Feelings and Facts

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Look, there are two worlds as far as each of us is concerned: the world behind our eyes, and the world outside.

What I mean to say is this: you as a person feel, think and believe all sorts of things.

No one outside that space behind your eyes has to believe you.

I think I’m more attuned to this than anyone else, because the space behind my eyes contains multitudes, and the feelings/thoughts/feelings are often not exactly mine. (Recently while scouring the web for reviews of my work for an application, I came across people who consistently believed that a) my characters are me. b) the romance in the books is the romance I want.
First, people who could believe I’m both Athena and Dyce need their heads examined. Second, I’m well fixed for romance, thank you.  Have been for 34 years. And my husband has not a vague resemblance to ANY of the guys in my books. Not even a little. Not even when I bring out A Fatal Paws, where the husband is a mathematician. The technical name for someone who confuses character and author is “idiot.”)

In fact, because human memory is fallible and what we notice of the world is so dependent on us being ill, or distracted, or whatever, it’s virtually impossible that the world inside your head matches what really happened and what didn’t (i.e. facts.)

If you’ve ever lived with someone else you know this.  Dan and I are if not similar very congruent, in that we tend to take the same conclusions from things, even if we get there through different routes.  BUT if you get us into what I call “old married couple bikering” over when how or whether something happened, it can go on for hours.  “No, it was a Thursday.” “It was a Wednesday. I remember because the cat was ill.” Etc. It often turns out both of us are conflating different incidents with yet a third incident, because the image of the world inside our heads got confused (and these are usually minor things.)

Beyond that, particularly if you’ve been indoctrinated or are young and stupid enough to believe the media wholesale, you’ll put bizarre interpretations on things.  Which is how we get someone being offended by a picture of coal miners and deciding this meant people of color weren’t welcome at the restaurant.

His initial mistake wasn’t awful. I mean it’s stupid to say you feel “threatened” by the picture.  Insulted is not the same as threatened. I’m really tired of people saying that anything that offends them or insults them is “threatening.” No, you goofballs. Threatened is when someone says “Quitcher bellyaching or I’m going to give you what for.” That’s a threat.  Whether it’s a credible threat depends on the size of the person saying it and whether they’re holding a weapon. If it’s a 90 lb woke woman saying this to a 300 lb man it will be treated as a joke, no matter how much she thinks she is “90 pounds of get back.” Which yes, is based on a real incident, and again goes back to how the world inside your head doesn’t match the outside. No matter how many movies you’ve seen where the amazing! Feminist! woman! just beats a 300 lb man with no effort, reality is likely not to match.  And if, unlike that incident, the man is of a mean disposition and unchivalrous, the mismatch with reality is going to hurt a hell of a lot, even without his trying.

But if you’re a city-bred twat I can see looking at the picture with the minors WELL DRESSED (by our time’s standards) and in what appears to be black face and being offended. However, once someone explains the context to you, to double down is a thing of madness.  It is in fact, bad crazy. I.e. an insistence that people cater to the world inside your particular head and not to reality.

You see, most babies realize there’s a difference between the world behind the eyes and the world outside by I think around six months. They see the difference between me-not me.  I.e. you can move your foot, but you can’t move the mobile over the crib, unless you kick it with your foot.

But we have raised generations of kids by telling them their feelings are important, and yes, that disagreement or argument is “threatening.” So they’ve lost that distinction.

I can no longer find it, but one of the private conferences I frequent, had a video of a woman telling a guy wearing a MAGA hat is racist because she FEELS it is and feelings are real.

[Does sinal salute.]  Of course feelings are real.  A friend who is a psychiatrist keeps telling me I need to own and investigate my feelings, because they are real.

But they are real TO ME in the space behind my eyes.  For instance, if I hear Green Acres I feel all unsettled.  When Lisbon TV stations were taken over in a revolution (oh, you don’t want to know) or attempted coup, the Porto station got cut off.  And all they could even play between occasional news updates were some old reels of Green Acres.  Coming into the house at lunch time and hearing that music was a BAD sign.

Does that mean that Green Acres must mean revolution and unsettled times to anyone else? No.  And yet my feeling is REAL.  Sure it is, and the mature response to it is to go “Long ago and far away” and wander off while the kids watch it. Even if the conditioned feeling never fully goes away.

In the same way if you’ve been taught to be scared of MAGA hats, men with dirty faces, or for that matter “people who don’t look like you” the feeling is real. But before acting on it, or demanding others change to suit your “feelings” you need to step back and go “do I have any RATIONAL reason to feel this way?”  And then in many cases you have to overcome those feelings, so you can live in civilized society.

Because here is the thing, if you have to listen to everyone’s “feelings” and every single person’s feelings are as real as facts, we will all need to isolate ourselves from everyone else.  I mean, Vegans feel meat is murder. Are they entitled to execute everyone else? I feel very strongly that Marxism needs to be rooted out. I’m totes entitled to hold brain-washing sessions on everyone, and kill Occasional Cortex before she infects more people, right?  And I feel loons who assume MAGA hats are really really racist (even though there’s no FACTS to back this up other than their feelings) need to shut their whiny mouths or be given whatfor. So, if I wear a MAGA hat, which of us wins? Care to place bets?

Feelings are real and you need to learn to deal with them. You can’t just deny them. But neither can you impose them on anyone else.  Particularly when they PRESUME other people’s thoughts and feelings. Because, hey, guess what, you’re not psychic. Just because you FEEL someone is doing this or that because of “x” it doesn’t mean you’re right. And if you have no facts (and I mean facts, not, “but the media said”) outside your skull to back it up, your feelings are YOUR PROBLEM and no one else’s.

When you scream “you can’t deny my feelings” that’s besides the point.  No one denies you feel the way you do. Well, not unless they’re playing psychic, themselves.

What people can and should do is challenge the mismatch between feelings and facts.  Ones can’t be imposed on others, and the others impose themselves on all of us. Because reality is still what it is.

To think otherwise, to think that your feelings should dictate how everyone acts is a form of solipsism, where you think you’re the only real person ever.  Because if that’s not true, you will be able to realize you’ll run into other’s feelings, that contradict yours.

What this stupid idea is, really, is bad-crazy. That which unmakes civilization.

312 responses to “Feelings and Facts

  1. I have to leave in a minute to go see be seen by the doctor (routine checkup) so please subscribe me to your newsletter, as I am very interested in what you’re saying.

    • “Being seen by” is no problem. I gave up on the “regular checkup” thing back when doctors felt it was necessary to grab my spine from the front. Whatever “palpating the abdomen” was supposed to discover wasn’t worth it.

      • Looking for tumors, fibroids, enlarged or swollen organs, etc. They have to go deeper if you have abdominal fat.

        I agree that it is not fun. My Romanian emigre doctor did a very thorough job and her palpations did not quite hurt, but I think I would prefer imaging. (Although it did put me in touch with the long continuity of practices in the tradition of Western medicine.)

        • Me, I just deal with regular MRI’s to look for new lesions in the nervous system (Multiple Sclerosis). Get to give myself shots 3 times a week, and when there are flare-ups, like now, get to go through steroid courses.

    • Physician’s Assistant for me. Apparently the best treatment for Achilles tendinitis is ice and Ibuprofen. Looks like I need to avoid boots for a week or two; no trench filling for me.

      • Respectfully, as a licensed PA, please leave off the apostrophe ‘s’. It’s Physician Assistant or just PA. I know that seems like a quibble, but it’s quite a point of contention in the profession as it implies that we belong to the MDs and DOs we collaborate with, rather than acting as practitioners in our own right.

        Hell, while I’d prefer it be another way, I’ve never even worked in the same building as my SP. Incidentally, both this and the public confusion over our roles versus that of medical assistants, is why there is a big push to change the name of our profession to either Physician Associate or just plain old PA, without it standing for anything.

        • I fear PA will forever be Plate Appearances in my Acronymonicom.

          • It’s a terrible acronym TBH, because it’s used for so many different professions that nobody knows which you are talking about until you specify. Oh, you’re a Production Assistant, a Personal Assistant? In the Army I’ve had people confuse me for the PAO (Public Affairs Officer) and ask me for comment about things *way* outside my wheelhouse. And then half of folks still think you mean you are an MA unless they happen to see a PA for medical care themselves.

            Don’t even get me started on trying to convince the ancient security guy at work to quit referring to me as “the nurse”.

        • Since it’s largely a training facility and the PA works closely with the MD, it was an easy apostrophe… (A Medical Assistant did the preliminary work, freeing the PA from some of the computer drudgery and to get a chance to do some actual medicine.)

          FWIW, Physician Associate would work better. PA just kicks the can down the road.

