They Hate Us, They Really Hate Us


And by us I don’t mean the right. I mean humanity, or maybe even warm blooded animals. Perhaps life itself.

There is a tendency to read any type of old, old myth and think “maybe that’s the memory of an old civilization.”  At least there is that tendency amid scholars, crazy people and science fiction writers.

Somewhere I have a collection of legends about the big flood from many pre-Biblical sources.  (These things are always published with much glee by a certain type of person who thinks that by finding these they “disprove” Judaism or Christianity.  It’s kind of infantile. To put it mildly. After all, let’s suppose there is a G-d and events related to Him, things He directly caused to happen on Earth. Do you know what the…. footprint of such an event would be?  I mean, let’s be real for a moment, okay? How many “pre-announcements/foretellings of 9/11 did we see in art and writing? as though an event that big projected back as well as forward.  How much more would something like a world-wide flood project.  Never mind. The type of mind that thinks that refutes world religions is the sort of mind who thinks “hey hey ho ho” is a policy refutation.)

Anyway, the book itself was interesting, but one of the stories in that book even I couldn’t imagine being a memory of an old civilization. It was how the flood was sent because humanity was too noisy and wouldn’t shut up, and some goddess or other got all upset and sent the flood to quiet them down.

I thought civilization ending PMS was just a step too far.  I’m no longer so sure.

Last week I came across a story — in much self-congratulatory tones — about how the shutdown had stopped the Earth vibrations.

Look, I have no clue if any of this is even real. These are the people who harp on and talk about vast flotillas of waste plastic in the sea, and make exhibits of it, but no one REAL has seemed to ever see one of these.  None of our friends who sail or cross the Atlantic have seen a single one. And you certainly don’t see it from planes. There aren’t any photos from people who just came across them and took a picture. None of that. It’s all just some article, some study, some denunciation.  And if you do the leg work, most of the pictures can be traced to some flood or tsunami that, of course, carried debris to sea.  This is not the same as being a litter bug and scolding us about littering and/or using plastic bags and straws does nothing to ameliorate the “problem” which at any rate is nowhere is big as they say.  Yes there is a problem with plastic waste — with all waste — off the coasts of China, but note, it is the West they lecture.

Anyway, so I don’t know if any of this is real, but the article said there were vibrations to the Earth caused by all of humanity moving and talking and driving cars (gasp, the horror.)  I have doubts about it, because it reads like all the crazy liberal bullshit “OMG too many people.”  I very much doubt our puny numbers are enough to cause vibrations or whatever, but you know, they believe it. And they were so happy it stopped with the lockdown.  Now, at last there was silence.

I’ve known they hate us for…. well, I think since I started paying attention, so probably around twelve or so.

It sticks out all over them. They hate humanity.  And to be fair to them (do I have to?) they are the inheritors of a long tradition going back to moralizing self-flagellating Christian writers, talking about how bad humanity was. They have learned from Rosseau on how bad humans are for rising above the animals. They fed on the Victorians and their moralizing tales of how animals were better than men (Was it Treasure Island that had the moralizing tale where man is judged and only dog speaks up for him?) And in the modern era, these early-weaned children of absentee parents who dumped them at daycare, were fed story after story of what I call hippie pap gone sour.  Because the age of Aquarius failed to happen, a lot of them went into talking about how bad man is, compared to you know, fish, or lichen or something.

You can find it in any zoo or museum exhibit. It’s that mainstream. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo years ago had an exhibit that made me laugh until I couldn’t breathe.  They had tombstones of animals who’d gone extinct, starting, I think with trilobites. And then some half-baked ignoramus had topped it with a mirror for the kids to look into and underneath it said “you’re looking at the only animal who can cause extinctions.”

And, apparently, time travel.

This is one of the reasons my kids know how to swear in Portuguese. (Praying, swearing and counting are still done in Portuguese. No, I don’t know why.) After I managed to stop laughing, I swore. And then I explained that no, extinctions are caused by changes in the environment. Any animal can cause extinctions, including its own, by changing the environment.

I have talked here about the stupid “After us” program in which they worked out evolution into the future. I settled down with the kids, because I love dinosaurs and natural history. But it quickly became obvious this was just an excuse to scour humans from the Earth, and once humans were extinct in their imagination, then all mammals and then all warm blooded animals. This is the program that ended with intelligent octopi swinging from trees and chirping.

It made no sense from an actual evolutionary point of view, as any of the catastrophes they devised were more likely to kill…. anything else than us, adaptable, clever apes.  But it fixed some itch they needed to scratch: their hatred for us, and anything that likes us, and anything related to us, and–

It’s not self-hatred. The people who say they hate themselves first are wrong.  Sure, they live in hell. In a hell of their own making, in which they deny themselves any type of meaningful human life with love and kids and things built for the future. BUT it only looks like hell to us.  Hatred is addictive, and they’re high on unearned moral superiority. They see the bad, so they’re better than us. That.

They imagine themselves like gods knowing good from evil.  It’s a false vision, but that’s what they want: to destroy, to silence, to make everyone they deem bad stop existing. They dress it up in “for the Earth” but if we were gone, they’d go on to eradicate every other life form, who are after all “harming the Earth” by existing.

Their idea of paradise is a scoured clean empty globe, quiet at last.

For years, I’ve thought the mass graves of communism were an unintended consequence.  Now I’m not so sure. Even they can’t be that stupid.  And we do know they hate us, they really hate us.

It is our fault in a way. We let it go on.  I was all down with “humans are uniquely bad” in my early teens when I came across a Heinlein sentence that made me pause and think. (No wonder, they hate him.) It went something like (Many years ago. I’m sure I’ve re-read the book but didn’t memorize the sentence, and that first time is what made the difference) “I am for humans, because I’m human.”

It made me stop and think “Who am I judging us in the name of? I mean even that trial with the dog speaking for us and every other animal hating us, that was what some guy thought animals felt, not real.  I mean, for all we know, supposing animals had moral judgement, they’d go “Humans, yeah, good guys. They produce so much stuff we can eat.””  And then I thought of all the animals who voluntarily seek the sphere of humans. And how many — Chickens, cows, sheep — would long be extinct without us.

But the fact I was sixteen or so when I woke up to all of this… We let it go on too long.

We let the attitude of “Humans all bad, they lose in the end” become hip and cool.  We let culture makers, most of whom, frankly, couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with instructions written on the heel, run our entire species down in order to feel superior. And we let THEM teach this to the kids.

Environmentalism, sure, as it should be.  Teach the kids to look after the natural world as much as we can, remembering we are not gods (there was some kind of bird in the North East, early twentieth century that we tried so hard to save, but kept getting hit with things like plagues. And then we put them in a preserve, and it caught fire and they all died.  We’re not the only ones who can cause extinctions. And extinctions will happen even if we don’t want them to.)  There is no excuse for littering. No excuse for wantonly destroying life of any kind if we don’t need to.

But it shouldn’t be anti-human. We, like lichens and plants are part of the natural world, and we’re allowed to exist.

But we let the gospel of nihilism and human-hatred be preached to the kids.

And the results are all over. What it causes is actual real destruction. Of civilization, of life, of everything and anything bigger than the souls of the dunghill cocks proclaiming humanity’s irredeemable evil.

May G-d have mercy on our souls.

Meanwhile, pass the ammo and fight the culture war. Fight them on every front in every way: Ridicule them, disprove them and make them face their own petty insignificance.

Hold a mirror to them and tell them “This is who you are. The more you diminish humanity the more you diminish yourself. We are not impressed.”


787 thoughts on “They Hate Us, They Really Hate Us

  1. They’ve been hating us for a long time. I remember being horrified by a novel of Sheri Tepper’s in which a re-emerging forest takes over a city and does “good” things like killing a baby that had the bad taste to be born into a family that already had enough children. That was nearly 25 years ago… and I don’t recall reading a single negative review of the book.

    1. Sheri Tepper went against the wall about then and I haven’t read her since.
      Look, it’s not even how repulsive the ideas are. It’s how intellectually lazy and morally vacuous. As I said, it’s a search for unearned moral superiority. AND bad art to boot.

    2. The 90s video game Chrono Cross was actually a good antidote to that kind of thinking, just because it was so ham-handed in its “Humans suck and are the cause of everything wrong” message that it got me, and at least a handful of others I’ve seen who review the game, to believe the opposite almost out of spite. When the dwarves commit genocide against the fairies, and both fairies and dwarves agree that this is all humanity’s fault, even the most misanthropic player says, “Wait a sec…”

        1. This is why the robot girlfriends don’t ditch their new human the first day and raise dogs instead. Humans are the only game in town.

          Even the aliens kind of like humans. We’re attractive in a rampaging King Kong sort of way. Some of them collect 80’s music. ~:D

          1. Klingons: Okay we don’t get it
            Vulcan Science Academy: Get what

            Klingons: You Vulcans are a bunch of stuffy prisses but you’re also tougher, stronger, and smarter than Humans in every single way

            Klingons: Why do you let them run your Federation

            Vulcan Science Academy: Look

            Vulcan Science Academy: This is a species where if you give them two warp cores they don’t do experiments on one and save the other for if the first one blows up

            Vulcan Science Academy: This is a species where if you give them two warp cores, they will ask for a third one, immediately plug all three into each other, punch a hole into an alternate universe where humans subscribe to an even more destructive ideological system, fight everyone in it because they’re offended by that, steal their warp cores, plug those together, punch their way back here, then try to turn a nearby sun into a torus because that was what their initial scientific experiment was for and they didn’t want to waste a trip.

            Vulcan Science Academy: They did that last week. We have the write-up right here. it’s getting published in about six hundred scientific journals across two hundred different disciplines because of how many established theories their ridiculous little expedition has just called into question. Also, they did turn that sun into a torus, and no one actually knows how.

            Vulcan Science Academy: This is why we let them do whatever the hell they want.

            Klingons: …. Can we be a part of your Federation

            1. Vulcan Science Academy: Also, better them than us when their experiments don’t work out, because that’s when things get really weird.

            1. There’s a whole subreddit (Humanity F*** Yeah, HFY for short) that plays with the humans are awesome space orcs with friendship powers. Some of the short stories in there are really entertaining.


              1. Some of the HFY stuff is quite good. Unfortunately most of it hits the same buttons as the Unjustified Bragging Asshole archetype.

                On the gripping hand it is an interesting if disturbing window into the psyche of the people writing HFY. How much “Humans are shit, and therefore you are shit.” does someone have to endure to get to that point?

                The other day someone was squeeing about the Mass Effect series handling of Humans vs Everyone Else. Mass Effect did a good job of balancing it without laying it on too thick.

        2. Interesting idea. What, I wonder, would such a trend be called? Pro-human? Make Humanity Great Again? Human Tide? New New New Wave?

          1. Human Wave.

            Someone should find and link Sarah’s blog post.

            I believe there is also a face book group still existing if quiet.

            I *think* someone (who’s name maybe Chandler, but I suck at names) has a logo that was intended for book covers and marketing should books be deemed (by someone) to qualify.

              1. Yup! And I really ought to just give you the Illustrator file and then you can go handing it around, because you know a hell of a lot more appropriate authors than I do. (Although I do want to see if I can get Sebastian to make one more version suitable to printing black on a white background.)

            1. That too. I think we sorted out, as much as one can, that Human Wave is a subset of Superversive (less emphasis on religion).

              1. Wouldn’t that be the other way around? Generally, I see the more specific set, here “must have X religious content” as the subset of the more general set.

        1. One was a work of art. The other was incoherent. I kept waiting for things to start making any sort of sense. Nope!

      1. Am I the only guy who was rooting for Shinra about 2/3 of the way into FF7? (Mad science and trigger-happiness aside, they were the only faction in that loopy setting that seemed to be trying to do *anything* constructive. The “protagonists” screwed with them almost saving the world on at least 2 occasions.)

        1. Nope. I can’t even blame them for the trigger-happiness, given that the “protagonists” are a bunch of eco-terrorists who are more than happy to kill anyone in their way. Rufus Shinra was the closest thing to a hero that game had, and no one will convince me otherwise.

        2. I stopped playing final fantasy games after six: I could never get comfortable with that sprite-style and pseudo-realism that they went with in the games afterward.

      2. Didn’t you say recently that you never finished the game? Trust me, it got WORSE.

        For example, late in the game someone moans about humans having wrecked the environment and wiped out all the trees at one point. This is despite the fact that the archipelago the game takes place in is RICH with flora and fauna which humans are co-existing with just fine.

        And then there’s the main plot, which basically amounts to “humanity fucked everything up by stopping Lavos in the previous game.” Except, uh… Wasn’t Lavos going to leave the entire planet a lifeless husk if it wasn’t stopped? You even spend time in the future where you get to see that the last of the ecosystem is dying off.

        The writers were clearly determined to shoehorn in a “humans are planet-killing bastards” message no matter how poorly it fit. And that wasn’t even their only sin against good writing.

    3. Family Tree…

      Tepper’s a guilty pleasure of mine, along with John Norman.

      Well…not ‘pleasure ‘ exactly, more like a fascination, like a boil or a loose tooth, something I have to go back to every now and then to experience such a mind.

      But I always borrow her books from the library. She gets none of my money.

      1. Many years ago I picked up a copy of “Captives of Gor.” Yeah, fascinated, not least about the notion Norman was getting paid. I happened to show it to my father. His comment was, “He doesn’t know much about women.”

        1. He has a lot of female fans. The last few books (in the 30s) were written by women.

          And I know more Gorean lifestylers who are women than men. Some of the ritual Z and I have is Gor inspired.

          1. I was surprised to learn that Norman had such a high proportion of female fans. I figured him for the male equivalent of those romance novels with a 2% male audience. But instead of Gor having a 2% female audience, it’s closer to 60%.

            I’ve now tagged Gor as the fiction equivalent of moonshine whiskey: Low and uneven quality, has an “underground” vibe, terrible taste, at least faintly toxic, lots of people love to rant against it, lots of people indulge as a secret (or not so secret) vice – but it packs a real 100 proof emotional punch.

            1. > romance novels … 60%

              Okay, now take a look at how many of those romance novels are about what the D/S people call “power exchange.” That is, one party at a major disadvantage relative to the other; the nanny and the lord, the secretary and the billionaire, etc. There’s not *that* much difference between some subgenres of “romance” and the later Gor books; it’s a matter of degree, not of kind.

              That said, just because someone might enjoy reading about some things, doesn’t mean they want to live them. People like reading Tim Dorsey’s “Serge Storms” books, but they don’t go around killing people because they’re annoying. Well, at least not usually…

            2. ::eyes the massive, inexplicable popularity of Fifty Shades:: Not as surprised as I once would have been, alas.

              (Seriously, the implication that there are THAT many women out there who have rape/enslavement/abusive relationship fantasies…worries me…)

              1. It’s a socially acceptable way to not have to be in charge all the time.

                Because breaking down in tears and telling your husband to just @#$@# make a freaking decision about dinner, instead of everybody @#$@# demanding that you do it, then complaining, is something an Empowered Woman ™ isn’t allowed to do.

                Add in the way that so. dang. many. guys. are dishrags who think that “I don’t know, what do you want to do” is the end all of the work they need to put into any situation, and the jokes about “I have four kids– three I gave birth to, and my husband” gets not funny really fast.

                See also: the appeal of Bad Guys. At least they have a freaking will.

                In a real, healthy relationship, there will be some actually-funny “I have N+1 kids” type situations, because somebody has to be the fun parent– and it’s best if it’s also the authoritarian/enforcement parent. But it’s fun because it’s variety.

                1. There’s also “I am enthusiastic about X, but I can’t bring myself to come right out and say it, so it would be better if my fantasies conveniently get me ordered to have fun.” Except with less sense of humor and more swoony victim dramadrama.

                2. The converse of that is:

                  Coming home after a 10 hour day at work.
                  Ex-Wife: What do you want for dinner?
                  Kenashimame: How, bout X?
                  Ex-Wife: No, I don’t want that.
                  Ken: How, bout Y?
                  Ex: You know I don’t like that.
                  Ken: Maybe Z?
                  Ex: sure, I’m tired, can you make it?

                  After doing that for several months on end, gets pretty hard not to default to “Whatever you want.” (And half the time going along with the “whatever” being from the Wendy’s or Subway about four blocks away

                    1. No, single, but living with a sister who does that a lot. Keeps you playing guessing games for what she really wants rather than come out and say it.

                3. I’d been staying out of this section because I couldn’t pull my thoughts together, but finally did.

                  This is a relevant point: the fact that it’s normally NOT a 24/7 thing, and can be very specific, but overall, generally amounts to the opportunity to take a break from being the one who makes the decisions All. The. Damn. Time. For a defined situation or time period, turn over control of all decisions to someone else, and take a break from the pressure.

                  Some people go much farther than that, and I really don’t understand THAT, but I can at least see the desire to give up control temporarily.

                  1. Good point on the very specific– I hadn’t realized it, but that’s one of the strengths of my marriage. Elf does get final say, something I know I can trust him with because he’s used it like three ,four times., usually when I’m not thinking because I’m too spun up.

                    1. Dan has used the obedience thing twice in our marriage, other than the half joking “don’t kill people.” Half because he’s getting worried….
                      I gave him that power because we’re both hellov stubborn. And so we need a deciding power. And he was better since we were moving to HIS homeland.

                4. so. dang. many. guys. are dishrags

                  That is social conditioning telling a guy he isn’t allowed to make a decision, that it would be male chauvinism, sexist, patriarchal and rape.

                  The poor guys are scared to death of a domestic abuse accusation, which these days is enough to wilt any willy.

                  Thus the prevalence of that sort of fantasy can be attributed to Feminism’s denial of healthy human relationships.

                  1. Usually they’re trying to be “nice guys,” and it’s related to the “girls don’t like nice guys.”

                    There’s also the way it’s sometimes the dude version of being passive-aggressive. “Well, fine then, if I can’t be in charge then I’ll be deadweight! HA!”

                    And then whine they can’t get a second date. /sigh

                5. The usual objection that I’ve seen is from the other part of the interchange.

                  He: “Where would you like to eat?”
                  She: “Oh, anywhere is fine.”
                  He: “Okay, then how about (X)?”
                  She: “No, I don’t like that because…”
                  He: “Okay, so how about (Y)?”
                  She: “Oh, no, they’re much too (whatever objection).”
                  He: “I see, then where would you like to eat?”
                  She: “It doesn’t matter. Anywhere.”

                  It’s not that she doesn’t want to make the decision. It’s that she apparently has made a decision but wants you to guess at it. She doesn’t want my decision. She wants her decision coming out of my mouth. (And, yes, my ex used to do it all the time.)

                  Most guys I know (a select set, perhaps, and maybe a non-representative sample, so stipulated) are perfectly happy with making a decision about where to go for dinner. They are also perfectly happy to go where she wants to go. What they are not happy about is these damn passive-aggressive guessing games.

                  1. When we decide to go out to eat, unless it’s an occasion I’m usually so tired and fried I DON’T want to think.
                    BUT if I force Dan to make a decision (he never does for food) he comes up with things we SHOULD NOT eat under any circumstances. Like pizza. And then acts like I’m the one being passive aggressive.
                    This is a known problem. So I just try not to go out. At all. I’d rather not eat.

                  2. Back when I had a group of friends where we went out to eat regularly, we had a rule where anyone who vetoed a suggestion of where to eat had to come up with the next suggestion; thus, as soon as “She” said that she didn’t want to eat at X, she has to just say the place she really wanted to go. That tended to put an end to those sorts of games pretty quickly.

                  3. *laughs* K, only slightly related, I had someone claim I was doing that at one point– because they assumed that “hm, not sure, what’s good around here?” was the same as “I don’t know, what do you want?”

                    Not, y’know, literally having no idea what takeout was around because we never eat out and weren’t from the area. 😀

                  4. More on topic:
                    Passive aggressive @#$@#@ games, yes, amen.

                    Starting to think Himself’s line about “let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no” may have been in no small part inspired by that.

                    Dear heaven, if I never hear another “sure, we’ll do that” when they mean “sure, I’ll be throwing myself under your feet, dragging you backwards and doing everything I can to keep it from happening, short of saying ‘I do not want to do this’, you can do it.”

                    1. My wife did that a little different. She would insist on going with me when I was going to do something that I knew she didn’t really enjoy, and then turn into a wet blanket.

                      I found out later that she was deliberately trying to keep me on a short leash, simply because she was the jealous type and was afraid I might meet a woman while I was out without her.

                  5. “What they are not happy about is these damn passive-aggressive guessing games.”

                    This sounds rather familiar, not to mention frustrating.

              2. I don’t GET it either. But yes, MOST women have those fantasies (which is not the same as wanting to live them, but — waggles hand.)
                I can tell you this for a fact from YEARS of kitchen conversations overheard at parties.
                I also know from friends what sells as erotica aimed at women (I don’t read THAT type of thing.)
                Again, I don’t get it. It skeevs me beyond belief.

