-the-issues.

Sure the article inspires pity, but not in the way that should shield the writer from criticism. There’s such a thing as ‘intervention’ that consists of very blunt talk indeed.

However, transsexuals in general, even those who hurt the idea of transsexualism by being bog-out-there-insane and making it clear, have been decreed the “prettiest girl in class” greatest victim group evah by the queen bees, and the queen bees will enforce this in any way.

This really has nothing to do with transsexuals.  These people don’t give much of a hang over their victim groups.  They’re now screaming at lesbians who refuse to sleep with “girls with penises” for instance.

They’re adult human beings.  It can’t be that the difference between “treat them as if they are what they say they are” and “be sexually attracted to them” has evaded them.  Anyone in possession of the ability for sexual attraction knows that this thing isn’t entirely under our control. (Like my writing, now I think about it.)

No, it’s that the whole victim category and the whisper campaigns against anyone, no matter who, who dissents from today’s narrative, are designed to do only one thing: give power to the queen bee (even male ones.) In fact, the narrative changing completely is a feature, not a bug, because it allows them to know who really is just following them because they love them/are afraid of them, as opposed to being fellow-travelers.

And they’re willing to destroy anyone that gets in their way, by destroying their reputation, ability to keep a job, standing in the world, family.  ANYONE. By any means necessary.  Including private emails to strangers, when the story in public would hold no water.

It didn’t impress me overly at 11.  It impresses me even less now.  We’re the outcasts (from the clone group) and we’re the wreckers (of the narrative) and the one thing we need to do is keep talking. And not fall for the would-be-intimidating and pushy attempts to make us fall in line.

Just by being who we are, it shows normal people the queen bees aren’t the only option, and frankly they often do look like spiteful monkeys.

More importantly, we cause people to re-examine what “everybody knows” which is sometimes needed to save the whole species from disaster.

If they were sure of the truth of what they proclaim, they wouldn’t be underhanded, spiteful and DESPERATE bullies.

In the end we win, they lose.  Be not afraid.




226 thoughts on “Outcasts and Wreckers

  1. Oh yes, I know about being the goat. It wasn’t even all that bad in grade school, though my nearest brother has a hate on for the queen bee* that I got over as soon as I was in another school. (I also strongly suspect she got over it—I saw her casually once or twice around high school and she’d calmed down considerably.)

    One thing I read several years back that suddenly made bullying make a lot of sense was an article on the behavior of one type of primate. The high-status females would bully the lower status females until the latter got so stressed that they stopped ovulating. Oh, says I, it’s an evolutionary strategy. Doesn’t make it nice, but makes it understandable.

    *My school, not his. Secondhand anger, which is interesting, since he’s usually calm as heck, but he still remembers her name with loathing. Don’t mess with his little sister, I guess.

    1. *musing*

      Him still being angry is actually a good survival feature; it cuts the reward cycle for Queen Bee ism, by making going “too far” have permanent consequences, even with only some guys.

  2. I remain convinced that the attempts to break down sexual taboos are intended to provide cover for predatory sexual practices, in this case by culturally conditioning people that consent ought to be granted as soon as interest is expressed by one party.

    I suspect it won’t work for the same general reasons that the kind of programme attempted by Mrs. Greyland’s parents seems to only have a ~50% success rate, but whether nazi or commie the extreme left has always been willing to murder ‘undesirables’.


    1. I have some of the same concerns, but have been paranoid about such going back to at least sex ed. The teachers include some very bad people and some very shortsighted people.

      Hollywood’s part of the campaign is at least partly so that mundanes will not realize exactly how septic Hollywood is.

    2. I don’t think that’s quite it. It’s more that the academic left doesn’t want to believe that sexual minorities are as prone to predatory behavior as the rest of the populace. Any statistics demonstrating that sexual minorities are as predatory or worse are handwaved away as being a result of oppression.

      1. This disjunction has been going on for some time. The Left passionately embraced the work of Kinsey, and have fought bitterly against the dawning realization that, whatever his motives may have been, his methodology was seriously flawed, and his conclusions are therefore dubious at best.

        The Radical side of society has always tended to the fringes of sexual behavior; early suffragettes were often also believers in ‘Free Love’ (which, at the time, was absolute insanity instead of merely dumb, if only because of lack of cure for STDs and little effective birth control).

        I firmly believe that when the dust eventually clears, the doctors who practice ‘Gender Reassignment Surgery’ and the therapists who recommend it, will be viewed as dangerous quacks, comparable to Serge Voronoff, the ‘monkey gland’ doctor. It may be – it probably is – that some people experience themselves as having the ‘wrong’ bodies. And maybe someday there will be a cure for that, involving actually changing their sex. But mutilation plus amounts of hormones that will conflict with their bodies internal chemistry is not an answer to any legitimate question, other than “how can we make a large bunch of money off of these people?”.

        I experience myself as being a good deal more athletic than the facts back up. It isn’t just that I don’t exercise (there were periods when I did), but lack of coordination that no amount of practice reduces below a certain level. I live with it. Does this make me crazy? Sure. No more than most, though. I’m certainly not willing to undergo dangerous surgery on the promise that some of the cosmetic aspects of my dismorphia will be rectified.


        The Gender Dismorphic are sad people. I have nothing against THEM. The vermin that are using them politically need to be boiled in peanut oil and served to the crabs.

        1. “Doctors” who treat such psychological maladjustments as medically remediable conditions are perpetrating insurance fraud and driving up insurance costs for everybody.

          I woke up in the wrong body this morning; mine is twenty-seven years old, 5’11” and 150 pounds. The one I woke in is sixty-five, 205 pounds and has balky knees, olecranon bursitis and too many muscle aches to enumerate! I demand therapy for my body dismorphia!

          1. Mine is 5’7″ and 170lbs and decently coordinated . . . this 225lb clumsy, arthritic mess needs to find a different victim.
            And I’ll have my good eyesight back too, thankyouverymuch
            Whisky will have to suffice for therapy. Riding the motorcycle is too infrequent at this time.

          2. Heck my doctor won’t give me a prescription to “assist” with weight loss or other treatments that are only for “extreme” cases. Guess at 5’4″, 225#’s, I’m not extreme “enough”. OTOH can’t work up enough of a tantrum or do the work enough to shop around. I can do this (again) on my own, darn it!!! Plus, apparently more extreme measures is one good way to get Reactive Hypoglycemia. Uhhh, no thank you; already deal with that, do not want to make it worse, or add something else. Do. Not.

                1. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R6FRRFS

                  Konjac root, AKA Glucomannan, was a weight-loss fad a while back with the theory that it made you feel full.

                  I started using it for that, then noticed that if I took it in the morning with my handful of supplements, I didn’t feel ill; then I noticed that fiber helped with the major down-side of dieting and hemorrhoid occurrence, and then I noticed it helps a lot with chocolate cravings, too.

                  Well, technically, they’re all “when I used it the other things happened,” I can’t prove a casual relationship, but I’ll take it.

                  If anybody does try it out, make sure to start with just one pill at first for like a week, and they’re not kidding about drinking a full cup of water with the pill, or you’ll see little pill-shaped globs on the other side when the shell didn’t dissolve.

                  But it is so much less nasty than drinking the fiber powder…..

                    1. I just can’t stand the texture of the powdered fiber drinks– it feels like drinking slime, to me.

                      The pills are the same thing, but the mixing happens considerably lower!

                  1. ” make sure to start with just one pill at first for like a week, and they’re not kidding about drinking a full cup of water with the pill, ”

                    The one definite advantage of the fiber supplement is that you can take it in smaller units!

                    I took a month to work up to my current three spoonfuls a day. I should have taken six weeks.

                2. They also make noodles out of that stuff, no carbs, pretty much no calories, kind of a musty, mushroom like flavor, but it’s great filler in soups and similar stuff.

              1. Someone on FB posted a specific Fiber gummy that they said had been helping with blood glucose levels. Haven’t tried it yet.