          • I agree. And that’s what the U.K. went with. But there’s a stupid amount of resistance by the AAPA. Supposedly because changing our name in 50 sets of state laws regulating medical practice would be “too hard”. I think they are blowing smoke personally.

    • A1C is now back under six, so: a good checkup. Able to move back to Semi-annual instead of quarterly. Blood pressure slightly high, but I blame the world Gaslight Media for that.

      Truly surprised, as I had been negligent, eating whole bag of Valentine candy gumdrops that tasted foul but were horribly compulsive. I admit: as a teeth-grinder I do like something with chew even though as one with Type II Diabetes I would be best off chewing on leather dog toys.

      • $SPOUSE likes to avoid sugar, and since I’m the one with Type II, I agree. Russell Stover sugar-free candy is good; we get a piece each day normally.

      • Cardiologist basically told me that sugar and starches were gone from my life forever ( I get one cheat treat a week).
        So far, so good- down 25 lbs since Nov.

      • Treat yourself to a pork neck bone every now and then, eh?

  2. The only character in your books that I could relate to a real person was Speaker, and even then it was apparent that the character was an analog rather than a duplicate.

  3. Our Hostess said there are people that believe:

    a) my characters are me.

    I Think Dr. Pournelle (Or Perhaps RAH?) had a thought on that, to paraphrase:

    There is a name for people who mistake a characters view (or the character for that matter) for those of the author. That word is Idiot.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      S. M. Stirling attributed it (IIRC) to Larry Niven.

    • Further, the left proves such stupidity with its ever increasing hysteria that demands that only actors who are like the character (superficially of course) can play such a character, that only authors who have certain characteristics can write about characters with those characteristics, etc., This of course utterly guts and reverses the entire meaning e of creative arts, which is dependent in large part on people being able to image being something that they are not. Indeed, such imagination often helps in understanding those who are different.

      In doing so they make the same mistake as Hegel and those who opined as he did, because while they identify the dichotomy between reality and perception, they are utterly wrong as to how same is addressed by people and what doing so means, both to individual thought and action and to society as a whole. While Marx (and Engels) are the “fathers of Communism”, Hegel is the one who planted the deadly seeds.

      • I’m waiting for them to require only whites play white characters and only straights play straight character.

        Oh, yeah, right. Never mind.

        Not to mention Hollywood characters are the ur-case of “once you go black” (or female or Hispanic or gay or whatever).

        • Excepting Colonel Tigh, of course, which is something of shame, because Terry Carter’s version of character was a lot more likable than Paul Hogan’s.

          • Maybe. Paul Hogan’s worked very well for me because I bought he was the XO, especially in the miniseries and season 1.

            I still consider season 1, episode 1, “33”, the single best visual military sci-fi ever made and at least one line by Tigh, “If they old man isn’t sure whose turn it is, it’s his turn” is a big part of that.

            The tension in that episode was palpable and struck “this is what that would be like” note based on my submarine days.

            tl;dr: you may be right, but I’m prejudiced by early episodes of the new series.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Perhaps that’s why the remakers got away with making him white instead of black?

            IE No Black Character can be “unlikeable”. 😦

        • So who plays Vulcans and Puppeteers?

    • I remember Doctor P writing that frequently. I don’t recall if he was quoting another source for it or if it was his own. I lean toward his quoting it.

      • I don’t know if’s the original, but the source I had heard of the “technical term” quote was Stirling’s novel Conquistador.

        • My recollection is that Pournelle expressed it using “technical term” in his conference on BIX before “Conquistador” came out. The form I remember went like:

          Authors have a technical term for readers who ascribe the opinions of characters to the author. We call them “Idiots.”

    • The uniformity of Heinlein’s salty old man/father characters throughout his writing career, not to mention his redheaded women, lead me to disagree.

    • But a fairly natural outcome of public school teachers of writing telling newbies to “write what you know”, just after espousing the philosophical imperative to “know thyself”.

  4.  The technical name for someone who confuses character and author is “idiot.”

    In fact, because human memory is fallible and what we notice of the world is so dependent on us being ill, or distracted, or whatever, it’s virtually impossible that the world inside your head matches what really happened and what didn’t (i.e. facts.)

    “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.  There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

    Ebeneezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    Which leads me to consider —

    How, for example, could anyone be Pip, Joe Gargery, Magwitch, and Miss Haversham all at once?

     The technical name for someone who confuses character and author is “idiot.”

    Yup.

    • How can anyone be 5 different characters all at once?
      Dungeon Master with Multiple Personality Disorder.

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    I feel that I’m a dragon but reality (facts) is that I’m a sixty plus slightly over-weight human male. 😈

    • Okay, You’re a sixty plus slightly over-weight human male. Now stop shedding scales all over the living room and open a window to let some of your smoke out.

      • I KEEP telling him THAT!

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          While I dislike (because it’s not safe) disagreeing with a Female Dragon, some of those scales & smoke are from you. [Very Nervous Smile]

          • My scales DON’T fall. They’re too scared to.

            • Not even, when warranted, from your eyes?

              • Completely different hing. You could say it’s happened a few times And every time it’s painful.

                • Yes, it is painful at the time. However, leaving them there is more painful in the long run, as your eye-scales cause you to keep stumbling half-blindly into reality and stubbing your toes (or worse).

                • So, they don’t fall, they’re forcibly yanked?

                    • Imagine the poor, half naked dragon who has to have his scales sewn back on. Crap, now I have to expand on that idea into a couple page story and I’m busy fencing all weekend.

                    • Chain link, razor wire, or picket? 😛

                    • Or Foil, Rapier, Saber or Epee?

                    • Epee. One A2 Mixed Open tournament on Saturday, one D1 Mixed Open and one B2 Mixed Open on Sunday.

                      I can fence foil, but I suck at it because I don’t have a good feel for right of way. I end up with a lot of double touches, and failure to gain priority and lose the point, the bout, and the match. Epee doesn’t deal with priority, you hit your opponent first, or at the same time, you score.

                    • Back when I fenced — before blowing out half the ligaments in my thrusting knee) I found success in foil by “allowing” the point to draw me to the target. You might find a similar visualization works for you. It’s “pull, not push” that assures right of way.

                    • RES. I do that most of the time. I’ve also incorporated the slow motion precision movements you see a lot of martial artists doing as part of a patterning training exercise, with very good results btw. (It worked when I was doing Tae Kwon Do, it works for this too.) But right of way is currently determined by (1) Is the fencer in range to realistically threaten the other fencer, and (2)(a) Did they initiate the threat/attack first, (b) or did they attack into their opponents preparation, (c) or have they parried the other fencer’s attack to take right of way away from them, or (d) did the opposing fencer miss and cede priority to the defending fencer?

  6. Odd to live in a time when so many think others are responsible for one’s own feelings. I was taught from a very early age that my feelings are my own responsibility. I choose to be happy, sad, fearful, hateful or loving. How crushing it must be to not have that power to choose.

    • I think I would peg this, at least in part, on a mistaken belief that if one says someone is responsible for one’s own feelings, then the person saying such things is, of necessity, downplaying the existence of mental illness, and how dare one ever even contemplate doing such a thing. Never mind that even a person who is depressed (or suffering from any other mental illness) has the ability to choose emotional responses. Might it be more difficult, or might such an individual be more predisposed to certain emotional responses over others? Sure. But saying that this person has no choice in how they feel, and convincing him or her of that “reality”? That is far more cruel, in my mind, than saying “Your feeling are your responsibility, and you can choose how you react.”

      • It’s possible for someone who is mentally ill to have zero control over their emotions. But we’re talking about someone so far gone that they’re in a complete hallucination, perhaps a state of schizophrenia so profound that it makes “A Beautiful Mind” look normal.

        • Fair point. I was not considering extreme cases like that when I made my comment, since one would hope that such cases are fairly rare. And also that said individuals are receiving proper help and care, since that sounds like it would likely be absolute hell for them.

          • Those are definitely the ones that need to be in institutions; but unfortunately, are usually out in our communities and often dumped into our emergency rooms.

    • I think Megadeth has a great take on this in Peace Sells, But Whose Buying:

      “What do you mean I hurt your feelings?
      I didn’t know you had any feelings
      What do you mean I ain’t kind? Just not your kind”

      Full Lyrics:
      Band:Megadeth Album:Peace Sells……But Who’s Buying? Year:1986 LYRICS:
      What do you mean I don’t believe in God?
      Talk to him every day
      What do you mean I don’t support your system?
      I go to court when I have to
      What do you mean I can’t get to work on time?
      Got nothing better to do
      What do you mean I don’t pay my bills?
      Why do you think I’m broke? Huh?