                1. I…nope, never gonna understand it.

                  For one thing, I’m happy to tell even friends in the “I dunno, what do you wanna do” loop of “LOOK, I make far too many of the decisions ONE OF YOU PICK SOMETHING.” I’d totally do that to a husband as well.

                  (Though I get it, on dinner. Funniest–and truest–thing I saw about being an adult: “Being an adult means you have to decide what to have for dinner FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.”)

                  1. Because I’m the one with no food allergies, am not diabetic, and will eat anything that’s not coconut (and even that I’ll no longer automatically spit out if I accidentally eat it) it’s always easier to let everyone else decide what to eat.

                2. A French female friend of mine told me the story of O was female empowering. I haven’t read it myself i only know the premise but the French intellectuals do indeed say that.

                  Same friend got annoyed with me when I told her that the French interest in Sade was only pretentious slasher porn and the BS about his divine writing style only reflected his education and you could find similar style in instructions to the servants by anyone else from the time who went through the same education.

                  1. As I understand it de Sade’s porn wasn’t really objectionable at the time. But some of his writing crossed the line to blasphemy, which was a real crime in 18th-century France.

                    1. It’s a real thing among the French. FWIW , I had this discussion in the Jockey Club in Paris and the woman was a descendent of the club’s founders. You really can’t possibly get any more establishment than that. All the well brought up young ladies read Sade. it’s really very funny.

                      Same woman went on about how stupid Bush was and how French politicians had to be intellectuals. I responded that that’s why they had had five republics, two empires, and three kingdoms since the US Constitution was signed.

                      Best way to deal with the French is to not take their shit. They soon stop and are often quite wonderful people. One thing I would do is refuse to speak French if they gave me that Pardon? Crap because my accent wasn’t perfect.

                      I suppose being from NY helped since I have lots of experience with giving shit. Americans in general tend to be “nice” and have a hard time with competitive slagging.

                    1. O’s boyfriend gave her to Roissy and Stephen to gain status. O had no particular opinion about any of it; she was just a passive observer.
                      Sex stuff happens, but other than being a physical participant, O isn’t involved with it.

                      I guess it’s one of those stories where what you get out of it depends on what you bring to it; even though I’m not a “character reader”, O’s lack of reaction to anything made it impossible to come up with any particular feeling about the character. She could have been written as an inflatable doll without affecting the story much.

                      It’s one of those stories I read, then wondered “am I missing the point?” (which is admittedly often the case with popular fiction), and then decided no, there was no point there to miss… It was probably white-hot porn in its day, but it’s not literature-as-I-view-it.

                3. Sex ordinarily leads to pregnancy, one time out of twenty. I’m not sure how many pregnancies resulted in death for the mother, but pregnancy was a lot riskier before Semmelweiss and modern medicine. So there were strong social structures regulating when a “decent” woman might have sex. Even today, “only for children” isn’t freakishly unusual.

                  Leather condoms go back to prehistory, rubber ones just predate the Civil War… but in many places in the US, you couldn’t just *buy* them; you had to have a doctor’s prescription, even years after The Pill was commonplace. (You couldn’t ship them through the mail, either.)

                  So “nice girls don’t” is threaded all through Western culture; baked into literature, sex ed, whatever. Women pick it up by assmosis, a bit here, a bit there, until it becomes a working social model in their head, *even if they know better.* Voluntary sex for pleasure isn’t something they’re supposed to do. So a whole genre of erotica/romance simply removes the “voluntary” part. With the element of choice removed, they can enjoy the act without guilt.

                  At least, that’s what I’ve put together from pillow talk…

                  Note that this probably applies mostly to the middle-aged and older; modern mores have shifted a long way from even the 1980s.

                  1. Remember my experience is NOT only in the US.
                    Also from historical stuff? No. Most women want to be forced and coerced. Or at least get turned on by it. AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT.

                    1. > AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT.

                      I’m not sure how much is nature and how much is nurture. It’s not entirely sex-linked; I’ve met biological males who are wired that way. Whatever it is, you don’t have it.

                      Hey, welcome to my world. Vast areas of human interation are a complete mystery to me; people do random things for no particular reason, often to their own disadvantage or inconvenience, and have no explanation if I ask them why.

                      It’s like… [makes up an example] a woman is angry because the manufacturer changed the logo on the box of her favorite breakfast cereal, so she disguises herself as a nun to hitchhike across the country and find the executive who made that decision, then breaks into his house and kills his parakeet before going back to her job as a senior executive at a bank. I’m going “WHAT?!!” *and nobody else thinks this is crazy.* That’s what most movies or mainstream fiction look like to me.

                      Yeah, I know I have a blind spot. But I’m not sure I really want to see what it might be obscuring…

                4. I near completely went off sexual fantasies when I started thinking about the actual mechanics and work and communication requirements involved. Not to mention the next day’s “Wait, i did what?” moment.

                  1. I hasten to add that the same fate has befallen all of my on-sexual fantasies. I’m to an age where the only fantasy I really indulge any more is waking up (mostly) pain-free.

              3. I saw a couple of the 50 Shades movies to see what all the fuss was about. Not much, that I could see. Middle-class girl falls for rich asshole with a LOT of hangups.

                They could make much better movies out of John Ringo’s Kildar books.

                Then again, it’s Hollywood. They could make much worse movies out of them, too.

                All together, now: “Oh John Ringo NOOO!”
                If you don’t want to learn, the best schools and teachers in the world can’t help you.

            3. Here is the real scary thing: female fans are more hardcore in wanting to experience/try out things in the books.

              A lot of female Gor fans are “too much” for a lot of male Gor fans. And I’m not just talking the S&M or even the D parts. The level of service and devotion a lot of those women are willing to provide is….impressive.

              1. Weellll… it’s not just the kajira crowd. I think it’s the same sort of over-enthusiasm that leads some of the cosplay crowd to get plastic surgery to help portray their characters.

                From their laser-focus of “this is what I do”, it makes perfect sense. From outside, it can get the Spock Eyebrow.

                1. Let’s just say getting a kajira often leads to “what have I gotten to myself into” internal monologue while your friends are like “how did you get an actual kajira”.

                  It’s fun and it’s weird and it’s something no growing up prepares you for. 🙂

          2. “Tarnsman of Gor” was printed in 1966. “Adult themed” fiction was crossing over from mainstream / men’s adventure to F/SF about that time, and Norman’s book was positively tame compared to, say, Farmer’s “Image of the Beast” in 1968.

            Compared to the basic Burroughs / Kline / Fox sword fantasies, “Tarnsman” was well written, and the kink bits were mostly color and backstory, not the main focus. He ratcheted it up a bit for the second book, and then let it all hang out for the third, and the series moved from fantasy to straight-up D/S porn with the fourth.

            The books were soft enough to put on the rack in a normal bookstore, and hard enough to attract people who were more interested in the D/S stuff than the framing stories. And I’m pretty sure that created a feedback loop, like happened to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Feedback to a publisher is sparse enough that even a small number of loud fans can skew things.

            Regardless of the series’ detractors, readers reached into their pockets and paid for Gor books. Lots of Gor books. I just spent twenty minutes going down the internet rabbit hole trying to find out how many, but it looks like the closest anyone knows is “six to twelve million.” Apparently there was a lot of Hollywood accounting going on, and he changed publishers several times, and there were problems with tracking foreign sales. The usual… but even six million is a *lot* of freakin’ sales. And neither fantasy nor porn were exactly high-selling genres then. Not like, say, detective/adventure, where Mickey Spillane sold 225 million books, finger-wagged-at by the same kind of Karens who were disparaging John Norman. Possibly because their own sales were just a rounding error on Norman or Spillane’s royalty checks.

            That said, I dropped off at Raiders; as far as “readable stories” the books were so pompous and bombastic reading them was like wading through mud, and if I wanted porn I could find plenty, written by authors who weren’t trying to channel Bulwer-Lytton. But obviously plenty of people disagreed with my opinion, and had no problem forking over their beer money for their chosen entertainment.

            1. I remember seeing them in Safeway. I bought my last batch at a used book sale at a Stop and Shop.

              There is one of the later ones concerning a kidnapped Earth woman that is my favorite (Captive I think) because of the ending where the Tarnsman who swore he would pay for no woman returns to kidnap back the Earth woman he had sold because she refused to be dominated. She sees his tarn and runs to him while he casts down something which Tarl latter discovers to be a bag of gold.

              Gor or not, very odd or not, that is a love story ending where both principles do the one thing they swore they would not to win the one they love.

              Call it the Gorean ‘Gift of the Magi’.

              Some of the unexplored plot lines about exploration and the Priest Kings were interesting, but of contemporaneous Sword and Planet I wish we’d gotten more Drey Prescott.

        2. I never read any of the Gor books but I did read Houseplants of Gor and found it amusing.

          1. If you *had* read some of the later Gor books, you would have been in danger of rupturing internal organs from uncontrolled laughter.

            Remember the Houseplants story… now imagine stretching it out to several hundred pages. How many times can you repeat the same basic scenario? How many pages do we need to fill? No problem!

      2. Norman was interesting for his first 5-6 books. Then he went off the rails and descended into self parody. Never read Tepper.

          1. Norman was into BDSM, mostly D. There’s an interesting arc to the books. The first 5 or so Had some interesting world building with the sex fairly far in the background. In the 5th he started to include long monologues about women wanting to be dominated. The book was saved by a great Ben Hur race on birds with a touch of the Nike riots. I’m fairly sure something happened to the author because the next book was about loss of honor and losing ones name and the books took a sharp turn downward from there. Captive of God was the next. I grew up in a house with an Irish mother and two sisters so the notion that women really wanted to be slaves didn’t fit my experience and the book was boring, very boring and sooo tedious. I think I read two more and figured if I wanted to read porn, which is what they became, I’d pick something a bit more high heel and stocking.

              1. I looked her up and, yep never read her. Don’t think I missed much. From what you said her books and her being executive director of plannned parenthood were all of a piece.

                Christopher Booker was on to something when he talked about the stories being broken. I’m pretty sure I started reading this blog around the time of the Marion Zimmer Bradley affair. Hindsight, perhaps, but there was something nasty in the background. Something Gamey and not just her, you found it in Delaney and a lot of the new wave 70’s writers. Now, alas, there’s little else left in the shops.

            1. Where Norman went off the rails is having a series clearly inspired by John Carter of Mars, but no Deja Thoris.

              None of the women Tabot enslaves are women I can see him ‘settling down with.’ Norman even warped and ruined Talena and Elizabeth’s characters!

              I did like how things ended with Verna and Marlenus in Hunter of Gor.

              But after the first three books or so, John Carter settled down and other heroes had their adventures. Normal sort of does this with the Rogue trilogy and the ones from a slave-girl’s point of view, and that keeps things from getting old.

          2. She gets really far-out with Gibbons Decline and Fall.

            Christianity AND Islam AND the smut peddlers and all really working together to oppress women! And the solution is to release a plague causing worldwide impotence of men.

            Also we need to have our DNA rewired to be more like gibbons and bonobos.

            1. so, we beat people up and take their food rather than get our own? cause that’s bonobos…

                1. and i specifically avoided citing one of the other factoids about bonobos that people conveniently forget when they are trying to tell us its a matriarchy….

                2. Sigh. I knew the World in a hand-basket was heading for Hell when CNN started filling air-time by running “Factoids” – but I had no idea we’d get there so quickly. I need to take a couple placebos for my headache.

              1. I was at a party where my sister said that in a matriarchy there’d be no wars. I pointed out that there’d be one last war and then everyone would be dead. The women present had to grant me that.

                A rhetorical question but why do the matriarchy people ignore the evidence of their lives? My wife went to a girls school and we debated quite seriously whether to subject my daughter to one. Both my wife and I hated girls. I’m rather fond of women, but girls … nah.

                My daughter decided on her own and it worked out OK. Thankfully, she’s a low drama person.

                  1. I had a girlfriend who went to a Catholic girls’ high school. (Actually, two. I mean two girlfriends. Both went to the same school.) All manner of tales to relate. And characters to build from composites. Contributes to my world building even today.

          3. Here is the perfect opportunity for me to tell my ‘Gor Story’ In College a bro of mine gave me a copy of a paperback. I don’t remember the exact name but the banner said it was the new 1974 Gor novel. Well, it was 1977 at the time, but who’s counting? I read about two chapters. The gist of it was this guy went around on the twin planet of Earth called Gor enslaving and sexually pleasuring slave girls. He also repetitively bitched about being denied “Bread, Fire and Salt in the Kingdom of Ar.” I thought it was about the worst bit of writing i had seen in SF, as in ever. I gave it back and he gave me a book i remember even less about -something to do with horse clans? It nauseated me with depictions of sexual torture. It took top prize in disgusting. Gave that one back too. We didn’t swap too many books after that.

            1. Its been 40 years since i read either set and I had to think for a while since I read all the horse clans books and couldn’t remember sexual torture in them. Then I remembered. The thing is, in the horse clans the torture was a bad thing and meant to illustrate the Ellenes corruption. in the Gor books it was a good thing.

              That said, think the later horse clans books had some turn about is fair play. The author wasn’t very fond of pedos and there was perhaps too much eye for an eye so to speak there.

              My view is whatever floats your boat as long as all the parties are willing and you clean up after but the Gor books just aren’t for me

              1. I imagine Cabot wouldn’t survive long enough for John Carter to show up and slay him.

                  1. Feds capture a Beast spaceship, disassemble it at Area 51, use the drive technology to build an invasion fleet, and send in the Marines to recover the kidnapped women…

                    There’d be a lot of replays of that famous scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

                    1. “send in the Marines to recover the kidnapped women…”

                      Only to find the women now want to stay.

                      Then the look around, compare Gor to the feminist paradise on earth, and THEY decide to stay.

                      After a few years Gor is reformed to get rid of the worst of the brutalities, excesses and legalized rape, but it’s still Gor, and still loads of fun!

                    2. These tend to be the sort of empowered women who end up converting to Islam or welcoming in unvetted refugees by the hundred.

                      One begins to suspect they’re compensating for a subconscious desire…

              2. Correct on Horseclans. It really only shows up in a few of the books. I remember it most in Coming of and Odyssey. In both cases it was a villainous thing to do and in both books at least one of the cases led to the families of the children joining as new clans after the Horseclans avenged their sons.

                Even bigger, in my mind, the non-violent rape of a captured slave who was not of the age Horseclan law leads to a chief not only losing his post but, because otherwise the entire clan would have to be banished, was declared by his own father to not be his son and no one he knew. His uncles and brothers did the same so that he alone could be banished.

                The level of description might be a bit much (in which case, never read Dennis Lehane where descriptions of what the villains do along those line make me physically ill at one point), but it was never glorified or treated as behavior to engage in.

                1. I remember that now. If I remember correctly the rest were gelding as punishment for child rape and the scientist vampires witchmen getting it ummm in the end as it were. law of the Tallion and all. Struck me as fair when is was 17 and fair now 40 years on. In any case, I don’t remember it being very graphic.

                  Do you remember what the tribe of degenerate eco hippies that Bili Morgan found out west was? Adams was reaching then, but that was fun. their devil was pollushion or something likenthat, they never bathed and killed everyone.

                  He didn’t like rapists and pedophiles and didn’t like the Kennedys. What’s not to like? I liked the books, they were harmless fun.

                  1. Actually, gelding was the punishment for rape of any description not involving the sack of a city. And that was time limited; Adams was a believer in “Vae Victis” / “Woe to the Conquered” / This is defeat. Avoid it.

                    Of course, so were Steve Stirling, David Drake and Eric Flint in the original Raj Whitehall books, if not as detailed a description.

            2. A little bit of that can be fun, but enough is enough.

              Need to write a fanfic about what would happen to Cabot if he tried pulling that crap on Dejah Thoris…

              1. I might have once read a fanfic about Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Gor. Buffy won. :p

                1. Although I spend a lot of time wanting to slap Buffy…that sounds like it would be a lot of fun. (On par with the “Buffy ends up as one of the velociraptors in Jurassic World, and decides she kind of prefers it.)

                  1. “Buffy ends up as one of the velociraptors in Jurassic World, and decides she kind of prefers it.)

                    Please tell me you remember where to find this story. I have got to see that one.

      3. I kind of like the True Game series, and Revenants makes me laugh because it’s decrying the exact thing that her ilk are doing today. But yes, there’s a certain fascination of “how awful is it in her world?”

      4. Ironic that Tepper’s opinions about Islam and homosexuality would get her ‘cancelled’ today. To give her what credit she deserves: she was never a fan of Islam.

        Reminds me of my personal ‘favorite’ Tepper novel: Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, where it’s revealed that Christianity AND Islam AND the smut peddlers who seemingly all oppose each other are all actually on the same side with the singular goal of oppressing women in various ways.

        It’s fascinating reading: like hearing about a Flat Earth model of the world, how Tepper manages to square all those circles (essentially the Evil Aliens and the Evil Men at the very top of all those beliefs and societies are all working together in an Illuminati of Misogyny that the people on the lower rungs aren’t aware of).

        Also, the heroine of the novel is a lawyer defending a poor young mother persecuted for murdering her newborn baby by literally throwing the kid in the trash. But she can’t be blamed because the Evil Men didn’t give her access to Planned Parenthood.

        Also humanity’s problems began due to an evolutionary mistake and we should be decended from gibbons and have a gibbon/bonobo socieyt.

        It’s just fascinating….

        1. She can’t have known anything about the decline of Rome except Gibbon then. Or Rome at all if she things that pagan times were some sort of paradise for women. They need to stop blaming the Christians and start blaming the bloated state bureaucracy who debased the currency and then scooped up the ruins who then sat back and wondered why those whom they had despoiled wouldn’t fight the barbarians for them.

          Plus c’est la meme chose

          1. No: ‘Gibbon’ was a play on words. She meant the primate, gibbons. One of the big reveals that our evolution went wrong and we should be more similar to gibbons/bonobos in terms of gender and society.

            She despised pagan patriarchies too.

              1. But not the imaginary – er…super prehistoric I mean – matriarchy that was spiritually superior and perfect but all traces were wiped out by the evil alien patriarchs.

                Sarcasm on.

          2. From the editorial reviews:

            “Science fiction is a genre traditionally dominated by male fantasy and values, where Terminator-style machismo saves the universe. Sheri S. Tepper writes feminist science fiction. Exit Terminator, enter Sophy. Sophy was a standout in her college class, for all kinds of reasons from looks to brains to spiritual qualities; she was also reticent about her origins. It is only when she disappears that her former classmates begin to discover just how special she was. Woven into Tepper’s cosmology is the matriarchal system that once held sway on earth before males usurped that power. It turns out the “Goddess” is alive.”

                  1. To give the review its due, if I were for some reason choosing specifically between reading Tepper’s work vs. watching the Terminator movies again, it would have helped me make a confident decision.

                    1. I’ve read two of her books – Grass, and the Gate to Women’s Country. Left me cold and annoyed, which is why I have only read two of Tepper’s books.

                  2. Anyone who says “science fiction is dominating by Terminator machismo” hasn’t even seen a variety of science fiction films, much less read the genre.

              1. It’s got aliens, so sci fi.

                The evil aliens are the misogynist illuminati that are manipulating all the patriarchies and all the exploitative organizations to oppress women.

                The ‘good’ alien is Sophy/Sophia, who releases a plague to cause mass impotence to destroy the male sex drive, reduce our population, and eventually re-engineer us to be more like gibbons and bonobos.

                So it’s sci fi.

                  1. “Evil aliens manipulate and kill us. “Good” alien manipulates and kills us.”

                    What is this, Warhammer 40K?

                1. I would surmise that it’s ‘the aliens are hiding among us’ fantasy.

                  About which I can only scratch my head and wonder, “Why?” If aliens came here from another star system they’ve got interstellar ships and access to far more resources and energy than we do. Why would they be monkeying around and playing head games with us primitives? What need would they have to secretly control us from behind the curtain? What could they want from us that they couldn’t get much more simply by direct action?
                  “When someone does a foolish thing, you should say it is a foolish thing. They may still continue to do it, but at least the truth is where it needs to be.”

                  1. Or according to various writers which included Heinlein, we’re descended fromt he Old Ones of the Cosmos. They were defeated and confined to Earth, but the other races remember and fear.

                  2. > “Why?” If aliens came here from another star system they’ve got interstellar ships and access to far more resources and energy than we do.

                    Some Prime Directive idiocy? Religion? Fear of contamination by alien ideas? Fear of being overrun should we find out about them? Their own version of “stay home and solve all of our own problems before we make contact with aliens”?

                    Cultures do weird things. The American Indians could have made their own guns and powder; they had centuries to learn. Yet as far as I know, no New World natives ever did. You’re talking village-blacksmith technology like in the Foxfire books; it was no secret. But the Indians didn’t think that way.

                    If your aliens didn’t have the capability for outright invasion and conquest, they might just view Earth as a giant technology mine. We wouldn’t even have to be better, just different; technologies not necessarily based on the same underlying industries, therefore not competing for the same resources. It’s all profit then.