              1. Bit far to drive, but thanks for the offer.

                OTOH my doctor does listen. I know the reasons I have to lose the weight the old fashion way, it is just frustrating. I do need to talk to him about the thyroid test you mentioned that finally caught your diagnosis. The Reactive Hypoglycemia, medical information is just missing for everyone.

                Our pup who started doing natural alerting on my yoyo high/drop/low blood glucose levels was good to encourage as a service animal. I really thought the doctor would be against this. His take, there is really not any tools available, so yes. Task training is done. Public Access training is ongoing, forever … she’s not “bullet proof” for all situations, as the saying goes, but she has the basics & looks to me when “scary” things happen & doesn’t freak.

        2. I tend to liken gender dysphoria as the same type of problem as some depression. The proximal cause/symptom in those is an inability to accept/work within the way things are, just as dysphoria is inability to accept your body. Same with eating disorders and so on. But only the sexual problem is ‘treated’by affirming the inability to accept and increasingly forcefully requiring society to do so. All the other ones try and bring thoughts into line with reality.

          1. I think the resemblence is that all of those problems are ‘all in your head’, with the caveat that ‘all in your head’ means you are probably screwed. If it’s in your head, the only thing you can do is work on coping skills and on changing your own mind. MUCH harder than having a faulty joint replaced with man-made.

            My Lady has a lot of ‘all in her head’ problems, and it sucks. I deeply sympathise with folks who have gender dysphoria, be it permanant or transitory (as I hope my nice/nephew’s turns out to be). Amd I have considerable contempt for the part of the medical profession that thought (or at least SAID they thought) mutilating them would help.

            1. I’ve come to think that the fad for trans-gender surgery is akin to treating an anorectic patient by offering them gastric bypasses, feeding them laxatives and telling them that becoming a walking skeleton is What They Are Meant To Be.

      2. Look at England and the Rotherham scandal and its replications — the purpose is to make questioning the behaviour of such “oppressed” groups unthinkable, allowing them free rein to engage in their predation.

        Don’t like predators? You must be anti-hawk, or possibly a falconophobe! Raptorist scum! You claim it’s just a matter of “liking” fluffy bunnies but we know you for what you are!

        1. The rush to accept dhimmitude and Sharia so as to allow murders, rapes, etc., is in stark contrast to the outrage (and it is rightful outrage) the same people have over the Catholic Church abuse scandals. Yet the same condemnation that is rightfully made against the Church hierarchy for allowing such rampant misconduct is considered thought crime if the religion in question is Islam.

          1. I don’t see much outrage from the Left over the Catholic sex scandals. The miscreants are nearly all homosexuals, which places them in the “Good Guys” class, and the fellow-travelers are leftists like Pope Francis. The Left’s attitude toward the Church is, AFAICT, that to the extent that it is authentically Catholic, it is archaic, oppressive, and dying. Thus, not worth a rage-storm.

            The cowardice regarding transgressions by Moslems is rooted in the xenomania of the Left, and the Left’s obsession with not being racist.

            1. Depends on location, I’ve seen some furor — it is after all Catholics — and propounding of rules that they would never apply to support of the public school system.

      3. Sex ed and religion are two reasons why public education is child abuse verging on child sacrifice. When schools aren’t transparent with their the parents, it’s because they _know_ how good parents will react and are trying to sneak the indoctrination past their attention. The culpability goes all the way up the line to those who set policy.

        Hell, my activist history teacher (who showed us Glory, and showing R-rated movies was _not_ permitted for all that I think it’s a movie that _should_ be viewed) admitted to me that he was entirely willing to lie to parents ‘for our good’, and that was back in the 90s. By all reports it’s gotten worse since.


      4. Note the absolute apeshit reaction by some to studies showing that same-sex couples- including lesbians- are proportionately just as violent as opposite-sex couples, and that in the latter the female starts the fight a lot of the time.

        1. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. ”

          If we only permit printing of the legend, the facts don’t matter. To paraphrase a different movie, “Facts? We ain’t got no facts. We don’t need no facts. I don’t have to show you any stinking facts.”

    3. It has two separate goals. One is to provide a cudgel that the superior classes can wield over their inferiors. That is the intent of all of the believe all women claptrap. Also a function of the pronoun fetishism (if my memory of the sociology checkmark class is correct, in multiple senses of the word.) All of the ridicule and love is love antics do have an easy transition into abusive relationships and pairings.

    4. > Greyland

      And her brother, though nobody seems to care that he got regularly buggered by strangers too…

      The worst part of all, though, were the people who popped up after Moira’s “coming out” and saying they knew about it the whole time, and “Wasn’t It Awful?” And people agreeing with them, “Yes, It Was Truly Awful!”

      They claim they had personal knowledge of child sexual abuse, yet they couldn’t be bothered to make even the smallest effort, perhaps an anonymous call to an appropriate office, to do anything about it.

      Breen and Bradley weren’t the only monsters… if those others knew and did nothing, they’re just as guilty. And the ones who were probably lying just for meetoo points, hey, why should we doubt their confessions?

      1. People knew: Breen did it publicly – within the local Odd community, that is – and frequently, and he was shocked when he found out that someone had objected to a particular case of molestation.

        Within the larger SF&F scene, I think it’s telling that LibertyCon is seen as exceptional in being a family-friendly Con and a safe place to bring children. Operations in the Bradley/Breen style are hopefully a minority, but they can’t be called exceptional.


      2. And her brother, though nobody seems to care that he got regularly buggered by strangers too…

        I think the point being made– which I have no knowledge of– is that one child objected and made it stick, publicly; the other did not.

        More a comment on what even crazy levels of mental, emotional and physical abuse can manage.

        Even with cooperation from strangers to help smack them back in line.

        I do not know, and actively try to avoid knowing since I’m aware it’s bad and I have kids, what her brother did– or attempted, but I can easily imagine trying to do it too soon, before the Internet reached the right level…and it’s soul-crushing.

  3. Ox REALLY slow and never figured out (until WAY too late) the whole ‘passing’ thing. The goats said he was a sheep. The sheep said he was a goat. And when he said “moo” confusion reigned.

    And this is why I like dogs and horses (and snakes and spiders and..).. they’re HONEST. Not sure about cats, but I still trust a cat more than I trust a human. Damning with faint praise, I know.

    1. Cats are fairly simple- give them treats and occasional scratches, and they’re pretty much good if left on their own. People are far trickier.

  4. They were only happy when the center of attention, and when dictating how everyone else should think and perceive things.

    I have long thought that such as these (and SJWs in general) were terribly insecure people, incapable of dealing with diversity and thus eager to impose their social perspective on everybody. After all, if everybody conforms to your paradigm, it must be right. And there can be but one* right way!

    The idea that different people can employ different approaches to life is to them as holy symbols are to vampires inconceivable.

    *Perhaps we ought call them Social Highlanders In Training rather than SJWs or NPCs?

    1. From what I have read about bullies the current idea seems to be moving from “insecure” towards “way too secure” – people who really are fully convinced that they are the bestest ever, and everybody else is inferior, and so should be on top as that is THEIR place. And they are willing to do whatever it takes to get where they belong.

      Also with more or less undeveloped capacity for empathy.

      My guess it can be both and everything in-between, from those who bully the ones they can due to anger issues stemming from being on the receiving end of similar treatment by others stronger than they are, whether it is parents or older siblings or their boss at work or whoever, and who most likely don’t think much of what anybody else thinks or feels because they are too focused on their own problems. To those who do really fully believe that they are, or should be, the rightful queen of the group, and lacking empathy for others will then do that whatever it takes to get there. And who maybe might stop their bullying if they got their self-confidence shaken by something.

      1. Given what we have earned about “self-esteem” we know that unearned self-esteem is a source of grave insecurity, so people can be at one and the same time “insecure” and “way too secure.”

        American, indeed, Western Society has abandoned actively eliminated tangible achievement as a source of self-knowledge. Being told by one’s teachers that one is “meritorious” loses a bit of its value when one realizes what chumps those teachers are.

        One reason for the decades long assault on the Boy Scouts has been the fact that a merit badge is earned, by objectively verifiable standard, not by regurgitating what some adult wants to hear.