      If there’s a new way I’ll be the first in line But, it better work this time

      What do you mean I hurt your feelings?
      I didn’t know you had any feelings
      What do you mean I ain’t kind? Just not your kind
      What do you mean I couldn’t be President Of the United States of America?
      Tell me something, it’s still ‘We the people’, right?
      If there’s a new way I’ll be the first in line
      But, it better work this time

      Can you put a price on peace?
      Peace, peace sells, peace, peace sells
      \Peace sells, but who’s buying? Peace sells, but who’s buying? No, no, no, no, no!
      Peace sells Peace sells

    • Martha Washington is said to have said “most people are about as happy as they decide to be” — which applies to a lot of other feelings, as well.

  7. Margaret Ball

    I feel that I’m a best-selling author. How dare Amazon refuse to validate my feelings!

    • You and me both, my friend.

      • Why not go into politics? “Governor Hoyt” has a ring to it.

        • Because I want to write. And there’s indie. And you can make a hellofalotofmoney without being a bestseller.(Note I’ve been a transient bestseller on Amazon, sometimes for a week or so.)

          • Besides there are some things even a writer doesn’t have the stomach for.
            But based on the coverage of a few new freshmen congress critters there is certainly no minimum intelligence requirement for public office.

          • Politics didn’t seem to hurt Elizabeth Warren’s writing; she declared over $400,000 last year from her books.

            That’s not Stephen King or GRR bucks, but it’d buy a lot of cat food… redecorate your office, delegate everything, and have your secretary schedule twenty minutes a week for whatever business the Governor *must* handle, if any. You could get a lot of nice, quiet writing time if you handle it right.

            [I’m running for mayor next election; that’s my plan should I get elected…]

            I note her nine books are all about debt and bankruptcy, and she’s supposed to have specialized in bankruptcy law when she got her degree. So she knows exactly what the tax changes she’s proposing would lead to…

            [also noting of her books that are still in print, most are $10-$15 on AMZ, and the others are co-author credits in legal texts which also seem remarkable low-priced at $35-$45, with not a huge market. She must be selling a LOT of $10-$15 books…]

            • THAT is not writing. That is payola. And money laundering.

              • Nailed it!

                • Yep. If you ever saw the movie The Distinguished Gentleman starring Eddie Murphy, the use of book sales as a tool to funnel cash to politicians is one of the things that is portrayed in the move. Warren’s books and the books written by others who are planning runs for bigger offices, fir that scheme to a tee.

                  • Former Speaker of the House Jim Wright begs to differ. He also wonders whether you’d like to purchase a personally autographed copy of his book, “Reflections of a Public Man.”

              • Actually her personal finance book from the late 80s/early 90s is pretty good. Very traditional and Dave Ramsey like.

                It is hard today to reconcile it with its author.

                • Not hard to reconcile. Back then she was a little known academic whose work needed to stand up to the challenge of the marketplace. Today she’s a Big Name politician peddling magic beans. She simply changed with the times and the demands of her audience.

                  Once you abandon personal integrity in an author such reconciliation is easy-peasey.

                • She seems to be a busy person with little regard for “the little people.” My guess would be that her PR advisors thought it would be a good idea and hired a ghostwriter to do it.

                  • It was by her and her daughter long before she became famous. I am willing to credit it to the two of them.

                    It’s not ground breaking or new, just solid classic spend less than you make, the only debt you want is a mortgage which is a reasonable multiple of your incomes, save for a rainy day, and invest for the future. Like Dave Ramsey it has rules and an order to do things (shorter than his, but pretty much the same).

                    And when I say it predates her arriving on the political scene I mean by a huge amount. I was familiar with the book when she started doing public stuff on healthcare and bankruptcy and didn’t even connect the two for a long time.

                    • It is useful to keep in mind that Paul Krugman was once an honest and meritorious economist; it seems that the effect of shilling for Progressivism disrupts the moral compass as much as a powerful electric field warps a magnetic compass.

                    • Such does appear to be the case.

                      I used to recommend her book as well as, or even over, Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, but her political activity and lying ended that a few years back. The advice is solid and it is one of the better presentations, but it is not unique and I have no desire to promote her.

              • Of course.

                Once I retire, I plan on finishing a memoir. I’ve worked on flight testing some pretty exotic aircraft, and got in close to the ground floor of unmanned aviation (25 years ago). But I don’t expect it to make me rich.

                Damn it, I need to finish the Space Guard novel so I can buy Tom Clancy’s old place.

                • The Kettering Aerial Torpedo (a.k.a. bug) dates to October 1918. 😛

                  • IIRC, there was a slightly earlier version. “Aerial Target”, unless that’s another name for the same thing. The article is findable, but not tonight.

                    I have the article with model-making plans in the shop. Wiki to the rescue: Ruston Proctor Aerial Target, 1916. Intended as an anti-Zeppelin bomb (with a deliberately misleading name).

                  • Ah, but the 4th generation UAVs we’re far, far more complex and capable than their predecessors. When you start talking about flying from Florida to Portugal AND back, pumping imagery by satellite, things get tricky.

                • Do it! And even if you get bogged down and give up, you can release it as a monograph.

                  My brother-in-law was the guy who wire-wrapped the first prototype GPS boards and flew around in airplanes comparing the output to what the flight navigator came up with. He wasn’t part of the politicking on the system, but he was in the room for a lot of it, and his account of how it all came about is substantially different than, say, Wikipedia’s…

                  I’ve been trying to get him to write about it for years now, but he doesn’t think anyone would be interested. Most of the guys he worked with are no longer with us, and at his age, the clock is ticking. Argh.

            • Yeah, but she gets paid for her books because of her celebrity, not because they’re any good.

        • I think the nature of the job has a great deal to do with the kind of person who seeks it.

          Our kind hostess simply doesn’t want to do that kind of work.

    • Well, they likely have this crazy idea that a sphere is a thing consisting of a three-dimensional surface equidistant from some ‘central’ point, too. }:o)

    • I feel like I’m one of the X-Men. How dare basic biology and physics deny me.

    • Me too, dammit! Now where is my swimming pool full of lovely golden royalties!?

    • I feel I didn’t earn nearly enough money last year to have to pay income tax.

    • Ah… you are call forgetting “who / whom”. Some people’s feelings are really really REAL and matter, while some are not and don’t. It’s a corollary from the premise that humanity is rankable, whether by class, or race, or (now) approved Oppression Status. You can do anything you want to the Untouchables at the bottom.

      That’s why progressivism always ends in mass graves.

  8. I can no longer find it, but one of the private conferences I frequent, had a video of a woman telling a guy wearing a MAGA hat is racist because she FEELS it is and feelings are real.

    I suspect you mean this one:

    I searched for “girl afraid of MAGA hat”. I refuse to call that child a woman.

    What struck me the first time I saw it a while back was the girl looks like a skinhead.

    I remember when skinheads, even small skinny ones, were afraid of nothing and someone you didn’t want to tangle with (due to a shaved head and an affection for Getta-Grip boots I was mistaken for one a few times) even if you knew you could win.

    Now someone who looks like one is afraid of a hat.

    Pathetic.

  9. “First, people who could believe I’m both Athena and Dyce need their heads examined.”

    Well, you see, it all starts where the would-be Good Man Sinestra’s biowomb is accidentally dropped off the back of a truck, whereupon it rolls behind a bookstore into a pallet of remaindered mysteries…

  10. “I’d swear I just heard you say *BEEP*.”

    “No, I just said totally-innocuous-word.”

    “Oh, okay then.”

  11. “Why are you eating pudding after I told you that pudding is racist?”

    “Because it’s yummy and not racist.”

    “REEEEEEEEEE!”

    • So… if pudding were racist, but still yummy, you wouldn’t eat it?

      That’s the part I find interesting.

      • How many people stopped eating Jello Pudding after Bill Cosby was convicted?

      • Well, it’s pudding. Which makes it every bit as racist as most of the racist things that aren’t actually racist but that we’re supposed to not-do because someone *else* thinks/says that they are. I don’t know how pudding could actually *be* racist, but apparently PBJ sandwiches have been on the block, as are street tacos, fried chicken, and various other things.

        What was truly interesting was me trying to dredge up an example that was *outside* of the possibility of being claimed racist to begin with.

      • Only if it were chocolate.

        • Chocolate isn’t racist. It IS cultural appropriation though. All us evil people from anywhere other than Central America stole it from the Aztecs.

          Boo hoo. Chocolate and Coffee are the two major reasons why we need to preserve tropical habitats. Well, and bananas.

        • Chocolate pudding is permitted to African-Americans only. Asian-Americans can eat lemon pudding and rice pudding. Bananananana pudding is for Latin-Americans (who also get to eat crème brûlée and flan), Native Americans can have caramel pudding, and White people get to eat vanilla pudding.