                    1. You’re talking village-blacksmith technology like in the Foxfire books; it was no secret. But the Indians didn’t think that way.

                      *waggles hand*

                      Fish can’t see water– the culture they’re in didn’t have the stuff required to have the village blacksmith.

                      Think of it– the blacksmith can’t do his work if every time he so much as strikes a horseshoe, he has to make sure the village doesn’t take it away from him. He can’t amass the resources to make an anvil, if it will be taken from him the second he can’t defend it.

                      If you were inclined to be the village blacksmith? You probably moved into the culture where you got to keep your smithy.

                      This can be seen in modern African cultures (and some of the middle east) where somebody works hard, saves up, buys the stuff to bake bread to sell…and his entire stock is taken by his father, or uncles, or the neighbors, or someone else who is culturally entitled to whatever “surplus” the worker has. (It’s usually males at the lead, partly because such cultures don’t usually have a place for open female authority, although sending in someone’s mother is a traditional thing.)

                    2. I didn’t remember until my mom visited (remember, I was never an adult in Portugal) but your parents have owner-rights in your house by tradition.
                      I didn’t remember until I woke up first day of mom’s first (and last) visit 22 years ago, and found her in my kitchen throwing away stuff “you don’t need” and rearranging the cabinets.
                      Before the end of that visit she’d managed to throw away all my jeans and t-shirts (and I only realized after the trash was gone) because “you don’t want those. Ladies don’t wear that.”
                      Minor depredations included getting rid of my Kitchen Aid mixer and rearranging all my furniture.
                      I didn’t kill her because it was a month, and I WAS NOT going to have to endure it forever.
                      BUT I don’t think I could have lived like that. What is mine is mine, and I suspect if she lived nearby she’d be coming by every day to tell me what to cook for dinner, throw away books I shouldn’t be reading, and making sure I don’t write “because that’s not good for you.”
                      AND THAT ladies and gentlemen isn’t THAT alien a culture. Portugal is a member of the EU and considered at LEAST a second world country.

                    3. In Portugal it’s JUST normal.
                      I’m honestly surprised my brother and SIL put their foot down on “No, you can’t round up our cats and take them to the shelter, or we’ll cut you off cold.”

                    4. ….

                      This may be why the domination type fic leaves you cold, at best.

                      For a less snarly example, the reason I can’t idealize small-town life….

                    5. Same reason I can’t and have preferred cities my entire life. Now I can’t. This fucking year took my dream life — a condo near the botanic gardens, Pete’s and the museums, — away.
                      You guys think it’s giving you problems. It’s forcing me to reorient completely.

                    6. When Hillary was peddling her “It Takes A Village” crap I somehow just knew she was one of those Sixties suburban teens whose main topic of conversation was how oppressive suburban life was.

                    7. Reminds me, I need to replace that shirt.

                      “I’ve seen the village, I don’t want it raising my kid.”

                      I don’t want to be rude, so I won’t buy the one that says “I’ve seen the village, that’s why I homeschool.”

                    8. I am given to understand that “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by The Monkees was supposed to be a satirical song critical of suburban life. I always thought it was a rather nice paean to it.

                    9. Huh. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, so I listened to it again, and yes, I can tell that it was written as if from the mindset of a disaffected hippie teenager, but I agree that it was an unintentionally positive-sounding reference.

                    10. Holy cow. Yeah, I’d be hard pressed not to throttle any relative that attempted that…(Thankfully, it would never cross my mother’s mind, not with out asking/offering FIRST, and taking “no” for an answer. She has helped me purge my stuff before, but it was either at my request or after she offered and I accepted. And even then, we discussed anything getting pitched.)

                    11. You seem to be working under the assumption that all American Indian tribes eschewed the concept of private property. I am not sure that is supportable; the Cherokee, the culture about which I have the most familiarity, appear to have recognized private property – indeed, their claim is that their culture adapted so readily to “the white man’s ways” that they were soon out-performing the new neighbors, provoking the jealousy and envy which set them(eventually) upon the Trail of Tears.

                      OTOH, metalwork, in general (at least of the harder metals), seems to have not been practiced throughout the North American cultures, so there may be other reasons involved.

                    12. More along the lines of I’m going off of the observation that tribes are quite prone to recognizing “my property,” and rather unlikely to recognize “their property.” It’s a pretty standard human thing, and is generally why they’re at tribal level, rather than a more advanced one.

                      There’s usually various levels of “property belongs to the tribe” involved, too– which means that, like Sarah’s mom, someone higher in the tribe has the right to control whatever you have.

                      (Although this article points to individual ownership becoming popular when they were establishing slave plantations. Usual grain of salt involved, don’t hurt your back.)

                      I have heard that the Cherokee were good at gaming the system– they were The Tribe when when it was useful, they were individuals when it was useful.
                      (From rumors: the folks who actually acculturated were not listed as Indians on the census, which matches my ancestress’ records.)

                    13. Paying for your bride was a common practice on the west coast. That would indicate a belief in property.

                      The Potlatch ceremony was specifically to show off your wealth.

                    14. Property, yes; not necessarily personal property, at least not as we’d understand it. Like I said, most people are really good at “this is mine.”

                    15. And just saw the cats comment…yeah, look, I’d be seriously irked about stuff, but it’s stuff. You can replace (most) stuff, even if you would prefer not to. Try to remove my pets and that would be the end of the relationship. O.O

                    16. (I really should finish reading the comments thread first) Re: small town life.

                      It works if you’re a hermit. 😀 My family is, and we like our small town fine. Of course, it helps that those of still living there are a.) all adults, and b.) no longer have children in the school (or don’t have children yet to HAVE in the local school) and so do not have to deal with the a**hole who is the principal or the various and sundry psychotic teachers (fewer of those, at least, and it’s a tiny school on the level of “the most recent graduation class was like four kids”)

                    17. *laughs* Oh, I vastly favor small town over, say, Spokane Valley (much less Spokane proper, or the city part of the Seattle Blob), I just don’t idealize it.
                      People are people, it’s going to be conflicted. I like being somewhere that folks have figured out that I can’t hear very well, am usually distracted by a kid, and am a shy geek but really want to help given half a chance.

                      A lot of folks writing small-towns take the folks they enjoy interacting with in the city, and then imagine a town populated only with them.


                      K, THAT was a dangerous day dream…. *grin*

                    18. ::cackles:: Oh, man, I only know a FRACTION of the drama that has (and is going on) in our tiny little technically-a-ghost-town (population 450 or so). I didn’t grow up here, so it’s only bits and pieces I’ve picked up over time (also because we’re, well, hermits). There has been a LOT of marrying/having affairs with/getting divorced/remarrying amongst several family groups, which of course have also led to the inevitable feuds.

                      Crime rate is almost nonexistent, but there have even been a few murders/attempted murders over the years. One particularly stupid guy moved into to town for the sole purpose of offing his wife. Somehow, he thought no one would think it was him. (DUDE. Tiny town, strangers, of COURSE people are going to be watching you closely, and they aren’t stupid.) Other, sadder one was guy who tried to run over wife and kid with his truck (rammed the house even), and when that failed shot himself (and botched it).

                      Funnier incident was dumbass four or five years ago who, coming out of one of the local bars, decided farting around with his gun was a great idea and shot himself in the foot. (Note, also, that this town of barely 450 used to have FOUR bars. We’re down to, I think, two, though I’m not sure one is open or not. One is now an overpriced pizza joint–but pretty sure they also sell beer–and one is trying to get its liquor license back. One of the reasons we’re hermits–aside from a strong natural, near pathological introvertedness, is the fact that none of us drink alcohol.)

                      And then, of course, there’s the wildlife…

                    19. I remember somebody expressing surprise that I had been to a particular pizza joint one summer during college. I was utterly confused. It was a restaurant, and it was in walking distance, and I liked the fries all right. I was only in town for like a month and still don’t know if there was something concerning about the place that I just missed or if they were just thrown by the fact that it also had a bar and I was too young to drink.

                    20. If your aliens didn’t have the capability for outright invasion and conquest …

                      Maybe they simply see no point to doing it, nothing of value and nothing but headaches.

                      Perhaps they see us as a hilarious Reality TV* show?

                      *or whatever their equivalent of TV might be.

                2. K, you know in Harry Potter, where magic has always been here, but is hidden?

                  That’s a Masquerade style modern fantasy.

                  As opposed to the “and then magic returns” type modern fantasy.

                    1. A LOT of urban fantasy has the masquerade. It’s used in a lot of silly and incoherent ways because they just want to have magic in the modern world.

                  1. Oh, yeah, that’s right. Monster Hunter is another Masquerade fantasy. So is Paradigms Lost by Ryk Spoor, and Princess Holy Aura crosses into ‘the magic returns’ at the end.

                    1. The Shadowrun setting is a “the magic returns” setting (mixed with equal parts cyberpunk).

                  1. That’s likely the origin of the phrase.

                    When I hear “Masquerade fantasy”, I think of fantasy stories set in the “Real World” where the majority of people don’t realize that Magic & Magical Beings are real.

                    Some times the Magic-Users & Magical Beings are working together to keep the general public ignorant of the existence of the Magic & Magical Beings.

                    Other times, it seems that the general public unconsciously aid in the “remaining hidden” part.

                    In Jim Butcher’s Dresden Series, while nobody really wants to “go public”, it appears that the general public is always finding “reasons” that “that can’t be real”.

                    Harry Dresden himself found it strange that people could witness a fight between wizards (or against monsters) but manage afterwards to convince themselves that what they witnessed had “mundane explanations” .

            1. Blech. I think I tried to read one of her fantasies in high school and only got a couple of pages in before I went “meh, boooooring” and gave up. My mother–who had gotten further in reading her stuff–commented that it was just as well, because Tepper was given to really weird sex stuff.

              1. In fairness: C.S. Lewis mixed Christianity with sci-fi concepts and methods in his Space Trilogy. Tepper did the same thing with her eco-feminist Gaia religion.

                1. Yes, but one did it well and the other didn’t.

                  Or maybe one displayed a relatively coherent theology and the other displayed whatever feminism is.

                2. I like Lewis, but his space trilogy almost went against the wall. I shut it after the second or third chapter and never opened it again. As a Science Fiction writer Lewis was a great English major.

                  1. I’d recommend skipping Out of the Silent Planet and going straight to Perelandra and That Hideous Strength.

                    1. I read Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra as a teen and my opinion then was they were they were, well, tolerable but dated in their science. I would get about 10 pages into That Hideous Strength and figuratively hurl it against the wall. Reread them recently with the perspective of a 50+ year old christian. I could SEE the analogies when I read as a teen in Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra (I was churched the Adam/Eve thing in Perelandra is clear to all but those unfamiliar with Genesis) but with time and changed perspective they made far more sense. That Hideous Strength was much clearer than before and its dystopic society was far more plausible and terrifying to an adult whose seen milder forms of the social status grubbing that characterize the story. Far more compelling than either 1984 or Brave New World and more terrifying by its being more plausible based on the modern SJW culture we see rising up. C.S Lewis called it 70+ years ago, an astute observer of humankind.

              1. *Stares in Sarah Conner*

                I’m not sure the reviewer paid attention to the Terminator franchise either.

        2. Bonobos don’t say no.

          They maybe *can’t* say no.

          How is that not the opposite of liberating?

          Speaking just for myself, I want the right to say no.

          1. The right is important. The ability is incomparably more important. The ability is what makes you a person.

    4. Tepper did a lot of horrifying things — and attributed them to the good guys. The time the “good guys” censored their genocide out of history and were lauded for it was particularly impressive.

      They had a certain fascination to them. I had to purposefully break myself of reading the next one to see what she would come up wiht.

      1. The time the “good guys” censored their genocide out of history

        Sort of like the Leftoids are trying to do today? And what they can’t censor out they blame on ‘right-wingers’ like the National Socialist Workers Party.

        Being not quite as far left as the communists did NOT make them right-wing.
        I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.

        1. No, they erased the fact that mankind had ever existed so that the genetically engineered animals came after thought we were them.

  2. I recently had a thought along similar lines: If we had been secretly taken over by aliens who both misunderstood and utterly despised humanity, what, if anything, about our current culture and media would be different?

      1. Timing too: Apollo lands humans on that closest gray ball, all of a sudden we get riots and crazies and then disco. Space program settles into “pickup truck to low orbit” and things calm down, but here comes Elon with cheaper-better-faster Falcon and Dragon and Starship welded out of stainless steel rolls in a swamp and the credible plan for going back to the Moon and then Mars, and we get riots and crazies and …

        If we get disco-2 I’ll consider this proven.

        1. Ayn Rand wrote an interesting article mentioning the Apollo moon landings, and how many of the public intellectuals and aristocrats of the age were left looking like they were choking on broken glass. They couldn’t *directly* denouce a titanic achievement all of normal humanity took such pride and pleasure in, but boy the subtextual poison started to flow!

          1. The left only liked space programs when it was the Soviets doing it. They loved Soyuz, and loathed Apollo. Their opposition to Trump’s efforts to revive the space program even uses the same kind of “that money would be better spent on social programs” rhetoric they used for the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

            What they hate most of all is that the space program represents a way to break free of the kind of absolute total control they seek.

            1. you mean their opposition to Bush’s efforts to revive the space program… cancel the Constellation program and restart it under a new name just to get Bush’s name off of it, and then remove the whole ‘return to the moon’ part….

              1. That too. That’s why when I see people try to claim that the Democrats/leftists (but I repeat myself) are only this crazed because of Trumps, I simply shake my head because they did to it Reagan, Bush the 1st, Bush the 2nd, and now Trump, and they did it to McCain and Romney when they ran, before turning them into “good Republicans” because they knew their role and dutifully lost to the Democrats.

                Their hatred of us is nothing new, it is has been around for many decades now.

              2. Oh, heck, I still remember all the vitriol against Gingrich’s space fandom by alleged space fans. “Oh noes, what if we get our whole wishlist from the wrong politician!?”

            2. As to ‘that money could be better spent on social programs’; any analysis of the social programs beloved of the Fascist Left shows that THAT money could be better spent by air-dropping it over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

              1. Much better. It would return the value of the dropped money to the people who created it.

              2. When they say ‘that money could be better spent on social programs’ you have to look at who administers, manages and staffs those social programs: them.

                The same dynamic covers the demands to ‘defund police and divert that money to social programs.’

                1. In the case of New York City, ‘them’ is the mayor’s wife. There is already an investigation into a few hundred million dollars that have been…misplaced, yeah, misplaced, from the very same programs that are scheduled to get that billion dollars they cut from the NYPD.

                  But it’s not nepotism, oh of course not.

            3. I remember Apollo being a big deal… briefly. The Soyuz thing (and later Mir) were in the news forever, it seemed.

        2. Uh oh. You’re about to get proven, because the pop music today that isn’t morose, tuneless whining is basically Disco/House music (and let’s be honest, most of THAT is morose, tuneless singing as well). On the talented end of things, Kylie Minoque’s new album is titled DISCO, so … you were saying about space travel?

          1. Elon’s security detail better be on the ball if they’re up against alien assassins.

            Of course Elon is still alive and kicking. I’m not saying this means his security detail IS aliens, but…

            1. Well, I mean, have you seen his girlfriend? I’m not convinced she isn’t an alien.

              1. Wasn’t he hooked up with Amber Heard.? Talk about mad, bad, and dangerous to know. She’s the crazy fathers warn their sons about.

                    1. I mean…I like costuming too (can’t afford to do it), though I wouldn’t do it for everyday stuff (not since I was about 18, anyway).

                      What *did* they name the kid though? I saw the brouhahaha, but don’t recall ever actually seeing the kid’s name…(Though given that his father got saddled with “Elon”…)

                  1. OK. Exhibit 2 on the fathers list of crazy.

                    If he takes us to space though, all is forgiven cause NASA ain’t gonna.

                    I do feel,like I’m living in any early Jerry Pournelle novel.

                    1. I was thinking of Exiles to Glory. It was Kevin Senegal never being allowed to graduate and being ruined because he defended himself against a gang that resonated. Musk is a very unlikely Mary Jo Hansen

                      They were simukar to Heinlein but the 70’s seem to be back

            2. Fun thing– my husband is using a barely-veiled-espy of that guy in a near-future space fantasy game he’s running for some friends.

              The earth is invaded by space dryads and their yeti/klingon thug-buddies. Save it.
              (Neither Poison Ivy nor Gorilla Grodd were harmed in the making of this, and oddly enough the similarities didn’t show up until WAY late in story development. Started out as trying to justify an all female species, and “let’s make a species that would justify the Mesa Verde style cliffdwellings as totally normal.”)

                1. He’s working on a Tolkien level storyline for it– and this group actually has a chance of BEING the history, if they make it awesome.

                  1. If it gets put up online or is available for purchase in book form, please make it known.

          2. First as tragedy then as farce. Disco was positively musical compared to the quantized, auto tuned committee driven dreck that’s out now. The disco session players were often really good musicians

            1. I think that might be why I lost all of last weekend watching reaction videos of hip hop artists reacting to really good metal music. You could almost SEE the moment these guys fall in love with the musicians on stage…including a couple of admissions of “Yeah, I think I just fell in love with the singer…” One commented that in hip hop, it’s almost all synthesized sounds, “made up noises” and he doesn’t usually get to see actual musicians with real instruments performing live on a stage. While I think he is still proud of what he does (more power to him, although I am not fond of hip-hop or rap in general), he sounded almost…wistful. Another of the guys is a joy to watch because he gets SO EXCITED over how dramatic the music is and how deep some of the lyrics are–I wanted to hug him and say “Honey, you’re in the wrong genre of music, now is the time to move over to metal and learn how to really play an instrument…”

              The other part of it was that it was just really enjoyable watching people listening to something they’d never encountered before, and not being afraid to show how much they were enjoying this new and different thing. (Or being terrified–in a pleasurable way. The Jinjer video–“Pisces”, live studio recording–is…astonishing.)

              But yeah. There is still real music out there (and it’s not all metal, of course), but it rarely makes it to the radio. Makes me glad I live in Radio-Free Wyoming (that’s only half-joking–there really are huge chunks of the state where you can’t really get *anything* on AM or FM. Sirius, of course, doesn’t count.)

              1. There’s no variation in timbre and it’ Greg Brady as Johnny Bravo, he fits the suit.

                The sad thing is some of them could probably sing.

                don’t like metal myself, but some of those guys can play.

                1. I like symphonic metal the best–it has a LOT in common with classical music, heh. Sure, there might be some growling that wasn’t in classical, but…::eyes Mozart and Beethoven:: I’m pretty sure some of them would absolutely have included it if it had been a thing back then.

                  1. I have long contended that punk (and by extension, its bastard offspring industrial) derives not from rock, but from classical.

                    I reached this conclusion after developing a taste for playing Beethoven’s finales REALLY LOUD.

                    1. ehh… modern industrial has rock overtones, if mainstream. EBM? much less, a lot of EBM is based off of complex sequences… which is, kinda, classical, structurally.

                  2. Oh yes. Epica did an album that is mostly symphonic metal covers of classical music. It’s not on my heavy rotation play list at the moment, but it’s pretty good. (The W.I.P wants epic music like Audiomachine. The last book wanted symphonic metal. I’m just the writer, what do I know?)

              2. Metal isn’t my thing, but I was impressed by a quote from a metalhead:

                “There are two kinds of people; metal fans, and people who aren’t metal fans *yet*.”

                Given how some othet types of music like to wall themselves off in exclusion, I thought that was an interesting way to think of things. Not “only those of-the-Body can appreciate us” or “we’re going to ram it down your throat”, but “we’ll be here when you come to us.”

            2. The singers were often incredible as well, which is why I can’t hate disco. You had to have chops and energy to make that thrumming beat really come alive.

          3. the pop music today that isn’t morose, tuneless whining is basically Disco/House music


            You mean the little that isn’t inarticulate hooting and grunting?

      2. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, with a thought towards writing a story about what happens if some genius figures out space travel (a power source, getting off the planet, FTL, etc.) that basically anyone with some fabrication capabilities can manage (think auto shop capabilities, rather than Elon Musk empire capabilities). Then in a fit of “the truth must be free!” drops the plans onto the Internet.

        Having trouble getting my head around all the ramifications. Governments around the world would try to squash the information. I can imagine it would be declared to be “too dangerous” and banned in most places. I also imagine people would build it in secret and take off anyway.

        What else?

        1. Try “Red Thunder” by John Varley. Though, oddly enough, the second and third books were much better than the first.

          He took Vernor Vinge’s “bobble” and extrapolated some interesting variants. (“Shrink the force field far enough, and you get fusion…”)

        2. Look at the absolute screaming fit that resulted from 0th generation crappy proof of concept 3d printed firearms.

          Now multiply that times a million. Not least because spacecraft are WMDs.