        1. Boy Scout merit badges are earned, as well as Rank. You can push/pull a kid* thru to First Class, no matter how long it takes, usually; there are exceptions that won’t no matter what. BUT, beyond First Class, nope the kid has to want to advance, stick it out, do the work, & follow up on all the paper work involved. More than one scout has given one or more of their scouter leaders the boot in the ass golden award at the scouts eagle court of honor; a couple even with an old boot nailed to a board & spray painted gold, others little more symbolic … Kick in the ass come in when scouters know the scout does the work, repeatably, verifiable, but isn’t bothering to get it formally documented …

        2. That’s pretty much what I’ve been saying about certain cultures for a while now. Simultaneous inferiority complex and (unearned) superiority complex. Really bad dynamics there.

      1. Depends on how you treat it.

        Once poked around with an idea that they were all afraid of crucifixes, only. Part way through the story, one vampire explained that it was the repulsive knowledge they claimed he did it willingly, when they know that anyone would do anything to avoid fully dying — people don’t become vampires because they fail to, not because they reject it — only said explanation was kinda hysterical in delivery — and the matter is thus left as a question to ponder.

        The rest of the story refused to resolve, though.

  5. Yep– waving hand. I managed to hide what I am by keeping my head down. But– I always managed to be on the outside unless someone wanted something. It is now the first question I ask when someone wants to be a friend. I don’t mind walking the other path.

  6. https://hotair.com/archives/2018/11/26/hear-now-man-causing-climate-change-moon/

    What this says is that on one of the Moon landings they put temperature instruments in 2 holes. They have been sending back readings ever since. The temperature has gone up about 6 degrees. There are Climate Changers who say this shows that man polluted the Moon and caused the temperature to increase.

    What these fools don’t understand is that it PROVES that the Warming is NOT caused by MAN but by the SUN. Data that falsifies Man made global warming, ain’t it wonderful!

    This also proves I am an Odd and like to say that the King is naked.

    1. Not really. The timeframe and scale of the lunar warming doesn’t correlate with what was happening on Earth. Really what that article is saying is that someone – most likely the reporter – doesn’t understand the difference between climate and survey points.

      1. Supposedly Mars has been tracking closely to Earth in the temperature changes area. Gotta be the probes. NASA just landed yet another rover on Mars today. STOP JPL NOW! Do it for the Martian Children.

    2. Yep. And that seems so damn obvious too (I suppose the “light material brushed away exposing dark rock” may be more likely, so it is just very, very local, but the “it’s the sun!” is what first came to mind).

      Is anybody REALLY believing that “global warming on the moon” crap… if they do they just plain don’t THINK. At all.

    3. > polluted the Moon

      I used to what with G. Harry Stine by email. One afternoon I got a message in that was fair to burn the pixels in my monitor…

      He’d had a couple of space-oriented books out for maybe twenty years. Every now and then he’d update one to cover new technology, etc. Not a bad gig.

      So he’d sent the latest version off to the publisher on schedule and… nothing. And finally he called – this being when “long distance” was serious money for day rates – to ask his editor what was going on.

      He found she had been replaced by a new hire, a Sweet Young Thing right out of J-school. And she told him they weren’t interested in any of his books, new or reprint, because the publisher had decided they “couldn’t advocate polluting space.”

      And right after that, he got cold-shouldered by the place that had been buying his science fiction, too. This being the late ’80s, before the Midlist Massacre of the ’90s. And he found that despite having a track record going back to the 1950s, suddenly nobody at all was interested in buying anything he wrote. [surely that can’t happen? “And don’t call me Shirley!”]

      Sarah would have liked GHarry. He kept asking questions NASA administrators didn’t want to hear until he got blackballed by their press office. Which he then bragged about at every opportunity…

      Harry finally hooked up with Pinnacle and sold them a couple of series of SFish-men’s-adventure books which made him more money than any of his previous writing had, which I’m sure he would have mentioned to his former publishers had occasion arisen.

      The Reaper took him when he was sitting at the keyboard working on his next book. But instead of some Pratchettian trek across a sandy desert, I visualize him in his ’67 Barracuda, radio on, hammer down, and the road stretching off to the horizon…

      1. I loved the Warbots books, had all of them. 🙂 Glad he went doing something fun. I think those books were my gateway to MilSciFi. After that, hover tanks were nothing too strange, BOLOs either.

        1. Thank you for saving me from looking up the name. I can see all my Warbot books from where I’m sitting.

    4. Electronics, and RTDs are electronic, require calibration every now and again. Errors could be drifting in one direction.

      Now if there photos coming back of a good old fashioned mercury bulb thermometer showing this rise….

  7. I’d bet that most of the worst practitioners are in it just for the bullying opportunity. The next tier mostly the same as the ones in ‘who goes Nazi’, spoiled, uncaring and willingnto use and abuse.

  8. I guess being a tiny is very stressful.

    Perhaps repeated experience of stress increases tolerance of it? Just as repeated experience of people with different viewpoints reduces the tendency to go foetal when confronted by such alternatives?

  9. I don’t know if it’s true [sheep will] follow their leader over a cliff, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    It is certainly true of humans, else how to explain multiple attempts to create Marxist Utopia?

  10. if I were a decent human being I’d unfriend him too.

    I have never been much inclined to accept the definition of “decent human being” advocated by such quislings to the human race.

      1. My gut reaction tends toward proposing a physically unappetizing act, including the horse the person rode in on.

        Which is one reason I have learned to not act on my gut reactions.

  11. These people don’t give much of a hang over their victim groups.

    Bingo! The victim groups are mere maguffins, useful tools for imposing one’s rules on society. The goal is to force folk to “love” transexuals or to hate Jews as ordained by the unelected arbiters, and they don’t much care which, so long as society is subordinate to their will.

    It is about power, who has it, who gets to use it, and the levers of that power are mere trifles.

  12. Dear Lord, that linked article… Whoever is permitting that procedure is practicing serious malpractice. “First do no harm.” The individual needs serious, long-term help. *shudder*

    I was never able to “pass.” Eventually other people decided that “strange is the new cool” and wanted me around, but after 6 years of being the target, it was too late. Now I’m old enough that I don’t really care if people think I’m Odd. I know I’m Odd. That’s that. 😛

      1. Reconstructive plastic surgery after an accident or to correct things like cleft palate, some purely “because I’m tired of my floppy upper arms” procedures are harmless when done by a properly trained surgeon. Or when there’s a late-diagnosed genetic problem (child presents as XY, is actually XXY and has normal ovaries, that sort of thing) where surgery simply removes what doesn’t belong and can’t function. Those rarely if ever have negative side effects (neither does breast reduction) in the psychiatric sense. *shrug* Any medical procedure can have side effects if proper care isn’t taken.

      2. They no longer take the Hippocratic oath. When Robert had his white coat ceremony, the class that graduated that year took their oath, which THEY HAD WRITTEN THEMSELVES. Tons about social justice and listening to the marginalized.
        No indication that their learning CAN be used for evil or that they’d refrain from so using it.
        As useless as wedding vows that say “I’ll always love your laughter.”

  13. Robin Hood could totally pick up the Three Musketeers on his way to an adventure with the Lone Ranger

    I’d read that. Anyone know whether or not the Lone Ranger is in the public domain?

    And I just wanted say that you ARE doing God’s work here, even if you don’t believe it. Speaking as a 38-year-old who is still that little girl walking alone on the ledge…this community helps. It helps to know that I’m not alone

    1. I know that a few years back the film company that owned the rights to the Lone Ranger brought suit against Clayton Moore, the actor who played the Lone Range on TV, prohibiting him from making appearances wearing the Lone Ranger mask. Always thought it rather petty and cruel of them.

      1. I loved that he went with the large sunglasses route when that was done to him. Even without the mask, the western wear and White Hat still made him the Ranger in my mind, and I never watched the show.

            1. And I think you’re right. I remember when he went to the sunglasses, and it was right after that piece of asshattery. His public comment on the subject.