          Pistachio pudding is permitted to Martian-Americans. You know who you are.

          • /sneaky growing grin

          • richardmcenroe

            The Chinese restaurant in my little Texas town has chocolate pudding on the buffet. I eat it. I will continue to eat it. And any wannabe food zampolit who thinks they have the teeth to do something about it can try to bite me.

            Remember, Hitler was a vegetarian.

  12. Oh and… I was newly pregnant and morning-sick when my husband brought home a Nintendo 64 and he and the kids played hours of Mario Brothers.

    I *still* will get nauseous at that song.

  13. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I think there are different ways to get a strong attunement to the differences between fact and feeling.

  14. There was an interview between [i think] Carlos Santana and some Conservative whose name I can’t recall. On Dick Cavett or similar, back when Santana was Cool. Typical set-up, Cool Guy vs. Square type of thing.

    After being challenged on some point he’d made, Santana said basically “well, you have your reality and I have mine.”

    The point being made when I saw the clip was that Leftists do not even agree on the nature of Reality with us Squares anymore. To us, there is Objective Reality and all else is perceptions of that foundational Truth. Leftists argue that each person has their own, completely subjective reality. That’s where the stupid bald chick in the MAGA hat video was going. Her reality is more important than the dude wearing the hat. He should take it off, to preserve her -Reality-.

    Now, it is tempting to dismiss that as a figure of speech. But Leftists do mean Reality when they say it like that. You literally do not share their Reality with them. You are part of some Hellscape that will destroy their world.

    Once upon a time back in the mists of time (1978) I was an Anthropology major. Waaaay back then I noticed that some professors would get very impatient whenever I suggested measuring something. Caloric intake, miles walked, distance from house to clean water, IQ, anything like that. “All cultures are equally valid you see, young Phantom, and any attempt to quantify their efficiency or effectiveness is ETHNOCENTRIC and therefore Bad, capital B.” Reality itself was a cultural construct, and Basic Reality and the very laws of Nature were different depending on what culture you came from.

    I never bought it. It was too self-evidently stupid. If I stub my toe on a rock, it hurts. If an African shaman from the BongoBongo tribe stubs his toe on the same rock, it hurts. The rock and the pain are the same, the swearing sometimes differs.

    No, I was told, that is a Western notion and if you want to “understand” the African dude you have to live in his reality. (What they really wanted to do was scream RAAAACIST!!! but they hadn’t gotten enough penetration into the institution back then.)

    Therefore, when dealing with a Lefty it is useful to remember that they don’t even agree on the basis of Objective Reality with you. There is no common ground for you to have a conversation about anything. Furthermore, if at some point you do agree, the Leftist will change what he’s saying to make sure he doesn’t match.

    But, on the bright side, since there actually -is- an objective Reality, the Left is continually shedding adherents.

    Most recently TERFs, meaning lesbians who do not want to share their bathrooms and change rooms at the gym with Trannies. Radical lesbians finally hit the Reality wall. XX is female, XY is male, XYXXbz47 is imaginary bullshit and they don’t want it in the stall next to them taking a leak. They do not care how “trans-women” identify or feeeeeel about it. They just don’t. A guy in a dress is a guy. Period.

    So now they’re having their talks hosted at the Heritage Foundation instead of Harvard or U Cal Berkley.

    • And yet it is Trump and Republicans (and libertarians, small l) who are denounced as unable to consider other views, divisive and dividing people in the pursuit of power; i.,e. everything the left is doing and is projecting on their opponents.

    • Leftists argue that each person has their own, completely subjective reality.

      This begs the question, why do leftists pick such sad subjective realities?

      I mean, to the degree I can I live in a subject reality where I’m sexy, the most masculine person around, have my pick of attractive women, and about to be a best selling author the minute I press publish on Amazon.

      What I am not is oppressed despite going an Ivy league school, making mid-six figures, and having a national audience for my thinking. Why in the name of all that is holy would you choose to feel subjectively oppressed when you have those three objective truths about you.

      Be an arrogant f**k, you earned. Plus, it’ll be more fun than having a pity party.

      • It’s called narcissism.

        They disregard any facts, evidence or information that contradicts their internal narrative because all that matters to them is themselves. They are taught starting at a young age that “everyone gets a trophy”, that the most important thing in the world is how they feel about something and that anything which makes them feel bad is an attack on them to be repelled, that all criticism or critique is a personal attack, and that they are entitled to a perfect life, and that if they fail to have one, it is the result of systematic unfairness and is someone else’s fault.

        They are indoctrinated to believe that they are the center of the universe.

        • Unless the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ idiocy started a lot earlier than I ever heard of it, that isn’t the root cause. Not that it helps.

          No, the root of it is the infiltration of the teaching profession by Leftist Twits, which started at the end of the 19th Century, has finally flowered.

          • That may be the root of how the children became subject to indoctrination; I am talking about the narcissism that underlies the ideology itself; the “everybody gets a trophy” attitude is cited as an example of this narcissism, along with other examples.

          • I was lucky, way back in the late ‘70s. See, my teacher for AP American History was a True Radical, who thought that all her students should learn the True Values of Revolutionaries and be prepared to FURTHER THE REVOLUTION!!!

            So…

            She had us read very extensively from the writings of the Founding Fathers of the USA. Not just the Federalist Papers, but also the Anti-Federalist Papers. And Thomas Jefferson on how it is a citizen’s *duty* (not right! DUTY!) to rebel when their government becomes intolerable. And Thomas Paine. Then we continued on with de Toqueville. And…. Well… I suspect that most of the Huns would semi-jokingly describe pretty much all of our class readings as “Holy Writ.”

            After all, what American parent could possibly complain to the School Board that their child was being forced to read our Founding Fathers’ works. Well, it was true back then, anyway.

            After all of THAT, she taught us how to produce answers that would actually *pass* the AP American History exam. Because even back then, answers rooted in what we spent most of our year on weren’t going to get you a good score…

          • If I went back in time and strangled Marx and Engle as infants, someone else would have invented the fantasy of communism anyway.

            • Might not be as bad.
              It’s worth a try?

              • Could you please point me in the direction of that strange little alien from Simak’s “Mastodonia” then? I keep walking the trails behind my home and still end up in the current year.

            • Just as I sat down to the computer this morn it struck me that we need another Iron Dream, this one written by Lenin who, instead of taking that train from Zurich to St Petersburg instead took it to Lisbon, where he boarded a boat to America and eventually — thanks to his background in physics and mathematics — found work as an editor for Hugo Gernsback.

      • There’s reward these days in being the most fragile and fail of sensitive special snowflakes.
        One gets constant affirmations from people in authority, or friends online.
        One gets to use people in authority to make the bad things go away.
        One gets extra rights and privileges.
        If you reward a behavior, you’ll get more of it.

      • > why do leftists pick such sad subjective realities?

        They can offer nothing to build a better world; the only way they can personally effect change is by tearing something down.

        • They believe every aspect of life is a zero-sum game, whereby anyone who has anything, necessarily took it from someone else and that it is impossible for everyone to gain.

          • That annoying slogan/ bumper-sticker platitude: Live simply, that others might simply live.

            • I keep seeing variations on that on Facebook, like about how no one should ever be a billionaire because even working at a “good” job that pays $100 an hour (such small dreams they dream) it would take 4000 years or whatever to become a billionaire. What the frack does that have to do with anything?! Billionaires are just “hoarding resources” that can be used elsewhere.

              Makes me head desk every time.

              • Never mind that it’s the billionaires who are doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to private development of space and launch vehicles. (Pun intended.) Not to be overly melodramatic, but IMHO those are the people who are doing the most to ensure humanity has a future.

                • Some billionaires, like ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg along with the tech oligarchs seem far more concerned with controlling the lives of others than anything else these days. The tech billionaires of course, also spend a lot of money trying to prevent any competition through anti-monopolistic practices the Rockefellers, Mellons and Hearsts could only have dreamed of.

      • Chrismouse the

        It’s status-seeking. Of the “better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven” sort, because the objective truth that they can attain higher status in the Real World would require them to do the things that status in that system would do. And they don’t want to do that, because doing so would be admitting they’re wrong.

        • The problem of course is that their ideology makes places where they impose it literal Hell on Earth.

    • Her reality is more important than the dude wearing the hat. He should take it off, to preserve her -Reality-.

      But why does she want to preserve that reality over the one where she’s a skinhead and MAGA boy better watch for her studded wrist bands and steel toed boots.

      Why does she want to be powerless?

      • Because she’s been raised to believe that violence is inherently bad.

      • Why does she WANT to be powerless? Well, if one wanted to be nasty, amd indulge in what Kipling called The Higher Cannibalism, one might observe that people who have surrounded themselves with other narcissists seldom have satisfactory sex-lives, that as a Leftist she probably puts,a,great deal more emphasis on that than it deserves, and she might well have rape fantasies.