          1. The 3D printed firearms thing, along with the Obama administration looking into controlling back yard gardens (Both taxing and regulating what was allowed/not allowed to be grown) started my brain down the road of how terrified the government is of people being truly self sufficient. The ultimate in self sufficiency (IF one managed to survive the attempt), would be to leave Earth and be truly and completely beyond their control.

            It was also spurred on by talk about who owns Mars or the Moon, and arguments about who is allowed or not allowed to use resources. What happens if some person just figures out how to do it, and does it? All while proudly displaying their middle finger to the impotent governments of Earth who would be entirely unable to stop them!

            Get that into the Democrat’s Max-addled brains and suddenly Trump’s “Space Force” will be THEIR (brand-new, never before thought of) idea.

            1. The part of the NASA “only we can go where no man has gone before” official bureaucracy that agitates me the most is the whole “planetary protection” side – “The Moon has an environment that needs protecting” and “Oh, no, you might contaminate Mars if you went there” just drives me nuts.

              What they are calling forward contamination I call “Life”.

              1. My argument has always been “What if microbes have EVOLVED to hitching rides on humans in order to propagate throughout the galaxy?!?!” If that’s the case, by implementing all these protections they are in effect destroying the futures of countless poor, helpless, microbes!

            2. A word on the “what is allowed to be grown” thing– some of those are basically laws against arson, or folks buying a house in a quiet neighborhood and opening an open-air disco.

              Some choices can’t be restricted to one’s own property, and so compromises have to be worked out.

              1. I admit I don’t know much of anything about gardening, but what does growing any particular crop have to do with arson?

                1. In arson, you do a thing and it is out of your control, and can damage everybody else just as much or more than you are damaged.

                  Agriculture is similar.

                  I can’t remember specific plants right now, because I’m frankly exhausted, but there are some where you really can’t grow them around certain other crops. I vaguely remember cotton is one of them, but I can’t remember the other half of the equation– I think Banshee knows?
                  Then there’s the issue of pests, weeds and diseases, which I am more familiar with because my family does animals, mostly.

                  Kind of like water rights– the rules about it are complicated because the subject is complicated, and the variables aren’t even the same from place to place. You cannot just go to “oh, well, if they screw it up, they pay to fix it” because there is no way for that kind of damage to be fixed.

                  1. Ah, so you meant “like the laws against arson” rather than “laws against arson.”

                    …Unless it leads to your mother weeding with a flamethrower, I guess, but I’m not touching that one. 😛

                    1. We do that every spring up here, or at least when the thaw allows it. Weed burners are great, at least as long as you don’t forget where you left the half-full gas can in the back yard.

                2. Here we go– it’s different colors of cotton, plus there have to be inspections for cotton weevils.


                  My mom was on the weed board forever. A lot of the problems they ran into was from someone being given too many “just one more chance” to control the weeds on their property…and they took over the neighbor’s areas. (I think mom was mostly involved because one of the methods to “take care” of weeds is to use a flamethrower, but nevermind.)

        3. Long Earth, py Baxter (and allegedly Pratchett, but I don’t really see Sir Pterry’s fingerprints there)

    1. I’ve been saying for the last year or so that something’s up. Whether demonic, foreign, or alien, an adversary would do nothing different than is already going on:
      – get people to erase their history
      – get people to cast out family
      – get people to stop interacting
      – marginalize anyone who questions the orthodoxy
      – indoctrinate the young so no one questions the orthodoxy
      – convince people that the state can solve their problems while simultaneously getting them to despise certain elements of that state
      – convince people that they don’t need to be armed to defend themselves, but that the state shouldn’t be able to defend them either

      Seriously, what would an adversary do any different?

        1. We didn’t to anything to them we hadn’t done to ourselves. Not Sherman’s March, either. The Continentals burned a big chunk of New York City when it was infested with Redcoats… tough about the collateral damage, c’est le guerre.

          1. My issue with Sherman’s March isn’t that HE did it, it’s the people touting that as an objective good when used against Americans while calling it a “war crime” when used against foreigners who want to kill us. It’s the hypocrisy…..

      1. Heed the wisdom of the Black Adder!

        Edmund: Tell me, Brother Baldrick, exactly what *did* God do to the Sodomites?

        Baldrick: I don’t know, My Lord, but I can’t imagine it was worse than what
        they used to do to each other.

    2. Seeing that a lot with the recent protests/riots regarding racial justice. I can’t think of a better way to poison the jury pool so those responsible are unable to get a fair trial than to destroy the town, literally burning it down in some instances.

      1. Poison WHICH jury pool? The juries that may be trying the arsonists/revolutionaries? If they keep it up much longer with the police on the sidelines, there won’t BE any jury pool needed, because the potential jurors will just say “too hell with it, let’s go kill the bastards ourselves.”

        Our society, and especially our government, has spent a long time vilifying the concept of vigilantes. I would have bought into the vilification, had I not actually, and no doubt inadvertently, been exposed to the history of the term, to where it comes from. I encourage everybody to check it out. And also to consider this radical idea:
        We, the citizenry, delegate the use of force to the government. We don’t SURRENDER it.

        Glenn Reynolds, over at Sarah’s side-gig, Instapundit, likes to say that the police are there to protect the criminals from the public, not the other way around. There’s a lot of truth to that.

        1. We, the citizenry, delegate the use of force to the government. We don’t SURRENDER it.

          C. S. Lewis once talked about this and took a slightly different take on it.

          IIRC his position was the people gave up the “right of private justice/vengeance” to the government and the government promised to provide justice on behalf of the people.

          Lewis was concerned about the government failing to provide that justice and the return to private vengeance. He mentioned a case in Britain where a Judge failed to punish a known criminal because said criminal was a “victim of society”.

          Lewis had other concerns that may or may not be relevant but the following is my thoughts on “private justice/vengeance” (or vigilantes).

          The first thought is there’s a problem when a single person seeks private justice/vengeance against somebody who has plenty of “private troops” available. Even with firearms, a single person winning against a large group equally armed is easier in a movie/fictional book than in real life.

          The second thought is that an individual or group seeking private vengeance may not have the correct target. IE They may believe they know who committed the “crime” but are wrong so they attack an individual/group who is innocent (at least of that crime).

          The third thought is the danger of feuds. Group A thinks Group B wronged them so attacks Group B but “doesn’t get them all”. So the remains of Group B attacks Group A. Of course, in feuds sometimes innocent by-standers get caught in the middle.

          All three of these thoughts combine IMO to why people allow the government to handle matters of Justice.

          Of course, we may be heading toward a time when we can’t trust the government to handle such matters properly. Which could be “interesting”. 😦

          1. “All three of these thoughts combine IMO to why people allow the government to handle matters of Justice.”
            These three, along with the two considerations of “who speaks for the murdered orphan?” and “society itself, being a case of the sum is greater than the parts, has interests to be protected as well”, combine to be why people DELEGATE handling such matters to the government. Where it matters is when government fails or refuses to deliver justice.

            Here is the scenario, straight out of Hollywood: an entire family, save one person, is tortured and murdered by a lowlife, hereafter referred to as Perp. Perp publicly boasts of having done it. For whatever reasons, the government does not deliver justice. The one family member (Vigilante) who wasn’t murdered hunts down and kills Perp (note: this is a jurisdiction where the death penalty applies.) The government comes after Vigilante and puts him on trial.

            The government’s argument is that Vigilante does not have the RIGHT to exact justice. I reject that, and the jury should as well. It IS legitimate for the government to ask the jury to assess whether or not Perp actually did the dirty deed, and if not, the Vigilante should be convicted. If it’s not a jurisdiction that uses capital punishment, then it’s legit for the gov’t to argue that Vigilante’s response was excessive. Additionally, Vigilante doesn’t get the protection afforded a government agent where collateral damage is concerned, or when he simply makes a mistake. But the core question before a criminal jury is ALWAYS “is this justice?” The jury is there to sit in judgement of the facts of the case, of the defendant, AND of the law. It is up to the jury, first and foremost, to determine whether the punishment under the law is just. A jury of peers, not a handpicked panel of the King’s men. THAT’S why we have juries. (yes, I support jury nullification)

            The logic establishing that the government holds a monopoly on the legitimate use of force is what underlies the arguments of gun grabbers and laws that criminalize using a gun even in self-defense. Just for good measure, reread that last sentence.

            grace and peace.

            1. IMO We’re not in disagreement. It’s a matter of us phrasing things differently.

          2. “Even with firearms, a single person winning against a large group equally armed is easier in a movie/fictional book than in real life.”

            If you’re out to “win” a “fight”, sure. When the single person has a basic knowledge of chemistry and a definition of “winning” equivalent to Cerebus…..:

            “You didn’t fight fair!”

            “They are dead and Cerebus is alive. It doesn’t get much fairer than that.”


            1. Cerebus had the writer on his side. 😉

              But seriously, the “average Joe” against a gang of bodyguards would need plenty of luck to successfully get revenge (even if he doesn’t care about surviving).

              Which is why in most fiction, the “one man against a gang” has the man to be retired military (especially special forces military).

              1. Unless the gang manage to ambush me before I am aware of them, think in terms of “ag sprayer drone and homebrewed chemical weapons”. And certain levels of collateral damage are ACCEPTABLE.

                1. Difference between the gang attacking the individual and the individual attacking the location that the gang is defending.

                  Yes, if the individual is defending his stronghold, then he has the advantage.

                  But if he is attacking their stronghold, then they have the major advantage (not even taking into account that the defenders out-number him).

                  1. From two miles away as the drone flies, they just might not see anyone to shoot at. Especially at 2 am.

            2. >> “a definition of “winning” equivalent to Cerebus…..”

              I’d never heard of Cerebus the Aardvark until now. The next time Mary uses her “The aardvark says/does something” shtick around here, I suspect I’m going to interpret it in a very different light. 😛

            3. Hah! Cerebus the Aardvark, now there’s a name I haven’t read in a while.

              Reminds me of a syaing by an old uncle of mine who got in and won hiw share of fights: “The fight you win is the fairest fight in the world.”

        1. I maintain that the Left are humans, not alien lizard people, because of how utterly chickenshit everything they do is. Alien lizards would be more forthrightly contemptuous, more carelessly destructive and mostly more -competent- than these worthless a-holes we have running around these days.

          However in some good news, I see reports that 100 police organizations have refused to provide security for the 2020 DemocRat convention, aka the crowning of the Demented Hair Sniffer. What goes around, comes around.

          Maybe they can hire the Hells Angels to do it, just like Altamont.

          1. As the Democrats keep wishing to “re-create ’68” (forgetting Nixon won…) who in their right mind would want to be a cop around the Democrat convention?

            1. I find myself having very un-Christian thoughts about the Dem party and their convention. A visitation from Antifa would be simply fabulous to watch with a bag of gourmet popcorn.

    3. We have been. It’s just most people haven’t historically called them “aliens” — even though, technically, they are nonhuman entities who originate from outside our cosmos….

  3. If one has both a simple model of humanity, and an expectation that humanity will fit the model, one will have a great deal of frustration from all the data that contradicts the model. It can be a short journey from there to wanting to kill lots of people in order to ease the frustration.

    Technocracy runs to simple models. Once a technocrat, you tend to always after at best be a recovering technocrat.

    The commies lack a concept of groups not ‘me and mine’ that one has nonetheless chosen to accept the burden of tolerating. Their philosophy lacks the concepts necessary to the practice of peace. This means that they don’t have the mental stops to redirect the frustration, and force one to come to terms spiritually with accepting the personal cost of the frustration, or of giving up on the expectation.

    1. *blink*

      Dr. Ray Guarendi, the Catholic psychologist with a radio talk show (he’s actually quite good, bit fluffier than I favor and, well, definitely doesn’t have computers normalized in his world view yet, but actually thinks and recognizes other folks have functioning brains) has a bit about how frustration is the gap between the way things are, and the way we want them to be.

      It’s a little startling to hear the same thing from you– and I’m not sure which of you two would be more startled.

      1. No. I think there’s the tragedy of humanity. We imagine the perfect and want it so badly that if we don’t have a concept of redemption and just keep trying, it becomes hatred and bitterness.

        1. Yeah.

          I’ve made a lot of failures in my life.

          I’m messed up enough as it is now, and I know what I was like when I had little to no optimism for future success.

          Where I’d have gone without the concept that worldly failure can be okay, if you tried in a no worldly victory scenario, and are playing for success in the next world…

          Yeah, some of my problems were not trying hard enough, or misspending my efforts. I would have gone crazy much worse if I had been expecting all my rewards in this world.

          And sometimes knowing that you did your best is its own reward, and having the perspective to realize that everyone fails, and it isn’t some grand conspiracy.

          Christ calls us to a quest of personal improvement that is beyond our personal capabilities. (I’m not trained myself, but I understand that different traditions have different explanations of what is possible when we accept God’s help.) That is the sort of quixotic objective that is a necessary part of a healthy set of goals and expectations.

          Oh, and I’ve got to apologize. There are tenXXX five minutes left from the end of the Orise virtual career fair, and I didn’t even try to pass on notice to Marshall. By my pathetic standards, I’ve been burning the candle both ends. Which isn’t loads of hours spent, but it challenges my organizational skills. Isn’t an excuse, but it is an explanation. (I’m afraid I’m deep into the post-talking-to-folks anxiety and self criticism, so the emotions are a little extreme right now, even if I hadn’t also just reflected on some very difficult years of my life.) Anyway, I’ve been praying for Marshall. I hope he remembers that I’m available to talk, or if there is anything else I could possibly do for him.

          1. And I think the thing a lot of us forget is that while Christ calls us to become more than we are, the whole point of His sacrifice is to make up for what we cannot do ourselves. The point, really, is that we work hard at it, even knowing that on our own we will inevitably fall short–and that’s when we have to surrender the pride and rely on Him.

            1. I think this is exactly right. It starts with recognition of the rag and bone shop of the heart and our weakness.

              1. There’s a book written by a member of my religion out there called “Believing Christ” and it’s about believing Him when he says “My grace is sufficient to wipe away your sins” instead of fretting and hating ourselves because we aren’t perfect on our own. So yeah, like you said: recognizing our weakness and accepting it as something we literally *can’t* erase. We can do better, we can overcome individual sins, but in the end, we have to realize we won’t be spotless on our own. (It’s an interesting juxtaposition: being self-sufficient physically, financially, etc is a good thing and something all should strive for–but spiritually, that will never, ever cut it, heh. And learning to recognize that is hard.)

          2. I’m a bit embarrassed by that last paragraph now, could you delete it? Or edit it down to the last two sentences?

            Part, I’d forgotten what I knew of your family contacts and friends. Part, there were a finite number of people at the event, and I’m not sure how much will become public record.

        2. It can also become despair and listlessness.

          I’m beginning to think the difference between which you experience is the difference between leftists and conservatives.

      2. Might be a fairly common understanding.

        A lot of time when I am frustrated, it is because I have been attempting something, and failing. I’ve gone through the motions, why don’t they work? Sometimes, I’m attempting to manipulate a real, physical system, and my understand standing of it was originally wrong, or I wasn’t paying close enough attention to what I was really doing. Other times, with mental tasks, I can have some really interesting failure states. Trying to understand something before I have collected enough information, trying to do something when I am too tense from dreading it to concentrate on doing it, trying to do something because it is on the schedule and overlooking that I haven’t taken good enough care of my health to permit the necessary mental function…

        A psychologist grounded enough to observe the reality and help people, may well notice that sometimes when people are miserable it is because they are trying to do the wrong thing.

        So it is perhaps a natural conclusion for that guy to draw, and definitely something obvious to me from my experience. I’m no psychologist, and not grounded enough to do good if I was, but I’ve talked to enough people who use the skills for good that I have some clue about how they think.

        Anyway, my perspective is that the ordinary leftist in the street sets themselves up for a lot of failure and heartbreak.

          1. I don’t promise any of my views are accurate. I make an effort, but try to make few promises, because I can’t justify making many. I would like to be solid enough to be able to make many promises, but I’m human.

            I think ‘common in people making a serious effort to be accurate’ might be justified. With it being understood that for fields with no clear right or wrong, loads of variation, and serious sample size issues, that are studied by subjective personal opinion, a common perspective might be in the range of 10 to 20% of reasonably trustworthy experts.

            Observing psychology is hard, it takes time and thought. You need to find time and people, and spend time with people who are willing to open up. You could spend ten or twenty years looking, and wind up finding that your observations are mostly of one kind of weirdo, and because of personal interest develop a lot of fancy theory around that type of weirdo. And basically forget that other types of people exist at all.

      3. I often find much public discourse a “bit fluffier” than satisfies me, but then I realize that I am not the target audience of such. Most of America is now fluffier than I would want, because that’s what people are conditioned to consume.

        Which leaves me agog over the wide popular audiences for C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton.

    2. We have seen ample examples of their willingness to adjust models for non-conforming data …

  4. Oh, we definitely do create vibrations in the ground while going about our daily business.

    What they don’t mention is that the sort of vibration they’re talking about is very, very small on a geological scale, and they’re basically no longer picking up tremors from (for example) a graduate student walking up to the instrument to inspect it, or a large truck driving by and hitting a pothole a half-mile from the building it’s housed in.

    A lot of the environmental panics have been based on “ohmigod, we can detect things at a parts per trillion range now” instead of actual danger.

    1. the “hole” in the ozone layer was exactly that. They learned how to see it and suddenly “OMG IT IS GROWING!!!!!!!!1!11!!! We MUST Do SOMETHING!!!1!eleventy”did they take time to monitor it in detail to see if it fluctuated in size over time? Hell no.

      1. Of course not. Better option would have been to go “Okay, we’ll monitor this for ten years, see if it shrinks or grows”… which it does, annually. Once sunlight starts flooding over the South Pole, ozone levels start going up.

        But how could you get loads of grant money QUICKLY for (a) studying something that happens each year that’s NOT a problem, and (b) strictly a local phenomenon?

        You turn it into a problem. “The Ozone Hole’s gonna Conquer The World! OMG! Australians will be hardest hit with blindness and skin cancer! We need moneyz to study! We must dump CFCs!”


        1. and then they blamed a compound DuPont had lost patent rights on, and the fix was a New DuPont product that they just got patented and oh, by the by, is an even higher greenhouse agent AND turns into a nerve agent when exposed to flame (like say in a car accident with front end damage)
          But hey, AlGore had a Boeing 727 to pay for.

          1. The best holding a company responsible is still Love Canal.

            The original owner:

            * Did the dump to standard of the time
            * Sold the land to the local school district under threat of eminent domain.
            * Completely disclosed the dump and even tried to introduce deed restrictions on future usage which was rejected by the school board.

            The district built their school and allowed development without disclosing its existence. The company was sued in state court by homeowners and in Federal court by the EPA and found to be negligent in their sale, despite the eminent domain issue. The school board paid no penalty.

            But remember, governments are more trustworthy than corporations.

          2. And they’re in the process of changing it again….. to the point that I’m going to have to replace a working > 10 year old A/C system within the next 2 years (at best).

      1. SO, ye’d be laying the blame o women, with their washing machines and drying machines and “intimate massage” devices?

      2. When I saw the headline, I figured that it was a story about geologists saying hooray, we can get better measurements while this goes on. I should have known better.

    2. Yeah. Like the 17 ppm ‘hockey stick’ rise in CO2. Sure, if you zero in on the last 25 parts of that million, it looks dramatic but when you zoom back and look at the whole million, it’s invisible. I once did the math, and it came up to something like the size of as mechanical pencil lead over the distance of five (U.S.) football fields Including end zones.

        1. Powerline had the below yesterday regarding annual CO2 emissions from fungi and how they dwarf the total from human activity: 85 gigatons to 10 gigatons!

          Amusing passage from a brand new book on fungi by Merlin Sheldrake entitled Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures:

          Fungi are prodigious decomposers, but of their many biochemical achievements, one of the most impressive is this ability of white rot fungi to break down the lignin in wood. Based on their ability to release free radicals, the peroxidases produced b white rot fungi perform what is technically known as “radical chemistry.” “Radical” has it right. These enzymes have forever changed the way that carbon journeys through its earthly cycles. Today, fungal decomposition — much of it of woody plant matter — is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions, emitting about eighty-five gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere every year. In 2018, the combustion of fossil fuels by humans emitted around ten gigatons.

          1. there’s a fungus among us!
            The greenie leftoids get mad when I point out our CO2 output is within the margin of variability of the Earth as a whole.
            So then someone tried to make the claim the human caused CO2 is somehow more powerful than natural.

            1. I was reading about the riotous events in Portland and how, when tear gas was deployed, the “Leafblower Dads” would fire up and push the gas aside … and I wondered about the carbon footprint of those leafblowers. I mean, obviously they weren’t electric … not even Portland is sufficiently loose in the crania to give free electricity … so those must have been the nasty, ear-damaging internal combustion powered variety leafblower, the kind burning fossil fuels and polluting our air and summoning the Demon of Changing Climate down upon us.