              Kinda like when some record company decided they owned the stage name “Prince,” and the artist in question changed his name to a non-verbal symbol…

              1. contract problems with record companies. They sorta get like some them in publishing.
                His was eventually resolved (didn’t pay attention, don’t care for his stuff), but a few folks I have listened to over the years disappeared as they had contracts that sucked and they stopped recording, or did other things. Aldo Nova stopped making records and went into music for radio and tv ads. Poe got dropped (AOL/Time merger) for no reason given but had contracts for albums, but then her lawyer took her to the cleaners so took her lovely voice and sang front for Conger One, did a few live concerts (that money was hers) movie stuff, games etc.

    2. From Wikipedia (yeah, I know…):

      From its inception, George W. Trendle had legal ownership of the Lone Ranger and characters associated with the Lone Ranger through his company, The Lone Ranger, Inc. Trendle sold The Lone Ranger, Inc. to oil man and film producer Jack Wrather in 1954 for $3 million. After Wrather died in 1984, his widow, Bonita Granville, sold the Wrather Productions properties to Southbrook International Television Co. in 1985 for $10 million. Broadway Video acquired the rights in 1994. Classic Media acquired the rights in 2000. DreamWorks Animation acquired Classic Media in 2012 and renamed the division DreamWorks Classics, which was acquired by NBCUniversal in 2016 for $3.8 billion. Its Universal Pictures unit presently has the rights to the Lone Ranger.

      1. Too bad.

        File off the serial number? It’s… okay, how about some color? Black Ranger? Dresses all in black, is a mixed person who can pass for a white, was kicked out of the Rangers by a bad captain but does not hold it against all whites or anything, and has started helping people as a masked vigilante. Helped by a friend – hey, let’s make him black too, only somebody with whom his race is obvious, a man who was raised by some Indian tribe and has all the wilderness skills usually associated with wild west era Indians. And who has also risen above the racism which might have come to him naturally as most of the tribal people do not accept him as one of their own due to his race (just because those are bits which aren’t all that commonly told or showed in any stories, like some tribes having had black slaves and so on).

        Okay, we need some incident why he went into the helping people business, and wanted to become a ranger in the first place – okay, he also has an older friend, a retired ranger captain who, when still in the force saved him and his family from something. And now works as his liaison with some of the still in the force rangers who are also working with him in secret. He’s the one who goes after those evil people they can’t touch.

        Now add some time travel and we get him with the musketeers and Robin Hood.


        1. Umm … I filed all the identifiable markers off the Lone Ranger – the mask, the silver bullets, the white horse and Johnny Depp with a dead crow on his head, changed the names, and added historical bits, racked back the time to the 1840ies in Texas and did it as a series of YA short adventures in the classic old-fashioned way.
          Lone Star Sons, and Lone Star Glory. I haven’t heard any objections yet.

          1. Yep. Johnny Depp with that head ornament wasn’t the greatest idea ever. Why I just suggested a black raised by Indians is because I kind of imagined the role with Will Smith playing one in it while watching that movie. I think I would have preferred that version. 🙂

            Maybe I’ll check out yours. I used to be very fond of westerns, read through all the translations of Zane Grey and others I could find here, either cheap used or from the library, when I was young, but then I ran out and there seemed not to be much new to be found in the library – try none, in the 80’s – so I just drifted away from them, I guess, as I didn’t have money to buy all that many new English language paperbacks per month and I preferred science fiction and fantasy. So I didn’t even check if there would have been something among those in the couple of bigger book stores which stocked books also in other languages.

            1. Do – I had such fun with it all, and of course, local Texas history obliged me with so much interesting and dramatic plot materiel.
              The real Texas Rangers started as a heavily-armed and mounted Neighborhood Watch. Local cavalry militia, until about ten years after the Civil War. They they morphed into a state-wide law enforcement body. They began to publish a “Book of Rogues” of offenders and wanted persons, distributed state-wide, in the 1870s and 80ies, which was an enormous step in law-enforcement – until then, all the baddies had to do was vamoose from the locality where they were known personally.

              1. Punchline to a favorite Texas joke-story.
                “Why did you only send one Ranger?!?!”
                “There ain’t but one riot.”

            2. If you still like Westerns and have yet to try Louis L’Amour you’re missing some almighty fine story-telling. Try the Sackett series if unsure where to begin. Celia’s also written a fine retelling of the early (1847) German settlement of Texas in her Adelsverein Trilogy — highly recommended!

              1. Several of L’Amour’s books were translated in the 70’s and early 80’s, as series which was mostly sold on your generic supermarket’s magazine racks, along with something like Harlequin novels etc. So yep, I have read some. Didn’t like them as much as Grey’s novels. However not sure how good or bad those translations were, at the time those type of books (sold on magazine racks, not book stores) tended towards some level of digest versions. And the translators weren’t necessarily the best, rather ones who worked cheapest.

                So yes, I have occasionally thought to find something of his as the original version to see how I’d like that.

                1. L’Amour started out writing for the pulp magazines, then for “paperback originals.” Publishers of those demanded a specific style, now considered laughably simplistic in most circles. When the Western genre became respectable publishers bought more serious books. Some of the older pulp stories were fluffed out and repackaged as novels, and then his agent bungled the rights to a bunch of stories, some of which were substantially rewritten and still sold under his name; there were lawsuits over that.

                  L’Amour wrote a ton of stuff, but much of it was tailored for markets which essentially no longer exist, in a style now considered obsolete. So you never quite know what you’ll get when you pick one up.

                  Ironically, while L’Amour is famous for Westerns, the genre he was aiming at was “Far East Adventure” set in the colonial empires from Polynesia to India. But that world was unrecognizeably different after WWII, so he moved on to Westerns.

          2. Hmph. Didn’t know about *Lone Star Glory.* The to-be-read list keeps extending itself. Sigh.

            That said, I have to say I disagree with the approach. You filed off enough serial numbers to make it unrecognizable to me. I just read it because it’s a good set of yarns.

            1. Thank you! I had a bit of fun messing with the tropes … Jim Reade’s horse is a jittery wall-eyed mustang, and he isn’t all that good a shot…
              He was formerly an apprentice lawyer, and it’s his friend Toby (Tonto) who is the romancer of women…

              1. I missed the walleyed horse and the Great Spirit’s gift to women (as messing with tropes, anyway), but having him having a pair of Colt pocket revolvers that he couldn’t hit anything with…

        2. Helped by a friend – hey, let’s make him black too, only somebody with whom his race is obvious, a man who was raised by some Indian tribe and has all the wilderness skills usually associated with wild west era Indians.

          Make him a Freedman– mixed. (so, black/Cherokee)

          Paiute crossed with Irish or similar is very good for passing and being a brick ****house.

          1. Or you could just base the character on the man many historians call the “real” Lone Ranger, Bass Reeves.
            Bass Reeves (July 1838 – 12 January 1910) was the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense.

            1. Bass Reeves – an original bad-ass! It horrifies and disappoints me that there was only one movie made about him! Although he wasn’t a Texas Ranger – he was a deputy US marshal in the Oklahoma Territory. Which was just about as dangerous to law officers of the Federal kind as anywhere there was. I have read that about a third of the federal marshals killed over almost two and a half centuries since the service was established — died in the Oklahoma Territory in the space of years between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the last century. It was a dangerous place, for reasons complicated to go into.

              1. It is no accident that US Deputy Marshall Rooster “True Grit” Cogburn was based in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

                On the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma, Fort Smith was once, as they say, the last bastion of law and order before the wild frontier. The federal court in Fort Smith had an unbelievably large coverage area: 75,000 square miles of lawless Indian Territory (now the State of Oklahoma) with one judge to hear all those cases. Any crimes committed in Indian Territory were automatically federal cases. Seeing the frontier as a probable safe haven, troublemakers from all over the country hid out in this territory, raising hell and robbing, raping, murdering and generally terrorizing anyone who got in their path.