      • Of greater interest, where dies she get the presumption that her visualization of the Cosmic All takes precedence? That is imperialist and oppressive.

      • Why does she want to be powerless?

        She doesn’t. What some people are missing in this equation is that denial is a strong factor in this. She IS powerless (Objective Reality), but she doesn’t want to be, so she denies Objective Reality, and creates a Subjective Reality where her physical powerlessness is not a handicap, so that she can FEEL powerful.

    • So to Leftists we’re all Eldritch Abominations?

    • I don’t remember which (so-called) philosopher originally came up with that “no objective reality” BS, but he is one of the people for which I would like to have a time machine so I could go back and terminate him with extreme prejudice.

  15. Given the endorsement of indie, apparently Amazon has completely deleted Castalia House and is refusing to pay any unpaid royalties on any books.

    I realize one of the principle is a sh*tstirrer at best, but apparently the next step is beginning. Time to build our own sales channels as well.

    • http://www.castaliahouse.com/amazon-removes-castalia-house-ebooks/

      You may have noticed that you can’t find any Castalia House ebooks on Amazon right now. That’s because Amazon shut down our KDP account on the basis of a wildly spurious claim of publishing material to which we do not have the necessary rights. We happen to have some VERY bad news for them on that subject….

      The book in question? You guessed it. Corrosion: The Collapsing Empire again. This is the second attack on that book this month, as ten days ago, they pulled the book itself down for the sixth or seventh time due to claims that it was “misleading”.

      .
      .
      .

      UPDATE: Amazon can’t even find the account information. It looks like whoever was responsible actually wiped all the data.

    • Herb, you’re believing him. Amazon hasn’t deleted Castalia. All the paper and audio books are for sale. Also, he was making noises about removing books a while back, and also there’s other stuff.
      So, this is representative of nothing much.
      That said, yes, we need a fall back to Amazon, eventually. Working on it.

      • He didn’t say they deleted Castalia, only that they shut down their KDP account, that is only the ebooks.

        • Okay, so that’s what he said. But consider that he has in the past made up whole cloth stuff. And that even what he says involves violations of Terms of service. And that I happen to know he’s BLEEDING writers.
          Yeah. My hair is not on fire.

        • Looks like they’ve been reinstated with KDP (7PM EST, if I’m reading the timestamps right).

    • On yesterday’s (???) post, it appears more like Vox decided to flip stuff on a book back to what he’d been told, and implicitly agreed MORE THAN A YEAR AGO, was too close to a fake-out on an existing book.

      Then he flipped it back, per recent search results.

      So…not exactly SKippy the Space Marine, or whatever the totally innocent book.

      • No. Collapsing Empire (A very entertaining book) was falsely accused of bring as you call it, a “fake out” by some lower level person who thought it would be an easy blow to strike against Bad Think. More than a year ago, Amazon resolved the issue in Castalia House’s favour.

        I do believe Vox Day on this one. The fact that he fights such things effectively, and that he turns attacks against his projects into opportunities to succeed anyway is a useful quality. I wish both Castalia House and ArkHaven well.

        Build up, build over, build around.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          *rolls eyes*

          If your case against a TOS violation is so strong, why comment it here, and not over on The Liberation Won’t Be On The Payroll, where Foxfier presented the case for much more strongly.

          Trusting Ve De? When I was reading his blog, and sympathetic, it became fairly obvious that he was at least shaving things very finely. He quoted an author who was more or less saying ‘a pox on both houses’ as part of a list of authors essentially described as fascists opposing his cause. Much later, Mr. lives-in-Italy and brags-about-his-soccer-skills directed traffic this way primed with the idea that Sarah wasn’t enough of a real American. As far as I can tell without paying him any more attention, Sarah’s crimes in his eyes are also my crimes. I now understand why he might perceive ‘moderates’ as always stabbing him in the back.

          Your judgement and integrity? I remember the affair of the dispute over the ownership of Sad Puppies.

          • For the simple reason that I read this blog post first.

            And I don’t perceive what I had to do with ownership of the Campaign to End Puppy-related Sadness. Did you mean Vox Day? Didn’t he have his own Rapid Puppies going on?

          • Quick note: I have now read the “Liberation” post. I tried to respond properly (2x) to Foxifer there but could not. WP dependant est.

  16. I just finished reading Rory Miller’s _Meditations on Violence_ and one of his points is that the victim of a crime determines after the fact how the criminal affects her. Does she stay a victim forever, the criminal still controlling how she feels and reacts to things? Or does she push through, learn to grow stronger and to regain control of her reactions? Never fully, in some cases, but no longer being dominated by the criminal and what he did to her.

    This stuck because I’d been reading a Native American activist explaining that people who claim Indian ancestry but are not Indians “cause real pain and harm” to actual Indians by erasing the Indians. So by that theory Native Americans are so sensitive and weak that Fauxahontas committed felony assault by claiming to be part Cherokee or whatever. They are still controlled by everyone else.

    Yeah, right.

    • Fauxahontas is guilty of cultural appropriation.

    • This stuck because I’d been reading a Native American activist explaining that people who claim Indian ancestry but are not Indians “cause real pain and harm” to actual Indians by erasing the Indians

      I pretty recently re-read a Lackey novel about American Indians, and kinda got slapped in the face with how it was the most racist thing I’d ever read. Literally EVERYBODY who was OK was OK because of ancestry, with a half-measure for genuflecting to Real Indian ancestry.

      Scary thing is, I could still enjoy it, while going “high holy F, this is racist as F.”

      • ‘the most racist think I’ve ever read’

        You wouldn’t happen to have heard of a little comic by the name of Bordertown, have you?

        Added bonus: the writer/creator is apparently a bona-fide sexual predator too.

        • not as of yet; does it beat “nobody who isn’t of Indian blood is really a person, and the only way for people with Indian blood to be people is to do what I want”?

          • Yes. Yes it does.

          • There’s another one I read awhile back: “A Mischief in the Woodwork” by Harper Alexander. The book’s now (happily) out of print. The racism in that was is actually low-key until the very end, where the author proceeds to rub in the reader’s face that no, the characters aren’t going to solve or reverse the world-ending cataclysm, because it’s a well-deserved curse brought on by the white people in this fantasy world and the curse will continue until all white people and everything they’ve built has been destroyed.

            Except for the half-white female MC’s love interest. He’s redeemable because one of his grandparents was black (shameful family secret revealed).

          • Out of curiosity, is it “Indian Blood” in general or a specific tribe? From what I understand, a lot of tribes had the idea that they were the only People and the other tribes weren’t. Maybe Lackey’s lampooning this bit of myopia?

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              I’m not sure that would be in Lackey’s character.

              She came to Oklahoma from a Chicago Democrat background, I think in the eighties, and seems to have presumed that Oklahoma Democrats were completely identical to to northern Democrats, down to the alleged discontinuity in the sixties or whenever. Twenty, thirty years later, she seems to be cheerfully making the assumption that if local Oklahoma Democrats are white supremacist, Oklahoma Republicans and all Republicans must be much, much, much worse.

              She apparently lives in the Tulsa part of the state. In Tulsa in 1921, when the state was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party, there was a race riot that became a bad enough mass murder. This was covered up for many decades. The State government admitted that it happened over a decade /after/ Lackey moved to Oklahoma and presumably joined the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

              If Lackey had studied the history of Oklahoma politics, she would have realized that there were substantial elements of continuity in the Oklahoma Democratic Party during the period between the Tulsa race riots and her decision to join the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

              She is very confident in her preaching on race relations, but does not seem to have done the research to seriously examine some of her assumptions.

            • There were at least two tribes involved, from memory.

            • Trying to think of how to describe it….
              If you watched Walker: Texas Ranger, or most of the other shows in the 80s that had Mystical Indian stuff, you know the style. (I’d actually say W:TR did a better job of it, especially when they were in the tribal terrorism arc, but anyways.)

              Now imagine that where there are non-Indians around, but none of them are real people. The usually minor flaw in writing where the main characters get treated better than the background ones because you care about them….but the characters do it, too, in this.

              First time I read it, I didn’t even notice it, just didn’t much care for the book. Years later was going back and re-reading, I figured it out.

              • I’m convinced to watch Walker Texas Ranger.

                • It’s a fun show. Even if you’ll roll your eyes sometimes.

                  “He saves the city, he protects women and children and he fights crime wherever it is. We should all be like Chuck Norris.” – Khaled Hussein

              • I’m still trying to figure out which book it was…the only one that comes to mind is Burning Water and it’s been 20 years so many memory is fading but the importance of Aztec blood in it made sense as far as I can remember.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Yeah, that one was a very good book. Probably the other suggestion.