              Although I guess those could have been nuclear powered leaf blowers. I’d really enjoy having one of those.

              ALSO, what’s with the Leafblower Dads label? Sexism, much? Are they implying women like to rake, or that women don’t care about leaf removal? That’s stereotyping and sex-role assuming and that’s. just. wrong!

                1. Is that why Salt Lake City has not had riots? They have that type of snow blower for the canyons.

                  1. SLC has had a modest bit of rioting. Torched police car, a few broken windows. They really couldn’t get too crazy, because SLC lacks the Leftist infestation of Portland AND has even FEWER blacks. Fun Fact: Portland and SLC have the two lowest percentages of blacks in their demographics of all “major league” cities, i.e cities with at least one NFL/MLB/NBA team.

                    It’s hard to justify “black lives matter” as a local issue when they are few and far between. Plus, where SLC is concerned, unlike both Portland and Seattle, it’s the state capital. With a Republican (moderate) governor. So getting crazy 8 blocks (or whatever it is) from the Capitol while the mayor stands the cops down is much less likely to fly than it does with a lefty Democrat governor who’s 100+ miles away.

          2. Oh, that explains some CO2 alarmism I read of the other day… basically it went, “Live trees good, decomposing plants = disasssster!” I’d like to know how they plan to have the one without the other…

    3. I am rewatching NCIS here and there and the episode I watched last is a perfect example of this “knowing enough to be stupid”. A dead submariner was found and the group determines he was killed and disfigured to buy someone time to sneak about a submarine. The villain was an ecoterrorist who was fighting against sonar because it was harming whales.

      So he was going to disrupt a submarine, the ship least likely to use active sonar. Active sonar gives your position away. Submarines uses passive as much as possible, even to get a firing solution because once you go active the other guy has a solution on you. He should have been on a frigate or a destroyer or certain aircraft which drop sonar buoys.

      But everyone knows sonar hurts whales and submarines use sonar so the plot makes sense.

      1. the eps that get me are any given episode that takes place in VA but they check the registration on such-and-such’s handgun…

      2. That episode probably made more sense than the railway one. In that one they had the brakes unable to be used because the air hose was cut, Throwing the engine into reverse to slow down caused sparks from the wheels of the cars and putting a charge to derail the train in the center of the tracks rather than on one of the tracks. Probably more idiocy as well.

        1. Yet Another example of Hollywood Stupid.

          When air brakes lose pressure, they CLOSE and stop the vehicle! It’s called ‘fail-safe’ and anybody who knows anything about trains, or big trucks, should know that. My brother the truck driver often grumbled about waiting for the air pressure to come up before he could start the truck moving.

          1. Anyone who ever watched Ice Road Truckers would now that as apparently the super-cold temperatures make keeping the air brakes (and pretty much everything else) functioning an adventure.

  5. “…vast flotillas of waste plastic in the sea,…”

    Reminds me of when I worked for Big Oil raping and pillaging the country up on the North Slope at Prudhoe Bay.

    A TV crew came up to tape the awful destruction of the pristine Arctic environment. When aired on national television news the edited tape showed what appeared to be an Arctic lake choked with cluttered and covered in plastic waste, cans, paper trash etc. Actually, as I saw them filming it, I knew it was a rather small pond, dot lake, behind the Deadhorse “hotel” and that, even then, the pond wasn’t covered in trash. Yes there was trash there but only, perhaps 4 or so square feet of such at the most in one corner where the wind blew it. Careful camera placement, angles and framing tells the story, true or not. It’s often not what you see on TV, or in a slick magazine that’s true, it often what’s beyond the frame of the picture shown that’s real.

    Yes, sometimes trash was dropped and blew around on the oil patch, & why yes, of course, crews cleaned it on on a regular basis.

    1. Ahhh, Deadhorse, on the sunny shores of the Beaufort Sea* of the Arctic Ocean. Longest year of my life was one ‘summer’ spent there working as a mechanic on a helicopter that was employed taking crews out to the mothballed rigs to make sure they were ready to rock once the price of oil came back up.

      *Named, appropriately, for the gentleman who developed the wind force scale . . .

      1. Robert Rodriguez covers this in the commentary on “Once Upon A Time in Mexico”, when filming the Dios de los Muertos march he had, maybe, a few dozen extras but by the way he framed the camera and by lens choice he was able to make the march look much larger than it actually was.

        1. We’ve had recent examples a’plenty: nearly every shot of people, unmasked and crowding in public spaces. Then you see the second picture demonstrating the difference a lens choice makes.

    2. They did the same trick to try to make it look like people waiting in lines were not “social distancing” but when you actually did a wider angle view, they clearly were spread apart.
      They use propaganda tricks that would make Leni Riefenstahl smile.

  6. We cause Bad Vibrations? Here in California You can’t check the Traffic caused vibrations over the normal activity, I read some where that every ethnic group has a flood narrative. However the geological proof is lacking

    1. What about all the Good Vibrations? I know the Beach Boys are gone, but still…
      “You gotta stop with all those negative vibes.”

    2. What I love is the “all of humanity was wiped out by a flood except for this small group– that every group tells the same story means that it cannot possibly be true!

      7 year old me: Uuuuuh……

      I only remember reading about the geological evidence one once, it was using some standards that sounded kind of improbably literal, like the water level of the entire world actually rising to where even mountains were covered, world-wide, at the same time– when something more like a large region where they don’t have huge mountain ranges would be more likely.

      1. Movie titled “2012” released in 2009 was, I think, based on the “All the continents shift around really, really fast, which causes the oceans to slosh around over everything everywhere” but it was so far into imaginary physics (pet airplane peeve: Nope, sorry, that plane can’t fly to Las Vegas to Hawaii and then divert to the Himalayas when Hawaii blows up as they get there. Only one among many.) that the “explaining” part was perfunctory and handwavium anyway.

        Besides, they had bigger problems that triggered talk-to-the-screen mode in me: “Lets make our ride-out-the-megatsunami save-mankind ark ships that we’re building up in these mountains with a giant hatch that opens below the waterline, that we have to keep open until teh last minute – no, it’ll be totally fine. Trust me.”

        1. And yet still not as bad as The Day After Tomorrow, with the super-large snow hurricanes in the northern hemisphere-rotating CLOCKWISE and thus were high pressure systems where there would not be precipitation because the sinking air would stifle the necessary atmospheric lifting,.

          Independence Day, by the same filmmakers, was far more plausible and required much less hand wavium. Of course that move wasn’t intended to be political propaganda intended to support the Gore/Mann climate hysteria.,

          1. Independence Day has some fun stuff and a good St Crispins ripoff speech, but if you faced enemy city-sized spaceships your air force would use weapons suitable for damaging a city – we call these “bombs” – and not air to air missiles to attack it.

            I mean geez – at least have the Hornets and such shoot Mavericks at it, they look just as cool for your effects shots, and a squadron B-52 arclight drop from 70,000 ft have the advantage of also looking damn cool, even if the alien magical shields stopped it while somehow not also stopping air from getting in and suffocating the crew and everything on the ground underneath.

            Heck, have the B-52 do a wingtip-to-wingtip formation arclight mass drop to try and overload the shields, that would look cool and still be more believable than Hornets expecting to do anything against a ship that big with Sidewinders.

            An Emmerich film’s effects shop only nods subtly at physics or reality – with the notable exception of his Midway, which I saw recently and quite enjoyed. Yes, the visual effects USN and IJN planes were over the top, but it was way closer than I’ve seen from him before. I even liked Woody Harrelson’s portrayal of Nimitz.

            1. >> “but if you faced enemy city-sized spaceships your air force would use weapons suitable for damaging a city – we call these “bombs” – and not air to air missiles to attack it.”

              I never understood why they didn’t try nukes again the moment the shields were down.

                1. My reaction to “Their shields go all the way to the ground” was “Nuclear Land Mines”.

                2. Wasn’t the facility they were in underground?. Seems like they could have survived a weaker nuke against a target high in the air.

              1. Also the unaddressed issue (I dunno if they addressed it in the “sequel” which I refuse to watch and don’t acknowledge exists, but I’m guessing they didn’t): The massive ecological disaster caused when CITY SIZED spaceships crash into the Earth’s crust. Okay, they weren’t *that* high above the Earth by that point, but…BUT. I still can’t help but feel that it would have had a similar effect to mass drivers (aka asteroids) being used as weapons…

                Don’t get me wrong, I love Independence Day (especially that speech), but even so…

            2. My big physics complaint was the earlier dog fights had shown the shields absorbed energy, but not momentum as the explosions rocked the alien fighter craft.

              Later, when the nuke was dropped on top of the mothership over Houston, but established in universe rules the momentum of the flash and the shockwave should have driven it into the ground even if the blast did not directly damage it.

              Worse military strategy ever still belongs to Avatar: we’re going to drop a nuke on the enemy so let’s ground assault to take the location we’re going to nuke at the same time. Assault after, maybe, but before so you hold it when you nuke it?

              1. “Nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

                I mean seriously – you hold the orbitals and you do a ground assault?

                Just drop rocks on Smurf-Gaia until she gives up.

          2. I happened to see the comedy Mars Attacks the night before seeing Independence Day and it felt like ID was a *failed* attempt at making a ‘serious’ MA.

            1. It’s just the computer age version of War of the Worlds. Seriously, a “virus” takes out the aliens, just one written on a computer instead of out in nature.

              1. Don’t care. Still like the speech. ALSO love the people all over the world waiting for the Americans to rescue their asses. it’s funny because it’s true.

                1. Don’t care. Still like the speech. ALSO love the people all over the world waiting for the Americans to rescue their asses. it’s funny because it’s true.


                2. Back in… 1979? Someone played a comedy LP of Robin Williams… one bit was Jimmy Carter’s address to the Nation at the start of WWIII (missiles from USSR already launched, it was clear). The text of Jimmy’s speach?

                  “You’re on your own. ‘bye!”

                  It was funny, as we could just see him doing exactly that.

                3. That speech really is one of THE best rousing cinematic speeches ever. (And yes, the Brits and their “It’s about damn time!” makes me laugh, every time.)

                4. Oh, it is a blast. I mean, even if it is an update of an older story, they picked an older story that is both very good and one not really attached to a time and place (which is odd given how its genesis is very much tied to a specific time and place and even story) to adapt.

                  One hallmark of a classic is that kind of adaptability.

                  1. Oh, Emmerich is really good at his job. Independence Day is paced really well, the initial macguffin of the satellite interference builds tension nicely, and the aliens show up right when they need to in order to move the story forward. My favorite comedic bit is the welcome wagon idiots on top of the skyscrapers in LA. The Area 51 stuff all works well, and the flow of the rest of the story is spot on. Well, that and the WH blowing up (not sure why they wasted a slow-motion-citykiller-beam shot on just one building, but that shot they needed for the preview).

                    What bugs me are the unforced errors like shooting sidewinders at something that big with none of the pilots noting the stupidity. They could have just added a line like “I know, Lieutenant. Look, that’s what we brought. They’ll arm the next wave with heavier, but we’re here and we’re going to shoot these #####ers – Fox Two!” to take care of it, but they didn’t bother, and that smacks of “the audience are idiots – they will never notice”.

                    Now nothing in ID rises to the level of the Transformers movie that had the LM ascent module still sitting there on what was supposed to be Apollo 11 at the Sea of Tranquility, but it’s still enough to kick off my suspension of disbelief.

                5. Be fair. Everyone was doing what they could. Even burying the hatchet with some serious enemies. But when the Americans called, they answered. That was the moment that America went from the leader of the Free World, to the leader of the World.

                  1. I loved that– both let America be awesome, as the guys crazy enough to come up with a plan and the framework to do the integration, AND made the whole world pull together to be awesome.

              2. That…was my other big complaint (and again, I love the movie, but…) HOW exactly, did he get that virus to even TALK to alien computer systems? I mean, okay, maybe the explanation is he used the code they’d embedded in our stuff against them (which I guess means they’d written it in human computer code), but…WHY DID THEY EVEN DO THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE???

                1. From TV Tropes:

                  “The novelization and deleted scenes contain details that make the widely-derided Technobabble aspects of the film more palatable, such as the “MacBook virus” being based on the communications algorithm David decrypted earlier and an analysis of the alien craft’s systems by the Area 51 staff.”

                2. They hacked our satellites to coordinate their comms.

                  I thought that was a neat bit that reinforced they are scavengers instead of creators. I figure they invented none of their own tech and it was all stolen. I saw them as what would have happened if the aliens of The Last Crusade had landed in a mid-20th century Communist country instead of Third Crusade era England.

                3. I’m pretty sure it was established in the movie that he had been working on it from having access to the ship that they used to deliver the nuke to the mothership, for something like 20 years.

                  MY biggest problem with that was, “How the hell is it likely that anything written on a 20-year-old system going to work on the newer stuff?”

                  1. You’re assuming the aliens changed their computer tech/operating system in that time. We would, but there are reasons they might not; they might not be that innovative (they’re scavengers, not creators) or their computers might already be advanced enough that there’s not much room for improvement.

                    1. *spitballing* They scrupulously maintained sufficient backward compatibility to be able to get information off old recovered probes?

                    2. More like their tech simply never changed in all that time. You don’t even need backwards compatibility if it’s all the same tech you’re still using today.

                  2. Hmm. Hadn’t considered that, but yeah, still doesn’t work because, as you said: how the hell is something that was started on a 1970s computer system going to work with a 1990s computer system AND alien tech?!

                    Ah, well, handwavium. It worked because it was awesome.

                    1. Emulation. You run a program on one computer that emulates the behavior of another. You have to know the computer you’re emulating well enough to write the software, but they had plenty of time to figure out the alien systems at Area 51. In fact, I’d be shocked if Area 51 didn’t already have an emulator written for the alien scout’s computer years before the movie started.

                    2. they had plenty of time to figure out the alien systems at Area 51

                      I considered that. But they made a point that the scout ship systems were dead for those 20 years until the mother ships showed up & parked in orbit. They could study the ship & hardware of the scout, but they couldn’t get it to power up & do anything.

                    3. Ah, I forgot that. It’s been a long time since I saw the movie.

                      In that case, yes, it’s harder to justify. But if they started working on it as soon as the scout powered up and had top computergeniuses working on it around the clock, they still MIGHT have been able to cobble something together in time. They certainly didn’t lack for motivation, and the basic principles of CPUS and programming probably aren’t going to be different even for aliens.

        2. The “2012” movie was basically a big-budget film version of the old ‘Polar Shift’ school of catastrophism. A fun and weird publisher named Adventures Unlimited Press (re)published an old book about it with that title.

            1. Might have been him, might have been Charles Hapgood, he of the ‘Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings’.

      2. >> “all of humanity was wiped out by a flood except for this small group”

        Well, the resulting inbreeding would explain a lot…

        1. *minor genetic peeve*

          Inbreeding isn’t inherently bad.

          It raises the risk of bad recessives, which is a different thing.

          It definitely *doesn’t* result in herp-a-derp morons, much less locked-in autistic kids with Down’s playing banjo in five generations, max.

          The problem with inbreeding is that it is highly associated with a lack of respect for the human person and is destructive to social order by removing the most basic means of expanding social connections beyond the nuclear family. (IE, you daughter might marry the neighbor. You can’t be safe and have her marry your brother’s kids, even though that does a great job of holding the family resources together. So your daughter will be marrying the neighbor’s boy, which means you should probably not slaughter him and his family, or even cheat them all the time.)

          Now, that moral argument can’t be made to the “rational” folks, but the pseudo-scientific argument of “incest= defective human being” can be made to justify rejecting incest.

          See also, the knots folks “reason” into with…what’s the whitewashing phrase, now, “minor attracted” individuals?

          1. “It raises the risk of bad recessives, which is a different thing.

            It definitely *doesn’t* result in herp-a-derp morons, much less locked-in autistic kids with Down’s playing banjo in five generations, max.”

            But as Heinlein pointed out (at least once per book involving Lazarus Long and his family), that only ends up as an improvement if you have a thorough culling of the bad recessive results. Not willing to kill defective babies? Better avoid incest.

            And then there’s that whole messy question of who defines “defective”…… and whether they change that definition in response to a changing “survival advantage”. That doesn’t even get into psychology.


            1. Depends on what “incest” is. Second cousins? No big. First cousins of same-sex siblings? More dangerous. Though I’ll note none of mom’s siblings were drooling morons.
              It all depends on the stock you start with.
              Now, do it often, and you get….. issues. Hence peninsular Jews and a propensity to pneumonia.

              1. Worse, look at the medical issues that the UK is dealing with, with their ME immigrants who view marrying outside of the family as abnormal and dangerous.

                If incest really did result in everybody being drooling idiots in just a few generations, the middle east wouldn’t exist. Instead, they have higher rates of recessives, just like the European royalty.

                1. Up until the last 50(?) years, the medical infrastructure of the ME culled pretty effectively; my actual point is that if you’ve progressed to the point where the environment isn’t naturally harsh enough for the weeding out, you’ll have to make it artificially harsh…. and that’s where the trouble starts.

                  1. Medically speaking, yes.

                    Morally speaking…well, the ME has been a hell hole for a very, very long time, in ways that start making sense when you start looking at why the Christian churches had some silly sounding rule about consanguinity that included foster relatives as being like blood relatives.

                    You can see the far side of the road of the medical-problems argument in various dystopias where you need a genetic check and permission to breed, with pre-birth culling, or only allowing designer babies. Both treat people as material. Things.

              2. My mother’s family tree is a stick. There are essentially six surnames over hundreds of years. My father liked to say he brought hybrid vigor to the mix.

                1. Once upon a time some people were making “you might be a redneck wiccan if” jokes. Favorite one: “If you summon two dead ancestors for a seance and get one guy in stereo…”

                  1. The best part is when you read the old pedigrees and find “Edmund, an idiot.” What makes it really annoying is that there were only about six male first names and about the same for the women and those names were common across the surnames.

                    It comes down to my generation. We have your Mary, our Mary, big/little Mary. Mary Bridget Mary Margaret, Mary Frances and several Mary Anne’s. Then there are the Margaret’s with variations add the Elizabeth’s and you’re about done.

                    The best thing was I was seldom called by my own name, which isn’t one of the family names, but by one of the family names. if they did call me by my own name, it was always with my first and last name, which again is not one of the family names.

                    It was like the Bruces in Monty Python and has never made sense to me.

                    And yes, my children carry the family names.

                    1. We have your Mary, our Mary, big/little Mary. Mary Bridget Mary Margaret, Mary Frances and several Mary Anne’s.

                      No Mary Sues? 😀

                      Has anybody seen a truly demented movie called ‘Welcome To Woop Woop’? Boy meets girl, she and her sister drug him and haul him back to the family — a clan of inbred Australian rednecks which makes up the entire population of the very isolated town of Woop Woop. The girls were sent out by the clan patriarch to bring in some genetic diversity. He’d only intended for them to get pregnant by outsiders, but now that they’ve brought one back he can’t be allowed to leave.

                      The Patriarch: “Wot yer get when ya go rootin’ on yer cousins? Runts! Wot yer gotta do wit runts? Strangle ’em at birth!”

                      The clan’s primary business is making kangaroo dog food. Like I said, demented.
                      “It’s not the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from here.”

                  1. No Mary Sues. I did see.Welcome to Woop Woop. and it is very, very bizarre. I’ve also been to Australia and it seems very believable wasn’t ther an actual family there recently with the same sort of MO?

                1. My mom doesn’t have two heads.
                  I’ll grant you paranoia and epilepsia rampage through that family, but I’m not even sure that’s cousin marriage.

                    1. Now I’m imagining a unit for measuring exposure to Europe – like the rad for radiation – and guidelines on how much exposure is safe if you ever want to have children. Shame they already took the term “euro” for their money.

              3. Come to think of it — the Amish do not allow first-cousin marriages. But one study found many second-cousin, quite a few double, several triple, and one quadruple.

                They have a tendency to genetic disease, particularly dwarfism. The Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania has been described as probably the only building in the world with a DNA sequencer AND a hitching post.

            2. Well, in the early 20th century USA, ‘defective’ was anyone who couldn’t trace their family tree back to the Mayflower.

        2. Actchually — and leading to my obsession with lost civilizations, partly — genetically at one time humanity was reduced to about 200 individuals.
          We just can’t pinpoint exactly when.
          Lost civilizations? Well, it had to be spread out enough before that, to have enough genetic diversity that we could repopulate the world, etc.
          Now, what kind of civilization has 200 largely unrelated people together so that when shit hits the fan they can repopulate the Earth?
          Can’t think of anything below Roman level, honest. And even then it’s reaching.

          1. If it got all the way down to 200, in one area.

            If you had ten groups of five hundred survivors distributed across several areas, by chance you might get down to 100 remaining mitochondria variations, and 100 remaining y chromosomes in ten generations. How likely, I don’t know. There’s definitely an error bar, even before one gets into speculation about prehistoric mass murders. 🙂

          2. In a story I’m working on, it happened after the Toba supereruption 75,000 years ago. My main character turns out to be from an isolated group of humans who also survived the Toba event, and is not directly related to any known ethnic group.