                To keep the peace among the many rival American Indian tribes situated over the border in Indian Territory and for the ranchers and railroaders, dozens of deputy U.S. marshals were stationed in Fort Smith. They were sent out with a subpoena to round up the accused and return with them to Fort Smith, dead or alive. (The deputies did their best to bring prisoners back alive, because they didn’t get paid for returning with a corpse.) The charged criminals might spend weeks or months in the putrid one-room jail known, for good reason, as “Hell on the Border” before standing trial in Judge Isaac C. Parker’s court. It is in Parker’s courtroom that Rooster Cogburn is being questioned on the witness stand when we first encounter him in True Grit.

                Many of True Grit’s plot points are taken from actual marshals’ stories documented at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. Shared here with the town’s historical photographs are some of the facts and fictions behind the book and movie versions of True Grit.

          2. Robert’s first crush, her dad was half black and half Cherokee. her mom was Irish (1st generation.) Robert, first day of KG took one look at her and became unable to talk. FIRST and last time since he’d learned. LOL.

      2. That’s an incredible amount of money.

        Universal needs to squeeze some more juice out of that property; the movie they made after buying the rights netted less than 10% of what they paid for it.

        Of course there’s “Hollywood accounting”, but nowadays my first thought whenever I see something change hands at an absurd valuation is “money laundering.”

  14. Back in the 50s they let you start kindergarten if you turned five in the first month of class. I share a birth date with Dan, early September, so I was always the youngest person in my class all the way through K-12. I was always also the smartest kid in the class per standardized test results. Thing is they never told me or my parents, so all I knew was that I was odd and different. Took a graduate systems engineering degree and the US space program before I found a niche I was comfortable in.
    I read the Chu article and felt considerable pity and sadness followed by a modicum of outrage that this disturbed individual was bent on self mutilation that they knew would not make them any happier, and oh by the way needed others to pay for the process.
    As I read I finally realized what the situation reminded me of, the homicidal maniac serial killer in Silence of the Lambs who was harvesting skin from his victims to make a woman suit.
    As for the radical extremist position that lesbians must feel attraction for transgender persons, that in part and parcel of their insistence that men must also be forced into dating trans. These queen bees don’t just want to change our speech and our actions, they are insisting that they must dictate to us our innermost thoughts. I for one am having none of that, thank you very much.

    1. I was also one of the September babies, and it didn’t help that I was woefully uncoordinated. In grade school softball, I ended up getting picked last and was assigned to field “Deep Right”, which left me to my thoughts.

      It didn’t help that my speech centers are slightly wonky; I had a bit of trouble in K-2, and when we moved to a much wealthier community for third grade, I was one of two Odds to get picked on.

      Gym classes were decidedly humiliating, especially Dodgeball in elementary school. By high school, it was better, partly because I embraced my inner klutz. I could swim just well enough to avoid drowning (barely), and the token gay Odd in class and I had fun with a double-weighted shuttlecock in the badminton unit. Those things can go a long way with extra weight. 🙂 (Neither of us gave a damn about the other’s sexual orientation. Not friends, but we got along well.)

      Yep, speech centers really crapped out under stress. At least I lost the stutter, and in my 40s volunteered to be the president/MC of a model engineering club. Shocked both my wife and me, but it was one of those things that had to be done, and I was just willing to be that guy.

        1. Never understood why schoolyard pickup baseball teams put their least athletic players in the outfield. Chasing down fly balls and winging them back into the infield requires *good* physical abilities.

          1. As one of the most unatheltic people around, when I was forced to play pickup softball, I wanted to be as far away from potential contact with the ball as was humanely possible. Far outfield was fine with me. Far, far, far outfield.

            1. There are some pretty good reasons for this, among them that kids rarely hit to Right, as explained:

              “Right field, it’s easy, you know.
              You can be awkward and you can be slow

              Playing right field can be lonely and dull
              Little Leagues never have lefties that pull”

              1. Besides, right field is where miracles happen:

                But then top of the seventh
                Two on, two out, a crack of the bat, a mighty clout
                My whole team turned and cringed to see
                That speeding ball heading vaguely toward me

                I ran as fast as I could, I said a prayer
                I stuck out my glove, the ball landed in there
                No one could believe it on either team
                They hooped and hollered and stomped and screamed
                And total strangers clapped and cheered

                (Aware that God had performed a miracle here)
                I was carried to the bench, I was handed a beer
                Then the clouds broke apart
                Then the sun reappeared

                No, it didn’t, but it felt like it did in my heart
                I wanted to live again

                1. Yeah, Lavin’s a liberal, but it doesn’t matter in that song and she gets some leeway for having written this:

                  “Who likes to talk about their feelings?
                  Sensitive New Age Guys

                  Who are hard to tell from women?
                  Sensitive New Age Guys”

            2. College pickup games, I *participated in, you rotated in through the outfields, not enough for 2 teams, either by hitting the ball & running the bases, or by getting out. FYI, hitting the ball & knocking over someones beer, was an auto out … hey club rules …

              * I cheated, my GSD wasn’t real good about catching the balls on the fly (I couldn’t either), but ball sure didn’t get to roll very far, & she’d actually bring it to give it up. She got to play a lot. She thought keep away Frisbee was more fun though.

    2. I was reminded of the disturbed people known as “cutters”, who slice themselves up during phases of unhappiness. And of the stories of “surgery junkies”, though I’m not sure those weren’t just a media creation.

      Mostly, I was annoyed that, due to the work of various pressure groups and one major political party, some portion of the money to pay for his procedure will be extracted from my pocket.

      “It’s not self-mutilation if a doctor will do it!”

  15. I was also one of the Unwanted. Which did not bother me overmuch, as I find most people rather dull. It was their urge to poke…and poke…and poke more that really got on my nerves.

    On the other hand, I went to my 10-year and 20-year high school reunions. And came away with a bit of pity. Because their lives had been so bland. I’d accomplished more at the 10-year mark than they would in their entire lives…and I was only 5 years out of college at that point, hadn’t done anything really of note at that point. The 20-year mark…by that point, I’d really gotten traction in both my career and my chosen sport.

    And that was merely a prelude. The next fifteen years got really busy.

    It helps a lot to keep focused on the long game. I never had a problem with that.

    1. My 50 year high school reunion is next year. I’m not planning on going. I went to a few early on, but found that the people I most wanted to see again didn’t attend. I talked to an old high school quasi-girlfriend (shy, introverted kid here, that she talked to me at all is still something of a wonder) a few months ago and found that she isn’t going either. And she also was shy in school, but went on to write children’s plays and to do stand-up comedy in places like Bosnia-Herzegovina for coalition troops. Yeah, just like Groucho said, I’d never join a club that would accept ME as a member…

  16. OT, but NASA just got the Insight lander on Mars.

    (The Test Director in me grits my teeth every time they do a big celebration – damn it, you don’t stop until the aircraft is stopped and powered down! OTOH, they can’t DO anything but watch, so it’s excusable.)

    1. Thus the colonization begins, without taking into consideration what indigenous residents might have to say!

      From a recent panel discussion about Mars hosted by Lucianne Walkowicz, the NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology

      Lucianne Walkowicz: I can’t give you an example of what a decolonized Mars looks like, but it starts by having multidisciplinary conversations about the things that happen here on Earth. I often give examples of Standing Rock as an Earth-based example of interests colliding, where you have indigenous people opposing a large-scale project that, much like space exploration, features cooperation between private industry and the government…

      Gizmodo: What does decolonizing Mars mean to you?

      Chanda Prescod-Weinstein: I’m trying to think carefully about what our relationship to Mars should be, and whether we can avoid reproducing deeply entrenched colonial behaviors as we seek to better understand our Solar System. This includes thinking about why our language for developing understandings of environments that are new to us tends to still be colonial: “colonizing Mars” and “exploring” and “developing,” for example. These are deeply fraught terms that have traditionally referred to problematic behaviors by imperialists with those that we would call “indigenous” and “people of color” often on the receiving end of violent activities. . .

      Decolonization in the Martian context requires asking questions about who is entitled to what land. Can we be trusted to be in balance with Mars if we refuse to be in balance with Earth? Can we be trusted to be equitable in our dealings with each other in a Martian context if the U.S. and Canadian governments continue to attack indigenous sovereignty, violate indigenous lands, and engage in genocidal activities against indigenous people?