                • Burning Water had a little of the same vibe, but that was really well done clean horror (suggest, not show)– biggest thing was the standard of only major characters are real people.

                  I’d have to say Burning Water was probably one of the best modern treatments of the Aztecs I’ve yet seen.

                • You might be thinking of a 1994 one off urban (if you can call Tulsa urban) fantasy she did called Sacred Ground. Female PI, Osage and Cherokee background, mostly shamanistic magic. It wasn’t a bad popcorn book. I mean it had several of the typical SJW tropes (main villain a mall developer, anti-Indian bigotry, ecology implicatiions), but the characters and story weren’t bad entries in the genre. Could have been a series, but she didn’t pursue it.

      • The difference between Lackey and, say, Doc E. E. “Genocide” Smith is that Smith didn’t pretend to be a better person, nor disguise his identification of the Fenachrone as a species deserving elimination.

        • Creating a believable species worthy of extermination is an accomplishment in and of itself. I can only think of a few examples: Tolkien’s Orcs, Brian Lumley’s vampires and Star Trek’s Borg.

          I tried my hand at it for one of my failed attempts at novel writing. I like to think they were the must successful part of the book: a believable species that was utterly irredeemable and deserving only of destruction.

          Other characters called them the Slavers. Each mature adult spawned millions of small spawn that they would attach to other sentient beings and telepathically control via a psychic link. One in a million of those spawn would mature into an adult, which would have a copy of the parent’s personality and eventually kill the aging parent and take over control of the parent’s slaves. So there was no ‘childhood’ or other period of comparative innocence.

          The whole species was like that: feudal lords, each with hundreds or thousands of spawn-controlled slaves, the hierarchy based on strength of mind, with the stronger lords able to control thousands of slaves and the weaker only hundreds. No trust. No love. No relationship not based on dominating others. There was ‘honor’ of a kind, since if one lord were to target and kill another, all that lord’s slaves would be freed and their ‘society’ such as it was would crumble, so particular enemies would have personal duels where they’d entangle their tentacles and pincers in each other and have a mental struggle, with the winner absorbing control of the loser’s slaves.

          • Don’t forget Daleks.

          • The Magog, on Andromeda. Individual ones, such as as Rev Bem, but as a species, no. And they acted rather like your Slavers, too.

            • I remember them: I only saw a little bit of the series, but as I recall they were essentially space-Orcs of the Tolkien variant. Not even a legitimate species and only able to function in any kind of a society because a demonic entity was controlling them.

          • Sand People.

            They fit square into the slot of having pitiable origins, but so long ago that it no longer matters.

            • I wouldn’t classify the Sand People in that category: they’re hostile and insular, but not utterly inimical to all other forms of life, and they probably won’t bother you if you stay away from them and out of their territory.

          • Almost forgot: the Goa’uld from Stargate. Especially since they were a partial inspiration for the Slavers.

            The Slavers were actually a pretty fun experiment. My favorite villain was a lord who didn’t have armies of slaves, but made himself valuable by cultivating high-value slaves: well-placed spies among humans and other species that hadn’t been conquered, and specialist elite warrior and assassin units.

            Particularly fun since one of my heroes was one of the Slaver lord’s top warriors who been freed, Teal’c-like, but prior to that he’d been bred and his children are still enslaved.

            • There must be some way to recycle those characters into a new project…

            • Not all of the Goa’uld were evil.

              • I only saw the first season or two, and it looked like the case at that point.

              • The Tokra(sp?) were a tiny minority who were technically not evil, but they were still mostly arrogant bastards.

                • I’d argue the Tok’ra were no more arrogant than some of the independent human-populated worlds, like the Tollan. The government of Jonas Quinn’s world, Langara, weren’t exactly pure as the driven snow. And then there’s the Aschen, who while human were as evil as the Goa’uld, maybe even more so, IMHO.

              • Star Gate Atlantis had the Wraith that fed on intelligent beings life force , including their own type.

              • The point with the regeneration coffins was freaking BRILLIANT.

                • Is that something that wouldn’t be too much trouble to spoil me on in summary form? I’m afraid I’m familiar with Stargate mostly secondhand and I’m drawing a blank here.

                  • Warning, this is from memory.

                    K, they made an entire race of worm-parasites as evil.

                    Then they had some worm-parasites as not evil, although they often had…uh…boundary issues. “Gosh I need a host hey you’re here you’ll do” level hijacking.

                    Then they explained how the Always Evil jerks were able to be in the same body, and come back from Totally Dead This Time wounds, AND were freaking evil, by having the plot point healing things–which look like Egyptian coffins– have the side effect of making them psychopaths, not recognizing other people as real people.

                    • Implication was those who forced the host bodies to be essentially immortal via the Egyptian coffins were evil, evil. Honestly, even the “good” ones were arrogant. If it was their life they “said” they were willing to die VS force a new host, but somehow never came down to that there was always a good reason to preserver their life when their current host was dying.

                      The “good” ones had a symbiotic relationship VS a parasitic take over version. But they were still arrogant.

                    • As Tom Simon pointed out, psychopaths are proof that the problem is not purely theoretic.

                      The issue I had with the notion of a race of psychopaths is — how on earth could they even approximate a society long enough to survive?

                    • To Mary:

                      I read the post. Half of it anyway. I think this Tom Simon is projecting.

                      ” After the Orcs capture the unconscious Frodo, one of their captains makes a clearly moralizing remark to the other”

                      I didn’t read anything ‘clearly moralizing’ about it. Not any hint of disapproval. The Orc is just making assumptions based on what he would do.

                      ” There is no denying that he disapproves of abandoning one’s comrades in that way.”

                      I’m denying it. Right here.

                      I just skimmed the rest after that. He’s applying a human condition to a non-human fantasy species. It’s no wonder it doesn’t add up.

                    • ” There is no denying that he disapproves of abandoning one’s comrades in that way.”

                      That is not a redeeming feature. Orcs are stronger in packs and pack loyalty is thus merely pragmatism. It is a mockery of true brotherhood.

                      Thus even if we stipulate the disapproval it does nada to support the assertion.

                    • And I don’t think the Orc WAS disapproving.

                      Also Orcs have never shown a qualm about abandoning someone who was no longer useful to attaining the common goal, or of trying to kill each other to posses whatever prize they’d looted.

                      The most brotherhood they’ve ever showed was shared pleasure in getting the best of someone else, usually in another group or farther up in their hierarchy of hate and fear.

          • Tolkien’s Orcs

            And it is worth noting one of the reasons Tolkien never created a version of The Silmarillion he thought was ready to publish was the conflict between his Catholic theology and the fact that orcs could not be redeemed. Fitting his earlier world into his religious worldview dominated his later thinking.

            • He still did a pretty good job of it in creating a completely evil species that was still realistic. To this day, the words ‘Orc-work’ has dreadful connotations for me.

              It was all presented very organically when the reader encounters Orcs through the characters, and it comes down to a kind of hierarchy of hate.

              Frodo summed it up best: “They hate each other, but they hate the rest of us altogether and all at once even more.”

              • I keep reminding people of this when they claim that the Jihadists of the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam would never cooperate to attack us. Of course they would. Yes,they spend a lot of time fighting each other, but they will drop those fights in a flash to kill us non-Muslim infidels to the last person, and then resume their internal slugfest after having slaughtered us. It is why both Iran’s Shias and the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups like Hamas and Al’Queda work together. Because as much as they hate each other, they hate us and Western Civilization far more, merely because we exist.

                Come to think of it, the left pretty much has this same attitude towards us and indeed Western Civilization as well.

      • Sacred Ground?

          • Amsel, Matthew

            I admit to not having read it in ages, but I don’t remember that aspect to it.

          • Ah, so not the one I was thinking and was confused.

            Then again, After 1.5 Herald trilogies I realized Misty doesn’t have all that many stories although I did wish the rise of urban fantasy would lead her to bring back Diane Tregard.

            I did like the first “Elves at the Renfaire” books, but never read the others.

            • I believe she did bring out some “new” stories, I remember reading the prolog where she explains that computers were a new thing and similar “culture shocks” about them, what, late 80s-early 90s ish?

              See if you can find the retold fairy tale ones, they’re delightful fluff where she’s trying to channel Sir Terry.

              As for stories… eh, David Eddings is a comfort read for me. Nuff said. ^.^

  17. analytical-engine-mechanic

    Oh, yes, this and all of this… and even a little *more*.
    No question, this is for-real Bad Crazy, dressed to the nines for a night on the town and looking for trouble to find.