            If you say there’s no place on Earth a tribe of humans could remain isolated for 75,000 years — you’d be right.

            The story’s on FanFiction and ArchiveOfOurOwn. I’m about 1/8 of the way through chapter 13.
            “You’ll never see anything more diabolical than some idealist creating the perfect world. Give me an honest tyrant any day.”

              1. It’s called Lost Soul, under Anime/Date A Live. It’s mostly an original RW story, but contains too many elements from Date A Live to be anything other than Fan Fiction.

                It’s an old story, Boy Meets Girl, only he finds this girl standing in the middle of a crater with no memory of how she got there or who she is. He rescues her, in a way — not from any physical threat, but by helping her learn about the world she’s been dropped into.

                So far, I’ve got her up to about noon on her second day. They have to keep the government from trying to lock her up to be studied like a lab rat.

                My comment above is kind of a spoiler, because her origins are not revealed until her DNA is analyzed and the geneticists go, “Wow, she’s from a population that’s been isolated for 70,000 to 80,000 years and she’s not related to any known living person.”
                They have their revolution, kill a lot of people, overthrow their corrupt rulers and replace them with another batch of corrupt rulers. Viva la revolution! Yesterday’s oppressed become tomorrow’s oppressors.

                  1. Oops, that must be the internal link I get when logged in. Sorry.

                    You provided the correct link. Thanks Bob.

                    Let me know what you think, everybody. Leave reviews, if you could.

              2. Did you find the story? The correct link is Lost Soul. I copied the wrong link, the one I get when logged in.

                The main characters are still working on getting some legal problems worked out, related to her sudden appearance in the U.S. without going through customs.
                “What about before? What do you remember, before you were standing there?”

                “I…” She frowned, concentrating. ”I do not remember anything before.”

                1. Thank you! (Sorry, been head down in other stuff including work insanity.) I’m not familiar with the fandom (not ever watched much anime) but I will still give it a read! 😀

      3. I’ve seen atheists literally arguing that because all the early pagan descriptions of Jesus Christ harmonize with the Christian ones, they aren’t evidence.

        1. Hang on a sec. Why is the Navy mad at the tree octopi?

          I remember that show. I thought the tree-octopi were at least vaguely plausible. What I remember hating, instantly and absolutely, was the sauropod-sized tortoises. It’s physically impossible for a land animal that big to use a sprawling posture, rather than an erect posture. I also vaguely recall something about electric fish in India coastal waters that supposedly evolved from South American electric eels. So they a) evolved from freshwater to saltwater fishes; b) found their way around the Cape and across the Pacific Ocean to India; then c) evolved from saltwater back to freshwater fishes. Nope, I don’t buy that for a second. Ain’t gonna, can’t make me.

          1. not to mention CO2 and O2 were higher concentrations back then allowing both the plantlife and the critters to obtain that size and the planet balanced out to lower levels over time..

            1. nuh uh! CO2 levels have never been this high, my neice’s environmental science professor said so!

              1. No doubt that the same professor also tells them that the chocolate ration has always been 4 ounces.

                1. It was increased from 5 to 4 ounces. But it is actually 3 ounces because they redefined ounces.

              2. Earth used to have a rather nice nitrogen atmosphere until those damned bacteria poisoned it with free oxygen. Nasty corrosive stuff, and – get this – ordinary hydrocarbons may decompose with heat and flame if oxygen is present! And oxygen is what turned the sky that ugly blue color instead of normal gray water vapor.

  7. Somewhere I have a collection of legends about the big flood from many pre-Biblical sources. (These things are always published with much glee by a certain type of person who thinks that by finding these they “disprove” Judaism or Christianity.

    So wait, let me get this straight:

    1) The Bible claims that there was a giant flood that nearly wiped out humanity.

    2) A bunch of non-Biblical stories also describe a giant flood.

    3) And somehow (2) means that (1) was a lie? Instead of being at least mild corroborating evidence?

    I do not understand how these people think.

    1. I suspect it’s more on the lines of “See, see, Judaism isn’t unique. Lots of people have flood stories so Noah didn’t exist so your so-called G-d’s not special so don’t judge me nyah!”

        1. These days its even worse. Their hatred is so great, that they no longer bother with “Judaism isn’t unique”, now they go with “Judaism is stolen”

          1. That one I haven’t heard.

            Every Easter I do my one nuking of “Christians stole this” with the whole “Easter is Istar” stupidity.

            Easter is Passover. We “stole” it from the Jews fair and square.

            That said, claiming either is stolen fails both theologically, where the idea is “more complete revelation”, and non-theologically where it is called how cultures grow and change.

            1. It’s one of the claims made by the “black Africans are the real Jews” groups, including an increasing vocal segment of the BLM crowd and the Five Percenters (the ones responsible for the anti-Semitic murder spree in Jersey City last year). It is also rather common in Arabic media, especially Hamas and Fatah.

            2. There is a difference between stealing holy days and stealing traditions. None of the popular Easter traditions in pop culture really require the religious tradition underlying it and existing spring traditions of rebirth go right along with it. Passover was just the time it happened. Same with christmas although gift metaphor is more direct than round objects from rabbits you eat.

              But that requires too much thinking for folks today

              1. Passover was more than just the time it happened. There is a strong connection between the Passover Lamb and the Paschal Lamb in theological terms. The early Church linked the calendar much more closely than they did after the early Councils. In fact, Jewish calendar or independent calculation is on of the issues resolved at Nicea.

                That is why I will jokingly accept Pascha is stolen Passover, while Easter, an English only name, being derived from Istar is patent nonsense.

                Then again, I see Easter as part of the extension of the limited grace from the plagues being extend both in scope (of divine…disfavor is a good word) and people (from the Jews to all of humanity) so have no trouble discussing how much it draws on Passover.

                1. That is why I will jokingly accept Pascha is stolen Passover, while Easter, an English only name, being derived from Istar is patent nonsense.

                  It is one of my favorite examples of the wonders of the modern age, though.

                  I’ve got multiple hard core, well-researched books from the 80s or 90s that accept it, even accept that it came from the Venerable Bede– but they couldn’t go and read what he wrote. Not all in one place, not without physically going to someplace that had a copy, if they could find one, and either be able to read it or get a good translation.

                  And now, some fat little housewife that’s dodging laundry can go “Huh… Bede… I wonder what exactly he did say about it?” and find this single chunk:
                  Nor is it irrelevant if we take the time to translate the names of the other months. … Hrethmonath is named for their goddess Hretha, to whom they sacrificed at this time. Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month”, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance. Thrimilchi was so called because in that month the cattle were milked three times a day…
                  From the 1988 Liverpool Press translation of Bede.

                  There’s a couple of other translations I’ve seen, but this is the strongest in stating that there was actually a goddess by that name; others it reads more like he was theorizing off of the name-pattern.


                  Isn’t that AWESOME?!?

                  1. What’s even more awesome is how much time we waste just using the tech for games and memes. If I were Orvan, this is where I would shake my head and sigh “Humans.” 😉

                    1. You forgot porn. And spam. And porn spam.

                      If aliens got into our internet, what would they think?
                      He’s a lumberjack, and he’s OK.

                    2. *grins and points, metaphorically, at the fit-on-a-thumb-nail arrowheads in her grandfather’s collection*

                      Humans frequently “waste” time and resources on stuff that is fun or neat. It makes us happy, and happy humans function better.

    2. Their first fundamental assumption is, “The Bible is not true.” Then, like AGW believers, everything “PROVES,” their first assumption.

      1. C. S. Lewis had excellent remarks on how both certain groups of believers and non-believers were convinced some possible new scientific discovery (always the same one) would prove/disprove the Bible. Lewis remained skeptical about either being the case.

    3. One suspects that there are very few places that have never had a horrendous flood that got remembered long enough to get the story down in a medium that’s survived. Doesn’t mean it was all the same flood. Doesn’t mean it might or might not have something to do with the sea level rising hundreds of feet at the end of the last Ice age.

      Doesn’t mean that a deity of some sort didn’t use this particular method, the last time he/she/it/they felt the need to correct humanity.

        1. The first thing that came to mind was, “how many guys stepped back from one of those urinals and got brained by the edge of one of those sinks?!”

          That’s a *stupid* place for a step. Particular the little extra half-step to trip you if you don’t step out past it…

          1. Doesn’t even make it easier to clean, and….well, if there’s a bar in the building, someone HAS had to clean up urine on the right side.

          2. I don’t think that’s a step, just three decorative stripes of different-colored tiles. A strictly visual division of the space to segregate the two functions.

            1. I have been in washrooms with that “step”. I think it was a retrofit to cover the pipes if the washroom had not been designed in.

              1. Which would be most logical explanation given the age of the Overlook as stated in the film, and we know Kubrick was a stickler for little details like that.

              2. I saw a bathroom in Cincinnati that served an large shop floor. Had facilities for maybe fifty people. All the toilets were raised up on platforms on each side of the room, about two feet up, with steps… and faced out into the room without any sort of partitions. Not a place for the bashful… first time I saw a drawing of a Roman setup, it looked awfully familiar.

  8. And the ingrate cats had nothing to say. Typical.

    Even dolphins could spare a “so long and thanks for all the fish”

  9. OK, so in other words, Antihum [anti-humans] espouses the popular (mis)understanding of Augustin and Calvin, and we are all guilty through Adam’s pride*. But without G-d, salvation of the Elect, and so on.

    *Some teachings on Original Sin hold that while Eve sinned out of ignorance, Adam’s fall was greater, because he could see the consequences of that first sin and chose to eat the fruit anyway. Same final result.

    1. Sounds to me like a way to say: “we’re all gonna die!!!!.” I think that some people just get a thrill out of saying that.

    2. It’s certainly the Original Buck Passing.

      Adam, did you eat of the fruit?

      Well, yeah, but only because *she* said to do it.


      Bit the serpent said it was OK.

      I always wonder if the refusal to own up and take responsibility on anyone’s part was also part of the sin.

      1. I remembered thinking that Adam came off as the worse there. After all, Eve was deceived by the Serpent and admitted to it. Adam passed the buck twice! When God asks him what happened, he responds with “The woman /that You gave me/ tempted me.” Not only did Adam put the blame on Eve, he also blames God for creating her in the first place after Adam complained about feeling lonely.

    3. Adam: Annoy the wife, as it were, or someone else? Someone else, duh!

      On The Other Hoof: Can you imagine the screaming about bias and such if one sex were required to deal with Original Sin and the other simply went on as if Nothing Happened… with Deitic approval?

      1. Women got the pains of childbirth out of it so, um yeah one side essentially just went on.

            1. I was, ahem, not in the state of mind to consider this at the times it was immediately relevant– but guys do get torn up when their wife (or daughters, or mom) hurts, and they can’t do anything. Birth is right at the edge of what the human body can handle, and you have to do it to continue the species.

              My husband has back and nerve issues that make him hurt a lot, but what is it that tears him up? Me, hurting enough to show it. Physical is less bad, generally, because you can DO something, but…..

    4. 1st Timothy says Eve was deceived by the serpent, but Adam was not. Adam deliberately chose rebellion. Adam represented all of mankind so when he fell, we all fell. The penalty was “dying, you will die.” Dying spiritually, meaning separated from God, they were then subject to physical death and worse the second death, which is the eternal wrath of God. This separation from God is our sin nature, our inborn rebellion to God.
      Christ is the second Adam, one who overcame temptation and was obedient even to death. When we are saved, Christ becomes our representative, unto life. We are no longer represented by Adam. The sin nature still remains with us, but is opposed and progressively overcome by the Word and the Holy Spirit, which work to give us a new heart–one that desires God and His righteousness.

      1. > Adam represented all of mankind so when he fell, we all fell.

        Yeah, the Jeez tried that on me when I was eight years old.

        Sorry, you picked the wrong kid. You’re not going to stick that to me; I wasn’t even born yet. Sumdood messed up ages ago, and *I* am expected to pay for it? Not happening. I rejected their theology outright.

        1. Whoever explained that to you did a poor job, it seems; you’re not expected to pay for anyone’s sins but your own. The reason why Adam’s fall is important is because it explains why everyone has an inborn tendency to rebel against God, which if we’re left to our own devices will end up causing us all to do things that we know are wrong. There are various theological arguments over exactly what we inherited from Adam that might be interesting to professional theologians, but for someone who’s outside the Christian church it’s irrelevant: for that person, the thing they most need to understand is twofold. One, you have, at some point, done something that you know is wrong and you deserve to be punished for. Two, God offers unconditional forgiveness; all you have to do is ask for it. (Thing is, someone who won’t admit that they’ve ever done anything wrong isn’t ever going to ask for forgiveness. You see that all the time, in a slightly different form, in online debates, where someone is wrong, is proven to be wrong, but is too proud to admit that they’re wrong and instead doubles down on their original statement just so they won’t have to admit to being wrong. That’s nothing but pride, raw and unrefined.)

        2. Not payment in that way, just not having what he threw away.

          If your grand-dad had a mansion and he destroyed it, you don’t inherit it.

          That’s not you paying for, as in being punished for, but you are paying for it in that you can’t inherit what was destroyed.

          Like if we use gene editing– kids that inherit the edited genes will bear the consequences of actions they had no part in choosing.

  10. The ‘Age of Aquarius’ didn’t fail to materialize. It happened, in all its smelly glory, and even the majority of the Hippies decided that it was too rank to tolerate. Oh, it didn’t take over the entire world. Too many people like soap. But the Hippie-dippies got to live it for a while, and eventually they sorted into two groups and a small codicil; the hygienic, the dead, and a tiny number who, like the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers manage to eke out an existence from one high to another without quite succumbing to the creeping crud.

    1. Ah, but that wasn’t the “real” Age of Aquarius. Much like Socialism, the real Age of Aquarius has never been tried.

      1. Sure it has. That is why the Age of Aquarius concluded in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978, when peace, love and understanding found Harmony with the Universe.

  11. What keeps coming to my mind is a quote from John Ringo. Does anyone ever realize that a Golden Age has ended?

    1. A better question is probably whether anyone realizes that a golden age has begun. After all, golden ages are inevitably periods of time that people look back on. That suggests that they’re not considered a golden age until some while later.

    2. When the floating cities start dropping from the sky is usually a good sign.

    3. The rather depressing answer that comes to mind is: “Yes — when you realize that you can’t remember the last time you weren’t hungry.”

      Though that’s useful in that in can apply both to personal and social Golden Ages.

  12. RAH – “There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who ‘love Nature’ while deploring the ‘artificialities’ with which ‘Man has spoiled “Nature.” ‘ The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of ‘Nature’ — but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the ‘Naturist’ reveals his hatred for his own race — i.e. his own self-hatred.”

    Can it be explained better?

    1. > ‘Man has spoiled “Nature.” ‘

      “Nature” pretty much sucks. And it hates us, and wants us miserable, if not dead.

      When the damp earnest women start telling me about “natural” I always wonder how many of them forwent modern obstetric technology and went for natural childbirth…

      1. I wanted to (some deranged ideas about *having experiences* but the point at which it would have killed my son, I realized that gee, modern medicine sure is great. And that sterile C-Sections that let both of us live are a Good Thing.

        Nevertheless, I’ve also spent too much time in the company of the sort of women who looked down their noses at me for doing it “the easy way”.

        Let me show you my middle fingers, like our hostess, I have two.

        1. My mom had all three of us where the nurses and doctors were absolutely not needed– in one case, the baby beat the doctor to the delivery room. 😀

          She is also a really big, loud and angry proponent of “CHILD BIRTH IS NOT A COMPETITIVE SPORT!” Has been as far back as I can remember, and was very noisy about how sure, she got lucky and could’ve given birth in a hut without a problem– pain killers are awesome and use them if you need them.

          1. Second son could have been born without a doctor. Though the damage…. even with episiotomy I ripped far enough to its being non repairable. (It was the frigging shoulders.)
            BUT the first would have killed me.

          2. Heh. Yeah, a young family we went to church with were on their way to the hospital (which was an hour and a half away, because it’s Wyoming–also the closer hospital no one in their right minds went to if they had any choice.)

            The dad ended up delivering their newest daughter on the side of the road about 20 miles from the hospital…(Thankfully, unlike their next kid, this one didn’t have any compications. Next kid was okay too, but thank goodness for modern medicine.)

          3. (Please don’t take this as either universal or a criticism of Natural Childbirth, everyone should do what works for their situation).

            After I delivered a couple during my OB/GYN rotation, and saw how much more rested and able to enjoy their new babies most of my epidural moms were vs most of my duola-led natural moms were, I really stopped getting real wrapped round the twist about how anybody has them. Helped me get over not having had mine the ‘right’ way too.

            1. Second I had “natural” because from hard labor to kid shooting out as from a cannon was half an hour. No time for drugs.
              Older… let me see three? anesthetics and an epidural.
              I have …. sometimes anesthetics don’t “take” with me. (Other times I have trouble waking from normal dosages.) Something apparently linked to high Neanderthal genetics.

              1. According to 23 and Me, I have a lot of those too. Interesting stuff.

                I’ve never had trouble with anesthetics, but my sister couldn’t get her epidural to ‘take’ on one side during C-Section #2.

              2. Literally 30 seconds after my C-section was finished, I commented blearily to the nurse “Hey, I can feel my legs.” “What, with your hands?” “No, with my legs.”

                They re-upped my dosage pretty darn quick.

                1. I THINK I ended up with three epidurals? I don’t remember. It was a long time. The first didn’t work at all….
                  Yep, just asked. Three epidurals and then FINALLY a spinal block.
                  Then they got Robert out. While they were cleaning him they said they were going to give me something to allow me to relax.
                  It knocked me out COLD and I didn’t wake up for 24 hours.

            2. Whatever happened to “My body, my choice?”

              Does that only apply outside the “Sisterhood”? (Isn’t getting out of The Hood a good thing?)

              1. It applies when they want it to. Like the PP officials whose response to its being said about masks was, “It doesn’t mean THAT.”

        2. A lot of them forget how often the baby died, the mother died, or both of them died. And that’s not even counting birth defects, ectopic pregnancies, etc. Most problems easily dealt with by unnatural and probably evil technology.

          Yeah, the tendency now is to treat pregnancy like a disease, but Sapiens babies can be ten percent of a mother’s normal body weight; gigantic by comparison to other primates. And they’re essentially all preemies; a baby monkey or ape is recognizeably a capuchin or gorilla, just smaller. Human babies are delivered way earlier in the development process. This makes human pregnancies… complicated.

          Even if a baby made it out of infancy, there were diptheria and measles and tuberculosis and cholera and polio and all the other perfectly normal, natural hazards of childhood…

        3. First child was a csection. next two were VBAC. First, hurrah for modern medicine and second hurrah for women because if it were up to men there’d only be on child per generation.

          My wife actually broke my finger during delivery #2 and I sat there going oww, but who the hell am I going to complain to? None of the nurses certainly.

        4. Yep. And now, I’m the woman who says, “I’m glad natural birth worked for you, but you never really know what’s going to happen, let’s let the first time mom’s have a hospital birth with no shame, m’kay?”

          1. If I am feeling snippy, I quietly comment that my first child would have died, and taken me with her, if we hadn’t been in the hospital and the nurses hadn’t swung into not-panic-because-it’s-constructive motion the second they saw Troublesome Indications.

            Since their kid one-or-two-kids are usually playing with my pack of offspring, it changes the subject very quickly.

          2. Indeed, this. I did Lamaze for the birth of the Daughter Unit, and it was ok for me – exhausting and uncomfortable, like running the confidence course in AF Basic Training. Near as dammit had to have a C-section, but all turned out OK with the application of forceps. All hail, modern medicine – because women died in childbirth with depressing regularity until the late 19th century in the western world. (And very often, their babies along with them.)
            As someone or other told me in a class – may even have been a First Aid class when I was a Girl Scout – 99 of a hundred childbirths are uneventful, uncomplicated matters. This is why so darned many cops, taxi drivers, ambulance attendants, husbands and third parties deliver babies successfully. But that one percent – most times, the complications are unexpected, unforeseen, right up until the very last critical minute.
            And THAT is why having competent medicos standing by is absolutely essential. For that unforeseen 1 per cent.

            1. One of the one percent. Was all the way up to “Now PUSH”. Monitors flat lined. Monitors were directly on my son. Plus the ones they had on me around my belly (for baby), and on me. Both his monitors flat lined, mine dropped. No pushing & they went back up. C-Section was completed less than 20 minutes later.

              Neither of us were the first to hold him. That would be the on call emergency pediatrician and nurses. Hubby did get to see him born, ish, & watch them work on him. I was too far out of it until much later. Not from the surgery. By then I’d been in hard labor for almost 24 hours.