      I think the answer is no. I think we need to clean up our mess before we start making a new mess somewhere else.

      This ruthless expropriation of Martian rights must NOT persist!

        1. Yes. Very much yes. This is what it’s all about.

          That, and picking up a Lens from Arisia…and the side-benefits that go with it. 🙂

          1. Yeah… those side-benefits are what made me start to question the whole Lensman thing. And the Patrol itself, for that matter.

            Sure, we’ll create a class of people with super-powers, who cannot be directed and are above the law and cannot be held to account for their actions, and we’ll turn them loose. And they’ll never do anything bad, because they’re the Good Guys.

            I had a similar problem with the Skylark books; just incidentally to the main stories, Seaton and Crane set themselves up as Co-Dictators of Earth and Osnome after exterminating an entire civilization on Osnome… but that was okay, because they were the Good Guys.

            Somewhere along the way, I realized that even they were all paladins, their eventual replacements weren’t always going to be. Eventually, Smith’s “Civilization” was going to go bad. And what we were allowed to see of Boskone… while it was an unpleasantly-run meritocracy, it wasn’t evil, and it *did* operate by Rule of Law, which, after the advent of the Grays, Civilization no longer did…

            1. Lensmen were guaran-damn-teed incorruptible.

              That, not the Lens, not inertialess drive, was the “one leap” of faith* required.

              Boskone was a giant bureaucracy** and its “Rule of Law” had limited application, given that assassination was a common career move.

              *Okay, of Willing Disbelief

              **Thus, evil by definition

              1. > incorruptible

                tr: “inflexibly enforcing Arisian policy”

                The Arisians weren’t humanity’s friends. They were just using us as tools on their war against the Eddorians.

            2. “Sure, we’ll create a class of people with super-powers, who cannot be directed and are above the law and cannot be held to account for their actions, and we’ll turn them loose. ”

              Except they weren’t. The books specifically said that the Arisians were killing any of those who applied, made it through a screening process including telepathic scan, and still weren’t worthy. They weren’t depending on accident of birth for the successors, or on any human agency.

      1. That hurts me in ways that I can’t describe. Why the eff is this woman the “chair” of something related to NASA or space?

        Mars has no indigenous people. It would have been awesome if it did.

        But now I have a horrible horrible feeling that I ought to read more of this bullshite on purpose and write near-future Mars stories but that would take getting the science right and I DON’T WANT TO.

        Even if, for once, I’d have the “villain” handed to me on a silver platter.

        1. these are the same people who make pilots fly shuttles to their destruction, because flying off the perfect profile is verboten, even if doing so is within design parameters and will likely protect the bird and its occupants. Rational thought for them is posterior coverage, and muslim outreach via the space agency

  17. For most people, the opinions of your in-group are treated with a high degree of trust. The opinion of the out-group with disdain: if they cannot be relied on to eat an egg the correct way, then they are probably wrong about everything else.

    For Odds, everyone else seems a little strange. Neither in nor out group are granted a privileged position for their opinions.

    As long the various in-groups treated the Odds as ‘far’ group, we could be useful. By pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, we reduce the risk of preference falsification. If the Odds are co-opted, then the in and out groups can just argue past each other instead of trying to recruit allies.

    1. For Odds, everyone else seems a little strange. Neither in nor out group are granted a privileged position for their opinions.

      Mostly agree, from the normal perspective– from the inside, I can see myself trusting those who have been shown to be trust-worthy, especially after I started looking.

      It’s just that it’s not to the same level as most folks, going off of not just observation by the negative results when you don’t just Take My Word on something that is objectively verifiable and they didn’t give enough information to check without bugging them.

      1. That’s the problem I had with “mainstream” movies and books. Stuff would happen (sometimes), people would say things, the end. And I’d be left there wondering what the point of it all was.

        While I now recognize categories of behaviors, tropes, and so forth, for the most part I’m still clueless as to *why.”

    1. I got the Corporate Cthulhu book. There’s a story near the end that references a Miskatonic Squids coffee mug. I wrote them and asked if they would consider having some made up (t-shirts and sweatshirts. No response. I am…disappointed.

      1. If it helps, an acquaintance of mine makes various Mythos-appropriate items. One is a coffe cup with Cthulhu in a bathrobe, with tentacles in curlers, holding a coffee cup. The caption reads “mornings are evil.”

        Not athletic, but…

          1. http://www.markhelwigart.com I think.

            The items I mentioned aren’t on his page, that I can tell. I think they’re convention table-sale pieces. You might have to contact him directly. And, of course, he may or may not have them in stock.

            The only relevant thing I saw online was on his deviantart page. A poster ad for Cthulhu Cola. It’s the R’lyeh thing!

  18. Sigh… That article is… probably going to be the obit for that person. I don’t give a rats ass what you issue is, or what you claim to be, as long as you don’t try to force yourself on me, or try to make me accept YOUR way of thinking about things. I’m a grumpy old fart and just don’t care…

    Victim groups are useful tools for imposing rules on society, until that happens, then those groups get thrown under the bus. Ray Carter and I were talking one night about the whole ‘marriage’ act laws, and he was bemoaning it, saying that they should have quit when they got civil unions, which still gave them the rights they wanted, but the gay/lesbians wanted to ‘win it all’. They did, and have now been thrown under the transgender bus, soon to be followed by the gender fluid bus. Another thing Ray liked to point out was that the better way to get things done was low key, one step at a time. Stridency, acting out, etc. did nothing but call the WRONG kind of attention down on them. But his going high queen on the protesters at NRA Houston WAS a thing of beauty! 🙂

    1. Ah, Ray. For those of you who never met Ray, one of his many fine moments was when he went FULL pearl-clutching, sashaying, finger-snapping High Queen on some anti-gun protestors at the NRA annual meeting in Houston. How could they side with the gay bashers, and work to make sure he couldn’t defend his lovely little ass against any thugs after leaving the clubs? How homophobic could they be, and ignorantly bigoted to think they could spread their hate in such a lovely state as Texas?

      Ray could be a force of nature. Ray in high queen mode could be a tsunami hitting in the middle of a hurricane while a volcano erupted. The protestors never stood a chance. When Ray tired of chewing them out, he sniffed down his long, elegant nose, and said in a MOST Disappointed tone, something like “Well, if you’re not going to play, you’re useless.” And sashayed off.

      One protestor tried rally to their talking point, with a feeble “The (slur) want to kill you!”
      One burly, bearded, camo-wearing guy who’d been watching the show snorted. “Kill him? Hell, I wanna marry him!”
      …and that was about the end of that protest.

      1. Bit like the flaming gay guy I met with a Class III. His likely also gay co-worker – “What do those rednecks at the gun range say when you show up?”
        Him – “C-c-c-can I PLEASE shoot your guns? Please”

        1. Do I hear a consensus that the majority of gay gun owners own really GOOD guns, and probably know how to use them better than the average Joe?

          1. The reason gays are so marketed towards for higher end goods: Dink.


          2. Well, stands to reason– if you’re willing to go against your social group, and the noisy twits attached to it, you’re probably pretty dang fanatical thus you’re going to have better guns AND use them.

          3. I doubt they know how to use them significantly better than your average gun owner.

          4. This one inherited his from his step-dad, who taught him well, but yeah, the few I know are damned knowledgeable about them, and have some nice ones (the other I know of is rich, but doesn’t have any full auto funs, just Sigs and collectible revolvers).

          5. Sigh. Usually good and pretty. Though I suspect there will be a text from quasi-little-brother pointing out HIS guns aren’t pretty, and that THESE are the pretty guns he can’t afford….

            1. I will admit that I considered buying my wife a Taurus Judge with the pink handles; but then I remember the last time I took her to the range. Nope, she’s sticking to the shotgun.

          6. Sorry, just a 9mm Ruger. I think I’m approaching average status. We needed coffee last weekend, which means “go to range and pickup some Black Rifle coffee on the way out”. Shot about 200 rounds Mozambique and only two were outside the silhouette. At 5 yards 😦

  19. I’m sorry, When I hear of messages like that, with the “you must unfriend for meme/joke/humour”, it just makes me want to say “Cool, what was the meme? Share, please?”