    But by the time (late last night) I got to the end of the original source (“the photograph should be taken down — sacrificing one image for the greater good”), it was abundantly clear his proposed “sacrificing” *wasn’t* just “one image” even to start, but really started (*had* to start) with objectivity itself.

    And even worse, it would have to end (following his line of argument on out) with letting *all* our inner ah, stuff out to play. (Anyone else seen “Forbidden Planet” perchance? — because that’s *really* about what you *have* to get.)

    In revealing language, with forthright care, he describes the critical moment:

    “For me, the coal miners disappeared and a film honored for its artistic merit, despite being the most racist propaganda films [sic] ever, D.W. Griffith’s ‘Birth of a Nation’ (1915) surfaces, in which white actors appeared in blackface. The white owner saw coal miners in the photograph…”

    And this is the service the writer, Rashaad Thomas, has done us all. Not his self-indulgent request or his whine-privilege expectation we treat coal miners as racist minions, because blackened faces are always blackface — but his detailed, subjectively accurate account of what happened to him inside.

    This, I stoutly maintain after reading and then writing my “bignette”-length way to understanding last night, is the actual moment of ultimate badness itself.

    Caught “in the wild” by an honest self-observer who just about *obviously* has *no* idea *what* he’s seen in himself and then described for the world to read.

    Note how *the actual picture* objectively in front of him *quite iiterally* just “disappeared” — “and a film… surfaces…” — caught in the trademark eternal present of the unconscious, where apparently this poor guy is caught in an endless self-inflicted D.W. Griffiths film festival. (And this is not a joke, this is exactly the diamond-hard substance of much deep-psychological agony.)

    That film simply *never existed in that restaurant at all*, anywhere *outside his own head*. He brought it in *himself*, *he* took it out again the same way. The miners in the picture have *nothing* to do with *his* personal “associations” to *one specific similarity* between *their* picture and *his* own personal in-flight movie.

    But how does he handle it? Subjectivism. High-proof and triple-distilled.
    (“In art, everyone sees something different” and “Art can be a trickster…”)

    Auschwitz, Matthew Brady warscapes, Khmer Rouge mountains of bones, a crew of blackened-faced survivors emerging into the cold after that long trudge down dark, smoky stairs during the *first* (and unsuccessful) attack on the World Trade Center — are all mere *art*, all strictly in the eye of the beholder.

    But distilled, in the end, into a suggested *policy* of having *us*, all the rest of us, treat his inner “stuff” as objectively real.
    Which means, on simple “fairness” or “equal treatment” grounds, we need to do it *with everyone else too* — as far as that’s even possible.

    Carl Jung argues persuasively (in the eternal present of his writing) that there is an “objective reality” to the “contents” of the unconscious — his “objective psyche” and “collective unconscious” are two names for the same thing. But as an actual, practicing psychiatrist most of a long life, even having gotten his professional start at a major Swiss mental hospital (Burgholzli?) where he saw the most *amazing* delusions and confusions, as the product of a Swiss peasant culture that shines most “deplorably” through at times (he insisted on his female students owning a gun if they lived alone) — he would surely have been about the *first* in line to tell us that these two different *kinds* of reailty *have to be* distinguished and treated differently.

    Or else — Burgholzli.
    Or even worse.

    Because, as Jung himself asserted so often, objectivity actually *is* our sovereign defense against madness itself.

    Throw away *our* objectivity, embrace *your* inner subjective, and… be very afraid. Because of where *we* already *know*, quite objectively, that terrible moment leads *us* all.

    “For me” the nice Jewish jeweler up the street “disappeared” and a picture of the World Zionist Conspiracy “surfaces” — and so Kristallnacht makes perfect sense?

    “For me” the nice Japanese grocer down the street “disappeared” and a picture of the Yellow Peril “surfaces” — and it’s great he got shipped off to Manzanar?

    “For me” the statue of the brave 1860s veteran “disappeared” and a picture of the demonic Spirit of Racism “surfaces” — so we threw it down, threw mud on it, spat on it, because there was no veteran or service to value there any more?

    Monsters, Rashaad Thomas, monsters from the id.
    And just like in “Forbidden Planet” as real as we, or our machines, *make* them.

    His suggestion, like the very fictional machines of the very fictional Krell in the very Hollywood “Forbidden Planet” — and much like the “mass hysteria” behind such nasty historical pieces of work as the German National Socialist Workers Party and its doings — *is a social and cultural machine* for making those very “monsters from the id” (that’s Freud-speak, Jung usually just calls it all “the unconscious”) into *actual objective reality* “out there” for us *all*.

    So, let’s blow it up *before* it gets turned on full-blast, not *after*? Please?
    Because though “Forbidden Planet” is a great movie to watch, it would be a really awful place to live.
    Or even have to fight to destroy.

  18. My visualization of Athena looking like a young Mrs Hoyt is entirely my own construct. The fact that Athena’s voice sounds nothing like our grand hostess is also entirely my own construct. My issues are mine, leave me alone!

    When I was a kid I used to love watching The Andy Griffith Show everyday after school. I would whistle the tune walking to school most days as well. That was until my grandfather and father came home one afternoon after checking on the property they had outside of town where my german shepherd stayed (1/4 wolf. wasn’t chained up, but never left the yard and would tattle on the other dogs if they did. greeted my dad by standing on his hind legs, and looked down at him to lick him in the face. my parents couldn’t discipline me with the dog around, he was slightly protective of me. found out we had a badger living in the trees when he dropped a dead on at the door) and found him dead. Seems some of the farm kids were out hunting rabbits on SuperBowl Sunday, couldn’t find any, so they decided to shoot my dog instead. Ever since then I haven’t been able to watch, or even listen to the theme song, without some very emotional memories popping up. But that’s entirely my hangup. I may get up and leave the room if someone has it on (MiL still watches the show regularly), but I don’t demand anyone else not watch it. I have some hard feelings towards the two guys involved (probably near retirement age now), but that doesn’t mean I think all farm kids behave the same as those two did.

    • . Seems some of the farm kids were out hunting rabbits on SuperBowl Sunday, couldn’t find any, so they decided to shoot my dog instead.

      Damn it.

      I’m sorry, Kama.

      Short version, my mom threatened to shoot a neighbor bastard of the same inclination. Her dad’s punishment was basically..hey, that is bad, because I have to say it’s bad, I’m not taking your gun from you.

      …I was saved from losing a loved one that way, thanks be.

      Again, I am sorry.

  19. Yes indeed, lefties are unable to admit that what they feel is reality may not actually be so. To wit:
    1) Facebook feed of some 30-something snowflakes whining about how they don’t really “remember” the Obama years, when they didn’t wake up every dreading the government; or they didn’t feel stuck in the “embarassing decline” of our country in which hate, climate change, and greed “run rampant” during these Trump years.
    2) Same snowflake opined how reality seemed to him that he wished the Democratic party had not wanted to play “nice” so often, and that he wished they should have just rammed their wonderful progressive policies down the throats of people and just smiled.
    3) Different iceblock (a denser kind of snowflake) claims that Dems kept “losing” because they are ones playing by the rules, and the Repubs don’t, which is why the Repubs keep winning! Same iceblock loves him some congresswomyn by the name of Agonasia Occluded-Cortex or some such name.

    My mind boggles at this fantasy world these educated people have made created to live in their minds, and they try so hard to make the real world conform, so that if only, if only they could force people to do the RIGHT thing, all problems would just disappear! (I say “educated,” but I doubt very much that a degree in Education and an MA in Psychology actually count very much for “education” as it used to be known.)

    • I’ve always found it interesting that hyperpartisans ALWAYS complain that the problem is “we weren’t ruthless enough in pursuing our agenda.”

    • In my opinion, based on a minor it it, there really are no clinically useful degrees in Psychology any more. Most psychologists are quacks (apologies to ducks) peddling the politically correct indoctrinations that merely reinforce people’s delusions.

  20. With regard to communists . . . have you taken an oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic? There’s the answer, even if present circumstances call for engaging at the level of public morale rather than a shooting war for the moment.

    . . .

    Pretty sure most of us know you aren’t Dyce, Athena or any of your other characters. It’s just that with the Sarahsphere Dyce is Best Girl and Athena is a strong runner up.

    -Albert

    • If you buy a gun permit in Arkansas – you don’t need one unless you’re traveling outside the state, since we adopted Constitutional Carry – you have to swear allegiance to the Constitution of the State of Arkansas, and then to the Constitution of The United States of America. And then you sign it, and it gets filed somewhere in Little Rock.

      I had to dig up a copy of the state Constitution on the web first…

  21. The technical name for someone who confuses character and author is “idiot.”

    As awesome as this line is, it fails to account for those authors who brag about hijacking a character to lecture– to act as their mouth-piece–much less the not as objectively identifiable ones who just have an author Avatar.