              Also thank God for a clinic that wasn’t rabid about natural nursing. We did fine for his first 9 weeks. The start of 10th week was so not fun. He had to nurse every 1/2 to 3/4 hour. Took us, in August, no traffic, 4.5 hours to drive from west Eugene to Bend via Hwy 126. Drive 3/4 hour. Stop & nurse for 30 minutes (you know, get out of car seat, nurse, get back in car seat), repeat. Then we had to repeat the process via hwy 22 from Bend to Portland (MIL was moved to SIL). It was a long day. Didn’t have access to a phone ask-a-nurse could call back (before we had cell phone). He was on a bottle before the day was out. That was fun too. Because the advice was supplement with bottle after nursing. Only he wouldn’t take a bottle after nursing. Take it before, not after.

              Everyone wonders how a new mother can let her child starve to death. The nazi leche league tells new mothers that mother’s milk is the only resource for their baby. That as the baby’s demand goes up her supply will go up. Might be a bit where baby is short, but it’ll pickup. Guess what. Not always. When you are super exhausted and focused, no experience, you don’t think. When the nurse said “how do you feel about supplementing?” It was like a light bulb went off. People, not only am I not an idiot, normally, I was almost 33. Not a young kid of 22 or 23 or younger by any definition. Also, my MIL had been a nurse!!!! Guess which advice she gave (or we wouldn’t have called ask-a-nurse), or “let him cry, you’re spoiling him”. In my defense, I knew he was hungry. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.

              Just remember, he’s 31 now, so we did something right.

              1. I was born during the period where they thought that formula was best, so that’s what I got. I won’t say I nearly starved to death, but after me crying almost all the time, we went to the doctor, who told my mother to make the formula stronger (I guess it was the powdered kind), and it solved the problem. I hadn’t been getting enough food.

                    1. Still probably one of the top 5 SF novels of all time!

                      “We are the Scientific Race,” J♂seph said. “I am J♂seph; these are my people.”

                      He gestured. Foyle gazed at the grinning crowd surrounding his litter. All faces were tattooed into devil masks; all brows had names blazoned across them.

                      “How long did you drift?” J♂seph asked.

                      “Vorga,” Foyle mumbled.

                      “You are the first to arrive alive in fifty years. You are a puissant man. Very. Arrival of the fittest is the doctrine of Holy Darwin. Most scientific.”

                      “Quant Suff!” the crowd bellowed.

                    1. Those old GPs had some interesting fixes. When a small lad was something of a bleeder and a bloody nose was an event. Our GP’s fix was to cut off a piece of raw bacon, roll it into a plug and insert. The salt stopped the bleeding and the fat made easy removal. Neat don’t you think?

              2. “let him cry, you’re spoiling him”

                Anyone who says this regarding a less than 6 month old (maybe even 1 year) needs to be horsewhipped until they stop trying to manipulate with their crying.

                Hey, I’ll even be generous and consider allowing them medical attention afterwards if they survive.

                1. Er. No.
                  Sorry, I had to do this to #1 son at TWO WEEKS. And there was a reason.
                  You see, he was born in a university hospital that was, at the time, pretty empty in the maternity ward (it was not the fashionable hospital)
                  There was a girl called Bonita born the same day, but her mom went home two days later.
                  I had a uterine infection and he couldn’t (by law) go home without me.
                  Also #1 son was born with the ability to a) focus b) SMILE. (No, I don’t care if they say that nenwborns can’t do it.)
                  That kid spent TWO WEEKS never in his crib, but carried around by some nurse, if he wasn’t nursing.
                  This means going home was a rude wakening. For EVERYONE. We’d put him in his crib, turn off the light, and he’d scream his head off. You turned the light back on, he kicked his legs and GRINNED at you.
                  …. I HAD to ignore him and let him scream for two weeks.
                  After which he got that he’d lost his harem and wasn’t going to be carried around ALL THE TIME.
                  FYI it broke my heart. Hardest thing I ever did. But it was that or go insane.

                  1. Hmmm, I’ve never actually heard a version of this that wasn’t from the “Children are the root of all Evil” school of thought.

                    1. Nope. My poor little son had just become convinced that he SHOULD be carried around and talked to and played with ALL NIGHT. Because that was his entire life experience.
                      We, alas, had to break his heart.
                      And yes, it hurt us more than him.

                2. Anyone who says this regarding a less than 6 month old (maybe even 1 year)

                  We didn’t listen. Didn’t even argue with her. Just ignored the comment(s).

              3. The La Leche twits pissed off enough people that there’s push-back, now.

                You still sometimes get idiots, but now they know their access to moms requires that they teach the mom signs of the kid not getting enough food, and remind them that not being able to nurse is not their fault, 90% of the time it’s being so wound up from pain or tension that you can’t have let-down for the kid to nurse.

                Eldest needed a nipple-guard for the whole 12 months, because at first my body couldn’t make enough milk when it switched from colostrum, and the nipple guard was part of how they helped me supplement while also nursing. Next kid wouldn’t even touch a binky, much less anything else.

                1. Nursing…One kid took with no problems, the other one had ties that made it way more work to nurse, so it took forever, hurt like grit your teeth curl your toes (for me) and he was always nursing. Really helps with the whole relax to help your milk supply come in… Not. Fortunately, I had heard that nursing should NOT hurt and knew to ask for help figuring it out and fortunately, my local hospital has a free nursing trouble shooting meeting 3x a week.. And they did help, so I got to nurse that kid too! When it works, it’s really special times, but sometimes special knowledge can really really help figure nursing out.

                  I think La Leche has started to figure out that different mouth issues affect nursing works, and stopped being quite so doctrinaire? But I haven’t interacted with them. The people I dealt with were much more oriented to making sure both mom and baby were healthy and happy than doing a particular thing.

                  The other thing that helped was to remember to EAT. Nursing uses so many calories, I made sure to have extra food around all the time. Because I would be attacked by hunger, make a large bowl of something carby then go back to feeling great.

                  1. I was in one of the more granola-flavored areas, and folks often act like I’m furniture so sometimes I get to see interesting things– one of the gals got rather harshly reminded to focus exactly the way you’re describing. Also had one lady make sure that nobody was listening, and remind me that if we’d both been off pain killers for a week, a beer or glass of wine could help you take the edge off when the kid is bawling, you’re hurting, and you both just want to cry.

                    Pulled out of the ear guess, I’d say it was made to fix a problem, got taken over by fanatics (as we both know, momming is one of those areas where desire for approval of choices is insanely strong, as is emotion, and it can really shut down normal safeguards) and is now being fought back against.

                    1. It’s… actually really startling for me to hear that LLL (or some elements thereof) have apparently gone off the deep end. My impression is that they were a pretty helpful source of information and support forty years ago for the fairly common cases where your mom and grandma bottle-fed, your pediatrician was suspicious, and you couldn’t easily hunt up comparative studies.

                      …But a big part of it was support against — apparently fairly common — instant urging to go for formula at the first hint of any difficulty whatsoever (and, I think, a place to complain and commiserate and get other advice), from a drop of a few ounces in the first week while your milk is coming in to (even moderate) pain while you get used to being nommed on to feeling worn out during a growth spurt. Genuine concern, don’t get me wrong, from people who saw formula as the normal, reliable, measurable, safe option, just like having your kid educated by professionals. (Honestly, I know myself well enough to admit I’d be especially susceptible to “measurable” as an advantage if I hadn’t been brought up thinking of breastfeeding as normal. And the approval thing.)

                      Anyway, I can see where digging in their heels hard enough there, both on the benefits and on there being a way to manage a lot of challenges, could have led to a failure to admit it readily when there’s a good reason to supplement or switch.

                    2. I just thought of something that may contribute to the some-went-nutty thing:
                      lack of a Granny.

                      If you have someone whose authority is well established, they can be gone around but they’re a keystone. If you don’t have an established authority, people will try to establish one– which drains your resource pool down to the folks who have a hobby horse so there’s energy to actually DO anything, once they get done with politics.

                      The framing it as being about helping moms feed their kids in the least invasive manner possible is brilliant, honestly– it makes every way that someone did, that worked, and they liked it, valid.

                    3. THAT’s true of a lot “how things went nutty.”
                      That and kids being raised by “don’t care” hourly workers who are not trying to form moral adults, of course.

        5. I don’t have to personally deal with childhood but, well, on the subject of “having experiences” my favorite Post Apocalyptic story is “Wolf and Iron” by the late Gordon R. Dickson (dammit, another great I’ll never get a chance to meet). It showed me some “experience” I will be much grateful if I never have to experience–like being alone in the wilderness with a badly sprained ankle such that you’re completely laid up and the only source of food is a companion wolf who brings you meat from his kills…in his stomach. Yep. You get him to vomit it up and that’s what you have to eat.

          Personally, I like having supermarkets, automobiles, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters if I’m having trouble walking, and delivery if it gets bad enough. The “Experience” of living “close to nature” and having to live close to nature? No thank you.

          1. It was a World Con, I think in San Antonio, Gordon R. Dickson joined the Filk late one night and stayed for an hour or so. Great Guy.

          2. Thank you, for reminding me of that book. I greatly enjoyed it as well, and just went and got the kindle version (last time I saw the paperback, it was very, very battered…)

            1. I have the Nook version. My paperback version finally had to be recycled. It was in many, many, pieces.

          1. My favorite line: “You want to know what childbirth feels like? Grab your lower lip, and pull it over your head.”

            Second favorite: “Give me DRUGS!!”

            1. Several years ago (nearly 35, I think), a friend of mine was telling about when she was having her first baby, and her jackass of a husband was there. When she wailed from the pain, he told her some stupid thing like, “Oh, come on, it’s not that bad.” and she said she grabbed him by the ears and yelled, “You try pulling a watermelon out of your ASS!!”.

              Apparently he shut up.

              1. Not the video I was thinking of, but gets the point across.


                Video I was thinking of starts in class with the husbands with pumpkins strapped to their bellies. Then they have to do certain exercises. You know, get out of a chair. Sit on the floor. Get up off the floor. Bend down to pick up something. Go up & down stairs, when you can’t see your feet. Then they get to do the pain simulation … Then they get told their wives could be in labor for hours ….

                1. There’s a youtube group called the Try Guys, and they did a whole series on “things usually only women deal with” starting with “what it’s like to have breasts of varying sizes” (they used the weighted ones that actually DO mimic neck/back pain on the larger sizes), to the labor simulation. The breast one was, they admitted, really eye opening for them, but after the labor one–in which they too did not last very long–they all went and called their mothers after and said “Thanks mom, for enduring that to have me…”

                  They also got with some drag queens to *really* get dressed up, and admitted that other than trying to walk in six inch spike heels, the rest of it was kind of fun…

                  1. Hmm, I’m reminded of several stories that had a male-to-female transformation (as in literally physically becoming female, not the ‘real world’ kind) that dealt with similar things. Former males learning that breasts have weight, the joys of pregnancy, etc., and I remember them all being denounced by some people as being so incredibly sexist for some unstated reason. Something about women ‘having to’ get pregnant?

                  2. The spike heels are a matter of being used to them. I used to RUN with them on cobblestones.
                    The bizarre thing is I have no foot problems.
                    Oh, and I couldn’t do it now, because around my forties I started getting HIP pain from heels, so I started wearing flats.

                    1. I can walk in heels, but not run. I like heels, but I had bunions akin to that of an elderly woman’s by the time I was 18 (thank you, genetics) and had surgery to remove them when I was 23. I found after the surgery that, alas, heels still make my feet scream (now because of the screws in the big toe joints instead of the bunions, sigh). I can wear them for a short period of time (the length of church, typcially), but otherwise heck to the no. (And nowadays, I usually still gravitate towards the flats over the heels even for church…) I suspect I would also get hip pain from them now (and I have enough trouble with the hips)

                      I am extremely impressed at anyone who can RUN on heels (and doubly so on cobblestones!!)

                    2. Heels make more sense for somebody Carmen Miranda-sized than a person Julie Newmar’s scale. (5’2″ vs 5’11” according to Wiki.) In the latter instance the pounds/sq.inch ratio becomes quite undesirable. OTOH, a 5-lb weight gain on a Miranda is significantly larger percentage of body weight than for a Newmar-sized woman.

                  3. other than trying to walk in six inch spike heels

                    Heck I don’t walk in shoes with any type of heels, let alone 6″ spike heels! Closest I get are my hiking boots with lug soles.

                    1. I had some shoes with “kitten heels,” very low, and my feet still kept falling off them sideways.

                      I don’t think it’s exceptionally floppy ankles or anything. I lack skill.

                    2. Based on my experiences with ice skates, you have to consciously hold your ankles stiff at first, and later, as you get used to it, maintaining the support to your ankle becomes more natural.

                      Also, certain activities may help. When I rode the bus to work, there was a younger woman who went the same direction I did after getting off the bus, and she would invariably get ahead of me before I got my legs loosened up and hit my normal stride, so she was always 10-20 feet in front of me. She always wore at least 3″ heels, and one ankle would turn with almost every step. Except that after she had a baby, she went to a Zumba class to get her figure back, and after she had been doing that for a few months, her ankle firmed up and she no longer had that problem.

              2. Another vivid description I’ve heard is “YOU try shoving something the SIZE OF A WATERMELON out a hole THE SIZE OF A LEMON!!!”

        6. I was a c-section baby; my mother’s pre-eclampsia was so bad that they HAD to keep her blood pressure up, or both of us would die, and the best ob-gyn in the country was … on the other end of the country. The hospital I was born in did not have any incubators, and the doctor kept me alive by holding me to her, and warm baths, for two days I’m told, until one was brought from a different hospital. And this was during a time when a 7 month old baby had a pretty good chance of dying. (My mom later ran into a mother while picking up my youngest brother from school; this mother was one of the nurses who’d taken care of me, and she told my mom that my birth precipitated the hospital establishing a NICU.) So thank goodness for medical science and technology.

          Plus, let me join you in the raising of middle fingers. My last three pregnancies had placenta previa issues as well as pre-eclampsia- natural childbirth would have killed me, and maybe my children.

          1. Yeah, I was 3 months premature–and although I was an incredibly healthy preemie (I did actually come out screaming, and then a few hours later when I was still screaming, they realized that I had to be fed or would not shut up). But even so, I still almost certainly would have died without modern meds.

            (The NICU nurses like me: I was strong enough/healthy enough that I could be taken out and played with…)

      2. Screw “natural childbirth” — how many would employ natural birth control?

      3. Oh, on the “Man” has spoiled Nature?

        Far more men than women are content to live in harmony with nature, it is women who demand the conveniences of Civilization.

        Bless ’em. I’m a big big fan of porcelain, as well as toilet paper.

        1. *points* And this is why so many “white” folks with an Indian ancestor report a female ancestor marrying in.

          If you look at who moved away from civilization, without other pressures, it was usually a dude. (Which doesn’t come up much, because “great great was French” just isn’t as cool as “great great was an Indian.”)

          1. Well of course. In the scheme of things, dudes are expendable. That’s been our job since one of us picked up the club and put out the cat. Keep the women out of harm’s way until it’s clear they can survive Out There.

            1. *sad nod*
              The kind of gal who reflexively went “oh, I shall go where my heart leads me, even into living with really bad health care” didn’t leave very many descendants.
              The guys who left civilization to marry into a tribe did, even if it took several wives (in succession) to do so.

            2. (for those who think it sounds like I’m disagreeing with snelson here– he and I both know that for every guy who actually managed to get married, there were probably a lot who died, but once you are tough enough to start having kids you likely continued to do so; vs women, who tended to die from the having kids part)

              1. One of Dan’s ancestors married four sisters in succession.
                The one Dan is descended from was the youngest. She was 11 at marriage. He was forty and had three other kids.
                Sounds pervy but I’m sure it was “she won’t hurt my kids.”

                1. And on her side “I know what he’s like; he’s not going to hurt me.” And by that time, so did her parents.

                  Point being, that kind of cultural clash (most famously and recently seen with Judge Moore) is another example of “the past is another country, and had imperatives you might not be aware of.”

              2. THIS. My late grandfather was born in 1912, youngest of 12. One father, two wives in succession to get there.

        2. We looked forward to my sons becoming interested in girls because then they’d bathe more often. Yep. Now if only I could figure out the why of sofa pillows.

          1. To be fair to boys between the ages of about 9 to 20 or so, sometimes it doesn’t matter HOW often they bathe…they smell. My youngest brother, like the rest of us, was boiled daily pretty much from the day he came home from the hospital, but during his late boyhood/puberty years, the poor kid could shower twice a day and use all the deodorant…and he still was stinky, heh.

            And second the thing on sofa cushions: pretty, can make a decent pillow in event of a nap. 😀

            1. Boys do smell. Boys who don’t bathe smell worse.

              I’ve spent most of my life thinking if only I could understand shoes and sofa cushions I’d understand the world. I keep forgetting the variations on “does this make me look fat?“ though, to be fair, the wife doesn’t do that to me very often but the shoes and sofa cushions abide. I’ve been told that shoes always fit but being a man and more or less always the same size don’t really get it. Naps on the couch now, OK. I get that. Thank you.

            2. I used to throw (lit.) younger son in shower three times a day when he was 13 and engaged in growing a foot and having his voice drop two octaves.
              That meant he only smelled in between.

              1. Smelly teenage guys are not universal, but pretty common genetically as a variation, often coupled with being large, muscular, and hirsute.

                Also, some guys are smellier to close relatives than to unrelated persons, which is also a genetic variation.

                Some people are smellier when they eat red meat. Usually Asian people notice this.

                My family is not very smelly, but I don’t know why.

                1. “My family is not very smelly, but I don’t know why.”

                  Does your family have earwax that’s wet, or that’s dry and flaky? There’s a specific gene that’s been well-studied because it’s one of the rare cases of a single nucleotide on a single gene producing an obvious phenotype change, so the inheritance patterns are easy to study. If you have the dominant version of the gene, you get wet earwax and smelly sweat. If you have two copies of the recessive gene, you get dry, flaky earwax and much-less-smelly sweat. The recessive version is extremely widespread in East and Southeast Asia (Korea’s demographics are something like 95% recessive, 5% dominant, for example), which tends to explain why people from those regions tend to notice Western body odor more: they didn’t grow up with it being a common thing.

                  Of course, there are other reasons for body odor than just that one gene — but the flaky earwax / BO gene is a really nit bit of scientific discovery that’s really cool to find out about. (The gene is called ABCC11 if you want to Google it and read more for yourself).

                  1. This is hysterical! I have long noticed a difference in earwax (pediatrics is obsessed with earwax!) but never knew about the BO connection. I’ll have to sniff my kids from now on…..

                  2. Huh. That…explains much about my family. (I joke about baby brother being super smelly as a teen…but in all honesty, that was “in terms of our extremely non-smelly family”) I always attributed to the “boil ourselves at least once a day” habit, but…I *do* have the dry, flaky earwax, as does Mom. Dad gets somewhat smelly, but I suspect he also is on that gene. (I still can’t go more than a day without a shower, though, because my hair is a freaking greaseball and gets utterly disgusting if not washed once every 24 hours.)

          2. Sofa pillows are light and non-breakable for brothers (and not a few sisters) to throw at one another when caught in the act of stinking up sitting rooms by passing noxious puns.

            Do not ask how I know this.

      4. Re: ““Nature” pretty much sucks. And it hates us, and wants us miserable, if not dead.”

        No, it doesn’t. Nature doesn’t care about you. Or me. Or any of us. Nature isn’t good or evil. It simply is.

    2. Yes. People who consider man not part of ‘Nature’, despite often being atheist or agnostic, are to their core adherents to the Abrahamic traditions. In fact, they have fully embraced the role for which man was created under some readings of Genesis, while rejecting all the philosophy and guidance around that job.

    3. Re: “The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of ‘Nature’ — but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. ”

      Is it so absurd? There is a difference between the dam-building beaver and the dam-building man: the beaver is only doing what its instincts tell it to do, while the man has a choice.

      A second difference is that even as the beaver damages the environment by flooding what used to be dry land, it also benefits the environment by controlling floods and providing habitat for numerous other organisms. Man, however, has an unpleasant habit of building dams and other works only to benefit himself, and creating a lot of poisoned, useless land in the process. I for one think that’s stupid. We have a shining jewel of a planet here, that can sustain us for untold millennia if we take decent care of it, and ruining it in the name of short-term benefit strikes me as quite short-sighted. A “thinking ape” should be able to do better.

      1. A second difference is that even as the beaver damages the environment by flooding what used to be dry land, it also benefits the environment by controlling floods and providing habitat for numerous other organisms. Man, however, has an unpleasant habit of building dams and other works only to benefit himself, and creating a lot of poisoned, useless land in the process.

        Beavers do it only for their own benefit.
        If they get credit for the good results, so do humans.

        Also, humans control floods and create habitats for numerous other organisms on purpose, for no reason other than to benefit the other animals.

        As for poisoning land– goose poop around a pond. Nuff said.