    ‘Cause that little snide whisper campaign just works with me about as well as Streisand’s legal threats.

    1. Ugh. Streisand. Today she was bellowing about how all women who support Trump are mindless slaves too stupid to know how to vote, and too cowed to do it even if they had the brains.

      Small wonder she was such an avid Clinton supporter. She believes in the concept of deplorables living in flyover country; and has even less moral scruples than Hillary.

      I wonder… is there an inverse relationship in the number of entertainment awards bestowed on someone, and their total functional brain cells?

      1. It’s too bad. There was a time when she came across as fairly talented and moderately pleasant; say, around the time of WHAT’S UP DOC, which is genuinely funny. But then her ego took over.

        Joe Queenan wrote a devastating, and hilarious, account of her career that was published in his book of film criticism IF YOU’RE TALKING TO ME, YOUR CAREER MUST BE IN TROUBLE. The essay is called ‘Sacred Cow’.

        1. One aspect of stardom that is inevitable is that you will be surrounded by people who blow so much smoke up your skirt that you could be featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. While this afflicts Right as well as Left, those on the Right tend to be better moored by adherence to values beyond their own brilliance (immutable values such as the worth of all G-d’s creatures, the inherent dignity of others, and adherence to rule of law will have that effect.)

          They just tend to not talk about their politics as much because, as Alice Cooper observed, if you’re taking political advice from Rock Stars you’re asking for a ton of trouble:

          “I absolutely hate it. It’s the worst idea ever. First of all, why do people think rock stars know more than they do? That is the biggest fallacy in the world.

          “If anything, we’re dumber. We’re not smarter than anybody else. I mean, why do you think we’re rock stars?

          “Trust me, we don’t read magazines you don’t read. Nobody calls us up and gives us as inside information on politics. We know less than you do. If I watch TV, it’s ‘Family Guy.’

          “Rock ‘n’ roll was built to go as far away from politics as you could get. When my mom and dad talked about who to vote for, I’d go in the other room and put on The Beatles or Rolling Stones – and I’m still like that.”

        1. Which is just crazy pants, as you know. Women would never marry someone whose values they share; they would be able to “go against” their husbands if only they didn’t fear them so.

          Seriously, does she think women think that their husbands will find out how they voted and shun them, or something?

    2. Same here. I’m retired military – I’ve been abused and talked down to by the best, and not necessary in Basic Military Training, at that.
      I have a military pension, and now am drawing Social Security (for as much time as that institution has left) and I own the publishing company what does my books. There’s nothing much the weaponized Mean Girls can do to me, at this point. I own guns, live in a Texas suburban community where my neighbors all love us … I’d welcome a Tw*t storm of lefties taking against me for whatever reason, just for the hell of it. My daughter sternly forbids me from provoking one deliberately, however. (Such a spoil-sport!)
      But sometimes I wonder if it is only a matter of time. I comment under this nick or my Sgt. Mom ID all over the conservative blogosphere. I started out as a milblogger in 2002, for f*cks sake.
      Bring it, Mean Girls. I’m ready and loaded for bear.

  20. I’ve thought for a while that it’s all a test. All the very craziest stuff is a test. Because something that people *agree* on, such as treating everyone kindly or racial equality or whatever, something people agree upon can’t be used as a test.

    So the changing terms… well, that doesn’t test agreement, it tests how much time and effort you expend to make sure that your vocabulary conforms to the current rules. Which will change again next week. So you can prove you’re still submissive to the program.

    Choosing a pretty-obviously-guilty individual to rally around works as a test to see if you’re with the program. Why? Because everyone defends the guy who’s innocent so it doesn’t work at all to *sort* people by how they feel about the pretty-obviously-innocent guy shot by cops. It’s necessary to rally around someone who isn’t so innocent.

    The trans issues bother me for reasons some of you know, and the radical activists really piss me off because they aren’t trying to help. They’re trying to push the issue over to “unreasonable” in a very deliberate way because otherwise it doesn’t work as a test. “How dare you not be sexually attracted to me” is a test. “How dare you not support a genetically male person in women’s sports” is a test. “How dare you not want to share a locker room with someone with a penis” is a test. (And the exact same people will #metoo the world if some guy exposed himself to them.)

    None of it helps. It’s not meant to help. It’s not meant to make things better. it’s not meant to help people to be more accepting.

    It’s all about *sorting* us.

    1. Ah, the totalitarian sorting hat. I think it put me in House MYOB or something. Free lunches? I don’t believe they exist.

  21. In point of fact, yes, he told my 11 yo self I was on a mission from G-d. No, I still don’t believe me.

    Are you getting the band back together?

    (Whistles innocently.)

  22. On this “Goat” thing, there was a Japanese animated series, “Irresponsible Captain Tyler” where the eponymous main character was basically a goofball. By a series of extraordinary circumstances he ended up as an officer in the space navy and put in command of the destroyer Soyokaze. Hilarious hijinks ensue much to the anger of the conventional officers in the hierarchy.

    Nearly at the end one of those flag officers is talking to another and describes a situation with apes that essentially describes a “goat”. And then he explains how, as despised as that “goat” is, it is essential to the health of the band. The officer he’s explaining this to then asks if that’s what Tyler is in the space navy.

    The original officer, IIRC (it’s been a long time) was very irate at that suggestion and, no, it can’t possibly apply to Tyler.

    The viewer, of course, is left to draw his own conclusions.

  23. I never bothered trying to pass. I didn’t really spend much time with the kids my age in school. One or two during grade school (and we were the odds, those two went the druggie route, I went away from them), but once I hit High School, I either was hanging with older kids or a few guys 2 or 3 years younger than I. Come summer vacation, it was either the two guys a few years younger (we rode bicycles, ATVs and motorcycles together) or hanging with my cousins who were close to my age (4 years younger to 4 older) or occasionally my uncle who is 4 years older than I.

  24. I would seriously love to be able to dialogue with the people who are insisting–in the most authoritarian and violent terms no less–that lesbians may not reject transwomen as being women, and that this extends even unto being willing to have a romantic/sexual relationship with them and their penises. I see no similar campaign to force gay men to accept transmen as sexually desirable. Moreover, logic dictates that I (as a middle aged woman) should be supported completely if I determine myself to be an actual transmale despite still having all female body parts, present myself to gorgeous young gay men, and assert that they should WANT to have sex with me unless they are Hatey Hater McHateyPants Transphobes.

    1. “I do not find you unattractive on account of your being Trans, I find you unattractive because you are a crashing bore and tedious beyond words. And you’re homely, too.”

      Problem solved!

          1. It’s more than that. Apparently Gab, which was supposed to be a free-speech version of Twitter, finally had to wave the white flag. Since all of the focus is on Twitter, Facebook, and free speech, it hasn’t really been noted that the SJWs also have a lot of fingers in the financial end of things. And this is what finally caused Gab to surrender. It’s hard to run a business when none of the people who move money will do business with you.

            1. This is somewhere near where the Mark of the Beast comes in, isn’t it.

              I’d really rather that not be it.

            2. I always thought that the mark of the beast had very little to do with the “mark” and everything to do with the prohibitions on buying and selling if you didn’t have it.

  25. I don’t recall being harassed in school. I’ve never been to any of my HS reunions. But I always carry a knife and a sharpener and have developed a smile to accompany the sharpening that does put people off about 20 feet. The odd “sharrrrrrrrrrp” and “shiiiiiiiiiney” mutterings help, too.

  26. “These people don’t give much of a hang over their victim groups. They’re now screaming at lesbians who refuse to sleep with “girls with penises” for instance.”

    Yep. TERFs are under the bus. White gay males are under the bus too. Right next to the Christian baker who refused to do the gay wedding cake.

    Getting crowded down here, eh?

      1. I’m a little surprised, actually. They used to be smarter than this, didn’t they? Less sloppy and unsubtle, a lot smoother.