    • Yeah, those exist. But it doesn’t allow people to assume we’re all our characters.

      • Although it explains why they think anything a character says is an author tract: For the woke, writing message-fic and delivering such tracts is the whole _point_ of writing.

        -Albert

      • Oh, totally agree, just gotta point out the weak point/why folks might think that without being nuts.

        And actually had to fight making a biiiiiiig long post going into the meaning of author and if beat-you-over-the-head folks counted and….yeah, better that I didn’t.

  22. If it’s a 90 lb woke woman saying this to a 300 lb man it will be treated as a joke, no matter how much she thinks she is “90 pounds of get back.” Which yes, is based on a real incident, and again goes back to how the world inside your head doesn’t match the outside.

    An old blog-friend has this freaking HILARIOUS write-up of lady gym rats and physical battles.

    • My wife is sadly not-woke. Her response would be more like when Indiana Jones confronted the swordsman in the bazaar.

      “Why take a chance of getting mussed when a simple ‘BANG!’ would solve the problem?”

      • *snickers*

        That was actually MY reaction to the “draft Throgdar” idea.

        Because guns are awesome.

        • Yes. “OK, I can close with him, possibly get one lick in if I’m really fast, a second if I’m amazingly lucky, and then I’m toast. Or I can end this at seven yards without breaking a nail. Hmm, thinking, thinking…”

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            In one of the Wearing The Cape novels, Hope comments that her martial arts teacher taught her “how to break contact with an attacker so she could run away”.

            Oh, her martial arts teacher also suggested she get a gun license & a hand-gun. 😀

            Hope was not a big girl and self-described herself (after she gained her powers) as “Tinkerbell”.

          • On a practical level, my dad actually grew up living that.

            He’s… well, tiny. Twin, and the small twin at that.

            His advice going back a long ways was “find the big guy, become his friend.”
            Ironically, my brother IS the big guy, my sister didn’t even have to half to wink, and none of the big guys noticed I exist.

            So on a practical level, the only time it applied…I WAS the big guy. Because the idiot women females who had a hint of a notion tried to have a pissing match WITH ME.

            And you know what, J Random dumb **** B****, I CAN beat your idiot ****. Even if you don’t want to clean the shake seasoning set, and no I won’t do it for you. And no, going all threatening at me won’t work. It will just annoy me.

        • My idea of awesome:
          A day at the range with Larry Corriea and a bunch of other shooters, followed by a big barbeque.

      • I’m 6’2″, 220lbs, and I would rather go with a tool (pepper spray, knife, gun) over going hands on any day of the week.
        As Tom Clancy said, armed combat beats unarmed any day of the week.

        • I enjoy mild violence as a recreational activity in several forms. I will even tell you a sword beats a gun and a fist beats a sword for emotional satisfaction.

          And if the real thing occurs I want a firearm. Unarmed in a mosh pit to let loose is one thing. Unarmed when it is life or death is another.

        • About a decade of martial arts experience under my belt and every instructor I had all said that any kind of weapon increases your success chances over unarmed combat; and that if you have to fight unarmed against someone with a weapon, accept that you are going to get seriously injured in the process, and then don’t stop until they’re totally incapacitated.

      • And the 90v pound women vs 300 pound man scenario is exactly why gun rights are so important for women to be able to defend themselves, as it really is the only effective method for them to defend an attack in such a physical miss match. Why do all the people who want to ban private gun ownership hate women so much?

    • To be absolutely honest, there are about 800 women in the hospital I work at. I’m 5′ 11″, 205 lbs, 60 yrs old, good physical condition, and if I were of the inclination, I could physically dominate every single one of them hand to hand, although a couple might surprise me and give me a decent workout first.

      Fortunately, I’m not that kind of guy. After all, what kind of loser schmuck goes around beating up women, even if some womyn are radical feminazis?

  23. If I believe I am Emperor Norton II, does that mean California must turn over it treasury to me?

    If I believe that the money I took from my Monopoly game is real, must you honor it as payment or are you a h8ter? Which reminds me: I must go collect the rent on my Boardwalk hotel.

    • The difference between Norton I and modern nutjobs is he composted himself in the manner of the best of the title he claimed. With that came the willingness of people to provide a degree of deference, although they also used him to further their own schemes.

      These modern fools are never going to let their delusions of grandeur put themselves between a rioting mob and its prey. There is good evidence Emperor Joshua Norton I did. Nor will they inspire 10,000 to attend their funeral.

      To me he joins Franklin and Carved among my personal list of greatest Americans

      He may have been a crazy old man, but I respect the only Emperor of the United States more than all these SJW idiots combined.

      • IMHO, on the crazy scale, Norton I is far less crazy than most of the current crop of California politicians.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Well, I’ve heard speculation that Norton was “crazy like a fox”.

          Of course, if he was, nobody was harmed by his “fake crazy”. 😀

      • “The difference between Norton I and modern nutjobs is he composted himself in the manner of the best of the title he claimed.”

        I assume you meant to write “comported himself”?

        Although the original version is infinitely funnier. Even more so if true — I have no idea how Norton died or what was done with his body.

        • Hazards of phone posting.

          He died after collapsing on the street and was initially interned in the Masonic Cemetery. Initially he was to be given a pauper’s funeral and grave, but a business man’s club raised money for his funeral which, as I noted, as the most attended in the city’s history to that point.

          I am surprised in its search for material outside of one episode of Bonanza Hollywood has never seemed to find his story worth telling.

    • No, just Norton AFB in San Bernadino.

  24. I’m not my characters. And, while I am envious of them at times, I’m very thankful for that.

    I’m not Adelaide Taylor, which makes me very happy as I know exactly what will happen to her over the next five years. At the end, it involves a throne.
    I’m not Simon Jones, which makes me very happy because I know exactly what sort of Hell is coming his way. And, Hell is very much what it is.
    I’m not Fumiko Ito, which makes me extremely happy because she is going to have make a lot of choices that would make Patrick Carrera weep in joy that he doesn’t have to make them. (It gets better after she glasses her fourth planet.)

    I’m not…quite a few of my characters.

    I don’t have to be to write them. And, that’s something a lot of people don’t understand.

  25. (stealing my comment from Larry’s page)
    I wonder. The current Left is falling into the same trap as the Spanish Communist during the Civil War. They’re letting their nastier sides show openly before they have a full hold on power.
    This may likely bite them in the rear shortly… in fact, I would say that this is already biting them. The more pure they try to be, the more money and influence they continue to lose.
    Consider all the money that Ms. Zhao’s publisher & agent are about to lose because they caved into the Reeees of the Perpetually Offended (most of whom aren’t customers in the first place).

  26. The spelling-defection engine that pre-infected my smartphone happily inserts any greengrocer’s commas I miss, including one for the possessive of IT.

    There is a special place in purgatory for ‘helpful stupidity’ grounded in the hubris that says “my probability-based guesses are better than the judgement of an educated man with the facts “

  27. Since everyone here is hashing out the difficulties involved in leftist governance and societal dysfunction anyway, it strikes me that you could publish a short story collection demonstrating the consequences. I’d call it Welcome to the Collective, or something along those lines.

    The clueless idiots railing against private ownership of property from the seat of a Prius with an iPhone in their pocket have it coming.

    Figurative lessons from the Gods of the Copybook headings might help a few find a clue or two.

  28. What an excellent article! I’d love to see one on a related topic. Just like our internal space is different from external reality, we don’t actually know what’s going on inside another person’s head. Too many leftists (and probably all people) make a leap into assuming what someone else feels. Wear a MAGA hat – then you must feel hatred, etc. It’s the height of hubris to make such assumptions about others.

  29. I think part of the problem comes from the universal human temptation to always move the goalposts: we always expect other people to care about the reality of our feelings more than we feel obliged to care about the reality of theirs.

  30. I note this at Variety this morning:

  31. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Dude.

    Imagine a university in a panic over blackface. Imagine it has a bronze statue of a leftist white man that would be problematic to remove. For a sufficiently large student population, the odds that you couldn’t find someone willing to believe that the patina on bronze is blackface approaches zero.

  32. We interrupt this blog commentary for a brief announcement: With the new month, all who routinely hit the Tip Jar are reminded the kitty likes beans.

    The mismanagement thanks you for your inattention. All donations cheerfully not refunded.

    [No connection between the commenter and the actual Blog Management is extant. This message NOT authorized by any member of actual Hoyt Management. Had this been a real management statement I don’t know how it would have differed, other than non-presence of this statemeeeeeeeee …]

  33. Off topic – has anyone else who gets comments by email sometimes getting comments in the list with no name and no comment? And the word “commented”, which is usually a link to the comment, is not a link?