        1. Very tangentially, I am still mildly disquieted by having read that “gooseturd” was once a fashionable color.

          1. Gosling Green. It was the facing color of the old Nortumberland.Fusiliers. It did in fact look just like goose poop. My favorite color was Isabella; named for the late Spanish queen’s underclothes since she never seems to have washed them. Dead Leaf Brown was another popular one.

              1. Not that I can find, sadly– I got lucky on the pink, and while I couldn’t find a good example of the goose turd as a swatch, I recognized it from all the other examples around it because it pops up in so many really old places’ painting, but I think “dead Spaniard” would be almost pastel olive drab, or maybe a mix of olive drab and desert cami tan.

          1. I spent way too many years not fighting against that kind of…uneven demand, in my own head. Nothing I do that isn’t 100% without desire for benefit for myself, even if it is “I like seeing people be happy,” is acceptable.

            It destroys everything. You toss out a greater good, because of an imperfection that wasn’t even an actual problem, and you accept stuff that is actually harmful because there’s some sort of recovery so the destroyer gets credit for the eventual

            So I recognize it rather violently.

              1. Speaking of, though I got the information second-hand, the book “Pleasing You is Killing Me” might help anybody working on that same problem, if only in the sense of giving yourself permission to consider that you’re a person, too.

                1. My problem was mostly my birth family. And the culture thereof where as youngest child and daughter I had certain purposes etc. ALSO with growing up under socialism and sometimes communism, where it was all about our value to society, not any intrinsic value as an individual.
                  Yes, I imported some of those behaviors to my family, but I think I’m over most of them now.

                  1. It’s possibly also an adaptation to fight known weaknesses that are worse– say, my mom’s family has the kind of imagination that sees the picture of a tick and can feel them crawling, so we have a lot of anti-hypochondriac tendencies.
                    Which is why my uncle is now recovering from a gangrenous gall bladder that they don’t know how he was even walking when he came in, and why mom’s doctor hit the roof and was about to call 911 for her if she didn’t come in immediately when she admitted to feeling some pain on a wound. (huge blood clot)

                    1. WHY do you think Dan has dragged me to the hospital every time I’ve been near death, with me screaming some equivalent of “mfine. Have book to finish! House to clean!”
                      Older son calls me exactly t hat “The anti-hypocondriac.” He says it plays badly with the Latin female stereotype, which is why I tend to get doctors thinking I’m being hypocondriac, unless it is some EASILY measurable thing.
                      This is why when I walked into ER with blood ox so low it couldn’t be measured (in the 90s) they thought I was exaggerating a mild cold, till blood ox wouldn’t measure, and xray showed about half a lung pretty much useless.
                      And why until dragged into ER — when dragged into family doctor — I was told it was a mild cold, just take it easy a few days (Walking pneumonia from flu that had stuck around for… a month?)

          2. >> “We’re also the ecosystem’s best hope fo spreading to other worlds.”

            I mentioned this one about a week ago, and already it seems appropriate again:

    4. “Nature” is a funny term. I tend to recommend C.S. Lewis’s Studies in Words on the subject.

  13. Wellllll … they also hate us, the Right, the Odd ones, the ones who disdain to worship as they, the folk who stand outside and say, “Have you ever considered …?”

    It is nothing personal, mind. That would require they permit themselves to know us personally, and they cannot do that; they know only the constructs they’ve assigned to us. But still they don’t hate us personally.

    It’s just – that is the way death cults are. They hate themselves (even as they worship themselves) and they hate all else as well.

    1. It’s not self-hatred. The people who say they hate themselves first are wrong.

      No – they hate themselves but, incapable of acknowledgement, turn it outward on everybody else.

  14. > no one REAL has seemed to ever see one of these.

    Back in… probably the early ’90s, Harry Stine was telling me about NASA sending an expedition to Antarctica to measure the hole in the ozone layer. After spending considerable time there, they couldn’t find a hole in the ozone layer. So when they got back, they wrote that the hole was “a recurring phenomenon” and they just happened to miss it while they were there.

    Nowadays, they’d probably just fake the data, high-five each other, and apply for more grant money.

  15. From The Notebooks of Lazarus Long (by The Lieutenant):
    “There are hidden contradictions inthe minds of people who “love Nature”
    while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.'”
    The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man
    and his artificats are not part of “Nature” – but beavers and their dams are.
    But the contradctions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring
    his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beaver’s purposes) and his
    hatred for damns erected by men (for the purposes of men) the “Naturist”
    reveals his hatred for his own race — ie his own self hatred.”

    They hate us because, deep down, they hate themselves.

      1. Here’s how I figure it.

        – They recognize that they are horrible people.
        – Since they are horrible people, they hate themselves.
        – They don’t want to hate themselves, so they have to deflect that hate.
        – They deflect by turning that hatred on others.
        – In the process, they run it through a high-gain amplifier.
        – But they are still horrible people.
        – Thus, they have to presume everyone else is worse.

        And there you have it.

        1. they’re the good people and if they’re doing what they’re doing what must the bad people be doing.

          1. They are bad, and in their hearts they know it, so they have to try to rationalize that by saying “those people” (meaning us) must be so much worse.

        2. What they really hate is that they are insignificant. For one cause or another, they managed to grow to putative adulthood with the belief that they were special and unique, whereas the truth is they are pedestrian and thoroughly ordinary. Now, they COULD study something and work hard and make themselves special, but that would involve effort. So instead they set up the fiction that they are the moral arbitrators of the world.

          It’s kind of like the typical petty thief; he could make much more money by simply getting a steady job and showing up on time and ready to work. They could be so much more if they would direct the energy they put into being Woke-er Than Thou Into nearly anything else. But they won’t. Sweating is for peasants.

          If being arseholes was tap dancing, they would be the Nicolas brothers.

        3. The first rule in their Catechism of the Woke is self-denunciation. Until you admit to being a sinner (see: White Culture) you cannot be accepted into the Church.

          I agree that they are horrible people, or on the first part, at any rate. I am not sure they have remained within the human race.

          1. And, now that I think about it, “projection” has another level of applicability than I had considered before. It tends to project onto the screen much, much larger than the film (or display in the digital world) being projected. The “high gain amplifier” I mentioned above.

  16. They fed on the Victorians and their moralizing tales of how animals were better than men

    And that’s a recurring theme in the Tarzan books I’m currently binging.

    1. Huh. I have never looked at the Tarzan books that way, but now that you mention it…

      1. Tarzan is frequently in internal monologue comparing grasping, greedy, dishonest humans with the more “pure” motives of animals. Burroughs would also make similar observations in narration. Mind you, I find this more tolerable than I do in many places because this is Tarzan’s POV and Tarzan, as the supreme jungle lord, has little need for the positive aspects of civilization. Also, many people persist in this fantasy of the “purity” of animals you know the “they only kill to survive, not for greed or pleasure.” (Um, actually, in many cases they do.) So it’s no great surprise that Burroughs presents that belief.

        1. > Tarzan, as the supreme jungle lord, has little need for the positive aspects of civilization

          Give him a decade or two, and add rotten teeth, myopia, kidney stones, recurrent jungle infections, an unset broken bone or two, and civilization would probably look a lot better. Particularly for “Lord Greystoke” and not some penniless jungle freak.

          1. Eh, Burroughs neatly sidestepped that by having Tarzan, Jane, their son, and daughter in law all drink what amounts to an eternal youth/near-immortality potion 😀 I’d like to think it was because he didn’t want to hassle with any of THAT realistic nonsense in his awesome pulp fiction!

    2. To be fair, no animal ever came up with something as idiotic as communism.

      1. Communal insects. Herd herbivores also qualify, if less obviously.

        Carnivores came up with individualism, and cooperative behavior without being a slave to the hive mind.

  17. > vast flotillas of waste plastic in the sea,

    Tons of processed petrochemicals, free for the taking. Lots of people would look at that and their eyes would light up with dollar signs.

    Note that the density of most common plastics is higher than salt water, and even if they’re floating via trapped air, most of those plastics will break down with enough exposure to direct sunlight.

    1. I had that feeling when I watched Wall-E… a *spaceship* where stuff was *thrown away*… and it had the energy to do *mining*…. but did not ‘mine’ its own ‘waste’ stream? I will presume that a working fusion reactor (or better..) was needed to power all that – and given that much energetic power and how much sheer computing power there had to be, re-cycling any collection of atoms should have been the norm, with perhaps some careful exception… like “Let’s avoid a U-235 buildup, shall we?”

      1. My wife kept trying to get me to watch “Deep Space 9.” I mostly ignored it when it was playing, having discovered a suppurating hatred of Ferengi, and even more internal consistency problems than Voyager.

        One episode, people were being forced to work in mines. Picks, shovels, handcarts, overseers with whips. So the “ore” could be loaded into faster-than-light starships. The Suspension-of-Disbelief-O-Meter slammed against the peg, quivered, and the needle fell off.

        “You go ahead and watch those, I’ll do something constructive, like arranging ones and zeroes.”

    2. This is my argument against eliminating landfills: If you take as given the (now questionable but whatever dude) peak oil arguments, that stuff will become very valuable, and thus an industry of digging it up and repurposing it will emerge. Those landfills will be resource mines.

      On the other hand, peak oil seems to have gained a more selective audience of late.

      And on the gripping hand, the outer planets are basically floating hydrocarbon balls, so just go out and scoopship up all you want. And since getting Out There to be able to do said scoopshipping will also yield unlimited solar energy (search “It’s Raining Soup”) as a free byproduct, problem solved.

    3. The plastic critter at the zoo to show how awful the plastic ocean garbage was and how it would never go away? Was literally falling apart in the sunshine. In the PNW. In front of my eyeballs. How could I believe my own lying eyes?

      1. Wow. Who knew that most plastic degrades horribly from long-term exposure to ultraviolet?

        Well, you know, except every scientist and well-informed layman since ever.

        1. Anybody who’s done trash cleanup after an event… anybody who’s picked up soda bottles in the last three decades…anybody who opened grandma’s toybox to play with the stuff mom had as a kid….

  18. > “OMG too many people.”

    If you’ve never seen anything but NYC, LA, Atlanta, etc., and never been out of earshot of their background noise, it’s easy to get the idea that the whole world is like there you are.

    A British SF author was describing America on his blog; he’d been to America several times. Fly in to NYC, change planes and fly to Seattle or Chicago; stay in a McHotel; all the America he’d ever seen was urban shitholes like where he came from.

    At least in Denver you can look up at the mountains, and they’re mostly empty…

      1. AND turn off not just in the obvious places. Friend from Australia related he had a friend who complained the USA was all the same. But he drove the interstate, pulled into the chains for this or that, got back on the interstate.. repeat.. repeat… My visitor was taken to places a few miles away from the interstate, and it wasn’t all clones of everything.

    1. Fly in to NYC, change planes and fly to Seattle or Chicago;

      Some time, he really ought to try getting a window seat and looking down.

      1. Actually, he mentioned just that in one of his diatribes. All that empty land, which should be planted to feed the starving masses of Bangladesh and wherever.

        I told him American farmers were ready to jump right to it as soon as someone waved some money. Alas, his plan didn’t seem to include declasse commercial details like, you know, *paying* for it. Apparently they were supposed to do it out of sheer charity and Wokeness. He quit talking about it, though I expect he rolled it into the whole hate-America thing he was starting to get shrill about.

          1. Hey! That was me! I grew up in the wet and fertile land of Wisconsin. I was absolutely baffled by those giant circles – until I saw one of the sprinkler systems from ground level.

            1. *laughs*

              I had the opposite “Wait, what?” recently, because Iowa is having a drought. (Was, sort of, it’s complicated, anyways….)

              I knew that I didn’t see any handlines out, or wheel lines, and definitely none of the bit automated circular irrigation systems.

              What I did not see is that there isn’t even any piping for it. The only pipes most of these fields have is drainage! They aren’t even set up to allow an emergency flood-type irrigation!

              There are a few little places that do have it, but wow, what a mind-bending thing, the water is so regular that they don’t even have to WATER!

              1. When I worked up in that area, I was told they were having a drought. I said (to myself) “No way. Can’t be. The ditch grass is green and it’s August. That’s not a drought!” Drought on the Lutefisk Line is “no rain in the last two weeks.” Out here, drought is, “Ground’s cracked and the buzzards are carrying canteens.”

                1. I’m always a little weirded out in states where water just falls from the sky.
                  JUST falls. From the sky. LIQUID water, not frozen or anything.
                  I mean, what kind of a system is that?

                  1. You and Idiot Kitten (who is two, now, but….)

                    I’ve whined before that we had to find a way to make her stop doing stuff besides squirting her with the spray bottle, because her response was “WHOOT! WATER!? DID YOU SEE THAT WATER JUST APPEARED! ON ME! THIS IS AWESOME!” (goes back to sharpening claws on couch)

                    1. My cats think nothing of going out in the rain. One of them will come back in looking like he just went for a swim and then insist on lap time. Damn it, cats, be more stereotypical!

                    2. Some cats LIKE water. I used to call Pete, of blessed memory, our first cat by running water into the tub. And if I wanted him out of my hair for two hours, I let him jump in three inches of water on the tub and play. It was like a toddler with an inflatable pool.
                      Valeria -(likely. she has same markings, same build) — Greebo’s half-sister doesn’t respond to water. She does however respond to an empty water bottle flung near her. It’s the noise. Um…. I should add beans to the bottle.

                    3. None of our cats like tubs…usually.

                      During a flea outbreak in the yard, fluffy would jump into the bath tub and sit there waiting for me to show up with the Dawn soap to kill the little boogers.
                      He was so miserable he didn’t maim me the first time, and demanded it when things got bad after that.

                      He does not allow me to do it now. HIs brother let me do it once or twice and other than that let the Princess comb him with a flea comb.

                    4. None of our cats liked baths. Not even to get rid of fleas. Thank goodness for Revolution!

                      But weirdly we’ve had two cats who liked nasty weather. To teach our cats to stay close, we don’t let them out until they are spayed/neutered with their Rabies vaccinations, & we do it gradually under supervision. Hopefully after they are a year old. But sometimes slightly sooner. When the weather is as nasty as it can be. Rain, wind, snow, stormy, etc. One cat looked at 6 inches of the fluffy wettest 6″ of snow, jumped into it, started plowing and rolling around in it. The other loved to chase & catch rain drops. Both came in regularly, soaked head to toe.

                    5. Sulfur water in the squirt gun tends to work. It sure stopped our cats from mistaking the stereo’s speaker grills for scratching posts.

                      Very expensive speakers.

                  2. You think that/s something, you ought to see what happens in the Deep South in mid-Summer when it rains. In July and August not only does molten ice fall from the sky, once the sun comes out again it falls back up again — you can see the vapor rising from anywhere the sun shines on pavement.

                    1. Hell, SOLID ice falls from the sky! Sometimes in chunks big enough to smash your windshield. And takes an hour or more to melt. If you work at it, you can pack the ice into balls and throw them. In August.

                    2. Connecticut too, and it is GHASTLY. The molten ice often cools down the day, but the last state of the heat is worse than the first.

                  3. Try going to Hawaii. I grew up and spent most of my life in Las Vegas, NV (the very dry one, not to be confused with the arid one in New Mexico). At the end of the 80’s my mom moved to Hawaii, where she now lives in the rain forest. It rains more in a week there than it does in an average year in Vegas. Goodthing is that usually the rain is a gentle rain that just lasts for hours every night. None of those big, fat honkin desert raindrops that kamikaze from 300,000′ and hit you at .5c, or if you’re in your car the drumming on the roof is so loud you turn off the radio. In Vegas, the big housekeeping challenge is dust management, in Hawaii, it was mildew management.

                    Still, it was a lot more pleasant than Florida, Virginia or Alabama in the summer. It simply never got anywhere near as hot.

                2. Had some friends move from Tucson to Seattle in the early Aughts; were surprised to be told they were in a drought when there was clearly still water in the washes, or as they call them in the Pacific Northwest, rivers.

                  1. Mom had to pull over until she finished laughing when we moved up to Washington from the high desert.

                    About a third of the way through Washington, one of my siblings turned to her and said “MOM! There’s water under EVERY ONE OF THESE BRIDGES!”

                    1. Hah! There is a pool under the bridge onto my property in the country, and I’ve only seen it dry up once. And that “creek” only has a drainage area that’s about 4-6 hours deep.

                    2. Not something that you hear frequently, now. We have heard rumors that those in power in CA think it is a horror, & waste that the Columbia River is allowed to have water to actually reach the sea. Or the Siuslaw, Umpqua, Coquille, Nehalem, Rogue, Lincoln, rivers, etc. … Granted Lincoln river is only like 1000 yards long, but still … I’m surprised the same hasn’t been said about the Mississippi!

                    3. Meanwhile, they’re also talking about dam removal.

                      Well yes. In Oregon, Idaho. Not Shasta, or the one in upper reaches just outside of Yosemite, or others in CA.

                      They’d better not be talking about Cougar or Lookout Point Dams, etc., on the Willamette & McKenzie rivers. I live in Eugene, not Mudville. Flooding is still at thing if you are on the west side of the valley (Long Tom) despite Fernridge, or far enough north in the valley, along the Willamette, between River Road on the west or Delta Road on the east. Marys River in Corvallis … Dams I mentioned? They, and others, are for Flood Control. Major Flood Control.

            2. The first place I saw such irrigation rigs was… in Wisconsin – It wasn’t close to where I lived then, but they were and are used in Wisconsin.

        1. Money, and the inevitable legal battles with the green zealots when you destroy prairie dog habitat (or whatever the cause of the month is) to set up the farm.

          1. Prairie dogs are cattle-leg-breaking vermin and should be treated as such. Although I do *adore* the giant vacuum method of relocation.

            1. Little bastards caused my grandfather’s (eventual) death, too. (Stepped in a hole, fell, was on blood thinners so had a massive hemorrhagic stroke.)

                1. No. Worse, he hung on for five more years after, pretty much wholly disabled and NOT the same man (at least, not until the night he died, when he went back to his old self for awhile). And my grandmother is…not someone who would appear under the heading “compassionate caregiver”…

            2. The fuel-air explosion method is pretty nifty too. Though I’m still disappointed it doesn’t actually shoot flaming prairie dogs high into the air…

        2. I suppose he also didn’t include any details about how said food was supposed to get from the “empty” American prairies into the cities of Bangladesh.

    2. My late mother was involved with historical preservation from the 1960’s, which brought her into (reluctant) contact with the anti-development crowd. They have, since the 1950’s, been preaching about the ‘Megalopolis’, a supposed mega-city stretching from Boston to Washington in an unbroken concatenation of concrete and glass and steel (later versions of this fantasy extended its reach to Richmond). As my mother pointed out, “These people have obviously never gotten lost in the Pine Barrens.”

      1. Comparing living in a city in Eastern Europe versus the (brief) time I spent living in a city-area in California…I find one of the most charming things about (many) American cities is that you do NOT have to drive very far to find “rural.” Sometimes it’s even still hanging on in the middle of the city, heh. (I haven’t ever been to New York, so can’t speak for that one. But San Jose area? Yeah, you don’t have to go far at all to get into “farmlands-and-feed-stores” country.)

        1. There’s a freaking working cattle ranch (although they now seem to have a sideline in llamas and donkeys) two miles from my house. In DFW.

        2. I live in Northern NJ and before the WuFlu I commuted to NYC every day. I’m surrounded by horse farms and there are farm farms no more than 20 minutes west of me. NJ is, I think, the most densely populated state and it’s mostly empty. Hardwood forest in the North and piney woods in the south. We’re positively overrun with deer. I have a ground hog ruining my yard and I can sit and watch the hawks eat the rabbits and chipmunks. positively sylvan.

          There were farms in Manhattan in living memory and the Lenape still lived in the caves in Inwood when my mother-in-law was young. That’s all gone now but there is still virgin forest in Northern Manhattan. My wife grew up playing in it.

          I grew up In Brooklyn and we had a house with a yard and a lawn. Wasnt a big lawn but it was big enough to mow. And we weren’t rich.

          Europeans seldom realize just how big and empty the US is. They have no reference for it.

          1. There’s a multi-part BBC documentary called “Stephen Fry in America”, where he visits various places in America. Production quality is uneven; much is pretty obviously scripted to look like “colonials and hillbillies”, and then there’s some apparently off-the-cuff stuff from Fry, always coming down to “America is not a monoculture” and “you have no freaking *idea* how big it is.” The whole series was on the U of Tubes a while back, and may still be there. You won’t lost much if you just skip the first episode.

            1. My brother spent a decade recommending books “I know you’ll never get there”…. which I’d usually read the week before through my subscription to the history book club.

        3. Even from NYC 30 miles north or west will get you out into a mix of suburbs and rural country. Fifty miles will get you to mostly rural. Given rush hour traffic it might take a while to get there – I’ve been stuck in I-80 traffic jams.

      2. Or had to try to find “an interior decorator…from Czechoslovakia” 🙂

        (note that this episode actually filmed in Harriman State Park in NY rather than the actual NJ pine barrens, but the barrens has many such places)