  27. Here in the people’s republic of Kalifornia, the latest shaming is an attack on the owner of the SF giants. He donated to the Mississippi senate race, to the Republican being smeared by the fascists. They are organizing a boycott, unless he lets the red guard reeducate him.

    I was always odd. I grew up a couple of blocks from UC berkeley, no kids my age for blocks, I skipped half a grade in 3rd grade when I was sick. They had home teachers, so I just moved at my own speed. Read much science fiction, collected comic books, had 10,000. Sold them for $2,000 in 1969. Kept 30 years of Astonishing/Analog. Shows my sense of value.

    Berkeley schools had tracking in the 50’s and early 60’s, a way of separating the special students of UC professors, from sons of Alabama sharecroppers come to work in the Richmond ship yards. I crashed & burned in Junior High after my mom died. Never learned the way the teachers wanted. Terrible grades, no friends, dumped into the “dumb” track with the “Negros”. That track taught me to type, since secretarial typing was what dumb ones did. What I have learned I have not learned in school.

    The thing about the social stuff. That is why we beat other humans. I think Neanderthals were autistic. They never formed social groups. As individuals they were smarter and stronger, but one giant can be taken down by 100 midgets. So you get the bullies organizing the slaves, and that is our history as great apes. Something happened 70,000 years ago. Was it Toba? We seem to stay “young”. Our hearts beat twice as long as they should. So much we don’t know.

    I call us odds, visionaries. We see what is not, as if it is. This drives normal bean counters crazy. How can you count what is not, as if it is?

    1. I think Neanderthals were Odd as f*ck. They did have social groups, etc. Seriously, new research>
      But almost all of us have more than our fair share of neanderthal genes. (We’re getting the TRIBE back together.)
      I think they preferred making cool baskets/artifacts/a better speer to making babies…. and thus they went.

      1. When they sequenced the Neanderthal genome a few years ago I was quite interested to see the charts of “human populations with identifiable Neanderthal DNA.”

        Yeah, the Neanderthals interbred with Sapiens. But if you look at the map… the Neanderthal hybrids freakin’ *won*.

        The “how much DNA in humans is uniquely Neanderthal” figure seems to be a moving target; now revised from 4% to a bit over 2%. And not all DNA does anything we can determine, but the difference between a Homo Sapiens and a Pan Troglodytes is only 4%. That 2 or 4 percent of Neanderthal doesn’t express in any way you can see without gene sequencing equipment. But it may be more subtle; the big stripe of high-Neanderthal-DNA across the Old World maps pretty close to “civilization”, with the northern end being “Industrial Revolution.”

        Conversely, the areas that are 100% H. Sapiens map pretty well to “losers.”

        Correlation doesn’t always imply causation, but we only have one planetary population as a dataset…

        1. The real question is how much human DNA did Neanderthals share with regular humans?

          And it’s interesting that while any one individual may carry 2 to 4% Neanderthal genes, as a population whole, we may have 20% to 40% of the Neanderthal genome sequestered among all of our various families.

          1. Good question. Chimpanzees share 96% of the human genome, yet that odd 4% does make a noticeable difference…

            1. Eh, keep in mind that’s more like “share identified genes.”

              Junk DNA doesn’t seem to be junk, and if I understood right the locations differ.

  28. >> “I still collected those who didn’t quite fit in, who did the unexpected, who, in fact, were the goats in the sheep flock of humanity.”

    I hereby dub thee: “The Odd Whisperer.”

    Unless you’d prefer “The Goat Whisperer,” of course.

    1. Nobody said “don’t hold back, tell us what you really think” at Crossover Queen’s. It’s possible I held back.

        1. Thing is, useful historical judgement takes work if it isn’t handed out on a plate, and it never really is.

          The article is fairly obvious falsehoods and weaponized evil, marketed towards hippies. But it makes a lot of statements, and for someone who never really studied the material, one or two of those might seem new, interesting and valuable.

          Obviously, tribes must have worked somehow. Otherwise we would not have seen so many tribal societies in history and we infer in prehistory.

          The schools do not discuss things rigorously, lest conservatism arise. So they cover it at the level of pap and hand-waving, to the point that mush with intact peas looks chewy and perhaps even filling.

          1. What popped out to me is this:

            A tribe is a group of people that care for each other and look out for each other no matter what. They are bonded by a strong sense of shared values, meaning, and purpose in life. In most cases, they are even willing to fight and die for each other.

            That is basically perfect Christian brotherhood; that is each man for his neighbor; that is the guys who ran in on 9/11, the guys who tackle the school shooter, etc.

        2. oh, 1 as a first number on scales, first time this morning. ALSO INEXPLICABLY (And it really IS inexplicable.) regained lost inch and am back to 5’6″ (still one short, but I’ll take it.) NO explanation.

    2. Well, after all, Judaism got rid of tribal vengeance in favor of the nation-state judgement, Christianity encouraged forgiveness over the nation-state judgement, and then Islam introduced tribal vengeance over forgiveness. Bringing back tribalism is just cultural evolution in action!

      1. Digressing from the joke, Judaism also introduced and enforced individual accountability.

        Even when it scandalized folks.

        Even to the point where you couldn’t punish a son for his father, or a father for his son!

    3. Amazing how people can gush about how captives stayed with their captors and not once does even the hint of Stockholm Syndrome appear.

      1. What gets me is that a woman kidnapped at 9, raped, beaten and tortured while her family is killed in front of her, for YEARS, before she’s rescued– her running away and being back in the tribe is proof they’re awesome, but kids who have to go to school during the week so they can speak and read hte language of the majority, and who aren’t allowed to be hauled out on bandit-raids deciding they like the school-teacher culture better than the bandit raid culture is some sort of war crime.

      1. Like all “rights” recognized by the Left, it is only granted those who use is “responsibly.”

    1. they always have to resort to screeching in an attempt at keeping the pendulum swung in the “correct” direction just a bit further.
      Tends not to work long and never ends well for them.

  29. Life being an Odd is always difficult. Most of us Odds are beyond the pale for most of the herd, and unless we have a lot of assets (cash works, but hung like a bull moose and with an articulated head helps). We don’t exactly play by the same rules, have the same desire for risks and rewards, and similar things.

    It’s lonely, but we still want to be with people, we still want that comfort and the affection.

    And, people will do a lot for a glass of water and some crackers if you’re dying of thirst in the desert.

    There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve done because a pretty girl has smiled at me. Has talked to me. Has made me feel like I had value. I’m lucky that I haven’t gotten caught in quite a few problems that I know friends have gotten hit with…

    But, yea. I can understand people saying stupid things, if they think it will let them have some comfort and people that care for them. And, the liberal zeitgeist is a simple one from the outside, and as long as you’re a part of it, they will love you.

    I know what the belly of the Beast looks like. I’ve been there, on the inside.

    And, I would rather be alone at this point.

  30. I’ve always wanted to know where these A-holes get their marching orders from. From my POV, the whole “We GOTTA let gays get married (to each other)!” thing blew up out of nowhere; same goes for the whole “transgender is GOOD GOOD GOOD!” idea.

    1. You can see it if you follow say literary circles. I don’t know if people there ain’t too bright, or if they’re the motor of this sh*t. But we knew about the transsexual thing two years in advance because of Glitterati giving interviews.

  31. “However one day I heard them (in a gathering of all the other girls in the form) laying down the law of who was the prettiest to who was the ugliest. I was the ugliest. And all the other girls agreed and acted accordingly.”

    I had exactly the same experience at school. It was a surprise to look back at old photos as an adult, and realise I’d actually been a perfectly nice-looking girl. They had me convinced I was hideous.

    And I wrote it off as a teenage girl thing, until I got a job in an all-women team in a female-dominated industry (yes, publishing, as it happens), and encountered the equivalent mean-girl behaviour by women definitely old enough and well-educated enough to know better. I guess some people never grow up.

    1. Please!!! When it’s “men dressed as women” it is termed cunnilingus, NOT “blowjobs.” Special attention is required to the clitoris.

      When can only speculate on the presumption of good will made by those requesting such attention, as “Eat me!” calls for possibly unwonted response.

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